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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.

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No News, Old News, And New News

Wow… A MONTH! A month without any news from the greatest commissioner.

I know you were worried based on all the concerned emails, comments, and tweets I received. No need to fret. Yours truly is A-OK. But now that football is returning and having already completed 2 fantasy drafts with 2 to go (yep, sold my soul to the football devil), I have reunited with my one-true-love… Baseball (after my wife of course).

I didn’t ever turn my shoulder on baseball these year. I only gave the cold shoulder to blogging about it. So let’s recap what has been on my mind and not shared with you, the Sultans of Swat. The Free Swinger Groupies. The Juggernaut Jury. The Royal Family of Cork. The Blog’s Fans.

Here comes a long winded rant:

    Umps are profiling all TB pitchers (AP)

  • Did a pitcher really get thrown out for too much pine tar? I can’t remember the last time pine tar was even relevant since the great pine tar incident of 1983 (That event was very interesting, I highly recommend all baseball fans read how it ends). What is funny with Peralta is that he got called out, was found guilty, booted from the game, and then Joe Maddon was allowed to investigate one opposing team’s pitcher. The National’s pitcher was clean and then Fernando Rodney came in to save the game for TB but made sure to walk to the mound with his hands up and glove between his legs… hilarious.
  • I’ve started my application process to trademark “This is a Clown Competition, Bro.” If Bryce wasn’t already in line to make millions, he will now be taking his smart ass mouth all the way to the bank. Really? A 19-year old phenom who hasn’t figured out how to keep his swagger alive since the All-Star break is going to trademark a phrase he gave to a Canadian reporter. I’ll keep you all posted on when the “This is a Clown Competition, Bro” shirts will hit the KoC merchandise store.
  • As if Jim Thome hasn’t made enough cash in his career, he got a $5K bonus check from teammate Papelbon for getting Papelbon off the hook for a blown save. I’m still waiting for my $5K check from my co-workers for getting them out of a tight deadline. You still think athletes aren’t overpaid?
  • Mike Trout deserves to win Rookie of the Year and MVP at the age of 21. He is a stud… enough said.
  • Umps do not have the easiest jobs in the world. On any close play, he upsets hundreds of people (players, coaches, fans) regardless of which way the call goes. But it seems umps are missing the easy calls this season. Really, Really, Really easy calls. First, the Helton play where Helton missed first base by more than 3 feet. Then, Carlos Santana (the catcher, not the singer) gets called safe when he was obviously walking into second base. But then came the worst when Dewayne Wise came from the stands with NO BALL IN HIS GLOVE. But some how he still got the catch, and more importantly, the third out. These all bring to mind the popular Little League chant “I’m Blind, I’m Deaf, I want to be a Ref”.
  • Seattle’s Safeco field is a great place to watch a baseball game. The stadium is new. The fans and people of Seattle are friendly. The garlic fries are AMAZING. I had the opportunity to enjoy this great stadium and great city this season (and almost had a chance for Big Papi’s 400th career HR which fell just short of my front row seats in RF). I highly, highly recommend a trip to the city of Seattle and if you happen to be in town while the Mariners, Seahawks, or Sounds are playing, I recommend catching a game in the city’s great sports complex. I had only two disappointments in Seattle: there fan support for the Mariners is lacking (especially on a night I saw King Felix pitch). And the stadium could have been built with an amazing view (the architects must have had a hangover when they put the walls up to hide the mountains).
  • Whatever happened to good cartoons? No wonder why most of our kids are brain washed. They don’t get to enjoy great cartoons like Tiny Toons, Garfield and Friends, Scooby Doo, Anamaniacs, Sonic, Transformers, Duck Tales, Darkwing Duck, Felix the Cat, Inspector Gadget, and the list goes on. Are there even cartoons on after school or on Sunday morning anymore? Instead kids are stuck watching crap like Judge Judy, Rachel Ray, Jerry Springer, or Maury.
