Chris Sale threw the third one hit shutout of the weekend as the White Sox (wearing their wonderfully dreadful 1980′s throwbacks) defeated the Angels 3-0
Jose Bautista homered twice and walked, driving in three runs as the Toronto Blue Jays beat the Red Sox in Fenway 12-4.
Marco Scutaro went 2-5 with a homer as the Giants defeated the Braves 5-1.
And Jorge De La Rosa answered the gems pitched by the Cardinals by holding St. Louis hitless into the 7th as the Rockies won 8-2.
They all owned baseball on May 12, 2013
My explanation for “Who Owns Baseball” can be found here.
At the end of the year, we will tally up who owned baseball the most individual days and see how it compares to the final MVP and Cy Young vote.
To view the Yearly Leaders for Who Owned Baseball Standings – Click the READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY ICON.
Inside the Mind of Casey Bond: From Moneyball to Ring the Bell, Is Portraying Josh Hamilton on the Silver Screen Next for the Hollywood Star?
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Wednesday May 8th, 2013
Jonathan Hacohen (Lead Baseball Columnist, Oakland A’s Correspondent and Website Founder): Follow @Jhacohen
They say once you go Hollywood, you never go back. So appears to be the case with our very good friend, Casey Bond. From life as a professional baseball player to Hollywood actor, Bond has done it all and seen it all when it comes to the many worlds of baseball.
I originally interviewed Casey Bond during the release of Moneyball. Destined to become a baseball movie classic, Moneyball was nominated for an Academy Award. Also included an actor that you may have heard of, a guy by the name of Brad Pitt.
Moneyball was a tremendous opportunity for Bond, who portrayed pitcher Chad Bradford in the film. Since Moneyball, Bond has been acting on both the big and small screens, as well as producing. But given the baseball roots he comes from, Casey Bond – Baseball – and Hollywood certainly go hand-in-hand. Evidence? Bond’s latest project, the baseball film “Ring the Bell”.
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Tuesday March 5th, 2013
Bernie Olshansky (Baseball Writer): Follow @BernieOlshansky
The Miami Marlins are in a state of disrepair. 2012 was meant to be their return to contention with the signings of Jose Reyes, Mark Buehrle, and Heath Bell. A healthy Hanley Ramirez and Giancarlo Stanton were meant to provide power to the lineup that supported the pitching staff anchored by Josh Johnson and Ricky Nolasco.
The excitement of the new-look team combined with the anticipation of the new stadium. Unfortunately, the Marlins had a terrible season and shipped Hanley Ramirez to the Dodgers, and every notable player except Giancarlo Stanton and Ricky Nolasco to the Blue Jays, most notably.
Ricky Nolasco Warming Up:
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Monday, February.04, 2013
By Nicholas Rossoletti (MLB Reports Trade Correspondent): Follow @NRoss56
What many Arizona Diamondback fans once considered the unthinkable happened last week. The team decided to part with 25-Year-Old Right Fielder, Justin Upton. Upton was the franchise’s top draft pick in 2005, its Number 1 prospect in 2007 according to Baseball America, its best player in both the 2009 and 2011 seasons based upon Wins Above Replacement and the 13th best position player in the Major Leagues in 2011 as he added 6.4 Wins to the D’Backs.
The D’Backs shipped Upton to Atlanta where he will be reunited with his brother, BJ Upton, and in doing so, the team ended a relationship with another of its first round picks. None of Arizona’s top picks from 2003 through 2011 are still with the franchise. Upton was the type of player that teams normally build around especially at 25 Years Pld. Instead the D’Backs determined it was better to use Upton to acquire 5 pieces that they hope will provide several building blocks to replace the one they gave away. In that way, Upton still provided the D’Backs with foundation even when he is no longer playing for them.
