Thursday, June 04, 2015

Randy Johnson's 300th Win - 6th Anniversary

Well, it's that time of year again, the time when I drop everything and dedicate my time and energy to celebrating the anniversary of the biggest moment in baseball history that I had the fortune to witness: the 300th win of Randall David Johnson. Each year I've taken a look back at this significant moment and reflect on where life has taken me since then and the monumental challenge of getting to 300 wins. This year is quite significant because this would be the first anniversary where Randy Johnson will celebrate it as a Hall of Fame elect*. It just goes to show the passage of time. In 2009 Randy was in his final season, and now he had waited out his eligibility period to win his 300th game. And in 2009 I was preparing to start medical school. Now I am in my second year of residency. Yes, time waits for no one.

*Although I'm pretty sure he doesn't celebrate this milestone. Last year he was in Vietnam pursuing his photography career, and this year he is doing concert photography with the band Rush. Oh well. Hope he's having fun.

Anyways, I'm sure you people that follow my blog (the number is probably zero) are probably tired of seeing me write about this milestone, so this year I might as well do something different, to explore the experiences of other people that attended this historic game (or some poor unfortunate souls that couldn't quite make it.) 

Thursday, October 02, 2014

Super Smash Bros (N64): A Retrospective

This week will see the release of Super Smash Bros. for 3DS, the latest iteration in Nintendo's Super Smash Bros. series, one of the most endearing of Nintendo's spinoff series. The games' frantic, free-for-all type gameplay has made them a popular a staple for both competitive and casual gamers alike. With the series's stunning success, it's shocking to think that once upon a time Super Smash Bros. was just a modest fighter that was not destined for release outside of Japan. With that in mind, I think it would be worthwhile to go back 15 years to take a look at the game that started it all.

Wednesday, June 04, 2014

Randy Johnson's 300th win - 5th Anniversary


Well, it's finally here: the fifth anniversary of the most significant game in my baseball-watching career. No, it's not the Royals-Orioles game that was my very first game, nor is it the Royals-Cardinals interleague game that turned into a blowout, nor is it my first playoff game between the Rangers and the Rays, nor is Game 4 of the 2010 World Series that was my first Fall Classic game, nor is it my second World Series game where Albert Pujols hit his three home runs, nor is it my first time going to an Opening Day game. No, the most significant game that I have ever seen with my own eyes was a seemingly meaningless mid-season game between the San Francisco Giants and the Washington Nationals, who would finish with the worst record in baseball. Yet while the game does not have any particular playoff implications, it was important for one crucial reason: it was the game where Randy Johnson became the 24th pitcher to win 300 games. As somebody with a curious interest in the 300-win milestone, getting to see this achievement definitely resonates with me.

And yet time has not stood still since the ecstasy of that rainy June day. It has been five years since the milestone, and life continued to go on. Randy Johnson himself has retired and now spends his days active in another field, that of a photographer*. Many of his teammates and opponents have also called his quits. His catcher, Bengie Molina, retired after 2010 and now spends his time as the Rangers' first base coach. Outfielder Randy Winn also retired after 2010 without ever sniffing the post-season. Shortstop Edgar Renteria won the 2010 World Series MVP award, but hasn't played since 2011. And so on and so forth. My life has changed quite a bit as well, as I entered medical school only a month after the game, and now I find myself completing my first year of residency.

*In fact he's celebrating this milestone while being in Vietnam for a photo shoot.

Meanwhile the 300-win milestone remains as elusive as ever. Many people with aspirations for the milestone find themselves falling short. Jamie Moyer did set the record for oldest pitcher for oldest pitcher to win a game, but his 2012 comeback ended with him only getting 269 wins. Andy Pettitte had a comeback of his own, but dealt with numerous injuries and he retired with 256 wins. And Roy Halladay, one of the two with the brightest chances, found himself dealing with injuries and ineffectiveness and retired with only 203 wins. There are a few with decent shots, such as CC Sabathia who has 208 wins at 33 but has been dealing with fading velocities, and Mark Buehrle who is a year older and has only 196 wins but has been pitching better than he's ever been. Only time will tell whether these men are legit contenders or pretenders.

