Friday, April 06, 2007


If you're a fan of great leadoff get-hitters, you should enjoy this weekend's matchup between Craig Biggio, and the Cardinals lead-off man David Eckstein. Eckstein holds the American League Rookie record for getting hit by pitches (21 in 2001), and last fall he broke Tino Martinez's all time record for post-season plunks.

Post-season HBPs:
David Eckstein -
Tino Martinez -
Manny Ramirez -
David Justice5
Don Baylor5
Jeff Blauser5
Miguel Cairo5
The wonder twins*5

(*Those two guys who play on the left side of the Yankees infield whose names attract spam for gossip websites to my comments area)

David Eckstein has been plunked in both the American League and National League championship, but was never hit in the World Series. The only other player to be hit in both League Championships is Greg Luzinski. When he was with the Angels, he was plunked by Jeff Weaver in the ALDS, and Bob Wells in the NLCS. Since joining the Cardinals, he's been hit by David Wells in the Division series, and Chad Bradford, Oliver Perez, Roy Oswalt and Andy Pettitte in the League Championship.

Eckstein has been hit 105 times so far, averaging 17.33 plunks per season for for his first 6 years of Major League play. That ranks 4th in baseball history, behind Jason Kendall, Ron Hunt and Tommy Tucker for HBPs per season. If he could keep that pace up for another 10 seasons, he'd be getting close to the record. It's a long way to go before he's contending for the all time plunk record, but he's only 60 HBPs away from Kid Elberfeld for the HBP record for players whose last name starts with E.

Eckstein has been plunked to lead off the game 24 times, and scored a run 8 of those times. He has scored a total of 23 runs after reaching base on a plunk. He's been hit by 87 different pitchers, and 27 different teams - only Arizona, Colorado, and the Angels have failed to hit him. (Biggio has only been hit by 23 different teams, but he never played in the American League). 26 pitchers who plunked Eckstein have also hit Craig Biggio with a pitch. He's been hit most often in the 1st inning (24 times), and on Saturdays (22 times).

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At 4/07/2007 05:37:00 AM, Anonymous cletus j. "bubba" huckabee jr. said...

Now if you ask me, and plenty folk do now and again, prognostication is s slippery eel of an issue and I been attempting to prognosticate the occurrence of each and every plunking of our man “Target” Biggio for a long while. In fact, I been attempting for pert near a coon’s age. My record has, to date, been fairly impressive. Though I have not yet actually succeeded in correctly picking a single date on which Target has been plunked, over the past five seasons I have consistently narrowed my degree of inaccuracy. That, my friends, might not be good enough for standard statistical analysis, but it is certainly close enough for government work, and therefore I am announcing my candidacy for Chesterfield County Sanitation Department Manager. The election ain’t until November, but I’m getting word out now in hopes that I can get me a little bit of a grass roots swell going. I’ll return to that subject in a bit, but allow me to return to the prognostication of plunkings in this here Biggio situation.

I was down to the house of my childhood friend and lifelong fishin’ companion, “Flatworm” Jackson, and we was discussing the ins and outs of selecting the date for the plunking at which “Target” will once and for all pass the all time record with the modern record and unify the two in to the Universal Galactic Eternal Hit By Pitch Record. No more of this “modern” era record, nor “pre-modern” era record. Ain’t nothing on the planet quite as irritating as the pedantic Baseball prigs who differentiate by drawing a line in the sands of time and proclaiming things that come before not to be considered on the same footing as them what come after. I could ramble on and on for a good piece on the merits of maintaining one record book. I consider them that insist on two different sets of records as the same sort of scoundrels who keep two different sets of accounts for a business – one pretend, and one real. Them is what I call historical revisionists and they are no-count snivlin’ fools who slink around and make subtle changes as to make history say what they want it to say. Them folks try to hide historical facts such as Moses "Fleetwood" Walker breaking the major league color barrier precisely 62 years, 11 months, 14 days before Jackie Robinson is credited with doing the same thing. I get so riled up I could spit nails. Why can’t we just follow one history book? How come we gots to have one set of records for the revisionists, and another set of records for the realists?

