Posts Tagged ‘Ryan Braun’

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.

The Most Pun You’ll Ever Have In a Baseball Blog

April 13, 2012

I love puns. I even still say “Oh, dear” when I see a deer on the side of the road. And chuckle to myself. It’s a personal problem.

I also love baseball. And with a plethora of goofy names at my disposal, I find myself stumbling across accidental puns every single day when talking baseball.

Now, I like my fantasy baseball a lot. But I’m curious – would one of my teams drafted purely on stats and analysis, beat my newest team? The one I’m going to build right here in front of your very eyes? The all-time pun team??

Here goes nothin’:

Catcher – John Buck

Get your mind outta the gutter, people! No cussing necessary! We could be talking about how John “bucks” the trend of most catchers. Perhaps he wears one of those big, stupid cowboy belt Buck-les. When he hits a homer, is it like Buck-shot?

Honorable mention – A.J. Ellis: What the Ellis going on?!

First Base – Justin Smoak

Too easy. He hit a home run in Japan to kick off the 2012 season, and I saw no less than 3,587 tweets within ten minutes about how Justin “Smoaked” the ball. When he’s playing poorly, could he be “smoaking” too much druggage? In a rain delay is he Smoak on the water?

Honorable mention – Adam Dunn: Get ‘er Dunnnnnnn!

Second Base – Jemile Weeks

One of the things I’m really looking forward to this season is for Weeks to start heating up. When he drops a big bomb this year, it’ll be a lot of fun to pull out the double whammy: “He hit that ball a Je-mile! It took Weeks to come down!”

Honorable mention – Dan Uggla: Ohhh man, that was an Uggla swing. (Like…ugly? No?)

Third Base – David Wright

Not only is Wright one of the best players in baseball when healthy, you can expect plenty of easy puns with that last name. Is grabbing David as my third baseman the Wright move? You tell me!

Honorable mention – David Freese: Tonight’s forecast…a FREEEEEEESE!

Shortstop – Derek Jeter

“Jeters never prosper” is still one of the best fantasy team names I’ve ever seen. I really can’t think of much else that works for him but “cheater.” Given the massive amount of fans that seem to hate him, I guess that’s appropriate though.

Honorable mention – Troy Tulowitzki: He threw that ball wayyyyyy Tulo. Heh.

Outfielders – Corey Hart, Andre Ethier, Hunter Pence

That Corey guy on the Brewers really has a Hart of gold doesn’t he? Ethier that or all the ladies Hart Corey! I can’t decide – I Ethier take Andre or Hunter. But Hunter always swings for the Pences.

Honorable mentions – Ryan Braun, Shane Victorino, Jay Bruce: Despite being so Brauny, Jay is a Bruce cannon. Can he still get a Victori…no.

Starting Pitchers – Mark Buehrle, Roy Halladay, Yu Darvish, Matt Cain, Mike Minor

For the defense behind Roy, it feels like a Halladay when he’s pitching. Cain Mark be any more Buehrle? And the Yu puns are just a Minor offense. Do Yu think Yu knows all the words to Yu-th of a Nation by P.O.D.? I surely do. But, do Yu?

Honorable mentions – Doug Fister, Chris Sale, Matt Moore, J.A. Happ, Phil Hughes: It’s a fire Sale in Chicago this year…could they be any Moore pathetic? I guess it’s just Happ-enstance. Chicago fans must be Hughes-d to it by now. (No, I’m not going to even try with Fister…use your imagination, you dirty scoundrels…)

Relief Pitchers – Grant Balfour, J.J. Putz, Brandon League, Jason Motte

I can’t think of a surname worse for a pitcher than Balfour. Usually, that means you just walked the guy. J.J. really Putz people in their places in this League. Was that play even League-l? He’s definitely Motte your average closer.

Honorable mentions – Todd Coffey, Javy Guerra, Aaron Crow, Tyler Chatwood: I could really use a good cup of Coffey. Sweet Crow hop, Aaron! You know what Chatwood be weird? Talking about Javy the Guerracuda. (Okay, that’s my own creation on the last one. I just love me some Javy in the 9th inning!)


There you have it. The all-pun team of 2012! My outfield and pitching is pretty loaded, but I could use a little help at catcher, first and shortstop. I’m accepting all and every trade, so comment below and send those ideas my way! Happy Friday the 13th…don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @Jamblinman. Thanks for reading.

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!


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