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Nice guy.  Have some blogs.  Do baseball research.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Derek Jeter honored in Texas by druggie Ivan Rodriguez.

Derek  Jeter honored before final game at Globe Life Park
Michael Young, Pudge Rodriguez and President George W. Bush were on hand to honor Derek Jeter before his final game at Globe Life Park on Wednesday, July 30, 2014.  Credit: WFAA Sports
Three things happened yesterday:

1. Allan Huber "Bud" Selig, the ninth and current baseball commissioner, became 80 years old.
2. Ivan Rodriguez represented the Texas Rangers in a ceremony honoring Yankee captain Derek Jeter before his final game in Texas.
3. Alex Rodriguez served game number 107 of his season long suspension for using performance enhancing drugs (PED).

The thread, of course, is hypocrisy.

Selig presided over the steroid era and his family probably profited more financially than any in the Major Baseball League (MBL), which Selig heads.  Selig also carried out a personal vendetta against Alex Rodriguez and has ignored my repeated pleas to commute A-Rod's sentence.

Ivan Rodriguez very likely used PED in winning the 1999 American League MVP award, ironically beating out Jeter, who had his finest season.

Jeter is either a really nice guy or is painfully oblivious.  I have not watched closely but this is the third Jeter ceremony in which I've noticed that teams have chosen as their representatives players who either admitted using PED or who do not pass the "liar, liar, pants on fire" test.

Druggies Roger Clemens and Andy Pettitte to honor Derek Jeter in Houston. Is that the right way?  Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Derek Jeter honored in Milwaukee by another druggie, Ryan Braun.  Sunday, May 11, 2014

Andy Pettitte and Ryan Braun admitted using PED.  Roger Clemens and Ivan Rodriguez are still playing the pants on fire card.

What's the deal with teams using such players as reps?  One of the three honoring teams is Selig's former: Milwaukee  The other two are in Texas and have a common former player and executive: Hall of Fame pitcher Nolan Ryan.  Ryan is the subject of the most viewed post of all time on this blog:

Nolan Ryan: more on possible steroid use.  Tuesday, August 31, 2010

What's with Jeter posing with druggies?  Is he oblivious as previously suggested or is he magnanimous?  If the more positive, then why doesn't Jeter speak up for his former best buddy and ten year teammate Alex Rodriguez?  If all is forgiven, where is the absolution for A-Rod?  He's served 107 more games than Clemens, Pettitte or Ivan Rodriguez.  A-Rod has served 42 (65%) more games than Braun, who was an All Star this season.

And what about Selig?  Is he OK with former players associated with using PED representing teams in sanctimonious ceremonies to honor Selig's poster boy of all that was right during his 22 years as commissioner?  Or is Selig just a doddering old fool who doesn't know what the heck is going on?

Unsportsmanlike Conduct: Taunting. It's time for rules in baseball, too.

Preening jackasses is what I've called some National Football League (NFL) players for several seasons.  Among the three top professional team sports leagues in the USA, football probably has the worst behavior, both on and off the field.  Baseball has been the best with basketball's NBA (National Basketball Association) somewhere in between.  However, the Major Baseball League (MBL), as I like to call it, is fast descending, abetted by limited criticism and far too much encouragement and approval from the main stream media, which seems to be searching for relevance.

Ironically, it's the NFL that has explicit rules against taunting:

Rule 12 Player Conduct

Section 3 Unsportsmanlike Conduct

Article 1 There shall be no unsportsmanlike conduct. This applies to any act which is contrary to the 
generally understood principles of sportsmanship. Such acts specifically include, among others: 
(a) Throwing a punch, or a forearm, or kicking at an opponent even though no contact is made. 
(b) The use of abusive, threatening, or insulting language or gestures to opponents, teammates, officials, 
 or representatives of the League. 
TAUNTING 
(c) The use of baiting or taunting acts or words that engender ill will between teams. 
(d) Individual players involved in prolonged or excessive celebrations. Players are prohibited from 
engaging in any celebrations while on the ground. A celebration shall be deemed excessive or 
prolonged if a player continues to celebrate after a warning from an official. 
(e) Two-or-more players engage in prolonged, excessive, premeditated, or choreographed celebrations. 
(f) Possession or use of foreign or extraneous object(s) that are not part of the uniform during the game 
 on the field or the sideline, or using the ball as a prop. 
________________________________________________

Main stream media types have taken to using the phrase No Fun League (NFL).  See what they did there, the main stream media?  They used the league's initials to mock it.  Pretty clever, huh?  They seem to think so because some of them just can't stop saying it.  Argh!

