I haven’t had the chance to see all the highlights from today’s game, but let me tell you something: Josh Reddick made some pretty neat catches while climbing the right field fence in Scottsdale to rob Michael Morse of at least six total bases, maybe even eight. First, watch the videos so can get a glimpse:
Now, watch on repeat the crazy grabs that Josh Reddick made. First, the prayer backhand stretch catch:
and the second, the “thank goodness I didn’t have to climb as high this time” grab:
No, those were not the same catches, even though I wasn’t sure when I first watched. Hopefully that kind of stuff only happens to the Giants in Spring Training and not in the regular season. I mean, the bullpen was already tired of this happening after the second catch:
Well done, Josh Reddick. Do that to everybody else but the Giants during the regular season, and I’ll be just fine with your defensive work. Had Reddick not been in RF today, we know Morse’s first AB could have been much different, tough to say about the second because who knows if the conditions would have even been the same.
The San Francisco Giants, after signing Tim Hudson to a deal, decided to turn their focus on landing their #5 pitcher, be it Ryan Vogelsong, a different in-house option, someone on the market, or finding another pitcher in a trade. Apparently, the Giants have decided that Ryan Vogelsong was their best option:
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) November 29, 2013
The Giants rotation is now something along the lines of:
Originally the Giants had a $6.5MM option for him for 2014, but opted out, paying him $300,000 for the chance for them to explore their options for a better pitcher. Instead, it seems they could be paying more than their original option should Ryan Vogelsong first pass his physical to seal the deal, then summon his inner 2011 and 2012 seasons to earn more than what he was originally scheduled to earn.
2013 for Ryan Vogelsong saw him pitch in the World Baseball Classic and struggle in the regular season before coming back to being the Vogey we all know and love, before suffering a broken hand on a swinging HBP vs. the Nationals while he had a 6-0 lead on them:
The rest of the year he spent recovering and working to get that hand strength back, so even when he was reinstated and pitching again, he wasn’t the 100% Ryan Vogelsong we’ve been used to. What can you say about this deal? The Giants apparently didn’t like what they saw in Yusmeiro Petit, Edwin Escobar, or even Chad Gaudin enough to say to them, “You’re our #5 guy,” so if any of them are on the 25-man Opening Day Roster, it’s probably as a bullpen option. I know I can’t necessarily think of better, cheaper #5 options for the Giants that were out on the market, but I can’t say I’m thrilled or angry at this move. I’ve accepted it, and am OK with it. I believe the contributions Vogelsong can make for the Giants aren’t done yet, and this will be the last year he works his stuff with the Giants. If he can’t get that velocity back though while not improving his control+command, he’ll be pushed out of the rotation in favor of Petit or Escobar, should they still be around.
The Giants will now be turning their attention to filling out the rest of their roster, with their biggest goal of being acquiring a platoon partner for Gregor Blanco. Beat writers have said they expect the Giants to do so through trade, rather than free agency. The Winter Meetings, where baseball executives get together, will be held December 9-12 in Orlando, FL.
Clayton Kershaw will be a favorite for the NL Cy Young, and he was on the losing end of a miserable outing on Friday night in Game 6 against the St. Louis Cardinals. For a guy that had a FIP below 2.50 for September and at 2.20 for the second half and had struck out more than 40% of the lefties he faced in 2013, you regularly expect excellence out of him, and rightly so, I believe. Maybe the innings caught up with him. Maybe it was one of those days where he was off his game and he faced a team that was ready for the punishing like they always seem to be against Matt Cain of our beloved Giants. Whatever it was, it didn’t feel right.
I hold Kershaw in the highest of lights for pitchers, considering him the best pitcher in all of baseball. I love watching him dominate when he’s doing his work, I’m even a little awestruck when he’s on against the Giants, or even just having a slightly bad day and only going seven innings and striking out five. Really it is no wonder there were rumors of him getting big money before the regular season started. His fastball sits around 92-93 with pretty great command, his slider gives you a different look of a good pitch, and his curveball is straight out of baseball heaven with the numbers to prove it. That repertoire can go up with the best of them, and has been successful, too.
