When I was at Safeco Field the other day watching the Mariners play the Angels, I was involved in a great conversation with a friend of mine in regards to Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton. I’m not a Pujols fan and I’m not a Hamilton fan, either. I think they’re both over paid, injury prone baseball players who aren’t exactly in their prime anymore. Honestly, my unbiased, unprofessional opinion about Pujols and how many years he has left? Not very many.
2003 was probably Pujols’ best year. He swatted 43 home runs, drove in 124 runs and batted a healthy .359. Since then he has had one other season where he batted over .350. And that was 2008. Pujols has been on a steady decline, it’s obvious. His batted average has fluctuated between .312 and .331 since ’03. I’m not saying he’s been terrible at the plate. I’m simply stating his bat speed is probably slowing down. In 2011, he missed 6 weeks due to a fractured forearm and ended up batting .299 and smacking 37 home runs. Had be batted .300 or better, that would’ve been 11 straight seasons with a .300 batting average or better.
Last season was his first year with the Angels and he batted a cool .285 with 30 home runs and 105 runs batted in. And this season his batting average is .256 with 2 home runs and 13 runs batted in for the month of April. Another slow start for Pujols. Does he always slump in the month of April? Some would agree. Who knows why it happens, it just happens.
Hamilton on the other hand, is doing much worse. He’s batted .228 with 2 home runs and 8 RBI’s in the month of April so far. As far as Hamilton’s career goes, his break out season was probably in 2010 where he batted .359 in 133 games and drove in 100 RBI’s. And we all remember last season. His 43 home run season with 128 runs batted in. Impressive. And that was probably the major draw for Anaheim.
So why the sudden lull with these two? Both have tremendous power at the plate, both are seasoned veterans in the big leagues and both are paid millions on top of millions of dollars to produce. So why is April such a soul sucking month for the both of these guys? And why did Anaheim invest long-term with Pujols?
Between Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton, they’ve combined for 31 hits, 42 strikeouts, 4 home runs and 21 runs batted in. At the beginning of the season, they went 0-17 before Pujols swatted a base hit. During the 2013 season, they will make a combined $33 million dollars. Provided they both play through their contracts, their combined salaries would be $176 million dollars and some change.
The Mariners have been playing like absolute crap this month. With two more games against the Anaheim Angels and a three game series against a young, thriving Baltimore team, the M’s could finish this month out under .500.
I’ve been to three games at Safeco Field this season, thus far. April 10th, the 25th and the 26th. I’ve noticed a lot of things that would account for Mariner losses. One thing I’ve noticed is the pitching has fallen apart early. Fortunately, young Brandon Mauer looks like he is going to work out. Harang is just filling the roles until he can be replaced by Jeremy Bonderman or Hultzen or Walker can get up to the Bigs. Meanwhile, Jon Garland is killing it in Colorado.
Wilhelmsen is a strong closer and I hope he doesn’t come down with Brandon League disease. You know, where he bags like, 40 saves in on season, breaks out, goes to the All-Star game and then can’t close a game to save his life the following season. Its happened to a lot of good closers so that’s a little unfair to say “Brandon League disease”.
The bats are quiet. A little too quiet. These M’s bats seem to just die after spring training. I’m shocked Felix Hernandez has 100 wins on this team let alone a perfect game at Safeco Field! We have a stellar lineup, and a devastating one at that! Kendrys Morales, Michael Morse, Justin Smoak, Dustin Ackley…I mean, who would want to pitch to these guys?! Well, apparently everyone, because they can’t hit.
This team has potential. It really does. But its look like another 2008 season. And what is up with Coach Datz sending Justin Smoak on close plays?! Smoak is NOT a fast runner!
Wow! The 2013 baseball season is off to a great start! I’m really excited for this season. For a few reasons, really. Since my hometown team is the Mariners, and they finally got a little offense put together, it’ll be interesting to see how the American League West turns out! Not only that, but with the new addition Houston Astros coming over, it’ll be just as interesting to see how that team adjusts to the division.
