Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Dis-inviting Clemens

The Texas High School Baseball Coaches Association was supposed to have Roger Clemens as a speaker in January, but that invitation may be rescinded.

Clemens, who pitched with the Astros from 2004-06, was part of the Mitchell Report, where it was alleged that he used performance enhancing drugs. The topic of his speech to the THSBCA was "My vigorous workout, how I played so long (in professional baseball)."


Actually, I hope they let him speak and take questions. He might get a better grilling than from reporters. Clemens never came off as very articulate for me, so he might trip himself if he tries to answer steroid questions.


Thursday, December 13, 2007

The Mitchell Report is Finally Out

Finally the most anticipated report since the "Blacksox" indictment of early 1900's is out. It's extensive, and breaks the players down into three categories with most of the incriminating documentation being canceled checks or money orders made to Kirk Radomski, working as a trainer for the New York Mets, who admitted to distributing performance enhancing substances. Some of the major names that were listed are:

Roger Clemens Andy Pettitte Miguel Tejada

Lenny Dykstra Jason Grimsley Paul Lo Duca

David Segui David Justice Kevin Brown

Larry Bigbie Mo Vaughn Eric Gagné

Tim Laker Todd Williams Matt Herges

Todd Hundley Todd Pratt Mark Carreon

Kevin Young Rondell White

this is just the beginning of the fallout from this 347-page report, we will updating the blog periodically. Among the names listed Roger Clemens is one of the few that is stated in the report as actually being injected with testosterone AND HGH, and he ALSO denied using them, so does he ALSO deserve to be indicted similar to Barry Bonds? If not why? Post your thoughts here, also in the MLB chat room.



Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Basball reviewing the Mitchell Report

Major League Baseball has begun to review a draft of George Mitchell's report on drug use in the sport, one of the final steps before the results of his 20-month investigation are released. We haven't seen this many people nervous for their career since the Larry "Flynt Reports" of the final months of the Clinton administration. Baseball officials have said for several weeks that management would be able to examine the report on performance-enhancing drugs a few days before it is made public to make sure it does not contain any confidential information that if released would violate the collective bargaining agreement between players and owners. If you thought the poo hit the fan last week with the Bonds indictment, wait until you see the fallout from this!! It's going to be an interesting off season.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Yanks Close to Signing Hawkins

Rumors are that the Yankees are close to signing LaTroy Hawkins to a one-year contract believed to be worth approximately $3.75 million.

Hawkins made a lot more sense for an NL team. He was just in the AL East in 2006 and finished with a 4.48 ERA and 27 strikeouts in 60 1/3 innings for Baltimore. Last season, he fanned 29 in 55 1/3 innings for the Rockies. In his career, he has ERAs of 6.45 versus Baltimore, 5.79 versus Boston, 4.53 versus Toronto and 4.43 versus Tampa Bay. His best WHIP against any of the four teams is a 1.47 mark.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Major trade talks between Detroit and Florida...

There are reports that the Tigers are talking to the Marlins about a blockbuster trade that would send Miguel Cabrera and left-hander Dontrelle Willis to Detroit for a package of young players, according to major-league sources.

Outfielder Cameron Maybin and left-hander Andrew Miller likely are among the Marlins' targets. The Tigers already feature two veteran left-handed starters, Kenny Rogers and Nate Robertson, possibly making Miller available in a deal for Willis.

Miguel would certainly make the Tigers much more dangerous for a decade. I'm no longer a big Willis fan, but why not take a chance on him? He's certainly fun to watch.

There are also reports that Detroit is looking at Dan Haren as well.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Percival To Close

The Tampa Bay Rays signed Troy Percival to a two-year, $8 million dollar contract today:
Percival, who seems likely to supplant Al Reyes as the Rays closer, will be introduced to the media at 3 p.m. at Tropicana Field.

He pitched 40 stellar innings for the Cardinals in 2007. Even if his ERA goes up a run with the Rays, it's a good signing. Percival, a favorite of Rays manager Joe Maddon when both were in Anaheim, is also considered a strong clubhouse leader and is expected to have a positive influence on the young pitching staff. He also joins Reyes and Dan Wheeler in giving the Rays three veteran relievers with late-innings experience.

Young starters and old relievers. We'll see how it works.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Possible Santana Trade to Yanks

Yankees senior vice president Hank Steinbrenner said Monday that his team is involved in ongoing discussions with the Twins regarding Johan Santana.

