Tag Archive | "American League"

How much of a lesh should mouthy fans of teams like KC be given if any?


Does not winning for a decade or two allow a team’s fans to have an outburst against another team’s fan with no recourse?

I got a sarcastic and ill meaning tweet from a Royals fan last week after I posted jokingly that all the Rangers needed for a slumpbuster was to see some KC pitching.

Now I have nothing against the Royals. I would love to see them competative again since it has been a long time. I am even a fan of many of their players, but after I got a “Welcome to 12 wins” tweet I responded.

After the Rangers swept the Royals, I tweeted back, “Welcome to the sweep – How are those 12 wins STILL working for you?” Sure maybe a little harsh but I certainly didn’t need some KC fan telling me off when I meant no harm. I would have said the same thing with any team since the Rangers had put up 11 runs after a hard series loss against LA.

His reply – The 26 year playoff drought rule clearly states “All boastful outbursts by Royals fan must not be met with malice or spite”

Now neither of us meant harm, and I am certainly not upset, but I wonder how much losing relieves a fan of being the target after a boastful outburst?

To me, if you can dish it out you need to be able to handle the backlash. So how much of a lesh should mouthy fans of teams like KC be given if any?

Thoughts?

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That’s the Way Baseball Go


When it comes to the Josh Hamilton situation, Rangers manager Ron Washington said it best when he said, “That’s the way baseball go.”

There have been a lot of people trying to put blame on Dave Anderson, and some have put the blame on Josh Hamilton. I am not here to pass blame on anyone, but in the end its Josh’s choice on whether to go or not.

It’s definitely not going to be easy for the Rangers in the next 6-8 weeks, but I feel that they are better equipped to deal with something like this than they ever have been.

Sure you can’t replace a bat and presence like Hamilton in the middle of the lineup, but through contributions from various players such as David Murphy, Michael Young, and others the Rangers will be okay. The best thing they have going for them is the division is rather weak.

So let’s get off pointing the finger at who is to blame for Josh’s broken arm. It was a simple case of dumb luck. If he scores and doesn’t get hurt, everyone is doing the claw. But that didn’t happen. Time to move on and keep playing ball. The game doesn’t wait for anyone, and every other team will have injuries as well.

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Goodbye Manny!


This past week Manny Ramirez retired from baseball. He did so not because he felt he could no longer help his team, but because he tested positive yet again for steroids or PEDs (performance enhancing drugs). He would have been the first player to test positive twice for PEDs, although Neifi Perez did test positive twice for amphetamines.

Manny Ramirez was one of the greatest hitters to come a long in a long time. But how much of his greatness is due to his steroid use? How long did he get away with it before he was caught? Those questions will probably never be answered because Manny, being Manny, took the coward way out of this by retiring. Manny won’t take his punishment (100 game suspension) and face the cameras. Instead he will run and hide and count all the money he got by defrauding the baseball world.

I for one am tired of Manny’s act. The circus he brought to the game is a tired act.  I gave up on Manny when he gave up on his teammates. There isn’t a bigger foul that a player can commit than quitting on your own team. I won’t miss him. I was a little saddened when Tampa Bay signed him. I like the Rays and they always seem to be fighting an uphill battle in the AL East. With a guy like Manny on their team, it was only 1 more battle to overcome.

So the only silver lining in all of this is Tampa Bay will be able to move on without further distractions from the Manny circus which you know was going to come sooner or later.

I don’t think he really even cared about it, but Manny will be yet another player with amazing stats that will never get into the Hall of Fame. And in this writer’s humble opinion, he doesn’t belong there.

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Hello Win Column – The Texas Louisville Slugger Massacre


Opening weekend in Arlington, Tx was great if you are a Rangers fan and not so great if you are a Red Sox fan. The Rangers simply beat the Red Sox like a drum. The got good pitching performances from Matt Harrison, CJ Wilson and Colby Lewis. Throw in some good performances at the back of the bullpen and the Rangers had a great series, but that is not where all the highlights came from. Those came from the other side of the ball.