  • Did Atlanta really sign Ben Sheets the man with the glass arm? Sheets has only pitched over 160 innings in a single season 4 times in his 10 year career (being a Brewer fan, that seems like a lot) and is trying to come back from his second tommy john in 4 years. His last comeback failed in Oakland but Sheets looked amazing in his first 5 starts for Atlanta (giving up only 5 earned runs). Then, someone threw a rock at his glass arm and we now see the Sheets we all know… the one sitting on the DL.
  • I’m in the middle of a major home renovation project and I’m still looking for my retirement fund in the walls. Seriously, where do these people keep finding this hidden gems. $3 Million in pristine baseball cards… ok, they may have exaggerated a bit in the first story.
  • Do you know how bad ass Brian Wilson is? He is dating a Sasquatch.
  • Baseball is known as the child’s game that adults get paid to play. Well, some of the players are still kids at heart and that makes them some of the most loved in baseball. Adam LaRoche (star of Outdoor Channel’s Buck Commander) is one of those players and his Ozzie Guillen/Bryce Harper combo prank was priceless this season. Nothing like making an unsuspecting Rookie look like he’s rubbing a seasoned manager’s face in Pine Tar.
  • What’s with teams giving the worst birthday gift to their players? “Can I see you in my office? Ya, we decided to go a different route. You are going to be cut. Oh, Happy Birthday.” This not only happened to the ex-pitcher, now power hitting OF, Rick Ankiel but also to Brewers’ flame-throwing Randy Wolf (flame-thrower might be a bit of a stretch… Wolf threw a curve ball 49 MPH).
  • Let’s talk about some rare home run feats because this is a home run blog after all. How often does a pitcher hit a home run? Maybe 10 a year. Maybe. How often do starting pitchers hit homers in the same game? Once every 10 years. How often do opposing starting pitchers hit homers in the same inning? Once every 20 years. That’s just what happened when Hamels and Cain both connected on pitches in the same inning. Kind of cool to help yourself out in the game. Not so cool when you give it right back to what is suppose to be the easiest out in the NL lineup. Even more rare… how bout brothers hitting not just their 99th but also their 100th career home runs on the same night. SAME NIGHT! That’s just what the Upton brothers did. But at least they hit home runs, unlike Carlos Gomez who trotted all the way around the bases only to find out he hit a long foul ball. Then, proceeded to strike out.
  • Still think Bonds didn’t have some help with steroids? Of course not. But do you want more proof that he should have an asterix next to those 762 home runs? I give you “The Clear” evidence to the right…
  • Social Media is getting a little too creepy. No one wants to know what your doctor said about your endoscopy. No one wants to know about your bowels. Social media was only created for stalkers (don’t deny it, we all are guilty of the stalking). This couple took social media creepy and odd to a whole new level. Kind of cool to see strangers come together for the love of a team. But a little creepy that it was documented on social media. I can’t decide which adjective should be used to describe the outing. What’s your thoughts?
  • Speaking of social media, what the heck is Shell thinking by letting the public make advertising for the company. Some of those are funny but just plain wrong (like, “Birds are like sponges… for oil”). Another random thought about social media, why does everyone want to hack into celebrities’ accounts and posting crap. At least this hacker had something funny to say (odds are he wasn’t a Yankees fan).
  • This season it seems something has crawled up every umpires’ you-know-what hole. Every little thing seems to trigger their ejection finger these days. But this umpire must have had something wedged up there extra far. Who ejects the sound guy? The home team should have been given an extra run for the sound guy’s creativity, but instead they lost their PA. Again, the saying goes “I’m BLIND, I’m deaf, I wanna be a ref”.
