Tuesday, October 6, 2015

My playoff pics

I have not been paying a lot of attention to baseball this year besides the Cubs and the Sox.  Even so here are my 2015 playoff predictions

AL Wildcard Astros over Yankees

ALDS Bluejays over Rangers
Astros over Royals

ALCS Astros over Bluejays

NL Wildcard Cubs over Pirates

NlLDS Cubs over Cardinals
Dodgers over Mets

NLCS Cubs over Dodgers

World Series

Cubs over Astros

I know it's a stretch.  But I like the idea of the Cubs and Sox beating the same team to win the World Series ten years apart

Monday, October 5, 2015

If the NFC playoffs were today 10/5/15

Now that 4 weeks are in the books in the AFC (the Monday nigh game is 2 NFC rivals) I can tell you what would happen in the AFC if the playoffs began today.

Division Champions

NFC East Dallas Cowboys (winner of 3 team tiebreaker) (2-2)

Week 4 result Lost to New Orleans (1-3) 26-20
Week  5 opponent New England 3-0

NFC North Green Bay Packers (4-0)

Week 4 Result: Beat San Francisco (1-3) 17-3
Week  5 opponent St. Louis* (2-2)

NFC South Carolina Panthers (winner of 2 team tiebreaker)(4-0)
Week 4 result Beat Tampa Bay)37-23
Week  5 Bye

NFC West Arizona Cardinals (3-1)

Week 4 result Lost to St. Louis (2-2) 24-22
Week  5 opponent @Detroit (0-4)

Wild Card

Atlanta Falcons (4-0)

Week 4 result Beat Houston(1-3) 48-21
Week % opponent Washington 2-2

St. Louis Rams 2-2 (winner of 5 team tiebreaker)

Week 4 result Beat Arizona (3-1) 24-22
Week  5 opponent @Green Bay (4-0)

FAST FACT Each current nfc playoff bound team takes on an opponent with either 0 , 2 or 4 losses.   


NFL : If the playoffs were today 10/5/15 AFC

Now that 4 weeks are in the books in the AFC (the Monday nigh game is 2 NFC rivals) I can tell you what would happen in the AFC if the playoffs began today.

Division Champions

AFC East New England Patriots (3-0)

Week 4 result BYE
Week  5 opponent @Dallas (2-2)

AFC North Cincinatti Bengals (4-0)

Week 4 Result: Beat Kansas City (1-3) 36-21
Week  5 opponent Seattle* (1-2)

AFC South Indianapolis Colts (2-2)

Week 4 result Beat Jacksonville (1-3) 16-13
Week  5 opponent @Houston (1-3)

AFC West Denver Broncos (4-0)

Week 4 result Beat Minnesota (2-2) 23-20
Week  5 opponent @Oakaland (2-2)

Wild Card

New York Jets (3-1)

Week 4 result Beat Miami(1-3) 27-14
Week  5 BYE

Buffalo Bills 2-2 (winner of 4 team tiebreaker)

Week 4 result Lost to New York Giants (2-2) 24-10
Week  5 opponent @Tennessee (1-2)

FAST FACT 80% of current afc playoff bound teams play on the road in week 5. Although all of their opponents are .500 are under.  

*Seattle plays Detroit tonight so record will change before Bengals matchup

Monday, July 20, 2015

Some Dreams ~ Steve Earle

I like music and movies with some of the same intensity that I like sports.  I just finished watching the Rookie for the umpteenth time.  This song appears at the end of the movie.  I like this video as it tells the story of the movie in a way that is enjoyable whether you have seen the film or not.


Sunday, May 31, 2015

Sports Catechism: NHL: 2 teams are 4 wins away from 2015 Stanley Cup

Q: What is a catechism

A: A summary of the principles of Christian religion in the form of questions and answers, used for the instruction of Christians. It is also a series of fixed questions, answers, or precepts used for instruction in other situations.

Q.  Why a sport's catechism?
A: Because sports loyalty is sometimes described or lived out in spiritual terms.  
Examole.  The Cubs faithful were delighted with the late inning heroics in today's game.  

Q: What is the Stanley Cup?

A: It is the Championip Trophy of the National Hockey Leagu (NHL)

Q:  How many NHL teams are there? 
A: 30.  The 30 teams are divided into 2 conferences (Western and Eastern)  and divided further into divsions

Q: What is required to win the Stanley Cup

A: 16 playoff wins

Q:  How many teams go to the playoffs?


Q: What is the playoff format?

A: The top 3 teams in each division qualify for the Playoffs.  The next best 2 teams in each conference qualify as wild cards.  So each division can have as many as 5 and as few as 3 teams participating in the post season.  The 16 teams are seeded as the top 3 teams from each divison 1-3  respectively and the wild card teams seeded 4th.  The division champion in each conference with the better record plays the wild card team with the worse record in the 1-4 match ups.

