Independent Baseball will never have the marketing impact of the powerhouse major league franchises when it comes to pushing for All-Star votes, but it still will have some bragging rights when the game’s marquee names gather for their annual mid-season classic at Citi Field in New York next week. For one thing, the American League […]
On The Good Foot … Phil Niekro was feeling good. It was Sunday, July 9, 1978 and in two days he’d be in San Diego, pitching for the National League All-Stars. Three days earlier he had pitched a strong eight and a third innings against the defending National League Champions, the Los Angeles Dodgers. Niekro […]
Yes, it’s that time of the year, folks–time to offer some MLB predictions. *DISCLAIMER: If one chooses to use the following as “gospel”, just remember that I picked the Angels and Phillies to play in the World Series last year (ughh). Here’s how they’ll finish in 2013…… AL EAST T.B. Rays Toronto Blue Jays N.Y. […]
Baltimore Orioles: Tough news for 2B Brian Roberts. He ruptured a tendon in the back of his knee and will miss most of, if not all of April. The problem for Roberts is this, even if he does return during the 2-4 week timetable, it would seem to be highly unlikely that he wouldn’t suffer […]
Baltimore Orioles: Starting Pitcher Chris Tillman may be on the disabled list, but he is expected to be activated and take his regular turn in the rotation this weekend…..If 2B Brian Roberts can stay healthy and once again become the player he used to be, this would be a pretty big boon to the O’s […]
Hey baseball fans! Happy blog-iversary! Yup, that’s right, folks; today is the one year anniversary of Baseball with Matt. I just want to thank all of my viewers, without whom I would have never gotten to this point. Anyway, in honor of this special day, I am going to give you all a year in […]
While disappointments always show up this time of year as major league teams trim their rosters to the 25-man Opening Day limit, Independent Baseball got a double dose of good news this week in learning that two of its recent pitchers have nailed down No. 5 starting roles in rotations. Scott Kazmir has drawn so […]
April 26, 2012 Philip Humber will always be associated with perfection. He just won’t always pitch that way. One start after throwing a perfect game against the Seattle Mariners, the White Sox right-hander plummeted back to reality Thursday night at Chicago’s U.S. Cellular Field, surrendering nine earned runs in a 10-3 loss to the Boston […]
So we’re one day into the new baseball season, and most of what we’ve seen is great starting pitching. Even though the Mets moved in the outfield fences at Citi Field, the Mets and Braves managed to scratch out one puny run between them. Kyle Lohse didn’t allow a hit to the Marlins until the […]
I completed all of my spring training rankings for each position last week. Now that I have done that it’s time to go back and take a look at each set of rankings and see if there are any changes that I would make. Now by changes I’m not talking about one or two spots, […]
The identity of the dastardly “anonymous team” that had reportedly been throwing major monkey wrenches into baseball’s free agency period has finally been unveiled. Today the Los Angeles Angels shocked baseball by not only signing first baseman Albert Pujols (10 year, 252 million dollars), but also picking up starting pitcher C.J. Wilson (5 years, 77.5 […]
Baseball requires a player to master a lot of athletic skill and precision. Most successful players focus on a specific position, either as a hitter or pitcher, so they can consistently improve on the necessary abilities. Thus it must be daunting for those about to enter professional baseball to be asked to completely change what […]
Sunday afternoon, embattled starter A.J. Burnett, with his postseason life largely on the line, toed the rubber against the freefalling Boston Red Sox. Seven and two-thirds of an inning later, Burnett moseyed toward the Yankees dugout, having struck out six, allowed but two earned runs, and driven another nail into the quickly closing coffin surrounding the Red Sox season. With the capacity crowd on its feet loudly cheering his name, Burnett ambled to the bench with all the alacrity of Mo Vaughn heading to a salad bar, clearly trying his hardest to make that moment last forever.
The Yankees had clinched everything they possibly could, they had the Sox under their boots, and the quixotic Burnett had thrown a gem.
Unfortunately, for Joe Girardi, that’s the worst thing that could have happened.