When the Cardinals went up 1-0, 2-0 in Game 6, that was exciting. It could be all Michael Wacha needed, I thought and wondered, and the wasn’t necessarily a game that was out of reach, even for the bats of the Dodgers. Then the Cardinals went up 4-0, and even though it was only the third inning, I worried that this game was over before a third of it had been completed. Kershaw had thrown 81 pitches through three, there was no way he’d be able to go six. The Cards would eventually double the score plus one, and within that time Kershaw was pulled, a couple relievers used, and then it was over. If only the game had stayed closer, and Kershaw hadn’t been lit up, then this would have been a bowing out I would not have felt so odd over, but in the end, would I rather have this 9-0, STL NL Champions in 6, than possibly start the game over and see if the game could be closer?
Now my attention turns to rooting for the American League, because nobody wants to see the Cardinals win besides people connected with the team and their fans (really, what sort of “best fans” call themselves “best fans in baseball?”). I do wonder if the media will do another sketch featuring a Red Bird defending the trophy against a team with a payroll $30-$40 million more than themselves. Sure, it’s not around $100 million more like the Dodgers were compared to the Cards payroll, but doesn’t every team that lacks have the farm depth to make a team have to do some buying to field a competitive team?
Game 6 of the ALCS between the Tigers and the Red Sox is tonight at 5PM on FOX.
After the Dodgers got their 3-2 victory over the San Diego Padres, the Dodgers kept their word to release all news and debriefings following the game with Manager Don Mattingly at the mic. The summary from what was said at the press conference:
- Zack Greinke suffered a broken left collarbone — that news from GM Ned Coletti
- Grienke will see doctors in LA tomorrow, will get timeline then
- Mattingly says Carlos Quentin shouldn’t play until Grienke pitches again
- Says Carlos Quentin had “zero understanding of the game of baseball” in that context of a 3-2 pitch in a 2-1 game
- Mattingly not sure what Hairston was saying to the Padres’ Baker
- Once Grienke was hurt, and Matt Kemp knew about it, “he lost it”
- Per Eric Stephen of TrueBlueLA, Jerry Hairston heard someone on the Padres making fun of Zack’s hurt shoulder, then “he lost it”
- Greinke said, “[Quentin] always seems to think I’m hitting you on purpose… I didn’t hit him on purpose”
- Greinke believes his collarbone broke in the collision
- Greinke says, “I don’t know anyone that’s hit him on purpose before… I think it’s just a ploy [Quentin] uses to try to get pitchers to pitch outside”
The manager understandably upset that he lost their #2 starter, and tomorrow we’ll probably find out how long Grienke will be out. The Padres and Dodgers will see each other 16 more times this season.
It’s raining lightly at Wrigley Field now. We’ll keep you posted if today’s game time is affected by the weather.
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) April 11, 2013
Well, the weather hasn’t been California-style in Chicago, especially since yesterday when their final game against Milwaukee had to be postponed due to rain. As I look at weather.com, the zip code doesn’t say anything about heavy rains, although there is a chance of precipitation. Meanwhile, at the ballyard, we have lineups posted. For the visiting Giants, you’ll notice Nick Noonan is getting his first MLB start, and that Brandon Crawford is batting second. Marco Scutaro is getting the day off, but that doesn’t mean a middle infielder needs to bat second. I’m not going to get into a full-rage rant over this since this is one game, and it could even work out (see Ryan Theriot DH-ing in Game 4). For the Giants:
Nate Schierholtz gets a start against his old mates, and he’s getting his share of starts, too, which is what he wanted during his prime years. Nate should be getting his ring some time this year but…
#Cubs Schierholtz hasn’t heard from Giants as to when he’ll get his ring
— Carrie Muskat (@CarrieMuskat) April 11, 2013
I would expect he gets it in late July at the very latest when the Cubs come to town, where I’d expect him to receive a lukewarm reception.
