December 5, 2013
And here's the full roster.
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Following are the one hundred most recent articles for the category Dodgers .
11/14/2013: Let’s discuss the THT Annualby Dave Studeman
12/04/2013: Cataloging the non-tendered playersby Brad Johnson
12/04/2013: Alone on the pedestalby Jason Linden
12/03/2013: Mascot fight!by Greg Simons
12/03/2013: Why is a sinker “heavy?”by David Kagan
12/03/2013: The role of fall leaguesby Jeff Moore
12/02/2013: Nationals make great deal for Fisterby Matt Filippi
12/02/2013: The Twins go holiday shopping, but to what end?by Brad Johnson
12/02/2013: The end of the benchby Chris Jaffe
11/29/2013: Card Corner: 1973 Topps: Danny Waltonby Bruce Markusen
11/29/2013: The best rookies of the ‘30sby Chad Dotson
11/27/2013: Towards an award prediction systemby Shane Tourtellotte
11/26/2013: MLB’s coffers are overflowingby Greg Simons
11/26/2013: The role of prospects in tradesby Jeff Moore
11/25/2013: Stepping up to the plateby Frank Jackson
11/25/2013: 10 things I didn’t know about player birthdaysby Chris Jaffe
11/22/2013: The end of the road for Chris Carpenterby Chad Dotson
11/21/2013: All the news that’s fit to inventby Azure Texan
11/20/2013: Marcus Stroman, the mythbusting machineby Kyle Boddy
11/20/2013: Welcome to the birthplace of… someone elseby Jason Linden
11/19/2013: 2013 THT awards reviewby Greg Simons
11/18/2013: THT Fantasy has moved to Rotographsby Dave Studeman
11/18/2013: Atlanta gets burned againby Frank Jackson
11/18/2013: The 2014 Hall of Fame VC ballotby Chris Jaffe
11/18/2013: Must See MLB.TV 2013by Dave Studeman
11/15/2013: The best rookies of the ‘40sby Chad Dotson
11/15/2013: Card Corner: Wayne Granger: 1973 Toppsby Bruce Markusen
11/14/2013: 10th anniversary: the A.J. Pierzynski tradeby Chris Jaffe
11/14/2013: The Screwball: The face of championship baseballby Azure Texan
11/14/2013: Player-A-Day: Casey Fienby Brad Johnson
11/13/2013: Player-A-Day: Tim Lincecumby Brad Johnson
11/13/2013: Pitcher performance after batting successby Shane Tourtellotte
11/13/2013: 25th anniversary: Rob Neyer writes a letterby Chris Jaffe
11/13/2013: Houston hoodoo ‘62by Frank Jackson
11/12/2013: It’s The Hardball Times Annual 2014by Dave Studeman
11/12/2013: Player-A-Day: Joe Mauerby Brad Johnson
11/11/2013: Fastball velocity by game stateby Jon Roegele
11/11/2013: The rise of the middle-aged managerby Chris Jaffe
11/08/2013: Player-A-Day: Josmil Pintoby Brad Johnson
11/08/2013: Hall monitor: The case for Andruw Jonesby Chad Dotson
11/07/2013: Big leaguers, bit partsby Azure Texan
11/07/2013: Player-A-Day: Nathan Eovaldiby Brad Johnson
11/06/2013: If he’d only gotten another shotby Jason Linden
11/06/2013: Player-A-Day: David DeJesusby Brad Johnson
11/05/2013: Player-A-Day: David Ortizby Brad Johnson
11/04/2013: Player-A-Day: Jose Dariel Abreuby Brad Johnson
11/04/2013: The Boston (Braves) Marathon of 1928by Frank Jackson
11/04/2013: 10 things I didn’t know about birthdays in 2013by Chris Jaffe
11/01/2013: Taking the close pitch with two strikesby James Gentile
11/01/2013: Card Corner: 1973 Topps: Don Baylorby Bruce Markusen
11/01/2013: The best rookies of the ‘50sby Chad Dotson
10/31/2013: The Screwball: Celebrate good times, come on!by Azure Texan
10/31/2013: Player-A-Day: Leonys Martinby Brad Johnson
10/30/2013: Player-A-Day: Jon Lesterby Brad Johnson
10/30/2013: Forecasting the major 2013 awardsby Shane Tourtellotte
10/30/2013: The effect of seeing pitchesby Jon Roegele
10/29/2013: Putting the knock on pitching changesby Joe Distelheim
10/29/2013: Player-A-Day: Ryan Howardby Brad Johnson
10/29/2013: Losing momentum in the sixth gameby Dave Studeman
10/29/2013: Previewing the fall Stars gameby Jeff Moore
10/28/2013: Player-A-Day: Travis Woodby Brad Johnson
10/28/2013: Marquis Grissom: Mr. October Jr.by Frank Jackson
10/25/2013: The blackballing of Dick Dietzby Bruce Markusen
