Results tagged ‘ Nationals ’

Making Up for My Lack of Entries

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted a non Q and A blog entry. (16 days to be exact.) Although there’s been some big news lately, I’ve been slacking when it comes to writing about it. So I apologize for that. I’m going to use this entry to talk about the major news stories that have taken place since the last time I blogged on January 10th. I figured it’d be easier to do that than to do several different blog entries.

YU DARVISH SIGNS WITH RANGERS

After paying 51.7 million (the most for any pitcher in MLB history) for the rights to talk to Yu Darvish, the Rangers were able to lock him up with a 6-year, 60 million dollar deal. That’s good news for the Rangers, if Darvish pans out. However, there’s been more than one instance in the past of a pitcher that has been dominant in Japan, only to come over the the United States and fail, at the Major League Level. The latest example of this being Daisuke Matsuzaka. The Boston Red Sox (who didn’t even submit a bid for Darvish) paid 51.1 million to talk to Matsuzaka, and ended up getting him to agree to a 6-year, 52 million dollar deal. Although Daisuke had success in his first and second seasons with the Red Sox, injuries since then have caused him to become a non-factor, as he only pitched 6 games this season, with a 5.30 ERA. Not exactly stellar stuff. But if Darvish does turn out to be the same caliber pitcher he was in Japan, he could very well be the extra link needed to finally get the Rangers that World Series title that they’ve been so close to getting the past two seasons.

PRINCE FIELDER SIGNS WITH TIGERS

Since the Brewers where beaten out of the playoffs by the St. Louis Cardinals, all eyes have been on Fielder, with the main question being where he’d end up for the 2012 season. Well, no one knew for a long time. It was reported a few weeks ago that the the Rangers and Nationals were the teams that were pursuing Fielder the hardest. But after the Rangers spent a big chunk of change to sign Darvish, you had to figure that Fielder was going to be sporting a Nationals jersey in the upcoming season. But know one really knew for sure where he’d go. That’s why, although I was surprised, it wasn’t a huge shock when it was reported that Fielder had signed with the Detroit Tigers. Fielder’s 9-year, 214 million dollar deal makes him the highest annually paid member of the team. But I think this is going to work out well for the Tigers. Although they had to shell out over 200 million to get Fielder to sign, he has shown in the past that he can be a major factor, and I think the addition of Fielder gives the Tigers a great shot at winning 100 or more games this year.

TIM LINCECUM’S ‘FREAK’ISH DEAL

Tim Lincecum is nicknamed the “Freak”, and now I see why. He can get major ammounts of money paid for him, as he was given a 2-year, 40.5 million dollar deal from the Giants, in which he signed. I can’t deny the fact that Lincecum is good–extremely good–but I’m not sure he’s 20.25 million dollars a year good. When calculated out, Lincecum’s pricey deal comes out to roughly 94,500 dollars an inning–if he has the EXACT same stats of 33 games started, and 217 innings pitched, as he did last year. (This is highly unlikely, but I’m just using it to show how much Lincecum is going to earn the next two seasons.) But the 30,000 dollars per out is well worth it I suppose, if Lincecum can pitch the way he did the years in which he won the Cy Young award. As a matter of fact, Lincecum will earn a bonus if he wins the Cy Young, or any other award. Those bonuses include: CY YOUNG- 500,000 dollars for winning his third one, 250,000 for coming in second, 100,000 for third, 75,000 for fourth, and 50,000 for fifth. NL MVP- 250,000 dollars for winning, 150,000 for second place, 100,000 for third, 75,000 for fourth, and 50,000 for fifth. ALL-STAR GAME- 100,000 dollars if picked to pitch in the game. GOLD GLOVE- 50,000 dollars for winning the award. But all that is pocket change really, compared to what he’ll earn during the regular season.

JORGE POSADA RETIRES FROM MLB

It was first reported back in November that long time Yankee catcher Jorge Posada was considering retirement. That report was confirmed on Tuesday, as Jorge Posada held a press conference to officially announce his retirement from the game of baseball. Posada was part of that core-four of Rivera, Jeter, Pettitte, and himself, back in the 1990’s. Posada’s retirement makes Jeter and Rivera the last two members of the original four. I admire Posada for his acknowledgement that it was time for him to quit. He went out on top, after 17 great seasons with the Yankees–which is the best thing anyone who retires from any professional sport can do. Better to retire on top, than to extend your career a season or two more and retire after having a season batting average of .151. Now comes the debate of whether or not Posada is a Hall of Fame caliber player. In my opinion he is. Posada had an amazing career that included 1,664 hits, 275 home runs, 1,065 RBI’s, and a batting average of .273. Not to mention his FIVE World Series rings. Not bad for a catcher. I don’t see Posada getting into the Hall of Fame his first year, but I feel that he’ll get in his second or third year on the ballot. He was that good of a player.

