AL West Preview

Mike Trout has finished second in MVP voting the past two seasons. He hopes to change that in 2014 and lead the Angels back to the post season.

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Home Run Derby dominated by the American League again

For the 2nd consecutive year the American League absolutely dominated the National League in the Home Run Derby

American League dominates 2011 Home Run Derby

Prince Fielder defeated Jose Bautista in the 2012 Home Run Derby from Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, MO.

Fielder was sensational in the final round as he out slugged Bautista 12-7 in the finale and 28-22 for the event.

The four American League sluggers totaled 64 bombs while the National League was only able to muster a total of 21 homers. Continue reading

Trying to Buy Jewlery Doesn’t Always Work Out

The Detroit Tigers certainly made an offseason splash in signing Prince Fielder for $214,000,000(yes 6 zeroes) over 9 years.  While a lineup with Fielder and Miguel Cabrera is certainly fearsome for White Sox and Indians fans the Tigers have issues to figure out that might not be solvable with their current roster.  15 years ago I bought a girl a ring – nothing spectacular and certainly not engagement quality but to me at the time it probably represented more  then the close to one million times larger the Tigers just signed up for.  Go ahead and try this nonsense when you’re young and dumb.  It works just the same when you’re old and desperate for a title.

Just like I had a defensive jealousy about me the Tigers have a second base issue in Brandon Inge’s candidacy for the spot. While the city is divided into great guy/horrible hitter camps the bottom line is going to be determined by the guy can recognize enough of his own issues to at least contribute. It becomes dificult to balance whether he really cares or just says the right things when he shows up after most of the team for Spring Training. Just like the girl sulks off to the minors to cool off from you and you start to learn the game of being young and able to pick up the oppo sex again she’ll slap you across the face at work Brandon Inge will break you off and come back with a game winning homer just to show you he’s back in.  Before you know it you’re in the same situation again – hanging onto something that just isn’t there. I like Brandon Inge I don’t dislike my ex but seeing either one of them leaves me feeling like I was punched in a special location.

A note to the young turks out there – don’t go changing yourself either.  Whether she wants you to wear argyle socks or to shave more often just be where you can be the best you.  Whatever cologne she sticks you with isn’t yours. She just marked her territory – no matter how good you think you smell – you smell like hers. The Tigers moving Miguel Cabrera isn’t exactly putting Brooks Robinson on 3rd and it isn’t putting Mark Reynolds there either.  Let’s admit that it likely isn’t putting the best Cabrera on the field either.  You can’t help but love what Cabrera brings to the plate and he transitioned to first base well enough to avoid being a liability in the field. Moving him back to third to find a slot for Fielder is a risk with huge stakes.  If it works I will be the first to throw back a celebratory shot, light a victory cigar, and call Dave Dombrowski a genius but if it fails they have a lot of shuffling to do and like the eventual result of a relationship split Jim Leyland is going to smoke 3 packs of Camel unfiltered.  I guarantee this.  In fact 3 packs might be a step down for the skipper.

And if it does blow up in their faces long term the fan base will go thru the painful steps of rage, sadness, hope, and eventual acceptance.  We’ll look back fondly on what didn’t work and what could’ve been and remember that it made us better long term so long as we don’t get it wrong again.

Sometimes you have to realize you don’t need the enigmatic first emotional option.  No matter how great it seemed you look back and realize that ALCS win wasn’t getting it over the wall.  Sometimes you find your championship comes from a Derek Jeter-esque Welsh Terrier, a ManRam-esque Airedale, and someone unexpected and extraordinary putting it all together for you.  Sometimes you wait for the ring to develop – just like you wait out your prospects.  The Tigers have made a bid for immediate returns and despite a potential murder’s row they’re likely to be judging the final result on the basis of someone unexpected who comes thru – I’m rooting for Brennan Boesch.  After all my lucky # is 26 and it seemed to work out for me despite a rebuilding process after the emotion of trying to buy that first ring wore off.

Prince Fielder lands in Detroit

Headed to the Motor City

The mystery team strikes again!  After months of rumors and speculation Prince Fielder finally has a new home.  Washington?  Seattle?  Baltimore? Miami? Texas? Detroit!  The Detroit Tigers were never mentioned as a potential suitor for the former Milwaukee Brewers slugger.  As has been the trend in recent years with Cliff Lee to Philadelphia and Albert Pujols to Orange County it’s not always the team you expect or hear about that lands the monster free agent.  Scott Boras may have made a mistake with Ryan Madson’s new contract but he sure made up for it with Prince Fielders deal.  After losing 1b/C/DH Victor Martinez for the 2012 season due to a torn ACL the Tigers inked the 27-year old Fielder to a reported 9-year, $214 million contract.  With the inactive off-seasons out of the AL Central it would appear that Detroit remains the odds on favorite to win the division and compete for an American League Title.