10/24/2013: Player-A-Day: Xander Bogaertsby Brad Johnson
10/24/2013: The Screwball: Put it in neutral?by Azure Texan
10/24/2013: The all-decade team: the ‘00sby Richard Barbieri
10/24/2013: Player-A-Day: Michael Wachaby Brad Johnson
10/23/2013: Earn money watching baseballby Dave Studeman
10/23/2013: Player-A-Day: Jose Iglesiasby Brad Johnson
10/23/2013: 20th anniversary: The Joe Carter gameby Chris Jaffe
10/23/2013: Giants take a risk with Lincecum’s two-year dealby Matt Filippi
10/23/2013: BOB: Nolan Ryan retires…for nowby Brian Borawski
10/22/2013: Where does David Price fit?by Jeff Moore
10/22/2013: Survey says?!?!?by Greg Simons
10/22/2013: ALCS post-mortem: The Fielder playby Shane Tourtellotte
10/21/2013: The best rivalries of 2013by Chris Jaffe
10/21/2013: World Series workhorsesby Frank Jackson
10/20/2013: WPS recap: ALCS, 10/19/2013by Shane Tourtellotte
10/19/2013: WPS Recap: NLCS, 10/18/2013by Shane Tourtellotte
10/18/2013: WPS recap: ALCS, 10/17/2013by Shane Tourtellotte
10/18/2013: Card Corner: 1973 Topps: Bob Baileyby Bruce Markusen
10/18/2013: The 2013 Atlanta Braves and core WARby James Gentile
10/18/2013: The best rookies of the ‘60sby Chad Dotson
10/17/2013: The Screwball: What about Bob Lemon?by Azure Texan
10/17/2013: WPS Recap: LCS, 10/16/2013by Shane Tourtellotte
10/16/2013: WPS recap: LCS, 10/15/2013by Shane Tourtellotte
10/16/2013: How much do we know about pitcher value?by Jason Linden
10/16/2013: 10th anniversary: the Aaron Boone Gameby Chris Jaffe
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October 05, 2013
WPS recap: LDS, 10/4/2013As busy a day of October baseball as we can have. Opening ceremonies will be cut short so we can move straight to the game action.
Game 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 F Pirates 0 1 2 0 2 0 1 1 0 7 Cardinals 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 (Series tied 1-1) WPS 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Pirates 7 31 28 3 14 5 3 1 0 Cardinals 13 4 5 5 8 8 7 1 1 WPS Base: 143.6 Best Plays: 36.6 Last Play: 0.1 Grand Total: 180.3
These aren't just getting boring as baseball games. These are getting boring as examples of what makes a boring baseball game. One team gets ahead early, and never lets the other one get close again. Lather, rinse, repeat.
The most interesting thing about this game may have been the wind. It was fooling fielders all day. Deceptively mild-mannered fly balls suddenly took off like Superman and leaped tall fences in a single bound, or sometimes without bounding at all. The final insult was the infield pop that somehow carried past David Freese, letting Marlon Byrd take two bases on his hustle. (He'd score on two productive outs.)
The vaunted St. Louis performance with runners in scoring position deserted the Cardinals today. Pittsburgh shut them down, zero for five. The bigger part of the story was that the Pirates allowed them so few RISP opportunities.
With three other games to cover, I won't burn many more bits on this one. It does put Pittsburgh squarely back in the series, which puts the legions of Pirates fans squarely into the action for Game Three on Sunday. From what we heard from them in the Wild Card knockout game last Tuesday, that should be worth our attention.
Game 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 F Rays 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 2 Red Sox 0 0 0 5 3 0 0 4 X 12 (Red Sox lead series 1-0) WPS 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Rays 5 15 5 24 5 2 1 4 0 Red Sox 12 11 6 76 14 0 0 0 X WPS Base: 181.1 Best Plays: 38.7 Last Play: 0.0 Grand Total: 219.8
This game had some actual juice, at least for an inning, because it had something the previous six in this series did not: a lead change. A bizarre lead change, but a thorough one that turned the spigot of excitement right back off by the next inning. I will get to the original inning in a bit.
