Monthly Archives: October 2014

MLB SALARIES ~ DID THEY GET WHAT THEY PAID FOR?

scales of justice 2Here’s a list of the 2014 salaries for the Major League Baseball teams.  You can get a look at the individual player salaries from USA Today’s website.  Individual rankings are interesting because you have to look past 65 players to get to the Royal’s top paid player, James Shields at #66.  To find the highest paid “active” player on the Giants roster you’ll go to #29 for Tim Lineceum and further down to #89 for Buster Posey.   But the real surprise was Madison Bumgarner who’s way down the list at #271.  I’ll bet that’s going to change in the near future huh?   Of course, you have to look at the total number of years in the individual contracts to see what the actual value is.

So the question is “Did they get what they paid for?”  I’d say the Kansas City Royals management is feeling pretty good about themselves right now, ranking #18 out of 30 for highest salaries and still  producing the top American League team in the nation.

RANK TEAM CURRENT DIFF AVG SALARY
1 Dodgers $241,128,402 $ – $7,778,335
2 Yankees $208,830,659 $ – $8,031,948
3 Phillies $179,521,056 $ – $5,791,001
4 Tigers $163,078,526 $ – $5,824,233
5 Red Sox $154,380,395 $ – $5,717,792
6 Giants $148,239,158 $ – $5,490,339
7 Nationals $134,366,735 $ – $4,798,811
8 Rangers $132,491,596 $ – $4,140,362
9 Blue Jays $129,427,700 $ – $4,793,618
10 Angels $128,046,500 $ – $4,415,396
11 Reds $112,378,771 $ – $3,405,417
12 Diamondbacks $111,798,833 $ – $3,726,627
13 Cardinals $108,020,360 $ – $3,857,870
14 Orioles $105,084,121 $ – $3,389,810
15 Brewers $102,724,338 $ – $3,804,605
16 Rockies $99,579,071 $ – $3,688,113
17 Braves $97,855,673 $ – $3,156,634
18 Royals $90,481,500 $ – $3,351,166
19 Padres $89,881,695 $ – $2,899,409
20 White Sox $89,551,982 $ – $3,316,740
21 Mariners $89,539,642 $ – $3,087,573
22 Twins $84,912,500 $ – $3,396,500
23 Mets $84,281,011 $ – $3,121,518
24 Indians $82,500,800 $ – $3,055,585
25 Rays $82,035,490 $ – $2,828,810
26 Pirates $77,845,999 $ – $2,883,185
27 Athletics $77,220,900 $ – $2,490,996
28 Cubs $74,546,356 $ – $2,662,369
29 Astros $44,985,800 $ – $1,606,635
30 Marlins $41,836,900 $ – $1,549,514
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Madison Bumgarner pitches the Giants to their third World Series win in five seasons

Madison Bumgarner & Buster Posey

Madison Bumgarner & Buster Posey

Mad Bum and Posey, together again. One of the best World Series ever, played by two worthy opponents to a Game 7 finale. I have no words.

HardballTalk

[nbcsports_video src=http://vplayer.nbcsports.com/p/BxmELC/nbcsportsembed/select/UfEMuBmAEaBu?autoPlay=true width=620 height=381]
KANSAS CITY — It’s a cliche that someone in some P.R. office came up with, but in Madison Bumgarner’s case it’s true: October is when legends are born.

The Giants ace came out of the bullpen after four innings and, on two days rest, absolutely dazzled. He pitched five innings, allowed only two hits didn’t walk anyone and struck out four while shutting down and shutting out the Royals. The Royals who never looked like they had a chance against him.

Even in the ninth, when Alex Gordon wound up on third base following a misplay of his single by Gregor Blanco in center, you didn’t get the sense that Bumgarner would break. Not with a hobbled Salvador Perez at the plate, still obviously feeling the effects of being hit by a pitch earlier in the game. Not even if Perez was healthy, actually. Bumgarner was…

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Mad Bum & Posey……New Kids on the Block Game 4.

I wrote this blog back in November, 2010 and it still gets views on a daily basis. It’s relevant today as Madison Bumgarner has matured into one of the game’s best pitchers and Buster Posey has matured into one of the best team leaders as evidenced in this postseason by catching that 18 inning game and then turns around the next day and catches another 9 innings in a daytime game. Here’s a link to the song that was originally deleted by MLB but has since been determined to be allowed by the “Fair Use” provision of the Copyright Law. “Say Hey” by Michael Franti

Garlicfriesandbaseball's Blog

DISCLAIMER:  Today’s blog is absolutely 100% pro- Giants so I want you non-Giants fans to know it’s nothing personal, just something  I have to do!   Things’ll get back to normal soon…..

