Posts Tagged ‘Kevin Youkilis’

Starting Nine: American League East

January 11, 2010

I was rummaging through some articles last week and I came across a piece by Morgan Campbell of the Toronto Star. He gave an early look at what the Toronto Blue Jays’ starting lineup might look like in 2010.

That piece got me thinking. With all the moves that happen during the free agency period it’s hard for a casual fan to keep up with their favorite team. Why not take an early look at each lineup in baseball as presently constructed?

So what I will do give each team’s starting lineup by division for the next six days. Obviously this will change as the offseason progresses, so I will do an update to these posts as the season approaches.

We will start in the American League and with the best division in baseball, the American League East.

New York Yankees

1. Derek Jeter, SS

2. Nick Johnson, DH

3. Mark Teixeira, 1B

4. Alex Rodriguez, 3B

5. Jorge Posada, C

6. Robinson Cano, 2B

7. Curtis Granderson, CF

8. Nick Swisher, RF

9. Brett Gardner, LF

Quick Take – Best and deepest lineup in baseball. Could made even better if Johnny Damon accepts a one-year deal to play left. Cano and Posada could flip-flop between fifth and sixth in the order.

Boston Red Sox

1. Jacoby Ellsbury, LF

2. Dustin Pedroia, 2B

3. Victor Martinez, C

4. Kevin Youkilis, 1B

5. David Ortiz, DH

6. Adrian Beltre, 3B

7. Mike Cameron, CF

8. J.D. Drew, RF

9. Marco Scutaro, SS

Quick Take – Not a classic Red Sox lineup. Not a lot of high OBP guys and nobody jumps out and scares you. Terry Francona is loyal to Ortiz, so he bats fifth ahead of Beltre in the lineup.

Tampa Bay Rays

1. B.J. Upton, CF

2. Carl Crawford, LF

3. Evan Longoria, 3B

4. Ben Zobrist, 2B

5. Carlos Pena, 1B

6. Pat Burrell, DH

7. Kelly Shoppach, C

8. Gabe Kapler, RF

9. Jason Bartlett, SS

Quick Take – This lineup will go from very good to great if Upton and Burrell come back strong in 2010. Kapler will find himself in a platoon situation with Matt Joyce to start the season.

Baltimore Orioles

1. Brian Roberts, 2B

2. Nick Markakis, RF

3. Adam Jones, CF

4. Luke Scott, DH

5. Nolan Reimold, LF

6. Matt Wieters, C

7. Ty Wigginton, 1B

8. Garrett Atkins, 3B

9. Cesar Izturis, SS

Quick Take – First four in this lineup is very good, but after that, this lineup gets very weak. Orioles are still looking for a first baseman, so don’t expect Wigginton to be a starter for too much longer.

Toronto Blue Jays

1. Jose Bautista, RF

2. Lyle Overbay, 1B

3. Aaron Hill, 2B

4. Adam Lind, DH

5. Vernon Wells, CF

6. Edwin Encarnacion, 3B

7. Travis Snider, LF

8. Alex Gonzalez, SS

9. John Buck, C

Quick Take – My lineup is a little different than Campbell’s as I have Overbay hitting in the two-hole. This lineup has the potential to be good, but Gonzalez and Buck represent too many automatic outs to be really dynamic.

Tomorrow, I will cover the American League Central.

You can follow The Ghost of Moonlight Graham on Twitter @ theghostofmlg

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Red Sox Go On The Defensive Again, Sign Adrian Beltre

January 5, 2010

Theo Epstein looked at the defensive statistics and saw his team was one of the worst–if not the worst defensive team in baseball last season. His goal this offseason–to improve the Boston Red Sox overall defense.

First he added Marco Scutaro to play short, then he added Mike Cameron to play left and now he has added another superior defensive player.

According to Peter Gammons via Twitter, the Red Sox have signed 3B Adrian Beltre to a one-year, $9 million contract with a player option for $5 million for 2011. The deal is pending a physical.

Beltre is the latest free agent to join the Red Sox

This a great value signing by the Red Sox.

Beltre is one of the best defensive third baseman in the game and completely fits with what Epstein is trying to do defensively. Over the last three years, Beltre ranks fourth amongst all major league third baseman with a 23.7 UZR (Ultimate Zone Rating).

Beltre replaces Mike Lowell as the Red Sox starting third baseman. Lowell was a statue last season. Lowell’s UZR last season was -10.4. Beltre’s was 14.3.

To say Beltre is an upgrade defensively is an understatement.

This move also allows Kevin Youkilis to concentrate on being the full-time first baseman rather than having to worry about shifting back-and-forth between first and third. Casey Kotchman’s reign as Red Sox starting first baseman lasted about three weeks.

With the moves Epstein has made this offseason, the Red Sox should be one of the better defensive teams in baseball next season.

Offensively, there are some concerns about Beltre. First and foremost, let’s get something out of the way–he is never, ever, ever going to have a year again like he did in 2004.

His .334 average and 48 home runs was the aberration of all aberrations. He is just not that good of a player. He is a guy who is more likely to hit .265 with 20 – 25 home runs, which is what he has done over the last five years.

While he has been consistent over the last five years, his OPS has dropped three years in a row, which is a little concerning. However, moving into a hitter friendly ballpark and hitting in a very solid lineup should help Beltre’s numbers.

It wouldn’t shock me if Beltre hit around .275 with 25 – 30 home runs in 2010.

With every signing there are two sides–the team’s side and the player’s side. And for the player’s side in this deal, this has to be considered a loss.

At the beginning of the offseason, Beltre was reportedly seeking a four-year, $40 – $50  million contract. He essentially priced himself out of the range of the Philadelphia Phillies, San Francisco Giants, and maybe even the Seattle Mariners.

Now two months later, he signs a one-year deal not even worth $10 million a year. That has to be a little disheartening for Beltre’s agent.

However, this is not a total loss for Beltre. Beltre and his agent realized he wasn’t going to get the money he wanted, so why not sign what is essentially a one-year deal with a team and a ballpark that gives him the best chance to succeed in 2010.

If Beltre has a big year, he can test the free agent market again in 2011 with better stats and perhaps a better economy behind him. It’s not such a bad strategy.

And while we are on the subject of strategy, how bad does the Phillies strategy of rushing to sign Placido Polanco look right now? Phillies’ GM Ruben Amaro Jr. looks like a complete buffoon right now.

Mark DeRosa signs for two-years and $12 million, Beltre signs for one-year and $9 million, and Polanco signs for three-years and $18 million? That deal is looking worse and worse every day.

I would rather have both of those guys than Polanco.

Beltre has a .270 average with 250 home runs and a .779 OPS in 12 major league seasons with the Los Angeles Dodgers and Seattle Mariners.

You can follow The Ghost of Moonlight Graham on Twitter @ theghostofmlg

Mike Lowell Has Surgery On His Famous Thumb

December 31, 2009

Has there been a body part on a player more talked about this offseason than Mike Lowell’s thumb?

