Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Noteworthy Events

Jason Werth, who? Right. Werth almost hit the 'home run cycle' where he would have hit a home run of the solo, two run, three run and grand slam kind in the same game. He fell one dinger short in what would have been a miraculous performance.

However, how much more miraculous would this have been then 3 grand slams? Or had he hit more then 10 RBI's in the same amount of at bats?

This occurrence-the 'cycle'-and its value is similar to the triple double in basketball. Or the 1000 yard rusher in football. Or even the 100 RBI or .300 hitter in baseball. How much less valuable is it for a hitter to have 4 doubles in a game? Or what about 2 triples, a single and a home run? Or 2 home runs and 2 singles? The value, is relative to what occurs beyond that happening.

Jon Lester, a recent survivor of cancer, threw a no-hitter against the Kansas City Royals this evening. He walked two and struck out nine in what will be one of the most memorable no-hitters in major league history. From Aaron Gleeman at Rotoworld, "Between beating cancer, winning the World Series-clinching Game 4 against the Rockies last October, and no-hitting the Royals, it's been quite a run for Lester."

Last year Lester qualified for a feel good story of the year but this year he is simply looking to stay in the Red Sox rotation. Within the same organization, Bartolo Colon is fighting to get back into the majors after suffering through injuries and being tabbed as overweight. His current minor league numbers have proven to be a success, with reports that he is pumping his fastball into the mid/high 90's. Colon may get himself into the running for this years award.

Televised baseball typically produces worse commentators. I'm not sure why that is, but for some reason the best play by play announcers seem to do radio broadcasts. This past Sunday night, towards the end of a Mets-Yankees blowout, the commentator (whom I am unsure if he was doing play by play for the Yankees, Mets or ESPN) brought something to my attention that I had never known.

The New York Metropolitans, or the Amazin's, arrived as an expansion team in 1962, 5 years after the Brooklyn Dodgers and New York (baseball) Giants had left the big apple for the west coast. When the Mets arrived, they borrowed their name from an 1880's ballclub, however, that is not all they borrowed.

Upon closer inspection of the Mets logo and color, something obviously sticks out. Maybe this owns up to some ignorance, but the colors the Mets utilized were symbolic of the two teams who left the city to head west. Utilizing Dodger Blue and Giant Orange, the Mets had chosen their color scheme.

I'm certain any Mets baseball fan could tell me that, or maybe anyone who was around when the Dodgers and Giants resided in NYC, but for me, this was news. And interesting news at that.

Oh, and Ryan Ludwick, what is going on with you??? The ex-Bison is off to an incredible start this season for the St. Louis Cardinals. Having posted a minor league career high of a .642 OPS, the 30 year old is raking for the Cards this year. While the numbers are incredibly unsustainable, seeing Ludwick on pace to shatter even his minor league career high in total number of home runs is sort of nice. Another interesting factoid, Ludwick strikes out like crazy! Ludwick owns a minor league strikeout rate of 26.7%. His major league rate is also alarmingly high at 27.1%. Placing that figure into context, Adam Dunn has a major league rate of 33.3% and Placido Polanco sits at 7.0%

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