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Jason Hammel posted by Athletics Fan

Born September 2, 1982, Jason Hammel is an MLB pitcher and is currently with the Oakland Athletics. He makes use of five pitches, consisting of two-seam and four-seam fastballs at around 92 to 95 mph, a curveball at around 70 to 73 mph, changeup at around 86 to 89 mph, and a slider at around 85 mph. Hammel is known to use all the five pitches against left-hand batters, but avoids the changeup with right-handers. He mainly uses the slider with two strikes for off-speed pitch.

Hammel started his professional career in 2002, when he was drafted in the 10th round by Tampa Bay Devil Rays. He made his MLB debut in April 2006 pitching against Baltimore Orioles. In 2007, he was the starter and got his first win against New York Yankees. In 2009, the Rays traded him to the Colorado Rockies, but he did not perform well against the Philadelphia Phillies in the National League Division Series.

In 2012, he was traded to the Baltimore Orioles, and he performed well for the team with a win of 3-1 against Minnesota Twins. Again, in June, he led his team to 5-0 win against Atlanta Braves. This was a first total game shutout of Hammel's career, and first complete game of the season by an Orioles pitcher. However, later in July, Hammel had to undergo knee surgery, and he was placed on the disabled list for 15 days. In 2013, he was back on opening day as the starter for Orioles. In June, he was ejected by the umpire when his slider pitch hit the shoulder of Matt Tuiasosopo. In January 2014, Hammel signed a one-year contract for $6 million with Chicago Cubs. However, in July 2014, the Cubs traded him to the Oakland Athletics with another pitcher Jeff Samardzija, to acquire pitcher Dan Straily, and two other players.

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Playoff newcomers show the baseball world what they’ve got posted by David

While the fans in Cincinnati, Atlanta, and St. Petersburg may not have appreciated it, nearly every game played so far this postseason has featured a dominant pitching performance.  Roy Halladay no-hit the Reds, Tim Lincecum shut out the Braves on just two hits while striking out 14, and C.J. Wilson and Cliff Lee combined to hold the Rays to one run in 13.1 innings.  Lee displayed his talents during last year’s World Series, earning both of the Phillies’ wins over the Yankees, but Halladay, Lincecum and Wilson were all making their postseason debuts, and not one of them showed any sign of butterflies.

How ‘bout that?

How about Félix Hernández?  Despite a 13-12 record, King Felix deserves the American League Cy Young Award for his outstanding season on the mound.  He led the majors in ERA (2.27) and finished just one strikeout behind Jered Weaver’s 233 and one inning pitched shy of Halladay’s 250.2 – both of which led all big league pitchers.  The Venezuelan workhorse threw six innings or more in 32 of 34 starts, allowing three earned runs or fewer in 30 of them.  Had he played for any team other than the Mariners, whose lack of offense cost all of their pitchers, Hernández would almost certainly have won 20 games or more.

How about Danny Valencia?  Following a promotion to the big leagues in June, the Twins’ third baseman hit .311 with seven home runs and 40 RBIs in 85 games. Valencia was most productive during the month of September, hitting five homers and driving in 17 runs in 22 games.  Had he spent the entire season in the big leagues, Valencia would be a strong candidate for the AL Rookie of the Year; as is he will probably be voted third behind Neftali Feliz and Austin Jackson.  Minnesota fans, however, should be happy to have a promising young hitter who will occupy the hot corner for years to come.

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Third member of Yankee trio not a lock for Hall posted by David

After their playing careers are over, Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera will undoubtedly be elected to the Hall of Fame in their first year of eligibility, but will teammate Jorge Posada join them in Cooperstown?  Yankee fans may feel differently, but the truth is that if Posada retired from baseball today, he would not belong in The Hall.  His credentials include five trips to the All-Star Game, five Silver Slugger awards, 243 home runs, and five seasons with 90+ RBI’s, as well as having caught the perfect game thrown by David Wells in 1998.  Arguments against Posada’s candidacy are that he is not a strong defensive catcher, has only once batted over .300 (.277 career average) and his 1,488 career hits do not make him stand out among his catching peers.  Despite 11 career playoff home runs, his postseason line (.239/.351/.384) is sub-par for a catcher known primarily for his hitting.

