Results tagged ‘ Oakland Athletics ’

Torre, LaRussa and Cox Elected to the Hall of Fame

With around a month remaining until the players’ portion of the 2014 Hall of Fame class is announced on January 8th, there’s still plenty of time left to debate which players deserve to make it in this time around. (I’ll give my take a few days before.)

But while we don’t yet know the players who will be elected in 2014, the baseball world found out on Monday that Joe Torre, Tony LaRussa and Bobby Cox will be among those inducted as part of the 2014 class.

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Voted in by a unanimous vote of the Expansion Era Committee, Torre, LaRussa and Cox are all very deserving — each winning over 2,000 games in their managerial careers — but that doesn’t stop controversy from surrounding the vote. Not controversy that the three shouldn’t have gotten in, but that another name or two on the ballot should’ve been voted in.

The ballot, consisting of twelve of the games’ great players, managers, and other baseball figures, included Tommy John, Ted Simmons, Dave Parker, Dave Concepcion, Steve Garvey, Dan Quisenberry, George Steinbrenner, Marvin Miller and Billy Martin, as other candidates for the Hall of Fame besides Torre, LaRussa and Cox. But no one besides the three elected received more than six votes. (The necessary number for election is twelve.)

In my opinion, Marvin Miller and George Steinbrenner should’ve been elected, as they did a lot for the game of baseball, and were important figures of their time, but in the end, it is what it is. While I disagree with them not getting the votes to be elected, I’m not going to talk about them that much, because I want to spend time discussing the three managers that made it in.

Joe Torre managed a total of 29 seasons, spending time with the Mets, Braves, Cardinals and Dodgers, however, his most memorable years came with the New York Yankees. With the Yankees, Torre led his team to four World Series championships — three straight from 1998-2000. Torre was named Manager of the Year twice in his career, and finishes fifth all time in terms of wins, with 2,326.

Tony La Russa shared his time between the White Sox, Athletic’s and Cardinals, managing for a total of 33 seasons. LaRussa was voted Manager of the Year four times, leading his teams to three World Series titles — one with the A’s and two with the Cardinals. Winning 100 or more games in a season four times, LaRussa sits third all time in wins, with 2,728.

Bobby Cox managed for 29 seasons, between the Braves and Blue Jays. Cox took the Braves to 14 straight playoff seasons — the one thing that stands out most in my mind — and was a player favorite. Four-time Manager of the Year, Cox led the Braves to a 1995 World Series title — the only one of his career — and finished fourth all time in victories, with 2,504.

I was fortunate enough to have seen two of the three Hall of Fame mangers, manage — Bobby Cox four times, and Joe Torre twice. Though I never witnessed a game that Tony LaRussa managed, I saw him on the field during the 2012 All-Star workouts, before the Home Run Derby, in Kansas City, Missouri. Nearly everyone took the time to talk with LaRussa, who had retired the previous season, and it was an impressive sight to witness, with the obvious respect they had for him.

All three managers are well respected, and are deserving of the Hall of Fame.

Joe Torre, Tony LaRussa and Bobby Cox will be inducted on July 27th, in Cooperstown, NY.

Yoenis Cespedes Signs With Oakland

When I woke up Monday morning the rumor was still that the Miami Marlins were the front-running candidates to sign Cuban phenom, Yoenis Cespedes. That’s why it was a huge shock to me, and most of the baseball world, when it was announced that Cespedes had signed a 4-year, 36 million dollar deal, with the Oakland Athletics. As far as the move goes, I’m not sure what the logic is behind it, on both Billy Beane, and Yoenis Cespedes’s part. As far as Billy Beane goes, we all know this guy makes crazy moves, but in my opinion this move is crazy even for him. The Athletics traded away three of their best pitchers (Trevor Cahill, Andrew Bailey and Gio Gonzalez) during the offseason. Replacing them with a big bat will only go so far in helping your team. You need starting pitching, as well as a good offensive lineup to help your team win games.

The Athletics did pick up pitching prospect Jarrod Parker from the Diamondbacks, but to me they still need one more guy on the roster to help this team be even slightly more successful than they were last season. Manny Ramirez could be the addition they need, as rumor has it that Oakland is still looking to sign him. Although I feel Ramirez’s career in MLB has run it’s course I’m not going to pitch a fit if he ends up signing with the Athletics; or any team for that matter. I think it’d be interesting to see whether or not he still has the ability to help a team win, or do just the opposite.

Moving on, let me take a minute to tell you how I feel the Yoenis Cepedes signing will effect the team. First of all, I’d like to point out (in case you’ve forgotten) that the Athletics finished next to last this past season, just beating out the Mariners. I feel that the Mariners will flip flop spots with the Athletics this year. Reason being, the Mariners have several young guys that I feel will come through big for them this season. The main guy to watch being Jesus Montero, who was traded by the Yankees. If Montero can put up big numbers in Seattle I can see the Mariners doing well this season. As far as the Athletics go, I just don’t see enough talent there to give them a chance at coming in any higher than last place in the AL West division. But Oakland, if you’re reading this (haha), prove me wrong.

If you’ve got a minute (or 20) take the time to watch ‘The Showcase’ video of Yoenis Cespedes, if you haven’t already seen it. The guy’s in freakishly good shape:

CLICK HERE TO WATCH THE VIDEO ON YOUTUBE

Q and A With Kurt Suzuki

Kurt Suzuki is the current catcher for the Oakland Athletic’s. In his five seasons with the Athletics Kurt Suzuki has recorded 56 home runs and over 500 hits. Suzuki took the time recently to answer some questions for my blog:

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

I’ve always loved baseball, but it wasn’t until I was in middle school that I really wanted to play as long as I could.

