Call off the dogs. Kudos to Blair Scanlan of Seattle, who was the first to answer the questions correctly. He’ll receive the Roger Clemens book. (I’ll put the answers at the very bottom for those who still want to give it a whirl, just for fun).
I blatantly stole this idea from Ken Davidoff’s Newsday blog, but you’re the beneficiary. At least, one of you will be.
I received two copies of Jeff Pearlman’s new biography of Roger Clemens, entitled “The Rocket That Fell To Earth: Roger Clemens and the Rage for Baseball Immortality.” I’m going to keep one for myself, and give one away to the winner of a Roger Clemens’ trivia contest. By the way, I’ve read half the book so far, and it’s outstanding. As with Pearlman’s excellent biography of Barry Bonds, it gives great insight into what forces shaped the Clemens we know today.
To get some good questions, I enlisted the help of Bill Chuck of the highly entertaining Billy-Ball.com, and the author, with Jim Kaplan, of the book, “Walk-Offs, Last Licks, and Final Outs – Baseball’s Grand (and not so Grand) Finales.”
Bill came up with 10 good Clemens’ trivia questions, but I picked my favorite three. The first person to email me (email@example.com) with all three correct answers will win the book.
1) In the two games that Roger Clemens struck out 20, only one batter he faced did not strike out. Who was he?
2) When Clemens was the 19th pick in the first round in 1983 by the Boston Red Sox, the Seattle Mariners had the 17th pick. Who did they choose?
3) Who hit the last homer off of Clemens?
As a bonus, here are some Mariner tidbits that Bill (who calls himself a “baseball newstalgist”) sent to me (the commentary is his):
1) Since 2001, amongst outfielders with at least 2000 plate appearances, only Juan Pierre (13) and Willy Tavares (7) have fewer homers than Endy Chavez (17).
2) Over the last three seasons there have been 239 players with at least 1000 plate appearances. Of those, the bottom five in walks are Kenji Johjima (54), Benjie Molina (53), Yuniesky Betancourt (49), Josh Barfield (44) and Miguel Olivo (30).
3) What is wrong with this picture? Last season, Felix Hernandez had 9 wins and 19 quality starts.
4) Last season Russell Branyon saw only 3.80 pitches per plate appearance, the lowest of his 11-season career, yet still managed to strike out every 3.1 at bats (ironically the best of his career).
5) Jose Lopez came to bat 120 more times last season than in 2007 and added 59 hits, wow!
6) In 11 Seattle seasons Junior has averaged .298, 31 homers, and 105 RBI; the Mariners could live with that this season.
7) Ronny Cedeno is a .252 lifetime batter who hits better with two outs and runners in scoring position (.257).
8) After struggling in June and July last season (.164), Franklin Guttierez adjusted and in the last two months hit .313.
9) Ichiro has been successful on 22 out of 44 sacrifice bunt attempts in his career.
10) Over the last three seasons, Carlos Silva leads the majors with 44 losses, followed by Jarrod Washburn’s 43.
Clemens trivia answers:
1) Al Cowens
2) Terry Bell
3) Trot Nixon (the homer came on Oct. 7, 2007, in the American League Division Series between the Yankees and Cleveland at Yankee Stadium; the last regular-season homer off Clemens was hit by Ichiro on Sept. 3, 2007 at Yankee Stadium).