Monthly Archives: August 2015

#18 – Jose Cruz, LF

Jose Cruz

Jose Cruz

At 36 years old, Jose Cruz played out his 10th season with the Houston Astros and finished 8th in MVP voting.

It’s hard to find a major offensive category in which Cruz didn’t finish among the 10 best in the National League.  He wasn’t necessarily the best at any one thing, but he was among the best at every thing.

He hit .312 (6th), had a. 381 on base percentage (6th), .842 OPS (9th), 96 runs (6th), 187 hits (5th), 28 doubles (10th), 13 triples (3rd), 95 RBI (7th) and 73 walks (9th).

A solid defensive outfielder, Strat-o-Matic handed a 2 rating in left field to Cruz.

For such a well rounded effort, Cruz pulls in at #18 on our countdown of most productive players of the 1984 season.

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#19 – Rickey Henderson, LF

Rickey Henderson

Rickey Henderson

Where do we start here?

Born Christmas Day, 1958, in Chicago, Rickey Henderson went on to a Hall of Fame career.

Here are some career numbers and where they rank all-time.

  • 1,406 Stolen Bases (1st)
  • 2,295 Runs (1st)
  • 2,190 Walks (2nd)
  • 3,081 Games (4th)
  • 3,055 Hits (22nd)
  • 4,588 Total Bases (42nd)
  • .401 On Base Percentage (53rd)
  • 510 Doubles (53rd)
  • 873 Extra Base hits (74th)
  • 297 Home Runs (139th)
  • 1,115 Runs Batted In (199th)

In 1984, Rickey finished 3rd in the American League with a .399 On Base Percentage, which is great and all.

But what we all remember Rickey for, of course, his stealing bases.  And while he “only” stole 66 bases in 1984, that was still tops in the league.

We must categorize that as a little bit of a disappointment for Rickey, as he had just stolen over 100 bases 3 times in the last 4 seasons.

Henderson made up for it in other parts of his game, however, hitting a then career best 16 homers in ’84.  He’d go on to hit 24 in ’85 and a career-best 28 in ’86.

Henderson led the league in stolen bases 12 times in his career.  Perhaps most amazing to me is that he had a 7 year gap between crowns, last leading the league with 66 in 1998 at the age of 39.

Are you kidding me?  39 years old and he leads the league in stolen bases with 66?  The same number he had when he led the league in 1984 at the age of 25?

Rickey Henderson was a freak of nature and entertaining as hell to watch.

300 Games

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This notebook is just about ready for the trash. The Mead Five Star has held a lot of box scores and sketches in it for the past few months, but mostly it contains scoresheets from this 1984 MLB replay.

Friday evening I got the 300th game done, which means I have about 23 games complete per team. It’s been interesting to see how this is about the point where most things have sort of stabilized. Players who I thought were under- or over-performing after a dozen games are now more likely to have stats that are in line with what I expected.

There are a few exceptions, of course. I do have a couple of players who are hitting over .400, one of whom is even flirting with .500!  I wouldn’t expect that to continue, of course, but it’s been interesting to watch.

On the flip side, there are a few superstars who are really underperforming and that can be frustrating.  I tend to put aside my feelings towards teams and players and instead root for them to perform accurately. So if a player I really disliked  who hit .300 with 40 HR is on pace to hit .240 with 15 HR I am not happy about it. And if a team I loved that had a .450 winning percentage is playing .600 ball, I’m equally disappointed. A little variation is a good thing, but at some point it gets to be too much of a head-scratcher.

Let’s see if we still have folks flirting with .500 after the next 100 games.

#20 – Doyle Alexander, SP

Doyle Alexander

Doyle Alexander

At 33 years old, Doyle Alexander was the eldest member of the Toronto Blue Jays’ staff.

Alexander broke into the big leagues in 1971, pitching at age 20 for the Los Angeles Dodgers.

He then moved to Baltimore, the Yankees, Texas, Atlanta, San Francisco, back to the Yankees, and finally to the Jays in 1983.

A heck of a lot of moving around.

In ’84, he turned in one of the best seasons of his career, going 17-6 with a 3.13 ERA.

Those numbers were good enough for a .739 Win-Loss % – best in the American League.

He put up Top 10 numbers in numerous other categories as well – WHIP (4th), Hits/9 (10th), Walks/9 (4th), Innings Pitched (3rd) and Complete Games (6th).

With those kinds of numbers, expect the veteran pitcher to contend for the AL Pitcher of the Year Award in this replay.

Deja Vu All Over Again

Yesterday I recounted a horrific 20-inning game that just would. not. end.

In my database are the results of 1,113 completed games of baseball and that 20-inning marathon was the longest I had ever had, eclipsing an old record of 17 innings.

(The MLB record, by the way, is 25 innings.)

Guess what happened the very next night and the very next game I played?

A 19-inning affair.

My two longest games ever, back-to-back.

I’m afraid to go back to the dice tonight. Maybe I need a day off…

It Never Ends

To my wife who was having trouble sleeping as I rolled a game last night, I apologize.

I have data-based the results of the last 1,113 games I have rolled.

Last evening was the longest game I’ve ever rolled in that time and, I’m guessing, ever.

20 innings.

Tied 3-3 after 6 innings of play, relievers tossed a combined 27 innings of shutout baseball before things finally ended.

I was tempted to write “mercifully” ended, because these aren’t even two teams I wanted to roll with.

Both are woefully under-performing, and one of them entered the game needing to start a pitcher not rated at starter and only having one man available in the bullpen because of an insane number of injuries to their team.

I went with a questionable decision of letting the only available reliever go forever, playing with basic rules and ignoring the “maximum innings” rule.

In hindsight, I should have forced him to pitch tired – I have tired rules that can be applied to pitchers, even in basic.

Or, for that matter, found a reliever who was only one game removed from being rested and forced him to pitch tired.

But instead I let this guy go on… For 12.2 innings of work.

Again, in hindsight, I shouldn’t have done that. But he never allowed 3 base runners in one inning or 4 in two consecutive innings, and I just let him keep going out there.

That same reliever ended up with six plate appearances.

Madness.

#21 – Alvin Davis, 1B

Alvin Davis

Alvin Davis

The 1984 Rookie of the Year, first baseman Alvin Davis, hit .284 with 27 HR and 116 RBI for the Seattle Mariners.

Davis finished 5th in the American League with a .391 on base percentage and was also among league leaders in OPS (.888), doubles (34), walks (97) and extra base hits (64).

Those numbers weren’t really a fluke, as Davis put up solid offensive numbers during his first seven years in Major League Baseball.

But something happened in ’91, and Davis’ batting average suddenly tumbled to .221.

In 1992, he played one final season with the California Angels, hitting .250 in 40 games before getting released in June of that year.

Nickname “Mister Mariner”, Davis holds Major League Baseball’s record for the most consecutive games reaching base to start a career – 47.