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) April 11, 2013
Looking at today’s starter, going to take a look at how each pitchers pitches fared in 2012. First for the visitors, Ryan Vogelsong:
Vogey has done a pretty good job of not letting everybody take advantage of his off-speed stuff, although perhaps his defense helped him out as you look at that BABIP. The Great Equalizer of the four-seam variety fared pretty well last year also.
And next, for the home team, Scott Feldman:
Not much use of the four-seamer, and more so of the sinker-cutter for balls in play or on a pitch that ended a plate appearance. Plenty of homers off of the cutter and the changeup, especially for the ratio of AB to HR for the changeup.
The game is scheduled to begin at 11:20PM PST, unless we hear about some postponements or anything.
Josh Hamilton, as you might have heard, hates people in Texas. Or Dallas. Or the Rangers. Something. With all the booing Hamilton received this weekend you’d think he’d have done something really, really bad. He had a poor stretch as the 2012 season came to an end, which didn’t sit well with fans, some perceived it as “giving up,” which is silly because I don’t get that. He signed with the Angels over the off-season, and the Rangers didn’t want to take that kind of financial gamble on him, so I’m not sure why they’re so mad about that. Would they have booed him less if he went to another non-AL West team? Yea, maybe a little. But what he said in Spring Training really got people in Texas going. Just stirring angry. Here’s what he said:
“Texas, especially Dallas, has always been a football town. The good with the bad is they’re supportive, but they also got a little spoiled at the same time, pretty quickly. You can understand a really true, true baseball town. There’s true baseball fans in Texas but it’s not a true baseball town.”
How dare he say Dallas is a football town! Mark Cuban is going to be pissed. And how will the Dallas Stars’ clever twitter account respond to that one??
Of course, you know that people are angry that he said Dallas isn’t a “true baseball town,” even though he clearly, and rightfully, acknowledged there are true baseball fans in Texas. Many people that attended the first games were really butthurt about this quote. Then I saw this sign on ESPN Sunday Night Baseball:
This can be read multiple ways:
- Before Arlington Hamilton was a was Baseball 1981 Born 1972 Town Now
- Before Hamilton was born 1981 Arlington was a Baseball 1972 Town Now
- Before Hamilton was born (1981) Arlington (1972-Now) was a Baseball Town
Huh. So from 1972-April 7, 2013 Arlington has been a baseball town? I’m hoping I see some really impressive figures to show me that this is the case. Should I not feed the trolls? I absolutely shouldn’t, but I’m curious because I actually forreally reals do not know what attendance was like before Hamilton, or myself, were born. Luckily for me, baseball reference always comes around to save the day:
|2013||Texas Rangers||4||2||2||Rangers Ballpark in Arlington||138,080||46,027||1st of 10|
|2012||Texas Rangers||93||69||2||Rangers Ballpark in Arlington||3,460,280||42,720||2nd of 14|
|2011||Texas Rangers||96||66||1||Rangers Ballpark in Arlington||2,946,949||36,382||5th of 14|
|2010||Texas Rangers||90||72||1||Rangers Ballpark in Arlington||2,505,171||30,928||5th of 14|
|2009||Texas Rangers||87||75||2||Rangers Ballpark in Arlington||2,156,016||26,617||8th of 14|
|2008||Texas Rangers||79||83||2||Rangers Ballpark in Arlington||1,945,677||24,021||11th of 14|
|2007||Texas Rangers||75||87||4||Ameriquest Field||2,353,862||29,060||8th of 14|
