Saturday, January 18, 2014

Baseball Statistics & Abbreviations

    Major league baseball uses a wide variety of statistical categories. Here is a list of baseball statistics and abbreviations.

    Fielding Statistics

    A = Assists

    CS = Caught Stealing

    DER = Defensive Efficiency Rating

    DP = Double Plays

    E = Errors

    FPCT = Fielding Percentage

    G = Games Played

    INN = Innings Played

    OFA = Outfield Assists

    PB = Passed Balls

    PO = Putouts

    RF = Range Factor

    SB = Stolen Bases (allowed)

    TC = Total Chances

    TP = Triple Plays

    Hitting Statistics:

    2B = Doubles

    3B = Triples

    AB = At Bats

    AB/GIDP = At-Bats per Grounded Into Double Play

    AB/HR = At-Bats per Home Run

    AB/RBI = At-Bats per Runs Batted In

    AO = Fly Outs

    AVG = Batting Average

    BB = Bases on Balls (Walks)

    CS = Caught Stealing

    G = Games Played

    GIDP = Ground into Double Plays

    GO = Ground Outs

    GO/AO = Ground Outs/Fly Outs

    GSH = Grand Slam Home Runs

    H = Hits

    HBP = Hit by Pitch

    HR = Home Runs

    IBB = Intentional Walks

    LIPS = Late Inning Pressure Situations

    LOB = Left On Base

    NP = Number of Pitches

    OBP = On-base Percentage

    OPS = On-base Plus Slugging Percentage

    PA/SO = Plate Appearances per Strikeout

    R = Runs Scored

    RBI = Runs Batted In

    SAC = Sacrifice Bunts

    SB% = Stolen Base Percentage

    SB = Stolen Bases

    SF = Sacrifice Flies

    SLG = Slugging Percentage

    SO = Strikeouts

    TB = Total Bases

    TP = Triple Play

    TPA = Total Plate Appearances

    XBH = Extra Base Hits

    Pitching Statistics:

    AO = Fly Outs

    APP = Appearances

    AVG = Opponents Batting Average

    BB = Bases on Balls or Walks Allowed

    BB/9 = Walks per Nine Innings

    BF = Batters Faced

    BK = Balk

    CG = Complete Games

    CGL = Complete Game Losses

    CS = Caught Stealing

    ER = Earned Runs Allowed

    ERA = Earned Run Average

    G = Games Played

    GF = Games Finished

    GIDP = Grounded Into Double Plays

    GO = Ground Outs

    GO/AO = Ground Outs/ Fly Outs Ratio

    GS = Games Started

    GSH = Grand Slam Home Runs Allowed

    H = Hits Allowed

    H/9 = Hits per Nine Innings

    HB = Hit Batsmen

    HLD = Hold

    HR = Home Runs Allowed

    I/GS = Innings Per Games Started

    IBB = Intentional Walks

    IP = Innings Pitched

    IRA = Inherited Runs Allowed

    K/9 = Strikeouts per Nine Innings

    K/BB = Strikeout/Walk Ratio

    L = Losses

    LIPS = Late Inning Pressure Situations

    LOB = Left on Base

    MB/9 = Baserunners per 9 Innings

    NP = Number of Pitches Thrown

    OBA = On-base Against

    PA = Plate Appearances

    P/GS = Pitches per Start

    P/IP = Pitches per Innings Pitched

    PK = Pick-offs

    R = Runs Allowed

    RW = Relief Wins

    SB = Stolen Bases Allowed

    SHO = Shutouts

    SLG = Slugging Percentage Allowed

    SO = Strikeouts

    SV = Saves

    SVO = Save Opportunities

    TB = Total Bases Allowed

    TP = Triple Plays

    UR = Unearned Runs

    W = Wins

    WHIP = Walks & Hits/Innings Pitched Ratio

    WP = Wild Pitches Thrown

    WPCT = Winning Percentage

    XBA = Extra Base Hits Allowed

    No I didn't memorize these myself. I needed a little help from The Baseball Almanac and to refresh my memory. I could well be missing a few of these baseball statistics. If so, please feel free to let me know.

Play In Fantasy NBA Basketball Money Leagues

Here's a great new site where you can play fantasy NBA basketball. It's called Fanduel.

You simply sign up at the invite link I provided and then enter daily contests. If you love playing fantasy basketball money leagues, this is a way you can have a new lineup in each and every day and win actual cash prizes for the best scores each day. I have had fun there for months. I even won $3000.00 in a 10 dollar tourney. That's right. Real cash prizes plus the fun of having stock in daily basketball games. You can sign up with a paypal account also, so no need to worry about giving out information online. You can play for free, for a dollar (where you can win big in tourneys), or you can also play bigger bucks if you feel you know your hoops. Anyway try it out. The link again is here: Fanduel.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

The day Seaver was back

tom seaver
    This is a story about a time when Me and My friend Sam decided to travel up to New York's Shea Stadium and buy tickets to watch that 1983 opening day game between Tom Seaver and the Mets and Steve Carlton's Phillies.

