When I think of Seattle in the mid-1990's, I dream of a land dominated by grunge music, Cameron Crowe's Singles, flannel, fish markets, and Jay Buhner.
What good memories of a bygone era. Times were simpler back then. The Sonics were still in town, The Real World slap heard 'round the world took place, and yes, it still rained like a mother fucker.
However, things were not so simple that Jay was able to lay off the juice. No matter how much good PR he tries to make for himself, his fine connections within the world of the Jerry Seinfeld, or how intensely I love his skinhead look, I have to take this week's post to induct Jay into the OSUC.
In addition to be abnormally bulky and having a fetish for wood, Buhner's stats in the mid-90's resembled the typical peaks and valleys of a steroid taker.
From 1987-1993, Buhner had 2508 PAs that resulted in a line of .253 AVG/ .344 OBP/ .460 SLG. Along with that fairly average line, he managed to push a respectable 108 homers over the outfield wall. His slugging peaked in those seven years at .498 in 1991, aged 26, which is typical for most players.
However, all his stats shot up significantly after 1993. Between 1994 and 2001, in what is normally the twilight of one's career when he has a career batting average of .253, his line improved to .255 AVG/ .369 OBP/ .519 SLG with 202 dingers over 3419 PAs. Now, the BA and OBP numbers aren't significant, but the fact that Buhner started hitting for better power is not quite normal.
And those numbers above are skewed because they include many injury-plagued years towards the end of his career when is body started breaking down quickly. In his prime four years, ages 29-32, his line was a gaudy .262 AVG/ .372 OBP/ .542 SLG with 145 homers. Jose Canseco would agree in deeming both of those points to be a little odd.
Maybe Buhner was just a late bloomer. Or maybe the boost of popularity in being mentioned by the Frank Costanza helped his self esteem over the second half of his career. However, I'm skeptical of both. Which is why without any hard evidence, I am welcoming Jay Buhner to the OSUC.