Results tagged ‘ Texas Rangers ’
Leonys Martin is not a big name in National League households, but Rangers fans have been getting to know the kid this year, and I suppose a little bit the past couple years, but he’s caught my attention with some of the highlight reel plays he’s put on. First though, a scouting report on the young Cuban from 2012 when Baseball Prospectus did their top prospects list for the Rangers:
Ok, “good instincts in center field and an outstanding arm.” You’d hope for a 25 year old those instincts and outstanding-ness have only got better. I haven’t watched him before, but they look pretty good to me…
Had to GIF this one, because this one was my favorite
and from the 3B camera
Incredible. First time I saw this play was on TV, and man, that looks very impressive on the big screen.
and Jean Segura is not a slow guy, either.
Jamey Carroll, what are you even doing.
Ron Washington thinks your attempts to run on Martin are hilarious though:
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.
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.
The regular season begins this Sunday 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. As I preview these divisions, I’ll tell you a little of what sport betting sites see, what computer simulations see, and what I see. The teams will be previewed in the reverse order I expect them to finish. Let us preview the AL West, where everyone is welcoming in the Astros, and my predictions are pretty predictable.
5. Houston Astros
Bovada’s odds to win the division, pennant, and World Series: 50/1, 125/1, 250/1
Stuart sees: a franchise that got forced into the AL West when the club got sold and bought, and now there will be interleague all the time and it’s all your fault, Houston. (Is nothing sacred anymore?!?!?) I’m not sure how bad this team will be, especially in the AL West. I’m going to say all overall aspects of this roster are below average, and when that kind of thing happens, get ready for nobody showing up to Minute Maid Park, and continued talk of what will happen in the future. If you read that Danny Knobler article on the Astros and agreed with everything, I don’t know what to tell you besides that article was a load of [noun]. Hopefully last year was the worst of what we’ll see out of Houston, but it may be this year. Don’t see them beating out Seattle for fourth.
4. Seattle Mariners
Bovada’s odds to win the division, pennant, and World Series: 15/1, 50/1, 100/1
Stuart sees: a bunch of guys that guy play first base or hit designated-ly. Have fun Seattle Mariners pitchers, because you get Michael Morse, Jason Bay, and Raul Ibanez guarding those foul lines for you, although might they still be able to hit? Maybe, yes, but gosh this team’s overall defense is just going to be one giant sad face. Despite having a lineup that might be able to hit, an “eh” rotation, and a maybe decent bullpen, help is on the way, and it’s in the form of arms and a new battery. RHP Taijuan Walker, LHP Danny Hultzen, LHP James Paxton, RHP Brandon Maurer, and catcher Mike Zunino are all expected to be called up some time in 2013, it’s just a matter of when will that happen? Should these guys mentioned hit their ceilings, Seattle won’t have an unbeatable rotation, but they will have a strong, and deep set of guys ready to go.
3. Oakland Athletics
Bovada’s odds to win the division, pennant, and World Series: 5/1, 16/1, 33/1
Stuart sees: a team that could sneak in again if the Rangers lose their way like they did at the end of 2012. I’m not sure they can pass the Angels, but the Athletics have a decent lineup with good depth in Chris Young, and Derek Norris, although I’m not expecting the lineup to blow you away. The rotation, led by Brett Anderson and Jarrod Parker, should be good again, but my question mark will be the bullpen and how they do this year. I’d love if the energy from the Coliseum is there on a routine basis just like it was at the end of the season, but I think we all know that their stadium and their stadium situation is just a mess. Bringing the Astros into this division definitely will not hurt Oakland’s (or Texas’, or the Angels’) chances of lowering their win-count.
2. Texas Rangers
Bovada’s odds to win the division, pennant, and World Series: 9/4, 15/2, 16/1
Stuart sees: a team that did well in the offseason not to overdo it on guys like Josh Hamilton, Kyle Lohse, or keep around the statue of leadership known as Michael Young. Lance Berkman was brought in for what looks to be his swan song, while questions of “how will top prospect Jurickson Profar fit” will keep the masses talking. The lineup still looks like it can hit, and the rotation should be strong. The bullpen should get a nice addition in Joakim Soria in May, but they’ll hope he’s not too-damaged goods and will be able to make that back-end of the bullpen into a game over scenario. Neftali Feliz also had Tommy John surgery in early August, so he will be a welcome force once he is ready to come back for the home stretch. Can this team overtake the Angels of Orange County? Yes, but they’re going to need some help from the Angels, and from their bullpen to keep their team in the games.
1. Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
Bovada’s odds to win the division, pennant, and World Series: 2/3, 9/2, 17/2
Stuart sees: money money moneyyyyy being spent all over the place but who in the heck knows how they were just able to get rid of most of Vernon Wells‘ contract to the Yankees. What will doom the Angels is their starting rotation after Weaver and C.J. Wilson. You have Joe Blanton, Jason Vargas, and Tommy Hanson. Your first thoughts after that should either be 1) who’s in the minors to take one of their spots (answer: ???), or 2) how’s their bullpen (answer: decent). Lucky for the Angels they have the bats to combat this lack of back-end pitching that will allow some homers here and there. The top half of the Angels lineup will be trouble for the opposition, and if that top half stays healthy, the Angels will probably be riding those bats and their top two arms to a division title. If something goes wrong, specifically with their rotation, I could see this team missing the playoffs.
This AL West set of predictions was pretty standard, but if you got some dark horse picks/flippity-floppity going on or you want to agree, I’d love to hear it in the comments section!
While we know all ten teams that are going to the postseason, we do not know the seeds of six of the ten teams, and that’s pretty crazy going into the last game of the season. We could have some things unfold early on in the day, while we will have to wait until the East Coast begins their nightcaps to see if there’s going to be even something like a Game 163.
Seeds we know: #3 Giants, #4 Braves, #5 Cardinals
Philadelphia @ Washington — 10:05AM PST – If Washington wins, they’re the #1 seed in the NL. They would travel to the winner of the Braves/Cardinals for Sunday’s Game 1. If Washington loses, they will have to wait for the outcome of the Cincinnati-St.Louis game to see where will travel.
Cincinnati @ St. Louis — 5:15PM PST – Cincy needs Washington to lose if they want this game to matter in terms of seeding. Should the Nationals lose and Cincy wins, they will travel to the Wild Card winner’s site for Sunday’s Game 1, and Washington will go to San Francisco. If Cincy loses, they’ll head to SF for Saturday’s Game 1.
Seeds we know: #3 Tigers
Texas @ Oakland — 12:35PM PST – The winner wins the AL West, and the loser will be the wild-card team. Where this gets dicey is Texas, Oakland, and Baltimore are all 93-68, with the Yankees being 94-67. If Texas wins and the Yankees lose, the Yankees will be the #1, and Texas the #2. If Oakland wins and the Yankees lose, Oakland will be the #1, and the Yankees will be the #2 — all this assuming Baltimore loses their game today. If Baltimore loses, the loser of this game will be the #4 seed, Baltimore the #5.
Boston @ New York — 4:05PM PST – The Yankees can make things easy by winning their game and clinching the East, and the #1 seed. If they lose and Baltimore wins, there will be a tie atop the AL East and a Thursday Game 163 in Baltimore will be put on the schedule.
Baltimore @ Tampa Bay — 4:10PM PST – If the Orioles and Yankees will be playing at the same time, much like they were last year, except they were helping Boston’s meltdown and the Yankees were unable to close the door on the Rays. The Orioles would definitely prefer a best-of-five to a winner-take-all then a best-of-five. They will have to win, see the Yankees lose, and face off with them on Thursday. Winner of that game should be the #1 seed, having a half game lead over the AL West winner.
That’s all there is to it today to decide who will be going where. Simple, right?
The Texas Rangers are in town for a weekend series, and you may be thinking to yourself, “I’ve heard of these guys before. Where have I seen them? Where….” and you would be the only one wondering that because Texas fans are going to be dam tired of 2010 stories where the pitching-heavy 2010 West an NL Champion San Francisco Giants put a 5-game beating on the Rangers that made you think even if “Everything’s Bigger in Texas,” it’s not always better. We’ll have all weekend to live in the past, let’s advance to the now:
Friday, June 8th: LHP Matt Harrison vs. LHP Barry Zito
Saturday, June 9th: RHP Scott Feldman vs. RHP Ryan Vogelsong
Sunday, June 10th: RHP Alexi Ogando vs. RHP Tim Lincecum
Small-sample sizes in the Last 7 days: Batters to watch
Mike Napoli with his 1.156 OPS and .504 wOBA is the only one providing some above-average production for Texas right now, who are 2-5 in June thus far. Even Josh Hamilton right now has a .230 wOBA going and has more stolen bases (1) than HR (0). Mitch Moreland has found the time to ground into 4 double plays, while most of the Giants regulars haven’t even hit into that many this season. Nelson Cruz has struck out 34.6% of the time, Hamilton 31.3%. Suffice to say, they’re scuffling right now.
