Sunday, May 29, 2011

The Howard Standings

The Howard by definition- anytime a player strikes out, hits a homerun, and commits an error in the same game.

Mark Reynolds/BAL - 3
Matt Kemp/LAD - 2
Alex Avila/DET - 1
Mike Aviles/KCR - 1
Erik Aybar/LAA - 1
Adrian Beltre/TEX - 1
Yunesky Betancourt/MIL - 1
Wilson Betemit/KCR - 1
Milton Bradley/SEA - 1
Pat Burrell/SFG - 1
Brad Hawpe/SDP - 1
Asdrubal Cabrera/CLE - 1
Sam Fuld/TBR - 1
Jason Giambi/COL - 1
Austin Jackson/DET - 1
Kelly Johnson/ARI - 1
Rob Johnson/SDP - 1
Matt Laporta/CLE - 1
Miguel Montero/ARI - 1
Miguel Olivo/SEA - 1
Hunter Pence/HOU - 1
AJ Pierzynski/CHW - 1
Alexi Ramirez/CHW - 1
Gaby Sanchez/FLA - 1
Alfonso Soriano/CHC - 1
Yorvit Torrealba/TEX - 1
Danny Valencia/MIN - 1
Jayson Werth/WSH - 1
Kevin Youkilis/BOS - 1

*Thanks to the creative minds of We Should Be GMs for this post. The stat "The Howard" was named after the Philadelphia Phillies firstbaseman Ryan Howard.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Surprise- It's Matt Joyce

MLB's batting average leader- Matt Joyce. Who? Matt Joyce. Who?! Matt Joyce! Are you effing with me? Nope, for real, for real.

Yep, the Tampa Bay Rays outfielder Matt Joyce in MLB's batting average leader hitting at a .367 clip. He also boasts an astounding 1.071 OPS to go along with his 31 R, 12 DBL, 2 TRPL, 8 HR, 26 RBI, and 3 SB.

The 26 year old is in his 4th MLB season, 3rd with the Rays. Tampa acquired him from Detroit back in 2008 for Edwin Jackson. Joyce was the former 12th round pick of the Tigers in 2005. Career #'s- .272/.885 in 226 games.

5 Years and 24 Days Between Hits

Former 1st round draft pick (9th overall) of the San Diego Padres Sean Burroughs collected his first MLB hit in 5 years and 24 Days. When with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays back in 2006, Burroughs hit a single against the New York Yankees on May 3rd, his last MLB hit for a lllooonnnggg time. Just yesterday, now with the Arizona Diamondbacks, he got a base knock against the Colorado Rockies. He was 25 in 2006 and is now 30.

Burroughs was ranked as a top prospect in the game by Baseball America 4 straight years (1999- #82, 2000- #7, 2001- #6, 2002- #4). Needless to say, he's never lived up to the hype, not even close. The thirdbaseman has hit .279/.696 in 447 games, playing for the Padres, Devil Rays, and Diamondbacks during his career.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Why was this ever a baseball card?

I love me some Charlie Hustle (aka Pete Rose), but this baseball card should have never been created. Look at the hair. Look at the teeth. Where the hell is the team emblem? This is just a shitty card.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Jason Giambi- Hitter of Homeruns

Jason Giambi was once one of the most feared sluggers in the game, but now is a shell of his former self. However, he's experiencing a bit of a renaissance over the last week. The 40 year old 1B/PH is only batting .231 this season playing for the Colorado Rockies, but that average isn't anything close to the entire story. Of his 9 hits, Giambi has clubbed 6 homeruns and collected 13 RBI. His OPS is an outstanding 1.026, and 5 of those longballs have come in the past 5 games (3 of them in the same game against my beloved Phillies last week). Is this the return of the Giambino?

For his career, Giambi has hit 421 homeruns over 17 season with the Athletics, Yankees, and Rockies. He's a former MVP and 5 time All-Star with a .929 OPS. If not for his involvement with PEDs back in the day, we might be looking at possible future Hall-of-Famer.

Rich Hill- The New Power of Zero

Fun and interesting fact about the Boston Red Sox reliever Rich Hill, he hasn't allowed an earned run since joining the team in 2010. Without context, that sounds like an amazing feat, when in actuality, it's good, but not as impressive as you would think. The 31 year old lefty has only appeared in 13 games for the BoSox in the past 2 seasons (6 last year and 7 so far in '11). However, he does boast a 0.00 ERA in 11 innings with 13 K's. He's definitely someone to keep an eye on as manager Terry Francona is starting to lean on him in pressure situations.

