Christmas isn’t complete without a visit from the Quizmaster

The night won’t be silent when your guests are shouting answers to these baseball trivia questions

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Mark Buehrle

Starting pitcher Mark Buehrle #56 of the Chicago White Sox delivers the ball against the Toronto Blue Jays at U.S. Cellular Field on September 27, 2011 in Chicago

Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house

Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;

The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,

In hopes that Scott Boras would soon be there.

Grandpa Rossy tucked his young Cubbies in bed for the night

“Soon it will be your turn,” he smiled, turning off the light.

On the South Side, Grifol said that .500 must not be the norm.

Then shouted, “But we still have the best City Connect Uniform!”

In downtown Chicago, all was not serene,

I sprang from my bed to look at the Bean.

What was the racket? What were the intentions?

It was a sleigh filled with baseball questions,

With a little old driver, he couldn’t go much faster,

I knew in a moment; it must be the Quizmaster.

As I drew in my head, and was turning around,

Down the chimney Quizmaster came with a bound.

A wink of his eye and a twist of his head

He said, the owners have been flush with coin (not bit)

Giving big-time contracts to pitchers who throw and batters who hit.

He was surrounded by data and looked at each stat

“Should the question be about a song that was a single, or a single at-bat?”

As he tried to come up with the question, he asked for beer

Hoping to find something about a reader’s favorite year.

He pondered remembering things I’d forgot

Isn’t this poem done? It’s time to “Have fun and learn a lot!”

Then he said, “Before you start, I just want you to know

I’m sending you all my best wishes. Let’s get on with the show.”

Have fun and learn a lot.

QUESTIONS

1. Three of the following four Hall of Fame candidates stole at least 400 bases. Which one didn’t?

a. Jacoby Ellsbury b. Bobby Abreu

c. Omar Vizquel d. Jimmy Rollins

2. Six batters on the ballot had lifetime batting averages of at least .290 but only two finished with BAs over .300. Who are they?

Your candidates: Manny Ramirez, Gary Sheffield, Todd Helton, Bobby Abreu, Alex Rodriguez or Jeff Kent

3. Only three pitchers on this year’s ballot had a career ERA under 3.00. Who are they?

a. Mark Buehrle b. Francisco Rodriguez

c. Billy Wagner d. Huston Street

4. Rank these four starting pitchers in order of wins:

a. Mark Buehrle b. Andy Pettitte

c. Jered Weaver d. John Lackey

5. Here’s a question in which I’m mixing pitchers and hitters by homers allowed and homers hit. This foursome allowed or hit between 347 and 369 homers. Please put them in order.

a. Mark Buehrle b. Bronson Arroyo

c. Todd Helton d. Torii Hunter

6. Which of these candidates should not be considered for the Hall because of PED use issues?

a. Alex Rodriguez b. Manny Ramirez

c. Gary Sheffield d. Andy Pettitte

e. All of the above

7. Todd Helton is one of those candidates whose numbers are always in question because he spent his entire career, 1997-2013, playing in the rarified air of Denver. During his career, he hit 592 doubles, the most of anyone in baseball during that time period. He hit 321 at home and 271 on the road. Rank these batters by doubles hit in their careers.

a. Bobby Abreu b. Carlos Beltran

c. Manny Ramirez d. Alex Rodriguez

8. Which of these pitchers pitched in exactly 400 games, 300 as a starter, and 100 in relief?

a. John Lackey b. R.A. Dickey

c. Bronson Arroyo d. Matt Cain

9. Only one player, other than Barry Bonds, in the history of baseball, has over 500 doubles, 1,400 walks, 1,300 RBI, 400 steals, 275 homers, and a lifetime BA of .290+. Who is this guy?

a. Manny Ramirez b. Bobby Abreu

c. Alex Rodriguez d. Carlos Beltran

Thanks to my friends at the Baseball and BBQ podcast for having me on to talk about the Hall. And thanks to all of you for playing. Be safe, happy and healthy this holiday season and every day of the year. See you next week and don’t forget to write.

ANSWERS

1. Jimmy Rollins stole 470. Omar Vizquel swiped 404. Bobby Abreu had 499 steals. Jacoby Ellsbury stole 343.

2. Jeff Kent hit .290, Abreu hit .291, Sheff hit .292, A-Rod hit .295, Manny Being Manny hit .312 and Todd Helton hit .316.

3. While Mark Buehrle threw a perfect game, he had many imperfect outings and finished with a 3.81 ERA. The three relievers were all under three: Billy Wagner (2.31), Francisco Rodriguez (2.86) and Huston Street (2.95).

4. These pitchers are the leading winners on the ballot: Andy Pettitte (256), Mark Buehrle (214), John Lackey (188) and Jered Weaver (150).

5. Todd Helton hit 369 homers, Mark Buehrle allowed 361 homers, Torii Hunter hit 353 homers, and Bronson Arroyo allowed 347.

6. I wouldn’t vote for any of them.

7. Bobby Abreu had 574 doubles in his career. Carlos Beltran had 565 doubles in his career. A-Rod had 548 doubles in his career. Manny had 547 doubles in his career.

8. R.A. Dickey had a lifetime record of 120-118 with an ERA of 4.04. It is highly unlikely that he will receive any HOF votes. However, you must admit, those are pretty neat numbers.

9. Bobby Abreu is the most underappreciated candidate on this year’s HOF ballot. Abreu hit .291, with 573 doubles. 1,476 BBs, 1,363 RBI, 400 steals and 288 homers.

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