Garrett Richards May Kill World Series Chances


Photo by Elise Amendola/AP

Photo by Elise Amendola/AP

When the Los Angeles Angel’s ace Garrett Richards went to cover first base after Albert Pujols fielded a ground ball and tried to turn a double play in the 2nd inning of a 8-3 win over the Boston Red Sox’s Wednesday night, Richards feet got caught underneath him and went down awkwardly and had to be carted off the field. Continue reading

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No Longer American’s Past Time?


A Sport falling apartMajor League Baseball has been around for 145 years and for the majority of its rain, the MLB has been the top sport in the American market. Now there are so many sporting events that sometimes it seems that baseball can get lost in the mix. How can a sport that has dominated the market for so long just fade into a shadow of other sports. There are still hard-core baseball fans but is the MLB a truly national sport or has it turned into a local business for each team? How much has a constant feed of mass information for fans hurt baseball?

If you ask most people what the top sport in America is the odds are they will say the NFL. Football is huge compared to other sports. When football is in season or even pre-season, all you will be able to see on major sports network is 24/7 coverage of football, that’s it. Continue reading

Charlie Manuel Fired


20130817-120119.jpgThe Phillies front office chose their words carefully in the press conference on Friday announcing a managerial change. This press conference wasn’t the normal press conference where the GM says that the manager is fired and the manager says his final words. The Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr. fought back tears while Charlie joked saying he almost wore his uniform. Ruben Amaro Jr. danced around the word fired and said that they were simply having a managerial change. Then Charlie took the stand and announced: “I never quit nothin’. And I didn’t resign.”

Charlie Manuel knew he wasn’t going to manage the 2014 Phillies on opening day. Most assumed that he would be fired after the season, But why this week? The Phillies lost 19 of 23 games including a 1-13 stretch of road games. Coming home from Atlanta on Wednesday he knew he wouldn’t come out of this week in a Phillies uniform.

He may have agreed to do it calmly but that doesn’t mean he thinks he deserved to be fired. He was given a team that no manager could win with. A pitching rotation that had the worst ERA in its league and a bullpen that has allowed more runs than any other in the NL.

A old line up that has lost discipline who had seen the second-fewest pitches in baseball, almost 2,700 less then the Red Sox. And not nearly enough depth to fill injury holes.

The 69 year old ex-manager was the winningest manager in Phillies history. He understood the position he was in and couldn’t end his gig with a angry storm-off the stage. He agreed to participate in a press conference on Friday to announce his firing.

Phillies third-base coach Ryne Sandberg has been named the interim manager. He had been viewed as the organization the last few months as a suitable successor to Manuel so they gave him 42 games to prove it. He has to find the way to work with aged talent, the way Manuel couldn’t.

Charlie Manuel’s historic career as the Philadelphia Phillies’ manager comes to close. A career decorated with 5 NL East pennants, 2 NL pennants, and a World Series ring. On a week of carefully selected words, the most suiting would he goodbye.

2013 MLB All-Star Lineups


New York Mets mascot "Mr. Met" waves after unveilin 2013 All-Star game logo in New YorkThe managers of the NL and AL teams in the 2013 All-Star game announce their starting pitchers and lineups for tomorrows game at Citi Field. In Monday’s press conference, National League manager Bruce Bochy named Mets Matt Harvey the starter.  The right-hander is 7-2 and a NL leading 147 Ks.

On the other side, manager Jim Leyland named the 13-1 Max Scherzer the American League starter. The Tiger’s No. 2 starter behind the Cy Young winner Justin Verlander, started the season 13-0 in 2013 until he lost to the Rangers last week.

As for the rest of the lineups, here they are.

American League

1. LF Mike Trout, Angels
2. 2B Robinson Cano, Yankees
3. 3B Miguel Cabrera, Tigers
4. 1B Chris Davis, Orioles
5. RF Jose Bautista, Blue Jays
6. DH David Ortiz, Red Sox
7. CF Adam Jones, Orioles
8. C Joe Mauer, Twins
9. SS J.J. Hardy, Orioles

National League

1. 2B Brandon Phillips, Reds
2. RF Carlos Beltran, Cardinals
3. 1B Joey Votto, Reds
4. 3B David Wright, Mets
5. LF Carlos Gonzalez, Rockies
6. C Yadier Molina, Cardinals
7. SS Troy Tulowitzki, Rockies
8. DH Michael Cuddyer, Rockies
9. CF Bryce Harper, Nationals

A-Rod and Braun Headline List of Players to be Suspended


Alex Rodriguez and Ryan Braun reportedly headline the list of 20 players to be suspended shortly after the all-star break. According to this ESPN report, this list of players will likely suspended due to their connection to the Biogenesis performance-enhancing drugs scandal.  

Tony Bosch, Biogenesis founder, has cooperated with the MLB and their investigations, including turning over documents linking players to the PED clinic in Miami.

