Thursday, June 30, 2011

Team MVP & Cy Young: American League

The midpoint of the 2011 season is upon us and More Hardball is assigning each team a MVP and Cy Young for the first half. Here are the winners for each of the American League teams.

AL East:
Baltimore Orioles:
MVP - Adam Jones/CF .294/.823, 38 R, 14 DBL, 13 HR, 45 RBI, 5 SB.
Runner Up - JJ Hardy/SS

CY - Koji Uehara 1-1, 9 HLD, 33 G, 36 IP, 7:46 BB:K, 2.25 ERA, 0.78 WHIP.
Runner Up - Jim Johnson

Boston Red Sox:
MVP - Adrian Gonzalez/1B .361/1.147, 56 R, 25 DBL, 3 TRPL, 16 HR, 71 RBI.
Runner Up - David Ortiz/DH

CY - Josh Beckett 6-2, 14 GS, 92 IP, 30:79 BB:K, 1.86 ERA, 0.92 WHIP.
Runner Up - Daniel Bard

New York Yankees:
MVP - Curtis Granderson/CF .276/.933, 68 R, 11 DBL, 6 TRPL, 21 HR, 55 RBI, 12 SB.
Runner Up - Mark Teixeira/1B

CY - Mariano Rivera 1-1, 20 SV, 32 G, 30.1 IP, 4:26 BB:K, 1.78 ERA, 0.99 WHIP.
Runner Up - David Robertson

Tampa Bay Rays:
MVP - Matt Joyce/RF .313/.916, 41 R, 19 DBL, 2 TRPL, 10 HR, 38 RBI, 4 SB.
Runner Up - Casey Kotchman/1B

CY - James Shields 8-4, 16 GS, 121.2 IP, 28:117 BB:K, 2.29 ERA, 0.96 WHIP.
Runner Up - Kyle Farnsworth

Toronto Blue Jays:
MVP - Jose Bautista/RF .328/1.125, 60 R, 12 DBL, 23 HR, 49 RBI, 5 SB.
Runner Up - Adam Lind/1B

CY - Ricky Romero 7-7, 16 GS, 111.2 IP, 38:96 BB:K, 2.74 ERA, 1.16 WHIP.
Runner Up - Jason Frasor

*Stats through games played on 6/27

AL Central:
Chicago White Sox:
MVP - Paul Konerko/1B .318/.966, 39 R, 12 DBL, 21 HR, 60 RBI.
Runner Up - Carlos Quentin/RF

CY - Philip Humber 7-4, 16 G, 14 GS, 96.2 IP, 23:59 BB:K, 2.89 ERA, 0.89 WHIP.
Runner Up - Jesse Crain

Cleveland Indians:
MVP - Asdrubal Cabrera/SS .292/.837, 52 R, 20 DBL, 3 TRPL, 13 HR, 46 RBI, 12 SB.
Runner Up - Michael Brantley/CF

CY - Vinnie Pestano 1-0, 31 G, 28.2 IP, 11:39 BB:K, 10 HLD, 1.57 ERA, 0.91 WHIP.
Runner Up - Tony Sipp

Detroit Tigers:
MVP - Miguel Cabrera/1B .333/1.024, 58 R, 20 DBL, 15 HR, 52 RBI.
Runner Up - Alex Avila/C

CY - Justin Verlander 10-3, 17 GS, 128.2 IP, 27:124 BB:K, 2.38 ERA, 0.84 WHIP.
Runner Up - Al Alburquerque

Kansas City Royals:
MVP - Alex Gordon/LF .291/.838, 45 R, 23 DBL, 4 TRPL, 9 HR, 44 RBI, 5 SB.
Runner Up - Billy Butler/DH

CY - Aaron Crow 2-1, 32 G, 38.2 IP, 17:39 BB:K, 8 HLD, 1.40 ERA, 1.09 WHIP.
Runner Up - Blake Wood

Minnesota Twins:
MVP - Michael Cuddyer/RF .286/.805, 33 R, 16 DBL, 10 HR, 30 RBI, 7 SB.
Runner Up - Denard Span/CF