Lowell was supposed to be part of the trade that would have sent him and $9 million to the Texas Rangers and catcher Max Ramirez to the Boston Red Sox. The trade was really a salary dump by the Red Sox in order to free up money to pursue Adrian Beltre or other free agents.

Lowell had surgery yesterday

As we all know the trade was called off by the Rangers because they found a ligament tear in Lowell’s thumb. Yesterday, Lowell had surgery on that thumb.

According to Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe, Dr. Donald Sheridan performed surgery on Lowell’s thumb and found a 95 percent tear in the radical collateral ligament in that thumb. Lowell will need six-to-eight weeks of recovery time.

Here is what is confusing to me.

Lowell had a 95 percent tear in his thumb, which is obviously pretty significant. The season for the Red Sox ended almost three months ago. Why didn’t Lowell have this surgery as soon as the season ended?

Also, did the Red Sox not think the Rangers’ medical staff wouldn’t notice a 95 percent tear in Lowell’s thumb? I would think even a first year student in med. school would be able to diagnose that.

Now that Lowell has had his surgery, he will remain with the Red Sox when the 2010 season starts. Lowell might be ready by Opening Day, but he has zero trade value now.

When the season starts, my best guess is Lowell will play third against lefties and Casey Kotchman plays first base against righties. Kevin Youkilis will be in the lineup everyday and play third against righties and first against lefties.

Of course, nothing is ever set in stone with the Red Sox as they always look to improve their roster.

You can follow The Ghost of Moonlight Graham on Twitter @ theghostofmlg

Thumbs Down: Mike Lowell Needs Surgery, Trade With Texas Off

December 20, 2009

The trade that was 11 days in the making will never happen.

A major league source has told the Boston Globe’s Peter Abraham that Boston Red Sox 3B Mike Lowell needs thumb surgery and the trade with the Texas Rangers is now off. Lowell will require surgery on the radial collateral ligament in his right thumb.

Lowell will have surgery after Christmas and is expected to need 6-8 weeks of recovery time.

Lowell won't be going to Texas

So what does this mean for both the Red Sox and the Rangers?

For the Red Sox, it means that signing someone like Adrian Beltre is now most likely out of the question. Even if the Red Sox did trade Lowell, I thought Beltre would have been a long shot.

I think the Red Sox will go into the 2010 season with Kevin Youkilis at third and Casey Kotchman at first. Lowell will go into the season a pinch hitter off the bench and be the occasional DH against left-handed pitching.

The Red Sox were planning on using the $3 million they would have saved on the Lowell deal on a low-cost bench player like Xavier Nady. I am not sure Nady is a possibility anymore, but they still could pursue some bench help.

For the Rangers, they would still like to add a right-handed bat. Guys like Jermaine Dye and Vladimir Guerrero are options for the Rangers.

From the beginning, I really didn’t understand this trade for the Rangers. I know they wanted a right-handed bat, but they already have plenty of injury-prone players on their roster. Lowell would have just added to that list.

Josh Hamilton, Ian Kinsler, Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Rich Harden, CJ Wilson, and Frank Francisco are all injury risks for 2010. Lowell would have joined them on the DL candidate list for sure.

Sometimes the best trades are the ones you don’t make. I think will be the case for the Rangers.

I would also like to use this post to congratulate UMass coach Derek Kellogg and the rest of the UMass basketball team on a great win versus Memphis yesterday–a game that Peter Abraham was at by the way.

UMass–wearing sweat throwback uniforms (which they should wear all the time)– dove for every loose ball, hustled beyond belief, and if you don’t know who Terrell Vinson is now, you will soon enough. He is a freshman, who is starting to establish himself as a man beast.

Great win boys!!! Now follow it up with a win at Boston College.

You can follow The Ghost of Moonlight Graham on Twitter @ theghostofmlg

When It Comes To Player Suspensions In Baseball, Your Guess Is As Good As Mine

September 17, 2009

After Tuesday night’s bench clearing brawl between the Toronto Blue Jays and the New York Yankees, Major League Baseball handed down suspensions for the two main culprits — Jorge Posada and Jesse Carlson.

For their part in Tuesday night’s fracas, Posada and Carlson each got four-game suspensions. Their suspensions were reduced to three games because neither Posada and Carlson appealed the suspension.

If someone can explain to me how Major League Baseball came up with four games each I would greatly appreciate it.

When it comes to how many games a player gets for his actions, it’s anyone’s guess. It seems to me there are no set guidelines for suspensions. That is a huge problem in my eyes.

Let’s take a look at some non-steriod related suspensions that have been handed out so far in 2009:

Josh Beckett – Suspended for six games for intentionally throwing at Bobby Abreu. Suspension reduced to five games.

Carlos Zambrano – Suspended six games for “inappropriate and violent actions on the field.” Essentially Zambrano was suspended six games for beating up a water cooler with a bat.

Kevin Youkilis – Suspended for five games for his actions in a bench-clearing brawl against the Detroit Tigers.

Rick Porcello – Suspended for five games for his actions in a bench-clearing brawl against the Boston Red Sox.

Fernando Rodney – Suspended for three games for throwing ball into the stands. Suspension later reduced to two games.

Does anyone else see what is wrong here? There is no rhyme or reason for any of these suspensions.

How does Youkilis and Porcello get five games for inciting a bench-clearing brawl, but Posada and Carlson only get three games? What did Youkilis and Porcello do differently that their brawl resulted in two extra games?

In my opinion, a bench-clearing brawl is a bench-clearing brawl. They are like coincidences — there are no levels.

How does Beckett get a six-game suspension for throwing at someone’s head, but Zambrano gets the same game suspension for beating up a water cooler? I didn’t know potentially ending someone’s career is just as harmful as beating up an inanimate object.

This isn’t a Red Sox-Yankee issue — this is a common sense issue. I feel like I am talking crazy pills even writing something like this. If you do A, you get B. It’s as simple as that.

Major League Baseball — and I mean you Bob Watson, needs to come up a standard suspension for each infraction.

It just makes sense.

Live Blog: MLB All-Star Game…

July 15, 2009

It’s been awhile since I have done a live blog, so what better time to do one than the 80th All-Star game in St. Louis. I have always been a big fan of the All-Star game, so this should be fun. I am just praying this game does not go deep into extra innings like last year’s game.

Game – American League vs. National League

Date – 7/14/09

Starting Lineups

American League

1. Ichiro Suzuki, RF

2. Derek Jeter, SS

3. Joe Mauer, C

4. Mark Teixeira, 1B

5. Jason Bay, LF

6. Josh Hamilton, CF

7. Michael Young, 3B

8. Aaron Hill, 2B

9. Roy Halladay, P

National League

1. Hanley Ramirez, SS

2. Chase Utley, 2B

3. Albert Pujols, 1B

4. Ryan Braun, RF

5. Raul Ibanez, LF

6. David Wright, 3B

7. Shane Victorino, CF

8. Yadier Molina, C

9. Tim Lincecum, P

Top 1st

Tim Lincecum deals the first pitch of the 80th All-Star game at 8:50 est time and it is ripped by Ichiro down the rightfield line, but foul.

