Category Archives: Minnesota Twins

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?”

Joe Mauer and Head and Shoulders. Why?

“The great trouble with baseball today is that most of the players are in the game for the money and that’s it, not for the love of it, the excitement of it, the thrill of it.” Ty Cobb

I was intrigued by the video this morning,  posted by one of my favorite blogs, “Babes Love Baseball“.  Okay, it’s no secret the girls love Joey Mauer, as noted in one of their recent blogs which, in effect,  proclaimed Joey Mauer one of the sexiest men in Major league baseball.

Personally, I have trouble linking the personal looks (sexiness if you prefer) of  baseball players, or any athlete for that matter, to the actual sport they play.  I don’t know.  Maybe that’s just me.  I mean, what difference does it make?

The point I’m trying to make is why would Joe Mauer feel a need to do a shampoo commercial?    It’s certainly not about the money, and it can’t be about the media exposure.  Is this one of those pesky tasks MLB assigns to the players each year?  Or maybe it’s a requirement of the  Minnesota Twins, you know, part of his contract.  Doubtful.

“Joe Mauer’s lucrative new deal  kicks in this year, and he’ll make $23 Million this season.  According to Charley Waters, the Twins’ catcher is doing so well with off-the-field endorsements, he won’t even have to touch his MLB paychecks, which are supposed to come in bi-weekly to the tune of $1.92 million. If you’re wondering, Mauer’s $23 million this year is only $11 Million less than the Pittsburgh Pirates (entire) payroll in 2010.”   Big Lead Sports 3/7/11

According to the article quoted above, Mauer’s making so much from his endorsements he doesn’t even have to touch his regular paychecks, which will  total a cool  $23 Million this year.   Okay, I’m starting to get  it.  It’s not about playing for love of the game.  It is about the money.  And Joe Mauer’s not the only one.  A lot of guys are doing it.  But “Head and Shoulders”?  Isn’t anything sacred anymore?

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

 

Ho Hum……Yankees Won. Care for a cup of tea?

Phil Hughes pitched seven shutout innings, Marcus Thames and Nick Swisher homered and the Yankees beat the Twins 6-1 Saturday night to complete yet another three-game sweep of Minnesota and return to the AL championship series.    Once again,  New York Yankees 6 and Minnesota Twins-1.   Take a look at this video and you’ll see the reason behind the Header’s obvious sarcasm:  (Be patient, it takes a minute to load)

http://mlb.mlb.com/media/video.jsp?content_id=12795971

Yankees Advance to ALCS

 I watched it live as it happened and thought how utterly bizarre ~ the players are walking off the field, chatting to each other, an occasional smile and wave to the crowd.  In the first few scenes some of the managers are immediately walking down the steps to the clubhouse.   I envision white tablecloths set out with tea and crumpets being served.  Okay, so I think the Yankees are spoiled.   Or maybe they’ve just won so many times they expect to win again.  No big deal.   Well, you know what?   This is a big deal!  Four more wins and they’ve won the Pennant.  And another four wins they win the World Series!  Ye Gods man!  This is serious business!    I searched for some photos of individual players and found the same thing.  Might as well been wearing their Sunday-go-to-meeting clothes and bowing to the crowds.   I’m

Jeter the Gentleman

pretty darn sure of one thing though.   If the tables were turned and this were the Minnesota Twins with a 6-1 win over the Yankees, or over anyone as far as that goes, at the end of the game, when that last out was made,   there would have been 25 Twins out on that field acting like a bunch of 10 year olds and caps would have been flying all over the place.  And I would have been cheering right along with them.   It’s not that I’m unhappy the Yankees won.  It’s just that a little enthusiasm would have been nice, you know?   Kinda of like it might have been a surprise to them too and then trying to engage the crowd into their little celebration would have been really, really nice!

Okay, I’ll be honest, there’s another way you can look at this.  Could it be those dang Yankees were so sure they were going to win, it didn’t even cross their minds they should look and act like complete fools to pretend they were ecstatic about

Here we go again!

something they knew was going to happen anyway.  And could it be this is the way “professionals” are supposed to act?   I’m just saying,  no one’s had more experience at being winners than the New York Yankees.  Perhaps that’s the way it’s supposed to be.   Tea and crumpets anyone?

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 2. Minnesota Twins vs. New York Mets!

Sunday, 6/27/2010.    Got up early and trudged to the bus after a hurried continental breakfast this morning!   Our drive this morning took us to downtown New York City,  Queens to be exact, and to the beautiful Citifield Ballpark .  It was hot!  Don’t really know what the weather reports will read in the AM because hot is hot and no matter how I try to describe it, you won’t be able to feel the soaking wet shirts, swollen, puffy feet,  and wet hair and no place to escape from the heat.  Actually, it wasn’t even sunny most of the time, just a big overcast, but it doesn’t matter.  It’s that crazy humidity!   For those of you who’ve experienced this, no need to say anything, and for those of you who haven’t,  anything I say won’t be adequate.

But the game was great.  At least for the Mets fans!  Final score 6-0.  So for the first two games we’ve attended the home teams have won.  I want to comment on the Mets fans, and the Oriole fans too for

Mets & Twins Game

that matter, but especially the Mets.   They’re intense!   Part of the fun of being a baseball fan is people watching!   Watching the players, the coaches, the managers, ballpark staff and the fans.    Maybe it’s because this was a Sunday afternoon game, but I was touched by the number of families with young children.  And these kids were all decked out in caps, shirts, shoes and even some mitts, proudly showing their loyalty to their beloved Mets!   I think maybe the intensity is because they’ve lived in the shadow of the Yankees for so long

Best Mets Food? Nathan's Hotdogs!

and are always having to prove themselves worthy opponents.  But whatever reason, they’re sincere and they truly love their team.  It was fun to watch and I was caught up in the atmosphere of it all!

Probably the highlight of Day 2 for me was the group trip on the New York MTA Subway system to Mickey Mantle’s Restaurant, downtown Manhattan!   Loud, noisy, scary and adventuresome!    That’s how I’d describe my subway experience!  I can’t imagine daily commuting in this mannerand have a whole new respect for the average New Yorker who does.  Dan herded us like a bunch of cats and we finally got it, taking sometimes three tries to get thru the turnstiles.  Sounds simple enough but if you didn’t time it just right you had to go back, repurchase another ticket and start over again.   The system seems archaic in comparison to Boston and London’s, just my personal observation.

The food at Mickey Mantle’s was good.  Not great, but good, and you’d still have to give it at least a 3* rating  for the ambiance and great sports pictures and autographs that grace the entire facility.  Probably seats around 300 – but not nearly as full for a Sunday afternoon as I would have expected.  It was a real treat and I would have liked to spend at least a few hours just looking at all the pictures.    A lot of history and memories in this place!

It’s taken me longer than usual to write tonight.  I was caught up in the final innings of the Yankees/Dodgers game, which was Dodgers 6-2 when I turned it on and now find at the bottom of the 9th Mariano Rivera fanned 3 in a row and the score is tied 6-6 putting it into  overtime!    Yankees then go ahead and score 2 runs in the 10th and once again Rivera fanned 3 in a row to end the game with Yankees over Dodgers 8-6.    Fans were  loud and wild!   Don’t you just love baseball?  Down to the last pitch!   Sorry, I had to digress.  I’d written off the game as a Dodger win and I should have known better!      Tomorrow ……. Hall of Fame @ Cooperstown!