Braun did not answer questions regarding the investigation in a meeting with the MLB on June 29 and Rodriguez will meet with league officials to answer questions on Friday.

Both Rodriguez and Braun are looking at 100-game suspensions because of this being their second offence and possibly more for lying.  A-Rod’s $100 millions deal could be put at jeopardy if he is suspended, unless he opts for the PIP list where he would be entitled to the full amount of his contract upon retirement.

The Final All Star Vote


Lets see what you think, Who should win the AL and NL final votes?

The Next Big Thing


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Every year in sports there is a player that breaks out in the beginning of the season. Some of those players will turn into All-Stars for years to come and others will fade away and struggle to find a starting job. That is just how sports works. This year in the MLB, the Dodgers believe they have found the next big thing that will bring their struggling franchise back up to par with the rest of the league. Yasiel Puig has played less then half of the games played this season but in the games that Puig has played in he Dodgers are above .500 versus .418 without him. Not a huge difference but it is significant seeing the Dodgers have been struggling the last few months they need all the help they can get.

Yasiel Puig has only played 22 games and has already made a splash in the NL. He is hitting .422 has 7 long balls, .716 slugging percentage, 14 RBIs, and Billie Bean’s favorite stat, an OBP of .455. With his only at bat with bases loaded, he hit a grand-slam so he not only has great numbers but he brings an entertainment factor to the Dodgers that has already caused ESPN to rearrange scheduling to broadcast a Dodgers game.

Now fans want to see him in the All-Star Break. But here’s the argument, he has only played 22 games. He hasn’t played the whole 3 months like the rest of other well deserving out-fielders. So… should he play in the All-Star Game? I don’t think so. Sure he has awesome numbers and is a lot of fun to watch but he hasn’t really proven if he is worthy to play. Next year, if he has the same numbers after playing 3 months, there would be no doubt in my mind that he is the real thing but right now he hasn’t proved anything. Lets see where he is in a few months to see how well he holds up before anyone jumps to conclusions.

But this is just another example of how the MLB is a more level playing field than most pro sports. Sure there are teams like the Yankees that have all the house hold names like A-Rod and Derrick Jeter, but no matter if you have the Derrick Jeter or Yasiel Puig, there is someone for each team, that if they are used correctly, can change that team.

The Dodgers have found yet another one of those players in Puig and now that Matt Kemp is active and can contribute to their winning, maybe they can work their way out of last place in the NL West. It’s all a matter of time until we figure out what this LA team has.

MLB Power Rankings


Allen-Craig

As we grow closer to the All-Star Break, it’s time to do some power rankings. Although the new logo, the Astros are back to their old ways and you wont find them on the list, nor will you find Miami or the Cubs seeing they have the 3 worst records in the majors . Here is my top 5, read ’em and weep.

 

No. 5 – NY Yankees (30-18)

After Granderson returned from the DL he was placed right back on, with Andy Pettitte, with a fractured pinkie. Kuroda lowered his ERA to 1.99 with 8 scoreless innings on Friday against the Blue Jays. He still hasn’t allowed more than 3 runs in an outing this season. With all the injuries and holes in their depth chart, it is hard to believe they are first in the AL East. Jaba Chamberland, Derek Jeter, Eduardo Nunez, Andy Pettitte, Michael Pineda, Mark Teixeria, and Kevin Youkilis are all on the DL. That is a lot of starters out plus Jeter’s back up. It wouldn’t be surprising if after the All-Star Break they fall apart because 4 out of the 7 are on DL60. With all but one of their infielders out, I don’t think they will last much longer.

No. 4 – Red Sox (30-20)

For a while they struggled to get hit their batters in but finally they hit in runs constantly. They are only a game back from the Yankees in the AL East and starting to pull away from Baltimore. They are 3rd in the MLB in runs with 239 and 2nd in on-base percentages with .341.

No. 3 – Reds (31-18)

Joey Votto (.480) and Shin-Soo Choo (.438) have the two best on-base percentage in the major leagues. Votto reached base 6 times in one game, joining the company of Choo as the only ones to do it this season. Although it doesn’t mean much for the win column but Brandon Phillips has become a regular on Sports Center’s Top 10.

No.2 – Rangers (31-17)

The Rangers have the second best record in the majors. They are on a 14-6 run in the last two weeks. That run included winning 6 out of 7 games over both the Red Sox and Tigers. The team is top 10 in the majors for runs (226), batting average (.270), on-base percentage (.331), and slugging percentage (.446).

No. 1 – Cardinals (31-16)

With the best record in the MLB, they have been able to fill spots and get over hurdles that have popped up recently like Jamie Garcia landing on the DL. Also rookie John Gast was able to fill into Jake Westbrooks spot. The Cards have been rolling and look like the most dominant team in the MLB.

Honorable Mention – Braves (29-18), Tigers (27-20), Diamondbacks (27-21)