Archive for January, 2011

Arlington Stadium plunks

Monday, January 31st, 2011

In 1972, the Washington Senators fled DC for Arlington Texas (probably something to do with an intern), and took up residence at Arlington Stadium as the Texas Rangers.  They spent the next 22 seasons there, from 1972 to 1993, and in that time 355 different baseball players got hit by a pitch a total of 839 times.  Players from Willie Aikens to Richie Zisk (alphabetically) and from Dave Wilson to Juan Gonzalez (chronologically) took an HBP at Arlington Stadium.  But none of them got hit more than 17 times.  Only two players were hit 17 times at Arlington Stadium – Steve Buechele and Don Baylor.   The weird thing about that is that Baylor never played for the Rangers.  That makes Baylor the only player to have a share of the park record for HBPs at any major league park used since 1970, to do so without ever playing for the home team.  And that’s just weird.  Baylor got plunked at Arlington Stadium by 15 different pitchers in 14 different seasons.  No other player got an HBP there in more than 8 different seasons.  (But Buechele did edge him out for pitcher variety, getting his 17 plunks off 17 different pitchers).

Here’s the list of all 80 players who got hit by at least 3 pitches at Arlington Stadium. The number in parenthesis is their HBPs at Arlington Stadium as a Texas Ranger:
Don Baylor – 17 (0)
Steve Buechele – 17 (17)
Mike Hargrove – 16 (15)
Juan Gonzalez – 15 (15)
Toby Harrah – 15 (15)
Brian Downing – 15 (8)
Rafael Palmeiro – 14 (14)
Bill Sample – 14 (14)
Larry Parrish – 13 (13)
Scott Fletcher – 13 (13)
Pete Incaviglia – 13 (13)
Dean Palmer – 10 (10)
Kevin Reimer – 10 (10)
Jim Sundberg – 9 (9)
Cesar Tovar – 9 (8)
Bump Wills – 9 (9)
Dave Valle – 8 (0)
Al Oliver – 8 (8)
Don Slaught – 8 (6)
Tom Grieve – 8 (8)
Buddy Bell – 8 (7)
Johnny Grubb – 7 (6)
Curtis Wilkerson – 7 (7)
George Wright – 7 (7)
Bert Campaneris – 6 (4)
Geno Petralli – 6 (6)
Cliff Johnson – 6 (3)
Chet Lemon – 6 (0)
Elliott Maddox – 5 (4)
Ron Kittle – 5 (0)
Dave Nelson – 5 (5)
Ruben Sierra – 5 (5)
Larry Sheets – 5 (0)
Jose Canseco – 5 (3)
Willie Wilson – 5 (0)
Robin Yount – 4 (0)
Gary Ward – 4 (3)
Claudell Washington – 4 (2)
Bob Stinson – 4 (0)
Joe Carter – 4 (0)
Dave Chalk – 4 (0)
Jeff Burroughs – 4 (4)
Gene Clines – 4 (4)
Tom Brookens – 4 (0)
John Ellis – 4 (4)
Carlton Fisk – 4 (0)
Julio Franco – 4 (4)
Jim Gantner – 4 (0)
Kevin Seitzer – 4 (0)
Len Randle – 4 (4)
Darrell Porter – 4 (2)
Pat Putnam – 4 (4)
Lloyd Moseby – 4 (0)
Dave May – 4 (3)
Hal McRae – 3 (0)
Paul Molitor – 3 (0)
Graig Nettles – 3 (0)
Pete O’Brien – 3 (2)
Reggie Jackson – 3 (0)
Candy Maldonado – 3 (0)
Jeff Kunkel – 3 (3)
Freddie Patek – 3 (0)
Jim Rice – 3 (0)
Gary Pettis – 3 (3)
Lance Parrish – 3 (0)
Oscar Gamble – 3 (1)
Jeff Huson – 3 (3)
Willie Horton – 3 (0)
Roy Howell – 3 (1)
Rickey Henderson – 3 (0)
Juan Beniquez – 3 (1)
Bobby Bonds – 3 (2)
George Bell – 3 (0)
Jack Daugherty – 3 (3)
Rick Cerone – 3 (0)
Doug Strange – 3 (3)
Ken Suarez – 3 (3)
Gene Tenace – 3 (0)
Frank White – 3 (0)
Willie Upshaw – 3 (0)

people who got plunked at parks that aren’t there anymore

Friday, January 28th, 2011

Long time infielder and program ink hogger Mark Grudzielanek is currently a free agent after being released by the Indians.  Obviously, he is a tough guy to sign at this point in his career because his name is really hard to spell.  But, one important reason that some team should sign Mark Grudzielanek is that he’s a living piece of history.  He is, in fact, the last active player who got hit by a pitch at Atlanta Fulton County Stadium.  That might not be very significant, but it’s interesting particularly when you look at the list of other players who were the last remaining major leaguers at parks that have closed down.

