Tagged: Curtis Granderson

Detroit Downers

From MLB.com

Curtis Granderson has manned center field for the Tigers long enough to ignore taunts from fans when they’re on the road. That doesn’t mean he doesn’t listen.

They’re not taunting him as much. They’re making fun of his city.

“You hear the razzing: ‘Hey, man, I wouldn’t want to live in Detroit,'” Granderson said. “Or, ‘Nice city. The motor industry’s gone. Now what else do you guys have left?'”

He’s heard it before, but it stings a little more now.

Wow.  That’s all I have to say about this.  I read this article and I started thinking that people can be really harsh when it comes to the economy.  I mean, really.  The Tigers are a baseball team that happens to have Detroit as their home.  They are having a successful season and taunts from fans come all the time to every team.  But when fans of opposing teams start making fun of the Tigers for playing in Detroit, that’s just messed up.

Detroit has been the center of motor vehicles for so long and now it is gone.  The economy has definitely payed its toll on Detroit but the Tigers continue to thrive.  The Tigers’ baseball organization is a part of the economy, believe it or not.  Some people don’t think of it that way but it is.  It is a legitimate way of bringing in money to the area.  In fifth grade, I did a project on economics for my history class.  I decided to do it on the Yankees-Red Sox rivalry.  The topic was to see how much money this certain rivalry, and baseball in general, brought to the area.  The Tigers are the same thing, an economical tool.

When people start making fun of a team because other parts of the town that were important have fallen apart, they really aren’t thinking.  Obviously the car business was the biggest economical company in the area.  It was one of the biggest in the country.  Now that it is gone, Tigers baseball is one of the biggest in the area.  It is no doubt that the city is falling apart, but the people of Detroit have something positive to think about in the Detroit Tigers.

I find it hard to think about that others are making fun of the Tigers for where they play instead of that they are the opposing team.  It’s just weird and I hate the idea that it is actually happening.

If you want to read the actual story on this on MLB.com, here’s the link.  This is where I got the idea for this post but I didn’t really tell the whole story.

http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20090825&content_id=6608266&vkey=news_mlb&fext=.jsp&c_id=mlb

-Dillon

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Will Strasburg Sign?; The Art of the Catch at the  Wall

The San Diego State phenom that has taken the baseball world by storm has until tonight to sign a contract with the team that drafted him.  The Washington Nationals, the worst team in the MLB for the past two years were lucky enough to have the chance to pick Strasburg in the draft but if they can’t sign him, they can just say good bye to their hopes and dreams of having any chance next year.

The situation with Strasburg is a big one.  Pretty much a do or die for the Nats.  Sort of…  If the Nats can’t sign him, they will not have the star pitcher they were hoping to have next year, since it is thought that Strasburg would glide through the minors and join the team next season.  Strasburg could be the start of a new and reformed Washington Nationals club.

The Nats do have a few guys that are pretty talented on offense.  The pitching isn’t that great but they get through the season.  Strasburg could take that pitching staff to a whole new level and put them back among the “not the worst” staffs in the league.  But the thing is, he has to sign to be able to play with them.

My dad and I were having a conversation about this topic yesterday and we both agreed (this rarely happens when talking about sports) that Strasburg should just sign with the team that drafted him if he really wants to play baseball.  He got drafted by the worst team in the league because he was the best player in the draft.  The worst team has the first pick and that’s just how it works.  Some players don’t sign with the teams that draft them just because they are not one of the better teams in the league.  But the thing is, if you want to play, you have to sign.  You may never get picked by the team you want to play for but that’s not your decision.

A bad team is bad for a while because they do not have the talentto keep up with the rest of the teams and their minor league teams aren’t producing the good young talent that will make them good in the future.  After a while, the farm systems start shaping up with some of the better players since they get a lot of high draft picks.  Strasburg is one of them that the Nationals, a bad team, has drafted.  He should just sign if he gets a good enough deal to compensate for his draft place.  JUST SIGN THE FRIGGEN DEAL!

Tony Gwynn, Strasburg’s manager at San Diego State, keeps saying that Strasburg just wants to play and that he is a baseball player.  If he wants to play so badly, then just give him a deal that he is worthy of and he will most likely sign it.

