Category Archives: Cincinnati Reds

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

Update: 2011 MLB Payrolls & Individual Salaries.

Courtesy TTF Baseball

Here’s the 2011 update to our 2010 Major League Baseball listing published November 22, 2010.  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?

 TEAM                          TOTAL P/R             AVG SALARY       MEDIAN

New York Yankees

$ 202,689,028

$ 6,756,300

$ 2,100,000

Philadelphia Phillies

$ 172,976,379

$ 5,765,879

$ 2,625,000

Boston Red Sox

$ 161,762,475

$ 5,991,202

$ 5,500,000

Los Angeles Angels

$ 138,543,166

$ 4,469,134

$ 2,000,000

Chicago White Sox

$ 127,789,000

$ 4,732,925

$ 2,750,000

Chicago Cubs

$ 125,047,329

$ 5,001,893

$ 1,600,000

New York Mets

$ 118,847,309

$ 4,401,752

$ 900,000

San Francisco Giants

$ 118,198,333

$ 4,377,716

$ 2,200,000

Minnesota Twins

$ 112,737,000

$ 4,509,480

$ 3,000,000

Detroit Tigers

$ 105,700,231

$ 3,914,823

$ 1,300,000

St. Louis Cardinals

$ 105,433,572

$ 3,904,947

$ 1,000,000

Los Angeles Dodgers

$ 104,188,999

$ 3,472,966

$ 2,142,838

Texas Rangers

$ 92,299,264

$ 3,182,733

$ 1,251,000

Colorado Rockies

$ 88,148,071

$ 3,390,310

$ 2,318,750

Atlanta Braves

$ 87,002,692

$ 3,346,257

$ 1,275,000

Seattle Mariners

$ 86,524,600

$ 2,884,153

$ 825,000

Milwaukee Brewers

$ 85,497,333

$ 2,849,911

$ 1,050,000

Baltimore Orioles

$ 85,304,038

$ 3,280,924

$ 1,425,000

Cincinnati Reds

$ 75,947,134

$ 2,531,571

$ 825,000

Houston Astros

$ 70,694,000

$ 2,437,724

$ 467,000

Oakland Athletics

$ 66,536,500

$ 2,376,303

$ 1,400,000

Washington Nationals

$ 63,856,928

$ 2,201,963

$ 1,050,000

Toronto Blue Jays

$ 62,567,800

$ 2,018,316

$ 1,200,000

Florida Marlins

$ 56,944,000

$ 2,190,153

$ 545,000

Arizona Diamondbacks

$ 53,639,833

$ 1,986,660

$ 1,000,000

Cleveland Indians

$ 49,190,566

$ 1,639,685

$ 484,200

San Diego Padres

$ 45,869,140

$ 1,479,649

$ 468,800

Pittsburgh Pirates

$ 45,047,000

$ 1,553,344

$ 450,000

Tampa Bay Rays

$ 41,053,571

$ 1,578,983

$ 907,750

Kansas City Royals

$ 36,126,000

$ 1,338,000

$ 850,000

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

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

 

“TEXAS CAN’T HOLD EM” ~ Game 1. Rangers and Pundits Lose!

Whodathunk it?  I had almost as much fun watching the sports pundits after the game than watching the game itself.  Well, almost.   The Giants had no chance, nada, zilch, zero, of beating Cliff Lee in game one of this World Series.  None!  I mean, after all, Cliff Lee had never lost a playoff game.  Won 10, Loss  0!  Whew, who wants to go up against those odds?   I almost believed it myself.  So after the game, when the pundits came slithering out from under the rocks, it was just a lot of fun to listen to their enlightened jibberish.   I believe it’s called “eating crow”?   As Joe buck said in his post-game commentary, “Don’t listen to us folks.  We don’t know anything!”  

