Fitbit VII – Week 50

While not a great week by any means, it was my most consistent in quite some time, with every day finishing above 4000 steps.  A snowstorm on Saturday led to a good start on Sunday, as snowblowing led me to finish a mere 10 steps shy of 5200.  Monday, my final day of vacation, finished just slightly lower, with 4800 steps.  Tuesday was just a hair higher, again finishing with over 4800 steps.  Wednesday fell all the way down to 4750 steps, while Thursday jumped all the way back up to 4900 steps.  Friday was the worst day of the week, surpassing 4000 steps by 4.  Saturday was slightly better, coming 5 steps short of 4100.

Total steps: 32,644

Daily average: 4663.4

Against The Giants All Time Leaders – Through 2021

giantsIn the past, we’ve looked at the all time leaders in both offensive and defensive categories for all 30 teams. This offseason, we will take our first ever look at those leaders against all 30 clubs. We continue today with the San Francisco Giants.

The Giants began life in 1883 in New York, before moving west to San Francisco in 1957. I’ve seen them play 23 times, first at their old home at Candlestick Park in 1999 and most recently this past September at Wrigley Field.

Home Runs

Name Total
Jose Abreu 3
Moises Alou 2
Michael Barrett 2
Javy Baez 2

Hits

Name Total
Derrek Lee 10
Ryan Theriot 7
Aramis Ramirez 7

Runs

Name Total
Jose Abreu 5
Yolmer Sanchez 5
Derrek Lee 4
Ryan Theriot 4

RBI

Name Total
Jose Abreu 6
Jim Edmonds 5
Yolmer Sanchez 4
Javy Baez 4
Moises Alou 4

Doubles

Name Total
Aramis Ramirez 3
Jim Edmonds 2
Kris Bryant 2
Albert Almora 2

Triples Continue reading →

Book 2 (of 52) – Billy Summers

Billy Summers – Stephen King

A contract killer takes one last job, one which has him decamping in place for months prior to the hit.  After the job is complete, he realizes that he was part of the contract and was not meant to survive.  As he plots his revenge, he makes a new friend, a young woman chewed up and spit out by life, who accompanies him on his travel west.  Can Billy get what is owed him while keeping his new friend safe and out of the life?

Billy Summers, the latest from Stephen King, is a straight crime story, aside from one instance of mystical nonsense which could have been dropped completely without impacting the story at all, which is a departure from his work.  This is a side of King that I have not had much experience with, aside from his work for the Hard Case Crime imprint, but I like it and I’ll certainly be on the lookout for more if it.

Top 200 Albums: #177 – 188

itunes_imageWe last counted down the Top 200 albums in my iTunes library four years ago. Since that time, the world has literally changed, and my commute has decreased from 1+ hours each way to 25 steps. So, despite the decrease in potential listening time, I figured it was time to take another look, based on number of plays from late 2007 through the morning of January 1, 2022.

We continue today with the next batch of ten albums that I have listened to the most over the last 15 years, including one comedy album, one compilation, and an even one half of the albums coming from the 90s.

#187: Tegan and Sara – Sainthood
iTunes stats: 68 plays
Previous Ranking: 140

Eleven of the thirteen songs from this sixth studio album from the Canadian twins added only 13 new listens, causing it to drop 60 spots over the last four years.

#187: Pink – Missundaztood
iTunes stats: 68 plays
Previous Ranking: NR

Pink climbs on to the chart thanks to three singles from her 2001 smash release, which increased its listens by more than 74%.

#187: Cracker – Cracker
iTunes stats: 68 plays
Previous Ranking: 176

The 1992 debut from Cracker needed contributions from only two songs, which added a combined 22 new listens, while dropping 18 spots.

#187: The Muffs – The Muffs
iTunes stats: 68 plays
Previous Ranking: 179

The debut album from The Muffs, released in 1993, uses three songs, including one that was featured in a Fruitopia ad, to make up this total.

#186: Various Artists – Pure Disco Volume 2
iTunes stats: 69 plays
Previous Ranking: NR

Five tracks from this compilation album, featuring hits by Barry White, Wild Cherry, and others, powered a nearly 92% increase in plays.

Continue reading →

By The Numbers – 24

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 #24.  104 different players have donned #24 while playing in Chicago, 49 for the White Sox and 55 for the Cubs.