CY - Scott Baker 5-5, 15 GS, 98.1 IP, 28:92 BB:K, 3.39 ERA, 1.21 WHIP.
Runner Up - Nick Blackburn

*Stats through games played on June 28th

AL West:
Los Angeles Angels:
MVP - Howie Kendrick/2B .305/.840, 40 R, 18 DBL, 2 TRPL, 8 HR, 26 RBI, 8 SB.
Runner Up - Bobby Abreu/DH

CY - Jered Weaver 9-4, 17 GS, 123.1 IP, 28:106 BB:K, 1.97 ERA, 0.93 WHIP.
Runner Up - Dan Haren

Oakland Athletics:
MVP - Coco Crisp/CF .268/.690, 37 R, 17 DBL, 5 TRPL, 2 HR, 25 RBI, 24 SB.
Runner Up - Josh Willingham/LF

CY - Gio Gonzalez 7-5, 16 GS, 102 IP, 46:99 BB:K, 2.38 ERA, 1.24 WHIP.
Runner Up - Grant Balfour

Seattle Mariners:

MVP - Justin Smoak/1B .243/.794, 22 R, 18 DBL, 12 HR, 40 RBI.
Runner Up - Adam Kennedy/2B

CY - Michael Pineda 7-5, 16 GS, 102 IP, 32:99 BB:K, 2.65 ERA, 1.03 WHIP.
Runner Up - David Pauley

Texas Rangers:
MVP - Michael Young/DH .318/.824, 34 R, 22 DBL, 3 TRPL, 7 HR, 53 RBI, 4 SB.
Runner Up - Mitch Moreland/RF

CY - Alexi Ogando 7-3, 15 GS, 91 IP, 20:65 BB:K, 2.87 ERA, 1.03 WHIP.
Runner Up - CJ Wilson

*Stats through games played on June 29th

Team MVP & Cy Young: AL West

The midpoint of the 2011 season is upon us and More Hardball is assigning each team a MVP and Cy Young for the first half. Today we feature the American League West division.

Los Angeles Angels:
MVP - Howie Kendrick/2B .305/.840, 40 R, 18 DBL, 2 TRPL, 8 HR, 26 RBI, 8 SB.
Runner Up - Bobby Abreu/DH

CY - Jered Weaver 9-4, 17 GS, 123.1 IP, 28:106 BB:K, 1.97 ERA, 0.93 WHIP.
Runner Up - Dan Haren

Oakland Athletics:
MVP - Coco Crisp/CF .268/.690, 37 R, 17 DBL, 5 TRPL, 2 HR, 25 RBI, 24 SB.
Runner Up - Josh Willingham/LF

CY - Gio Gonzalez 7-5, 16 GS, 102 IP, 46:99 BB:K, 2.38 ERA, 1.24 WHIP.
Runner Up - Grant Balfour

Seattle Mariners:

MVP - Justin Smoak/1B .243/.794, 22 R, 18 DBL, 12 HR, 40 RBI.
Runner Up - Adam Kennedy/2B

CY - Michael Pineda 7-5, 16 GS, 102 IP, 32:99 BB:K, 2.65 ERA, 1.03 WHIP.
Runner Up - David Pauley

Texas Rangers:
MVP - Michael Young/DH .318/.824, 34 R, 22 DBL, 3 TRPL, 7 HR, 53 RBI, 4 SB.
Runner Up - Mitch Moreland/RF

CY - Alexi Ogando 7-3, 15 GS, 91 IP, 20:65 BB:K, 2.87 ERA, 1.03 WHIP.
Runner Up - CJ Wilson

*Stats through games played on June 29th

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Team MVP & Cy Young: AL Central

With the midpoint of the 2011 season nearing More Hardball has taken the opportunity to name each team's MVP and Cy Young through the first half. Today we feature the American League Central division.