Ryan Theriot is still playing out of his mind with a .500/.563/.607 line with a .519 BABIP and a .516 wOBA with 3 SBs, the most in the last 7 of all regulars Texas or San Francisco, the man is making things happen on offense right now. You are probably aware Gregor Blanco has as many HR as Buster Posey and Angel Pagan (and every other Giant) combined with 2 (he also has a .400 ISO in the last 7). Guess who has the 2nd highest OBP to Theriot at .429? Your favorite baby giraffe, Brandon Belt, although his K% rate at 21.4% is still high. Too bad he probably won’t get much of a chance to improve those numbers tonight.
Honestly I have no idea how angry Texas is coming in, but if their bats are cold through this weekend, this should be a pretty easy series win. I say that because Texas’ starting pitching is not all that scary.
Friday: Giants win
Saturday: Giants win
Sunday: Rangers win
By now, you know the story. Josh Hamilton was at a bar Monday night and had a relapse. You’ve heard 10,000 different opinions since then, and maybe even saw or read his apology. I didn’t, but since I heard of the happening last night, I became indescribably sad. Not angry. Not disappointed. Certainly not happy nor rejoicing. In the end, as much as we love baseball or the athletes that we have been fortunate enough to watch, we still live a life.
Josh Hamilton’s struggles have been well chronicled. Another history lesson wouldn’t be necessary here. What I’m sad about is that when it happened you knew what would happen: the reaction of the general public would go nuts on him. Some people kept calm and tried to put perspective on it and were successful. Josh Hamilton is a human being, and I have a hard time getting on someone for going back to something they were once addicted to. I’ve never experienced drug/alcohol abuse, so I’m not going to pretend I can 100% empathize nor even close to criticize the man.
Rather, I’m with the crowd that pulls for him, that hopes he is able to reach the goals he wants to in his recovery, and that he is able to play out his baseball career until he says he’s ready to retire. Even news from today stating that contract extension talks are on hold for Hamilton with the Rangers saddens me a little bit, but you can also put me in the bunch that believes in him and that he will recover. The media and others will not let the world forget about the relapse or his history, and that’s fine since they have a right to voice their opinion, but if he says he’s committed to being better, I stand right beside him.
Inspired by many posts of the “12 Days” variety, I present to you mine and it may focus on one specific team’s postseason from a year ago:
On the first day of Christmas, Baseball gave to me:
A Commissioner’s trophy.
On the second day of Christmas, Baseball gave to me:
Two Cliff Lee losses and A Commissioner’s trophy.
On the third day of Christmas, Baseball gave to me:
Three Freddy doubles, Two Cliff Lee losses and A Commissioner’s trophy.
On the fourth day of Christmas, Baseball gave to me:
Four Cody homers, Three Freddy doubles, Two Cliff Lee losses and A Commissioner’s trophy.
On the fifth day of Christmas, Baseball gave to me:
Five Wilson Saves. Four Cody homers, Three Freddy doubles, Two Cliff Lee losses and A Commissioner’s trophy.
On the sixth day of Christmas, Baseball gave to me:
Six to freeze Howard, Five Wilson Saves. Four Cody homers, Three Freddy doubles, Two Cliff Lee losses and A Commissioner’s trophy.
On the seven day of Christmas, Baseball gave to me:
Seven Edgar base hits, Six to freeze Howard, Five Wilson Saves. Four Cody homers, Three Freddy doubles, Two Cliff Lee losses and A Commissioner’s trophy.
On the eighth day of Christmas, Baseball gave to me:
Eight MadBum innings, Seven Edgar base hits, Six to freeze Howard, Five Wilson Saves. Four Cody homers, Three Freddy doubles, Two Cliff Lee losses and A Commissioner’s trophy.
