History UsefulNotes / Baseball

16th Aug '17 5:44:46 PM AriRockefeller
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* '''Bartolo Colón''', currently a starting pitcher for the Minnesota Twins, is currently the oldest active player in baseball and the longest-active pitcher, having pitched since 1997. He was a moderately successful pitcher early in his career, pitching for the Cleveland Indians, Montreal Expos, Chicago White Sox, and Anaheim Angels between 1997 and 2005, and making a few all-star appearances. He won the 2005 AL Cy Young Award, although many think he only got that award because he led the league in wins, a generally poor indicator of pitcher performance - most other pitching statistics would say he was good that year, but not the best pitcher in the league, and maybe not even the best pitcher on his own team. In any case, his career was sadly derailed for a few years after that by arm injuries, and he struggled to pitch well or stay on the field. He then successfully made a comeback with the Yankees in 2011, not quite returning to his old skill level but pitching effectively nonetheless. In years since, he's remained a fairly average pitcher (though that's actually kind of impressive considering that almost 90% of his pitches are 84-91 mph fastballs, meaning that he relies almost exclusively on his ability to locate pitches), but he's been much more famous for his excessive weight (which nonetheless hasn't stopped him from being a surprisingly effective fielder who provides his fair share of defensive highlights) and (ever since his 2014-2016 stint with the New York Mets) his comical plate appearances, where he frequently flails wildly at pitches and swings hard enough to make his helmet fall off. His goofy swings were once half-jokingly cited by Rob Manfred as a good reason to not bring the DH to the National League, because that would rob fans of the entertainment of watching Bartolo try to hit. Although he's usually been pretty terrible at the plate, he occasionally gets decent results, and he managed to hit his first big league home run on May 7, 2016, a few weeks shy of his 43rd birthday, the oldest age ever at which a player hit his first big league home run.

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* '''Bartolo Colón''', currently a starting pitcher for the Minnesota Twins, is currently the oldest active player in baseball and the longest-active pitcher, having pitched since 1997. He was a moderately successful pitcher early in his career, pitching for the Cleveland Indians, Montreal Expos, Expos[[note]]He's also the last active player in baseball who played for the Expos[[/note]], Chicago White Sox, and Anaheim Angels between 1997 and 2005, and making a few all-star appearances. He won the 2005 AL Cy Young Award, although many think he only got that award because he led the league in wins, a generally poor indicator of pitcher performance - most other pitching statistics would say he was good that year, but not the best pitcher in the league, and maybe not even the best pitcher on his own team. In any case, his career was sadly derailed for a few years after that by arm injuries, and he struggled to pitch well or stay on the field. He then successfully made a comeback with the Yankees in 2011, not quite returning to his old skill level but pitching effectively nonetheless. In years since, he's remained a fairly average pitcher (though that's actually kind of impressive considering that almost 90% of his pitches are 84-91 mph fastballs, meaning that he relies almost exclusively on his ability to locate pitches), but he's been much more famous for his excessive weight (which nonetheless hasn't stopped him from being a surprisingly effective fielder who provides his fair share of defensive highlights) and (ever since his 2014-2016 stint with the New York Mets) his comical plate appearances, where he frequently flails wildly at pitches and swings hard enough to make his helmet fall off. His goofy swings were once half-jokingly cited by Rob Manfred as a good reason to not bring the DH to the National League, because that would rob fans of the entertainment of watching Bartolo try to hit. Although he's usually been pretty terrible at the plate, he occasionally gets decent results, and he managed to hit his first big league home run on May 7, 2016, a few weeks shy of his 43rd birthday, the oldest age ever at which a player hit his first big league home run.
10th Aug '17 11:52:32 PM UmbrellasWereAwesome
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* '''Alex Rodriguez''', best known for his tenure on with the New York Yankees, was baseball's highest paid player from 2001, when he signed a 10-year, $250 million contract with the Texas Rangers, to 2014, when his salary was exceeded thanks to larger contracts given to Clayton Kershaw and Miguel Cabrera. A shortstop in the first half of his career with the Mariners and Rangers, he moved to third base upon being traded to the Yankees in 2004, as the Yankees already had Derek Jeter at shortstop. His status as one of the game's all-time greats has never been in any doubt; he was a prime MVP candidate every year from his age-21 season in 1996 to about 2010 (he won the award three times, and arguably should have won more), when age and injuries started to rob him of some of his skill. His large contract combined with the fact that he used performance-enhancing drugs several times throughout his career make him one of baseball's most passionately disliked figures. His most passionate haters are mostly fans of the Red Sox (for reasons including A) He's a Yankee, B) A failed trade that might have brought him to Boston instead of New York in 2003, and C) A number of in-game incidents, most notably slapping the ball out of Red Sox pitcher Bronson Arroyo's glove in the 2004 ALCS) or the Mariners (because he started in Seattle, then left after the 2000 season and signed the aforementioned massive contract). But even some Yankees fans hate him, for nebulous reasons ranging from "he's cold and distant" to "he hasn't played in a World Series" (not true after 2009) to "he doesn't deliver big hits when you need them" (an assertion not backed up by statistics), to opting out of his contract during the last game of the 2007 World Series (the Yankees weren't playing in it, having been eliminated in the first round of the postseason, but the timing still attracted lots of criticism) to sign a slightly bigger 10-year contract with the Yankees shortly after, to his late-career decline in production, among others. Known by his nickname "A-Rod", but prior to 2009 his lack of postseason performance led to detractors (including within the Yankees locker room) to call him "A-Fraud", and his admission in 2009 to having used steroids earlier in his career while playing for the Rangers inevitably led to him being called "A-Roid". Injuries slowed his production tremendously in his last few years, to the point where he was no longer considered an elite player. He was banned for the 2014 season due to allegedly obtaining (and using) large amounts of [=PEDs=] from Biogenesis, a now-closed South Florida "anti-aging clinic". While he had a bit of a resurgence in 2015, joining the 3,000-hit club and passing Willie Mays to go into fourth on the career home run list along the way, he struggled to produce the next season, leading the the Yankees benching and eventually cutting him from the team to make way for younger prospects (with one year on his contract left to go, this forced them to eat quite a bit of dead money). A-Rod played his last game as a Yankee in the middle of the 2016 season, and officially retired in 2017 (despite being only four home runs away from joining the 700-homers club) to work as a full-time baseball broadcaster.



* '''Alex Rodriguez''', formerly of the NY Yankees, was baseball's highest paid player from 2001, when he signed a 10-year, $250 million contract with the Texas Rangers, to 2014, when his salary was exceeded thanks to larger contracts given to Clayton Kershaw and Miguel Cabrera. A shortstop in the first half of his career with the Mariners and Rangers, he moved to third base upon being traded to the Yankees in 2004, as the Yankees already had Derek Jeter at shortstop. His status as one of the game's all-time greats has never been in any doubt; he was a prime MVP candidate every year from his age-21 season in 1996 to about 2010 (he won the award three times, and arguably should have won more), when age and injuries started to rob him of some of his skill. His large contract combined with the fact that he used performance-enhancing drugs several times throughout his career make him one of baseball's most passionately disliked figures. His most passionate haters are mostly fans of the Red Sox (because he's a Yankee, because a trade that might have brought him to Boston instead of New York in 2003 failed, and for some in-game incidents, most notably slapping the ball out of Red Sox pitcher Bronson Arroyo's glove in the 2004 ALCS) or the Mariners (because he started in Seattle, then left after the 2000 season and signed the aforementioned massive contract). But even some Yankees fans hate him, for nebulous reasons ranging from "he's cold and distant" to "he hasn't played in a World Series" (not true after 2009) to "he doesn't deliver big hits when you need them" (an assertion not backed up by statistics), to opting out of his contract during the last game of the 2007 World Series (the Yankees weren't playing in it, having been eliminated in the first round of the postseason, but the timing still attracted lots of criticism) to sign a slightly bigger 10-year contract with the Yankees shortly after, to his recent decline in production, among others. Known by his nickname "A-Rod", but prior to 2009 his lack of postseason performance led to detractors (including within the Yankees locker room) to call him "A-Fraud", and his admission in 2009 to having used steroids earlier in his career while playing for the Rangers inevitably led to him being called "A-Roid". Injuries slowed his production tremendously in the last couple of years, leading many to consider his days of being an elite player to be over. He was banned for the 2014 season due to allegedly obtaining (and using) large amounts of [=PEDs=] from Biogenesis, a now-closed South Florida "anti-aging clinic". While he had a bit of a resurgence in 2015, joining the 3,000-hit club and passing Willie Mays to go into fourth on the career home run list along the way, he struggled to produce the next season, leading the the Yankees benching and eventually cutting him from the team to make way for younger prospects (with one year on his contract left to go, this forced them to eat quite a bit of dead money). A-Rod played his last game as a Yankee in the middle of the 2016 season, and seems to made the decision to end his playing career, though he hasn't yet ruled out attempting a comeback in 2017.



