May 20, 2013
And here's the full roster.
Now availableHardball Times Baseball Annual 2013, with 300 pages of great content. It's also available on Amazon and Kindle. Read more about it here.
Or you can search by:
THT E-bookThird Base: The Crossroads is THT's e-book, available for $3.99 from the Kindle store. The good news is that anyone can read a Kindle book, even on a PC. So enjoy the best from THT in a new format.
our CafePress store. We've got baseball caps, t-shirts, coffee mugs and even wall clocks with the classy THT logo prominently displayed. Also, check out the THT Bookstore. Please support your favorite baseball site by purchasing something today.
All content on this site (including text, graphs, and any other original works), unless otherwise noted, is licensed under a Creative Commons License.
Following are the one hundred most recent articles for the category Ballparks .
05/20/2013: And That Happenedby Craig Calcaterra
05/20/2013: The Hot Seatby Scott Strandberg
05/20/2013: AL Central: state of the divisionby Chris Jaffe
05/20/2013: Fantasy Waiver Wire: Week 8, Vol. 1by Karl de Vries
05/20/2013: Louisville slugging in 2013by Frank Jackson
05/20/2013: 5,000 days since Eric Milton’s no-hitterby Chris Jaffe
05/17/2013: The daily grind: 5-17-13by Brad Johnson
05/17/2013: And That Happenedby Craig Calcaterra
05/17/2013: Gems without whiffsby James Gentile
05/17/2013: 40th anniversary: Bobby Valentine breaks his legby Chris Jaffe
05/17/2013: Strength of schedule: Adjusting hitter valuesby Moe Koltun
05/17/2013: Fantasy Waiver Wire: Week 7, Vol. IIIby Jack Weiland
05/17/2013: Card Corner: 1973 Topps: Mike Andrewsby Bruce Markusen
05/16/2013: The daily grind: 5-16-13by Brad Johnson
05/16/2013: And That Happenedby Craig Calcaterra
05/16/2013: How Scott Kazmir got his groove backby Kyle Boddy
05/16/2013: Three more for eternityby Don Malcolm
05/16/2013: Not exactly definitiveby Don Malcolm
05/16/2013: The all-decade team: the ‘40sby Richard Barbieri
05/16/2013: Of Uggs and Ugglaby Derek Ambrosino
05/15/2013: The daily grind: 5-15-13by Brad Johnson
05/15/2013: And That Happenedby Craig Calcaterra
05/15/2013: Running hot and coldby Shane Tourtellotte
05/15/2013: The Phillies should retool but not rebootby Brad Johnson
05/15/2013: Fantasy Waiver Wire: Week 7, Vol. IIby Karl de Vries
05/15/2013: Currently historic: 300 strikeouts?by Jason Linden
05/15/2013: Mike Moustakas’ holeby Noah Woodward
05/15/2013: BOB: How bad is the Marlins’ attendance?by Brian Borawski
05/14/2013: And That Happenedby Craig Calcaterra
05/14/2013: The daily grind: 5-14-13by Brad Johnson
05/14/2013: How much do hot/cold starts matter?by Greg Simons
05/14/2013: 25th anniversary: The Jose Oquendo Gameby Chris Jaffe
05/14/2013: Jonathan Schoop and the value of role playersby Jeff Moore
05/14/2013: THT Awardsby John Barten
05/13/2013: The daily grind: 5-13-13by Brad Johnson
05/13/2013: And That Happenedby Craig Calcaterra
05/13/2013: 30th anniversary: Reggie’s 2,000th Kby Chris Jaffe
05/13/2013: NL Central division update: May editionby Jason Linden
05/13/2013: Fantasy Waiver Wire: Week 7, Vol. Iby Jack Weiland
05/13/2013: Last remaining teammatesby Chris Jaffe
05/13/2013: The Hot Seatby Scott Strandberg
05/12/2013: The curious case of Vernon Wellsby Matt Filippi
05/12/2013: 60th anniversary: Whitey Ford’s near no-hitterby Chris Jaffe
05/10/2013: The daily grind: 5-10-13by Brad Johnson
05/10/2013: And That Happenedby Craig Calcaterra
05/10/2013: Cooperstown Confidential: What really happened with Fritz Ostermueller and Jackie Robinsonby Bruce Markusen
05/10/2013: Fantasy Waiver Wire: Week 6, Vol. IIIby Karl de Vries
05/10/2013: Still life, after allby Azure Texan
05/09/2013: Oh Dustyby Pat Andriola
