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“Hard Cheddar” Weekly Segment 2: MLB Heroes And Zeroes For 2013!

Yasiel Puig was signed as an International Free Agent in 2012.   The 22 Year old phenom exploded onto scene in the National League - 3 Slashing .319/.381/.925 - with 19 HRs, 42 RBI and 66 Runs Scored in his 104 Games Played.  He was a big part of the team winning the Division - and he will be a mainstay for years - being signed until 2018.  Puig's electrified the city of Los Angeles, and Dodger Stadium with his all out hustle, flamboyant play, and their flair for the dramatic.  Once fellow teammate Hanley Ramirez joined him, the club went on a historic 42 - 8 run, which hadn't happened in nearly 60 years for a 50 game stretch.

Yasiel Puig was signed as an International Free Agent in 2012. The 22 Year old phenom exploded onto scene in the National League – 3 Slashing .319/.381/.925 – with 19 HRs, 42 RBI and 66 Runs Scored in his 104 Games Played. He was a big part of the team winning the Division – and he will be a mainstay for years – being signed until 2018. Puig’s electrified the city of Los Angeles, and Dodger Stadium with his all out hustle, flamboyant play, and their flair for the dramatic. Once fellow teammate Hanley Ramirez joined him, the club went on a historic 42 – 8 run, which hadn’t happened in nearly 60 years for a 50 game stretch.

By ‘Special Guest Writer’ Steve Cheeseman 

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“Hard Cheddar” – with Steve Cheeseman

2013 Hero’s and Zero’s of MLB

Throughout the 2013 Major League Baseball season, there had been plenty to talk about. Lots of surprise players, as well as surprise teams.

This season in my opinion was as good as any.  However, like any sport, there was also plenty to forget, but not necessarily forgive, as you’ll see.  

Here are my hero’s and zero’s for the 2013 MLB season.

Yasiel Puig Highlights 2013 – Mature Content – Parental Guidance is Advised

The 2013 Pittsburgh Pirates went from zeros to heroes, after 20 seasons of cellar dwelling.  Finally, the people of Pittsburgh PA, finally had something to cheer about besides the NHL's Penguins, and NFL's Steelers.

The 2013 Pittsburgh Pirates went from zeros to heroes, after 20 seasons of cellar dwelling. Finally, the people of Pittsburgh PA, finally had something to cheer about besides the NHL’s Penguins, and NFL’s Steelers.

HERO

Pittsburgh Pirates

Yes, the Pirates lost in the playoffs, but going from 79 wins in 2012, which was well out of playoff contention, to a playoff berth before losing to the St. Louis Cardinal’s was simply amazing.

The 2014 Pirates led by Andrew McCutchen, and Francisco Liriano should be something to watch. They’re the real deal!

ZERO

Toronto Blue Jays

The 2013 Toronto Blue Jays went from projected World Champions to league doormat.

Other than an amazing 11 game winning streak early in the season, Toronto proved to be nothing more than a stepping stone.

Beyond the winning streak, the biggest news made were from J.P. Arencibia whining about broadcaster opinions of his terrible play, and Jack Morris thinking Clay Buchholz was throwing spitballs.

There is definitely a lot of work to do in the off-season, on the field, and in the club house.

HERO

Max Scherzer

Max was never a bad pitcher, typically a number 2 or 3 man of the rotation. However, this year Scherzer completely dominated.

He finished the 2013 season with a 21-3 (19-1 into the All-Star break) record with a 2.90 ERA, and career high 240 strikeouts.

Scherzer was the only 20 game winner in the majors this season. He was also selected to all-star game for the first time, reached 1000 strikeouts in his career. Move over Justin Verlander!

ZERO

Ryan Braun/Alex Rodriguez

It’s bad enough to get caught with steroids the first time, but to get caught the second time and playing the fans like they are fools is ridiculous.

Braun claimed the first time, he had no idea he was taking PED’s. Then the poster boy for MLB was caught again claiming he was essentially a changed man. Please, stop the B.S.

The only thing you’re doing is hurting the fans and the team.  A-Roid, in my opinion was always be a stain on baseball, at the same level as Barry Bonds.  

An admitted steroid user of the past, he was caught again, and instead of taking his suspension like a man, he appealed it, bringing much un-needed added drama to an already frazzled Yankee’s dressing room.

This narcissistic excuse of a person once again looking after himself before his teammates. He needs a life suspension, which is a shame, because steroids or not, he was a good player.

HERO

Yasiel Puig

This hard hitting Cuban truly makes baseball fun to watch. After defecting from his native land in 2012, and signing a 7-year deal worth $42 million with the Dodgers, Puig has certainly earned his coin.  

Since his call up in June through end of the regular season, Yasiel hit .319 with 19 hr’s, as well as earning rookie of the month, and player of the month respectively for the month of June.  

Puig also made the all-rookie team selected by Baseball America. He certainly seems to have a bright future in the “golden state”.

ZERO

Josh Hamilton

After the previous 3 season’s where he hit a combined 100 hr’s, 322 RBI’s, Hamilton defected from the Texas Ranger’s to division rival Los Angeles Angel’s of Anaheim (that name still bothers me) for a crazy 5 years, $125 million (that’s $25 million per year folks!).

He hit a mild .250 with 21 HR’s and 79 RBI’s.  T

hat isn’t a lot for that kind of money. Just to compare, Chris Davis of the Baltimore Orioles, hit .286, with 53 HR’s, and 138 RBI’s (for $3.3 million). Who would you rather have?

