Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Adrian Gonzalez is one bad mutha!

Adrian Gonzalez is putting up numbers this year that defy logic and common sense. How can anyone put up all-star caliber numbers hitting in a hitters' graveyard and without genuine protection in the lineup? Why are National League pitchers and managers throwing to him? Adrian currently has 12 opposite field home runs which lead me to believe that he is making the most of what pitchers are giving him. He gets extraordinary lift going the other way. Last night's home run at Petco Park went to left center field. I remember one other of his home runs in that general vicinity early this year. Its a nice poke even for a right handed batter pulling the ball. Adrian is fast becoming one of those hitters that is very difficult to pitch to. Mike Piazza and Albert Pujols come to mind because they used all fields with power.

Hopefully Adrian can hit 40-50 bombs this year and drive in 100+ runs this year in an offense that lacks superstars in the lineup. Scott Hairston is hitting the ball with authority and is proving to be the only protection for A-Gon. I hope Adrian doesn't leave when his contract comes up and the Padres come up with some excuse as to why they can't sign him.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Another Positive Test

Manny Ramirez is the latest to test positive for performance-enhancing drugs...His agent, Scott Boras, states that he tested positive because his doctor prescribed him a drug for a medical issue. Apparently his doctor did not check the banned substance list adequately. He will be suspended for 50 games for violation of MLB Joint Drug Prevention & Treatment Program as a result. Its a shame that Manny's legacy may be damaged by this positive test.

The Boston Red Sox interestingly enough commented that they did not believe for a second that Manny took performance-enhancing drugs. Hopefully Manny can clear his image by coming clean with what type of prescription drug he took. I feel extremely bad for Manny Ramirez since I have always believed that he never took steroids or performance enhancers...

Monday, May 4, 2009

Padres lose again...

Once again the Padres pitching staff does not do the job. Scott Hairston tried his best hitting the three-run shot to put the Padres up 6-5 but the lead was short-lived. Leave it to a Chris Iannetta grand slam off of Cla Meredith to be the deciding blow to win it for the Rockies, 9-6. Bud Black just does not have the pieces in the bullpen or in the everyday lineup to make a run in the NL West this year. I truly believe that trading away Jake Peavy before the trade deadline will give the Padres much needed help for the future. I emphasize trading Peavy this year because his contract is very affordable for many clubs and I believe that he will have elbow issues later in his career similar to Mike Hampton of the Astros. I certainly do not wish that for Jake but I believe his delivery will catch up to him sooner or later. Lets get the most from Jake this year before he walks next year and leaves the Padres with the cupboards bare.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

SI's Selena Roberts is a SNAKE!!

I watched the special about Sports Illustrated's Selena Roberts' new book on Alex Rodriguez on MLB Network and came to the conclusion that she just wants to take the most recognizable face of our national pastime through the mud and through the ringer. Watching Bob Costas interview her only solidified my belief that she is out to make a name for herself and see what she can get out of it. Her efforts to further soil the name of arguably the best player in the largest market are slanderous and bush league. Rodriguez has already admitted the mistakes he's made in the past and the baseball world should move on. I believe that she has crossed the line. Reporting that A-Rod had a clubhouse attendant put toothpaste on his toothbrush is flat out petty. She wants to demonize his character by reporting cheesy stuff like that. Please watch the interview since it will probably air again soon on MLB Network and come to your own conclusion.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Baseball and steroids....

So what does Alex Rodriguez do now? Now he has had a Sports Illustrated writer on his jock for the past few months trying to take him down by reporting now that he did engage in the use of performance enhancing drugs in high school. One of Rodriguez' ex-teammates from high school said that he gained 25 lbs. and gained 2oo lbs. on his bench press between his sophomore and junior years. Supposedly the entire team and the manager allegedly knew that Rodriguez was using. It sounds like Rodriguez was trying to maximize his abilities at a time when a lot of players were doing the same. I'm not condoning his actions but there weren't any policies in place concerning the use of steroids. All A-Rod is saying now is that he wants to do what God put him on this earth to do and that is play baseball. He is not commenting on the latest stories about him.

