It’s Still Been A While

Exactly 8 months since my last baseball game, the longest drought I’ve experienced since 1998 into 1999, I figured it was a good time to take another look at the last time I saw each of the 30 major league teams. For someone with season tickets to two teams, one in each league, you would think that I would cycle through each team every few years or so.  And, for the most part, that does seem to be the case.  I saw 21 of the 30 teams in 2019, going back to 2018, that number jumps to 23.  That’s nearly 77% of the league in the past 2 seasons.

What about those remaining 7 teams?  The Dodgers, Rays, Braves, and Padres last appeared in 2017, while 2016 takes care of the Reds.  I somehow haven’t seen the Diamondbacks since 2014, despite being inside their home ballpark more recently than that.  That leaves the Marlins, who I have somehow not managed to see in person since 2013.  Anyway, here’s a look at each team and the last time I saw them play.

Team Name Date
Miami Marlins 5/26/2013
Arizona Diamondbacks 5/10/2014
Cincinnati Reds 4/11/2016
San Diego Padres 5/13/2017
Atlanta Braves 9/2/2017
Tampa Bay Rays 9/3/2017
Los Angeles Dodgers 10/19/2017
Houston Astros 4/22/2018
Colorado Rockies 10/2/2018
Seattle Mariners 4/6/2019
Pittsburgh Pirates 4/8/2019
Kansas City Royals 4/15/2019
Boston Red Sox 5/5/2019
St. Louis Cardinals 5/5/2019
Continue reading →

iTunes Top 200: #21 – 29

itunes_image4 years ago, we last counted down the Top 200 songs in my iTunes library. Since my iTunes stats are still intact, across multiple PCs, iPods, iPads, and iPhones, I figured it was time to take another look at my most listened to songs, based on number of plays as of January 1, 2020.

Today, we breach the 50 listens plateau, according to my iTunes stats dating back to late 2007.

#29: The Lonely Island – Lazy Sunday (ft. Chris Parnell)
iTunes stats: 47 plays, most recently on 10/16/2019
Previous ranking: #20

A bit of a drop down the charts for the original SNL digital short that put the Lonely Island on the pop culture map and defined the phrase “viral video”.

#29: Chance The Rapper – Step Up Part 1
iTunes stats: 47 plays, most recently on 1/24/2019
Previous ranking: Unranked

An auspicious debut for this portion of the hype video the rapper created for the White Sox used during the 2016 season.

#28: Foo Fighters – All My Life
iTunes stats: 49 plays, most recently on 9/25/2019
Previous ranking: #22

A slight decrease for the live version of the song from the Live in Hyde Park bootleg.

#27: Montell Jordan – This Is How We Do It
iTunes stats: 50 plays, most recently on 1/24/2019
Previous ranking: Unranked

A strong debut for the main walk up song for former White Sox outfielder Adam Eaton.

#23: Van Halen – Jump
iTunes stats: 52 plays, most recently on 8/11/2019
Previous ranking: #96

A tremendous jump (see what I did there?) for the song that, for years, was used as the Chicago Cubs took the field at their home games.

#23: Tag Team – Whoomp! There It Is
Continue reading →

Dodgers All Time Leaders – Through 2019

dodgersWith 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 today with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The Dodgers began life in Brooklyn in 1883, moving to their current home on the west coast , along with their rival Giants, in 1957.  I’ve seen them play 19 times, including the first two games of their 2008 NLDS sweep against the Cubs and their pennant-clinching victory in the 2017 NLCS.

Home Runs

Name Total
Kike Hernandez 5
Matt Kemp 2
James Loney 2
Manny Ramirez 2

Hits

Name Total
James Loney 20
Matt Kemp 14
Russell Martin 14

Runs

Name Total
James Loney 12
Russell Martin 8
Rafael Furcal 8

RBI

Name Total
James Loney 12
Matt Kemp 9
Kike Hernandez 9

Doubles

Name Total
James Loney 5
Matt Kemp 3
Juan Pierre 3

Triples Continue reading →

Marlins All Time Leaders – Through 2019

With 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 Miami Marlins.

The Marlins began life in 1993, joining the National League along with the Rockies.  In 2012, they rebranded as the Miami Marlins in conjunction with the opening of their new, tax payer funded stadium in the city of Miami.  I’ve seen them play 25 times, including 3 victories during their unlikely triumph in the 2003 NLCS against the Cubs and once, as the home team against the Expos, at US Cellular Field in 2004.

Home Runs

Name Total
Miguel Cabrera 4
Cody Ross 3
Dan Uggla 3
Ivan Rodriguez 3

Hits

Name Total
Miguel Cabrera 18
Luis Castillo 17
Juan Pierre 17

Runs

Name Total
Miguel Cabrera 14
Juan Pierre 13
Luis Castillo 10

RBI

Name Total
Miguel Cabrera 13
Ivan Rodriguez 10
Alex Gonzalez 9
Dan Uggla 9

Doubles

Name Total
Alex Gonzalez 6
Derrek Lee 3
9 tied with 2

Triples Continue reading →

Take My Money, Please


Reports broke on Monday that both the White Sox and the Cubs have come up with a plan to compensate season-ticket holders who already have paid for the 2020 season that has been delayed due to the corona virus.

Both teams are offering the option for season-ticket holders to let the teams keep their money for unplayed games or games played without fans.  In exchange, they will receive a 5% interest payment and the money already paid would roll over for a 2021 season-ticket payment.  Season-ticket holders will also have the option for a complete refund, without the interest payment.

