2024 Hall Of Fame Ballot – The Holdovers

Monday, the BBWAA released their ballot for the Hall of Fame class of 2024.  The results of the vote are due to be revealed on January 24th, with induction taking place July 21st.  Scott Rolen was elected in last year’s voting and Jeff Kent fell off the ballot after reaching the ten-year limit, leaving fourteen holdovers along with twelve newcomers.

Let’s take a look at the returning candidates today before moving on to the newcomers tomorrow.

Bobby Abreu
Years on ballot: 4
2023 Percentage: 15.4

After falling off the year before, Abreu starts moving in the right direction again, but has a long way to go.

Carlos Beltran
Years on ballot: 1
2023 Percentage: 46.5

A decent debut for Beltran, which may have been even better had he not been tainted by the Astros cheating scandal.

Mark Buehrle
Years on ballot: 3
2023 Percentage: 10.8

After nearly falling off the ballot in his second go-around, Buehrle bounced back last year but faces an uphill climb if he is to make it to Cooperstown.

Todd Helton
Years on ballot: 5
2023 Percentage: 72.2

After falling just a few votes short last year, Helton should be a lock for election this year.

Torii Hunter
Years on ballot: 3
2023 Percentage: 6.9

Despite a small increase from the previous year, Hunter once again had the lowest percentage of the vote while remaining on the ballot.  Things do not look good for the long-term prospects of the former Twin and Angel.

Andruw Jones
Years on ballot: 6
2023 Percentage: 58.1

If voters were to stick to his first eleven seasons, Jones looks like a shoo-in for the Hall.  His last seven seasons, though, were so bad that it makes it hard to consider him.  After crossing the 50% plateau last year, he is trending in the right direction, but doesn’t have all that much time left.

Andy Pettitte
Years on ballot: 5
2023 Percentage: 17.0

Continue reading →

Giolito (and Lopez) Shuffle

Lucas Giolito and Reynaldo Lopez joined the White Sox organization together in December of 2016, part of the return in the Adam Eaton trade with the Nationals that, along with the Chris Sale trade, kickstarted the latest rebuild.  Yesterday, the two were bundled together once again, traded to the Angels and officially slamming closed the contention window the now failed rebuild was meant to open.  Giolito, who was 6-6 with a 3.79 ERA this season, and Lopez, 2-5 with a 4.29 ERA and 4 saves, will both become free agents at the end of the season.

Giolito and Lopez both had their successes with the White Sox, but it came in different ways.  Both had a decent showing in a brief cup of coffee to close out 2017, but their paths diverged in 2018.  Lopez had a decent year, going 7-10 with a 3.91 ERA while Giolito was, statistically, the worst starting pitcher in baseball.  From that point forward, though, their fortunes changed dramatically.  With the help of future pitching coach Ethan Katz, Giolito reworked his pitching motion, becoming an All Star in 2019 and throwing a no-hitter in 2020 while earning Cy Young Award votes in each season between 2019 and 2021.  Lopez, meanwhile, struggled with consistency, seeing his ERA jump to 5.38 in 2019 and 6.49 in 2020.  After a brief detour to Charlotte in 2021, Lopez returned as a bullpen arm, where he saw more success.

In exchange for the two pitchers, the Angels are sending catcher Edgar Quero, ranked as the 65th best prospect, and left-hander Ky Bush, their second and third ranked prospects.  Quero, 20, is a switch-hitter and is currently the youngest player in Double A.  Bush, 23, was the Angels’ second-round pick in 2021 and, after a non-arm injury impacted his performance earlier in the season, has posted a 1.84 ERA with 17 strikeouts over his last three appearances in Double A.

While the move should improve the White Sox fortunes in 2024 and beyond, it does leave them in a bit of a pickle for the remainder of 2023.  There is nobody in the farm system ready to step up and take Giolito’s place in the rotation.  It is extremely likely that bullpen days become the norm, especially if further deals send Lance Lynn and Mike Clevinger to other locales.  Given their past aversion to free agent deals for quality pitchers, what Rick Hahn and Kenny Williams do to try and re-work the roster to give themselves any chance of competing in 2024 is anyone’s guess.

