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Group Selection Statistics 2019

What is going on with the MLB in 2019?!?! The Rays are 9-3 leading the AL East (they have the lowest payroll in 2019) and the Red Sox (defending WS champions) are on the bottom at 3-9. The Mariners are supposed to be rebuilding in 2019 but are 13-2 and have hit the most Home Runs by any team in the first 12 games of the season: 32. And they now own the MLB record for opening a season with 15 straight games with a homer. The Dodgers tried to match them when they opened the season with at least one home run in their first 10 games. And Khris Davis already has 9 homers. I don’t think we have to worry about a home run drought in 2019.

Here are things I have found interesting since the beginning of the season:

Now, moving on to our regularly scheduled programming: Who Chose Who in this year’s Home Run Derby!

Group A
The only surprise from this group is how evenly spread out the choices were. I mean, there were only 4 players to get selected by non-double digit numbers. And they were low totals (1 or 2 people). That tells me that there is no real favorite this year unlike years past where 50+ teams would choose Albert Pujols. Then it was Jose Bautista. But there was no obvious choice and it’s too bad that the man mad of glass, Giancarlo, is already injured. I didn’t think he would play all season, but I didn’t expect him to go down within a week of the season starting. And now Trout is out with a groin strain for an unknown period of time. That’s 48 teams without an A-player for a while. Of the Group A players selected, there are 2 with goose eggs still. No surprise that one is Gaincarlo, but the other is newly paid Arenado. I thought the air was thin in Denver, but the ball hasn’t been flying out for him this year. There is plenty of time, so don’t freak out… yet.

Group A
Player Selected
Giancarlo Stanton 26
Mike Trout 22
Khris Davis 19
Aaron Judge/JD Martinez 13
Nolan Arenado 12
Nelson Cruz/Joey Gallo 2
Rhys Hoskins/Max Muncy 1
Josh Donaldson/Edwin Encarnacion 0

Group B
The next couple groups are where things get weird. For the first time that I can remember, group B has 3 players selected in double digits. And there are 7 out of 18 players that got 0 selections (Bruce, C. Davis, Dozier, Duvall, Frazier, Lindor, Sano). And one of them, Jay Bruce has the most homers in the group at 7 (tied with Bellinger). Harper is the clear favorite with the group. I just don’t think he stays healthy and he has only hit more than 30 homers twice. Goldy is proving to be a nice bounce back candidate with 6 homers already. It will be interesting to see if the year is won or lost with group B. The 6 teams with Bellinger could all finish in the top 10 if the 3 popular choices don’t perform.

Group B
Player Selected
Bryce Harper 37
Paul Goldschmidt 20
Trevor Story 19
Jose Ramirez 7
Manny Machado/Cody Bellinger/Jesus Aguilar 6
Travis Shaw 4
Kyle Schwarber 3
Justin Upton 2
Matt Olson 1

Group C
Another group oddity where over half of the managers chose 1 of 4 players out of 34 selections. The reigning NL MVP was the most popular choice, but even being a Brewer fan, I don’t believe he hits 30 HR this year. I hope he proves me wrong and the Brewers make the playoffs again, but his August and September in 2018 were unreal. He had me questioning the Group C position after homering in the first 4 Brewer games, but he has been quiet from the home run side of things since then. Blackmon is another Colorado hitter yet to hit a homer and he is one of the 4 popular choices. Group C tends to be the selection that a player breaks out and carries 1-2 teams to the top of the standings. Unfortunately, it won’t be due to the current leader of group C, Gary Sanchez, who has 6 homers (thanks to 3 in 1 game) since no manager selected him.

Group C
Player Selected
Christian Yelich 23
Mookie Betts 18
Kris Bryant 13
Charlie Blackmon 11
Mike Moustakas 9
Ronald Acuna 8
Eugenio Suarez 6
Anthony Rizzo/Jose Abreu 4
Javier Baez 3
Freddie Freeman/Randal Grichuk/
Juan Soto/Joey Votto
2
Michael Conforto/Hunter Renfroe/
Domingo Santana/George Springer
1

Group D
And again, a group where half of the managers chose 1 of 3 players out of 35 choices. Alex Bregman got paid this off-season, but he is sitting on a single homer for 29 managers. Matt Carpenter turned around an AWFUL April/May of 2018 to dominate the rest of the 2018 season. He’s starting slow again in 2019, so maybe there will be a bit of Deja-Vu. Yasiel Puig is on a new team (and already suspended for fighting) but has yet to hit a home run. Mitch Moreland leads the group with 5 homers but got 0 selections. The 2nd best in Group D is a veteran: Adam Jones. He got signed about 3 weeks before the season started. Now he is raking for the D-Backs with 4 homers in 48 ABs. Of the 35 choices, 14 had 0 selections. Not surprising due to most of them being injured or unsigned. I just never know in January who will be signed, on a starting lineup, or on the injured list. So some groups end up with fewer ‘available’ choices once the season begins.

