Sober Rankings

1. New York Yankees (82-48) It’s no secret Derek Jeter is the glue that’s held the Yankees together since 1996, but Jeter’s August is worth an extra look. Jeter’s crushing it in August, batting .374 with six homers, 17 RBI and 23 runs.

2. Los Angeles Dodgers (78-53) It’s been a weird season for Dodger starters. There hasn’t been one true #1 all season, but three different guys filled the role throughout the year. Chad Billingsley started 9-3, 2.83 ERA until June 20, where he passed the baton to Clayton Kershaw. Kershaw then had an astounding 5-1, 1.16 ERA performance until August 10. Finally, Randy Wolf has grasped the #1 role. Since August 11, he’s 4-0, 1.80 ERA. So the million dollar question is who the heck will be their #1 starter in the playoffs?

3. Los Angeles Angels (77-52) The Angels drop a spot in the rankings after a less than stellar past couple of weeks. The pick up of Scott Kazmir should be huge should he play the way he did in his last outing for the Rays.

4. Boston Red Sox (76-54) Here’s an interesting almost uncanny stat: Clay Buchholz is 3-0, 1.35 ERA against the Blue Jays this year, but a dreadful 0-3, 6.33 ERA against everyone else. The Sox are really starting to heat up again at the right time.

5. St Louis Cardinals (77-55) Boy has John Smoltz enjoyed his return to the NL. In his two games played he has a microscopic 0.82 ERA in 11 innings. Continue reading

U.S. Open Preview

Nadal’s Quarter
Winner: It would be insane to bet against Nadal even if his injury is still lingering on. Jo-willy Tsonga could step up and beat him in a potential quarterfinal match, but the problem is will he get there? He can go out and beat any of the top players on any given day (Fed in Canada) but he could also lose to anybody on any given day (Isner and Guccione).
Dark Horse: Watch out for Jeremy Chardy to take out Gael Monfils in the first round. Chardy has come inot his own, while Monfils continues to struggle with injuries. David Ferrer could also potentially beat Rafael Nadal based on well he played Federer in Cincy, but he had a phantom retire against Rafa earlier in the summer.
Early Exit: Gael Monfils has his hands full with Jeremy Chardy and all of his injuries. 32 seed Nicolas Almagro could very well lose in his first match, but that’s not that big of an upset considering he’s a clay-courter. If he manages to win his first match look for Robby Ginepri to dispose of him in the second. Tomas Berdych is the ultimate wild card. Who knows if he’ll play well or poorly – this guy could appear on the early exits and/or dark horse list every tournament – it’s just a question of his motivation and his fitness.
Best potential match: Berdych vs. Gonzalez – interesting match considering Berdych has won the last three meetings, but it’s Gonzo who lives for majors. Gonzalez vs. Tsonga – If you like to see thunderous ground strokes and some of the hardest hit forehands you’ll ever see in your life – this is the match for you. Nadal vs. Gasquet – it’s not too often I put a first round match here, but this match is just so intriguing no matter how you look at it. Whether it’s Nadal’s storyline (first major since losing his “King of Clay” title) or Gasquet’s (first match back on the tour since his alleged cocaine use.) Continue reading

The perfect remedy for the insomniac

There’s nothing like it… the start of the new NFL season. You mindlessly watch the seemingly unending games that the NBA and the MLB offer during the offseason, until finally the NFL is back and your mind can reawaken. christmaspresentsBut then you realize that you must still endure the Preseason… NFL Preseason…You feel…exhilaration? No. Anticipation? No. You feel disappointment. You know, the same way you felt when your big brother broke into your parent’s room that night before Christmas long ago, and couldn’t wait to tell you every present you’d be receiving the next day. The exhilaration and the anticipation of Christmas turned to disappointment because you had already gotten a sneak peek. Continue reading

Wacky Wednesday

August 26, 2002
MLB.com streams a game on the internet for the first ever time. 30,000 fans watch the Yankees defeat the Rangers 10-3.

August 25, 1992
After a more than lengthy journey, the Astros return home for the first time in 26 games. The 26-game road trip is the longest in MLB history. The trip lasted so long because the Republican National Convention was held in the Astrodome.

August 24, 2007
The Yankees and Tigers end an 11-inning marathon game at 3:30 a.m. due to a four hour rain delay before the game.

