Sunday, August 20, 2017

2017-08-14 Vanderbilt University alumni MLB All-Stars

Q.        What oxymoronically-named starting pitcher was traded two weeks ago from a last-place team on one coast to a first-place team on the other?
Hint:     The team he left got 1.) A minor league pitcher, drafted in the 40th round who has not played at any level this year; 2.) A minor league middle infielder who, this year alone, has played for four (4!) teams in four leagues on three different levels; and 3.) A third player who has logged not quite as much major league playing time as did Moonlight Graham.
Hint:     In his best season, he led his league in shutouts and was third in the Cy Young Award voting.
Hint:     He quarterbacked his high school football team to back-to-back 5A state titles in consecutive seasons and won honors as the best high school athlete in his state both years.
A.         SONNY GRAY
-  Homonym “sunny” is the opposite forecast of “gray.
-  He was traded from OAK to NYY 31-Jul-2017 for 1.) James Kaprielian, 2.) Jorge Mateo & 3.) Dustin Fowler whose entire major league experience is ⅔ of the top of the 1st inning on 29-Jun-2017.  (Moonlight Graham played one full inning 29‑Jun‑1905 for NYG.)
-  In 2015 led the AL w/2 ShO (tied w/4 others).  3rd in 2015 CYA vote.
-  Played quarterback for Smyrna (TN) High School's football team, guiding them to back-to-back 5A State titles in 2006 and 2007.  He was voted Gatorade Player of the Year by The Tennessean in 2007 and 2008 for his overall athletic success.
FCR -  Gary Stone, Centerport, New York
Incorrect answers:  Sean Doolittle, Edwin Jackson, Jared Weaver

Q.        What #1 over-all draft pick owns the most lucrative salary ever dispensed by his franchise?
Hint:     He is currently the highest-paid player in the American League.
Hint:     After the better part of a decade in the Bigs, he has placed in the Top 10 in Cy Young Award voting 4 times—thrice in the top 2!
Hint:     The first ten players on his Similarity Scores boast a total of 7 Cy Young Awards, an additional 18 top 5 CYA vote tallies, not counting an additional 8 to 10 placements.
Hint:     Just weeks after his first appearance in the big leagues, he earned a memorable save in Game 7 of the ALCS, putting his franchise in their first World Series.
Hint:     In high school, he was awarded Top Male Athlete of his county three years running.
A.         DAVID PRICE
-  Drafted #1 in the 2007 June Amateur Draft; On 4-Dec-2015, he got a 7-year, $217 million contract with the Boston Red Sox.
-  His $30,000,000 base this year is #1 in the AL.
-  Won the CYA in 2012.
-  Stats are similar to those of lefties Clayton Kershaw, Madison Bumgarner and Johan Santana, among others.
-  Top Male Athlete for Rutherford County, Tennessee 2002, 03, 04.  Also was Pitcher of the Year for those same years.
FCR -  Josh Murphy, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Incorrect answers:  Giancarlo Stanton, Max Scherzer, Steven Strasburg, Clayton Kershaw, Madison Bumgarner, Bryce Harper, Justin Verlander, Zack Greinke, Jake Arietta

Q.        What BLTR slugger is the last National Leaguer to lead his league in strikeouts with fewer than 190?
Hint:     Giancarlo Stanton already has hit more home runs this year than he (the BLTR slugger) did when he led the league in round-trippers.
Hint:     His uncle was once a major league manager.
Hint:     Scott Boras helped him transition from black & gold to black & orange.
-  186 K
-  36 HR in 2013 w/PIT
-  Uncle Pat Murphy managed SDP in 2015, the third of three.
FCR -  Scott Matteson, Shawnee, Kansas
Incorrect answers:  Barry Bonds, Bobby Bonilla

