Mr. T

Winningest pitchers of decades that happened to touch the 1980s

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This morning I noted how random and misleading it was to give credit to Jack Morris for being the winningest pitcher of the 1980s.  After reading it, my friend Ethan suggested that I try to figure out who the winningest pitchers were for decades that happened to intersect with the 1980s. So I did.  Here are the results with names and win totals (UPDATE: and here’s a fun graph of it all):

1971-1980: Steve Carlton  192
1972-1981: Steve Carlton  185
1973-1982: Steve Carlton 181
1974-1983: Steve Carlton 183
1975-1984: Steve Carlton 180
1976-1985: Steve Carlton 166
1977-1986: Ron Guidry 163
1978-1987: Jack Morris 161
1979-1988: Jack Morris 173
1980-1989: Jack Morris 162
1981-1990: Jack Morris 161
1982-1991: Jack Morris 165
1983-1992: Jack Morris 169
1984-1993: Roger Clemens 163
1985-1994: Roger Clemens 163
1986-1995: Roger Clemens 166
1987-1996: Greg Maddux 163
1988-1997: Greg Maddux 176
1989-1998: Greg Maddux 176

Poor Ron Guidry. Born too early! If he had simply started his excellent ten-year run in a year ending in zero, he’d be in the Hall of Fame discussion too!

UPDATE:  Because this is fun and easy, I went five more years in each direction:

66-75:  Gaylord Perry 192
67-76:  Fergie Jenkins 195
68-77:  Tom Seaver 187
69-78:  Jim Palmer 192
70-79:   Jim Palmer 186

90-99:  Greg Maddux  176
91-00:  Greg Maddux 180
92-01:  Greg Maddux 182
93-02:  Greg Maddux 178
94-03:  Greg Maddux 174

If baseball was a video game, Greg Maddux would be the Final Boss.

Reid Brignac is trying to become a switch hitter

LAKE BUENA VISTA, FL - FEBRUARY 26:  Reid Brignac #4 of the Atlanta Braves poses on photo day at Champion Stadium on February 26, 2016 in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Rob Carr/Getty Images
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Veteran utilityman Reid Brignac is in camp with the Astros on a minor league deal. The 31-year-old is close to being done as a major leaguer as he owns a career .219/.264/.309 triple-slash line across parts of nine seasons. In an effort to prolong his big league career, Brignac is now attempting to become a switch-hitter, MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart reports.

I’m going to try it out this year. It was something that I just thought long and hard about and I was like, ‘OK, I’m going to try and see how it goes.’ I used to switch-hit when I was younger off and on, nothing consistent. I could always handle the bat right-handed. I play golf right-handed, so I do a lot of things that way that feel natural.

I just want to get to the point where I’m trying to stay in games, not get pinch-hit for, not starting games because a lefty is starting. … That could help me stay in the games longer. I’m trying to add a new element. I play multiple positions and now if I can switch hit and be consistent at it, then that can only help me.

As Brignac mentions, he’s also verstile. He’s a shortstop by trade, but has also logged plenty of innings at second base and third base, and has occasionally played corner outfield.

There aren’t any examples — at least that I can think of — where players began switch-hitting late in their careers and actually succeeding in the major leagues. As the saying goes, you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. But here’s hoping Brignac bucks the trend.

Video: Andrelton Simmons makes a heads-up play to catch Carlos Asuaje off first base

ANAHEIM, CA - AUGUST 03:  Andrelton Simmons #2 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim returns to the dugout after scoring in the second inning against the Oakland Athletics at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on August 3, 2016 in Anaheim, California.  (Photo by Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images)
Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images
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Angels shortstop Andrelton Simmons fell off the map a bit last year due to a combination of the Angels’ mediocrity, Simmons’ lack of offense, and a month-plus of missed action due to a torn ligament in his left thumb.

Simmons is still as good and as smart as ever on defense. That was on full display Monday when the Angels hosted the Padres for an afternoon spring exhibition.

With a runner on first base and nobody out in the top of the second inning, Carlos Asuaje grounded a 2-0 J.C. Ramirez fastball to right field. The runner, Hunter Renfroe, advanced to third base. Meanwhile, Asuaje wandered a little too far off the first base bag. Simmons cut off the throw to first base, spun around and fired to Luis Valbuena at first base. Valbuena swiped the tag on Asuaje for the first out of the inning.