Joe Crede earned a September call-up from Double A in 2000, and, wearing #24, made his major league debut on September 12, replacing Herbert Perry and going 0-1 in the Tigers 10-3 victory at Comiskey Park.  Crede appeared in 7 games, making the most of his 14 at bats, and finished with a .357 average.  Crede got another cup of coffee with the big league club in September of 2001, earning a little more playing time, but he was less successful, finishing with a .220 average in 50 at bats over 17 games.  Crede returned to the White Sox for good in July of 2002.  On August 12, he hit his first major league home run off of former teammate James Baldwin and he finished with 12 home runs, 35 RBIs, and a .285 average.  Crede established himself as the starting third baseman in 2003.  He appeared in a career high 151 games and launched 19 home runs with 75 RBIs while posting a .261 average.  He struggled in 2004, seeing his average drop to .239 while hitting 21 home runs with 69 RBIs.

In 2005, Crede started to come in to his own.  While he improved his average to .252 and hit 22 home runs with 62 RBIs, he came alive in the second half, culminating with a game winning, and possible season saving, home run in the 10th inning against the Indians on September 20, which pushed the White Sox to a 3.5 game lead and propelled them into the playoffs.  Crede had a rough series in the ALDS against the Red Sox, getting only 1 hit in 9 at bats, but rebounded in the ALCS and World Series, hitting .368 and .294 respectively, with 2 home runs in each series.  2006 was Joe Crede’s breakout season.  He hit .283 with career highs in home runs, with 30, and RBIs, with 94, winning his first, and only, Silver Slugger award.  A back injury in 2007 limited him to 47 games and only 4 home runs.  He returned with a bang in 2008, hitting a grand slam on opening day against the Twins and parlayed a good first half into his first All Star selection, but the back injury recurred and kept him out for most of the second half of the season, including the playoffs, thus ending his White Sox career.

On the north side of town, Dexter Fowler joined Cubs via trade prior to the 2015 season.  Donning #24, he ended the year with a .250 average, 102 runs scored, 46 RBIs, 17 home runs, and 20 stolen bases as the Cubs made a surprise run for the NL Wild Card.  Fowler helped propel the Cubs to the NLDS, putting up three hits, three runs scored, a home run, and a stolen base in defeating the Pirates.  In nine postseason games, Fowler batted .396 with two home runs and three RBIs, as the Cubs made it to the NLCS against the Mets.

Fowler became a free agent after the season and was unsigned into the start of spring training.  Despite reportedly agreeing to a three-year contract with the Orioles, Fowler arrived in Cubs camp and signed a one year deal.  And what a year it was.  Fowler finished the year with a .276 average, 13 home runs, 48 RBIs, and 84 runs scored as the Cubs won the NL Central.  Fowler’s .333 average with 4 RBI helped the Cubs win the NLCS against the Dodgers, advancing to the World Series for the first time since 1945.  On October 25, 2016, Dexter Fowler became the first African-American to appear and to bat for the Cubs in a World Series game.  Fowler led off Game 7 of the World Series with a home run, becoming the first player in history to do so, and helping the Cubs win 8–7 in 10 innings, giving the team their first championship in 108 years.

Against The Astros All Time Leaders – Through 2021

astros-primaryIn the past, we’ve looked at the all time leaders in both offensive and defensive categories for all 30 teams. This offseason, we will take our first ever look at those leaders against all 30 clubs.  We continue today with the Houston Astros.

The Astros began life in 1962 as the Colt 45’s, joining the National League along with the Mets, and became the Astros 3 years later.  In 2013, they moved to the American League, becoming just the second team to switch leagues.  I’ve seen them play 47 times, including game 2 of the 2005 World Series and games 3 and 4 of the 2021 ALDS.

Home Runs

Name Total
Derrek Lee 4
Corey Patterson 3
Tim Anderson 2
Paul Konerko 2
Adam Dunn 2
Tadahito Iguchi 2
Alfonso Soriano 2

Hits

Name Total
Derrek Lee 15
Alfonso Soriano 11
Aramis Ramirez 11

Runs

Name Total
Derrek Lee 10
Alfonso Soriano 6
Aramis Ramirez 5
Paul Konerko 5
Alejandro de Aza 5

RBI

Name Total
Derrek Lee 8
Paul Konerko 7
Tadahito Iguchi 7
Adam Dunn 7

Doubles

Name Total
Derrek Lee 4
Aramis Ramirez 3
7 tied with 2

Triples Continue reading →

Fitbit VII – Week 49

And yet another disappointing week to wrap up 2021.  Things got off to a slow start on Sunday as I finished with only 1900 steps.  A nice bounce back on Monday left me just 9 steps shy of 4500.  Tuesday fell back down again, dropping to 3900 steps.  Wednesday started heading back in the right direction again, finishing with 4100 steps.  That momentum stopped on Thursday, coming 24 steps away from 3600.  Friday was the big day of the week, as a trip out for breakfast and to the grocery store, not to mention staying up until midnight on New Year’s Eve, left me with 5600 steps.  A New Year’s Day snowstorm got 2022 off to a poor start, with only 3400 steps on Saturday.

