Archive | June, 2010

NL All-Star Voting

It’s that time of year again.  The Mid-Summer Classic is about to be upon us, so it’s time to take a look at who should be playing in Anaheim.  Today, I want to take a look at the senior circuit.

National League

Catcher – This position seems to be a little thin this year.  However, I feel Brian McCann is having the best year so far.

Brian McCann – Atlanta .258/8/30/.806 ops

First Base – As always, there is a lot of talent at 1B in the NL.  I find it hard to argue with Albert Pujols.  Pujols is simply the best hitter in the NL in many minds, and it’s hard to argue with it.  Despite a few other potential All-Stars here, I am going with Pujols.

Albert Pujols – St. Louis .302/15/50/.962 ops

Second Base – I really don’t see any other possible player here except Martin Prado.  Prado is playing out of this world so far.  Leading the league in hits and adding a little power and run production, Prado seems to be the easy choice here.

Martin Prado – Atlanta .340/7/31/.865 ops

Third Base – There are a few solid prospects here.  I am not sure Scott Rolen is getting his due, but I am going to go with David Wright.  With his added ability to steal a base, I think he comes out on top among the 3rd sackers.

David Wright – New York .291/12/55/.896 ops

Shortstop – Despite his lack of respect for his boss, I think Hanley Ramirez is the clear choice.  He is the real deal at shortstop with power, speed, and the ability to hit for average.

Hanley Ramirez – Florida .293/11/43/.878 ops

Outfield – I think the list of possible starters is at least 5 deep.  I am going to start off with Andre Ethier.  He is having a great season, and his upside is still yet to be seen fully. To round out the field I have teammates Ryan Braun and Corey Hart.  Both are having solid years.  Braun is one of the better hitters of his generation, and Hart is starting to come into his own with a great year so far.

Andre Ethier – Los Angeles .320/12/44/.965 ops

Ryan Braun – Milwaukee .310/10/46/.873 ops

Corey Hart – Milwaukee .268/18/53/.918 ops

Pitcher – I really don’t see any point in picking anybody other than Ubaldo Jimenez.  His numbers are amazing this year.  Throw in a no-hitter, and he is the clear choice.

Ubaldo Jimenez – Colorado 13-1 /1.15 era / 1.00 whip

So what do you think?  Let me know who you think I missed, or overrated.

‘Till Next Time,

TBJM

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Posted in MLB6 Comments

The Little Things

Sometimes it’s the little things in life that bring so much pleasure.  As I sit here on Wednesday night, it is nearing midnight.  I am trying to catch up on some things that have been put off for over a week now.  During that week and a half I have had the worst sinus infection of my life.  It took me 3 visits to doctors to get antibiotics, but now I have them and they are starting to work.

So I sit here after work watching the US soccer team struggle to make it to the round of 16, my head, throat, and teeth hurt from my sinus infection but I can’t help but crack a smile.  For today I got a package from home, and in it David Sunflower Seeds.

Now I know many of you might be thinking, what?  These little seeds of joy covered in salt will bring me great pleasure.  There is nothing like being at a game with a bag of seeds, and David makes the best.  I have been unable to find them here in Korea.  Yes, I have been told I might be able to find them in Seoul.  But I don’t live in Seoul.  So having a few bags to hold me over till the end of the year brings a big smile to my aching face.

Sometimes it’s the little things that bring so much pleasure.

TBJM

Next Up: My votes for the All-Star teams

Posted in Way Back Wednesday0 Comments

Kid Dynomite’s Debut

It was a spectacle in Washington on Tuesday night, and it lived up to the billing.  Unless you don’t follow baseball or have been living under a rock for the past few weeks, you’d know I am talking about Stephen Strasburg’s Major League debut.  Strasburg has been the talk of baseball since last years draft.

Strasburg quickly tore through the minor leagues putting up amazing numbers.  However, the Nationals waited till after June 1 to call up Strasburg to postpone arbitration for a year.  In 11 minor league starts (between AA and AAA) Strasburg was 7-2 with an era of 1.30.

