Author Topic: Biggio Gets 3000th hit.  (Read 1065 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline mikehughes

  • Posts: 1348
Biggio Gets 3000th hit.
« Topic Start: June 29, 2007, 12:10:18 AM »
http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/6973222

Biggio reaches 3,000 hits 
Associated Press, Updated 13 minutes ago   STORY TOOLS:                         
 

HOUSTON (AP) - Craig Biggio became the 27th player to reach 3,000 career hits on Thursday night with a single to center field in the seventh inning.

The Astros second baseman was thrown out trying to stretch the play into a double on his third hit of the night against the Rockies. The hit also tied the game at 1.
He added his fourth hit on a single to right field in the ninth for his first four-hit game of the season.

Biggio is the first player in two seasons to reach 3,000 hits. Rafael Palmeiro reached it on July 15, 2005, with Baltimore.

The 41-year-old, who entered the season needing 70 hits to reach the milestone, has played his entire 20-year career with the Astros, making him the longest tenured player in franchise history.

The sellout crowd stood and chanted 'Bi-ggi-o' at each bat and cameras twinkled with each pitch. Fans held signs that read 'Mr. 3,000' and 'Biggio's Hit Parade.' One woman wore an orange shirt that featured block letters that read 'Biggio' and '3,000.'

His 3,000th hit came one day shy of the 19th anniversary of his first career hit, a single off Orel Hershiser on June 29, 1988.

Fireworks went off, the counter in left-center field with red illuminated numbers ticked to 3,000 and a giant banner with his picture and 3,000 that spanned from the train track to the roof of the stadium was unveiled after the hit.

Everyone on the team, including those in the bullpen, stormed the field to congratulate Biggio. His wife Patty, sons Conor and Cavan, and daughter Quinn also joined in the celebration. His sons were in the dugout acting as bat boys.

He kissed his wife and held his 7-year-old daughter in the air.

He went to the dugout and hugged everyone while the crowd continued to go wild. Biggio then pulled Jeff Bagwell out of the dugout and returned with him to the field, where they stood arm and arm. Biggio and Bagwell played together for 15 seasons before Bagwell retired in December.

Biggio's first hit of the night came on a single to center field in the third inning.

The second hit, also a single, came on a grounder to third base in the fifth. Garrett Atkins badly overthrew first base on the play, leaving the official scorer to pause for several tense seconds before calling it a single and ruling an error allowed Biggio to advance to second.

He is the only player in major league history to have at least 600 doubles (658), 250 home runs (286), 3,000 hits and 400 stolen bases (413).

He said before the game he was glad to have the chance to reach the mark at home.

"The fans are excited and they deserve to have this happen and I'm going to do my part to make it happen," Biggio said.

He reflected on his career and the importance of reaching the milestone before Thursday's game.

"I've been very grateful and blessed to be in the situation where I'm at now and to play one of the greatest games in the world for 20 years," he said. "This is very, very special."

Astros general manager Tim Purpura said the team plans to honor Biggio in August for reaching the mark. Barry Bonds is the next closest player to 3,000 hits. The San Francisco Giants slugger is 70 hits away and needs seven home runs to pass Hank Aaron on the career list.

 
"He's a great player," Bonds said of Biggio. "He's always been good, ever since I've watched him play. He's phenomenal. I would love the opportunity to play with him. Leadoff hitters don't come around that often."

During his two decades with the Astros, Biggio has become known in the city as much for his charitable work as he has for his play. He has been the national spokesman for the Sunshine Kids Foundation, which helps children with cancer, for more than a decade.

He hosts an annual party for the patients at Minute Maid Park and puts on a golf tournament each year to raise money for the foundation. Sunshine Kids officials estimate that the tournament has raised more than $1 million for the cause.

Congrats to Biggio.


Offline 2k6nats

  • Posts: 9243
  • The regular season is a flat circle
Re: Biggio Gets 3000th hit.
« Reply #1: June 29, 2007, 12:11:25 AM »
I have to say, what a waste.  His 2,999th hit was on a borderline error, and his 3,000th was diluted because he ended up out on a stupid attempt at second.  Still though, congrats.

Offline Kenz aFan

  • Posts: 5433
Re: Biggio Gets 3000th hit.
« Reply #2: June 29, 2007, 02:01:05 AM »
Biggio will eventually become the most undeserving player with 3000 hits to get into the hall of fame. There are players with fewer hits, who are more deserving that will likely never get into the hall. Yes, he had some great seasons, but he's not hall of fame material, and unfortunately, the standards to get into the keep getting lowered as the years roll by, which means he'll probably get in quick enough.

