End Of The Road?

With only four months remaining on the 10-year, $240 million contract signed following to the 2011 season, the Angels decided to cut ties with Albert Pujols, designating the future Hall of Fame baseball person for assignment yesterday.  “It’s more about opportunity,” GM Perry Minasian said of Pujols, to date, had posted an OPS 80 points below the league average in his age-41 season.  “Albert is not a bench player. We felt like, for him, with respect to him, keeping him on the bench, him not getting any playing time, would not do him any good or the team any good.”

Pujols is reportedly steadfast in his desire to continue playing, but it’s hard to see a good fit for him, especially with no DH in the National League.  Some speculation mentioned the White Sox as a potential landing spot, given the relationship between Pujols and Tony La Russa, but, unless Pujols is suddenly able to play the outfield, you would think the presence of Jose Abreu and Yermin Mercedes would preclude any such reunion.  If I had to guess, I would say this is the end of Pujols’ long and distinguished career.

Thanks to the profitable nature of the Cubs/Cardinals rivalry, I didn’t see Pujols play in person as often as I could have during his prime, but he’s still in the top 5 of games played for non-Chicago players in my history.  His numbers, both for games I attended and overall, were:

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Another One Bites The Dust

The White Sox outfield is now down two starters after Luis Robert suffered a complete tear of his right hip flexor during Sunday’s game, general manager Rick Hahn said yesterday.  He won’t resume baseball activities for 12 to 16 weeks, whether he and the team opt for surgery or rest.  Robert, in his second season with the White Sox, was hitting .316 this season, with a homer and 11 runs scored.

Robert joins Eloy Jimenez on the injured list, after Jimenez tore his pectoral muscle during the last week of spring training and is expected to miss most, if not all, of the season.  Hahn says the team will rely on internal options to take Robert’s place, but will also explore external options.  Either way, this is a big blow for a team expected to compete for the post-season.

By The Numbers – 57

In 1929, uniform numbers appeared on the back of baseball jerseys for the first time, thanks to the Indians and the Yankees.  By 1937, numbers finally appeared across all uniforms, both home and away, across both major leagues.  Since that time, 81 distinct numbers have been worn by members of the White Sox, while the Cubs boast 76.

Today, we continue our look at those players, picking our favorite, if not the best, player to wear each uniform number for both Chicago teams with #57.  30 players have donned #57 while playing in Chicago, 17 for the White Sox and 13 for the Cubs.

Acquired by the Cubs, along with Matt Clement, in the deal that sent Dontrelle Willis, among others, to the Marlins in March of 2002, Antonio Alfonseca became the closer for a miserable 2002 Cubs team, which just so happened to be my first as a season ticket holder.  The 12-fingered Alfonseca went 2-5 with a 4.00 ERA and 19 saves in his first go-around with the team.  In 2003, he lost the closer role and was not particularly effective, going 3-1 with a 5.83 ERA.  He was suspended for 5 games in September after bumping an umpire with his generous stomach.  He was perfect in the post-season, appearing in 4 games total giving up no runs in 3 1/3 innings against the Braves and the Marlins.  He became a free agent following that 2003 season.

#57 has been a mainstay of the back end of the White Sox bullpen for many years, shared amongst such luminaries as Jace Fry, Zach Putnam, Tony Pena, and Boone Logan.

April All Time Leaders – Through 2020

With a full year of baseball on tap after last year’s troubles due to a combination of the corona virus and needless labor squabbles, I thought it would be interesting to look at the all time leaders in both offensive and defensive categories for each month in games that I have attended.

The traditional beginning of the baseball season, opening day has played a part in my attending 155 games during the month.  I’ve managed to see a game on every day of the month, with 9 games on the 5th, 7th. and 12th and a single game on both the 1st and the 3rd.

Home Runs

Name Total
Paul Konerko 18
Adam Dunn 12
Jim Thome 8

Hits

Name Total
Paul Konerko 67
Aramis Ramirez 45
Derrek Lee 44

Runs

Name Total
Paul Konerko 36
Derrek Lee 36
Aramis Ramirez 31

RBI

Name Total
Paul Konerko 42
Aramis Ramirez 33
Adam Dunn 30

Doubles

Name Total
Paul Konerko 14
Aramis Ramirez 12
Derrek Lee 10

Triples Continue reading →

By The Numbers – 58

In 1929, uniform numbers appeared on the back of baseball jerseys for the first time, thanks to the Indians and the Yankees.  By 1937, numbers finally appeared across all uniforms, both home and away, across both major leagues.  Since that time, 81 distinct numbers have been worn by members of the White Sox, while the Cubs boast 76.

Today, we continue our look at those players, picking our favorite, if not the best, player to wear each uniform number for both Chicago teams with #58.  25 players have donned #58 while playing in Chicago, 20 for the White Sox and 5 for the Cubs.

Catcher Geovany Soto donned #58 during three cups of coffee with the Cubs, in 2005 – 2007.  Earning increased playing time each year, he garnered a single at bat in 05, 25 in 06, and 54 in 07.  He finally broke through in 2008, changing his number to #18 while earning Rookie of the Year honors.  He remained the main backstop for the team until the 2012 season, when he was traded to the Rangers in August.

