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Posts Tagged ‘Shorty’

Young Guns (Vol. III)

Summer School is a kick in the b*lls! I’ve been MIA from this site for about a month now, but that’s all gonna change starting today with the 3rd installment of Young Guns. The first week of every month I examine the top young arms in both the American and National League. My basis for these rankings? I use a mixture of fantasy baseball statistics and common sense. In other words, if I were a GM, where would I rank these young hurlers?

NO BRAINERS

1. Johan Santana – He’s lost his last 3 decisions yet his ERA remains under 3.00. Who would you rather have on the mound?
2. Erik Bedard8 straight wins…3.09 ERA…192 strikeouts…no one’s been better this season…
3. Jake Peavy – July was unkind as he only won once, but his first August start produced 10 K’s and he’s now won 2 straight…
4. Roy Halladay – ‘Doc’ pitched back to back complete games in July and seems poised to finish this season with a bang…
5. C.C. Sabathia – The Indian ace has struggled over the past month or so and could use some more run support…

American League

1. Josh Beckett – Current Cy Young favorite won his 14th in impressive fashion on Sunday…
2. Dan Haren – His ERA has slowly moved up to 2.50, but he continues to win ball games…
3. Justin Verlander – Shaky at best in the month of June for the young Tiger flamethrower…
4. Fausto Carmona – The sinker ball specialist has been spectacular ever since switching from closer to starter…
5. Daisuke Matsuzaka – Three straight quality starts for the Japanese import and his strikeout-walk ratio continues to improve…

National League

1. Carlos Zambrano – After not making the list the first two times around, Zambrano has come on strong winning 7 of 8 and cutting his ERA by a full point…
2. Cole Hamels – The Philly phenom has been Jekyl & Hyde as of late, but he still possesses the best stuff in the senior circuit…
3. Brandon Webb – His current scoreless innings streak reached 24 on Sunday after he shutout the Dodgers…
4. Roy Oswalt – Roy seems to have gotten his mojo back since the trade deadline passed, winning 3 straight and posting a 19:2 strikeout-walk ratio…
5. Brad Penny – The Penny slide that I warned you of last month has now officially begun. He’s lost two straight starts and is destined for a DL stint any day now…

Drop Outs

Jeremy Bonderman, Chris Young (DL), Ben Sheets (DL)

Coming On Strong

Chien Ming Wang, Tim Lincecum, Jeff Francis, Ted Lilly


Shorty is creator and lead writer of Milk Was a Bad Choice

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Young Guns (Vol. II)

Well, I’m off of my two week suspension and back with the second installment of the monthly Young Guns series. The first week of every month I examine the top young arms in both the American and National League. My basis for these rankings? I use a mixture of fantasy baseball statistics and common sense. In other words, if I were a GM, where would I rank these young hurlers?

NO BRAINERS

1. Johan Santana – He’s now won three straight and after the All-Star break he always seems to turn it up another notch…
2. Jake Peavy – The only thing Peavy doesn’t do is complete games, but that’s only because he strikes so many batters out…
3. CC Sabathia – The first pitcher to 12 victories has gone at least 7 innings in seven of his last eight starts…
4. Roy Halladay – He’d won five straight decisions before falling to Seattle last night. He remains secure in this top five…
5. Justin Verlander – He went 4-1 with a 40:15 K:BB ratio in the month of June, oh yeah, he also tossed an impressive No-No against the Brew Crew…

American League

1. Dan Haren – He hasn’t lost a game since the first week of the season and his 1.91 ERA is downright scary…
2. Josh Beckett – As much as I hate to admit it, barring injury he might win 25 games this season…
3. Jeremy Bonderman – He’s won four out of five in June despite a skyrocket in his ERA…
4. Erik Bedard – His 129 K’s lead the AL, too bad they routinely get wasted for the Baltimore Orioles…
5. Daisuke Matsuzaka – He’s been brilliant as of late, but the walks can still be an issue…

National League

1. Chris Young – His ERA and Strikeout totals have improved in each of his seasons meaning he is on pace for a breakout year…
2. Cole Hamels – Has not looked good in his last 3 starts, but still has more upside than anyone else on this list…
3. Ben Sheets – He’s a workhorse who seems to have fully recovered from his early season struggles…
4. Brad Penny – 2.00 ERA and he’s given up only one run in each of his last five outings, but I still don’t trust him after the all-star break…
5. Roy Oswalt – He’s one more mediocre start away from dropping off this list, but things might change quickly if he gets traded elsewhere…

