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The Baseball Thread

 
 
panzade
 
  1  
Reply Wed 29 Jul, 2009 09:38 am
The other night a Washington National hit back-to-back grand slams. Anybody know how many times that has happened?...and how recently?
Gargamel
 
  1  
Reply Wed 29 Jul, 2009 09:40 am
@panzade,
Off the top of my head, I believe Fernando Tatis of the Mets did that early last year. I'll check...
jespah
 
  2  
Reply Wed 29 Jul, 2009 09:42 am
@Gargamel,
Dunno 'bout back to back but here's a list of the 13 players who've had 2 grand slams in one game: http://www.federalbaseball.com/2009/7/28/965350/josh-willingham-hits-grand-slams

Tatis is on that list, but the last time it happened was 6 years ago today.
Gargamel
 
  1  
Reply Wed 29 Jul, 2009 09:47 am
@jespah,
Wow. I had no idea Tatis had been playing that long.
0 Replies
 
panzade
 
  1  
Reply Wed 29 Jul, 2009 09:58 am
I should have posted "grand slams in consecutive at bats." I can't find any record of someone doing it before. Apparently 13 players have hit 2 grand salamis in a game...although I can't tell if any were consecutive
joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Wed 29 Jul, 2009 10:26 am
@Gargamel,
Gargamel wrote:

So, we have two new Hall of Fame members. Thoughts? Memories?

Henderson always struck me as an incredibly selfish player. He stuck around the majors for about five years at the end of his career just to get the record, and then he stuck around even longer to gratify his ego. To get a sense of how valuable he was in his waning years, here are the teams he played for in the seven years from 1997 to 2003:
Padres
Angels
Athletics
Mets
Mariners
Padres (again)
Red Sox
Dodgers
In that time, he had only one good season (1999 with the Mets). Otherwise, he was just a fast guy who couldn't figure out a way to steal first base.

The other thing that always bugged me about Henderson was his crouched batting stance, which he used to minimize his strike zone and so draw walks. If umpires had actually called the correct strike zone on him (it should have been determined from how he swung at the ball, not how he stood at the plate) he wouldn't have drawn so many cheap walks.

As for Rice, I suppose this means they'll have to induct George Foster now. Rice was a better-than-average hitter who led the AL in HRs three times and RBIs once (and tied for the lead once). That puts him in George Foster territory. Rice was very good. He wasn't one of the greats.
Rockhead
 
  1  
Reply Wed 29 Jul, 2009 10:47 am
@joefromchicago,
I agree on both counts. (ricky will get in)

Ricky stole when Ricky wanted too. there was some bad baseball in his wake. It was all about him.

his attitude is now the norm for many (or is that manny) star players, unfortunately.
Shapeless
 
  1  
Reply Wed 29 Jul, 2009 10:48 am
@panzade,
Quote:
I should have posted "grand slams in consecutive at bats." I can't find any record of someone doing it before.


I assume Tatis's two slams were in consecutive at-bats, since they were hit in the same inning. If they weren't consecutive at-bats, it means he got to the plate at least three times in that inning.
0 Replies
 
Shapeless
 
  1  
Reply Wed 29 Jul, 2009 10:55 am
@Rockhead,
I have some memory of a game where Rickey, thinking primarily of his record, stole a base even though his team was already up by ten or so runs. That's incredibly tacky.
joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Wed 29 Jul, 2009 11:00 am
@Rockhead,
Rockhead wrote:

I agree on both counts. (ricky will get in)

Ricky stole when Ricky wanted too. there was some bad baseball in his wake. It was all about him.

his attitude is now the norm for many (or is that manny) star players, unfortunately.

