The Decade In Travel

The 2010s have drawn to a close and its time to take a look back at the previous decade.  Today, we are continuing with travel, specifically the 53 out of state trips that I took between 2010 and 2019.  The first trip of the decade came in September of 2010, as I traveled north to Detroit and Windsor, staying in Canada when I wasn’t watching the White Sox battle the Tigers.  The final trip of the decade, and a fitting bookend to the decade, came in December, when the family traveled to Ann Arbor, Michigan to see Angelina skate in a competition.  2018 was my best year, with 13 different trips/destinations, while 2012 was my worst year, with only a single trip.

My most popular place to travel was, unsurprisingly, West Lafayette, with 7 different trips.  Next came a 3-way tie, with Milwaukee, Boston, and Los Angeles each finding themselves under my feet 4 times.  The only other place I went to more than twice was Disney World, with 3 trips.

If we break down those 53 trips, we get the following:

  • 32 locations
  • 6 countries
    • United States
    • Canada
    • Italy
    • Ireland
    • Scotland
    • Northern Ireland
  • 19 states
    • Illinois
    • Indiana
    • Michigan
    • Wisconsin
    • Minnesota
    • Iowa
    • Massachusetts
    • New York
    • California
    • Nevada
    • Arizona
    • Mississippi
    • Tennessee
    • Arkansas
    • Ohio
    • Maryland
    • Virginia
    • South Carolina
    • Hawaii

 

 

 

The Decade In Baseball – Pitching Leaders

baseballs3The 2010s have drawn to a close and its time to take a look back at the previous decade.  Today, we are finishing off our look back at 10 years worth of baseball with the pitching leaders for the 385 games I attended between 2010 and 2019.

In addition to the regular season, these totals include 2 wild card games, 3 trips to the NLDS, 3 NLCS appearances, and the 2016 World Series.  Not too many surprises on these charts.

Wins

Name Total
Chris Sale 21
Gavin Floyd 13
John Danks 11
Jon Lester  10
Jake Peavy 10

Losses

Name Total
Jose Quintana 17
Chris Sale 12
John Danks 10
James Shields 10
Gavin Floyd 9
Carlos Rodon 9

ERA (> 10 IP)

Name Total
Kyle Ryan 0.00
Colby Lewis 0.60
Brandon Kintzler 0.68
Matt Moore 0.79
Yovani Gallardo 0.82

ERA (> 20 IP)

Name Total
Kyle Gibson 1.59
Dallas Braden 1.71
Aaron Bummer 1.84
Zach Duke 2.00
Wade Davis 2.01

Strikeouts

Name Total
Chris Sale 313
Jose Quintana 208
Gavin Floyd 145
Continue reading →

The Decade In Movies

The 2010s have drawn to a close and its time to take a look back at the previous decade.  Today, we are continuing with movies, specifically the 836 films I saw between 2010 and 2019.  Those 836 were released across 40 different years, with the earliest (Breakfast At Tiffany’s) released in 1961 and at least one film released every year of this century.  2010 was the most popular year, with 87 (10.4%) of the films I saw released that year.

929 actors starred in at least 1 movie that I saw over the past 10 years.  Only 283 of those starred in at least 2.  If you had told me that Jason Bateman would have led the field, I would not have believed it, but that does seem to be the case.  Not a single person starred in a film that I saw every year of the decade, with Jennifer Lawrence coming the closest, with a streak of 9 years starting in 2011.

2010s Films Per Actor
Actor Name Films
Jason Bateman 12
Anna Kendrick 11
Jennifer Lawrence 11
Amy Adams 10
Tom Cruise 10
Robert Downey Jr. 10
Mila Kunis 10
Matt Damon 9
Tom Hanks 9
Liam Neeson 9

The first movie I saw this decade was District 9 and the last was The Oath.  Comedy was the most popular genre, with 217 films, while Westerns was the least popular, with a grand total of 2.  2011 was my most prolific year, with 131 movies seen.  2018 was my lowest total, for numerous reasons.  Continue reading →

The Decade In Baseball – Batting Leaders

The 2010s have drawn to a close and its time to take a look back at the previous decade.  Today, we are continuing with baseball, specifically the offensive leaders in the 385 games I attended between 2010 and 2019.

There is not a huge diversity of names on this list.  Nearly all played for the White Sox in the early part of the decade, when they were supposedly trying to win.

Home Runs

Name Total
Jose Abreu 36
Paul Konerko 35
Alex Rios 24
Alexei Ramirez 20
Tim Anderson 16

Hits

Name Total
Alexei Ramirez 227
Jose Abreu 193
Paul Konerko 153
Alex Rios 142
Melky Cabrera 121

Runs

Name Total
Alexei Ramirez 93
Jose Abreu 89
Continue reading →

The Decade In Books

The 2010s have drawn to a close and its time to take a look back at the previous decade. Today, we move on to books, specifically the 229 books I read between 2010 and 2019. This decade coincides completely with my starting the 52 books in 52 weeks challenge, which I have never really come close to completing.

2015 was my best year, with 31 books completed.  2010 was by far the worst year in terms of finished books, with only 7.  Over the course of 10 years, those 229 books totaled over 77,000 pages.


152 different authors contributed to the books I’ve read this decade, 35 of which I’ve read multiple times.  The ghost writer for Richard Castle leads the way and is the only author I read more than 10 offerings from over the last 10 years.  The most surprising entry is Erle Stanley Gardner, who passed away in 1970. Continue reading →

The Decade In Baseball – Team Records

The 2010s have drawn to a close and its time to take a look back at the previous decade.  Today, we are starting with baseball, specifically the performance of all 30 MLB teams in games I attended between 2010 and 2019.  Locally, things were good on the north side of town, as the Cubs finished their rebuild with 3 straight NLCS appearances in the middle of the decade, including a World Series championship in 2016.  It was much bleaker on the south side, as the White Sox failed to compete after a late collapse in 2012, finishing the decade on a string of 7 consecutive losing seasons.

I managed to take in 385 games over the past 10 years at 12 different stadiums from coast (Dodger Stadium) to coast (Fenway Park).  2010 was my high water mark, with 52 games, while 2013 and 2018 tied for the lowest total of the decade with only 29 games.

Games Per Year
Year Total Games
2010 52
2011 43
2012 33
2013 29
2014 35
2015 39
2016 39
2017 49
2018 29
2019 37

Two franchises went through the decade undefeated in games I attended, while another 2 teams went winless.  Both local teams finished just a shade under .500.  The White Sox are far and away the team I saw most often, while the Diamondbacks bring up the rear with only 2 appearances over the past 10 years.

2019 Team Records
Team Name Won Loss Winning Pctg
Colorado Rockies 4 0 1.000
New York Mets 3 0 1.000
Boston Red Sox 9 3 0.750
New York Yankees 9 4 0.692
Washington Nationals 6 3 0.667
Houston Astros 6 3 0.667
Florida Marlins 2 1 0.667
Los Angeles Angels 9 5 0.643
Detroit Tigers 22 13 0.629
Pittsburgh Pirates 5 3 0.625
Kansas City Royals 21 17 0.553
Cleveland Indians 17 14 0.548
Toronto Blue Jays 8 7 0.533
Minnesota Twins 19 17 0.528
Oakland Athletics 7 7 0.500
St. Louis Cardinals 2 2 0.500
San Diego Padres 2 2 0.500
Arizona Diamondbacks 1 1 0.500
Chicago White Sox 159 164 0.492
Chicago Cubs 40 43 0.482
Continue reading →

Ballpark Tour: Blue Jays

With the offseason underway, we continue our tour of all of the different baseball stadiums I’ve been to over the years. This week, we look at the Toronto Blue Jays, the lone team currently existing outside of the United States. So, without further ado, let’s take a deeper look at my one game history with Rogers Centre.

Stadium Name: Skydome/Rogers Centre

Years in Service: 1989 – Present

Visits: 1

Following the Grey Cup game in 1982 at Exhibition Stadium, dubbed the Rain Bowl due to a torrential rainstorm, tens of thousands of people attended a rally at Toronto’s city hall chanting “We want a dome”.  After years of studies, they got their wish on June 3, 1989 when Skydome opened as the new home of the Blue Jays, featuring the first functional retractable roof in North America.

While the stadium quickly became an albatross for the province of Ontario, due to cost overruns and a recession, the Blue Jays became a force to be reckoned with.  The Jays won the AL East crown in 1989 and 1991, losing to the eventual World Series champions both years.  In 1992, they again won their division and became the first Canadian team to capture a World Series title.  They repeated as champions in 1993, becoming the first team to win back-to-back Series since the Yankees in 1977 and 1978.

Since then, things have been relatively quiet for the Blue Jays.  In 2005, the stadium was renamed Rogers Centre, after the new owners of both the stadium and the team.  After years of failed expectations, the Blue Jays finally have something to be excited about, thanks to Vlad Guerrero Jr, one of the most exciting young players in the game.

I attended my first (and, so far, only) game at the Rogers Centre in September of 2015 when I was visiting Toronto with my friend Hayley.  In addition to adding a new stadium to my resume, former White Sox ace Mark Buehrle was scheduled to start, so I was really looking forward to the game.  Sadly, Buehrle was bumped a few days due to a sore shoulder, so I ended up having to see David Price take on the Orioles.  He handled them with ease, picking up his 100th career victory.  I didn’t have the best seats in the house, sitting out in left field, but was in the shade, which was in short supply during a hot afternoon with the roof open.  I certainly hope to return one day.

The Joe Maddon Era Has Ended

After 5 seasons, the Cubs and Joe Maddon have agreed to part ways as his initial contract with the club expires with the end of the 2019 season.  Maddon, who was hired under dubious circumstances following the 2014 season, put together one of the best runs in franchise history, with 3 straight trips to the NLCS and a World Series victory that broke a 108 year curse on the north side.  The last 2 years, though, have ended in disappointment, with September swoons that led to a Wild Card loss in 2018 and missing the playoffs completely this year.

Maddon is likely to land on his feet, with attractive openings in San Diego and, potentially, Philadelphia.  The Angels, Maddon’s one time employer, have hinted they are willing to pull the same move the Cubs did 5 years ago, dumping their manager after one year for a shot at Maddon.  Wherever he ends up, he will try to rebound and re-find his winning touch.

Book 22 (of 52) – Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?

Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) – Mindy Kaling

In her first memoir, Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns), Mindy Kaling recounts her upbringing, college years, moving to New York, and breaking in to Hollywood as a writer and actress on The Office.  She tells her experience with Hollywood’s ups and downs, both personally and professionally, and how she deals with not being the “ideal” picture of beauty.

Kaling’s writing style is reminiscent of her television personality, and that’s not a bad thing.  She has an interesting story and I’m glad that I read it.  She also has a follow-up, which I will try to pick up one of these days.

Book 21 (of 52) – Triptych

Triptych – Karin Slaughter

Triptych, the first entry in the Will Trent series, follows a state investigator who teams up with Atlanta PD when a murdered prostitute matches the MO of other cases.  The investigation brings together old loves, family ties, and a secret buried for 30 years.

Earlier this year, I had my first experience with this series from Karin Slaughter, taking in the 8th entry.  Because of this, some of the twists, like the relationship between 2 of the characters, were lost on me as I was already aware.  That said, the reveal of the killer and the ultimate connection of the B plot to the A plot made for an enjoyable read.  I’m sure I’ll be back for more before too long.