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 →

October 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.

As we wrap up the regular season and head in to post-season play, the usual futility of Chicago teams has led to my attending only 36 games during the month, my lowest total since March.  I’ve managed to see a game on 21 out of the 31 days of the month, with 4 games on 2 separate occasions leading the way, and no games on the 10th, 13th, 16,th, 17th, 24th, 25th, 26th, 27th, 28th, and 31st.

Home Runs

Name Total
Kris Bryant 4
Javier Baez 3
Dexter Fowler 3
BJ Upton 3
Enrique Hernandez 3
Miguel Cabrera 3
Paul Konerko 3

Hits

Name Total
Kris Bryant 11
Javier Baez 11
Dexter Fowler 10
Anthony Rizzo 10

Runs

Name Total
Dexter Fowler 7
Juan Pierre 7
Paul Konerko 6
Daniel Murphy 6

RBI

Name Total
Kris Bryant 9
Paul Konerko 7
Miguel Cabrera 7
Ivan Rodriguez 7
Enrique Hernandez 7

Doubles

Name Total
Dexter Fowler 4
7 tied with  3

Triples Continue reading →

Division Series Pitching Leaders

After a disappointing start to their series with the Astros, the White Sox, behind Lucas Giolito, look to even things up by taking Game 2 of the ALDS and come home with a split.  With both NLDS series starting today, we have a full day of baseball on tap, which means it’s time to take a look at the pitching leaders from the 16 division series games I’ve attended since the White Sox won the AL Central in 2000.

Wins

Name Total
16 tied with 1

Losses

Name Total
Matt Clement 2
14 tied with 1

ERA (> 6 IP)

Name Total
Stephen Strasburg 0.00
Jon Lester 0.77
Mark Prior 1.00
Johnny Cueto 1.13
Chad Billingsley 1.35

Strikeouts

Name Total
Jake Arrieta 13
Stephen Strasburg 12
Johnny Cueto 10
Continue reading →

Two Sides Of The Same Town

cws-chiFollowing last week’s trade deadline deals, Ryan Tepera and Craig Kimbrel became the 36th and 37th people I’ve seen play in person for both the Cubs and the White Sox.  With the first round of crosstown kicking off this afternoon at Wrigley, here’s a look at those players, in alphabetical order.

David Aardsma

After posting a decent season with the Cubs in 2006, Aardsma was traded to the White Sox for Neal Cotts.  Aardsma lasted one season with the Sox, where he was unable to duplicate his success from the year before.

Jason Bere

Drafted by the White Sox in the 36th round in 1990, Bere debuted with the big league club in 1993, finishing 2nd in Rookie of the Year voting.  After an All Star selection in 1994, injuries marred the remainder of his tenure on the South Side, which ended in 1998.  He resurfaced with the Cubs in 2001 and had a decent season, but he went 1-10 in 2002 before being let go.

Emilio Bonifacio

Bonifacio spent back-to-back partial seasons in Chicago, first for the Cubs in 2014 after signing as a free agent, where he played decently enough to be flipped at the trade deadline, along with James Russell, to the Braves for a young catching prospect by the name of Victor Caratini.  He returned to Chicago in 2015, signing with the White Sox, where he he did not do well at all, hitting .167 in 47 games before being released in August.

Welington Castillo

Debuting with the Cubs in 2010, Castillo spent time behind the plate for the Cubs until May of 2015, when, having been replaced in the starting lineup by Miguel Montero, he was flipped to the Mariners.  He returned to Chicago in 2018 after signing with the White Sox as a free agent.  On May 24th of that season, he was suspended 80 games for a violation of the PED policy.  The White Sox then cut bait following the 2019 season, shipping him off to the Rangers.

Neal Cotts

Acquired by the White Sox in the Billy Koch trade, he debuted with the team in 2003.  He was a key contributor in the bullpen during the 2005 championship season, and was the only relief pitcher to appear in all 3 rounds of the playoffs that season.  Following the 2006 season, he was traded to the Cubs for David Aardsma, and he spent the next 3 injury filled seasons on the North Side.

Scott Eyre

Joining the White Sox organization in a 1994 trade with the Rangers, he debuted with the big league team in 1997.  He split the next 4 seasons between the rotation and the bullpen, not to mention between Chicago and Charlotte, before being moved to the Blue Jays following the 2000 ALDS loss to the Mariners.  He joined the Cubs as a free agent for the 2006 season and enjoyed 2 seasons of relative success, before falling apart in 2008, when he was traded to the Phillies.