Starting this game at 8:50 est. pretty much eliminates anyone under the age of 15 who lives on the east coast from seeing the end of this game – good job Bud Selig

Ichiro rips a single to right. He is such a good hitter. Being down 0-2 in the count didn’t phase Ichiro one bit.

OUCH!!! With two strikes, Derek Jeter gets hit in the hand with a changeup. Every Yankee fan just took a deep breath. Jeter appears okay.

Lincecumis really all over the place in this inning. He quickly falls behind Mauer 3-1.

Wow, what a quick play by Molina. Mauer hits a ball a foot infront of home plate, Molina pounced on it, and got Ichiro at third. Wright made a terrible throw to first, which pulled Pujols off the bag. Mauer would have been out with a good throw.

Teixeira hits a slow groundball that hits off of Pujols’ glove and goes into short rightfield. Jeter scores to make 1-0 American League.

That was a potential double play ball that Pujols mishandled. Some bad defense by the NL in the first inning. They should be out of this inning.

First and second with one out for Jason Bay.

Bay singles to center. Bases loaded.

Boy, the NL is really asleep on defense. Hamilton gets a hard groundball to first, Pujols gets Bay at second, but Lincecum is late covering first, and the run scores.

2-0 American League. We can eliminate Tim Lincecum from winning the MVP award tonight.

Michael Young grounds to Wright for the third out.

Not a very good start for the NL.

Bottom 1st

Hanley Ramirez leading off for the NL, hits a rope, but right to Aaron Hill. One out.

How many recruiting talks do you think Roy Halladay has gotten in the past two days? 40? 50?

Halladay gets Chase Utley to ground out to Teixeira. Two quick outs here in the bottom of the first.

Now here comes Pujols. Maybe he will make up for that terrible error he made in the top of the first.

Pujols hitting, Mauer catching, and Halladay pitching – it doesn’t get any better than that.

Michael Young is the man. Pujols hits a frozen rope to third. I mean a real screamer. Young snags it and casually throws to first to get Pujols. Now that is how you play defense.

After one it’s 2-0 American League

Top 2nd

Hill grounds to Ramirez for the first out.

Roy Halladay is hitting. I don’t think he planned on this happening. With the luck the Blue Jays have been having with injuries, Halladay will get clocked in the hand here.

He doesn’t and Halladay K’s for the second out.

A much better start to the second inning for Lincecum.

Ichiro hits a linedrive, but right at Braun in rightfield for the third out.

Bottom 2nd

Braun flies out to center for the first out.

President Obama is in the booth with McCarver and Buck. Obama is neck and neck with Bill Clinton as the president you would most want to hang out with.

Ibanez grounds to Hill for the second out. Halladay is making this look easy.

Even when Halladay gives up hits, he splinters bats. Wright bloops one to rightcenter for a hit. His bat shattered in a 100 pieces.

Victorino singles to right. First and second with two outs for Molina.

How about this. Molina singles to center, Wright scores, and Hamilton trying to throw out Victorino at third – hits him in the back and the ball rolls into foul territory.

Victorino scores andwe are tied at two. Molina goes to second on the throw.

Last night’s HR Derby champion Prince Fielder will hit for Lincecum.

Amazing how quickly things change in an inning. Halladay was crusing and a broken bat got a rally started.

Fielder smokes one down the leftfield line for a ground rule double. Molina scores and it is now 3-2 NL.

Ramirez grounds to Hill for the third out.

What an inning for the NL. Three runs with two outs.

After two complete in St. Louis, it’s 3-2 National League

Top 3rd

This is odd, Cardinals’ closer Ryan Franklin is in the game for the NL. I don’t think I have ever seen a closer come into an All-Star game this early before.

Jeter grounds to Utley for the first out.

Mauer lines to Pujolsfor the second out.

Teixeira grounds weakly to Pujols for the third out.

Well that was easy for Franklin. A very impressive inning.

Bottom 4th

Chicago White Sox lefty, Mark Buehrle into the game for the AL. With Buehrle pitching, this inning might last five minutes.

Utley hits a can of corn to center. One down.

Man, does Buerhle work quickly.

Pujols grounds to Teixeira for the second out. Teixeira showed his range on that groundball, as he played that way off the bag at first.

Braun grounds to Jeter at short and in less than five minutes the inning is over.

I wish more pitchers worked like Buerhle.

It’s still 3-2 NL after three.

Top 4th

We start the fourth and McCarver and Buck have been very tolerable tonight. It must be a full moon.

Dan Haren from the Arizona Diamondbacks is now in the game for the NL.

One pitch, one out. Bay flies out to Braun in right.

Hamilton flies out to semi-deep center.

Young singles to left. Michael Young loves playing in All-Star games.

Aaron Hill up. Every kid outside of Toronto just asked their dad “who is that?”

Hill grounds hard to Hanley Ramirez, but Ramirez gobbles it up, and gets Hill to end the inning.

Bottom 4th

Just saw a commercial for the new GI Joe movie. It looks terrible. I was a HUGE GI Joe fan growing up, so I hope the movie is better than it looks. I am not optimistic.

The Kansas City Royals’ Zack Greinke is in for the AL.

One pitch, one out. Ibanez pops up to Young at third.

I hope Greinke goes two innings tonight. It will let the world see who he is.

And this is why – Greinke throws a wicked slider to Wright to strike him out. That was nasty.

Greinke just toyed with Victorino. Got him to swing at a pitch in the dirt and two feet out of the strike zone.

One-two-three for Greinke

This game is moving rather quickly. Still 3-2

Top 5th

The next pitcher for the NL is the Dodgers’ Chad Billingsley.

Carl Crawford hitting for Greinke.

Crawford hits a single to center. With Crawford at first and Molina behind the plate, this should be interesting.

What a great play by Chase Utley. Ichiro hits a ball between first and second, Utley gets the ball, pivots, andgets the lead runner in Crawford at second.

What a great play. Ichiro now at first with one out and Jeter up.

My roommate from college Odie just sent me a text “Ichiro is a dope, let crawford steal.” I agree. The fastest man in baseball is on first and Ichiro is up there hacking.

The NL is flashing some leather. Jeter hits on his classic inside-out balls to the right side, but Pujols dives andgets the lead runner at second.

The first inning must have been a wake up call for the NL.

This brings up Mauer with Jeter on first and now two outs.

Is Joe Mauer the best hitter in the game right now or what? Billingsley throws a curve on the outer half and instead of trying to pull the ball, Mauer goes with the pitch and laces it down the leftfield line.

Jeter running all the way, scores from first. We are now tied at three.

Pujols really wants to make up for that first inning error. He makes another diving stop off of a Teixeira groundball and flips to Billingsley for the third out.

Pujols saves a run, but the AL ties the game heading into the bottom of the 5th.

Bottom 5th

Edwin Jackson the new pitcher for the AL

What is the story with hitters swinging at the first pitch when there is a new pitcher in the game?

Molina on the first pitch grounds to short for out No. one.

Ryan Zimmerman up at the plate. Zimmerman replaced Wright in the top half of the inning and is batting in the pitchers spot.

