iTunes Top 200: #11 – 19

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.

We break in to the the top 20 today, with the last batch of songs that scored less than 100 listens since my stats began in late 2007.

#19: Metallica – Harvester Of Sorrow
iTunes stats: 59 plays, most recently on 10/10/2019
Previous ranking: #15

Released as the first single from the band’s fourth studio album, it was used as the at-bat music for former White Sox first baseman Paul Konerko for the majority of his career.

#19: Foo Fighters – My Hero
iTunes stats: 59 plays, most recently on 10/14/2019
Previous ranking: #21

The highest ranking tune from the Foo Fighters, up 2 spots from four years ago, is this live version from their previously mentioned concert in London’s Hyde Park.

#18: Nancy Faust – Take Me Out To The Ballgame
iTunes stats: 60 plays, most recently on 3/28/2019
Previous ranking: #14

A slight decrease for the final 7th inning stretch performance of Nancy Faust’s career as White Sox organist.

#17: The Lonely Island – Natalie’s Rap (ft. Natalie Portman & Chris Parnell)
iTunes stats: 63 plays, most recently on 2/14/2019
Previous ranking: #15

A slight drop for the second digital short from The Lonely Island, which featured Natalie Portman playing against type as a lewd gangsta.

#16: Purdue “All-American” Marching Band – Hail, Purdue!
iTunes stats: 71 plays, most recently on 10/25/2019
Previous ranking: #17

A slight increase for this older version of the Purdue fight song, used during my time at the school.

#15: Purdue “All-American” Marching Band – Hail Purdue
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All Time Batting Leaders – Through 2019

baseballs2Last week, we took our annual look at the all time leaders in pitching stats for the 948 games I’ve attended (and identified) between 1984 and 2019. With the full White Sox roster reporting to camp yesterday and full workouts beginning today, it’s time to move over to the other side of the ball and take a look at the offensive stat leaders for those games, starting with our first category:

Home Runs

Name Total
Paul Konerko 93
Sammy Sosa 42
Aramis Ramirez 41
Derrek Lee 40
Jermaine Dye 40

Hits

Name Total
Paul Konerko 366
Alexei Ramirez 300
Derrek Lee 255
AJ Pierzynski 239
Aramis Ramirez 234

Runs

Name Total
Paul Konerko 200
Derrek Lee 140
Alexei Ramirez 134
Aramis Ramirez 120
A.J. Pierzynski 106

RBI

Name Total
Paul Konerko 235
Aramis Ramirez 158
Alexei Ramirez 140
Derrek Lee 134
Jermaine Dye 108

Doubles Continue reading →

Entering The Hall

All eyes turned towards the small hamlet of Cooperstown, New York yesterday, as the votes were tallied and two new members were announced as the Hall of Fame class of 2020: Derek Jeter and Larry Walker.  Jeter, in his first year of eligibility, came 1 vote short of joining his former teammate Mariano Rivera as the only players to be elected with 100% of the vote.  Walker, in his tenth and final year of eligibility, found himself on 76.6% of the ballots, 6 votes above the threshold for enshrinement.

Four others tallied greater than 50% of the vote, led by Curt Schilling, who jumped up to 70%.  Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds saw very modest increases, which makes their eventual induction by the BBWAA unlikely with only two more elections for each.  Omar Vizquel saw a nice increase in his third go-around, going from 42.8% to 52.6%.

Bobby Abreu is the only first timer who will return, earning 5.5% of the vote, just above the 5% cutoff.  Of the local contingent, former White Sox outfielder Manny Ramirez finished with 28.2%, Andruw Jones earned 19.4%, and Cub outcast Sammy Sosa garnered 13.9%.  Paul Konerko got a mere 10 votes, Alfonso Soriano got 6, and J.J. Putz and Adam Dunn snagged a vote apiece.

As for the newest Hall of Famers, I’ve seen Jeter play 18 times, followed by a mere 3 career games for Walker.  These two, along with Ted Simmons and Marvin Miller, who were elected by the Veteran’s Committee in December, will enter the Hall on Sunday, July 26.

Derek Jeter’s numbers in games I’ve attended were: Continue reading →

The Decade In Baseball – Batting Leaders

The 2010s have drawn to a close and its time to take a look back at the previous decade.  Today, we are continuing with baseball, specifically the offensive leaders in the 385 games I attended between 2010 and 2019.

There is not a huge diversity of names on this list.  Nearly all played for the White Sox in the early part of the decade, when they were supposedly trying to win.

Home Runs

Name Total
Jose Abreu 36
Paul Konerko 35
Alex Rios 24
Alexei Ramirez 20
Tim Anderson 16

Hits

Name Total
Alexei Ramirez 227
Jose Abreu 193
Paul Konerko 153
Alex Rios 142
Melky Cabrera 121

Runs

Name Total
Alexei Ramirez 93
Jose Abreu 89
Continue reading →

2020 Hall Of Fame Ballot – The Newcomers


baseballhof

The BBWAA recently released their ballot for the Hall of Fame class of 2020. The results of the vote are due to be revealed on January 21st, with induction taking place July 26th.  After Mariano Rivera, Mike Mussina, Edgar Martinez, and Roy Halladay were elected in last year’s voting, the new ballot contains 14 holdovers along with 18 newcomers, which may potentially continue the logjam caused by the current BBWAA rules which limit the number of votes on one ballot to 10 and the ongoing refusal by some writers to vote for players tainted by PEDs, leaving too many qualified candidates fighting for limited spots.