But while we wait for the next 300-game winner, let us continue to celebrate those that have reached the milestone. It is the fifth anniversary of Randy Johnson's 300th win and as is customary I've been doing things to celebrate it. I've already done a write-up back in the six month and first anniversary*, and a shorter one on the third anniversary. The fouth anniversary celebration was one where I presented the 300-game winners and their gravesites if I've visited. I thought about what I should do to honor the fifth anniversary, and I eventually decided upon transcribing the CSN Bay Area commentary from the game featuring the award winning broadcast team of Duane Kuiper (Kuip) and Mike Krukow (Kruk).

Take it away, Kruk and Kuip...

NOTE: If you want to follow along and watch it in its entirety, you can always buy the game off of the iTunes store. (Scroll down to 6/4/09)

*Links to those write-ups
Part One: The Introduction
Part Two: The Player
Part Three: The Set-Up
Part Four: The Rainout
Part Five: The Game
Part Six: The Aftermath

Game Highlights
The Wins of Randy Johnson

Monday, October 21, 2013

The Heart Melters Gallery - #11 and #12

Ah yes, the Heart-Melters Gallery: the list of fictional females that I find so attractive that they "melt my heart." The list originally had eight females when I first came up with it back in 2005, and added two more between then and 2010, when I made my 5th Anniversary post. At the time it had been four years since a new Heart-Melter was inducted, and three years since there was an active "Heart-Melter Age" (aka the period of attraction to said Heart-Melter) other than Misty. Well, needless to say, there have been quite a bit of action with the Heart-Melters Gallery since then.

Of note:
-Sheena Fujiabayashi made the stunning jump in the overall strength ranking from 6th to 2nd
-I decided to celebrate an Honorary Heart-Melter: the first celebrity Heart-Melter
-Two more were inducted into the ranks of the Heart-Melter

It's pretty heady stuff. So why has it taken so long before I made this post? Well, for one thing I don't use this blog much anymore. And plus I've gotten kind of busy / lazy. But I decided to get out and write this post? Why? Well, you'll see

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

300 Win Club - 125th anniversary


The pitching win has been one of the most contentious baseball stats in recent years. For most of the first half of the 20th century it had been the primary stat to judge a pitcher, as pitchers reaching the 20-win plateau have been much more celebrated by writers and baseball executives than somebody with 19 wins, no matter how much better the latter pitcher may be in "secondary stats" like ERA or strikeouts. Even in the 1980s it was still a quick and dirty way to assess a pitcher. However, people soon came to realize that the pitching win was dependent on a whole slew of factors, including run and defensive support. This year has seen the rise of the #killthewin movement to completely abolish the practice of assigning a winning pitcher to the game. Somebody even made a petition for President Obama to step in to do it, even though it has since been removed. I don't think it's ever going to happen completely, but needless to say the pitching win has taken a massive hit in its reputation.

Nevertheless, the pitching win is still at the heart of baseball's golden milestone for pitchers, the 300-win club. It is still relevant because while the usefulness of the pitching win has come into the question, the measurement of it hasn't changed much since the days of the National Assocation. There have been a few changes here and there along with some subjective decisions, but pitchers today get wins in the very much the same way as pitchers from the 1870s, and there will always be the hardy few with the talent, tenacity, and luck to get to 300 wins. That is why the 300 win club had been the most consistent rate of admission of the golden milestones, more so than 3,000 strikeouts, 3,000 hits, 300 saves, or 500 home runs.

Tuesday, June 04, 2013

300 Game Winners and Their Graves

The 300-win club is the most prestigious milestone club for pitchers. 24 pitchers have had the skill, luck and longevity to cross the border. I have been big fan of the 300-win club for several years now, and two years ago I decided to try to visit as many of the gravesites as I can. Of course ten of the 300-game winners are still alive, so I've tried to meet up with them at card shows and the like. Now on the fourth anniversary of the last time anybody joined this milestone club, I present this album of my misadventures.