Category Archives: Florida Marlins

Veterans Day and Every Day ….. Thank You!

Note:  This is a repost of my 2010 Veteran’s Day Blog.

Arlington National Cemetery

“But the mainstay of the big leagues was the reservoir of 4-Fs – males of draft age who had been rejected on physical grounds by the Armed Forces. Not since harem attendants had gone out of style were men’s physical deficiencies so highly prized. Ulcers, hearing defects, and torn cartilages were coveted by team owners.” – Frank Graham, Jr. in Farewell to Heroes (1981)

This and the following list of Hall of Fame Members Courtesy of  Baseball Almanac.

Baseball Hall of Fame Members  who Served in the Armed Forces.
The Civil War  
Morgan Bulkeley United States Army
World War I
Grover Alexander  United States Army
Happy Chandler United States Army Continue reading

2012 MLB Team and Player Salaries

2012 All Star Game Photo

Here’s the 2012 update to our 2011 listing published August 27, 2011.  This comes to us compliments of USA Today.  If you’ll click the individual teams, you can access the individual players salaries.  It will be interesting to note the annual salaries of the teams that make the playoffs;  in other words, did they get what they paid for?  For example; the Washington Nationals have the best record in the Majors this year, but have the 11th Lowest Salary out of 30 Teams.   Salary Chart Linked Here

2012 MLB Salaries  
 

TEAM

TOTAL PAYROLL
New York Yankees $ 197,962,289
Philadelphia Phillies $ 174,538,938
Boston Red Sox $ 173,186,617
Los Angeles Angels $ 154,485,166
Detroit Tigers $ 132,300,000
Texas Rangers $ 120,510,974
Miami Marlins $ 118,078,000
San Francisco Giants $ 117,620,683
St. Louis Cardinals $ 110,300,862
Milwaukee Brewers $ 97,653,944
Chicago White Sox $ 96,919,500
Los Angeles Dodgers $ 95,143,575
Minnesota Twins $ 94,085,000
New York Mets $ 93,353,983
Chicago Cubs $ 88,197,033
Atlanta Braves $ 83,309,942
Cincinnati Reds $ 82,203,616
Seattle Mariners $ 81,978,100
Baltimore Orioles $ 81,428,999
Washington Nationals $ 81,336,143
Cleveland Indians $ 78,430,300
Colorado Rockies $ 78,069,571
Toronto Blue Jays $ 75,489,200
Arizona Diamondbacks $ 74,284,833
Tampa Bay Rays $ 64,173,500
Pittsburgh Pirates $ 63,431,999
Kansas City Royals $ 60,916,225
Houston Astros $ 60,651,000
Oakland Athletics $ 55,372,500
San Diego Padres $ 55,244,700

               

Pudge Rodriguez, Florida Marlins Catcher in 2003 World Series, to Retire.

Ivan Rodriguez, Sports Illustrated Magazine

A few weeks ago I posted a blog about the pending retirement of  Dontrelle Willis, former pitcher with the 2003 World Series Champions Florida Marlins.  And now again today I read that Ivan “Pudge” Rodriguez is set to announce his retirement.

I’m not sure why those 2003 Florida Marlins have a soft spot in my heart, but for sure I’ll always remember that World Series.  Maybe it was because they were playing the New York Yankees and I didn’t give them a prayer for winning.  Maybe it was because the combination of Dontrelle and Pudge was something truly awesome to watch.  Or maybe it was because I watched the entire series from a condo in Puerto Vallarta; the first two games in Spanish before I figured out how to change the receiver to English.  It was memorable because the Spanish speaking announcers were unashamedly cheering for the Yankees and their obvious disappointment was hilarious to listen to.  And  even though I couldn’t understand a word they were saying, there was no doubt in my mind what they were thinking!

Pudge Rodriguez with the Texas Rangers

Ivan Rodriguez will be eligible for nomination to the Hall of Fame in five years and undoubtedly will be inducted at some point. His list of credentials and honors is impressive indeed and  he has chosen to retire as a Texas Ranger.  But even though he only spent one year with the Florida Marlins, that’s what I’ll always remember him as.  The Florida Marlins catcher in the 2003 World Series.  Thanks for the memories Pudge Rodriguez.  You deserve all the accolades you’re about to receive!

Introducing Florida’s New “Marlins Park” ….. Finally!

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I say “finally” because it’s taken some serious negotiations to make this ballpark happen.   The organization has been fighting to build their own park since the mid-1990’s.  And after numerous financing problems, lawsuits,  SEC investigations  other challenges, the powers-that-be were able to overcome.

It’s hard to believe the new Marlins Park is the smallest stadium in Major League Baseball with an actual seating capacity of 37,000.  The photos in the slide show  indicate this is one humongous Star Wars state-of-the-art facility.

