The Fightin’ Phillies Finish It

I must say I had the Dodgers winning this one. The Phillies did exactly what they needed to to win this series, that was to shut Manny down and hit the LA pitchers. Kershaw got hit, Kuroda got hit, Broxton got hit, and that is all they needed to win. However the Phillies pitching was outstanding. Cliff Lee was a force. Lidge closed out the ninth. Hamels got the job done. Blanton did okay. Even Pedro joined in with the fun.

This whole series came down to pitching. Even though guys like Ryan Howard, Jaso Werth, Jimmy Rollins, Raul Ibanez, and Pedro Feliez hit the you know what out of the ball. Ryan Howard also ended up winning NLCS MVP.
For me the turning point for this series was game three when the Philllies won 11 to nothing against starter Hiroki Kuroda. Kuroda pitched 1.1 innings in which he gave up six hits, six runs (all earned),struck out one, and gave up one home run.
Why did the Dodgers lose that game? Not because of Kuroda but because of this man . . . 
Yep Joe Torre is the reason they lost that series. Torre decided to start Kuroda over all-star Chad Billingsley. Billingsley pitched out of the bullpen that game but he did not do so hot either. In 3.1 innings he gave up two hits, two earned runs, and two walks. However, Billingsley did give up no home runs and struck out three. 
In Billingsley’s case you have to give the man some credit because he did not go through the normal routine that a starter would go through. I think if Billingsley did go through his regular routine and started he would have pitched 6.2 innings giving up 2 runs, six hits, two walks, five strikeouts, and one home run.
Billingsley and Kuroda

(Bilingsley on left Kuroda on right)
In all fairness though the Dodgers got killed by Cliff Lee who gave up no runs , and just three hits, along with no walks while striking out ten. So it is not entirely Torre’s or Kuroda’s fault.
But lets talk abut those Dodger bats for a second. The Dodgers got out scored 35 to 16. Manny Ramirez batted .263 with five hits, three runs, two RBIs, one home run, and an OBP of .300. I think it is fair to say that Manny got shutdown this series.
Another guy the Phillies kept under control was Matt Kemp who batted .250 with five hits, one home run, just two RBIs, and an OBP of .286 in twenty at bats. Kemp to me at times has either been underrated or overrated. I believe this whole playoffs he has been overrated.
However on Dodger’s outfielder who did pretty good was Andre Ethier. Ethier hit .263 with five hits, one home run, three RBIs, two runs, two walks, and an OBP of .333 in nineteen at bats. Ethier was the most clutch hitter in baseball however he did not always get the job done. He did though get the walk which gave the Dodgers I believe the lead in game two.
The Phillies did not win the World Series the Dodgers lost it. Joe Torre did a terrible job managing this series. I know you need to take risks sometimes but Torre might need to learn about a new thing, common since. I don’t care if Ronnie Belliard had a hot bat. Orlando Hudson is the better option every day. 
Having a starter pitch out of the bullpen is a mistake unless they are young and have had pitched out of the pen in say the last four years. Otherwise it messes up all kinds of stuff. cough*cough*Chad Billingsley*cough*cough.
If it was not for Torre’s elite stats I would fire him. No joke. If this was Manny Acta or Bob Melvin or Cecil Cooper he would be fired by me. Maybe that is why I am not going to be a general manager or owner though.
Yet Torre would have a great replacement in his bench coach, Don Mattingly who should have been manager in New York after Torre left. Mattingly is not one of my favorite players as he was a long time Yankee but I believe he would be an amazing manager and I am surprised he did not talk with the Astros or Indians. 
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(Mattingly, left; Torre, right)
blogs.laweekly.com
That
though makes one of two points. One, that he likes LA a lot and does not want to leave. Or two, he needs more ‘training from Torre’. I think it is number one yet I think number two might come into play a little bit.
I think though we also have to mention that this was the second time in two years that these teams have faced off in the NLCS. Yet the Dodgers never had to face Raul Ibanez or Cliff Lee. The Phillies though never faced nearly half of the Dodger bullpen, Orlando Hudson, Ronnie Belliard, Randy Wolf, and Vicente Padilla among other guys in 2008. 
The Dodgers had NO excuse to lose to the Phillies. Yet, they did.
But now lets look at what the Phillies did.
The Phillies won. The Dodgers had home field advantage and the Phillies won. The Dodgers had an all-star closer and the Phillies won. The Dodgers had the best clutch player in baseball and the Phillies won. The Dodgers had four five tool players (Kemp, Ethier, Martin, Hudson) and the Phillies won. The Dodgers had a manager with four World Series rings and the Phillies won. The Dodgers were a better team and the Phillies . . .  won.
Now I am sure the Dodgers are/were upset but think about it this way in third grade my little league team won the wild card and went to the playoffs. First round we beat the best team. I had a friend on that team told me that he would cheer for us because he could say he lost to the champions. And for the record he could as we won the championship! (YAAAAAAAAAH!)
Anyway if the Phillies win the World Series the Dodgers should not be upset. Then they would have lost to the championship.
However it seems one Dodger executive was not so happy as Dodger owner, Frank McCourt fired his wife from CEO of the team. However the twist that most people do not know is that they are divorcing. So it is a little different.
At first when I heard about this I thought, wow and laughed a little. It was not till writing this article that I learned that they were getting a divorce. I really think this was just a way to get his anger out about LA but he claims it was just business. 
Again though maybe that is why I won’t be an executive.

