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Dropping some serious baseball knowledge to wrap up the season

The baseball season is finally over. I’m about to drop some season ending knowledge on you so get ready.

Omar Vizquel just played his last MLB game retiring as a Toronto Blue Jay (put that one in your trivia memory bank). Let’s flash forward a couple of years when he will be eligible for the Hall of Fame. Instead of debating on if he should get in or not (he should)  I’ll just put his stats up to Ozzie Smith’s and see how he stacks up. Ozzie Smith was one of the best fielding shortstops ever as he won 13 straight Gold Gloves. Vizquel was also pretty handy with the glove as he was an 11 time Gold Glover. Ozzie gets the nod as a better fielder but I’m not sure if there is anyone who would have beaten him there. In terms of batting here’s how they stack up:

Ozzie Smith: .262, 28 HR, 793 RBI, 1257 runs, 580 SB, 2460 hits.
Omar Vizquel: .272, 80 HR, 951 RBI, 1445 runs, 404 SB, 2877 hits.

Based on those numbers it’s not even close. Vizquel outproduced him in every category except for stolen bases. I was most shocked to see that Ozzie Smith only hit 28 HR’s in his 19 year career. That takes “light hitting shortstop” to a whole new level.

Miguel Cabrera just won the Triple Crown. The best comparison of him to another player would be Manny Ramirez. If you had to choose between Manny Ramirez in his prime or Miguel Cabrera who would you choose? Here’s how they stack up:

Miguel Cabrera (this year): .330, 44 HR, 139 RBI, 109 runs.
Manny Ramirez: .333, 44 HR, 165 RBI, 131 Runs.

Even though Manny’s number look more impressive I give the nod to Cabrera. You have to put the numbers into perspective based on how they compared to the rest of the league (since it’s a level playing field for all players that season). Manny played in the steroid era so the inflated RBI numbers are likely due to that. Cabrera lead the AL in the three major statistical categories, Manny only lead in one. That says enough for me.

If you play fantasy baseball you know the adage “always wait for saves”. This year Fernando Rodney just had the greatest statistical season of any closer ever. Here’s how he stacked up against the generally accepted two best closers ever, Mariano Rivera and Dennis Eckersley, best years:

Fernando Rodney: 2-2, 48 saves, 76 K’s, 0.60 ERA, 0.77 WHIP
Mariano Rivera: 4-2, 53 saves, 66 K’s, 1.94 ERA, 1.08 WHIP
Dennis Eckersley: 7-1, 51 saves, 93 K’s, 1.91 ERA, 0.93 WHIP

That should put into perspective how amazing of a season Fernando Rodney just had. By the way, Rodney typically went undrafted in fantasy leagues as Kyle Farnsworth was slated to be the Tampa Bay Rays closer this year. What makes this even crazier is the fact that last year Rodney only had 3 saves, a 4.50 ERA, and 1.68 WHIP. Talk about coming out of no where. This is sort of like Jose Bautista’s breakout season with the Blue Jays when he went from hitting .235 with 13 HR and 40 RBI to mashing 54 HR and 124 RBI to go with a .260 avg.

Adam Dunn had a major bounce back season and should be a lock for comeback player of the year. Last season he had the worst statistical hitting season in the history of baseball. Here’s how big his improvement was:

Adam Dunn 2011: .159, 11 HR, 42 RBI, 36 runs, 75 walks, 177 K’s, 496 plate appearances
Adam Dunn 2012:  .204, 41 HR, 96 RBI, 87 runs, 105 walks, 222 K’s, 649 plate appearances

Never in the history of baseball has a player hitting .204 been a 45 point improvement and thought of as a great year. In case you were wondering, the 222 K’s was the most of Dunn’s career, he lead the majors in strikeouts, and that was the second most strikeouts ever (it was just one behind Mark Reynolds record of 223). Dunn now has four of the top thirteen most strikeouts in a season by a player. The only player who has more than that is Mark Reynolds who has four of the top ten (numbers 1, 3, 5 and 10).

How much did steroids (or a lack there of) effect Ryan Braun this year? Not at all. If anything he had an even better season this year. Here’s a comparison of his 2011 MVP season to this year:

Ryan Braun MVP 2011 season: .332, 33 HR, 111 RBI, 33 SB, 109 runs
Ryan Braun 2012: .319, 41 HR, 112 RBI, 30 SB, 108 runs

In his MVP season Ryan Braun did not lead the NL in any of the major statical categories. This year Braun lead the NL in HR’s and runs. I believe that this season was more MVP worthy than last year and should silence any critics that wondered about how he’d bounce back from the steroid scandal that hung over his head in the offseason.

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Rob Cressy

Rob Cressy

Founder/Editor-in-Chief
Sports loving free throw specialist living in Chicago who is awesome most of the time, has run with the bulls in Spain, and is a graduate of Second City's Improv program.
Rob Cressy

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