TOP 100 PROSPECT LIST

The Top 100 Prospect’s List was released yesterday. While I’m not going to take the time to talk about ALL 100 players on the list, I am going to give my thought’s on the top 3. The top three prospects on the list included Matt Moore, Bryce Harper, and Mike Trout. I’m shocked that Harper wasn’t number one. Not because I think he is better than Moore, but because everyone else that follows baseball seems to think he is the best prospect to come along in years. I mean, there’s no doubt that Harper is an incredible player, with undeniable power, but when it comes down to it, I think Moore is deserving of that number one spot he recieved. I have a good feeling that all three of the top 3 prospects will have a major impact at the Major League level this year. Which one will have the biggest impact is hard to say.

Wilson Ramos Kidnapped

Wilson Ramos–catcher for the Washington Nationals–was kidnapped from his home in Venezuela earlier today. Kidnappings are not all that uncommon in Venezuela. The main targets being the wealthy. Considering the fact that Ramos earned the league minimum of 414,000 dollars this season, he fits the kidnapping category perfectley. (At least in Venezuelan standards.)

Incidents like this have happened a lot over the past decade. Most were kidnappings that resulted in the return of the hostage unhurt without any ransom money collected. Some incidents, however, didn’t turn out as good. Relatives of Melvin Mora and Omar Infante were murdered back in the early 2000’s.

But hopefully, Wilson Ramos’s story will have a happy ending.

UPDATE

Wilson Ramos was rescued yesterday by Venezuelan police. Here he is being reunited with his mom:

Truly an amazing moment.

Q and A With Bryan Harper

Before you get too excited, check the title again. Notice that this Q and A is on BRYAN Harper, and not his brother, Bryce. (Just wanted to get that cleared up, and out of the way.)

Bryan Harper, who was part of the National College Championship baseball team last season, recently signed with the Nationals. He is now on his way to the pro’s just like his brother, Bryce.

Below’s Q and A is meant to help you learn more about Bryan Harper’s interests:

1.) Favorite type of music.

“Anything and everything.”

2.) Favorite song.

“No Sleep Till Brooklyn. (By Beastie Boys.)”

3.) Favorite food.

“Anything my mom cooks.”

4.) Favorite T.V. show.

“Suits.”

5.) Favorite movie.

“Star Wars. I’m a nerd at heart!”

6.) Favorite book.

“No books, but magazine, in Men’s Health.”

7.) Favorite thing to do in free time.

“Play XBOX.”

8.) Favorite time of year.

“Baseball season.”

9.) Favorite sport, besides baseball.

“College football. GO COCKS!!”

10.) Favorite player growing up.

“C.C. Sabathia.”

11.) Favorite shoe brand.

“Nike.”

12.) Favorite car.

“Audi R8.”

13.) Favorite subject, when in school.

“Anything that kept me interested.”

14.) Favorite quote.

“Winners never quit, and quitters never win.”

15.) Favorite moment of baseball career thus far.

“Winning the College World Series.”

I hope this helped you to learn more about Bryan Harper of the National’s Organization.

—————————————————————————————————————————————-

Big thanks to Bryan Harper for answering my questions.

You can follow Bryan Harper on twitter: @BHarp45

The next Q and A entry will be posted Saturday, August 27, on Casper Wells, of the Seattle Mariners.

PAST Q AND A ENTRIES: Brent Lillibridge, Daniel Hudson, Mike O’Hara and Ryan Wagner, and Jeremy Guthrie.

Q and A With Jeremy Guthrie

Today’s Q and A entry is on Jeremy Guthrie. Starting pitcher for the Baltimore Orioles.

Since recording his first complete game back in August of 2008, Jeremy Guthrie has pitched his way to success with the Orioles. Earning a name for himself as one of the O’s best pitchers.

Below’s Q and A is meant to inform you of what Jeremy Guthrie likes:

1.) Favorite type of music.

“Top 40.”

2.) Favorite song.

“Too many.”

3.) Favorite food.

“Pizza.”

4.) Favorite T.V. show.

“Fresh Prince of Bel Air.”

5.) Favorite movie.

“Serendipity.”

6.) Favorite book.

“Scriptures.”

7.) Favorite thing to do in free time.

“Sports. Or ride bike.”

8.) Favorite time of year.

“Fall.”

9.) Favorite sport, besides baseball.

“Football.”

10.) Favorite player growing up.

“Michael Jordan.”

11.) Favorite shoe brand.

“Nike/Jordan.”

12.) Favorite car.

“Audi R-8.”

13.) Favorite subject, when in school.

“Math.”

