Category Archives: A1 Baseball

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

“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!

 

 

 

 

 

Madison Bumgarner’s big error not all his fault

Bums Error to 3rd

Bums Error to 3rd

Photo Courtesy JEFF CHIU/AP

Classy guy this Madison Bumgarner.  I read the article this morning from Baggs about why in the world Bumgarner, with his 20 straight games – no- runs stat this year, would throw the ball away with such purpose and intensity ending in such disastrous results.

This article explains it well. Evidently his catcher, Buster Posey, yelled “three, three, three” at him and since Buster calls the shots and usually knows best, Bum instinctively threw it to third, or at least threw it AT third. When asked what Buster was yelling at him, he refused to incriminate Buster, instead saying you’ll have to ask Buster about that.

In the end Bum’s classic response; ” Doesn’t matter. He didn’t tell me to throw it to left field”. Class act you say? And I’d say you’re probably right.  And now on to Game 4.

Ethics Hero: American League Batting Champion Jose Altuve

Jose Altuve, Houston Astros

Jose Altuve, Houston Astros

Ethics and sportsmanship. Two of my favorite topics and my favorite blog dealing with the subject is “Ethics Alarms”. This isn’t a baseball blog, or even a sports blog for that matter, but I find myself quoting it often and I’m always able to learn from it. In this blog he talks about doing the right thing and what interested me most was, even if he hadn’t done the right thing, most fans would never have noticed. Chalk one up for another great article from Ethics Alarms’ Jack Marshall, ethicist, lawyer, and the president of ProEthics, Ltd., trying to keep us on the straight and narrow and reminding us there still is such a thing.

Ethics Alarms

Altuve

There was another baseball Ethics Hero who emerged on the last day of the regular season yesterday. File it under “Sportsmanship.”

Houston Astros secondbaseman  Jose Altuve (at less than 5′ 5″, the shortest athlete in a major professional sport) began the day hitting .340, three points ahead of the Tigers’ Victor Martinez, who was at .337. Even with all the new stats and metrics showing that batting average alone is not the best measure of a baseball player’s offensive value, a league batting championship remains the most prestigious of individual titles, putting a player in the record books with the likes of Ty Cobb, Ted Williams, Rogers Hornsby, George Brett, Ichiro Suzuki and Tony Gwynn. It’s still a big deal. If Altuve didn’t play in Houston’s meaningless last game, Martinez would have to go 3-for-3 to pass him, giving the DH a narrow .3407 average compared with Altuve’s .3399. By…

View original post 133 more words

Mad Bum Out of the Box and, Please … No More Bunts!

Madison Bumgarner , the Pitcher

Madison Bumgarner , the Pitcher

Madison Bumgarner, The Hitter!  (Photo Courtesy Getty Images)

Madison Bumgarner, The Hitter! (Photo Courtesy Getty Images)

I love this guy! What about this? To Bruce Bochy: How about putting Bum in left field on his days off?  That will get him in the line-up and God knows we can sure use him. AND NO MORE BUNTING PLEASE!

Madison Bumgarner’s a cowboy, down on the farm, strong as an ox type guy. He can do this. And it probably wouldn’t hurt to let him get that pitch count up there a little more either.

I mean, seriously, we’re getting down to the wire here and it’s never too late to think outside the box.  Just saying …….

And take a look at another take on the subject from Hardball Talk.  Great stuff!

 

 

 

Video: Yasiel Puig made a fantastic throw last night to nail Brandon Belt at the plate

That Pesky Puig just won’t go away. I was trying to explain this play to someone today, but nothing I could say did it justice.  It was just one of those plays dreams are made of.  Thanks to Hardball talk here’s an instant replay ….. if MLB will let us use it for awhile and not delete it.

Name Origins of all 30 Major League Baseball Teams

Cincinnati Red Stockings.  1st Professional Baseball Team

Cincinnati Red Stockings. 1st Professional Baseball Team

Cincinnati Red Stockings Photo Courtesy “www.todayifoundout.com” Daven Hiskey.

I “Stumbled” on this great post that lists the origins of all 30 Major League Baseball Teams.  It appears the Boston Red Sox hold the oldest named team dating back to the 1860’s, popularized by the Cincinnati Red Stockings from 1867-1870 and used by Boston’s National League franchise from 1871-1876.

