I’m happy to report that you can now order The Hardball Times Annual for 2012. Get it here.
For those unfamiliar, the THT Annual has scads of articles with history, commentary, analysis and, of course, retrospectives of the 2011 season by some of the best writers going.
For the past few years I’ve contributed some laughs and yuks to the Annual in the form of my “Year in Frivolity” feature — recapping the funny and absurd stuff that went on during the year — and this year is no different. In addition to my b.s., there’s this sort of thing:
- Rob Neyer has a piece breaking down the work of Theo Epstein;
- Chris Jaffe lists the all-time managers in terms of who had the quickest and who had the slowest hooks;
- THT honcho Dave Studeman breaking down the insane last day of the season;
- Frequent HBT commenter Jack Marshall writing about the “baseball year in ethics;”
- Brian Borawski writing about the “baseball year in business;”
- Max Marchi writing about the pitchers who, because they themselves were amazing, drew the most fans to the ballpark;
- John Dewan and Michael Humphreys have some great stuff on evaluating defense;
- Brian Cartwright has an article about what to do with ground ball pitchers when it comes to BABIP;
And as always, there’s much, much more. A broader overview of its contents can be read here.
The THT Annual is a must-read for baseball nuts. It’s a great gift too. And of course, buying it helps the folks over at The Hardball Times keep the lights on, and that’s fantastic, because those folks do God’s work.
Once again, order it here. You won’t be disappointed.
Angels DH Albert Pujols passed Mark McGwire for sole possession of 10th place on baseball’s all-time home run leaderboard, slugging his 584th career home run in the first inning of Wednesday night’s game against the Blue Jays.
Mike Trout had already slugged a solo home run off of Jays starter Marco Estrada to bring Pujols to the dish. Pujols jumped on an 0-1 cut fastball, sending it out to left-center field, clearing the fence by a few feet.
Pujols, who finished 4-for-4 with the homer and an RBI double, is batting .257/.321/.441 with 24 home runs and 99 RBI on the year. His next target on the home run leaderboard is Frank Robinson at 586.
Orioles closer Zach Britton had appeared in a major league record 43 consecutive games without allowing an earned run, spanning May 5 to August 22. That streak came to an end on Wednesday evening against the Nationals.
The Orioles entered the bottom of the ninth inning holding a 10-3 lead, but reliever Parker Bridwell immediately found himself in hot water. He yielded back-to-back singles to Danny Espinosa and Clint Robinson. He was able to strike out Trea Turner, but walked Jayson Werth to load the bases. Daniel Murphy then crushed his first career grand slam to make it a 10-7 game. That prompted manager Buck Showalter to bring in Britton.
Britton, too, was knocked around. He served up a single to Bryce Harper, followed by a double to Anthony Rendon that scored Harper, pushing the score to 10-8 and ending Britton’s streak. Wilson Ramos reached on a fielder’s choice back to Britton, but the lefty finally finished the game by getting Ryan Zimmerman to ground into a game-ending 4-6-3 double play.
Britton now holds a nice 0.69 ERA with 38 saves and a 61/16 K/BB ratio in 52 innings of work this season.