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Archive for June, 2011

Mark Cuban Out as Potential Owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers?

Posted by Rich Stowe on June 22, 2011

MIAMI, FL - MAY 31: Owner Mark Cuban of the Dallas Mavericks looks on while the Mavericks take on the Miami Heat in Game One of the 2011 NBA Finals at American Airlines Arena on May 31, 2011 in Miami, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Yesterday, I wrote how MLB is one step closer to forcing the sale of the Los Angeles Dodgers and that I was personally rooting for Mark Cuban to be the next owner.

Putting aside the fact that even if Cuban was interested, MLB probably wouldn’t let him buy any baseball team, Cuban came out yesterday and basically withdrew his name from consideration.

The primary reason he gave is because the Dodgers are such a mess and he’s not sure what would be included or not in the purchase. This is because Frank McCourt has divided the Dodgers into separate entities.

So, if Mark Cuban is on the fence about even attempting to buy the Los Angeles Dodgers because you don’t know if the parking lots and Dodger Stadium itself would be included in the purchase, would anyone else be interested?

Click here to read the rest on Bleacher Report

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MLB One Step Closer to Forcing Sale of LA Dodgers

Posted by Rich Stowe on June 21, 2011

LOS ANGELES - APRIL 29: Los Angeles Dodgers owner Frank McCourt attends the game against the San Diego Padres on April 29, 2011 at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

With Bud Selig rejecting the television deal between Fox and the Los Angeles Dodgers yesterday, Major League Baseball is one step closer to forcing Frank McCourt to sell the Dodgers.

Not only did the rejection of the television deal put the divorce proceedings between Frank and Jamie McCourt back into limbo, it also means the Dodgers won’t receive $385 million in upfront money. My colleague here at Bleacher Report, Doug Mead, breaks down nine reasons how this affects the Dodgers ownership.

Basically, the Dodgers (and the McCourts) needed this money to meet a payroll deadline of June 30 (and to once again, pay for some of their own expenses). If the Dodgers fail to meet the payroll deadline, MLB and Bud Selig would be able to step in and force the sale of the team. To meet a payroll deadline earlier this month (and hold off the forced sale of the Dodgers), Frank McCourt was able to convince sponsors to give him an advance and he was able to meet the payroll deadline.

Frank McCourt may attempt to sue baseball and force the television deal to be approved, however, I seriously doubt Bud Selig would have rejected the deal if there was any chance his ruling would be overturned by the courts.

Click here to read the rest on Bleacher Report

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Tim Wakefield Is Not a Hall of Fame Pitcher

Posted by Rich Stowe on June 16, 2011

ST PETERSBURG, FL - JUNE 14: : Pitcher Tim Wakefield #49 of the Boston Red Sox pitches against the Tampa Bay Rays during the game at Tropicana Field on June 14, 2011 in St. Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images)J. Meric/Getty Images

When I looked at Bleacher Report this morning, one article caught my eye. Dmitriy Ioselevich asked the question, "Is Tim Wakefield a Hall of Famer?" and I was really surprised when I read the article and saw that his answer was "yes."

By all accounts, Tim is one of the game’s nicest players and a true ambassador of the game. He has also played for almost 20 seasons in Major League Baseball. However, a quick glance at his player page on Baseball-Reference.com will show you that he is not a Hall of Famer, and it’s not even close.

What Baseball Reference shows us is Tim led the league in a pitching statistic category a grand total of four times: once in losses, once in home runs allowed and twice in batters hit by pitch. Not exactly the categories you want a Hall of Famer leading the league in.

If you scroll further down the page on Baseball Reference, you’ll also see the Hall of Fame statistics section. What this tells us is that based on the formula they use, which was developed by Bill James, you’ll see how Tim’s career stacks up to other players and Hall of Famers.

Click here to read the rest on Bleacher Report

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The 20 Worst Blown Saves in MLB History

Posted by Rich Stowe on June 14, 2011

ANAHEIM, CA - JUNE 05: Closer Mariano Rivera #42 of the New York Yankees pitches the ninth inning on his way to picking up a save against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim on June 5, 2011 at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, California. The Yankees won 5-3. (PStephen Dunn/Getty Images

A closer’s only job is to enter the game, normally in the ninth inning, get three outs and leave with his team winning the game and him getting a save. The best closers in history do this more often than not.

