About the Illness

Since everybody asks, no, I do not wish harm on Mike Scioscia. I am also not Mike Scioscia, nor do I represent him, despite the email I received from Matt Groening’s secretary about royalty checks.

It’s merely a probably not-nearly-as-funny-as-I-think-it-is joke from the classic “Homer at the Bat” episode of “The Simpsons”:

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  1. Great blog you have here. its inciteful and is what i need to hear as a person who is a hispanic and got into baseball just this year, so i’m getting used to this. haha. but great. i completely agree that bombko should be taken out of the rotation and that David Wells should be signed, although, i’m worried. but keep it up.

  2. Some of your links don’t appear to work anymore. Too bad, I would love to know why MSTI got it’s name.

  3. You are correct, “Dodger and Angel fan”. Thanks a lot, FOX.

  4. I like a lot of your ideas….mostly about the Dodgers need to trade Juan Pierre and let Ethier play everyday. But yeah if you have any Dodger topics you want to talk about without making a blog about it email me. I always love to talk baseball, especially with someone that knows their shit as you do.

    Jason

  5. hey MSTI… i love the new picture in the “Don’t be stupid Ned” section…. thats just perfect!

  6. I think someone here is bleeding Dodger Green…

  7. What the heck happened to the Dodgers??? They went dead in the post season. They acted like a little league team up. Why can’t they win the big boys? I am so frustrated.

    • have been a dodger fan since the los angeles coliseum, the dodgers have been a good team for several years. its no surprise they dont have enough pitching to take it all the way and now it seems they are going to there young staff hoping they will somehow get it done. the top noch teams are signing all the talant and we are not, im sure due to money, i would like to say at the end of 2010 we took it all. wishing the dodgers all the best. john clark

  8. This website makes me smile. And Wade Boggs laid unconscious on the barroom tile…

  9. What a jackass name for a blog. Apparently it’s the best you can do because your commentary sucks. DIAF

    • Wow. Sounds like someone is butthurt over something. Obviously your ignorant to the origins of the name. It’s from a song from the Simpsons. Prick
      Don’t listen to the asshole above. Great website and love the commentary. Keep up the good work.

      • i understand that the origins are from the song but what does it mean?

        • I think that it’s a wonderful site. I know more than anyone that doing a site by yourself is like building a 2-story house from scratch using matchsticks. When I started a blog in 1999, it got so busy after a few months that I couldn’t do it alone! With another site, and doing it solo, I know how harrowing it can be. Good luck to you and keep up the great work!

          • Except for the stuff on the greatest minor league home run hitters of all time, it’s a great site. Only kidding! That stuff is pretty interesting that there’s a whole subculture of guys, who actually played, and we know nothing about them. Keep up the great work guys and good luck.

  10. Hey, Mike Scoiscia has now made a return appearance on “The Simpsons” where he gave Lisa baseball managerial advice (for managing Bart’s Little League team) and revealed that his previous “tragic illness” gave him “Super Managing Abilities” and the ability to demagnetize credit cards.

  11. One story that may have gotten overlooked is John Lindsey, the 1B, after spending a lifetime in the minors, finally getting a shot with the Dodgers. He was in the on-deck circle on Sept 8th to pinch-hit. A pitching change was made by the Padres and Andre Ethier was called up to pinch bat for Lindsey. Vin Scully said some great things about Lindsey, how he waited a lifetime for this moment only to be called back by Torre to wait for another day. That’s some great stuff. And, you know what? He gets his name in the Baseball Encyclopedia. I would say that Lindsey really made something of his life! Jamey Carroll did some exemplary work for the “Boys in Blue” as well. With injuries to others, Carroll stepped up to bat .291 in 351 AB with 48 R and 12 SB. Those types of contributions are what makes winners and, though the Dodgers fell short, they could be in the mix for an NL-West crown in 2011. Keep up the great work, guys.

    George Hubschman
    rotoimbeciles.com

  12. Just to continue with the John Lindsey posting. He was the oldest non-Asian player to reach the majors since the 34-year old, Alan Zinter, reached the bigs with the Astros in 2002. Lindsey labored through 1562 games in the minors with 219 HR, 1,035 RBI and a .284 BA in 5597 AB. This is what Vin Scully had to say about him: “So almost 16 years he waited to get in the game, he’ll have to wait for another moment. I’ll tell you one thing: he must have the sweetest nature. He must be the most determined, the most unswerving-type character. To spend a lifetime in the minor leagues and then get THAT close and come out laughing.”

