Posted on: April 29, 2011 7:21 am

Mid week update - AL East is a Beast

Week 3 & 1/2  -  Friday, April 29, Royal Wedding Addition  -  East is a Beast:

Rays on fire as they roll over Minny, Jays peck (st)Rangers, Yanks starting pitching cleans White Sox, and Red Sox finally wing Orioles after dropping 2.

Rays:  Zobrist 7 for 10 with two homers and three doubles in the doubleheader, Rays have won 12 of 15.

Jays:  Patterson's squeeze beats Texas, Jays rebound and take 2, now on to NY. 

Yankees:  Swisher wakes from coma with HR, 3 hits;  Jeter sits - his replacement makes 2 errors in deference. 

Orioles:  Bat flip gets under Beckett's thin skin, Bard's pen not mightier as O's take 2. 

Red Sox:  Crawford doubles, average jumps to .160  -  fans cite intangibles, Lester avoids sweep.
New York Yankees  (12 - 6) --> (14 - 8)  wk 2-2
Tampa Bay Rays     (11-11) --> (14-11)  wk 3-0
Toronto Blue Jays    ( 9-12) --> (12-13)   wk 3-1
Boston Red Sox      (10-11) --> (11-13)  wk 1-2
Baltimore Orioles     ( 8-12) --> (10-13)  wk 2-1

Category: MLB
Posted on: April 25, 2011 9:09 am

AL East week three: Sox dig out, Yankees slug

AL East Week Three:   Red Sox, Tampa Bay Rays surge to dig out of early holes, Yankees slug.  Orioles and Jays slide.

Red Sox sweep the LA Angels in 1st west coast trip, pitching & bats wake up.  Rays get even.  Is the Division back to being normal?
Sox fans complain about schedule?  Sour grapes - it's early.  Welcome back to the pack.
Sox fans jab Mariano Rivera?   Look at the calendar, beantowners:  April is over soon.

Yankees are slugging .503, 111 points above the league.

New York Yankees  (9-5) --> (12-6)    wk = 3-1
Tampa Bay Rays     (6-9) -->  (11-11)  wk = 5-2
Boston Red Sox      (4-10) --> (10-11)  wk = 6-1
Toronto Blue Jays      (7-8) --> (9-12)    wk = 2-4
Baltimore Orioles       (6-8) --> (8-12)    wk = 2-4

Category: MLB
Posted on: April 18, 2011 7:27 am

AL East week 2: 2 surge, 3 slide

Week 2:  Since last Sunday, 2 teams up, 3 down as Tampa surges out of the basement and the Yanks gain while the Orioles and Jays fall.  The Red Sox manage to win 2 of 5 but barely climb up from the early hole.

New York Yankees  (5-4) --> (9-5)   4-1
- with rally over Texas, 3 more HRs, Chavez with game winner subs for ARod
- Swept the Orioles to move into 1st, took 2 of 3 from Texas
- Slugging well (27 HRs) but not yet hitting for average - under .200: Gardner, Posada

Baltimore Orioles (6-3) --> (6-8)   0-5
- Quick fall from 1st on a 7 game slide as they were swept by Yankees, Indians

Toronto Blue Jays (5-4) --> (7-8)   2-4
- Lost 2 to Angels and Red Sox, the big boys.

Tampa Bay Rays    (1-8) --> (6-9)   5-1
- Rays swept the Red Sox and took 3 of 4 from the Twins to surge out of their slow start.

Boston Red Sox    (2-7) --> (4-10)  2-3
- Swept by Rays, took 2 days off and then finally won 2 of 3 from the Jays

The Red Sox will have to do better on their west coast trip or they'll be stuck under .500 a while. This week they face the strong pitching of the A's (3rd in ERA of all 30 teams) and Angels (2nd in ERA).   Uphill and steep.  2 in a row?  (...weeks of just 2 wins).

