HUGE S/O to Eagles Guard Brandon Brooks For Being So Open and Transparent About His Anxiety
Yesterday, during the 1st quarter of a 17-9 loss vs the Seattle Seahawks. Philadelphia Eagles RG Brandon Brooks left the game with what the team originally called an "illness".
Brooks later admitted that he left due to an illness related to an anxiety issue. I'm paraphrasing, but he was throwing up..a-lot and he had no shame in what happened. His only regret was leaving his teammates in battle.
November 25, 2019
DOL goes serious.
It is really awesome to see two things here that completely intertwine. Brooks' ability to be so transparent and the majority of people to be so sportive. Everything I've seen coming out of this has been supportive. Low-hanging fruit alert. Somewhat surprising to see coming out of Philly.
That's why the biggest of ups are in order to Brandon Brooks. An NFL offensive lineman, generally thought of to be the toughest guys on the field found the inner-strength to admit he's living with anxiety. Now I know it's not Lou Gehrig's disease, but at times it can be crippling. Sometimes you never know what little thing can set it off.
As me, it's refreshing to see someone be open and real about what they're dealing with. Kindaaa like my writing style. Regardless of how close it hits to home, it's encouraging to see. I feel like if this had happened even 5ish years ago there would be a lot of "look at this pussy" or even worse going on had the news gotten out of why Brooks left the game. I don't even know think a player admits this in the 2014 world tbh. So yay for progress!
I know I may shit on "PC" culture or be a little extreme for comedic effect at times but if there is one good thing to come out of it...if you wanna throw this under that umbrella...the acceptance of mental health issues. People aren't afraid to admit they're going through shit. It's best to talk about it! Idk a lot the meaning of life but regardless of your beliefs I think there are somethings we can all agree life is about; one is love, the other is human connection. You need both to have a life worth living. Life is fucking disgusting. But sometimes disgusting things can be wicked cool and awesome. It's ugly, but it's ours. You have to be able to live life through the shit. because we're all gonna step in our fair share. Sometime's the first time you wear the new kicks.
Sadly there's still a stigma, but it seems to be getting more and more accepted and okay to talk about. At least I'm fucking living my life that way. I personally used to think anxiety was the biggest crock of shit and that "everybody gets nervous" then one day everything changed and I was like oh wait this is me. Everybody's story is different, but I know there are tons of people out there who can in somewhat or another relate to what Brandon Brooks dealt with yesterday. And while yes he does have a high profile job, he's still a human, like the rest of us.
Except for Zuckerberg.
Bonus spin off completely different path p.s. must watch Borat take on Zuck.
During the 4th quarter of a 20-3 victory over the Denver Broncos, THIRTY SIX YEAR OLD Buffalo Bills running back Frank Gore moved into 3rd place on the all-time rushing yard list. (15,289)
Gore (36) out of the University of Miami in the 2005 NFL Draft continues to defy logic. Not only did he just pass Barry Sanders (15,269 yards) but for the 15th straight year he is leading his team in rushing. (51 yards more than 22 year old rookie Devin Singletary through 11 games)
The Buffalo Bills are 8-3.
I know there are many typos on DOL but that is correct. I promise. The Buffalo Bills are 8-3. I am required to mention their final 5 games are very tough and 3 are on the road...but 8-3 is 8-3. Good for Buffalo. Best record through 11 games since 1996.
The contrarian may say that Barry did it on nearly 500 fewer carries and while true but nobody is taking anything away from the great Barry Sanders. He just made the NFL 100 All-Time team. I think Gore passing him shows the greatness of both backs. What Barry was able to achieve in a relatively short career, and Frank Gore's ability to keep pounding the rock long past his expected expiration date.
Fellow former U running back, Clinton Portis talking about seeing Gore as freshman really puts the longevity of Frank Gore in perspective.
Clinton Portis, a borderline Hall of Fame running back in his own right, is less than 2 years older than Frank Gore and he hasn't played a down since 2010!!
I know Portis was hurt, but God damn Frank Gore has had a hell of a career. In an era where more and more guys are calling it quits early, Frank is still having fun playing the kids game as his 20 year high school reunion must be coming up soon. He's been through so much and to still be playing well enough to make a impact on a likely playoff team as he is officially in his late 30's....Incredible.
IMO Frank Gore is one of the most underappreciated running backs in NFL history. NINE 1000 yard seasons. Another two where he was less than 40 yards away from 1K. All-time leading rusher in the history of the San Francisco 49ers (decent franchise). 6,450 yards after he turned 30; almost 1,500 more than HOFer Gale Sayers had in his entire career.
With 1,438 more yards Gore would pass Sweetness himself, Walter Payton for 2nd place all-time. You gotta think there's like a 35% chance that happens. Emmitt Smith's all-time record of 18,355 (over 3,000 more than Gore) seems safe....8% chance.
He's obviously not forgotten, but if you were just gonna rank the top 20 yardage rushers 1-20 how many would people have before him? Maybe now in his later years he'll finally get the recognition he deserves in NFL history. Some all-time heartbreaks during the Harbaugh 49er 3-year run have unfairly changed the legacy of Gore. Even as a Patriots fan sometimes I think it's unfair how much a Super Bowl change the legacy of a player in the ultimate team game.
That being said...
2011: If Ted Ginn wasn't hurt allowing Kyle Williams to fumble away an NFC title he's got at least another shot at a ring.
2012: If Jim Harbaugh stuck to what had gotten the 49ers to the Super Bowl and back in the game itself AND ran the ball with Gore inside the 5 instead of throwing fades to Michael Crabtree there's a great chance that not only does Frank Gore have a Super Bowl ring but also has a Super Bowl MVP. Gores final carry of Super Bowl XLVIII was a 33 yard carry to get the 49ers a first and goal on the 7 yard line.
2013: Down 6 to the Seahawks in the NFCCG, driving late to potentially take lead, Kaepernick threw the pick that induced the nation to Richard Sherman.
Frank Gore hasn't been the playoffs since, but when he got there, he was fantastic.
Even with the Bills at 8-3 and having a nice story this year...let's be real. The Ravens or Patriots will be representing the AFC in Miami for Super Bowl LIV. With the 9ers good again and using seemingly 7 backs a game, it sucks to see Frank Gore achieve this in Buffalo.
Congratulations to Frank Gore on being the new Bronze Medalist of the NFL rushing Olympics. One of my all-time favorites. Just an absolute workhouse, smashmouth, everything you want in a running back, running back.
The #HireDozo Manifesto
To Whom It May Concern,
If you're a returning reader, this is the moment you've been waiting for on pins and needles for four years. If this is your first time reading DOL, you sure picked the perfect moment to jump in. So sit back, relax, and prepare to be overshared to by a 27 year old deadbeat finally deciding to go for it as the stars align!
For as long as I can remember, I have felt like I wasn't cut out for "normal life". I have "here for a good time, not a long time" written all over me. I felt like I just wasn't meant to be "another guy". Not trying to suck my own dick here, but for lack of a better word...that I was special. That I had more to offer and give people.
I can vividly remember being terrified in high school thinking about having to pick what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. My ever-growing fear of becoming "an adult" grew like a baby inside me that was going to have to be dealt with one way or another. I wanted to go into journalism to write about sports. That's what I did my senior project on, but my dad would not support that as "newspapers are dying" which to his credit, was true even in 2009.
Since I love sports and was obsessed with being a high school football player to the point where winning a state championship mattered more to me than even getting into college, I decided to go to school to be a history teacher....where I could become a football coach and chase that illusive state championship.
But God damnit, I almost pulled it off as a kid. I had a actual chance to make it; better than most in fact. The stars aligned in 1997 when I was 5 years old on a trip to New York City with my mom to go to a Rosie O'Donnell Show taping.
We got there super early to get the best seats possible and ended up in the second row. Obviously, since I was 5 the memories aren't crystal clear, but I can remember finding snacks under the seat and thinking that was the coolest thing ever. The four hour trip was totally worth it.
As the show got closer to taping I kept doing what I always did as a kid; talk. I didn't really start talking until I was 3 (yikes) but boy did I try to make up for lost time.
I've heard this story from my mom at least 2,000 times, so I know exactly what happens next.
We got there wicked early not only to get good seats, but to try and see if I could read the guest list and do the intro to her show. If you ever watched you know what I'm talking about. Since I was 5 they said no (totally understandable).
As the show was getting closer to filming the producer told the audience to be stop talking. Being 5 years old, I did not oblige. The producer came up to my mom and said if I didn't stop talking they'd kick us out. Imagine that shit? My mom wanted to go to this taping of the the fucking Rosie O'Donnell Show so bad she requested tickets 8 months prior, took the train into NYC at the ass crack of dawn to get in line HOURS before the taping on a school day to get the best seats possible and I was going to throw it all away before Rosie even got on stage. As the show began, my mom did the same thing that millions of mothers have done before to save themselves and their baby. She covered my mouth with both hands to shut me up. Rosie saw.
After that, the name Ryan Mxxxxxx was HOT. Did you watch? I was electric and have been over two decades. Who else has the balls to tell the most famous joke in the history of jokes on national tv?
I was EVERYWHERE!
In a "holy shit, I just discovered who I am moment" maybe this is why I'm so fucking obsessed with one-hit wonders...
Unfortunately, the whole acting thing didn't quite work out. I was too young for one role I auditioned for and late for another (thanks Mom). All I had left was some Koosh-Balls, a VHS tape and crazy story of the time I met Rosie. Perhaps it was a blessing in disguise that I wasn't a child-star because I would have definitely done all the real gateway drugs much too soon. (joe-bidens-archaic-stance-that-weed-is-a-gateway-drug-is-detrimental-to-society-as-we-know-it.html)
As a child of divorce, naturally childhood wasn't awesome. I moved a lot in middle school. My middle school experience was like the Wendy's 4 for $4. Four years, four different schools. As a kid who had to make new friends a lot I seamlessly transitioned into the role of class clown. Being a chubby kid who stumbled on his words, I soon learned the power of self-depreciation. During this time I also gained the ability to totally disregard my true feelings on things just to make friends and be liked. Word of advice never fucking do this.