Looking Ahead To 2024

Using the extra off day in the All-Star break, Major League Baseball released their tentative 2024 schedule on Thursday.  For the second year in a row, MLB is keeping with a balanced schedule, playing 52 games against division opponents, 64 games against non-division opponents in the same league, and 46 interleague games, with series against every team in the opposite league.  With the White Sox entering an uncertain second half of 2023 following a disappointing year and a half during what should have been the prime of their contention window, and the Cubs looking to take the next step forward in their rebuild, the 2024 season looks to be an interesting time in the city of Chicago.  So, for one day, at least, let’s turn our attention to next summer for both teams.

The White Sox open their season on March 28 against the Tigers, kicking off a six-game homestand that also features the Braves.

Aside from the Braves, the new interleague schedule sees the Pirates, Reds, Dodgers, Braves, Mets, Rockies, and Nationals travelling to Chicago, while the White Sox will go on the road to face the Phillies, Marlins, Cardinals, Brewers, Diamondbacks, and Padres. The rivalry with their north side foes continues with a two-game series at Wrigley Field in early June followed by a mid-August tilt at Guaranteed Rate Field that leaves both teams the rare Sunday off-day.

After a west coast trip in mid-September, the season wraps up with a mid-week home battle against the Angels followed by a trip to Detroit to finish up the year.

On the north side, the Cubs also open their season on March 28, heading out on the road for the first time in five years to battle the Rangers.  After a three-game series, they open the home portion of the schedule against the Rockies.

Aside from the Rangers, the Cubs will head out on the road to face the Mariners, Orioles, Guardians, Red Sox, and Royals, while the A’s, Twins, Angels, Yankees, Blue Jays, and Tigers will be coming to Wrigley.

Only six of their 26 games in September are against their NL Central rivals, which could make a difference if the Cubs find themselves in contention.  They end the year with a three-game tilt at home against the Reds.

It Hasn’t Been A While

Coming in to the 2023 season, I had seen every team since the pandemic-stricken 2020 season save two: the Pirates, who I had last seen in 2019, and the Marlins, who I hadn’t seen in person since 2013.  This week, I knocked both of those teams off the list, with the Marlins coming through Guaranteed Rate Field this past weekend and the Pirates in town at Wrigley Field this week.

Less than halfway through the 2023 season, I’ve already seen fourteen of the 30 clubs, just under half.  That number jumps to 25 when we turn the clock back to 2022.  That’s 83% of the league that I’ve seen in less than a season and a half.  The remaining five I saw in 2021, and I’m sure at least two or three will make an appearance in the second half of 2023.  Anyway, here’s a look at each team and the last time I saw them play.

Most Recent Game By Team

Team Name Date
Washington Nationals 5/19/2021
St. Louis Cardinals 5/26/2021
San Diego Padres 6/1/2021
Boston Red Sox 9/11/2021
Cincinnati Reds 9/28/2021
Seattle Mariners 4/12/2022
Los Angeles Angels 4/30/2022
New York Yankees 5/15/2022
Los Angeles Dodgers 6/8/2022
Texas Rangers 6/12/2022
Atlanta Braves 6/18/2022
Toronto Blue Jays 6/20/2022
Colorado Rockies 7/27/2022
Oakland Athletics 7/30/2022
Continue reading →

All Time Team Records

After a long winter, the 2023 baseball season gets underway today.  To celebrate, 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.  Last year, I tied 2012 for my 16th highest game total of all time, a big drop-off from the year before, and managed to see 20 out of the 30 teams, so there should be some nice changes.

