YEAR IN REVIEW : 2004 American League

Off the field...

The Olympics returned to their birthplace (Athens, Greece) amidst a stream of controversies involving the use of illegal performance enhancing drugs. Despite the resulting suspensions and stripped titles, many experts believed the 2004 Games would be remembered for the improvement in drug testing which allowed honest athletes to prevail. One Greek newspaper summed up the media's bemusement at the number of cheaters discovered with a cartoon depicting a young boy, with a gold medal round his neck, being surrounded by microphones saying: "I am only a volunteer, but everyone else has tested positive."

During the summer of 2004, North America, Central America and the Caribbean experienced one of the deadliest hurricane seasons ever recorded. During the months of August and September alone, four major storms (Jeanne, Ivan, Frances, Charley) pounded the southeastern part of the globe killing well over 2,000 people and leaving hundreds of thousands more homeless. As a result, a record setting number of tornadoes (173 in August, 247 in September) were also spawned as the left over tropical depressions moved inland and up the eastern coast. The total cost in damage from winds and flooding was estimated to run well into the multi-billions and was spread from the island of Haiti to upstate New York.

2004 also marked one of the most widely anticipated presidential elections in recent history. Republican President George W. Bush, son of former President Bush, made a run for a second term after being elected in the hotly contested 2000 campaign. At that time he was mid-way through his second term as governor of Texas, a position he assumed in 1994. Prior to running for governor he spent several years in the oil business and as the managing general partner of the Texas Rangers baseball team. His opponent, Democratic candidate Senator John Kerry was a decorated Vietnam War veteran who returned from the conflict to become one of the most outspoken opponents of the war. After entering politics in 1982, when he was elected lieutenant governor of Massachusetts, he ran for U.S. Senate on a campaign that refused contributions from political action committees. He was reelected in 1986, 1990, 1996 and 2002.

In the American League...

Baltimore Oriole Miguel Tejada won the 2004 Home Run Derby after edging the Houston Astros' Lance Berkman with five homers in the final round. The All-Star shortstop set two MLB records in the process by hitting a total of twenty-seven round-trippers for the night and fifteen in the second round. Amazingly, Tejada's final five blasts came after five outs, half of the requisite total.

Seattle Mariners sensation Ichiro Suzuki broke George Sisler's 1920 single season hitting record during an 8-3 victory over the Texas Rangers. With fans still cheering, Suzuki ran to the first-base seats and shook hands with Sisler's 81-year-old daughter and other members of the Hall of Famer's family. After Suzuki's record breaking 258 th hit, he scored his 100 th run of the season when the Mariners batted around in the third, taking a 6-2 lead on six hits.

The Cleveland Indians scalped the New York Yankees with a record-setting 22-0 massacre on August 31 st . With the defeat, the Bombers lost their fifth consecutive game in the Bronx for the first time since May of 2003. The twenty-two runs allowed were the most ever given up by the Yankees in their home ballpark and the most runs allowed since 1928, when the Indians won a 24-6 decision (one of two eighteen-run defeats in New York history). The loss also tied the largest margin of defeat in a shutout since 1900, equaling the mark set in 1975 by the Pittsburgh Pirates in a 22-0 win over the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field.

In the National League...

San Francisco Giant Barry Bonds continued his relentless assault on the major league record books in 2004. His season highlights included: (September 17 th ) Hit his 700th career homer, off San Diego's Jake Peavy. (September 11 th ) Broke his own record for walks in a season and became the first player to earn two-hundred free passes in one campaign. (August 29 th ) Recorded his sixty-eighth career multi-homer game, passing Mark McGwire for second all-time. (August 13 th ) Singled in his 1,813 th run, passing Frank Robinson for fourteenth on the all-time RBI list. (July 10 th ) Broke his own record for intentional walks in a season with the first of three in the game. (July 8 th ) Passed Eddie Murray (5,397) for eighth place on the all-time total bases list. (July 4 th ) Received two walks from the Athletics to tie and break Rickey Henderson's all-time walks record. (June 13 th ) Hit his 500 th homer as a Giant. (June 12 th ) Homered off the 400 th different pitcher of his career, Baltimore's Rodrigo Lopez. (May 28 th ) Hit his tenth career walk-off homer, a two-run shot off Colorado's Tim Harikkala. (April 29 th ) Hit his 668 th career homer, giving him and his late father Bobby a combined one-thousand home runs. (April 17 th ) Scored his 2,063 rd run, putting him alone in seventh place all-time, with a solo homer off Los Angeles' Darren Dreifort. (April 13 th ) Hit his 661 st career homer, off Milwaukee's Ben Ford, to assume sole possession of third place on the all-time list. (April 12 th ) Hit his 660 th career homer, off Milwaukee's Matt Kinney, to tie godfather Willie Mays for third on the all-time list.

