December 11, 2013
And here's the full roster.
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Following are the one hundred most recent articles for the category Fun .
11/14/2013: Let’s discuss the THT Annualby Dave Studeman
12/11/2013: Alone on the pedestal, Part 2by Jason Linden
12/11/2013: The Applegate factorby Shane Tourtellotte
12/10/2013: All about the latest Bill James Handbookby Dave Studeman
12/10/2013: Though night may fall, play ball!by Frank Jackson
12/10/2013: Roy Halladay retiresby Jeff Moore
12/09/2013: Leverage Index by inningby Dave Studeman
12/09/2013: How far are the Mariners from relevancy?by Brad Johnson
12/09/2013: Prince Halby Chris Jaffe
12/09/2013: Three underrated acquisitionsby Pat Andriola
12/06/2013: Cooperstown Confidential: Ed Charles and 42by Bruce Markusen
12/06/2013: The Athletics get busyby Brad Johnson
12/06/2013: Getting to know Ryan Haniganby Chad Dotson
12/04/2013: Cataloging the non-tendered playersby Brad Johnson
12/04/2013: Alone on the pedestalby Jason Linden
12/03/2013: Mascot fight!by Greg Simons
12/03/2013: Why is a sinker “heavy?”by David Kagan
12/03/2013: The role of fall leaguesby Jeff Moore
12/02/2013: Nationals make great deal for Fisterby Matt Filippi
12/02/2013: The Twins go holiday shopping, but to what end?by Brad Johnson
12/02/2013: The end of the benchby Chris Jaffe
11/29/2013: Card Corner: 1973 Topps: Danny Waltonby Bruce Markusen
11/29/2013: The best rookies of the ‘30sby Chad Dotson
11/27/2013: Towards an award prediction systemby Shane Tourtellotte
11/26/2013: MLB’s coffers are overflowingby Greg Simons
11/26/2013: The role of prospects in tradesby Jeff Moore
11/25/2013: Stepping up to the plateby Frank Jackson
11/25/2013: 10 things I didn’t know about player birthdaysby Chris Jaffe
11/22/2013: The end of the road for Chris Carpenterby Chad Dotson
11/21/2013: All the news that’s fit to inventby Azure Texan
11/20/2013: Marcus Stroman, the mythbusting machineby Kyle Boddy
11/20/2013: Welcome to the birthplace of… someone elseby Jason Linden
11/19/2013: 2013 THT awards reviewby Greg Simons
11/18/2013: THT Fantasy has moved to Rotographsby Dave Studeman
11/18/2013: Atlanta gets burned againby Frank Jackson
11/18/2013: The 2014 Hall of Fame VC ballotby Chris Jaffe
11/18/2013: Must See MLB.TV 2013by Dave Studeman
11/15/2013: The best rookies of the ‘40sby Chad Dotson
11/15/2013: Card Corner: Wayne Granger: 1973 Toppsby Bruce Markusen
11/14/2013: 10th anniversary: the A.J. Pierzynski tradeby Chris Jaffe
11/14/2013: The Screwball: The face of championship baseballby Azure Texan
11/14/2013: Player-A-Day: Casey Fienby Brad Johnson
11/13/2013: Player-A-Day: Tim Lincecumby Brad Johnson
11/13/2013: Pitcher performance after batting successby Shane Tourtellotte
11/13/2013: 25th anniversary: Rob Neyer writes a letterby Chris Jaffe
11/13/2013: Houston hoodoo ‘62by Frank Jackson
11/12/2013: It’s The Hardball Times Annual 2014by Dave Studeman
11/12/2013: Player-A-Day: Joe Mauerby Brad Johnson
11/11/2013: Fastball velocity by game stateby Jon Roegele
11/11/2013: The rise of the middle-aged managerby Chris Jaffe
11/08/2013: Player-A-Day: Josmil Pintoby Brad Johnson
11/08/2013: Hall monitor: The case for Andruw Jonesby Chad Dotson
11/07/2013: Big leaguers, bit partsby Azure Texan
11/07/2013: Player-A-Day: Nathan Eovaldiby Brad Johnson
11/06/2013: If he’d only gotten another shotby Jason Linden
