Articles

  • The Player Who Never Played
    November 23, 2022 by Todd Lemieux - There is a major league baseball player who played in 105 games and never batted. He never played in the field. This is a player in the Baseball Almanac who never swung a bat or caught a ball yet he played in 105 Major League baseball games. Herb Washington was a sprinter hired by the Oakland A’s to run the bases. As a track and field competitor, in 1972 he set both the 50 yard and 60 yard dash records. In 1974, Charlie Finley, owner of the Oakland A’s signed him to a major league contract. He even played in the 1974 World Series. Oakland won the World Series and Washington received a World Series ring. Why is this unusual? He didn’t own a glove or a bat. He came to the game, got dressed, and would go in to run one time. When the inning was over he could go home. His only job was to pinch run when a slow runner got to first base. He only has four statistics to his name. 105 games, 33 runs, 31 stolen bases, 17 caught stealing. In the World Series he played three games and did not steal a base or…
  • Time Changes Things
    October 17, 2022 by Todd Lemieux - There are two elements of every contract. Those elements are the total amount of money, and the total amount of time. Taken together, those elements combined to reveal a contract that is either very lucrative or not. For example, a $15 million contract may seem out of the ordinary unless it is a $15 million contract spread over 15 years. Time changes things. Cory Phalen seemed to have time on his side. The undrafted free agent signed with the Philadelphia Phillies on a minor-league contract at the age of 18, with a promise that as he grew into his body, his fastball would also grow with him. In 9 2/3 innings of relief in the Florida complex league he allowed only one run. Time was changing things. In April 2021. Cory was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and started a fight for his life. During the time of his treatment, he relied strongly on his faith and his family, and had the support of the Philadelphia Phillies, even visiting the team when they played the New York Mets. He couldn’t wait to get back out on the field. Time would change things. Cory passed away on October 12, 2022 at the…
  • Divisional Series Preview – Arbitration Edition
    October 11, 2022 by Todd Lemieux - Given our smashing success in the Wild Card, we bring you the only guide you will need for the Divisional Series. Behold the dominance that is Swing Badder. Cleveland vs. New York Yankees The Guardians are fresh off an extra innings thriller over Tampa. Now that the teams get to play more than three games, it’s going to be exciting to see if Cleveland can start to truly play David to the Goliaths of payroll in the league. The Yankees enter the series with the third highest payroll in baseball at $265 million. They are rested. They have the story of the year in Aaron Judge and they are ready. Their injured and retained salaries total $62 million. Which means they are about $20 million off of the Guardian’s payroll just on players who are not playing. Gerritt Cole was paid $36 million this year for a 3.50 ERA and he is fighting for the reputation of big named pitchers from New York baseball teams making over $35 million per year to prove they weren’t over paid for offseason results. The Guardians have nothing to lose because their payroll is basically unemployment payments if you take out state and federal taxes.…
  • A Totally Swing Badder Wild Card Primer
    October 7, 2022 by Todd Lemieux - Welcome to October and Playoff Baseball! Going into the postseason, it would be very easy to simply look at the teams that currently have momentum, maturity, and managerial prowess to get them through the postseason. Here at Swing Badder we look at the fourth M. The Money. The rest of it doesn’t matter. You can pretend that it does, but you would be wrong. Winners win and they pay big money to do so. Let’s get started and break down the Wild Card so that you can go into your office, stand on your desk, and loudly talk about baseball as if you are an expert, with no one else knowing that you get all your information from the SB. Tampa Bay vs. Cleveland The Tampa Bay Rays never want to win. They consistently have a below average payroll and this year is no exception. Coming in at a paltry $102 million, they rank 25th in the league according to the Spotrac MLB Cash Tracker. I’m honestly surprised that no one in Tampa has sued the team for hoarding all the sweet cash instead of spending it on players. Corey Kluber is their highest paid player and he isn’t even…
  • How do You Light $88,000,000 on Fire?
    October 4, 2022 by Todd Lemieux - Pay three pitchers to get your team to the playoffs and the World Series and let them come in at the end of the season for a three game series against your divisional rival needing to only win one game and then watch as all three pitchers collapse and hand said divisional rival a 2 game lead going into the last three games of the season. I’m just saying. Watch the bonfire burn. The bonfire of money. More than the Cleveland payroll spent on three players and (checks notes) you are still in the same boat as Cleveland. At this point I can’t tell if cheering for the Mets is a sign of self-loathing or a practical joke played by the universe on half of humanity in New York. At one point the Mets were 10 games up in the National League East. Do you know who wasn’t a part of the team due to injury at the beginning of the season? DeGrom and Scherzer. DeGrom hasn’t pitched 100 innings since 2019. Scherzer is 37 and missed two weeks of baseball because his ribs felt funny. Mets fans have seen this movie before and it doesn’t end well. As a…
  • Ocular Enhancers
    October 3, 2022 by Todd Lemieux - Endy Chavez has been robbed of his place in history. He should have been the start of a rally for the Mets in game 7 of the 2006 NLCS to beat the Cardinals and move on. With Jim Edmonds on first and Scott Rolen at the plate, Chavez who had somehow managed to hit .306 robbed a home run that would have put the Cardinals up 3-1 and threw to first base to double up Edmonds. It was an incredible catch to watch and changed the momentum of the game. Or it should have. Instead, Yadier Molina hit a home run in the ninth to put the Cardinals up 3-1. It was Jose Valentin and Endy Chavez who had hits in the 9th and Cliff Floyd and Jose Reyes were due up. Surely this would be the moment. Endy Chavez would be the player of the game and the Mets would move on to their place in history, having assembled the perfect team to make their run. Cliff Floyd struck out. Jose Reyes flew out to center. Paul Lo Duca walked. The bases were loaded. Adam Wainwright was pitching to the man that was brought to the Mets just for…
  • The First 40-40 $5 million Man
    September 25, 2022 by Todd Lemieux - Jose Canseco was Major League Baseball’s first $5 million man. He signed his contract in 1990 and in the article about the signing in the LA Times you can almost hear the remorse of the Athletics organization that they had to do this. Sandy Anderson indicated that it reflected the “Dramatic change in the marketplace.” It’s fair to say that since that contract was signed, inflation has made the $5 million contract almost an insulting joke given Canseco’s impact on the game as one of the original “Bash Brothers” with fellow Oakland A, Mark McGuire. Canseco was coming off of a year that was shortened by injury and had started to have run-ins with law enforcement. Despite only playing in 65 games he was selected to the All Star Game. He had some pretty incredible offensive years. He hit 42 home runs and stole 40 bases in 1988 and won the MVP. This made him the first 40 HR and 40 SB player in baseball history. From 1986 through 1992 he led the major leagues in home runs. Canseco was a big man and an even bigger personality in public than his quieter counterpart McGuire. For his part, Canseco handled…

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