Chicago White Sox:
MVP - Paul Konerko/1B .318/.966, 39 R, 12 DBL, 21 HR, 60 RBI.
Runner Up - Carlos Quentin/RF

CY - Philip Humber 7-4, 16 G, 14 GS, 96.2 IP, 23:59 BB:K, 2.89 ERA, 0.89 WHIP.
Runner Up - Jesse Crain

Cleveland Indians:
MVP - Asdrubal Cabrera/SS .292/.837, 52 R, 20 DBL, 3 TRPL, 13 HR, 46 RBI, 12 SB.
Runner Up - Michael Brantley/CF

CY - Vinnie Pestano 1-0, 31 G, 28.2 IP, 11:39 BB:K, 10 HLD, 1.57 ERA, 0.91 WHIP.
Runner Up - Tony Sipp

Detroit Tigers:
MVP - Miguel Cabrera/1B .333/1.024, 58 R, 20 DBL, 15 HR, 52 RBI.
Runner Up - Alex Avila/C

CY - Justin Verlander 10-3, 17 GS, 128.2 IP, 27:124 BB:K, 2.38 ERA, 0.84 WHIP.
Runner Up - Al Alburquerque

Kansas City Royals:
MVP - Alex Gordon/LF .291/.838, 45 R, 23 DBL, 4 TRPL, 9 HR, 44 RBI, 5 SB.
Runner Up - Billy Butler/DH

CY - Aaron Crow 2-1, 32 G, 38.2 IP, 17:39 BB:K, 8 HLD, 1.40 ERA, 1.09 WHIP.
Runner Up - Blake Wood

Minnesota Twins:
MVP - Michael Cuddyer/RF .286/.805, 33 R, 16 DBL, 10 HR, 30 RBI, 7 SB.
Runner Up - Denard Span/CF

CY - Scott Baker 5-5, 15 GS, 98.1 IP, 28:92 BB:K, 3.39 ERA, 1.21 WHIP.
Runner Up - Nick Blackburn

*Stats through games played on June 28th

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Team MVP & Cy Young: AL East

With the midpoint of the 2011 season nearing More Hardball has taken the opportunity to name each team's MVP and Cy Young through the first half. Today we feature the American League East division.

Baltimore Orioles:
MVP - Adam Jones/CF .294/.823, 38 R, 14 DBL, 13 HR, 45 RBI, 5 SB.
Runner Up - JJ Hardy/SS

CY - Koji Uehara 1-1, 9 HLD, 33 G, 36 IP, 7:46 BB:K, 2.25 ERA, 0.78 WHIP.
Runner Up - Jim Johnson

Boston Red Sox:
MVP - Adrian Gonzalez/1B .361/1.147, 56 R, 25 DBL, 3 TRPL, 16 HR, 71 RBI.
Runner Up - David Ortiz/DH

CY - Josh Beckett 6-2, 14 GS, 92 IP, 30:79 BB:K, 1.86 ERA, 0.92 WHIP.
Runner Up - Daniel Bard

New York Yankees:
MVP - Curtis Granderson/CF .276/.933, 68 R, 11 DBL, 6 TRPL, 21 HR, 55 RBI, 12 SB.
Runner Up - Mark Teixeira/1B

CY - Mariano Rivera 1-1, 20 SV, 32 G, 30.1 IP, 4:26 BB:K, 1.78 ERA, 0.99 WHIP.
Runner Up - David Robertson

Tampa Bay Rays:
MVP - Matt Joyce/RF .313/.916, 41 R, 19 DBL, 2 TRPL, 10 HR, 38 RBI, 4 SB.
Runner Up - Casey Kotchman/1B

CY - James Shields 8-4, 16 GS, 121.2 IP, 28:117 BB:K, 2.29 ERA, 0.96 WHIP.
Runner Up - Kyle Farnsworth

Toronto Blue Jays:
MVP - Jose Bautista/RF .328/1.125, 60 R, 12 DBL, 23 HR, 49 RBI, 5 SB.
Runner Up - Adam Lind/1B

CY - Ricky Romero 7-7, 16 GS, 111.2 IP, 38:96 BB:K, 2.74 ERA, 1.16 WHIP.
Runner Up - Jason Frasor

*Stats through games played on 6/27

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Posada Not Dead Yet

Remember when Jorge Posada was washed-up, sucked, and thought to be dead? It wasn't too long ago. In just a few weeks (since June 4th), Posada has taken his AVG/OPS from .169/.623 to .232/.717. Still not All-Star numbers, but also not dead or on the brink of being released.

