Prince Albert Pujols, he reigneth

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...despite Steve Shasta's insinuations.

Jonah Keri from Prospectus:


If you’re looking for a counting stat to measure the first five years of a player’s career, BP’s Wins Above Replacement Player (WARP) stat does the trick. The WARP-3 stat allows us to further adjust performance so that all players are measured on the same level of per-162 games played. WARP takes into account defensive performance, something EqA does not. It can also be used to measure pitchers’ performance, thus opening up the list of possible Top-10 candidates. The leaders:

WARP3 in their first 5 years:

1. Ted Williams 61.7 (1939-42, 46)
2. Arky Vaughan 58.0
3. ALBERT PUJOLS 54.9
4. Joe DiMaggio 53.5
5. Jackie Robinson 53.3
6. Pete Alexander 52.6
7. Amos Rusie 49.9
8. Wade Boggs 49.6
9. Tom Seaver 49.3
10. Jeff Bagwell 48.8

Dr Morbius (Dr Morbius), Friday, 5 May 2006 19:06 (sixteen years ago) link

Colour me ignorant, but I've never heard of Arky Vaughan!

Thermo Thinwall (Thermo Thinwall), Friday, 5 May 2006 19:19 (sixteen years ago) link

My insinuation:

Nobody came close to Maris' record until McGwire, Sosa and Bonds... all of whom have been publically tried and sentenced for alleged PED abuse.

Pujols is currently on pace to demolish all of their marks, so why should he be free of any rumors/accusations?

Steve Shasta (Steve Shasta), Friday, 5 May 2006 19:26 (sixteen years ago) link

1. Because unlike the triumvirate you mentioned, all of whom were formerly skinny before bulking up quite suddenly, Pujols has always just been a huge muscled person. (If I am wrong, please correct me.)

2. Because two of these people fell out of baseball very quickly (one to injuries, one to falling the eff off and being blackballed) and the third has had an entire book published detailing court transcripts about his (ALLEGED I KNOW) steroid usage. Pujols is still in the game, still strong, and hasn't tested positive for anything.

Haikunym (Haikunym), Friday, 5 May 2006 19:40 (sixteen years ago) link

Arky Vaughan was a Pittsburgh SS, named by Richard Nixon to his personal All-Time team in 1969.

Dr Morbius (Dr Morbius), Friday, 5 May 2006 20:02 (sixteen years ago) link

"Pujols is currently on pace to demolish all of their marks, so why should he be free of any rumors/accusations?"

Cuz he hasn't done it yet for one thing. Plenty of people have gotten off to ridiculously hot starts and cooled. And everyone suspects that at least part of this hot start is aided by juiced balls and a rather easy opening schedule for the Cards. Plus there is the added fact that Pujols is 26 and has always been pretty close to this ridiculously good unlike "I turn 38 and become absurdly better than I ever have been before" Bonds and "We don't look much like our rookie baseball cards no more" McMark and SaSosa. Just saying.

Alex in SF (Alex in SF), Friday, 5 May 2006 20:38 (sixteen years ago) link

Alex dont you know
that Pujols IS thirty-eight!
come on man catch up

Haikunym (Haikunym), Friday, 5 May 2006 20:42 (sixteen years ago) link

No offense to Steve Shasters but I trust Dayne Perry more than I trust him.

Alex in SF (Alex in SF), Friday, 5 May 2006 20:44 (sixteen years ago) link

yeah no problem dude
trust FOX SPORTS over fair
and balanced shasta

Haikunym (Haikunym), Friday, 5 May 2006 20:51 (sixteen years ago) link

I'd like to see someone run those age comparisons (I guess PECOTA would be best for this, really) with his stated age and his rumored age (28) and see how much difference actually exists. If his body type and skill set lend themself to a long career into his 40s, those two years might be irrelevant no matter what the truth is. If his comparables are a bunch of big sluggers who dropped rapidly after age 32 (or 34, etc.), then two years is a big deal.

milo z (mlp), Friday, 5 May 2006 20:53 (sixteen years ago) link

Colour me ignorant, but I've never heard of Arky Vaughan!

