Week 1, 2016: What A Story!

Wow. Week 1 of 2016 feels very different than Week 1 in years past. I mean, The Offense… Wow!! No pitcher was safe the first week. Big names got lit-up, no names got lit-up. There have been less than 10 days of baseball and already there have been already 233 home runs!

The current league leader? Trevor Story
What?! You don’t know who that is. Well, one of our Home Run Derby managers did and he is currently riding the hot streak as his write-in candidate (more on the Derby later). Trevor Story has hit 7 home runs in the Rockies first 7 games. And it has been quit impressive to watch. He’s hitting fastballs, sliders, curveballs out of the zone. He is one of the Rockies top prospects and got an opportunity when Jose Reyes was suspended by Major League Baseball (what a fall from grace that guy has had). Story can’t keep up this pace, but it sure is exciting to watch at the moment.

And what about those Cubbies. This is ‘the’ year… or so I’m told. But they lost a key piece on day 2 of the season. Kyle Schwarber went down with a torn ACL after colliding with the Fowler in the outfield. The experiment of him in leftfield didn’t last long and he will now sit out for the remainder of the season (sorry to the 2 managers that selected him in the Derby). But the Cubs are still in first place at 6-1.

There are no teams that haven’t lost and there are two teams who haven’t won (thank god it’s not the Brewers). The Orioles were the last unbeaten but lost on Wednesday to go to 7-1. Versus the Braves and Twins who are 0-8 and I’m not sure they plan on winning any time soon.

Other interesting notes from Week 1:

  • The new interference slide rule has been interesting to watch. Two games ended on an interference call (Brewers got a win thanks to one) where neither slide looked that bad but the players did break the rules per the writing of the rule. It will be interesting to see if the writings change.
  • The Dodgers pulled a rookie pitcher in his first career start when he had a no-hitter intact. Ross Stripling hit 100 pitches and hadn’t allowed a hit through 7.1 innings. But he is coming off Tommy John and his limit was 100 pitches prior to the game… A no-hitter by a rookie in his first appearance hasn’t occurred since 1892 when Bumpus Jones did it (Note: Bumpus is a great name to save for my second son).
  • Robinson Cano is looking like a Yankee hitting into the short porch again. He hit 4 homers in the first 3 games for Seattle but has cooled off again but that’s still the best in Group C of the Derby so far.
  • Kenta Maeda, the Dodgers rookie pitcher from Japan, pitched well in his first professional game. But it wasn’t his pitching that people were talking about. Maeda slammed a home run in his second at-bat. I love pitchers batting for the strategy and the entertainment. #JustSayNoToDH
  • And lastly, Harper stole my HR Derby team name. But I’m willing to vote for him this fall when compared to my other choices…

Derby Update:
Well, I battled Google again the entire first week to get our player stats updating correctly. But I’ve out smarted them, at least for now. So the standings should be updating roughly every 15 minutes. If stats don’t look correct, give it a few minutes and refresh. If they still look wrong, the stats should get corrected by noon the next day. Just a reminder that the official stats are kept offline and are triple verified for accuracy. The online stats are just for convenience and my sanity of not having to manually update them.

As for the entries, we have succeeded in having more entries again for the 7th straight season (pending a few payments) and I’ve only been doing this for 7 seasons. So that’s kind of awesome. Right now we are sitting at 107 contestants and roughly 20% of those teams are first time participants. So kudos to you for spreading the word on our fun little contest. I’m also saving a bit of a twist this season, but I won’t announce that until the beginning of May. So be on the look out for that announcement.

Also for the 7th consecutive year, we don’t have a duplicate team selection. This still boggles my mind. I know there are something like 9million+ combinations but there are only so many players that are typically selected in each category and this season was no different. Let’s take a look at the selection breakdown per group:

Group A
This is a much more diverse group A than last season. The most common player chosen isn’t even on 1 out of every 4 teams which is Stanton at less than 25%. Chris Davis in Baltimore surprised me at being the 2nd most selected. And then Harper and Trout are neck and neck which I’m sure if they followed our contest would just add fuel to the rivalry between them. And then there is Ortiz, who got 0 love from us for his retirement campaign. Adios DH.

