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2001: An Attack on America

This installment is more than just the 2001 season, it also covers a couple of other games in other seasons of the twenty-first century where the season was interrupted in a couple of ways for just a single game.


Highest paid player: Alex Rodriguez, $22 Million

US President: George W. Bush

In the News:

  • US Spy Plane crash lands in China, 24 US crew members detained for 11 days by the Chinese Government.

  • Timothy McVey executed for the Oklahoma City Bombing

  • Still unsolved anthrax attacks in the US

First Class Postage Stamp: $0.34

Number of Games: 162

Number of Teams: 30

Changes since 1995: Expansion Teams Arizona Diamondbacks (NL) and Tampa Bay Devil Rays (AL, later changed their name simply to the the "Rays"). Milwaukee Brewers moved from the AL Central to the NL Central, Detroit Tigers moved from the AL East to AL Central.

Even before 9/11 it was still a quite unique season. The league had recovered from the ‘94-’95 strike after Cal Ripken’s consecutive game streak, the excitement of Ken Griffey, Jr, the great rotation of the Braves finally won a World Series and the Yankees won almost everything else after that, there was a game seven walk off in 1997 for the first time since 1960, and the moment that seemed to take over the story lines of “saving baseball,” the home run chase of Mark McGuire and Sammy Sosa in 1998. The 2001 season nearly had all of that excitement while also dealing with a national tragedy that would change the world for decades.

Bonds at bat in 2007. Public Domain.

NL MVP: Barry Bonds, OF San Francisco Giants

The whole world seemed to stop for Sosa and McGwire in ‘98. That same year Barry Bonds became the first ever player to hit 400 home runs and steal 400 bases. The game in Miami took a moment to recognize the achievement and the opposing fans stood to applaud, but after the game the adulation quickly died out and the achievement was forgotten. That off-season Bonds and his family spent a day at Disney World with Ken Griffey, Jr and his family and went to the Griffeys’ for dinner afterwards, one of many social gatherings between the two friends since they first met in 1987. At dinner Barry was frustrated about how these less talented players were getting so much of a spotlight over the two of them for doing things clearly aided by PEDs. There had been stories that Mark McGwire had a bottle of andro in his locker during the season. Bonds knew he was on more than that, he himself was taking the same thing and had not bulked out like Big Mack. He tried to convince Griffey that they should both start with PED regiments to the protest of “The Kid.” Griffey wanted to do it clean, he didn’t want his achievements to be attributed to anyone or anything but what he was able to do on his own. Bonds was too frustrated to let it up, he came into spring bulked up everywhere, even his neck and his face. It was too much, too fast and he wore out his elbow and tendons in his triceps to the point that he missed games in 1999. The next year he hit 49 home runs at the age of 35, the most he had hit in a season at that point, the second most he would ever hit in a season and in 2001 he would be ready to take a swing at the big home run numbers of Sosa and McGwire that inspired him to change his body in such an extreme way.

And he went at a torrid pace. Roger Marris’s old record of 61 was just a brief pitstop when Bonds had a three home run day at Coors Field to get to 63 homers on the season. On September Tenth. Baseball would not return until September 17th after terrorist attacks of 9/11. Bonds would hit ten homers in the final 18 games of the season, tying McGwire’s record in game 159, then hitting three more home runs in the last three games. It was a monster season, 73 home runs, 32 doubles, 137 RBI, a .328 AVG and a .515 OBP thanks to 177 walks. Those OBPs and walks numbers were the best of his career at the time, but would be shattered in ‘04 when he walked 232 times, 120 of those were intentional passes and an OBP of .609. The two next best seasons for onbase percentage are Bonds in ‘02 at .582 and Ted Williams in 1941 at .553.