Yesterday, we looked at the returning candidates.  Today, it’s time to look at the newcomers and who may be thankful come January.

Bobby Abreu

I’ll be honest, I can see him getting some modest support, but I never considered him a Hall of Fame player during his career.

Josh Beckett

I’m sure he’ll get some support, but I don’t see it translating into an eventual election.

Heath Bell

I wonder what it feels like to be placed on the ballot knowing that you won’t earn even a single vote.

Eric Chavez

Again, I’m sure he’ll see a little support, but he’s not going to make it.

Adam Dunn

There aren’t enough home runs in the world to make up for the rest of his game.

Chone Figgins

Come on, now.  This is getting a little ridiculous.

Rafael Furcal

A career to be proud of, but not one that ends with election to the Hall.

Jason Giambi

The 2000 AL MVP should stick around on the ballot, but the PED stigma will likely keep him on the outside looking in.

Raul Ibanez

The former slugger may get a little support, but not enough to keep him on the ballot for a second go-around.

Derek Jeter

The only question here is whether he will join his former teammate, Mariano Rivera, in getting 100% of the vote.

Paul Konerko

Personal feelings aside, he will likely see enough support to hang on the ballot, but not enough to actually make it.

Cliff Lee

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All Season Batting Leaders – Through 2019

It’s been five years since we last took a look at the offensive stat leaders per season for the all the games I’ve attended since 1984. While there hasn’t been a whole lot of movement for most of the categories in the last 5 seasons, I figured the time was right to take another look. So, without further ado, here’s the updated list. We start, as always, with everyone’s favorite offensive stat:

Home Runs

Year Name Total
2010 Paul Konerko 17
2004 Mosies Alou 15
2004 Corey Patterson 13
2004 Sammy Sosa 13
2003 Moises Alou 12
2008 Carlos Quentin 12

Hits

Year Name Total
2003 Mark Grudzielanek 67
2004 Moises Alou 57
2003 Moises Alou 57
2007 Derrek Lee 57
2006 Orlando Cabrera 56

Runs

Year Name Total
2004 Moises Alou 44
2003 Sammy Sosa 34
2010 Paul Konerko 31
2003 Moises Alou 30
2008 Jermaine Dye 30
2006 Tadahito Iguchi 30
2008 Nick Swisher 30

RBI

Year Name Total
2010 Paul Konerko 35
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Crosstown Batting Leaders Revisited

cws-chiThe first round of the 2019 Crosstown Cup kicks off today at Wrigley Field, with the Cubs looking to take home the cup for the third straight year and the fourth time overall since its introduction in 2010.  Let’s take a look at the offensive leaders for the 71 (out of 118) crosstown games I have attended since the start of interleague play in 1997:

Home Runs

Name Total
Paul Konerko 15
Carlos Lee 9
Aramis Ramirez 8
Sammy Sosa 8
Jermaine Dye 7

Hits

Name Total
Paul Konerko 50
Carlos Lee 41
Sammy Sosa 29
Derrek Lee 28
Magglio Ordonez 26

Runs

Name Total
Paul Konerko 26
Magglio Ordonez 19
Continue reading →

Another Mix Tape Monday – Volume 11

20 years ago, during my sophomore year of high school, I put together the first of what would become a nearly 20 volume collection of mix tapes, containing my favorite songs that I had gathered either from the radio, a cassette tape, or (eventually) CD. We last looked back at all 20 volumes three years ago to see which of my “favorite” songs still resonated in today’s digital world. Today, we revisit those mix tapes and see how, or if, things have changed in the past 3 years.

Volume 11 takes us late into 1993 and my sophomore year of college.  It features mostly alternative and hip-hop hits, with a little pop and Aerosmith on the side.

Side A

Shai – Baby I’m Yours

The second, and final, top 10 hit for the R&B quartet more than doubled its plays in the last 3 years.

iTunes Stats
2012 2015 2019
5 plays 7 plays 15 plays, most recently on 10/12/2018 

Tears For Fears – Break It Down Again

Topping the Modern Rock Tracks chart, the comeback hit for the 80s sensations managed to double its plays over the past 3 years.

iTunes Stats
2012 2015 2019
6 plays 9 plays 18 plays, most recently on 7/28/2018 

Bell Biv Devoe – Something In Your Eyes

The only single from the band’s sophomore effort to chart, peaking at #38, the tune managed to pick up 10 additional listens over the last 3 years.

iTunes Stats
2012 2015 2019
0 plays 2 plays 12 plays, most recently on 10/3/2018 

4 Non Blondes – Spaceman

A mere 2 new listens for the minor follow up hit to What’s Up.