Q: Which teams qualified for the playoffs this year.

A: In the Atlantic division of the Eastern Conference the,Montreal CaLightinnadiens were seeded 1st, Tampa Bay Lightning 2nd, Detroit Red WIngs 3rd and the Ottawa Senators were the first Eastern Wild card: In the Eastern Conference's Metropolitan Divison 1st was New York Rangers, 2nd Washington Capitals, 3rd New York Islanders and Pittsburg Penguins as the 2nd Eastern Wild Card.  Montreal drew Ottawa , Leaving New York for the Penguins, and the 2nd and third teams in each division faced each other.  In the Western Conference's Central division 5 teams made the playoffs the top 3 finishers were (in order) St. Louis (Blues), Nashville (Predators) and Chicago (Black Hawks) .  3The Western Conference wildcard teams from the Central were in order Minnesota (Willd) and Winnipeg (Jets) The Pacific divison top 3 finishers were the Ducks (Anaheim) Canucks (Vancouver) and Flames (Calgary).  The Blues drew the Wild leaving the Jets for the Ducks.

Q: The first team to win 16 games wins the Stanley  Cup how does that work.

A: A series of 4 rounds of playoff games matchups where the first teams to win 4 games go on to the next round.

Q: How many teams are left now:

A: Two

Q: How did the first round play out

In the East

Canadiens 4 Senators   2
Lightning    4 Redwings 3
Rangers     4 Penguins  1
Capitals     4  Islanders  3

In the West

Wild             4 Blues        2
Blackhawks 4 Predators 2 
Ducks          4 Jets          0  
Flames        4 Canucks   2

This left 8 teams remaining each looking for 12 more wins

Q: What happened in the next 2 rounds"

In Round 2 The Lighting beat the Canadiens in 6 games, Where the Rangers need 7 to advance past the Capitals.  The Ducks doused the Flames Stanley Cup chances in 5 games.  The Blackhawks swept the Wild in 4.  
4 teams remained with 8 more wins needed for the Cup.  

The Conefernce Finals took 7 games to settle with the road teams (Lightning and Blackhawks) each beating the home squads (Rangers and Ducks).

Q: Which team has the home ice in the FInals?
A; Tampa Bay

Q: What is the Playoff record for each of the remaining teams in the last 10 seasons excluding this one
A: Lightning 5 apperance in 10 years 2 straight playoff appearance (including this year)

1 Stanley Cup Championship 03-04
3 Conference Quarter Final losses ( 05-06,06-07,13-14)
1 Conference Final loss 10-11
Total playoff wins in last 10 season 30 plus 12 this year for total of 42

Blackhawks 6 appearance in 10 years, 7 straight playoff appearances (including this year)
2 Stanley Cup Championships (9-10 and12-13)
2 Conference Final losses (08-09 and 13-14)
2 Conference Quarter Final Losses (10-11 and 11-12)
Total playoff wins in last 10 season 57 plus 12 this year for total of 69

Friday, April 24, 2015

U is forUribe

White Sox Homerun hitters from A.J. to Zeke

U is for Uribe 

Juan Uribe

When I think of Juan Uribe, I think of the 2nd out of  the ninth inning of game4 of the 200 World Series

I will show it to you.

Juan Uribe is still playing major league baseball almosts  10 year dcerneafter that epic play.  To date he as 178 homers.  87 of them came was a member of the Sox.  Hie best 2 seasons were 2004 and 2006 as far as the long ball was concerned.  He hit 23 in 2004 and 21 in 2006.  He averaged 18 homeruns over an 162 game season or 1 dinger every 8 ganes.

For more A to Z blogging click here.   

Thursday, April 23, 2015

T is for Thome

White Sox Homerun hitters from A.J. to Zeke

T is for Thome

Jim Thome

Let me we be really clear Jim Thome did not ruin the White Sox.  Sure they won the World Series right before he got there and haven't sniffed it since.  But that is not Thome's fault form 2006 to 2009 Thome hit 134 of his 612 major league homers for the Sox.  The 7th most of all time the 134 is good enough for 13th on the Sox all time list.  In his 22 yr career Jim averaged 39 homers for every 162 games played.  Thome hit 42 for sox in 2006 and followed up with 35 in 2007.  Thome's time with the Sox may not have warranted the ring he so dearly wanted, but make no mistake, Thome is no Sox killer.

For more A to Z blogging click here.   

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

S is for Sherm

White Sox Homerun hitters from A.J. to Zeke

S is for Sherm

John Sherman "Sherm" Lollar

Sherm Lollar played for the White Sox from 1952 to 1963 .  He hit 124 of his 155 MLB homers for the ChiSox.  He would average 14 homers a 162 game season. In 1960, he and Minnie Minoso swapped places several times as the career home run leader for the team.   Lollar died of cancer at the age of 53 in 1977.  At the time of his death he was 3rd all-time in homers for the Sox he is now 15th, 1 behind Joe Crede and 7 ahead of AJ Pierzynski.    His best 2 seasons for the Sox homer wise were  22 in 1959 their World Series year and 20 in 1958.  

