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 →

Against The Padres All Time Leaders – Through 2021

In 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 Diego Padres.

The Padres began life in 1969, joining the National League along with the Montreal Expos.  I’ve seen them play 21 times (would have been 24 if my trip to San Diego in May of 2020 hadn’t been wiped out by the corona virus) at 5 different ballparks, first in 1985 at Wrigley Field and, most recently, this past June.

Home Runs

Name Total
Corey Patterson 3
Sammy Sosa 3
Patrick Wisdom 3

Hits

Name Total
Alfonso Soriano 10
Moises Alou 9
Corey Patterson 8
Derrek Lee 8
Jose Macias 8
Aramis Ramirez 8

Runs

Name Total
Derrek Lee 6
Moises Alou 5
Corey Patterson 5
Michael Barrett 5
Sammy Sosa 5

RBI

Name Total
Corey Patterson 6
Michael Barrett 6
Aramis Ramirez 6
Alfonso Soriano 6

Doubles

Name Total
Michael Barrett 3
Kosuke Fukudome 3
Aramis Ramirez 2
Alfonso Soriano 2
Jacque Jones 2
Reed Johnson 2
Sergio Alcantara 2

Triples 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 →

A Flurry Of Activity

The Cubs have seemingly turned Wrigley Field upside down, shook real hard, and let the pieces fall where they may.  With less than an hour until the trade deadline, they’ve made two huge deals, sending closer Craig Kimbrel to the White Sox for second baseman Nick Madrigal and reliever Codi Heuer and, in a separate deal, sending Javier Baez and Trevor Williams to the Mets in exchange for Pete Crow-Armstrong.

The first move, along with yesterday’s acquisition of Ryan Tepera, fortifies the White Sox bullpen as they look towards October baseball, giving them two All Star closers to choose from as Tony LaRussa sees fit.  Madrigal, the fourth overall selection in the 2018 draft, should hold down second base on the north side for years to come, assuming he can stay healthy.  He’s been out since early June with a hamstring tear and is expected to be ready for spring training.  Heuer has been a workhorse, and is the pitcher I’ve seen in the most games this year, but has gotten knocked around a bit more than the White Sox expected.

Baez, the ninth overall pick in the 2011 draft and the runner in the 2018 MVP race, has been a centerpiece of the Cubs run these last 7 years, debuting in 2014 and cementing himself in the lineup in 2016.  He is reunited with his friend and Team Puerto Rico teammate Francisco Lindor with the Mets.  Crow-Armstrong was the first round selection of the Mets in the 2020 draft and is currently their 5th ranked prospect, according to MLB.com.

With all of this, the one guy everyone expected the Cubs to move, Kris Bryant, is the last man standing.  Will something happen in these last couple of minutes?  Time will tell.

2021 All Star Break Pitching Leaders

The second half gets kicked off tonight, with the White Sox holding an 8 game lead in the AL Central and the Cubs looking to be sellers after losing 13 of their final 15 games heading in to the break, dropping them from first place to third, with an 8 game deficit.  Let’s wrap up the first half with a look at the leaders on the defensive side of the ball for the 32 games I attended, starting with everyone’s favorite stat:

Wins

Name Total
Lance Lynn 4
Codi Heuer 2
Michael Kopech 2
Lucas Giolito 2
Dallas Keuchel 2

Losses

Name Total
Lucas Giolito 3
Carlos Rodon 3
Lance Lynn 2
Jorge Alcalá 2
22 tied with 1

ERA (> 6 IP)

Name Total
Michael Kopech 1.53
Dylan Cease 1.61
Mike Minor 1.64
Lance Lynn 1.70
Liam Henriks 2.03

Strikeouts

Name Total
Lance Lynn 51
Continue reading →

Hey Now, You’re An All Star

First, the good news.  Five Chicago players will be making the tip to AtlantaDenver next week for the All Star Game.  Starters Lance Lynn and Carlos Rodon and closer Liam Hendriks will represent the White Sox, while third baseman Kris Bryant and closer Craig Kimbrel will represent the Cubs.  It is the first mid-summer classic for Rodon, second for Lynn and Hendricks, fourth for Bryant, and eighth for Kimbrel.

