Category Archives: Boston Red Sox

Garlic Fries and Baseball: The Book

Update:  Now available at Amazon as Book and Kindle.

Finally it’s here!  My book’s been in the works since February and  it’s being published today.  It’s available for sale here first, and will be available on Amazon.com early next week and in Kindle form  soon thereafter.

The book’s a compilation of some of my favorite blogs, some in expanded form, with a few little ditties added in and formatted in such a way you’ll hardly recognize it!  I have to admit ~ writing a book is a great experience, but it’s much easier writing a blog!

Let me know what you think but please be kind.   This is my debut you know ♥   Ronni

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MLB Standings vs MLB Payrolls …. How do they measure?

Okay, so we’re maybe 25% through the 2011 Major League Baseball Season.  How is your team doing?  How is your team doing in relation to their total payroll?  In other words, are they getting what they paid for?

Here’s an interesting article published by Hayes & Taylor recently.  I’m always amazed at the amount of work some of these guys put into their daily blogs;  I mean who has time for this stuff?   In any event, this is a great chart and one of the better blogs and I wanted to share it with you.

“The Cleveland Indians are in first place in the AL Central. They have the fifth lowest payroll in all of baseball. Which got me thinking, how do the other teams in the MLB rank in the standings relative to their payroll. It turns out that the Indians aren’t even the best example right now.

The Tampa Bay Rays have the second lowest payroll in the majors. The are currently in first place in the power packed AL East. Ahead of the number one payroll in baseball the Yankees, the number three payroll in Boston and numbers 19 and 24 in Baltimore and Toronto. The Royals, Marlins and A’s are all over .500, and are all in the bottom ten payrolls in the league. Not to mention all are very alive in the playoff races.

If the season ended today, four of the eight playoff teams would come from the bottom eleven in payroll (Rays, Indians, Marlins, Reds). On the other side, only three would be coming from the top eight in payroll (Angels, Phillies and Giants).

What does this all mean? Talent wins in baseball and not always how much you pay for that talent. If money was how you win, the Yankees would win every year, but they don’t. That makes me very happy. I love to see underdogs win. I love the fact that some of the lower payroll teams won’t be trading away all of their talent this season to teams who will pay whatever it takes. Baseball is stronger than ever right now.

Click here to link to a chart that shows  where all 30 teams in major league baseball rank in payroll and where they are currently in the standings. Is your team over or under achieving?”

2011 Postseason Predictions!

The off-season flew by this year didn’t it?  When you’re playing into November, it doesn’t take long for Spring Training to arrive, and now here we are counting down to the season opener in two days! 

My friends over at “Diamondhoggers” have a little contest going to see who can come the closest to predicting the 2011 World Series winner!   Here’s my contribution to the cause.  Why not play along and see how you compare .  For sure I’m not making any wagers on my predictions since last years turned out to be a bust!    Maybe I’ll have better luck this year.  Good luck on yours!

AMERICAN LEAGUE:

  • East Division Champions ~  Boston Red Sox *
  • Central Division Champions ~ Detroit Tigers
  • West Division Champions ~ Oakland A’s
  • Wild Card ~ New York Yankees

NATIONAL LEAGUE:

  • East Division Champions ~ Philadelphia Phillies
  • Central Division Champions ~ Cincinnati Reds
  • West Division Champions ~ San Francisco Giants *
  • Wild Card ~ Colorado Rockies

WORLD SERIES CHAMPIONS ~ SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS OVER BOSTON RED SOX!

 

 

Top Baseball Players of Past 59 Years!

“2010 Baseball Players Mathematical Study, written by Don Davis, Department of Mathematics, Lehigh University, Bethlehem, PA., and printed here with his permission.”