For his career, Hill has a much less spectacular 4.74 ERA in a much larger sample size (406.1 IP). He was once a promising young starting pitcher in the Chicago Cubs organization that has battled through arm problems over the past few seasons. He has seemed to have found a comfortable and conducive home in the bullpen.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The Power of Zero (Part 4)

What do Pedro Beato, Sergio Santos, Johnny Cueto, Brad Ziegler, Scott Downs, and about every other pitcher in baseball have in common? They've allowed an earned run this season. The five of them each got nicked last week and no longer boast a 0.00 ERA. In fact the active leader in innings pitched in 2011 with nary a run surrendered is the Yankees Lance Pendleton(7.1 IP). Yep, the Power of Zero no longer exists. Of course, once Jose Contreras is lifted from the DL, we might have another story on our hands (currently 8 IP). But until then, zero takes a rest.

Monday, May 23, 2011

The Return of Utley

Chase Utley is back and set to make his 2011 debut tonight against the Cincinnati Reds in Citizens Bank Park in front of the hometown Philadelphia Phillies fans.

The Phillies need a spark to ignite their stagnant offense, and hopefully Utley will produce it. The team that is normally known for their offensive prowess has fallen on hard times this season and resides in the bottom third of almost all offensive stat categories in the National League.

Utley, who is returning from the DL due to a knee problem, will still need regular days off (about once a week), and it's yet to be determined just how effective he'll be able to play.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Jorge won't Play

Jorge Posada has been a bit of a brat.

Last Saturday, Posada was scheduled to play, but told his manager, Joe Girardi, that he didn't want to and took himself out of the lineup. Posada's wife said it was back problems, but this was not the case.

Because Posada's batting average has been a dismal .178 (as of today), he was scheduled to bat 9th-hitting the bottom of the baseball barrel. As someone who had been accustomed to playing higher up in the order, being told to bat 9th is a slap in the face.

While Posada is surely on track to end up in Cooperstown, his better days are clearly behind him. Much like a geezer in a midlife crisis, Posada thinks he's still a .300 hitter in his mind, and should bat in an appropriate position.

Or, perhaps Posada still has some left in the tank and is waiting for the right moment for that last gasp of good play to come out before his career finally comes to an end. Of course, it doesn't excuse his behavior on Saturday, but it's something to speculate on.

But in conclusion, the moral of this story is this: regardless of how well or shitty you're hitting, if your manager tells you to play, you better play. If you're told to bat at the bottom of the lineup, then you bat at the bottom of the lineup, no questions asked. If your back is bothering you (as Posada's is known to do), then tell the team doctor to write you a note saying you can't play today. Don't just walk out of the lineup because you don't like where you're told to bat. Not only does it hurt the team, but the fans are gonna hate you for it too. And those of us who naturally despise the Yankees (ME!) will have extra ammo to attack the team when their players behave like bratty kids.

And that was the inspiration for this week's cartoon. By taking himself out of the lineup, Jorge Posada threw the equivalent of a grown man tantrum. The situation brought to mind stories of kids throwing tantrums in the car on the way home, and I based the cartoon on one of those stories, featuring Derek Jeter and Joe Girardi as the angry parents, and little Jorge Posada as the kid having the meltdown in the back seat.



PS-If you're interested in reading more about the Posada hoopla, here's an article I found that might interest you.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

The Power of Zero (Part 3)

We're now a quarter of the way through the 2011 MLB season and some MLB relievers (and 1 starting pitcher) still haven't allowed an earned run, meaning they have squeaky clean 0.00 ERAs. The following is a list of pitchers with at least 10 innings pitched and nary a run surrendered.

0.00 ERA Club:
Sergio Santos/CHW - 16 G, 20 IP
Pedro Beato/NYM - 11 G, 17 IP
Johnny Cueto/CIN - 2 GS, 13.2 IP
Brad Ziegler/OAK - 16 G, 12.2 IP
Scott Downs/LAA - 11 G, 10 IP

*Beato is a Rule 5 pick that was just activated from the DL and has yet to pitch since his return.

*Another Rule 5 pick, Joe Patterson of the Diamondbacks has made 17 appearances and still has a 0.00 ERA, but has only pitched 8.2 innings.

*The Phillies Jose Contreras also sports a 0.00 ERA and will soon be ready to return from the DL.

