Archive | January, 2012

Didn’t Tony LaRussa Retire?

Tony LaRussa led the St. Louis Cardinals to the 2011 World Series Championship. Then he retired after the season. There is no taking away the end of season and post season run that he led the Cardinals on as they overcame a lot to win their 11th title. But why is he coming back to coach one more game?

Bud Selig announced that LaRussa will be back to coach the NL All-Stars in Kansas City this season. This will be the 3rd time he will lead the NL team (2005, 2007), and his 6th time overall.

It is not the first time a retired manager has come back to manage the Midsummer Classic, but it is the first time since 1972 when Danny Murtaugh managed the NL after leading the Pirates to the World Series in 1971. John McGraw was the only other inactive manager to lead a team in the All-Star game. He did it in the first All-Star game in 1933 after retiring after the 1932 season.

I know this isn’t setting any precident, and I understand that Tony LaRussa has done a lot for baseball but I am not a fan of the idea. Perhaps if the game was being played in the old manager’s stadium then it would be one thing, but it isn’t. After all doesn’t this game mean something now?

Either make the game what it is and should be, an exhibition or have everyone take it serious if you want to continue to make it mean something. To me this is just confusing the issue. It’s really frustrating to see how they have continued to screw with the All-Star game and make it a joke.

The All-Star game is an exhibition. Don’t have home field advantage to the winning team unless you want to change things. The players don’t seem to take it seriously and you have players from the Pirates and Royals determining the fate of the World Series. So here is how I would change the game if you want it to determine which league has the home field in the World Series.

1. Make the game mandatory unless players are hurt.

2. Have the best players play more – managers are too worried about having the lone Pirates player get in the game and so forth. If you let the best play longer then you won’t have to worry about running out of players.

3. Don’t let inactive managers manage – the result doesn’t effect them in the end so why are they there

However, the easiest way to fix everything is to eliminate the home field advantage from the All-Star Game. Let that go to the team with the best record from the regular season. Then we can stop giving these mixed feelings about what the Midsummer Classic really is.

Follow The Baseball Journeyman on Twitter or Facebook. And don’t forget to join our RSS feed for all the latest information.

[ad#Google Adsense]

Posted in MLB2 Comments

Way Back Wednesday: What Is Your Best Sports Year?

Have you ever thought about what was the best year in sports for your favorite teams? This goes beyond baseball but of course the basis of the decision is due to baseball. Easily my best sports year was 1995.

There are a lot of reasons why this was my best sports year, but the number 1 reason is the Fall Classic. I can still see Carlos Baerga’s fly ball landing in Marquis Grissom’s glove in center field to give Atlanta its first and only title.

MLB Baseball

In 1994 the world of baseball was rocked by the strike and the loss of the World Series. The Braves came back strong in 1995 winning the pennant. It was the first year of the Wild Card in baseball, and the Braves sent the young Colorado Rockies home early before sweeping Cincinnati in the NLCS.

The greatest game of the season and one of the best pitched World Series games of all-time came in Game 6. Tom Glavine pitched 8 innings of 1 hit ball, and David Justice hit a solo home run in the 6th inning off of Jim Poole for the lone run of the game. The Indians had a vaunted offense led by Albert Belle, Jim Thome, and Manny Ramirez but the Braves rotation of Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, John Smoltz, and Steve Avery was too much for the Tribe.

Another big thing to happen in 1995 was Cal Ripken breaking Lou Gehrig’s record for consecutive games played. I can remember watching that game on ESPN, and I still can recall the “victory lap” he took after breaking the record.

NCAA Baseball

The College World Series was a lot of fun to watch with the Cal State Fullerton Titans slugged its way to the championship behind their MVP Mark Kotsay. Some notable names that we got to see in the series were J.D. Drew (Florida St.), Billy Koch (Clemson), Todd Helton (Tennessee), Alex Cora (Miami), and Geoff Jenkins (USC).

NFL

Even though they wouldn’t win the Super Bowl until 1996, the Dallas Cowboys were the best team in the NFL in 1995. They won the NFC East and went 12-4 on the year while they were on their way to winning their 3rd Super Bowl in 4 years. It was a great year for Troy Aikman and the gang.

Tennis

Andre Agassi and Pete Sampras dominated the year in Tennis. They had a great rivalry and they were always fun to watch. Agassi won the Australian Open and Sampras won the US Open and Wimbledon.

NBA

With Michael Jordan playing baseball for most of the regular season, the Houston Rockets won their 2nd straight title defeating Shaquille O’Neil and the Orlando Magic 4 games to 0.

