April 2011

Top 5 Favorite Players-2011 Update # 5

It’s been two weeks since my last update of my favorite players, and a lot has happened:

HEATH BELL
Since my last entry, Heath Bell earned another two saves. This brings his career saves to 96. Heath is off to a great start this year, as he is still perfect in saves versus save opportunities. (5 for 5.) Heath’s most recent top play included him striking out Phillies slugger Ryan Howard. When Heath gets to 100 saves I’m going to write a blog entry about him, so check back when he reaches the milestone. (The Padres are currently 9-17.)

DEREK JETER
Derek Jeter currently has 2,949 hits for his career. (See my milestone tab to the right.) This leaves him just 51 hits away from 3,000. It’s hard to predict when exactly Jeter will reach the milestone. Reason being, is that he’s not consistent. On one night he might not get any hits. And on another, he might get 4 hits. He’s that unpredictable. Unpredictable or not, Jeter’s average is currently .258. Not horrible, but not great either. (The Yankees are currently 14-9.)

TIM LINCECUM
Tim has had three starts since my last entry. Lincecum was pitching just like him nickname, “The Freak”, would suggest he should on April 18th. He came close to a no hitter, taking it into the sixth inning. Since that great game, Lincecum’s last two starts have been terrible. Giving up 8 runs combined over the last two games. Tim’s current ERA is 2.90, with a win-loss record of 2-3. (The Giants are currently 12-13.)

ALBERT PUJOLS
Albert Pujols is currently tagged with a .255 batting average. The bad part about his batting average is that it doesn’t reflect how well he’s been playing lately. Since my last entry Pujols has been hitting the ball a lot better. He is up to 7 home runs this season. Giving him 415 home runs for his career. It is rare to see Albert batting under .300, though I feel he’ll get it above the .300 mark before the beggining of June. (The Cardinals are currently 15-11.)

MARIANO RIVERA
Mariano Rivera has a current saves to saves oppotunity ratio of 8 for 10. Yes, that means Mo’s not perfect. He did blow two saves since my last entry. But hey, he’s still leading the AL East in saves with 8. So he’s still the best closer in baseball. Just not perfect as we ALL thought. (Or at least, I did.) Mariano currently has 567 career saves. Which means he’s just 35 away from the all time saves record.

OTHER GENERAL BASEBALL NEWS

  • Ozzie Guillen was suspended for two games after tweeting about the ejection call by home the home plate umpire, during the game.

  • Andre Ethier has a current hitting streak of 25 straight games. (Let’s hope I don’t jinx it.)

  • Johnny Damon had a 16 game hitting streak until losing it in last nights game versus the Angels.

I’ll try to post a new entry every Saturday for the rest of the season, but I can’t promise it. I’ll do my best to do so, but I am sometimes REALLY busy on the weekends. But hopefully I’ll be able to get the job done.

I’m adding a new feature to the bottom of my updates. A days ’til my next Major League ballgame stat. And it’s starting in this entry:

Reds Vs. Yankees– 52 days

Top 5 Entrances From The Bullpen

As you may have already noticed, I LOVE organization. And thus, I LOVE lists. So I thought it would be fun to write a blog entry about my five favorite current bullpen entrances in baseball. Like all of my other lists, these are in NO particular order:

MARIANO RIVERA(“Enter Sandman”)

Mariano Rivera has an entrance that classifies under the category of just a “normal” entrance. But it makes my top 5, even though there’s nothing unusual about it, because of the man’s legacy. Although it’s not shown in the save stats, Mariano Rivera IS the best closer of all time. Sure, Trevor Hoffman has more saves than Mo, but that will change this season. As Mariano Rivera currently has 567 career saves. (See my milestone tab on the right.) He needs just 35 more to have the career saves stat to back up the statement of best closer ever. Even though his pitching already shows it.

