Friday, September 30, 2011

Crazy Stats from 2011 (Part 1)

The Mets Jose Reyes and Shane Victorino of the Phillies had as many or more triples (16 apiece) than 3 teams: Orioles- 13, Braves & White Sox- 16.

The Braves Michael Bourn stole more bases (61) this year than the Cardinals (57) and the Tigers (49). Brett Gardner and Coco Crisp each stole 49 to at least match Detroit's total.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Shawn Kelley- The Power of Zero

Congrats to the Seattle Mariners relief pitcher Shawn Kelley for being the only pitcher in baseball to finish the 2011 season with an ERA of 0.00 and have pitched 10+ innings.

Kelley's late season performance in 12.2 IP will surely help him secure a spot in the M's 2012 bullpen.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Coco Cordero's Strange 37th Save

Cincinnati Reds' closer Francisco Cordero is no stranger to walking the tightrope of danger in the late innings of save situations (327 career saves). Last night he pulled off something astonishing though for this 37th save of the season. He walked 4 batters, threw only 6 strikes, and even balked, but pitched the entire 13th inning unscathed without surrendering a run.

How? Nick Evans was caught stealing and Justin Turner hit into a game ending double play.


Saturday, September 24, 2011

AL & NL Cy Young Races

My Top 10 AL CY:
1. Justin Verlander/DET 24-5, 244 IP, 56:244 BB:K, 2.29/0.91, 4 CG, 2 SHO.

2. Jered Weaver/LAA 18-7, 227.1 IP, 56:190 BB:K, 2.41/1.02, 4 CG, 2 SHO.

3. James Shield/TBR 15-12, 240.2 IP, 62:221 BB:K, 2.84/1.04, 11 CG, 4 SHO.

4. Josh Beckett/BOS 13-6, 187 IP, 48:170 BB:K, 2.70/1.00, 1 CG, 1 SHO.

5. Jose Valverde/DET 2-4, 71 G, 68.1 IP, 33:63 BB:K, 47 SV, 2.37/1.21.

6. CJ Wilson/TEX 16-7, 221.1 IP, 72:206 BB:K, 2.97/1.18, 3 CG, 1 SHO.

7. CC Sabathia/NYY 19-8, 237.1 IP, 61:230 BB:K, 3.00/1.23, 3 CG, 1 SHO.

8. Ricky Romero/TOR 15-10, 217.1 IP, 78:173 BB:K, 2.98/1.14, 4 CG, 2 SHO.

9. Mariano Rivera/NYY 1-2, 62 G, 60 IP, 7:58 BB:K, 44 SV, 1.95/0.88.

10. Jeremy Hellickson/TBR 13-10, 183 IP, 67:116 BB:K, 2.90/1.13, 2 CG, 1 SHO.

My Top 10 NL CY:
1. Clayton Kershaw/LAD 20-5, 226 IP, 53:242 BB:K, 2.27/0.99, 5 CG, 2 SHO.

2. Roy Halladay/PHI 18-6, 227.2 IP, 34:217 BB:K, 2.41/1.05, 8 CG, 1 SHO.

3. Cliff Lee/PHI 16-8, 226.2 IP, 42:232 BB:K, 2.38/1.03, 6 CG, 6 SHO.

4. Ian Kennedy/ARI 20-4, 216 IP, 53:194 BB:K, 2.88/1.08, 1 CG, 1 SHO.

5. Cole Hamels/PHI 14-9, 206 IP, 41:186 BB:K, 2.80/0.98, 3 CG.

6. Tim Lincecum/SFG 13-13, 212 IP, 84:217 BB:K, 2.59/1.18, 1 CG, 1 SHO.

7. Johnny Cueto/CIN 9-5, 156 IP, 47:104 BB:K, 2.31/1.09, 3 CG, 1 SHO.

8. Craig Kimbrel/ATL 4-3, 77 G, 75.1 IP, 29:124 BB:K, 45 SV, 2.03/1.00.

9. Matt Cain/SFG 12-10, 214.2 IP, 60:173 BB:K, 2.86/1.08, 1 CG.

10. Tim Hudson/ATL 15-10, 203 IP, 55:150 BB:K, 3.19/1.13, 1 CG, 1 SHO.

Notes- I don't typically think closers should get too much consideration for the Cy Young, but Valverde has been perfect for Detroit, Kimbrel is amazing, and Rivera continues to defy age.

