World series preview: rangers to earn their rings

Posted on 02 November 2010 by WarriorAdmin

The 2010 World Series is upon us and it is refreshing to see someone other than the Phillies or the Yankees battle it out for the championship. Traditional World Series matchups usually include teams from the East Coast and the Midwest that have huge payrolls. This years World Series features the Texas Rangers, who are making their first ever appearance at the World Series, and the San Francisco Giants, who have not been back to the fall classic since 2002. Both the Rangers and the Giants had to go through the established favorites to earn the pennant, as the Rangers defeated the defending champion, New York Yankees in the ALCS, and the Giants defeated the Philadelphia Phillies who were last years National League champions.

The 2010 Major League Baseball season has been characterized as the year of the pitcher and it is fitting that the opening game tonight features a legendary pitching matchup between Tim Lincecum of the Giants and Cliff Lee of the Rangers. Lincecum and Lee have been two of the best pitchers this post season. Lee has a perfect 3-0 record with a filthy ERA of 0.75, in this post season, while Lincecum has a 2-1 record and 1.93 ERA.

While game one looks to be a pitchers duel the series should not be short of offensive fireworks. The Rangers lead the league in team batting average, anchored by one of the hottest hitters in baseball right now, Josh Hamilton. Hamilton, who was named the MVP of the ALCS, lead the league in batting average and was tied for 10th place in the league in homeruns with 32. The rest of the Rangers lineup is a force to be reckoned with, made up of big hitters like Michael Young, Vladimir Guerrero, and Elvis Andrus. This lineup will be sure to give the Giants starting pitchers, such as Matt Cain and Jonathan Sanchez, as well as Lincecum, major problems.

On the other side of the diamond, the scrappy lineup of the Giants is on fire coming up with hits in the clutch throughout the playoffs. What makes the Giants such a tough team is their pitching. The Rangers may have a start-studded offense but the Giants pitching staff boasts the leagues’ best ERA, at 3.36, and they lead the league in strikeouts with 1331. What makes the Giants pitching staff so formidable is that they are solid from top to bottom. Using their spectacular pitching, the Giants lead the league in saves as well. They have received quality outings from Lincecum, Cain, and Sanchez and are anchored by one of the leagues’ best closers in Brian Wilson.

This World Series is a classic match up between great pitching and great hitting and should produce long and exciting battles between batter and pitcher. However, the Rangers have the edge and should be expected to win the series. The main reason for this is Cliff Lee. Lee blew by the New York Yankees and the Tampa Bay Rays, two of the best offenses in the major leagues. While the Giants lineup is strong they are not the same caliber as the Yankees or Rays. Lee should be able to shut them down and at least take game one. Lee will likely resurface and pitch in game four and maybe even game seven if needed. Lee should be able to deliver two wins while the Rangers offense can take care of the Giants pitchers in games two and three. Lee has loads of postseason experience, which will make him more dependable and send a calm through the Rangers clubhouse.  The Giants offense will lose their magic and revert to their average offensive output that placed them 15th in the league in batting average.

The Rangers offense will quickly break through the Giants pitching and score runs in bunches, much like they did to the Yankees in the ALCS. This will make the job for Lee, C.J. Wilson, Colby Lewis, and the rest of the Rangers pitching staff much easier as the Giants will press, trying to keep up with the high-powered Rangers offense.

The Rangers will take the series in six games with Cliff Lee being the MVP of the series. The Rangers are just too strong of a team for the Giants, as they have legitimately established themselves as a power in the American League.

by Matthew Freter
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Spring training swells hopes once again

Posted on 12 February 2009 by Paul Nadolski

The baseball season is closely approaching and that means excitement fills the air for all 30 teams, unless you are the Pirates, who have not had a winning record since 1992.

Even so, at the start of spring training, all things are equal. Many questions are left unanswered, and there is not a team that does not have a hole somewhere. With that said, there were some teams that had a really good off-season, and others that did not.

