Saturday, April 30, 2011

The Black Hole

Last night, I watched a Cubs game for the first time this entire season. And then I came to realize why I'm not a fan of that team.

Ryan Dempster, or "Dumpster" as I have taken to calling him, was due to start last night against my local team, the Diamondbacks, and promptly got shellacked, giving up 7 runs in just the first inning. He was pulled after 1/3 of an inning (shortest start ever?), and the Cubs' bullpen managed to settle down for the rest of the game, but they gave up a few more runs for a final score of 10-2 Diamondbacks.

The Cubs are no strangers to losing, but last night's epic ass-whupping made me realize what a black hole the Cubs' bullpen is. In astronomy, a black hole is a phenomena where a star collapses in on itself because of its gravity, and in the spot where the star used to be, a black hole forms. It's called a black hole cuz it sucks in everything around it, including light, like a vacuum. That is what has happened to the Cubs-they've collapsed in on themselves and they just plain suck.





Cartoon courtesy of yours truly.

tamtam

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Hey Ryan...Call me.


Sometimes I wonder how some people could be so stupid. On Friday night a Brewers fan decided to do the unthinkable and make a sign proposing to Ryan Braun. The only mistake is that she attached her phone number to the sign. FOX Sports got wind of this and decided to show it on television. Next this girl's cell phone was blowing up with over 200 calls and 600 text messages within the hour. Now the photo above shows the girl proclaiming her love for Braun. When I first saw the photo I thought it was 80's night. It also must of been all you can eat and drink night at the ballpark and she was the first, middle and last person in line at each stand. She needs to cool it on the beer and brats for the day....or year. In the end she did get her 20 minutes of fame and actually got a call from Ryan Bruan but the stupid blonde's cell phone was off. Go figure.

MLB 2K11 for the Wii


Over the past week or so, I've been playing MLB 2K11 on my Wii. Overall, the game is enjoyable, but not without its pitfalls.

Pros:
*Pitching to the opposition is awesome! I created myself and am able to chuck 101 fastball with pinpoint control. The batters will knock one out of the park though if you don't hit your spots, mix up your pitches, and out think them.

*The graphics kick ass! Ryan Howard looks, swings, and runs just like Ryan Howard the actual player.

*The stadium details are impressive. I'm a Phillies fan, playing in "season mode" at Citizens Bank Park and it is very comparable to the real stadium.

Cons:
*Unless on "rookie" level, hitting is too difficult. You can't judge if the pitch is a strike our ball, unless you adjust the pitch recognition speed in the settings, but then it becomes too easy. I wish you could just press a button to generate the swing, rather than actually swing the Wii controller.

*Fielding is too over-the-top. Diving grabs in the outfield over the shoulder towards the wall on nearly every fly ball, or a wall climbing homerun stealing catch. Give me a break!

*Stealing a base is nearly impossible, and if you try to increase your lead the computer will attempt to pickoff the runner every time, sometimes up to 10 times in a row. Unrealistic.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Moments in bad Managing

The Mets have been every bit as bad as their 5-12 record suggests they are. The teams pitching has been horrific. The starters haven't been going deep in the game and has made only four quality starts in seventeen games. The bullpen has blown leads and have walked the park. The hitting has been bad with top players not producing , and the team being awful wrisp. That all said, Terry Collins hasn't helped thing with weird decisions. Apparently he hasn’t attended any sports management colleges (or he just doesn’t remember the lessons).

Mets fans had hoped we'd finally had a manager with a clue. Well the first few weeks of the season has shown we're getting more of the same that we had with Jerry, Willie and Art Howe. Whether it's strange bullpen decisions or giving away outs or pinch running for one of your top offensive and defensive  players in Ike Davis.


Tonight Terry made another stupefying decision. The score was 3-1 Astros  with the lead and there was two on and two out with the pitchers spot up, and Willie Harris and Daniel Murphy available off the bench. Since there was a lefty on the mound Terry decided to go with Chin Lung Hu. He of a .200 Ops this year, and horrid career numbers.  Hu is here as a defensive replacement at second base and no other reason. I wish someone would tell Terry that.

There really is no defense of using Hu as a pinch hitter. I don’t care if a lefty is on the mound. Hu is the biggest give up at bat in the majors this side of Cora. Murphy has done a good job as a pinch hitter. No there's no guarantee he gets a hit, but he gives you a shot. Hu sure doesn't.  Hu predictably K'ed  and that was the Mets only chance at a comeback.

