Saturday, July 31, 2010

Yankees Add Berkman, Look to Run Away with AL East

Another day, another All-Star added to the middle of the Yankees' lineup.  The Yankees added Lance Berkman yesterday in a trade with the Astros for minor leaguers Mark Melancon and Jimmy Paredes.   The 34-year-old comes with a hefty price tag, but the Astros are contributing $4MM or of the $7.1MM owed to Berkman and he can become a free agent after the season.

This move will make a lineup with no holes even more unstoppable.  Where do you put Berkman - in the 5 or 6 hole?  Berkman is a career .296 hitter with a .959 OPS and having a slower than usual season this year, but this may still be the beginning of the end for the rest of the AL East.  Here's your new lineup:


And if the Yanks can ever squeeze in a quality starter before the trade deadline, the countdown will really start.

[NY Daily News]

Friday, July 30, 2010

Compton On Top of Leaderboard After Two Heart Transplants

Eric Compton's story is not your typical "road to the PGA" story.  He hasn't had the luxury of taking the normal path that most players do.  His life has been about comebacks and perserverence, and not just on the golf course.  HBO's Real Sports recently did a piece on Compton telling his remarkable story.

Compton was diagnosed at age 9 with cardiomyopathy, an enlarging of the heart that hinders its ability to pump blood. Three years later in 1992, he received a new heart at Miami's Jackson Memorial Hospital.
He was a No. 1-ranked amateur and a two-time All-American at Georgia before he turned professional in 2001, playing mostly on the Nationwide Tour but also qualifying for a few PGA Tour events.

But after a heart attack last October, it became clear he would need another transplant.

Compton underwent the second operation May 2, 2008 and has been battling back ever since.

With his highest PGA tour finish (T30) coming in the Arnold Palmer Invitational this March, Compton is not only looking to better that, but maybe finally add a win to his resume.  He is currently tied for the lead this week at the Greenbrier Classic in West Virginia, shooting 7-under 63.

Keep on eye on this story this weekend.  If everything goes well for Compton, this would trump everything as story of the year.

[, AP]

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Fantasy RB Rankings

1.  Chris Johnson (TEN) – Bye 9

2.  Adrian Peterson (MIN) – Bye 4

3.  Maurice Jones-Drew (JAC) – Bye 9

4.  Steven Jackson (STL) – Bye 9

5.  Ray Rice (BAL) – Bye 8

6.  Frank Gore (SF) – Bye 9

7.  Michael Turner (ATL) – Bye 8

8.  DeAngelo Williams (CAR) – Bye 6

9.  Ryan Grant (GB) – Bye 10

10.  Rashard Mendenhall (PIT) – Bye 5

11.  Joseph Addai (IND) – Bye 7

12.  Knowshon Moreno (DEN) – Bye 9

13.  Shonn Greene (NYJ) – Bye 7

14.  Ryan Matthews (SD) – Bye 10

15.  Beanie Wells (ARI) – Bye 6

Indians Games - No Lebron Jerseys

A fan wearing Lebron James' Miami Heat jersey was escorted out of Progressive field in the 6th inning last night after taunting and heckling from hundreds of fans.  Loud, obscenity-filled chants echoed throughout the left field bleachers, all directed at the fan.

I love it when I go to games and there's always that guy that has to wear the rival's jersey (even thought they're not even playing!) and is heckled throughout the entire game - every time he gets up to go to the bathroom or get a drink or just looks the wrong way.  

Wouldn't you love to hear from this guy in last night's game?  I'd probably have a few questions for him: 
-So tell me a little bit about the thinking process before you left your house.  
-Did you really think this was going to work out well?
-Did you not hear see the reaction from your city after 'The (Stupid) Decision'?

If this is what goes on at an Indians-Yankees game, ever wonder what it's going to be like when the Heat visit Cleveland next year?...WOW.  

[Getty Images]

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Strasburg Scratch Makes Way for Classic Sound Bite

After Stephen Strasburg was scratched for shoulder stiffness before last night's start against the Braves, Miguel Batista was greeted by some good old hometown boos after fans realized they may have overpaid for their premium tickets to see the phenom.  So after the game, he shed some light on how he felt.

