Monthly Archives: June 2012

Jim Thome is Traded to the Orioles

Now an Oriole

The Orioles are making moves. As reported by Ken Rosenthal, the Baltimore Orioles have acquired Jim Thome from the Philadelphia Phillies in exchange for two minor league prospects. The Orioles were not expected to make any noise this year but have surprised everyone, as they sit in second place in the American League East with a 42-35 record. On the other hand, the Philadelphia Phillies have been extremely disappointing, as they sit in last place in the National League East with a 36-44 record. Prior to the season, no one would have thought that the Orioles would be making trade moves for a playoff push, while the Phillies sell in preparation for next season. Welcome to the world of MLB baseball.

The minor leaguers acquired by the Phillies are right-handed pitcher Kyle Simon and catcher Gabriel Lino.

Entering Saturday, Thome was batting .242 with five home runs in 62 at bats this season.

 

 

 

Peavy Donates $100 for Each MLB K

Helping in the fight against pancreatic cancer

Jake Peavy, of the Chicago White Sox, took a loss on the mound today against the New York Yankees, but today is a win for everybody in Major League Baseball and others around the world. Tweets from Jake Peavy and Daryl Van Schouwen, White Sox beat writer for the Chicago Sun-Times, confirm that Peavy is donating $100 for each strikeout today in MLB. The donated money will go towards  research in the fight against pancreatic cancer in honor of San Diego Padres former coach Darrel Akerfelds. The Padres’ bullpen coach passed away from pancreatic cancer on June 24, 2012. Akerfelds was the Padres bullpen coach since 2001. Peavy pitched for the Padres from 2002 to 2009.

Peavy took the mound today for the Chicago White Sox in New York. The Yankees shut out the White Sox 4-0, but Peavy did his part in his fight against cancer, as he struck out 11 Yankees batters in eight innings. The Yankees’ pitching staff contributed 13 strikeouts of their own.

There is a full slate of MLB baseball going today, as each team is playing. The Kansas City Royals and the Minnesota Twins have a doubleheader scheduled, so we get an extra game to add to the total. Let’s hope for heavy strikeouts. Good work, Mr. Peavy.

Here is Peavy’s tweet from last night and Van Schouwen’s tweet from today:

 

 

 

 

Yankees Outfielder Dewayne Wise Pitches And Gets Konerko/Rios Out!

On the cusp of their second straight loss, trailing 14-7 in the 9th inning Yankees manager Joe Girardi was out of options at the pitching position. So he decided to call upon his outfielder Dewayne Wise to take the bump. Now most of us our probably thinking how many hits and runs did Wise give up, but the exact opposite happened. He actually got two pretty good hitters out in Paul Konerko and Alex Rios. His seven pitches that he threw were clocked between 64-82 mph.

Check it out:

 

MLB in Australia?

Baseball at SCG

An impression of baseball in the transformed SCG – Photo courtesy of the Daily Telegraph

The last time two Major League Baseball teams played a game in Australia was in January of 1914, when the New York Giants took on the Chicago White Sox. Fast forward 100 years, and the event may take place again. According to The Daily Telegraph, an Australian paper, the Sydney Cricket Ground looks to be transformed into a baseball park for the opening of the 2014 MLB season. All that is needed is the go-ahead from the NSW government. The games would be televised live in Australia, Japan, and many parts of Asia. The event would bring MLB exposure to Australia as well as many other parts of the world. The televised event is expected to hit 70 million homes in the United States, 40 million homes in Japan, and another 12 million in Korea and Taiwan. Obviously, Australia would enjoy much revenue from the spectacle. Everything appears to add up for the Australian government, so expect the approval to happen.

Aaron Hill Hits for the Cycle AGAIN (Videos)

The repetitive cycler

Friday night was a tremendous one for Aaron Hill of the Arizona Diamondbacks. Not only did he double in the first inning for his 1000th MLB hit, but he went on to hit for the cycle for the second time this season. This tremendous feat makes Hill only the second player to accomplish this in the same season since 1900. Only Babe Herman of the Brooklyn Dodgers hit for the cycle twice in 1931.

Hill accomplished the feat with a double in the first inning, single in the third, home run in the fourth, and a triple in the sixth. The first three hits came off of Milwaukee Brewers pitcher Randy Wolf, and Livan Hernandez was the victim of the triple. Arizona defeated the Brewers 9-3.

Hill’s first cycle of the season came on June 18 against the Seattle Mariners.