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24th Ain’t Bad

I’m back! . . . . . . . AGAIN! I Know I said I was back a lot before but this time I really mean it. The reason I took such a long break was because besides school and just life itself I treid to blog to much. For example after I got back from camp I tried blogging about all the all-star game stuff, Jonathan Sanchez’s no-hitter, the Red Sox (who we will not get into much detail about), and now the best clutch player in baseball and in my mind still underrated player . . . ANDRE ETHIER! Forget J.D. Drew get Andre!

Now though let me just say it is a honor to get 24th for the whooooooole 2009 MLB regular season. I didn’t even blog for two whole months! So thank you. Thank you for wanting to read my blog. Thank you for commenting on it. Thank you for having it on your side thing. Thank you for being here. MLBLogs is better then all those other blog sites because I fell that here you get to meet new people versus just reading about them.
So 24th who will I dedicate it to? Maybe Wally Moss, or Leo Nonnenkamp or maybe even Manny? I don’t know yet but I know it will be interesting.
Before I leave I want to say thank you again and also does anyone know how to make a bracket here. Like a March Madness bracket except black. I know how to make one on the internet but I can’t seem to figure out how to put on on here. I have a mac without windows so I don’t have excel but I have numbers, apple’s version of excel.
Ohh and thank you Mark . . . 
(last row third to right is . . . ME!) haha

I’m Back . . . . . Again!

* I have been working on this entry this whole week and have been very busy this whole week with baseball camp and other things so the stats are a little messed up*

Man camp was awesome again. It just always seems to go by waaaaaaaay to fast. Anyway I was hoping to make baseball all-stars and made it! Along with basketball and archery all-stars. 

Also I have obviously decided to keep blogging just not once a day. I am going to do a week in review plus extra entries for events like the trading deadline and other things.
Anyway well this year the all-star game rosters just seemed different. Why? Well a few players did not deserve it.  Which players did not, and which players should have been there? Well you’ll find out!
The voters, players, and managers got it right mostly in the American League. But there where still a lot of mess ups. For example Chone Figgins only made the team after Evan Longoria pulled himself out due to an infected ring finger. And while at the time Figgins lead the league in runs scored and was tied for the league lead in triples with seven. In an unbiased opinion Mike Lowell might have been better choices. However Figgins and Lowell are three very different players. Also at the time of the all-star game Lowell had not played in an MLB game since June 27th. 
And even though Figgins has played more games then Lowell even if the had played the same amount of games the only stats Lowell would lead in would probably be doubles, home runs, RBIs, intentional base on balls, slugging percentage, and maybe if he got on a tear total bases. However Lowell is more of a veteran which might have calmed some players emotions. Figgins though has been in the league since 2002 only four less seasons then Lowell.
chone_figgins1
Now if I was Joe Maddon I would have picked Figgins. Because he of the fact that the American League team only has about six speedsters besides Figgins. Of corse some people do not consider Derek Jeter, Jason Bartlett, and Ben Zobrist speedsters even though they have a combined total of 47 stolen bases.
Brandon Inge is a question mark. He hit in the home run derby despite having just 21 home runs (tied for fifth in the American League). He won the all-star final vote becoming the first Tiger to do so. Of the five players on the American League ballot three ended up making the team. Yet Ian Kinsler who was ahead of Dustin Pedroia for most of the voting did not make it despite having more runs, hits, total bases, doubles, triples, walks, and less strikeouts.
 