Zimmerman just missed one. He flies out to deep centerfield.

Ramirez on the first pitch grounds out to Young at third.

Wow what an inning for Jackson. Four pitches and three outs. Not a bad day’s work.

3-3 still as we head to the bottom of the sixth

Bottom 6th

The all-time saves leader, Trevor Hoffman into the game

The first batter he will face is the Orioles’ Adam Jones. Right now every Mariners’ fan is saying “I can’t believe we got rid of this guy.” Jones is hitting in Jason Bay’s spot in the lineup.

Jones hits a rocket to right, but Hawpe tracks it down at the warning track. One out.

Hoffman is not fooling anyone. Hamilton jumps all over the first pitch and singles to right.

Young hits a hard groundball, but right at Utley. After a brief bobble, Utley and Tejada are able to turn the four-six-three double play.

I was a little surprised Hoffman was used so early. I would have thought because he is the all-time saves leader, he would have been used to close out the game.

Bottom 6th

The Seattle Mariners’ ace Felix Hernandez has been called upon to pitch for the AL.

Orlando Hudson will hit for Utley andmost likely come into the game to play second.

Okay, once again we are first pitch swinging. This game counts right Bud?

Hudson hits one deep to right but Adam Jones is there for the first out.

Pujolsgrounds to short for the second out.

Not too many people on the east coast get to see “King Felix” pitch, but he is a dandy. He really can become a legit ace. He has no-hit stuff every time he goes to the mound.

Justin Upton is now hitting for Ryan Braun. A great matchup here of two of the best young players in the game.

Another groundball to short. The sure-handed Jason Bartlett gets Upton to end the inning.

We are getting down to the nitty gritty as Gorilla Monsoon used to say.

Top 7th

Classy move by Charlie Manuel as he lets Pujols go out to take warmups andthen replaces him with Gonzalez so he can get a standing ovation from the Cardinal fans.

Francisco Cordero is the new pitcher in the game for the NL. He is the Cincinnati Reds’ lone representative for tonight.

Aaron Hill up for the third time and he flies out to Upton in in left.

Crawford up for the second time. On the first pitch he grounds to Tejada at short. Two outs.

Justin Morneau up for the AL. He replaced Teixeira at first and is hitting Ichiro’s spot.

That was a quick inning for Cordero. He gets Morneau to line weakly to Zimmerman at third.

Bottom 8th

My buddy Tom just sent me a text “Close game and these idiot managers are using pitchers for one inning each.” Kind of agree. With a lot of the pitchers having pitched on Sunday and after last year’s marathon, I am surprised pitchers aren’t going more than one inning.

A new inning, a new pitcher for the AL. Jonathan Papelbon is in the game for the AL.

OH WOW!!! Carl Crawford makes the play of the game so far. Brad Hawpe on Papelbon’s first pitch (of course) hit a fly ball deep to left and Crawford leaped over the wall to make the catch and rob Hawpe of a HR. Great catch.

Two pitches and two bombs off of Papelbon. Miguel Tejada flies out to deep right but Adam Jones is there to make the catch.

Papelbon is pitching to Victor Martinez. A sign of the future?

Papelbon is throwing his fastball at 89 mph. Someone should tell him this game counts.

Papelbon strikes out Jayson Werth to end the inning. That fastball was 94 mph, so Papelbon got into the groove towards the end of the AB.

It’s still 3-3 heading into the eigth and this game has extra innings written all over it. Lovely

Top 8th

Heath Bell is into the game for the National League.

The first pitch he throws is over the head of Jason Bartlett. Nice pitch.

Bell does better on his second pitch as he gets Bartlett to ground to short.

Curtis Granderson up for the AL. He crushes one to left and the ball  hits off the base of the wall. Granderson digs for third and he makes it.

Grandersonat third with one out and the infield comes in.

Victor Martinez is up and he is getting intentionally walked. That stinks for Martinez. Manuel is walking Martinez to get to Adam Jones.

HeathBell looks like his heart is racing a million beats per second.

Well, Manuel’s strategy backfires as Jones hits one to the warning track in right. Granderson scores to make it 4-3.

Kevin Youkilis is up for the first time and he promptly singles to center.

First and second with two outs for the Rays’ Ben Zobrist.

Bell gets Zobrist swinging, but the damage was done. One run on two hits and two runners left on base.

At the end of seven and a half, it’s the American League four and the National League three

Bottom 8th

New York native Joe Nathan in the game for the American League. The AL is going to go with Nathan for the eighth andthen Mariano Rivera for the ninth. The NL is in trouble.

The Braves and Ron Kittle impersonator, Brian McCann up at the plate to face Nathan.

McCannon a 2-1 pitch pops up to Martinez behindthe plate. One down here in the bottom of the eighth.

Zimmerman swinging at the first pitch, flies to right for the second out.

Here is the best player that nobody knows about – Adrian Gonzalez

FOX just showed Bud Selig with George Will. And there is your reason for a baseball team in Washington.

Good AB by Gonzalez. Down in the count 1-2 and he works a walk.

Another two out rally by the NL. Hudson singles up the middle and now we have first andthird with two outs.

Ryan Howard is coming up to pinch hit. Manuel was picking his spot for Howard and this is it. Very similar to the 2003 All-Star game in Chicago where Mike Scioscia was picking his spot for Hank Blalock in the late innings.

Blalock hit a pinch hit two-run HR off of Eric Gagne to give the AL the win.

They just showed Brian Fuentes warming up. Well, if he is not in the game to face Howard why on earth is he warming up?

Howard is swinging for the downs. Two fastballs, two Ruthian cuts, and now it is 0-2.

Hudson steals second. That’s kind of a good and bad move. Good in that it eliminates the double play and now a single scores two runs. Bad in that this might take the bat out of Howard’s hands.

No 2003 moment here as Howard swings at a pitch in the dirt for strike three.

We head to the ninth with the AL still clinging to a 4-3 lead

Top 9th

The next pitcher up for the National League is the New York Mets’ Francisco Rodriguez.

His first batter will be the Tigers’ Brandon Inge. Of course Inge swings at the first pitch and grounds to short.

Carl Crawford up. He is 1-2. With his catch and with nobody else really standing out tonight, he might win the MVP.

Striking out won’t help his cause. That was a great changeup by Krod.

Morneau rips one into the left-centerfield gap, Werth tracks it down, and makes the catch. What a catch by a guy who is normally not a centerfielder.

This is it. We head to the bottom of the ninth with the AL leading 4-3

Bottom 9th

If the NL is going to come back, they are going to have to do it against the best in the business in Mariano Rivera

Justin Upton will try to get things started for the National League.

Barlettis silky smooth at short. He made a tough, back-handed play look very easy. He gets Upton for the first out

Brad Hawpe, who was robbed of a HR by Carl Crawford will try to hit one a little further against Rivera.

Joe Buck just said Brad Hawpe is a very good defensive rightfielder. I am guessing Buck hasn’t seen Hawpe’s UZR lately.

Hawpe goes down looking on a perfect pitch on the outside corner.

Now it’s up to Miguel Tejada to keep it alive. He doesn’t.