Nowadays when you don't have a lot of friends the internet can try to fill that void, but in the late 90's and early 2000's TV was still king, baby. Boy oh boy did I watch a lot of TV and movies. Almost exclusively comedies. I love to laugh. Probably to escape the harsh reality that is life lol. I was raised by SNL and Chris Farley was my God. Tommy Boy is the first real adult comedy I can ever remember watching as a kid and 1000% influenced the man I am today.
Eventually, I decide this constant moving shit is not for me. I want to have a normal high school existence. So in 8th grade I moved back with my dad full time. This was one of the hardest decisions I've ever had to make. I'll tell you why at the interview.
OHhhhHHHh,,, VERY important backstory for everybody who's made it this far and in efforts to not waste our time recapping high school,I will tell you one quick story that is without a doubt the most important moment in me becoming the man I am today. The story of the origination of the nickname Dozah.
The year is 2006, you and I were in the process of winning Time Person of the Year. I was only a freshmen in high school at the time, so it's much more impressive that I won. Technically, at this point in the story I was not even a freshmen because high school had not yet started, but double sessions for football had.
I love being the age I am because it gives me a great historical perspective. I was young, but just old enough to remember the 90's and life before technology took over the world. I remember 9/11 and the days afterwards and I also went to high school when football was still football; The dying days of the pre-concussion protocol football. It was at that very training camp where the Dozah name was born. I hate admitted the name is self-proclaimed, but it's been 13 years and has just stuck with me. It's time to embrace it. Me and my buddy Matty were talking about football and high school starting. Obviously this was a big time in our lives. So we needed nicknames. I took that into my own hands and said "I'll be the bulldozer that makes holes for you and you'll be...."
I need to make sure you understand this...not the, "da" you'll be "da cah"
you'll be "da cah" that drives through the holes. "
I know it's hard to believe, but only one of those nicknames stuck. Now in my 20's as someone who frequently passes out in public the nickname has taken on an entirely new meaning.
Fast forward to 2010. I am a freshmen at the University of Rhode Island living in Barlow Hall ready to start college and make a name for myself.
There are two paths.
To the left we can actually try during class, branch out and meet new people. Maybe join a frat? Really do the whole college thing up!
To the right we can totally embrace going to college 10 minutes away from home, steal your best friend's girlfriend a month into college. (all-time scumbag move by me, but I've been paying the karmic price ever since). Have a girlfriend the first two years of school while everybody is making new friends and having fun. Then when you break up two years later everybody your age already has their crew... leaving you in a very awkward transitional phase. She's the first thing that comes to your mind when thinking about college to this very day, making it difficult to differentiate experiences and focus on just them.
Guess which way I went?!
p.s. I still love you.
is that a joke? who knows!?
Well luckily despite all the stuff I just said, I genuinely enjoyed college. For all intents and purposes I was a loser in school, a nobody, just another face in the crowd but I had fun. I wasn't "Dozah" the class clown that the entire school knew, that was on prom court (NBD) and a key loss from the powerhouse 2009 NHS Mariners.
While I was in college "learning how to be a teacher" I spent most of my time writing papers and tweeting; the later a habit I gained in high school. I was very early to twitter. April 26th, 2009 to be precise. We used it in high school as an IM substitute since everything else was blocked. Since I started tweeting as a junior in high school I made the difficult decision to kill my first twitter account in July. I am almost 28 years old and nowhere close to the man I was 5 years ago, forget 10. I had the foresight to delete it before I blew up. Josh Hader could've learned a thing or two from this teacher.
Living in the town over, I resented going to URI. I hated how it felt like extended-high school, that I felt like I was forced to go there because of convenience and in-state tuition. Granted a lot of this was my own fault, but at this point I was really bitter. I hated how URI sports were a fucking joke and how the culture of the school was dominated by hardo geek life kids from the tri-state area. It was safe to say I was a hater and in my hater ways I created the monster that is @URIprobs.
What started with this tweet:
turned into an empire that at it's peaked had over 5,000 followers. I always used to pull a Gob Bluth and say over 6,000 but I honestly do not remember the peak.
I'm sure that information is available somewhere. Gun to my head I don't think I ever got to 6K.
Through purely word of mouth and twitter interactions I was able to organically grow @URIprobs. As I type this sentence even as a basically inactive account it has over 4,500 followers. Pretty impressive considering the size of URI's campus and the overall quality if you ask me. I did this all as just another face in the clouds. A nobody, a loser. Complaining and making shitty commentary on URI life as a guy who truly never experienced it. There's been many times where I considered using that account as a jumping off point for DOL but it kinda felt like cheating to me, plus I know my audiences were not entirely the same demo.
While I was on my own personal twitter account I starting interacting with Barstool personalities. At this time Barstool was still run out of a dentist office in Milton. There were under 20 bloggers. It's fucking incredible where it's gotten to from when even I started reading and I know I was late to the party. I was aware of Barstool in early college when I had a GF, but it really became a big part of my life once I was single in 2013. I read it constantly. It was exactly what I was all about; sports, girls, busting balls, making people laugh, calling out people for their hypocrisies and bullshit. I was hooked from the jump. Big Cat quickly became my favorite. (Dave, I still love you)
After the Spurs won the NBA Finals in 2014 and Pres said something about Pop not celebrating.
This was the highlight of my day on May 17th, 2015 (shouldn't have gotten my hair cut 2 weeks before graduation...that neck!) (a-year-ago-today-i-graduated-college-a-timeline-of-may-17-2015.html)
Just guys being (juice) dudes.
When KFC followed me this was the "holy shit" moment. I was shocked he never unfollowed me tbh. I figured I must've got muted. Then this happened.
The whole KFC following me thing definitely fucked with me. Why me? I'm pretty sure it was only because I was a premium KFC Radio member at the time but then I started getting in my own head. Does this dude know who I am? Has he ever read DOL? I knew the answer was likely no to both, but as a conspiracy guy I always was shocked that Kevin stayed following me. I'll always appreciate that. I was the biggest KFC guy when I first got into Barstool. His Home Alone blogs are on my Mount Rushmore. Not anti-KFC, I just don't listen to KFC radio as much since Big Cat left. There's only so much content one guy can consume! I rooted for the Mets HARD in 2015. Making it into a KFC blog is by far my favorite personal moment as a barstool fan (stoolie).
I reeeeaaaallly loved Big Cat Saves Detroit
I still feel like the door isn't completely closed on the Frambulance, especially after this.
Defending Rhody to Wonton Don
Loved checking my mentions this day.
Happy Birthday Dozo.
Who the fuck was I dropping microaggression?
PFT maybe the smartst writer on internet right now. I would LOVE to talk conspiracies with this guy.
Don't think I forgot about you, John Henry! Although I hope he does forgot the time I ran into him at Dockside in 2017.
Backstory: I'm a HUGE unbuttoned shirt guy. The drunker I get, the less buttons I have. There have been many an completely unbuttoned night in the BIG drinking days of ole dozo. Well because I think nothing is off limits in comedy I didn't think this was a big deal... but it was perceived as racist or at the very least racial when I complemented a black gentlemen Feits was with for having his shirt significantly unbuttoned too. If anything I was trying to soup him up. I mean, it's fucking true that a lot of black dudes love to rock the all the way buttoned shirt. You rarely see exposed chest flow in the African-American community. IMO all the way buttoned is a dumb look regardless of race, creed or gender.
This encounter was perfectly on brand with Dozo as things got vawkward. That same night I drunkenly talked shop with Benny Freeman aka Young Pageviews and he had to have been one of the nicest, most down to earth guys I've ever met. Talked to him about DOL and everything, we face timed Tex (I'll get to my history with him soon). Beatiful evening...oh yeah here's the Feits tweets.
I'm on twitter too. I know sometimes the like/favorite button can be out of pity. We've all done it. I'm an emotional guy, but I can handle it. Although I would fully embrace my role as the Dick Vermeil of Barstool.
But those aren't even all the interactions we've had. Didn't feel the need to saturate this blog 80+ pics of Big Cat liking my shitty jokes. My point is statistically speaking a few of those made barstool employees laugh. They had to. There's too many to be all pity. Ie.... I'm funny and a good fucking writer. I have encyclopedic knowledge of useless sports and music facts that would be entirely useful as a Barstool Blogger and am full of ideas. I applied for a Viceroy job in 2017 and interviewed with Tex over the phone. Didn't get it, but we all know his judgment. You all must have thousands of people asking you for jobs daily. I am the first one to admit my flaws, but I'm confident that I'm a good writer and be an asset to BSS. Maybe not with punctuation or grammar at times, but people are always telling me how good I am. I have "a way with words". Professor Pearson at URI probably disagrees, but what does that guy know about things that aren't the Renaissance or Game of Thrones?
I was born to work for this company. I've been writing on DOL since 2016. Started with a post inspired by my blogging icon (dozo-the-dentist.html). I just want an opportunity to interview. #hiredozo is just an easier/catcher hashtag. I know Barstool is an incredibly hard job to get, but at the same time it can be the easiest. It's all about the opportunity and timing. Some people run fast and have funny nicknames and get a chance. I'm hoping my story and content I've created over the years is enough for me. I’ve written hundreds of blogs and have my greatest hits I'd love to share. With Barstool in my home state and my recent long-term subbing assignment coming to it seemed like the perfect chance to finally go for it. I wanted to write more but this already long enough and I'm going to #RNR with my boys tonight. Ideally I'll run into someone tonight. Look for a 6 foot tall thicccc dude with gorgeous hair and communist Lebron shirt.
Let me leave you with this, to paraphrase the greatest college football player of all time; Tim Tebow. (and the original black-listed kneeler)
If given a chance you will never see anybody in the entire company blog as hard as I will blog and you will never see someone push the rest of the team as hard as I will push everybody and you will never see someone as appreciative and grateful of everyday they have at Barstool Sports as ole dozo. God Bless.
Thank you for taking time to read this,
Ryan "Doz" Mxxxxx
Joe Biden's Archaic Stance That Weed Is a Gateway Drug Is Detrimental to Society as We Know It!
Let's start off on a positive. It's Joe's 77th birthday's tomorrow (thanks wikipedia). So Happy Birthday Joe. I hope you have a grand kid that gets you an edible.