I wish I’d written this song.  I’m so emotional this morning I probably shouldn’t even be blogging, but couldn’t help myself.  Here are some interesting facts related to last night’s SF Giants 4-0 Win over the Texas Rangers.

  1. Texas is the first team since the 1966 Dodgers to be shut out twice in the same World Series.
  2. Bumgarner is the youngest (21) rookie to make a scoreless start of six innings or more in World Series history.
  3. Texas is the first team since the 1966 Dodgers to be shut out twice in the same World Series :))
  4. Bumgarner is just the second lefty ever to strike out Vlad Guerrero three times in a game, joining Al Leiter in 1998.

Madison Bumgarner

Whew, quite…

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“GAME ON” ~ The Truth comes Out!

The Royal Giants

The Royal Giants

“I’m a baseball fan first, and a Giants fan second”. You’ve heard it over and over again right here on this blog and no matter what anyone says I meant it. I meant it when I said it, and I mean it now, but to tell you the truth this World Series stuff was getting right down to the wire when I realized I knew everything about the Giants and nothing about the Royals. Due diligence required I take a crash course in Royalspedia and I’ve been doing my best.

For example, I know the Kansas City Royals team are faster than lightening, I mean, not just the runners, but the entire team. Even the mascot. Scary stuff. Well, maybe not the mascot so much. But they lead all of Major League Baseball in stolen bases and they even run to first base on a walk. They also have not only one, but three starters in a lights-out bullpen.   And all week long I’ve been playing that “Kansas City Here I Come” song in my head.  It won’t go away, just over and over again.

So now that I’m feeling a little more knowledgeable about the  Kansas City Royals It sort of gives me a sense of kinship with both teams  and I’m appreciating the true competitive nature of this series, something that was eluding me before.

Bum & Morse

Bum & Morse

But this morning I’m hearing that the Giants have named Michael Morse as the Designated Hitter for the series and I’m just a little in shock.  For some reason I’ve had this feeling all along the DH should be Madison Bumgarner.  Not to take anything away from Morse who should, by all accounts, be named the happiest most fun-loving and most cordial of all the Giants team members.  He’s my pick for Mr. Congeniality anyhow.

But imagine if Bum were to pitch a no-hitter and hit a grand slam in the same game…….and in a World Series game to boot, the thought of the thrill of it is overwhelming!  And it could happen!  But not if he’s warming the bench on offense.

So there it is.  The lady’s gonna politely clap for a Royal good play,  but her fingers will always be crossed for that  Giant triumph.

“Those Classy Cardinals” Not the fans ……Not this year…..

Ishikawa Game Ending HR

Ishikawa Game Ending HR

Wow!  After reveling in happiness of the Giants really, really long-shot of making it,once again to the World Series, I was very quickly yanked back to reality this morning when a respected website brought my attention to “way too many” tweets posted by some very misguided Cardinal fans last night.   Maybe it’s the sign of the times, the state of our country, the desperate need to find something good in our lives.  Whatever the reason, it doesn’t reflect well on the St Louis Cardinal fans.

Those Classy Cards

Those Classy Cards

Back in 2011 I posted a blog about “Those Classy Cardinals” and I meant it.  It was one of my favorite postings.  They’d been voted the best fans in Major League Baseball and there was a reason for it.  They were knowledgeable and they were polite and they were one of my favorite teams. Busch Stadium has been on my bucket list of places to visit ever since.   My least favorite team was the Phillies and it was also because of the fans.  They were nasty and hateful not only in their tweets and blogs but also when you visited their stadium as evidenced by the Giants entry into the playoffs and their treatment of Tim Lincecum and others.

This is worse.  I’ve always tried to make this a kid-friendly blog because, after all, isn’t that what baseball’s all about?  But I’m sure not above linking to it and here it is in case you want a dose of early morning reality, Baseball’s Best Fans.  Yeah, right.

This World Series is historic in that it’s the first World Series that will be played by two Wild Card teams each with under 90 wins in the regular season.  I’m a baseball fan first, and a SF Giants fan second.  And,to tell you the truth, I know squat about the Kansas City Royals.  But no matter how the series goes, the best team, for this year, in this series, is going to win.  And not because the umpires made a bad call or the pitcher(s) weren’t spot on, or someone’s out on the DL.  It’s because the best team always wins.  And if you’re such a sorry individual you can’t take it and it’s too much for you because it wasn’t your team who prevailed, well suck it up.  This is baseball and it’s not for the faint of heart.  It’s for the love of the game ……whether you like it or not.

