Three things on the agenda today. Four if you count “an almost fanatical devotion to the pope,” but I digress…
Bad Pitching Performances
I’ve got a new article up at Hardball Times: “Ten pitching seasons to forget.” Three of these guys once pitched for the Padres. One was Mark Davis, which gave me an excuse to revisit the Keltner List I did for him over at Baseball Think Factory many moons ago.
Steve Arlin merited an honorable mention for his 1973 season with the Padres. Before I added an innings-pitched component to the formula, Arlin made my top 10. Here’s the writeup on him that got left on the cutting-room floor:
#10: Steve Arlin, 1973 Padres
IP ERA BA OBP SLG ERA+ OPS+ 180 5.10 .279 .344 .440 68 131
That ERA doesn’t look too bad by today’s standards. Heck, 10 pitchers who qualified for an ERA title in 2007 had an ERA of 5.10 or worse. And that batting line is nothing special — about what Mark Ellis or Aubrey Huff did last year.
Context, of course, is everything. Arlin’s home park was San Diego Stadium, a pitcher’s haven, and the NL ERA in 1973 was 3.66. That year, 57 players qualified for the NL batting title. Only 14 of them had an OPS+ higher than what Arlin allowed.
Arlin compiled a career 34-67 record over six seasons with the Padres and Indians before retiring in 1974 at age 28. Among Padres fans, he is most famous for almost throwing a no-hitter against the Phillies in 1972.
Check out the entire article. It was a blast to research and write; hopefully that comes through when you read it.
I’m very psyched to say that I’ve finished the first draft of the Ducksnorts 2008 Baseball Annual and sent chapters out for review. To those of you helping out, I offer my hearty thanks. If you didn’t receive something from me and think you should have (or would like to), please shoot me an email. I’m trying to keep it all together, but lately, everything is a blur sometimes.
The important point is that we’re almost there. Then I have to figure out how to promote the bejeezus out of this thing, because otherwise I’ll probably have to start looking for a real job soon.
But that’s a battle for another day.
Spring Training Update
This is really a non-update. Between the book and the THT article, I haven’t had a chance to sit down with my buddy and finalize plans, but it’s on my to-do list.
If you’ve expressed an interest in meeting with us in Peoria, first off, thank you. Second, I owe you an email with details, and I’ll get that to you… soon. How soon? I don’t know.
But I haven’t forgotten about you. Hang tight a little longer, and we’ll make it happen.