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Nice guy.  Have some blogs.  Do baseball research.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Uniform numbers of Willie Mays.

In his 1951 rookie season for the New York Giants Willie Mays wore number 14 and his familiar number 24.  Davey Williams also wore 14 and Jack Maguire also wore 24.

In 1952 Mays wore 24 but so did Mario Picone, presumably after Mays entered military service.

In 1953 no Giant wore 24.  Mays missed the entire season in the Army.

In 1954 Mays wore 24, the number he made famous.  He wore 24 for the remainder of his career, even with the Mets in 1972 and 1973.

Mantle, Maris batting order: Fat Mike gets it wrong ... again.

WFAN sports talk radio in New York has the most obnoxious tech phobic blowhard in America: Mike Francesa.  He does the afternoon slot, which for some unknown reason, is also simulcast on the Yankee Entertainment Sports (YES) network, which means that we can see Fat Mike and what he's doing and not doing.

Yesterday Fat Mike was running his mouth about it being the anniversary of Roger Maris hitting the first of his record 61 home runs in 1961.  Mike was reading it from pieces of paper.  He's so ignorant of computers that he cannot even read it from a screen even if some teenage intern looks it up for him.

Fat Mike was droning on about how new Yankee manager Ralph Houk would eventually move Maris into the third spot in the Yankee lineup with Mickey Mantle fourth, i.e., switching and reversing their order in the Yankee lineup.  WRONG!

Houk's predecessor Casey Stengel had already done that in 1960, the first Yankee season for Maris.  In 1960 Mantle batted third in 67 games and fourth in 46; Maris batted fourth in 65 games and third in 40 games.  In 1960 from Sept. 17 through Oct. 2 in the final 14 games of the regular season: Maris third, Mantle fourth.

1960 World Series games:

1: Maris third, Mantle fourth
2: Maris third, Mantle fourth
3: Maris second, Mantle third against Pirate lefty Vinegar Bend Mizell
4: Maris third, Mantle fourth
5: Maris second, Mantle fourth against Pirate lefty Harvey Haddix
6: Maris third, Mantle fourth
7: Maris third, Mantle fourth

Mantle batted behind Maris in all seven WS games in 1960.  MLB network had a major review of the 1960 WS in the fall of 2010.  Fat Mike could have seen the batting order simply by paying attention to that.

It took Houk until game 30 in 1961 to finally put Maris in the third spot in the batting order for good.  Prior to game 30 Maris started 11 games batting third.  After that the only games that Maris started and did not bat third were three games in which Mantle did not start and Maris batted fourth.  In 1961 Mantle batted fourth in every game that he started.

Fat Mike's ignorance is inexcusable.  Fat Mike, learn to use a computer.  The data is just sitting there waiting to be reviewed.  Get off your fat ass and do some research.

Bases loaded home runs, aka, grand slams.

I'm working on data, trying to find the number of at bats (AB) with the bases loaded that Lou Gehrig and other old timers had.  Gehrig supposedly has the record: 23 home runs with the bases loaded: grand slams.  Knowing the number of opportunities would add vital context to that record.

It seems that Gehrig's record has been known for a very long time but how did anyone know it was a record way back then and whose record did Gehrig break?  Babe Ruth, who had 16?

Baseball Almanac has a list of Gehrig's grand slams.  However, it does not indicate the source of that data.  Nor do any other places that I checked including the official Lou Gehrig website, wikipedia, SABR bio.

Alex Rodriguez recently hit his 22nd home run with the bases loaded.  Rodriguez has a much better home run rate (AB/HR) with the bases loaded than overall: 9.6 to 14.3.  Lower is better.  So does Manny Ramirez who is third with 21: 11.3 to 14.9.  Ramirez recently retired.

The Tattersall- McConnell home run log has details supposedly on all MLB home runs.  However, it does not explicitly include AB for bases loaded home runs.  For modern players I can find that in:

http://www.baseball-reference.com/

and

http://www.retrosheet.org/  OK, I can't actually find the Gehrig home run log there but I can't find lots of stuff at retrosheet.

Bob McConnell appears to have started his research in the 1950s.  It's unclear when John Tattersall started his research.  Did Tattersall or McConnell discover Gehrig's grand slam achievement or was it already known and, if so, how?

