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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…

Cactus League Stadiums – Surprise Stadium

We made it. The last Spring Training stadium review (until next year). So bookmark these pages and come back to them next season to help you plan the most amazing Spring Training trip ever.

I’ve reviewed Municipal Stadium, Diablo Stadium, Cubs Park, Salt River Fields, Maryvale Baseball Park, Goodyear Ballpark, and Camelback Ranch Stadium.

You won’t find Scottsdale Stadium or Peoria Sports Complex in my reviews because they are the only two I haven’t visited yet. Hopefully that is taken care of in 2015. Now on to the final review:

Surprise Stadium – Royals and Rangers

Surprise Stadium

    The furthest stadium to the Northwest of all the Cactus Stadiums is Surprise Stadium, home of the Royals and Rangers Spring Training. When you role up to this complex you will notice a few things. One, the parking is free. Two, there is an amazing park with small “lake” across the street to the East. And three, the complex is built alongside several hotels and apartment buildings. The 2 sq mile around the stadium has everything, several parks, a lake, bars, restaurants, and shopping. They nailed it with this stadium’s surrounding area.

    Upon walking into the stadium, you get hounded by the typical employees… “Do you want a picture taken?” “Get your programs, get your programs.” But you may find yourself agreeing to the second one because programs are $1… one single dollar. After you purchase your gameday program, you will end up walking the concourse and you will then realize how open and large it is. Instead of concessions and souvenirs inside buildings, you will find then in tents similar to a fair.

    So now you have your beer, hotdog, and program, now you need a seat. There doesn’t seem to be a bad seat in this stadium. The infield has shade from the second level seats and press-box from 3rd to 1st base. There are only 20 rows in each section in the infield which keeps all fans close to the game. If you aren’t going to sit in the infield, then look to the outfield lawn seats. The bullpens are located there making it fun to watch the players and coaches inside. The outfield hill is one of the most gentle sloping and lush grass seats in the Cactus League. No need to bring ankle braces here. And if you are looking for that home run ball, sit close to centerfield. It’s roped off but still open for fans to run after a ball that may land there.

    If you want food and drinks, you can upgrade any of your tickets to get into the beer deck in rightfield. They offer bar style seating looking out into the field of play. It’s reasonable too… like $10 to $15 for a catered meal and one drink ticket. The party deck being situated on the outfield lawn also creates a good backrest for fans sitting in the lawn seats in front of it. These seats go fast so make sure to bring a blanket and snag them early.

    As far as game watching goes, this stadium is in my top 4 in the Cactus League. It’s new, it’s spacious, but you feel close to the game. This stadium is a must stop for any baseball fan visiting the Cactus League.

The Commish Awards – Cactus League Spring Training

Do you hear that?! The slap of the ball hitting the catchers mitt. The crack of the ball coming off the bat. The sizzling of pale white skin being burned by the sun of people who haven’t seen sunlight in 4 months. Isn’t it great?! If you haven’t got the chance to experience spring baseball live, you need to put it near the top of your bucket list right now.

I prefer the Cactus League. A) Because the Brewers play there. B) Because all the teams are within 30-40 minutes of each other which makes it possible to see multiple games in a day, visit a lot of different teams, and find your favorite hang out spot. And because of the second reason and after my annual trip to the Arizona Valley, I have enough intell on most of the stadiums in the Cactus League that I can offer up my favorite hang outs for enjoying baseball in the hot, scalding Cactus League sun. I’ll be posting longer and more in-depth reviews of each stadium I have visited in the Phoenix area throughout the next week, but time to hand out some of my Cactus League Stadium rankings.