After Honus Wagner (clearly the greatest shortstop ever), he's routinely cited as one of the top two or three shortstops ever, even though he isn't nearly as famous as a host of other guys. But I wouldn't have pegged Arky Vaughn for 2nd on that list.

http://www.baseball-reference.com/v/vaughar01.shtml

Keep in mind that WARP3 measures performance relative to others at the same position. In that respect, Vaughn hit out of his mind for a shortstop (check out those Ruth/Williams-worthy OBPs), and the 30's were a weak decade for shortstops.

Pujols is currently on pace to demolish all of their marks, so why should he be free of any rumors/accusations?

I know that this question is somewhat rhetorical, and it feels like everyone is recycling their comments from other threads ... but anyway:

-- 20-year male athletes are skinny. All of you were probably skinny when you were 20. Athletes bulk up as they get older. This is normal. Athletes' bodies fill out throughout their 20's and 30's. This is normal. Looking like a beast when you're only 21 (Pujols' supposed age in his rookie year) is not normal.

-- In light of the above comment, improvements in medicine and training, not to mention the tremendous amount of money to be made in pro sports now (compared to 10-20 years ago, even) have led to more athletes (in many sports) getting bigger at an earlier age. Lifting weights was strongly frowned upon by baseball players throughout the history of the game. It only started gaining acceptance in the 1990's. It doesn't matter who you believe was on the juice -- you still gotta lift weights when you're on steroids, and that wasn't part of the culture until very recently. So it's pointless to say that Bonds/Mac/Sosa/etc. looked different at the start of their careers because bulking up just wasn't done when they were coming up through the system. You can't argue "Bonds put on lots of weight and Pujols hasn't, therefore this 'proves' that Bonds juiced but Pujols didn't because it must be his natural body type." No, they grew up in different times.

So why isn't Pujols surrounded by steroid rumours? Like I've said before -- cleaning up the game is a distant priority for MLB. Their main concern is cleaning up the game's image. You can accomplish the latter by scapegoating a few big stars. The former task is a lot more difficult because you have to do a thorough investigation into the role that steroids played in the game, how widespread the problem was (or is), and what effect steroids had on what we saw happening on the field. Selig doesn't have the patience for that. The Bonds Witchunt is supposed to convince people that MLB is "dealing" with the problem (which they aren't -- they're only "dealing" with Bonds). Once enough people believe that, they can proclaim that the game is clean and return to wilful ignorance (and therefore Pujols couldn't possibly be using drugs, and if he was, Selig doesn't need to know about it).

NoTimeBeforeTime (Barry Bruner), Saturday, 6 May 2006 01:00 (sixteen years ago) link

The craziest thing about that Arky Vaughn B-R page is the fact that he didn't get inducted into the HOF until 1985!?!?!

Alex in SF (Alex in SF), Saturday, 6 May 2006 01:47 (sixteen years ago) link

I know this is going to come off as very controversial but I am of the opinion that weight training, with or without the benefit of PEDs, gives you *gulp* muscles. I may be a pariah for believing this, knowing all of you have achieved your svelte buffed figures via mere stagnation and well wishing, so feel free to mock me.

I'm also glad that all those strappingly cut "look nothing like their rookie card" minor league middle relievers that are getting busted every week for PEDs are built they way they are, otherwise how else would we know they were "obviously juicing"?

Steve Shasta (Steve Shasta), Saturday, 6 May 2006 02:15 (sixteen years ago) link

well, Arky Vaughan dint play in NY (or for pennant winners).

Dr Morbius (Dr Morbius), Saturday, 6 May 2006 16:55 (sixteen years ago) link

(aside from the swan song in Brooklyn obv)

Dr Morbius (Dr Morbius), Saturday, 6 May 2006 17:12 (sixteen years ago) link

I'm pretty much suspicious of everyone these days, Steve Shasta! Steroids policy is still a joke, considering all the things it cannot test for, so I am of the opinion that PEDs are still running rampant. Whole era is tainted to me, and I'll never be able to take any records from it seriously, pretty much.

ALLAH FROG (Mingus Dew), Saturday, 6 May 2006 22:41 (sixteen years ago) link

Arky Pwn. Also: ^ OTM ^

Tim Ellison (Tim Ellison), Saturday, 6 May 2006 23:56 (sixteen years ago) link

So either PujLOLZ was abnormally large as a rookie and therefore on the juice or he was skinny as a rookie and then got on the juice.

bnw (bnw), Sunday, 7 May 2006 06:45 (sixteen years ago) link

So it's pointless to say that Bonds/Mac/Sosa/etc. looked different at the start of their careers because bulking up just wasn't done when they were coming up through the system.