Gehrig's home run log in baseball-reference indicates that his very first grand slam on July 23, 1925 bounced into the stands at Yankee Stadium under the old rule (fair balls bouncing into the stands were home runs) that was eliminated after the 1930 season.  That means that in a real sense Rodriguez has already tied Gehrig.  Gehrig's only other bounced home run was July 30, 1927 with the bases empty.

Gehrig hit 10 inside the park home runs (IPHR); one was a grand slam: July 5, 1934 at Yankee Stadium.  Rodriguez has no IPHR.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Let top team pick its playoff opponent.

A couple of days ago I was listening to some former basketball players discuss the upcoming playoffs on the NBA network.  They were stating that nobody wants to play this or that team.  It occurred to me that all the leagues should let the higher seeded team pick its opponent.

This would work well in MLB since there are fewer playoff teams.  It would only apply to the first round but that's where it would do the most good in making the playoff structure reward regular season performance since the first round is only five games.  A best of five series is more prone to an upset than the longer best of seven.  The top seeded team in each of the old leagues, American and National, should benefit from having the best record over the long 162 game season.

The top seed might make its decision based on:
1. pitching match-ups
2. record against the other playoff teams that season
3. geography, both for travel and television reasons.

In the last eleven years there have been these long first round geographic separations:

2008 Boston - LA Angels
2007 Boston - LA Angels
2006 NY Mets - LA Dodgers
2004 Boston - Anaheim Angels
2003 Florida - San Francisco
2002 Anaheim Angels - NY Yankees
2002 San Francisco - Atlanta
2000 NY Yankees - Oakland

Eight of 22 series, 36%.

It would also increase the likelihood of natural rivals playing each other in the playoffs.  Maybe the Yankees would choose to play the Red Sox in the first round simply because Boston is near New York.  Currently, playoff teams from the same division may not play each other in the first round for reasons I cannot recall.

What this also suggests is that MLB should do what NBA and NFL have done all along: align teams more based on geography.  MLB did that for seasons 1969-1993, east/west divisions in each league.  But starting in 1994 with the mindless creation of a third division in each "league" and the doubling of the number of playoff teams, the geography got messed up for the playoffs.  It doesn't work that well in the regular season either.  For instance in the five team AL East, each team plays the others, what, 19 times?  (19*4)/162 = 47%.  That's fewer than half the games.  The divisions have no meaning.

If MLB is clinging to some misguided tradition, it should wake the heck up.  Only really old people remember the league structures circa 1960.  Most of us cannot, if awakened in the middle of the night, correctly place many, if not most teams, in their proper league much less division.  Is Florida in AL or NL.  How about Tampa?  Seattle?  Washington, which had an AL team twice before having an NL team by way of Montreal? How about Milwaukee, which has stolen teams from two different cities (1953 Braves from Philadelphia, 1970 Pilots from Seattle) and switched "leagues" in 1998 (AL to NL).  What the heck?

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Righty batter HR against Yankee pitchers circa late 1920s to late 1950s.

Click the link in the title.  This is a view of career numbers around the time that Joe DiMaggio played for the Yankees, starting in 1936, ending in 1951.  Hall of Famers Jimmie Foxx and Hank Greenberg are of primary interest.

Rather than try to describe it, I'll let you simply review the numbers, which speak for themselves.  The first columns contain totals against Yankee pitchers, followed by numbers at Yankee Stadium and then the player's own park.  Finally, the difference, both in at bats (AB) needed to homer and the percentage difference.  Only Harlond Clift did better in Yankee Stadium.

Just for the heck of it, I put lefty batter Ted Williams at  the bottom.

Number 7 on the Yankees in 1951.

Mickey Mantle started his rookie season with the Yankees wearing uniform number 6.  Cliff Mapes, who also wore number 3 for the Yanks previously, started 1951 wearing 7 on his Yankee uniform.  Bob Cerv started 1951 with the Kansas City Blues.

Cliff Mapes 1951 Bowman card.
Both Mantle and Cerv played for the 1951 Kansas City Blues in the AAA American Association.

On July 31, 1951 Mapes contract was purchased by the St. Louis Browns from the New York Yankees.

The game logs for the three Yankees who wore number 7 in 1951 shows when they played in Yankee games:

Mickey Mantle (6): April 17 through July 13; .260 BA; sent down to Kansas City Blues.

Mapes (7): April 20 through July 26.

