Archive | August, 2007

Updating The Top 10 In OPS Since The Break

31 Aug

I wrote on this topic 2 weeks ago, and Pat Burrell was on the top of the charts, with Miguel Cabrera and Jorge Posada nipping at his heels. Quick and dirty update as of 8/31/07:

1. Pat Burrell 1.144   (previously 1st)

Pat’s hitting.  He’s hitting it all night long.  His 4 homers during the Mets sweep couldn’t have come at a better time, and he continues to get on base at a healthy clip (.381 OBP in August), despite seeing a normal regression in the amount of balls that dropped in for singles.  16 of his 29 hits in August came in the form of doubles or round-trippers.  No one, except maybe Marcus Hayes, can deny this man’s second half surge.  Is there any reason to suspect he won’t finish up as the best offensive player in the majors since the All-Star break?

2. Milton Bradley 1.107 (8th)

As John Madden would say, here’s a guy who when he hits the ball, it goes far.  He’s smacked 10 homers in the 2nd half in only 109 at bats and just the cutoff for 125 minimum plate appearances.  He’s a much better player than he’s shown over the past few seasons, and it’s finally showing now that he’s healthy.  The Padres got a HUGE addition to their offense for very very little.  And let’s not overrate his aggressive nature.  So he yells back at people and ‘shows up’ pitchers?  So what, really?  He hits and hits a lot.

3. David Wright 1.090 (unranked)

His 1.198 August and 6 multi-hit games in the last 8 have rocketed Wright to 3rd place in all of baseball for 2nd half OPS.    Hell, outside of a bad April, Wright’s been one of the best third basemen in the Majors, behind only Miguel Cabrera and Alex Rodriguez for overall production.  This guy’s young, polished and good behind the plate and in the field.  He’d look damn good in some Phillies pinstripes…

4. Albert Pujols 1.086 (9th)

What more can you say about Mr. Pooholes that hasn’t already been said?  He’s been the best hitter in baseball for 4 or 5 years now, and there’s nothing that’s slowed him down.  He did start hacking a bit early in the season, but he seems to have gotten past that hiccup, amassing a .337 batting avg and .435 OBP in the 2nd half.  He’s also hit 9 doubles and 14 homers to go along with the plate control, and is looking at another season where posts a 1.000+ OPS.  Right now he’s at 981, but has been climbing steadily since May and actually hit 1.003 August 22nd before suffering a mini power slump.

5.  Carlos Beltran 1.047 (unranked)

From July 25th to August 9th, Carlos wasn’t playing.  But he’s been gangbusters since, sporting a 1.162 OPS and hitting 8 doubles and 6 homers in only 3 weeks time.  Damn!  He and David Wright have been two of the biggest things going right for the Mets offense in August, and Beltran looks to be in prime 2006 form.  For all the flack he gets from some fans, he’s sporting a healthy 876 OPS over the season, which is darn good for a centerfielder, and he’s on the right side of that in the 2nd half.

6. Jorge Posada 1.036 (3)

He’s been the best hitting catcher in the major leagues, on the team with the most media coverage, and has been one of their most consistent hitters throughout the season (and in the past decade)…and gets absolutely NO PUB.  His .444 OBP in the 2nd half, and a .413 OBP over the entire season.  His .252 isolated power in the 2nd half is amazing for a catcher, and it’s especially amazing considering how much playing time he actually gets (5th largest workload for all major league catchers).   Not bad for a guy who is essentially an old man for his position at age 36.

7.  David Ortiz 1.029 (unranked)

Mr. Big Papi Ortiz has been one of baseball’s most consistent hitters, posting monthly OPS numbers of  1.017, .999, .978, .995, and 1.027 in August.  He hasn’t gotten torrid hot like most of the other guys on this list, he’s just been himself, having the same all-star caliber output month after month.  11 doubles, 11 homers and a .418 OBP in the 2nd half are just ho-hum numbers for Ortiz.  And you know you’re good when you EXPECT to get those totals.

