BOS vs. NYY: Which Team is Truly Better?

Hey baseball fans!

Right after the Red Sox won the 2013 World Series, many people came up to me, saying that the Sox were better than the New York Yankees. My response was usually that of course they were better because they just won the World Series. But I followed up that statement with the following one: “But when Boston wins their 28th championship, then they will really be better than the Yankees.” Although that’s pretty mean, it’s a logical statement. However, that got me thinking: which team really is better: the Boston Red Sox or the New York Yankees? So, in this post, I will finally be answering this age-old question the only way I know how: historical facts! And yes, the Yankees do have the most World Series wins out of any MLB team with 27, but I’m judging this contest on different criteria.

Category One: Overall Winning Percentage
The Red Sox have been around since 1901 and the Yankees have been around since 1903, so they have played relatively the same amount of games (of course, there are always tiebreakers and rain outs and stuff like that). With that being said, out of 17,742 games played in the franchise’s history, the Red Sox have won 9,130 of them. Their overall winning percentage is .515. The Yankees have played in 17,454 games and have won 9,890 of them for a total winning percentage of .567. After one category of judging, the score in the contest is 1-0, New York.

Category Two: Head-to-Head Overall Record
There have been 2,138 meetings between the two storied franchises, but which team has won more of these head-to-head games? Well, the Red Sox have won 972 of them, there have been 14 ties, and the Yankees have won the remaining 1,152 games. The Yankees are building their lead in the contest, with the score 2-0 after two categories.

Category Three: Hall of Famers
Although this category seems a bit obscure and not needed, I think it’s very necessary to see which team has brought up the most stars who now reside in Cooperstown. There are 12 ballplayers in the Hall of Fame who were inducted in as Red Sox, including stars like Ted Williams and Carl Yastrzemski. On the other hand, there are 22 Yankees Hall of Famers, including Lou Gehrig, Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle, and Babe Ruth. (Yes, Ruth did go in as a Yankee and not as a member of the Red Sox.) With the contest now at 3-0, New York, the Yankees only need to win one more category to win the whole contest.

Category Four: Head-to-Head Playoff Matchups
Boston and New York have squared off in the postseason in 19 games in three playoff series. The first series was the 1999 ALCS, in which the Yankees beat the Red Sox 4-1 and eventually won the World Series against a former Boston team, the Atlanta Braves. In the 2003 ALCS, it took seven games and a dramatic walk-off homer by Aaron Boone in Game Seven for the Yankees to send the Red Sox home. In the 2004 ALCS, the Red Sox came back from a three games to none deficit and won the series, four games to three. The ’04 Sox eventually won their first World Series since having sold Babe Ruth to…the Yankees! However, despite this dramatic win for the Sox, the Yankees won two out of the three playoff series that the two teams have participated in, which means only one thing: the Yankees win the contest, 4-0, proving once and for all that they are better than the Red Sox.

I’m sorry Red Sox fans, but facts are facts and you really can’t argue with them. Anyway, thanks for reading this post. Do you agree with it? Write your opinions in the comment section below. I hope you enjoyed this post and check back soon for more of “all the buzz on what wuzz.”

His Homer in the Gloamin’ was a Hall of Fame Omen

Hey baseball fans!

We are more than two thirds of the way through the 2014 MLB season and, sadly, it looks as if the Chicago Cubs will not be making the postseason. However, in order to alleviate the wounds of Cubs fans, I want to talk about one of the fan favorites that played in Chicago. He was one of the best catchers of all time and one of the first catchers ever inducted into the Hall of Fame, Gabby Hartnett.