I’m not really a prediction kind of guy, and I’m certainly not a prediction kind of guy this early in the season. I really wanted to wait this out for August but what the heck…let’s see what I’ve come up with, shall we!?
American League West:
This division is going to be so hard to predict. Since the Angels have Hamilton and Pujols, one would think that team would rank very high on everyone’s list of winning the division. Both Hamilton and Pujols are off to a slow start, which doesn’t surprise me. I’m thinking the Angels are going to finish in third place and the Athletics are going to be division champions once again! All hail the A’s!!
American League Central:
Egads! Have you see the Royals tearing it up lately!? Holy smokes! If Hosmer, Gordon, Butler and Moustakas can all produce and stay healthy, I think Kansas City has a for sure shot at third or fourth place!! What?! Okay, okay. I’ll give KC a long shot at second place. But that’s IF Detroit falls apart. I’m thinking it’ll be tight, but the Tigers are going to win the division this year.
American League East:
NOT the Yankees. With nearly all of their all-star caliber players on the bench, the Yankees are a sure disappointment for any New Yorker this season. We might see A-rod in late May and if Jeter doesn’t push himself too hard, he’ll be showing up soon enough. They can’t rely on a 40-year-old starting pitcher and a 43-year-old closer to bring number 28 to New York. Boston has been gutting it out so I’m pulling for Bean Town this year! Bam!
National League West:
God, who knows who’ll win this division. My money is on the Giants but the Diamondbacks look promising. The Padres are already showing everyone where they’ll end up; last place! Which is where they are now! Good luck, Padre fans! Another disappointing season is upon you.
National League Central:
This division is probably the toughest to predict. The Cardinals seem to always dig in at the last moment and the Reds seem to never die. I’d like to say the Brewers have something going this year but then again, it’s Milwaukee. I’ll stick with a safe bet and go with the Redbirds even though I’m a huge anti-Cardinals type person.
National League East:
I’m still waiting for the Mets to totally collapse this season. In the meantime, with the addition of Bryce Harper and Strasburg being healthy (sort of) I think the Nationals have a real shot at winning the division this year. Too bad Atlanta is better!! Go Braves!!
Well, folks! That’s my predictions! Hit me up in the comment box if you agree or disagree with some of my picks and we can duke it out!!
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See you at the ballpark!
Hey, everyone! What’s been going on?! So the season started, that’s good, right?! What’s happening in Anaheim!? When will Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton become the deadliest 3-4 hitters in the league? In all of baseball for that matter? Dan Plesac is even disappointed! And when you disappoint the Sac, what else have you got, folks?
On the real. The Mariners are looking good as they just scalped the White Sox for an extra inning win, and Oakland has been staying medicore-ly (is that a word?) hot. So who will crown victorious in the West in October? Surely not the Angels if they continue to play like garbage! And Texas? Have they not any class?? Wow! Did you see what they did to Josh Hamilton:
Wooooowww! Apparently. Hamilton called Arlington a football town and not a baseball town. In all fairness, you Ranger fans DID boo Hamilton in the playoffs. I mean, c’mon. The guy bailed on Texas because of crap fans not because it wasn’t a baseball town!
Don’t worry, Arlington. Y’all (like how I said y’all?) will have the last laugh when Anaheim is sitting in last place with two of the top paid, not ranking sluggers in all of baseball in their lineup.
Hey, want more baseball? In about twenty minutes I’ll be on Blogtalk Radio yapping it up!
Yankees captain Derek Jeter is expected to play in his first Spring Training game around March 10, according to general manager Brian Cashman.
“He’s kind of doing everything, but we’re not ready to run him out there for game activity,” Cashman said. “When we do, I think we’ll start him at DH and then expand.”
Jeter did some infield running drills Saturday during spring training and has no doubt he’ll be ready for April 1st opening day. Jeter had surgery on his ankle in October and has revealed that he had plates and screws inserted to repair the fracture. Cashman said that he believes Jeter will have enough time to be ready for the season.
