05-03-2012, 12:13 AM
And I missed all of it because I was watching the (hockey) Rangers beat the Capitals in triple overtime!
05-03-2012, 01:30 AM
Yeah, sad about the Junior Seau suicide, because otherwise it was a pretty amazing night for sport in North America.
Originally Posted by sluggo
05-03-2012, 05:40 AM
You almost got one of the weird all-time baseball injuries as well. McCann after he hit his grand slam , got poked in the eye by a high-five and almost had to leave the game.
Chad Durbin didn't pitch like a scrub and got the win, which makes the day even weirder.
05-03-2012, 05:48 PM
Watching the KC-NYY game, and Mariano Rivera went down with a twisted knee whilst shagging flies in the outfield before the game. Looked pretty bad based on his reaction, and had to be carted off. Nothing official out yet.
On a more positive note, Yuniesky Betancourt has a hurt ankle and is off to the 15-day DL, hopefully never to return (I can dream). Apparently he hurt it in spring training and has been playing on it ever since. The fact that this wasn't obvious by watching him tells you all you need to know about Yuni.
05-03-2012, 08:42 PM
Torn ACL per Jeff Passan at Yahoo.
That's a season-ender.
05-03-2012, 08:46 PM
RIP Lillian Musial tonight at age 91. She and Stan have been married since 1940, and I'm afraid he'll be joining her soon.
05-03-2012, 09:44 PM
Now I guess the big question will be, does Rivera try to come back next season for a possible farewell lap at age 43, or just say fuck it and retire? Hell of a way to end a HoF career, but 608 saves and a 0.70 ERA in 141 postseason IP is a crazy run and you can still go out on top..
So.. as with broken clocks and blind squirrels and all, Rex Hudler can sometimes entertain me. In the 5th inning, Derek Jeter takes a 3-2 Danny Duffy fastball at the knees and proceeds to drop the bat and jaunt on down to first, only to have the HP umpire (Vic Carapazza) ring him up instead. Jeter goes back to have a few words with the ump and Rex translates for the home audience:
"Excuse me, ump, I know you're kinda new around here... but I'm Derek Jeter and I usually get that call."
Anyway, it was nice to get off the home field schnide and get that first win against the Yanks, though I'm starting to get real tired of Ned "Dave Owens of the Basepaths" Yost's insistence of sending/letting runners take off in stupid situations. Throwing away way too many outs with that crap.
05-04-2012, 04:19 PM
Andy Martino @SurfingTheMets
Mets will all walk up to Beastie Boys tonight, spokesman says
05-04-2012, 07:46 PM
I'm surprised this wasn't posted already -- Mo wasted no time today in telling reporters, he's coming back. Of course, he can't put a time frame on it, but he's not retiring just yet.
05-04-2012, 08:22 PM
We're in the sixth inning out in Anaheim.
It is May 4, 2012.
Albert Pujols has started in and played every game on the Angels schedule to date.
He is hitting .198 (at this moment) with no HR and 5 RBI.
05-04-2012, 10:22 PM
I'm loving it...Angels are self-destructing while Texas is off to a really nice start. Pujols' first 100 at bats have got to be the most disappointing/unexpected start to a season in baseball history though. He did almost hit a HR a week or so ago, but settled for a double off the left centerfield wall if I remember correctly.
05-04-2012, 10:44 PM
Made my second game Indians' game today, and boy did I pick a good one. Both the Indians and the Rangers led their respective divisions, but Rangers had been winning with gumption and the Indians benefited from a weak schedule (only Toronto had a winning record) and a 6-1 record in 1 run games. Many, myself included, expected this match up with Texas to be a return back to earth, and that may indeed happen with 2 games left to play.
However, on a fireworks promotion Friday night game, the Indians outhit, out-pitched, and out-fielded the Rangers. SP Geanmar Gomez began the off season as a long odds candidate for the 5th starter spot. He won that spot in spring training and while his stats scream "regression candidate" (.191 BABIP), he's been a highly effective pitcher when he has started and gave the Indians a quality start (7 innings, 3 ER, 2 Ks). The game produced two highlights for ESPN's "best of:" a barehanded grab and throw to first by Jack Hannahan, and a game clinching leaping catch off the wall by Shin-Soo Choo. In an interesting stat, both players also had home runs. Recently signed Johnny Damon also got in on the fun with a 2 RBI triple. RP Vinnie Pestano provided a lights out 8th inning (35% K rate on the season), and Closer Chris Perez picked up his 10th save of the season in the 9th.
