Tuesday, January 25, 2011

They're not the same at all

Sometimes I'm not the most detail-oriented guy. I get distracted easily. I find paying attention too difficult. Whole seasons go by and I can't tell you what just happened.

I think this is the reason why I sucked at fantasy baseball. I just couldn't get myself to focus on every player. While the guy next to me knew who the third man in from the bullpen for the Mariners' Triple A team was, I was still trying to figure out who played second base for the Reds.

I am forever confusing players. For the longest time, I thought Edgar Martinez and Tino Martinez were the same person (don't laugh, some others did, too, early on). I always confuse '70s outfielders Pepe Manguel and Angel Manguel and also confuse those two with Jerry Manuel. When Manuel was managing the White Sox, I thought it was actually one of the Manguels. Don't ask me which one.

For some strange reason, I confused Ted Power with Tim Crews. They were both relief pitchers for the Dodgers, which is reason enough for me to keep them straight. Power started in the majors six years before Crews, which is another tip-off. Yet -- and this is terrible, I know -- when Crews perished in that terrible boat accident that killed Indians reliever Steve Olin, I thought it was Power that died.


But the biggest example of player confusion for me has always been between two players of the late 1980s. It's the guy on the card you see at the top of the post, Kevin Seitzer, and Kurt Stillwell.

You knew this was coming didn't you? I can't be the only one. But I have a really, really difficult time with this. In fact, when I just typed Kevin Seitzer two lines ago, I had to pause and think of which player I was supposed to type. I fully expect to confuse the two of them before this post is finished.

In my defense, there ARE some similarities between the two. Each has the initials K.S. They both played on the left side of the infield for the Royals in the late 1980s, an era that received limited attention from me, by the way.

Both lived in Overland Park, Kansas, when they played with Kansas City. They also each had this habit of bunching up the sleeves of their uniform to their shoulders when they batted. I assume it was a reminder to keep their elbow in or something like that. But it sure seemed peculiar that they both did it.

Still, I know they aren't the same person. Here are the stats:

KC (86-91), MIL (92), OAK (93), MIL (94-96), CLE (96-97)
12 years, 1439 GP, 5278 AB, 739 R, 1557 H, 285 WB, 35 3B, 74 HR, 613 RBI, 80 SB, 669 BB, .295 AVG, .375 OBP, .404 SLG, .780 OPS, 39 SF, 31 IBB
Top positions played: 3B - 1051 games, 1B - 241, OF - 16, 2B - 15

(1986-93, 96)
CIN (86-87), KC (88-91), SD (92-93), CAL (93), TEX (96)
9 years, 998 GP, 3125 AB, 362 R, 779 H, 151 2B, 30 3B, 34 HR, 310 BI, 38 SB, 274 BB, .249 AVG, .311 OBP, .349 SLG, .660 OPS, 27 SF, 22 IBB
Top positions played: SS - 690, 2B - 187, 3B -29

They're not the same at all. Kevin Seitzer, as any child fan of the late '80s will tell you, had one of the greatest seasons of any player not named Jose Canseco in 1987. I totally missed it because I was in college and beer makes you not care. But Seitzer actually was a terrific hitter for most of his career.

Stillwell, meanwhile, was basically your typical middle infielder of the 1980s. Not a great hitter, not great at getting on base.

Seitzer is now the hitting coach for the Royals. Stillwell is the assistant to Scott Boras. He played a part in the Bryce Harper negotiations.

They're quite a bit different.

Sorry about that dudes.

Hopefully, this post will ensure that I never confuse them again.

Instead, I'll probably confuse them with this guy.


  1. It always brings a smile to my face when someone mentions Stillwell. I still haven't figured out why he is one of my favorite players, but he is. Despite the fact he now works for the second most evil man in the history of baseball.

    It's funny you mention Power and Stillwell as guys you confuse with other people. They were traded together by the Reds to the Royals for Danny Jackson and Angel Salazar before the 1988 season.

  2. I thought his name was 'Biff' Pecota this whole time. Or was is Bill Pocoroba? Crap!

  3. Jerry Manuel and Chuck Manuel, Bobby Cuellar and Mike Cuellar...no, it never happens to me.

  4. Hey, how come the Nebulous 9 is all of the sudden only 5? Knocking 'em down I see.

  5. My grandfather would always call Mark Lemke Dennis Menke. It drove me nuts at the time but now it's highly amusing.

  6. RBI Baseball made forgetting who Kevin Seitzer is impossible for me. Stillwell sure wasn't on the AL All Star team! -Andy

  7. Great read! Stillwell makes me think of '87 Topps and Seitzer makes me think of '87 Fleer

  8. For me it was John Olerud and Todd Zeile. They ended up about 200 hits part and a handful of homers.