Saturday, November 29, 2014

My Top Five Favorite World Series MVP Performances 11/29/14

Hey baseball fans!

Madison Bumgarner had an amazing World Series for the San Francisco Giants in 2014 and he just so happens to come in at number five on my list of my top five favorite World Series MVP performances. If you want to know who's 1-4, continue reading. (Note: The World Series MVP Award was first given out in 1955.)

Number Five: Madison Bumgarner, Pitcher, San Francisco Giants
Year: 2014
Why? Mad Bum appeared in three games and recorded two wins, one of them being a shutout, and a save, which is unbelievable. But he also pitched 21 innings and allowed just a single earned run! That's an ERA of 0.43!

Number Four: Reggie Jackson, Right Fielder, New York Yankees
Year: 1977
Why? Jackson's '77 Fall Classic was probably his best World Series performance. He batted .450 with five home runs and eight RBIs. Oh yeah, and four of those five home runs came on consecutive swings. That's why he's called "Mr. October."

Number Three: Roberto Clemente, Right Fielder, Pittsburgh Pirates
Year: 1971
Why? Clemente shined all over the field; he made numerous great catches and throws out in right field and batted .414 at the dish. His two home runs and four RBIs helped the Buccos pull off a stunning upset against the heavily-favored Baltimore Orioles.

Number Two: Paul Molitor, DH and Third Baseman, Toronto Blue Jays
Year: 1993
Why? Statistically, Molitor's '93 World Series is one of the best World Series MVP performances ever. He collected 12 base hits, scored ten runs (the most ever in a World Series) and batted .500. He also drove in eight runs and was on base when Joe Carter hit his walk-off World Series-winning home run.

Number One: Sandy Koufax, Pitcher, Los Angeles Dodgers
Year: 1965
Why? Bob Gibson had an ERA of 1.00 in the 1967 World Series and Madison Bumgarner had an ERA of 0.43 in the 2014 World Series, but Koufax had an ERA even smaller than both of them in the 1965 Fall Classic against the Twins: 0.38! The Left Arm of God also started three games for LA and won two of them... both with complete game shutouts! He also struck out 29 over 24 innings pitched. He was easily the number one pitcher on that Dodgers team in that Series and he is also the number one World Series MVP on my list.

Honorable Mentions: 
Bob Gibson-1967
Brooks Robinson-1970
Lew Burdette-1957

Do you agree with my list? Write your thoughts in the comment section below. Thanks for reading this post and I hope you enjoyed it. Check back soon for more of "all the buzz on what wuzz."

Monday, November 24, 2014

The Duck had all the Luck 11/24/14

Hey baseball fans!

Today is Hall of Famer Joe Medwick's birthday! To celebrate, I'm going to blog about him.

Joe "Ducky" Medwick played for the Cardinals, Dodgers, Giants, and Braves from 1932-1948. One of the most potent National League hitters of the thirties, Medwick dominated hitting statistics. In his career, he batted .324 (43rd all time) with 2,471 hits. Undoubtedly, his best year was 1937, when he led the league in homers (31), RBIs (154), and batting average (.374), making him the eighth Triple Crown winner in the World Series era. He also led the league that year in runs, hits, at bats, total bases, slugging percentage and doubles! The ten-time All Star only has a single World Series ring, but boy did he do well in the '34 Fall Classic with the Cards. In seven games against the Tigers, Ducky batted .379 and drove in five runs en route to the Cardinals' third championship. The excellent outfielder batted over .300 15 times during his career and never struck out more than 100 times a season. He was eventually voted into the Hall of Fame in 1968, receiving 84.8% of the vote.

Here's a fun fact about Medwick: he is one of three New Jersey-born Hall of Famers and one of five HoFers who went to high school in the state. When Derek Jeter gets into the HOF, that'll make it four Jersey guys in the Hall.  Anyway, thanks for reading this post. I hope you enjoyed it and check back soon for more of "all the buzz on what wuzz."

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Godzilla: Japanese Star in the Movies and on the Baseball Field 11/20/14

Hey baseball fans!

Being a Yankees fan, I loved the 2009 World Series-winning Yanks. They had some great hitters, like Derek Jeter, Jorge Posada, Mark Teixeira, Robinson Cano, and Nick Swisher. But perhaps my favorite hitter on that team was the one who contributed the most for New York in that '09 Fall Classic: Hideki Matsui.