While offensive expectations for Hall of Fame catchers have tended to be lower over the years, Posada has never drawn comparisons as a hitter to Mike Piazza (2,127 career hits), Johnny Bench (2,048), or Ivan Rodriguez (2,711), who at 38 still has a chance at reaching 3,000 hits.  Posada’s supporters might point out that Roy Campanella collected only 1,161 career hits, but he also won the Most Valuable Player Award three times in a span of five years, and more importantly, missed out on years of big-league ball before African Americans were welcome.  Jorge Posada has had a solid career, for which I give him a lot of credit, but at this point in time, he’s not bound for Cooperstown.

Continue reading "Third member of Yankee trio not a lock for Hall"


Offerman a disgrace to the game posted by David

I generally prefer beginning my blog with news that is positive or at least neutral, but I cannot think of a more worthy story than that of former Major Leaguer Jose Offerman, who was banned from the Dominican Winter League for life after attacking an umpire earlier this month.  The incident, sadly, is not the first time Offerman has embarrassed the game of baseball.  While playing in the Atlantic Independent League in August 2007, he charged the mound – bat in hand – after being hit by a pitch, and proceeded to break one of the pitcher’s fingers.  The catcher, trying to protect his pitcher, was hit in the back of the head and received a severe concussion that ended his career.  Now, two and a half years later, Offerman is still making the game look bad.  His behavior, without question, is Bad for Ball.

How ‘bout that?

How about Grant Desme?  The 23-year-old outfielder announced his retirement from baseball last week in order to pursue the priesthood.  Desme was the second-round pick of the Athletics in the 2007 draft, and last year was the only minor leaguer – at any level – to hit 30 homers and steal 30 bases.  (He swiped 40.)  After being promoted to High-A, he hit .304/.398/.656 with 20 homers in just 227 at-bats.  He was then named MVP of the 2009 Arizona Fall League.  Desme would have had to put in more time in the minors, but his numbers certainly suggest he could have made it to the Big Leagues eventually if he didn’t feel the need to answer another calling.

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Charles Bisbee

Checking In... And Talking Sox Shortstop Situation posted by Charles Bisbee

Oh man, it’s been a bit too long and I’d like to apologize, first and foremost, to my legion of loyal readers. Who still checks in on occasion? Rogers? You still out there? Bark twice if you’re in Milwaukee!  Slim Bob? Herman? Dalton? Petey? Reginald? David Lefort from the Boston Globe? 

Anyway, lets talk sports. Or perhaps, I will talk sports with myself. Either way, it should be a good time.

During the past week, the Sox allowed Alex Gonzalez to stroll north of the boarder via free agency and then nabbed the man A-Gon will be replacing in Toronto, Marco Scutaro. As far as shortstop swaps go, this move has been widely praised as a coupe. Not only is Scutaro, seemingly, a superior offensive player but he also comes with a pristine reputation as a team-first, winning player. (On another note, I find it equally amusing and sickening that the Sox will pay more money to Julio Lugo to NOT play for them next season than they will pay Scutaro).

Whatever the case, I am not as high on this move as many other supposed experts are and here is why: I believe Scutaro had an aberration season last year. Look at his career numbers and then tell me that his line from last season (.282, 12, 60) fits the mold. Sure, he was mostly a bit player during his time in Oakland but he still averaged 385 ABs a year. Scutaro’s average line during these four seasons was .261, 7, 40. Bottom line is, Scutaro, I believe is still a role player, albeit an above average one. One decent season should not earn a man a multi-year, generous contract from a championship caliber club.

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Gold Glove on the pitcher’s mound: a new era begins posted by David

For the first time since 1990, both the American and National Leagues saw first-time Gold Glove winners on the pitcher’s mound.  It is no coincidence that 2009 is the first year that Greg Maddux, Mike Mussina, and Kenny Rogers aren’t eligible, each having retired following the 2008 season.  From 1990 through 2008 – his final year in the big leagues – Greg Maddux was named the National League’s Gold Glove pitcher every year but one – 2003, when teammate Mike Hampton won.  From 1996 through 2008, the American League saw two pitchers – Mike Mussina and Kenny Rogers – win all but one Gold Glove.  (Johan Santana received the award in 2007.)