    • I remember the Lindsey call-up and the little fanfare it received on sites. He deserved it kind of like a latter day Crash Davis. So many of these guys are overlooked and will, for the most part, give up on their dreams in 4 or 5 seasons. Zinter was another who never grew up, who just wanted to play until they tore the shirt off his back. You sound like a Dodger fan and I’d like to check out your web site. I’ve always liked Jamey Carroll as well. He’s always been, to me, a rich man’s Craig Counsell. Great post.

      • I’m doing a blog on Zinter on my web site. Just a guy that never wanted to grow up, like John Lindsey. Hey, if someone wants to throw you money for something that you love, why not? And Zinter did have his day in the sun, actually a few days, with the ’02 Astros and the ’04 D’Backs. He got into 67 games and even hit 3 big league HR’s, something that he can tell his grandkids. He did play 13 seasons at Triple-A and accumulated 5843 total minor league AB’s batting .258 with 263 HR. He was, for history sake, the 24th pick by the Mets in the 1989 draft. Forget Crash Davis, we have Alan Zinter.

  13. Could Mike Hessman, who the Mets just released, be considered “Crash” Davis like? He’s got to have close to 300 homers with a ton of strike outs and a bad batting average on top of that! I know he was on the Braves a number of years ago but lost him until he re-filtered with the Mets this year. Thanks in advance.

    • Hessman re-surfaced in the majors for the Mets this year with a .127 BA in 55 AB, 1 HR, 6 RBI, 6 R, and a 23/8 K/BB. He has a 188 BA in parts of 5 major league seasons in 223 AB with 29 R, 14 HR, 33 RBI, a 79/21 K/BB and a .694 OPS. His last go-round in the show before this year was in ’08 when he hit 5 HR in 27 AB for the Tigers. But the reason that Hessman is Crash Davis is his minor league numbers. In 1621 games, he’s 1355 for 5854 (.231), 842 R, 329 HR, 952 RBI, 37 SB, a 1885/612 K/BB and a .773 OPS. He’s played 9 seasons at Triple-A. To answer your question, Abner, Hessman is very Crash Davis-like.

  14. Abbie, you know my favorite all-time minor league journeyman, Andy Van Hekken. On September 3, 2002, Van Hekken, for the Tigers, hurled a complete game 9-inning shut out in his first major league start. It was an 8-hitter vs Cleveland who supposedly had their “B” team in! In his next GS vs the Yankees, 5 days later, Van Hekken gave up 1 ER in 6 IP in a 6-4 Detroit loss. Sept. 2002 would be Van Hekken’s only month in the majors. He has that 1 W, a 3.00/1.47 ERA/WHIP, 30 IP, 38 HA, and a 5/6 K/BB. In fact, he was the first Tiger pitcher to have a shut out in his first game since “Schoolboy” Rowe in 1933, even before my time. Fast forward to 2010 and Van Hekken is still toiling for the Round Rock Express, the Triple-A affiliation of the Astros. He went 8-8 in 177 1/3 IP, 184 HA, a 4.36/1.32 and a 144/50 K/BB. He has a 113-80 career record from 1998-2010 in the minors and independent ball in 1670 career innings. The 31 year old Van Hekken is still plugging along waiting for the one more moment in the sun! Here’s hoping that he makes it back.

  15. I know about your fixation on guys like Van Hekken and, while noble, it doesn’t make a difference from a baseball standpoint, except historically. I had heard of Van Hekken and thought that he pitched in more then 5 games in the bigs. I also, as probably everyone who reads this, didn’t realize that he was still playing. I read on your site of all the Crash Davises of the world including Buzz Arlett, who’s recognized as the #1 home run hitter in minor league history. There are guys ahead of him but, I believed it was mostly Mexican League stats! That was a time when there were 16 major league teams and 100’s of minor league affiliations. What about a guy that may have finished his career with the Dodgers, Phil Hiatt. He was a ballyhooed minor league slugger of a later generation. Any other minor leaguers in the 400 home run club? I may just be curious from a historical standpoint, of course.

    • You’re certainly correct when you state that Phil Hiatt did indeed finish his major league time with the Dodgers in 2001. There he went 12 for 50 with 2 HR, 6 RBI, 6 R, a 19/3 K/BB and a .703 OPS. Hiatt had a prolific minor league career and, in fact, spent 12 seasons at Triple-A. He had 314 HR, 986 RBI, 912 R and 125 SB in his minor league career and added another 13 HR and 55 RBI in 422 AB in parts of 4 major league seasons. His last season was as a 35 year old in the Houston chain in 2004. His last 5 seasons (’00-’04) in Triple-A, Hiatt averaged 32 HR, 91 RBI, 87 R, and a .289 BA. He was, Abner, the quintessential Quad-A player. He was signed by the Washington Nationals before the spring of 2005 but couldn’t make the 40-man roster and was granted his release. Hiatt, sadly, was named on the Mitchell Report that came out in December, 2007. From a historical standpoint only, the 400 HR guys that I can come up with besides Arlett are Andres Mora, the former Baltimore Oriole who spent most of his career in the Mexican League, hector Espino (484, of which 453 were hit in the Mex. League), and 30’s player Merv Connors, had an even 400 bombs. One source had Mexican League player Nelson Barrera with 455, but other sources vary, from the mid to high 300’s. There’s a little history lesson for you!

