Tagged: Josh Johnson

The Big Puma Goes To The Big Apple

*Sorry I forgot to post this a few days ago.

After 1,648 hits, 326 home runs,
1,090 runs batted in, 1,592 games, and parts of twelve seasons, Lance “The Big
Puma” Berkman is leaving Houston to play with Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez,
Mariano Rivera and the rest of the New York Yankees in the Big Apple.

It’s a bittersweet day in Houston.
On one side, the team is starting over and getting younger. On the other side,
you are losing a franchise player who played his college career (with the Rice
Owls) and pro career in Houston. Berkman has given the city of Houston so many
memories, good ones and bad ones.

Personally, I have two distinct
memories about Lance Berkman. The first autographed baseball I ever got was
Lance Berkman’s on my ninth birthday. However, In spring training of 2008,
while I was trying to get autographs, he went off the field, in a golf cart,
into the clubhouse, (the Astros clubhouse at their spring training park,
Osceola County Stadium, is on the other side of the left field fence) totally
ignoring the fans.

That day, Miguel Tejada, Jose
Valverde, Hunter Pence, and Wesley Wright, among others came a signed for the
me and the rest of the fans. I understand that fans do get a little crazy
sometimes. Ex-Astro Roy Oswalt use to only sign to small groups of fans while
with the Astros but spring training is different. Which, I understand.

Anyway, it has been a gradual
decline in power since 2006 when “Fat Elvis” hit 45 home runs. Since then, he
has hit 34, 29, 25 and 13 (in 85 games this year). And with the exception of
2008 when he drove in 106 runs his RBI totals have gone done every year since
2006 when he had 136 of them.

Now, I expect his power numbers to
increase with the dimensions of Yankees stadium and not having to face Josh
Johnson, Ubaldo Jimenez, Roy Hallady, or Mat Latos (who has a 0.99 WHIP) along
with the rest of the National League pitchers. However, the one thing that
could make his disappointing season even more disappointing would be if he
can’t play ball in the spotlight of New York City.

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Young Guns- Dodgers

Andre Ethier

Andre Ethier has batted at least .300 during each of his four months in the big leagues.
Sportsillustrated.com
Andre Ethier is 26 years old. He graduated from Arizona State University in 2003. He was drafted by the Oakland A’s in the second round in 2003. Ethier has a carer batting average of .299, with 44 home runs, 196 RBI’s, 409 hits, and eleven stolen bases. He has a .981 fielding percentage in the outfield. He became a Dodger when he was traded on December 14, 2005 from Oakland for Milton Bradley, who is now with the Chicago Cubs. In his rookie year Ethier hit .308, with 11 home runs, 55 RBI’s, 122 hits, and five stolen bases in 126 games. He finished tied for fifth in rookie of the year voting behind Hanley Ramirez the winner, Ryan Zimmerman, Dan Uggla, Josh Johnson, and tied with Matt Cain. This season he hit .305, with 20 home runs, 77 RBI’s, 160 hits, and six stolen bases in 141 games. He was nominated as the Dodgers nominee for the 2008 National League Hank Aaron Award. He lost to Aramis Ramirez of the Chicago Cubs though. After Manny Ramirez was traded to the Dodgers Ethier and Ramirez became on fire. Ethier batted in the three hole and Manny batted cleanup or vis versa. It seemed like every day he or Manny was hitting a home run! He Ethier is 6’2 and weighs 210 pounds. Ethier has an MLBlog called Dining With Dre’ where he is a food critic. Ethier has never been an all-star. He went to the postseason twice in 2006 and 2008. In 2006 he had one at bat where he didn’t get a hit or walked. In 2008 he played in the divisional series and the NLCS. He batted .188, with zero home runs, zero RBI’s, six hits, and zero stolen bases in eight games. Andre may not have better stats than Russell Martin or Chad Billingsley but I think in the future he will best. It is to early to predict his carer because he hasn’t had his breakout year yet, but some could argue that 2008 was his break out year. I think though Ethier will get 3,000 hits.
Andre Ethier Photo
allposters.com
pe.com
dodgers.com 
Honorable Mentions
2. Russell Martin
3. Chad Billignsley
4. James Loney
5. Matt Kemp