Wednesday, March 28, 2018

BwM's Five Bold Predictions for the 2018 Regular Season 3/28/18

Hey baseball fans!

The 2018 MLB regular season starts tomorrow, so it's only fitting I give you five of my boldest predictions for the upcoming campaign.

Prediction #1: The Mariners break their playoff drought
The Seattle Mariners have the longest postseason drought of any major professional American (or Canadian, for that matter) sports team, but that streak is getting snapped this year. Seattle has been so close the last couple of years, but in 2018, thanks to a revamped lineup that now includes Ryon Healy and Dee Gordon, the Mariners will sneak away with the second AL Wild Card spot.

Prediction #2: The Nationals come close to breaking the single-season wins record
Yes, not the Dodgers or the Cubs, but the Nationals. Let me break it down: the Nationals are the best team in the NL East and it's by a long shot. The Marlins will finish with less than 60 wins this year, the Phillies haven't done anything in years, and the Mets and Braves might crack 75 wins this year. If the Nats win less than 100 games, I'll honestly be shocked, considering they play four subpar teams for almost half of their schedule.

Prediction #3: Nolan Arenado wins NL MVP
I've said it in years past and I'll say it again: Arenado is the most underrated player in baseball. So what if he plays in Coors Field? His home and away statistics were virtually identical in 2017. And his fielding? Immaculate. He's a better version of Mike Schmidt and considering Schmidt is my favorite player of all time, that's saying something. If you want me to go into specifics for Arenado's stats, his baseline, in my humble opinion, for 2018 is a .280 batting average with 35 home runs and 125 RBIs. And that's me being conservative.

Prediction #4: An unlikely candidate wins AL Cy Young
James Paxton? Carlos Carrasco? Marcus Stroman? Honestly, who knows and who cares? Chris Sale and Corey Kluber are taking steps back this year, so the AL Cy Young will be up for grabs for anyone.

Prediction #5: Yankees vs. Brewers in the World Series
The fact that I'm predicting the Yankees to be in the World Series shouldn't be shocking, but the Brewers pick might turn some heads. They added some key bats this past offseason and have a very underrated pitching staff. They'll sneak into the NL playoffs at least with the first Wild Card spot (but I think they're winning the NL Central, to be honest) and could make a Cinderella-type run that puts them in the 2018 Fall Classic.

Am I biased because my 2018 World Series prediction features my two favorite MLB franchises? Maybe a little. But anyway, leave me some of your MLB bold predictions for the upcoming season 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."

Thursday, March 22, 2018

The Greatest Game Ever Pitched 3/22/18

Hey baseball fans!

As most of you know, I celebrated ecstatically when Alan Trammell got into the Hall of Fame this past December, but at the time, I failed to shed light on his former teammate and fellow 2018 Hall of Fame inductee, Jack Morris. Well, that's what I intend to do in this post and I'll be doing that by backing up the following claim: Jack Morris's pitching performance in Game Seven of the 1991 World Series was the greatest pitching performance in baseball history. What a claim, am I right? Well, hear me out.

Reason #1: The Magnitude
Morris and the Minnesota Twins made their second Fall Classic in five years in '91, where they met the Atlanta Braves. Atlanta and Minnesota fought hard throughout the whole Series, setting up a Game Seven that would feature the mustachio-ed All Star on the mound for the Twins.

Reason #2: The Matchup
Morris didn't go up against some scrub, however. On the mound for Atlanta was none other than Hall of Famer John Smoltz. Any fan in the Metrodome that night had to have anticipated an unbelievable pitching duel.

Reason #3: The Duel
Morris and Smoltz went toe-to-toe through eight innings of ball, when the score remained tied at zero. Morris had allowed just seven hits and two walks to this point. Smoltz had put up similarly exemplary numbers, but exited after the eighth. Morris, however, was not ready to leave the mound.

Reason #4: What Happened After Smoltz Left
Morris sat down the next six Braves batters, setting up the walk-off, World Series-winning single by Twins pinch hitter Gene Larkin in the bottom of the tenth.

