Year In Review : 2010 American League

O ff the field...

The largest environmental disaster in U.S. history occurs on April 20, 2010, when an explosion occurs at the Deepwater Horizon oil rig, killing eleven workers, causing the rig to sink two days later and initiating a massive ongoing offshore oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The BP Oil Spill was finally stopped 86 days after oil started leaking into the Gulf of Mexico.

At the 82nd Academy Awards, The Hurt Locker wins six Oscars including the first Directing award for a female director, Kathryn Bigelow, beating hopefuls Avatar and Up in the Air.

I n the American League...

Dallas Braden threw the 19th perfect game in Major League history, defeating the Tampa Bay Rays 4–0 on May 9, 2010, which happened to be Mother's Day. Symbolically and coincidentally (as he had lost his mom to breast cancer while in high school), players wore pink wristbands and ribbons on this day to raise breast cancer awareness.

A-Rod hit his 600th career home run against the Toronto Blue Jays on August 4, 2010. Rodriguez became the seventh player to reach this mark and the youngest player to hit 600, at 35 years and eight days - a year and 188 days younger than Babe Ruth was when he swatted 600. Rodriguez is fourth-quickest to the mark in terms of at-bats. He hit 600 in his 8,689th at-bat, behind Ruth (6,921), Barry Bonds (8,211) and Sammy Sosa (8,637).

The Toronto Blue Jays became the fourth team in Major League history to hit 250 home runs in a season (finishing the 2010 season with 257). They joined the 1997 Seattle Mariners (264), the 2005 Texas Rangers (260) and the 1996 Baltimore Orioles (257).

I n the National League...

Exactly 20 days after the Braden perfecto (mentioned above), on May 29, 2010, Roy Halladay threw the 20th perfect game in Major League history, defeating the Florida Marlins 1–0. This achievement marked the first time in the modern (post-1900) era that two perfect games were pitched in the same season. In 1880, both Lee Richmond and John Montgomery Ward both hurled a perfect game five days apart.

The Chicago Cubs played their 20,000th game in their history on June 26, 2010, but lost to their crosstown rivals the Chicago White Sox, 3–2 at U.S. Cellular Field. Their record was 10,197–9,643 (with 160 games tied games). The Atlanta Braves played their 20,000th game in their history on August 6, having started in 1876 in Boston, transferring operations to Milwaukee in 1953 and coming to Atlanta in 1966, losing in 11 innings, 3–2 to the San Francisco Giants at Turner Field. Their record was 9,916–9,930 (with 154 tied games).

The Pittsburgh Pirates extended a dubious record; 2010 was their 18th consecutive losing season, a record for North American major professional sports teams. The Pirates matched the 1963 New York Mets for the worst road record in a 162-game season at 17–64.

A round the League...

Bobby Cox, manager of the Atlanta Braves, became the fourth manager in Major League history to win 2,500 games as the Braves defeated the Washington Nationals on September 25. He joined Connie Mack, John McGraw and Tony LaRussa as the only managers to reach this milestone. Cox had managed the Braves for 25 years (1978–81, 1990–2010) and the Toronto Blue Jays (1982–1985) for four years leading them to a Major League record of 16 playoff appearances, as well as the Braves' only World Series title in Atlanta (the franchise's first two titles came in Boston and Milwaukee respectively). All throughout the season baseball fans knew this would be the final season for the future Hall of Fame manager.

The Texas Rangers were sold at an auction in U.S. Bankruptcy Court on August 5, 2010 to a group led by Chuck Greenberg and Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan from former owner Tom Hicks. The ownership change was approved by Major League Baseball owners on August 12, 2010.

Many uniform based memorials were worn by teams in 2010; Following the death of Colorado Rockies' president Keli McGregor on April 20, the team started wearing a patch with his initials KSM on their uniforms; On May 5, the day after the death of longtime Detroit Tigers radio broadcaster Ernie Harwell, the Tigers began wearing a patch on the right sleeve in his memory, inscribed with the broadcaster's initials; The Philadelphia Phillies wore a patch with the number 36 on their right sleeve, honoring Hall of Fame pitcher Robin Roberts, who died on May 6; The Pittsburgh Pirates honored former general manager Joe L. Brown following his passing with his initals in yellow on a black circle; Following the passing of long time public address announcer Bob Sheppard and owner George Steinbrenner, the New York Yankees wore a black armband in memory of both gentlemen at the All-Star Game. Starting with their series at home against Tampa Bay, the team would have two patches, one with the initials GMS on their left chest for Steinbrenner, and on the left sleeve, a patch honoring Sheppard. When Ralph Houk died July 21, the team added a black armband on their left sleeve.