GO GIANTS AND GO ROYALS!  May the best team win ….. and they will.

Note:  To clarify that last paragraph.  The tweets that were posted on that site, and there were hundreds of them, were so vile, so full of hatred and bigotry, and spewed such filth it made them almost unintelligible.  You would almost have to have read it to understand my response.  However, the powers-that-be took the blog down within minutes of my posting so that it’s no longer available, and that’s a good thing.   I’m even a little embarrassed that I tried to share it with you in the first place, it was that bad.

Baseball Reliquary you say? ……. What the ^&*(#$%

Annie Savoy in Bull Durham

Annie Savoy in Bull Durham

Whittier College is establishing the first “Baseball Reliquary” in the country and will be housed under the Religious Department, with a Professor of Religious Studies and everything.   When I read about this at, where else, “Hardball Talk”, the first thing I did was look up Reliquary, to find out it meant a shrine, or place for relics.  Curious huh?

The second thing that came to mind was Susan Sarandon’s role as Annie Savoy in “Bull Durham”.  And whether you’re a religious zealot or an atheist or somewhere in between, Annie’s  “I believe in the church of baseball” line will probably live forever;

“I believe in the Church of Baseball. I’ve tried all the major religions and most of the minor ones. I’ve worshipped Buddha, Allah, Brahma, Vishnu, Siva, trees, mushrooms and Isadora Duncan. I know things. For instance, there are 108 beads in a Catholic rosary and there are 108 stitches in a baseball. When I heard that, I gave Jesus a chance. But it just didn’t work out between us. ……………I’ve tried ’em all, I really have, and the only church that truly feeds the soul is the Church of Baseball.”

The third thing that came to mind was a memorable quote that I like so much I used it in my book, “Garlic Fries and Baseball”:

“There are three things in my life which I really love: God, my family, and baseball. The only problem – once baseball season starts, I change the order around a bit. ~ Al Gallagher, 1971”

Well, I get it. And I included an original poem in my book, “Dreams and Things” that explains how I get it, this baseball reliquary thing.  Just so you know that I know the poem’s a little corny and I’d like to clarify I wasn’t always like this.  But as I get a little older each year different things take on different meanings and I have to tell you, when I read how baseball’s popularity is fading, and it’s not long for this earth and it’s boring,  I know there are those who “don’t get it”.  It’s too bad, really, and right in the middle of the playoffs. Wouldn’t you know?

Here’s the last part of my poem:

“When in the end I realize,
The things that matter most in life,
Are those that bring fond memories
Of people, places, food and things,
Of God and family gatherings,
And Casey at the Bat.”

If there’s any way I could possibly justify taking that course at Whittier I’d do it in a New York minute!  Baseball reliquary you say?  Get in line folks ~this class is gonna fill up fast!

 

 

 

 

 

Bruce Bochy: one of the best managers in baseball history?

Bruce Bochy, Manager 2010 World Series Champions

Bruce Bochy, Manager 2010 World Series Champions

Something that’s stuck in my craw these past few years is not the fact that Bruce Bochy didn’t win Manager of the Year in 2010 and again in 2012, but that he wasn’t even runner-up. In 2010 he received ONE 1st place vote. And this was after putting together and working with the band of misfits later to be known as the 2010 World Series Champions.

It’s one of the reasons I don’t give much credibility to the members of the Baseball Writers Association who vote on the annual award. West Coast teams are rarely seriously considered by the BBWA for such awards since, the reasoning goes, their games are played after those who vote have gone nighty-night, the games being played late on the East Coast and all. And this isn’t just for the Manager’s award but for the others as well. The 2010 award did go to the San Diego Manager though, and that’s about as West Coast as you can go. But generally it hasn’t been so.

This article just might make a difference, at least it’s a start.

HardballTalk

That’s the case for Bochy made by Jonah Keri today over at Grantland. And, thankfully, Jonah doesn’t just play the “count tha rings!” game. Sure, the two World Series rings and a potential for a third matter, but he also looks at what Bochy has done with what he has been given, his flexibility and the extent to which his teams have exceeded expectations and concludes thusly:

That ability to overcome adversity — combined with the data and sheer number of rings he has won — net out something you wouldn’t expect: the conclusion that Bruce Bochy not only has a case as the best manager in the game today, but as one of the greatest of all time. Sounds weird, but it’s true. And that sound you hear is grateful Giants fans hollering in agreement.

A big assist in that assessment comes from Chris Jaffe and his book, which I read and enjoyed…

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