Friday, April 27, 2012

Nick Johnson is Bad

There was a time, not too awfully long ago, that Nick Johnson was a solid MLB 1st baseman. That time is not now, as he's just plain awful nowadays.  Currently he is being paid by the Baltimore Orioles, who despite Johnson's complete uselessness, are in 1st place in the AL East with a 12-7 record.  Johnson has managed to play in 8 games, while stealing 26 at bats from a more deserving player.  In those 26 at bats, zero hits.  His OPS is .133, because of one measly f'n walk and getting plunked 3 times.  This is not an abnormality, this is a trend.  In 2010 with the Yankees, Nick hit .167/.697 in 24 games.  Last year he was so bad, that he never even got a chance to play in the Majors.  Instead he stunk it up in the Indians minor leagues hitting only .201/654.  What's the point in employing him anymore?  By now it seems evident that he's just not worth a pinch of poop.

*Don't forget to register and play our free 1-day DrafDay.com challege, for a chance to win $5 for 30 seconds of your time.  Click here to enter.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Rangers Secret Weapon: Robbie Ross

The Texas Rangers are off to a tremendous start to the 2012 season, with a MLB-best 15-4 record.  Names like Josh Hamilton, Ian Kinsler, Yu Darvish, and Matt Harrison have been stealing the spotlight, but perhaps we should all direct our attention to a lefty reliever by the name of Robbie Ross.  The 22 year old made his MLB debut this season and has pitched in 6 games.  Nothing special, right?  Wrong!  He's won 4 of those games in relief, and has posted a 2.25 ERA and 0.88 WHIP while striking out 7 batters in 8 innings of work.  Very impressive for someone that wasn't even supposed to make the Opening Day roster.  His 4 wins tie him for the MLB lead.  Another impressive thing about Ross, is that this is his first time working out of the bullpen (in 3 minor league seasons he appeared in 69 games, of which 68 were starts).  Ron Washington would be smart to continue to deploy this secret weapon.  Of course, then Robbie Ross won't be a secret for too much longer.

*Don't forget to register and play our free 1-day DrafDay.com challege, for a chance to win $5 for 30 seconds of your time.  Click here to enter.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

DraftDay $5 Challenge

We've teamed up with DraftDay, a fantasy sports website that offers one-day fantasy games, to give our readers a chance to play a  FREE 1 on 1 fantasy game where the winner gets $5! DraftDay is different from other fantasy sports sites in that its games last for only one day. You don't need to manage a team for an entire season, deal with unlucky injuries, or play everyday if you don't feel like it.

Here's how the challenge works:

All you need to do is click on this link and follow the instructions at DraftDay. You'll be asked to choose your sport and then will get to choose 5 players to add to your roster for that evening. After setting up your account (which only takes 30 seconds), you're ready to go! If your team of players scores more fantasy points than your opponents team, you'll win $5!

Here's how the drafting page looks:


When your game starts, you'll get to watch your live scoring update automatically. Here's how it looks:


After you win your $5, you can use it in a variety of games that DraftDay offers. They pay out thousands of dollars per day in real cash prizes.

Click here to take the DraftDay $5 Challenge!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Bedard is the Biggest Loser

Poor Erik Bedard. The man has posted a very respectable 2.63 ERA, but leads the Majors in losses with 4.

4 starts, 4 losses. This is what happens when you pitch for the Majors' worst offense. The Pittsburgh Pirates should be ashamed.  He's currently on pace for 43 losses.

Congratulations Erik Bedard, you are the biggest loser.

Pennsylvania Offenses Suck

The Keystone state is having a difficult time scoring runs.  The bats of the Pittsburgh Pirates and Philadelphia Phillies are flaccid.  Combining their offenses still leaves them short of many solo teams in MLB this season.

Runs:
PA - 71
The Rangers, Braves, Yankees, Blue Jays, Cardinals, and Indians have all scored more.

Doubles:
PA - 29
The Red Sox, Royals, Rockies and Angels all have hit more doubles.

Triples:
PA - 3
Twelve teams have hit more triples.

Homeruns:
PA - 14
Thirteen teams have hit more homeruns.

Bases on Balls:
PA - 53
The Indians, Padres, Yankees, Astros, Dodgers, Rays, and Nationals have more walks.

Extra Base Hits:
PA - 46
Nine teams have more extra base hits.

Pinch Hits:
PA - 4
Ten teams have more pinch hits. *Stats based on games played through April 21st.

And the Kemp Goes On...

Homeruns: 
Matt Kemp - 9 
Cincinnati Reds - 9 
San Diego Padres - 9 
Houston Astros - 7 
Philadelphia Phillies - 7 
Pittsburgh Pirates - 7 
Chicago Cubs - 5

Matt Kemp is hitting as many or more homeruns than 20% of MLB teams.  Be amazed.  Be very amazed.

