Monday, February 6, 2017

2017-Jan 30-Feb 5 All-Star free agent currently unsigned

Q.        Whose 2015 NLDS slide into second base prompted an MLB rule change?
Hint:     Not since Tommy Holmes did it in 1945 did any lefty except this guy put together a hitting streak of at least 35 games.
Hint:     He has donated over $45,000 to the SPCA and has appeared in a video made by PETA entitled "Adopt Don't Buy".
A.         CHASE UTLEY
Slid into Mets second baseman Ruben Tejada
-  35 G hitting streak 23-Jun-2006 to 03-Aug-2006Holmes’s streak was 37 G.
SPCA & PETA; “Adopt Don’t Buy” (I personally think he title could use some punctuation.)
FCR -  Charlie Riordan, Chevy Chase, Maryland
Incorrect answers:  Rougned Odor, Chris Coughlin

Q.        Whose name is said to be an oxymoron, representing opposing theological forces?
Hint:     He is the owner of 44 career outfield assists, but the one he is the most remembered for, never appeared the box score even though it took place during a game.
Hint:     He led his team to the finals of the World Baseball Classic but didn’t win, so he might have to be satisfied with “just” his World Series championship ring.
A.         ÁNGEL PAGÁN
Angels vs. Pagans
-  Pagan tackled and body-slammed an intruder who was eluding security by running around in the outfield of AT&T Park.  View here.
-  He was part of the Puerto Rico ‘national’ baseball team during the 2013 WBC, leading them to the Finals, batting .364.  They lost to the DR. Pagán was an important part of the SFG’s in 2012, the year they won the WS.
FCR -  Edward Masone, New York City
Incorrect answers:  Rick Ankiel, Hideki Matsui

Q.        Who appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated as the paragon of players at catcher?
Hint:     Ironically, the number of games he will play at that position is destined to decrease.
Hint:     During his closely-watched rise to the major, excited reporters wrote some of these hyperbolic lines:
- “[He] took batting practice this morning ... there were no survivors.”
- “When [he] is hungry, he snacks on batting doughnuts.”
- “[He] once framed a pitch so perfectly that it counted as two strikes.”
- “Sliced bread is actually the greatest thing since [him].”
-  SI Cover 15-Mar-2010, Author Tom Verducci called him “The next Joe Mauer”.
-  Catchers often play an increasing amount of their games at defensive positions less physically demanding.
-  “Quotes” from SB*Nation 05-May-2015
FCR -  Mark Linneman, Sacramento
Incorrect answers:  Buster Posey, Joe Mauer, Yadier Molina, Evan Gattis, Ivan Rodriguez, Bryce Harper, Johnny Bench, Yogi Berra

Q.        Who is the career leader in World Series RBI among active players?
Hint:     Teammates admit to being intimidated by him.
Hint:     He was an All-Star for a team that he played for in two different stints.  They are recruiting him again.
A.         MIKE NAPOLI
-  15 WS RBI
-  His powerful swing and his workmanlike demeanor are largely the causes of said intimidation.
FCR -  Jim Lovelace, Kent, Ohio
Incorrect answers:  Carlos Beltran, Albert Pujols

Q.        Whose once-devastating slider helped his team win a trio of World Series championships?
Hint:     He grew up near the barren shores of the Salton Sea.
Hint:     He’s a 9-year MLB veteran, but has only played for one franchise with a brief stop in Mexico in a winter league.).
Hint:     His success in the majors belies the fact that he was the 852nd overall pick the year he was drafted.
A.         SERGIO ROMO*
-  WS wins with SFG even though he amassed a total of 6.0 IP for all 3.  Slider chart.
-  Located at one of the lowest elevations in North America, it’s just 20 miles from the Mexico border.
-  Drafted by SFG in 2005 in the 28th round.  Played with Mexicali, the closest team to the Salton Sea.
FCR -     Barry Nelson, Guilderland, New York
Incorrect answers:  Madison Bumgarner, Tim Lincecum, Blue Moon Odom, Matt Cain