Posada openly sulked about batting 9th and removed himself from the lineup earlier this season. Rumors were abound that the Yankees might release him after Derek Jeter collected his 3000th hit. However, Jeter his the DL 6 hits short of the milestone and Jorge decided he still had something left to offer.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Managment Mess

This past week has seen the managerial makeup of several teams shaken up. Jim Riggleman bails on his boob of a team, the Nationals, and left the job to Davey Johnson, someone who, until Riggleman stepped down, I'd never heard of (most of our readers, and the staff might as he played during their lifetimes/memories).

But while Riggleman's walkout was perhaps the most shocking managerial story of the week, it wasn't the first. That came from Florida where Jeff Loria, the GM of the Marlins, somehow managed to dig up Jack McKeon from whatever grave he was in and gave him the reins for that mess of a club in South Florida. McKeon, as you all remember, was the manager who coached the Florida Marlins to a World Series victory against the Yankees in 2003, and had retired in 2006.

McKeon's reinstatement raised the eyebrows of fans and bloggers alike. Are the Marlins so desperate that they had to dig up poor old Jack McKeon to finish a job that their previous manager was originally hired to do? Or did we balk cuz of the fact that Jack McKeon is still alive and kickin', and nobody expected it?

The saga of the Marlins got me thinking, whose coach is next on the chopping block? The Mets aren't doing too well either. Will the management convince Mike Piazza to come out of retirement to coach the Mets?



If you think the Mets' organization is already in a downward spiral, for sure it will crash and burn if Piazza comes to coach the team. Though Piazza had a Hall-of-Fame career as a player, his career as a manager will not be so spectacular. But with the Mets being the butt of all baseball jokes, I suppose it wouldn't hurt to give it a shot.

tamtam

The Nationals Don't Quit Like Their Manager

Jim Riggleman may have quit on the Nationals, but the Nationals themselves refuse to do so. Despite 3 blown saves in the same game, the Nats still won in 14 innings last night. It was their first game since Riggleman unexpectedly resigned from managing Washington. They've won 12 out of the last 13 contests and now sit 2 games above .500 (39-37).

They join the likes of the Seattle Mariners (38-38), Cleveland Indians (40-34), Pittsburgh Pirates (38-37), and Arizona Diamondbacks (43-34) as surprise teams of 2011 that are actually still in contention for the postseason.

Astros Will Only Pitch Rodriguez


The Houston Astros used 3 pitchers last night (June 24th), all with the last name Rodriguez. Starting pitcher Wandy Rodriguez went 6 innings allowing 5 runs and picked up the loss. He was relieved by Fernando Rodriguez, who went 2 scoreless frames, and then Rule 5 pick Aneury Rodriguez finished off the game.

Not sure if this is the first time 3 Rodriguez's have pitched in the same game, but either way it's pretty damn amusing.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Jim Riggleman is a Dumbass


Remember when the Washington Nationals sucked? Yeah, just about 2 weeks ago. Since the Montreal Expos came to America they've been a joke. However, things are starting to turn around in our nation's capital and manager Jim Riggleman has lead them to a 35-34 record this season. Pretty impressive. He should be proud and happy. He should resign? Wait, what? Yep, Riggleman was pissed that his 2012 option had yet to be picked up by the club, so following Thursday's victory that put the Nats over the .500 mark, he resigned and never got on the team bus. This has to be a shock to the Nationals front office, fans, and more importantly the players. Wonder how the rest of their season will shake out now. He desired so desperately to have his future secured in 2012 as a manager, yet he walked away from his job, and now has probably screwed himself as far as ever managing in the Majors again. One thing is for certain though- Jim Riggleman is a dumbass!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Love Marines, But Not This One

Here at More Hardball we support, appreciate, and salute America's armed forces, but we do not condone the following...

