Travelling The 50 States – Massachusetts

Over my 48 years, I’ve done my fair share of travelling across these United States.  I thought it would be an interesting experiment go look back at those trips to each of the 31 states I have visited (62% isn’t bad, is it?) and see if, and when, I may be returning.  Working in alphabetical order, we continue today with the 6th state to be added to the Union: Massachusetts

State: Massachusetts
Joined the Union: 1788
Visits: 6

The Bay State has been a more recent travel destination, with all six visits coming within the past five years.  In what I’m sure is completely unrelated news, Angelina has been attending Boston University since 2018.  This visit total would have been at least one trip larger, as I had plans to bring Michael in April of 2020, but the whole pandemic thing kind of put the kibosh on that.

My first visit to Massachusetts came in August of 2017, when I took a weekend trip to Boston to see the White Sox take on the Red Sox with Danny and Michael.  We arrived in Boston on Saturday morning, heading straight from the airport to the Museum of Science, where we spent most of the morning.  After a quick breakfast, we headed to our hotel, which was located in the medical district.  We checked in and relaxed for a bit, before deciding on going for ice cream prior to heading to Fenway Park.

The game went about as you would expect.  With James Shields on the mound, the White Sox did not put up much of a fight.  We were sitting down the left field line, with a good view of the Green Monster.  The seats, which may or may not date back to the stadium’s opening in 1912, were not really designed for people well over 6 feet tall, so there was a lot of uncomfortable shifting as our knees were smooshed into the seats in front of us.

The next morning, we went out in search of breakfast once again before gathering up our belongings and checking out of the hotel.  Our first stop was just down the street, at Harvard Medical School, where we posed for pictures.  From there, we headed to Skywalk Boston, their version of the observation deck at Sears Tower.  It was only on the 50th floor, so the effect was a little different, but we did get to see the majority of the area.  From there, over to the harbor to see the Boston Tea Party museum.  The two-hour experience took us through the town meeting where the “attack” was planned, on to the boat to throw the tea in to the harbor, and then through a movie and other artifacts from one of the most famous events in American history.  From there, it was off to the airport for the flight back home.

My next trip came the following year, when I returned to Boston in late October to celebrate birthdays with Angelina.  I arrived on the Tuesday before our birthday, enjoying a brief tour of BU and a nice dinner at Fogo de Chao with Angelina before heading over to the House of Blues to see Garbage.  The next day I took a tour of Fenway Park prior to Game Two of the World Series, before heading out to Cambridge to look around Harvard before heading home.

Just over a month later, I returned to Boston with my mom to see Angelina’s first synchro competition on Cape Cod and an ice show by the BU Figure Skating Club, seeing many of the same BU sites as my last visit.

In October of 2019, I once again travelled to Boston to see Angelina for our birthday dinner.  Unbeknownst to me, she had suffered a concussion the day before, so she was busy for most of the day.  After chilling in the hotel for a bit, I headed over to campus for a late lunch before waiting for her at a protest I happened across, trying to stop hate monger Ben Shapiro from coming to campus for a speech.  After dinner, she headed back to her dorm to rest, and I left early the next morning to return home.

After a two-year hiatus thanks to COVID, my next trip to Boston came this past May for Angelina’s graduation.  Danny, Michael, and I flew out on Friday and spent Saturday sightseeing around Boston with the family.  Graduation was Sunday morning, which we topped off with a dinner out on Sunday night before heading home on Monday.

My most recent visit came earlier this month, as birthday celebrations were finally allowed to restart.  I arrived late on Friday night, and then spent Saturday with Angelina and Emily, including a trip to the Museum of Science and a return visit to Fogo de Chao.  Sunday morning. they picked me up from the hotel and drove me to the airport, bringing my latest visit to an end.

Will I return?  I have to say yes.

