Wedesday August 15th, 2012
Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer and @chuckbooth3024 on twitter)- Music has one hit wonders, some have even made an entire career out of just one stretch of time where they were deemed relevant. Baseball is like everything else, they have had their fair share of players that fit this mold. In the next two weeks, we will take a look at hitters and pitchers that were really on fire for a stretch before they petered out just as fast. I harken back to the movie ‘Tin Cup” for this next saying, “Greatness Courts Failure.” The difference between the two in baseball is so miniscule. Unfortunately for every player that makes it to the show, hundreds never get their chance at all. I am sure if you ask each one of these players if they were happy at their time in the Major Leagues, they would tell you that they thought they did not perform to their full capability.
The players would think highly of the time they had their biggest successes and would wish they could have had more of the limelight for a prolonged stretch. The fans of baseball are left to form their own opinions on these individuals. Just like what happens in the world, there will be some fans who remember these guys fondly and others will turn the page on them, not thinking much at all. The split is usually right down the middle. The next five hitters are players that I remember making a big splash before bowing out just as quick as they came into prominence. I contemplated adding Sam Fuld to this list, however he has a chance to play in the Major Leagues for years to come, so it is too early to list him amongst these men. So at the very least, I will give him the video tribute down below before the page break. Fuld is a great inspiration and I look forward to writing about him in future articles. Also, other players I considered for this piece were Bob Hamelin and Rick Ankiel. I gave Ankiel a pass in both pitching and hitting because he was so unique to have done both. You can read a recent article I wrote about the man here . In the end, I did not think Bob Hamelin had a standout performance even as a rookie. He was lucky to have such a weak class of rookies to compete against in the year he won it.
Monday June.11, 2012
Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer and @chuckbooth3024 on twitter)- Chicks dig the long ball right? Well so do dudes. There is a certain folklore of a player that can absolutely cream a baseball regardless of their batting average or ability to make contact all of the time. One of my favorite players to watch swing a bat is Russell Branyan. I follow the Seattle Mariners since they are my closest team for geography. I was able to see what Russell “The Muscle” was able to do once he was given a chance to play every day for the Mariners. He rewarded the club by pasting 31 HRs and knocking in 76 RBI in just 116 games during the 2009 year. The next season, he started with the Cleveland Indians before rejoining the Mariners again at the end of June. Branyan would electrify the crowds at Safeco by hitting another 15 HRs in just 205 AB. Branyan hits as many HRs per AB for a rate in his career as Mickey Mantle did. Branyan draws comparisons to another one of my favorite players in Jack Cust with his nickname ‘3TO’, which is short for 3 True Outs. This is a strikeout, walk or HR. Cust never made this upcoming list but he did hit 63 HRs in his first 1000 AB while striking out 430 times! Branyan’s average 162 game season average (with full at bats) would have included striking out 171 times. In this video you can see his power, (also click the link provided from at the top of the page on this link to see another shot of this mammoth blast that Branyan had at Yankee Stadium. You can do this by copying the blue version of the link and pasting it into your browser.)