The Tampa Bay Rays have waited past the time that it appeared prospects David Price and Desmond Jennings were ready. They were set to do the same with Matt Moore, but the Rays are back in the playoff chase and Moore is clearly gives them a better chance to win.
From a fantasy perspective, he brings next to nothing in your standard mixed league. He will be used out of the Rays bullpen because he is already ten innings over the innings threshold he finished on last year. Leagues that have innings restrictions (think strikeouts) or require a player to be called up in order to get kept get some benefits. Still it will be an exciting player to watch and an important player to evaluate as he will almost certainly be used as a starter in 2012.
- Hunter Pence has 5 multi-hit games in the Phillies last 8 games. B.J. Upton has 4 multi-hit games in his last 5 games.
- It sounds as if Jair Jurrjens will have his great season finished with a knee injury.
- At 33, Aramis Ramirez is having his best year since 2008. He hit his 25th home run of the season tonight and has an average over .300.
- Albert Pujols hit his NL leading 35th home run of the season. He is hitting close to .300 and all year we’ve heard about how maybe the contract talk is bothering him. Isn’t he in the conversation for MVP?
- Cubs pitching coach Mark Riggins is openly asking if Jeff Samardzija can start next year. He has a 2.53 ERA and 1.09 WHIP since the break.
I remember high school so well because of what happened ten years ago. I was a soon-to-be-seventeen-year-old in chemistry when the principal came over the loud speaker and announced that airplanes had been highjacked and crashed into the World Trade Center. It was right at the end of the class and as everyone congregated into the hallway, among my friends none of us yet understood the significance of this event. When we got to the next class and we started watching tv rather than learn anything, it quickly became clear. I didn’t personally know anyone that lost their life that day, but it was a day that changed my life and all of our lives forever.
On that day and in the moments after, you couldn’t get away from hearing about the towers, Al Qaeda, and the NYPD and NYFD. Sports wouldn’t matter for the rest of that year relative to everything else that was happening in the country, but they were a nice distraction. And while it was a fitting that a team called the Patriots would win the Super Bowl, there was no sport that provided a better distraction than baseball.
The image that will forever be with everyone was George W. Bush throwing a strike in New York during the World Series with a protective vest hidden underneath his jacket and giving the crowd a thumbs up. Rudy Guliani could be spotted at every game with his NYPD hat. Then there was the electric atmosphere inside the Yankee Stadium when Derek Jeter and Scott Brosius hit walk-offs in back to back games. The city that took the brunt of that day had something else to take their minds off of everything that had happened. The Yankees would ultimately lose that series to the Arizona Diamondbacks. And those Diamondbacks all visited Ground Zero during their time and were deeply impacted by that.
On the day where games resumed, there was nothing more memorable than Jack Buck rhetorically asking, “Should we be here?”. It was time to pick up the pieces. To show the world that America was grieving, but would recover.
Another broadcasting legend, Vin Scully, had some great words before the Dodgers first game.
Nothing on the field was as great as Mike Piazza hitting an 8th inning home run to give the Mets a win in the first game played in New York. It was hit at a time when the Braves and Mets rivalry was peaking. Before the game the Mets and Braves exchanged handshakes and hugs. One fan brought a sign that read “Once rivals, now united.”
The pre-game ceremony tonight at Citi Field was very well done with one exception. MLB didn’t let the Mets wear NYFD and NYPD hats. They claimed they didn’t want to pick and choose this issue among all thirty teams. Probably about 2% of the fans in the game see their point. Still it was important ten years later that there was a star spangled banner and a chant of U-S-A.
Kevin Youkilis is not in Tampa Bay for the Red Sox series against the Rays. He is going back to Boston to get his hip looked at. The Red Sox lead the Rays by 6.5 games in the Wild Card and are currently losing 5 to 0 tonight. It’s an important series to finish the Rays and solidify themselves in the playoffs, so Youk is clearly hurt. And it’s not the first time. He’s already missed 27 games this season after missing 60 games in 2010, and 26 games in 2009. The numbers still looked good in the prior seasons, but this season he saw a huge dive in production despite the great performances of Adrian Gonzalez and David Ortiz hitting between most of this season. Youkilis is going to be 33 before Opening Day next season. He could have a Lance Berkman type of revival left in him, but I’m not buying unless he’s very cheap.
- Adam Lind was back in the Blue Jays lineup after missing the last couple of games with wrist discomfort.
- Nyjer Morgan and Chris Carpeneter don’t like each other.
- The New York Times has an interesting piece about Cliff Lee. He has 20% of the league’s complete game shutouts. That hasn’t happened since the 19th Century. The Times also wrote about Curtis Granderson’s strangle hold on the runs scored category, but FBHS beat them to the punch on that one over three weeks ago.
- Nick Swisher wasn’t in the lineup tonight with an elbow injury.
- Troy Tulowitzki is out tonight with a hip injury he might have hurt in the batting cage, but claims he will try to go tomorrow night.