Friday, September 23, 2011

NL & AL MVP Races

My AL Top 10 MVP:
1. Curtis Granderson/NYY .270/.943, 134 R, 26 DBL, 10 TRPL, 41 HR, 119 RBI, 24 SB.

2. Jacoby Ellsbury/Bos .319/.913, 114 R, 45 DBL, 5 TRPL, 28 HR, 98 RBI, 37 SB.

3. Jose Bautista/TOR .304/1.063, 104 R, 24 DBL, 2 TRPL, 42 HR, 101 RBI, 8 SB.

4. Miguel Cabrera/DET .333/1.002, 102 R, 46 DBL, 26 HR, 98 RBI.

5. Adrian Gonzalez/BOS .341/.967, 107 R, 45 DBL, 3 TRPL, 27 HR, 116 RBI.

6. Robinson Cano/NYY .305/.891, 101 R, 46 DBL, 7 TRPL, 27 HR, 116 RBI, 8 SB.

7. Michael Young/TEX .335/.851, 84 R, 40 DBL, 6 TRPL, 11 HR, 104 RBI, 6 SB.

8. Alex Avila/DET .297/.905, 62 R, 32 DBL, 4 TRPL, 19 HR, 77 RBI, 3 SB.

9. Alex Gordon/KCR .303/.879, 101 R, 45 DBL, 4 TRPL, 23 HR, 87 RBI, 17 SB.

10. David Ortiz/BOS .312/.969, 83 R, 39 DBL, 29 HR, 96 RBI.

My NL Top 10 MVP:
1. Ryan Braun/MIL .330/.977, 104 R, 36 DBL, 5 TRPL, 31 HR, 104 RBI, 31 SB.

2. Matt Kemp/LAD .326/.985, 109 R, 31 DBL, 4 TRPL, 36 HR, 118 RBI, 40 SB.

3. Prince Fielder/MIL .293/.951, 89 R, 34 DBL, 34 HR, 112 RBI.

4. Joey Votto/CIN .313/.959, 98 R, 37 DBL, 3 TRPL, 28 HR, 98 RBI, 8 SB.

5. Albert Pujols/STL .304/.927, 102 R, 27 DBL, 37 HR, 98 RBI, 8 SB.

6. Lance Berkman/STL .300/.963, 86 R, 21 DBL, 2 TRPL, 31 HR, 91 RBI.

7. Troy Tulowitzki/COL .302/.916, 81 R, 36 DBL, 2 TRPL, 30 HR, 105 RBI, 9 SB.

8. Justin Upton/ARI .292/.908, 103 R, 39 DBL, 5 TRPL, 31 HR, 88 RBI, 21 SB.

9. Carlos Beltran/NYM/SFG .303/.919, 77 R, 39 DBL, 2 TRPL, 21 HR, 83 RBI, 4 SB.

10. Michael Morse/WSH .304/.902, 69 R, 35 DBL, 28 HR, 89 RBI.

Notes: I don't think pitchers should be considered for the MVP award because they do not directly effect enough of the 162 game season. I give more credit to players of higher importance defensive positions (SS, 2B, C, CF). Having your team make the playoffs also gives bonus points.

*Stats through games played on September 22nd.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Night of Round # Milestones

Congrats to Mariano Rivera, Johnny Damon, and Tim Wakefield for accomplishing some nice round number milestones.

The Sandman, Mo Rivera, put his 600th win to bed last night. He's now 1 save behind Trevor Hoffman for the all-time record, something he'll surely break and add plenty to. When he decides to hang the cleats up, the Hall of Fame assuredly awaits 5 years after that.

Johnny Damon swiped the 400th base of his career yesterday. He's getting old, but still flashes some power and speed at times and remains a useful player.

Knuckleballer Tim Wakefield finally won his 200th win. The 45 year old might not pitch next year, but he's had one helluva ride relying on one pitch.

Different Types of Pitching Machines

Going to the batting cages is a rite of passage for any aspiring pro, but baseball players don’t have just one generic, typical type of batting cage to go to. The pitching machines available at batting cages vary from place to place, and the machines themselves are often designed differently (and for different purposes). Knowing what to expect before you face down one of these machines will help you better prepare for your practice against it. In this article, we’ll attempt to break down some different pitching machine types, so that you’ll have a better idea of what you’ll be facing come first pitch.

