Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Monumental Collapses, Rizzo Vs. D-Cab and Big Debuts

- On Memorial Day, Major League Baseball teams donned Red flag-adorned caps. It also featured the Rays losing a game in which they once had a 10-0 lead. It also, though it can be argued against, featured the smallest strikezone in MLB History. With 2 outs in the 9th, the Indians scored 7 runs and Rays relievers basically had to pitch down the middle to get strike called.

Don't believe me? Email me @ to get a screenshot of the strikezone.

- Mike Rizzo must be preparing for Stephen Strasburg(Steven Strausberg, for Natinals fans) and a possible grievance from the MLBPA. When asked why he decided to cut bait on Daniel "Wild Thing" Cabrera, Rizzo was quoted in saying "I got tired of watching him." Wow, that's brutally honest. Nothing new, seeing as he once took a swipe at Steve Shell before after cutting the reliever.

- Matt Wieters, David Price and Fernando Martinez will make their season debuts this week. Wieters, the top prospect in all of baseball, will be featured prominently in an interesting line-up that features Nick Markakis, Adam Jones, Brian Roberts and Nolan Reimold.

David Price was erratic in his first start, but how much of his ineffeciency can be blamed on the postage stamp of a strike zone that Angel Hernandez was using against the Rays? For those not watching the game, Price featured a 99 mph fastball and a slider that dipped as low as 75 mph. I could be wrong, but a 24 mph difference between mph readings will make Price very intimidating.

Wieters and Price, baseball fans know easily. However, Fernando Martinez should be on radars as well. F-Mart has been playing in the minors since the age of 16 and Ryan Church may get Wally Pipp'D if Fernando continues to hit like he did in AAA.

In lesser-known prospects getting calls, Jake Fox and David Hernandez are both receiving shots at sticking in the majors. Cubs INF Jake Fox had a 1.600 OPS in AAA and Bobby Scales' Cinderella Story was the only thing keeping Jake down. Daniel, on the other hand, is the first in a long line of Baltimore pitching prospects getting calls. He's more of a finesse type, so he's gonna see his fair share of tough outings early on.

Monday, May 18, 2009

High-and-Tight, Steve Phillips and Pat Burrell is a lady-killer

-Apparently the most-likely candidate to get nailed by a pitch on a consistent basis is not Carlos Quentin(who, during his minor league career had a season in which he got nailed by a pitch over 40 times!) but Ian Kinsler. Kinsler must wink at pitchers before at-bats because he's seen fastballs whiz behind him as of late. Bobby Jenks throw a purprose, non-purpose pitch which costed Jenksy 750 dollars that had to have made a huge dent in his McDonalds/Dunkin' Donuts/Blonde Hair Dye budget. Then, a day after he launched 2 HRs of Angels pitchers, he single-handedly took John Lackey out of the game within 2 pitches.

Stop winking, Ian!

-According to Rays Index, Pat Burrell went to stark nakedness to fully-dressed and on the field for the Rays-Indians bench-clearing melee...within 20 seconds. RI has pictures to prove this.

My question is, what kind of past deviousness has PtB done to have him learn to become fully dressed within a split-second? Pat the Bait stories come to my mind right now, tsk tsk young man.

-Steve Phillips hasn't ever been a favorite of mine on any baseball-related program on ESPN. His only successful claim to fame was being the guy who announced that the Mets will select David Wright in the Amateur Draft. He(of the "Let's Give Month Vaughn a Brinks Truck Full of Cash" Fame) along with his successor(Dan Duquette), are the reason why Omar Minaya still has a job with the Mets even after consecutive late-season chokes in the previous seasons that kept the Mets out of the playoffs.

Well, his stupidity has reached another level according to fans. He's made it to the Joe Morgan level of "Did he just say that?"-ness.

Let me unveil to you...(And just now discovered) Fire Steve Phillips dot com!

The commentary on chat wraps alone is worth the visit, unless you don't want to read recycled sentences by Steve, hear some foreshadowing, or read about his love/hate relationship with the Florida Marlins.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Wild, Wacky Shtuff...

Been awhile since I've posted here, my apologies to the readers. However, today is a great day to post.

-Note to Joe Maddon, No wine before baseball games.

Today, Joe got caught up in a line-up card snafu today. He accidentally listed 2 3rd basemen on the card, when it was apparent he meant normal 3B Evan Longoria was going to DH and Ben Zobrist was going to play the hot corner. He, thinking out loud, actually wrote 5(the number code for 3B) By MLB rule, either you give an automatic out for every AB for Longoria or you lose the DH and Sonnanstine(the pitcher) takes Longoria's #3 spot in the line-up.

Lucky for us, Sonnanstine has shown in Interleague Play that he is our best hitting pitcher and a doubles machine. He came up with the lumber late and put up an RBI double to knock in our 7th run.

-To keep with random Rays-related news, Kerry Wood and Troy Percival showed youngsters how to show how veteran pitchers clear batters from blocking the plate. Kerry Wood threw a pitch behind Upton(probably pay-back from JP Howell's alleged near-beaning of Victor Martinez) and then up and in. So, when Percival was put in to close out the game, Percy nailed the first batter on the hand. Why Wedge came in to argue, right after his closer started the high and tight pitch war, is beyond me. Why would Percy intentionally put on the possibly game-tying run on?

