In 2005 Buddy Bell did the brave and honorable thing for the long-term good of the franchise. Day after day, he put the immortal Terrence Long in the lineup. T-Long got 85 PAs in August of that season, and 105 in September and October. Sadly, it was the last time Long ever played full time again. This was part two of a two-part series RR did honoring T-Long and, in a way, venerable ole Buddy.
As we continue to honor Terrence Long's unforgettable legacy as a Royal, it is imperative that we understand his hallowed place among his peers in the American League in 2005.
Games Played: (137) Tied for 64th most in the American League with Travis Hafner. Congrats T-Long, only 63 American Leaguers played more games than you did in 2005. Clearly, your near daily presence helped the Royals toward a successful season.
Runs: (62) Tied for 74th with four other players, and one run behind his teammate Mike Sweeney. I wonder if they know about this? Good thing Long's leaving the Royals... you'd hate to see this develop into a big-time personal rivalry about who scores more. Its about "team", guys.
Hits: (127) Tied for 62nd with Da Meat Hook Dmitri Young of the Tigers. Wow, T-Long was 64th in Games Played, and here is 62nd in hits. Thats called being above average my friend.
Doubles:(21) Tied for 91st with an odd collection of 9 other players, including Ichiro!, A.J. Pierzynski, Reed and Dan Johnson and teammates Berroa and Buck. I think this might be the first time Ichiro and Pierznski have ever been grouped together. Of course, 12 times Ichiro kept running and made it to third for a triple, while A.J. never did. And yea, T-Long's in there somewhere. It pretty much sucks when your below-average catcher and shortstop both double as much as your starting corner outfielder.
Triples:(3) Tied with 25 other guys for 43rd best in the American League. Awesome job, Terrence. I could really label you anything from 43rd to 68th, but I'm gonna put you all the way at the front of the pack. 43rd all the f---ing way.
Home Runs:(6) Tied for 128th best in the American League. OK, I can't even be snide or sarcastic here. Hitting just six homers in 137 games is terrible, no way around it. I don't think anyone could have expected that Long's power would drop this much. And yet, it did. But there he was, in the middle of the lineup every damn day. Why??
RsBI:(53) Tied for 93rd. Amazingly, Long finished behind Mark Teahen in a power/run-producer category. Do you wanna look at their salaries? Or should I? He was ahead of Scooter Podsednik however.
Total Bases:(172) Tied for 93rd with two other players.
Wow. 93rd in RsBI and Total Bases? OK, I'm getting chills. Creeeeeepy. Congrats on being tied with Travis Lee, T-Long.
Walks:(30) Tied for 98th with Orlando Hudson and Magglio Ordonez. Too bad Maggs appeared in 82 games, compared to the 137 that featured T-Long.
Stolen Bases:(3) Tied for 90th in the American League with about a million guys, including, ahem, Mike Sweeney, one of the slowest men on the planet. Even if we go all Ozzie ball here and fawn over the merits of base-running, 6 homers/ 3 steals is the power-speed combo of someone who brings nothing to the table. Still, only 90 players in the American League stole more.
Batting Average:(.279) Tied for 51st in the American League among players with 200 ABs or more. With no power and no patience, we should relish T-Long's ability to almost crack the top 50 in batting average.
Some fancy stuff...The league average line for corner outfielders in 2005 was .268/.322/.407, which a little lower than you might expect. I guess its getting harder to stick a Matt Stairs-type in right-field these days. Or maybe its the effect of the Podsedniks and their ilk. T-Long went .279/.321/.378 in '05... A few more singles, a little less walks and a lot less power. Bleh.
For the enlightened, we can note Long's totally badass 6.7 VORP, good for 9th best on the team. Good thing he was 6th on the team in plate appearances.
Don't you, forget about me...