Problem is, aside from Roger Clemens, I can't think of many players who's bodies changed so dramatically during the "bulking up" craze.

bnw (bnw), Sunday, 7 May 2006 06:56 (sixteen years ago) link

Lots of athletes are
big and strong at 20 here
IN THE USA

Albert Pujols did
not look like a "beast" back then;
a large human, yes.

ALLAHFROG, if you
do not trust baseball at all,
then why do you care?

Haikunym (Haikunym), Sunday, 7 May 2006 12:39 (sixteen years ago) link

If PEDs are running rampant, then everyone's on a level playing field and the records would be legit, no?

milo z (mlp), Sunday, 7 May 2006 15:10 (sixteen years ago) link

Problems (among many) with dismissing all records from this era:

Why should I not dismiss all pitching records before 1969 (before they lowered the mound)?

Why should I not dismiss the balk records set in 1988 (when it was widely known that the umps were going to call a lot of them, the rules were relaxed the very next season)?

Why should I not dismiss every home run record set after (or before, depending on your viewpoint) 1920, when the ball was known to be juiced? Or what about home runs hit in 1987 -- one of several years in which the ball was reportedly re-juiced?

Why should I not dismiss the HOF resumes of every hitter who reached his prime in the 1930's (a hitting era that puts the late 90's to shame)?

NoTimeBeforeTime (Barry Bruner), Sunday, 7 May 2006 16:48 (sixteen years ago) link

Because despite it all, I still love the game, Haiku. Milo, running rampant would not = 100%. Even a number like 10-20% I would consider a huge problem, and who knows what it really is? The only people who will be caught by the current testing are either those foolish enough to continue using those substances it can detect, or players unable to afford the designer stuff but willing to take the risk anyways. Vast majority of those that have been caught are minor leaguers that would fall into that second category. No surprise to me.

ALLAH FROG (Mingus Dew), Sunday, 7 May 2006 17:03 (sixteen years ago) link

i'm surprised no one's mentioned (or maybe they have and i haven't seen it) mlb's big cocaine crackdown in the 80s. i remember seeing dale berra, dave parker and keith hernandez on the news when they testified in fed court.

we tend to remember only doc gooden, the straw man and steve howe...maybe lamar hoyt, but the investigations and suspensions were pretty wide ranging. and i also remember a lot of guys being accused of using coke, though nothing was ever proven (eric davis is the biggest name i can think of).

jonathan quayle higgins (j.q. higgins), Sunday, 7 May 2006 17:07 (sixteen years ago) link

Why should I not dismiss every home run record set after (or before, depending on your viewpoint) 1920, when the ball was known to be juiced
I don't know if you're referring specifically to 1920 here or not, but it's actually a myth that the ball changed between the deadball era and the live-ball era.

I'd have to look through my books for the citation, but I read that with some interest just a couple of weeks ago. They did analyses of balls from both eras and found no real differences to account for the HR discrepancies. It comes down to hitting styles, park changes, the loss of specialty pitches (shineball, spitball, etc. being phased out as players retired) and on down the line.

milo z (mlp), Sunday, 7 May 2006 18:19 (sixteen years ago) link

Interesting ... I thought that c.1920 was the only *admitted* change in the ball in the game's history (despite several other rumoured changes), but I'm definitely intrigued by this article you read. To add to your list: after 1920 or so, they stopped using only 3-4 balls/game.

But my main point still stands -- comparing post-1920 offense (particularly 1920-1940) with 1900-1920 offense is nearly impossible. There was an offensive explosion after 1920, but we don't view the live ball era as "tainted" in any way. It was just a different style of play.

NoTimeBeforeTime (Barry Bruner), Sunday, 7 May 2006 19:15 (sixteen years ago) link

I found more information stating that the new cork center (the live ball) was introduced in 1910 and there were attendant jumps in offense, though not HRs in 1911 before pitchers learned gimmick deliveries/pitches and brought offense back down until after the Great War.

