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Saturday, April 5, 2014

Alex Rodriguez is an active player! At least according to baseball-reference.com

I was sort of watching a Yankee game the other night and happen to have the sound on.  Former player Ken Singleton was announcing and mentioned that Yankee Alfonso Soriano was one home run (HR) behind Duke Snider on the career list.  Singleton said that he had to educate Soriano about Snider, the late Duke of Flatbush center fielder of the also late Brooklyn Dodgers.  Mentioning that Duke was in the Hall of Fame peeked Soriano's interest prompting him to ask who was next on the list.  Singleton did not know.  Neither did I, so I checked.  In other words, I was sitting at home minding my own business when the following information became apparent.

First here's the answer to Soriano's question:

In 2013 Soriano hit 34 HR, so if he can hit 32 in 2014 Soriano can tie Dawson and Giambi, unless Giambi hits more.  By the way Soriano was part of the answer to the nightly trivia question last night in Toronto: what three players had at least 30 HR and 100 RBI in 2012 and 2013?  Soriano, Miguel Cabrera and Edwin Encarnacion of Toronto.

In the list above active players have their names in bold.  To get a better view of them I clicked on the list for active players.


The top twenty is generally interesting but look at number one.  The suspended pariah Alex Rodriguez!

I sent this to a friend and received this reply: "Very USSR like.  Comissar Bud has written him out of history."

He is obviously referring to Allen Huber "Bud" Selig, commissioner of the Major Baseball League (MBL) and all associated conspiring leagues.  Selig suspended Rodriguez for the entire 2014 season and tournament for using performance enhancing drugs (PED); no failed drug test.  So why is Rodriguez listed as an active player on a reputable website like baseball-reference.com?

Let's check another leader list at that website, National batting average (BA) in 2012:


1.Posey (SFG).336
2.McCutchen (PIT).327
3.Braun (MIL).319
4.Molina (STL).315
5.Votto (CIN)**.337
6.Pacheco (COL).309
7.Craig (STL).307
8.Scutaro (2TM).306
9.Wright (NYM).306
10.Jay (STL).305

Number 5, Joey Voto, has a double asterisk (**).  Here's the explanation on that web page:

A ** by the stat's value indicates the player had fewer than the required number of at bats or plate appearances for the BA, OBP, SLG or OPS title that year. In order to rank the player, the necessary number of hitless at bats were added to the player's season total. The value printed here is their actual value and not the value used to rank them, therefore some numbers may appear out of order.
____________________________________________________

Except there was another batter who had fewer than the required number of plate appearance (PA) to qualify but who had the highest BA in the entire MBL.  Come on, you know who I mean.  Come on down:

June 23, 2012 by X Wad
Giants @ Oakland via Wikimedia Commons

Melky played only that 2012 season with the San Francisco Giants.  He was the MVP in the All Star game, which the Nationals won, which also provided home field and home rule (designated hitter (DH)) advantage to the National team in the event that the tournament finals went to a game seven.  Coincidentally, the Giants won the tournament but in only four games.

Melky was suspended for using PED as were Rodriguez and Ryan Braun in 2013; Braun is listed third on that 2012 BA list.

Melky was one for four August 14, 2012 against Washington when he was suspended.  He did not play again, not even in the tournament when he became eligible again.  His Giants were so humiliated by his behavior that they did not want him back.  The Giants did not, however, bow out of the tournament, nor did Selig vacate their wins with Melky playing as I recommended, nor outright ban the Giants from tournament play for the next three years as might have happened had they been a college football team.  That would be punishing the innocent with the guilty.  Those innocent players were OK with keeping their team wins and personal runs scored and RBI that resulted from Melky's drug induced enhanced performance.

In 2012 Melky had 159 hits in 459 AB: .346 BA.  Melky was only one plate appearance (PA) short of qualifying, so even if we add one to his at bats (AB) his BA still comes out to .34565217391 or .346 rounded, well above Posey's .336 and Cabrera's American leading .330.


Melky does not have black ink for his .346 BA in 2012.  Why?  Because Melky's agent on Melky's behalf published an apology for his behavior and asked that Melky not be considered for the honor of BA leadership.  This may have been to help Melky rehabilitate his image for his upcoming free agency, which resulted in a two year contract for $16 million.  Still way short of he five year $60 million that Melky might have received had he not been caught but not bad either.

I pointed out at the time on this blog that BA was a stat not an honor but that distinction was lost on Selig and many media people who are still stuck on the importance of BA and continue to refer to having the highest BA as leading the league in hitting.

What was odd at the time was that baseball-reference.com went along with this, which makes its inclusion of Alex Rodriguez among active players all the more puzzling.  It seems like an honor to be listed as the career leader in HR for active players.

By the way I noticed that Melky looks really bulked this season.  Melky was the first major league batter faced by Yankee pitcher Masahiro Tanaka.  Meky homered.  Say, you don't think ...

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