The White Sox look to bounce back after a disappointing 2022, with a new manager hoping to regain the AL Central crown and move past the ALDS in the post-season, while the Cubs are finally hoping to be back in the conversation when it comes to the NL playoff picture.  The 2023 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 15 2 0.882
Cleveland Guardians 2 1 0.667
Florida Marlins 15 8 0.652
New York Yankees 19 12 0.613
Colorado Rockies 11 7 0.611
Boston Red Sox 19 13 0.594
Los Angeles Angels 20 15 0.571
Toronto Blue Jays 15 12 0.556
Philadelphia Phillies 11 9 0.550
Washington Nationals 7 6 0.538
Cleveland Indians 31 27 0.534
Chicago White Sox 351 321 0.522
Chicago Cubs 226 211 0.517
Houston Astros Continue reading →

Team Stats: Games Per Team

Today, we wrap up our look at the all-time rankings for all iterations of the current 30 teams for the 1040 games I’ve identified that I have attended.  Opening Day is just under two months away and spring training camps are getting ready to roll in just a week or two, so let’s finish things off with the total number of games per team.

With the newly unbalanced schedule starting this year, the Central Division in each league will not score as heavily going forward.  In fact, you have to drop down to seventh place in the current rankings to find a team not in the Central Division and to tenth place to find the first team that was never in the Central.  The addition of expanded interleague play should also shake things up a bit moving forward.

Games Per Team

Team Name Total Games
Chicago White Sox 672
Chicago Cubs 437
Minnesota Twins 68
Kansas City Royals 62
Detroit Tigers 59
Cleveland Indians 58
Houston Astros 49
Pittsburgh Pirates 46
Milwaukee Brewers 41
Seattle Mariners 40
Cincinnati Reds 40
Texas Rangers 39
Baltimore Orioles 36
Los Angeles Angels 35
St. Louis Cardinals Continue reading →

Team Stats: Home Runs

It will be two months until baseball returns to Chicago, so I thought it would be a good time to revisit, for the first time in six years, the all-time rankings in both offensive and defensive categories for all iterations of the current 30 teams for the 1040 games I’ve identified that I have attended.  We continue today on the offensive side of the ball with home runs.

As you might expect by this point, the White Sox and Cubs, based on the raw numbers, are far and away the leaders in this category, as they are, as always, the teams I’ve seen most often.  When you adjust the numbers per game, the California incarnation of the Angels and the Guardians are the only teams at or above two home runs per game.  The Nationals and the Anaheim version of the Angels are the only teams with less than a home run every other game.

Home Runs

TeamName TotalTriples
Chicago White Sox 811
Chicago Cubs 498
Cleveland Indians 72
Kansas City Royals 68
Detroit Tigers 66
Minnesota Twins 65
Seattle Mariners 58
Texas Rangers 49
Boston Red Sox 49
Houston Astros 48
Milwaukee Brewers 45
New York Yankees 44
St. Louis Cardinals 42
Oakland Athletics 42
Baltimore Orioles Continue reading →

Team Stats: Earned Run Average

With less than three months until baseball returns to Chicago, I thought it would be a good time to revisit, for the first time in six years, the all-time rankings in both offensive and defensive categories for all iterations of the current 30 teams for the 1040 games I’ve identified that I have attended.  We wrap up the defensive side of the ball today with earned run average.

Both the White Sox and Cubs find themselves in the middle of the pack for team ERA, with the Cubs coming in at 14th with 4.00 and the White Sox at 17th with a team ERA of 4.20.  The Anaheim iteration of the Angels lead the way, finishing mere percentage points below 2.60.  The Devil Rays are on the opposite end of the spectrum, clocking in just over 5.95.

Earned Run Average

Team Name ERA
Anaheim Angels 2.59620377314948
Arizona Diamondbacks 2.92054914270955
Washington Nationals 3.16720186512999
Montreal Expos 3.4000755572346
Los Angeles Dodgers 3.41129032258065
Colorado Rockies 3.58507711650256
Los Angeles Angels 3.65023417507605
San Francisco Giants 3.69195184152779
Boston Red Sox 3.70899413615711
Oakland Athletics 3.84286934244236
Tampa Bay Rays 3.87647371109753
Miami Marlins 3.9375
Philadelphia Phillies 3.96004525766009
Chicago Cubs 3.99524314872638
New York Mets Continue reading →

Team Stats: Runs Batted In

It will be less than three months until baseball returns to Chicago, so I thought it would be a good time to revisit, for the first time in six years, the all-time rankings in both offensive and defensive categories for all iterations of the current 30 teams for the 1040 games I’ve identified that I have attended.  We continue today on the offensive side of the ball with runs batted in.