Drop Outs

Tim Lincecum, James Shields, John Lackey, Oliver Perez

Coming On Strong

Ian Snell, Yovani Gallardo, Jeff Francis, Carlos Zambrano

Read volume 1 


Shorty is creator and lead writer of Milk Was a Bad Choice

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As most of you probably already know, the Sacramento Kings will unveil William ‘Bill’ Fuller as their new head coach in a news conference this morning. Fuller is the former head coach of the Deering Tornadoes, a high school team in Indiana. He left that position after three seasons to become the head coach of the University of South Florida. Coach Fuller is a players coach to say the least. His in game strategies often times take a back seat to his players learning life lessons along the way. It should be interesting to see how Ron Artest responds to this type of mentor. While some pundits remarked that it seemed a huge jump for Fuller to make going from head coach of a high school team in Indiana to the head coach of a Big East team, others might feel that the jump is nothing compared to transitioning from a sub-par NBC saturday morning sitcom star to coach of the NBA Sacramento Kings.

I personally enjoy all of Coach Fuller’s work dating back to his playing days when he was still known as Reggie Theus. With the exception of Reggie Miller, Theus was probably the greatest Reggie in NBA history. Then again, I’ll have to check with ESPN’s ‘Win Probability’ CWS scale on that one…



Shorty is creator and lead writer of Milk Was a Bad Choice

(editor’s note: We love Coach Fuller around here, and we talked about him during college basketball season, too.)

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Shorty’s All-Time CWS Team

The College Baseball World Series opens up action today at 2:00 PM eastern time on ESPN. What better way to celebrate it, then my all time tournament team. Let me preface this by stating that this team does not neccesarily include the greatest group of players or performances to ever take place in Omaha, Nebraska. Instead, this team features the players who made the most impact on me as a fan of the College World Series. The Major League Baseball careers of these players was not taken into account in the picking of this team. You will notice that team is predominantly made up of players from the 1990’s which makes perfect sense when you take into account that during my high school and college years I attended all my classes and finished with a 3.8 GPA I watched more college baseball than I have the past few years. Feel free to comment on some players who you might have chosen…

C – Jason VaritekLittle did I know that soon enough V-Tek would become a Red Sox and I would despise him for an entire decade. But in the 1994 CWS, he was the star catcher on a Georgia Tech team that would lose in the title game. Interestingly, two future Red Sox teammates, Jay Payton and Nomar Garciaparra joined him on the Yellow Jackets that season.

1B – Will Clark My first ever memories of the CWS are of Will Clark in 1985. Clark combined with Rafael ‘Steroids’ Palmiero and future White Sox closer Bobby Thigpen to lead Mississippi State to a great run through the bracket before losing a 6-5 heartbreaker in the semi-finals to eventual champion Miami. If you were an 80’s baby like myself you probably remember Will Clark’s USA baseball card being a big deal.

2BTodd Walker – As a member of those great LSU teams of the mid-90’s Todd Walker was twice named to the All Tournament team as well as the MVP of the 1993 World Series, in which the Tigers avenged a loss to Long Beach State in the semi-finals before shutting out Wichita State 8-0 in the final. Walker was a tremendous college hitter who never quite matched that production in the big leagues.

SS – Alex Cora
– On the major league level, Alex Cora is a solid middle infielder with a terrific glove who can play several positions. As a college shortstop for the University of Miami, Cora was an incredible talent who was twice named to the All Tournament team. His Hurricane teams lost in the semi-finals in 1995 and the finals on a walkoff to LSU in 1996.

3B – Robin Ventura – Years before getting his brain beaten in by the immortal Nolan Ryan, Robin Ventura was a stud Third Baseman for the Cowboys of Oklahoma State. Ventura played in two College World Series’ and was on the all tournament team as a freshman in 1986. His sophmore season he batted .428 with 21 homers and 110 rbi’s.

OF – Mark Kotsay – When I first saw this guy play in college, I swore he was going to be one of the greatest players that ever lived. While Mark Kotsay has had a respectable MLB career, nothing will match the showcase performance he put on in the 1995 College World Series. He was everywhere. Defensively he turned in gem after gem and when he was up, he always seemed to come up with a huge hit, earning him MVP of Cal State Fullerton’s National Championship. He was also a member of the all tourney team the season prior.

OF – Phil Nevin – Do you remember who celebrated Phil Nevin was when he was originally drafted first overall by the Houston Astros? At the time, it was with good reason. Nevin could certainly hit a baseball. Another Cal State Fullerton star, Nevin was the MVP of the 1992 College World Series, despite the Titans 3-2 title game defeat to Pepperdine. Nevin tore the cover off the ball in that, his second CWS appearance.