Offline ronnynat

  • Posts: 23252
Re: Biggio Gets 3000th hit.
« Reply #3: June 29, 2007, 02:21:46 AM »
I have to say, what a waste.  His 2,999th hit was on a borderline error, and his 3,000th was diluted because he ended up out on a stupid attempt at second.  Still though, congrats.


He did end up going 5 for 6, though.

Biggio will eventually become the most undeserving player with 3000 hits to get into the hall of fame. There are players with fewer hits, who are more deserving that will likely never get into the hall. Yes, he had some great seasons, but he's not hall of fame material, and unfortunately, the standards to get into the keep getting lowered as the years roll by, which means he'll probably get in quick enough.


I wouldn't necessarily say that the standards are getting lower. Who got in recently that was undeserving? Ripken? Gwynn?
Here are the HOF inductees since 2000. From http://www.baseballhalloffame.com :

2007 - Ripken, Gwynn
2006 - Sutter
2005 - Sandberg, Boggs
2004 - Moliter, Eckersley
2003 - E. Murray, G. Carter
2002 - O. Smith
2001 - Puckett, Winfield
2000 - Fisk, T. Perez

No one ever guaranteed Biggio in (can't really count ESPN), it's just recognized that he accomplished a rare feat (I think he's only the 24th to 3000?). He did have a long career and was pretty consistent over that time. That, itself, should be commemorated considering the huge injury bug that seems to get almost everyone else. We'll see, but I wouldn't be too upset if he made it in. I'd call him a borderline inductee.

Offline NatsAddict

  • Posts: 4095
Re: Biggio Gets 3000th hit.
« Reply #4: June 29, 2007, 08:05:41 AM »
Biggio will eventually become the most undeserving player with 3000 hits to get into the hall of fame. There are players with fewer hits, who are more deserving that will likely never get into the hall. Yes, he had some great seasons, but he's not hall of fame material, and unfortunately, the standards to get into the keep getting lowered as the years roll by, which means he'll probably get in quick enough.

There are some guys in the HOF that lowered the bar, but Biggio isn't going to be one of them.  You don't seem to be considering the position he played.  Second base is one of the most difficult positions.  Catcher and short are generally considered the most difficult, with 2B slightly behind, and all other positions substantially easier.  Gary Carter (a catcher for those too young to remember him) was a .262 hitter, and a very deserving inductee.   

Because of what he did while also playing gold glove second base, I would argue that what Biggio raised the bar substantially.


Offline shoeshineboy

  • Posts: 7555
  • Walks Kill!! Walks Kill! Walks Kill!!!!
Re: Biggio Gets 3000th hit.
« Reply #5: June 29, 2007, 09:05:26 AM »
There are some guys in the HOF that lowered the bar, but Biggio isn't going to be one of them.  You don't seem to be considering the position he played.  Second base is one of the most difficult positions.  Catcher and short are generally considered the most difficult, with 2B slightly behind, and all other positions substantially easier.  Gary Carter (a catcher for those too young to remember him) was a .262 hitter, and a very deserving inductee.  

Because of what he did while also playing gold glove second base, I would argue that what Biggio raised the bar substantially.

I wouldn't call him borderline at all. He's had a great career and has put up numbers that put him in exclusive HOF company.

More importantly, one has to judge him by the HOF standards set by his comparables - those that most compare to him based upon defensive position played, and position in the batting order.
Here is how Biggio compares to them.

Craig Biggio: .282 BA, 3002 Hits, 658 Doubles, 286 HR, 1152 RBI, 1821 Runs
Joe Morgan: .276 BA, 2517 Hits, 449 Doubles, 268 HR, 1133 RBI, 1650 Runs
Paul Molitor: .306 BA, 3319 Hits, 605 Doubles, 234 HR, 1307 RBI, 1782 Runs
R. Sandberg: .285 BA, 2386 Hits, 403 Doubles, 282 HR, 1061 RBI, 1318 Runs
Rod Carew: .328 BA, 3053 Hits, 445 Doubles, 92 HR, 1015 RBI, 1424 Runs

His numbers are as good as, and arguably better than, all four of these guys in the HOF. He's first in doubles and home runs, first in runs scored, (will be) second in hits, and second in RBIs.

The guy has had a long, productive career. Going 5 for 6 on the night that you get the 3000th hit is pretty impressive even if you question the overthrow (which looked to be correctly scored as a hit.) Too many people judge a guy based upon post-season numbers, but guys like Biggio who have long careers with a team that isn't in NY, LA, Chicago, or Boston deserve recognition as well.


