Monthly Archives: July 2015

Cole Hamels is a Texas Ranger

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Cole Hamels is on his way to Texas.  I have been reading and watching all the information I could get about the Hamels trade deal.

For those of you who do not know, “cash considerations” is a nice way to say money, and in this case, about $9 million.

I have concerns, and quite frankly, I think Hamels would be better suited with the Dodgers.

My top concerns about the Hamels trade:

His ERA is high against A.L. teams: 4.73

According to baseball prospectus, his fantasy rating gets a ding with the ballpark factor. The Rangers ballpark has a history of eating pitchers alive. (Remember Chan Ho Park?) He also gets a ding for coming over to the power-hungry A.L.

He comes from a weak division, the NL East. It has the Nationals, with a PCT of .535, and the fourth-place team (Hamels’ Phillies are last) is the Marlins, at .416. Now Hamels is coming to a strong division in the AL West. The Astros just came out on top after last night’s win against the Angels and have a PCT of .559. And the last-place A’s, who lost last night to the Dodgers, have a PCT of .441.

Him being healthy scares me. He has had no injuries. I am a longtime Rangers fan, and we have not been very lucky with the health of our pitchers. Is Hamels a ticking time bomb?

I feel like we gave up too much for Hamels, especially Jake Thompson and Nick Williams. While you never know with a prospect if they are going to be any good, I got to watch these guys play and I see something really good in both of them. I am making a call on Thompson. We are going to be sorry in a few years. Williams could be a bat for someone, and I think we are going to get hurt on this trade.

I talked before about lopsided trades, I just hope this is going to be another one.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Toot a loo to Tulo

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Tulo has been traded

While you were sleeping, my jaw was hitting the ground. Out of the middle of no where and no one predicted anything.

https://twitter.com/CJNitkowski/status/625892991450791937

Troy Tulowitzki has been traded to the Blue Jays, while both clubs have not confirmed the trade. Twitter was all a flutter with good byes from teammates.

Here is what we know as of right now.

Tulo and LaTroy Hawkins are going to the Blue Jays, The Rockies get Jose Reyes and Miguel Castro along with two minor league players according to ESPN 

Don’t worry if you are confused. Its seems a little out of left field to go after a short stop when what the Blue Jays need and quite frankly other than the Royals every team needs pitching. Both Reyes and Tulo have expensive contracts. from CBS Sports Tulo is signed on for another 5 yrs so this is a long term relationship but still a confusing one as to why the Blue Jays went after Tulo. We shall see.

When I know more I will update the post.

Cole Hamels a waste for Texas

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Saturday, Cole Hamels showed what he is capable of by throwing the first no-hitter at Wrigley since 1972. a game the Cubs won. The last time the Cubs have been the victims of a no-no was September 5, 1965, against the Dodgers. Sandy Koufax pitched that one.

While this is phenomenal, it led to more trade talk and rumors. The serious contenders for Hamels are the Rangers and the Dodgers, and more teams join the rumor mill, according to ESPN .

Hamels would be wasted in Texas. The Rangers are not likely to get into the playoffs this year. Also, some of the injured pitchers are back (Matt Harrison) or are coming back (Derek Holland). The Rangers also won’t have the money to do a big new contract for Hamels when his current contract is up. We have lots of young talent in the minors. There is no place for Hamels.

The Dodgers on the other hand are in a key position to make it to the playoffs, and they need some more starting pitching. The addition of Hamels would solidify the rotation for the Dodgers, who lost Brandon McCarthy this year. I think also that for next year, they would be interested in a contract with Hamels.

Lopsided Trades

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The July 31 trade deadline is ever looming. ESPN put out a story about the Most Lopsided Trades.

This made me think of some crazy, lopsided Ranger trades.

Sammy Sosa:

I once heard George W. Bush talk about how he did regretted trading Sammy Sosa, but at the time, Sammy was 20 years old and not really doing anything. Who knew what would become of him? The bigger regret is who also left when we traded him to the Chicago White Sox.

Wilson Alvarez: In the past, the Texas Rangers have not been known for great pitching. In 1989, there was a trade for Sammy Sosa, Wilson Alvarez and Scott Fletcher. The Rangers got Harold Baines and Fred Manrique. As a longtime Ranger fan, I am still crying over this trade. Alvarez went on to be an All-Star pitcher, with a 14 year-career and an overall 3.96 ERA and a 1.390 WHIP. I know the Rangers sure could have used him.

In the ESPN Lopsided article, they talk about the Mark Teixeira trade, and the Rangers really benefited on that one. July 31, 2007: Traded by the Texas Rangers with Ron Mahay to the Atlanta Braves for Beau Jones (minors), Elvis Andrus, Neftali Feliz, Matt Harrison and Jarrod Saltalamacchia.

There was a trade in which I almost feel sorry for Detroit. Juan Gonzalez was traded in a nine-player deal. The Rangers traded Gonzalez, with Danny Patterson and Gregg Zaun, to the Detroit Tigers for Alan Webb (minors), Frank Catalanotto, Francisco Cordero, Bill Haselman, Gabe Kapler and Justin Thompson.

