Friday, November 10, 2006


Well, glad they finally got that settled.

Craig Biggio will return for his 20th season with the Astros in 2007. He will be the 24th player ever to play for the same franchise in 20 or more seasons, and the other 23 are pretty good company. 19 are in the Hall of Fame. 2 more probably already have their induction speeches written and will be giving them next summer.

20+ seasons with the same franchise:
PlayerTeamYearsSeasonsHall Induction
Brooks RobinsonOrioles1955-1977231983
Carl YastrzemskiRed Sox1961-1983231989
Cap AnsonCubs1876-1897221939
Ty CobbTigers1905-1926221936
Al KalineTigers1953-1974221980
Stan MusialCardinals1941-1963221969
Phil NiekroBraves1964-1987211997
Mel OttGiants1926-1946211951
Cal RipkenOrioles1981-2001212007**
Harmon KillebrewSenators/
Ted LyonsWhite Sox1923-1946211955
Willie MaysGiants1951-1972211979
Hank AaronBraves1954-1974211982
George BrettRoyals1973-1993211999
Walter JohnsonSenators1907-1927211936
Willie StargellPirates1962-1982211988
Alan TrammellTigers1977-199620soon?*
Warren SpahnBraves1942-1964201973
Robin YountBrewers1974-1993201999
Luke ApplingWhite Sox1930-1950201964
Red FaberWhite Sox1914-1933201964
Tony GwynnPadres1982-2001202007**
Mel HarderIndians1928-194720

*-Trammell is still on the ballot, but was only named on 17.7% of ballots last year
**-Gwynn and Ripken will be eligible on the 2007 ballot, and if they don't get in that year, I can only assume congress will demand that the Baseball Writers Association of America undergo testing for performance inhibiting drugs.

It's an impressive list of players there, but not one of them was hit by a pitch more than 94 times (Ty Cobb's total). That's only 2 more plunks than Biggio had just at the Astrodome. Walter Johnson hit an impressive 203 batters, but he only got hit 13 times.

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At 11/16/2006 07:11:00 PM, Blogger Sean said...

absolutely ZERO mention of his HBP numbers in that article.... frauds

At 12/13/2006 09:36:00 AM, Anonymous Rita said...

Craig won't have to worry about getting plunked by Jason Jennings any more. Jennings is now an Astro as of Tuesday afternoon, 12 Dec 2006.

At 12/13/2006 10:38:00 AM, Blogger pbr said...

Maybe they're expected Jennings to plunk a lot of opponents, to encourage retaliation?
Actually, Jennings has only hit 4 batters since plunking Biggio 3 times in June of '05, which is probably why Colorado was looking to unload him. They had to be disappointed with the pitching staff's 66 hit batters in '06 after leading the NL with 84 in the '05 season (including 5 HBPs for BGO).

With Taveras going to Colorado in the deal, perhaps that means more time in center field for Chris Burke - meaning less pressure to give Burke playing time at 2B, allowing Biggio to play all he wants in search of the all important plunk 288.

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At 1/05/2007 04:03:00 PM, Blogger Tom said...

Any thoughts on the 'Stros picking up Mark Loretta (recently of my beloved Boston Red Sox)?

The company line seems to be "Loretta as utility" but I've seen him play in person and he's excellent (yes, even if he's only acquired 65 HBPs to this point in his career - last year marked a career high of 12). If I were Biggio I'd keep one eye on my starting infield position (the other, obviously, would be on the look out for white-with-red-stitching projectiles).


At 1/07/2007 09:39:00 AM, Blogger pbr said...

Yeah, that's an interesting signing. Especially if you look at last season's HBP leaders among second basemen (here). The Astros appear to be cornering the market on players listed as second basemen who get hit by pitches. I suspect this is common phenomenon among sports management - when you have one guy who's successful, you try to go get other guys who appear to be similar and move them to other positions.
Either that or it might just be an insurance policy against injuries to the infield, or if the infield is healthy, a starting-caliber piece of trade bait at mid season.

At 1/21/2007 09:48:00 AM, Anonymous DM said...

In this long off-season, I am struck (no pun intended) by the fact that there is no analogy to the HBP statistic in football, hockey, basketball, or any other sport, is there? I mean, the idea of putting your health on the line for the team is the usual thing in football, so that doesn't count. I'm talking about going above and beyond, in the way that Biggio does every time he is plunked. Can you imagine a "hit by puck" stat in hockey? Ridiculous. Any comments?

At 1/22/2007 08:48:00 AM, Blogger pbr said...

It could be argued that taking a charge in basketball has a lot of similarity to the plunk. Standing your ground as an opposing player runs you over on the way to the hoop is certainly could put your physical well being in jeopardy for the sake of your team. Also similar to getting plunked, guys who take charges well are usually loved by fans of the team they play for and hated by opposing fans (especially notorious flop artists).
But the key difference is that taking a charge is a primarily defensive maneuver, while getting hit by a pitch is clearly a tool of offense. I don't think there's anything quite like getting hit by a pitch in any of the major American sports, but if hockey put in a rule where goals counted double if they bounced off an offensive player's face, I think that would come close to being equivalent. And, it might even make me want to watch hockey.

At 1/23/2007 02:12:00 PM, Anonymous DM said...

Interesting point, but can you name the career NBA leader in drawing charges? Can you name even one stat associated with that particular skill? It just doesn't rise to the same level, I think.

At 1/24/2007 11:33:00 AM, Blogger pbr said...

I agree, they've obviously never bothered to keep stats on drawing charges, largely because it's a primarily defensive item. The NBA didn't even get around to recording blocked shots until 1974. So while the act of taking the charge may be somewhat analogous in terms of sacrificing for the good of the team, it certainly doesn't stack up as a recordable stat.
But if hockey instituted my idea about pucks bouncing off faces into nets being worth 2 goals, they'd have to track it specifically so the game box scores would make sense, and the players total points could be recorded correctly - which of course is the nice thing about baseball - that someone had the idea to boil down the games into box scores that could explain the game in the newspaper, and every plate appearance and out had to be accounted for. Once they started awarding first base to batters hit by pitches, they had to start keeping track of it. Football, Hockey and Basketball don't work nearly as well for box scores or stats.

At 1/24/2007 08:55:00 PM, Anonymous DM said...

...yet another reason that baseball is the only game worth paying attention to.


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