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A Notes From Nowhere pinch-hit today, as I did some thinking about HACKING MASS and a couple other things pinging around my head.

First off, a couple of things that caught my eye from the opening series...

First, there ought to be a separate plural for "series". What I really meant above was "serieses" but of course you can't say "serieses". Either that, or we need a new synonym for series.

Second, there is nothing lamer than hearing on the news that Brad Wilkerson hit for the cycle, and hearing he was "the first player to hit for the cycle in team history". If you mean the Washington Nationals, well, since it happened in their third ever game, well duh. If mean the franchise, then you're wrong. It's like a catch-22 of media stupidity.

Incidentally, the first player to hit for the cycle in Expos history was Tim Foli. Foli's was a natural cycle... the single, double. triple and homer occurred in order. It happened in a bizarre suspended game against the Cubs on April 21 and 22, 1976. The Expos won 12-6, but after the sixth inning, with the score 11-3 in favor of the 'Spos, the game was suspended after four separate rain delays, with Foli having singled, doubled, and tripled. When the game was resumed the following day, he homered in the 8th inning to give him the cycle.

Why was the game suspended? Naturally, due to darkness! Remember that in the 1970s Wrigley Field was the only park in baseball not to have floodlights. As such, the rain delays made it such that they couldn't finish the game before the relatively early twilight of April.

Foli singled off Geoff Zahn in the 2nd, doubled off Tom Dettore in the 3rd, tripled off Paul Reuschel in the 5th, and homered off Canadian pitcher Ken Crosby the following day.

That was one of only 16 career appearances by Crosby, but he was on the mound for one of the most memorable events of 1976 in his very next appearance, against the Dodgers three days later on April 25th in Los Angeles. Steve Stone had started for the Cubs, but was removed in the second inning due to an injury. Crosby took his place, and set the Dodgers dow nicely in the third. After he induced a popout from second baseman Ted Sizemore in the fourth inning, two young men dashed onto the field, laid an American flag onto the outfield behind shortstop, and attempted to pour lighter fluid on it and set it on fire. Cubbies centerfielder Rick Monday, realizing what was happening, raced in from his centerfield position, grabbed the flag before it could be lit, and ran with it towards the infield. There, as stadium security took away the would-be protesters, he handed it to Dodger pitcher Doug Rau.

James Roark, who was working the game as a photoghrapher for the Los Angeles Herald-Examiner, took a memorable photo of Monday running off with the flag, that won him a nomination for the Pulitzer Prize. (A small view of the photo can be seenon this page.)

The Dodgers later presented the flag to Monday, who according to a 1998 news story owns it still.

The incident became famous (not least because it was America's Bicentennial and expressions of patriotism were much in vogue). What was less remarked upon at the time, but jumps out now, is what happened to Ken Crosby's outing, and in fact his career.

The incident completely rattled Crosby, who had been sailing along, with five outs and just one error behind him. Crosby fell apart - he got the next out when John Hale hit a stinging liner to right, but then gave up five straight hits, including a three-run homer to the light-hitting Henry Cruz, and two stolen bases. Four runs crossed in the inning, and Crosby would never have an effective appearance in the big leagues ever again. Five games later, he pitched his last game in the majors, ending the 1976 season with an ERA of 12.00.

Anyway, in honor of Crosby's futility I thought I'd share my HACKING MASS team, something we can all share. I'm glad I didn't pick Brad Wilkerson. My team name this year is "Mike Balenti's Spiritual Godchildren"...

C Mike Matheny
1B Jose Macias
2B Luis Rivas
SS Cristian Guzman
3B Alex Gonzalez
LF Scott Podsednik
CF Tike Redman
RF Raul Mondesi
P1 Shawn Estes
P2 Ramon Ortiz

Don't let me down, boys!

Notes From Nowhere : Burning Flags, HACKING MASS, and Cycles Upon Cycles | 21 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Gitz - Thursday, April 07 2005 @ 04:18 PM EDT (#109853) #
One of the stranger things in life is how, when you learn something new, it suddenly appears everywhere. Seeing "John Hale" in Craig's story two days ago would have been a "Who?" moment, as I usually experience when I read something of the extremely knowledgeable Craig. But doing some research on Nick Swisher just last night made me aware of Hale, and sure enough, here he is again this afternoon. (Let's hope Swisher works out better as a hitter, btw.)

