The Commish Online                                                                                
This Feat Doesn't Stink
May 8, 2002

Before I get to the column, I'd like to discuss a few notes.  In case you haven't noticed, the MLB "Weekly" Column has been updated about every two weeks.  I hope to increase the updates, but with the small staff at The Commish (read: one) and four articles to update frequently, it can become difficult to stay up to date with all of them.  Also, you may have noticed a bit of a Chicago influence in the articles.  That is just the evolution of the column.  I'm a Chicago guy, so most of what I see and read about concerns the Cubs and White Sox.  I apologize to all of the Devil Rays fans reading (read: one?).  I will still talk about the league in general but the focus on Chicago baseball will remain.  Now on to the column.
With so many possibilities and outcomes in a game played by 9 players for 9 innings over 162 games, it's always nice to witness those feats which rarely occur.  No-hitters? Just a couple each season.  Perfect games? Even rarer.  Triple plays? Not very often.  Triple Crown winners? Not since '69.  Four home runs in one game? Rarely.  Back-to-back home runs by the same teammates twice in the SAME INNING? Never.  Until now. 

On May 2, 2002, Mike Cameron belted 4 home runs in the first 5 innings against the Chicago White Sox.  Cameron has since been showered with praise for his feat, but little has been made of what happened in the first inning.  For the first time in the history of major league baseball, 2 teammates, Bret Boone and Mike Cameron, hit back-to-back home runs twice in the same inning.  While Cameron's feat is based more on skill (you don't see Omar Vizquel belting out 4 in a game), both accomplishments require the correct circumstances.  In this case, I think it is amazing that Boone and Cameron took advantage of the rare circumstance in the first inning and did what hasn't been done before.  Seattle fans everywhere are shouting "My Oh My."  Congratulations to Boone and Cameron.


- A great article in the May 6 Sporting News about Tommy John surgery lists some players you never would have guessed had the surgery:  Mariano Rivera, David Wells, Billy Koch, Steve Sparks (knuckeballer?), Jay Payton, and several catchers.

- Exposed:  the Indians lineup.  Jolbert who?

- Soon to be exposed:  the Red Sox rotation.  Pedro, Lowe, and uh, um, uh...

- How good is ARod?  Players with 50+ HRs and 200+ hits in the same season: Babe Ruth '21, Hack Wilson '30, Jimmie Foxx '32, Alex Rodriguez '01.  Gehrig? No. Mays? No. McGwire, Bonds, Sosa? No, no, no.