Returning with Piazza

Bonds had become the single season home run leader, a mark that had previously meant threats to Roger Marris and a media sensation for Mark McGwire, but for Barry Bonds, the record was only three years old and muscled up power hitters were nothing new. It was starting to feel like a PED fueled bulked-up arms race that had ended with an uncharismatic antihero taking the crown. The record tying, breaking and final home run of the season were not the most memorable homers of the season. That would belong to Mike Piazza. The Mets were playing the Braves in the first major sporting event in New York City after 9/11 and the hometown team was down 2-1 in the ninth. That summer Piazza, New York Catcher went to his ninth of twelve All-Star Games coming off a World Series run with the Mets the year before that had been stopped by their subway rivals in the Bronx. With one on, Piazza launched a homer that would solidify his place in Mets lore. The Mets took the lead and won the game by one in a moment that was a moment of healing for a city that really needed it. Piazza would have an odd couple of years after this huge homer, he held a press conference to say he wasn’t gay in 2002, the Scottish band Belle and Sebastian released a song named after him that asked “Piazza, New York Catcher are you straight or are you gay?” in 2003. There were rumors that went around about possible PED use because of acne all over his back, something noticed about Barry Bonds from 1999 and on, and he ultimately was voted into the Hall of Fame in 2016. That induction is often referenced without saying his name in talks of “there are already steroid guys in the Hall of Fame, why not let others in?” Regardless, he was a guy that was drafted in the 62nd round and went on to be the best offensive catcher of all time with 427 homers and a .308 AVG.

All-Time Wins Record

It was a year that baseball saw one of the best teams in MLB history tie an MLB record with 116 wins, a record that had been held since the 1906 Cubs. It wasn’t the Yankees, a team that had won four of the last five World Series Championships, it was the Seattle Mariners, a team who had traded away Randy Johnson in ‘98, Ken Griffey Jr in 99 and Alex Rodriguez left to sign with the Rangers at the end of 2000. However, they still had Hall of Famer Edgar Martinez and a couple of new additions with monster seasons, Ichiro Suzuki who came over from Japan as the most prominent Japanese hitters ever to come to the MLB and Gold Glove second baseman Bret Boone. They didn’t quite know what they had. Ichiro came from Japan 1278 hits and 118 home runs, including two 20+ home runs seasons, over nine years. For some reason the Mariners thought they had won the posting for a middle of the lineup hitter and through the spring they were trying everything they could to make Ichiro the third hitter in their lineup even though it was a couple of weeks before he hit anything over the fence. By the time the season began he was moved to bat leadoff. Initially, this was cause for concern as they didn’t have a traditional power hitter in the middle of the lineup due to an injury to Jay Buhner, but the lineup of veteran hitters with great gloves added up to a lineup of of guys where everyone was able to get on base and they would be driven in by a double… or a double that happened to clear the wall.

The only Hall of Famer (so far) on the team was Edgar whose 23 homers and .306 AVG were on the lower side for his career, but the 38 year old DH still hit 40 doubles, drove in 116 RBI and and had an OBP of .423, a mark that equaled his previous season where his AVG was .324. Where Edgar could be a Hall of Fame poster child of Moneyball’s goal of getting on base and creating runs with or without the long ball, this team was filled with great guys with great careers. Jon Olerud was maybe more known for the helmet he would wear while playing the field, but he was one of the great fielding first basemen of his time and although he was not known as a power hitter he had 255 homers out of his 2239 hits, a .295 AVG and an amazing .398 OBP over his career. It was a year that very much fit with his career, he hit 21 homers and 32 doubles, drove in 95 with a .302 AVG but got onbase at a .401 clip. Centerfielder Mike Cameron was of a similar vein of player, an athletic guy who could do anything he not only hit 25 homers in ‘01 and drove in 110 RBI, but he stole 34 bags, had a .353 OBP (despite a .267 AVG) and won the first of three Gold Gloves. Over his similarly length career to Olerud, Cameron hit a similar number of homers (278) although he had fewer hits (1700) but he stole more bases (297). With the loss of Jay Buhner for the season the M’s need to patch together that hole in their lineup. Instead of plugging in another power hitter, 36 year old utilityman Mark McLemore filled in for the presence in the lineup by getting on base (.384 OBP), stealing bases (39 SB) and scoring runs (78 R) while taking some of the load in left field and filling in at short and third, as his most frequent stops on his utility turntable around the field. Spending most of his career at second base or in the outfield, McLemore played everywhere but pitcher, catcher and first base. He never had much power, only 53 homers in his 19 year career, but he did log 1602 hits, 272 steals and a .349 OBP as a guy that only had a couple of seasons with a set position.

