Monday, February 27, 2006

last time you saw this...

The last time you saw this item, it was probably on Craig Biggio's elbow during the June 29, 2005 game against Colorado when he broke the modern record for career HBPs. Unless you work for the Hall of Fame, which is where this picture came from.

I haven't heard if it's out on display or not, but rumors persist that the elbow pad has caused dozens of baseballs at the Hall to fly out of their protective display cases trying to hit it. These rumors are almost entirely made up by me.

Special thanks to those who sent along the picture. And for everyone else, always be sure to tip your librarian.


Friday, February 24, 2006

2006 Preview: Florida Marlins

The Marlins set an offseason record by losing 90 starting pitchers through trades and free agency. That might not be true, but there aren't many left. But, they still have Dontrelle Willis and Brian Moehler so they remain a prime threat to hit Craig Biggio with a pitch at least once in 2006. Both Willis and Moehler plunked Biggio last year, and they look like they'll be anchoring a rotation filled with very inexperienced pitchers.

No one quite knows who else will be in the starting rotation for the Marlins in 2006, but one thing to keep in mind is that the single team record for the most different pitchers to start a game in a season is 24 by the 1915 Philadelphia Athletics. Things might shape up differently after spring training, but the key to making the back end of the Florida rotation looks like it's going to be who has options.

This all adds up to an excellent chance for the Marlins to equal last years total of 2 HBPs against Craig Biggio, despite only playing the Astros 7 times. Based on Biggio's career HBPs per plate appearance against the Marlins (and the Binomial Distribution), if he gets 35 plate appearances against Florida this year there is a 71.6% chance of Biggio getting plunked at least once, and a 35.2% chance that he'll get hit by two or more pitches. The Marlins probability of breaking the single season record for hitting Craig Biggio with pitches comes out to 0.019%.

(Warning: probabilities listed in 2006 Preview posts are for entertainment purposes only and should not be counted on for gambling purposes. Past performance does not necessarily predict future results, especially when you throw in a handful of guesses and vague assumptions.)


Wednesday, February 22, 2006

2006 Preview: Atlanta Braves

The Atlanta Braves begin the season with three pitchers on their 40 man roster who have hit Craig Biggio with a pitch. John Smoltz, John Thomson, and Oscar Villareal have each hit Biggio once.
The Braves play the Astros 7 times this season, but they are unlikely to hit Craig Biggio with a pitch more than once, if at all. The Braves are last among National League teams in plunking Biggio with only 7 all time. If they do hit him with a pitch, look for it to be thrown by either Tim Hudson (56 career hit batters, 9 in '05), or any of the crop of 1st or 2nd year pitchers who make the team.

Based on Biggio's career HBPs per plate appearance against the Braves (and the Binomial Distribution), if he gets 35 plate appearances against the Braves this year there is a 28.2% chance of Biggio getting plunked by Atlanta. The Braves probability of breaking the single season team record for hitting Craig Biggio with pitches is 0.0000035%. The 2001 Cardinals hold that record with 6.


Tuesday, February 21, 2006

program notes

Coming soon to a Plunk Biggio blog near you, more preseason notes including previews of each team the Astros will be facing in 2006 and what kind of plunk totals we should expect out of each of them. I'll be posting intermittently through spring training, working up to full speed when the games start to count.
Also, coming up in March I'll be visiting Astros spring training, so hopefully we'll get some pictures to post from there. I'm assuming they have a special batting cage with a pitching machine aimed right at the batters box, and if they don't I might have to do some photo doctoring. We'll be attending the March 11th game against the Phillies, so if you're there and figure out which one is me, please resist the urge to throw anything at me.
(If anyone has specific suggestions for good non-baseball places to visit in the area, the official girlfriend would like to hear them via comment or email - yes, we know there are 108 theme parks nearby but think in terms of having just one day, and not wanting to ride the theme park cyclo-puke within 24 hours of getting on a plane.)

Saturday, February 18, 2006

spring training guide...

... to pitchers who have hit Craig Biggio with a pitch.