Detroit third baseman Brandon Inge
Inge is a better fielder and has a higher batting average, on base percentage, slugging percentage, and a higher on base plus slugging percentage. Inge is also a candidate for comeback player of the year which might have given him some what of an edge. 
This vote could have gone either way. Heck Blue Jays left fielder/DH Adam Lind could have won  it. But what it came down to between Kinsler and Inge was the popularity vote. The Tigers have more of a fan base then the Rangers even though the Dallas/Fort Worth/Arlington area is a larger city then Detroit. The Dallas area is a football town and well Detroit does not have much to root for with the 0 and 16 Lions. That is the sad part about sports these days. Most of the time the teams with the larger fan bases tend to have their players win more honors. 

Hunter%20Pence.jpg

In the National League well lets just say there where a lot of players deserving to be in St. Louis that did not get to go. Hunter Pence of the Houston Astros is a five tool player. Yet another five tool player should have been there instead of Pence. That player is Dodgers right fielder, Andre Ethier. Ethier has more runs, doubles, home runs, RBIs, walks, intentional base on balls, and a higher slugging percentage then Pence. Both have nearly the exact same stats though. For example they have the same number of total base and have played in the same amount of games.
Yet their teams are very different. The Dodgers have the best record in baseball while the Astros are trying for a second half push yet again. But think about it this way look what the Dodgers and particularly Ethier has overcome this year. Remember last year when Manny came over and Ethier exploded? Remember this year at the start of Manny’s suspension when Ethier went into a slump. Well yah look at him now.
The fact that Pence made the all-star game and Ethier did not is a joke. There is no doubt that Pence is a good player and very similar to Ethier but look at it this way. For Pence he has Carlos Lee, Lance Berkman, and Ivan Rodriguez to drive him in which would give him more runs. Ethier has James Loney and Matt Kemp to drive him in. Obviously Pence has the advantage. Pence also gets some added RBIs with speedster Michael Born to score. So instead of having Casey Blake stop at third Pence would get an RBI.
Okay still do not think it matters a lot. Okay well look at it this way. In the Astros versus Dodgers game today through the bottom of the eight with no outs and Ethier on first Pence has gone one for four. Ethier is three for four. Yes it is just one game but lets look at it one more way.
The Dodgers have the best record in baseball yet only had three all-stars and Jonathan Broxton is hurt. The Astros are just now playing good. I mean all the facts are there Ethier is having a better season the Pence and deserves to be there. He probably would be there to if it was not for Manny “stealing” his votes even though Ethier probably would not have started.
Two players on the same team probably would not have made it if it was not for Cole Hamels. Shane Victorino and Jason Werth should be thank Hamels today. Victorino won the National League all-star final vote and Werth made the team as Carlos Beltran’s replacement. Yet both got lucky. Ethier could have had either of their spots and so could have Matt Kemp or Mike Cameron, and maybe Carlos Lee, Michael Born, and or Adam Dunn. 
Look at the stats as of Jul 22. . .
                AVG.   HR   RBI    R    H    SO   SB    OBP    2B    3B      Errors       F. %tage 
Werth       .266     21      61    63   88   88    12     .378     15       1           0          1.000%
Victorino  .307       6      43    67  115   43   15     .374     25       6           1           .995%     
Ethier       .257      19      58    52   88    71     4     .341     19       1           3           .982%
Kemp       .323      13      55    55  110   81    20     .390     12       6           2          .992%
Cameron   .260     14      43    44    82   87     4      .366     19       2           3          .988%
Lee           .307     15      57    40  107   30     3      .357     17       1           2          .984%
Born         .285       3      26    62  101   79    35      .357      17      8          1           .995%
Dunn        .268      24     65    45    87   106    0      .401      17      0           7          .950%
So based on my formulas Victorino should have made it but Werth should not have. Matt Kemp should have. Here are the rankings . . .
1. Victorino 
2. Kemp
3. Werth
4. Born
5. Lee
6. Ethier
7. Dunn
8. Cameron
Phillies center fielder Shane Victorino is congratulated by right fielder Jayson Werth after making a leaping catch at the wall to rob Dodgers third baseman Casey Blake of an extra-base hit with two men on and two outs in the seventh inning of Game 2 of the NLCS on Friday night in Philadelphia.
The last player who should not have made it was the replacement to Matt Cain, Zach Duke. How does a player who has a losing record at the break (8-9) make the all-star team! His ERA at the break was 3.38 which is good but when your team even though they stink has a great defense not to mention a speedy outfield that could be a little lower.
So lets say the fact that Duke’s ERA was the reason he made the team. As of July 26th his ERA was 3.42, .04 higher then at the break. As of July 26th fourteen players in the National League had a lower ERA then Duke, ten of those players did not make the all-star team including Javier Vazquez.
Duke had eight wins and as of July 26th he has nine wins. As of the 26th eighteen players have more or the same amount of wins as Duke. Of those eighteen players eleven of those players did not make the all-star game including Derek Lowe, Bronson Arroyo, and Yovani Gallardo.
Duke also had 70 strikeouts at the break today he has 74. Lets just say he did not make it because of his strikeouts. There are 37 players with more strikeouts and of those players 31 did not make the team. 
So just a few players who could have taken his spot? Well Adam Wainwright, Wandy Rodriguez, Yovani Gallardo, and Jair Jurrjens all had the same or better stats in ERA, strikeouts, and strikeouts. So even though I do not think they deserved it congrats to all the all-stars. 
Photo Credits
1- gohalos.com
2- news.bbc.co.uk.com
3- blog.kir.com
4- bostonsports.mlblogs.com
5- baltimoresun.com
6- mlb.com

