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What significance does a number carry? Obviously we know that a number carries a value of an item or items. They can hold a positive or negative connotation depending on what the number is referring to.
If you are talking about a bank account or an amount of money, the higher the number, the better. If you are dealing with a number of people who want to cause you physical harm, the lower the number the better.
What significance does the number 42 have for you? It can carry many meanings. 42 hours in your individual work week. 42 miles to the gallon that your vehicle gets. 42 miles that you will be walking after your car ran out of gas because you only got 40 miles to the gallon and not the 42 that you thought.
What does 42 mean in the world of baseball? 42 Home Runs in a contract year and you will probably be making 42 million dollars on your next contract. 42 Doubles is a good season.
42 wins by a team in a season is terrible but 42 wins in a row, and they are setting records. Perhaps the most significant use of the number 42 in the baseball realm was by a young 28-year-old Second Baseman named Jackie Robinson.
Movie Trailer for 42:
Robert Whitmer (Baseball Writer) Follow @rwhitmer
So we have a dilemma in this 5-point series. We have a team here that, for the past two years has been in first place at the all-star break and ended up with a losing record. Do they really need a change in the team or do they just need to grow up a little bit and stay consistent through the final 3 months of the season? The first thing that you have to look at is the line-up. Does this crew have the ability to maintain after getting the start that it has the past couple of years? I think with some minor changes the Pittsburgh Pirates from perennial losers to World Series contenders.
On http://www.MLB.com the depth chart for the Pirates shows a couple of areas that they need to upgrade in. With a total payroll of about $65 million, they have money to spend on free agents that can assist them in accomplishing their goals. The following five points are designed to provide the pirates with a fix to win now. I firmly believe that they are on the right track in their minor leagues to sustain their future. Read the rest of this entry
Thursday November 1st, 2012
Alex Mednick (Baseball Analyst and Writer)
The St. Louis Cardinals came into 2012 as the defending World Series Champions. In 2011 they just eked their way into the post season on the final day of the regular season when they defeated the Houston Astros and the Braves, who were tied for the wild card spot with St. Louis, ended up losing to the Phillies in extra innings. Coming into the 2011 postseason, the Cardinals were huge underdogs. That didn’t stop them from going for what they wanted: to win it all.
While most analysts amongst the sport would not have guessed St. Louis would even make it to the World Series, yet alone win it, the Red Birds emerged to show their true colors. The current team that the city of St. Louis has assembled and gets to watch for 81 games a year is, undoubtedly, a team that plays on all cylinders and the highest octane fuel. They play with the intensity of a little league team that wants nothing more than the coach to bring them out for ice cream when they win. Watching the Cardinals brand of baseball is to watch baseball again as a game, and not just as a competition played by millionaire athletes with tremendous talent.
Watching the scrappiness of St. Louis native David Freese in the 2011 playoffs is the perfect example. His David Eckstein-like approach to the game reminds us all of one of our teammates back in middle school. The one at the sandlot that always slid hard, tried to steal home, and complained when the rest of us wanted to go home because “it was getting dark”. In 2011, David Freese and his 39 teammates played baseball together as a true team and sent Tony LaRussa home with a World Series title in his final year managing. Read the rest of this entry
Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer): Follow @chuckbooth3024
I love the new era of baseball. One thing the 2nd Wild Card team enabled this year was a flurry of transactions right near the Non-Waiver Trade Deadline, plus we even saw a bunch of trades between Aug.01-31 as well. I am not going to breakdown the trades for who went the other way (unless both teams were in contention) since we have a dedicated page for that here. What I am going to do is see who made out well with their new player. I will tell you right now that the hands down winner was the San Francisco Giants for picking up Marco Scutaro and Hunter Pence. Marco Scutaro hit .362 for the Giants and smacked 90 hits in 61 games. He has parlayed another 19 hits in 59 AB during the playoffs (.322).
I am going to be writing a series of payroll breakdowns for each MLB team in the offseason. I have already compiled reports for the Boston Red Sox, Toronto Blue Jays, Philadelphia Phillies, Los Angeles Dodgers, Los Angeles Angels and Washington Nationals. These reports can be found in my author archives here. In addition to this, I am going to write another piece on Payroll Strategy specifically geared towards making runs at trades near the deadline. Look for those in the coming weeks. The work never ends here, and we will have you game ready for spring training when it comes to all of the clubs. Read the rest of this entry
Tuesday October 2nd, 2012
Robert Whitmer: Now you might say that baseball doesn’t need any saving. Like I have said on this very site, however, everything that has a beginning also has an end. My Grandfather, who was a very intelligent man, told me a very wise saying before I embarked on missionary service for my church. He told me that “even the church is one generation away from being non-existent.” He told me to stop and think about that for a little bit and tell him what I thought he meant. I was your average 19-year-old and wasn’t really paying much attention to what he was saying, but that phrase stuck with me. As I was doing my service I realized what that phrase meant to me. I needed to try my hardest to teach people because if I didn’t, then what I was teaching about becomes null and void. Everything in the world is in the same boat no matter what it is. Imagine if the human race just decided that everyone, starting today, who is 15 and under was no longer going to learn how to drive a car; what would happen? Eventually cars would become extinct. Nobody would know how to drive and as a result, nobody would need cars. Such is the same with baseball. Baseball is one generation away from being extinct.
I heard the other day on a well-known sports radio program that plays during the day that baseball is a dying sport. I listened as the host hypothesized that the whole purpose for Bud Selig to create this Wild Card playoff was to get people talking about baseball before the playoffs were upon us. He continued to say that it had failed to work. Are you kidding me? We are looking at the playoffs on a daily basis right now because we have so much of an unknown as to who is playing who going in to the last day of the week. Now part of the equation that I would tend to agree with him on is that from a playing perspective, it is somewhat of a dying sport especially in the lower-income communities. Why is that you might ask? How many times have you driven through the lower-income housing areas and seen the beautiful, plush green grass with perfectly painted baselines and the perfectly measured pitching mound in the middle of the concrete jungle? More often than not, you see the basketball goals that are on the corner that double as a church parking lot for a couple of hours on Sunday. Read the rest of this entry
Tuesday September 18, 2012
Robert Whitmer: What do you think of when you hear the number “1”? Do you think of singularity, of lonesomeness? The significance of the number “1” in the history of the world is vast. In science the number 1 is the atomic number of Hydrogen, the most basic element that exists on earth. With regards to philosophy, Plotinus refers to the number 1 as the basis ultimate reality and the source of all existence. 1 can be used to refer to an individual person or to groups of many people. In the sports world the number 1 is tossed around all the time. We hear of one game leads in the yearly standings and in playoff series. We know players that have the number one as their jersey number. For the majority of sports the number 1 is the way that points are tracked. At the end of the seasons when we go into the playoffs, the teams take on the attitude of “there can be only one.” This means that there can be only one team left when it is all said and done. One survivor out of however many teams get the chance to play for the ultimate prize.
In 1995 Major League Baseball did some adding of teams and realigning of divisions. They took the two divisions that we had and divided them up into the three that we have now and added a Wild Card team to the playoff mix. In the format that was laid out previous to this year the three division winners got an automatic spot in the playoffs with the fourth team coming from whatever division and whatever team in the respective AL and NL had the highest winning percentage. At this point if there was a tie for a division lead, it would be settled by the head to head record and the team with more wins winning the division and the other one, if they had the highest winning percentage, winning the wild card. The concept of this process is good. There are times, however, that if it had happened differently, we would have been looking at a very different playoff picture. We will examine the 2005 AL playoffs as an example. Read the rest of this entry