8. Ryan Howard 1.028 (6th)

You’d have thought Howard was hitting .150 with no power with the way Phillies fans had been fearing his 2nd half at bats.  While he’s certainly struggled over the month of August (361 OBP and .891 OPS) those numbers are still above-average!  And the big man has certainly gotten hot again, as many power hitters tend to do,by hitting .500 with a .900 slugging percentage for a 1.431 OPS over the past week.   Just a week ago it seemed as though the tide was beginning to turn against Howard, and then he starts hitting again.  Fans just have to understand that power hitters are streaky, at least most of them (David Ortiz, I’m looking your way).  Howard’s so good that even his so-so months are better than average, so strap in and enjoy the man’s career.

9. Robinson Cano 1.027 (4th)

His .354 avg and .415 OBP, along with his .612 slugging percentage, has been evidence of the second baseman’s rebirth in this 2nd half.  His first half was utter dreck but he’s been able to raise his season-long OPS from 741 to 843.  While probably an overrated player due to his penchant for singles-hitting and his lack of patience at the plate, he’s still having a heck of a time as of late.  When this guy’s on with his hitting stroke, the baseball finds every single gap it can.

10th Jeff Kent  1.025 (unranked)

What?! Old man Kent is on this list?  Yes, yes he is.  His overall OPS is now 874, which is right around his output for the previous 6 seasons and right above his career OPS.  He had a terrific July, a tough beginning to August, and has gotten hot again while hitting .500 in the past week.  You just can’t keep this guy down, even when it looked like age might’ve caught up to him sometime around June.

Dropped from the list:

Miguel Cabrera (1.189 to 982)

He certainly hit a rough streak, but teammate Jeremy Hermida has helped pick up the slack.  Cabrera’s still having a good 2nd half and a terrific season, but this reason slump has certainly put a damper on his spirits.

Jermaine Dye (1.135 to 1.018)

I’d just call this regression to the mean, because Dye’s still hitting well and ended up with fine August numbers (305 avg, 389 OBP, 600 slugging, 7 doubles and 7 homers) and he’s still hitting well over the past week.  Still, his OPS  just FINALLY passed .800 on August 10th and then hit it again on the 26th.

Hanley Ramirez (1.108 to .983)

He’s cooled off in an almost identical fashion as his teammate Miguel Cabrera, but again he’s still good.  His 886 OPS in August is still great for a SS and he’s still producing well ove the past week.  Basically, it was impossible to keep hitting at the level he was in July (1.263 OPS).

Video From The Sweep Of The Mets

31 Aug

Chase Utley’s game-winning single:

Terry Francona Is Paying For His Crimes Against Humanity

30 Aug

The fashion police are performing routine checks on his person:

Francona, who was ejected from Thursday’s Red Sox-Yankees game for arguing and not for a dress code violation, said the commissioner’s office contacted him when the Red Sox were in Cleveland earlier this month, reminding him to wear his uniform top. He also spoke with MLB vice president Bob Watson before Wednesday’s game, and Francona said he showed him he was wearing his uniform under his jacket.

A resident security agent then came to check on Francona with New York batting in the bottom of the second.

Seriously?  You’re coming down on little ol’ Tito for wearing a jacket instead of a uni?  Maybe he felt a little cold.  Coulda been a bit nippy out that day.  Or, JUST MAYBE, he felt like a douche for wearing a player’s uniform while sitting on his rear for 3 hours every single day.  Are you telling me that the picture below is what the MLB WANTS its managers to look like?

Give it up to Tito for the pure gold line of the night:

“I have never seen anything like that before in my life,” Francona said. “Middle of the game you’ve got the fashion police. This is incredible.”

Ryan Howard Is Blasting Game Winners

28 Aug

Take that haters, sez his left field bomb to put the Phils ahead for good 4-2 in the 10th.


Sweep?

Dude Loves Him Some Melons

28 Aug

Meet Your Manager Of The Year: Charlie Manuel

27 Aug

Sez Inky writer Bob Ford:

All he has done is hold together a team that should be splintered and sinking. He has helped keep the Phillies in contention despite a season-long plague of injuries and slumps. The Phils didn’t panic or give up or shrug at the unfairness of it all and take the easy way out. They have played every game hard, regardless of who was in the lineup and who wasn’t. That may sound like a small compliment, but in professional sports it is not.

Manuel has done all this without a shred of personal support from the team’s front office. He is operating on the final year of his contract, and general manager Pat Gillick has given no indication that he is even aware of his manager’s role in the team’s success. Of all the oversights committed by Gillick, this is the worst.

