Thursday, August 27, 2009

The Great American Ballpark: Cincinnati Ohio

Since the Reds were in Pittsburgh while I was in town, I wasn't able to catch a game but I was able to check out the stadium and go on a tour of the facilities. I have to admit it is a pretty nice ballpark and I would love to catch a game there someday. Here are some things I learned/saw when I was on this tour:
  • First off, the Great American Ballpark is named after the Great American Insurance Company. Who knew that, as I sure did not. It has a capacity of 42,059 with field dimensions of 328 ft, 404 ft, and 325 ft (Left to Right).
  • The Reds designed this stadium for the fans. There are many different activities that were designed for kids to enjoy the place such as having a bouncy bounce area, a place where you can test the speed it takes you from running from home to first base, learning the different grips to throwing different pitches, cocking the speed you throw the ball, among many other different things. I have to admit, while these features are great, it reminds me a lot of a minor league park in that they focus on the fun rather than the game of baseball. Overall, it is great to have if you are bringing young kids to the game or if you need to get away before or during the game.

  • A majority of the stadium was built using money that was collected from the taxpayers. In 1996, they added .5% to their local sales tax which contributed 300 million to the overall stadium. The bill was around 365 million, which left the Reds having to cover about 65 million themselves. The money they made in 1996 as also used during the construction of the new stadium (Paul Brown Stadium) for the Cincinnati Bengals (can't recall how much he said this stadium cost to build).
  • I found this pretty cool. The Reds built their new park literally next to their old park, known as Riverfront Stadium. The two were literally only 26 inches apart. As they were closer to completing the stadium, the guide said the outfield wall and the new park were practically touching and they had to cut holes in certain parts out of area so that they could work on the new park. After the season ended, the old park was torn down and they was able to complete the rest of the stadium. The edge of the concession stand area is the same place where the right field wall used to be which is pretty amazing.
  • A view of the press box. There are four levels to this which are the most (i think) in the majors. The tour guide said the writers tend to love this place. He said on a normal game, the first row is barely 3/4 of the way filled. When the Yankees and Red Sox are in town (which is pretty rare) not only are the four levels filled, but they end up having to use an overflow room in the back in which many of them have to look at the TV's in order to see the games. He said the beat writers following the team are given a preference and a generally in the first few rows. For those of you who didn't know, the great Hal McCoy was recently "let go" from the Dayton Daily News. The guide said while it was sad to see him go (hes a great guy they say), he said he can understand why the company did it as it is very expensive for him to cover the team.
  • They have a gorgeous stadium I have to admit. In centerfield there is this tugboat thing that is used for group outings. There are two smoke stacks that erupt fireworks after a player on the Reds hits a HR and after each game that they win.
  • The dugout was pretty cool. The guide threatened my life if I touched the grass though on the field.
  • They have a Tornado Shelter downstairs next to the visiting clubhouse.. Wonder if they have that in New York.

  • Wanted to note the layout of the luxury seats. The Reds also have a moat surrounding the seats like the Yankees do, but not these seats only extend to the area behind home plate. Those tickets cost 250 dollars a seat as opposed to the 2,600 dollar seats for Yankee tickets. There is a restaurant behind these seats for fans in this section which is smilier to that of the new Yankee Stadium. I still don't understand why people would go to a game to sit in a restaurant, but that is besides the point I suppose.

Overall, a fun time. My goal is to be able to see every single stadium at some point in my life. I wasn't able to tour Shea Stadium which I am now disappointed about but I heard that I wasn't missing much as Shea was considered to be a dump. I recommend you all to check out the Great American Ballpark if you ever have a chance. The tour was only 13 dollars and it is great to be able to see different parts of the stadium that you aren't able to do as a fan in the crowd. The only downside of this tour was that they didn't let you check out the clubhouse which was something they let you do at Yankee Stadium. For 350 million or so, the Reds did build themselves quite a nice ballpark.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Louisville, Kentucky: Louisville Slugger Museum and Factory