  • Stanton – 26
  • Davis – 19
  • Harper – 18
  • Trout – 15
  • Abreu – 6
  • Cruz/Donaldson/Rizzo – 5
  • Goldschmidt – 4
  • Bautista – 3
  • Encarnacion – 1
  • Ortiz – 0

Group B
I’ll be honest. I was very afraid when the first entries started to trickle in this season because it felt like I saw Arenado on every entry in group B. In reality, he’s only on about 1 out of every 3 teams. Followed by Bryant riding the Cubs fan-wagon. Then there is a steep drop to either young upside players or proven veterans. Unfortunately for 2 teams (This Is The Year and Billy The Goats), they will have to use their trade on April 26th to replace Schwarber. Most surprising to not get a single selection, the hottest Group E player a season ago, Joc Pederson. I guess people didn’t like his K, BB, or HR mentality at the plate.

  • Arenado – 34
  • Bryant – 22
  • Sano – 9
  • Cargo – 8
  • Cabrera/Martinez – 6
  • Cespedes/Frazier – 5
  • Pujols – 4
  • Correa/Machado/Schwarber – 2
  • Alvarez/Park – 1
  • Carter/Duda/Gattis/Jones/Pederson/Arod/Springer/Teixeira – 0

Group C
This by far is the most difficult group. Do you go with the mediocre power hitter who showcased more power once or do you go with the declining veteran? Obviously based on the selections below, no one has the right answer. Their are no real standout surprises below, but I’m sure the 2 teams (1907, 1908, 2016 World Champs… and Toad Frazier who selected Cano are liking their choice right now with 5 homers.

  • McCutchen – 13
  • Dozier/Upton – 11
  • Trumbo/Votto – 8
  • A.Gonzalez – 7
  • Bruce/Fielder/Granderson – 6
  • Seager – 5
  • Braun – 4
  • Bour/Davis/Tulo – 3
  • Cano/Puig/Rasmus – 2
  • Gallo/Howard/Kemp/Longoria/McCann/Moreland/Valbuena – 1
  • Hamilton/LaRoche/Moss/Pollock/HanRam – 0

Group D
Ah, yes, Group D. The group that harbors the catchers, the fallen stars, and the high ceiling young unproven players. This is always a crap shoot. Just throw a dart and hope you get lucky. Franco had a huge Spring Training so I’m a little surprised by him only being chosen by 10 teams. But I’m sure the 1 team who chose Dickerson (Trasky) and the other who chose Souza (Zizzer-Zazzer-Zuzz) is really liking their selections at the moment.

  • Grichuk – 15
  • Calhoun – 13
  • Franco/Freeman – 10
  • Posey – 7
  • Beltre/Conforto/Crawford – 4
  • Beltran/Holliday/Marte/Morales/Smoak/Soler – 3
  • Baez/Betts/Byrd/Gomez/Pence/C.Santana/Seager/Souza/Zimmerman – 2
  • Belt/Dickerson/Napoli/Wieters – 1
  • Desmond/Mesoraco/Pearce/Reynolds/Singleton – 0

Group E
For the first time in our 7 year history, more than 15% of the teams wrote in a player that wasn’t on my original list. And 2 of those write-ins were the 4th and 5th most popular selections in the group (Chris Carpenter and Domingo Santana). The best choice in Group E thus far (who was also a write-in)… Trevor Story who was selected by PEDispensers and is riding the league leader in HR to the top of the current Derby standings.

