Wednesday, August 15, 2012

What Is "Bagging The Elephant"?

As you know by now, Melky Cabrera has been suspended 50 games for taking testosterone. (Bonus: he was one at bat shy of qualifying for the batting title! Edit: See comments.)

But what I missed a few weeks ago was reporter Andrew Baggarly bringing up PED rumors directly to Melky, and later offering a public apology for doing so.

Now, of course, the rumors have been proven true. And Baggarly just Tweeted, "Now, if Melky Cabrera wants to apologize to me for lying when I asked him about it, that's another matter."

But here's where the crazy (kinda) coincidence comes in. A few weeks ago, there wasa Jeopardy! champion who had a nice winning streak--who said he covered the San Francisco Giants. I kept meaning to go online and look the guy up, but never did. Today, when I went to this Andrew Baggarly's Twitter page, I saw him pictured...with Alex Trebek. And it all came together. This was that Jeopardy! guy. Weird.

Now I see something about him being still eligible for the batting title. I gotta look into this...
Okay, got it. Since 1967, if you don't have the minimum amount of plate appearances, you CAN win the title. What they do is add in at bats for you, giving you all outs in those fake at bats, until you reach the minimum. If at that point you're still in the lead, you win the title.

They do this across the board--for example, in 1997, in the NL at bat per HR rankings, Ellis Burks did better than Piazza and Hundley. But he didn't have enough plate appearances. After giving him hitless at bats until he reached the requirement, he ended up with numbers that put him below those two in the rankings. So his actual numbers are better, but his ranking is worse.

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