Wednesday, October 04, 2006

October 4th, 2006

BaseballReference Day!

Of all the books, blogs and other websites--and there are a lot--I use to generate these entries every day, none is more crucial than BaseballReference. In addition to providing invaluable basic statistic information, BBRef is the source of my "Born on" and "Died on" lists, and a whole host of interesting features like the Baseball Oracle. Today, Sean Foreman the man behind BBRef has added the 2006 stats. I could spend a week scrolling around, checking out an OPS+ here, the standing on that day there. I goofed around for nearly half an hour seeing new ways Derek Jeter can be connected to Reggie Jackson; in addition to their October heroics, Jeter has now played with Bobby Abreu who played with Mike Lieberthal who played with Dave Leiper who played with Jackson.

All of which is a very long way of saying you should head over to BBRef today and check it all out. Sponsor a page if you can, I'll be doing so myself over the next couple of days when I pick suitably deserving players. It's an absolute gem of a site, and it would be a shame to let the newest stats go unnoticed.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

October 3rd, 1993

Arlington Stadium Dies

With the baseball playoffs beginning, I should warn you that repeats are likely to happen more often than not on days when the Yankees play, as my employment does not (alas) offer me the free time to blog in the day that my previous status as a student did. I hope you enjoy today's repeat, for a short one, I'm rather pleased with it.

Monday, October 02, 2006

October 2nd, 1938

Mike de la Hoz Born

I like a good four word name, and de la Hoz' is a goldmine, being that he actually has a six word name: Miguel Angel (Piloto) de la Hoz. Count 'em, that's six names. Of course, the problem with having six names is that you're then on the hook to have more than that number of years in the Majors or otherwise open yourself up for a fair bit of ridicule.

Luckily for de la Hoz, he made it with room to spare. All said, he spent part of all of nine seasons in the Major Leagues although he never appeared in more than eighty-one games in any given year. He played all around the infield, totaling nearly identical totals for his time at third base (129 games), second base (119 games) and shortstop (108 games) with a handful at first and in the outfield thrown in for good measure.

That versitility in the field is what kept de la Hoz in the Majors for his nine season, as he was usually mediocre at best with the stick, although he did manage decent back-to-back years in 1963 and '64 (hitting .294 in the latter). So far as I can tell, de la Hoz is still alive, and passing on a legacy of four named baseball players to another generation.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

October 1st, 2006

Last Day of the Regular Season

Just over six months ago, I did my predictions for the 2006 season. Being that the 2006 season has now ended--a fact which always makes me a little wistful, even with the playoffs beginning--it only seems fitting to look back on a bit of my own history, and see how I did at predicting the future.

In the American League, I predicted the four playoff teams would be the Yankees, Indians, A's with the Red Sox taking the Wild Card. As it turned out, I missed hugely on the Indians who finished the year in fourth place six games under .500. Of course, many others missed that bad on Cleveland, so I'm hardly alone. The AL Central as a whole was a nightmare, I failed to get a single team in their correct finishing order aside from the absolutely dire Royals and managed to place the teams that finished first and second--both going to the playoffs--in third and fourth. Nice job. On the other hand, while I missed on the Red Sox, my East and West predictions were pretty spot-on, notably the West where I was exactly correct.

Over in the National League, I did pretty well. Although the Phillies couldn't get enough help this weekend to make me perfect, I was otherwise good predicting playoff trips for the Mets, Cards and Dodgers. I nearly once again got the Western division perfect and also almost managed that feat for the East. I missed somewhat on the Cubs and big-time on the Reds (who led the Wild Card for much of the summer) whom I picked to finish last. On the whole for both leagues, I correctly got five of eight playoff teams and put eighteen of thirty teams in their correct position (that's sixty percent) and twenty-five of thirty (eighty-three percent) within one place of actual finish.

With my first set of playoff predictions now to some degree out the window, I won't humiliate myself by making any more but we'll see how I end up doing on the end year awards. (Hint: Probably not very well.)

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