Sunday, March 31, 2013

Final 2013 MLB Spring Training Leader Board

With Opening Night for the 2013 MLB season set to take place this Easter evening with the Rangers and Astros squaring off against each other, I thought it appropriate to look back on the leaders of the spring stats.

Team Record - Toronto Blue Jays 24-7 

AVG - Bryce Harper/Nationals - .478

OBP - Lorenzo Cain/Royals - .529

SLG - Michael Morse/Mariners - .893

OPS - Michael Morse/Mariners - 1.332

R - Domonic Brown/Phillies - 24

H - B. Belts/Giants, D.Brown/Phillies, A. Gordon/Royals & B. Harper/Nationals - 32

DBL - Wilkin Ramirez/Twins - 10

TRPL - Gregor Blanco/Giants, Peter Bourjos/Angels & Nick Noonan/Giants - 4

HR - Michael Morse/Mariners - 9

RBI - Brandon Belt/Giants, Billy Butler/Royals & Justin Upton/Braves - 19

SB - Ezequiel Carrera/Indians - 11

BB - Alex Avila/Tigers - 14

K - Dan Uggla/Braves - 25

XBH - Brandon Belt/Giants - 16

ERA - Jon Lester/Red Sox -0.75

WHIP - Jon Lester/Red Sox - 0.50

W - Josh Johnson/Blue Jays - 5

G - David Carpenter/Angels - 14

IP - Tim Hudson/Braves & Ubaldo Jimenez/Indians - 30

SV - Heath Hembree/Giants - 4

BB - Jason Marquis/Padres & Alexi Ogando/Rangers - 15

K - Julio Teheran/Braves - 35

Other Notable Stats:
*Dan Uggla/Braves committed 6 errors.

*Nick Hundley/Padres allowed 22 stolen bases.

*Lucas May/Pirates allowed 4 passed balls.

*Travis Blackley/Athletics uncorked 5 wild pitches.

*Julio Teheran/Braves & Vidal Nuno/Yankees each balked twice.

*David Huff/Indians picked off 3 runners.

*Darin Ruf/Phillies & Dan Uggla/Braves were plunked 4 times each.

*Billy Butler/Royals & Yonder Alonso/Padres each grounded into 6 double plays.

*Jordan Shafer/Braves was caught stealing 5 times.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Book Preview- Mike Piazza's "Long Shot"

Mike Piazza, the greatest hitting catcher in the history of baseball, is best known for his time with the Los Angeles Dodgers (1992-1998) and the New York Mets (1998-2005). LONG SHOT (Simon & Schuster; February 12, 2013; $27.00) is Piazza’s candid, surprising, and inspiring autobiography, from his inauspicious draft selection tothe achievements that earned him 58% of the vote for the Hall of Fame on his first appearance on the ballot. Full of behind-scenes-stories, LONG SHOT provides invaluable insight on the most controversial era in Major League Baseball. Piazza addresses many of the controversies that dogged his career, including his dramatic confrontation with Roger Clemens at the 2000 World Series, rumors of being gay, and the steroid controversy that hovered over the sport during his time. He describes the thrill of his game-winning home run on September 21, 2001, the first sporting event in New York after the 9/11 tragedy, and adjusting to life after baseball.
Who Mike Piazza is:
* The long shot: Mike Piazza was selected by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 62nd round of the 1988 baseball draft as a “courtesy pick.” The Dodgers never expected him to play for them—or anyone else. Piazza had other ideas. Through determination and hard work, he became the National League rookie of the year in 1993.
* The record holder: Mike Piazza is the greatest hitting catcher in the history of baseball. He has a lifetime batting average of .308 and hit 427 career home runs, 396 of them as a catcher, the major-league record for that position. He was a 12-time All-Star selection.
* Popular across the country: Piazza came up through the Dodgers’ organization, and spent nearly half of his career in L.A. Many Dodgers fans still cite the trade of Mike Piazza as one of the worst trades in baseball history. When Piazza joined the New York Mets, he led them to the memorable 2000 World Series with their cross-town rivals, the Yankees.  His hometown is outside Philadelphia, where he is a partner in successful car dealerships. Piazza currently resides in Miami.
* Voice of a controversial generation: Piazza played in a new era of baseball when rumors of steroid use erupted and changed the way we judge professional athletes. In LONG SHOT, Piazza is candid about how rumors and controversy impacted the sport during his time and provides valuable perspective on the subject
* A product of the American dream: Piazza was a courtesy draft pick with few advocates in his corner. Yet his work ethic and single minded determination allowed him to achieve greatness against the odds. He also had the support of his father, a self-made man and passionate advocate throughout Mike’s career, and a champion in Tommy Lasorda, a family friend and the Manager of the L.A. Dodgers. LONG SHOT tells a classic father-son American-dream story.
* New Yorker in the aftermath of 9/11: Piazza lived in lower Manhattan in 2001,just blocks from the Twin Towers, and Shea Stadium became a center for relief efforts. He discusses how the tragedy impacted the ball club, his priorities, and his faith. Piazza’s homerun in the first sporting event played in New York after the attacks is considered one of the greatest highlights in the history of Shea Stadium and the New York Mets
* And more: Along the way, Piazza tells terrific stories about teammates and rivals that baseball fans will devour.
LONG SHOT is written with insight, candor, humor, and charm. It’s surprising and inspiring, one of the great sports autobiographies.
Mike Piazza was born in Norristown, Pennsylvania and grew up in Phoenixville, Pennsylvania. He was chosen by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 62nd round of the 1988 Major League Baseball amateur draft. He was National League Rookie of the Year in 1993 and was a twelve-time All Star selection. He holds the record for most home runs by a catcher (396) and held the record for highest batting average in a season by a catcher (.362) until it was recently broken. He lives with his family in Miami Beach, Florida.
Lonnie Wheeler’s numerous books include collaborations on the autobiographies of Hank Aaron (I Had A Hammer) and Bob Gibson (Stranger to the Game), and a baseball dialogue between Gibson and Reggie Jackson (Sixty Feet, Six Inches). He lives in New Richmond, Ohio.
Author: Mike Piazza with Lonnie Wheeler
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication Date: February 12, 2013
Hardcover price: $27.00
Hardcover ISBN: 9781439150221
eBook ISBN: 9781439163030