The big winners this year were the New York Yankees. Who would have guessed that the rich get richer, but in actuality, they did lower their payroll.

The Yankees were able to lose Jason Giambi’s enormous contract along with Bobby Abreu’s and Mike Mussina’s. They re-signed Andy Pettitte back into the rotation, but at a reduced price, and added A.J. Burnett and Cy Young award winner CC Sabathia to front it. Their rotation is now Sabathia, Burnett, Chin-Ming Wang, Andy Pettitte and Joba Chamberlain. Pretty impressive.

Then just add in the fact that they signed Mark Teixeira, one of the best all around players in the game, to man first base, and the Yankees are looking good. I am not naming them champs, but they had a very successful off-season.

With that said, lets take a look at who is going to win their divisions this season. I will start out with the American League.

In the East I am actually going to pick the Boston Red Sox over the Yankees, because of how Sabathia pitched in the AL last year, Burnett’s health history, Chamberlain is still an unknown and Pettitte is old.

The Red Sox have a peripheral of starting pitchers that includes Josh Beckett, Dice-K, Jon Lester, Brad Penny, John Smoltz, Tim Wakefield and more. That is what I call depth, and their lineup is pretty good too.

The Tampa Bay Rays will be good again, but a repeat of what they did last year might be asking for too much.

In the Central, I will go against my gut and pick the Cleveland Indians. They are the only team that has really improved in that division over the off-season. They addressed their biggest off-season need by getting closer Kerry Wood and set-up man Joe Smith. The bullpen was horrible for the Indians last year, but there was not a better team in the second half last season and now their bullpen should be solid.

The Chicago White Sox made a few moves, but they were for future seasons and not for this one. The Minnesota Twins are staying relatively stable.

Now for the West. I cannot bring myself to vote against the Los Angeles Angels, so I am picking them. The Oakland Athletics are still an unknown, especially with so much youth, but they could be a factor. I do not see the Seattle Mariners improving and the Texas Rangers still need a few more pitchers, but they are improved.
The Angels pitcher John Lackey will be a big plus, as he will actually pitch a full season. The bullpen took a hit losing Francisco Rodriguez, but they did get two-time All Star Brian Fuentes as a replacement. And I just cannot pick against the Angels while they have Vladimir Guerrero.

For the Wild Card, I am going with the defending AL champs and taking the Rays. They have a solid rotation and a good lineup. The bullpen is good, it still needs one more arm, but it is serviceable to win games. After seeing this team play last year, they are for real. They are not the rookies from two seasons ago.
The National League is a little more up in the air than the American League.

In the NL East I see the Philadelphia Phillies getting a third win in a row, but still needing 11 more after that to tie the Atlanta Braves. The New York Mets starting pitching is not intimidating and the Braves lineup could be inept. The Florida Marlins could make a run, as they have talent and a good manager, but I doubt they can pull off winning the division.

The Phillies have decent starting pitching, a decent bullpen and a killer lineup. That should be enough for them to win it. It was last year, and they now have a better rotation and lineup than they did 365 days ago. There is that small fact that they did win a World Series last year.

In the Central I see the Chicago Cubs taking the division. They have a good rotation that is fronted by Carlos Zambrano and Rich Harden gives them a nice one-two punch. If they can keep Harden relatively healthy, they should be fine. The lineup, as it has been the past few years, is a potent one.

The St. Louis Cardinals have too many questions with their pitching and the Milwaukee Brewers lost Sabathia and Ben Sheets and replaced them with Braden Looper. Yovani Gallardo is back from injury, but that will not be enough for the Brewers. The Houston Astros do not have the pitching and the Pittsburgh Pirates are the Pirates.
The West is a bit tricky. If the Los Angeles Dodgers re-sign Manny Ramirez, then I choose them to win the division. If the New York Giants sign him, then I pick the Giants. If neither team signs him, then I choose the Arizona Diamondbacks.

