Tag Archives: Johnny Bench


This is the third year we’ve published this study by Dr. Don Davis.  It’s one of our most popular blogs and we’re happy to be able to share it again with you.  Be sure to link to his website  for additional information, changes and criteria he used in compiling his study.

“2011 Baseball Players Mathematical Study, written by Don Davis, Department of Mathematics, Lehigh University, Bethlehem, PA., and printed here with his permission.”

Pos’n First team Second team Third team Fourth team Fifth team
P,1 Roger Clemens, 266.0 Tom Seaver, 181.1 Bob Gibson, 140.4 Juan Marichal, 107.9 Curt Schilling, 85.1
P,2 Randy Johnson, 202.1 Warren Spahn, 167.5 Sandy Koufax, 137.8 Gaylord Perry, 102.8 Phil Niekro, 84.9
P,3 Greg Maddux, 197.5 Bob Feller, 157.6 Robin Roberts, 136.5 Roy Halladay, 102.1 Johan Santana, 84.6
P,4 Pedro Martinez, 187.5 Steve Carlton, 143.5 Jim Palmer, 133.2 Fergie Jenkins, 87.2 Nolan Ryan, 83.7
C Johnny Bench, 111.2 Yogi Berra, 92.9 Gary Carter, 75.6 Mike Piazza, 74.8 Ivan Rodriguez, 71.0 Continue reading

Scott Cousins? ….. Irrelevant.

#28 Buster Posey

First, let me begin by saying I don’t believe Scott Cousins is irrelevant as a person, as a human being.  Of course he’s relevant.  But the story these past two weeks that has taken baseball hostage is about something else.  It’s about a love story that’s taken hold on every person who ever thought of being a Giants fan and it has everything to do with Buster Posey.  Buster’s the ultimate “guy”.   He’s become our knight in shining armor, our Casey at the Bat, our savior of all things baseball.  I don’t know exactly how this happened, but it happened.   I started collecting Buster Posey memorabilia  when he first came into our farm system after the 2008 draft.   And he lived up to everything we expected of him.  He was our hope for the future and our promise of all good things to come.  He was what it meant to be a San Francisco Giant. 

So on May 29, 2011, during a Florida Marlins – San Francisco Giants ballgame, at the top of the 12th inning, with the score tied, and the game on the line, when Buster Posey endured a career-threatening injury,  the collective gasp of everything “Giant” was heard throughout the baseball world and beyond.  We’re still reeling from the ramifications of that injury.  Some of us deal with it better than others, but of course the one who continues to suffer the most is Buster Posey, both physically and emotionally.  I was surprised when Buster came out with his statement the day after the injury with a not-so-charitable attitude toward Cousins, the agressor in the play.  But when Brian Sabean, General Manager of the SF Giants, hurled his scathing comments  directly to and about Scott Cousins, a line was crossed.  Now, all of a sudden, Scott Cousins has become irrelevant and the play at the plate has become irrelevant. 

Have we learned nothing from these past couple months?   I’m thinking about that awful incident involving one of our own, Bryan Stow, who was brutally beaten after a Dodger-Giants game March 31, 2011, in the stadium parking lot.   The outpouring of love and support for Bryan was incredible and this included a huge contingent of support from the Los Angeles Dodger fans.   Everyone banded together in support of this SF Giants fan who was involved in this terrible crime.  Baseball was at its finest.  

And now, the SF Giants are involved in a truly unfortunate “accident” and not only the fans, but the Giants management, are showing nothing but indignation and outrage that it could possibly happen to them, to one of their own.   Well, I’m sorry, but it did.  It happened.  And we’re all hurting.  We miss Buster.  We miss seeing him every day, in the dugout, behind the plate, at the plate.  But why do we insist on having a villain in this scenario?  Why can’t we get past this and accept it as an unfortunate accident and move forward?  Scott Cousins did not intentionally get up in the morning , arrive at the ball park, and decide this was the day he was going to nail Buster Posey with a career-threatening hit.  Cousins did what he was trained to do.  He’s a competitor and he’s supposed to try his very best to do everything he can to help his team win games.  And that’s what he was doing when this incident occurred.  That’s all he was doing.  There was no malicious intent to destroy anyone. He made a split-second decision just like all the other split-second decisions that are made on the ball field on a daily basis.  The end result was disastrous, but it was not intentional.

