History UsefulNotes / Baseball

2nd May '16 7:08:08 PM oknazevad
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*** Even discarding the "full count" and "two outs" qualifiers, the game-winning three-run grand slam has only happened 27 times in all. It's a feat nearly as rare as a perfect game or unassisted triple play.

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*** Even discarding the "full count" and "two outs" qualifiers, the game-winning three-run grand slam has only happened 27 times in all. It's a feat nearly as rare as a perfect game or unassisted triple play.
2nd May '16 9:59:24 AM oknazevad
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* '''Ozzie "The Wizard of Oz" Smith''' was a shortstop who played for three years with the San Diego Padres, before being traded to the St. Louis Cardinals, where he spent the remainder of his 19-year career. Though not known for his offense (he managed to collect over 2400 hits, but had almost zero power) Smith is perhaps the greatest defensive shortstop in the history of the game. He appeared on fifteen All-Star teams and collected ''thirteen'' Gold Gloves for his defensive play, won the 1985 [=NLCS=] MVP award, and was a first-ballot inductee into the Baseball Hall of Fame. He set the single-season record for assists in 1980 with 621, the career mark with 8372, has a lifetime fielding percentage of .978, (13th all-time among all shortstops) and his Range Factor of 5.215 ranks fifth all time at his position. Ozzie quickly became a beloved icon in St. Louis, where his athletic and acrobatic play quickly earned him the nickname "The Wizard of Oz." If there was ever a definition of the Human Highlight Reel it was Ozzie in his prime, and any countdown of the best defensive plays of all time will feature him prominently. ''Series/AmericanIdol'' fans might remember his name from season 4,when his son Nikko finished in 9th place.

to:

* '''Ozzie "The Wizard of Oz" Smith''' was a shortstop who played for three years with the San Diego Padres, before being traded to the St. Louis Cardinals, where he spent the remainder of his 19-year career. Though not known for his offense (he managed to collect over 2400 hits, but had almost zero power) Smith is perhaps the greatest defensive shortstop in the history of the game. He appeared on fifteen All-Star teams and collected ''thirteen'' Gold Gloves for his defensive play, won the 1985 [=NLCS=] MVP award, and was a first-ballot inductee into the Baseball Hall of Fame. He set the single-season record for assists in 1980 with 621, the career mark with 8372, has a lifetime fielding percentage of .978, (13th all-time among all shortstops) and his Range Factor of 5.215 ranks fifth all time at his position. Ozzie quickly became a beloved icon in St. Louis, where his athletic and acrobatic play quickly earned him the nickname "The Wizard of Oz." If there was ever a definition of the Human Highlight Reel it was Ozzie in his prime, and any countdown of the best defensive plays of all time will feature him prominently. ''Series/AmericanIdol'' fans might remember his name from season 4,when 4, when his son Nikko finished in 9th place.



To get to the Majors, most players (with the exception of people coming over from Japan's league and occasionally a rare prodigy) have to go through time in the Minor Leagues, lower leagues in smaller cities where every team is made up of players who are the property of a major league club. Because the players are not well known, Minor League teams are often marketed through use of crazy promotions and give-aways, and a sense of local pride. The manic atmosphere is added to by the frequently-amusing or whimsical names of the teams, like the Las Vegas 51s (named for {{Area 51}} and with [[TheGreys a grey alien]] mascot) and Albuquerque Isotopes (which ''is'' a ''[[WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons Simpsons]]'' reference, despite the club's insistence it's just about Albuquerque's links to the Los Alamos National Laboratory) of the Pacific Coast League, and the Lehigh Valley [=IronPigs=] and famous Toledo Mud Hens of the International League. Lately, some teams have come around to the realization that in comparison with the bigs, the smaller, more intimate facilities and comfortable vibe and wallet-friendly prices are a powerful draw themselves (think jazz bar versus large arena). However, players from the majors will occasionally play for minor-league affiliates of their teams while they recover from injuries. The roster rules forbid a major league team from reactivating an injured player within 15 days of his last game played if the team calls up a player from the minors to replace him, but there is no prohibition on that player from playing in the minors during that 15-day exclusion period.