One major area to focus on is automation. These days, it’s quite common to find many batting cages equipped with fully automated batting cages. Automatic feeding of the balls has quite a few advantages. First, the player doesn’t have to feed the balls in himself (which would be a time-wasting nightmare), nor does the player have to bring someone else along for the specific purpose of feeding balls to the machine. Also, the player will be better able to expect periodic timing between the machine’s pitches, so that he can practice his own timing at the plate while waiting to swing.

Hand-fed pitching machines don’t offer the luxury of automation, but they have their own advantages as well. While you’ll need to bring someone else along to operate the machine (unless you only want to hit one ball at a time), the other person can be helpful. For example, while an automated machine’s going to keep hurling balls at you for the designated period regardless of what you want, the other person can simply stop feeding balls to the machine if you want to work on your swings for a second, or need a breather for a moment. If you always have someone with you willing to train, you may want to consider a hand-fed machine for that reason alone.

Other differences affect the speed of the pitches. If you’re preparing for the big leagues, you’ll obviously want a machine set to fast-pitch settings at their maximum. For rookie players, lower settings on fast-pitch machines (and for the real novices, slow-pitch machines themselves) will probably work better for their need. If you’re practicing for softball (in which case you shouldn’t train on baseball pitching machines), there are even specific softball pitching machines available for use.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Drama Jorge

Another older story that was too ripe for me to pass up was the semi-recent benching of the Yankees newest drama queen, Jorge Posada.

This season has not been kind to the seasoned vet. Posada started out the year fairly well-batting .273 in early April before his numbers plunged to a mind-numbing .138. Posada then got demoted to batting in the 9th-slot, and responded to the news by throwing a pissy fit that would have put even the brattiest toddler's meltdown to shame.

But the cantankerous catcher wasn't finished yet. By mid-season, Lil' Jorge's batting average went up and he was batting a solid .244 at one point. It was still bad, but it was a heluva lot better than what he was hitting in the early part of the season. For a moment, us baseball fans thought this man-child had seen the light, put his big boy pants on, and was ready to play like he meant it.

Unfortunately for Lil' Jorge, Joe Girardi had enough. On August 7, 2011, he was benched. Even though he's stuck in baseball time-out, Posada learned his lesson and kept his mouth shut. Though he told the public he was fine with being relegated to bench duty, I'm pretty sure that deep down, Lil' Jorge was pissed and is just waiting for that right moment which sparks another meltdown.

Now that the 2011 season is slowly winding down to a close, one must wonder what other adventures await New York's childish catcher. Will he finish the season as a fully matured man, or as an aging geezer still stuck in the glory days of his youth?

Maybe if Jorge started a new offseason diet or supplement regime he'd be ready to go in 2012. May I suggest he visit an online pharmacy.

Wait, and see.


Saturday, September 10, 2011

phillies talk

this post is about the phillies it will include news, rumors, and much more other things so check it out.

Thursday, September 08, 2011

The Underworld

Though this is old news by now, Alex Rodriguez is under investigation for his involvement in a high-stakes illegal poker game. Included in this game were celebrities like Ben Affleck, as well as gratuitous amounts of drugs, violence, and alcohol, making the sordid event sound like just another night in a Hollywood club.

The kicker is that Rodriguez had been warned by baseball's very own Bud Selig that his participation in the sordid game would result in him being in trouble with the league, but apparently Rodriguez didn't listen.

If there's one sore spot for baseball in America, it is the issue of gambling. Scandals like the "Black Sox" of 1919, and more recently, Pete Rose all bring up painful memories for all involved parties because betting on teams by managers and players is tantamount to cheating. And we all know, nobody likes a cheater.

If Alex Rodriguez is convicted of misconduct (as far as I know, the case is still pending), all his prior accomplishments will be for naught. Look at what happened to the other guys who got caught gambling-the Black Sox were blacklisted from the sport and Pete Rose got sent to baseball purgatory, which is where Alex Rodriguez will likely end up if convicted. He will need someone with an online JD degree to help him out.

One does not need to be a Catholic to imagine that it sucks to be in purgatory. Alex would not like it there, especially since now he has to keep Pete Rose and Shoeless Joe Jackson company. I imagine Pete Rose could use a fresh face to talk to, since he's heard it all by now from Shoeless Joe.

(L-R: Alex Rodriguez, Pete Rose, Shoeless Joe)


**AUTHOR'S NOTE: I just got a new scanner (it came with the printer), so until I figure out how to make my cartoons scan in at optimal resolution, my apologies if the images look unusually bad**