Not that it matters, but this morning I read an article by ESPN.Com quoting Johnny Bench  (link to one of my favorite Posey Cards here) that puts Buster Posey at fault.  Johnny Bench is considered an expert in this area, being one of the all-time greatest catchers who’s ever played the game.  He’s also an avid supporter and fan of Posey and has been quoted many times these past few years acknowledging what a fine young person and athlete and catcher he is.   Everyone has an opinion;  100 bloggers, 100 different opinions.  The reason I bring this up is because everyone makes mistakes; I make mistakes and you make mistakes, Scott Cousins makes mistakes and Johnny Bench makes mistakes.  

Will MLB change the rules?  Maybe.  But how this injury to Buster Posey happened is not as important as how we’re going to get past it.  And we will.  But the sooner the better.

SF Giants and a wannabe Rodeo Clown ~ Going to the Ship!

 The “Ship” is short for Championship as Sergio Romo explained to us diehard fans after last night’s game.   I stayed up for hours watching the late night commentaries on all the sports channels.  Just couldn’t get enough!   Duane Kuiper, our local television and radio commentator of team Mike Krukow and Duane Kuiper, coined the phrase mid-season “Giants Games   ~ Torture!” and boy did it stick!   Whew!    The statistics for their one run games pretty much explains it all.  I seriously considered not watching the bottom of the 9th last night!  Instead I chose to leave the room with my radio and headphones and sit in a corner overcome by a huge anxiety attack!  This was fun!  Fun, like getting your finger stuck in a light socket, or pulling  your toenails out one at a time.  Nothing comes easy for Giants fans.  Is that why we love these guys so much?  Endurance? 

All I can say is I’ve been a Giants fan for many, many years and I can never remember a team of players quite like this group.    Misfits?  Probably.   Oddballs?  Oh sure.  Endearing?  Absolutely!    They have so many tags this year, it’s hard to know where to start.   Black beards in the bullpen, Aubrey Huff’s red thong for good luck, Cody Ross, the wannabe Rodeo Clown, Timmy Lincecum’s long black hair flowing out from his cap, and his minor infraction this summer with the law, Barry Zito, most expensive paid cheerleader in history, sitting on the  bench through the entire playoffs with his $18,000,000 Annual Salary, supporting his teammates. 

But along with the idiosyncracies the Giants organization weaned a couple of rookies off their farm program this year and what a couple of rookies they turned out to be.  I don’t know what they’re feeding and teaching the kids down in the Fresno area, but boy does it work!  Rookies  Buster Posey and Madison Bumgarner both played key roles throughout the season after being called up this Spring, but also contributed immensely in the postseason .  It gave me a huge thrill to watch the two of them, Bumgarner the Pitcher and Posey the Catcher,a couple of kids performing in postseason in the 6th Game of the NLCS against the current champion Philadelphia Phillies, doing their job like the young pro’s they are.   My guess is they’ll be around  for many years and, Lord willing, in San Francisco. Well for whatever reason, the chemistry works for both the players and the fans, and the fans aren’t going away anytime soon!   

I’ve tried not to dwell on the incredible odds the Giants were up against with the Phillies who were the hands down favorites in every aspect.  But I’d like to mention

Madison Bumgarner, Postseason Play

something here that’s been bugging me for years.  The very worst of the worst of sports announcers has to be without a doubt  Fox Sports “Buck & McCarver”.  At one point in Game 1, the Fox commentators made a comment about how “bored Halladay must be, throwing strikes and retiring players.  He probably thought he was back in the minors and what a piece of cake” or some such trivia as this,  at which point Cody Ross  blasted a home run out of the park and silenced the dribble at least momentarily.  In the next game, the same illustrious announcers announced that some had referred to this year’s Giants team as a bunch of  “idiots”.  Then went on to explain it was the same term used for the Boston Red Sox the year they won the World Series, as though that somehow justified the comment.   Another time they were busy showing pictures and

Fox Sports' Buck & McCarver

about Alcatraz while missing pitches and activity at the bases.  But you know what really bugged me?   In Game 6 the Buck & McCarver had a mindless conversation about how Buster Posey would never make it as a catcher, and probably would be more suited to “leftfield”.  (Note:  See Johnny Bench’s comments regarding Buster Posey as a catcher  http://www.mercurynews.com/giants/ci_16344094?nclick_check=1 ).   Probably the hardest part to sit through with these guys was that final out.  Whew, might as well have been teatime  ~ thank God for my  Walkman!  1These guys musta had a lot of money bet on the Phillies.   How else can you explain the complete ambivalence towards the Giants?   And, good grief,  we get to listen to them for the World Series?   (Gotta remember to get batteries for the Walkman.)  Where do they get these guys? Wherever it is, I wish they’d send them back!   We want our own announcers in the broadcast booth, doing what they do best.  Mike Krukow and Duane Kuiper, true professionals, and I truly missed them during the entire playoff season!  For what it’s worth!

