Archive for June 2008

Ups and downs: June 30th

June 30, 2008

Ups:

AJ Burnett had 11 strikeouts on Sunday and also won on June 24th after a stretch of terrible pitching. The Burnett situation in Toronto has been a rollercoaster of trade rumors and very streaky pitching. Looks like he is on an upswing now and will rack up the Ks.

OF Michael Bourn of the Astros has gotten is average up to .235 and keeps stealing bases. He has 31 steals this season. His numbers at the plate make it hard to justify starting him but Bourn is probably your best option if you need base stealers at this point since all the good ones are most definitely taken.

Nationals P John Lannan has a favorable matchup against the Reds on Thursday, July 3rd. He is going up against Johnny Cueto who has improved his last few starts, but still pitches for the last place Reds. Another favorable matchup on Thursday is Justin Verlander facing Carlos Silva when the Tigers visit Seattle. Verlander has been pitching very well lately and Silva and his equally large contract is a testament to the Bavasi era in Seattle.

Downs:

Braves 3B Chipper Jones may be placed on the DL and Tigers OF Magglio Ordonez was just put on the DL with a strained oblique. These are two guys you don’t want to be without, but they can be replaced for a few days. In looking for a new third baseman, look for Blue Jays 3B Scott Rolen to fill in. He is 6 of his last 12 and has 3 homers since June 22. That’s half his season total. For an outfield replacement, another Blue Jay Vernon Wells has been hitting and Tigers Gary Sheffield is on a tear since being activated from the DL.

Marlins Jorge Cantu hasn’t hit a home run since June 11th. He got off to a Chris Shelton-like start but has fizzled quite a bit lately. He did get the game-winning RBI on Sunday though in a 2-5 effort so he may be revving back up. Cantu has been disappointing with his average since June 11 below .210. Give him a few more days but be open to moving him before the deadline.

Padres Randy Wolf has gone 4, 6, and 3.1 innings in his last three starts which have been losses. His strikeout total was nice the other day (10 Ks against Detroit on June 22) but his WHIP is way high (2.3ish) in this span. The Padres have lost eight straight game so outside of Peavy and Hoffman, starting another Padre is not a good idea. Greg Maddux has been feeling the full effect of this poor play as he can’t buy a win (last win was May 10th).

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NL West reverting to awfulness, like in 2005

June 28, 2008

Remember when all the experts and bloggers, including us, were predicting that the NL West was the best division in baseball? We also predicted the Cardinals to suck too, but we were also wrong. Well, everyone was wrong. To be fair, the Rockies have suffered due to injuries (although Matt Holliday and Troy Tulowitzki are back), the Padres can’t hit, and neither can the Giants, and the Dodgers have suffered by hiring Ned Coletti as their GM. Only the young and inconsistent Diamondbacks are at .500 right now, and Eric Byrnes being injured does not help at all.

Diamondbacks 40 40 .500 24-15 16-25 3-7 Lost 3
Dodgers 37 42 .468 2.5 21-19 16-23 6-4 Won 1
Giants 34 46 .425 6 14-24 20-22 4-6 Lost 2
Rockies 32 48 .400 8 20-19 12-29 4-6 Lost 5
Padres 32 49 .395 8.5 21-24 11-25 1-9 Lost 6

(Copied and pasted from SI.com)

Looks like they all have one thing in common: They are not good on the road, and in the Giants case, the Giants suck more at home and happen to have the best record of everyone in the NL West on the road. A lot of other factors too, but we can call the NL West the “NL Worst” again.

Also, who put money on the thought that Chan Ho Park would be around longer than players like Brad Fullmer and Richard Hidalgo?

1989 Tracy Jones baseball card starting at $10,000 on eBay

June 27, 2008

The former 1st overall pick and current radio broadcaster Tracy Jones is now noteworthy because his 1989 Bowman card is being sold on eBay for $10,000, starting bid. He was pretty much a bench player in his day. This is probably the best joke ever. Look at the questions from other members, by the way.

Link

Maybe if they had the 1989 Bowman Griffey.. oh wait, I can get that for $20 on MLB.com..

