Results tagged ‘ Yankees ’
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.
Going into Sunday’s Spring Training game against the Phillies, the number one thing on the minds of the Yankees–owners, players, and fans alike–was whether or not their highest paid player and power slugger, Alex Rodriguez, was going to perform well. After having a less than satisfactory end to the 2011 season, A-rod had to do something to get the fans back on their feet again. They needed a reason to cheer, and aiming to please, Rodriguez delivered.
The first pitch to Rodriguez–a fastball from Phillies Ace, Roy Halladay–was drilled the opposite way for a home run. Given the wind was whipping in that general direction, which no doubt helped carry the ball further than it would have traveled on a less blustery day, it was impressive none the less; and he wasn’t done yet.
Rodriguez reached base safely in each of his next two plate appearances. Recording a single and an RBI double, before being plucked from the game. Just a short glimpse at the old, injury free, Rodriguez, was a sight for sore eyes.
The problem with Rodriguez is that he can’t seem to stay healthy for very long, and using last year as an example, takes a while after recovering from an injury to get back into the groove of things. Taking all of this into consideration, many people foresee A-rod having a season similar to 2011, but I for one don’t see that taking place.
First of all, Rodriguez is too good of a player to not put up impressive stats, while healthy. He obviously wasn’t his normal self last season, due to injuries. However, if his first game of the year is any indication, Rodriguez seems to be fully healthy, and ready to go for 2012. Subsequently, that should equal a season with similar stats to years past. Yes, Rodriguez is older than he was back in the day, but he’s still not THAT old. At age 36, Rodriguez more than likely still has two or three more good seasons left in him; if he can stay injury free.
If in fact Rodriguez can avoid the injury bug for the full duration of the season, he should be able to reach several milestones. Currently one home run shy of tying Ken Griffey Jr. for fifth on the all time home run list, A-rod should be able to check that off his list of things to do before he retires within the first week of the season. The next stop would be Willie Mays, who is currently fourth on the list with 660 career home runs. While I feel Rodriguez will come close, I don’t think he’ll quite reach it this year.I could however see Rodriguez tying (or passing?) Lou Gehrig for first on the all time grand slams list, with 23. (Rodriguez currently has 22 for his career.)
Moving onto a few other milestones that I could see A-rod achieving this season. Needing to drive in 107 base runners I could easily see Rodriguez reaching the 2,000 RBI mark. However, just like with passing Willie Mays in all time home runs, he might have to wait until 2013 to do so. 500 doubles is pretty much a guarantee, however, as he needs a mere 5 to reach the milestone.
I’m not trying to be unrealistic. Rodriguez isn’t going to come out and hit 40 home runs, and drive in 130 runs, but I don’t think it’s out of the realm of possibility for him to have a 30 home run, 100 RBI year. He still has the determination, and most importantly the talent, that he’s had in years past.
I look for Alex Rodriguez to surprise a lot of people this year. He’s no longer 20, and thus is never going to play at the same level he was playing at in the prime of his career, but even a healthy 36-year old Rodriguez is enough to put fear into any opposing pitcher’s eyes. Or at least it should be.
As I sat on my couch last night, watching MLB Network, a very valid questions was posed by the network analysts of whether or not Derek Jeter has a shot of getting to 4,000 hits, or better yet, the even bigger milestone of passing the all-time hit leader, Pete Rose. Rose, who had a total of 4,256 hits in his career, is currently over 1,000 hits ahead of Jeter, who has 3,088 hits to show for his 17-year career. No chance of him getting over 1,000 hits before he retires, right? Well, although it’s an uphill climb for Jeter, the idea of Jeter getting at least to 4,000 hits isn’t out of the question. When you compare Jeter to Rose, in terms of hits through 2,426 games, Jeter is 22 hits ahead of Rose. A pace I feel he can keep up.
Jeter recorded 162 hits this past season alone, and if he can keep up an average of at least 150 hits a season, he could get to 4,000 hits in 6-years time. That’d put him at 4,000 career hits by his 24th season; or age 43. Though Jeter is already considered old (by baseball standards) Rose didn’t retire until age 45. Add two extra seasons onto Jeter’s career and you end up with roughly 20 hits more than Rose had in his career. I’m not saying that it’s extremely likely that Jeter will pass Rose, I’m just saying that it’s more likely than people are giving Jeter credit for. Jeter does an incredible job in his at-bats of fouling off tough pitches for one he can loop over an infielders head for a base hit. It’s this skill that I feel will lead him to a 4,000 (or more) hit career.
