Friday, November 18, 2016

Annual Updates, 2016

Another season has come and gone, and the awards are now in the books. Updates have been made to the following posts:

 The Second Place Award Winners
Rookie of the Year Facts
Which Team Had the Most Cy Young Winners?
Back-to-back World Series with different franchises
The Run That Clinched It

It was quite a year, with the Cubs (finally!) winning the World Series, and doing so in a thrilling fashion. As a longtime Cub rooter, it was perhaps my most rewarding moment as a fan. Right up there with the time the White Sox won it. It still hasn't sunk in yet that it really happened. I'll never forget it though. Whether these Cubs become a dynasty, or whether they fall apart like other great young teams have, we'll always have 2016. Flags fly forever.

Also, with Rick Porcello winning the Cy Young Award, the 2014 Tigers' pitching staff becomes a thing of legend, so be sure to check that Cy Young post out.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Oldest Ringless Players: 2016

With the 2016 regular season in the books, we at long last have our playoff picture! While I remain strongly opposed to the Wild Card Game, this year I got what I wanted and both leagues' Wild Cards finished tied, which would've led to a tiebreaker game being played anyway under the old system.

So who is the oldest player without a World Series ring on each playoff team's current 40-man roster?

Baltimore Orioles: J.J. Hardy (August 19, 1982)
Boston Red Sox: Brad Ziegler (October 10, 1979)
Chicago Cubs: Munenori Kawasaki (June 3, 1981)
Cleveland Indians: Marlon Byrd (August 30, 1977)
Los Angeles Dodgers: Rich Hill (March 11, 1980)
New York Mets: Bartolo Colon (May 24, 1973)
San Francisco Giants: Joe Nathan (November 22, 1974)
Texas Rangers: Carlos Beltran (April 24, 1977)
Toronto Blue Jays: R.A. Dickey (October 29, 1974)
Washington Nationals: Matt Belisle (June 6, 1980)

Players born in the 1970s are becoming an increasing rarity, but we've got several still hanging around the majors looking for that championship. In fact, just three years ago, every player on this list was born in the '70s. And six out of these ten are pitchers.

Nothing personal, Brad Ziegler or Joe Nathan, but I'm not going to be very happy if you get a ring this year, since you two play for the only franchises in the mix that I've seen win a World Series. The guy on this list I most hope gets a ring this year is Munenori Kawasaki, despite the fact that he's an MLB journeyman who had a more substantial career in Japan. Why? Well, just look at what team he plays for. How can you not want to see the Cubs finally win it?

Monday, September 19, 2016

The Rays Franchise Deep Three

Finally we've reached the end of this series (for now, at least). The last franchise on the board is the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, who've spent about two thirds of their existence as a laughingstock and the other third as the ultimate "do the most with the least" franchise. How does it shake out?

1stDavid PriceToby HallCarlos PenaBen ZobristEvan LongoriaJulio LugoCarl CrawfordMelvin UptonMatt Joyce
2ndJames ShieldsDioner NavarroFred McGriffLogan ForsytheAubrey HuffJason BartlettDesmond JenningsRocco BaldelliBen Grieve
3rdScott KazmirJohn FlahertyTravis LeeMiguel CairoJared SandbergKevin StockerGreg VaughnRandy WinnDave Martinez

So...that 3rd Team is brutal. What do you expect from a franchise with such a short and usually bad history? Center field was fairly strong though, and once Kevin Kiermaier gets another year under his belt, he'll probably at least make it to the 2nd Team. Catcher was definitely the weakest position here. No offense to Toby Hall, but he wouldn't even crack the 6th Team for some franchises.

I'm hoping to recompile these in perhaps about five years, if I'm still doing this blog then. Certainly some players will have moved up or down on the lists, and even some players yet to debut will probably be there for a few of them. For now though, enjoy the 2015-16 rankings in all their up-to-date comprehensiveness.

Saturday, September 3, 2016

The Diamondbacks Franchise Deep Three

Down to the two 1998 expansion franchises, both of which I plan to put up this month. Let's start with the one that's won a World Series, the Arizona Diamondbacks:

1stRandy JohnsonMiguel MonteroPaul GoldschmidtOrlando HudsonMatt WilliamsStephen DrewLuis GonzalezChris YoungJustin Upton
2ndCurt SchillingDamian MillerMark GraceAaron HillMark ReynoldsTony WomackGerardo ParraSteve FinleyDanny Bautista
3rdBrandon WebbChris SnyderTravis LeeJay BellJake LambAlex CintronEric ByrnesA.J. PollockDavid Dellucci

If you thought the 1993 teams had some slim pickings, how much more so teams with five fewer seasons! Right field and shortstop are both virtual wastelands after the top spots, and catcher, first base, and left field aren't all that hot either.

Second base surprised me. If we'd done a 4th Team, Junior Spivey could've been a solid choice. I wasn't expecting Orlando Hudson to claim the 1st Team spot, but it was hard to argue with his three strong seasons in the desert.

Center field is another good position. A.J. Pollock is currently on the 3rd Team, but with a few more good years, he could find himself on that 1st Team pretty quickly.

The best of all though, was pitcher. The 1st Teamer is in the Hall of Fame, the 2nd Teamer probably will be someday (deservingly), and the 3rd Teamer had the potential before an injury suddenly ended his career. After that, well...let's just say that a 4th Team would've diminished the impressiveness ratio.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

The Marlins Franchise Deep Three

Last time we did the Rockies, now it's time for that other 1993 expansion franchise, the one with higher heights and lower lows, the Florida/Miami Marlins. This team has been known for stockpiling talent and then giving it away in fire sales, so there were several short-term pieces that didn't make the three-season minimum.

1stJosh JohnsonCharles JohnsonDerrek LeeLuis CastilloMike LowellHanley RamirezChristian YelichCody RossGiancarlo Stanton
2ndDontrelle WillisJ.T. RealmutoGreg ColbrunnDan UgglaMiguel CabreraEdgar RenteriaCliff FloydJuan PierreGary Sheffield
3rdJose FernandezMike RedmondGaby SanchezDonovan SolanoWes HelmsAdeiny HechaverriaJeff ConineMarcell OzunaMark Kotsay

Ah, Josh Johnson. A star that burnt briefly but oh-so-brightly. Ah, Dontrelle Willis. The same, but to a slightly lesser extent. Will Jose Fernandez be the great Marlin pitcher who doesn't get hurt or flame out?

J.T. Realmuto's career is off to a good start, already the second-best Marlin backstop. Mike Redmond was a career backup, but he was quite serviceable in his day, and stuck around longer than most backup catchers do.

Third base was tough, as there weren't a lot of options. Miguel Cabrera only played third base full time in two seasons, but he saw significant time there in two other seasons, so I decided to include him. Besides, he's a future Hall of Famer. Ya gotta get him in somewhere. Wes Helms on the 3rd Team, though? Yikes.

Left field was surprisingly strong, as many teams don't have long-lasting players there; it's just a place to stick a solid-but-replaceable hitter. Christian Yelich has been inspiring in his brief career there, and there was enough depth that a solid guy like Josh Willingham missed the cut.

Hanley Ramirez was far and away the best choice at short, and the rest was a sea of average. Alex Gonzalez, a longtime Marlin, missed the cut for being mediocre. It's a mystery he lasted as long as he did.

I didn't expect Cody Ross to be the Fish's top center fielder, but he turned out to be better than Pierre, the guy I predicted would take the spot. A shame he's already forgotten.