ICYMI the 2020 Presidential hopeful is getting dragged online for saying what many cannabis users have heard from high school counselors for decades; marijuana is a "gateway drug".
As someone who dabbles with dabs, generally supports freedom and free will...I have always hated that thought process. It's demeaning, ill-informed, and archaic. Granted while Joe struggled to spit his point out he didn't completely write off legalization, he just sounded extra pushing 80 while doing so. The one thing I'll agree with is we definitely need to do more research. If only weed was legal so then the FDA could find out more of its health benefits and risk factors....
The logic is that drug-addicts started with weed so had they not they wouldn't be addicted to harder drugs. Hence the term "gateway drug". While that is not 100% false, it is completely fudging the numbers/moving the goal posts. Real drug addicts likely did start by smoke weed at some point. You could also say all drug addicts went to school at some point in their life. Is public education a gateway drug? Do you know where most drug dealers get their start? How about pizza? Because most people I know have tried that before too. Is pepperoni and onion pizza a gateway to opioid dependence?
People that say weed should be illegal because it's a gateway drug are probably the same who thought black people couldn't be quarterbacks because they weren't smart enough and don't believe in climate change because sometimes it still snows during winter. These are the same people who think weed is the same as heroin and that anybody who smokes weed is a deadbeat. All this while running on alcohol and caffeine to get through their miserable existence.
PREACH JOE (Rogan)!
It's just straight up wrong. So many productive members of society smoke weed and the majority of people have at least tried it before. It doesn't need to be a big deal. Some who didn't become full-blown meth heads actually found decent jobs.
Our country has taken away countless years of people's lives for petty drug charges while real crime runs rampant. Its shameful. Saying shit like this was okay in 1972. Not now. Weed is like the 40,00th most dangerous thing we need to worry about as a society. You hear these stories of guys in the Jim Crow South doing 15 years for a couple joints in the 2000s. It breaks my heart. The prison system in this country is modern day slavery. Watch Grass is Greener on Netflix.
Don't get me wrong as much as I love the reefer, I know it's not perfect and certainly not for everybody. It affects people in a variety of ways. But you can 1,000,000,000 x 10 % say the same for booze. We all can think of at least a half dozen people we know without batting an eye who probably shouldn't drink . Does that mean nobody should be allowed to? Just because some people get drunk and hit their kids doesn't mean we all do.
I'm not anti-alcohol by any means, I enjoy a beer or 8, but the fact that booze is completely legal for people 21+ despite the known damage it does to people, their bodies and their loved ones is laughable. When people drink they can get rowdy, angry, aggressive, violent and lose their inhibitions. That's just the tip of the iceberg. Once when I was drunk I blew cigarette smoke in my mom's face. By far the scummiest thing I've ever done in my life. When I'm high, I want to look at old pictures and talk about life. You tell me what's worse?
As bad as alcohol is we can't just take it away from everybody because some people can't handle it. Group punishment doesn't work, trust me. The U.S. even tried to get rid of alcohol to save people before. Instead it got the ball rolling for organized crime and NASCAR.
Not to go full "Okay, Boomer" because a. Biden isn't a boomer and b. I don't find that meme funny but this is the perfect way to lose the young vote. More out of touch than Hall and Oate's last number one hit. Not that Dino-Biden has a chance anyways but saying weed is a gateway drug just completely dates you and makes you sound like a fool.
AB (Antonio Brown) Apologizes to Patriots For His Actions on Social Media; I Say Let Bygones Be Bygones!
In my professional opinion, self-awareness is one of the most important traits people should have. That is what truly shows maturity. You could be 17 or 71, you need to know you; what you're capable of, your strengths, your weaknesses, who you are, etc. That's exactly why I don't bring the ball up in pick-up hoops or even attempt to iron.
Knowing when you were wrong and being able to admit it takes great strength. I know many people who still have a problem with this. After decades some still cannot admit fault; it took AB less than three months. Pretty good timetable if you ask me. We should be applauding this man for the personal growth. Let's not forget Antonio's August.
Since I have great self-awareness, I know the Patriots likely aren't going to listen to the pleas of a man who had at least 100 receptions every season from 2013-2018. Belichick benched Malcolm Butler in the fucking Super Bowl and still didn't play him after giving up 313 yards in first half. The man holds his ground. Like he said, the Pats had fun on Sunday.
Obviously AB had a short leash in New England considering he was a Patriot for all of 13 days but can we please at least entertain the thought? After all he said he was sorry in a very genuine way.
I know the Patriots are 9-1 but to me the Ravens game says a lot more than the 9 wins. I still believe in this defense 100% but you cannot expect them to force 4 turnovers a game and keep teams under 20 points every single week. The offense needs to do its part. You might have to score 31 to win a game in January/February. Tom Brady is 42 years old and has looked like it at times this year with stat lines like 18 of 39 for 150 yards, 0 TD, 1 INT and 26 of 47 for 216 yards, 0 TD, 0 INT. I don't think it's fair to place the majority of the blame on Brady with the injuries on the offense line, regression of Sony Michel, loss of James Develin and Gronk. He doesn't have any time. Dachshunds protect homes from armed burglars better than Marshall Newhouse blocks edge rushers.
I know Belichick won't back down like Tom Petty but can he just bend the rules this one time? Jesus. You know what helps a poor offensive line....the short, quick passing game. Know who's pretty good at getting open quickly? Antonio Brown.
I don't think you're going to lose the locker-room if you bring AB back. If there's ever a time to change policy, it's now, in what is essentially Tom Brady's senior year.
âFans care about winning, I'm gonna assume players do too. Even though IG killed the activity tab (which I'm all for) we (including Bill Belichick) can still see who likes posts if you wanna do the dirty work. Let's take a look at some of AB's most recent relevant posts and who showed loved.
AB is a biiiiiiiggg time self liker. I bet he reacts to his own texts un-ironically too.
Tom Brady, James White, Gilmore, Harmon, and Hightower. Pretty important men in that locker room if you ask me. Brady, James White and Dont'a Hightower are all team captains. Harmon has been in the past.
The way I see it AB should've pulled a Costanza and showed up after the bye like nothing happened. What's the worst that happens? You stay unemployed?
I don't know if this team is good enough to win the Super Bowl offensively and isn't that the ultimate goal? Gronk ain't walking through that door. Dave Andrews (not his fault!) has mother fucking blood clots in his lungs, I won't pile up on Marshall Newhouse....but Isaiah Wynn should be coming back soon. I don't know how much of an improvement he will be but since we've got an used car lot inflatable man at the blindside I'll take my chances.
Tom Brady has done EVERYTHING this organization has asked and you're gonna give him a swiss cheese o-line and fucking Mohamed Sanu at 42 years old???
âDO THE RIGHT THING!!! CALL GOD! CALL AB!
Song of the Day November 19th
Song: Friend Zone (live)
To commemorate the conclusion of the 2010s, I present you the first chapter of the DOL 2010 Closeout Series. A decade closeout extravaganza full of reminiscing and recency bias. As mentioned in my previous blog i-refuse-to-believe-the-wonders-were-actually-one-hit-wonders.html I loved VH1 countdown shows as a kid. Naturally, I was a huge "I love the ____s fan" too, even though they were usually decades I never experienced. This a long-winded way of saying I have been looking forward to this project for a long time.
With baseball being the only major sport that has concluded play for the 2010s it seemed like a natural starting off point. I was considering leading off with my Top 210 songs of the 2010s super-playlist in classic DOL song of the day format, but with 48 days left of the 2010s (when I started this blog) we could theoretically have a decade defining song come out, so I'm going to hold off for at least another month (follow me on apple music @RLM15)
Today is the first school day I haven't worked since early September so I figured what better time to pack the bubbler, crank some tunes (JK I need absolute silence to concentrate while writing) and try to cover an entire decade's worth of Major League Baseball. This blog will cover A LOT; In depth looks at an All-Decade Team, Best World Series and Ranking the World Series Champs. Then quick over few of Best Teams Who Didn't Win it All, and Least Deserving Award Winners.
Leading off is the all-decade team. No advanced analytics here, this is combo of looking at baseball-reference, my memory, big moments, impact and accomplishments.
2010s All-Decade Team
Catcher: Buster Posey; San Francisco Giants (Runner-up: Yadier Molina; St. Louis Cardinals)
2010s Highlights: 6 time All Star, 4 Silver Sluggers, 2011 NL Rookie of the Year, 2012 NL Batting Champ, 2012 NL MVP, 2016 Gold Glove winner. Three time World Series Champion (2010, 2012, 2014)
Buster Posey debuted late in 2009 but has played essentially his entire career to this point in the 2010s. As a rookie in 2010 he helped lead the Giants to a World Series title; the organizations first since 1954 when they still played in New York. After a freak injury during a home plate collision ended his 2011 prematurely (and forever altered the game as we know it) Buster dominated in his return the following season.
2012 was Posey's career year. He hit .336 24 HR 103 RBI. Good enough for NL MVP and a batting title. All this as a catcher coming off of fractured fibula. The Giants won the World Series, again. His game 5th inning grand slam in Game 5 of 2012 NLDS off Mat Latos capped a 0-2 comeback with all three wins on the road in Cincy.
In 2014 the Giants shocked much of baseball yet again and won the World Series. This time as the 2nd Wild Card in the NL, making them the first Wild Card World Champs since the playoff format changed all the way back in 2012. I believe at the time it was the first World Series match-up of sub 90 win teams in a full season.
While he's no longer the same player he was in the first half of the decade and has appeared in around 25 games a year at first base there was no better catcher in the 2010s than Buster Posey imo.
First Baseman: Miguel Cabrera; Detroit Tigers (Runner-up: Joey Votto; Cincinnati Reds)
2010s Highlights: 7x All Star, 5 Silver Sluggers, 2012 American League Triple Crown winner (first since Yaz in 1967), Two AL MVPs (2012, 2013), 5 top 10 MVP finishes (2nd, 2010; 5th, 2011; 1st, 2012; 1st, 2013, 9th; 2014, 9th; 2016), 4 AL Batting Titles, 1x Home Run leader, 2x RBI leader, 4x OBP leader, 2012 American League Champion.
