Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Vote For Julio

ladies and gentlemen, 
in the past i have been called insane, crazy, stupid, nuts, mad, and cuckoo. this summer, i would like to add another word to the list-- genius. 
today i ask you to embark on a journey with me as i try to get julio franco into the 2009 mlb all-star game. i ask for you to please write in his name on the ballot. 
to do so it is simply easy. just launch the ballot on and when it prompts you to fill out the al ballot, write in julio franco's name at the bottom for the indians at the ss position. continue onto the nl ballot where you can write in his name again. this time, select the braves as his team with the ss again being the position. 

with your support we can do this. we could get the immortal julio franco back into the game of baseball. i thank you in advance for your support of julio franco and only wish that you spread the word as well. 

thank you, 
greg zeck 

for more information please go here

Sunday, April 12, 2009

The Week That Was...

Baseball is now a week in the books and its hilarious how telling the first week can be, or what I'm perceiving through my own eyes.

-Kevin Gregg is no more, I shall call him KGE or "The Kevin Gregg Experiment". Everytime KGE steps on the mound, Cubs fans know what Rays fans once felt like when Denys Baez was closer and JoeBo wasn't our 8th inning bandaid. 3-2 counts were a given and if he were brought in with 2 outs in the 8th, he was going to blow the save in the 9th.

-Will Carroll and a few others created Evan Longoria's nickname on twitter this week. He's known as "The Keeper" and after his first 6 games, Evan has 5 HRs, 1 SB(Thievan Longoria!) and 3 GIDPs. Also learned this week was that the Rays are above average with RISP(when not dealing with Adam Jones) and high leverage situations.

-Aaron Harang, Chris Carpenter and Josh Johnson are back. 2 are overcoming shoulder injuries and Harang just needs to forget about 2008. However, this is only a week in and Carp needs to prove that he's gonna be in there for the long run.

-The White Sox are already baffling and probably will prove BP wrong again with their projections, mainly because they beat a better team like Minnesota but get shown up by Kansas City.

-Speaking of BP(Baseball Prospectus), they're inviting all bloggers and fans to become a future writer(and with their track record, possibly have a future in front offices). I've been taking my time with my entry essay, but will have it in by the wednesday deadline for sure.

-My heart goes out to the LA Angels, Nick Adenhart's family and the others who were involved in the fatal crash. No surprise to me when "Mr. Nice Guy" Torii Hunter went after Josh Beckett for throwing over Abreu's head after a timeout was called. Hey Boston, go to hell, noone is afraid of you guys anymore. Your "idiot" mentality isn't even funny anymore, either.

-The Yankees will probably be in the running for the playoffs this year, but its looking like it may come by the hands of AJ Burnett and Nick Swisher than CC and Teixiera. Swish is back to his old Oakland self, but clean cut(Yankee rules). The bullpen is shaky outside of Rivera really and KC has proven how hittable they can be in the 7th and 8th innings already.

-If you don't know Emilio Bonifacio, you will soon. He's got more runs scored than games played and turning heads while he's doing it. Beinfest & Company have been owning people in trades for a few years now and Bonifacio's opening day inside-the-park HR made the Marlins' scouting department look like geniuses when people questioned using a horrible on-base guy as their leadoff guy(minor lg stats) at a new position. Speed kills and the marlins have the young pitching to shutdown opposing teams that are trying to counter the Marlins somewhat explosive hitting. Marlins are one of my sleepers, even with the Mets revamped pen.

-It took 6 games for Cleveland to get their first win and Cliff Lee is sucking thus far. I'm glad I didn't gamble on this prediction in Vegas. Hopefully Fausto or some other non-Pavano pitcher can fix the Indians' woes.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Remembering Nick Adenhart

Hey everybody,

Today we lost a fantastic young pitcher in 22-year-old Nick Adenhart after he passed away from a car accident last night.  It's hard to believe that the baseball community and the rest of the world that knew this young man has to say goodbye because over the past couple years we've seen flashes of greatness.

Nick Adenhart was (it feels so strange to say "was") a 4-star prospect in the Angels organization that made his big league debut last season.  He was a hard throwing right hander that was drafted out of high school and was drafted in the 14th round a couple years back.  The Angels took a gamble on him dishing out quite a bit of money after he had some minor injuries.  He made his way up through the minors with nothing but tremendous upside.  He was starting to live up to his potential as one of the game's great young pitchers despite some control issues.

In fact, last night Adenhart had a rather stellar performance for the Angels pitching six scoreless innings with five strikeouts.  It seemed that Adenhart finally found his spot on a shaky rotation; a rotation that seemed to be more stable with him.  Being just 22, it's obvious to see why all of the scouts, coaches and fans loved him.

However, his death was very preventable.  A minivan going about 80 mph decided to run a red light as Adenhart's car, which was carrying 4 people, collided with it.  3 people, including Adenhart, died as the final passenger is in intensive care at a nearby hospital.  If that wasn't bad enough, the driver of the minivan tried to flee the scene but was caught by officials.  The man was charged with felony hit and run charges, but that hardly seems to be enough.