So here we go, time for The Commish Awards for the Cactus League (Disclaimer: I can’t give awards out to Scottsdale or Peoria stadiums as I haven’t visited those two yet):

Award For Best Things To Do Before or After Baseball

  • Winner – Glendale 9 Drive-In:
    Who doesn’t like going to the movies?! Now what if the movies were OUTSIDE in a comfortable 60 degree starry night? My childhood included several excursions to the outdoor theater with all the siblings packed into a backed up mini-van with seats removed for sprawling sleeping bags out in the back. So why not bring back those memories and create new ones at the Glendale 9 Drive-in movie theater which seems to be a dying fad across America. It’s reasonably priced, most movies are double features, and if you scan channels long enough you can even get some bonus movies on the screens around yours.
  • Runner-Up – Hiking any one of the surrounding mountains:
    The Phoenix metro area is called ‘The Valley’ for a reason… its surrounded by mountain ranges. If you do enough research, you can find hundreds of trails in parks that are free or have a minimal vehicle fee under $10. And if you are brave enough to park a distance away from most gated trail heads, you can catch a sunset or sun rise from the top of one of the peaks. My recommendations for trails are: trail 44 at North Mountain, trail 300 at Piestewa Peak, any trail at White Tank Mountain Regional Park, and the Hidden Valley trail at South Mountain.

Glendale Drive-In 9

Award For Largest Stadium

  • Winner – Camelback Ranch Stadium (home of the WhiteSox and Dodgers):
    This stadium feels GIA-NORMOUS. It has two-levels of seating but seems to boast a plethora of rows on the first level. The extremely large concourses and extravagant landscaping also contribute to the vastness of the stadium. If you are looking for an MLB style stadium and experience, don’t miss this stadium on the far West side of the metro area.
  • Runner-Up – Cubs Park:
    The new Cubs stadium is a large step up from their past spring training facility. The new stadium has a very deep grass-seating section and also boasts what is probably the most 2nd level seating in the Cactus League. Combine that with the Wrigleyville rooftop experience in left-field and you have a park for one of the largest baseball fan bases in the country. Now if the stadium could just help the team win in the regular season.
  • Worst – Phoenix Municipal Stadium (home of the A’s):
    The stadium in the heart of Phoenix has a lot of unique quarks about it, and one of them isn’t large number of seating options. With only a single level of seating that doesn’t even allow seats in the outfield. So if you are looking for a chance at snagging a Cespedes HR ball, better look somewhere else.

Camelback Stadium

Award For Best Views

  • Winner – Phoenix Municipal Stadium (A’s):
    One benefit of no outfield seats is not having to stare at people. It’s a shame that the stadium chose to cover up some of the local nature with large billboards. But, the stadium still offers up an experience like no other, the experience of a diamond erected in the middle of the Rockie Mountain desert (and its actually in the middle of metro Phoenix less than 5 miles from the airport). Left field has some great rock formations, right field has a ton of trees that are part of a local park containing the zoo, and the rest of the outfield ground is layers of the great red desert dirt. It feels like the last place on earth you would be watching a game of baseball with the most elite of players.
  • Runner-Up – Diablo Stadium (home of the Angels):
    Similar to Phoenix Municipal, its the only other stadium with rock formations near the stadium. But they just aren’t as impressive and the rest of the surrounding views are just so-so. It has the same distant mountain views of most of the other Cactus League Stadiums, but what it does have over the others is a view of the Tempe city skyline in center field. The stadium also has a pretty awesome entrance that would rival any MLB stadium.
  • Worst – Goodyear Ballpark (home of the Reds and Indians):
    It was a toss up between Goodyear Ballpark and Maryvale Stadium. But because I’m a Brewers fan Goodyear could have had an amazing view of mountains on all sides of the stadium but to the East and then they chose to build it so center field faces East just killed that great opportunity. The rest of the mountain views are still there but are tough to see due to the concourse shaders and the press box suites.

Phoenix Municipal Stadium

Award For Most Comfortable

  • Winner – Salt River Field at Talking Stick (home of Rockies and Diamondbacks):
    This stadium is one of my favorites. Its located in Scottsdale so you know its nice. It’s just outside the Talking Stick Resort so you know its even nicer. Combine that with some of the most gentle sloping and expansive grass seats, lots of room on the large covered concourses, and plenty of patio seating. It just doesn’t get much more comfortable than this stadium.
  • Runner-Up – Surprise Stadium (home of the Royals and Rangers):
    You want large sprawling concourses?! Well, this is the stadium for you. These concourses are lined with great food and beverage tents. Grass seats are extremely comfortable with plenty of room (except for the right field Home Run deck, but it creates a nice backrest for some lucky grass seat viewers). The only drawback from this stadium is that there is very little shade cover for the box seats.
  • Worst – Phoenix Municipal Stadium (A’s Stadium):
    If you are into little league seating or are shorter than 3 feet tall, you will find Municipal Stadium extremely comfortable. If you don’t fit into those categories, then get ready for uncomfortable bleacher seats with no leg room and cozy neighbors. I will say I have had some of my best baseball conversations with strangers and have made more friends at this stadium than any. Basically because you are forced to know whose lap you are sitting on.
Talking Stick Stadium