* '''Albert Pujols''' of the Los Angeles Angels is a first baseman who, during his days with the Cardinals, was seen by many as baseball's best player for most of the 2000's, and, strangely enough, is actually polite, charitable, and well-liked. Lots of fans hope he'll break Barry Bonds's records someday. He is nicknamed "The Machine" due to his formerly incredibly consistent production. For a 10-year stretch from 2001 to 2010, he hit .300 with at least 30 Home Runs and 100 RBI's every year. He won 3 MVP awards in this time (2005, 2008, 2009), and the only reason he didn't win more is because Barry Bonds was putting up ridiculous numbers from 2001 to 2004. In the last couple of years, his production has slowed a bit due to age and injury, and it's looking unlikely he'll ever be as good as he once was, or that he'll even come close to being as valuable as the huge contract the Angels signed him to (10 years, $240 million) is paying him. That said, he can still occasionally hit like his old self from time to time. He became the newest member of the 600-homer club in 2017.

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* '''Albert Pujols''' of the Los Angeles Angels is a first baseman who, during his days with the Cardinals, was seen by many as baseball's best player for most of the 2000's, and, strangely enough, is actually polite, charitable, and well-liked. Lots of fans hope he'll break Barry Bonds's records someday. He is nicknamed "The Machine" due to his formerly incredibly consistent production. For a 10-year stretch from 2001 to 2010, he hit .300 with at least 30 Home Runs and 100 RBI's every year. He won 3 MVP awards in this time (2005, 2008, 2009), and the only reason he didn't win more is because Barry Bonds was putting up ridiculous numbers from 2001 to 2004. In After he left the last couple Cardinals at the end of years, the 2011 season, his production has noticeably slowed a bit due to age and injury, and it's looking unlikely he'll ever be as good as he once was, or that he'll even come close to being as valuable as the huge contract the Angels signed him to (10 years, $240 million) is paying him.million). That said, he can still occasionally hit like his old self from time to time. He became the newest member of the 600-homer club in 2017.
7th Aug '17 5:36:48 PM InfinityPlusTwo
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* '''Adrián Beltré''' is a third baseman for the Texas Rangers. One of the longest-tenured players in baseball, he's been around since 1998, when he came up with the Dodgers as a 19-year-old. Though he was generally well-regarded for his solid offense and great defense earlier in his career with the Dodgers, Mariners, and Red Sox, he didn't really hit his stride until he joined the Rangers in 2011, and has generally excelled for them ever since. Even with his ups-and-downs earlier in his career, he still has some very impressive career statistics, and he got his 3000th hit in 2017. Despite his impressive career statistics, he only has 4 all-star appearances, on account of his inconsistencies early in his career and [[OvershadowedByAwesome having to share the spotlight with a lot of other great third basemen]] late in his career. He's also never won an MVP award, although he's been in contention for one a few times; notably, in 2004, his last year with the Dodgers, he put up numbers that would ordinarily be easily good enough to win the award, had Barry Bonds not been producing statistics that were utterly insane at the same time. A renowned bad-ball hitter, Beltre has frequently been known to swing very hard at low pitches, sometimes falling on one knee during his follow through while he hits the ball well over the fence. One of just a few currently active players considered a lock for the Hall of Fame as soon as he retires. He's also generally considered among the nicest and friendliest players in the game, and is well known for his epic bromance with Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus. [[BerserkButton Does not like being touched on the top of his head.]]
7th Aug '17 2:41:47 PM InfinityPlusTwo
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* '''Josh Hamilton''' was a standout hitter best known for his time with the Texas Rangers. While he's been in the league in some form or another for a long time - he was taken by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays as the first overall pick in the 1999 draft, and reached the big leagues in 2007 after many years of struggles with drugs and alcohol - he really only started to get attention when he started playing for Texas in 2008 - his dominance at the plate is cited as one of the key factors in their 2010 turnaround. In the 2008 Home Run Derby, he hit a record 28 home runs in the first round, though the amazing performance ended up working against him; by the final round, he had tired himself out slugging so many home runs that he ended up losing to Justin Morneau (as the home run totals were reset for the finals). Early (and later) in his career, he's dealt with his addiction to alcohol - because of this, when the Rangers won the division and their two playoff series in 2010, they celebrated with ginger ale instead. After the season, Hamilton would be named the American League MVP for 2010. His reputation has been tarnished, however, due to a clumsy performance in the final game of the 2012 season against the Oakland Athletics- coming into the game, the Rangers and Athletics were tied for first in the American League West, and whichever team won the game would win the Division. In the 4th inning, he notably fumbled a ball that allowed in the runs that broke the then-tie between the Rangers and the Athletics, and the A's went on to win the game 12-5. After signing with the Los Angeles Angels just before 2013, he got off to a very bad start in his first season with them and though he started hitting better at the end, his final numbers were well below what he'd done with the Rangers. Just before the 2015 season, he suffered a relapse of his addiction, which, combined with his generally subpar performance during his time in Los Angeles, eventually led the Angels to trade him back to the Rangers for virtually nothing. Hamilton began to show some flashes of returning to his previous form in the last half of 2015, but missed the entire 2016 season after knee surgery; the Rangers ended up releasing him in late summer 2016, but are open to re-signing him for the 2017 season.

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* '''Josh Hamilton''' was a standout hitter best known for his time with the Texas Rangers. While he's been in the league in some form or another for a long time - he was taken by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays as the first overall pick in the 1999 draft, and reached the big leagues in 2007 after many years of struggles with drugs and alcohol - he really only started to get attention when he started playing for Texas in 2008 - his dominance at the plate is cited as one of the key factors in their 2010 turnaround. In the 2008 Home Run Derby, he hit a record 28 home runs in the first round, though the amazing performance ended up working against him; by the final round, he had tired himself out slugging so many home runs that he ended up losing to Justin Morneau (as the home run totals were reset for the finals). Early (and later) in his career, he's dealt with his addiction to alcohol - because of this, when the Rangers won the division and their two playoff series in 2010, they celebrated with ginger ale instead. After the season, Hamilton would be named the American League MVP for 2010. His reputation has been tarnished, however, due to a clumsy performance in the final game of the 2012 season against the Oakland Athletics- coming into the game, the Rangers and Athletics were tied for first in the American League West, and whichever team won the game would win the Division. In the 4th inning, he notably fumbled a ball that allowed in the runs that broke the then-tie between the Rangers and the Athletics, and the A's went on to win the game 12-5. After signing with the Los Angeles Angels just before 2013, he got off to a very bad start in his first season with them and though he started hitting better at the end, his final numbers were well below what he'd done with the Rangers. Just before the 2015 season, he suffered a relapse of his addiction, which, combined with his generally subpar performance during his time in Los Angeles, eventually led the Angels to trade him back to the Rangers for virtually nothing. Hamilton began to show some flashes of returning to his previous form in the last half of 2015, but missed the entire 2016 season after knee surgery; the Rangers ended up releasing him in late summer 2016, 2016. They resigned him to a minor league contract for 2017, but are open to re-signing Hamilton hurt his knee again and the Rangers released him again without him ever playing another game for the 2017 season.them.



* '''Yu Darvish''', pitcher of the Texas Rangers, is known for being the UsefulNotes/MichaelJordan of Japan. Yu started out as a top level prospect, with MLB teams scouting him in Junior High. However, he wanted to go with a Japanese baseball league instead. In Japan, Yu posted extraordinary numbers, with a 1.99 average ERA. At 25, he wanted to go to America, and the Rangers won his services with a huge bid. He is known in MLB as having seven pitch types (in comparison, normal MLB pitchers have 3-5 pitch types). On April 2, 2013, he nearly threw a perfect game against the Astros, but it was broken up by the Astros' Marwin Gonzalez with 2 outs in the 9th inning. The question of his durability, however, is now somewhat up in the air, as he underwent Tommy John surgery just before the start of the 2015 season, didn't return until late May 2016, and was quickly put on the DL ''again'' from mid-June to mid-July 2016.