About 28% of MBL players are from countries other than the USA.  Each has its own culture and protocols.  For decades USA players have played in Japan, where conduct is much more restrained than here.  Those USA players generally conformed to the Japanese code of conduct.  Unfortunately, the main stream media seems to think it's somehow enlightened for more unrestrained forms of conduct to be absorbed in the USA rather than those guest players conforming to the USA conduct.  This has exacerbated a general break down in basic forms of proper sportsmanlike conduct.

Taunting has become prevalent in the MBL and it's increasing.  One fundamental problem is that baseball has by far the most uneven relationship between opposing players: pitcher-batter.  The pitcher has the ball and as such has become the on field arbiter of behavior.  If a batter does something the pitcher does not like, the pitcher may take retribution by smashing the batter with a ball thrown faster than 90 miles per hour (mph). The batter is expected to take this and not retaliate.  The batter has no comparable recourse as there is in football and basketball.  This is part of what so enrages baseball players and baseball fans alike.  It's the basic unfairness of the violence.

That imbalance is probably a big part of why batters now seek some small level of revenge by standing at home plate and posing after hitting a home run and trying to taunt the pitcher further by slowly trotting around the bases in the unique victory lap that a home run affords like nothing in football or basketball, where even a break away score can theoretically be thwarted.  The home run victory lap may not be interrupted, not even by the catcher Brian McCann.

The pitcher, of course, remembers this and drills a batter in retaliation sooner or later.  And on it goes.

I really like the enthusiasm that's prevalent in all three sports.  But I only like it in the context of sportsmanship and awareness of the sensibilities of opponents.  Rubbing it in is never good.  Oh, and keep your uniform on.  The Rafael Soriano thing of pulling out the uniform shirt as soon as the game is over is spreading and it looks foolish and really unprofessional.

The MBL needs to legislate this by adopting rules on taunting specifically but also rules on general sportsmanship, conduct and appearance.  Some players dress like slobs.  What the heck?  You're at work.  Dress appropriately and act accordingly.


Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Time limit for running out a home RUN. Inspired by David Ortiz, Fat Papi.

David Ortiz seems determined to be as obnoxious as possible as often as possible.  The other day he had yet another incident of poor sportsmanship: hitting a home run and taking far too long to start running and far too long circling the bases.  Later the pitcher objected to this and Ortiz compounded things by verbally insulting the pitcher.
David Ortiz by Googie Man September 22, 2007 via Wikimedia Commons
It almost makes me want to make an exception to my position that intentionally throwing at a batter is unacceptable.  But I'll stifle that and make a creative suggestion: a time limit starting when the ball is hit.  That impacts both the standing at home plate and also the tortuously slow home run trot.

I'm considering 40 seconds but I'm flexible.  It must be short enough to make Fat Papi uncomfortable.  The longer he lingers, the faster he must run.  And run he must.

The penalty?  The batter gets the number of bases reached when time runs out.  So, if Ortiz takes his not so sweet time, he may only get a triple or double.  Heck, he might even be out if he just stands there making a fool of himself as usual.

Perhaps even more appalling than conduct like this are the excuses made by otherwise normal people:
1. Enthusiasm is good.
2. Other cultures have different conduct.

Yuck!

If you buy into that drivel, then there's no way I can dissuade you.  If you agree with me that players should behave themselves, especially when playing in another country, then there's not much more to say.

I could mention that Mickey Mantle would circle the bases with his head down so that he would not seem to be gloating.  That's ancient history but Derek Jeter is playing now.  Have you ever seen Jeter taunt or flaunt?  And the same people who make lame excuses for the likes of Ortiz, point to Jeter as a prime example of how a player should behave.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Season Home Runs >= 30 and > SO.

25 times but only once since 1956.  Will we see it again?