Justin Upton Highlights Mature Lyrics so Parental Guidance is Advised:
Friday November 16th, 2012
Bernie Olshansky: The final awards have been announced. Both races could have gone either way, with deserving candidates in each league. In the end, each winner won by a large margin (Cabrera 362-281 and Posey 422-285). There really were not any surprises in this year of MVP voting. Here’s my analysis for each league.
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
Thursday November 1st, 2012
Alex Mednick (Baseball Analyst and Writer)
The St. Louis Cardinals came into 2012 as the defending World Series Champions. In 2011 they just eked their way into the post season on the final day of the regular season when they defeated the Houston Astros and the Braves, who were tied for the wild card spot with St. Louis, ended up losing to the Phillies in extra innings. Coming into the 2011 postseason, the Cardinals were huge underdogs. That didn’t stop them from going for what they wanted: to win it all.
While most analysts amongst the sport would not have guessed St. Louis would even make it to the World Series, yet alone win it, the Red Birds emerged to show their true colors. The current team that the city of St. Louis has assembled and gets to watch for 81 games a year is, undoubtedly, a team that plays on all cylinders and the highest octane fuel. They play with the intensity of a little league team that wants nothing more than the coach to bring them out for ice cream when they win. Watching the Cardinals brand of baseball is to watch baseball again as a game, and not just as a competition played by millionaire athletes with tremendous talent.
Watching the scrappiness of St. Louis native David Freese in the 2011 playoffs is the perfect example. His David Eckstein-like approach to the game reminds us all of one of our teammates back in middle school. The one at the sandlot that always slid hard, tried to steal home, and complained when the rest of us wanted to go home because “it was getting dark”. In 2011, David Freese and his 39 teammates played baseball together as a true team and sent Tony LaRussa home with a World Series title in his final year managing. Read the rest of this entry
Monday October 29th, 2012
Bernie Olshansky: The 2012 San Francisco Giants can be described in various ways. They were exciting, quirky, hard-working, and persevering to name a few. Pablo Sandoval, when asked of a word that could describe the team- said “heart”. After all the team went through, this was the absolute perfect word to describe what the team was made of. The Giants did it all in the playoffs. The team came back from a 0-2 deficit in the NLDS against the Reds and a 1-3 deficit in the NLCS against the Cardinals. The World Series was a breeze for the Giants as they swept the Detroit Tigers in incredible fashion. It took extra innings in game 4. But after 2 straight shutouts, the Giants had to work at least a bit to get their rings.
At the beginning of the season, fans had high hopes for the club as all fans do. The team got off to a bit of a slow start but picked up the pace as expected. The Dodgers looked to be a threat after an unexpected hot start, and the race was on. The Diamondbacks hung with the top two teams for a short period of time but in the end it became a two-team race. It was at the beginning of the year when the Giants were faced with the first bit of adversity. Closer Brian Wilson was lost to his second Tommy John Surgery. The team decided to go with closer-by-committee, and that worked fabulously (mainly Sergio Romo stepping up as the closer towards the end of the season).
Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer): Follow @chuckbooth3024
I love the new era of baseball. One thing the 2nd Wild Card team enabled this year was a flurry of transactions right near the Non-Waiver Trade Deadline, plus we even saw a bunch of trades between Aug.01-31 as well. I am not going to breakdown the trades for who went the other way (unless both teams were in contention) since we have a dedicated page for that here. What I am going to do is see who made out well with their new player. I will tell you right now that the hands down winner was the San Francisco Giants for picking up Marco Scutaro and Hunter Pence. Marco Scutaro hit .362 for the Giants and smacked 90 hits in 61 games. He has parlayed another 19 hits in 59 AB during the playoffs (.322).