Ken Griffey Junior, for example.  His retirement means that there are no longer any active players with an HBP at Comiskey Park on their resume.  Also, he leaves Ivan Rodriguez as the last remaining player with a plunk at Arlington Stadium.  Jim Thome is the only active player who got plunked at old Cleveland Stadium, and Gary Sheffield’s 2009 retirement made the league completely vacant of players that got plunked at Mile High Stadium.

In 2007, Sammy Sosa and Steve Finley both played their last games in the majors, and they were the last two who had been plunked at Memorial Stadium in Baltimore.  Going back to 2004, Fred McGriff was the last player out of the pool of those who had been plunked at Toronto’s Exhibition Stadium.

You know who was the last player in the league with a plunk at Metropolitan Stadium in Minnesota?  Allen Trammell.  Gary Carter was the last active guy with an HBP at Parc Jarry in Montreal.  Don Sutton was the last with a Forbes Field plunk on his splits page when he left the game after 1988.  Reggie Jackson was the final active player with an HBP at Sick’s Stadium in Seattle, and the last with a plunk at Kansas City’s Municipal Stadium when he retired in 1987.  In 1986, Tony Perez and Pete Rose both retired, leaving no one left who had been hit by a pitch at Crosley Field.  Perez was also the last player with a plunk at Connie Mack Stadium.

So that’s a pretty interesting group – 4 current hall of famers, a few near misses for the hall, and some others who are either mortal locks, or who would have been without some kind of steroid or gambling problem.  And then Mark Grudzielanek.

The obvious conclusion here is that I’ve wildly under-rated the work of Mark Grudzielanek before making this discovery, and he should be a unanimous first ballot choice when he becomes eligible for the Hall.

Total plunks while on the field

Friday, January 14th, 2011

One of the fascinating things about Craig Biggio isn’t just that he got hit by a whole lot of pitches, but also that he seemed to cause everyone around him to get hit by a lot of pitches as well. He got hit by 285 pitches himself, and his teammates got hit another 95 times while he was on base. 75 batters got hit while Biggio was catching, 620 got hit while he played 2nd base, 35 got hit while he was in left field, and 95 more plunks occurred while Biggio was in center field. In all, 1,205 HBPs occurred while Craig Biggio was an active player in a major league baseball game, either at bat, on base, or on defense. Given the recent popularity of stats that attempt to combined offense and defense, like WAR, I figure this should be a stat – total plunks occurring while on the field, or tpowotf. Okay, the name needs work.
So then the question is, does anyone stack up against Biggio in this stat? And the answer, as usual, is that not many do.

Alex Rodriguez is the closest active player with 1,083 – 152 while batting, 80 as a base runner, and 851 in total at third base and short stop. It has career average rate, he could pass Biggio in this field sometime in 2013, but he has slowed down in the category of getting hit himself, with just 3 last year. He’ll need to do some work to incite his pitchers to hit more batters to make up for his apparent refusal to take plunks himself if he wants to pass Biggio in that time frame. Also, his teammate Derek Jeter is right behind him with 1043 total plunks while he’s been on the field. Jeter has been on base for a lot of Rodriguez’s plunks, and they tend to stand next to each other on defense, so it may come down to how often either of them switches to DH to determine who is on the field for the most plunks between those two.
Jason Kendall is next on the list with 1034 – 254 as a batter, 690 while catching (leading all post-1974 catchers), 77 while on base, and 13 batters were hit while Kendall was briefly trying to be an outfielder. The only other player from 1974 to 2010 who has been on the field for 1000 HBPs is Omar Vizquel, who has exactly 1000. 49 as a batter, 78 as a runner, and 873 while playing infield. 844 batters were hit by a pitch while Vizquel was playing shortstop, and that’s the most for any defensive position in the 1974 to 2010 span.

