Tagged: Jonathon Sanchez

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.




First there was Jonathon Sanchez’s no hitter, the first of the year.  The game was full of excitement and close plays.  The game saving rob from Aaron Rowand in the ninth.  Only the error by Uribe seperating him from a perfect game.  And the mere perfection from Sanchez that put him into the history books with the greats.  Well, Mark Beuhrle is already there.  Having thrown a no hitter in 2007, Beuhrle added onto his career of STELLARNESS by throwing a perfect game against the defending champion Rays.  That’s right, Mark Beuhrle has thrown a perfect game on July 23, 2009.  This picture, duplicated just an hours ago.

The game kept fans on there feet.  It must have been such a great moment there.  To have a ticket to that game must have been amazing (not knowing what would happen of course, but now that it has… wow).  Beuhrle and the White Sox were… well let me say it… RE-MARK-ABLE!

Like Sanchez’s no hitter, a late game rob saved their moment in history.  Aaron Rowand robbed what might have been a home run in the ninth inning of Sanchez’s no hitter.  In today’s game against the Rays, a defensive replacement in center, Dewayne Wise, robbed a sure home run from Gabe Kapler and preserved the perfect game for Beuhrle.  This was the single most important moment in the game, as was Rowand’s catch.  Another great play was Gordon Beckam’s line drive catch at third after a long at bat from Pat Burrell.  Honestly, it wasn’t all that well hit, but still, if he wasn’t there… there goes the perfection.  On offense, Beuhrle wouldn’t have needed much but he got it anyway.  Josh Fields hit a grand slam to start things off.  Then, Alexei Ramirez and Scott Podsednik hit back to back doubles to get the score to 5-0.  That would be four more runs than Beuhrle would need.

Beuhrle, already among some of the greatest names in history, adds to his already STELLAR career with this perfect game.  In his outing, he went the full nine innings, had six K’s and gave up nothing to the Rays offense.  That’s right.  Carlos Pena, BJ Upton, Evan Longoria… they were all held silent by Beuhrle.  Perfection.  Such a great sight to see.

Beuhrle joins a great group of names of those who have thrown a no hitter and a perfect game on different occasions.  The list includes the likes of Randy Johnson and… well, I forget who else but it is definitely a list to cherish being a part of.  Beuhrle was absolutely STELLAR in what was clearly the most exciting part of this season.  First there was Sanchez’s no hitter.  Then just last night, Manny Ramirez’s pinch hit grand slam.  Another great moment.  And now a perfect game from Beuhrle.  And just think about this… we’ve only just begun the second half of the season.  We still have the rest of the second half to go.  There’s still the playoff race to sit back and enjoy.  Then the playoffs themselves.  It’s going to be great and this season is going to be even greater.  Just wait.

Absolutely RE-MARK-ABLE.  Congrats to Mark Beuhrle on yet another phenominal accomplishment.


An No-Hitter For the Books

Last night, Jonathon Sanchez put in the best performance from any pitcher in the Major Leagues all season, and boy was it a show!  And yeah, I’m talking about the Jonathon Sanchez that was 2-8 going into the game, had been demoted to the bullpen, and had a 5.30 ERA.  Yeah.  He that’s the guy that just no-hit the San Diego Padres.  Now, the Padres aren’t what you would consider a good team, not that they are all that bad though.  The way they have played in stretches this season would back that up.  But they weren’t good enough to be a team that would be considered unno-hittable.  Now, you have to give props to Sanchez who has had an extremely tough season for doing what no one has done yet this year.  Great job man.

In most no-hitter scenarios, the pitcher generally dominates, making few mistakes that he is fortunate enough not to have ruined their no-hitter.  In the game last night, there were a few balls that just missed leaving the ballpark.  If the batter had hit it just a little farther, this story would be nowhere.  It wouldn’t even be in anyone’s head.  “Jonathon Sanchez throwing a no-hitter… not with the stats he has.”

Last night, two of those hits came from Adrian Gonzalez, the slugging first baseman that will be competing in this year’s home run derby.  He hit two to left field that forced the left fielder to the warning track.  A little more on each of those hits and he would have had two more homers added on to his impressive home run total for 2009.  The other one that was probably the most important of the game was the one that was off the bat of… some guy that batted in the eighth that I don’t know the name of.  It went deep to straight away centerfield.  With some centerfielders, it would have hit the wall and bounced off for a double, possibly a triple, ultimately ruining the no-no.  But who better to have in center than Aaron Rowand.  The wall-crashing-into-specialist.  He jumped to catch the ball and robbed the batter of extra bases- saved Sanchez’s place in history.  My dad and I both watched the recap video of the game on MLB.com and we both said the same thing when Rowand snagged the ball… “Oh wow!”  Now, imagine if the ball would have been a homer and Rowand robbed that… think about that for a minute…

To further appreciate his dominance in this game and just his totally STELLAR pitching, Sanchez’s no-hitter would have been a perfect game if not for an error by the one and only Juan Uribe.  I don’t know about any of you, but Uribe has always struck me as that guy that would ruin something great and just didn’t have it as a professional.  Not that he’s a bad player… he’s a lot better than me… but he just isn’t that reliable. 

Sanchez’s season and even his career has changed dramatically with this no-hitter.  It was a tremendous performance and his perseverance just makes it all the better for this guy.  He’s a young pitcher and to have thrown a no-no will boost his confidence a mile high… figuratively speeking.

Congrats to Jonathon Sanchez!