I know none of you want to hear that, so I will just hope Manny re-signs with the Dodgers and pick them. The Diamondbacks have great pitching but not enough hitting. The Giants have young pitching, and that is premium but they too need offense. The Dodgers are in the same boat, and if they get Manny, they have offense.
The NL wild card is a tough decision. I am pretty certain that the team will come from the NL East, but it is a tough call between the Mets and the Braves. The Mets have a spectacular bullpen and a good lineup with weak starting pitching. The Braves have a good rotation and a potentially very good bullpen with a weak lineup.
I am going to pick the Braves for two reasons. First, I cannot in good faith pick the Mets. Secondly I do believe that the Braves will acquire a power hitting left fielder to fill the gap in the lineup and that will put them over the Mets. If Tim Hudson can come back in August, and the Braves are in it, a one-two punch of Hudson and Derek Lowe is pretty good.

Well, there they are, your 2009 division champs. Go place your bets in Las Vegas and use this as a guide. No guarantees though. If I could guarantee, why watch the season?

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Déjà vu: Remnants of ‘82 Brewers seen in ‘08

Posted on 09 October 2008 by Tim Bucher

Feeling the need to shake things up, a team trades for a future hall-of-fame pitcher midway through the season and then fires its manager in an attempt to “spark” the struggling team. On the last day of the season, the team clinches a playoff-berth with a huge home run from its budding superstar.

Not only was that the storyline for this year’s Brewers, oddly enough it was the exact same scenario which played out 26 years ago, the last time the Brewers made it to the post-season. The parallels between the 1982 Brewers team and this year’s 2008 Brewers are too eerie to be coincidence.

In 1982, the Brewers fired manager Buck Rodgers and replaced him with Harvey Kuenn, a favorite among players. In 2008, the Brewers fired manager Ned Yost and replaced him with Dale Sveum, also a player favorite.

Looking to shore up their starting pitching, ’82 General Manager Harry Dalton trades for all-star pitcher Don Sutton, who pitches the team to a post-season clinching victory the last game of the year. Also looking to bolster the starting rotation, ’08 General Manager Doug Melvin acquires CC Sabathia, all-star and Cy Young winner. Sabathia leads the Brewers to victory the last game of the year, also clinching a playoff-berth.

In the same 1982 regular-season finale, All-star Robin Yount came up big for the Brewers, hitting two huge home runs. All-star Ryan Braun comes up to the plate in the bottom of the 8th inning of the ’08 finale and hits a decisive two-run home run.

Although separated by 26 years, the two Milwaukee playoff teams have followed similar paths to the post-season. Regular-season statistics of the two clubs also show comparable numbers for each of the team’s superstars.

Let’s compare each team’s unequivocal star. For the ’82 team, it’s clearly Robin Yount. For the ’08 team, Ryan Braun. In 1982, Yount had 210 hits, 114 RBI’s, 29 home runs, and a sizzling .331 batting average. Braun, in 2008, put together 174 hits, 106 RBI’s, a .285 batting average, and also socked 37 home runs. “Rockin’ Robin” slightly edges out Braun when comparing the two, but the “Hebrew Hammer” deserves some recognition for the better nickname.

1982 First Baseman Cecil Cooper and 2008 First Baseman Prince Fielder also shared similar regular-seasons. Cooper ended the year with 121 RBI’s, 32 home runs, and a .313 batting average. Fielder had 102 RBI’s, 34 home runs, and a .276 average. Although there is parity among statistics, stature is another story. Cooper weighed in at 190 pounds during his playing days while Fielder finds himself at 270 pounds.

And there are more peculiarities linking this season’s Brewers with the ’82 team. Current manager Dale Sveum was drafted in the first round of the 1982 amateur draft by the Milwaukee Brewers.

Also, the Brewers honored the 1982 team prior to a game in 2002, a game in which the Brewers were playing host to this year’s first-round opponent, the Philadelphia Phillies.
The 1982 team went 95-67, winning the American League Eastern Division. Defeating the Angels in the ALCS, the Brewers advanced to the World Series. After a convincing Game 1 victory, the St. Louis Cardinals overmatched the Crew for the remainder of the series.