Hideki "Godzilla" Matsui was born in Ishikawa, Japan and started his baseball career in Nippon Professional Baseball. He was drafted by the Yomiuri Giants in the first round of the 1992 Draft and appeared for the Giants the next season. His ten-year career in Japanese baseball was amazing: he went to nine All Star Games, won the league MVP three times, was a member of a Japan Series-winning team three times (the Japan Series is the World Series but in NPB), and won the Best Nine Award eight times (it's basically the award given to the best player at each position in each league). His stats with Yomiuri are also astounding, hitting 332 home runs and driving in 889 runs. After the 2002 NPB season, Matsui signed with the MLB's New York Yankees and he ended up having a great career in pinstripes.

In his rookie season in American baseball in 2003, Matsui made the All Star Game and came in second for Rookie of the Year voting. In 2004, he again made the All Star Game and for the second straight year, played in all 162 games of the season. One of his best years was 2007 with New York, when he hit 25 home runs, collected 103 RBIs, and batted .285, but his best year in the MLB was 2009. In the Yankees championship season, Godzilla smashed out 28 dingers and drove in 90 runs, but his best work in '09 was yet to come. The Yankees eventually made it to the World Series to face the defending champions, the Philadelphia Phillies. The Bronx Bombers ended up winning the Series in six and it was mostly because of Matsui. He recorded eight hits, three home runs, eight RBIs, and a batting average of .615! He got six of his eight RBIs in a Game Six performance that tied the World Series single-game record for runs batted in with fellow former Yankee Bobby Richardson, who drove in six runs of his own in Game Three of the 1960 World Series. Matsui's amazing Fall Classic spectacular earned him 2009 World Series MVP honors, becoming the first Japanese player to ever do so.

Matsui ended up playing three more years in baseball after 2009 with the Angels, A's, and Rays. In his entire MLB career, he cracked 175 home runs and drove in 760 RBIs. He was such a fan favorite in Yankee Stadium that I will never forget his great hitting. Anyway, thanks for reading this post. I hope you enjoyed it and check back soon for more of "all the buzz on what wuzz."

Sunday, November 16, 2014

My Interview with Yankees Radio Color Commentator Suzyn Waldman!! 11/16/14

Hey baseball fans!

I recently had the chance to interview Yankees radio color commentator, Suzyn Waldman! I actually got to interview her live with my recorder, but before I give you the link to the interview on my YouTube channel, here's a quick bio on Waldman.

Suzyn Waldman grew up in Newton, Massachusetts, a suburb of Boston, and was a Red Sox fan and season ticket holder. She graduated from Simmons College with a degree in economics, but got her career started as a Broadway actress and singer. She is arguably most famous for her role as Dulcinea in  the acclaimed Broadway show, Man of La Mancha. Waldman was hired by the newly-formed WFAN in 1987 and was the first ever person to report on the radio show at 3:00 PM on July 1st, 1987. On WFAN, she covered the New York Yankees and the New York Knicks and co-hosted the daily mid-day sports talk show. She eventually joined John Sterling in 2005 on WCBS radio as the color commentator for Yankees radio broadcasts, becoming just the third woman in baseball history to be a color commentator. She and Sterling will be the Yankees radio broadcasters for the 2015 season, which will be their 11th year together in the booth.

Now that you know a little bit more about Waldman, click here to listen to the interview. Thanks for listening to the interview and I hope you enjoy it. Check back soon for more of "all the buzz on what wuzz."

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

15 World Series Fun Facts11/12/14

Hey baseball fans!

Think fast! Here's 15 fun facts about the World Series!