    Although the Mets roster didn't look very promising, there was the return of Tom Terrific on that opening day game of April 5, 1983. My friend Sam and myself decided to travel up to New York's Shea Stadium and buy tickets to watch that opening day game between Tom Seaver and the Mets and Steve Carlton's Phillies.

    At age 22 and new to traveling to ballparks, we drove on 22 east towards Newark N.J. and eventually arrived at Shea Stadium in time for the game. It was a smooth and well planned trip, where you found the right exits and left early enough and did everything right. Things were going good. When we bought our tickets, we found ourselves in a dreaded and scary cave, a cave of doom, we thought.

    You see, we were seated under the Mezzanine section and found ourselves at the mercy of the 1960's constructors of Shea Stadium. It felt as though we were in a 100 ton cement tent which could collapse and make pancakes of us. I began the paranoia by suggesting such a thing, and for a while we spent the early afternoon preparing for a possible doom, a possible pancake scenario was our sole focus.

    We chilled out a little after a few scoreless innings, and began focusing on the aura of a Seaver and Carlton classic. It was a well pitched game, a pitcher's duel, flavored with the hospitable welcome back attitude gestured by some 46,000 plus Met fans. However, between innings I gazed my eyes at the cracks in the cement structure hovering above our soft skulls. We slipped into the tunnel once or twice to fill our bellies with dogs and brew, and to feel alot safer away from those death trap seats we had. Little did we know that in the food tunnel (As we called it) there was heavier cement fixture above us than there was in our seats. But then again, we were too busy looking for food, beer and restrooms to go around looking for yet more cracks.

    We would eventually return to our seats of doom, and I, in My absolute cluelessness, made sure Sam sat closer to the cracked cement area over our heads, as though it made any difference, or sense for that matter. I did things like this. When it was thundering and lightening on certain days, I'd walk low next to my friend because he'd be the highest point (That was my lightening strikes the highest point mentality). I ran away and left my friend Sam to be mugged at another ballgame. Some friend I was right? Nonetheless, we experienced opening day with a best friend and our favorite teams. That was good enough for us, as long as we didn't get crushed!

    Well there wasn't much to write home about by way of offense, and it wasn't until Seaver left before the Mets could manufacture a few runs and win the game. Steve Carlton pitched very well but took the loss. Brian Giles and Mike Howard drove in the two runs and Doug Zisk closed it out. Of course it wasn't the game itself I remembered very well. It was that welcome back mentality that the Met's faithful had, the appealing matchup between Seaver and Carlton, and of course, that dangerous and scary doomsday block of cement hovering over our heads. Of course, there was that trip back too. We made it to Shea very easily in daylight, but on the way home I missed a crucial exit somewhere between Shea Stadium and Central New Jersey. In fact we got a tour of New Jersey and began seeing signs for Atlantic City! I talked Sam to death in the car about how I knew where we were going, even after 5 hours of driving in circles. My car sputtered into Lambertville, I dropped Sam off at his house and headed home for what felt like a very long 16 mile trip back to Neshanic Station N.J.

    I layed in my bed and absorbed the day. My childhood friend and I had went to watch an opening day game with the Mets and my hero Tom Seaver. I was relieved to be rid of that phobic feeling about cement doom, and hurriedly forgot the horrible trip back home (Although Sam would remind me of it the very next week on route to Veteran's Stadium). Tom Seaver was back, and I was back in my safe, cementless niche.

A Memorable Day At The Vet

veterans stadium
    A memorable day back in 1983. My friend Sam and I decided to go to Veteran's Stadium to watch the Phillies and the Mets.

    It was April 13th, 1983. My friend Sam and I decided to travel down to Veterans stadium and purchase tickets for a Mets-Phillies game. We were best friends, but division foes. He liked the Phillies and I liked the Mets. I traveled down to Lambertville from Somerset to pick Sam up at his house and we were off to the Vet! First, though, we had to make our stop at Micky D's for our Big Mac, Chicken McNuggets, French Fries, Large Coke, Hot Apple Pie, and Chocolate Milkshake as appetizers.

    We traveled down NJ's I95 which took us to Pennsylvania, past the Quaker Bridge Mall, and eventually Philadelphia. We arrived, purchased upperdeck tickets (The Phillies were pretty good back then, so no good seats were available) and headed to search for our seats. We sat in the upperdecks above leftfield and enjoyed watching pre-game warmups. Then it happened. My friend Sam, S-A-M-M-Y!, applied the usual curse. We were hovering over the railings and saw Neil Allen shagging flyballs, and Sam hollered down to Neil..."Hey Neil!", He screamed. "Hi" Neil Allen yelled back. "Do you think you'll win the pennant this year" Sam yelled. "I hope so" Neil Allen yelled back. We both yelled "Goodluck" back to Neil, and He politely said "Thanks". We went back to our seats and marveled at this conversation, however short, we had with an actual major leaguer. We were bigshots! But there was a curse there, which I'll get to later.

