Juan Carlos Oviedo, and Other Such Follies

Hanley Ramirez and Jose Reyes - World Baseball Classic - Puerto Rico Day 4

Way to go amigo!

One of the most active teams so far this off season has been the Miami Marlins.  In anticipation of bringing in more fans to games, the Marlins have been aggressively pursuing some of the game’s top free agents.  They have had talks with agents for King Albert, CJ Wilson, Mark Buehrle, and that bum Jose Reyes.  The Marlins’ closer of much of the 2011 season, Leo Nun- WAIT! THIS JUST IN! The reliever formerly known as Leo Nunez, now by his “real” name, Juan Carlos Oviedo, will not be coming back to Miami for the 2012 season as the Marlins and Padres All-Star closer Heath Bell   have reportedly reached a three year $27,000,000 agreement.  This move, provided it goes through, will put the Miami Marlins in a position to contend for a playoff spot.  In order for them to be a winning, competitive ballclub, they would still need to make one more signing.

Personally, I believe that the Marlins should more agressively pursue a position player.  The almost perfect fit for Miami would be to sign Jose Reyes.  As much as it pains me to say it, Jose is a good athelete and has potential to put this Marlins team over the hump.  The only issue that could arise from a signing of this variety is what to do with not one, but two All-Star shortstops on your team.  Miami would have Jose and Hanley together.  The question is what to do with them.  Earlier reports from mlb.com indicate that the Marlins would try to move Hanley over to third base to make way for Reyes.  We all know about Hanley and how he, like Reyes, is a good athelete but not a good ballplayer.  Can the Marlins function witha bonehead and a bum on the left side of their infield?

There have been quite a few changes of clubs’ managers so far this offseason.  The teams I’m talking about are the Boston Redsox (Bobby Valentine), the Miami Marlins (Ozzie Guillen), the Chicago Cubs (Dale Sveum), the Chicago White Sox (Robin Ventura), and the regining WS champs, the St. Louis Cardinals (Mike Matheny).  MLB.com’s columnist Alden Gonzalez believes that Bobby V will have the highest mountain to climb in Boston out of those five.  His rankings from toughest job to easiest job are Valentine in Boston, Matheny with the Cards, Sveum on the North side, Guillen in Miami, and rounding it out with Ventura on the South side.  You can read the full article at http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20111201&content_id=26070932&vkey=perspectives&fext=.jsp&c_id=mlb.

I disagree with his rankings and see fit to give you my rankings:

Mike Matheny

1.  The new Manager with the toughest job will be Matheny in St. Louis.  Cardinals GM John Mozeliak chose a rookie manager who will need to do a lot of learning on the job.  When you look at the Cardinals roster, you see experienced guys like Holliday, Berkman, Carpenter, and the returning Wainwright.  That is of course, assuming that King Albert does not reurn, but if he does, you obviously throw him into the mix of experienced winners.

You can view Matheny’s job in a similar way to how you may view the job of whatever poor guy gets stuck playing shortstop for the Yankees once Jeter retires.  The shoes Matheny needs to fill are ones that Shaq would have a hard time filling.  Tony La Russa’s managerial career in St. Louis spanned sixteen years and owns a total 1408-1182 record in those years, giving him a winning percentage of .544.  La Russa is the longest tenured manager in Cardinals history and his retirement ultimately ended an era of greatness in St. Louis.

Ozzie Guillen speaks as the Florida Marlins introduce him as their new manager during a press conference at Sun Life Stadium on September 28, 2011 in Miami Gardens, Florida.

Ozzie Guillen

2.  Ozzie Guillen will have a tough time in Florida.  We may not get a feel for his sturggles through all of his Ozzie-isms but this job provides to be a difficult one.  The Florida Marlins have moved into a brand new stadium and changed their name to the Miami Marlins.  The front office is adverstising this club as a new, improved versioned of Marlins baseball.

