Sully Baseball Podcast – Wanting a World Series in Minnesota and Denver and other thoughts – October 1, 2017


CBS Minnesota

The regular season ends today. Brewers fans got some heart break last night but hope for the future. Red Sox fans should be elated. Angels fans should be angry.

And I for one am hoping that the World Series is played in the freezing cold of Denver and Minneapolis.

Saying good bye to the friend that is the regular season on this Episode of Sully Baseball.

While we are at it, enjoy the In Memoriam video.

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Jim Rice 1980 Topps – Sully Baseball Card of the Day for October 1, 2017


Jim Rice was my brother’s favorite player when we were growing up in Massachusetts. He was a consistent superstar, regularly leading the league in homers while among the league leaders in batting.

He had an unbelievable peak that made him consistently in the MVP conversation, even in years when the Red Sox were not pennant contenders. He fell just short of the magical 400 home run plateau, finishing with 382. His numbers dipped badly in 1987, 1988 and 1989 where he was frustratingly a shell of his former self.

But by all the metrics used during the 1970’s, 1980’s and 1990’s, he was considered to be an elite player.

Advanced metrics were not so kind to him. The emphasis on RBI as an individual statistic has dropped dramatically, seeing that it relies on other players rather than the hitter’s ability. The value of getting on base has skyrocketed, seeing that the act of not making an out is what is coveted by today’s player.

Rice’s walk totals were never high. His goal was to get it in play and drive home the runs. 4 times in his career, he saw his OPS in the .900’s, mainly peaked with his high slugging percentage.

But in the 1980’s when he was still considered to be an MVP candidate, he also led the league in groundball double plays. Dan Shaughnessy, always a diplomatic writer, once suggested he should change his license plate to 6-4-3.

He produced numbers that the people of his era wanted but they were analyzed by a different criteria when he was on the Hall of Fame ballot. Initially his lack of passing the major milestone of 3000 hits or 400 home runs delayed his election.

Then the advanced metrics worked against him. It took Jim Rice 15 ballots before finally in 2009, he got in on his last chance. He and Rickey Henderson were elected.

I understand the arguments against Jim Rice. And yet I jumped up in the air as if he hit a towering home run when I saw he got elected. He was one of MY guys and he was my brother’s favorite player as I said. Emotionally, I was super happy that he got in. The Sabermetric crowd will have to deal with it. (They got a victory with Jack Morris falling short.)

If three flukes did not happen in Rice’s career, he would have been in on the first ballot with the exact same stats in all but one season of his career.

Well, truthfully, if his entire career was EXACTLY the same save for one thing, he would have been elected along side Mike Schmidt in 1989. If the Red Sox got the final out in the 10th inning of Game 6 of the 1986 World Series, he would have been a first ballot Hall of Famer.

An act that had NOTHING to do with his abilities would have sped up the Cooperstown process for the favorite son of Anderson, South Carolina. Red Sox win the title, boom. Rice in no questions asked.

If Bucky Dent had popped up or Lou Piniella did not field the ball properly in the sun during the 1978 AL East playoff and the Red Sox won, chances are Rice is in the Hall of Fame on the first ballot.

If Jim Rice did not break his hand in the final weeks of the 1975 season, chances are he is in the Hall of Fame on the first ballot.

But certainly if the final out was made in 1986.


Because the narrative of Jim Rice’s greatness would have outweighed any statistical argument. Was he as great a hitter as Ted Williams? No. Did he put up the stats of Carl Yastrzemski? No.

But did they WIN the World Series with Rice? Yes they did. Rice killed the dragon that no other Red Sox star could slay when they won the World Series in 1986.

The line of Hall of Fame Red Sox left fielders from 1939 to 1989 would have been complete with Rice writing the last great chapter.

That would have been his legacy. Cooperstown would have been his 15 years before any discussion of OPS and WAR (was it VORP then?) even came up.

Ray Knight pops up to Spike Owen and Jim Rice is in the Hall of Fame in 1995. The fragility of reality can seem random or at least unlikely.

I am glad Jim Rice is in the Hall of Fame, statistics be damned. If you don’t like it, then move onto the next plaque. He is my guy. He is my brother’s guy as well.



The save became an official stat in 1969. Teams in the post season initially played to the situation instead of using the closer in all close 9th innings. But as saves began to pile up (especially after Tony LaRussa began using Dennis Eckersley one inning at time) and the prices of an innings closers sky rocketed, managers seemed to manage by the book and stick the closer in no matter what.

Every once in a while, a team will have multiple pitchers record a save in a post season. It does not happen often, but they pop up. Mike Montgomery did not have a career save in the majors or minors until Game 7 of the 2016 World Series. Not a bad time to get your first one.

So here are all the teams to use more than one pitcher to save a game since 1969.