In front of a standing room only crowd Tuesday night, Strasburg dazzled.  In 7 innings he struck out 14 and only allowed 2 runs.  His stuff was electric.  Fastballs over 100 mph to go along with devastating breaking balls.  It was quite the site.

I was really pleased to see this for Washington.  They have not had anything to cheer for in years.  This gets the league talking about them in a positive way.  Plus, it was nice to see a full crowd in Washington.  That doesn’t happen too often.  This is a must needed boost in the arm for the Nats.

It will be fun to watch him over the rest of the season, but don’t expect him to continue putting up numbers like he did Tuesday night.  I do expect him to put up solid numbers, but he is bound to have his ups and downs as all new pitchers do.

Stephen Strasburg AP Photo/Charlie Riedel

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Stories of Korean Baseball

I know Korean baseball doesn’t get much air time in the states.  In fact, other than the hardcore fan who might watch the WBC or Olympics (back when it was a sport) most may not know that Korea has a professional league.  They also might not know that the play in the league is quite good.  There are some solid players in the league including many ex MLB players.

With all of that said, there really aren’t that many websites that cover the KBO on a daily basis.  The one I have found is True Stories of Korean Baseball.  There is a lot of good information to be found here.  With daily updates on games, weekly power rankings, and other news to report, Matthew does a  great job keeping everyone updated on what’s going on in the KBO.  You can also find Matthew following the Lotte Giants of Busan.  He writes articles for Busan Haps, an English language magazine.  There he is following the Giants and their manager Jerry Royster (former MLB player).

So give it a look and check out what goes on what’s happening on the Korean baseball front.

Posted in KBO0 Comments

Manic Monday – Walk Off Brawl?

I have seen walk off home runs, walk off walks, walk off passed balls, you name it and I have seen it, except this.  In a Memorial Day Single-A game between the Bakersfield Blaze and the Visalia Rawhide, the game erupted in a donnybrook.

With the game tied 1-1 in the 10th inning, Engel Beltre (a Texas Ranger prospect) hits a walk off home run to right field.  This marked the start of a one minute seven second trot around the bases.  As he nears 3rd base, he begins jawing with some of the unhappy Rawhide players.  A full on fight breaks out before he can touch home plate.  It didn’t seem as though Beltre was as interested in scoring as he was in participating in the fight.  The video is below.

Beltre finally finishes his romp around the bases with a one finger salute to the Rawhide team as he touches home.  Beltre was acquired in the Eric Gagne deal from Boston in 2007.  Seven players have been suspended for the altercation, including a 5 game stint for Beltre.

Posted in Manic Monday, MiLB, Videos0 Comments

Hello Win Column! – What a Game This Is

With all the crap that we see in our day to day lives, sometimes we need to be reminded that there are genuinely good people out there.  Unfortunately this normally takes a bad event to occur (hurricanes, earthquakes, etc…).  But today we got to see something special, and nobody died or was injured in the process.  Of course, I am talking about Jim Joyce and Armando Gallaraga.

Both men acted like adults and nobody got out of control.  The situation, as bad as it was, was handled with incredible maturity.  I have gained a lot of respect for both parties involved.  I found the link below through Brent Mayne’s Blog, and it is quite the moving video.  I think Mayne said it best when he said, “This is why baseball is the greatest sport on the planet and this is why we should leave it alone.”

So watch the video below.  Shed a tear or two (I did).  Then take a moment to remember just how great this game really is.  Oh and while you’re at it, go check out Brent Mayne’s site.  I really enjoyed it.

Clip of Joyce and Gallaraga

Jim Joyce and Armando Gallaraga shake hands prior to game.

I felt this deserved to go under the headline of Hello Win Column!  After all, this is a good story in the end, and that is what I want to bring to you with this segment.

Posted in MLB0 Comments

Around the Horn

I wanted to weigh in on the happenings from yesterday. There were two significant events of the day.