After enjoying a brief, seventy-eight day retirement, Roger Clemens returned to pitch with friend and former teammate Andy Pettitte on their hometown Houston Astros. For more than a year, "The Rocket" had insisted that 2003 would be his final season, but all bets were off after the Yankees lost the World Series and Pettitte left New York. Remarkably, the forty year-old, six-time Cy Young winner, returned better than ever becoming a NL Cy Young candidate en route to the National League Championship Series.

Randy Johnson, of the Arizona Diamondbacks, turned his back on the clock on his amazing career after pitching a perfect game against the Atlanta Braves on May 18 th . In doing so, the forty year-old became the first ace to toss a perfect game since David Cone of the New York Yankees accomplished the feat in 1999. He also became the oldest pitcher in baseball history to do so, followed by Cy Young who had reached perfection at the age of 37 in 1904. Johnson's masterpiece came in a 2-0 win at Turner Field that took only two hours and thirteen minutes to complete. Afraid to "jinx" the outcome, neither the scoreboard nor public address system noted the history in the making and only displayed Johnson's picture and stats after the final pitch had been made.

Around the League...

America's "National Pastime" returned to the capital for the first time in thirty-three years after Major League Baseball approved the relocation of the Montreal Expos to Washington DC. Ironically, the announcement came one day before the anniversary of the original Washington Senators' final game (before moving to Texas) in 1971. The relocation of the Expos was subject to certain contingencies, including a vote by team owners in November and passage of legislation by Washington's City Council to build a ballpark on the Anacostia River waterfront.

One day after the death of former baseball star Ken Caminiti (an admitted steroid user) U.S. lawmakers passed legislation allowing tighter government regulation of steroid precursors. In doing so, the Anabolic Steroid Control Act added androstenedione, norandrosterone and similar testosterone-production enhancing substances to a list of anabolic steroids regarded as controlled substances. Caminiti, who had played in the major leagues for fifteen years, died of an apparent heart attack at age forty-one. He had admitted to using steroids during his Most Valuable Player season in 1996, when he hit .326 with forty home runs and one-hundred thirty runs batted in for the San Diego Padres.

Baseball Almanac Top Quote

"(Carlos) Beltran is what scouts call a 'five-tool player,' with good fielding skills, a good throwing arm, ability to hit for average, power, and steal bases." - BrainyEncyclopedia (website)

2004 American League Player Review

Hitting Statistics League Leaderboard

Oakland
95
Seattle
.372
Baltimore
50
Seattle
262
Boston
43
Baltimore
.419
Baltimore
150
Anaheim
124
Boston
.613
Tampa Bay
59
Anaheim
366
Tampa Bay
19

2004 American League Pitcher Review

Pitching Statistics League Leaderboard

Oakland
5
Baltimore
Cleveland
Minnesota
2.61
New York
86
New York
53
Detroit
2
Oakland
Baltimore
Minnesota
265
Boston
.778
Boston
21

2004 American League

Team Standings

New York Yankees 101 61 0 .623 -- $182,835,513
Boston Red Sox 98 64 0 .605 3 $125,208,542
Baltimore Orioles 78 84 0 .481 23 $51,212,653
Tampa Bay Devil Rays 70 91 0 .435 30½ $29,506,667
Toronto Blue Jays 67 94 0 .416 33½ $50,017,000
Minnesota Twins 92 70 0 .568 -- $53,585,000
Chicago White Sox 83 79 0 .512 9 $76,212,500
Cleveland Indians 80 82 0 .494 12 $34,569,300
Detroit Tigers 72 90 0 .444 20 $46,353,554
Kansas City Royals 58 104 0 .358 34 $47,609,000
Anaheim Angels 92 70 0 .568 -- $101,084,667
Oakland Athletics 91 71 0 .562 1 $59,825,167
Texas Rangers 89 73 0 .549 3 $54,825,973
Seattle Mariners 63 99 0 .389 29 $81,543,833
2004 American League Final Standings

