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Shohei Ohtani for Cy Young?
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Recently, I gave my many reasons for slightly favoring outfielder Aaron Judge over the unique two-way pitcher-slugger Shohei Ohtani for the American League Most Valuable Player award. Judge has since hit his 61st homer to tie Roger Maris for the American League homer record.

But last night Ohtani made a case for MVP by carrying a no-hitter into the eighth inning with two outs before giving up a couple of singles. He raised his record to 15-8 and lowered his ERA to 2.35.

I would still vote for Judge for MVP but now I’m wondering about Ohtani for the AL Cy Young award for best pitcher. Ohtani’s pitching ranks among the four best by starting pitchers in the AL this year with Dylan Cease, Alek Manoha, and ageless Justin Verlander.

Ohtani has one more start next Wednesday on the last game of the regular season. But it’s unlikely he’ll be able to distinguish himself from the pack as clearly deserving the Cy Young. He may have the best stuff in the American League, but he pitches with five days rest rather than the usual four days rest, so he throws slightly fewer innings than his rivals.

On the other hand, I reasoned, the Cy Young is not awarded “for the best pitching” but is given “to the best pitcher,” so why not count whatever else Ohtani does while pitching including fielding, baserunning, and hitting?

When I looked around, I found out that nobody actually knows an official judgement on how to vote for the Cy Young. Here’s a 2015 article by a sportswriter who was just named a Cy Young voter, but wasn’t given an answer to this question.

Off-hand, I can’t think of a pitcher who might have won the Cy Young with his bat, so the question apparently hasn’t come up. The closest example I can think of was Don Drysdale who went 23-12 with a 2.77 ERA for the 1965 L.A. Dodgers. But back then, electors only got one vote, and all 20 voted for Drysdale’s teammate Sandy Koufax (26-8, 2.04, and a record 382 strikeouts).

But Drysdale’s pitching really wasn’t that good that year: the modern Wins Above Replacement credits him with pitching 3.2 wins better than a Triple AAA minor leaguer, which didn’t put him in the top ten in the league.

But Drysdale finished fifth in the MVP voting (and second to Koufax among pitchers), so under a modern Cy Young voting system he could have finished anywhere from second to, say, twelfth. One reason was that Drysdale was one of the best hitters in the National League that year, by far the Dodgers’ most dangerous hitter, batting .300 with 7 homers (no Dodger regular hit more than 12 homers that year). As a batter playing about one-quarter of the time, Drysdale earned 2.1 wins.

So, for the purpose of Cy Young voting, should Drysdale be evaluated upon his 3.2 WAR pitching or his 5.3 WAR while playing the position of pitcher (with, admittedly, a little pinch-hitting)? Clearly, Drysdale’s slugging was relevant in the MVP race, just as Ohtani won MVP last year without being the best hitter or the best pitcher, but by doing an amazing job of both. But what about the Cy Young vote? If it were relevant in 1965, then why not for Ohtani in 2022?

That’s not a bad argument, but I see now an objection: Ohtani never hits as the pitcher, he officially hits always as the Designated Hitter. Most of the time he doesn’t play the field but hits as the DH, while every sixth day he’s both the starting pitcher on the field and the DH in batting lineup. That’s a rather legalistic objection, but it seems decisive to me.

 
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  1. Anon[378] • Disclaimer says:

    No, because the Angels are cursed.

    When Pujols hit his 699-700 at Dodger stadium —

    The game was about to start and Pujols, the St. Louis Cardinals slugger, was given a chance to address the crowd in a stadium where he played last season.

    “Well,” he said, “I just want to take this opportunity to thank all of you Dodgers fans.”

    Simple and sincere on a night Pujols became only the fourth major leaguer to hit 700 homers, joining the elite company of Barry Bonds (762), Hank Aaron (755) and Babe Ruth (714).

    But the expression of thanks helped demonstrate why Pujols was wearing the appropriate jersey – he will forever be remembered as a Cardinal – and in the right place.

    Dodger Stadium is where he recaptured his joy for the game.

    In fact, Pujols said he considered retirement at the end of a largely disappointing stint with the Angels, who lured him from the Cardinals with a 10-year contract worth $240 million. In return, the Angels watched Pujols struggle at the plate and with injuries and the team made the postseason just once, getting swept by the Kansas City Royals in the 2014 AL Divisional Series.

    But after getting dumped, Pujols suddenly had a new team.

    “The Dodgers believed in me,’’ he said.

    After the game, Pujols sat in the interview room with his six children behind him.

    “What a special night,” he said. “First of all, to have my family here in town, and to be able to do it here at Dodger Stadium.”

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    @Anon

    Pujols signing with the Angels is a really unfortunate event in baseball history. I'm not sure who to blame.

    Replies: @RadicalCenter, @Brutusale

    , @JohnnyWalker123
    @Anon

    Yes, but whose curse is worse?

  2. Most of the time he doesn’t play the field but hits as the DH, while every sixth day he’s both the starting pitcher on the field and the DH in batting lineup.

    I don’t believe the DH rule permits this. He may bat, but if so, the DH is not permitted for use in that game.

    • Replies: @ScarletNumber
    @Dr. DoomNGloom

    The rule was changed specifically for Ohtani this year. A player may be his own DH so that if he is removed from the game as pitcher he is still the DH.

    This was borrowed from the NCAA, which has had this rule for decades at this point.

    Replies: @Dr. Doomngloom

  3. I think Ohtani would win the Cy if he were in the NL but Cease and Verlander have had great seasons. Other arguments for Ohtani: best strikeouts to innings pitched ratio in MLB. Best pitcher with runners in scoring position (I think in many a year; he’s also the best hitter with RISP). As good as any pitcher in MLB since about June 1. The eye test — he looks to have the best five-pitch mix in baseball, though usage rates for each vary from game to game.

    I’ll go along with CC Sabathia and Carlos Correa — Ohtani is the best baseball player I’ve ever seen (and I grew up with Willie Mays in the Bay Area). Just remarkable. Straight off the drawing board.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    @gsjackson

    Ohtani is "Best pitcher with runners in scoring position (I think in many a year; he’s also the best hitter with RISP)"

    So, that implies that Ohtani's workload as baseball's only full time pitcher-hitter since Babe Ruth (for just one or two seasons) is so exhausting that he can only gear up for a certain fraction of each game, at which point he's overwhelmingly great. So, if he'd choose between being a pitcher or a hitter, he might be as great as Jacob DeGrom as a pitcher or as Aaron Judge or Mike Trout as a hitter.

    Makes sense.

    Replies: @Anon

  4. Ohtani is so well-bathed in the shadow of Verlander’s statistics, that ancillary aspects, however reasonable, are minor factors. (But when DiMaggio bathed in the shadow of Williams’ 406 and other stats, that didn’t stop the MVP voters, which is a heckuva precedent for voters’ deciding to ignore the stat shadow.)

  5. @gsjackson
    I think Ohtani would win the Cy if he were in the NL but Cease and Verlander have had great seasons. Other arguments for Ohtani: best strikeouts to innings pitched ratio in MLB. Best pitcher with runners in scoring position (I think in many a year; he's also the best hitter with RISP). As good as any pitcher in MLB since about June 1. The eye test -- he looks to have the best five-pitch mix in baseball, though usage rates for each vary from game to game.

    I'll go along with CC Sabathia and Carlos Correa -- Ohtani is the best baseball player I've ever seen (and I grew up with Willie Mays in the Bay Area). Just remarkable. Straight off the drawing board.

    Replies: @Steve Sailer

    Ohtani is “Best pitcher with runners in scoring position (I think in many a year; he’s also the best hitter with RISP)”

    So, that implies that Ohtani’s workload as baseball’s only full time pitcher-hitter since Babe Ruth (for just one or two seasons) is so exhausting that he can only gear up for a certain fraction of each game, at which point he’s overwhelmingly great. So, if he’d choose between being a pitcher or a hitter, he might be as great as Jacob DeGrom as a pitcher or as Aaron Judge or Mike Trout as a hitter.

    Makes sense.

    • Replies: @Anon
    @Steve Sailer

    John Smoltz was criticized for suggesting during a national broadcast this summer that if Ohtani focused on pitching, he'd be the American League equivalent to Jacob DeGrom. Yet he's right.