HEATH BELL

Heath’s entrance from the bullpen is the complete opposite of Mo’s. Mariano Rivera’s entrance is a normal jog in from the bullpen to the mound. But not Heath Bell. Oh no. Heath comes into the game by way of a full out SPRINT. A sprint in which he always slows to a walk by second base. It’s the top speed run in from the bullpen that enables Heath to make my top 5.

AROLDIS CHAPMAN

Aroldis, just like Mo, has a normal entrance from the bullpen. Just a steady jog from the towards the mound. And as far as a legacy, Chapman hasn’t been around long enough to have established a great one like Mo’s. The one thing that Aroldis Chapman does have that no one else in my top 5 has is a ROCKET arm. A rocket isn’t even fast enough to be used in the same sentence with his arm. It’s more like a rocket on steroids. The top speed ever recorded by a Major League pitcher is 106. A record that Aroldis Chapman holds. And it is that unhuman arm that EVERYONE wants to see in action, that enables Aroldis to make it into my top 5.

BRIAN WILSON

I’m not going to beat around the bush for this one. It’s obvious why Brian makes it into my top five. His beard. “Fear The Beard.” His beard has helped to earn Wilson a lot of fans. (As well as money.) I mean, who doesn’t like to see a guy with a “magical” beard enter in from the bullpen to close out a ballgame? I know I do. And it’s that intriguing beard that convinced me to add him to my top five list.

JONATHAN BROXTON

Jonathan made it into my top five entrances because of the inevitability he brings to the mound with him. I mean, when any of my other four picks enter into the ballgame, they only need a one run lead to secure a win. But not Broxton. Noooo……not Broxton. He needs at least a ten run lead to get the win for the Dodgers. And even then they might only win by one. He’s really struggling right now. He NEEDS to go to the minors to work things out. Don’t believe that he needs to be sent down? Then watch Dodgerfilms video on the subject. Go ahead……..watch it. Click anywhere in this sentence…….and BOOM…..you’re off. Just like that.

I’m am 100% positive that I’m going to post a top five players update this Saturday. I couldn’t do one last weekend because I had…….NO TIME. But I’ll definitely do one this time. I’m going to name it # 5, even though update # 4 wasn’t a real update. This Saturday’s update is going to be two weeks worth. So be sure to come back on Saturday to read it……….

Top 5 Favorite Players-2011 Update # 4

I’ll type it up and post it after the Padres game…………

UPDATE

Padres game goes into extra innings=I’ll put it up tomorrow.

UPDATE # 2

I’m VERY busy on this Easter Sunday. So, I’ve decided to wait and post a two week update next saturday. I figured it would be better to do that then write one for tomorrow. I did manage to finish putting pictures in the AA game recap, and posted it. (It’s located below.) Happy Easter!!

Mudcats Vs. Smokies 4/21/11 AA Game

My dad and I arrived at Five County Stadium, home of the Carolina Mudcats, at around 6:30. The gates had been open for 15 minutes, and there were already several dozen cars in the parking lot.

I was worried that batting practice was already going on, and that I had missed a chance at a baseball or two. But I didn’t hear any cracks of the bat. What? I walked inside the stadium only to find that there was indeed NO batting practice going on. I was upset that there was no BP, but at the same time happy to find out that my ears hadn’t failed me.

I could of tried to get a player to throw me a baseball, but there are large nets that go all the way from foul pole to foul pole. So instead, I wandered around with my dad.

Before we took our seats we stopped by a concession stand where my dad bought a BBQ sandwich and drink. NINE DOLLARS! (Is anything cheap any more? I mean with gas soon to be like 20 dollars a gallon, who can afford this kind of stuff?)

I almost forgot to mention that tonights promotion at Five County Stadium was “Thirsty Thursday”. AKA, 12 oz. soda and beers were just a dollar. (Finally affordability!!) Guess what I got to drink on this fine Thirsty Thursday….. (Really……go ahead…….guess.)

(A) Soda

(B) Beer

(C) Neither

If you said (A), sorry……you’re incorrect.

(B)? I’m only 15 years old, so…………

That leaves us with (C). (The correct answer.)