Total steps: 27,133

Daily average: 3876.1

Book 1 (of 52) – The Night The Lights Went Out

The Night The Lights Went Out: A Memoir of Life After Brain Damage – Drew Magary

In December of 2018, Deadspin writer Drew Magary was in New York, hosting a fan event and going to an after-party with his co-workers.  Two weeks later, he woke up in a New York hospital, where he had been in a coma ever since he collapsed that night with a brain hemorrhage.  The Night The Lights Went Out is the story of his injury, road to recovery, and what he learned along the way about letting the man he was go so he could become comfortable with the man he now was.

Magary published a version of this story on Deadspin in May of 2019, before that entire site imploded later that year.  He fleshed out the initial injury, interviewing family, friends, and doctors who retained memories of the night and days that Magary did not.  His recovery also lasted more than five months, eventually undergoing surgery for a cochlear implant, undergoing smell therapy, and seeing a therapist to deal with his ongoing anger.

Aside from his blogging work, first on Deadspin and now on Defector, I’ve also read two of Magary’s novels, one of which he seemingly finished and self-published in the midst of all of this.  I was familiar with the main beats of his story, but going through the details and the long fight to get back to normal, before abandoning that fight and coming to grips with what normal now was, was a completely different beast.

 

Against The Dodgers All Time Leaders – Through 2021

dodgersIn the past, we’ve looked at the all time leaders in both offensive and defensive categories for all 30 teams. This offseason, we will take our first ever look at those leaders against all 30 clubs. We continue today with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The Dodgers began life in Brooklyn in 1883, moving to their current home on the west coast, along with their rival Giants, in 1957.  I’ve seen them play 27 times, including the first two games of their 2008 NLDS sweep against the Cubs and their pennant-clinching victory in the 2017 NLCS.

Home Runs

Name Total
Aramis Ramirez 3
Javy Baez 3
Paul Konerko 2
Alexei Ramirez 2
A.J. Pierzynski 2
Josh Fields 2
Willson Contreras 2

Hits

Name Total
Derrek Lee 15
Alfonso Soriano 13
Ryan Theriot 12

Runs

Name Total
Alexei Ramirez 7
A.J. Pierzynski 6
Alfonso Soriano 5
Ryan Theriot 5
Aramis Ramirez 5

RBI

Name Total
Alexei Ramirez 8
Aramis Ramirez 7
Mark DeRosa 7
Paul Konerko 7

Doubles

Name Total
Alexei Ramirez 4
Kris Bryant 4
Derrek Lee 4

Triples Continue reading →

52 Books in 52 Weeks – 2022 Edition

A new year is upon us, and it is time to once again set a goal of reading a book a week for the entire year, totaling 52 books in 52 weeks.

Prior to last year, I’ve had a low point of 8 books.  I’ve hit a high point of 31 books twiceLast year, working from home for the entire year, I finally met and surpassed my goal, finishing with 54 books finished.

Since I have nothing but time again this year, now that I am officially a remote worker, I’m going to give it another go.  I’ve got plenty of new books stocked up in the Kindle app on my iPad, not to mention one or two birthday and Christmas presents and my handy dandy library card, so I’ve got a good pile to start with.  As a reminder, the rules I am using are:

  • You can count a book as read as long as you have completed the book in 2022 and at least 50% of that reading takes place in 2022
  • Any book counts as long as you’re not embarrassed to count it.
  • Poetry collections do indeed count.
  • Re-reading a book is okay as long as it isn’t done this year. (Reading Twilight twice in 2022 only counts as 1 read)
  • Audiobooks also count.

My first book of the year looks like it will be The Night The Lights Went Out, Drew Magary’s memoir about his traumatic brain injury and his subsequent recovery.  Here’s hoping 2022 is another good year when it comes to books.