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Archive for May, 2011

Mariano Rivera – 1,000 Games and Counting

Posted by Rich Stowe on May 26, 2011

BALTIMORE, MD - MAY 18: Mariano Rivera #42 of the New York Yankees pitches against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on May 18, 2011 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)Greg Fiume/Getty Images

Yesterday, when Mariano Rivera entered the game in the ninth inning against the Toronto Blue Jays, he became the first pitcher to ever appear in 1,000 games for the same team and the 15th pitcher overall to accomplish the feat.

In those 1,000 games, Mo has pitched in 1,171 innings, has struck out 1,068, has an ERA of 2.22, a WHIP of 1.002 and an ERA+ of 205 (these stats include 10 games as a starting pitcher).

To put those numbers in perspective; Trevor Hoffman appeared in 1,035 games and pitched 1,089.1 innings, struck out 1,133, had an ERA of 2.87, a WHIP of 1.058 and an ERA+ of 141 (the third-best ERA+ for all the pitchers with 1,000 or more games while the second-best is Hoyt Wilhelm’s 147).

What makes Mo’s accomplishment even more impressive his he’s done it all with one pitch. That one pitch is arguably the best pitch baseball has ever seen, a cut fastball. Every hitter has known what pitch was coming, yet, even after 17 seasons they still can’t hit it and it’s still breaking bats.

Click here to read the rest of the article on Bleacher Report

Posted in MLB (General) | Leave a Comment »

Dustin Pedroia isn’t playing like Dustin Pedroia

Posted by Strobl on May 25, 2011

I’m not panicking.  Yet.  But Pedroia is killing me this year, both as a Red Sox fan and as a roto team manager.  Fantasy baseball may not matter in the long run, but real life baseball sure does…he needs to turn it around.  This April and May are shaping up to be perhaps the worst consecutive months of his career.

Pedroia has a history of following a slump with an offensive outburst, and we haven’t seen that yet this year.  If not for the first two weeks of the season, his slash line would be even worse…a bit ironic considering that those two weeks were horrific for the team as a whole.

Read all about it, as they say, at isportsweb.com.

Posted in A.L. East, American League, Boston Red Sox | Leave a Comment »

Dice-K out two months, Sox fans secretly happy

Posted by Strobl on May 19, 2011

Ok, maybe not happy.  But relieved.  This guy was such a fire hazard.  I’d much rather go with other options, even if they’re unproven.  Look for Alfredo Aceves and Felix Doubront to fill the void left by by Matsuzaka and John Lackey.  Lackey is also on the D.L. with an elbow problem, and even when he returns, will be a risk to stink it up.

Read about Dice-K and Boston’s options at isportsweb.com.

Posted in A.L. East, American League, Boston Red Sox | Leave a Comment »

Red Sox Weekly Review: Bronx Sweep

Posted by Strobl on May 16, 2011

Short and sweet- My wife and I had a baby last week and I’m tired, so I’ll skip my usual witty repartee.  Check out the latest Red Sox weekly review here on isportsweb.com.

Posted in A.L. East, American League, Boston Red Sox | Leave a Comment »

Is the DH a real position?

Posted by Rich Stowe on May 12, 2011

In my latest article discussing position changes by players after the age of 35, there was a discussion in the comments regarding the designated hitter. Several people don’t consider it a real position and thus shouldn’t have been included in the article (love when a discussion in one article spurs another article to be written!). I plan on covering several of the areas of concern brought up in those comments in this article.

Let’s start with the first area of concern; should the designated hitter be considered a position when discussing all-time greats or best ever at certain positions?

Baseball Reference will list designated hitter as a position under a player’s name on their player’s page. Take a look at David Ortiz’ page and you’ll see this. If you also scroll down further on that page, under Fielding, you’ll see games spent at DH in each season.

What this tells me is that Baseball Reference considers Designated Hitter an actual position.

If you go the "member search" area of the Baseball Hall of Fame site, under the position drop-down menu, you’ll notice that Designated Hitter is an option. Last year or the year before, if you ran that search, one name came up; Paul Molitor. Molitor played more games as a Designated Hitter than any other position. Now, the search returns zero members (site was changed over the last couple of years).

So, even though there are no members of the Hall of Fame listed under Designated Hitter, the site itself considers it a real position.

104102383_crop_340x234Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

What this means is basically the two best sites for historical baseball information, Baseball Reference and the Hall of Fame, both consider Designated Hitter a real position.

Click here to read the rest of the article on Bleacher Report.

Posted in MLB (General) | Leave a Comment »

Jose Iglesias Scores his First MLB Run…

Posted by Strobl on May 10, 2011

Iglesias' first MLB run (Townson/ AP)

It’s the eleventh inning, and Joe West is still a jackass.

Ok, so that has little to do with anything, but this guy needs to go.  He’s a blight on the game.  In the recent Twins-Sox series, both Ron Gardenhire and Terry Francona were ejected.  I know we all like to complain about the ump, but Joe West is a joke.  And a lousy official to boot.

Back to the point.  Carl Crawford is hitting .361 in May and had his second walkoff hit of the year on Monday.  He scored Jose Iglesias from first- it was the 21 year old’s first major league run.  This is big news.

You should read about it in this entertaining article.

Read the post at isportsweb.com.