(Edit: Apparently, from an interview with the seller at Tracy Jones’ show, the card was picked at random, and it was an attempt to pay a $10,000 debt, a common problem in American households today. If we offended the seller, sorry, but man, that would be a great practical joke, to take something somewhat worthless and funny and sell it for a large sum of money on eBay. Oh, wait… watch that go to $10,000 in a few days)

Inge-ured, ump suspended, and Chacon blows up

June 26, 2008

Detroit Tigers utility man Brandon Inge has been placed on the 15-day DL after straining his oblique adjusting his pillow. Not as bad as Joel Zumaya jamming on Guitar Hero, but pretty close.  Here’s a few other dumb sports injuries for you.

  • Tony Allen of the Boston Celtics proving he can dunk after the whistle and trashes his knee.
  • Rockies IF Clint Barmes broke his collarbone lugging meat up the stairs. Todd Helton’s fault since it was a gift from him.
  • Arena Football League’s Elton Patterson tears his quadriceps jumping up and down in celebration.

In more baseball news, umpire Brian Runge got a one-game suspension for being an asshole the other night. Runge went out of his way to egg Mets Carlos Beltran on after a disputed strike call and ejected him. Manager Jerry Manuel then came out to defend his player and was chest bumped by Runge and then ejected. This was some of the most overzealous umpiring I have ever seen. Another case of an ump thinking people paid to see him in action. A longer suspension would serve Runge right and he should pay Beltran and Manuel’s fines of $400 and $500, respectively. Well, maybe just Manuel’s. Beltran will make $18 million this season.

Pitcher Shawn Chacon probably ended his major league career when he threw Astros GM Ed Wade to the ground by his neck. The Astros cut him today after suspending him indefinitely. There are two sides to every story and Wade may have been at fault too, but you’re an adult and a major leaguer; handle things differently. Chacon should have done this in 2005 when he had a 3.44 ERA over 151.2 IP with the Rockies and Yankees. His 2008 ERA of 5.04 and his violent tendencies however, should earn him a spot on every teams’ blacklist. I wouldn’t recommend showng your boss your best Latrell Sprewell impression under any circumstances.

My NL all-cheap team

June 26, 2008

In my expertise, the cheaper you are, the uglier you are and the worse it’s going to be. Of course, that’s in my second job, prostution (I am pretty high priced myself). In baseball however, there is not really a correlation. There are some great players making peanuts for cash, and these players are mostly pre-arbitration players.

Jorge Cantu

Jorge Cantu

C Russell Martin – LA Dodgers

This was a tossup between two very good catchers in Brian McCann of the Braves and Russell Martin, in everything. There’s also Geovany Soto, who is very good. But I would go with Martin just because he’s dating Alyssa Milano now, I think, in a trade with Brad Penny. Both are great catchers.

1B Conor Jackson – Arizona Diamondbacks

There are some great, cheap first basemen, like the unhappy Prince Fielder, Joey Votto and James Loney but I’m going with Conor Jackson, as he’s getting on base at a .401 clip, and has always provided consistent play, even though his fielding is somewhat suspect, but the other guys I considered, their fielding is suspect too, and in the case of Loney, his fielding has not developed yet, although I have to admit, I’m not good at analyzing defense. I think CoJack would be my choice though.

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Stars and Stripes caps

June 24, 2008

The Welcome Back Veterans fund is trying to raise $100 million for returning soldiers with the Stars & Stripes Performance 59FIFTY On-Field Cap. Teams will wear them for the 4th of July weekend and September 11th. The hats as you can see incorporate the flag’s stars and stripes onto the logo. I am never a big fan of altering the uniform, but it is for an excellent cause, the design isn’t too over the top like this hat, and New Era hats are always quality. Like any New Era 59FIFTY hat, look for it to be uncurved, half-on and crooked or backwards, kind of just resting on the heads of suburban whiteboys everywhere.

AL pitcher hits grand slam

June 24, 2008

In some rare good news for the Seattle Mariners, P Felix Hernandez became the first AL pitcher since 1971 to hit a grand slam. Not only did he hit an opposite field grand slam, but it was off of Johan Santana making it even more notable. Later in the game though, Hernandez sprained his ankle in a play at the plate and had to leave the game early. He was winning but only pitched 4.2 innings, so he didn’t get a decision which sucks for you fantasy players. Seattle won the game 5-2 though so everything is ok. The team says he’s fine though and will be ready for his next start.

Hernandez now has more homers than:

SS Jason Bartlett (244 AB)
C Victor Martinez (198 AB)
OF Joey Gathright (196 AB)
1B/OF Ross Gload (166 AB)
SS Omar Vizquel (105 AB)
1B Sean Casey (104 AB)