As part of my tour of the Cincinnati area, I made a trip to Louisville, Kentucky to visit the Louisville Slugger Museum and Factory; aka the place where they make the baseball bats. It was an amazing tour and is something I would recommend for anyone to see. My friend who doesn't enjoy baseball at all actually enjoyed the tour, so it is for those who are into it and also those who have minimal interest in the game of baseball. The only bummer was that they wouldn't allow any pictures to be taken inside of the factory. Regardless, here are some tidbits and pictures from the tour:
  • This is the bat located in front of the museum. It weighs about 68,000 pounds and is made of ASTM A36 carbon steel.
  • Louisville Slugger own forests in New York and Pennsylvania. They do this so that they can control the quality of the trees that are used to make their baseball bats.
  • In Major League Baseball, Louisville Slugger bats are used by over 60 percent of all Major League Players. Former Yankee/Met/Marlin/Blue Jays Al Leiter had a contract with them also. One of the few pitchers from what it looked like.
  • During the tour, the company was working on making a dozen bats for Drew Stubbs of the Cincinnati Reds. He said that the equipment manager will call them up and order the bats for the player.
  • Major League and Minor League bats are made in two separate machines (Minor league bats are made in the same machine that is used as those that are sold to fans).
  • Players in the majors have more models of bats to choose from (about 300 that are currently popular with the players).
  • Alex Rodriguez and Ken Griffey use the same model bat; C271- made for Jose Cardenal (The letter in the model stands for the first letter of the player's last name).
  • About 1,500 bats are made per day
  • The 125 on the bat stands for the grade of wood that is used (125 is the highest quality).
  • Maple bats have more of a tendency to break when compared to bats that are made of ash.
  • Louisville Slugger has started placing stickers on all of their maples bats as a way to make them more sturdier.
  • The cost of maple bats has risen drastically, now costing baseball teams $95 a bat as opposed to $45 dollars for a bat made of ash. The teams typical order between 9-12 dozen bats for each player a season.
  • On Mother's Days, Louisville Slugger donates two bats to each player that is signed with them. One of the bats is designated for the player to use while the other is for the player to sign and donate to to support breast cancer research.
  • Players who sign a contract with Louisville Slugger are given 5,000 dollars from the company for allowing them to use their names (I would assume in selling the bats to the public). The tour guide said that some guys may have the bats, but that they may not have a contract with them. Guy with a contract have their names signed on the bat. Those who do not have a contract have their names printed in block text. The guy told us that David Wright was an example of a guy who used their bat but didn't have a contract with them. Not sure why exactly that is.
All in all, it was a great tour. For 10 dollars you were able to go in and see how baseball bats are made. The guys are working right in front of your eyes and it is an interesting process that the bats go through before they become a finished product.

Home Sweet Home

Well, I am back from my trip to Ohio. It was eventful nonetheless and I got some pretty decent pictures during my journey out there. I tried updating on my iTouch thing, but it didn't work out too well. I missed some interesting Yankee baseball (guess not since most of the games were blowouts).

I'll post the pictures later on tonight

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Vacation soon!

Before I get on my baseball tangent, just wanted to make mention that I am heading to Cincinnati, Ohio on Thursday to visit a friend of mine who recently moved and is now residing near the horrific Cincinnati Reds. I am staying out there until Sunday and so far our travel itinerary consists of seeing the Louisville Slugger Museum on Friday and taking a tour of the Great American Ballpark on Saturday. Is anyone else familiar with this area? Any suggestions on where to go?
In regard to baseball, tough loss tonight for the Yankees. I hate when I am right, but I had this feeling that Brett Tomko would get his revenge and pitch well against the Yankees. I will admit that I didn't think he would pitch this well against the team. His line tonight was 5IP, 5H, and 0ER's. Who knew he was this good of a pitcher. Or lucky of a pitcher? I have to say that the Yankees made the A's bullpen look really good tonight. Tough break, but tomorrow is a new day.

