TopOfTheThread – it starts here…

Sports, shopping, college, politics, life, and more…

Posts Tagged ‘MLB’

No Robinson! Don’t Win the Home Run Contest! (Robinson Cano, All-Star Game)

Posted by TopOfTheThread on July 12, 2011

No I did not watch the Major League Baseball  Home Run Hitting Contest (All Star Break)…. I had better things to do.

This morning on ESPN Sports Center, I see that Robinson Cano of  the NY Yankees won the contest. Being a Yankee fan I immediately thought “Oh no. He is going to have a bad second half of the year.”  He probably messed up his swing trying to yank everything out of the ballpark.

“Damn.”

Then I get to the office and I voiced my concern to one of the guys (let’s call him Buck).  He passionately said “That’s not true. The winners of the home run hitting contests don’t necessary have bad second halves.   You’re beginning to sound like Bert”  (Where Bert is the name of someone in our accounting area.)

So I decided to look for the stats and see if  the All Star Home Run Kings tended to have poor second halves.

For each winner, I compared their total home runs for that year, the home runs hit before and after the All Star break, and calculated the percentage hit after the All Star break. I also entered their total number of At Bats to make sure they played the entire year. Note: I only had the stats since 2000. Everyone had over 500 At Bats.

Regular Season Home Runs
MLB Home Run Derby Winner and Year Total HR for Year PreAll Star PostAll Star % PostAll Star AB
2010: David Ortiz 32 18 14 44% 518
2009: Prince Fielder 46 22 24 52% 591
2008: Justin Morneau 23 14 9 39% 623
2007: Vladimir Guerrero 27 14 13 48% 574
2006: Ryan Howard 58 28 30 52% 581
2005: Bobby Abreu 24 18 6 25% 588
2004: Miguel Tejada 34 15 19 56% 653
2003: Garret Anderson 29 22 7 24% 638
2002: Jason Giambi 41 22 19 46% 560
2001: Luis Gonzalez 35 23 12 34% 609
2000: Sammy Sosa 50 23 27 54% 604

Based upon these numbers, 4 of the 11 years, the winner had significantly less home runs the second half of the year.  I wish I had more data but it is interesting to think about.

My conclusion?  It does happen enough times to think about it.

Go Robinson! Here’s to a great second half of 2011.

Advertisements

Posted in sports, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

It’s time for individual sports records to take a backseat…

Posted by TopOfTheThread on February 22, 2009

Regarding team sports such as baseball, football, hockey, soccer — only:

As fans, we have been pushed to say

  • Who cares about Barry Bonds, or Hank Aaron having the most home runs
  • Who cares about Roger Clemens having 350 wins and over 4,000 strikeouts
  • Who cares that Mark McGuire beat out Sammy Sosa in the 1998 Roger Maris home run chase
  • So what — Alex Rodriguez has 500 plus home runs and counting…..

Cheating has taken place and will always take place.

Focusing on team records is, at least, an equal playing field (no pun intended). Think about it.

A-Rod recently admitted using steroids from 2001 – 2003.  Let’s assume that at least 104 players used performance enhancing drugs during that era. Who won the World Series from 2001 – 2003 (Arizona Diamondbacks,   Anaheim Angels, Florida Marlins). Fine.

So we can assume that at LEAST 100 of the 700 major league players “cheated” using performance enhancing drugs.  For round numbers, that’s 14% of the players.  Let’s assume there is an equal distribution of  “cheaters”. 14% of the Diamondbacks cheated. 14% of the Angels cheated. And 14% of the Marlins cheated.

Continuing, 14% of the NY Yankees, NY Mets, and Boston Red Sox also cheated, and did NOT win the World Series.

As a fan, I have no problem with it.  Those seasons were entertaining and fun to watch.  It is an equal playing field because all the teams and players probably had access to the same performance enhancing drugs. Teams made decisions. Individuals made decisions. That was THAT era.

When the rules were set outlawing steriods, the number probably went from 14% to 2% (a guess).  Again, the cheaters were probably evenly distributed amongst the league.

So all the teams and players probably had a representative sample of cheaters.

As new drugs come on the scene, everyone will have access to them. New masking agents come on the scene, everyone will have access to them. It’s illegal but fair.

************************

The same holds true for football.  As time as gone on, steriods/HGH testing has gotten tougher. People still use then and there is probably an equal distribution amongst the teams and players.

************************

This may seem like bizarre logic, but it makes sense for the “team results”. Of course it does not help the individual records that are affected by this cheating.

I know it’s not realistic, but perhaps we should come up with an alternative to “individual records”. Perhaps we should discuss using a word like “highlights”.