  • The sound guys haven’t been the only ones getting creative. There have been a few fans that have taken creativity to a whole new level. Take this fan for example who rode into McCovey Cove to catch a few Giant home run swings. A Delorean is cool enough, but a Delorean Hovercraft is insanely awesome. Who knew it only took a flux capacitor to get on television these days. Or how about the Lucha Libre at the Orioles game. The fact that he was made even creepier by making it on TV over Getz left shoulder is awesome. And if you are one of those fans who wants to propose at a baseball game just make sure your bride to be isn’t away getting you a beer. There will be plenty of time for that after she says ‘yes’.
  • Hail to the King! King Felix pitched the 3rd perfect game of 2012 and the 23rd in MLB history and the 1st for the Mariners organization. What’s even more impressive is that that 1-0 win was King Felix’s 3rd 1-0 win in the month of August… three! It’s going to be hard to not vote for him as the Cy Young this season (unless Verlander continues to lead the Tigers to a pennant). But what’s even more impressive than Hernandez’s perfect game is that a 9-month-old boy has now witnessed TWO perfect games in his life. Most fans just hope to watch one on TV from first pitch to last let alone hoping to see one live. And it’s not like this kids parents have taken him to every Mariner game this season, he’s only been to TWO games ever. Yep, two games, both perfect. Better wrap that kid up and ship him of to Boston. The Red Sox are going to need all of this kid’s luck and more if they want to see a post-season in 2012.
  • Someone finally caught the ‘Milk Man’ cheating with their loved one… baseball. Melky Cabrera admitted to a positive Performance Enhancing Drug test which will result in him sitting out the final 50-regular season games for the Giants (guess that’s better than testing positive for Meth which doesn’t enhance your game like these 3 Rays minor leaguers). But he will get to play again in October (assuming the Giants can hang on to a playoff spot). What’s even more ridiculous than allowing Melky to help his team in the postseason? He can win the batting title WITHOUT having to bat in another regular season game. You thought Jose Reyes benching himself in the final game was a cheap way to win a title, how about admitting to cheating, serving a suspension, and still winning it. Let’s hope Andrew McCutchen can dethrone the Milk Man before October rolls around.
  • Speed Round: Literally, Speed. Billy Hamilton is a name you need to get to know. He has a legitimate shot at breaking Ricky Henderson’s MLB record of 130 in a season, if Hamilton ever reaches the big leagues. What has he already accomplished? He broke the minor league record of 145 set by Vince Coleman in 1983. He currently sits at 155 SB in 192 attempts… 192 attempts!!! Even more impressive is that he needed 3 to break the record and he stole 3 bases in the first 3 innings. This kid is quick. Hopefully his day comes in the majors because I can’t wait to see a 100 SB season.
  • What is Roger Clemens trying to prove? Either that or it’s a gimmick for the Sugar Land Skeeter’s to make some last minute bucks on the soon to be ending 2012 minor league season. He should probably stick to his over-50 softball league.
  • After getting sold, the LA Dodgers are All-In for the 2012 season. They were the most active team during the trade deadline. Picking up Victorino, Beckett, A-Gon, Punto, Carl Crawford and most of the remaining money on their contracts (great news for the Red Sox who may now be looking at a HUGE off-season acquisition). The Dodgers aren’t even leading the NL Worst West or own either of the NL Wild Cards. But with these acquisitions, the Dodgers should own the NL West title by October (I mean it’s inevitable when A-Gon homers in his first at-bat as a Dodger). The Dodgers will also own a for-sale sign in 2014 when all of these outrageous contracts start hitting their back end loading.
  • Don’t you wish that all of your employers and competitors honored you with gifts when you retired? That’s exactly what Chipper Jones is seeing as he makes his baseball farewell tour this season I would have to say that Yahoo’s #2 ranked gift is the coolest. You all know I’m not a Cubs fan, but anything that’s associated to Wrigley Field is an amazing peace of history and baseball memorabilia.