OF – Pat Burrell – Surprisingly enough, Burrell has had the most MLB success of our entire CWS all star outfield. As a freshman Third Baseman for Miami in 1996, Pat ‘the Bat’ was also MVP of a losing team. His Hurricanes fell victim to the legendary Warren Morris walk off homerun in the championship game. Burrell would appear in two more CWS tournaments, but his Miami teams underachieved despite having fellow major leaguers Aubrey Huff & Jason Michaels on the roster.

DH – Brooks Kieschnick – Brooks was as big a star as their was in Texas in the early 1990’s. Not only was he a stud pitcher who helped lead the Longhorns to two CWS appearances in his three year stint, but he was also a big time hitter. He hit 43 homers and 215 rbi’s and was destined for greatness on the next level. Drafted 10th overall by the Chicago Cubs in 1993, his MLB career never materialized, due in part to injuries. But Kieschnick’s college career is now enshired in the College Baseball Hall of Fame.

 



Shorty is creator and lead writer of Milk Was a Bad Choice

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Secretariat

“You know how I know you’re gay? You watch old clips of Horse Racing on YouTube and get teary eyed.”

I don’t know exactly what is going on, but I am absolutely obsessed with this clip of the 1973 Belmont Stakes that I found on YouTube this weekend. My brother was at Belmont yesterday, so I payed pretty close attention to the race. It was a surprisingly exciting race and as most of you already know, Rags to Riches became the first Filly to win the final leg of the Triple Crown in over a century.

Back to my obsession with Secretariat. There is something genuinely amazing about seeing this incredible animal run away from the pack like he does. His dominance in that race is the reason that most horse racing fans consider Secretariat to be the greatest race horse of all time. Does it make me any less of a man because I am enthralled by the video of the race over the Rudy theme music? Am I getting a bit too emotional over a race that happened over 30 years ago? Probably, but know what? I’m OK with that…



Shorty is creator and lead writer of Milk Was a Bad Choice

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Young Guns (Vol. I)

Today marks the first of what I’m hoping becomes the monthly Young Guns series. The first week of every month I will examine the top young arms in both the American and National League. My basis for these rankings? I will use a mixture of fantasy baseball statistics and common sense. In other words, if I were a GM, where would I rank these young hurlers?

NO BRAINERS

1. Johan Santana – Only 6-5 so far this year, but the guy’s body of work is unquestionable.
2. Jake Peavy – San Diego’s strikeout machine is finally healthy & he looks terriffic.
3. Roy Halladay – He got roughed up last night, but Roy is still 5-2 with 46:10 K:BB ratio.
4. CC Sabathia – He’s the league leader in wins with 9 & he picked up a CG shutout last night.
5. Roy Oswalt – The Astros ace is sometimes overlooked, but imagine if he had any run support.

American League

1. Jeremy Bonderman – Take a look at his season thus far, he should be at least 8-1 right now.
2. Dan Haren – He has a 70:21 K:BB ratio and still boasts a 1.70 ERA. Wow!
3. Justin Verlander – Not the strikeout pitcher some thought he might turn into.
4. John Lackey – 9-3 record with a 2.73 ERA for the unheralded right-hander.
5. James Shields – Forget Scott Kazmir, this kid is the Devil-Rays ace by far.

National League

1. Cole Hamels – Sky’s the limit for Cole who I see as a future Cy Young winner.
2. Brandon Webb – The reigning Cy Young is an innings eater who flys under the radar.
3. Chris Young – They say that at 6’10’ his 89 mph fastball looks more like 99 mph coming at you.
4. Tim Lincecum – If you take away his two outings against the Phillies, Timmy’s numbers are scary good.
5. Oliver Perez – Mets pitching coach Rick Peterson might just be Yoda.

 

Notable Omissions

Dice-K, Rich Harden, King Felix, Dontrelle Willis, Carlos Zamprano & Ben Sheets


Shorty is creator and lead writer of Milk Was a Bad Choice

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The Flyin Hawaiian

Seriously, is there a cooler nickname in all of baseball than The Flyin Hawaiian? Isn’t that like a ham & pineapple pizza? Shane Victorino is a speedy switch-hitting outfielder for the Philadelphia Phillies who is also equipped with a rocket launcher for a right arm (he already has 8 outfield assists this season). He was also the biggest reason that the Phillies shed no tears when they shipped Bobby Abreu to New York last season.

Earlier today I had a vested interest in the Giants-Phillies game, mostly because my prized fantasy possession, Tim Lincecum, was on the mound for San Francisco. Well, Tiny Tim didn’t have his best stuff today and although he left the game in the seventh with the lead, Ryan Howard’s 3-run moonshot off Giant reliever Jack Taschner ruined his chances of getting the victory.

