Sunday, April 17, 2016

April 11-17, 2016 Players with $200,000,000 Contracts

Q. Who was the first player to hit 30 home runs in each of his first twelve major league seasons?
Hint: He broke Johnny Frederick's record for extra-base hits by a National League rookie.
Hint: No active player has won more National League MVP awards.
Hint: ...and he’s not even active in that league at present!
- Pujols hit 30+ each season 20001-2012 (He’s hit 85 since the end of that streak.)
- Frederick had 82 in 1929, including a league-leading 52 doubles, for 6th-place Brooklyn; Pujols had 88 in 2001
- Was NL MVP in 2005, 2008 & 2009.  He has finished 5th or better in the NL MVP voting an additional 7 times!
- Currently plays for the American League’s Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.
FCR - Adrian Fung, Toronto, ON
Incorrect answers:  Barry Bonds

Q. Who is the only player to win a batting Triple Crown since Carl Yastrzemski did it in 1967?
Hint: In his 13 full seasons, he’s never finished out of the MVP voting, including winning the award in consecutive seasons.
Hint: He is the first native of Venezuela to capture a major league MVP.
Hint: He drove in at least 100 runs for eleven consecutive seasons.
Hint: Most people couldn’t guess that he also owns 38 career stolen bases.
- Triple Crown in 2012 for DET w/44 HR, 139 RBI and a .330 BA.
- AL MVP in 2012 & 2013
- HR to win debut 20-Jun-2003
- Born 18-Apr-1983 in Maracay, Aragua, Venezuela.
- 100+ RBI 2004-2014
FCR - Norm Ginsberg, Andover, MA
Incorrect answers:  Miguel Tejada, David Ortiz

Q. Who was the first high school player ever to try out for Team USA?
Hint: After Lou Boudreau in 1944, he was the next American League shortstop to win a batting title.
Hint: He is still the all-time franchise leader in single-season offensive WAR for two of his previous teams.
Hint: He shares a nickname with a top U.S. tennis player.
- 1993 Team USA
- .358 in 1996 for SEA
- 8.9 WAR in 2000 for SEA; 9.2 WAR in 2001 for TEX
- “A-Rod” - Andy Roddick
FCR - Andrew Distler, New York, NY
Incorrect answers:  Nomar Garciaparra, Harvey Kuenn, Pauncho Gonzales, Robin Yount, Vern Stephens, Zoilo Versalles

Q. Who was the only pitcher in major league history to lead the majors (NL and AL) in Earned Run Average for 4 continuous seasons?
Hint: In high school competition, he once pitched a perfect game,  getting every out via strikeout.  Not only did no opposing batter attain first base, none even left the batters’ box.
Hint: He was the youngest player in the majors when he debuted.
- ERA in 2011-14: 2.28, 2.53, 1.83 & 1.77 respectively.  2015 saw his teammate Zack Greinke take the title with a sterling 1.66.
- Perfect HS game was stopped with “Mercy Rule” after 5 innings
- 20 yrs. old in 2008.
FCR - Chris Wiseman, Lake Wales, FL
Incorrect answers:  Greg Maddux, Bob Feller, Joe Nuxhall, Pedro Martinez, Sandy Koufax, Bob Gibson, Roger Clemens, Lefty Grove

Q. Who is the only major leaguer to have a 50-home run season whose father also had a 50-home run season in the majors?
Hint: He passed by one Alex Rodriguez’ consecutive-games played streak.
Hint: He caused a future MVP to switch positions.
Hint: Some ball players are bestowed royalty through their nicknames.  He  got his at birth.
- Prince hit 50 HR in 2007 for MIL; Cecil hit 51 in 1990 for DET
- Played in 547 straight games from 14-Sep-2010 through 16-May-2014; A-Rod had 546 between 2000 & 2003.
- Went to DET in 2012 as a first baseman where Miguel Cabrera had played 140+ games for the Tigers in each of the 4 previous seasons.
- “Prince Semien Fielder” is his actual birth name.
FCR - Charles Riordan, Chevy Chase, MD
Incorrect answers:  Ken Griffey, Jr., Barry Bonds, Cecil Fielder

Q. Who is the only native of Ontario to win a league MVP?
Hint: He owns the highest on-base percentage (single-season and career) in the history of his 125+ year-old franchise.
Hint: No active player has ever been walked by opposing pitching more times in a single season.
Hint: Although he graduated from the Richview Collegiate Institute, he never attended college.
Hint: An inside source on the Toronto Police Force could find nothing on him.  Nothing.
- NL MVP 2010; Born 10-Sep-1983 in Toronto (Larry Walker [1996] & Justin Morneau [2006] are both from British Columbia)
- 2012 OBP = .474; Career OBP = .423
- 143 BB in 2015
- Richview Collegiate Institute is high-school equivalent in the Toronto  suburb of Etobicoke
- Clean record makes sense.  He played for the Saints.
FCR - Timothy Kearns, Washington, DC
Incorrect answers:  Larry Walker, Justin Morneau