Group D
Player Selected
Alex Bregman 27
Matt Carpenter 19
Yasiel Puig 13
Marcell Ozuna 7
CJ Cron/Paul Dejong 5
Miguel Cabrera/Adam Jones 4
Matt Adams/Ryan Braun/Robinson Cano/
Carlos Correa/Rougned Odor/Carlos Santana
3
Matt Davidson/Gleyber Torres 2
Rafael Devers/Maikel Franco/
Ryon Healy/Albert Pujols/Ryan Zimmerman
1

Group E
My favorite group! I love group E. A player will come out of nowhere and outperform everyone but maybe a Group A player. One year it was Jose Bautista. Another year it was Trevor Story. Last year it was Christian Yelich and Matt Carpenter at 36HR (Aguilar had 35HR in Group E last year). So who will it be in 2019?! It’s rarely ever a write-in. Which isn’t good news for 17 teams that chose to go off the available list. This year there were more ‘common’ write-ins than in years past. What I mean is that multiple write-ins had 4 managers write them in: David Dahl, Franmil Reyes, and Eloy Jimenez. One very interesting write-in was Luke Voit from the Yankees. He already has 4 homers which is 2nd most only behind Trey Mancini who has 6 (yes, 2 managers chose Mancini!). Only one player had double digit selections. Eddie Rosario who was a breakout player in 2018 got 12 selections. Even more remarkable is that there were only 11 out of 46 players who received 0 selections. That’s fewer than Group D with even more players to choose from. I can’t wait until Group E is won by someone not currently on the list, because it usually ends up that way.

Group E
Player Selected
Eddie Rosario 12
Miguel Andujar/Matt Chapman 9
Daniel Murphy 7
Andrew McCutchen 6
Yasmani Grandal 5
Teoscar Hernandez/Stephen Piscotty/
David Dahl/Franmil Reyes/Eloy Jimenez
4
Nick Castellanos/Enrique Hernandez/Evan Longoria/
David Peralta/Anthony Rendon/Justin Turner
3
Willson Contreras/Aaron Hicks/
Trey Mancini/Scott Schebler/Corey Seager
2
Josh Bell/Asdrubal Cabrera/Eduardo Escobar/
Scooter Gennett/Alex Gordon/Mitch Haniger/
Nomar Mazara/Troy Tulowitzki/Max Kepler/
Luke Voit/Ryan McMahon/DJ LeMahieu
1

So, there you have it. The 2019 selection statistics. There were 0 duplicate team selections this year which isn’t unusual, but I do find it surprising with how many ‘common’ choices were chosen in 4 of the groups. I thought there would be at least 1 duplicate team.

Finally, just keep an eye on the Injured List at the bottom of the standings. If your player hits 21 consecutive days without a plate appearance, just send me an email if you would like to use your 1-time trade for the 2019 season. I try to remind teams, but I don’t always get out in front of the trade availability date.

Good Luck!

Will Smith Fan Mail

There has to be a couple hundred people in the US named Will Smith. But two of them may be attempting a Hollywood Bro-mance.

One is the Brewer’s relief pitcher Will Smith. And he reached out to the most famous Will Smith looking for a new friend.

Straight from Will Smith’s mailbag:

Dear Will Smith,

It’s me, Will Smith! But you can call me Will. How are you? I am well. Did you get my first three letters? I think the post office might be losing the because I have not heard back. I know you’re busy making movies, but I would really like to meet you. I’m a big fan, and not just because we have the same name. Did you know … we have the same name? How are Jaden and Willow? Kids grow up so fast, don’t they? When we meet in person, I think we’ll have a lot to talk about; we might even become best friends.

Besides having the same name, here are some other things we have in common:

• We’re both tall, although I’m taller.

• We both like to get jiggy with it.

• We both look great in black suits.

• We both like Tommy Lee Jones, although now that I think about it, everyone loves Tommy Lee Jones.

• You were in “Wild, Wild West.” I own a cowboy hat.

• We both have short, dorky sidekicks. You have Carlton, I have Tyler Thornburg.