But the actual team name origin that’s  with the same team is the San Francisco Giants, formerly the New York Giants, that dates back to 1885.    

Read the original Post  Stumbleupon.com, written by Scott Allen. 

 

Clayton Kershaw wins his 20th game of the season

National League All-Star pitchers Madison Bumgarner and Clayton Kershaw watch the Home Run Derby Monday July 15, 2013, at Citi Field in NY. Photo by SF Giants/Andy Kuno

National League All-Star pitchers Madison Bumgarner and Clayton Kershaw watch the Home Run Derby Monday July 15, 2013, at Citi Field in NY. Photo by SF Giants/Andy Kuno

I love this guy! Okay, so I’m a Giants fan, but who can argue with the stats? Not to take anything away from Madison Bumgarner, but Clayton Kershaw rocks and if we don’t make it (and things aren’t looking too good right now) I’m cheering for the Dodger blue. Well, at least for the rest of the season.   And I’m trying to figure out how the Giants are going to be able to acquire Kershaw while keeping Bumgarner.  Yes, I know.   One thing at a time.

Baseball is dying, you guys

SF Giants Fan Fest 2013. Good Grief!

SF Giants Fan Fest 2013.
Good Grief!

A few weeks ago my grandson said this exact same thing. I took into account his passion was basketball and surmised he watched only a few baseball games each year, if he had to. Jake lives in Oregon and, granted, there’s not a lot to get excited about in Oregon except maybe Oregon Duck football and OSU Beavers during baseball season, and maybe once in a while the Trailblazers.

Juan Marichal.  Just your Basic Pitching Form

Juan Marichal. Just your Basic Pitching Form

But having grown up in a baseball family I just don’t get it. I don’t get that others don’t get the athleticism of baseball players, the finesse of a perfectly thrown ball, the artistry of a catch that was so impossible to make, even the opponents keep playing it over and over in the clubhouse the next day. Once-in-a-lifetime stuff. So when I read this comment on Hardball Talks,one of my favorite blogs, I had to ponder again what Jake said, and meant, about baseball not making it more than 5 or 10 years. And to Scott Conray who posted this little ditty, I have to tell you we have not seen baseball’s most famous player yet.

LA Dodger Yasiel Puig on  an ordinary day.

LA Dodger Yasiel Puig on an ordinary day.

One example, and there are many, is the rookies coming up from the farm teams. These kids are exciting to watch. And they’re winning games. And they’ll continue doing this. If you have any doubt about the fans love for the game read “Casey at the Bat”, again and you’ll get it. The poem was written over 100 years ago with the same passion and fervor that baseball fans still experience every time they watch a great play, a fantastic pitch, an out of the park home run or a rookie walking to the plate making the sign of the cross and blasting it out of the park. And I don’t care which sport you’re passionate about, it just doesn’t get any better than that. In my humble opinion, of course ……

Bruce and Brett Bochy make MLB history

Brett & Bruce Bochy

Brett & Bruce Bochy

Last night, during the LA Dodgers batting practice, the SF Giants manager Bruce Bochy called his son, Brett, from the bullpen to the mound. It was the first time this has happened in the history of the game, according to the announcers. And it was emotional. Maybe not so much for the father-son pair, but for the fans and teammates and, for sure, this blogger. Brett Bochy was at spring training this year and eyes were on him as would be expected. I never really followed his progress but like most fans hoped he would make it. And that’s true for most rookies. We cross our fingers and toes when they step onto the field and hope they make it, do well, make mom and dad proud. The Giants have had several situations of that exact thing happening this season and it’s special. Just like last night was special. Brett Bochy proved he can hold his own despite the fact his dad’s a major league manager. Good for you kid ~ and good for dad too!

Bud Selig can’t remember the last domestic violence incident in Major League Baseball

Ronni’s Note: But just because Bud Selig doesn’t remember an incident doesn’t mean it isn’t happening. The law of averages says it is. Maybe it just isn’t getting reported. But what’s going on over at the NFL? Reporting of it’s becoming epidemic and that’s a good thing, but can’t somebody get a handle on this? Condi, where are you?