Sunday, September 14, 2014

MLwwB: What if Mike Trout Was Drafted by the Yankees? 9/14/14

Hey baseball fans!

I just put up another ML"what would"B post on More Than A Fan! In every ML"what would"B post, I discuss what would have happened if a famous event in baseball history had gone differently than it did in reality. For my latest post, I wondered what would have happened if Mike Trout was drafted by the Yankees in the 2009 MLB Draft. If you want to know the answer, just click here.

Thanks for reading the ML"what would"B and I hope you enjoyed it. Check back soon for more of "all the buzz on what wuzz."

Thursday, September 11, 2014

The 2009 World Series 9/11/14

Hey baseball fans!

A lot of people ask me: 'Have you ever been to a World Series games, considering that you know all of the teams that won them?' The answer is yes, I have been to a World Series game. I attended Game One of the 2009 World Series between the New York Yankees and the Philadelphia Phillies at the new Yankee Stadium. The real bonus of this game for me was that I went with my dad and both my grandfathers (Phil and Aron) and it was the first time any of us had been to a World Series game. The game itself wasn't my favorite, as the Yanks lost the game 6-1, but I definitely want to talk about this Fall Classic because it was the first one that I followed very religiously.

The 2009 New York Yankees were a great team. They won 103 games and six of the team's hitters hit more than 20 home runs. They got to the World Series by beating the Twins and Angels in the ALDS and ALCS, respectively. The 2009 Phillies were also a great team. They had just won the '08 Series against the Tampa Bay Rays and finished the 2009 regular season in first place in the NL East with 93 wins. They then proceeded to beat the Rockies and the Dodgers in the NL playoffs to face the Yanks in the World Series. This was not the first time that these two teams met in the Fall Classic, however. They played against each other in the 1950 World Series, and the Yankees swept that Series. Now, let's get into details about each of the six games played in the 2009 World Series.

Game One:
First-year Yankee C.C. Sabathia gave up two home runs to Phillie All Star Chase Utley. Philadelphia pitcher Cliff Lee held the Yankees to one unearned run in a complete game win. Lee became the first pitcher to strike out ten batters, walk none, and allow zero earned runs in a World Series start. The Phillies won the game 6-1, putting the eaters of the cheesesteak up in the Series, 1-0.

Game Two:
Both A.J. Burnett of New York and Pedro Martinez of the Phils pitched great, but Martinez did a little bit worse. New Yank Mark Teixeira and Yankee favorite Hideki Matsui went yard and Mariano Rivera got his first save in World Series play in nine years. The Yankees beat the Phillies by a final score of 3-1. After Game Two, the Series was tied at one game apiece.

Game Three:
This was the first game in the Series held in Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia and it would be one that Phillies fans would quickly want to forget. Nick Swisher, Alex Rodriguez, and Matsui all crushed homers off of 2008 WS MVP Cole Hamels in an 8-5 win for New York. Andy Pettitte gave up four runs in six innings pitched in his first World Series start since 2005. The Yanks led the Series two games to one after three games played.

Game Four: 
C.C. took the hill for the Yankees in Game Four, this time going up against Joe Blanton of the Phillies. Several runs were exchanged between the two teams and entering the top of the ninth inning, the game was tied at four. However, key hits by A-Rod and Yankee great Jorge Posada surged the Yanks to a 7-4 victory. Mo got his second save of the Series and New York led the Phillies in the '09 World Series, 3-1. Important note: Chase Utley hit a homer in the game, his third of the Fall Classic.

Game Five: 
A.J. Burnett got rocked early and often with six runs allowed in the first three innings. Utley hit two more homers, raising his Series total to five, and Raul IbaƱez hit one of his own. Although the Yankees tried to come back in the later innings, Philly prevailed and won the game, 8-6. The World Series then moved back to New York for a (spoiler alert) great game by the eventual World Series MVP.

Game Six:
The final game of this World Series was all about Hideki Matsui. Matsui collected six RBIs in the contest, tying Bobby Richardson of the Yankees in Game Three of the 1960 World Series for the World Series single-game record of runs driven in by a single hitter. Andy Pettitte had a great pitching performance and Mo closed it out in the ninth to preserve a 7-3 Yankees victory. It was the Yankees' 27th World Series title, the most championships won by a professional sports team. Matsui received World Series MVP honors for his three homers and eight RBIs in the Series.

Although the Yanks haven't won a World Series since 2009, it's always nice to think about that '09 Yankees team. Anyway, thanks for reading this post. I hope you enjoyed it and check back soon for more of "all the buzz on what wuzz."

