Tagged: World Series

The Ideal Defense – The 2013 Rawlings Gold Glove Awards

Every year since 1957 Rawlings has awarded the Gold Glove Award to the top fielder at each position. In 1957 there was only one award given per position, but beginning in 1958 separate awards were given for the American and National league positions. Over the last 57 years the award has been given out 999 times. But that number changed on October 29th. Yesterday night Rawlings announced the 2013 Gold Glove Award winners. Including the 18 recipients from 2013, there have now been 1017 Gold Glove winners.

I had some spare time so I decided to make a few depth charts. Here is the 2013 American League Gold Glove Depth Chart:

American League Gold Glove Depth Chart

Catcher – Salvador Perez (Kansas City Royals)

First Base – Eric Hosmer (Kansas City Royals)

Second Base – Dustin Pedroia (Boston Red Sox)

Short Stop – J.J. Hardy (Baltimore Orioles)

Third Base – Manny Machado (Baltimore Orioles)

Left Field – Alex Gordon (Kansas City Royals)

Center Field – Adam Jones (Baltimore Orioles)

Right Field – Shane Victorino (Boston Red Sox)

Pitcher – R.A. Dickey (Toronto Blue Jays)

The Orioles and Royals both had three Gold Glove Award winners this year; more than any other team in Major League Baseball. Defensively, the Orioles finished in first place while the Royals finished in 8th place among the other American League teams:

AL Defense

Now, lets take a look at the 2013 National League Gold Glove Depth Chart:

National League Gold Glove Depth Chart

Catcher – Yadier Molina (St. Louis Cardinals)

First Base – Paul Goldschmidt (Arizona Diamondbacks)

Second Base – Brandon Phillips (Cincinnati Reds)

Short Stop – Andrelton Simmons (Atlanta Braves)

Third Base – Nolan Arenado (Colorado Rockies)

Left Field – Carlos Gonzalez (Colorado Rockies)

Center Field – Carlos Gomez (Milwaukee Brewers)

Right Field – Gerardo Parra (Arizona Diamondbacks)

Pitcher – Adam Wainwright (St. Louis Cardinals)

Have you ever heard of a battery? I’m not talking about Duracell or Energizer, I’m talking about a baseball battery:

a

Since 1957 there have only been five Gold Glove batteries. Pitcher Jim Kaat and catcher Earl Battey did it in 1962, Rick Reuschel and Tony Pena in 1985, Bret Saberhagen and Bob Boone in 1989, Kenny Rogers and Ivan Rodriguez in 2000 and 2006, and Adam Wainwright and Yadier Molina in 2009 and 2013. The reason I brought up Batteries in the first place was because Adam Wainwright and Yadier Molina are a Gold Glove battery this year!

The Cardinals, Diamondbacks, and Rockies each had two Gold Glove Award winners this year. Defensively, the Diamondbacks and Cardinals finished 1st and 2nd, respectively. I assumed the Braves would be in the Top-5, but they took 7th place on the list of National League teams:

NL Defense

In case you’re curious, here are the fielding stats for all 30 Major League Baseball teams:

MLB Defense

Just for the fun of it, I looked the Red Sox and Cardinals in their first five World Series games:

fd

There are four 2013 Gold Glove Award winners in the World Series, yet there have been 11 errors. Isn’t that kind of ironic?

Congratulations to all 18 Gold Glove recipients. Each player has worked to be the BEST at their position.

If you were the manager or owner of a Major League Baseball franchise, wouldn’t you love it if your those were YOUR depth charts? Imagine if all of those players played for YOUR team. You would have the ideal defense.

Advertisements

Back to Boston! 2013 World Series Moves into Game 6!

Baseball fans have witnessed some crazy things so far in the 2013 World Series. Instead of going into an in-depth analysis of the World Series, I want to share with you my thoughts on this year’s Fall Classic.

Game 1 

The Red Sox kicked off the World Series last Wednesday night with an extra-long session of batting practice… against the Cardinals. The game was like a car wreck – you felt bad for the victims but it was almost impossible to look away.

Game 2

Boston, put your brooms away. By winning Game 2, the Cardinals assured baseball fans that the 2013 World Series wouldn’t be a repeat of the 2012 World Series when the San Francisco Giants swept the Detroit Tigers.

Game 3

The Red Sox and Cardinals’ offenses partook in an intense game of tug-of-war. It was basically a game of “I can do it better” that ended in a controversial, yet correct, call from Umpire Jim Joyce.

Game 4

Rookie mistake: Don’t get picked off, it might end the game. Final score: 4-2, Boston.

Game 5

Crucial turning point for the Red Sox. Not only did they win back to back nights, but by doing so they also took a 3-2 lead in the series.

The Rest of the Series

We always hear about how important Game 7 of the World Series is. Everything gets more exciting when sports teams compete down to the straw. As crucial as a 7th game would be, in this case Game 6 is more important. Game 6 will determine whether the Red Sox win the Fall Classic, or if the Cardinals will make a mad dash for Game 7. MLB history is unfolding right before us, and it is resting on this next game.

Game 6 will be played back in Boston on Wednesday, October 30 at Fenway Park.  A victory for the Red Sox would secure the first World Series Title for the Franchise at Fenway Park since 1918. A victory for the Cardinals in Game 6 would leave you with a difficult decision. Would you rather Trick or Treat?

The Fans of Target Field

I know that a lot of my readers will be going to target field this year, and many of them for the first time. Whether you will be visting Target Field or not, I still thought I should introduce you to a few fans who attend games frequently at Target Field. They are all good friends of mine, and each took the time to let me interview them for this entry. Hopefully if you watch/listen to the interviews, then you will become familiar with them. I also hope that in watching/listening to the interviews that you will learn more about Target Field and the game of baseball itself.