Kosuke Fukudome Continue reading →

By The Numbers – 71

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 #71.  5 players have donned #71 while playing in Chicago, 3 for the White Sox and 2 for the Cubs.

Wade Davis was acquired by the Cubs prior to the 2017 season to replace Aroldis Chapman and help the Cubs defend their first World Series title in 108 years.  He set a franchise record with 27 consecutive saves.  He tied a LDS record by notching saves in all 3 Cub victories.  Following the season, he left as a free agent.

Jace Fry donned #71 when called up by the White Sox in 2017.  His 10.80 ERA in 11 games was not great.  When he changed his number the following year, his numbers also improved.  I’m sure there was no correlation between the two.

Playoff Pitching Leaders

Well, the White Sox have been pushed off the post-season stage and, thanks to yesterday’s rainout, the Cubs still need to take 2 from the Marlins to avoid the same fate.  It’s time to take our updated look at the pitching leaders from the now 30 post-season games I’ve attended since the White Sox won the AL Central in 2000.

Wins

Name Total
Mark Buehrle 2
Jon Lester 2
Jake Arrieta 2
25 tied with 1

Losses

Name Total
Matt Clement 2
29 tied with 1

ERA (> 6 IP)

Name Total
Aroldis Chapman 0.00
Stephen Strasburg 0.00
Kyle Freeland 0.00
Johnny Cueto 1.13
Chad Billingsley 1.35

Strikeouts

Name Total
Jon Lester 25
Jake Arrieta 22
Mark Buehrle 13
Continue reading →

Adios Addison

When the Cubs first acquired Addison Russell on July 4, 2014, they thought they were getting a cornerstone of their rebuild that would roam the middle of the Wrigley Field infield for years to come.  In 2015, he supplanted Starlin Castro at shortstop and, the following year, he hit a grand slam in game 6 of the World Series, helping the Cubs win their first title in 108 years.  3 years later, his time with the team has come to an end, as the Cubs declined to tender him a contract on Monday.

On the field, Russell has failed to take that next step.  His OPS+ dropped in both 2017 and 2018, before rebounding slightly this year.  He was sent to Triple A this summer after admitting he needed to be “more familiar” with the team’s signs.  On top of his diminishing performance, his off the field baggage made keeping him untenable.

Russell missed the first 28 games of 2019 to complete his domestic violence suspension tied to a September 2018 Instagram post by his now ex-wife containing accusations of physical and emotional abuse.  After initially denying the accusations, Russell decided to accept the suspension without appeal and agreed to participate in a comprehensive treatment program.

By all accounts, the Cubs should have cut bait last offseason, but they decided to take a chance at recovering any value Russell still had and tendered him  a contract for 2019.  The same was not true this time around.  President of baseball operations Theo Epstein boiled down the decision to a financial one, saying, “We decided to non-tender Addison Russell today simply because the role we expected him to play for the 2020 Cubs was inconsistent with how he would have been treated in the salary arbitration process.”

With the emergence of Javy Baez, there isn’t a pressing need for Russell’s services.  Given the bad press the team has weathered over the past few years around Russell and their acquisitions of Aroldis Chapman and Daniel Murphy, it was time to cut bait.  To be perfectly honest, this is probably the best move for Russell as well, giving him the opportunity to re-start his career somewhere else, without the scrutiny of the Cub spotlight.

What To Do With Addison Russell?

When the Cubs first acquired Addison Russell on July 4, 2014, they thought they were getting a cornerstone of their rebuild that would roam the middle of the Wrigley Field infield for years to come.  In 2015, he supplanted Starlin Castro at shortstop and, the following year, he hit a grand slam in game 6 of the World Series, helping the Cubs win their first title in 108 years.  And its been downhill since then.

On the field, Russell has failed to take that next step.  His OPS+ dropped in both 2017 and 2018.  He set career lows in home runs in 2017 and again in 2018.  His errors per chance increased both years.  That alone would leave reasonable questions about his future with the franchise.  His performance on the field, however, is nothing compared to the nightmare he has turned into off the field.

