Monday, August 29, 2011

Why Haven't We Acquired Jack Parkman Yet?!

He looks so good in that uniform...

I don't know how many of you out there know your White Sox history as well as I do, but with this season finishing it's slow crawl into the shitter, it's time to get us a real legend. A man who gets into other players' heads, plays with a fire in his belly, and also can crush a breaking pitch will leading us to the ALCS.

I'm talking, of course, about Jack Parkman.

For those of you that don't recall, Jack Parkman is the superhuman ex-Indians player in the excellent Major League 2 who comes to play for the Sox and carries them to the ALCS with his chain-smoking, pitch destroying mannerisms. Also, his shimmy makes the ladies in Cleveland puke.

Speaking from a pure statistical standpoint, I tracked the performance of Mr. Parkman throughout the entirety of Major League 2.

Parkman starts the movie batting 1.000 in the 6th inning after only 3 hits on the board, and (we are told by Bob Uecker) is 2-2 with runners on the corners. See above. Unsurprisingly, Parkman destroys the pitch for a 3-run homerun.

Parkman: 1.000 AVG, 1R, 1 HR, 3 RBI

Parkman gets traded to the Sox, and vanishes from the movie until the ALCS.

In ALCS game 3, Parkman (somehow on base) steamrolls Indians catcher Becker in a play at the plate, scoring a run. It's unclear how he got on base without a homerun, but use your imagination, people. Parkman gets another homer in the game (against Vaughn), a 3-run shot to end the game. In game 4 of the ALCS, Parkman gets another HR (not off Vaughn) in what appears to be a solo shot.

Parkman: 1.000 AVG (4-4), 4 R, 3 HR, 7 RBI

Finally, we get to the pivotal scene of the movie, the final showdown between Parkman and Vaughn. Bob Uecker says Parkman is hitting just over .900 against Vaughn, meaning that there was an out at some point in time.

Using basic logic, that would mean that Parkman (who has at least 1 home run against Vaughn as per the playoffs), would need to have at least 10 at-bats against Vaughn in order to compile a percentage higher than .900. For the sake of argument, let's assume that Parkman played all but one series of Sox-Indians while on the Sox. Given that there are generally 5 sets of games played between the two teams over the course of a season, that would imply that Parkman played roughly 12 games against the Indians (4 series).

You're looking at Vaughn pitching a maximum of one time per series. Let's assume that the stars align, and Vaughn pitches to Parkman in every series. That means that there are roughly 12 at-bats of Vaughn against Parkman (minimum of 3 ABs each game, 4 Vaughn starts). For the math to work out nicely here, we assume that Parkman is 11 for 12 against Vaughn over the course of the regular season (for a more-than-respectable .916 AVG against Vaughn).

Parkman: .937 AVG (15-16) 4 R, 3 HR, 7 RBI

As a result, when Vaughn gets his pivotal K at the end of the movie (Spoiler Alert!), we get a final line on Parkman for the film:

Parkman: .882 AVG (15-17) 4 R, 3 HR, 7 RBI, 1K


1 comment:

halfdoc said...

The problem with this post is that you're using modern scheduling to work the math.

Unbalanced schedules weren't introduced by MLB until 2001, so in 1994 the Sox and indians would have played the same number of games against all the other teams in the AL. In 1994 there were 14 AL teams (the Rays didn't exist until 1995 and the Brewers were in the AL until 1998), and there was no interleague play (started in 1997) so the teams would have played about 12 times in the year, instead of the 15 you assume. So Parkman would have only been on the Sox for 9 games.

Also, for a major part of the season Vaughn is a closer, not a starter. It's possible that all 12 games were played before he was demoted, but highly unlikely. This means that he might have faced Parkman more than once in a series, but it would have only been 1 AB at a time.