Sunday, October 22, 2017

7 Historical Facts about the 2017 World Series 10/22/17

Hey baseball fans!

Yes, I'm upset that the Yankees lost to the Astros in the ALCS, but the World Series is upon us! It's the 'Stros vs. the Dodgers in the 113th edition of the Fall Classic. Before the series starts, however, here are seven facts that'll give the matchup a little more meaning.


Fact #1: 
Much like the last couple of Fall Classics, the 2017 World Series is heavily focused on drought-ending. The Dodgers haven't won a World Series since 1988, while the Astros haven't won a single World Series in their 56-year history. Houston actually did appear in a World Series back in 2005, but they were swept by the White Sox. Speaking of which...

Fact #2:
The Astros are the first team in baseball history to win both the AL and NL pennants. The only other team that could also do it would be the Brewers, but they haven't made a World Series since their switch to the National League back in 1998.

Fact #3:
It's only the second World Series ever in which California and Texas, the two biggest U.S. states in terms of population, are represented by at least one team each. The first time this occurred was back in 2010, when the San Francisco Giants won in five games over the Texas Rangers.

Fact #4:
We could possibly see the hottest World Series game ever in terms of temperature. The hottest World Series game on record is a 94-degree Game One of the 2001 Series in Phoenix, but Game One of the 2017 Series has a predicted first-pitch temperature of 95 degrees.

Fact #5:
Because the Astros and Dodgers used to be in the same league and division, they've played a fair amount of games against each other. LA holds the edge, however, having won 388 of their 711 head-to-head matchups.

Fact #6:
In their Major League playing careers, the managers for LA and Houston, Dave Roberts and A.J. Hinch, respectively, combined for 55 career home runs in 17 MLB seasons. Not a lot of power from the skippers, I see.

Fact #7:
The Dodgers, in terms of win-loss record in the World Series, are actually ranked 19th amongst all qualified teams, with only 45 wins in 105 World Series games played. The Astros, on the other hand, are tied for dead last in the category, having been swept in their only World Series appearance thus far.

Who's winning this series, Dodgers or Astros? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below. Thanks for reading this post and I hope you enjoyed it. Check back soon for more of "all the buzz on what wuzz."


Sunday, October 15, 2017

Analyzing the Potential 2017 World Series Matchups 10/15/17

Hey baseball fans!

We are down to the final four! Yes, the American League and National League Championship Series are finally here, which means we have ourselves four potential World Series matchups. In this post, I'll be looking at each of these matchups with a historical perspective and stating which World Series matchup I'd like to see the most, starting with number four.

Number Four: Astros vs. Dodgers
Historical Significance: These teams were National League competitors for ages before Houston switched over to the American League in 2013, but it's not like they were heated rivals, as they were in different divisions. What makes this matchup interesting is the potential drought-ending. LA hasn't won or been to a World Series since 1988 and the Astros haven't won a World Series at all, their last appearance coming in 2005, where they were swept by the White Sox. It would kind of have the feel of last year's World Series, but on a smaller scale.

Number Three: Yankees vs. Cubs
Historical Significance: These two teams haven't met in the World Series since 1938, but in both times this pair squared off on baseball's biggest stage (1932 and '38), Lou Gehrig and the Yankees swept the Lovable Losers easily. From the Cubs' last pennant to their World Series championship in 2016, the Yankees have won 17 World Series, but obviously it would be the Cubs trying to repeat as MLB champs. Both of these franchises have incredible histories with some incredible Hall of Famers and, down the road, if this World Series matchup were to happen this year, we could be seeing a lot of future Cooperstown inductees.

Number Two: Astros vs. Cubs
Historical Significance: No, these teams have never met up in the World Series because Houston has never made the Fall Classic as an AL team. Instead, these two ball clubs were NL Central rivals for almost 20 years. What's interesting about these teams is that when I was first getting into baseball, both of these teams were absolutely abysmal, each losing 90+ games consistently, while teams like the Phillies and Braves were winning 90+ games (how weird is that?). But ever since Houston switched leagues, these teams have become juggernauts and this World Series matchup would pit potential dynasties against each other. In my opinion, if this World Series were to take place, the winner will turn into a force to be reckoned with for the next five or more years.

