Every season, weird stuff happens. And this season is no exception.

Some of these mysteries are easily solved. Barry Zito, for example, was 2008’s biggest train wreck. Now he’s back, with his best FIP in four seasons, and his best K/9 since 2002. How’s he doing it? Turns out, he learned a slider.

Then there’s the formerly soft hitting Ben Zobrist, who is now a prolific slugger. What’s up with him? Turns out he took some lessons from a hitting guru.

Some mysteries are harder to crack. Here are a few of 2009’s unsolved mysteries. Can you solve them?

How is old man Ibanez this good? You don’t go from a .479 slugging to .716 at the age of 37. It simply isn’t done. What’s going on here?

How does Willy Taveras still have a job? He’s fast. I get that. But outside of his injury-shortened 2007, when he was 29 and at his peak, he’s never been as good as a replacement level center fielder. Now he’s 31 and declining and his OBP is .297.

What happened to Orlando Cabrera’s glove? Last year, his Ultimate Zone Rating was 14. So far this season it’s -7.6. That’s a drastic drop off. According to Fangraphs, Cabrera was worth $15.6MM in both 2008 and 2007. So far this season, he’s cost his team $3.3MM. It’s normal for a player’s range to diminish with age, but not this fast.

When did Marco Scutaro learn how to hit? Not only is the Blue Jays SS hitting for more power and better average, but his plate discipline is also much improved. In 2008 he walked 57 times. So far this season, he’s walked 56 times. That kind of patience is usually not learned over the course of an offseason.

Who are these Mets? Seriously, I’ve never heard of any of them. Argenis Reyes? Pat Misch? Where did they come from? You’re making Paul cry.

Has Billy Beane lost “it”? The A’s have been “rebuilding” for three years now and even with the acquisitions of Matt Holliday and Jason Giambi, this team looks to be getting worse.

What happened to Milton Bradley’s power? His isolated power currently stands at .138, which is his lowest mark since 2001 and is a full .1 lower than either of his last two seasons.

How is Brandon Inge doing this? We have no idea. But the Tigers 3B is on pace to hit 39 HRs with a .360 OBP (both would tower over his previous highs) while playing brilliantly on defense.

Why is Emilio Bonifacio still playing? Clearly, he has Marlins Manager Fredi Gonzalez’s mother tied up in his basement. That’s the only explanation.

What unsolved mysteries are you working on?

One Response to “Unsolved mysteries from the first half of the 2009 season”

  1. Clearly, there is some kind of conspiracy that has brainwashed Billy Beane or replaced him with a doppelganger. How did the A’s end up simultaneously spending more money and getting worse?

Leave a Reply

    Recent Comments

    • planet hobbywood: This is very interesting.
    • Bren: He is a awesome player and a good man.. sweet.. polite.. friendly.. down to earth.. he never acted as though he...
    • HADAJUN( Japanese): Okajima a Japanese hero?
    • Rickt: I am the biggest Cal Jr fan around but one of my good friends played minor league baseball in the Orioles...
    • HADAJUN: I wish for play in Japan. The death is regrettable.


    Subscribe via email

    Enter your email address:


Featured posts

December 5, 2011

Will anybody get elected to the Hall of Fame this year?

Last week, we asked you to vote for who you would like to see enshrined in baseball’s Hall of Fame. The verdict? If it were up to UmpBump readers, nobody would make it in. The leading vote getter (so far) is Jeff Bagwell, who has 60% support. Of course, in the real voting, players need […]

January 5, 2011

Annual UmpBump Hall of Fame Balloting: 2011 Edition

In what has become an annual tradition, we here at UmpBump cast our ballots for the Hall of Fame on the eve of the announcements of the voting for the real Hall of Fame. Voters can vote for anyone ever who has been retired from baseball for at least five years and is not already […]

October 19, 2010

Crowdsourcing the Greats: The Top 10 Managers of All Time

Now that we’ve looked at every position on the diamond, as well as relief pitchers, we are nearing the end of our “Crowdsourcing the Greats” series. But before we finish, let’s turn one more time to the internet hoi polloi for answers on who the greatest baseball manager of all time was. As usual, we […]