- Josh Hamilton wasn’t in the lineup tonight because his wife was giving birth.
- It’s too bad that Major League Baseball scheduled the Yankees in Los Angeles for the ten year anniversary of 9/11. The good news is that the Angels are going to put together a nice tribute.
- Desperate for steals? Jimmy Paredes was moved to number two in the Astros order recently. As The Houston Chronicle details, he may strike out a bunch, but he can also run. He stole 29 bases at Double-A this year and 50 at two levels last year.
- Also moving to second in the order just today was Chipper Jones. You have to go back to the 2000 All-Star Game to find the last time that that happened.
- What happens to Aramis Ramirez and Carlos Pena will be an uncertainty until the Cubs hire a GM, but both players would like to remain Cubs.
- Marlins President David Samson claims that the franchise isn’t resting until there are 35,000 fans every night in the team’s new ballpark where they will be renamed the Miami Marlins. They’ve sold out one section for games next season already, but I’m not exactly sold on 35,000 per night when they’ve struggled to get 1,000 in a night at times.
- The Giants have released Miguel Tejada and Aaron Rowand. Rowand is still owed $12 million for next season. When are they going to finally cut the cord on the Barry Zito mistake too?
- Chien-Ming Wang has gone at least 5.2 innings in six straight starts, but is having trouble at the start of games. The durability has returned, but the way in which he warms up isn’t the same.
- Heath Bell is a good closer, but as The San Diego Union-Tribune informs, it doesn’t make sense for them to keep him. He is throwing once every three games and has thrown more than one inning twice all season. Spend the money on more innings or games.
- One middle infielder comes back and the other goes out for the Phillies. Chase Utley saw a concussion specialist today.
- Ian Kinsler could become the tenth leadoff hitter in baseball history to hit 30 home runs from that spot in the order. Usually that is a segway to question a manager for hitting him there, but in this case the Rangers lineup has enough thump to justify Ron Washington’s decision.
I can almost guarantee you that baseball is the only sport in a world where a 6’5″ mammoth of a man from Curacao is competing with a skinny Mexican kid from Denton, Texas for a job. Drop us a line here at FBHS if you know of anything like this, and we’ll give you a prize (prize not included).
While the bullpen situation looked bleak for YOUR…Los Angeles Dodgers at the beginning of the year, two arms emerged from the pile of broken bodies. After Jonathan Broxton and Hong Chi Kuo went down with maladies that affected the body and mind, rookies Javy Guerra and Kenley Jansen have become two of Don Mattingly’s most reliable relievers.
Guerra has the job locked up right now; there is absolutely no doubt about that. He’s gone 15 for 16 in save chances, with a 2.15 ERA, a 1.19 WHIP, 33 k’s in 37.2 innings. He’s given up one home run this year and walks 2.9 batters per 9. Jansen’s no slouch either; he’s got 3 saves this year (only when Guerra’s been over-used), with a 3.30 ERA, 1.22 WHIP and a staggering 73 k’s in 43.2 innings (which amounts to 15 k/9. Crazy!). His splits are even better; after the All-Star break, Jansen has a 0.69 ERA, 0.54 WHIP, with 25 strikeouts in just 13 innings. He’s allowed three hits and given up 4 walks.
Despite Jansen’s incredible hot streak as of late, if I was Don Mattingly, I would have to give the closer job to the incumbent Guerra. Just a week ago, Mattingly said that “Guerra has the makeup of a closer”, and showed no fear going into the ninth, despite being a rookie reliever. Javy came into this season with no expectations, but when his manager called on him, he stepped into the closer’s role effortlessly. Jansen on the other hand, was a dark horse candidate coming into the season to end up in the 9th inning role. He failed to live up to these expectations with a 4.40 ERA and a 1.39 WHIP, along with blowing his only save opportunity in the first half. Jansen is more a swing and miss guy, but when he misses, he misses big. Guerra is a little bit more of a surgeon-type pitcher, picking his spots and hitting them.
- Stephen Strasburg made his grand return last night, going 5 scoreless, giving up only 2 hits, no walks or earned runs and throwing 40 of his 56 pitches for strikes against the Dodgers. The beast seems to be back.
- Jerome Williams just won his 3rd game for the Angels after being out of baseball for years. Is he fantasy ownable? He’s gotr a 3.51 ERA, 1.05 WHIP, 19 k’s and 4 walks, along with going at least 7 inning in all of his starts.
- Mother nature picked the worst week possible to mess with everyone’s fantasy teams during the playoffs. Yeesh.
- Jesus Montero continued to tear it up today with two more RBI, on 1 -4 day.
- I’m betting Jason Verlander wins 25 games this year. If he wins his next 3 starts, that is.
- Since coming off the DL, Roy Oswalt has given up 5 runs, 3 runs and tonight, 2 runs in 5.2, 6.1 and 7 innings, respectively. He’s Hulking up.
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