Now, the bad news.  Unlike in years past, the teams will be wearing their All Star jerseys in the game itself, rather than just in the surrounding ceremonies.  The National League will be wearing white, with the team logo on the left breast superimposed over a three letter acronym for the team (CHC for the Cubs, for example).  The sleeves have a flower pattern at the cuff that makes little sense, with either an American flag or All Star Game patch, depending on the arm.  The back has a star below the player’s number signifying their number of All Star selections.  The American League will wear the same, but in navy blue.  Both leagues will wear navy caps with a giant star underneath the team’s logo.

Red Sox All Time Leaders – Through 2019

redsoxWith baseball shut down because of the corona virus, I thought it would be an interesting time to look at the all time leaders in both offensive and defensive categories for all 30 teams. We continue things today with the Boston Red Sox.

I’ve seen the Red Sox play 31 times at 4 different stadiums, first in the White Sox home opener in 1985, through the 2005 ALDS, and, most recently, in last May.  The game total would have been 2 higher, if the corona virus hadn’t put the kibosh on my early April weekend trip to Fenway Park.

Home Runs

Name Total
David Ortiz 6
Mike Lowell 4
5 tied with 3

Hits

Name Total
David Ortiz 22
Mike Lowell 17
Kevin Youkilis 15

Runs

Name Total
David Ortiz 16
Dustin Pedroia 9
Mike Lowell 8
Kevin Youkilis 8
Jacoby Ellsbury 8

RBI

Name Total
David Ortiz 19
Mike Lowell 13
Kevin Youkilis 12

Doubles

Name Total
David Ortiz 6
Manny Ramirez 4
Mookie Betts 4

Triples Continue reading →

Braves All Time Leaders – Through 2019

bravesWith baseball shut down because of the corona virus, I thought it would be an interesting time to look back at the all time leaders in both offensive and defensive categories for all 30 teams. We continue today with the Atlanta Braves.

The Braves began life in Boston, moving to Milwaukee in 1953 and landing in Atlanta in 1966.  I’ve seen them play 19 times, including games 3 and 4 of the 2003 NLDS against the Cubs.

Home Runs

Name Total
Chipper Jones 3
Freddie Freeman 3
Brian McCann 2
Jeff Fancoeur 2

Hits

Name Total
Chipper Jones 10
Vinny Castilla 9
Brian McCann 8

Runs

Name Total
Chipper Jones 6
Andruw Jones 6
Freddie Freeman 4

RBI

Name Total
Chipper Jones 7
Brian McCann 7
Freddie Freeman 7

Doubles

Name Total
Brooks Conrad 2
Gary Sheffield 2
Freddie Freeman 2
Nick Markakis 2

Triples Continue reading →

2019 All Star Break Pitching Leaders

Now that the All Star Game is behind us and we await the start of the second half of the season, let’s take a look at the first half leaders on the defensive side of the ball for the 23 games I attended:

Wins

Name Total
Evan Marshall 2
Jon Lester 2
19 tied with 1

Losses

Name Total
Ivan Nova 3
Lucas Giolito 3
Kelvin Herrera 2
Kyle Hendricks 2
13 tied with 1

ERA (> 6 IP)

Name Total
Aaron Bummer 0.87
Zack Wheeler 1.29
Jon Lester 2.57
Manny Banuelos 2.70
Mike Leake 2.84

Strikeouts

Name Total
Lucas Giolito 22
Continue reading →

2017 Final Pitching Leaders

baseballs3Sunday, we looked at the leaders in the 49 games I attended this year on the offensive side of the ball.  With the World Series kicking off tonight in Los Angeles, it’s time to wrap up our look back at the 2017 season with the pitching leaders, starting with everyone’s favorite pitching statistic:

Wins

Name Total
Miguel Gonzalez 3
Lucas Giolito 3
Dan Jennings 2
David Robertson 2
Jon Lester 2
Buck Farmer  2
Carson Fulmer 2

Losses

Name Total
Jose Quintana 5
Derek Holland 3
Carlos Rodon 3
James Shields 2
Mike Pelfrey 2
Pedro Strop 2
Aaron Bummer 2

ERA (> 10 IP)

Name Total
Lucas Giolito 0.86
Luis Severino 1.29
David Robertson 1.59
Anthony Swarzak 1.59
Dan Jennings 2.13

Strikeouts

Name Total
Jose Quintana 38
Jon Lester 32
Carlos Rodon 32
Continue reading →