Tuesday, April 15, 2014

ML"what would"B: What if the ’81 Strike Never Happened? 4/15/14

Hey baseball fans!

I just put up another ML"what would"B post on More Than A Fan. In every ML"what would"B alternative history 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 write about what would have happened had the 1981 baseball strike never happened. If you want to know the answer, just click here.

Thanks for reading the post and I hope you enjoy it. Check back soon for more of "all the buzz on what wuzz."

Saturday, April 12, 2014

What's in a (Stadium's) Name? 4/12/14

Hey baseball fans!

Have you ever noticed that some of the names of the baseball stadiums of today's times are named after companies? Well, back in the old days, stadiums were named after other things. With that, here are a few famous baseball stadiums from the 1900s with interesting names.

Stadium Name: The Polo Grounds
Teams That Played There: New York Giants and New York Mets
Reason for the Name: When it was built in 1876, the stadium was meant for the sport of polo. The stadium was officially named Brush Stadium in 1911 but it was referred to as "the polo grounds" in the newspapers, so the name was changed in 1920.

Stadium Name: Ebbets Field
Team That Played There: Brooklyn Dodgers
Reason for the Name: In 1908, Dodgers owner Charlie Ebbets bought the land that Ebbets Field stood on for more than 40 years. The park is named after Mr. Ebbets. But before construction started, the site that Charlie purchased was called Pigtown, because it was simply a garbage dump filled with pigs. However, once construction started in 1912, Pigtown became pig-less because of the baseball cathedral that was Ebbets Field.

Stadium Name: Fenway Park
Team That Plays There: Boston Red Sox
Reason for the Name: Fenway Park is located in the Fenway neighborhood of Boston, Massachusetts. But the real question is what does Fenway mean? Well, before the area became populated with people, the neighborhood was covered with marshland. Another word for a marshland is a fen.

Stadium Name: Wrigley Field
Team That Plays There: Chicago Cubs
Reason for the Name: Similar to Ebbets Field and Charlie Ebbets, William Wrigley Jr. was the owner of the Cubs when Cubs Park was renamed Wrigley Field in 1926. However, from 1914 to 1920, the park was called Weeghman Park. This is because the stadium was originally for the Federal League's Chicago Whales. The Federal League was a baseball league that didn't last past the 1920s. One of the founders of the Federal League was Charles Weeghman, so the stadium was named after him for a short period of time.

Well, those are some famous baseball stadiums and the reasons for their names. I hope you enjoyed this post and thanks for reading it. Check back in a few days for more of "all the buzz on what wuzz."

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Ten Facts About Matt Nadel 4/9/14

Hey baseball fans!

So, I've realized that in the past that I have never really told you a lot about my personal life. That changes today! Here are ten facts about myself, Matt Nadel, that I think you would find interesting.

Number Ten: I live next to a professional golf course
I live in Springfield, New Jersey. Probably the only famous thing in Springfield is the Baltusrol Golf Course, which will be hosting the 2016 PGA Championship. If you go down my street for about 100 feet, you can see the golf course through a fence!

Number Nine: My favorite NFL team is the Giants, I love the NBA's Brooklyn Nets and LA Clippers, and I'll sometimes root for the Devils
Living in New Jersey, I like New Jersey sports teams. My dad was a big Giants fan growing up, so that's how I got to be a Giants fan. The Nets are the local NBA team, but I loved Chris Paul on the New Orleans Hornets and became a Clippers fan when he started throwing alley-oops to Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan. I'm not a big hockey fan, but I look at the NHL standings occasionally, just to see how the Devils are doing, but I don't follow the Devils religiously.

Number Eight: My mom's dad is a botanist
Well, he's not really a certified botanist, but he was given the title of "master gardener" by the master gardener organization. Anyway, my grandpa volunteers as a docent at the New York Botanical Garden. He loves teaching me about different kinds of plants, like the orchid, one of his favorite flowers.

Number Seven: Half of my family speaks fluent Spanish
My dad's dad grew up in Cuba and my dad's mom was born in Uruguay and lived there until she was in her late teens. Naturally, they taught my dad and uncle how to speak Spanish at a young age and the four of them sometimes have conversations in Spanish. I'm starting to speak more Spanish myself because I just started learning it in school.

Number Six: I'm pretty good at geography
I won the Geography Bee in my school when I was in eighth grade and I can recite a song that states almost every country in the world (it was written in the '80s, so not every country is up-to-date).

Number Five: I enjoy a lot of coffee-related things
I'm not addicted to coffee in any way, but I realized that coffee or coffee-flavored things regularly appear somewhere on my side of the table when I eat breakfast. I sometimes drink an iced latte from Dunkin Donuts or milk with just a splash of coffee inside of it. Also, because I'm not a big fan of vanilla yogurt, sometimes for breakfast, I eat coffee yogurt. However, I've never tried coffee-flavored ice cream.

Number Four: I mainly blog about baseball, but I also play baseball
Although I'm riding the bench as a freshman, I am part of my high school's baseball team. However, because of my baseball knowledge, I always provide a quick historical fact for anyone to enjoy while sitting on the bench with my teammates when it's our turn to bat.