Remember, football is beginning but that doesn’t mean baseball is over. There is still a solid month of regular season ball left (and Home Run Derby) and an entire month of playoffs (that my BrewCrew is trying to make a push for by going 11-3 over their past 14 games).

This Is The Year… What, It Could Happen

I asked “Who will win the AL pennant?”
Siri responded “The Kansas City Royals.”

People use Siri to answer all types of questions or problems.


This year, I’m using Siri to draft my fantasy baseball teams and pick my Home Run Derby team (I told her to pick a different player in Group E when she answered Nyjer Morgan). I’ll probably even let her fill out my March Madness Bracket since you can’t trust the expert picks anymore because, once again, the majority of the analysts have picked all number 1 seeds in the Final Four. How original. Well, when the basketball madness ends the true madness begins. Regular Season Baseball. And I won’t stand for obvious expectations (Yankees winning the East, Pujols hitting 40 homers, etc). So below is the Kings of Cork’s bold prediction list (warning: Some of these are outrageous).

  • A 100 steal season – No player has stolen 100 bases since Vince Coleman in 1987. But this is the year. Michael Bourn has the best shot, but Jose Reyes is a dark horse knowing Ozzie Guillen loves to run.
  • Jose Bautista doesn’t win the HR title for a 3rd straight season – Instead Giancarolo (Mike) Stanton will lead the Majors in long balls with 50. He will become the youngest home run champion since Juan Gonzalez in 1992 and he will become the youngest player to hit 50 HR in a single season.
  • Yu Darvish wins the AL CY Young – Going way out on a limb here but I do believe Yu is exceptional before the All-star break. A new pitcher with very little video footage spells disaster for opposing hitters. Yu will most likely tire and slump the second half. But if he doesn’t, it will take hitters a full season to figure out how to hit him.
  • Braun hits 0.400+ and puts hit critics to bed – No player has hit over 0.375 since Tony Gwynn and the 1994 strike (I think he would have made it to 0.400 if the season wasn’t shortened). What better way to prove his innocence than putting his name in the record books next to Ted Williams. Braun will need to change something soon in Spring Training because he is currently batting 0.111 with 1 hit. At least it doesn’t look too suspicious that his only hit is a home run.
  • Matt Moore K’s 300 – Randy Johnson was the last pitcher who struck out a dove 300+ hitters in 2002. Moore had 201 K’s in 155 innings pitched last season and rumors are he won’t be on an innings pitched limit this season. I can’t wait to see him pitch 200+ innings.
  • The Kansas City Royals win the AL Central – While the rest of the AL teams have been over paying for players past their prime, the Royals have been building a young army. With Hosmer, Butler, Moustakas, Escobar, Gordon, Cain, and Hochevar already tasting the Bigs with most of them under 26 years of age, its only a matter of time before Montgomery and Perez get their calls and makes this team elite. So the Royals may not win the Central over the defending Tigers, but the Royals will be 1 of the 2 AL Wild Cards in 2012.
  • The Yankees and the Red Sox miss the playoffs – With the Royals taking one of the Wild Cards, odds are the other Wild Card will come out of the AL East. But it won’t be the men in pin stripes for only the second time in the last 17 years. Even with their $200 Million payroll. That leaves the Red Sox winning the East right? Wrong. The AL Easy belongs to the Rays once again and the wild card goes to… the Jose Bautistas Blue Jays. No Yankees or Red Sox, the only problem with that is the post season will have the lowest TV ratings ever.

There are some of our unlikely but bold predictions. What do you think about them or which ones did we miss. Let us know in the comments section below.

Kings of Cork 2011 All-Stars

Something to entertain you while you allegedly choke down 69 hot dogs on the Nation’s Birthday.

It’s the 2nd week of July which can only mean one thing… there’s no football, there’s no basketball, there’s no hockey, and there’s no more tennis. The last sport standing is baseball. The bad news.. the season is half over and coming soon to a city near you is a fantasy football agreement.

But, in a few days, you will be able to admire the 2011 season MLB greats. Voted on by us fans, we get to watch the league’s best duke it out for Bud Selig’s Love home field advantage in the World Series. Seriously, what ever happened to letting games end in a tie. As kids we are taught to have good sportsmanship, but all Bud taught me was that every game has to mean something ever since “the incident” from the 2002 All-Star game in Milwaukee.

With the All-Star game fast approaching, we also get to admire this season’s big boppers with a mild twist from season’s past. This year for the Home Run Derby, the MLB selected team captains to pick 3 other players each to compete in the competition (mainly because the league couldn’t convince any player to participate).

I’ll cover the Home Run Derby topic later this weekend, what this article is about is this season’s Home Run Derby All-Stars. If you only wanted to select the top hitters in the league, what would the lineup look like of the ultimate slugfest team. Forget defense, forget pitching, this is strictly about hitting the ball as far as you can every time you grab a hold of the bat.

