Posts Tagged ‘Felix Hernandez’

BASEBALL IS BACK!!!

March 28, 2012

I’ve never been so excited to wake up at 5:30 a.m. for anything in my life. Opening Day is upon us and it’s like Christmas, New Year’s, Fourth of July and Cesar Chavez Day (very underrated) all wrapped into one! The A’s and Mariners squared off in Tokyo this morning and if you haven’t already seen or heard…spoiler alert: Mariners 3, A’s 1 in 11 innings.

I root for the A’s, so the result was too bad. But I’m just happy to have baseball back. It just feels right to watch Brandon McCarthy’s dirty curveballs and Felix Hernandez freezing batters on pinpoint pitches. Or Jemile Weeks lacing singles up the middle, Ichiro beating out infield hits. This is what I live for.

Some observations from the first four innings (I had to go to work after that and have the final seven innings recorded!):

First pitch of 2012 – Strike! Brandon McCarthy to Chone Figgins.

First hit of 2012 – Naturally, Ichiro gets an infield single up the middle. He ended up 4-5 with an RBI for the game.

First K of 2012 – McCarthy gets Justin Smoak check-swinging at a curveball in the dirt.

First A’s hit of 2012 – Jemile Weeks leads off the bottom of the 1st with a good at-bat that results in a solid single up the middle. Big things comin’ for him this season!

First bad managerial non-call of 2012 – Weeks on 1st after the single, why not steal or bunt? Oh that’s right. The A’s don’t bunt. -_-

First stolen base of 2012 – As if A’s manager Bob Melvin could read my mind, Weeks takes off with one out and swipes 2nd base.

First bad stadium song of 2012 After the steal, Lenny Kravitz started blaring over the loudspeakers. Ew.

First strange observation of 2012 – My goodness, do the A’s have any right-handed hitters? Kurt Suzuki and Yoenis Cespedes hit from that side, but it looked like everyone else in the lineup was a lefty…

First Cespedes sighting of 2012 – Oh boy…not quite as awesome as his first Spring Training at-bat. Cespedes K’s on an ugly swing.

First derppppp move of 2012 – Michael Saunders makes an inexplicable mistake after singling and stealing 2nd base. Little Leaguers could have told Saunders not to try to go to third when the ball was in front of him. He’s tossed at third easily by Cliff Pennington. #BaseballBasics

First runner caught stealing of 2012 – Brendan Ryan makes the foolish decision to challenge Kurt Suzuki’s arm and is gunned down at second base. The M’s are not running the bases very well!

SECOND random observation of 2012 – Jemile Weeks lines out to center, but hit that ball very solidly. He’s swingin’ the bat WELL early on…only good news for A’s fans!

THIRD random observation of 2012 – Mike Cameron is throwing out the first pitch on April 13 at the Mariners’ home opener! Hot damn I hope my road trip brings me through Seattle that day.

First home run of 2012 – Boom goes the Dustin Ackley! An absolute BOMB to straight away center, and now we have our first big bap and first run AND first extra-base hit of the season in the top of the 4th! 1-0 Mariners. And Ackley is just getting warmed up.

First hit and run – In the top of the 4th inning, Ichiro takes off for second base and Mike Carp pulls a grounder to the right side. Or was it Justin Smoak? Hell if I know, they look exactly the same.

First impressively athletic play – New A’s outfielder Josh Reddick makes a very nice running catch and nearly gets his quick throw back in time to double off Ichiro at second.

First double of 2012 – After 3 and a half innings of official baseball, Pennington gives us a double to left-center in the bottom of the 4th. He later comes around to score on a double by Kurt Suzuki. I leave for work with the game tied 1-1.

Here’s to baseball being back and more to come! And don’t fret – I’ve written plenty on my Dodgers agreeing to a new ownership deal with Magic Johnson’s bidding group. You can find a write-up HERE and HERE. Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @Jambliman!

Also…breaking news – GO NINERS! They signed Super Bowl-winning, monster running back Brandon Jacobs to a deal, shoring up some necessary depth at that position. Super Bowl or bust!

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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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