    However singular Ohtani is, his insistence on doing both does a disservice to his team. His 2-way play opens a roster spot in the abstract, but the reality is that just makes space for another 26th man, near replacement level type talent. The quality of a regularly used sixth starter is not to the benefit of the team (maybe a team like the Yankees or Dodgers who can afford to pay for a quality extra starter could make it work) and from the players' side, he's otherwise a full-time DH taking up bench space when he isn't in the lineup.

    So there is a sense that he's never playing to his full potential because of the distractions from doing both. Ohtani, before he came stateside, was an above-average outfielder. Maybe he'd be of more use to a team doing both if he were something like an everyday outfielder who closed out games.

    Replies: @Ganderson

  6. I reached out to Cy Young in a seance last night. He felt the award needs more diversity.

    so I said “Ohtani, then.”

    He said “Who? No, no, no. We need more African American female lesbians winning awards in the majors whether they play baseball or not, bigot!”

    Then out of nowhere a butcher knife flew past my head and stuck in the wall, wobbling eerily.

    • Replies: @Truth
    @Mike Tre

    https://superblearning.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/If-all-you-have-is-a-hammer....png

  7. @Anon
    No, because the Angels are cursed.

    When Pujols hit his 699-700 at Dodger stadium --

    The game was about to start and Pujols, the St. Louis Cardinals slugger, was given a chance to address the crowd in a stadium where he played last season.

    "Well,'' he said, "I just want to take this opportunity to thank all of you Dodgers fans.''

    Simple and sincere on a night Pujols became only the fourth major leaguer to hit 700 homers, joining the elite company of Barry Bonds (762), Hank Aaron (755) and Babe Ruth (714).

    But the expression of thanks helped demonstrate why Pujols was wearing the appropriate jersey – he will forever be remembered as a Cardinal – and in the right place.

    Dodger Stadium is where he recaptured his joy for the game.

    ---

    In fact, Pujols said he considered retirement at the end of a largely disappointing stint with the Angels, who lured him from the Cardinals with a 10-year contract worth $240 million. In return, the Angels watched Pujols struggle at the plate and with injuries and the team made the postseason just once, getting swept by the Kansas City Royals in the 2014 AL Divisional Series.

    But after getting dumped, Pujols suddenly had a new team.

    “The Dodgers believed in me,’’ he said.

    ---

    After the game, Pujols sat in the interview room with his six children behind him.

    “What a special night,'' he said. "First of all, to have my family here in town, and to be able to do it here at Dodger Stadium.''

     

    Replies: @Steve Sailer, @JohnnyWalker123

    Pujols signing with the Angels is a really unfortunate event in baseball history. I’m not sure who to blame.

    • Replies: @RadicalCenter
    @Steve Sailer

    Trout and Ohtani staying with the Angels is an unfortunate event in baseball history too. They should have half a dozen World Series under their belts with the Dodgers by now.

    , @Brutusale
    @Steve Sailer

    Yes, you do. He was bidding against himself for high-end talent 15 years ago.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arte_Moreno

  8. While not the only one, Greg Maddux always got credit Cy Young time for fielding his position extremely well. He won a slew of Gold Gloves. So non-balls and strikes figure in, at least a little. And thinking of it, Maddux did get some credit for hitting well as a pitcher.

  9. Steve Carlton should have won the MVP along with his Cy Young award in 1972. Carlton winning 27 games with the abysmal Phillies was miraculous. The Phils won 59 games total. Johnny Bench had a stellar season but could Bench really make a claim that his play was responsible for nearly half of the Reds wins that season. You need not have to play on a winning team to win the MVP. Carlton’s 1972 season was even more impressive than Vida Blue in 1971. Blue won both the Cy Young and MVP, but he was fortunate enough to play on a talented Oakland As team. Carlton would have been the last 30 game winner had he played for the Reds or As in 1972.

  10. Ohtani and Ruth aside- was Drysdale the best hitting pitcher of the modern era? Who else is on that list? Jim Kaat? I know Dean Chance doesn’t make the cut…

    • Replies: @Trinity
    @Ganderson

    Bob Gibson?

    Replies: @anonymous

    , @gsjackson
    @Ganderson

    There was another pitcher in Drysdale's era who had that rep -- Earl Wilson, who pitched 11 seasons, mostly for the Tiger s and Bosox. Turns out his numbers are all better than Drysdale's -- .195 BA to .186. OPS -- .634 to .523. HR's -- 35 in 838 PA to 29 in 1309 PA.

    Wilson was a pretty good pitcher too -- 3.69 career ERA.

    Replies: @gsjackson

  11. @Steve Sailer
    @Anon

    Pujols signing with the Angels is a really unfortunate event in baseball history. I'm not sure who to blame.

    Replies: @RadicalCenter, @Brutusale

    Trout and Ohtani staying with the Angels is an unfortunate event in baseball history too. They should have half a dozen World Series under their belts with the Dodgers by now.

  12. @Mike Tre
    I reached out to Cy Young in a seance last night. He felt the award needs more diversity.

    so I said "Ohtani, then."

    He said "Who? No, no, no. We need more African American female lesbians winning awards in the majors whether they play baseball or not, bigot!"

    Then out of nowhere a butcher knife flew past my head and stuck in the wall, wobbling eerily.

    Replies: @Truth

  13. we’re splitting hairs here, but when it’s that close, you have to, in the statistical person’s mind anyway. usually the MVP voting argument comes down to much more banal and simple stuff, with people having to remind the average sports fan that it’s a regular season award for accumulated stats, and if the MVP crashes and burns in the playoffs that doesn’t mean the voters got it wrong. Ohtani may never be in the playoffs, so his situation on that front is even worse. the public is reluctant to reward players on bad teams, and so are the voters.

    that’s why for NFL action last year i still thought it was clearly Brady, he had the better season numbers, a top 10 season all time, at 44. we can pick nits – he got an extra game, versus the previous 16 game schedule. but that wasn’t enough to change things. whack a game from both player’s season numbers and Brady still has better numbers. Rodgers had a disastrous first game.

    Brady is also 10 times better of a player than Rodgers in general, and Rodgers didn’t disappoint, completely bombing in the playoffs as he usually does. his steadily accumulating MVP awards start getting hollow after a while of that. Brady attempting to work his usual magic for one last season this year, where half of the Bucs starting offense is out, including ALL of the receivers. they’re going with practice squad players to fill in the depth chart.

  14. Aaron Judge is the antithesis of Colin Kaepernick.

  15. Judge also has a legitimate chance to win the Triple Crown, Steve.

    Since 1931, The only Triple Crown winner (actually twice) to NOT win the MVP the same year was HOF BOS OF Ted Williams.

    He won the Triple Crown in 1942, but NY Joe Gordon won the MVP.

    He won the Triple Crown again in 1947, but NY Joe DiMaggio won the MVP.

    That’s what happens when your team doesn’t make the playoffs, or win the Pennant.

    • Replies: @Catdompanj
    @Yojimbo/Zatoichi

    Or play in NYC.

  16. These are various issues: people once famous who fell out of fashion; modestly famous or marginalized who later became icons in their fields; all sorts of in-betweens.

    From icon to has-been..

    Bing Crosby
    George Meredith
    Samuel Butler
    Chatterton
    Charlie Chaplin
    Schiller
    D.W. Griffith
    Carlyle
    H. Spencer
    Red count Tolstoy
    Ariosto
    Jacopo Sannazaro
    Galen
    Eugene Sue
    Pearl Buck
    Washington Irving
    Norman Mailer
    Philip Sydney
    Vivaldi

    From hardly ever been to icon

    Gerard de Nerval
    Lobachevsky
    Stendhal
    Semmelweis
    Grassmann
    Cezanne
    Wegener

    • Replies: @RadicalCenter
    @Bardon Kaldian

    Who?

  17. It’s the year of the Judge.

  18. Wednesday night Justin Verlander went 7 innings, struck out eight batters, walked one, gave up just one earned run, and lowered his ERA to 1.80. He’s pitched 170 innings at 39 years old coming off of Tommy John surgery. That’s your AL Cy Young.

  19. @Dr. DoomNGloom

    Most of the time he doesn’t play the field but hits as the DH, while every sixth day he’s both the starting pitcher on the field and the DH in batting lineup.
     
    I don't believe the DH rule permits this. He may bat, but if so, the DH is not permitted for use in that game.