Each league is in one of a few classification levels that roughly note the level of play and size of city. Working from the bottom:
* In '''Rookie''' level the players are raw, often straight from whatever college or high school they were playing at before they signed. Rookie Leagues include the Arizona and Gulf Coast Leagues, which use the parent MLB club's Spring Training practice facilities (and are therefore known as the "complex leagues") and play an abbreviated 60-game schedule that starts after the high school and college seasons end, so the players have no downtime before starting their pro careers.
* A slight step up in practice (though not officially) are the '''Advanced Rookie''' leagues, which feature small-town teams in places like Casper, Wyoming and Danville, Virginia that play in front of a few hundred people.
* Above that is the '''Short-Season A''' level, which is like the Advanced Rookie level, only in bigger cities, with more modern stadiums and slightly more polished players, usually standout rookies who may have played high level college ball and are able to jump straight to the Single A level, but were still playing college ball a few weeks before the start of the season, so couldn't join the full season Single A teams.
** The lines between these levels can be blurry. Though all major league teams have complex league affiliates, some have only one "Short Season" affiliate above that, treating the two levels as functionally equal for those farm systems. Both levels play a 75 game schedule, both feature better draftees, and players from them usually get promoted to A+ or even AA teams in their second year (whereas the complex league rookies usually go to full season Single A)
* From there is the '''A''' level, which is the lowest level that plays a full-season schedule, often full of second year players who were in Rookie leagues the year before.
* The '''Advanced A-Ball''' (also called "High A" or A+") level is when the players really start getting good and when a player starts to have any shot whatsoever of getting promoted straight to the majors.
* Then there is '''AA''', which is, not surprisingly, basically A-ball only better. Although it is technically the second-highest level of the Minors, some teams will often call up their best prospects straight from here (see below for reasons), although with others it is just simply another step on the road to another level and closer to the Show.
* Finally, there is '''AAA''' Baseball, the last rung before MLB. In general, the competition here is almost as good (and in some cases better) than what it is in the Big Leagues, and the prospects are often, but not always, the best in a team's system. But even if the Prospects skip AAA, the AAA team will still generally be the most talented team outside the MLB club itself. This is because sometimes AAA will become a "parking lot" for players who are either good enough for the big leagues but are unlucky enough to be trapped on the depth chart behind a established MLB player (Ryan Howard of the Phillies remained in AAA longer than he probably should have because the Phillies had an established player in Jim Thome, for example) or players who are ''just barely'' not good enough to make it in the Big Leagues, but are certainly better than most of their AAA compatriots (these players are sometimes said to be playing in '''AAAA'''). Fifteen members of each AAA team (usually) ''are'' major league ballplayers; they're part of the expanded 40-man roster and eligible to play for their major league club after September 1 (although many teams will wait until after the minor league postseason if their farm club is a contender). Because of the fact that AAA rosters have less fluidity than those in AA or A, it is not uncommon for fans to become attached to their favorite players and follow their careers once they make it to the majors, even if they aren't playing for one's favorite team. Similarly, some "AAAA" players sometimes become fixtures for years on certain AAA teams, and become involved with local charities, hospitals, etc (although this has become less common in recent years because the cold hard economic realities of the game and the dream of getting to the big leagues will usually lead to a player either being released or signing with another team where he'd have a better shot of making the big leagues). AAA ball is also notable for its mascots and promotional gimmicks between innings, making it great for families with young children. Notable teams in the AAA leagues are the '''Durham Bulls''' (of ''Film/BullDurham'' fame), the '''Toledo Mud Hens''' (of ''Series/{{Mash}}'' fame), the '''Albuquerque Isotopes''' (named for the would-be location of the Springfield Isotopes in an episode of WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons), the '''UsefulNotes/{{Indianapolis}} Indians''' (play in what is essentially a major league park[[note]][[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Victory_Field Victory Field]], an absolutely picturesque ballpark in the heart of downtown with dimensions and facilities that rival those of some Major League parks, which is widely beloved by Hoosiers old and young; it is consistently cited as the best minor league ballpark in America, and with good reason[[/note]]), the '''Rochester Red Wings''' (one of the oldest continuously-operating teams in Baseball, and the only Minor League team that has operated uninterrupted since the 19th century), and the '''Pawtucket Red Sox''' (notable for playing host to the longest game in professional baseball history, a 33-inning win over the aforementioned Rochester Red Wings). Weep, a little, for the '''Portland Beavers''' -- they were part of an earlier attempt for a 3rd major league (the Pacific Coast League) and spent years trying to get added to the big leagues -- as the team was forced to move to Tucson when their ballpark was converted to a [[UsefulNotes/AssociationFootball soccer]]-specific stadium for the [[UsefulNotes/MajorLeagueSoccer MLS]] Portland Timbers. The ex-Beavers are now known as the El Paso Chihuahuas.