  • Moustakas – 18
  • Heyward – 13
  • Hosmer – 10
  • Plouffe – 9
  • Carpenter – 7
  • D. Santana – 6
  • Cron/Vmart/Reddick/Schoop – 4
  • D’Arnaud/Garcia/Kang/C.Perez/Valencia/Werth/Story/Buxton – 1
  • Guerrero/Gomes/Gyorko/Hart/Headley/Kim/Lind/Morse/Tomas/Young – 0

Most unique team selection once again goes to Manager H. Stovall and the team of My Husband and his Alter Egos. They chose assembled and entire team of players with the name of Carlos or Curtis as a tribute to their husbands alter ego. A very close second goes to Zizzer-Zazzer-Zuzz managed by K. Wolf who only selected players with Z’s in their name.

The season has just begun and I can’t wait for the rest of the summer baseball!

The Home Run Derby Is Back For 2016

*YAAAAAAAWN* *STRRRRRRRRRRREEEETCH*

Wow, that was a great winter hibernation. Let me log in here to the World Wide Web and see whats been going on in the baseball world…. WHAAAAAATTTT?!?!?!?!

  • The Cubs purchased away Lackey and Heyward from the Cardinals?!
  • The Yankees added Aroldis Chapman to an already elite pair of closers?!
  • The Diamondbacks are buying big names?!
  • The Giants are stocking up on pitching again for their normal even years World Series?!
  • The Padres cleaned house after going bankrupt in 2015?!
  • The Brewers have traded away every starting player in 2015 except 1 OF, their 2B, their Catcher (yet), and 3 SP?!

It’s going to be a loooooong summer for ma and all other Brewer fans…

Well, at least I have the 2016 Kings of Cork Home Run Derby to look forward to!!!

That’s right we are back for our 7th season. Rules are the same. Pick a total of 5 guys from the predetermined groups, and if your team hits the most home runs combined, you are crowned THE King/Queen of Cork! All you have to do is go here and click the submit button (deadline is March 27th).

I’m excited to be hosting the contest yet again and can’t wait for the sounds of the cracking bats, the smells of the grills, and the tastes of the $10 beers. This may be the only baseball I look forward to as I watch the Brewers lose 100 games in order to rebuild. How many of you will join me?

Ballpark Review: PNC P-aaaaaaargh-k

The site has been fairly silent with the summer sun starting to set. It’s just one of the sacrifices made this summer, not due to the lack of stories because there has been plenty (Mets crying in Baseball, an AWESOME home run derby, or the Brewers bullpen catcher setting the Philly Cheesesteak eating record), but just lack of time to do the stories and the site justice (I’ve barely had any time to properly host fantasy baseball leagues).

One thing I have found time for was some vacation time. Time away from the monotony of ever day life. And one thing I (we) like to do on vacation time is visiting new stadiums and watching good baseball. And I was fortunate enough recently to visit Pittsburgh, which many call the best place to watch a baseball game, to see the red hot Pirates take on the National League favorite Nationals.

I’m not here to review the offense heavy game that ran Scherzer out of the game in 5 innings with 5 runs. But I will review a ballpark that is a must visit for any true baseball fan.


PNC Park, Pittsburgh

The Stadium:

  • Very open and airy. Maybe I’m too used to domes, but the outfield seating wasn’t very tall which allows for the nice weather be shared with the fans.
  • Great views of the city of Pittsburgh. Thanks to the outfield not being a skyscarper itself, there is a great view of the downtown, the Roberto Clemente bridge, and you can hear the great sounds of boating and fun being had on the river.
  • Pirate theme is well played. They don’t underplay or overplay the Pirate theme throughout the park. They have their pirate flags and the big Jolly Roger in CF that gets raised after a win. Their scoreboard is all pirate ship themed graphics. And after every home run they fire the cannons and fireworks. I wouldn’t be surprised if they had a plank to push the opposing team mascot off either.
  • Great food and amazing prices. They have all your ballpark staples plus fresh seafood (sushi included), wings, extra large sandwiches, and best of all Pierogies. I would definitely recommend the pierogies. One because they have the pierogi races, two they are amazingly delicious, and three they only cost 5 bucks. Most of the food and beer there are surprisingly cheap. I think I paid $8 for a 24oz bomber.
  • Souvenirs. Lots of choices and great deals. I’ve been in a lot of merchandise shops and typically you see all the same things just with a different team logo on the item. But somehow the Pirates merchandise stores have a lot of items and clothing that I have never seen in any other MLB logo. So many choices! And the prices aren’t marked up 400%. The prices are actually amounts you would find at your local superstore. Plus they gave away free shirts to everyone that day and threw shirts into that stands at least twice in the game. Gotta love free swag.
  • Friendly players. Every single half inning, Starling Marte through his warm-up ball into the stands. You don’t see that much anymore. I’m not sure the MLB appreciates it due to the possibility of a lawsuit if anything were to happen. But Marte seems to be a true player of the fans, and that seemed to be the case with all the Pirate players that came near the fans.
  • The only negative I encountered with the stadium was that the traffic and flow in the concourse was horrible. At times we had to walk through the seats in order to avoid complete gridlocks.