I can't help but hope that this man goes to prison for a long time, if not, the rest of his life.  So many questions appear to arise on what was going through this man's head.  Why was he going through the red light?  Why was he going 80 mph!?  It is completely pointless.  There is no excuse for putting safety at risk to get to a location a bit earlier.  This is the perfect reason why.  22 is just too young.

We lost one of our young rising stars today.  So please do what you can to remember this great man, whether it be holding a moment of silence or just saying a simple prayer.  You will be missed Nick Adenhart; may you rest in peace.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Day 2

It is day 2 of the 2009 MLB season and every team has had at least one game now. I hope that your favorite team is doing well.

Almost everything seems pretty standard and is following trends from past years. So far pitching has ruled hitting. The offensive explosion has been pretty rare thus far (unless you're a Marlins fan) and that seems true to form. Yes, typically, good pitching beats good hitting, but in the past years, pitchers seem to have the edge for the first couple weeks. As the season continues to progress, watch your teams favorite hitters start to develop their "Hitter's eye" and start to produce.

However, what you may not expect was the lack of good pitching by each team's Ace. Sabathia, Lee, Lincecum, Verlander, and Brandon Webb all got roughed up pretty bad. Roy Oswalt gave up a pair of DINGERS and now all of us are wondering our draft strategies for our Fantasy Baseball leagues. Well, stick with these guys (obviously). Only a matter of time before they start spelling their names with K's.

Enjoy the rest of this week's games!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Play Ball!

The smell of pinetar is in the air and, unless you're in Boston or the southside of Chicago, baseball is being played. That is a gripe for later on, but today is the day that we've been waiting for.

No more meaningly games, where closers come in anywhere between the 4th and 6th innings and where minor leaguers get their real "cups of coffee". No more WBC, even.

Its fun to know that you can chide your best friend about his beloved team's free agent signee bottomed out in his debut. Its also fun to know that your hated rivals can't play in the rain, though the real reason could be out of fear of the opposing team or not selling out the stadium on opening day.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

From What I hear...

Hey everybody, sorry there have not been too many posts lately.  We've both been pretty busy.

So much of what we perceive of the game of baseball relies on what we hear from the commentators.  Yes, we may think that we know strategy and that we are all smarter than Joe Torre, but then reality sets in and we aren't.  We must hear to what the commentators have to say whether it is on T.V. or radio to make us think about the game that we are interested in.  Every fan may say that their team's guys are the best or the worst,  but what happens when there is no commentary?

Many of you may have heard about the bizarre happenings for the Baltimore Orioles radio team in the New York Post or somewhere else.  Basically, Orioles broadcasters Joe Angel and Fred Manfra were sent home early by their superiors after a rain delay.  That would have been fine and actually quite nice had the game been called off.  The sad thing is for the station is that the game did resume without the commentators.  Didn't the umpire crew think to check in with guys at WJZ-FM.  I mean, you can't have a game without the announcers.  Of course, this is sarcasm;  as a guy who still loves listening to games on the radio, I look down on that station.  

Fans should be able to have the opportunity to listen to the entire game if that was the station's original intent.  At least make sure that the game is going to be called off before sending your crew home.  Are you now paying your broadcasters by the hour in this bad economy?  I originally thought that this story was a joke and then I became pretty astonished at the management of that station.  I was pretty mad.  But then I remembered, that it is just spring training and that it is just the Baltimore Orioles...

Well, that's too short of a post, so it's time to highlight some of the better (and worse) names in baseball broadcasting.

The Good (in no particular order):
  • Vin Scully.  It's hard not to start the list off with the legendary Dodgers radio man.  Pair him with Charlie Steiner and there's none better.
  • Bob Euker.  The guy makes listening to Brewers games tolerable.  Fans from rival teams respect the guy too.  He sang for Cubs fans at Wrigley and got a warm reception.
  • Chip Caray.  Let's just say that I wish the Cubs still had this guy.
  • Joe Buck.  Like his dad, he can call a great baseball game.  He is rather putrid when it comes to football though...
  • Gary Thorne.  I think we can all agree that we're happy that he's replacing Miller and Morgan, even though he is paired up with Steve Phillips...
  • Duane Kuiper and Mike Krukow.  This pair is my favorite T.V. team by far.  Over the past few years I've tuned in to Giants guys just to listen to these two guys  do their thing.  They were the voices of the MVP baseball games and the phrase, "Sit Down, Meat!" is still my favorite.
The Bad:
  • Joe Angel and Fred Manfra.  You knew it was coming after last week's fiasco.
  • Keith Hernandez.  HAHA.  Let's move on.
  • Thom Brennamen and Mark Grace.  Thom isn't too bad, but Grace is.
  • John Miller and Joe Morgan.  Morgan isn't too bad on the radio, but Morgan is bad no matter what.
  • Ron Santo.  Love the guy and have a ton of respect for him, but he just is not a very good broadcaster
  • Hawk Harrelson.  His HE GONE and Put it on the board calls are good, but everything else makes you want to put on the mute button.
That's all I've got for you today.  Let the debate begin.  As always, how can the argument be solved when it's all personal opinion?  I think the only thing we can agree upon is Scully, but maybe you'll surprise me.