With the induction of Bert Blyleven into the Hall of Fame in 2011, every starting pitcher in the second half of the 20th century who has HOF numbers is now in Cooperstown. Let me be a bit more precise. Â According to the CAWS Career Gauge, every starting pitcher whose career began after World War II […]
2011 Preview: Chattanooga Lookouts (Double-A Dodgers Affiliate) Interviews with Top Prospects and Coaches
On April 5th, the Chattanooga Lookouts held their annual Media Day. I had the opportunity to interview Chris Withrow, Kyle Russell, and Franklin Stubbs. Iâ€™ll be posting interviews with other Southern League prospects and coaches throughout the season. Click on links to listen to audio ________________________________________ Chris Withrow: Starting Pitcher (#4 Prospect in Organization) Withrow […]
Every baseball rankingâ€”even those based on statisticsâ€”is biased in some way. Itâ€™s what makes practically every list debatable. For instance, take a list as fundamental as “hit leaders.” As a counting stat, a playerâ€™s hit total is impacted by his place in the batting order as well as his lineupâ€™s offensive strength, two factors that […]
How do you judge whether a starting pitcher had a Hall of Fame career?Â Obviously, there are many fans who will have different opinions on this question.Â And many of the answers may be influenced by which team the fan supports.Â But is there a completely objective way to answer this question? Yes, according to […]
Pat Urckfitz makes a habit out of being successful in baseball. For the past two seasons, the Houston Astros farm hand accepted a variety of roles from Rookie ball to Advanced A minor league baseball. Each time, Urckfitz proved worthy of moving on to the next level. This season is no different.
I’ve been thinking about this topic for a bit, but before I could write about it Brian Burwell, for once,Â beat me to it. Â There’s been a lot of optimism out of the sweep of Cincinnati, as well there should be. Â However, I’m not sure we can say this team has turned the corner and the […]
With a mere 11 days to go until the deadline for 2010 draftees to reach agreement with their respective teams there are a number of interesting stories worth monitoring. As of this morning, 25 of the first 50 picks have yet to sign a contract â€“ including 7 of the first 10. The surprising part […]
The Angels swooped in to acquire one of MLB’s best in Dan Haren. Seamheads writer Jess K. Coleman wonders if he can he the season-changer that the Angels need.
My sainted father used to say that a pitcher should have the right to smack his fielders on the nose when they make errors that cost him runs or victories. I couldn’t argue then, and still can’t. Of course, it should work the other way, too. A team should be entitled to pummel any starting […]
Two weeks and three starts ago, the Texas Rangers swooped into the mix and pulled off a trade with the Seattle Mariners for starting pitcher Cliff Lee â€“ easily the most coveted pitcher available this season. Despite the weeks of rumors, there was little said about the likelihood of Texas being able to make a […]
It does appear at this point that Pedro Martinez is probably retired so this may be a good time to ask: Just how good was Pedro and does he have the numbers to justify induction into the Hall of Fame? Of course, this question is related to the broader question of whether there is an […]
â€œMariano Rivera is the best reliever in baseball history.â€Â If I were to make such a claim, there would surely be some fans who would agree with me and many who would not.Â And, of course, all would want to know on what basis I made such a claim. Bill Jamesâ€™ Win Shares system is […]
The Phillies open a series against the Atlanta Braves this Memorial Day only a half game up on them in leading the division. Not surprising is that the Nationals are in last place with the Marlins; what is, though, is that they are both only four games out of first place. Almost 50 games into […]
My, have the one-time accessories known as pitchers evolved. You see, when baseball began, pitchers served as a launching pad for batters’ rockets. Standing 50 feet from their counterpart, only a few moments snuck by before their rockets went up, up and away on contact. As recently as 1980, relievers milled around in the shadows. […]
Itâ€™s a tough transition for any player this late in the game to switch from being a position player to a pitcher full time, or vice versa. That player has spent years gaining experience and building credibility at a specific position, only to have to start from square one again and practically learn a new […]
Parity appears extremely strong three weeks into the Atlantic League season with every team within two games of the division lead, but the challenge to managers and player personnel bosses to keep it that way is certain to build now that the expected roster-juggling has started. It seems every person this typist talks to has […]
It was the opening of the baseball season in America. As major league teams wrapped up their respective spring trainings and prepared to throw their opening pitch of the 1953 season in a few weeks time, the Pacific Coast League was ready to start now. Warm west coast weather allowed the PCL season to start […]