Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Top 5 Moments In Baseball From 2013

As we close out 2013 and have our eyes already on spring training, I would like to take one more look back and rate the top 5 moments from 2013. While it is impossible to get this list totally right, I believe that these are the biggest moments of the year. Take a look and enjoy 2013!

5. The Pittsburgh Pirates Make the Playoffs.

The Pirates made the playoffs for the first time since 1992. The Pirate fans have suffered for a long time and the baseball god's finally came through for them After a few recent second half collapses the time held it together and even won the wild card game. With a super star in Andrew McCutchen and young arms like Gerrit Cole and Jeff Locke, this team should be set for a few more playoff runs over the next 3-5 years.

4. More PED Scandals

After MLB dropped the hammer on players a few years ago I was naive enough to think that players would have learned their lesson. I was wrong. The actions of Ryan Braun in particular really castes a shadow on the integrity of the game. It was more understandable for marginal players to cheat, but when top tier players are suspended it kills the game. By the way, I will not even give A-rod more than this mention.

3. Max Scherzer Wins The Cy Young

I honestly thought that Max Scherzer was going to win 30 games this year. Absolutely amazing season for a team that most people thought would win the world series. He finished with an insane 21-3 record while going 2-1 in the playoffs. He tailed off a bit at the end of the regular season, but he was solid for the Tigers as they ran into a team of destiny in the Red Sox.

2. Yasiel Puig Mania

What a fun player to watch. The best thing you can say about Puig (from a fans perspective) is that you never know what he is going to do. This drives managers and coaches crazy, but his go for broke on every play attitude is something that is missing from the game these days. Baseball needs a human highlight film like this and I can not think of a better place than L.A. for this type of player. It's gonna be a fun 2014 for him and the Dodgers.

1. The Boston Red Sox

What a likable team (if you do not live in New York). They have personality, they hustle and they all have nicknames. Big Papi and the bearded bunch will go down in history as one of the most unlikely world series winners ever. In spring training this team looked like it was starting a long rebuilding process. This shows that there is more to the game of baseball than big payrolls and big names. It is a team sport and even more than that. The way the team and organization rallied around the Boston community after the bombing truly showed their connection to Boston is the strongest in professional sports.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

The Race To Get Masahiro Tanaka

Well, it looks like the Yankees have already jumped into the race to get Masahiro Tanaka. I have always found these bidding wars for foreign players very interesting. There have been some big payoffs and there have been a few Jose Contreras's. But with the success Yu Darvish has had, teams are now very eager to give these guys a chance. From what I've seen Tanaka looks like he could jump in and dominate right now. On film it is quite clear that he has a great splitter and slider. he also possesses a deceptive delivery like most Japanese pitchers. I have included a few links below so you can get other takes on this guy.





Monday, December 23, 2013


After a few weeks of hard work I have launched the website BaseballCardSpot.com. This website is designed with the average collector in mind. There are easy links to purchase baseball cards and informative stories (soon to come) about collecting. I hope to make this an online resource for collectors.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Curtis Granderson and Bartolo Colon

These were two very good signings for the Met's. After years of sitting out of the free agent market they jumped back in and made a few smart moves. Sandy Alderson knew that the team need to make some big changes in the outfield. While both Chris Young and Curtis Granderson were not coming off of good years in 2013, they have major talent and a high upside. Adding Bartolo Colon for only 2 years is a smart stop gap in their young pitching staff. I'm sure the young arms can learn something from this crafty veteran as well. The team also stayed away from long term contracts that could come back to haunt them. No 8 year $100 million plus contracts to have to unload. I'm still not convinced this team will make the playoffs, but if they are able to get a first baseman I might change my mind. They also need a another arm in the bullpen, but doesn't every team.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Robinson Cano To The Mariners

When a team wants to over pay like this it's very hard to compete with them. While the Mariners are making other moves to try and build a winner, it is going to be very hard to just throw together expensive pieces and win a pennant. I believe the Yankees did the right thing in not re-signing Robinson Cano. He's nor Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera or Andy Pettitte. He is a solid second baseman and maybe a future hall of famer if he puts up some big numbers, but he is not a brand like the others I mentioned. The Yankees will surely waste some of the money that they saved. The Carlos Beltran deal might not work out. The Jacoby Ellsbury deal might go south as well. The thing is, is that the $240 million they saved can go a long way at making many small mistakes, and this is the Yankee way. By small mistakes I mean $50-$100 million dollar deals, since it's New York We are talking about. I'm sure the Mariners and their fans are happy, so for now both sides are content. The winner in the end once again is the players union.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Will K.C. Bring Carlos Beltran Back?