So, do you agree, or disagree with me? Do you think Jeter is on track to a 4,000 hit career? Maybe even more? Let me know:
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.
It’s official. According to the Yankees’ Jorge Posada, he will NOT be returning to the Yankees for the 2012 season. But after the Yankees made it clear towards the end of the 2011 season that his services were no longer needed, you pretty much figured this was coming.
Posada was part of the ‘core four’ in the late 1990′s. A group of four Yankees that consisted of Posada, Derek Jeter, Andy Pettitte, and Mariano Rivera. The four came up through the minors together and continued their togetherness stretch on up into the 2000′s. They won four World Series titles in a five year span–earning the name ‘core four’. Three of the ‘core four’ members (Jeter, Posada, and Rivera) played together for 17 consecutive years (1994-2011.) Andy Pettitte’s retirement earlier this year (Febuary 4th) caused the ‘core four’ to become the ‘key three’. Which now–with Posada’s career as a Yankee over–makes Jeter and Rivera the last remaining members of the 1990′s Yankees.
You know Posada wishes that his time with the Yankees could continue for at least another season. A wish made apparent by the following statement that he made yesterday:
I will always be a Yankee. The New York Yankees, for me, is my second family. It’d be tough to put on another uniform for real and learn a new set of rules. But it’s one of those things where I have to see if I wanna keep playing. At the end of the day, it’s a business. You look back and you wish there were some things that could’ve gone differently, but they didn’t. Everything happened for a reason. I’m not bitter at the Yankees. I’m not bitter at Joe Girardi. I’m not bitter at Brian Cashman. It just happens.
It may ”just happen”, but I hate to see him go. I’ve been a fan of Posada for as long as I can remember. I feel that he’s a great guy–on and off the field–and is one of the most unappreciated players in all of MLB. (At least as far as last season goes.)
In honor of Posada’s fantastic career as a Yankee, I decided to talk about some of the highlights from his career:
Jorge Posada’s Major League Debut–September 4, 1995
Posada’s first game of his career in 1995 was also his only game of the year. He didn’t play another game in a Yankee uniform until 1996 when he played in eight games. He didn’t make the post season roster that season, however.
Jorge Posada’s First World Series Ring–October 21, 1998
The 1998 World Series saw the New York Yankees taking on the San Diego Padres. The Padre’s were no match for the Yankees, as they were swept in four games. Posada had one home run in the entire series, but with the help of his teamates, was able to win his first World Series title, and ring. Posada, and the Yankees, would go on to win three more World Series titles. (1999, 2000, and 2009.)
Jorge Posada’s First All-Star Game–July 11, 2000
Posada was lucky enough to be on a winning team for the first All-Star game of his career. The year 2000 saw the American League winning 6-3. Posada has been in four All-Star games since, (2001, 2002, 2003, and 2007), with the American League team coming out on top every single time. (Unless you consider the 2002 All-Star game as a no-win for both teams. That years game ended in a 7-7 tie, after both teams ran out of players.)
Jorge won the first of his five career Silver Slugger Awards in 2000. That season he hit 28 home runs and collected 86 RBI’s off of 145 hits. Posada has won four Silver Slugger Awards since 2000. (2001, 2001, 2003, and 2007.)
Jorge Posada’s 1,000th Career RBI–July 23, 2010
Most of the fans in the stands for this game were there to witness Alex Rodriguez hit his 600th home run of his career. They didn’t get to see that, however they did get to see something just as awesome. For it was in this game that Posada collected his 1,000th RBI of his career off of a double to center field.
As you can see, Jorge Posada has had an amazing career with the New York Yankees. Whether he’ll come back to play for another team for the 2012 season is still yet to be seen. Posada did however make the following statement regarding his thoughts on next season:
I started working out again on Nov. 1 like I always do, but I have no idea what’s gonna happen. A lot of teams called after the season was over. I’m undecided. I don’t know if I wanna play or stay home. I’m having fun with the kids and my family, but I don’t know what I wanna do. I don’t wanna make the mistake of telling you that I’m not gonna play or telling you that I am gonna play when I don’t know what I wanna do.