Tejada pops up to Zobrist at second to end the game.

That’s a wrap. The American League wins again 4-3. The American League will have homefield advantage in the World Series.

Like I suspected, Carl Crawford wins the MVP award. This might be the first time in All-Star game history that a guy won the award for a catch.

It was a good game, well played, and it only took 2:31 to play. A little disappointed that Tim Wakefield didn’t get to pitch, but what can you do.

Over 3,000 words later, I am calling it a night. Good night everyone!!!

Picking My 2009 American League All Star Team…

June 17, 2009

Yesterday, I picked my 2009 National League All Star team. So today, I will pick my 2009 American League All Star team.

Like yesterday, I will follow the same rules that American League manager, Joe Maddon has to follow. I will pick 33 players and each team in the American League has to have a representative.

Starters

C. Joe Mauer, Minnesota Twins

1B. Justin Morneau, Minnesota Twins

2B. Ian Kinsler, Texas Rangers

SS. Derek Jeter, New York Yankees

3B. Evan Longoria, Tampa Bay Rays

OF. Jason Bay, Boston Red Sox

OF. Torii Hunter, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

OF. Ichiro Suzuki, Seattle Mariners

SP. Zack Greinke, Kansas City Royals

Much like the National League, there were six positions set and three up for debate. At first base you can debate that Kevin Youkilis or Mark Teixeira could start for the AL. But if you look at the stats, Morneau is having a better all around year than both Youkilis and Teixeira.

Greinke gets the start for the AL

Greinke gets the start for the AL

At second base, I choose Ian Kinsler of Aaron Hill based on Kinlser having more HR’s, RBI and SB’s than Hill. Hill wasn’t too far behind in the HR and RBI category and is batting almost 40 points higher than Kinsler.

You could make the case for Zack Greinke, Roy Halladay or Justin Verlander to be the starting pitcher for the American League. I choose Greinke because of his almost record breaking April and he still leads the AL in ERA.

Reserves – Pitchers

Roy Halladay, Toronto Blue Jays

Justin Verlander, Detroit Tigers

Edwin Jackson, Detroit Tigers

Jered Weaver, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

Kevin Millwood, Texas Rangers

Felix Hernandez, Seattle Mariners

Mark Buehrle, Chicago White Sox

Jonathon Papelbon, Boston Red Sox

Joe Nathan, Minnesota Twins

Mariano Rivera, New York Yankees

Scott Downs, Toronto Blue Jays

Andrew Bailey, Oakland A’s

Picking the reserve pitchers in the AL was not an easy task. The most glaring omissions were Cliff Lee (2.88 ERA), Erik Bedard (2.47 ERA), and Brian Fuentes (leads AL in saves with 17).

The A’s needed a representative, which knocked Lee out of the game.

I also would have loved to put Frank Francisco and his 0.47 ERA on the team, but he has not pitched in about a month and is currently on the DL.

Reserves – Position Players

C. Victor Martinez, Cleveland Indians

C. AJ Pierzynski, Chicago White Sox

1B. Kevin Youkilis, Boston Red Sox

1B. Mark Teixeira, New York Yankees

2B. Aaron Hill, Toronto Blue Jays

SS. Jason Bartlett, Tampa Bay Rays

3B. Brandon Inge, Detroit Tigers

3B. Michael Young, Texas Rangers

UTIL. Ben Zobrist, Tampa Bay Rays

OF. Nelson Cruz, Texas Rangers

OF. Adam Jones, Baltimore Orioles

OF. Carl Crawford, Tampa Bay Rays

Zobrist will be stretching in St Louis

Zobrist will be stretching in St Louis

If picking the reserve pitchers was not an easy task, then picking the reserve position players was an impossible task. I really don’t envy Joe Maddon.

I had to leave off stars like Miguel Cabrera, Adam Lind, Dustin Pedroia, Nick Markakis, Johnny Damon, Russell Branyan and Chone Figgins. All of those players have a legitimate case to be on this team.

Here is the player breakdown by team:

4. Tampa Bay Rays, Texas Rangers

3. Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees, Toronto Blue Jays, Minnesota Twins, Detroit Tigers

2. Chicago White Sox, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, Seattle Mariners

1. Baltimore Orioles, Cleveland Indians, Kansas City Royals, Oakland A’s

What do you think of this team? Anyone I left off you feel should be on this team?

Getting Jewced; The Five Best Jewish Players In Baseball Today

June 15, 2009

Growing up as a Jewish, well half-Jewish (on my mother’s side, so I am legit) kid in New York, my dream of playing in the major leagues was just that – a dream. After all, not only was I not good enough, but being Jewish certainly limited my chances.

Sure we have had Sandy Koufax, Hank Greenberg, Al Rosen, Shawn Green and the legendary Morrie Arnovich (played with the Phillies, Reds and New York Giants in the late 30’s). But the reality is, if I wanted to be an accountant or work in the entertainment industry, I would be in like Flynn. A baseball player? Not so much.

Baseball is more of a world game now than ever before. Us fans of the Dreidel need our roles models and inspirations in baseball. If Italy can have a team in the World Baseball Classic, why can’t Israel?

That being said, here are the top five jewish players in the game of baseball today.

The "Jewish Hammer"

The "Jewish Hammer"

Honorable Mention: Craig Breslow, Scott Feldman, Gabe Kapler, Scott Schoeneweis and John Grabow.

5. Brad Ausmus: Ausmus is at the end of his career with the Dodgers, but in his prime he was one of the best defensive catchers in baseball with the Astros. Ausmus has won three Gold Gloves and was an All Star in 1999 as a member of the Detroit Tigers.

Ausmus was drafted by the New York Yankees in the 48th round of the 1987 Draft, and was the starting catcher for the Houston Atros team that made the World Series in 2005.

4. Jason Marquis: Heading into Sunday’s action, Marquis was tied for the National League lead in wins with eight. Marquis has his best season in 2004 with the St Louis Cardinals when he was 15-7 with a 3.71 ERA.

Marquis has spent 10 years in the major leagues and has an 87-74 lifetime record with the Atlanta Braves, St Louis Cardinals, Chicago Cubs and currently, the Colorado Rockies.

3. Ian Kinsler: In only his forth year in the major leagues, Kinsler has established himself as not only one of the second baseman in baseball, but one of the best players in all of baseball.

The former University of Missouri star enjoyed a breakout 2008 season when he hit .319 with 18 HR’s, 71 RBI, 102 runs scored and 26 SB’s in just 121 games.

Kinsler earned a spot in the All Star game in 2008 and is expected to do the same in 2009.

2. Kevin Youkilis: If it were not for his teammate Dustin Pedroia, Youkilis might have won the American League MVP award last year. Youkilis, or “The Greek God of Walks” as he was referred to by A’s GM Billy Beane in the book “Moneyball,” is one of the best players in baseball.

Known for his intensity on the playing field, Youkilis was an All Star in 2008, won a Gold Glove in 2007 and is a lifetime .333 hitter in the postseason. Youkilis also helped the Red Sox to a World Series title in 2007.

