Sunday, March 30, 2014

A Winning Manager Who Knew Baseball Inside and Out 3/30/14

Hey baseball fans!

The San Diego Padres play their first game of the 2014 MLB season today against the Dodgers, so I wanted to talk about the man who was their manager for their first World Series appearance in 1984.

Dick Williams didn't have the best playing career, but he was elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2008 as a manager. For 21 seasons, he managed the Red Sox, Athletics, Angels, Expos, Padres, and Mariners, and ended up winning many games, despite managing bad teams for most of his career. To be specific, out of 3,023 games managed, he won 1,571 of them, which ends up being a .520 win percentage. He won four pennants during his managerial career, one in 1967 with the Sox, two with the A's in 1972 and 1973, and one with the Padres in 1984. He only won the Fall Classics with the A's, but Williams is one of two managers (along with Hall of Famer Bill McKechnie) in baseball history to win pennants with three teams and one of just seven managers to win pennants in both the AL and NL. He is also one of two managers in baseball history (the other being Lou Piniella) to lead four different teams to 90+ win seasons.

In short, Dick Williams was all about winning, and win he did time and time again. Thanks for reading this post. I hope you enjoyed it and check back in a few days for more of "all the buzz on what wuzz."

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Top Five Predictions for MLB 2020 3/27/14

Hey baseball fans!

Given the announcement of Derek Jeter’s retirement after this season, one can conclude that he will be enshrined in the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2020. Along with that, I believe there could be some other major MLB events in 2020. Here are my top five:

#5: Mike Trout Wins his first MVP Award:
In the past two years, Mike Trout has finished second in the AL MVP race, both times to Miguel Cabrera, because Cabrera arguably had better statistics and Cabrera’s team did much better. However, by 2020, it is logical to say that not only will the Angels reach the playoffs, but also Trout, at age 28, will have a great season as he reaches his peak in the MLB, while Cabrera will be 36 and other MVP contenders like Robinson Cano and David Ortiz will be well past their primes or retired.

#4: The Minnesota Twins Win the World Series:
The Twins may be one of the worst teams in the AL, but in 2020 they could be the best. Six years from now, Joe Mauer will be a sage 37 and the Twins will still have a great manager in Ron Gardenhire. Moreover, the Twins have two of the best hitting prospects in baseball, with Byron Buxton and Miguel Sano, plus some flame-throwing pitching studs in the minors like Alex Meyer and Jose Berrios. This mix of experience and youth will propel them to 2020 greatness!

#3: The Marlins Move:
The Miami Marlins are currently one of the worst teams in baseball. Because of this and their low home attendance, I predict that they will move in 2020. The only question is where? I believe they will move to Montreal, Canada and revive the Expos, because Montreal will not have had a local team at that point since the original Expos moved in 2005 and the demand for a baseball team there will likely be very strong.

#2: The Cleveland Indians Change their Name:
The NFL’s Washington Redskins have received a lot of criticism from Native Americans because of the derogatory connotations associated with their name. The Cleveland Indians have had the same issue due to their old logo, a Native American with a red face, and because of their name. Even though Cleveland has changed their logo to a red “C”, there is still concern about the name. I’m predicting that by 2020, the Indians will give in and change their name to the Hammers. Cleveland is known for its manufacturing, so the Hammers would be very appropriate and intimidating.

#1: The NL Adopts the Designated Hitter Rule:
The DH has been a subject of much debate over the past 41 years, however, I think that in 2020 the NL will finally put it into effect. The reason is simple: pitchers will continue to get paid millions of dollars and their agents will insist upon a change, concerned about baserunning and hitting injuries for their valuable clients. MLB will eventually agree and by the time 2020 rolls around, there should be a DH in NL parks.

Well, that's my list of things that I believe will happen during the 2020 MLB season. Now, if you have another prediction, leave it in the comments section below. Thanks for reading this post. I hope you enjoyed it and check back in a few days for more of "all the buzz on what wuzz."

Saturday, March 22, 2014

The Arizonan Baseball Team Will Poison You Like A Snake 3/22/14

Hey baseball fans!

Opening Day for the 2014 Major League Baseball was today! I did not wake up at four o'clock in the morning to watch the game in Sydney, Australia between the Dodgers and Diamondbacks, but I still want to talk about one of the teams playing in the first game of the 2014 baseball season. Considering I blogged about the Dodgers and their history in one of the first posts in Baseball with Matt history (click here to read that post), here is a brief history of the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Arizona already had a history in Major League Baseball, having already been a host for Spring training games since 1946. However, on May 9th, 1995, the City of Phoenix was awarded a baseball franchise that would later be called the Arizona Diamondbacks. They were called this due to the many diamondback rattlesnakes that live in Arizona.