Number Three: I'm a huge fan of CBS TV programs
I sometimes watched How I Met Your Mother when it was still making new episodes, I think Melissa McCarthy is hilarious on Mike and Molly, and Two and a Half Men always brings me a smile whenever I watch it. However, I am a HUGE Big Bang Theory fan. I've watched almost every episode and I even have a shirt with Jim Parsons saying "Bazinga." For all you non-Big Bang Theory-watchers, "Bazinga" is Sheldon Cooper's (played by Jim Parsons) catchphrase.

Number Two: I play a lot of video games
Being a teenager, video games take up a lot of my time during the weekends. I have a total of four systems, a Wii, an XBOX 360, a PS3, and a PS4, and whenever a friend comes over, all we do is play on the consoles. I have mostly sports video games and my favorite is the "Madden" franchise, the NFL video game. However, they are all really fun to play.

Number One: I love YouTube!
I am constantly on YouTube when I'm not doing homework, watching TV, or playing video games. I watch it when I wake up in the morning and before I go to sleep. I watch all kinds of videos, like sketches, vlogs, or video game commentaries. YouTube has such a wide variety of videos that there has to be something good to watch at any time. That's why I'm addicted to it.

Well, I hope you enjoyed this different kind of post. Thanks for reading it and check back in a few days for more of "all the buzz on what wuzz."

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Little Louie Packed a Big Punch 4/6/14

Hey baseball fans!

Did you know that there is only one Hall of Famer born in the South American country of Venezuela? This shortstop enshrined in Cooperstown played for the White Sox, Orioles, and Red Sox from 1956-1973 and was elected into the Hall in 1984. His name is Luis Aparicio.

22 years after he was born in Maracaibo, Venezuela, Luis Aparicio immediately began revolutionizing the position of shortstop with excellent fielding and baserunning at the speed of light. He won the 1956 AL Rookie of the Year Award with the White Sox and led the league in stolen bases with 21, the first of nine consecutive times he would accomplish such a feat. He ended his career with 506 stolen bases. The 13-time All Star also won nine Gold Glove Awards at short, the third most Gold Gloves awarded to any player at shortstop in baseball history (only behind Ozzie Smith, who won 13, and Omar Vizquel, who won 11). Even though I haven't mentioned his hitting yet, Luis hit the ball pretty well, collecting 2,677 hits. He also was driven in by his teammates 1,335 times. Lastly, Luis' nickname, "Little Louie" was given to him because he was only five feet nine inches tall. However, he was able to glide across the field like he was six feet ten inches tall.

Aparicio was very important to the shortstop position because he finally made people realize how important the position is to a baseball franchise. Had he never played, the shortstop position may not be as appreciated. Anyway, thanks for reading this post. I hope you enjoyed it and check back in a few days for more of "all the buzz on what wuzz."

Friday, April 4, 2014

My Top Five Favorite Baseball Players in History 4/4/14

Hey baseball fans!

I've written lists about who should be on baseball's Mt. Rushmore, who I think are the most underrated Hall of Famers of all time, my favorite uniforms, and more. But today's list is going to be possibly my most important list in Baseball with Matt history. It is time for you to know... my all-time favorite baseball players in baseball history! Yes, I have already done my all-time dream team, but this list isn't going to include a ballplayer from each position. It will not be a list of the players who I would want on the field in any given clutch situation. This list is all about my top five favorite baseball players in baseball history. So, I hope you enjoy this list and can agree with me on how great these ballplayers really were.

Number Five: Derek Jeter
Why? Jeter is not only the only current ballplayer on this list, he is the only Yankee on this list (which was a little surprising to my dad, considering I'm a huge Yankees fan). Jeter has been a hits machine since his rookie year of 1996 and has over 3,000+ hits. He is one of two baseball players to have his 3,000th hit be a home run (along with Wade Boggs) and is currently tenth on the all-time hits list at 3,316. Also, probably the most important reason that he is number five on this list, he led the Yankees to five World Series championships. Why isn't Jeter number one on this list? He's still playing. He will likely move up once he gets elected into the Hall of Fame.

Number Four: Jim Palmer
Why? Even before I interviewed this Hall of Fame Orioles pitcher, the eight-time twenty-game winner was one of my favorite pitchers of all time. The three-time Cy Young Award winner baffled AL batters for 19 years from 1965-1984. In fact, he never gave up a grand slam in his entire pitching career! Palmer may have also been known for eating pancakes before each game, but his real claim to fame is having an astounding career ERA: 2.86!

Number Three: Rod Carew
Why? Who wouldn't like an 18-time All Star Panamanian Jew? But seriously, this Hall of Fame second baseman lit up the Twin Cities and the City of Angels for two decades, batted .328 lifetime, and is currently 23rd on the all-time hits list at 3,053. Even if he never did win a World Series, his amazing hitting will always be remembered by baseball fans everywhere, but especially me.

Number Two: Warren Spahn
Why? Perhaps the best lefty pitcher of all time, Spahn dazzled NL hitting in the '40s, '50s, and '60s with mainly the Braves and totaled 363 career wins, sixth on the all time wins list. Along with an amazing 3.09 career ERA, the 17-time All Star pitched for 21 years in the Bigs and retired at the age of 44! No wonder the best lefty in the MLB is awarded the Warren Spahn Award each year!

Number One: Mike Schmidt
Why? This shouldn't come as a complete surprise to some of you considering I've told a lot of people that Mike is my favorite baseball player. But to all of you who didn't know this, here is why I love Schmidty: 548 career homers, 1,595 career runs driven in, eight home run titles, 13 seasons with 30+ homers, three-time NL MVP, 12-time All Star, six-time Sliver Slugger at third base, and 10 Gold Gloves at the hot corner, and four homers in a single game on April 17, 1976. Oh, and did I mention that he led the Phillies to their first ever World Series title in 1980, a World Series in which he won the MVP? Just look at all these accolades! And who could forget the great mustache?

Well, those are my top five favorite ballplayers in baseball history. Who are yours? I hope you enjoyed reading. Check back in a few days for more of "all the buzz on what wuzz."

Sunday, March 30, 2014

A Winning Manager Who Knew Baseball Inside and Out 3/30/14

Hey baseball fans!

The San Diego Padres play their first game of the 2014 MLB season today against the Dodgers, so I wanted to talk about the man who was their manager for their first World Series appearance in 1984.

Dick Williams didn't have the best playing career, but he was elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2008 as a manager. For 21 seasons, he managed the Red Sox, Athletics, Angels, Expos, Padres, and Mariners, and ended up winning many games, despite managing bad teams for most of his career. To be specific, out of 3,023 games managed, he won 1,571 of them, which ends up being a .520 win percentage. He won four pennants during his managerial career, one in 1967 with the Sox, two with the A's in 1972 and 1973, and one with the Padres in 1984. He only won the Fall Classics with the A's, but Williams is one of two managers (along with Hall of Famer Bill McKechnie) in baseball history to win pennants with three teams and one of just seven managers to win pennants in both the AL and NL. He is also one of two managers in baseball history (the other being Lou Piniella) to lead four different teams to 90+ win seasons.

In short, Dick Williams was all about winning, and win he did time and time again. Thanks for reading this post. I hope you enjoyed it and check back in a few days for more of "all the buzz on what wuzz."

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Top Five Predictions for MLB 2020 3/27/14

Hey baseball fans!

Given the announcement of Derek Jeter’s retirement after this season, one can conclude that he will be enshrined in the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2020. Along with that, I believe there could be some other major MLB events in 2020. Here are my top five:

#5: Mike Trout Wins his first MVP Award:
In the past two years, Mike Trout has finished second in the AL MVP race, both times to Miguel Cabrera, because Cabrera arguably had better statistics and Cabrera’s team did much better. However, by 2020, it is logical to say that not only will the Angels reach the playoffs, but also Trout, at age 28, will have a great season as he reaches his peak in the MLB, while Cabrera will be 36 and other MVP contenders like Robinson Cano and David Ortiz will be well past their primes or retired.

#4: The Minnesota Twins Win the World Series:
The Twins may be one of the worst teams in the AL, but in 2020 they could be the best. Six years from now, Joe Mauer will be a sage 37 and the Twins will still have a great manager in Ron Gardenhire. Moreover, the Twins have two of the best hitting prospects in baseball, with Byron Buxton and Miguel Sano, plus some flame-throwing pitching studs in the minors like Alex Meyer and Jose Berrios. This mix of experience and youth will propel them to 2020 greatness!

#3: The Marlins Move:
The Miami Marlins are currently one of the worst teams in baseball. Because of this and their low home attendance, I predict that they will move in 2020. The only question is where? I believe they will move to Montreal, Canada and revive the Expos, because Montreal will not have had a local team at that point since the original Expos moved in 2005 and the demand for a baseball team there will likely be very strong.

#2: The Cleveland Indians Change their Name:
The NFL’s Washington Redskins have received a lot of criticism from Native Americans because of the derogatory connotations associated with their name. The Cleveland Indians have had the same issue due to their old logo, a Native American with a red face, and because of their name. Even though Cleveland has changed their logo to a red “C”, there is still concern about the name. I’m predicting that by 2020, the Indians will give in and change their name to the Hammers. Cleveland is known for its manufacturing, so the Hammers would be very appropriate and intimidating.

#1: The NL Adopts the Designated Hitter Rule:
The DH has been a subject of much debate over the past 41 years, however, I think that in 2020 the NL will finally put it into effect. The reason is simple: pitchers will continue to get paid millions of dollars and their agents will insist upon a change, concerned about baserunning and hitting injuries for their valuable clients. MLB will eventually agree and by the time 2020 rolls around, there should be a DH in NL parks.

Well, that's my list of things that I believe will happen during the 2020 MLB season. Now, if you have another prediction, leave it in the comments section below. Thanks for reading this post. I hope you enjoyed it and check back in a few days for more of "all the buzz on what wuzz."