Posts Tagged ‘Clayton Kershaw’

Reasons Sports Fans Love Christmas

December 25, 2012

Dodger jersey

Every good sports fan loves getting an autograph at a game, or a rookie card of their favorite player, or an authentic jersey. There’s just something about owning a small piece of merchandise that represents your team t

Why am I telling you this? Is it really worthy of a blog post? No, probably not. But I’m borderline giddy at some of the gifts I received this Christmas, so go ahead and indulge me, huh? In no particular order:hat brings a childish sense of glee to a sports fan.

Clayton Kershaw Jersey

Brownie points for the girlfriend! With my James Loney jersey rendered useless when the current Tampa Bay Ray was sent to Boston last season, I was down to zero relevant Dodger jerseys. Absolutely unacceptable. And with the influx of money through the new ownership, Kershaw should be a Dodger for life. Win!

Autographed Kershaw Photo

What are better than brownie points? Chocolate cake points? Because along with that jersey came an authentic, autographed picture of Kershaw delivering a pitch (undoubtedly a strike…) from his left arm. Sports fans LOVE getting autographs – even if it’s one in 100, it feels like one in a million.

Book of Dodger History and Photos

When you truly love a sports team, knowing everything about them becomes priority. I consider myself an expert on the Dodgers already, but this will only make me more knowledgeable. And the old-school, black and white pictures will give me even more respect for my team’s history.

Dodgers and 49ers Ornaments

A nice blue Dodger cap and a 49er football that lights up a snowman’s face when turned on? Yes, please! Ornaments are a Christmas tradition, and no matter how juvenile or otherwise-useless they may be.

Ballpark Calendar

With the exception of May 2013, every month in the ballpark calendar my sister got me absolutely rules (AT&T Park represents that horrid month). It even has old-school Ebbets Field, home of the Brooklyn Dodgers. I don’t usually use calendars, but this one will be run ragged.

Kirk Gibson Bobblehead and Bobblearm

Okay, so I got this one myself. I couldn’t help it! I’ve been wanting the greatest bobblehead in bobblehead-related history since it came out in the middle of this summer. Now, I finally own the 1988 World Series Game 1 bobblehead of Kirk Gibson, rounding the bases with his bobblearm fist-pumping away. Totally, awesomely worth it.

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The Art of Fair Weather Fandom

December 12, 2012

imageI know what you’re thinking: Jeremy, how would you know? You are the most hardcore, dedicated, handsome Dodgers and 49ers fan this side of Matt Kemp!

First of all, thank you. I agree. And yes – believe it or not, Dodgers star center fielder is a diehard 49ers fan.

But that doesn’t mean I don’t know a thing or two about fair weather fandom. Take, for example, the fact that I “root” for the Seattle Sounders because my ex-girlfriend’s dad got me hammered drunk at the only game I’ve attended.

As far as I know, that’s the coolest soccer team in the country because of one very hazy experience I had.

Or let’s talk about the Indiana Pacers; Reggie Miller was my favorite NBA player growing up, so naturally, I rooted for the Pacers. It was weird, unique, different. And like a good little Jew, I loved three-pointers (It’s the SAME thing, for one more point! Why doesn’t everyone just shoot threes?).

We all know Reggie was the three-point master. And don’t mistake “fair weather” for “frontrunner.” Those are vastly different labels. I liked the Pacers, good or bad, because I thought they were cool.

I like the Sounders because the beer at their stadium does very interesting things to my body when taken in large quantities. Honestly, I have no idea if they are any good and I don’t care.

Being a “frontrunner” means you live near the Bay Area and didn’t know what a baseball looked like until 2010 when the local San Francisco Giants won their first World Series title. If you now root for them, wear their gear, and try to tell me why they are the best team around – you are a frontrunner. Once they regress, so does your fandom. And that year’s World Series champion will grace your clothing.

On the contrary, being a fair weather fan means you root for a team for whatever reason, but only pay attention when you feel like it. That’s how it goes for me with basketball. It’s a sport I mostly understand, but never really played and definitely can’t objectively analyze.