So overall it wasn’t a complete sweep in every sport for my favorite teams, but in the 2 biggest that I follow it was. My favorite MLB team the Atlanta Braves won their 1st title, and my favorite NFL team the Dallas Cowboys were the best all year long and would eventually win the Super Bowl. Other sports could have been better like college football. I hate Nebraska and they would win another title. However, overall this was a great year for sports in my life.

So what was your best sports year?

Follow The Baseball Journeyman on Twitter or Facebook. And don’t forget to join our RSS feed for all the latest information.

[ad#Google Adsense]

Posted in Way Back Wednesday0 Comments

Texas Rangers – Prince Fielder or Josh Hamilton?

Prince Fielder or Josh Hamilton? That’s a question a lot of Rangers fans have been asking of late. I’d like to weigh in with my thoughts on the issue.

Josh Hamilton has been a great Texas Ranger so far. What he has done while in Arlington can not be over shadowed one bit. However, as big a fan of Hamilton that I am if I had to choose I’d take Fielder. And here is why – 89, 133, 121.

Josh Hamilton is an injury risk as he had proven over the past 3 seasons. When healthy he is one of the best in the game, but he doesn’t do anyone any good on the disabled list. He’s a free swinger that doesn’t walk much. He hasn’t been a huge presence in the post-season for the most part, but the threat is always there.

Hamilton wants to play center field which just isn’t a good idea considering how fragile he can be and reckless going after balls. He’s a great outfielder with great speed and a great arm, but he belongs on the corner just to keep him healthy.

Many people might point to his past with drugs and throw that out as another reason to lean toward Fielder. It’s not an issue for me, and it does not garner any weight in my decision.

Prince Fielder is just the better long term bet for the Rangers regardless of how great Hamilton is in the community or clubhouse. He is 3 years younger, less of an injury risk, and has put up incredible numbers over his career. He is a huge power threat that would feast hitting in Arlington. He walks a lot more than Hamilton and thus has a bit higher on base percentage whereas the slugging is about the same.

You still get the powerful left-handed bat in the lineup that you have with Josh, but you also open up some opportunities. Mitch Moreland might not command much on the open market, but he might give you something in return. Or he could add depth to your corner outfield.

The Rangers don’t have a lot of depth in the minors at outfield, but if they do decide to go with Fielder they have some chips to move that could bring outfield help. With Fielder at first for the next 5 or 6 years and Beltre signed through 2015, that could free up Mike Olt as a trade piece. Olt is a highly thought of third base prospect who could be moved to first.

Plus with the addition of Yu Darvish to the rotation, there might be a chance to move one of your starters for prospects.

Either way the Rangers will have a star. And looking back just 3 short years you never would have thought the Rangers would be in this position. It’s an exciting time to be  a Texas Rangers fan.

Follow The Baseball Journeyman on Twitter or Facebook. And don’t forget to join our RSS feed for all the latest information.

[ad#Google Adsense]

Posted in MLB0 Comments

A Look at the World Series in the Year of the Dragon

It’s a quite day here in South Korea. It’s Lunar New Year so almost everything is closed and the streets are quieter than most days. It’s cold outside and I have been huddled inside my apartment passing the time by blogging, reading, and watching some TV. I threw on Moneyball because I didn’t have much else to watch when I got a thought. This year is the Year of the Dragon, but who has fared the best during the “Dragon” years?

Let’s take a look.

1904 Wood Dragon
No World Series was played. The Boston Americans won the American League pennant again with the New York Giants winning the NL Pennant. The Giants refused to play the champions of the “junior” circuit. The previous season the Americans had defeated the Pittsburgh Pirates in a series set up by the two teams, not by the leagues.

1916 Fire Dragon
Boston Red Sox 4, Brooklyn Robins 1
The Red Sox won their 4th title and 2nd in a row defeating the Brooklyn Robins (Dodgers) in 5 games. The Red Sox were led by a young 23 game winning pitcher who led the league in ERA at 1.75 that goes by the name of Babe Ruth.

1928 Earth Dragon
New York Yankees 4, St. Louis Cardinals 0
For the first time a team swept the opposition in two straight series as the Yankees led by slugger Babe Ruth defeated the Cardinals for its 3rd title. The Yankees dominated the series outscoring St. Louis 27 to 10.

1940 Metal Dragon
Cincinnati Reds 4, Detroit Tigers 3
The Reds would capture their 2nd title and first since the infamous 1919 Series. Reds’ manager Bill McKechnie became the first manager to win a title with 2 different teams (he won in 1925 with Pittsburgh).

