Posts Tagged ‘mark Gubicza’

h2h Corner ~ Check You Out On the Flip Side: Mark Gubicza 2.0

gubiczabackThe more I read about Mark Gubicza, the more I like him/his career. And he became the first two time Flip Sider (first appearance: here).

In this Donruss Triple Play card, we learn about another hobby of Gubicza’s (if you remember, his hobby in 1986 was “being music”). While I was confused by the phraseology in the past card, I wholeheartedly support players who approach the game like a fan (see also: Richard, Chris).

It is super cool to me that, even though Gubicza had played nine season in the majors at this point, he collects sports memorabilia and autographed baseball cards. I imagine he was able to get some really cool autos — maybe even a few George Brett’s?

Anyway, my second look at Gubicza has me investigating his career a bit more. The two-time All-star led AL pitchers in WAR in 1988. That year, he won 20 games with a 2.70 ERA and 1.19 WHIP. He added 183 Ks and a 2.20 K:BB rate. Unfortunately, he’d get little Cy Young recognition, finishing behind Frank Viola and Dennis Eckersley in voting. The next year he’d lead the league in starts (36) and do it again in 1995 (with 33 starts).

gubiczabackfront

Given his durability, it isn’t surprising that he owns a few dubious Royals records, most notably: walks allowed (783) and hit batsmen (58). But you gotta be good to be able to hit that many guys. Let’s hope he parted amicably with the guys he hit and maybe even got their John Hancock on a baseball card.

Follow h2h Corner on Twitter (http://twitter.com/h2h_Corner)

For the history of this series, check out this article: Check You Out On the Flip Side: Howard Johnson.

h2h Corner ~ Check You Out On the Flip Side: Mike Greenwell

mike greenwell back mike greenwell frontFirst of all, I grew up in an era during which every player on a Little League team received a trophy. There were not MVPs, but most improved, sportsmanship, and Bob Loblaw’s Law Blog. So it’s odd to me to see that Greenwell was the MVP of his squad and that he remembered the fact until he was 22.

What this instantly reminded me of was Greenwell’s 1988 season. As a 24-year-old, Greenwell hit .325, posted a .416 OBP and slugged .531. He would be a distant runner-up in the MVP voting to Mr. 40/40 (no, not Jay-Z) Jose Canseco.

Five years ago, after all of the steroids and PED hubbub, Greenwell made a somewhat bitter case that he should be awarded the 1988 MVP. Did he lose a few million dollars because of it? Probably. Did he already get paid more than most people will make in a lifetime? Absolutely (he made over $21 million in his career).

Life, quite simply, is enjoyable because it isn’t fair. If life were fair for everyone, it’d be dull. Why do Americans enjoy the underdog story so much? Mostly, because the underdog doesn’t have all the advantages that the favored team or boxer might have.

Greenwell was a splendid player, but he never really was an MVP. In fact, in 1988, Greenwell would trail Wade Boggs, Canseco and Mark Gubicza and tie Kirby Puckett in wins above replacement player according to Baseball Reference. So, if we’re being completely fair, it is Wade Boggs who should be all annoyed at Canseco.

Follow h2h Corner on Twitter (http://twitter.com/h2h_Corner)

For the history of this series, check out this article: Check You Out On the Flip Side: Howard Johnson.

h2h Corner ~ Check You Out On the Flip Side: Mark Gubicza

Mark gubicza back Mark gubiczaThis card cracks me up. It’d be one thing if it was printed in the 1960s, you know with flower power, psychedelics, LSD and whatnot, but for a pitcher to list his hobby as “being music” in the 1980s is bizarre. The 80s were full of excess and cocaine, not good vibrations – or at least that’s what I learned from American Psycho.

To elaborate on my point: what do you think Mark did when he went to a church picnic?

Parishioner: so Mark, when you aren’t pitching what do you like to do?
Mark: I like to be music.
Parishioner: You mean listen to music?
Mark: No, I mean be music.

Quickly it sounds like someone is on drugs or a character in a Haruki Murakami novel.

In reality, Gubicza was a very underrated pitcher in the 1980s. He was a second round pick in 1981, got to the majors in 1984 as a 21-year-old and posted a 4.05 ERA and 1.31 WHIP. He would pitch 269 innings in 1988 and go 20-8 with a 2.70 ERA. He would post a 7.1 and 7.2 WAR in 1988 and 1989, respectively.

His father also pitched professionally, logging 285 innings in the minors, but would never reach the majors.

Follow h2h Corner on Twitter (http://twitter.com/h2h_Corner)

For the history of this series, check out this article: Check You Out On the Flip Side: Howard Johnson.