I’ve been a fair weather Warriors fan for years (very obvious example of not rooting for a first-place team), but luckily I don’t have to put my heart and soul into rooting for them. So all those tortured fans out there probably both hate and envy me.

Tonight, the Warriors beat the defending-champion Miami Heat and reigning-MVP LeBron James. I turned it on for the sheer idea of a distraction and because my alma mater’s pride and joy, Klay Thompson, now graces the Warriors’ front court.

Twenty seven points for Klay later, the Warriors were jumping up and down on the Miami home floor, celebrating a two-point victory and the continuation of a gritty, undefeated (so far) road trip.

I found myself leaping out of my seat when the final buzzer sounded – emotions usually reserved for a Vernon Davis touchdown or Clayton Kershaw anything.

And that is the art of fair weather fandom. If you can watch a team play a game and feel no personal connection to them, but still become emotionally moved by their performance, you can root for them.

Just admit that you are fair weather, and nobody will get hurt. Tonight, I admit to being a fair weather Warriors fan. For the rest of this season, I am officially declared as a supporter of the Dubs (see, I even have the lingo down!).

I mean, why not? Technically my favorite basketball team is 1-0 this year when I watch them play and as their biggest fan, I couldn’t be happier.

If you are a fair weather blogger, follow Jeremy on Twitter @Jamblinman!

Football, Jamilton and Announcements

May 25, 2012

I swear, I’m not just talking football today out of a semi-depression that my Dodgers lost to the ASTROS yesterday. Again. With Clayton Kershaw on the mound. Sigh.

I’ll forget the fact that we have been outscored 15-1 by Houston in our last two meetings combined. And just talk about something exceptionally exciting: the San Francisco 49ers, my hometown football team. My Dodgers of the NFL.

And that they are coming off a 13-3 season that was two muffed punts away from turning into a march to the Super Bowl. And that they are better this year. And the whole top-ranked defense is back. And our rookies are going to be game-changers. And we have brand new wide receivers. And we have no Chilo Rachal. And we have a healthy (finally) Michael Crabtree, who oh by the way, put up ELITE numbers in the second half of 2011. And we have a full off-season under Jim Harbaugh (also known as God, in my circles) for the players to learn his playbook and gel even more as a team.

All I have to say about that, is watch out everyone. If there is still any doubt in a fan’s mind that the 49ers are to be taken seriously as one of two or three legitimate Super Bowl contenders at this point in the summer, said fan is insane. Or a Raiders fan. Okay, so definitely insane.

Can you tell I’m excited?

As for dominant teams and players, I’ll stray away from the Dodgers for once. Remember, they lost to the Astros last night? Yeesh.

How about the Texas Rangers? Again. They dropped 14 runs today and Nelson Cruz had 8 RBI. That’s all the attention Nelly will get from me though. I’m here to talk about their best player, and possibly the best player in baseball: Josh Hamilton.

I’m not going to heap praise on the guy, I just want to ask one simple question: Can Jamilton hit 62? After hitting one today, he’s got 19 on the season in less than 50 games. I’m no math whiz, but considering there are 162 games in a season, I’d have to say he’s on pace for approximately 60.

Who’s to say he can’t go on another ridiculous streak and bomb 8 in one week? He’s certainly got the eye, the strength and the swing to do more damage. My only problem is he hasn’t played a full season…ever? Chances are, Hamilton will miss a chunk of about 15-20 games, which could greatly hinder his home run chase.

My verdict: Hamilton goes nuts this year. But not nuts enough. I’ll give him an average well over .300, 52 homers and 145 RBI. Those numbers will earn him the MVP and two of the three Triple Crown categories. But the home run record will remain Roger Maris’.

Suck on that, Barry, Mark and Sammy.

Last on the agenda today, a sad announcement. Jam Shots will be moving to a weekly format, instead of daily. I’ve been writing this (almost) daily since January 23rd, a span of 130 days by the end of this month. This is my 113th post, out of 125 days.

I’m impressed with myself. That’s like…like…a .900 batting average! Unheard of! Incredible! Hall of Fame worthy!