It wasn’t just a team putting up incredible offensive numbers, the pitching staff was filled with guys having career years. Freddy Garcia won 18 games and led the league in ERA (3.05) and innings pitched (238.2) and finished third in Cy Young voting. Fourth in Cy Young Voting was a 38 year old Jamie Moyer who won 20 games and had a 3.42 ERA. Aaron Sele won 15 games and Paul Abbott won another 17. Rookie Joel Pineiro had a half of a season where he was unhittable, pitching in 17 games, starting 11 and had an ERA of 2.03. He wasn’t a bad pitcher over his career but he never had a stretch where he was as dominant as he was for the summer when he was 22 years old. The closer Kaz Sasaki was another Japanese player who was in just his second season in the US, 2001 was his best year saving 45 games with WHIP of 0.885, and setting him up was lefty Arthur Rhodes who had a 1.72 ERA in 71 games and a WHIP of 0.853.

While most of the lineup was getting on base, it was the sturdy fielding second baseman Bret Boone who ultimately took up the mantle to drive everyone in. In the three seasons before joining the Mariners, Boone hit 24 homers for the Reds in ‘98, 20 for the Braves in ‘99 and 19 for the Padres in 2000. In his first season with the Mariners he hit 37 homers, driving in 141 RBI and had a career high .331 AVG, the only time he had a full season with a batting average over .300. In four full seasons in Seattle, the second baseman hit 120 homers, drove in 448 RBI and won three Gold Glove awards, but 2001 was by far his best season, finishing third in AL MVP voting.

Ichiro Opening Day 2010. Picture by Dave Sizer.

AL Rookie of the Year and MVP: Ichiro Suzuki, OF Seattle Mariners

Ichiro took the league by storm. It was a strange miscalculation to think that he would be anything but a leadoff hitter. His 242 hits, 127 runs scored, 56 stolen bases and .350 AVG took set the table for the M’s to create runs from a mix of getting on base and using speed. It was his defense that may have made the difference, showing him as a complete player ahead of Jason Giambi who hit 38 homers and had a .477 OBP for the A’s in AL MVP voting. Early in the year Ichiro threw a runner out at third in a play from right field to get speedster Terrence Long on a perfect throw. Not just a perfect throw, a throw that made Ichiro a baseball legend. Manager Lou Piniella described it by saying “You could hang a lot of clothes on that throw,” because it was such a rope. It might have been all he needed to win the AL Rookie of the year award over CC Sabathia and Alfonso Soriano. Fred Lynn was the only other player to win Rookie of the Year and MVP in the same season and Fernando Valenzuela is the only player ever to win Cy Young and Rookie of the year in the same season.

Perhaps they pushed too hard for the regular season wins record. They won ten of their last twelve games but needed all five games to beat the Indians in the ALDS. By the time they were facing the Yankees in the ALCS Edgar Martinez was hobbled by an ankle injury and shortstop Carlos Guillen was found to have Tuberculosis, and it was feared that it had also spread throughout the clubhouse to the rest of the team. They had lost their edge, they lost three close games by two runs or less and traded blow outs, winning game three 14-3 and losing the decisive game five 12-3. It was starting to look like the Yankees would ride a wave of emotion after 9/11 all the day to a Championship.

