Friday, September 21, 2007

the outfielder who plunked Biggio?

As you may have seen or hear, Rick Ankiel is now playing outfield for the St. Louis Cardinals, after several years in the minors attempting to revive his career as a pitcher. This would seem to make Rick Ankiel the only outfielder who has ever plunked Craig Biggio.

Ankiel has only played 41 games as an outfielder so far, but that's still 37 more appearances at non-pitching positions than all the players who have plunked Biggio had up until this year. Only one pitcher who plunked Biggio had ever recorded an out at another position - Jose Deleon (who also recorded that out in the outfield for the Cardinals).

If Ankiel continues to play well, he should have a chance at breaking most of the batting records among pitchers who have plunked Biggio. He's just one homer behind Carlos Zambrano, among Biggio plunkers - Zambrano has 12 to Ankiel's 11. He's only got 1 triple so far, but he only needs to get to 4 to pass Brian Anderson and AJ Burnett among those who have contributed to Biggio's plunks.

In the doubles category, Ankiel has 8 this year and 9 for his career, but if he keeps hitting them about once every 5 games, like he has this year, he won't get to Greg Maddux's career total of 35 until sometime next August. Ankiel will also need to come up with 211 more hits to catch Maddux in that category - Maddux has 265. (Yes, the record for hits among pitchers who have plunked Biggio is 20 less than the number of times they've plunked Biggio.)

But most importantly - Rick Ankiel has never been hit by a pitch. Time to stop thinking like a pitcher and take a few for the team Rick! Andy Benes and Bob Walk hold that record among those who have plunked Biggio, with just 6 each. Bob Walk does not, however, hold a share of the walks record for Biggio plunkers - John Smoltz has that, with 78 (61 ahead of Ankiel).


At 9/22/2007 05:40:00 AM, Anonymous cletus j. "bubba" huckabee jr. said...

Now if you ask me, and plenty folk do now and again, the plunk record is fixin’ to go down in the annals of sporting history as a big “what if?” and we all know that we don’t need another one of them “what if?” situations hanging over our heads. Like the time the Stillwell Pole Cats were in the regional quarter finals against the Lakeside Mules and Bobby Haskins came up sick before the start of the big game and he never did suit up and never even went out there to play on account of him writhing and moaning in a puddle of his own vomit during the game. Bobby was the star of Chesterfield County. He was the one we done hung our hope on for the State Championship. See, Bobby decided about 20 minutes before the game started that he needed to try plug tobacco for the very first time. So, Leonard McConnigle pulled his plug out and cut off a chunk and handed it to Bobby and dumb ole’ Bobby, never having experienced the sweet pleasures of plug tobacco from the rich bottomlands of Chesterfield County, tossed the plug back and swallowed. Any fool knows that you don’t actually swallow the plug… you let it sit in your mouth. Then you commence to expectorating. Then you dribble and sputter, and after a while you just sit back and enjoy the carcinogenic sweetness and the nicotine edge. I don’t happen to be a tobacco user myself on account of Mama informing me years ago that if I ever once put that nasty stuff in my mouth I could consider her packed up and moved out, so since then I have been a dutiful husband and have avoided the vice of tobacco. However, due to my social connections across the width and breadth of Chesterfield County I know a thing or two about the vice. I know that Bobby Haskins made a fatal mistake when he swallowed. He effectively took himself out of the game. By the time the game was over and we all went back in there we found him in the puddle of reeking vomit all balled up and clinching himself and moaning in pain like he had a case of gut worms or the like. It’s kind of like that. I said as much at the supper table last evening and Bernice (that’s Mary Jane’s girl and she plans to stay with us a while until she and Lester work things out) admitted that she has been a fan of plug tobacco for pert near all her adult life. I was curious as to why she was missing that front tooth (truth be node I assumed Lester had done it) but it turns out one of the prices for tobacco use, especially the use whereby it sits in the mouth in a puddle of carcinogenic slobber, is tooth loss. Bernice done lost two teeth already and another two or wigglin’ like they might come out in the next couple months. When we eat corn on the cob she has to hold the cob off to the side and gnaw at it like a mule eating briars. Ifin’ she were to drop a few more teeth she’ll have a real dandy of a time eating much more than corn pone and grits. I guess she’s an adult and she can make her own decisions about oral hygiene and tooth loss, but Lord have mercy I know when the medical bills come due Mama is going to come to me and suggest we do the charitable thing and help her out. What being family and all, I guess that’s what will happen, but that no count Lester ought to be in here pulling some of his weight. Speaking of Lester, Bernice tells us that he is on his way for a visit. Soon as he gets out of jail (three more days to go) he’ll come by and spend a spell with the Huckabee clan. Maybe we can warm up the radio and listen to a game or two and if we’re fortunate we’ll be there when the next plunk zeroes in and bruises our man Target.


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