On the ninth day of Christmas, Baseball gave to me:
Nine Bravo Zeroes, Eight MadBum innings, Seven Edgar base hits, Six to freeze Howard, Five Wilson Saves. Four Cody homers, Three Freddy doubles, Two Cliff Lee losses and A Commissioner’s trophy.
On the tenth day of Christmas, Baseball gave to me:
Ten pitching changes, Nine Bravo Zeroes, Eight MadBum innings, Seven Edgar base hits, Six to freeze Howard, Five Wilson Saves. Four Cody homers, Three Freddy doubles, Two Cliff Lee losses and A Commissioner’s trophy.
On the eleventh day of Christmas, Baseball gave to me:
Eleven Post-Season wins, Ten pitching changes, Nine Bravo Zeroes, Eight MadBum innings, Seven Edgar base hits, Six to freeze Howard, Five Wilson Saves. Four Cody homers, Three Freddy doubles, Two Cliff Lee losses and A Commissioner’s trophy.
On the twelth day of Christmas, Baseball gave to me:
Twelve straight balls in Game 2, Ten pitching changes, Nine Bravo Zeroes, Eight MadBum innings, Seven Edgar base hits, Six to freeze Howard, Five Wilson Saves. Four Cody homers, Three Freddy doubles, Two Cliff Lee losses and A Commissioner’s trophy.
It may not be the best rendition, but this is my gift to you on this Sunday of 2012. I wish I could’ve got Cainer in there with his historic outing, and Posey with his rookie record 4 hits in a game, Bochy’s moves, Dirty’s Game 162, etc. etc. etc. I hope you have a wonderful set of holidays. Especially all you in Texas, Philadelphia and Atlanta.
Miami had its 15 minutes of fame. Jose Reyes? Oooooooh. Heath Bell and Mark Buehrle? Ahhhhh. New stadium? Ooooh. Federal investigation? Ahhhhh. And then the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim — or as I like to call them: “The Anaheim Angels,” come in and take CJ Wilson and Albert Pujols almost at the same time. Holy moly, we all thought. But are they better than the Rangers yet? I don’t think so, but I know the bandwagon in the Orange County side of town has a lot more members now for a reason. This division is going to get interesting. Meanwhile, Gio Gonzalez could be traded to just about any team needing prospects as the A’s gear up for the 2014 season and no, that’s not a joke. They’ll fit right in with the Houston Astros. The Seattle Mariners are up to a load of nothing but the reigning back-to-back AL Champions have been busy adding more pieces to their bullpen because they’re freakin’ loaded with cash. Oh and that stud in Japan everyone’s talking about? They just won the bid to have exclusive contract negotiations with him at a cool $51.7MM. Even though only 2 teams have done some big-league-ready additions, the focus of baseball fans are shifting west a bit to watch some big names play. We don’t even know where Prince Fielder will go. Just imagine if he lands in that West division somewhere.
Think of the matchups you’ll see: Darvish vs. Ichiro, Feliz vs. Pujols, Hernandez vs. Fielder (maybe). That just sounds cool.
And then here we have the NL West. You liked it in 2010 when two offensively challenged teams fought for the title in Game 162. In 2011 Arizona used its offense and up-and-comers to take over the division from the crowned champions. So naturally every team goes into the offseason thinking, “We have to get better. How do we do that without signing a big name?” Every team has done their due diligence. One has done a great job doing it in one trade, and that was the Padres in trading Mat Latos to the Reds. The Giants have improved their offense in my opinion with Melky Cabrera and Angel Pagan but the health and the back end of the rotation along with Brian Wilson’s elbow remain question marks for me. The Rockies were convinced Michael Cuddyer should be overpaid, especially after Josh Willingham was given a fair 3/$21MM deal. The DBacks did do a good job of getting Takashi Saito to a 1/$1.25MM but then trade for Cahill and then sign Jason Kubel? Confusing considering they’re considering platooning a Gold Glove defender (I understand that these awards may not be the best, but still a testament to Gerardo Parra being a better defender). And then there’s the Dodgers, who are adding every AAAA middle infielder known to man and signed Capuano and Aaron Harang and those AAAA all to 2 year deals just about.