Hartnett played with the Cubs and Giants from 1922-1941. In his 20 years in Major League Baseball, the man nicknamed “Old Tomato Face” was one of the best hitters of his generation, hitting for a .297 batting average with 236 homers and 1,179 RBIs. He was the first catcher in the MLB to hit 20 or more home runs in a season, which he did in 1925 (he hit 24). Besides his prolific hitting, Gabby was an excellent fielding catcher. He caught 100 or more games in twelve seasons and led the NL in putouts four times. The six-time All Star placed in the top 20 for MVP voting ten times, winning the award in 1935. Hartnett always hit better in clutch situations and his home run for the Cubs at the end of the 1938 season that ultimately helped them win the NL pennant does nothing but prove my point. The “Homer in the Gloamin'” (as it was nicknamed because Gabby hit the home run in almost complete darkness) was not only his finest moment, but it was also one of the most iconic moments in Chicago sports history, cementing Old Tomato Face’s name in Cubs’ history forever.

The Cubs may not be the best team now, but at least they have a storied history of great ballplayers who loved the game of baseball, one of those players being Gabby Hartnett. Anyway, thanks for reading this post. I hope you enjoyed it and check back soon for more of “all the buzz on what wuzz.”

An Interview with Former MLB Pitcher, Jim Abbott

Hey baseball fans!

I recently got the chance to interview former MLB pitcher, Jim Abbott! Some of you might know him from his no-hitter with the Yankees, while some might know him from his playing days with the Angels, White Sox, and Brewers. Nonetheless, I’m still going to tell you a little bit about him before I get to the interview.



Jim Abbott pitched in the majors from 1989-1999 with the aforementioned teams, despite being born without a right hand. Because of this, his pitching style was a little bit different than others but, ultimately, he was a great pitcher. During his collegiate pitching career at the University of Michigan from 1985-1988, Abbott led the Wolverines to two Big Ten championships. In 1987, he became the first baseball player ever to win the James E. Sullivan Award as the best nonprofessional athlete in the United States. He even helped the USA get the gold medal in baseball in the 1988 Olympics in Seoul, South Korea. That same year, he was drafted by the Angels as the eighth overall pick in the MLB Draft and didn’t pitch a single game in the minors.

During his MLB career, he went 87-108 with an ERA of 4.25. His best season was with California in 1991, when he placed third in the AL Cy Young Award voting and won 18 games. Abbott’s crowning achievement was a no-hitter with the Yankees against the Indians on September 4th, 1993; he didn’t allow a single Indian to reach second base. After his MLB career came to a close, he was inducted into the College Baseball Hall of Fame in 2007 and is currently a motivational speaker.

Now, here is the interview with former star pitcher, Jim Abbott!

Matt: You were born without a right hand. How did you learn to play baseball? Did the game come naturally to you?
Jim: I just learned to play a little differently. I could always throw the ball pretty well and I worked pretty hard at learning how to play the game. But I didn’t consider it work as a kid, since I just loved playing baseball. I had some natural talent, but the key for me was practicing learning how to pitch.

Matt: Why didn’t you sign with the Blue Jays when they picked you in the 1985 MLB Draft and instead went to the University of Michigan?
Jim: I wasn’t ready for professional baseball and it was my dream to play for the University of Michigan. I figured if I could go to school and get some classes in, I could be a better prospect than I was before.

Matt: Did you expect that you would win the 1987 James E. Sullivan Award as the top amateur athlete in the United States?
Jim: I really didn’t expect it at all. I didn’t even expect to be invited to the award ceremony.

Matt: Did you feel that you were going to pitch well on the day you no-hit the Indians?
Jim: The no-hitter came somewhat out of the blue. I didn’t have a great start the start before and I didn’t go into the game too confident, but I think that added some focus for me.

Matt: When you were elected into the College Baseball Hall of Fame in 2007, what emotions did you experience when this news was announced?
Jim: It was a very big honor. To be inducted into the same class as some of the great college baseball players of all time, it meant a lot and was very special.

Matt: You are currently a motivational speaker, but do you ever want to return to the major leagues as a coach, trainer, or maybe even an owner?
Jim: I don’t think I can ever be an owner, but I do miss the game sometimes. However, I really enjoy what I’m doing now and I like inspiring people.

Matt: Do you have any advice for kids with a handicap that want to play sports?
Jim: My advice is that you go and do something that you are really driven to do. I loved to play baseball and, because I loved it, I practiced it. Some of us have limitations, but if you are passionate about something and if you have the drive, then you can accomplish it.

