As the Red Sox take the field against the Orioles tonight, they do so with their 69th unique lineup in their 80th game of the season. Without further ado, I bring you the July 2nd, 2010 edition of the All Currently-On-The-DL Boston Red Sox. As a side note, I will explain what WAR means after the roster. Also, I will dip into the minor leagues when necessary to fill the gaps (there aren’t many).
L since 7/1/10
A few days ago, on April 29th, John Buck of the Toronto Blue Jays hit 3 home runs in one game, which is a pretty impressive feat. It is even more impressive that Buck did it while playing catcher. Since 1920, no catcher has ever homered 4 (or more) times in one game, and Buck marks the 27th time a catcher has homered thrice. It should be noted that with searches made on Baseball-Reference such as this one, the years 1940-1951 are not covered. So these 27 games cover the years 1920-1939 and 1952-2010. The last to do it was Victor Martinez for the Indians in 2004. His current teammate Jason Varitek is in the club as well, having completed the feat in 2001.
|Voting Results||Batting Stats||Pitching Stats|
|Rank ▴||Tm||Vote Pts||Share||G||AB||R||H||HR||RBI||SB||BB||BA||OBP||SLG||OPS|
I’ve included the top 9 leading vote-getters, who were all hitters. As you can see, Cochrane barely eked out the victory over Manush- but how did he? Manush dwarfs him in nearly every relevant category, including a batting average that was 85 points higher despite collecting an extra 170 at-bats. I looked to defense for an explanation, and found that Manush posted a .992 fielding percentage in the outfield compared to a league average .966, while Cochrane posted a .966 fielding percentage behind the dish compared to a league average .976. Cochrane’s Athletics finished second in the American League while Manush’s Browns finished 3rd. But is that really enough to justify all his other “shortcomings?” Of course not.
In 1928, the AL MVP award had certain restrictions that are no longer in effect. The award was given to “the baseball player who is of the greatest all-around service to his club” and was voted on by a committee of just eight baseball writers. The three major differences from today were that you could not win if you were a player-manager (which was common then), you could not win if you had won before (this took Lou Gehrig, the 1927 winner among others out of the equation), and each of the eight writers had to vote for one player from each team. The first two rules have no effect on Manush, as he was eligible to win that year. The last sounds promising, but even that offers no help. Manush had no St. Louis Browns worthy of the title to compete with, while Cochrane played with a 41-year old Ty Cobb and a 20-year old Jimmie Foxx among other future Hall of Famers. Foxx even finished 11th in the voting, while none of Manush’s teammates finished in the top 25.
All this, and still no mention of Goose Goslin, who finished 6th in the voting. A quick glance at the table above, and it appears that he finished just 6 RBI short of the Triple Crown. This was not actually the case, since some ineligible players had him beat in home runs and RBI, although he did lead the league in batting average. He also finished the season with a Ruthian OPS of 1.056 (actually, Ruth’s OPS that year was 1.172, but he was ineligible to be MVP by virtue of winning the award in 1923). How did Goslin get overlooked? Maybe the teammate argument actually holds some weight here, since his fellow Washington Senator Joe Judge finished ahead of him at 3rd place.
I apologize if this post is unsatisfying, because I really have no answer to the question I have raised. I can’t find any justification for Cochrane winning this award over Manush or Goslin, unless the voters thought that he brought enough intangibles to the table to make up for his lack of statistical clout. Nevertheless, the 1928 AL MVP was the first awarded to a BU alum, and the second would come in 1934, also to Cochrane. This post is longer than I thought it would be so I’ll wrap up, but I would like to take a look at that MVP race eventually as well. And in case you are a particularly astute reader and you just noticed that Cochrane won twice despite there being a rule against it, the rules for the award were restructured in 1931 and have remained virtually the same since then. In conclusion, you can ask your friends and family the trivia question, “Who won the AL MVP Award in 1929 and 1930?” and then mock them as they attempt to answer before you inform them that no one did, because they discontinued it after 1928 due to the ridiculous rules and didn’t get it going again until 1931. Thanks for reading, and if you like the blog or if you have anything at all to say, I love comments and e-mails.
What a frustrating loss today. Elite prospect Justin Masterson is rushed up from AA to make an emergency start and goes above and beyond expectations. 6 innings of 2 hit ball – you can’t ask for more than that. He leaves the game with the lead and then just like that the bullpen gives it all back. Neither Lopez nor Delcarmen could record an out, each allowing 2 earned runs. Maybe Delcarmen hadn’t fully recovered from the flu.
In any event, there were some bright spots. Ortiz’s average continues to rise as he is now at .189 after hitting his 4th HR and picking up RBI number 19 and 20. Crisp had a great game, going 2-4 with 2 doubles, a run scored, 2 RBI, and 2 stolen bases, although he did make his first error of the year. It was good to see Youkilis back, but Varitek was still missing and Ellsbury got the start in right over Drew. Word is Lowell will be back tomorrow, which is great news for the club but could mean a demotion for Jed Lowrie, who has been outstanding so far while playing second, third, and shortstop.
From a superstitious stand point, there wasn’t too much I could do about this one. I was starting a new streak and therefore a new tie, I simply picked the wrong one. Also, I was in school during the game so I couldn’t even watch it. I’ll try a different one tomorrow and hopefully we can get back on track in Tampa.
Alright, on the heels of the 6-4 loss to the Angels I’m sure you’re all turning to me for an explanation. Never fear, I have one.
I mentioned the ties in my first post, and sadly they are the culprit tonight. Here is the background information on the ties: my school’s dress code requires that I wear a tie each day. If the Sox are on a winning streak, I wear the same tie as I did the day before. Simple, right? Why haven’t we won every weekday game then? Well, believe it or not, there has been a valid explanation for every exception. I won’t detail all of them here but just so you know I’m not pulling your leg… take a look at the week of March 30th. We won Tuesday and Wednesday per the tie rule, off day Thursday, and then oh wait! The rule has been disproven right? Wrong. We were out of dress code on Friday and since I didn’t wear a tie, we lost the game 6-3. Another fact worthy of mentioning: we lost all weekend long and did not win again until the next Tuesday, which was the next gameday when I could wear a tie.
Back to tonight. This tie was on a roll. 6 games in a row. But they don’t count because they were over the weekend right? No, this tie, with the help of another superstition that I can’t mention right now, powered through the weekend until I could continue wearing it on Monday. Sadly, all good things must come to an end. The reason may sound a little farfetched, in fact I would be surprised if many out there believed me. But I’m not going to worry about that, all I can do is promise you that at all times on this blog I am telling the truth. So, during school today, my friends and I discovered a kite stuck in a tree on our campus and we decided to spend the period trying to get it down. Sure, it started off by innocently throwing tennis balls at the kite, but it eventually became an obsession and we had to turn to more drastic measures. So we all tied our ties together to make a string about, well, 3 ties long. We tied a lemonade bottle to the end of the string (which was my tie, THE tie) and tried to loop it around a tree branch so we could pull it down and retrieve the kite. To make a long story short, which I am doing a horrendous job of, by the time I got my tie down from the tree about 40 minutes later it was not in good shape. It had some pretty tight knots tied in it and it got a little beat up from rubbing against tree bark. We didn’t get the kite and I knew I had compromised the luckiness of the tie in the process. So consider this an apology to Red Sox Nation, I promise not to fool around with the lucky ties anymore.
P.S.- Get well soon Curt Schilling, Mike Lowell, Alex Cora, Josh Beckett, Jason Varitek, Manny Delcarmen, Daisuke Matsuzaka, Kevin Youkilis, and Coco Crisp. Did I miss anyone?