June 2011

Next Two Weeks……..

I just wanted to post a quick blog entry saying that I may not have a blog entry for the next two weeks. I’m taking a two week vacation. But when I get back I’ll post an entry on the Yankees-Reds game and one on the Louisville Slugger factory. (I may have time to post them on the trip but it may have to wait until I get back.)

Until then………..

Who’s The Better Starting Pitcher?

JUSTIN VERLANDER  

2011 Stats (Through June 15th)

  • Wins- 8

 

  • Losses- 3

 

  • ERA- 2.66

 

  • Complete Games- 3

 

  • Shutouts- 2

 

  • Strikeouts- 105

 

  • Hits Allowed- 73

 

ROY HALLADAY 

2011 Stats (Through June 15th)

  • Wins- 9

 

  • Losses- 3

 

  • ERA- 2.39

 

  • Complete Games- 4

 

  • Shutouts- 0

 

  • Strikeouts- 106

 

  • Hits Allowed- 97

 

CC SABATHIA

2011 Stats (Through June 15th)

  • Wins- 8

 

  • Losses- 4

 

  • ERA- 3.28

 

  • Complete Games- 1

 

  • Shutouts- 0

 

  • Strikouts- 81

 

  • Hits Allowed- 104

 

JOSH BECKETT

2011 Stats (Through June 15th)

  • Wins- 5

 

  • Losses- 2

 

  • ERA- 2.06

 

  • Complete Games- 0

 

  • Shutouts- 0

 

  • Strikeouts- 73

 

  • Hits Allowed- 54

 

So there you have it. The 2011 stats of 4 of baseballs best pitchers. Cast your vote for who you think is the better pitcher, in the poll below:

I’ll post the results in a future blog entry, so come back to see how other readers felt………..

President Obama’s Visit To North Carolina

I said I’d be blogging at least once every other day, and I kept my promise. Sorry this entry isn’t baseball related, but I figured it would be neat to do an entry on. (The next entry WILL be related to baseball…….I promise.) With that said:

I arrived at RDU International Airport at 10:45 am. I had read online that Barack Obama was due to arrive at the airport at 8:30 am, and I arrived late because I was JUST looking to get a picture of Air Force One. I thought it would be “parked” somewhere off of the runway where I could get a good picture and leave. But when I arrived, NO AIR FORCE ONE! Where was it? Hmmmmm.

It turns out that it hadn’t arrived yet. It was then that I learned that it wasn’t scheduled to arrive until 11:00 am.

AWESOMENESS!!!!

After standing and watching to the right for the plane to appear, I heard a plane engine coming from the opposite direction. When I turned my head, this is what I saw:

How cool is that!!!!!

I had never seen Air Force One in person, and it was quite an experience. But wait. There’s more. (Pictures, that is.)

Landing:

Slowing:

Slowing

Before I show the next picture, let me explain something. I had moved from my original spot on a hill, to the fence in front of Air Force One. Now that I’ve explained that, here’s the picture:

After spending around 10 minutes there, I noticed that the crowd was moving further down the road. So I followed the crowd. Literally!

All 25, or so, of us ended up moving to the top of a hill overlooking the plane. But we weren’t there two minutes when a cop came running up the hill, from the opposite side, SCREAMING his head off that “WE HAD TO GET OFF THE HILL.” Quickly followed by, “GO BEHIND THE BARRIER.” One man replied, “What barrier?” To which the cop loudly answered, “OVER THERE.” (Wow Mr. Cop. Thanks for being specific.) In case you’re wondering, we never did find the barrier he was talking about.

I was wondering the ENTIRE time we were all roaming around, how heavily we were being watched. I got my answer when I looked to the roof of a nearby building:

In case you couldn’t tell, those guys on the roof are snipers. And they were WELL armed.

I was a little apprehensive about taking the above photo. I mean, what if they didn’t like to be photographed?!? But obviously, nothing happened.

Well, that about wraps things up. It was TRULY a once in a lifetime experience. Something I’ll remember for a while………

And for those of you STILL wondering why I would post an entry about Barack Obama’s visit on a baseball blog, HERE:

Do you feel better now? :-)

Upcoming Blog Entries

Now that school is out, I’m going to be blogging a lot more now. Not an every day thing, but probably at least every other day or so.

Some blog entries will be random ones, about things going on in baseball, and some will be on hot topics. I’m not really sure yet.

But what I am sure of three upcoming blog entries:

The first will come sometime next week, as I’m going to do a Q and A with Alex Meyer on Monday, and form it all together in a blog entry sort of like Neiko Johnson’s. Unlike Neiko, Alex has already been drafted. (To the Nationals.) But I’m sure that Neiko will sign with a team soon. [Update....I was right. He signed with the Astros earlier today!]

The second entry that I’m sure of, is one on the June 21st Yankees @ Reds game. I’m showing up at 1:00 (for a 7:10 game) to try and get autographs from the Yankees players as they enter the stadium. I’m also taking my glove to BP for the first time EVER. And lastly I’m going to try and get the Yankees lineup cards from Girardi. It will definitely be an interesting/long blog entry, due to all that’s going to go down. So check back sometime after the game.

And the last entry that I’m one hundred percent sure I’m going to do is on the Louisville Slugger Factory. I’ve never been, so that should be nice.