End of An Empire

As the season suspended for a week after 9/11, the playoffs were extended into November. One of the most memorable and consequential moments of 2001 actually came in in the Divisional Series between the Yankees and Athletics in mid-October. The A’s were up two games to none in game three of the best of five series, trailing only 1-0 in the seventh inning with Mike Mussina pitching. Terrence Long, who apparently had a very unlucky season when it came to outfield assists, hit a ball into right field that Shane Spencer threw toward home as Jason Giambi raced around the bases. The ball sailed over cutoff men Alfonso Soriano and Tino Martinez, and was short of the plate up the first base line. Derek Jeter happened to be racing to just the right spot, scooped the ball and flipped it behind him for the last fifteen feet where Jorge Posada tagged a non-sliding Jason Giambi just before the plate. The Yankees won the game 1-0, then won the next two games to advance to play the Mariners, and on to the World Series after that. That play was rather consequential because Giambi would next take the field as a Yankee the next season in one of the biggest free agent signings at the time. He was coming off an MVP season in 2000 and a second place finish in ‘01 with a mix of massive power an ability to take walks and get on base and also hit for average, something that spanned his career to the tune of 440 homers and a .399 OBP. The A’s would feel as though they couldn’t compete while playing the same game as big market teams like the Yankees and would also need to substitute the runs created by Giambi through a patchwork of multiple inexpensive players found through statistical analysis at a bargain that would be the subject of the book and subsequent movie adaptation of Moneyball.

One of the best baseball movies that happens to not have much baseball. Narrow genre. Moneyball Poster, 2011.

The Yankees were led by their Cy Young Winner for 2001, Roger Clemens, who happened to not even have the best season in his own rotation. Mike Mussina was actually the leader in pitcher’s WAR, and second in the league in ERA (behind Freddy Garcia), second in strikeouts (behind Hideo Nomo who had also thrown a no-hitter in his first start with the Red Sox that year), WHIP (behind the White Sox’s Mark Buehrle) and second in shutouts (behind the A’s Mark Mulder). The only statistical category where Clemens was better was wins, a category notoriously reliant on run support. This was Clemen’s sixth of seven Cy Youngs in his career and the five previous awards may have been contributing factors in the voting for 2001. Mussina finished behind Clemens, Mulder, Garcia and Moyer in Cy Young voting and is the only one of the five pitchers in the Hall of fame.

The Yankees would take the World Series to seven games. Game four would tie the series two games to two on an extra innings walk-off home run by Derek Jeter in the tenth inning. The hit would come just after midnight and the game ended on November 1st, the first time a World Series would be played in the month of November. The walk-off would earn Jeter the nickname “Mr. November,” a take off of Reggie Jackson’s nickname, "Mr. October," with the Yankees for his World Series home run heroics in the 1970’s. It was actually Jeter’s only RBI in the seven game series and he hit only .148. The Series would end on a very different walk-off hit, a broken bat hit barely past the infield by slugger Luis Gonzalez of the Diamondbacks. In a way, the 2001 World Series would be treated much like the Game Seven walk-off loss for the Yankees in 1960 to the Pittsburgh Pirates. That was the only year that the Yankees celebrated an AL Pennant victory with a ticker tape parade down the Canyon of Heroes in New York City. They lost the Series and Jeter got the nickname.

It was the beginning of the end of overly patriotic displays at sporting events. 2001 World Series program.

After the loss, the “Core Four” of Jeter, Mariano, Posada and Pettitte stayed together and eventually got back to the World Series in 2009. There was a veteran core of the team that all moved on or retired after ‘01, of Paul O’Neill, Tino Martinez, Chuck Knoblauch, Scott Brosius. The Yankees gradually built up their lineup with Giambi, ARod, Cano. Hideki Matsui and Gary Sheffield, after a second lost World Series in 2003, but they wouldn’t take home another trophy until 2009, the last time the Evil Empire have won in over a decade.

“It Takes More Than Nine Yanks to Beat Our Johnson.”

NL Cy Young Award: Randy Johnson, LHP Arizona Diamondbacks

For a brief moment in the World Series at Bank One Ballpark, a sign reading this phrase flashed on the screen until the Fox booth realized what they were showing. It was true, the Diamondbacks were basically a two-man rotation for 2001 and 38 year old Randy Johnson gave them perhaps the best season of his amazing career. Whether it was that he had one of his best years that put the team over the top, leading the league in ERA (2.49), WHIP (1.009, second best of his career), strike outs and strike outs per nine innings (372 and 13.4, both career bests), or that he had that great season because of the team around him, as 2001 was his only World Series season.