|2006||Texas Rangers||80||82||3||Ameriquest Field||2,388,757||29,491||7th of 14|
|2005||Texas Rangers||79||83||3||Ameriquest Field||2,525,221||31,176||6th of 14|
|2004||Texas Rangers||89||73||3||The Ballpark in Arlington||2,513,685||31,033||6th of 14|
|2003||Texas Rangers||71||91||4||The Ballpark in Arlington||2,094,394||25,857||7th of 14|
|2002||Texas Rangers||72||90||4||The Ballpark in Arlington||2,352,397||29,042||6th of 14|
|2001||Texas Rangers||73||89||4||The Ballpark in Arlington||2,831,021||34,525||5th of 14|
|2000||Texas Rangers||71||91||4||The Ballpark in Arlington||2,588,401||31,956||5th of 14|
|1999||Texas Rangers||95||67||1||The Ballpark in Arlington||2,771,469||34,216||5th of 14|
|1998||Texas Rangers||88||74||1||The Ballpark in Arlington||2,927,399||36,141||4th of 14|
|1997||Texas Rangers||77||85||3||The Ballpark in Arlington||2,945,228||36,361||4th of 14|
|1996||Texas Rangers||90||72||1||The Ballpark in Arlington||2,889,020||35,667||3rd of 14|
|1995||Texas Rangers||74||70||3||The Ballpark in Arlington||1,985,910||27,582||5th of 14|
|1994||Texas Rangers||52||62||1||The Ballpark in Arlington||2,503,198||39,733||3rd of 14|
|1993||Texas Rangers||86||76||2||Arlington Stadium||2,244,616||27,711||6th of 14|
|1992||Texas Rangers||77||85||4||Arlington Stadium||2,198,231||27,139||7th of 14|
|1991||Texas Rangers||85||77||3||Arlington Stadium||2,297,720||28,367||7th of 14|
|1990||Texas Rangers||83||79||3||Arlington Stadium||2,057,911||25,096||7th of 14|
|1989||Texas Rangers||83||79||4||Arlington Stadium||2,043,993||25,234||9th of 14|
|1988||Texas Rangers||70||91||6||Arlington Stadium||1,581,901||19,530||11th of 14|
|1987||Texas Rangers||75||87||6||Arlington Stadium||1,763,053||21,766||10th of 14|
|1986||Texas Rangers||87||75||2||Arlington Stadium||1,692,002||20,889||8th of 14|
|1985||Texas Rangers||62||99||7||Arlington Stadium||1,112,497||13,906||12th of 14|
|1984||Texas Rangers||69||92||7||Arlington Stadium||1,102,471||13,781||12th of 14|
|1983||Texas Rangers||77||85||3||Arlington Stadium||1,363,469||16,833||10th of 14|
|1982||Texas Rangers||64||98||6||Arlington Stadium||1,154,432||14,252||11th of 14|
|1981||Texas Rangers||57||48||2||Arlington Stadium||850,076||15,180||10th of 14|
|1980||Texas Rangers||76||85||4||Arlington Stadium||1,198,175||14,977||9th of 14|
|1979||Texas Rangers||83||79||3||Arlington Stadium||1,519,671||18,761||8th of 14|
|1978||Texas Rangers||87||75||2||Arlington Stadium||1,447,963||17,658||9th of 14|
|1977||Texas Rangers||94||68||2||Arlington Stadium||1,250,722||15,441||9th of 14|
|1976||Texas Rangers||76||86||4||Arlington Stadium||1,164,982||14,382||5th of 12|
|1975||Texas Rangers||79||83||3||Arlington Stadium||1,127,924||14,099||5th of 12|
|1974||Texas Rangers||84||76||2||Arlington Stadium||1,193,902||14,924||4th of 12|
|1973||Texas Rangers||57||105||6||Arlington Stadium||686,085||8,470||11th of 12|
|1972||Texas Rangers||54||100||6||Arlington Stadium||662,974||8,610||10th of 12|
Don’t you think “Baseball Towns” would consistently rank in the at least the top five of their league? They did so in 1974-1976, so maybe the area was feeling a little baseball-y, but with a capacity of over 35,700, through 1985 Rangers fans were only able to break 1.5 million attendees once with a possibility of being able to seat 2.891 million fans. This doesn’t mean there weren’t true baseball fans around, just saying the attendance data doesn’t suggest it was that kind of town from 1972-1985 whatsoever. Now, I do get that it’s hard to support a 100 loss team, I do, but there were also some winning records there, as well.