As for the Jays, tough season for them. Things really haven't gone their way so instead of looking at the negative, lets look at the positives:
  • Amazing year so far for Aaron Hill. He is hitting .288 with 28 HR's and 80 RBI's. What a bounce back from the concussion he had in 2008. He has transformed into an amazing player and I hope he keeps this up for the rest of the year and into the 2010 season.
  • Also just as impressive is Adam Lind. Lind is hitting .295 for the season with 24 HR's and 74 RBI's. These two guys have really been two of the most consistent guys for the Jays offense and it has been fun watching them play.
  • Marco Scutaro has also put together a good season for himself. In 114 games, he is hitting .300 with 11 HR's and 51 RBI's. I didn't realize he was doing this well until I looked up the stats for myself. What do you Jays fans think about him?
  • Halladay is Halladay of course. He has 13 wins for the season, which is remarkable considering the fact that he was injured for a month or so and that the Jays offense has been streaky and at times doesn't give him a great deal of run support. He is averaging over 7.5 innings per start, which included the game he pitched in which he was injured and had to be taken out of the game in the 3rd inning.
  • Ricky Romero has also looked good for the Jays this year. He is 10-5 for the season with an ERA of 3.70. He is having quite a rookie year and is a fun lefty to watch pitch. Anyone surprised by this or could you tell he was going to be good?
  • Adrian Beltre wasn't wearing a cup? I thought that was a common practice that guys followed when playing any type of sports. At least a sport involving some sort of ball. Sounds painful and I bet he was regretting the decision he made in not wearing one. Maybe they are uncomfortable or something.
  • Matt Holliday is still on a tear. Check these stats out.
  • The great debate is out. Who should be the AL MVP for the season? Joe Mauer or Mark Teixiera? Should it matter if the player is on a winning team or not. Here are Mauer's stats and here are Teixeria's stats. Tyler Kepner of the Times wrote a compelling article about this topic. I am still on the fence as to who should be the MVP. Each side has legitimate points.
  • How great of a pitcher is Tim Lincecum? So far this season he is 12-3 with an ERA of 2.19. He has struck out 205 while only walking 43. The Giants have some talented young arms in their starting rotation.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Training Camp in Albany

Went to Giants camp yesterday morning to see the guys practice. It wasn't very eventful but I have to admit I am starting to like the game of football (however it will never come close to the passion I have for baseball). I was even lucky to get a couple of autographs while down there, including Steve Smith (who I see every year helping out at the center for disabled telethon, good guy), Shaun O'hara, and Chris Snee. Are these good players? I have heard the names but I really am clueless when it comes to the Giants.
I also went down to see Mike Francesa as he was interviewing the players for his show on the YES Network. Most of the interviews for the show are prerecorded and taped in the morning as they can't really do much while the players are getting ready to take the field for practice. After taping the Manning and Coughlin segment, he came over for a few to talk to the people that were hanging out in the crowd. I was able to ask him a few questions pertaining to the Yankees and also other teams around baseball. Here is part of what I asked him:
  • The first thing I brought up to him was about this strange obsession he seems to have with Bronson Arroyo. He said he still wants to see him as a Yankee as he is a great pitcher and always has the Yankees number. When I questioned Arroyo's ERA, Mike responded by saying "You can't look at his ERA. He has had a few games where he loses his head and gave up like 10 ER's. It has the ERA all skewed. Taking away those 3 or so bad games, his ERA is 3.97. Plus, look how good he has done this year against the Mets." I responded with yes Mike, and who hasn't done well against the Mets this year? A guy with an ERA (sure add in the 3.97 if you want like he said) still is going to have an inflated ERA in the AL. His response again was that Arroyo had the Yankees number when he was on the Red Sox. I know at times when something isn't worth the fight, and I just dropped the subject after that. Plus, he pretty much summed it up at the end by saying as much as he wants the guy, the Yankees wont make the deal because he is making 9 million dollars in 2010.

  • He wasn't impressed with Pedros first start as a Philly. Doesn't seem him as a factor at all in helping them during the playoffs.