    As the game took on a Met flavor, Sam and Myself were drinking beers, so we needed to make a trip to the restroom. We headed out to the tunnel to look for a men's room. The upperdeck tunnel was a mess, and badly monitored, if at all. It kinda looked alot like a ghetto version of Veterans Stadium with pollution all over the place. To get food, we would have to go down a level, but we were off to the john. We entered a men's room where some unfriendly teenagers (We were in our young 20's) met up with us. They talked trash and started to show aggression. I said "it's cool" and nodded understandingly towards the gang as though that gesture would work in avoiding a confrontation, and it did. Two of the four kids waved at me and started to walk away, but two others went towards my friend Sam and pushed Him. At the very same time that the two waved me off, and the other two began to confront Sam, I said let's go Sam, and moved quickly with a trot back to our seat area. Then suddenly, a chase emerged, as Sam lagged behind, I sped up, and four guys were chasing us. I ran quickly, and left Sam in the dust. When I looked back, Sam had toilet paper all over Him. Well, it serves Him right, because of the curse He put on, which I'll explain next.

    Ok, it's late in the game, the Mets enjoyed a 9-2 lead, and I was talking pennant to Sam. Then the Mets bullpen began collapsing. A youthful Jesse Orosco would walk in a run with the bases loaded to put the Phillies within 3. Bo Diaz then hit a grand slam off, you guessed it, the cursed Neil Allen with two outs in the ninth to beat the Mets, 10-9. Not only that, but to rub it in, the homerun Bo Diaz hit went just over our heads in the upperdeck! The Phillie fans slapped eachother five, I was in disbelief, and Sam's curse carried over through the rest of the season, as Neil Allen eventually got traded away. His decline led the Mets to trade him for Keith Hernandez in June.

    Ah, the curse turned into a blessing for Met fans, as Keith Hernandez and Darry Strawberry arrived at Shea. "You see", I told Sam. When a division rival applies a curse on another divisional foe, the curse comes back to haunt you. The Mets dominated the division for years to come.

    Thanks S-A-M-M-Y!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Rainout Theater

    The Met game was going to come on! But instead, "Rainout Theater" came up on the television screen and I was destroyed. My weekend was abruptly changed for the worse.

    I'm sure just about everyone has childhood memories which are etched in their minds throughout their entire lifetimes. Whether it's a childhood sweetheart, a special event such as a family vacation, or a dreaded school subject, we all have something which will remain in our memories for the rest of our lives.

    The one I'm about to share with you here is a little different. It's not the memory perse, it's a blip in one of the fondest memories I hold from my childhood. The excitement I enjoyed when discovering a major league baseball team which caught my eye and my heart. The New York Mets. They played on channel 9, a New York channel back then.

    Yes there were the memories of Tommie Agee, Cleon Jones, Ron Swaboda, Rusty Staub, Tug McGraw, Willie Mays and all the rest, and that pennant chase in 73 will always be my treasured memory. But there was a nagging little interruption now and then. Like ants at a picnic or a fly on a pizza, this random interference came unexpectingly and quite rudely. It was in this case, just like a substitute teacher in school, at least with me. I realize that many kids liked substitute teachers, because that gave them the go ahead to horse around. But for me, it disrupted the norm, and I am a ritualistic type of person. I like things to transpire as they were planned. I don't like sudden unexpected change to which you must adapt to. Anyways, the disruption I am talking about was as follows.

    I'll always remember those saturday mornings, while watching roadrunner or scooby doo, the anticipation of Mets baseball in the afternoon. However, there came certain Saturdays or Sundays when at 1pm, on channel 9, instead of seeing that beautiful and glorious Mets logo spin onto the screen, I saw a horrid sight! A title called "Rainout Theater", which was then followed by Gene Kelly or Ronald Reagan in a 1950 movie. Ouch!

    My glass of iced tea, bowl of pretzels, and pack of cupcakes neatly placed accessible to my reach. My Met shirt neatly worn. My comforter blanket evenly spread acrossed the floor. My eyes were fixated on the television screen as I awaited that glorifying moment which kids who daydreamed all week about anticipated. It was one o'clock, it was now the time! The Met game was going to come on! But instead, "Rainout Theatre" came up on the television screen and I was destroyed. My weekend was abruptly changed for the worse.

    I recovered most of the time with afternoon programs like The Wacky Races, Or Speed Racer. But even Speed kept me on edge for a week in those "to be continued" episodes once in a while. However, for the most part, I survived those particular rainout days by imagining myself being the hero in the bottom of the ninth inning with two outs and the bases loaded.

    There were a few occasions though, when I found myself wandering about outside in the rain, racing popcicle sticks in the draining rain gutters. The professor in the Wacky Races lost his race, Speed's car was spinning out of control, and my popcicle sticks fell into the gutter and disappeared. Lost weekends indeed!

    However, the majority of my weekends were filled with the wonderment of Mets baseball, dagwood bumpstead and creature features. An overall happy and fulfilling childhood, I'd say.