Category Archives: MLB

MLB “All-Star” Game farce

We are about an hour away from the MLB All-Star and one big story surrounding this game is just how many “All-Stars” there are.

By now the list is up to 84 players. At any given point in the season there are only 750 active players. This means that this year one out of every nine player is an all-star. I understand the need for the expanded rosters and have no complaints about it. What I do find stupid is how replacements for injured or ineligible players are named. Jon Lester was named as an injury replacement just because MLB rules for the next highest vote recipient to be named as the replacement. The problem there is that Lester is on the DL and obviously not able to pitch but since he got named as a replacement he gets his all-star bonus. Ricky Romero got selected as a replacement for him but couldn’t they just have selected him the first time around? Of course not. There is way too much money involved. What an absolute joke.

Speaking of jokes, lets get to C.C Sabathia and Derek Jeter. We’ve spent the last two weeks listening to stories about Jeter being a class act and and ambassador for baseball. You guys already know where I stand on that. Derek Jeter should never have been voted into the game in the first place. His batting average was below .270 when the teams were announced yet Yankees fans had stuffed the ballots for him. Him getting named as an all-star starter was a joke. Him skipping the game is a bigger one. Jeter is skipping the all-star game because he is tired. Ok, I have no problem with him deciding against playing (since his season is hardly all-star worthy) but he should be in Phoenix as the ambassador for the game that he supposedly is. That is not happening. Jeter is staying at home and still collecting a $500,000 bonus. Disgraceful. I’ll throw Sabathia into the same boat. He was named an all-star but is not showing up but took a trip to the Bahamas instead. Yup, he will be getting any all-star bonus in his contract as well.

But Selig said today that if he was Jeter he would have done the same thing. This guy isn’t serious right? This is the commissioner of baseball? Why are we still sucking up to Derek Jeter? Instead of calling out the players   Bud Selig is actually condoning this? How does he justify this when MLB wants the All-Star to matter?

How do you resolve this? Any player named to the team and skipping the festivities has to skip the first series back from the break. Even pitchers who aren’t eligible to pitch in the game because they pitched on Sunday must still show up.

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National League 2011 All-Star Game T-Shirt: Any Player Black Name and Number MLB T-ShirtAmerican League 2011 All-Star Game T-Shirt: Any Player Bright Cardinal Name and Number MLB T-Shirt

Near disaster at the Home Run Derby

It is almost hard to believe that on the day Texas Rangers fan Shannon Stone was being buried after having fallen to his death at the Ballpark in Arlington, tragedy almost struck again last night.

There was an idiot (I don’t think there is a better way to describe this fool) named Keith Carmickle who almost fell over a railing trying to get a ball at the Home Run Derby last night.

Share photos on twitter with Twitpic

Credit to @chinny on twitter for the screen grab.

The AP photo is even better.

You can find more photos here.
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Fan dies at Rangers game

By now you’ve probably heard about the Texas Rangers fan who dies last night at the Ballpark in Arlington. I won’t embed the video here because not everyone wants to see it but it is available here.

Shannon Stone was reaching out to catch a ball tossed his way by Josh Hamilton when he reached out just a bit too far and fell about 20 feet onto concrete. He died on the way to the hospital according to reports. He was alive and aware on the ground asking the paramedics to check on his six year old son (there is a video of the fall in this link) who had come to the game with him.

It is a really unfortunate incident but what can really be done to avoid it? People do go crazy reaching for foul balls pushing everyone and everything in sight but this was just a freak accident.

There is a transcript available of what Josh Hamilton had to say about the incident.

Shannon Stone was a firefighter in Brownwood, Texas. There has been a fund established for the family by the city of Brownwood. You can find more information here. The Texas Rangers have also created a fund. There is more information available on their website.

Kudos to MLB and ESPN for respecting the wishes of the family in not airing footage of the fall.

Major League Baseball released this statement last night.

“All of us at Major League Baseball are shocked and saddened over the tragic death of Mr. Stone last evening. Our thoughts and prayers are with his son and his entire family. Major League Baseball has the utmost sensitivity to the safety of all the fans that come to our ballparks. Our players are encouraged to be fan-friendly and we will carefully review this incident with our clubs to continue to ensure a safe environment for our fans.”

