Special all-Ken matchup, Ken Oberkfell vs. Ken Caminiti. Also, game thread: Mets at Braves

Ken Oberkfell Statistics and History – Baseball-Reference.com

Seasons with Braves: 1985-1988
Notable Stats: .357 SLG, 16 SB/17 CS
Notable Achievements: Hit .200 against the Braves in 1982 NLCS, which the Cardinals won anyway.

Ken Caminiti Statistics and History – Baseball-Reference.com

Seasons with Braves: 2001
Notable Stats: .222 BA, 6 errors in 33 games at first base.
Notable Achievements: 1996 NL MVP, three-time Gold Glove winner at third base.

This video was chosen as the one that will maximally annoy Jon K.

132 thoughts on “Special all-Ken matchup, Ken Oberkfell vs. Ken Caminiti. Also, game thread: Mets at Braves”

  1. I hadn’t realized how much Kens suck.

    In the last 20 years, the Braves have only had three Kens. (I’m not counting Kent Mercker or Kenshin Kawakami.) The only problem with Ken Ray was that he fundamentally sucked: he caught fire for a few months and then turned back into a pumpkin. Ken Caminiti was an over-the-hill drug abuser who nearly slaughtered Greg Olson. Kenny Lofton was a good player who was too insufferable even to play for Bobby Cox.

    And then Ken Griffey screwed us this offseason.

    The name’s cursed, I tells ya!

  2. Ryan C. from last thread. No way. Brooks Conrad has this career minor league slash line .261/.344/.466/.810

    Translation: Triple A filler

    The contenders:
    Infante – He was pretty good last season and he has been good this season but then theres that .310 career OBP accumulated over 2270 PAs. hmmmmm

    Prado – First 214 PAs .330 .394 .495 .889
    Last 210 PAs .244 .282 .352 .634 Gross.

    KJ – Yeah he has sucked this year. And he is excruciatingly inconsistent. But he does have 2 full seasons of being a championship level player in his recent history.

  3. If you don’t watch them, why do you complain about them?

    Joe Queenan argues in one of his books that all musicians named “Ken” or “Kenny” are automatically lame — Rogers, Loggins, G, etc.

  4. @68 ~ AAR

    What would you expect back for Vazquez?

    I mean obviously his value as a pitcher has gone up since last year; however, the acquiring team will only be guaranteed his services for one season.

    Part of me thinks that I would be good with getting back an equivalent value of what we sent for him in the first place.

    Does this seem off-base? The whole thing is an intriguing situation

  5. JA Happ, Hanson, or Randy Wells for NL ROY? All three have 10 Ws and sub 3 ERAs. The only knock for Hanson is the he doesn’t have the number of innings the other two have, but he’s got lower ERA and more K/9 I think. Is there an offensive player in the mix in the NL?

  6. I really didn’t see much of a comparison in your poll Mac. Oberkfell could hit singles consistently, but nothing else. The only things Caminiti could hit consistently were steroids. Caminiti was horrible for Atlanta.

  7. Looks like (based on a list at FanGraphs) Casey McGehee may be in the mix as well, hitting .304 with 15HRs and an OPS of .885 in about 300 AB. Tommy probably only gets 2 more starts, maybe 3. I’m not sure he can do enough in two starts to pull ahead of the others.
    Well… if Happ doesn’t come back from his muscle pull and Wells has another rough outing like his last one then it comes down to Hanson and McGehee… not sure who’s more likely to get the nod there.

  8. Actually I thought that Oberkfell was one of the better hitters that the Braves had in the mid 80’s. This says very little about how good Oberkfell was (he was bad), but speaks volumes about how bad the Braves were. (My thinking that Oberkfell was decent for the Braves may also say a little about how little I knew about ML baseball at that time. Batting average was 80% of my criteria for making a judgment.)

  9. From the last thread,
    53,

    Allow me to dismantle your argument piece by piece.

    1. Bobby Cox, keep him or dump a Hall of fame manager. It’s a lose, lose proposition everywhere except in the win/loss column.

    That’s out of Frank Wren’s hands. We’ve said it a million times, Frank Wren does not have the authority to fire Bobby Cox.

    2. Soriano and or Gonzo, we absolutely have to keep one. It’s imperative to winning. The middle relief has to be shored up too.

