Sunday, May 1, 2011

The MLB on TSC: April Quickies

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The month of April is officially in the books.

Here are some April MLB odds and ends that I found rather interesting:

1) Hail, hail to the Tribe. The Cleveland Indians (yes, the Indians) finished April with the best record in the American League at 18-8. This is the best April record in the 117 year history of the Grand Rapids Rustlers (1894-1899)- Cleveland Lake Shores (1900)- Cleveland Blue Birds (1901-1902)- Cleveland Bronchos (1902)- Cleveland Naps (1903-1914)- Cleveland Indians (1915-present) franchise. To the people of Cleveland, I say, "LEBRON WHO????"
2) The Philadelphia Phillies finished April with the best record in the National League at 18-8. This is the best April record in the 128 year history of the Philadelphia Quakers (1883-1889)- Philadelphia Phillies (1890-present) franchise. All I can say is, with their lethal pitching staff, the rest of the NL East should feel lucky the Phillies are only 18-8.
3) Andre Ethier's April-record hitting streak ended at 26 games. And no, not because he didn't get a hit but because April ran out of days. Ethier is now officially 30 games shy of tying the record of all records-- the great Joe DiMaggio's monumental 56-game hitting streak. Hey, we never know!
4) The Tampa Bay Rays at 15-12 became the first team in major league history to finish April with a winning record after starting the season 0-6. So much for writing them off. Shame on me!
5) The San Diego Padres (10-17) set an unwanted April record by getting shutout 7 times during the month. It seems like the Pads haven't recovered from their epic collapse of last September which virtually put the defending World Champions San Francisco Giants in the playoffs.
6) Weaver Fever! Los Angeles Angels ace Jered Weaver at 6-0 is looking to become the first pitcher in the Modern Era (since 1900) to go 7-0 by the 1st of May. Weaver pitches today, May 1. GOOD LUCK, Jered!
7) More Tampa Bay Rays! One of the reasons for the Rays historic turnaround is the hot bat of Ben Zobrist who currently leads the AL with 25 RBI. In a recent double-header against the Minnesota Twins, Zobrist became only the 4th player in major league history to amass, at least, 7 hits and 10 RBI in one calender day. The other three: Jim Bottomley (July 6, 1929: 7 H - 11 RBI); Pete Fox (June 30, 1935: 8 H - 10 RBI); Nate Colbert (Aug 1, 1972: 7 H - 13 RBI). A pretty good day's work for Zobrist, I would say.
8) And then there's Ozzie! The disgruntled manager of the 10-18 Chicago White Sox became the first person in major league history to get suspended for tweeting during a game. Why am I not surprised this major league first came from the Land of Ozzie? And for the record, the 18 April losses is the most ever for the franchise originally known as the Chicago White Stockings (1900-present).

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So there they are-- some interesting tidbits from the month of April.

Wait!

The Ozzie record is kind of unfair because I don't think older franchises like the 1869 Cincinnati Red Stockings or the 1927 New York Yankees had access to Twitter. Or did they?

Stats courtesy of the Elias Sports Bureau and Wikipedia

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