If history is getting ready to repeat itself, 2009 winners Mark Buehrle and Adam Wainwright could both be on their way to collecting a dozen Gold Gloves.

How ‘bout that?

How about Zack Greinke?  Though he won only 16 games, Greinke led A.L. Cy Young Award challenger Felix Hernandez in E.R.A. (2.16 to 2.49) and WHIP (1.073 to 1.271).  He was also second in the majors (to perennial Cy Young candidate Roy Halladay) with six complete games and three shutouts.  In 33 starts, Greinke surrendered 11 home runs – the same number as allowed by Yankee pitchers in the six games of the World Series.  The Royals tied the Indians for last-place in the A.L. Central, winning 65 games, but on a first-place team, Greinke would likely have been a 20 game winner.

How about Andrew Bailey?  The A’s rookie right-hander boasted a 1.84 E.R.A. to go with his 6-3 record, 26 saves, and most impressive of all, a 0.876 WHIP.  Among American League closers, not one had a lower WHIP, and only Mariano Rivera bested Bailey’s Earned Run Average.  Bailey was without question the right choice for A.L. Rookie of the Year.

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Colin Linneweber

Fedor is a Yellow-Bellied Coward, Once Known As The Rainbow Warriors, How Can Hawaii's Coach Talk About The Irish? & Manny & Papi Are Juiceheads, Rickey Likely Is & Canseco Is Truthful posted by Colin Linneweber

Fedor is a Yellow-Bellied Coward

Strikeforce announced that World Alliance of Mixed Martial Arts (WAMMA) Heavyweight Champion, Fedor Emelianenko, signed a multi-fight agreement to fight for their promotion Monday.

“Strikeforce is a top promotion that houses some of the greatest fighters in the world,” said Emelianenko, 32, who will make his debut for the company sometime this fall. “I am prepared to fight any of them.”

Emelianenko (30-1), who had negotiated all last week with UFC to no avail, is considered by many analysts and fighters to be the greatest mixed martial artist in history.

Despite his lofty stature in the world of MMA, it is hard to understand Emelianenko’s decision to snub the UFC and it will be even more difficult for genuine fight fans to now recognize the Russian as anything except a yellow-bellied coward.

“Fedor is a fucking joke,” abrasive UFC President Dana White said after he learned that the last holder of the Pride Heavyweight Championship had signed with Strikeforce. “He turns down a huge deal and the opportunity to face the best in the world to fight nobodies for no money.”

White, and most MMA fans around the world, had envisioned a dream matchup that would have pitted Emelianenko against current UFC Heavyweight Champion, Brock Lesnar, 32.

Lesnar (4-1) is a legitimate beast in the octagon and it is curious and disheartening that Emelianenko would cower and basically refuse to scrap the greatest fighters in the world.

Emelianenko’s moniker is “The Russian Military Experiment.”

Continue reading "Fedor is a Yellow-Bellied Coward, ..."

Colin Linneweber

Manny & Papi Are Juiceheads, Rickey Likely Is & Canseco Is Truthful posted by Colin Linneweber

The New York Times reported last week that Boston Red Sox World Series heroes of yesteryear, David Ortiz and Manny Ramirez, are two of a 104 players who tested positive for performance enhancing drugs when baseball conducted its "anonymous" testing survey in 2003.


Ramirez, 37, being fingered by the renowned publication as a charlatan is not a surprise considering that the slugging hemorrhoid resumed playing for the Los Angeles Dodgers just last month after he served a 50 game suspension for abusing women's fertility drugs.


On the flipside, most of New England was comically shocked and shattered when the beloved Ortiz, 33, was finally exposed as the cheating weasel that he has been for years.


Big Papi, a five-time All-Star selection and four-time Silver Slugger Award winner, had been a harsh and outspoken critic of juiceheads.