Is it possible that after years of being a developmental team for the Yankees and other contending teams that the Royals will now do the right thing? By bringing Carlos Beltran back they can make a real run at the post season, create fan excitement and possibly have a class act retire and go into the hall of fame as a Royal. In my opinion the Royals need to spend whatever they need to spend to bring Beltran back at this point. The idea of this homecoming has already created more buzz for Royal fans who were already expecting big things next year. The recent articles make it look like a very real possibility that the deal could be done soon. I also think the team could keep Billy Butler  for two more years as Beltran was an everyday play in right last season. He seems to have rebounded from his injury plagued time with the Met's. By having both of these bats plus the other hitters in that lineup, this team could go very far. Guess we will see what happens.

Update: Here are a few articles that are going both ways on the Royals obtaining Beltran. Things don't seem to be changing even though the Royals picked up Norichika Aoki.

Carlos Beltran May Not Be a Good Deal for the Royals

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Off Season Plans: Chicago Cubs

The Cubs are another team that I would like to discuss in short. This team has major troubles and not very many answers at this time. Its hard to imagine that this team was productive and making the playoff as resent as 2008. When the biggest news about your team is about losing Jeff Samardzija and signing George Kottaras you have big issues. To top this all off, the ownership group seems to be more interested in the size of the big screen and marketing opportunities than developing a good team. What this team and organization need to do is show their commitment to winning by laying out a plan of what they are going to do. I'm beginning to think the Red Sox were geniuses and not Theo Espstein.

Off Season Plans: Texas Rangers

Having a ton of money to spend does not always lead to success in the win column. For the Texas Rangers they are once again trying to buy the west and a championship. Landing Prince Fielder and now rumors of going after David Price or Robinson Cano have made it clear that the team wants to win now and are going all in. In many respects this makes total sense since they now have the pitching to make it through a post season run. Giving up Ian Kinsler was tough, but to get to were teams need to go they need to make tough decisions. In the end I think they will only sign one more big name and it might not even be Price. The better bet is that they trade Mitch Moreland for a few arms and a bat.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Black Friday For MLB Owners?

With all of the annual Black Friday hype rearing it's ugly head, I began to think what a Black Friday for baseball owners would be like? Just imagine the concept. It would be just like the winter meetings, but the offers and deals would only be good from 12:00 A.M. till 11:00 A.M. Owners could get all of their shopping done for the next spring and the rest of the off season could be used for getting ready for spring training. It would be a major PR event for the sport and could help liven up the off season. As we have seen with the NFL, off season promotion is very useful. The NFL draft is almost as popular as the Super Bowl now. Not sure this will even happen, just a quick thought I wanted to share as I get ready to buy a tv or something else I don't need!

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Off Season Action

Things got off to a fast start this week with a few high profile trades. I was surprised by the Prince Fielder for Ian Kinsler trade, but it totally makes sense for both sides. I do think that it will prevent the Tigers from winning the division this season though. By getting Fielder's contract off the books it will help them in years to come though.

The Cardinals and Angels basically traded outfielders who needed a fresh place to play. What's always interesting in these types of deals is the minor leaguer's that are included. Peter Bourjos for David Freese has been rumored for some time, so this was not a big surprise.

There were also a couple free agent acquisitions this week that could play out well. The Met's picked up Chris Young who really struggled last year, but showed signs of being a great player in 2010 when he was an all-star. If he can give them 25-30 homers this year, this may have been the best deal of the off season. It's going to be tough task though, Citi field is still a tough place to hit the ball out of.

The Royals also picked up a reclamation project in Jason Vargas. Vargas had been very good for Seattle from 2010-2012, but an injury last year cut his season short. The Royals just need someone to eat innings and not give up too many runs. If Vargas can stay healthy this will be a perfect match. That's the unknown though, you always take a chance with a player coming off an injury. I would have liked the Royals to go after a big bat or a solid number two. We'll will see how this turns out.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Off Season Plans: Los Angeles Dodgers

The Dodgers were a team that had a real shot at winning a world series last year. The timely hitting of Yasiel Puig and company vaulted them into the playoffs. The real question is if this was a one year wonder team or are they set up for long term success? The one thing that the team did lack as they made their way in to the playoffs was starting pitching. They seem to be addressing that by pursuing Dan Haren. Haren is not a number 2 or even 3 at this stage in his career, but what he does offer is innings and a veteran presence. It will be interesting to see if they go after more similar pitching options.

The big question of the off season is which outfielder will they trade? There have already been reports that Andre Ethier, Matt Kemp and Puig could be traded. My guess is that Ethier will be the odd man out. I see no reason to trade Puig and Kemp is younger that Ethier with a higher career batting average. Once again we will see what happens as the winter meeting approach. I'm sure there will be plenty of rumors until that time.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Off Season Plans: Kansas City Royals

After the best year in 2 decades the Kansas City Royals are on the cusp of making it back to the playoffs for the first time since 1985. So what does the team do in the off season to improve on last year? They need a power hitter, and that's pretty much it. With the best bullpen in the league last year and strong starting pitching, this team was just a few runs away from the wild card. Alex Gordon led the team with only 20 home runs in 2013. It is pretty much unheard of for an AL team to finish with 86 wins and have such a lack of power.