Posted in A.L. East, American League, Boston Red Sox | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Diamond Thoughts – 5/10/2011

Posted by Rich Stowe on May 10, 2011

Welcome to the Diamond Thoughts for May 10th.

milton-bradley-ap2.jpg

Milton Bradley was designated for assignment by the Seattle Mariners yesterday. This means they have 10 days to trade, release or send him to the minors. In my opinion, Bradley is one of the worst players in baseball. He has zero accountability and is always blaming someone else for the issues he has on the field. Whether it’s racist fans in Chicago or any of many other excuses, it’s never Bradley’s fault. He has a bad attitude, is constantly arguing with umpires (even bumping one last week), dogging it on defense and thinks he’s actually a better player than his entire career has shown. He is owed $13 million this season, so I don’t think the Mariners will just cut him (they’d still have to pay him), so I think they find any team willing to part with any minor leaguer (any level) simply to get rid of him. Bradley is one of those players that just needs to go away.

Last night, Carl Crawford hit a walk-off double in the 11th inning to help the Boston Red Sox beat the Minnesota Twins. The hit extended Crawford’s hit streak to nine games. Yes, nine games isn’t as impressive as Ethier’s 30 game streak, but with the slow start to the season Crawford’s had it’s huge. As a Yankee fan, the last thing I wanted to see was Crawford starting to heat up.

Zach Greinke won is first game for the Milwaukee Brewers last night. In his second start of the season, Greinke pitched 6 innings giving up 5 hits, 2 runs and striking out 9 while not walking anyone. The Brewers beat the Padres 4-3.

Sorry for such a short Diamond Thoughts, but Mondays in the baseball are very slow!

Posted in MLB (General) | 1 Comment »

Diamond Thoughts – 5/9/2011

Posted by Rich Stowe on May 9, 2011

Welcome to the Diamond Thoughts for May 9th. These thoughts will cover what happened in baseball over the weekend.

bbb5aed93ce7960aec0e6a706700607c_3.jpg

Friday night, Justin Verlander of the Detroit Tigers threw his second career no-hitter and the second no-hitter in less than a week in baseball. Unlike Liriano’s no-hitter earlier, Verlander only walked one and struck out four (Liriano walked six and struck out two). If you’re not going to strike out 10 or more in a no-hitter (like Verlander did in his first no-hitter when he struck out 12), you can’t walk batters like Liriano. Out of Verlander’s 108 pitches, 74 were for strikes (much better ratio than Liriano’s was). Congratulations to Justin and if the Tigers don’t improve on their 6-games back in the standings, maybe he’ll be a trade opportunity for a certain pinstriped team in New York.

Speaking of the pinstriped team in New York; Derek Jeter had easily his best weekend of the season so far. On Saturday he got a double (not a ground ball double like his previous ones this were, but a legit, hard hit double) and then on Sunday he went 4-4 with two home runs. According to John Kruk of ESPN, Jeter made a slight adjustment on where he stands in the batter’s box (he moved off the plate a little). This allows him to get to those fastballs pitchers have been jamming him inside with a little better. Not saying this proves he’s just been in a slump all season, but it is a tremendous improvement.

Andre Ethier’s hit streak ended at 30 games over the weekend. While he barely got halfway to DiMaggio, a 30 game hit streak is still pretty impressive, especially when you consider his elbow has been bothering him for several weeks now.

Friday was Willie Mays’ 80th birthday. Happy belated birthday to one of the greatest players to ever play the game. Willie had it all – the perfect five tool player. While other players in history hit for a better average or more power, none were better in all five categories than Willie. Other Hall of Famers who celebrated a birthday this weekend – Dick Williams (May 7th) and Tony Gwynn (today, May 9th). Happy birthday to one one of the best hitters from the 1980s and one of the best managers.

Mike Scioscia of the Los Angeles Angels won his 1,000th game as manager yesterday, the 23rd manager in history to get 1,000 wins with one team. Congrats!

Posted in MLB (General) | Leave a Comment »

Is Alex Rodriguez the next Yankees Captain?

Posted by Rich Stowe on May 6, 2011

BALTIMORE, MD - APRIL 23: Derek Jeter #2 congratulates Alex Rodriguez #13 of the New York Yankees after Rodriguez hit a grand slam home run against the Baltimore Orioles during the eighth inning at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on April 23, 2011 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

I read this article on ESPN by Wallace Matthews this morning and I just had to laugh.

Yes, Alex Rodriguez will probably be a member of the New York Yankees for years after Derek Jeter retires (or god forbid, is on another team). However, there’s no way Rodriguez becomes the next Yankee captain.

If you look through the history of the New York Yankees captains, you’ll see one thing that stands out about the players selected (for the most part): they played the game the way it was supposed to be played, their integrity was never in question and they basically epitomized the dignity and grace expected of a player for the New York Yankees.

It doesn’t matter to me, that as Wallace Matthews pointed out in his article, that the one day Jeter was out of the lineup and not talking to the media, Rodriguez stepped up and acted the part, providing advice to Eduardo Nunez or answering the media’s question. He was simply doing what any veteran would do.

It takes much more to be the Yankees captain than just talking to the media or giving young players advice. It takes playing the game with a certain level of dignity, class and leadership.

To read the rest of this article, please CLICK HERE to be taken to the full article on Bleacher Report

Posted in MLB (General) | Leave a Comment »

Is it panic time? Adrian Gonzalez isn’t hitting homers…

Posted by Strobl on May 6, 2011

The Red Sox brought Adrian Gonzalez over from San Diego because he can hit.  Because he has power.  But with only two homers through nearly 20% of the 2011 season, Gonzo hasn’t delivered on the long ball.  Should we panic?  You’ll have to read this to find out.

Read the story on isportsweb.com.

(I’ll give you a hint:  No.  but be a pal, and read it anyway.)

Posted in A.L. East, American League, Boston Red Sox | 3 Comments »

 
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