Before I announce this season’s All-Star All-Power team, I have a little pop quiz for you. Below is a photograph of 10 positions (the batter counts as the DH). Each position has a player in the 120+ baseball history that has hit more single season home runs than any other player at that position (Centerfield had a tie but it was broke by the player who had fewer plate appearances in the season that they hit the record). To be eligible for the position, the player had to play at least 50% of his career games at that position. How many can you name? You can find the answers by simply clicking on each player’s position from the classic NES RBI Baseball game screenshot. Edit: Removed jpeg due to issues.

Back to this season. Below is your starting lineup for the MLB team that has the most power in 2011 (as of July 8th):

  • Zach Duke – Pitcher – The former Duke of Second Place!!! Pittsburgh, now of Arizona, can hardly brag. He has limited power but as a pitcher he does have this season’s current home run lead with 2. Yep, that’s correct, the league leader in home runs for a pitcher is two. What do you expect, he’s paid to pitch, not to hit. His home run total for his 6 year MLB career… also, two.
  • Brian McCann – Catcher – The backstop for the Duke is the Braves’ starting All-Star catcher. He has hit 14 homers so far which is tops for the catcher’s spot. He’s hit 8 of those round trippers in June so he may just be starting to heat up.
  • Mark Teixeira – 1B – Big Tex isn’t even going to play on July 12th. His name was left of the All-star team but his 25 home runs so far this season leads the power heavy position at firstbase. It’s no surprise that the Yankee’s have at least one name on this list, but it’s definitely not the only one.
  • Danny Espinosa – 2B – Also snubbed a spot on July 12th’s lineup, Espinosa has hit 16 dingers so far this season. Odds are if you own him in any fantasy leagues, you did not have this guy on your team after the draft. He is tied with the starter for the National League (Rickie Weeks) but Espinosa has a significantly lower amount of plate appearances this season.
  • Mark Reynolds – 3B – No surprise here. Mark Reynolds is a beast of a player and he’s paid per home run, not per strikeout (he holds the single season record of most strikeouts in a season). He also didn’t find a spot on the All-star roster but his 0.230 batting average may have something to do with it. Still, he has hit 20 home runs this season which is the most at the hot corner.
  • Troy Tulowitzki – SS – At least Tulo is a reserve this year. He’s also about to get rolling since he seems to be a second half performer. Who can forget last season’s ridiculous 15 home runs in September. He currently has 17 home runs this season and hasn’t hit more than 4 in a month besides April. It’s only a matter of time before the ball starts finding the bleachers for Tulo.
  • Jose Bautista – OF – Where did this guy come from? He hit a league leading 54 home runs last season and is currently leading the league again with 29 long balls. Fans are taking notice of this guy since he just received a record 7.4 million votes for the most votes all-time by a player. He previously had 59 career home runs and in his past two seasons he has eclipsed that mark. And has only failed to lead the league in home runs for 48 days of the past 230 regular season days (dating back to May 23, 2010).
  • Curtis Granderson – OF – I told you there would be another Yankee. Granderson is on pace to destroy his career best home runs in a single season (which is 30 in his last season as a Tiger). He currently has 25 home runs and recently has been a popular replacement for Justin Morneau in the Kings of Cork Home Run Derby. He also found a roster spot on the 2011 All-Star game (no surprise either as the Yankees win most popularity contests).
  • Lance Berkman – OF – Welcome back to relevance Big Puma. You may have been snubbed by the Yankees, but you have been reborn in the arches of St Louis. He will get to strut his stuff in the All-Star game on Tuesday and rightfully should. He has 23 home runs so far this season after posting only 14 last year. He’s threatening his career record of 45 which he hit in 2006. As long as it isn’t against the BrewCrew, I’m rooting for Fat Elvis.
  • David Ortiz – DH – The captain of the 2011 AL Home Run Derby team seems to have picked a brilliant team. All four of his team members hit home runs on July 7th, including him. He now leads the DH roll with 18 moonshots. Big Pappi is the man and I’m glad to see him swinging the big stick again after almost being left to die with 1 home run in April and May of 2009. I hope he hits well enough on Monday for a chance to win back to back Home Run Derby Championships.

