WHAT HAPPENS WHEN THE OILERS GO DRAFT WALKABOUT?

Leading up to the 2012 entry draft, the Edmonton Oilers with Stu MacGregor as the head scout have been (for the most part) risk averse. Take the BPA–especially in the first round, and beyond that trust your board but pay great attention to the combine invites and consensus.

The 2012 draft changed things. Or did it?

First, let’s run the list of Oiler drafts since 2008 and the Bob McKenzie number where available. I use the McKenzie list because it was brought up pre-draft as the best available list (owing to how late it is compiled, the variety of scouts polled, and previous success rates). I’ve also taken the time to note if they’ve attended the combine, as Edmonton has in the past heavily focused on that group of 100.

2008 Oilers draft

  • Jordan Eberle selected #22 overall, ranked #29 (attended combine)
  • Johan Motin selected #103 overall, unranked (attended combine)
  • Phil Cornet selected #133 overall,unranked
  • Teemu Hartikainen selected #163 overall, unranked
  • Jordan Bendfeld selected #193 overall, unranked

The first MBS draft is kind of a mush draft because the club had no 2nd or 3rd rd pick, meaning they could grab Eberle and then were looking at leftovers from the heart of 2008′s list. Still, I don’t think there’s a lot to quarrel over in this draft. In the one spot they could get a player, they got a top drawer forward.

2009 Oilers draft

  • Magnus Paajarvi selected #10 overall, ranked #10 (attended combine)
  • Anton Lander selected #40 overall, ranked HM (attended combine)
  • Troy Hesketh selected #71 overall, unranked
  • Cameron Abney selected #82 overall, unranked
  • Kyle Bigos selected #99 overall, unranked
  • Toni Rajala selected #101 overall, ranked #50 (attended combine)
  • Olivier Roy selected #133 overall, ranked HM (attended combine)

This reminds me of the old Prendergast drafts (and a little of the 2012 draft) in that they grabbed “normal” selections early and then went walkabout after the 2nd round. Then, after the coke machines and tall trees they came back and picked up a couple of hockey players. The McKenzie ranks suggests the Oilers aren’t the only team wandering fromt he consensus list in the middle rounds.

2010 Oilers draft

  • Taylor Hall selected #1, ranked #1 (attended combine)
  • Tyler Pitlick selected #31, ranked #25 (attended combine)
  • Martin Marincin selected #56, ranked #71 (attended combine)
  • Curtis Hamilton selected #48, ranked 57 (attended combine)
  • Ryan Martindale selected #61, ranked 58 (attended combine)
  • Jeremie Blain selected #91, not ranked
  • Tyler Bunz selected #121, not ranked (attended combine)
  • Brandon Davidson selected #162, not ranked (attended combine)
  • Drew Czerwonka selected #166, not ranked
  • Kristians Pelss selected #181, not ranked
  • Kellen Jones selected #202, not ranked

This is the point where I started to see MBS’ draft style. The combine list is important to the team and of course the McKenzie list marched in (mostly) lock step with the Oilers list. Blain was a “touch list” area scout selection and we could put Czerwonka, Pelss and Jones in the same category.

2011 Oilers draft

  • Ryan Nugent Hopkins selected #1, ranked #1 (attended combine)
  • Oscar Klefbom selected #19, ranked #21 (attended combine)
  • David Musil selected #31, ranked #41 (attended combine)
  • Samu Perhonen selected #62, ranked #51 (attended combine)
  • Travis Ewanyk selected #74, ranked HM (attended combine)
  • Dillon Simpson selected #92, ranked HM
  • Tobias Rieder selected #114, unranked (attended combine)
  • Martin Gernat selected #122, unranked
  • Frans Tuohimaa selected #182, unranked

That’s probably as close to a perfect “risk averse” draft as you can get. Grab players from the McKenzie list who also attended the combine for as long as you can, then take a couple of guys who are either on the BM list or attended the combine. Follow that with a couple of “touch list” gems from the scouts and you’re good to go.