The Fans:

  • Diehards. It may just be the fact that the Pirates are competitive again, but the fans are enthusiastic and nice people. There were a few National fans around us that had to make a scene but the Pirate fans left them be. No jawing, just ignoring. And the stadium was pretty much sold out and the streets/bars were packed with people that I don’t even think had tickets to the game.
  • The mates dressed their part. It never occurred to me but I think the Pirates may be the only team that the fans can actually dress up to show their team’s support. I mean who is going to dress up as a type of bird, a fish, or an article of clothing you wear on your feet. Maybe an Angel or a Ranger?! But yes, in Pittsburgh, it isn’t weird to see Pirates roaming the streets (some of them drunk like its their only day at port) or the concourses. In fact, I’m kind of upset I didn’t strap on my peg leg, pulled down an eye patch, and had Petey the Parrot on my shoulder.

The Location:

  • The city. Another stadium located in the heart of the city. Not on the outskirts, not in the sticks, its in the city. What is even more remarkable? The city shuts down the Clemente bridge and surrounding roads for games, which becomes mobbed with people. The river separates the game from the high rises, and the trees and rolling hills separate the city from the freeways and passers by.
  • The stadium surroundings. As mentioned previously, the surrounding streets are shutdown pre, during, and post game. There are lots of bars and restaurants within close proximity of the stadium. But even cooler are the bars and restaurants built into the exterior of the stadium that allows fans (with and without tickets) to eat and drink while socializing in the shut down streets. They even had a live band playing outside the gates pre-game.
  • The river. I’m jealous of the fans who just cruise down the river. Dock their boat in right field. Listen to the game on the radio and the sounds of the stadium. Heck, they even got a chance at 2 home run balls at the game we were at.

Seriously, put this stadium at the top of your list of next visits. You won’t regret it (except maybe the hotel prices around the stadium).

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June’s Home Run Recap

Summer is in full swing. The weather is hot. The Sun is scorching everything. And vacations are pulling us all into a relaxing dream world that ends abruptly with returning to work. I wouldn’t call running the HR Derby ‘work’ but summer has a firm grasp on me and I’m trying my best to stay focused on baseball in my free time. But holy crap its past the midway point in July and I’m just recapping June… that’s unacceptable.

But we made it through the longest week of the summer. The week where we get a home run derby, 1 game with all the stars of the game, and then 2 days with no baseball (at least the British Open started today so there is something to talk about in the sports world).

Speaking of the home run derby (not ours, we will get to that in a bit), if you missed it, the new format was AWESOME!! That derby was probably the best that I can remember watching. Which isn’t saying much because I usually hardly watch the Home Run Derby because it used to be so boring watch every batter take 25 pitches just to swing at one. But the new rules of unlimited outs with 4 total minutes (plus bonus time the player could earn) made it exciting and actually a competition. Mad props to the hometown hero Todd Frazier for winning but watching Joc Pederson hit some of those bombs was absolutely amazing. I can’t wait to see the line of players signing up for next years derby (instead of the usual running away from it).