      • George, this is almost sacrilegious what I’m going to say, but you forgot a guy in the 400 minor league home run club! Nick Cullop hit 420 homers and drove in 1857 runs in 2484 minor league games. Joe “Unser Choe” Hauser had 399, including 63 in 1930 and 69 in 1933 with 182 rbi’s. He was the first player until McGwire and Sosa to have multiple 60 homer seasons. Hauser also hit 80 major league homers. I’m sure, George, that Cullop was an oversight on your part. In fact, only 3 American born players have 400+. Hessman could do it but he needs 71 more!

  16. Pete, you are absolutely right to point out my omission of Nick Cullop who did indeed hit 420 HR in his minor league sojourn. Of course, I will miss you on my site. You do bring up an interesting name in Joe Hauser who was the first player to have two 60 HR seasons. Hauser, unlike a lot of these others, did bat 2044 times in the majors to the tune of .284, 80 HR, 356 RBI, 351 R a 229/250 K/BB and an .847 OPS. In fact, in 1924, Hauser had 562 AB for the Philadelphia A’s, with 27 HR, 115 RBI, and 97 R. He broke his leg in the spring of ’25 and never returned the same hitter in the majors. In fact, Hauser blames player/coach, Ty Cobb (yes, that Cobb) with tinkering with his (Hauser’s) swing bad enough that it ruined his major league career. Of course, what Hauser would later do in the minors is the stuff of legend! An interesting Merv Connors stat is that of the 8 career major league HR he would hit, 3 came in the same game and a 4th was caught at the wall. This made Connors the guy in baseball history with the fewest career HR to hit 3 in one game. On the flip-side, Rafael Palmeiro hit 569 career HR but never enjoyed a 3-HR game. Connors, as we said, hit an even 400 HR in the minors. Nowadays, guys like Connors would be looking at multi-year deals worth millions!

    • George, we’ll have to give you the job of finding out every player that hit 300 or more homers in the bushes. If anyone is up to that task, it’s you! There can’t be too many and you’ve named a bunch of them. I can never find anyting definitive on how many guys have hit. There aren’t many records of them.

      • I don’t think that George ever got over missing the guy and having you call him on it. He’s a prideful guy you know. I’m sure tha every few days ago we will be notified of another 300 home run hitter or another 300 game winner. I’ve scoured sites but there just isn’t much news on these guys on the web.

        • My father hit 100 minor league homers and the longest ever in 1971. Does that count?

  17. This list, Pete, is harder to ascertain than the missing 18 minutes on the Watergate tapes! These are the guys that I have, so far, that have hit 300 or more HR in the minors. Hectoor Espino (484), Nelson Barrera (455, though some sources have less and it could be as much as 457), Andres Mora (440), Buzz Arlett (432, the highest amount non-Mexican Leagues), Nick Cullop (420), Merv Connors (400), Joe Hauser (399), Bobby Prescott (398, 8 years in Mexican League), Jack Graham (384), Tedd Gullic (370), Leo “Muscles” Shoals (362), Bunny Brief (342), Joe Bauman (337, his 72 in 1954 were the record until Bonds in 2001), Smead Jolley (336, one of the greatest minor league hitters ever with a .367 lifetime BA and 3043 H), Mike Hessman (329), Ernie Young (319), Phil Hiatt (314) and Steve Bilko (3130. I know that there have to be many more out there that I haven’t found. 2 reported guys, Albert O. Wright and Jack Pierce, I couldn’t find ANY information on. Steve Bilko had 3 of the greatest minor league seasons ever from 1955-1957 with the LA Angels of the Pacific Coast League (PCL). He won the Triple Crown in 1956 with a .360 BA in 597 AB 55 HR, 164 RBI, 163 R, 215 H, and a 1.140 OPS. He’s been profiled a few times on the rotoimbeciles site. I will be back with more guys!

