17 people (including Ted and I) responded to the first-ever PnP Midseason Quiz. Although very proud of this, we are also slightly concerned that the most popular post in the history of this blog is not a well written essay or fun piece of commentary but set of hypothetical questions. Anyway, the questions ilicited some serious brilliance from you guys. So thanks so much for the insight and for the participation. It has been a pleasure reading these. I picked three of my favorite answers for each question to share below:
One reader suggests that ex-Commish Bowie Kuhn is baseball's least deserving Hall of Famer
1. Excluding Rollie Fingers, who has the greatest facial hair in the history of the game?
Alex: Keith Herenandez obviously. That mustache is glorious, plus it makes great fodder for those sexist Just for Men commercials.
Paul Catalano: Oscar Gamble. Great afro and a awesome huge moustache
Walter: Ken Caminiti had some real aggressive facial hair. He looked like a tweaked out biker who just spent the past three years lifting weights in San Quentin or Pelican Bay.
*Worth noting: Al Hrabosky and Mike Piazza led all recipients with two votes each
2. Least enviable inferior big league brother. Example: Wilton Guerrero.
Bob Ferguson: Paul Rueschel. He had under 400 career innings and was the larger of the two Rueschel brothers which is really saying something. The great majority of his career came with the Chicago Cubs. He came up three years after his younger brother and pitched in his shadow for his best 3 ½ season in the majors, which still weren’t very good. In 1977, Tops printed a brother’s card with Paul and Rick both on it, the only problem was they switched up the names. Tops knew about the error but cared so little they never changed it.
Akshay: I am going with the sisterly version of this question. I always felt bad for Kit Keller. Dottie Henson was just too much of a superstar for the Rockford Peaches. (I certainly hope I do not have to explain the reference!)
BBL: Ozzie Canseco is the obvious choice but I’m going with Paul Dean due to the unfortunate barnyard incident he and Dizzy both valiantly tried to stop as children
3. Dave Stieb or David Cone?
Cone wins by a score of 9-4. Ember Nickel gives my favorite explanation:
Ember Nickel: Cone, because poetic types should be able to talk about pitchers who’ve actually pitched perfect games and not just nearly-perfect ones that represent the subjectivity and meaninglessness of the modern world or whatever.
4. The game is on the line. You have to send a pitcher – any pitcher – to the plate. Who is it?
Pat Allen: A smart aleck answer would be Babe Ruth. A better answer is that it would depend on the situation. For example, for a bunt, it would be Greg Maddux. I don’t know about singles. While an obvious answer for home runs is Carlos Zambrano, he can be pitched to fairly easily in close situations late in the game. Carlos swings too hard (i.e., he doesn’t “stay within himself”), so a smart pitcher can get him. He is only about 1 for 10 while pinchhitting.
Brian Wolff: Other than the obvious early Babe Ruth. I’d say that Micah Owings would probably pinch hit for power better than most bench players out there. He could pull off the next “Rich Ankiel” move if his pitching doesn’t improve soon.
Exiled in NJ: Don Newcombe wasn’t bad, Mike Hampton or Kenny Brett
5. Favorite Casey Stengel managed ball club?
Paul Catalano: 1962 Mets
BBL: 1963 Mets – improved by 11 games over ’62 Mets!
Matthew: I don’t want to go with a Yankees team but the rest of his teams are only memorable for being awful, so I guess I’ll have to pick the 1951 Yankees with the changeover from DiMaggio to Mantle, plus Johnny Mize.
6. Bull Durham or Field of Dreams?
BBL: Bull Durham mainly because I went to Bulls games and the Bull never assaulted my cousin; sadly I cannot say the same of the Winston-Salem Warthog
Ted: Field of Dreams. I could watch James Earl Jones brush the imaginary flies of memory away from his face on a loop for hours.
Marc R: Bull Durham-even though it had way too much sex and not enough baseball
7. Best local broadcast crew, excluding your hometown/favorite team?
Pat Allen: Who cares.
Dave: Gary Thorne for the Baltimore Orioles. He brings a hockey-like intensity to the lovely game of baseball. “SAKIC SCORES!” or “BASEHIT UP THE MIDDLE!”, its all money with Gary.
Bob Ferguson: I have many problems with this question, especially the excluding the only people you really ever listen to part. Also, I don’t really like the crews part either, I generally hate one of the two guys. This really doesn’t answer the question but the best announcer in the game is Steve Stone and the worst is Hawk Harrelson. I gave you one crew at least.
8. Least deserving Hall of Famer?
BBL: Without question Bowie Kuhn (amongst his many crimes: my father once asked him if he slept in the nude and Bowie refused to answer)
Paul Catalano: Bill Mazeroski No offense Bill. But a .260 BA, 138 HRs and a .299 OBP dopn’t really cut it.
Brian Wolff: Roger Bresnahan definitely doesn’t have anywhere close to H.O.F. stats although he did popularize modern catching equipment his 26, YES!, 26 career homers/530rbi/.279avg over 17 seasons while being a great and versatile fielder just does not add up to enough to mention only 1 post season and a losing record as a manager
9. If you could resurrect one dislocated or disbanded franchise, which?
Reeves: The Kansas City Royals. Remember them? George Brett, 1985, fountains in the outfield. Did they become the Diamondbacks or Marlins?
Ember Nickel: Brooklyn is a good choice, though my initial instinct was the Cleveland Spiders. I’d also support returning the Braves to Boston if and only if their mascot would make slightly more historical sense and cause slightly less protesting.
Walter: Les Expos.
10. Most memorable instance of creative technique employed by manager in confrontation with umpire.
Exiled In NJ: Who carried an umbrella to the plate to point out it was raining? Bobby Bragan had a few techniques, including laying down on his back I believe.
Matthew: The Braves minor-league manager could have won if he cut his act by just a little bit. It wound up being overdone even though the grenade act was probably the most original single action I’ve ever seen. Otherwise, it’s the previously mentioned Bobby Valentine facial hair.
Multiple: Lloyd McClendon’s last stolen base.