Melky Cabrera is off the Giants. He will not be on the playoff roster. He will probably not be back with San Francisco next year. And his wonderful break through season will forever be tainted by his P.E.D. suspension and that whole weird website thing.
That’s not what I am lamenting.
I like strange things in baseball. And the minute Melky Cabrera did what Bud Selig did not have the guts to do and remove himself from the batting race, the game was made better by that moment of accountability.
But history was denied a strange coincidence.
Here are the current batting standings, which include Cabrera:
It’s a double take.
But the American League and the National League have M. Cabrera as the batting leader. Miguel in the American League and Melky in the National League.
Seriously, I demand to know the odds of that.
That does not happen where the batting leader of both leagues have the same last name and the same first initial. And for two guys who are not brothers!
There was no William Boggs winning batting titles in the 1980s for the National League.
Nobody named Tiberius Williams won no titles in the National League.
I do not recall anyone named Randolph Carew or Thaddeus Gwynn or Horatio Wagner or Simon Musial winning a batting crown.
This would have been a first.
And would it be worth having a caught PED user win the batting title to have this kind of coincidence in the history books?
I’m not so certain that I know the answer to that.
Sure punishing those who do wrong and teaching our kids a lesson is great.
But so are oddities like this.
A.P. is reporting that the Boise Hawks, a Single A team for the Cubs, has hired Bill Buckner as their new hitting coach.
Here is how the report reads:
CHICAGO — The Chicago Cubs have hired former star Bill Buckner as a minor league hitting coach.
Buckner will be with the Boise Hawks of the short-season Class A Northwest League. The Cubs made the announcement Friday.
Buckner played for the Cubs from 1977-84 and won the 1980 NL batting title. He was a career .289 hitter over 22 seasons.
The 62-year-old Buckner was a manager last year for Brockton, a Massachusetts team in the independent CanAm league. He previously was a hitting coach for the Chicago White Sox and held the same position in the minors for Toronto.
Did you notice what part of his biography they left out?
That’s a good thing.
Buckner played for the Cubs and was a batting champ and has forgotten more about hitting than his critics will ever know.
Good for the A.P. for referring to him as “Former Star.”
That’s EXACTLY what he was.
And if you think they should have included anything in his bio about a World Series game, then kindly watch this video…
Matty Alou, the middle brother of the famed Alou brothers of San Francisco Giants lore, passed away. He began the 1962 pennant winning rally for the Giants and played well in the World Series.
But it was his time in Pittsburgh where he flourished. He won a batting title with the 1966 Pirates, played in the 1970 NLCS and made two All Star teams. He was dealt away before the 1971 season and missed his chance to win a World Series title in Pittsburgh.
But in 1972, he was dealt back to the Bay Area just before the September cut off. This time he was with the Oakland A’s. He knocked in a key run in the A’s Game 2 win over Detroit in the ALCS, hit a 10th inning double that looked like it would win the pennant. (The Tigers would tie and win the game.)
He would be the starting right fielder for the World Champion A’s. His brother Jesus would join the A’s for the 1973 and 1974 title teams.
Later Matty would finish his career in Japan.
The Alous are a regal baseball dynasty.
Not only were his brothers Felipe and Jesus big leaguers as well and his nephew Moises, but also his nephew Mel Rojas and cousin Jose Sosa all played in the show.
14+ years in the majors… a batting title… a World Series title… multiple All Star selections… and being a pioneer for Dominican players.
Matty Alou lived a life worth celebrating.