Based on the raw numbers, the White Sox and Cubs are far and away the leaders in this category, as they are the teams I’ve seen most often.  When you adjust the numbers per game, the California iteration of the Angels and the Guardians lead the way as the only teams over seven.  The Nationals and the Miami incarnation of the Marlins are the only teams that failed to average three runs batted in per game.

Runs Batted In

Team Name RBIs
Chicago White Sox 2943
Chicago Cubs 1899
Cleveland Indians 286
Minnesota Twins 261
Kansas City Royals 247
Detroit Tigers 247
Houston Astros 221
Milwaukee Brewers 194
Texas Rangers 182
Boston Red Sox 174
Pittsburgh Pirates 172
Cincinnati Reds 169
Seattle Mariners 161
New York Yankees 160
Baltimore Orioles 148
Los Angeles Angels 137
St. Louis Cardinals 135
Los Angeles Dodgers 126
Oakland Athletics 124
Florida Marlins 120
Toronto Blue Jays 115
Arizona Diamondbacks 101
Tampa Bay Rays 96
Atlanta Braves 85
Philadelphia Phillies 79
San Diego Padres 76
San Francisco Giants 76
New York Mets 71
Colorado Rockies 64
Washington Nationals 40
Tampa Bay Devil Rays 32
Cleveland Guardians 22
Montreal Expos 19
California Angels 15
Anaheim Angels 7
Miami Marlins 4

Runs Batted In per Game

Team Name RBIs per Game
California Angels 7.5
Cleveland Guardians 7.33333333333333
Tampa Bay Devil Rays 6.4
Arizona Diamondbacks 5.94117647058824
Boston Red Sox 5.4375
Florida Marlins 5.21739130434783
New York Yankees 5.16129032258065
Cleveland Indians 4.93103448275862
Milwaukee Brewers 4.73170731707317
Texas Rangers 4.66666666666667
Houston Astros 4.51020408163265
Chicago White Sox 4.37946428571429
Chicago Cubs 4.34553775743707
Los Angeles Dodgers 4.3448275862069
Toronto Blue Jays 4.25925925925926
Cincinnati Reds 4.225
Detroit Tigers 4.1864406779661
New York Mets 4.17647058823529
Tampa Bay Rays 4.17391304347826
Baltimore Orioles Continue reading →

Team Stats: Strike Outs

The new year means there is less than three months until baseball returns to Chicago.  I thought it would be a good time to revisit, for the first time in six years, the all-time rankings in both offensive and defensive categories for all iterations of the current 30 teams for the 1040 games I’ve identified that I have attended.  After a break for the holidays, we continue today on the defensive side of the ball with strike outs.

As always, the White Sox and Cubs are the leaders in this category based on the raw numbers, as they are the teams I’ve seen in action most often.  When you adjust the numbers per game, both teams still fare well, placing fourth and third respectively.  The California version of the Angels lead the way. with an even nine strike outs per game.  The Miami iteration of the Marlins and the Devil Rays bring up the rear with an even five strike outs per game.

Strike Outs

Team Name Strike Outs
Chicago White Sox 5387
Chicago Cubs 3558
Kansas City Royals 463
Minnesota Twins 457
Cleveland Indians 440
Detroit Tigers 407
Houston Astros 350
Milwaukee Brewers 320
Pittsburgh Pirates 295
Seattle Mariners 271
Los Angeles Angels 254
Cincinnati Reds 251
Texas Rangers 247
New York Yankees 240
Boston Red Sox Continue reading →