Alan Webb and Justin Thompson: While these turned out to be duds, the rest of the deal worked out great for the Rangers.

Francisco Cordero went on to be an All-Star closer for the Rangers. In 2004, he had 49 saves, an ERA of 2.13 and WHIP of 1.284. He played for the Rangers from 2000 to 2005.

Bill Haselman was a great backup catcher for the Rangers. His five years with the Rangers included an overall batting average of .273

And two of my favorite players came over in the trade

Gabe Kapler, a good outfielder and good numbers, with a BA of  .280.  He was a fan favorite, especially with my girlfriends.

Frank Catalanotto, called by fans Little Cat, was another fan favorite, and I would say one of my absolute favorite players of all time. I followed his career after he left the Rangers.  He was so versatile in both infield and outfield.  His overall BA with the Rangers was .290

Trades are a part of the game. There are some who underperform, or a trade was just what they needed to get their game on. You truly never know how a player is going to be until they are in uniform on the field.

What’s a crazy trade you remember? Drop me a line, and let’s keep the conversation going.

 

 

MLB Predictions: The Surprise Factor

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I hate making predictions. It’s a hard thing to do. You take a roster of men, and based on stats and previous performance and/or scouting reports, you make a prediction.  There is an element in baseball that no one talks about but everyone knows: The Surprise Factor. While self-explanatory, it has many examples: the 1951 Giants — “Shot Heard ‘Round the World” — a dream when on the bottom that you can work your way to the top of the standings.

 

In more recent years, the 2004 Red Sox, during the ALCS, down three games to none, came back to beat the Yankees ( which you know I am always happy about) and later win the World Series against the Cardinals.

This year, I tried my hand at predicting the winners and wildcards. My NL Predictions and  AL Predictions.  I admit fully that I was blinded by Cub fandom. I just really want to see the Cubs in the World Series.  I was surprised at Lester. I thought he had a pickoff move. This is essential in small ball in the NL.  No one could have guessed what the Astros have done. I mean, if I weren’t a huge Ranger fan, I would be cheering for these Texas boys. The Astros have made the AL West a real division, with some real competition.

Who would I pick to win now? Well, being a glutton for punishments, I would say this:

My new AL predictions:

West: I would like to see the Astros beat the Angels, and I predict Astros will win the division. I think that if they make some trades, there could be real Wild West fun. I see the Angels being the wild card again, like last year.

Central:  Royals Royals Royals. They still have the magic from last year, and, no surprise, what make a great team great: camaraderie.

East: If you going to spend some money, you might as well get something for it. The Yankees should be on top, for all they put into the team.

My new NL predictions:

West: I love the Dodgers, where pitching is king. There is going to be some back-and-forth in the standings with the Giants, Dodgers will prevail.

Central: I think we will see The Surprise Factor at work. The Pirates are coming back in a big way. It’s going to make for some fun baseball.

East: Chocolate sauce all around. The Nationals have this in the bag. That being said, I see the Mets coming in as the wild card.

 

 

 

Q and A with Miss Baseball

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For today’s post, I was inspired by Jon Heyman. I used a few of the question he answers For example, he was asked who gives the best interviews. I haven’t had any responses yet to my two interview requests.  Feel free to ask me questions, and I will respond.

1. DH or no DH?

DH. This chick digs the long ball.

2. Favorite team: Rangers or Royals?

ALWAYS RANGERS!

3. Favorite baseball movie?

“A League of Their Own.” Also answer to favorite movie.

4. Peanuts or Cracker Jack?

Cracker Jack

5. Slugfest  or pitchers’ duel?

Slugfest. Chick digs the long ball!!!!!

6. Babe Ruth or Lou Gehrig?

Lou Gehrig

7. Mickey Mantle or Willie Mays?

Mays

8. Favorite baseball food?

Hot dogs

9. Beer or soda during a game?

I always drink soda because you never know when a ball is going to come flying at you.

10. Surprise team of the year?

Houston Astros

 

Home Run Derby Fun

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Home Run Derby Fun

Congratulations are in order for Todd Frazier! To all who participated in the Home Run Derby, thank you for quite a show.

https://twitter.com/BBTN/status/620766069339353088

 

This year, there was a new bracket format, and according to Rob Neyer, there was originally supposed to be almost  7 minutes per player to hit as many home runs as possible, but bad weather and the threat of more of it to come made officials change the rules to what we saw: 5 mins per player. And I agree with Neyer, it worked. I was so pulling for Prince, who looked wonderful out there by the way, and I hated that he was up against Todd Frazier.  After Prince was out, I had to cheer for one of my favorite Dodgers, Joc Pederson, who hit the long ball 487 feet, according to ESPN. The whole race was close, and it was so exciting to watch the veteran and the rookie make it to the finals.

To the critics who think this was staged, I watch a LOT of Dodger baseball. I have seen Joc play in person, and I am here to tell you that was him, that’s how he swings and I saw as the night went on that he was honestly tired.

 

I liked the new format. I think it works, and I like the amount of time given to the ball players. I have one suggestion: that the bracket be determined right before the derby and by random drawing. I think the element of surprise would be exciting, but, all in all, it was a fun day, which is what all home run derby should be.