These are just a few of the many things we have in common. Maybe after you get done filming “Bad Boys 3,” you can come to one of my baseball games. I promise, if you come to the game, I will strike out so many batters for you. Please come to Milwaukee whenever you want; Ed Sedar even said he’ll pay for your trip. I can’t wait to meet you and become BFFs.

Sincerely,

The “Other” Will Smith

P.S.: Is it cool if I tell people we hang out all of the time? If not, I’ll stop.

P.P.S.: I have a giant poster of you from “Independence Day” hanging in my locker. And I don’t care if Jim Henderson makes fun of me; I’m not taking it down.

I know if I was Will Smith (the ‘Fresh’ one) that I would definitely reach out to the Brewers pitcher with at least a tweet (#WillMeetsWill). And if I was Will Smith (the not so ‘Fresh’ one), I would get Thornburg, recreate a scene from ‘Fresh Prince’, tape it, and send it to Will Smith (the ‘Fresh’ one) to try and convince him to take a selfie with me.

Regardless the outcome, this is plain awesomeness.

Cheers or Jeers for Cheaters?

So after a disappointing home opening series, the Brewers have take the NL Central by storm the last two series and that makes me HAPPY!

What upsets me is all this talk about ‘sending the wrong message for cheering for cheaters‘. What are Brewer fans suppose to do, boo every Ryan Braun appearance for the next 7 years? Sit in silence for more than 3000 at-bats?

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want opposing fans to cheer for him. I wouldn’t expect them to. In fact, I hope they keep booing him because he seems to be feeding off of them. I know if A-Rod came to visit a stadium near me, I would probably let the adult beverages in me speak up and let A-Roid know what my subconscious feels.

I think a lot of the media and other baseball fans may be misinterpreting the standing ovation Braun received at the home opener. It was chilling to watch and hear the acceptance back to Milwaukee, but it wasn’t cheering for him being a cheater. It wasn’t Milwaukee saying ‘We forgive you for lying to us.’ The way I interpret the standing ovation and high-fives is ‘Welcome back, we support Braun for going clean and accepting responsibility for his actions’. That’s it.

What, like ESPN’s Jim Caple has never done anything wrong to gain himself in his line of practice?! Wouldn’t he expect his fans to support him or at least continue to read his BS articles.

Enough venting from me. I support and root for Braun’s contributions to the game going forward because I am a Brewers fan. Now time to go chat with every Philly fan about their outrageous accusations on Wednesday.

A Baseball Revolution… That Is A Dance Dance Baseball Revolution

Have you ever heard your favorite song and just had to stop everything you were doing to jam out and bust a move?

Well, the song that is taking Al Gore’s internet by storm is ‘The Harlem Shake’. It all started with an Army Style video published on February 10th, 2013. And then it went viral and has struck a variety of people… offices, warehouses, fire stations, news rooms. And now it has infiltrated the baseball community.

This isn’t a huge surprise seeing as baseball teams have always provided entertainment in the past for fans sticking through rain delays. But now they are actually taking the time to record and edit their videos. Which allows them be absolutely ridiculous.

Here are some of the few currently trending on the web:

Saint Leo Baseball
Nothing beats a surfer getting cup checked.


SLU Baseball
I didn’t think the luggage in the overhead bins meet the carry-on size limits.


Arizona Diamondbacks
Why do the Dbacks have a canoe paddle at spring training?

STill bElieve bRaun’s pOwer Is createD Synthetically

Here’s two stat lines through the first 62 games of the MLB season.

This player won an MVP award:

228AB 45Runs 71Hits 13Doubles 13HR 45RBI 33Walks 14SB 0.311Avg 0.402OBP 0.566SLG 0.968OPS

This player has only played 62 games this 2012 season:

230AB 42Runs 75Hits 11Doubles 19HR 47RBI 25Walks 11SB 0.322Avg 0.399OBP 0.635SLG 1.034OPS

If the first set of numbers was the pace for the 2011 NL MVP, couldn’t one argue that the second set of numbers is an equivalent (if not better) pace and should warrant MVP considerations in 2012? The second set of numbers are good enough for first in HR, third in OPS, fourth in RBI, and eigth in batting average in the NL.

The only difference between those two sets of numbers? The first set of numbers belong to a ‘clean’ Ryan Braun (numbers were posted before his positive steroids test) and the second set of numbers belong to a ‘tainted’ Ryan Braun. Yes, both of those numbers belong to the Risky Business player to the right (Photo credit to John Axford’s Twitter Feed).

ESPN’s Buster Olney pulled the trigger first on a more controversial Braun topic today (if you are an ESPN insider, make sure you click that link). And ESPN The Magazine printed a great article in it’s recent publication on June 25 on how has the steroid era has evolved based on Braun’s ruling.

