Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Setting the stage: The Rockies are leading the Cardinals by a score of 4-3 in the 9th inning. With a man on first and third with one out, Ryan Ludwick hit a blooper to CF. Barners appeared to make the diving grab, according to the clip (which can be found here), which shows him diving for it and rolling over to the ground.
However, when you look at the photos of the play (found here), you can clearly see the ball had dropped, but as Barnes is on the ground, he swoops up the ball and acts as if he had indeed caught the ball. Without the photos, nobody would have known. Not only was the batter called out, but Pujols was too far off of first and was called out. Game over, Rockies win.
Good love basebasll, folks!
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Regardless of that, I figured I would try to figure out what players would be in for the playoffs. I figure first round they will carry an extra position player, so that leaves on of the relievers off the list. I made these choices last night, but I am starting to rethink my choices.
These position players are all obvious choices
Starting pitchers- I would say Joba is definitely on the roster, but obviously as a reliever
Position players: I didn't select Guzman originally but I am thinking he will make it over Pena. Not sure what I was thinking
15) Hairston Jr
Relievers: Hughes, Rivera, Ave, and Coke are all definites.I would say Roberston if healthy. Wasn't sure of Gaudin or Bruney, but I guess we will see. I guess the Yankees probably will take 10 pitchers, which means that Gaudin or Bruney are out. Which means one more position player needs to be added. I am not very good at making decision as you can tell.
So pretty much the roster I originally selected is no good. Oh well, not like you really know which way Girardi is going to go.
Saturday, September 26, 2009
From what I tried to gather from this very confusing conversation, Al thinks that MLB should go back to a 154 game schedule. With that, he believes that 6 teams from each division should be in the playoffs. In order to do this he feels that two additional wild card spots need to be created. Which was what led to the creation of this lovely diagram.
I understand how he wants winning the division to be worth more. He said that teams clinching the wild-card spot are pretty much given the same things as those who have won their respectful division. But making the season shorter, adding another series, and then letting 6 teams into the playoffs I think is too much. Or just too confusing.
Or perhaps I wasn't following him correctly. I am not really sure still where he was going with this.
Maybe I need a one-on-one lesson about this with the professor.
Friday, September 25, 2009
Also found this article about J.P. Riccardi to be interesting also. Not sure how many of you feel about Riccardi, but I feel he makes a good point. As the title of the article states, "The division is not going to change." He talks about how difficult it is being in the American League East, with the type of spending that the Yankees and Red Sox do. He noted that during the Jays championship of 92 and 93, they had the highest payroll in all of baseball. This was something I was unaware of before reading this article.
When you look at it this way it makes sense, but you also have to see how the Rays were able to have a remarkable season last year, performing better than the Yankees with a significantly lower payroll. The Jays need to work on their farm system (which has some potential), keep their young arms healthy, and make some smarter signings. I would hate to see Halladay go, but they have little chance of resigning him and if they can receive a few young guys for him they might as well do it sooner rather than later.
Side note: Magic number for the Yankees is 5. A sweep of the Sox would guarantee a division win on Sunday.
Also am sad that the season is almost over... Oh how I will miss baseball.
Thursday, September 24, 2009
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
In baseball, the tradition to honor these rookies is to have them dress in some sort of costume; something that starts once they leave the ballpark, are on board the plane, and eventually out to dinner with a veteran player. I read online that the traditional hazing procedure for rookies in football is taping the players to a goalpost and then dousing them with water. Sounds great.
Anyhow, I thought it would be fun to look at some past rookie hazings in baseball. First lets look at what the Yankees have done:
Saturday, September 19, 2009
All joking aside, I wish Pete the best in all of his endeavors. This was a tough decision for him to make, but he did it for all of the right reasons. In the end, family is what matters, along with fulfilling a lifelong dream that he had set for himself as a kid growing up in Massachusetts. Turning down an opportunity of this magnitude is something he would have regretted for the rest of his life.