That’s right. After complaining about everything being SO expensive, I passed up on a dollar soda. Sue me!

After a 15 minute walk around the stadium we finally took our seats in the FRONT row. (Section 106-Row A-Seats 4 and 5, to be exact.) After the national anthem (which included a few bombs bursting in mid air–AKA fireworks) it was finally my favorite time of any ballgame. GAME TIME!!!

The Smokies half of the first wasn’t much to write home about. As they went down 1, 2, 3. The Mudcats however scored 2 runs on 3 hits. (Two of which were doubles.)

The Smokies finally got on the board in the top of the third inning by scoring 2 runs. The mudcats didn’t answer in the bottom half, but scored a run in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings.

The Smokies then made things interesting by getting within 2 runs in the seventh. The score was 5-3, with the Mudcats on top, going into the eighth inning.

And that is were things stayed. As the final score was 5-3. THE MUDCATS WON!!

I tried for a baseball from the bat boy after the game, but failed in doing so. (No baseballs for me.) But hey…..I got a souvenier cup. (Cue a sarcastic, “OH BOY!”)

HIGHLIGHTS AND PHOTOS

So, I promised photos in my last entry, and here they are…….

(Sorry about the netting.)

Remember in my last entry when I said that a lot of past and present MLB players have come from the Carolina Mudcats? (Tim Wakefield, Miguel Cabrera, etc.) Well anyway, here’s an example:
IMG_0353.JPG
Who’s that you ask. That’s Fred Lewis. A player for the Cincinnati Reds, who is down in the minors for rehab. (I think.) Did you notice his red batting helmet? Everyone else on the team had a black helmet, but he had a Cincinnati Reds batting helmet with the number 15 on it. See Fred Lewis in the majors below:
MLB Fred.jpg
Here’s a better perspective of the view from our seats:
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Not bad, eh?

I’m going to let you guess what the next picture is:
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Give up? It’s the Carolina Mudcats mascot, a mudcat. (How original.) Muddy the Mudcat to be exact. In the photo above he’s about to race the kid around the bases. Guess who won. Yep. The kid. (I personaly think the whole race was rigged.)

That wasn’t the only action that took place inbetween innings. There was a T-shirt toss. (No I didn’t get a shirt.) A sack race. And of course the Seventh inning stretch. (That’s always a crowd favorite.) Now for more pics.

Five County Stadium has many unique design features to it. Here are two of them:
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The first picture is of the General Admission seats. (Notice that they’re green.) The second picture is of the right field wall. It is dramatically short, and very close. This makes it VERY easy for a lefty to hit a homer. Oddly enough, no lefty even came close. Hmmm.

There’s also a restaurant:

IMG_0361.JPG

I guess that’s for the people who want to eat in warmth (yes it was freezing cold) and enjoy a ballgame at the same time.

The most action packed thing that happened all night was in the bottom of the seventh inning. After striking out, Mudcats right fielder, Denis Phipps, was ejected from the game for throwing his bat to the ground in fustration. I think the home plate umpire jumped the gun. I mean, give the guy a warning. Don’t just give him a “YOU’RE OUTTA HERE!” (That umpire had problems all night with making good decisions on calls. And the crowd let him know it. It was quite hilarious actually.)

Here’s Denis after the ejection was made:
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He was a bit mad at the call. (I don’t blame him.)

And here’s the “necessary” discussion between the home plate ump. and a Mudcats coach over the call:
IMG_0363.JPG
All in all it was a GREAT game. And I had a GREAT time. This was my first Mudcats game in over 5 years. It was good to be back. I might have to go back very soon. Hmmmm……

Going To My First “Game” of The Year

I am going to be attending my first game of the year tomorrow. Notice I put game in quotes, in the title. That’s because although it’s an actual baseball game, with real players and real baseballs, it’s only a minor league game. (A Double-A game, to be exact.)