I am going to be writing a series of payroll breakdowns for each MLB team in the offseason. I have already compiled reports for the Boston Red Sox, Toronto Blue Jays, Philadelphia Phillies, Los Angeles Dodgers, Los Angeles Angels and Washington Nationals. These reports can be found in my author archives here. In addition to this, I am going to write another piece on Payroll Strategy specifically geared towards making runs at trades near the deadline. Look for those in the coming weeks. The work never ends here, and we will have you game ready for spring training when it comes to all of the clubs. Read the rest of this entry
Sunday October 21st, 2012
Jake Dal Porto: Whether you agree with MLB’s new playoff format of having the team with home field advantage start the series on the road or not, you would be crazy not to agree that it has made the 2012 postseason a bit hectic. Hectic in a good way though.
This year’s Division Series defined chaos. All four series stretched out to Game 5’s, and in the process, teams were forced to use strategic tweaks to gut out wins. From a general perspective, there was no “boring” series. Usually, there is at least one. It’s that series that you just occasionally peek in on to check the score. Nope, not this year. Each series had its own unique taste.
The Tigers and A’s followed the expected pattern in that the home team won all but one game. Detroit jumped out by winning the first two at home, looking as if they would easily take the series and avoid using their Justin Verlander two times in one series. But they did, and he elevated himself as the pressure amounted, tossing a shutout against the A’s in Game 5. Read the rest of this entry
Thursday October 18th, 2012
Bernie Olshansky: When the San Francisco Giants made the playoffs this year for the second time in three years, there was one major question: Should Melky Cabrera be activated at some point? There were two schools of thought: the business side, which leaned toward activating him; and the emotional fan side, which was against activating him. If Cabrera was activated, there was no doubt he would help the Giants offensively. Cabrera’s .346 average would have won him the batting title (he disqualified himself) and helped the Giants greatly in the postseason. Granted, if Cabrera had not gotten suspended, the Giants might not have gone after Hunter Pence. Still, a lineup going Cabrera-Posey- Sandoval in the three-four-five holes would be dangerous. And, if Pence was added, the offense would be even more potent.
If the emotions and distractions of players and fans were not considered, the Giants would have activated Cabrera immediately. But, with all of the drama surrounding Cabrera’s suspension and him likely lying to many of his teammates, bringing him back might not have been the best decision. Cabrera would definitely draw an abundance of unwanted media attention into the clubhouse and would undoubtedly cause a distraction. Giants’ fans were also mixed. Some wanted him back while some wanted him run out of town. Although not as important, Cabrera’s return could anger some fans, giving the usually electric AT&T Park a different atmosphere.
Friday October 12th, 2012
Bernie Olshansky: Game One: Reds 5, Giants 2: The first game of the National League Division Series looked to be a pitchers’ duel with Johnny Cueto of the Reds matching up with Matt Cain of the Giants. This possibility quickly went out the window when Cueto was seen in major discomfort after throwing a pitch to the second batter of the game. Out went Cueto with back spasms and in came Sam LeCure. Lecure pitched very well bridging the gap to probable game three starter Mat Latos. Right as Cueto came out, this became a must-win game for the Giants. These first two games would be the only two home games of the series for the Giants, and the ace of the Reds’ staff was out of the game after a third of an inning. While the Reds bullpen and Mat Latos continued to keep the Giants’ offense at bay, Brandon Phillips and Jay Bruce delivered all the offense that the Reds needed with a two-run bomb to left and a solo shot to right-center. Latos and the bullpen did the rest, only giving up a solo shot to Buster Posey and a run in the ninth inning. It looked as if the Reds had all the momentum taking at least a tie back to Cincinnati.
Game Two: Reds 9, Giants 0: The Reds picked up just where they left off starting the scoring with a Ryan Ludwick solo homer to dead center. In a fall evening in San Franciso, a hitter needs to get all of it for it to be a home run and Ludwick did just that, putting the Reds up 1-0 in the second inning. A few innings later, the Reds continued to pummel Madison Bumgarner scoring three in a rally started by Joey Votto. In what was a weird turn of events, Tim Lincecum came in to pitch in the sixth inning in relief of George Kontos. Lincecum went to the bullpen and only threw a few pitches before heading back to the dugout. Then, to what looked like his surprise, Bruce Bochy inserted him into the game as part of a double switch that put Xavier Nady into left field. Lincecum pitched very well for the limited warm-up tosses he had, shutting down the Reds and keeping the deficit at four. Unfortunately for the Giants the Reds kept going, shelling Jose Mijares and Santiago Casilla for five more runs, bringing up the total to nine. As of Sunday night, it looked like the Giants were completely dead.