There has been no official word from either team on the plans or the fine details, as we come up to a month after the scheduled start of the season.  There has also been no word yet on the plan for single game tickets, of which I have a couple of hundred dollars tied up.

Rockies All Time Leaders – Through 2019

rockiesWith 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 Colorado Rockies.

The Rockies began life in 1993, joining the National League along with the then-Florida Marlins.  I saw them for the first time in 2002, as they came to town to battle the Cubs.  Since then, I’ve seen them 15 additional times, most recently in the 2018 Wild Card game.

Home Runs

Name Total
Preston Wilson 2
13 tied with 1

Hits

Name Total
Matt Holliday 9
Brad Hawpe 8
Willy Taveras 8

Runs

Name Total
Brad Hawpe 4
Garrett Atkins 4
Todd Helton 4

RBI

Name Total
Troy Tulowitzki 4
Preston Wilson 3
Jamey Carroll 3
Jay Payton 3
Luis Gonzalez 3
D.J. LeMahieu 3

Doubles

Name Total
Jamey Carroll 2
Willy Taveras 2
Todd Helton 2
Charlie Blackmon 2
Matt Holliday 2

Triples Continue reading →

The Rona Claims Another Victim

Jim Frey, the former Cubs manager and general manager, passed away on Sunday after battling the corona virus.  He was 88.  Frey became manager of  the Cubs in 1984, leading the team to their first ever NL East title and first post-season appearance since 1945.  An injury-marred 1985 season, followed by a slow start in 1986, led to his firing just 2 months into the season.

Frey spent the 1987 season working for WGN radio as a color commentator on Cubs broadcasts.  In December of that year, he was hired back by the Cubs to replace Dallas Green as the team’s general manager.  Frey hired his old friend Don Zimmer to manage the team and the duo led the team to its second divisional title in 1989.  After a disappointing 1990 season, Frey was active on the free agent market, acquiring George Bell, Danny Jackson, and Dave Smith.  When Jackson and Smith flopped in 1991, Zimmer was fired in May, on orders from Tribune Co. CEO Donald Grenesko, and, following the season, Frey was reassigned within the organization.

iTunes Top 200: #60 – 68

itunes_image4 years ago, we last counted down the Top 200 songs in my iTunes library. Since my iTunes stats are still intact, across multiple PCs, iPods, iPads, and iPhones, I figured it was time to take another look at my most listened to songs, based on number of plays as of January 1, 2020.

Today, we wrap up the final three songs with 37 plays and move on to the first group of songs with 38 plays, according to my iTunes stats dating back to late 2007.

#68: Cracker – Teen Angst (What The World Needs Now)
iTunes stats: 37 plays, most recently on 9/4/2019
Previous ranking: #141

A nice increase in the rankings, thanks to a more than doubling of its listens, for this entry which charted at number 1 on the US Modern Rock Tracks, arguably breaking Cracker into the mainstream.

#68: Concrete Blonde – Joey
iTunes stats: 37 plays, most recently on 10/26/2019
Previous ranking: Unranked

A strong debut for the band’s biggest hit, which spent four weeks atop the Modern Rock Tracks chart and hit #19 on the Billboard Hot 100.

#68: Britney Spears – Toxic
iTunes stats: 37 plays, most recently on 10/25/2019
Previous ranking: Unranked

A strong debut for the song that earned Spears her only Grammy award, for Best Dance Recording.

#60: Taylor Swift – Bad Blood
iTunes stats: 38 plays, most recently on 12/12/2019
Previous ranking: Unranked

An impressive debut for one of Anthony Rizzo’s walkup songs, earning it a place on my Cubs victory playlist.

#60: Garfunkel and Oates – Handjob, Blandjob, I Don’t Understand Job
iTunes stats: 38 plays, most recently on 10/26/2019
Previous ranking: #96

A big jump for the comedy duo’s tune about never learning how to use their hands for foreplay during high school.

#60: Foo Fighters – Everlong
Continue reading →

Diamondbacks All Time Leaders – Through 2019

dbacksWith 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 today with the Arizona Diamondbacks.

The Diamondbacks began life in 1998, joining the league along with the Devil Rays. I’ve seen them play 15 times, starting in their inaugural season and most recently in 2014, including the final game of their 2007 sweep of the Cubs in the NLDS.

Home Runs

Name Total
Luis Gonzalez 3
Steve Finley 3
Stephen Drew 3

Hits

Name Total
Luis Gonzalez 10
Stephen Drew 7
Alex Cintron 7
Conor Jackson 7

Runs

Name Total
Luis Gonzalez 11
Steve Finley 6
Troy Glaus 5

RBI

Name Total
Orlando Hudson 7
Steve Finley 6
Eric Byrnes 6

Doubles

Name Total
Luis Gonzalez 4
Chad Tracy 3
5 tied with 2

Triples Continue reading →

London Calling No More

The latest casualty of the corona virus pandemic is the June series in London between the Cubs and the Cardinals.  Commissioner Rob Manfred made the announcement yesterday in a message sent to MLB employees.  The league had previously announced the cancelation of series in Mexico City and San Juan, Puerto Rico.  Assuming the season starts at some point, those games will be played in St. Louis.

MLB played in Europe for the first time last June, when the Yankees swept a pair of games from the Red Sox in London.  No official word on 2021, but there is at least one report that MLB will try again next year with the Cubs and Cardinals.