Results tagged ‘ 2012 ’
I wasn’t originally planning to attend this game, as I had already gotten most of the Bulls players autographs that I wanted, and the opposing team, the Charlotte Knights, didn’t really have any players that were worth a trip out to the ballpark. But when it was announced back in June that the Bulls were going to retire Chipper Jones’ uniform number in August, and that Chipper himself was going to be there, of course I had to go.
As with any game I go to, I showed up (along with my dad) to the ballpark around thirty minutes before the gates were set to open. With the large crowd expected, due to Jones being there, the gates opened up an extra thirty minutes earlier than usual, which was nice, as when I headed down to my normal spot beside the Bulls dugout, I was able to witness batting practice for the first time at the DBAP:
Taking in batting practice at this particular ballpark is something I’ve always wanted to do — it’s usually over by the time the gates open — ,however, after seeing it, I can honestly say that it wasn’t any grander than any other BP I’ve seen at major league parks. (I guess that makes sense; I don’t know what I was expecting, really.)
But getting back to Chipper Jones; I stuck around by the dugout for nearly an hour, at which point the ushers cleared out the aisles. I made my way to an empty nearby seat, and shortly thereafter, Chipper entered the ballpark, in a Porsche (as to be expected), to make a “parade lap” around the warning track:
After making his way around the park, and back to the infield, Jones headed up onto the stage that had been set up for the ceremony, where he was given a piece of the old ‘Hit Bull, Win Steak’ sign…:
….before taking to the podium, for his speech:
Jones didn’t speak terribly long, but he didn’t have to. People know what he did here, and what he went on to do. A no doubt Hall of Famer, Chipper Jones is one of those few players that comes along and just does everything right, both on and off the field. Calling Durham “the greatest place to play Minor League Baseball in the country”, the fans still, and always will, admire Jones as one of the best to ever come through Durham, on the way to a successful Major League career.
After throwing out the first pitch of the game, Chipper quickly exited the ballpark. Although I didn’t get an autograph like I was hoping, it was still one of the greatest times I’ve ever had out at a Minor League Baseball game. It was an incredible night.
But the night didn’t end when Chipper Jones left. There was still a game to be played.
Bulls’ starting pitcher, Mike Montgomery, started off the night great, as he didn’t allow a hit until the fourth inning. After the one hit, however, the wheels fell off. Giving up three runs in the fourth, the Bulls quickly found themselves down 3-1. But they didn’t waste any time answering back, posting three runs of their own in the bottom half of the same inning.
Both teams would score a run in the fifth, putting the score at 5-4, Bulls. And that’s how things would end. (An appropriate ending to the night, in my book.)
I stopped by the Bulls’ retired numbers wall on the way out of the ballpark, where Jones’ number had already been added:
I have no doubt I’ll stop to glance at the wall every time I head out to the ballpark from now on; recalling the night of August 20, 2013 — one of the most special nights I’ve ever experienced at the DBAP.
After rehabbing a broken ankle for nearly nine months, Derek Jeter received a standing ovation on Thursday, in his first major league plate appearance since October of 2012. Reaching first, in his first at-bat of the game, on an infield single, Jeter showed all of the baseball world what he’s been hoping to show for a long time: His ankle is fully healed.
The Yankees finally have their Captain back.
But it’s going to take a lot more than the return of Jeter, who went 1-4 in his 2013 debut, for the Yankees to turn around what has been a downhill slide as of late. While they won in their first game with Jeter back, he’s not the player he used to be, and they could use even more help.
But help is coming, in the form of Alex Rodriguez, who is currently down in the minors, working his way back from hip surgery. How much help he will provide is yet to be seen, but the Yankees are hopeful that A-Rod can return to even a portion of his former self.
Either way, I’m not counting out the Yankees just yet. I’ve had them making the playoffs since the beginning of the season, despite the majority of baseball fans thinking otherwise. It will be interesting to see how things play out after the All-Star break.
The rosters for the 2013 All-Star game were announced late last week, however, fans around the country have been voting all week long for the player they feel most deserved to receive the final spot for each league.
The candidates for the American League included Joaquin Benoit, Steve Delabar, David Robertson, Tanner Scheppers and Koji Uehara. The National League had Ian Desmond, Freddie Freeman, Adrian Gonzalez, Hunter Pence and Yasiel Puig. I was hoping to see David Robertson and Yasiel Puig make it in, but neither did.
It was announced Thursday afternoon that the winners of the All-Star game final vote were Steve Delabar and Freddie Freeman. While I’m not all that upset with either of them getting voted in, I disagree with Freeman over Puig. There’s no player in the major leagues at the moment with more hype around him than Puig. I don’t understand why he didn’t make it in, other than maybe the fact that he’s been in the big leagues for merely a month, but I’m really looking forward to watching the game, nonetheless.
The All-Star game is set to take place on Tuesday, July 16th, at Citi Field.