14.) Favorite quote.

Left unanswered.

15.) Favorite moment of baseball career thus far.

“Walk off win in World Baseball Classic.”

I hope this helped you to learn more about Jeremy Guthrie of the Baltimore Orioles.

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Big thanks to Jeremy Guthrie for answering my questions.

You can follow Jeremy Guthrie on twitter: @JGuthrie46

The next Q and A entry will be posted Wednesday, August 24, on Bryan Harper, of the Nationals organization.

PAST Q AND A ENTRIES: Brent Lillibridge, Daniel Hudson and Mike O’Hara and Ryan Wagner.

Alex Meyer-From Dream To Team

“I was interested in baseball for as long as I can remember,” replies Alex Meyer, in response to when he first developed an interest in baseball. “I remember my mom signing me up for instructional league, when I was 5 years old, for the Greensburg Youth Baseball League. I was fortunate enough to play with all of my friends growing up.”

Another thing Meyer enjoyed growing up, was watching his favorite player, Ken Griffey Jr, play baseball, saying, “He was the most exciting player to watch, and everytime I had the opportunity to watch him play, I did.” Now that Jr. has retired, Meyer states that Josh Beckett is his new favorite player. “I really like the way he pitches,” replies Meyer, “and the way he composes himself on the mound.”

Like Beckett, Meyer relies heavily on his fastball. “I love throwing the fastball. It’s my favorite pitch because I feel like you can spot up the most with that pitch.”

He must know what he’s talking about. In his most recent season for the University of Kentucky, Meyer recorded 110 strikeouts, and 2 complete game shutouts. (Both of which he led the team in.)

Before he recieved his College baseball success, Meyer attempted a few other sports. He gave football a shot, but after just one year decided that it really wasn’t the sport for him. Basketball and baseball was where his real interest lied. (Playing both in all four years of high school.)

“Basketball was something that I really enjoyed doing throughout the winter, and I felt like I had some success in it……”, says Meyer. “…….but I always figured baseball was where my future was.”

When it comes to basketball, there’s no question as to why he had success with it. In Meyer’s own words, “I’m 6’9”, and can do some crazy dunks.” (Enough said.)

Coming out of high school, Meyer was drafted by the Boston Red Sox in the 20th round. However, he decided to attend college, saying, “I was set on going to school because at the time, it was the most important thing for me. I love baseball and if things were going to work out, I needed to get stronger and mentally mature and if that were to happen, it would benefit me more, I felt, than signing at that point in time.”

After making the decision to attend college, another decision was left to be made. Which college to choose? In the end, Meyer chose the University of Kentucky. “I knew that I wanted to play in the SEC because I felt that it was the best conference in the country and would get you ready for pro ball more than any other conference could. Kentucky was close to home (Greensburg, IN) and I wanted to make sure my family could come to my games. This made the decision easy for me.”

Getting back to the mention of family by Meyer, it is a very big part of his life. “I like to call my family before I get to the field and talk to all of them before I go into the locker room. I always make sure that I talk to my mom last because she always gives me words of encouragement that no one else does. She keeps me humble and grounded and I feel like [she] does a great job getting me ready for the game.”

Family was also a part of Meyer’s life on draft night. (June 9th, 2011.) As he sat there, patiently awaiting his name to be called, his family was there with him. When his name was finally called, as the 23rd pick in the first round by the Nationals, Meyer experienced a great deal of emotion. His initial thoughts being, “I was extremely excited to know that a team thought that highly of me. It was a great feeling for me to experience.”

Following the National’s selection, former baseball player Harold Reynolds stated, in reaction to the pick of Meyer, “He’s (Alex Meyer) the greatest pitcher to ever come out of the University of Kentucky.” When asked about his reaction to that statement by Reynold’s, Meyer replied, “That is a bold statement. I am very humbled to hear people say that, but, at the same time, I know I still have a lot of work to do. There have been some good pitchers [to] come out of the university…….to be put in a category with that group of people is pretty special.”

Meyer’s career in Professional baseball is just beginning. But, to the kids who’s baseball careers are just beginning, Meyer gives the following advice: “……make sure to work hard every single day, but the most important thing in baseball is to stay positive. The game has so much failure and it can be hard to bounce back at times, but if you stay positive, it can be extremely rewarding.”

Considering the fact that Alex Meyer went from an Instructional League in Greensburg, IN, to being drafted in the first round by the National’s, I’d say his advice is fairly accurate.

——————————————————————————————

Big thanks to Alex Meyer for answering my questions.

You can follow Alex on twitter @AlexMeyer17

UPDATE

Got this from Alex in the mail:

AWESOME!!

Thanks Alex.

Greensboro Grasshoppers Vs. Hagerstown Suns

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.)

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