The man should get a new contract, and he should get it today. Call a news conference and do the right thing, Pat.

It is somewhat redundant to list what the Phillies have endured this season. Every day has been a new chapter, a new exercise in what-can-happen-next. They have used 12 starting pitchers and 25 pitchers overall.

Players have checked in and out of the disabled list as if it were just another road hotel on the schedule. Yoel Hernandez went on the DL last week almost before anyone knew he was back on the roster. He replaced Mike Zagurski, who also went on the DL before having time to unpack from the minors.

Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, Shane Victorino, Jon Lieber, Freddy Garcia, Tom Gordon, Brett Myers, Adam Eaton, Ryan Madson and on and on. The roster of those who haven’t been on the disabled list this year is much shorter than the one of those who have. That’s not a good year.

He makes a good argument.  Actually, a great one.  This team’s had so many injuries, so many setbacks, that they are bound to lose this season.  They have no business being in the playoffs, let alone being in the NL Wildcard hunt.  And yet they remain 3 back in the standings, despite losing so many key cogs on both sides of the fence.  No other team has lost as many pitchers, and no other team has had to dig so deep for starting pitching.  Hell, the only starting pitcher that has been in the rotation all season long has been Jamie Moyer, and he officially sucks now.  This job ain’t easy, folks.

Charlie’s had very little help from the front office, and yet barely shows signs of frustration to the public or the media.  The man is a professional, no matter what many fans may believe.  Yes, he had a tiff with Howard Eskin, but that’s Howard Eskin.  I believe that a manager gets one free blowup a season, and he used his on a worthy target.

So lay off Charlie ladies and gents.  He has a very tough job, and he’s doing alright at it.  Managers tend to be overrated anyway in my mind, and he seems very adept at managing the locker room VERY WELL.  Players like him, and it looks like they are playing for him.  They just don’t have the pitching.

After All The Hand-Wringing and Blowout Losses…

27 Aug

NL Wildcard Picture

San Diego Padres 70-59 —-
Philadelphia Phillies 67-62 3.0
Colorado Rockies 67-63 3.5
Atlanta Braves 67-64 4.0
Los Angeles Dodgers 66-63 4.0

How the hell are we still in this thing after losing half of our already crappy pitching staff to injuries?

Samuel Dalembert Cannot Overcome His Neighbor To The South

27 Aug

I previously commented on Team Canada’s win in the FIBA tourney (which decides who gets a spot in the Olympics) being powered by Sixers Center Samuel Dalembert. Well, thats still true, and Team Canada definitely follows in the foosteps of their lone NBA player. And Sammy laid a big egg against USA Basketball, just judging by the boxscore:

2-7 FG, 2 rebounds, 1 assist, 2 turnovers, 1 foul, 5 points in 22 minutes

Eww. But you wouldn’t know it from the game story, which mentioned Team Canada in about two paragraphs out of twelve, and mentioned none of the players. The only Canadian mentioned was Steve Nash, who chose not to play in the tourney.

Regardless, Sam stunk up the joint. The whole team just didn’t have a chance against the dream lineup of the USA, but the effort wasn’t there. They approached the game with all the intensity of a junior high JV basketball scrimmage. But hey, there’s always the NBA Finals where Samuel can show off his skills…

Bobby’s World Mondays!

27 Aug

Remember the time Bobby met Howie Mandel on Deal or No Deal?!?! I DO I DO

Easy YouTube Post #42: Read A Book

26 Aug

Read a motherfuckin book

See God Kai, And Walk In A Straight Line

24 Aug

While the out there, WAY WAY WAY out there show John From Cincinnati may have gotten the axe by HBO, at least actor Austin Nichols is still getting some pub:

Jackson police arrested television actor Austin Nichols early this morning on suspicion of drunken driving and lodged him in the Jackson County Jail.

Nichols, who appeared in the HBO series “Deadwood” and stars as John in the current “John From Cincinnati,” has been living at Clark Lake this summer. Extended family members live at the lake.

Lt. Aaron Kantor said a city police officer stopped Nichols’ car on N. Jackson Street at Louis Glick Highway at 2:30 a.m.

