Sunday, January 6, 2013

Sunday, January 6, 2013 Answer Notes

Q.         Who was traded three times before winning the Rookie of the Year Award?
Hint:     He is the last player to drive in eight runs in a game that his team lost.
Hint:     All eight RBIs came off the same pitcher.
Hint:     A wild pitch probably prevented him from driving in a ninth run that day.
Twint:    He replaced Manny.
A.         Jason Bay
FCR -    Mark DeLodovico, Rockville, MD

Notes on JASON BAY

Jason Bay was drafted by the Expos in June 2000, traded to the Mets for Lou Collier in March 2002 then sent to the Padres in a five player deal four months later.  After getting into 3 games with the Padres in early 2003 he was traded to the Pirates with Oliver Perez for Brian Giles at the end of August and was Pittsburgh’s regular left fielder for the rest of the season.  He won the Rookie of the Year award the following year.

Players have driven in eight or more runs in a game 130 times since 1919, including Texas’ Nelson Cruz and Josh Hamilton in 2012.  In only four of those games was it done for the losing side: Lou Gehrig on 09-Sep-1932 (G1) in a 14-13 loss to Detroit; Lee Thomas of the Angels in a 13-12 loss to the As on 05-Sep-1961 (G2); Washington’s Mike Epstein on 19-Jun-1970 (G1) in a 12-10 loss to Baltimore; and Bay, on 19‑Sep‑2003 (G1) in the 21st game of his career, a 10-9 loss to the Cubs.  Interesting that three of these four came during double-headers.

Bay had another eight RBI game the next year, also in a double header on 02‑Jul‑2004 (G2) against the Brewers, making him one of only 11 players with multiple eight-RBI games.

Carlos Zambrano, who pitched 4.2 innings for the Cubs, surrendered all of the Pirates runs in a 10-9 Cubs’ victory.  Bay’s big day started with a second inning grand slam to erase a 3-0 deficit, but Pirates pitchers couldn’t hold the lead and the Cubs scored six in the next half inning to take a 9-4 lead.  Bay cut the deficit to 9-6 with a two-run homer in the fourth inning and he tied the score with a two-run double in the fifth that knocked Zambrano out of the box.  The Cubs retook the lead in the sixth inning and shut down the Pirates the rest of the way, including striking Bay out to end the seventh.  Bay came to the plate in the fifth inning with two out and the bases loaded.  On a 2-1 count Zambrano uncorked a wild pitch that allowed a run to score and moved the others runners up a base then Bay lined the next pitch for a two run double.  Rob Mackowiak was the runner who moved from first to second on the wild pitch.  He stole six bases and hit four triples in 193 plate appearance that year and had 13 steals and six triples as a regular the next season so he had the speed to potentially score from first on the double.

While this was one of the 130 games in which a player had at least eight RBI, the wild pitch may have prevented Bay from becoming one of only 33 players with at least nine RBI in a game.

On 31-Jul-2008 Bay was part of a 3-team deal that sent Manny Ramirez to the Dodgers and several players to Pittsburgh.  He played left field for the Red Sox the next day and missed only three games the rest of the season.  This article reviews the trade in detail:

Q.         Who was the first player after Walt Dropo in 1950 to have a season with at least 120 games played and more than one RBI per game?
Hint:     He was also the second to do so, and missed by three RBI doing it for three consecutive seasons.
Hint:     He won two MVP awards despite only having the league’s 44th and 26th highest Wins Above Replacement totals in those respective seasons.
Twint:    He was the brother-in-law of someone else in this week’s quiz.
Twint:    He took his nickname from professional wrestling, not the horror movies.
A.         Juan Gonzalez
FCR -    Damian Begley, New York, NY


Juan Gonzalez had 144 RBI in 134 games played in 1996. George Brett (118 RBI in 117 games in 1980), Jeff Bagwell (116 RBI in 110 games in 1994) and Kirby Puckett (112 RBI in 108 games in 1994) accomplished this while playing in fewer than 120 games before Gonzalez did it. Also in 1996 Ken Griffey, Jr. matched but didn’t exceed his games played with 140 RBI in 140 games.

Gonzalez had 157 RBI in 154 games in 1998 and fell just short in 1997 with 131 RBI in 133 games.  Manny Ramirez is the only other player to do this since 1950, accumulating 165 RBI in 147 games in 1999.  Sammy Sosa (160 RBI in 160 games in 2001) and Gonzalez again in 2001 (140 RBI in 140 games) are the only others to have their RBI totals match their games played while appearing in over 120 contests since Walt Dropo’s big year in 1950.