Ian Kinsler and Nelson Cruz, do I need to say more. Both set records that I never would have thought about.

Ian Kinsler hit leadoff homeruns in the first 2 games of the season – record.

Ian Kinsler and Nelson Cruz both hit homeruns in the first 3 games – record.

They both had great series and Cruz even continued his homerun hitting in game 4. But it didn’t end with these two. David Murphy had a big series. Elvis Andrus, Mike Napoli, Adrian Beltre and other had some big hits. It seemed like everyone on the team was hitting homeruns, and the Rangers beat up on some of the better pitchers in the American League in Lester, Lackey, and Buchholtz.

Does this mean the Red Sox are done for the year, no. They are nowhere near being out of the race, and Red Sox Nation I have one thing to say to you – Lighten up Francis! I have seen too many blogs throwing a fit like a 5 year old who didn’t get his way. I hate to break it to you but Red Sox Nation is not the only group that watches ESPN. So you had a bad series, everyone does. There are so many ups and downs during a full season that everyone is going to be swept from time to time. It’s better to have it now than the last 3 games of the season. I actually like the Red Sox despite being a huge Rangers fan (basically a convert from being a Yankee hater for years). I root for them in the AL except when they play Texas, but I have to say a few Red Sox bloggers have made Red Sox Nation look like a bunch of whining 5 year-olds. You don’t see Pirates fans getting upset when someone on ESPN says they play horrible. So why are you?

I was glad to see the Rangers come out and play well to start the season. They have kept it going in the 2nd series and I know it is early but I hope there is more of this to come. I still think they make the playoffs, but can they get past a team like the Red Sox in the playoffs? They sure made a statement that will be remembered come September, but its early and there is a lot still to be seen, but I like what I am seeing.

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Opening Day Memories


Opening Day is romantic, rejuvenating, sentimental, fun, and exciting all rolled in one and to me it should be a national holiday. Baseball is a reminder that spring is here and things are starting a new. For many teams it is the only time of year that many teams have a glimmer of hope.

When I was back in the States working I would use a vacation day to take the day off and either attend a game or sit at home and watch baseball all day long. But with all the good memories come some not so great ones as well.

First, let me take a look at some of the better memories.

I can remember several times waking up early in the morning to catch the first pitch of the season coming from somewhere overseas like Japan. In 2008, the Oakland A’s and Boston Red Sox started the season out in Japan and I was up at 3am (or whatever time it was in the US) to watch those games. Some may call me crazy or say that I am hardcore, but I love it.

Several times I was able to attend Opening Day at the Ballpark in Arlington (dubbed the “Temple” by the guys from Sports Radio 1310 in Dallas). Each time I made it the weather was gorgeous, the fans were lively, and the games were great no matter who won. I love seeing pomp and circumstance around the first game. The pagentry of seeing the anthem being sung by a star sometimes (saw Jessica Simpson sing it before I knew who she was), seeing the giant flag out on the field and either jets/bombers flying over the stadium or the bald eagle flying to home plate. With it all wrapped up in one, it makes for such a great experience.

If I couldn’t make it to a game, my routine would be gathering some “baseball” food such as hot dogs, peanuts, sunflower seeds, and a cold beverage to sit down on the couch and watch as many games as possible. ESPN always did a great job of showing multiple games throughout the day. Then the Holy Grail came along in MLB Extra Innings which used to (don’t know if they still do it) give a free preview for a week.

Missing the first pitch of the season is not something I like to do, but sometimes it happens. This year I just arrived back in South Korea and was a little jet lagged still from the 30 hour trip out here. The first game of the year started about 2am here locally, and I was simply unable to stay up and watch it. It was a little frustrating, but it just wasn’t going to happen. It looks like I will miss the Rangers first game as well on Friday because I don’t have internet in my apartment yet. Again, it is a little frustrating but once things get rolling here again I will be able to watch a lot of baseball since the night games back home come on here in the morning before I go to work.