Q.        Whose Seattle Mariner record for longest hitting streak did Ichiro Suzuki break?
Hint:     As a third-base coach, he replaced his manager when said manager was suspended for inappropriate, in-game argumentation.
Hint:     Seems fair then that this same manager replaced him when HE was suspended for similar shenanigans.
Hint:     Only six players have ever enjoyed a better career batting average with the Mariners.
Hint:     After his playing days, he was the General Manager of a team in the Puerto Rican Winter League for three seasons.
A.         JOEY CORA
-  Hit in 24 straight G 02- thru 29-May-1997; Ichiro hit in 25 straight almost exactly a decade later 07-May- thru 01-Jun-2007.  Ichiro broke his own record with a 27-game streak 2 years later.
-  Coached for CHW 2004-11 under Mgr. Ozzie Guillen.  When Ozzie was ejected, Cora would manage; when Cora was ejected, Guillen would direct traffic at third base.
-  SEA career batting averages:         Suzuki             .322
                                                            E. Martinez     .312
                                                            A-Rod              .309
                                                            P. Bradley       .301
                                                            T. Paciorek     .296
                                                            R. Cano           .294
                                                            J. Cora            .293
-  Research correction:  Joey's brother Alex Cora was the GM for Puerto Rican team.
FCR -  Gary Hoffman, Moon Township, Pennsylvania
Incorrect answers:  Edgar Martinez, Feliz Fermin, Tom Paciorek, Juan Segura, Lou Piniella, Alvin Davis

Q.        What star pitcher’s refusal to sign with the Yankees allowed him to go on to a collegiate career where he won the Dick Howser Trophy, the Golden Spikes Award and the Rotary Smith Award, among others?
Hint:     41 of the 42 players taken ahead of him signed with the team that drafted them.
Hint:     When he signed after college, he was the #2 overall pick and signed for $10.5 million which stood as the record for a draft pick for 8 years.
Hint:     After his 6th season in the majors, he carried with him a reputation as a whiner.  As he continued to claim that it was an unfair characterization, his pitching coach upbraided him with, “You’re acting like a 50-year-old grumpy man.  You need to take a step back.  Start being a better teammate.  Start having a better attitude.”
A.         MARK PRIOR
-  Drafted by NYY as the 43rd and final pick of the 1st round of the 1998 MLB June Amateur Draft.  Accepted an athletic scholarship to USC.
-  Drafted the 2nd time in 2001 by CHC.
-  Pitching coach Larry Rothschild with the avuncular admonishment.
FCR -  David Young, New York City
Incorrect answers:  Gerrit Cole, David Price, Kris Benson, Brien Taylor, Zack Greinke, Jered Weaver, Scott Sanderson

Q.        Who was the last pitcher with consecutive 20-win seasons for the Pittsburgh Pirates?
Hint:     His parabolic trick pitch was ripped for a home run by a future Hall of Famer in a mid-season exhibition game.
Hint:     Three of his cousins played in the majors.  One of them was even was elected to the Hall of Fame.
Hint:     In his best season, he led the majors in complete games by a pitcher.
A.         RIP SEWELL
-  Had 21 pitching wins in each of 1943 & 1944.  Those were his only 20-win seasons.
-  His ‘eephus’ was hit out of the park by Ted Williams in the 1946 All-Star Game.
-     A.) Cousin Tommy Sewell had exactly one (1) at-bat in the majors.  He was pinch-hitting for pitcher Percy Jones, but did not make it to first base.
      B.) Cousin Luke, Tommy’s brother, enjoyed a 20-year career in the majors.
      C.) Their brother Joe made it to Cooperstown as the epitome of a contact hitter.
-  25 CG in 1943.  His 21 wins also led the majors.
FCR -  Jeff Kallman, Las Vegas
Incorrect answers:  Vernon Law, John Candelaria, Doug Drabek

Q.        Who was the only pitcher ever to be the Yankees' lone representative on an All‑Star team?
Hint:     This ex-Expos became a player’s agent after he retired, representing Frank Thomas, Todd Helton and Lance Berkman among others.
Hint:     Most people liked him well enough, but on 02-May-1992 Shane Mack, Kirby Puckett, Kent Hrbek and Randy Bush had a deep appreciation for him.
Hint:     During his pitching career, he had victories against all 26 teams then in the majors.
1991 ASG (It was his only ASG.  He did not get in.)
-  All four homered off him in the 5th inning on 02-May-1992 at Yankee Stadium.
-  Nolan Ryan, Tommy John, Don Sutton, Mike Torrez, Gaylord Perry, Rick Wise, Doyle Alexander & Rich Gossage also achieved victories against those same 26 teams.
FCR -  Dave Serota, Kalamazoo
Incorrect answers:  Stan Bahnsen