Offline tomterp

  • Global Moderator
  • ****
  • Posts: 29272
  • Hell yes!
Re: Biggio Gets 3000th hit.
« Reply #6: June 29, 2007, 09:21:56 AM »
BP has the "JAWS" ranking by position, which is what they use to evaluate HOF worthiness, and Biggio rates just slightly below the average HOF 2nd baseman, which means he is a solid candidate who should be admitted.  The list:

Players not in the HOF are denoted with *

[attachment deleted by admin]

Offline tomterp

  • Global Moderator
  • ****
  • Posts: 29272
  • Hell yes!
Re: Biggio Gets 3000th hit.
« Reply #7: June 29, 2007, 10:00:25 AM »
More from BP on Biggio:

The Meaning of the Milestone

by Joe Sheehan
 
Last night, the Astros started Chris Burke at second base, batting him sixth and using Mark Loretta as their leadoff man in their 6-1 loss to the Brewers. It is likely that Burke or Loretta will play second base in Wednesday’s game as well. Phil Garner hasn’t had a sudden change of heart about the best alignment of his available talent; no, he’s sitting Craig Biggio in two of these three games to prevent Biggio from notching his 3,000th career hit on the road.

Set aside for the moment the issue of whether the Astros are better with Burke at second base and Loretta batting leadoff, which is certainly the case. That was also the case on Opening Day, but Garner has pencilled Biggio’s name into the lineup 62 times, including 59 times in the leadoff spot. He decided at the beginning of the season that Biggio was his starting second baseman, and no amount of out-making was going to change that. Biggio's .279 OBP wasn’t the reason he was on the bench last night.

Consider the context as well. The Astros, in no small part because of that .279 OBP from their leadoff hitter, were 32-43 heading into last night's game, 11 games behind the Brewers. I don't think the Astros are serious contenders any more than the next guy does, but if they were going to make a push, it would certainly help to go into Miller Park and win three games. Doing so would seem to require playing your starters. Garner elected to not do so last night. Consider that the Astros were dead and buried in both 2004 and 2005 before making runs to the NLCS and World Series, respectively. If any team can take itself seriously from 11 games out with nearly 90 to play, it’s these Astros.

Pull that all together for a second. Astros manager Phil Garner went into a do-or-die series with a division leader and benched his starting second baseman not for any reason related to merit, but so that an individual achievement can be celebrated in a certain manner. He put a statistic, a person and a show ahead of the team’s goals. He and the Astros have been doing this all year of course just by playing Biggio, but the naked manipulation of playing time in what should be a key series is galling.

Individual records in any form of competition only matter in that they are achieved in the pursuit of the goal of winning. We keep individual statistics, but even the most hardcore stathead will explain that the statistics themselves are only meaningful because they serve to measure an individual’s contribution to winning. We rate players by the runs they produce and save, because those runs are the building blocks of wins, and wins matter. That a player might accumulate a significant number of hits, doubles, walks, stolen bases is something to be noted, and even perhaps celebrated, but only if that accumulation comes in the natural course of events. The pursuit of a championship is primary; there should be no pursuit of numbers.

This is what was so wrong about Pete Rose’s chase of Ty Cobb’s all-time record for hits in a career. Rose’s performance had been so bad from 1982 through the middle of 1984 that he no longer was worthy of a roster spot. He could not contribute to the winning of a championship. (His 1983 was disgustingly bad--.245/.316/.286 as a mediocre defensive first baseman--and the Phillies' pennant came in spite of him.) The Reds signed him because the Reds weren’t much about winning championships at that point, and wanted the sideshow. Rose wasn’t quite as bad with the Reds--his .395 OBP helped them finish second in 1985, even paired with a .319 SLG--but it really didn’t matter. The decision to sign a just-released 43-year-old first baseman who hadn't homered since 1982 was indefensible as a baseball decision, and moreso for a team whose system was about to cough up a lineup’s worth of hitters.

Rose would have been considered a Hall of Famer and a great player even if he’d ended his career with 4,062 hits. His pursuit of a number, and the Reds’ enabling of that pursuit, actually detracted from his setting of the mark.

Biggio’s advance to his 3000th hit is exactly the same situation. Biggio shouldn’t be a regular any longer, and since he can’t really play anywhere but second base, he’s got a minimal case for even having a roster spot. If he had started the season with 2,763 hits, or 3,112, he wouldn’t be playing at all. The only reason he’s been allowed to play is because he was close to a three-zero number in a high-visibility category.

