So I look at the leaderboards today, and I notice that White Sox leftfielder Carlos Quentin has already been plunked 6 times this year, and is on pace to get nailed 39 times by the end of the season. If he could maintain that pace, he would be in pretty elite company – the all time record for HBP in a season is Ron Hunt’s astonishing 50 in 1971, followed by Don Baylor’s 35 in 1986, and Craig Biggio’s 34 in 1997.

Of course, that plucky munchkin David Eckstein has also been plunked 6 times so far, and Reed Johnson of the Cubs has been hit 5 times, but who is most likely to keep up the insane pace?

The answer is clearly Quentin, who has already demonstrated that he is the greatest at getting hit by pitches in the history of the game. So far in his pro career, Carlos Quentin has been hit by a pitch every 16 plate appearances. This is an insanely high rate, when you consider that modern master Biggio was hit every 43.8, 80’s champ Baylor was plunked every 35.2, and HBP god Ron Hunt was hit “only” every 25.3 plate appearances.

In 2004, Quentin set the all-time minor league record for getting hit by the pitch by getting plunked 43 times across 2 levels, and in 2005, he set the all-time Pacific Coast League record for HBP by getting hit 29 times.

And Quentin’s propensity for getting hit by the pitch didn’t just start in the pros either. When I was at Stanford, he set the NCAA Division I record by getting hit by 5 pitches in a single game against Florida State. 5 plate appearances, 5 HBP! That was insane.

So get used to seeing images like the photo above, because going forward, if Quentin can avoid the injury bug that has plagued him thus far in his major league career, you can expect him to mount a serious threat to Ron Hunt’s record each and every season.

18 Responses to “Carlos Quentin always a threat to break HBP records”

  1. Coley Ward says:

    Alejandro, I’m surprised you hadn’t heard of Furman Bisher. We’ve written about him here before.

    Also, Bisher isn’t the only AJC columnist who doesn’t like it that MLB is kicking off the season in Japan. Terrence Moore and Jeff Schultz both think it stinks.

  2. Alejandro Leal says:

    Ah, but that doesn’t explain why we didn’t have a Furman Bisher tag!

    Actually, I can care less that Bisher doesn’t like the season kicking off in Japan. I just heard Jason Stark say it’s a waste of time because the poor Red Sox will be jetlagged and boohoo, they won’t recover in time to play the first game States-side.

    I just think the AJC’s editors are reckless for letting this old sack of bones run his xenophobic rants in print.

    But whatevs, the AJC, and newspapers in general are dying a slow and painful death anyway.

  3. Nick Kapur says:

    Good post Alejandro. It’s ridiculous to bring up Pearl Harbor in relation to a baseball game in 2008. That is just insane. This guy has a long memory? How old is he? 85? Because even if Pearl Harbor had happened when he was only 4 years old, he would already have to be over 70 now…

  4. Actually, Nick, Bisher is exactly 90 years old.

  5. Nick Kapur says:

    Wow. Okay. I guess if you are actually 90 years old, you are allowed to still be mad about Pearl Harbor then…

  6. Alejandro Leal says:


    But when you have Daniel Schorr (all of 91) yapping about on NPR, what are we to expect from the MSM?

    (Yes, dammit, NPR is MSM)

    Should be interesting, tho, to see those two live-blog Opening Night…

  7. Alejandro, I agree with your post.

    FYI, Bisher has been with the paper for-frickin-ever, since way before I was born.

  8. Paul Moro says:

    What the hell does “grow up in Wampole” mean? Perhaps Bisher’s purposely using language that my people won’t be able to understand.

    And Bisher’s not really angry that traditions are gone. He’s angry that things he likes are gone. He’s just calling it tradition to frame an argument that’s really about him, not baseball. Next week he’ll be writing about why no one does the Lindy anymore.

    And of course World Series games start around his bedtime. By the time he finishes the early bird special at the local Denny’s, he’s pooped.

    I also have no idea what he’s talking about when he says: “I saw a game in the Tokyo Dome once, but it was more dome-shaped then. It now appears to have gone oblong to oblige the new long-ball society.” I’ve never heard of the Tokyo Dome undergoing reconstruction. As far as I know, it’s been the same exact structure. I could be mistaken, but I’ve never heard of this.