*Thanks to Corey at We Should Be GMs for the image.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Matt Kemp is Better Than Your Team

Matt Kemp 2012: 14 G, .481/1.525, 16 R, 4 DBL, 8 HR, 20 RBI.

He's currently on pace for 185 R, 301 H, 93 HR, and 231 RBI.

Hot Damn!!!

He's hit as many or more homeruns as the Nationals, Pirates, Phillies, Astros, and Cubs. The entire Pirates team only has 24 RBI.

Friday, April 20, 2012

The Best Baseball Stadiums to Visit

The Best Baseball Stadiums to Visit

Despite what some may say, baseball is still America's pasttime, and for good reason: warm weather, a leisurely pace of game allowing for relaxation and conversation, and community parks where the words "play ball!" can be heard almost every afternoon or night. Despite the charm and allure of every team's home field, some venues are certainly better than others. In order to judge which stadiums are the best out there, we consider factors such as fan base, atmosphere, aesthetic appeal, the team that plays there, and the history of the particular stadium.
So, without further ado, here are the stadiums that came to mind when thinking about the best.
  • Wrigley Field
The "friendly confines" of Wrigley Field--home of the Chicago Cubs and home to the most depressed and inebriated fanbases in all of baseball. Besides Fenway and since the Yankees destroyed their old stadium, One of the last stadiums of yore in America, your exit (it seems like there are only two in the whole stadium) will be all the merrier if the Cubbies get a win. You will get to sing the famous victory song for the Cubs: "Go Cubs, go! Go Cubs, go! Hey Chicago, what do ya say, the Cubs are gonna win today" or something like that.
  • Dodger's Stadium
Home of the storied Dodgers franchise, Dodger's Stadium is a must-do if spending time in So-Cal. Literally built inside a parking lot, the stadium is a bastion of garish 70s style, drama, and a loyal fanbase. Students of architecture will either love it or abhor it. The great California weather (and Matt Kemp to a certain degree) make a ticket to Dodger's Stadium one of the best possible plans for an evening in L.A. Seating over 54,000, Dodger's stadium is also one of the larger ballparks, which also makes it more fun.
  • Comerica Park
Comerica Park sticks out in Detroit like a tropical oasis in the middle of the Russian tundra. It also makes this list in part because you are likely to watch Verlander, Cabrera, and Prince Fielder when attending a game here. The stadium is clean and new, and features largescale and ferocious looking Tiger sculptures all over. The fan base is a friendly mix of old-time baseball fans (the kind with all the pins on their letterman jacket and a chip on their shoulder from fighting in Korea), families, and the rest of the best Detroit has to offer. Nonetheless, the Tigers are the team to beat, and this beautiful stadium is a great place to be on any day in baseball season.
  • Citi Field
Sure, the Mets may not be worth watching, but their home field features some of baseball's most devoted fans, as well as the type of "charm" New York is famous for. I say that Mets fans are devoted because if you grew up in New York, it would take some kind of devotion to root for the Mets over the Yanks. Unlike that other N.Y. team's stadium across the way, Citi Field is accessible, affordable, and unpretentious. Its a great, no-nonsense baseball experience, and you are bound to see at least one professional-level team on any given night. It also puts a lot of graduates who have had electrician training to work (if you get a chance to go, try to remember that quip--you will get it).
For more information on America's baseball stadiums, check out the following resources.
Five Thirty-Eight Blog - from the NY times, this blog post presents each stadium from the perspective of its yelp.com rating.
abcnews.com - an article that reviews each and every baseball park in America.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Matt Kemp Continues to Outpace Other Teams

Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp launched his 7th homerun of the season in only his 13th game earlier today. That give him as many, or more homeruns than the Astros, Nationals, Cubs, Phillies, and Pirates. If one of those teams is "your team", then you should be very ashamed. I, for one, am ashamed, as I pledge my allegiance to Philadelphia.

Kemp has scored 15 runs and knocked in 18. The entire Pirates squad has only crossed homeplate 26 times this year to go along with 23 RBI. Sad, isn't it?

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Melancon's ERA & Tulowitzki's Errors

Boston Red Sox reliever Mark Melancon currently has a 49.50 ERA. In 4 appearances, he's pitched 2 innings allowing 10 hits, 11 runs, 5 homeruns and 2 walks. His WHIP is astronomically high at 6.00. That is crazy bad. Heading into the 2012 season, Melancon had only surrendered 7 homeruns in his entire career (112 IP over 3 years with the Yankees and Astros). Gotta believe things will improve for him.

Troy Tulowitzki is known for being an all-around threat on the baseball diamond. He's won 2 consecutive Gold Glove Awards at shortstop. However, if he wants to continue that trend he'll have to cut down on the errors. Through 11 games this season he's already committed 6 errors, the same amount in 140 games last year. Yikes!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Matt Kemp Out-Homers Entire Teams


This just in...Matt Kemp is a friggin' beast.