Little known fact (I just made up.)  The term LOL derives from the first 3 letters of Sherm's last name.  

For more A to Z blogging click here.   

Monday, April 20, 2015

R is for Ray

White Sox Homerun hitters from A.J. to Zeke

R is for Ray

Ray "RAY RAY" Durham

Ray Durham played for the White Sox from 1995 to 2002.  He hit 106 of his 192 MLB homers in a White Sox Uniform.  In a 162 game season he would average 16 long balls a season.  His best 2 seasons for the Sox homer wise were 2001 with 20 and 1998 with 19. 

For more A to Z blogging click here.   

Q is for Quentin

White Sox Homerun hitters from A.J. to Zeke

Q is for Quentin

Carlos Quentin

Not only does Carlos Quentin  hold the White Sox record for most homers with a last name beginning with Q (107) he also holds the MLB Q HR record with 154.  Quentin who was released last week by the Atlanta Braves and is  now a free agent, has averaged so far 30 HR for every 162 games played.  He played 4 seasons on the south side from 2008 to 2001 His best 2 seasons with the Sox were in 2008 when he hit 36 and 2010 when he added 24. 
For more A to Z blogging click here.   

Saturday, April 18, 2015

P is for Paulie

White Sox Homerun hitters from A.J. to Zeke

P is for Paulie

Paul "Paulie Longball" Konerko

I'll admit that nobody calls Konerko Paulie Longball except me.  I named him it and was never able to make it catch on.  What did catch on was Konerko's baseball prowess and love for the game.   Konerko was the heart and soul of the 2005 team and instead of following the money he opted in 2005 and again in 2010 to stay with the Sox.

When Konerko retired in 2014, his 432 homeruns was 2nd only to Frank Thomas on the Sox all time list.  His 439 total major league homers is good enough for 42nd all time.   He averaged  30 homers over a  162 game season or 1 home run  in every 5.4  games.  

Pauls best 2 HR totals came in 2004 with 41 and 2005 with 40.

For more A to Z blogging click here.   

Friday, April 17, 2015

O is for Ordonez

White Sox Homerun hitters from A.J. to Zeke

O is for Ordonez

Magglio "Mags" Ordonez

I talked earlier about White Sox players who left after the 2004 season and missed the World Championship.  Magglio Ordonez was one of those guys.  Ordonez played for the Sox from 1997 to 2004 and then played with the Detroit Tigers from 2005 to 2011.  While his batting average went up 5 points while with the tiger, his slugging percentage went down 50. He made it the World Series with the Tigers in 2006 but on the losing end and batted a miserable .105 with no extra base hits.

With the Sox, Mags hit 187 of his 294 career home runs.  187 puts him 5th all-time for the Sox.  Ordonez averaged 26 homers for every 162 games played in the major leagues.  His best HR seasons for the Chisox were 2002 when he 38, and 200 when he hit 32.

For more A to Z blogging click here.  

Thursday, April 16, 2015

N is for Nordhhagen and Nicholson

White Sox Homerun hitters from A.J. to Zeke

N is for Nordhagen and Nicholson

Wayne Nordhagen and Dave Nicholson aren't exactly household words even around White Sox faithful.  They started the season tied for 69th all time on the White Sox HR list with 37 home runs.  Their combined 74 long balls Alex Rios   would  tie them for 36th with Alex Rios. 2 current players Jose Abreu and Tyler Flowers have already surpassed Nicholson and Nordhagen this season putting them down to 71st all-time

Nicholson played in the major leagues in  1960 and from 1962 to 1967, 1963 through 1965 for the  White Sox.   He added 14 MLB homers outside of a White Sox uniform for a total of 51. He averaged 18homers over a  162 game season or 1 home run every 9 games.  He hit 22 in 63 and 13 in 64.

Nordhagen (,282 life timeBA)was a much better hitter than Nicholson (.212. lifetime BA).  Nordhagen played for the White Sox from 1977 to 1981 hitting all but 2 of his MLB homers with the Sox.  Nordhagen would average 13 homers for every 162 games played in his career.  Nordhagen hit 15 homers for the Sox in 1980, 8 more than he hit for them the year before,

For more A to Z blogging click here.   

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

M is for Minnie Minoso

White Sox Homerun hitters from A.J. to Zeke

M is for Minnie

Orestes "Minnie" Minoso

Minnie Minoso was the all-time home run leader for the Chicago White Sox when on September 3, 1956 he belted his 80th for theWhite Sox eclipsing the Zeke Bonura's mark of 79 which he had tied the day prior, th. By the end of 1957, Minoso had 100 White Sox round trippers.