Prince Fielder – Career Statistics

 

SwBS League Championship Series Picks

Mike O (1-1 NLDS)

Cardinals vs. Brewers – Divisional opponents and bitter rivals face off for the right to play in the World Series.  The Brewers and Cardinals bring serious star power into this series with the likes of Ryan Braun, Prince Fielder, Albert Pujols and Matt Holiday.  There should be plenty of offense from both sides but the advantage is pitching lies on the side of the Brewers.  The Cardinals look to continues their magical run of upsets and exceeding exceptions as they head into Milwaukee for game one. Brewers in 5

scottyb4 (1-1 NLDS)

Cardinals vs. Brewers – The Cardinals lineup is not as powerful as Milwaukee, but can get big hits when they need it. In a longer series, the combination of a deeper rotation and better bullpen will do the Cardinals in. Brewers in 6

sherms18 (1-1 NLDS)

Cardinals vs. Brewers – Brewers in 7

warrencroxton (1-1 NLDS)

Cardinals vs. Brewers – Brewers in 6

wfucich (2-0 NLDS)

Cardinals vs. Brewers – Two teams from the so-called weakest division in baseball (NL Central) outlasted the Phillies and Diamondbacks respectively, in a duo of Game 5 thrillers to advance to the NLCS.

As if the star power in St. Louis’ and Milwaukee’s lineups didn’t provide enough intrigue in this series an incident between Nyger Morgan, Albert Pujols and Chris Carpenter surely will.

On September 7th during a 2-0 Cardinals win over the Brewers, Nyger Morgan (otherwise known by his alter ego Tony Plush) threw his chewing tobacco at Chris Carpenter after striking out.  Albert Pujols came to his pitcher’s aid and a melee ensued. After the game Morgan continually referred to Pujols as “she” on his twitter account.  Oh the drama!

Back to baseball–both teams possess deep lineups with a mixture of MVP caliber players and quality role players as well as two under the radar starting pitching staffs.

The Cardinals continue their dream run as Carpenter and Pujols get the last laugh on T-Plush. Cardinals in 7

Mike O (2-0 ALDS)

Tigers vs. Rangers – The Rangers look to repeat as American Leagues champions when the open up the best of seven game series in Arlington.  The Rangers on paper appear to have an advantage in the rotation, bullpen and offensively though the Tigers took the season series.  The loss of Delmon Young may hurt the Tigers offensive game plan but having Justin Verlander on their side is certainly a plus in pitching.  Rangers in 6

scottyb4 (1-1 ALDS)

Tigers vs. Rangers – The outcome of Justin Verlander’s start will set the momentum for this series. The Rangers lineup is loaded but its their rotation that is very underrated. Hard to root against Jim Leyland, but the Rangers are just the whole package and have the experience on their side as well.   Rangers in 6

sherms18 (1-1 ALDS)

Tigers vs. RangersTigers in 6

warrencroxton (2-0 ALDS)

Tigers vs. Rangers Rangers in 5

wfucich (2-0 ALDS)

Tigers vs. Rangers – Detroit skipper Jim Leyland took a risk New York manager Joe Girardi wasn’t willing to take as he held back his ace pitcher on short rest for the NLDS Game 5 with the Yankees.  The result–Justin Verlander is available for Game 1 of the ALCS as CC Sabathia ultimately gave up the winning run in Game 5 on Thursday.

Texas dispatched of the miracle Rays in 4 games after taking an 8-0 loss in Game 1 of their ALDS series.

For the Tigers to have a shot in this series Verlander has to be sharper than he was vs. the Bronx Bombers and most likely Detroit needs to win the two games the probable 2011 AL Cy Young starts.

Look for some runs to be scored as both teams possess scary lineups as well as a couple of shaky starters.  Both bullpens are very good with a slight edge going to Texas.

Verlander comes up huge as Detroit pulls a mini upset. Tigers in 6

All-Star Break Highlights

If you took a sports vacation over the last few days to avoid the All-Star break here is what you missed:

2011 MLB Futures game:

– USA beat the World 6-4.

– Athletics 2B prospect Grant Green was named MVP

– Nationals super prospect Bryce Harper went 0 for 4 with 2 K’s

Boxscore

2011 Home Run Derby:

– Yankees defeat Red Sox in finals (Robinson Cano over Adrian Gonzalez)

Robinson Cano - Derby Champ

 

– Captain Ortiz did a much better in the selection process.

– Diamondback fans booed Prince Fielder for not selecting Justin Upton for the derby.

 

Diamondback fans exist?

 

 

2011 Celebrity/Legends Softball game:

– The National League defeated the American League 5-3.

– Luis Gonzalez was named game MVP.

– Larry Fitzgerald better hope the NFL lockout ends.

 

Reason to watch Celebrity Softball

 

2011 All-Star game:

– The National League defeated the American League 5-1.

– Tyler Clippard gets the win. Go Nats!

– Prince Fielder was named MVP and finally got a few cheers.

-Brandon League stinks

– Derek Jeter spent the All-Star game resting up.

Boxscore

Recap from Warren’s World

Check out some game highlights

Heath Bell, Starlin Castro, Pablo Sandoval