Ok onto our derby… So the month of June is well past us but it was an exciting race. Our monthly winner, lead by Pujols’ 13 and Stanton’s 12 (before he swung and broke his wrist), was Pete Rose From The Dead whose team tallied 37 homers. In a very close 2nd was our current leader Get Deep with 36. And 3rd for the month of June was our first ever winner $5 Donation with 34.

The actual players that hit the most home runs in June were Pujols with 13, Stanton with 12, Arenado with 12, and JD Martinez with 11. Odds are if you had 1 or 2 of those players you made a big jump in the standings. And there were 5 teams who made a leap of more than 30 spots in the month of June. Grand Slam moved up 32 spots from 67th to 35th. Chicks Dig The Long Ball jumped 34 spots from 62nd to 28th. FRANtastic Five and Nana and Me both jumped 35 spots from 78th to 43rd and 99th to 64th respectively. And JoseyWales was our biggest mover in June with 39 spots from 75th to 36th.

On the other end of the spectrum, the losers in the month of June were two teams moving more than 30 spots in the wrong direction. Tom Pipines Ear Hair must have gotten trimmed in June because their team dropped 39 spots from 18th to 57th. And Bovee’s Home Run Derby Team dropped a whopping 41 places from 35th to 76th.

Player swaps since mid-June will be covered in the next week because Giancarlo is about to be trade eligible and I’m expecting roughly 40 moves. So rather than make another post, I will just lump all the moves in the past month into one large update.

And now back to your regularly scheduled programming of baseball.

2015 All-Star Preview: The NL vs… The Royals???

I can’t even comment on the Hack-a-thon that the Cardinals organization is putting together right now… you just wonder why did they hack the Astros instead of someone like the Dodgers or Nationals??

I’d rather talk about how stupid homer and bandwagon baseball fans are instead of how stupid the evil empire is.

Yes, you read that right. I’m calling out all homer, bandwagon, one-day baseball fans out there. That or MLB has to be dealing with a hack or autobot of its own. Why am I calling them (some of you) out?! 8 of the 9 projected players (including a DH who will not start in the All-Star game) are from the Royals… 8!!!!!! The only starting position player that wouldn’t be a Royal is Mike Trout (well, atleast there are enough Non-Royal fans voting for the same person to overtake them).

I wouldn’t have a problem with 8 players from a single team assuming that the players were a top-3 player at their position between the dates of the last All-star game and today (or even just this season). But that’s not the case with players like Omar Infante who has a -0.2 WAR. NEGATIVE 0.2 Wins Above Replacement. Meaning he could be substituted by 18 other 2B this season and the Royals would have at least 0.2 more wins this season. And one of those other 18 2B is Jason Kipnis who actually has the 3rd Highest WAR among ALL players this season. Kipnis is behind Infante by almost 3 million votes. 3 Million!!! At least Altuve is within 300,000 of Infante…

Or how about Eric Hosmer at 1B. Ya, he’s having a decent year at 30+ Runs/RBI, 7HR, and almost a 0.300 BA. But I can name 3 other American League 1B that are having much, much better years and their WAR rating agree. How about Teixeira with 18HR and 48RBI. Or Pujols who looks like he’s back in St. Louis and just keeps homering with 19HR. Or how about the top 1B in the AL, Miguel Cabrera who has 14HR, 38RBI, and a 0.345 BA.

Let’s pick another position on the diamond. Outfield. The Royals have 3 of the top-4 outfielders in the current All-Star voting. Lorenzo Cain, Alex Gordon, and Alex Rios. I can’t argue with Cain, he’s a legitimate All-Star this season. Gordon is close but he is a top-5 AL outfielder this season so he’s fine in my books as well. But Alex Rios has played 20 games total and is batting 0.213. There are probably at least 35-40 other starting outfielders more deserving than him (and if you did the math, there are only 42 other starting OF in the AL that aren’t Royals).

