Category Archives: MLB Playoffs

Alex Rodriguez

What will the Yankees do with Alex Rodriguez?

At some point they will just have to eat the contract and trade him right? I mean what alternative is there when you have Eric Chavez pinch hit for him? He is owed at least $116 million for the next five years.

I don’t understand the people saying Ibanez should have hit for him in the 8th inning tonight? How does that make any sense? The Orioles would’ve intentionally walked Raul Ibanez to face Nick Swisher. So the question really becomes would you rather have A-Rod hit or Swisher? Cano, Granderson and Swisher should be thankful that A-Rod as usual will get all the blame when they have done absolutely nothing.

As always you can leave a comment here, reach me by e-mail or Follow sahyder1 on Twitter.

Ceremonial First Pitch at Texas Rangers game

The 2011 MLB playoffs got under way on Friday and there was already a great moment prior to any games having started.

The Texas Rangers invited 6-year-old fan Cooper Stone to throw out the Ceremonial First Pitch to his favorite player, Josh Hamilton. If you aren’t aware Cooper’s father Shannon Stone fell to his death at the Ballpark in Arlington earlier this summer.

Great work from the Texas Rangers here. Also kudos to the crowd.
As always you can leave a comment here, reach me by e-mail or Follow sahyder1 on Twitter.

Average MLB game has only 14 minutes of actual action.

This past summer we heard a lot of talk from American sports fans saying things along the lines of “soccer is boring because there is no action.” The next time you hear that from someone, just send them this Wall Street Journal article. This study shows that the average Major League Baseball game only has 14 minutes of actual action.

The stopwatch would start when a pitcher lifted his leg to begin his pitching motion. The timing would stop when the ball hit the catcher’s mitt or, if it was put in play, when the presiding umpire made a call or the players all stopped moving (pickoff attempts and steals were also counted as action).

The result is that during these games, there was a nearly identical amount of action: about 14 minutes. To put that in context, that’s about 10.9% of the total broadcast time (excluding commercials). It’s a fraction of the roughly 88 minutes the players were shown standing around between plays, nearly 45% more than the 10 minutes of replays that are shown and almost four times as much as the cameras show players lounging in the dugout.

Seriously, 14 minutes of actual game play during the average Major League Baseball game. A lot of us will stay up until past 1 AM Eastern on most nights during the baseball playoffs thanks to games that take close to 3 hours to finish. 
 This comes on the heels of an earlier study which reported that the average NFL game only had 11 minutes of action
As always you can leave a comment here, reach me by e-mail or Follow sahyder1 on Twitter.
MLB 2K10Baseball: The Tenth Inning

Quick MLB Playoffs Predictions

Baseball playoffs…..or as TBS refers to it “programming we air in the middle of Conan promos!”

I’m taking Twins in 5 over Yankees. Twins probably need Liriano and Pavano to come up big but Yankee pitching after Sabathia is shot. Liriano has to find a way to outduel Sabathia.

Rays in 4 over Texas. Angels dropped the ball on Vlad last off season so it is good to see him get another crack at a ring eventhough I don’t see them beating Tampa.

As much as it pains me to say it, Phillies in 4. It can easily be a sweep. I want t see Halladay do well since I’ve always been a big fan of his but I just wanted the Jays to trade him to a team I didn’t hate.

Giants in 3. Bobby Cox’s career will end with yet another early exit from playoffs. I love the Giants pitching.

Rest of the Playoffs:

Rays over Twins in 5
Giants over Phillies in 7

Rays over Giants in 6

As always you can leave a comment here, reach me by e-mail or Follow sahyder1 on Twitter.

PEDs and the World Series

Here we are are about 30 hours away from the start of the World Series and so far these Major League Baseball playoffs have been all about Alex Rodriguez. The man who when all is said and done will retire as the baseball player with the greatest offensive statistics of all time has finally won over a large chunk of the baseball media and fans who were always critical about his lack of “clutch” hitting. 