The Diamondbacks' first season was in 1998, but they only won 65 games. But that all changed in 1999. They became the quickest MLB expansion team to win a division championship by winning 100 games. Sadly, they did not win the World Series that year, but they did two years later (against the Yankees)! After beating the Cardinals in the NLDS and the Braves in the NLCS, the D-backs beat the Bronx Bombers in the Fall Classic in seven games. In fact, that seventh game was one of the most famous baseball games in World Series history, ending on a walk-off single by Louis Gonzalez, the only Diamondback to have his number (20) retired by the team in its history. However, the Diamondbacks have had other great ballplayers play for them, like Curt Schilling, Randy Johnson, Matt Williams, Steve Finely, and Justin Upton.

Since their inception, the Diamondbacks have won the NL West five times, 1999, 2001, 2002, 2007, and 2011 and their single World Series championship in 2001. With star hitters like Paul Goldschmidt and Mark Trumbo and excellent pitchers like Patrick Corbin and Trevor Cahill, Arizona can possibly win the NL West this year. However, we will just have to wait and see!

Thanks for reading this post. Also, thanks for giving me 90,000+ views! I could have never gained the success I have right now without my fans, so thanks so much. Anyway, I hope you enjoyed this post and check back in a few days for more of "all the buzz on what wuzz."

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Book Review: A Nice Little Place on the North Side: Wrigley Field at One Hundred 3/18/14

Hey baseball fans!

I recently had the chance to read A Nice Little Place on the North Side: Wrigley Field at One Hundred by George F. Will, a book about Wrigley Field, home of the Chicago Cubs. The book was written around the time of the Stadium's 100th anniversary. Overall, it was a very good book to read and I thought that I would share my thoughts on it with you.

George F. Will has been a long time Cubs fan and started to be a Cubs fan during the dismal years of the 1940s and 1950s. In the book, Will talks about events that happened with the Cubs and his connections to the team and the City of Chicago. Throughout the book, he also mentions famous moments in Wrigley, good or bad for Chicago, famous ballplayers and personalities, and also mentions a few metaphors here and there comparing baseball to everyday life and religion. George also explains another subject that many baseball fans still ponder over: how in the world do you stay a die-hard Cubs fan?

Using his knowledge of the City, hilarious comedic style, and his excellent writing skills, Will was able to take me through the history of Wrigley Field with me enjoying every minute. The book was well-written, interesting from page one until the end, and funny all at the same time. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who still doesn't understand how to be a die-hard Cubs fan and to anyone who enjoys baseball history. It's an excellent book and I loved reading it.

So I hope you enjoyed this review and I hope that you pick up this overall excellent book. Anyway, thanks for reading this post. Check back in a few days for more of "all the buzz on what wuzz."

Sunday, March 16, 2014

My Top Five Favorite Uniforms in Baseball History 3/16/13

Hey baseball fans!

When I go out onto a baseball field, I enjoy looking well-dressed. For example, I would never wear an all-pink uniform, just because I would look weird. The same thing goes for MLB uniforms. Some of the uniforms in the past are frowned upon by the players who wore them and by the people who watched those players. However, there are also some really cool uniforms. With that being said, here are my top five favorite uniforms in baseball history:

Number Five: The current New York Yankees' home uniforms
Why? They are sleek, awesome, and the coolest uniforms that are being worn currently in the MLB. The pinstripes have been a Yankee symbol since the start of the original Yankee Stadium, so what's not to like? The only reason that they're up so high on this list is because the uniforms are too basic! The Yankees should alter the home jerseys a little bit to make them more modern and exciting, but do not make them cotton! Do you understand me George Costanza?

Number Four: The 1979 Pittsburgh Pirates' home pinstriped uniforms
Why? The "We Are Family" Pirates won the 1979 World Series and there is a simple reason why: they had so many great uniforms! The best of them was the home uniform with the yellow pinstripes. However, the piece de resistance was their hat. It was black with the Pirates' "P" on the front with yellow stripes going around it. When a player did something that contributed to the team's success during the '79 season, Willie Stargell would give that player a gold star to put on his hat! I think that is so cool!

Number Three: The 1980 Philadelphia Phillies away uniforms
Why? Besides the fact that Mike Schmidt, my favorite player of all time, wore this uniform when he and the Phils won the Fall Classic, these are absolutely amazing uniforms. Back in the 1980s, many teams tried to incorporate powder blue into their jerseys, but the Phillies were one of the best teams at pulling off the look. Their logo also helps their reasoning for being in the number three spot. It's like the current Phillies' logo, but a lot more sophisticated. Overall, this is an excellent uniform and I'm glad that Schmidty and the rest of the Phillies won their first world championship while wearing it.