"It's OK," said Batista, who pitched five shutout innings, allowing just three, harmless singles. "Imagine if you go to see Miss Universe and you end up having Miss Iowa -- you might get those kind of boos. They had to understand that, as an organization, we have to make sure the kid is fine."

Classic...and I don't think Miss Iowa will be hearing any boos soon.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Fantasy QB Rankings

1.  Drew Brees
2.  Aaron Rodgers
3.  Tom Brady
4.  Peyton Manning
5.  Matt Schaub
6.  Philip Rivers
7.  Tony Romo
8.  Joe Flacco
9.  Matt Ryan
10.  Jay Cutler
11. Brett Favre
12. Eli Manning
13. Carson Palmer 
14. Kevin Kolb
15. Donovan McNabb

Past Ball's Rewind - 1991

With 5 no-hitters so far in 2010 - wait, let's just call it 6 with Gallarraga's perfecto - dominant pitching is officially back.  This is the most since 1991 when there were 7, so to celebrate Matt Garza's no-hitter last night, let's take a stroll down memory lane and take a look at the 1991 season to see how things panned out and who were the newsmakers back then.

7 no-hitters
In July, Mark Gardner and Dennis Martinez, both playing for the Montreal Expos no-hit the Dodgers twice in three days. Martinez's no-hitter was a perfect game, though Gardner lost his no-no in the tenth. Amazing.
Two team combined for no-hitters - the Orioles vs. the A's on July 13 and the Braves vs. the Padres September 11.
The others were Tommy Greene, Wilson Alvarez, Bret Saberhagen, and of course, the one and only Nolan Ryan pitched his 7th and final no-hitter.

Twins win World Series
Who can forget Kirby's HR in Game 6 and Jack Morris' 1-0 gem to clinch Game 7?  Great stuff, produced things like this classic song. Maybe a repeat performance in 2010?

Hitting Machines
Julio Franco, with a .341 average, became the first Texas Ranger to win a batting title. His Ranger teammates, Ruben Sierra and Rafael Palmeiro, joined Franco to give Texas a trio of 200-hit men.

NL MVP - Terry Pendleton
AL MVP - Cal Ripken, Jr.
NL Cy Young - Tom Glavine

AL Cy Young - Roger Clemens
NL Rookie of the Year - Jeff Bagwell
AL Rookie of the Year - Chuck Knoblauch

Monday, July 26, 2010

Past Ball Pick of the Day

Toronto Blue Jays (-1.5) vs Baltimore Orioles - 7:05 PM EST

Brandon Morrow (6-6) vs. Bradley Bergensen (3-8)

After losing 10-4 to Minnesota yesterday, look for the O's to give up a ton of runs again today to the Blue Jays. Morrow should have a solid start and pick up an easy win.  Baltimore is 31-60 for many reasons, and pitching is one of the top ones.

Trend of the day:  Baltimore is 12-34 over the past 3 years when giving up 10 runs or more.

Blue Jays (-1.5)

Top 50 Fantasy Football Rankings - Overall

Rankings by position all week!

QBs tomorrow...