It was back on February 9th of this year that Alex Rodriguez sat down with Peter Gammons of ESPN and confirmed the reporting of Sports Illustrated’s Selena Roberts that he had indeed failed a steroids test in 2003. There are reportedly as many as 104 names people on the list the list the US Government seized back in 2009. The Major League Baseball Players Association disputes that number. Earlier this year the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in a 9-2 decision ruled against Federal Agents saying they did not have the authority to seize that list.  

The list contains names of players who allegedly failed the 2003 MLB administered test. The test was supposed to be anonymous and destroyed after the results but Federal Agents seized the list. Ever since then names have been leaking out slowly. The list is also in the hands of lawyers including those involved with the BALCO case. So far we know for sure 7 names that were on the list.

Everyone is familiar with the story. Everyone has a different opinion on it. There are those like me who just want the whole list to just come out at once. This would be the ideal solution. We all know that a significant number of players used Performance Enhancing Drugs. It helps no one that these names trickle out one by one every few months and dominate the headlines. The “clean” players have done a horrible job here. Yes, they are part of the union but every day that passes by they are just letting themselves be associated with cheaters. If the MLB and MLBPA really thinks these names won’t continue to be leaked they are just fooling themselves. Both the MLB and MLBPA have already acknowledged that baseball did have this cloud over it. Yes, I know they only did so once Congress got involved but all parties involved need to take the next step and put this era behind us.

When all the backlash against Barry Bonds began at the start of this decade I continued to root for him. I felt all along that he was being hung out to dry by everyone because of his personality. Barry Bonds never came across as the friendliest guy in the room. He wasn’t out there doing commercials like pretty much every major star does right now. He wasn’t kowtowing to the media either. In that process he made a lot of enemies who took great joy in his downfall. The problem here is that fans, media and the MLB all continue to be hypocrites. The media has let guys like Alex Rodriguez get a complete pass. They’re falling all over him in this year’s playoffs. Why is no one asking whether this man who’s already acknowledged cheating might still be doing it? Human Growth Hormone is still a problem in this sport. Would anyone really be surprised if it comes out later that Alex Rodriguez was caught using HGH? Fans around baseball have been hypocrites. These players get booed in other ballparks but are revered in their home ballparks. New York Yankees fans who used to regularly criticize Barry Bonds on sports radio now give curtain calls to Alex Rodriguez. These same fans did it for Jason Giambi and Andy Pettite.

The media continues to give Alex Rodriguez a complete pass. Everyone is covering this as though this is some great feel good story. Why is everyone forgetting that just 8 months ago this man was exposed as a cheater and a fraud?

What are the MLB and MLBPA gaining from withholding these names? They know they will come out eventually. Shouldn’t the MLBPA be looking for it’s entire group? Every time a name is leaked that one player faces the spotlight for a couple of months. Why not just do it all in one shot in a controlled atmosphere and put it behind you?

With that said I’m shocked we haven’t seen another name or two get leaked during this year’s playoffs. With Alex Rodriguez, Sammy Sosa, Manny Ramirez and David Ortiz having been named earlier this year I fully expected another name or two to be leaked with the spotlight of sports fans on the MLB in October. I mean, wouldn’t this be the perfect time to cause damage to baseball?

As always you can leave a comment here, reach me by e-mail or contact me via Twitter. This article is on Newsvine too, please help seed it up the Vine.

submit to reddit Digg! Seed on Newsvine

MLB has already put the Yankees in the World Series

Has MLB never seen the “Dewey beats Truman” picture? Clearly they haven’t because there is just no justification for this ridiculous act. I was reading the Los Angeles Times and look what I found. Here I was thinking the only major sports uproar today would be about baseball going head to head against the NFL tonight.

 How does MLB justify already selling merchandise on their website saying “New York Yankees American League Champions”. Are you serious?

I know and fully understand that a lot of this stuff is printed ahead of time but how can you be advertising it on your website already? Everyone knows MLB would prefer the Yankees in the World Series for ratings purpose but you’re setting yourselves up for major criticism if calls go against the Angels tonight since you know, MLB has already put the Yankees in the World Series.