The game is at 7:15, and has the Carolina Mudcats taking on the Tennessee Smokies. The gates open an hour before game time, and I’m going to be the FIRST one in line. I’m going to try my hand at snagging baseballs. (Although it’s just a Minor league game, it’ll give me practice for a Major League game.)

I’m attending this game with my dad. And we’re sitting in the best seats in the house. (House=Five County Stadium) Section 106-Row A-Seats 4 and 5. AKA, first row behind home plate. Oh yeeeaaaahh!!! (Okay. Okay. Maybe that would be more impressive of seats if it were a Yankee game and it cost around 8.3 million dollars per seat.(These tickets are just 11 dollars.) But hey. Major or Minor…..it’s still FIRST row.)

The home team, of the Carolina Mudcats, are the Double-A affiliates of the Cincinnati Reds. So who knows…. I might be seeing a FUTURE hall of famer in action.

Several players have played for the Mudcats and gone on to succeed in the Majors. (Tim Wakefield, Miguel Cabrera, etc.)

My first Major League game is on June 21st, with the Reds taking on the Yankees for the first time in 8 years. (Only 62 days away!!)

My second and third Major League games are in Tampa on August 5th and 6th, with the Rays taking on the A’s. (Only 107 and 108 days away!!)

I’ll do a recap of if I get any baseballs during BP and a basic recap of the game sometime next week with pictures. (Next week because my computer won’t let me upload pictures.)

Top 5 Favorite Players-2011 Update # 3

I didn’t think I was going to be able to post my regular Saturday entry today. (Storms in the area caused power outages.) But here it is:

HEATH BELL
Heath earned another save last night in Houston. That brings his career total to 94 career saves. Heath is still perfect when it comes to saves versus save opportunities. (3 for 3.) Heath is doing great. (The Padres are currently 6-8.)

DEREK JETER
Derek Jeter currently has 2,938 career hits. This puts him 62 hits away from the 3,000 hit mark. Jeter has gotten 5 hits in his past four games. This is a major improvement for Jeter since the start of the season. Jeter’s average is slowly starting to creep up. With a current average of .240. (The Yankees are currently 8-5.)

TIM LINCECUM
Lincecum’s most recent start wasn’t as impresive as his first two. He game up 3 runs and 6 hits over 5.1 innings. This brings his ERA for the season to 1.86. He has still only given up just 1 home run so far this year. (The Giants are currently 7-6.) Check out this great play Tim made in his last start.

ALBERT PUJOLS
Albert Pujols must of read my entry I wrote about him last Saturday, because he has started to get red hot. He has hit 3 home runs in his last 2 games. His average is currently .241. But I’m sure he’ll get it above .300 soon. (The Cardinals are currently 7-7.)

MARIANO RIVERA
What can I say about Mo? I guess I could sum his pitching this year up in one word…..AWESOME. Mo is 6 for 6 is saves versus save opportunities. He is now up to 565 career saves. Just 37 away from passing Trevor Hoffman for the record.

OTHER GENERAL BASEBALL NEWS

  • Josh Hamilton injured his shoulder diving in to home plate on a “stupid” decision to run. He is expected to be out for 6-8 weeks.

  • Yesterday (April 15th) was Jackie Robinson day. Every player on every team wore the number 42 in honor of him. (Mariano Rivera put on the same uni.)

I’m planning on attending at least one Triple-A game sometime this week. So I’ll post a recap(with pictures) on here afterwards.

Top 5 Players-2011 Update # 3

I didn’t think I was going to be able to post my regular Saturday entry today. (Storms in the area caused power outages.) But here it is:

HEATH BELL
Heath earned another save last night in Houston. That brings his career total to 94 career saves. Heath is still perfect when it comes to saves versus save opportunities. (3 for 3.) Heath is doing great. (The Padres are currently 6-8.)

DEREK JETER
Derek Jeter currently has 2,938 career hits. This puts him 62 hits away from the 3,000 hit mark. Jeter has gotten 5 hits in his past four games. This is a major improvement for Jeter since the start of the season. Jeter’s average is slowly starting to creep up. With a current average of .240. (The Yankees are currently 8-5.)

