Matching MLB Players with Olympians (2016 Edition)

Back in 2012, the BBC put up a neat little online app that said what Olympian you were most similar to in height and weight. Needless to say, I took advantage of the kindness of our friends across the pond by using it to compare MLB players to Olympians. Well, the BBC did it again, adding a age portion to it as well. So, after the jump, check out how some MLB players compare to Olympians.

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(2016 Blogathon!) Famous For Something Else: Eddy Alvarez, Silver Medal Speed Skater

This post is part of the 2016 Baseball Continuum Blogathon For Charity, benefiting the Roswell Park Alliance Foundation. The Roswell Park Alliance Foundation is the charitable arm of Roswell Park Cancer Institute and funds raised will be “put to immediate use to increase the pace from research trials into improved clinical care, to ensure state-of-the-art facilities, and to help improve the quality of life for patients and their families.” Please donate through the Blogathon’s GoFundMe page.

This “Famous For Something Else” is notable because the player in question has a chance of maybe one day becoming best known for baseball. It’s Eddy Alvarez, a middle-infielder in the White Sox organization who won a silver medal in the 5000 meter relay in short track speed skating at the 2014 Sochi Olympics. He’s hit very well, but the fact he’s two to four years older than most people in the leagues he is in probably hurts his chances. Still, you never know.

Here are his stats:

Year Age AgeDif Tm Lg Lev Aff G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS TB GDP HBP SH SF
2014 24 3.6 2 Teams 2 Lgs Rk-A CHW 45 210 182 32 63 11 1 5 26 9 10 27 34 .346 .433 .500 .933 91 4 1 0 0
2014 24 4.4 White Sox ARIZ Rk CHW 27 130 110 20 32 5 1 2 12 5 6 20 24 .291 .400 .409 .809 45 3 0 0 0
2014 24 2.5 Kannapolis SALL A CHW 18 80 72 12 31 6 0 3 14 4 4 7 10 .431 .488 .639 1.126 46 1 1 0 0
2015 25 3.2 2 Teams 2 Lgs A-A+ CHW 123 553 450 88 133 29 7 5 53 53 15 88 85 .296 .409 .424 .834 191 8 2 8 5
2015 25 3.5 Kannapolis SALL A CHW 89 410 330 64 94 23 6 2 39 42 8 69 68 .285 .408 .409 .818 135 8 2 6 3
2015 25 2.4 Winston-Salem CARL A+ CHW 34 143 120 24 39 6 1 3 14 11 7 19 17 .325 .411 .467 .878 56 0 0 2 2
All Levels (2 Seasons) 168 763 632 120 196 40 8 10 79 62 25 115 119 .310 .416 .446 .862 282 12 3 8 5
A (2 seasons) Minors 107 490 402 76 125 29 6 5 53 46 12 76 78 .311 .421 .450 .872 181 9 3 6 3
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 1/27/2016.

At 2 AM: Baseball Card Haiku

This post has been part of the 2016 Baseball Continuum Blogathon For Charity, benefiting the Roswell Park Alliance Foundation. The Roswell Park Alliance Foundation is the charitable arm of Roswell Park Cancer Institute and funds raised will be “put to immediate use to increase the pace from research trials into improved clinical care, to ensure state-of-the-art facilities, and to help improve the quality of life for patients and their families.” Please donate through the Blogathon’s GoFundMe page.

Best of 2015- How many sports has Mario played?

Originally published on September 12, 2015.

The question of who the greatest video game athlete of all time is a hard one. Many go with Bo Jackson, with good reason. Still others (such as the Cespedes BBQ duo) wisely go with the Secret Weapon himself, Pablo Sanchez. But for sheer variety, none can defeat Mario, the most versatile athlete in video game history, who, by coincidence, celebrates the 30th anniversary of the release of Super Mario Brothers today!

And today, to honor National Video Games Day, which I just found out exists like ten minutes ago on Twitter, I’m running down every single sport Mario has ever played.

(Go below the jump for more)

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For #NationalVideoGamesDay: How many sports has Mario played?

The question of who the greatest video game athlete of all time is a hard one. Many go with Bo Jackson, with good reason. Still others (such as the Cespedes BBQ duo) wisely go with the Secret Weapon himself, Pablo Sanchez. But for sheer variety, none can defeat Mario, the most versatile athlete in video game history, who, by coincidence, celebrates the 30th anniversary of the release of Super Mario Brothers today!

And today, to honor National Video Games Day, which I just found out exists like ten minutes ago on Twitter, I’m running down every single sport Mario has ever played.

(Go below the jump for more)

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Baseball and Softball will probably be at the 2020 Olympics

Guess what, folks? If a proposal passes next month, baseball and softball will be back in the Olympics, at least occasionally. The proposal, called Agenda 2020, is meant to try and solve some of the big problems facing the IOC, such as the fact that the increasing cost of hosting has made many global cities scared of hosting. For example, the 2022 Winter Games have had all but two candidates more-or-less drop out of the running because of local backlash. And the two candidates that are left are Almaty, Kazakhstan and Beijing, who don’t have to care about public opinion and which are hardly the dropped-out winter wonderlands of Oslo or Stockholm that basically everybody outside of Kazakh and Chinese politicians would prefer.

The agenda includes, for example, allowing joint bids or at least allowing for certain events to be held elsewhere, perhaps even in other countries. But the big thing for baseball and softball in this is this part of the proposal, according to Reuters:

Sports will also not wait seven years from approval to their Olympic first appearance, and instead could be brought in for just one Olympics to maximize the Games’ reach and attraction.