Team Stats: Strike Outs

There are just about four months until baseball returns to Chicago.  I thought it would be a good time to revisit, for the first time in six years, the all-time rankings in both offensive and defensive categories for all iterations of the current 30 teams for the 1040 games I’ve identified that I have attended.  We continue today on the offensive side of the ball with strikeouts.

Based on the raw numbers, the White Sox and Cubs are far and away the leaders in this category, as they are the teams I’ve seen the most.  When you adjust the numbers per game, the Diamondbacks have a commanding lead with over nine strikeouts per game, the only team to average at least a strikeout per inning.  Both the Cubs and the White Sox are in the bottom (or top, depending on your point of view) third, surprising given the number of at bats given to strikeout machines like Sammy Sosa, Jim Thome, and Adam Dunn.  The California iteration of the Angels have the low water mark with a mere four strikeouts per game.

Strike Outs

Team Name Strike Outs
Chicago White Sox 4764
Chicago Cubs 3153
Minnesota Twins 548
Kansas City Royals 510
Detroit Tigers 500
Cleveland Indians 485
Houston Astros 406
Pittsburgh Pirates 384
Milwaukee Brewers 352
Cincinnati Reds 346
Texas Rangers 321
Seattle Mariners 314
New York Yankees 276
Baltimore Orioles 276
St. Louis Cardinals Continue reading →

2023 Hall Of Fame Ballot – The Newcomers

On Monday, the BBWAA released their ballot for the Hall of Fame class of 2023, with the results of the vote are due to be revealed on January 24th, and induction taking place July 23rd.  With David Ortiz as the sole electee last year, the new ballot contains fourteen holdovers along with another fourteen newcomers.

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

Bronson Arroyo

The long time Red and Red Sox hurler really has no chance at election.

Carlos Beltran

A first look at how the voters will treat the players associated to the Astros cheating scandal.

Matt Cain

I can’t imagine that Cain, who threw a perfect game in 2012, will get the necessary support.

R.A. Dickey

The long-time knuckleballer would be lucky to survive to a second ballot.

Jacoby Ellsbury

I mean, he had a nice career and all, with 1300 hits and 104 home runs, but no.

Andre Ethier

The long time Dodger will need to purchase a ticket if he wants to get in.

J.J. Hardy

Yeah, that’s going to be a no.

John Lackey

The three-time World Series Champion ended up having a pretty nice career, but nice career’s do not get you to Cooperstown.

Mike Napoli

No.

Jhonny Peralta

Another no.

Francisco Rodriguez

That’s going to be yet another no.

Houston Street

Man, this year’s crop of additions, while solid players, is lacking in star power.

Jered Weaver

See what I mean?

Jayson Werth

Well, at least we’re done.

 

Team Stats: Saves

It will be five months until baseball returns to Chicago, so I thought it would be a good time to revisit, for the first time in six years, the all-time rankings in both offensive and defensive categories for all iterations of the current 30 teams for the 1040 games I’ve identified that I have attended.  We continue today on the defensive side of the ball with saves.

Based on the raw numbers, the White Sox and Cubs are once again the leaders in this category, seeing as they are the teams I’ve seen most often.  When you adjust the numbers per game, the Blue Jays lead the way with a little more than one save every other game.  At the bottom end of the spectrum are the Anaheim incarnation of the Angels, the Miami version of the Marlins, and the Devil Rays, who did not, or have yet to, manage to earn a single save.

Saves

Team Name Saves
Chicago White Sox 145
Chicago Cubs 98
Kansas City Royals 19
Minnesota Twins 17
Detroit Tigers 17
Toronto Blue Jays 14
Cleveland Indians 14
Los Angeles Angels 13
New York Yankees 12
Pittsburgh Pirates 11
Cincinnati Reds 11
Houston Astros 11
Boston Red Sox 10
Philadelphia Phillies 9
Florida Marlins Continue reading →

Team Stats: Walks

With 3 months until baseball in Chicago returns, I thought it would be interesting to look at the all time rankings in both offensive and defensive categories for all iterations of the current 30 teams for the 833 games I’ve identified that I have attended. We continue today on the offensive side of the ball with walks.