The thing that puzzles me about the  Giants getting absolutely no respect before the game, and still now, even after the  game, is the  way they made it to the World Series in the first place.    This is a team of self-proclaimed misfits and oddballs, picked up from the trash heaps of other teams, a couple of rookies, and one helluva pitching staff.    In August, this team was 6 1/2 games behind in the NL West, but they scratched and clawed and fought off not only the San Diego Padres, but also a very good Colorado Rockies team to prevail.  They willed their way to the NL West Championship.    They were the underdog as they advanced to the NLDS against Atlanta, under the leadership of  Bobby Cox, destined to extend his career a few more games.   But, once again,  against the odds, the Giants won the National League Division Series against Atlanta!

So now the pundits had a ball!   I mean now the Giants had to face the Philadelphia Phillies, defending National League Champions, two years in a row, and World Series Champions only a year ago!   Their ace, Roy Halladay, as good as it gets, pitched a “no hitter” against the Cincinnati Reds,  enroute to the NLDS this year, and the Reds were no pansies.  To solidify the belief, earlier in the year Halladay had thrown a perfect game!   And it wasn’t just Halladay, they also had to face Roy Oswalt, a fastball pitcher who the Phillies acquired from Houston specifically for this reason, to dominate in the playoffs.   Again, Phillies fans lost a lot of money through their bookies over this series.   Giants beat the Philadelphia Phillies and won the National League Pennant in 6.

So what’s it going to take?  Headlines all over the country projected the Texas Rangers to win the World Series.  Everywhere except in the San Francisco Bay Area.  Even the Los Angeles papers ….. (whoops forget it, that’s Dodger country, doesn’t count!  i.e., LA Times article today by “Bill Shaikin ~ San Francisco takes advantage of a less-than-sharp effort by the highly regarded left-hander on a night when Tim Lincecum is not exactly crisp.”)  Cracks me up, but you know what?  He’s right!   And that’s baseball folks!  And you know what else?   The SF Giants may NOT win the World Series.  But if they do, it will be because they WILLED it, and not because of anything the Rangers and pundits have to say.    Baseball, don’t you just love it?

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.

Today in history 1984 …..Pete Rose passes Ty Cobb’s single hits record.

The record at that time was 3,053.   Pete Rose has a lot of major league records.   He’s the all time Major League leader in hits (4,256), in games played (3,562) in at-bats (14,053) and in outs (10,328).   Rose went on to hit another 162 singles and still holds that record of 3,215.  Pete Rose is one of baseball’s most controversial figures after publicly admitting in 2004 that he had bet on baseball and on his own team, the Cincinnati Reds. 

On  August 31, 1989, after weeks of  legal wrangling, Commissioner Bart Giamatti permanently bans Pete Rose from baseball for his alleged gambling on major league games. Although the five-page document signed by both parties includes no formal findings, Giamatti says that he considers Rose’s acceptance of the ban to be a no-contest plea to the charges

But here’s what’s interesting.   Rose played from 1963 to 1986.  That’s 24 years.  And these records plus others listed below still hold.   We’ve seen lots of talent in the past 50 years and still, Pete Rose holds all these records.  Think of baseball greats like Willie Mays, Ted Williams, Cal Ripken, Stan Musial, Mickey Mantle, Rickey Henderson, Carl Yazstremski, Ken Griffey, Brooks Rob inson, and on and on.   I guess that’s why I find this day in history interesting and just a little disturbing.   I’m thinking particularly of  Baseball’s Hall of Fame.  Take a look at the following records that Pete Rose holds today:

Major League records:

    • Most career hits – 4,256
    • Most career outs – 10,328
    • Most career games played – 3,562
    • Most career at bats – 14,053
    • Most career singles – 3,215
    • Most career runs by a switch hitter – 2,165
    • Most career doubles by a switch hitter – 746
    • Most career walks by a switch hitter – 1,566
    • Most career total bases by a switch hitter – 5,752
    • Most seasons of 200 or more hits – 10
    • Most consecutive seasons of 100 or more hits – 23
    • Most consecutive seasons with 600 or more at bats – 13 (1968–1980)
    • Most seasons with 600 at bats – 17
    • Most seasons with 150 or more games played – 17
    • Most seasons with 100 or more games played – 23
    • Record for playing in the most winning games – 1,972
    • Only player in major league history to play more than 500 games at five different positions – 1B (939), LF (671), 3B (634), 2B (628), RF (595)
  • National League records:
  •  
    • Most years played – 24
    • Most consecutive years played – 24
    • Most career runs – 2,165
    • Most career doubles – 746
    • Most career games with 5 or more hits – 10
    • Modern (post-1900) record for longest consecutive game hitting streak – 44
    • Modern record for most consecutive hitting streaks of 20 or more games – 7