Now imagine these matchups you could see in the NL West in 2012: Aaron Harang vs. Melky Cabrera, Edinson Volquez vs. Jason Kubel, Huston Street (as a Padre) vs. Michael Cuddyer. Doesn’t exactly have the same ring the AL West does, now does it?
So excuse MLB Network and ESPN when you see an overhaul of AL West games, especially involving the Angels and Rangers or both over games involving the teams in the NL West. Things are about to get exciting in the AL West, while in the NL West we’re left scratching our heads wondering what’s to come.
The sun is shining on the West, for sure. Just not in the parks that have the pitcher batting 9th.
As a Giants fan, the 2010 World Series was amazing. It was the best thing that could’ve happened to me and this will sound very fair weather but my appreciation and my commitment to watching all of this year’s postseason for baseball wouldn’t have spiked had it not been for 2010. Something about winning a World Series gets you to be apart of a club and with so many fans and athletes at different ages, not everyone is in that club. I have a lot of respect for those people. Ultimate dedication. I’ve loved baseball and my Giants for a long time, but 2010. Oh, 2010.
As I was watching the 2010 World Series Blu-Ray last night I thought about the differences between last year’s and this year’s and realized that compared to the 2011 World Series, it wasn’t nearly as exciting for baseball fans. Now if you take away Game 6 from the 2011 WS then it’s a different story and really because of Game 6, the 2011 World Series will be talked about for a long time and Game 6 will be talked about for even longer.
2010′s appeal were the not-overly-Taco-Bell’d celebrities the Giants had. No one really knew much about them. When a Texas ace or bullpen guy was up, you didn’t necessarily have a “dream match-up.” At the time Cody Ross vs. Cliff Lee to us sounded intriguing but it just doesn’t roll off the tongue. Neftali Feliz vs. Albert Pujols? Chris Carpenter vs. Josh Hamilton? Both teams had matchups you wanted to see. Everybody knew the Giants had stellar pitching, but as a baseball fan you also kind of get excited for big matchups on both sides. That was the knock against the 2010 WS before it even happened. The games went 11-8, 9-0, 2-4, 4-0, 3-1. Five game World Series, and really all the games were within save situations late but hardly ever the 1 run differential or tie game that makes it really exciting. 2010′s best game was probably Game 5 when Timmy and Lee showed up to play, and it was a good game. The biggest appeal outside the two Tim Lincecum-Cliff Lee matchups might have been the fact we knew someone different was going to host that trophy when all was said and done.
2011 had much more appeal. Maybe it was because there were so many non-Taco-Bell’d celebs on each side, or that we knew Texas so well from 2010 and the Cardinals from their improbable run. 2011′s WS was set up by an amazing postseason already. 2010′s was good, but 2011 seemed to outperform it thanks to teams like the Red Sox and the Braves and the 3 Division Series that went to Game 5. Sure, the Padres collapse in 2010 was pretty big, but the Red Sox and the Braves will tell you they did it better (woot woot). This series really had the element of “anything can happen,” what with the inconsistent pitching staffs and the powerful hitting. And so it happened with the inconsistencies. The scores of the games were 3-2, 1-2, 16-7, 0-4, 2-4, 10-9, 6-2. This series really had more games that seemed out of reach for one team than in 2010, but the fact that Game 6 happened, 7 games happened, and everyone and their mother homered made this one of the more beautiful World Series we have seen in some time as baseball fans.
Texas fans might be hating 2011 even more than 2010 right now. This one was probably more painful. They were 1 strike away twice from winning it all. They were never even close to that in 2010. Now they’ve joined the Yankees, Dodgers and Braves of teams that have lost back-to-back World Series. The way they are constructed, they may even be a team that could lose it three times in a row. And I’m here to say it wouldn’t surprise me that in 2012 you could possibly see a rematch of 2010. If you think I’m nuts, well then how about this: The Cardinals, who lost Adam Wainwright before the season even started, were 10.5 GB of the Wild Card, 3 back with 5 to go, got in on Game 162 (2nd year in a row the team that’s won the trophy has won by clinching in Game 162 by the way), beat the Phillies of all teams in a best-of-five in Philly, beat the more heavily favored Brewers, and then rose when their number was called in this most recent World Series.
This was a great World Series and I hope you got to watch it. 2010 wasn’t as good, but that doesn’t mean it never happened.