The photo that shows him holding up the base that he stole for the record is pretty indicative of Henderson's entire career.

http://www.sports-photos.com/catalog/images/RickeyHenderson2Color.tif.JPG

Note that he is holding up third base. The old baseball maxim is that "you steal second for the team and third for yourself." Nuff ced.
0 Replies
 
Ragman
 
  1  
Reply Wed 29 Jul, 2009 12:30 pm
@Shapeless,
Not sure that I agree totally here.

Perhaps there are some (doubtful) extenuating circumstances. I understand about the players "code" about not piling on when the game's out of reach. One could suppose it's possible that he had some incentive clauses in his contract, or that he had his own self-interest in mind to pad his record and put it out of reach -- to wipe the books clean for the all-time record?

Isn't this what a player is supposed to do -- steal when you can steal? Let's suppose, if home base was uncovered defensively, should he stand there and NOT run to steal home? I'm just sayin'.

That being said, in my eyes, he was one of the more self-involved athletes at that time in baseball. The name Wade Boggs also comes to my mind, in this sort of mold.
Rockhead
 
  1  
Reply Wed 29 Jul, 2009 12:33 pm
@Ragman,
stealing is best done within the framework of a strategy.

this is why managers make the big bucks. (and get fired a lot)

I have not heard a lot of complimentary things about him from his former coaches...
0 Replies
 
Ragman
 
  1  
Reply Wed 29 Jul, 2009 12:43 pm
@joefromchicago,
Last time I looked it was not against the rules to crouch. He took advantage of some bad umpiring. I'd have tried that, too, if it got me on base where I then could steal (seeming at will) and drive the pitcher nuts. Isn't that strategy what a baseball player should do? Doesn't it maximize your TEAM'S offensive effectiveness?

The problem here, I think, is that this beahvior all came from a not very likeable guy. Not likable EXCEPT if he is not on your (winning) team.
Rockhead
 
  1  
Reply Wed 29 Jul, 2009 01:02 pm
Looks like the Phil's wanna take a shot at a repeat.

http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/news?slug=ap-phillies-lee&prov=ap&type=lgns

Lee would add another wicked left arm...
0 Replies
 
joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Wed 29 Jul, 2009 01:11 pm
@Ragman,
Like I said, the umpires should have called the strike zone for Henderson as it's defined in the rulebook:

Major League Baseball wrote:
The STRIKE ZONE is that area over home plate the upper limit of which is a horizontal line at the midpoint between the top of the shoulders and the top of the uniform pants, and the lower level is a line at the hollow beneath the kneecap. The Strike Zone shall be determined from the batter’s stance as the batter is prepared to swing at a pitched ball.


Did Henderson take advantage of the umpires? Yes. Did drawing more walks help his team? Sure. Did that make him a more admirable ballplayer? I don't think so.
Ragman
 
  1  
Reply Wed 29 Jul, 2009 01:16 pm
@joefromchicago,
Having an eye-witness viewpoint (Bostonian and a RS fan's view fan at Fenway) view of Rice, his election certainly wasn't about JUST the statistical glimpse that got him FINALLY in the HOF. However for a 5-yr-period, it appears that he dominated the competition. He struck fear in the hearts of the oppsoing pitchers, particualry at Fenway where he was deadly.

He was 56th in all time RBI with 1,451 career RBI
Some of his other offensive stats -- the quality could be debated in relation to other comparable offensive players not in the hall as of yet.

For example ...

"Rice, lauded for his power production, in reality was only average (in comaprison to other power hitters) in this department. His .502 slugging percentage, .854 OPS, and 128 OPS+ testify to this assessment much more accurately than the remembrance of those who saw him in action.

Sure, his 1,451 career RBI total is very good total " 56th all time " but even that number leaves him well short of deservedly snubbed Hall candidates Andre Dawson (1591) and Harold Baines (1628) and 15 short of non-Hall of Famer Rusy Staub, who also had a higher OBP than Rice in a dominate pitchers era."

I say allow Dawson and Staub in HOF too. Not so sure about Baines.

We need to acknowledge that era was pitcher-dominated.