There were multiple men worthy of being in the discussion for best first baseman of the decade, but at the end of the day, none really hold a candle to Miggy with the exception of Joey Votto. Sure, his two best seasons, 2012 and 2013 took place across the diamond at 3rd to accommodate Prince Fielder, but the eye test would tell you Miggy was 1st baseman the entire decade. Wasn't exactly Brooks Robinson at the hot corner. First baseman trapped in a third baseman's body.
Few players have had more fun playing in a Detroit on a team that did nothing but underachieve in the early half of the decade, and dwell in the cellar for the latter half. Miggy may not have much left in the tank but for first 7 years of the decade there were not many batters more feared than #24. Beast.
2nd Baseman: Jose Altuve; Houston Astros (Runner-up: Robinson Cano; New York Yankees, Seattle Mariners, New York Mets)
2010s Highlights: 6x All Star, 5 Silver Sluggers, 2015 Gold Glove, 3x AL Batting Champ (2014, 2016, 2017) 4x AL Hit leader, 2x AL Stolen Base leader, 2017 World Series Champion. Walk-off HR to clinch 2019 AL Pennant. 13 Post Season Home Runs.
I almost don't want to waste my time here because there's a great chance the Houston Astros are going to get kicked out of Major League Baseball and completely whipped from the record books like a vacated college team, but for now, Jose Altuve remains the best 2nd baseman of the 2010s. Did you know he's only 5' 6"? (allegedly)
3rd Baseman: Nolan Arenado; Colorado Rockies (Runner-up: T-Adrian Beltre; Boston Red Sox, Texas Ranger. T-Josh Donaldson; Oakland A's, Toronto Blue Jays, Cleveland Indians, Atlanta Braves)
2010s Highlights: 5x All Star, 7x Gold Glove winner (every season of his career), 3x Platinum Glove winner, 3x NL Home Run leader, 2x NL RBI leader. (Pretty cool walk-off HR with a bloody eye on Father's Day 2017 to clinch hitting for the cycle)
If he wasn't wasting away in Denver Nolan Arenado would be A-Rod on a national level. Nobody has dominated at their position more since coming into the league this decade with the except of Mike Trout and maybe Mookie Betts. I don't care that he plays at Coors Field, it has nothing to do with his fielding. (Obviously it impacts his offense)
Shortstop: Fransisco Lindor; Cleveland Indians (Runner-up: Elvis Andrus; Texas Rangers)
2010s Highlights: 4x All Star, 2x Gold Glove winner, 2x Silver Slugger, Platinum Glove Winner, 4 top 10 MVP finishes , 2016 American League Champion.
After LF, shortstop was probably the most challenging position to pick. The 90s and 2000s were full of star SS. The same cannot be said for the 2010s as a whole. At least nobody who had an extended run of dominance like your Miggys or Mike Trouts of the world. I went with Franky Lindor for how electric he is and how much he's dominated since entering the league in 2015. I don't think its a coincidence that the Indians started really winning again right around when he showed up. Sucks for Tribe fans they'll lose him. As a Mookie Betts lover I can empathize.
Left Field: Ryan Braun; Milwaukee Brewers (Runner-up: Justin Upton; Arizona Diamondbacks, Atlanta Braves, San Diego Padres, Detroit Tigers, Los Angeles Angels)
2010s Accomplishments: 4x All Star, 3x Silver Slugger, 2011 NL MVP, 2012 MVP runner-up, 1x NL HR leader, 2x NL OPS leader
I wanted to stay true to traditional baseball and have a representative for all three outfield spots instead of just picking three OF. Baseball changed gold glove voting in 2011 so every position was represented and ole dozo just followed suit.
Ryan Braun is a known steroid guy which makes me not want to include him but all things being equal if you were to think of 2010s Left Fielders he's likely the first name that comes to mind. There was a two season run where Braun manned RF but for the most part #8 has been #7 in the scorecard.
Center Field: Mike Trout; Los Angeles Angels (Runner-up: Andrew McCutchen; Pittsburgh Pirates, San Francisco Giants, New York Yankees, Philadelphia Phillies)
2010s Highlights: 8x All Star, 7x Silver Slugger, 2012 AL ROY, 3x MVP (2016. 2018, 2019), 4x MVP-runner up (2012, 2013, 2015, 2018), 4x leader in runs scored, 1x AL RBI leader, 4x OBP leader, 4x OPS leader.
Best player of the generation. Mike Trout realistically could've been MVP any full season he's been in the big leagues. I've been lucky enough to see him play in person twice. He's literally in a league of his own. Sucks he only went to the playoffs once in the 2010s (swept in 2014 ALDS) but with Joe Maddon managing the Halos in 2020 I feel like he'll at least get to a wild card game at some point. I think his hair and nickname stick but its hard to find many flaws in Mike Trout.
Right Field: Mookie Betts; Boston Red Sox (Runner up: Mike/Giancarlo Stanton; Florida/Miami Marlins, New York Yankees)
2010s Highlights: 4x All Star, 4x Gold Glove winner, 3x Silver Slugger, 2018 AL Batting Champ, 2x Runs scored leader, 2018 AL MVP, 2016 AL MVP runner-up, 2018 World Series Champion.
Mookie Betts' 2018 alone may be enough to get him a spot on the list when he accomplished something no player has ever done in one season. Batting title, Gold Glove, Silver Slugger, MVP and a World Series ring. In addition to his historic 2018 Betts is the four time defending AL Gold Glove winner in RF and already has close to 1000 hits. I hope Mookie continues his career in Boston, but should go elsewhere what he accomplished from 2015-2019 earns him RF of the decade honors.
DH: David Ortiz; Boston Red Sox (Runner-up Nelson Cruz; Texas Rangers, Baltimore Orioles, Seattle Mariners, Minnesota Twins)
2010s Highlights: 5x All Star, 3x Silver Slugger, 2 top 10 MVP finishes (10th, 2013; 6th, 2016), 2013 World Series Champion, 2013 World Series MVP, joined 500 HR club on September 12th, 2015.
After 2008 and 2009 it seemed like David Ortiz was reaching the end of his career. In 2009 David hit .238 over 150 games. Papi found a new lease on life in the latter part of his career belting 224 home runs in 7 seasons during the 2010s. It seemed like David Ortiz was getting better with age, his 2016 is one of the best final seasons in MLB history; he finished 6th in MVP voting. Not bad for a 40 year old DH with bad feet. His performance in 2013 postseason, highlighted by a .688 batting average in the World Series cemented his legacy as one of the best postseason performers in baseball history.
Starting Pitchers; Clayton Kershaw, Los Angeles Dodgers
2010s Highlights: 8x All Star, 3x Cy Young Award Winner (2011, 2013, 2014), 8 top 10 Cy Young finishes (1st, 2011; 2nd, 2012; 1st, 2013; 1st, 2014; 3rd. 2015; 5th, 2016; 2nd, 2017; 8th, 2019) 2014 NL MVP, 3 top 10 MVP seasons (7th, 2013; 1st, 2014; 10th, 2015), 2011 NL Pitching Triple Crown, 2011 Gold Glove winner, 5x NL ERA titles, 3x NL wins leader, 3x NL Leader in Strikeouts, 4x NL Leader in ERA+, 4x NL Leader in WHIP, 2x NL leader in K/9
There is no more polarizing starting pitcher than Clayton Kershaw. In the regular season he has been arguably the pitcher of the decade, highlighted by a four year run from 2011-2014 where Kershaw lead the National League in ERA every year, won 3 Cy Youngs and an MVP. He's a major reason why the Dodgers have won the NL West every year since 2013 and have had so many shots a World Series title. Unfortunately for Kershaw his legacy will forever tied to his postseason performances.
Kershaw's postseason numbers since 2010:
I'm not a Dodgers fan whatsoever and lean more anti-neutral on all things Dodgers, I've made my fair share of jabs at Kershaw's expense but I can't lie I feel bad for the guy. He's the anti-Bumgarner. I honestly think on a baseball level I'd rather be Rick Porcello. Rather be the guy who defies expectations a couple times then the guy who's got nowhere to go but down. He's been hands down the most dominate left-handed pitcher since Randy Johnson and to his credit has his share of postseason gems, at 9-11 with a 4.43 ERA that only increases by the round. Regardless if you think he's just gotten bad luck and been hindered by poor managerial decisions or the most overrated pitcher of all time there's no denying Kershaw's spot on this list.
Justin Verlander; Detroit Tigers and Houston Astros
2010s Highlights: 6x All Star, 2x Cy Young Winner (2011, 2019), 6 top 10 Cy Young seasons (1st, 2011; 2nd, 2012; 2nd, 2016; 5th, 2017, 2nd, 2018, 1st, 2019), 2011 AL Pitching Triple Crown, 2011 AL MVP, 3x leading in innings pitched, 2x wins leader, 4x strikeout leader, 4x leader in WHIP, 2017 ALCS MVP, 2017 World Series Champion
Justin Verlander is one of the greatest contemporary RHP. Cy Young awards 8 years apart, an MVP award, he's going to be in Cooperstown one day. His career has been resurrected since landing in Houston minutes before the non-defunct waiver-trade deadline, although similarly to Altuve with on going allegations this could all be erased.
While Verlander doesn't have the same playoff loser tag that Kershaw does, he is 0-6 with a 5.68 ERA in 7 career World Series starts. 5 of those came this decade. Baseball is a funny game.
Max Scherzer; Detroit Tigers and Washington Nationals
2010s Highlights: 7x All Star, 3x Cy Young winner, 7 top 5 Cy Young finishes, 1x AL win leader, 3x NL wins leader, 3x NL strikeout leader, 4x NL WHIP leader, 2019 World Series Champion.
Mad Max came into his own in the motor city and became a Hall of Famer in the nation's capital. Without question the best pitcher in baseball since 2013. In an era of over-inflated bad contracts his deal with the Nats may go down as the best free agent signing ever.
Chris Sale; Chicago White Sox and Boston Red Sox
2010s Highlights: 7x All Star (3 time starter), 7 top 6 Cy Young finishes (6th, 2012, 5th, 2013; 3rd, 2014; 4th, 2015; 5th, 2016; 2nd, 2017; 4th, 2018) , 2x AL strikeout leader, 2018 World Series Champion.