Rk Player HR SO Year Age Tm Lg G PA AB R H 2B 3B RBI BB IBB HBP SH SF GDP SB CS BA OBP SLG OPS Pos
1 Johnny Mize 51 42 1947 34 NYG NL 154 664 586 137 177 26 2 138 74 4 0 6 2 .302 .384 .614 .998 *3
2 Ted Kluszewski 49 35 1954 29 CIN NL 149 658 573 104 187 28 3 141 78 3 0 5 12 0 2 .326 .407 .642 1.049 *3
3 Lou Gehrig 49 46 1936 33 NYY AL 155 719 579 167 205 37 7 152 130 7 3 3 4 .354 .478 .696 1.174 *3
4 Lou Gehrig 49 31 1934 31 NYY AL 154 690 579 128 210 40 6 166 109 2 0 9 5 .363 .465 .706 1.172 *3/6
5 Ted Kluszewski 47 40 1955 30 CIN NL 153 686 612 116 192 25 0 113 66 25 4 0 4 10 1 1 .314 .382 .585 .967 *3
6 Joe DiMaggio 46 37 1937 22 NYY AL 151 692 621 151 215 35 15 167 64 5 2 3 0 .346 .412 .673 1.085 *8/H
7 Barry Bonds 45 41 2004 39 SFG NL 147 617 373 129 135 27 3 101 232 120 9 0 3 5 6 1 .362 .609 .812 1.422 *7/HD
8 Mel Ott 42 38 1929 20 NYG NL 150 675 545 138 179 37 2 151 113 6 10 6 .328 .449 .635 1.084 *9/84
9 Ted Kluszewski 40 34 1953 28 CIN NL 149 629 570 97 180 25 0 108 55 4 0 13 2 0 .316 .380 .570 .950 *3/H
10 Johnny Mize 40 37 1948 35 NYG NL 152 658 560 110 162 26 4 125 94 4 0 7 4 .289 .395 .564 .959 *3
11 Joe DiMaggio 39 30 1948 33 NYY AL 153 669 594 110 190 26 11 155 67 8 0 20 1 1 .320 .396 .598 .994 *8/H
12 Stan Musial 39 34 1948 27 STL NL 155 698 611 135 230 46 18 131 79 3 1 18 7 .376 .450 .702 1.152 *987/3
13 Ken Williams 39 31 1922 32 SLB AL 153 678 585 128 194 34 11 155 74 7 12 37 20 .332 .413 .627 1.040 *78
14 Ted Williams 37 27 1941 22 BOS AL 143 606 456 135 185 33 3 120 147 3 0 10 2 4 .406 .553 .735 1.287 *7H/9
15 Andy Pafko 36 32 1950 29 CHC NL 146 595 514 95 156 24 8 92 69 11 1 9 4 .304 .397 .591 .989 *89/H
16 Willard Marshall 36 30 1947 26 NYG NL 155 655 587 102 171 19 6 107 67 2 0 14 3 .291 .366 .528 .894 *9
17 Al Simmons 36 34 1930 28 PHA AL 138 611 554 152 211 41 16 165 39 1 17 9 2 .381 .423 .708 1.130 *7/8H
18 Ted Kluszewski 35 31 1956 31 CIN NL 138 574 517 91 156 14 1 102 49 22 3 0 5 11 1 0 .302 .362 .536 .898 *3/H
19 Joe DiMaggio 32 21 1938 23 NYY AL 145 660 599 129 194 32 13 140 59 2 0 6 1 .324 .386 .581 .967 *8
20 Lefty O'Doul 32 19 1929 32 PHI NL 154 732 638 152 254 35 6 122 76 4 13 2 .398 .465 .622 1.087 *79
21 Joe DiMaggio 31 30 1940 25 NYY AL 132 572 508 93 179 28 9 133 61 3 0 16 1 2 .352 .425 .626 1.051 *8/H
22 Yogi Berra 30 29 1956 31 NYY AL 140 596 521 93 155 29 2 105 65 7 5 1 5 8 3 2 .298 .378 .534 .911 *2/H7
23 Yogi Berra 30 24 1952 27 NYY AL 142 603 534 97 146 17 1 98 66 4 1 8 2 3 .273 .358 .478 .835 *2/H
24 Joe DiMaggio 30 13 1941 26 NYY AL 139 622 541 122 193 43 11 125 76 4 0 6 4 2 .357 .440 .643 1.083 *8
25 Joe DiMaggio 30 20 1939 24 NYY AL 120 524 462 108 176 32 6 126 52 4 6 11 3 0 .381 .448 .671 1.119 *8/H
Rk Player HR SO Year Age Tm Lg G PA AB R H 2B 3B RBI BB IBB HBP SH SF GDP SB CS BA OBP SLG OPS Pos
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 7/28/2014.

1. 9 of top 14 led league in HR, including top 4.
2. Most recent: Barry Bonds, 2004: 45 HR, 41 SO; only one since 1956; oldest at 39.
3. Multiples:
    DiMaggio 6
    Kluszewski 4
    Mize, Gehrig, Berra 2
Joe DiMaggio 1950 World Series at Shibe Park; Warner Pathe News via Wikimedia Commons
4. Team multiples:
    Yankees 10
    Giants 5
    Reds 4
5. Multiples in a year:
    1929: Ott, O'Doul; both NL
    1941: Williams, DiMaggio; both AL
    1947: Mize, Marshall; both Giants!
    1948: Mize and Musial NL, DiMaggio AL
    1956: Kluszewski, Berra
6. 21 of 25: BA >= .302
7. 8 of 25 led in BA.
8. 23 of 25 RBI >= 101
9. 7 of 25 led in RBI.
10. 10 of 25 HR >= 40.