It is Marine week in St. Louis and during Tuesday's telecast of the Phillies and Cardinals game Fox Sports Midwest invited Colonel T. Shane Tomko into the booth to talk about the week's festivities. What ensued is a shame.

Col. Tomko: I'll tell you what, with that M1A1 Abrams we got across the street, if Halladay keeps on pitching well, we can fix that with one round pretty quickly.
Announcer: (awkward laugh) I'm sure you could. I don't know if we should say that, but you just did.
Col. Tomko: I can say whatever I want because I'm a war fighter, and this is the Cardinals Nation the last time I checked.

Roy Halladay has long been one of my favorite players, dating back prior to his days with my beloved Phils. This Marine's "joke" is uncalled for and sheds a negative light on what otherwise is an upstanding organization that deserves nothing but the utmost respect. Colonel Tomko later tried to explain away what he said, but bottom line is he should have never said it to begin with. He was presented with the opportunity to spread goodwill, give positive reflections on his time with the Marines, and be an enlightening source of information. This he did not do.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Life and Art

Rumor has it that the infamous Carlos Zambrano has waived his no-trade cause. Looks like he's on the verge of being traded! Rumor also has it that the Yankees are interested in acquiring the feisty pitcher.




Life imitating art? Or was I reading Carlos Zambrano's mind...?

tamtam

Stinky Sox

This week's cartoon pretty much sums up the entire season of my hometown team, as of tonight.

Since I've been out here, I haven't had much of a chance to watch the Sox games. After all, WGN has to share airtime with the Shlubs too. But tonight was the first time in several weeks (maybe a month?) that I had last seen a White Sox game. However, I've been keeping up with the team via their fansites and blogs. From what I've been reading, things are improving, but my team is still in the crapper. Tonight, my hometown team only managed one run against their ex-pitcher Daniel Hudson. He was throwing Ks left and right. Remind me again, Kenny, how exactly are we in third place in the AL Central...?

And that is the story behind this week's cartoon.



Tamtam

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

You Think You Know Chris Carpenter, Guess Again


Question - How many Chris Carpenter's have pitched in the Major Leagues?

Answer - 3.

1st Carpenter - Chris was spelled "Cris" without the h. He began his career back in 1988 with the St. Louis Cardinals and later pitched for the Florida Marlins and Texas Rangers, before ending his career in Milwaukee with the Brewers in 1996. In 8 seasons, the relief pitcher had a 27-22 record with a 3.91 ERA in 291 appearance. Nothing spectacular and wouldn't even be getting blog coverage if not for the 2nd Carpenter.

2nd Carpenter - Chris began his career with the Toronto Blue Jays in 1997, 1 season after the 1st Carpenter retired. He went onto fame with the St. Louis Cardinals, becoming an All-Star and Cy Young award winner. He's still with the Red Birds and owns a career record of 134-89 with a 3.83 ERA in over 2000 MLB innings.

3rd Carpenter -
Chris just made his debut with the Chicago Cubs yesterday striking out 1 batter in two-thirds of an inning.

Now shit gets weird...
2nd and 3rd Carpenter have the same exact name of Christopher John Carpenter. The 1st and 2nd Carpenter were each drafted in the 1st round (Cris- 14th overall, Chris- 15th overall). All 3 were right-handed pitchers.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Name to Know- Steven Cishek


Standing 6 foot 5 inches the Florida Marlins rookie reliever Steven Cishek is a big man looming on the mound over the competition. The 5th round pick in 2007 has worked his was through the Fish's system and is working his way into a prominent role in their bullpen. Cishek got the customary September call-up last year when rosters expanded and made 3 scoreless appearances. This season he started in Triple-A, but was called up in May and has been doing brilliantly ever since. Cishek has worked 10.1 innings in 7 games with nary a run surrendered. For his career- 10 G, 14.2 IP, 10 K, 0.00 ERA, and 0.68 WHIP. Just last week he picked up his first career save, and while Leo Nunez is the closer for the time being, expect Cishek to get some holds.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Helping Hands

By now, I'm sure you've all heard that Derek Jeter is closing in on 3000 hits. While this is an impressive feat all in itself, Jeter stands out in particular because in spite of all the Yankee greats, such as Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, and Mickey Mantle, not a single Yankee has had 3000 hits with the team during their careers.

