Monday, November 29, 2010

MLB Trivia: Back-to-Back MVPs

Congrats to Josh Hamilton and Joey Votto for winning the 2010 AL and NL MVP awards. This is the first MVP for both players. The last player to win the NL MVP in back-to-back seasons was Albert Pujols (2008 and 2009). But the last player to win the AL MVP in back-to-back seasons was Frank Thomas all the way back in 1993 and 1994.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

MLB Hit Parade: November 2010

Nov. 28

REST IN PEACE, Leslie Nielsen.

Nov. 20

COLLEGE GAME DAY: So I'm heading to Wrigley Field today to watch my alma mater, Illinois, take on Northwestern.

As you've probably heard, the Big Ten stepped in at the last minute to say both offenses must head toward the west end zone. Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delaney said, "The health and safety of our student-athletes is of the utmost importance." Yeah, right. If the health and safety of these student-athletes was of the "utmost importance," then the Big Ten would hand them skirts instead of helmets and have them play two-hand touch.

Also, Wrigley Field isn't the only baseball field hosting a football game today. So is Yankee Stadium.

FANTASY BASEBALL 365: Charlie Saponara and his untrusty sidekick, Joe, tackle the tough topics of Jose Bautista, Pablo Sandoval, and potentially overrated catchers. I'm biased in favor of this podcast because these are the topics I suggested via Twitter. Isn't social networking cool?

Nov. 17

WHAT DO YOU THINK was the worst MLB trade of the past 25 years? Hmm... the only thing this list is missing is every trade the Pittsburgh Pirates have made with Jim Hendry. (Although,in fairness, the guy who made all those bad trades for Pittsburgh now works for Hendry. Go figure.)


CHICAGO CUBS' WEEKEND HEADLINES: All Cracked up. "The Cubs continue with the unintentional metaphors for the 2010 season, having cracked the beloved Harry Caray statue in the prep for the Big Northwestern/Illiois game." Plus the Cubs have asked our bankrupt state of Illinois for $200 million to help fund their billion-dollar entertainment business.

HT: Carl Skanberg's Smells Like Mascot

Nov. 11

VETERANS' REFLECTIONS: Former Pro Baseball Players Reflect on War Service.

BOB FELLER'S TIME IN THE NAVY. This video is 10 minutes long, but it's Bob Feller in his own words and rather enjoyable for any WWII buffs out there.

WHITE SOX trying to repair damaged recruiting reputation in Latin America. "Re-establishing an honorable presence in Latin America has been placed in the hands of Jerry Krause, the former Bulls general manager and baseball scout who was hired last spring as director of international scouting with an emphasis on restructuring scouting in the Dominican Republic and Venezuela."

Nov. 10
SOX MACHINE: Why Alexei Ramirez was robbed of the Gold Glove. "Plain and simple, Ramirez made waaaaaaaaaaaaay more plays — and because of the error stat (and, going a step further, fielding percentage), he effectively gets punished for having more chances to make errors."

JOE MORGAN AND JON MILLER ARE OUT at ESPN's Sunday Night Baseball. But who will replace them?

Nov. 7

2010 UPL BASEBALL Wrap-Up and Post-Season Awards: This year's manager of the year is Pauly.

THE WEATHER IS GETTING COLDER but the stove is heating up. For the third straight year, Schruender is rating a different MLB player each day of the offseason.


Welcome back, Conan.

Nov. 4

No manager in baseball history was more true to his nickname than George "Sparky'' Anderson. No manager ever loved the game more than Sparky. No manager did the job with the same relentless energy and enthusiasm as Sparky. No manager smiled as often as Sparky. No manager was more of a gentleman than Sparky. No manager was nicer than Sparky. Late in his career, Anderson asked the media to start calling him by his given name, George, saying no man in his 50s should be called Sparky. But, it never took. He was and always will be Sparky.