05/09/2013: And That Happenedby Craig Calcaterra
05/09/2013: 40th anniversary: back-to-back first homersby Chris Jaffe
05/09/2013: The Roto Grotto: rates versus opportunitiesby Scott Spratt
05/09/2013: Swing rates: the John Farrell effectby Moe Koltun
05/09/2013: Winning, TWTW, and the purpose of baseballby Matt Hunter
05/08/2013: Closer watchby Karl de Vries
05/08/2013: And That Happenedby Craig Calcaterra
05/08/2013: The daily grind: 5-8-13by Brad Johnson
05/08/2013: Fantasy Waiver Wire: Week 6, Vol. IIby Jack Weiland
05/08/2013: What nobody is talking aboutby Greg Simons
05/08/2013: Currently historic: A truly rare achievementby Jason Linden
05/08/2013: Craig Anderson’s greatest dayby Frank Jackson
05/08/2013: BOB: Stadium updatesby Brian Borawski
05/07/2013: And That Happenedby Craig Calcaterra
05/07/2013: The daily grind: 5-7-13by Brad Johnson
05/07/2013: Fun with minor league leader boardsby Jeff Moore
05/07/2013: 90th anniversary: Casey Stengel goes bonkersby Chris Jaffe
05/07/2013: THT Awardsby John Barten
05/07/2013: A.J. Ellis: hardly swinging, hardly missingby Noah Woodward
05/07/2013: Baseball Press: a fantasy secret weaponby Jack Weiland
05/07/2013: The Verdict: keeping it on the DLby Michael Stein
05/06/2013: The National League Graph, 2013by Dave Studeman
05/06/2013: And That Happenedby Craig Calcaterra
05/06/2013: The daily grind: 5-6-13by Brad Johnson
05/06/2013: AL East division update: May editionby Nick Fleder
05/06/2013: The Hot Seatby Scott Strandberg
05/06/2013: Last living linksby Chris Jaffe
05/06/2013: Fantasy Waiver Wire: Week 6, Vol. Iby Karl de Vries
05/05/2013: The American League Graph, 2013by Dave Studeman
05/04/2013: 50th anniversary: Braves balk-a-thonby Chris Jaffe
05/03/2013: The daily grind: 5-3-13by Brad Johnson
05/03/2013: And That Happenedby Craig Calcaterra
05/03/2013: Debut class WAR-fareby James Gentile
05/03/2013: Card Corner: 1973 Topps: Jose Cardenalby Bruce Markusen
05/03/2013: Fantasy Waiver Wire: Week 5, Vol. IIIby Jack Weiland
05/03/2013: The Grand Tour, part fiveby Shane Tourtellotte
05/02/2013: Yankees acquire Chris Nelsonby Pat Andriola
05/02/2013: And That Happenedby Craig Calcaterra
05/02/2013: The daily grind: 5-2-13by Brad Johnson
05/02/2013: Tales from the scorebookby Richard Barbieri
05/02/2013: Daily fantasy gaming: Five adagesby Moe Koltun
05/02/2013: The Grand Tour, part fourby Shane Tourtellotte
05/01/2013: Ryan Howard’s odd decline continuesby Pat Andriola
05/01/2013: And That Happenedby Craig Calcaterra
<< Click here to return to the category list.
December 29, 2011
2011 A’s vs. 1997 MarlinsIn 1997, the Florida (now Miami) Marlins won the World Series, bringing joy and enthusiasm to the team and its fan base. Days later, the destruction of the team began as management shipped off nearly every high-priced veteran it could to save money.
The excuse was that the team couldn't afford such a large payroll without a larger fan base, and more fans would come only if the team got a new stadium. Well, it took nearly 15 years, but that new stadium is finally a reality, and it looks to be a stunning ballpark, though the structural integrity and financing of the facility have been called into question.
In 2011, the Oakland A's went 74-88. There were no victory parades, but the team's teardown has been as thorough as the Marlins' was 14 years ago.
Starting pitchers Trevor Cahill and Gio Gonzalez have been shipped off to the Diamondbacks and Nationals, respectively, in return for a gaggle of hot prospects. Middle reliever Craig Breslow joined Cahill in the move to Arizona, while closer Andrew Bailey and outfielder Ryan Sweeney were just sent to Boston for three more promising youngsters.