The team was successful due to speed, defense and clutch hitting, but to get to the next level they need a good old slugger. A recent story has brought up the possibility that Carlos Beltran would be open to coming back. This would be perfect for the team in multiple ways. Beltran was a fan favorite and a all around good guy for the organization. It also looks like he has shook the injuries that plagued him for a few years. If he could just give them 2-3 years it would be worth the investment on a longer deal.

There is also talk of Billy Butler being trade bait. Since they have Eric Hosmer at first it would make sense upgrading the DH position with more power. I know that a few fans would be disappointed, but to win some tough decisions need to be made. As the off season moves towards the winter meetings we will see if the Royals can make a move or two. I would expect something before spring training though. This is an organization that does not like to drag things out.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Off Season Plans: Boston Red Sox

The Red Sox are a team that really maximized the free agent market last year. They were expected to be a last place team, so their moves slipped through the cracks when in came to media coverage. This year they will have to do an even better job and have some big decisions to make. With a good group of young infielders, the decision seems to be in the outfield. With all signs pointing toward Jacoby Ellsbury taking a big payday elsewhere center field will be the specific position that they need to fill.

Do the Red Sox just role the dice and go with youth to fill in for departures? For center field that might be a good plan. There is no reason for this team to go after a Curtis Granderson or Shin Soo-Choo. They will just find themselves over paying in a highly over valued market. They need to sit back and watch other teams make mistakes this off season. This is especial true in the infield where Xander Bogaerts deserves a shot at taking over for Stephen Drew.

The one thing that they could spend some money on is another veteran presence. They should have gone after Marlon Bryd to help in the outfield. Looking at whats out there they may have to put together a trade to get someone.

Pitching. A team can always use a few more arms. This is an area where they have the luxury of taking on a project. I would look at Ubaldo Jimenez or Josh Johnson. Low risk, high reward.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Off Season Plans: New York Mets

During the off season I will try to cover what teams are doing and what they aren't. To start off I will be talking about the Met's. The season didn't quite end the way the Met's had hoped when Matt Harvey injured himself and will likely miss the entire 2014 season. On the bright side Zack Wheeler looked solid after being called up, Dillon Gee had a good second half and Jonathon Niese showed promising signs as well. The Met's are in pretty good shape in the starting pitching department, even the bullpen is serviceable as is. There have been rumors about the Met's looking at adding another starter, but I would suggest that they get some bats first.

 The true obstacle for this team is in the outfield. They need an outfielder with power to hit behind David Wright so he can finally see some pitches to hit in key situations. The Met's mostly likely will go after Curtis Granderson or Jacoby Ellsbury. This makes sense but I wish there were other options for them. Granderson adds some pop to the lineup, but his batting average has been horrible for the past few years since getting a big contract. At a discounted rate this move might make sense, but the Met's need to explore other options like trading Danial Murphy or one of there minor league pitchers. Ellsbury is an interesting possibility. He has battled through injuries, but has a great upside. Maybe a change in leagues would also energize him? We will see.

When things start to warm up I will revisit what the Met's are doing.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

1918 Red Sox Team Photo

Just thought I would post this 1918 Red Sox team picture. For those who love baseball history this could be a big night.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Game 6

Game 6 tomorrow night looks like it will be another pitching duel. I'm not sure that the Red Sox want to face Michael Wacha again, but at least this will not be the first time they face him. For the Cardinals, they are facing a post season veteran in John Lackey. He might not be pitching his best right now, but I would be surprised to see him lay an egg in this situation. The Red Sox seem like a team destine to close things out at home in game 6. This is not the same type of team or year like they were in 2004. This has been the best team in baseball all season. If not, we will have a game 7 on Halloween. If ISox fan I would not want that. You never know when a new curse is born...

Friday, October 25, 2013

Ortiz Homer Not Enough To Win Game Two

John Lackey was the hard luck loser Thursday night as the Cardinals capitalized on a key Red Sox error. David Ortiz once again turned back the clock and gave the Sox a 2-1 lead after hitting a two run homer in the sixth. But just as soon as they took the lead they gave it back in the top of the 7th. A lot of credit is also due to Cardinal pitching. Michael Wacha pitched 6 more strong innings and struck out 6. With the series tied up, the Sox will need to pick up at least one win in St Louis to make the series return to Boston.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Dodgers vs Cardinals

Tonight Zack Greinke takes the mound in the biggest game of his career. Across from him is a team and a franchise that has won, won more than any other National League team in history. They have done it with big names and have continued to win without them. When you think of National League baseball, you think of the Dodgers and Cardinals. It is only fitting that these two teams meet up in the National League championship series.

