Monthly Archives: September 2012

Rating the Best Baseball Ballparks.

Here’s a great read courtesy of Dan Lindsey’s “Diamond Baseball Tours” Facebook page and reprinted from the New York Times “Five Thirty Eight” Column by Nate Silver.  My home park is AT&T in San Francisco and it’s without a doubt one of the very best.  

“Classic Primanti Bros Sandwich” includes salad and french fries piled inside”

However, I can understand the PNC Pittsburgh #1 ranking.  I was there in 2010 and the first clue was the accessible parking.  We were on a tour bus and the bus parked less than a 5 minute walk away from the main entrance.  Ordinary tour buses dropped us off and then we walked a marathon to get back to the bus, if we could even find it!   Second great thing about the park was the food.  “Primanti Bros.” may sound familiar.   They’re on a “100 Things To Do Before you die” list.  It’s a beautiful park with friendly staff. 

“Fenway’s Wooden Scoreboard”

The #2 Ranking to Boston’s Fenway Park is also understandable.  I’ve been there twice and both times it was an emotional experience.  Probably the park’s history, and I don’t know why, but the “Sweet Caroline” and “MTA” songs that were played both times brought the house down with everyone singing at the top of their lungs.  I can’t explain it ~ neither song has anything to do with baseball.  It’s just one of those things.   It’s an old and beautiful wooden park with a lot of class and truly devoted fans, where they still post the daily baseball scores on a wooden board by hand. 

So it was easy to acquiesce those two parks to my beloved AT&T.  Good read and a great job Nate Silver, bringing us right up to the 2012 playoffs.  

Way to Go Giants! Pundits be Damned!

Golly Geez!  I try really hard to play fair on my blog, but sometimes,when it comes to the Giants, the devil makes me do it.   So in spite of  all the setbacks this year, the Giants are back in the playoffs for the 2nd time in three years.  And I don’t think it’s a coincidence that Buster Posey was here the first year, gone the second, and back the third. 

But everyone knows it’s a team effort and for that we Giants fans applaud our San Francisco Giants ~ 2012 National League West Champions!

And a special thanks to niece Tammy for sharing the “dogs” from Lamont & Tonelli’s FB Page!

garlicfriesandbaseball:

GFBB Note: This is an intriguing insight into the Melky Cabrera situation. “Ethics Alarms” is a general website that deals with ethics in general, not just about baseball.

Originally posted on Ethics Alarms:

Who cares what Melky wants?

[ When we last visited the messy Melky Cabrera situation, people were clamoring for baseball to rule Cabrera ineligible for the National League batting championship he seemed destined to win because the Giants outfielder had been suspended for the rest of the season for testing positive for steroids. The suspension froze his average, then as now leading the NL, and because he had already amassed sufficient at bats to qualify for the title, this meant that 1) he would benefit from what was supposed to be a punishment and 2) the most prestigious of all baseball season titles would be won by a proven cheater. I explained why taking the title away from Melky would be unethical as well as unwise:

"...There is a very good reason why the Constitution bans ex post facto laws—laws that make something illegal retroactively, so someone can become a…

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“Trouble With the Curve”? Nothing ~

If  you’ve read the Ronni Redmond “bio” elsewhere on this blog you already know I have an emotional connection between my love of baseball as it relates to my dad.  Most women and a lot of men probably feel this way and that’s one of the reasons I think this movie is going to be a real hit at the box office.   I’m not a real Clint Eastwood fan and if I had been, his speech at the GOP Convention last month would probably have taken care of that.  No, I don’t really think this movie has anything to do with Clint Eastwood.   Eastwood was the main character, but let’s face it, a lot of salty old guys could have played the part.

“Amy Adams with Clint Eastwood”

Amy Adams is the real star of the film.    I only choked up a few times so didn’t really need a Kleenex,  and the movie’s pretty predictable except for the ending.  I didn’t see it coming and I loved it!

