May 20, 2013
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Following are the one hundred most recent articles for the category Fun .
05/20/2013: The daily grind: 5-20-13by Brad Johnson
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
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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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