Remember to tune into the slug fest this Monday, July 11th. I like all the contestants this year but I will secretly be rooting for the BrewCrew members.

Hill, Encarnacion Show Signs Of Life

With the Pujols drought behind us (but a second one just beginning), the other major drought effecting the Northeast has finally ended and 4 Derby teams plus Joey Bats can rejoice (for a night).

Aaron Hill has hit 62 homers over the past two seasons but up until today’s game, he hasn’t showed any signs of his home run power. Granted he was on the DL for 19 days earlier this season, but it still took him 141 at-bats before he launched his first 2011 big fly. His first was one of the best types though. With the bases juiced in the 1st inning, Hill unloaded on a Danks’ 1-1 pitch. I know the 3 Derby teams stuck with Hill can breathe a sigh of relief after Hill failed to reach the 20-day gameless mark to be trade eligible. Maybe this shot will put Hill over the hill and open the flood gates to the projected mid-20 home runs he was supposed to have this season.

Five pitches after Hill’s drought ended, Encarnacion took a Danks’ 2-2 pitch deep to left (Danks hasn’t won a game this season). His first of the season as well. Encarnacion wasn’t even included in the Home Run Derby choices but our first month basement dweller (Pick Me Out A Winner, Bobby) wrote in Edwin’s name based on the fact that he hit 21 homers in 332 at-bats in the 2010 season. It took him 140 at-bats this season to just get off the schnide. I darn near wrote-in Encarnacion’s name as well, but chose otherwise.

Maybe with both Hill and Encarnacion out of the 0 column, Jose Bautista will stop trying to provide all the offense with every swing of his bat… doubtful. Bautista has the major league lead with 20 home runs this season and in his last 162-games (spanning this season and last) he has hit 62 homers. Which would have broke Roger Maris’ single-season home run record (if it were still intact through the steroid era of McGwire, Sosa, and Bonds).

Category: Baseball News, Home Run Derby  Comments off  Tags: ,

Generation HR – Year of the Pitcher is Over


(If you haven’t seen the awful original version of this song, follow the link to Rebecca Black’s Official video)

Generation Z may come after Generation Y, but in baseball, last season was Generation P and this year it seems we may have transitioned into the start of Generation HR.

Twelve teams played on Thursday and the rest of them kicked off there season on Friday, part II of the 2011 MLB Opening Day(s). After only seeing two days of baseball, the Kings of Cork Home Run Derby may be entertaining overload this year as the Majors are on pace to launch 5860 total home runs (only 4612 were hit last season) during the regular season (already 17 home runs in 41 games). I’m a bit late in posting an Opening Day recap but its a celebration weekend (birthday) and we spent a few hours out last night laughing hysterically to a hilarious Josh Blue.

In part I of the 2011 MLB opener, there were SIX games played and there were SIXTEEN long balls. Six of them alone were in the Brewer/Reds season opener which included a Reds 3-run walk-off home run by Ramon Hernandez (#@&^$%!!) and the Brewers led off the day with Back-to-Back dingers by Weeks and Gomez. This was the first time teammates led off a season with Back-to-Backs in 42 years. Other notable home runs on Thursday belonged to Matt Holliday, who hit a solo home run in the 8th to put the Red Birds ahead (only to have Franklin blow the save) then found out he had to have an appendectomy which will sideline him indefinitely, and Jason Heyward, who is now two-for-two on hitting a home run in his first bat of the season and also jacked the first homer of 2011 (which all voters were incorrect on).

