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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Ballpark Tour: Cardinals

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 the St. Louis Cardinals, a team you would think I would have visited more often due to it’s proximity to Chicago.  So, without further ado, let’s take a deeper look at my history with Busch Stadium, the former home of the Cardinals.

Stadium Name: Busch Stadium

Years in Service: 1966 – 2005

Visits: 1

Busch Memorial Stadium, more commonly known as Busch Stadium, was the home of the St. Louis Cardinals from 1966 until 2005.  The stadium also played host to both the St. Louis Football Cardinals from 1966 until their move to Arizona in 1987 and then the newly-relocated Rams in 1995.  Following the 1995 season, the stadium was retro-fitted for baseball use only, replacing the astroturf field with grass and installing a new scoreboard.  The stadium was demolished during November of 2005, in part to make room for its replacement.

I made my one and only trip to Busch Stadium on June 21, 2001 for an exciting Cubs victory over the host Cardinals.  It was a packed house that day, and we had standing room only tickets, so I didn’t get to see much of the stadium.  I do remember a conversation with a local, who, in a deep southern accent, kept talking about his fascination with Todd Dunwoody, who got the start in right field that day in place of Sammy Sosa.

2019 Final Standings

For the second straight year, the Cubs faltered down the stretch and, for the first time since 2014, they failed to make the postseason, thus bringing my game-attending portion of the 2019 season to an end.  I made it to 37 games this season, my highest total since 2016.  I did manage to attend games at 7 different stadiums, my highest single season total and bringing my total up to 25.  Here are the final standings for those games and the 21 different teams I saw in person.

2019 Team Records
Team Name Won Loss Winning Pctg
San Francisco Giants 2 0 1.000
Washington Nationals 2 0 1.000
New York Mets 1 0 1.000
Texas Rangers 1 0 1.000
Boston Red Sox 1 0 1.000
Toronto Blue Jays 2 1 0.667
Cleveland Indians 2 1 0.667
Los Angeles Angels 2 1 0.667
Chicago Cubs 6 5 0.545
New York Yankees 1 1 0.500
Oakland Athletics 1 1 0.500
Seattle Mariners 1 1 0.500
Minnesota Twins 1 1 0.500
Chicago White Sox 13 15 0.464
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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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Looking Ahead To 2020

Major League Baseball released their tentative 2020 schedule earlier this week.  While the local squads have differing goals in mind as 2019 winds down, with the Cubs struggling for their 8th straight trip to post-season and the White Sox playing out the string in year three of their rebuild, it’s time to turn our attention to next summer for both teams.

For the third year in a row, the White Sox open their season against the Royals, but will be at home for the first time.  They follow that with a trip to Cleveland and Boston.

The interleague schedule pits the White Sox against the NL West, with trips to Colorado, San Francisco, and San Diego and home series against the Rockies, Diamondbacks, and the Dodgers.  The rivalry with their north side foes continues with a 2 game series at home and a 2 game series at Wrigley Field, both in July in the weeks surrounding the All Star Break.

In August, they will travel to Iowa to battle the Yankees in the first Field of Dreams game, hosted where the film of the same name was filmed in 1989 and played in an 8000 seat stadium that will be inspired by the original Comiskey Park.

The season ends with 10 games against their Central Division rivals, which hopefully will be important.

On the north side, the Cubs open their season up north in Milwaukee, before returning home the following Monday to kick off the home portion of their schedule against the Pirates.

The interleague schedule pits the Cubs against the AL East, with trips to Baltimore, New York, and Toronto and home series against the Orioles, Red Sox, and the Rays.

In June, they will head to London for a two-game tilt against the Cardinals

The Cubs end the year with a 16 of their final 22 games 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.

2019 All Star Break Standings

As the baseball world turns its sights to Cleveland for Tuesday night’s All Star Game, it’s time to take a look at the team records for the 23 games I attended in the first half of the baseball season, with the rebuild on the south side finally showing progress and the window of contention on the north side looking like it may be ending sooner rather than later.

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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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2019 Predictions

The 2019 baseball season is scheduled to kick off tomorrow, at least the North American portion, with a full slate of games featuring all 30 teams.  For the ninth consecutive year, I’ve looked into the crystal ball to make my picks for the upcoming season.

American League

East: Yankees

Central: Indians

West: Astros

Wild Cards: Red Sox, Angels

AL Champion: Astros

Cy Young: Justin Verlander

MVP: George Springer

National League

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#13 – Aaron Rowand

Name: Aaron Rowand

Rank: 13

Position: CF

Years With White Sox: 2001-2005

Aaron Rowand joined the White Sox organization in 1998, selected in the first round of the draft.  He earned his first call up to the show on June 15, 2001 and made his major league debut the following day, pinch hitting and lining out to end an 8-2 loss to the Cardinals.  He ended the season hitting .293, fourth amongst rookies in the American League.

An off-season dirt bike accident looked to derail Rowand’s 2002 season, but he recovered enough to appear in 126 games, hitting .258 with 7 home runs and taking over as the starting center fielder following the mid-season trade of Kenny Lofton.  Rowand earned a return trip to Triple A in 2003 after hitting .133 in his first 60 games, but after a little more than a month, he returned to the big leagues, hitting .387 the rest of the way and ending the season with a .287 average.

2004 was a breakout year for Rowand.  A full time starter for the first time, Rowand appeared in 140 games, setting career highs with a .310 average and .905 OPS.  He also managed 24 home runs and 24 doubles.  He finished the year with 5.7 WAR, the seventh highest total in the American League.

The good times continued in 2005, for both Rowand and the White Sox.  In 157 games, Rowand hit .270 with 13 home runs.  Defensively, he committed only 3 errors in 394 chances, giving him the seventh highest defensive WAR in the American League.  Rowand went 4 for 10 against the Red Sox in the ALDS, driving in 2 runs and scoring 3 more in the 3 game sweep.  In the ALCS against the Angels, Rowand managed only 3 hits in the 5 game series, all doubles.  He bounced back in the World Series, going 5-17 against the Astros as the White Sox won their first title in 88 years.

Less than a month after the final out of the World Series, Rowand was traded, along with Gio Gonzalez and Daniel Haigwood, to the Phillies for Jim Thome.

Rowand’s numbers in a White Sox uniform, both for games I attended and overall, were:

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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.