Number One: Yankees vs. Dodgers
Historical Significance: Legendary moments have occurred when these teams face off in the World Series, mostly because this matchup has occurred so many times in the past century. The Yanks and Dodgers hold the record amongst all baseball teams with 11 World Series meet-ups. In those meet-ups, the Bronx Bombers hold the advantage, winning eight of them. However, the Dodgers won their first World Series ever in franchise history in 1955 versus New York and also beat them in 1963 and 1981. Snider vs. Mantle or Judge vs. Bellinger? Seriously, this could be one fun World Series.


Which of these World Series matchups would you want to see the most? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below. Thanks for reading this post and I hope you enjoyed it. Check back soon for more of "all the buzz on what wuzz."

Thursday, October 5, 2017

My 2017 MLB Postseason Predictions 10/5/17

Hey baseball fans!

Even though I'm in college, what would October baseball be without some BwM MLB postseason predictions? So, without further ado, now that the Wild Card round has concluded, here's how I think the 2017 playoffs will go.


ALDS Series 1: Yankees vs. Indians
Winner in X games: Indians in five
Why? There's only one AL team that can beat the Indians and it just so happens to be the Yankees. Cleveland and New York had the best and second-best run differentials this season, respectively, so these teams give their pitchers plenty of run support. But Cleveland is just too good. If it goes to a fifth game, Corey Kluber is scheduled to pitch, so mark that down as a New York loss.

ALDS Series 2: Red Sox vs. Astros
Winner in X games: Astros in four
Why? Houston is way too dominant at the plate. Sure, their pitching has slumped this season, but they had the best team batting average in baseball this regular season by a long shot and the Sox can't send Chris Sale to the mound every day.

NLDS Series 1: Diamondbacks vs. Dodgers
Winner in X games: Diamondbacks in five
Why? LA is not the team that it was in the middle of the season and we all know how Clayton Kershaw performs in the postseason. Sure, the D-Backs barely have any playoff experience, but the Dodgers don't have much non-choking playoff experience in recent memory. In short, I'm giving this one to the boys in Arizona because of  a well-rounded pitching staff and a strong lineup filled with plenty of MVP candidates that hasn't quit basically all season.

NLDS Series 2: Cubs vs. Nationals
Winner in X games: Nationals in five
Why? It's about time the Nats lift the Washington sports choking curse and this is the year to do it. With an absolutely insane starting pitching staff, a revamped bullpen, a healthy Bryce Harper, and a weakened Cubs team from last season, this is the year for the Nationals to finally win in the playoffs.

ALCS: Astros vs. Indians
Winner in X games: Indians in six
Why? The Yankees are a balanced team and that's why I think they'll go toe-to-toe with the Tribe until the end of their ALDS, but the Astros don't have pitching. Cleveland is just too powerful on all fronts.

NLCS: Diamondbacks vs. Nationals
Winner in X games: Nationals in seven
Why? What a series this would be: two really good expansion teams who've never enjoyed a lot of success in the playoffs. But there is one constant for pennant winners that'll be true again in this series: pitching wins championships. The Nats will outlast the D-Backs because of their All-Star caliber starters, but it'll definitely be a close series overall.

World Series: Nationals vs. Indians
Winner in X games: Indians in five
Why? Plain and simple: World Series jitters in DC. If this World Series were to happen, it'll be exactly like the 2015 Fall Classic: a pennant winner of the previous year avenging their heart-breaking World Series loss by obliterating a team that is just happy to be there. I guess the Mets and Nationals will have more in common than just being in the same division together. Congrats, Cleveland.

Do you agree with my World Series picks? Let me know in the comments section below. Thanks for reading this post and I hope you enjoyed it. Check back soon for more of "all the buzz on what wuzz."

Monday, September 25, 2017

The Bash Brothers: Big Mac and Canseco 9/25/17

Hey baseball fans!

Aaron Judge just set a new rookie record with 50 home runs in a season! But who hit 49, you ask? Well, his name is Mark McGwire and he was one half of one of the greatest hitting duos of the late '80s: the Bash Brothers.

The Oakland Athletics went to three straight World Series from 1988-1990 and one (well, more like two) of the reasons for their success was two young sluggers who won back-to-back Rookie of the Year Awards in 1986 and 1987, respectively: Jose Canseco and Mark McGwire. They were known as the Bash Brother because, well, they could really bash the baseball. Like I said before, Big Mac hit 49 home runs in his rookie season, 1987, but Canseco's 33 rookie dingers in '86 aren't half bad either. During the full seasons that they played together, which was from 1987-1991, they won a combined three home run titles, each hit 30 or more home runs in four seasons, and played for the AL in the All Star Game a combined nine times. Big Mac and Canseco helped the A's win the World Series in 1989 in a sweep over the Giants and even though neither hit any home runs during the Bay Area Series, both batted over .290 to etch their names into Oakland sports lore.

