Hey everyone. I’m back from my unexpected leave of absence. Now, when someone takes a leave of absence from whatever, there are usually some pretty good reasons for taking a break. Sometimes work or other activities get in the way and their schedules are too cramped up for whatever they are taking a break from. Now, my excuse… a fried computer. My computer basically exploded and we had to get a new one. My parents took like a week to get it too so I was unable to keep up with anything I did daily on the internet. I couldn’t keep up with this blog. Now with my fantasy teams. Nothing. But now I’m back and I’m ready to discuss what was probably the craziest moment from this week. And we all know I’m all about the crazy.
The Red Sox and Tigers opened up a four game series on Monday night, the day that my computer fried. So, it was set to be a good one. The Sox had just been swept by the Yankees, much to my liking, and the Tigers are still in the race for the top spot in the AL Central. You wouldn’t really expect fireworks in an out of division game like this. But of course, it’s the Red Sox and they have had their fair share of fights, in division and out.
Now, this was the most recent brawl that the Red Sox were involved in. This one was between the Sox and Rays, or should I say, Coco Crisp and James Shields. Shields threw a fastball that clunked Coco in the right thigh. After the pitch, it seemed as though Coco was just going to go down to first but then all of a sudden he charged the mound, ready to get it on. Shields threw a punch and wiffed as Coco dodged it and caught Shields in the back of the head as other Rays’ players came over to defend Shields and take Coco off him. Then the benches cleared and you know the rest. This is the memorable pic from that fight.
Now, how can you forget the Red Sox Yankees brawls from the past. Here’s the most famous one in which A-Rod and Varitek went at it after Rodriguez was hit by a pitch. A-Rod and Varitek exchanged words as Rodriguez was walking down to first. Then, with a gesture of his hands, A-Rod taunted Varitek who then threw his glove into Rodriguez’s face and it was on. Here’s that famous pic.
Then there was the other famous fight in which Pedro Martinez threw Don Zimmer to the ground. That was really a crazy one. I remember watching it with my dad and I was like, whoa, I can’t believe Pedro did that to an old man like Zimmer. Here’s that pic.
Just face it world. The Red Sox are fight prone. They have been involved in some of the most memorable fights in recent history. They have all been caused by pitchers throwing at batters. They have all been between in division rivalries. And they have all been crazy adventures to watch. Just get over it Red Sox Nation. Your team is a fighting team. Now, that’s not totally a bad thing. I mean if you get thrown at then you should be angry. But charging the mound and throwing punches shouldn’t be how it ends.
When Kevin Youkilis was hit by a pitch from Rick Porcello, Youk was fired up. He had reason to be. Only one batter earlier had Porcello thrown at Victor Martinez. But the pitch missed Martinez inside and Martinez himself was a little fired up. He didn’t charge the mound though. When the next batter Youkilis got hit, he knew he had been thrown at. He charged the mound and him and Porcello tumbled to the ground as the rest of the two teams charged out from the dugouts and their positions in the field. It was crazy. Here’s that memorable pic.
Youkilis was FRIED with a five game suspension. Porcello, a five gamer as well. It was indeed a crazy fight and the sparks were once again started by a pitcher throwing at a batter.
Now, here’s a fun fact. The four brawls that I mentioned in this post all took place at Fenway Park. Intersting. Maybe the Red Sox just like getting the fans behind them by getting in a brawl. I don’t know but it’s a thought.
Until next time…
Being a Yankee fan, or even for those Red Sox fans on this MLBlogosphere, these next four days should present nothing else but Red Sox-Yankees analysis on any Yankee fan’s or Red Sox fan’s blog. That’s so simple. The best rivalry in baseball is nothing short of what it is put up to be. It is the single best part of the MLB. It is my favorite part of the year when the Yankees and Red Sox face off and everyone else’s involved in this rivalry. And basically, it is the only thing that should be talked about by any Red Sox or Yankee fan during the 18 games they play each other every year. It is just STELLAR.
So, everyone knows that the Yankees have been unsuccessful against the Red Sox thus far this season. They have been unable to win at home or on the road; extremely disappointing to Yankee fans. Now, with first place in our posession (meaning the Yankees), the Bronx Bombers have a certain upside to things now, now that they have succeeded past the Sox without actually beating them. But these next few games they play against the Red Sox will be played with a bigger sense of importance. The Yankees can really pull away from the Red Sox, and push their already solid 2.5 game lead to maybe a 5 game lead or a 6 game lead at best. A sweep would be phenominal seeing that we haven’t beaten them once this season. Four straight wins would be STELLAR.
The Yankees and Red Sox play a total of ten games to finish off the season series. Three of those are in Boston and the rest of them are in New York. This is a huge advantage for the Yankees and they need to take advantage of it. I can’t think of any better way to say it than that. If you can’t win at home, you don’t have as good a chance to win on the road.