The question for now though that is Arlington a baseball town in the present an accurate statement is not one I could factually and emphatically state “yes” or “no,” and I know the SABR conference mentioned something about the growth in “unique” Texas Rangers fans, so I don’t think Arlington is inching away from becoming a baseball town. Word that I’ve just seen around twitter is that Arlington still isn’t a baseball town, what with their love for football at every level. Their current ballpark, The Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, has the potential to bring in nearly 3.9 million fans a season with the over 48,000 seating capacity it has.
So now that some Rangers fans live with a sound bite-sized chip on their shoulders, I’ll see it as interesting to see how they show up in good times and bad, and when I visit sometime in either 2014 or 2015, I’m very interested to see what I’ll experience when I get to the area, but it’s not going to matter to me whether it’s a baseball town or not. Just give me baseball.
I don’t play fantasy baseball, so I’m not going to tell you how my team is doing, but I know a lot of the baseball nation does, so this seems important (also a lot of people felt it was inevitable):
— JIM BOWDEN (@JimBowdenESPNxm) April 7, 2013
Carlos Marmol and his walking ways out, Kyuji Fujikawa and his Japanese baseball ways in. Fujikawa has only appeared in three games so far this season, so here’s him throwing an 89 MPH fastball down the pipe for a save the other day
This next story was kind of funny because people can get kind of dramatic:
Carlos Marmol gets ‘wiki-vandalized’ cbsprt.co/Y5MmMX
— Dayn Perry (@daynperry) April 7, 2013
Everything’s all good with Freddie Freeman right? No health issues to worry about or anything right?
Freddie Freeman has been placed on the 15-day DL (strained right oblique). The Braves have purchased the contract of INF Blake DeWitt (#32).
— Atlanta Braves (@Braves) April 7, 2013
Sigh. Chris Johnson is in the lineup playing first base today, and I expect him to get most of the at bats in Freeman’s absence. So far, the Braves are 4-1 in games he starts, and 0-0 in games he doesn’t. Not sure how the Braves will respond to that since they haven’t won any games with him out of the lineup.
The regular season begins
this Sunday tomorrow at 5:05PM PST when the Texas Rangers play the Houston Astros in that famous AL West rivalry, which means this week is all about previews, bold predictions, and message board put downs. I will say I am not good at predicting things, so let’s get that straight. Like everybody else though, I have an opinion on the matter of how events will play out. Let us preview the postseason, where the best team doesn’t always win due to the randomness of how the short series will go. It’s a first team to eleven wins once the DS begins, and normally the team that catches fire tends to do the celebrating. Also in my analysis, the team that scores more runs tend to win games. I’ll start with who I have going into the playoffs, then the predictions of the resulting postseason series. After that, I’ll go into regular season awards.
NL Playoff Seeding
1. Washington Nationals
2. Cincinnati Reds
3. Los Angeles Dodgers
4. Atlanta Braves
5. San Francisco Giants
Wild-Card Play-in Game
Atlanta beats San Francisco
Atlanta beats Washington
Cincinnati beats Los Angeles
Cincinnati beats Atlanta
AL Playoff Seeding
1. Detroit Tigers
2. Toronto Blue Jays
3. Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
4. Tampa Bay Rays
5. Texas Rangers
Wild-Card Play-in Game
Tampa Bay beats Texas
Detroit beats Tampa Bay
Toronto beats LA of A
Detroit beats Toronto
World Series (game will be in AL Park when AL wins ASG)
Detroit beats Cincinnati
Don’t worry Tiger fans, I’m sure my predictions won’t be correct!
Regular Season Awards
I will go into who the MVP, Cy Young, and Rookie of the Year for both leagues will be. These will also probably be wrong.
AL MVP — Mike Trout
Asking me if I’m mad, bro? Nah, not mad, but let’s say Mike Trout does even 80% of what he did in 2012 in 2013, and his team gets to the playoffs, the voters are going to give him his “redemption,” and feel good that “see, we don’t hate advanced stats,” as we roll our collective eyes together. Sophomore slump? Maybe a little, but the only thing that will stop this fish is if he gets hurt playing the game.