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Five-Tool Player and a Three-Sport Athlete? Insane!!! 9/7/14

Hey baseball fans!

Today was the first weekend of the NFL season! So many incredible games were played and more should-be exciting games will be played tonight and tomorrow night. In honor of this fun and action-packed weekend, I want to talk about a baseball Hall of Famer that was not only drafted into the MLB, but also into the NFL (and the NBA).

One of my favorite Hall of Famers of all time, Dave Winfield played from 1973-1995 with the Padres, Yankees, Angels, Blue Jays, Twins, and Indians. One of the tallest Hall of Famers, standing at 6' 6'', Winfield was one of the best players of his time. The twelve-time All Star batted .283, with 465 home runs and 1,833 RBIs in his great career, but his most famous stat is his hit total: 3,110 career base hits (20th all time). This five-tool player had great years in San Diego and New York, but despite his last name, he never won a World Series with those clubs. However, he helped the Toronto Blue Jays win their first Fall Classic in franchise history in 1992 with a go-ahead hit in the top of the eleventh inning of Game Six of the Series. The seven-time Gold Glove Award winner didn't have to wait long after his retirement to get into Cooperstown, as he was inducted into the Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility, in 2001.

In case you were wondering, Winfield was drafted by the Padres of the MLB, the Minnesota Vikings of the NFL, and the Atlanta Hawks of the NBA. I wonder what his career would have been like in pro football and/or pro basketball. Anyway, thanks for reading this post. I hope you enjoyed it and check back soon for more of "all the buzz on what wuzz."

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

The History of the Fish 9/3/14

Hey baseball fans!

The National League East has been a very unpredictable division over the past several years; every team in the NL East has won the division at least once since 2006, except for one team: the Florida/Miami Marlins. Although the Marlins haven't been super great for the last decade, I want to tell you a little about this fairly young baseball team.

The Florida Marlins played their first season in the MLB in 1993. The marlin is the most popular deep water fish in Florida, which was one of the reasons why then-Marlins' owner, Wayne Huizenga, chose the name for the first MLB team in Florida. When they were known as the Florida Marlins (yes, they were renamed, but that will be explained later), they played in the same stadium as the NFL's Miami Dolphins. The stadium went through several name changes, but most people recognize it by its formal name, Joe Robbie Stadium.

The Marlins didn't experience immediate success, but they got their first ticket to the playoffs in 1997 as the NL Wild Card team with 92 wins. After beating the Giants and Braves in the NL playoffs, Florida became the fastest expansion team up to that point to reach the World Series (the Diamondbacks would break that record in 2001). There, the Fish (as the team is nicknamed) faced the powerful Cleveland Indians. Surprisingly, the Marlins actually won that Fall Classic in seven games. The seventh game was very dramatic, as it was won on a walk-off single by Edgar Renteria in the bottom of the eleventh inning.

1998 was a hard year for the Marlins and their fans, as the team couldn't keep most of their players from the 1997 squad due to financial problems. Because of this, they posted the worst record for any team that had just come off of winning a World Series, with 108 losses. They experienced a couple more subpar seasons, but they turned it around in 2003. With the help of star hitters like Ivan Rodriguez and Mike Lowell and star pitchers like A.J. Burnett and Josh Beckett, the Marlins won the NL Wild Card race again and eventually reached the World Series to face the Yankees. Again the underdogs, the Marlins shocked baseball when they beat New York in six games.

After 2003, the Marlins have not had any more exciting treks through the playoffs, but something exciting did happen to the team after the 2011 season: they relocated! The Florida Marlins were renamed the Miami Marlins, moved into their new park, Marlins Park, and switched their teal uniforms for orange uniforms. Miami has not experienced playoff baseball in their new stadium, but they probably will in the near future.

Here's another fun fact about the Marlins: Triple Crown winner Miguel Cabrera of the Detroit Tigers actually started his career with the Marlins in 2003. He played with the team until 2007! Anyway, thanks for reading this post. I hope you enjoyed it and check back soon for more of "all the buzz on what wuzz."

Thursday, August 28, 2014

No One Can Survive Walking the Plank 8/28/14

Hey baseball fans!

I'm currently on vacation in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania! I was supposed to stop off at Gettysburg, PA for a reennactment of the Battle of Gettysburg that took place during the American Civil War, but the reennactment got cancelled. So, in order to fill that void, I'm going to be talking about a Hall of Famer who was born in Gettysburg: Eddie Plank!