In June of 2017, an Instagram post by a friend of his wife’s accused Russell of domestic violence.  Russell denied the accusation and, while MLB opened an investigation, he wasn’t suspended.  At the 2017 All Star Game, Scott Boras, Russell’s agent, seemed confident that his client would be absolved of any wrong-doing.  “I think we know the facts of that and the foundation of social media,” Boras said that day.  “I don’t think there is any support to (the allegation).”

Everything was quiet until late September 2018, when Russell’s now ex-wife posted on Instagram, detailing some of the physical and emotional abuse that she claims Russell put her through.  Russell again denied the allegations, but was placed on administrative leave for the remainder of the season, including the playoffs.  On October 4, Russell was suspended for 40 games, retroactive to September 21 and spilling into the beginning of the 2019 season, becoming eligible to play on May 3, barring any early season weather issues.

Per a statement, Russell decided to accept the suspension without appeal and will also participate in a confidential and comprehensive evaluation and treatment program, which will be supervised by MLB’s Joint Policy Board.  “After gaining a full understanding of the situation, I have concluded it’s in the best interest of my family to accept MLB’s proposed resolution of this matter,” Russell said in the statement released by his attorneys.  “I wish my ex-wife well and hope we can live in peace for the benefit of our child.”

The Cubs had an easy out at that point, but instead decided to tender Russell a contract for 2019 last month.  President of baseball operations Theo Epstein called the decision a “procedural step” and said it did “not represent the finish line nor rubber stamp his future” with the club.  “It does, however, reflect our support for him as long as he continues to make progress and demonstrates his commitment to these important issues,” Epstein added.  In a statement released by the Cubs, Russell said, “Since accepting my suspension, I’ve had time to reflect on my past behavior and think about the next steps I need to take to grow as a person.”

Earlier this week, more details about the abuse were released by Russell’s ex-wife while additional allegations were made by a former girlfriend and mother of Russell’s daughter.  Unfortunately for the Cubs, they can’t rid themselves of Russell now even if they wanted to.  Until Russell signs a contract for 2019, he is in a bit of a limbo.  That is, assuming, that the Cubs want to rid themselves of Russell and the headache that he brings to the table.

With the emergence of Javy Baez and the availability of Ian Happ and Ben Zobrist, there isn’t a pressing need for Russell’s services.  Given the bad press the team has weathered over the past few years regarding their acquisitions of Aroldis Chapman and Daniel Murphy, one would think it would make sense for the Cubs to move on at this point.  It would also likely be beneficial for Russell to re-start his career somewhere else, without the scrutiny of the Cub spotlight.

LCS Pitching Leaders

With Game 1 of the 2017 NLCS between the Cubs and Dodgers in the books, it’s time to take an updated look at the pitching leaders from the 9 LCS games I’ve attended prior to last night since 2003, featuring the White Sox, Cubs, Angels, Marlins, Dodgers, and Mets.

Wins

Name Total
Jacob deGrom 1
Paul Byrd 1
Brad Penny 1
Chad Fox  1
Mark Buehrle 1
Bartolo Colon 1
Ugueth Urbina 1
Kyle Hendricks 1
Aroldis Chapman 1

Losses

Name Total
Jason Hammel 1
Mark Prior 1
Jose Contreras 1
Trevor Cahill 1
Kerry Wood 1
Kelvim Escobar  1
Mark Guthrie 1
Joe Blanton 1
Clayton Kershaw 1

ERA (> 4 IP)

Name Total
Jarrod Washburn 0.00
Mark Buehrle 1.00
Jon Lester 1.50
Kyle Hendricks 1.59
Steven Matz 1.93

Strikeouts

Name Total
Kyle Hendricks 10
Josh Beckett 8
Continue reading →

Playoff Pitching Leaders

With the NLDS between the Cubs and the Nationals tied at a game a piece, it’s time to take our updated look at the pitching leaders from the now 26 post-season games I’ve attended since the White Sox won the AL Central in 2000.

Wins

Name Total
Mark Buehrle 2
Jon Lester 2
22 tied with 1

Losses

Name Total
Matt Clement 2
23 tied with 1

ERA (> 6 IP)

Name Total
Aroldis Chapman 0.00
Johnny Cueto 1.13
Chad Billingsley 1.35
Jon Lester 1.35
Clayton Richard 1.42

Strikeouts

Name Total
Mark Prior 13
Continue reading →