Collins was asked about that strategic move and he said he never thought about using Murphy in that spot because a lefty was on the mound. Face palm. Murphy's numbers aren't bad vs lefties in a so far short sample.Look Terry isn't playing with a full deck with Johan missing most of this season, and Bay missing the first three weeks, but he isn't helping.

Terry was an uninspired hire, and his in game managing has been as unimpressive as the team has been. I guess the best thing about him is he's only under contract for two years and isn't a freak show like Wally Backman.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

The Oakland E's


The Oakland Athletics (A's) might want to consider changing their name to The Oakland E's, seeing as the team has committed 17 errors in only 15 games to begin the 2011 season. Firstbaseman Daric Barton is the leading culprit with 5 miscues and is closely trailed by thridbaseman Kevin Kouzmanoff with 4. This is quite a shame, because Oakland has one of the best pitching staffs in all of baseball which is currently boasting a 2.82 ERA. However, due to their errant fielding and pathetic bat wielding, they are a measly 7-8. The team has allowed 54 runs, but only 41 of them have been earned. That's just sad. Can't give the opposition too many freebies.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Handing Out F.U.'s

F.U. Manny Ramirez. You lazy piece of shit. You didn't want to work for it, so you took illegal supplements to help you produce and get paid. That's like stealing, you f'n criminal. I hate you because of the way you gave up in Boston to facilitate a trade. I hate you for attacking a club travel personnel. I hate you for that god awful hair. I hate you for getting suspended and thus tarnishing the game twice. I hate you for Manny being Manny. I mostly hate you for being a punk ass bitch and not even sticking around to face your consequence, instead weaseling out and retiring. F.U.!




F.U. Josh Hamilton. You are a tremendous talent, but I hate that the world over praises you for being a junky, bouncing back, relapsing, then bouncing back again. You found Jesus. Congratulations. So have millions of others across Earth, but we're not celebrating them. How dare you throw your 3rd base coach under the bus for your haphazard slide into home and consequently breaking your arm. It's not his fault. He didn't hold a gun to your head and force you to run and he certainly didn't make you slide like that either. Take accountability for you actions you little bitch. F.U.!

Saturday, April 09, 2011

Mt. St. Tony


















Sorry folks, but Tony La Russa's explosion at reporters on Wednesday was just too tempting to pass up. Besides, I never liked the man anyway. He needs to learn to chill!

tamtam

Friday, April 08, 2011

Trying to put the claims that Wright isn't clutch to bed

Since the Mets collapsed in September of '07 Mets fans have pointed  fingers at the Mets  core players and stated that said players didn't have grit and weren't' "clutch". They couldn't handle the   big spots. David Wright more than anyone has been beaten up for supposedly  not being clutch the last few years.

Mike Francesa WFAN drive time host has stated that  everyone knows David Wright struggles in big spots. The lunatic fringe agreed with Francesa while the sane portion of the fan base pointed to the fact that Wright put up Bonds like numbers the last two months of '07, but Francesa said he didn't wanna hear about numbers. It really  wasn't Wright's fault that dreck like Brian Lawrence made starts down the stretch of the '07 season, and the bullpen was historically bad.     Wright was really the best player in the NL and deserved to win the MVP, but his teammates collapsed around him and Rollins won instead.

Carlos Beltran had taken the taken the majority of the blame for Mets failures after striking out to end the NLCS in '06. The blame has gone from Beltran to Wright mostly because Beltran has rarely played the last few years.

Wright striking out in a big spot against the Cubs late in the '08 season lit the fuse. Wright is mentally weak said some said.  Wright is not a franchise player was the refrain. It's time to break up the core! Since then every at bat has been micromanaged and even more so since his power outage in '09.  Wright rebounded  last year, and while not the same ilk of the elite player that he was in '05-08, he still was pretty good. The guy was still dogged by the "he's not clutch" crowd and took blame because a really bad team fell apart in the second half of last year. I dunno how people could blame Wright over dreck like Francoeur and Barajas among others, but they did.