Don’t get me wrong, I like the fact that fans get to vote for the All-Stars. What I don’t like is when fans don’t vote for the players that are the most deserving. It’s like we are in a high-school popularity contest. MLB needs a way to fix this issue because it hurts the die-hard fan base more than the casual fan base. I would say that any ballot that has 5 or more players from the same team selected, you just throw that ballot in the trash. Or maybe MLB limits the maximum number of players from a single team being able to start the All-Star game. Or maybe MLB just corrects the issue itself by fudging the numbers for the players that are the most deserving. Seriously, I would be ok with a sudden, unexplainable up-tick in votes over the next 15 days that dethroned several of these Royals players.

I like the Royals, but I also have an understanding of what it means to be an All-Star player.

Moving Day: Closing Down May


The statistics have been verified and as much as I look them over and over again, I still can’t believe that a team hit 45 home runs in May. Yes, Icy Hot In Your Joc dominated the derby in May. Four of his five hitters hit more than 9 home runs. Stanton and Joc Pederson had 9 a piece. While Josh Donaldson had 10 and Harper had a whopping 13. This catapulted Icy Hot In Your Joc into 1st place overall with an 6 home run lead. Their team may be hard to catch without injuries.

Second for the month (or the first loser) was Get Deep whose team hit 40 home runs in May. No surprise that their team also had Donaldson and Stanton but substitute Arenado’s 9 home runs instead. 40 is still pretty good and has put Get Deep into contention whose currently sitting in 2nd overall.

West Coast Useless more than doubled his overall home run total in May (as did Get Deep) from 18 to 56. Their team hit 38 in May for the 3rd most while utilizing a similar set of players as the two teams above: Stanton, Donaldson, and Pederson. Their team moves into the top-5 but has a ways to go to catch the leader.

Biggest movers in May:

  1. Walker This Way jumped 61 spots! (91st to 30th)
  2. Kettle Poppers moved 47 spots (68th to 21st)
  3. The Flying Aces gained 45 spots (94th to 49th)
  4. Bleacher Bums moved 44 spots (89th to 45th)
  5. Why Is Ozzie In The Hall jumped 43 spots (86th to 43rd)

Biggest losers in May:

  1. FRANtastic Five plummeted 58 spots (20th to 78th)
  2. Grand Slam dropped 56 spots (11th to 67th)
  3. Tulowizki’s dropped 51 spots (17th to 68th)
  4. Mayer’s Mashers dropped 48 spots (15th to 63rd)
  5. Devil Dogs and Denton’s Biggest Fan dropped 44 spots (29th to 73rd and 46th to 90th)

Recent Transactions:

  • The Big Stinkey – Todd Frazier for Yasiel Puig (May 18)
  • Another year, Another Wasted… – Bryce Harper for Yasiel Puig (May 18)
  • Pete Rose From The Dead – Joc Pederson for Jayson Werth (June 5)
  • Warning Track Power – Bryce Harper for Corey Dickerson (June 8)
  • Devil Dogs – Joc Pederson for Jayson Werth (June 8)
  • Hit Bull Win Steak… – Bryce Harper for Corey Dickerson (June 8)

Passing Zone Ahead: Major Milestones

There is a saying that goes something like “Rules are meant to be broken”… er, that’s not the quote I wanted to apply to A-rod…

“Records are made to be broken”. There that’s the quote I was looking for. And breaking records Arod is trying to do prior to his unbelievable contract expiring in New York.

ARod passed Willie Mays for 4th all-time on the career HR list with his homer on May 7th (He has 3 since then for a total of 664, or 98 behind Bonds). And then 20 days later (May 37), ARod passes Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig for 3rd all-time on the career RBI list at 1995 RBI (only 302 more to go to break Hank Arron’s all-time record).

Steroid asterisk aside, its always incredible and jaw dropping to see records be broken or nearly broken. To be a sports fan witnessing history just makes for great story telling. I can remember the McGwire/Sosa home run chase and watching the game live when McGwire send a line drive out of the park to break the record (against Sosa and the Cubs no less). Then a few days later, Ripken ended his Ironman streak at 2632 games played. A few years later, I watched Bonds break the McGwire mark with 71 homers in a season followed by breaking the Hank Arron 756 home run mark.