WEEKLY THEME –  Vanderbilt University alumni MLB All-Stars

First Correct Respondent to Identify ThemeDave Washburn, Marietta, GA
(after Alvarez)

Incorrect theme guesses:

Tuesday -  1st round picks from Vanderbilt
               -  (Active?) Pitchers (or just players?) who attended Vanderbilt University.
               -  Pitchers from Tennessee
               -  1st-round draft picks

Wed        -  Vanderbilt first rounders who were all stars.
               -  Former Vanderbilt players
               -  MLB players who were 1st round picks out of Vanderbilt
               -  Vanderbilt 1st round picks who became MLB all-stars
               -  Top athletes from Tennessee currently in the majors.
               -  All managed or coached by Tim Corbin

Fri           -  Players were drafted out of high school who signed with Vanderbilt instead.

Monday, August 14, 2017

2017-08-07 Ex-catchers who managed World-Series-winning teams in the 2000's

Q.        Who is Major League Baseball’s “Top Cop”?
Hint:     He once hit into four (4!) double plays in one game.
Hint:     In only 3 of his 18 playing seasons did he hit into fewer than 10 double plays.
Hint:     He hit the first regular-season home run in Fulton County Stadium.
A.         JOE TORRE
Official title:  MLB Chief Baseball Officer, responsible for, among other things, Major League Operations, On-Field Operations, On-Field Discipline and Umpiring.
-  4 GIDP 21-Jul-1975 (He’s 16th on the all-time list)
-  Fulton County Stadium 1st HR: 12-Apr-1966 (He also hit the 2nd that same day, accounting for all his team’s scoring.  For balance, he also hit into a double play.
FCR -  Jeff Kallman, Las Vegas
Incorrect answers:  Bob Watson, Fred McGriff, Tony Clark

Q.        Who was the first man to win an MVP and a Manager of the Year Award, both with expansion teams?
Hint:     As a player, he had the first ever hit in Seattle’s Kingdome.
Hint:     He was the first player to be caught stealing twice in an inning.
Hint:     He was the first player to appear as the designated hitter in a World Series game for 2 different American League teams.
Hint:     He led the majors in being hit-by-pitch seven (7!) times during his career.  Another time, he just led the American League.
Hint:     He was the first player to steal 50 bases in a year where two teammates had already each stolen 50.
Hint:     He chose baseball over the opportunity to be the first black football player for the University of Texas.
A.         DON BAYLOR
-  MVP 1979 w/CAL; MOY 1995 w/COL
Kingdome H:  06-Apr-1977 It was an RBI double in the 1st inning.
-  CS X2:  15-Jun-1974  They occurred during consecutive at-bats!  Called out at 2nd base, then safe on E4.  He then successfully stole 3rd, but was thrown out when he tried to steal home.  Had he scored, it would have won the game.
-  WS DH for 1986 BOS & 1987 MIN
1976 Oakland A’s = Bill North 75 SB; Bert Campaneris 54 SB; Baylor 52 SB.  Baylor never stole more than 32 bases in any other season of his 19-yr career.
-  Drafted by BAL in the 2nd round in 1967.  Texas won the college football championship in 1969.
FCR -  Ken Auerbach, Bonita Springs, Florida
Incorrect answers:  Lou Piniella, Frank Robinson

Q.        What former Wildcat caught Dwight Gooden's no-hitter as well as David Cone's perfect game?
Hint:     He was the only position player not used in the one All-Star game where he made the team.
Hint:     He won the Manager of the Year Award in his first season managing.
Hint:     His team that year had a losing record and he was fired after the season, notwithstanding his having won the award.
A.         JOE GIRARDI
-  Attended Northwestern UniversityDoc’s no-no 14-May-1996; Cone’s perfecto 18-Jul-1999
2006 MOY for guiding the Florida Marlins to a 4th-place finish.
FCR -  Scott Matteson, Shawnee, Kansas [from Facebook]
Incorrect answers:  Dan Wilson, Bruce Bochy, Clint Hurdle

Q.        Who was the California Angels’ final manager?
Hint:     He was the Anaheim Angels’ second manager.
Hint:     He has since won a pennant in each league.
A.         JOE MADDON
1999 ANA   
-  Pennants:  2008 AL w/TBR; 2016 NL w/CHC
FCR -  Rick Tharp, Gaithersburg, Maryland
Incorrect answers:  Jim Fregosi, Terry Collins, Bill Rigney, Whitey Herzog, Mike Scioscia, Gene Mauch, Don Baylor, Walter Alston