With this in mind, I created this week's cartoon. Though Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, and Mickey Mantle were never able to reach this career milestone, I'm sure they're willing to lend a helping hand from above in order to aid a member of their team.



And maybe Mick is right-when Jeter finally gets his 3000 hits, maybe even a notorious Yankee-hater like myself can finally learn to respect him for something.

tamtam

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Mark DisGraceFul

Mark Grace may not be a current MLB player, but we're going to add him to the infamous list of douchebags to be arrested for a DUI this year anyway (mugshot seen to the right). The 46 year old former firstbase star of the Chicago Cubs and current Arizona Diamondbacks announcer was pulled over during the Memorial Day weekend and didn't pass the field tests. Stupid, stupid man. Mark Grace is disgraceful.

Other idiots from earlier this year...



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?!?!?!?!

Baseball-Reference.com 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?

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

The Power of Zero- Revised Part 1

The Power of Zero lives on in the form of the following relievers that have yet to surrender an earned this season.

0.00 ERA:
Greg Holland/KCR 7 G, 10 IP, 13 K, 1 W, 2 HLD, 1.00 WHIP
Lance Pendleton/NYY 7 G, 9.1 IP, 0.86 WHIP
Daniel Moskos/PIT 10 G, 9 IP, 1 W, 0.89 WHIP
Rich Hill/BOS 9 G, 8 IP, 12 K, 3 HLD, 0.75 WHIP
Scott Elbert/LAD 11 G, 7.2 IP, 8 K, 3 HLD, 0.89 WHIP
Steve Cishek/FLA 4 G, 6.2 IP, 0.75 WHIP

*Rich Hill is currently on the DL.

*Steve Cishek hasn't allowed an earned run in the Majors yet over 2 season with the Marlins. Career- 7 G, 11 IP, 0.64 WHIP.

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Brian McCann is the Predator?

Brian McCann vs. Predator. Or Brian McCann as Predator?

You be the judge...


*Hat tip to Brian Green, who proposed this via email.

Monday, June 06, 2011

Surprising Pitching Performances of 2011

The following is a list of surprising pitching performances thus far in the 2011 MLB season. They've either bounced back from injury, signed minor league deals, were selected off waivers, or just flat-out turned their careers around.

*#/# = ERA/WHIP, #:# = BB:K

Bartolo Colon/NYY 4-3, 3.39/1.13, 12 G, 9 GS, 71.2 IP, 17:66. Signed as a minor league free agent this offseason for $900K after rehabbing his way back from an experimental surgery involving stem cells. The Yankees are glad they have this 38 year old former Cy Young winner buoying their rotation.





Ryan Vogelsong/SFG 4-1, 1.68/1.04, 10 G, 8 GS, 53.2 IP, 14:42. Originally drafted by the Giants in the 5th round back in 1998, Vogelsong has come full circle returning to the team that gave him his first shot in the Majors. He was signed to a minor league contract in January and has been paying dividends for San Francisco ever since.





Charlie Morton/PIT 6-2, 2.52/1.35, 11 GS, 75 IP, 31:42. On the heels of a dismal 2-12 campaign in 2010 with a ghastly 7.57 ERA, this season was make-or-break for Morton. How did he turn things around? By emulating the best pitcher on the planet, Roy Halladay, of course. He studied Doc's wind-up extensively this offseason and put it into practice this year with outstanding results. He arrived in Pittsburgh back in the summer of 2009 in the trade that sent Nate McLouth to Atlanta.



Alexi Ogando/TEX 6-0, 2.20/0.80, 11 GS, 73.2 IP, 16:53. He had an impressive rookie season for the World Series bound Rangers in 2010, sporting a 1.30 ERA in 44 games. Nobody expected his transition to the rotation to go this smoothly though. He remains unbeaten this year and is an early front-runner for the AL Cy Young. He arrived in Texas via the minor league portion of the Rule 5 draft back in 2005 out of the Oakland farm system.