The Marlins are aggressively pursuing top free agents and putting up big dollars for them in anticipation of the increased revenue that comes along with a  new stadium.  In 2009, when the Yankees and Mets moved to their respective new ballparks.  The Yankees went on to win the World series that year against the Philadelphia Phillies.  Meanwhile in Flushing, the New York Mets finished 70-92 and fourth in their division above only the lowly Nationals.  The Miami Marlins have potential to have a season like the ’09 Yankees, yes, but if they finish in the bottom of the division, like the Mets did, the new stadium schtick will get old fast.

Dale Sveum

3.  The Chicago Cubs are a storied franchise with many great years and many great players.  The atmosphere of Cubs baseball has been the same for decades, a fun day at the ballpark to watch America’s game.  The great home of the Cubbies, Wrigley Field, the Friendly Confines, is one of the temples of the game.  Billy Williams, Andre Dawson, and Ryne Sandberg among other players have passed through the field.  It seems the only thing missing from this American treasure is a World Series title.  Truth is though, they have had two.  The Chicago Cubs won consecutive WS in 1907 and 1908.  each one over 100 years ago.

Dale Sveum will just be the next in line to try and put the Cubs back on top, but with a roster like the Cubs have now, I don’t see it happenning in 2012 or even 2013.  The Only hope for this ballclub is not in their manager, but their brand new General Manager, Theo Epstein.  The problem is that the media sees a team doing poorly and they blame it on the skipper.  Sveum will be under a lot of fire if the Cubs don’t excel quickly, and I don’t see that happenning.

Bobby Valentine

4.  Unlike the Chicago Cubs, the Boston Redsox have experienced a lot of success recently.  After Theo Epstein took over, the Redsox won two WS championships in 2004 and 2007 and made the playoffs six times in ten years.  The firing of Terry Francona at the end of last year was and still is a mystery to me.  It was not at all his fault for his players lack of ability to perform at the beginning and at the end of last year.  Bbobby Valentine was finally selected and given his rightful place as a manger in the MLB once again.

Out of all five of these Manangers, Bobby V has the most experience out of all of them.  He and Ozzie Guillen are my two favorite because they promise to provide entertainment.  Valentine has previously managed the Rangers and the Mets.  He, like many of baseball’s other colorful managers will be under scrutiny at least in this, his first year with a new team.  Unless Boston starts a multi-year slide much like the Mets, Valentine should be fine as manager.

Robin Ventura, the new manager of the Chicago White Sox, speaks during an introductory press conference at U.S. Cellular Field on October 11, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois.

Robin Ventura

5.  The manager with easiest job out of the above four is Robin Ventura of the White Sox.  This is the only spot I agree with from Gonzalez’s rankings.  Although my version of the reason is much simpler than others.  The White Sox are a god awful team.  They have no chance to succeed in the AL Central, and before they can get a guy to lead their players, they need players.  Simple as that.  They just don’t have players.

The New York Mets….

What kind of article would this be if I didnt write about my favorite team?  The issue with the Mets is pitching.  The New York Mets’ official website has made it very clear that GM Sandy Alderson wants to resign Reyes.  The fact that that is one of our team’s headlines alone is pathetic.  The fact that Alderson wants Reyes back is less pathetic, but still pretty low.  Here’s the order I see these things in:

5th place finish with a GOOD team > Sandy Alderson> Jose Reyes > Omar Minaya > Carlos Beltran…

The New York mets are probably going to waste 20 million dollars trying to get Jose Reyes back in Flushing.  Jose Reyes doesn’t belong in Flushing.  He wants to play in Florida with Hanley Ramirez, so why don’t we let him go?  Many fans would love for him to stay and I respect that they do, but I personally can’t see it happenning.  The Mets need to address a sloppy rotation and a poor back end of the bullpen.  To make it simple, the last time the Mets had a good starting five and closer was in 2007.  Here’s the comparison:

2007:
Projected 2012:

  • Ace:  Tom Glavine
    Ace:  Johan Santana
  • #2:    John Maine
    #2:    Mike Pelfrey
  • #3:    Oliver Perez
    #3:    R.A. Dickey
  • #4:    Orlando Hernandez
    #4:    Jon Niese
  • #5:    Mike Pelfrey
    #5:    Dillon Gee
  • Closer:  Billy Wagner
    Closer:  ????????????