In 1996 Gonzalez had a WAR of 3.5, a total that was exceeded by 29 position players and 14 pitchers.  Griffey (9.5), Alex Rodriguez (9.2), Chuck Knoblauch (8.4), Pat Hentgen (8.2), Roger Clemens (7.4) and Jim Thome (7.2) each had WAR figures that were more than double Gonzalez’.  He was also beaten in WAR by his Texas Rangers teammates Ken Hill (6.3), Ivan Rodriguez (5.8), Rusty Greer (5.1) and Mark McLemore (4.0).  Nevertheless, here are the results of the 1996 AL MVP vote.  (Note that some players who did not receive any votes, and therefore are not on this list, had higher WAR totals than Gonzalez. Examples include Edgar Martinez (6.3), Hill and Greer.

In 1998 Gonzalez improved his WAR to 4.6 but was still beaten by 18 position players and 7 pitchers, including teammate Ivan Rodriguez (6.1). Here is the 1996 MVP vote.

Gonzalez’s best season in this category was in1993, when he ranked seventh among position players and twelfth overall in Wins Above Replacement.  Despite his gaudy offensive numbers Gonzalez’s career WAR of 35.1 puts him tied for 534th all time.  Here is a list of the top 1,000 WAR totals through 2012.

Gonzalez was briefly married to volleyball star Elaine Lopez, sister of Javy Lopez.  More information about Gonzalez’s marriages can be found in this article, with a reference to his marriage to Lopez appearing about half way into the article:

When Gonzalez was a child he liked wrestling, especially Igor the Magnificent, and as a nine-year-old he decided his friends should call him Igor.  The second paragraph in the “Page 1: The Cover” section of this article mentions this:

Q.         Who was left stranded on second base, representing the tying run, at the conclusion of Canada’s 6-5 loss to the USA at the 2009 World Baseball Classic?
Hint:     He was the highest drafted Canadian-born position player.
Hint:     His sister was the 2009 and 2010 NCAA Softball National Collegiate Player of the Year.
Hint:     One Canadian-born General Manager acquired him from another Canadian GM.
Twint:    He joined another player from this list the first time the Toronto Blue Jays had two Canadian-born position players in the same starting line up.
A.         Brett Lawrie
FCR -    Bob Wilbur, Spokane, WA


On 07-Mar-2009, Team Canada was down by two runs entering the bottom of the ninth.  After Adam Stern grounded out, Russell Martin and Joey Votto hit back-to-back doubles off J.J. Putz, cutting the USA’s lead to a single run.  Justin Morneau then grounded out to short and manager Ernie Whitt sent 19-year-old Lawrie in to pinch run for Votto.  Jason Bay ended the game with a fly ball to right field.  Here is the play-by-play of the game:  And this is the box score:;_ylt=Av9nDMOhLwPtDwep6HwJO2navrYF?gid=290307108

Lawrie didn’t play in Canada’s next game, a 6-2 loss to Italy that eliminated them from the tournament.

Lawrie was selected with the 16th overall pick in the 2008 Major League Baseball Draft by the Brewers.  This is the fourth highest a Canadian has ever been drafted, following pitchers Adam Loewen and Jeff Francis [4th and 9th in 2002], and Phillippe Aumont [11th in 2007] and it’s the highest ever for a Canadian position player.  This article lists the top Canadian-born draft picks and amateur free agents going back to Ryan Dempster in 1995:

Danielle Lawrie won the awards while playing for the University of Washington.  This article about the 2010 award mentions her win in 2009:

Alex Anthopoulos (born in Montréal, Quebec) of the Blue Jays acquired Lawrie from Milwaukee’s Doug Melvin (Chatham, Ontario) on 06-Dec-2010.  Here are more details on that transaction:

On 07-Sep-2011 Jose Bautista was given a rest and moved to DH with Loewen subbing for him in right field.  With Lawrie in his usual position at third base the Jays had two Canadian-born players in the lineup for the first time in their history.  Lawrie batted sixth and went 2 for 2 with a walk and a hit by pitch, scoring two runs and stealing a base. Loewen followed him in the order and went one for three, his first major league hit, was hit by a pitch and scored a run.

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