Category Archives: New York Yankees

The World Champs ….. Taking a Break in 2011!

Giants & Padres at AT&T Park

The 2011 postseason began today but something’s different this year.  One of the most exciting times in baseball all of a sudden seems like it’s just another day.  Could it be that I still haven’t recovered from the postseason play of 2010?

The media had been inundated with the 2010 San Francisco Giants Cinderella story.  It was magic.  But the stories of late haven’t been so much about the magic of  last season as it is about the everyday mundane normalcy of this season.   How could this happen or more-so why did it have to happen?   I have a theory.

Historically the World Series champion has only won back-to-back championships on three separate occasions with exception of the Yankees.  They don’t count.    The returning 2011 Giants were basically the same team that won the 2010 World Series.   That 2010 team played their heart out.  When they realized in August they had a shot at the division title they went for it.  They scratched and clawed and mowed down everything in sight and they won.  And then they won again and again and they won the Pennant.  Then they won again and again and again and they won the Championship.  And then they returned to the adoration of a million fans screaming their hearts out in appreciation of what they had done.   After it was all over in mid-November, they went back to their individual homes across the country and they collapsed.  They were exhausted.  They rested for 6 weeks and then they started all over again.   And they were still exhausted.

And I believe that’s how it is for World Series Champions historically.  I understand all of this because, you know, I was exhausted too.  As fans we went through all of those torturous games with our teammates and we laughed and cried and shared the joy of the entire experience with each and every one of them and we were tired, worn out, and exhausted too.

I’ve been reading a lot of gibberish this week about the fall of the San Francisco Giants kingdom and it’s just that.  Gibberish.  It seems everyone’s placing blame somewhere, on someone, and it’s getting really personal, you know, about individual players.  They’re paid too much, not paid enough,  too slow, too fat,  too lazy.  Ugghhh!

The 2010 Giants were not an extraordinary team.  They were an okay, average team with a really good pitching staff.   The reason they won their division had more to do with the San Diego Padres choking  than it did with the Giants winning.   But they did win and found themselves in the post season and we were thrilled.

But now its over and its okay.  I’ve written comments throughout this season  exclaiming my euphoric state and happiness that the Giants were World Champions and if they never ended up in post season play again, ever, I could easily rest  on my (well okay, “their”) laurels.  It was that good.

And I think maybe the San Francisco Giants may have felt a little of that too as they began spring training, not really sure what had happened that previous season, and not really wanting it to end, still in a euphoric state of mind, just needing and subconsciously taking a little break.

At least that’s what I think probably happened and that’s how I’m going to always  remember it and its cool ~ the San Francisco Giants just taking a little break in 2011.

Predicting the Division Winners …… Oops!

And we're off to the races again!

Last March I wrote a blog entitled “2011 Postseason Predictions” and I’m here to say with all my opinions and wisdom in the world of baseball , I was able to correctly predict two teams, one from the National League and one from the American League.    That’s 25% folks, I say as I’m looking for those wet noodles and a carton of eggs to slather around my face.

I mean, who knew?  The only two teams that I predicted to win that actually won were the Detroit Tigers and the Philadelphia Phillies.  The Phillies, of course, were a no-brainer, but I was very proud to stick my neck out in prediction of the Tigers.  So be it.

If you were lucky enough to catch one or both of the games last night you were in for a real treat!   Whatta thrill!  Down to the wire!  Reminds me of last year’s Giants – Padres game, the 162nd game, 9th inning and last out.   I still get goosebumps remembering the thrill of it all.

In case you’ve been in a coma these past 24 hours or otherwise indisposed, here’s the 2011 Division Winners:

American League 

  • New York Yankees, East
  • Detroit, Central
  • Texas, West
  • Tampa Bay, Wild Card
National League
  • Philadelphia, East
  • Milwaukee, Central
  • Arizona, West
  • St Louis, Wild Card
So here we are six months later in post season.   Predictions?  I think I’ll wait a bit and get back to you on that……it’s hard to write with a bunch of egg on my face. 

“Nine Innings From Ground Zero” ….. Remembering

“It’s not about winning. It’s about how the game was played.”   The 2001 World Series.

I remember every game of  the 2001 World Series.   I can remember what it was all about and how passionate I was about wanting the New York Yankees to win.   And I can remember how sad I was that they lost.    It wasn’t that I wanted  Arizona to lose.  It’s just that the people of New York had been through so much after September 11th, and I wanted this for them.  Actually, for all of us, well, maybe not the Arizona fans ) but you know what I mean.  One of my fellow bloggers put a bug in my ear about this movie a few weeks ago and I couldn’t wait to see it myself.  And he was right ~ it’s a keeper!  It was produced in 2004 in association with MLB Productions and yet  I don’t remember hearing anything about it before.   Something worthwhile sometimes takes time to get around, and this is one of those worthwhile things.   But a word of caution, better grab a kleenex.   It was emotional and at one point I found myself sobbing!   Maybe it’s because the day I watched it was also my granddaughter’s first birthday and I was feeling a little emotional anyhow.   Whatever.   I’m just saying.   If you still have some gifts to buy you might consider this ~ even for non-baseball fans.  Really, it’s that good.

“Nine Innings From Ground Zero” Available on DVD from Amazon.com

Note:  For me “Nine Innings From Ground Zero” is to September 11th, what “It’s A Wonderful Life” is to Christmas.   It’s becoming an annual thing.  This is the 3rd Post of this blog, the original was on 12/11, 2009.  GFBB 

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

The Good Old Days you say? How About Here and Now?

