Results tagged ‘ San Francisco Giants ’
As I begin writing this, we’re only 21 hours away from the first pitch of the 2013 MLB season. Last year left a sour taste in my mouth (as it did for everyone who isn’t a San Francisco Giants fan), so I’m looking for a chance to change that.
It doesn’t matter which team you find yourself rooting for, everyone feels like this year could be the year (unless you’re an Astros or Marlins fan, you might want to wait a few more years) that they’re team finally wins it all. I normally always try to do a prediction blog before the season begins, and that’s what I’m going to do. If normal predictions bore you, check out my other BLOG where I’ve made a few more wild predictions.
Without further ado:
AL West: Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim- Although I do love the diehard Athletics (and I really do hope they support the A’s like they did during October last year), I just don’t see them being able to pull of a repeat this year. This isn’t to say I don’t think they’ll be in contention, but I think they’re looking at a Wild Card. The only thing I can realistically see preventing the Angels from winning their division is if the starting rotation falls apart.
AL Central: Detroit Tigers- The Tigers went to the World Series last year and there’s really no reason why they can’t find themselves back in the hunt again this year. On paper, the Tigers have only gotten better (Torii Hunter in right field instead of Brennan Boesch, Victor Martinez instead of Delmon Young at DH and a full season of Omar Infante at 2B). A lot of critics say that the Tigers will struggle without a proven closer, but I don’t think that will be a big enough issue to keep them from winning their division.
AL East: Tampa Bay Rays- If there’s a division that puzzles me, it’s without a doubt the AL East. Realistically, every team in the division has a legitimate argument that they could win the division. You can’t say that with really any other division, and that’s what makes predicting this so difficult. My thoughts are that the Yankees are falling apart (age and injuries), Boston has to prove they can turn it around with a new coach and Baltimore will likely take a step back compared to last year. You’re probably thinking, ‘What about the Blue Jays?’ No, I didn’t forget about them. The bulk of the players they traded for were from Miami, and the Marlins were pretty terrible last year. I’m not so sure that they’ll be able to win in Toronto, either.
Wild Cards: Toronto Blue Jays and Texas Rangers- The Blue Jays are obviously talented and if they can stay healthy (especially Jose Bautista, Josh Johnson and Brandon Morrow), there’s no reason why they won’t find themselves playing in October. They have the offensive weapons, but their pitching needs to improve.
I think Oakland will start off strong, but slowly fade as the Rangers surge in the second half. The Rangers have a ton of talent, and I’m worried about whether or not the Athletics can do it again. The Athletics and Rangers both will benefit from playing the Astros a lot more, that’s why I can’t see two Wild Cards coming from the AL East.
NL West: Los Angeles Dodgers- Hard to bet against Magic Johnson and the newly revamped Dodgers. They’ve spent enough money to win their division (in theory), and I don’t think the San Francisco Giants or Arizona Diamondbacks will be able to slow them down enough to pass them in the standings.
NL Central: Cincinnati Reds- I think the Reds are under appreciated and it’s only a matter of time before everyone figures it out. They have a lot of young core talent which compliments their solid rotation. Oh yeah, their closer can also throw 105 MPH.
NL East: Washington Nationals- Although the Atlanta Braves added the Upton brothers to their outfield, I still think they’re going to go through too many stretches of not scoring runs. Don’t believe me? Look at the Detroit Tigers last year, when they had a similar type of team. When you’re relying on power, you often go through stretches where you’re not scoring runs.
Wild Cards: San Francisco Giants and Atlanta Braves- Hard to count out the defending World Series champions, especially when you consider the fact they haven’t lost any real significant pieces from their 2012 team. The Braves have enough pitching and offense that they should be able to beat up on the Mets and Phillies, squeaking out a Wild Card in the final week of the season.
AL MVP: Prince Fielder
NL MVP: Joey Votto
AL Cy Young: Justin Verlander
NL Cy Young: Clayton Kershaw
AL Comeback Player of the Year: Victor Martinez
NL Comeback Player of the Year: Roy Halladay
AL Rookie of the Year: Nick Castellanos
NL Rookie of the Year: Jedd Gyorko
World Series: Detroit Tigers over the Washington Nationals in 6 games
Tomorrow marks the beginning of the end of the baseball season, as the San Francisco Giants will host the Detroit Tigers for the first game of the World Series. The Tigers will look to redeem themselves after their disappointing showing in the 2006 World Series, whereas the Giants are simply hoping to recapture the magic they had when they were world champions back in 2010.
So before the first pitch is thrown, I wanted to take a minute to give my official World Series thoughts and predictions. Being from Detroit, it’s not easy to be objective, but I’m going to give it my best shot.
There’s an old saying in baseball that pitching and defense wins championships. Of course if history has taught us anything, it’s that nothing is quite as simple as that. It’s an ironic adage, because the Tigers definitely have better pitching, but the Giants definitely have the superior defense. Does this mean there’s no clear favorite? Oh there is, and the advantage definitely goes to Detroit.
