The Los Angeles Dodgers made two deals prior to this spectacular 2011 trade deadline, starting off by sending shortstop Rafael Furcal to the St. Louis Cardinals for outfielder Alex Castellanos. Furcal has been declining, mostly due to injuries, which has led him to go from hitting .300 last year to .197 in 37 games this…
It was that time of year again on Sunday, folks. The National Baseball Hall of Fame welcomed three new members: Roberto Alomar, Bert Blyleven and Pat Gillick. As a Hall of Fame enthusiast, my eyes were glued to the TV as I set my VCR and totally took in everything as elections and inductions are…
Jose Reyes, the first half NL MVP in the minds of many, is returning to the lineup for the New York Mets tonight after a little over two weeks on the DL. The team would do well to take care of their star shortstop over the next few series’, but Reyes’ return could not have…
Over the last few months, one of the biggest questions in the NFL not dealing with the lockout is where will Philadelphia Eagles QB Kevin Kolb will end up? And, what is it going to cost? Let’s take a look at some likely options. Seattle Seahawks The Seahawks most likely won’t bring Matt Hasselbeck back….
After a few days of debating if I was going to buy NCAA Football 12 again this year, and deciding that I shouldn’t waste the $60 yet again, I went to the local Gamestop and bought it. Of course I traded in last years version as well as Madden. Why not? The new Madden comes…
The All Star break is here and with every team playing over half of their 162 games, it’s now the perfect time to look at the stats for the half season of games. After that, we can make up reasons why each winner deserves it over the guys that just barely lost out. So here we go!
Jose Bautista – Toronto Blue Jays
I actually found the choice between Adrian Gonzalez and Jose Bautista to be very difficult. Both players are at the top of the heap when it comes to talent as hitters is concerned. You just can’t avoid Bautista and his 7.2 WARP (Wins Above Replacement). Well, that and the fact he has 31 HR at the break to go with a crazy .334 BA. It’s just amazing to see him put up these kind of stats after what he did last year. Many readers and forum members thought he was a fluke and that he had no shot at reproducing the year he had in 2010. He’s actually doing even better than he did last season. That’s why Bautista is the AL MVP! P.S. Homerun Derbies don’t mean anything.
AL CY Young
Justin Verlander – Detroit Tigers
If you haven’t heard about Justin Verlander’s freakish performance as of late then you haven’t been following baseball at all. Verlander’s last 8 appearances have yielded only 6 runs for the opposing teams and have seen Verlander pitch at least 7 inning in each of those games. Verlander currently ranks 2nd in the AL in wins (11), 1st in strikeouts (138), 1st in innings pitched (143.1), and 2nd in complete games (4). Verlander was scheduled to make an appearance at the all star game but was instead replaced by….
AL Rookie of the Year
Michael Pineda – Seattle Mariners
Michael Pineda was brought in to start for the Mariners straight out of Spring Training and he has proven to be a legitimate ace in the future, if not already. Pitching in the shadow of King Felix and in the relatively media starved northwest, Pineda has been allowed to pitch without much attention. The local Seattle fans and opposing teams are quickly learning that Pineda could very well already form the best 1-2 punch in all of baseball. Pineda pitched today against the Angels and was crushed for 7 earned runs but his numbers are still very impressive. An 8-6 record, even with the leagues worst offense and an ERA just recently elevated above 3 to 3.03 on top of 113 strikeouts and a BAA of .198 make him an easy selection for AL ROTY. Congrats to Pineda for making the all star team in his rookie season.
AL Manager of the Year
Manny Acta – Cleveland Indians
The fact of the matter is that if anyone outside of maybe Cleveland, had they you that the Indians were going to be any sort of contender this season, they were either lying to you and themselves or were talking about contending for the #1 pick in the 2012 draft. At 47-42 the Indians are only half a game away from the Tigers for the lead in the AL Central and in large part Manny Acta is to thank. We’ll have to wait and see if the Indians can keep up the momentum or if they fill fizzle over the second half.
Lance Berkman – St. Louis Cardinals
Lance Berkman was a player I thought my team should have tried desperately to sign in the offseason. Well, they didn’t and now they have the worst offense in all of baseball. Meanwhile, Berkman has 24 HR and is hitting .290. That’s two of any other hitters combined for my squad. Yes… I’m bitter. Berkman may not be too popular of a selection here but without him, the Cardinals, who had to deal with Superman Albert Pujols starting the season off cold would not be tied for the lead in the NL Central if it wasn’t for Mr. Berkman here putting up the surprising numbers he has.
NL CY Young
Jair Jurrjens – Atlanta Braves
Jair Jurrjens is the NL leader in Wins (12) and is fourth in CG. Throw in his ERA of 1.87 and you have an ace that deserves the half season NL Cy Young award. Braves fans should also be optimistic about Jurrjens keeping these stats up over the second half of the season. In his last 10 starts he has only gone over 100 pitches four times. His arm should hold up the entire season and allow the Braves to keep up with the Phillies and at least keep their grasp on the wild card.