Bob Cerv (7): August 1 through August 20; called up from the Kansas City Blues; apparently Cerv was given the number 7 that had been worn by the recently departed Mapes.  When returned to the Kansas City Blues Cerv was zero for at least his last 7 Yankee AB; .214 BA.

Mickey Mantle (7): August 24 through September 30; assigned number 7 after .361 BA in 40 games in KC.

From Cliff Blau:

Per the August 21, 1951, Hartford Courant, Mantle and Hogue recalled from minors, Cerv and Wiesler sent down.

Then Mantle was called for another military physical exam, which is why he didn't play until the 24th.

Cerv replaced Mapes and Mantle replaced Cerv.  That seems to be how number 7 got passed along.

So what happened to number 6?  Wasn't that part of the Mantle legend, that he was given number 6 in spring training 1951 because he would follow the great Yankees who had worn numbers 3 (Ruth), 4 (Gehrig) and 5 (the aging DiMaggio in his final season)?

Note: Bobby Brown "missed 1½ seasons due to military service during the Korean War.".

Why didn't Mantle get number 6 back when he returned from KC?  Veteran third baseman Bobby Brown played 103 games in 1951 but the first was not until April 26.  In 1947,1948,1949,1950 Bobby Brown and only Bobby Brown had worn number 6, so the Yankees had given Brown's number to Mantle in spring training 1951 a further sign of the team's high regard for Mantle.  In Brown's rookie season of 1946 he played in only 7 games and wore ... number 7.

In 1951 Brown was given number 9.  Apparently when Mantle was sent down to KC Brown switched from 9 back to his familiar number 6.  Maybe the Yankees did not expect Mantle back in 1951; maybe they no longer thought he would be great; maybe they just wanted to satisfy Brown.  When Mantle returned in late August the next available number was 7 because Cerv had been sent down to KC.  So much for continuing the string of consecutive numbers for great Yankees.

Bobby Brown kept number 6 for the remainder of the 1951 season and wore 6 in the 29 games he played in 1952 the last of which was July 6.  Twenty year old third baseman Andy Carey apparently wore number 54 May 2 through May 11.  Carey was probably sent down to AAA where he played 106 games in 1952 for Kansas City (AA) and Syracuse (IL).  Carey played again for the Yanks August 2-15 and September 26-28 and was given number 6, which Carey wore for the remainder of his Yankee career, four games into the 1960 season.

In 1961 number six was worn for 13 games by Deron Johnson who was then traded to the Kansas City As (AL).  Clete Boyer then switched from number 34 to 6, which Boyer wore for the remainder of his Yankee career: 1966.  In 1965 Johnson led NL with 130 RBI.  Other players including Roy White wore number 6 after Boyer.

The last person to wear a Yankee uniform with number 6 was four time World Series winning manager Joe Torre 1996-2008.

DiMaggio home runs: home and road by season

Joe DiMaggio played only 13 seasons: 1936-1942, 1946-1951.  His tenure largely coincided with that of heavyweight boxing champion Joe Louis, both born in 1914.

The file with supporting data in recent posts now has an annual breakdown of DiMaggio's home runs, home and road.  Click this link and look at tab "DiMaggio by Year", which also contains a graph.

In only two seasons did DiMaggio have a better AB/HR at home than road: 1940 and 1951.  Shockingly, in SEVEN seasons DiMaggio had single digit home run totals at home, including his injury plagued 1949 season (5).  Four times he hit only 8 at home and twice only 9.

Four times DiMaggio hit at least 20 homers on the road: 27, 24, 23, 21.  DiMaggio's best at home was 19, which coincided with his road best of 27 for a total of 46 and DiMaggio's best AB/HR (13.5).  Next best was 15.2 in 1948, the only other season DiMaggio led AL in home runs (39).

In DiMaggio's rookie season he needed 19.4 more AB to homer at home than on the road.  DiMaggio had other high differences: 17.1, 14.7, 14.6.  For his career DiMaggio needed 6.45 more AB to homer at home than on the road.  That's 39.7% more AB needed to homer at home.  Almost 40%.