Did MLB not learn anything from that guy who had a book up on Amazon available for pre-order about the undefeated Patriots?

At last check MLB had not fixed this on its site.

Do you remember other incidents like this one? Please share.

As always you can leave a comment here, reach me by e-mail or contact me via Twitter.

What are you watching Sunday Night?

Fans in the New York market will be torn Sunday Night. Because of the rain in New York Saturday night Game 6 of the American League Championship Series between the New York Yankees and the Los Angeles of Anaheim has been postponed to Sunday night. At the same time Sunday Night Football will be on too with the New York Giants taking on the Arizone Cardinals. What will you be watching at around 8:30 Sunday night?

Football obviously is the bigger thing nationally and should win the ratings war for NBC over Fox’s MLB telecast. What happens is the New York market will be completely different. The Yankees/Angels game should crush the NFL game and destroy NBC’s ratings in the New York market. NBC 4 in New York even has a special edition of the Sunday sports show “Mike’d Up” planned but it will be a waste as baseball should crush football in New York rating wise.

People will most certainly blame Major League Baseball for scheduling a game at 8:20 PM eastern time on a Sunday night. What do people expect MLB to do here? Fox has a full slate of NFL games around the country including 3 starting at 4:15 PM. There is no way MLB would take the chance that one of those games goes into overtime leaving the start of a big baseball game like this off of TV. There is no way you can blame MLB or Fox here.

With that in mind thought, what will you be watching tomorrow night?

As always you can leave a comment here, reach me by e-mail or contact me via Twitter.

MLB Playoffs Day 1….Live Blog

1:32 AM – Rick Ankiel strikes out looking on a 100 MPH fastball to end the game. Dodgers go up 1-0 winning this one by a score of 5-3. I’ll be back again tomorrow to live blog. Spread the word. Have a good night.

1:30 AM – Wow…tying run coming to the plate for the Cardinals with two outs. What was Kemp doing there? You have to keep the ball in front of you there. We’ve seen some bad outfield play today. Dodgers lead 5-3.

1:23 AM – We head to the 9th inning with the Dodgers leading 5-2. These 2 teams have left 29 men on base tonight. That is a record for a 9 inning playoff game. Unreal. Matt Holliday, Ryan Ludwick and Yadier Molina due in the 9th against Broxton.

1:18 AM – Back to back 1 out walks here in the bottom of the 8th. Dodgers threatening to extend their lead. Russel Martin at the plate grounds out to the right side. Pujols with a great diving stop. Runners move over. Broxton is staying in the game. Dodgers feel safe enough with the 3 run lead. Need Broxton to close it out in the 9th inning.

12:57 AM – For a game that has had so many base runners there hasn’t been any juice to it at all. There are runners getting stranded all over the place.

We are through 7 at Dodger Stadium with the Dodgers leading 5-2.

12:26 AM – Bob Nightengale points out that the Dodgers and Cardinals have set a Divisional Series record already tonight:

The Dodgers and Cards have already set a Division Seires record by leaving 23 runners on base….and we still have 3 innings left.

12:18 AM – Bases loaded yet again…..and this time Russel Martin gets hit by a pitch forcing in the Dodgers 5th run. Dodgers now lead 5-2. Bases still loaded as the Cardinals change pitchers. Jim Thome is pinch hitting for the pitcher.

11:52 PM – What an at bat from Rafael Furcal here. Gets the RBI on a sacrifice fly after an 11 ptich at bat. Runner on 3rd now….2 outs. Dodgers lead 4-2.

11:46 PM – Pierre pinch hitting for Jeff Weaver drops down a bunt with 2 on and no outs…..but why didn’t he run right away? Runners on 2nd and 3rd for the Dodgers. One out….and they still lead 3-2.

11:25 PM – How many times have the bases been loaded already in this game? Dodgers have them loaded here in the bottom of the 4th. Still 3-2 Dodgers.