NL Rookie of the Year
Craig Kimbrel – Atlanta Braves
Craig Kimbrel has amassed 27 saves in 32 chances while pitching as the closer for the Atlanta Braves. Not only that but he is 23 years old and has an ERA of 2.35. Not only that but he has a whopping 70 strikeouts in only 46 IP. Not only that be he also just has 18 BB in those 46 innings. Not only that…. ok that’s enough of that. Kimbrel is a solid candidate for the NL ROTY. When you have a gun like Kimbrel, opposing hitters almost have no shot, especially when they only see you once a game.
NL Manager of the Year
Clint Hurdle – Pittsburgh Pirates
Who saw this coming? I mean, the Pirates? Seriously? The Pirates haven’t been contenders since they had those silly hats and Willie Stargell played for them at Three Rivers Stadium. Clint Hurdle has done an amazing job in making the Pirates relevant again in baseball. Not only do they now have one of the best stadiums in the MLB but they also have a product that is worthy of playing in it. For the first time in a very long time the Pirates may be buyers at the deadline instead of their trademark selling of future talent.
So there you have it. The half season MLB award winners. If you have any questions, comments, gripes or complaints…. to bad. Or you can just voice them in the comments below or join our growing sports forum to debate about anything you could possibly want to debate.
The Midsummer Classic has been around for years, so of course there have been some great ones. MLB’s first All-Star game was back on July 6, 1933 . Now, 78 years later, the Midsummer Classic has brought much discussion about the right way to do it, what is wrong with the way it is, how…
With the All Star Break now in effect, everyone is focusing on the game’s “bow outs” and tonight’s Home Run Derby, so I figured I’d bring you an early-report on potential trade candidates with the Trade Deadline looming. It is still early, and the final week of the month will bring about a lot more…
The Seattle Mariners have been performing a balancing act as of late with their win percentage. For the last few weeks they have been at .500 or within a game or two of the mark and they can’t seem to find a way to get over the hump. The Mariners have called up Dustin Ackley in the last month, hoping he could be a boost to the worst offense in all of baseball. Surprisingly, he has played very well posting a .298 avg, .359 OBP and hitting 3 HR in 57 AB’s. Add to that 2 triples and a double and 6 of his 17 hits have been for extra bases.
The Mariners also recently called up Kyle Seager, who happens to be a former little league rival of Ackley’s along with his teammate at North Carolina. Seager was called up a few days ago to replace Chone Figgins at 3rd base. Figgins has been a huge disappointment since joining the Mariners, signing a 4 year, $36,000,000 deal. Figgins still has two years and and a vesting option left in the deal that will see him make an avg of $8,500,000 in each of those two years. It’s interesting to see Seager called up to the MLB level so soon. He had just been bumped up to the AAA level 2 weeks prior. However, in those two weeks at AAA Tacoma, Seager had hit .455 with 25 hits in 55 at bats. That’s a line that you can’t really ignore when your offense is as bad as Seattle’s. If Seager can put up numbers anywhere close to that, or those of his college teammate’s then the Mariners made a great call bringing him up.
Carlos Beltran has been one big name mentioned in recent trade talk as a possible solution to the teams history of horrible left fielders. So far this season the Mariners have thrown Michael Saunders, Mike Wilson, Carlos Peguero, Mike Carp, Greg Halman, Ryan Langerhans and Milton Bradley into the mix. Neither of these seven players have been able to hold down the spot for more than 38 games. Peguero who is the leader in games played at LF is surely going to be sent down sooner than later. Beltran, who has had a history of health issues since signing a massive 7 year, $119,000,000 deal with the Mets looks to finally be healthy again and is putting up solid numbers.
Beltran is hitting .283 with 13 HR and 26 doubles on top of his .372 OBP. That would easily make him the most feared hitter if he was in the Seattle lineup. The advantage of having him hit fourth while dropping Justin Smoak to hit behind in front would be a great help not only to Smoak, who would have a legitimate hitter protecting him in the lineup, but also to the entire Mariners offense. Of course there are potential hold ups preventing a marriage of hitter and team needing said hitter. Beltran is in the last year of his contract, which could be a good thing or bad thing depending how you look at it. However, Beltran also has a full no trade clause in his contract that would make a deal less likely to happen. Lets face it. Not many hitters want to come to Safeco Field. The park is notorious for ruining hitters. Look at examples such as Richie Sexson and Adrian Beltre. Beltre has a few sub par offensive seasons after his breakout year with the Dodgers, then magically after joining both Texas and Boston has seen his numbers skyrocket again.
Regardless of what happens over the next few weeks until the trading deadline, if the Mariners want to get serious about contending in 2011 they will have to focus their attention on upgrading what is one of the worst offenses not only in the MLB this season, but in the history of the game.
It’s not too often in baseball that a manager succeeds in several different cities. For Dick Williams, though, this proved to be just the case. Williams, who was 82, died on Thursday due to what was a ruptured aortic aneurysm. Along with fellow Hall of Fame manager Bill McKechnie, Williams was one of two managers…