05-04-2012, 11:28 PM
Pujols slow start is definately a head scratcher, even if you want to argue that he's having a hard time adjusting to AL pitching or something like that. And he's not yet at the age where you would think a big drop off in ability would happen, though that's not impossible.
Almost makes me wonder if those rumors about him actually being older then he says have any merit.
05-05-2012, 02:07 AM
Albert's OPS is .505, which is currently second worst in the league. That's crazy. Also pretty incredible is that the Angels have scored zero runs in each of Ervin Santana's last five starts. His average run support per start for the year is 0.5.
05-05-2012, 07:39 AM
I've been an Indians fan all my life, but moved away 30 years ago and have never had a chance to see a game at Progressive Field. However, I did see an Indians home game in 2007. How's that possible? My Wisconsin location is the clue. The Tribe's series with the Angels was snowed out in Cleveland that April and the games were moved to Miller Park here in Milwaukee. Slider borrowed Bernie Brewer's slide when Kelly Shoppach and Casey Blake hommered for the Tribe. 19,000 people showed up at $10 a ticket. Pretty remarkable crowd for two teams with no local interest.
Originally Posted by Greatatlantic
For those familiar with the movie Major League, the game was filled references to that film, including:
1) Old Milwaukee County Stadium* had doubled for Cleveland's old Municipal Stadium for the filming of the movie.
2)When Shoppach and Blake hommered, the center field wall was lit up with Bob Uecker's (announcer Harry Doyle in the movie), "Get up, get up, get outta here, gone!" home run call.
3) A fan behind the Indians' dugout held up a "Jobu needs a refill" sign.
4) When Joe Borowoski came in to close the game out for the Tribe, the PA system played, natch, "Wild Thing."
* The bricks that face the front of my house were salvaged from County Stadium.
05-05-2012, 09:37 AM
I've heard folks--including teammate Torii Hunter--say that, and I don't buy it. Albert's career vs the AL in interleague play:
Originally Posted by Sarkus
541 AB, 39 HR, 121 RBI, .348 BA, 1.071 OPS.
Over the course of the fist 5 weeks of the season he's been shut down by guys like Derek Lowe, who he's seen plenty of times.
I don't think Albert is any older than the 32 years of age it says on his driver's license. Remember that Albert--unlike a lot of players from the DR--actually spent a bunch of money and went through the multi-year process to become an American citizen, and the DS folks--who are very good at such investigations--were part of an an in-depth background check to his time as a kid in the Dominican. If the DS says he's 32, he probably is.
But 32 can be old. Albert's played since 2003 with a partially torn ligament in his right elbow. He's got bad legs; he deals with off-and-on again bouts of plantar fasciitis that apparently make his calves and knees achy by the end of the season.
And still....he's dealt with all that before. He's chasing less and less, and still hitting a decent number of line drives. All of that points to him coming out of his slump very soon.
We've seen two extremes for how this can go. Remember 2009, when David Ortiz was hitting .185 on May 31st with 1 HR? Yeah, that was bad. Big Papi ended up hitting 28 that year and batted .238...and the next year hit .270 with 32 and last year was .309/29 HR. This year he's off to a fine start.
Remember 2004 when there were frantic whispers about Derek Jeter after he hit .165 in the month of April? ESPN put Jeter on the front of the website where they wondered "What's Wrong With Derek Jeter". "Nothing" it turns out. Jeter hit well the rest of the way (including a .398 month of June) and continues to hit.
That said, there are plenty of examples of guys at the age of 32 just falling off a cliff without warning, too. Coming into the 1988 season, 32-year-old Dale Murphy seemed firmly established in the prime of what was looking like a Hall Of Fame career. In the 8 seasons prior to that year, he'd averaged 33 HR per year with a .284 batting average. In 1987 he clubbed 44 HR and batted .295. And so the Braves weren't too concerned when Murphy was hitting .239 with 2 HR in April of that year. By the end of May they were troubled. Murph was hitting .215 with 5 HR for the season. It never got better. He finished the year at .224, never hit above .245 again, and scuffled along through parts of 5 more seasons before retiring at 37.