(GFBB Note:  I found this  information fascinating and posted the 2009 study last August.  This is the 2010 updated version with a few variations.  You can view the entire study here:  http://www.lehigh.edu/~dmd1/baseball.html    It explains the  criteria used and the history behind the study as well as a wealth of other information related to it.  You can contact Dr. Davis directly for more information regarding the list@ dmd1@lehigh.edu )

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 Phil Niekro, 84.9
P,2 Randy Johnson, 202.1 Warren Spahn, 167.5 Sandy Koufax, 137.8 Gaylord Perry, 102.8 Johan Santana, 84.6
P,3 Greg Maddux, 197.5 Bob Feller, 157.6 Robin Roberts, 136.5 Fergie Jenkins, 87.2 Roy Halladay, 84.1
P,4 Pedro Martinez, 187.5 Steve Carlton, 143.5 Jim Palmer, 133.2 Curt Schilling, 85.1 Nolan Ryan, 83.7
C Johnny Bench, 112.9 Yogi Berra, 94.9 Gary Carter, 77.3 Mike Piazza, 76.6 Ivan Rodriguez, 72.7
1B Albert Pujols, 158.9 Jeff Bagwell, 99.9 Eddie Murray, 91.6 Willie McCovey, 88.4 Harmon Killebrew, 80.8
2B Joe Morgan, 140.6 Rod Carew, 100.5 Ryne Sandberg, 94.8 Jackie Robinson, 93.8 Roberto Alomar, 81.1
3B Mike Schmidt, 184.1 George Brett, 120.9 Eddie Mathews, 112.2 Wade Boggs, 110.5 Brooks Robinson, 105.1
SS Alex Rodriguez, 151.9 Cal Ripken, 121.6 Ernie Banks, 97.6 Robin Yount, 88.2 Derek Jeter, 83.4
OF,1 Barry Bonds, 270.7 Stan Musial, 208.6 Frank Robinson, 141.2 Al Kaline, 119.2 Reggie Jackson, 111.5
OF,2 Willie Mays, 243.2 Mickey Mantle, 208.3 Rickey Henderson, 138.4 Ken Griffey, 117.1 Pete Rose, 99.4
OF,3 Ted Williams, 219.8 Hank Aaron, 201.3 Carl Yazstremski, 131.8 Roberto Clemente, 112.1 Tony Gwynn, 97.1
DH Frank Thomas, 101.0 Paul Molitor, 58.8 Edgar Martinez, 53.4

 

This day in Baseball History ……fans at Fenway. Where’d they go??

“1965.   At Fenway Park in front of only 1,247 fans, Boston right-hander Dave Morehead no-hits the visiting Indians 2-1.  On the same day, the 100 loss bound ninth place Red Sox fire their GM, Pinky Higgins.” 

I found this statistic fascinating!   This day in history, 1965, your couldn’t GIVE away tickets to watch the Red Sox play at Fenway.   Only 1,247 showed up for the game!  Wow!   Times have changed and so has baseball.   I was in Boston in June and talked with a cabbie there, exuberant about the fact I got to see the game that day.  It’s  hard to get tickets to a game at Fenway Park these days.  On June 17, 2009, Red Sox fans were celebrating their 500th consecutive sellout at Fenway Park!  And this is a park with 33,871 night time seating capacity that had an average attendance of 37,811 in 2009!   Go figure. 

But on September 16, 1965, seating capacity for Fenway Park was 33,524.   Imagine going to a professional baseball game and you’re one of 1,247 fans.  That means there are 32,277 empty seats.  Whew!  You could even hear yourself holler, if there was anything to holler about.  I mean that season they ended up losing 100 games. 

It’s different now.  If you’ve ever been to Fenway you’ll get this.   Once you get nestled into your wood seat you don’t 

Fenway Park

dare move.   This is a small stadium and I’d estimate maybe 12,000 fans are mulling through the concessions stands and restrooms at any given time.  So once you leave your seat, figure about 45 minutes before you’ll get back again.  Best advice……do all your stuff before you sit!     So right now, today, Boston’s in 3rd place in their division, up and down this year.  But it really doesn’t matter.   Boston Red Sox fans are no longer fair weather fans.  They’ve had  winning seasons and  losing seasons since  1965 .  Not to worry.  They manage to sell those seats game after game, year after year.   And it’s one of the best stadiums in Major League Baseball!   I love Fenway Park.  I love the fans, the food, the team.  

Where’d the fans go?   They went right back to the park and that’s where they’ve been ever since, God love em! 

Best Players in Past 58 Years ……. A Mathematical Study!