Sully’s at it again.  He takes us from the beginning right up to today and lets us know what’s not so good about baseball back then and what’s so good about it  now, today.  And I have to agree with him although I have to admit my fondest memories are still of  Mickey Mantle, Whitey Ford and Joe DiMaggio.   Take a look and see what you think.   Thanks again Sully.  I love this kind of stuff!

Paul Sullivan’s website:  http://sullybaseball.blogspot.com/

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

Baseball Memorabilia …..Is it Really? How Can You Tell?

Right off let me tell you I’m a collector.  I collect anything baseball mostly for my personal enjoyment and for posterity and  I’ve never sold anything from my  collection.

I subscribe to periodicals that give me a rough idea of what the value of a particular card or item might be, but the only way you can really determine FMV is to sell it which I have no intention of doing.  Occasionally, when I feel I have a special card I’ll send it to Beckett to have it graded, only to find it’s not as special as I thought it was.

One such card was actually a Hockey card ~ a  1979 O-Pee-Chee #18Wayne Gretzky card that had recently sold for over $60,000 on Ebay.   I planned on selling this item and I’d already mentally taken a world cruise with the proceeds from this special Gretzky prize, the best card in my collection of over 75,000 cards.  Imagine my surprise when Beckett returned the card to me not only ungraded but with a notation of “Questionable Authenticity”.  In other words, it was a fake!

I’d paid good money for the card which was purchased from another collector I knew personally.  My first inclination was to contact the guy and ask for my money back.  In reality, I’m sure he bought it with the same expectations I had, totally unaware.   I had no idea what I was buying, no experience and no knowledge in the area of collectibles, and neither did he.  Continue reading

All Star Game ….. Tongue-in-Cheek Moments!

The National League won the annual All Star Game tonight  for the second year in a row  by a  score of 5-1, giving home field advantage in the 2011 World Series to  the National League.  Here’s a few of my favorite moments ~

Adrian Gonzalez from the American League All Stars hit a home run off Cliff Lee to start the scoring that presented a sort of deja vu in my mind like “oh boy, here we go again!”  Last year was the first time the National League had won in over 13 years finally beating the American League winning streak and I thought for sure the American League was on their way to starting a new streak. 

But Prince Fielder blasted a three run homer  that contributed to the final score and gave the National League their second All Star victory in a row.  

One of the more hilarious moments in the game came when Heath Bell was called in from the bullpen and instead of jogging onto the field as a relief pitcher usually does, he decided to “run fast, really fast” to the pitcher’s mound arriving with a slide at the mound and ending up at the feet of Manager Bruce Bochy.  Pablo Sandoval who was also standing on the mound at the time couldn’t contain his laughter like others around him, but not a smidgeon of a smile could be seen on Bochy’s face, at least not from my point of view from the couch.  

Too funny was the replay of the momentous jog to the mound showing the TV camera man running behind Bell as fast as he could trying to keep up, but eventually gave it up as Bell out sprinted him by ….. a lot!   Brian Wilson, the illustrious SF Giants closer made an appearance, beard and all, and, of course, closed out the game.

Did I mention how much I missed Derek Jeter?  Derek you’ve probably heard was too tired, exhausted was the word he used, to play in the game.   Last I heard he was seen having a good time dining at a Miami restaurant today with his girlfriend, not that there’s anything wrong with that.  But since Jeter was “selected” as an All Star, he’ll be receiving a $500,000 bonus as part of his contract.  I just think it would have been a nice gesture if  he would have at least attended the game for his fans who, after all, are the ones paying the tab.  But that’s just my opinion.   And I’m sure he  really was exhausted after the fantastic week he’d had with that 3000th hit and 5 for 5 game.  Okay, well maybe next year.  Baseball fans have an incredible tolerance for their perceived heroes and I’m sure they’ll be there waiting for him  again unless he decides to grace them with his appearance.   Nice job if you can get it.

All in all I felt it was one of the better All Star games.   Probably because in spite of the 16 original contestants who were selected and couldn’t or wouldn’t be  there, the ones who wanted to be there, were there.

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

 

“Nine Innings From Ground Zero”

“It’s not about winning. It’s about how the game was played.”   The 2001 World Series.

I remember every game of  the 2001 World Series.   I can remember what it was all about and how passionate I was about wanting the New York Yankees to win.   And I can remember how sad I was that they lost.    It wasn’t that I wanted  Arizona to lose.  It’s just that the people of New York had been through so much after September 11th, and I wanted this for them.  Actually, for all of us, well, maybe not the Arizona fans ) but you know what I mean.  One of my fellow bloggers put a bug in my ear about this movie a few weeks ago and I couldn’t wait to see it myself.  And he was right ~ it’s a keeper!  It was produced in 2004 in association with MLB Productions and yet  I don’t remember hearing anything about it before.   Something worthwhile sometimes takes time to get around, and this is one of those worthwhile things.   But a word of caution, better grab a kleenex.   It was emotional and at one point I found myself sobbing!   Maybe it’s because the day I watched it was also my granddaughter’s first birthday and I was feeling a little emotional anyhow.   Whatever.   I’m just saying.   If you still have some gifts to buy you might consider this ~ even for non-baseball fans.  Really, it’s that good.

Note:  For me “Nine Innings From Ground Zero” is to September 11th, what “It’s A Wonderful Life” is to Christmas.   It could become an annual thing.  GFBB