This is my ode about the time I spent with my grandfather on Cape Cod. I hope to honor the summers we shared and the teams we rooted for by reuniting a game used bat for every Red Sox position player from 1975 to 1986. This is for you Gus!

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Tony Perez

You can blame pork and beans for my distrust of certain statistics, namely runs batted in. Pork and beans you say?  Stokely-Van Camps pork and beans to be precise. It was in a guard shack located on the grounds of their Kansas cannery that an unknown statistical genius named Bill James plied his craft and changed the landscape of baseball as we know it. To some James is a hero; a lone voice calling for logical interpretation of a complex game. To others he is a gratuitous hack; disputer of a simpler game and time. Regardless of how we see him, he changed how we see the game.

To Bill James, players like Tony Perez were overrated and overpaid.  Great "rbi men" as they were called, were held up on a pedestal for driving runners across the plate. James saw something different. James was the first to go on record saying that rbi's are the result of a high on base percentage by the players preceding the player credited with an rbi. Seems logical now, but by 1980's baseball standards it was positively heretical. When Tony Perez joined the Red Sox in 1980 the words of Bill James were greatly ignored by those who ran the game and Boston celebrated the arrival of their new rbi king. Three seasons and 175 rbi's later, having failed to reach the postseason even once, the Sox released Perez.

18 bats down 65 to go.

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