Stat of the day: Infield hits & bunt hits

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Here are the infield hit leaders, listed along with their number of bunt hits.
Numbers taken from Fangraphs.com
1. Ichiro Suzuki – 49 – 6
2. Michael Bourn – 29 – 17
3. Carl Crawford – 27 – 0
3. Shane Victorino – 27 – 0
5. Cristian Guzman – 26 – 1
6. Ryan Braun – 25 – 0
6. Jacoby Ellsbury – 25 – 9
6. Scott Podsednik – 25 – 5
9. Everth Cabrera – 23 – 13
9. Matt Kemp – 23 – 3
And here’s bunt hits, along with each player’s number of infield hits:
1. Erick Aybar – 18 – 15
2. Emilio Bonifacio – 17 – 18
2. Michael Bourn – 17 – 29
4. Willy Taveras – 15 – 13
5. Nyjer Morgan – 14 – 15
6. Everth Cabrera – 13 – 23
6. Rafael Furcal – 13 – 19
8. Denard Span – 10 – 19
9. Luis Castillo – 9 – 18
9. Jacoby Ellsbury – 9 – 25
9. Chone Figgins – 9 – 13
– Ichiro does rather stand out up there, doesn’t he? But I wonder if he wouldn’t be even better if he attempted a few more bunts. He’s 6-for-10 reaching base when he gets a bunt down this year, and he’s over 50 percent for his career.
But, then, I also wonder if he wouldn’t be worse off for it. Ichiro may just be the one hitter in baseball who doesn’t benefit from having the infield come in against him. His ability to beat out seemingly routine grounders is legendary. He probably doesn’t want the shortstop and second baseman any further in than they already are.
– Ichiro aside, the great “bunt for hitters” are generally in the 40s as far as reaching first when they get a bunt down. Cabrera (50), Bourn (47) and Ellsbury (47) are the best of the guys on the leaderboard. Castillo is the low man at 28 percent.
Also in the 50 percent club are Colby Rasmus (7-for-14) and B.J. Upton (6-for-12). Troy Tulowitzki and Brian Roberts are both 4-for-5. Bunting against the shift, Carlos Pena is 5-for-8 and Jack Cust is 3-for-3. Kemp is also 3-for-3.
– Back to infield hits, here’s the bottom of the leaderboard:
1. Brian McCann – 2
1. Bengie Molina – 2
1. Daniel Murphy – 2
4. Jermaine Dye – 3
4. Brad Hawpe – 3
4. Paul Konerko – 3
4. Brad Hawpe – 3
4. Andy LaRoche – 3
4. Carlos Pena – 3

BBWAA votes to make all Hall of Fame ballots public beginning next year

Cooperstown
Associated Press
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In addition to naming the Spink Award winner this morning, the Baseball Writers Association of America voted today to make all Hall of Fame ballots public beginning with next year’s vote for the 2018 induction class.

As of now, writers are encouraged to make their votes public and, if they do, they are placed on the BBWAA website. They are not required to, however, and a great many Hall of Fame voters do not. While ballot secrecy is laudable in politics, the Hall of Fame vote brings with it a fundamentally different set of concerns and sentiment has increasingly favored transparency, as opposed to secrecy when it comes to the Hall of Fame.

While some in opposition to this move may claim that public ballots will only lead to criticism, our view is that if you can’t handle some reasonable criticism over your Hall of Fame ballot, you probably need to get out of the business of making history, which is what voting for the Hall of Fame really is.

The Yankee2 to retire Derek Jeter’2 number next 2ea2on

Derek Jeter
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RE2PECT: The Yankees just announced that they will retire Derek Jeter’s number 2 next season. The ceremony will take place on May 14, 2017 at Yankee Stadium.

With Jeter’s number 2 retired the Yankees will have retired 21 numbers. Twenty-two if you count number 8 twice, given that it was retired for both Yogi Berra and Bill Dickey. They also have retired 42 twice, once for Jackie Robinson, which every team has retired, and once for Mariano Rivera who donned 42 before the league-wide retirement of the number. The Yankees will also have put every single-digit number on the shelf. Except for zero, anyway, which no Yankees player has ever worn.

The retired pinstripes break down as follows:

1 Billy Martin
3 Babe Ruth
4 Lou Gehrig
5 Joe DiMaggio
6 Joe Torre
7 Mickey Mantle
8 Yogi Berra
8 Bill Dickey
9 Roger Maris
10 Phil Rizzuto
15 Thurman Munson
16 Whitey Ford
20 Jorge Posada
23 Don Mattingly
32 Elston Howard
37 Casey Stengel
42 Mariano Rivera
44 Reggie Jackson
46 Andy Pettitte
49 Ron Guidry
51 Bernie Williams