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Jim Riggleman resigns as Nationals manager

Like everyone else I am pretty surprised to hear that Jim Riggleman has resigned as manager of the Washington Nationals despite the team having a 38-37 record.

The Nationals are above .500 this late in a season for the first time since 2005. Riggleman will end up getting a bad rap here for quitting on the team but the Nationals are pretty stupid for not having picked up the option already. What is the point of having a lame duck manager? Its not like he was asking for a 3 year extension today. He’s been talking to the team for an extension for a while. I was just listening to him on Mike Francesa’s show and he said all he asked for was a conversation about an extension this weekend when they got to Chicago. He was told the team didn’t want to have a conversation. Yes, Riggleman’s overall record as a manager isn’t very good but again I can’t blame here. No coach or manager should go into a year as a lame duck.

Joe Capozzi of The Palm Beach Post had the best statement I’ve read so far about the resignation.

In the spirit of Marlins bringing back Jack McKeon, Nats should bring back Frank Robinson — NL east old-school!

Who do the Nationals get? Surely it is an appealing job for some big name candidates. Does Bobby Valentine make the jump from the booth?

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Washington Nationals Stephen Strasburg MLB Player Name & Number T-Shirt Size SmallMajestic Washington Nationals #37 Stephen Strasburg Youth Navy Blue Player T-ShirtX-Large

Boston’s domination of the sports landscape

Congratulations to the Boston Bruins on ending their three decade long drought for the Stanley Cup. Remarkably the teams representing the Boston area have won championships in each of the four major sports in the last 7 years. Is there another city that has done so in such a short time frame?  I can’t think of one.  Remarkably the Patriots now have the longest championship drought in the Boston market. On twitter we came up with a few who had 3 in short period of time.

Jets, Mets and Knicks won in 69-70.
Oakland had Warriors, Raiders,A’s 74-77.
Mets, Islanders, Giants did it 83-86.
Yanks, Giants and Rangers from 91-96.

Any others?

Darren Rovell of CNBC points out that up until 1993 the longest drought Canada had was five years but now they haven’t won one since 1993.

Darren Pang of Versus had to get creative on the post game show to get a microphone up to Zdeno Chara who is 6’9″. Yes, that is a hockey stick attached to the microphone.

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WSJ: How to Visit 30 Ballparks in 35 Days This Summer

Starting on June 6th are you up for a 18,000 mile road trip over the next 35 days?

Today’s Wall Street Journal has a story about a man who built a program to map out the ideal way to watch baseball games in all 30 MLB stadiums this year. The program built by Ben Blatt of the Harvard Sports Analysis Collective takes into account an eight hour rest period after roughly twelve hours of driving.

What is the ideal road trip schedule this year?

TOR@KC, 6/6, 7pm (0) DET@COL, 6/19, 1pm (6,620) NYM@DET, 6/30, 1pm (12,248)
DET@TEX, 6/7, 7pm (563) TB@MIL, 6/20, 7pm (7,667) NYY@NYM, 7/1, 7pm (12,863)
S TL@ HOU, 6/8, 7pm (821) BAL@PIT, 6/21, 7pm (8,219) CLE@CIN, 7/2, 7pm (13,502)
KC@LAA, 6/10, 7pm (2,351) SD@BOS, 6/22, 1:30pm (8,808) CWS@CHC, 7/3, 1:20pm (13,798)
WSH@SD, 6/11, 5:30pm (2,448) SEA@WSH, 6/23, 1pm (9,257) TB@MIN, 7/4, 1pm (14,206)
CIN@SF, 6/12, 5pm (2,950) COL@NYY, 6/24, 7pm (9,483) PHI@FLA, 7/6, 7pm (15,981)
SF@ARI, 6/14, 6:40pm (3,705) OAK@PHI, 6/25, 7pm (9,580) COL@ATL, 7/7, 1pm (16,642)
CIN@LAD, 6/15, Noon (4,078) CIN@BAL, 6/26, 1:30pm (9,678) MIN@CWS, 7/8, 7pm (17,360)
KC@OAK, 6/16, 12:35pm (4,448) CIN@TB, 6/27, 7pm (10,647) TOR@CLE, 7/9, 7pm (17,705)
PHI@SEA, 6/17, 7pm (5,250) PIT@TOR, 6/29, 7pm (12,004) ARI@STL, 7/10, 1pm (18,267)