It was recently announced that Robinson Cano would once again be participating in the home run derby, for the third year in a row. After winning the derby in 2011, Cano failed to hit a single homer in 2012, but it’s highly unlikely that he will let that happen again. Cano was once again named the captain of the American League, with David Wright receiving the honor for the National League. Both now have the task of selecting three more players from their given league to participate in the derby.
With the 2013 home run derby exactly a month away, I figured I’d post this entry on which players I’d most like to see participate.
Chris Davis- After blasting a career high 33 home runs last season, Chris Davis is well on his way to another career season. In just 67 games, Davis has already hit 22 homers, leading all of major league baseball, and I feel he’d be a great player to take part in this year’s home run derby. Not only do I feel Davis would go deep into the derby, cranking out numerous home runs per round, but I feel he would put on a fairly good show. Davis can hit long balls with the best of them, and I hope to see him in the 2013 derby.
Prince Fielder- It’s no secret that Prince Fielder is a major threat to win a home run derby, having won twice in his career. After winning the derby last year, I’d love to see Fielder in this year’s derby to give him a chance to defend his title. It wouldn’t be all that surprising to me if Fielder happened to win the derby once again. He has the power and endurance needed to stay in the derby for a long time, and therefore it would be great to see Fielder participate in July.
Yoenis Cespedes- I’m not sure just how many home runs Yoenis Cespedes would hit in a home run derby, but I’d love to see him take part in this year’s derby, if merely for his power alone. Not many guys in all of baseball can slug a ball as far as Cespedes can–launching balls deep into the outfield seats at the spacious Oakland Athletics ballpark makes it all the more impressive. To me, although I don’t think Cespedes would go to deep into the derby, he’d certainly put on a show. And I’d love to see him take part.
Evan Gattis- One of the best stories of the season–going from janitor to major league baseball player–Evan Gattis isn’t someone you’d necessarily have heard of if you don’t follow baseball fairly closely. But even so, the power he possesses, and the story that goes along with him, is enough for me to want to see Gattis in the home run derby. Gattis has already blasted 14 homers, in this his rookie season, and therefore should at least be considered for the derby in July, in my opinion.
Giancarlo Stanton- It was a major disappointment last year when it was announced that Giancarlo Stanton was planning to participate in the home run derby, only to have him injure himself shortly before the actual event. Stanton would’ve put on a fantastic show, and thus, as long as Stanton is fully healthy, I wouldn’t see why he wouldn’t take part in the derby this time around. If in fact Stanton is one of the eight sluggers in the 2013 derby, I could easily see him making it to the final round, and possibly even winning.
Bryce Harper- After Stanton was forced to forgo the 2012 derby, I wanted to see Bryce Harper as his replacement, but instead the world saw Andrew McCutchen. No offense to McCutchen, but I knew he wouldn’t perform all that well, and by hitting just four home runs, he proved me right. Harper on the other hand, would put on a show; and an amazing one at that. I would love to see Harper (assuming he’s completely healthy by then) take part in this year’s HR derby. Guys with his talent don’t come around all that often.
So, those are my picks for who I’d like to see in the 2013 home run derby, up at Citi Field, on July 15th. Do you agree or disagree with my picks? Who would you like to see participate? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below.
Homering three times in Sunday night’s game versus the Texas Rangers–increasing his season stats to 11 homers and 47 RBI’s, to go along with a .387 batting average–there’s no denying that Miguel Cabrera is currently the best hitter in all of baseball. Having won the Triple Crown last season–the first player to do so since Carl Yastrezemski, in 1967–Cabrera is currently on a good pace to do so again, as he’s already ahead of his stats from last year; some by a fairly good margin.
Through 43 games played, Cabrera is batting 83 points higher, with three more home runs and thirteen more RBI’s than he had through the same number of games last season, in which he won the Triple Crown. If Cabrera can continue his hot pace, he stands a good chance of becoming just the third player in the history of Major League Baseball to win two Triple Crown awards in their career–Ted Williams and Rogers Hornsby being the other players. (No player has ever accomplished the feat in back-to-back seasons.)
As is to be expected with a player as good as Cabrera, many are beginning to form comparisons of his stats to other players’, such as HOFer Hank Aaron, as well as star players, Albert Pujols and Alex Rodriguez. ESPN even went as far as to say that Miguel Cabrera is the Babe Ruth of our generation, in a tweet after Cabrera’s three home run performance Sunday night. While I strongly disagree with that statement, I do agree that Cabrera is one of the best hitters the game has ever seen.
Therefore, although there’s still a lot of the season left, in which anything can happen, Miguel Cabrera is a player you need to be keeping an eye on. Regardless of if he wins his second straight Triple Crown award, you’re watching a player that will inevitably go down as one of the games all-time greats, once all is said and done. That alone is reason enough to take the time to appreciate just how good Miguel Cabrera is while he’s still around.
