Sunday, August 29, 2010

Manny’s stock price continues to defy gravity despite being inactive

For someone who has two hits in 53 games Manny’s stock could never be higher. When the rumor mill first posted that Manny may be on the open market there were several teams interested in retaining his services, most of which are contenders. The front runner who actually claimed the Rasta Monsta off waivers are the White Sox who could certainly use his stick as they are 4.5 games out of the AL Central and have only scored more than 5 runs twice in their last seven games. They looking to add Manny as a DH as they are need for some power, particularly from the right side of the plate. Adding insult to injury their former DH Jim Thome is getting’ his stick on for the team the Sox are trying to catch, the Twins. But can Manny make the mental transition from the lax atmosphere of LA, even though they are equally in the hunt (5 games out of a playoff spot) to the intense media scrutiny of Chicago? Speaking of the Dodgers, and not to bury the lead, but all of this talk may be for not as they in the position to take a series from the Rockies with a win tomorrow possibly getting them within 4.5 games of the Wild Card and have a 3 game series with the team sitting on top of that table, the Phillies. Although a sweep is somewhat out of the question, if they can win the series then they will be in striking distance and don’t expect to see Ramirez in pinstripes any time soon. Perhaps the club with the brightest immediate future, interested in the Mannysweepstakes are the Rays who will either go in as the AL East champ(w/home field) or as the AL Wild Card, in either case MR’s impact would be immediately felt and welcome, and could you just imagine Manny in the new Yankee Stadium, in October, with a chance to knock New York out of the playoffs!!?? In any of the scenarios it appears the remaining 4.8 million will be more that palatable price. Where do you think Manny’s impact will be the most impactful?

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Wild Card drawing attention from division races, and that’s a good thing

As we commence the final days of summer, four of the six division races are still undecided and within one series, so no team is assured a post season position. That is except for the bride’s maid in the AL East, and the reason why is the Wild Card. Now I understand the purist point of view that if you’re not the best team in your division then how can you be the best team in baseball? Well, one could argue that perhaps the best two clubs in the league unfortunately reside in the same division, and are tied for the best record in baseball. So what if it comes down to the final series of the year and the Yankees have to beat their rival/nemesis Boston, who would love nothing more than to ruin the Yankees shot at a division and are at home. Meanwhile the Rays are playing the last place Royals who have called up half of the Cactus League for a tryout on the dime of MLB. Doesn’t quite seem fair does it? If the records are any indication and the Yanks and Rays are the best two teams in baseball then they should be able to slug it out in a 7-game series and not have anyone else handling their business. The Card also addresses the parity argument as in the case of the NL where there are 5 70-win teams battling for four spots, and a sixth team with 68 wins and a storied history. Once again, let’s settle this on the field by getting the best 4 teams from all divisions in the playoffs rotation and have the winner emerge. I simply don’t buy the counter argument that it takes away from winning the division, as despite a commanding 5.5 game lead neither the Rays or Yanks appear to be sitting starters or gearing up for the post season, and both want to take the flag. So take it for what it is, simply a way of making sure that the best clubs in the league are all on the field at the end of the year, and no who is waiting for next year can raise any BCS style arguments about not having the opportunity. What do you think of the wild card?