My point being that Mets need to sign former Phillies’ closer Ryan Madson.

Fantasy Baseball Playoffs Update

For this year’s fantasy baseball playoffs, Matt decided to give playoff spots to eight teams, as opposed to four.  It is what it is.  And it will be fun to see what it turns out like!

My Team, now named Kevin’s Highlights, after one of my favorite show’s segments, called, what else, Kevin’s Highlights, is he front runner with a 17-2 record.  For those of you who didn’t immediately get it, the show is called Intentional Talk; it’s on weekdays at 5 PM EST on MLB Network.  Check it out, it’s the greatest.

Anyway, I’ll give you all out there a look at each playoff team’s record, notable players, and my finishing prediction.

Andy Mosner – Kevin’s Highlights (17-2)
Overall Finish: 1st
Notable Players:  Jacoby Ellsbury OF, Ryan Braun, OF, Clayton Kershaw SP
Player to Click: Stephen Strasburg SP

Andreas Kaiafas – Old Glorifiers (13-6)
Overall Finish: 7th
Notable Players:  Asdrubal Cabrera SS, Curtis Granderson OF, CC Sabathia SP
Player to Click:  Melky Cabrera OF

Matt Burrill – VT HOKIE HAVEN VT (12-7)
Overall Finish: 6th
Notable Players:  Dustin Pedroia 2B, Roy Halladay SP, Ian Kennedy SP
Player to Click: Evan Longoria 3B

Chris Burrill – REDSOX NATION (11-8)
Overall Finish: 3rd
Notable Players: Adrian Gonzalez 1B, Michael Bourn OF, Cliff Lee SP
Player to click: Desmond Jennings OF

Matt DeBlasio – Clarkstown Stars (11-8)
Overall Finsish: 5th
Notable Players: Troy Tulowitzki SS, Justin Verlander SP, Felix hernandez SP
Player to Click: Carl Crawford OF

Luis Noia – Crimson Chin (9-10)
Overall Finish: 4th
Notable Players: Ian Kinsler 2B, David Ortiz DH, Jered Weaver SP
Player to Click: David Price SP

Mike Doddy – THE BOSS (8-11)
Overall Finish: 2nd
Notable Players: Prince Fielder 1B, Brandon Phillips 2B, Carlos Gonzalez OF
Player to Click: Tim Hudson SP

Matt Cummings – I Am Grimace (6-13)
Overall Finish: 8th
Notable Players: Dan Uggla 2B, Lance Berkman OF, Justin Upton OF
Player to Click: Michael Young

So, my final standing predictions go like this:

1st Place – Kevin’s Highlights
2nd Place – THE BOSS
3rd Place – REDSOX NATION
4th Place – Crimson Chin
5th Place – Clarkstown Stars
6th Place – VT HOKIE HAVEN VT
7th Place – Old Glorifiers
8th Place – I Am Grimace

PS, MATT, I BETTER BE GETTING SOME COOKIES WHEN IT’S ALL SAID AND DONE.

The Once Great Migration

I never really realized it until recently, but have you ever noticed how as players get older and stop producing at “elite” levels, they move out West.  Whether the player gets injured or just gets old, they do, in fact move.  I’ll give you some examples of that in a bit.  All I’m saying is that the East has the better players than the west.  The AL and NL East have the best teams; the AL and NL West have the worst teams; and the AL and NL Central are somewhere in the middle.

Obviously, there are some exceptions to the rule.  The East has some pretty pathetic teams.  Most notably, the lowly New York Mets, and the ‘wrong place, wrong time’ Baltimore Orioles.  The San Francisco Giants, the reigning WS champs, and the ‘slug you to death’ Texas rangers are in the West.  Meanwhile the Central has the most diverse pool of teams.  The fact that are 11 teams, rather than ten or  nine, may lend to that fact.