During his pitching career from 1901-1917, Plank played for the Philadelphia Athletics and the St. Louis Browns of the American League and the St. Louis Terriers of the Federal League. Although Gettysburg Eddie (which he was nicknamed because of his hometown) never led the league in wins or earned run average (but he did have a career ERA of 2.35), he was still a very dominant pitcher. That says a lot considering he pitched in the same era as Walter Johnson and Christy Mathewson. Plank, who possessed one of the best curveballs the game has ever seen, won 326 games during his career, which is third on the all-time list for lefties, only behind Warren Spahn and Steve Carlton, but his career shutouts (69) and complete games (410) lead all lefties who ever pitched in the Majors. Plank and his amazing sidearm pitching helped the A's win six pennants in the newly-formed American League. All of these accolades helped him get inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1946.

Here's a fun fact about Eddie: during the offseason, he would go work at the Gettysburg National Military Park as a tour guide at the battlefield! How interesting! Anyway, thanks for reading this post and I hope you enjoyed it. Check back soon for more of "all the buzz on what wuzz."

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

LAD vs. SF: Which Team is Truly Better? 8/26/14

Hey baseball fans!

Other than the Yankees and Red Sox, there is one other big rivalry in Major League Baseball: the Dodgers and the Giants. With that being said, it's time to find out which of these two NL West teams is better! How will I judge this contest, you ask? The categories will be the same as my last "Which Team Is Better" post, which compared the Red Sox to the Yanks, except for the "Head-to-Head Playoff Matchups" category because the two teams have never faced off against each other in October. So, without further delay, which former New York team is more supreme? Let's find out.

Category One: Overall Winning Percentage
The New York Giants (present-day San Francisco Giants) have been competing in the National League since 1883, while the Brooklyn Dodgers (present-day LA Dodgers) have been playing in the senior circuit since 1884, so both teams have played about the same amount of games. The Giants, in 20,166 games played, have won 10,756 of them, for a total winning percentage of .533. The Dodgers have played in 20,083 games and have won 10,465 of them, for a total winning percentage of .521. The Giants are the first ones on the board in this contest and now lead 1-0.

Category Two: Head-to-Head Overall Record
LA and San Francisco have faced off against each other in the regular season in a total of 2,404 games. In those games, there have been 17 ties, 1,179 Dodger wins, and 1,208 Giants wins. The Giants are pulling away in the contest and now lead 2-0. One more point and they win this contest.

Category Three: Hall of Famers
Like I mentioned in the BOS vs. NYY post, this category is very important because it's necessary to see which team has brought up the most stars who are now forever cemented in Cooperstown. There are 14 Hall of Famers who represent the Brooklyn/Los Angeles Dodgers, including Sandy Koufax, Jackie Robinson, and Roy Campanella. On the other hand, there are 23 Hall of Famers who represent the New York/San Francisco Giants, including stars like Willie Mays and Christy Mathewson. There are more Giants HoFers than Dodgers HoFers, which means that the Giants win the contest, 3-0, and are therefore better than the Dodgers.

Don't feel sad, Dodger fans. Facts are facts and you really can't argue with them. Anyway, I hope you enjoyed this post. Which team do you think is better? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below. Thanks for reading and check back soon for more of "all the buzz on what wuzz."

Thursday, August 21, 2014

The Toddfather 8/21/14

Hey baseball fans!

The Colorado Rockies are a fairly new franchise when it comes to MLB teams, having only started competing during the regular season in 1993. With that being said, there is only one ballplayer who played a mile above sea level who has had his number retired by the Rockies: Todd Helton! In fact, his number was retired by Colorado only several days ago, which is why I want to talk about him for this post.

The Toddfather, as he was nicknamed, played with the Rockies for his entire career from 1997-2013. The five-time All Star first baseman is known as a very good all-around player; he could field excellently and he could also hit for average and power. He batted .316 for his career, hit 369 homers, drove in 1,406 runs, and collected 2,519 base hits. The homers, RBIs, and hits are all Rockies' all time highs.

The four-time Silver Slugger and three-time Gold Glove winner had his best season in 2000, when he led the league in batting average (.372), RBIs (147), hits (216), on-base percentage (.463), and slugging percentage (.698). Although Colorado didn't make the playoffs that year, Todd helped the Rockies get to the postseason twice, in 2007 and 2009. In 2007, the Rockies even got to the World Series!

Here's a fun fact about Todd Helton: he went to the same college, University of Tennessee, at the same time as NFL star, Peyton Manning. They were both QBs for the Volunteers and had Todd not suffered an injury, he might have been an NFL star instead of Manning. Anyway, thanks for reading this post. Congratulations to Todd Helton on his number being retired by the Colorado Rockies. I hope you enjoyed this post and check back soon for more of "all the buzz on what wuzz."