Bits and Pieces
Released on March 20, 1964, Bits and Pieces was one of The Dave Clark Five's 15 consecutive Top 20 American hits in a two-year span. Yes, 15 straight--more than The Rolling Stones, The Beach Boys, The Four Seasons, and The Supremes. In fact, the DC5 had more hits than any British or American group during that period other than The Beatles.
The Dave Clark Five, who sold more than 50 million records worldwide, was banned from playing Bits and Pieces at their live concerts because fans would jump up and down to the song's beat, and promoters feared this would damage the theatre. This weekend's Baseball Beat column, which focuses on "pieces, bits and pieces" of news, information, and opinions, is dedicated to the Mersey Beat tunes of the DC5 and fellow British invaders.
Carpenter ranks second in the NL in wins (12), strikeouts (121), and complete games (3); third in innings (121.1); fourth in ERA (2.60); and fifth in WHIP (1.10). The 6-foot-6, 230-pound RHP may be this year's Johan Santana as he hasn't allowed more than three runs in a game since May 7. In his last ten starts, Carpenter has thrown 74.2 IP with 55 H, 14 R, 13 ER, 19 BB, and 81 SO. He has an 8-2 W-L record with a 1.57 ERA during that span.
Moreover, the 30-year-old Exeter, New Hampshire native has allowed just one run in his past four starts (4-0, 0.27 ERA). At a salary of $2 million, Carpenter is undoubtedly one of the best bargains in all of baseball. Walt Jocketty is Glad All Over.
Santana sits atop the league in Fielding Independent Pitching (or FIP) at 2.84. His FIP was 3.16 last year. FIP, a metric invented by TangoTiger, is similar to Defense Independent Pitching Statistics (DIPS), which was developed by Voros McCracken. Both stats measure a pitcher's effectiveness based on plays which are completely under his control: home runs allowed, strikeouts, and walks.
As further proof that Santana hasn't lost it, here are three other telling stats:
K/9 K/BB WHIP 2004 10.46 4.91 0.96 2005 10.68 6.09 1.01
Lesson? You need to look a lot deeper than ERA when comparing and evaluating the performance of pitchers.
With 26 dingers, Andruw Jones is on pace to become the sixth center fielder to hit 50 or more during a season. Ken Griffey, Jr. hit 56 in back-to-back years (1997-98). Mickey Mantle (1956 and 1961) and Willie Mays (1955 and 1965) are the only other CF to reach the half-century mark twice. Hack Wilson also hit 56 in 1930. Brady Anderson slugged 50 in 1996, or greater than two times his next best season (24 in 1999).
Oh, I almost forgot. My favorite DC5 song was Any Way You Want It, a souped-up, hard charging track, featuring unique echo effects for the time. This lesser-known single peaked at #14 on the charts and was later a part of the Coast to Coast and Greatest Hits albums.
As it turned out, the Dave Clark Five should have been known as the Bobby Graham Five. Or perhaps the BG's. According to wikipedia, "Clark was not quite the multi-tasking specialist that publicity materials had suggested. Although he took a writing credit on each song, Clark didn't actually compose; rather, his name was on the songs as a contractural (sic) obligation with the members of the group. It was also revealed in 2004 that Clark, who had rudimentary drumming skills, did not play on the group's hit records. That work was done by session veteran Bobby Graham, as revealed in his 2004 autobiography."
[Additional reader comments and retorts at Baseball Primer.]