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Zack Adams
Zack Adams
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David

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.

Continue reading "Playoff newcomers show the baseball ..."


David

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"


David

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.

Continue reading "Offerman a disgrace to the game"


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.

Continue reading "Checking In... And Talking Sox Shortstop Situation"


David

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.

Continue reading "Gold Glove on the pitcher’s mound: ..."


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"


Tony Rossi

This Week in Baseball – Notes posted by Tony Rossi

I know, I know.  We’re all grieving over the way our boys have been playing.  I hope everyone’s been keeping the faith though.  Sure, it’s a cold streak.  But they’ll be back.  I know it.

In any case, here are some baseball tidbits from this week to take your mind off the Sox:

-Bartolo Colon will be pitching for the White Sox tonight.  Remember this guy? How could you not.  Who knows, if he pitches well enough we might see him pitch against the Red sox at the end of August.  I’m sure he’ll get a warm welcome from the Fenway Fans – and by warm, I mean not warm at all. 

-Mark Buehrle pitched a perfect game on Wednesday July 23rd.  That part you probably knew already.  But did you know he got a phone call from White Sox fan Barack Obama?? http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20090723&conte

-The Kansas City Royals have lost nine straight games.  And I thought that Cleveland would finish their season in last.  Right now both teams are tied, but the real story is who’s on top.  The White Sox and Tigers are both tied for first, while Minnesota is only two and a half games behind. 

-Matt Holliday may be dealt to the St. Louis Cardinals.  According to Bobby Dittmeier from mlb.com, the A’s want Cardinal’s prospect Brett Wallace in return.  Wallace is currently hitting .289 with 11 homers and 35 RBIs in the minors.  A lineup that contains both Holliday and Pujols could be pretty dangerous. 

Continue reading "This Week in Baseball – Notes"

Oakland Athletics News

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Gray, A's pound Orioles 10-2 to take series (The Associated Press)

As mid-July statements go, the Oakland Athletics delivered a powerful message to the Baltimore Orioles. Sonny Gray struck out eight to win his fifth consecutive decision, and the major-league best A's pounded the Orioles 10-2 on Sunday in the final regular-season meeting between the AL division leaders. ''I guess it says good things about it,'' said A's catcher John Jaso, who tripled, singled and had two RBIs. Oakland had 15 hits and chased starter Kevin Gausman (4-3) in the fifth before beating up Baltimore's bullpen the rest of the way. [read full article]

From Yahoo Sports


Jones drives in 5 runs, O's top A's 8-4 (The Associated Press)

Adam Jones wasn't all that impressed with matching his career high for RBIs. The veteran outfielder was more concerned with the runners he and his Baltimore teammates left on base. It's that type of thinking Orioles manager Buck Showalter hopes will lead his club deep into the postseason. Jones drove in five runs to back Wei-Yin Chen, and Baltimore beat the Oakland Athletics 8-4 on Saturday night. [read full article]

From Yahoo Sports


Game roundup: A's beat Orioles on walk-off home run (The SportsXchange)

OAKLAND, Calif. -- Third baseman Josh Donaldson hit a three-run, walk-off home run Friday night, lifting the Oakland Athletics to a 5-4 victory against the Baltimore Orioles at the O.co Coliseum. [read full article]

From Yahoo Sports

The Stew's midseason look at MLB award candidates: Cy Young (Big League Stew)