    There’s plenty of other ways to field a competent bullpen without Soriano or Gonzalez. Paying free agents is the least efficient way to put together a bullpen.

    3. LaRoche, he’s admittedly the best 1st baseman on the free agent market. Losing the slick fielding lefty would be detrimental.

    Again, paying free agents isn’t the most efficient way to bring in talent. The solution at 1B is most likely not in house, but LaRoche is far from the only–or even best–solution.

    4. Other than Nate McLouth the outfield has been a complete disaster for the second season in a row. It has to be fixed. We need two or three more new outfielders who can play DEFENSE and hit for power.

    2009 Braves Outfielder OPS:

    Matt Diaz – .884
    Nate McLouth – .824
    Ryan Church – .766

    Matt Diaz has hardly been a “complete disaster”. I’d like to see the Braves make a run at Holliday, though.

    5. Chipper Jones is sadly closing in on retirement. Unless 2010 turns into his first totally healthy season since 2004, it will be his swan song. He’s gonna need a capable back up as it is.

    Chipper’s 2009 is mostly just bad luck.

    6. Jason Heyward. Will the Braves bite the financial bullet and let him play right out of spring training, or will they give the stud outfielder the same treatment afforded Tommy Hanson?

    What’s your argument here? I think Wren will do the right thing and give Heyward the Tommy Hanson treatment.

    7. Who will be traded? Will Huddy exercise his option? How do we trade Vazquez when there are only roughly 4-6 teams who can absorb his contract, and fork over the needed players/prospects in return. Wren just signed Lowe and Kawakami, he certainly isn’t going to reverse course after just one season without looking like a total imbecile.

    You’re talking about a guy who cut loose Glavine and Smoltz. Don’t put trading Kawakami or Lowe past him.

    8. KJ and Prado are at best, in my opinion, a decent platoon. We need an everyday second baseman.

    2009 League average 2B OPS – .746
    Martin Prado career OPS – .777
    Kelly Johnson career OPS – .778

    9. McCann, Escobar and McLouth are our three proven mainstays for right now and the near future. Will Heyward and Schafer join them next year? I don’t know, only time will tell.

    How does this support your point?

    10. Altogether told, it’s one big ugly ball of wax other than the starting pitching. What will stick, who gets signed, who leaves, who gets traded, will we have a new manager…..God, what a hell of a mess!

    I don’t really disagree with this, but, again, how does this support your point?

  10. csg, of those three Coghlan (who I totally forgot about/wasn’t aware of) seems to have the best stat line, and even that’s not quite up with McGehee’s (though he’s got more ABs)… McCutchen started off hot, but has really cooled off in the last two weeks (his Sept has been Chipper-esque).

  11. Caminiti was a bust, but given his age that shouldn’t have been a big surprise.

    Oberkfell was mediocre, but he drew some walks. I liked his 1986 Topps card. I forget how his glove was.

  12. “Managing by Regret” is at times a reasonable methodology to employ when making a decision.

    As much as I’m ready for Bobby to move on, I’ll deeply regret it if Pendleton is named manager.

    Who’s likely to be our 2010 manager if it’s not legit HOFamer Cox?

  13. Although the very roster existence of Ken Oberkfell irked me to no end, I voted for Caminti, who was so bad I actually felt sorry for him. As it turned out, he had bigger problems than fielding ground balls.

    #7
    The New York Times also refers to Iggy Pop as Mr. Pop.

    Seat Painter,
    That Kenan Stadium show was April 23, 1983. Definitely.

    (Check link, which includes Bono interview from that day.)

    http://tinyurl.com/mj87pu

  14. Oberkfell was a five-tool non-player. He couldn’t hit, he couldn’t hit for power (his best hr year was five in ’86), He couldn’t run, He couldn’t field, He couldn’t throw. All that and he was ugly, too. How could anyone vote for Caminiti who wasn’t with us that long, in a year that we went to the playoffs. Obie-None was the face (ugly as it was) of ineptitude.

  15. I’m here to tell yall that not all Kennys suck. When my ass was 19 years old, I changed the face of professional baseball. I was handed the keys to the kingdom, multi-million dollar deals, endorsements. Everyone wanted a piece of my sh*t. Just a man with a mind for victory and an arm like a f*cking cannon.