No matter what happens, Posada will always hold a spot in Yankee history as one of the “good guys.” He was a great player on the field, and an even better person off of it. When a Major League ballplayer is as grounded as Posada is, it’s hard to not respect him. As they say, “respect is earned, not given.” I can tell you this: Jorge Rafael Posada has earned my respect.
Should Posada give up baseball altogether? Or should he come back and play with another team for the 2012 season? Let me know what you think:
When Bernie Williams made his Major League debut, I wasn’t even born. By the time he hit his 100th home run, I was only two. When he stepped into the batters box, for his 4,500th at bat, I was just starting Kindergarten. So how could it be possible that Bernie Williams is my favorite player of all time? The answer lies on a warm July afternoon in Motown, at Comerica Park in Detroit:
It was to be the last event of my family’s two week long trip together. The Yankees were in town to take on the Tigers, and the crowd, as to be expected with a Yankee game, was a sellout. The forecast was sunny. It was a perfect day for a ballgame.
This was the third Major League ballgame that I’d ever attended. (My first Yankees game.) Although it was sure to be an exciting match up, between two great teams, I wasn’t really that excited.
I didn’t really know the names of any of the players on either team. (Not even the stars like Jeter, A-rod, and Ordonez.) I felt out of place. Like I was the only person, out of the 41,000 fans in attendance, that wasn’t enjoying themselves. Baseball is supposed to be enjoyable—America’s Pastime. But I wasn’t enjoying myself at all.
When the first pitch was thrown, to start the 7:05 game, the sun was the only thing on my mind. As a matter of fact, it was the only thing I could see from my section 142 seat. It was nearly unbearable, as I had no sunglasses, and had to squint just to make out tiny shadows, that moved around like I imagined baseball players would. But I really couldn’t tell one team from another.
I wasn’t having a good time before, and I certainly wasn’t having fun now. I found myself thinking, “Is this baseball? Is this the game they call America’s Pastime?” I was confused.
It was the third inning when I finally had the wool, or in this case the sun, pulled from my eyes. I could finally see, both physically and metaphorically. I began to understand why the game of baseball is so great.
Although the third inning brought about my new view towards baseball, it wasn’t until the ninth inning that I became sick with the illness that is baseball fever. An illness that has spread about the nation for the past century, like a pandemic. Though this pandemic doesn’t bring death, but life, in the form of joy. Joy for the game of Baseball.
But what was the cause of this joy? What led me to become a baseball fan for life? The answer: Bernie Williams. Not just the player, but the ambassador. The ambassador who through one swing of the bat, became my favorite player—for life.
A home run to right field by Bernie. That’s the one event that sticks out in my mind from that game.
Even when Mariano Rivera came in for the save, in the bottom of the ninth, my mind was on Bernie’s home run. I couldn’t describe it then, and I still can’t describe it now. But something inside of me clicked on. My baseball switch, I suppose. It was amazing.
I felt like a new person. And in a sense, I was. I was no longer just a kid at a baseball game. I was an actual fan. A fan just like the other 41,ooo in attendance. It was great.
I had no camera, to capture the moment, but it didn’t matter. I can still see the ball flying over the wall, to this day. Everytime I close my eyes, I see it. Like a million dollar painting, stored in my head. Forever.
So there you have it. Bernie Williams is my favorite player of all time, because of that one home run. Although he hit 287 home runs in his career, it took just that one to make me a fan. (Like I said, I can’t explain it.)
So, thank you, Bernie. For not only making me a fan of your’s, but a fan of the game, that I now can’t get enough of. In a weird, distorted, unexplainable, sort of way, you changed my life—for the better.
Question: What do Curtis Granderson, Ichiro Suzuki, Heath Bell, Brandon Phillips, David Ortiz, and Johnny Damon, all have in common?
Answer: They are all great guys who enjoy interacting with their fans, and giving back.