We have to wonder how Brian Cashman feels about his boss talking to the press about anything and everything. At least Steinbrenner didn't completely spell out the Yankees' offer. "I don't want to get into that at this point, as far as what they want, what we're willing to give and all that," he said. "It's preliminary right now."

Santana is eligible for free agency after the 2008 season, and the Twins have been trying to sign the two-time AL Cy Young Award winner to an extension. Asked whether the Twins had said they would consider a trade, Steinbrenner responded: "Oh, yeah."

The New York Mets, Boston Red Sox and Los Angeles Dodgers also are thought to be interested in Santana, who is far better than any of the starting pitchers available on the free-agent market. Santana's agent, Peter Greenberg, has not spoken publicly about his talks with the Twins, who last week lost free-agent center fielder Torii Hunter to the Los Angeles Angels.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Angels finally get lineup help for Vlad...

Vladimir Guerrero finally will have some protection in the batting order.

The Los Angeles Angels, who have been trying to land another strong hitter for several years, agreed to a five-year, $90 million deal Wednesday with free agent Torii Hunter, who hit .297 with 28 homers and drove in 107 runs for Minnesota this year. The deal is subject to Hunter's passing a physical. A seven-time Gold Glove winner, the 32-year-old Hunter will be the everyday center fielder and hit in the middle of the lineup, making it tougher for opposing pitchers to pitch around Guerrero.

He plans to rotate players at DH and use Gary Matthews Jr. to spell Guerrero and Anderson. "Torii is going to be in center field virtually every day. Gary will be in the outfield almost every day, so the other two guys will split up the DH," Scioscia said in a conference call. "We want all four of those bats in the lineup."

With Hunter gone, the low-budget Twins' attention turns to two-time Cy Young Award winner Johan Santana. His contract expires after the 2008 season, and other teams think Minnesota will make him available if he doesn't agree to an extension.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Anderson shows character in the line of fire

In the closest vote in 16 years since 1991 when Terry Pendleton won over Barry Bonds, Jimmy Rollins was named NL MVP over Matt Holiday. Did he deserve to get it or was he the beneficiary of his team’s performance.

Greg Anderson, who spent months in federal prison for refusing to testify against his personal training client and long-time friend, Barry Bonds, was released on Thursday when Bonds was indicted on perjury and obstruction of justice charges. He could face a possible return.

Greg Anderson

Anderson

If Bonds goes to trial on perjury and obstruction of justice charges, Anderson could be called on again to testify -- and face a return to prison if he again refuses to cooperate.

According to Anderson's attorneys, he'll do it again if confronted with the same dilemma.

Sox and Yanks gear up for another run at the pennant

The Red Sox took the next step in the "dynasty creation" process by trying to galvanize their core lineup, signing Mike Lowell to a 3-yr 37 million dollar deal. The brings back Manny, Pappi, and now Lowell to an already lethal pitching staff. Between the Sox, Pats, and Celts, there is somethin' brewin' in Boston and it ain't tea. Can they repeat?

Meanwhile in the East Coast chess game, the Yankees countered by agreeing "in an outline" with Pay-Rod for close to 137 million. The newly crowned AL-MVP would be set to finish out his career AND take over the Home Run title in the house that Ruth Built.

New York then pushed more chips in the center of the table by signing the all-time best clutch closer in baseball, Mariano Rivera, to a 3-yr 45 million dollar deal. Add this to the Posada re-signing last week and the Bronx Bommers are now poised to contend again, but is age catching up with them? Do they need to make even more moves? Post your comments here and in the MLB chat room.

A-Rod wins MVP, still has no World Series rings

A-Rod won his 3rd MVP trophy of his career... Convincingly at that. Along with that, he treated the Yankees like a C-grade girlfriend... good enough when you were with her, but first chance you have to explore, you take it. Oh, and he still has no World Series rings. Where exactly does this put him in the pantheon of great players? We can at least convincingly say he is a whole lot better than Barry Bonds (yes, that name again)... he's won his MVPs without allegations of juicing around him. In the end though, he did deserve it since it is for the regular season...