See Ya In July

Tomorrow I will be driving to summer camp where  I will stay for three weeks so I will obviously not be able to blog. But this might be good because earlier this month I was thinking about stopping because I just really did not feel like blogging and when I forced myself to blog the entries were pretty bad. Anyway maybe three weeks away from the blogosphere might be good.

At camp I will get all the scores and major sports news and some times I will get to look at the paper but I still will not get the kind of news I like. The “tiny” news about injuries and comebacks and well nothing minor.
Anyway I will be looking to make baseball all-stars for my third time in a row. This will be my third year at camp and I have made baseball all-stars every year. So ya  . . . GO RED SOX!

We Better Not Have Another Traitor

Pedro Martinez has not pitched in the majors since September 25, 2008 but that has not stopped Pedro. Martinez pitched for the Dominican Republic In the 2009 World Baseball Classic and in six innings he gave up one hit, walked none, struck out six, and hit one batter.
Martinez “auditioned” for a roster spot along with Sidney Ponson and Ivan Rodriguez. Ponson signed with the Royals but is currently on the D.L. Pudge signed with the Astros and yesterday passed Carlton Fisk for the most games played by a catcher.
Before the season the Cubs and Rays had showed interest in Pedro. I thought the Cubs would be a bad fit because I thought he might have to pitch in the bullpen. Chicago though already has six starting pitchers. However Martinez would give the Cubs depth incase Rich Harden gets hurt again or Carlos Zambrano gets suspended again for having a tantrum.
The Rays though would be a good fit because Pedro is an experienced veteran and the Rays have a lot of injuries. However  with Scott Kazmir soon to be back and David Price getting called up Pedro would probably be pitching in the bullpen there.
Now that the season has started the Angels and Yankees have joined the Pedro talks. Yep the Rays, Yankees, and Angels all want the former Red Sox great. What do the Rays, Yankees, and Angels have in common with each other? All are rivals with the Red Sox on some level.
If Martinez went to the Yankees he would probably get the most money but he would have to work out of the bullpen and I believe that Pedro wants to leave New York after four “terrible” seasons with the Mets, in which he pitched in just 79 games and went 32 and 23.
Going to the Angels Martinez would have the biggest chance of pitching in the rotation but the odds are he will not because Matt Palmer, who is the fifth starter, is six and zero with an ERA of 4.13. Even with Kelvim Escobar on the D.L. the Angels do not really need Pedro because they have one of the best bullpens in baseball.
According to a report by Ken Rosenthal on Foxsports.com the Cubs, Rays, Yankees, and Angels will go to watch Martinez Friday in the Dominican Republic. Every team is now downplaying their interest in the 214 game winner. One executive said his team is sending scouts as a courtesy to Pedro’s agent, Fernando Cuza.
Which team do I think that is. Well I doubt it is the Cubs or Rays because they where the first teams to talk about signing Martinez. That leaves the Yankees and Angels. The Yankees have one of the worst bullpens in baseball while the Angels have a good rotation and bullpen. So I bet the Angels are the team that is being nice to Pedro and his agent.
However Cuza’s clients include Yankees closer, Mariano Rivera along with Angels slugger Valdimir Guerrero and Cubs outfielder, Alfonso Soriano. However I still think the Angels are doing it to be nice.
Martinez who turns 38 in October was seeking five million dollars at the start of the season but Martinez now would take three million for the rest of the season. However if Martinez goes to the Yankees he could get four million or maybe that “elusive” five million dollars. Heck maybe even six million but that is very unlikely.
Pictures: Pedro Martinez Photo
If Martinez would agree to sign a minor league deal he could attract more teams like maybe the Rangers, Astros, Blue Jays, and Brewers. Martinez would probably also be able to start at all four locations. The Rangers though just signed Orlando Hernandez to a minor league deal. The Rangers and Brewers are first in their respective divisions while the Blue Jays are in third in the A.L. East by five games and even though the Astros are last in the N.L. Central by six and a half games the Astros hate to give up. 
But should Pedro come back. All the signs point to yes but look into the numbers more. Pedro only has 99 career loses. I believe that having less then one hundred losses helps you get into the Hall of Fame and the three time Cy Young winner wants to get in. What if though he gets hurts. I do not want to see one of the best pitchers ever go out like that. 
The seventeen year veteran who spent time with the Dodgers, Expos, Red Sox, and Mets has a career record of 214 and 99 with an ERA of 2.91 and has struck out 3,117 in 2,782.2 innings. He is tied for thirteenth on the all-time strikeout list. Of the sixteen members of the 3,000 strikeout club Martinez has given up the east amount of earned runs with 901. One thing though about the 3,000 strikeout club is today it does not seem like it puts you in the hall. Just look at Bert Blyleven. Who also finished his career thirteen wins shy of 300.
So Is Pedro Hall Of Fame Worthy? Well he was not as good of a post season pitcher as Curt Schilling and he has three more wins then Pedro. martinez though does have one more strikeout for Curt so you could make a pretty good argument for either. I see both getting in though. But I am getting off topic.
We could go on and on and on about Pedro and how great he is and what team he will pitch with this year if any and all kinds of stuff. Heck if I wanted to I could write an entry about his fastball. But that might be kind of boring. 
Anyway the bottom line is I think Pedro will sign with the Rays for a three million dollar deal. I also think that if Tampa Bay signs Pedro then they can win the WIld
Card because Boston has already won the East. (Wow that was one of my best sentences ever in my opinion) Once your a Red Sox your a Red Sox for life, Pedro is not going to the Yankees. (Sorry but man I’m on a roll) Even though the Rays are rivals with Boston as of the 2009 season I do not care if a former Red Sox player that is 37 played for the Rays. Okay I do and Pedro would kill me but I want Pedro to be back and I want him to pitch and I want him to be happy even if he does play with the Rays. Now if it was with the Yankees well we might have some issues. (Dang best paragraph of my blogging career. 🙂
Anyway the game is in a rain delay right now and the BoSoxs are losing but I did get a new Red Sox hat about an hour ago. (It is the new alternate ones with the hanging soxs.) So even though we are losing it does not “sting” as much as it does some days. Anyway I am getting off topic again. Okay where ever Pedro pitches I wish him good luck . . . unless it is against the Red Sox.
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Photo Credits
1- theinsider.com
2- purplerow.com
3- redsoxworld.mlblogs.com