He should have won the NL MVP last season and he's on his way to making a case for himself again this season.

Kemp has hit 6 homeruns 10 through games. That's more than the Phillies, Pirates, Nationals, and Cubs. It ties him with the Reds and Padres. That means he has as many or more homeruns than 1/5 of all MLB teams. Wow!

Matt Kemp 2012- .487/1.548, 13 R, 3 DBL, 6 HR, 16 RBI, 1 SB.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Crazy MLB Week 1

The first week of 2012 MLB season is in the books, with most teams having played 6 or 7 games. Things seem to be turned upside-down right now with some "good" teams losing (Red Sox & Angels) and some "bad" or mediocre teams winning (Dodgers & Mets). As well as, some players currently off the charts that wouldn't be typically thought of as household names, while some marquee players are struggling.

Unexpected Leaders:
Hits - 13 - Ian Desmond/WSH

Triples - 2 - Zack Cozart/CIN

Homeruns - 4 - Josh Willingham/MIN

RBI - 10 - David Freese/STL

SB - 5 - Dee Gordon/LAD & Starlin Castro/CHC

BB - 8 - Chase Headley/SDP

OPS - 1.460 - Carlos Pena/TBR

IP - 18.1 - Jason Vargas/SEA

SV - 5 - Javy Guerra/LAD

Unexpected Struggles:
*Ike Davis/NYM batting .050 (1-2).

*Aramis Ramirez/CHC, Alex Gordon/KCR, Kevin Youkilis/BOS, Jacoby Ellsbury/BOS, and Justin Upton/ARI all batting south of .150.

*Neil Walker/PIT .161 OPS.

*JP Arencibia/TOR & Yoenis Cespedes/OAK with strikeouts in half of their at bats (11 K, 22 AB).

*Josh Johnson/MIA, Tim Lincecum/SFG, Matt Cain/SFG, Francisco Liriano/MIN all with ERA's north or 7.00.

*Sergio Santos/TOR has blown 2 saves after blowing only 6 all of 2011.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Play Free 1-Day Fantansy Baseball League for Cash Prizes


Like baseball? Like money? If your answer to both is yes, then register for free to play in DraftStreet.com's 1 day fantasy baseball league for cash prizes. You get to play GM with a salary cap of $100K to build a team of 14 players (C, 1B, 2B, 3B, SS, 3 OF, 2 UTL, 2 SP, RP, P). Registering literally takes seconds and building a team only a few minutes. 240 seconds of your time is a worthwhile investment, because there is a $350 prize pool and the top 7 get paid.

The 1-day fantasy event is for Friday's MLB games, which begins at 1:05 PM EST. You can spend $17,589 on Cliff Lee or go the cheap route and pick up the Orioles Tommy Hunter at $6,393. If you want a big bopper, expect to pay big (ex- Miguel Cabrera $12,056). Being frugal might be a better approach (ex- Emilio Bonifacio $6,679). It's your choice, because it's your team. Go ahead and test your mettle.

*Click Here for Free Roll* Click Here for Free Roll*

Monday, April 09, 2012

Major League Baseball Players Who are Good Role Models

The “Boys of Summer” is a term associated with baseball players, but not always with morality. Nonetheless, many professional baseball players understand that they are examples for young boys and girls, who will undoubtedly look up to them. Many people have a baseball player hero – having grown up in Seattle during the 1990s, my baseball role models are (for better or worse) Edgar Martinez, Ken Griffey Jr., Jay Buhner, Dan Wilson, Alex Rodriguez, Randy Johnson, Joey Cora, Tino Martinez, and maybe even Vince Coleman. Professional athletes seem to hold themselves in such a way as to make other people want to be like them.

Across the league, here are a few of the most obvious role models in Major League Baseball:

*Vladimir Guerrero – Besides the fact that he does not wear batting gloves (which is pretty bad ass), Vladimir Guerrero is one of the all-around best players of the 2000s. A free-swinging average hitter with power and a cannon for an arm, Guerrero is not done yet. He is not just a great baseball player – he's a great role model. Guerrero was never in the news for the wrong reason and you knew he was giving it everything he had when you watched him play.

*Mariano Rivera – Ignoring the fact he plays for the Evil Empire of Major League Baseball (the New York Yankees), Mariano Rivera is the consummate professional closer. Plain and simple, he will be the bar that all future closing relief pitchers will be measured against, and for good reason. With one pitch – the cut fastball – Rivera has achieved a level of success that no other reliever has even sniffed. Even though Rivera is well into his 40s, he is yet to suffer a major sports injury. Despite being the best of the best, Rivera – a man outspoken about his Christian faith and commitment to charity – will never praise himself or take his ability for granted.