Kyle Lohse/STL 7-2, 2.41/0.99, 12 GS, 86 IP, 15:52. Lohse is the biggest money maker on this list, but his performance thus far is astonishing considering he was returning from an arm injury that ended in 2010 season in which he had a 4-8 record with a 6.55 ERA. Kyle signed a 4 year pact with the Cardinals back in 2008, and is now making good on that.




Dustin Moseley/SDP 2-6, 3.00/1.26, 12 GS, 72 IP, 21:36. This former 1st round pick of the Reds has scuffled through the Majors until seemingly settling in this year in San Diego. After being granted free agency by the Yankees, the Padres snatched him up on a cost-effective $900K 1 year contract. The losing record isn't his fault, the Friars just don't score enough runs.




Phillip Humber/CHW 4-3, 3.06/0.98, 12 G, 10 GS, 67.2 IP, 14:38. The ChiSox are using an unconventional 6-man rotation largely because the early season success of Humber. Selected off waivers from the Athletics early this year, Humber has finally begun to pitch like the guy the Twins traded Johan Santana to the Mets for.

*Stats current through June 5th games

Sunday, June 05, 2011

St. Louis Cardinals- Best Outfield in MLB


Matt Holliday might be on the DL, but that doesn't prevent the St. Louis Cardinals from continuing to boast the best outfield in MLB.

*Stats current through June 4th

Matt Holliday/LF .342/.975, 31 R, 13 DBL, 6 HR, 31 RBI in 44 games.

Colby Rasmus/CF .271/.819, 38 R, 10 DBL, 6 TRPL, 5 HR, 26 RBI, 5 SB in 56 games.

Lance Berkman/RF .329/1.043, 35 R, 9 DBL, 12 HR, 40 RBI in 51 games.

Jon Jay/OF .331/.861, 15 R, 6 DBL, 4 HR, 14 RBI, 5 SB in 56 games.

Allen Craig/OF/2B .343/.953, 16 R, 8 DBL, 4 HR, 22 RBI, 4 SB in 38 games.

Wow!

Saturday, June 04, 2011

Who the hell took over Endy Chavez's body?

What is going on with the Texas Rangers Endy Chavez?

Endy Chavez 2011: .435/1.165, 11 R, 20 H, 4 DBL, 1 TRPL, 2 HR, 6 RBI, and 3 SB in only 12 games.

Endy Chavez 2001-2009: .270/.670 in 827 games.

The 10 year MLB vet has raised his career batting average 4 points and his OPS 19 points in 12 games, now at .274/.689. That's amazing!

The man has always played superior defense, but what if he actually figured out how to hit at the age of 33? Ah, not likely.

*Stats are current through June 3rd.

Double Trouble

Have I a treat for you today, faithful readers!

Today, I have two cartoons to present to you.

My first cartoon deals with none other than my local team, the Arizona Diamondbacks. Just three weeks ago, they were the laughingstock of the NL West. In fact, one of my most recent cartoons lampooned how bad the team was playing. Now, as of today, my local team is sitting in first place, a half-game up on the San Francisco Giants. This turnaround leaves one nothing short of stunned...with joy, that is. Likewise, with this early-season resurrection, the Diamondbacks may prove to be a serious contender for the postseason this year, which is especially sweet as no one saw them coming. Like a phoenix rising out of the flames and ashes in a glorious rebirth, the Arizona Diamondbacks have turned their season around and are here to do some well-deserved ass-kicking.



My second cartoon pokes at none other than my second-favorite catcher, Ivan "Pudge" Rodriguez (my first-favorite catcher is AJ Pierzynski). While I've been a fan of Pudge since my teenage years, tonight I was shocked to find that he was still playing and had not retired two years ago, as was my first thought. Albeit, Pudge's current team is the NationLOLs, so he may as well be semi-retired, but it was still a shock to see that the man who I watched lead the Florida Marlins to a World Series victory in 2003 still actively playing the game.

