Results tagged ‘ Tampa Bay Rays ’
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
For the first time in almost two months, the Detroit Tigers have finally found themselves alone in first place. It’s a place that almost everyone expected them to be, but the path hasn’t exactly been easy.
Today also marks the final regular season home game for the Tigers. While they have played well at home this year, they certainly have had their fair shares of struggles while playing on the road. In fact, there’s only two teams in the American League that have won less games on the road than the Tigers, and that’s the Cleveland Indians and the Toronto Blue Jays. With their final six games coming on the road, there is some cause for concern.
The good news is that we’re playing the Minnesota Twins and the Kansas City Royals, both who are out of any potential playoff race. Although that should bode well for Detroit, it doesn’t mean that it’s going to be a cake walk of any sort. The Tigers are 8-7 against the Twins, and 8-4 against the Royals. Realistically, they’re going to need to win at least four out of those six games to secure a playoff berth.
Meanwhile, the White Sox have a trickier path (at least on paper), as they have to still host the Tampa Bay Rays for a four-game series, while they are still fighting for a potential Wild Card spot. The White Sox have defeated the Rays in all three of their meetings so far this year, but I wouldn’t be counting Tampa Bay out, at least not quite yet.
With only a one-game lead over the White Sox, the Tigers need to show some heart to go with all of their talent. If they do, there’s no reason why they won’t be able to make another deep run in the playoffs.
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.
The Tigers finished up their road trip today, winning five out of the ten games. As they get ready to host the Twins for a four-game series, there’s plenty of things they should be happy about.
Not only did the Tigers manage to win four out of seven games while playing at Texas and Tampa Bay, but they’ve now managed to bring their road record to 22-22. Good teams look to win half of their games on the road, and have a good record when playing at home.
That hasn’t been the case so far, as the Tigers are 17-18 while playing at Comerica Park. However, if they can manage to have a winning record in their final homestand before the All-Star Game, then they’ll find themselves in a very good position to make a run to win the division.
It’ll be interesting to see if the Tigers can keep their momentum going through the next few weeks, as it would greatly impact any potential moves they make at the trade deadline.
Joel Peralta, a pitcher for the Tampa Bay Rays, made headlines yesterday when he was caught having pine tar on his glove. This has led to the question, how much cheating still goes on in baseball?
Let me preface, by saying that I’m defining cheating as something that is disallowed according to the rules. I’m not talking about things that are frowned upon, but things that are going to get you ejected, suspended and/or fined.
I’m not naive enough to think that cheating doesn’t go on in baseball. Perhaps it’s from my years of playing and coaching baseball (obviously nowhere near the professional levels), but I’ve got a pretty good understand of what happens during the course of the game. If you don’t think players are willing to do whatever they can to give themselves an edge, you better think again.
There’s been countless tales of players in history who were known to cork their bats. During the 1961 season, Norm Cash of the Detroit Tigers hit an astounding .361 with 41 home runs. Many years after the fact, Cash openly admitted that his bat was corked for the duration of the season.
Pitchers have been famous for scuffing, spitting and putting other foreign substances on the ball. The effect of doing so has been scrutinized, examined and discussed for decades. Whenever a pitcher could find a way to help himself and their team out, you better believe it happened.
In my opinion, the most memorable moment for a pitcher being accused of using pine tar to, was during the 2006 World Series. In a moment of great infamy, Kenny Rogers was accused of having pine tar not on his glove, but on his pitching hand! You know how the opposing manager (Tony La Russa) handled the situation? He simply left it alone.
This just ties into one of the many unwritten rules about baseball. This is nothing new, so I don’t understand what all of the fuss is about. I do wonder what incentive Washington’s manager, Davey Johnson, had in having Peralta ejected from the game. To me, I think it’s opening a can of worms that’s better served being left closed.
So far this year I’ve watched 25 baseball games, but tomorrow I finally get to watch my first one in person.
My work schedule hasn’t exactly been accommodating, and dealing with an ankle injury has made it difficult for me to walk the last week and a half, but I finally think I’m ready. The Tigers are having a season that is expected to be the most exciting and competitive as there’s been in my lifetime.
Not only am I getting a chance to watch my beloved Tigers, I get a chance to watch Tampa Bay’s rookie sensation Matt Moore making his 2012 debut.
The Rays were so impressed with what they saw in Moore, that despite only pitching three games in the Major Leagues (five if you include the postseason), they signed him to a contract through the 2019 season. It’s not common for someone with such little experience to get a contract for that many years (not to mention dollars), so obviously the Rays think quite highly of the 22-year old.
For the Tigers, they will be featuring their own version of a young sensation, when Rick Porcello (23-years old) takes the mound. Although Porcello doesn’t nearly have the hype that Moore has, they have their similarities. Moore made him Major League debut when he was 22, Porcello made his when he was only 20. It’s hard to believe this is Porcello’s fourth season for the Tigers, quietly racking up 38 wins along the way.
I’m just glad baseball is back, and even happier that I’ll be able to see it in person.
The Tigers won tonight, but it was admittedly a bit unexpected by me. Despite Brad Penny falling behind the overwhelming majority of hitters he faced today, he still managed to only give up one run in six and a third innings pitched. The Tigers found themselves without their setup guy and closer, yet still managed to find a way to close out a win against one of the best left handed pitchers in the American League. Sure, Detroit only managed to score two runs today against David Price, but it proved to be enough to get the win. It’s not easy to win series on the road in late August, but the Tigers find themselves with an opportunity to do just that tomorrow, as they look to win the first three of four games in Tampa Bay…and if Max Scherzer looks anything like he did his last start, it shouldn’t be hard.
I’ll admit, I’ve always considered myself entertained by Manny Ramirez,
although not necessarily a fan, I find his sudden retirement to be
nothing less short of Manny-esque.
According to an article at ESPN,
Ramirez has reportedly decided to retire, rather than deal with MLB’s
Drug Prevention and Treatment Program. Until more information becomes
available, I consider myself quite surprised. Definitely a blow that
the Tampa Bay Rays probably did not see coming. Looks like good bye Cooperstown, and hello retirement!
Then again, this might be another case of Manny being Manny.