Posts Tagged ‘Prince Fielder’

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.

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DOUBLE HEADER TIME!

April 21, 2012

We’ve got a doozy today, folks. A Detroit Tigers vs. Texas Rangers double header. The two best A.L. teams thus far in 2012 and the two favorites for the A.L. pennant. We’ve got reigning Cy Young and MVP winner Justin Verlander on the hill for one of the games, and Matt Harrison, he of a sub-1.00 ERA for the Rangers as well.

And do I really have to tell you about the two offenses? If the answer is yes…well…time to get out from under your rock.

Here are my predictions for today’s double header:

Game 1 is actually already in the books. And I say that because Harrison is not gonna allow ten runs. Which is one more than what the Rangers have already scored through two innings. Yes, they are up 9-0 in the second inning. Josh Hamilton went deep AGAIN, so he’s now got 6 on the season.

The only thing I can really predict is how many runs Texas will finish with. And that number is…16. I think they win 16-2. BOOM.

Game 2 should be different, as Verlander is pitching. But this IS the Rangers. It seems that in double headers, the team that scores a ton of runs in one game, can’t continue the pace in game two. That’s also assuming said team doesn’t have nine all-stars in its lineup. If any team is capable of two crooked numbers in one day, it’s the Rangers.

This might be a surprise to you, but I’m taking the Rangers in a sweep. Why? Logic. The Tigers have a great offense, but the Rangers is better. I think they can scrape together a couple runs off Verlander, and I think Neftali Feliz will baffle Prince Fielder, Miguel Cabrera and company.

Give me Texas in a sweep, combined score of 20-3. Ouch.

Lunch time here in Florida. Don’t forget to check back tomorrow!

Follow me on Twitter @Jamblinman.

Happy Jackie Robinson Day!

April 15, 2012

Ugh. What I would give for one of those “42” jerseys. Needless to say, Jackie Robinson is one of the most important people in the history of…well…anything. But especially baseball.

I’ve been watching baseball all day (I know, rough life), and I was thinking how we would not be seeing certain things today if not for Robinson breaking the color barrier.

Here’s a few of those things:

Matt Kemp might not have slugged his SIXTH home run of the young 2012 season.

Adam Jones might not have continued his rise to stardom with another long ball.

Jimmy Rollins might not have gotten two hits, an RBI and a stolen base.

Dee Gordon might not have hit a walk-off single.

Jason Heyward might not have continued his resurgence with a solo homer.

Prince Fielder might not have raised his average to .353.

Chris Young might not have had three hits, a homer and a stolen base.

And then today would have been really, really boring. Happy Jackie Robinson Day, and don’t forget why some of your favorite players are in the game today.

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.

The Brew Crew

March 2, 2012

I don’t think I’ve posted anything about Ryan Braun yet. Have I? I don’t know. We’re doing it today, either way.

So if you haven’t heard, Braun did was accused of taking some roidy, PED crap. But he appealed the test and in a ridiculously rare move, he won it and had the charge overturned. Now, I didn’t watch the press conference and I don’t really care. I’m immune to people cheating in baseball at this point, even if it’s just a rumor.

But what I find interesting is this article, citing a very credible source in Buster Olney. According to Olney in the article, 80-90 percent of the “dozens and dozens” of ball players he’s talked to about this issue has been very upset about it. Naturally, he did all the interviews off the record. But that’s a shocking statistic.

That means almost every other player in baseball believes Ryan Braun took PEDs and cheated his way to an N.L. MVP. And don’t argue that it’s not what they believe – according to Olney, who is one of the most respected sports journalists around right now, only 10-20 percent of players were happy with the test. Eliminate Braun’s teammates, who would no doubt back him whether on the record or off, and you’re choosing from an even smaller sample size.

So that gets me wondering…I’ve always respected Braun and loved watching him play. I think he’s a fantastic player, and great for the game. I even maintained his innocence and still do, albeit with suspicion. But if that many opposing players were skeptical or even upset with the result of the appeal, doesn’t that mean they think he was guilty? Did they think he might be roiding before the positive test even came out?

Who knows? But one thing is for sure – guilty or innocent, Braun will always have this PED stigma attached to him. But whether or not you believe in the result of the appeal, it was a scientific test and a professional investigation. You have to consider the guy innocent. Time will tell if more of the story comes out (because doesn’t it always?) later that alters the truth.

In one quick bit of other news, Braun’s former Bash Bro., Prince Fielder, apparently hit a 611-foot home run in BP yesterday.

I’m going to let that sink in.

Has it sunk in yet?

Six hundred FEET? Adam Dunn was the last player to hit a ball over 500 feet in a game and that just barely cleared that benchmark. I don’t think I believe it, even if it factored in a lengthy roll, but I’m going to go with it. Because if there’s any player in the Majors who could hit a Spring Training BP fastball 611 feet, it’s Fielder.