In his ten World Series (51 games, 199 AB) DiMaggio hit all 8 of his homers on the road:

2 - Polo Grounds New York
1 - Wrigley Field Chicago
1 - Crosley Field Cincinnati
3 - Ebbets Field Brooklyn
1 - Shibe Park Philadelphia

In addition to Yankee Stadium, the only other park in which DiMaggio played a World Series game and failed to homer was Sportsman's Park III St. Louis: two games

DiMaggio hit his final home run on October 8, 1951 at the Polo Grounds during the World Series: Yanks led the Giants 2-1 in the fifth and DiMaggio hit a two run homer off 23 game winner Sal Maglie with Yogi Berra on first base.  Yanks won the game 6-2, tieing the series 2-2.  Yanks won in six games.

DiMaggio's 56 game hitting streak went from May 15 through July 16, 1941.  On June 18, 1941 54,487 saw Joe Louis defeat Billy Conn at the Polo Grounds.  The rematch was June 19, 1946 ... at Yankee Stadium where Louis fought 12 times.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Yankee righty batters: home runs in original Yankee Stadium.

The previous posts dealt with Joe DiMaggio's 46 home runs in 1937.

DiMaggio hit three inside the park home runs (IPHR) in his career: 1936 in St. Louis, 1938 at Yankee Stadium, 1939 in Philadelphia.

Let's look at other right hand Yankee batters and try to determine how their home run hitting was impacted by playing their home games in the original Yankee Stadium from 1923 through 1973.

This query contains data on the 37 seasons in which right hand Yankee batters, including DiMaggio,  hit at least 18 home runs 1923 through 1973.  My breakdown of the significant home run seasons by Yankees other than DiMaggio are in this file, in tab "Yank righty HR 1923-1973".  I omitted Johnny Lindell's 18 homers in 1944 because it was borderline in a war year.  I included Tony Lazzeri's 14 homers in 1937 because it is during DiMaggio's biggest home run season and Lazzeri was second on the 1937 Yanks in homers by a righty.

The top three led AL:
DiMaggio 46 1937
DiMaggio 39 1948
Bob Meusel  33 1925

DiMaggio has 8 of the top 10 seasons.  The top 9 are at least 30 and DiMaggio is 10th with 29.

The other top seasons:
Joe Gordon 30 1940
Joe Gordon 28 1939
Bill Skowron 28 1961
Elston Howard 28 1963

Also from DiMaggio's era 1936-1951:
Joe Gordon 25 1938
Joe Gordon 24 1941
Joe Gordon 18 1942
Johnny Lindell 18 1944

Not long before DiMaggio:
Bob Meusel 24 1921
Bob Meusel 33 1925
Tony Lazzeri 18 1926
Tony Lazzeri 18 1927
Tony Lazzeri 18 1929
Tony Lazzeri 18 1933

Not long after DiMaggio:
Hank Bauer 20 1955
Bill Skowron 23 1956
Hank Bauer 26 1956
Bill Skowron 26 1960

DiMaggio in 1937 took 4.4 more at bats (AB) to homer at home than on the road.  AB/HR:
home: 16.1
road: 11.67

The other 25 righty Yankee seasons examined took 5.86 more at bats (AB) to homer at home than on the road.  AB/HR:
home: 27.2
road: 21.4

DiMaggio for his career took 6.45 more at bats (AB) to homer at home than on the road.  AB/HR:
home: 22.7
road: 16.2

DiMaggio took 0.59 more at bats (AB) to homer at home than on the road than other 8 righty Yankee batters in the 25 seasons examined.  However:

At Yankee Stadium:
HR AB AB/HR
other Yank righties 231 6,293 27.24
DiMaggio 148 3,360 22.70
Dif -4.54

That's s good sample size, 87% more AB, for the 25 non-DiMaggio Yankee righty batter seasons examined.  Joe D. required 4.54 fewer AB to homer at the original Yankee Stadium than the other Yank righties who needed 20% more AB to homer there.

For righty Yankee batters other than DiMaggio 1923-1973, two had better AB/HR at home for the seasons examined: Bob Meusel (3.7) and Hank Bauer (2.7), two seasons each.  Here are the others by their AB advantage on the road:

Elston Howard 14 in 4 seasons
Bill Skowron12.2 in 4 seasons
Thurmon Munson 11.95 in 1 season
Clete Boyer 11 in 2 seasons
Joe Gordon 3.18 in 5 seasons
Tony Lazzeri 2.43 in 5 seasons

The breakdown by seasons home/road: 11/14.

Biggest home advantage: In 1921 Bob Meusel hit 24 home runs for the entire season and took 11 fewer AB to homer at home than on the road.  AB/HR:
home: 20.3
road: 31.3

Biggest road advantage: In 1962 Elston Howard hit 21 home runs for the entire season and took 57 fewer AB to homer on the road than at home.  AB/HR:
home: 72.67
road: 15.33

Best home rate: Joe Gordon in his 1938 rookie season hit 13 homers in 199 AB: 15.3.  Next best:  Meusel 1925 (led AL with 33 homers) 19.13, Bauer 1956 19.21, Gordon 1940 19.87.

Worst home rate: Elston Howard in 1962 hit 3 homers in 218 AB: 72.67.  In 1961 Howard's rate was 21.1 and in 1963, his MVP season, 22.7.  Next worst: Lazzeri 1933 40.47.

Best road rate: Bill Skowron 1956 14, Skowron 1961 14.19, Howard 1963 14.44, Howard 1962 15.33.

Worst road rate: Lazzeri 1927 43.43, Lazzeri 1937 38.33, Lazzeri 1926 33.66, Lazzeri 1933 29, Boyer 1962 27.17.

Most homers at home: Meusel 16 in 1925, Gordon 15 in 1940, Meusel 14 in 1921, Bauer 14 in 1956, Gordon 13 in 1938.

Fewest homers at home: Howard 3 in 1962, Howard 5 in 1959, Lazzeri 5 in 1929, Skowron 6 in 1956, Boyer 6 in 1962.

Most homers on road: Skowron 21 in 1961, Howard 18 in 1962, Howard 18 in 1963, Meusel 17 in 1925, Gordon 17 in 1939, Skowron 17 in 1956.

Fewest homers on road: Lazzeri 6 in 1937 (only 14 for season), Lazzeri 7 in 1927, Lazzeri 9 in 1926, Bauer 9 in 1955.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

1937: AL righty home run leaders at Yankee Stadium.

Continuing on the previous post about DiMaggio's 46 homers in 1937, check this data in the associated tab.

In 1937 the top ten non-Yankee AL right handed home run hitters at Yankee Stadium: 8 homers (1 IPHR: Joe Cronin) in 402 AB, one every 50.25 AB (AB/HR).  Three played in Detroit, 2 each in Philadelphia, St. Louis, Boston; one in Chicago.  Against Yankee pitcher in 1937 in their own ball parks: 23 homers in  413 AB, once every 17.96 AB (AB/HR).

For emphasis, in 1937 the top ten non-Yankee AL right handed home run hitters, AB/HR: 50 at Yankee Stadium, 18 in their own ball parks.  That's a difference of 32.3.  Except for Harlond Clift (AB/HR 13 YS, 16.7 own park), the other nine had much better AB/HR in their own parks against Yankee pitching in 1937 than in Yankee Stadium.

In 1937 Yankee pitchers allowed 92 HR, the second lowest in AL:

HR     AB    AB/HR
home 41 2,772 67.61
road 51 2,654 52.04

Yankee pitchers on the road AB/HR 52.04, not much different than the 50.25 AB/HR of those top ten AL righty home run hitters at Yankee Stadium in 1937.  Among them, only Harlond Clift of the St. Louis Browns had a better AB/HR than DiMaggio at Yankee Stadium in 1937: 13.

DiMaggio's AB/HR in 1937 at Yankee Stadium was 16.11; his teammate Tony Lazzeri's, whose 14 HR were tied for tenth among those top ten righties, was 27.

Of those top ten non-Yankee righty batters FIVE hit ZERO HR at Yankee Stadium in 1937: Jimmie Foxx, Bob Johnson, Moose Solters, Gee Walker, Beau Bell.  Two of them, Gee Walker and Beau Bell, each of whom hit 18 for the season, hit ZERO against Yankee pitching in 1937.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Joe DiMaggio's 46 homers in 1937.

Click for supporting data.

This old guy I know, let's call him Joe, was yapping about Joe DiMaggio hitting 46 HR in 1937, that he could have hit 60 playing his home games in other than Yankee Stadium.  I pointed out that I didn't think DiMaggio hit 30 on the road.

46 AB/HR 13.5
home: 19 in 306 AB    AB/HR 16.1
road: 27 in 315 AB    AB/HR 11.6

With 7 opponents even distribution of homers would be 14.3%.

11 against Browns.  8 in St. Louis.  23.91% against 14% of opponents.