    Replies: @ScarletNumber

    The rule was changed specifically for Ohtani this year. A player may be his own DH so that if he is removed from the game as pitcher he is still the DH.

    This was borrowed from the NCAA, which has had this rule for decades at this point.

    • Replies: @Dr. Doomngloom
    @ScarletNumber

    Thanks. I haven't watched much since i dropped cable and that escaped me.

  20. @Anon
    No, because the Angels are cursed.

    When Pujols hit his 699-700 at Dodger stadium --

    The game was about to start and Pujols, the St. Louis Cardinals slugger, was given a chance to address the crowd in a stadium where he played last season.

    "Well,'' he said, "I just want to take this opportunity to thank all of you Dodgers fans.''

    Simple and sincere on a night Pujols became only the fourth major leaguer to hit 700 homers, joining the elite company of Barry Bonds (762), Hank Aaron (755) and Babe Ruth (714).

    But the expression of thanks helped demonstrate why Pujols was wearing the appropriate jersey – he will forever be remembered as a Cardinal – and in the right place.

    Dodger Stadium is where he recaptured his joy for the game.

    ---

    In fact, Pujols said he considered retirement at the end of a largely disappointing stint with the Angels, who lured him from the Cardinals with a 10-year contract worth $240 million. In return, the Angels watched Pujols struggle at the plate and with injuries and the team made the postseason just once, getting swept by the Kansas City Royals in the 2014 AL Divisional Series.

    But after getting dumped, Pujols suddenly had a new team.

    “The Dodgers believed in me,’’ he said.

    ---

    After the game, Pujols sat in the interview room with his six children behind him.

    “What a special night,'' he said. "First of all, to have my family here in town, and to be able to do it here at Dodger Stadium.''

     

    Replies: @Steve Sailer, @JohnnyWalker123

    Yes, but whose curse is worse?

  21. https://www.espn.com/nfl/story/_/id/34686024/russell-wilson-eli-manning-monday-night-football

    Denver Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson’s tenure with the team isn’t off to the electric start many expected. He has completed just 59% of his passes for 743 yards, 2 touchdowns and 1 interception through three games. Although the Broncos are 2-1, the offense hasn’t found much rhythm early in the season.

    Wilson’s lackluster play in Week 3 against the San Francisco 49ers was the subject of a joke by former New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning during ESPN’s Monday Night Football ManningCast. Manning said Denver should’ve “paid that punter [Corliss Waitman] $235 million instead of Russell,” referring to the $245 million contract extension the Broncos gave Wilson earlier this month. It quickly became a viral clip on social media.

    • Replies: @EdwardM
    @JohnnyWalker123

    My first thought was, "RACIST!!!" but then I noted that Corliss Waitman is black. Very clever on the part of Eli Manning.

    It made me think of one of the most shameless cancels, before cancel culture had reached its current supercharged level: when Rush Limbaugh was fired for ESPN for saying, maybe in the context of Donovan McNabb, that the media is always rooting a little bit more for black quarterbacks to succeed due to "social concern." Of course this is obviously, self-evidently true (look at ESPN's breathless coverage of blacks in traditionally white positions or sports) and not even really a derogatory thing to say.

    If a famous white physicist said that the media was always rooting a little bit more for a black physicist to succeed, would he be canceled today? Always hard to keep track of these things.

    Replies: @Ron Mexico

  22. On the other hand, I reasoned, the Cy Young is not awarded “for the best pitching” but is given “to the best pitcher..”

    We need a Wes Ferrell Award for the pitcher who contributes the most with his bat. When Ferrell injured his pitching arm, he wasn’t put on the disabled list, but into the infield. (This was long before the Designated Gaedel Rule.) He still owns the record for most home runs hit by a pitcher, even if you exclude those while at other positions. His brother Rick got into the Hall of Fame, but Wes did not.

    How many homers has Ohtani hit while listed as pitcher? When is he due to top Ferrell, going by the present rate?

    …the DH in batting lineup. That’s a rather legalistic objection, but it seems decisive to me.

    The DH itself is a rather “legalistic” intrusion– of football into baseball. Here, I’ll save someone a few keystrokes:

    Troll: ScarletNumber

  23. @ScarletNumber
    @Dr. DoomNGloom

    The rule was changed specifically for Ohtani this year. A player may be his own DH so that if he is removed from the game as pitcher he is still the DH.

    This was borrowed from the NCAA, which has had this rule for decades at this point.

    Replies: @Dr. Doomngloom

    Thanks. I haven’t watched much since i dropped cable and that escaped me.

  24. @Ganderson
    Ohtani and Ruth aside- was Drysdale the best hitting pitcher of the modern era? Who else is on that list? Jim Kaat? I know Dean Chance doesn’t make the cut…

    Replies: @Trinity, @gsjackson

    Bob Gibson?

    • Replies: @anonymous
    @Trinity

    Gary Peters.

  25. @JohnnyWalker123
    https://www.espn.com/nfl/story/_/id/34686024/russell-wilson-eli-manning-monday-night-football

    Denver Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson's tenure with the team isn't off to the electric start many expected. He has completed just 59% of his passes for 743 yards, 2 touchdowns and 1 interception through three games. Although the Broncos are 2-1, the offense hasn't found much rhythm early in the season.

    Wilson's lackluster play in Week 3 against the San Francisco 49ers was the subject of a joke by former New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning during ESPN's Monday Night Football ManningCast. Manning said Denver should've "paid that punter [Corliss Waitman] $235 million instead of Russell," referring to the $245 million contract extension the Broncos gave Wilson earlier this month. It quickly became a viral clip on social media.
     
    https://twitter.com/espn/status/1574572655465807873

    Replies: @EdwardM

    My first thought was, “RACIST!!!” but then I noted that Corliss Waitman is black. Very clever on the part of Eli Manning.

    It made me think of one of the most shameless cancels, before cancel culture had reached its current supercharged level: when Rush Limbaugh was fired for ESPN for saying, maybe in the context of Donovan McNabb, that the media is always rooting a little bit more for black quarterbacks to succeed due to “social concern.” Of course this is obviously, self-evidently true (look at ESPN’s breathless coverage of blacks in traditionally white positions or sports) and not even really a derogatory thing to say.

    If a famous white physicist said that the media was always rooting a little bit more for a black physicist to succeed, would he be canceled today? Always hard to keep track of these things.

    • Replies: @Ron Mexico
    @EdwardM

    Michael Irvin seemed to be in agreement with Limbaugh, too.

  26. @Ganderson
    Ohtani and Ruth aside- was Drysdale the best hitting pitcher of the modern era? Who else is on that list? Jim Kaat? I know Dean Chance doesn’t make the cut…

    Replies: @Trinity, @gsjackson

    There was another pitcher in Drysdale’s era who had that rep — Earl Wilson, who pitched 11 seasons, mostly for the Tiger s and Bosox. Turns out his numbers are all better than Drysdale’s — .195 BA to .186. OPS — .634 to .523. HR’s — 35 in 838 PA to 29 in 1309 PA.

    Wilson was a pretty good pitcher too — 3.69 career ERA.

    • Replies: @gsjackson
    @gsjackson

    And the best hitting pitcher for batting average in the modern era, the one who probably could have made the easiest transition to full-time position player, was Ken Brett, known to his HOF brother George and other professional baseball playing siblings as the best baseball player in the family. Career BA -- .262.

    Wilson definitely appears to have had the most pop in his bat.

    Rick Ankiel didn't get enough AB's as a pitcher to merit consideration, having gotten a case of the yips throwing to home plate shortly after coming up to the Cards as the most heralded pitching prospect in the minors. But he made a comeback as an outfielder, and got a lot of starts for St Louis and Washington. Any video compendium of great outfield throws will feature at least a couple from his gun.

    Replies: @Dr. DoomNGloom, @Ganderson

  27. @Yojimbo/Zatoichi
    Judge also has a legitimate chance to win the Triple Crown, Steve.

    Since 1931, The only Triple Crown winner (actually twice) to NOT win the MVP the same year was HOF BOS OF Ted Williams.

    He won the Triple Crown in 1942, but NY Joe Gordon won the MVP.

    He won the Triple Crown again in 1947, but NY Joe DiMaggio won the MVP.

    That's what happens when your team doesn't make the playoffs, or win the Pennant.

    Replies: @Catdompanj

    Or play in NYC.