HERO

Baltimore Orioles

Thumbs up to Chris Davis and the Baltimore Orioles, proving that it’s not always going to be the Yankee’s, Red Sox and Ray’s that are hard to play against in the AL East.

Led by veteran manager Buck Showalter and slugger Chris Davis, Baltimore took the baseball world by storm, with 85 wins for the 2013 season, knocking the New York Yankee’s well out of playoff contention.

The 2014 edition should be fun to watch.

ZERO

Biogenesis-Sports Media

Starting before the season in January of 2013, the Biogenesis scandal investigation was in full swing by the time the season began.

Throughout the season, suspension after suspension was given to Alex Rodriguez and Ryan Braun as we have already discussed, as well and Nelson Cruz and others.

Once again, another black mark on the game of baseball. To make things worse, and more tiresome. This is all the media talked about.

The biggest stories were not the great catches, miraculous comebacks, or clutch hitting. It was constantly Biogenesis, and I know it was a big story, but it shouldn’t consume everything.

A sports reporter here in Ottawa even voiced his opinion on the air stating, enough was enough.

HERO

Mariano Rivera

Mariano Rivera led the league in saves 3 different times, has finished 5 times in the top five for the AL CY Young.  He is the ALL-Time Saves Leader, the ALL-Time Games Finished Leader, Has and 0.70 ERA in postseason to go along with another 42 Saves.  Rivera is also the active Leader in WHIP (1.00), ERA (2.21) and was a 13 time ALL-Star.   It was a privilege to watch his last brilliant season during 2013.

Mariano Rivera led the league in saves 3 different times, has finished 5 times in the top five for the AL CY Young. He is the ALL-Time Saves Leader, the ALL-Time Games Finished Leader, Has and 0.70 ERA in postseason to go along with another 42 Saves. Rivera is also the active Leader in WHIP (1.00), ERA (2.21) and was a 13 time ALL-Star. It was a privilege to watch his last brilliant season during 2013.

The greatest closer of all time decided to hang up his spikes and call it a career. Rivera is no question the greatest closer of all time.

He finished the season by getting pulled by long-time teammates Derek Jeter, and Andy Pettitte, from the direction of manager Joe Girardi.  

Rivera finished the season with a 6-2 record, 44 saves, and 2.21 ERA. Still pretty good for the retiring 42 year old.  For his career he massed 652 saves (MLB record).

A 13 time all-star, he is the holder of 32 MLB records, as well as 9 team records. Love him or hate him, to steal a line from Ricky Henderson, he truly is “The greatest…of all time!”.

Overall, 2013 was as good a season as any, with plenty of bright highlights such as the end of an amazing career in Mariano Rivera, to potentially the start of another in Yasiel Puig.  

The emergence of Chris Davis and the Baltimore Orioles as well as the Andrew McCutchen led Pittsburgh Pirates.

Max Scherzer finally came out of the shadows out of Tiger ace Justin Verlander, leading the Detroit rotation to be the most dominant in all of baseball.  

It’s too bad they couldn’t piece it together in the playoffs.

Unfortunately, they weren’t all bright moments…

The collapse of Josh Hamilton, and the irrelevancy of the Toronto Blue Jays.  We had to listen to a never-ending P.E.D. discussion marathon with Alex Rodriguez and Ryan Braun at the centre.  

MLB needs to get rid of Rodriguez. Jose Canseco is at least man enough to admit his mistakes, keeping in mind, he was paid very well to do that in his book.  

Rodriguez continues to play victim, creating drama and unnecessary attention to the MLB, the New York Yankees, and fans everywhere.

In the end, whether it’s a team issue, or an individual issue, as always, there is work to do. The only thing we can hope for is that everything continues to keep getting better for the 2014 season and beyond.

Until next time…

Canseco may have written the book on Steroids, and ushered in the bony fists of the MLB Brethren to solve its biggest elephant in the room.  The "Steroid ERA" is slowing down, but the Biogenesis Scandal proved it is never dead and buried.

Canseco may have written the book on Steroids, and ushered in the bony fists of the MLB Brethren to solve its biggest elephant in the room. The “Steroid ERA” is slowing down, but the Biogenesis Scandal proved it is never dead and buried.  The 2016 CBA will be the next time the MLBPA and MLB can collectively bargain in tougher penalties – although there is talk to open it up before that.

*** The views and opinions expressed in this report are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of mlbreports.com and their partners***

A big thank-you goes out to our ‘Special Blue Jays Guest Writer’ Steve Cheeseman for preparing today’s featured article.

Steve was born and raised in Marystown, Newfoundland  – and has been an avid sports enthusiast my entire life.  He loves hockey, baseball, and soccer, and continue to play in local leagues where I live.   

However baseball will always be Steve’s favorite sport .   He moved to Ontario, Canada in 2001, and currently lives in the nation’s capital of Ottawa with his wife and daughter.

Steve currently writes, blogs, and freelance sfor several sporting sites.  Contact him at any time (365southpaw@gmail.com).  You can also follow him on twitter   or google circles (+Steve Cheeseman).

Please e-mail me  at: mlbreports@gmail.com with any questions and feedback. To subscribe to our website and have the Daily Reports sent directly to your inbox, click here and follow the link at the top of our homepage.

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Posted on October 28, 2013, in The Rest: Everything Baseball and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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