Archive for September, 2009

Pitching Trivia

Thursday, September 24th, 2009

Got a few questions for you to work on today all stats dealing exclusively with the first decade of the new millennium (2000-2009)

1. Name the 9 pitchers with at least 200 saves

2. Name the 12 pitchers with at least 130 wins

3. Name the 9 pitchers with at least 100 losses

Have fun with this one. Remember to let me know which question your guesses are for when you comment. I’ll keep it up to date on the answers throughout the day.


Saves

1. Mariano Rivera – 395
2. Trevor Hoffman – 361
3. Jason Isringhausen – 284
4. Billy Wagner – 284
5. Francisco Cordero – 249
6. Joe Nathan – 243
7. Francisco Rodriguez – 241
8. Armando Benitez – 230
9. Troy Percival – 219

Wins

1. Andy Pettitte – 147
2. Randy – Johnson – 143
3. Jamie Moyer – 140
4. Roy Halladay – 137
5. Tim Hudson – 137
6. Roy Oswalt – 137
7. C.C. Sabathia – 135
8. Mark Buehrle – 134
9. Greg Maddux – 134
10. Mike Mussina – 134
11. Barry Zito – 133
12. Derek Lowe – 130

Losses

1. Livan Hernandez – 124
2.
3.
4.
5. Barry Zito – 105
6.
7.
8. Greg Maddux – 101
9.

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Ask and you shall receive

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2009

There was a request for a collection of links to all the books reviewed on the site by Cubbiedude. I went ahead and post a section in the right sidebar called CubbieDude’s Bookshelf in which I linked to all the wonderful posts he’s written.

I think I’ve gotten them all, but I may have missed some. Feel free to let me know if you find anything and I’ll be sure to update the list. Enjoy!!!

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Banks to Sandberg to Grace

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2009

The complete title is “Banks To Sandberg To Grace – Love and Frustration with the Chicago Cubs”, Compiled by Carrie Muskat, Foreword by Bob Verdi. It was published in 2001 (the year I retired).

The front cover features a beautiful photograph of the Wrigley Field outfield wall with thick, plush midsummer ivy, and the bleachers and the center field scoreboard, taken from the right field warning track (at the 368 foot marker).

The back cover has a paragraph from Hank Sauer talking about the fans at Wrigley Field. He thinks very highly of them, and apparently the feeling is mutual. Here’s a piece of that paragraph:
– “….That’s how great the people of Chicago were. They were the kind of people who just knew. If you give them 100 percent, you’ll never get booed. If you screw up, you let up, they’ll boo. And they’re right to do it….”

The book itself consists of about 70 short chapters, arranged by decade (the 1940s through the 1990s), each told in the words of a different storyteller. Here are some of my favorite excerpts:

– “When I was there, Wrigley’s philosophy was that you could come to the ballpark any day. There were no advance ticket sales. It was like going to a game in the playgrounds. You could come in, and watch the game, and have fun.” (Ralph Kiner)

– “Most people thought Leo didn’t like me and I didn’t like him. I never met a person I disliked. That’s my philosophy. The players didn’t know it, some of the fans didn’t know it, the media didn’t know it. It didn’t matter to me. He was the boss, he was the manager. That was his job. My message to players is whoever is in charge is the boss.” (Ernie Banks)

– “Cub fans are highly intelligent people who really think (about the game). They used to keep score here. When I first came, every fan – there weren’t that many – they used to keep score. It’s a thinking audience that understands and deals with logic and not make-believe stuff. (Ernie Banks)

– “So now, I want it to happen for me. I want my ashes to be spread over Wrigley Field with the wind blowing out.” (Ernie Banks)

– “That’s one thing that the Cardinals organization did, they make you feel comfortable. They absolutely made you feel at home. In Chicago, it was more the ballplayers who made you feel at home and not the front office. The whole organization in St. Louis made you feel at home.” (Ernie Broglio)

– “Beck and I came up the same year. We had guys like Ernie Banks, and Billy Williams, and Ron Santo, and George Altman. These were great guys. Not just good players, but great guys.” (Don Kessinger)

– “I felt I wasn’t going to win a ring, regardless of the three or four Hall of Fame players on the team, unless they changed their philosophy. I found out after I left that I was right. I played on two of the greatest teams in history in Oakland and saw what you had to do to win. It took 25 guys.” (Ken Holtzman)

– “It’s so important to have proper equipment. They’ve got to have two gloves, two pairs of shoes, two shirts. They say, “I can’t afford it.” I say, “You got a car? Sell it.” (Jimmy Piersall)

– “All those guys that we got – Eckersley and all the different trades that we made – we basically thought about what kind of people are they inside. Not only their talent, but what can they bring to the table in terms of clubhouse, and rapport, and gamesmanship when it comes to tough times.” (Dallas Green)

– “To this day, I assume that’s where the philosophical differences became important to them. I’m sitting here and they’re still wondering what happened to the Cubs.” (Dallas Green)

– “But I always said I play the game one way and that’s all out. And if I can’t play all out when I’m out there, I’d rather someone else was out there.” (Andre Dawson)

– “When the people criticize me, I like it. That motivates me. That pushes me. That gives me more energy to do my job much better.” (Sammy Sosa)

“Banks To Sandberg To Grace” is a great book. It’s not new (having been published in 2001) but it is of historical significance. There are 69 or 70 individual points of view, reviewing over 60 years of Cubs history. First hand analyses from the people who were there. I loved it.

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A Look Back at My Predictions

Tuesday, September 22nd, 2009

I thought I’d have some fun and take a look back at the fool I made of myself (as usual) by predicting the order of finish for the MLB season.

AL East

1. New York

2. Tampa Bay

3. Boston

4. Toronto

5. Baltimore

NL East

1. Atlanta

2. New York

3. Philadelphia

4. Florida

5. Washington

AL Central

1. Detroit

2. Cleveland

3. Minnesota

4. Kansas City

5. Chicago

NL Central

1. Chicago

2. St. Louis

3. Milwaukee

4. Cincinnati

5. Houston

6. Pittsburgh

AL West

1. Los Angeles

2. Oakland

3. Texas

4. Seattle

NL West

1. Arizona

2. Los Angeles

3. San Francisco

4. Colorado

5. San Diego

I seemed to have the AL pretty well. Unfortunately the NL, which should be the league I pick with more accuracy, was a bit of a letdown for me. Boy that Arizona pick really looks bad now. I also wanted to highlight a little something from the comments section of that post.

Wow — same picks as my grandson made. And he’s 21 months old.

I’ll tell you the same thing I told him — “You’re nuts.”

Detroit? Only if they can score 14 runs a game. The White Sox should win their division fairly easily. Watch KC, as they are much improved.
Yankees? They might not even make the playoffs. They sure as hell won’t win that division. ~ Sherm

Good call Sherm. =P

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Baseball America Trivia: 30 Homer Teammates

Tuesday, September 22nd, 2009

Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder are on a pace to become the first pair of Brewers teammates in history to hit at least 30 home runs apiece in three straight seasons. Can you name the two other sets of active playes who have had three consecutive 30-homer seasons as teammates.

Mouse over for hints

Hint # 1: Neither pair is still playing together

Hint # 2: Each pair contains a common player

Answer is in the comment section, so if you don’t want to know, don’t go there.

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