Once again, we see how deceptive early impressions can be. Jon Lester strikes out the side to open the game—he actually struck out his first four batters—but gave up a home run in the second, and another in the fourth, to pop the bubble of invincibility. His counterpart Matt Moore didn't allow a hit through three, sparking that idle hope in the bosoms of myriad baseball fans. And then the fourth inning happened to him.
The Tampa Bay Rays are known these days as a smart team, smart in the front office, in the dugout, and on the field. But their defense in the fourth inning wound up two steps behind on every big play. Wil Myers let David Ortiz's deep fly ball drop for a ground-rule double. With the score tied, they let Jonny Gomes score from second on Stephen Drew's dribbler to first base. Then Sean Rodriguez overran Will Middlebrooks' ball hitting off the Green Monster and had it ricochet behind him, letting Drew score. Then catcher Jose Lobaton's dropped third strike kept the inning alive long enough for a fifth Boston run.
It was almost like midnight had struck, and they had turned back into the Devil Rays. It was also time for the big trend of the playoffs to resume, as Fenway fans began the derisive chant of Myyyyy-errrrrs! What hath Pirates fans wrought!
There was immediate suspicion that the Boston bullpen had coached Myers off the fly ball that he had lined up, then pulled away to watch bounce over the fence. Myers said otherwise: "I saw Des [Desmond Jennings] out of the corner of my eye and backed off. It was totally my fault." I'll take him at his word, that he's not covering by obeying the unwritten baseball rule that you don't talk about your opponents disobeying the unwritten rules (it makes you look whiny).
Then there's that other unwritten rule: Don't show up the other team by stealing in the late innings with a big lead. Jacoby Ellsbury did that in the eighth, his Red Sox up 8-2, on the way to piling on four more runs. That's something else the Rays may just have to shrug off.
But if David Ortiz takes a heater off his elbow tomorrow, we may have seen a reason or two why today.
Game 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 F Dodgers 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 3 Braves 0 1 0 1 0 0 2 0 X 4 (Series tied 1-1) WPS 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Dodgers 22 13 14 15 7 27 43 29 40 Braves 5 25 5 31 5 4 30 3 X WPS Base: 317.1 Best Plays: 49.9 Last Play: 7.5 Grand Total: 374.5
Yes! Finally! Thank you! It may not have been a great game, but it was a good game. It stayed close all the way through the middle innings; when one team finally leaped out to a multi-run lead, the other came back immediately to close the gap; even scoreless innings had enough action to hold a spectator's interest. The highest Win Percentage Added play of the game, in fact, was the double play that got Atlanta out of a bases-loaded jam in the seventh.
The pivotal play that most may remember is Atlanta substitute catcher Gerald Laird throwing out pinch-runner Dee Gordon on a ninth-inning steal attempt that quelled an L.A. rally. The play was awfully close: Shortstop Andrelton Simmons had his glove on Gordon's back as the ball was arriving, but it came off about the time the ball went into the glove. To my eyes, he had the ball and contact; to others, it wasn't clear-cut at all. That one could be picked over for a long time, depending on whether the Dodgers wish they had this game back.
After the Myyyyy-errrrrs! affair in Boston, it was good to hear a brief positive chant in Atlanta. Freddie Freeman, being talked up by the announcers as an MVP candidate, got a nice Fred-die! from the hometown folks early in the game, though it wasn't repeated, as Mr. Myers' chant was.
Craig Kimbrel came on for a four-out save, his first ever in the postseason, which gives me a chance to make an observation about him. In his three-plus seasons with the Braves, Kimbrel has recorded 139 regular-season saves, with 50 this year. If he stays healthy, there is every reason to believe he will have over 40 next year and put his career total past 180.
And at the end of the 2014 season when he does that, he will still be younger than Mariano Rivera was when he got his first major-league save. At 652 lifetime saves, Mariano is the king, but it may be that the heir is already among us. A lot of things have to go right for Kimbrel, but it would be tough to get off to a better start on the long chase.
Game 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 F Tigers 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 A's 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 2 (Detroit leads series 1-0) WPS 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Tigers 38 2 4 5 4 6 2 9 3 A's 4 16 8 4 4 10 33 26 17 WPS Base: 195.8 Best Plays: 39.3 Last Play: 3.9 Grand Total: 239.0
And we go right back to the old pattern, with a moderate variation near the end. If you watched the Dodgers and Braves to the final pitch, took a quick bathroom break, then tuned into the Tigers and A's, you missed the Detroit offense. They jumped on Bartolo Colon early, then fizzled out as though exhausted by the effort. Oakland closed the gap in the seventh on Yoenis Cespedes' home run, so the last few innings were less of a WPS drought. The damage was done, though, and could have been undone only by a stirring comeback. The A's didn't have that in them.
