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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
For the Rest of the Story: Follow the Jump…

All In The Family

The 2012 MLB draft has come to an end… all 40 rounds and 1238 picks. With that many picks, you may want to shuffle through the drafted players list to see if you or a long lost relative is on his way to the Bigs. (I found our month of May HR Derby winner, The Wet Bats’ relative at pick 1141).

While one of your relatives may not have been drafted, a few teams decided to draft their manager’s offspring. It may just be one of the perks of their managerial contract:

  • #785 Lance Roenicke (Brewers) – A 5th year senior Outfielder at Santa Barbara, Lance hit 0.310 with 35 RBI in his senior year. Sure he was drafted in the 25th round, but Lance still has a shot at some day making the big league club. And if he does, it would be the first time that his father would have ever coached for him (assuming Ron is still the Brewer skipper and Lance gets called up by the Brewers).
  • #1184 Rustin Sveum (Cubs) – The Cubs drafted their manager’s high school son in the 39th round. He’s a 6-foot pitcher from Scottsdale Arizona. After being drafted, his father’s said “He better not sign. He better go to college.” Hopefully, he can develop as an all-around ball player at Dixie State University in Utah. Otherwise, he may never get another shot at signing a big league contract.
  • #720 Tate Matheny (Cardinals) – The Cardinals decided to just draft all of their managers’ sons by taking 4 total players in the draft related to some managerial position. The most intriguing player would be the main skipper’s son. Tate is a high school senior planning to go to Missouri State. In his Senior year, he hit 0.610 with 10 doubles, 11 triples, and 11 homers with 51 RBI. That’s a pretty impressive line and now he will be faced with a Billy Beane type of decision. To sign or not to sign… that is the question.
  • #1173 Cameron Gibson (D-Backs) – Don’t get your hopes up Diamondback fans, Cameron (the son of Kirk) isn’t headed to the major leagues. He’s already committed to playing baseball for Michigan State where his father played. The odds look favorable for a re-draft of Gibson but most likely by his father’s ex-big league club… the Tigers.
  • #612 Ryan Ripken (Orioles) – This is the only anomaly to the rest of the draft picks. Cal Ripken Jr isn’t the Orioles manger… yet. The ‘Iron Man’ has reportedly said that he would consider coming back to the Orioles full-time when his son graduates high school. Well, now is son (Ryan) has and he has been drafted by the Orioles. Maybe this has the making of bringing Cal into a management role with the Oriole organization. Odds are that Ryan won’t sign with the Orioles and instaed go play for the two-time defending national champion Gamecocks.

My guess is that Roenicke is the only player to sign an offer letter while the rest pursue college.

Begin Launch Sequence…3…2…1…Lift Off

Be sure to take notes on the swing techniques of these big leaguers to help you prepare for the Zombie Apocalypse.

The month of May is coming to a close and the summer air is warming up. That only means one thing… time to let the baseballs fly. We have already seen that Josh Hamilton, Ryan Braun, Matt Kemp, and Adam Dunn (yes, this Adam Dunn) don’t care what temperature the air is. They go big fly year round. But what about the rest of the guys who couldn’t make peace with the home run gods in April. Well, some of them are coming around:

  • Albert Pujols – Every Angels fan at once… 1… 2… 3… *Siiiiiigh*. Well that was a giant sigh of relief. Albert Pujols 2012 != Adam Dunn 2011 (your programming nerd is showing). Pujols had his longest home run drought of his career at 110 at-bats earlier this season. But since he lifted one over the left field fence on May 6th, Pujols’ swing is coming around. In fact, Pujols has the fourth most RBI’s in the majors during the month of May with 24 (second in the AL only behind Josh Hamilton). Even more impressive is that he has hit 7 of his 8 total in the past 15 days. Pujols and all of Angels nation (and Pujols’ HR Derby teams) are thankful that the month of April is behind them. The contract is still outrageous due to it’s length. But in the short term, it appears that the contract is going to work out.
  • Alfonso Soriano – The typical male attitude… you want to drive a nail in one swing, get the biggest hammer. Well, Soriano took that logic to home plate. You want to hit the ball far, bring the biggest bat. So Dave Sveum convinced Soriano’s big ego to switch to a lighter bat. And Soriano went from 0 homers in April to 7 home runs in the past 15 days (same as Pujols). It’s amazing what a smaller hammer can do. Now if that hammer was only worth $18M.
  • Giancarlo Stanton – 122MPH… The top speed of a turbo diesel Mini Cooper D and the speed of a baseball of off a Giancarlo home run. Giancarlo is a beast, a beast who was still in hibernation in April with only 1 homer. But guess who leads Group A in the Home Run Derby at the end of May with 13 dingers, Giancarlo. He also had the 3rd most RBI of the month with 30. His bat seems to be turbo charged and it only took the month of April to spool up. Now, there is only one player who can hit a ball harder than 122MPH and it’s Giancarlo himself.
  • Adam Jones – Age 27… There is an urban legend in Fantasy Baseball that the age 27 is a significant year in a player’s career. That magical age is the year that a player puts up his breakout numbers and usually can be bought at a cheap price in fantasy drafts. Well, Adam Jones is trying to make it a fact. Jones didn’t have a quiet month of April as Pujols, Soriano, and Giancarlo. But, he has caught fire recently (up until he took a pitch off his wrist). He just ended a 20 game hit streak and he leads Group D in the Home Run Derby with 16 total homers. Ten of those 16 coming in May. Enjoy the ride Fightin’ Showalter fans because it may be a bumpy re-entry back to Earth in the later months of the season.
  • Andrew McCutchen – 0 to 8 in 4,492,800 seconds… the amount of time it took McCutch to hit his 8th homer of the year. He starter with 0 in the month of April and Home Run Derby fans were a bit depressed on their Group E choice. But the Bucco’s main source of offense has turned it on in the month of May and is now on pace for 26 homers this season. A very respectable number for a Group E player.
  • Carlos Quentin – Injury Prone, synonym: Carlos Quentin. That’s what I envision the baseball thesaurus saying. Having only played over 100 games 3 times in his career, Quentin has just returned from a 50 game DL stint and has finally taken his place in the heart of the Padres batting order. And nothing says “I’m a part of the team” like going 7 for 12 with 3 homers in 3 games. Yes, Carlos is batting 0.583 with a 2.226 OPS. Those numbers won’t last, but if he is somehow still available in any of your fantasy leagues, go get heeem.
  • Dayan Viciedo – Who? Meet Carlos Quentin’s replacement on the Southside of Chicago. And the switch can’t be going much better. He had 3 homers in April but mashed 8 more in the month of May. He is currently sitting at a 0.291 total BA with 24 RBI in May. He is the hot topic in fantasy baseball and is THE most added player in ESPN fantasy baseball (however, Carlos Quentin will catch him by tomorrow). Just as awesome as his month of May stats is his nickname… Tank.