*The Pirates Daniel McCutchen finally allowed an earned run last week, thus excluded him from the exclusive club.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Quarter Season All-MLB Team

With most of the MLB teams playing roughly 40 games, that means the 2011 season is already a quarter of the way complete. The following is a 25-man roster compiled of the best that baseball has to offer. Some decisions were tough, but OPS and ERA/WHIP are the stats that held the most weight.

*All stats are through Monday May 16th games.

Starting 9:
(Batting Average/OPS)

C - Alex Avila/DET .268/.854, 15 R, 8 2B, 6 HR, 24 RBI, 2 SB.

1B - Joey Votto/CIN .345/1.028, 32 R, 11 2B, 2 3B, 5 HR, 23 RBI, 4 SB.

2B - Rickie Weeks/MIL .301/.881, 25 R, 9 2B, 2 3B, 7 HR, 14 RBI, 5 SB.

3B - Kevin Youkilis/BOS .254/.891, 24 R, 11 2B, 7 HR, 27 RBI.

SS - Jhonny Peralta/DET .305/.882, 18 R, 6 2B, 2 3B, 6 HR, 23 RBI.

LF - Matt Holliday/STL .379/1.055, 29 R, 13 2B, 5 HR, 28 RBI.

CF - Curtin Granderson/NYY .280/.993, 29 R, 4 2B, 3 3B, 14 HR, 31 RBI, 4 SB.

RF - Jose Bautista/TOR .370/1.365, 35 R, 7 2B, 16 HR, 27 RBI, 4 SB.

DH - Lance Berkman/STL .344/1.131, 30 R, 7 2B, 11 HR, 34 RBI.

C - Russell Martin/NYY .252/.848, 18 R, 5 2B, 7 HR, 22 RBI, 2 SB.

OF - Matt Joyce/TBR .367/1.035, 24 R, 11 2B, 6 HR, 19 RBI, 3 SB.

OF - Ryan Braun/MIL .307/.994, 30 R, 4 2B, 2 3B, 12 HR, 33 RBI, 7 SB.

UTL - Ben Zobrist/TBR .289/.936, 31 R, 13 2B, 2 3B, 8 HR, 27 RBI, 5 SB.

*Minimum 8 Starts

1. Josh Johnson/FLA 3-1, 1.64/0.98, 60.1 IP, 20:56.

2. Josh Beckett/BOS 3-1, 1.75/0.90, 51.1 IP, 15:49.

3. Trevor Cahill/OAK 6-1, 1.82/1.16, 59.1 IP, 18:46.

4. Jaime Garcia/STL 5-0, 1.89/1.03, 52.1 IP, 12:48.

5. Dan Haren/LAA 4-2, 1.93/0.84, 65.1 IP, 8:61.

*Mariano Rivera/NYY 19 G, 18.2 IP, 1.45/0.86, 3:16, 13 SV, 1 W.

*Leo Nunez/FLA 22 G, 21.2 IP, 2.91/1.25, 9:21, 15 SV.

*Francisco Rodriguez/NYM 20 G, 20.2 IP, 0.87/1.40, 11:23, 12 SV, 1 W.

*Drew Storen/WAS 21 G, 23.2 IP, 0.38/0.76, 5:19, 9 SV, 2 HLD, 3 W.

*Jonny Venters/ATL 23 G, 23.1 IP, 0.77/0.64, 6:23, 10 HLD, 1 SV, 3 W.

*Mike Adams/SDP 20 G, 20.2 IP, 0.87/0.48, 2:19, 8 HLD, 1 SV, 2 W.

*Sergio Santos/CHW 15 G, 19 IP, 0.00/0.89, 9:22, 5 SV, 1 HLD, 2 W.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Miguel Montero- Error Waiting to Happen

When you think of error prone positions on the field the spots that come to mind are 3rd base, shortstop, and 2nd base...not catcher. Through 36 games this season Arizona Diamondbacks catcher Miguel Montero has 8 errors. 8 ERRORS!!! The Tampa Bay Rays only have 14 miscues as a team. The only other players in the Majors with as many or more errors that him are all SS- Ryan Theriot, Elvis Andrus, and Ian Desmond. Montero's worth lies within his bat wielding skills (.266/.775 lifetime), not defensive prowess behind the plate. For his career he's committed 29 errors in 354 games and caught 25.8% of base stealers.

What is the purpose of Matt Stairs?

I like Matt Stairs. He's a chubby 43 year old Canadian. What's not to love? He also hit one of the most significant homeruns in my beloved Philadelphia Phillies history (moonshot off Jonathan Broxton in '08 playoffs). However, it's hard to believe he still holds down gainful employment. The pinch hitting extraordinaire is currently with the Washington Nationals, but I have absolutely no idea what purpose he is serving for the organization. In 25 games he's posted an atrocious .095/.296/.095 slash line. Pitchers themselves have a better chance at getting a base knock than Stairs (especially when Livan Hernandez and Jason Marquis are in your rotation).

