Sunday, April 8, 2012

Pleasantly Surprised by Austin Jackson

I know its only a three game sample but I have been happily surprised by the production out of Austin Jackson.

In my first draft of the season he was my very last pick and I'm pretty glad for that. In 16 plate appearances against the Red Sox he racked up 8 hits, 5 runs, 2 rbi's, 2 walks, 2 doubles, and a triple. This is great production and while it probably won't last for the entire season I definitely suggest he be owned in every fantasy league.

Dismal Start for Braves

Originally being from at Atlanta I have to show my bias every once in a while, I'm just hoping I won't be embarrassed to do so this year.

After ending last season in a terrible collapse, the Atlanta Braves have started the 2012 season 0-3 against there division rivals the New York Mets. Today was the final game of the three game series and the Bravos got no-hit by Jonathon Niese into the 7th inning were they were promptly gifted a base runner by an error and went on to earn 4 runs in the 7th and another in the 8th. They ended up losing the game 5-7. Currently the winless braves have scored a combined 7 runs and allowed 12 runs this season. A dismal senario considering their pitching should be their strength. This is all against the Mets who were projected by most analysts to finish last in the division and yet are now first after this series versus the braves.

Things are looking up for the braves as their offensive production in this last game was more than their average over the past year and their next series is against the Houston Astros who, if last season is any indication, are one of the worst teams in baseball.

Fantasy League

Starting a couple of Fantasy leagues and hopefully I'll be posting this summer about them. Also if anyone wants to join you need an ESPN account but you can find one of the leagues here. The draft is tonight but hopefully I'll make a few more leagues with a little bit longer of notice.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Players Uninterested in Home Run Derby?

The people heading the Home Run Derby this year may have hit a small snag.

They can't get AL players to agree to go out and swing a baseball bat 100 times as hard as they can trying to hit as many homeruns as possible just to mess up there swing for the rest of the season.

As of right now all four possessions for the NL hitters have been filled by Ryan Howard, Albert Pujols, Prince Fielder and Adrian Gonzalez and just recently two AL players have accepted (how reluctantly we may never know) to enter the competition: Joe Mauer and Brandon Inge.

It's not that amazing that some of these AL players may be reluctant to destroy there swing to win an event that is supposed to be for fun and for fan enjoyment. I'm not trying to denounce the MLB for having the Home Run Derby but it's not good practice for professional baseball players to try to swing for the fences for several minutes at a time. This lack of willingness from AL players to enter this competition shows that they realize that even though they have already made it to the Major League Baseball level that there is still a possibility for them to develop bad habits in there swing during the derby.

I know that the All-Star break is supposed to be fun for the fans and a break for the players but if a player is in both the Home Run Derby and the All-Star game they effectively only have a one day break. This can give those players who don't participate an unfair advantage which is why I'm glad that the Home Run Derby is optional and players don't have to take part. This is probably the reason only two American League players have agreed to take part so far. I don't believe the Home Run Derby should be fixed but at least there are some players who know their body well enough to decline the invitation to the event.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

2009 All-Star Roster has recently released the full list of All-Stars from both the American League and the National League.

American League

Pos Player B/T
C Joe Mauer, MIN L/R
1B Mark Teixeira, NYY S/R
2B Dustin Pedroia, BOS R/R
SS Derek Jeter, NYY R/R
3B Evan Longoria, TB R/R
OF Jason Bay, BOS R/R
OF Ichiro Suzuki, SEA L/R
OF Josh Hamilton, TEX L/L

Pos Player B/T
P Andrew Bailey, OAK R/R
P Josh Beckett, BOS R/R
P Mark Buehrle, CWS L/L
P Brian Fuentes, LAA L/L
P Zack Greinke, KC R/R
P Roy Halladay, TOR R/R
P Felix Hernandez, SEA R/R
P Edwin Jackson, DET R/R
P Joe Nathan, MIN R/R
P Jonathan Papelbon, BOS R/R
P Mariano Rivera, NYY R/R
P Justin Verlander, DET R/R
P Tim Wakefield, BOS R/R

Pos Player B/T
C Victor Martinez, CLE S/R
1B Justin Morneau, MIN L/R
1B Kevin Youkilis, BOS R/R
2B Aaron Hill, TOR R/R
SS Jason Bartlett, TB R/R
3B Michael Young, TEX R/R
OF Carl Crawford, TB L/L
OF Curtis Granderson, DET L/R
OF Torii Hunter, LAA R/R
OF Adam Jones, BAL R/R
OF Ben Zobrist, TB S/R

National League National League

Pos Player B/T
C Yadier Molina, STL R/R
1B Albert Pujols, STL R/R
2B Chase Utley, PHI L/R
SS Hanley Ramirez, FLA R/R
3B David Wright, NYM R/R
OF Carlos Beltran, NYM S/R
OF Ryan Braun, MIL R/R
OF Raul Ibanez, PHI L/R

Pos Player B/T
P Heath Bell, SD R/R
P Chad Billingsley, LAD R/R
P Jonathan Broxton, LAD R/R
P Matt Cain, SF R/R
P Francisco Cordero, CIN R/R
P Ryan Franklin, STL R/R
P Dan Haren, ARI R/R
P Josh Johnson, FLA L/R
P Ted Lilly, CHC L/L
P Tim Lincecum, SF L/R
P Jason Marquis, COL L/R
P Francisco Rodriguez,NYM R/R
P Johan Santana, NYM L/L