That’s all folks. Happy Friday. Peace!

Roddy > Roger

February 15, 2012

I’m officially rescinding my promise to not talk about football any longer. It’s just not going to happen. The league is way too full of crazy, selfish, headline-busting characters to try to ignore them for a full spring and summer. That being said, blogees, meet blogger. Angry blogger. Vein-poppingly mad blogger. Punt-a-puppy mad blogger.

AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH. That’s not a response to Roddy’s reaction. That’s out of sheer amazement and frustration that one of the most terrible men in sports is making nearly the same salary as the newly minted 9-year, $214 million man, Prince Fielder. Or two and a half times the salary of Roddy White, one of the better wide receivers in the entire NFL.

Athletes make a crap ton too much money as it is. Because really, they are just playing a game. It’s no fault of their own, if you ask me. It’s the market for athletes today. That aside, it’s getting a little ridiculous when the dude who sits in a suit and just tosses fines and rule changes around like Zeus throwing lightning bolts, is making $20 million a year.

What exactly is Roger Goodell being paid to do? Ruin football? In the NFL today, you are not allowed to tackle, not allowed to kick, not allowed to run or breathe or think. And God forbid you wear blue shoelaces instead of white, or else you’re out a cool $30,000.

A bit of an angry exaggeration. But Goodell, while doing great things for player safety in all the wrong ways, has taken the fun completely out of football. What’s wrong with a little dance in the end zone? Who is going to be offended by Joe Horn’s cell phone? Sprint, because Verizon’s 3G service is better? Give me a break.

I can think of about 20 million better ways to spend $20 million than to pay Goodell this ludicrous amount of cash. Like, oh. Mosquito nets in Africa. Increasing the budget for inner city education. Making a dent, a scratch, barely touching the national debt.

Or hey, let’s reimburse the players who were unnecessarily fined over the last few years. Maybe supply all players with better helmets so concussions are reduced. No, no. That’s crazy talk.

Honestly, even if Goodell was a good commissioner, he should be making around $5 million a year tops. There is no way in Hell he should be absolutely pooping all over the paycheck a dynamic receiver who actually trains, runs, catches, scores, wins and puts fans in the seat on a daily basis is getting.

Roddy the Body is correct. Goodell’s salary is a joke. And so is he. And he’s officially moved into a tie with Skip Bayless for most hated man on Earth.

Excuse me while I go EARN some money. Peace.

A Contract Fit for a Prince

January 25, 2012

Hah! Get it? My title is clever. First of all, let me apologize. This post is going to be a little shorter than usual. See, I’m channeling my inner Warren Miller (R.I.P. Big Guy) and hitting up some fresh pow pow in Tahoe the next two days. Gnarly shred time, bruh!

Also, I may or may not have forgotten my laptop charger. Wich is bad because my computer is older than Newt Gingrich’s first butt lift (one point for unnecessary, abstract political attacks!). The laptop doesn’t hold a charge unless tethered to an outlet.

So I’m typing on my iPad. Which is awesome. Actually, the fact that I have one and you don’t makes me awesome. But awesome only goes so far when I have to type like a middle schooler with just pointer fingers for an entire article. Impressed? Me too.

Now that I’ve sufficiently bored you with my blabber, let’s get to the real issue at hand. Just when we had forgotten Prince Fielder existed, he up and signs a 20-year, $400 million contract in Detroit. Okay, the numbers are slightly less than that but they still are gargantuan.

What does this mean for baseball? Well, for one, the American League absolutely owns life. Their top six teams (Angels, Rangers, Tigers, Red Sox, Yankees and Rays) are so much better than anything the National League has to offer it’s just comical. Secondly, how is a 3-4 combo of Fielder and Miguel Cabrera even fair? Opposing pitchers are going to start demanding an adult diaper clause be added to future contracts.

Well, at least it will be a hell of a pennant race in 2012. Hopefully there will be a trail of dollar bills in the wreckage for those less fortunate teams to scrounge after.

And what does Fielder’s contract mean for you and me? Well, your life is still boring and meaningless, I still can’t hit a ball over 300 feet, let alone make it look cool, and we are now left to wonder if Prince is officially the richest man in Michigan. But at least I have an iPad.

I love me some baseball news so let’s keep it coming. I’m looking at you, Yeonis Cespedes! Until tomorrow, enjoy the Weird Wednesday Web Story.

Seriously? The most famous school in that entire state is the Cougars. And as a proud alum of another school with that mascot, I’m offended. At least more offended than any drunk, horny, college-frat-star-chasing soccer mom ever will be. At the very least, go with the Mountain Lions. Same shit, different name. It would still rip your freakin’ head off.

And with that image, I bid you adieu.


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