But, yeah, your point is certainly correct - and that leaves out the biggest trump card of all time - Babe Ruth never had to play against Martin Dihigo or John Donaldson and without the color line we could very well be talking about Josh Gibson as the greatest hitter in baseball history.

milo z (mlp), Sunday, 7 May 2006 19:25 (sixteen years ago) link

17/34*162 = 81

Steve Shasta (Steve Shasta), Wednesday, 10 May 2006 15:21 (sixteen years ago) link

without the color line we could very well be talking about Josh Gibson as the greatest hitter in baseball history.

Couldn't it just as easily have been someone from Japan or Cuba or wherever else? Babe Ruth is the greatest hitter in the history of Major League Baseball, whether you compare him to his era OR whether you take his stats alone. Josh Gibson never played Major League Baseball, and neither did, say, Saduhara Oh. Saduhara Oh played against allegedly watered down players, but so did Josh Gibson. If Gibson played in the major leagues, there's no way to know whether he would have hit 400 home runs for his career or 800.

polyphonic (polyphonic), Wednesday, 10 May 2006 15:36 (sixteen years ago) link

omg you forgetting black playas >>>> white players!!

c(''c) (Leee), Wednesday, 10 May 2006 16:27 (sixteen years ago) link

"Saduhara Oh played against allegedly watered down players, but so did Josh Gibson. If Gibson played in the major leagues, there's no way to know whether he would have hit 400 home runs for his career or 800."

The point is that Ruth PLAYED against watered-down players too though! And I find the argument that Gibson would have hit only 400 home runs in the ML pretty suspect esp. considering how a lot of the Negro Leaguers stars performed in the ML when they finally got there. Would Gibson have been as good as Babe Ruth in an integrated ML? Probably not. But would Ruth have been as good as Ruth in an integrated ML? Also probably not.

Alex in SF (Alex in SF), Wednesday, 10 May 2006 16:43 (sixteen years ago) link

In what year did the ground rule double stop being counted as a homerun?

Steve Shasta (Steve Shasta), Wednesday, 10 May 2006 16:48 (sixteen years ago) link

Would Gibson have been as good as Babe Ruth in an integrated ML? Probably not. But would Ruth have been as good as Ruth in an integrated ML? Also probably not.

I don't know about that. I mean, to this day, there are very few good African American pitchers. I mean, who is to say that Barry Bonds would have 700+ hr if he had to hit against great pitchers such as, say, Donovan McNabb, Michael Jordan, or Jarome Iginla? While there were a core of excellent pitchers in the Negro Leagues, there were also a ton of guys who wouldn't have made a roster, and Ruth, Bonds, Gibson, et al. have always done most of their work against the worst pitchers in the league, not against the Satchel Paiges and Bob Gibsons of the world.

In fact, you could probably make the case that an integrated league would equate to lowered offensive production across the board.

(Yes, I know that I'm rambling and not really making a cohesive argument. I'm sick, give me a break.)

polyphonic (polyphonic), Wednesday, 10 May 2006 16:51 (sixteen years ago) link

Herr Shasta, it was 1930 or so. However, of Ruth's 714 HRs, exactly 0 of them were of the bounced-over-the-fence variety. [From last night's post-game Giants wrap.]

c(''c) (Leee), Wednesday, 10 May 2006 17:02 (sixteen years ago) link

Another titbit: back then, if the winning run was on base in the ninth and you homered, you would only get credit for a single. This happened to Ruth exactly 1 time(s).

c(''c) (Leee), Wednesday, 10 May 2006 17:05 (sixteen years ago) link

Okay I don't know how many quality pitchers there were in the Negro Leagues, but even it just amounted to each team being able to replace their weakest starter with an average or above average starter (and I think that's pretty conservative estimate since there were only 16 or so teams) that's still 100 or so at bats not against the weakest pitchers in the league. I have to believe that would suppress Ruth's offense some.

I think league wide the offense would probably have gone up though. Most of the most famous Negro Leaguers were hitters and I imagine the difference in their value over the players they were replacing would be higher than the pitchers (although who knows once you calculate defense blah blah.)

Also the reasons why there are so few African-American pitchers (and PLAYERS) now has a lot to do with a number of recent changes in the way youth talent is developed (and how that relates to race/economics) and most (if not all) of those changes are relatively recent.

