Bags to start season on DL

Bags news conf.jpgAs predicted by this earlier post, first baseman Jeff Bagwell — the greatest player in the 46-year history of the Houston Astros franchise — announced today that he would begin the 2007 season the disabled list and that his arthritic right shoulder probably will not allow him to resume his certain Hall-of-Fame career.
While some consider it sad that Bags’ baseball career is drawing to a close, I prefer to appreciate the opportunity that I had to watch this extraordinary player on a daily basis over the past 15 years. Fearsome slugger, superb defensive player, excellent baserunner — Jeff Bagwell was the entire package. A job well done, sir.

This column from Chronicle sportswriter Richard Justice reviews Bags’ career with the Stros, and here are Bags’ career stats, courtesy of Lee Sinins:
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Bags ranks 8th in National League history for career runs created against average (“RCAA,” explained here) since 1900:
1 Barry Bonds 1502
2 Stan Musial 1204
3 Rogers Hornsby 1081
4 Hank Aaron 1039
5 Willie Mays 1008
6 Mel Ott 989
7 Honus Wagner 938
8 Jeff Bagwell 680
9 Joe Morgan 657
10 Eddie Mathews 652
Not a bad group of players, eh? Bags also holds the Astros RCAA record by a huge margin:
1 Jeff Bagwell 680
2 Craig Biggio 354
3 Lance Berkman 289
4 Jose Cruz 277
5 Cesar Cedeno 249
6 Jimmy Wynn 240
7 Bob Watson 216
8 Joe Morgan 170
9 Moises Alou 128
10 Terry Puhl 114
Barring injury, Berkman has a chance to catch Bags, but it’s a testament to Bags’ greatness that there is not another player in the entire Stros’ system today that has a chance of topping him. He truly has been a once-in-a-generation type player.

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