Coming to a bookstore near you, Cowhide-nomics, a Rogue Baseball Executive Explores the Hidden Side of the Game. Chapters include, `Why Drug Dealers make Good General Managers', and the routinely excerpted `What do Bullpen Coaches and Toads have in common?'.
Okay so maybe not, but I bet you were slightly interested. Now let's get to the point of this whole thing, we all know the disappointment that Jonny Gomes was after April of last year, part of it, r most of it we hope is from his shoulder injury. Yet I did a little research (writers, research?) and found some very, very intriguing and disconcerting similarities with another player very similar to `The Gomer'
The player I speak of is of course a key member of `Moneyball' which if you're a baseball fan and haven't read it yet I suggest you go pick it up, right after your done reading this and voting on the DRB awards of course. A OF/1B as Gomes should become, I'm speaking of Nick Swisher.
This was Swisher's breakout season, hitting 35 homeruns, driving in 95 RBIs, and a line of .254/.372/.493, a complete parallel line to what Gomes did, .216/.325/.431. Yet all hope is not lost, Swisher may have had a better season this year, but not last.
You may think, but Swisher is younger, yep he is but only by three days (and let's assume Gomes was born at like 11:59 at night, and Swisher at 12:01 in the morning), coming into last season Swisher had played all of 20 games, Gomes meanwhile, 13. Here's each of last year's lines, take a ponder at who is who.
HR RBI BA/OBP/SLG
21 54 .282/.372/.534
21 74 .236/.322/.446
Now if your paying any attention at all I all ready said Gomes had the better 05 season, so obviously he's on top. Why you ask, when Swisher had the same amount of homers and 20 more RBIs? Well both showed they can hit homeruns, Gomes may well have put up 50 after his amazing 11 homer April. RBIs can be attributed to a team/lineup more so than the individual, someone HAS to be on base for Swisher to get 40+ of those RBIs (figuring his HR RBI total is somewhere in the 30's) Gomes lineup was obviously weaker with the `great' Joey Gathright playing a key role in the offense along with Nick Green / Alex S. Gonzalez and the Herculean Toby Hall.
So how dare I say Gomes > Swisher, well we're talking about two sluggers with good feels on getting on base. We're also talking about Gomes and Swisher going all inverse on us and practically switching lines.
Gomes 06 216/.325/.431
Swisher 05 .236/.322/.446
As you can see, even with a lower BA by .20 pts Gomes somehow found a way to get on base slightly more than the Ohio Obliterator. Then look at how Swisher progressed into his 06 line compared to Gomes 05;
Gomes 05 .282/.372/.534
Swisher 06 254/.372/.493,
Again Gomes outplayed Swish in their `breakout' years, though it's a little disheartening that Gomes had the same OBP even with a huge BA differential it's nice to see his SLG numbers noticeably higher. So what am I saying, that Gomes isn't the next Don Mincher, I think he's going to regain his contact skills and put up a .260+ BA.
I know we're talking about one guy regressing and the other progressing but you have to believe that shoulder injury had a lot to do with Gomes struggles making contact / generating power. Also at this point who wants to think about the possibility that Gomes could go out and regress even worse? That would be about as cool as him changing his walk up music to Alice Cooper's `Man Behind the Mask' (Ah but he's back/ he's the man behind the mask / and he's out of control.)