This also happened to me the first time I took the SAT. The night before the exam, I heard the word 'Gambit' on the radio. Not knowing what the hell this word meant, I looked it up in the dictionary that night. The FIRST word on the vocabulary portion of the SAT? The FIRST word I saw when I opened up the test? Yup. Gambit. Huzzah!
Jordan - Thursday, April 07 2005 @ 04:43 PM EDT (#109860) #
I remember reading about the Rick Monday incident in Jay Johnstone's book, which I bought for no good reason that I can recall. Johnstone was on the field that day, and his take on the event was that even though it was the bicentennial, patriotism was bottoming out in the US and nobody was very (as they would say) "high on America." Johnstone's recollection was that the incident got a ton of publicity because of Monday's symbolic rescue of national pride, at a time when the country desperately needed it. And really, can you imagine anyone even contemplating that stunt today? Burning an American flag in the middle of Wrigley Field? (Or a Maple Leaf at Rogers Center, for that matter.) Times change.

Curiosity question, which I suppose can double as a trivia question, but I don't know the answer: is there a record for most cycles in a career, and if so, who owns it?
Nolan - Thursday, April 07 2005 @ 05:03 PM EDT (#109864) #
This is completely from memory, and so it may be wrong, but I believe that Bob Meusel of the Yankees had three triples. I'm pretty sure this is the record; a pretty long list of players had two cycles in their careers including Lou Gehrig and George Brett.

Now I'm going to go actually look it up.
Nolan - Thursday, April 07 2005 @ 05:13 PM EDT (#109867) #
Courtesy of Baseball-Almanac:

Well I was right about Meusel and that littleitch that made me think he was tied with another player. The other player was Babe Herman who had 2 cycles with Brooklyn and 1 with Chicago.

Baseball Almanac lists a third player who hit 3 cycles, but I'm pretty sure that he was on none of the lists that I pored over as a kid. This would be because he amassed at least one of his cycles in the American Association (back in the 1880's). Oh, the player's name is John Reilly of the Cincinatti Reds.

An interesting tidbit:

On June 3, 1932, Tony Lazzeri had a natural cycle that was also completed with a grand slam; however, this amazing event is often overlooked because it was the same game in which Lou Gehrig hit four (4) home runs.
Craig B - Thursday, April 07 2005 @ 05:29 PM EDT (#109871) #

Jay Johnstone's book, which I bought for no good reason that I can recall.

I wish I still had my copy of this. Jay Johnstone is a funny guy.

Anyone else got a HACKING MASS team to share?

Nolan - Thursday, April 07 2005 @ 05:36 PM EDT (#109876) #
Anyone else got a HACKING MASS team to share?

Sorry if this sounds a little dumb, but what exactly is a HACKING MASS team? I read the article, but still am quite hazy on the criteria for a team like this...

Craig B - Thursday, April 07 2005 @ 05:43 PM EDT (#109879) #
HACKING MASS (should have given a link before!) is a contest run by our friends at Baseball Prospectus.

BPro describe it as "a contest to try and predict the worst/most offensive players in the upcoming season". In other words, to succeed your players not only have to be terrible, they have to be terrible and still stay in the lineup. Fun.

Entries are still open; they close tomorrow night.

Gitz - Thursday, April 07 2005 @ 05:47 PM EDT (#109880) #
Catcher, Rod Barajas
First Base, Eric Hinske
Second Base, Mark Ellis
Third Base, Joe Crede
Shortstop, Alex Gonzalez
Left Field, Reed Johnson
Center Field, Marquis Grissom
Right Field, Jermaine Dye
Pitcher, Scott Elarton
Pitcher, Shawn Estes
Gitz - Thursday, April 07 2005 @ 05:50 PM EDT (#109881) #
No offense to Johnson and Hinske, incidentally. They're here more for their durability than their suckworthiness. But they're going to make a lot of outs, all the same.
Pistol - Thursday, April 07 2005 @ 05:59 PM EDT (#109885) #
Anyone else got a HACKING MASS team to share?
Catcher     	Mike Matheny	        
First Base	Doug Mientkiewicz	
Second Base	Jose Castillo	
Third Base	Alex Gonzalez	
Shortstop	Alex Gonzalez	
Left Field	Juan Encarnacion
Center Field	Endy Chavez	
Right Field	Terrence Long	
Pitcher 1	Russ Ortiz	
Pitcher 2	Shawn Estes
Rob - Thursday, April 07 2005 @ 06:06 PM EDT (#109886) #
Poor Shawn Estes.
Nolan - Thursday, April 07 2005 @ 06:14 PM EDT (#109888) #
Catcher- Brad Ausmus
First Base- Darin Erstad
Second Base- Craig Counsell
Third Base- Alex Gonzalez
Shortstop- David Eckstein
Left Field- Ryan Church
Center Field- Tike Redman
Right Field- Juan Encarnación
Pitcher 1- Shawn Chacon
Pitcher 2- Sidney Ponson