Wednesday October 10th, 2012
Kyle Holland (Guest Writer): In 2012, the San Francisco Giants had one of their best year hitting in recent memory. Melky Cabrera, before his suspension, was hitting .346/.390/.516 with 11 home runs and 60 RBIs. Buster Posey, NL batting champ, hit .336/.408/.549 with 24 home runs and 103 RBIs in route to his MVP hopeful season.
In the postseason though, the bats have yet to come alive. Through the first 3 games in the NLDS, the Giants have just 12 hits, including just 3 in game 3, 2 of which came in the 10th inning. They had only 2 hits in game 2. Add to the fact that in both games 2 and 3, they were getting no-hit through at least 5.2 innings. Read the rest of this entry
Monday October 8th, 2012
Jake Dal Porto: Now that the division series are into full swing, it’s time to take a look at the status of each of the four series from both leagues.
Surprisingly, the road teams went 6-2, despite the weird playoff format which has the top seed playing two road games before heading home for three.
Here are the results:
Detroit Tigers vs. Oakland Athletics
It wasn’t a good weekend for Bay Area teams. The A’s lost a heartbreaker early Sunday morning, and the Giants ended the evening with a loss (more on that later). Read the rest of this entry
Thursday, October 4th, 2012
Alex Mednick (Baseball Analyst and Writer):
With the last games of the 2012 regular season being officially completed yesterday I get the same feeling I do every season…it’s a sickening pain in my stomach, that makes me want to hibernate and not wake up until April comes around. For baseball lovers, we are all very familiar with this feeling. We find solace in the fact that with the exception of the month of November, we can still follow baseball transactions all year-long. Furthermore, we cannot get too upset; baseball isn’t really over. In fact, some might argue that it is just beginning!
The boys of summer play all those games in the summer heat for one reason. The grueling 162 game schedule sees many ups and many downs, and all of these challenges are met with a firm resolve: to do whatever it takes to get to the postseason. October is the time when the weather turns cold, and ball players become unshaven warriors duking it out to be the victorious few who have the honor to take a championship ring home this offseason. Read the rest of this entry
Thursday October 4th, 2012
Bernie Olshansky: If you asked a group of Giants fans who was the biggest disappointment on the team over the last few years, you would most likely get a unanimous decision: Barry Zito. When the Giants signed him after the 2006 season, they thought they were getting an ace. Zito had a stellar career with the Oakland Athletics, posting a 102-63 record to go along with a 3.55 ERA. He was a three-time All-Star with the A’s and won the 2002 American League Cy Young award. The Giants went all out to sign Zito, offering him a seven-year $126 million deal. Big mistake.
In his first year with the Giants, Zito was not horrible, but he definitely was not what the Giants expected. He went 11-13 with a 4.53 ERA. After this year, Zito never posted an ERA lower than 4.03, and did not win more than ten games (until this year). In 2008, Zito lost 17 games. It was that year that many of the fans turned on him completely. Fans doubted Zito earlier, but it was this year that really established his pattern of poor performance. No one could believe that the Giants had signed him to such a large contract—the largest for a pitcher at the time—and that he could regress so much. Zito was more than bad—he was awful. There were talks of taking him out of the rotation and putting him in the bullpen. By this time, Tim Lincecum and Matt Cain were with the Giants and were performing well. Zito had been passed up.
Thursday September 20th, 2012
Bernie Olshansky: As the season wraps up, the divisional races become tighter. Some races are close while others are blowouts. Here are the teams that I believe will be playing in October (and their predicted final records).