After Alex "Bitch Tits" Rodriguez was officially found to be an utter phony in March, the hypocritical designated hitter suggested testing should be administered three or four times a year and that a single positive test should result in a one-year suspension.


Upon being “informed” that he was a farce, Papi played coy in sad and pathetic stamen to the media.


“Today I was informed by a reporter that I was on the 2003 list of MLB players to test positive for performance enhancing substances,” said Big Papi, who was personally trained at a popular gym in Boston on Lansdowne Street by a known abuser of steroids. “Based on the way I have lived my life, I am surprised to learn I tested positive. Two, I will find out what I tested positive for. And, three, based on whatever I learn, I will share this information with my club and the public. You know me. I will not hide and make excuses.”

Continue reading "Manny & Papi Are Juiceheads, Rickey ..."

Cesar Valverde

Move over Boones. Move over Molinas. Get ready for the Hairstons! posted by Cesar Valverde

Baseball families have made history in pinstripes. The Boones are in their 3rd generation playing baseball. Aaron Boone, whose brother Bret, father Bob, and grandfather Ray all had 10+ year careers in the majors, cemented his name in Yankee history. Jose Molina, whose brother Yadier plays for the Colorado Rockies and other brother Bengie plays for San Francisco Giants, also cemented his name in Yankee history. Now that the Yankees have acquired Jerry Hairston, Jr., whose brother Scott is playing for the Oakland Athletics, and father Jerry, Sr., uncle Johnny, and grandfather Sam also had MLB baseball careers. Now Jerry Jr. has a chance to continue this trend of success for baseball families playing for the Bronx Bombers. Before we get into the Hairstons, let’s take a look at what the Boones and the Molinas have accomplished in pinstripes.


First, the Boones. Yankee fans will remember the 2003 ALCS. Aaron was a summer rental. The Yankees obtained him before the trade deadline. Little did they know what would happen in Game 7. It was an extra inning game. Tim Wakefield pitching for the Red Sox. Aaron steps to the plate. First pitch: BANG! Walk-off homer. Yankees go to the World Series! Even though they would end up losing to the Florida Marlins in the World Series, the Yankees expected him back in pinstripes for 2004. Unfortunately, he blew out his knee playing basketball of all things. Leading the Yankees to obtain Alex Rodriguez from the Texas Rangers and convert him from a shortstop to a third basemen. Regardless of his stupidity, his walk-off ALCS winning home run is one of the greatest moments in Yankees history. Hence, the Boone family cements its history in Yankee pinstripes

Continue reading "Move over Boones. Move over Molinas. ..."

Cesar Valverde

How Joba Got His Groove Back posted by Cesar Valverde

You may be wondering how Joba Chamberlain came off the All-Star Break with 2 consecutive victories: 1 against the Tigers and 1 against the A's. Before the break, it just seemed to be no-decision after no-decision. He holds the Major League Record for most No-D's in a season.

Reports say that Joba went home to Oklahoma during the All-Star Break. He didn't even think about baseball. He just spent quality time with his family. He only had a couple of throwing sessions and that's it! Nothing complicated. No pressure. No nothing. Just basic throwing. No Joba rules to worry about.

As a family man with 2 kids, I can relate with how Chamberlain can come back and have success on the mound his first 2 starts back . Joba was grinding it out in the first half. He was working hard with coaches trying to figure things out. This is a lot like a student grinding it out with his schoolwork; grinding it out with his schoolwork, getting pressure from his teachers to do better, getting pressure to keep their GPA up, but oh, when the semester is over, they go home, hang out with family and friend, and just breathe. When the new semester starts, they're fresh minded and ready to go.

This was Joba all the way. He went home to spend quality time with his wife. He went home to spend quality time with his daughter. These times are special and are able to help turn things around when you go back to the grind.

Could this fresh start with 2 victories in a row against Detroit and Oakland be only the beginning for a great 2nd half or will his woes from the 1st half come back to haunt him?

