The Decade In Baseball – Team Records

The 2010s have drawn to a close and its time to take a look back at the previous decade.  Today, we are starting with baseball, specifically the performance of all 30 MLB teams in games I attended between 2010 and 2019.  Locally, things were good on the north side of town, as the Cubs finished their rebuild with 3 straight NLCS appearances in the middle of the decade, including a World Series championship in 2016.  It was much bleaker on the south side, as the White Sox failed to compete after a late collapse in 2012, finishing the decade on a string of 7 consecutive losing seasons.

I managed to take in 385 games over the past 10 years at 12 different stadiums from coast (Dodger Stadium) to coast (Fenway Park).  2010 was my high water mark, with 52 games, while 2013 and 2018 tied for the lowest total of the decade with only 29 games.

Games Per Year
Year Total Games
2010 52
2011 43
2012 33
2013 29
2014 35
2015 39
2016 39
2017 49
2018 29
2019 37

Two franchises went through the decade undefeated in games I attended, while another 2 teams went winless.  Both local teams finished just a shade under .500.  The White Sox are far and away the team I saw most often, while the Diamondbacks bring up the rear with only 2 appearances over the past 10 years.

2019 Team Records
Team Name Won Loss Winning Pctg
Colorado Rockies 4 0 1.000
New York Mets 3 0 1.000
Boston Red Sox 9 3 0.750
New York Yankees 9 4 0.692
Washington Nationals 6 3 0.667
Houston Astros 6 3 0.667
Florida Marlins 2 1 0.667
Los Angeles Angels 9 5 0.643
Detroit Tigers 22 13 0.629
Pittsburgh Pirates 5 3 0.625
Kansas City Royals 21 17 0.553
Cleveland Indians 17 14 0.548
Toronto Blue Jays 8 7 0.533
Minnesota Twins 19 17 0.528
Oakland Athletics 7 7 0.500
St. Louis Cardinals 2 2 0.500
San Diego Padres 2 2 0.500
Arizona Diamondbacks 1 1 0.500
Chicago White Sox 159 164 0.492
Chicago Cubs 40 43 0.482
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Fortifying The Staff

After missing out on Zack Wheeler earlier in the offseason, the White Sox looked idly by as the remaining big names vanished off the free agent board: Gerrit Cole, Stephen Strasburg, Madison Bumgarner.  Last week, however, the struck on their plan B, signing Gio Gonzalez to a one year deal on Friday and coming to terms with Dallas Keuchel on a reported 3 year deal on Saturday.

Keuchel, a 31 year old left hander, sat out the first half of last season, signing after the draft (and the expiration of the draft pick compensation attached to him) and helping the Braves to the NL East title.  He won the AL Cy Young Award in 2015, and should help stabilize the White Sox rotation, both on the mound and as a mentor on the bench.

Gonzalez, 34, enters his third stint in the White Sox organization.  Originally signed as the team’s first round draft pick in 2004, he was part of the deal that brought Jim Thome from the Phillies following the 2005 season.  He was reacquired from the Phillies a year later, along with Gavin Floyd for Freddy Garcia.  He was traded again in 2008 as part of the ill-fated Nick Swisher deal with the A’s.  He will now bolster the back end of the White Sox rotation.

These moves give the White Sox plenty of pitching depth as they go into spring training, allowing Michael Kopech and Carlos Rodon to return from injury on their own timetable and keeping the likes of Dylan Covey and Ross Detwiler far from the pitching mound at Guaranteed Rate Field.

Ballpark Tour: Nationals

With 2020 nearly upon us and spring training about 2 months away, we continue our tour of all of the different baseball stadiums I’ve been to over the years. This week, we head to our nation’s capital for a look at the defending World Series champion Washington Nationals. So, without further ado, let’s take a deeper look at my history, such as it is, with Nationals Park.

Stadium Name: Nationals Park

Years in Service: 2008 – Present

Visits: 1

After 3 seasons at RFK Stadium following their move from Montreal, the Washington Nationals moved into their new home for the 2008 season, starting with an 3-2 walk-off victory against the Braves on March 30th.  On January 1, 2015, the park hosted its first hockey game, as the Capitals defeated the Blackhawks in the Winter Classic.  The All-Star Game returned to Washington in 2018 for the first time since 1969, and, this past season, the park hosted the first World Series games in Washington since 1933.

I made my one trip to Nationals Park this past June 5, to see the Nationals defeat the White Sox 6-4.  The game was part of an overall trip to DC celebrating Michael’s grammar school graduation.  It was a beautiful afternoon, despite the result thanks to some bad bullpen results.

