Posts Tagged ‘A’s’

The Windy City

May 3, 2012

I really got the travel bug last summer when I went on Semester at Sea (to date, the greatest experience of my life!). I feel that after these past few weeks, I’ve now hit nearly every major city in America. Still missing are Washington D.C., Philadelphia, Miami and Dallas.

But today, I arrived in Chicago. I like it already, but I’ve yet to fully explore what it has to offer. As I told my girlfriend earlier, I’ve never met a place I didn’t fall in love with, whether that be for ten minutes or ten years.

Luckily for me, the Dodgers are coming into town to play the Cubs this weekend! So I’ll definitely be looking for tickets. Okay, so I sort of already did. A million times. WHY the hell are bleacher seats at Wrigley Field nearly $60?

Is it because it’s a Saturday afternoon? Doubtful, considering the same tickets on Sunday are under $25 a pop. Is it because the Cubs are winning so much? HAHAHAHA. No.

So, I’ve come to the only logical conclusion – that it’s because they are playing the epic, talented, first-place Los Angeles Dodgers. And yes, while I’ll probably pay the higher fees to see Matt Kemp shred Matt Garza in the Chicago wind, it’s still annoying.

Maybe I need to come home, where the A’s offer $2 tickets to anyone with a pulse. Granted, it’s a much worse baseball experience, but at least it’s easier on the wallet.

Check back in after the game to see what I thought of my experience in the legendary Wrigley Field bleachers!

Follow me on Twitter @Jamblinman!

Opening Day Predictions

April 4, 2012

Okay, okay. I know the A’s and Mariners played in Japan and the defending-champion Cardinals already defeated the Marlins at the new stadium earlier tonight. But a big slate of games is finally set for tomorrow, and I couldn’t be more excited. 

We’ve got seven games lined up for tomorrow, capped off with reigning Cy Young winner Clayton Kershaw and my Dodger squaring off against the Padres in San Diego. Without further adieu, here are my predictions for tomorrow’s games:

Boston Red Sox at Detroit Tigers: This is the first of the great pitching matchups we’ll see over the first weekend of play, but it might just be the best one. Jon Lester will take the hill against last year’s Cy Young and MVP winner, Justin Verlander. Normally, I’d expect a pitcher’s duel, but Lester is a notorious slow starter, so look for a big game from Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder and the Tigers to take the home opener 5-2. (Side note: Jose Valverde will get his 51st straight save, creeping slowly towards the record of 84)

Atlanta Braves at New York Mets: I like this pitching matchup for a number of different reasons. First of all, I really enjoy watching Tommy Hanson pitch. If he’s healthy for Atlanta this year, it’s going to be huge for their playoff aspirations. But the real story here is Johan Santana’s return to the hill after a multitude of injuries have crippled the former Cy Young winner. I’m going to take my first upset, but don’t expect the Mets’ winning streak to last long. Give me the Mets 3-2.

Philadelphia Phillies at Pittsburgh Pirates: Another former ace takes the hill on Opening Day, hoping to rebound. Erik Bedard won’t have as much success as Johan does in New York, although I do expect an above average season out of the lefty in 2012. Roy Halladay is going to be too much for the young Pirates offense, and the Phils take it on the road 5-0.

Washington Nationals at Chicago Cubs: Raise your hand if you’re as excited to see Stephen Strasburg on the mound tomorrow as I am! He takes on the re-tooled Cubs and Ryan Dempster at Wrigley. And I’m sorry Cubbie fans, but the curse will continue, starting with an ugly loss at the hands of the Nats. I’m going to enjoy watching Strasburg go 8 innings with 10 strikeouts in a 7-1 win.

Toronto Blue Jays at Cleveland Indians: This might be the most underrated pitching matchup of the day. If you like young, up-and-coming stars on the bump, this is the game for you. Ricky Romero is my dark horse candidate for A.L. Cy Young this year, and Justin Masterson for Cleveland isn’t far behind. I think this is going to be the best pitching duel of the day. Toronto takes it 1-0 on a late solo homer by Jose Bautista.

Miami Marlins at Cincinnati Reds: One of the Marlins’ big free agent acquisitions is opening this series, and Mark Buerhle can certainly be trusted to give a quality outing. Johnny Cueto gets the ball for Cincy and two very strong offenses will have their respective hands full. Give me the wily veteran for the new-look Marlins’ first win in a 4-3 game.

Los Angeles Dodgers at San Diego Padres: You know this is the one I’ve been waiting to talk about. You’ve gotta like the young lefty Kershaw to start defending his Cy Young title with a pretty dominant win at Petco Park. I think the Dodgers put up a five spot on Edinson Volquez early and chase him from the game. I want to give the Padres a pity run to sound unbiased, but they just aren’t a good enough team to score against Kershaw. Final score: 6-0 Dodgers.

That’s all folks! Call in sick tomorrow, ditch school, and watch MLB Network all day to see my picks put into motion. Happy baseball! Peace.

Fight Night: Who Would Win?

April 2, 2012

Any boxing fans who saw that title are probably severely disappointed. I’m not talking about boxing, or MMA, or even a good old-fashioned “meet me in the parking lot after class, we’re throwing down” fight.

I’m taking inspiration from Ubaldo Jimenez beaning Troy Tulowitzki in the Indians-Rockies Spring Training game over the weekend. Jimenez, the pitcher formerly known as GOOD, who was traded to the Indians from the Rockies last season, beaned his former teammate in the elbow in what looked to be an incredibly intentional move.