  • When asked about the Yankees failing to make the playoffs and win the World Series, some guy in the crowd said it was Torre's fault. Mike replied by saying, "you know whos fault this is, I'll tell you. It's Brian Cashman's fault. He has done a terrible job with the pitching staff over the past 7 years. Just look at the bums he brought in: Kevin Brown, Jaret Wright, Randy Johnson, Carl Pavano, and the list goes on." I did make mention to him that you can't use the Pavano deal against Cash as everyone was going after Carl when he was a free agent. Who knew he was going to be a major bum who would take himself out with random ailments to the shoulder and butt.

  • He think Minaya will be gone next year. He said he really like Omar and he would be disappointed to see him go, but that he cant see the Mets keeping him after this year.

  • It wouldn't be a Mike conversation without him bringing up Joba. To sum it up, he pretty much is tired of the Joba nonsense. He said what they are doing isn't really much. He is losing 2-3 starts max.

  • Very impressed with Pettitte and Hughes. Doesn't like Mitre. Pretty common and obvious stuff.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Assorted Baseball News

Another day, another walk-off win for the Yankees. That was their 11th walk-off of the year and they are on a tear, having won 9 of their last 10 games. When they are behind or tied, you almost have this hope built inside of you that they will be able to find a way to get it together and come out with a win. They seem like much more of a confident team this year, as opposed to the teams from the past few years.

As for around baseball, there are a lot of interesting things going on. Here are some worth noting:
  • Pedro made his first start tonight for the Phillies against the Cubs at Wrigley Field. He pitched pretty good for his first start, going 5 innings and striking out 5 while giving up 7 hits and 3 ER. Having that early lead must have been a huge relief for him and a weight off his shoulder I would imagine.
  • Youk and Porcello got into quite the brawl the other night. I think it's unfair that they both received the same suspension. In these cases the starting pitcher always ends up benefiting the most as Porcello is only going to miss one start. Youk on the other hand is going to be out for 5 games. I assume they decided to do that so he would be ready in 5 days when the Yankees come to town.
  • Matt Holliday is on a tear. This makes me so happy as I knew he had this potential to be good, and everyone would tell me how wrong I was and how it was an effect of Coors Field. Well, in 18 games as a Cardinal, Holliday is hitting .486 with 8 2B's, 16RBI's and 4 HR's. He has raised his overall average to .320. It will definitely be an interesting offseason in which Holliday will be a free agent.
  • I have to vent for a few. This venting goes towards Leiter, Kay and O'Neill, and all the other rich people out there. I am listening to the games and these guys are all going on about Mitch Modell being in the ballpark. First, isn't he always at the park? Second, they were besides themselves trying to see if he would give them some free gift-cards. While I for one would be thrilled at the sight of a 100 dollar gift-card, I am not a millionaire. In fact, I am a poor college student working 1,000 jobs just to get by to pay for grad school. These 3 individuals have more money coming out of their butts and they were begging for gift cards? Why in the world do they even need these? It's not just them though, even these rich baseball players are like this. Damon got a 400,000 dollar car for free. The players get gift cards after doing an interview. Come on now, do these people really need it? I can think of about 300,000 other people that actually would be in need of help and actually use the cards on practical items. Its so ridiculous at times how the rich do really get richer for no apparent reason. Ok I am done.
  • Ok wait, I am not done actually. Michael Kay, you need to stop putting down the children of America. Not all kids that go to summer school are there because they goofed off. Some actually have learning disabilities and need it to catch up, or others go to get ahead in school. Ignorant comments about children are not warranted, especially during a baseball broadcast. I note this because he has made this comment on more than one occasion and it makes me angry each time he says it. Don't get me wrong either, Kay is a really nice guy and keeps the broadcasts interesting. I just hate when I hear these comments in general about kids, regardless if there was intent or not.
  • Back to baseball, I think Chad Gaudin owes the Yankees a big thank you. Had it not been for them signing him, he would still look like this
  • Also wanted to note that my site was linked on baseball-reference. So anytime you look at Al Leiter's stats, you can be linked to the blog. Thank you to the individual who sponsored my site :) Your prize awaits you at some point.
  • Lastly, there was a great article written in ESPN the magazine that is worth mentioning. The Yankees and Jason Zillo did a great job in July during HOPE week in which the team went around the community and did a handful of good deeds for those who were most definitely deserving. This link tells about an organization known as Camp Sundown that provided children with a disease known as xeroderma pigmentosum (XP) with a place to go in which they can meet other children that suffer from the same disease. Basically these children cannot be exposed to the sunlight and can only participate in activities that take place during the night time. It is a great read and the Yankees have really provided a great deal of exposure to many about this horrible disease which will in turn hopefully lead to them raising more money for research and also towards maintaining the summer camp that is provided to these kids.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Game 1: New York Yankees vs Toronto Blue Jays