The response of his readers to the news of his departure have been overwhelming. He started the blog over 3 years ago, and built quite the community of readers from all over the world. While some may not always have agreed with him, the dedication and time he put towards his craft was evident and is what made him as successful as he was. The negative comments written by people to me lack class; some stemming probably from upset not knowing where to get baseball news, while others are just from jackasses who have nothing better to do with themselves. Remember, no one forces one to read something. If you don't like what you see, hit the little X in the top right hand corner!
All in all, the hard work has paid of for you Pete, and it should be a testament to all those out there that if you work your ass off, you can fulfill your dreams. Nothing is ever handed to you in life (at least it shouldnt be), and this gig was something that took him many years to attain. I am very proud of you and wish you well with the Globe (no luck for the Red Sox though, sorry). So shoot high folks, and do what you want in life that makes you happy. Tampa (and Lakeland) wont be the same without you, Pete.
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
But then our lovely catcher decided to nudge Carlson who was backing up the catcher in case of an errant throw. In looking at this clip from TSN, you can clearly see that Carlson is looking around for the ball and covering the plate. Many Yankee fans believe that Carlson initiated this fight by standing in Posada's way, but I still cant see that. And even if that was the case, Posada could have been a bigger person, just walking around him as he headed back to the dugout.
Look at this clip though. The things that stand out to me are Shelley Duncan pounding his way through the pile, try to take out Rod Barajas. Check out 7:26 as Shelley takes on Rod and pretty much throws him to the ground. How crazy is he? Also noticed Edwar (who weighs about 90 pounds) pulling at Barajas' equipment, trying to pull him out of the pile. Not sure why he was doing that but Cito didn't seem too pleased.
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
People have asked "Why Christina have you named your blog after Al Leiter." When told it was because I appreciate the way he played the game, and that he was a member of the A/C Yankees, they still don't seem to get it. So here's my explanation:
Leiter wasn't one of those flashy pitchers. He came in and did his stuff. He respects the game of baseball and is a fan of the game as well. As an announcer he is great for the fans because he has a way of explaining different techniques to pitching that we as viewers may not have a clue about. I love watching him do the pregame shows in which he explains the art of throwing different types of pitches (which I recall him doing in Toronto). While he was a vocal guy and would at times make these frustrations apparent to other (see Armando Benitez who blew about 5-10 wins for Leiter), hes the epitome of how the game should be played which is why he is still loved by the fans in NY (some even in Toronto too, but I have heard mixed feelings from Jays fans in regards to Al).
In addition to his work on the field, the Al Leiter and his wife are also involved in the community which can be seen through the children's foundation that they have set up which is known as "Leiter's Landing." He has been involved in building baseball fields in his community along with helping children that are in need. As someone involved in the field of teaching and literacy, the work he has done with these kids is amazing and is something I look up to in these players and former players. Leiter was the recipient of the 2000 Roberto Clemente Award which stated his efforts outside baseball in including:
Sunday, September 13, 2009
- During batting practice today, a man was hit in the mouth by a foul ball. He was very still (he looked conscious) and was given an oxygen mask to assist him with breathing. His young son (about 7) saw this all take place was hysterical. Many of the players were also concerned, one being Joba, who came over and gave the little boy a baseball in attempt to calm him down.
- They had to clear out the entire section I was in (right field, the section to the right of the moat) so that they could lift the man off the ground and place him onto a golf cart which had been brought over to this side of the field. He looked so helpless and many of us were just standing there with a blank look on our face. They lifted him over the wall, placed him on a golf cart and drove him around the outfield dirt which led him to an opening in the outfield wall. Hopefully he will be OK and we all can learn a lesson from this terrible event. While fans are warned about being attentive for foul balls, it is something that truly needs to be taken seriously as something bad can happen. This also reminds me of the game I was at in Toronto in which a lady was hit in the head by a broken bat. She was extremely bloody but was lucky in the sense that she was conscious and able to get up and walk around without any assistance
- While the Yankees played some great baseball, I was unable to enjoy the game due to an obnoxious lady seated behind me. It all started in the beginning of the game when she spilled mustard on the back of my friends shirt. Accidents happen, and he didn't seem too upset. But then a couple of innings later, this same lady spills an entire cup of beer under my seat, which gets all over my purse, jeans, and my legs. I was not thrilled and expressed this to the lady. My purse reeks of beer now and I don't know how to really clean it off. My friend's side was OK, as most of the beer landed where I was seated.