I would love to have the opportunity to do this one of these years as it is definitely one of the major items on my bucket list. As it stands right now I have watched baseball in at the Skydome in Toronto (now known as Rogers Center), Citi Field (home of the Mets in Queens), Citizens Bank Ballpark in Philadelphia as well as both old and new Yankee Stadium in the Bronx. I also visited Wrigley Field in Chicago once but the Cubs were off that day but I still have a Mark Prior t-shirt from that trip.

How many stadiums have you been to? Would you ever want to take a road trip like this?

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The Wall Street JournalMLB 2011 Topps Series 2 Value Pack (18 Packs)

Jorge Posada is a joke

Jorge Posada is an idiot.

There are no ifs, ands or buts about it. When you are making $13.1 million to play baseball and you ask out of the lineup because you got demoted in the lineup you need to get in touch with reality in a hurry. Reports out of New York are saying that an hour before the start of the game Jorge Posada asked out of the lineup for tonights game against nemesis Boston Red Sox because he got dropped down to 9th in the batting order. Just what was going through his head? In 109 at bats this season Posada is hitting only .165 (he is 0-24 against left handed pitching) and being in the last year of his contract likely would not play next year. According to Buster Olney of ESPN the Yankees are keeping all options open and that includes a possible suspension. Jack Curry of the YES Network quoted Posada’s father saying that Posada should have played today.

Posada’s 2011 stats

2011 32 125 109 12 18 2 0 6 15 15 30 .165 .272 .349 .621 70 38 4 0 0

Late in tonights game word came out that he asked out of “back stiffness” but several baseball reporters are quoting sources who are denying that. The Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman himself went on the record earlier tonight and said that it was not an injury issue.

“There is no injury, obviously I’ve talked to Jorgie. I’m not going to comment on my conversations with Jorgie on it. That’s the only thing I’ve got to tell you.”

Posada’s wife got into the mix too commenting on the story via twitter.

Jorge loves being a Yankee > anything. He’s trying his best to help his team win. Today, due to back stiffness he wasn’t able to do that.

Yes, the Yankees are being hypocritical in demoting him when guys like Jeter and Teixiera are also struggling but being a major star does earn you that pass. Everyone has heard stories about him and Joe Girardi not getting along but again that doesn’t excuse this at all. It is only fitting that this game was against the Red Sox and Jason Varitek was on the other side. There is a veteran catcher who has handled things the right way the past few years. Keith Olbermann posted a picture from the press box showing Posada’s name penciled into the lineup in the lineup card that reporters got in the press box at 6:30 PM.

I am not discounting the great charitable work he has done on behalf of the “Jorge Posada Foundation” but him asking out of the lineup tonight is inexcusable.

Edit: Just watched the post game stuff. Posada is looking worse by the minute. His story is all over the place. He says his back was stiff but he didn’t mention it to Girardi. Um…why? Seems like revisionist history to me.
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Mel Queen

Mel Queen passed away today at the age of 69.

While he may not be a household name for all baseball fans he was responsible for rescuing the career or a future first ball Hall of Famer. Roy Halladay (circa 1998-2000) didn’t always look like the dominant pitcher he has gone on to become. In fact he had pretty much hit rock bottom after showing some early brilliance (was one out away from pitching a no-hitter in his 2nd career start). His 10.64 ERA in 2000 got him a demotion all the way down to Single A where Mel Queen worked with him and turned his career around. Tom Verducci wrote a great article for Sports Illustrated last year that documented Mel Queen’s work with Roy Halladay.

As a Scouting Director for the Blue Jays he oversaw the development of the likes of David Wells, Jeff Kent, Chris Carpenter, Shawn Green, Woody Williams, Mike Timlin and Pat Hentgen. He later served as the pitching coach for four years during which Pat Hentgen and Roger Clemens combined for 3 Cy Young Awards.

It is hard to predict no-hitters but I wouldn’t question Halladay coming close in his next start. Mel Queen had that kind of impact on him.
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