3 In The 13th

What a wild night it was in Philadelphia last night. Every single position player played except all three backup catchers, George Kottaras of the Red Sox and Chris Coste along with Paul Bako of the Phillies. A total of twelve pitchers came in the game and struck out 34 batters. Jon Lester  got eleven while Joe Blanton struck out seven.

The final score was five to two but ended in the thirteenth inning when Boston scored three runs in the top of the inning and then Daniel Bard got his first major league save and Takashi Saito got his second win of the season. Youk and J.D. Drew supplied the power as each hit solo home runs off of Joe Blanton.

The lineup was a little questionable and it was not the only questionable thing Terry Francona did. Here is the line up so you can be the judge.

1- Dustin Pedroia, 2B

2- J.D. Drew, RF

3- Kevin Youkilis, 3B

4- Jason Bay, LF

5- David Ortiz, 1B

6- Jason Varitek, C

7- Jacoby Ellsbury, CF

8- Nick Green, SS

9- Jon Lester, P

Of corse playing at Citizens Bank Park there are not any DH’s so Terry Francona put David Ortiz at first base and moved Youk to third. I liked the move because Ortiz has finally broken out of his slump, hitting three home runs in six games. Ortiz though went one for three with a strikeout before being taking out of the game for Mark Kotsay in the sixth.

The other questionable thing Terry did happened in the ninth. Jonathan Papelbon needed the day off and Takashi Saito had pitched a hard earned 1.1 innings against the Yankees and Francona wanted to give him the day off even though he could have pitched in the ninth. Saito came in and got two outs in the 12th and got the win. Anyway so with Boston up by one run in the ninth Ramon Ramirez came in.

Ramirez had given up back to back home runs in his last outing against the Yankees and with Ryan Howard up Ramirez gave up another home run. Let me just say I would have never put him in. I mean sure he has been having a good year but I would have put in either Manny Delcarmen or Justin Masterson. Delcarmen last pitched Thursday and Masterson came in and pitched 2.1 scoreless innings in extra, striking out three. I might have considered Daniel Bard, who later got the save that game but because he is a young kid I can understand Terry not wanting to put him in and then have him give up a home run.