The first interviewee is Ben Lacher. I havn’t mentioned Ben too much on this blog yet, so I will quickly tell you a little bit about him. We ran into each other a few times at Target Field in 2012 before we actually met each other and knew who each other was. On Memorial Day (5-28-12) we had a brief conversation about autographs as we were standing next to the A’s dugout in batting practice. Later in the season, at a Tigers vs. Twins game on September 28th, we had another short conversation near the Tigers dugout after the game. However, we had no memory of each other from Memorial Day. I wasn’t expecting to, but a few months later (by complete chance) we met on Twitter… and the rest was history! We chat daily, and let me tell you, he is a baseball super fan! He and his dad have season tickets and attend Target Field frequently. Here is the interview:

The next interviewee is Sean Bigness. I have known Sean for three months now and have mentioned Sean a few times in my two entries from TwinsFest, so I will go right ahead with sharing our interview. Sean will be getting mentioned more frequently as 2013 progresses. Here is the interview:

Interviewee number three is none other than Mateo Fischer. Most of my readers are already familiar with Mateo because we went to two Twins games together in 2012 and we also met up at Twins Fest 2013. In all likelihood we will be seeing each other a lot at Target Field this year. Here is the interview:

Last but not least, is the final interviewee, The one and only Tony Voda. Tony is another household name on A Piece of The Game, so I’m confident that most of you (the readers) know who Tony is. However, I will leave you with one note. As Tony ballhawks this year, he will also be donating money to NAMI.org – the National Alliance on Mental Illness. If you are interested in donating with him, don’t hesitate to contact Tony. It is an excellent cause! Here is the interview:

Like I said at the beginning of this entry, I hope these interviews helped introduce you to Ben, Sean, Mateo and Tony. I also hope that you will come out to Target Field this year and enjoy some Twins baseball! If you’re planning to visit Target Field then don’t hesitate to let me know. I’d love to come out and watch a game of baseball with you!

On a closing note, I would like to thank everyone who I interviewed. Ben, Sean, Mateo and Tony, thank you for your time and for letting me interview you. I’ll be seeing you all at Target Field this season!

Greg Swindell Interview

Greg Swindell was drafted by the Cleveland Indians in the 1st round (2nd pick) of the 1986 amateur draft. He signed with the Indians on July 31, 1986 and made his MLB Debut on August 21 of the same year. During his rookie year, Greg compiled a 5-2 record, with a 4.23 ERA and 46 SO. Over his 17 year career Swindell played for the Cleveland Indians, Cincinnati Reds, Houston Astros, Minnesota Twins, Boston Red Sox and the Arizona Diamondbacks. Greg was an American League All-star with the Indians in 1989, and a World Series Champion with the Diamondbacks in 2001. Over his career he pitched 2233.1 innings in 664 games, compiled a 123-122 record. He had a 3.86 ERA, 1542 SO and only allowed 501 walks. Greg’s final game was on September 23, 2002.

Greg Swindell

—————————————————————————————————————————————-

A few weeks ago, I got the chance to talk with Greg Swindell. I told him about my blog, and he kindly agreed to do an interview with me. Here is what he had to say during the interview:

Q1 (Me):   Tell me a little about yourself

Greg:         Live in Austin tx. Raising 3 children. 1 is out of college. Broadcasting longhorn baseball on longhorn network. Engaged to Lauren

Q2 (Me):   Do you have any hobbies, or collect memorabilia of any kind?

Greg:         Crossword puzzles. Jeopardy. Trivia. Golf a little. I don’t collect too much.

Q3 (Me):   What was the most fulfilling thing that you got from a 17 year career in Major League Baseball?

Greg:         Winning World Series in 2001. And just having a 17 year career was fulfilling!!

Q5 (Me):   You have almost 9 years of Major League experience in both the National and American leagues. What challenges did each league present, and how did they differ according to which league you were playing in?

Greg:         National league was faster paced and I got to hit. I liked that. American League as a pitcher you just sit around and wait.

Q5 (Me):   You were an All Star in 1989 with the Indians, and a World Champion in 2001 with the Diamondbacks. What were those experiences like?

Greg:         Winning World Series is indescribable. Until you’ve done it. You can’t describe it. All-star was in same team with Nolan. My hero growing up. It was a lot of fun to see his experience e up close.

Q6 (Me):   Often times we hear about players who play for 1 team during their career. What did you most enjoy about being able to play for six teams during your career?

Greg:         Just experience the diff philosophies of coaches and org. I liked it. Also lived the cities I played in.

Q7 (Me):   What was it like breaking Sandy Alomar’s 30 game hit streak in 1997?

Greg:         He was my catcher for 4 years. I gave him 3 fastballs down the middle and he popped one up. I tried!!!! To extend it. Haha

Q8 (Me):   Is there one particular accomplishment of yours that you are most proud of?

Greg:         Starting for 10 years and relieving for 7 more. Making the adjustment from one to the other.

Q9 (Me):   When you look down the road, can you see yourself as a manager or coach in either the Major Leagues or minors?

Greg:         I would like to coach yes. I have 5 team mates that are managers right now from 1988 Indians. But you have to “pay your dues” So I would have to start at the bottom.

Q10 (Me):   What advice would you give to kids who play baseball?

Greg:         Enjoy what you’re doing. I played baseball because it was fun. Wether it’s baseball or whatever. Enjoy what you do and it will be good.

—————————————————————————————————————————————-

Thank you very much Greg, for answering all my questions! I greatly appreciate your generosity and getting to talk with you!

You can follow Greg Swindell on Twitter @GregSwindell