9 against Senators.  19.5%.

That's 43.5% against 2 of 3 teams under .500.


DiMaggio's distribution of his 46 1937 homers: 11 (Browns), 9, 8, 7, 4, 4, 3 (Indians).
_____________________________

Let's see how other Yankees who hit a lot of homers in a season compare to DiMaggio's 46 in 1937.  Obviously righty DiMaggio was at a severe disadvantage at home because Yankee Stadium as configured from it's inception through 1973 had walls at least this far from home plate: 402 in left, 457 in left center, 461 in center, 409 in right center, 344 in right.  In 1927 center was 490 and right center was 433, so Ruth and Gehrig had some extra long distances to deal with too.  Ruth, Gehrig and Maris batted lefty, Mantle both, Rodriguez righty.  Rodriguez's situation is complicated by: shorter distances in left and center, unbalanced schedule, inter-league play and, of course, hysteria over steroid use.  At the very least it might be instructive to see how they did on the road.

In 1927 Babe Ruth hit 60; AB/HR 9:

home: 28 in 253 AB    AB/HR 9
road: 32 in 287 AB    AB/HR 8.97

Ruth's distribution of his 60 1927 homers was pretty even: 11 (Red Sox 18.33%), 9, 9, 9, 8, 8, 6.

In 1928 Babe Ruth hit 54; AB/HR 9.92:

home: 29 in 260 AB    AB/HR 8.97
road: 25 in AB 276   AB/HR 11.04

Ruth's distribution of his 54 1928 homers was less even: 11 (White Sox 20.37%), 10, 10, 6, 6, 6, 5.

In 1934 Lou Gehrig hit 49; AB/HR 11.81:     Won triple crown: led AL in HR, BA, RBI.

home: 30 in 290 AB    AB/HR 8.979.66
road: 19 in 289 AB    AB/HR 15.21

Gehrig's distribution of his 49 1934 homers: 12 (White Sox 24.49%), 11, 8,6,5,5,2 (Tigers).

In 1936 Lou Gehrig hit 49; AB/HR 11.81:

home: 27 in 227 AB    AB/HR 9.88
road: 22 in 312 AB    AB/HR 14.18

Gehrig's distribution of his 49 1936 homers: 14 (Indians 28.57%), 7, 7, 7, 7, 5, 2 (Senators).

Of his games in Cleveland in 1936 Gehrig played in only one game  in Municipal Stadium and had no home runs in 6 AB.  In League Park II Gehrig had 8 homers in 49 AB; AB/HR 6.125.

In 1956 Mickey Mantle hit 52; AB/HR 10.25:     Won triple crown: led AL in HR, BA, RBI.

home: 27 in 228 AB    AB/HR 9.93
road: 25 in 265 AB    AB/HR 10.6

Mantle's distribution of his 52 1956 homers: 10 (Indians 19.23%), 10 (Tigers 19.23%), 9, 9, 6, 6, 2 (Orioles).

With 9 opponents in 1961 even distribution of homers would be 11.1%.  Expansion teams in 1961: Senators and Angels.

In 1961 Roger Maris hit 61;  AB/HR 9.67

home: 30 in 280 AB    AB/HR 9.33
road: 31 in 310 AB    AB/HR 10

Maris's distribution of his 61 1961 homers: 13 (White Sox 21.31%), 9 (Senators), 8, 8, 7, 5, 4 (Angels), 4 (Twins), 3 (Orioles).

In 1961 Mickey Mantle hit 54; AB/HR 9.52

home: 24 in 230 AB    AB/HR 9.58
road: 30 in 284 AB    AB/HR 9.47

Mantle's distribution of his 54 1961 homers: 11 (Senators 20.37%), 8, 7, 6, 5, 5, 4 (Orioles), 4 (Indians), 4 (White Sox).

Maris hit his most against the White Sox against whom Mantle hit his fewest.  Both hit their fewest against the Orioles.


In 2007 Alex Rodriguez hit 54; AB/HR 10.8

home: 26 in 292 AB    AB/HR 11.23
road: 28 in 291 AB    AB/HR 10.39
______________________________________

DiMaggio had the most AB both home and road.

Most HR home: 30 - Gehrig 1934, Maris 1961.

Most HR road: 32 - Ruth 1927; 31 Maris 1961; 30 Mantle 1961.