UNDERCOVER BOSS: This Sunday, November 7, at 8 p.m. on CBS, you'll get to see one of the Chicago Cubs' owners, Todd Ricketts, go undercover and work at Wrigley Field (taped last September).
Ricketts grew a beard and went undercover in September as "Mark Dawson," an out-of-work roofer who won a contest to appear on a TV show in which he is given the chance to earn a job on the grounds crew based on his performance during a week-long trial period.
He strikes out. "I was fired from the bathroom crew," Ricketts told Eric & Kathy Thursday morning on 101.9 FM The Mix.
He's given a second chance, though, and eventually does several jobs, including selling hot dogs, parking cars and working the grounds.
"The most exciting one was working the scoreboard," Ricketts said on The Mix. "It was the first time I'd been up there. It was only the second time cameras had been up there ... It's really special."

Nov. 2


Monday, November 22, 2010

The New York Yankees and Derek Jeter: Did You Know?

The New York Yankees are currently negotiating with Derek Jeter in an attempt to keep the face of their franchise in pinstripes. Through the years, both sides have prospered during their business relationship. In 1995, the year before Jeter became an everyday shortstop, the Yankees drew 1,705,263 fans to the park (below the American League average) and were valued at $185 million. This season the Yankees drew 4,298,655 fans and are valued at $1.5 billion.

Monday, November 15, 2010

MLB Trivia: How Many Baseballs in a Baseball Game?

Have you ever wondered how many baseballs are typically used in a major league baseball game?

It seems like a simple enough question, but finding the right answer online isn't so easy. When I Googled for the answer, the first Web page that popped up was from It gave a few different answers, one saying 40 to 50 baseballs were used per game, and another estimating 60 to 70 baseballs per game. It also said that, according to the MLB, the home team was required to have 90 baseballs on hand for a game. The only problem is that when I tried to verify this number of "90 baseballs" with an actual MLB source ( or otherwise), I couldn't find anyone else listing these numbers except for a Yahoo answers page regurgitating the same language and numbers. As far as I can tell, the aforementioned numbers are myths.

Fortunately, I've found the correct answer. It comes from a Pittsburgh Post-Gazette article written by Mark Roth and titled, "MLB: The true life story of baseballs." In the article, Roth reports on an actual game between the Pittsburgh Pirates and Milwaukee Brewers. That game used 104 baseballs, which is about 15 fewer than average, according to the Pirates' equipment manager. So not only is it ridiculous to say that an MLB team is only required to have 90 baseballs on hand, the average number of baseballs used in a game is about 120.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Thank you

Time sure does fly. Now that the 2010 World Series is over, this blog has made it through three complete baseball seasons (started in April 2008). I've really enjoyed having this outlet to write about baseball, and I hope that every now and then you might find something worthwhile here. A big thank you goes out to everyone who stops in, as well as to those who comment.  

One of the neat things about this year was getting to see both Pauly and Lisa start to blog more. (Although, Pauly hasn't blogged as much recently. Maybe we'll have to get on him about some basketball posts soon.) Another neat thing about this year was a new tradition established by the Chairman: Not finishing in UPL Baseball's top two. I'd like to see that tradition continue long into the future.

Speaking of traditions, I also started one. During this season, I tried to have a baseball trivia question ready every Monday morning. I hate Monday mornings, but I like trivia questions. So I figured that a Monday morning trivia question would give people something to look forward to on that most dreaded of days. At the very least it gave me something to look forward to. I had fun coming up with the questions and learned a few things along the way.

I haven't yet decided what to do with the trivia question during the offseason. I'm toying with the idea of switching it up. Instead of it being in a question format, maybe I'll make it a "Did You Know?" That way the knowledge shared can be a little more obscure and something different from what I've been doing the past many months. We'll see.

Thanks again for reading; and remember, if your team didn't win this year, there's always next year.

Monday, November 1, 2010

MLB Trivia: Sweeping the World Series

Sweeping the World Series is difficult. However, since 1950, the New York Yankees have managed to do it three times. And during that time span, only two other franchises have swept the World Series twice. Can you name those other two franchises? (Hint: This question isn't as hard as it seems. First, think about which teams have won at least two World Series since 1950. Then see if you can recall which of those teams got at least one sweep. Good luck.)