Thanks to Jim for answering my questions. It really means a lot. And thanks to Nikki Warner at the MLBPAA for making the connection. Anyway, thanks so much for reading this interview. I hope you enjoyed it and check back soon for more of “all the buzz on what wuzz.”

My Camp Experience at the BBIESBC (You’ll understand what this stands for soon)

Hey baseball fans!

From Monday, July 28th until Friday, August 1st, I attended the Bruce Beck & Ian Eagle Sports Broadcasting Camp, a camp that is hosted in the Yogi Berra Museum & Learning Center in Little Falls, NJ by versatile and experienced sports newscasters, Bruce Beck and Ian Eagle. The camp teaches students 13 and older about the art of sports broadcasting. It was probably one of the best weeks of my life and I want to share my experiences with you.

From Monday until Friday, the fun didn’t stop. Beck and Eagle did crack some jokes, but they were also there to be serious and help all 61 kids in my class improve their broadcasting and reporting skills. We did a bunch of exercises, including reading off a teleprompter, doing a fake radio sports talk show, and interviewing fellow students and presenting our information to the rest of the class. We had many guest speakers come in as well, about two per day, and each guest had very interesting advice for their specific job, whether they were a former player who is now an analyst, a field reporter, or a writer for a magazine/newspaper. It was so interesting to hear each guest’s story and I really enjoyed it.

One of the campers there that I became friends with is Sam Neidermann, the author of the sports blog, Sports On Fire. It’s a really good blog and I suggest you check it out. Click here to visit the site.

Another great thing about the camp was that we took some field trips. On Wednesday, all 61 of us got to go to MetLife Stadium, where we viewed the football field from the press box and broadcast booth, and SNY Studios, where we got to see a day in the lives of Mets analysts. But undoubtedly the best field trip of all was on Friday, when we got to see a baseball game between the Somerset Patriots and the Lancaster Barnstormers of the independent Atlantic League. Why was it so special, you ask? We got to broadcast the game into our own recorders! I had a blast announcing, although I made a lot of mistakes. We even met the Patriots’ manager emeritus, Sparky Lyle.

However, I would have made many more mistakes if I hadn’t gone to the BBIESBC. It was truly an awesome week. If you, your kid, or your grandkid wants to learn about how to broadcast, then this camp is right for them. In its category, it is one of the most prestigious camps in the entire United States, and most of the graduates of the BBIESBC have jobs in broadcasting for many different studios. Check out the camp’s website, if you want more information.

Thanks for reading about my experience at the BBIESBC. I hope you enjoyed it and check back soon for more of “all the buzz on what wuzz.”

The Big Hurt’s Great Career

Hey baseball fans!

Four former members of the Atlanta Braves’ organization were inducted into the Hall of Fame last weekend. However, there were also two representatives of the White Sox franchise who were enshrined in Cooperstown: Tony La Russa and Frank Thomas. Considering La Russa was more famous on his A’s and Cardinals teams, today I want to talk about the Big Hurt.

Frank Edward Thomas played at either first base or as the DH from 1990-2008 with the ChiSox, A’s, and Toronto Blue Jays. Known as the Big Hurt because of his menacing home run power and his huge size, Thomas was one of the key factors in helping the team get to the 2005 World Series (although he did not play in the actual World Series vs. Houston due to an injury). The five-time All Star smacked 521 career home runs, tied for 18th on the all time list, along with 1,704 runs batted in, putting him at the number 22 on that all time list. Thomas won the AL MVP in back-to-back years in 1993 and 1994. In the strike-shortened ’94 season, he hit .353 with 38 dingers and 101 RBIs. Those are numbers that some players couldn’t best even if they played in a standard 162-game season! Oh, did I mention that Thomas also hit for a lifetime batting average of .301?

Although he is retired, Frank Thomas will always be remembered because of his prolific slugging and his recent enshrinement into the Hall of Fame. Anyway, thanks for reading this post. I hope you enjoyed it and check back soon for more of “all the buzz on what wuzz.”