I seem to have little luck in watching my favorite team play on Opening Day, the Atlanta Braves. This year was jet-lag. Last year I was again in South Korea, but I was up and ready to watch the game only to have MLB.tv not work. That was VERY frustrating. I was up early in the morning and the game was not being shown due to technical difficulties. But this wasn’t the only time I had issues. In 2009, I got the chance to go to Atlanta to see the opening game. I couldn’t have been more excited. For the previous 20+ years I had rooted for the Braves good or bad, but it was always from afar. Being able to attend the festivities was going to be amazing for me. The only problem was nobody told mother nature how excited I was.

The game went into a rain delay as it stormed quite hard. The game was halted and my friend and I went home to watch the game on TV only to have the game to go into extra innings. The Braves did win, I did have a good time, but it wasn’t what I had expected for my first Opening Day in Atlanta. I hope to go back one day to see it once again.

Overall, Opening Day is one of the best days for me, but it really is only the beginning of my favorite part of the year – baseball season. After today there is another 182 days of what I like to refer to as “summer greatness”. Then it gets even better with all the greatness that comes with the fall season and the Fall Classic.

So no matter who you root for, today is a day to renew your love of the game, have faith in your team, and have a little hope that your team will see the light of day in October.

I’d love to hear any stories you have of Opening Day’s from the past.

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Carlos Pena: A Class Act


Carlos Pena spent the last 4 years in Tampa Bay. He was with them when they went from the Tampa Bay Devil Rays and 66 wins in 2007 to just the Rays and 97 wins in 2008. But in recent days, Pena has left Tampa Bay for the windy city and the Chicago Cubs.

Even though his production has decreased over those 4 years, Pena was still a big part of the Rays and all the winning they have done recently. He was apart of a team that will go down in history as the first to reach the World Series in Tampa Bay.

Monday, Carlos Pena bid his city and teammates an emotional farewell. I thought it was a class act from a guy who grew in his time in Florida. I wish him well in Chicago and hope he puts up huge numbers once again……just not against my Braves.

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Thoughts on Cliff Lee


I, like many Rangers fans, were quietly hoping for Cliff Lee to be the opening day starter for the Rangers come next season. But in the end, I am glad he isn’t.  Why would I not one of the best pitchers in baseball not on the team? Let me tell you.

The Rangers typically have to overpay for pitching to get the high quality arms to come pitch in what is simply a hitter’s paradise. As the temperature heats up in Arlington, baseball start to fly out of the park.  And it gets hot in Arlington. Having to overpay for the #1 free agent pitcher on the market just doesn’t make sense in the long run.

I would have loved to see the Rangers sign Lee for 5 years, but Lee said it would take a 7 year deal from the Rangers to get it done. Thanks, but no thanks. For a pitcher his age, its just not worth the long term, and very expensive, investment. Especially since there are other options out there. Zach Greinke anyone?

The Rangers have been building their team on young talent with a mix of older veterans. Just the way you should build a team. Overpaying for 1 player that could haunt you after a few years as he weights down your team with a hefty salary and not much production is not good for business. Not to say that Lee would be unproductive in the last years of the contract, but odds are he wouldn’t be the ace he is now.

So what should the Rangers do now? Go after Zach Greinke and/or Matt Garza. The Rangers have a solid foundation for a rotation and with the addition of another solid arm or two, they would once again be on the right track for another playoff run.

Another option I have heard tossed around is to sign a closer and move Neftali Feliz back to a starter. I am not sure what the Rangers actually think of this, but in the long run I think this is the plan. But how do you mess with a young kid who was just dominate as your closer? I hope to see him anchoring the bullpen again next season.

All in all, I am glad Cliff Lee is not a Yankee even though he is not a Ranger. Add on top of that that the Angels did not get Carl Crawford and the Rangers have had a good off-season already. If they can land Greinke or Garza through a trade, it will be a really good off-season.