1. Ryan Braun: If Braun continues on the pace he set for himself in his first three year in the majors, Braun will go down as one of the all-time greats in the game. Braun has averaged 35 HR’s, 100 RBI, 15 SB’s and a .305 batting average in his first 2 years in the majors.

Braun was named Rookie of the Year in 2007, won a Silver Slugger award and finished third in the MVP voting in 2008.

Braun also played for the U.S. in the World Baseball Classic.

Red Sox vs Angels…

April 12, 2009

With the rain coming down in the Big Apple and me stuck inside the apartment, I thought it would be a good time to do another live game blog. Today’s game blog will cover the Red Sox vs Angels.

Game – Red Sox vs Angels

Date – 4/11/09

Starting Lineups

Red Sox

1. Ellsbury, CF

2. Pedroia, 2B

3. Ortiz, DH

4. Youkilis, 1B

5. Baldelli, RF

6. Bay, LF

7. Lowell, 3B

8. Lowrie, SS

9. Varitek, C

Starting Pitcher – Penny

Angels

1. Figgins, 3B

2. Kendrick, 2B

3. Abreu, RF

4. Vlad, DH

5. Hunter, CF

6. Morales, 1B

7. Rivera, LF

8. Napoli, C

9. Aybar, SS

Starting Pitcher – Saunders

Top 1st

First pitch of the game on a gorgeous day in Anaheim, ball 1. The Sox are going with their new road jerseys. They look like the road jerseys from 86 except there is a Red Sox sock logo patch on the sleeve and the player’s names are on the back.

Ellsbury ropes a 3-2 fastball for a single to CF. With the Sox offense struggling they need Ellsbury to get going. On the first pitch to Pedroia, Ellsbury steals second.

Saunders has fallen behind 2-0 to both Ellsbury and Pedroia. Never good when you throw 85 mph. Pedroia, on a 3-1 pitch flies weakly to Abreu in RF. Not a very good AB to be honest. Need to get that runner over to 3rd.

Ellsbury gets picked off second base. I have no idea what Ellsbury was thinking? You have a lefty batter at the plate and you try to steal 3rd?

So after the Sox have a runner on 2nd with nobody out, they fail to push a run across as Ortiz grounds out to 1st. Inning over.

0-0 with the Angels coming to the plate.

Bottom 1st

Penny making his Red Sox debut takes the mound. I think the Sox will be happy if they can get 5 out of Penny today. Good start to his Red Sox career as he walks Figgins on 5 pitches.

Right off the bat Figgins steals 2nd. Runner on 2nd with nobody out. Kendrick playing great team baseball, hits a grounder to 2nd which pushes Figgins to 3rd. That is why year in and year out the Angels are so tough. They always do the little things.

Abreu grounds to 2nd and Figgins scores. 1-0 Angels. So the leadoff walk comes back to haunt Penny.

Vlad smokes one to 3rd but Lowell, showing he still can field with the best of them, smothers the ball and throws a bullet to 1st to get Vlad. 3 outs.

So after 1 full inning it is the Angels 1 and the Red Sox 0.

Top 2nd

Youkilis draws a leadoff walk to start the 2nd. For the 2nd inning in a row the Sox have their leadoff hitter on base. Baldelli batting 5th in the Sox lineup, not sure why he is hitting before Bay.

Baldelli bloops one to right and it is 1st and 2nd with nobody out.

Bay hits a lazy fly ball to CF and Hunter catches it. 1 out. Terrible AB by Bay. Looked like he had no game plan at the plate.

Lowell grounds into a 6-4-3 double play. For the 2nd inning in a row the Sox have the runner on 2nd with nobody out and they don’t score. Someone needs to check Francona’s blood pressure.

Bottom 2nd

Penny hitting 94 on the gun K’s Hunter. Penny hit 91+ on all his fastballs to Hunter.

Penny throws what seemed like a wicked splitter to Morales and Morales grounds to 1B. Youkilis flips to Penny for the 2nd out.

Penny hit 95 on the gun on an 0-1 count to Rivera. Penny is getting in the groove. Rivera grounds out to Lowell and the inning is over.

After 2 in the books it’s 1-0 Angels.

Top 3rd

Lowrie who was up 3-1 in the count gets beat with a 90 mph and fouls it off. On a fastball count, you shouldn’t be beat with a mediocre fastball. Lowrie works a walk and for the 3rd inning in a row, the Sox have the leadoff runner on.

It’s Varitek’s 37th birthday today. That sound you hear is Scott Boras creating a war and peace sized binder of all the catchers who have had career years over the age of 37. And on that note, Varitek flies to 2nd. I just once wish Francona would bunt with Varitek.

Announcer Kenny Albert just pointed out the Red Sox have lost 9 straight regular season games to the Angels. Unfortunately for Angels fans, Mike Scioscia turns into a pumpkin come playoff time against them.

Ellsbury grounds into a double play to end the inning. Make it 3 innings in a row, the Red Sox get their leadoff hitter on and don’t score. You have to wonder how long Saunders can keep dodging bullets.

Bottom 3rd

On the 1st pitch of the inning, Mike Napoli crushes one to left-center for a HR. 2-0 Angels.

Aybar flies weakly to CF. 1 out. Figgins, attempting to bunt pops up to Varitek. 2 outs.

Kendrick bounces one up the middle for a 2 out hit. Penny should have caught that. I am going to guess and say Penny is not the best of fielders on the mound.

Penny on this AB to Abreu keeps looking at his finger. I wonder if he is starting to develop a blister. Abreu walks, 2 on with 2 out for Vlad.

Vlad hits a HIGH fly ball to center but Ellsbury is under it and the inning is over.

2-0 Angels after 3.

Top 4th

Pedroia grounds weakly to 2nd and there is 1 out. There is ZERO spark in this Red Sox lineup right now.

The Monster Formally Known As David Ortiz K’s on a pitch about 6 inches outside. When things are going bad, they are going bad.

Youkils lines out to Hunter and on just 7 pitches the inning is over. The Red Sox are really grinding out those ab’s today.

Bottom 4th

Oh my lord. Jason Bay just made an unbelievable catch. He went back to the wall, the ball bounces off his glove, juggles the ball and makes the catch. How the ball didn’t hit the wall is beyond me. Torri Hunter hit that by the way. 1 out.

Penny still throwing 95 in the 4th which is a good sign for the Red Sox. Only 51 pitches too. Morales ropes one to center for a single.

Rivera grounds into a pitcher’s best friend…A 4-6-3 double play.

2-0 Angels after complete at the Big A.

Top 5th

On a side note, I just mentioned the Big A in Anaheim. For those of you who haven’t seen it yet, check out the New K in Kansas City. The Royals made $250MM in renovations to Kaufmann Stadium and it looks amazing.

Baldelli flies out to right on the 1st pitch. Seriously, way to grind out those ab’s.

Kenny Albert just mentioned that Bay has the 4th most HR’s of any Canadian born player. That is like having the 4th most goals as an American in soccer. Bay works a walk. That is one great thing about Bay, after usually looking clueless on his 1st ab, he does a great job of adjusting in his later ab’s.