With pitchers and catchers having reported to spring training camps around Major League Baseball, there are now 79 pitchers in 25 training camps who have hit Craig Biggio with a pitch. 65 past Biggio plunkers are on 40 man rosters, while 14 are non-roster camp invitees.

25 of the 30 MLB teams have a pitcher in camp who has hit Craig Biggio with a pitch at least once - only Astros, Devilrays, Mariners, Nationals, Royals do not.

Here's all the pitchers on this year's spring training rosters who have plunked Biggio:
MetsAaron Heilman
MetsChad Bradford
MetsJeremi Gonzalez*
MetsJorge Julio
MetsPedro Feliciano*
MetsPedro Martinez
RockiesAaron Cook
RockiesByung-Hyun Kim
RockiesChin-hui Tsao
RockiesJason Jennings
RockiesJosh Fogg
RockiesSunny Kim
CubsCarlos Zambrano
CubsGlendon Rusch
CubsGreg Maddux
CubsJason Simontacchi*
CubsKerry Wood
PadresAndy Ashby*
PadresChan Ho Park
PadresJake Peavy
PadresSeth Etherton
PadresShawn Estes
BrewersBen Sheets
BrewersChris Capuano
BrewersMatt Wise
BrewersRick Helling
DiamondbacksBrandon Webb
DiamondbacksJose Valverde
DiamondbacksMiguel Batista
DiamondbacksRuss Ortiz
GiantsJamey Wright*
GiantsJason Schmidt
GiantsMatt Morris
GiantsTim Worrell
IndiansBob Wickman
IndiansDanny Graves*
IndiansJake Westbrook
IndiansPaul Byrd
RangersBrian Anderson*
RangersErasmo Ramirez
RangersJoaquin Benoit
RangersVicente Padilla
Red SoxBronson Arroyo
Red SoxDavid Wells
Red SoxMatt Clement
Red SoxRudy Seanez
YankeesAl Leiter*
YankeesKyle Farnsworth
YankeesRon Villone
YankeesShawn Chacon
A'sDanny Haren
A'sJay Witasick
A'sJoe Kennedy
BravesJohn Smoltz
BravesJohn Thomson
BravesOscar Villarreal
CardsBraden Looper
CardsChris Carpenter
CardsJeff Suppan
MarlinsBrian Moehler
MarlinsDontrelle Willis
MarlinsJimmy Anderson*
PhilliesCory Lidle
PhilliesJon Lieber
PhilliesRandy Wolf
PiratesBritt Reames*
PiratesKip Wells
PiratesSalomon Torres
RedsChris Hammond
RedsPaul Wilson
RedsTodd Coffey
BluejaysA.J. Burnett
BluejaysJames Baldwin*
AngelsHector Carrasco
DodgersBrian Meadows*
OriolesKris Benson
TigersChad Durbin*
TwinsGabe White*
White SoxDustin Hermanson

*=non roster invitees

Thursday, February 02, 2006


If you are the sort of person who had nothing better to do in the offseason than to go look at Craig Biggio's stats page on, you might have noticed something odd. The HBP column lists 274. But this site lists his total plunks as 273. Well, so does, and The general agreement of the rest of the internet is that Craig Biggio has been hit 273 times, with 17 in the 2005 season. lists 18 for 2005.

One conclusion readers of this website might jump to is that maybe MLB officially overturned the infamous Lost Plunk in some sort of offseason statistical re-justicing. But, they didn't.

Taking a look at the game log for 2005, the extra plunk can be found on September 21st vs. Pittsburgh. The box score lists Craig Biggio being hit by a Matt Capps pitch. Every other site shows that plunk belonging to Chris Burke. Also, the corresponding story explains that Craig Biggio left after three innings, but Matt Capps only pitched the 8th inning. appears to have taken all of Chris Burke's stats for the game on 9/21/2005 and assigned them to Craig Biggio. Why? It remains a mystery. Hopefully someone will fix it before too much confusion is caused, casting shadows over the inevitable plunk that breaks Hughie Jennings' record. If anyone has a logical explanation for this I'd like to hear it. If anyone has an illogical explanation for this I'd like that even more.

UPDATE: As of July 24, 2006, appears to have corrected all the stats associated with this problem.