Minnie spent 1958 and 1959 with the Cleveland Indians and during that time Sherm Lollar took over the White Sox home run lead.  When Minoso returned to the South-side in 1960, He wrested the lead from Lollar and finished his career with 135 White Sox homers.  He kept the title until August 4, 1974 when Bill Melton hit # 136.

Minoso hit 135 dingers with the pale hose and 51 for other teams for a total of 186 major league 4 baggers.  In the course of his career, he averaged 16 homers over 162 game season,

Minnie, who passed away March 1st of this year hit 21 homers for the Sox in 1956 and 20 in 1960, his best 2 yeers HRwise for the club.

 For more A to Z blogging click here.  To read more about Minnie at my other blog click here.  

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

L is for Lee

White Sox Homerun hitters from A.J. to Zeke

L is for Lee

Carlos "El Caballo" Lee 

If asked who hit the most home runs for the Sox between 2000 and 2004.  I would probably say Frank Thomas.  Boy, would I be wrong.  Thomas hit 135 long balls during that time period which is enough for 5th.  Magglio Ordonez and Paul Konerko who we will meet later this week both hit 139 homers and Jose Valentin as well as the above referenced Carlos Lee both hit136.  No other team had more than 2 players with 135 or more homers over that time span many didn't have one.  .

Carlos Lee played for the White Sox  from 1999 to 2004 hit 152 homers during that time putting him 9th on the White Sox career HR list.   I n addition to his 6 years with the Sox, Lee played 6 seasons with the Astros, parts of 2 with the Brewers and parts of 1 season with Texas and Miami.El Caballo (Spanish for the horse) hit 358 homers in his MLB career. Lee averaged 28 hr for every 162 games played.  His best 2 home run seasons with the White Sox came in 2003 and 2004 when he hit 31 in both campaigns.

 For more A to Z blogging click here.

Monday, April 13, 2015

K is for Kittle

White Sox Homerun hitters from A.J. to Zeke

K is for Kittle

Ron "Kitty" Kittle 

Jose Abreu hit 36 home runs hits last season becoming, The White Sox rookie season home run leader and also won the  American League Rookie of the Year. award.    Kittle, the former rookie home run title holder was also the last White Sox rookie to win Rookie of the year.

At a time  when Larry Bird,  John Mellencamp and David Letterman  were the most famous folks around from Indiana, No Hoosier was more popular than Kittle.  At least, not on the south side of Chicago.  Kittle averaged 34 homers per a  162 game season.   Kittles season rookie mark of 35 homeruns in 1983 (eclipsed by Abreu last year) was his most ever for the pale hose.He followed that up with 32 in'84.

Kittle started and finished his major league career with the White Sox and is still a fan favorite.  I ran into him (almost literally) at Sox Fest in 2006 and he signed the cap off my head.  

 For more A to Z blogging click here.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

J is for Jose

White Sox Homerun hitters from A.J. to Zeke

J is for Jose

Jose Valentin

When you think about the 2005 White Sox, you often think about players who started playing for the White Sox in 2005.  Players like Iguchi, Podsednik and Hermanson.  You don't often think about the players from the White Sox whose last season was 2004.  This is mainly because we won it all in 2005.  If we had not, perhaps the ChiSox faithful would have dwelled more on  who we let go than who we picked up.  Consider Dye and Pierzynski for a moment who both came to the White Sox from the Bay Area in 2005.  In the 13 seasons combined that they play for the Sox they hit 282 total home runs between them.  That is 22 homers per season and 26 homeruns over 162 game season.

Now look at Jose Valentin, who we are talking about today and Carlos Lee who we will feature next Tuesday.  They played 11 combined seasons for the Sox both ending their time in 2004 and hit  288homers.  That's 6 more homers than Dye and Pierzynski in 2 less seasons.  26 HR by season and 30 HR over 162 games.

Valentin came to the White Sox  from the Brewers in 2000 and in his first month with the team hit for the cycle (A single, a double, a triple and a homer in the same game).  H hit 136 of his 249 career homers over  his 5 years with the  Sox.  Over that career he averaged 24 homers per
  162 game season.   Valentin hit 30 HR in 2004 and 28 in 2001 and again in 2003.

  If Jose Abreu stayson his torrid HR pace from last year sometime leat in the 2017 season he will be the Jose with the most white sox homers.  Until then our hearts belong to Valentin.

 For more A to Z blogging click here.

Friday, April 10, 2015

I is for Ivan

White Sox Homerun hitters from A.J. to Zeke

I is For Ivan

Ivan Calderon

Ivan Calderon played for the White Sox from 1982 to 1990. Calderon also played for the Mariners, Expos, and Red Sox.  

Calderon hit 70 of his 104 Major league homeruns as a member of the White Sox .  This makes him 39th all time for the Sox.  Ivan averaged  18 home runs over 162 game season.  Ivan's annual home run production for the white sox was always in increments of 7.  He hit 28 homers in 87 and 14 each in 88, 89 and 90.  