Number Two: The 1974 Atlanta Braves' home uniforms
Why? The Braves uniforms that they wore during the year that Hank Aaron broke the all-time home run record were simply amazing. The red outlining around the word "Braves" on the front really makes the jersey stand out.  The blue sleeves also add a nice touch and the lowercase "a" on the hat also looks really cool.

Number One: The 1975 Houston Astros home and road uniforms (they were the same)
Why? These uniforms are probably the most colorful jerseys in baseball history. There were rainbow-colored stripes going across the sides and a colorful orange hat with a blue star with an "H" inside of it. The uniforms may be a bit too colorful to some, but I think that they are the best uniforms in baseball history. In fact, they are so cool that when the Astros moved from the NL to the AL in 2013, they went back to some of the ideas of the '75 jerseys. You can also see these jerseys being worn at current Astros games by the fans!

Well, that's my list of my favorite uniforms in baseball history. If you think I missed one, leave me a comment in the comment section below. Anyway, thanks for reading this post. I hope you enjoyed it and check back in a few days for more of "all the buzz on what wuzz."

Friday, March 14, 2014

Arguably the Best Second Baseman of his Era 3/14/14

Hey baseball fans!

There are three Hall of Famers from Puerto Rico. There was Roberto Clemente, the inspirational and excellent-hitting Pirate, Orlando Cepeda, the Baby Bull who played in St. Louis and San Francisco, and the most recently inducted Puerto Rican Hall of Famer, Roberto Alomar!

Alomar played for mainly the Blue Jays, Orioles, and Indians in his 17-year career from 1988-2004. He is mostly known for his excellent fielding at second base and received 10 Gold Glove Awards during his career, the most for any player at his position. The switch hitter earned 12 consecutive All Star nods at second, the second-most All Star appearances for a second baseman. Although he is known for his work at second, he was also an excellent hitter. Roberto batted .300 for his career with 2,724 hits. Even his stolen base numbers are great, swiping 474 bags during his career. Perhaps his best six games of hitting came in the 1993 World Series when he was playing with the Blue Jays. He batted .480 with 12 hits in 25 at-bats, drove in six runs, and stole four bases. What a ballplayer!

Because of all these amazing accomplishments, Alomar was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2011, cementing himself as one of the best second basemen the game has ever seen. Anyway, thanks for reading this post. I hope you enjoyed it and check back in a few days for more of "all the buzz on what wuzz."

Saturday, March 8, 2014

The Big Rude: Johnny O! 3/8/14

Hey baseball fans!

The team that represented the American League in my favorite World Series (1993: Toronto Blue Jays vs. Philadelphia Phillies) was filled to the brim with All Stars like Joe Carter and Jack Morris and Hall of Famers like Rickey Henderson and Paul Molitor. However, perhaps the most important player on the team that season was the AL batting champion of 1993: John Olerud!

Olerud played for Blue Jays, Mariners, Mets, Red Sox, and Yankees from 1989-2005. In his 17 years, he had 2,239 base hits, with 255 of those hits going out of the park.The two-time All Star first baseman was really known for his batting average. He batted over .300 four times and his lifetime batting average was a solid .295. In 1993, Olerud led the AL in doubles (54), batting average (.363), on-base percentage (.473), on-base+slugging percentage (1.072), and intentional walks (33). He placed third in the MVP voting, but he was able to lead his '93 Jays to the Fall Classic. In the six games, John went 4 for 17 with a homer and two RBIs. Another cool note about Olerud was that he went straight from Washington State University to the Majors without playing a single game in the Minors. He is one of 21 players to do so in Major League Baseball history.

Although the Big Rude (one of Olerud's nicknames) only got 0.7% of the Hall of Fame ballot in 2011, he was still inducted into the National College Baseball Hall of Fame in 2007. Anyway, thanks for reading this post. I hope you enjoyed it and check back in a few days for more of "all the buzz on what wuzz."

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

The MLB and NFL Go Prime Time 3/5/14

Hey baseball fans!

I'm sure that most football fans are familiar with NFL Hall of Fame cornerback and punt returner Deion Sanders. But just like Bo Jackson, Sanders also played in the MLB! He wasn't as good as Bo, but he still is one of the few prominent two-sport athletes.

Neon Deion played for the Braves, Reds, Yankees, and Giants form 1989-2001, but missed '96, '98, '99, and 2000 due to the NFL. However, in his nine years as a baseball player, Sanders collected 558 hits in 641 games, 43 of those hits being triples! He totaled 39 career homers and 168 RBIs, along with 186 stolen bases and a .263 average. Just like he was in the NFL, Deion was a speedster, which is why he averaged 47 steals every 162 games.