Alas, I can’t keep up. I’m hanging up my keyboard and going into more of a player/manager role. I do anticipate a couple of things: my weekly blogs will be even MORE epic. And, I get to also post weekly on my old blog, Jamblin’ Man! That one won’t be about sports, so 90 percent of my audience will actually read them. If you like my sports, stick with Jam Shots. Otherwise, be ready for the revival of an old friend.

And there will just be so much more room for activities.

Jam Shots will be strictly for sports, posted once a week. Jamblin’ Man will show off my freelance writing SKILLZ, with just thoughts, ramblings, poetry, travel writing, creative writing and everything in between. And of course…that will be posted once a week as well.

Thanks to everyone who has clicked my silly links every day in 2012, and hopefully, when June rolls around and this baby goes weekly, you’ll stick with me and continue to read.

Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @Jamblinman!

Top Ten Thursday

May 10, 2012

I was laughing at one of Brandon Phillips’ tweets yesterday (if you didn’t know who the Reds 2nd baseman was, get off your electronic device and go take a long walk off a short pier), and it got me to thinkin’…I love the game of baseball. But I also love the players.

At risk of sounding like a ditzy middle school girl who is making a list of cute boys she would kiss, here are my top ten “wanna meet” MLB players.

10. Brandon Phillips – Goofy, fun-loving and a hell of a second baseman, my primary high school position!

9. Andre Ethier – Because he’s gorgeous, obviously. Uhh what? No I’d like to ask him how he swings so sweet though.

8. Eric Chavez – One of my all time favorite players from the early 2000’s Oakland A’s. Seems like a nice dude.

7. Lance Berkman – The Big Puma looks like a huge teddy bear and has been one of the coolest dudes around for years.

6. Orlando Hudson – Does this really need explanation? The most badass guy in baseball.

5. Chipper Jones – One of the first guys I remember watching in the 90’s. Incredible player, class act, future hall of famer.

4. Josh Hamilton – He’s the best hitter in baseball right now and had an unbelievable story.

3. Gio Gonzalez – The former Athletic clinched himself a top-3 spot here with his giddy first career hit celebration this season for the Nats.

2. Derek Jeter/Mariano Rivera – Say what you will about the Yankees, but these two guys are classy and will go down in MLB history as two of the greatest players ever. I’d give a nut to shake their hands.

1. Matt Kemp/Clayton Kershaw – If I would give a nut for DJ and Mo, imagine what I would do to meet my favorite player and favorite pitcher on my favorite team. Hall of Fame talents and great guys. Arguably the best pitcher and hitter in baseball today!

There you have it. Let me know who you would want to meet! But I don’t need to know which body parts you’d sacrifice so skip that part. Until tomorrow, thanks for reading Jam Shots! Tune back in tomorrow.

Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @Jamblinman!

Hating on Haters, Statistical Style

April 22, 2012

Through 16 games, my Dodgers are looking pretty sexy. A mark of 12-4 is very impressive, and it is tied for the second best record in the Majors, behind the two-time defending A.L. champion Texas Rangers and their terrifying offensive juggernaut.

Even better, is sole possession of first place in the N.L. West and a 3.5 game lead this early in the season. However, haters gonna hate, so I’m here to dispel a couple of rumors. Namely, the argument against their success regarding strength of schedule.

So the sixteen opponents have lined up as follows:

– Seven against the San Diego Padres (last place in the N.L. West; Dodgers are 6-1)

– Three against the Pittsburgh Pirates (6-9 record; Dodgers are 3-0)

– Three against the Houston Astros (somewhere in the clusterfreak of N.L. Central teams; Dodgers are 2-1)

– Three against the Milwaukee Brewers (defending N.L. Central champions; Dodgers are 1-2)

Obviously, the Padres, Pirates and Astros aren’t necessarily tearing it up this year. I do fully expect the Pirates to challenge for their first winning season in a million years, but right now their offense couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn…or anything within a mile of said barn.

And the Brew Crew, though still a playoff-caliber team in the N.L., lost the heart and soul to free agency when Prince Fielder signed a mega-deal with Detroit this offseason. Does anything still think Ryan Braun was as good as advertised now that Fielder isn’t protecting him? Or deserving of an MVP award last year? Please refrain from steroid jokes. Just kidding, go right ahead.

