Friday, May 23, 2014

#221 Carlos Baerga

About the Front: I wonder who the blurry on-deck batter is. Carlos Baerga batted third in all 161 of his starts in 1992. Albert Belle was the cleanup hitter behind him in 151 games, with Paul Sorrento (seven), Mark Whiten (two), and Carlos Martinez (one) chipping in otherwise. Judging by the lightness of our mystery man's skin, it's almost certainly Sorrento. There were four Cleveland home games featuring the 3-4 combo of Baerga and Sorrento, but that's as close as I can come to identifying the specific game.

About the Back: "Rogers Hornsby was my manager, and he called me a talking pile of pigshit!"

Triple Play:

1. On April 8, 1993, Carlos became the first player in MLB history to hit home runs from both sides of the plate in one inning. In the bottom of the seventh, he clouted a two-run homer off of Yankee southpaw Steve Howe, and later in the inning switched to the left side and belted a solo shot against righty Steve Farr.

2. After many years in the wilderness, he had a one-year resurgence with the Diamondbacks in 2003, batting .343/.396/.464 as a part-timer.

3. As of 2014, he is coaching on the staff of the University of Northwestern Ohio's baseball team.

11-Year-Old Kevin Says: I can't believe how abruptly Carlos' career decline arrived. He batted .305/.345/.454 with a 115 OPS+ through 1995, his age 26 season. From 1996 through 2005, his final year in the majors, his line was .272/.313/.378 with an 80 OPS+.

Bill James Said: "If the Indians get any pitching they'll win that new division this year, which will give Baerga a chance to strut his stuff." Dennis Martinez, Charles Nagy, and Mark Clark all had good years for the Tribe in 1994, and the club was only one game behind the White Sox in the new American League Central Division when the strike halted play in August.

On This Date in 1993: May 23. Beginnings and ends, as the Angels sign 18-year-old Puerto Rican catcher Bengie Molina and the White Sox release 35-year-old former Blue Jays ace Dave Stieb. Stieb will make a surprising comeback in 1998, but we'll get to that in a future blog post.

1 comment:

  1. Hey, 11-year old Kevin, I can certainly believe his precipitous decline, it's called getting traded to the Mets.