TIM LINCECUMLincecum’s most recent start wasn’t as impresive as his first two. He game up 3 runs and 6 hits over 5.1 innings. This brings his ERA for the season to 1.86. He has still only given up just 1 home run so far this year. (The Giants are currently 7-6.) Check out this great play Tim made in his last start.

ALBERT PUJOLS
Albert Pujols must of read my entry I wrote about him last Saturday, because he has started to get red hot. He has hit 3 home runs in his last 2 games. His average is currently .241. But I’m sure he’ll get it above .300 soon. (The Cardinals are currently 7-7.)

MARIANO RIVERA
What can I say about Mo? I guess I could sum his pitching this year up in one word…..AWESOME. Mo is 6 for 6 is saves versus save opportunities. He is now up to 565 career saves. Just 37 away from passing Trevor Hoffman for the record.

OTHER GENERAL BASEBALL NEWS

  • Josh Hamilton injured his shoulder diving in to home plate on a “stupid” decision to run. He is expected to be out for 6-8 weeks.

  • Yesterday (April 15th) was Jackie Robinson day. Every player on every team wore the number 42 in honor of him. (Mariano Rivera put on the same uni.)

I’m planning on attending at least one Triple-A game sometime this week. So I’ll post a recap(with pictures) on here afterwards.

Top 5 Favorite Players-2011 Update # 2

Now that we are over two weeks into the 2011 baseball season, we are getting a better idea of how well our favorite players are performing. Here is update number 2 for my five favorite players:

HEATH BELL
Since my last update Heath has earned another save making his career total 93 saves. In the two innings he has pitched in this season, he has only allowed one hit. That is extremely good pitching folks. (The Padres are currently 3-2.)

DEREK JETER
Derek Jeter has gotten 4 more hits since my last update. This puts him at 6 hits on the year, and 2,932 for his career. This puts him ever so slightly closer to the 3,000 hit mark, with only 68 needed to do so. Although Jeter seems to be getting at least one hit a game recently, his average is still just .231. However I believe Jeter is going to lock in soon. (The Yankees are currently 4-3. Not including the outcome of today’s, currenly in progress, game against the Redsox.)

TIM LINCECUM
Tim has now allowed 1 earned run in his two starts, putting his ERA at .64. In his second game pitched he allowed just one run on a home run. But only one run allowed isn’t the main story. He struck out 13 Padres batters. That’s not a typo….THIRTEEN. Although he gave up the home run he still got the win. Tim’s record is now 1-1. (The Giants are currently 3-4.)

ALBERT PUJOLS
Albert still hasn’t locked in during his at bats. He is still having trouble getting hits, with his hits to at bats ratio being 5-28; or a .179 batting average, for those of you who don’t excell in math. Pujols has only hit one home run this year, putting his total still at 409 for his career. He better start improving soon, or the Cardinals may be in trouble this season without their best slugger doing just that…slugging. (The Cardinals are currently 2-5.)

MARIANO RIVERA
Mariano Rivera is currently the most dominant closer in baseball. He’s gotten four saves in four attempts. This puts his career saves total at 563 saves. Only 39 saves away from the all time saves record. Rivera looks so great right now. I wouldn’t be surprised if he got the save in every opportunity this season.

OTHER GENERAL BASEBALL NEWS

  • Manny Ramirez has decided to retire from baseball.

  • The Rays and the Red Sox finally got their first wins.

  • The Rangers continue their winning streak and are currently 6-0.

I’m still planning on doing one of these update entries EVERY Saturday of the season. So be sure to check back at LEAST every Saturday………

Upcoming Entries

This isn’t an entry about baseball news, or baseball stats. It’s just an entry telling some of the things I’m going to be blogging about soon, so you know what’s coming up. Just in case you care.