  For more A to Z blogging click here.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

H is for Harold

White Sox Homerun hitters from A.J. to Zeke

H is for Harold

Harold Baines

Harold Baines is one of the best baseball players I have ever seen.  He is certainly the most deserving to be in the Hall of Fame, who is not there already.

Baines played from 1980 to 2001, beginning and ending his career with the Sox.  Baines is 3rd all time on the White Sox home run list with  221. Baines was the all time Sox home run leader from 1987 to 1990.   His major league total is 384.   Harold averaged 22 home runs over 162 game season.   Bainesy hit 29 homers for the White Sox in '84 and 25 in '82.  These are his 2 best home run totals fo the pale hose.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

G is for Greg

White Sox Homerun hitters from A.J. to Zeke

G is for Greg

Greg "Walk" Walker

Greg Walker played for the White Sox from 1982 to 1990.  His first full season was on the 1983"winning ugly" team that won the AL west that year.  Walker was the hitting coach for the Chi Sox in 2005 when they won the world series

Walker hit all of his 113 career  home runs as a White Sox player.  His 113 is good enough for 17th on the all-time list.  Greg averaged 21 home runs over 162 game season  In 1987 Walker hit 27 home runs this eclipsed his previous best mark of 24 which he achieved back to back in 1984 and 1985.

Walker played first for the Sox and was replaced as an everyday player by Frank Thomas, who was in turn replaced by Paul Konerko, who in turn was replaced by Jose Abreu.  Making the 1B position a stable home run source for the Sox going on 30 years.   For more A to Z blogging click here.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

F is For Frank

White Sox Homerun hitters from A.J. to Zeke

F is for Frank

 Frank "The Big Hurt" Thomas

I am listening to Frank Thomas give his 2014 HOF induction speech while I type this.  It is available at A to Z blogging toady by clicking Home School Dad.  I went to Cooperstown last year to see Frank inducted and this speech was the highlight of my time there.    I love it when he lists  so many of his former coaches and his teammates.  He gave his speech with the same exuberance that came with every swing of his bat.  

Thomas hit 448 of his 521 runs when with the  White Sox  from 1990 to 2005.  Thomas is the White Sox all-time HR leader for  the White Sox and hit for a .307 average for the pale hose.  The Big Hurt averaged 36 home runs for every 162 major league games he played.  Frank hit 40 or more homers for the White Sox for 5 different seasons.  His 2 highest totals were 43 in 2000, and 42 in 2003.

Now that Paul Konerko has retired, no current ChiSox player is anywhere near Thomas's prodigious HR numbers.  Record or not Thomas will be long remembered on the South Side of Chicago.  For more A to Z blogging click here.

Monday, April 6, 2015

E is for Eddie

White Sox Homerun hitters from A.J. to Zeke

E is for Eddie

William Edward "Eddie" Robinson

I will be the first to tell you, I don't know a lot about Eddie Robinson.  He played 1B for the White Sox from 1950 to 1952.  He Had a cup of coffee with the Indians in 1942 playing in 8 games and 8 getting at bats.  He came back to Indians in 1946 and played in the Majors through 1957.

As of this writing, Robinson is still alive. He is the 21st oldest living major leaguer.  He is  currently 94 years old and his 1315 games is the most played of any of the 25 oldest former players.

Robinson hit 71 of his 172 MLB home runs for the White Sox.  That is the most for any team he played on.  The 71 dingers is enough for 38th on the all time list for the Sox.  Robinson averaged 24 home runs for every 162 major league games he played.   His last 2 seasons on the South Side were his most productive home run years hitting 29 in '51 and 22 in '52.

  For more A to Z blogging click here.  For more Six Word Saturday click here.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

D is For Dye

White Sox Homerun hitters from A.J. to Zeke

The A to Z Challenge is up to letter 

D is for Dye

It's also Six Word Saturday, My Six:
Jermaine "Win or Dye Trying" Dye

In the off-season between 2004 and 2005 Kenny Williams then GM of the team added different players to get the team to the next level.  Jermaine Dye who had been to the 1996 World Series with the Atlanta Braves as a rookie was a player  that Williams had added to the 2005 Sox.   The Sox Marketing campaign that year was win or die trying. 

Dye was a big reason the Sox won in 2005 and was the MVP of the World Series.  Dye  played 4 more years with the Sox and finished with 164 Home Runs for them.  He hit more home runs in 5 seasons with the Sox than he did in His 9 previous seasons elsewhere.  Dye is 7th on the all-time White Sox homer list.

Dye averaged 30 home runs for every 162 major league games he played.   His best 2 Home run totals for the Sox came in 2006  when he went yard  44 times and in 2008 with 34 round trippers.  If you dye Easter eggs tonight think of good old # 23 Jermaine Dye as you do so.  For more A to Z blogging click here.  For more Six Word Saturday click here.