Normally when you’re talking about a couple of former Cy Young award winners having a rare season, it’s a good thing, but in this case, it’s just the opposite. Both R.A. Dickey and David Price, who won the Cy Young last year, are off to poor starts this season, putting them with in line to join elite company.
Just five times since 1967, when the Cy Young award began to be given out to a pitcher in each league, have two first-time winners in the same season gone on to have poor seasons the next year–the award originated in 1956, but was given out to just one pitcher each season until 1967.
The select group of players who won their first Cy Young awards only to go on to have poor next seasons include: Jim Lonborg and Mike McCormick, in 1967; Hall of Famers, Steve Carlton and Gaylord Perry, in 1972; John Denny and LaMarr Hoyt, in 1983; Willie Hernandez and Rick Sutcliffe, in 1984; as well as Bob Welsh and Doug Drabek, in 1990.
While it’s looking like Price and Dickey may join them, it’s still far too early to count them out just yet. They’ve proven to be too good of pitchers. But it’s something worth looking at, nonetheless.
R.A. Dickey became the first knuckleballer to win the Cy Young award, last year, when he went 20-6, with a 2.73 ERA, however, so far this season he’s experiencing far less success, going 2-5, with a 5.06 ERA, through his first eight games pitched. The one thing that’s most noticeable for Dickey this season is that his knuckleball doesn’t have the late, drastic movement it had last year. Unless he finds a way to get back on track, I don’t see Dickey having a very good season, as the knuckleball doesn’t leave much room for error.
David Price became the first Rays pitcher to win the Cy Young award, in 2012, going 20-5, with a 2.56 ERA, but he’s been struggling this year, having gone 1-3, with a 4.78 ERA, over his first eight games of the season. Price had a decent start his last time out, but his command just doesn’t seem to be there this season, for one reason or another. I could see Price having a better overall season than Dickey, however, if he doesn’t figure things out, Price is likely to still have a disappointing 2013.
Whether or not R.A. Dickey and David Price can turn things around is something that only time will tell. If the first month of the season is any indication, it’s not looking all that promising, but these kind of things are unpredictable; part of what makes baseball such a great sport.
We’re just over 48 hours away from the start of the 2013 MLB regular season, and I couldn’t be more excited. Baseball fans everywhere are making final predictions as to how they feel things will play out, as players are making their final preparations for the long 162 game season. As my last blog post until the season begins, I wanted to do a brief overview of the top story lines I’m planning to keep an eye on in 2013. They may differ slightly from yours, but I feel I covered nearly all of the major topics:
1. How the Astros will fare in the American League:
Having lost 107 games in the National League in 2012, I’m watching the Astros, not for how good they’ll do, but for how bad they’ll do. Sorry to any Astros fans reading this post, but there’s no denying that the odds are against the Astros going into the 2013 season. Playing in one of the toughest divisions in baseball, with the newly revamped Angels, they’re likely to have just as bad of a season as last year, if not slightly worse. I’d say it would be considered a good year for the Astros if they finish with less than 100 losses.
Posting some incredible stats, leading to one of the best rookie seasons in MLB history, I’m going to keep a closer eye on Mike Trout than I am Bryce Harper, but I’m planning to watch Harper nonetheless. Both won the Rookie of the Year award in 2012, for their respective leagues, and it should be interesting to see if their amazing rookie years will transfer into the 2013 season. I’m predicting Trout will once again have a 30/30 season, with Harper possibly recording the first 30 home run season of his career.
3. Who will hit the most home runs in 2013:
The 2012 home run leaders consisted of Miguel Cabrera, Curtis Granderson and Josh Hamilton, as the 1-2-3 guys, and if it wasn’t for an injured Granderson, I could see all three being near the top of the rankings again in 2013. However, with Granderson out with an injury for the first portion of the year–while I see Cabrera once again leading all players in homers, with Hamilton coming in a close second–it will likely be a new face who will round out the top three. Maybe it’ll be a guy like Adam Dunn, who’s a free-swinger? Or maybe a guy no one saw coming, who will have a breakout season? It will certainly be fun to keep track of.
4. If A-Rod comes back healthy, if at all:
While it’s 100 percent certain that Alex Rodriguez won’t return to the Yankees’ lineup until late July, there is the slight chance that he could miss the entire season. However, if A-Rod is able to work his way back this season, after having hip surgery in January, it should be very interesting to see if he can become a decent player once again. While Rodriguez will never be the great player he once was, if healthy, he has the ability to make an impact for the Yankees. Although I’m not the biggest fan of A-Rod, I still hope he comes back healthy. But I find it very unlikely that he will ever again play at a competitive level.