August 23, 2009
Reserve infielder Eric Bruntlett makes the second ever unassisted triple play to finish a ballgame against the lowly Mets.
August 23, 2006
The Royals become the second ever team to score 10 runs in the first inning and lose the game. They lost 15-13 to the Tribe in extra innings.

August 22, 2007
The Rangers become the first team in the majors to score 30 runs in a single game since before 1900. The 30 runs was part of a double header in which the Rangers also scored nine in the night game combining for 39 runs in one day, the most in the history of baseball. This was a dark day for Oriole fans…

August 21, 2007
Mark Reynolds’ record-tying streak of nine consecutive plate appearances with a strike out ends when he gets hit by a pitch by Dave Bush.

August 20, 2008
Umpires sign an agreement to allow instant replay for home runs hit near the foul pole.

Sober Rankings

1. New York Yankees (78-46) The numbers for A.J. Burnett at Fenway Park have changed a lot the last two seasons. As a Blue Jay, the hurler was 3-0 with a .40 ERA in 22.2 IP, while as a Yank, Burnett is 0-2 with a 14.21 ERA in 12.2 IP.

2. Los Angeles Angels (74-48) Kendry Morales has really come of age for the Halos this season. He already has 27 homers with 40 games to play this season compared to just 12 homers his first three seasons combined.

3. Los Angeles Dodgers (74-51) The acquisition of George Sherrill has been key. Sherrill has pitched 11.2 innings without giving up a single earned run. He even recorded his first save Saturday.

4. Philadelphia Phillies (71-50) J.A. Happ’s been the road warrior this season (6-1). His microscopic 1.72 road ERA is the best in the majors among anyone who has pitched more than 40 innings.

5. St Louis Cardinals (72-54) John Smoltz had an un-Bostonlike start for the Cardinals Sunday afternoon. Smoltz went five innings without giving up a run… but don’t get too excited… it was against the anemic Padre offense. Continue reading

David Buehler…the kicker from USC

buehlerIt’s not too often you find a kicker worthy of discussion, but this rookie kicker, David Buehler, from USC – is not your average kicker. Continue reading

Oh those Buccos…

Here is a look at the deals the Pirates have made in recent seasons in an attempt to get “better”. We’ll look at their current starting lineup and compare it to what could have been had the front office kept their patience with the young group of players who seem to be thriving elsewhere.
pirates pain Continue reading

Wacky Wednesday

August 19, 2005
The Royals lose their 19th consecutive game.

favre jerseyAugust 18, 2009
Brett Favre signs with the Vikings. However, nobody at the worldwide leader seemed to notice.
August 18, 2008
Micah Owings hits two homers, a double and a single. The pitcher bashes six RBI and scores four runs.
August 18, 2006
Jered Weaver joins Whitey Ford as the only two players to start their careers with nine consecutive victories.

August 17, 2009
With only one minute and 17 seconds left, the Nats and first overall draft pick Stephen Stasburg agree to a four-year deal worth $15.1 million. The number is far from Scott Boras’ $50 million figure he put up months earlier, but still eclipsed Mark Prior’s former record by $5 million.
August 17, 2008
Josh Hamilton becomes the fifth ever player to get intentionally walked with the bases loaded.
August 17, 2003
The rally monkey is honored for his contributions in the Angels’ 2002 World Series championship with a bobblehead night.

August 16, 1996
Monterrey, Mexico hosts the first ever major league game outside of the U.S. or Canada. The Padres defeat the Mets 15-10 in the game.

August 14, 2008
The White Sox go back-to-back-to-back-to-back. Jim Thome starts the home run party with Paul Konerko, Alexei Ramirez and Juan Uribe all following.
offerman.533August 14, 2007
A scary incident in the independent league occurs when former MLB all-star Jose Offerman attacks two players with his bat after getting beaned. Offerman would get arrested and banned from the league after his offense.
August 14, 1998
“The greatest of all time” steals his 50th base of the season at the age of 39. Rickey Henderson is the oldest player to accomplish the feat.

August 13, 2007
Nomar Garciaparra gets thrown out of a game for the first time in 1,303 games.

Sober Rankings

1. New York Yankees (74-44) The Yankees have a 23-7 record since the all-star break. Mark Teixiera’s 30 home runs and 86 RBI may just be MVP worthy.