Now what to do at DH?

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World Series: Texas Rangers vs San Francisco Giants


The Texas Rangers will square off with the San Francisco Giants in the World Series this year.  I think it is safe to say that nobody saw this match up earlier this year.  Both teams are relatively big surprises to be in the Series, but on the other hand they aren’t.  They both have what it takes to win in the postseason and that is pitching.

The San Francisco Giants have a dynamic due on the hill of Time Lincecum (16-10/3.43 ERA) and Matt Cain 13-11/3.14 ERA).  Add in Johnathan Sanchez (13-9/3.07 ERA) and you have a formidable rotation for the postseason.  Not to mention perhaps the best reliever in the NL in Brian Wilson (48 saves/1.81 ERA) coming out of the bullpen. The Giants led the NL in ERA and were 4th in WHIP.

The Rangers have their stars on the hill as well.  First of all, everyone knows Cliff Lee and how dominant he has been in the postseason through his career (7-0/1.26 ERA), and this year has been no different.  Following Lee is former closer CJ Wilson (15-8/3.35 ERA) and Colby Lewis (12-13/3.72 ERA). The Rangers have a formidable pen as well with Neftali Feliz (40 saves/2.73 ERA) closing, and the Darren’s to set him up – O’Day and Oliver.

Where I think the Rangers have the advantage is on the offensive side of the ball. The Giants have some solid hitters. Buster Posey (.305/18/67), the likely NL ROY, Aubrey Huff (.290/26/86), and Pat Burrell (.266/18/51).  But the Rangers have potential MVP Josh Hamilton (.359/32/100), Vlad Guerrero (.300/29/115), and Michael Young (.284/21/91).  The Rangers still have power, but they have added speed as well stealing 123 bases to the Giant’s 55.

One thing we know is its gonna be a heck of a series. I don’t think either team sweeps, but I do think the Rangers win in 6. The Rangers are simply riding a franchise high. They have never been to this point in the season, and I think they will help propel them forward. This franchise has never been the talk of the town in Dallas, and now they are the toast of the town. The excitement they have created in Dallas is incredible, and I think the team is feeding off of that excitement the fans are showing. Not to say the Giants and their fans aren’t excited, but they have been there before.  This was the first year the Rangers even won a postseason series, let alone been to the World Series. A lot of people might look at that and see it as a negative, but I see it as a positive motivator that will help the Rangers.  They have a few of their stars that have been there and who know what it takes to win at this level.

So I stand by my prediction – Rangers in 6.

Of course, my last WS prediction of the year didn’t turn out too good, but I have a better feeling about this one.

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Hello Win Column & Hello World Series


I am speechless right now.  I did not see the game because I was visiting the DMZ.  I will be watching it tonight and will share my thoughts on it later this weekend when I can put into words what this means.

Bring on San Fran/Philly – Cliff Lee is waiting!

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WASHINGTON, BLACK WIN CONNIE MACK AWARD


Press Release

WASHINGTON, BLACK WIN CONNIE MACK AWARD

Ron Washington of the Texas Rangers and Bud Black of the San Diego Padres were named winners of the Connie Mack Award by the Baseball Bloggers Alliance, noting them as the best managers in their respective leagues for 2010.

Washington, who weathered a drug controversy in spring training, led Texas to their fifth divisional title since 1994 and their first since 1999.  While the voting was based on his regular season accomplishments, Washington also guided his team to their first ever postseason series victory when they eliminated the Tampa Bay Rays in five games in the American League Divisional Series.

Washington received ten first place votes in route to accumulating 74 total points.  He edged out Minnesota Twins manager Ron Gardenhire, who received 67 points.

In the National League, Black’s guidance of a Padres team almost universally expected to finish last to first place most of the summer helped him edge Dusty Baker of the Cincinnati Reds by the slimmest of margins. The fact that the Padres fell just short of the playoffs while the Reds won the NL Central helped lead to the tight race.  Black garnered nine first place selections and 53 total points to Baker’s seven first place nods and 51 total points.