5. How the rookies, such as Wil Myers, will impact their teams in 2013:
I discussed this a couple months ago, in my blog post on the Top 100 prospects going into the 2013 season, but this time around I’m only focusing my attention on a handful of rookies who I feel will have the biggest impact for their team this season. Wil Myers is the number one guy on my radar, with Shelby Miller, Jurickson Profar and Billy Hamilton being the other three main rookies I plan on keeping track of. Myers was the minor league player of the year, in 2012, and I fully see him posting more of the same stats, as he begins the the year with AAA Durham. Of the four, Miller is the only player that is starting in the majors to begin the year, but they should all make it to the big leagues at some point this season, and are sure to each play a key role in their teams’ success.
6. How the Upton bro’s do for the Atlanta Braves:
You could argue that, with the addition of both Justin Upton and B.J. Upton to roam the outfield with Jason Heyward, the Braves have the best all-around outfield in all of baseball. All three players have great range, giving them the ability to make plays on balls that other outfielders couldn’t get to, but furthermore, they all have the talent to impact their team offensively as well. Both Upton’s, as well as Heyward, have the ability to blast 25+ home runs and 85+ RBI’s, as well as steal a good amount of bases. If they can perform to their potential this season, combined with the great lineup and pitching rotation they already had, the Braves could be an outstanding team.
7. What kind of a year players who ended 2012 injured will have in 2013:
The reason A-Rod had his own category, and wasn’t included in this one, is merely because his return is uncertain. All of the players in this category didn’t play at all after their injury in 2012, and will make a guaranteed comeback, within at least the first few weeks of the season. With that said, the most impactful players to end last season with an injury, that I’ll be watching in 2013, include Derek Jeter, Troy Tulowitzki and Mariano Rivera.
Mariano Rivera tore his ACL in May, while Derek Jeter fractured his ankle in October, with neither playing any more games for the remainder of the year. Rivera is expected to be ready to go Opening Day, though a slight setback for Jeter will force him onto the disable list to begin the year. In my opinion, the 2013 performances of both Jeter and Rivera will be the deciding factor for what kind of season the Yankees have. If Jeter can return quickly, and Rivera can post his usual stellar numbers, I see the Yankees being just fine.
Troy Tulowitzki injured his groin in May of last season, and although it appeared he would return towards the end of the year, he remained sidelined for the remainder of the season. A healthy Tulowitzki can impact the Rockies more than nearly any other player in all of baseball, though he hasn’t been able to stay healthy for the majority of his career. While I can’t see the Rockies finishing any better than last in their division, I’m planning to watch “Tulo” nonetheless, to see if he can finally have a successful, fully healthy season.
8. How the Blue Jays, Dodgers and Angels perform with their new additions:
The Blue Jays, Dodgers and Angels made the biggest splashes of nearly every other team in all of baseball this past offseason; at least of the teams that stand a chance of competing. Many have the Blue Jays going the distance, and winning it all, with the key additions of Jose Reyes, Melky Cabrera and 2012 Cy Young winner R.A. Dickey, to name a few, though I don’t see it happening. I find myself siding more with the opinions of those who are betting on the Dodgers and Angels to have a great season.
The Angels’ major addition of the offseason was undoubtedly Josh Hamilton, who, with the help of Mike Trout and Albert Pujols, has the ability to transform the Angels into an extremely competitive team. Hamilton might end up being the piece the Angels were missing last season, that will help them make the playoffs in 2013.
The number one addition of the offseason for the Dodgers was Zack Greinke, though they also acquired Hyun-Jin Ryu, the highly praised LHP from Korea. Adding them both, to go along with their already deep pitching rotation, could end up making the Dodgers a team to be reckoned with in 2013.
9. Whether or not the Nationals make it to the World Series:
Last season, Nationals’ manager, Davey Johnson, made the bold statement that he should be fired if the Nat’s didn’t make the playoffs in 2012. Luckily for Johnson, they did, for the first time since 1933. This season, however, it’s “World Series or bust” for the Nationals, and although I was a bit skeptical last year, I’m not putting it past them to make it all the way to the World Series this season, for what would be the first time in Nationals’ franchise history. With a fantastic lineup, as well as one of the best starting rotations in all of baseball, they should go far in the coming season, though they’ll have to make it past the favorited Braves, who many (myself included) have winning the division.
10. Which team(s) will have an unexpected breakout season:
Every season, it seems, there is a team or two that unexpectedly takes the baseball world by storm. On paper, they shouldn’t be winning, but yet they come together as a team and are able to do amazing things. The 2012 example would be the Oakland Athletics and the Baltimore Orioles, as the majority of baseball fans, going into the 2012 season, didn’t see the O’s and A’s exploding the way they did. Truly showing that baseball is extremely unpredictable. Any team has the chance to defy the odds, which is part of what makes baseball so great. Anything can happen.
Which story line from above are you most looking forward to? Leave a comment below.
Alex Meyer was drafted by the Nationals in the 1st round of the 2011 draft. In his first professional season, Meyer showed off why he’s one of the top pitching prospects in all of baseball, as he went 10-6 with a 2.86 ERA, to go along with 139 strikeouts in 129 innings pitched. A year which included pitching in the 2012 All-Star Futures game, in Kansas City, Missouri, it’s fair to say Meyer had about as good of a first season as you can have.
