Archive for Lists and Rankings

What’s Hot and What’s Not in Baseball This Week

What’s Hot and What’s Not in Baseball This Week

FINAL VOTE: Players Deserving Movies

Jackie Robinson has got a new movie — 42 — about him
coming out in 2013. Who else needs one?

After two exhausting rounds of voting — in which I had to write over 1000 words per post — we have finally reached the final vote, where we will determine the single more deserving baseball personality, the fella worth a quality Hollywood movie.

Here’s the poll. I encourage you not to vote for just the names you recognize, but the stories you think move-worth.

And follow the jump for the brief explanations of the players/personalities in case you missed them in the previous rounds.
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13 Pitchers With More Wins Than The Astros On The Road

David Price
“Ironically,” David Price’s dog is named Astro.
A.J. Burnett
I’ve always though Allan James Burnett looks like he should be working the overnight at the 7-11 by my house.
R.A. Dickey
I’m sorry about your bracelets; we all love you very much.
Jered Weaver

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Five Best Metro Areas for the Prospect Nerd

A little over a week ago, talking with a friend who now lives in Washington, DC, that same friend dedicated no small portion of our conversation to celebrating his proximity (by virtue of living in the aforementioned American city) to minor-league baseball — in this case, to the Bowie Baysox of the Double-A Eastern League, the Frederick Keys and Potomac Nationals of the High-A Carolina League, the Hagerstown Suns of the Low-A Sally League, and even the Aberdeen IronBirds of the short-season New York-Penn League.

Mentioning that same conversation to FanGraphs managing editor Dave Cameron a couple days afterward, he (i.e. Cameron) replied by suggesting that his present hometown of Winston-Salem — which features no fewer than eight minor-league teams within a 90-minute drive (depending on traffic, of course) — is perhaps the best place to live in the country were one’s sole ambition in life to attend minor-league baseball games.

Because it’s among my ambitions in life to fact check Cameron’s most dubious-sounding claims — and also because I was curious — I spent too much of the weekend attempting to assess which towns and cities offered access to the greatest number of minor leagues.

As a sort of informal way of measuring this, I assigned to those same towns and cities three points for every ballpark within a 30-minute drive (according to Google Maps), two points for every ballpark within 60 minutes, and a single point for a ballpark within 90 minutes — while awarding points for only one team (the closest) per minor league.*

*Note: the scores aren’t recorded here, but the reader can reproduce them easily enough using and Google Maps.

So, for example, to Winston-Salem I assigned three points for the Winston-Salem Dash of the High-A Carolina League, two points for the Greensboro Grasshoppers of the Low-A Sally League (37 minutes away), one point for the Burlington Royals of the rookie-level Appalachian League (64 minutes), and another point for the Triple-A Durham Bulls (89 minutes!) — but not points for the Kannapolis Intimidators, for example, as, like Greensboro, they belong to the Sally League. Is it possible that the presence of an extra Sally League team in the general vicinity improves the experience of a baseball nerd living in Winston-Salem? Perhaps. But the marginal gains are small, I’d submit — and, more to the point, the prospect of measuring such a thing tested the will of the author.

In terms of criteria that were not considered in the creation of this list, “basically everything else” is the answer to that. So, for example, real estate prices: that’s not a criterion. Or unemployment rate: that’s not a criterion. Or weather. Or restaurants. Or schools.

With that said, here are the top-five metro areas for prospect nerds, as best I can tell. Note that all maps (which one can click for the purposes of embiggening) are from and presented on same scale, to avoid confusion. Drive times are courtesy Google Maps.

5. Southeast Suburbs, Cleveland

What an exercise like this one reveals is both that (a) it’s uncommon to find teams from two different minor leagues within an hour of each other and also that (b) it’s decidedly rare to find clubs from three different minor leagues all within the same general metro area. That’s why, even with just three teams, residents of the southeast Cleveland suburbs have considerably above-average access to minor-league baseball, with the Lake County Captains of the Class A Midwest League and Akron Aeros of the Double-A Eastern League both about a half hour’s away and the Mahoning Valley Scrappers of the short-season New York-Penn League about an hour’s drive.

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VOTE: Players Deserving Movies, Round 2

Current Leader: Ro! Ber! To! Ro! Ber! To!
image credz

Our quest to find a movie-worthy story continues today as we vote on the second round of contestants.

Here’s the top five from Round 1:

1. Roberto Clemente 14.5% (77 votes)

2. Satchel Paige 13.94% (74 votes)

3. Moe Berg 11.11% (59 votes)

4. Branch Rickey 9.79% (52 votes)

5. Bill Veeck 8.47% (45 votes)

Here are the Round 2 contestants, our final grouping:
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Batting Stance Guy: Top 10 Traded Stances

Perhaps I am alone in my undue affinity of batting stances (I am not), but allow me to indulge in one of my favorite baseball minstrels, that Batting Stance Guy.

Regard, nerds, not only his flair for the follow-through, but his utter disregard of the whiffed whiffle ball from the Marco Scutaro at bat:

Other assorted notes:

• The Ichiro Suzuki follow-through: Hahaha!
• The Kevin Youkilis follow-through: Hahaha!
• The Jim Thome follow-through: Hahaha!

Hat tip: Rob Neyer.

VOTE: Players Deserving Movies, Round 1

Alright. There was a bagillion nominations, so we’re going to have to break this down a bit.

Newcomers to this endeavor should know: We are looking for the next great Hollywood baseball movie. Not a documentary, per se, as several of these players already have such. No, we want a Moneyball quality film made about one of these amazing men.

Below the jump will be a breakdown of the nominees, followed by the poll.
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20 Things You Didn’t Know About Carlos Correa

17-year-old shortstop Carlos Correa has made history by being the first Puerto Rican player selected first in the MLB draft when he was selected yesterday by my Houston Astros. Here’s 20 things you may not have realized about him:
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Everyone in the Video for Dire Straits’ “Walk of Life”

Man has never wondered — definitely not aloud, and likely not to himself, either — if it would be possible to write two posts regarding the video for Dire Straits’ “Walk of Life” on a baseballing-themed blog within the span of just three or four days.

A pity, that, as the present dispatch does, in fact, represent the second such post in just such a span of days.

The object of this post: to identify all (or even one) of the baseball players in same video. A combination of Baseball Reference and the fusiform gyrus part of the author’s brain have conspired to start the list, as seen below.

The readership is invited to add to said list — or to sit there, mouth agape, staring into an uncertain future. Either one.

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