Archive for the ‘Major League Baseball’ category

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.

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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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On the rise

May 28, 2008

Looking at Baseball America’s list of top 100 prospects they compiled in February. They are still pretty right on, but they definitely threw us no-brainers.

1. OF Jay Bruce-Cincinnati Reds

Jay Bruce made his big league debut on May 27 and he looked great. The 21 year old outfielder went 3-3 with a double, 2 RBI, 2 runs, 2 BB, and a stolen base. He absolutely smoked a double inches from the right field fence and also showed he can go to opposite field. Overall, an excellent debut for Jay Bruce. 1B Joey Votto is ranked at 44th and is having a good season with .273 with 10 home runs. Still waiting on RHP Homer Bailey who is ranked 9th. His ERA at AAA Louisville is over 4.00, but he was the top prospect listed by BBA for three years before he was surpassed by jay Bruce. (I listed a few Reds in here because there are too many promising young Reds.)

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Replay in MLB?

May 23, 2008

Baseball is considering joining the four other major sports in adopting instant replay for controversial calls. If baseball decides to give instant replay a try, it will be first used in the Arizona Fall League following this MLB season. Then, if it works, it will be used in the World Baseball Classic and Spring Training, and ultimately, in MLB games.

Initially, instant replay would only be used to determine if home run balls leave the park. This is as far as I want to see any instant replay in baseball go. I never thought I would support instant replay for MLB, but the recent string of botched home run calls is getting old. The umpires are not in good position to determine whether a homer is fair or foul, and the increasingly confusing boundaries in stadiums are hindering umpires’ judgment, so tasking replay with this responsibility is understandable. But this is where the line should be drawn. Every other call can be made by an umpire on the field. Balls and strikes and safe or out need to remain in the hands of the umpire crew.

Source: Baseball may try replay in Arizona Fall League (ESPN.com)

Piazza retires, Houston (kind of) fixes their outfield, and a visit to Cincy

May 21, 2008

Mike Piazza has retired after 16 seasons in the majors. Piazza was an elite player for a majority of his career, most notably with the Los Angeles Dodgers and New York Mets. A lock for the Hall of Fame (definitely first ballot), Piazza batted .308 with 427 home runs over his career. He is definitely the best player ever picked in the 62nd round of the draft.

The Houston Astros fixed their outfield home run lines that tricked their outfield into thinking the Cubs’ Geovany Soto hit it out. Soto ended up with an inside-the-park homer instead of a real one. While they’re at it, maybe they can flatten that hill in center that is bound to end a career sooner or later. Stadium quirks are only cool when they aren’t intentional. Houston, you’re trying too hard.

I was in Ohio last weekend to visit Dayton and catch a Reds game (Brandon Phillips 30/30 Bobblehead Day) with Phil and some friends. I like Great American Ball Park. It was a good place to watch a game because though we were in the 500s and our noses were bleeding profusely, we were behind home plate where you get a visually pleasing view of the Ohio River and Kentucky. Enough talk of aesthetics though. The Reds beat the Indians in interleague play with a walkoff homer by Adam Dunn that almost left the park. Dunn is still striking out a lot, but he is keeping those homers (11) and BB totals high. He is combating a weak .231 BA with a productive .373 OBP.

And on an irrelevant note, I ate Skyline and Sonic for the first time and it was delicious.

Astros change yellow line in outfield (Yahoo!)

Piazza retires from baseball (Yahoo!)

Change your homepage because MSN.com hates baseball

May 12, 2008

Here’s a little gem that Baseball Think Factory brought to the forefront. MSN.com (*cough* boycott) featured a piece in their “Men’s” Lifestyle section that tried to knock baseball in eight different aspects. As baseball fans and as people nerdy enough to have a baseball blog…this article was lame.

1. J-Mo says the schedule is too long. 162 games is a ton of games, but the season takes about as long as any other sport. It beats the NFL playing 16 games in 16 weeks. More games=good.

2. J-Mo tells us that he is less than impressed with the physical fitness of baseball players. Ok, John Kruk may have told us he was a ballplayer, not an athlete, but these guys are still in shape. Also, J-Mo says that these guys do not have to work out, they just have to juice. The two biggest names in the PED scandal are well known for their grueling workouts (Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds). Maybe if J-Mo would put a syringe in his head, he would have better opinions. And speaking of physical fitness, how about these 300+ pound lineman who cannot touch their toes? (more…)

Richie Sexson gets angry; helmet throw is a punk move

May 12, 2008

Mariners Richie Sexson charged the mound after Texas Rangers pitcher Kason Gabbard threw a pitch at his eye level. Sexson is 6’8, so if you put a pitch that high, it is obviously on purpose. Sexson charged the mound, chucked his helmet at Gabbard, and tackled him but didn’t land any good punches. And the benches cleared and MIlton Bradley actually played peacemaker, pulling C Gerald Laird from the action. Sexson was initially suspended for six games. However, he appealed and had the suspension reduced to five games.

Sexson said he would have been a lot less angry if Gabbard threw at his body, which is taller than most people. A baseball to the buns or back is a lot safer than one to the noggin. But Gabbard went up top and headhunters get what they deserve.

I do not mind watching athletes get angry and I do not believe in suspensions for anyone who leaves the bench (ie. NBA David Stern crackdown on fun). Checks and balances apply to baseball as well as government, so batters must keep the opposing pitcher in check if he is throwing at guys. I do believe however, that people fighting need to observe proper etiquette, if you will, when it comes to baseball violence.

  1. No kicking or other martial arts moves.
  2. Don’t throw the helmet. Or for that matter, no weapons (we’re looking at you Juan Marichal).
  3. Pitchers: don’t headhunt unless you’re Kyle Farnsworth and can defend yourself.
  4. No spitting.
  5. Leave Zimmer alone!

Sexson suspension to 5 games (Sports Illustrated)