This act, this glorifying of a statistic, a number, is supposed to be the thing that we do, that statheads do, that takes away from the beauty and spirit of the game. But I don’t know a single stathead, not one, who would allow a player who so clearly doesn’t deserve to play any longer into the lineup just because of a number. Numbers only matter when they’re part of the pursuit of a championship. Separated from that, they’re a sideshow, and they have little meaning.

What number of hits Craig Biggio finishes his career with has absolutely nothing to do with his value as a player, the greatness he showed at his peak, or his qualifications for the Hall of Fame. Biggio contributed mightily to good teams, and he had a long career during which he displayed a broad range of skills. We can measure those things, we can evaluate and analyze his performance, and our methods for doing so have meaning because the context in which we put them is helping a team win baseball games.

Biggio’s last few hits have no such relevance. They are just hits garnered so that Craig Biggio can get hits. That was clear at the start of the season, but benching him for two of three games in a June series against the division leaders is the cherry on top. Craig Biggio isn’t a baseball player now. He’s a stat-generating robot.

There’s nothing to be done of course. I wouldn’t recommend that Bud Selig get involved--like he would, given his own relentless attacks on the integrity of the championship season--or suggest that Brewers fans get crazy over the fact that they’re being denied a shot at seeing history.

It is interesting that this is happening in Milwaukee. In 1998, fans there complained when Tony La Russa benched Mark McGwire for a game in September, while McGwire was extending his record for home runs in a season. The difference, however, was that in ’98, McGwire not playing in one of the three games of that series was consistent with how Tony La Russa had managed him throughout the year, resting him on occasion to keep him fresh. This isn’t that. This is a lineup decision made to affect the statistics, and specifically to deny the Milwaukee fans a chance to see history, such as it is. They should feel cheated.

Craig Biggio is no less a man, no less a great baseball player, no less a Hall of Famer for his participation in this charade. The number, though, just doesn’t mean very much. Reaching a statistical milestone is meaningless when the milestone becomes the goal. Anybody can play long enough to make a particular odometer turn over. It’s deserving to do so that makes it a true achievement.


Joe Sheehan is an author of Baseball Prospectus. You can contact Joe by clicking here or click here to see Joe's other articles.
 

Offline shoeshineboy

  • Posts: 7555
  • Walks Kill!! Walks Kill! Walks Kill!!!!
Re: Biggio Gets 3000th hit.
« Reply #8: June 29, 2007, 10:35:56 AM »
It's hard to argue with this, especially since they point out how it in no way diminishes the overall quality of his great career. Unfortunately, this type of thing has happened on many occasions when a player gets close to a record or milestone. I remember when Monk passed the alltime reception record with a series of passes late in a game to make sure it happened at home. Favre fell down for Strahan's sack record. They point out Rose, and other examples exist where this type of thing is done that cheapens the process. Although these longevity stats have a tendency to have a flavor of that more often than we probably would like. He's in the 3000 club now, and I doubt anyone years from now will bother to qualify that fact with this type of commentary, because it would be a bit unfair to single Biggio out.

My favorite part of this piece is actually the point made about how those that honor stats the most are the ones more likely to take offense at this than those that seem to always harp that the numbers don't matter.

Offline Kenz aFan

  • Posts: 5433
Re: Biggio Gets 3000th hit.
« Reply #9: June 29, 2007, 01:03:44 PM »
There are some guys in the HOF that lowered the bar, but Biggio isn't going to be one of them.  You don't seem to be considering the position he played.  Second base is one of the most difficult positions.  Catcher and short are generally considered the most difficult, with 2B slightly behind, and all other positions substantially easier.  Gary Carter (a catcher for those too young to remember him) was a .262 hitter, and a very deserving inductee.   

Because of what he did while also playing gold glove second base, I would argue that what Biggio raised the bar substantially.

You and Tom offer some good points, but not enough to sway my opinion that for a 3000 hit guys, he's the most undeserving of the bunch. Baseball thinks it must add someone to the Hall each year. All I see it some cases, is a bit PR boost to get people to visit the Hall of Fame. Baseball fans will visit even without any added hype.

Offline 2k6nats

  • Posts: 9243
  • The regular season is a flat circle
Re: Biggio Gets 3000th hit.
« Reply #10: June 29, 2007, 05:21:54 PM »
I don't consider Biggio a HOF guy, however, the numbers don't lie.