Daily Archives: May 6, 2012
“The Baseball Hall of Shame: The Best of Blooperstown” by Bruce Nash and Allan Zullo: Baseball Book Review
Sunday May 6th, 2012
“THE BASEBALL HALL OF SHAME: THE BEST OF BLOOPERSTOWN” – BY BRUCE NASH & ALLAN ZULLO
(Lyon’s Press: 2012)
MLB reports – Jonathan Hacohen: Part of our love of baseball, is the art of storytelling. Talking about strange and interesting facts, side stories and statistics. In today’s baseball book review, I have uncovered a gem of a book that contains baseball information that will leave you laughing and fascinated for hours. A little blurb about “The Baseball Hall of Shame – The Best of Blooperstown”:
After some 20 years, Bruce Nash and Allan Zullo have returned with the 5th volume of Baseball Hall of Shame, this one called The Best of Blooperstown, but again with original cover art by the great Jack (Mad Magazine) Davis.
These books (and their spinoffs) have sold more than 750,000 copies, making them one of the great publishing success stories in baseball history. And yes, they are the same books that you read under the covers, afraid that Bowie Kuhn would catch you. Bet you didn’t know there was a good message behind it all – it’s okay to make a mistake, even these Major Leaguers did!
And here are ten things you WON’T see during this new season, courtesy of the authors: Read the rest of this entry
Sunday May 6th, 2012
Jonathan Hacohen: Posted every Weekend: Your top baseball questions from the past week are answered. E-mail all questions to firstname.lastname@example.org, message us on Twitter, post on our Facebook Wall and leave comments on our website! There are many ways to reach us and we will get to your questions from all social media outlets!
Let’s get to your top questions of the week:
Q: Watching Jamie Moyer tonite wondering if he reaches 300 wins (2-3 more yrs of pitching). Will that make him HOF bound? Old Man Mack (via Twitter)
JH: OMM. We are starting of ATR with one of your questions…and of course, it is a Jamie Moyer one. This is the 3rd Moyer question that I recall receiving from you. He certainly is a great story in baseball and you are on top of this one! Moyer is turning 50 this November. His current records sits at 1-2, 4.01 ERA and 1.663 WHIP. He is 32 wins away from 300. How can I put this nicely…it ain’t happening! As much as all of us would love to see Moyer reach the magical 300 plateau, he would need to win 10+ games for the next 3 years. That would have him pitching until 52. A neat story, but the odds are certainly against that happening. In my estimation, Moyer will be done after this year. He came back, proved he could pitch until 50…and then ride off into the sunset. At his age, we are asking a ton from his body to be able to grind out 3 more years. Plus, he would also have to be effective at such an advanced age. Not impossible…but nearly. Moyer has a career 4.23 ERA and 1.319 WHIP. He was never a true #1 starter and the best among his peers. A good pitcher, but not a great pitcher. Cooperstown is supposed to be reserved for the elite, the best of the best. While Moyer’s story deserves to be enshrined in the Hall of Fame, his statistics do not. Even if Moyer reaches 300 wins- I don’t see a Cooperstown plaque in his future. Sorry my man- that’s just the way it goes! Thank you for the great question and your support of ATR and MLB reports. We very much appreciate it!
Q: They should fire Scioscia for how he handled Napoli. I seriously thought Napoli must have slept with Scioscia’s wife for a while. Mike (Via Twitter)
JH: Probably one of the funniest tweets I have received in some time. I agree with you that the Angels did not handle Mike Napoli well. I can’t speak on his relationship with Mike Scoscia…but certainly, it did seem strained. Unless you have been living under a rock, you would know that I firmly believe that the Angels and Jays blew it by not hanging on to Napoli. The Great Napoli had a season for the ages in 2011. In only 113 games, Napoli hit .320 for the Rangers, with a .414 OBP, .631 SLG (1.046 OPS), 30 home runs, 75 RBIs, 72 runs, plus 58/85 walks/k’s. In other words, Napoli is a beast. This year, Napoli already has 7 home runs in 24 games, with a .241 AVG- but .330 OBP and .506 SLG. I called Napoli the “Next Bautista” when the Jays acquired him and when you look at his numbers since 2011 over a full season, it is pretty darn close. How great would Napoli’s bat look right now in a slumping Angels lineup? What about at first base for the Jays or catcher over Lind and/or Arencibia?