1. Out of the 110 World Series that have been played, 63 of them have been won by American League teams and 47 by National League teams.
2. The New York Yankees have represented the AL in the World Series 36.36% of the time.
3. The state that has the most World Series championships (if you exclude New York) is California. The Dodgers, Giants, A's, and Angels have won a combined 14 Fall Classics. Cali would have more World Series rings, but the A's, Dodgers, and Giants won most of their championships in Philadelphia, Brooklyn, and New York, respectively.
4. Since 1967, when the Cy Young Award was given to a pitcher in both leagues, 10 Cy Young Award winners also received World Series rings in the same year. Some of those pitchers include Greg Maddux in 1995 with the Braves, Randy Johnson in 2001 with the Diamondbacks, and Ron Guidry in 1978 with the Yankees.
5. There are only two teams who have never reached the Fall Classic: the Seattle Mariners and Washington Nationals. However, both teams have made league championship series.
6. Only one team has at least one World Series championship without ever winning their division: the Florida Marlins. Although they have won two World Series in their history, 1997 and 2003, they have not yet captured an NL East title.
7. Former Yankee managers Casey Stengel and Joe McCarthy are tied for the most World Series won by a manager with seven, but Stengel has won the most World Series games with 37, compared to McCarthy's 30.
8. The Cubs have not won a World Series in 106 years, the longest World Series draught ever. Their last World Series championship came in 1908.
9. The player with the most World Series rings is Yogi Berra. In his career with the Yankees, he was part of ten World Series-winning teams.
10. The most World Series won by one team in consecutive years is the New York Yankees with five, from 1949-1953.
11. The batter with the best batting average in a single World Series is Billy Hatcher. In 1990 with the Cincinnati Reds, Hatcher batted .750 in a four-game sweep of the Athletics.
12. The quickest expansion team to win a World Series is the Arizona Diamondbacks. They played their first game in 1998 and won their first World Series in 2001.
13. 13 Hall of Famers have won World Series MVP. Three of them have won the award twice: Reggie Jackson, Sandy Koufax, and Bob Gibson.
14. Only one World Series has ended with a walk-off out. In the 1912 World Series, the Boston Red Sox won their second Fall Classic in franchise history with a walk-off sacrifice fly by Larry Gardner in the bottom of the tenth inning of Game Eight against the Giants. (Game Two was called a tie due to darkness. Otherwise, the 1912 Series would have been a regular seven-game World Series.)
15. Three teams have been to the World Series in the same year that the city that they play in also hosted the Super Bowl: the 1998 San Diego Padres, the 2006 Detroit Tigers, and the 2011 Texas Rangers.

Now that you read all of these facts, impress your friends with them. You're welcome. Anyway, thanks for reading this post. I hope you enjoyed it and check back soon for more of "all the buzz on what wuzz."

Sunday, November 9, 2014

My 2014 MLB Awards Prediction Video 11/9/14

Hey baseball fans!

Since the 2014 season is officially over, it's time for the two weeks where everyone is debating on who is going to win which award. If you want to know who I think will win each award, click here to see my predictions on who will win the Manager of the Year Award, Rookie of the Year Award, the Cy Young Award, and the MVP Award in the American and National Leagues.

Thanks so much for watching the video and I hope you enjoy it. Check back soon for more of "all the buzz on what wuzz."

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Reggie! Reggie! Reggie! 11/6/14

Hey baseball fans!

The offseason is officially here and I can already sense some great free agent deals in the future. But in today's post, I want to talk about one of the first huge free agents in baseball history. And when I say huge, I mean New York huge.

Reggie Jackson played for the A's, Orioles, Yankees, and Angels in a Hall of Fame career from 1967 to 1987. In his 21 years in baseball, Jackson swung one of the best bats in baseball. The 14-time All Star outfielder hit 563 career long balls, 13th on the all time list. He started his career with the A's (in Kansas City) and won three consecutive World Series championships with the club, from 1972-1974. Jackson won MVP of the '73 Fall Classic against the Mets, hitting .310 in the Series. After playing in Baltimore for 1976, Reginald was granted free agency, which meant that he could sign any team that was willing to sign him. Luckily for Yankee fans, Reggie was interested in playing in the Bronx and signed with the Yankees on November 29, 1976. The reason I'm mentioning this is because free agency was a very new concept back then in the MLB and Jackson was really the first big name player to be signed by another team like that.

Jackson would go on to have a great career in pinstripes. In fact, he had such a great career for the Yanks that he actually went into the Hall of Fame as a Yankee. Anyway, Reggie led New York to the 1977 World Series and made history. In Game Six against the Dodgers, he hit three home runs...on three consecutive swings! The first two were great line drive dingers, but the third one was a magnificent, booming shot to straight away centerfield off of a knuckleball thrown by Dodger reliever, Charlie Hough. All the Yankee fans at Yankee Stadium that night were screaming their heads off, shouting "Reggie! Reggie! Reggie!" Reggie's five homers in the Series earned him WS MVP and an awesome nickname: Mr. October. Jackson won another ring with the Yankees in 1978, but never won another Series after that. I mean, five World Series rings isn't too bad, right?