Fewest HR home: 19 DiMaggio 1937.

Fewest HR road: 19 Gehrig 1934.

Best AB/HR home: 8.97 Ruth 1928.

Best  AB/HR road: 8.97 Ruth 1927.

Worst AB/HR home: 16.11 DiMaggio 1937

Worst AB/HR road: 15.21 Gehrig 1934, 14.18 Gehrig 1936, 11.66 DiMaggio 1937.

Best  AB/HR: 9 Ruth 1927

Worst AB/HR: 13.5 DiMaggio 1937.

Joe D. did well in 1937 in home run hitting but not as well as old Joe would like to believe.  On the road only Gehrig had a worse home run rate (AB/HR).

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Teams with 100 wins.

This came up with a friend today and I thought it was interesting.

Yankees 19.  Too many to list.  Click the link.

Cardinals 8: 1931, 1942 (106 most), 1943. 1944, 1967, 1985, 2004, 2005.

Giants 7: 1904 (106 most), 1905, 1912, 1913, 1962 (103-62), 1993, 2003.

Dodgers 6: 1899, 1941, 1942 (104 second to Cardinals), 1953 (105 most), 1962 (102-63 second to Giants), 1974.

For those picking the Red Sox and/or Phillies to win 100 in 2011:

Red Sox 3: 1912 (105 most), 1915, 1946.  0-6 start in 2011.

Phillies 2: 1976, 1977 (101 both times).

Declining years: Mantle and DiMaggio who both retired at age 36.

The Mick in his down, tack-on seasons 1965-1968: led Yanks in OPS+ each season: 137, 170, 149, 142 (career 172).  In Mantle's last up season (1964) he led AL in OBP, OPS, OPS+, IBB; second in MVP (to Brooks Robinson) for the third time (also 1960, 1961 both to Roger Maris).

Joe DiMaggio in his one down season (1951) was SIXTH on Yanks in OPS+ with 115 (career 155) behind even the rookie Mantle's 116.  Gil McDougald led Yanks in 1951 with 141.  DiMaggio had a precipitous drop off from his 1950 OPS+ of 151.

Supposedly fellow San Franciscan and Yankee teammate Billy Martin convinced DiMaggio to play one more season after Joe D. led AL in slugging average in 1950.  The only other time that DiMaggio was AL leader in slugging average was 1937 when he hit 46 home runs: 19 home, 27 road.

In 1951 DiMaggio had 12 homers and 36 strike outs, which indicated that he was finished.  Had DiMaggio not played in 1951 he would have finished with more career homers than strike outs: 349 to 333.  DiMaggio would have been the only slugger to do so.

In 1968 Mantle batted only .237.  AL BA: .230.

In 1951 DiMaggio batted only .263.  AL BA: .262.

DiMaggio was a shade above the league BA in his final season.  Mantle was 3% above.  However, because Mantle's BA was so low by normal standards he was considered to have been much less effective despite his 142 OPS+, which was 8th in AL, compared to DiMaggio's 115..  By current standards Mantle had a much more productive final season than did DiMaggio.  Mantle could have continued.  DiMaggio could not.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Rivera, Soriano, Chamberlain? Ryne Duren was the man.

Some Yankee fans are thrilled that Joba Chamberlain, Rafael Soriano and Mariano Rivera are settling in and pitching one inning each: 7,8,9.

Monday night their three innings resulted in only 2 strike outs.  I'm not very impressed.  I want one inning pitchers to be much more dominating.  Like Ryne Duren.

http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/d/durenry01.shtml

1960 SO/9

Ryne Duren 12.3!  49 innings.

AL 4.9

12.3/4.9 = 2.51

TWO AND A HALF times the AL average!

