All-star Game Newsbeat
Tuesday, July 21, 2015
Probably the one with the most Royals.
The best All-Star team ever? According to this method, that mantle belongs to the roster that represented the National League in 1966 — and it’s not hard to see why. Sandy Koufax started the game on the mound, to be relieved by Juan Marichal, Jim Bunning and Gaylord Perry — Hall of Famers, all. The starting outfield was outrageous: Willie Mays, Hank Aaron and Roberto Clemente. Ron Santo and Willie McCovey manned the infield corners. Along with second baseman Jim Lefebvre, near-Hall of Fame catcher Joe Torre3 was the weak link of the starting lineup. (And fearsome mashers Dick Allen, Jim Ray Hart and Willie Stargell came off the bench!) Our simulations say the 1966 NL All-Stars would go 97-65 against a random collection of their fellow All-Star squads from throughout history.
This year’s teams, while not on the same level as their Hall of Famer-laden predecessor from 1966, would both be above .500 if forced to take on other All-Star squads — and could do even better than that if we tweak our study’s methodology.
Posted: July 21, 2015 at 08:02 AM | 0 comment(s)
Tuesday, July 14, 2015
Baltimore Orioles: Jim Palmer, Cal Ripken Jr., Brooks Robinson, Frank Robinson
Boston Red Sox: Pedro Martinez, David Ortiz, Ted Williams, Carl Yastrzemski
Chicago White Sox: Harold Baines, Paul Konerko, Minnie Minoso, Frank Thomas
Cleveland Indians: Bob Feller, Tris Speaker, Jim Thome, Omar Vizquel
Detroit Tigers: Miguel Cabrera, Ty Cobb, Hank Greenberg, Al Kaline
Houston Astros: Jeff Bagwell, Lance Berkman, Craig Biggio, Nolan Ryan
Kansas City Royals: George Brett, Dan Quisenberry, Bret Saberhagen, Frank White
Los Angeles Angels: Vladimir Guerrero, Nolan Ryan, Tim Salmon, Mike Trout
Minnesota Twins: Rod Carew, Harmon Killebrew, Tony Oliva, Kirby Puckett
New York Yankees: Joe DiMaggio, Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Mickey Mantle
Oakland Athletics: Dennis Eckersley, Jimmie Foxx, Rickey Henderson, Reggie Jackson
Seattle Mariners: Ken Griffey Jr., Felix Hernandez, Edgar Martinez, Ichiro Suzuki
Tampa Bay Rays: Evan Longoria, David Price, James Shields, Ben Zobrist
Texas Rangers: Adrian Beltre, Ivan Rodriguez, Nolan Ryan, Michael Young
Toronto Blue Jays: Roberto Alomar, Joe Carter, Carlos Delgado, Roy Halladay
Arizona Diamondbacks: Paul Goldschmidt, Luis Gonzalez, Randy Johnson, Curt Schilling
Atlanta Braves: Hank Aaron, Chipper Jones, Greg Maddux, Warren Spahn
Chicago Cubs: Ernie Banks, Ryne Sandberg, Ron Santo, Billy Williams
Cincinnati Reds: Johnny Bench, Barry Larkin, Joe Morgan, Pete Rose
Colorado Rockies: Andres Galarraga, Todd Helton, Troy Tulowitzki, Larry Walker
Los Angeles Dodgers: Don Drysdale, Sandy Koufax, Jackie Robinson, Duke Snider
Miami Marlins: Jeff Conine, Mike Lowell, Gary Sheffield, Giancarlo Stanton
Milwaukee Brewers: Cecil Cooper, Rollie Fingers, Paul Molitor, Robin Yount
New York Mets: David Wright, Mike Piazza, Keith Hernandez, Tom Seaver
Philadelphia Phillies: Richie Ashburn, Steve Carlton, Robin Roberts, Mike Schmidt
Pittsburgh Pirates: Roberto Clemente, Bill Mazeroski, Willie Stargell, Honus Wagner
San Diego Padres: Tony Gwynn, Trevor Hoffman, Randy Jones, Dave Winfield
San Francisco Giants: Barry Bonds, Willie Mays, Willie McCovey, Buster Posey
St. Louis Cardinals: Lou Brock, Bob Gibson, Rogers Hornsby, Stan Musial
Washington Nationals: Tim Raines, Gary Carter, Vladimir Guerrero, Andre Dawson
Greatest Living: Hank Aaron, Willie Mays, Sandy Koufax, Johnny Bench
Negro Leagues: Cool Papa Bell, Josh Gibson, Buck O’Neil, Satchel Paige
Pioneers: Walter Johnson, Nap Lajoie, Christy Mathewson, Cy Young
Wednesday, July 08, 2015
If A-Rod was at least part of the Final Vote, you could see a real horse race.