Anyway Ramirez’s ERA is up to 2.10 and he has now given up four home run, seven earned runs, eighteen hits, and has walked ten in 30 innings. I really did not like the Coco Crisp trade even though I agreed he needed to go. Boston could have got a lot more for him. But I am getting off topic. Ramirez is in a slump or whatever you want to call it and before the season started I thought he should be a mop-up reliever. Maybe he should become a mop-up reliever for a little while.

Jon Lester though was the talk of the game though he gave up just two hits an earned run and walked just two. He also struck out eleven including six straight (the record is ten though in case you were wondering set by Tom Seaver) Lester got Chase Utley, Ryan Howard, and Raul Ibanez to strikeout twice. 

Lester has been on fire his last three starts striking out 34 going two and zero. His ERA for his last three starts has been 1.23 against the Blue Jays, Rangers, and Phillies. Lester has only walked seven batters and given up seven hits. Against teams with guys like Vernon Wells, Ian Kinsler, and Raul Ibanez.

Lester pitched seven great innings but did run into some trouble in the second. After a leadoff single for Raul Ibanez, Shane Victorino doubled moving Ibanez to third with no outs. Lester then got Pedro Feliz to ground out but Ibanez scored on the play. Carlos Ruiz would ground out for the second out of the inning but Victorino would move to third. Joe Blanton though grounded out to second as the hits to Ibanez and Victorino would be the last hits he gave up.

Dustin Pedroia, Kevin Youkilis, Jason Bay and Jacoby Ellsbury went a combined five for 23. The four of them batted just .217. They also combined for seven strikeouts. On a positive note they combined for two RBIs, scored two runs, and did not make an error along with the rest of the team. Youk also had a home run and stole a base like mentioned before. 

Dustin Pedroia did not have such a good game. Mr. MVP went zero for seven and left four runners on base. He did not strike out though. Pedroia said after the game, “I haven’t had the best at-bats, but the balls I hit hard seem to get caught. You hit stretches like that throughout the year. I’m not to concerned. We’ll get in there tomorrow and work on it.”

Even though Youk did hit a home run it was not his best game. Youk went one for five with three strikeouts. Of corse Youk had a run and a RBI. On another positive note Youk played Golden Glove defense at third and then after Mike Lowell came in he played Golden Glove defense at first.

Jason Bay who I think we can officially put into MVP talks did not have his best game either. Bay went two for five with three strikeouts. He did score the first run in the thirteenth inning and have a walk. 

Jacoby Ellsbury was playing his first game back since hurting his shoulder diving for a ball. Ellsbury did not have his best game as he went two for six with an RBI in the thirteenth inning. Ellsbury did strikeout once though. In the field he looked fine same thing running he did not steal any bases or make any diving catches but he does not need to every night. 

The Red Sox mostly played small ball to win this game. Besides Kevin Youkilis’ and J.D. Drew’s home run there were no other extra base hits in that game. The Phillies only had three extra base hits. Even though there where a total of seven runs there where only sixteen hits and eleven of those hits were singles.

Tonight Dice-K faces off against Antonio Bastardo, a young lefty who is two and zero so far this year. Tonight David Ortiz is sitting with Mike Lowell playing third and Rocco Baldelli is in right. I think the Red Sox will get an early lead and keep that lead. I also think Dice-K will pitch like his old self earning the win.

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Mr. Epstein please just Call Up Clay already! Send down Ramon Ramirez because this guy is dominating in AAA with an ERA of 1.75 and he is 4-0! Please call him up and ohh ya this is for you.


AND VOTE FOR ANDRE ETHIER!!!!!!!!!!

Photo Credits

1-makeamemory.com

2- bostonsports.mlblogs.com

Strasburgh Is A Star (But He’ll End Up Being A Bust)

