Tuesday, June 2, 2020

The rest of the bracket

The first bracket:

1995 Royals vs 1991 Royals                                   1991 has home field advantage

1990 Royals vs 1998 Royals                                   1990 has home field advantage

1975 Royals vs 2012 Royals                                    1975 has home field advantage
                            I didn't even have to look up the records. This might be a sweep.

1996 Royals vs 2005 Royals                                    1996

2013 Royals vs 1999 Royals                                     2013

Onto the second bracket:

1979 Royals vs 2001 Royals                                     1979
                             This might be a laugher

1970 Royals vs 1997 Royals                                      1997
                              Even with the DH, this is very close. Could be an upset.

2009 Royals vs 2018 Royals                                     2009
                              How were the 2009 Royals better than anyone?

1982 Royals vs 1974 Royals                                     1982
                             Brett's first season

Yes, there are an uneven amount of match-ups in the brackets, but that is the nature of brackets.This will be evened out with the bye teams. The first bracket will add three byes, will the second one will add 4 bye teams.

So what are your predictions so far?

And on to the other side of the bracket.

Saturday, April 18, 2020

The Tournament

I'm not sitting at home all day with nothing to do. I'm still working every day, and putting in as many hours as I did before all this started. But I am sitting home in the evenings and on the weekends, as there really isn't much to do at all. The house is clean, the car is clean, the yard work is done. Even if it wasn't, it's raining, and I don't feel the need to get wet.

As I sit around most evenings and weekends, I get bored, so I play a lot of baseball on Out Of The Park. One of the best simulation games around. I always play the Royals, of course, and have won the last 4 World Series, and I'm only in the 1980 season.

No, it's not fantasy baseball, but it's much better.

I've just upgraded to the 2020 Season, and it's well worth it. It has a lot of different features from when I started 10 years ago, and it's much better.

One of the features it has it that it allows you to run tournaments. You can do teams from any era, any team, any year, and so and so forth. And let  you run historical leagues, or make up you own. So since I'm sitting here with out a lot to do, I thought I might try out a tournament.

This, of course, will be a tournament to figure out which is the greatest team in Kansas City Royal history.  We all think we know, but due to the differences in era's, and type of game played, ball used, stadium, to juice or not to  juice, a team from one year that was great might not have been as good in a different year.

Which team is better? The 1985 team that won the World Series? Or the 2015 that won it all? Is the 1980 runner-up better than the 2014 runner-up? We don't know. But we are going to find out. Because I'm going to run the tournament and we'll see how it goes.

As always when I am doing this, I don't expect a lot of views or comments, but if  you do take a look, don't forget to tell me how I'm getting it all wrong and you know better. I, of course, will respond with kindness and humility, because I will know most of you personally.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Going the distance

A few years back, a reality television showed pitted Indian pitchers against each other to see which would get a shot at a major league contract. I don’t remember the details, but two did get a chance to pitch with the Pittsburgh Pirates. One made it for four seasons, with some success, while the other lasted 1+, without much luck. It was mostly a publicity stunt, but well-intentioned in my mind, as it’s great that players from non-traditional baseball countries get a shot.

So you have to wonder if anytime one these guys gets a chance, if it’s for real, or just a favor to a scout and a good-will gesture. Fortunately for Callam Pearce, that isn’t an issue. Because the kid from Glenwood, a suburb of Durban, South Africa, is going to get a real opportunity.
Glenwood boy, Callan Pearce has been selected to play baseball for the Minnesota Twins, a major league American Baseball team.
According to reports I can find, this is a 7-year deal. He’ll live for the states in the spring, after he has finished high school. Fortunately, although he lives on the edge of the Indian Ocean, he won’t be a strange to snow as cold weather, as the Drakensberg range of mountains is just a short ride away.

This is definitely not for show, as no team would give such a long-term contract to a prospect, especially one who hasn’t played in high level competition by his age. This is great news for Callam, great news for South African baseball, and great news for baseball in general. Talented players are always welcome, regardless of the cover on their passport.

When soccer trumps baseball

Some bad news in the world of baseball. And college football. And the NFL. Not that we really care about the other two. But we care about baseball, don’t we. Yeah. It’s the greatest sport, but we always hear about how it’s dying, and no longer relevant. That’s bull, in my opinion. Baseball is alive and well, and has survived many issues that have broken other leagues. 

