Baseball talent is not evenly distributed around the United States, for reasons largely having to do with climate. As you'd expect, more MLB players come from warmer parts of the country. Still, any big city is going to produce a fair amount of talent over the years. What kind of team could be built entirely of players from my hometown of Chicago? Place of birth is what I know how to feasibly research, so that's what I'm using. I'm also including the metro area, to get a wider scope. All players included here were born in Chicago or a suburb within 30 miles of the city limits.
Saturday, November 30, 2013
Sunday, October 6, 2013
Entering 2011, the Houston Astros had never lost more than 97 games in a season. The Angels were the only other franchise that could say that. In 2011 though, Houston lost 106 games... then they lost 107 games in 2012... and then they lost 111 in 2013. They went from having one of the most impressive track records in all of baseball for avoiding really bad seasons, to putting together one of the worst stretches ever.
Tuesday, September 24, 2013
When the Blue Jays and Orioles went into the 10th inning Tuesday night, a new record for most extra-inning games in a single season was established. It was the 238th extra-inning game of 2013, besting the mark set in 2011 (the Diamondbacks and Padres later made it 239). No other season in MLB history featured more than 220 extra-inning contests. With five days left in the season, there's time for this season to build up a little breathing room, likely finishing up at something like 245 (I'll update this post once the final results are in). What follows is a look at some of the specifics of this year's extra innings, and how they compare to those of other seasons.
Saturday, September 14, 2013
Vladimir Guerrero was the #1 overall pick in the first fantasy baseball league I ever played in, and he helped me win the title that year. I already liked him, but that cinched his place in my heart. Guerrero hasn't played in the Major Leagues since 2011, but it wasn't until this month that he accepted that he wouldn't make it back, and made his retirement official. Vlad was famous for having elite power and speed during his prime, as well as an absolute cannon for an arm, and for swinging at and connecting with any and all kinds of pitches sometimes even ones that bounced in the dirt. When his name arrives on Hall of Fame ballots in a few years, he'll be an interesting candidate, sure to draw solid support. Will he draw enough to be inducted? We'll have to wait and find out. In the meantime, should he be inducted?
Sunday, August 18, 2013
Last season, the Houston Astros had one of the worst runs in MLB history, losing 43 out of 50 games during July and August. I wrote about the worst 50-game stretches ever then, but now, almost exactly a year later, I have reason to write about the best 50-game stretches, because the Los Angeles Dodgers have been on an incredible run. At the end of play on June 21, the Dodgers were 30-42, in last place in the NL West, and baseball's biggest disappointment. Since then though, LA has gone 42-10, taken over 1st place and built a commanding lead, and become the betting favorites to win the World Series. How often does a team go on a run this good?
Thursday, August 15, 2013
|Hall of Fame pitcher AND fashion icon|
Wednesday, August 14, 2013
MLB being on-pace this season for a record number of extra inning games. That's still true, though the pace has fallen from 272 to 254 (the record is 237). Yesterday went a long way towards the quest to break that record, as there were 6 different games that went to extra innings. That's not a record (quite), but it's close. The record for most extra-inning games on the same day is 7, and that's happened twice. Including those two days, there have been 6 or more extra-inning MLB games on the same day ten times*.
Tuesday, August 13, 2013
I first started paying attention to baseball in 1986, my first year of playing t-ball. There was no internet (not that I was old enough to put it to good use, had it existed), and cable TV wasn't something my family would have for years. Baseball cards, the sports section of the Chicago Tribune we had delivered each weekday, and Mr. Coughlin (the father of two friends who lived across the alley from me) were the sources of whatever baseball knowledge I had. In 1986, the Kansas City Royals were the defending World Series champions and Bret Saberhagen was the reigning American League Cy Young winner. A rudimentary understanding of baseball statistics and one look at the back of any of his cards would have made it clear, even to a 6-year-old, that Saberhagen was a fantastic pitcher.