Today’s Brewers went 90-72 this year and clinched a spot in the National League Wild Card.

But this past Sunday, Milwaukee wrapped up their first playoff series since ’82 by falling to the Philadelphia Phillies, three games to one.

With the two clubs regular seasons invariably linked and both teams failing to capture a World Series title, current Brewer fans should hope that next year does not parallel what happened in 1983.

A year after making it to the World Series, the ’82 team finished 5th in the American East Division, subsequently falling subject to a quarter-century post-season drought. For the sake of the city, team, and fans, lets hope the Brewers make it to the playoffs before 2034.

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Unexpected playoff victories lead to unusual teams in line for the World Series

Posted on 09 October 2008 by Paul Nadolski

Postseason baseball is back, and with some new faces. The Tampa Bay Rays have made the playoffs for the first time in franchise history. Not only that, this was the first time that the team ever had a winning record. No expert picked the Rays to make the playoffs at the beginning of the season but they did, and now after beating the White Sox, they are in the ALCS.
After years of having the first pick in the draft the team has more than enough talent to last for years. The big reason for the turn around, though, has to go to Joe Maddon the manager of the team. He has transformed the psyche of the team.

At the beginning of the season he came up with a slogan to help the team go from a losing atmosphere to a winning one. The slogan was 9 = 8. He was saying that if all nine men play hard and do their part they will be one of the eight teams to make the playoffs.

He even made shirts for the whole team. The team bought into the slogan and now they have made the playoffs.

In the National League the Cubs lost to the Dodgers in 3 games and the Brewers lost to the Phillies in 4 games.

This will be an interesting match up. It took a while, but these two teams have finally won a playoff series. This is the first series victory for the Phillies since 1993 and the first playoff series victory for the Dodgers since winning the 1988 World Series.

The “fightin’” Phillies have one of the best lineups in baseball, but the Dodgers have a very solid rotation. I wouldn’t be surprised with either team winning, but I am going to go with the Dodgers. They have much better pitching and having Manny Ramirez in the middle of the lineup makes them very dangerous. Just ask the Cubs about how good Manny is in the postseason.

This has been a crazy baseball season so far. Just talking about Tampa Bay in the postseason seems almost funny, but they made it. The rest of the postseason should be full of exciting moments. So let’s just sit back, relax, and watch some playoff baseball.

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Last year’s stars stagnant while new players hit it home for the Milwaukee Brewers

Posted on 30 April 2008 by Tim Bucher

The year is 1982; Michael Jackson sells more than 25 million album copies, John Belushi dies, a man is found not guilty of trying to assassinate the President, gas is at $1.30 a gallon and the Milwaukee Brewers win the pennant. Sounds like a crazy year, huh?

Holding the title for longest active playoff drought in Major League Baseball, the Brewers have not made the playoffs since their memorable trip to the World Series in 1982, capturing the American League pennant but ultimately falling to the St. Louis Cardinals in the World Series.

Barring another meltdown like last season that saw the Brew Crew blow an 8½ game lead and end their 133 day reign atop the National League Central, this could be the Brewers’ year to make it into October. But for that to happen the team needs to see consistency from its big name players as well as its bullpen, something that has been severely lacking.