So, granted, in the long haul these are four teams that are either at or below .500 probably. And in Milwaukee’s case, maybe an 85-win season is in order, but that’s not exceptional. You could say the Dodgers won’t have a true test until Atlanta and Washington, the next two series on their radar.

I’m not going to speculate, but the offense and the pitching the Dodgers have presented thus far in 2012 should stand up to both those teams – they will be fantastic contests.

What I CAN do, is talk about what’s already happened. People will look at the schedule so far and say two things: One, you haven’t played anyone. To that, I wonder about their sanity. Clearly we’ve played someone. If we had played nobody, the record would be 0-0. Okay, annoying logic aside, good teams beat the teams they are supposed to beat. You think the Yankees got to where they are by just beating up on the bad teams a lot and then coasting into the playoffs? No. They took care of business no matter the opponent.

Secondly, haters gonna hate by saying the only good team we’ve played so far (Milwaukee), beat us two out of three. Wall hateraders, you obviously didn’t watch that series. Clayton Kershaw didn’t pitch, yet Milwaukee had two of their aces (Yovani Gallardo and Zack Greinke) pitch games one and two. We lost those two. On walk-offs. By one run.

We were up in both games, but James Loney ran into a couple rally-killing outs on the base paths in the first game, and errors and walks on defense ruined game two. We beat ourselves. The record indicates a 2-1 series loss. If you ask me, the Dodgers won 25 of the 27 innings in that series. I’ll count that as a win, and expect the bullpen to shore up for next time we play.

So. Your team isn’t 12-4. I get it. You’re jealous. If the Dodgers get spanked in the next two series, I’ll give what the haters are saying a second thought. But for now, I’m not going to apologize for a team that is beating the shit out of the lesser teams, and looking damn good doing it.

Until tomorrow, enjoy last place, go Dodgers, and don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @Jamblinman! Thanks for reading.

Clayton Kershaw Gives Vin Scully the Flu

April 10, 2012

Good news! Clayton Kershaw is feeling better and ready to roll in his first real start of the season today. Keep an eye out on MLB.tv if you have it, or just follow my frantic tweets @Jamblinman, as first pitch is in about FIVE MINUTES!

Unfortunately for Dodger fans and baseball fans everywhere, Vin Scully is under the weather and won’t be able to call the home opener for the first time in almost 30 years. As entertaining as he is to listen to, Scully isn’t on the field.

But the guys that are taking the field soon are impressing me so far.

Kershaw, despite being limited to 3 innings in his Opening Day start, looked great. He’s defending his Cy Young campaign of 2011 and looks to get off to a hot start with his first win today against Pittsburgh.

The ultimate MVP snub of 2011, Matt Kemp, has started the season hitting .421 with 2 home runs, 8 RBI and a stolen base. His partner in crime is Andre Ethier, who also has 8 RBI and a home run thus far.

What I’m looking for today is how Dee Gordon bounces back from an ugly game against the Padres in the series finale on Sunday. He made an error at shortstop and was nowhere to be found offensively. I fully expect a couple hits and stolen bases in today’s game.

James Loney should bounce back. He hit the ball hard three times on Sunday, but they were right at people. He comes into today’s game 0-for-12 on the season.

My biggest worry is the bullpen. Luckily, with Kershaw on the hill, it’s reasonable to expect him to go 7 innings and then hand the ball over to Kenley Jansen and Javy Guerra for the last two innings. As long as Todd Coffey and Jamey Wright aren’t trusted with leads, we should pull out the home opener.

I wish I could be down in L.A. to see this game – the house should be rockin’ what with the fans’ renewed faith in the new ownership. Baseball is back in Chavez Ravine, and it’s finally FUN again.

Here’s to a big win. Go Blue!

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.

Episode 4 is in the Books!

March 27, 2012

Whoaaaaa…accidental pun! Score! Episode four of Three Up, Three Down is our best yet, if I do say so myself. We’ve got the typical divisional news, a little over/under action and we discuss our three “up” teams and three “down” teams. All in all, it was a fantastic show. Please check it out on iTunes, and don’t forget to like the Facebook page. Also, you can follow us on Twitter @3u3d for regular updates on the podcast.

