Tag Archives: Albert Pujols

“Safeco Field” ~ Who Does the Mow Job?

I just returned from an Alaska cruise and was perusing the photos I took.  One of those special shots that really stood out had nothing to do with the cruise.  In fact, it was a photo of  Safeco Field, taken on Friday night, May 25, 2012, before the cruise and during a game between the Mariners and the Angels.

The Seattle Mariners Safeco Field

Take a look at this picture.  What prompted me to even take this shot was the unusual designs all over the field.  In just this one picture, you can count over seven different diagonal directions the field was mowed.  What I really want to know is how long does it take the groundskeeper to mow the darn field, all of it, and what kind of equipment does he use to mow it with?

Okay, I know, it’s a pretty lame question, but I just thought the field looked really great and wanted to share it before I fall into bed fast asleep.  It’s been a rough week, having spent a good part of it tossing around my cabin with patches on my ears, bands on my wrists, and frothing at the mouth from being sea-sick.  Our poor captain had to face headwinds of 42 knots while sailing at 20 knots.  I hope I got that right.   Knowing about knots is not my forte.  Alaska’s a beautiful state but next time I might try the Trans-Alaska Highway just to be safe.

As for Safeco Field and the Mariners ~ they played a great game and were ahead until the ninth.  I don’t know, maybe they took just a little too long to admire the field instead of focusing on the game and old Albert what’s-his-name.  I know that’s what I was doing.

St. Louis Fans Missing Pujols? ….. Not so Fast!

Don’t get me wrong.  I’m a huge Albert Pujols fan.  But here’s another way to look at it, courtesy of Sully Videos with a little John Travolta thrown in.  Take a look ~

“TOP BASEBALL PLAYERS OF PAST 60 YEARS!” A Mathematical Study.

This is the third year we’ve published this study by Dr. Don Davis.  It’s one of our most popular blogs and we’re happy to be able to share it again with you.  Be sure to link to his website  for additional information, changes and criteria he used in compiling his study.

“2011 Baseball Players Mathematical Study, written by Don Davis, Department of Mathematics, Lehigh University, Bethlehem, PA., and printed here with his permission.”

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 Curt Schilling, 85.1
P,2 Randy Johnson, 202.1 Warren Spahn, 167.5 Sandy Koufax, 137.8 Gaylord Perry, 102.8 Phil Niekro, 84.9
P,3 Greg Maddux, 197.5 Bob Feller, 157.6 Robin Roberts, 136.5 Roy Halladay, 102.1 Johan Santana, 84.6
P,4 Pedro Martinez, 187.5 Steve Carlton, 143.5 Jim Palmer, 133.2 Fergie Jenkins, 87.2 Nolan Ryan, 83.7
C Johnny Bench, 111.2 Yogi Berra, 92.9 Gary Carter, 75.6 Mike Piazza, 74.8 Ivan Rodriguez, 71.0 Continue reading

Game 7. Those Wild ‘WILD CARD” Cards!

Best Fans and Best Team in Baseball

It’s true!  What better gift to the fans of the St. Louis Cardinals than the title “World Champions”!    This picture is my favorite of all the thousands because if shows the team and the fans in unison like they’re in it together and they did it together, which of course they did.   Last year the St. Louis Cardinal fans were selected number one best fans in baseball based on knowledge of the game, loyalty and sportsmanship.  San Francisco Giants fans were voted second. Continue reading

Game 5. Rangers Texas 2-Stepping all the way to Missouri!

The Texas Rangers are flying high all the way back to Missouri, and without an airplane, so I’m told.   They beat the Cardinals 4-2  and are one game away from winning it all!

Here are some excerpts from a  pretty good ditty on the game  in case you haven’t seen one of the hundreds out there.  This one’s from the Huffington Post ;

“ARLINGTON,Texas— Mike Napoli was dialed in, no matter who he was going to face.

A charmed season for Napoli and the Texas Rangers got even better Monday night, thanks to a most unlikely twist – a bullpen telephone mix-up.

After a dropped ball and a dropped call, of sorts, loaded the bases in the eighth inning, Napoli delivered a tie breaking two-run double that beat the St. Louis Cardinals 4-2 and gave Texas a 3-2 edge in the World Series. Continue reading

Game 4. Mr. Holland’s Opus ….. Derek that is.

Texas Rangers Derek Holland

If revenge were anywhere in Derek Holland’s vocabulary I’d say he sure got his tonight!  I’m remembering Game 2 of the 2010 World Series.  Young Holland was brought in during the eighth inning where he proceeded to allow three walks and three runs before they took him out.  I felt bad for the kid and said so in my blog, ” Day 2. Texas Cain-Saw Massacre” .  Well there’s no feeling sorry for him tonight.  He’s quite the hero and rightly so!  Here’s Craig Calcaterra”s take on it from his Hardball blog:

“Craig Calcaterra  Oct 23, 2011, 11:25 PM EDT

We have a Classic on Our Hands!

2011 World Series Game 4 - Texas Rangers v St Louis Cardinals

“When do you know that a classic World Series is afoot? We certainly know it when it’s over. But at what point as it’s happening can one safely say that, yes, we’re seeing something special? The kind of series that only comes along once or twice a decade? Something memorable? Continue reading

Game 3. Prince Albert at Home on the Range!

Albert Pujols "The Dude"!

Please bear with me as I’m in a major battle with the awful yucky flu and even though I’m able to watch the games,  surrounded by mounds of tissues and left-over tea bags, I don’t have my wits about me enough to write.  Also, I was so focused on Prince Albert I’m sure my blog would have been more about  gushing and oohhing over him and not really being very  objective.    Hardball Talk to the rescue!   Here’s a great little clip from “Drew Silva” that gives us another slant on the complicated Mr. Pujols and pretty much says it all:

“Drew Silva  Oct 23, 2011, 12:53 AM EDT   Reuters

Albert Pujols rounding bases during one of three home runs!

Cardinals first baseman Albert Pujols drew heavy amounts of criticism for leaving the Busch Stadium clubhouse before talking to the media following Thursday’s Game 2 loss. A few national baseball writers even questioned his leadership, given that younger players like Jason Motte, Jon Jay and Allen Craig were left to handle all of the heat.

Let’s go ahead and toss that narrative aside. It never really made much sense in the first place.

Pujols put together one of the greatest single-game performances in World Series history during Saturday night’s 16-7 Game 3 trouncing of the Rangers, finishing 5-for-6 with three home runs, six RBI and four runs scored. He tallied 14 total bases, breaking a longstanding Fall Classic record and vaulting himself into the elite rung of postseason performers.

Babe Ruth. Reggie Jackson. Albert Pujols.

Those are the only three men in the history of baseball to launch three home runs in a World Series game.

Leadership — true leadership — is something that has to be built and then cultivated through consistent, physical examples. It’s never been established through words alone, nor has it ever been betrayed by a single, rare mistake. What Pujols did Thursday night in St.  Louis was wrong.  Answering questions is part of being a professional. But to suggest that the other players in the Cardinals’ dugout somehow lost faith or respect in baseball’s greatest right-handed slugger was a stretch from the start. A failed assumption.

Pujols left no doubt on Saturday night in Arlington,Texas, with those scribes who questioned him looking on in awe. He answered the call and then some. And now his Cardinals hold an improbable 2-1 lead in the seven-game Fall Classic. Have we mentioned, already, that this series has the feel of an instant classic?”

Those Classy Cardinals!

 

Giants 2011 Home Opener vs Cardinals

A few weeks ago I saw an article in the Bleacher Report that listed all of the Major League Baseball Teams in order of Fan Loyalty and Support.   The fans were judged on the basis of commitment, knowledge, participation and attendance.  It didn’t surprise me to learn the winner was the St. Louis Cardinal fans.    For one thing, Tony La Russa’s been the Manager of the Cardinals for the past 16 years.  During an interview back in 2004 by MLB.com’s Mark Newman, La Russa made this statement;

….I think they say St. Louis is the best because fans are as enthusiastic as in other places but are probably more fair-minded.  You can get booed here some, but you’re not going to get embarrassed.  Here, you never see nastiness from our fans.  If you like knowledgeable people who are fair-minded to the other side, this has got a chance to be the best.