to:

To get to the Majors, most players (with the exception of people coming over from Japan's league and occasionally a rare prodigy) have to go through time in the Minor Leagues, lower leagues in smaller cities where every team is made up of players who are the property of a major league club. Because the players are not well known, Minor League teams are often marketed through use of crazy promotions and give-aways, and a sense of local pride. The manic atmosphere is added to by the frequently-amusing or whimsical names of the teams, like the Las Vegas 51s (named for {{Area 51}} and with [[TheGreys a grey alien]] mascot) and Albuquerque Isotopes (which ''is'' a ''[[WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons Simpsons]]'' reference, despite the club's insistence it's just about Albuquerque's links to the Los Alamos National Laboratory) of the Pacific Coast League, and the Lehigh Valley [=IronPigs=] and famous Toledo Mud Hens of the International League. Lately, some teams have come around to the realization that in comparison with the bigs, the smaller, more intimate facilities and comfortable vibe and wallet-friendly prices are a powerful draw themselves (think jazz bar versus large arena). However, players from the majors will occasionally play for minor-league affiliates of their teams while they recover from injuries. The roster rules forbid a major league team from reactivating an injured player within 15 days of his last game played if the team calls up a player from the minors to replace him, but there is no prohibition on that player from playing in the minors during that 15-day exclusion period.