Friday, April 3, 2015

C is For Carlton

White Sox Homerun hitters from A.J. to Zeke

C is for Carlton

Carlton "Pudge" Fisk

Today at my other blog, Home School Dad, I wrote about Old Comiskey Park, the home of the Chicago Whites Sox from 1910 to 1990. Carlton Fisk called Old Comiskey home from 1981 until the historic ballpark bit the dust and by the time it did, Pudge had become the White Sox all-time home run leader.

All told, Fisk hit 214 home runs for the White Sox from 1981 to his ignominious dismissal in the middle of  the 1993 campaign.  Note: I spent the year of 1993 abroad and it has been well documented (in my mind) that the White Sox would have never pulled shenanigan level antics like that, had I remained stateside.  Fisk hit more than 55 % of his 376  Major league home runs with the White Sox.  The rest came from the team where he hit this famous postseason home run.  If you haven't seen it before you've never watched Good Will Hunting.

Fisk is now 4th  most on the list of White Sox Home Runs. Fisks best 2 years for the White Sox, Homerun wise, were in 1985 when he hit 37, and in 1983 Fisks 26 homers helped win ugly.  Wearing both colors of SOX, Fisk averaged 24 home runs for every 162 games he  played.  Carlton Fisk was inducted into Baseball's Hall of Fame in 2000.

For more A to Z blogging click here.  

Thursday, April 2, 2015

B is for Bill

White Sox Homerun hitters from A.J. to Zeke

B is for Bill

"Beltin'" Bill Melton

For many years of my life my dream job has been being the starting third baseman for the Chicago White Sox.  Bill Melton, played that position so marvelously for the White Sox when I was a kid, that I wanted to follow in his footsteps.  

Melton hit 154 home runs for the White Sox from 1968 to 1975.  That is 96.25% of his 160 career home runs.  The 154 dingers  puts him 8th overall on the WhiteSox HR leaderboard. Melton was first on that list until 1987, when surpassed by Harold Baines.      Through his career, Melton has averaged 23 home runs for every 162 games played.   Melton's 2 best home run years were in 1970 and 1971 where he hit 33 each year.  This was about the same time that his performance was making Third Base for the White Sox my dream job.

For more A to Z blogging click here.  

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

A is for AJ

White Sox Homerun hitters from A.J. to Zeke

A is for A.J.

AJ "The Ajitator" Pierzynski being punched by Cubs backstop Micheal Barret in 2006

A.J Pierzysnki is an easy guy to hate.  Unless of course he plays for your team as he did from 2005 to 2012 for the White Sox.  All his attributes that I hated when he played for the Twins (his ability to get the best out of his pitchers and his ability to make the most of every opportunity ,offensively and defensively,  to give his team a chance to win) I fell in love with when he played for the White Sox .  These attributes are most remembered to the outside world when he got safely to fist base in a 2005 ALCS against the Angels by  running on a third strike that had not been called the third out of the inning.  The pinch runner for Pierzynski later scored the winning run of the game.

A.J. hit 118 of his so far 177 MLB home runs with the White Sox.  This puts him 16th on the ChiSox all time home run list.  Through his career so far, Pierzynski has averaged 15 home runs for every 162 games played.   His first and last years with the CHI SOX were his most prolific home run totals, hitting 18 in 2005 and 27 in 2012.  Pierzynski ended last season with the St. Louis Cardinals and is signed with the Atlanta Braves through the end of 2015.  

For more A to Z blogging click here.  

Sunday, March 29, 2015

White Sox Home Run Hitters from A.J. to Zeke

This year I am participating in the a to z challenge ...

The ideas of the challenge is to write 26 times overt he course of the month and have each post start with a different letter of the alphabet proceeding in alphabetical order. Resting Sundays allows each participant to hit each letter in the month of April. I participated in this at Home School Dad years ago. When I did I thought of this theme for blogging here. With each letter, I will write about a home run leader for the White Sox whose first name or last name starts with that letter. The sox as far as I know have never had a player whose first or last name started with X so on that day I will find some way, to blog about my first White Sox Home Run hero Dick Allen perhaps talking about his x-factor. So on Wednesday we will feature A.J. Pierzynski and finish on 4-31 with Zeke Bonura. Home Run totals are through the last game of 2014. Click here to find out more about the A to Z challenge.

Friday, March 27, 2015

WSCR: Sometime's not listening is best way to speak up

I am a big time fan of sports radio.  I have been listening to WSCR  (The Score) since they went on the air back in 1992. besides the years I lived in Russia from December of 1992 to December of 1994 and South Carolina from 1995 to 1997   I have been a regular listener to sports radio in Chicago,  primarily WSCR as they did the WKRP theme thing and moved up and down the dial until finally landing on 670 where WMAQ had promised to make me rich when I was a kid.