  18. Pete, I’ve found a few more in what has become my life’s work. First off, Nelson Barrera had either 455 or 457, depending on the source. Ray Perry (348), “Moose” Clabaugh (346), Ken Guettler (323), Scott McClain (310), Joe Macko (306), and Kit Pellow (300). Some notes include that 18 of McClain’s HR were hit in Japan. Kit Pellow’s 300 include Mexican and Independent Leagues. Andy Tracy is still playing in the Phillies organization and currently has 278 HR. He also has 13 HR in the majors in parts of 5 seasons with the Expos, Rockies and Phillies. McClain has 2 major league HR, both for the Giants in ’08. I will keep the search alive, if I live that long!

  19. Pete, I did find one more guy, Ted Norbert (314) who played from 1930-1948. Norbert was 2491 for 8156 (.305). His career highs in HR were 30 in 1938 and 28 in 1942. I’m working on some of the other guys that I can’t find any info on! I won’t finish until I’m dead.

    • George, if you don’t finish, I’ll kill you first! I may be able to get you a few. There’s no list anywhere except on this site and rotoimbeciles.

  20. Jack Pierce hit 294 HR in the Mexican League and another 101 in the US, including 49 in Triple-A. He hit another 8 on the major league level. Gordon Nell (359), who played from 1930-1949, Frank Kelleher (358), 1936-1954, Rick Lancelotti 276 in the US, 58 in Japan, 7 in Italy for (341) and 2 more in the majors, Bud Heslet (314), 1940-1956, Jerry Witte (308), 1937-1952 and Jim Matthews (307), 1939-1955. Those are a few more that I found.

    george hubschman
    rotoimbeciles.com

  21. I’m ready to reveal my top 14: I’m still researching the mid-teen guys and may have missed a couple. This is as definitive of a top 14 that you will see and, hopefully, when I can, the rest will be as true! 1. Hector Espino (484), 2. Nelson Barrera (457), 3. Andres Mora (440), 4. Buzz Arlett (432), 5. Nick Cullop (420), 6. Merv Connors (400), 7. Joe Hauser (399), 8. Bobby Prescott (398), 9. Jack Pierce (395), 10. Jack Graham (384), 11. Tedd Gullic (370), 12. Gordon Nell (365), 13. Leo “Muscle” Shoals (362), and 14. Frankie Kelleher (358). That should be your definitive top-14. I will have more. As a friend of mine at work today said to me, “Who gives a crap?” I told him that I hope 1% of the population would care. I may be being optimistic.

  22. I’m coming out with #’s 15-18 after exhaustive research. 15. Ray Perry (348), 16. John “Moose” Clabaugh (346), 17. Gene Lillard (345), and 18. Bunny Brief (342). Perry enjoyed a great ’49 season in the bushes with a .404 BA, 45 HR, 155 RBI, 169 BB, and a 1.486 OPS. He had an “off” year in 1050, “only” hitting .366 with 44 HR, 170 RBI, and 179 BB. Clabaugh’s best season was 1926 when he hit 62 HR, batted .376 in 444 AB and had an .851 SLG. Gene Lillard also pitched in both the majors and minors and had a lifetime 1414 RBI in the minors. Bunny Brief’s career in the minors was anything but brief, hitting .331 in 8945 AB. In 1921. playing for the KC Blues, Brief hit 42 HR, 191 RBI, and 166 R. That’s your top 18 career minor-league HR hitters. I really hope that I haven’t missed anyone. There will be more to follow!

  23. I’d like to get up to speed with my web site where I’m up to the top 20. After that, I may have a few questions/differing opinions that I will research. #19. Joe Bauman (337): He was only in organized ball for 9 seasons but his 72 HR in 1954 with Roswell (NM) stood as the gold standard until Bonds came along in 2001. He hit 50 or more HR 3 times in his career and had a career 982 R, 1057 RBI, and 974 BB. In addition to his 72 HR in ’54, Bauman hit .400 in 498 AB with 224 RBI (2nd all-time) and 150 BB. #20. Smead Jolley (336). This is where it gets dicey because a couple of Mexican League players, when the league was affiliated with the US minors are close but HR records are very hard to find. Jolley went 3043 for 8300 and his .367 lifetime BA is the second highest in history to Ike Boone’s .370. He hit .305 in 1710 AB in the majors as well! There you have the definitive top 20. Mike Hessman should surface in the next group of guys. But the next few (in order) will be tough, so stay with me!

    • You can still say, George, that Bauman has the record for anyone that’s never been accused of taking steroids. Bonds did lose some weight when I saw him at the Giant play-off games. His head was only 2 sizes bigger then Bruce Bochy’s.

