Baseball


ESPN Passport: The Games I Have Attended 2

Anyone who knows me knows that I love stats. One of the more underrated sports related stats website has to be ESPN Passport. It is an awesome service provided by ESPN that allows you to archive all the sports events you have been to (and even watched from home) and spews out stats about how the teams have done in those games. They show a win-loss record, active winning or losing streak and how the teams have done at home and on the road in the games you saw them play. Over time, they have added medals which you can earn if you attend events and the team goes on a winning or even a losing streak.

Full link to all the stats available here on Google Drive.

Here’s a look at some of the stats for my events: (Note: I only log the games that I have attended in person)

I am certain that I missed a couple of games that I attended in person but of the 38 games I have logged in so far, there are 10 teams that I have never seen lose (3 of them I have seen on more than one occasion):

New York Mets: 3-0, 2 games at Citi Field (vs. Yankees and Chicago White Sox) and one at Rogers Center
Seattle Mariners: 2-0 (both in the same stadium but once when it was SkyDome and one as Rogers Center)
West Virginia Mountaineers (CFB): 2-0 (both at High Point Solutions Stadium)

The following teams are 1-0: Houston Astros, Cincinnati Bearcats (CFB), Fresno State Bulldogs (CFB), Buffalo Sabers, San José Sharks, Miami Heat and Syracuse Orangeman (CBB).

The most frequent teams that I have seen are by far the Toronto Blue Jays and New York Yankees:

Toronto Blue Jays: 6-9 record, 5-7 at home and 1-2 on the road (all road games at Yankee Stadium)
New York Yankees: 8-5 record, 5-3 at home and 3-2 on the road (all road games at Rogers Center)

List of Arenas with record of home team in brackets:
SkyDome/Rogers Center (5-7)
Old/New Yankee Stadium (5-3)
High Point Solutions Stadium (3-4)
Citi Field (2-0)
Izod Center (2-1)
Madison Square Garden (1-1)
Air Canada Center (0-1)
Rutgers Athletic Center (0-1)
TD Garden (0-1)
Citizens Bank Ballpark (0-1)

Stats by Sport:
Major League Baseball: 23 games
NCAA DI Football: 7 games
National Hockey League: 4 games
National Basketball Association: 3 games
NCAA DI Basketball: 1 game

Finishing off with the medals page, I have six in total which include easy ones like checking into your first event, posting comments and attending a game on a holiday. However two cool ones that I have is “Zero Hero” which is attending a game with a shutout (I just got at the Mets/White Sox game) and “Doubleheader” which is attending two games in one day. I got that one on October 27, 2007 by watching a college football game between Rutgers Scarlet Knights and West Virginia playing a game at noon and then heading over to Madison Square Garden to see the Toronto Maple Leafs and the New York Rangers play at 7pm.

 


Updates: My Domain and My Book

I wrote my CFA Level I exam last weekend which was by far the trickiest exam I have taken but I feel like I was prepared enough to do well on it. Since the results do not come out for approximately another seven weeks, I needed to figure out what I am going to do for the next two months. I decided that over at my new domain http://farazhyder.com I will begin to start posting updates on the current status and progress of the book I thought of publishing a few years back. I think I am going to devote that domain primarily to my book and more specific matters which would require less updates and continue to maintain ABG with the more frequent posts.

It is going to need plenty of revisions but if I can devote a solid chunk of the next four or five weeks to it, I can get back on pace to have something out by the end of the year. I know I have said this before but hopefully this time I will be able to produce something.

I am going to be looking for help from some people who want to read/edit through it. I would prefer that you have some interest in the game of baseball if you want to read it and would be willing to provide some valuable feedback. The following topics are covered in the book: Steroids, Media and the Digital Age, Shortstops, Barry Bonds, and the New York Yankees. If you have a specific interest in one of the topics, let me know and I can send you relevant parts from the book.

Also if you are of the artistic kind, I have a few very specific ideas for the front and back cover so if you want to help me out, that would be awesome.


Is The Baseball System Really Broken?

I had yet to decide whether I thought the baseball system as it is, was broken or not but after doing just some simple research, I think I am ready to say that it is okay… for now.

There is no denying that there are the lopsided salaries in just a handful of teams but there have also been 9 different World Series champions (Arizona, Anaheim, Florida, Boston, Chicago (AL), St. Louis, Philadelphia, New York (AL), and San Francisco) in the past 10 years as well as 14 different teams (add Colorado, Detroit, Houston, Tampa Bay and Texas) who have played in the World Series in that same stretch of time. That is just about half the league.

After that, make note of the fact that Minnesota, Detroit, Cleveland, Oakland, Seattle, New York (NL), Atlanta, Chicago (NL), Cincinnati, Milwaukee and San Diego have also made the playoffs in the last 10 years and that brings the total up to 25 teams leaving just the Toronto Blue Jays, Baltimore Orioles, Kansas City Royals, Washington Nationals, and Pittsburgh Pirates to not make it into the postseason.