I was surprised that the preliminaries on the “Trouble with the Curve” scored only a 5.5 out of 10.  Not a lot of romantics out there I guess, or maybe patrons are comparing the new baseball movies to last year’s “Moneyball” which isn’t fair ~ Moneyball was a true movie based on a lot of statistics and this movie could be true, but isn’t.  As far as I know it’s just a good old-fashioned chick flick with (base)balls.

The Trouble With the Curve?  If you’re an Amy Adams fan, and even if you’re not, absolutely nothing.

garlicfriesandbaseball:

GFFB Note: Hope to follow this thru the Finals which will be held at AT&T Park in San Francisco in March, 2013.

Originally posted on The Baseball Continuum:

The World Baseball Classic starts soon! Well, the qualifiers do, anyway. For the first time ever, there are four qualification pools to decide who reaches the Round of 16. Two of those pools- in Panama and Taipei- will be in November. But first there are two pools that start in about a week. One of them is in Jupiter, Florida (mainly because the teams in it don’t exactly have baseball fields in their countries) and the other is in Regensburg, Germany. The Jupiter pool starts slightly before the Germany pool, so I’ll be covering that one first, covering the baseball heritage (or, in some cases, lack thereof) of the the countries and looking at their teams and chances.

So, go after the jump for my preview of the 2012 WBC Qualifier in Jupiter, Florida. All rosters are from Baseball America.

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How Do You Solve a Problem Like . . . Melky?

Melky Cabrera

Melky Cabrera’s front and center everywhere in the media, but not in the SF Giants front office.  Matthew Pouliot on NBC’s HardballTalk wrote a convincing piece recently about the organization not allowing Melky to join the team after his 50 game suspension.  The suspension would be lifted about five games into the playoffs, assuming the Giants get there, and it’s looking pretty good they will.  

I wrote a testy piece a few weeks ago and the title pretty much sums up my frustration with the mess, “Melky Who?  Who Needs Him?  Who Cares?”  But the fact is, Melky’s record prior to his suspension was  .346/.390/.516 in 459 at-bats.  The real question is what would his record be after the suspension?  There’s only one way to find out.  This would be a rest test for the argument that PED’s do or do not allow players to hit better.  

If Melky were allowed to play in postseason and kept hitting like before, it could present a convincing argument that PED’s are not responsible for making a batter hit better as many have alleged.  Barry Bond’s argument was if 80% of the ball players were using steroids in the 90′s, why weren’t 80% of the ball players hitting better ~ a lot better?  Personally, I’d like to see this tested.  What could it hurt?  Bring Melky back and, if nothing else,  use him as a DH when appropriate.   I mean, the Giants had no qualms about bringing Guillermo Moto back a few weeks ago and that was after a “100 game suspension”, for a second offense, no less.

This blog has a sophisticated database ~ I found out the hard way   :(   So what do you think?  Should the SF Giants bring Melky Cabrera back to the roster after the 50 game suspension is lifted?   Your “vote below” means absolutely nothing.  I mean it’s not going to change the minds of the powers-that-be.  I’m just curious and I’m happy to share the results with you here.

2012 MLB Team and Player Salaries

2012 All Star Game Photo

Here’s the 2012 update to our 2011 listing published August 27, 2011.  This comes to us compliments of USA Today.  If you’ll click the individual teams, you can access the individual players salaries.  It will be interesting to note the annual salaries of the teams that make the playoffs;  in other words, did they get what they paid for?  For example; the Washington Nationals have the best record in the Majors this year, but have the 11th Lowest Salary out of 30 Teams.   Salary Chart Linked Here

