Sunday, July 11, 2010

The '84 All Star Game

I've been to only one All-Star game and that was in 1984 at Candlestick Park. I was still living in San Diego County but was in town for a visit and a ticket was available.

Here are the starting lineups:
1. Lou Whitaker
2.Rod Carew
3.Cal Ripken, Jr.
4.Dave Winfield
5.Reggie Jackson
6.George Brett
7.Lance Parrish
8.Chet Lemon
9.Dave Stieb

1.Tony Gwynn
2.Ryne Sandberg
3.Steve Garvey
4.Dale Murphy
5.Mike Schmidt
6.Darryl Strawberry
7.Gary Carter
8.Ozzie Smith
9.Charlie Lea

Future Giants catcher Carter hit a homer in the second inning and was named game MVP in the 3-1 NL victory.
The game featured power pitching with 21 strikeouts recorded by the two sides. Fernando Valenzuela and the 19 year old Dwight Gooden took turns striking out the side. Valenzuela's mowing down of the formidable trio of Winfield, Jackson and Brett elicited comparisons the feat accomplished by Giants immortal Carl Hubbell 50 years earlier:

In the 1934 All-Star game played at the Polo Grounds, Hubbell set a record by striking out in succession five batters destined for Cooperstown: Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Jimmie Foxx, Al Simmons and Joe Cronin. In 1984, the 50th anniversary of this legendary performance, the National League pitchers Fernando Valenzuela and Dwight Gooden combined to fan six batters in a row for a new All-Star Game record (future Hall of Famers Dave Winfield, Reggie Jackson, and George Brett by Valenzuela; Lance Parrish, Chet Lemon, and Alvin Davis by Gooden). Hubbell himself was on hand for the 1984 All-Star Game at San Francisco's Candlestick Park to throw out the first pitch.(from Wikipedia)

Representing a weak Giants team that year were catcher Bob Brenly and outfielder Chili Davis. Both appeared as pinch hitters, both made outs


JC Parsons said...

What a coincidence, dear brother, I was there too. I remember the strikeout thing...and not loving it because it was Fernando, after all. Baseball history is only good if it doesn't involve the doggers.
Interesting that Dale Murphy enters my life again today. I tell ya, Buster has that same vibe. Maybe not as big (?) but close.

Anonymous said...

Sigh. I was on fangraphs today (in NJ of course) and I was surprised. The Dodgers were 2nd in FIP. The Giants were 16th overall I believe. I don't get it. The Padres have a better fielding team, and some guys on their team that I can't believe would contribute positively to their overall FIP yet, they're in 1st. How is that? Are our fielders making our pitching look less good? We have turned the least double plays and have the most strikeouts, doesn't that count for anything? The good fielding doesn't hurt the Padres? I'm confused. Is it the walks? Was it the losing streak? Also, Rowand is apparently our clutchiest player which has convinced me that clutch is pure luck and as such should not be in the starting lineup everyday simply because of it.

Is fangraphs just saying that our pitching just isn't that good?

Anonymous said...

Actually, forget what I said. Matt Cain proves that FIP and/or xFIP is not perfect. Strange how his xFIP has been higher than his ERA since he's been pitching in the bigs. In that sense he's lucky, however, luck in baseball doesn't last for 5 seasons! At the same time he is unlucky, still no run support. The Baseball Gods work in strange ways. I feel better. Perhaps nerdy stats still don't know everything that there is to know.

M.C. O'Connor said...

The Giants are 6th in FIP in the NL, 7th overall. Our pitching is very good, just (perhaps) not as good as we like to think, or about as good as some other good pitching staffs.

xFIP doesn't like Matt Cain because he doesn't strike a lot of guys out and he gives up a lot of flyballs. It is a consequence of the things that FIP "values" in its formula. xFIP is an attempt to project FIP. That is, the model assumes that your FIP will trend toward your xFIP. In Cain's case, that has been happening. He does, over the long haul, get hurt by HRs and doesn't often get himself out of trouble with strikeouts (as much as we'd like). Doesn't mean he isn't a good pitcher, just that his ERA may not accurately reflect his pitching skill or his level of success. We know that's true with his W-L record. FIP tries to be an "equalizer" so that pitchers can be (it is hoped) more fairly compared.

Stats are just ways of trying to understand the measurable, recordable parts of the game. Of course they can't account for everything because it isn't all measurable. The game is played by flawed, complicated men, whose success and failure in the sport is some complex mixture, of luck, fortitude, hard work, random variation, grit, talent, etc. etc.

The only stat, in the end, that really matters is NUMBER OF TEAM WINS!!

Anonymous said...

My mistake, we were 16th overall in xFIP. And that makes sense. I think that flyballs are exaggerated. Usually, flyballs are not home runs and usually they are very easily playable. That's why the hitters with high batting averages (like Ichiro) tend go for grounders. Popouts, flyouts, are the easiest to get to. He allows currently 0.7 HRs per 9 innings. They make it sound like any flyball hit will leave the park. It's not like he'll be facing Albert Pujols every time. It makes sense how that can lead to problems though. Bases loaded, sac flies, etc.

You are right, in the long run, wins are the most important. Besides, the Dodgers fielding is so bad. You don't need sabermetrics to see that. It's like the three horsemen out there.

Thank you for clearing that stuff up for me. Fielding and pitching go hand and hand. We're 2nd in runs allowed and 3rd in earned runs allowed.

We're contending, the best players for the most part have been playing lately, nice to see Buster have the best 10 game stretch of any NL rookie ever, so I really can't complain. Go Giants!

Anonymous said...

Also, I like this: "Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus indicated that he now considers Belt among the top 100 prospects (although not among the top 50)."

It's nice to see that there is life down there after Madbum and Buster.

Zo said...

I don't remember if I attended or not. I may have, I have a commemorative baseball, but don't remember a lot from the 1980's. I do remember this one though.

M.C. O'Connor said...

With inter-league play and free agency there isn't much distinction between AL and NL players, unlike when we were kids. The ASG had some appeal then because it was the only time an NL fan could see some great AL stars. The fact that this game decides home-field in the Series is an abomination (thank you, Eric Gagne, for our 2002 road trip).

I say junk the damn game. I'd rather watch an all-rookie game or The Futures game instead. Send the rest of them home for a well-deserved rest.

Zo said...

MOC, do not, repeat DO NOT look at the Chronic this morning to see Gwen (why does this woman have a job?) Knapp's column. I can tell you why the All Star game exists. When it was in SF a couple years ago, I got some complimentary tix to the home run derby. First, when you buy All Star tix, you have to buy the 3 day package. It will set you back a surprsing amount, more than I would pay, but they were comps. Second, most fans I saw walking around the HR derby (and most of those appeared from out of town) were clutching about $200 worth of MLB merchandise. As a side note, I saw a nearby parking garage that we had used (for $20) for a number of games when Akemi was on crutches charging $70. $70, not a misprint. Now, do you see the reason for the All Star game? It is, like all of MLB, a way to maximize the separation of the baseball fan from his or her income. It has nothing to do with "sport" in the original sense of the word, not really much at all to do with baseball. Our fandom and critique of the Giants management and players is but a curious eddy in the river of money that flows to team owners and MLB.

M.C. O'Connor said...

Thou speaketh truth, my goodfellow.

Go back and look at the number of times on this blog where you have said "do not read this Comical sports-writer's column" and think again why you read that fecking rag at all. Other than the beat writers giving us an occasional heads up about roster decisions, trades, and whatnot, the Sporting Green is nearly worthless.

Zo said...

I read it to read about last night's Giant's game by a sportswriter, also the Comics, Jon Carroll and the Bay Area section. I also like Tom Sienstra (that pothead). I can actually avoid reading Gwen Knapp, although can't escape the headlines. On the other hand, reading Bruce Jenkins is like looking at a car wreck - deeply uncomfortable, but impossible to resist.

M.C. O'Connor said...

Bruce Jenkins = car wreck

Yes, the Comical has some value. The Green, other than Tom Stienstra, does not.