  24. I’m ready to release my next 4 minor leaguers: #21. Rogelio Alvarez (335). This was a tough one because records of his Mexican League HR’s are sketchy at best. He did have 226 US minor league HR (1956-1967) and I have him for 109 more in the Mexican League (1968-1973). He got 37 AB for the Reds in ’60, ’62. #22. Dick Greco (333). He was 1824 for 5591 in the minors (.326) in 1565 games. His last season was 1957 when he batted .364 in 407 AB with 30 HR and a .656 SLG. #23 (tie) Nesbit “Neb” Wilson and Mike Hessman (329). Wilson was 2369 for 7276 (.326) He was a 5-time RBI leader, 4 times led in HR and 3 more time, led in R. He was also a 2 time Triple Crown winner and finished with 1584 RBI and a .546 SLG. Hessman is the leading active minor league HR hitter. He’s 1355 for 5854 (.231) with 952 RBI, 842 R, a .773 OPS and an 1885/612 K/BB. I’ll be working on the next few guys and keep you posted.

  25. I would like to finish my list of all the minor leaguers who hit 300 or more HR. 25. Ken Guettler (323). He had a record 8 HR titles in the minors and hit 62 HR in 1956. 26. Pancho Herrera (321). 82 were hit in the Mexican League. 27. Ernie Young (319). He hit 19 HR for the Oakland A’s in 1996. 28. a 3-way tie at (314) between Jack Hiatt, Ted Norbert, and Bud Heslet. Hiatt had an .848 OPS and 986 RBI. Heslet had a .279 career BA in 5787 AB. Norbert had a career high of 30 HR in 1938. 31. Steve Bilko (313). The first real California baseball celebrity. In 1956, he hit 55 HR and had 164 RBI. He batted .360 and won the Triple Crown. 32. Leo Hernandez (309). He hit 151 HR in the Mexican League, 158 in the minors and 7 more in the majors. 33. Jerry Witte (308). He hit 4 more in the majors for the St. Louis Browns. 34. Jim Matthews (307). He hit .286 in 5895 AB. 35. Joe Macko (306). He had 1198 RBI in 1987 games. 36. James Poole (305). He also hit 662 doubles and had 1764 RBI in 2663 games. 37. Kit Pellow (300). This includes Mexican and Independent Leagues. He added 4 HR in the Majors. These are 37 players that hit 300 or more minor league HR’s. I was e-mailed at rotoimbeciles.com about Alejandro Ortiz who hit 435 in the Mexican League with 2550 hits and Ronnie Camacho who had 317 HR in the Mexican League with 1273 RBI. Definitive stats for those guys are hard to find. Please, if there are any more, e-mail me or post them here. I will continue the arduous search.

  26. In history books, we can put that list of yours, George, right up there with the Presidents of the United States, the Ten Commandments, and capitols of every country. I will say that I’ve never seen that definitive of a list of minor leaguers and I’ve looked on the web. it must have been some work for you. I’m sure that every time you come across a guy that you missed, it will rankle you. But I can take my hat off to you and say “good job!” I actually did write the list down though I hate to admit it.

    • I think it’s too good for the Ten Commandments. Unless Charlton Heston can present it. But I think that he’s dead. Great resolve on getting these guys that no one ever heard of. This whole subculture of life that you’re into, George, scares me a little, and makes me think that you’re getting back to your sociopathic ways of the early 90’s when you swore that Kevin Maas was a $30 player. I read on rotoimbeciles the blog on Steve Dalkowski and that was vintage stuff. Almost like a movie script because, unless you lived it, it can’t be believed.

      • Sad but true about Dalkowski. It’s a good read and all true. Go figure, a guy striking out 24, walking 18, throwing 6 wild pitches and hitting 4 batters….all in the same game! In an extra-inning game, he threw 283 pitches, with a 15/17 K/BB. His 1960 K/BB of 262/262 is stuff of legend. And, I don’t mean urban legend. As, I said, it’s a tale of failed promise and dark longing. Sometimes, we’re our own worst enemies. When he got so close, he was felled by a balky elbow, almost a harbinger of how the rest of his life, as it were, would be. I’ve read a lot about Dalkowski over the years and you can never make it a happy ending. No matter how hard you try!

  27. I was telling the boys that Ab Wright and his 317 minor league HR just completely slipped my mind. He was 2330 for 7190 (.324) and played from 1928-1946. Some sites have him going by another first name but I should have investigated closer. Put him below Ernie Young and above that 3 way tie.

    • It takes a big man to admit that brutal oversight. Good job on the hitters. There’s no definitive list on this on any site.

      • I tried to google different sites that might contain any minor league lists of either 300 home run hitters or 300 game winners. There just isn’t anything out there. These minor league teams that fold must take their records with them. It’s all very strange. But no definitive list exists like this not even in the minor league encyclopedia.


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