**THIS AND THAT SEASON'S END**

**By John Korsgaard**

Before we return to our ON DECK series...here are some items now that 2002 is in the books.

#1 Cumulative standings

1901-2002 original 16 standings

NL...The Cards moved past the Pirates into 3rd. AL...The Red Sox moved past the Indians into 2nd.

The Senator/Twins are now only 2 games behind the Browns-Orioles to get out of last place.

Since the first round of expansion in 1961-62

Tigers drop from 4th to 5th. Athletics move up to 6th from 8th. Angels pass the Indians by 2 games as to 11th and 12th place.

Braves pass Pirates for 5th...Cubs fall behind Mets for 11th place.

Since division...Red Sox move into 2nd past the Orioles.

By the way, I have a spread sheet where I can find out for you the team or league standings from any given year to any other...just e-mail me and ask

#2 Maybe this will get it across...

What did Sammy Sosa, Larry Walker, Vlad Guerrero and Brian Giles have in common in 2002 ?

In the AL they were joined by Jason Giambi, Magglio Ordonez, AROD and Manny Ramirez.

HINT: They were the only 8 full time players to do something...

Has to do with season totals......

Their counterparts in 1941 were Dimaggio, Heath and Keller.

The 8 were the only guys to have higher slugging averages than.....

Barry Bonds'

ON BASE AVERAGE

You read that right...

Another fact, Barry's 198 walks in 601 plate appearances =.32945. The league OBA was 331. Without Barry it drops below Barry's walk average and Barry's AOPS exceeded last year's...

There are nine batting order spots on each team. The National League has 16 teams. Hence 144 line up spots. Take out the pitchers and the guys that pinch hit for them. Just use the 128 spots remaining 1-8 for 16 teams...

Now let's take Barry Bonds out of the equation.

He had 198 walks in 143 games.

The remaining 127 batting order spots averaged 68 walks IN 162 GAMES...

...the same number of total walks as BARRY PRODUCED BEING WALKED

INTENTIONALLY.IN 143.

# 3 Jumps and Dumps

As you might expect the 23 game drop in victories by the Mariners was the largest in their history, but a drop of 23 barely squeaks into the "bottom" 30 of the modern era. Same thing is true of the 24 game improvement for the Angels...a franchise best but not into the top thirty.

#4 Positional Disparity

AROD''s "season for a shortstop" rounds to the same AOPS as he had last year. Miggy did, indeed, fly past Derek and get real close to Nomar. My big impression here is how much better the AL is in shortstops than the NL. Can anybody remember when one league so exceeded another at a position. I'm sure it has happened and would love to hear from you. Consider that the regular shortstops since 1901 average around 84 for an AOPS...

This year AROD, Miggy and Nomar had AOPS that would do a firstbaseman proud. The NL's leader, Jose Hernandez, is behind all 3 of them and has probably lost his job.

The NL runner-up, Renteria, would also have finished ahead of Derek but then the Al also had Eckstein and Vizquel over 100 before you get to the NL 3rd place, the Cubs AGonz.

Aurilia's OBA was down..so he, Cabrera and Furcal are the other NLers over 90. Rollins and Womack are the only others over the 84. In the AL there are 3 others.

A few years ago the senior loop coul've flashed Mr Larkin, but he has probably aged passed his productivity.

Set aside the numbers, aside from Renteria, who you wouldn't take before the top 4, there is no NL shortstop you would take before the top 6 or 7 Al men.

#5 Managerial Carnage

Number of managers in history jumped for several clubs, if we count current vacancies as about to be filled...

The Cubs, by going through two, secured their spot as the 1901+ UPHEAVAL kings. Technically they have had 7 more than any other original club except the Reds. If we saythat the College of Coaches should only count as 2 (one for each eyar), they tie the Reds. But the Reds have never had a return engagement (only original team like that). The Cubs, had Grimm 3 times, Amalfitano twice etc. If you measure it from Wrigley Field onward, they are the only club to change (on average) every other year.

With Jerry Narrons' firing the Rangers, at 22 in 42 years are the only expansion club with that frequency.

The match up of Bobby Cox with the Braves and Dusty Baker with the giants going on right now is sort of a clubs with theri all time "games managed" guys out there. Of course, the Giants had McGraw (ownership interests) but Dusty passed Bill Terry as the #2 Giant this season. Bobby is far and away the Braves leader. He went over 2500 games for just this term. His winning percentage for this term figures to an average season of 97-65.

Joe Torre's with the Yanks is 98-64. That is less than half the games of Bobby's Brave tenure this term.

Bochy's (#1 Padre) record dropped below 500 with the bad season. Expansion clubs have had 81 "long term managers (I define that as 325 games plus). 33 winners and 48 losers. The original clubs 181-129. The range is from the Yanks at 11-1 to the Twins at 5-12.

Art Howe won his 500th game with the A's this season and...in the last victory of the year ....his 600th.

#6 Stability vs Pot Luck

A history long trend was perpetuated again this year and maybe illustrated by it.

My thing is that the positions are different. You will recall that I have told you over and over again that the median gaems played by position is topped out by the shortstops at 139. Left fielders have the least of the 7 spots @ 115. {Catchers of course need more rest}

So, the fact is that when a manager finds a guy whom he perceives can play short, he sends him out there day after day.

Go ahead Jimmy Glovework, don't worry about your bat.

Leftfielders, contrary wise, are perceived to be playing the least defensively demanding spot. So..."no wood on the ball, there's plenty of wood on the bench."

This year demonstrated this again. And we can add that it is as true among the years as within them.

You will recall that in our ON DECK ratings we only count a man as a "regular" if he has played half a schedule. Over the 1901 and onward period.

For the 2016 opportunities in that time frame, only 129 shortstop game leaders have not played at least half the schedule. The figure for every other positon except the corner outfielders is below 240. Right fielders have 353 and left fielders a whopping 415. I've just told you that 25% of the time. teams do not have "regular" left fielders.

This year among shortstops only Chris Woodward played under half the schedule. He and Felipe Lopez both played 79. This was a clear case of ONE decision to switch regulars.

In left field there were 11 cases. 19 Shortstops played over the 139 games. {keeps up for a few years I may have to adjust the median to 140.} 14 left fielders played over 115.

Admittedly, that phenomena is modified by the case or two or three per year of guys who are "corner outfielders" and play right or left situationally.

# 7 AOPS leaders by position....before park adjustment but in most cases certain anyway.

Piazza-Helton-Kent-Renteria-Rolen-Barry-Edmonds*-Vladimir

Rodriguez-Thome-Soriano-AROD-Chavez-Garrett A.-Bernie W.-Ordonez

Manny R had a superior AOPs to any otufielder but he was 37% Lf, 33% dh and 30% injured

*his slight edge over Berkman will likely remian because of Minutemaid park offense enhancement.