Tonight: LHP Marc Rzepczynski (1-3, 3.74) vs. RHP Sergio Mitre (1-0, 7.50), 7:05 p.m. YES

Tuesday: RHP Scott Richmond (6-6, 3.97) vs. RHP Joba Chamberlain (8-2, 3.73), 7:05 p.m. MY9

Wednesday: LHP Ricky Romero (10-5, 3.66) vs. RHP A.J. Burnett (10-5, 3.67), 1:05 p.m. YES

Tuesday's match-up should be interesting. The matchup on Wednesday of Romero vs. Burnett doesn't look great on paper for Romero, but you never know with baseball, right?


  • As for the Jays, I was shocked when I came home only to see that Rios was sent to the White Sox, for literally nothing. How do Jays fans feel about that? I guess that 60 million off the payroll is what the Jays were looking to unload.
  • Aaron Hill hit his 27th HR of the year, which surpasses his career high of 17 HRs that he hit in 2007. Its amazing to see the career year he is having, especially at a time when half of the Blue Jays offense has failed to show up and deliver.
  • Brian Butterfield has some Yankees ties and also ties to the Capital Region. Not only was he the first base coach in 1994 to 1995 for the New York Yankees, but he spent the previous year (1993) as a coach for the Albany-Colonie Yankees.
  • Here's a trivia question from the YES Network broadcast. What player currently holds the record for most career hits as a Blue Jay?
  • Cano has played a stellar second base this year, and at times it is shocking to see a first basemen that can actually field a ball cleanly.
  • Check out this clip, I randomly found it on youtube. Its from an old Coca-Cola commercial that celebrated the Jays Word Series win.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Yanks win, Jays win, good day in all

Baseball sure is a game you can't predict. After going 0-8 against the Red Sox this year, the Yankees were able take 4 straight and sweep them at home. They have played some good baseball, which mostly can be credited to some stellar outings from the pitching staff. As they always say, pitching is what wins yous ballgames. So very true.
  • I wanted to make mentioned of a few articles I read that were worthwhile. First, I was very jealous of eyebleaf, who was able to attend the celebration on Friday, in which the Jays honored the players from the 92 and 93 World Series Championships. He wrote a piece about his trip, and it would suggest taking a look at some of the pics and video he put up on the blog. Al Leiter was at this event along with guys such as Joe Carter, Paul Molitor, etc. Definitely must have been a great day for the fans of Toronto. I can;t imagine what it was like during those years, as the team was so popular during that time period, drawing a record crowd of 4 million fans in one season. Must have been electric.
  • Photos of Josh Hamilton have made it to the internet. I am sure these photos don't make his wife too happy. I am still trying to figure out why so many pro athletes get married at such a young age. They just cheat on their wives anyhow half the time. At least go sleep around and enjoy yourself without spreading the diseases to your wife at home.
  • An embarrassing clip of a ballgirl fielding a fair ball. I don't quite understand the video she made, but whatever. I wonder if they will be asking her to come back?
  • I noticed the fake umpires were back in Toronto the other day when the Yankees were in town.. Don't they realize their act is getting old? Even Bob Lorenz made mention of it on the post-game the other night.
  • Just started the book Munson:The Life and Death of a Yankee Captain by Marty Appel. Looks to be a good read.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Steroids? Who me? I had no clue what I was taking.. But it sure wasn't any type of steroid..