But Biggio is the only player to have 35 HBPs recorded while he was in the game as a batter, base runner, catcher, infielder, and outfielder (in the post’74 era). Sadly though, he never threw a plunk as a pitcher. Only two players since 1974 have both thrown a plunk, and been a catcher during an HBP – Keith Osik and Jeff Newman. Osik hit 3 batters, and caught for 110 plunkings. Newman only hit one batter. No player (post 1974) has been on the field for an HBP at all 13 different positions (9 defensive, 4 bases), and no one in that span has managed 12, but 16 different players have been on the field in 11 different places during at least one HBP – Rich Amaral, Alan Bannister, Willie Bloomquist, Eric Bruntlett, Jolbert Cabrera, Damion Easley, Wilton Guerrero, Shane Halter, Jose Hernandez, Dannis Hocking, Rex Hudler, Joe McEwing, Melvin Mora, Cory Snyder, Derrel Thomas, and Randy Velarde. 15 of them are missing both the pitcher and catcher position from the complete set, but Shane Halter was a catcher for 1 HBP, while somehow never having a plunk recorded while he was a runner on 2nd base. He also faced 4 batters as a pitcher, but didn’t hit any of them – probably because he didn’t know he came so close to having this trivia question to himself.

Here are all the players from 1974 to 2010 who have been on the field for at least 600 HBPs.

Player Total while batting while on base while pitching while catching while playing infield while playing outfield
Craig Biggio 1205 285 95 0 75 620 130
Alex Rodriguez 1083 152 80 0 0 851 0
Derek Jeter 1043 152 83 0 0 808 0
Jason Kendall 1034 254 77 0 690 0 13
Omar Vizquel 1000 49 78 0 0 873 0
Ken Griffey 918 81 59 0 0 0 778
Carlos Delgado 913 172 73 0 0 650 18
Luis Gonzalez 908 111 69 0 0 2 726
Barry Bonds 882 106 74 0 0 0 702
Gary Sheffield 882 135 51 0 0 114 582
Manny Ramirez 879 109 52 0 0 0 718
Johnny Damon 872 43 80 0 0 2 747
Todd Helton 857 53 57 0 0 741 6
Jeff Bagwell 857 128 67 0 0 661 1
Bobby Abreu 854 32 87 0 0 0 735
Edgar Renteria 838 30 67 0 0 741 0
Rickey Henderson 837 98 51 0 0 0 688
Larry Walker 835 138 65 0 0 24 608
Scott Rolen 829 120 38 0 0 671 0
Miguel Tejada 819 118 55 0 0 646 0
Steve Finley 812 53 68 1 0 0 690
Jeff Kent 804 125 58 0 0 621 0
Mark Grudzielanek 794 105 55 0 0 634 0
Royce Clayton 792 45 53 0 0 694 0
Rafael Palmeiro 785 87 43 0 0 625 30
Ivan Rodriguez 774 57 50 0 665 2 0
Jim Edmonds 766 49 55 0 0 13 649
Brad Ausmus 756 69 67 0 618 2 0
Shawn Green 752 80 64 0 0 49 559
Moises Alou 751 48 60 0 0 0 643
John Olerud 749 88 74 0 0 587 0
Andres Galarraga 742 178 39 0 0 525 0
Tino Martinez 737 59 39 0 0 639 0
Vinny Castilla 733 60 43 0 0 630 0
Derrek Lee 730 64 57 0 0 609 0
Sammy Sosa 724 59 50 0 0 0 615
Adrian Beltre 718 58 55 0 0 605 0
Albert Pujols 706 73 59 0 0 476 98
Jimmy Rollins 705 33 53 0 0 619 0
Ray Durham 699 72 56 0 0 571 0
Mike Cameron 694 87 50 0 0 0 557
Bernie Williams 691 39 59 0 0 0 593
Brian Giles 690 51 79 0 0 0 560
Randy Winn 690 53 52 0 0 0 585
Orlando Cabrera 689 29 49 0 0 611 0
Fred McGriff 687 39 56 0 0 592 0
Kenny Lofton 687 32 70 0 0 0 585
Paul Konerko 687 81 54 0 0 544 8
Jeff Conine 687 41 65 0 0 335 246
Michael Young 682 18 50 0 0 614 0
Magglio Ordonez 680 44 50 0 0 0 586
Alfonso Soriano 676 68 54 0 0 281 273
Cal Ripken 675 66 51 0 0 558 0
Gary Gaetti 674 96 45 1 0 530 2
Roberto Alomar 672 50 67 0 0 555 0
Jason Varitek 670 57 36 0 577 0 0
Bret Boone 669 69 39 0 0 561 0
Todd Zeile 667 42 50 0 25 550 0
Aramis Ramirez 666 79 38 0 0 549 0
Placido Polanco 666 87 42 0 0 537 0
Carlos Beltran 665 34 59 0 0 0 572
Vladimir Guerrero 663 96 36 0 0 0 531
Damion Easley 662 132 35 0 0 488 7
Jason Giambi 661 170 57 0 0 404 30
Lance Berkman 658 61 45 0 0 228 324
Carlos Lee 657 43 45 0 0 4 565
Melvin Mora 652 115 37 0 0 379 121
Jose Guillen 651 145 37 0 0 0 469
Jeromy Burnitz 650 78 40 0 0 0 532
Eric Young 650 89 57 0 0 435 69
Jermaine Dye 649 63 46 0 0 0 540
Garret Anderson 649 8 45 0 0 0 596
Jorge Posada 645 72 50 0 518 5 0
Robin Yount 633 48 45 0 0 286 254
Jim Thome 631 68 70 0 0 493 0
Mark Loretta 627 71 52 1 0 503 0
Marquis Grissom 626 31 36 0 0 0 559
Devon White 624 87 50 0 0 0 487
Mike Lowell 623 52 35 0 0 536 0
Chuck Knoblauch 622 139 59 0 0 372 52
Luis Castillo 618 12 53 0 0 553 0
Nomar Garciaparra 618 59 52 0 0 507 0
Ichiro Suzuki 617 47 56 0 0 0 514
Mark McGwire 614 75 46 0 0 493 0
David Eckstein 612 143 38 0 0 431 0
Joe Carter 612 90 49 0 0 76 397
Jay Bell 607 57 42 0 0 508 0
Mark Grace 600 34 37 0 0 529 0