Based on the raw numbers, the White Sox and Cubs are far and away the leaders in this category, as they are, once again, the teams I’ve seen the most.  When you adjust the numbers per game, however, the California iteration of the Angels lead the way with an exceedingly high 5.5 walks per game.  Only four teams averaged less than three walks per game, cut in half from the last time we looked at these numbers, with the Miami version of the Marlins continuing to bring up the rear with just 2.5 walks per game.

Walks

Team Name BB
Chicago White Sox 2031
Chicago Cubs 1413
Minnesota Twins 212
Cleveland Indians 186
Kansas City Royals 179
Detroit Tigers 178
Milwaukee Brewers 165
Houston Astros 164
Pittsburgh Pirates 158
Cincinnati Reds 151
Texas Rangers 127
New York Yankees Continue reading →

Team Stats: Hit By Pitch

We are days away from crowning the champion to the 2022 season and now just five months away from baseball returning to Chicago. I thought it would be a good time to revisit, for the first time in six years, the all-time rankings in both offensive and defensive categories for all iterations of the current 30 teams for the 1040 games I’ve identified that I have attended. We continue today on the defensive side of the ball with batters hit by a pitch.

Again, based on the raw numbers, the White Sox and Cubs are far and away the leaders in this category, as they are the teams I’ve seen the most. When you adjust the numbers per game, the Guardians and the Devil Rays lead the way, followed, surprisingly, by the Tigers, who hit a little more than 1 batter every other game.  The Mets are at the bottom, hitting less than one batter every nine games, while the California version of the Angels and the Miami version of the Marlins have yet to hit a batter in a game I’ve seen.

Hit By Pitch

Team Name Hit By Pitch
Chicago White Sox 221
Chicago Cubs 147
Minnesota Twins 33
Detroit Tigers 31
Cleveland Indians 28
Kansas City Royals 26
Houston Astros 22
Texas Rangers 18
Seattle Mariners 17
Cincinnati Reds 16
Boston Red Sox 16
Baltimore Orioles 16
Pittsburgh Pirates 15
Los Angeles Angels 14
Milwaukee Brewers Continue reading →

Team Stats: Stolen Bases

With one game of the 2022 World Series in the books, we still have about five months now until baseball returns to Chicago.  I thought it would be a good time to revisit, for the first time in six years, the all-time rankings in both offensive and defensive categories for all iterations of the current 30 teams for the 1040 games I’ve identified that I have attended.  We continue today back on the offensive side of the ball with stolen bases.

Based on the raw numbers, the White Sox and Cubs continue to be the far and away leaders in this category, as they are the two teams I’ve seen the most by a wide margin.  When you adjust the numbers per game, the Devil Rays and the California and Anaheim versions of the Angels jump to the top of the heap.  The White Sox fall to the bottom of the middle third and the Cubs are squarely towards the low end, with just under one stolen base every other game.  The Braves are the worst team that I have seen somewhat often, with less than 0.3 stolen per game, while the Miami incarnation of the Marlins have yet to steal a base in a game I have attended.

Stolen Bases

Team Name SB
Chicago White Sox 388
Chicago Cubs 215
Kansas City Royals 50
Cleveland Indians 44
Detroit Tigers 41
Milwaukee Brewers 40
Houston Astros 38
Cincinnati Reds 32
Texas Rangers 32
Minnesota Twins Continue reading →

Team Stats: Home Runs Surrendered

With the postseason now in full swing, it will be a long six months until baseball returns to Chicago.  I thought it would be a good time to revisit, for the first time in six years, the all-time rankings in both offensive and defensive categories for all iterations of the current 30 teams for the 1040 games I’ve identified that I have attended.  We continue today with our first look at the defensive side of the ball with home runs surrendered.