Category: MLB
Posted on: April 11, 2011 11:38 am

AL East week one - Different ways to win

AL East - 1st full week  -  9 games in,  as of April 11th, 2011

Clubs Find Different Ways to Win

 5-4 Blue Jays  -   Hitting & Pitching, ERA 2.63
 6-3 Orioles      -   Living on Pitching, Dying at the plate:  Hitting .216 but holding opponents to .216
 5-4 Yankees    -   Slugging .471 hides >> Hitting .236, which can't beat >> ERA 4.84
 2-7 Red Sox    -   Digging out but men LOB, Pitching better as ERA drops to 6.24 from 9+
 1-8 Rays          -   Hitting .163, opponents .271, scoring 2.7 runs less / game

NY Yankee Trends :  Slow starters at the plate can't overcome awful pitching:

- Mark Teixeira carried the club early as everyone else slumped, but now slugging percent disguises recent drought like Jorge Posada who had HRs early, now 0 for 17.   Lucky to have new bats Russell Martin, Eric ChavezRobinson Cano (thanks to Fenway) and Alex Rodriguez are the only regulars on track.

After 9 games, little traction at the plate:

 Nick Swisher           219
 Derek Jeter             206
 Mark Teixeira           182
 Curtis Granderson 172
 Brett Gardner          167
 Jorge Posada         138
- Especially hurts at the top of the order, low OBP in front of a sackful of homers.  3rd best slugging % in AL (behind White Sox and the unconscious Texas Rangers), but 8th in batting average, 12th in ERA.   18 HRs, tied with Texas.

A Few questions?

Who would have bet A.J. Burnett would be 2-0?   A lucky 2-0.
Why is Boone Logan used as a "stopper against lefties" when he doesn't stop lefties?
How about a leadoff hitter who hits for average instead of speed that's never on base?
When is Derek Jeter going to snap out of it at the plate and get back to being a #2 hitter?

With the Orioles and Texas coming up, the only bright spot is they'll play at the Stadium, while the Sox play the Rays, Jays and then head West for the A's and surging Angels.

Category: MLB
Posted on: April 4, 2011 11:49 am

Opening weekend AL East - Early bombers & bummers

Opening weekend for AL East  -  April 3rd, 2011

Early Bummers:

Boston Red Sox got swept in 1st series at Texas as pitching gets hammered hard with ERA =
   Starters:  Lester 8.4, Lackey 22.1, Buchholz  5.7
   Pen:  Paps 9.0, Wheeler 13.5, Bard 54.0
   Team 9.8
- Some hitting from the usual suspects but bottom of lineup is stone cold.  Carl Crawford demoted to 7th spot?  Francona jitters?

Tampa Bay Rays got swept at home in 1st series with O's, offense hurting.
- Tampa batting only .132 and worse:  Longoria placed on DL, out > 3 weeks.  Empty bullpen?

Early Bombers:

Baltimore Orioles look much improved, timely hitting despite weak .222, pitching ERA = 1.0.

Toronto Blue Jays show strong hitting at .313, taking 2 of 3 from Twins.

NY Yankees take 2 of 3 from Tigers, new look fast start for Mark Teixeira.
    Showing power:  HRs by Teixeira in each game, Posada (2), Granderson, Arod, Martin, Cano
    Pitching plus:  CC Sabathia, A.J. Burnett (baby steps)
    Pitching weakness:  Phil Hughes, Bartolo Colon
    Slow start hitters:  Brett Gardner, Derek Jeter
- When your leading hitter is new catcher Russell Martin at .455, is that great news or a worry?  Great starts by Tex, Arod, Posada, and Swisher (one game).

Surprises?    Many predicted O's and Jay's to be improved and they are.  Many predicted Boston to cruise and they aren't.  Tidal bay Rays need to worry about division competition.  Imagine Teixeira's year with the addition of a huge month. 

Category: MLB
Posted on: March 10, 2011 1:04 pm

Does age & treachery overcome youth & skill?

Does age and treachery always overcome youth and skill?   New York Yankees Bi-polar pitching

Going into the home stretch preparing for opening day, Joe Girardi's most talked about struggle is his starting rotation and the absence of an off-season acquisition to replace Andy Pettitte or take possession of a clear #2, 3 or 4 spot to follow CC Sabathia.  Sure, there are two other starters from last year on staff but they highlight Girardi's bi-polar disorder: Can both youth and experience be blended into a winning combination?