Here’s the video from cycle #1:

Here’s the video from cycle #2

 

 

 

Lidge May Be Done

Walking away?

Brad Lidge was released by the Washington Nationals on Monday.  Now, according to Jerry Crasnick of ESPN, Lidge says he may be done for 2012. After undergoing surgery in April for a sports hernia, Lidge was not very effective for the Nationals this year. In his first year with the Nats, Lidge had an 0-1 record with a 9.64 ERA. He pitched only 9.1 innings on the season.

Lidge says he is healthy but isn’t happy with the way he rushed back after surgery. He is not sure if he is ready to take the steps needed to be ready to pitch this season. He’s told his agents to accept calls from teams, but for now, he is enjoying time with his family in Colorado. Here are the words from Lidge according to Jerry Crasnick:

I am healthy, but based on the path I would have to take to get back to the bigs this year, I am not sure I will be jumping back in right now. No official decision one way or another, but mostly I am not happy that I rushed back from surgery before I was ready only to be designated for assignment a couple of days later.

Lidge was an absolute stud for the Philadelphia Phillies in 2008, as he went 41 for 41 in save opportunities for the World Series winning club. His ERA in ’08 was 1.95. Lidge has had an up and down career, with a couple of good seasons to be followed by a bad one and then continuing the cycle. Let’s see how the 35 year-old responds to the latest tribulations. He may very well have some good ball left in him when he’s ready.

Bryce Harper Calls D.C. Home and Wants to Stay

He's found a home

Bryce Harper is young. Bryce Harper is a phenom. Bryce Harper has found his home. According to Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post, Harper has fallen in love with Washington D.C. and hopes to play his entire career in the city. Being born and raised in Las Vegas, Harper always considered Vegas as his home. Now, the 19 year-old man has found the place where he loves the people and feels the love in return.

As Kilgore reports, Bryce Harper speaks to his father, Ron Harper, almost every day. After a recent road trip, Bryce was speaking to his father and said, “I can’t wait to go home, Pop.” Ron was taken aback when he realized that Bryce was speaking about D.C. and not Las Vegas. Ron said it was his first time hearing his son speak of somewhere other than Vegas as his home.

Bryce Harper hit the Major League scene earlier than many expected but with all of the hype that most expected. Harper failed to disappoint, as he has displayed tremendous talent and energy on the ball field. The Washington Nationals (43-31) are in first place in the National League East, and the fans are responding with much love and respect.

This love and respect has won the heart of Bryce Harper. He is also in tune with the history of baseball and the highly respected players that have spent their entire careers with one team, such as Derek Jeter and Cal Ripken. While sitting in the dugout in Baltimore’s Camden Yards last weekend, Harper had this to say:

You look at Cal Ripken. You look at Derek Jeter. You look at all the greats that played for one team their whole career. I want to be like that. I’ve always wanted to be like that. I’ve always wanted to play with that same team.

Having a community and fans like we do in D.C. that love our players, love everything about us, we deserve to give something back to them. I want to do that. I don’t want to do anything else.

The best thing about D.C. is the people. They are so nice and genuine. Seeing us on the streets, it’s just like ‘Hey, I don’t want to bother you, but it’s nice to meet you. You’re doing a great job.’ They’re so nice. I got the vibe right when I got to D.C. I was like, ‘These people actually care about their athletes. They actually care about the people around them.’ They just want the best for us.

Only three Nationals players make the D.C. area their home during the winter months. Harper is strongly considering joining Ryan Zimmerman, Jayson Werth and Steve Lombardozzi in becoming the fourth player to make D.C. his year-long home.

It is refreshing to hear a young superstar speak on the love he has for his new city and the wish to remain for his entire career. This is obviously great news for Nationals fans, but there is another reality that lurks. If and when Harper continues to grow as a player and reaches his potential, he will be in high demand once his contract is up and free agency hits. Harper is currently signed through 2015, when he is set to make $1,000,000. By then, there is no telling what Harper’s open market value may be, so things may get complicated on the business end after a few years. Remember, MLB is a business, and Harper is only 19 years old. Hopefully for Harper and the Nationals’ fans, the team will have the money to sign Bryce to a lengthy contract. After all, the Nationals are winning, and Harper is becoming the face of the franchise.