  28. Anon[179] • Disclaimer says:
    @Steve Sailer
    @gsjackson

    Ohtani is "Best pitcher with runners in scoring position (I think in many a year; he’s also the best hitter with RISP)"

    So, that implies that Ohtani's workload as baseball's only full time pitcher-hitter since Babe Ruth (for just one or two seasons) is so exhausting that he can only gear up for a certain fraction of each game, at which point he's overwhelmingly great. So, if he'd choose between being a pitcher or a hitter, he might be as great as Jacob DeGrom as a pitcher or as Aaron Judge or Mike Trout as a hitter.

    Makes sense.

    Replies: @Anon

    John Smoltz was criticized for suggesting during a national broadcast this summer that if Ohtani focused on pitching, he’d be the American League equivalent to Jacob DeGrom. Yet he’s right.

    However singular Ohtani is, his insistence on doing both does a disservice to his team. His 2-way play opens a roster spot in the abstract, but the reality is that just makes space for another 26th man, near replacement level type talent. The quality of a regularly used sixth starter is not to the benefit of the team (maybe a team like the Yankees or Dodgers who can afford to pay for a quality extra starter could make it work) and from the players’ side, he’s otherwise a full-time DH taking up bench space when he isn’t in the lineup.

    So there is a sense that he’s never playing to his full potential because of the distractions from doing both. Ohtani, before he came stateside, was an above-average outfielder. Maybe he’d be of more use to a team doing both if he were something like an everyday outfielder who closed out games.

    • Agree: RadicalCenter
    • Replies: @Ganderson
    @Anon

    Although, baseball is an entertainment business, and what Ohtani is doing is entertaining in a sport which has done its best over the last few years to ring the entertainment value out of itself.

  29. Is the Cy Young for the “best pitcher” or for the “best pitching”? I don’t actually know, though I suspect that it is effectively the first.

    If we look at WAR for AL pitchers, the list seems to be:
    1) Dylan Cease (14-7, 179 IP, 2.06 ERA, 1.089 WHIP)
    2) Ohtani (15-8, 161 IP, 2.35 ERA, 1.031 WHIP).

    No, I don’t know why Verlander doesn’t rank higher in WAR. He appears to be having a better season than either Dylan or Ohtani …

    Dylan has a slight lead on Ohtani in pitching WAR (6.5 vs 6.0) and his ERA is a bit better while his WHIP is a bit worse. Dylan has pitched more innings.

    But Ohtani also brings another 3.9 WAR to the team while not using up another roster slot.

    Dylan has pitched a tiny bit better, but Ohtani is the best baseball player who plays as a pitcher.

  30. No. He is a fine pitcher,but not the best. His hitting doesn’t affect his Cy Young stuff. Agree Judge must be MVP.
    I always liked Drysdale because he threw a record breaking bunch of scoreless innings back then which,as a yoot,I followed excitedly, tho I was in Chicago.
    And the banker on ” The Beverly Hillbillies” was named Mr. Drysdale. I wondered if they did that as a tribute,as they’re obviously based in L.A.
    You couldn’t have a penny pinching money grubbing comic character,very well played by Milburn Bailey, named Koufax! 😉

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    @Bardon Kaldlan

    "And the banker on ” The Beverly Hillbillies” was named Mr. Drysdale. I wondered if they did that as a tribute,as they’re obviously based in L.A."

    Probably. "Sgt. Bilko" was named for the slugging first baseman Steve Bilko on Los Angeles's minor league team in the 1950s. Comedy writers are often sports fans.

    Replies: @ScarletNumber, @Bardon Kaldlan

  31. @Bardon Kaldlan
    No. He is a fine pitcher,but not the best. His hitting doesn't affect his Cy Young stuff. Agree Judge must be MVP.
    I always liked Drysdale because he threw a record breaking bunch of scoreless innings back then which,as a yoot,I followed excitedly, tho I was in Chicago.
    And the banker on " The Beverly Hillbillies" was named Mr. Drysdale. I wondered if they did that as a tribute,as they're obviously based in L.A.
    You couldn't have a penny pinching money grubbing comic character,very well played by Milburn Bailey, named Koufax! 😉

    Replies: @Steve Sailer

    “And the banker on ” The Beverly Hillbillies” was named Mr. Drysdale. I wondered if they did that as a tribute,as they’re obviously based in L.A.”

    Probably. “Sgt. Bilko” was named for the slugging first baseman Steve Bilko on Los Angeles’s minor league team in the 1950s. Comedy writers are often sports fans.

    • Replies: @ScarletNumber
    @Steve Sailer

    Steve Bilko never got rich

    , @Bardon Kaldlan
    @Steve Sailer

    I always thought the name Bilko came from the word " bilk," which is what Silvers' character often did. 😉

  32. @Trinity
    @Ganderson

    Bob Gibson?

    Replies: @anonymous

    Gary Peters.

    • Agree: Trinity
  33. @gsjackson
    @Ganderson

    There was another pitcher in Drysdale's era who had that rep -- Earl Wilson, who pitched 11 seasons, mostly for the Tiger s and Bosox. Turns out his numbers are all better than Drysdale's -- .195 BA to .186. OPS -- .634 to .523. HR's -- 35 in 838 PA to 29 in 1309 PA.

    Wilson was a pretty good pitcher too -- 3.69 career ERA.

    Replies: @gsjackson

    And the best hitting pitcher for batting average in the modern era, the one who probably could have made the easiest transition to full-time position player, was Ken Brett, known to his HOF brother George and other professional baseball playing siblings as the best baseball player in the family. Career BA — .262.

    Wilson definitely appears to have had the most pop in his bat.

    Rick Ankiel didn’t get enough AB’s as a pitcher to merit consideration, having gotten a case of the yips throwing to home plate shortly after coming up to the Cards as the most heralded pitching prospect in the minors. But he made a comeback as an outfielder, and got a lot of starts for St Louis and Washington. Any video compendium of great outfield throws will feature at least a couple from his gun.

    • Thanks: Trinity
    • Replies: @Dr. DoomNGloom
    @gsjackson

    I saw Brett in his Pittsburgh days, and he looked like a ML hitter. Good bat speed.
    In one Memorial Day double header, he took a perfect game into the 9th before giving up a couple singles. In the back end, he drove in the winning with a pinch hit tripple.

    That was his All-Star year, so the chatter about converting to an every-day player was muted. I think his BA was over .300 that year.

    Replies: @Steve Sailer, @ScarletNumber

    , @Ganderson
    @gsjackson

    Wilson, Brett, Gibson, Kaat, etc. all worthy . I would point out that unlike Drysdale, none of them was ever on “The Munsters”. I have a foggy memory of Wilson and Brett pinch hitting on occasion- can anyone confirm?

    I also wonder, why don’t (or didn’t) managers who had a good hitting pitcher make better use of them at the plate- fear of injury? Lack of time?

    Replies: @gsjackson, @ScarletNumber

  34. @Steve Sailer
    @Bardon Kaldlan

    "And the banker on ” The Beverly Hillbillies” was named Mr. Drysdale. I wondered if they did that as a tribute,as they’re obviously based in L.A."

    Probably. "Sgt. Bilko" was named for the slugging first baseman Steve Bilko on Los Angeles's minor league team in the 1950s. Comedy writers are often sports fans.

    Replies: @ScarletNumber, @Bardon Kaldlan

    Steve Bilko never got rich

  35. @Steve Sailer
    @Bardon Kaldlan

    "And the banker on ” The Beverly Hillbillies” was named Mr. Drysdale. I wondered if they did that as a tribute,as they’re obviously based in L.A."

    Probably. "Sgt. Bilko" was named for the slugging first baseman Steve Bilko on Los Angeles's minor league team in the 1950s. Comedy writers are often sports fans.

    Replies: @ScarletNumber, @Bardon Kaldlan

    I always thought the name Bilko came from the word ” bilk,” which is what Silvers’ character often did. 😉

  36. @EdwardM
    @JohnnyWalker123

    My first thought was, "RACIST!!!" but then I noted that Corliss Waitman is black. Very clever on the part of Eli Manning.

    It made me think of one of the most shameless cancels, before cancel culture had reached its current supercharged level: when Rush Limbaugh was fired for ESPN for saying, maybe in the context of Donovan McNabb, that the media is always rooting a little bit more for black quarterbacks to succeed due to "social concern." Of course this is obviously, self-evidently true (look at ESPN's breathless coverage of blacks in traditionally white positions or sports) and not even really a derogatory thing to say.