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* '''Yu Darvish''', pitcher of the Texas Rangers, Los Angeles Dodgers, is known for being the UsefulNotes/MichaelJordan of Japan. Yu started out as a top level prospect, with MLB teams scouting him in Junior High. However, he wanted to go with a Japanese baseball league instead. In Japan, Yu posted extraordinary numbers, with a 1.99 average ERA. At 25, he wanted to go to America, and the Texas Rangers won his services with a huge bid. He is known in MLB as having seven pitch types (in comparison, normal MLB pitchers have 3-5 pitch types). On April 2, 2013, he nearly threw a perfect game against the Astros, but it was broken up by the Astros' Marwin Gonzalez with 2 outs in the 9th inning. The question of his durability, however, is now somewhat up in the air, as he underwent Tommy John surgery just before the start of the 2015 season, didn't return until late May 2016, and was quickly put on the DL ''again'' from mid-June to mid-July 2016. He was traded from the Rangers to the Dodgers in July 2017.



* '''José Bautista''', an outfielder, spent the early part of his career going between a lot of different teams, frequently getting cut for bad performance. Then he joined the Blue Jays. The rest is history: "Joey Bats" became one of the best hitters in the game, leading MLB in home runs in 2010 and 2011. He didn't hit nearly as many in 2012 and 2013, though, as injuries prevented him from playing for several months, but he was still near the top before getting injured. He returned to being a solid and consistent player the next two seasons, managing to take first place on the Blue Jays all-time home run list in 2015 despite a lingering right shoulder injury (which still didn't stop him from playing in almost every game that year), but struggled to find his groove in 2016 (though he was still a solid player). Gained national headlines for his series-clinching three-run homer in the 2015 ALDS against the Texas Rangers. Many, however, remember his celebratory bat flip more than the home run itself, and the resulting debate about whether it was an appropriate piece of flair for such a CrowningMomentOfAwesome, or if it was UnsportsmanlikeGloating. The fallout from this incident carried over to the following season when the two teams played each other again. A Rangers pitcher [[BestServedCold threw a pitch into Bautista's back]], and on a subsequent play, Bautista responded with an aggressive slide into the second baseman (such a slide had been made ''illegal'' because of another incident in the 2015 postseason where a player had his leg broken). This resulted into a shoving match between Bautista and [[DavidVersusGoliath much smaller Rangers 2B Rougned Odor]], which escalated after Odor threw a solid right rook that caught Bautista flush and [[MemeticMutation quickly became fodder for internet humor]]. A bench-clearing brawl ensued.
* '''Félix Hernández''' is a pitcher who has spent his entire career thus far with the Seattle Mariners. Since his breakout season in 2009, he has become one of the best pitchers in the game, winning the AL Cy Young award in 2010 and throwing a perfect game in 2012. He routinely ends up in the top 5 of most pitching statistics, with the notable exception of Wins. Because the Mariners have had some of the worst hitters in baseball for several years, he often fails to win games in which he pitched well simply because the Mariners don't score many runs, and has a reputation for often losing games by scores like 1-0 and 4-2 (though [[ThrowTheDogABone he occasionally also wins some of those games 1-0 or 4-2]]). Because of this, he had a win-loss of record of 13-12 when he won the Cy Young Award in 2010 (the worst win-loss record any Cy Young-winning starting pitcher has ever had). He is known for usually being incredibly consistent in his performance- he broke a somewhat obscure record in 2014 by going 16 straight starts with at least 7 innings pitched while allowing 2 runs or fewer in each start. He hasn't been his usual self in 2015 and 2016, though, thanks in part to some lingering ankle issues.
* '''David Price''', currently of the Boston Red Sox, is another one of the best starting pitchers in the game. He started his career with the Tampa Bay Rays in 2008, pitching a few games for them late in the season and in the playoffs. He showed great promise in the 2008 ACLS, where he won the deciding game from the bullpen and helped the Rays reach their first World Series by defeating the Boston Red Sox, but they ended up losing the series to the Philadelphia Phillies. He became a full-time starter in 2009. Over the next four years, David Price cemented himself as the Rays' best pitcher, quickly taking over that title from "Big Game" James Shields, the best starter on the Rays staff in 2007-09. In 2010, he was in the running for a Cy Young Award with CC Sabathia and Félix Hernández. As mentioned above, Hernández ended up winning despite a poor win-loss record caused by the Mariners' historically awful hitters, which the voters didn't blame him for. Price had a solid but not quite Cy Young-caliber year in 2011, and also surrendered Derek Jeter's 3,000th hit. In 2012, David Price had his most dominant year. He won 20 games - becoming the first pitcher in franchise history to do so—and had the lowest ERA of the American League with 2.54. He finally won the Cy Young Award at the end of the year, beating Justin Verlander by one vote. He continued to be dominant over the next few years, and the small-revenue Rays started to have difficulty affording his contract, leading to frequent trade rumors surrounding him. He ultimately was traded to the Tigers in 2014, giving the Tigers a starting rotation with 3 Cy Young winners (Price, Justin Verlander, and Max Scherzer; Scherzer has since left for the Nationals, while Price, despite still being good, was traded to the Toronto Blue Jays just before the 2015 deadline). After the 2015 season, the Red Sox signed him to a seven-year, $217 million contract, the largest for a pitcher in MLB history.
* '''Johan Santana''' is a pitcher who was a huge part of the Minnesota Twins' success in the mid-[=2000s=]. During those years, he was one of the best pitchers in the game, winning Cy Young Awards in 2004 and 2006 and coming close to winning another in 2005. He was traded to the Mets in 2008, and has since become an injury magnet, missing large parts of almost every season he spent with the Mets (and all of 2011 and 2013), although he did become the first pitcher in Mets history to throw a no-hitter in 2012. His luck hasn't gotten any better after becoming a free agent, having had season-ending injuries with both the Orioles in 2014 and Blue Jays in 2015 after signing minor league contracts with them.
* '''Cliff Lee''' is a free agent pitcher who last played for the Philadelphia Phillies. He came up with the Indians, and had a few ups and downs before cementing himself as one of the best left-handed pitchers in the game with his Cy Young-winning season in 2008, with 22 wins, 2.54 ERA, and 170 Strikeouts. He has a reputation as one of the best pitchers in the postseason: In the first 7 postseason games he pitched, he went 7-0 and allowed just 9 runs in total. On account of the struggles of many of his teams, he was a human trade rumor in his prime, and was at one point traded 3 times in the span of about a year (from the Indians to the Phillies in July 2009, from the Phillies to the Mariners in December 2009, and from the Mariners to the Rangers in July 2010). For a long time, some fans would joke that trading him was cursed, because in each of those three trades, the minor-league players gotten in return for him failed to accomplished much at the major league level- at least, not until 2014, when Carlos Carrasco (part of the Indians/Phillies trade mentioned above) became a pretty good starting pitcher for the Indians, 5 years after they traded for him. When he returned to the Phillies, he was still solid to excellent whenever he actually took the mound, but his career has been derailed by injuries, to the point where he hasn't pitched since mid-2014.