who’s on first – while someone is getting hit by a pitch

Thursday, January 13th, 2011

(not playing first in this case, but being the runner on first)

Since 1974, no player has been a runner on 1st base while his teammate got hit by a pitch more often than Chipper Jones. He’s been on first 50 times when an HBP occurred. His closest active competition is Alex Rodriguez and Bobby , who have each been moved from 1st to 2nd 46 times by a plunking of the batter. John Olerud had 47 such incidents, and Carlos Delgado and Brian Giles and 44 and 40. Nobody else from 1974 to 2010 got over the 40 mark in this particular made-up statistical category. But, the weird part in Chipper’s case is that he’s only gotten hit himself 17 times. So his teammates have moved him over to 2nd with an HBP 33 more times than he’s taken a plunk himself.

Here are the only players, from 1974 to 2010, with under 25 plunks, but who had other people get hit more than 25 times while standing on 1st base:
Chipper Jones (17 HBPS, 50 HBPs by other players while he was on 1st)
Robin Ventura (23 HBPS, 32 HBPs by other players while he was on 1st)
Luis Castillo (12 HBPS, 31 HBPs by other players while he was on 1st)
Wade Boggs (23 HBPS, 30 HBPs by other players while he was on 1st)
Michael Young (18 HBPS, 29 HBPs by other players while he was on 1st)
Neifi Perez (7 HBPS, 26 HBPs by other players while he was on 1st)
Ron Belliard (24 HBPS, 26 HBPs by other players while he was on 1st)
Harold Baines (14 HBPS, 25 HBPs by other players while he was on 1st)

Andres Galarraga was hit the most with Chipper Jones on 1st, with 16, but they have been matched by Prince Fielder and Ryan Braun for the post-1974 record for most HBPs by a batter/1st base runner combination (Braun being the runner and Prince being the plunking target). Chase Utley has been hit 15 times with Shane Victorino on first, and Alex Rodriguez got plunked 15 times with Bobby Abreau on 1st. Prior to Chipper and Andres, Don Baylor and Jim Rice held the post-1974 record with 14 instances in which Baylor got hit with Rice on first. 11 of those were in 1986, but Galarraga bettered that with 12 plunks with Chipper Jones on first in 1998.

Chipper Jones also holds a share of the post-1974 record for being driven in from third by a plunk with 7. Edgar Martinez, Ken Griffey Jr, and Ryan Theroit have also been driven in 7 times on an RBI HBP.

Ichiro Suzuki has been the runner on third 22 times when a plunking occurred, which is the most for any base runner on third since 1974. Chipper Jones is tied for 2nd with 19, along with Bernie Williams, Omar Vizquel, Jason Kendall and Craig Biggio – those last two can never be far away when their are HBPs flying around. Kendall has the post-1974 record for plunks occurring while he’s playing catcher, with 690. Biggio had 620 plunks land on opposing players while he was playing 2nd base, leading all players in the post-1974 era, and also had the most plunks occur while he was the base runner on 2nd, with 41. (Biggio of course was a noted fan of being on 2nd base, having hit 668 career double – 5th all time).