    If a famous white physicist said that the media was always rooting a little bit more for a black physicist to succeed, would he be canceled today? Always hard to keep track of these things.

    Replies: @Ron Mexico

    Michael Irvin seemed to be in agreement with Limbaugh, too.

  37. @gsjackson
    @gsjackson

    And the best hitting pitcher for batting average in the modern era, the one who probably could have made the easiest transition to full-time position player, was Ken Brett, known to his HOF brother George and other professional baseball playing siblings as the best baseball player in the family. Career BA -- .262.

    Wilson definitely appears to have had the most pop in his bat.

    Rick Ankiel didn't get enough AB's as a pitcher to merit consideration, having gotten a case of the yips throwing to home plate shortly after coming up to the Cards as the most heralded pitching prospect in the minors. But he made a comeback as an outfielder, and got a lot of starts for St Louis and Washington. Any video compendium of great outfield throws will feature at least a couple from his gun.

    Replies: @Dr. DoomNGloom, @Ganderson

    I saw Brett in his Pittsburgh days, and he looked like a ML hitter. Good bat speed.
    In one Memorial Day double header, he took a perfect game into the 9th before giving up a couple singles. In the back end, he drove in the winning with a pinch hit tripple.

    That was his All-Star year, so the chatter about converting to an every-day player was muted. I think his BA was over .300 that year.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    @Dr. DoomNGloom

    Ken Brett in 1974 slashed .310 BA .337 OBA .448 SLG .785 OPS 123 OPS+

    For his career, he batted .262 with a 94 OPS+ as a full time pitcher. If he'd concentrated on hitting, well, he would haven't have been as good as his brother George, who hit .390 in 1980, but he'd probably have been an above average batter.

    Yeah, he probably should have been a hitter, like his brother George, rather than a pitcher.

    , @ScarletNumber
    @Dr. DoomNGloom


    In the back end, he drove in the winning with a pinch hit tripple [sic]
     
    I am very impressed with your memory of a doubleheader from 48 years ago. However, for historical accuracy, I need to point out that this triple tied the game at 3, with Richie Hebner winning the game with a 2-run home run in the bottom of the ninth, with the final score being 8-7.

    Danny Murtaugh correctly deduced that Ken Brett was more likely to be successful in his at bat than Frank Taveras.

    Replies: @Dr. Doomngloom

  38. @Dr. DoomNGloom
    @gsjackson

    I saw Brett in his Pittsburgh days, and he looked like a ML hitter. Good bat speed.
    In one Memorial Day double header, he took a perfect game into the 9th before giving up a couple singles. In the back end, he drove in the winning with a pinch hit tripple.

    That was his All-Star year, so the chatter about converting to an every-day player was muted. I think his BA was over .300 that year.

    Replies: @Steve Sailer, @ScarletNumber

    Ken Brett in 1974 slashed .310 BA .337 OBA .448 SLG .785 OPS 123 OPS+

    For his career, he batted .262 with a 94 OPS+ as a full time pitcher. If he’d concentrated on hitting, well, he would haven’t have been as good as his brother George, who hit .390 in 1980, but he’d probably have been an above average batter.

    Yeah, he probably should have been a hitter, like his brother George, rather than a pitcher.

  39. Slightly off topic but a baseball feat that will never be challenged more than likely is a player playing all 9 positions in one game. Bert Campaneris did this with the Oakland A’s. Not only did Campaneris play all 9 positions but he threw lefty to left-handed batters and rightly to right handed batters.

    • Replies: @gsjackson
    @Trinity

    Shane Halter did it in 2000, Will Ferrel as a publicity stunt in Spring Training (though in 10 games in one day).

    https://www.mlb.com/cut4/shane-halter-played-all-nine-positions-in-2000/c-152438118

  40. @gsjackson
    @gsjackson

    And the best hitting pitcher for batting average in the modern era, the one who probably could have made the easiest transition to full-time position player, was Ken Brett, known to his HOF brother George and other professional baseball playing siblings as the best baseball player in the family. Career BA -- .262.

    Wilson definitely appears to have had the most pop in his bat.

    Rick Ankiel didn't get enough AB's as a pitcher to merit consideration, having gotten a case of the yips throwing to home plate shortly after coming up to the Cards as the most heralded pitching prospect in the minors. But he made a comeback as an outfielder, and got a lot of starts for St Louis and Washington. Any video compendium of great outfield throws will feature at least a couple from his gun.

    Replies: @Dr. DoomNGloom, @Ganderson

    Wilson, Brett, Gibson, Kaat, etc. all worthy . I would point out that unlike Drysdale, none of them was ever on “The Munsters”. I have a foggy memory of Wilson and Brett pinch hitting on occasion- can anyone confirm?

    I also wonder, why don’t (or didn’t) managers who had a good hitting pitcher make better use of them at the plate- fear of injury? Lack of time?

    • Replies: @gsjackson
    @Ganderson

    Kitty Kaat was a pretty good hitting pitcher, and 16 Gold Gloves speak for themselves, but his most impressive athletic feat, imo, was shooting his age in golf -- both left and right-handed.

    Replies: @Ganderson

    , @ScarletNumber
    @Ganderson


    I have a foggy memory of Wilson and Brett pinch hitting on occasion- can anyone confirm?
     
    Dr. DoomNGloom correctly recalled a Memorial Day double header where Brett won the first game pitching and hit a game-tying 2-run pinch-hit triple in the second game. Brett was used as a pinch hitter 28 times in his career, but ironically hit much worse as one (.148/.179/.222) then he did as a pitcher (.272/.301/.422).

    Earl Wilson was also used as a pinch hitter 28 times, but hit worse than Brett (.120/.214/.360) but had a better eye and more power, hitting two home runs and walking three times. The first was off of Stu Miller of the Orioles and the second was off of John Wyatt of the Red Sox.
  41. @Anon
    @Steve Sailer

    John Smoltz was criticized for suggesting during a national broadcast this summer that if Ohtani focused on pitching, he'd be the American League equivalent to Jacob DeGrom. Yet he's right.

    However singular Ohtani is, his insistence on doing both does a disservice to his team. His 2-way play opens a roster spot in the abstract, but the reality is that just makes space for another 26th man, near replacement level type talent. The quality of a regularly used sixth starter is not to the benefit of the team (maybe a team like the Yankees or Dodgers who can afford to pay for a quality extra starter could make it work) and from the players' side, he's otherwise a full-time DH taking up bench space when he isn't in the lineup.

    So there is a sense that he's never playing to his full potential because of the distractions from doing both. Ohtani, before he came stateside, was an above-average outfielder. Maybe he'd be of more use to a team doing both if he were something like an everyday outfielder who closed out games.

    Replies: @Ganderson

    Although, baseball is an entertainment business, and what Ohtani is doing is entertaining in a sport which has done its best over the last few years to ring the entertainment value out of itself.

  42. @Bardon Kaldian
    These are various issues: people once famous who fell out of fashion; modestly famous or marginalized who later became icons in their fields; all sorts of in-betweens.

    From icon to has-been..

    Bing Crosby
    George Meredith
    Samuel Butler
    Chatterton
    Charlie Chaplin
    Schiller
    D.W. Griffith
    Carlyle
    H. Spencer
    Red count Tolstoy
    Ariosto
    Jacopo Sannazaro
    Galen
    Eugene Sue
    Pearl Buck
    Washington Irving
    Norman Mailer
    Philip Sydney
    Vivaldi


    ...

    From hardly ever been to icon

    Gerard de Nerval
    Lobachevsky
    Stendhal
    Semmelweis
    Grassmann
    Cezanne
    Wegener
    ...

    Replies: @RadicalCenter

    Who?

  43. @Steve Sailer
    @Anon

    Pujols signing with the Angels is a really unfortunate event in baseball history. I'm not sure who to blame.

    Replies: @RadicalCenter, @Brutusale

    Yes, you do. He was bidding against himself for high-end talent 15 years ago.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arte_Moreno

  44. They should give Pedro Martinez retroactive MVP awards for 1999 and 2000. He dominated in ’99 to the extent that he was the unanimous Cy Young winner but finished second in the MVP because a writer refused to include him on his MVP ballot “because pitchers have their own award”. He may have been even more dominant in 2000, again unanimous CY Young winner, but he finished 5th for MVP.

    https://www.baseball-reference.com/players/m/martipe02.shtml
    https://www.baseball-reference.com/awards/awards_1999.shtml#all_AL_CYA_voting
    https://www.baseball-reference.com/awards/awards_2000.shtml#all_AL_CYA_voting

    Looking at the MVP lists for both years, the top 10 places are Martinez and nine juice monkeys.