Jacko - Thursday, April 07 2005 @ 07:45 PM EDT (#109906) #
Catcher: Mike Matheny
First Base: Doug Mientkiewicz
Second Base: Brian Roberts
Third Base: Alex Gonzalez
Shortstop: Cristian Guzman
Left Field: Reed Johnson
Center Field: Tike Redman
Right Field: Willy Taveras
Pitcher 1: Dewon Brazelton
Pitcher 2: Derek Lowe
Paul D - Thursday, April 07 2005 @ 08:28 PM EDT (#109918) #
Catcher: Mike Matheny
First Base: Doug Mientkiewicz
Second Base: Tony Womack
Third Base: Alex Gonzalez
Shortstop; David Eckstein
Left Field: Scott Podsednik
Center Field: Juan Pierre
Right Field: Terrence Long
Pitcher 1: Shawn Estes
Pitcher 2: Esteban Loaiza

I always try to stay away from players on my team in fantasy type stuff, whether good or bad. I want Hinske to excel this year, and I want Mientkiewicz to suck, so I stayed away from Hinske.
Paul D - Thursday, April 07 2005 @ 08:29 PM EDT (#109920) #
Center Field Endy Chavez I had him too Pistol, but I changed my team when he got demoted.
John Northey - Thursday, April 07 2005 @ 09:12 PM EDT (#109922) #
Never do well in these, but for free, why not try...

Catcher      Mike Matheny
First Base   Scott Spiezio
Second Base  Tony Womack
Third Base   Alex Gonzalez
Shortstop    Cesar Izturis
Left Field   Scott Podsednik
Center Field Endy Chavez
Right Field  Jacque Jones
Pitcher 1    Casey Fossum
Pitcher 2    Esteban Loaiza

Didn't notice that Endy was demoted, but figure if they gave him over 500 AB's last year odds are he'll come back up and prove himself again. Had to take as many ex-Jays as possible though, just to make it more fun to 'cheer'. Hopefully I didn't pick anyone who is out for 2005 or anything. Ah well. Fun to pick while I was at work.
Pistol - Thursday, April 07 2005 @ 09:27 PM EDT (#109923) #
" Center Field Endy Chavez I had him too Pistol, but I changed my team when he got demoted."

Thanks. I obviously don't pay close enough attention.
Jonny German - Friday, April 08 2005 @ 01:24 PM EDT (#109963) #
So Gitz, is it safe to say you think it unwise that I picked up Ellis in the BBFL?

I think you're wrong about Reed, he shouldn't get enough at-bats against righties to be an asset to a HACKING MASS team. And I hope you're wrong about Hinske, first because I hope he hits okay, second because I hope he's benched if he doesn't. I guess if he's traded that doesn't inherently hurt your chances.

Love the A-Gon symmetry, Pistol.
Dylan B - Saturday, April 09 2005 @ 06:38 PM EDT (#110253) #
Here is my Hacking mass

CA Mike Matheny
1B Doug Mientkiewicz
2B Craig Counsell
3B Alex Gonzalez
SS David Eckstein
LF Scott Podsednik
CF Dave Roberts
RF Alex Sanchez
P1 Russ Ortiz
P2 Shawn Estes

Sucks that this year BP has removed all Rockie pitchers from the list, except BH Kim. They were some real easy picks.
binnister - Tuesday, April 12 2005 @ 01:21 PM EDT (#110846) #
Since "Notes from Nowhere" is supposed to be a catch-all, I'll ask my question here:

Where can I find past Team statistics (walks, strikeouts, HR's, etc) and the corresponding WL record.

Oh..and it has to be free access (because I'm cheap).
Pistol - Tuesday, April 12 2005 @ 01:26 PM EDT (#110849) #
Notes From Nowhere : Burning Flags, HACKING MASS, and Cycles Upon Cycles | 21 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.