Despite a disappointing end to the decade, Chris Sale had a pretty decade start to his major league career. As of now he's on a HOF trajectory although concerns over his built and entire left arm could derail that train without much resistance.
Madison Bumgarner; San Francisco Giants
2010s Highlights: 4x All Star, 4 top 10 Cy Young Finishes (9th, 2013; 4th, 2014; 6th, 2015; 4th, 2016) 2x Silver Slugger, 3x World Series Champion (2010, 2012, 2014), 2-0, 18.0 IP, 0.00 era, 2 CG SO in Wild Card Games, 2014 NLCS & World Series MVP, 4-0 with a 0.25 ERA in 4 World Series starts and one five inning save.
Mad Bum doesn't have sexy regular win loss numbers numbers, but with all but 10 innings of his career taking place in the 2010s I feel okay just using his career numbers... 3.13 career era in 1846.0 IP (1836.0 in the 2010s). Absolute stud in the postseason. Every Giants World Series have a different narrative, but every time Madison Bumgarner's number was called he dealt. 8.0 innings of 3-hit shutout ball in Game 4 of the 2010 WS; 7.0 innings of 2-hit shutout ball in Game 2 of the 2012 WS. His signature postseason that forever cemented his legacy as October great came in 2014. It's hard to say in baseball a single man can lead a team to a championship, but Mad Bum came pretty fucking close in 2014.
For 2014 alone Mad Bum is the 5th starter in the all-2010s rotation, but come October he's going game 1.
Setup man: Andrew Miller; Florida Marlins, Boston Red Sox, Baltimore Orioles, New York Yankees, Cleveland Indians, St. Louis Cardinals
2010s highlights: 2x All Star, 2 top 10 Cy Young finishes, 2013 World Series Champion (injured) 2016 ALCS MVP, 2016 American League Champion, 0.95 career postseason ERA in 38.0 IP.
The 2010s was the decade of the bullpen. We saw the Rays start the opener and bullpen day method. It was partly by necessity, partly by analytics, but completely changed the way the game is played. We saw teams like the 2014 and 2015 Royals win pennants greatly in part to lockdown late inning arms.
Of all the individuals, no pitcher had a run like Andrew Miller from 2012-2017. A failed starter who was a key piece of the Miguel Cabrera trade going back to the Marlins, Miller's era was above 5,00 in 4 of his first 5 seasons. After moving the bullpen full time in 2012 with the Red Sox Miller reached that potential that made him the #6 overall pick in 2006. Miller's best moments of the decade came as Yankees closer in 2015 and Indians set-up man on a run all the way to Game 7 of the World Series where he scooped up ALCS MVP along the way.
Closer: Craig Kimbrel; Atlanta Braves, San Diego Padres, Boston Red Sox, Chicago Cubs. (Runner-up Kenley Jensen; Los Angeles Dodgers)
2010s Highlights: 7x All Star, 5 top 10 Cy Young Finishes (9th, 2011; 5th, 2012; 4th, 2013; 9th, 2014; 6th, 2017), 2010 NL Rookie of the Year, 4x NL Saves Champion, 2018 World Series Champion. 346 saves in the 2010s, 2.08 ERA in 553.1 IP.
Kimbrel broke into the scene late in 2010 and showed a sign of things to come for the next 8 season. If he got hit by a bus tomorrow he'd be in Cooperstown 5 years later. Don't let a weird end to 2018 and horrible 2019 under some unfair circumstances make you forget how dominate Kimbrel was for a very long time.
Top 5 World Series of the Decade
5. 2019 Washington Nationals(93-69) over Houston Astros in 7 (107-55)
Series MVP: Stephan Strasburg; 2-0, 2.51 ERA, 14.1 IP, 14K
Best Game: Game 1, Nats 5, Astros 4
First 7 game series in North American sports history where the road team won every game. While the games in DC were rather uneventful, the story line of this World Series as it played out earns it a spot in the top 5. #narrative. Nats go up 2-0 the road, Astros win three straight to take 3-2 lead going home with Verlander and Greinke pitching, Nats go back to Houston and beat them both. Game 7 ended 6-2 but was a much better game than the scoreline would indicate (same with game 2). Astros lead 2-0 until the 7th where the Nats came back (and hit the over) to become the first team to win a championship by winning four road games.
4. 2013 Boston Red Sox (96-66) over St. Louis Cardinals (96-66) in 6
Series MVP: David Ortiz .688, 2 HR, 6 RBI
Best Game: Game 3, Cardinals 5 Red Sox 4
Only World Series that didn't go the distance to make the top 5. In the 6 game series, 4 games were determined by two runs or fewer. The Red Sox won game 1 at home convincingly thanks to a dominating performance by Jon Lester. The Cards battled back to win game two at Fenway aided by a little league double error by the Red Sox in the top of the 7th after taking the lead 2-1 after a David Ortiz monster show. Game 3 was a classic, highlighted by the obstruction play, but that game was like a pinball going back and forth in the late innings. (Daniel Nava's best game!) The Sox won the next two in St. Louis, notably ending game 4 with a pick-off of Kolten Wong when Carlos Beltran represented the tying run. The Sox went home to Fenway for Game 6 where John Lackey exercised his demons in a 6-1 Red Sox victory; the only of the Red Sox four World Series titles since 2004 clinched at Fenway Park.
3. 2017 Houston Astros (101-61) over Los Angeles Dodgers (104-58) in 7 games
Series MVP: George Springer .379, 5 HR, 7 RBI
Best Game: Game 5, Astros 13 Dodgers 12 (10 innings)
A classic game 7 series that would likely be a spot higher if game 7 had a little more drama. But if you were ranking best overall World Series games of the decade Games 2 and 5 likely are both in the top 10. I'll always think of Dave Roberts blowing this series. Still will never understand taking out Rich Hill in game 6. Again this series may have an asterisk.
2. 2011 St. Louis Cardinals (90-72) over Texas Rangers (96-66) in 7 games
Series MVP: 3B David Freese .348, 1 HR, 7 RBI
Best Game: Game 6, Cardinals 10 Rangers 9 (11 innings)
Game 6 is the best baseball game I've ever seen that did not involve the Boston Red Sox. That's enough to clinch the 2nd spot. Unreal Cinderella run by the rally squirrel Cardinals. They were probably worse than all three teams they faced in the playoffs but that's the beauty of October. The Rangers were up 3-2 in the series and leading 7-4 going into the bottom of the 8th but allowed 1 in the 8th and 2 in the 9th to tie the game 7-7. After the Rangers scored 2 in the top of the 10th, the Cards scored 2 in the bottom of the 10th when down to their last strike before David Freese hit a walk-off HR in the 11th after tying the game 9th. I love how after scoring 16 runs in game 3 (lead by Pujols 3 HR game) the Rangers shut the Cardinals out and held the to two hits in game 4. Game 7 looked like it was going to be a classic after the first inning, it wasn't...but the 2011 as a whole was.
1. 2016 Chicago Cubs (103-59) over Cleveland Indians (94-67) in 7 games
Series MVP: 2B/OF Ben Zobrist .357, 0 HR, 2 RBI (2nd worst MVP choice of the decade after Steve Pearce in 2018)
Best Game: Game 7, Cubs 8 Indians (10 innings)
After the Cleveland Cavaliers came back from down 3-1 against the 73-9 Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals the Cleveland Indians held a 3-1 series lead against the Chicago Cubs. Corey Kluber likely would've been series MVP had the Indians won game 5 or 6. I'll never forget game 7 for as long as I live. In a way the Cubs won in spite of Joe Maddon's decision making. A legendary fall classic between the two teams with the longest World Series droughts and game 7 was a movie! Doesn't get much better than that.
Best World Series Champions
Pythagorean record basically uses runs scored and runs allowed to give an idea of how good your team is. It's not a perfect stat as run-differential has it's flaws, but for the most part shows how good your team should be based on it's production. Things like blowouts, one-run wins and managerial decisions aren't really factored in. For days in first place think out of 162.
10. 2014 San Francisco Giants
Regular season finish: 2nd NL West; 88-74 (Pythagorean record: 87-75)
Longest winning streak: 6 games
Longest losing streak: 6 games
Days in first place: 89
Games back: 6
Beat Pittsburgh Pirates 9-0 in the NL Wild Card Game
Won NLDS in 4 over the Washington Nationals (98-64)
Won NLCS in 5 over the St. Louis Cardinals (defending NL champs)
Won World Series in 7 over the Kansas City Royals
It's hard to say one man carried a team to a title, but if there was ever a case of that in baseball it was the 2014 Giants (who were the 2nd wild card, won less than 90 games, nobody with over 89 RBI, finished last in NL runs scored) and Madison Bumgarner. Like their two previous World Series, this title was shocking.
9. 2011 St. Louis Cardinals
Regular season finish: 2nd NL Central; 90-72 (Pythagorean record: 88-74)
Longest winning streak: 5 games
Longest losing streak: 7 games
Days in first place: 64
Games back: 6
Won NLDS in 5 over the Philadelphia Phillies (101-61)
Won NLCS in 6 over the Milwaukee Brewers
Won World Series in 7 over the Texas Rangers
One the best Cinderella playoff runs in recent memory, aided by an all-time Game 6 of the World Series. On September 5th the Cardinals were 74-67. While this team had many names there were no career years. Starting rotation was nothing special in a year where Adam Wainwright was unavailable. In the playoffs they squeaked by the heavily favored Phillies in the NLDS, and beat the Rangers in one the best World Series of all time. David Freese chiseled his name in baseball lore this October.
8. 2012 San Francisco Giants
Regular season finish: 1st NL West; 94-68 (Pythagorean record:88-74)
Longest winning streak: 6 games
Longest losing streak: 5 games
Days in first place: 79
Games ahead of 2nd: 6
Won NLDS in 5 over the Cincinnatti Reds
Won NLCS in 7 over St. Louis Cardinals (came by down 3-1)
Won World Series in 4 over the Detroit Tigers
This team won its division which is something the last Giants team cannot say. Hunter Pence trade was a turning point. All three Giants titles were lead by a different "ace" and closer. This was Matt Cain's year; 16-5 2.79 ERA and a perfect game. Sergio Romo locked down the back end with some sort of lawnmower type dance after Brian Wilson missed essentially the entire season. As mentioned earlier in the blog Buster Posey was MVP in 2012. Vogelsong was a great story, but my favorite was the redemption of Barry Zito after being left off the roster in 2010.