Other than the three things listed above, I have no idea. The entries will be about whatever baseball related thing that I’m thinking about at the moment.

Lastly, in the unlikely event that you want to follow me on twitter, I’ll be posting links to my entries, and updates about random things that are going on. If you’re still reading and DO want to follow me, you can do so by clicking HERE.

That’s all ’til Monday……..

Neiko Johnson-Chasing The Ultimate Dream…..

For most people, a dream that requires hard work in order to obtain, isn’t a dream worth dreaming at all. The blood, sweat and tears necessary to reach the top, isn’t something that most are willing to go through. For Neiko Johnson however, hard work isn’t a burden. Ultimately it’s the contributing factor that will lead him to his dream of playing baseball in the Major Leagues.

Neiko began to appreciate baseball at an early age. “I became interested at the age of 4 when I would watch baseball with my father all the time.” Baseball was that special something that put a twinkle in young Neiko’s eyes. The thing that he knew, from that early age, he wanted to continue as he got older.

He continued to pursue his dream of playing baseball up into middle school, where he decided to give basketball a try. Although he enjoyed basketball, he decided to return his attention to just baseball. “…..I figured I was too small to play at a big D1 school, so I chose baseball which was ultimately my best sport.”

Neiko continued playing on up through high school. (The same high school that produced current Major League players Brandon and P.J. Phillips.) Whereafter he decided to take his talents to the University of Kentucky. “I wanted to play in the SEC-the best conference in the country-and UK was the only school that talked to me from the SEC.”

At UK, Johnson would make a name for himself due to his base stealing abilities. (Over a Ninety percent success rate.)

According to Neiko, if he wasn’t playing baseball he wouldn’t let the lightning fast speed that he possesses go to waste. “I would probably be an Olympic track star with the speed I have. I would be giving Usain Bolt a run for his money, haha.”

In the summers between each year of college, Neiko played in various summer leagues. Most recently, Neiko played in the Coastal Plains League, for the Edenton Steamers. During that summer for the Steamers, Johnson hit for a .307 average, which included 3 doubles, one triple, and eighteen runs batted in. He also used his speed effectively, successfully stealing 25 of his 27 steal attempts. (A 92.5 percent success rate.)

Neiko enjoyed playing in the summer leagues saying, “It was a great experience because you get a chance to play with new guys and meet new people. I have played in other summer leagues before that, so it wasn’t that different from school ball. Just not having to worry about school is a tremendous help.”

Neiko is continuing to work hard in his attempt to make it to the big leagues. When asked what it would mean to him to make it to the Majors he replied, “…..It has been my dream for years and I continue to work hard and stay dedicated so I can reach that goal. I know my mother is looking down from heaven, and I want to make her proud. She is my motivation and I continually work hard for her.”

It’s that kind of motivation, and determination to work hard to make his mom proud that makes me believe that Neiko will make it all the way, and play in the Majors one day. You don’t find guys every day who are motivated like Neiko is. His dream means so much to him. And thus, it’s hard to see him not reaching his goal, and succeeding in a baseball career.  

Neiko’s advice to kids who are just starting out playing the game of baseball is, “…….to never give up and never let anyone tell you that you can’t be something. People will always hate and try to discourage you, but you have to stay dedicated and work hard no matter the circumstances. And of course listen to your parents and stay in school.”

Neiko’s advice works for anyone, of any age. Whether you want to be an athlete, a singer, or whatever, his advice is universal. The most important part being “……listen to your parents, and stay in school.” Doing just that, will ALWAYS enable you to succeed in wherever you want to take your life.

———————————————————————————-

Big thanks to Neiko Johnson for taking the time to answer my questions.

You can follow Neiko on twitter @ThisIsNJJ

BIG UPDATE

Just found out that Neiko Johnson signed with the Houston Astros Organization. That’s what chasing your dreams with all of your heart will do for you. Congrats Neiko.

UPDATE #2

Look what I recieved in the mail today (June 17th) from Neiko:

COOLNESS!!!!!

Jeter’s 3,000th Hit More Impresive Than His 2,722nd?

Derek Jeter is on a seven game hitting streak. A streak that has helped to move him to 2,984 career hits. Just 16 hits away from 3,000 hits as a Yankee. No Yankee has ever done it. And I think it will be a while before any Yankee does it again. 

With that said, it makes me think. Hit number 2,722 for Jeter made him the all time Yankee hit leader:

So is 3,000 more of a milestone than 2,722?

Sure 3,000 hits is an AMAZING milestone for any player. But is it THAT much more impresive than hit number 2,772? Leave a comment and help me solve this delima in my head……

Now that’s the first part of this enty. The second part deals with when Jeter will get it.

This question is hard to predict. If Jeter keeps his streak up, he’ll get to 3,000 in exactly 16 more games. That would be June 19th, in Chicago versus the Cubs. But it is more likely that he’ll want to get it at home, in Yankee stadium.

So the next available game at home would be June 24th versus the Rockies. But if Jeter starts getting like 2 hits a game, he could get it in the last home series before leaving for a long stretch of road games. It all depends on if Jeter can keep the hit streak up.

The only sure bet is that Derek will get hit number 3,000 sometime this month. So stay tuned to Jeter’s progress, and watch EVERY Yankees game when he gets closer.

Hit number 3,000 is just around the corner…….

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