December 07, 2011

Hot Corners; Cutting Corners

Wade Boggs / Carney Lansford, 1989 Fleer "Superstar Specials"

Fleer headquarters, 1988

Dave: Bill, check it out. Snapped a shot of Wade Boggs and Carney Lansford at the All-Star Game.

Bill: (Looks …) Okaaay. You want an award or somethin'?

Dave: Dude, let’s make a card out of it!

Bill: Sure. We’ll call it (looks again), “Two White Guys With Beard-Stache-Mullets Who Are The Exact Same Size And Play The Same Position And NOBODY CARES.”

Dave: First of all, that’s mean. Second of all, look how happy they are! Kids will want to buy this and share in the happiness. Plus, it’s got Boggs in it! I say we send it to production.

Bill: Fine. Whatever. Work with Dale. Dale! Get in here!

Dale: ‘Sup?

Bill: I need a writeup on Dave’s happy-joy-smiley card here. Call it, “HOT CORNER’S—HOT HITTERS” or something with “HOT” in it to draw attention away from the lack of baseball action displayed here. Boggs will write itself. For Lansford? Make some stuff up.

Dale: Done and done.

The two best third base hitters in the American League are Wade Boggs of the Boston Red Sox and

Don’t say it.

Carney Lansford of the Oakland A’s.

This is a 1989 baseball card, meaning it’s drawing its conclusions from the most recent season of 1988.

Carney Lansford, 1988: .327 OBP / .360 SLUG / .687 OPS
George Brett, 1988: .389 OBP / .509 SLUG / .898 OPS


Me: I’ll take “American League Third Basemen Who Were Better At Hitting Baseballs in 1988 Than Carney Lansford” for $200, Alex.

Alex: The answer: .353 / .551 / .905

Beep, beep, beep!

Me: Who is Gary Gaetti?

Alex: Correct!

Me: I’ll take “American League Third Basemen Who Were Better At Hitting Baseballs in 1988 Than Carney Lansford” for $400, Alex.

Alex: The answer: .384 / .452 / .836.

Beep, beep, beep!

Me: Who is Paul Molitor?

Alex: Correct!

In fact, they are the two best hot corner hitters in Major League Baseball.

This lede: Wrong statement. Scratch that—more wrong statement.

Lansford: .327 / .360 / .687
B. Bonilla: .366 / .476 / .842
H. Johnson: .343 / .422 / .765
M. Schmidt: .337 / .405 / .742

One of the great coincidences is that they used to be teammates on the Boston Red Sox in 1982.

Indeed, one of the great coincidences of the modern American era is that Wade Boggs and Carney Lansford were once teammates, and then, coincidentally, they were not teammates anymore. Not mentioned here are the two incidences at work that collided in a case of karmic drama: 1) Wade Boggs was a better third baseman than Carney Lansford in 1982, and 2) the Red Sox were like, “Guess we don’t need Carney Lansford anymore, because of Wade Boggs.”

I’m still trying to figure out how Lansford made the ’88 All-Star Team. Although, a true coincidence as it relates to everything above is the fact that in ’89, Lansford turned things around to the tune of .398 / .405 / .803, and even finished in the top 20 of the MVP voting (and was still outperformed by Bonilla, Molitor, Johnson, et al).

But here’s my favorite:

{Lansford} has amassed 1,622 hits and has a very good shot at achieving the exclusive 3000 Hit Club before his big league career is ended.

That is just crazy talk. A very good shot? Lansford was 32-years old heading into the 1989 season and, as the card notes, coming off a 155-hit season. If he averaged 155 hits—thus displaying no regression or injury—for the next eight seasons, he still would have fallen more than 100 hits short of 3,000. As it were, Lansford reached the 2,000 hit plateau in his final season of 1992.

None of this is to disparage the career of Lansford, who was a very good player. I’m just trying to point out that this card isn’t as accurate or HOT as it claims to be. I have a full-time job, by the way.


Glen said...

That's pretty funny! I too was thinking about how they said that "Lansford went to the A's" after the '82 season. I guess that's a nice way to say that someone better came along and he became expendable! The card also mentions that "Lansford won the 1981 batting title with Boston in 1981". Well, when ELSE would he have won the 1981 title?

I do have to say that I remember this card, so maybe "Dave" from Fleer was on to something!

Bill said...

We MUST sign Carney Lansford, post-haste!

-2011 Marlins

Tim Stafford said...

Lol, this was good reading.

mkenny59 said...

Thanks, fellas! And Glen, don't know how I missed the '81 thing ... good call.

mkenny59 said...

Thanks, casino people!

Mike said...

How strange. After reading about Carney Lansford I too was going to thank you for sharing the tips going for development. I guess someone beat me to it.

Anonymous said...

LOL! Who ARE these people?

P.S. Love your bog.

mkenny59 said...

Ha, thanks, Mike! Or better yet, thank you for such wonderful comment. I loved every bit of it.

I have to admit, I enjoy reading the "Mobile Poker" comment as a dig from a sarcastic reader. But being thanked by "slot machines" for having "good information," ... I mean, that's why I started blogging in the first place.