So “Flatworm” says to me, he says, “The one good thing that is fixin’ to transpire is that ‘Target’ is going to take one of the many records in baseball and trim off all the asterisks and appendages and footnotes and the like.” Actually he weren’t quite that articulate because “Flatworm” is Chesterfield County’s première distiller of corn squeezins and on that particular morning he already had him a skin full of his finest quality product and while he was more than capable of eloquent thoughts, he wasn’t so capable of eloquent verbalization. So he did a lot of slurring and mumbling and dribblin’ but I was able to piece together what I think he intended to enunciate and that was what I surmised.

If “Flatworm” is correct, and I tend to believe he is on account of his track record at the Tri-County Dog Track and Paramutual Emporium, then what he says is not to be taken lightly. It is important that “Target” be allowed to go ahead on and unify the plunking record once and for all, or else the punters in the next century will do what we done to poor Hughie Jennings and simply dismiss him as being some sort of freak with a record that don’t really count because it was set so long ago that the circumstances must have been different, or the rules must have been different, or the physics of the game were not yet set, or some reason that says old record ain’t to be recognized as on par with new records.

So I triangulated my prognostication methods and come up with one unified theory of an answer. I got my old double-pistoned Scrabble™ Master out and reassembled it in the shed. That provided a proposed date based on anagrams derived from various words associated with “Target” and his team. I then returned to the chicken entrails method I incorporated last season with the help of Madam Hong and her mystic way. That provided a date as well. Thirdly I used the Huckabee Cyph'rin’ Scheme® in which I pull out my Big Chief Tablet© and a number two pencil and commence to figure. I ended up with a predicted date from that method as well. Then I took all three dates, added them together and divided by three to get an average. I come up with a date that surprised me, but I reckon my triangulation system must insure a greater degree of accuracy, so I’ll stick with it.

Likewise I repeated the process to determine when “Target” will reach the 3,000 plateau. I’ll swan, I wish I had a thought of the fact that I needed me two prognostications before I departed Madam Hong’s place because I got all the way down the highway before it dawned on me that I needed to not only find out about the plunking, but also the minor (and rather inconsequential) record of three thousand hits. So she had to kill another chicken and that cost me another $12.95. Anyway, I triangulated on the 3,000 hits and come up with a date too. So, without further adieu, herewith are the official Cletus J. “Bubba” Huckabee Jr. predictions:

288 – 20 August 2007
3,000 – 10 July 2007

Now back to my candidacy for Chesterfield County Sanitation Department Manager. I am fixin’ to get me some T shirts and placards made up and I’ll let folk know when they are ready because I’m sure everbody will want to vote for me, otherwise we’ll have another two years of that stinkin’ Millard Seymour White and his myopic wife, Deloris. Can’t stand that woman.

P.S. Mama just came in and asked me what I was doing and when I told her she said she wants to put in a prognostication too. I am including it here because she’s standing behind me with a rolling pen in her hands, but you do what you think is best regarding including it on the blog or not. She says;

288 – 30 September 2007
3,000 – 2 July 2007

P.P.S. I can see “Flatworm” walking up the drive, so I best cut on out before he demands to have a say too.

At 4/07/2007 05:55:00 PM, Anonymous DM said...

I am so relieved that Cletus has weighed in with his own choice for the 288/3000 sweepstakes, 'cause without Cletus it just wouldn't be a real honest-to-blog contest, now would it? A'course, he's wrong about the dates, as a truly non-revised history will undoubtedly reveal in a few months, but it's the participation that counts.

At 4/07/2007 06:31:00 PM, Blogger pbr said...

This website officially endorses the candidacy of Cletus J. "Bubba" Huckabee Jr. for the office of Chesterfield County Sanitation Department Manager.

If there's a man that can clean up Chesterfield County, it's Cletus.


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