One of the “highlights” of the 1998 season was McGuire and Sosa competing to hit the most home runs… I know,I know, it’s weak…

(photo nflheadline.com gain-weight-muscle-fast.com)

Posted in sports, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

ESPN betrays the Yankees and MLB

Posted by TopOfTheThread on July 10, 2008

Over the last year or so, ESPN and other sports carriers have been providing “open- or all-access” to professional sports.

You, the viewer, get to (for example) sit in the locker room and listen to Doc Rivers instruct Paul Piece,hand gripping a baseball tipping pitches Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett, and the rest of the Boston Celtics on what they should be doing in the second half of the game. Typically the coach has already told the team private, strategic message. By the time the camera is turned on, the viewer usually hears meaningless dribble like “fight over the pick-n-rolls” or “play hard, we have this game.”

In another sports scenario, a hockey player will be mike’d. You hear some of his conversation and banter. The viewer sees and hears a very moderated and edited clip. There is specifically no cursing and “important” interaction with the coaching staff.

We know ESPN (et al) are trying to give the viewers a taste of being behind the scenes at a professional sporting event. Nice try but weak. And now it seems like ESPN may have pulled a “Bill Belichick” and poked the cameras where they don’t belong.

According to Bronx Liason, “(July 7, 2008 ) While Brett Gardner led off the eighth inning, the ESPN cameras peered into the tunnel – which they’re not supposed to do – and caught Bobby Abreu showing Alex Rodriguez how Manny Delcarmen tips his pitches.” ESPN and everyone knew what they (ESPN) were doing was wrong. ESPN announcer Joe Morgan said, “I don’t think we should have showed that…”.

ESPN had been showing the players sharing how the pitcher was tipping off his pitches.

ESPN stepped over the line. Not just the Yankees, but Major League Baseball (MLB) needs to reinforce the rules with them. Obviously this needs to be done in a delicate way in that ESPN pays major fees to MLB, but it needs to be done.

ESPN is given special permission to be invasive. They need to use better judgement and not give up something strategic to the entire viewing public. They knew exactly what they were doing.

(photo pitchingtips.files.wordpress.com)

add to del.icio.us :: Add to Blinkslist :: add to furl :: Digg it :: add to ma.gnolia :: Stumble It! :: add to simpy :: seed the vine :: :: :: TailRank :: post to facebook

Posted in offbeat news and videos for college students, sports, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

NY Mets: Fire Willie; Trade Reyes; Cut out the Cancers

Posted by TopOfTheThread on June 17, 2008

The NY Mets are in a horrendous place as a major leajose reyes mets bad attiitude no hustlegue baseball team.
Lots of talent. Poor effort. Bad attitudes.

Unfortunately, Willie Randolph is not a “fit” for this team. He is a good baseball man, it is just the dynamic of the personalities of the players and Willie, does not work. He must go. Done.

Contributing to the problems is their oh-so-physically-talented shortstop Jose Reyes. He does not hustle and has a bad attitude. He is a cancer. He theoretically is their lead-off hitter, leader, and should be setting the tone of the game. He must go. The Mets can get some talent for him.

Carlos Delgado’s contributions to the team have declined dramatically. He has also exhibited a less than positive attitude. He must go. The Mets can get something for him. An American League team can use him.

These are the first steps to the Mets getting back on track. They will still have good talent and pitching. New fresh leadership. And less problems with attitudes.

*****************

Note: Willie Randolph was fired between the time this was written and posted. Best of luck Willie. The Mets were not a good fit for you.

(photo men.style.com)

Posted in sports, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Everytime I watch the Yankees they lose (sports and superstitions)

Posted by TopOfTheThread on June 6, 2008

I just put on the NY Yankees game against the Kansas City Royals. It was the 5th inning and the score waslucky rabitts foot superstition sports tied at 0-0. Within 5 minutes of my putting the game on, KC scored. I immediately thought to change the channel because I was bringing bad luck. Rasner (NYY) had been pitching well up until that point, so I changed from the YES Network to TNT where Cast Away (Tom Hanks) was on.

Sounds crazy? Irrational? In one way or another, most sports fans do it!

*********************
Does this sound familiar, or similar, to you, or your favorite sports fan?

When we were in SUNY Albany, during football season, we watched the Jets every Sunday. Without fail, if they started to play well, no one was allowed to move, switch seats, go get a beer (yes, believe it) or go to the bathroom. Did it work? Sometimes. But it definitely would not have worked if we didn’t follow the ritual.