Now one of the immediate quirks I noticed about Pudge after seeing him play that magical year was his religiosity. Personally, I have no problem with players praying to God before going out on the field or crossing themselves before going up to bat. In fact, I respect players who do have the guts to show their faith on the field. But in the case of Pudge, his show of faith seemed to be a bit...excessive. It's one thing for a player to cross himself before going up to bat and then again after he gets the hit, but between every pitch, after every hit, and between every inning (if tonight's game was any indication) just seems a bit too much. While I love Pudge for the player that he is, his frequent shows of faith have made him too ripe of a target to pass up the opportunity to poke at, even though I respect him for having the guts to do it in the first place.



Pudge, if you should find your way to this blog somehow, know that I'm not mocking you because I don't like you. I'm mocking you because I find your rituals a bit over-the-top. That said, if you are as religious in life as you are on the field, ask God to give you five more years of playing time. Darren Sutton, Mark Grace's broadcast buddy, said that's how long you've said you want to keep playing, and I want to hold you both to your respective words. Also, I want you to keep playing as long as possible cuz in spite of your rituals, I enjoy watching you play.

Have a good weekend everyone!

tamtam

PS-In Pudge's cartoon, he's reciting the beginning of the Lord's Prayer in Spanish.

Friday, June 03, 2011

Grady Sizemore- Extra Bases

.262 batting average - average.

.876 OPS - pretty damn good.

30 K in 24 G - bad.

20 of your 27 hits for extra bases - amazing.

Grady Sizemore of the Cleveland Indians has hit 14 doubles and 6 homeruns this season, which account for 74% of his hits. He's averaging nearly 1 extra base hit per game (20 XBH:24 G). Just imagine what his numbers could be if he didn't start the season on the DL and get DL'd in between too.

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

The Power of Zero (Revised)

I'm obsessed with pitchers who rock a zero earned run average. Not sure why, just am. All the guys that I was tracking to start the season have fallen off course, but there are some new 0.00 ERA pitchers to keep an eye on. The following is a list of active pitchers with 6 or more innings pitched and nary a run surrendered.

0.00 ERA:
*Jose Contreras/PHI 11 G, 10.2 IP
*Lance Pendleton/NYY 7 G, 9.1 IP
*Charlie Furbush/DET 3 G, 9 IP
*Rich Hill/BOS 8 G, 8 IP
*Zach Duke/ARI 1 GS, 7 IP
*Juan Nicasio/COL 1 GS, 7 IP
*Greg Holland/KCR 5 G, 6.2 IP
*Joey Devine/OAK 6 G, 6 IP

All stats are current through May 31st

May MLB Surprises

The New York Yankees and Philadelphia Phillies leading the American and National League East divisions at the end of May is no surprise.


The Cleveland Indians and Arizona Diambondbacks leading their divisions is a surprise though. The Indians are 5 games up on the Detroit Tigers and the Dbacks have a slim half game margin over the San Francisco Giants.

On the opposite end of the spectrum is the Minnesota Twins with a MLB-worst 17-36 record. They have allowed 91 more runs then they've scored this season. Many predicted them to win the AL Central. Ouch!

Other Surprises:
*Matt Joyce leads all of baseball with a .370 batting average.

*Jose Bautista has actually improved upon his breakout performance last season and is currently batting .36./1.290 with 20 HR. He's no fluke ladies and gentlemen.

*Lance Berkman is having a bounce back campaign and then some to the tune of a .338 average and 1.069 OPS. He's not dead!

*Curtis Granderson has smoked 17 homeruns.

*Kyle Lohse and Kevin Correia are tied for the MLB lead in wins with 7.

*Jair Jurrjens (1.51) and Josh Beckett (1.80) lead their leagues in ERA.

*Sluggers Dan Uggla (.178/.568) and Adam Dunn (.185/.665) are struggling to make an impact with their new teams.

*John Danks already has 8 losses with the White Sox after only suffering 11 all last season over 32 starts.

*Brian Fuentes has 7 losses and he's a freakin' relief pitcher.

*Closer extraordinaire Joakim Soria has removed himself from that role because he's ashamed of his 5 blown saves.