2012 Oilers draft

  • Nail Yakupov selected #1, ranked #1 (attended combine)
  • Mitchell Moroz selected #32, ranked #56 (attended combine)
  • Jujhar Khaira selected #63, not ranked (attended combine)
  • Daniil Zharkov selected #91, ranked #47 (attended combine)
  • Erik Gustafsson selected #93, ranked
  • Joey Laleggia selected #123, ranked
  • John McCarron selected #153, ranked

The Oilers once again borrowed heavily from the consensus combine list, but were less enamored of the McKenzie list. The selection of Moroz caused quite a stir, but in talking to Kirk Luedeke and others it would seem the young man was trending as the draft arrived. Still, he’ll be a lightning rod selection for the MBS regime. Khaira is an interesting player, I think Oiler fans are going to like him based on the numbers. Zharkov was pure value where they got him.

The Oilers under MacGregor are basically running four different races:

  1. The #1 overalls. MBS is completely risk averse here, good grief they simply grabbed the best player available and walked off the stage. I do believe the club has had periods of time in their history where they might have outsmarted themselves.
  2. The ranked/combine group. This is the heart of the MBS group-22 players were both on BM’s list and attended the combine. The best among this group (excluding the #1 overalls) might be Jordan Eberle, Magnus Paajarvi, Martin Marincin, Oscar Klefbom, David Musil. It also includes the controversial Moroz selection.
  3. The walkabout bunch. This is the group that sees Edmonton grab players inside the top 100 who are not ranked in the top 100 and were not included in the combine group. This collection includes Troy Hesketh, Cameron Abney, Jeremie Blain. We shouldn’t expect this to be an area of strenth, this is “drafting for need” and rarely works out. I’m even more fascinated by the walkabout bunch after the club drafted but did not sign Jeremie Blain. What are they looking for from the walkabouts, people? I would have thought Blain was a W.
  4. The overage college kids. Beginning with Kyle Bigos and blossoming this summer, the Oilers seem to have a fascination in late rounds with overage draft and follows. That list would include Bigos, Kellen Jones, Loey Laleggia and John McCarron, and either play tier 2 or have already graduated to the NCAA. Edmonton has done this in the past, so I’m not certain it could be considered new.

The MBS regime has been superior to the Prendergast era, I think mostly due to staying the course and trusting the board. 2012 was a weak draft, we were told that from the beginning. Still, the Oilers first four selections were combine attendees and three of them were ranked by Bob McKenzie.

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60 Responses to "WHAT HAPPENS WHEN THE OILERS GO DRAFT WALKABOUT?"

  1. Ducey says:

    1.The #1 overalls. MBS is completely risk averse here, good grief they simply grabbed the best player available and walked off the stage. I do believe the club has had periods of time in their history where they might have outsmarted themselves.

    You sure it was MBS this year making the call on Nail? It sounded like it was going to be a walkabout in the first round this year.

  2. Lowetide says:

    Ducey: We’ll never know. I have my suspicions but have heard about 20 possible scenarios

  3. bookje says:

    The quote from Stu that they had the same #1 6 months before the draft makes it pretty clear the pick was Nail. That seems a lot more logical than Katz’ kid making the pick or whatever other creative theories people have imagined.

    Why do Oiler fans need to create conspiracies around everything?

    I blame Jason Arnott!

  4. bookje says:

    Lowetide:
    Ducey: We’ll never know. I have my suspicions but have heard about 20 possible scenarios

    You think MBS was going to go off the board thinking he was smarter than everyone else? Is he losing his Mojo?

  5. jonrmcleod says:

    Lowetide,

    I heard that Stu had Yakupov at #1 all year, but Tambellini, thinking the Oilers would be picking second (before the lottery win) had his heart set on Murray. However, Katz talked Tambellini out of picking Murray. But then after Murray played so well at the World Championships, Lowe convinced Katz that Murray was the best pick for the Oilers. Finally, when MacTavish was hired, he persuaded Katz, Lowe, and Tambellini to go with Stu’s original #1: Yakupov.

  6. striatic says:

    hockey season can’t start soon enough.

  7. jonrmcleod says:

    I forgot to mention that it was not until minutes before the draft began that MacTavish was able to convince the others to select Yakupov. This was the reason why Garfield (a.k.a. Katz’s son) leaked the wrong pick.