Going from the Nationals to the Twins in November, in exchange for outfielder, Denard Span, Meyer is up for some new challenges that come with a new organization, but he’s looking forward to being part of the Twins. I fully expect Meyer to have an even better season than he did last year, truly showing off his full potential and finally receiving the recognition that’s due to him. (I feel he’s vastly underrated.)
Though consistency with finding the strike zone has been an issue for Meyer in the past, he did a much better job of it last season, and that alone should enable him to excel in the coming year, if he can continue his progression. Meyer possesses an above average fastball, with a decent slider and changeup, and if things continue to go the way they’re going, barring any major setbacks, Meyer could see time in the majors as soon as the second half of the 2014 season.
Alex Meyer–top pitching prospect in the Twins’ organization–took the time recently to answer some of my questions:
1.) At what age did you first become interested in baseball? Who was your biggest baseball influence growing up?
I started playing ball at age 4. I have had a passion for the game ever since my first practice. My dad played a very influential part in getting me started.
2.) Who was your favorite baseball player growing up? Why?
Ken Griffey Jr. I loved watching him play. Watching him do everything he did was always exciting.
3.) You were drafted by the Nationals in the 1st round of the 2011 draft. What was that process like for you? Where were you when you first found out? Initial thoughts?
It was an exciting process throughout the whole thing. I was excited when I saw on TV my name come up. It was something I had dreamed about happening for a long time.
4.) After spending a full season in the Nationals’ organization, you were traded to the Twins, in November of 2012. What are you looking forward to most with your new team?
Just the opportunity to keep playing. I enjoy baseball and the fact that the Twins thought highly of me and traded for me makes me even more excited to get to playing.
5.) Talk a little bit about life on the road. What’s the most difficult aspect of it? What do you do to pass the time?
I don’t really find anything too difficult about it. I enjoy being with my teammates and getting to check out the different cities. I spend a lot of time listening to music or reading.
6.) You pitched in the 2012 All-Star Futures game, in Kansas City. What did you take away from that experience? What was most memorable about it?
The whole experience is something I’ll never forget. Just being able to be on the field with some of the top players in the minor leagues at a major league venue and a setting like that was truly unexplainable. It’s hard to put how incredible something like that was into words. Being able to call George Brett my manager for a day is pretty cool.
7.) Is there any one stat that you pay attention to throughout the season? Or do you try to steer clear of them altogether?
I try not to read into them. I just worry about every 5th day.
8.) What do you feel went well in 2012? What are your goals for 2013?
I feel in 2012 it was good to be able to go out and throw a full professional season. I had a blast and look forward to doing it again with a new organization in 2013.
9.) Favorite TV show? Favorite food?
I loved the 24 series, but now I am a big fan of ‘How I Met Your Mother’ and ‘The Walking Dead’. Favorite food would probably be a nice steak.
10.) Lastly, what advice would you give to kids who are just starting out that dream of playing professional baseball one day?
Work on getting better every single day, and if you do that, good things will come.
Big thanks to Alex Meyer for taking the time to answer my questions.
You can follow him on Twitter: @Meyer17A
Adam Greenberg was drafted by the Chicago Cubs in the 9th round of the 2002 draft. In the years following the draft, Greenberg averaged .284 a season, with an OBP near .400, over the course of four seasons (347 games) in the minor leagues, before receiving a call up to the Cubs, in July of 2005.
Making his MLB debut on July 9, 2005, Greenberg was beamed in the head by a pitch from Marlins’ pitcher Valerio de los Santos, which resulted in a mild concussion. Greenberg returned to the field for the Cubs’ AA minor league affiliate, a few weeks later, with the intention of rejoining the major league club, however, effects of the concussion still lingered. Effects that would end up keeping Greenberg from ever playing for the Cubs again.
Greenberg went on to play several more seasons in the minor leagues, but a second chance at an MLB at-bat wouldn’t come until 2012, when a fan-made petition allowed Greenberg the chance for one at-bat with the Miami Marlins. The at-bat came on October 2, 2012, against R.A. Dickey, with Greenberg striking out on three pitches. Despite striking out, Greenberg finally received his long awaited major league at-bat.
The Orioles have signed Greenberg to a minor league contract for the coming season, giving him yet another shot at making it back to the majors. You can be sure that Greenberg is going to do his absolute best to make it back, as he has a great work ethic, and a lot of people rooting for him. I, for one, hope he gets many more than one more at-bat in the majors.
Adam Greenberg–minor leaguer in the Orioles organization–took the time recently to answer some of my questions:
1.) At what age did you first become interested in baseball? Who was your biggest baseball influence growing up?
As far back as I can remember I had a bat and ball in my hand. Between family members, coaches and teammates, I had many baseball influences growing up.
2.) Who was your favorite baseball player growing up? Why?