He often gets a bad rap because baseball writers disliked him because of their ongoing feud. He didn't grant interviews. He often could appear surly and aloof in public. One-on-one, he was a real decent guy, and as an example, his legenday concern for an injured young fan's safety (skull fracture induced by hit ball at park) is what heroic movies are made of.

However, on the larger issue of: Can the HOF be heading towards being considered the “Hall of Very Good.” It could be argued that this 'watering down' of HOF alumni might be already happening.

And, with the possibility of the coming HOF graduating class with this last 10 yrs of steroid era looming as to whom gets inducted, the field of legit HOFers could be narrowed down to a handful. Thus allowing the likes of Dawson, Staub et al ...a free pass, should they still be eligible.
Ragman
 
  1  
Reply Wed 29 Jul, 2009 01:30 pm
@joefromchicago,
Was Ty Cobb admirable? Does he belong in HOF. Was he not the most unabashed racist of his era? Did he go into a base cleats-up and would spike anyone in his way...possibly the batboy (if they had them in those days)?

Shouldn't the fact that he most likely killed someone keep him out?
"Did Ty kill that mugger on the night of August 12, 1912? "

So, keeping Ty Cobb out due to his deadly base-running technique, nasty racist ways and off-the-field sins --- would make a mockery out of HOF. We can debate Jim ed Rice entry for sure but Ricky belongs in HOF as there never was a better leadoff hitter in baseball's history. Personality and player's demeanor should not fit into the equation.
joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Wed 29 Jul, 2009 01:36 pm
@Ragman,
Ragman wrote:

Having an eye-witness viewpoint (Bostonian and a RS fan's view fan at Fenway) view of Rice, his election certainly wasn't about JUST the statistical glimpse that got him FINALLY in the HOF. However for a 5-yr-period, it appears that he dominated the competition. He struck fear in the hearts of the oppsoing pitchers, particualry at Fenway where he was deadly.

Well, there are plenty of players who were at the top of the game for four or five years, yet they don't go into the HOF. Like I said, if Rice goes in, then there's no reason to keep George Foster out. On a straight comparison basis, Foster was just as fearsome as Rice. In fact, on that basis, you can't justify excluding guys like Fred McGriff.

Ragman wrote:
We need to acknowledge that era was pitcher-dominated.

The 1970s was a pitcher-dominated era? Really?
Ragman
 
  1  
Reply Wed 29 Jul, 2009 01:41 pm
Speaking of the all- time worst admirable players who should be kept out of HOF-- take this baseball play -- Pete Rose's destruction of Ray Fosse's as catcher while diving into him at the plate in 1971 All-star game. After this fiasco, Fosse's playing ability and career spiraled downward. For what? It wasn't even in a game that counted in the standings!

Couple that with him betting on baseball games while acting as manager, and he deaserves a perm ban on HOF and kept out of baseball. It took him more than 10+ yrs to admit he lied ..that he DID bet on baseball games. Loser!
0 Replies
 
joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Wed 29 Jul, 2009 01:46 pm
@Ragman,
Ragman wrote:

Was Ty Cobb admirable? Does he belong in HOF. Was he not the most unabashed racist of his era? Did he go into a base cleats-up and would spike anyone in his way...possibly the batboy (if they had them in those days)?

Cobb was a complete sonofabitch as a person, no question about that. But my point about Henderson was strictly limited to the time he spent between the baselines. He was a selfish player -- I have no idea if he was equally selfish off the field, and frankly I don't care. I will add that Cobb played in quite a different era. Many of the things that he got away with in his time would not be tolerated today.

Ragman wrote:
So, keeping Ty Cobb out due to his deadly base-running technique, nasty racist ways and off-the-field sins --- would make a mockery out of HOF. We can debate Jim ed Rice entry for sure but Ricky belongs in HOF as there never was a better leadoff hitter in baseball's history. Personality and player's demeanor should not fit into the equation.

I never said that Henderson shouldn't be in the HOF. I just opined that he was a selfish player. Selfishness and greatness are not mutually exclusive categories.
 

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