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* '''José Bautista''', an outfielder, spent the early part of his career going between a lot of different teams, frequently getting cut for bad performance. Then he joined the Blue Jays. The rest is history: "Joey Bats" became one of the best hitters in the game, leading MLB in home runs in 2010 and 2011. He didn't hit nearly as many in 2012 and 2013, though, as injuries prevented him from playing for several months, but he was still near the top before getting injured. He returned to being a solid and consistent player the next two seasons, managing to take first place on the Blue Jays all-time home run list in 2015 despite a lingering right shoulder injury (which still didn't stop him from playing in almost every game that year), but struggled to find his groove in 2016 (though he was still a solid player).player), and he's struggled with both injuries and underperformance again in 2017. Gained national headlines for his series-clinching three-run homer in the 2015 ALDS against the Texas Rangers. Many, however, remember his celebratory bat flip more than the home run itself, and the resulting debate about whether it was an appropriate piece of flair for such a CrowningMomentOfAwesome, or if it was UnsportsmanlikeGloating. The fallout from this incident carried over to the following season when the two teams played each other again. A Rangers pitcher [[BestServedCold threw a pitch into Bautista's back]], and on a subsequent play, Bautista responded with an aggressive slide into the second baseman (such a slide had been made ''illegal'' because of another incident in the 2015 postseason where a player had his leg broken). This resulted into a shoving match between Bautista and [[DavidVersusGoliath much smaller Rangers 2B Rougned Odor]], which escalated after Odor threw a solid right rook that caught Bautista flush and [[MemeticMutation quickly became fodder for internet humor]]. A bench-clearing brawl ensued.
* '''Félix Hernández''' is a pitcher who has spent his entire career thus far with the Seattle Mariners. Since his breakout season in 2009, he has become one of the best pitchers in the game, winning the AL Cy Young award in 2010 and throwing a perfect game in 2012. He routinely ends up in the top 5 of most pitching statistics, with the notable exception of Wins. Because the Mariners have had some of the worst hitters in baseball for several years, he often fails to win games in which he pitched well simply because the Mariners don't score many runs, and has a reputation for often losing games by scores like 1-0 and 4-2 (though [[ThrowTheDogABone he occasionally also wins some of those games 1-0 or 4-2]]). Because of this, he had a win-loss of record of 13-12 when he won the Cy Young Award in 2010 (the worst win-loss record any Cy Young-winning starting pitcher has ever had). He is known for usually being incredibly consistent in his performance- he broke a somewhat obscure record in 2014 by going 16 straight starts with at least 7 innings pitched while allowing 2 runs or fewer in each start. He hasn't been his usual self in 2015 and 2016, since around mid-2015 though, thanks in part to some lingering ankle injury issues.
* '''David Price''', currently of the Boston Red Sox, is another one of the best starting pitchers in the game. He started his career with the Tampa Bay Rays in 2008, pitching a few games for them late in the season and in the playoffs. He showed great promise in the 2008 ACLS, where he won the deciding game from the bullpen and helped the Rays reach their first World Series by defeating the Boston Red Sox, but they ended up losing the series to the Philadelphia Phillies. He became a full-time starter in 2009. Over the next four years, David Price cemented himself as the Rays' best pitcher, quickly taking over that title from "Big Game" James Shields, the best starter on the Rays staff in 2007-09. In 2010, he was in the running for a Cy Young Award with CC Sabathia and Félix Hernández. As mentioned above, Hernández ended up winning despite a poor win-loss record caused by the Mariners' historically awful hitters, which the voters didn't blame him for. Price had a solid but not quite Cy Young-caliber year in 2011, and also surrendered Derek Jeter's 3,000th hit. In 2012, David Price had his most dominant year. He won 20 games - becoming the first pitcher in franchise history to do so—and had the lowest ERA of the American League with 2.54. He finally won the Cy Young Award at the end of the year, beating Justin Verlander by one vote. He continued to be dominant over the next few years, and the small-revenue Rays started to have difficulty affording his contract, leading to frequent trade rumors surrounding him. He ultimately was traded to the Tigers in 2014, giving the Tigers a starting rotation with 3 Cy Young winners (Price, Justin Verlander, and Max Scherzer; Scherzer has since left for the Nationals, while Price, despite still being good, was traded to the Toronto Blue Jays just before the 2015 deadline). After the 2015 season, the Red Sox signed him to a seven-year, $217 million contract, the largest for a pitcher in MLB history. \n His time in Boston has gone a bit less well than hoped, though, with Price struggling to live up to expectations, getting into occasional spats with the Boston media, and having some elbow problems.
* '''Johan Santana''' is a pitcher who was a huge part of the Minnesota Twins' success in the mid-[=2000s=]. During those years, he was one of the best pitchers in the game, winning Cy Young Awards in 2004 and 2006 and coming close to winning another in 2005. He was traded to the Mets in 2008, and has since become an injury magnet, missing large parts of almost every season he spent with the Mets (and all of 2011 and 2013), although he did become the first pitcher in Mets history to throw a no-hitter in 2012. His luck hasn't gotten any better after becoming a free agent, having had season-ending injuries with both the Orioles in 2014 and Blue Jays in 2015 after signing minor league contracts with them.
them. Santana hasn't officially retired yet, but his playing days look like they're over.
* '''Cliff Lee''' is a free agent pitcher who last played for the Philadelphia Phillies. He came up with the Indians, and had a few ups and downs before cementing himself as one of the best left-handed pitchers in the game with his Cy Young-winning season in 2008, with 22 wins, 2.54 ERA, and 170 Strikeouts. He has a reputation as one of the best pitchers in the postseason: In the first 7 postseason games he pitched, he went 7-0 and allowed just 9 runs in total. On account of the struggles of many of his teams, he was a human trade rumor in his prime, and was at one point traded 3 times in the span of about a year (from the Indians to the Phillies in July 2009, from the Phillies to the Mariners in December 2009, and from the Mariners to the Rangers in July 2010). For a long time, some fans would joke that trading him was cursed, because in each of those three trades, the minor-league players gotten in return for him failed to accomplished much at the major league level- at least, not until 2014, when Carlos Carrasco (part of the Indians/Phillies trade mentioned above) became a pretty good starting pitcher for the Indians, 5 years after they traded for him. When he returned to the Phillies, he was still solid to excellent whenever he actually took the mound, but his career has been derailed by injuries, to the point where he hasn't pitched since mid-2014. He hasn't officially retired yet, but at this point he looks unlikely to return.



* '''Troy Tulowitzki''' is best known for his career as the Colorado Rockies' shortstop. He was perhaps the best power-hitter in the game among shortstops, a position that typically lacks power (especially after the end of the steroid era) and this, combined with his amazing defense, has caused him to be widely considered one of the best shortstops, if not the best shortstop, in the game. Sadly, he's also frequently injured, playing in more than 150 games in one year only twice, and as some of his detractors will note, his power numbers are partially a product of the immensely power-hitter-friendly Coors Field. He gained a small amount of internet fame in 2013 when a gif of a line drive he hit being caught thanks to an amazingly quick reaction from Marlins pitcher José Fernández [[MemeticMutation circulated around for a while]]. A few days before the 2015 trade deadline, he was dealt to the Toronto Blue Jays, due to the Rockies being last place in their division.

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* '''Troy Tulowitzki''' is best known for his career as the Colorado Rockies' shortstop. He was perhaps the best power-hitter in the game among shortstops, a position that typically lacks power (especially after the end of the steroid era) and this, combined with his amazing defense, has caused him to be widely considered one of the best shortstops, if not the best shortstop, in the game. Sadly, he's also frequently injured, playing in more than 150 games in one year only twice, and as some of his detractors will note, his power numbers are partially a product of the immensely power-hitter-friendly Coors Field. He gained a small amount of internet fame in 2013 when a gif of a line drive he hit being caught thanks to an amazingly quick reaction from Marlins pitcher José Fernández [[MemeticMutation circulated around for a while]]. A few days before the 2015 trade deadline, he was dealt to the Toronto Blue Jays, due to the Rockies being last place in their division. So far his time with the Blue Jays hasn't gone as well as hoped, with Tulowitzki performing well under the level he'd played at when he was with Colorado.



* '''Andrew [=McCutchen=]''' is an outfielder for the Pittsburgh Pirates who has been one of the best players in the National League, with the tools to excel at virtually every aspect of the game (even if his fielding isn't what it used to be). In 2013, he won the NL MVP and led the Pirates to their first playoff berth and first winning season since 1992, ending what had been the longest streak of consecutive losing seasons in the history of MLB - or any other major sport. He was also well-known for his long dreadlocks, until he had them all cut off for a charity auction before the 2015 season. This among other charitable acts, as well as having another great season in 2015, resulted in him winning the Roberto Clemente Award, one of the most prestigious awards in professional baseball (Roberto Clemente being a legendary Pittsburgh Pirate himself just makes the award even more special). He had an uncharacteristically bad year in 2016, which along with some pitching injuries led to the Pirates missing the playoffs after winning a wild card spot the previous 3 years, and it remains to be seen if he can bounce back to his old self.