Don Mattingly, because of the way he carried himself on and off the field.
3.) You’re one of only six dozen, or so, Jewish players to ever make it all the way to the bigs. What does that mean to you, to be in such an elite category of players?
It is an honor to be included with such great company.
4.) Had you have gotten a career at-bat before being plunked in the head, do you feel things would’ve gone differently?
Yes, I think things would have turned out a lot differently.
5.) Cubs fan, Matt Liston, played a huge role in getting you your at-bat with the Marlins, as he formed a petition and was able to get thousands of fans to sign it. What did it mean to you to know that you had that kind of support from complete strangers?
The human spirit is amazing! To see such a great reception was amazing. Matt had reached out to me through a mutual contact that I trusted and I was surprised at the momentum he brought. I am very thankful for Matt, my fans and Miami for providing me with the opportunity to get back. A dream come true again.
6.) Would it have meant slightly more for you to have received your one at-bat in 2012 with the Cubs, as they were the team you made your MLB debut for, back in 2005?
I was thankful to be in a Major League uniform again and to have Miami sign me was amazing.
7.) Once it was made official that the Marlins were going to give you the one at-bat, what kind of thoughts were running through your mind?
I was excited to be there. My thoughts were to get on base and help contribute.
8.) On October 2, 2012, you came in to pinch hit in the bottom of the sixth inning, against R.A. Dickey. How did you prepare to face Dickey? Did anyone give you any kind of advice as to how to face him, being that he’s a knuckleball pitcher?
There’s not a whole lot you can do to prepare for a knuckle-ball of his caliber. Prior to the at-bat I took a lot of flips and had few teammates toss me some knuckleballs. The advice I received from a lot of people was if it’s ‘high let it fly’….if it’s ‘low let it go!’
9.) Unfortunately, you struck out against Dickey, on three pitches, however you received a standing ovation from the crowd. What kind of emotions were you feeling during that moment, that although you struck out, the fans cheered you on as if you had blasted a home run?
I had mixed emotions. The excitement from the fans was electric. Regardless of the outcome it was still a win having that at-bat and being back in the Major Leagues.
10.) The Orioles signed you to a minor league contract in December, giving you another shot at making it back to the big leagues. What are your plans going forward? What are your goals once the season begins?
I continue to train hard. My goal for this season is to get back to the big leagues, contribute to Baltimore’s success by winning games and helping them get to a World Series.
11.) Favorite food? Favorite TV show?
Seafood….all of it! Seinfeld.
12.) Lastly, what advice would you give to kids who are just starting out that dream of playing professional baseball one day?
Have fun, stay within yourself and don’t ever give up.
Big thanks to Adam Greenberg for taking the time to answer my questions.
You can follow him on twitter: @adamgreenberg10
Happy New Year, everyone!
I wasn’t planning on posting anything today, but everyone else seemed to be doing it, so I decided that I would join in on the fun.
The five main resolutions/goals I have for this blog in 2013 are as follows:
1. Blog at least once every 4 days:
This shouldn’t be too difficult, but it all comes down to whether or not I can keep one of my non-blogging resolutions for 2013: Stop procrastinating. I’m one of the biggest procrastinators I know, and often I find myself taking a few days to write a blog post that should take just a few hours. Last year there were a few times where I went a full two weeks in between new blog posts, and I don’t want to do that this year. If I can get a blog entry up at least once every 4 days, I’ll be a happy guy.
2. Publish 100 posts:
This ties back into resolution number one. If I can manage to blog once every 4 days, or so, it’ll come out to 91 total posts. So, if I have a few times this year where I go fewer than 4 days between entries, I should easily be able to accomplish 100 new blog posts. I suppose I’m starting off the right way–the first day of 2013, and I already have my first blog post. (Only 99 to go.)
3. Get 100,000 views:
This is a bit of a stretch. I only managed to amass 53,384 views this past year, so it would mean nearly doubling that, but I’m making it one of my resolutions nonetheless. If I can blog as often as I want to, I feel it’s not impossible, however, this is one of my 2013 blogging resolutions that’s out of my hands. I can control whether or not I blog as often as I want to, but I can’t control how many people actually visit my blog. The way I see it, however, more posts equals more views. Hopefully that holds true, and I can reach 100,000 views for the year.
4. Have my one day record for views passed:
As with resolution number three, this is ultimately out of my control. I have no way of knowing whether or not 893 people will decide to click the link to my blog on any one day this year to break the old one day record of 892 views, recorded back on April 4, 2012. With 365 chances to accomplish it, however, maybe it will happen. Only time will tell.
5. Reply to every comment that is left:
My final resolution is the easiest of them all. I feel I did a fairly decent job at it this past year, but as with anything, I could always do better. There were a few comments last year that I failed to reply to for whatever reason, and looking back I feel like I should’ve. (Sorry.) Since it only takes a few minutes a day, this resolution shouldn’t be a problem.
So there you have it. My top five blogging resolutions/goals for 2013.
