Tuesday, March 28, 2017

"The Catch" 3/28/17

Hey baseball fans!

I've never devoted an entire post to Willie Mays's famous catch in the 1954 World Series, which is pure blasphemy. So, here ya go.

It was Game One of the 1954 World Series. The Giants and Indians were tied at two entering the top of the eighth in the Polo Grounds in New York City. The young 1954 MVP Willie Mays was playing in center field and Sal Maglie was pitching for the Giants. Maglie quickly allowed Larry Doby and Al Rosen to reach base, which brought first baseman Vic Wertz up to the plate for Cleveland. Wertz was never that much of a power hitter and he wasn't even that big of a guy. But with two on and no one out, anything could happen, especially because Maglie was just taken out of the game and replaced with Don Liddle.

On a 2-2 count, Wertz swung at the Liddle pitch and smacked it on a fly to straightaway center field. The Polo Grounds, at the time, was gigantic, so Wertz would have had to hit the ball a good 500 feet to hit a home run. Nonetheless, Larry Doby who was on second base thought the ball was hit far enough over Willie Mays's head in center field for extra bases, so he started trotting to third from second. Mays, on the other hand, had other plans. He immediately started running after the fly ball. He must've ran over 150 feet before making an over-the-shoulder, no-look, game-saving catch for the Giants.

But that's only half the story. As soon as he made this miraculous catch, he spun around to throw the ball and even fell over because of his momentum going towards the center field wall. Unbelievably, the throw couldn't have been better, preventing Rosen from advancing to second from first and only allowing Doby to reach third base after retreating back to second so he could tag up. The catch not only swung the game in the Giants' favor, but the Series as well, as the Giants would go on to sweep the Indians for the franchise's fifth title.

What a catch! Truly one of the best you'll ever see. Thanks for reading this post and I hope you enjoyed it. Check back soon for more of "all the buzz on what wuzz."

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Some Should-Be Nicknames for Hall of Famers 3/19/17

Hey baseball fans!

Some Hall of Famers really need some nicknames! That's what makes them, well, them! Here are some Hall of Famers that could use a solid sobriquet:

Kirby Puckett: Holy Moly Roly Poly
Why? Despite his plump appearance, he actually had some incredible speed, which helped him win five Gold Gloves in the outfield and steal as many as 21 bases in a season. He also just had a glowing personality. This nickname parodies Charles Barkley's nickname, "The Round Mound of Rebound."

Pie Traynor: The Sweet One
Why? The best third baseman of his era sure deserves a nickname that signifies that. Even though "Pie" is already a nickname by itself, I feel like this nickname really makes this kinda unknown HoFer stand out a little more. And yes, I did take inspiration from "The Great One," Wayne Gretzky.

Warren Spahn: Rain Man
Why? Spahn is part of the famous saying, "Spahn and Sain and pray for rain." Sain is Johnny Sain, who was a great pitcher along with Spahn on the Braves' pitching staff in the late '40s and '50s. Spahn is known as a "thinking man's pitcher" because he always tried to outwit the batter he was facing. So he was a thinker, much like Dustin Hoffman was in the movie, "Rain Man."

Stan Coveleski: The Soakin' From Shamokin
Why? Coveleski was born in Shamokin, Pennsylvania and had a great pitching career with mainly the Indians back in the 1910s and 1920s. He was known for his spitball, which he was allowed to use despite it being banned in 1920, because he had thrown the special pitch before the ban.

Bobby Cox: The Atlanta Arsonist
Why? Cox, as great a manager as he was with the Braves, was ejected the most times ever in a managerial career in baseball history at 158. He was a pretty fiery guy, after all.

Any more Hall of Famers who deserve some nicknames? Leave your thoughts in the comments 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."

Sunday, March 12, 2017

My Top Five All Time Favorite Same-Team Hitter/Pitcher Duels 3/12/17

Hey baseball fans!

Some of baseball's franchises are just filled to the brim with legends, but which hitter and pitcher who played for the same team, but in different eras, would be a great at-bat to watch? Here are my top five same-team hitter/pitcher duels that would be awesome to see:

Number Five: Nap Lajoie vs. Bob Feller
Why? The face of the Indians franchise in the dawn of the American League against the face of the Indians franchise in the middle of the century. It's the marquee matchup for all Cleveland sports fans because they were both amazing at what they did and their numbers show that.
Who'd Win? Feller. Nap wouldn't be used to Feller's heat.

Number Four: Willie Mays vs. Christy Mathewson
Why? The crazy, do-it-all hitter going up against the calm, soft-spoken icon. This is probably the most interesting of the matchups, because of the conflicting personalities between the two and how both influenced the game so much.
Who'd Win? Mays. He could hit anything, probably even Mathewson's notorious screwball.

Number Three: Harmon Killebrew vs. Walter Johnson
Why? Power versus power. Pure brawn versus pure brawn. When I think of this matchup, I think of a battle of absolute strength.
Who'd Win? I'm going to give it to Johnson. He's just too dominant of a pitcher.

Number Two: Hank Aaron vs. Greg Maddux
Why? Both were the best players at their respective positions during their playing days and played for some star-studded teams. They're high on the ranking of the "Best Player of All Time" debate, so this at-bat would be a doozy.
Who'd Win? Hammerin' Hank. He faced a lot of Hall of Famers during his time and destroyed basically every one of them. I could see him doing somewhat the same thing to Maddux, despite his 350+ career wins.

Number One: Babe Ruth vs. Mariano Rivera
Why? Simple: best hitter in baseball history squaring off against the game's best reliever.
Who'd Win? Don't faint, but I'm going to say Rivera, because of the cutter. Ruth never saw a pitch like that back in his day and Mo is famous for throwing it. Three cutters and Ruth would be back to eating hot dogs in the dugout.

Honorable Mention: Cy Young vs. Manny Ramirez
Why? I think this one would be just kind of wacky.
Who'd Win? Who cares?

Thanks for reading this post and I hope you enjoyed it. Check back soon for more of "all the buzz on what wuzz."

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Five Tips for Fantasy-Drafting the MLB 3/4/17

Hey baseball fans!

Spring Training games have started and I couldn't be more excited! But I'm sure some teams are looking at their rosters and saying that they have no chance at even finishing above .500. Wouldn't it be great if there could be a league-wide fantasy draft to completely scramble the rosters so the teams would be more even? Well, let's imagine that there is for a second. With that in mind, here would be my strategies for fantasy drafting a whole league:

Tip #1: Alternate between picking pitchers and hitters
If you focus on just picking the best pitchers, there will be no great hitters left in the later rounds. Be mindful of which player is worth it to draft during any given round.

Tip #2: Go for the youngsters, but make sure to add a veteran presence
Mike Trout, Nolan Arenado, and Clayton Kershaw are definitely good options, but establishing a championship attitude is crucial for any sporting franchise. So while those guys are great, also pick some players who have been on baseball's biggest stage before, like Albert Pujols or Cole Hamels.

Tip #3: Take advantage of positions that typically go unnoticed
Don't jump at the opportunity to take relievers or middle infielders in the earlier rounds because most good ones will definitely still be there later. Robinson Cano could be your "steal" when, in reality, he should be picked almost immediately.

Tip #4: Pitching wins championships
There are plenty of great hitters, but not many great pitchers. So as much as you want to balance the amount of pitchers and hitters you take, be very watchful of the All Star pitchers that fall off the board because they'll go quicker than you might anticipate.

Tip #5: Team chemistry is key
Of course, all of these players are still human beings. Taking teammates in packages will keep the team's clubhouse and bats light.

This is how I would go about redrafting the MLB. So, how would you? Write down your strategies in the comments 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."