We now have two months of baseball complete and injuries are starting to compound for some teams. Make sure to check your Home Run Derby team for injuries (or your inbox for injury reminders). Month of May winners will be announced within the week.

Winner, Winner… Platinum Sombrero?

A pop quiz: “How many K’s in a single game does it take to where the golden sombrero?”

Answer: Four.

What’s worse, how about a Platinum Sombrero which is five. A Titanium Sombrero is six. Need a refresher course on Baseball Slang… head over to this post in the archives.

Now that we are caught up on our strikeout slang, Chris Davis gets the privilege of wearing a Platinum Sombrero but on the front of it is a giant “W”. That “W” is for a win. Yes, a WIN.

Chris Davis is a long time hyped prospect coming through the Rangers organization. He was traded for a RP (Koji Uehhara) last July at the trade deadline. Davis is a free-swinging power hitter. In 2010, he fanned 150 times in about 400AB’s. In 2011 and 2012, he fanned in 33% of his At-Bats. But he also had 17HR in 2009 and 21HR in 2010 in limited At-Bats. Davis has always been known for his big bat (and the holes in it), but not for his pitching. The Bo-Sox and Fighting Showalters (Orioles) played almost 2 full games on Sunday. And it wasn’t a double header. They played 17-innings. And both teams went through 8 different pitchers. So, in the bottom of the 16th, Chris Davis took the mound. Pitched a scoreless inning and then Adam Jones unleashed a 3-run HR vs the Red Sox last pitcher… Outfielder Darnell McDonald (yes, the Red Sox had a position player on the mound). Davis then came back out in the 17th. Took a liner of his body. Struck out A-Gon. And then got Darnell McDonald to line into a game ending double play.

So Davis’ final stats line… 0 for 8, 5 K’s at the plate and 2.0IP, 2 K’s on the Mound, and the Win! Platinum Sombrero with a “W”. Wear it as proud as you want Chris Davis, you definitely earned it. (Sorry Chris Davis fantasy owners and HR Derby owners, you don’t get credit for that “W”… only the 5 K’s)

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What’s The Logic Behind Rooting For Your Favorite Baseball Team?

Something to read while waiting for the spring to actually arrive during Spring Training.

Just a quick post about an item sent to me on what I thought was good enough to share with the rest of the team.

Click on the photo for a larger image.
Baseball Flow Chart

I take no credit for this. All of it goes to the InterpretationByDesign.com guys… and The Master Batters for emailing it to me.

2011 HomeRun Derby Deadline Set

It’s getting to be that time of year again… baseball season.

Yes it just ended a little more than a month ago, but the offseason is where all the exciting transactions take place. Adrian Gonzalez/Carl Crawford to the Red Sox, Mark Reynolds to the Orioles, Lance Berkman to the Cardinals, and that’s just the beginning of the offseason dealings (Cliff Lee still needs to land somewhere).

The offseason isn’t only for the managers of MLB teams to do their scouting and homework, its time for the Home Run Derby managers to research and draft their new teams for the 2011 season. Don’t worry, the registration deadline isn’t tomorrow (unless you are reading this on March 20th, 2011). If you noticed, there is a countdown clock on the far right side of the page which allows you to track the remaining time you have left to choose between Albert Pujols or Ryan Howard. The deadline for the 2011 season is at 12 am on March 21st.

Start researching and prospecting. The 2011 player categories will be posted prior to January 1st and this year the rules will be modified slightly. They haven’t been finalized but you will get to choose at minimum 5 players and will get the opportunity to trade one injured or benched player that has been inactive for 20 or more consecutive games (they don’t need to be on the DL).

Start buying those magazines or insider subscriptions and get ready for another exciting season of Home Run Derby.