I hate how draftees take so long to sign contracts.  Especially the high draft picks.  They think just because they are the highest of the draft picks that they deserve a contract that some veterans aren’t getting.  They aren’t even rookies in the league yet.  When you get drafted, you sign with the team that took you in the draft, play in the minors for a while, then get your chance in the Majors.  Some get a chance quicker than others but most guys eventually get their chance.  When you get to the Majors, you play for the team that picked you for so many years until your contract runs out.  Strasburg should play with the Nats until his contract runs out (assuming he signs one).  Then when it runs out, you should consider signing a new one or maybe signing one with a different team.  That’s how the MLB works.  It’s always changing.  Some teams are good for a while, then they go bad because they lose their talent and the talent in the farm systems.

I know that if I was in the baseball draft and I got picked anywhere, I would be ecstatic and would sign right away.  I mean seriously.  The money a lot of baseball players get is more than an average person gets doing some non-athletic job.

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Now to another topic.  The art of catching a ball at the wall.  Now, it happens a lot in baseball.  But only so many guys can pull it off.  It requires concentration, talent, and ability to actually catch the ball while hitting the wall.  My favorite player, Curtis Granderson, happens to be an expert at it.

Now, this catch is probably the craziest catch I’ve ever seen.  He’s practically falling over the wall.  It was an amazing catch and I think some of you may be able to see why I like him so much.

Granderson made another great catch yesterday as he snagged a ball while hitting the wall in the Tigers’ game against the Kansas City Royals.  He robbed a Royals’ batter who ripped a ball to straight away center.  He hit the wall hard after making the catch but was able to hold on and was able to run off the field.  Thank goodness I would hate to see him get hurt.

Aaron Rowand is another of the great “at the wall defenders.”  That’s what I call them at least.  He has made many great and spectacular catches at the wall, including robbing a few home runs in his time.  This year, Rowand made a game saving rob at the wall to save a no hitter for the Giants’ Jonathon Sanchez.  It was a key catch and he made it.  He has been considered one of the best center fielders in the MLB for the past many years.  I forget what year it was but when he was with the Phillies he made a nasty catch while running into the wall and banged up his nose and all that.  It must have hurt a ton but he did make the catch.  That just shows you his will to make the play.

Torii Hunter is another one of those great center fielders that has made a few amazing catches in his time.  Currently with the Angels, he has already made many amazing catches since coming from the Minnesota Twins where he made even more spectacular, top ten worthy catchs.  One of his most famous was in an All Star Game in which he robbed Barry Bonds of a home run.  That was great.

There are so many great “at the wall defenders” that I can’t name them all, but these three are tops on my list and I wouldn’t change it at all for another few years before some new faces come into my perspective.  But this is my favorite baseball moment.  When an outfielder makes a rob at the wall.  Whether it is a home run rob or just an extra base hit rob.  It’s all great in my mind.

-Dillon

Fantasy Sports

Now, some of you may know that fantasy baseball, to me, is a fun game that is a great way to make your baseball dreams come true.  But it’s nothing more than that.  It’s a game, nothing more.  Now, I have made several rants on how I have a huge pet peeve over people who follow baseball, or whatever other sport, just to see how their fantasy team is doing.  I mean, c’mon.  That’s not why people love baseball.  There are so many hypocrites out there that say they are baseball fans but only follow the sport to make sure their fantasy team wins.  I hate that so much.

Well, I couldn’t think of anything else to write so I figured I would just talk about this.  So, here we go.  I myself love to play fantasy sports.  It’s just fun.  I love to make up my own team and manage it like I would if it was a professional team.  But I still follow the game of baseball as a fan of the Yankees and not just as a fan of whoever is on my team.  Whether or not I have any Yankee players on my team, I will still love the Yankees.  As goes for Curtis Granderson or Ryan Braun or David Wright.  I am still a true baseball fan whether or not I play fantasy.  I play fantasy baseball, football, basketball, and hockey.  But that’s pretty much it.  I have fun with it and I usually don’t play in competitive leagues.  Usually just casual.  I figured I’d show you some of my teams.

Here’s one of my two baseball teams that I enjoy following more than the other.  I am currently in sixth place out of ten, mostly because of injury problems.  But here it is.

Team Name: The Silver Sluggers

C: Mike Napoli (LAA)

1B: Kevin Youkilis (Bos)

2B: Chase Utley (Phi)

3B: Emilio Bonifacio (Fla)

SS: Alexei Ramirez (CWS)

OF: Jermaine Dye (CWS)

OF: Jason Bay (Bos)

OF: Andrew McCutchen (Pit)

Util: Garret Jones (Pit)

Util: Shin Soo Choo (Cle)

Bn: Brad Hawpe (Col)

SP: Tim Lincecum (SF)

SP: Derek Lowe (Atl)

RP: Jonathon Papelbon (Bos)

RP: Huston Street (Col)

P: Chris Carpenter (StL)

P: Joakim Soria (KC)

P: David Price (TB)

Bn: Jair Jurrjens (Atl)

Bn: Johnny Cueto (Cin)

I’m doing pretty well in this league and I think I could make a run toward the end of the season.  I have been playing a lot better of late because my team’s injury problems have diminished.  I’ve been telling my friends that they better watch out for my team because I could be a spoiler in the playoffs.