Talkin’ Trades 2K14

Hey baseball fans!

I’m going to talk about something that I rarely bring up on Baseball with Matt: current baseball! Yes, today I think it is very important to talk about the trading that has been shaking up Major League Baseball. In this post, I will be talking about the three biggest trades that were recently made (in no particular order).

Who? OF Yoenis Cespedes of the Oakland A’s for P Jon Lester and OF Jonny Gomes of the Boston Red Sox
My Thoughts: Wow!! This trade really shocked me. I did not think that one, the A’s wanted Lester and two, that the A’s were willing to give up perhaps their best hitter for him. Let me tell you what I think of this trade; overall, I think it’s very fair. Obviously, Billy Beane and his Oakland A’s are now going to trust their pitching a lot more. Expect Oakland to be winning very close games in the future, games with the final scores like 3-2, 2-1, or even 1-0. But let’s not forget about Jonny Gomes. With an OBP that is 95 points better than his batting average, he is truly a quintessential Billy Beane ballplayer. He will definitely be able to get on base, but will he be able to step up his hitting game?

Now, in my opinion, the Sox got the better end of this deal just because of how good Yoenis Cespedes is. He has been part of the last two Home Run Derbies, winning both of them in spectacular fashion. His power will hopefully be just right for a struggling Red Sox team and could possibly surge them to a division title. I’m very excited to see if Cespedes can adapt to Fenway and the Bostonian crowd.









 

 

Who? John Lackey and P Corey Littrell of the Red Sox for 1B Allen Craig and P Joe Kelly of the St. Louis Cardinals
My Thoughts: So, now both Johns are out of Boston. As I mentioned before, Lester is in Oakland, something I didn’t expect, but Lackey going to St. Louis is another move that I did not see coming. I expected the veteran pitcher to go to Los Angeles and play ball in Dodger blue, but I guess now he will be playing in Cardinal red. However, I think that he will be a good fit with the Cards, as they are in the middle of a tough NL Central and they want to make a push for the playoffs. Litrell is a minor league pitcher, so he will not have immediate success in the Bigs, but there is a great chance that he will provide success for the Cardinals in the future.

Allen Craig has been struggling this season, after an excellent 2013 campaign, and Joe Kelly is also not having the best season. Because of these factors, I think the Red Sox got the worse deal in this case, but who knows? Maybe Craig and Kelly will rise to stardom in New England? We will just have to wait and see.

Who? David Price of the Tampa Bay Rays to the Tigers, SS Nick Franklin, P Drew Smyly, and SS Willy Adames to the Rays, and CF Austin Jackson to the Mariners
My Thoughts: Good job, Tigers. In my opinion, Price was the best pitcher who was speculated to be traded before the trade deadline, so congratulations to Detroit for picking him up. Price was such a good pitcher for the Rays, and he will probably bring that pitching prowess over to the Motor City. As for Tampa Bay and Seattle, they did fine in this trade. To replace David Price, the Rays got Drew Smyly, a decent pitcher who played for the Tigers and the Mariners got Austin Jackson, a decent outfielder who is just experiencing some bumps in the road. Overall, this trade was good for everyone, but mostly for the Tigers.

Well, I hope you enjoyed my thoughts on some of the big trades that went on right before the trade deadline and thanks for reading them. Don’t worry: more historical content is coming soon, so check back soon for more of “all the buzz on what wuzz.”

An Interview with Rangers Broadcaster and Ford Frick Award Winner, Eric Nadel

Hey baseball fans!

It’s Hall of Fame induction weekend! Congratulations to Frank Thomas, Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, Bobby Cox, Tony La Russa, and Joe Torre for being inducted into Cooperstown. Oh wait, I forgot to congratulate the winner of this year’s Ford C. Frick Award, Texas Rangers broadcaster, Eric Nadel (no relation)! The reason I’m mentioning the veteran Rangers announcer is that I just interviewed him live at Yankee Stadium in his radio booth in a recent Yankees vs. Rangers game, after Eric invited me to join him! I recorded the interview on my audio recorder, so the interview is up on YouTube. But before I give you the link, let me tell you a little bit about Eric.