  9. Alejandro Leal says:

    Yea, I googled “wampole” and all you get is a random set of search results, anything from the “Wampole family tree” to some kind of brand for some kind of medical something. Not sure if its a procedure or a drug or what (but this sheds some light on the subject – makes you wonder where Bisher got the word from).

    There’s nothing in the dictionary, nothing in Wikipedia.

    Talk about going way back. That word is so old, it doesn’t exist anymore.

  10. Sarah Green says:

    I think “not raised in Wampole” just means, this guy wasn’t born in the United States. And by that he means, this guy isn’t white. Because everyone born in the United States has blond hair and blue eyes and huge, straight, white teeth.

    I actually have a strange sensation here that Bisher thinks he is joking. Yes, racial jokes! Such knee-slappers! As they have been since WWII, when the United States was still a segregated society and we put Japanese people in internment camps! Har! Har har har!

    And not to sound like a total commie, but I think one of the readers commenting on Bisher’s article put it best when he or she wrote: “I must respectfully suggest that if any people know what “a few bombs can do to [their] property,” it’s probably Japan.”

  11. Love to hear you guys wail about how this xenophobic dinosaur has offended your progressive self-perception of enlightenment… In 20 years, the AGEISM rife in your smug commentary above will be viewed as being just as primitive and ignorant as rascist ‘N-word’ diatribes from 20 years ago. By then hopefully you’ll have gotten “old” too, kids… Alejandro, Mr. Bisher’s certainly not a xenophobe—he was happily working in the Soviet Union, Latin America and other foreign places long before you were born.

    Mr. Bisher DID in fact have to go to war against Japan and served at a place called Midway Island. Perhaps you’ve heard of World War Two on MTV…? You can thank Mr. Bisher’s generatioin that a nation that had been viciously attacking, enslaving and raping its’ neighbors for 50 years is now busy making Hello Kitty and electronic toys for whiney piss-ants like you. Yeah, THAT Tokyo…

    Sarah, I dare say that you might not exist had it not been for a couple of US bombs dropped on Japan in August 1945. If not for them, your grandfather or great-grandfather may well have been among the 2 million US casualties that would have died in Operation Olympic. Dare to pick up a history book and READ!

  12. Sarah Green says:

    James, go back to whatever political blog you wandered over from. Peace is what happens when countries move on. I think Furman Bisher and yourself should do the same. And my grandfather—a US Marine who fought in the South Pacific—would agree with me.

  13. Alejandro Leal says:

    Boy James, it’s obvious you were thoroughly educated on American propaganda films of the 40s and 50s.

    Let’s see, 60 years later and, just like Bisher, you’re still crapping that pseudopatriotism rhetoric you swallowed whole.

    But you know? I actually did think about the so-called “ageism” you refer to in writing this post, but I didn’t back down in saying what needed to be said; and I hope someone does unearth this when I’m 80 and I make outlandish remarks. It’s all about perspective; a sense of entitlement doesn’t take away the ability say idiotic things; sadly, it enhances it.

  14. Paul Moro says:

    Wow, that’s really interesting stuff.

    I honestly don’t know how I feel about HBPs. I feel like once we consider it a “skill”, it’s like we’re basically condoning cheating. If I was a pitcher, I’d be pissed.

    At the same time, it helps teams.


  15. Sarah Green says:


  16. Coley Ward says:

    Chase Utley gets hit by a lot of pitches, too. So far this year he’s been hit by a pitch four times, though three came in the same game.

  17. Scott Ball says:

    I used to play in a head to head fantasy league that had HBP as a category… Quentin might be worth a first round pick in that league…

  18. Nick Kapur says:

    Yeah, Quentin is especially strategic with his HBPs. I know at least two of his 6 HBP this year came with the bases loaded.

    And here is a quote from his manager, Ozzie Guillen:

    “Carlos has had good [at-bats] since the first day I put him in the lineup. He’s always getting hit by a pitch at the right spot. I like it.”

    To me it’s great. It’s definitely a skill and a strategy and I see nothing wrong with it. If you can get hit in a way that doesn’t seem obvious enough for the umpire to call bullshit and in a way to help your team, then you should do it. And after all, the pitcher still has to throw far enough inside that it will work.

    It’s like before when we were talking about the difference between steroids and stealing signs. I don’t think they are the same. One is something where only people who go outside the game and buy some illegal drugs gain an unfair advantage that other players do not have. The other is in-game gamesmanship that all players can do if they are cagey enough.

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