Max Scherzer broke the recent pattern of pitchers dominating in the first inning, then coming unwound soon after. He compiled nine strikeouts through five innings, 11 for all seven that he pitched, and was one-hitting the A's after six. Colon did settle down after the first, holding Detroit scoreless the next five innings, so he completely reversed the pattern.
An idle thought crossed my mind as I watched Colon face Prince Fielder: Is this the greatest combined weight of pitcher and batter ever to face each other in the majors? Probably not. I think CC Sabathia has the edge in mass on Colon, or at least did at one time. CC, though, looks big and solid, but Bartolo is just sloppy fat.
There was a weak "MVP!" chant for Josh Donaldson when he first came to bat. Given the presence of Cabrera on the same field, the weakness can be understood.
Miguel Cabrera is obviously hurting. A ball he hit in the eighth inning went off Donaldson's glove at third. For most batters, this would have meant reaching on an error, but Donaldson calmly tracked down the ball, threw to first, and still got Cabrera by a couple of steps. If his hitting is as badly affected—and the announcers watching his plate technique believed so—he may actually be an impediment to the Tigers right now.
Jhonny Peralta, back from his Biogenesis suspension, pinch-hit in the ninth inning. The Oakland fans gave him a lusty round of boos. The same Oakland fans whose starting pitcher that night had been one-time suspended PED user Bartolo Colon. I reserve further comment.
So it took four games today, but we finally got a pretty good one. One hopes it won't take another quadruple-header to produce a fun one, but if we need it, we've got it. Pittsburgh and Atlanta evened up their series today, meaning all four series will be playing on Monday. So we get to do this again in three days!
Sleep? What's that? You can sleep in November.
Posted by: Shane Tourtellotte
October 04, 2013
WPS recap: NLDS, 10/3/2013The playoffs move into high gear, beginning with the National League.
Wednesday night's win by the Rays punctured a potential bit of trivia. Had Cleveland taken the game, it would have meant that all eight teams remaining in the playoffs were "original" teams, ones that had been around since the American League became a major league in 1901. Tampa Bay was the only expansion team to make it into the postseason. (The tiebreaker against Texas technically does not count.) They have their work cut out against the Old Guard, but that begins Friday.
Game 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 F Pirates 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 Cardinals 0 0 7 0 1 1 0 0 X 9 (Cardinals lead series 1-0) WPS 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Pirates 5 5 5 3 3 1 0 0 0 Cardinals 7 24 49 0 1 0 0 0 X WPS Base: 98.1 Best Plays: 37.6 Last Play: 0.0 Grand Total: 135.7
There isn't too much to say about a game that is effectively over before the 16th out is recorded. Unless, of course, you have a rooting interest, but then the things you'll say are pretty obvious and, in the case of Pirates' fans, obscene. I'll find another direction, such as making this a lesson on how the WPS Index functions.
The Cardinals' third inning is exactly the most boring way to score seven runs, at least according to WPS. All the runs came in on eight players reaching base consecutively, from Adam Wainwright's leadoff walk to David Freese's three-run single-plus-error.
WPS likes outs interspersed with its baserunners, to keep expectations swinging and produce a "sawtooth" pattern on a Win Expectancy graph. There was virtually no suspense in A.J. Burnett's meltdown, no point at which you could think he was in position to squeeze free. It was an efficient way to kill a ballgame.
And it did kill this game. Pedro Alvarez's home run to open the fifth inning earned a WPS score of 1.4. That's a hair below what the second out of the game netted (1.5). When a home run is more ho-hum than a top-of-the-first grounder to the pitcher, things have gotten out of hand. As a further, and final, example, 14 of the last 15 plate appearances in the game produced a score of 0.0.
Desperate Pittsburgh boosters could point to the Cardinals' batting average with runners in scoring position as a ray of light. St. Louis went 2 for 10, a far cry from the incredible .330 they put up in the regular season.
Ah, but we know better than to stop looking there. The season triple-slash line for Cards' RISP was .330/.402/.463. With a homer, two walks, and a hit batter pitching in, they went .200/.385/.500 on this afternoon. Their OPS was better than the season average. No solace there, Buccos fans.