But to be fair, it is probably not the most watched sport in the world. That would have to be soccer. While baseball is played in most countries nowadays, soccer still remains supreme as the top sport in most of them. Usually because it’s the cheapest to play growing up, and a lack of organized leagues or competitions for many of the other sports.

However, back to the main point, baseball is alive and well, and deep into the playoffs. While college football and the NFL are back, you would think the run to the Series would trump all other sports in television viewership in the states. But it seems it doesn’t. It’s not either of the footballs. At least in some of our major metropolitan areas. It seems soccer reigns supreme in many American cities. According to TV by the Numbers, the FIFA World Cup Qualifier between Mexico and Panama on October 11th, a Friday, outdrew all other sports in the land, regardless of language:

Regardless of language, UniMás was the highest rated broadcast station during the Mexico vs. Panama match (9:30 p.m.-11:30 p.m. ET):
·         Among Persons 2+ in Los Angeles, Miami, Houston, Dallas and Phoenix
·         Among Adults 18-49 and Adults 18-34 in Los Angeles, Miami, Houston, Dallas, Chicago, San Francisco, Phoenix and Sacramento
But it wasn’t just sports that the soccer match outdrew. Oh no, that wasn’t enough: 
During the Mexico vs. Panama match (9:30 p.m.-11:30 p.m. ET), UniMás stations had higher viewership that the ABC, CBS, NBC and FOX stations combined:
·         Among Persons 2+ in Los Angeles
·         Among Adults 18-49 in Los Angeles, Miami, Houston and Sacramento
·         Among Adults 18-34 in Los Angeles, Miami, Houston, Dallas, San Francisco, Phoenix and Sacramento
But they weren’t just picking on those poor unfortunate’s of us who only speak English:
During the Mexico vs. Panama match (9:30 p.m.-11:30 p.m. ET), UniMás stations had higher viewership that the Telemundo, Azteca, MundoFox and Estrella stations combined:
·         Among Persons 2+ and Adults 18-49 in Los Angeles, New York, Miami, Houston, Dallas, Chicago, San Francisco, Phoenix and Sacramento
·         Among Adults 18-34 in Los Angeles, Miami, Houston, Dallas, Chicago, San Francisco, Phoenix and Sacramento
And to add insult to injury, it wasn’t just Friday night viewing that got waylaid by the quest for Brazil: 
The Mexico vs. Panama match on UniMás stations was the #1 broadcast program of the day in the following markets:
·         Among Adults 18-49 in Los Angeles, Miami, Houston, Dallas, Chicago, San Francisco, Phoenix and Sacramento
·         Among Adults 18-34 in Los Angeles, Houston, Dallas, Chicago and Sacramento
·          Among Persons 2+ in Los Angeles, Miami and Houston
There are some more numbers in the article, so please go check it out. Now, obviously, those cities have a high Hispanic population, and none them save Los Angeles had a team in the playoffs. The Dodgers did open the NLCS that night, and are supposed to have a huge following among the Hispanic population, specifically the Mexicans. But I guess they were more interested in what was going on back home then in the city they live in.

Of the cities listed, these are there rankings in size:

Los Angeles – 2nd
Miami – 9th
Houston – 10th
Dallas – 8th
Chicago – 3rd
San Francisco – 5th
Phoenix – 14th
Sacramento – 24th

So 8 of the top 24. Just to provide as many numbers as possible, here is the percentage of Hispanics in each city:

Los Angeles – 45%
Miami – 64%
Houston – 37%
Dallas – 28%
Chicago – 22%
San Francisco – 55%
Phoenix – 41%
Sacramento – 27%

I don’t think in any way this means baseball is dying out. It does prove my theory that the Mexican population makes up the majority of Dodgers fans in Los Angeles, but that’s an internal issue to them. Baseball is alive and well, and is far from needing life support.

What I do find interesting, however, is that fact that as the Hispanic population goes up in the country, tracking a similar rise in Hispanic players in MLB from all over the hemisphere, you have to question if the audience size is keeping track with the on-field growth. We keep hearing things about how the rise in Hispanic players needs to bring about a new way of marketing the game, or the way we treat players, as well as adjustments by the existing fan base. But is that what is really happening?

The NBA is a game largely played by black players and attended by white fans. The same has been said of the NFL. I don’t have those numbers, and I don’t care. What they do isn’t important to me; it’s just what I’ve heard most of my life. But is the same true of baseball? Will it become a game played by minorities, but watched by white people? Aren’t the growing crowds of Hispanics supposed to be the new gold mine? But if they aren’t watching, will it matter.