Teams with multiple pitchers with post season saves since 1969
1969 New York Mets – Ron Taylor (WS), Nolan Ryan (WS)
1970 Baltimore Orioles – Pete Richert (WS), Dick Hall (WS)
1970 Cincinnati Reds – Clay Carroll (NLCS), Don Gullett (NLCS)
1972 Oakland A’s – Vida Blue (ALCS), Rollie Fingers (WS)
1972 Cincinnati Reds – Clay Carroll (WS), Jack Billingham (WS), Tom Hall (WS)
1973 New York Mets – Tug McGraw (NLCS, WS), George Stone (WS), Ray Sadecki (WS)
1973 Oakland A’s – Rollie Fingers (ALCS, WS), Darold Knowles (WS)
1974 Oakland A’s – Rollie Fingers (ALCS, WS), Catfish Hunter (WS)
1975 Cincinnati Reds – Pedro Borbon (NLCS), Rawly Eastwick (WS), Will McEnaney (WS)
1976 Cincinnati Reds – Pedro Borbon (NLCS), Will McEnaney (WS)
1978 New York Yankees – Ken Clay (ALCS), Rich Gossage (ALCS)
1979 Pittsburgh Pirates – Don Robinson (NLCS), Kent Tekulve (WS)
1980 Philadelphia Phillies – Tug McGraw (NLCS, WS), Ron Reed (WS)
1981 Los Angeles Dodgers – Bob Welch (NLCS), Steve Howe (WS)
1982 Milwaukee Brewers – Pete Ladd (ALCS), Jim Slaton (ALCS), Bob McClure (WS)
1983 Baltimore Orioles – Sammy Stewart (ALCS), Tippy Martinez (WS)
1984 San Diego Padres – Rich Gossage (NLCS), Craig Lefferts (WS)
1985 St. Louis Cardinals – Ken Dayley (NLCS), Todd Worrell (WS), Jeff Lahti (WS)
1986 Boston Red Sox – Calvin Schraldi (ALCS, WS), Bob Stanley (WS)
1987 Minnesota Twins – Juan Berenguer (ALCS), Jeff Reardon (ALCS, WS)
1987 St. Louis Cardinals – Ken Dayley (NLCS, WS), Todd Worrell (NLCS, WS)
1988 Los Angeles Dodgers – Alejandro Pena (NLCS), Orel Hershiser (NLCS), Brian Holton (NLCS), Jay Howell (WS)
1990 Cincinnati Reds – Randy Myers (NLCS, WS), Rob Dibble (NLCS)
1990 Pittsburgh Pirates – Ted Power (NLCS), Bob Patterson (NLCS)
1990 Oakland Athletics – Dennis Eckersley (ALCS), Rick Honeycutt (ALCS)
1991 Pittsburgh Pirates – Bob Walk (NLCS), Roger Mason (NLCS)
1992 Toronto Blue Jays – Tom Henke (ALCS, WS), Mike Timlin (WS)
1992 Atlanta Braves – Jeff Reardon (NLCS), Mike Stanton (WS)
1993 Philadelphia Phillies – Mitch Williams (NLCS), Larry Andersen (NLCS)
1995 Atlanta Braves – Mark Wohlers (DS, NLCS, WS) Greg McMichael (NLCS), Pedro Borbon (WS)
1995 Seattle Mariners – Norm Charlton (DS, ALCS), Bill Risley (DS)
1996 Baltimore Orioles – Randy Myers (DS), Armando Benitez (ALCS)
1997 Cleveland Indians – Jose Mesa (DS, ALCS, WS), Brian Anderson (WS)
1998 San Diego Padres – Trevor Hoffman (DS, NLCS), Donne Wall (NLCS)
1999 Atlanta Braves – Kevin Millwood (DS), John Rocker (DS, NLCS), John Smoltz (NLCS)
1999 New York Yankees – Mariano Rivera (DS, ALCS, WS), Ramiro Mendoza (ALCS)
2000 New York Mets – John Franco (DS), Armando Benitez (NLCS, WS)
2003 Florida Marlins – Ugueth Urbina (DS, NLCS, WS), Braden Looper (NLCS)
2003 Chicago Cubs – Joe Borowski (DS), Mike Remlinger (NLCS)
2003 Boston Red Sox – Derek Lowe (DS), Scott Williamson (ALCS)
2005 Chicago White Sox – Bobby Jenks (DS, WS), Mark Buehrle (WS)
2007 Colorado Rockies – Manny Corpas (DS, NLCS), Ryan Speier (NLCS)
2008 Tampa Bay Rays – Dan Wheeler (DS), David Price (ALCS)
2009 Philadelphia Phillies – Brad Lidge (DS, NLCS), Ryan Madson (WS)
2010 Texas Rangers – Darren Oliver (ALCS), Neftali Feliz (WS)
2011 Detroit Tigers – Jose Valverde (DS, ALCS), Phil Coke (ALCS)
2012 Detroit Tigers – Jose Valverde (DS), Phil Coke (ALCS)
2014 San Francisco Giants – Santiago Castilla (DS, NLCS, WS), Hunter Strickland (DS), Madison Bumgarner (WS)
2015 Texas Rangers – Sam Dyson (DS), Ross Ohlendorf (DS)
2016 Los Angeles Dodgers – Kenley Jansen (DS, NLCS), Clayton Kershaw (DS)
2016 Cleveland Indians – Cody Allen (DS, ALCS), Andrew Miller (ALCS)
2016 Chicago Cubs – Aroldis Chapman (DS, NLCS, WS), Mike Montgomery (WS)