For tonight's match up I see Greinke rising to the occasion and the Dodger bats following suit. The Dodgers are currently on a role and will need to stay hot to win make it to the World Series. The Cardinals seem to like to ease into post season series's, it almost seems like they know they will force a game 7 no matter who they face or how many games they get down. They will feel things out tonight and try to disrupt Greinke if they can.

The key to this series will be hitting. With pitchers like Clayton Kershaw, Adam Wainwright, Hyun-jin Ryu and Shelby Miller hits should come at a premium. Both teams will also need to play smart and within their games. This means Yasiel Puig will need to control his throws from the outfield and stop at first on a few line drives to right center. The Cardinals always seem to take away momentum in the playoffs by simply not doing anything stupid.

As for a prediction I am going to take the hot team over the scrappy one. The Dodgers seem like a team of destiny. They great front line starters and a very mean bullpen. In the end I think they will get more than enough hits and Kershaw will close things out in game 6.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Todd Helton

What a way to go out in front of the fans at home. Todd Helton has been a class act who helped the Rockies make it to their first world series in 2007. He is also a throwback player who played for one team his entire 17 year career. Some forget that he was also a quarterback who backed up Peyton Manning. What a career. Checkout his lifetime stats here. Check out video of his home run here.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Poll: Will The Pirates Make The Playoffs?

Things are looking a bit more tense today for the Pirates. The odds are on their side, but there have been some major collapses over the past few years. Vote now on what you think.

Welcome Back David Wright

It was great to see David Wright hit a home run in his return to the lineup last night. In this day and age of over protecting players it would have been easy for the Met's to shut him down for the year. It seems that Wright was not buying into that method. His leadership has been second to none as the team has struggled through another loosing season. He is also one of the main reasons why fans show up to watch the Met's play. So what can he get done over the next week and a half? He should be able to get a feel for what players will work into the Met's future. Management has gone to Wright before making many major decisions, so I'm sure they will ask him who's in and who's out for next year. With all of the pennant chasing going on, I may take some time just to check in on the Met's.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Travis d'Arnaud

Travis d'Arnaud finally added another bright spot to his first run in the majors today with a game winning single. While only hitting .169, d'Arnaud has shown both hitting and defensive skills. His descent to the major has been a bit rushed due to the Met's lack of success. This youth movement should work out in the long run. The guys that are losing together now, should be winning together in 2-3 years. As David Wright is scheduled to come back on Tuesday, the Met's are looking to finish the season strong to set a tone for 2014. d'Arnaud seems to have the make up of a future team leader. Who know's, maybe this is the first of many game winning hits?

Saturday, September 14, 2013

AL Wild Card Race 2013

The wild card race in the AL this year may end up being the best chase to end a season ever. Having four teams within 3.5 games has made for some great baseball. This has also made for some good games from teams who have been out of it for months. It's really hard to make a prediction on who will end up with the two spots. Tampa seems to be in some real trouble, September is not the time to slump. I also get the feeling that Texas is in some big trouble as well. I have a hunch that the baseball God's will line up a New York versus Baltimore one game playoff. With the recent bad blood that has been show between these two it would set up a classic one game show down. Despite injuries the Yankees have continued to battle. One other possibility is that the Royals put it all together over the last two weeks of the season and face off with the other last team standing. In past years we have seen teams get hot in the last two weeks and go on a world series run. With a young team and a strong bullpen K.C. might have enough left in the take.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

A Very Different September For The Pirates

As we approach September the Pirates clearly will not repeat history this year. This team showed that they are still for real last night by shutting out the Cardinals 5-0. Francisco Liriano once again pitched as if there were never any questions about his health. Looking at the Pirates lineup you will see that this is a true National League team. This team would probably have 10 more wins if they had someone else on the team who produced like Andrew McCutchen. After seeing the Giants win two World Series in recent years with a similar lineup it would not surprise me if the Pirates continue this run deep into October. Looking at their schedule, the Pirates have 7 more games against the downtrodden Cubs and 4 versus the under .500 Padres. Those teams will try to play the role of spoiler, but the odds would favor the Pirates having a strong finish to the season. All this being said, its hard to imagine that the Pirates will not end up with a wild card spot as a consolation prize if the Cards end up taking the division.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Red Sox - Yankees Game Tonight

Tonight the Red Sox play the Yankee's in prime time. This may the last time for a while that this game is even relevant. Sure there is the daily circus called A-Rod, but this Yankees team is old and there are not many options for their future. They still have an outside shot at the playoffs, but that door seems to be shutting very fast. On the other hand, the Red Sox have invested in youth and look to finish strong and with another division title. I know this may be bad news for ESPN, but this match up may become a hard sell in the years to come as the Yankees rebuild. That being said, I will be watching the game tonight...