Now, I’m working on a piece for the 3u3d blog right after this. It’s going to detail my picks for all the major awards. And you lucky readers get a sneak preview here:

NL MVP:

Matt Kemp -Come on, was it really going to be anyone else? He’s driving hard for the unprecedented 50/50 season. And if being snubbed in 2011 doesn’t light a fire under his ass, I don’t know what will.

NL Cy Young:

Clayton Kershaw – I know you WANT to call bias, but you can’t. He’s the reigning Cy winner and has all the makings of a repeat run. Give me 23 wins and 220 K’s this year, Clayton!

NL Rookie of the Year:

Bryce Harper- I hate to do that. The sexy pick. Ew. Especially a little douchebag who roots for the Lakers, Yankees, Duke and the Cowboys? Well, I can’t deny the kid’s talent.

AL MVP:

Miguel Cabrera – You know what they always say! Getting hit in the face by a baseball builds character! Right? Either way, Miggy is going 40/120 and leading the Tigers to the ALCS this year.

AL Cy Young:

C.C. Sabathia – The Yankees got better, and Sabathia was already a freak. He’s going 22 wins this year and will edge out last year’s winner, Justin Verlander for the award in 2012.

AL Rookie of the Year:

Jesus Montero – A fair trade for the Mariners, finally getting a promising young bat. I don’t think it will be a monstrous year by any means, but Montero will rake like no Mariner has raked in years.

There you have it. Head over to the Three Up, Three Down blog to get a more in-depth analysis of all my picks, as well as my final predicted standings! Give the podcast a listen and feel free to send in all your comments, criticisms and questions.

Deciding the Best MLB Rivalry

March 24, 2012

Hey. I’ve only got a minute. My buddy just got home from Africa and we’re watching Klay Thompson dominate for the Warriors and drinking beer. But I thought, let’s decide which of the three big rivalries in baseball is THE biggest.

I’m biased, but…when has that stopped me before?

So we know the three biggest rivalries are Giants/Dodgers, Yankees/Red Sox and Cubs/Cardinals. If you disagree, you’re absolutely insane. Anyway, here’s my order:

3. Cardinals vs. Cubs: This one has a sweet inter-division flair to it. The Cubs suck. The Cardinals are okay. Can you tell I don’t know anything about this rivalry? It doesn’t mean the actual battles between the two aren’t legendary. My Cardinals-fan girlfriend won’t even acknowledge that Cubs fans exist. Maybe she should be writing this blog…

2. Yankees vs. Red Sox: Oh, yeah. I did it. Of course this is one of the most historic rivalries in sports history. Babe Ruth, Bucky F*cking Dent, Curt Schilling…the list goes on and on. If you doubt this being an amazing rivalry, look no further than 2004. I showed up to the regular season game in 2005 at Fenway when Schilling returned from his ankle rehab (and unfortunately gave up the game-winning home run to A-Rod…). And let me tell you. Saying there is no love lost between those two teams is an understatement.

1. Dodgers vs. Giants: Absolutely. No doubt about it. I mean for God’s sake, a Giants player hit a Dodgers player in the head with a bat…IN A GAME! These teams and their fans absolutely hate each other. With a fiery passion. They have both won six World Series, both won 18 pennants and have an almost exactly even record against one another. The newest aspect of this rivalry is Clayton Kershaw vs. Tim Lincecum, the two aces. All I’m gonna say as a humble Dodger fan, is that Kershaw (cough – the Cy Young winner last year – cough) went 4-0 against Lincecum in 2011. No biggie.

Well, there you have it. Comment below and let me know what you think. Until tomorrow!

Wednesday Top Ten!

March 7, 2012

Like how I throw that title up there as if this is a regular thing? I’m not going to lie…it’s because I’m wholly unmotivated to be creative today. Instead, I’ll just blow you away with insight and analysis. So ladies and gentlemen, put on your best snuggies and let’s get rollin’.