iTunes Stats
2012 2015 2019
2 plays 4 plays 6 plays, most recently on 1/10/2016 

Pearl Jam – Go

Used as Paul Konerko’s walkup music during his final season, the first single from Pearl Jam’s sophomore effort picked up 5 new listens in the past 3 years.

iTunes Stats
2012 2015 2019
6 plays 19 plays 24 plays, most recently on 11/7/2018 

Nirvana – Heart-Shaped Box

Nirvana’s first release from their final studio album, ranked as the 10th greatest rock track ever by Kerrang! magazine, added 14 additional plays over the last 3 years.

iTunes Stats
2012 2015 2019
4 plays 9 plays 23 plays, most recently on 12/27/2018 

Radiohead – Stop Whispering

Peaking at #23 on the Modern Rock Tracks chart, the lesser known follow up to the smash Creep tripled its plays over the last 3 years.

iTunes Stats
2012 2015 2019
1 play 2 plays 6 plays, most recently on 11/7/2018 

Side B

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#2 – Mark Buehrle

Name: Mark Buehrle

Rank: 2

Position: P

Years With White Sox: 2000-2011

Mark Buehrle joined the White Sox organization in 1998, drafted in the 38th round.  Despite his lowly draft status, he rose quickly through the system, first coming up during the 2000 season, working out of the bullpen for the eventual division champions.  He moved into the rotation the following season, and stayed there for the next 11 seasons.  During that time, there were numerous memorable appearances, many of which I was privileged to see in person.

The 2007 no-hitter against the Rangers.

The 2009 perfect game against the Rays.

Winning Game 2 of the 2005 ALCS against the Angels, thanks to AJ’s heads-up baserunning, and starting the streak of 4 straight complete games.

The 1 hour 36 minute game against the Mariners in 2005.

The no look, through his legs flip to Paul Konerko on Opening Day 2010 against the Indians.

And, of course, his performance in the 2005 World Series, starting Game 2, getting a no decision, and coming in to pitch the 14th inning and earning the save in Game 3.

In White Sox annals, Buehrle is currently fifth all-time in strikeouts, sixth in games started, and eighth in wins and innings pitched.

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

Continue reading →

#3 – Paul Konerko

PaulKonerkoRedName: Paul Konerko

Rank: 3

Position: 1B

Years With White Sox: 1999-2014

After brief appearances with the Dodgers and the Reds in 1997 and 1998, Paul Konerko was traded to the White Sox on November 11, 1998 for center fielder Mike Cameron.  He started at DH on opening day in 1999, an 8-2 victory over the Mariners, going 1-4 with a home run and 2 RBI.

2000 saw Konerko get off to a quick start with an inside the park home run on April 11 against the Devil Rays, the first by a White Sox player since 1990.  In his second full season, he helped lead the surprising White Sox to their first Central Division title.  He, along with the rest of the White Sox offense, struggled during the Division Series against the Mariners, going 0-9 in the three game sweep.

After steadily improving in 2001 and 2002, Konerko ran into trouble in 2003, with his average under .200 for the first half of the season.  He found himself coming off the bench as manager Jerry Manuel seemingly lost confidence in him.  He bounced back in the second half and re-established himself as the starting first baseman.

Konerko bounced back in a big way in 2004, hitting 41 home runs and knocking in over 100 RBIs en route to the Comeback Player of the Year award.  2005 saw him put up a second consecutive 40 HR, 100 RBI season as the White Sox found themselves back in the playoffs for the second time in his career.  This time, things would go much differently for both Konerko and the White Sox.

Konerko homered twice and drove in 4 runs during the three game sweep against the Red Sox, catching the final out that sent the White Sox to the ALCS for the first time since 1993.  Konerko hit another 2 home runs and drove in 7 against the Angels during the 5 game series.  Once again, Konerko caught the final putout that sent the White Sox to their first World Series since 1959.  Following the victory in game 5, Konerko was named ALCS MVP.

Konerko cooled down during the World Series, hitting only one home run against the Astros, but what a home run it was.  With the White Sox trailing in the 7th inning, Konerko came up to face new pitcher Chad Qualls with the bases loaded.  Konerko made contact on the first pitch, sending it into the left field seats for a grand slam and the lead.  Like the previous 2 series, Konerko caught the final putout at first base in Game 4, giving the White Sox their first World Series title since 1917.

With the afterglow of winning the World Series starting to subside, Konerko became a free agent.  Despite rumors of him getting more lucrative offers from both the Dodgers and the Orioles, Konerko finally resigned with the White Sox, inking a 5-year, $60 million contract that would keep him on the south side through 2010.

Konerko battled through injuries in 2008, leading to his worst season since 2003, but he did manage to help the White Sox reach the post-season for the third time during his career.  He hit 2 solo home runs in the 4 game series against the Rays, in what would be his final playoff appearance.

Konerko had two more chances at free agency, signing a 3 year deal with the White Sox prior to 2011 and, finally, re-upping for one last season in 2014.  He finishes his career as the White Sox all time leader in total bases and second all time in home runs, RBIs, and games played.  In addition, he was a 6-time All Star and had served as team captain since 2006.  He also is the only White Sox player to appear in the post season 3 different times.

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

Continue reading →