Pos Player B/T
C Brian McCann, ATL L/R
1B Prince Fielder, MIL L/R
1B Adrian Gonzalez, SD L/L
1B Ryan Howard, PHI L/L
2B Orlando Hudson, LAD S/R
2B Freddy Sanchez, PIT R/R
SS Miguel Tejada, HOU R/R
3B Ryan Zimmerman, WSH R/R
OF Brad Hawpe, COL L/L
OF Hunter Pence, HOU R/R
OF Justin Upton, ARI R/R

Sunday, July 5, 2009

"Ball-Less" Baseball Promotion

According to a minor league in Hudson Valley New York has seen recent complaints for its promotion for a game this week. Their "Ball-Less" promotion was for the "celebration of femininity and independence," and men would not be allowed in until the fifth inning.

The Promo said that the men would be entertained outside with a parking-lot tailgating party and so they wouldn't miss the game it would be broadcast on big-screen T.V.'s. The county, who owns the stadium, says that the promotion was in "poor taste" and said it might also violate human right laws.

The team did say in their defense that "men will be allowed in if they want and boys will be let in with their mothers." The team also said that the promotion's "'ball-less' title, which critics see as a reference to women not having testicles, was a baseball reference and any sexual connotation was 'fortunately or unfortunately coincidental.'"

Manny Back to Baseball with a Bang

In Manny Ramirez's second game back to Major League Baseball after his 50 game suspension he showed the LA Dodgers' fans what they had been missing. In his first at bat of the night Manny hit a monster home run. The fact that it was a high change up should not detract from the fact that his first hit back in the MLB was a home run. Although it should be noted that it is only hit since returning from suspension. Manny is one for six with a walk, since returning to play for the Los Angeles Dodgers. Even though the game was played at the San Diego Padres you would never know it; a majority of the people at the park were LA Dodgers' fans who cheered Manny Ramirez at his every at bat but were ecstatic when he launched the home run in the first inning. As a fan of baseball, I can only hope Manny can keep this up.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Rome Braves Manager Rant

This is the Rome Braves (a minor league baseball team of the Atlanta Braves) Manager, Randy Ingle, arguing a call made against his team. Now it may seem a bit extravagant but he did have good reason.

It was the top of the tenth inning and the Braves catcher, Matt Kennelly, had just hit the baseball out of the park for a three-run home run which would have given the braves the lead. The Braves dugout was cleared and they were all already celebrating as Kennelly was rounding first when the home plate umpire called foul ball. This threw Randy Ingle over the edge, and he let the umpire know what he thought of the call, even going as far as to move third base to about where the shortstop would stand and mockingly motion for a foul ball.

This is not something new within the braves organization as you may remember the legendary tirade by Phillip Wellman, manager of the the Mississippi Braves, which became a viral hit. But it can be said that it all comes from the top at the major league baseball level, where Bobby Cox has the all time record for ejections with over 140. It seems to me that the Braves organization is alright with its managers being ejected because they see it has a purpose whether it's influencing the umpires, pumping up the players, or becoming a viral hit. I guess it's like they say there's no such thing as bad publicity.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Rays Looking for New Place to Play

Even though they are the Tampa Bay Rays (formerly Devil Rays), they have always played in St. Petersburg which is across the bay from Tampa. There, they have played in the only domed field in in the MLB for the last decade which has had several complaints about the catwalks which sometimes change the direction of hit a baseball. But since 2007 the newly named Rays have been searching for a new place to call home. They are searching throughout the bay area and want to find an area near the major population of the city. This with the state-of-the-art retractable roof design the stadium will hopefully draw a larger crowd to the games. That is the ultimate goal of this project which is predicted to be completed as early as opening day 2012.

After their MLB world Series appearance last some think the fans deserve a new stadium to watch the local team compete at the highest level. And with the new unique sail like design of the retractable roof Major League Baseball had no problem approving the design. Currently the team has found three possible locations for the new baseball field each with it's own advantages but there has been no word yet which one will be the sight of the new Tampa Bay Rays stadium.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Doctor Connected to Manny Ramirez Steroids Under Investigation

Manny Ramirez being one of baseball's biggest stars has had almost constant coverage since being suspended for 50 games for violating Major League Baseball's substance abuse policy. He has so much attention and so much crowd pull that he has sold out the triple-A stadium in Albuquerque and ESPN has shown his at-bats live even though he currently is 0-3 with strikeout and a walk. Since Manny Ramirez was traded to the Dodgers the obsession with him has grown almost to the point of being one of the most recognizable names in the league. This was all well and good until early in the season he was suspended the fifty games for violating the drug policy.

Most people just accepted the penalty because Manny Ramirez himself did not fight the suspension. While there was heavy discussion about the penalty and whether or not Ramirez should even be allowed to play baseball until his suspension ends no one really gave much thought to where he got the illegal substance from. As reported by ESPN the DEA is investigating Miami Doctor Pedro Bosch and his son for their involvement with and possible supplying of steroids to Manny Ramirez. While the investigation has been announced most details have not yet been released.