I came upon an interesting study a few months ago.  It was written by Don Davis, Mathematics Professor at Lehigh University, Bethleham, PA.   There’s a lot of criteria used in determining different aspects of this study, but for the most part the players names are all recognizable and only a few to make the list are surprises.   The following table lists the top five All Star Teams, using 4 pitchers per team.    It also lists the overall rating percentage by player.   Take a look:

Pos’n First team Second team Third team Fourth team Fifth team
P1 Roger Clemens, 266.2 Tom Seaver, 166.9 Bob Gibson, 129.2 Jim Palmer, 106.4 Johan Santana, 85.4
P2 Greg Maddux, 203.9 Warren Spahn, 160.5 Robin Roberts, 128.3 Gaylord Perry, 96.1 Tom Glavine, 84.8
P3 Randy Johnson, 202.4 Bob Feller, 143.7 Sandy Koufax, 126.0 Phil Niekro, 96.1 Curt Schilling, 80.7
P4 Pedro Martinez, 185.7 Steve Carlton, 140.7 Juan Marichal, 109.5 Fergie Jenkins, 91.7 Bob Lemon, 79.9
C Johnny Bench, 115.5 Yogi Berra, 97.2 Mike Piazza, 82.2 Ivan Rodriguez, 77.7 Gary Carter, 75.5
1B Albert Pujols, 145.4 Jeff Bagwell, 103.2 Eddie Murray, 95.2 Willie McCovey, 92.1 Harmon Killebrew, 86.4
2B Joe Morgan, 140.3 Rod Carew, 94.5 Ryne Sandberg, 92.4 Jackie Robinson, 82.4 Roberto Alomar, 81.1
3B Mike Schmidt, 173.2 George Brett, 119.2 Eddie Mathews, 111.7 Wade Boggs, 108.0 Brooks Robinson, 88.4
SS Alex Rodriguez, 145.4 Cal Ripken, 113.6 Robin Yount, 93.0 Ernie Banks, 90.7 Derek Jeter, 81.6
OF1 Barry Bonds, 270.7 Stan Musial, 205.2 Frank Robinson, 145.3 Ken Griffey, 114.2 Tony Gwynn, 100.3
OF2 Willie Mays, 226.8 Mickey Mantle, 198.3 Rickey Henderson, 141.5 Al Kaline, 110.1 Pete Rose, 99.7
OF3 Ted Williams, 213.4 Hank Aaron, 195.6 Carl Yazstremski, 127.5 Reggie Jackson, 108.9 Roberto Clemente, 99.3
DH Frank Thomas, 115.0 Edgar Martinez, 64.4 Paul Molitor, 62.4 David Ortiz, 43.4  

Are you kidding me?  Can you even begin to imagine a game with all of these guys on the same team?  What was particularly interesting to me is  that mathematically Roger Clemens is the highest rated pitcher and Barry Bonds is the highest rated batter.   These  ratings are through the 2009 season,  and personalities and private lives are not taken into account.   This is just  using good old fashioned baseball statistics.  

I found the study intriguing and spent a lot of time viewing the criteria used in coming up with the lists.  Rather than go into all the particulars here, you can view the study yourself @ Lehigh University   http://www.lehigh.edu/~dmd1/baseball.html  

 This information is being used with the permission of Professor Davis.

Whew! 7 Days of Baseball and 10 Different States…..

Who wouldn’t love this?   Never mind the early mornings, late nights, blisters, junk food and sunburns!   Looking back who’ll remember any of this stuff?   What I’ll remember is getting to sleep on the bus (our reward for getting up on time and actually making it to the bus) and those great movies (Corner Gas?  Who Knew?) and great food and the comraderie of great baseball fans gathered together for the experience of  baseball, ballparks, and ballpark food.    And that’s exactly what we did!   We could ask Dan anything and if he didn’t have the answer, our driver, Mark, did.  A pool of knowledge from these two!   And the best part was sharing their baseball experiences  with us.  The time flew by and now I’m safely home just in time to cheer my home team out of a 7 game losing streak ~ sure glad I could help!    There’s something very special about baseball fans.  When you’re sitting in a stadium with 40,000 fans cheering and clapping for whichever team, there’s a common bond that says it really doesn’t matter, just for today, what’s wrong with the economy.  And just for today I’ll let BP worry about that oil mess and I’ll let someone else solve the world problems because today I’m watching grown men throw baseballs around a field shaped like a diamond, hopefully hitting  more baseballs and scoring runs, just because they can.  Well, I can’t explain it, but there’s something very special about baseball fans!  