As a Christian,  I try to watch what words I listen to and what things I say.  To that end, I could never get behind show titles like S&M in the morning (The  initials referring to show hosts Tom Shaer and Jim Memelo) nor could I participate in the signature segment on the show based on an Old Mike Ditka rant.  The segment has nothing to do with the c-list swear word for producing feces but has everything to do with tagging someone out when you find them off base.  Still,  I could never bring myself to call up and say a word on the radio that I wouldn't say in public.

My point in all this is to say that there were some goings on at WSCR that I didn't want to listen to and when they came on like the commercials for strip clubs, I just turned them off, sometimes for days and weeks at a time.  I did this because sometimes not listening is the beset way to speak up.

Over the years some of the hosts I really liked and some I did not much care for.  I liked all the Dan's (McNeil, Jiggets and later Bernstein) I was 50/50 on the Mikes, Loved Murphy, didn't care much for North.

I didn't care much for North's shtick.  The whole who needs High school, self made man thing never' really resonated me.  But it wasn't until September 12, 2001 that he really got under my skin.  As you may recall, September 11th 2001, was kind of a big deal,  and even the day after,  sports radio was not talking about sports.  When I got into my car after work that day, Secretary of State Colin Powell was making a speech about U.S. response to the tragedy.  Half way through the speech, North turns off the feed and starts discounting what Powell was saying and giving his own "insight" to what had to be done.  Now this was nearly 14 years ago, so I don't remember the particulars, but that was the last time I listened to Mike North.  I just had it with him.  Had it with how on one hand, he could brag about being a high school drop out and then on the other,  have enough hubris in the wake of a national tragedy, to  purport that he knew more about global politics than a decorated general and current secretary of state.

At the time, North was the face of the score, he was on 1/2 the commercials,  even when not in his time slot.  Anytime since 9-12-01 that his voice came on the score, I switched the channel. Now was I being petty or vindictive?  I don't think so.  This is the first time in nearly 14 years I am going public with it.  I only do so to illustrate a need to turn a score personality off again.

I mentioned earlier that I liked Dan Bernstein.  He is the host of the afternoon show at WSCR.  He and his partner Terry Boers also run the segment, I referred to earlier.  I remember when Bernstein was first starting at the score  covering things like the NBA draft.  Over the last 15 years Bernstein, has become as Lawrence Holmes said recently, the face of the score.  I have found Bernstein to be very insightful and analytical over his run at WSCR.  I have also found him at times boorish, sophomoric and ill tempered.  There are days that he shows a real disdain for the opinions and thoughts for the callers on his show.  Still in all, he hadn't done anything to make me pull the plug on him.  That is until this week.

In  1992  and even in 2001 Social media was essentially non existent.  So disdain for an on air personality came usually from what they said or from a column they would put in a newspaper or website.  Twitter , Facebook and the like have changed that in a big way.

Bernstein tweeted this week in a very unprofessional manner about a female journalist.  After publicly and correctly standing up for women this week who have been abused by men, Bernstein objectified women by using a crass word, to describe part if the female journalists anatomy.  So it's channel switching time for me again at WSCR.  Stopping listening to North was a personality thing.  I couldn't stand his personality.  For Bernstein it's simply a matter of not wanting to listen to someone who defends women and objectifies them within the course of a week. 

I will still listen to the White Sox and to Lawrence Holmes. as he is a class act and in my opinion should be the face of WSCR. But when Bernstein comes on the air to sell wine, or promote the tournament of bad, or just to do his show, I will have switched channels, because sometime not listening is the best way to speak up.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

2015 HOF Postview

Earlier this month,  I posted about the 2015 Baseball Hall of Fame ballot.  I try to follow the same format  each year, although some years I string the format along over several posts.  The format goes like this,  I list those who remain on the ballot from previous years along with how long they have been on the ballot. This year I also mentioned the rule change that changed the amount of years for players on the ballot after 2005 from 15 to 10.  Those  still on the ballot  from 2001 to 2015 get  grandfathered in for 15 years. I then introduce the players on the ballot for the first time.  After that,  I list in reverse order who I would elect to the Hall of Fame if given  exactly 10 votes to do so.  I also reveal how many players would be on my official ballot (This year it was 8).  To end up the post, I always predict (without having looked at any leaked ballots) who I think the writers will select that year.  Here is what I said this year: 

Here is what I think Will happen

4 of the following 5 players  will be inducted this summer:

Randy Johnson
Craig Biggio
John Smoltz
Jeff Bagwell
Pedro Martinez

Pedro and Johnson being mortal locks,  and either Smoltzy or Bagwell being the odd man out.  My money says Bagwell won't make it, this time.
Well the announcement was made on January 6th and I was 100 percent right.
Here is a quick review of the election results:

Randy Johnson received 97.3% of the vote in his first year on the ballot.

Pedro Martinez received 91.1% of the vote in his first year on the ballot.

John Smoltz received  82.9% of the vote in his first year on the ballot. 