7. 2010 San Francisco Giants
Regular season finish: 1st NL West; 92-70 (Pythagorean record: 94-68)
Longest winning streak: 5 games
Longest losing streak: 7 games
Days in first place: 33
Games ahead of 2nd: 2
Won NLDS in 4 over the Atlanta Braves
Won NLCS in 6 over Philadelphia Phillies
Won World Series in 5 over the Texas Rangers
Almost blew their division lead to the Padres on the final weekend of the season but the 2010 Giants on paper were probably the most talent of their three title teams of the decade. Brian Wilson took the world by storm, Big Game Timmy Jim wasn't his 08-09 Cy Young form but easily the ace of this staff. Aubrey Huff and the rally thong highlighted a cast of vets (Pat Burrell, Cody Ross, Edgar Renteria, Juan Uribe, Andres Torres) who came together to help San Francisco win its first World Series.
6. 2015 Kansas City Royals
Regular season finish: 1st AL Central; 95-67 (Pythagorean record: 90-72)
Longest winning streak: 7 games
Longest losing streak: 4 games
Days in first place: 143
Games ahead of 2nd: 12
Won ALDS in 5 over the Houston Astros
Won NLCS in 6 over the Toronto Blue Jays
Won World Series in 5 over the New York Mets
When I think of the 2015 Royals I think one word "contact".
Originally I had the Royals at #8 because their rotation was a joke, they feasted on a horrible division and were aided by every team they faced in the playoffs beating themselves. but I have to tip my cap to what the 2015 Royals accomplished. They knew this was their one chance after losing in game 7 the year before. They went all in by adding Johnny Cueto and Ben Zobrist. Pretty much the entire team made the All Star team. The mid-decade Royals had a very short run but they made the most of it. Sal Perez was a stud in 2015. Lead by a dominant bullpen and core of just solid but in no way HOF talent, in a way these are the 2004 Detroit Pistons of MLB.
5. 2019 Washington Nationals
Regular season finish: 2nd NL East; 93-69 (Pythagorean record: 95-67)
Longest winning streak: 8 games
Longest losing streak: 5 games
Days in first place: 0
Games back: 4
Beat Milwaukee Brewer 4-3 in the NL Wild Card Game
Won NLDS in 5 over the Los Angeles Dodgers (106 wins)
Won NLCS in 4 over the St. Louis Cardinals
Won World Series in 7 over the Houston Astros (107 wins)
While they may have been a Wild Card team and never lead the NL East at any point, the 2019 Nationals are still a top 5 World Series Champ of the decade. After starting the regular season 19-31 the Nats had the best record in baseball and slayed the two teams everybody assumed would meet in the World Series (Dodgers and Astros) en route to Washington D.C.'s first World Series winner since 1924. One of the best starting rotations of the decade led by two future Hall of Famers and Patrick Corbin who doesn't suck. Perfect mix of old and young talent. (s/o Howie Hendrick) Juan Soto became a star, Anthony Rendon played like an MVP. 2019 Nats became the first team in North American sports to win a best of 7 series by winning four games on the road. Considering the deck was stacked against them its even more impressive.
4. 2017 Houston Astros
Regular Season Record: 101-61 (Pythagorean Record: 99-63)
Longest winning streak: 11 games
Longest losing streak: 5 games
Days in first place: 154
Games ahead of 2nd: 21
Won ALDS in 4 over the Boston Red Sox
Won ALCS in 7 over the New York Yankees
Won World Series in 7 over the Los Angeles Dodgers
The 2017 were a dominant team that basically clinched the division in June. We all know the big names on this roster, but let's not forget the Achilles heel; starting pitching. After not making a major splash at the deadline the major question for the Stros was would they be able to advance in the playoffs with their questionable pitching rotation. I remember Kuechel was heated they did nothing. At the 11th hour they landed Justin Velander on August 31st. He proceeded to go 5-0 with a 1.06 ERA in 5 starts to close out the regular season. After steamrolling the Red Sox, the Astros beat the Yankees in 7 in a series that saw the home team go undefeated to win the pennant. They defeated the Dodgers in a memorable World Series that included two instant classic Astro wins in game 2 and 5. Oh and they probably cheated worse than any other team in the history of organized sports.
3. 2013 Boston Red Sox
Regular Season Record: 97-65 (Pythagorean Record: 100-62)
Longest winning streak: 7 games
Longest losing streak: 3 games
Days in first place: 141
Games ahead of 2nd: 6
Won ALDS in 4 over the Tampa Bay Rays
Won ALCS in 6 over the Detroit Tigers
Won World Series in 6 over the St. Louis Cardinals
Boston Strong. This team was united playing for something bigger than themselves. Some key pieces from the 07-11 run were left mixed with key off-season acquisitions. Absolutely jelled from the jump. Never has a losing streak longer than 3 games. Jon Lester had a nice bounceback from a disappointing 2012. John Lackey atoned for 2010 and 2011. Koji was electric. Pedroia had his last great season, Ellsbury was a sparkplug leading off, Victorino was a delight in RF, Nap was solid, Nava hit .303/.385 and David Ortiz WAS GOD. Probably my favorite team of the decade. No bias in their ranking.
2. 2016 Chicago Cubs
Regular Season Record: 103-58 (Pythagorean Record: 107-53)
Longest winning streak: 11 games
Longest losing streak:5 games
Days in first place: 159
Games ahead of 2nd: 17.5
Won NLDS in 4 over the San Francisco Giants
Won NLCS in 6 over the Los Angeles Dodgers
Won World Series in 7 over the Cleveland Indians (came back down 3-1)
Easily the most important team of the decade. The 2016 Cubs lost Kyle Schwarber to a torn ACL in like the 4th game of the year but didn't skip a beat; 17-5 in April. Their entire infield started in the All Star Game. Kris Bryant won MVP. Starting rotation was phenomenal with Lester, Hendricks and Arrieta. Chapman nearly blew it but was the missing piece they needed. Cost the Cubs Gleyber Torres but I think they'd all make the trade again.
1. 2018 Boston Red Sox
Regular Season Record: 108-54 (Pythagorean Record: 103-59)
Longest winning streak: 10 games
Longest losing streak: 3 games
Days in first place: 148
Games ahead of 2nd: 8
Won ALDS in 4 over the New York Yankees (100 wins)
Won ALCS in 5 over the Houston Astros (103 wins, defending champs)
Won World Series in 5 over the Los Angeles Dodgers (defending NL champs)
Most dominate team of the decade and it's not even close. 17-2 out the gates. Notable months: April: 19-6; July 19-6; August 18-9. Probably one the three best teams of the last 40 years. Mookie had one the greatest single seasons in MLB history. J.D. Martinez won two silver sluggers. JBJ played an elite CF. Great starting rotation, iffy bullpen that figured it out in October. Cut through two 100+ win teams like a guillotine through tissue paper and if it wasn't for an Ian Kinsler error they likely sweep the World Series.
Best Non-Champions in no particular order:
-107 wins. Top 2 finishers in Cy Young, Unanimous ROY, Bregman finished 2nd in MVP. 0-4 at home in World Series.
-106 wins. Lose NLDS in 5 to eventual World Series Champs.
-103 wins. Came back defending even stronger with the addition of Cole. Won game 1 of the ALCS at Fenway then lost four straight (including three at home) to go home without a pennant.
-104 wins. Cruised through first two rounds of the playoffs. Lose game 7 of the World Series at home.
102 wins, 22 straight from August 24th to September 15th. Only 4 losses in September. Corey Kluber won Cy Young (clearly hurt in October). Blew 2-0 lead in ALDS to the Yankees.
2015 Blue Jays
93 wins (102 pythaogorean) Very fun team, first Canadian playoff team since 93. All time moment with Bautista bat flip in ALDS. Could've beaten Royals had Price not imploded in game 2.
90 wins. Swept Cubs in NLCS. Lead basically the entire 2015 World Series but somehow lost in 5,
93 wins (99 pythagorean wins). Cy Young winner in Max Scherzer. Verlander was close to his peak. MVP Miggy. Prince Fielder, Torii Hunter, great manager in his final year. Dominated ALCS against my Red Sox but bullpen blew multiple games for them.
96 wins. A strike away from winning it all..........twice.
Last year of the Phillies core run and most successful regular season. 101 wins. Lead by R2C2 rotation. Roy Halladay's last great season; easily could've won Cy Young again. Lose game 5 of NLDS at home 1-0 in pitchers duel between Chris Carpenter and Halladay. Cards scored in top of 1st. Brutal.
Least deserving award winners;
2012 Cy Young: David Price (should've been Justin Verlander)
2015 AL Gold Glove: Yoenis Cespedes (traded to NL mid-season)
2016 Cy Young: Rick Porcello (should've been Justin Verlander)
2016 World Series MVP: Ben Zobrist (should've been Anthony Rizzo)
2016 NL Manager of the Year: Dave Roberts (had to Maddon)
2018 World Series MVP: Steve Pearce (should've been David Price)
P.S. I don't know why the stats aren't showing up. They were fine when I run through the blog. It's midnight and I have to work in 7 hours. I will try to fix it afterwards.
In an effort to make DOL even more niche, I have to get something off my chest, especially with ESPN trying to steal MY one-hit wonder thunder today.
Why'd you have to get me relied up about the mistreatment of Tim Tebow on a random Wednesday?
There's no way on earth The Wonders from the 1996 musical-dramedy "That Thing You Do" were actual one hit wonders. Allow me to paint a picture for you if you're unfamiliar with the movie.