Stairs had his days in the sun over his 19 MLB seasons, dating back to 1992. He's played for the Montreal Expos, Oakland Athletics, Kansas City Royals, Philadelphia Phillies, Toronto Blue Jays, Boston Red Sox, San Diego Padres, Chicago Cubs, Texas Rangers, Milwaukee Brewers, Detroit Tigers, Pittsburgh Pirates, and now the Nationals batting .263/.836 with 265 homeruns and 897 RBI. He has 23 pinch hit homeruns, a MLB record. He's a good guy, but it's time that the Nationals moved on and let him retire (which he'd hopefully choose to do).

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Mark Reynolds- The King of Howards

The Howard by definition- anytime a player strikes out, hits a homerun, and commits an error in the same game.

The Howard co-winner in both 2009 and 2010 just took the MLB lead in the exclusive category with his 2nd of the season. Congratulations Mark Reynolds. The young slugging, strikeout prone, erratic fielder has 11 Howards to his name since the creation of the stat prior to the 2009 season. 9 Howards were committed with the Arizona Diamondbacks and the 2 most recent with the Baltimore Orioles. Mark Reynolds is truly The Howard King.

Since 2009 Mark Reynolds has hit 80 homeruns, struck out 473 times, and committed 48 errors. Impressive.

*Thanks to the creative minds of We Should Be GMs for this post. The stat "The Howard" was named after the Philadelphia Phillies firstbaseman Ryan Howard.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Missed Opportunities are a Killer

It's been a while since I've done a cartoon featuring my local team, the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Those of you who follow baseball, especially the Diamondbacks, know they've really been sucking balls these past few weeks. They've been losing series and recently got swept by the Giants.

Whats killed the Diamondbacks, or at least severely crippled them, are missed opportunities. The team has failed to capitalize on leads, opponent blunders, and especially, pitching. In the opening series with the Giants, D-backs pitcher Ian Kennedy went head-to-head against Giants pitcher "Little" Timmy Lincecum in a pitchers' duel, but the Arizona team failed to back up their pitcher's gem of a game. Instead, they've been striking out left and right, and in all honesty, I don't understand how the Diamondbacks are even in 4th place with the way they've been playing!

Missed opportunities are really a killer and that is the inspiration for this week's cartoon, courtesy of yours truly.


Monday, May 09, 2011

Been Caught Stealing

It is no secret that the Chicago White Sox offense is struggling to score runs. There are many factors in this problem, but one of the main culprits sits atop the lineup in the form of slap-hitting Juan Pierre. Pierre's main asset is his speed, and to utilize it by getting on base and subsequently stealing bases once there. During his 12 seasons he has amassed 533 stolen bases and gotten on base at a respectable .347 clip. However, this year Juan has been caught stealing more times than he's been successful at swiping a bag (8 CS, 6 SB). He leads MLB in caught stealing, a distinction he is no stranger of, as he's been the league leader in CS in 6 out of his 10 full seasons. Yikes! In fact, Pierre has been caught stealing in 2011 more than the following teams: Cleveland Indians, Kansas City Royals, Milwaukee Brewers, Philadelphia Phillies, Detroit Tigers, Chicago Cubs, Houston Astros, Minnesota Twins, and Baltimore Orioles. That's fricken bad!

The Power of Zero (Part 2)

The 2001 MLB season is already 6 weeks old and there are still some relievers sporting sparkling 0.00 ERA's. The following is a list of said pitchers that have tossed a minimum of 10 innings this year.

Zero ERA Club
Pedro Beato/NYM - 17 IP, 10 G (on DL)
Sergio Santos/CHW - 15 IP, 12 G
Daniel McCutchen/PIT - 14 IP, 11 G
Brad Ziegler/OAK - 10 IP, 13 G

Lefty specialists Joe Patterson/ARI and Doug Slaten/WSH have appeared in 14 games apiece, but have not accumulated enough innings to qualify.

Aaron Crow/KCR, Rafael Perez/CLE, and Mike Dunn/FLA all gave up an earned run this past week.

Thursday, May 05, 2011

I Didn't Know the Astros Clint Barmes was Black

I've been playing Yahoo fantasy baseball for years now and I'm looking to fill a void on my team in the area of middle infielder. Clint Barmes was recently activated from the DL by the Houston Astros and I've been keeping an eye on him. When I clicked on his player page this morning I was shocked to find that Clint Barmes was now a black man playing for the Milwaukee Brewers. WTF did I miss?

