Brett Favre seems to be on the brain and on the lips of the sports world, so let’s keep his name there for baseball. Over the last 50 years, there have been five players (including one who’s a Hall-of-Famer) named Brett to be an All-Star. Who are they? Note: Brett can be either their first or last name, and it can be spelled with either one “T” or two.
The Minnesota Twins' Jim Thome hit his 12th career walk-off home run Tuesday. That ties five players (Foxx, Mantle, Musial, Robinson, Ruth) for most in MLB history. It also gives us a great chance to look at some fun walk-off home run notes:
• Dusty Baker hit plenty as a player and has seen his seen his fair share as a manager. Baker hit eight walk-off home runs in his career, twice as many as current managers Terry Francona and Joe Torre.
• Aaron Boone hit more walk-off home runs (6) than Willie Mays (5).
• Three players share the all-time mark for most walk-off HR in a come-from-behind situation: Babe Ruth, Frank Robinson and Fred McGriff.
• You’d be forgiven if you’ve never heard of Gates Brown. He hit .257 with 84 career home runs from 1963-75 with the Detroit Tigers. But it's funny how the baseball gods look down on some players. Brown hit three pinch-hit walk-off home runs, the most of any player in MLB history.
• Harold Baines has the distinction of hitting the latest walk-off home run in history. His came in the 25th inning of a game against the Brewers in 1984.
• Anyone up for a 13-pitch walk-off shot? Garret Anderson did it in 1997, taking Rick Aguilera deep to beat the Twins.
• Finally, let’s circle back to Thome. His first career walk-off home run came on June 15, 1994, in a game where he did three things you haven’t likely seen from him much in recent years: played third base, batted 8th in the order and finished a triple shy of the cycle.
If the Boston Red Sox's Dustin Pedroia struggles tonight against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim’s Scott Kazmir, you’ll know something is wrong. Pedroia has hammered Kazmir in his career to the tune of a .526 BA and 1.433 OPS. Pedroia has 16 hits and six extra-base hits off Kazmir, the most against any pitcher.
The Twins Francisco Liriano has a career 5.22 ERA against the Chicago White Sox, almost a point and-a-half higher than his ERA against all other teams. Look to two main culprits for his lack of success against the Sox, but maybe not the ones you’d think: Alexei Ramirez and A.J. Pierzynski. Of the 72 batters who Liriano has faced at least 10 times in his career, Liriano is allowing a batting average above .400 to seven of them, and Ramirez (.500 BA) and Pierzynski (.417 BA) are two of them.