Victor Martinez… just aquired in a blockbuster deal from the Cleveland Indians. A catcher/first baseman that has helped the Red Sox immensely in their current infield situation. They have Mike Lowell who hasn’t been to the top of his health. Since this has been the case, he has not started at third in the recent past and has forced Kevin Youkilis to shift over to third, the position he came to the Red Sox to play. Victor Martinez has fit into the first base position and has let Jason Varitek remain behind the plate. Late in the games, Mike Lowell has appeared to pinch hit giving the Red Sox much needed depth. Martinez will get his first dose of the Yankees-Red Sox action and will be a huge part in it. Martinez is the offensive bat that has fit into an already loaded lineup for the Red Sox that has its fair share of power and just general good hitting. It will be interesting to watch how he performs.
Now, going sort of off topic. How about that Kung Fu Panda?
No not that one… this one.
Pablo Sandoval has been a huge part of bringing the San Francisco Giants back into the playoff race. They are currently first in the wild card race in the NL, only a half game ahead of their closest competitors in the NL West, the Colorado Rockies. The Giants aren’t going to get to the top of the division, with the Dodgers easily pulling away from day one, but with Sandoval leading the way offensively, the Giants could be the underdog that gets into the playoffs. They have the pitching; Lincecum and Cain. They have the defense; Rowand and Molina among them. They have the offense; Sandoval and Sanchez. What else is their that they need. Obviously they don’t have an overly great team, but they have what it takes to perform to a high standard and they could surely make it to the playoffs. Now, how far will they go in the playoffs? I’m not so sure. They do have to face off against the best of the best in the NL; the Dodgers, the Phils, most likely, and possibly the Cards, the Cubbies, or even the Brew Crew. All tough teams, but they should have enough to get into the playoffs in the first place. Sandoval leads the way offensively and all I can say to the Giants is this:
THE KUNG FU PANDA WILL LEAD YOU TO WHERE YOU NEED TO BE.
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: 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.
Finally, the LaRoche brothers will not be mistaken for the each other. No longer will people see the name A. LaRoche on the scoreboard and say, “Which one is that?” No longer will I see the name on my fantasy stat follower and also be confused. And basically, no longer will Pittsburgh be the owners of the two brothers that confuse the crap out of many baseball fans. Now here this… you can’t imagine how confusing it is to see the name A. LaRoche and have to wonder which one it is. It is extremely annoying. I’m not sure which guy it is.
Well, now the Bucs won’t have to worry about mistaking either of them for the other any more. The Bucs have traded ADAM LaRoche to the Boston Red Sox for a couple prospects. The addition of LaRoche is a good one, giving them another bat to add to their all ready powerful arsenal. But the question is this… How often will he be used. There is no where to put him. With Youkilis at first, and Lowell at third (for the time being), there is no where to put him so you would imagine he would get a spot start here and there. But maybe they got him because Lowell is going back to the DL. In this case LaRoche would get first base with Youk sliding over to third. Who knows? It’s still a good move regardless.
On to other news. What’s up with all those day games today. I went to the movies this afternoon with a few buds to catch the matinee of the new Transformers movie and I hung out at the mall next door to it all afternoon. When I got home and turned on ESPNews, I saw a bunch of replays from games that had already been played. I was thinking, “What’s up with that?” I was bummed but then again, the only game that would be on t.v. near me would be the Red Sox-Rangers game which is on later tonight. So that wasn’t that big a deal.
Also- THE YANKS ARE IN FIRST! I am pumped about this. The Yanks are on fire, the Red Sox have sucked so far this second half, and life is good as a Yankee fan.
Well, that’s all, not much happening today or yesterday.
P.S. I suggest everyone go see Transformers 2 because it was a great movie. Very intense. A lot of action. It was great. Shia LaBeouf- great job; Megan Fox- hot as ever; Optimus Prime- Very awesome.
Alright… time for my weekly post of who’s who, who’s better, who would I pick, who would be more productive. Yeah. It’s awesome. Last week I talked about two of the best youngsters in the league who have been called up this season… the Pirates’ Andrew McCutchen and the Marlins’ Chris Coghlan. This week I’m bringing it back home, close to myself personally. The rivalry that I follow day in and day out. The Red Sox and the Yankees. And I’m going to be comparing the two first baseman in the top rivalry in sports. Mark Teixeira and Kevin Youkilis.
Mark Teixeira: Now, Teixeira gets the edge defensively right off the bat. Not saying Youk isn’t a STELLAR first baseman, but Mark Teixeira is more than STELLAR. He’s that good. He is the solid firstbaseman the Yankees have been searching for. They haven’t had one in forever and the presence of Teixeira just makes me feel more secure when a ball is thrown into the dirt in front of first base. Tex has won a few gold gloves in his time and has proven to be the premier first baseman in the league. Now offensively, he is also tops in the league. He hits for power, can be clutch in the time of need, and just does everything right. He has made very few errors in his career offensively on the base paths. He is just an all around great athlete that knows how to play the game. This season, his stats include 20 homers, which is among the tops in the league, 60 RBI, a .274 average, which isn’t all that bad, and a .559 slugging percentage. Now, his home run numbers and his slugging percentage may have a little to do with him playing in Yankee Stadium and the new home run friendly right field, but he is still among the top offensive players in the league. He is great and a joy to watch play the game.