  8. bendelson says:

    jonrmcleod,

    It’s a nice story – and a great ‘welcome back’ for MacT.

    He saved the day, righted the ship, and probably got the girl all in one fell swoop.

    I’m surprised we haven’t heard MacT made the Kreuger hiring happen as well… after Tambo was smitten with Crawford.

  9. Lowetide says:

    I don’t think it went to the owner (seriously) and I don’t think Tambellini stepped in. I do think it was close. I don’t know how we’d have any idea about MacT’s involvement although I’m always eager to include him in a positive outcome. :-)

  10. jake70 says:

    Great work here LT on compiling all the info.. NIce summary of all the picks and where they were drafted with some context. 1260, Oilers nation “overlords” should not be thinking twice about getting you to a draft ASAP.

  11. Lowetide says:

    jake70:
    Great work here LT on compiling all the info..NIce summary of all the picks and where they were drafted with somecontext.1260, Oilers nation “overlords” should not be thinking twice about getting you to a draft ASAP.

    Wanye was kind enough to bring it up last summer (for this year) but honestly my job doesn’t allow it and my kids still take holidays with us so we’re still in family summer holiday mode. One day, though. I’d love to go.

  12. TheOtherJohn says:

    “Murray played so well at WHC” ……… He averaged less than 8 minutes a game. And played 12-13 mins in the 8-0 Canadian blowout win. That’s about 8 minutes a game less than our 3rd pairing D. Not sure that’s a body of work at the WHC that tells anyone anything. Played 1 shift in last game against Slovenia. Maybe coaches didnt get memo re: sterling WC play? But do recall the story that was trotted out he had a real strong WC, it’s just that the story wasnt supported by facts.

  13. Rondo says:

    Daryl Katz does not know hockey, he know business. I doubt he was involved.

  14. TheOtherJohn says:

    Rondo

    If Katz doesn’t know hockey he would fit in very well with Oilers hockey operations management

  15. spoiler says:

    I think once we’re 90 picks into these puppies, anything not on Bob’s list is just fine. No one’s list is going to agree at that point. They can’t agree on the top 30. Even the #1 overall is usually consensus and not unanimous. By 90 the odds that the pick isn’t on Bob’s list are pretty durn good.

  16. Rondo says:

    TheOtherJohn,

    That was funny.

  17. sliderule says:

    Other than the first round picks and a couple of the late round euro prospects I don’t see too much that makes me want to add the magnificent to his name.
    We have to remember that Stu has to rely on his scouts as other than the top 30 players and WHL guys he doesn’t see them all that much.
    We will find out over the next few years whether his team of scouts are any good.

  18. Jordan says:

    sliderule:
    “Other than the first round picks and a couple of the late round euro prospects I don’t see too much that makes me want to add the magnificent to his name.”

    Hitting home runs with 1st overalls may be natural as getting second assists playing on a line with Gretzky and Kurri, but you still get credit for touching the puck.

    And the euros you dismiss are at great picks who have already covered their draft position, and are making the org’s area scouts look very good.

    All are big plus’ so far.

    sliderule:
    We have to remember that Stu has to rely on his scouts as other than the top 30 players and WHL guys he doesn’t seethem all that much.
    We will find out over the next few years whether his team of scouts are any good.

    There are still a lot of question marks for sure. Some of that is on the scouts’ selections, and some is on development.

    As far as I can tell, the Oilers have been doing better than average, which is a hell of a lot better than where they were 5 years ago.

  19. Traktor says:

    I wish Lowetide wrote a Blue Jays baseball blog.

  20. Undisclosed_Personal_Reasons says:

    So when it comes to the draft McKenzie > MacGregor.

  21. Lowetide says:

    Traktor: Why? The last time I followed the Jays closely Olerud played 1b.

  22. DSF says:

    Jordan: Hitting home runs with 1st overalls may be natural as getting second assists playing on a line with Gretzky and Kurri, but you still get credit for touching the puck.

    And the euros you dismiss are at great picks who have already covered their draft position, and are making the org’s area scouts look very good.

