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

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!

The Beauty of Minor League Baseball

The game of baseball has always been a way of bringing people together and giving them something to watch and enjoy. For years fans could go with their families and get some peanuts and cracker jacks and maybe even a program for the hardcore fan. At one point in time believe it or not you could get 5 tickets, food , drinks and souvenirs for a family of 5 at a price under $50. Now a days that kind of bargain is unheard of. Now try $200 to $300 for just the tickets and food and thats not even putting the price of parking into the equation.

Family at the Ballpark

Here is a little question for you to answer. Where can you go to a fantastic ball park , watch a great game with great fans for an affordable price ? The answer my friends in Minor League Baseball ! In my area , Rockland County NY everyone loves the game of baseball and goes to games frequently. Which is why an independent league team , The Rockland Boulders, have come to this baseball crazed area .Tonight (July 2nd , 2011) I went to my second Boulders game.

 I went with my boy Moze Nation and some other guys to watch the Boulders host the Newark Bears. We started the game along the 3rd base side of Provident Bank Ballpark but soon realized that we had to sit with the real fans in the best section of any ballpark!…. The Bleachers! We worked our way out there stopping for some hotdogs, sodas and some other ballpark favorites but once we got there we soon realized why Minor League baseball is so great. We were the only people in the section ! A whole section for 4 guys who are looking to kickoff their summer in an amazing fashion! We started chanting and banging and just flat-out having fun. Soon 4 more boys came over and joined us, followed by more people. By the 7th inning we had at least 30 people(including the usher) chanting and screaming for the Boulders players. We also got to know the outfielders quiet well (RF , Tommy Giles and CF, Sean Smith) getting them to dance and answer questions and even sign a few autographs.  We even did a rendition of the infamous “Rollcall” performed by the best baseball fans in history, The Bleacher Creatures ! (Only difference was that we referred to ourselves as the “Rockland Rockers”). As we chanted the players names 1 by 1 going around the field they all smiled and were very appreciative of the audience and attention that they were getting , despite making a fraction of what the pros are making.

Provident Bank Ballpark

Which is another HUGE reason that Minor League is so much more entertaining than Major League baseball. If we had done what we were doing in Provident Bank Ballpark at any big league stadium we would’ve been thrown out within 20 minutes of us entering. Not because we were swearing (Which we were not) but because we were interacting with the players and being slightly disruptive. At least 80% of major league players are jerks; It is a proven fact ! With these minor league guys who aren’t earning as much in salary , endorsements, or bonuses they are purely there to entertain and most of all have fun playing America’s pastime. 

Well there is my opinion ! Now I wanna hear yours ! By voting in our poll on which is more entertaining ? MLB or Minor League ?I am also interested in your comments or thoughts on the institution of Minor League Baseball!

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.

The Famous summer of 1961

   With summer baseball right around the corner I thought it would be fitting to do a post on the famous home run race between Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle from 1961, After all it is the 50th anniversary!

  When ever someone thinks of the New York Yankees the 1st thing that usually pops into their head is a tradition of pride and winning. This all started back in 1923 with George Herman Ruth aka “The Babe” who had 60 Home Runs in the year 1927 with the bombers. Ruth’s record was known as the greatest record in all of sports and not one person thought that it would ever be broken.  Ruth played for over 22 years with three different ball clubs (Yankees,Red Sox, and Braves ) and hit 714 out of the park.

The Babe

Then in December of 1959, the Yankees made a big time trade with the Kansas City Athletics(Who were known as the Yankees “Major league farm team). The Yankees received 7 players in the deal including big time stars in the making: Don Larsen, Hank Bauer and of course Roger Maris.  All three were stars in the making and really shined while playing for the Bombers in the 60’s.

Maris had an amazing season in 1960, winning the American League’s Most Valuable Player award and led the league in Slugging percentage, RBI’ s and extra base hits. Second to Maris in MVP voting was another Yankee who had becoming a fan favorite entering his 10th season with the club.That player was Mickey Mantle who had a Hall of Fame career, winning 7 Championships , 20 All Star seasons and was the  most recent player to accomplish a Triple Crown season. Mantle and Maris both came into the 1961 season with high expectations from both the media and each other.
 
 Both Maris and Mantle started out the season slow  but came on by the end of April. Once this great accomplishment was thought to be in reach both the people of New York and the harsh and overly critical media began to try to make the quest for 61 Home Runs into a competitive contest between Mantle, the “True Yankee” and Maris “The Outsider”.  This constant attention and sensation with the media was not handled well by Maris who coming from North Dakota never knew this kind of media or attention for a sport existed. 46 games into the season both Maris and Mantle had 15 HR’s(1 pace off from the Babe) which again made all the critics chirp about how this record that had been untouchable for nearly 35 year would never be broken.
As the season rolled on so did the nagging injuries of the great Mickey Mantle. The Mick had been known for his injuries since 1951 and was aging a lot faster than he should have been. From his knees to his arms Mantle was practically a walking casket for 5 to 6 years of his career. At the peak of the race both players were in the mid 50’s for HR on the year when Mantle knee and hip finally gave out on him. Mantle would finish the season with a total of 54 HR and leave Maris with the quest for 61.
 