Ballpark Tour: Mets

With the offseason underway, we continue our tour of all of the different baseball stadiums I’ve been to over the years. This week, we look at Apu’s favorite squadron, the New York Mets. So, without further ado, let’s take a deeper look at my one game history with Shea Stadium.

 

Stadium Name: Shea Stadium

Years in Service: 1964 – 2008

Visits: 1

After a delay caused by labor woes and an exceptionally harsh winter, Shea Stadium, home of the expansion New York Mets, opened on April 17, 1964, with the Pittsburgh Pirates beating the Mets 4–3 before a crowd of 50,312. It continued to be the home of the Mets until September 28, 2008, when the Mets lost to the Florida Marlins. Along the way, the stadium was also the home of the Yankees for 2 seasons while Yankee Stadium was being renovated and, for the 1975 season, it served as the home of both New York MLB teams and both New York NFL teams, the first time a stadium has had that many main major tenants at one time.

My one trip to Shea Stadium was for opening day in 2003 to see the Chicago Cub take on the Mets. The last day of March was Tom Glavine’s first appearance with the Mets after coming over from the Braves via free agency. His grace period with the Mets faithful did not last long, as he was booed after throwing a ball on the second pitch. The baseball gods were not on the Mets side that day, as the Cubs, behind 2 Corey Patterson home runs, routed the Mets 15-2. I remember the stadium itself being pretty decent, though we did have some of the best seats in the house, which may have tainted my impression somewhat.

Ballpark Tour: Marlins

As we prepare to enter the long offseason, and having trekked to a few new stadiums this season, it is time to take another tour of all of the baseball stadiums I’ve been to over the years.  We start with an odd occurrence: the Miami Marlins.  While I have never been to Miami, I have managed to see one of their home games, thanks to Hurricane Ivan.  So, without further ado, let’s take a deeper look at my history with the Marlins at, of all places, US Cellular Field in Chicago.

Stadium Name: US Cellular Field

Years in Service: 2004

Visits: 1 (as the home team)

In September of 2004, Hurricane Ivan bore down on Florida, just weeks after Hurricane Frances made landfall.  The Marlins, having already cancelled a full series against the Cubs, decided to move 2 games of their series against the Montreal Expos to Chicago.  So, on September 14, 2014, I went to US Cellular Field, home of the White Sox, to see the Marlins battle the Expos.

With general admission ticket prices set at $15, $5 of which went to a fund for victims of the hurricane, I headed down to the second of the two games the teams played in town.  The Marlins, playing the part of the home team, brought their own public address announcer, their own mascot, and their own graphics to be used on the center field scoreboard.  Southpaw, the mascot of the White Sox, palled around with Billy Marlin.

The games marked the first time that a National League game was played in an American League stadium since 1946, when the Braves had to play the Phillies at Fenway Park due to painted seats that hadn’t yet dried.  It was also the first time that the defending World Series champions played a home game in Chicago since 1918.

For the Expos, it was just another strange trip in a season full of them.  This was their last season in existence, when they played a portion of their home schedule in Puerto Rico.  The travel for this series should have been nothing, since the team was already in town to play the Cubs the weekend before.  However, a previously booked convention kicked them out of their hotel downtown, forcing them to move out to Arlington Heights, which is not an exactly convenient locale when playing on the South Side.

The Marlins managed to win both games of the series before they were able to head back to Florida and continue the season as planned.  The Expos played out the last 20 or so games of their existence before moving to Washington and becoming the Nationals.

2019 Predictions Revisited

Six months ago, at the dawn of the 2019 baseball season, I made my annual predictions as to who would win what.  Now that the regular season has come to an end, it is time revisit those predictions and see what, if anything, I got right.

American League

East: Yankees

Well, one for one so far.  This one wasn’t particularly close, as the Yankees won 103 games and won the division by 7 games.

Central: Indians

So much for going perfect.  The Indians saw their run of 3 consecutive division titles come to an end at the hands of the upstart Twins.

West: Astros

The Astros put up the best record in baseball, so this one was pretty much a gimme.

Wild Cards: Red Sox, Angels

No and No.  Right divisions, but the Rays and the A’s took home the Wild Cards.

AL Champion: Astros

This one is looking pretty good.

Cy Young: Justin Verlander

As is this one.  It will likely come down to him or teammate Gerrit Cole.

MVP: George Springer

I think I picked the wrong Astro.

