Thursday, July 02, 2009
Two From True Blue LA
- Manny brings an early Christmas.
'Twas the night before Manny, and all through the ball park,
Not a creature was stirring, not even a McCourt;
The helmets were hung by the dugout with care,
In hopes that St. Dreadlock soon would be there;
- "The Lonesome Death of Russell Martin's Power":
... a funny thing happened on the way to the Dodger Hall of Fame. Martin simply doesn't hit for power anymore. It was a little troubling last season, when Martin followed up his breakout .469-slugging, 19-homer 2007 with a .396 slugging percentage, but I'll never be disappointed in a catcher with a .385 on-base percentage. Besides, Martin was sure to improve this year because of his improved attitude and maturity. He even started doing yoga.
It hasn't helped. In the 126-year history of the Dodgers, there have been 34 different seasons in which a catcher has posted a slugging percentage under .300 (with at least 200 plate appearances). The king of these seasons is Bill Bergen, the worst hitter in the history of baseball. Bergen played eight seasons with Brooklyn, from 1904-1911. He has the seven lowest slugging percentages ever by a Dodger catcher, and the only reason he doesn't have eight seasons is because he only had 143 PA. Only six of these sub-.300 seasons have come since 1941. Russell Martin's slugging percentage in 2009 is .298 at essentially the halfway point this season.