2004 American League Team Review

Hitting Statistics League Leaderboard

Anaheim
162
5,675
836
1,603
272
37
162
783
2,435
450
942
143
46
.341
.429
.282
Baltimore
162
5,736
842
1,614
319
18
169
803
2,476
528
949
101
41
.345
.432
.281
Boston
162
5,720
949
1,613
373
25
222
912
2,702
659
1,189
68
30
.360
.472
.282
Chicago
162
5,534
865
1,481
284
19
242
823
2,529
499
1,030
78
51
.333
.457
.268
Cleveland
162
5,676
858
1,565
345
29
184
820
2,520
606
1,009
94
55
.351
.444
.276
Detroit
162
5,623
827
1,531
284
54
201
800
2,526
518
1,144
86
50
.337
.449
.272
Kansas City
162
5,538
720
1,432
261
29
150
675
2,201
461
1,057
67
48
.322
.397
.259
Minnesota
162
5,623
780
1,494
310
24
191
735
2,425
513
982
116
46
.332
.431
.266
New York
162
5,527
897
1,483
281
20
242
863
2,530
670
982
84
33
.353
.458
.268
Oakland
162
5,728
793
1,545
336
15
189
752
2,478
608
1,061
47
22
.343
.433
.270
Seattle
162
5,722
698
1,544
276
20
136
658
2,268
492
1,058
110
42
.331
.396
.270
Tampa Bay
161
5,483
714
1,416
278
46
145
685
2,221
469
944
132
42
.320
.405
.258
Texas
162
5,615
860
1,492
323
34
227
825
2,564
500
1,099
69
36
.329
.457
.266
Toronto
161
5,531
719
1,438
290
34
145
680
2,231
513
1,083
58
31
.328
.403
.260
2004 American League Hitting Statistics League Leaderboard

2004 American League Team Review

Pitching Statistics League Leaderboard

Anaheim
92
70
4.28
2
11
50
1454.1
1,476
734
692
170
44
502
1,164
Baltimore
78
84
4.70
8
10
27
1455.1
1,488
830
760
159
62
687
1,090
Boston
98
64
4.18
4
12
36
1451.1
1,430
768
674
159
92
447
1,132
Chicago
83
79
4.91
8
8
34
1432.1
1,505
831
782
224
48
527
1,013
Cleveland
80
82
4.81
8
8
32
1466.2
1,553
857
784
201
62
579
1,115
Detroit
72
90
4.93
7
9
35
1439.2
1,542
844
788
190
54
530
995
Kansas City
58
104
5.15
6
3
25
1420.1
1,638
905
813
208
56
518
887
Minnesota
92
70
4.03
4
9
48
1476.0
1,523
715
661
167
54
431
1,123
New York
101
61
4.69
1
5
59
1443.2
1,532
808
752
182
60
445
1,058
Oakland
91
71
4.17
10
8
35
1471.1
1,466
742
682
164
68
544
1,034
Seattle
63
99
4.76
7
7
28
1459.1
1,498
823
772
212
72
575
1,036
Tampa Bay
70
91
4.81
3
5
35
1417.0
1,459
842
757
192
93
580
923
Texas
89
73
4.53
5
9
52
1439.2
1,536
794
724
182
81
547
979
Toronto
67
94
4.91
6
11
37
1421.0
1,505
823
775
181
58
608
956
2004 American League Pitching Statistics League Leaderboard
Seasonal Events: All-Star Game | All-Star Game | All-Star Game | World Series
Navigation: Year in Review Menu | Previous Season | Next Season
Miscellaneous: N.L. Leaderboard
Retirements | Rookies List
Average Salary: $2,486,609.00
Minimum Salary: $300,000.00
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baseball almanac fast facts

What do the 2003 Chicago White Sox & 1961 New York Yankees have in common? They both once held the team specific record for home runs in a season —records broken by the 2004 Chicago White Sox and 2004 New York Yankees .

After yet another tough loss to the New York Yankees , this time in late September, Boston Red Sox ace and future Hall of Famer Pedro Martínez (9-10 lifetime against the Yanks through 2004) said to the press, "I can't find a way to beat them at this point. What can I say? I just tip my hat and call the Yankees my daddy," prompting a Yankee Stadium chant & clothing line:Who's Your Daddy T-Shirt (Photo by Kathy Willens/AP)

Who's Your Daddy T-Shirt Seen in Game 2 of the 2004 ALCS
(Photo by Kathy Willens/AP)

Nine former American League players have hit at least thirty home runs and stolen thirty bases during the same junior circuit season. Carlos Beltran started the season playing for the 2004 Kansas City Royals where he hit fifteen home runs and stole fourteen bases. On Thursday, June 24, 2004, Beltrán switched leagues and began playing for the 2004 Houston Astros where he added an additional twenty-three homers and twenty-eight steals becoming the first player in Major League history to join the 30 / 30 Club with stats combined from both an American and National team.

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