In the spring of 1964, an unnamed band in Erie, PA was in quite a predicament. Not only were they still putting back to pieces of everyday life after the Assassination of President John F. Kennedy (weren't we all?) but band names like The Echoes, The Band You're About To Hear, The Corvettes, The Chordvettes, The Tempos, The Herdsmen and The Big Tippers simply were not cutting it. To make matters worse, on the day of the big talent show at Mercyhurst College (present day Mercyhurst University) their drummer broke his arm in a freak parking meter injury!
The groups' chance at the 100 dollar grand prize ($776 in 2016 dollars) was all but gone.
Luckily, only minutes earlier on that same Saturday morning, members of the band to be named later just so happened to run into an appliance salesman/drummer by the name of Guy Patterson at a local diner.
I vividly remember thinking he was John Mayer when I was in 4th grade.
After flexing (a term not yet coined in 1964) on everybody in the group by picking up their tab, Guy is invited to watch them perform at said talent show by guitarist and back-up vocalist, Lenny Haise. It's clear at this point the two are friends. They used to be in a band together called the Tempos. Lenny then tells Guy there will be girls at the talent show (obviously) despite knowing that Guy has a girlfriend (disgusting!)
Naturally after Chad (the original drummer) breaks his arm we do not see an ambulance or hospital.
Instead Jimmy (lead singer/guitar) and Lenny go straight into Patterson's Appliances to try and get Guy to play with them so they still compete in the talent showing. You know, instead of consoling their ailing friend?
In addition to being a fantastic drummer, Guy is also an incredible salesman. Unfortunately, his forgetfulness with the store sign causes his father to overlook any of his on the floor abilities.
But at least Guy gets paid; unlike his sister.
After essentially extorting two new record needles and a radio out of Jimmy and Lenny to please his father (I get it) Guy agrees to join the band.
Almost immediately we cut to band practice.
This is where things really get rolling. Not only does Guy master the simple beat for the ballad "That Thing You Do"
But when Guy leaves he inadvertently inspires the new name of the band; The Oneders.
That's the "One-ders, NOT "O'needers". Totally not ripping off the Beatles at all. Btw the Beatles exist in this Wonders universe, don't forget that. Write yourself a note if you have to.
At the talent show, Guy pulls an audible and steps up the tempo to the surprise of the rest of the Oneders.
After winning the talent show and splitting $100 four ways (assuming scumbag Jimmy didn't take a bigger cut for himself) the Oneders take the next logical step and perform at a fine dining establishment by the airport: Villipiano's.
Their fan from the talent show requests "Thing That You Do" so he can meet girls and dance. They oblige and the place fucking loses it. I imagine many already pointy to begin with nips were hard as granite in that crowd.
That same fan later asked "where can he get the record?" after the show. That's when a light bulb goes off. The Wonders decide to cut a record.
If it wasn't by some sort of miracle that Guy's uncle (Bob) just so happens to be in the recording business (church music, choirs, favorite sermons, stuff my mom listens to) and is nice enough to allow them one (1) cut of their song "That Thing You Do" in a church.
It should be noted during this scene in the theatrical version Uncle Bob has to run out so quickly that the cymbals don't even stop shaking. Jimmy asks "what about All My Only Dreams?" and that's where the scene ends. Later in the movie he references they only got one take for it which I was confused about because of the way they edited it. The extended versions is essentially an entirely different movie.
They play Villapiano's again, this time to a much larger audience.
With their 45 for sale. (Faye, Jimmy's girlfriend/costume mistress)
That's when this handsome fella, Chris Horace buys one.
Next, Chris does what all people would do in 1964 when they wanted to talk to somebody. He showed up at Guy's job,,,,,,, unannounced.
After some convincing, Chris gets Guy to come into his office.
Where he tells him that he knows music and "That Thing You Do" is a hit record.
After some stew and brews, the boys eventually sign with Chris to be their manager. Of course Jimmy wasn't on board right away. Like all men who drive their homes, Chris is a man of his word and got their song on the radio. (ftr this is hands down my favorite scene in the movie, it's impossible to not smile. Guy's mom is so funny in the background and has some hilarious deep moments in the movie..her interactions with Mr. Patterson when he's talking about the rival store, Telemart are perfect...also the stamp Faye uses is a JFK one [RIP] I legit just noticed while I was making this blog )
For a brief moment the Oneders face some adversity; their next performance goes very poorly and they're booed off the stage during a matinee.
Only to immediately get signed by Play-Tone Records and join the "Play-Tone Galaxy of Stars"!!!
Bye, bye Chris :(
Hello clone of Brian Epstein, Mr. White.
Of course Jimmy can't just be happy about getting signed. He has to badger their new manager, Mr. White about when they'll record their next record? Mr. White is much more concerned with touring, promotion and thinks their original cut sounds great. I believe our high school English teachers would use the word foreshadowing here.
The excitement of their new deal (s/o FDR) is short lived after bassist, T.B. Player (seriously, that's his name) announces he's leaving the band at the end of August to report for boot camp (notice where he is walking out of when "That Thing You Do" debuts on the radio) as he somehow signed up for Marines during all of this.
The newly named Wonders leave for Columbus (Ohio) to begin the Play-Tone State Fair Tour, but not before Mr. White gives Guy his new signature look.
Talk about thinking outside the box.
A dynamite performance at the Ohio State Fair impresses K.O. Bailey, the 2nd most popular disc jockey in Columbus enough to give "That Thing You Do" serious airplay.
Now in what feels like ten days after a freak injury brought them the new lifeblood of the band, the Wonders have a Billboard Hot 100 hit.
As the State Fair Tour continues, so does That Thing You Do's rapid ascent up the charts. (In fact it becomes the fastest rising single in the history of Play-Tone Records)
After a performance at the Wisconsin State Fair (where we are introduced to their song "Dance With Me Tonight" which may actually be better than Than Thing You Do) the band gets the news that "That Thing You Do" is the #7 song in America. They are to leave the tour immediately and go directly to "the coast". This is the moment they truly realize they have arrived.
They do the entire Cali circuit.
First they HAVE A PERFORMANCE IN A FUCKING MOVIE. That's right, the Wonders are Cap'n Geech & The Shrimp Shack Shooters.
They do the radio circuit.
Clint Howard has face for radio in any time period.
A literal meet and greet with the head of the label.
I know it makes zero sense they are in a movie before releasing a 2nd single, but we aren't there yet.
Before it all comes crashing down, the Wonders have their biggest moment, a performance on the Hollywood Television Showcase. That same day T.B. Player has vanished. Since it's 1964 nobody knows where tf he is. He was already leaving to join the Marines at the end of the summer, but after meeting Marines at the hotel restaurant, he goes to Disney with them and is replaced by a Play-Tone bassist "Wolfman".
A lot of other things have happened too but they don't matter as much when telling this story. Sorry, Del.
During the showcase the Wonders steal the show. Although astronaut Walter White may have something to say about that.
The crowd reaction is designed to mimic the Beatles on the Ed Sullivan, which is also referenced in the movie.
(Speaking of...another plot hole....I totally get the whole "screaming girl" thing that went on during the 60's. Not to suck my own dick but I know music history. A major reason the Beatles stopped touring is because of how much screaming ruined the sound. So I get these literal fangirls went bonkers....but how are you going to freak out that much over a band that only has one hit song at this point??? Doesn't add up!)
While they're performing each member of the band has a nameplate to introduce America to the Wonders.
I know it's hard to believe, but Jimmy didn't appreciate that message. I kind of forgot to go that deep into character development because the theme of this blog in on the musical legacy side, but Faye is Jimmy's GF but you'd never know that by the way he treats her (like poop) Guy is always a gentlemen to her and there's a big will they or won't they situation the entire film. Basic love-triangle formula.
After the show Jimmy takes out his frustrations Faye as he assumes she's the one who told them to say they're engaged and he's already upset with the direction of the band. Since he hasn't proposed and it seems like he has no intentions on doing so, he is fucking heated! Yelling at her when she's saying this should be a beautiful moment. Not nice! Faye finally stands up for herself and breaks up with Jimmy once the rest of the band and Mr. White enter the room. This is the beginning of the end for the Wonders, née the Oneders.
We cut to the Wonders finally in the studio, ironically for the first time. Jimmy and Mr. White are arguing over what they are going to record. Jimmy says that he will only play his music and Mr. White informs him his contract says otherwise. He wants something peppy, happy, up-tempo...something snappy. Jimmy finally starts singing, only to snap and sing "I quit" and do exactly that. He walks out of the studio.
Lenny's away getting married in Vegas after the Showcase, T.B. is AWOL, and Jimmy just quit. The band is essentially over. Guy and Mr. White are now the only ones left in the studio, where Mr. White informs Guy the Wonders are in breach of contract. Guy is terrified and apologizes repeatedly, Mr. White tells him to relax, nobody is going to prison and says this a very common tale.
There's about 10 more minutes after that but I'm not about to spoil this entire movie.
Before I was memorizing World Series matchups or Daniel Nava stats (.303/.385 in 2013 never forget!) I was obsessed with the VH1 countdown shows as a kid. The 100 Greatest One Hit Wonders was my absolute favorite. I used to be able to recite the entire list. (#3 Come on Elieen, #99 No Rain). I am so fascinated with the concept of one hit wonders and have a great podcast idea but we don't need to dig any deeper there.... it's part of my Barstool pitch...Needless to say That Thing You Do is one of my all time favorite movies. I love Tom Hanks. I had the VHS. I've seen this movie no less than 50 times and have the soundtrack on my phone ("My World Is Over" by Diane Dane is my favorite non-Wonders song).
I know finding plot holes in tv and movies isn't exactly the most groundbreaking blog topic but I have had this thought weighing on my mind for over 15 years and the levys finally broke. With the advent of the internet there's got to be somebody who agrees or has the same thought. Even with their incredibly short run if the Wonders are in fact one hit wonders Play-Tone Records are the biggest ones to blame!
As a student of the game let me example something to you. Not all one-hit wonders are the same. HA! Not even a fuckin-little-bit. There are different levels of one-hit wonderdom.
Some commercially successful artists that don't have a ton of "mainstream" success end up with only one song that charts on the top 40. Famous examples of this are the Grateful Dead (Touch of Grey), Jimi Hendrix (All Along The Watchtower) and Blink 182 (All The Small Things). Nobody would ever dare consider any of them along the likes of "one- hit wonders" like The Mary Jane Girls, Frankie Goes to Hollywood or Nick Glider of the world with their legacies, but all technically are by the letter of the law.