Q.        Who is the oldest manager to lead a team to a modern World Series championship?
Hint:     He shares a middle name with both Al Simmons and Chuck Connors.
Hint:     He received an honorary doctorate degree from a private university in Florida.
Hint:     He won consecutive league titles managing the Royals.
A.         JACK McKEON
-  72 yrs. Old with the
-  Middle name: Aloysius
-  Doctor of Laws from Miami’s Barry University in 2005
Omaha Royals won the AAA American Association league title in 1969 & ’70.
FCR -  Mark DeLodovico, Rockville, Maryland
Incorrect answers:  Ned Yost, Whitey Herzog, Casey Stengel, Connie Mack, Tony LaRussa, Whitey Herzog, Charlie Manuel, Dick Howser

Q.        Who hit the only walk-off home run Nolan Ryan ever surrendered?
Hint:     Less than 2 years after his last game, he began managing in the system of the club where he played the most.
Hint:     One of the players he managed in the majors, played in 100+ games for him in consecutive years, but on different teams.  That man now manages against him.
Hint:     From a reasonable distance, his head doesn’t look anything but normal.
A.         BRUCE BOCHY
-  HR:  Bottom of 10th 01-Jul-1985
-  Last played in the majors for SDP in 1987.  Managed the Short-Season Spokane Indians in to a 1st-place finish in the Northwest League in 1989.
Dave Roberts, current LAD mgr., played 129 G on Bochy’s 2006 SDP, then 114 G for him on his 2007 SFG.
-  Wears hat size 8¼, largest in the majors
FCR -  Eric Savage, Short Hills, New Jersey
Incorrect answers:  Terry Francona, Bruce Botche, Kevin Mench, Buck Showalter, Bud Black, won a World Series with the team in who's organization they played.

Q.        What Philly high school phenom met his future wife when she saw him play in a major league game; liked what she saw; came back the next day with homemade chocolate chip cookies and actually got his attention?
Hint:     It wasn’t long before he proposed and they were wed at home plate of the stadium where they first met.
Hint:     He has beaten the Yankees in a postseason series as a player and as a manager.
Hint:     He only played for one team as a player and has only managed one team as a manager.
Hint:     He did, however, coach in the organization of the franchise he had played for.
Hint:     Not famous for his speed on the basepaths, his manager once quipped, "If he raced his pregnant wife, (pause for effect) he'd finish third."
-  Here is Mrs. Anne Scioscia née McIlquham, demonstrating here chocolate cookie technique.  Happy couple.
-  Beat NYY as a player w/LAD in the 1981 WS; Beat NYY as a manager w/ANA in the 2002 ALDS
-  Played only for LAD ; Managed with the Angels [ANA, LAA & LAA II ] 2000‑2017
FCR -  Gary Stone, Centerport, New York
Incorrect answers:  Charlie Manuel, Joe Girardi, Tommy Lasorda, Walter Alston, Don Zimmer, Rogers Hornsby, Mike Matheny

Q.        Who was a baseball broadcaster before and after he managed a team to the World Series?
Hint:     He tied Mike Schmidt’s single-season home run record for their college when he played there.
Hint:     He was the first catcher ever to win the Willie Mac Award.
Hint:     His worst game ever became his best ever before it was over.
A.         BOB BRENLY
-  Baseball analyst for Fox 1996-2000; Mgr of ARI 2001-04; Broadcaster and color commentator 2004-present
-  Hit 10 HR for Ohio University in 1976
-  On 14-Sep1986, playing 3rd base, he made 4 errors in one inning!  He then homered in the 5th, singled in the tying run in the 7th and then hit a walk-off HR in the 9th.
FCR -  Dennis Cullen, Durham, North Carolina
Incorrect answers:  Tim McCarver, Joe Torre, Buck Martinez