Alex in SF (Alex in SF), Wednesday, 10 May 2006 17:09 (sixteen years ago) link

I thought it was the other way around, i.e. runner on 2nd in the bottom of the ninth of a tie game, batter hits the ball over the fence but it only counts as a double and the home team wins by one run. I think Ruth lost two or three home runs this way.

xpost

The spread in ability between the best and worst players in baseball has decreased significantly since the days of Ruth and Cobb. In other words, the best players don't dominate the competition to the same degree that they did in the 1920's (Barry Bonds is a freakish exception, as you all know). I'm sure that the segregation of the game was a big reason for this ... larger pool of talent -> pitching AND hitting ability both increase -> less room for stragglers on the lower extreme of the talent distribution curve.

NoTimeBeforeTime (Barry Bruner), Wednesday, 10 May 2006 17:09 (sixteen years ago) link

Ruth never hit a ground-rule double in his entire career????

Tracey Hand (tracerhand), Wednesday, 10 May 2006 17:31 (sixteen years ago) link

Lee, I'd like to see that data you've got!

Steve Shasta (Steve Shasta), Wednesday, 10 May 2006 17:34 (sixteen years ago) link

Meanwhile back on topic:

18/34.5*162 = 85

Steve Shasta (Steve Shasta), Wednesday, 10 May 2006 17:41 (sixteen years ago) link

I got all this from last night's Giants post-game! So if you don't believe the word of a couple ex-jocks, then I don't see any hope for this world anymore. (I think Jon Miller referred to a booky book last night with these sorts of stats about Ruth, don't remember the title, though.)

Krukow surmised that Ruth's lack of automatic doubles was because stadiums had not warning tracks; instead, the balls had to bounce off of grass. Then the play-by-play guy who went to Stanford (STATHEAD OMG) deep-sixed this theory, because plenty of other chumps were hitting ground-rule homers.

c(''c) (Leee), Wednesday, 10 May 2006 17:48 (sixteen years ago) link

Ruth's lack of ground rule doubles probably had a lot to do with his being a left-handed hitter in a stadium with a ridiculously short LF porch and an even more ridiculously expansive CF with virtually no fence for a ball to bounce over.

Alex in SF (Alex in SF), Wednesday, 10 May 2006 17:51 (sixteen years ago) link

RF porch, ahem.

Alex in SF (Alex in SF), Wednesday, 10 May 2006 17:52 (sixteen years ago) link

Keith Olbermann said yesterday that Ruth lost one home-run with the walk-off triple rule, but could have lost upwards of 80 from the way foul balls used to be called - if it left the fences fair but wound up fall, it was called foul by the umpire (deadly for a pull hitter like Ruth, who was taking advantage of that RF porch). He got that from one of the SABR researchers.

Couldn't it just as easily have been someone from Japan or Cuba or wherever else? Babe Ruth is the greatest hitter in the history of Major League Baseball, whether you compare him to his era OR whether you take his stats alone.
Yes, it was rhetorical. Martin Dihigo was a Cuban player who played all eight field positions at a high rate and was a slightly-below-great pitcher as well. Pop Lloyd, Oscar Charleston, etc. etc. etc. - there

Josh Gibson never played Major League Baseball, and neither did, say, Saduhara Oh. Saduhara Oh played against allegedly watered down players, but so did Josh Gibson. If Gibson played in the major leagues, there's no way to know whether he would have hit 400 home runs for his career or 800.
That's why I said we 'could be'. What we do know is that the talent pool for both players was more questionable than the one facing Pujols or Bonds (and, I mean, there are questions about whether the stars of the 1920s could even get on the field with modern athletes).

Another thing to remember is that Negro League players were often playing in leftover deadball era parks, and none of them played in parks that were tailor-made to their abilities (ala Ruth's porch in Yankee Stadium, the Red Sox pulling in left field 10-15 feet to benefit Ted Williams).

Japanese records are significantly more detailed than Negro League (or even older MLB) records, so we do have a fairly competent way to translate Sadahuru Oh and other players' stats. From what I've read, Oh would certainly be a Hall of Fame hitter, but nowhere near the greatest ever. Shigeo Nagashima is less famous but equally respected by Japanese players/fans/historians.

milo z (mlp), Wednesday, 10 May 2006 19:22 (sixteen years ago) link

Nagashima is more respected because he's Japanese!!! (unlike Oh, which is a sad, sad story).