2. Los Angeles Angels (70-45) Former ace John Lackey has returned to his old form since the all-star break. Lackey is 4-1 with a 1.79 ERA since the breather. Meanwhile, Jered Weaver has 140 strikeouts, 7th in the AL to go along with 12 wins.

3. Los Angeles Dodgers (70-48) The Dodgers got a much needed performance out of Randy Wolf Sunday. After Chad Billingsley strained his hamstring, and Hiroki Kuroda took a line-drive to the face – Wolf’s 7.2 innings and 3-4 day at the plate saved the series for the men in blue. The Dodgers now have two holes in their rotation – one which still hasn’t been filled, the other will be filled by 25-year-old Charlie Haeger. Haeger will make his second ever start against the Cardinals tonight on ESPN2. Haeger has given up 10 runs in 4.1 innings. You have to wonder why Jeff Weaver won’t be getting the call for either hole…

4. Texas Rangers (66-50) The Rangers probably should have swept their series with the Red Sox this weekend, but they’ll settle for two out of three with a 1/2 game lead in the wild card. They’ve dominated the Sox all season going 7-2 against the Nation and it’s because of their fully revamped lights out pitching staff. Kevin Millwood performing well for the Rangers is a given, but it’s the young guys: Tommy Hunter (4-1) 2.20 ERA, Dustin Nippert (4-1) 2.61 ERA, Derek Holland (3-2) 3.13 ERA, who have risen to the occasion since the all-star break. Those three keep that going, along with another young hurler Scott Feldman, who has been performing all season, and this team will be hard to beat in the postseason.

5. Boston Red Sox (66-51) The team that everyone thought was the best early in the season has only gone a discouraging 12-17 since the all-star break. Suddenly, the clutch veterans of the first half of the season have turned into the archaic, injured has-beens in the second half. The Sox find themselves out of the playoff picture for the first time since April. They’re 4-12 against teams over .500 since the break. If this doesn’t change the Sox will be home in Boston this October. Continue reading

Wacky Wednesday

Tigers Red Sox BaseballAugust 12, 2008
After a 10 run first inning, the Red Sox ultimately relinquish their lead to the Rangers. The Rangers go ahead 15-14, but the Sox come back to win 19-17 led by a Kevin Youkilis three run homer. The game ties the AL record for most runs scored in a game.

August 11, 2009
Kevin Youkilis gets hit by a pitch the second consecutive night and charges Rick Porcello – both get ejected. Mike Lowell fills in for Youkilis with two home runs, the first time a Red Sox came off the bench to hit two home runs in more than 40 years.
August 11, 2005
Mets outfielders’ Carlos Beltran and Mike Cameron collide in an effort to catch a fly ball in the outfield. The collision was one of the most terrifying in the history of baseball. Cameron broke his nose and fractured multiple cheek bones, while Beltran sustained a concussion.cam-belt

August 10, 2008
The Rays set a franchise record for wins 117 games into the season. The Rays record their 71st win, and would finish the season with 97 victories and their first appearance in the World Series.
August 10, 2005
For the second straight year, Mike Lowell tags a base runner out via the hidden ball trick.
August 10, 2004
Two time Cy Young winner Tom Glavine gets injured only a way a Met could. His taxi crashes into an SUV. Glavine loses his front two teeth and needs 40 stitches to fix up his face.
August 10, 2003
Rafael Furcal turns the 12th ever unassisted triple play.

August 9, 1999
Five grand slams are hit on the same day for the first ever time in baseball history. Fernando Tatis, Jose Vidro, Mike Lowell, Bernie Williams and Jay Buhner all go deep.

August 8, 2000
On the same day that the Cubs pitcher Phil Norton gives up four home runs, Dodger pitcher Darren Dreifort goes deep twice.

August 7, 2005
On a very wacky day indeed, two Venezuelan pitchers with the last name of Zambrano take on each other at U.S. Cellular field. The two Zambranos, who aren’t related, where the same jersey number (38), enter the game with the same number of career victories (41), play for teams that started the series with the same record (54-54) and both also pitch right-handed and hit switch. Victor beats Carlos 6-1.

August 6, 2001
Boston’s Scott Hatteberg hits into a triple play in one inning, but redeems himself by crushing a go-ahead grand slam his next at bat helping the Sox to a 10-7 victory over the Rangers.