What about the pitch tipping that allegedly took place in lopsided games while Rodriguez was in Texas? If this allegation is true, then Rodriguez has no respect for the game. I personally can live with his steroid use and not blink when mentioning him among the all-time greats of the game, but if he was telling the other team what pitch was coming in exchange for the favor in return then I will lose all respect for Alex Rodriguez as a person. You simply do not do that to your team sabotaging them for the sake of your own personal statistics.

This Selena Roberts character from SI will not go away. I believe that she is trying to make her career blossom on the bad decisions of a very visible athlete. Roberts is capitalizing on Rodriguez while other known users get away. Mark McGwire fell of the face of the earth. Rafael Palmeiro will be embarrassed the rest of his life for the clown he made himself out to be in front of Congress. Sammy Sosa forgot how to speak english in front of Congress as well. Just remember Sammy, baseball has been very, very good to you!! Barry Bonds is about to crucified for his alleged steroid use. I can't wait until this is all over and steroids no longer are a big-ticket story. Granted it was a dark age in baseball but we all need to accept it and move on. It seems like the game is cleaning up. Lets quit beating a dead horse.

Heath? Again? Why?

Heath Bell followed up a save with some very eye-opening comments. To his credit, Bell has apologized to all parties involved. Granted he may have been emotionally fired up after getting his league-leading 8th save at the Rockies, but as a professional you do not open yourself up to scrutiny by calling out your colleagues. Bell stated, in short, that Rockies relief pitcher Huston Street was not "closer" material and that Kyle Farnsworth has fear in his eyes when he pitches despite his great stuff. Bell then went on to state that he is "closer" material and that he does have it in him. I was unaware of these comments so when I heard them on 1090 AM today I was shocked.

Heath Bell was a set-up man last year for Trevor Hoffman, the greatest closer of all-time. Now he has been blessed with a chance to close for a sub-par team and has done a nice job so far. I believe that Heath needs to eat a piece of humble pie and take a step back and realize what he had said. He is not yet an established closer and has not earned the respect of his peers as a legitimate stopper. The early success may have gone to his head a little but the game of baseball has a funny way of humbling players. I just hope that he does not hit too rough of a patch making the Padres suffer along with him. Next time someone approaches Heath for a quote, Heath should stick to the cliches and not step on any toes. He hasn't earned his stripes yet...

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Boycott ESPN...

Ever since the Padres' Heath Bell voiced his opinion on the worldwide leader's unashamed tunnel-vision coverage of the "Evil Empire" (Yankees) and "The Nation" (Red Sox), I have noticed how bad it really is. I was watching the previously mentioned channel where Yankees-Tigers and Red Sox-Indians highlights were shown followed by a promo teasing the viewer how they were going to look more into depth both the Yankees poor performance and the Red Sox heating up. It seems like ESPN is in a deep love affair with these two teams and their markets. When will it stop or will it ever? I understand that those two teams have a tremendous following all across the country and that each team is a ratings magnet but for the sake of not losing the rest of MLB's fanbase try toning it down a bit. I am starting to watch MLB Network a lot more where all teams are covered in an unbiased way. Please consider doing the same.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Frustrating day for the Padres...

The Padres could not solve the second coming of Cy Young, Barry Zito. The game was not aired on Channel 4 San Diego but it did not have to be. The highlights could have fit inside Paris Hilton's A-cups. I saw Zito pitch at Petco Park this year and he didn't fare so well. On Wednesday, Zito was able to dominate throwing creme puffs for fastballs although he did have an effective curve ball working. Giles and Gonzalez both looked bad swinging and missing for two of the five strikeouts I watched on the worldwide leader's highlight reel. It was not the vintage 12-6 curve. It had more of a sweeping action left to right. I was surprised to see Giles swinging at that garbage because of the great eye he has at the plate but then again he is not doing so well starting out of the gate. I've heard that Giles is the prototypical "slow starter" excusing him from the horrendous April he is having. Not bad for $10 million a year right?

Chris Young once again threw a brilliant game going seven strong innings but to no avail. The only dark spot on his pitching line was the four walks he gave up. He only struck out three but gave up only two hits. That makes for a decent WHIP. Its a shame he did not get any run support. I hope that does not become a trend as the season continues. Luke Gregerson came in and spun 2 scoreless innings to keep the game a scoreless tie through nine innings striking out three.