Now would you like to hear some irony? Here it is. The Angels dumped Napoli in the Vernon Wells trade, really moving his salary and writing him off. In the process the Angels kept Jeff Mathis. How did Mathis do in 2011? In 93 games, he hit a whopping .174 avg, .225 OBP, .259 SLG and 3 home runs all year. That’s how many Napoli hits in many weeks! Mathis had 15 extra base hits all year in fact. Now where is Mathis you ask? In Toronto, of course. The team that couldn’t find a spot for Napoli, now is following the Angels twisted plan of succession. Funny though- how Mathis has played well though in Toronto. In 8 games, Mathis has 2 home runs, .250 AVG, .400 OBP and .650 SLG. Looking at him at the plate, you think Mathis should be a slugger. But it never developed. When the trade was made to the Jays, I thought Mathis could hit 15-20 home runs…if the Jays were able to get him on track. Still could happen, but I see Mathis moving back closer to his career average of .195, .259 OBP and .306 SLG. Now for Mathis’ replacement in Anaheim? Chris Iannetta, a Mike Napoli-clone as I call him. In 23 games, Iannetta has popped 3 home runs, hitting .220 with a .324 OBP and .441 SLG. Good numbers, but certainly not great numbers. If that was the kind of production though Anaheim wanted, why not just hold onto Napoli and let him explode at the plate? That is certainly the question. So we will never know the truth behind Mike Scioscia’s thinking in wanting Mike Napoli off the Angels. But if Anaheim and Toronto could go back in time, I’m sure they would have done things differently. For the future, they may want to read up on MLB reports before making another blunder like that again! Read the rest of this entry
Sunday May 6, 2012
Bryan Sheehan (Baseball Writer): Seeing Mariano Rivera go down with a torn ACL is like driving by a car accident and reflecting on how easily it could have been you in that accident, or in this case- how it could have been your team’s closer cringing in pain on the warning track. And this is the year of the injured closer: from Boston’s Andrew Bailey to San Francisco’s Brian Wilson, closers across the league have been dropping like flies. Other closers, like the Angels’ Jordan Walden, have stayed healthy but haven’t played well enough to keep their coveted ninth inning role. Even though there has only been a month of baseball so far, much has changed for some clubs.
Today, I’ll be taking a look at every team’s closer situation, and breaking down how it got to be the way it is: Read the rest of this entry
Sunday May 6, 2012
The NY Mets Tribute to the Recent Passing of MCA from The Beastie Boys
Lori Martini(Baseball Writer and @lorimartini on Twitter)– We don’t always remember exactly when certain events have happened in our lives and at what ages, but baseball and music gives us a pretty good reference and timeline as to when certain occurrences took place. It’s no wonder music plays such an integral part in baseball and throughout sports. Being a songwriter myself and having been honored that Justin Turner chose my song “Believe” as his walk-up song all last summer, I can only hope some day more players will walk up to more songs that I continue to write. I remember Derek Bell walked up to “Big Pimpin’” by Jay-Z. I can automatically tell you that the song was released in 2000 and that is when Bell played for the Mets. In fact, I’m such a huge Mets fan that I don’t even have to look at the scoreboard or the plate- I’ll instantly know which player is up to bat or who came in for a pitching change just based on their music choice.
When I started my ballpark chasing in 2000, I followed the Mets to most of the stadiums. I would meet new friends on the road including one of my best friends, Gabriel Lee who not only shares the same birthday (month/day AND year), but he also has a passion for music and manages a band called Ceasefire in LA. I met Gabriel through Rachel (Roa) Apodaca who inadvertently met my friend Indira who I’ve know from Midwood High School and is a fellow lunatic Mets fan like myself in a baseball chat room. I’d go to games with friends and start singing the Mets walk-up songs when they were on the road. I had Rachel and her sister Kristen involved in the whole ordeal when my team was playing against theirs! Gabriel also had a friend, Ted who joined us at Mets vs. Dodger games in LA. Being that I was older I quickly noticed that Ted liked Rachel and I told her that. She didn’t believe me at first, but shortly after they started dating and now they’re married and have a daughter Brianna who is now as big a fan as us (and has a HUGE crush on Matt Kemp….ssshhh). Brianna met him so often that he knows who she is. She even plays softball and wants to be a catcher like Mike Piazza.
Sunday April 6th, 2012
Sam Evans: Baseball is full of athletes with not only outstanding speed, but world-class predictive reflexes as well. These players use their power to steal bases as a way to create runs for their ballclub’s. While it might not be that hard to find a player who can steal bases at a productive rate, some players steal more than any other players in the sport. Here are five of baseball’s fastest base runners:
Emilio Bonifacio, CF, Miami Marlins: This year, Marlins Manager Ozzie Guillen has taken advantage of his lineup’s speed, and set them free on the base paths. So far, the results haven’t gone exactly as planned. Despite their speed, the Marlins offense is struggling to score runs. Nonetheless, Marlins Center Fielder Emilio Bonifacio has been outrageously productive on the base paths. Despite only a .240 batting average, Bonifacio has a .342 OBP, which has helped produce runs for the heart of the Marlins’ order behind him. However, there is a lot wrong with Bonifacio’s hitting approach that he needs to change immediately. For instance, in 104 at-bat’s, Bonifacio has yet to record an extra base hit. I’m not sure how that’s even possible. Still, in thirteen stolen base attempts, Bonifacio has yet to have been thrown out. To have a perfect success rate is absurd for someone who leads the majors in stolen bases. Read the rest of this entry