Steve Shasta (Steve Shasta), Wednesday, 10 May 2006 19:36 (sixteen years ago) link

is the talent pool THAT suspect?

i mean sports are serious business now and conditioning is superior and just general societal lifestyle things make a difference, but wasn't baseball pretty much the only true major league sport in the days of the babe?

look at at all the competition baseball faces now from football, hoops, soccer and to some extent, hockey and lax (to the extent that there are thousands of kids who may never play baseball b/c lax season conflicts).

i'm not saying that the talent pool is weak now, but baseball had pretty free range over things for a while.

jonathan quayle higgins (j.q. higgins), Wednesday, 10 May 2006 19:52 (sixteen years ago) link

I think the talent level in all those sports has increased, in part because of desegregation, but also because of globalization, industrialization and the rise of television/superstar athlete (far more people grow up wanting to be a star baseball player now--even with the rise of those other sports--than did a hundred or even seventy-five years ago.) Anyway I am pretty sure if you look at the statistics the range between the best players and the weakest (and even the median) players between then and now is much greater.

Alex in SF (Alex in SF), Wednesday, 10 May 2006 20:03 (sixteen years ago) link

re: Negro Leagues -- stats from all games, even exhibition games, were also included in career totals.

c(''c) (Leee), Wednesday, 10 May 2006 22:34 (sixteen years ago) link

Polyp and others,

I will enthrall and delight all of you with my fascinating observations in a week or so. I am leaving the keys to the ILB office with Barry and Felicity. Be easy on them!

Steve Shasta
East Coast Wakeboarding Representative

Steve Shasta (Steve Shasta), Wednesday, 10 May 2006 23:52 (sixteen years ago) link

i also read today that he apparently had offers from at least 4 other teams, some of which offered more money and playing time. i'm glad that he chose to come back to St Louis, and i'm glad Oli Marmol is walking the very awkward line of a 36-year-old limiting the PAs of Albert to the ones where he's in a position to succeed

Karl Malone, Tuesday, 23 August 2022 01:46 (three months ago) link

Cubs finally brought in a righty, and Pujols weakly grounds into another GIDP, looked frightened of the ball as it was flying toward him.

i have to say, this does set up a very dramatic Rated PG kind of family sports movie ending scenario. it's the playoffs. game 7. or game 3 of a wild card. whatever. last at bat. it's a right handed pitcher - Pujols completely sucks against them, even if he can still destroy lefties. everybody knows it. especially star right handed pitcher TJ Tornado, who hates children. Oli Marmol has a talk with Pujols in the dugout and calls him the big brother he always wanted. not the ones he actually had. not like Will. Don't do it for this guy, Marmol says, pointing the finger toward his chest. do it for this guy. and with that, Pujols and Marmol lift 4 arms up toward heaven and point. that's where god lives. but then he strikes out. can't win them all, read Job

Karl Malone, Tuesday, 23 August 2022 02:22 (three months ago) link

Also tied Bonds tonight for homering off the most pitchers, 449. So he has to make sure he hits one more off someone for the first time.

clemenza, Tuesday, 23 August 2022 02:45 (three months ago) link

There were only 30-35 pitchers in baseball when Babe Ruth played, and all threw 600 innings a year, so his victim count is very low.

clemenza, Tuesday, 23 August 2022 02:47 (three months ago) link

Ya but after three years of that, most pitchers back then would just die and be immediately forgotten

FRAUDULENT STEAKS (The Cursed Return of the Dastardly Thermo Thinwall), Tuesday, 23 August 2022 14:27 (three months ago) link

On the flip side, they were rewarded with excellent baseball nicknames and a newfound commitment to chewing tobacco

Karl Malone, Tuesday, 23 August 2022 14:28 (three months ago) link

Which was often tied to the quality of their moustache.

FRAUDULENT STEAKS (The Cursed Return of the Dastardly Thermo Thinwall), Tuesday, 23 August 2022 14:31 (three months ago) link

it would be kind of a grim but fascinating study to see how many players of that era ended up with tobacco-related disease

Karl Malone, Tuesday, 23 August 2022 14:34 (three months ago) link

xp correlated with quality of mustache factor, of course!