Talking Stick Stadium

Award For Most Intimate Baseball Experience

  • Winner – Maryvale Park (home of the Brewers):
    Come on you wouldn’t think I wouldn’t toss an award to my homies?! The Brewers stadium is my favorite. Sure the view is less than desired (what a chain link and cement fence isn’t what you want). Sure the grass seats are super steep. But it has the best beer selection and even better is that the fans are almost on the field of play. The grass seats feel like they are the outfield and there is no second deck and very few rows of box seats that every seat is the best seat. This isn’t me playing favorites here, Maryvale Park is probably my favorite stadium to watch a professional baseball game because you feel like you are on the field with the team.
  • Runner-Up – Phoenix Municipal Stadium (A’s Stadium):
    Well what did you expect when I told you this stadium was cozy. Its probably more cozy than Maryvale, and less comfortable, and has no outfield seating. If Phoenix Municipal had the grass seating and had more comfortable infield seats, I would have to argue that this venue could be one of the best stadiums to watch a baseball game. But it will have to take a 2nd place finish in this category until it upgrades its comfort level.
  • Worst – Camelback Stadium (home of the Dodgers and WhiteSox):
    This stadium won the award for largest stadium and its also the nicest stadium in the Cactus league. But, it feels like a real MLB stadium. Meaning, if you aren’t paying the big bucks for the seats close to the field, you might need to bring a pair of binoculars in order to tell who’s playing shortstop.
Maryvale Stadium

Maryvale Stadium

Award For Best Surrounding Area

  • Winner – Scottsdale Stadium (home of the Giants):
    I’ve never been to the physical stadium but I have been to its surrounding area in Scottsdale. Old Town Scottsdale is a quaint little outdoor shopping area about 5-8 blocks west of the stadium. There’s lots of small unique local shops, including one of the best ice cream places. In the same area there is a small park that houses the historical and contemporary art museums of Scottsdale. And if you are up for a 3 block walk to the North is another shopping area called the 5th Avenue Shops. There are also plenty of bars and restaurants around that typically cater to the Giant fans. This entire area has a unique small old town feel and its a great area to enjoy the weather outside before or after a game.
  • Runner-Up – Cubs Park:
    Being the newest stadium, the Cubs were smart to move the stadium to the local shopping plaza in Mesa. It feels like you are going to buy a new car when you are headed to the Cubs park thanks to all the dealers and big box stores. But it offers up a lot to do near the stadium. Bass Pro Shops is just down the street. Toby Keith’s bar is right next to that. There are plenty of other restaurants and bars plus all the mecca big box stores you would need to people watch prior to laughing at Cub fans.
  • Worst – Maryvale Park (home of the Brewers):
    Maryvale is not a pretty area and the park seems to have been built in the local subdivision. Walmart and Walgreens are nearby, but if you want anything else, have fun driving. I will reveal one of my favorite establishments in the nearby strip mall… the Purple Turtle. I know it sounds like a Male Exotic Club. That’s what we thought at first too based on no windows on the building. But its actually a pool hall that also is an OTB site for horse racing. They do cater to Brewer fans in spring training so it doesn’t feel too creepy in the bar at 11 am.
Old Town Scottsdale