The pitching staff was fairly unimpressive beyond Johnson and Curt Schilling. Schilling won two of the Diamondbacks three wins in the NLDS against the Cardinals, Johnson won two and Schilling won one of the NLCS games against the Braves, giving up a total of three runs in those three games. In the World Series, Schilling won one game and Johnson won the other three, although Schilling actually started Game Seven where the Big Unit came in relief to hold things down until the walk off victory.

The two aces were the beneficiaries of an especially good offensive team with a lot of tools for manager Bob Brenley to play with. The 2001 team was the first ever to have four players with two pinch hit home runs each. The regular lineup was filled with some of the best “Good Enough” players of the ‘90’s and 2000’s. Mark Grace had the most hits out of anyone in the 1990’s, Matt Williams chased the home run record before the strike in ‘94, Luis Gonzalez had an even better year in ‘01 hitting 57 dingers, 142 RBI, a .325 AVG and .429 OBP, Craig Counsel was onbase for walk off hits of the World Series TWICE in ‘97 and ‘01, and Steve Finley and Reggie Sanders were both stars that ended up playing on eight different teams over their careers.

Randy Johnson Number Retirement Ceremony at Chase Field. Picture by Pete Talbot, Aug. 8, 2018.

Diamond Outfield

The outfield of Gonzo, Finley and Sanders was quite amazing as a trio of under the radar stars. The biggest star of the offense was Luis Gonzalez and his 57 homers and 142 RBI that far surpassed any other season he had. He only had one other season with more than 30 homers although the previous two seasons he had major jumps in his batting average after he came to the Diamondbacks. It’s quite possible that the power surge was PED related, although the leap in his batting average seemed to be the result of a batting stance change that gave him a longer, more fluid swing, he had a 19 year career, collecting 2591 hits, 596 doubles, 354 homers, a .283 AVG and .367 OBP (an OBP that would be expected from a hitter with over a .300 AVG). Over his career playing on six teams he only played with Hall of Fame players Bagwell, Biggio and Randy Johnson and was a five-time All-Star himself.

Finley and Sanders were much more of journeymen, they were the baseball equivalents of Forrest Gump, Marvel’s Watcher, or Robert Horry witnessing historical figures in action. Reggie Sanders made a great career for himself as a speed and power outfielder, at one point in his career he played for eight teams in nine seasons without ever being traded mid-season. Over his 17 year career he was a 300-300 hitter, 305 home runs, 304 stolen bases, with 1666 hits, and a .343 OBP despite only a .267 AVG. over all of those years he played with nine future Hall of Famers, Barry Larkin, Lee Smith, Tony Gwynn, Trevor Hoffman, Chipper Jones, Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, Randy Johnson, and Larry Walker. He also shared clubhouses with three active players on their way to the Hall, Albert Pujols (more on him later), Yadier Molina and Zach Greinke (who is likely a couple of seasons away from 3000 career strikeouts). He also spent a year as a teammate of Barry Bonds whose Hall status is questionable. He was also the teammate of a Football Hall of Famer, Deion Sanders, for extra points on his resume.

Steve Finley was also a member of the 300-300 club, 304 homers and 320 steals, and was known as a great fielding center fielder with five Gold Gloves to his name. His .271 AVG was better than Sanders’, although he didn’t get on base quite as well, .332 OBP. And his 2548 career hits place him just behind Gonzo in the Arizona outfield of 2001. He also played with nine future Hall of Famers, Cal Ripken, Jeff Bagwell, Craig Biggio, Tony Gwynn, Trevor Hoffman, Rickey Henderson, Randy Johnson, Roberto Alomar, and Vladimir Guerrero as well as Adrian Beltre who is a shoe-in to get a plaque of his own once he is eligible for the vote. All three of the DBacks outfielders were guns for hire throughout their long careers and their veteran presences in the lineup were formidable in the World Series run, although it was the only year any of them went home with a ring.

Pujols at the 2006 All-Star Game. Picture by Rafael Amado Deras.