  45. Who cares. Only one question matters in baseball this year: Will Anthony Rizzo reach a new season high for home runs?

    2014: 32
    2015: 31
    2016: 32
    2017: 32
    2022: 32. (Games remaining: 6)

    He was poised to blow 32 away this year. Then he started having mystery injuries. And “migraines” and such. Something very sinister is going on here.

    • LOL: Trinity
    • Replies: @Mike Tre
    @JimDandy

    My cousin was a longtime host (read: bouncer in a tux) at an upscale club in dt Chicago. He met Rizzo there about 10 years ago and became friends. (My cousin is 13 years older than AR) Such good friends that my cousin stood up in Rizzo's wedding, went to DC with the team when they won the WS, and I got to meet Rizzo at my cousin's wedding back in 2019. My wife took a pic with him. In early 2020 my cousin had arranged for my daughter and her softball team to get in the clubhouse at Wrigley before a game in April and take pics with Rizzo and whoever else may have been there.. but then, you know, kovid happened and that went out the window.

    Replies: @JimDandy, @Steve Sailer

    , @Trinity
    @JimDandy

    At one time 30 homers in a season was somewhat of an accomplishment. Bill Melton led the AL in home runs in 1971 with 33 home runs. Is it the baseball? Poor pitching? Better athletes who are better conditioned? Players lift weights which they surely didn't do back in the day except maybe a few like Reggie Jackson, but there were always big strong guys like Frank Howard, Dave Kingman, etc., neither popped 50 homers while average size men like Mantle and Mays hit 50 or more a couple of times.

    Replies: @JimDandy

  46. @Ganderson
    @gsjackson

    Wilson, Brett, Gibson, Kaat, etc. all worthy . I would point out that unlike Drysdale, none of them was ever on “The Munsters”. I have a foggy memory of Wilson and Brett pinch hitting on occasion- can anyone confirm?

    I also wonder, why don’t (or didn’t) managers who had a good hitting pitcher make better use of them at the plate- fear of injury? Lack of time?

    Replies: @gsjackson, @ScarletNumber

    Kitty Kaat was a pretty good hitting pitcher, and 16 Gold Gloves speak for themselves, but his most impressive athletic feat, imo, was shooting his age in golf — both left and right-handed.

    • Replies: @Ganderson
    @gsjackson

    I hate that guy…😀

    Not really he was my favorite Twins’ pitcher growing up. Great color guy, too

  47. @Trinity
    Slightly off topic but a baseball feat that will never be challenged more than likely is a player playing all 9 positions in one game. Bert Campaneris did this with the Oakland A's. Not only did Campaneris play all 9 positions but he threw lefty to left-handed batters and rightly to right handed batters.

    Replies: @gsjackson

    Shane Halter did it in 2000, Will Ferrel as a publicity stunt in Spring Training (though in 10 games in one day).

    https://www.mlb.com/cut4/shane-halter-played-all-nine-positions-in-2000/c-152438118

    • Thanks: Trinity
  48. @JimDandy
    Who cares. Only one question matters in baseball this year: Will Anthony Rizzo reach a new season high for home runs?

    2014: 32
    2015: 31
    2016: 32
    2017: 32
    2022: 32. (Games remaining: 6)

    He was poised to blow 32 away this year. Then he started having mystery injuries. And "migraines" and such. Something very sinister is going on here.

    Replies: @Mike Tre, @Trinity

    My cousin was a longtime host (read: bouncer in a tux) at an upscale club in dt Chicago. He met Rizzo there about 10 years ago and became friends. (My cousin is 13 years older than AR) Such good friends that my cousin stood up in Rizzo’s wedding, went to DC with the team when they won the WS, and I got to meet Rizzo at my cousin’s wedding back in 2019. My wife took a pic with him. In early 2020 my cousin had arranged for my daughter and her softball team to get in the clubhouse at Wrigley before a game in April and take pics with Rizzo and whoever else may have been there.. but then, you know, kovid happened and that went out the window.

    • Replies: @JimDandy
    @Mike Tre

    Ugh. More Covid bullshit. Rizzo was a great vaxx skeptic for awhile. Not sure how that turned out. He seemed like a great guy, and I loved how he played the game. That's great that you had that connection. I basically stopped following the Cubs when they traded him. That wasn't the only reason (Marquis network, BLM bullshit) but it was a big one. They should have rebuilt around him. (I'm gonna guess The Underground, haha.)

    , @Steve Sailer
    @Mike Tre

    Anthony Rizzo gave $3 million to a children's hospital in Chicago a few years ago. I've never heard a bad word about him.

  49. *yawn*

  50. @JimDandy
    Who cares. Only one question matters in baseball this year: Will Anthony Rizzo reach a new season high for home runs?

    2014: 32
    2015: 31
    2016: 32
    2017: 32
    2022: 32. (Games remaining: 6)

    He was poised to blow 32 away this year. Then he started having mystery injuries. And "migraines" and such. Something very sinister is going on here.

    Replies: @Mike Tre, @Trinity

    At one time 30 homers in a season was somewhat of an accomplishment. Bill Melton led the AL in home runs in 1971 with 33 home runs. Is it the baseball? Poor pitching? Better athletes who are better conditioned? Players lift weights which they surely didn’t do back in the day except maybe a few like Reggie Jackson, but there were always big strong guys like Frank Howard, Dave Kingman, etc., neither popped 50 homers while average size men like Mantle and Mays hit 50 or more a couple of times.

    • Replies: @JimDandy
    @Trinity

    Good question. I don't think it's poor pitching. It could be the ball. But if I had to guess, I'd say that weight training and intense coaching from infancy basically are the big factors. I could be wrong.

  51. @gsjackson
    @Ganderson

    Kitty Kaat was a pretty good hitting pitcher, and 16 Gold Gloves speak for themselves, but his most impressive athletic feat, imo, was shooting his age in golf -- both left and right-handed.

    Replies: @Ganderson

    I hate that guy…😀

    Not really he was my favorite Twins’ pitcher growing up. Great color guy, too

  52. @Mike Tre
    @JimDandy

    My cousin was a longtime host (read: bouncer in a tux) at an upscale club in dt Chicago. He met Rizzo there about 10 years ago and became friends. (My cousin is 13 years older than AR) Such good friends that my cousin stood up in Rizzo's wedding, went to DC with the team when they won the WS, and I got to meet Rizzo at my cousin's wedding back in 2019. My wife took a pic with him. In early 2020 my cousin had arranged for my daughter and her softball team to get in the clubhouse at Wrigley before a game in April and take pics with Rizzo and whoever else may have been there.. but then, you know, kovid happened and that went out the window.

    Replies: @JimDandy, @Steve Sailer

    Ugh. More Covid bullshit. Rizzo was a great vaxx skeptic for awhile. Not sure how that turned out. He seemed like a great guy, and I loved how he played the game. That’s great that you had that connection. I basically stopped following the Cubs when they traded him. That wasn’t the only reason (Marquis network, BLM bullshit) but it was a big one. They should have rebuilt around him. (I’m gonna guess The Underground, haha.)

    • Thanks: Mike Tre
  53. @Trinity
    @JimDandy

    At one time 30 homers in a season was somewhat of an accomplishment. Bill Melton led the AL in home runs in 1971 with 33 home runs. Is it the baseball? Poor pitching? Better athletes who are better conditioned? Players lift weights which they surely didn't do back in the day except maybe a few like Reggie Jackson, but there were always big strong guys like Frank Howard, Dave Kingman, etc., neither popped 50 homers while average size men like Mantle and Mays hit 50 or more a couple of times.

    Replies: @JimDandy

    Good question. I don’t think it’s poor pitching. It could be the ball. But if I had to guess, I’d say that weight training and intense coaching from infancy basically are the big factors. I could be wrong.