If Braun continues his 2012 pace, his stat line would be look something like this:

565AB 103Runs 182Hits 47HR 115RBI 61Walks 27SB 0.322Avg 0.399OBP 0.635SLG 1.034OPS

Those numbers warrant at minimum a top-5 placing in NL MVP voting (if not top 1 or 2). As Buster Olney’s article states, the BBWAA (Baseball Writers Association of America) could have a major dilemma this season. The BBWAA handles voting for season end awards and nominating players for the Baseball Hall of Fame. Typically, the BBWAA has ‘banned’ (not directly banned, but just don’t vote for) players who have admitted, been convicted, or are suspected of using PED’s. If Braun continues to perform, will they vote for him in the MVP race? Will he then be snubbed entrance to the HOF? Seriously, if you are an ESPN insider, check out Buster’s great article on this topic.

This post is meant to get all baseball fans to think. And I specifically say ‘baseball fans’ because haters will always be hatin’ regardless if Braun puts up a clean 70HR and 150RBI season. What I want fans to think about is What will it take for Braun to untarnish his baseball name?

  • Does he have to hit 40HR?
  • Does he have to have more than 100RBI for the rest of his career?
  • Does he have to volunteer for monthly tests?
  • Does he have to publicly admit he found a loophole?

Personally, I believe he has already proved his innocence. But again, I’m the easy fan to persuade. I’m a die hard Brewers fan. But facts are facts, Braun has produced the same if not better numbers in 2012 than he did at this point in 2011. And that season he won the NL MVP and had a LARGE bat protecting him. In 2012, he doesn’t have Fielder behind him in the lineup and Braun continues to produce MVP type numbers.

Braun could be guilty. I wasn’t there when he peed into a cup. Braun’s test did highlight a gap in the collection process and has allowed others to have their suspensions dismissed (see Eliezer Alfonzo’s appeal of a 100-game suspension in May). And since those results, the MLB quietly dismissed the arbitrator who had the defining vote in each suspension case, Shyam Das.

So what do the Kings of Cork council believe? What does Braun have to do to clean his name? Or will it always be tarnished? Feel free to post your feelings towards Braun’s 2012 production below.

UPDATE: Here is a link to the June ESPN The Magazine article mentioned above:

A Hawk Named Randy

I think I finally have the answer to the age old question: If you were reincarnated what would you like to return as?

My answer: The Cooper’s Hawk trapped inside Milwaukee Brewers’ Miller Park.

This Hawk had the best seats in the house during the Brewers win over the Astros on Sunday April 24th. He hung out in the outfield grass for almost an entire inning. Perched himself high in the rafters for a bird’s eye view of Rickie’s home run. And he terrorized fans for some Usinger sausages and even attempted to train Nyjer Morgan to slide. He even managed to open a twitter account in between innings and is quickly learning the language of tweeting.

But the hawk’s most important trait is his name. I believe he tried to tell the world that his name is Randy. No not like creepy Uncle Randy, but more like Randy Johnson. In the middle of an inning, Randy (the hawk) swooped out from the sky to do his best Randy Johnson impersonation and made pigeon feathers fly above second base. On a scale of 0 to 10 on Randy Johnson resemblance, I give it an 8. But I’ll let you be the judge. Check out the freeze frame of the hawk Randy (or watch the video footage of the hawk’s terror here) followed by the real Big Unit’s feat in a 2001 spring training game.

A close runner-up in naming the hawk was Dion after Dion James of the Braves who hit a dove with a fly ball to left field which should have been an out but was awarded a double. A distant third was Dave after Dave Winfield who struck a seagull with a warm-up throw, but his bird was not in flight like the other two men. Winfield was arrested for this incident and as of right now Randy the Hawk is still at large.

Brian Wilson – Making James Lipton Interviews Interesting

Baseball is officially over. No more Corked Bats talk, no more Griffey, and no more Nationals Machine… for more than a year. Catcher and Pitchers report in 102 days, but there may be talks about a different Machine before then.

Meet the San Francisco’s (new World Series Champions) Closer, Brian Wilson. This guy knows how to give interviews and keep everyone on their toes. Check out the video below which is a best of show of Brian Wilson. He references “The Machine” several times (referring to the mask over there to the right).

What is “The Machine”? No one knows except “The Machine” and Brian Wilson. Some believe that Brian Wilson is into some crazy bondage, others suspect that it is the main killer in the Nicolas Cage movie “8mm”. The killer calls himself “The Machine” and I will spare the details but he isn’t too friendly with the ladies. (Check out this review of 8mm.) Whatever it is, he better be getting cash from Nicolas Cage for mentioning “The Machine”. The way this is exploding in the media, 8mm may be at the top of the box office this weekend.

