All Time Team Records

In a shocking development, the 2021 baseball season got underway last night without issue or delay.  With hopefully a full 162 game schedule on the docket, it is time once again to look at the all-time team records for games that I have identified as having attended dating back to 1984.  Thanks to some eBaying of pocket schedules from the 80s, I was able to identify one additional game that I attended in 1988, a California Angels victory at Comiskey Park against the White Sox.

The Cubs look to contend in a weak NL Central with one final year of having the core of their World Series Championship team under contract, while the White Sox hope their offseason additions put them over the top and make them true World Series contenders.  The 2021 season should be an interesting one on both sides of town, even more interesting if we are able to see it in person.

All-Time Team Records
Team Name Won Loss Winning Pctg
California Angels 2 0 1.000
Arizona Diamondbacks 13 2 0.867
Florida Marlins 15 8 0.652
Colorado Rockies 10 6 0.625
Boston Red Sox 18 13 0.581
Toronto Blue Jays 15 11 0.577
New York Yankees 15 11 0.577
Los Angeles Angels 19 14 0.576
Cleveland Indians 28 24 0.538
Chicago Cubs 219 197 0.526
Philadelphia Phillies 10 9 0.526
Houston Astros 22 20 0.524
Chicago White Sox 306 287 0.516
Continue reading →

Moving On

After an atrocious 2013 season on both sides of town, the White Sox and the Cubs drafted back to back, at #3 and 4 respectively, in the 2014 draft.  The Sox took hard throwing left hander Carlos Rodon out of NC State and the Cubs followed with slugging catcher Kyle Schwarber out of Indiana.  Both quickly moved through the minor leagues, making their major league debuts the following year.  After starting in the bullpen, Rodon quickly moved into the rotation and was thought to be a building block of the rebuild.  Schwarber was moved to the outfield and, after a knee injury wiped out his 2016 season, was a key contributor in the World Series as the Cubs ended their 108 year championship drought.  Yesterday, both saw their time in Chicago come to an end as they were not tendered contracts for the 2021 season, making them free agents.

The two were not alone.  In addition to Rodon, the White Sox non-tendered right fielder Nomar Mazara, who had a disappointing season after being acquired last winter.  The Cubs non-tender list, along with Schwarber, included outfielder Albert Almora Jr., infielder Jose Martinez, and pitcher Ryan Tepera.  Almora, the 6th overall pick in the 2012 draft, never quite became the hitter the Cubs thought he would.  Martinez, acquired during the season from the Rays, went 0 for 21 with the Cubs, setting a record for most at bats without a hit.

Ironically, both Rodon and Schwarber might make sense in the short term for the team on the opposite side of town.  The Cubs could use some starting pitcher depth and might want to take a flier on Rodon, hoping he can stay healthy for a season.  The White Sox could use a left handed bat to balance out their lineup and have an open spot at DH for 2021.

All Time Playoff Team Records

For the first time since 2008, both the White Sox and the Cubs are in the post-season following this abbreviated 2020 season.  The expanded run to the World Series will start with the White Sox facing A’s in Oakland for a best of 3 series starting tonight, while the Cubs welcome the Marlins to Wrigley starting tomorrow.  Winners will advance to the LDS and enter a playoff bubble, with the AL moving to California and the NL to Texas.

With the AL Wild Card Series set to kick off today, it’s time to take an updated look at the team records for the now 30 playoff contests I have attended. These contests come from the 2018 Wild Card game, the ALDS in 2000, 2005, and 2008, the NLDS in 2003, 2007, 2008, 2015, 2016, and 2017, the NLCS in 2003, 2015, 2016, and 2017, the ALCS in 2005, and, of course, the 2005 and 2016 World Series.  Sadly, I won’t be adding any games to this list this year.  Thanks, corona virus.

Post-Season Team Records
Team Name Won Loss Winning Pctg
Florida Marlins 3 0 1.000
Seattle Mariners 2 0 1.000
New York Mets 2 0 1.000
Colorado Rockies 1 0 1.000
Arizona Diamondbacks 1 0 1.000
Chicago White Sox 5 4 0.556
Los Angeles Dodgers 3 3 0.500
Atlanta Braves 1 1 0.500
Cleveland Indians 1 1 0.500
Los Angeles Angels 1 1 0.500
Washington Nationals 1 1 0.500
Tampa Bay Rays 1 1 0.500
Chicago Cubs 9 13 0.409
San Francisco Giants 0 2 0.000
St. Louis Cardinals 0 1 0.000
Boston Red Sox 0 2 0.000
Houston Astros 0 1 0.000

2020 Predictions Revisited

The shortened 60 game 2020 baseball season wraps up today.  2 months ago, I made my annual predictions as to who would win what, not really knowing what a shortened season during a global pandemic would entail.  Now that the season has come to an end, it is time revisit those predictions and see what, if anything, I got right.

American League

East: Yankees

Well, that’s one down.  The Yankees looked to be on cruise control, until a plague of injuries knocked them off course.  The Rays, meanwhile, took home their first division crown since 2010.

Central: Twins

The Twins take their second consecutive division title, thanks in part to the White Sox crapping down their pants leg over the last week of the season.

West: Astros

The A’s came through in a big way, dethroning the Astros after their 3 year reign atop the division.

Wild Cards: White Sox, Rays

Well, these predictions were made before the current playoff structure was put in place.  The three second place teams are guaranteed a post-season slot, with the next two best records earning a wild card spot.

AL Champion: Yankees

While they didn’t win the division, the Yankees do seem primed to make a strong run.

Cy Young: Blake Snell

Indians ace Shane Bieber pretty much has this wrapped up.

MVP: Yoan Moncada

Moncada has struggled after contracting COVID-19 back during summer camp, but I think I was in the right ballpark.  Jose Abreu looks to be the clubhouse leader for this award.