So, in honor of their general awesomeness, I decided to ask six fans (one for each player) the same three questions, to see their opinions on the coolest guys in baseball. Here’s what they had to say:
Big thanks to Curtis Granderson fan Alexandra, for answering my questions.
1. What is it about Curtis that makes him such a likeable guy?
His personality and the way he plays the game. He plays with his heart and has fun with it. He’s a great guy on and off the field.
His Grand Kids Foundation and how he donates thousands of dollars worth of baseball gear to schools around New York every year.
3. On a scale of 1-10, rank Curtis in terms of fan friendliness/likeability. (With 10 being highest.)
Definitely a 10. He’s a very humble guy. Every one likes him even more after meeting him. He loves his fans.
Big thanks to Ichiro Suzuki fan Luke, for answering my questions.
1. What is it about Ichiro that makes him such a likeable guy?
2. Since becoming a fan is there anything that Ichiro has done on, or off, the field, that has stood out to you?
I believe he helped get donation stuff going when the Earthquake tore apart Japan. I believe he’s just a really good guy.
3. On a scale of 1-10, rank Ichiro in terms of fan friendliness/likeability. (With 10 being the highest.)
I would say he is about an 8. Really friendly guy.
Big thanks to Heath Bell fan Zack, for answering my questions.
1. What is it about Heath that makes him such a likeable guy?
He’s basically a four-year-old in a grown man’s body. He’s happy and friendly, and he doesn’t behave like everyone seems to think that a professional athlete should.
3. On a scale of 1-10, rank Heath in terms of fan friendliness/likeability. (With 10 being the highest.)
I’d say somewhere around 14.
Big thanks to Brandon Phillips fan Neiko, for answering my questions.
1. What is it about Brandon that makes him such a likeable guy?
2. Since becoming a fan is there anything that Brandon has done on, or off, the field, that has stood out to you?
The fact that Brandon has become a worldwide known baseball player, and has interacted more with his fans. That shows the person he is.
3. On a scale of 1-10, rank Brandon in terms of fan friendliness/likeability. (With 10 being highest.)
I would say 10 because once you really get to know him he’s the most fan friendly and likable player in the MLB.
Big thanks to David Ortiz fan Jordan, for answering my questions.
1. What is it about David that makes him such a likeable guy?
He’s shown to be a generally nice guy from what I’ve seen from games. A gentle giant of sorts. Reference being an MLB fancave video where he is wearing his jersey walking around New York, looking for hugs.
I was watching a Sox v. Yanks game on ESPN back in May. Next to the dugout was a father wearing a yanks hat, and a son wearing a sox hat. He put his bat up, noticed the boy wearing a sox hat in yankee stadium, and pulled his bat back out and handed it to the kid. Awesome in my book.
3. On a scale of 1-10, rank David in terms of fan friendliness/likeability. (With 10 being the highest.)
Giving that kid his bat gives him a 10 in my book.
Big thanks to Johnny Damon fan Teresa, for answering my questions.
1. What is it about Johnny that makes him such a likeable guy?
J D loves baseball. Would have stayed in Boston for less $$ but was forced to the Yanks. Success did not change him. He’s remained someone his mom could be proud of. Never whined, when not given the media attention he deserved. Just played ball.
2. Since becoming a fan is there anything that Johnny has done on, or off, the field, that has stood out to you?
I became a J D fan when he donated his hair to Locks of Love to help a child (while in Boston).
3. On a scale of 1-10, rank Johnny in terms of fan friendliness/likeability. (With 10 being highest.)
While in Boston a 10. Yanks a 5. Back up to an 8 these days.
So there you have it. Six different opinions, on six different players. I hope this entry has helped to turn you into a fan of all six players. When it comes down to it, they’re all GREAT guys.
Please leave a comment, and rate this entry………
Big thanks to ALL who helped me out in answering my questions. I appreciate it. So, to thank you, I’ll give you shout outs to your twitter accounts:
Alexandra– Twitter….. @TeamGrandy14
Luke– Twitter….. @LGNation34
Zack– Twitter….. @zack_hample
Neiko– Twitter….. @ThisIsNJJ
Jordan– Twitter….. @RoundDozerMan
Teresa– Twitter….. @golfergirl88
Brett Gardner is the batter—a fun guy to watch. He can hit. Has great speed. Normally the guy in which all of the attention would be on at the moment. But today is not a normal day. Even with Gardner the batter, the crowd can’t take their eyes off of Jeter, who stands in the on deck circle.
