Results tagged ‘ Marlins ’
After watching several Spring Training games to try to get a feel for how teams will perform this season, I finally feel I can post my MLB predictions blog entry that I’ve had on hold for the past month. I’ve never attempted to make predictions for an entire year of Major League Baseball, but I’m going to give it a shot. I’ll probably be way off, but who knows, I might get lucky.
I’m going to start off by giving my predictions for each division, starting with the AL East:
AMERICAN LEAGUE EAST
1- New York Yankees
2- Tampa Bay Rays
3- Boston Red Sox
4- Toronto Blue Jays
5- Baltimore Orioles
Reasoning: I have the Yankees just edging out the Rays for the number one spot in the American League East. Both are going to be great teams this year but I think the Yankees have a slightly better team than the Rays. As far as the Red Sox go, I don’t see them having a repeat year from last. They’re bound to do much better this season. I don’t see them doing better than the Rays however, who are really getting their team together. I’ve got the Blue Jays finishing fourth in the AL East. While they have a decent pitching staff and power slugger Jose Bautista, as well as several young stars, I don’t think their team is quite there yet. Give them a few more years, and I think they’ll be a real threat in the division. As far as the Orioles go, I don’t see them doing any better than last year. They didn’t make any drastic changes to their team to warrant a belief that they’ll move up even one spot.
AMERICAN LEAGUE CENTRAL
1- Detroit Tigers
2- Cleveland Indians
3- Kansas City Royals
4- Minnesota Twins
5- Chicago White Sox
Reasoning: If you had asked me back when the 2011 season ended if I thought there was a team that could beat out the Detroit Tigers for the number one spot in the AL Central, my answer would’ve been yes. Now that the Tigers have Prince Fielder, and the transition for Miguel Cabrera from first to third base seems to have gone smoothly, I’d say there’s no chance of any team coming close to the Tigers. With their Ace Justin Verlander leading the way, I could easily see the Tigers winning 100 or more games this year. I have the Cleveland Indians finishing second in the division. I feel that they’re a good team, but not good enough for the number one spot. The number three spot goes to the Kansas City Royals. I feel that it’s just a matter of time before this team really starts to leave its mark. They have a great team, as well as several great prospects still in the minors. I think the Royals will be good enough for the number two spot in a couple years. I would’ve placed the Twins higher on the list had it not been for the great ammount of uncertainty. The Twins have a decent team, however their star players Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau didn’t have their best stuff last season due to injury. I’m not sure they can beat out the Royals for numbethird in the AL Central. As far as the White Sox go, they’re good engough for dead last on my list.
AMERICAN LEAGUE WEST
1- Texas Rangers
2- Los Angeles Angels
3- Seattle Mariners
4- Oakland Athletics
Reasoning: It was very difficult for me to decide between the Rangers and Angels for that number one spot in the AL West. Both have great pitching staffs, as well as great players in their line ups, but in the end I felt that the Rangers and Yu Darvish would just beat out the Angels by one or two games. I have the Mariners taking that number three spot. Although the Athletics signed cuban phenom Yoenis Cespedes, as well as Manny Ramirez, I feel the Mariners are a better team when it comes down to it.
NATIONAL LEAGUE EAST
1- Philadelphia Phillies
2- Atlanta Braves
3- Miami Marlins
4- Washington Nationals
5- New York Mets
Reasoning: Choosing between the Phillies and Braves for the number one spot was difficult. They both have injured players going into the season, however both have a good team even with the injuries. The only reason I picked the Phillies for first is their pitching rotation. The Braves have a good one as well, but I don’t think it’s as developed as the Phillies, who have their Ace Roy Halladay. The Marlins I have coming in third. While I feel they’ll deffinitely do better than last season–with the additions of Jose Reyes, Heath Bell, Mark Buehrle and Carlos Zambrano–I don’t think they can compete with the Braves or Phillies in the very tough NL East division. Another team that I feel is going to do a lot better this season than last is the Washington Nationals. If Bryce Harper performs well once called up, and Stephen Strasburg can stay healthy, I think the Nationals stand a chance of beating out the Marlins for third in the division. For now, however, I’m still sticking with my prediction of fourth for the Nat’s, but give them a year or so and they’ll be a really good team. The Mets are last on my list, as I don’t feel they’ll do any better than last year, even with a healthy Johan Santana.