The Central divisions of Major League Baseball are, like I said, the most diverse.  In the NL, there are some teams that make me scratch my head and others that make me rip out my hair.  The Cubbies, who haven’t won a World Series in OVER 100 YEARS, the Pirates, and the Astros, all make me scratch my head.  I was worried that the Astros might in fact break the Mets’ record 40-120 season.  Thank god that prestigious honor still belongs to New York.  The other half of theleague, being currently, the Brewers, Reds, and Cardinals, all knwo how to play baseball.  The AL Central is in a constant state of flux with the royals 5th, Tigers in 1st, Whitesox, Indians, and Twins somewhere in the middle.

NOW, enough with the teams, let’s get to the players.  I find it to be remarkable how older players just move out there.  Some players start in the West, get good, and move East, then move back.  It’s funny.  I’m going to try and give you a full team of examples, so here goes.  These players don’t have to still be playing, just fit my description.

Catcher:  Mike Piazza, Todd Hundley
First Base:  Jason Giambi, Mike Sweeney
Second Base:  Aaron Hill, Kelly Johnson
Third Base:  Robin Ventura, Jorge Cantu
Shortstop:  Miguel Tejada, Nomar Garciaparra
Left Field:  Manny Ramirez, Hideki Matsui
Centerfield:  Andruw Jones, Vernon Wells
Right Field:  Carlos Beltran, Reggie Jackson

Starters:  Randy Johnson, Nolan Ryan, Greg Maddux, Scott Kazmir, David Wells
Relievers:  Francisco Rodriguez, Heath Bell  Mets Rejects both…..

Now, just before I go, I want to point out that the New York Mets recently put David Wright on waivers.  He was claimed by the Colorado Rockies.  David Wright would join the 3B list if a trade gets completed.  Being the die-hard Mets fan that I am, you might think, ‘WHY would he want David Wright to be traded?!’  I mean, the Mets trading Wright would be like the Yankees Trading Jeter, or the Giants trading Lincecum, or the Nationals trading Ryan Zimmerman!  Well, my reader friend, because if the Mets can get one of or both of the following prospects, I would do it: the Tulsa Drillers’ Drew Pomeranz and/or Alex White, also of the Drillers.  Here’s the deals I would do:

David Wright

Mets give:
David Wright           for               Drew Pomeranz and a PTBN

or

David Wright, Jefry Marte, PTBN             for                 Alex White, Tyler Matzek

The Mets need young pitchign and speed.  And I’m willing to pay David Wright for it.  If any deal goes down, though…  the Mets have sent David Wright on the “Once Great Migration.”

                               

HIS NAME IS DAN UGGLA!!!

AH!  The famous homerun call by the Marlins announcers for any time Mr. Dan Uggla hits a homerun
 
Generally, when I think of Dan Uggla, I think of a guy who will absolutely slug you to death.  A 90-30-100 guy who is going to hit around .250.  This season up to about a month ago, was not the same.  The power numbers were still there, but he was hitting about .170.  Which is below that good ol’ Mendoza Line.

However something magical is happening now.  He is on something of a tear.  He is hitting in the middle of a 32 game hitting streak.  Over this hitting streak, he is looking a lot more like the Yankee Clipper!  Joltin’ Joe Dimaggio and his 56 game hitting streak appears to be a record that will stand for the foreseeable future.  I’m not gonna say anything about Mr. Uggla, but I will say that I am enjoying seeing him in such good company.

Moving on to some big names on the DL, such as Alex Rodriguez, Hanley Ramirez, and my guy, Stephen Strasburg!

Strasburg made his second rehab start on Friday, going 3.0 innings, striking out 5 and walking 0.  While I don’t why the Nationals organization is doing this, I’m certainly in favor of it.  I love seeing this guy Pitch.  He just had Tommy John Surgery and he comes back throwing 99 mph.  Another reason I’m so excited about his return, is that in Mr. Matt’s fantasy league, Matt Deblasio, Matt’s cousin, was about to pick him up, but he said he would do it after he went to his baseball game.  Meanwhile, in the Nation Moze, I decided to add him approximately when Matt got to the field.  He came home to look for him on the waiver wire, and POOF!  He was gone and on my DL!!

