Jose Bautista

Jose Bautista has 64 homers in his last 162 games and no one else has more than 42

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After destroying the Twins over the weekend Jose Bautista has an MLB-high 16 homers this season and also leads the AL in batting average, on-base percentage, slugging percentage, OPS, runs, total bases, and walks.

People keep expecting him to turn back into a pumpkin and Bautista keeps performing even better.

In fact, dating back to May of last season Bautista now has 64 home runs in his last 162 games, hitting .291 with a .400 on-base percentage, .700 slugging percentage, 119 walks, and 131 RBIs in one full season’s worth of playing time.

Here are the MLB leaders during that same span:

HOMERS                      RBIs                         SLUGGING
JOSE BAUTISTA     64        JOSE BAUTISTA     131        JOSE BAUTISTA     .700
Albert Pujols     42        Alex Rodriguez    129        Josh Hamilton     .646
Mark Teixeira     40        Miguel Cabrera    123        Joey Votto        .603
Miguel Cabrera    38        Ryan Howard       123        Miguel Cabrera    .596
Prince Fielder    38        Joey Votto        120        Troy Tulowitzki   .590

To lead baseball in homers with 64 when no one else has more than 42 is amazing enough, but to do that while also leading baseball in walks is remarkable. Bautista has homered once every 8.9 at-bats, which would rank ninth all time on the single-season leaderboard behind a bunch of years from Babe Ruth, Barry Bonds, and Mark McGwire.

And his dominance actually stretches further back than 162 games. Dating back to September 5, 2009 he’s hit .278/.398/.659 with 80 homers in 220 games. Albert Pujols ranks second with 53 homers during that time.

Someone stole Jose Fernandez’s high school jersey after a vigil

MIAMI, FL - JULY 09:  Jose Fernandez #16 of the Miami Marlins pitches during the game against the Cincinnati Reds at Marlins Park on July 9, 2015 in Miami, Florida.  (Photo by Rob Foldy/Getty Images)
Getty Images
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People are the absolute worst sometimes. The latest example: someone stole one of Jose Fernandez’s high school jerseys, which had been displayed in his old high school’s dugout for a vigil last night.

That report comes from Anastasia Dawson of the Tampa Bay Times who covered the vigil at Alonso High School in Tampa yesterday. Her story of the vigil is here. Today she has been tweeting about the theft of the jersey. She spoke to Alonso High school’s principal who, in a bit of understatement, called the theft the “lowest of the low.”

The high school had one more Fernandez jersey remaining and has put it on display in the school. In the meantime, spread this story far and wide so that whatever vulture who stole it can’t sell it.

 

What Hall of Fame-eligible pitcher would you ask to pitch today?

Mike Mussina
Associated Press
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In an earlier post I made a joke about the Indians starting Dennis Martinez if forced to play a meaningless (for them) game on Monday against the Tigers. On Twitter, one of my followers, Ray Fink, asked a great question: If you had to hand the ball to a Hall of Fame-eligible pitcher to give you three innings, who would it be?

The Hall of Fame-eligible part gets rid of the recently-retired ringers, requiring a guy who has been off the scene for at least five years, ensuring that there’s a good bit of rust. I love questions like these.

My immediate answer was Mike Mussina. My thinking being that of all of the great pitchers fitting these parameters, he’s the most likely to have stayed in good shape. I mean, Greg Maddux probably still has the best pitching IQ on the planet, but he’s let himself go a bit, right? Mussina strikes me as a guy who still wakes up and does crunches and stuff.

If you extend it to December, however, you may get a better answer, because that’s when Tim Wakefield becomes eligible for the Hall. I realize a knuckleball requires practice to maintain the right touch and subtlety to the delivery, but it also requires the least raw physical effort. Jim Bouton went well more than five years without throwing his less-than-Wakefield-quality knuckler and was still able to make a comeback. I think Tim could be passable.

Then there’s Roger Clemens. I didn’t see his numbers for that National Baseball Congress tourney this summer and I realize he’s getting a bit thick around the middle, but I’m sure he can still bring it enough to not embarrass himself. Beyond the frosted tips, anyway.

So: who is your Space Cowboys-style reclamation project? Who is the old legend you dust off for one last job?