Old Town Scottsdale

The Commish’s Overall Rankings For Cactus League Stadiums

  1. Maryvale Stadium – Intimate + Cheap + Best Beer Selection + Sausages + Sausage Races + Roll Out The Barrel = Awesome.
  2. Camelback Stadium – A Spring Training Facility That Rivals MLB Stadiums. Landscaping Is Amazing.
  3. Talking Stick Stadium – Close To Second. Just Missing The Extra ‘WOW’ Factor.
  4. Surprise Stadium – Needs More Shade, But Concourse And Grass Seats Are Near The Best.
  5. Cubs Park – Well Shaded, Large, And New, But Lacking Uniqueness And Located In A Shopping Center.
  6. Diablo Stadium – Lacks Room In OF, Nothing To Do Nearby, Lots Of Bleacher Seating.
  7. Phoenix Municipal – Cheap And Intimate, But Old, No OF Seats, Tight Seating, Hope You Like Bleachers.
  8. Goodyear Ballpark – Located In Middle Of Nowhere, Lacks Uniqueness.
  • N/A – Scottsdale and Peoria Stadiums are unranked due to lack of visiting.

MLB Comedy Club

This has been a slow baseball story year… at least it feels like it to me.

Biogenesis has come and gone (others continue to talk about it… boring). There are some close division races. Trades have been minimal. But finally, the boys have loosened up a bit out on the field. The Marlins and Diamondbacks have some kind of wrestling fetish going on. John Buck had an incident with a wiener in Milwaukee. But the past few days have been more like a comedy club out on the diamond.

So, I’ll be your MC for today’s show. And you guys are in for a treat as our first act comes straight to us from the runaway NL East. Give it up for Chris Johnson.

Chris Johnson was ejected from a game this past Saturday for arguing balls and strikes. Knowing he was in the wrong (come on, I even know not to argue about the umps job), Chris Johnson decided to take self humility as a way to earn back Jim Joyce’s trust (maybe also a bribe to help Johnson win the hitting title?). Before Sunday’s game, Chris Johnson literally taped his mouth shut so that he couldn’t argue with the ump. This was also valuable lesson for all the teenagers out there…

Second in our act tonight is a comedy duo. Put your hands together for Billy Beane and John Daniels.

The A’s and the Rangers’ front offices are messing with Adam Rosales’ mind. How you ask? Here are the past 6 events for Rosales MLB career:

  1. On July 31st, the A’s designated Rosales for assignment, aka a demotion to the Minors, to make room for another player in the Bigs.
  2. On August 2nd, the Rangers claimed Rosales from waivers due the designation.
  3. On August 5th, the Rangers demoted him once again to the Minors.
  4. On August 8th, the A’s claimed him back from the Rangers from waivers and had him arrive with the team in Toronto.
  5. But the A’s weren’t ready to keep him and demoted Rosales to the Minors yet again on August 10th.
  6. But guess who really wanted Rosales, the Rangers. They again have claimed Rosales off of waivers… but for how long?

Just think of how many extra frequent flyer miles Rosales and his family are receiving the past 12 days. They may be able to take a free vacation to Oakland soon.

Our next act will definitely make you LOL. Here’s JJ Putz.

How do you make a really bad closer look even worse??? Blair entrance music in the middle of his delivery…

And now the moment you have been waiting for tonight. Our headliner of the evening. Let me hear you give it up for Adrian Beltre.

Let’s let Beltre’s base running do the joke telling…

Thank you. Thank you. I’ll be here for the next few months.

In Case Yu Haven’t Seen It Yet

Yu Darvish is un-hitable in the early parts of 2013. He was one out away from a perfect game on day 3 of the 2013 season. Now he sports a 1.65ERA with 49K’s in 5 games.

His pitch arsenal was ridiculous when he arrived in the US. Some claiming he has 7 different pitches. Currently, he throws 5 main pitches… and here they all are… at once.

What’s amazing is that his motion and release point are almost completely on top of each other. No wonder why no one can hit him, there is no way to even tell what pitch might be coming.

3 down, 159 To Go… What You May Have Missed

I know what you are thinking… ‘It’s only 4 days in to the season. What could I have possibly missed?’