Kevin Youkilis: YOUKKKKKKKKK! His name is chanted everywhere. At home in Boston, away on the road (at Baltimore the most) and just everywhere he travels. Everyone loves Youk… except Yankee fans. Youk has had a tremendous season this year despite being on the DL early on. He has come back and proven he is ready to play and produce big numbers for the current first place Red Sox. So far this season, he has racked up 14 round trippers, 47 RBI, 19 doubles, a .314 average, and a .593 slugging percentage. He is also having a very good season at first base with a little time over at third. Youk has only made one error this season which matches Teixeira’s total. He has been able to make the transition over to third with ease to replace Lowell, who recently went on the DL. He is in the running for a starting position at first in the All Star game this year. He has a legitimate chance at winning that spot. He has been a solid guy at first and third for the Red Sox all year and has been one of the hottest hitters for the Red Sox at the plate along with Jason Bay who is having an MVP type year.
Now, here’s my pick. And before you say anything about him being a Yankee, hear me out. Teixeira is an all around great guy who plays the game right, can hit, can field like no one else, and is just a great face of the game. Youkilis is also a great hitter and a great fielder. He is in the middle of that powerful Red Sox lineup that has succeeded over the rest of the AL East this season. My pick of Tex came all down to defense. Youk is a good, solid firstbaseman but Tex has made the plays in the past, is doing it now, and will continue to do it. And other than actual fielding percentage, Teixeira makes a lot of nice plays that don’t show up in stat books or sheets. He knows what to do when the ball comes to him and he has done it over his entire career. Congrats Tex on your victory in this not-that-important debate. You rock.
-P.S.: another reason I didn’t pick Youk is because his beard is one of the ugliest things I’ve ever seen in baseball. And that batting stance… who taught him that???
His offense and defense were both tops among the non pitcher free agents and he was going to make whatever team was lucky enough to get him so much better. That’s right. Mark Teixeira. The golden boy that everyone wanted when he became a free agent after his contract with the Angels ran out. He was the top offensive free agent out there, possible the best overall. He was just that good and everyone wanted him. Since the Yankeeas have had an inconsistency at first base in the past (no one that could use a glove), they wanted to get a guy that could produce on offense and could use a glove. So who better to spend a big part of your enormous budget on than Mark Teixeira. One of the top free agents on the market. The Yanks signed him over the Red Sox, who were their top competition for Teixeira. They gave him a eight year, $180 million contract that would keep him in pinstripes for a long time. And hey, I’d like to keep him around for a while as well.
At the start of the season, Teixeira’s offense wasn’t as good as everyone had hoped it would be. A big hole in the Yankee offense that was one of the reasons they slipped as low as fourth place in the AL East. His defense was there, continuing his gold glove worthy work at the home plate corner of the diamond. So why was he having such a slow start. One of the reasons, now known, that Teixeira’s offense took a while to start up was the absence of another middle of the lineup guy, Alex Rodriguez. The projected lineup for the Yankees at the beginning of the season included Teixeira batting third and A-Rod batting fourth. The absence of the powerful A-Rod behind him may have caused him the slow start. But now, Teixeira’s performance at the plate could not be more the opposite of how it started.
Currently, he is batting .286, has 17 homers, has 50 RBI, has a .390 OBP, and has a .618 SLG. He is absolutely on fire. He has been so since A-Rod came back. Since his return, Teixeira has been on a tear and is one of the biggest parts of the Yankee offense. Now I’m starting to think that deal the Yankees signed him to is going to be worth it.
Last night, Teixeira had another big game. He went 2-5 with a solo homer and two additional RBI. He also played a solid game at first. Like he always has, he will be a solid first base defender and will have yet another shot at the first base gold glove. Someone he will have to compete with for that award will be Kevin Youkilis of the Red Sox. Youk is also a very good player on both the offensive and defensive sides of the ball. He is always in contention for the gold glove at first base. He is the defender of that award from last season but the battle will still be a good one.
So, the Yankees have gained so much since Tex has gone on his tear. He is the biggest part of their offense, a solid defender, and a great presence in the dugout. He was a huge aquisition for the team and that huge deal he signed may end up to be worth it. He is having a great season and, with the All Star weekend coming up, may earn a trip to St. Louis to play with the best of the best. He is my pick for the AL starting first baseman (sorry Youk). Hopefully he will continue to tear it up for the Yanks as the season is going on. I am expecting him to be in the running for AL MVP at the end of the season and I am also expecting him to lead this team to the playoffs and hopefully to a World Series victory. Who knows? That’s a while away. But hey… you can never be too ready.