Monday, December 12, 2005

Terry Francona, the player

Terry Francona's player page.

Decided to take a look and see what type of player the Sox feerless leader was. Turns out his professional (major league) career was rather uneventful. Although Francona was the winner of the Golden Spikes award at U of A (the BB equivalent of the Heisman).

But two unique things jumped out at me. I guess I can turn this into a trivia question...

One is obvious, the other, not so.


  1. His utter inability to draw a base on balls? His OBP was barely higher than his BA. And nearly a quarter of his walks were intentional. Given his numbers, I can only assume that's because he wsa batting 8th (in the NL).

  2. Good observation. But not what I was looking for.

  3. That he pitched an inning?

  4. That he looked ready to break out in 1984 when he got injured?
    That he never played more than 120 games in a season?
    That a guy with a career .652 OPS played 62 games at DH?

  5. My first guess is the same as Seth's. My second guess is that at the bottom of the page there is a list of "similar batters" and my new favorite baseball player is listed, Mox McQuery. Man, that name is gay.

  6. Ok, my third guess is that he has a double play while playing in the outfield. But I guess that could me a catch and doubling off the runner, so that's not THAT significant. I am sticking with Mox McQuery. Man, that name is gay.

  7. Mox McQuery - Sweet.

    Well, I guess I was far to broad. Some very good observations by all.

    Seth got the obvious one.

    Earl makes some great points about the relative futility of the player. But he was almost on to something - it had to do with position. Francona, who throws left handed, playe one game at third base. And he had three assist!!

    One thing I noticed just now was that over the course of the entire seasons he played, the teams he played for had a cumlative record of one game over .500. Not sure if that is worth something.

    so that was it - I guess you could pick any player and do the same kind of guessing game.

  8. Wasn't Francona a fairly highly-touted up and comer, until his knee injury? That's the story I remember, anyway.

  9. I think he must have been. He won the Golden Spikes award (the college baseball Heisman) and was fist rounder in the 1980 draft.

    He made his major league debut one year later (August 1981). I imagine a player would have to be pretty highly touted to blast through the minors like that.

    However, I am usually a bit leery of claims that a manager or GM or whoever would have been a star if not for an injury to X. It seems an all too familiar refrain (Francona, Billy Beane, Bobby Valentine, Kevin Kennedy). The baseball world is filled with high flying prospects but most of them never pan out.

  10. True, though one may reinforce the other. injuries can be real bad; that's part of the reason for the coining of the phrase 'There's No Such Thing As A pitching Prospect'. It's at least plausible that for every minor league star that never panned out for various reasons, there's another who didn't pan out because of injury.