Top 9 Players That Have a Legitimate Shot at 500 Home Runs

Thome + A-Rod = 600 Home Run Club! Photo Courtesy of TiqIQ

Believe it or not, Major League Baseball has two active players that are members of the 500 home run club. In fact both Alex Rodriguez (640) and Jim Thome (608) are members of the 600 home run club. With the new drug testing policy in MLB, you will no longer see power hitters continue to put up inflated numbers . With a level playing field it will be difficult for upcoming ball players to reach the magical 500 number. However, there are still big league players with a chance at joining the elite club. Here is my list of players that have a shot at 500 home runs.

9.Detroit Tigers 1B Prince Fielder

Prince Fielder

Prince, son of former Detroit Tiger Cecil Fielder, is  29 years old with a whopping 269 home runs in seven big league seasons.  He and dad are the only father son tandem in MLB history to hit 50 home runs in a season.  Prince won the 2009 Home Run Derby and is a 2-time Silver Slugger Award winner. This past off-season, he left Milwaukee Brewers and took his talents to the Detroit Tigers, where he signed a nine-year deal worth 214 million dollars.  Since being in the big leagues, Prince has averaged 37 home runs each season.   I am predicting that he will reach the 500 club at the age 35.  So far he has hit eleven homers this season, so he has some work to do. Continue reading

Yankees Place CC Sabathia on DL

Temporarily disabled

 

According to ESPN New York, the New York Yankees have placed CC Sabathia on the 15-day disabled list. He is diagnosed with a Grade 1 strain of the adductor muscle near his left leg. Sabathia will not be available for the All-Star Game. It is reported that he first felt the pain in the fourth inning of his last start on Sunday night. He didn’t tell anyone at the time and completed five and two-thirds of an inning worth of work. He received a no-decision, as the Yankees won the game against the New York Mets 6-5.

Freddy Garcia will replace the Yankees’ ace temporarily. Sabathia is currently 9-3 with a 3.45 ERA.

Buchholz is Out of the Hospital

Back in the clubhouse

Great news for Clay Buchholz and the Boston Red Sox. MLB.com has announced that Buchholz has been released from the hospital and was in the Red Sox clubhouse Wednesday morning. He was hospitalized for intestinal bleeding and was later diagnosed with esophagitis, which is said to have caused the bleeding. He is expected to make a full recovery.

Buchholz hasn’t pitched since June 19 and is currently on the 15-day disabled list. He has an 8-2 record and a 5.53 ERA this season.

 

Yankees Fans and Wise Fool the Umps (Video)

One of the most exciting plays in baseball is when a player crashes into and over a wall attempting to make a catch. A player is allowed to catch a ball and fall into the stands, and as long as he secures the ball, the batter is deemed to be out. This is always a tough call for the umpire, because once the player falls over the rail, he is out of sight. Well, in Tuesday night’s game, Cleveland Indians batter Jack Hannahan hit a foul ball down the left field line. New York Yankees left fielder Dewayne Wise ran down the left field foul line and towards the stands. He secures the out after tumbling into the stands, but after further review, Wise surely did not catch this ball. The ball never goes fully into his glove. Once he hit the ground, Wise received a little help from the fans crowding around him, but he still did not have the ball in his glove. As a matter of fact, a fan a few seats down picks the ball up and holds it in the air. At the same time that the fan holds the ball up, the umpire calls the batter out. Jack Hannahan and the visiting Cleveland Indians weren’t too happy with this blown call. The play happened in the seventh inning with two outs and a runner on third base. The Yankees were leading 4-0. Hannahan was later ejected from the game in the eighth inning after chirping at the umpire about the play. It can be assumed that Hannahan received news of what the replay showed. The Yankees went on to win the game 6-4.

The umpire that made the call was Mike DiMuro, who later saw a video and knows he missed the call. According to Bombers Beat, here’s what DiMuro had to say via a pool reporter:

I went out on the ball and saw the ball into his glove in his stands. He disappeared into the stands and I believed that the ball was in his glove.

When asked if he had a chance to review the play, DiMuro said:

I have. Now that I see the tape it’s obvious that the ball fell out of his glove… In hindsight, I should have asked him to show me the ball since he fell into the stands and out of my line of vision.

According to MLB.com Cut 4, it was Yankees fan Vinnie Pellegrino that actually picked up with the ball. After the ball hit off of Wise’s glove, it rolled to Pellegrino, who snatched it and showed it to the world. He would later give the ball to a young Yankees fan. Here’s a look at the lucky and helpful fans. Pallegrino is in the red. The ball was given to the young man in the Yankees jersey.