Continue reading "How Joba Got His Groove Back"

Oakland Athletics News

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Nine innings of Gray: Sonny excellent in shutout against Dodgers (Big League Stew)

Take a look around the league with Big League Stew's daily wrap up. We'll hit on all of the biggest moments from the day that you may have missed, while providing highlights, photos and interesting stats. The Oakland Athletics may be selling off parts, but pitcher Sonny Gray is here to stay. The right-hander was excellent during a 2-0 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Tuesday. [ Play a Daily Fantasy contest for cash today! ] Gray was so good that the Athletics didn't need to use any other pitcher during the contest. He went the distance, giving up just three hits during a complete game shutout. Gray struck out nine and walked one during the performance.  It was Gray's fourth career shutout. Two of those have come this month. That's Gray's second shutout this month. — Susan Slusser (@susanslusser) July 29, 2015 Gray apparently wasn't satisfied with just dominating on the mound. He actually picked up his first major-league hit during the contest. Gray singled on a 96 mph fastball from Pedro Baez to open the eighth inning. Though he had an outside chance at a double, Gray showed excellent awareness, opting not to test Yasiel Puig's arm. Gray, who had been sharing a bat with Scott Kazmir all season, used one of Billy Butler's bats for the hit. Though he said it was too heavy, Butler told Gray he could keep the bat. Gray used Butler's bat for his hit. Says it was way too heavy. Butler says he can keep it. — Susan Slusser (@susanslusser) July 29, 2015 Gray improved to 11-4 with the win. The Athletics are currently 45-56, which puts them in last place in the American League West. YANKEES EXPLODE FOR 21 RUNS The New York Yankees came to play Tuesday night. The club exploded for 21 runs during a blowout of the Texas Rangers. Though New York eventually wound up on top, things didn't look so rosy early. Starter Chris Capuano couldn't make it out of the first inning, giving up five runs.  [ Yahoo Sports Fantasy Football: Sign up and join a league today! ] It didn't take long for the Yankees to strike back. In the second inning, the team scored an incredible 11 runs. Six different players accounted for run-scoring hits in the frame. Both Chase Headley and Brendan Ryan each had two run-scoring hits. While the output of the second inning wouldn't be topped, the Yankees didn't let up. The club scored four more runs in the third, three in the sixth and two in the ninth. Pretty much every player on the team turned in a big offensive game. Four Yankees had at least three RBIs, two walked three times and six wound up scoring multiple runs. With the win, New York improved to 57-42 on the year. SYNDERGAARD LOOKS SUPER New York Mets pitcher Noah Syndergaard is nicknamed after a superhero, and now he's starting to pitch like one. Syndergaard was fantastic during the club's 4-0 win over the San Diego Padres. Syndergaard tossed eight shutout innings, giving up just three hits during the contest. He struck out nine and did not issue any walks. The rookie has been on a tremendous run lately. Over his last six starts, he's allowed just six earned runs. Syndergaard has started throwing a slider more often during his last two starts, so that could be a reason for his recent success. While he's been great lately, it's tough to argue against Tuesday being his best start of the season. Syndergaard had a perfect game entering the seventh inning. That was broken up by a Will Venable single to lead off the frame. With the win, the Mets improved to 52-48 on the season. THE WHITE SOX WON'T LOSE The Chicago White Sox are certainly making things interesting at the trade deadline. The club ripped off another win Tuesday, picking up the 9-4 victory over the Boston Red Sox. With the victory, the team now has a six-game winning streak. Due to the club's recent success, some are starting to wonder whether pitcher Jeff Samardzija will actually be dealt at the deadline. Better chance of Tigers trading Price than White Sox trading Samardzija, as I just said on @FOXSports1 #MLBWhipAround . — Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) July 29, 2015 Though the White Sox's record is just 48-50, the club remains 3.5 games out of the second wild card spot. Given how horrible they've looking to open the year, that's pretty shocking. [ Check out Big League Stew on Tumblr for even more baseball awesomeness. ] The White Sox have two more games against Boston before the trade deadline. If they can continue to extend their winning streak, they may not sell like everyone expected. Want to see more from Tuesday's slate of games?  Check out our scoreboard . More MLB coverage from Yahoo Sports: - - - - - - - Chris Cwik is a writer for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter! Follow @Chris_Cwik [read full article]