On Friday, many of the people in the league that I have that baseball team in did a draft for football that starts up soon.  I missed the whole draft except the last pick in which I chose Sidney Rice from Minnesota.  I figured if Brett Favre ever signed with them that he would be a valuable guy.  So I took a chance and picked him.  Here’s the rest of my team.

Team Name: No Punt Intended

QB: Aaron Rodgers (GB)

WR: Steve Smith (Car)

WR: Marquis Colston (NO)

WR: Santonio Holmes (Pit)

RB: Adrian Peterson (Min)

RB: Frank Gore (SF)

TE: Anthony Fasano (Mia)

BN: Owen Daniels (Tex)

BN: Joseph Addai (Ind)

BN: Carson Palmer (Cin)

BN: Jericho Cotchery (NYJ)

BN: Sidney Rice (Min)

K: John Kasay (Car)

BN: Rian Lindell (Buf)

DEF: Chicago

DEF: New England

So, this league is to start up obviously whenever the NFL season starts so I’m excited for that.

Well, now I’m really bored so I’ll hopefully have something more intersting to write about tomorrow.

-Dillon

So What Did I Miss?

I’ve been pretty busy the past few days and have been unable to get a post up here so I’m sorry for all of you readers who have had to wait for another post to come up.  Well, I had some people staying at my house and we’ve been pretty busy.  So that’s that.

When the people who were staying at my house left this morning, the first thing I did was check the MLB.com page to see what’s been going on the past few days.  So here are my headlines.

  • Yanks are still 3 games back of the Red Sox.
  • The Yankees and Phillies both made clutch late performances to come up with wins.
  • Clay Buchholz was phenominal in his return to the Red Sox rotation against the Jays.
  • Roy Oswalt had it going against the Dodgers.
  • Ryan Braun got hit in the hand by Bronson Arroyo and left the game with a sore wrist.

So now that I am all caught up, I thought I’d talk a little about the second half and what is to come in the MLB.  It’s going to be exciting and I can’t wait.  I am pumped for the playoff runs to come, to see who will take the top spots in the divisions around the league, who will get that wild card spot.  It’s going to be great.

Let’s start off with them Yankees.  Of course.  Right now, they are 3 games back of the Red Sox in the AL East.  They’ve been stuck in this position for a while now and I’d like to see it change.  If we could get a few games back from the Red Sox that would be STELLAR.  We got a win last night apparently against the Tigers.  Some late game heroics from Mr. Teixeira gave us the lead and we kept it to take the series opener 5-3.  This is good but Clay Buchholz and the rest of the Red Sox pitching kept the Jays at bay and won their game as well.  So the standings stayed the same… again.  It’s great that we’re winning, but we need the Red Sox to lose to get anywhere.

Now, transitioning from the Yankees-Tigers game… Curtis Granderson, the Tigers centerfielder, one of the heroes from the All Star Game, and my favorite player kept his STELLAR play going by going 2-4 with a home run and 2 runs scored.  He has been having a great season so far and I love to see him keep it up.  The Tigers are at the top of the AL Central right now and Granderson has been a big part of their offensive success.  Keep it up man.

Next on my list from inside my head is the Dodgers.  Man, how good are they.  Now, they lose some here and there but so far in the first half of the season, they have racked up the wins and have the best record in baseball.  They do it so quietly too.  It’s weird.  They have the play-makers on their team that are starting to be recognized for what they have done such as Andre Ethier, the O-Dog and Rafael Furcal.  But as a team, they are very quiet and do very well without making a ton of noise.  I think they will continue to play extremely well and will most likely have the best record at the end of the regular season and will have the top spot in the NL West… as usual.  Manny’s return just strengthened a team that had already been thriving without him.

How about that Albert Pujols?  After a disappointing All Star Game, Pujols bursted out with a 2-4 night, including a home run, 2 RBI, and 2 runs scored.  He was just STELLAR.  His offensive production is the single most important aspect to the Cardinals’ game.  If he is not playing well, the Cardinals are going to struggle.  Now, I don’t see that happening but if it does, that’s how things are going to be.  Pujols is the best player in the MLB and is clearly recognized for it and has a very important role.  He’s fantastic!