Although he is the all-time leader in strikeouts with 2,597, Jackson is still known as one of the best. The the A's and Yankees have retired the number that he wore when playing for each franchise (9 for the A's and 44 for NY). The four-time home run champion was elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility, 1993, with 93.6% of the vote. Anyway, thanks for reading this post. I hope you enjoyed it and check back soon for more of "all the buzz on what wuzz."

Sunday, November 2, 2014

A Baseball Interview with President George H.W. Bush!!! 11/2/14

Hey baseball fans!

It's time for another interview! This one is very special. Here are a few hints about the interviewee: he is a very famous political figure in American history, he played college baseball for Yale in the first two College World Series, and I've interviewed his son, George W., who held the same political office. Well, if you haven't guessed it yet, it's none other than President George H. W. Bush! I am so honored and privileged to have interviewed (by email) such a legendary politician and I would like to thank President Bush for answering my questions. However, before I get to the interview, here is a short bio on the 41st President of the United States of America.


George Herbert Walker Bush was born on June 12, 1924 in Milton, Massachusetts to Prescott Sheldon Bush and Dorothy Walker Bush. Mr. Bush graduated high school from Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts. After high school, he decided to join the Navy to help the US in World War II and he became an official naval aviator at the age of 18. In 1944, after being promoted to Lieutenant, Mr. Bush flew a special airplane that was meant to bomb the Japanese troops. While on a mission on September 2, 1944, Mr. Bush's aircraft was hit by Japanese anti-aircraft fire. The plane's engine caught on fire, but Mr. Bush was still able to complete his mission of dropping bombs onto the Japanese. However, following the bombing, Mr. Bush and his crew had to jump out of the plane. They were eventually picked up by a submarine after being stranded on a raft for four hours.

After his days in the Navy, Mr. Bush married Barbara Pierce and together they had six children, one of them being George W. Bush, the 43rd President of the United States. George H. W. Bush attended Yale University on an accelerated two and a half year program, and he captained the school's baseball team as a first baseman, leading the Bulldogs to the first two College World Series. He even got to meet the legendary Babe Ruth before one of his games as a Bulldog in his senior year. The captain graduated from Yale in 1948.

After working in the oil business, Mr. Bush eventually went into politics. The Republican became a Representative of Texas for the House of Representatives in 1966. In 1971, he was named Ambassador to the United Nations and did this for two years. In 1973, he was named Chairman of the Republican National Committee. In 1976, he became the Director of the CIA. In 1980, Ronald Reagan selected Mr. Bush to be his Vice Presidential nominee. Mr. Reagan won the 1980 Presidential election and stayed in the White House for two terms, from 1981-1989. Mr. Bush was the former actor's Vice President for all of those eight years. (Pic below: Reagan, left, Bush, right)

Mr. Bush ran for President in the 1988 election and ultimately beat Democrat Michael Dukakis, becoming the 41st President of the United States. He served for one term, 1989-1993, and accomplished many important things, including signing the Americans with Disabilities Act and leading the coalition during the Gulf War. Mr. Bush 41 was succeeded by President Bill Clinton, who was then succeeded by George H. W. Bush's son, President George W. Bush. Today, George H.W. Bush and his wife, Barbara, split their time between living in Houston, Texas and Kennebunkport, Maine. He also does charitable work, including with his son President George W. Bush and President Bill Clinton. (Pics below: President Bush being sworn into office, 1989; Presidents George H.W. Bush, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton)

Now that you know a little bit about him, here is my interview with the 41st President of the United States, President George H. W. Bush.

Matt: What was your favorite team growing up?
President Bush: The Red Sox. I liked Ted Williams the best.

Matt: You played first base for Yale in the first two College World Series in 1947 and 1948, and you were team captain. Was Yankees captain and first baseman, Lou Gehrig (who played from 1923-1939), a hero of yours?
President Bush: Yes, he was one of my all-time favorites.