  16. Then where the hell was I on that day? Of course, I did spend most of that Spring semester drunk (as my GPA showed), before straightening myself out.

  17. Does Garrett Jones (former Braves farmhand) of the Pirates qualify for ROY? I saw some site list him as a contender the other day.

  18. SeatPainter,
    One of the reasons I recall that Chapel Hill date so vividly is because the concert came just a few weeks after what is still UGA’s greatest men’s basketball victory—a shocking 82-77 win over UNC (with Jordan & Perkins) in the ’83 Eastern Regional Final, clinching our only Final 4 appearance.

    Of course, we lost to NC State in the national semi the following weekend in Albuquerque. And everybody remembers State’s next game…

  19. 1. McLouth CF
    2. Prado 3B
    3. Anderson LF
    4. McCann C
    5. Escobar SS
    6. LaRoche 1B
    7. Infante 2B
    8. Church RF
    9. Lowe P

    garret anderson batting 3rd. laroche still cant get any love. what about conrad playing in place of prado some time in the near future? prado might need a few days off.

  20. #28, ACHE bats 3rd because he’s a “professional hitter.” Laroche doesn’t bat 4th or 5th because years ago he was lazy on a play and Bobby still hasn’t gotten over it. Conrad doesn’t play in place of Prado because it is in the Constitution that players must ride the bench for 2 years before they get a chance to start (however amendment 30 does provide an exception if the player does commercials for Delta).

  21. In 2007 Kelly Johnson had a .363 wOBA and played average defense at 2B. Dustin Pedroia, a player on a championship team, had a .365 wOBA and played average defense at 2B in 2007.

  22. @3

    Ken “Death” Ray is a Braves legend; I will not sit idly by as his name is sullied in such a manner.

  23. 15, you dismantled nothing.

    1. No closer? see the current Phillies situation with Brad Lidge. Build from within? Closers don’t grow on tree’s.

    2. Adam LaRoche can’t be replaced, nor can his glove.

    3.Matt Diaz has never been a starter and never will be. He’s a solid fourth outfielder, enough said.

    4. What Frank Wren did to Tom Glavine is disgraceful, horrible even. Our GM is a hatchet man. When John Schuerholz has to issue an apology for your conduct, it says volumes about the other persons lack of character.

    5.Starting pitching is the heart and soul of any baseball team. Wren isn’t gonna trade more than one starter. Lowe is going NOWHERE , got it????? Kawakami makes 6.667 million next year, Vazquez 11.5 million. How difficult is it for you to grasp that our Braves are corporate owned??????? Payroll and profit first, wins and losses are secondary.

    6. KJ has proven he’s not an everyday player. Prado has 9 HR’s and 42 RBI…career high’s???? When Prado starts for an entire season and puts up some real numbers, then we can talk.

    7. You say that Frank Wren doesn’t have the authority to fire Bobby Cox? I agree and it’s a perfect example of how dysfunctional our front office is…..

    8. McCann, Escobar, McLouth, Hanson and Jurrjens are the present and future. It’s a start but the Braves need more players like these guys. I’m hoping that Schafer and Heyward join them.

    All in all, I usually agree to disagree but in this case, I’m not backing down. Argue if you want, this old oak tree doesn’t bend.

  24. @35
    ok. since “coach” said it, i will believe it. coach your opinion is, for most part, an opinion of an opinion, and the first opinion is your own opinion.

    coach, you are a prime example of saying too much then not remembering what you said in the first place and counterarguing your own points.

  25. I think the Phillies situation also shows why you cant trust a reliever from year to year, no point in overpaying. I would say its a safe bet that Gonzo and Soriano might be future injury risks becuase of Bobby’s overuse. Their offseason cant get here soon enough

    BTW, JS apologized for how the whole Glavine situation was handled. He was apart of that situation and so was Bobby. It wasnt an apology for Wrens behavior or decision. They, Bobby/JS/Wren, made a tough baseball decision and it was the right one.

  26. Coach, your statement on “closers” is absurd. “Closers” do basically grow on trees. Any decent reliever can save games; the job is not that difficult. To bring Brad Lidge into it simply demolishes your own argument. The Phillies went out and got a veteran “closer” and he saved a lot of games for them last year, and this year he can’t get anyone out. Same guy. Or to take an example from closer to home, Bruce Sutter. Or Dan Kolb. Or Chris Reitsma. How many times have the Braves gone out and gotten a “proven closer” only to have him turned into an instrument of torture?