11:10 PM – Randy Wolf doesn’t make it out of the 4th inning. Bases loaded and 2 outs. Jeff Weaver coming into the game to face Ryan Ludwick. Dodgers lead 3-2.

10:56 PM – Chances are by the end of the playoffs I’ll be sick and tired of Ernie Johnson, his mother, his blackberry and his mailbag.

10:49 PM – Big error by Derosa there. He has to throw that ball home. Don’t look at the umpire either….throw the ball first. Big error. Dodgers lead 3-1. Two on and one out. Carpenter is in some trouble here.

10:24 PM – I haven’t verified Jay Crawford’s math but:

the yankees have spent 1.555 billion since 2002. 6 div titles 0 ws rings. twins have spen 475 million. 5 div titles, 0 ws rings. REFUND!!!

10:18 PM – I’m going to interrupt this Live Blog because I just won $50 gift card from the WNBA. I wonder if it works on the NBA store website too?

WNBAStore.com winner is @sahyder1, who correctly predicted the @PhoenixMercury win & Catch, @cappa23 hi scorers

You can now return to your regularly scheduled programming.

9:58 PM – Matt Kemp 2 run Homerun. Dodgers take 2-1 lead. Nobody out in the bottom of the first.

9:52 PM – Dodgers get out of the inning without much damage as Cards leave bases loaded thanks to inning ending double play.

9:51 PM – Bases loaded and a run in for the Cardinals already? Randy Wolf’s first career playoff start isn’t going well. Only one out.

9:46 PM – Ballgame over….Yankees win. Marino pitches a scoreless 9th. 7-2 Yankees the final.

Time for Cardinals and Dodgers.

9:35 PM – What? Why put in Joba in for only one batter? Why is Rivera pitching the 9th? Why not let Joba finish the game? What exactly did the Yankees learn about Joba from that one batter?

9:30 PM – So TBS just showed a picture of the Empire State Building. One problem though….I don’t think that video was from tonight. This link updates what color the Empire State Building is lit up with that night…and according to this it is white today. TBS showed Red and some other color.

9:25 PM – Phil Coke and Joba Chamberlain get the final 2 outs of the 8th on 3 pitches. Lets see how Joba pitches in the 9th with a big lead.

9:00 PM – I don’t agree with the Twins here. Two outs in the 7th and Jeter on 3rd. A-Rod is at the plate. They just took out Liriano and brought in Rauch. I would’ve stuck Liriano there…pitch around A-Rod and go after Matsui. Should’ve tried getting Liriano to the end of the game. The bullpen is shot….why waste the arms?

Of course as I type this A-Rod drives in Jeter. Yankees lead 7-2.

8:47 PM – Phil Hughes with a big strike out of Orlando Cabrera. Great at bat but Hughes gets the better of him. Twins strand two runners in scoring position. Mauer was on deck.

My question is why did they show Kate Hudson after that strike out?

8:38 PM – Posada is having a really rough game behind the plate. Big spot here for the Twins. Runners on 2nd and 3rd with two outs. Cabrera to the plate against the new pitcher Phil Hughes. Mauer is on deck. Cabrera needs to get on base here and bring Mauer to the plate with men on.

8:09 PM – Hideki Matsui crushes one off of Liriano. Two run shot. 6-2 Yankees. This one is turning ugly in a hurry.

8:04 PM – Here is where you fall into a trap. A-Rod was in an 0-19 slump with runners in scoring in the playoffs….runner on 2nd and 2 outs, you have to walk him. Twins decide not to and he gets a hit scoring Jeter.

Ken Davidoff of Newsday in New York did a little research on that A-Rod RBI.

The last time he had postseason hit w/RISP, A-Rod’s teammates included Ruben Sierra, John Olerud, Esteban Loaiza and coach Willie Randolph.

Yankees lead 4-2. Pitching change as Liriano comes into the game for the Twins.

7:51 PM – Cliff Lee got a complete game earlier today. Have any idea who got the last complete game in National League playoffs before today? Ed Price has the answer.

7:42 PM – With 2 outs Swisher doubles down the left line. Cano scores from first. The throw from Young was up the line. Mauer had not shot at the plate.