I find it interesting that the Dodgers couldn’t outdraw the Mexican soccer team, but having lived in Los Angeles, I’m not actually surprised. The Mexican population, who makes up a vast majority of the viewership of all the channels, as well as Dodger fans, have always been portrayed as looking back to Mexico over anything that happens in L.A. As to the other cities, maybe it’s the same. Baseball is definitely holding its own. Can we say the same for the expected Hispanic market?

Is the Hispanic viewership of baseball a boom or a bust? Obviously not when soccer is on television.

British Baseball Guide

Baseball is a great game, filled with tradition, and history-laden. As such, it has its own unique language; On top of that, the rules of the game are different than most others. Most ball games are played on a field, court, or rink, with the ball going back and forth to set goals. The only sports that provide a diamond-based field are baseball, softball, rounders, and any baseball-derived sport.

As such, the rules are not as simple as many other sports due to the nature of the game. Most other ball games consist of one team trying to score into a set goal, while the other tries to stop. There are variations, and different rules that cover the penalty and movement of the ball, but most all are tied to those two areas. No other sport has anything near the equivalent of a stolen base. 

Also, for those who are new to the game, and want to follow it at its highest level, it can be hard to know how to follow, with 30 teams to choose from. Plus, in today's world, we don't just want to watch, since it's difficult to find the game outside the states. We want to read about it also.

So what is needed for the fan is something simple. A site that provide an explanation of the game to beginners, a glossary of terms, and links to who shows the game, and those who write about it. Too good to be true, you ask? Not all all. Not with the fantastic site of British Baseball Guide

There you can read about the game, learn which team to follow (the Royals or the Cardinals), learn the language of the game, as well as learn where to watch. There are even links to the best of British baseball writers. If you are new to the game, and want to learn more, this is your first stop. Bookmark it now.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Down, but not out

My internet is down right now and I can only get to a cafe occassionally. I'll be back up as soon as I have access again.

Friday, April 23, 2010

The Perfect Game

One of the great baseball events of the year is always the Little League World Series, held in August in Williamsport, PA. It started as an American tournament, featuring teams from all over the United States. Now it has grown into an international tournament, maybe the only truly "world" championship in baseball. Countries from all continents participate, and the there is an international division to face the winner of the American division. This year, for the first time, an African team will play.

It's not about the contracts, its about the love of the game, and representing your country in a manner that a lot of adult professionals don't understand. More importantly than playing for their home country, however, is the fact that they represent their home town, which in many cases means much more to the players. They haven't yet become jaded about the world, and the quest for money.

This story, though, isn't about this year's tournament. It's about the past, but what a story:
In 1957 a rag-tag, shoeless, poor group of kids from Monterrey, Mexico shocked the world by winning 13 games in a row and the Little League World Series in the only perfect game ever pitched in the Championship. These kids, led by their priest and a down-and-out former major leaguer embark on a journey through the southern US and up into Williamsport, PA for the Championship game.
"The Perfect Game" is the story of the kids, and what they were able to accomplish. Standing out among the players is one who had a unique style, to say the least:
In the final game against La Mesa, Calif, (a team that averaged 5 ft. 4 in., 127 lbs.), Coach Faz tried something far more spectacular than extra sleep. He called on his best pitcher, ambidextrous Angel Macias, a twelve-year-old 88-pounder with a fine assortment of curves and sliders, plus a plain, old-fashioned fast ball under disciplined control. Against Bridgeport, Angel had played a flawless game at shortstop. He can, in fact, play any position on the team—becomes a southpaw on first base, a righthander in the rest of the infield, whatever he happens to feel like when he switches to the outfield. At bat, says he, he is a "turnover" hitter like his hero Mickey Mantle
I haven't seen the movie yet, and I'm impressed.

The 'Bad News Bears' taught us about baseball, and winning and losing, as kids. It was a look at the lighter side, but a honest one. Nothing can get more honest than this.
Back in Monterrey loudspeakers in the public squares reported a running account of the game. For the rest of the year, Angel and his teammates will go back to shining shoes on the streets after school, working in the local foundry for 50¢ a day. Until two years ago, they played baseball barefoot.
If this isn't a baseball movie for the ages, then one will probably never be made again.
H/T to 1-800-Beisbol