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.

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