not-at-all-trivial trivia 2013

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2011 AL MVP

The resistance shows up more in the vote totals (10-3 for Bautista) than the comments. There's one I could quote, though. But I won't.

clemenza, Tuesday, 25 September 2018 19:22 (one year ago) link

two months pass...

if vlad jr. homers in the majors before june 1, he will become the youngest toronto blue jay to do so. who currently holds that record?

mookieproof, Wednesday, 28 November 2018 17:37 (ten months ago) link

Good one. No idea...Danny Ainge?

clemenza, Wednesday, 28 November 2018 18:30 (ten months ago) link

indeed! nice

mookieproof, Wednesday, 28 November 2018 18:40 (ten months ago) link

Total guess, based on the fact that he played for the Jays before he played in the NBA, so I figured he must have been young. I'm very impressed with myself.

clemenza, Wednesday, 28 November 2018 20:48 (ten months ago) link

for no particular reason, here are the top 50 defensive single seasons (since integration) by fangraphs' DEF metric


Season Name Team Def
1975 Mark Belanger Orioles 43.7
1999 Rey Ordonez Mets 41.1
1989 Ozzie Smith Cardinals 40.2
1999 Andruw Jones Braves 38.5
1998 Andruw Jones Braves 37.4
1968 Brooks Robinson Orioles 36.9
1964 Ron Hansen White Sox 36.7
1960 Luis Aparicio White Sox 36.2
1987 Ozzie Guillen White Sox 36
1967 Brooks Robinson Orioles 35.9
1983 Gary Carter Expos 35.6
1979 Buddy Bell Rangers 35.6
1968 Mark Belanger Orioles 35.5
1992 Devon White Blue Jays 35.1
1973 Mark Belanger Orioles 35
1998 Robin Ventura White Sox 34.4
1970 Aurelio Rodriguez - - - 34.1
1971 Graig Nettles Indians 33.9
1961 Clete Boyer Yankees 33.8
1963 Ron Hansen White Sox 33.7
1996 Ken Griffey Jr. Mariners 33.5
2009 Franklin Gutierrez Mariners 33.4
2001 Rey Sanchez - - - 33.4
1976 Mark Belanger Orioles 33.1
1973 Bobby Grich Orioles 32.9
1996 Ivan Rodriguez Rangers 32.7
1959 Ernie Banks Cubs 32.4
1992 Darrin Jackson Padres 32.2
1984 Cal Ripken Orioles 31.9
1991 Cal Ripken Orioles 31.8
1962 Clete Boyer Yankees 31.8
2006 Adam Everett Astros 31.7
1967 Hal Lanier Giants 31.1
1999 Pokey Reese Reds 31
1976 Graig Nettles Yankees 30.9
1990 Cal Ripken Orioles 30.7
1964 Bobby Knoop Angels 30.7
1966 Ed Brinkman Senators 30.5
1995 John Valentin Red Sox 30.4
1974 Mark Belanger Orioles 30.4
1988 Ozzie Guillen White Sox 30.4
1965 Gene Alley Pirates 30.3
2007 Omar Vizquel Giants 30.2
1989 Barry Bonds Pirates 30.1
1956 Jim Piersall Red Sox 30.1
1969 Ed Brinkman Senators 30
1984 Kirby Puckett Twins 30
1989 Cal Ripken Orioles 29.8
1995 Cal Ripken Orioles 29.7
1954 Chico Carrasquel White Sox 29.6
1986 Jody Davis Cubs 29.6
1980 Ozzie Smith Padres 29.6
1970 Ed Brinkman Senators 29.6

Karl Malone, Sunday, 2 December 2018 23:25 (ten months ago) link

three weeks pass...

probably this is not obscure trivia, but i didn't realize until this morning that in 1981 the Reds and Cardinals had the best two records in the National League, and neither team made the playoffs.

Karl Malone, Friday, 28 December 2018 17:00 (nine months ago) link

Not only that, but the NL team with the 3rd best record (Los Dodgers) won the World Series, with a killer team:

Opening Day Lineup

Davey Lopes Second baseman
Ken Landreaux Center fielder
Dusty Baker Left fielder
Steve Garvey First baseman
Ron Cey Third baseman
Pedro Guerrero Right fielder
Mike Scioscia Catcher
Bill Russell Shortstop
Fernando Valenzuela Starting pitcher

Jersey Al (Albert R. Broccoli), Friday, 28 December 2018 17:11 (nine months ago) link

most of the lower minor leagues play half-seasons like this, which sort of makes sense because there's so much roster turnover but also makes no sense at all because any decent players from the first-half champs will have been promoted and minor league playoffs are entirely pointless anyway

mookieproof, Friday, 28 December 2018 20:41 (nine months ago) link

Yup, minor league allstars are the kings of cockblock.

