Results tagged ‘ Josh Hamilton ’
I was listening to a California based radio station the other night, when the host asked which would you rather witness in person, a perfect game or a guy hitting four home runs in a game.
It’s an interesting question, as they’re both quite the rare feat. I don’t want to take anything away from what Josh Hamilton did a few nights ago, but I’d rather see a perfect game.
There’s something special and beautiful about a perfect game. You have nine innings where everything about a team comes together. You have a pitcher not making mistakes, and a team playing excellent defense behind him. I almost got to witness a perfect game once, but Jim Joyce made what could very well be one of the most famous missed calls in the history of baseball.
The crowd was full of anticipation, especially from about the fourth inning on. With every batter, the stadium got louder and louder. I’ve been to a lot of baseball games in my life, but I’ve never experienced something like that before, and I doubt I will ever again.
Although having one person hitting four home runs in a game is rarer than a perfect game (16 four home run games against 21 perfect games), I just don’t find it as exciting. I guess one of the main reasons would be that you could hit four home runs, but your team can still lose. If you throw a perfect game, your team wins and everyone goes home happy.
Baseball is very much a team game, and I don’t think there’s a better team accomplishment than working together to complete a perfect game.
In 2010, the Texas Rangers made it to the World Series and they lost. In 2011, the Rangers once again made it to the World Series, only to lose again. Will 2012 be the year that the Rangers finally win it all, or will there be disappointment once again?
I’m sure you’ve all heard it by now, but if you haven’t, the Rangers twice came within one strike of winning the World Series last year. Unfortunately those strikes were never recorded, and the St. Louis Cardinals ended up being champions. The Rangers refused to sit idly by, and made a few big moves during the offseason.
After losing C.J. Wilson to free agency, the Rangers went all out and signed Yu Darvish to a six year sixty-million dollar contract. That’s also not including the nearly 50 million dollars the Rangers had to pay in order to negotiate with Darvish.
It’ll be interesting to see how Darvish will fare in Major League Baseball, as we’ve witnessed his potential control problems, as well as his ability to be dominant against even the best hitters in baseball. In his last outing against the Yankees, Darvish struck out ten hitters in eight innings without allowing a run. If Darvish can be consistently dominant, he’ll be more than worth every dollar they spent on him.
In another surprising move, the Rangers signed Joe Nathan to a two-year deal to be their closer and moved Neftali Feliz to the rotation. I’m curious if that’ll be a good move in the end, as Nathan hasn’t pitched a full season since recovering from Tommy John surgery, and Feliz hasn’t thrown more than 70 innings in any season of his career.
Perhaps the best part of the Rangers is their lineup, and that’s why I’m saving it for last. From top to bottom, the Rangers have arguably the best offensive team in all of baseball. You have Ian Kinsler leading off who will likely hit at least 25 home runs and steal 25 bases. When you have players such as Elvis Andrus, Josh Hamilton, Adrian Beltre, Mike Napoli and Michael Young in your lineup, you’re not going to find any weaknesses.
As much as it pains me to say this, I do think that the Rangers are currently the best team in all of Major League Baseball. This isn’t to say that they can’t be defeated, but it’s not going to be easy.
Fun fact: The Texas Rangers have only retired the number of one former player, and that’s the number 34 of Nolan Ryan.
If your fantasy baseball experience has gone anything like mine, you’ve found yourself with a few players quickly arriving on the disabled list, and struggling to find a quality replacement. Fear not! I’m going to provide you with five pitchers and five hitters who are worth picking up, and don’t have a home in most leagues (10% or less owned in Yahoo! fantasy baseball leagues).
First, the hitters.
1. David Murphy-Texas Rangers (OF): With Hamilton being the everyday center fielder, Murphy should get the bulk of the starts in left field against right-handed pitchers. He’ll hit around .280 with 10 home runs this year, and isn’t a bad option if you’re looking for depth. Don’t forget that he plays for a team that puts up a lot of runs, so that should bode well if your league awards points for runs and RBIs.