Q.        Who was the last second baseman to lead the Toronto Blue Jays in home runs for a season?
Hint:     He was the first 21st century player to start his career in the American League with three straight multi-hit games.
Hint:     He racked up 16 hits in his first 11 MLB games.
Hint:     He is the only Blue Jay ever to win the MLB Comeback Player of the Year Award.
A.         AARON HILL
- 36 HR in 2009 for TOR; played for the LSU Tigers in college
-  2 H in each of games on 20-, 21- and 22-May-2005.
-  16 H in May 2005.
FCR -  Jeff Kallman, Las Vegas
Incorrect answers:  Jeff Kent, Orlando Hudson

Q.        What ex-Commodore is the only Pittsburgh Pirate to tie the National League in home runs for a season?
Hint:     He was born in the Caribbean, but attended high school less than 6 miles from Yankee Stadium.
Hint:     In the 134 year history of the franchise, no other Pittsburgh Pirate has ever struck out more in a season, except him.
Vanderbilt University Commodores; tied Paul Goldschmidt with 36 HR in 2013.  (Ralph Kiner took himself out of the running by tying two more times.  Only Alvarez did it “a” time.  Saturday questions are seldom straight fastballs.)
-  Born in Santo Domingo, DR; Went to Horace Mann HS in Riverdale, NY
-  The only Pirate to strikeout more times in a season than Alvarez is… [Wait for it…] His own fine self.  His 180 Pirate K’s in 2012 is exceeded only by his 186 Pirate K’s in 2013.
FCR -  Jeremiah Begley, Washington, DC
Incorrect answers:  Bobby Bonilla, Willie Stargell, Bobby Bonds, Tony Batista, Roberto Clemente

Q.        On the 2016 Cubs pitching staff, only one pitcher with more than one decision did not have a single loss.  Who was he?
Hint:     The organization rewarded this former All-Star by releasing him immediately after the Series, even before the team’s victory parade.
Hint:     He was the first Cub to start a season with 9 straight quality starts since Mordecai Brown did it over a century ago.
A.         TRAVIS WOOD
-  Record was 4-0 in 2016
Series finished 02-Nov.  He was released 03-Nov.  Victory parade 04-Nov.
-  Woods’s streak was in 2013Brown pitched for CHC 1904-12 & 1916.
FCR -  Adam Balutis, Arlington, Virginia
Incorrect answers:  Kerry Wood, Jason Hammel, Trevor Cahill

Q.        Who, despite only part-time duty, led all American League catchers in pickoffs?
Hint:     He originally signed with the Yankees, but came to the majors with the Cubs.
Hint:     He has also spent time in the organizations of the Diamondbacks, Dodgers, White Sox, Blue Jays, Devil Rays and Reds.
Hint:     It seems he has suffered more personal tragedy than the average player.
-  Had 4 pickoffs with TOR last year
-  On their first wedding anniversary, his wife Sherley suffered a cerebral aneurysm in.  Doctors gave her less than a 5% chance of surviving surgery, and estimated she would die on September 30. She survived and made a full recovery. Navarro has worn the #30 in her honor ever since.  His son was born with a multicystic dysplastic kidney and had to have it removed.  When his mother suffered a cerebral aneurysm in early February one year Navarro left pre-spring training workouts to be with her in Venezuela.  He returned only when her condition stabilized.
FCR -  Adam Balutis, Arlington, Virginia
Incorrect answers:  Geovany Soto

WEEKLY THEME – Former All-Stars who are currently free agents and looking for a job in the majors

*Sergio Romo signed with the Dodgers a day after we posted his question.  Had it been before, we would have taken him out of the week.  Brandon Moss was on the original list of this week’s questions, but signed with the Royals before we sent his question.

First Correct Respondent to Identify ThemePhil Hertz, Bethesda, Maryland (after Napoli)

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