Friday, August 20, 2010

At the end of the day it was arrogance that got the Rocket into (more) trouble

We often used to talk about how amazing it was that Shaq and Kobe couldn’t find a way to get along because they had the potential to surpass the number of championships that “Jordan Bulls” were able to string together, and possibly do it consecutively, but someone did make a good point that we’re looking at this like rational people, business people, normal people who would say “ok, Shaq you got a 6’8 guy guarding you so it’s your night tonight, and the next night Kobe may have a weak defender guarding him so then it’s his turn to drop 30 etc.(remember the 04 series loss to Detroit??) That kind of arrangement could have lasted for years and the league would have had to find a way to deal with them. But perhaps it’s that same “I’m the man” mentality that makes world class athletes what they are, which is not normal, and that’s why only a select few on the planet can do what they do at their level. Unfortunately that is the same mindset that will probably land Roger Clemens in jail, at least for a short while. Now that the federal incitements have been handed down, it seems commonplace to revert back and see how the Rocket got into this mess, and at the end of the day it seems to be his own bully mentality that made him so intimidating on the mound that worked against him in formal setting. Already deposed, and with no admission of steroids, congress was not requesting any further information from him, at least at the time , so he was in the clear and his opponent was down. But rather than walk away he insisted on pounding him into submission by electing to testify UNDER OATH in front of Congress and the Nation, in retrospect to accomplish nothing more than to discredit his former trainer who claimed he injected Clemens, and to cast doubt on the previously released commission reports. He wasn’t even planning on pitching again, and others had come clean and months later are back on the field, in all-star games, and getting endorsements, a little more than a slap on the wrist. Unless something dramatically changes, this could be one of the saddest outcomes of the steroid era, as one of the greatest pitchers in the history of the game won’t be remembered for his exploits on the diamond but off, and worst of all, he was going to the hall based on his numbers BEFORE he took the juice. He would have been the one that opened the door to the Hall for other known abusers because he would have been judged based on his body of work before the alleged infraction which would have changed the view of everyone else in the era, but now he’s lumped in with the Blacksox and Rose who may never get in. So, as a fan of the Rocket and the game a little advice….for once, realize that this is not a situation where you can intimidate or overpower your opponent, and perhaps for the first time in your life, you are the WEAKER combatant. So stand down, take the plea, pay the fine, do community service, and put this behind you so you can get on with restoring yourself to your rightful position among the all-time greats, because before he may have had a problem, what you don’t need now is trouble as well.
Have your thoughts on Roger Clemens changed? Is he being singled out?

Baseball’s finest take the bump for a rare Summer showcase
Regardless of weather it’s a four or five man rotation, the odds of multiple aces starting on the same afternoon is in the millions, so perhaps we should all go down to the local “gas n’ sip” and buy a lotto ticket. As the division races begin to fade this is exactly the type of day MLB could use for a great TV Saturday and it goes on all day from start to finish, just look at some of these names:
In an early game you got Texas’ newly acquired ace Cliff Lee going against Baltimore, as the Rangers try to move up and avoid a first round matchup with the best In the AL come playoff time.Later on it’s the phenom Stephen Stausberg going into the lion’s den to take on the Phillies who are on a serious roll and who need a win to keep in the wild card hunt.For the Sox Daisuke Matsuzaka takes the hill with an improved winning percentage of .670 as Boston host the Jays in a AL East matchup. The marquis pitching duel today has to be Lincecum vs. Carpenter as the Giants take on the Cards with the teams running 1 and 2 in the Wild Card Standings. To close an amazing day Ray’s ace David Price goes to NoCal to face the A’s as Tampa needs a win to keep pace with the Yankees, who are a game up on them.
So I hope you cleared the day, got the brew already chilled, because the weather should be warm enough to sit outside all day and drink in the best of the MLB as we head into the home stretch of the pennant race. Which pitching matchup are you most interested in? let us know here and in the live in-game chat rooms on the main site.

A Smacchat Formal Apology

At this time we would like to issue a formal apology to all of those who have been offended by our consistent refusal to take the San Diego seriously throughout the course of the year despite the fact that they have led the division with the best overall winning percentage in the NL from almost start to finish. We had been patiently waiting for the Priest to pull their typical late season fade as they have done in previous years, and put off the recanting our predictions until the latest possible hour. Well, with 42 games left to go and six game in the division it is about time we manned up and admitted up and admitted that we haven’t been on the right side of this trade all season. Our only defense is that we have not been the only ones, which really seems strange as San Diego has a winning percentage that is 3rd in all of baseball, just two games away from the best. Coming from a statistical standpoint it may still be a mystery how a club that sits in the bottom quintile in the four major team categories can win nine of ten during the heat of August and even hotter pennant races may seem strange but that would take us right back down the same road. So rather than trying to slow the train down we’re just going to take our seat and wait for the food and beverage cart. I heard they were serving crow on this trip. Can the Padres keep the momentum going into the playoffs? Do they have a shot to win a series or two? Let us know here and in any of the quick links.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Baseball mixes in a little MMA to keep things interesting

