Hope is the best of things – June 5

Farwell to a legend

John Wooden passed away last night in a hospital in Los Angeles. The former UCLA head coach was 99.  Wooden was the greatest college basketball coach of all-time, appearing in 12 Final Fours and winning 10 championships.   He appeared in 10 consecutive Final Fours from 1967-76, during which he won 7 straight championships from 1967-73.  He also coached UCLA during it’s record 88-game win streak for Division I schools.  He will be very dearly missed.

Most Final Four Wins – Head Coaches

John Wooden, UCLA             21 <

Mike Krzyzewski, Duke         12

Adolph Rupp, Kentucky          9

Dean Smith, North Carolina     8

< 21-3, .875 win pct

The "Wizard of Westwood" won 10 NCAA Championships at UCLA

Mets defeat Marlins 4-3 behind R.A. Dickey

The Mets snapped their 6-game losing streak vs the Marlins last night with a 4-3 win. The Mets rallied from down 3-0 to win their MLB best 20th game at home.  R.A. Dickey improved to 3-0 as a starter this season and K-Rod notched his 11th save despite making it interesting again in the 9th.  Jeff Francouer continues his Dr. Jekyll season as he is now hit in 8 straight games going 14-28 over that span.  This after coming off a 18-105 (.171) span from April 21 to May 26.

Jeff Francouer continued his hot hitting of late (14-28 during current 8-game hit streak) as the Mets won their MLB best 20th home game.

Jose Reyes in the clutch – What once was to what now is

During the Mets 2006 season Jose Reyes drove in 81 runs for the Mets despite hitting in the leadoff spot.  A major reason why he drove in that many runs was because he collected a large number of hits with 2 outs and RISP (runners in scoring position).  Reyes had an uncanny knack to always seemingly come through in those spots.  However since that 2006 season, Reyes has completely done a *180 as far as coming through in the clutch.  Here are some numbers for Reyes with 2 outs and RISP.

Jose Reyes; RISP with 2 outs

5/24/06 to end of season          2007-Current

H-AB                           23-43                                  41-183>

BA                                 .535                                     .224

RBI                                  36                                         54

> .153 (9-59) since 7/30/08

Jose Reyes needs to look to the heavens to help him get back his 2 out stroke

Jose Reyes – The next Gary Templeton?

For those of you who thought they at one time remember Reyes being very clutch, these numbers back up your memory.  Why has Reyes performed so poorly in the clutch the last few years? Will he ever revert back to what he was in 2006?  That brings up another interesting trend that I think about with Reyes.  He was so good and had such a promising future after the 2006 season and through much of the 2007 season, people thought of him as one day being a possible MVP candidate. After seeing him perform in the last couple seasons and noticing the trend his career is taking, I’m reminded of another SS who at one time was considered the next greatest thing.  Here is how Reyes compares with that player through his first 3,569 AB.

Jose Reyes vs Gary Templeton; Through 3,569 AB

Reyes         Templeton

BA                    .284                .296

OBP                 .335                .318

Slug                  .429                .408

Hits                  1,014              1,055

Runs                 581                  523

RBI                   346                  349

3B                       77                     77

All-Star App.      2                       2

Silver Sluggers   1                       1

The numbers are eerily similar.  The unfortunate thing about Templeton was that after a great start to his career (he was one of two switch-hitters in MLB history – Willie Wilson in 1980 was the other) to collect 100 hits from each side of the plate when he had 111 batting left-handed and 100 batting right-handed during the 1979 season.  Templeton had speed (has the same number of triples as Reyes)  hit for average (currently 12 points higher than Reyes) and was an excellent fielder (no gold gloves, mostly thanks to the player he was later traded for – Ozzie Smith).  No one really ever explained why Templeton dropped off so much after the 1981 season.

Much like Jose Reyes, Gary Templeton was considered "Mr. Do it All" by major sports publications.

Gary Templeton – Per Season Averages

1976-81         1982-1991

BA                    .305                 .250

OBP                 .325                  .291

Slug Pct.          .418                  .338

Hits                    152                  119

Runs                   74                    45

3B                        12                     4

That is a HUGE drop-off.  Looking at Reyes numbers the last 2 seasons I’m starting to worry that he might be headed in the same direction.  The first time I noticed that Reyes was beginning to struggle was in September of 2007.  Not only did the Mets suffer a historic collapse, but Reyes seemed to popup to SS every other AB (a trend he has continued this season) .  Starting with September 1, 2007 until last night is a span of 273 games.  I have compared his last 273 games with his previous 273 games going backwards from August 31, 2007.  Here’s how the numbers line up.

Jose Reyes Last 273 games compared to previous 273 games

Last 273 Games              Previous 273 Games

BA                          .277                                     .300

H                            323                                      346

Runs                      179                                       210

HR                           21                                         28

RBI                         112                                       122

SB                             86                                       132

Reyes numbers have slipped enough in the last 3 seasons to warrant a concern.

A key stat there is stolen bases, as Reyes has stolen 46 less bases over that span. These numbers don’t SCREAM out, but there is a bit of cause for concern.   Hopefully this will be the last time that Reyes and Templeton are mentioned by me.  That would mean that Jose has returned to 2006-07 form.

Honorable Mention

Florida International shortstop Garrett Wittels doubled yesterday to extend his hit streak to 55 games.  It’s the 2nd-longest streak in Division I history. Wittels is one of 9 players in NCAA or Professional baseball history to have a hit streak of 50 games or more.  Wittels is just 3 games shy of tying Robin Ventura for the longest hitting streak in NCAA Division I baseball history.

Garrett Wittels extended his hit streak to 55 games last night. He is just 3 shy of tying Robin Ventura for the NCAA Division I record for hits in consecutive games.

Players with Hits in 50 Consecutive Games – Professional and NCAA Baseball History

1919 Joe Wilhoit                           Wichita Jobbers (Independent)            69

1933 Joe DiMaggio                       San Francisco Seals (AA)                       61

2001-03 Damian Costantino      Salve Regina (D-III, Rhode Island)      60

1987 Robin Ventura                     Oklahoma State (D-I)                             58

1941 Joe DiMaggio                       New York Yankees                                  56

2010 Garrett Wittels                   Florida International (D-I)                    55

1954 Roman Mejias                      Waco Pirates (Class B Minors)              55

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About Mark Kelly - CKMagicSports

Sports Historian that is well versed at the four major sports first, then College Hoops, Football, Olympics, Tennis, Golf and NASCAR. Former ESPN Researcher in Bristol, CT. After a 10-year career working in everything from SportsCenter to ESPNNEWS to Cold Pizza. Had to retire due to complications from Cancer treatment. I am a now 25-year survivor that still suffers everyday from the side effects of chemotherapy & radiation. Suffer from Crohn's disease and Lymphedema everyday and started a website called CKMagicSports.com that I do podcasts on that you can help support by clicking on KNOCKOUTCANCER link on my CKMagicSports website. https://www.gofundme.com/KOCANCER Read more about my 25-year battle with the disgusting side effects of this disease here. http://www.ckmagicsports.com/marks-story/
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