Kemp Won’t Pick Bryce Harper for HR Derby

No Derby for Harper

Bad news for Bryce Harper fans… Matt Kemp, the National League captain for the 2012 MLB Home Run Derby, will not be picking Bryce Harper as one of the players to participate in the event. According to USA TODAY, Kemp says he likes Harper but others are capable. Apparently, Kemp has this four-man team picked out but declined to name those players. Kemp did say that he will be one of the participating members. Here’s what Kemp said, as reported by USA TODAY:

It’s not because he’s a rookie. It’s just that there are other guys out there that are capable. I’m not saying he wouldn’t do a good job in the Home Run Derby. He’s going to have plenty of time to participate in many Home Run Derbies. Just not this year. Nothing against him. I love watching him play.

Bryce Harper’s involvement would likely be a huge draw, as Harper has become one of the game’s most popular stars. One would wonder how MLB feels about this. Nonetheless, Kemp feels that Harper hasn’t hit enough home runs to have earned a spot in the event. Going into Tuesday’s game, Harper is batting .280 with seven home runs.

Matt Kemp has been on the disabled list with a strained hamstring. He has not ruled out playing in the All-Star Game. He has said that he must be in game shape prior to playing in the All-Star extravaganza.

Chapman’s on a Roll (Video)

After throwing the last pitch of the game to secure a 4-3 win over the Milwaukee Brewers, Cincinnati Reds pitcher Aroldis Chapman does something that has probably never been seen before in Major League Baseball. As a matter of fact, it’s questionable whether this has been seen before at any level of baseball. Chapman does a double somersault to celebrate the win. Here’s a look at the MLB.com video:

This was Chapman’s ninth save of the season. Let’s hope it’s his last somersault.

Clay Buchholz has Esophagitis

Getting better

According to MLB, Boston Red Sox pitcher Clay Buchholz has been diagnosed with esophagitis. This is actually good news for the Sox, as there was reason for serious concern because Buchholz was recently hospitalized due to intestinal bleeding. It is said that the esophagitis led to the bleeding, and Buchholz is expected to make a full recovery. He is currently on the 15-day disabled list due to the hospitalization.

Buchholz is currently 8-2, with a 5.53 ERA.

 

Perez Blasts Cleveland Fans and Cites LeBron

Throwing darts

The Cleveland Indians have struggled recently, losing their last three games by wide spreads. Yet, the Indians still sit in second place in the American League Central with a 37-35 record and are only a half game out of first place. In a season that all of the “experts” predicted the Detroit Tigers to run away with the division, this looks to be an exciting season for the Indians. Unfortunately, the Indians’ game attendance hasn’t kept up with the team’s success. The fans are simply not coming to the ballpark. They rank last in the league in fan attendance, with an average attendance of 18,408 fans a game. That doesn’t sit well with Indians closer Chris Perez.

As reported by the New York Times, Perez is baffled by the lack of support shown by Cleveland’s fans. Perez called the fans out earlier this season as well, but this time, he goes on to further express his frustrations regarding the Cleveland fans’ mentality. Specifically, Perez can’t fathom why the fans seem to rather root for LeBron James and the Miami Heat to lose than to support their own baseball team that is in a pennant race. He also has absolutely no idea why Cleveland fans support the local football team, as the Cleveland Browns haven’t been competitive in ages. Here’s what Perez said regarding the Cleveland fans:

I don’t get the psyche. Why cheer against a guy that’s not even in your city anymore? Just to see him fail? Does that make you feel good? I could see if the Cavs were in the championship, but that’s their mentality… They’ve had a lot of years of misery. They say, ‘You just don’t understand because you don’t live here.’ O.K., maybe I don’t. But that doesn’t mean it has to keep going… That’s what I don’t understand. Their whole thing is, ‘We want a winner.’ Well, why do you support the Browns? They don’t win. They’ve never won. They left. You guys blindly support them. I don’t understand it. It’s a double standard, and I don’t know why… It’s head-scratching. It’s just — they don’t come out. But around the city, there’s great support. They watch it in the bars. They watch it at home. They just don’t come.

At least it is good to hear that the fans support the team outside of the ballpark, but it must be frustrating for players to continuously play in front of mostly empty seats. Nonetheless, this has been a good season thus far for the Indians. Perhaps, if they keep up the competitiveness, the fans will turn out in September.

 

From SK Network