Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
September 19, 2011
BASEBALL: Today's Fun Fact

Curtis Granderson is currently leading the AL in RBI, but has not been intentionally walked this season, not even once. The only previous player to lead the league in RBI without drawing an intentional walk, since IBB started being tracked in 1955? It shouldn't surprise you: Roger Maris in 1961 (well, it did surprise me a little, since Mickey missed 9 games that year). Besides those two, the only other player to hit 40 homers without an intentional walk is Alex Rodriguez at age 22 in 1998, when he stole 46 bases and hit in front of Griffey, Edgar and Buhner.

Also if you're wondering, only three players have drawn 100 walks in a season without the aid of an intentional pass. The leader is Rickey Henderson in 1998, when he slugged .347 as a punchless 39-year-old but led the league with 66 steals - the classic guy you would rather make hit. The other two? Randy "Moose" Milligan in 1992 (who mostly batted ahead of the fearsome Joe Orsulak - I think it was more a comment on how bad a year Milligan had), and Chone Figgins in 2009. The top 11 are ten guys who slugged below .400, and Maris.

Posted by Baseball Crank at 12:08 PM | Baseball 2011 | Comments (5) | TrackBack (0)
Comments

It tells you that so much is perception. Given Granderson's spot in the lineup, the pitchers would rather he do the damage then Tex and ARod, neither of whom are having the year that Granderson is. And I'll bet (without bothering to check) that the guy who replaced Mickey in the cleanup spot was probably Yogi.

Oh, OK a quick look. Maris' line was (OBA-SLG-OPS-GIDP) .372--.620--.993--16
And Mick's: .448--.687--1.135--2

So even as his legs went, Mickey, as usual, would NOT ruin any possible inning (as opposed to Joe D, whom everyone likes to think for strange reasons, was a better and more clutch hitter than Mickey--hah!). Who would you rather face? A guy who ground into 16 DPs or 3, plus if Yogi after that, nobody liked to face Yogi.

Posted by: Daryl at September 19, 2011 2:15 PM

Yeah, a quick check of the batting orders shows that Maris usually hit in front of Yogi when he wasn't hitting in front of Mickey. And Yogi only grounded into 7 DPs - he was a very tough guy to double up for most of his career, despite being a slow guy who hit the ball hard, batted constantly with men on base and never struck out.

Posted by: Crank at September 19, 2011 2:20 PM

Strikeout totals then and now are totally different. So are walk totals. THese days, a walk is considered better than a hit, and a strikeout is not the stigma it was then. The NYT, in talking about Ted's 1941 season showed 27 Ks. Bonds in his best years (albeit the most suspicious) never approached that.

And I heard today that Granderson hit 16 HRs this year off of lefties. Is it true? And in the old internet newsgroups, someone did some research and found that Ted lost a lot of power against lefties, and generally hit fewer than 5 HRs a year off of them. Again, just repeating from a flawed memory, but it does show that sometimes numbers can do interesting things.

Posted by: Daryl at September 19, 2011 6:21 PM

Granderson is having an odd statistical year. He hits for power and drives in runs at nearly the same rate against both lefties and righties (which is somewhat unusual in and of itself) however he is hitting .315/.385/.630 versus LEFTIES and .244/.365/.537 against RIGHTIES. This is after a career long inability to hit left-handed pitching. Ted hit only 68 HRs in his career against lefties (out of 521) but still hit a career .318. In 1941 he hit an incredible .426 although with only 4 HRs (out of 37 in about 1/4 of the total ABs).

Posted by: jim at September 20, 2011 11:58 AM

"Granderson is having an odd statistical year. "

Chalk it up to playing for the 27-time World Series champs. The greatness just rubs off on certain players. Go Yanks!

Posted by: MVH at September 20, 2011 4:47 PM
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