Then there's artists that actually have multiple top 40 hits but one song was just so much more popular than the other that it complete overshadowed it and they are remembered as a one-hit wonder. The Knack, Rupert Holmes, and Vanilla Ice are fantastic examples off the top of my head at 12:30 in the morning (this was a two-day passion project and I'm doing something I almost never do before posting...editing and letting you know that now at 8:01 pm Thursday November 13th..and again at 9:07) thanks to years of VH1 as a kid. These type are crazy to me. Vanilla Ice has two top 5 hits but nobody remembers he covered Play That Funky Music. Only Vanilla Ice could have two top 5 hits and be thought of as a one-hit wonder. I mean I'm sure he doesn't give a fuck anymore but that would drive me insane. It'd be like if you won two super bowls but everybody thought you only had one. Then you show them your two rings and they think you bought one at a pawn shop.
Throughout the movie there are multiple live performances. We hear mostly clips of "That Thing You Do", but the Wonders have three other songs that are played at different points throughout the film.
"Dance With Me Tonight"
"All My Only Dreams"; the ballad that Jimmy so desperately wants to release.
And lastly, "Little Wild One".
You may have noticed I've mentioned that this movie takes place in 1964 in a universe where the Beatles exist. There are countless references to the Beatles in this movie between their fucking name, their music, the scene where Faye is mistaken for a fan, the girls reactions to them, Mr. White literally being Brian Epstein, they even show he's gay in the deleted scenes and his boyfriend's name is Lloyd (aka Howie Long) which couldn't help but make me think of Entourage.
Someone asks why don't they have long hair like the Beatles at the meet and greet, the owner of Villipiano calls Guy "Ringo". They get famous after changing drummer and bassist. The point has been made the Beatles exist in this universe.
So in this world, in April 1964 during the peak of the British Invasion, the Beatles accomplished a feat that likely will never happen again in music history unless Beyonce suddenly dies in the next 10 years. The entire top five on the Billboard Hot 100 was one artist; the Beatles.
That's right, on April 4th, 1964 "Can't Buy Me Love" was the number one song in America, "Twist and Shout" was number two, "She Loves You" was three, "I Want To Hold Your Hand" was four and lastly, "Please Please Me" rounded out the Top 5.
Then just a few months later Play-Tone Records finds its own piece of teen-pop gold in the Wonders. They have the fastest rising single in the HISTORY OF THE RECORD LABEL and have cameo in a major Hollywood production. Don't you think the execs at Play-Tone would want to strike while the iron's hot? Make some more money that will go to 37 different people before the artists. I know In My Only Dreams fucking sucks but Wild One and Dance with Me are both straight bops. You mean to tell me one of those didn't happen to at least crack the Hot 100? I find that hard to believe!
Now I get it, we've all had boners that lasted longer than the Wonders did so the way the movie played out could be exactly what happened. They were the perfect whirl-wind. I just don't see it that way. More importantly I don't hear it that way because these songs are #actuallygood. I've seen a lot of movies about fake bands and the Wonders are hands down the best. They're getting compared to the Beatles constantly and have the most successful song in the history of Play-Tone! I know Mr. White didn't give a fuck about what Jimmy wanted and did not think they needed to record any new tracks and Play-Tone could've simply not had any master cuts to release but cmon!? Sure 1964 was a much different time, you had to play by the rules of the music industry. There weren't kids going platinum on soundcloud in their bedrooms back then, but how short sighted and idiotic were these people at Play-Tone be to not ride the Wonders wave? How do you not go after Jimmy? That's it? One tantrum and he's gone? Fuck all the money and fame stuff? I know he's a fucking pretentious ass hole, but money talks. It's clear they are teen sensation. They are literally introduced on the Hollywood TV Showcase as "Teen Sensation, the Wonders". I refuse to believe Dance With Me Tonight didn't crack the top 20. There's just no fucking way.
I'm only saying this so I don't start a paragraph with--- because there is a final type of one-hit wonder and while there are different subsets of this breed, the main one I want to focus on is the novelty song. Those 1HW you can see from a mile away.
I knew Who Let The Dogs out would be a one-hit wonder before I could pick out what I wanted to wear. I'm normally pretty good at spotting them. Gotye was so easy.
"Mambo No. 5", "Call Me Maybe" (It's always a good time doesn't count since she wasn't the only artist), "The Macerna"...those are novelty songs. "That Thing You Do" does not fall anywhere close to that category. I was way off with "I Kissed a Girl" but that was like losing a bet on a bullshit call. You still made the right decision even though it didn't work out.
I'm sorry to question everything about your directorial debut, Mr. Hanks but come on, there's no way the Wonders were actually one-hit wonders. Fucking Lil Nas X has two top hits.
P.S. HELLLLL YES. How cool is this?
You look great in red, have I told you that?
This Year's "Modern Baseball Era" HOF Ballot is Full of Guys Long Overdue for Cooperstown
The exclusivity of the National Baseball Hall of Fame is what makes it great, but at times can be one of its worst qualities.
I love that the baseball HOF actually matters. It means something to get elected. It's Cooperstown. Maaaybe Canton has an argument for name recognition? But it's sure as shit beats basketball the whore of HOFs in everything. For a long time there were certain milestones in a career that were considered tickets to the Hall of Fame; 3,000 hits, or 500 HRs for hitters. 300 wins, 3000 strikeouts for pitchers. Modern baseball changed that, now it's a WAR above 65 or leading the league in strikeouts as a batter.
The stuffy, self-righteous attitude of "old-baseball" has been beaten to death, but man is it true here because there are so many stupid rules that ruin the Hall's legitimacy in my eyes. You cannot exclude the fucking Hit King, or Shoeless Joe. I'm sorry, not to go full Peter King, but their actions don't even come close to Darren Shaper!! The Steroid Era definitely had it's negative consequences, but there are players of that era who are HOFers in any era. To completely turn a blind eye to a generation of players that saved baseball just rubs me the wrong way. If you want to have some sort of asterisk, or mention of allegations on the plaque I'll have the conversation. Clemens and Bonds have to be in IMO.
Luckily, baseball knows and appreciates how time changes the way people are remembered. With an analytical eye guys like Alan Trammell are more appreciated. That is what is great about this vote. With ≥ 12 of 16 these men can right the wrongs of baseball writers past. The 2020 Modern Baseball Era includes greats of the 70's and 80's like Dwight Evans, Steve Garvey and the late Thurman Munson.
This is essentially me paraphrasing Wikipedia, but in 2016 the Veterans Committee changed the way they elect members. Instead of the Veterans Committee elect-ees tending to be guys who played, managed, or executed (lol) in an era where players needed second jobs and those jobs were things like cobblers, chimney sweeps and HR at Ellis Island. This change shifted towards an emphasis on the contemporary players who slipped through the Cooperstown cracks. There are two divisions focusing on the time frame where the players made their greatest contribution to baseball. "Modern Baseball: 1970-1987" and "Today's Game: 1988 and later" . The vote rotates yearly. Tiger greats Jack Morris and Alan Trammell were elected via the Modern Era Committee in 2018.
I saw an article about Dwight Evans having a chance at the Hall on facebook. That's what inspired this tweet (and eventually this blog!)
Last year Harold Baines was elected via Today's Game and may have ruined this for everybody. While I know my school of thought is not the law, I do think it's fair. WAR is important; that's Wins Above Replacement for anybody reading with no clue wtf that means. It's a new age baseball stat that basically shows your value over an average player. It is important, but is not the end all be all. I think counting stats still matter, and as a narrative guy you better fucking believe I think the postseason carries HEAVY HOF weight. It's exactly why I have zero issue with Morris who IMO is a Hall of very good player over the top. Harold Baines is a joke in my eyes.
I'm gonna be honest with you basically everybody on the ballot has a legit case to be in but these are fiveish I feel most passionate about.
No American League player hit more home runs in the 1980's. 8 time gold glove winner. Has one of the most iconic catches in World Series history; hit .300 with 3 HR and 14 RBI is 14 career World Series games.
Obviously some bias as a Red Sox, but he has a HOF WAR and some great little nuggets that look great on a plaque in Cooperstown. As someone who watched him play for years firsthand Dewey was one of the best defensive outfielders of all time.
Dewey's career numbers:
After circumcision and c-section is there another more famous surgical procedure than Tommy John? That alone should get the man in but if not 286 wins, and career 3.34 ERA over TWENTY SIX SEASONS is good enough for me. 6-3 with a 2.65 ERA in the postseason over 14 appearances (13 starts) to boot.
TJ's career numbers:
I'm a union man.
Not quite Carlton Fisk, but the heart and soul of the 70's scumbag Yankees. 7 time all star. 3 gold gloves. 1970 ROY. 1976 AL MVP. Really made his numbers count in October.
Kind of fucked up he isn't already in TBH. Sorry the dude died in a fucking plane crash that tragically put his career average at .292 and not a perfect .300.
Munson's career numbers:
Dude was on the We Are Family Pirates and Bash Bro A's. NARRATIVE! While his career WAR is only 40.1 Dave Parker still hit 339 HR which is extra cool considering he was number 39, batted .290 over 19 years, won two rings, 7 time all star, 3 time gold glover, and a 2 time batting champ. Legacy matters when it comes to the Hall and Dave Parker has a legacy.
Parker's career numbers:
Steve Garvey and Don Mattingly
Basically the same guy. Legendary first basemen for arguably the game's two biggest franchises with numbers that are just a tad away from being sure things. Garvey's got the post season numbers/opportunities. 2x NLCS MVP, 1981 WS champ. Mattingly has the stigma of greatest Yankee to never win a World Series.
Neither were huge power guys but good, if not great in Mattingly's case defensive first basemen. 9 GG for Mattingly, 4 for Garvey. Mattingly is a career .307 hitter.
Both won an MVP during their career and received a ton more MVP votes. Each made a pop culture impact at one point. Borderline and not nearly as passionate about these two as the rest but gun to my head they should be in.
Garvey's career numbers:
Mattingly's career numbers: