Against The Giants All Time Leaders – Through 2021

giantsIn 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 Francisco Giants.

The Giants began life in 1883 in New York, before moving west to San Francisco in 1957. I’ve seen them play 23 times, first at their old home at Candlestick Park in 1999 and most recently this past September at Wrigley Field.

Home Runs

Name Total
Jose Abreu 3
Moises Alou 2
Michael Barrett 2
Javy Baez 2

Hits

Name Total
Derrek Lee 10
Ryan Theriot 7
Aramis Ramirez 7

Runs

Name Total
Jose Abreu 5
Yolmer Sanchez 5
Derrek Lee 4
Ryan Theriot 4

RBI

Name Total
Jose Abreu 6
Jim Edmonds 5
Yolmer Sanchez 4
Javy Baez 4
Moises Alou 4

Doubles

Name Total
Aramis Ramirez 3
Jim Edmonds 2
Kris Bryant 2
Albert Almora 2

Triples Continue reading →

Against The Dodgers All Time Leaders – Through 2021

dodgersIn 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 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 27 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
Aramis Ramirez 3
Javy Baez 3
Paul Konerko 2
Alexei Ramirez 2
A.J. Pierzynski 2
Josh Fields 2
Willson Contreras 2

Hits

Name Total
Derrek Lee 15
Alfonso Soriano 13
Ryan Theriot 12

Runs

Name Total
Alexei Ramirez 7
A.J. Pierzynski 6
Alfonso Soriano 5
Ryan Theriot 5
Aramis Ramirez 5

RBI

Name Total
Alexei Ramirez 8
Aramis Ramirez 7
Mark DeRosa 7
Paul Konerko 7

Doubles

Name Total
Alexei Ramirez 4
Kris Bryant 4
Derrek Lee 4

Triples 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 →

Against The Diamondbacks All Time Leaders – Through 2021

dbacksIn 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 start today with the Arizona Diamondbacks.

The Diamondbacks began life in 1998, joining the league along with the Devil Rays. I’ve seen them play 16 times at 4 different stadiums, starting in their inaugural season, including the final game of their 2007 sweep of the Cubs in the NLDS and, after a 7 year drought, this past July at Wrigley Field.

Home Runs

Name Total
Sammy Sosa 3
Henry Rodriguez 1
Willson Contreras 1
Mark Grace 1
Aramis Ramirez 1
Paul Konerko 1
Alfonso Soriano 1

Hits

Name Total
Derrek Lee 7
Sammy Sosa 5
Aramis Ramirez 5
Todd Walker 5

Runs

Name Total
Sammy Sosa 3
8 tied with 2

RBI

Name Total
Sammy Sosa 6
Aramis Ramirez 4
Derrek Lee 3
Angel Pagan 3

Doubles

Name Total
Neifi Perez 2
Bill Meuller 2
Kosuke Fukudome 2
Jacque Jones 2

Triples Continue reading →

October Leaders – Through 2020

With a full year of baseball on tap after last year’s troubles due to a combination of the corona virus and needless labor squabbles, I thought it would be interesting to look at the all time leaders in both offensive and defensive categories for each month in games that I have attended.

As we wrap up the regular season and head in to post-season play, the usual futility of Chicago teams has led to my attending only 36 games during the month, my lowest total since March.  I’ve managed to see a game on 21 out of the 31 days of the month, with 4 games on 2 separate occasions leading the way, and no games on the 10th, 13th, 16,th, 17th, 24th, 25th, 26th, 27th, 28th, and 31st.

Home Runs

Name Total
Kris Bryant 4
Javier Baez 3
Dexter Fowler 3
BJ Upton 3
Enrique Hernandez 3
Miguel Cabrera 3
Paul Konerko 3

Hits

Name Total
Kris Bryant 11
Javier Baez 11
Dexter Fowler 10
Anthony Rizzo 10

Runs

Name Total
Dexter Fowler 7
Juan Pierre 7
Paul Konerko 6
Daniel Murphy 6

RBI

Name Total
Kris Bryant 9
Paul Konerko 7
Miguel Cabrera 7
Ivan Rodriguez 7
Enrique Hernandez 7

Doubles

Name Total
Dexter Fowler 4
7 tied with  3

Triples Continue reading →

2021 Final Batting Leaders

Another baseball season has come to an end, with the White Sox winning their first division title since 2008 and making the post-season in consecutive seasons for the first time in team history, before losing to the Astros in the ALDS and the Cubs shocking their fanbase with the dismantling of the core that led them to 3 straight NLCSs and a world championship in 2016.  Let’s take a look back at the offensive leaders for the 58 games that I attended this season, with lower capacity crowds in the spring to full capacity at the end:

Home Runs

Name Total
Jose Abreu 9
Yasmani Grandal 8
Patrick Wisdom 7
Luis Robert 6
Yoan Moncada 5
Tim Anderson 5

Hits

Name Total
Tim Anderson 55
Jose Abreu 49
Yoan Moncada 49
Luis Robert 29
Andrew Vaughn 26

Runs

Name Total
Tim Anderson 32
Yoan Moncada 27
Continue reading →

Division Series Batting Leaders

Both Wild Card games are in the books, with the Red Sox and the Dodgers moving on to their respective DSs, and the White Sox look to kick off their series with the Astros later today.  With that in mind, it’s time to take our first look at the offensive leaders from the 16 Division Series games I have attended since 2000.  So, without further ado, we start off with:

Home Runs

Name Total
B.J. Upton 3
Eric Karros 2
Paul Konerko 2
A.J. Pierzynski 2
Manny Ramirez 2
Chipper Jones 2

Hits

Name Total
Mark DeRosa 7
Manny Ramirez 5
A.J. Pierzynski 5
Jason Heyward 5
Javier Baez 5
Moises Alou 5
Derrek Lee 5
Carlos Pena 5

Runs

Name Total
Paul Konerko 5
Mark DeRosa 4
Manny Ramirez 4
A.J. Pierzynski 4
B.J. Upton 3
Juan Uribe 3
Continue reading →

Good Riddance

Back in February, the Cubs brought back Jake Arrieta on a one year deal with the hopes he still had enough in the tank to help bolster the rotation for one last go around.  To say it did not go well is putting it mildly and yesterday, the Cubs put Arrieta and their fans out of their misery, placing him on unconditional release waivers.

Including last night’s start, where he gave up 8 hits and 7 runs in the first inning against the Brewers, Arrieta’s 6.88 ERA will go down as the highest in Cubs history for a season with at least 20 starts.  Following the game, he scolded a reporter in the Zoom press conference who was in the Wrigley Field press box for wearing a mask.

When the Cubs signed Arrieta, I said:

Hopefully Cub fans have realistic expectations for Arrieta in 2021.  If they expect Arrieta to be a leader in the team’s attempts to repeat as division champions, they are likely to be disappointed and that disappointment may tarnish their memories of Arrieta and what he accomplished from 2014-2017.  If they see this as the nostalgia-based move it likely is, and accept the neither Arrieta nor the team will see the same success that they’ve become accustomed to, then it could be a nice distraction to take away from what looks to be a rebuilding (or reloading, at best) year.

Turns out even realistic expectations were too much to ask for.  The Arrieta signing completely bombed, and may have even ended his career.  Something to keep in mind for the future as fans demand that the recently traded Anthony Rizzo, Javier Baez, and/or Kris Bryant be re-signed this winter.

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 →

End Of An Era

When Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer took over baseball operations for the Cubs following the 2011 season, they started a rebuild effort that combined high draft picks with savvy trades in an effort to end the longest title drought in US professional sports.  They key to that rebuild, four prospects ranked in the Top 50 by nearly every publication prior to the 2014 season, became known as the Core Four.  Javier Baez, the 9th overall pick in the 2011 draft, Albert Almora, the 6th selection in 2012, Jorge Soler, a Cuban defector who signed a 9 year, $30 million contract in June of 2012, and Kris Bryant, the second overall pick in the 2013 draft were expected to lead the Cubs to the promised land and, in 2016, they did, each contributing to the team’s first World Series title in 108 years.

Bryant and Baez were the only two left heading into the 2021 season.  Both were traded today.

Kris Bryant is heading to the Giants, with OF Alexander Canario and RHP Caleb Killian coming back to the Cubs.  Bryant, the 2015 NL Rookie of the Year and the 2016 NL MVP, has seemingly been on the trading block for years now, ever since the Cubs won his service time grievance.  Ironically, he was the last one out the door, following yesterday’s trade of Anthony Rizzo and this afternoon’s moves with Craig Kimbrel and Javier Baez.

Canario, a top 15 prospect in the Giants’ system, showed flashes as a teenager prior to the pandemic, but has seen his strikeout rate increase as he’s gone up to higher levels of competition.  Killian, likely rated in the top 40 of the Giants system, was an 8th round pick in 2019 and has seem some success this year coming back from the pandemic.

After winning the World Series in 2016, the Cubs, with their young talent, looked to be on the verge of a dynasty.  5 years later, that dynasty is over without ever really starting, having dropped their last 4 consecutive post-season games dating back to the 2017 NLCS.  Now, 10 years after the start of the last rebuild, Jed Hoyer has to start again.

Bryant’s and Baez’s numbers in a Cubs uniform, both for games I attended and overall, were:

Continue reading →