Nevertheless, the Brewers will enter play against the Chicago Cubs with a 14-11 record, only two games behind the North-siders for the lead of the National League Central Division. Come the end of September, expect a three-team race in the Central with the Cardinals, Cubs and Brewers all vying for first.The Brewers, who won six of their first seven games, have been winning games with defense and timely play from some unlikely catalysts. Newly-signed catcher Jason Kendall is batting .308 with 24 hits in 23 games in his first year with the Brewers. Veteran and Whitefish Bay native Craig Counsel is off to an unexpected start as well, batting .306 and providing some clutch hitting.But what has been the feel-good story of the year to this point is the play of outfielder Gabe Kapler. The 32-year old retired after the 2006 season and spent last season managing the Boston Red Sox Class-A-affiliate in Greenville. Since coming out of retirement Kapler battled for a roster spot in spring training, made the team, and is now batting .288 with 13 RBIs.The value of Kapler’s play has been immeasurable as he has helped fill in for another outfielder, free-agent signee Mike Cameron, who was suspended 25 games by the MLB for testing positive for a banned stimulant. Cameron, who looked tremendous in spring training, will make his Brewer debut on Tuesday against the Chicago Cubs. To make room for Cameron the team traded outfielder Gabe Gross to Tampa Bay and in a surprising move optioned pitcher Dave Bush to Triple-A-affiliate Nashville.Also on Tuesday, Brewers ace Ben Sheets will make his return since leaving an April 18 game with tightness in his right triceps. So far the gold-medalist is 3-0 with a 0.96 ERA in four starts over 28 innings in this, a contract year.But what has been a reoccurring thorn in the side of the Brewers this year has been an inconsistent bullpen. The Crew retooled their pen during the off-season acquiring right-hand relievers David Riske, Salomon Torres and Guillermo Mota.Also, in an effort to offset the loss of last year’s closer Francisco Cordero to Cincinnati, the team signed closer Eric Gagne to a $10 million contract. But the 2003 NL Cy Young Award winner has been anything but stellar, blowing four saves in 11 opportunities. Put that together with set-up man Derrick Turn”blow”s 7.94 ERA and you would be convinced the Brewers could not close a door, let alone a game.Sunday night against the Florida Marlins, pitcher Seth McClung contributed to the team’s pitching woes by giving up a solo homerun to former Brewer Wes Helms in the top of the 10th inning, lifting the Marlins to a victory over the Brewers.

But the most ambivalent fact of the Brewers season is that none of its superstars have been playing up to par. Last year’s Rookie of the Year Ryan Braun is playing nowhere near his ability level but still is batting a respectable .255 average.

Moreover, the MLB’s youngest player to hit 50 homeruns, Prince Fielder has battled through an uncharacteristic stretch posting a slugging percentage .176 points lower than last season. Even worse, shortstop J.J. Hardy is batting .218 while second baseman Rickie Weeks is batting a morbid .191.With the team’s best players working to find their stride, the Brewers have been fortunate enough to fall back on the apt hitting of its role players and, notwithstanding its lapses in the bullpen, sound defense. The team has managed to keep nearly every single game to this point close (1/3 of the team’s games have gone into extra innings).Being only two games behind the Cubs, a forthcoming three-game series this week and 137 games for the team to play to its offensive potential, the Brewers have very little to worry about. In keeping with celebratory slide tradition, come October, Bernie the Brewer might just have a very sore bottom.

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Baseball: An American love affair

Posted on 02 April 2008 by Robert Fafinski

From my earliest memories of being with my parents and listing off the starting lineup for the 1987 World Champion Minnesota Twins, I have been a full-fledged member of America’s love affair with baseball. But how is it that this seemingly boring game captures the imaginations of millions, enthralling them for months at a time?

In an era of flashy talents like LeBron James and inhuman 350 pound offensive linemen, what is it that we love so much about a sport in which a pitcher can throw a perfect game while “half-drunk,” as David Wells claims he did against my beloved Minnesota Twins?

First, the intricate nature of the game. To the casual fan, as Tim Robbins’ character in “Bull Durham” said, “[Baseball] is a very simple game. You throw the ball, you catch the ball, you hit the ball.” But things like shading the fielders, wasting an 0-2 pitch, moving the runner over, bringing a lefty in to face a lefty, watching a pitcher save a run by backing up home or actually seeing a suicide squeeze live are all lost on the non-discerning fan.

This is why baseball may be the one sport you have to have played to truly understand it. The intricacies involved are such that the casual fan – who’s used to the constant excitement of football, basketball and hockey – finds it boring. The rules of baseball can be learned by some, but for the rest of us who’ve played, we know it’s tough to explain that sick feeling in the pit of your stomach the moment you realize you’ve been picked-off or the beauty in a sacrifice bunt.

