Baseball BeatFebruary 26, 2004
Odds and Ends
By Rich Lederer

Fellow writer Alex Belth and I co-authored an article that appeared on Bronx Banter yesterday. Belth is one of the best baseball writers in any medium and working with him on a collaborative piece was an honor and a pleasure.

The article was part of Alex's Yankee Preview, a series which he has been running this week, featuring Mike Mussina (by Ben Jacobs) on Monday, Jason Giambi (by Steven Goldman) Tuesday, Bernie Williams and Derek Jeter (by Alex and yours truly) Wednesday, Alex Rodriguez (by Cliff Corcoran) Thursday, Jorge Posada (by Jay Jaffe) Friday, and Mariano Rivera (by Christopher DeRosa) Saturday. Alex will wrap up his series with a Roundtable discussion on Sunday and Monday with a star-studded cast of baseball experts, including several nationally known sportswriters.

Our article was also highlighted yesterday on Clutch Hits.

Bronx Banter: The Odd Couple (February 25, 2004)

Today's episode stars Derek Jeter and Bernie Williams.

brought to you from the good people at Lederer & Belth.

On July 10th, Bernie Williams was asked to remove himself from his place of residence, CF...That request came from his manager. Deep down, he knew he was right, but he also knew that someday he would return to CF. With nowhere to go, he appeared at the locker of his friend, Derek Jeter. Sometime earlier, this same manager threw Jeter off SS and requested that he never return.

Can two men share the spotlight with A-Rod...without driving each other crazy?
--posted by Repoz at 10:59 AM EDT

Have you ever read a more clever introduction than that? Well, thanks to Darren Viola, aka Repoz, baseball fans can enjoy his witty comments every day on Baseball Primer's Clutch Hits.

Here are a couple of other examples from earlier this week:

ESPN: Neyer: Erie feeling about Indians

Is Neyer on a Pluto-Kuiper mission?
--posted by Repoz at 2:52 PM EDT

For the uninitiated, the Pluto-Kuiper mission is designed to fly by and make studies of the planet Pluto and to encounter one or more of the large bodies in the Kuiper belt beyond the orbit of Pluto. Terry Pluto is a longtime Cleveland Indians beat writer and Duane Kuiper was a singles-hitting second baseman for the Tribe from 1974-1981.

Baker Likens Drug Search to 'McCarthyism'


Dusty Baker on the steroid witchhunt
--posted by Repoz at 2:48 PM EDT

Irving Peress was the Army dentist who took the Fifth Amendment multiple times in connection with his affiliation with the Communist Party.

There are plenty more where those came from. Here are a few more "Repozisms":

*Crouching Tiger, bidden' dragged on regarding an article at the time on the Detroit Tigers' difficulty in signing catcher Ivan Rodriguez.

*A matchick made in heaven? in reference to my interview with Jay Jaffe of the Futility Infielder last weekend. Tom Matchick was a futility infielder with the Detroit Tigers (among others) in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

*(Kirk) Reuter gives out more singles than a dating service.

*This is the worst Met patch-up job I've seen since Lindsey Nelson split his underarm hoisting a few at McCanns.

*...and Clutch Hits co-worker Jon Daly's favorite: (After Tony LaRussa and Mike Scioscia both won Manager of the Year awards in 2002) The last time two Italians won Manager of the Year it was at the Gristedes on Mott Street in 1957.

Among his varied contributions to baseball writing and analysis, Darren wrote an article for Baseball Library on July 31, 2002, entitled The Day I Turned The Mesas On Two Angels.

An Army brat, Darren is married and has twin boys (who he claims are both 15). He hung around Yankee Stadium in the 1960s and 1970s, various New York City punk clubs in the 1980s and 1990s (primarily as a DJ), and has been doing his schtick on Baseball Primer during the 2000s. His favorite player (drumroll, please) is none other than Roger Repoz, who had an undistinguished career with the Yankees, Athletics, and Angels from 1964-1972.

If the baseball-playing Repoz has a claim to fame, it's that he ranks second on the all-time list for the highest OPS in a season with a batting average of less than .200.