2007 Stats:
AVG .314 HR 54 RBI 156
Just look at those numbers and tell me he didn't deserve it...

Career Postseason Stats:
AVG .279 HR 7 RBI 17
Just look at those numbers and tell me he does deserve the salary.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Bonds Indicted on perjury and obstuction charges

A federal grand jury in San Francisco has indicted Barry Bonds on perjury and obstruction of justice charges in the culmination of a four-year investigation. Bonds faces five counts total, 4 counts of perjury and one count of Obstruction of Justice. All of the chargers combined could bring up to a 30-year sentence. In order to prove their case the Fed must have "two witnesses or one witness and evidence". Did someone come forward? Did his trainer roll over on him? Why did the Fed wait this long as opposed to the Michael Vick?

Now the breaking news is that Greg Anderson, his former trainer, that has been in jail has suddenly been released, Anderson's attorney went live on ESPN and stated that his client said nothing to the Fed's and in fact is planning to sue the Fed's himself, as he was held in contempt because his testimony was crucial to the case.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Will Torre be able to bring a pennant to LA?

Can Joe with his “explain why, rather than just do it” way of managing (and his 3-year 13mill salary) bridge the gap between the Dodgers’ young talent and veteran leadership? Can change the mindset of the Dodger organization which has not won a playoff series since Reganomics reigned across the globe? Will he flourish or falter in tinsel town?

Monday, October 29, 2007

Red Sox complete the sweep

After scoring 29 runs in four game the Sox put the Rockies to bed for good in game four 4-3 completing the 4-game sweep. We’re the Red Sox really THAT much better than the Rockies or did the 8-day layoff after the NLCS hurt them that much? The Boston Pitching really turned it up a notch in the World Series, allowing only 10 runs and not giving up any big innings to a supposedly potent offense in the geographically favorable confines of Coors Field. The Sox put on a dominating performance never trailing in the series and not being press since playing at the Jake.

So, today they put on their rings, but tomorrow do they go after A-Rod? A little Johny Damon payback?

Friday, October 26, 2007

Do or Die in Mile High

The Sox get 6 good innings from Schill’ and even better 2.2 from Okajima to hold off the Rockies in what could have proven to be the pivotal game of the series, winning 2-1. The clutch Rockies’ bats that we’ve seen in the divisional playoff and NLCS have been nowhere to be found in the first two games of the World Series. If they don’t find them over the two games off then all of the pundits or East Coast idiots that predicted a ‘Sox Sweep will be right on time. If the Rockies don’t cut into the Sox’ starter and that bullpen only has to work 3 innings a night then they are done, particularly if there is a day or two weather delay, then they may see Beckett again, sooner than later, then this is all over except for the parade.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Cleveland lets it slip away

In the spirit of “The Drive” and “The Fumble”, and their last visit to the ALCS the Cleveland Indians will watch another World Series from home after letting the Red Sox stay off elimination 3 times, return the favor, and beat them 3 times in a row to take the AL pennant of Sunday. What was the major reason for the Indian’s futility in the ALCS? The fact that their three aces went 0-3? Also, despite the final score Joel Skinner’s decision to NOT send Lofton on a play which he clearly would have scored was a MJOR momentum swing in game 7. Not only does Lofton score but there is also a runner on second, no double play and you’ve got a new ballgame. Was this the most important play in the series? Did they just not have the mental mindset to finish them? Does this go down with the afore mentioned Cleveland tragedies as one of the worst in Cleveland history?

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Should the Sox have had Beckett start game 3?

If and when the Red Sox lose the ALCS that will be the lasting question of the summer. With a rotation like Beck, Shill, and ‘Dice-K’, why take a chance with a number 4 like Wakefield who has had such a long layoff? He didn’t make it out of the 5th and the Sox’s relivers let a bad situation get worse as Cleveland scored all the runs they would need in one inning AGAIN and now are 9 innings away from a trip to the Series. Tough call or the right decision?

Time to just give them their props

There’s no need to go into a big statistical rant on how many they have won in a row but in case you’ve lost count it’s 21 out of 22, but in addition to that the Colorado Rockies have the best ERA since the all-star break and less than 2 during the post season. In a brief warm-up before the World Series the Rockies swept through the D-Backs as if they were a AAA farm club, and now await the ALCS winner which will be a prohibitive favorite. But perhaps it’s time to just give them some dap and call it like it is…..belive it or not the COLORADO ROCKIES are the best team in Baseball.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

The Tribe rises up and takes home field advantage

Cleveland rides out the storm then explodes for a post-season record, scoring 7 runs one extra inning. Trott Nixion was the catalyst as the Tribe take game 2 AND home field advantage from the Red Sox. A base hit away from a commanding series lead and probable trip back to the World Series, Boston couldn’t get it when they needed it and now it looks like this one will go the distance. Are the Tribe the favorites now.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Is it already over for the D-Backs?