Note: The All-Star break is upon us and The Stew is using the downtime to size up contenders for the year-end awards. We've already looked at Rookie of the Year and MVP candidates . Now let's turn our attention to AL and NL MVP hopefuls. The top Cy Young candidates usually post great numbers while pitching full seasons for contending teams. Those criteria hurt pitchers in respective ways like Clayton Kershaw (back injury), Henderson Alvarez (plays for Marlins) and Stephen Strasburg (3.48 ERA, albeit with good peripheral stats). In that sense, the Cy also requires some luck to win it. Everything must come together, and that usually happens for only a select few. NATIONAL LEAGUE The Frontrunner : Adam Wainwright, St. Louis Cardinals He started the All-Star game for the National League after posting a 1.83 ERA and a 5.5 wins above replacement (via Baseball Reference) in 138 innings. His performance against the American League at Target Field doesn't matter, but don't be surprised if the words Waino used to describe how he pitched to Derek Jeter affects his status among some of the wrong-headed Cy voters. Still, he's in great shape to land his first career Cy Young nod, after finishing second twice (in 2010 and 2013) and third (2009) once. In the conversation : Johnny Cueto, Cincinnati Reds He's second in the league with 141 strikeouts, and is second among qualifiers with a 2.13 ERA — doubly impressive for someone who pitches home games at Great American Ball Park. Leads league with 143 2/3 innings, nearly 50 percent more than Clayton Kershaw. The Question Mark : Clayton Kershaw, Los Angeles Dodgers As we wrote earlier in the season , Kershaw missing several starts at the start of the season because of a back injury probably is going to cost him votes. He's on track for 26 or 27 starts, which will diminish the impact of his numbers no matter how well he pitches. So far, he's posted a 1.78 ERA and a 126-13 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 14 starts covering 96 1/3 innings. He's also managed to compile a 4.4 bWAR, second-most to Waino in the NL. The Dark Horse : Zack Greinke, Los Angeles Dodgers Hurt by having Kershaw as a teammate and vote siphoner, but could lead the league in ERA before the season ends. Posted a 2.73 ERA with 127-22 strikeout-to-walk ratio so far. * * * AMERICAN LEAGUE The Frontrunner : Felix Hernandez, Seattle Mariners The starter for the AL in the All-Star game, it just looks like King Felix's time to get crowned Cy Young for the second time in his career. Second to David Price with 154 strikeouts and Chris Sale with a 2.12 ERA, he also has the Mariners' improved record going for him (or not working against him). Even if they slip out of the race, Hernandez will be right there with the top vote-getters — as long as he keeps pitching like a king. Regardless, he's the guy you want on the mound. In the conversation : Mark Buehrle, Toronto Blue Jays Off to the best start of his career, posting a 2.64 ERA and 4.3 WAR through 19 starts. His 4.30 expected fielding independent pitching indicates that his awesome numbers won't last, but Buehrle always has outperformed expectations. If the Blue Jays stay in the race, there's a good chance he'll stay in the Cy race. Also in the conversation : David Price, Tampa Bay Rays. Only 18th in ERA, but could get on a role and be right among the top contenders (unless he's traded to an NL team and it gets complicated). The Question Mark : Masahiro Tanaka, New York Yankees Might have been the frontrunner by going 12-4 with a 2.51 ERA until he was sidelined by an elbow injury. Tanaka might end up having Tommy John surgery, which would knock him out of contention for sure, but even if he doesn't, his chances are significantly diminished already. Regardless, the majors have added another dominant right-handed talent from Japan like that of Yu Darvish. Hopefully, he regains his health quickly. Also a question mark: Chris Sale, Chicago White Sox. The second-best pitcher in the league, but only a remote contender for the same reason as Kershaw — a lack of innings because of an injury. The Dark Horse: Scott Kazmir, Oakland Athletics Finally putting it all together — talent, health, luck — Kazmir has been the best pitcher on the best team in the league, posting a 2.38 ERA and a .577 on-base plus slugging against. If he keeps it up and the A's win, he'll get a lot of support. And if Felix slips... Even Darker Horse: Garrett Richards, Los Angeles Angels. More MLB coverage at Yahoo Sports:   - - - - - - - David Brown is an editor for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at rdbrown@yahoo-inc.com and follow him on Twitter! Follow @AnswerDave [read full article]

From Yahoo Sports


Orioles-Athletics Preview (The Associated Press)

After a record-setting first half, the major league-leading Oakland Athletics are looking to pick up where they left off before the All-Star break. So are the Baltimore Orioles, who have climbed to the top of the AL East. These division leaders square off Friday night in Oakland in their first meeting since things got heated early last month. The Athletics (59-36) won 4-1 at Seattle on Sunday to set a franchise mark for victories in the first half. [read full article]

From Yahoo Sports

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