However, every closer has a game where he just can’t seem to get outs and the score ends up being tied or even worse, what seemed like a win became a loss. This results in the blown save.

A blown save is never a good thing. It may end up costing the team the win. However, some blown saves are worse than others. Mainly, how "bad" a blown save is all depends on the timing.

Did it happen in a key game like a rivalry game or in the heat of the playoff hunt? Did it happen in the playoffs?

That’s my goal for today. Figure out the worst blown saves then rank them with the worst blown save of all-time being ranked number one.

The more important the game or the moment, the better the ranking. A blown save in the World Series is worse than a blown save in an early game of a Division Series for example. Also, if the blown save resulted in losing the Series, whether it was Division, League Championship or World, that was worse than losing a Game One for example.

Please feel free to comment about the order I have them ranked in or if I missed any. If I did miss any, please tell me where you would put it in my order.

Click here to see which 20 blown saves made the list on Bleacher Report

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My Thoughts on MLB Realignment

Posted by Rich Stowe on June 13, 2011

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - MAY 26: Bud Selig, commissioner of Major League Baseball speaks at the memorial service for Hall of Famer Harmon Killebrew on May 26, 2011 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Harmon Killebrew passed away on May 17, 2011 after a battle with esophageal cancer. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

With the recent revelation that division realignment has been talked about in labor meetings, I began to wonder just how I felt about that, how it could be done and what else could be changed at the same time.

When it comes to making drastic changes to baseball, I’m never sure how I feel about them initially. Part of the "baseball traditionalist" in me doesn’t like change. However, the baseball fan in me realizes that sometimes change is good and sometimes desperately needed.

My Bleacher Report colleague Matt Strobl discussed some of his thoughts regarding topics such as the salary cap along with realignment, so I’ll leave it up to him to discuss those.

The first thing that needs to be addressed would be what team would move from the National League to the American League? Would the Milwaukee Brewers simply move back to the American League? This would make the most sense. After all, the National League Central does have the extra team in the National League and the Brewers were in the American League initially and they were the team that moved during the last realignment.

I believe if you’re going to realign the divisions and leagues, why not do it better than just simply moving a team? I do like how the NBA divides their divisions geographically and think this would benefit baseball the most.

Jim Bowden, the former General Manager for the Cincinnati Reds and Washington Nationals and current analyst for ESPN, has an idea for geographic realignment among other ideas. I would tweak his idea slightly by swapping his Southeast Division and Midwest Division. This would keep most of the American Conference east of the Mississippi River and the National Conference would be west of it.

Rob Neyer of SBNation also discusses having two 15-team leagues, with no divisions. I’m not a fan of this at all. I believe it would hurt many teams and their fan bases because many teams’ only shot at the playoffs comes because they can win their division.

Click here to read the rest on Bleacher Report

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Bryce Harper Needs to Grow Up

Posted by Rich Stowe on June 8, 2011

SCOTTSDALE, AZ - OCTOBER 23: Washington Nationals prospect Bryce Harper #34 playing for the Scottsdale Scorpions warms up on deck during the AZ Fall League game against the Phoenix Desert Dogs at Scottsdale Stadium on October 23, 2010 in Scottsdale, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Bryce Harper’s latest display of immaturity is a major concern in my opinion. This is just the latest display of immaturity and my colleague here at Bleacher Report, Shaun McPartlin, lists his top 10 such displays.

So far Harper has backed up his immaturity on the field with superb play. However, if he continues to do things like that, it will end up causing major issues eventually. If he blows a kiss to a Major League pitcher, it may start a brawl right then and there and will definitely result in either Harper getting drilled by a pitch later in the game or the next batter to get drilled instead; and that will start a brawl and result in numerous suspensions.

It’s one thing to flip the bat like David Ortiz did in last night’s game against the New York Yankees, it’s another to directly target the pitcher with a display like that.

Click here to read the rest on Bleacher Report

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Baseball’s Most Horrific Injuries

Posted by Rich Stowe on June 6, 2011

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - MAY 24: Buster Posey #28 of the San Francisco Giants gets ready to catch against the Florida Marlins at AT&T Park on May 24, 2011 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

With the recent injury to Buster Posey during a collision at home plate, it made me wonder what the most horrific injuries were that happened during a game.

