- Ladies, gentleman, and loyal WMHG? readers (which tend to fit in neither category), I present to you the most remarkable thing on a baseball field since Babe Ruth. Bold claim? Yes. Truth? Absolutely. Here's Rick's pitching line in 2000 when he finished 2nd in the Rookie of the Year voting to Rafael Furcal (who later turned out to be 35 during his "rookie" season):
11-7 / 3.50 ERA / 175.0 IP / 137 Hits / 90 BB / 194 K's
- Then, young Rick loses his mind in the playoffs and couldn't throw more than 3 pitches without one sailing into the 10th row. So, after 4 years of getting hurt/attempting to straighten himself out, Rick decides "I'm going to be an outfielder now."
- He spends 2005 between A and AA and hits 21 HR and 75 RBI in 321 AB. He then hurts his knee before the 2006 season and misses the whole damn thing. Then, he comes back in 2007 and goes straight to AAA where he hits 32 HR and drives in 89 RBI in only 389 AB, en route to Triple-A All-Star glory. Rick's then called up to the Cards and the rest is history.
- So far, in the 2 years since his return to the bigs as an everyday player here are his combined numbers:
505 AB / 33 HR / 96 RBI / 87 R / 27 2B / .279 BA
- That would be one hell of a season for a guy that tried to be a hitter his whole life, not just 2 years. Ohh, by the way, he plays the hardest OF position (CF) masterfully and has a cannon for an arm (duh).
- Jones Zone: Currently batting .369 through 89 games. Just went on the DL. We are firmly into the "enjoying the fact he's not going to come close" area.
- Howard Watch: 138 K's through 105 games. On pace for 213K's. Number of games this season in which he has NOT struck out: 18. I'm actually getting a bit worried. The number of 2 and 3 strikeout games has decreased recently, only 3 in the past 16. C'mon Rino... choking up is for losers.