Some Afternoon Baseball Odds and Ends

Just had a few baseball thoughts while I am watching the Sox blitz their way through this game with the Ms …..

* Happy 44th Birthday wishes to Albert Belle, who from 1993-1999 was just about the scariest hitter on Earth. It still amazes me that Albert once had 73 extra base hits in 106 games and the next year, he pounded out 103 extras in 143 games.

 * I’ve tweeted about Carlos Gonzalez and his crazy home/road splits but it just keeps getting crazier and crazier. With two hits at Coors last night, Cargo’s home OPS now sits at 1153 while his road OPS is just 697. That is a difference of 456 points. Now Cargo is likely to finish in the top-10 of this year’s MVP votes and that has me wondering if any top-10 MVP finisher (non-pitcher) has ever had such twisted splits. My guess is Cargo is a threat to win this obscure distinction. And in case you might be wondering about Dante Bichette and 1995, his splits were ONLY 350 points apart.

* Speaking of home cooking  ….. take a look at Derek Jeter’s splits. His home OPS is .841 and on the road, it is just an Izturian .619. It looks like these numbers are being influenced by some good home luck and some bad road luck, but a glance at Jeter’s spray chart confirms that the small RF at Yankee Stadium is also a factor.

* Nice job by Ryan Howard last night ….. 0-7 with five strikeouts. By the way, the Phillies used TWENTY-TWO players in last night’s game.

* Is it too early to call that Clayton Richard for Jake Peavy trade a grand slam for San Diego? All Richard has done is save the Padres fifteen million dollars while giving them 160 innings and twelve wins.

* For a couple years, the Delmon Young for Matt Garza/Jason Bartlett trade was a slam dunk for Tampa but with Hellickson chomping at the bit, do you think Tampa would trade Garza back to Minnesota for Delmon Young if they could? With Crawford most likely leaving, seems like a no brainer to me.

* I’ve heard plenty of lemmings parrot the line that Carlos Pena is a lock to leave Tampa this off-season. But that doesn’t strike me as a sure thing at all. First off, where is the market for Pena? He will be 33 next May and this season, he sports an OPS of just .774. On top of that, he won’t make it to fifty extra base hits this year. So I ask …. Who is going to pay that guy big money over the next three years? It certainly won’t be Tampa but I’m not sure you can rule out a Rays offer in the middle-market. Something like 3yrs /21M.  Perhaps the Konerko-less Sox or the power-starved Dodgers come in higher but I just don’t see that as a certainty.

* Richie Weeks and Prince Fielder had combined to get hit by more pitches than all but five other NL clubs. Those two have been plunked FORTY times.

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