Before I begin I am sorry I have not posted in a while. I actually had to spend a few nights in the hospital but I am not going to make everyone bored. I am doing fine now though.
While I was in the hospital though I was bored so I started following the draft on my laptop (they did not have MLB Network) I literally started reading up about players an hour and a half before the draft started. So even though I am not the most knowledgeable person about the draft here are my predictions for every ten picks if that makes since for the first round.
Picks 1-10
Biggest Star- Stephen Strasburgh 
San Diego: How long will Stephen Strasburg toil in the minors? (photo by Don Kohlbauer)
Here is an obvious pick. How many other college kids can throw 103 MPH? He pitched a no-hitter with San Diego state and went thirteen and one with 195 strikeouts! The Nationals though should not rush him and if they do sign him witch I believe they will for maybe twenty million for two years, thirty million for three years, etc. 
Anyway he also has a good change up that has gone unnoticed because of his fastball but his slider could use a little work. He needs a second strikeout pitch maybe some kind of breaking ball or maybe even something kind of rare like a forkball or something crazy. Other wise he looks good.
I though do not think he will become a star but he has the highest chance. I think some injury will happen and that will ruin his career. I think he might win a Rookie of the Year award but I think his career will be like the late Mark Fidrych who won the Rookie of the Year award and then had injuries derail his career.
Biggest Bust- Stephen Strasburgh
Yep the “best guy in the draft” could also be the biggest bust in the whole draft. Strasburgh throws 103 and his arm is still growing or developing or whatever you want to call it. Some people say he could throw up to 105 MPH, meaning he would be more likely to throw out his arm or hurt it. Also because he really only has one great pitch when he does not throw a fastball players might well hit it.
Obviously the money is another issue. What if say Starsburgh gets all hyped up because of the money and he does not practice as much or whatever. Another thing that concerns me a little is his past heath problems. When he first started baseball at San Diego State he was over weight and would throw up after doing laps and got tired after doing warmups. What if the money goes to his head and all that happens again? 
Nolan Ryan, Randy Johnson, Steve Carlton, Tom Seaver, Gaylord Perry, and Greg Maddux where all not number one picks. David Clyde, Floyd Bannister, Mike Moore, Tim Belcher, Andy Benes, Ben McDonald, Brien Taylor, Paul Wilson, Kris Benson, Matt Anderson, Bryan Bullington, Luke Hochevar, and David Price along with Starsburgh where all pitchers and number one picks. How many of them have you heard of? One? Two? Three? Four? For me it is five but that does not matter. History is not on Strasburgh’s side and neither is it on David Price’s but sometimes history does not mater. Maybe they can change that.
Biggest Dark-Horse – Mike Minor
Minor does not have the 103 MPH fastball like Starsburgh and he does not have the “wow factor” like former teammate David Price but this kid is good and over looked. His fastball tops out at 93 MPH but most of the time is around 90 MPH. His slider is pretty good with a hard bite and is the better of his two breaking pitches. His curve ball needs work but has potential. His change up is very good but according to scouts he does not throw it enough. 
Minor mixes his speed and location witch is why he struck out 114 and but just went six and six with an ERA of 3.90. Minor went seventh in the draft to the Braves and has many comparing him to Greg Maddux whose fastball touched 93 MPH like Minor. Maddux obviously is one of the greatest pitches of all time and for the record he went to the Cubs with the 31st pick which was in the second round then, sixteen picks before teammate Tom Glavine.
Minor pitches like a “crafty veteran”
even though he is only 21. He could easily be called up next year but I think he will join the rotation in 2011. All he needs to work on his his curveball. Young pitches sometimes work on their fastball to much but Minor seems like he knows baseball. This kid is going to be even better then Steven Strasburgh.
Picks 11-20

Biggest Star- Aaron Crow
Missouri Tigers pitcher Aaron Crow throws against Baylor Friday, March 22 at Taylor Stadium in Columbia, Mo. The Tigers won 7-0. The junior right-hander from Wakarusa, Kan. , will take a scoreless streak of 42 2-3 innings into his next start Friday against Texas. For the season, Crow is 7-0 with a minuscule 0.69 ERA.
                                                                                                                                  
Here was a though pick. Three other players could have been here but I picked Crow. Many people thought he would be picked earlier in the draft after being picked ninth in the draft by the Nationals last year. However he dropped to the 12th spot. The Royals though could not be happier. Yet signing him is the problem. Last year he did not sign with the Nationals because of signing issues. However Crow is from Kansas and I think he is more eager to get to the majors now and I think he will sign with Kansas City.
He has a fastball in the low to mid 90’s. That has some sink. his slider is his best pitch but  does not have anything special like amazing break or speed. His change up is about an average MLB change up and needs some work. He has a chance to have three good pitches but his change up needs work.
Crow made a bad career choice not signing with the Nationals because after playing with the Fort Worth Cats many forgot about him and he is now trying to make a name for him self. While with the Cats he has started to nip at the strike zone more and instead of going right after hitters. Which is what he needs to do to get better.
Biggest Bust- Tyler Matzek
Matzek may be the best lefty in the draft but he is to inconsistent. When he is on his is great when he is off he is below average. He is a high school kid so like all high school kids their are questions about his arm, stamina, etc. His slider has some hard bite but not a lot. His curve is average but he needs to work on keeping the velocity down when he throws that. He threw a few change ups but does not really have a good feel for it.
He has some issues when it comes to signing him but noting major. People have compared him to Curt Schilling and Cole Hamels but he is no Curt or Cole. He overthrows at times which he needs to cut down and will help with him being inconsistent. Another thing is that his fastball reaches 94 from the windup but just 88 from the stretch. 
I doubt Matzek will get hurt ruining his career or anything but he does not have that “wow factor” I guess his poise might be his “wow factor” but he simply does not have the velocity and does not really mix his speeds and locations. I just do not see him having that year where everything goes right or whatever. I really do not know how this guy went so high in the draft. I see him as a pick in the 20’s. Maybe he turns out to be a Curt Schilling or Cole Hamels but I just do not see it.
Biggest Dark-Horse- Alex White