 

In essence, it would allow sports to be added to the Olympics on a temporary basis if it would allow the Olympics to be more desirable in the host country. Now, presumably the sports added on temporary basis still would have to be pretty popular internationally (don’t go expecting to see NFL players marching in the opening ceremonies the next time the Olympics come to the USA, for example), but baseball and softball definitely fit the bill, and the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Committee has been heavily calling for them in 2020. So… expect baseball in the 2020 Olympics, and probably anytime in the future where the Olympics are in America, Japan, Korea, etc.

 

 

OLYMPICS CONTINUUM: What was Team USA’s Best Slugging Percentage? You’d be surprised…

It’s time for OLYMPICS CONTINUUM. Today, I was just thinking: “How can you measure what team has had the best Olympics?” There are several methods, of course, and technically the Olympics aren’t even about winning or losing, officially, especially outside of individual events. For example, medal tables are done entirely by the media, not the IOC.

So… is it what country has the most golds? What country has the most overall medals? Some type of points system?

Then, I realized: Winning a medal is like getting a hit in baseball. And so, I provide you with THE OLYMPIC SLUGGING PERCENTAGE. 

As you are on a baseball blog, you probably know how slugging percentage is calculated, but if you aren’t normally up on baseball stats here’s the formula:

In essence, it weighs how good each hit is done, and that, divided by how many times they were at the plate, determines the slugging percentage. The greatest slugging percentage ever, for example, is held by Babe Ruth, who had a .690 career slugging percentage.

Of course, there are some problems with adapting this to the Olympics. For example, obviously winning gold is a “Home Run”, but what are silver and bronze? Well, my way of thinking is that obviously winning gold is far bigger than just winning a silver, so, for the sake of this article, a silver is equivalent of a double, with a bronze a single. And “AB” is instead replaced by “total number of medals awarded”. Due to the fact that, of course, in many events a “sweep” is impossible, this means that it would be impossible for any team to have a perfect score. So, here are Team USA’s “slugging percentage” in all Olympic Games both Summer and Winter… after the jump:

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OLYMPICS CONTINUUM: In which the IOC kicks out wrestling, basically the oldest sport there is

Well, let it not be said that Olympics discriminates based on age: they have reportedly cut wrestling from the 2020 Olympics.

Yes, wrestling. One of the oldest sports in the world and one practiced unquestionably around the world, a mainstay of the Olympics since ancient times, has been dropped from the Olympics, while such sports as Modern Pentathlon, Rhythmic Gymnastics and Synchronized Swimming will remain.

In other words, yes, baseball and softball no longer have the biggest beef with the Olympics. Also, if I’m track and field or boxing, I’m starting to get worried about 2024, because if they can cut out wrestling, nobody is safe, even if the Ancient Greeks played it.

Olympics Continuum: Why not joint hosting bids?

I stumbled across an article today that caught my eye: a city councilor in Toronto, worried about the gigantic cost that hosting an Olympics brings to a city, has suggested that there be a joint bid between Toronto and an American city, such as Buffalo or Detroit.

I have written of this before back at the Courier, but seeing this news item has brought it back to my thoughts: why not? Why can’t and why hasn’t there been a joint Olympics bid, featuring cities relatively near a national border?

(jump)

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What type of Olympians would MLB stars be?

Getting into the Olympic spirit, the folks across the pond at the BBC have created a neat little website that lets you enter your height and weight and it then tells you which Olympian is similar to you. Well, in theory, anyway. I’m sure their bodies are made up of way more muscle than the average Joe. I mean, I certainly am not built like a weightlifter, but it said I’m most similar to one.

However, let’s do a far better use of this already useless technology: find out what type of Olympic sport baseball players would play. Now, as I said, there is a difference between having the same height and weight as somebody and actually having the same type of body and abilities as them, but in general some things hold true: somebody who is smaller is more likely to be a gymnast or a weightlifter, while somebody tall is more likely to be playing hoops.

So, let’s get down to business:

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Olympics Continuum: The insane greatness of Michael Phelps

Throughout the Olympics, the Baseball Continuum will branch out to give the occasional look at the XXX Summer Olympic Games. This is the Olympics Continuum.

Michael Phelps won two more medals “last night” (actually early afternoon EST, but don’t tell NBC that), bringing his total to 19, making him the greatest Olympian of All Time, as he passed Soviet gymnastics great Larisa Latynina for most medals of any kind.

So now is as good a time as any to note just how great Phelps’ accomplishment is, using one of my favorite methods: fun trivia and facts:

  • Phelps first competed in 2000 at Sydney and has had only himself and his relay teammates to gain medals. Despite this, he has only one fewer medals (19) than India, which first sent a competitor in 1900 and has sent them continuously since 1920. Oh, and India has 1.2 billion people. So, yes, it’s entirely possible that, by the end of these games, Michael Phelps will have as many or more medals than the second-largest country in the world has had in history.
  • He already has more medals than Venezuela, Chile, Algeria, Pakistan, and various post-Soviet republics.
  • His now-15 gold medals is as many Golds as such all-time Olympic greats as Paavo Nurmi (9), Jesse Owens (4) and Jim Thorpe (2) have combined, although admittedly they were in different sports and eras.
  • He’s swam 3,500 meters in races that he’s earned a medal- not counting heats and preliminaries. That’s about 2.175 miles. Or about 70 times across the pool.
  • It’s the equivalent of him swimming over 38 football fields (not counting end zones).
  • He’s won a gold in 71% of all of the events he has done in the Olympics.

Amazing, huh?