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* '''Andrew [=McCutchen=]''' is an outfielder for the Pittsburgh Pirates who has been one of the best players in the National League, with the tools to excel at virtually every aspect of the game (even if his fielding isn't what it used to be). In 2013, he won the NL MVP and led the Pirates to their first playoff berth and first winning season since 1992, ending what had been the longest streak of consecutive losing seasons in the history of MLB - or any other major sport. He was also well-known for his long dreadlocks, until he had them all cut off for a charity auction before the 2015 season. This among other charitable acts, as well as having another great season in 2015, resulted in him winning the Roberto Clemente Award, one of the most prestigious awards in professional baseball (Roberto Clemente being a legendary Pittsburgh Pirate himself just makes the award even more special). He had an uncharacteristically bad year in 2016, which along with some pitching injuries led to the Pirates missing the playoffs after winning a wild card spot the previous 3 years, years. His struggles continued at the start of 2017, but a few months into the season, he finally turned it around and it remains to be seen if started hitting like he can bounce back to had in previous years (though his old self.fielding and base-stealing abilities have sadly not returned).



* '''Madison Bumgarner''' is a starting pitcher for the San Francisco Giants. An imposing left-hander with a deceptively easy delivery, Bumgarner was mostly known for two things - being the junior member of the heralded Giants rotation (he debuted in the majors at the age of 20 and pitched in the World Series[[note]]very well, throwing 8 shutout innings for a Game 4 win[[/note]] as a 21 year-old rookie), and for being the ''second''-best left-handed pitcher in the NL West division, overshadowed by [[AlwaysSomeoneBetter the downright unbelievable Clayton Kershaw]]. However, Bumgarner achieved national prominence in 2014 when, with the rest of the Giants' once-vaunted pitching staff in tatters around him, he put the Giants on his back and carried them to a championship. His overall postseason stats - 52.5 innings with a 1.03 ERA, 45 strikeouts to 6 walks - were some of the [[http://www.slate.com/articles/sports/sports_nut/2014/10/madison_bumgarner_world_series_just_one_pitcher_in_baseball_history_had.html greatest in baseball history]], and he emphatically cemented his case by coming into the deciding Game 7 as a reliever, on two days' rest[[note]]The modern standard is 4 days in between games.[[/note]] and throwing five shutout innings for the win. His postseason stats as a whole are impressive- He has a 2.14 career postseason ERA- but his World Series stats are absolutely insane. In 36 innings over 5 World Series games in 2010, 2012, and 2014, Bumgarner has allowed a grand total of ''one'' run, good for an 0.25 ERA. Also notable as one of the best hitting pitchers of recent years—his home run stats since 2013 would project to 30-plus homers over a full season. In fact, on June 30, 2016, with the Giants set to meet their cross-Bay rivals, the A's, in Oakland with Bumgarner starting, Giants manager Bruce Bochy announced that the team would not use a DH[[note]](since the game was in Oakland, AL rules, with the DH, would be used)[[/note]] and let Bumgarner bat for himself. This would be the first time in ''40 years'' that a team deliberately chose to let a pitcher hit instead of a DH.[[note]]The only other time in that period that a team had a pitcher hitting instead of a DH (Andy Sonnenstine for the Rays in 2009) was because of a lineup card mixup.[[/note]] The move worked–Bumgarner doubled in his first at-bat of the night, leading to a 6-run third inning for the Giants. Is currently on the DL because of a shoulder injury he got when he crashed his dirt bike.

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* '''Madison Bumgarner''' is a starting pitcher for the San Francisco Giants. An imposing left-hander with a deceptively easy delivery, Bumgarner was mostly known for two things - being the junior member of the heralded Giants rotation (he debuted in the majors at the age of 20 and pitched in the World Series[[note]]very well, throwing 8 shutout innings for a Game 4 win[[/note]] as a 21 year-old rookie), and for being the ''second''-best left-handed pitcher in the NL West division, overshadowed by [[AlwaysSomeoneBetter the downright unbelievable Clayton Kershaw]]. However, Bumgarner achieved national prominence in 2014 when, with the rest of the Giants' once-vaunted pitching staff in tatters around him, he put the Giants on his back and carried them to a championship. His overall postseason stats - 52.5 innings with a 1.03 ERA, 45 strikeouts to 6 walks - were some of the [[http://www.slate.com/articles/sports/sports_nut/2014/10/madison_bumgarner_world_series_just_one_pitcher_in_baseball_history_had.html greatest in baseball history]], and he emphatically cemented his case by coming into the deciding Game 7 as a reliever, on two days' rest[[note]]The modern standard is 4 days in between games.[[/note]] and throwing five shutout innings for the win. His postseason stats as a whole are impressive- He has a 2.14 career postseason ERA- but his World Series stats are absolutely insane. In 36 innings over 5 World Series games in 2010, 2012, and 2014, Bumgarner has allowed a grand total of ''one'' run, good for an 0.25 ERA. Also notable as one of the best hitting pitchers of recent years—his home run stats since 2013 would project to 30-plus homers over a full season. In fact, on June 30, 2016, with the Giants set to meet their cross-Bay rivals, the A's, in Oakland with Bumgarner starting, Giants manager Bruce Bochy announced that the team would not use a DH[[note]](since the game was in Oakland, AL rules, with the DH, would be used)[[/note]] and let Bumgarner bat for himself. This would be the first time in ''40 years'' that a team deliberately chose to let a pitcher hit instead of a DH.[[note]]The only other time in that period that a team had a pitcher hitting instead of a DH (Andy Sonnenstine for the Rays in 2009) was because of a lineup card mixup.[[/note]] The move worked–Bumgarner doubled in his first at-bat of the night, leading to a 6-run third inning for the Giants. Is currently Spent about half of the 2017 season on the DL because of a shoulder injury he got when he crashed his dirt bike.



* '''Jake Arrieta''', the ace starting pitcher for the Chicago Cubs, struggled heavily during his earlier years with the Baltimore Orioles. He on occasion displayed a great amount of talent, but the results were poor, with an ERA of close to 6.00 during his time in Baltimore. After being traded to the Cubs in 2013, though, he improved immensely. He developed a very good cut fastball after being discouraged from throwing the pitch with Baltimore (the Orioles believe cut fastballs lead to a greater chance of injury, and so tell their developing pitchers not to throw them), and almost immediately went from a terrible pitcher to a decent one, and then, in 2015, a great one, reaching amazing heights in the second half of the season and allowing an ERA of just 0.75 after the All-Star break (1.77 overall), winning the NL Cy Young Award in the process. He's so far continued his dominance in 2016 - in fact, over a 31-start stretch dating from the end of June 2015 to the end of May 2016, he had an ERA of 1.09, 25 wins, and ''more no-hitters (2) than losses (1)!'' Even better, in the last half of 2015, he ''hit'' more home runs (2) than he gave up (1).
* '''Bartolo Colón''', currently a starting pitcher for the Atlanta Braves, is currently the oldest active player in baseball and the longest-active pitcher, having pitched since 1997. He was a moderately successful pitcher early in his career, pitching for the Cleveland Indians, Montreal Expos, Chicago White Sox, and Anaheim Angels between 1997 and 2005, and making a few all-star appearances. He won the 2005 AL Cy Young Award, although many think he only got that award because he led the league in wins, a generally poor indicator of pitcher performance - most other pitching statistics would say he was good that year, but not the best pitcher in the league, and maybe not even the best pitcher on his own team. In any case, his career was sadly derailed for a few years after that by arm injuries, and he struggled to pitch well or stay on the field. He then successfully made a comeback with the Yankees in 2011, not quite returning to his old skill level but pitching effectively nonetheless. In years since, he's remained a fairly average pitcher (though that's actually kind of impressive considering that almost 90% of his pitches are 84-91 mph fastballs, meaning that he relies almost exclusively on his ability to locate pitches), but he's been much more famous for his excessive weight (which nonetheless hasn't stopped him from being a surprisingly effective fielder who provides his fair share of defensive highlights) and (ever since his 2014-2016 stint with the New York Mets) his comical plate appearances, where he frequently flails wildly at pitches and swings hard enough to make his helmet fall off. His goofy swings were once half-jokingly cited by Rob Manfred as a good reason to not bring the DH to the National League, because that would rob fans of the entertainment of watching Bartolo try to hit. Although he's usually been pretty terrible at the plate, he occasionally gets decent results, and he managed to hit his first big league home run on May 7, 2016, a few weeks shy of his 43rd birthday, the oldest age ever at which a player hit his first big league home run.