Lowell just smokes one over the LF fence for a 2 run HR. Wow that was a frozen rope. Game tied at 2. Lowell definitely uses Just For Men. He was grayer than Jack’s dad on Lost last year and now there is no gray. Keith Hernandez would be proud.

Lowrie flies out to right for the 2nd out. Varitek singles off the glove of Aybar.

Ellsbury grounds to Kendrick to end the inning.

So Lowell’s HR ties it at 2 headed into the bottom of the 5th.

Bottom 5th

On the 9th pitch of the AB, Mike Napoli goes yard again!!! Man is Napoli strong. 3-2 Angels.

Napoli went yard twice

Napoli went yard twice

Aybar hit a one-hopper to Pedroia, Pedroia dives to his right, gets up and makes the play. That is why he is the MVP, great play. 1 out.

I think Penny might be on his last legs. Figgins doubles down the left field line. All 3 batter have hit the ball hard this inning.

Now Kendrick smokes one to right but Baldelli is there to make the catch. Figgins advances to 3rd with 2 outs.

Penny induces (dying to use that word) Abreu to ground to Lowrie to end the inning.

Figgins is stranded at 3rd but the Angels retake the lead on a Napoli HR. 3-2 Angels after 5.

Top 6th

Pedroia flies out to deep left center and there is 1 out. In Fenway that is a double but at Angels Stadium it is a long out.

Ortiz hits a rope to CF, but Hunter is there again to make the catch. 2 Torii Hunter catches, 2 outs.

Youkilis flies out to right and the Sox go down quietly in the 6th. That was a pretty pathetic inning. I don’t even think Saunders broke a sweat.

Bottom 6th

Wow, I can’t believe Penny is still in there. I would have 100% thought Penny was done after last inning.

Vlad pops out to Pedroia for the 1st out.

Amazing, the Angels have a guy coming off a shoulder injury who was laboring last inning and they go up there hacking. Hunter swings at the 1st pitch and grounds to Lowell for the 2nd out. 3 pitches as 2 outs. I know it is not the Angels philosophy to takes pitches, but this is ridiculous.

Penny whiffs Morales on a 95 mph fastball to end the inning. A very, very impressive inning for Penny.

6 innings, 5 hits and 3 runs given up by Penny. The Sox will take that any day of the week. Penny is still down however, 3-2.

Top 7th

Baldelli beats out an infield hit and has 2 singles on the day.

Bay hits a line drive 2 run HR, right over the fence in LF. Again, Bay always adjusts after the 1st ab. 4-3 Red Sox.

Lowell hits a hard 1-hopper to Figgins and despite the high throw, he throws out Lowell who was crawling to 1st.

Lowrie K’s and is now 1-17 on the season. Way to hold off Lugo Jed.

Fox just shows an Albert Pujols grand slam off of Roy Oswalt. I didn’t keep Oswalt in one of my Keeper League’s because of the WBC factor. Looks like a smart decision so far.

Varitek doubles down the LF line. Scott Boras is giddy. Ellsbury swings at ball 4 and pops to Figgins to end the inning.

But a Jason Bay 2 run HR gives the Sox a 4-3 lead.

Bottom 7th

Ramon Ramirez, who has been sharp as a razor so far this season comes in to replace Penny. What a debut by Penny. 6 innings, 5 hits, 3 runs, 2 walks, 3 K’s and a chance for a W.

Penny had a solid debut

Penny had a solid debut

Ramirez on a nasty change, gets Rivera to ground out to Lowell for 1 out.

Up comes Mike Napoli who has been a one-man-gang for the Angels today. Boy can Napoli rake. He rips one past Lowell, down the line for a double. Napoli is now 3-3 on the day and every fantasy owner is checking their league to see if he is available.

Aybar flies out to shallow CF for the 2nd out.

Figgins swings at a pitch in the dirt and K’s to end the inning. The-one-man-gang Napoli is stranded on 2nd.

After 7 it is 4-3 Red Sox.

Top 8th

Kevin Jepsen is in to relieve Joe Saunders. Jepsen has a healthy 16.50 era heading into today’s action.

Pedroia grounds out to Kendrick for the 1st out.

The Monster Formally Known As David Ortiz flies out to shallow LF. Not sure what to make of Ortiz at this point in the season. Is he in a slump or is he in a major decline? I guess only time will tell.

Youkilis hits one to DEEP CF, but Hunter is there like he always is to make the catch.

Bottom 8th

In the 2nd surprising move by Francona (leaving Penny in to start the 6th was the 1st), Ramon Ramirez is out for his 2nd inning of work.

Kendrick flies out to the warning track in CF for the 1st out. Kendrick just missed that one.

Ramirez is throwing gas. He just painted a 94 mph fastball on the outside corner to Abreu for strike 1. Wow, there is something you don’t see everyday. On a 3-1 count, Abreu goes outside the strike zone and swings and misses.

Abreu hits a hard grounder to first, Youkilis dives for it, off his glove and with Pedroia backing Youkilis up, flips to Ramirez to get the out. Just your routine 3-4-1 out.

Francona goes to the mound and it looks like it will be Papelbon to come in to get a 4 out save. A 4 out save, somewhere Goose Gossage is smiling.

Fox just showed that Pujols hit his 2nd HR of the game and now has 7 RBI today against the Astros. Patting myself on the back right now for taking him with my 1st pick in my draft.

Vlad flies out to Bay to end the inning. That Papelbon vs Vlad confrontation lasted all of 2 pitches.

Still 4-3 Red Sox heading into the 9th.

Top 9th

Justin Speier replaces Jepsen. Speier signed a 4 year $18MM contract with the Angels back in 2006. I will check that off as a bad signing by the Angels.

Baldelli flies to left for the 1st out of the inning.

Bay has done it again. Another HR for Jason Bay and another HR right over the left field fence. 5-3 Red Sox.

Bay is talking to Smoltz about that HR. Smoltz is like the zen master. No matter what he says, it just makes sense.

Lowell swings at one over his head and somehow grounds the ball to SS. Aybar can roll the ball to 1st and still get Lowell. 2 outs.

Lowrie flies to CF for the 3rd out. Lowrie is now 1-18 on the season. Julio Lugo is excited. I wonder if Lugo poisoned Lowrie’s 5 hour energy drink and made it into a 30 minute energy drink?

Bottom 9th

Bay’s HR looms large now because Hunter just crushes one to right CF for a HR. What was more impressive about that HR is that the ball wasn’t even close to being a strike. 5-4 Red Sox.

Morales rips a double to right on an 0-2 pitch. This was the 2nd batter Papelbon had an 0-2 count on and couldn’t put them away. Reggie Willits is now on to pinch run for Morales.

Terrible AB by Rivera. Rivera grounds out to SS which doesn’t advance Willits. 1 out.

Now the-one-man-gang Napoli comes up. On a 2-1 slider Napoli swings and misses out of his shoes and the count is now 2-2.  3-2 now to Napoli, with 1st base open I would throw him a slider, make him chase one. Papelbon is on the same wave length but the slider misses and Napoli walks.