Each league is in one of a few classification levels that roughly note the level of play and size of city. Working from the bottom:
* In '''Rookie''' level the players are raw, often straight from whatever college or high school they were playing at before they signed. Rookie Leagues include the Arizona and Gulf Coast Leagues, which use the parent MLB club's Spring Training practice facilities (and are therefore known as the "complex leagues") and play an abbreviated 60-game schedule that starts after the high school and college seasons end, so the players have no downtime before starting their pro careers.
* A slight step up in practice (though not officially) are the '''Advanced Rookie''' leagues, which feature small-town teams in places like Casper, Wyoming and Danville, Virginia that play in front of a few hundred people.
* Above that is the '''Short-Season A''' level, which is like the Advanced Rookie level, only in bigger cities, with more modern stadiums and slightly more polished players, usually standout rookies who may have played high level college ball and are able to jump straight to the Single A level, but were still playing college ball a few weeks before the start of the season, so couldn't join the full season Single A teams.
** The lines between these levels
More information can be blurry. Though all major league teams have complex league affiliates, some have only one "Short Season" affiliate above that, treating the two levels as functionally equal for those farm systems. Both levels play a 75 game schedule, both feature better draftees, and players from them usually get promoted to A+ or even AA teams in their second year (whereas the complex league rookies usually go to full season Single A)
* From there is the '''A''' level, which is the lowest level that plays a full-season schedule, often full of second year players who were in Rookie leagues the year before.
* The '''Advanced A-Ball''' (also called "High A" or A+") level is when the players really start getting good and when a player starts to have any shot whatsoever of getting promoted straight to the majors.
* Then there is '''AA''', which is, not surprisingly, basically A-ball only better. Although it is technically the second-highest level of the Minors, some teams will often call up their best prospects straight from here (see below for reasons), although with others it is just simply another step
found [[UsefulNotes/MinorLeagueBaseball on the road to another level and closer to the Show.
* Finally, there is '''AAA''' Baseball, the last rung before MLB. In general, the competition here is almost as good (and in some cases better) than what it is in the Big Leagues, and the prospects are often, but not always, the best in a team's system. But even if the Prospects skip AAA, the AAA team will still generally be the most talented team outside the MLB club itself. This is because sometimes AAA will become a "parking lot" for players who are either good enough for the big leagues but are unlucky enough to be trapped on the depth chart behind a established MLB player (Ryan Howard of the Phillies remained in AAA longer than he probably should have because the Phillies had an established player in Jim Thome, for example) or players who are ''just barely'' not good enough to make it in the Big Leagues, but are certainly better than most of their AAA compatriots (these players are sometimes said to be playing in '''AAAA'''). Fifteen members of each AAA team (usually) ''are'' major league ballplayers; they're part of the expanded 40-man roster and eligible to play for their major league club after September 1 (although many teams will wait until after the minor league postseason if their farm club is a contender). Because of the fact that AAA rosters have less fluidity than those in AA or A, it is not uncommon for fans to become attached to their favorite players and follow their careers once they make it to the majors, even if they aren't playing for one's favorite team. Similarly, some "AAAA" players sometimes become fixtures for years on certain AAA teams, and become involved with local charities, hospitals, etc (although this has become less common in recent years because the cold hard economic realities of the game and the dream of getting to the big leagues will usually lead to a player either being released or signing with another team where he'd have a better shot of making the big leagues). AAA ball is also notable for
its mascots and promotional gimmicks between innings, making it great for families with young children. Notable teams in the AAA leagues are the '''Durham Bulls''' (of ''Film/BullDurham'' fame), the '''Toledo Mud Hens''' (of ''Series/{{Mash}}'' fame), the '''Albuquerque Isotopes''' (named for the would-be location of the Springfield Isotopes in an episode of WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons), the '''UsefulNotes/{{Indianapolis}} Indians''' (play in what is essentially a major league park[[note]][[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Victory_Field Victory Field]], an absolutely picturesque ballpark in the heart of downtown with dimensions and facilities that rival those of some Major League parks, which is widely beloved by Hoosiers old and young; it is consistently cited as the best minor league ballpark in America, and with good reason[[/note]]), the '''Rochester Red Wings''' (one of the oldest continuously-operating teams in Baseball, and the only Minor League team that has operated uninterrupted since the 19th century), and the '''Pawtucket Red Sox''' (notable for playing host to the longest game in professional baseball history, a 33-inning win over the aforementioned Rochester Red Wings). Weep, a little, for the '''Portland Beavers''' -- they were part of an earlier attempt for a 3rd major league (the Pacific Coast League) and spent years trying to get added to the big leagues -- as the team was forced to move to Tucson when their ballpark was converted to a [[UsefulNotes/AssociationFootball soccer]]-specific stadium for the [[UsefulNotes/MajorLeagueSoccer MLS]] Portland Timbers. The ex-Beavers are now known as the El Paso Chihuahuas.own page]]
1st May '16 1:00:42 PM oknazevad
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* Catcher (2): Takes up position behind the batter, wearing protective gear. The catcher is the only defensive player permitted in foul territory at the time of the pitch. Will usually signal desired pitches to the pitcher, and is the most defensively-oriented position player on the team; responsible for fielding home plate, coordinating the infield players, and catching base stealers. As a result, most catchers (but not all) post poor offensive stats. A non-pitcher with a strong right throwing arm will usually end up as a catcher; southpaw catchers are rare enough to be a non-entity.[[note]]It is more difficult for a left-handed catcher to throw out potential base stealers since the majority of hitters are right-handed and would get in the way of a lefty-throwing catcher.[[/note]] Because of the coordination aspect, catcher is considered the most cerebral position in the game, with catchers having a reputation for being the brains of the infield at the very least, and it's not uncommon for retired catchers to go on to be managers (basebalese for "head coach") (Yogi Berra being the most famous instance). Ironically (and probably an intentional irony at that), the mask, chest pad, and specialized mitt a catcher wears are collectively known as the "tools of ignorance".

to:

* Catcher (2): Takes up position behind the batter, wearing protective gear. The catcher is the only defensive player permitted in foul territory at the time of the pitch. Will usually signal desired pitches to the pitcher, and is the most defensively-oriented position player on the team; responsible for fielding home plate, coordinating the infield players, and catching base stealers. As a result, most catchers (but not all) post poor offensive stats. A non-pitcher with a strong right throwing arm will usually end up as a catcher; southpaw catchers are rare enough to be a non-entity.[[note]]It is more difficult for a left-handed catcher to throw out potential base stealers since the majority of hitters are right-handed and would get in the way of a lefty-throwing catcher.[[/note]] Because of the coordination aspect, catcher is considered the most cerebral position in the game, with catchers having a reputation for being the brains of the infield at the very least, and it's not uncommon for retired catchers to go on to be managers (basebalese for "head coach") (Yogi Berra being the most famous instance). Ironically (and probably an intentional irony at that), the mask, chest pad, shin guards, and specialized mitt a catcher wears for protection are collectively known as the "tools of ignorance".
1st May '16 12:27:40 PM oknazevad
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Because a quarter of a circle or oval is roughly diamond-shaped, fields are often called diamonds. This is reinforced by the division of the field into an "infield" and and "outfield". The infield consists of a grassy square 90 feet on a side plus the dirt/clay (with a few exceptions) running tracks between the vertices of the square, plus a dirt/clay (with a few exceptions) arc-shaped area occupying a curved space between the square and the outfield. (The exceptions come in fields that are shared with sports that call for all-grass fields, e.g. [[UsefulNotes/AmericanFootball football]]: in some such shared fields, the running tracks and arc will be grassy as well, and if there is dirt it is in pits around the bases to allow players to slide safely. These were most common in the Major Leagues between the late 1960s and the 1990s, when many teams shared space with NFL teams; today, the only field with this layout is at [[strike:Rogers Centre]] the [[InsistentTerminology SkyDome]], where the Toronto Blue Jays share the field with the [[UsefulNotes/CanadianFootballLeague Toronto Argonauts]], but this might change after the Argos leave for BMO Field in 2016).[[note]]The Oakland Athletics also share a stadium, but there the parts of the football field that overlap with the infield are dirt.[[/note]] The outfield is everything not in the infield, and is entirely grassy unless the field is enclosed by a wall (as with virtually all professional parks), in which case it is almost always entirely grassy except for a fifteen-foot-wide dirt "warning track" around the edges (the idea being that the difference between stepping on grass and stepping on dirt gives outfielders running backwards to catch a fly ball an indication that they're about to smash ass-first into a giant barrier).[[note]]This feature started in 1923 with Yankee Stadium, which had a running track for the track-and-field events the owners imagined they would hold there around the edge; it was so useful to outfielders as a way of avoiding a common and embarrassing injury that it became a standard feature.[[/note]]

to:

Because a quarter of a circle or oval is roughly diamond-shaped, fields are often called diamonds. This is reinforced by the division of the field into an "infield" and and "outfield". The infield consists of a grassy square 90 feet on a side plus the dirt/clay (with a few exceptions) running tracks between the vertices of the square, plus a dirt/clay (with a few exceptions) arc-shaped area occupying a curved space between the square and the outfield. (The exceptions come in fields that are shared with sports that call for all-grass fields, e.g. [[UsefulNotes/AmericanFootball football]]: in some such shared fields, the running tracks and arc will be grassy as well, and if there is dirt it is in pits around the bases to allow players to slide safely. These were most common in the Major Leagues between the late 1960s and the 1990s, when many teams shared space with NFL teams; today, the only last field with this layout is was at [[strike:Rogers Centre]] the [[InsistentTerminology SkyDome]], Rogers Centre, where the Toronto Blue Jays share shared the field with the [[UsefulNotes/CanadianFootballLeague CFL's]] Toronto Argonauts]], Argonauts, but this might change was changed after the Argos leave left for BMO Field in 2016).2016; while still artificial turf for now, the base paths are all dirt, like at Tampa Bay's Tropicana Field).[[note]]The Oakland Athletics also still share a stadium, but there the parts of the football field that overlap with the infield are dirt.[[/note]] The outfield is everything not in the infield, and is entirely grassy unless the field is enclosed by a wall (as with virtually all professional parks), in which case it is almost always entirely grassy except for a fifteen-foot-wide dirt "warning track" around the edges (the idea being that the difference between stepping on grass and stepping on dirt gives outfielders running backwards to catch a fly ball an indication that they're about to smash ass-first into a giant barrier).[[note]]This feature started in 1923 with Yankee Stadium, which had a running track for the track-and-field events the owners imagined they would hold there around the edge; it was so useful to outfielders as a way of avoiding a common and embarrassing injury that it became a standard feature.[[/note]]
30th Apr '16 3:11:37 PM UmbrellasWereAwesome
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* '''Bryce Harper''', an outfielder for the Washington Nationals, made his debut in 2012, on the same day that Mike Trout was called up for the first time that year. While he had an impressive beginning to his career, he did tail off later in the year. Overall, however, he still had a good year- perhaps the best year ever for a 19-year-old- earning an All-Star selection and easily winning the 2012 NL Rookie of the Year. He has occasionally been compared to fellow young phenom outfielder Mike Trout- coming into 2012, Harper and Trout were widely considered the best prospects in the game and hailed for their incredible talents and potential. Like Trout, Harper possesses the tools to excel at all aspects of the game and has had success at a very young age. However, those comparisons didn't quite seem to hold up for their first few years in the league, when Trout put up otherworldly numbers while Harper wasn't able to get quite the same level out of his talent. He also suffered a few injury-related setbacks. That changed in 2015, when Harper had a historically great offensive season despite still only being 22 years old, winning the NL MVP and looking every bit as good as Trout- maybe even better. He has a tendency to act aloof and cocky, which has caused him to attract a reputation of being something of a JerkAss among fans and other players. Coined the phrase "[[{{MemeticMutation}} That's a clown question, bro]]", when a reporter asked if Harper, then 19, would drink alcohol while playing in Ontario, Canada (where the legal drinking age is 19, not 21 like in the United States).[[note]]Regardless of his age, Harper is a Mormon, and UsefulNotes/{{Mormonism}} forbids the consumption of alcohol.[[/note]] The latest meme surrounding Harper [[ShapedLikeItself is meme.]][[note]]He pronounces the word "meh-may"[[/note]]

to:

* '''Bryce Harper''', an outfielder for the Washington Nationals, made his debut in 2012, on the same day that Mike Trout was called up for the first time that year. While he had an impressive beginning to his career, he did tail off later in the year. Overall, however, he still had a good year- perhaps the best year ever for a 19-year-old- earning an All-Star selection and easily winning the 2012 NL Rookie of the Year. He has occasionally been compared to fellow young phenom outfielder Mike Trout- coming into 2012, Harper and Trout were widely considered the best prospects in the game and hailed for their incredible talents and potential. Like Trout, Harper possesses the tools to excel at all aspects of the game and has had success at a very young age. However, those comparisons didn't quite seem to hold up for their first few years in the league, when Trout put up otherworldly numbers while Harper wasn't able to get quite the same level out of his talent. He also suffered a few injury-related setbacks. That changed in 2015, when Harper had a historically great offensive season despite still only being 22 years old, winning the NL MVP and looking every bit as good as Trout- maybe even better. He has a tendency to act aloof and cocky, which has caused him to attract a reputation of being something of a JerkAss among fans and other players. Coined the phrase "[[{{MemeticMutation}} That's a clown question, bro]]", when a reporter asked if Harper, then 19, would drink alcohol while playing in Ontario, Canada (where the legal drinking age is 19, not 21 like in the United States).[[note]]Regardless of his age, Harper is a Mormon, and UsefulNotes/{{Mormonism}} forbids the consumption of alcohol.[[/note]] The latest Another meme surrounding Harper [[ShapedLikeItself is meme.]][[note]]He pronounces the word "meh-may"[[/note]]
2nd Apr '16 1:04:39 AM UmbrellasWereAwesome
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* '''[=RA=] Dickey''' is a starting pitcher for the Toronto Blue Jays. He was drafted in the first round of 1996 for the Texas Rangers before a medical exam discovered his throwing arm completely lacked an ulnar collateral ligament (he was either born without one, or it was weak enough to have withered away in his youth.) This mystified doctors, who said he should be experiencing intense pain from merely turning a door-knob, let alone pitching a baseball. In the end, the Rangers still signed him, but at a drastically reduced price ($75,000 instead of $810,000). He had an underwhelming early career until he decided in 2005 the only way to stay competitive was to develop into a knuckleball pitcher. It took years for him to develop it, during which he was passed around various teams, including the occasional stay in the minors, but he ended his first full season for the New York Mets in 2011 with an ERA of 3.28, which was 12th best in the entire National League. His performance peaked in 2012 when he became the first and only knuckleball pitcher to win the Cy Young award and finished the year with an ERA of 2.73. After this, he was traded to the Toronto Blue Jays, where his performance sort of leveled off from spectacular "ace"-level numbers to an ERA averaging around 4.00 for the past three years. He's still notable as one of ''only two'' pitchers currently in the major leagues to use a knuckleball as their primary pitch (the other being Steven Wright of the Boston Red Sox). He is very much OneOfUs, and uses either the [[Franchise/StarWars Imperial March]] or the opening to ''Series/GameOfThrones'' as his warm-up music. At age 40, he became the oldest player to make a postseason debut when he pitched as a starter for the Toronto Blue Jays in the fourth game of the American League division series against the Texas Rangers.