At the end of the year, I’ll revisit this blog post and recap whether or not I was able to accomplish them all. As stated in my last blog post, I hope to make this my best year of blogging yet. If I can accomplish what I want to (and plan to), I feel it truly will be.
The 2012 Greatness In Baseball Yearly (GIBBY) award winners were announced yesterday afternoon. The GIBBY Awards are awarded for 21 different categories including Rookie of the Year, Play of the Year, etc. These awards are given to the winners based on votes by you the fans at MLB.com, media, front-office personnel and MLB alumni.
Although I’m a day late, I wanted to take the time to publish a post with a list of the winners along with my opinions:
MLB MVP OF THE YEAR
My original pick: Mike Trout
Winner: Miguel Cabrera
It wasn’t all that shocking that Miguel Cabrera beat out Mike Trout for MVP of the 2012 season. Although I had Trout as the MVP, since just after the All-Star break, the majority of baseball fans felt Cabrera was the most valuable. So, while I disagree, I’m not surprised with how the fans voted.
HITTER OF THE YEAR
My original pick: Miguel Cabrera
Winner: Miguel Cabrera
While I feel that Mike Trout was the most valuable player of the year, there’s no doubt in my mind that Miguel Cabrera was the best hitter of the year. Becoming the first player in 45 years to win the Triple Crown, it was really no contest. Thus, I fully agree with the outcome of the vote for this particular category.
STARTING PITCHER OF THE YEAR
My original pick: R.A. Dickey
Winner: R.A. Dickey
I’m not sure if R.A. Dickey was THE best starting pitcher of the 2012 season, but I picked him to win the award nonetheless. Dickey seemed to be able to produce a quality start every time out, so I suppose he truly was the best candidate for the award.
ROOKIE OF THE YEAR
My original pick: Mike Trout
Winner: Mike Trout
Leading every rookie in all of Major League Baseball in every conceivable statistical category, there was no other way this vote could’ve gone. Trout did things that no other rookie in the history of MLB has ever done, and thus is the correct choice for Rookie of the Year.
CLOSER OF THE YEAR
Winner: Fernando Rodney
This particular category wasn’t voted on by the fans, but I agree with the pick nonetheless. Fernando Rodney posted an ERA of 0.60 in 74.2 innings pitched, and was able to close out the game for the Rays nearly every time out; recording 48 saves. Truly remarkable.
SETUP MAN OF THE YEAR
My original pick: Sergio Romo
Winner: Sergio Romo
Sergio Romo had one of the best seasons of his career, and truly earned this award. Without Romo doing what he did all season long, and into the post season, it could be argued that the Giants don’t win the World Series. So I fully agree with Romo winning.
DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR
My original pick: Mike Trout
Winner: Yadier Molina
I don’t necessarily disagree with Yadier Molina beating out Mike Trout for this award, but I still feel that Trout should’ve won. It seemed like every other night Trout was robbing a guy of a homer, or making a diving grab to take away a base hit. So I don’t fully agree with Molina winning this award.
BREAKOUT HITTER OF THE YEAR
My original pick: Chase Headley
Winner: Chase Headley
Chase Headley recorded a dismal 4 home runs and 44 RBI’s in the 2011 season, and going into the 2012 season no one really expected anything drastically different from Headley. Yet, he was able to have a career year, blasting 31 home runs and 115 RBI’s. Truly worthy of the breakout hitter of the 2012 season.
BREAKOUT PITCHER OF THE YEAR
My original pick: R.A. Dickey
Winner: R.A. Dickey
Going 8-13 in 2011, with 134 strikeouts in 208.2 innings pitched, R.A. Dickey truly was the breakout pitcher of the 2012 season as he completely turned things around, going 20-6, with 230 strikeouts in 233.2 innings pitched. Being that his 2012 performance was good enough to earn Dickey the Cy Young award, I fully agree with him winning the GIBBY.
COMEBACK PLAYER OF THE YEAR
My original pick: Buster Posey
Winner: Buster Posey
After spending much of the 2011 season on the disabled list, Buster Posey made a major comeback in 2012 as he was able put together a fantastic year; which resulted in his 2nd World Series ring in just his 3rd career season. In addition to winning yet another Championship ring, Posey also took home the award for National League MVP, thus making him worthy of the GIBBy, in my mind.
MANAGER OF THE YEAR
My original pick: Bob Melvin
Winner: Buck Showalter
This award could’ve gone either way for me. Although I picked Bob Melvin to win, I’m happy with Buck Showalter winning. Both managers were able to completely turn around their teams from the previous year and so I wouldn’t have been upset with either winning the award.
EXECUTIVE OF THE YEAR
My original pick: Mike Rizzo
Winner: Billy Beane
I thought Mike Rizzo did a fantastic job this year with the Nationals, but after thinking it over, I agree with the pick of Billy Beane for the award. Beane has always impressed me with the way he goes about his job in such a proficient way, and he did an absolutely incredible job in 2012. I couldn’t agree more with the pick of Beane for the award.