  27. I wouldn’t count Rosenthal as much of a source on analyzing anything more than what he had for breakfast. That’s just a pack of assertions without any support other than a correlation between poor Septembers for McCann and Jones and losing a bunch of games. Fucking duh. Cox may be a poor manager, but the only people “weeping” over that mess should be copy editors everywhere.

  28. @30 – Chief,
    KJ was the 6th best second baseman in all of MLB by OPS in 2008 and 5th best in 2007. ALL of MLB. If that isn’t your definition of a championship caliber player then we beg to differ.

    I guess that I could use win shares or VORP or another more sophisticated statistical tool but OPS while flawed pretty much does a good job of defining who is good in this case. Case in point the number 1 2b in all of baseball by OPS in 2007/2008 was Chase Utley. You know him, he’s kind of good.

  29. I truly think Lidge has something going on mentally. He wasn’t the same after the Pujols homerun, and just couldn’t seem to put himself together again until he got out of town. Now that people started to hit him again earlier this year, it seems the wheels have fallen off completely again. He will probably have to leave town again before he realizes any success.

  30. 15, you dismantled nothing.

    1. No closer? see the current Phillies situation with Brad Lidge. Build from within? Closers don’t grow on tree’s.

    2. Adam LaRoche can’t be replaced, nor can his glove.

    3.Matt Diaz has never been a starter and never will be. He’s a solid fourth outfielder, enough said.

    4. What Frank Wren did to Tom Glavine is disgraceful, horrible even. Our GM is a hatchet man. When John Schuerholz has to issue an apology for your conduct, it says volumes about the other persons lack of character.

    5.Starting pitching is the heart and soul of any baseball team. Wren isn’t gonna trade more than one starter. Lowe is going NOWHERE , got it????? Kawakami makes 6.667 million next year, Vazquez 11.5 million. How difficult is it for you to grasp that our Braves are corporate owned??????? Payroll and profit first, wins and losses are secondary.

    6. KJ has proven he’s not an everyday player. Prado has 9 HR’s and 42 RBI…career high’s???? When Prado starts for an entire season and puts up some real numbers, then we can talk.

    7. You say that Frank Wren doesn’t have the authority to fire Bobby Cox? I agree and it’s a perfect example of how dysfunctional our front office is…..

    8. McCann, Escobar, McLouth, Hanson and Jurrjens are the present and future. It’s a start but the Braves need more players like these guys. I’m hoping that Schafer and Heyward join them.

    All in all, I usually agree to disagree but in this case, I’m not backing down. Argue if you want, this old oak tree doesn’t bend.

    1. lol wut

    2. lol huh

    3. wtf?

    4.Frank acted with the best intentions of the team in mind, you Tom Glavine & John Smoltz need to get over it.

    5. fth is that even a point?

    6. as opposed to those fake numbers you listed

    7. Couldn’t agree more.

    8. Me too.

  31. Glavine was mistreated? I’m simply at a loss for words.

    Would Glavine have performed better than Hanson?

    Perhaps one can make the argument that Glavine should not have been allowed to try to come back, but he insisted. (And made a million bucks, IIRC.)

  32. Frank Wren has acted in the best intrest of the club in each of those instances. What more do you want out of your GM? We already have manager who plays and is loyal to “proven veterens” who are obviously past their prime. Do we need a GM who does that too?

  33. You can drum up all the statistics in the world and I’ll never ever believe that KJ is/was/ever will be a better player than Pedroia.

  34. I don’t hate him, I just think the fanbase’s propensity to think him a productive piece, silly. He’s simply not a winning player.

  35. Well that was certainly a fun drive home. I-75 North is flooded at the Howell Mill exit, causing big problems into Atlanta. Finally got off the interstate and couldn’t see because of the rain. I was basically driving home using either the car in front of me, or if one wasn’t there, the reflectors on the street.

  36. How, exactly? That’s the thing. You have no evidence that he was an unproductive player in 2007, you just assert it, and whenever evidence to the contrary is brought up you just say that he was bad, and that you refuse to acknowledge any evidence to the contrary. KJ was a well above-average player in 2007; every championship team has players who are below average.