- Since the ground was all wet, I ended up holding the huge purse on my lap for the entire game. Now this was all great until she decided to spill another cup of beer. This time it not only gets my white flip flops drenched, but it also reaches my friend who had put my bag of school books in front of him on the ground. ALL of my new notebooks, teaching books, agenda book, and scorecard were damaged. Not only do they reek terribly of beer but I am going to have to now replace a bunch of these books since the print has smeared on one of them (which need to be used by students) and the other just smell so much like beer that I can not have them around the kids. I cant afford to replace these books, but I really don't have much of a choice.
- Not even an apology or anything from this lady either which pissed me off the most. In fact, she somehow thought it was hilarious and proceeded to buy at least 6 more beers from what I had counted (she was up every inning, coming back with 2 beers in her hand). My question is this: is there anything you can possibly do (besides beating the lady up) when this happens? I have been to 7 minor league games and 3 games in Toronto this year and have never had this happen. And while I know that accidents do occur, is it fair to have this happen 3 times in one night, all by the same drunk person? I regret bringing the book to the game (which was a first, since I took the train), but I had so much HW for my Master's class that I needed get some of the material read while on the train.
Enough complaining, I suppose. Not really much else to say about the game. Lots of offense. It was great to also see the young guys on the Orioles. They really could be something in the next few years if they can work around the young, offensive guys on the team by developing some good starters and acquiring some decent relievers (which would include them holding onto some of these young guys rather than trading them away like the Pirates tend to do).
I have a handful of pictures that came out amazing, but I am only going to post a few of them tonight. I will add more of them in the next few days.
- Joe Girardi and Alex Rodriguez were ejected from the game. We weren't sure what happened but were told that it was for arguing balls and strikes.
- Apparently during the broadcast, Leiter decided to take his sock off and demonstrate some sort of pitching technique to Kay. They showed it on the screen.
- Nick Swisher stands on the dirt section nearly 99 percent of the time in the OF. I found that interesting, as if it was some sort of marker on where to stand.
Is this type of celebration any different than when Burnett and others used shaving cream and cool whip?
Thursday, September 10, 2009
And now look at him. He is sharing the stage with some of the greatest Yankees of all time. What an accomplishment.
Monday, September 7, 2009
- Aaron Hill has had an amazing 2009 season. In 136 games, he is hitting .286 with 31 homeruns and 94 RBI. He leads the American League in total bases and tied for 5th in hits (168) with Michael Young.
- Adam Lind has also had a tremendous season for the Jays. In 131 games, he is hitting .304 with 28 homeruns and 94 RBI. His 45 doubles are second best in the American Leagues, only behind Brian Roberts of the Baltimore Orioles.
- Mark Teixiera has been a huge acquisition for the Yankees this year. Along with the defensive upgrade he has been for the team, Teixiera has also performed well with his bat. He is hitting .279 with 146 hits, 34 homeruns, 103 RBI, and 36 doubles.
- Derek Jeter is having himself another spectacular year, hitting .332, has 17 HR's, and is second in the AL with 183 hits.
- Robinson Cano has looked decent also this year. He is hitting .316 and has hit a career-high 23 HR's.
- CC Sabathia has proved once against he is a durable pitcher, in which he is leading the A.L in innings pitched (206.1). He has 16 wins this season which ties him with Justin Verlander of the Tigers. With an ERA of 3.40 and 177 strikeouts, CC has put together a nice season for himself.
- Jacoby Ellsbury has some amazing speed, in which he has hit 9 triples and stole 60 bases so far this season. His .300 batting average and 16 hits are just as impressive.
- Jason Bay is leading the Red Sox with 31 HR's and 98 RBI's. While he is only hitting .261 on the season, his 84 walks are the highest on the team and have helped lead him to a .383 OBP.