"A ballplayer's got to be kept hungry to become a big-leaguer. That's why not boy from a rich family ever made the big leagues." Joe DiMaggio

I'll get onto steroids in a few, but I first have to make mention that my summer class is finally over!! Thank goodness, my life has returned for now, at least until classes resume at the end of August.

Since I finally have some time on my hands, I have made it my goal to finally catch on some of the dozens of baseball books that I have bought, but never had the time to read. The first book up for review, which I started and completed yesterday (took me about 2 hours to read, big font, very few pages) was Vindicated: Big Names, Big Liars, and the Battle to Save Baseball. I must make mention that I did not purchase this book: I found it at the library after tutoring and I thought it would be interesting to see what more Canseco had to say about steroids.

Overall, it was a decent read. I wouldn't recommend anyone paying for the book, as it certainly wouldn't be worth the money. The first book, definitely worth the money. I own two copies of it and would recommend that anyone. This one, like I said, not so much. But if you are heading to the library, or borrowing it from a friend, I would recommend at least taking the time to read it. As I said, it won't take you that long to get through it Here's a brief synopsis of what it contained (I know its long, so if you don't have the attention span to read it all, at least check out the most important quotes, which I did decided to bold):
  • Followed the same mantra as the last book- He believes MLB blackballed him which was the reason why he decided to write both of the books. He said he didn't want to name people, but he really dint have a choice. He would have never gotten a book deal if there weren't a few names listed. As for why he didn't mention A-Rod in the first book, he believed that he had too much against him and people would say he used his name out of spite.
  • He claims that he included information about Clemens' steroid use in his first book, which basically was speculation as he said he never saw him using, but how he always thought he was on steroids. Apparently HarperCollins, his publisher, removed the contents from the book. It was something he wasn't happy about, but they didn't give him much of a choice.
  • He also stated that he mentioned Roger Clemens steroid use in the 60 Minutes interview that he was part of. His comments pertaining to Clemens were again removed from the final edited version that was on TV. He stated in the beginning that it could be a possible conspiracy on the Bush organization. Apparently Clemens is very close to the Bush family and he believed they were doing whatever possible to keep Clemens' name clean. I will add though that at the end of the book, he does state that his conspiracy could be flawed and that he realized his publisher may not have been keen on the fact that he didn't have actual experience with administering steroids to Clemens, as was the case with the other names that he listed within the book.
  • Regarding Mark McGuire: He states that when McGuire joined the A's in 1987, he was very curious about Canseco's regime. He states, "The following year, not surprisingly, McGuire underwent a miraculous transformation, and shortly thereafter the fans began to call us the Bash Brothers. I wonder how that happened?" He's right and many of us were either blind or just didn't care or want to care. I was only a year old so I think I am rightly excused as far as being naive about this transformation.
  • Found this quote to be dead on: "And here the thing: everyone knew. Nothing happened in the clubhouse that wasn't approved by the ownership. From top to bottom, the whole thing was institutionalized. Everybody knew about the bogus b12 shots, and everyone was using them. And you want to know why they were using them? They were using them because they were afraid of losing their jobs. It's that simple. They had to perform to stay in the game, and steroids gave them the edge they needed."
  • He also talks about how there isn't a such thing as a "one time user." When one takes steroids, you are committing yourself to at least a 6 week cycle, minimum. It is a process and he states that players who say it was a one time, short time deal, are blatantly lying.