Seriously, this is THE ONLY professional athlete that should be allowed to be interviewed. All the others say the same boring stuff about how this was their day and they owe it to the rest of their team and they just needed to fight hard through thick and thin… Give me a break, most of them come off like they have an IQ of 5. In fact, Brian Wilson should host SNL. I would tune into over-the-air television for that. If he was even on Leno, I would most likely tune into that programming. If Conan doesn’t have a first guest, he better be calling “The Machine”.

In the clip you heard him mention being fined $1000 for having “too much awesomeness on his feet” aka having bright orange shoes that don’t meet the MLB dress code. What he doesn’t tell you is that he used a sharpie, colored 50% of them in, and wore them out on the mound for the next game. Someone asked him how much he knew to color in and he quotes “I’ve got pretty good eyes. I think I can eyeball 50 percent.” This guy gives me hope that more athletes drop the dumb jock interviews and pick up on the humor… even if they truly are dumb jocks.

As a parting gift, I give you one more Brian Wilson clip.

Hey Son, Keep Your Eye On The Ball

“Here it comes buddy”Swing and a Miss
-Swing and a miss-
“Son, just keep your eye on the ball.”
-Swing and a miss-
“Sh$#, here’s the ball just watch it, swing the bat, and make contact”
-Swing and a miss-
“Well there goes my easy retirement. Honey, our kid can’t hit the broad side of a barn with that thing. Go invest his tee ball fees on lottery tickets.”

We have all had this moment in our father/son (or father/daughter) relationship if your father was a baseball fan. Well maybe not exactly like this, but we have all heard “Keep your eye on the ball”.

Well ESPN teamed with the Sport Science guys and tested if you can truly keep your eye on the ball when you swing at a typical major league fastball (not a Strasburg 100mph fastball).

You can watch the entire clip below by following the “Rest of the story” link.

What blew my mind was how quick a batter has to react to the pitch (0.44 Seconds); and that by the time the batter has even picked up the ball, he only has 0.34 seconds to react and the ball has already moved 12 feet or 20% of the total distance.

For the Rest of the Story: Follow the Jump…

“Rojo” Johnson Makes His Minor League Debut vs the AAA Brewers

Billy Ray “Rojo” Johnson, a Texas native raised in Venezuela, has made a name for himself already. Recently having his prison sentence commuted, he has learned his lesson of smuggling illegal reptiles into the US. Now, he has righted his ship and has been given a second chance (here is a video of his early career) from a baseball organization that also needs a second chance… The Houston Astros. He got his first look at the major league level (well, AAA level) on Thursday May 6th vs the Brewers AAA Affiliate, The Nashville Sounds (what an awful team name… Fear Us!! For we are the Sounds!!).

So how did he perform? You be the judge of it:

That’s right. One pitch to the tune of High Chin Music and he’s outta here…
For The Rest Of The Story: Follow The Jump…

Pat Listach Is Not A Lady GaGa Fan

Tonight was a big night in baseball. Ubaldo Jimenez pitched the first no hitter in Rockies history. The Mets and Cards went to the 20th inning before a team waved the white flag and gave the win away. But screw all that sports stuff you can find on ESPN Sportscenter, I try to bring you great baseball stories that you can’t find anywhere else.

I would say that most of you know I’m a die hard Brewers fan. I live or die with each Brewers game (more dieing than living). Most boys growing up start with great sports figures posted on their walls and eventually trade those in for Marilyn Monroe or Cindy Crawford posters. Instead, I kept my Brewers posters plasted on my wall proud to be part of a team that couldn’t break 0.500. And one of those posters was of Pat Listach, the Brewers shortstop of the early nineties winning rookie fo the year in 1992. He was one that I idolized (until he became a Yankee).

I found this video clip of what Pat Listach is currently doing, and first I cried a little for Listach after seeing he was now in the Nationals affiliation that has been giving the Brewers major fits this year. Then I died a little inside when I saw he wasn’t a Lady GaGa fan (come on, everyone is a GaGa fan. Even Cartman from SouthPark sings “Poker Face”). Seeing him shun the Phillies Phanatic is like driving a stake through my heart. I’m not sure what was worse, this or finding out that the Cookie Monster isn’t real. However, the dager to this video is seeing how many people pull out their iPhones to video tape this act… I’m not part of the iPhone cult and really want to be.