to:

* '''[=RA=] Dickey''' is a starting pitcher for the Toronto Blue Jays. He was drafted in the first round of 1996 for the Texas Rangers before a medical exam discovered his throwing arm completely lacked an ulnar collateral ligament (he was either born without one, or it was weak enough to have withered away in his youth.) youth). This mystified doctors, who said he should be experiencing intense pain from merely turning a door-knob, let alone pitching a baseball. In the end, the Rangers still signed him, but at a drastically reduced price ($75,000 instead of $810,000). He had an underwhelming early career until he decided in 2005 the only way to stay competitive was to develop into a knuckleball pitcher. It took years for him to develop it, during which he was passed around various teams, including the occasional stay in the minors, but he ended his first full season for the New York Mets in 2011 with an ERA of 3.28, which was 12th best in the entire National League. His performance peaked in 2012 when he became the first and only knuckleball pitcher to win the Cy Young award and finished the year with an ERA of 2.73. After this, he was traded to the Toronto Blue Jays, where his performance sort of leveled off from spectacular "ace"-level numbers to an ERA averaging around 4.00 for the past three years.00. He's still notable as one of ''only two'' pitchers currently in the major leagues to use a knuckleball as their primary pitch (the other being Steven Wright of the Boston Red Sox). He is very much OneOfUs, and uses either the [[Franchise/StarWars Imperial March]] or the opening to ''Series/GameOfThrones'' as his warm-up music. At age 40, he became the oldest player to make a postseason debut when he pitched as a starter for the Toronto Blue Jays in the fourth game of the American League division series against the Texas Rangers.
2nd Apr '16 12:51:27 AM UmbrellasWereAwesome
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* '''Cliff Lee''' currently pitches 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, though it appears that trading him is cursed: He was 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), and each time the minor-league players gotten in return for him failed to accomplished much at the major league level. Despite being solid to excellent on the mound since his return to the Phillies, his career has been derailed by injuries since 2014, to the point where he missed the entire 2015 season.

to:

* '''Cliff Lee''' currently pitches 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, though it appears that trading him is cursed: He was 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), and each time the minor-league players gotten in return for him failed to accomplished much at the major league level. Despite being solid to excellent on the mound since Since his return to the Phillies, he's been solid to excellent whenever he actually takes the mound, but his career has been derailed by injuries since 2014, to the point where he missed the entire 2015 season.
31st Mar '16 12:51:10 AM SSJMagus
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* '''Derek Jeter''', a shortstop who retired at the end of the 2014 season after playing his entire career with the New York Yankees, was generally thought of as the "heart and soul" of the run of great Yankees teams from the mid-'90s to the 2010s, although he was usually not their best player statistically. In his last season, Jeter was the only active player with 3,000 career hits. He is also personable and charismatic, and had a tendency to play well in clutch situations. However, sportswriters and Yankees fans often had a Godlike reverence of him to the point of causing a HypeBacklash for everyone else. Immediately after he retired, the Hall of Fame [[http://baseballhall.org/discover/countdown-2020 put up a web page]] that considers his first-ballot induction in 2020 a foregone conclusion.