It’s also the sixth Major League Baseball stadium to have a retractable roof and will maintain an average temperature of 75°F when the roof is closed.   A welcome addition to anyone braving the heat on those hot and humid Florida game-days.

Some of the photos above have been generously loaned to us  from fellow blogger, Cecilia Tan.  Please check out her website “Why I like Baseball” featuring the new Marlins Park stadium in her most recent post.

The “D-Train” Has Left the Station. “We Hardly Knew ye D”

Dontrelle Willis

I’m really sad this morning to read about Dontrelle Willis being released from yet another team, this time the Philadelphia Phillies.  I’ve been following this kid since his 2003 debut with the Florida Marlins.  He was just so much fun to watch,  with that wild and goofy wind-up he had and always a big smile.  I’d never seen anything like it before and probably never will again.

He was dynamite back then!  And I wasn’t the only one who was enthralled with the kid.  He was named the 2003 National League Rookie of the Year.   And that wasn’t all he did in 2003.   In game 4 of the 2003 NL Division Series he hit 3 for 3 (one was a triple) and scored a run, this all being done as a “pitcher”, and then beat the socks off my home team, the San Francisco Giants.  The Marlins won the 2003 World Series, and I’ll never forget Dontrelle Willis in that series.

Dontrelle Willis & Miguel Cabrera in Detroit

Dontrelle was born and raised in Oakland and raised by his very strong, tough and intelligent mother, Joyce.  She was not only a commercial welder, working on such bridges as the Golden Gate and Bay Bridge, but she was also a softball catcher and avid Oakland A’s fan.  This was the defining influence on Dontrelle that propelled him all the way to the Major Leagues.  His dad bailed out when he was a toddler.  I don’t know this, but I think they probably had a pretty tough time during those early years.  We  know one thing though.  He loved his mama!

I’m sorry the “D-Train’s” career has been de-railed again.  In December, 2011 the Phillies signed him to a one year million dollar deal with expectations that he’d be a bullpen pitcher.  He was released  yesterday after just three spring training appearances.

Not so long ago

It’s been a wild and rocky road.  Will he be back?  I don’t know.  But I know one thing.  Dontrelle Willis provided me with some of my most memorable baseball experiences and I hope he does come back, though at 40 years old it’s unlikely.

To Dontrelle Willis:  Best Wishes.  I wish we could have gotten to know you better kid!

Baseball’s Top Ten News Items in 2011

2011 World Champions St Louis Cardinals

The media’s full of articles and videos of the most newsworthy items about baseball this past year.   You might think this would be those articles you and I found the most interesting and representative of baseball throughout the country, but not necessarily so.

I compiled a list from a survey today of the “top 10″ from USA Today, Bleacher Report, Sports Illustrated, and ESPN.

Here’s the results and below that I’ve listed my own personal “Top Ten”.  How does your list compare?

TOP TEN FROM SURVEY

  1. St. Louis Cardinals, World Series Champions
  2. Justin Verlander,  AL Cy Young and MVP Winner
  3. Game 162 collapse of the Red Sox and Braves.
  4. Game 6 World Series between the Cardinals and Rangers
  5. Derek Jeter’s 3000th hit
  6. Ryan Braun’s Drug Test
  7. Jim Thome’s 600th Home Run
  8. Shannon Stone Fatal Fall at Rangers Stadium
  9. Mariano Rivera all time saves leader
  10. Bryan Stow beating at Dodger Stadium Continue reading

“TOP BASEBALL PLAYERS OF PAST 60 YEARS!” A Mathematical Study.

This is the third year we’ve published this study by Dr. Don Davis.  It’s one of our most popular blogs and we’re happy to be able to share it again with you.  Be sure to link to his website  for additional information, changes and criteria he used in compiling his study.

“2011 Baseball Players Mathematical Study, written by Don Davis, Department of Mathematics, Lehigh University, Bethlehem, PA., and printed here with his permission.”

Pos’n First team Second team Third team Fourth team Fifth team
P,1 Roger Clemens, 266.0 Tom Seaver, 181.1 Bob Gibson, 140.4 Juan Marichal, 107.9 Curt Schilling, 85.1
P,2 Randy Johnson, 202.1 Warren Spahn, 167.5 Sandy Koufax, 137.8 Gaylord Perry, 102.8 Phil Niekro, 84.9
P,3 Greg Maddux, 197.5 Bob Feller, 157.6 Robin Roberts, 136.5 Roy Halladay, 102.1 Johan Santana, 84.6
P,4 Pedro Martinez, 187.5 Steve Carlton, 143.5 Jim Palmer, 133.2 Fergie Jenkins, 87.2 Nolan Ryan, 83.7
C Johnny Bench, 111.2 Yogi Berra, 92.9 Gary Carter, 75.6 Mike Piazza, 74.8 Ivan Rodriguez, 71.0 Continue reading