The complete voting results are as follows (first place votes in parenthesis):

American League
Ron Washington, Texas (10) 74
Ron Gardenhire, Minnesota (7) 67
Joe Maddon, Tampa Bay (4) 35
Terry Francona, Boston (3) 20
Cito Gaston, Toronto 9
Buck Showalter, Baltimore 9
Joe Girardi, New York 2

National League
Bud Black, San Diego (9) 53
Dusty Baker, Cincinnati (7) 51
Bobby Cox, Atlanta (2) 33
Bruce Bochy, San Francisco (3) 29
Charlie Manuel, Philadelphia (1) 27
Brad Mills, Houston 3
Mike Quade, Chicago 2

The Baseball Bloggers Alliance was formed in the fall of 2009 to encourage cooperation and collaboration between baseball bloggers of all major league teams as well as those that follow baseball more generally. As of this writing, the organization consists of 224 blogs spanning all 30 major league squads as well as general baseball writing.

The BBA is organized under a similar structure as the Baseball Writers of America, where blogs that follow the same team are combined into “chapters” and only two votes from the chapter on an award are counted. The blog chapters that are focused on general baseball were allowed two votes as well, which they could use both on the same league or split between the two leagues.

Chapters generally followed one of two methods when casting their ballot.  Either representatives of the chapter were given the ballots for voting or a “group ballot” was posted, accounting for both of their votes.

Ballots are posted on the respective blogs and tabulated on a 5-3-1 point scale for first, second and third. In the interest of transparency, links are given below for the ballots. Chapter affiliation is in parenthesis.  Those chapters that decided on the group method are noted with an asterisk.

American League
Camden Crazies (Baltimore)*
Boston Red Thoughts (Boston)*
Toeing The Rubber (Boston)*
The Tribe Daily (Cleveland)*
Motor City Bengals (Detroit)
Switch Hitting Pitchers (Detroit)
One Royal Way (Kansas City)
Seth Speaks (Minnesota)
Bronx Baseball Daily (New York)*
Contract Year (Oakland)
Jeff’s Mariners Fan Blog (Seattle)
Rise of the Rays (Tampa Bay)
Baseball Is My Boyfriend (Texas)*
The Blue Jay Hunter (Toronto)
500 Level Fan (Toronto)
Advanced Fantasy Baseball (Fantasy)*
Misc. Baseball (History)*
Victoria Seals Baseball Blog (Other)*
Blogging From The Bleachers (General)*

National League
Prose and Ivy (Chicago)*
Cincinnati Reds Blog (Cincinnati)
Astros County (Houston)
Feeling Dodger Blue (Los Angeles)
Bernie’s Crew (Milwaukee)*
Brewers Bar (Milwaukee)*
The Eddie Kranepool Society (New York)*
Dugger’s Corner (Philadelphia
Where Have You Gone, Andy Van Slyke? (Pittsburgh)*
i70 Baseball (St. Louis)
The Outfield Ivy (St. Louis)
Friar Forecast (San Diego)*
Advanced Fantasy Baseball (Fantasy)*
Misc. Baseball (History)*
Victoria Seals Baseball Blog (Other)*
Blogging From The Bleachers (General)*
Ron Kaplan’s Baseball Bookshelf (Miscellaneous)*

Prior Winners
2009: Mike Scioscia, Los Angeles of Anaheim; Jim Tracy, Colorado

The official website of the BBA is located at www.baseballbloggersalliance.com.  The BBA can be found on Twitter by the handle @baseballblogs and by the hashmark #bbba.  Members of the BBA may be heard at Blog Talk Radio every Tuesday night with their call-in show, BBA Baseball Talk, which may also be downloaded as a podcast from iTunes.  For more information, contact Daniel Shoptaw at founder@baseballbloggersalliance.com.

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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

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