The 27-year-old actor was administered a breath test at the scene and hauled to jail.

Kantor said a blood-alcohol content measurement was not available yet this morning.

According to an HBO Web site, Nichols was born and raised in Austin, Texas, and moved to Los Angeles to study acting.

Among his TV credits are “Six Feet Under” and “Pasadena.” He was once ranked third in the world in competitive waterskiing, and won the Pan American championship in 1997.

Dude, I didn’t know he was a great water skier. That changes everything. I admit I watched this show, and only vaguely had a clue as to what creator David Milch was going for (did he know what he was going for?), but one thing was certain watching this show: the guy who played John was fucking HIGH. He was high. That’s it. There was no denying it, and it looks like he wasn’t really acting. Look at his damn mughsot…it’s the same goofy-ass smile that his character wore on his face every second he was in the frame.

Some of the best actors are just playing themselves, though.

also posted on TV Squad 

Is Starbury Wrong About Dogfighting and Hunting?

24 Aug

Starbury’s a fairly controversial individual. He has his opinions and usually doesn’t waiver. Many things he’s stated about his teammates or coaches in the past has been looked at as selfish, and then he goes and signs a contract to sell affordable shoes so kids don’t spend tons of cash they can’t waste. Well, controversy follows the Knickerbocker, as someone in the media asked him his thoughts on the Michael Vick case. This is what Stephon Marbury originally said about Vick and dogfighting:

“I think it’s tough,” Marbury said, according to Albany TV station Capital News 9. “I think, you know, we don’t say anything about people who shoot deer or shoot other animals. You know, from what I hear, dogfighting is a sport. It’s just behind closed doors.”

He then backtracked by saying that Vick pled guilty and should be punished, but should be given a second chance…but was he originally wrong? Anybody listening to ESPN Radio heard Dan LeBatard’s comparison between bullfighting and dogfighting. What the hell’s the difference between (legal) hunting of deer and whatnot and (illegal) dogfighting? Seems fairly arbitrary to say that humans can kill some animals but can’t train dogs to kill each other, at least to me. I just want people to flesh out an argument that support this fairly arbitrary decision that one is legal and other illegal.

NOTE: Before someone comments, no I am not defending Michael Vick. I’m using his case as a jumping off point. So please don’t character assassinate or put words into my mouth, er keyboard.

Why Michael Vick Pled Guilty

24 Aug

He saw the jury of his peers

courtesy WWTDD 

Sam Dalembert Is Scoring Buckets For The Great White North

24 Aug

Team Canada’s lone NBA player Sam Dalembert led the way down the stretch for their first win in the FIBA Americas tourney:

Dalembert and Anderson staged a co-coming out party in an 80-73 victory over Venezuela at the Thomas and Mack Centre. Canada improved to 1-1 in the tournament and faces the U.S. Virgin Islands today.

“It means so much for us,” said Dalembert, who finished with 18 points, eight rebounds and five blocked shots. “From the get-go, we needed some leadership … in the end, somebody had to take over.”

Dalembert did just that, scoring six straight points in the final four minutes of the fourth quarter to turn a two-point deficit into a three-point lead. He had an important blocked shot with 2:30 remaining, and he altered countless shots by the Venezuelans.

“Their defence is built around him,” said Venezuela forward Hector Romero, who led all scorers with 23 points. “They push (opposing) players towards him and he comes and blocks shots or alters shots … He played tough.”

Looking pretty good for the Sixer…if he can provide this kind of offense consistently throughout this tourney (as the opponents get tougher), he could really make an impact for this huge underdog team.  And it’s nice to see a good guy like Samuel get some good pub.  Keep it up.

Eddie Griffin Died Last Week

21 Aug

Former Roman Catholic basketball standout, Minnesota Timberwolve and Houston Rocket was confirmed dead in a car crash with a train:

The Harris County Medical Examiner was unable to confirm his identity until they used dental records to positively identify him Tuesday.

According to Houston police, Griffin was driving a Nissan SUV in the 5300 block of Lawndale when he crashed through a railroad-crossing arm and was struck by a train.

Griffin was pronounced dead on the scene, but his body was burned beyond recognition and there were no signs of identification in the car.

Sad news.  Hopefully he wasn’t jacking it like he was the last time he was in the news for driving.

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