Duirng one Yankees season, I always sat on the floor at the foot of of my bed. Every game. The Yankees finished in 1st place and won the World Series. (I also wore out the carpet in the bedroom and had to pay to replace it.)

During Jets season, the Wayne Chrebet Bobble Head had to be on the mantle during the Jets game. (Obviously this only works so well in that the Jets haven’t won the Super Bowl since 1969.)

*********************

Another good one was, at school, we always drank Coors Light during football games.

There are more seemly sill superstitions or patterns, but that’s enough for now.

If you are a real sports fan, I am sure you have plenty of your own.

*********************
BTW – I still have Cast Away on the TV and the Yankees lost 2-1… They would have probably lost 5-1 if I watched the game…

(photo i.emode.com)
add to del.icio.us :: Add to Blinkslist :: add to furl :: Digg it :: add to ma.gnolia :: Stumble It! :: add to simpy :: seed the vine :: :: :: TailRank :: post to facebook

Posted in sports, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Mets’ Willie Randolph – Don’t play the race card; Just WIN!

Posted by TopOfTheThread on May 25, 2008

Willie – I am a Yankee fan. No matter what happens today and going forward, we will love youWille Randolph NY Mets manager as a Yankee. Team player. Solid citizen. Good person. We would also welcome you back to Yankee Stadium.

***************

Just like in a court case, when something is said, even if the judge overrules the statement, it is heard…. And it’s too late.

When an individual is stressed, drunk, cocky, or in a too-relaxed state, their “true feelings” are expressed. Restraint is gone. Inhibitions disappear.

*************

This week, The Record of Hackensack, N.J. reported , Randolph brought up race when he questioned the way he has been presented by SNY, the team’s TV network.Willie Randolph Yankee second baseman

“Is it racial?” Randolph was quoted in the story. “Huh? It smells a little bit. … I don’t know how to put my finger on it, but I think there’s something there.”

Willie did apologize the next day but it’s too late. You played the race card. It’s understandable. NY is a pressure-packed place. The media tries to lead you down certain paths.

But once it is out there, it is hard to forget. And unfortunately, it can create a permanent blemish or worse.

**************

Here are examples of a few people who played or discussed race and disappeared from the sports scene. (Willie did NOT say anything as bad as this group.)

  • Jimmy The Greek – J… makes comments to a Washington, D.C, television reporter about the physical abilities of black and white athletes… black athlete is “bred to be the better athlete because, this goes all the way to the Civil War when … the slave owner would breed his big woman…” Snyder apologized for the comments but his is over. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=REFJxwQPQUY&feature=related
  • Fuzzy Zoeller – makes stereotypical black comments related to Tiger Woods. He has not gotten the visibility nor endorsements that would have previously been expected. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5aWS0StFM5I
  • Howard Cosell – Cosell saying “look at that little monkey run” to describe black receiver Alvin Garrett in a Washington Redskins game. Loses his job and quietly vanishes from the sports scene.
  • Mel Gibson – Gibson makes anti Semitic remarks while being arrested and drunk. His true feelings come out while drunk. It makes you look at his reasoning for The Passion Of Christ. Gibson’s father is supposedly a Holocaust denier. I do not have first hand knowledge of this affect on his career, but he does not seem to be in the public eye. The reason Gibson, not a sports-related personality, is in this list is because of a great rant Denis Leary performed in the announcer’s booth at the Red Sox’ Fenway Park . (Denis Leary tells Mel Gibson to shove it. http://www.alternet.org/blogs/peek/40420/)

**************

Willie — You need to kick ass on that team of yours and WIN GAMES! Excuses and apologies won’t cut it! This will be forgotten (or at least lessened) if you win.

****************

(photos http://www.wbt.com and 2000magazine.com)

Posted in offbeat news and videos for college students, politics, sports, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

One of baseball’s best home run hitters of all time; Ken Griffey

Posted by TopOfTheThread on April 30, 2008

Chuck is absolutely correct about the focus. on sports

Ken Griffey is nearing 600 home runs and we hear not a peep about it. He has been one of the best all around players in the last 50 years, and if he had not gotten injured, he would be nearing 800 home runs! He is a true role model and drug free!

Meanwhile there has been constant chatter about Barry Bond’s breaking Hank Aaron’s record. The asterisk. Should it count… That is basically focusing on the half empty glass.

We should be taking positive looks on Ken Griffey… and soon Alex Rodriguez… ARod.. as they show how it IS stiill possible to do things the clean, correct way and succeed! (ARod.. get off the 15 day DL asap).

*********************

For college sports gear visit CollegeCampusStore.com.
The author works at CollegeCampusStore.com.

Posted in College Sports, sports | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »