Results tagged ‘ Anthony Bass ’

Fastest & Slowest Starts to the 2013 MLB Season

We’re just over a week into the 2013 MLB regular season, and I wanted to post a blog, just like last year, on the fastest and slowest starts to the season for both entire teams and individual players. While it’s a small sample size, the list gives you an idea of what’s been taking place so far this season. Some of the players and teams are performing nearly as well as expected, but others are putting on performances that I never would’ve predicted them to begin the season with.

FASTEST STARTS TO THE SEASON

Teams:

1) Braves (6-1)

2) Diamondbacks (5-2)

3) Rockies (5-2)

4) Red Sox (5-2)

5) Athletics (5-2)

6) Rangers (5-2)

7) Reds (5-2)

8) Mets (5-2)

The Braves currently lead all of baseball with a win percentage of .857. Justin Upton has been making a major impact, hitting six home runs in the first seven games, and I fully expected the Braves to have a season long performance like the one they’re currently starting out with. The Diamondbacks, Rockies, Red Sox and Mets are all surprising me, so far, as I expected them to all have poor seasons, and while it’s still very early, at the moment, they’re making things interesting. As far as the Athletics, Rangers and Reds go, it’s not a shock that they’re doing so well. Though I thought the Rangers would have a bit of a struggle this season, without Josh Hamilton, they seem to be doing just fine. It should be interesting to see if they can keep it up.

Players:

1) Adam Jones (.500)

2) Jed Lowrie (.500)

3) Carlos Santana (.500)

4) Michael Cuddyer (.478)

5) Carl Crawford (.450)

6) Jean Segura (.450)

*Minimum of 20 AB’s

Adam Jones is the only player on the list of fastest start players that I’m not surprised with. Having recorded a 32 homer, 82 RBI season, in 2012, Jones is in the prime of his career, and is set to have another fantastic season. For Jed Lowrie, Carlos Santana, Michael Cuddyer, Carl Crawford and Jean Segura, they better enjoy the hot start while it lasts, because I don’t see any of them having an all that spectacular year. But as with anything in baseball, there’s always the chance for me to be proven wrong.

SLOWEST STARTS TO THE SEASON

Teams:

1) Astros (1-6)

2) Marlins (1-6)

3) Padres (1-5)

4) Pirates (2-5)

5) Brewers (2-5)

6) Phillies (2-5)

7) Cubs (2-5)

After beating the Rangers, 8-2, on Opening Night, the Astros have done nothing but go down hill, ever since. With 155 games left to play, and just 94 losses away from 100, it’s likely the Astros’ season will end with yet another year of 100+ losses. The Marlins, Padres and Pirates are all teams that have the potential to win now, but it’s likely to be a year or two before they start to become big time contenders in their divisions. The Brewers and Phillies are the only teams that surprise me, somewhat, on this list, but they just haven’t performed well so far this year. And as for the Cubs, they’re just being themselves; destined to make it 105 seasons without a World Series title.

Players:

1) Jeff Keppinger (.048)

2) Ryan Hanigan (.050)

3) Aaron Hicks (.067)

4) Pedro Alvarez (.080)

5) Neil Walker (.083)

*Minimum of 20 AB’s

No one on this list surprises me, other than Neil Walker. Walker is arguably the best player on the list, but he hasn’t been able to find his groove so far this season. I look for him to get things going, however, and record another season like he has the past few years–10-15 homers and 65-80 RBI’s, with a high 200’s batting average. For Jeff Keppinger, Ryan Hanigan, Aaron Hicks and Pedro Alvarez, it will be interesting to see if they get their acts together, or if this is a sign of things to come for them this season, as things can certainly only go up.

Keep in mind, while those are the players and teams with the fastest and slowest starts to the season, there’s still a lot of baseball left to be played, and anything can happen. Only time will tell if the current trends will last; that’s why they play 162 games.

The Electronic Autograph

If you’re one of the millions of people around the world who falls under the category of “baseball fan”, odds are that you’ve found yourself seeking the autograph of your favorite player at one time or another. Even if you wouldn’t classify as an autograph collector, surely even the slightest of fan would jump at the chance to acquire their idols’ signature.

But getting an autograph from your favorite major leaguer isn’t always as simple as heading out to the ballpark after dinner. If you find yourself residing in one of the many states that lacks a Major League Baseball team, getting autographs in person can be a difficult and costly task.

Of course, there’s always the option of mailing an autograph request to the ballpark, but you can’t always guarantee that the player you admire will be able to take the time, during their hectic 162-game season, to sign your enclosed item; especially if they happen to be everyone’s favorite player, and receive hundreds of letters every month.

Too many times have I sent off one of my most cherished baseball cards, to one of my favorite players, only to be disappointed in the end when daily trips to the mailbox resulted in the same outcome: No autograph.

Until recently, the only other option remaining for a person looking to obtain an authentic signature they so greatly desired was to scour the internet for the most economically priced example they could find; usually still costing a couple hundred dollars. And even then, nothing connects you to the player personally. It’s just one of the thousands of autographs the player has signed over the years. Nothing all that tremendously special.

That’s why I was so intrigued the first time I heard of the latest in sports memorabilia technology: The electronic autograph; Egraph, for short. Costing anywhere from 25-115 dollars, depending on the player, an Egraph is an electronic autograph, produced by the player of your choice on their own personal iPad. The best part being that it’s guaranteed to be returned, in 2-3 weeks, and in addition, comes along with an audio message, recorded by the player themselves, just for you.

You can’t get much more of a fan-to-player interaction than that.

HOW IT WORKS

The first step in creating your Egraph is to select which player you’d like to receive an Egraph from. With roughly 200 players (current and former greats) and managers–with more being added all the time–it’s not an easy choice. Undoubtedly making this the most difficult portion of the entire process.

After deciding on a specific player, and choosing which background photo you’d like the autograph to appear over, the only thing left to do is to make the decision of what you would like inscribed on your photo.

You have the choice of typing exactly what you want the player to write, or you can choose for them to create their own response. As is the case with the entire Egraph process, it’s up to you. But in the end, no matter what you decide, you really can’t go wrong.

As stated earlier, no two Egraphs are alike. They’re made by the player specifically for you. Take for example my own personal Egraph, created by Mets’ third basemen, David Wright:
Screenshot (2)

CLICK HERE to listen to David Wright’s audio message.

Wright could make a thousand more Egraphs and would never again make one exactly like the one you see above. That’s what makes Egraphs such an ingenious idea. It allows you to connect with the games’ greats in a personal way that hasn’t been possible up until now; and I can only see it taking off in popularity from here.

If you’d like to purchase an Egraph, head to Egraphs.com, or simply click the Egraph ad on the right sidebar to be taken to the site.

Q and A With Anthony Bass

Anthony Bass is fairly new to ‘The Show.’ You might of heard of him; you might not. Either way, I’m very confident that you’ll be hearing a lot from Bass in the near future. Bass made his Major League debut for the San Diego Padres, on June 13th of this year. He only pitched in 27 games (3 starts) but achieved success–recording 2 wins and a fairly low 1.68 ERA. Not bad for a guy who just turned 24 years old, on November 1st. Bass–who’s on the Padre’s Active roster for next season–took the time recently to answer some of my questions:

1.) At what age did you first become interested in baseball?

I started playing baseball at 5.

2.) Did you always want to be a pitcher?

I pitched and played every position when I was younger.

3.) Describe what your Major League debut was like. What was going through your head?

Humbling. I was thinking, this is my shot.

4.) What does it feel like to be having success this early in your career?

Countless hours spent on the baseball diamond and working on being the best is starting to pay off.

5.) Do you like the NL, with the chance for you to hit? Or would you rather have someone hitting for you? (Like the DH in the AL.)

I like the NL. All 9 players in the field should hit.

6.) Which of your pitches is your favorite to throw? (Not necessarily your best pitch.)

Fastball.

7.) Favorite T.V. show?

I like storage wars.

8.) Favorite shoe brand?

Reebok.

9.) Favorite food?

Steak/pasta.

10.) Favorite sport, besides baseball?

College basketball. (Michigan State.)

11.) Favorite type of music?

Rock.

12.) Favorite moment of your baseball career thus far?

Making my MLB debut.

————————————————————————————————————————————

Big thanks to Anthony Bass for taking the time to answer my questions. You can follow him on twitter: @AnthonyBass45

Speaking of twitter, if you follow me then you might have seen my tweet on Monday stating that this Q and A entry was going to have a surprise at the end. Well, keep reading to find out what it is.

It all started with a simple question of whether or not Anthony Bass had any game used items left over from the season that he’d be willing to get rid of. I fully expected a polite, but firm, “no”, but that’s not what happened. Bass–being the awesome guy that he is–proceeded to offer me his AFL (Arizona Fall League) Batting Practice jersey. I was thrilled. To get something like that from a guy like him? I couldn’t believe it.

I sent my address, and told him where I wanted him to sign it. (Yes, he offered to autograph it too!) I then waited patiently for it to arrive in the mail, as it did on Saturday:

How awesome is that?!

Notice the patch on the bottom right portion of the jersey? Here’s a closer look:

Here’s what the back looks like:

Let me take the time to note that the jersey isn’t messed up. All of those wrinkles occured when I layed it down, and I didn’t do a good job of unwrinkling them before I took the photo.

You can sort of see the autograph in the picture above, but here’s a better look at it:

With AFL standing for Arizona Fall League, of course.

I can’t begin to thank Anthony Bass enough. He’s truly an extremely nice guy, and I wish him nothing but the best as he continues his journey in the Majors. He’s one of those guys that you can’t help but root for.

I hope to meet Bass in person at a 2012 Padres game, to thank him for answering my questions and sending me his AFL BP jersey. If that happens, I’ll be sure to post an entry about it right here on my blog.

Have a great Thanksgiving tomorrow everybody!!!

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