Thursday, March 28, 2013

The last week has been hectic with meetings and a half-marathon completed on Sunday-don't ask about the time. I was so slow they didn't use a stop watch for me they brought out a sun dial. :o (3:51:40) Next week is more of the same why just look at Sunday, last episode of Season 3 of The Walking Dead, first episode of Game of Thrones, first baseball game of the season and its Easter. Other than that no problem. I'll be writing again soon. 

Thursday, March 21, 2013

#53-Mike LaCoss

Drafted by the Reds in the 3rd round of the 1974 draft out of Mount Whitney High School in Visalia, CA, Mike LaCoss moved up through the Reds organization with years stops at Rookie, A, AA and AAA. Debuting in July of 1978  he had a break out season in 79. On June 13, he was 8-0 with a 2.22 ERA. After that he went  4-8 with an ERA over 5, in spite of that he still achieved his career high in WAR with a 2.1.  The next two years went from bad to worse and after Spring Training 1982 he was put on waivers, even though he had pitched well that spring, and was taken by the Astros. 
Pitching out of the bullpen  (41 games, 8 starts) he had a 6-6 record with a 2.90 ERA which would prove to be his career best. A pair of mediocre seasons in Houston lead to LaCoss playing out his option and signing with the Royals in 85 however, he pitched poorly and was not on the post-season roster. The World Champ Royals released him in November and he signed with the Giants in December. After a solid 86 he had a very good 87 going 13-10 with 3.17 and a WAR of 1.6, equalling his second best season of 82. Making two relief appearances in the NLCS versus the Cards he pitched 3.1 scoreless innings in a losing effort. After another solid effort in 88 the Giants were in the post-season again in 89 and facing the Cubs in the NLCS. 1 relief appearance of 3 innings and 3 earned runs didn't derail the Giants who won their first pennant since 1962. A poor series and a sweep by the Athletics brought an otherwise great season to an end.
Shown here pitching at Candlestick Park-the lack of fans, the long sleeve undershirt and home uniform all indicate San Francisco, 1990 would be an injured plagued year as would his last season of 1991 with his final game coming in July. A short attempted the next year at the Expos Indianapolis club didn't work out and at the age of 36 LaCoss' career was over. 

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

#52-Jack Daugherty

Jack Daugherty is seen here at the plate during his first season with Texas. Spending most of his career as a first baseman and outfielder 1990 would be his best season when he hit .300 with 6 home runs, 47 RBI's and a WAR of 1.3. 
Not having much power Daugherty hit 10 homers in his career. His career batting average of .256 would make one think his saving grace his fielding but his career dWar was -2.1. He wasn't very fast either stealing 5 bases while being caught twice. With diminishing at bats every year he was traded to the Astros in 93 and on to the Reds before the end of the season. Bouncing around the minors he went to Japan in 1994 and only played 19 games and was released by the Chiba Lotte Marines. 

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

#51-Doug Rader

The five-time winner of the Gold Glove, while playing for the Astros, is shown here as manager of the Angels. His first managerial job was with the Texas Rangers in 1983 where he led them to a 77-85 record but 84 saw them lose seven more games and after a slow start in 85 of 9-23 he was fired. 
In one of the more regrettable decisions in White Sox history the team fired manager Tony LaRussa and Rader served as interim manager for two games and a 1-1 record. 
In 1989 he returned to managing with with Angels, the season this picture was taken, and saw the team finish in 3rd place in the American League West with a very good 91-71 record. With an offense that only hit .256 and with only two players hitting over 20 homers (Jack Howell, 20 and Chili Davis' 22) pitching and defense were what earned the team its excellent record. Bert Blyleven's 17-5 with a 2.73 and Chuck Finley's 16-9, 2.57 along with Kirk McCaskill's 15-10 2.93 helped give the pitching a 3.28 ERA. Bryan Harvey's 25 saves and a starting rotation that started all but six of the teams 162 games played their role in the fine season. Devon White's 2.6 dWAR lead the team in defense and Dick Schofield (1.9) and Jack Howell (1.2) gave the Angels a very strong left-side of the infield. In 1990 the offense dropped off even more and Blyleven had an off year and Jack Howell's dWar dropped to a -0.3. In 1991 with a record of 61-63 he was fired. 

Monday, March 18, 2013

#50-Glenn Davis

The big slugging first baseman was drafted by the Houston Astros in the 1st round of the 1981 draft and made his debut three years later in September of 1984. 
After a split season in 1985 he had his break out season in 86 hitting .265 with 31 homeruns and 101 RBI's with a WAR of 4.2. Unusually for a power hitter he only struck out 72 times and finished 2nd in the MVP voting. However, his defense was blow average recording a -0.7. dWar. In the classic 1986 NLCS his hit .269 with a homer and 3 RBI's but the Astros lost to the eventual World Champ Mets. 
For the next three years he hit .263 and averaged 30 home runs 94 RBI's while playing half his season in the massive Astrodome. In 1990 injuries limited him to only 93 games. After that season Davis was sent to the Orioles in a classic one-sided deal as the Astros received Steve Finley, Pete Harnisch and Curt Schilling. Three bad season with Baltimore lead to his release in September of 1993 and after several attempts to revive his career in the minors the injuries proved too much and he retired in 1996. 
In his 1990 card Davis is seen in the on-deck circle at what is probably Candlestick Park. 

Sunday, March 17, 2013

#49-Tom Lawless

Tom Lawless could be considered the 1980's equal to Charlie Williams. In 1972 Williams was traded to the Giants and in return the Mets received Willie Mays.  In August of 1984 Lawless was sent to the Expos for Reds legend (and should be Hall of Famer) Pete Rose. Like Williams he would never reach the heights of fame of the player they were traded for but in Lawless' case he had some notable moments in his career. 
After one year in Montreal he was off to the Cardinals where he appeared in the 85 and 87 World Series. Though they were both losing efforts Lawless, who hit 2 homeruns over the eight years he spent in the majors hit a homer for the Cards. 
Released by St. Louis after the 1988 season he signed with the Blue Jays, who's uniform he appears in on his 1990 card which would also be his last season after his release by the Jays. During his career Lawless was more often than not the 25th man on a teams roster getting no more 50 at-bats more often than not-his career high coming in his rookie season of 1982 when he had 165. Over those eight years he had only 531 at-bats making over those years the equal of one full season of appearances while playing in 343 games. His glove carried his bat which could only hit at a .207 clip and had a career WAR of -2.2 while his dWAR was -0.5. 

Saturday, March 16, 2013

#48-Zane Smith

A 3rd round pick of the Braves in the 1982 draft Zane Smith made it to Atlanta by 1984 and was a mainstay of their pitching staff in 85. Horrible, awful soul crushing 1985. The year of, the late, 1-13 Pascual Perez  and his 6.14 ERA, Steve Bedrosian in the rotation and going 7-15 and what was really the end of Len Barker's career with his 2-9 and 6.35. 
In 87 he won 15 though his ERA was a high 4.09 and the Braves were still awful. Two years later the losing caught up with Smith as he started the season 1-12 with his career worst WAR of -1.3. Traded in July he went to Montreal, who's uniform we see him in on this card and responded with a 1.5 WAR to finish out his season. Speaking of this card, it was outdated on August 8, when he was traded to the Pirates for two players and a player to be named later who turned out to be Moises Alou. That season he went 0-2 in his first postseason. The next year he faced his old team in the NLCS and went 1-1 with a superb 0.61 ERA, however the Pirates lost again. 
Smith stayed with the Pirates until 1995 when he joined the Red Sox but arm injuries lead to a miserable year there and in 96 he was back in Pittsburgh when another bad year made that his last season.