Cody Ross, NLCS MVP

And so, in spite of the odds, the San Francisco Giants, with beards, thongs and a wannabe Rodeo Clown are going to the  World Series to meet their worthy opponents, the formidable  Texas Rangers, under the ownership of one of  baseball’s greatest, Nolan Ryan.  Best of luck to both teams!   This is gonna be fun!  See y’all on Wednesday!

Best Players in Past 58 Years ……. A Mathematical Study!

I came upon an interesting study a few months ago.  It was written by Don Davis, Mathematics Professor at Lehigh University, Bethleham, PA.   There’s a lot of criteria used in determining different aspects of this study, but for the most part the players names are all recognizable and only a few to make the list are surprises.   The following table lists the top five All Star Teams, using 4 pitchers per team.    It also lists the overall rating percentage by player.   Take a look:

Pos’n First team Second team Third team Fourth team Fifth team
P1 Roger Clemens, 266.2 Tom Seaver, 166.9 Bob Gibson, 129.2 Jim Palmer, 106.4 Johan Santana, 85.4
P2 Greg Maddux, 203.9 Warren Spahn, 160.5 Robin Roberts, 128.3 Gaylord Perry, 96.1 Tom Glavine, 84.8
P3 Randy Johnson, 202.4 Bob Feller, 143.7 Sandy Koufax, 126.0 Phil Niekro, 96.1 Curt Schilling, 80.7
P4 Pedro Martinez, 185.7 Steve Carlton, 140.7 Juan Marichal, 109.5 Fergie Jenkins, 91.7 Bob Lemon, 79.9
C Johnny Bench, 115.5 Yogi Berra, 97.2 Mike Piazza, 82.2 Ivan Rodriguez, 77.7 Gary Carter, 75.5
1B Albert Pujols, 145.4 Jeff Bagwell, 103.2 Eddie Murray, 95.2 Willie McCovey, 92.1 Harmon Killebrew, 86.4
2B Joe Morgan, 140.3 Rod Carew, 94.5 Ryne Sandberg, 92.4 Jackie Robinson, 82.4 Roberto Alomar, 81.1
3B Mike Schmidt, 173.2 George Brett, 119.2 Eddie Mathews, 111.7 Wade Boggs, 108.0 Brooks Robinson, 88.4
SS Alex Rodriguez, 145.4 Cal Ripken, 113.6 Robin Yount, 93.0 Ernie Banks, 90.7 Derek Jeter, 81.6
OF1 Barry Bonds, 270.7 Stan Musial, 205.2 Frank Robinson, 145.3 Ken Griffey, 114.2 Tony Gwynn, 100.3
OF2 Willie Mays, 226.8 Mickey Mantle, 198.3 Rickey Henderson, 141.5 Al Kaline, 110.1 Pete Rose, 99.7
OF3 Ted Williams, 213.4 Hank Aaron, 195.6 Carl Yazstremski, 127.5 Reggie Jackson, 108.9 Roberto Clemente, 99.3
DH Frank Thomas, 115.0 Edgar Martinez, 64.4 Paul Molitor, 62.4 David Ortiz, 43.4  

Are you kidding me?  Can you even begin to imagine a game with all of these guys on the same team?  What was particularly interesting to me is  that mathematically Roger Clemens is the highest rated pitcher and Barry Bonds is the highest rated batter.   These  ratings are through the 2009 season,  and personalities and private lives are not taken into account.   This is just  using good old fashioned baseball statistics.  

I found the study intriguing and spent a lot of time viewing the criteria used in coming up with the lists.  Rather than go into all the particulars here, you can view the study yourself @ Lehigh University   http://www.lehigh.edu/~dmd1/baseball.html  

 This information is being used with the permission of Professor Davis.