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Friday, April 11, 2008

Your SKO Random Third Baseman of the Day: Steve Buechele

Name: Steven Bernard Buechele
Ht: 6'2'' Wt: 190
Bats: Right Throws: Right
Years as a Cub: 1992-1995

Steve Buechele, left, changes the life of Mark Grace, right, forever by excitedly discussing the fat chick he nailed the night before.

The early 90s Cubs, sadly, are the first Cubs teams that I am able to remember. That means that the first Cubs third baseman that I remember is that man pictured above. Do you ever wonder how I manged to actually form a lifelong dedication to the Cubs? Me too.

Steve Buechele was acquired from Pittsburgh by the Cubs during the 1992 stretch run, though I don't know if a team thats 40-46 and 7 1/2 games back actually Has a stretch run. The Cubs needed a veteran at third base, as Luis Salazar was rotting away and Gary Scott was..Gary Scott. Buechele was hitting .249 with a .331 OBP for the Pirates after having spent most of his career as a Texas Ranger. In 65 games with the Cubs that year, Buechele hit .276 with an underwhelming .338 OBP, and a less impressive .351 slugging percentage.

Look, I can understand the Cubs acquiring Buechele. He was an improvement over Salazar and they thought for whatever reason they needed him. Whatever. Then they made him the starter, and he had a decent season, hitting .272, 15 hrs, 65 RBIs, .345 OBP, .436 slugging. So they understandably brought him back for 1994. Then he hit just .242, with a sub-par .325 OBP, with 14 hrs, 52 RBIs, and given that his 1993 numbers were far better than his career averages and he was 33, naturally they'd assume he was done and let him go, right? Right? Wrong. Buechele was back for 1995, and rewarded the Cubs absurd faith in him being able to "rebound" with a .189, 1 hr, 9 RBI, .265 OBP, .236 slugging line in 32 games with the Cubs before being traded back to his original team, Texas and then retiring.Do you know how you get a slugging percentage that much lower than your OBP? You hit 3 extra base hits in 32 games. 3. Why did this guy have to be my first Cubs third baseman? Sonofabitch. My dad remembers Santo. My older cousins remember Cey. I got Steve f*&king Buechele.

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