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* '''Derek Jeter''', a shortstop who retired at the end of the 2014 season after playing his entire career with the New York Yankees, was generally thought of as the "heart and soul" of the run of great Yankees teams from the mid-'90s to the 2010s, although he was usually not their best player statistically. In his last season, Jeter was the only active player with 3,000 career hits. He is also personable and charismatic, and had a tendency to play well in clutch situations. However, sportswriters and Yankees fans often had a Godlike reverence of him to the point of causing a HypeBacklash for everyone else.else (though even with the backlash, nobody seems to have anything actually ''bad'' to say about him). Immediately after he retired, the Hall of Fame [[http://baseballhall.org/discover/countdown-2020 put up a web page]] that considers his first-ballot induction in 2020 a foregone conclusion.
31st Mar '16 12:34:19 AM SSJMagus
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* Major League Baseball, unlike every other sports league in the United States, enjoys explicit protection from antitrust legislation (granted in what is often believed to be an "oddball" Supreme Court decision, with many calling the antitrust exemption an outright AssPull). Thus, team moves (often forced by an antitrust lawsuit) have been much rarer than in the NFL or NBA.

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* Major League Baseball, unlike every other sports league in the United States, enjoys explicit protection from antitrust legislation (granted in what is often believed to be an "oddball" Supreme Court decision, with many calling the antitrust exemption an outright AssPull).AssPull...and that's not even getting into subsequent Supreme Court decisions basically saying that because Congress didn't pass any law repealing the antitrust exemption that ''didn't actually exist in any law'' [[InsaneTrollLogic that meant they endorsed the exemption and thus it was outside the Court's power to remove it]]). Thus, team moves (often forced by an antitrust lawsuit) have been much rarer than in the NFL or NBA.
26th Mar '16 12:30:59 PM MarkLungo
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* The bat: The official regulations of Major League Baseball really do define the bat as a stick. "The bat shall be a smooth, round stick not more than 2.61 inches in diameter at the thickest part and not more than 42 inches in length. The bat shall be one piece of solid wood." The wood is generally ash or maple (hickory, along with ash, is considered traditional, like willow is for cricket bats, but it is rarely used anymore; maple was first allowed in the Majors in the 1980s). You could, in theory, show up with a wooden dowel from the hardware store and legally bat in an MLB game. You probably wouldn't get anywhere with it, but you ''could'' do it.

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* The bat: The official regulations of Major League Baseball really do define the bat as a stick. "The bat shall be a smooth, round stick not more than 2.61 inches in diameter at the thickest part and not more than 42 inches in length. The bat shall be one piece of solid wood." The wood is generally ash or maple (hickory, along with ash, is considered traditional, like willow is for cricket UsefulNotes/{{cricket}} bats, but it is rarely used anymore; maple was first allowed in the Majors in the 1980s). You could, in theory, show up with a wooden dowel from the hardware store and legally bat in an MLB game. You probably wouldn't get anywhere with it, but you ''could'' do it.



The outfield is roughly divided into thirds, as well, with the divisions being called "left field", "center field", and "right field". Much like [[CricketRules cricket]] positions, the precise lines between these are somewhat fuzzy; unlike cricket positions, all three are always manned.[[note]]Well, ''almost'' always. Managers have been known, on occasion, to bring one of their outfielders in to play a "fifth infielder" position," but this is only done in exceptional circumstances.[[/note]]

to:

The outfield is roughly divided into thirds, as well, with the divisions being called "left field", "center field", and "right field". Much like [[CricketRules [[UsefulNotes/CricketRules cricket]] positions, the precise lines between these are somewhat fuzzy; unlike cricket positions, all three are always manned.[[note]]Well, ''almost'' always. Managers have been known, on occasion, to bring one of their outfielders in to play a "fifth infielder" position," but this is only done in exceptional circumstances.[[/note]]
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