There was some suggestion by the broadcast crew that Carlos Martinez would have been wiser to eat the ball rather than throw to first on his eighth-inning play that amazingly nipped Russell Martin. They feared the ball getting away, giving him a free base, setting up a big inning.
Really? With an eight-run margin, the difference between a runner on first or on second is minuscule compared to that between a runner on first and a runner out. You want the outs, and you should be taking a chance like that. Don't listen to 'em, Carlos!
One final tactical quibble was manager Mike Matheny sending in late-season closer Trevor Rosenthal to pitch the ninth with an eight-run cushion. In his defense, I note that Rosenthal had last pitched six days earlier, and he might have needed a little work to prevent rust. Of course, St. Louis knew they wouldn't be playing until Thursday, so maybe they could have set up an intrasquad scrimmage, as Boston reportedly did, and given Rosenthal his maintenance work on Tuesday.
Just a thought to fill the cavernous vacuum of interest left by this game after the third inning.
Game 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 F Dodgers 0 2 2 1 0 1 0 0 0 6 Braves 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 (Dodgers lead series 1-0) WPS 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Dodgers 5 27 22 10 7 6 1 0 0 Braves 5 13 13 17 4 2 5 3 3 WPS Base: 142.5 Best Plays: 31.5 Last Play: 0.6 Grand Total: 174.6
This one toyed with us a little more but still ended up the fifth postseason/tiebreaker game in a row below average excitement. Had the Braves not been making some threats in the second through fourth innings, this game could have been almost as low on the WPS Index as the Pirates and Cardinals.
Baseball does not reveal its patterns quickly. How many of us, after watching Kris Medlen strike out the side in the first, were thinking he'd be knocked around for five runs in the next three innings? Clayton Kershaw, on the other hand, while doing almost as well in the first on less dominant stuff, had the horses for the long haul, with a dozen strikeouts in his seven frames.
If the game had been closer, Evan Gattis could well have been remembered as the goat. Missing a diving attempt at a fly ball in the top of the second inning to let Los Angeles' second run across was forgivable. Getting hung out far, far off first on a fly to right and doubled off by Yasiel Puig in the bottom half was inexplicable. But if you're going to have a bad night, have it when it doesn't matter so much. We'll see how Gattis shakes off the experience.
The Dodgers tacked on a run in the sixth, which I wouldn't mention except for the Braves reliever who gave up that run, Jordan Walden. I did not recognize the name, but I recognized the delivery. I saw him at PNC Park earlier this year during a baseball tour that I wrote up here at THT. He had the same odd crow-hop off the rubber just before releasing the ball. Good to see that: April connects to October, the season ties itself into a bow for me.
There's no way I wouldn't mention Brian Wilson's stint in the eighth because, good Lord, that beard. If he were blond, he already would have joined ZZ Top.
Don Mattingly followed Matheny's lead and sent his closer to the mound with a large, non-save lead. It had been four days since Kenley Jansen's last appearance, so the rust argument holds less water. If it was just to keep him sharp, it may have backfired, as Jansen had to throw 25 pitches to finish the game.
Join us tomorrow as we run down all four playoff games across both leagues. One of them's going to be an exciting one. Law of averages, right? Right?
Posted by: Shane Tourtellotte
September 25, 2012
Dee Gordon, invisible manI've been reading Bill Chuck's Billy-Ball.com for years, and he and I exchange e-mails about his posts from time to time. On Monday, Bill had a post that caught my eye for an odd reason, and I felt obliged to comment.
Bill was citing the number of players with 20-plus stolen bases thus far in the 2012 season. Having just watched Sunday night's Dodgers-Reds tilt that included Dee Gordon throwing balls everywhere except to the first baseman's glove, Gordon was on my mind. (I have Gordon on a fantasy team, too, so I've been following him and his one-category contributions all season long.)
I couldn't help but notice that the speedy Gordon wasn't listed among those with at least 20 swipes, so I mentioned this to Bill. He responded that he had done a search at Baseball-Reference.com, and we all know the power and wonder that is B-Ref, so the lack of Gordon on the list was surprising.
I could think of only one explanation for this omission, which I shared with Bill: "Maybe B-Ref looks at his overall game, realizes he does NOTHING good except stealing bases and makes the value judgment to disregard him as a baseball player. It doesn't sound logical, but it's the best reason I can think of."