The D-backs couldn’t hold serve at home and now are on the brink of elimination as Colorado wins game 2 in extra innings. The streak continues and now the D-Backs must win 4 out 5 or hit the links until next spring.

The Rockies continue to be the hottest team in baseball and take game 1 on the road in Arizona and making it 18 out of the last 19, and more importantly 11 out of 19 against Arizona. The D-Backs look young and inexperienced and don’t look like a team that’s going to get back to Arizona after game 2. Colorado sends out Jimenez and Zona’ counters with Davis. In Jimenez's only other start against Arizona on Aug. 31, he gave up three runs, three hits and struck out six in 6 2-3 innings, but didn't factor in Colorado's 7-3 win in 10 innings. Davis won a career-high 13 games, but also tied a career-worst with 12 losses and finished with a 4.25 ERA in his first season with Arizona. He also struggled in his first postseason start despite earning the victory. But it’s do or die for the D-Backs as being down 0-2 going back to the mile high city would seal the deal. Can Arizona battle back from the brink as they have done all year?



Wednesday, October 10, 2007

The series no one has thier eye on

The Major Leagues’ best batting average team (Col) faces it’s worst (AZ) for the first time in history, but both teams posted 90-win seasons. The Rockies won 10 of the 18 played this year, but in a 7-game series Webb can make the difference if he gets 3 starts. The Rockies have been the hottest team in baseball for quite some time now, and no one seems to give them, or the D-Backs for that matter, a chance of winning the World Series if they manage to win the NLCS. So who has the edge in the series and can the winner take it all?


Sox have slight edge

This sets up to be a great series with both Cleveland and Boston having 96 wins, but like most post season series this looks like it will come down to pitching. Both teams with strong staffs playing at their best. It’s the Indians ‘power pitching’ vs. the ‘craftiness’ of the Red Sox’s aces, like Beckett and Schilling. Both teams are coming off long rest so the teams should be rested. The Sox have an edge with Boradwalk and Parkplace (Papi and Manny) hitting the best they have all year. Can the Indians manufacture enough runs to keep up the the Red Sox long ball?

Monday, October 8, 2007

Yankees battle back from the brink

Special note to the Phills, Angels, and Cubs, thanks for showin’ up but you may want to have your bats ready by the time the post season starts. The Angles scored 4 runs in three games, Phillies scored 8, and the Cubs 6. If you add them all up the total is “thank you for coming, enjoy the off season”. So we have an all NL West NLCS, there are a lot of sports pundits who owe some apologies stating the NL West was the weakest division in baseball. In the AL the Red Sox are still waiting for an opponent but it appears Cleveland won’t make them wait long. PS – is there a club in the market for a 7-million per year manager soon to be unemployed?

Swept Away

Special note to the Phills, Angels, and Cubs, thanks for showin’ up but you may want to have your bats ready by the time the post season starts. The Angles scored 4 runs in three games, Phillies scored 8, and the Cubs 6. If you add them all up the total is “thank you for coming, enjoy the off season”. So we have an all NL West NLCS, there are a lot of sports pundits who owe some apologies stating the NL West was the weakest division in baseball. In the AL the Red Sox are still waiting for an opponent but it appears Cleveland won’t make them wait long. PS – is there a club in the market for a 7-million per year manager soon to be unemployed?

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Phillies v. Rockies

After winning 12 of their last 13 games the Rockies are riding a winning streak that only 2 other teams in the history of the game have. Can their mojo possibly continue through October, or did the stretch run wear them out? This series is also going to be a great series to watch, as the Phillies and the Rockies are first and second in the NL in runs and RBI -- with the Phillies having a slight edge here. This will be another fight to the finish for both teams. Who will make the plays down the stretch to win? Who matches up better?

Yankees vs. Indians

The Indians don’t have the power that the Yankees' lineup does, and they are going to attempt to compensate with depth and consistency which was their strength this year. The Yankees have concerns about the pitching staff, as they have all season. After Pettitte and Wang, Mussina's production has been spotty at best. Although the Yankees swept Cleveland in the six-game season series, do they have enough to win in the second season? Cleveland’s approaching this series as nothing to lose and everything to gain, could the Yanks’ be looking ahead to the ALCS?