                              YEAR     OPS      AVG    
1    Mark McGwire             2001     .808     .187   
2    Roger Repoz              1971     .707     .199   
3    Ruben Rivera             1999     .701     .195   
4    Rob Deer                 1991     .700     .179   
5    Steve Balboni            1990     .697     .192   
6    Mike Schmidt             1973     .697     .196   
7    Andre Thornton           1976     .696     .194   
8    Harmon Killebrew         1975     .692     .199   
9    Gorman Thomas            1986     .687     .187   
10   Dean Palmer              1991     .684     .187
It may not be The Beatles, but it's not Bad Company either. Two Hall of Famers and a first-ballot inductee on his way. Three out of ten. A better batting average than Repoz, whose career high was .247 in 1967, ever had. Twenty home run crowns, 54 top ten HR finishes, 13 times leading the league in strikeouts, and 50x among the top ten in Ks. Everyone except Darren's man Repoz contributes to the good as well as the dubious rankings.

Darren, on the other hand, contributes nothing but positives for all of us.



The only thing you missed here is that the "baseball playing"Repoz's career ended after being traded for a futility infielder...! ;-) ...

trevise :-) ...

Hi, Trevise. Welcome aboard. Good luck with your new site, Birds on the Brain.

You made an excellent point. Roger Repoz was traded for Jerry DaVanon, a futility infielder if ever there was one. The trade helps confirm just how "undistinguished" Repoz's career was.

Roger was a big, strong guy who could run prety well. He just never lived up to the high expectations placed upon him. In the old days, the Yankees got many of their good players from the Kansas City Athletics. Rather than getting Repoz FROM the A's, they instead traded him TO the A's. That should have told us something right then and there.

Repoz was absolutely horrible for the Angels in 1969 (.164/.270/.288 with 52 strikeouts and only 36 hits). But I think he actually was better than generally believed as attested by his above-average OPS and positive RCAA over the course of his entire career.

Jerry DaVanon's claim to fame is that he is the father of Jeff DaVanon, a current futility outfielder for the Angels.

"Jerry DaVanon's claim to fame is that he is the father of Jeff DaVanon, a current futility outfielder for the Angels."


I know this could just be the difference in our ages but, you have this backwards: Jeff DaVanon's claim to fame is that he is Jerry DaVanon's son. I saw the father play while I've never seen the son play. Then again, up until last month, I hadn't had a television to call my own since 1999. Four and a half years and 2700 miles away from where I am now. However, I did get to see Joe Crede play 6 games at T.E.P. during spring training two years ago. :-) ...

BTW: I did have direct involvement in making Repoz what he is today. His other great talent is linking to references on the web. I taught him the skill of the "hyperlink." Man, did I ever create a monster...! ;-) :-) ...

trevise :-) ...

Who is this trevise :-) ... character?

Yes, it is true, trevise is the king of all hyperlinkers....and he helped me immeasurably with this devilish format....and never get into a reference link showdown with 'trigger' trevise!

I should also thank Craig Calcaterra and Voros for their early support....and of course Sean & Jim for the chance to completly embarrass myself without having to leave the house!

And thanks again wanted that in $20's.....right?

Re Dad Jerry and son Jeff, they are both studies in futility. However, to paraphrase Bobby Knight, Jeff (.254/.333/.434 with a 104 OPS+) has forgotten more about baseball than his Dad (.234/.331/.315, 86) will ever know.


When you get a chance, share with me and the RWBB readers your best Roger Repoz story.

"Re Dad Jerry and son Jeff, they are both studies in futility. However, to paraphrase Bobby Knight, Jeff (.254/.333/.434 with a 104 OPS+)
has forgotten more about baseball than his Dad (.234/.331/.315, 86) will ever know."


Not hardly. Jerry had his career year at age 30 and was outta the league by 32. Jeff had his career year with almost 3 times as many PA's in 2003 than his father had in any one season. Wait for his decline phase before you come to any ultimate conclusions. ;-) ... Besides, Jerry's career year was better than Jeff's according to OPS+: 141 to 118. [Repo -- The audacity of these young kids...! ;-) ;-) ;-) ... ]

I don't like that I can't do hyperlinks on this board. :-( ...

trevise :-) ...