Looking at baseball burnouts

43 Comments

The stuff about Clayton Kershaw earlier —  and the reference to Dale Murphy — made me think about baseball players who just inexplicably fall off a cliff. Then, like 20 minutes later, I came across this article at The Hardball Times from Alex Remington about “Baseball Burnouts.” It’s really good.

Now, to be clear, Dale Murphy is not a “burnout.” He shined brightly for a long, long time and was ready to start the wind-down part of his career, after which he’d be a guy who had a Hall of Fame peak and then some nice overall numbers. He just didn’t have the normal wind down. He just . . . stopped.

In contrast, Alex is looking at guys who had a great rookie year and then never did much of anything else. As Alex puts it, the “Joe Charboneaus in baseball history.” He comes up with a handful of them, including Billy Grabarkewitz, Mitchell Page and Rick Ankiel, all of whose careers were . . . weird.

Sometimes these guys were just bad players who had a freak good season out of the gate. Sometimes they’re different cases, like Ankiel. Either way, a fascinating topic.

Donaldson ejected for kicking dirt on plate after home run

David Banks-USA TODAY Sports
Leave a comment

Minnesota’s Josh Donaldson managed to get ejected while hitting a home run.

Donaldson barked at plate umpire Dan Bellino for the second time in the sixth inning of a 4-3 loss to the Chicago White Sox on Thursday.

With the score 2-2, Bellino called a strike when the 2015 AL MVP checked his swing on a 2-0 pitch from Reynaldo Lopez.

Manager Rocco Baldelli came out to speak with Bellino, and Donaldson homered down the left-field line on the next offering. After rounding the bases, Donaldson kicked dirt at home plate as he crossed it.

Bellino ejected him immediately, and Donaldson, realizing he had missed home plate, returned to the plate to touch it and then argued as he kicked more dirt on it.

Donaldson also had argued with Bellino on a 1-1 breaking ball in the first inning that appeared to be high but was called a strike, leading to a strikeout.

“We need Josh on the field, out there playing, and at third base,” Baldelli said. “That’s when we’re at our best. And so that’s really the end of it. I think we can move past it at his point, and go from here.”

More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports