A Pause In The Season

This weekend’s series between the Cubs and the Cardinals in St. Louis has been cancelled after an additional two Cardinal players and a staff member have tested positive for COVID-19.  In total, nine Cardinals players have tested positive for the corona virus since last week and the team has not played since July 29th.  Assuming they can resume play on Monday, they will need to play 55 games in just 49 days in order to complete their 60 game schedule.

The Cubs will head back to Chicago tonight, and then likely hold work outs at Wrigley Field before resuming their schedule on Tuesday in Cleveland.  They aren’t scheduled to return to St. Louis this year, so making up these games will likely include some combination of double headers at Wrigley and mutual off days, if the games are made up at all.

If You Build It, Nobody Will Come

The White Sox were scheduled to participate in next week’s “Field of Dreams” game in the cornfields of Iowa, first, against the Yankees pre-pandemic and then against the Cardinals once the schedules were re-jiggered.  Now, the game, slated for Dyersville, Iowa, near the filming location of Field of Dreams, has been called off due to logistical issues brought on by the corona virus.  Not directly blamed, but probably a contributing factor, is the outbreak of infections that the Cardinals suffered this past weekend, pausing their season.

The game, considered a home game for the White Sox, will likely be moved back to Guaranteed Rate Field, assuming the Cardinals are back in action.  The game in Iowa is expected to be pushed to 2021, with the White Sox playing an opponent to be determined.

Hall Of Fame Batting Leaders


 

In normal times, today would have been the day former Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter was joined by Expos and Rockies legend Larry Walker, Cardinal and Brewer backstop Ted Simmons, and union boss Marvin Miller in taking their place in Cooperstown.  However, thanks to the corona virus, the Hall of Fame Class of 2020 will need to wait until next year for induction.  But, with two new hitters who would have been joining the list of Hall of Famers I’ve seen play live, let’s check back in anyway with the new leaders on the offensive side of the ball amongst Hall of Famers for all of the games I’ve attended between 1984 and 2020.

Home Runs

Name Total
Jim Thome 35
Frank Thomas 15
Vladimir Guerrero 6
Ivan Rodriguez 4
Chipper Jones 3
Harold Baines 3
Carlton Fisk 3

Hits

Name Total
Jim Thome 110
Frank Thomas 54
Ken Griffey Jr 32
Continue reading →

A Deal Is Made

Less than 12 hours before the first pitch of the 2020 season for the Cubs, the Marquee Network showed up on Comcast systems in the Chicago area, signaling a carriage deal had finally been reached.  Crane Kenney, president of business operations for the Cubs, confirmed a multiyear deal in multiple media interviews yesterday, but details were not disclosed and Comcast has yet to release a statement.  It’s still unclear how much Comcast will charge subscribers for the addition of Marquee to their service.

In related news, Sinclair Broadcasting, the partner of the Cubs in the Marquee Network, is using their local television stations to push a conspiracy theory this weekend that suggests Dr. Anthony Fauci, the top expert on infectious diseases in the US, was responsible for the creation of the corona virus.  Between the Ricketts family’s relationship with Donald Trump and their dealings with Sinclair, it is getting harder and harder to support the organization.

200 Things To Do In Illinois – Crosstown Doubleheader

Illinois celebrated its bicentennial as a state in December of 2018.  To celebrate, the Chicago Tribune published the Bicentennial Bucket List: 200 Things To Do In Illinois, celebrating the best the state has to offer in history, food, architecture, culture, sports, nature, drink, and oddities.  Now that the state is starting to open back up following the corona virus outbreak, I figured this was the second-best time to look through this collection and cover the ones I’ve done/eaten/seen.

We conclude things this week with one of the entries from the Sports category: Crosstown Doubleheader, from Chicago, IL.

Usually, at least once during the baseball season, there’s a Cubs home day game followed buy a Sox home night game – or vice versa.  When these scheduling stars align, hop on the Red Line and hit both games for a crosstown day-night doubleheader.

One of the best things about living in a two-team town is the occasional opportunity to take in two games, one at each park, in the same day.  There have been 7 times I’ve watched both the Cubs and the Sox on the same day at their respective homes: first, in 2003 as the Rockies defeated the Cubs and the Mariners throttled the White Sox, and most recently last season, as the Nationals beat the Cubs and the Rangers shut out the White Sox.

There was an 8th instance, in 2004, where I took in games in both parks on the same day, but it didn’t involve the White Sox.  The afternoon tilt that day at US Cellular Field was between the Expos and the Marlins, relocated to Chicago due to Hurricane Ivan. That night, the Cubs slipped past the Pirates at Wrigley Field.

All Time Team Records

What was planned to be the earliest non-international start in Major League Baseball history turned into the latest, thanks to a combination of the corona virus pandemic and pointless bickering between the MLBPA and team owners.  With the 2020 baseball season finally set to get underway today, although with no fans in the stands, it is time once again to look at the all-time team records for games that I have identified as having attended dating back to 1984.  Thanks to some eBaying of pocket schedules from the 80s, I was able to identify one additional game that I attended in 1988, a California Angels victory at Comiskey Park against the White Sox.

The Cubs look to bounce back from last year’s September collapse that kept them out of the postseason for the first time since 2014, while the White Sox hope their offseason additions push them towards contention as their young talent starts to blossom.  With only 60 games to make their mark, the 2020 season should be an interesting one on both sides of town.

All-Time Team Records
Team Name Won Loss Winning Pctg
California Angels 2 0 1.000
Arizona Diamondbacks 13 2 0.867
Florida Marlins 15 8 0.652
Colorado Rockies 10 6 0.625
Boston Red Sox 18 13 0.581
Toronto Blue Jays 15 11 0.577
New York Yankees 15 11 0.577
Los Angeles Angels 19 14 0.576
Cleveland Indians 28 24 0.538
Chicago Cubs 219 197 0.526
Philadelphia Phillies 10 9 0.526
Houston Astros 22 20 0.524
Chicago White Sox 306 287 0.516
Continue reading →

2020 Predictions

After months of delay due to the corona virus, the 2020 baseball season is finally scheduled to kick off today with two games, followed by a full slate of games featuring the remaining teams tomorrow.  For the tenth consecutive year, I’ve looked into the crystal ball to make my picks for the upcoming season.  Although, given the circumstances of this season, this is more of a fool’s errand than usual.

American League

East: Yankees

Central: Twins

West: Astros

Wild Cards: White Sox, Rays

AL Champion: Yankees

Cy Young: Blake Snell

MVP: Yoan Moncada

National League

Continue reading →

White Sox All Time Leaders – Through 2019

cws_logoWith baseball now officially on its way back after the corona virus, I thought it would be an interesting time to look back at the all time leaders in both offensive and defensive categories for all 30 teams. We finish things off today with the hometown Chicago White Sox.

I’ve seen the White Sox play 592 times at 13 different stadiums in 9 different cities, including every home playoff appearance in 2000, 2005, and 2008 except for Game 1 of the 2005 World Series.

Home Runs

Name Total
Paul Konerko 93
Jermaine Dye 39
Jose Abreu 36

Hits

Name Total
Paul Konerko 366
Alexei Ramirez 299
A.J. Pierzynski 231

Runs

Name Total
Paul Konerko 200
Alexei Ramirez 133
A.J. Pierzynski 104

RBI

Name Total
Paul Konerko 235
Alexei Ramirez 138
Jermaine Dye 107

Doubles

Name Total
Paul Konerko 57
Alexei Ramirez 49
A.J. Pierzynski 41

Triples Continue reading →

T-Minus 7

With the delayed start to the 2020 season only a week away, the Cubs new Marquee network is still without a carriage agreement with Comcast, the dominant cable operator in the Chicago metropolitan area.  While the expectation remains that a deal will be in place by Opening Day, nothing is guaranteed in these types of negotiations.  As has been pointed out many times before, the Dodgers, who created their own network in 2014, still have not gotten full clearance in the Los Angeles market after 7 years and 2 World Series appearances.

Active Pitching Leaders – Through 2019

baseballs3Last week, we looked at the active leaders in games I’ve attended through 2019 on the offensive side of the ball.  With the second spring training winding down and opening day finally a week away, let’s take a look at the defensive side of the ball and the active pitching leaders.

Wins

Name Total
Chris Sale 21
Jon Lester 12
Jose Quintana 8
Nate Jones 7
Lucas Giolito 6

Losses

Name Total
Jose Quintana 17
Chris Sale 12
James Shields 10
Carlos Rodon 9
Jeff Samardzija 6
Kyle Hendricks 6

ERA (> 35 IP)

Name Total
David Robertson 2.17
Nate Jones 2.21
Zach Duke 2.38
Johnny Cueto 2.43
Cole Hamels 2.59

ERA (> 70 IP)

Name Total
Jon Lester 2.60
Chris Sale Continue reading →