On the south side of town, Bobby Thigpen wore #58 during his first go-around with the team, going 2-0 with a 1.77 ERA in 20 games for the 1986 White Sox.  He switched to #37 the following year, which he wore for the remainder of his White Sox career, which ended with a 1993 trade to the Phillies.

By The Numbers – 59

In 1929, uniform numbers appeared on the back of baseball jerseys for the first time, thanks to the Indians and the Yankees.  By 1937, numbers finally appeared across all uniforms, both home and away, across both major leagues.  Since that time, 81 distinct numbers have been worn by members of the White Sox, while the Cubs boast 76.

Today, we continue our look at those players, picking our favorite, if not the best, player to wear each uniform number for both Chicago teams with #59.  15 players have donned #59 while playing in Chicago, 6 for the White Sox and 3 for the Cubs.

Acquired in 1984 from the Mariners for Salome Barojas, Gleaton put up good numbers in Triple A for the White Sox and was eventually called up to the big leagues, appearing in 11 games.  Gleaton again split the 1985 season between Triple A and the White Sox, with more success in Triple A.  He made it in to 31 games for the White Sox, but put up a 5.76 ERA.  He then spent all of 1986 in Triple A before leaving the White Sox organization as a free agent.

On the north side of town, Rodney Myers donned #59 from 1996 through 1999, putting up a 5-2 record with a 4.90 ERA, before being traded to the Padres for Gary Matthews Jr.

Oh No-No

Last December, after 6 years of injuries and unmet expectations, the White Sox cut ties with Carlos Rodon, their first round pick in the 2014 draft.  On February 1, they brought him back, at a reduced rate, as back of the rotation insurance.  After a strong spring, he beat our Reynaldo Lopez for the fifth starter’s spot.  Last night, in his second start of the season, he was perfect through 25 hitters against the Indians and, after a hit batsman, ended up with the 20th no hitter in White Sox history.

This should have been my first no hitter seen in person.  But, and you knew there was going to be a but, life somehow got in the way.  I had bought tickets to the entire first homestand, so that wasn’t the issue.  Monday afternoon, I got my second vaccine shot and then headed down to Guaranteed Rate Field for that night’s game.  Ironically, Rodon was scheduled to pitch Monday, but was scratched with a stomach bug.  Tuesday, I was feeling the after-effects of the shot, the night out in the cold, or both, with a fuzzy head, chills, and body aches.  I decided to skip Tuesday night’s game.  By Wednesday morning, I was feeling pretty normal, but, with a forecast game-time temperature in the 40s, I decided to play it safe and stay home once again.  A mistake that I will have to live with for the rest of my days.

By The Numbers – 60

In 1929, uniform numbers appeared on the back of baseball jerseys for the first time, thanks to the Indians and the Yankees.  By 1937, numbers finally appeared across all uniforms, both home and away, across both major leagues.  Since that time, 81 distinct numbers have been worn by members of the White Sox, while the Cubs boast 76.

Today, we continue our look at those players, picking our favorite, if not the best, player to wear each uniform number for both Chicago teams with #60.  23 players have donned #60 while playing in Chicago, 17 for the White Sox and 6 for the Cubs.

Dallas Keuchel is the latest member of the White Sox to don #60.  He joined the team in 2020 after signing a 3 year deal during the offseason.  He went 6-2 with a 1.99 ERA in the corona virus shortened season, helping the White Sox to the postseason for the first time since 2008.  He is expected to be a big part of the rotation this year as the team looks to make the postseason in consecutive seasons for the first time in franchise history.

Manny Corpas spent one season with the Cubs, wearing #60 during the 2012 campaign.  He was not very good, going 0-2 with an ERA over 5.00, but he’s one of the few #60s for the Cubs that I recognized.

All Time Team Records

In a shocking development, the 2021 baseball season got underway last night without issue or delay.  With hopefully a full 162 game schedule on the docket, 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 contend in a weak NL Central with one final year of having the core of their World Series Championship team under contract, while the White Sox hope their offseason additions put them over the top and make them true World Series contenders.  The 2021 season should be an interesting one on both sides of town, even more interesting if we are able to see it in person.

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
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March All Time Leaders – Through 2020

With a full year of baseball on tap after last year’s troubles due to a combination of the corona virus and needless labor squabbles, I thought it would be interesting to look at the all time leaders in both offensive and defensive categories for each month in games that I have attended.

Thanks to the recent collective bargaining agreement adding more off days during the regular season,  opening day has been moving earlier into March over the past couple of seasons.  Despite that, I have only attended 2 March games coming in to this year, with both of them coming on the 31st, in 2003 and 2014.

Home Runs

Name Total
Alejandro de Aza 2
Corey Patterson 2

Hits

Name Total
Corey Patterson 4
Mark Grudzielanek 3
11 tied with 2

Runs

Name Total
Sammy Sosa 3
Hee Seop Choi 3
5 tied with 2

RBI

Name Total
Corey Patterson 7
Mark Bellhorn 4
Alejandro de Aza 3
Kurt Suzuki 3

Doubles

Name Total
Jeromy Burnitz 2
8 tied with 1

Triples Continue reading →