At No. 6, the Left Behinders select Otis Nixon. See Sam’s fine writeup, below. Otis was absolutely a key cog in those early years of the Dynastic Years. I honestly don’t think they get to the WS without him in those years. Clearly on the bubble for the 44: I think Mac took too much notice of the fact that he was only good for the Braves, and basically was subpar everywhere else. But he was definitely good for the Braves.
At No. 7, Pascual Perez — a bean-thin, flamboyant starter at the top of the Braves rotation during Joe Torre’s managerial era, which featured some pretty good teams. His Braves career winning percentage is definitely hampered by his last year, in which he went 1-12. I presume that was the cocaine talking.
But before that, he was basically the Braves No. 1. In 1983 he made the All-Star Team, finishing 15-8 and 3.43. In 1984, he went 14-8 and 3.74. He threw over 210 innings both years. Great stuff, too.
When he was good, he was very, very good, and when he was bad, he was horrid. Throw out his last year with the Braves, and he’s got a Braves record of 33-20 with an ERA below 3.50.
Perez started the worst beanball war I have ever seen when he drilled Alan Wiggins in the ribs with the first pitch at AFCS. The Padres threw at him three times and just kept missing him. By the third at-bat, Perez was leaving the batter’s box during the windup. There were three complete bench-clearing incidents, one of which lasted more than ten minutes, with Joe Torre at the bottom of the scrum. This wasn’t a bunch of guys pairing up and dancing; this was an absolute donnybrook. Ty Cobb would have been proud. Champ Summers and a couple of other Padres got into a fight with fans. A pleasant afternoon.
Can he make the 44? Not really, but he’s on the taxi squad, particularly if I get to DL him in 1985 for cocaine addiction.
Come to think of it: maybe Mac is prejudiced against drug users.
Message from Mac: Well, I did include Lonnie Smith — but yeah, I am. Perez’s career with the Braves was too short for inclusion. He was a full-time pitcher, and a good one, in 1983 and 1984. His 1982 was a half-season. And his 1985 was so bad that it drags down his entire Braves career to below-average. But like Brian Jordan, without that season his career isn’t long enough to merit attention.
I don’t know the “Perimeter” nickname. The one I heard was “I-285.” I wish I could find a picture of the jacket.