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 Post subject: All-time craptitude
PostPosted: Mon Jun 30, 2008 7:19 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 07, 2005 6:47 pm
Posts: 1734
Location: Washington
Interesting situation here.

We have a local ballplayer — Willie Bloomquist — playing for the Seattle Mariners, the local major-league team.

He's closing in on a decades-old major league record.

Big news, right?

But the record is a measure of futility, of ineptitude. (Bloomquist is close to breaking the mark for most consecutive plate appearances without an extra-base hit.)

How do you play it? Does playing it straight just make the implied sarcasm worse?

If so, does that knock it from a story to a notebook item? How much does a record like this really matter, anyway?


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 Post subject: Re: All-time craptitude
PostPosted: Mon Jun 30, 2008 7:49 pm 
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Joined: Mon Apr 08, 2002 12:01 am
Posts: 1775
Location: Baltimore
Calling it a record in futility or ineptitude seems harsh. It's better to hit .330 with only singles than to hit .200 with the occasional double.

But without checking his stats, I'm going to guess that Bloomquist is hitting about .240, or at least far from .330.

He's never been a power hitter, right? No one expected him to bat drive in a lot of runs (even in that lineup).

I don't see it as important, but it probably can't be ignored. Do you have a sense of how he views it? Maybe an interesting interview could come from this. But making a big deal of it just because there's not much else to say about the team seems weak.

You're right to not want to come off as mocking him. Leave that to the talk shows, blogs and discussion boards -- because as a "joke" it's not funny.

Maybe it's only a notebook item.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jun 30, 2008 8:03 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 07, 2005 6:47 pm
Posts: 1734
Location: Washington
Most statistical studies these days draw strong links between slugging percentage and positive offensive performance. Generally, singles-only hitters are seen as dangerous anachronisms that drag down a lineup, and they rarely last unless they hit .330 — and at that, they'd better be taking some walks too.

Bloomquist's slugging percentage is the same as his batting average: .247. The American League average is .410.

His OPS (combined slugging and on-base percentage) is .611; the league's average is .742.

He's an offensive millstone — and a joke as a ballplayer, frankly. He stays because he's a fan favorite. He fulfills the time-honored image of the scrappy, hustling, dirty-uniform white guy. On the blogs and on Seattle talk radio, people talk nonstop about how Bloomquist should start — and bat leadoff instead of Ichiro. It's Carlinesque absurdity at its most surreal.

I've interviewed him several times. He's a nice enough guy to shoot the shit with. But he doesn't give you too much good stuff for the record. I can't see him having a public sense of humor about the singles-only record.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jul 01, 2008 10:38 am 
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Joined: Fri Oct 07, 2005 9:43 am
Posts: 351
Location: Pennsylvania
Wabberjocky wrote:
He's an offensive millstone — and a joke as a ballplayer, frankly. He stays because he's a fan favorite. He fulfills the time-honored image of the scrappy, hustling, dirty-uniform white guy.


So he's not exactly trade bait for contending teams?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jul 01, 2008 6:06 pm 
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Joined: Wed May 28, 2008 5:30 am
Posts: 9
Location: North Jersey
A record like that just doesn't matter much in the grand scheme of baseball. If anything, he'll end up as a Trivial Pursuit question, and the right answer will come only to the statistically obsessed.

It's a notebook item ... especially if he's not a good interview, and his sense of humor matches his batting average (which, for anyone paying attention to this thread, is .250, with 5 RBIs).


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