After the Phillies blew their one run lead in the top half of ninth, Victorino stepped to the plate with one out in the bottom of the inning and drove his first ever game winning home run over the left field fence and mayhem ensued on Shane’s very own bobblehead day.

Alright, I’ll admit it, if I didn’t have the ‘Flyin Hawaiian’ on my fantasy team, I probably wouldn’t even be posting this right now. But the fact is, this kid is ridiculously fun to watch on a baseball diamond. He steals bases, throws out baserunners and now he even hits dramatic walk-off home runs. I mean what more could you possible want from the talented young outfielder? A more edible nickname? Mahalo!

Shorty is creator and lead writer of Milk Was a Bad Choice

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This Just In, Lebron Has Serious Game…

Honestly, how ridiculous was Michael Jordan Lebron James’ performance last night in the Cavs double-overtime victory against the Detroit Pistons? Sorry, rhetorical question. 48 points, including the last 25 of the game for Cleveland, clutch shot after clutch shot, and a ridiculously ripe pimple on his chin in the post game interview with Craig Sager.

For about a decade now we’ve recycled one ‘next Jordan’ after another, and to no avail. Well, guess what? Lebron isn’t the next Jordan either. Instead, he is the original King James. Where are the naysayers now? This kid does things on the basketball court that no one else can do. He is a hybrid of Michael and Magic, with a certain moxy all his own. He is exciting, unselfish and relentless with a basketball in his hand. Oh yeah, and is he ever gonna look great in a New York Knicks uniform in about two years.

Now I understand that Cleveland was in the exact same situation last season against the Pistons, but I have a funny feeling that the extra year of experience will make all the difference this year. If anything last season’s loss at home in game six should have them ready for the game Saturday night. The moral of the story is that anytime I am writing about the NBA playoffs, something earth shattering must be going on. Well, Lebron seems to have the basketball world in the palm of his hands, and that’s what’s shakin…


Shorty is creator and lead writer of Milk Was a Bad Choice

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First off, big thanx to Extra-P for letting me put my virtual soapbox on someone else’s property for a change. I hope everyone enjoyed their Holiday Weekend as much as I did. A little Beerdie, a little food and alot of sports.

Did anyone else notice the eerie voice of Darth Vader on Outside the Lines all weekend snitchin’ on Michael Vick and his passion for dog-fighting? I felt like every-time I turned my head I heard “He’s one of the heavyweights.”

Well, all this got me thinking about voices in sports. Nice segue? OK, maybe not so much, but here we go. For my first ever post here on The Extrapolater I figured I’d take the best of both worlds from Awful Announcing & Pyle of List (two blogs which I’ve recently discovered and now read religiously) and create the top three sports broadcasters of my lifetime. Enjoy!

1. Vin Scully — To me personally, Vin Scully is the end all, be all of sports broadcasting. He is a legendary announcer known primarily as the voice of the Los Angeles Dodgers. Scully has been a part of some of the most memorable plays and games in Major League Baseball history and his calls of the 1986 & 1988 World Series could have put him into the Hall of Fame by themselves. I think I would donate a testicle if it meant I could hear Vin Scully announce one more World Series instead of having to sit through Joe Buck’s stand-up comedy routine…

“Little roller up along first . . . behind the bag! It gets through Buckner! Here comes Knight and the Mets win it!”


“And look who’s coming up… you talk about a roll of the dice…this is it. High fly ball into right field, she i-i-i-is… gone!!!”

2. Al Michaels — The current voice of NBC’s Sunday Night Football is one of the best to ever grab a microphone. He is well respected and well versed in announcing major events in multiple sports including the Super Bowl, World Series, NBA Finals and World Championship Boxing. Michaels is best known for his amazing call of the 1980 US Hockey team’s stunning upset over the Soviet Union in what is now simply referred to as the Miracle on Ice…


“Do you believe in miracles? YES!”

3. Bob CostasWhen I was a youngster, my dream was to become a sports announcer. The biggest reason for this was Bob Costas. His complete control of the english language has helped him establish a well deserved respect from viewers and his peers. His love & knowledge of baseball is so in depth that he has even been recommended as a possible future commissioner. In recent years Costas has done more studio work than anything else, specifically on NBC and on his own HBO series…

Mickey Mantle Eulogy

*Props also go out to Dick Enberg and Jim Nantz who would have finished fourth and fifth respectively had this list continued…



Shorty is creator and lead writer of Milk Was a Bad Choice

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