Jersey Al (Albert R. Broccoli), Friday, 28 December 2018 21:25 (nine months ago) link

I don't agree that they're pointless. Obviously, a team can be upended at any time by call-ups, but it's otherwise like any other competitive team sport - you try to win, try to beat your rivals, etc. I don't believe it's pointless to the players or to the fans of teams.

timellison, Friday, 28 December 2018 22:38 (nine months ago) link

Due to a strike in mid-season, the season was divided into a first half and a second half. The division winner of the first half (denoted E1, W1) played the division winner of the second half (denoted E2, W2).

wow, I never knew about this! crazy

reggae mike love (polyphonic), Friday, 28 December 2018 23:01 (nine months ago) link

The Reds/Cardinals story was one of the many subplots in the split-season book I just finished. I knew about that, but what I'd forgotten was that baseball had boxed itself into a situation where, for the first time ever, it was theoretically possible that certain teams might benefit towards the end by throwing a game--either in picking their opponent for the extra playoff round, or even in determining whether or not they made the playoffs. Herzog and LaRussa were both asked by reporters if they would intentionally lose game if doing so would ensure a playoff spot, and both, without hesitation, said they would. Which of course sent Bowie Kuhn around the bend.

They scrambled around and came up with some fix that sort of worked.

clemenza, Saturday, 29 December 2018 00:15 (nine months ago) link

I don't agree that they're pointless. Obviously, a team can be upended at any time by call-ups, but it's otherwise like any other competitive team sport - you try to win, try to beat your rivals, etc. I don't believe it's pointless to the players or to the fans of teams.

when MLB rosters expand on sept 1, most teams (well, not the mets or white sox or blue jays) call up their best triple-a and double-a players. so everyone else slides up a level to fill the vacuum, and suddenly you have minor league playoff teams whose rosters barely resemble what they were two weeks previously, let alone months earlier.

not to mention the things like josh donaldson 'rehabbing' for double-a akron in their playoffs, and the fact that school's back in and no one comes to the games -- triple-a columbus has actually let people in free for playoff games the last few years just so they might buy food.

winning is better and more fun than losing, sure, and players are obviously competitive. but team records and titles in the minors have no correlation to major league success. the point of playing in the minors is not to help the class a team win, it's to move up and help the big league team win get fucking paid

mookieproof, Saturday, 29 December 2018 00:51 (nine months ago) link

Your argument was that they are "entirely pointless," though, and I think they're clearly not, nor should they be. I understand that AAA playoff rosters can be affected even more by call-ups than a team normally is. But is there not a core of a team that generally remains? In any case, I am sure there's fun in the competition regardless and I am sure that the players enjoy that aspect of it, as do fans. There seems to be an element to your argument that minor league baseball in general is irrelevant, that the games are not "the point" of the whole enterprise, but I see no reason to put that negative slant on the whole thing and if I lived in a town with a minor league team it would be a lot more fun to root for them than not to bother.

timellison, Saturday, 29 December 2018 01:38 (nine months ago) link

Actually, I do live in a town with a minor league (AHL) hockey team. Players get called up and it affects things. There are pretty big rivalries between some of the teams in their division.

timellison, Saturday, 29 December 2018 01:45 (nine months ago) link

There seems to be an element to your argument that minor league baseball in general is irrelevant

feeling very seen lol

if fans derive pleasure from their local minor league teams winning, then that is wonderful; perhaps i am too cynical

mookieproof, Saturday, 29 December 2018 02:08 (nine months ago) link

Actually, I do live in a town with a minor league (AHL) hockey team.

The Gulls??!?!?!?! I recall sitting in the stands next to Kim Alexis, who at my 17 year old self, had never seen such a beautiful woman in such close proximity. She was very kind to us nerds!

Jersey Al (Albert R. Broccoli), Saturday, 29 December 2018 05:32 (nine months ago) link

Yes! Their biggest rival is Ontario.

timellison, Saturday, 29 December 2018 06:09 (nine months ago) link

By bWAR, Paul Goldschmidt has been seven times as valuable as any other #246 draft pick in baseball history. Oh, hang on. My mistake. He has been seven times as valuable as EVERY other #246 draft pick in baseball history, COMBINED. https://t.co/5vwR9t7ikt

— AZ SnakePit (@AZSnakepit) January 2, 2019

mookieproof, Wednesday, 2 January 2019 20:29 (nine months ago) link

I remember we talked a bit about that two years ago, and karl malone linked to this SI piece:

http://www.si.com/mlb/strike-zone/2014/06/09/mike-piazza-keith-hernandez-albert-pujols-late-round-draft-picks

clemenza, Wednesday, 2 January 2019 20:50 (nine months ago) link

Goldschmidt's "DROP," by the way, has moved to 1964.9, which would put him 5th on the SI list, just shy of Kenny Rogers at 4th. If he puts up 4.0 WAR this year, he'd move up to 3rd. Catching Pizza for first (another 35 WAR) highly unlikely.

clemenza, Wednesday, 2 January 2019 21:03 (nine months ago) link


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