That’s all for now, so until next time…

Adios!

-Dillon

Stars Shine Bright Part 2

Carl Crawford shined the brightest among the star studded rosters that participated in the 80th All Star Game last night.  With a game saving catch to rob the Rockies’ Brad Hawpe of a home run and a 1-3 night at the plate, Carl Crawford was awarded the All Star Game MVP trophy from the commish Bud Selig.  A great honor for Crawford who’s STELLAR play kept the AL in the game and gave them their 12th win in 13 years of All Star play.  Congrats to Crawford for his achievement.

The game was a very good one, keeping me alert at all times.  Different from the Home Run Derby the night before, the game was exciting and it was definitely worth watching.  Most of the action happened early as the AL scored twice in the top of the first.  The NL scored three times in the bottom of the second to go ahead in the game.  Hmmmm.  Maybe the NL had a shot at winning this thing.  Well, maybe not.

In the fifth, the AL tied the score up with a run on a combined effort from Joe Mauer and Derek Jeter.  The game then stayed scorelss until the eighth in which my favorite player, Curtis Granderson, tripled to deep left off the wall.  Just missing a home run, Granderson swiftly made his way to third to put the go ahead run on.  He was then driven in by an Adam Jones deep sacrifice fly.  In fact when the ball first left his bat, I thought it was going out, but the wind must have knocked it down because it was just short of the warning track.  It was deep enough to drive in Granderson and the AL went ahead.

The NL was then on the ropes for yet another loss in the All Star Game.  They were unable to score in the bottom of the eighth as Joe Nathan got out of a little jam in which he had walked a guy and gave up a hit.  In the bottom of the ninth, as he has his whole career, Mariano Rivera stepped up to the mound and shut down the NL 1-2-3.

Now, as I said in my first edition of this post, defense is a huge aspect of baseball, whether you think it is or not.  In last night’s game, the ball off Brad Hawpe’s bat would have left the yard (barely) if it wasn’t for the great hustle from Crawford.  His great concentration allowed him to catch the ball while hitting the wall.  Michael Young made a couple nice plays over at third base in place for Evan Longoria who was a late scratch with an infection of his finger.  All over the field, people were making some good plays.  Ironically enough, each team had an error.  Well, it didn’t seem to make that much of a difference but still… kind of ironic.

The All Star Game was a blast to watch.  I was pumped that Curtis Granderson was a huge part of the game with his triple and game winning run.  I didn’t know if he would get that much playing time but he did.  In fact, his first at bat was when he hit the triple.  That was the turning point in the game.  It broke a tie and it broke the NL’s chances of winning for the first time in 13 years.  Also, I was glad that Jeter and Rivera had good games.  Teixeira didn’t really have any huge plays but his presence at first was felt as he played a solid game.  The Yankees were well represented with their old skipper on the opposite bench, Joe Torre.

The starting pitching was supposed to be STELLAR but in fact, it wasn’t that STELLAR.  Lincecum had trouble in the first inning where he gave up two runs on two hits.  On the other side of things, Halladay gave up three runs on four hits.  Only two of them were earned as one run scored on a Josh Hamilton throwing error.  The rest of the game, the pitching was pretty good.  Solid all around and it was a great thing to watch.

The All Star Game in general was pleasing to me.  It got me back on track with baseball after a disappointing Home Run Derby Monday night.  I’m pumped for the rest of the season and it is going to be a good one.  The stars shone bright last night and the stars are going to shine bright the rest of the season as the playoffs near.  The Yankees and Red Sox race for the top of the AL East is going to be a good one.  The NL Central is about as tight as it gets.  Everyone’s got a chance.  The AL Central looks like the Tigers are going to take it.  The Dodgers are still the best team in the bigs and will continue to play like it.  Manny’s return will help them even more.  It’s going to be a great second half of the season and I am psyched.

-Dillon

Final Thoughts on Final Vote

The All Star teams were announced Sunday and I was pumped to see a bunch of my favorite players make the teams.  Jay-Bay, Big Tex, Tim “the Kid” Lincecum, Curtis “How Grand He is” Granderson.  They all made the team and I am pumped for the game and the entire All Star weekend.  It’s going to rock.

So now, with most of the spots filled, there are the final votes to think about to see who will make the final spot on the AL and NL rosters.  In the AL, Ian Kinsler, Chone Figgins, Brandon Inge, Carlos Pena, and Adam Lind make up the final vote list.  In the NL, Pablo Sandoval, Shane Victorino, Cristian Guzman, Matt Kemp, and Mark Reynolds line up in hope of having their All Star dreams come true.  All deserving, all willing, and all worthy choices of these two spots.  But only one can be picked and everyone has their own opinions on who should be in St. Louis for the game.  I believe my picks are solid and I can back them up.  Some may not agree with them but some will.  It all depends on your point of perspective.  Here’s mine.

