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  #16  
Old 05-20-2013, 06:33 AM
amsteel amsteel is offline
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Make the final out of the World Series on a backwards K?

I certainly hope so.
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  #17  
Old 05-20-2013, 06:59 AM
Frater Perdurabo Frater Perdurabo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RKMeibalane View Post
You're right, although I remember Franco having a good 1994 campaign. Finding someone to hit behind Frank seemed to be a yearly chore for the White Sox. Sammy Sosa hadn't discovered Flintstone vitamins, yet. Ventura didn't like it (so he hit fifth), and George Bell was too old. John Kruk waited until his batting average was higher than Mickey Mantle before he decided to quit, and Chris Sabo was just plain awful. Danny Tartabull hit home runs, but provided little else. Lyle Mouton was memorable only because his name was Lyle Mouton (Hawk insisted on trying five or six different pronunciations of his last name).

The Sox didn't finally find a good compliment for Thomas until Albert Belle came along, but that was right before Frank started to slip (coinciding with the arrival of Jerry "The Tinkerer" Manuel in 1998), and even that lasted only two seasons before Belle ended up in Baltimore. Magglio Ordonez was probably the best cleanup hitter Frank played with, but Frank wasn't quite the same by the time Magglio was protecting him, as age and injury had begun to slow him down.
I guess I should have been more clear, because I believed at the time that the Sox should have re-signed Franco for 1995, specifically because he was such a great complement to Frank. I think we pretty much agree on everything else.

Frank had a great 1997 (batting title, second-best OPS+) with Belle protecting him.

Then he had a strange two-year "slump" in 98 and 99, which would have been career years for most other players. He deserved the MVP in 2000, missed most of 2001, had an .834 OPS in 2002, and, although plagued by injuries, never had a sub-.900 OPS season in his remaining seasons with the Sox.

Put Franco behind him for 95 and 96, and don't tinker with him in 98 and 99, and I think his already first-ballot HOF career would be even more ridiculous.
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  #18  
Old 05-20-2013, 07:22 AM
Frater Perdurabo Frater Perdurabo is offline
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Frank may have been among the "least lucky" great players in recent years.

Look at what factors well outside by others may have cost him:

1. He played his peak years in one of the more pitching-friendly parks in the majors:

2. He was on pace to break Roger Maris' single-season HR record in 1994;

3. The Sox parted ways with Franco over a contract dispute, depriving Frank of the best protection he had ever had;

4. He was denied a third MVP by an admitted steroid user in 2000.

5. Injuries robbed him of the equivalent of more than two full seasons.

If not for these factors, he'd have another MVP, a clean single-season HR title (at least for a few years), another likely postseason appearance, and perhaps 600 or more career homers.
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  #19  
Old 05-20-2013, 08:04 AM
tstrike2000 tstrike2000 is offline
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It's unlikely, but it's obviously not out of the question. He's got almost 50 RBI's and we still have two weeks left in May.
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  #20  
Old 05-20-2013, 02:18 PM
happydude happydude is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frater Perdurabo View Post
No disrespect to Cabrera, but he has Prince Fielder protecting him. For much of Frank's peak, he lacked a true threat behind him to keep from being walked. Look at his 1994 season with Julio Franco protecting him: a 212 OPS+.
Perfectly illustrated by the at bat last night where the Rangers put Miggy on to load the bases only to see Fielder walk up and unload them with a low laser to the gap in right center...
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  #21  
Old 05-20-2013, 03:08 PM
hawkjt hawkjt is offline
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Miggy is like the Lebron of MLB right now. Game looks easy to him.
Tiger's investment in Miggy and Fielder looks smart right now.
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  #22  
Old 05-20-2013, 03:28 PM
TheVulture TheVulture is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RKMeibalane View Post
You're right, although I remember Franco having a good 1994 campaign
I think that was the point, the one year Thomas had legitimate protection he had his best season. Franco was a beast in 1994.
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  #23  
Old 05-20-2013, 04:26 PM
shes shes is offline
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I put Miggy down for .360-45-150 before the season started. He was going to have one of these Bonds XBOX seasons before the end of his prime. Glad he's doing it in a year we're out of contention.
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  #24  
Old 05-20-2013, 05:12 PM
RKMeibalane RKMeibalane is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheVulture View Post
I think that was the point, the one year Thomas had legitimate protection he had his best season. Franco was a beast in 1994.
Incidently, I realized that I forgot about Ellis Burks, who also did a nice job hitting behind Frank in '93, Thomas' other MVP season.
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  #25  
Old 05-20-2013, 05:51 PM
TDog TDog is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frater Perdurabo View Post
Frank may have been among the "least lucky" great players in recent years.

Look at what factors well outside by others may have cost him:

1. He played his peak years in one of the more pitching-friendly parks in the majors:

2. He was on pace to break Roger Maris' single-season HR record in 1994;

...
Griffey had two more home runs than Thomas when the 1994 season shut down, and Matt Williams had five more home runs despite playing home games in Candlestick. (Which reminds me of when people used to complain about Candlestick hurting Giants offense, to which old-timers would reply, "didn't hurt Mays or McCovey") But, yeah, who knows what numbers Thomas would have put up in 1994, along with Williams and Griffey and Albert Belle? That may have turned out to be the career year for Kenny Lofton as well. And Kirby Puckett near the end of his career.
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  #26  
Old 05-20-2013, 05:56 PM
RKMeibalane RKMeibalane is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TDog View Post
Griffey had two more home runs than Thomas when the 1994 season shut down, and Matt Williams had five more home runs despite playing home games in Candlestick. (Which reminds me of when people used to complain about Candlestick hurting Giants offense, to which old-timers would reply, "didn't hurt Mays or McCovey") But, yeah, who knows what numbers Thomas would have put up in 1994, along with Williams and Griffey and Albert Belle? That may have turned out to be the career year for Kenny Lofton as well. And Kirby Puckett near the end of his career.
Don't forget that Tony Gwynn was hitting .394 at the time of the strike. That's another thing I wish we could have seen play out.
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  #27  
Old 05-21-2013, 11:26 AM
shes shes is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RKMeibalane View Post
Don't forget that Tony Gwynn was hitting .394 at the time of the strike. That's another thing I wish we could have seen play out.
Yeah that's my biggest regret as a baseball fan -- being robbed of a real chase at .400. Still kind of shocked that Ichiro never had a .380-90 year where he made a run at it, but I guess .372 and 262 hits wasn't too shabby back in '04.
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  #28  
Old 05-21-2013, 09:11 PM
RKMeibalane RKMeibalane is offline
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Cabrera has homered again, and is now one behind Robinson Cano and Chris Davis for the league lead.
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