One side is illustrated by the sweet bird of youth: energy, promise and green.  Phil Hughes (24) has shown unhittable stuff but inconsistent success despite poise beyond his years.  Experience, potential but disappointing headcase is the other side.  A.J. Burnett (34) was horrible last year though his talent is pointed to as the evidence of potential, unfulfilled in so many painful outings last year.  While Burnett may bounce back, he's the more risky of the two because like a golfer who's game disintegrates after a lame shot, AJ's inner voice strangles his presumed ability and control as his anger replaces his guile producing the league lead in hitting
batters.  Both of them have to find their stride for the Yanks to compete in an improved AL East this year.

The two most likely additions tip the scales toward the long-of-tooth side:  Both Bartolo Colon (37) and Freddy Garcia (34) have pitched surprisingly well this spring, with an ERA/Avg against (through less than 9 innings) of  3.00/.250 for the weighty Colon along with 12 K's and 0.00/1.25 for the sly Garcia.  The sample is too small so let's see what happens after going through a lineup more than once but it's likely one of these two will start at the end of the rotation and hopefully benefit from the strong offense and bullpen.  A trade down the road for another established starter is still very probable since the cornucopia of catching talent can attract clubs like the KC Royals.  Does experience trump youth and desire?

On the other end of the spectrum is Ivan Nova (24) and following at a later date could be one of the much touted "B's", Dellin Betances (22) and Manuel Banuelos (19).  Nova went 1-2 in limited use last year, posting a so-so 4.50/.268 in 42 innings but 0.00/.188 in 5 innings this spring.  Nova will head north even if he isn't nicknamed "Super".  To a manager he's a risk, but for fans there's a thrill in following a rookie with a strong upside who might emerge as a phenom.  The Stephen Strasburg effect was electric (while it lasted) even understanding the realistic odds are extremely long. That's why the 6' 8" Betances is very appealing for a look and the Ron Guidry-like Banuelos would electrify fans though he needs more triple-A time.

I'd rather watch the youngsters with all the mistakes and letdowns for the rare excitement of a wondrous game.  Like finding a treasure at a flea market, I can hope despite the odds every time.  Safer decisions will prevail for now as the old guys cover the back end pitching until either the "B's" are ready or age takes its toll.  Is there a chance time runs backwards and Colon becomes this season's Ponce de Leon stumbling into a fountain of youth?  Hoard the antioxidants and put pomegranate juice in the water cooler.  Antiques Roadshow is a fine balance - amazing discoveries get found among well-used pitchers with a chip or two.

Category: MLB
Posted on: February 24, 2011 11:21 am

Is there such a thing as TOO much baseball?

I've noticed that some posters on the MLB board here *do* seem to have a whole lot of time to devote to all things baseball.  During work, lunch, dinner, latenight, whenever.  While I admire the dedication, I wonder about real life.  So when I came across this.. err.. idea, backed by MLB, it seems like the ultimate fit:  all MLB, all the time.  All games, all social media, keystroking into immortality.

But it did seem so insulated, so facebook-without-end, so very, that I wondered what the chosen person would look like after the season.  Read for yourself.  And I'd love to hear your reaction - add comments please.

 And who would you nominate?


Wanna get paid to watch baseball all season?
    ( Craig Calcaterra   Feb 24, 2011, 9:00 AM EST - found on NBC Hardballtalk)

You may have seen these ads floating around: Major League Baseball is starting a thing — and I think we can only safely call it a “thing” at the moment — in which some lucky sod is going to get paid to immerse themselves in baseball this season.  MLB is calling it a “dream job,” but I’m still calling it a “thing” because I think its more than a mere job. For one thing, they’re characterizing the search as a “casting call,” and the actual end product is going to be a “web series.” And, unlike most jobs, MLB is going to put the chosen one up in an apartment — at least I think it’s an apartment — in New York, which will be mission control. There certainly seem to be some reality TV elements to it.

