Thursday, October 27, 2011

Return Of The Penguin

Not that Penguin.

What's it take to get the Penguin, Ron Cey, in the press during this World Series? A WSJ article on the cleanup spot, which strangely is not the place in the batting order that has generated the most WS MVPs:

A guy who hits eighth is on the verge of becoming World Series MVP. Which, given the inscrutable history of the award, sounds about right.

From No. 8-hitting Bobby Richardson in 1960 to (potentially) Mike Napoli this year, World Series MVPs have historically come from all over the batting order. Edgar Renteria won it last year with the Giants while predominantly hitting eighth. Scott Brosius—at the height of the Yankees' dynasty in 1998—won the MVP while hitting seventh and sixth.

Granted, Napoli, the Texas Rangers' slugging catcher, is obviously not a typical bottom-third-of-the-order hitter. He hit 30 home runs this season and had a 1.046 OPS (on-base plus slugging percentage), best on the team among regulars. [...]

Because anyone can get a handful of key hits over a few games, MVPs have come from every possible spot—even position players who bat ninth. Bucky Dent hit last for the Yankees throughout the 1978 World Series, which was played with the designated-hitter rule in effect for every game.

One of the few positions in the batting order that World Series MVPs have not come from lately is, of all places, the cleanup spot. Although Reggie Jackson made his name as a two-time Series MVP cleanup hitter, no No. 4 batter has won the award since the Dodgers' Ron Cey split it with Pedro Guerrero and Steve Yeager in 1981—and Cey spent half that series batting fifth.

To be fair, cleanup isn't all that far behind the position-player leaders, the three-hole and the five-hole, with six WS MVP occurrences each. Cleanup is tied for third with four occurrences, along with the seven-hole and eight-hole.

Position players have won the WS MVP award 31 times, to pitchers winning the award 27 times.


Pistol Pete Reiser said...

Why would a bad guy idolize a penguin, let alone take a penguin as his inspiration? Never understood that. It's such a dumb little bird/fish/thing. Why not a hawk, or an eagle, even an owl?

News about Kuo totally sucks. Speedy recovery, dude.

Mr. LA Sports Czar said...

Penguin: Pain and Prejudice has been getting good reviews.