Monday, June 12, 2006
The Franco Files #5 (5/29-6/4)
In which we track the exploits of baseball's oldest player, 47-year-old Julio Franco.
We have by now learned that Julio often does not recieve much playing time in the course of a week. That was certainly the case this week. Our hero recieved just three pinch-hit at-bats -- and collected one single. Now, that .333 success rate is admirable, and boosted Julio's average to .303 (10-for-33) on the season. But for this update we must zoom outwards and take a look at the bigger picture. That's right, it's time to focus on milestones!
Julio- An All-Time Gamer
Yes, Julio appeared in just three games this past week. But those three appearances were enough to vault Julio (2406) past Mike Schmidt (2404), Sam Rice (2404) and Buddy Bell (2405) into 66th place on the all-time games played list. Regular readers may remember that it was just last week that Julio passed Mickey Mantle on the all-time games played list. We mentioned then, as we will mention now, that games played is now considered to be the ultimate measure of a player's greatness. Pre-eminent statistician Bill James is a chief proponent of this theory, so it must be right.
So one can now say with reasonable certainty that Julio is a better player than Schmidt, Rice and Bell. Pretty good company, if you ask us. In addition to being a tortured soul in the midst of a life-long existential crisis, Schmidt is in the Hall of Fame. And Rice, he's in the Hall of Fame as well. As for Bell...well, his semen formed the basis of what is now Phillies third baseman David Bell. So he was obviously cut from cloth of greatness as well. Buddy Bell is pictured twice at the top of this post because it was the only way the Kansas City Royals would grant us permission to use the photograph.
Seeing as how this update is very late, and another one will be coming soon, we'll just wrap things up. There is much more to discuss, so check back soon.