    All are big plus’ so far.

    There are still a lot of question marks for sure.Some of that is on the scouts’ selections, and some is on development.

    As far as I can tell, the Oilers have been doing better than average, which is a hell of a lot better than where they were 5 years ago.

    How can you tell?

    How many players drafted by the MacGregor team who weren’t taken in the top ten have played 80 games?

  23. Lowetide says:

    One, just like Vancouver. Although I’d respectfully suggest Eberle>Hodgson. Despite being drafted 12 slots below him.

  24. TheOtherJohn says:

    WG

    A better qualification might how many of the players drafted 2nd round or later are on track to play 200 NHL games? Because if you get someone o/s the 1st that plays that many NHL games, that’s a pretty successful pick. Eternal optimists here project that Pitlick, Lander, Hamilton, Marincin, Musil and Gernat are all on track for 200+ NHL games. That may be so, but I would project that 3 of them might do it

  25. TheOtherJohn says:

    Olerud OMG was that guy a slow runner. Maybe the slowest runner in majors for 10+ years. Nice stroke though

  26. "Steve Smith" says:

    TheOtherJohn: Maybe the slowest runner in majors for 10+ years.

    I’ll see your Olerud and raise you a Kruk. Which is what she said.

    (Also the bit about the nice stroke.)

  27. TheOtherJohn says:

    SS

    Similar sweet stroke but Olerud was world class slow!!

    In 10 years Kruk stole 58 bases at 65% rate
    Olerud in 17 years stole 11 bases at 43% rate

  28. Lowetide says:

    john Kruk running second to home was epic. I mean epic. There’d be rocks and chairs and bottles flying and it was like watching a man fall from a cliff. God it was fun.

  29. "Steve Smith" says:

    TheOtherJohn,

    I’ll defer to you, then, not least because I don’t actually know what I’m talking about. I just remember John Kruk being fat and disgusting.

  30. Lowetide says:

    The slowest man to play in the majors–reportedly–Ernie Lombardi

    http://www.redreporter.com/2011/7/22/2228729/25-facts-about-ernie-lombardi

  31. TheOtherJohn says:

    Astonishingly he stole 18 bases one year. Course he put on 53 lbs over the next 3 years. Another problem was he was none too tall to be putting on 50+ lbs Gwynn was another not skinny guy who could run

  32. Gret99zky says:

    I remember a fan holding up a sign:

    Who’s the Kruk driver on first?

    Classic.

  33. Dalton says:

    “Anton Lander selected #40 overall, ranked HM (attended combine)”

    Yep, he was ranked “Her Majesty” and we still took her…..

  34. "Steve Smith" says:

    Dalton:
    “Anton Lander selected #40 overall, ranked HM (attended combine)”

    Yep, he was ranked “Her Majesty” and we still took her…..

    So *he*’s the one taking all these runs at my clients!

  35. TheOtherJohn says:

    Lombardi was 300 lbs WOW! Kruk was heavy but note here near that heavy. That’s Bob Horner heavy

    Amazing thing about Olerud foot speed, skinny guy

  36. Cactus says:

    The problem we have in evaluating the drafts is that it’s still too early. The kids coming out of 2008 are just hitting 22 now. For later round picks, that’s about when I’d think they’d be hitting their stride as forwards and still not quite there as defencemen.

    I stumbled across this when I was looking for stuff on rookie age:

    http://www.quanthockey.com/Distributions/RookieAgeDistribution.php

    Those graphs represent when a player plays his FIRST NHL game, so it should underestimate the age of when players truly break in (Lander, VV, Teubert would all have counted, for example).

    Point is: the arrows are good on a lot of players, but we probably won’t have a good read on Stu’s success rate for about 3-5 years.

  37. Lowetide says:

    The best Olerud story is Rickey Henderson. Do you know the Rickey Henderson John Olerud story? Apparently untrue but still fun.

  38. gnikkles says:

    Lowetide – I track my own Internet stats in the hopes of making it big some day, so post some more articles dailly because goddamnit you’re ruining my bounce rate. May as well move to fucking Japan.