    The Braves won the World Series in 1995 with Mark Lemke hitting .253/.325/.356, which was actually a good year for him. The 1961 Yankees won 109 games and the World Series with Bobby Richardson hitting .261/.295/.316. In 1974, the A’s won with no regular second baseman and a group that hit .207/.269/.247 collectively. You get the point, or would if “Kelly Johnson Sucks” weren’t part of your personal dogma.

  37. apparantly, Bowman just tweeted this

    Asked thoughts about Tommy Hanson, Jeff Francoeur said, “He’ll look good in (Yankee) pinstripes in six years.”

  38. jeff has a big mouth for someone who has such a lite bat. Some people need a pitch to the ribs around 10 pm

    with that said, tarp is coming off and 1st pitch is in 15 minutes

  39. “I think he’s [Hanson] going to look good in [Yankees] pinstripes in six years,” Francoeur joked.

    What a colossal douche.

  40. Jeff might be out of baseball in 5 yrs

    btw, new office starts tomorrow

    if we can get through this Lowe start and win our 6th straight we might be able to have a nice little winning streak for once

  41. btw, Lowe is looking at his hand after a lot of these pitches. Im guessing blisters and may not be in there for long tonight

  42. What exactly is a “ballplayer”; as defined by Joe Simpson?

    He only ever calls Prado, Infante and Diaz ballplayers. What makes them “ballplayers” and apparently no one else on the Braves?

  43. You know Chip was just waiting to use that “X-on-Valdez” comment.

    Did Joe just miss it or did he ignore it?

  44. I always wondered what would have happened if we’d tried to convert Gryboski to a starting pitcher. And paid him 60MM.

  45. Chip Caray, it is hard to chalk a year at a sub-.150 average to bad luck.

    At least we got Norton out of the game.

  46. Any New Yorkers on here tonight?

    What should the wife and I do with 3-4 hours in the city (near Penn Station) tomorrow. Lunch will have to be a part of the picture.

  47. Parish: I think it’s going to be raining up here tomorrow, so I don’t know if you want to be wandering around sightseeing. As to lunch, you;re a short cab ride to anything from a $200 fancy job to a $25 Korean barbecue… A little hard to make a recommendation…

  48. What is up with Francoeur against us?

    I want to root for him, so I hate to see him stay with the Mets.

    Dang.

  49. I saw the weather report as “light showers,” so hopefully it won’t be too bad.

    A suggestion for a rainy day would be great. And we would love a classic NY weekday lunch that doesn’t set us back too much before we get to England. We’ll be hoofing it around in jeans, so a more casual.

  50. Well, you could do the Empire State Building and lunch at Keens Steakhouse. Of course, the view won’t be great under the weather conditions, but they’re both a couple of blocks from Penn Station. Rather than take up bandwidth here, email me at jonathan.falk@nera.com

  51. I don’t get it. Francoeur still hopelessly flails at the pitches way off the plate. Why do any pitchers throw him strikes?

  52. Jeff was attacked by the Warning Track Monster.

    And Gravity.

    It was the inning McCann hit his double. I think it was the 3rd.

  53. Ah, Chip never fails to mention the Cubs. “Pagan . . . he’s been around a bit . . . didn’t he at one time play for THE CUBS?”

  54. @107, thanks. It’s on the mlb.tv highlights. (The game’s on blackout, but highlights are still available.) It’s pretty hilarious. Like MLB’s Funniest Home Videos.

    The fact that they replay it in slow motion right afterwards makes it even better.

  55. and who would have guessed that we use mike with a 6 run lead yesterday and, when he’s needed, he’s gassed. please quit, bobby.

  56. so Bobby’s abuse on Gonzo caught up with him, then he totally gives up on the game and calls for Acosta

    nevermind, forgot Jeff was hitting this inning

  57. What do you do with a player like Murphy? He’s a good hitter, but he’s a liability even at first.

    I guess you just pinch hit with him until you can find an AL club lacking at DH to give you something for him.

    Edit: My bad; he’s not a good hitter.

  58. As Andrew Dice Clay would say…….. UUUNNNNBELIIIIIEEEEEEEEEVABLE.

    Six game winning streak (should be eight), longest of the season. Winning is fun,even if we are done for the season.

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