Q.        Who managed the first American League team to reach the World Series via the two-team, one-game Wild Card postseason match-up?
Hint:     His total World Series experience before that was a walk for a team that has since changed leagues.
Hint:     He was a college teammate of a Cy Young Award winner.
Hint:     He shares a nickname with a former U.S. president.
A.         NED YOST
2014 KCR beat OAK 9-8 30-Sep-2014; SFG beat PIT 8-0 01-Oct-2014
-  Ironically, the team they faced was the first National League team to accomplish the same feat.
-  Played back-up catcher behind Ted Simmons in the 1982 Fall Classic for the AL MIL
-  Was a walk-on at Chabot College in Hayward, CA after receiving no offers from any school and CYA winner Mark Davis played for Chabot at the same time.
-  Called “Dutch” as was President Ronald Regan
FCR -  Adrian Fung, Toronto
Incorrect answers:  Mike Hargrove, Jim Leyland, Ron Washington, Terry Francona, Buck Showalter, Brad Ausmus

Q.        Who caught Sandy Koufax when Koufax broke Rube Waddell’s modern major league single-season strikeout record?
Hint:     Eight years later, he also caught Nolan Ryan when Ryan broke Koufax’ record.
Hint:     His son Greg represented the winning side in the first arbitration case where a player was awarded $10,000,000.
Hint:     He replaced Johnny Roseboro in the game where Roseboro’s skull began to bleed profusely.
Waddell’s record of 349 had stood since he set it in 1904.  Koufax sailed right through it on 29-Sep-1965 with one start to go in the season.  He added 13 more in his last game, the Milwaukee Braves’ penultimate gave ever, 02‑Oct‑1965.  (John Roseboro caught that game.)
-  Knowing that he was within reach of Koufax, struck out 16 Minnesota Twins to pass Koufax by 1 on 27-Sep-1973 with a total of 383, a record which still stands.
Greg Torborg represented Alfonso Soriano against the Washington Nationals in 2006.
Marichal/Roseboroincident22-Aug-1965.  Very few people remember that Bob Schroder finished Marichal’s at-bat.  [My, how things have changed!]
FCR -  R. D. Lerner, Silver Spring, Maryland
Incorrect answers:  Norm Sherry, Doug Camilli, Steve Yeager

WEEKLY THEME – Ex-catchers who managed World Series winning teams in the 2000’s.  All but Brenly and Yost have won at least one Manager of the Year Award.  Torborg, of course, was not there for the celebration.

WS Yr          Mgr                 Caught
2000......... Torre.............. 1961-70
2001......... Brenly............ 1981-89
2002......... Scioscia......... 1980-92
2003......... Torborg.......... 1964-73
2003......... McKeon........ 1949-55*
2009......... Girardi......... 1989-2003
2010......... Bochy............ 1978-87
2012              "                        ~
2014              "                        ~
2015......... Yost............... 1980-85
2016......... Maddon......... 1976-79*
*Catchers in the minors

First Correct Respondent to Identify ThemeJoe Merrill, Montpelier, VT (after Scioscia)

Incorrect theme guesses:

Monday  -  Players who beat cancer

Tues       -  Yankee managers who have won the World Series within their first 2 years of managing the Yankees with a .733 overall winning percentage for the year.
               -  Catchers who have won the World Series as a manager
               -  Catchers
               -  Guys name Joe

Wed        -  Guys named Joe
               -  Managers named Joe who all happened to win a world series in the 21st century
               -  Mangers who won a WS and also played in one as a player
               -  Managers named Joe who have managed a world champion
               -  World champion managers whose names start with J and are still living
               -  Former catchers named Joe or John who won WS titles
               -  Former catchers who have won a world series as a manager who also won manager of the year awards
               -  Managers with first initial J that have won World Series in the 2000s
               -  Catchers who never won WS as a PLAYER, but who all won WS as a MANAGER
               -  World Series-winning managers who didn't win one w/ their first team but then grew beards and won one w/ a subsequent team!
               -  Manager of the Year winners who have both won and lost a World Series
               -  Selected manager of the year with 2 different teams.

Thurs-     Former catchers who won the World Series as managers.
               -  World Series winning managers who played as catchers.
               -  21st century winners who were catchers? (if you include minor leagues)
               -  Won a World Series with the team in who's organization they played.

Fri           -  Former catchers who have won Manager of the Year award and World Series as manager.
               -  Also played for or managed a losing WS team
               -  Ex catcher managers who won WS in the expansion era