Cabrera strikes out to end the 4th inning.

Yankees lead 3-2

7:29 PM – Jerry Crasnick just posted this:

I just checked this: The opposing team BA against Brian Duensing rises from .219 to .250 to .317 to .379 with every 15-pitch increment.

7:21 PM A-Rod strikes out to end the 3rd inning. Since the start of Game 4 of the 2004 ALCS he is now hitting 9 for 63 (.143) with 2 homeruns and 3 RBIs. He’s also struck out 19 times.

7:14 PM – Derek Jeter ties it up with a 2 run homerun. Yankees 2 Twins 2

7:12 PM – Chip Caray just called another fly ball a basehit. Are you kidding me?

6:55 PM – Chip Caray says he “thinks” Yankees gave #27 to Girardi because they want their 27th championship. Hasn’t that been widely known for 2 years?

6:12 PM – Suzyn Waldman on Yankees Radio Network just said Orlando Cabrera got a World Series ringwith the Angels. Um….in 2002 Cabrera was playing for the powerhouse Montreal Expos.

5:50 PM – That Dwight Howard “NBA on TNT” commercial where he jumps out of a taxi might be the best commercial we see all playoffs long.

5:45 PM Carl Pavano just got booed in the pregame introductions.

5:26 PM – Atkins strikes out to end the game. A complete game for Cliff Lee in his first career playoff start. Wh at a start for him. What a pickup he’s been for the Phillies.Another base hit would have made things interesting. Manuel surely would have had to go to the bullpen.

Way too much time left until the Yankees/Twins game which comes our way at 6:07 PM. I guess I’m switching over to the Yes Network to watch the Yankee pregame show.

The Phillies win Game 1 by a score of 5-1.

5:24 PM – There goes the shutout. A 2 out hit breaks the shutout. Rockies are still down 4 down to the last out. Lee going for a complete game.

5:06 PM – Cliff Lee is through 8. Ed Price of Fanhouse.com points to this possible historical note:

No pitcher has ever stolen a base and thrown a shutout in the same postseason game

5:00 PM – Why did Barack Obama record a commercial for George Lopez’s new show?

4:51 PM – Great article in the Wall Street Journal about the one and only Vin Scully.

4:35 PM – Rockies get out the inning but down 5 runs now. They have 9 outs left and the heart of the order coming up in the 7th against Lee.

4:28 PM – Finally an out. Pedro Feliz flies out to left.

Jayson Stark brings us another nugget:

Phillies have actually scored 5 runs without hitting a HR. Not their thing. Only did that 9 times all year — and just once since July 22

4:25 PM – Wow, no National League team has won back to back World Series since the Reds in 75-76….before that you go back to the Giants in 21-22. Wow.

Pitching change. The lefty Beimel comes in but gives up a base hit to Ibanez. Worth scores easily. Rockies head back to the bullpen and in comes the right handed Matt Daley. 5-0 Phillies

4:21 PM – Werth crushes one to left center…..but the wind carries that ball more to center field…..Werth with an RBI triple. He thought about rounding 3rd and going home too but with no one out wisely stops at 3rd.

Phillies lead 4-0. Philly bullpen can’t blow this….can they?

4:18 PM – Chase Utley singles. Ryan Howard follows that up fly ball deep to left field….where Carlos Gonzalez over runs the ball before crashing awkwardly into the wall.

Utley scores easily on the double to make it 3-0 Phillies and no one out here in the 6th. Keep in mind though that this Philly bullpen is an adventure.

4:13 PM – This nugget from Jayson Stark of ESPN:

Not that this means anything. But the Phillies were 10-0 last postseason when they took a lead of two runs or more.

We head to the bottom of the 6th. Phillies lead 2-0.

4:05 PM – The Rockies get out of the inning giving up just 2 runs.

3:58 PM – Nice at bat by Ruiz. What was that…like 8 pitches? What was Hawpe doing there in Right Field? Have to keep the runner at first there. Ibanez scores easily from 3rd on the play but Hawpe’s misplay in RF sends Ruiz to 2nd as Cliff Lee comes up to the plate with just 1 out.

