Baseball Prospectus: Too far from town: Ogden Raptors

From Sarah R. Ingber, Davy Andrews, and SABR member Roger Cormier at Baseball Prospectus on April 7, 2020:

“The saints want justice. The rest of us want mercy.” – George Shuba, The Boys of Summer

There used to be a little thing called mercy. I vaguely recall it. John Stamos pleaded for it on the Fuller House prequel. His cries went completely unanswered beginning in 1995. There is a lot of blame to go around for that. Newt Gingrich. The Gallagher brothers. Beanie Babies. It’s a miracle any of us are still standing to tell you the truth.

The Simpsons intuited this shift to a completely unforgiving cutthroat universe, as they tended to do throughout the nineties. On February 12th, 1995, “Homie the Clown” made its broadcast debut. It’s the episode where Homer, as Krusty the Clown, beats the crap out of the Krusty Burglar, believing the diminutive actor was really attempting to steal a large plastic display burger in broad daylight (Homer is dumb and a method actor.) A kid watches the carnage and through his tears pleads for Homer to stop because the Krusty Burglar is “already dead.” You’ve no doubt seen this meme plenty over the last few years. I know I have during blowouts.

The first time that meme could have been applied to a baseball game was just over six months later. On August 27th, the Pioneer League was in its final week of regular season play. The Helena Brewers were playoff bound. They walked into Ogden, Utah the winners of 15 consecutive games. I’m pretty sure it is illegal to enter the state of Utah with that much confidence. Hell, here’s a spoiler: the Helena Brewers would win the league title two weeks later. They were pretty good at baseball. Mike Kinkade had himself a .929 OPS.

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Originally published: April 7, 2020. Last Updated: April 7, 2020.