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* '''Jake Arrieta''', the ace starting pitcher for the Chicago Cubs, struggled heavily during his earlier years with the Baltimore Orioles. He on occasion displayed a great amount of talent, but the results were poor, with an ERA of close to 6.00 during his time in Baltimore. After being traded to the Cubs in 2013, though, he improved immensely. He developed a very good cut fastball after being discouraged from throwing the pitch with Baltimore (the Orioles believe cut fastballs lead to a greater chance of injury, and so tell their developing pitchers not to throw them), and almost immediately went from a terrible pitcher to a decent one, and then, in 2015, a great one, reaching amazing heights in the second half of the season and allowing an ERA of just 0.75 after the All-Star break (1.77 overall), winning the NL Cy Young Award in the process. He's so far He continued his dominance in at the start 2016 - in fact, over a 31-start stretch dating from the end of June 2015 to the end of May 2016, he had an ERA of 1.09, 25 wins, and ''more no-hitters (2) than losses (1)!'' Even better, in the last half of 2015, he ''hit'' more home runs (2) than he gave up (1).
(1). However, since mid-2016, Arrieta seems to have faltered a bit, and while still a good player hasn't been nearly as good as he was in 2015.
* '''Bartolo Colón''', currently a starting pitcher for the Atlanta Braves, Minnesota Twins, is currently the oldest active player in baseball and the longest-active pitcher, having pitched since 1997. He was a moderately successful pitcher early in his career, pitching for the Cleveland Indians, Montreal Expos, Chicago White Sox, and Anaheim Angels between 1997 and 2005, and making a few all-star appearances. He won the 2005 AL Cy Young Award, although many think he only got that award because he led the league in wins, a generally poor indicator of pitcher performance - most other pitching statistics would say he was good that year, but not the best pitcher in the league, and maybe not even the best pitcher on his own team. In any case, his career was sadly derailed for a few years after that by arm injuries, and he struggled to pitch well or stay on the field. He then successfully made a comeback with the Yankees in 2011, not quite returning to his old skill level but pitching effectively nonetheless. In years since, he's remained a fairly average pitcher (though that's actually kind of impressive considering that almost 90% of his pitches are 84-91 mph fastballs, meaning that he relies almost exclusively on his ability to locate pitches), but he's been much more famous for his excessive weight (which nonetheless hasn't stopped him from being a surprisingly effective fielder who provides his fair share of defensive highlights) and (ever since his 2014-2016 stint with the New York Mets) his comical plate appearances, where he frequently flails wildly at pitches and swings hard enough to make his helmet fall off. His goofy swings were once half-jokingly cited by Rob Manfred as a good reason to not bring the DH to the National League, because that would rob fans of the entertainment of watching Bartolo try to hit. Although he's usually been pretty terrible at the plate, he occasionally gets decent results, and he managed to hit his first big league home run on May 7, 2016, a few weeks shy of his 43rd birthday, the oldest age ever at which a player hit his first big league home run.
7th Aug '17 11:56:15 AM InfinityPlusTwo
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* '''Cal Ripken, Jr.''' was an excellent shortstop and two-time Most Valuable Player who became famous for never missing a game for over 17 years (a whopping 2,632 games in a row), and this consecutive-game streak is one of baseball's "records to know", up there with Bonds' home run records and [=DiMaggio's=] hit streak. Furthermore, he started every single game during the streak, hardly ever left a game early, and for over five years, he played ''every single inning''. He also played his entire career with one team (the Baltimore Orioles), which is seen as somewhat rare. A lot of people tend to forget that he had Hall-of-Fame numbers even without the consecutive game streak. Some naysayers think that him keeping his streak alive when he was past his prime was to the detriment of his team.

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* '''Cal Ripken, Jr.''' was an excellent shortstop and two-time Most Valuable Player who became famous for never missing a game for over 17 years (a whopping 2,632 games in a row), and this consecutive-game streak is one of baseball's "records to know", up there with Bonds' home run records and [=DiMaggio's=] hit streak. Furthermore, he started every single game during the streak, hardly ever left a game early, and for over five years, he played ''every single inning''. He also played his entire career with one team (the Baltimore Orioles), which is seen as somewhat rare. A lot of people tend to forget that he had Hall-of-Fame numbers even without the consecutive game streak.streak- in addition to his two MVP awards, he also has over 3000 hits and has the third-most home runs of any Shortstop in history, behind Alex Rodriguez and Ernie Banks (and Ripken stayed as a Shortstop for a much bigger chunk of his career than those two did- Ripken moved to third in his last few years, but A-Rod and Banks moved to third and first respectively about halfway through their careers). Early in his career, some doubted that a player as large as Ripken was could stick at shortstop, but he proved them all wrong, playing great defense for most of his career and winning two gold gloves- and modern sabermetric anaylsis rates him as being one of the best defensive shortstops in the game's history. Made 19 consecutive all-star teams, between his third season in 1983 and final season in 2001, although his last few selections were a bit questionable and more because of how hugely popular and respected he was than how he was playing on the field. In his last all-star game in 2001, he was elected to start as a third baseman (the position he'd played for several years at that point), but Alex Rodiguez, the starting shortstop in that game, swapped positions with him at the start of the game to give him one last hurrah at short. He went on to hit a home run in the game (on a pitch that many allege was grooved by the opposing pitcher, Chan Ho Park) and win the All-Star MVP Award. Some naysayers think that him keeping his streak alive when he was past his prime was to the detriment of his team.



* '''Sammy Sosa''' was the right fielder for the Chicago Cubs for most of the 90's and early 00's. He was a pretty good player at the start of his career, excelling at most aspects of the game, but then in 1998, he suddenly went from good to otherworldly, becoming one of the best home run hitters in a time filled with them. He and Mark [=McGwire=] both chased Maris's home run record that year, and both ultimately broke it, but [=McGwire=] broke it first and broke it by more, hitting 70 home runs to Sosa's 66, although Sammy did set a record for the most home runs in a single month with 20 in June. Sosa remained among the best power hitters in the game for the next few years, hitting 292 home runs from 1998 to 2002 (by quite a bit, the highest number in the major leagues over that period) including 3 60-home run seasons (making him the only player in history to accomplish that feat 3 times). His stats declined and his reputation started to sour a bit after that, though- in 2003, he was suspended for using a corked bat, and like most other power hitters of the time, he was long the subject of steroid rumors for his enormous physique and incredible number of home runs. His comments at a congressional hearing in 2005 asking him about steroid use certainly didn't help his cause (he claimed he didn't speak English in response to a question, which, given that he'd spoken it fairly regularly to teammates and reporters over his career, clearly wasn't the case). After he retired, he was reported to have been on a list of players testing positive for [=PEDs=] in 2003, and so in spite his impressive career and his being one of only eight players to hit 600 home runs, he's been unable to get much support for induction to the Hall of Fame.

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* '''Sammy Sosa''' was the right fielder for the Chicago Cubs for most of the 90's and early 00's. He was a pretty good player at the start of his career, excelling at most aspects of the game, but then in 1998, he suddenly went from good to otherworldly, becoming one of the best home run hitters in a time filled with them. He and Mark [=McGwire=] both chased Maris's home run record that year, and both ultimately broke it, but [=McGwire=] broke it first and broke it by more, hitting 70 home runs to Sosa's 66, although Sammy did set a record for the most home runs in a single month with 20 in June. Sosa remained among the best power hitters in the game for the next few years, hitting 292 home runs from 1998 to 2002 (by quite a bit, the highest number in the major leagues over that period) including 3 60-home run seasons (making him the only player in history to accomplish that feat 3 times). His stats declined and his reputation started to sour a bit after that, though- in 2003, he was suspended for using a corked bat, and like most other power hitters of the time, he was long the subject of steroid rumors for his enormous physique and incredible number of home runs. His comments at a congressional hearing in 2005 asking him about steroid use certainly didn't help his cause (he claimed he didn't speak English in response to a question, which, given that he'd spoken it fairly regularly to teammates and reporters over his career, clearly wasn't the case). After he retired, he was reported to have been on a list of players testing positive for [=PEDs=] in 2003, and so in spite his impressive career and his being one of only eight nine players to hit 600 home runs, he's been unable to get much support for induction to the Hall of Fame.