Was the injury caused by a collision, running into a wall, getting hit by a pitch or was it just something freaky? How was the player after the injury, did their career continue or were they never the same?

Some of these I remember seeing either when it happened or on a highlight show. Others we only have the stories and the pictures to tell us just how horrific the injury was.

Here’s the list I came up with in no particular order (I find it simply too gruesome to rank these). Let’s start with the injury that everyone, including the Giants owner, are talking about; Buster Posey.

Click here to see the rest of the list on Bleacher Report

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5 Reasons to Root for the New York Yankees

Posted by Rich Stowe on June 3, 2011

OAKLAND, CA - MAY 31: Derek Jeter #2 and Curtis Granderson #14 of the New York Yankees congratulate one another after they scored on a single by Alex Rodriguez #13 of the New York Yankees in the sixth inning against the the Oakland Athletics at Oakland-AEzra Shaw/Getty Images

I read this article by a former Yankees fan this morning and felt I just had to counter it.

He listed ten reasons why rooting for the Yankees isn’t fun. While a couple of his reasons were legit (the New Yankee Stadium catering to upper-class fans for instance) there were several I vehemently disagree with (winning and the Yankees tradition for instance – he complained about rooting for a constant winner and how the tradition doesn’t exist anymore, it’s just money).

What that article really showed me was that the current crop of Yankees fans (those who became fans during or after 1996) are truly spoiled.

So here are my five reasons why rooting for the Yankees is still fun and why I was born a Yankees fan and will always remain a Yankees fan till the day I die (unlike the author of the article I linked who has since stopped being a Yankees fan).

Why only five while the other writer listed ten? You only need five reasons to be a Yankees fan.

Click here to see the five reasons on Bleacher Report

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Fans Shouldn’t Vote for All-Star Game Starters

Posted by Rich Stowe on June 2, 2011

OAKLAND, CA - JUNE 01: Derek Jeter #2 of the New York Yankees smiles after he hit a double in the first inning against the Oakland Athletics at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on June 1, 2011 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

It’s that time of year again. The time of year when everyone is shown why fans voting for the MLB All-Star Game is one of the worst things in sports, especially since the All-Star game "matters." There are several other issues I have with the All-Star Game and how it’s handled, but for now I’ll just talk about the voting.

In the first release of the All-Star game voting for the American League, six New York Yankees are leading their respective positions, a player that’s played in only nine games all season is in second place for his position (Joe Mauer) while one that’s only played in 20 games is in third place for his position but would be a starter (Josh Hamilton).

Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, Russel Martin, Mark Teixeira, Curtis Granderson and Robinson Cano are all leading their respective positions. Yes, you read that right, Derek Jeter is the leading vote getter for starting short stop for the American League.

Out of those players, only two deserve to be the starter and that’s Alex Rodriguez and Curtis Granderson (with Cano being at least debateable). The rest either shouldn’t be in the discussion at all or at least no better than second. Then, add in the fact that Jorge Posada is third in the Designated Hitter voting and it further proves that fans simply vote for the name or team and nothing else.

Click here to read the rest on Bleacher Report

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Time to Sell the Dodgers

Posted by Rich Stowe on June 1, 2011

LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 14: Los Angeles Dodgers owner Frank McCourt speaks at a news conference at Dodger Stadium prior to a game between the St. Louis Cardinals and Los Angeles Dodgers on April 14, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. Large numbers of LAPD officers are being deployed as part of a zero tolerance policy toward misbehaving fans in response to the opening day attack on Stow two weeks ago. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

How much longer will Major League Baseball and Bud Selig allow the McCourts to own the Dodgers?

In order to make this week’s payroll, they had to get advances from their sponsors and the rumor is they don’t have the payroll for June 15th either.

This once great-and-proud franchise has been run into the ground.

It’s time for Bud Selig and Major League Baseball to force the McCourts to sell the team. Whether it’s a partial sale like the Wilpons did with the New York Mets or a full-blown sale, the time is now.

I’m sure there are plenty of people in the world that would jump at the chance to own a historic MLB franchise like the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The earlier Major League Baseball forces the sale, the better off the franchise will be in the future. Whether it’s simply by being able to make the next payroll without getting advances or applying for loans or by getting new owners in place before the free agency period starts, the team would be the better for it.

Click here to read the rest on Bleacher Report

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