And second: the memories we associate with it… Being a Twins and Cubs fan (go ahead and hate me doubly White Sox fans), my memories of baseball almost always include my dad. He took me on long road trips in which we’d drive to Chicago to watch a Cubs series at Wrigley and then catch a Twins-Brewers series at Milwaukee County Stadium. While at one Cubs game, we stumbled across Harry Carey, cocktail in hand, hours before first pitch. He signed a Budweiser advertisement I had.

And, in perhaps the favorite memory I have of my childhood, I watched at home as the late Kirby Puckett hit a walk-off homerun in the bottom of the 11th inning in game 6 of the 1991 World Series, forcing a game 7 and leading to Jack Buck’s famous call, “And we’ll see you, tomorrow night!”

The next night, I did see them. My parents had three tickets to game 7 and brought me along. And at game 7, while waving my “Homer Hanky,” I saw the most dominating sports performance I ever have. Jack Morris pitched 10 innings of shutout baseball, repeatedly telling manager Tom Kelly he wouldn’t leave the game. The Twins won 1-0 in the 10th inning on a walk-off hit. Greatest World Series ever.

So what is it about baseball? I think America’s love affair with baseball boils down the beauty of simplicity: sunflower seeds, double headers, the hanging curveball, Johan Santana’s change-up, suicide squeezes, tailgating, Wrigley Field, 162 game season, switch hitters, the seventh inning stretch, Joe Mauer, playing catch with dad in the parking lot before the game, the wildcard, on base percentage, dugouts, infield chatter, the hot corner, pepper, Texas-leaguer singles, rosin bags, no-hitters, complete games, hit and runs, town ball, and strike-him-out-throw-him-outs. What’s more American than that?

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Playoffs? Where the MLB season went so wrong

Posted on 08 November 2007 by Trevor Kapp

In my debut column a few weeks ago, I predicted we were in for a spectacular baseball postseason. Four weeks later, a few days after the final out of the season has been recorded, I can say that I could not have been more wrong.

This was the worst first round since baseball added the Wildcard in 1995. Out of the four series, three of them were sweeps and the other went a measly four games. Poor starting pitching, even worse relief and an inability to move runners over were major themes for those teams who began their winter vacations early.

The Philadelphia Phillies, who had all the momentum in the world coming in and were picked by ESPN analysts Eric Young and Tim Kirkjian to make it to the World Series, were knocked out almost as soon as they started. Colorado’s starting pitching limited the Phillies triumvirate of Ryan Howard, Chase Utley and Jimmy Rollins to just seven hits on 32 at bats during the series, leaving the always vocal Philadelphia fans speechless.

The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim also had a tremendously disappointing postseason, manufacturing a mere four runs in three games. What was thought to be a high-powered offense, combining speed and the ability to hit the long ball, was shut down by veteran starting pitching from the Boston Red Sox.

The Chicago Cubs looked like the Cubs of May when the Arizona Diamondbacks eliminated them. The big three of Alfonso Soriano, Derrek Lee and Aramis Ramirez manufactured only six hits in 36 at bats.

Last but not least were my beloved New York Yankees. Twenty-two-year-old rookie phenom Joba Chamberlain, who only allowed one earned run in 24 innings of work during the regular season, allowed two in just three and two-thirds innings in the postseason. Nineteen game winner Chien-Ming Wang, who had a 3.70 ERA in the regular season, had a whopping 19.06 ERA in his two starts. Finally, “Mr. Postseason” himself, Derek Jeter, had just three hits in the four game series, grounding into three double plays in the process.

While the American League Championship Series did go to a game seven, it was a series full of tremendously disappointing starting pitching for the Cleveland Indians. Nineteen game winner C.C. Sabathia had a 10.45 ERA in two starts. Fausto Carmona, who threw nine-innings of three hit ball against the Yankees allowed 11 earned runs in just six innings in two starts in the Championship Series. If this was not bad enough, the other series was even worse. The Colorado Rockies made quick work of the Arizona Diamondbacks, eliminating them in four games, advancing to the first World Series in franchise history.