* '''Curt Schilling''' during his playing career was known for not only being an outstanding pitcher (helping the Philadelphia Phillies enter the 1993 World Series, as well as forming the other half of the co-MVP pitching duo that won the Diamondbacks the 2001 World Series), but one of the gutsiest competitors you'll ever find. While pitching for the Red Sox in the 2004 ALCS against the New York Yankees, he tore a ligament in his ankle, yet was able to pitch again in the series thanks to a brand new experimental surgical procedure, albeit one which did not prevent him from bleeding. The Red Sox came back from a 3-0 deficit to win that series, and Schilling's bloody sock became an iconic image of the team's first World Championship in 86 years. Later in his career and after his retirement, Schilling became known for his outspoken political views. He's a hardcore Republican who has openly supported several prominent Republican candidates for public office, notably actively campaigning for John [=McCain=] during his 2008 Presidential run and UsefulNotes/DonaldTrump during his 2016 run. Rumors have long abounded that Schilling would run for public office himself, and he has announced intentions to run for one of Massachusetts' Senate seats in 2018. He's also known as a [[OneOfUs fairly hardcore gamer]] who plays [=MMORPGs=] (once another player that hit a home run off of him claimed it was to avenge an ''VideoGame/{{Everquest}}'' character Schilling had betrayed) and started his own game studio, 38 Studios, after his jersey number. 38 Studios released only one game, the 2012 RPG ''VideoGame/KingdomsOfAmalurReckoning'', [[AcclaimedFlop which was well liked by critics, but ultimately failed sales-wise]]. This led to a major scandal after the company defaulted on its loan to the state of Rhode Island, leaving the company bankrupt and Schilling's reputation in ruins. Worked as an ESPN analyst, while battling cancer, until being fired in 2016 for posting comments critical of pro-transgender bathroom policies on his personal Website/{{Facebook}} page.

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* '''Curt Schilling''' during his playing career was known for not only being an outstanding pitcher (helping the Philadelphia Phillies enter the 1993 World Series, as well as forming the other half of the co-MVP pitching duo that won the Diamondbacks the 2001 World Series), but one of the gutsiest competitors you'll ever find. While pitching for the Red Sox in the 2004 ALCS against the New York Yankees, he tore a ligament in his ankle, yet was able to pitch again in the series thanks to a brand new experimental surgical procedure, albeit one which did not prevent him from bleeding. The Red Sox came back from a 3-0 deficit to win that series, and Schilling's bloody sock became an iconic image of the team's first World Championship in 86 years. Later in his career and after his retirement, Schilling became known for his outspoken political views. He's a hardcore Republican who has openly supported several prominent Republican candidates for public office, notably actively campaigning for John [=McCain=] during his 2008 Presidential run and UsefulNotes/DonaldTrump during his 2016 run. Rumors have long abounded that Schilling would run for public office himself, and he has announced intentions to run for one of Massachusetts' Senate seats in 2018. He's also known as a [[OneOfUs fairly hardcore gamer]] who plays [=MMORPGs=] (once another player that hit a home run off of him claimed it was to avenge an ''VideoGame/{{Everquest}}'' character Schilling had betrayed) and started his own game studio, 38 Studios, after his jersey number. 38 Studios released only one game, the 2012 RPG ''VideoGame/KingdomsOfAmalurReckoning'', [[AcclaimedFlop which was well liked by critics, but ultimately failed sales-wise]]. This led to a major scandal after the company defaulted on its loan to the state of Rhode Island, leaving the company bankrupt and Schilling's reputation in ruins. Worked as an ESPN analyst, while battling cancer, until being fired in 2016 for posting comments critical of pro-transgender bathroom policies on his personal Website/{{Facebook}} page. Though he has a hall-of-fame worthy career, he's struggled to get support from the Hall's voters in recent years, likely in part because of his political views- in the 2017 round of balloting (the one right after he'd supported Donald Trump's presidential campaign and made the aforementioned comments about transgender bathroom policies, in addition to some other controversial political comments), he was one of just two players who got fewer votes than he'd gotten the previous year (and the other player, Billy Wagner, lost only one vote from the 2016 balloting- Schilling lost over 30).



** Perhaps the most illustrative example of Barry Bonds's general ridiculousness is that he is the ''only'' member of the 500-500 club - players with 500+ career [[LightningBruiser home runs and stolen bases.]]

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** Perhaps the most illustrative example of Barry Bonds's general ridiculousness is that he is the ''only'' member of the 500-500 club - players with 500+ career [[LightningBruiser home runs and stolen bases.]]]]. For that matter, he's the only one who even has ''400'' of both home runs and stolen bases, and one of just 6 with 300 of one and 400 of the other (his father, Bobby Bonds, himself a great all-around player, is the only other player with 300 Home Runs and 400 Stolen Bases; the four other players with 400 Home Runs and 300 Stolen Bases are Alex Rodriguez, Willie Mays, Andre Dawson, and Carlos Beltran).



* '''Sandy Koufax''' is widely held to be one of the finest pitchers in the history of the game, despite having serious control difficulties in his early career. He actually was far more interested in basketball than he ever was in his own sport, and had it not been for the fact that he could throw a 100 mile an hour fastball, might have ended up in ''that'' sport than baseball. He is said to have studied the "art and science" of pitching, to the point that he became one of the finest technicians in that position in the game. Mickey Mantle once pointed out that Koufax always signaled his pitches before his windup. "If Koufax was going to throw you a fast ball, his elbows would be out away from his body; if it was gonna be a curve, his elbows would be in close to his body. Every batter who ever faced Koufax knew precisely what he was about to get, but it didn't matter because the pitches were so good you couldn't hit them anyways." He was the first pitcher to win the Cy Young Award three times, the first to pitch four no-hitters, and the eighth pitcher in major league baseball to pitch a perfect game. He had a higher career strikeout total than a career innings-pitched total, one of only four starting pitchers to accomplish that feat (Minimum 1000 innings pitched; the other three starters are Nolan Ryan, Randy Johnson, and Pedro Martínez. Many relief pitchers have done this over short periods, but the only ones to do that while meeting the 1000-inning minimum are Trevor Hoffman and Kerry Wood. A few currently active players also currently have more strikeouts than innings pitched, though the only ones who have also pitched enough innings are starters Clayton Kershaw, Tim Lincecum, Max Scherzer, and Francisco Liriano, and starter-turned-reliever Oliver Perez). He left the game when he was only 30 due to arthritis in his left (throwing) elbow, and was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame five years later (becoming the youngest player ever so honored).

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* '''Sandy Koufax''' is widely held to be one of the finest pitchers in the history of the game, despite having serious control difficulties in his early career. He actually was far more interested in basketball than he ever was in his own sport, and had it not been for the fact that he could throw a 100 mile an hour fastball, might have ended up in ''that'' sport than baseball. He is said to have studied the "art and science" of pitching, to the point that he became one of the finest technicians in that position in the game. Mickey Mantle once pointed out that Koufax always signaled his pitches before his windup. "If Koufax was going to throw you a fast ball, his elbows would be out away from his body; if it was gonna be a curve, his elbows would be in close to his body. Every batter who ever faced Koufax knew precisely what he was about to get, but it didn't matter because the pitches were so good you couldn't hit them anyways." He was the first pitcher to win the Cy Young Award three times, the first to pitch four no-hitters, and the eighth pitcher in major league baseball to pitch a perfect game. He had a higher career strikeout total than a career innings-pitched total, one of only four the first starting pitchers pitcher to accomplish that feat (Minimum with a minimum of 1000 innings pitched; pitched (Among players who played most of their career before the 2010's, the only other three starters to achieve that are Nolan Ryan, Randy Johnson, and Pedro Martínez. Many relief pitchers have done this over short periods, but the only ones to do that while meeting the 1000-inning minimum are Trevor Hoffman and Kerry Wood. A few currently active players also currently have In recent years, with the rise of strikeout rates, the feat has become much more strikeouts than innings pitched, though the only ones who have also pitched enough innings are starters Clayton Kershaw, Tim Lincecum, Max Scherzer, and Francisco Liriano, and starter-turned-reliever Oliver Perez).commonplace). He left the game when he was only 30 due to arthritis in his left (throwing) elbow, and was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame five years later (becoming the youngest player ever so honored).
5th Aug '17 9:47:27 AM Mdumas43073
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* '''Vin Scully''', a TV/radio announcer for the Los Angeles Dodgers for [[LongRunners more than sixty seasons]], is widely regarded as one of the greatest baseball announcers ever, if not ''the'' greatest. A recipient of the Baseball Hall of Fame's Ford C. Frick Award for broadcasting, he is revered in California (where he was named state Sportscaster of the Year an unmatched 32 times), and was listed as the greatest sports announcer ever by the American Sportswriters Association. But, more importantly, he's regarded as the soul of the Dodgers, much like Chick Hearn was for basketball's Los Angeles Lakers. During the 1980s Scully was the main play-by-play announcer for NBC's baseball coverage, where his warm, friendly voice became familiar to a nationwide audience. Some of his most iconic calls include Don Larsen's perfect game in the 1956 World Series, Sandy Koufax's perfect game in 1965, Hank Aaron's record-breaking 715th home run (against a Dodgers pitcher) in 1974, Bill Buckner's error in the 1986 World Series, and Kirk Gibson's game-winning home run off Dennis Eckersley in the 1988 World Series. After 67 seasons and more than 9,000 games, Scully called his final Dodgers broadcast on October 2, 2016; fittingly, it was a game against the Dodgers' arch-rivals the Giants, who had also been Scully's favorite team in his New York City boyhood.