Sunday, August 11, 2013

I'm On The Royals Bandwagon

Having watched most of the Royals games this year I have gained an appreciation for what they have built. Now having seen the team play in person I'm convinced this team has a bright bright future. Never mind the brilliant pitching by James Shields today, it was the Royals lineup that stole the show. You could feel the confidence of the hitters in the stands today. Alex Gordon looked as if he was taking batting practice today. His home run proved to be the game winner, but his 2 other hits were textbook. Now looking at the top 5 hitters in this line up I see nothing but trouble for teams in the stretch run of this pennant race. Yes, I said pennant race and Royals in the same sentence. A few weeks ago it looked as if they would have a decent season, maybe finish over .500, but now they have a great shot at the division or wild card. We have seen teams peak late in the season lately and I think this is the latest team to ride the tide into the playoffs. This team is hungry, young and they are having fun. That is a bad mix for the opposition in the stretch run to October. It was also great to see the fans once again pack Kaufman Stadium. It won't be the last time this season either.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

A-Rod's Playing Days Are Numbered

Even when Alex Rodriguez comes back from whatever suspension he serves there will be little value left in his game. It is almost pathetic the fight that he is trying to make to continue his career. If the the players union was not the strongest union in the world he would be signing autographs with Pete Rose. As this plays out I will be trying to avoid the circus as much as possible.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Royals vs. Met's: Game 1

Having watched both of these teams very closely all year it was great to see how they matched up. Dillon Gee was at his very best, after starting out slow this year he has come into his own over the past 2 months. In true Met's fashion though, the bullpen spoiled a great start and gave up the lead in the 9th. Eric Young made up for it all with a two run homer in the 11th that could energize the Met's through the weekend. One stat that pops out is that the Royals top 4 hitters were a combined 1-19. Needless to say they will have to improve on that to even beat the under .500 Met's.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Storm Chasers Roll

The Storm Chasers looked very good against the lowly Nashville Sound last night. The team gave pitcher Chris Dwyer plenty of support, leading the team to a 6-1 victory. Despite being 5 games under .500 Omaha is now only 1 game behind the division leading Memphis Redbirds.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Matt Harvey Impressive... Agian

This is almost getting routine. Matt Harvey went 7 innings today, striking out 10 and allowing zero runs. From the outset Harvey was in control and had overpowering stuff. He honestly looked like a young Justin Verlander today. Harvey set the tone by starting off the game throwing 98-99 on each fastball in the first inning. Whats even more impressive is the fact that this was against the Phillies who have been playing pretty good baseball as of late. Hopefully Harvey can get the run support that he received today for the rest of the season. That would really help him limit his innings, plus he might get to 15 wins??

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Manny Ramirez Show His Power In Omaha

I had a front row seat and a good standing spot in the outfield for Manny Ramirez's at bats last night. Ramirez was 3-5, including the game winning home run in the 9th. Manny's bat speed was good and he had no trouble going with pitches as well. I was actually in the outfield for his game winning home run. It seemed like a comet coming back to the earth. You can check out the game winner HERE.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Zack Wheeler Shows Big League Form

Zack Wheeler was effectively wild yesterday in his win against the Giants. Over his 7 innings of work he had 3 walks, 5 k's and only gave up 1 run. This was the Wheeler that everyone expected. The Giant hitters were totally off balance the whole day. After the all-star break the Met;s could be in for a big second half with Wheeler and a rested Matt Harvey.

New York Mets starting pitcher Zack Wheeler throws against the San Francisco Giants in the first inning of their baseball game on Wednesday, July 10, 2013, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

The Pirates Drop Another Game

Just as many writers were calling the Pirates the best team in baseball, they are caught in a 4 game losing streak. After the historic collapse last year, the Pirates may limp into the All-Star break on a low note. The good news is that they have a home series against the Met's to end out the first half. The Met's have been playing pretty well this week, but will be traveling back from a long series in San Francisco. To Avoid another collapse it would be good to see the Pirates pick up a veteran hitter or another arm. Russell Martin and A.J. Burnett are really the only players on this team that have been through a real pennant chase. Hopefully the Pirates have learned from last year and have a plan in place.

