Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer): Follow @chuckbooth3024
I can’t believe I am going to utter these next few words, “I am starting to shift on the idea of eliminating the DH in the AL and also I am beginning to find the National League Brand of Baseball a lot better these days.” I am not just saying this because the National League has registered 5 World Series Wins out of the last seven years (STL x 2, SF x 2 and PHI vs BOS AND NYY since 2006.) I just find that the American League Baseball is becoming boring. If you have read my articles in the past, I hate teams that strikeout non-stop and when you put two of these teams together for a Series like the AL routinely does, the games are filled with heavy pitch counts, four-hour games and not much contact. This years ALCS represented an all-time low for fan excitement. Put aside that I am a Yankees fan for a minute, it was absolutely brutal baseball. In fact, last years ALCS was no picnic either. If the games continue on like this, they might as well scrap the DH, start having the umpires call more strikes on the hitters and have all AL Teams convert to a National League style of game.
The National League has seen the Cardinals give us thrilling moments and comebacks to epic proportions over the last 2 years. I honestly think that Mark McGwire is not receiving enough credit for molding that team into a bunch of contact hitters. You watch the 2013 offense of the LA Dodgers, they will all have a different approach. We will save the DH debate for another day, but lets just say that 2012 was the worst year for DH’s in some time if not ever. There are only about 3-4 decent DH’s left in the game and if David Ortiz is not in the lineup for the Red Sox, there are no more marquee guys that just hit and not field! The National League Teams plan on more contact for runs created out of necessity and it is always reflective by the competitive games we see them play in the playoffs.
In 2012, the Giants made 4 key acquisitions before and during the season to change their offensive demeanor. If you ask me flat-out as a baseball observer, there is no way the Giants win the World Series without Marco Scutaro or Angel Pagan at the top of the lineup. I also am conceding credit to Melky Cabrera’s hitting contributions as a contact hitter before being busted. Before Melky Cabrera was shown the door for PED’s, he was the same hitter as Scutaro in the 2nd half and postseason, in just hitting every single pitch that was thrown at him. To be honest here, Angel Pagan does strike out a fair bit as a lead off hitter, however he also has speed that makes him dangerous whenever the ball is contacted. It is all about a mixture of power, speed and contact hitters. To illustrate this fact, Hunter Pence (also picked up near the Trade Deadline) did not hit well in the regular season or playoffs for average, yet he was able to drive in a pile of runs because guys ahead of him were always on base. All he needed to do was to make contact for his RBI. Read the rest of this entry
Monday July 9th, 2012
Robert Whitmer: The same thing happens every year. We sit down and watch baseball for the first 2 months of the season, then the campaigning begins. It starts with the television and radio commercials telling us to vote for the local teams stars and send them to whatever city the all-star game is at that year. Then you have the players themselves doing the endorsing for them or their teammates. More recently you have the players taking to the social media sites such as twitter and asking g their followers to vote for them or their teammates. Is it really all that it is cracked up to be though? We only sit here and think we have the power in our hands to send our guys to the game. Now don’t get me wrong, the vote does send players there, but isn’t it the managers decision who plays and for how long? The all-star game is the MLB version of a reality show. It reminds me of a singing competition that carries the same initials as Akinori Iwamura. If you read the credits at the end of the show, they say that no matter how we vote, the producers have the final say on who moves on. The managers are the producers. They are the ones, in the end, who decides who we see play the game and for how long. This hallowed yearly occurence that has seen the likes of Teddy Williams, Babe Ruth, and Barry Bonds walk onto the field wearing its uniform. We have created a game within a game; a popularity contest amongst some of the most athletically gifted people of our generation. It will continue in such manner of wanting the popular players, which just so happen to be the most gifted at their craft, to go and play once a year for our viewing pleasure. So long as this continues writers like me will get the honor to break it all down and pick it apart like a vulture does to a rotting carcass. Let the picking begin. Read the rest of this entry