Well, here’s a quick run down:

  1. Everyone in Oakland is doing ‘The Bernie‘ these days.

  2. The Astro’s pounded the Rangers on Opening Day to get a win. They only need 62 more to beat the line.
  3. The Astro’s looked like the projected Astro’s two nights later when Yu Darvish was 1 out away from a perfect game (it seems too early for no-hitters too). He needs to work on blocking the 5-hole.
  4. Marmol looks like typical Marmol… Strike Out, Hit Batsman, RBI Single, Walk, Pulled from game. And Axford looks like 2012 Axford, not 2011 Ax-man… 6 Hits, 4 Runs, 3 HR, 1 Blown Save, in 1.2 Innings.
  5. AJ Burnett got pranked on April Fools

  6. Michael Morse took his beast mode to the West Coast from the East Coast… 3 Homers in 9 At-Bats.
  7. Speaking of Home Runs, the Rockies won’t need pitching if they keep hitting like this… 41 Hits, 19 Runs, 8 HR, in 3 Games.
  8. When did pitchers learn to hit? Kershaw throws a complete game shutout with a solo home run. And Gio Gonzalez hit a solo home run in a 3-0 win on Wednesday.
  9. Red Sox’s front office fear losing their sellout record and persuade fans to come to the stadium by offering free food and half price beer (still $5, but cheaper than most stadiums)
  10. On Day Three (Tuesday), every home team lost.
  11. MLB may have to invoke the slow pitch Softball rule of not having to run the bases for home runs just because Pablo Sandoval may not be able to physically make it around the bases many more times.
  12. Take a tip from this guy on what not to do when taking your girlfriend or wife to a baseball game.
  13. Four walk-offs on Day 4… Votto, Escobar, and Joyce.
  14. Front Row Amy Andy made his first appearance in the Brewers stands on Tuesday.
  15. Gio Gonzalez claims to have done the unthinkable with his hand in public.
  16. Raymond, the Rays mascot, got caught on hidden camera admitting to murder.
  17. And Finally, Manny Ramirez hit his first Home Run in Taiwan.

That should get you caught up through the first four days.

Welcome Back To The World Series Josh Hamilton

Josh Hamilton was America’s poster child in 2008, had an injury plagued year in 2009, and a bounce back year in 2010. He came into game 6 of the World Series going 3 for 19 at-bats in the first 5 games and 0 home runs in 65 postseason at-bats. But with every World Series game, there is a chance for a new hero… and it looks like Josh Hamilton signed up for that role in game 6.

After the first 6 or 7 innings, I thought I was watching the Little League World Series. A total of 5 errors, the fans watched a dropped fly ball in shallow left, an easy can of corn falling out of the third basemen Freese’s glove, 2 over throws, and a pitcher forgetting to step on first base. I expected Colby Lewis’s father to come out of the dugout and try to calm him down.

Then the 8th and 9th inning came and the Cardinals unleashed another comeback. One strike away from winning the franchise’s first World Series and no other than David Freese (the Brewer’s nemesis) hits a game tying triple. Freese has just been clutch in this Postseason. But that only set the stage for Josh Hamilton’s heroics. Update: Freese is Missourian for “Clutch”.

After overcoming a drug addiction and almost losing his dream of playing professional baseball, Josh Hamilton delivered what would be a game saving 2-run home run in the top of the 10th inning (just before one of the most dramatic bottom of the 10th’s in World Series history).

As long as the sun doesn’t come up with Hamilton at the plate, we got to the 11th, all tied up at 9 after Fat Elvis Big Puma Lance Berkman’s game tying single. Hamilton may get a chance to deliver some heroics again.

Update: Instead it’s David Freese who may have locked up an MVP with the game tying triple in the 9th with 2 strikes and the game winning home run in the 11th (pending the outcome of game 7 of course). The Rangers came within 1 strike of winning the World Series twice. I would have to imagine that there was chaos in the Rangers locker room as champagne and tarps were rapidly removed after the 9th, 10th, and 11th innings.

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.

Brewers 2009 Roster Signs Million Dollar Minor League Deal

Something to read before watching the Green And Yellow blow out the Black And Yellow in Superbowl XLV.

With MLB baseball less than 2 months away, every team is still acquireing players as stop gaps for all their injury prone batters and glass arm pitchers… aka Rickie Weeks. And it looks like teams are turning to the entire 2009 Brewers roster for this help. Or so it feels like.

Just reported today via MLBTradeRumors, three of the Brewers 2009 starting rotaion was picked up for $1 million dollar minor league deals along with the Brewers 2009 utility infielder. The three starters managed to combine for a 5.53 ERA in 2009, so they probably don’t deserve much more than these deals (if any deal at all).