When the Brewers were bad (similar to this season), I can remember even cheering on Jose Hernandez to break the single season strikeout record as a hitter (which Mark Reynolds has destroyed since then). He promptly benched himself 1 shy of the record for like 4 out of the last 5 games so that he wouldn’t be cheered for when striking out.

Good times down memory lane. But let’s look ahead to the future. What players should you be paying attention to this season as they near significant MLB milestones.

  • Alex Rodriguez:
    • 3000 hits – Projected June 20th. Currently at 2982 hits.
    • 8th All-time Runs Leader – Projected June 1. Currently at 1947 runs. 3 away from overtaking Stan Musial.
  • Albert Pujols:
    • 17th All-time Home Run Leader – Projected June 27th. Currently at 529. 6 away from overtaking Jamie Foxx.
    • 20th All-time Doubles Leader – Projected July 3rd. Currently at 568 doubles. 7 away from overtaking 20th place.
    • 16th All-time Home Run Leader – Projected July 9th. Currently at 529. 8 away from overtaking Mickey Mantle.
    • 19th All-time Doubles Leader – Projected July 30th. Currently at 568 doubles. 11 away from overtaking Wade Boggs.
    • 18th All-time Doubles Leader – Projected August 27th. Currently at 568 doubles. 16 away from overtaking Robin Yount.
    • 17th All-time Doubles Leader – Projected September 8th. Currently at 568 doubles. 18 away from overtaking Rafael Palmeiro.
    • 15th All-time Home Run Leader – Projected September 20th. Currently at 529. 20 away from overtaking Mike Schmidt.
  • David Ortiz:
    • 20th All-time Doubles Leader – Projected October 2nd. Currently at 555 doubles. 20 away from overtaking 20th place.
  • Ichiro Suzuki:
    • 38th All-time Steals Leader – Projected July 28th. Currently at 490 SB. 6 away from overtaking Willie Keeler.
    • 3000 Hits – Projected early 2016 season. Currently at 2876 hits.

May Derby Update

I haven’t been completely idle from baseball. Just idle from informing you guys of baseball information. So here it is, the first formal HR Derby update of 2015:

For the majority of our Derby managers, spring couldn’t come soon enough for Giancarlo Stanton. He’s got 10HR total now thanks to 4 in his last 8 games. Including this HUGE blast which left Dodger stadium (which went 474 feet and 2nd only to ARod’s 477ft blast):


We officially have 105 teams entered in this season’s HR Derby. And leading the way early this year is basically every team that selected Nelson Cruz (who hit 10 in April and 5 in May so far). Cruzin’ for a Bruisin’ (a previous overall winner in 2013) won the month of April with 29 homers. And I’m sure R. Dziedzic is singing their team’s theme song after Stanton’s two home run day yesterday put their team back on top.

logo_1631473_web Right behind the top team are Ballz Deep, Icy Hot in your Joc, and Philly Phanatic. Ballz Deep has been our leader for the most of May thanks to Cruz and Bryce Harper. Harper has 8 home runs in his last 9 games. That’s simply ridiculous and he’s living up to his hype from 4 years ago. Icy Hot in your Joc is the only one of the bunch that doesn’t own Cruz. They also have Harper’s HR streak but also put Joc Pederson’s weird HR streak on top of it to help their team lead the month of May so far. And Philly Phanatic has to be fanatic about this season because their team is typically near the bottom of the standings. But sitting in the top-5 has got to feel pretty good (at least better than the rest of us who are sitting in the bottom half of the standings).