  39. TheOtherJohn says:

    Not sure re RH/JO story

    Cactus

    If a forward prospect is making the NHL at 22 it’s unlikely he is going to play 200 games in the show. Dellow did a post on AHL scoring and transistion to the NHL. Lander didn’t score here and he didn’t score in AHL. He has a very long way to go.

    Tuebert was over his head here and needs another year or 2 in the AHL Marincin did not dress in an AHL playoff game, despite injuries on th blue line. Long way to go. But noticeably higher ceiling than Tuebert

  40. Aron_S says:

    TheOtherJohn,

    I could very well be wrong, but aren’t juniour players who play in the ahl at the end of the season ineligible for playoffs because of clear day roster stuff? They can only play in regular season or something?

  41. TheOtherJohn says:

    Aron

    Someone on Edm radio had Todd Nelson on and he was asked about Marincin dressing in playoffs and there was no suggestion that Marincin was ineligible to play. Felt at this point in time it was best that he watch. Brandon Davidson played for OKC in 2010/11 playoffs as 19 year old so unless rules changed, believe you are mistaken

  42. TheOtherJohn says:

    LT

    OMG those are all funny

  43. Aron_S says:

    TheOtherJohn,

    Thanks for the heads up. Couldn’t recall, but it’s an interesting move by Nelson, letting the d develop by the ‘Detroit’ model? I may have been confused because I don’t believe eberle played in te ahl playoffs, but that may very well have been because the ahl team didn’t make the playoffs that year.

  44. Lowetide says:

    TheOtherJohn:
    LT

    OMG those are all funny

    Yeah, he must be a very unique individual.

  45. DSF says:

    Lowetide:
    One, just like Vancouver. Although I’d respectfully suggest Eberle>Hodgson. Despite being drafted 12 slots below him.

    And, of corse both teams have almost identical records in the MBS era so they been drafting one right after the other.

    Eberle was a great pick…..and?

  46. "Steve Smith" says:

    DSF: And, of corse both teamshave almost identical recordsin the MBS era so they been drafting one right after the other.

    The metric is “players picked outside of the top ten to have played 80 games”, right?

    Which team do you suppose should do better by this metric, the one whose first round picks don’t count towards the metric, or the one whose first round picks do?

    Edit: Actually, Lowetide got it wrong – Hodgson was tenth overall, so he doesn’t count, which brings the Canucks’ number down to zero.

  47. Kagato says:

    DSF,

    DSF: And, of corse both teamshave almost identical recordsin the MBS era so they been drafting one right after the other.

    Eberle was a great pick…..and?

    I did an analysis of all the teams drafting in the MacGregor area and really found that even having one player playing more than 80 games is really good. Also, you really get a better sense of how successful drafts are about 5 to 6 years out. Here is a list from 2008 onward that were not top 10 picks but still played 80 games. It’s a really interesting list!

    Anaheim 2 (Fowler, McMillan)
    Boston 0
    Buffalo 2 (Myers, Ennis)
    Calgary 0
    Carolina 0
    Chicago 0
    Colorado 1 (O’Reilly)
    Columbus 0
    Dallas 0
    Detroit 0
    Edmonton (Eberle)
    Florida 1 (Kulikov)
    LA 1 (Clifford)
    Minnesota 2 (Clifford, Scandella)
    Montreal 0
    Nashville 0
    NYI 3 (hamonic, Martin, Spurgeon)
    NYR 2 (Del Zotto, Stepan)
    Ottawa 2 (Karlsson, Smith)
    Philadelphia 1 (Sbisa)
    Phoenix 0
    Pittsburgh 0
    San Jose 1 (Demers)
    St Louis 0
    Tampa Bay 0
    Toronto 0
    Vancouver 0
    Washington 2 (Carlson, Johansson)
    Winnipeg 0

  48. jake70 says:

    Kruk: Anyone watch the MLB homerun derby few nights ago? Kruk, Garciapara, and Berman had George Brett at the analysts table. Someone brought a big bowl of ribs to the table, and while Brett was talking to the other 2, Kruk was inhaling the ribs. Funny.

