Mets All Time Leaders – Through 2019

21st-CENTURY-METS_01With 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 New York Mets.

The Mets began life in 1962, joining the National League following the abandonment of the New York market by both the Dodgers and Giants in 1957.  I’ve seen them play 15 times, including Tom Glavine’s 300th career victory, their pennant clinching victory in the 2015 NLCS, and, most recently, on June 22, 2019

Name Total
Daniel Murphy 2
Cliff Floyd 2
16 tied with 1

Hits

Name Total
David Wright 7
Daniel Murphy 6
3 tied with 5

Runs

Name Total
David Wright 7
Daniel Murphy 4
Carlos Beltran 4

RBI

Name Total
Lucas Duda 6
Cliff Floyd 5
4 tied with 4

Doubles

Name Total
Carlos Delgado 3
Lucas Duda 2
David Wright 2
Jeromy Burnitz 2

Triples 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 Batting Leaders

baseballs2The Cubs prepare to make their third straight NLCS appearance tonight in Los Angeles, in a rematch of last year’s battle against the Dodgers, which the Cubs won in 6 games.  Let’s look at the offensive leaders in the now 9 LCS games I’ve attended, games 1, 6, and 7 of the 2003 NLCS, games 1 and 2 of the 2005 ALCS, games 3 and 4 of the 2015 NLCS, and games 1 and 6 of the 2016 NLCS.

Home Runs

Name Total
Daniel Murphy 2
Miguel Cabrera 2
Moises Alou 2
20 tied with 1

Hits

Name Total
Daniel Murphy 6
Juan Pierre 6
Dexter Fowler 6
Luis Castillo 5
Jeff Conine 5

Runs

Name Total
Daniel Murphy 4
Juan Pierre 4
Miguel Cabrera 4
Continue reading →

Playoff Batting Leaders

The Cubs continue their title defense tonight in Washington against the Nationals with a 1-0 lead in the NLDS.  With that in mind, it’s time to take an updated look at the offensive leaders from the now 26 post-season games I have attended since 2000.  So, without further ado, we start off with:

Home Runs

Name Total
Paul Konerko 3
B.J. Upton 3
Dexter Fowler 3
Kris Bryant 3
Moises Alou 2
Miguel Cabrera 2
Chipper Jones 2
Eric Karros 2
Daniel Murphy 2
A.J. Pierzynski 2
Scott Podsednik 2
Manny Ramirez 2
Kyle Schwarber 2
Jorge Soler 2
Anthony Rizzo 2

Hits

Name Total
Dexter Fowler 10
Kris Bryant 9
Moises Alou 9
Anthony Rizzo 8
Javier Baez 8
Juan Uribe 8
Derrek Lee 8

Runs

Name Total
Dexter Fowler 7
Paul Konerko 6
A.J. Pierzynski 5
Continue reading →

2016 BBWAA Award Predictions

2016wsballThe 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: Jose Altuve, Mookie Betts, Mike Trout

Mike Trout was my pre-season selection to win the award this year and, sadly, I think the failure of the Angels to compete has left his accomplishments unappreciated.  My guess is Mookie Betts gets rewarded for the division-winning Red Sox.

Cy Young Award: Corey Kluber, Rick Porcello, Justin Verlander

If the voting had taken place after the post-season, then Corey Kluber would likely get more love for leading the Indians within a game of winning the World Series.  So, I’m going to assume Rick Porcello, with his gaudy win total, will take home the award.

Manager of the Year: Jeff Banister, Terry Francona, Buck Showalter

Once again, I didn’t make any predictions for this award prior to the season.  I’m guessing Terry Francona will win the award for the second time.

Rookie of the Year: Michael Fulmer, Gary Sanchez, Tyler Naquin

Another award I didn’t predict prior to the season.  I imagine that Michael Fulmer will be taking home the award.

National League

Continue reading →

LCS Batting Leaders

baseballs213 years ago tonight, the Cubs were 5 outs away from the World Series before an incident saw their season unravel.  1 year ago, they prepared to return to the NLCS for the first time since, a series they ultimately lost to the Mets.  Tomorrow night, they head back for the second straight year, hoping to end a 71 year World Series drought.  With the Dodgers coming to town, let’s look at the offensive leaders in the 7 LCS games I’ve attended, games 1, 6, and 7 of the 2003 NLCS, games 1 and 2 of the 2005 ALCS, and those ill-fated games 3 and 4 of the 2015 NLCS.

Home Runs

Name Total
Daniel Murphy 2
Miguel Cabrera 2
Moises Alou 2
15 tied with 1

Hits

Name Total
Daniel Murphy 6
Juan Pierre 6
Jeff Conine 5
Luis Castillo 5
8 tied with 4

Runs

Name Total
Daniel Murphy 4
Juan Pierre 4
Miguel Cabrera 4
Continue reading →

Playoff Batting Leaders

baseballs2Now that the Wild Card game is complete and we know the Cubs will face off against the Giants in the NLDS, it’s time to take an updated look at the offensive leaders from the 20 post-season games I have attended since 2000.  So, without further ado, we start off with:

Home Runs

Name Total
Paul Konerko 3
B.J. Upton 3
Moises Alou 2
Kris Bryant 2
Miguel Cabrera 2
Chipper Jones 2
Eric Karros 2
Daniel Murphy 2
A.J. Pierzynski 2
Scott Podsednik 2
Manny Ramirez 2
Kyle Schwarber 2
Jorge Soler 2

Hits

Name Total
Moises Alou 9
Juan Uribe 8
Derrek Lee 8
A.J. Pierzynski 7
Mark DeRosa 7

Runs

Name Total
Paul Konerko 6
A.J. Pierzynski 5
Jorge Soler 5
Continue reading →

Mets All Time Leaders – Through 2015

21st-CENTURY-METS_01With 5 months until baseball in Chicago returns, I thought it would be interesting to look at the all time leaders in both offensive and defensive categories for all 30 teams. We continue today with the New York Mets.

The Mets began life in 1962, joining the National League following the abandonment of the New York market by both the Dodgers and Giants in 1957.  I’ve seen them play 14 times, including Tom Glavine’s 300th career victory and, most recently, the final 2 games of last month’s sweep against the Cubs in the NLCS.

Home Runs

Name Total
Daniel Murphy 2
Cliff Floyd 2
13 tied with 1

Hits

Name Total
David Wright 7
Daniel Murphy 6
3 tied with 5

Runs

Name Total
David Wright 7
Daniel Murphy 4
Carlos Beltran 4

RBI

Name Total
Lucas Duda 6
Cliff Floyd 5
4 tied with 4

Doubles

Name Total
Carlos Delgado 3
Lucas Duda 2
David Wright 2
Jeromy Burnitz 2

Triples Continue reading →