A week ago, I had a conversation with Robinson Cano about the All-Star Game. He told me that he believed A-Rod should be lauded by Major League Baseball and the crowd in Cincinnati for his career achievements — similar to Mariano Rivera in 2013 and Derek Jeter last year. That’s unrealistic, of course, because A-Rod is not beloved like Rivera and Jeter (for a variety of reasons). But A-Rod is respected by many of his peers in the major leagues, including stars like Cano; among them, the notion of a salute to A-Rod is not absurd at all.
And yet, here are two reasons I won’t express outrage at A-Rod’s exclusion from the Midsummer Classic:
1. The fans had their chance to vote him in. If they truly wanted him there, he would have finished higher than fifth among AL designated hitters — more than 7 million votes behind Cruz.
A-Rod got into a beef with A’s pitcher Dallas Braden during an April 2010 game in Oakland. Trying to go from first to third on what proved to be a foul ball, A-Rod takes a shortcut back to first â across the pitcher’s mound. “The long and short of it is it’s pretty much baseball etiquette,” Braden said. “... I was just dumbfounded that he would let that slip his mind.’’ “He just told me to get off his mound,’’ Rodriguez responded. “I was a little surprised. I’ve never quite heard that, especially from a guy that has a handful of wins in his career. ‘’ The next month, Braden tossed a perfect game and his grandma had a few words for A-Rod.
2. If A-Rod had been named to the All-Star team, he’d dominate much of the pregame discussion in Cincinnati. Would the debate draw greater attention to this year’s Midsummer Classic? Perhaps. But it would drain plenty of oxygen from what people who love the game should be discussing: the tremendous influx of young talent to the sport.
Tuesday, July 07, 2015
THIS TIME IT COUNTS
According to FOX Sports’ Jon Morosi, Walt Jocketty is hauling the obnoxiously slow boat that’s clogging up the left lane of the baseball world.
If that’s tangibly true, it confirms at least one of the two nonsensical dogmas Reds fans have heard whispers about for months, with the off chance that both head-scratching theories are true. If there’s a hard deadline that’s been put in place for all potential deals and said deadline comes after the city of Cincinnati gets to host the All Star Game, either the front office of the Reds is prioritizing having Reds players in the All Star Game more than them being healthy trade chips, or the front office is deluded enough to think the next week’s worth of games still has significant bearing on whether the Reds can be a contender in 2015. Or both, if you’re way into baseball masochism.
You can bend your mind a bit to see that the Reds’ unwillingness to yield carries with it a bit of admirability, at least in a Spartan sort of way. Perhaps they’re determined to fight until the end against all odds in some grandiose attempt at generating pride through unsuccessful stubbornness. Perhaps the front office came across a spare $200 million that the rest of the world is unaware of and they plan on using it to keep the likes of Johnny Cueto and Aroldis Chapman around for the rest of their playing days.
Monday, July 06, 2015
This contest determined by popular vote has totally devolved into a popularity contest!
Flat-out question: If you’re building two teams for the rest of the season and you get two of everything including six outfielders, how many Royals’re you choosing?
You know what? I think Gordon and Cain actually make my team, perhaps even as starters! With Perez backing up Russell Martin. So, yes—with the exception of Escobar, the Royals’ starters are pretty well-deserving. By this standard that I’ve just invented, anyway.
Well done! Good job, Major League Baseball and All-Star voters!
Still, I can’t quite get rid of this nagging little thought in the back of my mind that whatever the results might suggest, THE PROCESS IS ROYALLY FAKAKTA.
What else, after all, are we to make of a system that might have given us seven Kansas City Royals in the starting lineup, including Omar Infante?
What else are we to make of a system suggesting that Justin Smoak is more popular than Albert Pujols?*
* I mean, seriously, folks. This column will be on the site for about six seconds before someone tweets at me, “Don’t you know it’s a popularity contest, idiot!” Yeah, I do. I also know that Albert Pujols is more popular than Justin Smoak, by literally ANY OTHER MEASURE designed by man or beast.
Wednesday, July 01, 2015
So right now –– just to take one example –– Salvador Perez has 11,666,785 votes for catcher. What does that mean? It’s like light years or grains of sand on the beach, just number numbers.
But having fans vote is the way leagues like to run All-Star balloting nowadays, instead of being old-fashioned and letting the choices be made by people who actually know something, people we dare call experts.
You see, when fans vote, it’s interactive. It’s an interactive world now. Baseball’s rationale is that if you voted your thirty-five times for Salvador Perez, interactively, you’ll then be on pins and needles to see if he can win. You’re invested in Salvador Perez.
But actually it’s the reverse, because the irony is that if you want to get fans just plain actively engaged, the fewer decision-makers the better. Half the fun in the selection of All-Stars — or any award winners — is being able to castigate the people who made the choices you disagree with as dimwitted dummies.
Sunday, June 14, 2015
Are you ready to watch the Kansas City Royals take on the St. Louis Cardinals in the All-Star Game next month? I hope so. That’s what we’re going to get.
Posted: June 14, 2015 at 01:20 PM | 84 comment(s)
Friday, June 12, 2015
A pictorial essay on expounding on the assets of Aoki. He is technically 6th in fWAR among NL OFs.
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