Josh Willingham, David DeJesus, Coco Crisp and Hideki Matsui—all solid, if unispiring, offensive contributors—will not be returning to Oakland. The roster has been stripped so bare that at one point Sweeney was listed on the A's official Web site depth chart as the starting outfielder at all three positions.
Like the Marlins, the A's say they need a new ballpark to compete. And with the Angels signing Albert Pujols and C.J. Wilson, and the Rangers coming off back-to-back World Series appearances and acquiring the rights to Yu Darvish, they certainly need something to keep pace.
Rumors abound that the team soon will be allowed to move to San Jose, though Bud Selig's Blue Ribbon Committee that has been studying the issue for a few years now has not made any formal proposals. Given how long the Marlins waited for a new facility, A's fans shouldn't hold their breath.
When the Marlins tore things down, they shaved massive financial commitments from their books, but at least they had a title to show for their investment. The A's are dealing away young, cheap, cost-controlled talent for even younger, even cheaper, cost-controlled potential. And they have nothing to show for their efforts other than the possibility of being the cheapest, most anonymous ball team since the 1998 Marlins.
Things were awful in South Florida in '98, as the team fell from 92 victories the season before to a mere 54 wins. The A's starting point is 74 wins. An equal 38-game dropoff would yield a 36-126 record that would make the 1962 Mets look like world beaters.
Oakland is unlikely to be quite that bad in 2012 and beyond, but it's going to be horrendously ugly for the next few years. It may even be so bad that this monstrosity will look good by comparison.
Posted by: Greg Simons
October 24, 2011
Struggling Wilson faces Game Five pressureWith the World Series now tied at two games apiece after Derek Holland's near-complete game gem, the Series shifts to a crucial Game Five between the two teams' nominal aces. While Chris Carpenter has lived up to that name so far in the postseason, especially in his complete game shutout of Philadelphia in the deciding Game Five of the NLDS, Texas' C.J. Wilson has struggled, to say the least.
Wilson issued six walks in 5.2 innings in the Rangers' 3-2 Game One loss to St. Louis, which spoiled an otherwise decent start. He has actually thrown a higher percentage of strikes than Carpenter, but Wilson's alarming walk rate (14 in 21.1 postseason innings) and his six home runs allowed have doomed his ERA and WHIP in the playoffs.
IP Record ERA WHIP Home runs Strike % C. Carpenter 23 3-0 3.52 1.13 2 57.4 C.J. Wilson 21.1 0-3 7.17 1.82 6 60.1
In a ballpark like Texas', the most hitter- and home run-friendly park this season by a sizeable margin according to ESPN's Park Factor, Wilson's inability to keep balls in the yard against a powerful Cardinals offense could doom the Rangers to a second consecutive World Series defeat. With potentially two games coming from Busch Stadium on Wednesday and Thursday, Wilson could be facing the most pressure-packed start of any pitcher this season. His postseason record to date does not look good for Texas' chances.
Posted by: Shlomo Sprung
October 10, 2011
Brewers score big for GreinkeAfter Milwaukee’s 9-6 win over archrival St. Louis in Sunday’s Game One of the NLCS, Zack Greinke claimed another win at home for the Brewers. In fact, when Greinke has started at home, the Brewers are a remarkable 17-0. Greinke, including the postseason, is 12-0 with a 3.68 ERA in his 17 starts (43 earned runs in 105 innings) this season at Miller Park.
Greinke has, frankly, been awful so far in the postseason if you strictly look at things from an ERA standpoint. He’s allowed 10 earned runs in his 11 postseason innings, but his offense bailed him out in Game Two of the Division Deries against Arizona and Sunday against the Cardinals. For the Brewers, this has been a season-long trend of the offense scoring at an abnormally high rate for Greinke.
Games Team record Runs Runs per game Greinke's home starts 17 17-0 98 5.76 Every Milwaukee game 168 100-68 752 4.48
So as you can see, Milwaukee has scored more than one and a quarter more runs per game for Greinke at home than they would for any other pitcher. The disparity would be even larger if you take those 17 Greinke games at home from the Bredwers' 168-game total. I don’t know what it is about the Brewers’ offense playing at its best when Greinke wears the home whites, but it could be a trend that helps Milwaukee win its first world championship.