Separately, all of these reasons might sound pedestrian at best, but now let me put them together: Jack Morris pitched a ten-inning shutout in Game Seven of the World Series against a fellow Hall of Famer. Don Larsen's perfect game in Game Five of the 1956 World Series was literally immaculate and Madison Bumgarner did a great job fending off the Royals in his five innings of shutout relief in Game Seven of the 2014 World Series, but Morris stands alone and no one will convince me otherwise. 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 18, 2018

Guess That Hall of Famer!!! 3/18/18

Hey baseball fans!

Who's ready to play "Guess That Hall of Famer!!!"? Here's how the game works: I'm going to show you screenshots of the career statistics of five MLB Hall of Famers. The screenshots will increase in difficulty from the first to the last. You're job is to guess that Hall of Famer, as the name of the game suggests. I played this game recently for the first time and it was extremely fun!

Some quick notes:
  • Bolded numbers means league-leading
  • Highlighted career numbers means all-time leader
  • A star next to a year means he was an All Star
  • "GG"= Gold Glove; "SS"=Silver Slugger
  • There is an answer key at the bottom
  • These pictures might be hard to see. If so, get a friend to look up the Baseball Reference pages for the players listed in the answer key in the order that they're listed, but make sure you can't see the players' names on their pages. 
Let the game begin!

How'd you do? Tell me your results 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."

Answer key (first to last): Babe Ruth, Pedro Martinez, Frank Robinson, Goose Gossage, Rogers Hornsby

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Oldies, But Goodies 3/13/18

Hey baseball fans!

A lot of baseball players tail off in terms of their yearly statistics after their early 30s, but that's not always the case, especially with these special players.

Willie Mays, Johnny Mize, and Barry Bonds
"The Say Hey Kid" and fellow Hall of Famer Mize are two of the oldest players to ever hit 50+ homers in a season. Mays hit 52 homers in 1965 at the young age of 34, while at the same age, Mize smacked out 51 bombs of his own in 1947. However, it is Bonds (pictured below) who is distinguished, having set the record for the most home runs hit in a single season with a whopping 73 in 2001 at 36 years young.

Tony Gwynn
Gwynn won four consecutive batting titles from 1994-1997... from the ages of 34 to 37! His 1994 performance is probably the most impressive of the bunch, when even though the season was shortened due to a players' strike, the Hall of Fame member of the San Diego Padres batted .394, the highest single-season batting average since Ted Williams's .406 batting average in 1941.

Pete Rose
Although mostly remembered for his time on the Cincinnati Reds, Rose actually had a lot of success with the Phillies as well. "Charlie Hustle" made four straight All Star Games for the Fightin' Phils from 1979-1982, even though he was 38 years old or older in all four years. And in those four years, he batted a solid .300 while also helping out during the Phillies World Series championship run in 1980.

David Ortiz
The greatest clutch player in Red Sox history had one of the greatest farewell seasons of all time in 2016. That year, at the age of 40, he set records for single-season homers and RBIs for a 40-year-old (38 and 127, respectively). Oh, and he also batted .315 that year while leading the league in slugging (.620, also a single-season record for a 40-year-old).

Jamie Moyer, Satchel Paige, and Nolan Ryan
No list of great geezers is complete without talking about these three pitchers. Moyer retired when he was 49 years old after playing for 25 seasons in the Majors, making his first career All Star Game at 40 years old in 2003. Paige played most of his career in the Negro Leagues, and didn't make his Major League debut until he was 41, but he actually made two All Star Games at ages 45 and 46 in 1952 and 1953 and didn't pitch in his final Major League game until he was 58. Ryan's (pictured below) career ERA at age 40 and after (he pitched until he was 46) was a respectable 3.33, while leading the league in strikeouts in four consecutive seasons and collecting career no-hitters #6 and #7.

What performances, am I right? If only more players could age as gracefully as these guys did. Thanks for reading this post and I hope you enjoyed it. Check back soon for more of "all the buzz on what wuzz."

BONUS: Babe Ruth averaged 42 homers a season in his 30s. Holy cow.