Duren was in double digits four consecutive seasons: 1958, 1959, 1960, 1961 (5 innings with Yanks, 99 innings with Angels)

1958 10.3 75 innings    10.3/4.9 = 2.10
1959 11.3 76 innings    11.3/5.0 = 2.26
1960 12.3  49 innings    12.3/4.9 = 2.51
1961 10.0 104 innings    10/5.2 = 1.92
______________________________

2010 SO/9 (requiring at least 49 Innings Pitched):

In 2010 only four pitchers, all NL, exceeded Duren's 12.3 in 1960:

Carlos Marmol 15.99    77 innings    15.99/7.4 = 2.16
Billy Wagner 13.50    69 innings    13.50/74. = 1.82
Joel Hanrahan 12.92    69 innings    12.92/7.4 = 1.75
Rafael Betancourt 12.85    62 innings    12.85/7.4 = 1.74

NL 7.4

Top AL 2010 SO/9:

Matt Thornton 12.02 60 innings    12.02/6.8 = 1.77
Joaquin Benoit 11.19 60 innings    11.19/6.8 = 1.65
Brandon Morrow 10.95 146 innings     10.95/6.8 = 1.61

13. Joba Chamberlain 9.7 71 innings    9.7/6.8 = 1.42
36. Rafael Soriano 8.23 62 inning    8.23/6.8 = 1.21
72. Mariano Rivera 6.75 60 innings    6.75/6.8 = .99  Rivera's strike out numbers in 2010 seem especially puny, only about equal to the league average.

AL 6.8
______________________________

I ran this query:

For single seasons, From 1903 to 2010, (requiring SOp9>=12 and At least 49 Innings Pitched), sorted by greatest Strikeouts per 9 IP

Including Duren in 1960 there are 77 seasons.  Of those 77 seasons the only one before 1987 was Duren in 1960.  Including Duren only five were before 1990.

Tops:

2010 Carlos Marmol 15.99    77 innings    15.99/7.4 = 2.16

 Joba Chamberlain?  Zip.
2009 Rafael Soriano 12.13 75.2 innings    12.13/6.9 = 1.76
 Mariano Rivera?  Zip.

How about matching against Duren's other three seasons with at least 75 innings?

For single seasons, From 1903 to 2010, (requiring SOp9>=10 and At least 75 Innings Pitched), sorted by greatest Strikeouts per 9 IP

178 seasons.

Four before 1960: Koufax 1957, 1959; Duren 1958, 1959.

1960 through 1966: 9
1970 through 1979: 14
1982 through 1989: 19
1990 through 1999: 47
2000 through 2010: 85

These pitchers did it and led the league in innings:

1965 Sandy Koufax 10.24 335 innings
1986 Mike Scott 10.00 275 innings
1999 Randy Johnson 12.03 271 innings
1998 Curt Schilling 10.05 268 innings
2002 Randy Johnson 11.56 260 innings
2001 Curt Schilling 10.27 256 innings
2009 Justin Verlander 10.09 240 innings

Nine pitchers were >= 13 SO/9:

2010 Carlos Marmol 15.99 77.2 innings
2003 Eric Gagne 14.98 82 innings
2004 Brad Lidge 14.93 94 innings
1999 Armando Benitez 14.77 78 innings
1991 Rob Dibble 13.55 82 innings
2009 Jonathan Broxton 13.50 76 innings
2001 Randy Johnson 13.41 249 innings
1999 Pedro Martinez 13.20 213 innings
2004 Francisco Rodriguez 13.18 84

Duren placed #55 (1959) and #124 (1958).  Note: Duren's 10.0 in 1961 was actually below 10 and rounded up: (9*115)/104 = 9.95192307692

Chamberlain placed #97 (2008)
Soriano placed #27 (2009)
Rivera placed #78 (1996) - his most innings: 107.

Let's compare them against the league average in those seasons.

Duren 1959 11.3 76 innings    11.3/5.0 = 2.26
Duren 1958 10.3 75 innings    10.3/4.9 = 2.10
Soriano 2009 12.13 75 innings    12.13/6.9 = 1.76
Rivera 1996 10.87 107 innings    10.87/6.2 = 1.75
Chamberlain 2008 10.58 100 innings    10.58/6.6 = 1.6
______________________________

Ryne Duren was striking them out when they weren't striking out.

So, I ask again: 1960 World Series game 7: why didn't Stengel use Duren? FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 24, 2010

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Outfielders OPS+

Click the link in the title to see the data and graph.

OPS+ is On Base Percentage Plus Slugging Average adjusted for park and year.

We tend to think that outfielders don't hit much anymore.  The data assembled for seasons ten years apart (like the census) derived from baseball-reference.com suggests that 2010 was not too different from the norm for 1940-2010.

The seasons 1910, 1920, 1930 were dominated by Cobb, Ruth, Ruth; the median is in line with other seasons but the low is very low and the difference between the high and low is huge.

2010 shows outfielders bunched more toward the middle.