Ben Revere Makes Baseball History

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During Tuesday night’s game against the Rangers, Ben Revere bunted. It didn’t seem like anything particularly special; Ben Revere bunts all the time. He even bunts in the shower. What made that moment special was that it was the 1,409th plate appearance of Revere’s career, which was also his 1,409th consecutive plate appearance without a home run. With that seemingly innocuous bunt against Martin Perez, Revere broke Tim Johnson’s expansion era record for the most plate appearances in a career for a position player without a home run. In the grand scheme of things, this means absolutely nothing. This achievement will not be celebrated. It will not be talked about at whatever office water cooler you frequent. His bat will not be sent to the Hall of Fame for eternal enshrinement. Skip Bayless will not yell mercilessly into space at no one in particular about how Ben Revere is the greatest of all time. None of these things will happen. But that doesn’t mean Ben Revere isn’t an American hero.

Revere debuted in the big leagues on September 7th, 2010. Since that day Miguel Cabrera has hit 123 home runs, Travis Wood has hit 5, and Munenori Kawasaki has one lonely dinger. Since that day Barry Bonds has slashed .321/.491/.812 with 451 home runs. Whether due to a lack of strength, a swing not suited for loft, or an unwarranted fear of recreating The Sandlot, Revere has kept the ball in the yard for every single one of his 1,409 career plate appearances.

While Revere currently holds the record for most PA’s without a HR, his reign could end suddenly with a single swing. Many before him have overtaken Johnson’s record only to see their title disappear as they launched a dinger or two into the crowd before calling it quits. The three players with the most PA’s into their career without a homer in the expansion era were:

3.) Larry Bowa: 1,744 PA’s without a home run.

2.) Frank Taveras: 1,779 PA’s without a home run.

1.) Greg Gross: 1,890 PA’s without a home run.

1,890 PA’s is a lot of times to walk up to the plate with a wood stick and not use that wood stick to place a ball in the stands. Gross wasn’t even a bad player, putting up almost 10 WAR before he ever hit a home run. His first dinger came on 7/6/77, one day away from biblical immortality, against the Expos at Wrigley Field. It was a joyous day for Greg, the Gross family, and the entire city of Chicago.

If what Greg Gross did was impressive in some sort of weird way, then what Frank Taveras accomplished was much more impressive-er than Gross’ grossness. Taveras’ first home run came almost a month after Gross hit his first on 8/5/77. While Gross was able to hit his first dinger over an actual fence, Taveras had to settle for an inside-the-park home run. Such a novelty officially counts as a home run, but who the hell cares, I want to know when a player hit a ball over the wall. So then when was Taveras’ first over-the-fence-ball? The answer: 1,437 PLATE APPEARANCES LATER. WHICH IS ABSOLUTELY MIND-BLOWINGLY INSANE.

Newspaper Clipping From The Day Taveras Hit His First Over-The-Fence-Ball

Newspaper Clipping From The Day Taveras Hit His First Over-The-Fence-Ball

IT TOOK FRANK TAVERAS 3,216 PLATE APPEARANCES TO HIT A HOME RUN OVER THE FENCE. During one stretch in his career, Barry Bonds hit 275 home runs in 3,216 plate appearances. It took Taveras that long to hit just one. One dinger. One measly little over-the-fence ball. After over 800 career games, Taveras finally sent one to the peons in the bleachers on August 18th, 1979.

What Ben Revere has done, or really, what he hasn’t been able to do, is pretty astounding compared to the rest of baseball history. But if you look at what Ben Revere has done compared to what Frank  Taveras did, Revere looks like Barry Bonds on steroids ;). At his current pace, Revere will need to play nearly four more seasons without a home run to catch Taveras.

Taveras holds a record meant to be broken, but more importantly, a record worth watching. But right now, all we can do as fans is stand up and cheer on Mr. Revere in his quest to play baseball the way it was played in 1899. Revere’s current title could evaporate at any moment so make sure you keep your fingers crossed that the wind keeps blowing in wherever Ben Revere can be found.

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2013 Regular Season Review: THE FUN STUFF (The Hitters)

On Monday, the Tampa Bay Rays defeated the Texas Wranglers last night for the exciting opportunity to go to Cleveland, Ohio for a night of competitive baseball. What a treat. Last night, the Pittsburgh Pirates WON A PLAYOFF GAME against the Cincinnati Reds in the NL Wild Card game and will move on to face the St. Louis Best Organization In Baseball. Honestly, I’m still mourning the death of the ridiculous 2013 regular season and I probably will be for a while. In an effort to remember the year that was and because I spend so much time on FanGraphs anyway, I’m gonna just gonna go through a multitude of interesting statistical finishes throughout baseball and maybe possibly probably not say a few things about them. We will probably do some sort of CFB Awards post after or later in the postseason, but this is what I’ve got for now. And again, thank you based FanGraphs for being too good to be true.

