A daily accumulation of history and present as I follow the 2011 year through the baseball season and reflect on the glories and disappointments of the greatest game on Earth.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Ross Ohlendorf

I've said before; I'll say it again. There is no way that baseball money is real. As I continue to look for gainful PART TIME employment to contemplate my 3/4 time employment in the educational world, I see that Ross Ohlendorf's win loss record is truly as deceptive as... well, not quite Nolan Ryan difference, but let's say better than league average as he floats with a 4.05 ERA in his role of the King of non-support.
To think that a pitcher who is 1-11 can get a nearly $2million raise from roughly league minimum ($435,000) to just over $2million is quite a dream and it would definitely make Horatio Alger proud. However, in a celebration of getting one over on Pittsburgh with a little help from the arbitration team, we take a look at some other great losers who got to hang out a little longer due to the tangible things that aren't told by a win loss record.
Hall of Famer Steve Carlton in 1973 went 13-20 for the Phillies. Phil Neikro fared a little better in 1979 as he won 21 for Atlanta while losing 20.
Mike Maroth may have lost 20 for the 2003 Tigers, but his 9 wins were more than 20% of his teams 43 TOTAL wins. This does a lot to stop the bleeding (or at least provide a healthy dose of morphine) for a team that pretty much stank up the whole place until they convinced Ivan Rodriguez that a lot of money can rebuild a team, which is true because it took the Tigers from last in 03 to the World Series losers in 06.
Prior to that, in 1980, Brian Kingman was 8-20 for an Oakland team that wasn't that bad (they had a winning record), but they just couldn't win for Kingman who posted a sub 4 ERA in spite of the lack of love he was shown from his teammates.
Denny McClain was the last 30 game winner (31) in 1968 and led the league in wins the following year, but by 1971, he was washed up when he got his 20 losses.
Louis Tiant was a 20 game loser in 1969, but he became a dominant force for Boston a few years later. Everyone forgot that Mel Stottlemyre was a 20 game loser as he became a Yankee pitching coach. Hall of Famer Robin Roberts also lost 20, but he still won nearly 300 for his career.
And if misery loves company, let us not forget that 2 of the 5 greatest pitchers in baseball history (Walter Johnson and Cy Young) have 20 stapled to their otherwise incredible records. Then again, this was a time where losing 20 seemed to be all but expected.
So perhaps if the Pittsburgh fire sale comes around this year, maybe bright lights will beam down and escort Ohlendorf to a team that can get him at least 5 runs a game. Who knows? He could be a 10-game winner!

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