Posted by: Shlomo Sprung
October 07, 2011
The Division Series, last night and tonightMany Detroit players were key contributors in the team's ALDS upset of the Yankees, but two players acquired during the season by GM Dave Dombrowski, Doug Fister and Delmon Young, played key roles throughout the series, especially in the decisive game five.
Delmon Young PA Slash Line HR RBI R XBH With Twins 325 .266/.305/.357 4 32 26 20 With Tigers 178 .274/.298/.458 8 32 28 14 Tigers LDS 21 .316/.381/.789 3 3 4 3
Young's power numbers increased dramatically with Detroit, and his three solo homers against New York all came at crucial times. His home run in the first inning Thursday night gave the Tigers an early lead and set the tone for the rest of the contest for manager Jim Leyland.
On the other side of the ledger, Yankees skipper Joe Girardi surprisingly used the same lineup in all five games. Young top prospect Jesus Montero and veteran outfielder Andruw Jones were left on the bench. While right fielder Nick Swisher struggled, going 4-for-19 in the series, Jones notched an RBI in his lone plate appearance. Swisher surely had a solid regular season, but he has historically performed poorly in his career against Detroit. Jones has fared better.
Career PA Slash Line HR RBI R XBH Jones vs DET 75 .258/.387/.468 3 4 10 7 Swisher vs DET 236 .223/.369/.399 8 27 33 17
Granted, Swisher had a .273 average and a .414 OBP against the Tigers this year, but Girardi probably should have realized that Swisher was struggling in the series. While the Yankees manager was very quick to pull pitchers, he seemed strangely reluctant to change up his offense, which ultimately faltered in the disappointing defeat.
Milwaukee and Arizona both dominated their two games at home offensively, but the scene now shifts back to Miller Park for the deciding contest. Brewers starter Yovani Gallardo seems like a different pitcher at home; he had a 10-2 regular-season record at home with an even 3.00 ERA, more than a full point better than his road ERA. Though Diamondbacks starter Ian Kennedy is better at Chase Field than he is at home, his regular-season road numbers (10-2, 3.19) are quite comparable to Gallardo's.
In the NL's second Game Five, Cardinals ace Chris Carpenter has been a revelation since the All-Star break, going 7-2 with a 2.98 ERA and 3-0, 2.15 since the beginning of September. But only tonight's Game Five in Philadelphia matters now, with Carpenter playing second fiddle in the pregame billing to Phillies ace extraordinaire Roy Halladay. The splits clearly favor the home team:
Game Five SP IP Record ERA WHIP K/9 Halladay Home 112.2 8-3 2.48 0.99 8.6 Carpenter Road 119.1 7-6 3.85 1.27 7.4
Posted by: Shlomo Sprung
October 06, 2011
Division Series thoughts, 10/6It appears that some things hold true no matter the sample size. During the regular season, the Arizona Diamondbacks scored 400 runs at home, the second-highest total in the National League behind only Colorado. Away from the Chase Field aircraft carrier, Arizona scored just 331 runs, ninth in the Senior Circuit.
Through four games of the Snakes' NLDS series against the Brewers, this run-scoring disparity is again holding true. Granted, Arizona faced worse Milwaukee pitching in Games Three and Four, but the season-long trend is continuing for the D-backs.
Diamondbacks R Slash Line HR SB XBH Postseason Home 18 .343/.410/.586 5 3 7 Postseason Away 5 .212/.278/.424 4 2 6
Shifting gears to the deciding Game Five in the ALDS between the Yankees and Tigers, Detroit is getting really good production from its part-time players, while the team's stars are relatively foundering over the first four games.
The dynamic combination of Brandon Inge, Don Kelly, Magglio Ordonez and Ryan Raburn have gone a combined 11-for-26, for a .423 average.
The Tigers' power nexus of Miguel Cabrera, Victor Martinez and Alex Avila are a combined 6-for-38 in the division series, or a .158 average.
While Jhonny Peralta and Delmon Young are having strong series with the bat, Austin Jackson has just one hit against his former team in 12 at-bats. For the Tigers to defeat the Yankees and Ivan Nova on Thursday in the Bronx, Jim Leyland's powerful offensive trio is going to have to perform a whole lot better than it has over the first four games.
Posted by: Shlomo Sprung
Click here for more THT Notes.