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

I actually wanted to be a shortstop early. When I got to high school I focused on being a catcher full time.

3.) Where were you, and how did you find out, that you’d been drafted by the Oakland Athletics in the 2004 draft? Initial thoughts?

We had an off day before the super regionals in college so I was at our coaches office at the field watching it on the computer. I was really excited to be drafted by Oakland. It was a west coast team with lots of tradition and I heard about their love of bringing up young players.

4.) How do you prepare yourself (and your knees) for the many innings behind the plate?

I work on staying flexible and athletic. I try to rely on quickness then being really big. All my workouts are explosive, quick twitch muscles related.

5.) Do you have any pre-game rituals?

I have a pre game routine I do every game to get myself loose and warm. If I do it I also feel prepared and confident going into the game.

6.) Do you find it a better feeling to throw out a baserunner or to hit a home run?

Hard question. They’re both quite awesome. You get a good rush running the bases on a homer, but you also feel pretty cool nailing a runner at second or third. Helps the pitcher out and that’s huge for a catcher.

7.) What advice would you give to young catchers when it comes to throwing out base stealers and blocking the plate?

For throwing the best advice I got is not to rush. Give yourself a chance and be accurate. If you’re too quick and throw it into center it does no good. Put yourself in a good position when blocking the plate ready to absorb the hit. Make sure you have the ball too. No need to get run over when you don’t have the ball anyway.

8.) Favorite TV show?

Favorite tv show is parenthood.

9.) Favorite food?

Food: lau lau, lomi salmon, kalua pig and rice.

10.) Favorite moment of baseball career thus far?

Best moment has to be just being able to play the game of baseball and being able to take care of your family. It’s a great feeling and I always feel blessed to be able to do this!!!!
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Big thanks to Kurt Suzuki for taking the time to anser my questions.
You can follow him on twitter: @kurtsuzuki

Q and A With Brandon McCarthy

Today’s Q and A is on Brandon McCarthy. Starting Pitcher for the Oakland Athletics.

While this is Brandon’s first year with the Athletics, it’s also the best season of his six season career. Brandon has struck out 106 batters so far this season. (A career best.)

Below’s Q and A is meant to inform you with what Brandon McCarthy’s likes:

1.) Favorite type of music.

“Hard Rock mostly.” 

2.) Favorite song.

“Figure .09 (By Linkin Park.)” 

3.) Favorite food.

“Don’t have one. Maybe pot pies.” 

4.) Favorite T.V. show.

“Arrested Development, 30 Rock, [and] It’s always sunny in Philly.” 

5.) Favorite movie.

“Good Will Hunting.” 

6.) Favorite book.

“Lonesome Dove.” 

7.) Favorite thing to do in free time.

“Read [or] watch soccer.” 

8.) Favorite time of year.

“Fall, maybe? Don’t really know.” 

9.) Favorite sport, besides baseball.

“Soccer.” 

10.) Favorite player growing up.

“Frank Thomas.” 

11.) Favorite shoe brand.

“Under Armour. (And not just cause they pay me.)” 

12.) Favorite car.

“Don’t know to be honest.” 

13.) Favorite subject, when in school.

“History maybe? Not sure.” 

14.) Favorite quote.

“Worse things have happened to better people.” 

15.) Favorite moment of baseball career thus far.

“Being a part of a WS winning team.”

I hope this helped you to learn more about Brandon McCarthy of the Oakland Athletics.

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Big thanks to Brandon McCarthy for answering my questions.

You can follow Brandon McCarthy on twitter: @BMcCarthy32

The next Q and A entry will be posted Saturday, September 10, on Shawn Kelley, of the Seattle Mariners.

PAST Q AND A ENTRIES: Brent Lillibridge, Daniel Hudson, Mike O’Hara and Ryan Wagner, Jeremy Guthrie, Bryan Harper, Casper Wells, Bud Norris, and David Huff.

Q and A With David Huff

Today’s Q and A is on David Huff. Starting pitcher for the Cleveland Indians.

Although he hasn’t pitched as many game this year as he has in the past two years with the Indians, David Huff has still dominated on the mound. With 19 strikeouts through 26 innings pitched.

Below’s Q and A entry is meant to help you better understand David Huff’s interests:

1.) Favorite type of music.

“Classic Rock.”

2.) Favorite song.

“Stranglehold. (By Ted Nugent.)”

3.) Favorite food.

“PB&J.”

4.) Favorite T.V. show.

“Family Guy.”

5.) Favorite movie.

“Rudy.”

6.) Favorite book.

“October 1964.”

7.) Favorite thing to do in free time.

“Call of Duty: Black Ops.”

8.) Favorite time of year.

“California Winter.”

9.) Favorite sport, besides baseball.

“Soccer.”

10.) Favorite player growing up.

“Tom Glavine.”

11.) Favorite shoe brand.

“Nike.”

12.) Favorite car.

“Austin Martin DBS.”

13.) Favorite subject, when in school.

“History.”

14.) Favorite quote.

“Limits, like fears, are nothing but an illusion.-Michael Jordan”

15.) Favorite moment of baseball career thus far.

“My CG against the Texas Rangers. (AL Champs.)”

I hope this helped you to learn more about David Huff of the Cleveland Indians.

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Big thanks to David Huff for answering my questions.

You can follow David Huff on twitter: @theREALdavehuff

The next Q and A entry will be posted Wednesday, September 7, on Brandon McCarthy, of the Oakland Athletics.

PAST Q AND A ENTRIES: Brent Lillibridge, Daniel Hudson, Mike O’Hara and Ryan Wagner, Jeremy Guthrie, Bryan Harper, Casper Wells, and Bud Norris.

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