The details as I’ve groked them:
  • The winner of the casting call will move to New York to star in a baseball web series and “be a part of a live interactive experience for baseball fans that will include watching every MLB game over the course of the entire baseball season.”  The idea, I’m told, is that there will be a wall of monitors in the apartment so you can watch all the games going on at once.
  • The chosen one will blog and interact with fans on the web via video and social media.  The series will be on and Twitter and stuff.
  • What are they looking for? Someone who knows everything about baseball. Someone with an entertaining personality who can write and be funny and comfortable on screen.  I’d assume they also would prefer someone without a ton of familial obligations, seeing as though you’re going to be in a New York apartment watching games every night for seven straight months. Or maybe they don’t mind but, really, you should care about that. “Where’s daddy?”  ”Well, junior, he’s in that MLB-funded crash pad, glued to a wall of TVs like Adrian Veidt.”  Not cool.
But for the “say goodbye to your kids for seven months” part — and the fact that I’m just too damn old to appeal to any demographic you can name — it sounds like a job tailor-made for me. Except I’m already paid to do all that stuff so I’m not going to apply. I have to provide my own video monitors, though. Maybe I need to send some memos around about that. Raw deal if you ask me.

Anyway I’m guessing a lot of you fit that job description. I’m also guessing most of you — based on the amount of time you spend here during working hours — aren’t too married to your current jobs and/or don’t have lives.  Go for it, dudes!

Apply here -> http:/


Imagine the poster... if it were Nasty, great.  But if it were _____?   Oh the horror.

Category: MLB
Posted on: December 10, 2010 9:02 am

Signs the apocalypse is near

7 Years of bad luck?  Who broke the mirror?  MLB teams are officially nuts!

Proof that the end is near:  Reports today are that Boof Bonzer, the worst pitcher with the best name in the game, has signed a minor league deal with the New York Mets.  Yup, the Mets.  Au jus for everyone, medium rare.  ...and 2)  The Boston Red Sox are talking with Carlos Beltran  (of the very same Mets).  Ouch!  Sox fans, I'm passing along a warning here - keep your ten-foot pole handy, this guy has rings where folks have been touching him with that pole.  Besides, you cannot have a Beltre + Beltran at the same time - it's forbidden by the announcers contract.  But I did hear Damon was kissing up some about returning.  Johnny I hardly knew ya.  Jing Jing Jing.

Yet again...  further proof that the end is near:  examples...

1)  Jason Werth gets 7 years @ huge $, ...the Nationals?  the guy isn't a home run hitter, nor huge RBI guy.  Easy way to avoid any playoff games.  Is this Jason & the Golden Fleece?
2)  Carl Crawfish gets 7 years , 142 million.  huh?  I'm all for the Sox finding good OF'ers, makes the season a good fight, but this ends the old saw about Evil Empire, etc, ok?  Remember, eX-Rays are dangerous, hence the lead apron.  Madame Curie, recall?
3)  Cliff Lee gets (will get) 7 years .  Talk about extending unemployment benefits!  What happens during those last 2-3 years when he turns into Boof Bonzer?

Wasn't it the great plagues that also came in 7 year packages?    Seems to me this is a sign...  7 deadly sins, 7 dwarfs, 7 seas, 7 hills of Rome, 7 wonders of the world, 7 palms in a cubit, The original diameter in inches of the 45rpm format record,  Maximum number of VHF broadcast channels available in any TV market in the United States of America; (channels 2, 4, 5, 7, 9, 11, and 13), 7 Samuri, 7 year itch, 7 cities of gold, 7 = a neutral pH value between acidity and alkalinity and... of course, the 7th inning stretch.   Yes, it's a sign.

In Math:
7 is the only dimension, besides the familiar 3, in which a vector cross product can be defined .
There are seven fundamental types of catastrophes .
Seven is the sum of any two opposite sides on a standard six-sided die
Seven is the lowest number which cannot be represented as the sum of the squares of three integers

Forget 2012, these contracts *are* revelations, 4 horsemen of the apocalypse + 3 wise men this month... and bingo: 7

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or