-Lastly, if you asked people going to '09 who would hit the most and 2nd most HRs through Mid-May between Ben Zobrist, Jason Bartlett and BJ Upton, I'm sure the order would be Upton, Zobrist and then Bartlett. However Zobrist is at 7, Bartlett is at 5 and Upton just recently hit his 1st 2 HRs of the season. I believe, with 300-400 ABs, Zobrist could hit 15-20 dingers. Funny, seeing that in the minor leagues, Zobrist only had 16 in 1000+ ABs. Looks like someone fixed the former slap-hitters' swing. Bartlett's too, I'm guessing.

-For non-Rays news, Zach Grienke is no longer the kid that almost gave up baseball for non-baseball reasons. He is now a dominant, efficient pitching machine. Much respect to him.

-I, though as a Rays fan shouldn't want to say this, believe that Joba Chamberlain shouldn't be a starting pitcher. He is Kazmir-like bad with pitches per inning and his mid-to-high 90's fastball is now a low-90's fastball as a starter. Add into the fact that past elbow injuries and his cocky fist-pump with meaningless early game strikeouts don't bode well for him.

-Big Papi, Homerless. Manny Ramirez, Roider. Johnny Damon, Yankees Top Power Hitter. Kevin Millar, Old Cowboy still in the AL East(has only the Yankees and Rays left to play for). Who'da Thunk, 5 years later?

-Whither Emilio Bonifacio? SSS Candidate?

-After getting on base Saturday, Alexei Ramirez proceeded to run a total of 690 feet without getting a stolen base and eventually ended getting caught out when a foul ball was caught and thrown to a ready 1B.

-Stephen Strasburg threw a 17-K no hitter last week for San Diego State. He was out-done by a NAIA pitcher, whose name escapes me at the moment, pitched 3 consecutive CGs on 3 consecutive days. After the first game, he asked the coach to pitch to save the bullpen who had been over-used during the week. So how'd he talk him to pitch the 3rd day? He said, he wasn't going to play pro ball and wanted to have his place in history. Neat.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

My New Job

For the last two years (when I haven't been away at school) I've spent most of my time working for Marcus Theaters.  In fact, I enjoy the job so much that I've decided to apply for a promotion to assistant manager.  However, I think I'd like to apply for a new job-- with AJ Burnett.

You may have heard that AJ Burnett made a $250,000+ investment in a home theater and of course I was wondering if he was hiring.  I haven't seen anything yet, but I'll keep my eye on it.

For those of you that haven't heard, the theater is brilliant. released the details of the theater which includes a 104-inch screen coming from a 1080p DLP projector and a state of the art sound system.  The article quoted a designer saying, "He can have it as loud as he wants." And if you look at the room, it is very aesthetically pleasing.

What has become somewhat commonplace for many athletes is the touchscreen control system that operates the lights, Blu-Ray player, satellite dish and much more.  Burnett has gone even further than all-out.

The room is big with massive chairs that you could almost live in.  And wondering what is outside?  It's a lobby with movie posters all around and a small little concession stand.  Yes, a concession stand in your house.  Now, it's not manned nor does it have a soda dispenser, but I really don't think he'll have much problem finding popcorn, candy, or (adult) beverages.

Were there any problems?  Surprisingly, yes.  Burnett is a big guy (6'4") in a room that has a 7.5 foot cieling.  Putting the projector in was a little tough, but I think he'll do.

But I am more than amazed with this design.  As a person that loves movies and baseball and loves his job at the theater, I would love to work for Burnett.  AJ, give me a call.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Man He's Fast

Well, quite a bit has happened since we last posted.  Sorry for being a little lazy, but we're here now!

Carl Crawford stole 6 bases on Sunday which tied a modern day Major League record.  4 of the steals came off of Brad Penny and the other two came off of Manny Delcarmen and Ramon Ramirez.  Now, Brad Penny doesn't have blazing stuff nor does he have the shortest windup but still, that's a massive amount.  That brings Crawford's total stolen base mark this year up to 17.  Assuming that he doesn't get hurt, he may make a lot of fantasy owners happy.  In fact, as an owner of Crawford in one of my leagues, I couldn't be any happier, especially after his 4-4 day which brought his average up to .317.

The player that may be able to match Crawford's spectacular feet was Rockies rookie Dexter Fowler who had 5 stolen bases earlier in the week.  All five came off of Chris Young who is rather easy to steal off of as it seems he begins to hesitate in his pitching motion, even with runners on base.  I can't say that I'm too surprised of this mark because what we do know about Fowler is that he can run fast and that Chris Young is easy to steal off of.  If I was the Rockies manager, I would have had him steeling each time too.  You may want to keep an eye on this guy as he has gotten off to a pretty quick start with a .284 average.

Who did not see Jacoby Ellsbury steal home too?  Ellsbury has taken a lot of heat not only from "Red Sox Nation", but the entire nation.  I think he may have gotten a lot of his doubters off his back as the one thing that cannot be taught is speed, and he has it.  I would like to see him try and steal it again, just to see if he can.  Fantasy owners also have to love that he is second in the league in SBs so far this year.

Everybody has to love the speed of any athlete.  These three guys have it and so many more in the majors do.  I for one, am incredibly impressed.  Kudos to these guys and let's hope for some more great performance in and out of the base paths.