Words were exchanged, steps were taken, benches were cleared…and is typical in baseball, nothing happened. So that leaves my imagination to wander: who would have won if the scuffle had turned into a full-on boxing match?

Forget the surrounding drama, I’m focusing on one thing and one thing only. Which gigantic athlete involved here would have whooped the other’s ass into submission?

Would Ubaldo pull a Nolan Ryan and give Troy the old Robin Ventura headlock-and-pound? Maybe Tulo would have charged and given a classic Andre Johnson hay maker to the head of Jimenez, a la Cortland Finnegan!

Either way, it would have been fun to watch. Let’s check out the tale of the tape before making a final decision:

In the purple corner, from Santa Clara, CA, fighting out of Denver, CO…he stands 6’3″ and weights 215 pounds, the INSANE INFIELDERRRRR…TROYYYYY TULOOOOOWITZKI!

And in the red corner, from Nagua in the Dominican Republic, fighting out of Cleveland, OH…standing 6’5″ and weighing in at 210 pounds, the PITCHER OF PAIN….UUUUUUUUBALDOOOOO JIMENEZ!

Now that we’ve gotten through that nonsense, let’s get to the decision. They are similar in size, but a couple differences stand out. First, Ubaldo probably has the reach by a few inches, as he’s exceptionally tall and lanky. That being said, Tulo would be stronger (tell one of those baseballs he’s smacked 450 feet that he’s a pansy…) and might KO Jimenez with the right connection.

Also, Tulo seems to be a more confident, composed person in general. He should be, since he’s one of the bright young MLB stars today. Then again, Jimenez has a chip on his shoulder, especially when it comes to the Colorado Rockies.

I can only imagine though, that Jimenez is more of a fighter than Tulo. I mean, Troy is from the suburbs of California. It would be an entertaining fight to say the least, but I think Jimenez knocks Tulo out in the third round. Given Tulowitzki’s injury history, it probably won’t take much.

Luckily, next time the two face off on the baseball field, the results would be much different. Considering Tulowtizki’s immense talent and Jimenez’s declining pitching skills, chances are Tulo would take him deep. And definitely take his sweet time rounding those bases.

Thanks for indulging in my little fantasy. Until tomorrow…I’ll be at the A’s vs. Giants game. YAY BASEBALL!

Three Strikes and You’re Out

February 14, 2012

That title is not my cleverly worded get-back at an ex on Valentine’s Day. I’m no Taylor Swift. But it is also somewhat misleading. It really has nothing to do with baseball. I just wanted to express something before the real fun starts. Nicki Minaj had a big ol’ swing-and-a-miss at the Grammy’s. It was creepy, annoying, painful and hardly music. That was strike one. This morning, she checked her swing with her new single Starships. Heard it on the radio. Almost cried. Isn’t she a rapper? Isn’t that why I enjoyed her stuff in the first place? Listen to it if you enjoy the sound of excruciating disappointment. Nicki is down 0-2. Time to choke up and make some contact, girl.

Okay so back to sports. I have one HUGE story to chat about, then we return to the Fan Cave saga! My boy Billy Beane did it again in Oakland. He made an absolutely baffling move to cap a frustratingly confusing off-season. I can understand adding Cuban sensation Yeonis Cespedes – he’s got power to all fields, he’s a plus defender and has good speed. It’s a great gamble. But why get him in the same winter that you trade away back-to-back 15-win seasons in Gio Gonzalez?

I realize Beane got about 46 of the top prospects in baseball for his dealings over the last few months, but to me, signing Cespedes says “We want to be competitive.” And in a division that absolutely loaded itself full of talent, by a team with no money and very few big-league ready players, this is a bold risk. I like the risk overall, because Cespedes will be fun to watch and will put butts in the seat, no matter what Chris Townsend says on the radio (don’t get me wrong, I’m talking about a few extra fans per game over the course of a season, so they might get like, a million total this year).

But as much fun as Cespedes should be to watch in 2012, the A’s need more than one potentially good bat in their lineup. I truly believe 100 losses is still a possibility in Oakland with the team they will be trotting out there, but adding Cespedes at least gives us hope. Time will tell. Again. Let’s just hope he doesn’t have a monster first half and then gets traded off to New York for 18 draft picks and a AAA pitcher.

Back to the Fan Cave, Batman! Just like I promised. First of all, it is a Hallmark holiday all about love today. So what I need you to do is toss the roses you bought me, give the chocolate to the annoying dog next door and log on to http://atmlb.com/yU5WYF to continue voting for me! The more you vote, the more I know you love me. And my mom really loves me, so she’s probably already voted 100 times today. There’s your competition. So get to lovin’ and clickin’!

Finally, keep your eyes peeled for what I find to be a hilarious, self-created PROMO VIDEO for the Fan Cave being posted on the Facebook group page (http://www.facebook.com/JamCave) and my Twitter (@jamblinman) tomorrow. If I think it’s funny, then it must…well….it probably won’t be. But I embarrass the hell out of myself so that alone is worth watching and tossing a few thousand votes my way.

This is the internet, so I’m allowed to choose my own Valentine today. If you’ve followed this blog in the past, you should have an idea of who it’s gonna be. Surprise! Just kidding. Good luck and good night, lovers.

 


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