  54. @Mike Tre
    @JimDandy

    My cousin was a longtime host (read: bouncer in a tux) at an upscale club in dt Chicago. He met Rizzo there about 10 years ago and became friends. (My cousin is 13 years older than AR) Such good friends that my cousin stood up in Rizzo's wedding, went to DC with the team when they won the WS, and I got to meet Rizzo at my cousin's wedding back in 2019. My wife took a pic with him. In early 2020 my cousin had arranged for my daughter and her softball team to get in the clubhouse at Wrigley before a game in April and take pics with Rizzo and whoever else may have been there.. but then, you know, kovid happened and that went out the window.

    Replies: @JimDandy, @Steve Sailer

    Anthony Rizzo gave $3 million to a children’s hospital in Chicago a few years ago. I’ve never heard a bad word about him.

    • Agree: JimDandy, ScarletNumber
  55. @Dr. DoomNGloom
    @gsjackson

    I saw Brett in his Pittsburgh days, and he looked like a ML hitter. Good bat speed.
    In one Memorial Day double header, he took a perfect game into the 9th before giving up a couple singles. In the back end, he drove in the winning with a pinch hit tripple.

    That was his All-Star year, so the chatter about converting to an every-day player was muted. I think his BA was over .300 that year.

    Replies: @Steve Sailer, @ScarletNumber

    In the back end, he drove in the winning with a pinch hit tripple [sic]

    I am very impressed with your memory of a doubleheader from 48 years ago. However, for historical accuracy, I need to point out that this triple tied the game at 3, with Richie Hebner winning the game with a 2-run home run in the bottom of the ninth, with the final score being 8-7.

    Danny Murtaugh correctly deduced that Ken Brett was more likely to be successful in his at bat than Frank Taveras.

    • Replies: @Dr. Doomngloom
    @ScarletNumber

    @ScarletNumber
    Doh, you are right again. IIRC, Hebner put the walkoff HR into the right field seats, more of a liner that a towering fly. How could I forget?! But of course, memory is imperfect.
    I was’t aware Taveres was on the bench. In those days he was little better the The infamous Mendoza.
    I was also surprised at how relatively young Murtaugh was. He seemed older.

    BTW, a CNN Brett preserved the Shutout, I believe completing the first game. And He also drove in a run. I think His second game triple went off the wall, which was pretty deep, about 385 in the power alley. He looked like a hitter.

    My memory of Drysdale is much hazier. I’m in Steve’s age cohort, so i was pretty young when i saw Kofax and Drysdale pitch in Forbes Field.

  56. @Ganderson
    @gsjackson

    Wilson, Brett, Gibson, Kaat, etc. all worthy . I would point out that unlike Drysdale, none of them was ever on “The Munsters”. I have a foggy memory of Wilson and Brett pinch hitting on occasion- can anyone confirm?

    I also wonder, why don’t (or didn’t) managers who had a good hitting pitcher make better use of them at the plate- fear of injury? Lack of time?

    Replies: @gsjackson, @ScarletNumber

    I have a foggy memory of Wilson and Brett pinch hitting on occasion- can anyone confirm?

    Dr. DoomNGloom correctly recalled a Memorial Day double header where Brett won the first game pitching and hit a game-tying 2-run pinch-hit triple in the second game. Brett was used as a pinch hitter 28 times in his career, but ironically hit much worse as one (.148/.179/.222) then he did as a pitcher (.272/.301/.422).

    Earl Wilson was also used as a pinch hitter 28 times, but hit worse than Brett (.120/.214/.360) but had a better eye and more power, hitting two home runs and walking three times. The first was off of Stu Miller of the Orioles and the second was off of John Wyatt of the Red Sox.

  57. @ScarletNumber
    @Dr. DoomNGloom


    In the back end, he drove in the winning with a pinch hit tripple [sic]
     
    I am very impressed with your memory of a doubleheader from 48 years ago. However, for historical accuracy, I need to point out that this triple tied the game at 3, with Richie Hebner winning the game with a 2-run home run in the bottom of the ninth, with the final score being 8-7.

    Danny Murtaugh correctly deduced that Ken Brett was more likely to be successful in his at bat than Frank Taveras.

    Replies: @Dr. Doomngloom


    Doh, you are right again. IIRC, Hebner put the walkoff HR into the right field seats, more of a liner that a towering fly. How could I forget?! But of course, memory is imperfect.
    I was’t aware Taveres was on the bench. In those days he was little better the The infamous Mendoza.
    I was also surprised at how relatively young Murtaugh was. He seemed older.

    BTW, a CNN Brett preserved the Shutout, I believe completing the first game. And He also drove in a run. I think His second game triple went off the wall, which was pretty deep, about 385 in the power alley. He looked like a hitter.

    My memory of Drysdale is much hazier. I’m in Steve’s age cohort, so i was pretty young when i saw Kofax and Drysdale pitch in Forbes Field.

  58. I was’t aware Taveres was on the bench. In those days he was little better the The infamous Mendoza.

    He wasn’t; Taveras was the starting shortstop for whom Brett pinch hit. Since Brett couldn’t play shortstop, Mendoza came in as a defensive replacement in the 8th.

    BTW, a CNN Brett preserved the Shutout, I believe completing the first game. And He also drove in a run.

    You are correct; in the 8th Brett singled home Paul Popovich, making the score 2-0. Brett also pitched better than you remembered; not only did he complete the shutout, but he took a perfect game into the 9th, getting broken up by Fred Kendall.

    I was also surprised at how relatively young Murtaugh was. He seemed older.

    Murtaugh died two years later at 59 two months after retiring. If you recall, he retired the first time after leading the Pirates to the 1971 World Series win when he was 54 due to health concerns. He was hired back a season-and-a-half later.

    • Replies: @Dr. DoomNGloom
    @ScarletNumber

    Fred was Jason Kendell's dad. I'd forgotten it was him that broke it up to lead off the ninth.

    I had also forgotten whether it was Mendoza or Taveras who started, but neither was likely to do much damage with a bat in his hands. The gallows humor was that Murtaugh would have a heart attack if one of his shortstops hit the ball hard.

    Murtaugh actually retired multiple times. He had heart problems and retired after 64, 67, 71, and 76. He kept coming back after Joe L fired Harry Walker, Larry Sheppard, and Bill Virdon. Famously, he had a rocking chair, so the image was older than the reality.

    After '69, the "Baby Bucks" were starting to graduate from the Columbus Jets and would be a powerhouse for the next decade. That seemed be the incentive to return in 70. So much of being a successful manager is having good players. We lived in Columbus for a couple years, so I got to see a number of them in AAA, then watch them in Pittsburgh.

    Trivia, Don Hoak, manager of the Columbus Jets and answer to that trivia question in "City Slickers", died of a heart attack at 41 after not getting the job.

    Replies: @ScarletNumber

  59. @ScarletNumber

    I was’t aware Taveres was on the bench. In those days he was little better the The infamous Mendoza.
     
    He wasn't; Taveras was the starting shortstop for whom Brett pinch hit. Since Brett couldn't play shortstop, Mendoza came in as a defensive replacement in the 8th.

    BTW, a CNN Brett preserved the Shutout, I believe completing the first game. And He also drove in a run.
     
    You are correct; in the 8th Brett singled home Paul Popovich, making the score 2-0. Brett also pitched better than you remembered; not only did he complete the shutout, but he took a perfect game into the 9th, getting broken up by Fred Kendall.

    I was also surprised at how relatively young Murtaugh was. He seemed older.
     
    Murtaugh died two years later at 59 two months after retiring. If you recall, he retired the first time after leading the Pirates to the 1971 World Series win when he was 54 due to health concerns. He was hired back a season-and-a-half later.

    Replies: @Dr. DoomNGloom

    Fred was Jason Kendell’s dad. I’d forgotten it was him that broke it up to lead off the ninth.

    I had also forgotten whether it was Mendoza or Taveras who started, but neither was likely to do much damage with a bat in his hands. The gallows humor was that Murtaugh would have a heart attack if one of his shortstops hit the ball hard.

    Murtaugh actually retired multiple times. He had heart problems and retired after 64, 67, 71, and 76. He kept coming back after Joe L fired Harry Walker, Larry Sheppard, and Bill Virdon. Famously, he had a rocking chair, so the image was older than the reality.

    After ’69, the “Baby Bucks” were starting to graduate from the Columbus Jets and would be a powerhouse for the next decade. That seemed be the incentive to return in 70. So much of being a successful manager is having good players. We lived in Columbus for a couple years, so I got to see a number of them in AAA, then watch them in Pittsburgh.