Going into the World Series, it seemed as if the Colorado Rockies were unstoppable. They had won 21 of their last 22 games, winning seven in a row in the postseason. I guess Boston hadn’t received the news. They put up 29 runs in the four games, while holding Colorado to only 10. As much as it pains this Yankees fan to say it, the curse is over in Boston.

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One for the Ages

Posted on 10 October 2007 by Trevor Kapp

The 2007 baseball season will forever be remembered as the year that saw one team become the first franchise in professional sports to lose 10,000 games, arguably the greatest pitcher in history come out of retirement to reinvigorate the most famous franchise in sports and perhaps the most controversial figure in sports history break the most famous record.

It was the year in which the New York Mets blew what seemed like an insurmountable seven game lead with 17 games left to play. That cataclysmic collapse left all of New York wondering if perhaps this was the price they had to pay for being given Bill Buckner’s error in game six of the 1986 World Series.

The Philadelphia Phillies proved that injury, age and the toughest town to play in throughout the entire country mean nothing when a team is determined. Before the year began, Phillies veteran shortstop Jimmy Rollins proclaimed the Phillies “were the team to beat” in the National League East. While questioned by fans, analysts and reporters, Rollins did everything to back up his claim. He put together an MVP caliber season in which he became just the fourth player ever to record twenty doubles, twenty triples, twenty home runs and twenty stolen bases in one season.

It was the year in which Craig Biggio joined the likes of Ty Cobb, Roberto Clemente and Tony Gwynn by notching his 3000th hit. The overshadowed Biggio will retire in the coming weeks, but his career was truly one for the ages. He broke in as a catcher, before switching to second base and eventually to the outfield, finally finishing his career back at second. While the World Series ring managed to elude him, Biggio will forever be remembered as a gutsy, hardnosed player who played the game the right way. No one has been hit by more pitches than Biggio. More significantly, Biggio played an entire career with one team, something Alex Rodriguez, Barry Bonds and Ken Griffey Jr. cannot claim.

It was the year in which Sammy Sosa silenced the critics by belting his 600th home run against the team he became famous with, the Chicago Cubs. While corked bats and steroid allegations will always surround “Slammin’ Sammy,” Sosa showed that reporters, fans and most importantly general managers were wrong in saying that he had nothing left. Although this controversy may prevent him from making it to Cooperstown, Sosa’s hard work and determination should be admired.

More important than any hit or any strikeout, 2007 was the year in which the supposed underdogs rose up. It was the year in which Commissioner Bud Selig came off as if he actually knew something about the national pastime. The Philadelphia Phillies are in the playoffs for the first time since 1993. Amidst a manager kicking dirt and punches being thrown in the dugout and on the field, the Chicago Cubs prevailed to take the National League Central. The Arizona Diamondbacks, led by names unfamiliar to most including Cy Young candidate Brandon Webb and hard swinging outfielder Chris Young, won the National League West, something manager Bob Melvin himself would have deemed unlikely at the beginning of the season. The Colorado Rockies showed that the thinness of the air means nothing. Matt Holliday put together an MVP caliber season and Troy Tulowitzki emerged as one of the bright young stars of today’s game. If the playoffs are anything like the regular season, we are in for quite the treat.
Last Updated ( Friday, 02 November 2007 )

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Time to go shopping: All about the major league baseball free agent market

Posted on 06 December 2006 by Paul Nadolski

Well, it’s wintertime again, and we all know what that means; another Hot Stove off-season for major league baseball. There are plenty of rumors circulating about baseball players, but here are five “buyer bewares” for baseball free agency. Continue Reading

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Who benefits from the rain delay?

Posted on 26 October 2006 by Justin Phillips

Last night’s game 4 of the World Series was rained out and the early indications appear that the Cardinals benefit the most from this.
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