Today’s top ten will be all about baseball. Because it’s the best sport. Feel free to argue with me on that point, just don’t complain when this happens. You’ve been warned.

I want to discuss the ten best pitchers in baseball. There’s a helluva lot of them. The San Francisco Giants and Philadelphia Phillies could probably make a top ten list by themselves. But we’re going to do it anyway. I’m feelin’ crazy. By the way, I’m a Dodgers fan. So you can guess who number one will be. Muahaha!

10. Dan Haren, Los Angeles Angels – Oh boy that rotation in Anaheim is going to be scary in 2012, ain’t it? Haren is the best of the bunch, and the first pitcher on the list who doesn’t have a Cy Young to his name. He should, he could and he might before his time is done, but time will tell. Six seasons of 14 + wins ain’t too shabby though.

9. Chris Carpenter, St. Louis Cardinals – Okay, really? If Carp is ninth on this list, you know it’s gonna rock your socks off. This big righty has dominated for the Cards and has two rings and a shiny Cy Young (2005) to show for it. He’s got one of the best curveballs in the game and is possibly the most dominant postseason pitcher on this entire list.

8. Felix Hernandez, Seattle Mariners – It’s tough to NOT feel bad for King Felix. Stuck on the Mariners his whole career, he hasn’t racked up huge numbers. Just imagine what the 2010 Cy Young winner’s numbers would look like on a team that could actually score runs.

7. Tim Lincecum, San Francisco Giants – How can a two-time Cy Young winner (2008-2009) only be eighth on this list? Easy – he’s on the Giants and he went to University of Washington and I’m a spiteful, Dodger and Washington State-lovin’ bastard. So that says something that I felt compelled to still include The Freak on this list at all.

6. Cole Hamels, Philadelphia Phillies – Hamels is the first of a trio of Phillies to appear on my list (how is that even fair?) and the second who doesn’t have a Cy to his name. Yet. He’s still got plenty of time. What Hamels does have is a mean fastball, some filthy control and a World Series MVP. Not too shabby.

5. Cliff Lee, Philadelphia Phillies – Hamels’ southpawtner in crime DOES have that Cy Young award (2008) but less postseason success. Lee dominated last year, going a cool 17-8 with a 2.40 ERA for Philly. And his awesome birth name (Clifton Phifer Lee) boosted him at least three spots alone.

4. C.C. Sabathia, New York Yankees – The lefties just keep on comin’. I have a special appreciation for Sabathia, because he hails from the Bay Area like me. That’s not the end of our similarities though. I’m ALSO a 6’7″, 290-pound black man with a Cy Young (2007) and World Series ring…By the way, C.C. has 176 wins at age 31. Don’t tell me 300 isn’t viable for him.

3. Roy Halladay, Philadelphia Phillies – Finally, the Philadelphia onslaught comes to a merciful end. But there is no doubt in my mind that Doc Halladay is the best of the bunch. The 8-time all-star and 2-time Cy Young winner (2003 and 2010) has been so dominant for so long that it’s just a foregone conclusion he’ll put up 15+ wins every season. Oh, did I mention that no-hitter in the playoffs? That’s impressive I guess.

2. Justin Verlander, Detroit Tigers – Last year’s Cy Young and MVP winner in the American League has finally reached the height of his potential. And I don’t think he’s planning on regressing anytime soon. Verlander’s 24-5, 2.40, 250 strikeout 2011 was far and away one of the best individual pitching seasons I’ve ever seen. And the scary thing is he’s only 28.

1. Clayton Kershaw, Los Angeles Dodgers – You want to talk about incredible seasons at a young age? How about the next coming of Sandy Koufax (I think I just heard you gasp from here…)? Kershaw cruised to the pitching Triple Crown in the National League last year, and won the Cy Young as a result. Here’s the thing though. Kershaw is 23 years old. Like, my age. What the HELL!

That’s my list. Thanks for helping me kill time. Comment below and tell me why I’m absolutely right-on with all my picks. Or if you must, disagree and make suggestions. I’ll probably ignore you, but hey, it’s worth a shot!

And I ammmmmmm outta here!


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