2. Juan Pierre-Philadelphia Phillies (OF): A lot of people probably won’t agree with me, but I truly believe Pierre is going to get more than ample playing time in Philadelphia. No, Pierre will not hit you any home runs, but he puts the ball in play, gets on base and still has enough speed that he can easily steal you 20 bases this year. If your league tracks on base percentage, then you could find extra value from his .345 career OBP percentage.
3. Scott Rolen-Cincinnati Reds (3B): This could very well be the farewell tour for Rolen, and despite having health concerns in 2011, he should work as an adequate backup third baseman in most leagues. If he comes out of the gate looking like the Scott Rolen of last year, you can always drop him. However, there’s a chance that he might look like the Rolen of 2010, and the risk of that is definitely worth the reward.
4. Chone Figgins-Seattle Mariners (3B): Figgins is an interesting selection, and that’s because people are curious how much he can still contribute. If 2011 was any indication, his playing days could be coming to an end. You can call me a skeptic, though. The Mariners are giving a shot as their leadoff hitter, and I think you’re going to see him make quite a comeback this year. Throughout his career, Figgins always has excelled at finding a way to get to first, and then promptly stealing second. Some leagues are also giving Figgins eligibility at multiple positions, which is a huge advantage for fantasy baseball managers.
5. Jack Hannahan-Cleveland Indians (3B): Hannahan inherited the job of starting third baseman due to the recent struggles of Lonnie Chisenhall. A lot of people think Chisenhall will win the job back sooner rather than later, but if you’re in need of an everyday third baseman, then this is your guy. Don’t expect any monster numbers, but a guy with pretty average offensive statistics across the board.
And now the pitchers.
1. Fernando Rodney-Tampa Bay Rays (RP): Rodney is an intriguing pick, because he may very well find himself to be the short-term closer in Tampa Bay until Kyle Farnsworth comes back from the DL. Rodney has closing experience, having served as a closer for both Detroit and Anaheim in the past, so you might find a guy that is closing games for a contender. Not bad for a guy that is only owned in four percent of leagues according to Yahoo!
2. Jeremy Guthrie-Colorado Rockies (SP): A lot of people are scared by the fact that Guthrie lost 17 games in 2011, but for the most part, it wasn’t his fault. Guthrie is a proven guy who eats innings, and has an above-average repertoire. There’s a reason why the Rockies traded for him and named him their opening day starter this year.
3. Jeff Karstens-Pittsburgh Pirates (SP): If you don’t watch or follow much baseball, you’re probably not familiar with Karstens. I can’t say I blame you much, because he plays for the Pittsburgh Pirates, who tend to not get a lot of national exposure. Last year Karstens went 9-9 for the Pirates, with an ERA of 3.38. Not bad for a guy that you probably never heard of until now. I’m not necessarily confident he’ll be able to repeat those numbers, but he’s definitely not a bad option to add if your team is desperately in need of pitchers.
4. Jon Rauch-New York Mets (RP): I like Rauch simply because of the fact that his stuff has always been better than what his numbers have shown. He has plenty of experience, being in the league since 2002, and he’s young enough (33) that he could have a few good years left in his arm. The downside of having Rauch is the fact that he’s not a closer, so you’re only counting on him to get you holds and strikeouts. Still, he’s not a bad option if you’re looking to replace a non-closing reliever on your team.
5. Kyle Drabek-Toronto Blue Jays (SP): Drabek was a 1st round draft pick in 2006, and finally got a chance to spend the majority of last year on Toronto’s roster, starting 14 games for the Blue Jays. Although his ERA was quite inflated (6.06), I’m expecting a good rebound from Drabek. I got a chance to watch him pitch against the Tigers last year, and he looked very impressive. The biggest thing that got Drabek in trouble was his command, so if he can keep his walks down in 2012, he should be okay.
So there it is, my list of free agents who should be eagerly waiting your call. They might not be All Stars, but you never know, you might find a diamond in the rough.