National League

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All Time Team Records

The 2019 baseball season got underway yesterday, with the now early start brought about due to the last collective bargaining agreement.  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. The Cubs look to avenge last year’s loss in the Wild Card and hope to make it back to the World Series, while the rebuilding White Sox hope to finally start seeing some of their young talent blossom.  The 2019 season should be an exciting one on both sides of town.

All-Time Team Records
Team Name Won Loss Winning Pctg
California Angels 1 0 1.000
Arizona Diamondbacks 13 2 0.867
Florida Marlins 15 8 0.652
Colorado Rockies 10 6 0.625
Philadelphia Phillies 10 7 0.588
New York Yankees 14 10 0.583
Boston Red Sox 17 13 0.567
Los Angeles Angels 17 13 0.567
Toronto Blue Jays 13 10 0.565
Cleveland Indians 26 23 0.531
Detroit Tigers 27 24 0.529
Chicago Cubs 213 192 0.526
Houston Astros 22 20 0.524
Chicago White Sox 293 271 0.520
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2018 BBWAA Award Predictions

The Baseball Writers of America have announced the finalists for their awards for the just completed baseball season, which will be announced next week.  It is a good bet that few of my original predictions for the winners will be accurate.  Hopefully, these new predictions will be slightly better, especially since I’ll have a 33% chance of being right.

American League

Most Valuable Player: Mookie Betts, Jose Ramirez, Mike Trout

Giancarlo Stanton was was my pre-season selection to win the award this year and, while he was productive, he didn’t pull away from the pack as he did last year for the Marlins.  Mookie Betts should run away and hide with this award.

Cy Young Award: Corey Kluber, Blake Snell, Justin Verlander

A late season injury kept my pre-season pick of Chris Sale from competing for his first Cy Young award.  My guess is that Blake Snell takes home the prize.

Manager of the Year: Alex Cora, Kevin Cash, Bob Melvin

Once again, I didn’t make any predictions for this award prior to the season.  Alex Cora should be a shoo-in for the award, given the Red Sox performance in his rookie campaign as skipper.

Rookie of the Year: Miguel Andujar, Shohei Ohtani, Gleyber Torres

Another award I didn’t predict prior to the season.  Despite losing time due to injury, Ohtani seems to be the odds-on favorite.

National League

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2018 Predictions Revisited

Six months ago, at the dawn of the 2018 baseball season, I made my annual predictions as to who would win what.  Now that the regular season has come to an end, it is time revisit those predictions and see what, if anything, I got right.

American League

East: Yankees

The Red Sox set a franchise record in wins and have pretty much held a commanding lead for the entire season, so I was a little off here.

Central: Indians

Getting this right shouldn’t really count, as the Indians are the only team in the Central to finish with a winning record.

West: Astros

The Astros have surpassed 100 wins and are ready to defend their title.

Wild Cards: Red Sox, Angels

Well, if you swap out the Red Sox and the Yankees, this doesn’t look too bad.  The Angels, however, did not pan out and instead the A’s took the second Wild Card slot.

AL Champion: Yankees

Well, they are still alive, so I guess it can still be a good pick.

Cy Young: Chris Sale

This seemed like a good pick through much of the season, but a late year injury may hold him back.

MVP: Giancarlo Stanton

Not going to happen.  Either Mookie Betts or Mike Trout will take home this award.

National League

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Looking Ahead To 2019

Major League Baseball released their tentative 2019 schedule last week.  While the local squads have differing goals in mind as 2018 winds down, with the Cubs looking for their 4th straight trip to post-season and the White Sox playing out the string in year two of their rebuild, it’s time to turn our attention to next summer for both teams.

For the second year in a row, the White Sox open their season on the road in Kansas City against the Royals.  The home opener comes a week later, on April 4, against the Mariners.

The interleague schedule pits the White Sox against the NL East, with trips to Washington, Philadelphia, and Atlanta and home series against the Nationals, Marlins, and the Mets.  The rivalry with their north side foes continues with a 2 game series at Wrigley Field in June and then moving back to the south side in July.

The season ends with a 6 game homestand against the Indians and the Tigers.  Hopefully by this time, the White Sox losing ways will be well behind them.

On the north side, the Cubs open their season in interleague play, facing the Rangers in Texas on March 28.  They kick off the home portion of their schedule on April 8, against the Pirates.

The interleague schedule pits the Cubs against the AL West, with trips to Texas, Seattle, and Houston and home series against the Angels, A’s, and the Mariners.

The Cubs end the year with a 16 game stretch against the NL Central, with 13 of those coming against the Pirates and the Cardinals, who are likely to  challenge them for the NL Central crown.