The Declarer (Floyd McWilliams' Blog)

Monday, July 11, 2005


Last weekend ESPN featured an article by Buster Olney that was blurbed as something like "Think the Red Sox are the same when Manny slumps? Check the stats!" Two days later I am unable to find Olney's wisdom on the garish abomination that is the ESPN site, so you'll have to imagine your own link.

If you are impressed by the idea that a team's fate might be linked to its best hitter, also try to imagine these other pearls of wisdom:

"Don't think America's economy slumps when California is in a recession? Check the numbers!"

"Don't think people lose weight when their legs are amputated? See these statistics!"

Such drivel is why ESPN is hardly worth reading anymore. However there are still a few people who can write, one example being David Schoenfield's all-time worst hitting baseball players by position:


... I've culled the worst hitters since 1950 and come up with the real worst lineup of all-time, a collection of hitters who need more than one flare a week, more than a gork or a ground ball with eyes or a few dying quails to make them good major-league hitters.

To make this a little more fun, in order to qualify for this team the player must have had 2,000 career plate appearances in the majors ...

...

7. SS Bobby Wine, 1960-72
3,172 AB, 30 HR, .215 AVG, .264 OBP, .286 SLG, adjusted OPS of 55

No wonder pitchers like Drysdale, Koufax, Seaver, Carlton and Gibson were able to put up such great numbers in the '60s and '70s -- every team had a guy like Bobby Wine, Hal Lanier, Gene Michael, Dal Maxvill, Don Kessinger or Sandy Alomar who couldn't hit a lick … guys with low average, no power and no ability to draw walks. It was like a league full of Willie Bloomquists.


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