3:51 PM – It’s cliche but a leadoff walk to Jayson Werth comes back to haunt the Rockies here. Raul Ibanez (what a pickup he was by the Phillies) follows that with a double.

Phillies – 1 Rockies – 0. Bottom 5th and there are still no outs.

3:43 PM – Just over an hour into this game and we are already headed to the bottom of the 5th in Philadelphia. Gotta love a pitchers duel.

3:23 PM – Rockies got lucky there. Just can not let a pitcher get a base hit and then still a base.

Quick stat from Ed Price of Fanhouse:

Cliff Lee gets first postseason SB by a pitcher since John Smoltz in 1995. Smoltz also had SBs in 1991-92, before that Billy Loes in ’52

3:19 PM Can’t let the Phillies pitchers get on base with 2 outs and turn the lineup over for that top of the order. And you can definitely not let Philly pitchers steal a base. What are you doing?

What is Cliff Lee trying to do here? He’s lucky he didn’t get picked off there.

3:08 PM Lineups for Yankees/Twins have been posting. Credit to Tyler Kepner, he’s the Yankee beat write for the New York Times.

Twins Lineup:

Span cf, Cabrera ss, Mauer c, Cuddyer 1b, Kubel rf, Young lf, Harris dh, Tolbert 3b, Punto 2b; Duensing p

Yankees Lineup:

Jeter ss, Damon lf, Teixeira 1b, ARod 3b, Matsui dh, Posada c, Cano 2b, Swisher rf, Cabrera cf; Sabathia p

2:39 PM Wind is going to be a factor in today’s game. Looks like some serious gusts in Philly. Yankee Stadium Forecast for later today calls for gusts of 40 miles per hour.
2:35 PM I wonder if we can ask “EJ’s mailbag” if it is possible for TBS to replace Caray on the main broadcasting team?

2:32 PM Brian Anderson and Joe Simpson (who are these 2? Who’s games to they call?) welcome us to Citizens Bank Ballpark on TBS.

It’s finally here. Playoff Baseball. It should be an interesting month. The National League is wide open. There isn’t that much seperating the 4 teams. The American League is a slightly different story. The Yankees go into their Divisional Round Series against the Twins as heavy favorites. Last I checked they were around 5 to 1 favorites to win the series. The problem for them is that they can’t seem to beat the Angels…..who in turn can’t seem to beat the Red Sox. So where does all of this leave us? I’ll try to live blog on days I am at home or somewhere with an access to a computer. On Saturday I’m going to a Rutgers Football game so I’ll blog the late games then.

The Twins game 1 starter Brian Duensing was a teammate of Joba Chamberlain’s and has apparently never even been to New York. Oh boy. C.C Sabathia needs a solid game 1 here for the Yankees. His career playoff numbers are nothing to write home about. What a sight it would be if the $161 million man got booed out of the stadium?

The Twins have nothing to lose here. Without Justin Morneau they go into this series as heavy underdogs as was already mentioned. I expect Joe Mauer, who should be the American League MVP to get a lot of IBBs.

The Phillies/Rockies series starts off on a bad note. Jorge De La Rosa a 16 game winner is out for the Divisional Series for the Rockies. Major loss especially against this Phillies lineup. Lots of pressure today on Cliff Lee. He’s had good run for them since the trade but he has never started a playoff game.

I’ll talk about the Dodgers/Cards Series later.

Listening to a Brian Cashman interview with Mike Francesa right now. The Yankees brass was gathered at Yankee Stadium last night watching the Twins/Tigers game and then going over the advance scouting reports on the Twins.

Quick predictions
Yankees in 4 (Twins need to jump out early today on Sabathia and wear out the Yankee bullpen to have any shot)
Angels in 5
Dodgers in 5
Rockies in 5

As always you can leave a comment here, reach me by e-mail or contact me via Twitter. I’ll be be live blogging on Newsvine too.