First of all, let me quickly mention the retirement of Ken Griffey Jr. I know Griffey hasn’t been the same player for quite some time, but it’s still a sad day knowing one of the all-time greats of the game is retiring. I don’t think I have ever seen a player that played with such joy and emotion while at the same time being one of the best, if not the best, in the game. In my mind he is the greatest center fielder of his era, and easily the best one I ever got to see play. He is 5th on the all-time home run list, and what is unique about that is he has never been linked to steroids. A 13 time all-star, 10 time gold glove winner, and the AL MVP in 1997 (.304/56/147), Griffey will definitely be missed in the baseball world.

Perhaps overshadowing the Griffey retirement somewhat is Armando Gallaraga. Gallaraga was 1 out away from the 3rd perfect game of the year and 21st in history when umpire Jim Joyce blew a call at first base. I have to say in the aftermath that I was pleasantly surprised at how well both Gallaraga and Joyce handled the situation. Joyce understood after seeing the replay that he blew the call and requested to talk to Gallaraga personally. Gallaraga himself has been quite understanding of the whole situation by not getting bent out of shape with Joyce. He said he understood that it was a difficult call and that Joyce was human. It is reassuring in a day and age when many baseball players can be demanding prima donnas to see someone with a level head in a situation as big as this one.

So will anything happen in the end? I don’t think Gallaraga will get his perfect game, but I do think baseball will look at expanding instant replay. Whether this is a good or bad thing is debatable and will be debated, but I am not sold one way or another. What do you think? Should commissioner Selig do anything about the situation? If so, what? I’d love to hear what others think.

You can also join the conversation on twitter by following me there @baseballjourney or on Face Book.

AP Photo/Paul Sancya

Posted in MLB0 Comments

June 1 Surprises

I was looking at the standings and box scores from June 1st and a few things stood out to me. I can’t really decide what is the most surprising out of all of this too, so I want your help. Leave a comment and let me know what you think.

1. Teams in 1st place include Atlanta, Cincinnati, San Diego, Texas and Tampa Bay
or
2. Troy Glaus’ stats .277/9/40/.452 vs. Ryan Howard .280/9/35/.454
or
3. Anything else that has really surprised you. There seem to be quite a few.

On a Braves related note, just how good can Jason Heyward be? He is already in the top 10 in RBI, slugging, OPS, and OBP. He is a star in the making and I am glad there is someone to take over for Chipper when he is gone. The Braves have been lacking that person ever since Chipper started his decline.

Posted in MLB2 Comments

Two For Tuesday – Baseball Injuries

With the recent injuries to Kendry Morales and David Huff, it got me thinking of some of the worst injuries that I have seen in the past. I have seen my share on the field and on TV, but there are a few that stand out to me.

The first one that comes to mind is former All-Star Dave Dravecky. In 1988, Dravecky was diagnosed with cancer in his arm. He underwent surgery in late 1988 and was told he would never pitch again. Dravecky worked hard and was determined to get back to the mound, which he did in August of 1989. He pitched brilliantly in his comeback going 8 innings and winning against Cincinnati. Five days later tragedy would strike in Montreal. In the 6th inning on a pitch to Tim Raines, Dave Dravecky broke his arm. It was a gruesome sight and one I will never forget.

Two years later the cancer would return. With his arm continuing to deteriorate, Dravecky was forced to have his arm and shoulder amputated. Today Dravecky is a motivational speaker. You can see part of this in the short video below which includes video of his arm breaking in Montreal.

The other injury that comes to mind is the one Jason Kendall suffered on July 4, 1999 in Pittsburgh. As Kendall crossed first base he suffered a compound dislocation his ankle. It was a horrifying sight to see. Ankles are just not meant to bend in that direction. He wound up missing the rest of the season but came back strong the following year. I don’t have video of the injury, but there is a grisly picture below.

What are some of the injuries that you remember best? Leave a comment and let us know your thoughts on the best, or worst, injuries.

Posted in MLB, Videos0 Comments


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There are three things in my life which I really love: God, my family, and baseball. The only problem - once baseball season starts, I change the order around a bit. ~Al Gallagher, 1971

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