It’s Friday, Friday, Gotta get down on Friday. Everybody lookin’ forward to the Weekend…
Part II of Opening Day started with Doc Halladay leaving the game without the lead (only giving up one run), but Philly rallied in the Bottom of the 9th to a Rookie’s walk-off single. Then came the White Sox game. The ChiSox came out doing what they do best… swinging the bat. They opened a 14-0 lead on the Indians only to squandering it and pulling off a 15-10 victory, but not before Adam Dunn became the first player in Group A to hit a home run in 2011. Texas also did what they did best (hitting home runs) and upset Boston’s first game of what is supposed to be ‘The Season’ after their big acquisitions in the off-season. Another power team, the Blue Jays, took to the air with Jose Bautista picking up where he left off. Maybe those 54 homers last year wasn’t a fluke. However, Jose Bats was outdone by one of his own, Rookie JP Arencibia. He jacked 2 long ones to take the official HR lead for 2011 and is on pace for 322 more (no one took him in the HR Derby unfortunately). Two other rookies made a grand entrance on Friday (although for both it was their second game of the year). Brandon Belt of the Giants hit a 3-run home run in their 4-3 loss to the Dodgers and Kila Ka’aihue (phonetically “KEY-lah Kuh-eye-HOO-ah”) added a walk-off solo home run to his short resume. It also gave me excitement that I may have finally picked the right player for the write-in group (but probably not).

After the two-part opening day was finished, the team atop the Home Run Derby standings was the Kettle Poppers who reaped the rewards of Adam Dunn’s only home run in Group A. Don’t fret my home run friends, there are plenty of days left in this marathon (unless you own Holliday, Hart or Sizemore, all of whom are currently on the DL or in the ER.)

Time to go enjoy the Brewers first win of the year with a nice PBR.

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.

Name The MLB Home Run Leader on July 27

Quick name the MLB league leader for home runs on July 27th. If you answered Pujols, Fielder, Reynolds, A-rod, Dunn, Howard, or Hamilton… you are wrong.

Jose Bautista: League HR LeaderThe leader is Jose Bautista… still. This guy just isn’t cooling off. He not only leads the majors but the next closest guy is 5 HR back. And he’s the first player to 30 HR this season. Who does he think he is? A McGwire, Bonds, Sosa Transformer?

Just as remarkable, the Toronto Blue Jays are still the league leading team in total home runs… by 22. If this guy leads the MLB in home runs at the end of the season, I quit trying to project player stats. Jose Bautista was chosen by 0 Home Run Derby teams for good reason. In his six prior MLB seasons, he has hit a total of 59 HRs (he’s on pace for 48 HR alone this season). It’s not like he didn’t get 300+ AB in those previous six seasons. He has had over 300 AB in the past 4 of those 6 seasons.

I’m just really glad he keeps hitting those home runs. The more he hits, the more fantasy baseball fools are going to draft him in the first 3 rounds next season to watch him fall back to his usual form.

[poll id=”3″]

Category: Home Run Derby  Comments off  Tags: , ,

Let’s Get To Know Our HR Leader

Let me here you say it… Jose Bautista. Good. Now say it again… Jose Bautista. It just doesn’t roll off the tongue like Pujols and Howard.

He, my friends, is the current MLB home run leader with 18 long balls through June 5th, which is already a career high for him. And unless you are a Blue Jay fan or Pirate fan, this season may be the first time you have heard of him. Bautista was drafted in the 20th round of the 2000 draft by the Pittsburgh Pirates (in the same draft as Adrian Gonzalez, Chase Utley, and Adam Wainwright). So by no means is he a young rookie you never heard of.

He made his pro debut not with the Pirates but with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays (they were still the unlucky Devil Rays then, before the Devil was evil). He was drafted in the 2003 rule 5 draft by the Orioles, then was picked up of waivers by Tampa Bay in 2004. He got purchased from Tampa by the Royals who then traded him to the Mets for Justin Huber. But the Mets didn’t like him either and sent him packing in a trade the same day (it was a 3-team trade) that involved the Mets giving Bautista, Ty Wigginton, and a minor leaguer to receive Jeff Keppinger and Kris Benson from no other than the team who drafted Bautista, the Pittsburgh Pirates. So he rode the merry-go-round all the way back to Pittsburgh. But they still didn’t like him and traded him to the Jays in 2008 for a player TBD later (that player was Robinzon Diaz). So out of all those names, how many did you know? One: Ty Wigginton… maybe two: if you know Jeff Keppinger. And who gets the last laugh? That might be Jose Bautista if he continues his RBI and HR rates.

So let’s take a look at the numbers to tell where the truth lies. Is he the real deal or is he just getting the best of the pitchers’ mistakes.
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