2 on, 1 out for Erik Aybar. Papelbon clearly doesn’t have his best stuff today. This inning has been a battle so far and there is still only 1 out.

Aybar K’s on a wicked, I mean wicked splitter in the dirt. 2 outs and up comes the pesky Chone Figgins.

Papelbon is now down 3-0 to Figgins. A walk puts the potential winning run on 2nd for the Angels. Figgins walks on 4 pitches and they weren’t even close. I am not sure if Papelbon has anything left to get out Kendrick.

Papelbon has thrown 2 beautiful sliders on the outside corner to quickly go up 0-2. Kendrick is battling as he has fouled off 2 tough fastballs from Papelbon. Another foul on a fastball. 0-2, I would throw a slider on the outer-half of the plate. Slider on the outer-half and Kendrick fouls it off. My lord, another foul.

Papelbon up to 34 pitches now. 35 pitches has he fouls another off. 36 pitches on ANOTHER foul.

And on the 37th pitch of the inning, Kendrick flies out to Baldelli to end the game. What a battle. I am guessing we won’t be seeing Papelbon for a couple of days.

Penny gets his first win of the season and his 1st win as a member of the Boston Red Sox. Papelbon gets his 2nd save of the season and Red Sox end a 3 game losing streak to run their record to 2-3 on the season.

On the other side, Saunders gets the loss and drops his record to 1-1 on the young season. The loss drops the Angels to a 2-3 record as well.

Hope everyone enjoyed the live analysis and I just wanted to wish all who celebrate a Happy Easter!!!

The Real 10 Most Hated Players In Baseball List

April 6, 2009

One of the great things about the internet is that any idiot like myself can pick up a laptop, start a blog or a website and give an opinion. Someone can formulate an opinion on anything from the best looking women, celebrities, recipes to who is going to be selected with the 1st pick in this coming NFL Draft. I choose to write and give my opinion about baseball. Now the things I write and give my opinions on are not gospel. Sometimes I am right, sometimes I am wrong and there are always going to be people who disagree with what I write. That is one of the drawbacks of starting a blog, you open yourself up for criticism. If you have noticed I have not commented on other people’s blogs or sites because I feel everyone is entitled to an opinion. At the end of the day it’s just someone’s thoughts, no big deal. However, I came across an article yesterday that really has me confused and I feel I need to comment on.

I was on Ballhype.com, which a site that gives you the ability to view posts from sports blogs from across the web (yes, my blog is on there). One of the posts I came across was Askmen.com’s “Top 10: Major League Baseball Players To Hate.” Interesting topic and was something I was anxious to read. After I read the article, I am wondering if the person who wrote this article knows anything about baseball or has even watched a game in their life?

On this list was Josh Hamilton?? The reason? “It’s a feel good story only Disney could concont” and “The only issue with Hamilton is that he makes a normal guy who can’t go into the office after a few too many scotch and sodas at happy hour look like a p#*sy..” Words can’t even describe how rediculous this is. Hamilton is hated so much that 50,000+ New Yorkers gave him a standing ovation during last year’s Home Run Derby. But wait, it gets better.

Also on this list is Ryan Braun. Ryan Braun? Why would anyone hate Ryan Braun? The reason…”He seems impossible to hate, which is good enough reason to hate him.” I am really starting to wonder if Askmen.com did any research prior to writing this article.

#7 on the list is Joel Zumaya. Nobody cares enough about Joel Zumaya to hate him. Really? Joel Zumaya one of the top 10 most hated players in baseball?

#5 on the list is David Wright. Now I can understand if you are a Phillies, Braves or even a Yankees fan that you might have a dislike for the Mets 3B. But here is one of the reasons that Askmen.com gave…”He collects double goody-two-shoes bonus points for his David Wright Foundation, which provides aid and assistance toward the health, emotional development and education for children in need.” Wow, the guy does charity work. What a bastard!!!

For a site that claims they get over 7MM readers a month, I would think they would have a better baseball person writing for them. Any way you slice it, this Top 10 is just not cutting it. So it got me thinking. Who are the most hated players in baseball?

Here is my Top 10 Most Hated Players In Baseball list. Teams and fans hate playing against these guys because they are the grinders, the guys who do the little things, they will always get the big hit and they will do anything for their team to win. Not because they are a great comeback story. I will do my list position by position. Of course, this is just my opinion. Disagree if you like…. 

C – AJ Pierzynski, White Sox – Just a bad-ass. He’ll fight you as Michael Barrett will point out and a noted wrestling fan, would suplex anyone on the Twins if he got a chance. Teams hate him while his teammates love him.

1B – Kevin Youkilis, Red Sox – Youkilis is so intense that he is sweating like Patrick Ewing in the 4th quarter before the 1st pitch of the game. Makes fans and players of opposing teams crazy with the way he grinds out ab’s. The modern day Paul O’Neill.

2B – Dustin Pedroia, Red Sox – Nobody likes a guy who is 5’7″ who acts like he is 6’4″. He is pesky, does all the little things and is just a winner. As small as he is, he always comes up big in the clutch. And oh yeah, he was the MVP last year.

Jeter will always be hated

Jeter will always be hated

SS – Derek Jeter, Yankees – The starting SS for the Yankees will always make a “Most Hated” list (unless you are writing for Askmen.com). Say what you want about Jeter, but when the game is on the line you can put it in the bank that he will come up with a clutch hit. I feel silly saying that Garciaparra was better than Jeter back in the day. Kind of how Yankee fans feel now when they said Cano was better than Pedroia.

3B – Chipper Jones, Braves His real name is Larry, he goes by Chipper and he is enemy #1 amongst Mets fans. Jones has killed the Mets during his career, but he has killed most teams as well during his great career. The face of those great Braves teams in the 90’s and nobody likes someone who is this good and wins all the time.

LF – Eric Byrnes, Diamondbacks – The “Crash Test Dummy” has to be on this list. He is always hurt because he plays so hard. He would literally run into a wall to win the game. 

CF – Shane Victorino, Phillies – Was a key cog in the Phillies postseason run last year. The “Flyin Hawaiian” does all the little things to win a game. Plays great defense, steals a base, hit a clutch HR, get under the other team’s skin and as the Dodgers found out in the NLCS…all of the above.

RF – Denard Span, Twins – There has to be a Twins player on this list. Teams hate playing against the Twins because they do everything right. As a fan, it’s infuriating because you know they will never beat themselves. Span fits perfectly into the Twins system of solid baseball and a guy who teams and fans hate to play against.

SP – Roy Halladay, Blue Jays – Why is Halladay on this list? Because there is a 66% chance your team is going to lose when he pitches. If he ever played on a good team it would be closer to 90%. He is the best pitcher in baseball and he makes it look so easy.

Util – David Eckstein, Padres – The pure definition of overachiever, Eckstein looks more like your accountant rather than a World Series MVP. Eckstein is famous for fouling off pitches, which drives fans and opposing pitchers crazy.

Hope you enjoyed this list and ENJOY OPENING DAY!!!