Important:

  • Qualified hitters = minimum 500 PA’s
  • Qualified starters = minimum 162 innings pitched
  • Qualified relievers = minimum 49 innings pitched
  • Qualified defenders = minimum 900 innings at a position

I’m gonna do this in four parts: hitters, starting pitchers, relievers and crazy stupid defensive numbers.

We start with the guys that hit the balls with the bats.

HITTERS:

Let’s Talk About WAR:

  • Mike Trout completed his second consecutive 10 win season, finishing with 10.4 WAR. A healthy lead over second place Andrew McCutchen who finished at 8.2 WAR. A brief list of guys who Mike Trout has already surpassed in CAREER WAR: Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier, Nick Markakis, Justin Upton, Buster Posey, Ryan Howard (lolololololol), Marco Scutaro, Josh Willingham and Justin Morneau. Put it this way: there are only 55 players that have produced more WAR since beginning of the 2006 season than Mike Trout has since he came up. Mike Trout the best.

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Advanced Pitching Metrics: John McDonald For Cy Young

I don’t have a vote for the Cy Young award, but if I did I would vote for one of these three pitchers.

David Carpenter: 

John McDonald:

Ryan Raburn:

In today’s baseball world, strikeouts are key. They are the lifeblood to any good pitcher. 

Ground balls are awesome too by the way.

Also important in today’s modern baseball world are rate stats. Counting stats are frowned upon by many, especially those who cannot count.

Therefore the only way to get good stats are to combine these concepts. When we mix rate stats and strikeouts, we get a fantastic stat called K/9. K/9 measures how many strikeouts a pitcher averages every nine innings. Combining ground balls and rate stats creates GB%. These advanced metrics are the basis for my plea to the Cy Young voters: Vote McDonald, vote Raburn, and vote Carpenter. Scratch those names and I’ll scratch you. Nope, that was a bad sentence. Let’s just get on with it.

Angels RHP David Carpenter: 

  • Carpenter might have a particularly high ERA for a Cy Young candidate as his ERA currently sits at 108.00. At first glance that appears a bit too high to be considered the best pitcher in the league but hold your horses bucko. We all know that ERA is a flawed stat so this number cannot be trusted. His xFIP is almost A HUNDRED points lower. That’s nuts. He just got unlucky this year.
  • Carpenter has also been extremely unlucky this year as evidenced by his insane 100% HR/FB rate.

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This Is An Octavio Dotel Appreciation Post

For those of you that don’t know, Octavio Dotel is awesome. I felt like it was time to let the world know that Mr. Dotel is a savior, a superhero, and a saint. So buckle up, latch in, and get ready because this is about to be a doozy.

Octavio Dotel Has Played For 13 Teams

This segment of Dotel’s legacy has been well documented. The sheer fact that a major league baseball player played for thirteen years is absurd, let alone thirteen teams. I bet the random guy on the street can’t even name thirteen teams. “What is a Rockies?” he would say.

To put the number thirteen in perspective; so you know how it feels like Casper Wells is on a new team every week? Well Casper Wells has played for only five teams, and if you are good at math you know that’s seven less than Dotel’s thirteen.

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All Star Break Record Breakers: Pitchers

The baseball season is 6 months long. The baseball season is mostly during the summer. We call the All Star Game “The Mid-Summer’s Classic.” According to all of these points the All Star Game must be the halfway point of the baseball season.

There have been some great performances over the first half of the year, but what could happen in the second half is even more extraordinary. Check that, what will happen in the second half. You see, when a player has a certain amount of stats in the first half (and they usually do), you can always double that amount to find out what that player will have over the course of the year. Its a really good sabermetric strategy and it always always works. Here are a few pitchers who could will shatter records:

Mark Melancon

First Half Stat: 25 Holds

Will Finish The Year With: 50 Holds

Math Involved: 25 + 25 = 50

Significance: I bet you didn’t know the most holds in a season was Luke Gregerson with 40 all the way back in 2010. A record nobody thought would be broken and definitely a record that everyone should keep an eye on.

Kenley Jansen

First Half Stat: 94.9% Fastballs

Will Finish The Year With: 189.8% Fastballs

Math Involved: 94.9% + 94.9%

Significance: If you thought 100% was the limit, Kenley Jansen says you are wrong. He could shatter the previous record of 100% held by hundreds of players. This has the potential to be an unbelievable story later in the year.

David Carpenter

First Half Stat: 108.00 ERA

Will Finish The Year With: 216.00 ERA

Math Involved: (4/.1) + (4/.1)

Significance: Yeah yeah he might not qualify for the ERA title, but so what? If you ignore the innings qualification, the record for highest ERA in a season belongs to Joe Cleary of the 1945 Washington Senators with an astounding ERA of 189.00. Carpenter has a real chance to destroy that if once he pitches just as bad in the second half.