Cardinal fans have even been known to give a standing ovation for a strikeout, which occurred when Larry Walker, a newcomer, came to bat for the first time as a Cardinal, promptly struck out and received the standing ovation.  One fan explained they stood because they were saying, in effect, thanks for coming here kid.  We’re glad you’re a Cardinal.   They have the reputation of not only being some of baseball’s most knowledgeable fans, but also the most polite. 

So I’m reflecting on this as I’m watching the pre-game ceremonies yesterday at AT&T Park in San Francisco.   This was the first league home game for the Giants since they won the World Series back in November and, believe me, it was a big, big thing!  Huge!   I don’t know who plans these events, but for some reason, the first thing they did was introduce the visiting team, the St. Louis Cardinals, one at a time as they usually do.  They individually trotted to their place in line on the field to a smathering of applause, some boo’s, the usual stuff. 

Then they began the round of festivities.   And this is when I really first noticed those nice, polite St. Louis Cardinals.  Here they are, standing almost at attention, almost in a perfect line, hardly moving while the Giants organization did the following:

  1. Introduced “Train”, the band, live, who performed their local hit, “Save me San Francisco” in honor of the World Series Champions.
  2. At the end of the song, the Giants started streaming into the park  from Centerfield, walking at first, then breaking into a trot as they made their way to the 3rd base line, where they, too, would stand at attention, well, sort of.  This was to the roar of 42,000 crazy fans who were delighted at just the sight of them!
  3. The members of the Giants organization were then introduced, one at a time, beginning with the bat boys, and including the clubhouse assistants, the clubhouse managers, trainers, assistant trainers, massage therapists, the coaches, the bench and finally the starting players for this game.
  4. Then a memorial tribute was given to those from the organization who had passed away during the offseason.
  5. The Color Guard was then introduced.
  6. The singing of the National Anthem was then played which ended in the fly-over of the Navy jets.
  7. During the National Anthem the flag was beautifully rolled out onto the full scope of the field displaying its colors.

Now all of this really nice ceremony took place while the St. Louis Cardinals were standing on the 1st Base line, still as steel, and as patient and polite as you can possibly imagine.   After the National Anthem was played, the festivities continued, though the players did get to retreat to their dugouts.  We were then introduced to a gentleman who had been a season ticketholder since 1958, and Brian Wilson presented him with the World Series game ball.  During this time the big screen was showing the most memorable scenes from the playoffs to the wild applause of the fans, and this was followed by presentation of the MVP and Babe Ruth awards from the World Series.   Approximately 45 minutes later, Willie Mays presented Bruce Bochy with the World Series flag which was passed on down the SF Giants line to end up with Brian Wilson, who then trotted out across the field and up the stands and hoisted the World Series flag above the stadium.  It was emotional and very impressive;  at least to me and the other fans. 

The Polite Pujols & Posey

But I kept watching the St. Louis Cardinals and wondering what they must be thinking during all this.  Maybe they were really enjoying it and thinking about when it would be their turn again, and maybe they were happy for the Giants and their fans.  Maybe they admired the Giants ability to overcome huge obstacles that allowed them to come to this point.  But more than likely it’s possible they were just thinking, “For pete’s sake, would you hurry up and get this over with ?”  Which it finally did, 45 minutes later. 

I had noticed during the introduction of the St. Louis Cardinals, one of the fellows in front of me, probably in his mid 30’s, politely clapped and applauded as each Cardinal was introduced.  Remembering the best fans in baseball, I thought this is probably something the Cardinals did for us when we played on their home turf.   Later I approached this man and mentioned to him how impressive it was that he applauded the visiting team members.  He just smiled and said “It’s just a game.  Isn’t that what we’re supposed to do”?  I asked him where he was from and he said he lived in San Francisco, but his grandma lived in St. Louis.  Uh Huh!  And it passes down from generation to generation.  His dad’s probably the same way.  Anyhow, I had a good feeling throughout this game.  Not that we’d win or lose, but that we’d experienced probably the worst of baseball fandom the previous week, and we were experiencing  some of the best of baseball fandom today.  The spirit of St. Louis is alive and well and the spirit of baseball is too.

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.