NL MVP — Justin Upton
They say a change of scenery can do wonders for a player, and how about playing with an organization that wants you? I’d say that’s a good start. I think Upton will have a career year, players like Braun and Posey will regress a little, and Upton will find his team in the playoffs. Justin Upton may not have the best year of everybody, but I think he gets the award.
AL Cy Young — Justin Verlander
Kind of like Trout, he’s only going to get stopped by an injury. He should continue to rack up the pitcher wins, satisfying the old school, and his team will make the playoffs all with lots of money, and lots of strikeouts. Probably not many multi-homer against games though. Verlander is just excellent.
NL Cy Young — Clayton Kershaw
Dickey was a great story in 2012, but I still side with the overall metrics a bit on Kershaw, believing he got snubbed by just a little bit, nothing too controversial. Kershaw, like Verlander, will be getting plenty of pitcher wins behind a boosted offense, and he’s still really, really good. Oh, and his team will be going to the playoffs so that equals instant votes.
AL Rookie of the Year — Jackie Bradley Jr.
Shot up the prospect lists in 2012 into 2013, and is projected to start with the team. For the kid, the defense will be getting peoples attention, while the stick may not be able to do anything super special, it’ll be enough. Lots of names for both RoY awards, JBJ just happens to be my guess right now.
NL Rookie of the Year — Zack Wheeler
Wheeler will not come up until June and he’ll still get the award. Dominating the minors, and yes, I understand the pain he’s going to cause Giants fans, but the kid is good, and will be going after his opposition from the get-go with heat and curveballs and breaking balls and strikeouts.
Let’s hear what your predictions are! Pretty much anything goes before the season gets going.
So I was just wandering around Valley Fair when I went into the Giants Dugout Store and was enjoying all the stuff they didn’t have on sale until I managed to find the gold mine of “Why is this being sold?” in an Emmanuel Burriss Mini-Helmet. It got me thinking: What things would I rather have than that? So I investigated MLBShop.com to find some materials I’d rather have that cost the same or less than the mini-helmet.
Would this be less awkward?
Yes, you can have a twitter shirt!
Something that looks like a consolation prize for your favorite 2012 Triple Crown winner
A clock that will likely break down soon after you get it!
Don’t use this cup when in an altered state
A mostly blue program from the World Series? Clearly East Coast Bias!
Wear this to Arizona, St. Louis, or Cincinnati games!
A bobblehead with a real live face of Marco Scutaro!
For anyone that finished 1st, 2nd, and 3rd in the World Series
And finally, something that will serve better as a trash can than the mini-helmet:
CSN’s Andrew Baggarly with the breaking news to start off your Thursday:
The stories of Andres Torres are well known by now, of him being an incredibly hard working, and just as sweet of a man, so you can understand why everyone is pulling for him. After a magical .358 wOBA, 6.9 fWAR season in 2010, Torres couldn’t repeat the magic, going .292, .297 and 2.2, 1.7 in wOBA and fWAR in 2011 and 2012, respectively. Andres is a speed guy and will be on the bench possibly platooning with Gregor Blanco, or being a defensive replacement, getting his pinch hitting opportunities as the season goes on. He was traded in the 2011-2012 offseason with Ramon Ramirez for current CF Angel Pagan and cash considerations, so in the end, the Giants traded one year of Ramon Ramirez for Angel Pagan, cash, and a one year loan of Andres Torres. Nice.
Update: He will make $2MM this year and has signed a Major League deal, per Baggs.
I’m guessing this for sure will put Francisco Peguero back in Triple-A Fresno, while the Giants could continue to search for a RHH bat to come off the bench to maybe find a better option than the lighter hitting Torres. There have been whispers of Brandon Belt playing LF when Buster Posey plays 1B, so if that were true, the Giants would be done shopping for their MLB OF.
As for wondering how you should feel about this move? As for me, I am happy, from both a baseball, and personal level.