We’ve waited all winter, withstood snow and cold
Thru free agent signings for millions in gold.
“Play ball”, “Batter up”, the umpire will yell,
Peanuts and crackerjaks the vendors will sell.
Like Bogey has said with panache and glitz,
“A hot dog at the ballpark beats roast beef at the Ritz!”
Baseball: ‘Ode to Opening Day by Mark H. Young ©

Day 5. Tampa Bay Rays vs. Boston Red Sox!

Wednesday, 6/30/2010.   Arrived one of my favorite all time American cities, Boston, Massachusetts!  I skipped the scheduled tour of Fenway Park  in favor of a tour around town.   This started with the grand old Trolley Tour that took us to all the highlights of Boston and there are many!  30 Universitie and Colleges in Boston proper, and history of our founding fathers everywhere!   Boston Harbor and of course Fenway Park are always main attractions.  Fenway is a  grand old ballpark.  First thing I noticed was the big wood scoreboard over centerfield.  They still turn the scores by hand!   All the scores are kept current for other games throughout the day, and as the scores change, they reach out and manually put up the new numbers, in real time. as it happens.  Of course, they have  electronic scoreboards in other parts of the field, but my attention was focused on the old one.  Fascinating stuff in this age of super electronics.

The general consensus of the group is Red Sox fans are the best!   Well for sure they’re the friendliest.  Everywhere you go in Boston, not just at the ballpark, everyone wants to talk baseball.  Maybe it was just because it was a game day, I don’t know, but Bostononians love their Sox!   Even the Boston cops were approachable and friendly!   During the game they played “MTA” by the Kingston Trio which we all got a chuckle out of, having just arrived via the MTA.  We didn’t find it daunting at all, but very user friendly, especially compared to the New York subway system!  The game itself was somewhat of a disaster for the home fans, ending up 9 – 2 in favor of the Rays, but that didn’t dampen the spirits of the Red Sox fans.  The sellout crowd (it’s been a sellout for the past 380 games we were told!) was friendly and chattering as we all left the stadium, no sign of letdown in their spirits.   This was a great place for a ballgame!

Everywhere, including at the ballpark, you hear the touts of a special “lobster roll” which is a pile of lobster mixed with a little mayo and celery on a sandwich roll.   It was a disappointment,  but the most popular and best tasting was the Kielbasa on a bun.  Big, fat, juicy and we were told later by the locals, that’s what local Boston fans want to be known for!  And now we know!

Boston harbor was bustling to get ready for their annual 4th of July celebration, fireworks loaded on barges in the harbor, and a general feeling of festivities.  That’s one thing to put on my list of things to do, spend the 4th of July with the Boston Pops live and in person!  It’s a great feeling of community spirit here and you can stop and talk with anyone on the street or in the subways and it’s a generally friendly feeling.    And now once again it’s 2:00AM!  Whew!  These late nights are tough since our bus takes off  again at 8:00AM for destination Pittsburg!   Haven’t had time to read a paper or watch the evening news for 5 days now!  It’ll be nice to find out what’s going on in the world.   Or maybe not.   It’s been a nice reprieve that’s for sure!  We’ll talk again tomorrow from Pittsburg!

Today in Baseball History……Ted Williams

  • May 16th.  1954 – Ted Williams returns to action after breaking his collarbone in spring training and goes 8-for-9 with two home runs and seven RBI in a doubleheader against the Tigers. Williams has three hits in game one, a 7-6 loss. He goes five-for-five in the nightcap, including two home runs, but Boston loses 9-8 in 14 innings.  

Today I planned on blogging about my first major league baseball game , but when I read this staggering ditty about Ted Williams I had to share it with you.  Think about this.  Ted Williams breaks his collarbone in spring training.  That means by May 16 , his first game back, his recovery couldn’t have been more than 3 months max.  Everything written about him tells us he was one of the cockiest, most self-confident, hardest working gamers of all time.   He played 21 years in MLB with 5 years absence as a Marine Corps Pilot and retired on 9/28/1960 after hitting a home run in his final at bat. 

Ted Williams Career Statistics

G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG
2,292 7,706 1,798 2,654 525 71 521 1,839 24 17 2,019 709 .344 .482 .634

 .344 Lifetime Batting Average.    Are you kidding me?  And look at the other Stats!   I guess that just about says it all.   (Does anyone know what “CS 17” means?  It’s making me nuts…….)