Locke win streak ends in Pirates' 2-1 loss to A's

Monday, July 8, 2013

Jeremy Hefner

Is it possible that the Met's have another star pitcher on their roster besides Matt Harvey and Zack Wheeler? Jeremy Hefner had another strong outing on Sunday afternoon against the Brewers. Over 7 innings Hefner only gave up 1 run on 2 hits, with 8 strikeouts. Hefner has truly learned how to pitch this year. He does not have overpowering stuff. He does have command of his pitches and keeps the hitters off balance though. In other words, he is a pitcher and not a thrower. A part of me wonders if having an ace like Matt Harvey ups the game of the other pitchers. Winning is contagious, and it's starts like this that can have a snowball effect on a team.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Royals Bounce Back

Behind the arm of Ervin Santana the Royals win the second game of the three game series. After a lackluster effort on Friday night K.C. played a solid 9 inning game last night. It's good to see that this team can pull out 4-3 games and not have to rely on getting 8 runs each night. The starting pitching for the Royals continues to be the highest quality that they have had for years. Might a good week this team could be over .500.

Oakland Athletics v Kansas City Royals

Saturday, July 6, 2013

The Return of Ike Davis

I was honestly surprised at how well Ike Davis did yesterday against the Brewers. Coming back to the Met's after a successful run in Las Vegas, Davis went 3-5 with 2 rbi. To the naked eye he still has a big hitch in his swing, but it looks a bit more compact than before. You have to remember this was just one game though, one game where the Mets chased Brewers starter Johnny Hellweg in the fourth inning. Davis is going to have to remain pretty hot if he wants to get his average over .200. I'm comforted that the Mets kept Josh Satin on the roster to plug in if Davis starts to struggle.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Josh Satin

Maybe the Met's should reconsider what they do with Ike Davis? Over his 14 games with the Met's this year Josh Satin has hit .375 with 4 doubles and 4 runs batted in. More importantly he has not made the mental mistakes that Ike Davis was making in the field. Satin does not have the power of Davis, but he also does not have the batting average baggage that comes with a big swing. Since the Met's basically called up their farm team to play, they have actually played some good baseball. Adding in Eric Young through a trade even gave them someone who is exciting. With the season on the brink of going out of control, the Met's need to get back to basics. They need players who can hit over .250, play good defense and make something happen when they are on the base paths. Ike Davis and Lucas Duda may not fit into this type of game plan.

Eric Hosmer Keeps Hot Streak Going

June could have went all summer if Eric Hosmer and his Kansas City Royals teammates had any say in the matter. Hosmer batted .303 with 6 homer runs during the month, while the Royals went 16-11. Despite the rough patch that they went through in May, the Royals are now only 4.5 behind the Detroit Tigers for the top position in the A.L. central. Hosmer has made some small changes to his approach at the plate since George Brett came on as the hitting coach. Mike Moustakas, David Lough and Lorenzo Cain have also made changes and are now playing up to their potential. It seems that the Royals have regained their swagger and are playing the type of ball that their fans and followers expected this year. This is the type of team that should be scoring 7 runs a game. They also need to win in streaks while a few of the players are hot. They will have lows where no one is hitting, but with the quality arms they now have on their staff they should be able to stay in games in most situations.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Wheeler Off In Second Start

Well, Zack Wheeler looked a bit average in his second big league start. I was expecting a bit more, especially since he was facing a team that had never seen him before. You have to wonder if the calling up and demotion had any influence on this start. One would think that it would be better for him to stay with the team and get acclimated more to the big leagues. I know that they have to do this for financial reasons, so hopefully in the long term it will all work out.

Zack Wheeler’s second Big League start is not as grand as his debut, but the Mets rookie is not saddled with the loss as the White Sox come back to win in the 9th.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Zack Wheeler

Being the starting pitcher in the second game of a doubleheader, after two teams had already played a game until the early morning hours the previous night was the best time for a MLB debut I would say. I'm not sure any of that even mattered after seeing Zack Wheeler pitch. This guy may be better than Matt Harvey. He was a bit wild, but his fastball just explodes onto the hitter. Some pitchers can be effectivly wild until they mature, so I think Wheeler will use this to his advantage until he gets more innings under his belt. The other major thing that I noticed was the consistency in his delivery for the most part. His motion looks very arm friendly. Just when you thought the Met's might be un-watchable you now have a reason to watch them to times a week.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Another Dodger Brawl

This was the greatest part of the brawl in my opinion. Mark McGwire must have been reminding Matt Williams who won the 1989 World Series. It was pretty cool to see Mark McGwire, Kirk Gibson, Don Mattingly, Matt Willams and Don Baylor all involved in the ruckus on the field. Kind of sounds like a 1980's tag team wrestling match?