Q. What Notre Dame alum’s ancestry wasn't considered significant enough to represent the Puerto Rico in the World Baseball Classic?
Hint: It has been claimed that both he and his franchise have had serious nomenclature issues.
Hint: Nine-eleven has an additional particular significance for him.
Hint: He won the Hank Aaron Award despite missing more than two weeks of the regular schedule.
Hint: Calling him “Jack Chuck” might surprise him, but it wouldn’t be inaccurate and it points to strong parts of his game.
- Attended Notre Dame High School in Sherman Oaks, California
- He went from “Mike” to “Giancarlo” the same year his team went from being the Florida Marlins to being the Miami Marlins.
- On 11-Sep-2014 a Mike Fiers pitch hit him in the face
- Hank Aaron Award for 2014, the same season he was injured
- Giancarlo comes out as “John Charles” in English, the common nicknames for which are Jack and Chuck.  Jacks are home runs and chucking the ball from RF is a specialty of his.
FCR - Mary Shea, Milwaukee, WI
Incorrect answers:  Jack Clark

Q. Whose first name is, deliberately, a baseball homage?
Hint: He began his third year in the majors surrendering his uniform number to an established star who had rejoined the team for his 24th and final season.
Hint: He was born outside the U.S., but went to school for 3 years in New Jersey.
Hint: Near the end of his first Silver Slugger season, he had his team’s only hit in a 1-hit loss with a 1-out single in the 9th against a pitcher, coincidentally, from his very home town.
- Was named for Jackie Robinson.
- Gave his #22 to once and new Yankee Roger Clemens and took #24, a reversal of Jackie Robinson’s #42.
- Was born in the baseball fecund city of San Pedro de Marcoris, Dominican Republic, but attended 7th-9th grades in Newark school system.  His family moved back to D.R. and he with them.
- Was awarded a Silver Slugger in 2006.  On 28-Sep that year, Daniel Cabrera of BAL was no-hitting the Yankees when Cano got his single.  The visiting Orioles won 7-1.
FCR - Richard Tharp, Gaithersburg, MD
Incorrect answers:  Ryne Sandberg

Q. What Cy Young Award winner is relieved that Sertraline is still allowed by the Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program established by agreement between the MLB Players Association and the Office of the Commissioner of Baseball?
Hint: His wife has been a member of America’s most famous dance troupe.
Hint: He was the first pitcher in the DH era to homer for the KC Royals.
Hint: As a senior in high school, he batted .495 with 10 home runs in 99 at-bats.
- Sertraline (trade name Zoloft) helps keep Greinke’s overpowering social anxiety disorder under control.
- Wife is Emily Kuchar Greinke, his high school sweetheart.  Once a Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader, she is also a huge factor in helping the pitcher overcome his disorder.
- HR 10-Jun-2005 off Russ Ortiz.  He only had 2 AB that year.  The other was a deep fly out in the same game.
- His pitching stats in his senior year in high school also reveal 118 K vs. 8 BB.
FCR - Arieh Siegal, Austin, TX
Incorrect answers:  Chris Young, Bret Saberhagen

Q. Between 01-Aug-2015 and the end of the season, Jake Arrieta had a win/loss record of 11-0.  What pitcher was the majors’ next best at 9-1 over that span?
Hint: He started the All-Star game in just his second full season in the majors.
Hint: He is still the all-time leader, both single-season and career, for WAR, ERA and Adjusted ERA+ for his original franchise.
Hint: His name seems to be an indicator of his career plans.
- 9-1 pitching for TOR
- Price has commanded a serious price from four major league teams.
FCR - Jeff Friedman, Westwood, CA
Incorrect answer:  Clayton Kershaw

Q. What Cy Young Award-winner-to-be set the record for the number of consecutive batters retired (13) for a pitcher making his MLB debut as a reliever?
Hint: He broke a104-year-old franchise record by beginning a season 12--0.
Hint: The website “Jew or not a Jew” concluded that he was in fact, not jewish.
Hint: He turned down the chance to be a Cardinal in order to be a Tiger.
Hint: He played for La Crosse, but didn’t play lacrosse.
- AL CYA 2013; Debut 29-Apr-2008 6 of the outs were strikeouts
- Won his first 13 decisions in 2013; George Mullin was 12-0 for DET in 1909
- Jewish?  Maybe we should just ask him?
- Drafted by STL in 2003, but not until the 43rd round, so he chose to attend and play for the University of Missouri (The Tigers)
-  Played for the La Crosse Loggers of the Northwoods League (NWL), a collegiate summer baseball league
FCR - Dan Silverberg, Aventura, FL
Incorrect answers:  John Smoltz, Justin Verlander, Jordan Zimmerman, Steve Stone, David Cone

THEME FOR THE WEEK - Players who have each signed a contract with a total value in excess of $200,000,000.

Cabrera      $248,000,000     DET     2016-23
Cano           $240,000,000     SEA     2014-23
Fielder         $214,000,000     TEX     2012-20
Greinke       $206,500,000     ARI      2016-21
Kershaw     $215,000,000     LAD     2014-20
Price           $217,000,000     BOS    2016-22
Pujols          $240,000,000     LAA     2012-21
Rodriguez   $275,000,000     NYY    2008-17
Rodriguez     $252,000,000     TEX     2001-10
Scherzer    $210,000,000     WAS    2015-21
Stanton       $325,000,000     MIA     2015-27
Votto       $225,000,000     CIN     2014-23

First Correct Respondent to Identify Theme – Dave Washburn, Marietta, GA (after Fielder)

Incorrect theme guesses:
Monday   - Double digit draft picks who played 2,000 games in the majors
- Players who won consecutive MVPs while playing at least one game as the DH
- Latin American players with a chance to break 700 homers

Tuesday - Right handed hitters to win multiple MVPs
- Multiple MVP winners of the 21st century

Wed. - Players who've won multiple MVP or Cy Young Awards in the 21st century
- Active players with the highest single-season WAR

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