Canseco was traded to the Rangers midway through the 1992 season and then bounced around the league until retiring in 2001, but finished his career with 462 career home runs. McGwire, meanwhile, stayed with the A's until getting traded to the Cardinals during the 1997 season and would go on to set the record for most home runs in a single season in 1998 with 70 (but it was broken three years later by Barry Bonds) and is one of two hitters in baseball history with back-to-back seasons of at least 60 home runs (the other being Sammy Sosa). He finished his career with 583 home runs, which is good for eleventh on the all-time list.

It's sad that neither of these great hitters are in the Hall of Fame, but boy did they give excitement to the city of Oakland in the late 1980s. "The Bash Brothers" is a pretty good nickname, after all. Thanks for reading this post and I hope you enjoyed it. Check back soon for more of "all the buzz on what wuzz."


Thursday, September 14, 2017

Tie Goes To The Runner... or the 1916 Giants 9/14/17

Hey baseball fans!

The Cleveland Indians have set a new American League record with 21 straight games with a victory! It's an insane streak, but it actually isn't the best of its kind. Let's talk about the team with the most consecutive games without a loss: the 1916 Giants. And yes, the phrasing is different for a reason.

Entering a game against the Brooklyn Robins (present-day Dodgers) on September 7, the 1916 Giants had a win-loss record of 60-62-2. Yes, back in the day, there were ties if games had to be called due to darkness or precipitation. The Giants ended up winning that game on the 7th by a final score of 4-1. Then, they won their next three games against the Phillies, their next four against the Reds, and their next three against the Pirates. So, they've won eleven straight so far, which is not half bad at all in the slightest. However, in their next game, which was against the Pirates, they tied by a final score of 1-1. So the Giants have gone 12 straight games without a loss, but their winning streak is over.

But that didn't stop them from winning 14 of their next FOURTEEN GAMES! That means that the 1916 Giants went 26 games, almost a whole month, without suffering a loss. How crazy is that? Sure, the streak did stop at 26 straight games without a loss after an 8-3 loss to the Braves, but a quasi-winning streak like that has never been done in baseball history before or since. Three other teams have streaks of 20 or more games without a loss in baseball history, but none of those streaks surpass 21 games. The 1916 Giants ended up improving their total season wins from September 7th by 26 at season's end.


Will the 2017 Indians surpass the 1916 Giants for most consecutive games in baseball history without a loss? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below. Thanks for reading this post and I hope you enjoyed it. Check back soon for more of "all the buzz on what wuzz."

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

My Catching College BUddy 9/5/17

Hey baseball fans!

I start my classes at Boston University today and there is a member of the Hall of Fame who also attended BU. The only thing is, he went to college almost a century ago: Mickey Cochrane!

Cochrane played for the then-Philadelphia Athletics and Detroit Tigers from 1924-1937 and quickly in his career became one of the premier catchers of his era in Major League Baseball. Although he didn't have that long a career, his biggest claim to fame is his career batting average, which was a miraculous .320. Yes, there have been plenty of hitters with higher lifetime batting averages, but none of them are catchers. So essentially, the best hitting catcher in baseball history shares an alma mater with me, so that's cool. Nicknamed "Black Mike" for his "fierce, competitive spirit" according to the Hall of Fame's website, Cochrane batted over his lifetime batting average in seven seasons and batted over .300 in two more seasons. The two-time MVP has a ton of seasons that can be argued were his best, but in only one season did he lead the league in on-base percentage. That year was 1933 and his OBP was an astounding .459, but his highest single-season batting average was a "measly" .357, which he accomplished in 1930.

Cochrane's fiery attitude helped lead his teams to five pennants and three World Series championships. With the A's, he went to the Fall Classic from 1929-1931 and with the Tigers in 1934 and 1935. His batting average during his World Series appearances dropped significantly compared to his career average, but he made up for that while in Detroit when he was the team's player-manager. In fact, Cochrane was such a good manager that even Hall of Fame Hank Greenberg called him "inspirational." That's high praise coming from one of the game's best sluggers.


The legendary catcher's career came to an abrupt end on May 25, 1937, when he was struck in the head by a pitch thrown by Yankees pitcher Bump Hadley. It is that injury that sparked conversation about making wearing a helmet while batting mandatory. However, despite retiring at the age of 34, Cochrane was still rightfully inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1947 with 79.5% of the vote. Thanks for reading this post and I hope you enjoyed it. Check back soon for more of "all the buzz on what wuzz."

Saturday, August 26, 2017

ML"what would"B: What if David Freese Failed the Cards in the 2011 World Series? Part 2 8/26/17

Hey baseball fans!

It's time for Part 2 of my ML"what would"B about what if David Freese hadn't come up in the clutch in Game Six of the 2011 World Series for the Cardinals. We last saw the Albert Pujols-led Cardinals beat the Josh Hamilton-led Texas Rangers in the 2013 World Series, while Prince Fielder and his Los Angeles Angels watched from their couches. But what happens to the Halos and the plump first baseman in the coming years?

Remember in real life how Fielder was traded for Ian Kinsler of the Rangers in a surprise move right after the 2013 season? Well in the continuation of this alternate timeline, because Fielder isn't on the Tigers, that trade never happens. Instead, Kinsler and Josh Hamilton get shipped off to the Motor City for Chris Davis, who was acquired by the Tigers just a year prior from the Orioles. The Rangers already had a terrible 2014 season in real life, but it gets a lot worse for them as Davis underperforms.  The Angels, on the other hand, soar to a better record than anyone could've expected. Fielder still gets injured for most of the season, but the re-signing of Zack Greinke turns out to be a beautiful move, as he wins 20 games and finishes in the top for AL Cy Young Award voting. Garrett Richards and Matt Shoemaker flourish as well and LA ends up with the best pitching staff in baseball. Couple that with Mike Trout's first AL MVP and the emergence of C.J. Cron and Kole Calhoun and the Angels go 103-59 in 2014.


Meanwhile, the Orioles still win the AL East with 96 games, but the Royals sneak away with the AL Central, as V-Mart can no longer provide the pop the Tigers' lineup needed in the DH position, considering he now plays for the AL East-champion Orioles. Nonetheless, the Tigers get the second Wild Card spot while the A's keep the first spot. In the NL, the Nationals still win the NL East on the back of their pitching staff. The Giants win the NL West with 92 wins over the Dodgers, who finished with 91 wins and the first NL Wild Card spot because Zack Greinke is still with the Angels and Clayton Kershaw can't carry the entire starting pitching staff. The Cardinals win the Central at 95 wins with Pujols still in the lineup and the Pirates finish with the second Wild Card spot at 88 wins. The Giants end up making the World Series like in real life, but instead meet the Angels in the Fall Classic, whose pitching carries them to the AL pennant, despite Mike Trout's struggles. The even-numbered year dynasty for the Giants runs out of steam, as the Los Angeles Angels win the 2002 World Series rematch, as Greinke, not Madison Bumgarner, wins World Series MVP.

The 2014 MLB offseason remains the same, but the 2015 season has a lot of shake-ups in just one division: the AL West. Chris Davis's numbers pick up again, so the Rangers win 93 games and the AL West title. The Angels win 91 games on the back of a great bounce-back season from Fielder and a second consecutive great season for the pitching staff. The Astros lose an extra three games and the second AL Wild Card spot, which is now occupied by the Yankees, while the Blue Jays and Royals still win their respective divisions. The only massive change in the NL standings comes for the Cardinals. Mark Reynolds's 13 home runs are replaced with Pujols's 40, which boosts the Cardinals win total from 100 to 105, giving them more momentum come playoff time. The Cardinals end up winning the NL pennant after taking care of the Cubs and Mets in the playoffs on the strength of Pujols and meet the Blue Jays in the World Series. Wait, how the Blue Jays? Well the Angels win the Wild Card game versus the Yankees and are actually able to put the Royals away in the division series, unlike the Astros in real life. But they are just no match for the fearsome lineup the Blue Jays possess, who fly to their first Fall Classic in almost a quarter of a century. So who wins the Battle of the Birds? Who cares? At least they both got to the World Series, here in the ML"what would"B.


Who do you think would win this version of the 2015 World Series? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below. Thanks for reading this post and I hope you enjoyed it. Check back soon for more of "all the buzz on what wuzz."