Sunday, August 21, 2011

George Toma On Willie Aikens's Saliva

Most tobacco juice stains spat by ballplayers come out without much trouble. The exception is Willie Aikens. There's something in his saliva that makes his squirted juice tough to remove.
George Toma, October 25, 1980 The Sporting News

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Royals Five Year Bests

My two most recent pieces have looked at the top three position players and pitchers for each rolling five year period of Royals history by rWAR. The following is what those lists looks like combining the hitters and hurlers to get the top three players regardless of position:


16.2 WAR
 Amos Otis
13.9 WAR Dick Drago P
10.2 WAR John Mayberry 1B

Bad Outs On The Bases

Here's a little junk stat I just dreamt up. My goal was to measure how often a player makes a frustrating out on the basepaths relative to how often he is on base. There is no reward for good baserunning, only a penalty for making outs. That's why it's a "junk" stat. It is not an overall measure of baserunning. The "bad outs" bucket includes pick-offs, caught stealing, running into outs after a flyball, trying to stretch for an extra base after a hit, etc. I added those up and divided by total number of times on base minus home runs. (No one makes a bad out on the bases after hitting a home run.) The exact equation is (PickOffs+CaughtStealing+OutsOnBases)/((H-HR)+BB+HBP+ReachOnError). Here's how AL teams look through August 17:

If, like me, you feel like the Royals make a lot of frustrating outs, you are correct. I am surprised to see the saber-friendly Rays at the bottom of this list. Here is how individual Royals runners have done:

Let's hear it for the slow guys! They aren't adding anything with their speed, but at least they aren't driving us crazy creating outs on the bases either.