Miguel Cabrera notches 10th straight 100-RBI season

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Miguel Cabrera collected his 100th RBI in Tuesday’s win over the Indians, making him the 17th player in big-league history to reach the century mark 10 times in his career. Cabrera has done it in every one of his full seasons as a major leaguer.

Here are all the players with 10 or more 100-RBI seasons:

14 – Alex Rodriguez –  13 consecutive
13 – Jimmie Foxx –  13 consecutive – Hall of Famer
13 – Lou Gehrig – 13 consecutive – Hall of Famer
13 – Babe Ruth – 8 consecutive – Hall of Famer
12 – Barry Bonds – 4 consecutive
12 – Manny Ramirez – 9 consecutive
12 – Al Simmons – 11 consecutive – Hall of Famer
11 – Hank Aaron – 5 consecutive – Hall of Famer
11 – Goose Goslin – 5 consecutive – Hall of Famer
11 – Albert Pujols – 10 consecutive
11 – Frank Thomas – 8 consecutive
10 – Miguel Cabrera – 10 consecutive
10 – Joe Carter – 6 consecutive
10 – Vladimir Guerrero – 5 consecutive
10 – Willie Mays – 8 consecutive – Hall of Famer
10 – Stan Musial – 5 consecutive – Hall of Famer
10 – Rafael Palmeiro – 9 consecutive

It’s pretty good company for Cabrera; the only guy there who doesn’t have Hall of Fame numbers is Joe Carter. And Cabrera figures to rack up at least a few more 100-RBI seasons before he’s done. He’s currently sitting at 1,223 RBI as a 30-year-old. The all-time leader, Hank Aaron, had 1,216 RBI of his 2,297 career RBI through age 30.

The Indians are unveiling a Frank Robinson statue on Sunday

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The Cleveland Indians will unveil a Frank Robinson statue at Progressive Field on Saturday.

Robinson’s tenure in Cleveland was not long, but it was historic. On April 8, 1975, he became the first African-American manager in Major League history. He was a player-manager. One of the last ones, in fact. He spent two years in that role and then a third year — a partial year anyway — as a manager only. Robinson would go on to manage the Giants, Orioles and the Expos/Nationals, compiling a career record of 1065-1176 in 16 seasons. He is now a top MLB executive.

Robinson was, of course, a Hall of Fame player as well, lodging 21 seasons for the Reds, Orioles, Dodgers, Angels and Indians. He won two MVP awards and hit for the Triple Crown in 1966. Overall he hit 586 home runs – 10th all time – and was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1982. For an inner-circle Hall of Famer with that kind of resume he is still, strangely enough, underrated. I guess that happens when your contemporaries are Willie Mays, Hank Aaron and Mickey Mantle.

Anyway, congrats to Frank Robinson for yet another well-deserved honor in a career full of them.

Hey kids: don’t swing a weighted bat in the on deck circle

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Here’s an interesting article in the Wall Street Journal. It’s about some studies of hitters who use weighted bats or doughnuts on their bats in the on deck circle. Turns out that, contrary to conventional wisdom, using a weighted bat for practice hacks does not speed up one’s swing when one uses a naked bat in the batter’s box. In fact, it slows it down.

There are lots of caveats here. The sample size in the studies are small and they all involve college and high school players, not big leaguers. The results, however, are consistent with previous studies and they do make some intuitive sense. This is particularly the case with batting doughnuts, which add weight to a very concentrated portion of the bat, thereby changing the center of gravity and thus the swing mechanics of the hitter.

Whether this is applicable at large or to higher level hitters or not, I still find it kind of neat. I always like it when people scrutinize ingrained habits and ask whether or not that thing we’ve always done is, in fact, worth doing.