Steven Strasburg

 
 Alex Rodriguez made his first rehab start the other day.  In his first AB, he smashed a homer to left.  This is good news for the Yankees, getting back their star third baseman.  However, it’s not going to help out in the long run.  The AL East title as well as the American League Pennant is firmly in the hands of the BOSTON REDSOX!

As I sit here, watching the fine programming on MLB Network, I think about just how AWFUL the New York Mets are.  I see former Yankee REJECT, Ian Kennedy, pitching seven strong innings of 1 run baseball against them.  I can NOT stand being a Mets fan…

Mr. Met

With that I leave you fellow baseball nuts!  Remember, always believe and enjoy in the magic of “It aint over till it’s over”

And to close, Imagine a single player winning all three major awards of the 2011 season.With no SP standing out in the NL, a possible candidate for the RoY, Cy Young, and if his team wins the WS, possibly the MVP, Mr. Craig Kimbrel!!!!

Craig Kimbrel

Pittsburgh…

After almost TWO WHOLE DECADES of futility, the Pittsburgh Pirates are in FISRT PLACE!

To give them their “playoff push,” I would try to go out and give whatever I got for Astro’s All-Star Hunter Pence.  Putting him into the mix would really be something special especially considering the fact that if Pittsburgh can pull of a package deal inclding Brett Myers with him.  I really do think the Pirates would at LEAST make it to the NLCS.  I never knew that Cinderella was from Pittsburgh.

Hunter Pence

Another note, Jason Isringhausen, Mets’ closer, is pitching right now.  He just recorded three straight strikeouts of, get this, Albert Pujols, Matt Holliday, and Lance Berkman.  Mind you, this is his second inning of work.  It is right now 5-5 tied in the 10th between the Mets and the Cards.  A walk to David Freese puts the redbirds with a runner on first and Colby Rasmus at bat.  Back when I was a toddler, the Mets’ Big Three, Generation K, Izzy, Bill Pulsipher, and Paul Wilson, were the next big thing.  Now Pulsipher and Wilson are done, and Izzy is in his twilight.  But for a guy in twilight, he STILL gets the job done.  Jason is left; his number, 44 no longer his as it’s Jason Bay’s.  He closed the door and the Mets came to bat in the bottom of the tenth.

 “50 Biggest Fails in New York Mets History.” down there

Here’s the link, haters:  http://www.complexmag.com/sports/2011/04/the-50-biggest-fails-in-new-york-mets-history

So, check that out.  But back to the Game!

THE METS WON!!!!  6-5 A WALK OFF from Angel Pagan!!  right above the Pepsi Porch!  THE MEST WIN!  THE METS WIN! THEEEEEEEE METS WIN!!!  Courtesy to Michael Kay 🙂

Now, the Yankee game is I think over..  Yes, indeed, quite over. A 4-0 Win.  Good job Yanks.  You won’t catch Boston, sorry.

Just found that. ^^^^^^^^^^^  I thought it was funny.  THAT’S FOR YOU BOSTON

You Can Put it On the Board… YES !

July Fourth, WHAT A GREAT DAY FOR SOME BASEBALL!  As I sit here and watch the Cleveland Indians come back against the EVIL Empire, New York Yankees, I start to think.  I love baseball so much.  Today has been an exciting day of Independence Day baseball!

The Washington Nationals host the Chicago Cubs:

This game was won in ten by the Nats.  They were up 2-1 until an outburst by the Cubbies.  The score went back and forth until the bottom of the tenth.  it was tied 4-4.  Jayson Werth led off with a walk, advanced to second, stole third, then scored the winning run on a passed ball by one of the WORST closers in the game, Carlos Marmol.  This coming from a man whose teams’ closer is earning Mariano weight in gold, but pitching like someone who was charged with assault on his father-in-law, not mentioning names, Francisco Rodriguez…

Jayson Werth

The Yankees Game:  at Progressive Field, against the hometown Indians

Josh Tomlin, Indians Starter had a no-hitter working into the seventh inning when it got broken up by a single into center field by first baseman, Mark Teixeira.  It was followed by a weird roller off Robinson Cano’s bat and then a two RBI double by my favorite position player, NICK SWISHER!!!  The Score was then 2-0 Empire.