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* '''Vin Scully''', a TV/radio announcer for the Los Angeles Dodgers for [[LongRunners more than sixty seasons]], is widely regarded as one of the greatest baseball announcers ever, if not ''the'' greatest. A recipient of the Baseball Hall of Fame's Ford C. Frick Award for broadcasting, he is revered in California (where he was named state Sportscaster of the Year an unmatched 32 33 times), and was listed as the greatest sports announcer ever by the American Sportswriters Association. But, more importantly, he's regarded as the soul of the Dodgers, much like Chick Hearn was for basketball's Los Angeles Lakers. During the 1980s Scully was the main play-by-play announcer for NBC's baseball coverage, where his warm, friendly voice became familiar to a nationwide audience. Some of his most iconic calls include Don Larsen's perfect game in the 1956 World Series, Sandy Koufax's perfect game in 1965, Hank Aaron's record-breaking 715th home run (against a Dodgers pitcher) in 1974, Bill Buckner's error in the 1986 World Series, and Kirk Gibson's game-winning home run off Dennis Eckersley in the 1988 World Series. After 67 seasons and more than 9,000 games, Scully called his final Dodgers broadcast on October 2, 2016; fittingly, it was a game against the Dodgers' arch-rivals the Giants, who had also been Scully's favorite team in his New York City boyhood.
22nd Jul '17 8:05:02 AM AriRockefeller
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* '''Dock Ellis''', most famously of the Pittsburgh Pirates, is well known for two things: firstly, a number of incidents of deliberately hitting opposing players with balls; and secondly, a June 12, 1970 game, when Ellis pitched a no-hitter while [[RefugeInAudacity tripping balls on LSD]].

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* '''Dock Ellis''', most famously of the Pittsburgh Pirates, is well known for two things: firstly, a number of incidents of deliberately hitting opposing players with balls; and secondly, a June 12, 1970 game, when Ellis pitched a no-hitter while [[RefugeInAudacity tripping balls on LSD]].LSD]]--by his own admission, he could only occasionally see the catcher,[[note]]He said the catcher wore reflective tape on his fingers so he could see the signals[[/note]] the ball varied wildly in size, the ball also ''talked to him'', and at one point he got in his head the idea that [[CrazyAwesome Richard Nixon was the home umpire and that he was pitching to Jimi Hendrix, who was swinging a guitar like it was a baseball bat]].
20th Jul '17 1:05:22 AM KYCubbie
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* The mid-point of the season is usually the [[UltimateShowdownOfUltimateDestiny All-Star Game]][[note]]It usually falls about a week after the season's mathematical halfway point, but for discussion purposes, it's regarded as the easiest place to divide the schedule[[/note]], in which the top players of the two leagues face each other in a game. The All-Star Game [[BrokenBase controversially]] decides who has the home-field advantage in the World Series. This practice began in 2003, after the previous year's game ended in a tie after both managers, trying to make sure everybody got to play, ran out of pitchers; the rule was implemented to try to get managers and players to treat the All-Star Game as a serious game rather than just a meaningless exhibition. Another tidbit: The day after the MLB All-Star Game is usually the lightest sporting day of the year, and the only one in which none of America's four major pro sports leagues ever plays a game. Creator/{{ESPN}} capitalized on this, and now tapes its annual ESPY awards the day after the All-Star game, which, up until 2010, it aired the following Sunday (in 2010, it aired the show live).

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* The mid-point of the season is usually the [[UltimateShowdownOfUltimateDestiny All-Star Game]][[note]]It usually falls about a week after the season's mathematical halfway point, but for discussion purposes, it's regarded as the easiest place to divide the schedule[[/note]], in which the top players of the two leagues face each other in a game. The From 2003 through 2016, the All-Star Game [[BrokenBase controversially]] decides decided who has had the home-field advantage in the World Series. This Series, but beginning in 2017 home advantage in the World Series goes to the pennant winner with the better regular-season record.[[note]]The former practice began of awarding home-field advantage in 2003, the World Series to the ASG winner was implemented after the previous year's game 2002 game, which ended in a tie after both managers, trying to make sure everybody got to play, ran out of pitchers; the rule pitchers. It was implemented intended to try to get managers and players to treat the All-Star Game as a serious game rather than just a meaningless exhibition. exhibition.[[/note]] Another tidbit: The day after the MLB All-Star Game is usually the lightest sporting day of the year, and the only one in which none of America's four major pro sports leagues ever plays a game. Creator/{{ESPN}} capitalized on this, and now tapes its annual ESPY awards the day after the All-Star game, which, up until 2010, it aired the following Sunday (in 2010, it aired the show live).
5th Jul '17 3:17:06 AM KYCubbie
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* '''College Baseball''' is not followed even close to as much as its Basketball and Football counterparts. There are a few reasons for this. For one, many top prospects are drafted from High School. Second, all but the very, very, very, best Collegiate players will still have to go through a few years of the minor leagues, ending any "buzz" they might generate. Third, they use metallic bats, which mean that their offensive statistics are somewhat inflated - though the NCAA has shifted to composite bats to lessen hitting power and injury risk. Finally, due to weather and economic issues related to it, warm-weather schools in the South and the West Coast have dominated competition. The top collegiate competition is the '''College World Series''' in Omaha, Nebraska and the current champions are the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers.

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* '''College Baseball''' is not followed even close to as much as its Basketball and Football counterparts. There are a few reasons for this. For one, many top prospects are drafted from High School. Second, all but the very, very, very, best Collegiate players will still have to go through a few years of the minor leagues, ending any "buzz" they might generate. Third, they use metallic bats, which mean that their offensive statistics are somewhat inflated - though the NCAA has shifted to composite bats to lessen hitting power and injury risk. Finally, due to weather and economic issues related to it, warm-weather schools in the South and the West Coast have dominated competition. The top collegiate competition is the '''College World Series''' in Omaha, Nebraska and the current champions are the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers.Florida Gators.
27th Jun '17 6:38:16 PM GrammarNavi
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With some exceptions like [[UsefulNotes/AmericanFootball the]] [[RugbyLeague various]] [[UsefulNotes/RugbyUnion codes]] [[UsefulNotes/AustralianRulesFootball of]] [[UsefulNotes/AssociationFootball football]], IceHockey, and {{Basketball}}, sports, like languages, laws, and other things, tend to follow empires. Just as UsefulNotes/TheBritishEmpire spread UsefulNotes/{{Cricket}} to its Commonwealth, and the Spanish gave Latin America the controversial gift of bullfighting, the American commercial empire spread baseball. Outside the US, baseball is most popular in an area aligning with the American sphere of influence in the period roughly 1880-1950, which translates to the Spanish-speaking Caribbean and the Pacific, particularly East Asia. Canada and Mexico come in as a matter of course, as well.

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With some exceptions like [[UsefulNotes/AmericanFootball the]] [[RugbyLeague [[UsefulNotes/RugbyLeague various]] [[UsefulNotes/RugbyUnion codes]] [[UsefulNotes/AustralianRulesFootball of]] [[UsefulNotes/AssociationFootball football]], IceHockey, and {{Basketball}}, sports, like languages, laws, and other things, tend to follow empires. Just as UsefulNotes/TheBritishEmpire spread UsefulNotes/{{Cricket}} to its Commonwealth, and the Spanish gave Latin America the controversial gift of bullfighting, the American commercial empire spread baseball. Outside the US, baseball is most popular in an area aligning with the American sphere of influence in the period roughly 1880-1950, which translates to the Spanish-speaking Caribbean and the Pacific, particularly East Asia. Canada and Mexico come in as a matter of course, as well.
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http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/article_history.php?article=UsefulNotes.Baseball