Found a stash of old ESPN the Magazine clippings I had torn out:
- In their annual list issue, they mentioned the players who had gone the most postseasons without winning a World Series. Leading the list of six players were four former Dodgers: Kenny Lofton (#1, with 11), Andruw Jones (#2, with 10), and Rafael Furcal and Jim Thome (T-4, with 8). Sigh.
- Also from their list issue: Most games played all for one manager had two Dodgers in the top five (#1 is obviously Larry Jones for Bobby Cox, 2,261 games as of 8/31/10): Mike Scioscia for Tommy Lasorda (#3, 1,441 games), and Wes Parker for Walter Alston (#5, 1,288).
- One more list point: Inside-the-park HR leaders since 1961 has Willie Davis T-3 with seven (Willie Wilson is first with 13).
- From the September 6 2010 issue, a nice profile of Hong-Chih Kuo, "Sit-Down Artist" (by Ian Gordon):
Let’s be clear: Hong-Chih Kuo is not a lefty specialist. “We have no problem throwing him against anybody, lefties or righties,” explains Dodgers pitching coach Rick Honeycutt. Catcher Russell Martin has seen even the biggest boppers squirm when digging in on either side of the plate against the 6’1″, 240-pound southpaw from Taiwan. “Everybody’s uncomfortable,” he says, nodding at Kuo’s stats: a 1.45 ERA and 53 strikeouts in 43 1/3 innings.
That’s what happens when a southpaw pairs a high-riding mid-90s fastball with a mid-80s slider that slips off the same plane. That combo has made lefthanded hitters especially queasy; they began the season 0-for-36 against Kuo. “You rarely see a good swing, an ‘Oh, he just missed that one,’ ” Martin says. “When he gives up a hit to a lefty, it’s like giving up a run.”
The key for Kuo is that slider, which he’s relying on even more despite four elbow operations over the past 10 years, including two Tommy John surgeries. He’s thrown the pitch 27% of the time in 2010, compared with 15.6% last year, when he had a 3.00 ERA. “I can throw my slider in any count,” says Kuo, who recently replaced struggling Jonathan Broxton as closer. “It’s tough for a hitter to guess if I’ll throw the slider. Because maybe a 95 mile per hour fastball comes out instead.”
In other words: You choose, you lose.