In the MLB, his most famous moment came in the 1992 World Series, where his Braves met the Toronto Blue Jays. He was on second and Terry Pendleton was on first in the top of the fourth of Game Three. After a leaping catch from Toronto's Devon White in center and Pendleton passing Sanders in between second and third base (which equals two outs), Toronto third baseman Kelly Gruber tried to chase Deion back to second base. Deion almost got tagged, but was able to retreat to second base safely. Or was he tagged? Replays later showed that Gruber did tag Prime Time with his glove, even though Bob Davidson said otherwise when he had to make the call on the spot. To summarize, Deion Sanders is the result of there being one less triple play in World Series history than there should be.

Although Neon Deion did not have the greatest MLB career, he is still remembered by many fans because of his NFL skills. I just wish that Sanders played baseball full-time. Who knows how many bases he could've stolen? Anyway, thanks for reading this post. I hope you enjoyed it and check back in a few days for more of "all the buzz on what wuzz."

Saturday, March 1, 2014

An Interview with White Sox Owner, Eddie Einhorn 3/1/14

Hey baseball fans!

I recently had the honor of interviewing the Vice Chairman and an owner of the Chicago White Sox, Eddie Einhorn! Einhorn was a really cool guy to talk to and his answers were also very interesting to hear. However, let me tell you a little about Mr. Einhorn before I get to the interview.

Eddie Einhorn was one of the first people to broadcast College Basketball and produced many NCAA Men's Division I Basketball games during the late 1950s and 1960s. The University of Pennsylvania graduate even helped put together the national broadcast for the Game of the Century, a historic 1968 game between the Houston Cougars and UCLA Bruins (see pic below). Besides his work with college sports, Eddie, who was a vendor at Comiskey Park from 1959-1960, was a former owner of the IWA, the International Wrestling Association. He finally bought the White Sox with his law school classmate Jerry Reinsdorf in 1981 and has been one of the owners of the South Siders ever since. He will also be celebrating his 24th year as Vice Chairman of the White Sox this year. Besides being elected into the Basketball Hall of Fame, Einhorn even won an Emmy in 1980 when he was a producer for CBS. I am almost certain that he is the only vendor in Comiskey Park history to be elected into the Basketball Hall of Fame, win an Emmy, and be an owner of a baseball team.

Now that you know some information on Eddie Einhorn, let's get to the interview.

Matt: Which baseball team did you root for as a kid given that you grew up in NJ?
Mr. Einhorn: I rooted for the Reds because they were the first team I saw in 1946. Also my dad was friends with Johnny Vander Meer.

Matt: What inspired you to become an owner of the White Sox?
Mr. Einhorn: I've been in the business for a long time. I sold my TV company and I was looking for something to do and one of my friends asked me if I was interested in buying the White Sox. I said yes.

Matt: Who are your favorite non-White Sox players in baseball history?
Mr. Einhorn: I don't know if I have a favorite. I just like all players who are winners, like Johnny Bench and Jack Morris

Matt: If you could change any MLB rule today, what would it be and why?
Mr. Einhorn: I would like to see shorter-term contracts. I think it's getting out of hand. Sometimes we are awarding people more money than they deserve. I also don't like all the instant replay.

Matt: If you could add any White Sox Hall of Famer onto today's team, who would it be and why?
Mr. Einhorn: Luis Aparicio. The shortstop position is so important to a baseball team and he was so good at the position.

Matt: What did you do after the White Sox broke their curse and won the 2005 World Series?
Mr. Einhorn: I celebrated with everyone! But I learned that you can't celebrate for too long because the next season is right around the corner.

Matt: Besides the 2005 Series win, what's the most exciting MLB moment you've witnessed live?
Mr. Einhorn: I don't know. I've seen hundreds and hundreds of games, but I've never seen a perfect game or a no-hitter. I've also seen a lot of exciting games and I was there for some incredible wins and incredible losses.

Matt: If you could only eat one ballpark food every time you went to any baseball stadium, what would that food be and why?
Mr. Einhorn: When I'm nervous at games, I get any food that's in my view. But I think the answer to that question would be a roast beef sandwich with horse radish.

Thanks to Mr. Eddie Einhorn for answering my questions. And a shout-out to Jason Duffy for the introduction. Mr. Einhorn was a really fun guy to interview and I was so honored to do so. Anyway, thanks for reading this interview. I hope you enjoyed it and check back in a few days for more of "all the buzz on what wuzz."