Cameras in hand, ready to capture that milestone moment of 3,000 hits, the crowd waits in anticipation for Jeter to step to the plate. For with one swing of the bat, history could be made.
The wait is nearly unbearable. You can almost feel the crowd wanting Gardner to hurry and get a hit, or worse, an out, just to bring Derek to the plate faster. The crowd soon gets their wish, as Gardner grounds out to second. Finally, the moment the crowd, and Jeter, have been anticipating for months, is now folding out in front of their eyes.
Jeter approaches the plate as he always does. Gets set in the batters box, and readies himself as the pitcher, David Price, prepares to deliver the pitch. After working the count to 3-2, Jeter fouls off two tough pitches, waiting for the one he could hit. He would soon get it. A 3-2 slider, normally an effective pitch by Price, is crushed by Jeter. Off the bat everyone knows the balls fate. HOME RUN!!! (420 feet to be exact.)
As Jeter rounds the bases, with that patented Jeter grin, his fellow Yankees begin to clear the bench. By the time Jeter rounds third, all of his teamates are waiting to give their congratulations. After all, Jeter just became the first Yankee to ever get 3,000 hits. Something well worth congratulating.
You could tell Jeter wanted to remember and cherrish every second of what was going on, as he hugged ever member of the Yankee team.
The crowd meanwhile, is going crazy. An impressive site to watch.
Derek Jeter would go on to record three more hits, going 5-5 on the day.
I don’t think James Cameron could have written a happier ending to Jeter’s hard work. Afterall, this is something Jeter has been working towards his entire career. So, to do it with a home run, is almost a dreamlike outcome. But no need to pinch yourself, this dream is a reality.
Derek Jeter is one of the classiest players in baseball as well as one of the best players to ever wear the pinstripes.
El Capitan. Mr November. Captian Clutch. Derek Jeter. Many names for one great man.
Derek Jeter. I tip my cap to you.
Here’s a really quick entry about Derek Jeter and his 3,000th hit ball. (I’ll write a bigger entry when Jeter gets to 3,000.)
Quite simply, with the 3,oooth hit ball worth an estimated 300,000 to 400,000 dollars, what would you do if you caught the milestone hit? (Via Home run or Ground rule double?)
Would you give it back? Sell it? Trade it for some nice goodies? What?
Let me know what you would do, by leaving a comment. I want to hear your thoughts……….
(Even if you’re reading this from twitter, please sign in and leave a comment.)
Now that school is out, I’m going to be blogging a lot more now. Not an every day thing, but probably at least every other day or so.
Some blog entries will be random ones, about things going on in baseball, and some will be on hot topics. I’m not really sure yet.
But what I am sure of three upcoming blog entries:
The first will come sometime next week, as I’m going to do a Q and A with Alex Meyer on Monday, and form it all together in a blog entry sort of like Neiko Johnson’s. Unlike Neiko, Alex has already been drafted. (To the Nationals.) But I’m sure that Neiko will sign with a team soon. [Update....I was right. He signed with the Astros earlier today!]
The second entry that I’m sure of, is one on the June 21st Yankees @ Reds game. I’m showing up at 1:00 (for a 7:10 game) to try and get autographs from the Yankees players as they enter the stadium. I’m also taking my glove to BP for the first time EVER. And lastly I’m going to try and get the Yankees lineup cards from Girardi. It will definitely be an interesting/long blog entry, due to all that’s going to go down. So check back sometime after the game.
And the last entry that I’m one hundred percent sure I’m going to do is on the Louisville Slugger Factory. I’ve never been, so that should be nice.
Other than the three things listed above, I have no idea. The entries will be about whatever baseball related thing that I’m thinking about at the moment.
Lastly, in the unlikely event that you want to follow me on twitter, I’ll be posting links to my entries, and updates about random things that are going on. If you’re still reading and DO want to follow me, you can do so by clicking HERE.
That’s all ’til Monday……..