The National Baseball Hall of Fame honors  persons who have excelled in playing, managing, and serving the sport.  The Hall’s Motto:  “Preserving History, Honoring Excellence, Connecting Generations”.    I don’t know about you, but I don’t think history’s meant to be “selective”.   I don’t have a problem with the asterisk crowd ~ oh, okay, go ahead and put an asterisk by the name and list what you want,  but for pete’s sake (no pun intended) list the accomplishments as accomplishments, and the small stuff  if you must.   But fame is fame and if the Hall of Fame is to be truly a Hall of Fame shouldn’t it  include those records and achievements that are so substantial they remain as unbeaten records 26 years later?

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 7. Cincinnati Reds vs. Chicago Cubs!

Friday, 7/2/2010.  1:20PM Game time   Left our hotel and boarded the bus this morning at 7:00AM so we’d have time to tour around Wrigley Field before the game started.  This is a very old and historic field with lots to do and see.   When we left for the tour one week ago I was told to be sure and try the “Italian Beef” roll at Wrigley, that ‘s the only place you can get the original “Italian Beef” so I set out to be sure and do just that.  And I did!   Whatta treat!   You can load it up with sweet and/or hot peppers and condiments of all kinds, but I chose to take just the beef on a bun with sweet peppers, because that’s what I was told to do!   It was exactly as described to me and I’ll be sure and thank those who recommended it. 

The most popular food at Wrigley I’m told, and it must be true if you look at the fans waiting in line, is the Chicago Dog!  But the dogs here are Ballpark Franks unlike the Nathans used at Yankee stadium and I think there’s a difference.  Maybe I was just a little more hungry at Yankee Stadium or could it possibly be that I’d already eaten that huge Italian Beef?    But officially the Chicago Dog is the food of choice at Wrigley Field!   Also prices are better here.  Hot dogs are $4.75 vs $5 – $7.50 at Yankee Stadium.

I really have to spend just a bit of time talking about the ballgame today.   Final score Cincinnati 12 – Chicago 0.  Ugghh……. Reds scored 8 runs in the 7th inning alone!    The  Reds went through their entire lineup in the 7th inning with only one hit before it all broke loose (this included 5 walks)!   What’s interesting here is the Cubs have lost 20 of their last 30 games but you’d never know it by looking in the stands.  Over 40,000 in attendance cheering as if this was a game of monumental importance in the standings.   Cubbie fans have a reputation of being rough and rowdy and I’ve experienced this before.  But not today.  Today these were  just loyal fans hoping for better from their beloved team.   It wasn’t there.   But I’ll bet tomorrow they’ll be back at the ballpark cheering the team on.    Lots of parks are losing attendance and it’s usually because the team is doing poorly, i.e., Baltimore Orioles.  The Oriole game we just saw  had around 25,000 in attendance.  This was a beautiful park with the visiting team (Washington Nationals)  located only a few miles away.  The stadium should have been packed.  So you have to hand it to the Chicago Cub fans.  They’re definitely not fair weather fans.   They love their Cubs!

I’ve always had this stereotype of Chicago in my mind that resembles inner-city slums and poverty.  Perhaps of recent we’ve been made to believe that or maybe it’s just the politics of the whole thing that slanted me in that direction.  In any event, don’t believe it.  Chicago has some beautiful areas and I tried to capture a few thru the bus windows as we were driving the Lakefront area on the way to the park.   That, along with the incredible skycraper landscapes, puts a whole new idea of Chicago in my mind.  Here are a few so you can get the idea.  If you’ve been to Chicago you already know this.   So there you have it!   We leave tomorrow morning for home and I’ll write some final notes on our trip!