- Kevin Youkilis is also having a great year in which he is leading the team in batting average (.311) and slugging percentage (.558).
- Jon Lester is also having a treendous year, with his 180.2 innings and 204 strikeouts. While his 12-7 record isnt nearly as impressive as some other players, he has an ERA of 3.44 which is impressive considering he plays on an American League team.
- Kendry Morales has emerged out of the blue and become a great replacement for the Angels at first base after they lose Mark Teixiera this past off-season to free agency. He has more AB's this season (483) than his previous three seasons combined (377; 197 in 2006, 119 in 2007, and 61 in 2008). He has hit an impressive 30 HR's and his 5 RBI's away from reaching 100. This is a guy to look out for in the postseason.
- Chone Figgins is one of my favorite player to watch on TV (when he isn't playing against the Yankees or Jays, of course). Along with the versatility he carries in being able to play at nearly every position (though he has been used mostly at 3B this year), Figgins has provided he can be a consistent hitter for the Angels; one that does not need to rely on hitting for power, but more for average and speed. His 87 walks are a career high and he has an impressive .305 batting average so far this season.
- Joe Mauer is the League leader for MVP with his .369 batting average. His 26 HR's are a career high (most since 2006 when he hit 13) and with 82 RBI, he should be able to surpass the 84 that he hit back in 2006. These statistics are remarkable for a catcher and his accomplishments I would think will be rewarded in the form of a certain award.
- Miguel Cabrera's 28 HR's this season put him on pace to hit the 30 HR plateau; an accomplishment he has reached in 4 of his 6 previous major league season. His .336 batting average is just as impressive along with his .402 OBP.
- Justin Verlander has pitched extremely well this season, going 16-7 with an ERA of 3.29. So far this season he has pitched 197 innings and has struck out 222 batters (1st in the A.L and second in the Major Leagues, only to Tim Lincecum). This guy has got to be up there for CY Young considerations.
- Ichiro is having himself another great year. While he doesn't necessarily hit for power, his .362 average (2nd in the AL) and 195 hits (1st in the AL) which would be 9 straight season in which he has hit over .300 with over 200 hits. What a remarkably consistent ballplayer Ichiro is.
- Zack Greinke has been one of the few reasons of hope for many Royals fans. On a terrible Royals team, he has managed to compile 13 wins while having an ERA of 2.22 (the lowest for a starter with a minimum of 10 starts in the A.L). His 1.08 WHIP and 3 shutouts are the most for a starter in the A.L. and his 210 strikeouts this year are second, only behind Detroit's Justin Verlander. His w/l ratio is unfair to look at as he has been provided with very little run supported by the Royals offense this season. Hopefully the writers will look beyond ones record.
- Shin-Soo Choo has compiled some decent stats for the 2009 season. He has a .301 batting average with 150 hits so far this season which are a career high. His 14 HR's are the second highest on the team, only behind the 18 that have been hit by Grady Sizemore. Surprisingly he is leading the team with 66 walks, with the downfall to his game being his team leading 127 strikeouts (17 more than Jhonny Peralta).
- Neftali Feliz has appeared in 12 games so far this season for the Rangers. In 22 innings he has struck out 28 batters while walking only one. He has two saves of the season and is someone to look out for in the 2010 season.
- Michael Young has had a great season also, but is out for 2-3 weeks with a strained hamstring. He is hitting .322 with 22 HR's, 168 hits, and 35 doubles.
Any other players that I missed? There are so many guys out there that could have been mentioned, but with Grad school and work, my time to really write about each and every one is limited. I hope I at least mentioned close to the most important, though I am sure I have missed a handful.
Sunday, September 6, 2009
For those interested in visiting minor league ballparks, here's a review of my experience at Frontier field:
- First off, some history about the park. It is the oldest and longest running minor league franchise in the history of all professional sports
- From 1929-1960 they were an affiliate of the St. Louis Cardinals. Then from 1961-2002 they were an affiliate of the Baltimore Orioles, and in 2003 they became the affiliate of the Minnesota Twins.
