Baseball and Basketball Home-Grown Talent

A not-so-scientific experiment on whether teams have more success with players from the area.

Baseball:

  • San Francisco Giants: 5 players from California – Most notable is infielder Freddy Sanchez from Hollywood. A key player, but won a batting title in Pittsburgh so it’s not like he played better in the comforts of sunny California.
  • Texas Rangers: 5 players from Texas – Most notable is Jorge Cantu, who despite playing for the Mexican team in the WBC was actually born in McAllen, TX. The fact that he was the biggest contributor doesn’t say much for the theory.
  • Philadelphia Phillies: 1 player from Pennsylvania – Jamie Moyer, a reliable member of the staff but certainly not having the best years of his career in Philly.
  • New York Yankees: 4 players from the tri-state area – Most notable, of course, is Mr. Yankee Derek Jeter who was born in Pequannock, NJ. He certainly has thrived in his home surroundings. Little known fact…Alex Rodriguez was actually born in New York before re-locating to Florida. I know he’s not New York’s favorite son, but he did win his only championship with them so it’s got to count for something.

Basketball (last season’s rosters):

  • Los Angeles Lakers: 2 players from California – Jordan Farmar and Luke Walton (noted BFF’s) both grew up in Southern California and helped the Lakers win back-to-back championships. With Farmar now in New Jersey we’ll have a better gauge on whether the hometown crowd gave him an extra boost.
  • Boston Celtics: 0 players from Massachusetts – Ouch! Take that Boston!
  • Phoenix Suns: 1 player from Arizona – Channing Frye, a major contributor and probably having his best years in the NBA while in Phoenix.
  • Orlando Magic: 1 player from Florida – Vince Carter…not much to say about that one.

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Wait…Who’s Pitching Tonight?

Maine vs. Cain, Brito vs. Zito, pitching is so confusing!

 

Yesterday while watching the bottom line on ESPN, something amusing and slightly confusing caught my attention. The starting pitcher matchup for last night’s Mets-Giants game was: NYM (Maine) vs. SF (Cain). Naturally both starters factored in the decision, with the Mets righty picking up the win and the Giants righty taking the loss in the first annual Maine-Cain matchup.

I got to thinking about other possible confusing pitching matchups in the Major Leagues, and there were a lot more than I thought. A LOT more. Let’s start with the most confusing matchups, two pitchers facing each other with the same last name (all pitchers listed have logged at least one inning this season).

 

Bos (C. Bucholz) vs. Col (T. Bucholz)

Tor (A. Burnett) vs. Pit (S. Burnett)

Was (C. Cordero) vs. Cin (F. Cordero)

Sea (F. Hernandez) vs. Min (L. Hernandez)

ChC (R. Hill) vs. Was (S. Hill)

Bal (J. Johnson) vs. Ari (R. Johnson)

Det (A. Lopez) vs. Bos (J. Lopez)

Sea (M. Lowe) vs. LAD (D. Lowe)

Fla (A. Miller) or Fla (J. Miller) vs. TB (T. Miller)

Was (Od. Perez) vs. NYM (Ol. Perez)

NYY (E. Ramirez) vs. KC (R. Ramirez)

TB (Al Reyes) vs. StL (An. Reyes) vs. Min (D. Reyes) vs. Atl (J. Reyes)

NYY (M. Rivera) vs. Was (S. Rivera)

LAA (F. Rodriguez) vs. Hou (W. Rodriguez)

NYM (D. Sanchez) vs. SF (J. Sanchez)

LAA (E. Santana) vs. NYM (J. Santana)

TB (J. Shields) vs. LAA (S. Shields)

Oak (G. Smith) vs. NYM (J. Smith)

LAA (J. Speier) vs. Col (R. Speier) 

Bal (J. Walker) vs. SF (T. Walker)

SF (B. Wilson) vs. Tex (C. Wilson)

Tex (J. Wright) vs. Hou (W. Wright)

 

Ok, those were boring but I was just blown away by how many active Major League pitchers share a common surname. These confusing matchups should be a little more fun:

 

SD (Banks) vs. CWS (Danks) or CWS (Jenks)

Sea (Batista) vs. Det (Bautista)

SD (Bell) vs. Col (Wells)

Bos (Beckett) vs. Atl (Bennet)

TB (Birkins) vs. Atl (Jurrjens)

Hou (Borkowski) vs. Cle (Borowski)

NYM (Brito) vs. SF (Zito)

Cle (Byrd) vs. Hou (Byrdak)

Atl (Carlyle) vs. Cin (Belisle)

Oak (Casilla) vs. Tex (Padilla)

Pit (Chacon) vs. Tor (Chacin)

SF (Cain) vs. Min (Crain)

Oak (Foulke) vs. SF (Chulk)

Col (Francis) vs. Tex (Francisco)

Tex (German) vs. SD (Germano)

Det (Grilli) vs. ChC (Lilly)

Phi (Hamels) vs. TB (Hammel)

SD (Hampson) vs. Atl (Hampton)

Bos (Hansen) vs. Tor (Janssen)

Oak (Harden) vs. Ari (Haren)

ChC (Howry) vs. SF (Lowry)

Phi (Kendrick) vs. TB (Hendrickson)

Hou (King) vs. Atl (Ring)

LAA (Lackey) vs. Cle (Laffey)

Phi (Lidge) vs. Tor (Litsch)

Tex (Loe) vs. LAD (Lowe)

Sea (Lowe) vs. StL (Lohse)

Col (Newman) vs. TB (Niemann)

Fla (Nolasco) vs. ChC (Carrasco)

Atl (Ohman) vs. TB (Dohmann)

Fla (Olsen) vs. Bal (Olson)

Ari (Petit) vs. NYY (Pettite)

Tor (Ryan) vs. TB (Ryu)

Cle (Sowers) vs. Col (Towers)

NYY (Wang) vs. Cin (Harang)

SD (Wolf) vs. Tor (Wolfe)

SD (Yabu) vs. KC (Yabuta)

and just for fun…  Oak (Street) vs. Sea (Rhodes)

 

Well hopefully this list has alerted you so you won’t be too confused the next time one of these matchups pops up on the bottom line. I tried to find one for my name, but I had trouble finding a name that rhymes with Ward-Henninger. Go figure.

 

 

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