Karl Malone, Tuesday, 23 August 2022 14:34 (three months ago) link

albert's platoon splits this season:

vs RHP: 135 PA, .186/.289/.322 (.611 OPS)
vs LHP: 101 PA, .398/.436/.807 (1.242 OPS)

i'm not a scholar of platoon splits, but that seems pretty extreme! and yeah, nice job by marmol

mookieproof, Wednesday, 24 August 2022 17:49 (three months ago) link

*scholar of platoon splits walks in wearing a gigantic top hat*

Karl Malone, Wednesday, 24 August 2022 18:25 (three months ago) link

With Albert Pujols nearing the 700 HR milestone, do you have any evidence of pitchers in the past who threw pitches down the middle to help a player reach a milestone like 3,000 hits, 500 HRs, hits records, HR records, etc.?
Asked by: Taylor

Answered: 8/24/2022
No. I don't think I have ever heard of that happening.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Hey Bill, it's very likely that Denny McLain -- finishing up his legendary 31-win 1968 season -- intentionally gave up a homer to the retiring Mickey Mantle. Jim Price, who caught the game, says this was the case. (Source: https://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/09/sports/baseball/09mclain.html) The game itself was meaningless in the standings, and it was 6-1 Tigers in the 8th inning, with no one on base. This allowed Mantle to break his tie on the HR list with Jimmie Foxx. The article says "Price, who has broadcast Tigers games for more than three times as many years (18) as he caught them (5), said he has never heard of such a scene happening with any other player, past or present."
Asked by: Mean Dean

Answered: 8/24/2022
Oh, I remember watching that game! I really do remember seeing it on TV. I don't think you can intentionally give up a home run, though. You can groove a pitch, if you want to, but it's still a 1-in-10 or 1-in-20 shot that the batter will put it in the seats, even if you throw it right down the middle.

The Home Run Derby suggests otherwise, no? If they only hit even 1 out of 10, seven HR would win it.

clemenza, Thursday, 25 August 2022 03:07 (three months ago) link

that is correct

Tracer Hand, Thursday, 25 August 2022 07:49 (three months ago) link

I always think of wainwright admitting to grooving one to jeets his last ASG - showed how seriously the players took the home field advantage thing

, Friday, 26 August 2022 00:02 (three months ago) link

#694 tonight, against the Reds. it's the 3rd inning and it's 8-0, so i expect he'll get some more chances to hit tonight

Karl Malone, Tuesday, 30 August 2022 00:56 (three months ago) link

that's a record-breaker, the 450th different pitcher he's hit a HR against, one more than mr. bonds.

Karl Malone, Tuesday, 30 August 2022 00:57 (three months ago) link

i've noticed, watching the opposing team's broadcasts as per usual, that pujols is now routinely referred to as "the machine". "the machine" is not found in any of the previous 850+ posts. i admit, during pujols' 2001-2011 with the cardinals, i was barely paying attention to baseball. is "the machine" a newish nickname or was it always there? i don't like it

Karl Malone, Tuesday, 30 August 2022 01:04 (three months ago) link

Makes me think of the 70’s Reds

FRAUDULENT STEAKS (The Cursed Return of the Dastardly Thermo Thinwall), Tuesday, 30 August 2022 02:25 (three months ago) link

I vaguely recall Pujols' robotic and emotionless nature being a thing when he was first with the Cards. There was a Sportscenter commercial about it.

frogbs, Tuesday, 30 August 2022 02:33 (three months ago) link

you'd think the nickname would have to be retired during the 2010s, though. that was brutal

Karl Malone, Tuesday, 30 August 2022 02:33 (three months ago) link

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H5VH7ZudR0c

, Tuesday, 30 August 2022 05:09 (three months ago) link

pujols' last AB against the cubs is a pinch hit home run, a no doubter, #695, a 2-run shot putting them up 2-0 in the bottom of the 8th. he's had extra good final performances against the reds and cubs now. dang

Karl Malone, Sunday, 4 September 2022 21:54 (three months ago) link

#697 is a 2-run shot over the center field wall that puts the Cardinals up 3-2 in the top of the 9th, after being held to 2 hits for the rest of the game

that was classic

Karl Malone, Sunday, 11 September 2022 20:07 (two months ago) link

https://i.imgur.com/TBJ4SmA.png

Karl Malone, Sunday, 11 September 2022 20:08 (two months ago) link

bold of them to mention bonds

mookieproof, Sunday, 11 September 2022 22:45 (two months ago) link

Matt and Samantha Brown caught Pujols’s 697th homer. Samantha’s
father passed away one year ago today. They met with Albert to give him the ball back — he told them to keep it and signed two more for them. Said it would mean more to her than to him. pic.twitter.com/FuXXFiYCIa