  • This part is one I want to note, and this statement relates to the nonsense we are even seeing with David Ortiz. Canseco states that, "There were also plenty of steroids about steroid cream, which guys apparently kept slathering on by accident. Or it kept getting slathered on by their trainer when they weren't looking. 'I never knowingly took steroids or other performance enhancing drugs!' Jesus, How naive are we? If you're a professional athlete, one of the elite, you know exactly what your eating, how hard you're working out, how much you're sleeping, what (legal) supplements you're taking, and what (illegal) substances you're injecting. Your body is your career, and you watch anything and everything connected to it."
  • He talks about his 10 year old daughter, and how he spends time with her watching movies, playing semi-inappropriate videos games, and teaching her how to play poker. Ill decline to comment and give my opinions about his parenting skills.
  • Many good points where made in this book, if I have to admit. He touches on the subject of the Mitchell investigations, which I feel needs to be quoted. The other thing that really irked me was the shamelessness with which Mitchell betrayed his bias towards the Red Sox, for whom he was a director when the investigation began...Why the discrepancy? Does the Big Apple really have that many more juicers than Beantown? I seriously doubt it. I played on both teams, and when I said four out of five players were juicing, I meant across the board. And Beantown was no exception. This exhaustive report, which was conducted independently and with no bias whatsoever would have use believe that the New York Yankees were a bunch of juicers, while the Red Sox were almost as clean as a whistle. Again, I don't think so." He also mentions how there wasn't one current Marlins player on the report. He notes that Mitchell also serve on their board of directors.
  • He takes a different stance in the book, in which he finally acknowledges that he doesn't believe players should use steroids. He does make a good point though about steroids and the history of the game. "And hell, its not like baseball has always been squeaky clean. the game has a rich tradition of cheating, gambling, spitballs, corked bats, and worse. The game has been around for 130 years and we've seen it all: the Juiced Ball Era. The Corked Bat Era. The Spitball Era. The Pitcher's Era. The Power-Hitter's Era. This will go into the book as the Steroids Era. It's as simple as that."
  • "...when I saw things were getting out of control, and that I had to tell the truth about what was going on." I find some of the statements he made to be extremely egotistical. To me, I am confused how Canseco can sit here telling us how he basically introduced steroids to all these players, and then tell us how he found it his job to be the big man and clean the game up. I am glad he did it, and for that I give him credit, but I do at times wonder where his motives originally did stand.
Overall, I have to admit it was a pretty decent book. There were points in here that agree with and I believe. I think he clearly knew what was going on around him, as he was actually part of the game and using steroids himself. I believe every word he said about players he directly injected (Giambi, Ordonez, Palmiero, etc) but I believe his statements about A-Rod were purely fabricated.. While he was correct about A-Rod using steroids, I believe it was because he was tipped of by someone that Alex was included on the 2003 list of players that tested positive. It is just my belief that Canseco wanted to make himself part of the story, so he made up some sort of story that would include A-Rod discussing steroids with him (knowing that he did use steroids so either way he would look correct) which would put his name back in the paper. Since many see Canseco as a reputable source, now that many of his assertions have deemed to be correct, many would see this situation as something else that also did occur.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