First of all, do you remeber a LONG while back when I sent a card to Mariano Rivera to get signed? Well….I still haven’t recieved the card back, and because it’s over a week into the REGULAR season, I’ve given up on recieving it back. Good thing I didn’t send something valuable.

Anyway, now on to the upcoming entries.

1) Every Saturday, for the rest of the season, I’m going to blog about the stats of my 5 favorite players. Just like this one. So I hope you enjoy them, because there will be a lot of them written.

2) I recieved another email today from Heath Bell’s assistant saying that “Heath has been really busy lately, but is planning on answering my questions asap.” When Heath get’s his 100th save(he’s currently at 93) I’m going to write a BIG blog entry about him, and include the Q and A. So fingers crossed that it all works out.

3) Other than the two above “sure” things, I don’t know what else I’m going to blog about. I might go to a few games at my home teams Triple-A team. But I’m not sure. I’m definitely going to be going to some Major League games this summer. Three games are already confirmed. (Yankees Vs. Reds, June 21st—Rays Vs. A’s, August 5 and 6) I might go to a few more, but not confirmed yet.

Attendance Predictions–And Reasons Why

YANKEES VS. REDS–I’m predicting a sellout crowd for this one. First of all, it’s the Yankees. Secondly, the Yankees haven’t played the Reds in Cincinnati since June of 2003. So yeah, that should be a load of fun fighting the crowds.

RAYS VS. A’S–I’m predicting no more than 10,000 fans to show up. First of all, the Rays are currently 0-5. If they don’t get their act together they’ll be lucky to have 1,000 fans show up for their games. Even if they start to win I still predict a small crowd. It seems like the Rays never have large crowds.

Top 5 Favorite Players-2011 Update # 1

I realize that only a few games have been played of this 2011 baseball season. But the games that have been played have been exciting. Every few games, I’m going to take a look at the stats of my top 5 favorite players(see the list to the right side). This is progress update number one.

HEATH BELL
He has only pitched in one game, but that one game pitched led him to his first save of the season. This leaves him 8 saves away from 100 lifetime saves. He’s someone to keep an eye on. (The Padres are currently 2-1.)

DEREK JETER
Having only achieved 2 hits in the 3 game series versus the Tigers, his current batting average in .200. But I have confidence that Jeter will turn this slow start around. The two hits he achieved(both being singles) puts his official hit count up to 2,928. Only 72 away from 3,000. A milestone that is well within reach for this season. (The Yankees are currently 2-1.)

TIM LINCECUM
Having also just pitched one game, versus the Dodgers. Tim looks to be off to a strong start. He lasted 7 innings with no ERA. (1 unearned run.) He did however get the loss. With the Giants winning the World Series last season, and with two Cy Young awards under his belt. I expect Lincecum to continue the elite pitching. (The Giants are currently 1-3.)

ALBERT PUJOLS
I don’t think anyone saw Pujols going 2 for 13, to start off the season. Although one of those two hits was a homerun,(putting him at 409 for his career). Pujols is not connecting with the ball all that well. I still believe that Pujols will quickly improve his game. Anything above the .154 average that he currently holds, is an improvement. (The Cardinals are currently 1-2.)

MARIANO RIVERA
Although he is considered to be ancient, in baseball years, at age 41. Rivera is showing no signs of losing his killer cutter, and thus pitching ability. Rivera is 2 for 2, in save opportunities and saves achieved. This leaves him 41 saves away from passing Trevor Hoffman, on the all time saves list. Rivera’s current number of 561, is an amazing accomplishment, that not many closer achieve.

OTHER GENERAL BASBALL NEWS

  • Boston goes 0-3 against the Rangers.

  • Mark Teixeira hits a home run in his first three games.

  • White Sox ground into triple play for first time since 1978.

  • Ian Kinsler and Nelson Cruz become first teamates ever to hit a home run in each of the first three games.

From now until the occuring date, I will have a tab to the right side with an updated road to milestones. (Derek Jeter’s 3,000 hit, and Mariano Rivera’s 602 save.)

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