2012 MLB Salaries  
 

TEAM

TOTAL PAYROLL
New York Yankees $ 197,962,289
Philadelphia Phillies $ 174,538,938
Boston Red Sox $ 173,186,617
Los Angeles Angels $ 154,485,166
Detroit Tigers $ 132,300,000
Texas Rangers $ 120,510,974
Miami Marlins $ 118,078,000
San Francisco Giants $ 117,620,683
St. Louis Cardinals $ 110,300,862
Milwaukee Brewers $ 97,653,944
Chicago White Sox $ 96,919,500
Los Angeles Dodgers $ 95,143,575
Minnesota Twins $ 94,085,000
New York Mets $ 93,353,983
Chicago Cubs $ 88,197,033
Atlanta Braves $ 83,309,942
Cincinnati Reds $ 82,203,616
Seattle Mariners $ 81,978,100
Baltimore Orioles $ 81,428,999
Washington Nationals $ 81,336,143
Cleveland Indians $ 78,430,300
Colorado Rockies $ 78,069,571
Toronto Blue Jays $ 75,489,200
Arizona Diamondbacks $ 74,284,833
Tampa Bay Rays $ 64,173,500
Pittsburgh Pirates $ 63,431,999
Kansas City Royals $ 60,916,225
Houston Astros $ 60,651,000
Oakland Athletics $ 55,372,500
San Diego Padres $ 55,244,700

               

The Nationals could still make a run without Stephen Strasburg

Originally posted on HardballTalk:

The Nationals enter today’s action with the best record in baseball at 85-53. Yet with the attention given to the unique situation involving the shutdown of Stephen Strasburg, one would think they would be doomed without him. That’s just not the case. And it’s really a discredit to a well-balanced ballclub.

Nationals starters are first in the majors with a 3.29 ERA, but as Adam Kilgore of the Washington Postnotes, their 3.31 ERA without him would still be the best. Gio Gonzalez (2.98 ERA), Jordan Zimmermann (2.99 ERA), Ross Detwiler (3.15 ERA) and Edwin Jackson (3.63 ERA) are all among the top 20 in the National League in ERA. Having Strasburg available would certainly enhance their chances of making a deep run in the postseason, but they are still pretty stocked in the rotation.

And that’s not even talking about the other areas of the ballclub. Nationals relievers…

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The Diamond

garlicfriesandbaseball:

GFBB Note: Another reminder of the passion baseball instills in us, not that we need reminding as we’re winding down the season in September. Good read ~

Originally posted on T.J. Kremer, III:

I don’t remember the exact date my passion was first aroused. I don’t remember how old I was or what, exactly, first attracted me. It was something that just came naturally, I suppose, like breathing or eating or sleeping. What I do know for sure is that when I really think about it, I have always been in love… With baseball.

I couldn’t tell you when I saw my first game. Have no idea who was playing, whether it was a weekday or weekend game, if it was day or night. I don’t know if it was on television, or on the radio, or live in person. It could’ve been professional baseball players just as easily as it could’ve been neighborhood kids playing. But whenever and wherever it was, it hooked me for life.

Over the years I’ve watched or listened to hundreds, maybe thousands, of games. And like any…

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Latest MLB Leaders (March 28th-August 31st)

garlicfriesandbaseball:

GFBB Note: Getting down to the wire folks! Here’s a good recap in easy-to-understand lingo.

Originally posted on The Unbiased MLB Fan:

With the first five months of the 2012 MLB season in the books I thought I’d take the first day of the September to recap the season thus far.

Instead of talking about the events that have taken place so far this year, I decided to make a list of different categories and beside them name the player(s) that leads that particular category. I’m planning on posting an entry like this on the first day of each month. (That would make 1 more of these if you’re keeping score at home.)

The following lists are categorized into hitting and pitching, but NOT AL or NL:

MLB LEADERS (AL and NL)- HITTING

Most games Played-Michael Bourn and Chase Headley. (132)

Most At-Bats-Derek Jeter (553)

Most Hits-Derek Jeter (177)

Highest Average-Melky Cabrera (.346)*

Most Runs-Mike Trout (106)

Most Triples-Dexter Fowler (11)

Most Home Runs-Adam Dunn (38)

Most…

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