What a mess those Mets are

Another day, another injury for the New York Mets. I had thought the Jays had it bad with all of their injuries in the beginning of the year, but it looks like the Mets have really surpassed them in that regard. It seems like every day a different guy is hurt. Castillo the other day, now Niese. How many is that now? From their official site, it shows Maine, Nieve, Putz, Wagner, Delgado, Martinez, Reyes, Beltran, and another Martinez. And some people think they are still in it? Oh boy..

Anyhow, rough patch of games for the Jays. Watching Halladay last night was tough to do as I hate when the team cant seem to put anything together for him. Another complete game, another loss for the guy. He probably was hoping he would be traded out of Toronto, now he is just going to have to get back into the groove and realize he is here to stay, at least for now anyhow.

On another note, I just read online that the Jays are having a flashback Friday in which former players are coming to the stadium and signing for fans. Leiter is going to be there along with Joe Carter, Paul Molitor, and an array of other Blue Jay greats.. Does anyone wanna take a road trip with me to Canada??? I wish I was closer because I would definitely be there.

Big series this weekend as the Yankees are taking on the Red Sox in a 4 game set at home. Lets see if they can improve on their 0-8 record against the Sox this year. I guess it can't really get any worse, right?

Any other worthwhile baseball news going?

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Some good news after a terrible tragedy

I read a great story today online that I wanted to share. I don't have time to really elaborate much, as I am way behind on this 15 page paper, but here is the link. It is about the young man who survived the crash that killed Angels Nick Adenhart. This individual essentially was internally decapitated and beat the odds of survival. He is now walking and is a true miracle. Never take your life for granted because you never know what can happen. Hopefully they can spark some action with MLB to start a MADD campaign. Drinking and driving is such a terrible thing and nothing good ever comes out of it.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Shelley Duncan: The Big Man Strikes Again

If you haven't read this article, I highly suggest you take a few minutes to do so. Chad Jennings of the Times Tribune wrote an amazing feature on Shelley Duncan for the Sunday edition. It really gives you an in-depth look at his career in baseball, going back to when he was a young kid and was hanging around the A's when his father was the pitching coach.

I have always been impressed with the work that Shelley has put into improving his game. It hasn't be easy for him the past few years, but he still has continued to keep his head up and put all the effort he has into an at-bat, each and every night.

Along with his on-field play, Jennings also dug deep into the life of Shelley Duncan outside the game of baseball. I found it interesting to read that he has developed the passion for fly-fishing (reminding me of the movie A River Runs Through It) and hiking in the woods at night, leaving behind the flashlight to guide him through the path. I can see Shelley running wild in the woods, but its hard to imagine him sitting still trying to fly-fish in the rough waters.

In concluding the article, I found the final sentiments quite fitting to describe the big man himself:

Shelley has a big swing that hits long home runs. He has a big personality that makes him impossible to ignore. Those things have defined him, but they're only part of the definition.

"I'm just me," Shelley said. "When I die, or when I'm done playing, I just want people to only remember me in this game for one thing, that I played hard every single time I was out there. Nothing else. That's it. Not as a home run hitter or as a funny guy, nothing like that. Just, he played hard."

That's Shelley Duncan.

How can you not root for the guy? A guy who not only puts his all into every at-bat for a game he loves and respects, but also for a guy who is a good dude deep down. It is something that is a rarity now in baseball which is a pretty sad thing. Hopefully he keeps on working hard (which we know he will) and will be seen back in majors during the September call-ups.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

New Layout, not sure about it.

So I switched the layout around. I didn't like how the font was condensed to a tiny section, but I am not sure if I like the new layout either. The color scheme needs to be fixed. Any creative people out there?

So baseball-wise, the Yankees brought Shelley Duncan up to the majors since they were supposed to be facing 3 lefties for the Chicago series. Since the original starter was traded, the White Sox had to call up an emergency starter, who happened to be a righty, so Shelley wasn't needed. Since they acquired Jerry Harison Jr from the Reds yesterday, poor Shelley is being optioned down to make room for him on the roster. The poor guy. He finally earns his chance on the team, and they keep him up here for 1 day and don't even bother using him... At least he is on the 40-man roster now and hopefully will be back for September callups.

On another note, it will be cool for him if he makes it back to Scranton in time as the AAA Yankees are playing Pawtucket. Shelley's younger brother Chris was traded to the RedSox recently is starting for their AAA team. What a nice family reunion that will be. I am sure Shelley would rather be in Chicago though than back in the slumps of AAA.

As for the Jays, Halladay wasn't traded and Scott Rolen was. I was surprised to see that Rolen actually requested to be traded so that he could be closer to his family. Well, at least the Jays got a few guys out of the deal and dropped some salary. How good are these prospects/players that they acquired? Rolen has been a big part of the Jays offense this year and they are definitely going to miss his bat.

Regarding the Halladay nonsense, it looks silly in a sense that they didn't trade him. If they weren't sure, they shouldn't have made such a big debacle about it as all this did was disturb a guy who is very meticulous with his daily routine.