Eric Nadel grew up in Brooklyn, NY and graduated from Brown University in 1972, where he practiced in the booth by broadcasting college hockey and football games. He has been a Rangers broadcaster for the last 36 years and has worked with other legendary broadcasters like Mark Holtz and John Miller and learned a lot about the game from them. Eric was elected into the Texas Baseball Hall of Fame in 1991 and became the 15th member of the Texas Rangers Hall of Fame in 2012. Nadel has won the Texas Sportscaster of the Year Award seven times and has announced all of the Rangers’ trips to the playoffs, including their World Series appearances in 2010 and 2011. A speaker of Spanish, he has made many trips to Cuba to study baseball there. Nadel has also won the Associated Press award for best play-by-play in Texas twice. I was very honored to interview such a great broadcaster and hope he receives even more awards in the future.

Now that you are more familiar with Eric Nadel, click here to listen to the interview. By the way, while I was in the Rangers’ broadcasting booth, I got to meet some of the announcers for the Yankees, such as radio announcers John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman, and television announcers for the YES Network, Michael Kay, Paul O’Neill, and John Flaherty. I also met Jesus Suarez Valmaña, the number one baseball analyst in Cuba and a good friend of Nadel.

(Left: Paul O’Neill) (Right: John Flaherty)

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Left: Michael Kay) (Right: Jesus Suarez Valmaña, Suzyn Waldman, Eric Nadel, and John Sterling)

Thanks for listening to my interview with Eric Nadel. And a huge thanks again to Eric for inviting me up to the booth!!  I hope you enjoyed the interview and check back soon for more of “all the buzz on what wuzz.”

An Interview with a Batman who was also a Penguin: Ron Cey

Hey baseball fans!

Who’s ready to read an interview with former Dodgers’ All Star third baseman, Ron Cey? I hope you are, but before you get the chance to read about a member of the 1981 World Series-winning Dodgers, let me tell you a little bit about Cey.

Ronald Charles Cey (pronounced like “say”) played in the MLB from 1971-1987 with the Dodgers, Cubs, and A’s. The six-time All Star from 1974-1979 was an excellent third baseman, finishing his career with 316 career home runs. Nicknamed the “Penguin” in college because of the way he walked, Cey was a fan favorite in LA and led the Dodgers to four World Series (1974, 1977, 1978, 1981). He finally got his World Series ring in 1981, hitting .350 in the Series against the Yankees, with a homer and six RBIs. This performance earned the Penguin co-World Series MVP honors, along with Pedro Guerrero and Steve Yeager. He currently works for the Dodgers organization.

Now that you know a basic summary of his career, here is an interview with Dodgers’ great, Ron Cey.

Matt: You were part of the fraternity Phi Delta Theta when you were a student at Washington State University. Do you remember any cool stories from the frat house?
Ron: There’s lots of funny stories that I could share, but the frat house was all about bonding with the other members.

Matt: You were part of an infield with Steve Garvey, Bill Russell, and Davey Lopes for eight and a half years during your career. Did you become very close with them?
Ron: We were all signed by the Dodgers and were all part of Tommy Lasorda’s team in the minors. We formed one of the most successful and long-lasting infields in baseball history so I would say yes, we did get close.

Matt: You played in four World Series in your career, three of them against the Yankees. Which one was the most fun to play in?
Ron: Probably 1978, because we should have won that one against New York. Even though we lost, it was still a fun World Series.

Matt: Do you think any rules should be changed in the MLB today?
Ron: I’m in favor of the new rules regarding instant replay and I think that no other rules need to be changed.

Matt: What do you like to do in your spare time?
Ron: I like the outdoors and, when I have time, I like working in the yard.

Matt: If you could’ve faced any pitcher in MLB history, who would it be and why?
Ron: I would have liked to face all the great Hall of Fame pitchers, but I think it would have been really fun and exciting to face Cy Young, Walter Johnson, and Christy Mathewson. I have no idea if the outcome of those matchups would have been good for me or not, but I think it still would have been fun.