The Tigers have several things going for them, including the fact that all of their pitchers are rested, and they can line up their rotation however they like. Coming off a crucial game seven on Monday, the Giants do not have that luxury. The Giants are going to possibly have to face Justin Verlander, Doug Fister and Anibal Sanchez each two times. Throw in the Max Scherzer for at least one start, and things start to look promising for Detroit.
In case you’re not aware, in nine playoff games, Detroit’s starting pitchers have combined to go 5-1 with a 1.02 ERA. On the other hand, the bullpen hasn’t been nearly as good. Joaquin Benoit has had his struggles, and nobody is even sure if Jose Valverde will get a chance to save another game this postseason. If Detroit is going to win the World Series, the bullpen simply needs to be better.
Even if Detroit allows a few runs, there’s still no need to panic. When the heart of your lineup has Miguel Cabrera, (who just so happened to win the Triple Crown) Prince Fielder and Delmon Young, you can’t help but feel like your team is going to be able to score a few runs every night.
Regardless of how heavily their favored Detroit is, you still cannot count out the San Francisco Giants. They have two of the most dominant starting pitchers in recent years in Tim Lincecum and Matt Cain, not to mention they do have home-field advantage for the series. Oh yeah, they also have the likely NL MVP in Buster Posey.
But at the end of the day, I just don’t see either team scoring a lot of runs, and Detroit’s starting pitchers have been lights out for the postseason, and I don’t see that stopping now. I’ll take the Tigers to defeat the Giants in five games.
Today will forever be remembered as a day of highs and lows for Major League Baseball. It started with the low, when Melky Cabrera of the San Francisco Giants was suspended for 50 games for testing positive for a banned substance.
Cabrera was voted the MVP of the 2012 All-Star Game, as was having the season of his career. Entering the day, his .346 batting average was second in the National League, trailing only Andrew McCutchen of the Pittsburgh Pirates (.355). For a guy who was about to become a free agent after this year, Cabrera likely cost himself a very large payday.
His 50-game suspension will not only cost him millions of dollars (it will alone cost him nearly two-million dollars for the games he will miss this year), but it also puts baseball in the hot seat once again. With baseball’s popularity at an all-time high, this was simply a black eye that it did not need. The fact that Cabrera did not deny his wrongdoing makes it that much worse.
The positive aspect about this, is the fact it shows that Major League Baseball’s steroid testing program is working. Not only is that important for the integrity of the game, but it’s also a key step towards possibly getting baseball back in the Olympics.
However, it didn’t take long before baseball was able to show how wonderful it can be, and it was all thanks to “King” Felix Hernandez of the Seattle Mariners.
There’s no denying that Hernandez is one of the best pitchers in all of baseball. In his young career he’s already won a Cy Yound Award and has been selected to three All-Star Games. Today, he did something that he’s never done before, and that’s pitch a perfect game.
Hernandez retired all 27 of the Tampa Bay Rays he faced in order en route to pitching just the 23rd perfect game in Major League Baseball history. Without a doubt, it was one of the best highlights of the 2012 season so far.
Hello baseball world, sorry for the delay…again. I’m trying to adjust to this new blog program, and I’m trying to make sure I know what I’m doing with it. Should be back for good now, so expect something to be posted daily from now on. With that being said, there’s obviously been a bit of baseball stuff going on, and there has been one issue in particular that I want to chime in and give my thoughts on.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve obviously heard about the unfortunate injury to Buster Posey. For those who don’t know about it, here’s the cliff notes version. There was a play at the plate, where Marlins outfielder Scott Cousins collided with Posey, as he scored the game winning run in the 12th inning of a game a few days ago.
The facts are pretty simple: 1. The play was clean. 2. Cousins could have probably avoided contact with Posey, but there’s no guarantee (although it is likely he would’ve been) that he would have been safe if he slid normally. 3. Buster Posey broke a bone in his leg, and tore three ligaments in his ankle, not from the direct contact, but rather from how his leg got tangled underneath him. In other words, it wasn’t like Cousins crashed into his legs.
Some people are calling for collisions at the plate to be out ruled, and I suppose their reasons are valid. However, I too am entitled to my opinion, and after some thought and deliberation, I disagree.
I think by changing the rules, you’re allowing the exception to become the rule. Let’s face it, in the history of baseball…there hasn’t been that many players who have had major injuries from collisions at the plate. I mean, if someone were to break their leg celebrating a walk-off home run, we shouldn’t ban celebrations, should we? Oh wait, that did happen! I know, it’s a different circumstance, but you can’t allow a situation to create a slippery slope.
Now I’m all about safety in sports, so I have a compromise. I think Major League Baseball should look into introducing potential fines or suspensions (although I’m leery about the latter), for any player who uses unnecessarily collides with a catcher who 1. Is not in possession of the ball, and/or 2. Not fielding the ball. Simply put, if the catcher doesn’t have the ball, or there’s no play, you better slide or walk in. I think this is really the only feasible middle ground between the two sides, and I’m sure many of you will disagree with me for thinking so.
Until next time, let the debating begin!