Outfielder Curtis Granderson, who paced the club with a career-high 43 homers last season, sustained a fractured right forearm during his first plate appearance of the spring on Sunday and is expected to need 10 weeks for a full recovery.
“My body was feeling good, my arm was feeling good, ready to go,” Granderson said. “Five pitches in, we’ve got a little setback. It could be worse, but now we rest, recover, get it back and get ready to play whenever that day comes.”
Alex Rodriguez seems to still be out of the picture with his hip surgery and now the recent steroid scandal has black marked his name again, and with the departure of Nick Swisher, the Yankees are really going to have to dig to make up for the lost power with Granderson.
Seven years, $175 million dollars. That equals out to around $7,000 a pitch for the Seattle Mariners starting pitcher, Felix Hernandez. Huzzah! As the off-season reared its ugly head at baseball fans, Seattle was in an uproar of why the M’s hadn’t signed a long-lasting free agent like Josh Hamilton. Simple. Felix Hernandez was priority this season and flew under the radar about it.
The Mariners did pick up Michael Morse, Kendrys Morales, Jon Garland, Kelly Shoppach and most importantly, got Chone Figgins off their hands. On top of all that, they resigned Hernandez long-term. That alone should make Seattle a little happy for the years to come. If the remaining lineup can seriously dig in and gut this season out much like the Oakland Athletics did last season, I see no reason why the Mariners shouldn’t be in playoff contention in September.
Yes, Vargas was let go, as was John Jaso. Those guys, in my opinion, were key in the Mariners somewhat success last season but played a major role in acquiring those players that will be future success for this baseball club in 2013. Seattle wants a winning team. It’s not going to happen overnight, but it might happen over a few offseason.
The Indians have officially signed Michael Bourn. It was interesting to read all the fallout from it on Twitter especially from a former MLB pitcher, Dirk Hayhurst. I agree 100% with what he had to say…
Dirk Hayhurst: ”I worry Indians spend, remain undrawn, and not replenish their weak minors. These signings improve them, but enough to right the ship?”
I don’t follow the Indians that close to really know anything about their minor league affiliates so I entrust in Hayhurst to have that information readily available and it seems like he knows what he’s talking about. I also agree that Bourn was a knee-jerk reaction much like how the Seattle Mariners select free agents and trade away players. Bourn was also holding out for a big contract, too. Are the Indians the right fit for him?
Cleveland also signed Nick Swisher. And this was Hayhurst’s response:
“I still don’t see them accruing enough wins to justify new payroll. I foresee Bourn and Swish traded to contender for prospects in future.”
I couldn’t agree more, people. Swisher may not be long-term. And if he is, I will be utterly shocked. Swisher has major talent, an up beat attitude in the club house, and I think that’s what draws in the organization to sign such a player. If anyone, Cleveland needs a guy like that. I think he just wanted out of New York as well, as he expressed in recent interviews how brutal the bleacher creatures can be out in right field at Yankee Stadium. Swish may be surprised though. Indians fans can probably be just as mean and nasty. People are people. Just ask Josh Hamilton.
The signing of Daisuke Matsuzaka by the Indians was another shocker for me. I thought Dice-K was out of the game and when the Mariners expressed interest in him, I panicked. So I’m glad he’s in Cleveland. Although, it’s just a minor-league signing so don’t get too excited.
Hayhurst: “I also think picking up Daisuke was a total face-palm…”
I couldn’t agree more at any rate. He’s a risk. Even at the minor league level, he’s still an investment with little to no productivity.
Spring training has arrived as all the catchers and pitchers have officially reported today. Happy baseball!
Last year Brent Lillibridge tweeted something along the lines of “baseball players should make millions because the average career of an athlete is about 3.7 years” or something like that. Those weren’t his exact words so I’m not even sure why I used quotes. I guess to make it more official. I’ve been stewing on that tweet for roughly 13 months. At first, I was like, “hell yeah!” and then I was like, “you’re kidding, right?” and then..finally, I’ve decided to blog about it.
