By: Mike Asti
Immediately following Derek Jeter’s 3,000th career hit, the only Yankee to ever record all of them in pine stripes, one of the great sports debates began to intensify. Where exactly does Jeter rank among the all-time great New York Yankees. Is he in the top 10? Does “the Captain” belong in the top 5? Has Jeter actually advanced to the top of the mountain, as the best to ever play for sports most successful franchise? Many people argued all of these questions. As I listened and soaked up what respected experts had to say on the matter, I decided I needed to put my own stamp on this issue. Hopefully Skip Bayless reads this article, so he can get a clue. Hey Skip, I know more about baseball in my pinky finger than you do in your entire body. Speaking just because you can is never wise. Read more
By: Brian McLaughlin
The trade deadline has come and gone with teams now headed towards the dog days of summer. The National league contenders were very active in the past week or so with each of the top 7 teams making at least some sort of move. In the American League, the Rangers and Indians made solid moves in effort for a potential playoff run, while the Yankees were nowhere to be found.
The team the needed to make a move the most leading up to the deadline was the defending champion San Francisco Giants, and GM Brian Sabean did just that which came as no surprise. They added the best bat on the market in outfielder Carlos Beltran, and acquired shortstop Orlando Cabrera from Cleveland as well. With these moves the Giants have made a significant upgrade to a lineup that badly needed it and have potentially put themselves back in the role as the “team to beat” in the National League. However the Philadelphia Phillies may have a claim to that role as they made a big play of their own on Friday night when they landed a much-needed right-handed bat and all-star outfielder Hunter Pence. This was a move that many had talked about, but a move that I did not think would be made, as Houston in my opinion gave in and made the move for less than they should have. However you look at it this was a huge move for the Phillies as Pence gives the them a right-handed presence and much-needed balance in their lineup and will fill the hole that Jayson Werth left behind. Pence was exactly what the Phillies needed and has already paid off in the two games that he has played for the Phils. Read more
By: Brian McLaughlin
With an interesting first half of the Major League Baseball season in the books and the mid summer classic within hours away, it is a good time to reflect on what we have seen and look forward to what lies ahead.
Lets first review the first half:
There have been two huge surprises in the American League this season, The Cleveland Indians and the Tampa Bay Rays. No one saw either of these teams having a winning season, let alone being possible contenders, but here we are at the break and these two clubs are in the race. The Indians, who have led the central for most of the year, sit on a 47-42 record and see themselves only a half game behind the Tigers. They have seemingly come from nowhere but have gotten great play from Asdrubal Cabrera and have been the comeback kids so far this season as they have 20 come from behind wins. The Rays who were left for dead in the beginning of the year are 49-41 and six games behind the Redsox and five games behind New York. Well see how far these teams can go in the second half but they deserve some credit for outstanding and shocking first half performance.
By: Mike Asti
Derek Jeter becomes the first New York Yankee to ever record all 3,000 hits in the legendary pin stripes. The Captain blasted a solo home run in the bottom of the third inning against Tampa on Saturday, July 9, 2011 to reach the mark. Jeter also becomes only the second player to ever homer for his 3,000th hit. Ironically, Wade Boggs, the other man to do so, was a Tampa Bay Ray (then Devil Rays) at the time of his 3,000th hit. Boggs won a World Series as a member of the 1996 New York Yankees, as a teammate of a young Jeter. His 3,000th career hit ties Roberto Clemente for 27th on Major League Baseballs all-time list. Read more
By: Mike Asti
The 2011 MLB managerial carousel continues spinning at rapid pace. After the Washington Nationals were stunned to learn their manager, Jim Riggelman was resigning and leaving the team, a franchise with hopes for a bright future seemed to be in turmoil. The Nats brass wasted no time in putting a plan of action together. Baseball returned to the D.C area in 2005 and the organization is determined it will be eventually be a winner. Despite a winning streak and .500 record, Riggleman felt disrespected by not receiving a contract extension or even much communication discussing the possibility of keeping him around long term. Riggleman saw the light at the end of the tunnel. He was well aware a repaired Stephen Strasburg and a young phenom, Bryce Harper would be in the fold very soon. Unfortunately, the franchise did not appear to be gun hoe about fully handing him the keys to a potential Cadillac in the making. Right or wrong, the Nationals have every right in the world to go in whatever direction they feel is best. My full thoughts on the Riggleman debacle can be heard here: The Howitzer and Buzz-saw Show. Read more
By: Mike Asti
Year in and year out, the Florida Marlins have hopes of competing in the always tough National League East. Despite only two playoff appearances (ironically winning the World Series both times – 1997 & 2003) and consistently one of the lowest payrolls in baseball, the Marlins usually stick in the race early, before fading to stronger teams down the stretch. This year appeared to be no different. With the often underrated Josh Johnson and arguably the best short-stop in all of MLB, Hanley Ramirez, Florida expected to have a chance. They were well aware of the new big 4 and recent championship success of the Phillies, the historic pedigree of the Braves, possible bright future for the Nationals, and even the high payroll of the Mets, yet the lowly Marlins dreamed of sipping champagne again come October. It is often said every team feels they can be champions in the spring. While it might be true to an extent, some franchises know all too well they realistically did not have a shot this season. Right or wrong, Florida follows that phrase more than anyone, and their never say die attitude has garnered much respect throughout both the National and American Leagues.
By: George Gerbo
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. It was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness.”
Charles Dickens wrote those words over 150 years ago to begin his novel “A Tale of Two Cities”. He could have never imagined they’d be adopted to describe the 2011 Stanley Cup Finals, but they fit pretty well in the context of this series, which will be decided with a game seven tonight in Vancouver. Read more
By: Mike Asti
The legend of Harry Caray will never die. Prior to FOX’s broadcast of the Cubs’ game against Philadelphia last week, Chicago pitcher Ryan Dempster was brought on-air to read the Cubs lineup. This was not the normal player reading his teammates names and adding in a comment here or there, not at all. Dempster has been a solid starter in the big leagues for 14 years now, yet it is very possible he may be remembered most for his Harry Caray impressions. The most impersonated broadcaster in history is not an easy guy to mimic. Will Ferrell used to do a spot on Harry Caray during his time on SNL. It is very possible Dempster could argue his is better.
Video credit to BaseballBuc on Youtube
By Josh Cooper
I got an invite from my mom’s friend’s husband who works for the commissioner’s office to go to Sunday’s MLB Draft at the MLB Network Studios in Secaucus, New Jersey, and I was allowed to bring my good friend, Paul. The experience was a ridiculous treat, as we saw baseball’s best young players get drafted and saw Hall of Famers within feet of us. For example, we’re sitting down and eating our dinner while we were waiting for the draft to begin. An old man comes up to us and says, “Hey guys how are ya. You mind if I cut through here.” I just say sure and politely move my stuff to let him through. As I look up to watch him walk through, I take a glance at the name tag as it says Gaylord Perry.