Matt: When you met the great Babe Ruth (see pic below) before a college game at Yale in your senior year, what did you talk about with him?
President Bush: Meeting Babe Ruth on Yale field was a thrill that stays with me ‘til this day. He was cancer-riddled. His voice was more of a croak than a normal voice, but he radiated greatness and I was privileged to have been asked to go out to home plate with him to receive his papers that he donated to Yale.

Matt: What was going through your mind when your plane was hit by anti-aircraft fire in mid-flight during World War II?
President Bush: A fear that I’d wind up as someone’s hors d’oeuvres.

Matt: What's the greatest moment in baseball history that you witnessed live?
President Bush: Being able to see my home team, the Astros, play in the World Series.

Matt: Since you're quite knowledgeable about your fellow Presidents and baseball, which Presidents do you think would have done well in their athletic primes on the Yale College World Series teams?
President Bush: Abe Lincoln, because of his ability to swing an axe. Abe was also known to be an honest man, so you wouldn’t have to worry about him arguing with the umpire.

I would like to thank President Bush for taking the time to answer my questions. I wish him all the best. And I also would like to thank his son, Marvin, for helping to arrange the interview. I am so honored to have interviewed both Presidents Bush. I've now interviewed all of the Republican Presidents that I can, so now it's time to focus on interviewing the Democrats  -- so if anyone has any ideas, please let me know. Anyway, thanks so much for reading this very special interview. I hope you enjoyed it and check back soon for more of "all the buzz on what wuzz."

And, if you’re looking to read up more on Ted Williams, Lou Gehrig, Babe Ruth or just general baseball history, please check out my newly published e-book, Amazing Aaron to Zero Zippers, which is now available to buy on the Amazon Kindle, the Nook and iTunes. All of my book proceeds are being donated to four baseball-related charities: the ALS Association, Turn 2, the Jackie Robinson Foundation and the Hall of Fame.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Revolutionary Robinson 11/1/14

Hey baseball fans!

The color barrier was always a big deal in baseball back in the 1940s and ‘50s. Back then, African-Americans had their own baseball league, the Negro Leagues, and they were basically not allowed to play in Major League Baseball. No one broke this rule until Dodgers executive Branch Rickey brought Jackie Robinson to the Brooklyn Dodgers from the Negro League’s Kansas City Monarchs. On April 15, 1947, Robinson became the first African-American to play in the MLB, breaking the color barrier and African-Americans have been playing in Major League Baseball ever since. But why is Jackie so heralded, just for breaking the color barrier, you ask? Well, he was very brave for standing up to all the bigotry, and he was an awesome player.

Jackie Robinson played for the Brooklyn Dodgers from 1947-1959. As a 28-year old rookie in 1947, Robinson played phenomenally, batting .297 with 175 hits and leading the league in stolen bases with 29. He became the first ever winner of the Rookie of the Year Award, which was eventually renamed in honor of him. In 1949, Jackie went to his first of six consecutive All Star Games and won the NL MVP Award, leading the league in batting average (.342) and steals (37) and also driving in 124 runs.

Robinson’s Dodgers were always very good, but they could never win the World Series because they were always facing the juggernaut Yankees. However, that all changed in the 1955 Fall Classic versus New York. In Game One, Jackie stole home on a controversial play at the plate. As soon as the umpire called Robinson safe, Yankee catcher Yogi Berra turned around and started screaming at the umpire. That was all the Dodgers needed. Although the event wasn’t the turning point of the Series, it sure was important, as the Dodgers won the Series in seven games, giving Brooklyn its first and only baseball championship.

Although Jackie got just one World Series ring, his career numbers are astounding for having only played for ten years: 1,518 hits, 947 runs scored, 734 RBIs, 197 stolen bases, a .311 batting average, and an on-base percentage of .409. These great stats helped him get into the Hall of Fame in 1962 with 77.5% of the vote. And to think: he performed this well while being heckled because of the color of his skin for almost his entire career. Simply amazing. Anyway, thanks for reading this article. I hope you enjoyed it and check back soon for more of “all the buzz on what wuzz.”

And, if you’re looking to read up on more about Jackie and all of baseball history, please check out my newly published e-book, Amazing Aaron to Zero Zippers, which is now available to buy on the Amazon Kindle, the Nook and iTunes. By the way, all of my book proceeds are being donated to four baseball-related charities: the ALS Association, Turn 2, the Jackie Robinson Foundation and the Hall of Fame.