1 Chris Johnson, TEN                   26 DeSean Jackson, PHI
2 Adrian Peterson, MIN 27 Beanie Wells, ARI
3 Maurice Jones-Drew, JAC          28 Ryan Mathews, SD
4 Steven Jackson, STL 29 LeSean McCoy, PHI
5 Ray Rice, BAL                           30 Greg Jennings, GB
6 Frank Gore, SF                          31 Jonathan Stewart, CAR
7 Michael Turner, ATL 32 Sidney Rice, MIN
8 Andre Johnson, HOU 33 Jamaal Charles, KC
9 Drew Brees, NO                        34 Cedric Benson, CIN
10 Larry Fitzgerald, ARI 35 Marques Colston, NO
11 Aaron Rodgers, GB                  36 Pierre Thomas, NO
12 DeAngelo Williams, CAR 37 Anquan Boldin, BAL
13 Randy Moss, NE                     38 Joseph Addai, IND
14 Ryan Grant, GB                       39 Matt Schaub, HOU
15 Reggie Wayne, IND                40 Philip Rivers, SD
16 Tom Brady, NE                      41 Dallas Clark, IND
17 Rashard Mendenhall, PIT 42 Antonio Gates, SD
18 Brandon Marshall, MIA 43 Matt Forte, CHI
19 Knowshon Moreno, DEN 44 Ronnie Brown, MIA
20 Roddy White, ATL                45 Tony Romo, DAL
21 Peyton Manning, IND 46 Dwayne Bowe, KC
22 Calvin Johnson, DET 47 Chad Ochocinco, CIN
23 Shonn Greene, NYJ              48 Ricky Williams, MIA
24 Miles Austin, DAL                49 Vernon Davis, SF
25 Steve Smith, CAR                50 Brandon Jacobs, NYG

Change Coming in Queens?

After the Mets dismal beginning to the second half of the season, is the writing on the wall for Jerry Manuel in Queens?  The Mets were shutout yesterday for the 4th time during their recent 11-game road trip and are 2-9 since the All-Star break.  To add insult to injury, the Mets averaged 2.1 runs per game on this trip and hit .196.  DISMAL.

Omar Minaya (who may want to start packing his bags himself), showed his angst and disappointment yesterday after a tough 1-0 loss to the Dodgers.  When asked about Manuel's future, Minaya said, "I don't want to talk about that. I feel everybody here is trying hard. I could tell you the staff is trying hard. If you ask me [about] the overall performance that has happened, of course I'm not happy. Nobody is happy."

Omar - maybe it's time to stop taking the easy way out and make some moves that actually mean something.  People forget this is the same GM that in 2005, thought it was too much for the Mets to give up Lastings Milledge for Roy Oswalt straight up as a last minute deadline deal. Wow, I'm glad that worked out well.

It should be an interesting final week of July leading up to the trade deadline.  Will the Mets make the major move(s) to try to right the ship or will they take the popular route and place blame solely on coaching.  Time will tell, but it may also be time for one Omar Minaya to start looking in the mirror.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Does Anyone Really Care?

Did you ever think you would see the day when a baseball player would be on the verge of hitting their 600th home run and most fans don't seem to care one bit (except of course Yankee fans)? Well, it's here.  Alex Rodriguez was always anointed as the chosen one who would break Hank Aaron's record "fair and square" and the baseball world would be saved after the McGwire-Sosa-Bonds debacle.  Yet here we are today, laughing at SportsCenter when they are trying to make something out of someone who has turned into an absolute joke.  Yes, the talent is there - but greed and ego and stupidity have overpowered talent and because of this, everything in A-Rod's career will be tarnished forever.

Rodriguez was always the one talked about for years that there was no way he could be roped into steroids, but little did we know that he was involved a lot earlier in his career (high school) than many of the now-revealed poster boys were. It would be nice if ESPN or MLB network would actually note things like this when they're flashing their breaking news story when #600 leaves the yard this weekend.  But I doubt it.

Down-Hill: Where Did Aaron Hill Go?

Aaron Hill was an unexpected MONSTER last year -- .286 BA, 36 HR, 108 RBI.  

This year through 96 games -- .203 BA, 13 HR, 34 HR.

What happened? Where did the production go? Will the consistency of 2009 ever return?

Hill has had to battle through some injuries this year (most recently a bad stomach bug) but no one saw this lack of production coming.  Hill is seeing some good pitches batting around Vernon Wells, Adam Lind, and Lyle Overbay, but being below the Mendoza line most of the year and a 21 percent drop in OPS cannot be helping any confidence levels. Cito Gaston has shaken up the lineup a few times this year but nothing seems to be working like last season.  

Many analysts have predicted a big turnaround from Hill in the second half...I just don't see it.  Hopefully I'm wrong but let's just hope we're just not seeing the second coming of Bret Boone.