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

2013 Spring Training Leader Board

With roughly two weeks remaining until Opening Day, I thought we'd take a look at the Spring Training stat leaders thus far.

At Bats:
Ben Revere/Phillies - 61

Domonic Brown/Phillies - 20

Domonic Brown/Phillies - 24

Ben Francisco/Yankees, Nick Hundley/Padres & Eric Sogard/Athletics - 7

Michael Morse/Mariners - 6

Justin Upton/Braves - 15

Stolen Bases:
Ezequiel Carrera/Indians - 9

Brandon Hicks/Mets - 11

Dan Uggla/Braves - 19

Howie Kendrick/Angels - .513

Alex Gordon/Royals - .563

Howie Kendrick/Angels- .923

Howie Kendrick/Angels - 1.436

Jon Niese/Mets - 0.71

Jon Lester/Red Sox - 0.50

Tim Hudson/Braves, Jon Lester/Red Sox & Julio Teheran/Braves - 20

Mark Rogers/Brewers - 10

Stephen Strasburg/Nationals - 26

Sunday, March 17, 2013

We've Got Your Fantasy Needs- March Madness & Baseball

March Madness is here. The tournament tips off this Thursday, March 21st. Click on this link to join our free Tourney Pick 'Em league run through Yahoo! I'm picking my alma mater, the Bucknell Bison, to go all the way.

Don't forget to register for our Fantasy Baseball leagues too. Click on the Yahoo! image to the right and use the following information to join.

League ID#- 121042
Password- phillies

Point Based:
League ID#- 121067
Password- phillies

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Time for Fantasy Baseball!

The name of this site is More Hardball, so you know we're all about baseball. Well, since we're not Ruben Amaro Jr. or Brian Cashman, we're not allowed to run a real MLB team, so we'll just have to settle for GMing a fantasy baseball team. That's right, it's time for fantasy baseball!

We're going to run two leagues with different scoring options.  One will be the traditional head-to-head (16 teams), and the other will be point based, with winner being top scorer (20 teams).

Send email to- to join.  Let us know which league format you prefer.  Then we'll send you the league ID# and password, so you can click on the image for Yahoo! Fantasy Baseball to the upper right to register.

*You can also click on the above image to create your own free league and/or join other leagues (paid or free).

Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Early Spring Training Notes (The Good)

Today we take a look at the early and encouraging Spring Training observations from both the Grapefruit and Cactus Leagues. Tomorrow we'll check out the bad.

*The Kansas City Royals are 10-0 and the Seattle Mariners are 10-1.  Both are teams that vastly improved their rosters this offseason and are hoping to jump up in the standings and contend.

*Brett Gardner, of the Yankees, leads all qualified batters with a .579 batting average.  He's making a strong case for the leadoff spot in the lineup.

*Domonic Brown, of the Phillies, has scored 11 runs thus far off of 8 hits and 6 walks.  Looks like he'll be the starting RF in Philly this season.

*The Indians signed outfielder Ben Francisco to the minor league contract and he looks worth more than that so far with 5 doubles in only 7 hits.

*Another minor league signing by the Indians is paying early rewards, as Ryan Rayburn has clubbed 4 homeruns.

*Nolan Arenado, of the Rockies, is trying to break camp as the starting 3rd baseman, having smacked 4 bombs thus far.

*Ryan Howard, of the Phillies, is back to his run producing ways, having already collected 10 RBI.

*Dan Uggla, of the Braves, is having an ugly spring, striking out in over half of his at bats (12 K in 23 AB).

*Ezequiel Cabrera/Indians and Desmond Jennings/Rays are flashing their speed with 5 stolen bases each.

*Current OPS leader (1.675), Shane Robinson of the Cardinals, may not even make the Opening Day 25-man roster.

*The Rockies Jeff Francis has hurled 9 scoreless frames.  They have to like that.

*The relatively unknown Michael Wacha, of the Cardinals, has a 0.00 ERA, 0.65 WHIP, and 11 K through 7.2 IP.  He is rated the #76 prospect in baseball and was the 1st round pick for St. Louis last year.  Might he be ready for the jump to The Show?

*Rotation hopeful, Marco Estrada of the Brewers, has the lowest WHIP (0.57).  So good, so far.

*Scott Proctor, of the Giants, finally seems to be healthy, having already made 5 appearances this spring.