AL East: New York Yankees 93-69
The Yankees are too good to not win the division. Although Mark Teixeira is injured and Mariano Rivera is not coming back for the rest of the year, the Yankees have enough pieces to make it to the ALDS without having to go through the Wild Card game. The Yankees have the pitching that the Baltimore Orioles lack in C.C. Sabathia. The powerful Yankee offense will be enough to help the team avoid the Wild Card game. Read the rest of this entry
Friday August 31st, 2012
Bernie Olshansky: The Los Angeles Dodgers have gone all out this year, trading for Hanley Ramirez, Shane Victorino, Joe Blanton, and four former Red Sox players in one big swap: Carl Crawford, Josh Beckett, Nick Punto, and a game-changer in Adrian Gonzalez. Right now, the Dodgers are what one would call “stacked”. They have stars at many of their positions and have added key pieces to their pitching staff. Fans of any team dream of this. But, these acquisitions came with a heavy, heavy cost.
The Dodgers went after underperforming stars that weren’t living up to their large contracts. Hanley Ramirez had failed to rebound like the Marlins expected this year, so the Dodgers got him for a low price on the condition that they would take on the rest of his contract. Money is not too much of an issue for the Dodgers under new ownership, and it is evident. The second—and even more impressive—move that the Dodgers made involved the Red Sox. Carl Crawford had been an absolute bust for Boston. He has not played a full season after signing a major contract two years ago, and recently shut his season down to get Tommy John Surgery. Adrian Gonzalez had a good year for the Red Sox in 2011, but started off this year slowly and didn’t produce the way the Sox hoped. Josh Beckett has also been awful this year, posting over a five ERA.
Wednesday August 22nd, 2012
Sam Evans: When Buster Posey broke his fibula in 2011, it was a crushing blow to a Giants team fighting for a playoff spot. The Giants ended up missing the playoffs that year, largely due to not having any production from catcher. In 2012, Posey was expected to regain his old form immediately and help bring the playoffs to San Francisco. So far in 2012, Posey has exceeded previous expectations, and deserves a lot of the credit for the Giants’ success. With the N.L. West looking like it’s going to come down to the wire, and Melky Cabrera out for the regular season (and part of the playoffs), Posey needs to keep up his performance in order for San Francisco to make the playoffs.
Buster Posey has always been a hitter. At Florida State, Posey was moved from shortstop to catcher so he doesn’t have as much experience behind the plate as a typical catcher. Posey’s defense at catcher has improved year by year thanks to his work ethic and athleticism. This year, Posey has shown no signs of his previous injury, and has continued to play solid defense behind the plate. Not to mention, Posey is having his most valuable offensive season ever, and one of the more impressive batting lines in the National League. Read the rest of this entry
Wednesday August 15th, 2012
Bernie Olshansky: Just a little while ago, Giants’ outfielder Melky Cabrera was announced suspended for 50 games due to testing positive for testosterone—a performance enhancer. This will put him out of action for the rest of the season.
For the Giants, this is catastrophic. They lost a .346 hitter in the middle of the lineup. They just acquired Hunter Pence and got Pablo Sandoval back from the DL, and the lineup was stacked. They got through one game with the best possible lineup, and then this. As a Giants fan, I can’t even think of the words to describe this situation. Apparently the testing was during the All Star Break. The Giants now have a tougher road to the playoffs, but I’m not sure their goose is cooked. Buster Posey has been on fire recently, and the return of Sandoval should provide a large boost. The major problem with Cabrera’s absence is the loss of a high-average hitter. Now the Giants will need to work harder in order to get runners on base for the power hitters. Cabrera was having his best season—even better than last. Now the Giants must hope to scrappily win enough games to snag a wild card. Gregor Blanco will be expected to fill in for Cabrera. The Giants recently signed Xavier Nady, so he might play a part too.