NL Rookie of the Year: Albert Pujols, UTL St Louis Cardinals

It was in the first round of the playoffs that the Diamondbacks when the full five games against the St Louis Cardinals. It was the end of Mark McGwire’s career, hitting 29 home runs in a season where he only hit. .187. Barry Bonds seemingly had vanquished the foe that had inspired him to dive head-first into PED use. But this was also the introduction of the only player still active in the majors from 2001, Albert Pujols. While he is now known as a purely a first baseman, in his rookie year Pujols was actually a bit of a utility player with time at first, third, left and right while hitting 37 homers, 130 RBI, 194 hits, a .329 AVG and .403 OBP and won the Silver Slugger for NL third basemen. Pujols won the NL Rookie of the Year Award in 2001 and going into the 2020 season he has 3202 hits, 656 homers (four behind Willie Mays who is fifth all-time), 2075 RBI (tied with Cap Anson for fourth on the all-time list, only 11 behind ARod) three MVP awards (and finished second in three seasons and two World Series rings in 19 seasons.The next longest serving active MLB player, Miguel Cabrera, has only been playing for 17 years. It’s pretty certain that “The Machine” will be a first ballot Hall of Famer when he does finally retire, most likely after his contract runs out after the 2021 season. It’s pretty likely that his Rookie of the Year classmate, Ichiro, will also go into the Hall of Fame as his 4367 hits at the highest level of Japanese and American baseball surpass Pete Rose’s 4256 MLB hits. The only times that two future Hall of Famers won the Rookie of the Year Awards in the same season were 1956 with Luis Aparicio and Frank Robinson, 1967 With Rod Carew and Tom Seaver and 1977 with Eddie Murray and Andre Dawson.


Highest Paid Player: Alex Rodriguez, $28 Million

US President: George W. Bush

In the News:

  • Housing crisis and collapse of US economy

  • Barrack Obama win US Presidential Election

  • Large Hadron Collider at CERN opens

First Class Postage Stamp: $0.42

Number of Games: 162

Changes Since 2001: Montreal Expos move to Washington DC to become the Washington Nationals.

Hurricane Ike

Zambrano warming before a game at Wrigley Field in August 2008. Public Domain.

The September 2008 Category Four Hurricane Ike was so large that it hit most of the Gulf Coast of the US, resulting in 118 deaths, and was the second most costly hurricane in US history at the time. It is now the sixth costliest hurricane in US history at $30 Billion in damage as it was passed by Hurricane Sandy and THREE hurricanes in 2017 alone. Houston was one of the most affected major cities by Ike and the Astros chose to play their games elsewhere for the safety of their players and fans. They ended up playing a pair of “home” games against the Cubs at Miller Park in Milwaukee. The Astros didn’t have the worst season, finishing third out of six teams in the crowded NL Central with 86 wins. However, the situation of worrying about their families back in Texas and playing in front of a Miller Park crowd that was 90% Cub fans certainly didn’t help when they had to face Carlos Zambrano.

The Cubs were the hottest team in the NL and Zambrano made the third of this three All-Star appearances that year. Just a walk in the fourth that was wiped out on a double play and a hit batter in the fifth were the only blemishes on the no hitter. A Geoff Blum flyball to the right field line that was tracked down by Mark DeRosa was the hardest hit ball of the night. Zambrano ended the game on 13 consecutive outs for the no-hitter. The Cubs would be swept in the NLDS against the Dodgers to end their postseason run prematurely as the Phillies would ultimately beat the Rays for the World Series Championship that year. Zambrano would have a couple more good seasons with the Cubs, then in late 2011 he stormed off the field mid-game in Atlanta and left the team, never to play for the Cubs ever again. He had one more middling season with the Marlins before retiring after his age-31 season. He pitched for twelve years, had a 43.9 WAR, won 132 games and had a career ERA of 3.66.


Highest Paid Player: Clayton Kershaw, $32 Million

US President: Barrack Obama

In The News:

  • Charlie Hedbo attack, French Soccer stadium attack

  • Charleston Church shooting

  • Supreme Court rules for same sex marriage nationwide

First Class Postage Stamp $0.49

Number of Games: 162

Changes Since 2008: Houston Astros moved from NL Central to AL West.