My original pick: Marco Scutaro
Winner: Pablo Sandoval
For me, this award came down to Marco Scutaro, Pablo Sandoval and Sergio Romo. You could make cases for each of them, as to why they were most deserving of the GIBBY, but in the end I picked Marco Scutaro. I felt Scutaro came through for the Giants time and time again throughout the entire post season, but I can’t really complain with Pablo Sandoval winning the award.
PLAY OF THE YEAR
My original pick: Davis tops Toronto’s tall wall
Winner: Mike Trout’s catch at the wall
Under the circumstances, I felt that the catch made by Gregor Blanco to preserve Matt Cain’s perfect game was the best play of the year, but I thought THE overall best play of 2012 was the catch made by Rajai Davis over the Rogers Centre’s 10 foot high left field wall. Apparently, the majority of the baseball world didn’t agree with me, as they voted Mike Trout’s catch at the wall as the best of the year. While Trout’s catch was incredible, in my opinion, no one made a better play than Davis, thus, I don’t agree with the voters’ pick.
STORYLINE OF THE YEAR
My original pick: Stars of tomorrow excel today
Winner: Tie- Orioles’ & Nationals’ Seasons
I’m a big prospect/rookie guy, so maybe that’s why I felt Mike Trout’s and Bryce Harper’s incredible rookie seasons were the best storyline of the year, but I enjoyed keeping up with the National’s and Oriole’s seasons as well. The fact that the Nat’s were able to go from an 80 win team in 2011 to a 98 win team in 2012, with the O’s going from a 69 win team in 2011 to a 93 win team in 2012, was interesting enough to make even the slightest of baseball fan pay attention. So, while it wasn’t my first choice, I suppose I agree with the O’s and Nat’s amazing seasons receiving the GIBBY.
HITTING PERFORMANCE OF THE YEAR
My original pick: Hamilton’s four-homer game
Winner: Hamilton’s four-homer game
There were a lot of great hitting performances this past season, but none were better than that of Josh Hamilton on May 8th against the Orioles. Going 5-5, with 4 home runs (the 16th player in MLB history to do so), Hamilton certainly put on quite the slugging performance, thus making him worthy of the GIBBY for hitting performance of the year.
PITCHING PERFORMANCE OF THE YEAR
My original pick: Praising Cain
Winner: Praising Cain
When trying to decide which performance to choose, it came down to Johan Santana’s no-hitter and Matt Cain’s perfect game. While both performances were franchise firsts, Cain’s perfect game was the most impressive of the two, as he recorded a total of 14 strikeouts. Cain no doubt had the best pitching performance of the 2012 season, and as such, deserved the award for this category.
ODDITY OF THE YEAR
My original pick: What a relief
Winner: Michael Morse’s
My original pick for this particular category was Orioles’ first baseman Chris Davis picking up the win in the 17th inning of a 9-6 win versus the Red Sox–after going 0-8 at the plate, with 5 strikeouts. I really don’t see how Michael Morse beat out Davis by simply reenacting his home run swing after the umpires made him re-circle the bags, so I don’t agree with Morse winning the GIBBY.
WALK-OFF OF THE YEAR
My original pick: A legend’s last long ball
Winner: A legend’s last long ball
Chipper Jones’ walk-off “yicketty” in the bottom of the ninth, of the Braves’ September 2nd win against the Phillies, was by-far THE best walk-off of the year. The entire 2012 season of Chipper Jones was absolutely incredible, and to end it with a walk-off bomb by Chipper is just a storybook ending to an amazing career. Chipper was certainly most deserving of the GIBBY.
CUT4 TOPIC OF THE YEAR
My original pick: Young fan scores special moment with dad
Winner: Bryce Harper
It seems Bryce Harper wins every possible award he gets nominated for, and while most of the time it makes sense, this time I don’t agree. I feel the young boy who got the surprise of seeing his dad who had just returned home from Afghanistan was the best Cut4 topic of the year in my mind. So, while Harper was the overall baseball topic of the 2012 season, I don’t agree with him taking home the GIBBY.
My original pick: Sandoval’s homer trifecta
Winner: Raul Ibanez
I don’t really see how Raul Ibaez could beat out Pablo Sandoval for postseason moment. I’ll admit, when Ibanez hit those home runs to come through for the Yankees when they needed him, I was up off my seat; stunned with what I had just seen. But Sandoval did something that had only been done by three other players before him: Hitting three home runs in a World Series game. How do you not vote for that? I’m truly baffled.
If you made it to this point, thanks for reading. I know a blog post without any pictures (not to mention nearly 2,000 words) can seem to drag on forever, but I just wanted to get my opinions out there on this year’s GIBBY awards.
The remaining blog schedule I have laid out for the rest of 2012 should be a lot more entertaining. So stay tuned….