Tuesday, December 05, 2006

December 5th, 1972

Cliff Floyd Born

I've always admired Cliff Floyd for a couple of things. For one thing, despite standing 6'4", 230 and being an imposing presence generally, Floyd has one of the dorkiest baseball names of all-time: Cornelius Clifford Floyd. That's not one, not two, but three dorky names. Somehow I imagine he didn't get made fun of a lot, at least not once his growth spurt hit.

The other thing I like about Floyd is--once again--despite standing 6'4", 230 he is endearingly fragile. Floyd has only played in a hundred and thirty games in back-to-seasons once and has never had back-to-back seasons of five hundred and fifty at-bats. All said, that's probably a shame because when he is on the field, Floyd is a really great hitter. His lifetime OPS+ is just 120, but that's brought down by both his early career--Floyd had nearly mediocre seven hundred and fifty times at the plate before he was twenty-four--and by his nagging injuries.

Of course, as it turns out the joke is ultimately on Cliff. If he had played fifty years ago, and we'd looked at his stats, everyone would go "Oh, he should've been a DH." But Floyd lives and plays in the age of the DH, but has managed, partially through fate and partially through choices of his own, has played all but forty-seven games of his career in the National League. Now interleague play has given Floyd a few more chances to experience the joys of a batter-only role, but he's still only done it for just under three percent of his career games.

Floyd is a free agent this off-season, but coming off the worst year of his career the market for him will probably be somewhat soft. (Well, as soft as this crazy market can be for anyone.) But I can only hope for the sake of my favorite dorky named, fragile, 6'4" 230 Major League Baseball player, that he can find a niche somewhere as a DH.

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