The first thing voters have to think of when they make their votes for the entire rosters in general is how they think the game should be played.  Should it be played to win or should it be played with just the top players in each league.  If you think the game is to be won, you might alter your picks to make sure there is more versatility on each roster.  In the AL, instead of picking Ian Kinsler, who is having a STELLAR season, you may pick Chone Figgins who can play a few different positions.  He can be moved around for a switch when you need to pinch hit for a pitcher.  Since the game is being played in the National League, this is a very important aspect of the game, assuming you are playing to win the game.  Now, if you take the “the best players should play”  route, then Ian Kinsler and Carlos Pena would most likely be at the top of most peoples’ list.  They have the best stats of the five players in the AL and they are the most worthy of the spot.  But again, it all depends on how you look at the game.

On the NL side, you might pick an outfielder for the final vote, Shane Victorino or Matt Kemp for instance.  The outfield is the most versatile position for the All Star game and outfielders can generally move around from each of the three positions.  On the other hand, if you look at who deserves it the most, Victorino and Kemp would be up there, and Pablo Sandoval would be up there.  Among the five, those three have the best stats.  The same for the AL goes for the NL.  It all depends on how you look at the game.

Personally, the way I look at it is this… the best players should make it, regardless of their versatility.  I mean, yeah some guys that deserve it more than others aren’t going to make it because there is no spot for their position on the roster left.  They might not be the best at their position and they won’t make the team.  Say an outfielder makes the team because there are more outfield spots on the roster than second baseman.  But say the second baseman is having a better season than the outfielder.  Tough break.  He’s not going to make the team.  That is going to happen sometimes.  But the best players at the positions available should make the team.  That is the whole concept of the All Star Game.  All Stars are the best in the game.  They are meant to be honored at the All Star game as the best of the best.  Not the guys who will help the team win.  That rule was only recently appointed anyway.  Back in the day when the All Star game was first started, the rosters were made up of those who were the best in the league.  Now that the game counts, people take on a different perspective that I think ruins the voting process.  All Stars are All Stars… that’s so simple.

The two guys I would pick would be Kinsler and Victorino.  Now, Kinsler doesn’t give you much versatility.  Big deal.  He is having a better season than the starting second baseman, Dustin Pedroia, but might not even get in because of his lack of versatility.  Victorino on the other hand is an outfielder and is more valuable as a versatile tool than maybe the other guys.  Sandoval is also very versatile, able to play at the catcher, third base, and first base positions.  It doesn’t get much more versatile than that.  And Kemp is an oufielder too.  But out of the three, I think Victorino is the best and is having the best season.  In this case, it all comes down to who you think is having a better season.  If the player is having a good season and is also versatile, than you have a great player and an easy pick.  It’s pretty simple.

Now, those are my thoughts on how the All Star voting process should go.  I’m sure there are many of you out there who disagree with my whole point of view, but I really don’t care.  My final thought… All Stars are All Stars.

-Dillon

MLB All Star Game 2009

So, the midsummer classic is coming up and some of my pals have been bugging me to post my picks for the game.  Now, most of them are no doubters but others people might have an argument against.  Well here they are.

AL

C: Joe Mauer (Twins)

1B: Mark Teixeira (Yankees)

2B: Dustin Pedroia (Red Sox)

3B: Evan Longoria (Rays)

SS: Derek Jeter (Yankees)

LF: Jason Bay (Red Sox)

CF: Curtis Granderson (Tigers)

RF: Ichiro Suzuki (Mariners)

P: Roy Halladay (Blue Jays)

NL

C: Yadier Molina (Cardinals)

1B: Albert Pujols (Cardinals)

2B: Orlando Hudson (Dodgers)

3B: David Wright (Mets)

SS: Hanley Ramirez (Marlins)

LF: Ryan Braun (Brewers)

CF: Raul Ibanez (Phillies)

RF: Brad Hawpe

P: Tim Lincecum (Giants)

Now as you have probably noticed on many other ballots before, the AL squad is stacked with Yankees and Red Sox players.  That is because they are the two best teams in the AL and they have the most All Star worthy players.  So don’t yell at me because I picked them because one- they deserve it, and two- a ton of others have picked them in their ballots.  Two Cards start at their own home stadium for the game (Pujols and Molina). 

Adios

-Dillon