From Yahoo Sports

Red Sox lose eighth straight on Jose Altuve's dramatic walk-off homer (Big League Stew)

Take a look around the league with Big League Stew's daily wrap up. We'll hit on all of the biggest moments from the day that you may have missed, while providing highlights, photos and interesting stats. As Jose Altuve's walk-off homer cleared the left-field wall Thursday night, the Houston Astros had another reason to be happy while the Boston Red Sox had to, once again, hang their heads. Thanks to Altuve, the Astros won their fourth straight game, edging the Red Sox 5-4 , while Boston lost its eighth straight. [ Play a Daily Fantasy contest for cash today! ] If we told you prior to the season that on July 23 one of those teams would be making the first major move of the MLB trade deadline in hopes of muscling up for a playoff run, you surely would have guessed it was the Red Sox. But things don't always go as we expect. It was the Astros, the surprise team of the 2015 season, who added pitcher Scott Kazmir in a swap with the Oakland Athletics. And it's the Red Sox, cellar-dwellers in the AL East, who have disappointed at every turn after an expensive offseason rebuild. Now they've lost every game since the All-Star break. Divergent stories aside, Altuve's blast was an even more dramatic ending to the game because while the Astros were celebrating on the field, the homer was being reviewed by the umps to make it had indeed cleared the fence. The review concurred, so the celebration didn't prove to be premature. • • • YANKEES SWEEP O'S, WIDEN AL EAST LEAD Don't look now, but the New York Yankees have a 5.5 game lead in the AL East after completing a sweep of the division-rival Baltimore Orioles. The Yankees scored four in the first inning and starter Masahiro Tanaka didn't need any more than that. Tanaka allowed three runs in 7.2 innings, striking out seven as the Yankees won 9-3 . "I think there's a lot of confidence in that clubhouse, right now, the way everyone is swinging the bats," manager Joe Girardi said. • • • GODLEY GOOD IN MLB DEBUT The Arizona Diamondbacks got a nice debut out of Zack Godley, a 25-year-old rookie making his first MLB start. Godley pitched four-hit ball over six innings, not allowing a run to the Milwaukee Brewers and striking out seven. The D-backs beat the Brewers 8-3 , as A.J. Pollock was 3-for-5 with two RBIs. • • •   MARLINS BLANK PADS In a battle of two disappointing teams, disappointment lived most with the San Diego Padres. The Pads took a 4-0 loss against the Miami Marlins, mustering just three hits off starting pitcher Tom Koehler. On the hill for the Padres, Tyson Ross struck out eight, but he also gave up eight hits in 5.2 innings. Check out our scoreboard for the rest of Thursday's action. More MLB coverage from Yahoo Sports: - - - - - - - Mike Oz is the editor of Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter! Follow @MikeOz [read full article]

From Yahoo Sports

Martin, Donaldson homer to help Blue Jays power past A's 5-2 (The Associated Press)

Russell Martin homered, doubled and drove in three runs, Josh Donaldson went deep against his former team and the Toronto Blue Jays powered past the Oakland Athletics 5-2 on Thursday. ''Our one through nine is the best in baseball,'' Donaldson said. The Blue Jays have scored 508 runs, by far the best in the majors. [read full article]

From Yahoo Sports

Athletics-Indians Preview (The Associated Press)

Kendall Graveman's name doesn't spring to mind when discussing the best pitchers in baseball, but he's been in that conversation over the last month-plus. The rookie aims to win his fourth straight start Friday night when the Oakland Athletics visit the Cleveland Indians. Among rookie starters, his six victories trail only San Francisco's Chris Heston, who is 8-5 with a 3.51 ERA. [read full article]

From Yahoo Sports

After ride through night, Figueroa sparks Yanks over A's 6-2 (The Associated Press)

Cole Figueroa was pooped. About two hours later, a car service picked up Figueroa and he headed to New York. Figueroa doubled twice in his Yankees debut Thursday, helping spark the offense behind Masahiro Tanaka in a 6-2 win over the Oakland Athletics. [read full article]

From Yahoo Sports

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