National League

Continue reading →

All Time Team Records

What was planned to be the earliest non-international start in Major League Baseball history turned into the latest, thanks to a combination of the corona virus pandemic and pointless bickering between the MLBPA and team owners.  With the 2020 baseball season finally set to get underway today, although with no fans in the stands, it is time once again to look at the all-time team records for games that I have identified as having attended dating back to 1984.  Thanks to some eBaying of pocket schedules from the 80s, I was able to identify one additional game that I attended in 1988, a California Angels victory at Comiskey Park against the White Sox.

The Cubs look to bounce back from last year’s September collapse that kept them out of the postseason for the first time since 2014, while the White Sox hope their offseason additions push them towards contention as their young talent starts to blossom.  With only 60 games to make their mark, the 2020 season should be an interesting one on both sides of town.

All-Time Team Records
Team Name Won Loss Winning Pctg
California Angels 2 0 1.000
Arizona Diamondbacks 13 2 0.867
Florida Marlins 15 8 0.652
Colorado Rockies 10 6 0.625
Boston Red Sox 18 13 0.581
Toronto Blue Jays 15 11 0.577
New York Yankees 15 11 0.577
Los Angeles Angels 19 14 0.576
Cleveland Indians 28 24 0.538
Chicago Cubs 219 197 0.526
Philadelphia Phillies 10 9 0.526
Houston Astros 22 20 0.524
Chicago White Sox 306 287 0.516
Continue reading →

2020 Predictions

After months of delay due to the corona virus, the 2020 baseball season is finally scheduled to kick off today with two games, followed by a full slate of games featuring the remaining teams tomorrow.  For the tenth consecutive year, I’ve looked into the crystal ball to make my picks for the upcoming season.  Although, given the circumstances of this season, this is more of a fool’s errand than usual.

American League

East: Yankees

Central: Twins

West: Astros

Wild Cards: White Sox, Rays

AL Champion: Yankees

Cy Young: Blake Snell

MVP: Yoan Moncada

National League

Continue reading →

iTunes Top 200: #6 – 10

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’ve reached the Top 10, and today we will look at the 5 songs ranked from #10 to #6 since my stats began in late 2007.

#10: 2008 White Sox Central Division Champs Montage
iTunes stats: 111 plays, most recently on 3/28/2019
Previous ranking: #9

Dropping a bit since being removed from my White Sox victory play list, this track contains radio highlights, courtesy of The Score, from the 2008 season, culminating in the team’s Division Series loss to the Rays.

#9: Queen – We Are The Champions
iTunes stats: 128 plays, most recently on 8/24/2019
Previous ranking: #7

Reaching #4 on the Billboard charts in the late 70s, the song made it on to my White Sox playlist following their 2005 World Series championship but has fallen off in recent years.

Sox Win#8: Journey – Don’t Stop Believin’
iTunes stats: 132 plays, most recently on 11/13/2019
Previous ranking: #8

The rallying cry for the 2005 White Sox after A.J. Pierzynski and teammates heard it being sung in a bar in Baltimore, it finally dropped off my playlist for the 2015 season.

#7: sox05_montage
iTunes stats: 146 plays, most recently on 11/27/2019
Previous ranking: #6

Radio highlights, courtesy of ESPN 1000, of the 2005 White Sox season, culminating in the team’s first World Series title since 1917.

#6: Gordon Beckham Intro
iTunes stats: 148 plays, most recently on 6/22/2019
Previous ranking: #5

The Outfield’s hit Your Love, featuring Gene Honda introducing the former White Sox third baseman.

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 →

Rays All Time Leaders – Through 2019

414_tampa_bay-rays-miscellaneous-2012With 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 things today with the Tampa Bay Rays.

The Rays began life in 1998 as the Devil Rays, dropping the Devil portion of their name in 2008.  I’ve seen them play 24 times, 5 as the Devil Rays and 19 as the Rays, including the 2008 ALDS, where they defeated the White Sox.

Home Runs

Name Total
B.J. Upton 5
Matthew Joyce 3
Ben Zobrist 2

Hits

Name Total
B.J. Upton 18
Ben Zobrist 16
Carlos Pena 9
Evan Longoria 9

Runs

Name Total
Ben Zobrist 11
B.J. Upton 9
Matthew Joyce 7

RBI

Name Total
B.J. Upton 11
Carlos Pena 8
Ben Zobrist 7
Evan Longoria 7

Doubles

Name Total
Ben Zobrist 3
Evan Longoria 3
Jason Bartlett 3

Triples Continue reading →

The Opening Day That Wasn’t

Today should have been be my 20th straight Opening Day at Comiskey Park II/US Cellular Field/Guaranteed Rate Field, and my 23rd overall for the White Sox.  The first one was in 1985, a blowout win against the Red Sox at Comiskey Park that introduced rookie shortstop Ozzie Guillen to Chicago.  Other highlights include the 2005 1-0 victory against the Indians, the raising of the championship banner on Sunday Night Baseball in 2006, and Mark Buehrle’s between-the-legs flip in 2010.

The most frequent opponent has been the Tigers, who are also the only team with a winning record on Opening Day in games I’ve attended.  The other AL Central foes have each appeared at least 3 times.

 

White Sox Home Opener Team Records
Team Name Won Loss Winning Pctg
Chicago White Sox 15 7 0.682
Detroit Tigers 4 2 0.667
Cleveland Indians 2 3 0.400
Minnesota Twins 1 2 0.333
Kansas City Royals 0 3 0.000
Boston Red Sox 0 1 0.000
Tampa Bay Rays 0 1 0.000
Texas Rangers 0 1 0.000
Baltimore Orioles 0 1 0.000
Seattle Mariners 0 1 0.000