*Ken Griffey Jr. – Okay, so as I alluded to above, I am biased: to me, Ken Griffey Jr. is the best baseball player ever. Griffey brought a swing that is too sweet to top a sundae to the table, flashed a smile that made dentists envious and made catches in center field that literally need to be seen in order to be believed. Furthermore, Griffey was a huge presence (and still is to this day) in the Seattle community. Griffey is even involved with the Seattle Mariners in a management capacity. With all the natural talent in the world, Griffey still committed himself to the challenge of becoming one of the all time baseball greats. Hard work and a good attitude are certainly great traits for any kid.

Obviously, there are more good baseball role models. Check out the following sights and add your own to the list.

Sources:
BaseballFarming.com (2012)
“USA Today” (2005)

Error Generator- Mark Trumbo

2 games, 3 errors, on pace for 162, Mark Trumbo.

Damn!


More Hardball will be monitoring Mark Trumbo's defense at 3rd base all season. The Angels moved him to the hot corner because they wanted to keep his bat in the lineup, but it's evident the former 1st baseman/outfielder is out of position and never played there before. His current fielding percentage is .500%...yikes!

It'll be interesting to see how long Mike Scioscia allows this experiment to continue.

Saturday, April 07, 2012

Mark Trumbo on Pace for 324 Errors

While More Hardball is monitoring Miguel Cabrera's error total at 3rd base this season, we'll also be keeping an eye on his Angels counterpart- Mark Trumbo, who committed 2 errors on their Opening Night. He's now on pace for 324 errors this season. This is all tongue-in-cheek, but the truth is neither of these players have the skill set to man the hot corner, but because their clubs need their bats in the lineup, more blunders are sure to come. To be fair, Trumbo never played a game at 3rd before this season.

Friday, April 06, 2012

Miguel Cabrera on Pace for 162 Errors

This is something More Hardball will be monitoring all season long- Miguel Cabrera's errors. On Opening Day in Detroit, Cabrera got the start at 3rd base, his first action there since early in the 2008 season. In 14 games in '08 at 3rd, he botched 5 plays for a .900 fielding percentage. He made one error yesterday, to give him a .500 fielding percentage for 2012, and is on pace for 162 errors. Don't expect things to improve much, as Miggy has been a disaster at every defensive position he's manned (1st, LF & RF as well), with a negative DWAR every season since he came into the league (since 2003). His career DWAR is -5.4, that's bad. After all, the poor guy just got back from fielding a ground ball with his face in spring training.

DWAR = Defensive Wins Above Replacement

Thursday, April 05, 2012

No More Mr. Perfect- Jose Valverde


Jose Valverde was a perfect 49 for 49 in save opportunities last season. Opening Day 2012...blown save.

Justin Verlander cut through the Red Sox lineup for 8 shutout innings. Then Tigers manager Jim Leyland went to Valverde in 9th to lock down the Opening Day victory and start Detroit on their quest to defending the AL Central. Didn't happen. Valverde allowed 2 runs and that was the end of Mr. Perfect.

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

2012 Spring Training Leaderboard

On the dawn of the 2012 season, More Hardball has taken the time to compose the Spring Training leaderboard for all the action that took place in the Grapefruit and Cactus Leagues.

Offense:
Games - 31 - Scott Podsednik/Phillies

At Bats - 85 - Hunter Pence/Phillies

Runs - 19 - Lorenzo Cain/Brewers

Hits - 33 - Eric Hosmer/Royals

Doubles - 11 - Lorenzo Cain/Brewers

Triples - 4 - Norichika Aoki/Brewers

Homeruns - 7 - Freddie Freeman/Braves & Matt Hague/Pirates

RBI - 29 Eric Hosmer/Royals

BB - 15 - Marco Scutaro/Rockies

K - 26 - Danny Espinosa/Nationals & Matt Kemp/Dodgers

SB - 13 - Gregor Blanco/Giants

AVG - .524 - Brett Lawrie/Blue Jays (min. 40 AB)

OPS - 1.344 - Brett Lawrie/ Blue Jays (min. 40 AB)

Pitching:
Games - 13 - Ryan Mattheus/Nations, Brett Myers/Astros & Sergio Romo/Giants

Wins - 4 - Matt Cain/Giants, Doug Fister/Tigers & Luis Mendoza/Royals

Losses - 4 - 5 tied

Innings - 30.1 - Randy Wolf/Brewers

Saves - 3 - 5 tied

BB - 21 - Carlos Zambrano/Marlins

K - 33 - Francisco Liriano/Twins

ERA - 0.52 - Brandon Morrow/Blue Jays (min. 15 IP)

WHIP - 0.58 - Wade LeBlanc/Padres (min. 15 IP)