With major league rosters expanding from 25 to 40 players on September 1st, just three SP78 days away, I realized that utility infielder Lenn Sakata, ‘The Kalani Krusher’, would soon be returning to the Milwaukee Brewers as a pinch-hitter and defensive backup for starting second baseman Paul Molitor. Which means I now have a decision to make: do I keep his erroneous home run range of 24-32 intact, for the sheer entertainment value of it, or do I move it to where it should rightfully be, if Avalon Hill hadn’t misprinted it, to his strikeout range?
For those of you unaware of the situation, here it is in a nutshell (or you can read the full story here). Sakata had zero home runs and eleven strikeouts in his 30 games played for Milwaukee during the actual 1978 season, yet his Statis Pro card displays a 24-32 range for home runs, and an identical 24-32 range for strikeouts. Which meant that whenever I drew a FAC number during one of his at-bats, if the number was between 24 and 32, the home run line would be the first I’d see. Thus, he cranked an HR in his first game played, and it wasn’t until the following game that I noticed the card’s discrepancy. Since I already had two more-productive backups for Molitor in Don Money and Jim Gantner, I soon sent the bogus slugger to the minors.
Now, with his return to the parent club imminent (well, perhaps 2-3 years in real time), I need to decide whether to keep this astronomical home run range intact, or keep his card numbers consistent with his ’78 stats, and move those numbers to the strikeout line. A part of me wants to keep the homer parameter right where it is, and have some fun with it, while the more level-headed part says to keep those crazy numbers where they belong, in the K range, and prevent the pennant-chasing Brewers from gaining any unfair advantages.
So what do you think? Let me know below…do I give the Krusher a month of glory, or keep things real? If I do give him that home run range, should he then take over for Molitor and become the new starter at second base? Right now, Molitor is batting .288 with 63 stolen bases over 119 games, while Sakata is batting a lofty .391 in just thirteen games (which is surprising, based on his non-HR card numbers), with one stolen base. Both are equal defensively, with a rating of E2.