Bill found the glitch and re-posted the list, but I couldn't stop thinking about Gordon and his future. With the acquisition of Hanley Ramirez, the Dodgers found a shortstop for the remainder of 2012. However, 2013 could be a different story, with Ramirez possibly shifting to third base once again and opening up short for Gordon.
The question is, can Gordon do enough to justify the starting role? Yes, he has terrific speed. In about one-third of a season last year, Gordon swiped 24 bags, and this year he has pilfered 31 bases in about a half-season of games. But what else does he bring to the table?
Last year, he raised expectations with a .304 batting average in 224 at-bats. Sure, his slugging percentage was an unimpressive .362, as was his .325 on-base percentage, but if Gordon could hit .300, he would at least appear to be providing value. This season? How about a .228/.281/.281 triple-slash line? Gordon's stick has gone flaccid.
Defense? Well, if you watched Sunday's performance, you got a glimpse of why people question whether Gordon can remain a shortstop.
So you have a weak-hitting, poor-fielding speedster. The mid-1970s Oakland A's took a player like this, Herb Washington, and made him a pinch-runner. Incredibly, Washington appeared in 92 games in 1974 but had zero (yes, zero!) plate appearances. (He returned in 1975 for a mere 13 games, also without ever standing at the dish.)
Dee Gordon is almost certainly a better player than Herb Washington, but he needs to make some significant improvements at the plate and in the field if he wants to stick in the big leagues for any length of time.
Posted by: Greg Simons
May 02, 2012
The list, and the wait, grow longerDee Gordon hit the first home run of his career Tuesday. Gordon isn't know for his power; he's known for his speed. One day he'll probably tag up from second and score on a pop-up to shortstop.
Dee Gordon has more homers this year than Albert Pujols.
Jose Tabata homered for the first time this year Tuesday. With nine career long balls in 812 at-bats, that's about one home runs every 90 at-bats.
Jose Tabata has more homers this year than Albert Pujols.
Rafael Furcal went deep Tuesday for the initial time this season. He actually has more than 100 career home runs, maxing out at 15 in a single season twice, but he's always been known as a speedy (and oft-injured) leadoff hitter.
Rafael Furcal has more homers this year than Albert Pujols.
Cory Snyder, Gordon Beckham and Mark Kotsay all did something Tuesday they hadn't done before in the 2012 regular season. Care to guess what it was? Care to guess what it means?
Thus far, 252 players have hit at least one home run this season. Albert Pujols is not one of those players.
This is not a vengeful rambling of a Cardinals fan rejoicing in the pain of a former hero (though I am a Cardinals fan). No, this is an inquiry into when one of the great hitters in the game's long history will start performing as we all expect him to.
Sure, the signs of decline have been evident the last few years, with Pujols' triple-slash line steadily declining from .357/.462/.653 (1.114 OPS) in 2008 to .299/.366/.541 (906 OPS) in 2011. But last year's OPS+ was still a healthy 148; it's not like Pujols was Adam Dunn bad, where we weren't sure he'd ever bounce back. He still had 37 home runs in 2011, an identical number to his 2008 total.
Knocking the ball over the fence has never been a problem for Pujols, who "bottomed out" in 2007 with a mere 32 long balls. But for some reason—the pressure of his new contract, moving to a new league, having to spend too much time in perfect SoCal weather—that first home run has yet to clear the fence.
Now, we all know it will come, and when it does, it's likely Pujols will pull out of his funk and start shredding the ball as he typically does. But for now, it gives us a chance to speculate.
So, when will Pujols finally join the gaggle of players who have knocked a ball over the fence? Make your guess in the comments section, and we'll see who comes closest to predicting the date Albert Pujols' homerless drought died.
I'm going with Saturday, May 5, against Toronto's Kyle Drabek (though tonight's match-up against Liam Hendricks—WHO?—is enticing).
Posted by: Greg Simons
February 16, 2012
Gary Carter career highlightsThe baseball world learned Thursday the sad news of the passing of baseball Hall of Famer Gary Carter. The former catcher was only 53 years old when brain cancer claimed him.
Any time a person dies it is first and foremost a personal tragedy. Others can eulogize the man far better than I can. What I can do is provide a retrospective to his career. This is something I’ve done in the past here at THT when someone passes on.
Below is a list of Gary Carter’s career highlights. The list includes the greatest and most memorable games he participated in, as well as his personal best and worst moments. Also included are some odd or unusual or memorable moments he happened to be on hand for.
In chronological order:
Click for more...
Posted by: Chris Jaffe
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