What I’m really starting to dig about baseball are all of the ‘beat downs’ that are being administered to clubs that are inclined to “pop off” before the chips have been counted. It’s certainly making the typically slow summer months dramatic before we head into a home stretch that could have some of the best pennant races in recent memory. I know, I know, “don’t ever correlate different sports because the purist will get really peeved”, but what the Reds attempted to do to the Cards would be the equivalent of the Thunder calling out the Lakers ahead of their playoff series. Tony’s crew has been the staple in the NL Central for years, where the Reds, although looking like the team of the future, haven’t sniffed a title since George senior was the commander in chief. So to call them out prior to coming into your house is more than a shot across the bow,’ them’s fightin’ words’, which is more than acceptable if you have the stones to back it up on the field. Unfortunately for the Reds they hit with a three punch combination and the medics are still in the ring as they not only got swept in their own house, they also lost the division lead, and physically got beat up in front of their wives in a brawl that they started and got suspended for. Needless to say It was a disappointing series on many levels. Cincy, I love to watch you play, but if you lose the division there’s a good chance you won’t be in the post season again this year as the NL West may have a lock on that ticket, so it would probably behoove you to keep it to yourself until you have some street cred in the eyes of the league otherwise you look like the squirrel trying to get a nut, and quite frankly, you just have earned it yet baby.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

With no more breaks or trades only thing in sight is the finish line

There seems to be a feeling of contemplation in most MLB cities as the trade deadline has come and gone, there are no more substantial breaks in play left to get healthy so they’re going to sink or swim with what’s on the field. The July/August turn has been a real litmus test for many as the MLB schedule couldn’t have been structured more perfectly to help separate the contenders from pretenders. In the American League, it’s “meat and potatoes” time for the Yankees as they’re coming off a tough series with Tampa Bay in which the Rays in which they lost 2 of 3 and saw their lead in the East trimmed to 2, they followed that up by dropping 2 of 3 to Toronto and found themselves in a tie for the division lead (and I don’t want to hear it about A-Rod and 600, if you give up 28 runs in six games you’re gonna’ drop 4/6). It doesn’t get any easier for the Empire as upcoming series with the Sox and Rangers could drop them into the Wild Card chase.
There seems to be a feeling of contemplation in most MLB cities as the trade deadline has come and gone, there are no more substantial breaks in play left to get healthy so they’re going to sink or swim with what’s on the field. The July/August turn has been a real litmus test for many as the MLB schedule couldn’t have been structured more perfectly to help separate the contenders from pretenders. In the American League, it’s “meat and potatoes” time for the Yankees as they’re coming off a tough series with Tampa Bay in which the Rays in which they lost 2 of 3 and saw their lead in the East trimmed to 2, they followed that up by dropping 2 of 3 to Toronto and found themselves in a tie for the division lead (and I don’t want to hear it about A-Rod and 600, if you give up 28 runs in six games you’re gonna’ drop 4/6). It doesn’t get any easier for the Empire as upcoming series with the Sox and Rangers could drop them into the Wild Card chase.
Moving to the AL West, the Rangers have already split the first two games against hapless Seattle, but have one more and then three with the A’s for an opportunity to get into the hunt for best record. The division is already theirs as the Angels have fallen off the map and are under .500 in August for the first time in almost a decade. But the Rangers have bigger fish to fry as they’ve got a shot to make up the five games on the Empire, as NY moves into a brutal six game stretch.In the NL, it’s become a series of 3 two-team races. Starting in the Central where, although they seemed to sleep through the trade deadline without making any major moves, the Reds have held on to first place but it’s a tenuous lead at best. Once again, the schedule is conducive to settling the argument as the Cards come to town next week after the Reds travel to Chi-Town for 3 with the Cubs. I guess when you look at it, what moves would you make if your club was in the top five of all four major offensive categories (BA- 4th, HR- th, RBI-3rd, Hits-5th) and you had a fireballer in triple-A droppin’ three-digit heat topping out at 103MPH, that you can bring up for the stretch? Aroldis Chapman may have flown under the radar for quite some time but he could be a major component of the Reds push to stay on top of the division as St. Louis is the benefactor of the weakest schedule of any of the division leaders as they have only 3 games in the entire month of August against teams with a record above .500 and those three are against the Reds.
Tickets to all upcoming Games
Get all of your MLB team FatHeads with the Smacchat Discount Here.
SkinIT your computer, I-Pad/Pod, or phone with your MLB team's logo here.
SmacChat Ready to Start Talking Smack Sports Fans? SmacChat is the premier online sports entertainment site. Live chat rooms for every game in the country, with fans from both sides, sports blogs, live scores, betting lines, and much more. No cost to join, so log in and let the nation know what you've got to say! Visit our parent site http://www.smacchat.com for live chats, videos, and latest news.