Well, that’s the interview. I hope you enjoyed reading it and thanks to Ron for answering my questions.  And a special shout-out to Nikki Warner, the Director of Communications at the Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association, for arranging it. Thanks for reading this post and check back in a few days for more of “all the buzz on what wuzz.”

The Terrific Tom After Tom Terrific

Hey baseball fans!

There are four people who will be officially elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame on July 27th, 2014 who once were part of the Atlanta Braves franchise. Their names are Bobby Cox, Joe Torre (yes, he was a player and a manager for them), Greg Maddux, and Tom Glavine. But today, I just want to focus on Glavine.

Thomas Michael Glavine played for the Braves and Mets from 1987-2008. In his 22 years of outstanding pitching, the ten-time All Star won 305 games with an ERA of 3.54. He led the league in wins five times, three of those times being consecutive, and won the NL Cy Young Award in 1991 and 1998.

He helped the Braves win 11 straight division titles and also helped his teams in the postseason, going 14-16 with a low 3.30 ERA during the playoffs. Perhaps his best playoff series performance was in the ’95 World Series, when his Braves took on the Indians. Glavine won two games and only gave up a little more than one run every nine innings. The Braves would end up winning that World Series, giving Tom his only ring.

Glavine, Maddux, and fellow pitcher John Smoltz were part of an elite starting rotation for Atlanta during the 1990s that was one of the best of all time, but that rotation wouldn’t have had the same success without the always calm Tom Glavine. Anyway, thanks for reading this post. I hope you enjoyed it and check back soon for more of “all the buzz on what wuzz.”

 

The “All-Small Hall” Team Part Four (The Finale)

Hey baseball fans!

This is my last post about the “All-Small Hall” team! If you don’t know what the “All-Small Hall” team is, click here for the first post of this series that has an excellent explanation, click here for the second part of the series and click here for the third part. Anyway, it’s time to discuss who will represent the outfield in my ASHT. So, let’s get this show on the road.

Left Fielder: Rickey Henderson
Height: 5’10”
Weight: 180 pounds
Why? The Man of Steal sure was given the correct nickname; he has the most steals of all time at 1,406 and he also holds the record for most career runs scored. He was always a threat on the base paths, despite his size and he never let anything stop him from being the best. He even had 3,055 career hits. He was just a monster all over the field, whether in the outfield or speeding across the bases. By the way, here’s the live interview I did of Rickey last year at the Hall of Fame Classic.
Honorable Mention: Stan Musial

Center Fielder: Willie Mays
Height: 5’10”
Weight: 180 pounds
Why? A lot of people would probably not expect the Say Hey Kid to be on this list because a lot of people expect him to be fairly tall. However, he was probably the overall best ballplayer in baseball history who is under six feet tall and one of the best of all time irrespective of his size. He is one of four players with 500+ home runs (660) and 3,000+ hits (3,283) and he even batted over .300 lifetime (.302). He was the quintessential five-tool ballplayer because he could hit, hit for power, run, field, and throw. You really can’t ask for much else.
Honorable Mention: Kirby Puckett

Right Fielder: Willie Keeler
Height: 5’4”
Weight: 140 pounds
Why? Easily the shortest player on the “All-Small Hall” team, Keeler was a master with the bat. “Wee Willie,” as he was nicknamed, really knew how to “hit ‘em where they ain’t”and collected 2,932 hits during his career in the 1890s and early 1900s. His lifetime batting average was a whopping .341, which just so happens to be 14th on the all time list. And he basically never struck out (only 136 K’s over 8,591 at bats).
Honorable Mention: Mel Ott

Sadly, we have arrived at the end of the posts about the “All-Small Hall” team. However, soon, I will be announcing who is on my “All-Tall Hall” team, so expect those posts. Anyway, thanks for reading this series. I hope you enjoyed it and check back soon for more of “all the buzz on what wuzz.”


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