There was a bit of contrevesory with this record. When Ruth hit 60 back in 1927 the MLB season only had 154 games on the schedule. In 1961 the MLB and league commissioner, Ford Frick expanded the schedule to 162 games and added 2 expansion teams to the AL (Angels and Twins). Because of this a question began to arise… Would it still be a valid record if it is broken after 154 games ? To answer this question Commissioner Frick decided to put an * next to Maris’ 61 HR if he were to break the record.  With this added pressure the 154th game of the Yankees season was in a series in the hometown of the Babe, Baltimore,MD against the Orioles. Maris hit 1 HR in the series giving him 59 with 8 games remaining on the schedule. Maris then struggled getting only 1 HR in his final 7 games going into the season finale against the Red Sox in Yankee Stadium. On October 1st 1961 Maris stepped up to the plate in the 4th inning of the game to face 24-year-old Tracy Stallard and the rest they say is history!  
 
 
Maris had done it ! He had single handedly passed the Babe and became the record holder. And to make things even better the Yanks would go on to win the 1st of 2 back to back chamionships with Maris leading the way. Maris would go on to play another 5 seasons in the Bronx.
Till this day a true baseball fan will say that Maris still has the record even though some JUICERS may have passed him he will always live on in history as the man who passed the Babe !
 

The Beard v. Hokie Haven

Mine and Matt’s fantasy teams are both currently 7-1.  As we head down the road, the big question that arises is who will win it all.  Right now, though, our teams are somehow even.

In this next section of the articel I will give you a head to head positional update on our two teams.  The Beard will come first, then those Hokies

C:  Victor Martinez v.  Alex Avila   Both Detroit Tigers, both with C eligibilty

1B:  Joey Votto v.  Gaby Sanchez   Both very good, young first basemen

2B:  Robinson Cano v. Dustin Pedroia   Pedroia originally was mine, but I traded him for Crawford whom I traded for Josh Hamilton

3B:  Ryan Roberts v. Placido Polanco   Two different kinds of players.  Polanco will give you runs and avg while Roberts is more of a slugger. 

SS:  Stephen Dres v.  Darwin Barney  Braney’s been a pleasnt surprise coming through for the Cubbies while Drew has had his ups and downs.

OF1:  Matt Holliday v.  Carlos Quentin
OF2:  Ryan Braun  v.  Jason Kubel
OF3:  Chris Young  v.  Brennan Boesch

My outfielders (plus the one UTIL guy who is an OF) I have deemed the heart of my team.  They stand for HR, RBI, Runs, SLG% etc.  I disregard SB and avg to an extent.  I don’t know what is up with Matt’s OF.  All three have great upside and are good players, but can not compare with the Fabulous, bearded four.

UTIL:  Josh Hamilton  v.  Andrew McCutchen   Hamilton gives you more avg, whhile McCutchen gives you more speed.  Also the fact that Hamilton is the AL MVP and not playing in Pittsburg helps me here too.

Our pitching is a whole nother adventure.

Matt likes to brag about his RP, while I clearly, easily have the best starters in our league. 

My Starters, Felix Hernandez, James Shields, Mat Latos, Jaime Garcia, Cliff Lee, Anibal Sanchez, and Yovani Gallardo.  All very good pitchers.  Once Latos gets his act together, I’ll have all potential aces.  I only have two relievers.  Brian THE BEARD!!!! Wilson  and Neftali Feliz.

His starters are:  Doc Halladay, Clayton Kershaw, Jorge De La Rosa, and Jhoulys Chacin.  His relievers are better than mine though.  Mariano, Kimbrel, Valverde, and Nunez. 

He also has Pablo Sandoval and Evan Longoria.  Sandoval’s on the DL.  My DL spot is, and has been for a while, Ryan Zimmerman

Fantasy Draft Recap

Yesterday, at 7:15 pm EST, There began a fantasy baseball draft of epic proportions.  A ten team league, 23 spots per team (5 keepers from the previous year) .  All in all at the end of the night, everything turned out well.

I will spotlight my personal top three, bottom three, and writer’s teams.

Top Three:
Humongous Melonheads – Andrew Mosner

C-Victor Martinez
1B-Joey Votto
2B-Robinson Cano
3B-Adrian Beltre
SS-Stephen Drew
OF-Matt Holliday
OF-Ryan Braun
OF-Chris Young
UTIL-Dustin Pedroia
P-Felix Hernandez
P-Brian Wilson
P-Joakim Soria
P-Neftali Feliz
P-John Axford
B-Josh Johnson
B-Shaun Marcum
B-Daniel Hudson
B-Jamie Garcia

THE BOSS- Mikey Doddy, Rick Mechanic

C-Kurt Suzuki
1B-Prince Fielder
2B-Brandon Phillips
3B-Casey McGehee
SS-Erick Aybar
OF-Jason Heyward
OF-Carlos Gonzalez
OF-Torii Hunter
UTIL-Adam Jones
B-Brian Roberts
B-Jason Bay
P-Jon Lester
P-Matt Cain
P-Ubaldo Jimenez
P-Matt Garza
P-Francisco Rodriguez
B-Jeremy Hellickson

The Crimson Chin -Louis Noia

C-Yadier Molina
1B-Billy Butler
2B-Ian Kinsler
3B-David Wright
SS-Alexei Ramirez
OF-Shane Victorino
OF-Shin-Soo Choo
OF-Brett Gardner
UTIL-David Ortiz
B-Nick Swisher
B-Daniel Wagner(ranked below 3000 on the player Rater, however, not his choice)
P-David Price
P-Jered Weaver
P-Jonathan Papelbon
P-Jonathan Broxton
P-Andrew Bailey
B-Ted Lilly

Each of these teams, In my opinion have a good shot to win it