Wednesday, July 6, 2011

In A League By Himself

Last night Dan Uggla hit a home run and a double, and also walked twice, getting on base all four times he came to the plate, probably a first for the season. He raised his batting average all the way up to .178, which is still lowest, by far, of all regular players in the majors. He raised his on base percentage to .250, which is pitiful, by any standard. The Braves no-brain trust hope, no doubt, that last nights versus the Rockies signal a 'return to form' for the beleaguered player.
There is a new article on the excellent Hardball Times website today titled: The 2011 All-Collapse All-Stars

Most of the players who made the 'team' are 30 or older. The only exceptions are the 28 year old third baseman of the Brewers, Casey McGehee, and the 27 year old relief pitcher (called 'closer' for some unknown reason), Joakim Soria of the Royals. Relief pitchers are notorious for being great one year and stinking up the bullpen the next. This is in line with a study appearing in AGE, the official journal of the American Aging Association: Athlete Atypicity on the Edge of Human Achievement: Performances Stagnate after the Last Peak, in 1988 (
The study makes a case that performance peaks from 20 to 30 years of age, then declines irreversibly. This is in line with what is known about the amount of time spent on the disabled list by baseball players.
There is a nice picture of the Uggla player at the end of a swing. The caption reads: "At least he looks good swinging through this pitch."
The last sentence of what is written about him is, "Uggla is in a league by himself with this year’s collapse."
His collapse is one of epic proportions. It may be the worst of all time.

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