Jeff Suppan – If you are an avid reader of KingsofCork posts, you know my dislike towards this man. I might as well be called “The Soup Nazi“… and was happy to chear “No Soup For You” when the Brewers finally released him. So I am more than happy to announce that there may be more Jeff Suppan Hate Posts here on Kings Of Cork for the 2011 MLB season. Reports say Suppan signed a minor league deal with the San Francisco Giants for $1 Million this season. If Suppan ever gets called up, it most likely means that the Giants will not be repeating as National Champions. I do hope Soup gets called up for a game against the Brewers just so the team can get a little payback for the money they lost investing into him.

Dave Bush – “Fear the Beer with the Beard”. Dave Bush had one mean beard when he was on the mound but that was the only thing mean with this pitcher. No mean fastball, no mean changeup, no mean curve, he was just hittable and hoped his defense was strong enough behind him to stop the bleeding. However, this is a pitcher who recieved 8 Rookie Of The Year votes in 2004 with Toronto. He just never lived up to that hype again. Instead, Bush is now going to be pitching for the minor league Ranger affiliates for $1 million. The Rangers do have the Brewers ex-pitching coach, Mike Maddux, so he knows what he’s getting into.

Braden Looper – Another ex-cardinal that is almost over-the-hill that the Brewers overpaid for. He has been out of work for over a year, but that didn’t stop the Cubs from giving him a $1 million contract. Anything to make the Cubs worse, I’m ok with. Although, it’s a bit safer than the Oakland A’s Ben Sheets contract last season.

Felipe Lopez – An everyday utility man who can play 8 positions… he only hasn’t played catcher. Also a member of the 2009 Brewers that didn’t pan out, the Rays have taken some of there off-season savings and spent a million on a minor league deal for Lopez. Out of the four, this is the one player I would want.

Hey, if teams are just giving away a million dollars these days, I will gladly accept a deal to catch and throw a ball around for a minor league team. Because let’s face it, none of these guys will or should be in the bigs this season.

Kings of Cork 2011 Home Run Derby Groups Set

‘Tis the season for bearded men in red suits, making resolutions that last 10 days if you’re lucky, and pitchers with social anxiety disorder not being able to work out a trade for Aaron Rodgers and Greg Jennings???

Even with football in full swing, baseball can still land some big news to rival Favre’s 59th football career coming to an end. Greinke to the Brewers has this guy completely pumped and ever so tempted to purchase season tickets even though I live 250 miles away from Miller Park.

Greinke isn’t the only big news lately. Jenks to the Boston Red Sox put the Bo-Sox in the lead for the highest MLB team salary… yes, higher than the Yankees. Brandon Webb went to the Rangers to fill in for Cliff Lee. I doubt Webb will walk only 18 batters. Chien-Ming Wang and Rick Ankiel go to the Nationals. Ankiel to return to pitching. Wang to return to the DL after injuring his foot jogging to first on sacrifice bunt. Kerry Wood to return to the Cubs… seriously, the Cubs have 0 good news this off season.

AND, most importantly, the 2011 Kings of Cork Home Run Derby player group assignments have been declared. That’s right, it is time to start thinking about your 2011 Home Run Derby team. This season you will be allowed to pick 5 MLB players. One from each group with group E player either coming from group E or being a write-in player not included in any other group. Another rule change will be that one trade will be permitted for each team throughout the entire 2011 season for any player that is inactive from an MLB sanctioned game for 20 or more consecutive days. This includes inactivity due to the DL, injuries not warranting a DL stint, demotion to the minors, or being benched for just plain sucking.

The entry fee may be put at a higher stake of $10 (I’m still waiting to see if the cost of living increases enough to warrant a change from $5) and the entry form will be an electronic based form right here on this site which will be posted in the upcoming month. So review the rules and the players’ names, do some research, make a team, simulate via MLB 2K10, do whatever you need to do to try and dethrone last season’s victor and become the next King of Cork.

Please feel free to invite more friends. As long as I get the cash in my hand, the more players I welcome to the Home Run Derby challenge.

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