For the record, I like Lillibridge. He’s from my home state of Washington, I know a lot of the people he went to high school with and that’s due to the fact that he went to high school right up the street from where I grew up. He’s known in my area. Him and Travis Synder both. Although I’ve never officially met either one of them, I like the way they play baseball. They’re gritty and dirty and work hard.
When I finally compiled my thoughts and sorted out exactly what I wanted to say to Brent, I didn’t care anymore. All of a sudden, while I was driving to work, I started to care again. Maybe it’s the fact that I served a combat tour in Iraq or served ten years in the United States Army and was left with two broken down knees, a bad back, PTSD, and arthritis in my right elbow. And you know what? I don’t whine and complain about it. I soldier on just like I was taught.
I’m sure every athlete leaves the game feeling a bit broken down. How could they not? Baseball is a physical sport. Not so much like football or rugby, but it’s physical. The sliding, the running, the injuries..it wears down the human body. We aren’t invincible. The major problem I have with Brent is his ability to think he deserves every penny of the hundreds of thousands of dollars he makes because he’s a professional athlete. Dude. Seriously? You think you deserve millions because you’re an athlete and because your career could potentially last 3.7 years or whatever statistic you threw out there that day?
Let me give you a little insight, Junior. The average lifespan of a soldier during the Vietnam war was generally 30 seconds to five or six minutes (depending on who you ask)! Just wait. This gets better! The average lifespan of a soldier during the Iraq war was anywhere from five minutes to thirty minutes! Again, depending on who you ask. Before you bash me and tell me things like “well, you joined!” and blah blah blah, yeah, I did join. I did join on my own free goddamn will! And I’m proud of my service! I very well could’ve had a baseball career like you, Brent! I played baseball in my youth, played baseball in high school and as far as I’m concerned, I’m a goddamn natural at this sport! I love it, inside and out!
My point is, you don’t see me telling people I should be paid millions because I served in the Army. You know what I got? I got $40,000 for college. For a lifetime, Brent. That’s what Uncle Sam gave me. On top of ten years of barracks housing, multiple tours overseas, combat tours and all my physical alignments. Now I work retail security. At many points in my life, I worked two jobs to pay my bills. And I’m sure at one point in your life, you had to do the same; I’m not judging. And I know the crap baseball players endure throughout the minor leagues to make it to the Bigs. But Brent. Please don’t flaunt the fact that your career only lasts 3.7 years on average because guess what, son? No one cares.
If you’re making millions and acting like Tom Brady and buying a $20 million dollar castle, maybe you should rethink your priorities if your career averages 3.7 years. And I know you’re not making millions, but you definitely should live within your means if you’re only going to be working (or in this case, playing baseball) for three years. Don’t think I’m telling you not to go out and buy what you want. Certainly do that. Just remember the people who fought in wars in the United States to allow you to do so.
Bobby Rayburn was probably one of the best hitters in baseball. He even batted behind power-hitter, John Kruk! That’s got to tell you something right there, yes? I think Rayburn would have had an illustrious career if he hadn’t of collided in the outfield with Juan Primo. Rayburn had speed, tenacity, strength, a keen eye for the ball, and most of all a hunger to win!
Juan Primo on the other hand:
seemed like he had more wits and a drive to succeed no matter what the cost. I think the major downfall of Rayburn was this: he had to give up his number to Primo. Rayburn took number 33 when he came over to the Giants but he tried to negotiate number 11. Guess who was number 11? Primo! And the thing about it was, Primo was really number 11! He had it burned into his arm!
In my opinion, if Rayburn would have stayed healthy, and avoided that nasty slump for the last two hours of the movie, Rayburn and Primo would’ve gone down in Giants history as the two most deadliest duo probably surpassing Canseco and McGwire in accomplishments.
Oh, and he should have thanked Robert De Niro.
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