11/06/2013: Player-A-Day: David DeJesusby Brad Johnson
11/05/2013: Player-A-Day: David Ortizby Brad Johnson
11/04/2013: Player-A-Day: Jose Dariel Abreuby Brad Johnson
11/04/2013: The Boston (Braves) Marathon of 1928by Frank Jackson
11/04/2013: 10 things I didn’t know about birthdays in 2013by Chris Jaffe
11/01/2013: Taking the close pitch with two strikesby James Gentile
11/01/2013: Card Corner: 1973 Topps: Don Baylorby Bruce Markusen
11/01/2013: The best rookies of the ‘50sby Chad Dotson
10/31/2013: The Screwball: Celebrate good times, come on!by Azure Texan
10/31/2013: Player-A-Day: Leonys Martinby Brad Johnson
10/30/2013: Player-A-Day: Jon Lesterby Brad Johnson
10/30/2013: Forecasting the major 2013 awardsby Shane Tourtellotte
10/30/2013: The effect of seeing pitchesby Jon Roegele
10/29/2013: Putting the knock on pitching changesby Joe Distelheim
10/29/2013: Player-A-Day: Ryan Howardby Brad Johnson
10/29/2013: Losing momentum in the sixth gameby Dave Studeman
10/29/2013: Previewing the fall Stars gameby Jeff Moore
10/28/2013: Player-A-Day: Travis Woodby Brad Johnson
10/28/2013: Marquis Grissom: Mr. October Jr.by Frank Jackson
10/25/2013: The blackballing of Dick Dietzby Bruce Markusen
10/24/2013: Player-A-Day: Xander Bogaertsby Brad Johnson
10/24/2013: The Screwball: Put it in neutral?by Azure Texan
10/24/2013: The all-decade team: the ‘00sby Richard Barbieri
10/24/2013: Player-A-Day: Michael Wachaby Brad Johnson
10/23/2013: Earn money watching baseballby Dave Studeman
10/23/2013: Player-A-Day: Jose Iglesiasby Brad Johnson
10/23/2013: 20th anniversary: The Joe Carter gameby Chris Jaffe
10/23/2013: Giants take a risk with Lincecum’s two-year dealby Matt Filippi
10/23/2013: BOB: Nolan Ryan retires…for nowby Brian Borawski
10/22/2013: Where does David Price fit?by Jeff Moore
10/22/2013: Survey says?!?!?by Greg Simons
10/22/2013: ALCS post-mortem: The Fielder playby Shane Tourtellotte
10/21/2013: The best rivalries of 2013by Chris Jaffe
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October 06, 2012
Would-Be Superstars of the Springfield IsotopesIn my column this week, I mentioned—as a throwaway line—that you could make a pretty team out of the players who have appeared on The Simpsons. Well, time to put my money where my mouth is. The only rule I’ve applied to this list is that the players in question had to actually have voiced themselves on the show. Merely being mentioned, or even drawn, is not sufficient.
Catcher: Gene Tenace, Regarding Margie
First Base: Mark McGwire, Brother’s Little Helper
Second Base: Steve Sax, Homer at the Bat
Shortstop: Ozzie Smith,Homer at the Bat
Third Base: Wade Boggs, Homer at the Bat
Left Field: Jose Canseco, Homer at the Bat
Center Field: Ken Griffey, Jr. Homer at the Bat
Right Field: Darryl Strawberry, Homer at the Bat
Right-Handed Pitcher: Roger Clemens, Homer at the Bat
Left-Handed Pitcher: Randy Johnson, Bart Has Two Mommies
Manager: Mike Scioscia, Homer at the Bat, MoneyBART
GM: Sal Bando, Regarding Margie
Special Advisor to the GM: Bill James, MoneyBART
Posted by: Richard Barbieri
October 03, 2012
Putting the wait for a new Triple Crown into perspectiveToday, Miguel Cabrera goes for the Triple Crown. How long has it been since someone won the Triple Crown?
Well, it was last done by Carl Yastrzemski in 1967. That’s 45 years ago. Let’s see if we can put that in perspective.