The Freddie Gray Game

Example of an empty Oriole Park. Picture by James G. Howes.

While the 2020 season is seeing games played in empty stadiums due to a pandemic, the very first MLB game played in an empty stadium was a result of unrest in Baltimore after the death of Freddie Gray. Gray was killed while in police custody in in Baltimore. His death was ruled a homicide by omission by the medical examiner as none of the six police officers involved applied protective restraints in the squad car after he was arrested and his injuries put him in a coma and he died a few days later. Protests had the entire city shut down and the decision was made that a game to watch on TV would be a moral boost for the city after the first two games of the series were postponed, but it would not be safe for fans to be congregating out in public. The game didn't have crowd noise beyond a few fans that gathered outside the gates and the TV and radio announcers' voices carrying through Oriole Park. For some reason you're not supposed to call it by the real name, C*mden Y*ards, perhaps it was built on an indian burial ground. The Orioles beat the White Sox eight to two, Chris Davis clanked a three-run homer into the seats, Manny Machado collected three hits and starting pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez went seven innings, no earned runs and six strikeouts. It would be a good season for Chris Davis, leading the league in homers with 47, but also strikeouts (208) although his career has been pretty abysmal since then, never cracking a batting average of .221 in the five years since. It was also the last good year for Jimenez (in 2010 he was the first Rockies pitcher to throw a no-hitter, where he won 12 games with a 4.11 ERA and 168 strikeouts. The next two years he had ERAs of 5.44 and 6.81 and the Orioles began their decline into being perennial cellar dwellers.

Final Thoughts

These won't be the FINAL thoughts on this project because we are living in another shortened season, the shortest in the World Series Era. It has been pretty surreal to see how many times the league has either shut down or had to face massive events in the history of the US, and it feels like the country has lived through all of these things before, yet things still are still quite different.

Hall of Good Enough Players

Bret Boone, SEA 2B, 14 YRS, 22.9 WAR, 1775 H, 252 HR, .266 AVG, .325 OBP, .442 OBP

Barry Bonds, SFG OF, 22 YRS, 162.8, 2935 H, 762 HR, 514 SB, 2558 BB, 688 IBB,

.298 AVG, .444 OBP, .607 SLG

Mike Cameron, SEA OF, 17 YRS, 46.7 WAR, 1700 H, 278 HR, 297 SB, .249 AVG, .338 SLG, .444 SLG

Steve Finley, ARI OF, 19 YRS, 44.2 WAR, 2548 H, 449 2B, 304 HR, 320 SB, .271 AVG,

.332 OBP, .442 SLG

Freddy Garcia, SEA RHP, 15 YRS, 34.2 WAR, 156 W, 1621 K, 4.15 ERA, 1.303 WHIP

Jason Giambi, OAK 1B, 20 YRS, 50.5 WAR, 2010 H, 440 HR, .277 AVG, .399 OBP,

.516 SLG

Luis Gonzalez, ARI OF, 19 YRS, 51.7 WAR, 2591 H, 596 2B, 354 HR, .283 AVG, .367 OBP, .479 SLG

Mark McLemore, SEA UTL, 19 YRS, 19.6 WAR, 1602 H, 255 2B, 272 SB, .259 AVG,

.349 OBP

Jamie Moyer, SEA LHP, 25 YRS, 49.8 WAR, 269 W, 2441 K, 4.25 ERA, 1.322 WHIP

John Olerud, SEA 1B, 17 YRS, 58.1 WAR, 2239 H, 500 2B, 255 HR, .295 AVG, .398 OBP, .465 SLG

Reggie Sanders, ARI OF, 17 YRS, 39.8 WAR, 1666 H, 305 HR, 304 SB, .267 AVG, .343 OBP

Carlos Zambrano, CHC RHP, 43.9 WAR, 132 W, 1637 K, 3.66 ERA, 1.331 WHIP


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