- There is a section located on the left field side of the stadium that is designated as a "nut-free" zone. This is the first time I have seen this at a ballpark and I think it is a great idea for those that have an allergy to nuts. It is located to the left of section 130 in a berm area.
- A great variety of food. The prices were decent. Hot dogs were 2.50, cheeseburgers 3.75 (which were really good), and I was tempted to get a pretzel which was about 3 dollars or so. The only complaint I have was the horrific lines. I hate missing much of the game and I don't think the stadium was really ready to handle over 13,000 people showing up at this game. I know they were also out of a lot of food, being it was the last game. Can't hold that against them too much though.
- As for the game, it was a sold out affair. Saturday was the final game of the season in which the Red Wings drew a season-high crowd of 13,120 fans. I was amazed that so many had shown up to a minor league game.
- Jason Hirsh, the starter for Scranton, was injured in the first inning. He twisted his ankle making a throw to first base. There was a good 3-5 minutes of discussion between Hirsh and the coaches in which they had him throw a few pitches to see how his ankle was feeling. After throwing 4 pitches, he again spent 3 minutes or so talking to Miley in which they ultimately decided to take him out the game. This injury is a blow to Scranton as a chunk of their pitchers have already left for New York. This is going to weaken them even more as they approach the playoffs.
- Brett Gardner was in Rochester with the Yankees on a rehab assignment (coming back from a broken thumb). He went 1-3 with 1SB and 3 BB.
- Anyone remember Philip Humber, one of the big prospects in the Mets organization? Well he apparently is on the Red Wings, as he was the starter for the game I went too. He had a terrible start, pitching 4.2 innings, giving up 7 hits, 5 BB and 5 ER's.
- The pitching in this game for the Red Wings was terrible. In addition to Humber struggling, the Red Wings brought out Morillo, Lugo, and Lahey. Lugo was terrible, pitching 1/3 of an inning in which he walked 4 straight batters (5 total in the 1/3 of an inning he pitched).
- Yankees won by a score of 10-0. The combination of walks allowed (11 in total) and 3 errors really helped Scranton out in being able to take the win.
- Also must mention the Yankees pitching, as they held the Red Wings to only 3 hits and 0 ER. This is amazing considering their starter was injured in the first inning. Prihoda picked up his first win of the season, after being brought up from the Charleston Riverdogs (Single A affiliate of the Yankees). Prihoda's contract from the Grand Prairie AirHogs (an independent league in the South Division) was sold to the Yankees in the beginning of July this year.
- Also Yankee fans, please keep an eye out for Zack Kroenke. He pitched 3 innings on Saturday, giving up 0ER and 1H and earned his 4th save of the season. He is a big lefty and could be good down the road. Between him and Dunn, I have been impressed.
- Side note: Sean Henn (former Yankee) is on the Red Wings. He was a reliever in Friday's game and gave up 3ER in 2 innings against the SWB Yankees, one of which included a solo HR from Shelley Duncan.
- Shelley had a huge hole in his pants. The fans were amused by this and kept telling him about the hole on several occasions. Based on the fact it looks to have been patched up many times, I am going to assume Shelley is aware of the large hole.
- Brett Gardner- Nice guy, signed before the game for a handful of kids and posed for pictures while in the on-deck circle.
- Rochester Police Officer Anthony DiPonzio threw out the final first pitch of the season, and brought the lineup card out to home plate. The players on the Red Wings each came out and shook his hand after he threw the first pitch. DiPonzio was shot in the head in January by a 15 year old while he was on the job. He lost peripheral vision in his left eye, has difficulty walking, and is unable to take care of himself. Was great to see this man walk on the field.
- Jason Hirsh is a very tall man (6'8'' to be exact). The second photo was taken after he was injured on the mound.
- Broken bat stuck in the ground.
- So many holes in these pants. Times are so tough in the minors they only give you one pair of pants.
- Definitly not a picture of John Rodriguez. Something was going on with the scoreboard for a while.
- Yankeess winnnnn!!