Swisher Salute !!

In the bottom of the seventh, AJ Burnett was still in the game.  AJ BLEW IT  he let up for runs.  So, 4-2 Tribe.  As a side note, the four runs were all earned.  Shelly Duncan and Austin Kearns, two former Yankees, got those RBI’ s  Kearns’ three were from a homerun to right.

Shelly Duncan (NYY Edition )

Shelly Duncan (Tribe Edition )

TO  

    TO  

Curtis Granderson hit a solo shot in the eighth, 4-3 Tribe.  But, the Yanks crept closer.  THe score remained the same until Carlos Santana hit a BOMB to deep left to give Cleveland a 6-3 lead.

OH WAIT, MY BAD ;D

And then Indians All-Star closer, Chris Perez closed it out for the win!

Fantasy Update June 22

On this day, June 22

The standings in our favorite fantasy league are as follows,

1. The Beard, belonging to yours truly
-. Old Glorifiers
3. VT HOKIE HAVEN VT, I wonder whose team that is
4. Crimson Chin, Louis Noia
-. REDSOX NATION, Chris Burrill

Those are the teams that would be in the playoffs. if they started tomorrow.  whether it is Chin on NATION who gets in is determined by the runs scored stat.  Chris has a 30 run lead on Louis there.

Anyway, here we have the rosters of those four teams lined up nice and good:

Pos.      The Beard                 Old Glorifiers                   HAVEN VT                  NATION
C            V. Martinez             Russell Martin                 Alex Avila                     AJ Pierzynski
1B          Joey Votto                Mark Trumbo                  Gaby Sanchez               A. Gonzalez
2B         R. Cano                     Neil Walker                      Dustin Pedroia            Ryan Theriot
3B         R. Zimmerman       Jose Bautista                    Evan Longoria             Chase Headley
SS         H. Ramirez               Asdrubal Cabrera           Jhonny Peralta            Erik Aybar
OF        Ryan Braun              Jayson Werth                 Andrew McCutchen    Jacoby Ellsbury
OF        Ryan Roberts           Alfonso Soriano             Howard Kendrick        Alex Gordon
OF        Josh Hamilton       Curtis Granderson          Michael Morse             Michael Bourn
UTIL    Stephen Drew          Melky Cabrera                 Placido Polanco          Ichiro Suzuki

P           Felix Hernandez      CC Sabathia                      Roy Halladay               Justin Verlander
P           Cliff Lee                       Tommy Hanson             Alexi Ogando               Clayton Kershaw
P           James Shields           Max Scherzer                   Kyle Lohse                    Jhoulys Chacin
P           Anibal Sanchez        Edinson Volquez            Ian Kennedy
P           Jamie Garcia             AJ Burnett
P           Dillon Gee

P           Brian Wilson                                                          Mariano Rivera           Joel Hanrahan
P           Neftali Feliz                                                            Craig Kimbrel               John Axford
P           Jonny Venters                                                        Leo Nunez                     Jose Valverde
P                                                                                                                                        Tyler Clippard

B                                                   Jimmy Rollins               Pablo Sandoval            Martin Prado*
B                                                   Matt Kemp                      Carlos Quentin             Matt Joyce
B                                                   Scott Rolen
B                                                   Kurt Suzuki

DL        Carl Crawford             Albert Pujols                   Darwin Barney            Adam Wainwright

Side note, to do that roster chart, I had tiome to kinda watch zoning in and out of an entire episode of NCIS on USA  The episode was delicious.

Why Do I say delicious, you ask?  Because, we all know, although I have tried =D.  Because, on the Cheap Seats, a lovely program from MLB Network, I heard my favorite player being interviewed by Chris Rose, from the Cheap Seats.  Brian Wilson was quoted as describing something as delicious.  Due to my aspiration to be Brian Wilson, I have encompassed the word delicious as a synonym to awesome, great, etc, to my vocabulary.