This year the Wright's not clutch claims has gotten louder and louder and the hate is over the top. Wright drove in the go ahead run in extra innings vs the Marlins last Saturday and had the game winning rbis with a two run single against Hamels on Tuesday. You would think that would get him a break right? Nah. The talk was  about Wright's strike out in the first against Hamels, which he made irrelevant two innings later. Today Wright came up with the bases loaded against Roy Halladay and struck out and the Mets didn't score that inning. Well, here came the screams Wright cost us the game! Well, yes you'd like to see Wright get at least a sac fly there to drive in a run, but you do have to give the best pitcher in the world Roy Halladay credit, no?

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

More Hardball's 2011 MLB Predictions

The 2011 MLB season is in fullforce and here is More Hardball's predictions.

*GM-Carson is the first set and Burton is the second set.

AL East:
Boston Red Sox 93-69 95-67
New York Yankees 92-70 94-68
Toronto Blue Jays 81-81 82-80
Baltimore Orioles 76-86 66-96
Tampa Bay Rays 74-88 92-70

AL Central:
Chicago White Sox 90-72 85-77
Minnesota Twins 86-76 89-73
Detroit Tigers 85-77 80-82
Kansas City Royals 66-96 69-93
Cleveland Indians 60-102 72-90


AL West:
Texas Rangers 89-73 83-79
Oakland Athletics 88-74 86-76
Los Angeles Angels 81-81 81-81
Seattle Mariners 58-104 69-93

NL East:
Atlanta Braves 94-68 93-69
Philadelphia Phillies 91-71 96-66
New York Mets 79-83 79-83
Florida Marlins 75-87 84-78
Washington Nationals 68-94 71-91

NL Central:
Cincinnatti Reds 93-69 87-75
St. Louis Cardinals 87-75 88-74
Milwaukee Brewers 85-77 82-80
Chicago Cubs 83-81 79-83
Pittsburgh Pirates 69-93 62-100
Houston Astros 67-95 76-86

NL West:
Los Angeles Dodgers 92-70 86-76
San Francisco Giants 90-72 90-72
Colorado Rockies 82-80 83-79
Arizona Diamondbacks 72-90 72-90
San Diego Padres 70-92 85-77

AL MVP- Robinson Cano Robinson Cano
NL MVP- Jay Bruce Carlos Gonzalez
AL CY- Jon Lester Jon Lester
NL CY- Roy Halladay Roy Halladay
AL ROY- Zach Britton Mike Moustakas
NL ROY- Brandon Belt Freddie Freeman

Sunday, April 03, 2011

Spring Training Stat Leaders


Spring Training 2011 is finally over and the MLB official season is in full swing (pun intended). Let's not be hasty and forget the stat leaders of the Grapefruit and Cactus Leagues. Here are the players that did their best to make an impression on their squad in the winter months of February and March.

Batting
Hits:
Erick Almonte/Brewers - 32

At Bats:
Martin Prado/Braves - 82

Runs:
Melky Cabrera/Royals - 21

Doubles:
Gaby Sanchez/Marlins - 10

Triples:

Pete Orr/Phillies - 5

Homeruns:
Jake Fox/Orioles - 10

RBI:
Alex Gordon/Royals - 23

Stolen Bases:
Elliot Johnson/Rays - 12

Walks:
Kosuke Fukudome/Cubs - 13
Ryan Roberts/Diamondbacks - 13

Strikeouts:
Pedro Alvarez/Pirates - 27
Adam Dunn/White Sox - 27

Average:
(minimum 40 plate appearances)
Dave Sappelt/Reds - .583

OPS:
(minimum 40 plate appearances)
Dave Sappelt/Reds - 1.546

Pitching
Wins:
Fausto Carmona/Indians - 5

Losses:

Ross Ohlendorf/Pirates - 5

Saves:
Clay Hensley/Marlins - 4

Innings:
Joe Blanton/Phillies - 31

Walks:
Barry Zito/Giants - 16

Strikeouts:
Madison Bumgarner/Giants - 31

ERA:
(minimum 15 innings pitched)
Taylor Buchholz/Mets - 15

WHIP:
(minimum 15 innings pitched)
Rubby De La Rosa - 0.66

Friday, April 01, 2011

Off to the Races

Opening Day has finally come!

With that, our favorite teams have begun the mad dash for the World Series.

While you are watching your favorite team this season, you can still update your blog with the free articles from Article Writing Services.


















Featuring the mascots of the More Hardball staff (L-R: Mr. Met, Philly Phanatic, Homer, and Southpaw).

Cartoon courtesy of yours truly.

tamtam