  49. Lowetide says:

    "Steve Smith": The metric is “players picked outside of the top ten to have played 80 games”, right?

    Which team do you suppose should do better by this metric, the one whose first round picks don’t count towards the metric, or the one whose first round picks do?

    Edit: Actually, Lowetide got it wrong – Hodgson was tenth overall, so he doesn’t count, which brings the Canucks’ number down to zero.

    Damn, I was wrong for the first time again! This is becoming a trend!

    The thing about MBS and the draft is that there ARE good arrows, but Eberle is the only part of the iceberg above water. Hartikainen has a chance to make it this year, which would mean 2 NHLers despite have no 2nd or 3rd rounders and only having 5 picks overall in 2008.

    And more on the way from 09-12. I think one of the ways we can know that the Oilers are doing well is that they didn’t sign Jeremie Blain. That’s a head scratcher for me. Oilers didn\t have enough depth in the olden days to pass on a RH puck mover who could play the position.

  50. Beaker says:

    "Steve Smith": The metric is “players picked outside of the top ten to have played 80 games”, right?

    Which team do you suppose should do better by this metric, the one whose first round picks don’t count towards the metric, or the one whose first round picks do?

    Edit: Actually, Lowetide got it wrong – Hodgson was tenth overall, so he doesn’t count, which brings the Canucks’ number down to zero.

    Any the fact that having players develop fully before sticking them into the lineup generally should not be seen as a negative. If we had a need for those non A+ grade prospects to be in our NHL lineup (a whole bunch of them) that would actually reflect more poorly on our team (See, Islanders, New York)

    *Please note DSF this is not to say the Oilers are the best team in the whole world at this moment or that even MBS is the awesomest head scout EVA! But that even asking the question and expecting the answer to actually reveal some sort of absolute truth was rediculous.

  51. Beaker says:

    Lowetide: Damn, I was wrong for the first time again! This is becoming a trend!

    Is this like when Kevin Quinn states that the Oilers are on a “1 game winning streak”?

  52. Traktor says:

    Lowetide:
    Traktor: Why? The last time I followed the Jays closely Olerud played 1b.

    You would have a lot to talk about. Best farm team in the Majors. Andrew Tinnish would be an magnificent bastard.

    I don’t agree with you a lot of time but you are a good writer and there is no good Jays blogs.

    Plus this is the worst time of the year for Hockey fans.

  53. Traktor says:

    “Steve Smith”:
    TheOtherJohn,

    I’ll defer to you, then, not least because I don’t actually know what I’m talking about.I just remember John Kruk being fat and disgusting.

    lol

  54. Cactus says:

    Kagato,

    Good list, I was wondering about that myself. Certainly puts things into perspective about not only how many players outside the top 10 make it, but also how long it takes to get to the NHL.

    TheOtherJohn,

    It’s simply too early to say on Lander. Last year was bad for him at the NHL level and not very good at the AHL. We know he scored decently in Sweden, so it’s not as if he comes with no offence. I’m not comfortable using a 14 game sample in OKC to make definitive statements about Lander (I’m throwing out the NHL time because he never should have been with the big club).

  55. DSF says:

    Kagato:
    DSF,

    I did an analysis of all the teams drafting in the MacGregor area and really found that even having one player playing more than 80 games is really good. Also, you really get a better sense of how successful drafts are about 5 to 6 years out. Here is a list from 2008 onward that were not top 10 picks but still played 80 games. It’s a really interesting list!

    Anaheim 2 (Fowler, McMillan)
    Boston 0
    Buffalo 2 (Myers, Ennis)
    Calgary 0
    Carolina 0
    Chicago 0
    Colorado 1 (O’Reilly)
    Columbus 0
    Dallas 0
    Detroit 0
    Edmonton (Eberle)
    Florida 1 (Kulikov)
    LA 1 (Clifford)
    Minnesota 2 (Clifford, Scandella)
    Montreal 0
    Nashville 0
    NYI 3 (hamonic, Martin, Spurgeon)
    NYR 2 (Del Zotto, Stepan)
    Ottawa 2 (Karlsson, Smith)
    Philadelphia 1 (Sbisa)
    Phoenix 0
    Pittsburgh 0
    San Jose 1 (Demers)
    St Louis 0
    Tampa Bay 0
    Toronto 0
    Vancouver 0
    Washington 2 (Carlson, Johansson)
    Winnipeg 0

    Good stuff.