"I imagined early in the year I'd be in the N.L.C.S., playing at Citi Field. Instead I'll be in the A.L.C.S." - Jeff Francoeur in the New York Times (Pat Borzi, 10/14/2010, 'Francoeur Misses His Friends but Is Happy in the Playoffs', Link )

2010 American League Player Review

Hitting Statistics League Leaderboard

Base on Balls

Oakland

110

Batting Average

Texas

.359

Doubles

Boston

49

Hits

Seattle

214

Home Runs

Toronto

54

On Base Percentage

Detroit

.420

RBI

Detroit

126

Runs

New York

113

Slugging Average

Texas

.633

Stolen Bases

Chicago

68

Total Bases

Toronto

351

Triples

Tampa Bay

13

2010 American League Pitcher Review

Pitching Statistics League Leaderboard

Complete Games

Seattle/Texas

7

Minnesota

ERA

Seattle

2.27

Games

Tampa Bay

85

Saves

Tampa Bay

45

Shutouts

Oakland

2

Minnesota

Strikeouts

Los Angeles

233

Winning Percentage

Texas

.765

Wins

New York

21

2010 American League

Team Standings

Tampa Bay Devil Rays 96 66 0 .593 -- $71,923,471
New York Yankees 95 67 0 .586 1 $206,333,389
Boston Red Sox 89 73 0 .549 7 $162,747,333

Toronto Blue Jays

85 77 0 .525

11

$62,689,357

Baltimore Orioles

66 96 0 .407

30

$81,612,500

Minnesota Twins

94 68 0 .580

--

$97,559,167

Chicago White Sox 88 74 0 .543 6 $108,273,197
Detroit Tigers 81 81 0 .500 13 $122,864,929

Cleveland Indians

69 93 0 .426

25

$61,203,967

Kansas City Royals

67 95 0 .414

27

$72,267,710

Texas Rangers

90 72 0 .556 --

$55,250,545

Oakland Athletics 81 81 0 .500 9 $51,654,900
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 80 82 0 .494 10 $105,013,667

Seattle Mariners

61 101 0 .377

29

$98,376,667

2010 American League Final Standings



Armando Galarraga threw what would have been a third perfect game on June 2, 2010 against the Cleveland Indians , however first base umpire Jim Joyce made an errant call on Galarraga's coverage of first base on a flip throw by first baseman Miguel Cabrera , which would have been the final out. "I just cost him a perfect game", Joyce replied. "I thought he beat the throw. I was convinced he beat the throw, until I saw the replay. It was the biggest call of my career. I don't blame them a bit or anything that was said. I would've said it myself if I had been Galarraga . I would've been the first person in my face, and he never said a word to me."

Did you know that when Carl Crawford hit his 100th career home run on August 29, 2010, he became only the eighth Major League player since 1900 to reach 100 home runs, 100 triples and 400 stolen bases for his career? He joined Ty Cobb , Tris Speaker , Lou Brock , Frankie Frisch , Kenny Lofton , Paul Molitor and Tim Raines as the only players to reach this "club".

With a walk in the first inning on October 2, 2010, against the Minnesota Twins , Jose Bautisa - who set a new Blue Jays franchise record for home runs in a season in 2010 - became the seventh player in major league history to record at least 50 home runs, 100 walks and 30 doubles in the same season. Bautista joined Luis Gonzalez , Sammy Sosa , Hack Wilson , Jimmie Foxx , Barry Bonds and Babe Ruth in accomplishing this feat.

Baseball Almanac@BaseballAlmanac6h
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@expos_exposed You nailed it! The name stuck with him, and clearly inspired him to record the song later in his life.
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