*By they way, I know it's a mistake and that's really Rickie Weeks.

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Message to MLB Players- Call a Cab! (Part 2)

Since the turn of the calendar year from 2010 to 2011, 6 MLB players have been arrested for DUI. That's bullshit! The Mariners Adam Kennedy, Miguel Cabrera of the Tigers, Austin Kearns of the Indians, the Oakland Athletics Coco Crisp, Derek Lowe of the Braves, and now Shin-Soo Choo of the Indians. C'mon fellas, seriously?!?!?!?! lists their career earnings as follows: Kennedy- $19,427,500, Cabrera- $54,410,623, Kearns- $20,780,000, Crisp- $23,434,299, Lowe- $80,417,000, Choo- $1,271,800 (but got paid handsomely at $3.975M for this season). They have the money to do what the want, and one of those things should be hiring a f'n chauffeur, calling for a cab, or text a teammate to pick you up. Something, anything, but drive yourself while under the influence. I'm not pissed off that they drank to the point of inebriation, because that would be hypocritical of me. Nope, I'm pissed that they're stupid and selfish enough to put themselves and others in danger by operating a motor vehicle when it's simply not a necessity. Have we learned nothing from Nick Adenhart's tragic death or the saga of Jim Leyritz?

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Loney Gets Willie Mays Hayes Treatment

Remember Willie Mays Hayes from the epic movie Major League? Of course you do. And if you'd don't, you're a commie. Anyway, it seems as though first year Dodgers manager Don Mattingly is getting tired of watching firstbaseman James Loney hit lazy fly balls to left field. Donnie Baseball wants to give Loney some incentive to hit line drives not easy pop-ups, so he will be fined $1 for every offense. This won't dent Loney's wallet at all, so the effectiveness of the punishment likely resides more in the public embarrassment side of things rather than monetary.

Monday, May 02, 2011

The Power of Zero

Check out this group of relievers sporting ZERO ERA's. Pedro Beato, former 1st round pick of the Orioles, turned Rule 5 draft pick treasure. Sergio Santos, also a former 1st rounder, was a no-hitting minor league infielder as recently as 2008. Now he's no-hitting the opposition with his arm. Aaron Crow was a tough sign for the Royals after being drafted and then struggled mightily in the minors (5.26 ERA), but is blossoming on the big stage now. Mike Dunn is on his third team in 3 seasons. Daniel McCutchen ended last season with a 6.12 ERA. Rafael Perez continues to be an underrated reliever in Cleveland. Brad Ziegler is no stranger to scoreless outings, as he set the MLB record for scoreless innings pitched to begin a career back in 2008.

0.00 ERA
Pedro Beato/NYM - 17 IP, 11 G
Rafael Perez/CLE - 11 IP,12 G
Brad Ziegler/OAK - 9.1 IP, 11 G
Daniel McCutchen/PIT - 9 IP, 7 G
Sergio Santos/CHW - 12.2 IP, 10 G
Mike Dunn/FLA - 9.2 IP, 11 G
Aaron Crow/KCR - 14.1 IP, 12 G

*Minimum 9 innings pitched.

Wonder who will be the last man standing? I'm going with I don't eat Crow. Hahahaha, get it?

Sunday, May 01, 2011

Sox Go Home, Indians on a Record & Trump in Vegas

What does Yankees’ Alex Rodriguez say to coach Mick Kelleher? “Did you see how far that went, coach?”

Yankees downed the Chicago White Sox 12-3. Gardner got the Yankees off to a good start with a homer off their first and they never looked back! The White Sox head home after a road trip they would prefer to forget.

Indians beat the Royals 8-2, with 4 solo home runs it was all over before the fat lady could.... Choo Shin-Soo and Carlos Santana hit back-to-back solo home runs in the first inning, followed by Sizemore and Duncan home runs.

Cleveland Indians have had an incredible run in April and they still have two chances to beat the franchise record for wins in April. 16 wins in April, equaling their own record for wins in April, achieved in 1988, 1996 & 1999.

My headline of the day is Trump calling our leaders stupid at a lavish event in Vegas at one of his best casinos. Thing is whilst he may have a good point, can anyone take him seriously in Vegas, especially with all the distraction of Vegas, party and playing their favorite casino games. But then again, who am I to question Trump, he is a king at playing the media and grabbing attention in the headlines!