Last time someone won the Triple Crown, the A’s played in Kansas City. There were only 20 teams, and there were no baseball divisions. Bud Selig had nothing to do with big league baseball. Only seven guys had 500 career homers. Just six pitchers had 2,500 Ks. Now there are 30. Only 11 had 100 saves. Now 132 relievers are in that club. Jamie Moyer was in preschool last time someone hit the Triple Crown.
Let’s move it beyond the world of baseball for a second. Last time someone won the Triple Crown, LBJ was president, Mao Zedong ran China, Leonid Brezhnev was the head of the USSR, and Charles DeGaulle ran France. Nelson Mandela was in jail on Robben Island. Ronald Reagan was the new governor of California. Barack Obama attended grammar school in Indonesia. The Vietnam War was not only going on, it was still popular.
Last time someone won the Triple Crown, Che Guevera was still alive, and fighting in Bolivia. Last time someone won the Triple Crown, Helen Keller was still alive. Henry Pu-Yi, the last emperor of China, was still alive last time someone got the Triple Crown. Also still alive: Otis Redding, John Steinbeck, Boris Karloff, Dwight Eisenhower, and Judy Garland.
Here were some songs in the Top Ten the last time someone won the Triple Crown: The Letter by the Box Tops (which was No. 1), Reflections by the Supremes, Higher and Higher by Jackie Wilson, and Brown Eyed Girl by Van Morrison. Also, the debut album of the Jimi Hendrix Experience had just come out.
Movies in the theater: Bonnie and Clyde, Battle of Algiers (new in US theaters anyway), The Dirty Dozen, To Sir with Love, In the Heat of the Night, The Flim Flam Man.
Star Trek, the original one, was a TV show entering its second season. “The Trouble with Tribbles” episode would air in December 1967.
Last time someone won the Triple Crown, there had been only one Super Bowl. And no one cared about it.
It's been 45 years since the last Triple Crown. Here are some people who didn’t live to their 45th birthday: Marvin Gaye, Billie Holiday, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Mary, Queen of Scots, Ray Oyler, Natalie Wood, Stephen Austin, Alan Freed, Lyle Alzado, Junior Seau, Elvis Presley, Robert Kennedy, Gary Coleman, Edgar Allen Poe, and Amelia Earhart.
Yaz clinching the Triple Crown is closer in time to Mussolini coming to power in Italy than it is to the present day. It’s also closer in time to the first Yankees world championship than it is to the present day.
The last time anyone won the Triple Crown, it had been only 59 years since the last Cubs world championship.
Posted by: Chris Jaffe
September 02, 2012
August’s most exciting games (and teams)Well, August is in the books. Another month done. So what were the highlights and most memorable games of the month?
As it happens, I have a system I debuted last year that ranks how exciting a game is. There’s no point getting into a full account of how it works (methodology given at the end of this article if you're curious), other than to say it gives points for the things that makes games exciting and/or memorable: lead changes and comebacks, late-inning drama, extra innings, walk-off wins, how close the final score was, and outstanding performances by pitchers and sluggers.
Well, I’ve been tracking the games played so far throughout the 2012 season, and based on that system, here are the five most exciting games played in August:
Click for more...
Posted by: Chris Jaffe
May 03, 2012
Most exciting games (and teams) of AprilLast year, I wrote an article for THT trying to figure out the best postseason series of all-time based on a semi-basic formula I’d figured out. I took some of the elements that made a game memorable and applied it to the postseason.
It occurred to me, I can just as easily apply this formula to regular season games and figure out what are the most exciting and dramatic games of the year. So I’ve done that.
First, what makes a game exciting? There are a few things I look for—late-game drama and lead changes, walk-off wins, going into extra innings, a close final score, comebacks, and great personal performances. For hitters, that just means hitting multiple homers in a game, and for pitchers tossing a shutout, and/or a game with few hits allowed (with a no-hitter or perfect game getting real big points).
The full formula can be found in the references & resources section of last year’s article. I made two minor tweaks here: 1) lessening the points for going into extra innings, and 2) increasing points for no-hitters/perfectos.
That said, here are the five best games of April:
5. April 28, 2012: Dodgers 4, Nationals 3 (10)
It’s an extra-inning game that ended with a walk-off home run. The ninth inning was a wild one. Washington scored a pair to take a 3-1 lead, only to see LA storm back with two of their own to tie it, 3-3.