Sunday, June 9, 2013

A Little Offense For The Royals

Just imagine how well the Royals would be doing if they had hit like they did last night for even a part of this season. The offense provided last night helped Ervin Santana relax and just pitch his game. For most of the season Royals starting pitchers have been on edge, hoping that they can pitch a perfect game each time they go out. James Shields has had numerous starts where he has pitched masterpieces and ended up getting a loss. I know that George Brett has brought a new approach to the team, I'm not sure if bringing him in automatically made the Royals better hitters, but it seems to have energized the team. Eric Hosmer has looked like a different person over the last week. If Hosmer and Billy Butler can keep improving, these Royals will become what everyone has expected.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Another PED Scandal In MLB

Just when baseball was on a good roll, another PED scandal is ready to break. You can read the details here. I think this report pretty much puts a fork into Alex Rodriguez's shot at getting into the hall of fame. The number of players involved is very disappointing. The public seemed ok with a few players here and there, but this makes it look like PED's are still prevalent in the game. Lets hope this sends a message.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Bright Night For The Mets

Last night may be the biggest highlight for the Met's entire season. There was no one in the whole country except for Daniel Murphy, David Wright and Lucas Duda who thought Mariano Rivera could be beaten. The way that it happened was even more remarkable. The Met's now have a serious chance at winning the subway series for the first time in many years.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Met's Minor League Options

I got a chance to see the Las Vegas 51's this weekend. While they have some bats, I'm not sure what the direction of the Met's minor league system is. Wilmer Flores and Josh Satin were the two players who stuck out for me. It seemed like Satin was trying out at first to see if he could come up to replace Ike Davis. He has a great swing, but not much power. Flores on the other hand, has great potential. I'm not sure he has a position though. After watching the Omaha Storm Chaser field championship teams with top prospects I may  have higher expectations for a minor league system. That being said, the Met's may have a long road in front of them if there is a shortage of home grown talent.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Chris Sale Pitches A Gem

Chris Sale ended the weekend with a masterful performance against the Angels. Only a Mike Trout single kept him from throwing a no hitter. Sale worked efficiently all night. I have only seen him pitch a few times before tonight, but I like his style. One thing that sticks out is his nonchalant demeanor on the mound. His delivery is also very deceiving. I'm not sure how hitters can even pick up what pitch he is throwing since he hides the ball so well behind his 6-6 frame. I will defiantly make time to watch his future starts.


Tuesday, May 7, 2013

The Met's Have A True Ace

Wow. Matt Harvey delivered an epic performance tonight. Despite his superb start to the season I did not think Harvey was at this level yet. I was wrong. The White Sox, who for their credit were coming off a tough series with K.C., were totally dominated tonight. Harvey's 12 K's tonight were in line with his usual strikeout ratio. Think about that for a minute. It's shame that this team does not have a few more weapons, both starting pitchers and position players. With Zack Wheeler wait in AAA though, the Met's might be able to copy the 2010 Giants and win despite not being able to score runs.

Matt Harvey allows only one hit while fanning 12 batters over nine innings.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

James Shields

Last night the Royals showed how explosive their bats could be. They also showed what adding a front line pitcher can do for a team. James Shields kept his composure after some early runs and provided 7 high quality innings. So many times trades do not live up to what they did for their previous team. That is not the case with Shields. In the 6th inning the Royals offense took advantage of mistakes and were alert on the base paths. Mike Moustakas came up big with a two run homer that chased the Rays starter Alex Cobb. The Royals are continuing their very solid play. With a solid bullpen to go with the hot bats and starting pitching, they are getting in to a good routine.

Bad Night Extends To Bad Day For The Mets

After losing to the Marlins in the 15th inning on Monday, the Met's lost in the bottom of the 9th after 8 great innings by Jeremy Hefner. These last 2 nights may be hard to recover from. First, the bullpen is shot for awhile. Two, these types of loses can be mentally draining. The Met's need to right the ship very soon or we could be talking about a 100 loss team. On the bright side, John Buck continues to club long homers. Hopefully he will get a shot at the all-star games since it's at Citi.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Royals Look Solid

Ervin Santana gave the Royals yet another strong outing. The Royals seem to have corrected the starting pitching problem that kept them from contending the past few years. The starting pitching staff is also providing quality, the staff as a whole has an era under 4.00. When you combine the pitching improvements with the young bats, you get an instant playoff contender. Billy Butler may be the must under rated player in the american league. His numbers are pretty much in line with HOF George Brett's start to his career.