    Trivia, Don Hoak, manager of the Columbus Jets and answer to that trivia question in “City Slickers”, died of a heart attack at 41 after not getting the job.

    • Replies: @ScarletNumber
    @Dr. DoomNGloom


    Trivia, Don Hoak, manager of the Columbus Jets and answer to that trivia question in “City Slickers”, died of a heart attack at 41 after not getting the job.
     
    Amazingly, the Pirates got Hoak, Sm0ky Burgess, and Harvey Haddix before the 59 season from the Cubs for a washed-up Frank Thomas plus 3 nobodies. A complete ripoff that may have won the pennant for the Pirates in 60.

    Murtaugh actually retired multiple times. He had heart problems and retired after 64, 67, 71, and 76
     
    See, you taught me something today. I remember Billy Martin managing the Yankees on five distinct occasions.

    Speaking of the Yankees, their starting thirdbaseman in that same World Series wasGil McDougald

    Replies: @Yojimbo/Zatoichi

  60. “On the other hand, I reasoned, the Cy Young is not awarded “for the best pitching” but is given “to the best pitcher,”

    For the most part, and unless a clearcut consensus exists for the season among the voters, “the best pitcher” is a subjective term, since any of the top three P’s in a given season could theoretically win over the other two.

    “so why not count whatever else Ohtani does while pitching including fielding, baserunning, and hitting?”

    Moving forward in MLB with 2022, if anything, this should not be counted at all whatsoever regarding pitchers because they don’t bat nor hardly do any baserunning. This would be considered creating an unfair advantage or borderline cheating, padding stats, for the sake of gaining an award over the other top two contenders.

    Pitchers already have an award for fielding, it’s called the Gold Glove. Yes, P’s win them too. HOFers STL/PHI Carlton, ATL Maddux (who won 18 GG’s the most in MLB history), and BAL/NY Mike Mussina won a few during his career. Sometimes one could view it as the consolation prize since they weren’t quite good enough or there wasn’t a unanimous consensus around their season to award them the Cy Young Award.

    “Off-hand, I can’t think of a pitcher But back then, electors only got one vote.”

    For the first decade of the Cy Young Award, it was awarded to the top pitcher of both leagues. In other words, there wasn’t an NL and AL Cy Young Award winner like the MVP award.

    “and all 20 voted for Drysdale’s teammate Sandy Koufax (26-8, 2.04, and a record 382 strikeouts).”

    Koufax also had a perfect game that season vs CHC, something that Drysdale never did pitch.

    Perhaps one day Otani will finally make up his mind on whether to concentrate full time on pitching or everyday playing (either as DH or OF, if that’s possible).

  61. @Dr. DoomNGloom
    @ScarletNumber

    Fred was Jason Kendell's dad. I'd forgotten it was him that broke it up to lead off the ninth.

    I had also forgotten whether it was Mendoza or Taveras who started, but neither was likely to do much damage with a bat in his hands. The gallows humor was that Murtaugh would have a heart attack if one of his shortstops hit the ball hard.

    Murtaugh actually retired multiple times. He had heart problems and retired after 64, 67, 71, and 76. He kept coming back after Joe L fired Harry Walker, Larry Sheppard, and Bill Virdon. Famously, he had a rocking chair, so the image was older than the reality.

    After '69, the "Baby Bucks" were starting to graduate from the Columbus Jets and would be a powerhouse for the next decade. That seemed be the incentive to return in 70. So much of being a successful manager is having good players. We lived in Columbus for a couple years, so I got to see a number of them in AAA, then watch them in Pittsburgh.

    Trivia, Don Hoak, manager of the Columbus Jets and answer to that trivia question in "City Slickers", died of a heart attack at 41 after not getting the job.

    Replies: @ScarletNumber

    Trivia, Don Hoak, manager of the Columbus Jets and answer to that trivia question in “City Slickers”, died of a heart attack at 41 after not getting the job.

    Amazingly, the Pirates got Hoak, Sm0ky Burgess, and Harvey Haddix before the 59 season from the Cubs for a washed-up Frank Thomas plus 3 nobodies. A complete ripoff that may have won the pennant for the Pirates in 60.

    Murtaugh actually retired multiple times. He had heart problems and retired after 64, 67, 71, and 76

    See, you taught me something today. I remember Billy Martin managing the Yankees on five distinct occasions.

    Speaking of the Yankees, their starting thirdbaseman in that same World Series was

    [MORE]
    Gil McDougald

    • Replies: @Yojimbo/Zatoichi
    @ScarletNumber

    "Speaking of the Yankees, their starting third baseman in that same World Series was
    Gil McDougald"

    Maybe that's why they lost, if they had started Clete Boyer, considered to be one of the AL's premier 3B's during the '60's.

    "Amazingly, the Pirates got Hoak, Sm0ky Burgess, and Harvey Haddix before the 59 season from the Cubs for a washed-up Frank Thomas plus 3 nobodies. A complete ripoff that may have won the pennant for the Pirates in 60."

    Uh, that's an exaggeration. Dick Stuart, HOFers Clemente, Mazeroski, Groat, Virdon, Skinner. The actual everyday starters did more than their share to contribute to WS win.

    Had to have pretty good overall starting players, considering that PIT had Bob Friend in their rotation, one of the most mediocre starting P's around. Two of the three NY wins during the WS was vs Friend. Why Murtaugh started him the second time after being blown out the first sgart is a mystery.

    PIT during the '70's is a mixed bag. 6 Eastern Division titles and choked 4 times in the NLCS to CIN and LA. And those were blowouts, not even close.

    But, they did win in '71 & '79 so there is that.

    PS: Aaron Judge did it! #62! Passed Roger Maris for first in most HR's by a player in a single season in the AL.

  62. @ScarletNumber
    @Dr. DoomNGloom


    Trivia, Don Hoak, manager of the Columbus Jets and answer to that trivia question in “City Slickers”, died of a heart attack at 41 after not getting the job.
     
    Amazingly, the Pirates got Hoak, Sm0ky Burgess, and Harvey Haddix before the 59 season from the Cubs for a washed-up Frank Thomas plus 3 nobodies. A complete ripoff that may have won the pennant for the Pirates in 60.

    Murtaugh actually retired multiple times. He had heart problems and retired after 64, 67, 71, and 76
     
    See, you taught me something today. I remember Billy Martin managing the Yankees on five distinct occasions.

    Speaking of the Yankees, their starting thirdbaseman in that same World Series wasGil McDougald

    Replies: @Yojimbo/Zatoichi

    “Speaking of the Yankees, their starting third baseman in that same World Series was
    Gil McDougald”

    Maybe that’s why they lost, if they had started Clete Boyer, considered to be one of the AL’s premier 3B’s during the ’60’s.

    “Amazingly, the Pirates got Hoak, Sm0ky Burgess, and Harvey Haddix before the 59 season from the Cubs for a washed-up Frank Thomas plus 3 nobodies. A complete ripoff that may have won the pennant for the Pirates in 60.”

    Uh, that’s an exaggeration. Dick Stuart, HOFers Clemente, Mazeroski, Groat, Virdon, Skinner. The actual everyday starters did more than their share to contribute to WS win.

    Had to have pretty good overall starting players, considering that PIT had Bob Friend in their rotation, one of the most mediocre starting P’s around. Two of the three NY wins during the WS was vs Friend. Why Murtaugh started him the second time after being blown out the first sgart is a mystery.

    PIT during the ’70’s is a mixed bag. 6 Eastern Division titles and choked 4 times in the NLCS to CIN and LA. And those were blowouts, not even close.

    But, they did win in ’71 & ’79 so there is that.

    PS: Aaron Judge did it! #62! Passed Roger Maris for first in most HR’s by a player in a single season in the AL.

  63. PIT during the ’70’s is a mixed bag. 6 Eastern Division titles and choked 4 times in the NLCS to CIN and LA. And those were blowouts, not even close

    Amazingly, only three different teams won the NL East in the 70s: Pirates (6), Phillies (3), Mets (1). The same lack of parity plagued the NL West as well: Reds (6), Dodgers (3), Giants (1). The AL was slightly better, with 4 of the teams winning the division.

    Until 2004, the Pirates held the lead for most times winning the NL East, which was the season the Braves won their 10th in a row.

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