I think Albert may be somewhere in the middle, but he's definitely different. There have been hints, too--the rising chase rate from 2010 through this year, the dropping walk rate. You can also look at Albert's spray charts to see where he hits the ball when he swings. In the first 8 years of his career especially, Albert was a guy who frequently went back up the middle and hit to right field frequently. He was tough to defense, because he used the whole park.
Starting gradually in 2009 but accelerating into 2011 and now this year, Albert's become almost a dead pull hitter. Last night the Blue Jays used a shift on him where the third baseman and shortstop were nearly shoulder-to-shoulder. In the first inning Albert tried going the other way and flied out to right. The second time up he lined out to a perfectly placed shortstop. He then fanned in the 6th and grounded out sharply to third in the 9th.
My own conclusion: he'll figure this out and revert to the .280-.300 hitter that is probably his true ceiling now. He'll end up with 25-30 HR this season with the Angels, and that's probably close to his power ceiling now. That ceiling probably holds for another 2-4 years, and then things start to accelerate downhill.
Here's the thing: Albert's first 11 seasons in baseball were magical. The guy was clearly due a massive "reward contract". Had the Cardinals given it to him, you'd say "Well, they had all those postseasons because of Albert, so they had to pay up for that." It would've been rough, but you could sort of justify it. In this case, though, it's another team that's rewarding Albert for 7 post-season trips and 2 World Series titles in the previous 11 years. That's gonna be a hard pill to swallow.
05-05-2012, 11:30 AM
You should try to arrange a "weekend" vacation to Cleveland when the Tribe is in town. Progressive Field is a very nice ballpark with lots of great amenities, and with a little luck the Indians should be having a winning season. Throw in a trip to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, a museum or two (the Western Reserve Historical is great if you like cars), see if anything shows are playing at Playhouse square, and you have yourself a great little vacation for a fraction of the cost of going to NYC. While its somewhat out of the way, Cedar Point is the best roller coaster park in the US, if not the world. Most parks will have one or two signature rides and a few more lesser rides. Cedar Point just has great roller coaster after great roller coaster.
Originally Posted by Jason Levine
05-05-2012, 11:34 AM
He ain't lyin'! A couple of buddies laughed at me a few summers ago when I did a vacation trip to Cleveland, but it was fan-damn-tastic. Indians game, a couple of rock shows, RnR HOF...seriously, it was a blast. One of my favorite low-key awesome trips.
Originally Posted by Greatatlantic
05-05-2012, 01:13 PM
Added bonus for an Indians fan: The old Chief Wahoo sign that adorned Municipal Stadium's Gate D was restored and on display last time I visited. My only complaint of Cleveland having lived there during my undergrad years is that downtown is more or less shutdown by 8pm if there's no sporting event that night.
Originally Posted by Greatatlantic
It's still early, and last year's 30-15 to 80-82 is a good reminder of that. However, it's never bad seeing your team in first place carried by surprisingly the back half of the rotation and not the guys we expected to be our aces.
05-05-2012, 03:28 PM
The Mariners have lost seven in a row and the hope that they might win 75 or 80 games this year is slipping away. It seems to be one of those "one step forward, two steps back" scenarios so far. Their offense is better, at least to the degree that they aren't at the bottom of the AL in most hitting categories. They are still in the bottom third, though, but improvement is improvement. And if Justin Smoak wasn't starting to look really worrisome (he's closing in on 1000 major league at bats, has a poor slugging percentage, and isn't improving) things wouldn't be too bad.
Where things are going wrong is in the starting pitching, particularly in the back end of the rotation. Everybody thinks of Felix with this team, but they've had a pretty good group behind him the last few years. Vargas and Fister were better then average 3 - 4 pitchers, Bedard was solid when healthy, and of course they had Lee for half a season at one point and Pineda last year. But Vargas the only other starter from the last few years still with the club. He's solid, and so is Beaven, but Noesi and Millwood are just a mess so far. And its killing the team when the 3-4-5 starters are 2-9 so far this year combined.
The saving grace is that the team has 3 or 4 starters in the minors that are well regarded and supposedly close to the majors. But unless they come up soon and prove to be ready, it's going to be hard for the team to turn this season into something positive. And the local fans are tuning the team out - so far the average home attendance is better then only four other MLB team, and just barely above Oakland.