1952 Water Dragon
New York Yankees 4, Brooklyn Dodgers 3
The Yankees won their 4th title in a row (they would win a 5th in a row the next year). It was the Yankees 15th title. Mickey Mantle would hit his first World Series home run in Game 6.

1964 Wood Dragon
St. Louis Cardinals 4, New York Yankees 3
The Cardinals won their 7th World Series title defeating the Yankees. The Yankees would not be seen again in the World Series until 1976.

1976 Fire Dragon
Cincinnati Reds 4, New York Yankees 3
The Big Red Machine won its second title in a row cruising by the Yankees for its 4th title overall. This was the first World Series to use the DH. The Reds dominated outscoring the Yankees 22-8 in the 4 games.

1988 Earth Dragon
Los Angeles Dodgers 4, Oakland Athletics 1
This one will be remembered for the heroics of Kirk Gibson in Game 1. The Dodgers were led by Cy Young winner Orel Hershiser (23-8) who would also win the series MVP award. The Dodgers outscored the heavily favored A’s 21-11.

2000 Metal Dragon
New York Yankees 4, New York Mets 1
The Yankees would win their 3rd straight championship and 26th overall. Derek Jeter won the MVP in what was dubbed the “subway series”. This was the last time we have seen a repeat winner.

2012 Water Dragon ????
So who will come out on top in this year of the dragon?

In the previous 8 World Series played during years of the dragon, both leagues have 4 wins. Of those 4 wins for the AL, 3 of them are from the New York Yankees. For the NL, the Reds have the most wins with 2. Does this mean we could have a Yankees/Reds World Series this year? I guess anything is possible.

Follow The Baseball Journeyman on Twitter or Facebook. And don’t forget to join our RSS feed for all the latest information.

[ad#Google Adsense]

Posted in MLB0 Comments

Major League Baseball Will Miss Drayton McLane

Major League Baseball will miss Drayton McLane, former owner of the Houston Astros. He was simply one of the good guys in the game and not enough can be said about how this game could use more men like him.

Too many times we read of an owner who is meddling with the team and doesn’t know when to step back and let others do their jobs. Or a team is owned by a huge corporation where there is no face of the franchise and thus little or no personality. Some are outspoken which can be good and bad. Some are only in it for the money to be made and not putting a winner on the field. But I never got this feeling about the Astros when they were owned by McLane.

I am not here to say that all owners in baseball are bad. Honestly I don’t know most of them. I don’t read a lot about them, nor do I really care too much about them. McLane was a little different though. He was from my home town of Temple, Texas.

I have never been a huge Astros fan but I have never been a huge Astros hater either. A large part of the later comes from the fact McLane owned the team for so many years.

McLane purchased the Astros in 1993 when I was in high school. It was a big deal in our small little town of about 50,000 people. The first year or two he owned the team they had a special day called “Temple Day in the Dome” where may of the people from my hometown went to a game and had a reception following the game. Busses of people went down to show their support, but I was never able to attend. Even before this, he was always a generous kind man.

During the summer of 1993 my Pony League baseball team needed money to travel to Dallas for a regional tournament. Who stepped up? Drayton McLane did. Even though we were not able to make the trip due to other circumstances, he was there donating the money we needed to make the trip. He always showed support for our high school baseball program, and even spoke at our awards banquet my senior year. It was a pleasure getting to know him even just a little.

McLane did a lot of good for Houston and the Astros. He built Minute Maid Park, took the Astros to their first ever World Series in 2005, and for a period of 13 seasons the Astros ranked 2nd in the National League in winning percentage at .543.

I have read a lot of articles and interviews where the press said he was always available. He always answered their questions and made time for them. He was a visible owner at all times but not so much in a Jerry Jones in your face way. Every time I turned on the Astros game, you could see him sitting behind home plate sometimes with the likes of former president George H. W. Bush.

Some have said he was too involved, especially these last few years when the Astros have been horrible. Even if that is true, which I don’t know for sure, he has done more good for the team and the city that he ever did harm.

MLB will miss Drayton McLane. Whatever he decides to do in the future I know everyone wishes him well and he will be successful. I will continue to root for the Astros, except when they play my favorite teams of course and most of that is simply because of Mr. McLane and what he has done.

So thank you Drayton McLane for all you have done. You will be missed. MLB was a better place with you in its ranks.

Follow The Baseball Journeyman on Twitter or Facebook. And don’t forget to join our RSS feed for all the latest information.

[ad#Google Adsense]

Posted in MLB1 Comment


New Era (eFashion Solutions)

Quote of the Month

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

Polls

Who Will Win the 2014 World Series?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...
film izle yerli film izle
üniversite taban puanları lys konuları