That is a pretty awesome system where 83% of your league has been in the playoffs in the last decade but baseball has done a really poor job in trying to capitalize off of that. Instead all we hear in the news is of steroids, players not signing extensions and botched efforts to try and keep the all star game relevant.

I would also be interested in seeing similar numbers for other major sports and if I had to guess, I would say NBA is the worst in terms of percentage of teams making the post season in the last decade but I would think NHL and NFL are right up there with the MLB. Maybe if I get time over the weekend, I will pull up those numbers as well.

As for the 5 teams left to make the playoffs since the 2001 season, who do you think will make it there first? I will say either the Washington Nationals or the Toronto Blue Jays but I don’t think either of those two will happen this year, or the next.


Overdue Update + My Trip Home

I definitely need to get back to writing more often and I have a list that has been growing that I want to write about but finding the time these days is proving to be far more difficult than I had originally expected.

Work has been fantastic so far even with the disappointment of my vacation being cut short this month. The nice trade off was increased exposure with many people in the organization and things like that are hard to come by for someone as new as me. We already do monthly charity donations but in December we had a raffle of tons of prizes with all proceeds going to the Sick Kids Hospital. People here already donate as it is but an added incentive always increases the turnout. Prizes included a flat screen TV, other electronics, tickets to sporting events as well as gift cards. I won a Sony MP3 Player

I just ordered material for my first CFA exam in the middle of next year which will probably cause me to go dormant for quite a while since I’ll be studying most if not every night for this starting the moment I get back from my mini-vacation.

I’m hoping to come home just for a few days hoping to do as much as I can and I have to remember to update my new home address in my GPS – it’s my first trip back since we completely moved in.  I think it will be pretty much family-dedicated the first two days and then all friends-related business on the 27th, the day before I leave. That last day already includes lunch with a friend I’ve known for about a decade now and then up to Jersey City to see 222.  If you’re free during the day or even the night before (maybe), give me a shout and let’s do something. It’ll probably be another couple of months before I make my next trip down south.

I went ice skating for the first time in several years and even though it took a couple of laps of going ridiculously slow around the boards, it turned out pretty well as the night progressed. I only hit the ice once which was definitely less than the number of times my ‘experienced’ buddies hit the deck. Next item up on the agenda is to get snowboarding gear and hit up the slopes. Still contemplating whether I should purchase or rent – a decision that probably hinges on how my first attempt goes.

One though on the baseball offseason so far though: The Phillies have compiled arguably the most dangerous pitching staff in the history of the game but what I fail to understand is, where is the outrage? Can you imagine if the Yankees had bought all this talent? Why is there no cry to look out for the smaller market teams now? That has been the most disappoint part throughout this entire off season of ridiculous contracts being given out with Boston and Washington included. Very disappointed in the silent fans so far and if that’s the route they take, they should sit idly as well the next time the Yankees decide to spend well and above everyone else.


Quick Update

I haven’t gotten a lot of chances to write recently primarily because of work consuming about 12 – 13 hours of my day. I am out of the house at 7 a.m. most days and end up taking the train (or bus) back after 6 p.m. I am a week away from completing my initial three month contract here at Chartis and it is remarkable how quickly time has gone by. There has been plenty of chatter about converting me to a full-time employee now but I have yet to receive an offer, so I will withhold further comment on that until there is actually something to write about.

As another promising but disappointing Blue Jays season winds down, it is important to note that the Yankees have played six games in Toronto since I have moved here. The more interesting fact is that the only two games they have won from those six happened to be the ones that I attended – including the Tuesday night. Jays have to find a way to turn things around quickly as the division seems to become more and more competitive every year.

Hockey season is right around the corner with the Leafs playing their season opener against Montreal a week from today (and about 3 blocks from my work). You can already see the swarm of blue and white jerseys around downtown with people heading towards the preseason games around the same time as I leave work.

I recently searched for Maple Leafs tickets as I have never seen them play at home but the cheapest available at the moment for a Hockey Night In Canada game is $100+ a ticket for a game in February. Maybe holding out on buying a Leafs’ ticket is the best option right now as I’m afraid the hockey season will be disappointing again as a Leafs’ fan. The Maple Leafs have missed out on the postseason in each of the last five years and the primary goal for Toronto this year will be to end the longest playoff drought in the franchise’s storied history. Phil Kessel and Dion Phaneuf are clearly the two new stars on the team and hopefully can spark something miraculous.

This is the place where legends are made of. Just like the players who ended the Red Sox World Series drought, the players who bring home the championship to teams like the Cubs or the Maple Leafs and hopefully something good happens soon.