NATIONAL LEAGUE CENTRAL
1- St. Louis Cardinals
2- Milwaukee Brewers
3- Cincinnati Reds
4- Pittsburgh Pirates
5- Chicago Cubs
6- Houston Astros
Reasoning: Depending on how healthy their star players can stay throughout the season, and how well the teams as a whole perform, I could see the Cardinals, Brewers or Reds placing first in the NL Central. They all have decent pitching rotations, as well as decent lineups. Since I couldn’t pick all three to put in the top spot however, I decided to go with the Cardinals after much debate. I’m not only choosing the Cardinals because they were 2011 World Champions, but also because I feel that even with the loss of their superstar Albert Pujols, they’re a good enough team to win the division. The second place team on my list, the Brewers, took a similar hit as the Cardinals, loosing their star player Prince Fielder. Without the loss of Fielder, the Brewers would run away with the division, but I feel it’s pretty even between the top three teams the way it stands. The Reds are a team that’s good enough for the top spot, but I have them finishing third in the NL Central just for the fact that I don’t think they’ll put everything together to finish any better; but they might just surprise me. The Pirates, who I have finishing fourth, are a team similar to the Nationals. They’re getting better everyday, and have a bunch of star prospects still in the minors, including top prospect pitcher Gerrit Cole, but it’ll be a few more years before they’re good enough for third place or higher. They’re deffinitely a team to keep a close eye on in the future though. I have the Cubs finishing next to last just ahead of the Astros. Nothing stands out to me that makes me think they have a shot at cracking the 103 year World Series drought, none the less finishing any better than fifth. The good news for the Astros is that I think they’ll be no worse than last season. The bad news is they were terrible last season. But that’s nothing new. They’re good enough for last place.
NATIONAL LEAGUE WEST
1- San Francisco Giants
2- Arizona Diamondbacks
3- Los Angeles Dodgers
4- San Diego Padres
5- Colorado Rockies
Reasoning: After winning the World Series in 2010 the Giants had a terrible season last year. They were plagued with injuries to many of their stars, including Brian Wilson and Buster Posey, and while not injured, their Ace Tim Lincecum didn’t perform all that well. I look for the Giants to really dominate this coming season. I think Lincecum will have another stellar year, and I look for Buster Posey to have a bounce back year after being injured in 2011. Combine that with Wilson coming in to close things out, and I think you’ve got a team that’s good enough for first place in the division. The Diamondbacks, who won the division last season, are sure to have another fantastic season however I don’t think they’ll be quite good enough for the top spot. Matt Kemp and the Dodgers are sure to make a push at the number two spot. Kemp–who ended one home run shy of a 40/40 last season (40 home runs, 40 stolen bases)–made the bold prediction that he’ll record a 50/50 this year. While that seems a little far fetched, I still look for Kemp to help his team win a ton of games this year, and possibly end up winning the NL MVP, which he should’ve received after his 2011 performance. The Padres are another of my teams that I feel you should keep a close eye on. They’re not quite talented enough yet to finish any better than fourth (a step up from last season) but I feel that they’re really getting their act together. They made several great trades during the offseason, and their pitching staff is going to get better in the next couple of years. The Rockies in my opinion will finish last in the division. While they’re a good team, who also made some good trades during the off season, I feel that the Padres are going to be the slightly better team this year.
That’s my predictions for how the standings will look at the end of the 2012 Regular season. You may agree with me, or you might think I’m insane for some of my picks, but that’s just how I see it ending.
Here’s a quick review of the teams I have winning their divisions:
AL East: New York Yankees
NL East: Philadelphia Phillies
AL Central: Detroit Tigers
NL Central: St. Louis Cardinals
AL West: Texas Rangers
NL West: San Francisco Giants
Those are the teams that I have winning their divisions and moving onto the 2012 playoffs. Now moving onto my Wild Card Predictions. These are the teams I have recieving those:
AL Wild Card: Los Angeles Angels
NL Wild Card: Arizona Diamondbacks
Those are the teams I feel aren’t quite good enough to win their divisions, but will make it to the playoffs via a Wild Card slot. As you know, MLB is adding an extra Wild Card this season. So here are my picks for those:
Extra AL Wild Card Team: Tampa Bay Rays
Extra NL Wild Card Team: Atlanta Braves
If it comes out the way I predict, the Rays and Angels, and the Diamondbacks and Braves will have a one-game play off to see which will move on, and which one’s season will come to a dramatic end. It’s sure to be exciting.
I had originally planned on predicting all the way down to the World Series, but to be honest, there’s too much that can, and will, happen to have any success in doing that. I mean, when the Cardinals were 10 games back of the Braves for the Wild Card last year, who would’ve predicted that they’d go onto win the World Series? I will say this: I like the Tigers and Rangers chances.
So there you go. Those are my predictions for the division winners as well as the Wild Card, and extra Wild Card recipients. Only time will tell if they play out as I foresee.
Yes, that’s right. The famous “rally squirrel” that first appeared in Game 4 of the NLDS last October, is pretty much getting a baseball card all to itself. Card number 93 of the 2012 Topps Series 1 set, is technically the card of Cardinals’ second basemen Skip Schumaker, but for the first time in the history of the Topps’ card company, the card doesn’t feature the face of the player on the card. As a matter of fact, Schumaker is barely visible–with only the lower part of his leg being shown:
If I was Skip Schumaker, I’d be very upset at the Topp’s card company. It’d be one thing if they made a card for the rally squirrel–they’ve done cards for mascots in the past–but to actually have it be the card of Schumaker? I mean come on. I would think the Topps’ company would be a little more professional than this. (Although to their credit, the card is being made a short-print.)
On a brighter side, the 2012 Topps Series 1 baseball set is also going to include the first cards of Jose Reyes and Albert Pujols in their new uniforms–given they are photoshoped. These cards (like the Schumaker card) are due to be short-prints, thus making them must have cards for collectors.
Want one of the Skip Schumaker short-print cards? Well, you have a two options:
Option 1: Go to your local card shop and buy pack after pack, until you hopefully get lucky and pull one of the cards.
Option 2: Buy the card off eBay. One of the first sold on eBay for $600!
I think I’ll go with option 1.
The Winter Meetings, in Dallas, Texas, are now over, but man were they exciting. And although the Angels and Marlins were the only two teams that didn’t seem to be exploring the hotel the entire week, there were still some big name players that found new homes.
Let me start off talking a little bit about Albert Pujols. He was the main story throughout the week. Reports had the Cubs, Cardinals, Angels, and Marlins all presenting offers to Pujols, but when it came down to it, the Cubs couldn’t compete in the money game. The Cardinals offered Pujols a reported 220 Million over 10 years. Not bad, but if Albert Pujols was going to “go where the money was” they would have to raise their offer by a substantial amount; which didn’t happen. The Angles and Marlins really fought it out for Pujols. The Marlins offered Pujols a reported 275 Million over 10 years, while the Angels offered a 254 Million dollar 10-year deal. If it was about the money–which according to Pujols, it wasn’t–then it should’ve been an easy decision. No team offered anywhere near what the Marlins offered, so that’s where he’ll go right? Nope. Pujols took the 10-year 254 Million dollar offer from the Angels. (The second highest contract in MLB history.) So it wasn’t about the money, it was about the no-trade clause. The Angels offered him one, while the Marlins refused to. So in the end, Pujols took 21 Million less to secure a no-trade clause. But here’s my question. If the top offer from the Cardinals was 220 Million over 10 years, why not just stay in St. Louis? He’s a legend there, as it’s the only team he’s ever known. They love him there. It just doesn’t make sense. He’s only going to make just over 2 million more a year out in Anaheim. Is 22 million a year not enough to stay in a city that praises you? I don’t know. If it was me, I wouldn’t have made the decision he did. But whatever. My last name isn’t Pujols.
So now if you’re the Angels you’re thinking: “Okay. We’ve got one of the best hitters (if not the best) in all of Major League Baseball. Now we need an Ace pitcher to go along with him.” Thus you sign the best pitcher on the free-agent market, CJ Wilson. Wilson–who signed a 5-year contract worth 75 Millon–will join Weaver and Santana in the Angels killer pitching rotation. With the addition of Pujols and Wilson, the Angels will be difficult to beat in 2012. Whether they’ll make the playoffs and sweep every team that gets in their way to win the World Series like everyone is foreseeing is yet to be seen. I for one, don’t think they will. It’s kind of like the LeBron “decision” last year. Everyone thought the Heat would be unbeatable with James, Wade, and Bosh, but unless it’s invisible, I don’t see a Championship ring on the finger of LeBron. Just saying.
There’s been talk for awhile that Albert Pujols will pull a LeBron, and “take his talents to South Beach.” Well, I honestly don’t think so. I feel that he will stay with the St. Louis Cardinals, just for the fact that the Marlins aren’t offering that much more, and the Cards are the only team Pujols has ever known. However, if the Marlins offer a MAJOR ammount of money to Pujols, and the Cardinals don’t offer anywhere near it, then Pujols would be stupid not to take it.
This is all just my opinion. What do you think?
If you voted for other, please leave a comment below with which team you think he’ll end up with.
Pujols has signed with the Angels.
Today’s Q and A is on David Aardsma. Relief pitcher for the Seattle Mariners.
Below’s Q and A is meant to better inform you of what David Aardsma like:
1.) Favorite type of music.
2.) Favorite song.
“Great Day To Be Alive, or Enter Sandman. (By Travis Tritt/Metallica.)”
3.) Favorite food.
“A good prime rib or porterhouse.”
4.) Favorite T.V. show.
“Right now Modern Family, or Entourage.”
5.) Favorite movie.
6.) Favorite book.
“I have a ton. Right now it’s The Hunger Games.”
7.) Favorite thing to do in free time.
“Play video games. Hang with my son and wife.”
8.) Favorite time of year.
9.) Favorite sport, besides baseball.
10.) Favorite player growing up.
11.) Favorite shoe brand.
“New Balance. (Gotta throw them some love.)”
12.) Favorite car.
13.) Favorite subject, when in school.
“Georgraphy. (I’m a big map geek.)”
14.) Favorite quote.
“(1) If you never try, you’ll never know. (2) Just act like you own the place.”
15.) Favorite moment of baseball career thus far.
“Winning the college World Series.”
I hope this helped you to learn more about David Aardsma of the Seattle Mariners.
Big thanks to David Aardsma for answering my questions.
You can follow David Aardsma on twitter: @TheDA53
The next Q and A entry will be posted Wednesday, September 21, on John Baker, of the Florida Marlins.
PAST Q AND A ENTRIES: Brent Lillibridge, Daniel Hudson, Mike O’Hara and Ryan Wagner, Jeremy Guthrie, Bryan Harper, Casper Wells, Bud Norris, David Huff, Brandon McCarthy, Shawn Kelley, and Casey Kelly.
A hit today and tomorrow would tie him, with Chase Utley and Luis Castillo, for the longest hit streak ever for a second baseman, with 35 straight games. A record that seems more than likely, with the way Uggla’s been hitting lately. Completley locked in.
So, three more games with a hit would put him in the record books for the longest hitting streak ever for a second baseman. And five more games with a hit would make him the lone record holder for longest hit streak in Braves franchise history. (A record currently held by Tommy Holmes. As he went on a streak of 37 straight games for the Boston Braves, back in 1945.)
Considering the fact that Dan Uggla seems to be locked in while at the plate lately, I’d say he has a great chance of passing Tommy Holmes record, and possibly reaching a hit streak of 40 games. But what are his chances of passing, or even coming close to Joe DiMaggio’s record of 56 games, set back in 1941? Only time will tell.
The only thing that is for certain is that Dan Uggla is hitting better than anyone else in MLB. That isn’t an opinion, it’s an actual fact, supported by his incredible stats.
If Uggla does continue his streak 23 more games to tie DiMaggio for longest hit streak ever, it will come on September 6 in Philadelphia. (With Uggla breaking DiMaggio’s record on the 7th.)
But that’s a long way off, and a lot has to, and could happen, between now and then.
We’ll have to just wait and see.
So what do you think Dan Uggla’s chances are of breaking DiMaggio’s record of a 56 game hitting streak that has stood for the past 60 years? Do you think he will break it? If not, how many games do you think he’ll get to before the streak is broken? Leave a comment, and let me hear your thoughts…….
(Personally I think Dan Uggla will make it to 42 games with a hit, before failing to get a hit in the 43rd game. Why 42? I don’t know. It’s just a number that stands out in my head.)
Well, the Braves game is over, and so is the streak. My apology to Dan Uggla for jinxing him will come in my next entry. No really. I’m going to post an entry apologizing to Dan. It’ll be up tomorrow……
Here’s the link to my apology: CLICK HERE
My dad, grandpa, and I left for Greensboro, NC at 1:00pm. It’s an hour and a half drive to Greensboro from where I live, and we wanted to be there near the time the gates opened. They were set to open at 3:00 and we wanted to be one of the first inside to see the main attraction. AKA, Bryce Harper.
Bryce Harper is only 18 years old, and was the first round pick by the Nationals. There is a SLIGHT chance that he might be called up to the majors towards the end of the season. But it’s more likely that he’ll have to wait until next season.
I sort of felt bad for the other teamates of Bryce. He was the only person on the Suns that people cared about. Everyone had their cameras packed away until Bryce moved into the on deck circle. They would then whip them out until the end of his at bat. But hey, when you have a person as good at baseball as Bryce is, he’s bound to be the highlight of the game.
But I’m getting ahead of myself. First thing after entering the gates we did a little exploring of the ballpark. (Something we always do at a park we’ve never been to before.) It was quite interesting. There was a baseball bat that was about 15 feet tall. An old cannon. And a six dollar hot dog. Oh wait. The expensive hotdogs are at every ballpark. (I didn’t take any pictures of that stuff, so you have to take my word for it.)
We moved down into our seats–Section 110-Row B-Seats 7,8,9–just before the starting lineups were announced. It was actually pretty cool what they did as each player of the Grasshoppers was announced. There was a line of kids in Marlins uniforms (the Grasshoppers are the Marlins Class A affiliate) on the third base side:
When each player was announced, they grabbed a kid (not literally) and took them out with them to wherever their position was. The kids then recieved an autograph from that player. I’ve seen this done before in the Major League, but it’s still cool to see.
As interesting as the pre-game was, the crowd had some interesting sites as well. There was a girl with green hair. And a few people wearing Yankees gear. What? I saw some other people wearing Marlin and Nationals gear, but that made sense, considering the Grasshoppers and Suns are those teams affiliates. But Yankees gear? I don’t get it.
Just before game time, the man of the hour appeared from within the dugout:
And all you could hear around me was the clicking of cameras. (Mine included.)
Bryce Harper didn’t have a lot of luck in the game, going 0-4 before all was said and done. But the worst thing that happened to him all day was when he fouled a ball off of his knee and fell to the ground in pain:
But he walked it off, and was able to step back into the batters box and finish his at bat:
But as I said earlier, he went 0-4, so nothing happened except an out.
But this wan’t ENTIRELY a Bryce Harper show. There was still a baseball game going on. So let’s get to the game.
First of all, there were two free giveaways that would happen if certain things took place during the game. The first thing seemed nearly impossible. If any player from either team hit a home run that hit the Wrangler sign in center field, everyone in attendance got a FREE pair of Jeans:
Needless to say I’m not the proud owner of a new pair of jeans. Oh, and did you notice the temperature below the Wrangler sign? 86 degrees. I think the hottest it got was 90. And when you add a TON of humidity, and the sun beating DIRECTLY down onto you….yeah. It was almost unbearable. (It was so hot that I thought the Rapture had happened and I was one of the unlucky ones left here to suffer.)
The second chance at winning something free seemed more likely. All that had to happen was that #19, I don’t know his name, on the Suns needed to strike out just once, and every one would win a free Biscuitville biscuit. Here he is in one of his at bats:
All we needed was ONE little strikeout, but although he didn’t get a single hit in the game he always managed to make contact for the groundout. Ughh.
There was only one home run in the game, and it came from the bat of a Suns player. (The only person who’s name I knew throughout the entire game was Bryce Harper. I was clueless to the others.) And that home run barely cleared the left field wall.
There was always something going on whenever there was a break in the action. One such case is of a bat “dog”, that would bring the umpire baseballs……
…….and would retrieve the ocassional bat every now and then.
The game was fun to watch for everyone. And when I say everyone, I mean it. Even the team mascot, Guilford the Grasshopper, enjoyed the action:
When all was said and done, the Grasshoppers won 5-2. I still had a great time even though the team I was cheering for lost.
Here are three final pictures that I couldn’t figure out how to incorporate into this entry, but I wanted to show anyway:
Here’s some random pitcher (I said I didn’t know the names) for the Grasshoppers:
It wasn’t a milestone pitch or anything like that. I just thought it looked cool.
And here are two last pictures I took of Bryce Harper. The first picture is just before his last at bat of the game:
And here he is jogging in from center field for the last time during the game:
I tried for Bryce Harper’s autograph after the game at the tunnel where the players exit, but he just walked past without even looking up. I guess I’ll have to buy an autographed rookie of his off of ebay for $700.00 if I want to get it. (Yeah right.)