Cubs vs. Diamondbacks

Even though they won the West are the Diamondbacks a fraud? Arizona was outscored 732-712, and became the first team in over a CENTURY since the 1906 White Sox to have the best record in the league despite the worst batting average (.250). The series starts off with Zambrano (18-13) v. Webb (18-10) Zambrano has had an up-and-down season for the Cubs, but seems to have regained his dominance heading into the playoffs. The right-hander was 5-5 with a 5.62 ERA in his first 12 starts, then went 9-2 with a 1.43 ERA from June 6-Aug. 3, they will need him to pitch well if they are going to have a chance. Game 1 is so important and that’s why it’s such a point of focus, but beyond that, this series is dead even when you look at infield, outfield, starting and relief pitching. What will be the deciding factor? Pinella? Mistique? Curses? And who comes out on top?

Red Sox vs. Angels

In what looks like the best series on paper, the Angels take on the Red Sox beginning Wednesday at 6:30est with Beckett (20-7) v. Lackey (19-9) in games 1 and 4. Both staff aces on the mound alone makes for a great setting but throw in Fenway in October and the consistency of the Angel bats, and you get a great series. But Lackey has struggled when facing Manny Ramierz, who is 10-for-23 (.435) with four homers against him, and David Ortiz, who is 10-for-26 (.385) with two homers. Anaheim will have to deal with ‘Boradwalk and Parkplace’ if they want to advance to the ALCS. So the question is do they have the arms to silence the guns of Boston, and do the ‘Sox have enough offense to combat the persistent onslaught of the Angel lineup?

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Met Meltdown!!

In one of the more exciting final weeks that MLB has seen in years the National League still has seats on the bus to the playoffs unclaimed. The Mets continue their meltdown and now TRAIL the Philadelphia by a game. This will be the biggest choke since the Brooklyn Dodgers let the New York Giants catch um’ then beat um’ with the shot heard round’ the world in the three game playoff. The Mets lost again to LAST PLACE and 90 loss Florida yesterday to land a near-fatal blow to their playoff hopes. What is wrong with this club? How do you go from being a division winner do not even participating? Is it the Willie’s managing, pitching? lack of run scoring, or a combination of three?

American Leage Playoff lineup is set.

The AL will be wild with great match-ups! The Yanks get a favorable draw and could find themselves in the ALCS while their two biggest nemesis squaring off with each other as they deal with the very beatable Cleveland Indians. Or perhaps the Indians are the sleeping giant waiting to surprise the league. I know they have the best record, but are they a product of a division where they have not really been pressed for over since August?

Meanwhile the Angels 5-5 finish to the season cost them home field and now they must go to Fenway Park to take on the Red Sox in what will prove to be a great series. The Red Sox lineup is solid top to bottom, but the Angels seem to squeeze every bit of production out of their “lack of power” lineup. It’s long ball vs. small ball in this one.

Race comes down to last series of the season

The NL west will go down to the last game of the season but the consolation prize will not be bad, as the survivor is the division winner and second place goes in as the wild card. The real race is between the Rockies and Padres for the wild card race as the teams match up in the final series of the season. The Padres have stumbled down the stretch as injuries and bad tempers have had a noticeable impact on not only their chances to win the division, but advance in the playoffs once they get there. The Rockies for that matter, still 9-1 in their last 10 and the hottest team in baseball but with a loss in game one may not be enough. The Cubs would rather play the Padres than the Rockies right now so once the division celebration ends the Cubs should turn into some So. Cal cheering fanatics!

Cubs Central Division Champs!

Congratulations to the Cubs for clinching the Central Division Title, could this possibly be the year? The Cubs have not been mentioned in ANY World Series banter and have slipped under the radar. Are they healthy enough, or do they have 4 starters good enough, to win a 7-game series?


Friday, August 31, 2007

The NL West and NL Central both have 3 teams that have a legitimate shot to win the division let alone the Wildcard. With that in mind the Wildcard in the NL will probably come down to the very last week. Of the six teams in the hunt which two are the division winners and who sneaks in as the Wildcard?

The Empire Strikes Back

After a 3-game sweep of the Red Sox in New York and taking over the lead in the Wild Card race, the Evil Empire has a ton of momentum going into the last weeks of the season. Even if they don’t win the division can they take the AL Flag?
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