    So,speaking to the original point, “how can you tell” the Oilers are ” above average”, it appears you can’t.

  56. DeadmanWaking says:

    During the Olerud era I had a co-op job in Toronto near where the Pope held his rally in the armoured pope-mobile. Rumour was that when Italy won the world cup some 400,000 Italians (or reasonable facsimiles) flooded the streets of Toronto. The number of pop cans recovered after the Pope’s visit was smaller, but still damn impressive, a veritable fructose rapture. This was not long after the vanilla Vat2can moved from old Rome to New Rome, then did an about face back to Rome Classic. How we cling-to yet discard the sacraments of right thinking.

    On John’s good year: “On May 1, he was hitting .458. On June 1, he was at .400. On July 1, he was up to .406.” The mostly Jewish office where I worked had a hard-on for the Blue Jays beyond all mortal comprehension. I’m pretty sure I would have received a nice raise had I asked some morning after Olerud arrived safe on first base four times after batting for a two walks, a double, and a triple.

    On slotting Henderson:

    Devon White, expected to be dropped from leadoff to sixth, instead hit second. Roberto Alomar was moved from second to the third slot, while Paul Molitor (.324) was dropped from third to sixth. Joe Carter stayed at cleanup, and John Olerud remained fifth.

    Molitor sixth. Yowsa. There’s a moral here about the domino effect of adding a Yakupov to Hall/Ebs/Nuge/Hemsky. I recall Fernandez suffered the same fate at some point. Apparently there was no shortage of leading leadoffs.

    Devo, jeebus. Completely forgot he existed. From what I recall, I wouldn’t be surprised that White could blow the doors off Ricky in a long-enough straight line, hitting his peak stride somewhere around the warning track. I dimly recall a gazelle-like lope that would make Usain Bolt blush for working so hard. Just had a funny image of a “Stirred not Shaken” cocktail waitress steeplechase. OK, girls, just watch Devo chase down this fly ball, and balance your trays accordingly.

    In Game 3 of the 1992 World Series against the Atlanta Braves, White was the central part of one of the most famous plays in World Series history. With David Justice batting and runners on first and second base, Justice hit a fly ball which White chased down and caught while jumping into the wall. White then threw the ball to second baseman Roberto Alomar who threw to John Olerud at first to try to double up Terry Pendleton, but Pendleton had already been called out for running past Deion Sanders. Olerud promptly threw it to Kelly Gruber who chased down Sanders, diving and clipping him on the heel with his glove. However the umpire, Bob Davidson, did not see the tag, and called Sanders safe, which cost the Jays the second triple play in World Series history. After the game, Davidson watched the replay and admitted he missed the call. Many people who saw White’s famous catch and throw have positively compared it to Willie Mays’ famous catch in Game 1 of the 1954 World Series, often claiming that White’s effort was more impressive. In Game 6 of the Series, White was one of the two runs that scored on Dave Winfield’s 11th-inning double to left field, which eventually won the World Championship for the Blue Jays.

    Now, the Grubernator I haven’t forgotten, and not just the mullet.

  57. DeadmanWaking says:

    Isn’t that the moment we all live for in hockey? The toe-drag saucer pass by the low-sprung power forward busting between the hash marks like a funny car on nitro with three tires lifting off the asphalt due to the drag coefficient of Higg’s gorilla. In baseball, there’s not so much Higg’s gorilla, and with his short attention span, he’d probably wander out of position to gape at a passing butterfly.

  58. Bos8 says:

    How can people forget Devo? Is there no one that saw White play in AAA Edmonton? There were the signature plays.

    It was a mystical experience. Like Ursulla rising from the sea, Fernandez/Alomar DP, Cano ranging to his right. I could go on.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m3lAjyUUS1g

  59. Wolfie says:

    Olerud never stole second because he was almost always standing there already. The guy was a doubles machine!

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