September 20, 2011
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Despite stealing over 100 bases 3 times, Coleman was not named an All-Star in any of those years and only took part in 2 All-star games in his career.
On this day in 1985 Vince Coleman of the St. Louis Cardinals steals his 100th base. He would go onto steal 110 on the year. Coleman won the Rookie of the Year award and also came in 11th in MVP voting. Coleman, along with his teammates and manager Whitey Herzog would make it to the world series but would lose in 7 games to George Brett and the Kansas City Royals. Despite his speed on the base-paths Coleman only had an OPS+ of 84 in 1985 as well as a SO/BB ratio of 115/50. He also only hit .267 with an OPS of .655. Coleman would follow up the 110 steals in ’85 with 107 the next year and 109 in ’87. He would go on to steal 752 bases in his 13 season in the majors but would never hit above .292 in a season and was a career .264 hitter.
On this day in 1998 a 23-year-old Alex Rodriguez becomes the 3rd player in the history of baseball to join the 40/40 club. Barry Bonds and Jose Canseco were the only previous player to accomplish the feat. Rodriguez has never stolen more than 29 bases in any other season, topping 20 just 5 times outside of the ’98 season. He has gone on to hit 40 or more home runs in 7 seasons after ’98, including 5 consecutive years from ’99 to ’03.
While it looked like there would be very few races leading up to the 2011 playoffs there are now multiple teams to keep an eye on in both the NL and AL. In the American League There is the race for the Wild Card between the Rays and Red Sox. The Rays are 2 games back of the Red Sox but are 7-3 in their last 10 while Boston is 3-7 in that span. The Angels also hold a slight chance at the playoffs still, being 5 games back of the Rangers as well as 5 back of the Red Sox. The Red Sox take on the Orioles 5 more times and the Yankees 3 more times to finish out the year. The Rays have 7 games left against the Yankees and 3 against the Blue Jays. The Angels have 3 each against the Blue Jays, Athletics, and the Rangers to finish the year.
In the senior circuit there is almost no mathematical chance that the current division leaders don’t come out of the next 9 days in the lead. They Phillies have already clinched their division while the Brewers and Diamondbacks both hold a 5.5 game lead on the 2nd place team in the respective divisions. The NL wild card is a different story. The Atlanta Braves are 3-7 in the last 10 games and only hold a 2.5 game lead above the St. Louis Cardinals and 3.5 games on the San Francisco Giants. The Cardinals are 8-2 in the last ten games and the Giants are currently running on an 8 game winning streak. The Braves have 2 games against the Marlins, 3 against the Nationals and then a huge 3 game series in Atlanta against the Phillies to end the year. The Cardinals are coming off of a series win in Philadelphia and have 3 each left against the Mets, Cubs, and Astros. The Giants have 3 each left against divisional opponents Dodgers, Diamondbacks and Rockies.
While the Red Sox and Braves may still make the playoffs, the races at least give additional reasons to watch the final days of the 2011 regular season.