4. April 21, 2012: Yankees 15, Red Sox 9
Ah yes, this one. Boston blew the biggest comeback of the month here, a nine-run lead. A game is worth a lot of points with a big comeback.
3. April 14, 2012: Rockies 8, Diamondbacks 7
Ah, Coors Field. A real back-and-forth game. Arizona led, 1-0, then Colorado went up 5-1 only to see the Diamondbacks storm back for a 7-5 lead in the middle of the eighth. Todd Helton ended it with a two-run walk-off home run.
2. April 8, 2012: Tigers 13, Red Sox 12 (11)
It wasn’t enough that Detroit had to score three runs in the bottom of the ninth to tie the score at 9-9. No, they had to spot Boston a pair of runs in the 11th before completing their incredible victory with three runs in the bottom of the 11th.
1. April 21, 2012: White Sox 4, Mariners 0.
It’s the 21st perfect game in baseball history. Of course, it’s No. 1.
Using the same system, I can figure the teams who had the most and least exciting April. Please note it doesn’t matter if the team won or lost—just how exciting their game was.
The most exciting month: Washington Nationals
Three times they’ve won a game on a walk-off play. All three came in extra-innings. Their April 18 game against Houston saw both teams come from behind to take the lead. On April 15, they overcame a 5-0 deficit to the Reds only to lose in 11 innings. Washington also lost the fifth most exciting game of the month. In all, it’s a pretty busy month.
Least exciting month: Atlanta Braves
Let’s start with what they haven’t had. There are no extra-inning games. No walk-off finishes. You get points for late game drama, but Atlanta has played in exactly one game where either they or their opponent tied the score or took the lead in the eighth inning.
One unexpected oddity: Even though one-sixth of all games in major league baseball scored at zero points—nothing especially distinctive happening in them—the Braves had only one such game. I wouldn’t expect that from the least exciting team.
Yeah, but while an average big league game scores at 6.7 points, Atlanta achieved that only three times all April long. They’re games are rarely completely lacking in anything especially exciting; they just regularly have very little excitement.
Posted by: Chris Jaffe
March 28, 2012
Extremely early awards votingSure, it's only one game (Mariners 3-1 over the A's in 11 in Tokyo), but a few players already have set themselves apart from the competition, establishing themselves are early front-runners for the American League MVP and Cy Young awards. Here's a look at the candidates and their credentials.
1. Dustin Ackley is slugging 1.000 and on pace for 162 homers, the same number of stolen bases, 324 RBI, and an equal number of runs scored. Naturally, all of those would be major league records. He had the game-winning RBI in Wednesday's contest, too, so he has the clutchiness factor working for him.
2. Ackley's 324-hit pace would shatter the current record. However, Ichiro Suzuki is looking to protect his status as the record holder in that category by getting off on a 648-hit pace, nearly 400 base knocks over the current record of 262 safties. Also, Ichiro's .800 batting average would make Ted Williams' .406 mark look pathetic in comparison.
3. A distant third, Cliff Pennington is batting .400 with a stolen base. Hey, someone has to get those third-place votes.
If you prefer to put one of the pitchers below in the MVP discussion, that's completely understandable. For now, I'm keeping the hitters and hurlers separate.
AL Cy Young
1. He didn't get the Opening Day win, but a low win total didn't stop Felix Hernandez from bringing home the hardware a couple of seasons ago. His eight-inning, six-strikeout, one-run, five-hit, no-walk performance enabled the Mariners to stay in the game long enough for Ackley to execute his heroics. And Hernandez's 1.13 ERA would be just off Bob Gibson's 1968 record of 1.12.
2. Brandon McCarthy did his best to keep pace with King Felix, but he managed to twirl only seven innings of six-hit, one-run ball. He also didn't walk anyone (nor did any other pitcher on either staff), but his mere three punchouts hint at a lack of dominance that could weaken his case as the season progresses.
3. Brandon League preserved the M's win, throwing a shutout frame in the 11th inning, whiffing two batters while allowing one hit. Sure, saves are overrated, but League's peripheral numbers show he's more than just an accumulator.
Posted by: Greg Simons
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