05-05-2012, 04:01 PM
In another year, my wife and I will be empty nesters and that's definitely in my plans. BTW, when I was a kid, the annual trip to Cedar Point was a highlight of our summer. However, that was a long, long time before it became the roller coaster capital of America.
Originally Posted by Greatatlantic
05-06-2012, 09:54 AM
It took Felix to stop the Mariners losing skid last night with an 8 inning, 1 hit, 9 K performance. Then again it was against the Twins, who are worse than we are.
05-06-2012, 02:57 PM
And Pujols finally hits a home run.
05-06-2012, 03:16 PM
In the battle of an enigma versus an unknown: "U" beat Yu. I speak of Ubaldo Jimenez whose statline before this afternoon's game would make the FIP faithful cry: 5 HR, 20 BB, 14 SO. Yet, he still manage a record of 2-2 in 5 starts. The most expensive Japanese import in the history of MLB, Yu Darvish, was sitting pretty on a 4-0 record and 2.18 ERA despite pitching in a notorious hitters park, but had at times shown poor command.
Pregame announcers made a big deal about a mechanical defect found in Ubaldo's forward shoulder that was messing up his command. Apparently, they fixed it. Though Ubaldo did walk the bases loaded with 2 outs in the 2nd, he eventually pitched 7 innings of shutout baseball against one of the best line ups in baseball and finished the evening with 6 Ks. Still, Darvish looked better by notching up 11 Ks in 6 innings which should make the Rangers feel good about his high price tag, but the Indians found ways to score including: an infield pop up hit when the fielder lost the ball in the sun, a throwing error to first base that put the ball into the stands and let the runner on third score, and a Jason Kipnis HR. Kipnis is quietly becoming the Indians best all around offensive player.
This was suppose to be a series where the Indians came back to earth, but maybe learned to feel good about themselves by showing they can play with a defending champ. Instead, they won the series, went into extra innings in the loss, and continued to have solid starting pitching backed by good fielding and timely hitting. The only real downside to the series was the Indians had to overly rely on two relief pitchers: Vinnie Pestano and Chris Perez. With a double header tomorrow, the Indians are going to need their starters to go deep, since Pestano and Perez have both had a lot of appearances lately and the rest of the bullpen has not been pitching well.
05-06-2012, 03:18 PM
Had to smile seeing Albert as he should be, rounding the bases in a HR trot.
Originally Posted by nKoan
Got the treatment from his teammates too: they all left the dugout and went up into the tunnel and left it empty when he came back. Fun celebration.
05-06-2012, 04:09 PM
The Tribe was a pretty good team last year, despite some key injuries - Choo in particular. So I don't know why people are surprised that they're solid again this year. The AL team that is really surprising so far is Baltimore.
Originally Posted by Greatatlantic
05-06-2012, 04:52 PM
So how about that Orioles vs Red Sox game? 17 innings with 9 pitchers a side. Orioles win 9-6 as Chris Davis becomes the first (American League) position player since 1968? to get a W on his record. And the Red Sox had the tying run at the plate with no outs, even!
Oh and Agon goes 0/8 for the night, striking out to a position player in the 17th. :D
edit - Here's the Box Score
Last edited by Penny Dreadful; 05-06-2012 at 05:21 PM.
05-06-2012, 06:14 PM
I don't what is the bigger event, a 17 inning game where a position player gets a win? Or, the fact that Baltimore has the best winning percentage in all of baseball after more than a month of play (reinforced by my power rankings scoring them 3rd)?
Originally Posted by Penny Dreadful
Fangraph's, which isn't the ultimate authority but still reasonably informed, actually ranked the Orioles as the worst organization in MLB before the season. I keep waiting for them to come crashing down hard.
05-06-2012, 06:23 PM
The worst part for the Red Sox, aside from another player hitting the DL yesterday, was they play 20 games in a row starting last Friday. Their bullpen going 2 extra inning games, and needing to pitch from the 3rd on yesterday is going to make for rough sledding. Valentine might have to let a starter suck up innings even if he's, well, sucking.
05-08-2012, 08:32 AM
OK, the Tigers need to stay the hell away from the Mariners. Swept at Comerica, then last night's great outing by Fister thrown away by the bullpen. Another game with only two runs scored by an offense that ought to be averaging up in the 4s someplace. Gah, it's frustrating seeing so much potential going to waste.