Sunday, December 30, 2012

Round Numbers

We love round numbers in baseball. Psychologically, there's a big difference between a .300 hitter and a .296 hitter, a 20 game winner and an 18 game winner, and a batter with 100 RBI versus one with 97. Even though the difference is so indescribably small--a handful of base hits here, a three-run homer there--over the course of a 162 game season, there's still some allure to reaching certain figures. Until the steroid era turned baseball's record book in its head, 3,000 hits, 500 home runs and 300 wins all guaranteed a plaque in Cooperstown. Why do you think Craig Biggio stuck around so long?

Here are some players who fell short of round numbers in several key categories last year:

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