White could have gone in the top ten if he did not go to college but I think most players think they s
hould go to college before the start their baseball career because well as my dad says, “you have to have a back up career.” Anyway White’s fastball gets in the low 90’s but tops out at 95 and has some hard sink. His curveball needs some work to say the least. But his slider is pretty good. It stays around at 80-85 MPH. He does not throw his change up that much but it is pretty average.
Many could say that White should have been taken farther in the draft or that the Indians made a mistake or whatever but with the fifteenth pick he was a steal. His command needs some work but is above average. His poise is fine but nothing to brag about. White though just has a baseball mind and mixes speeds and locations. Some say he could be up in the Indian’s bullpen this year. Yet if that happens the Indians made a mistake. They can not rush this kid.
His mechanics could be tweaked a little and that would probably help his control. In 2010 I bet he works out of the bullpen and then after his curveball and change up are good but him in the rotation. He projects as a solid number two starter but this kid is going to be an ace. He is not going to win 300 games or strikeout 3,000 but he will be a guy you will remember for a long time.
Picks 21-32

Biggest Star- Jiovanni Mier

MIER WWBA WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP

Mier has already been compared Nomar Garciaparra. He does not have anything that stands out to much like a ton of power or speed because Mier is one of the most balanced players I have ever seen. He could be a good number two hitter for the Astors and with Miguel Tejada getting kind of old ( 35 years old) he would be a very good fit for the Astors. He is not going to be a guy who makes the majors in a year but more like two to four years.
Like mentioned before Mier has good contact and if he got a little stronger could hit twenty home runs a season but that is a stretch. He has average to below average speed but could steal ten bases a year. His fielding ability is getting better and in three years could be a Dustin Pedroia type fielder and hitter just at shortstop. There is a small chance though that Mier could move over to second but I doubt it.
Mier is a guy who can hit .300 every year. He needs to work on his fielding ability though if he wants to be a major league player along with his batters eye which is below average also. From what I know though Mier loves baseball and would do anything to play in the majors so the odds are he will. Here is a guy that I wish the Red Sox drafted even though we already have Jed Lowrie. Knowing how G.M. Ed Wade rolls trading him Mier is not out of the options because Wade likes to win and he likes to win now. But I am getting off topic. The bottom line is Mier could get 3,000 hits by the time is done.
Biggest Bust- No One
There are a few guys here who have a chance to be a bust yet I do not think anyone will. Maybe Michael Trout a center fielder out of high school who the Angels took with the 25th pick. Or Eric Arnett a big righty that the Brewers took with the 26th pick from Indiana University. 
Maybe even the 27th, 28th, or 29th picks. The Mariners took Nicholas Franklin a shortstop out of high school. The Red Sox took Reymond Fuentes with the 28th pick. Fuentes is a center fielder out of high school from Puerto Rico. Fuentes is Carlos Beltran’s cousin which might but some pressure on him. The Yankees (who we are 8-0 against) took Zachary Heathcott, a high school center fielder from Texas.
No one really stands out as a bust and part of it might be because of them being later in the first round but if I had to say one person it would be Reymond Fuentes.
Biggest Dark-Horse – Every one
Everyone is a dark-horse and everyone can make it to the majors. Even though they where picked in the first round they where picked towards the end. I would say though LeVon Washington, the 30th pick in the draft by the Rays. LeVon is a five star prospect and could be a franchise player at second base. Other wise though everyone is a dark horse. 
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And Mr. Epstein this is for you but can you please call up Clay!
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And seriously vote for Andre Ethier I mean this guy had walk off hits on back to back nights and has already hit eleven home runs and his career high is twenty. He also has four multi home run games this year. You don’t have to vote 25 times for him just as many as you want/can!
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