Craig Biggio received 82.7% of the vote in his third year on the ballot.  
Biggio missed induction in 2014 by 2 votes 

Players with 3 or fewer elections remaining are listed in red
* indicates this years percentage of vote highest received while on ballot.
Mike Piazza 3rd year on ballot received 69.9 % of vote*
Jeff Bagwell 5th year on ballot, received 55.7% of vote*
Tim Raines 8th  year on ballot, received 55% of vote*
Curt Schilling 3rd year on ballot,  received 39.2% of vote*
Roger Clemens 3rd year on ballot, received 37.5% of vote.
Barry Bonds 3rd year on ballot, received 36.8% of vote*
Lee Smith 13th year on ballot, received 30.2% of vote.
Edgar Martinez 6th year on ballot, received 27% of vote.
Alan Trammell 14th year on ballot, received 25.1% of  vote.
Mike Mussina 2nd year on ballot, received 24.6% of  vote*
Jeff Kent 2nd year on ballot, received 14% of vote.
Fred McGriff 6th year on ballot, received 12.9% of vote.
Larry Walker 5th year on ballot, received 11.8 % of vote.
Gary Sheffield 1st year on ballot, received 11.7% of vote.
Mark McGwire, 9th year on ballot received 10% of vote.
Sammy Sosa, 3rd year on ballot, recived 6.6% of vote.
Nomar Garciapara, 1st year on ballot, received 5.5% of vote

Off the ballot - Time elapsed

Don Mattingly failed to receive 75% of the vote in his 15th and final year on the ballot.  Mattingly's  highest %  28.2, came in 2001 on his 1st year on the ballot.  Mattingly spent his entire career 1982 to 1995 for the New York Yankees.  Mattingly was a 6 time all star, the 1985 American League MVP and in the top 5 of MVP vote receivers from 1984 to 1986.  He won 9 Gold Gloves and 3 Silver Sluggers.

Off the ballot - 1st year on ballot , received some votes, but less than 5 percent. 

Carlos Delgado 21 votes (3.8%)
Troy Percival 4 votes (.7%)
Aaron Boone 2 votes (.4%)
Tom Gordon 2 votes (.4%)
Darin Erstad 1 vote (.2%)

Off the ballot, - 1st year on ballot, received no votes

Cliff Floyd, Tony Clark, Brian Giles, Rich Aurilla, Eddie Guardado, Jason Schmidt, Jermaine Dye

 2016 Hall of Fame ballot preview 

Like this year, there will be 17 players returning to the ballot. 15 of those players will be on the ballot for at least  the third time.   2 players, Mark McGwire and Alan Trammell, will be in their final year  of consideration.   McGwire in his 10th year and Trammell in his 15th.  Newcomers to the 2016 ballot will include: Ken Griffey Jr., Trevor Hoffman, GarretAnderson, Jason Kendall and Jim Edmonds.

Closing the book on 2000

2015 was the first year no players from the 2000 Hall of Fame ballot were remaining on the current ballot. There were30 players on the 2000 ballot, 16 returning from previous years, and 14 on the ballot for the first time. Carlton Fisk and Tony Perez were elected into the Hall of Fame in 2000. Jim Rice, Gary Carter, Bruce Sutter, Rich Gossage, and Bert Blyleven were all voted to the Hall of Fame in subsequent elections.  

No players aged out of the ballot in 2000.   Nine returning players, who received more than 5% of the vote in 2000, failed to get elected to the Hall of Fame in their  remaining time on the ballot.  These were Luis Tiant, Jim Kaat, Steve Garvey, Dave Concepcion, Ron Guidry, Tommy John, Keith Hernandez, Dave Parker, and Dale Murphy.  One returning player, Bob Boone, failed to receive the 5% needed to stay on the ballot.

Of those on the ballot for the first time in 2000, only 2 (Gossage and Jack Morris) managed to get more than 5% of the vote. Morris stayed on the ballot for 15 years and received over 50% of the vote from 2010  to 2014 and aged out last year. Players who were on the ballot for the first time in 2000 and received some votes were: Jeff Reardon, Willie Wilson, Rick Sutcliffe, Kent "Buy a vowel" Hrbek, Charlie Hough, Dave Henderson, Steve Sax, Bob Welch, Bill Gullickson, Lonnie Smith, and Bruce Hurst. Hubie Brooks was the only player on the ballot in 2000 to receive zero votes.  
To sum up of the 30 players on the ballot 2 were elected to the HOF that year, 5 more were eventually elected for a total of 7.  10 players received greater than 5% support in 2000 but failed to be elected to the HOF,  13 players failed to receive 5% of the vote and were elinated from further ballots.  Only 1 of the 14 players on the ballot for the first time in 2000 made it to the HOF. 

Next year, I hope to close the book on 2001 prior to my Hall of Fame coverage.

Coming Soon:  New Look Bears?