Recent Transactions:

  • Let’s Play Two – JP Arencibia traded for Luis Valbuena (April 25)
  • I Must Be In The Front Row – Yan Gomes traded for Devon Travis (May 4)
  • The Flying Aces – Yan Gomes traded for Joc Pederson (May 5)
  • Dinger Derby – Alex Rios traded for Joc Pederson (May 5)
  • Scotts Jogging Shorts – Alex Rios traded for Josh Reddick (May 5)
  • Mayer’s Mashers – Juan Francisco traded for Chris Young (May 5)
  • Nana and Me – Jonathan Lucroy traded for Joc Pederson (May 11)
  • Snoop’s Troops – Jonathan Lucroy traded for Luis Valbuena (May 12)
  • The Geezerhawks – Yasiel Puig traded for Mark Teixeira (May 15)
  • 27 years since a Dodger Championship… – Yasiel Puig traded for Adrian Gonzalez (May 15)

News Flash: Joc Pederson Got A Hit That Didn’t Go Over The Fence

(Gus Ruelas / AP)

Well some people may consider Joc Pederson’s 0.264 batting average (9-for-34) with 16K’s over the past 10 days a failure.

Joc Pederson says the heck with them because 7 of those 9 hits were home runs. In fact, he had 7 hits in a row that were all home runs. He ruined that streak today by going 1-for-4 with a single against the Brewers.

Thanks to that streak of home runs, the rookie is on pace for 52 home runs this season, which would barely beat the record for a rookie which was 49 homers by Mark McGwire (was he on roids that early???). I love early season projections because only Hanley Ramirez, Mark Teixeira (both at 58), and Nelson Cruz (81) are projected to hit more and would be an awesome home run chase reminiscent of the 1998 chase.

True Life: I’m A Sub .500 Fan

Originally Posted July 2, 2010:

Cue the entry audio to MTV’s True Life.

Fans come in all different sorts of intoxicating personalities. We all know of the Fair Weather Fan. They join the party after the party has already started. They jump on the band wagon after the wagon has made its 100th winning stop. They can tell you the time they watched their team win the 1996, 1998, 1999, and 2000 World Series, but not their rosters.

Then there are the Casual Fans. They can tell you the big three on the team, but they can’t name who the starting catcher is. Or who replaced the struggling superstar closer. Or who filled in for the team’s famous broadcaster when he was out for heart surgery.

I think more annoying than casual fans are Homer Fans. These fans, no matter how pathetic their team is playing, still think their team is God’s gift to Earth and there losing season is to blame on this guy. You can’t even confront these fans about their team without receiving a reaction like this.

But let’s face it, the greatest type of fans are the DieHard Fans. No matter what they are doing, they will drop everything for a chance to watch their team play. No matter their team’s performance, they are behind them 110% for the entire season and off-season. They don’t just sit and agree with the GM’s moves, they analyze, criticize, and scrutinize all the moves and makes their voice heard.

I would like to encourage everyone to at least be a diehard fan for one season (of course, please assess the situation… marriage and family should still be top priority, by a small margin). Follow a team, any team, pick a new team, any sport, and follow each and every play as if it were their last.

The greatest moment in a sports fan life is to follow your team to the championship from the beginning when their record was 0-0 and watching them win it all… But, winning isn’t just about bringing home the bling. Sometimes, winning is just about making it to the championship, just barely making it into the playoffs, just finishing above 0.500 for the first time in 12 years. I can honestly say that following a losing team for years as a diehard fan pays the biggest dividends in the end. Some fans have never seen a losing season (the last Yankees losing season: 1992. Yankee fans under 21 years of age definitely can’t remember that). Some have only seen losing seasons. The diehard that sticks through sub 0.500 winning percentages from their team year after year get butterflies in their stomach when their team is even competing for a wild card spot (some fans look at contending for the wild card a losing season). Welcome to my life as a Brewers fan since the late 80’s.

I Can’t Get No Satisfaction
If you root for the following teams year after year despite finishing in the red, you have earned your badge which gives you access to the greatest circle of fans in the baseball community.

Baltimore Orioles / St. Louis Browns / 1901 Milwaukee Brewers
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