Watching this team they have a different confidence to them. The at bats are better, there are less mental errors in the field and when its the bottom of the 9th, you know they are going to pull it out. While we are still in April, I think we are in for an exciting run for the Royals. Watch them when you get a chance.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Valdespin Shows The Heart Of The Mets

Jordany Valdespin's grand slam in the 10th was the type of home run that could propel a team for weeks to come. So far the Met's have been hanging around .500, while suffering the same inconsistencies that plagued them last year. The core of their lineup has been pretty good, with John Buck already having a career year it seems. They were just in need of a spark, and I believe Jordany needs to continue to be this guy. He could be that top of the lineup guy that they have missed since Jose Reyes left. He has been clutch in pinch hit situations, but I think he is a guy that should be playing every day. After what he did lasyt night I expect Terry Collins to ride this hot hand for the next few games at least. Side note, Matt Harvey pitched pretty well and continues to strike out hitters at a awesome rate.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

200 More Wins For King Felix?

Last night Felix Hernandez won the 100th game of his dominant career. You have to wonder how many wins he would have if he played for good teams all of these years. At age 27 he is just now entering his prime. In the era of over cautiousness with arms, Hernandez has pitched over 230 innings per year over the past 4 season. I'm not sure if he will be able to keep up this pace into his mid 30's, but I think King Felix could be the only 300 game winner of his time. At some point the Mariners will be competitive again and by time that happens it could lessen the strain that they put on Hernandez. There are only a hand full of pitchers that you can just sit and watch pitch 8-9 innings every time out. It's great to be able to enjoy guys like this in their prime. If you have not sat back and watched King Felix, I suggest you take some time and watch this artist in action.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Coldest Game I Will Ever Witness: Mets-Rockies 4-16-13

Growing up in the mid-west I took part and have watched cold games. The Rockies-Met's games yesterday took the prize for the coldest I will ever witness. David Wright's 2 home runs and Carlos Gonzalez's moon shot were two of the most impressive home runs I have ever seen. At the start of the first game the temperature was manageable, but by the 6th inning the wind pretty much made things miserable. I give both teams credit for playing so well despite the conditions.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

A Few Notes From Saturday Baseball

What a start by Matt Harvey. He honestly looks like a young Tom Seaver the way he has started the season. It was almost unfair for the Twins hitters to have to face him in the bitter cold. Last years Cy Young winner, R.A. Dickey also had a good start yesterday. He had the Royals hitters fooled for 6 innings last night. I think this is a good example of a team seeing Dickey's knuckle ball for the first time. After a rough start Dickey should have more starts like this in the future. To finish off the trifecta of strong pitching, Adam Wainwright pitched a complete game shutout against the Milwaukee Brewers. His 12 strikeouts helped the Cards cruise to a 8-0 victory. Is it the cold weather or are we going to see another pitching dominated year?

Friday, April 12, 2013

Zack Greinke Hurt In Brawl

What a over reaction by Carlos Quentin. On the flip side, what was Zach Greinke doing leading with his shoulder?

Video here

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Royals Sweep Twins

The Royals are playing some solid baseball. Last night they finished off a sweep of the lonely Twins. These are the type of sweeps that good teams are expected to pull off. Jeff Francoeur and Billy Butler both homered to provide plenty of offense in support of a group pitching effort. Francoeurs homer was the one that really sealed the deal in the seventh. I think it is key that Francoeur gets off to a start like this. He is a leader on this younger team. This lineup could be deadly 1-9..

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

The Justin Upton Trade Looks Pretty Good Right Now

The sky seems to be the limit for Justin Upton. His torrid start to the season continued last night against Miami. The Braves look like instant contenders in the east this year with his addition to the already solid line up. So, what led to this hot start for Upton? I don't think its hard to trace it to a good change of scenery. I think even without his brother being on the team, Atlanta is a good place to play ball. It is solid organization that has a tradition of winning. With the best closer in the game, Craig Kimbrel, and descent starting pitching, the Braves will be in it for the long haul this year.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Marlon Byrd

Major league journeyman Marlon Byrd came up big for the Met's today. This group looks like it might have some life this year. It's hard to gain attention in New York with only one superstar (David Wright), but Terry Collins has assembled a group of hungry players. Another great story is that of the winning pitcher for the Met's today. Scott Rice was a career minor leaguer until he made the Met's out of spring training this year. At 31, he made his major league debut and picked up his first win, all in the same week. This is what is great about the start of each season. Each team has hope...

Friday, April 5, 2013

Friday night baseball

There is nothing more enjoyable than listening to Vin Scully late into a friday night. The Dodgers look like they might contend this year. Greinke has performed better than I would have thought. Figured he would impload in a big city. K.C. putting up 13 was big today. After their bad start last year, the Royals almost played. 500 ball. I think this team could have double digit games all season. More thoughts later.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

New Blog

Welcome to the Pitbull of Baseball blog. My name is Brad Pitzl, I am also a writer of political fiction/theory. The only talk of left and right that will take place on this blog will be about outfielders. Baseball is and always will be America's national past-time. This season I will be hitting the web with a flurry of posts. I have the mlb package and I am ready to go. Just some background on myself. I, like many others was a standout high school player. I played in the bush leagues until I was in my 30's. This all means I know more than you about baseball. No brag, just fact. Here's to another opening day.