— Jeff Jones (@jmjones) September 11, 2022

albert "cool guy" pujols ftw

Karl Malone, Monday, 12 September 2022 22:56 (two months ago) link

That is cool. That ball is probably worth a ton

frogbs, Monday, 12 September 2022 23:22 (two months ago) link

#698, tied up the game.

clemenza, Saturday, 17 September 2022 04:33 (two months ago) link

699 and 700

Michael F Gill, Saturday, 24 September 2022 03:27 (two months ago) link

congrats to Apple TV! and to Wayne randazzo of all people who got to call it live (he’s usually the Mets radio guy, he might actually be better as a tv play by play guy)

Michael F Gill, Saturday, 24 September 2022 03:29 (two months ago) link

actually never saw him smile like that

frogbs, Saturday, 24 September 2022 03:31 (two months ago) link

Wonderful moment. And did I see Adrian Beltre and Dave Winfield in the crowd? (I watched the highlights from MLB's YouTube channel)

NoTimeBeforeTime, Saturday, 24 September 2022 05:14 (two months ago) link

I have spent all night trying to figure out who that was. Was it David Winfield?

Karl Malone, Saturday, 24 September 2022 05:47 (two months ago) link

beltre was the guy he went over to

, Saturday, 24 September 2022 08:22 (two months ago) link

Like they haven't had enough good stuff happen in L.A. this year.

clemenza, Saturday, 24 September 2022 09:16 (two months ago) link

500 HRs against RHP, 200 HRs against LHP

Karl Malone, Saturday, 24 September 2022 15:48 (two months ago) link

the other way around surely?

Tracer Hand, Saturday, 24 September 2022 17:19 (two months ago) link

nope!
for most of his career he was an equal-opportunity destroyer of right and left-handed pitching. but more importantly, most pitchers are right-handed so he had a lot more PAs against RHP then against LHP

Karl Malone, Saturday, 24 September 2022 18:04 (two months ago) link

9600 PAs against RHP
3418 PAs against LHP

Karl Malone, Saturday, 24 September 2022 18:05 (two months ago) link

He went over to Beltre after hitting the HR, but the other guy (Winfield) appeared on camera a couple of times.

NoTimeBeforeTime, Saturday, 24 September 2022 18:10 (two months ago) link

I should say -- (Winfield?)

NoTimeBeforeTime, Saturday, 24 September 2022 18:11 (two months ago) link

beltre i recognized, but winfield was driving me nuts because I also recognized him and just could not remember his name

Karl Malone, Saturday, 24 September 2022 18:11 (two months ago) link

after a 2-run double, pujols is now one RBI behind babe ruth for second place all-time. strangely, baseball reference has babe ruth with 2214 RBIs while fangraphs shows 2217 RBIs? albert has 2213.

Karl Malone, Sunday, 2 October 2022 18:53 (two months ago) link

he hits a HR, his 702nd, in his final game in St. Louis (three more follow in Pittsburgh), and ties Ruth with 2214 RBIs as well, behind only Hank Aaron.

Karl Malone, Sunday, 2 October 2022 19:40 (two months ago) link

what a moment

https://i.imgur.com/SVHsany.png

Karl Malone, Sunday, 2 October 2022 19:46 (two months ago) link

I was thinking the way he’s been hitting, he must’ve been having *some* decent success against right handed pitching, but wow those platoon splits are something else. Albert on the Cards playing at Coors Field 2006 vs Albert on the Angels 2020 basically.

omar little, Sunday, 2 October 2022 19:48 (two months ago) link

check out the guy at the top falling over with a beer

Karl Malone, Sunday, 2 October 2022 19:53 (two months ago) link

https://i.imgur.com/By5XARC.png

Karl Malone, Sunday, 2 October 2022 19:53 (two months ago) link

#703 is in pittsburgh, a 2-run HR that barely cleared the wall in the left-field corner. it puts him ahead of Babe Ruth in RBIs with 2,216, second only to Hank Aaron.

Karl Malone, Tuesday, 4 October 2022 00:05 (two months ago) link

Was surprised at first he didn't join Judge as player of the month, but yeah, Escobar was the better choice.

clemenza, Tuesday, 4 October 2022 00:32 (two months ago) link


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