Tuesday, September 25, 2012

A New Home: Let's Go Tribe

Last week I applied for a spot at Let's Go Tribe, the biggest and best Indians blog on the internet. I am happy to report that I've been added to the team there and can now expect thousands of Indians fans to read what I have to say (it's true, there are thousands of Indians fans out there. The internet can reach really far, like across oceans and everything). It was only six months ago that I started this blog. I missed having a community of baseball fans I could shoot the breeze with. Many of my friends are baseball fans, but not the way I am. Besides, grown up lives seem to allow less and less time for hanging out and shooting the breeze with friends.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Melky Cabrera: Math is Dead

Earlier this season the San Franciso Giants' Melky Cabrera was suspended for 50 games after failing a test for an illegal performance enhancing drug (PED), specifically for artificially inflated testosterone levels. The suspension meant he would miss the rest of the 2012 regular season, along with the next five games, either in the playoffs or at the start of next season. Cabrera was having a great season. Most notably, he was carrying a .346 batting average, good for second in the National League at the time. There was clearly a good chance that Andrew McCutchen's, who was ahead of Cabrera, would fall off and Cabrera would finish with the highest average in the league, a distinction which has long been considered the "batting title," making its holder the "batting champion."

Friday, September 21, 2012

The Poor, Poor Pirates

I became a baseball fan in the late 1980s and so fairly early on in my experience with the game, I saw some very good Pittsburgh Pirate teams. In 1990, 1991, and 1992 they won the National League East division crown and played for the right to advance to the World Series. When you're a kid, it doesn't take much to get you to temporarily jump on a bandwagon (or to decide you hate a team with every fiber of your being... Hello, Yankees!) and in the early 90s while I certainly didn't consider myself a fan, I was certainly Pro-Pirates.

I vividly remember watching Game 7 of the 1992 NLCS (my mom thought I was already asleep but I'd turned the TV on and was watching with the volume turned down), Pittsburgh took a lead into the 9th inning, only to blow the lead and lost the game on Francisco Cabrera's single to left field that scored Sid Bream. Following that season, Pittsburgh let Barry Bonds, who'd won two of the last three N.L. MVP awards, leave as a free agent. Things would not be the same.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

The Thome: a Home Run, Strikeout, and Walk in the Same Game

Earlier this season I made note of the fact that Jim Thome had become the all-time three true outcomes (TTO) king, as he amassed the highest combined career total of home runs, walks, and strikeouts (which are the three true outcomes, the three results of any plate appearance that require no one but the pitch and hitter). It's fun to look at career totals, but I like counting individual games too, so I'm going to look at instances in which a player collected all the TTO in a single game. As with many of my statistical scavenger hunts, this one owes a tip of the hat to Baseball-Reference and its Play Index.