Bud Black obviously sees something in Edwin Moreno because he keeps running him out there in critical situations. I believe mop-up duty is in Moreno's near future. You have to feel bad for Moreno while questioning the overuse of his change-up. Opposing hitters know its coming and they do not respect his fastball. The location was poor on the Raul Ibanez game-winning homerun in Philly on Sunday as he left it up in the zone. In the bottom of the tenth, Benji Molina went down and pulled it to left center winning the game for the Giants, 1-0. Moreno was the victim of the Padres' outfield playing in to attempt to cut the winning run down at home from second base. Had the outfield been at normal depth, Hairston or Headley would have camped under it for the third out. Moreno had success with the change-up early on but now opposing hitters are looking out for it. He is now a victim of the scouting report. If he wants to keep his spot on the roster, he will have to make adjustments or he soon will find himself on the Portland Beavers' roster.

Now back to Brian Giles and the outfield situation. I would rather see a Headley, Gerut, and Hairston outfield right now then see Brian Giles roll over on outside pitches. His insistence on pulling 90% of what's thrown to him angers me. He does not have the power he once possessed in Pittsburgh where he pulled every pitch over the wall to right. Don't get me wrong, I'm a big fan of proven veterans but I believe that Gerut and Hairston have more pop and more speed than Giles and seem to make things happen quite regularly. Giles does bring certain intangibles to the table like solid defense and a hard-nosed old school mentality that simply cannot be taught but at the age of 38, his offensive skills are certainly on the decline. Headley goes without saying. He was on fire on the recent road trip in Philly and New York and I hope that he can continue hitting the ball with authority. By the way, that Jody Gerut homerun to christen Citi Field had me jumping out of my uncomfortable couch. That was sweet.

Padres have a day off today so hopefully they can wash the grime of the current three-game losing streak off and start fresh on Friday as the Pittsburgh Pirates roll into town. Hopefully the middle and back-end of the Padres' rotation can shut down a suddenly hot Pirates team that just swept the Florida Marlins. The Pirates' rotation already has four shutouts and leads the league in staff ERA at 3.04 compared to the Padres placing fifth with a 3.93 staff ERA. This should be a decent series between two small market giants.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The Season Is Upon Us!!

So much has happened in the first two weeks of the year. Some of the happenings were truly heartbreaking. Nick Aydenhart's passing was truly tragic and I will be rooting for the Angels the rest of the year. Mark Fidrych dying in an accident in Northborough, Ma at his home hit the baseball world hard. He was only around a few years but Fidrych left an impression on all of us. Also losing Harry Kalas to death's grip after a life of service to the Philadelphia Phillies and baseball was a great loss. Also lets not forget NFL Films and the great work he did for them. He breathed life into the narrations describing the great moments in the NFL.

We also saw two new stadiums open up in New York. It's still mind-boggling to me to see one city open not only one brand new stadium but TWO new stadiums in the same year in this struggling and stagnant economy. I realize that the plans were in the works a few years ago but it still amazes me being a fan in small market San Diego, Ca. In San Diego, it took practically an act of Congress to get the funds approved for Petco Park in 1998. I believe had the Padres not had a World Series appearance that year, the Padres would no longer be in San Diego.

How about the surprises so far in this young season? The Marlins and their fast start definitely top the list. They currently have an 11-2 record as of April 21 and they are doing it by mashing the baseball and getting solid performances from a group of young pitchers led by Josh Johnson and Ricky Nolasco. We know they are going to be strong offensively but if their pitching holds up and performs, we could be looking at this year's Tampa Bay Rays. The Mets and Phillies are the favorites in the NL East but that's why the games are played. The Padres as well have surprised the city of San Diego with their current 9-4 record. Expectations are low for this team this year but if they can manage to play .500 baseball, it would be a pleasant surprise.

This season looks to be very promising as far as storylines go. Who will come out of the National League, aka the superior league? Can you tell I'm a huge NL guy by the previous statement? Will the Phillies repeat or the Dodgers get over the hump this year? How about the Mets? The Mets seemed to have fixed their achilles heel, their bullpen, with new acquisitions JJ Putz and K-Rod. Can the Yankees and their large payroll finally win a World Series again or will all that lavish spending be for not? Will the Rays do it again and overcome the Nation and the evil empire two years in a row? I guess we will find out in October...