Based on the raw numbers, the White Sox and Cubs are far and away the leaders in this category, which is to be expected as they are the teams I’ve seen most often.  When you adjust the numbers per game, the Expos jump to the top (or bottom, depending on your point of view) of the heap, with an even two home runs given up per game.  The Rockies, Phillies, Nationals, Diamondbacks, the Miami version of the Marlins, and Devil Rays are the only teams below one home run per game.  The remaining teams fall in between.

Home Runs Surrendered

Team Name Home Runs Surrendered
Chicago White Sox 800
Chicago Cubs 476
Minnesota Twins 98
Kansas City Royals 70
Cleveland Indians 61
Detroit Tigers 59
Houston Astros 57
Pittsburgh Pirates 54
Milwaukee Brewers 53
Seattle Mariners 53
Cincinnati Reds 51
Baltimore Orioles 47
St. Louis Cardinals 44
Texas Rangers 44
Los Angeles Angels Continue reading →

Team Stats: Batting Average

While the postseason is just getting underway, it will be six months until baseball returns to Chicago.  I thought it would be a good time to revisit, for the first time in six years, the all-time rankings in both offensive and defensive categories for all iterations of the current 30 teams for the 1040 games I’ve identified that I have attended.  We start today on the offensive side of the ball with team batting average.

The newly christened Cleveland Guardians take over the top spot and join the California Angels, who I only saw live and in person twice, are the only teams to post an average over .300.  The Washington Nationals, who, sadly, have now had thirteen games to make a mark, are still the only team to post an average under .200.  In between, there is a slight correlation between the teams’ batting average and their record in these games, though with some surprising anomalies.

Batting Average

Team Name BA
Cleveland Guardians 0.304
California Angels 0.304
Anaheim Angels 0.292
Arizona Diamondbacks 0.278
Tampa Bay Devil Rays 0.272
Cleveland Indians 0.263
Chicago Cubs 0.261
Florida Marlins 0.260
Milwaukee Brewers 0.259
Chicago White Sox 0.258
Boston Red Sox 0.257
Kansas City Royals 0.257
Oakland Athletics Continue reading →

Looking Ahead To 2023

With about six weeks remaining in the 2022 season, Major League Baseball released their tentative 2023 schedule on Wednesday.  For the first time in years, MLB is moving to a balanced schedule, playing 52 games against division opponents, 64 games against non-division opponents in the same league, and, for the first time, 46 interleague games, with series against every team in the opposite league.  With the White Sox looking to bounce back after what has been a disappointing 2022 campaign to date and the Cubs looking to take the next step forward in their rebuild, the 2023 season looks to be an exciting time in the city of Chicago.  So, for one day, at least, let’s turn our attention to next summer for both teams.

The White Sox open their season on the road in Houston on March 30 for a four-game series against the Astros before returning home to face the Giants in their home opener on April 3.

Aside from the Giants, the new interleague schedule sees the Phillies, Marlins, Cardinals, Brewers, Diamondbacks, and Padres travelling to Chicago, while the White Sox will go on the road to face the Pirates, Reds, Dodgers, Braves, Mets, Rockies, and Nationals. The rivalry with their north side foes continues with a two-game series at Guaranteed Rate Field in late July followed by a mid-August tilt at Wrigley.

After facing AL Central foes only for the first half of September, the season ends with a six-game homestand against the Diamondbacks and the Padres.

On the north side, the Cubs also open their season on March 30, facing the Brewers at home.  After a 3-game series, they head out on the road.

The interleague schedule pits the Cubs against the Rangers, Mariners, Orioles, Guardians, Red Sox, and Royals at Wrigley, while they go on the road to face the A’s, Twins, Angels, Yankees, Blue Jays, and Tigers.

Of their 28 games in September/October, only nine are against their NL Central rivals, though, with the Cubs not likely to contend, that shouldn’t make much of a difference.  They end the year with a six-game road trip against the Braves and Brewers.