March | 2011 | The Golden Sombrero Baseball Blog | MLB, Fantasy, College & High School Baseball News

Articles from March 2011

The First Golden Sombrero of 2011: Gordon Beckham

It is with deep regret that I bring to you the first golden sombrero of the 2011 MLB season, mostly because he’s my favorite player.  That’s right, Gordon Beckham, the face of the Chicago White Sox for years to come, fanned four times in four at-bats on Sunday afternoon.  Poor Gordie; he doesn’t deserve such humiliation.  And of all things, a Spring Training sombrero! It just breaks my heart.

Anyway, here’s a recap of how it happened:

1st inning: Beckham is called out on strikes against Brewers’ starter Marco Estrada

2nd inning: Beckham strikes out swinging against Estrada

5th inning: Beckham strikes out swinging against Estrada

7th inning: Beckham strikes out swinging against reliever Mike Difelice

As a team, the White Sox struck out six times in the game, four of which were Beckham’s.  I don’t think it’s far-fetched to argue that this may be the only time that Beckham wears the sombrero in his career.  Still, poor Gordie.

Prospect Buzz Part II: Zach Britton, Brandon Belt, Michael Pineda, and Jerry Sands

  • After surviving another round of the cuts this past week, Baltimore Orioles’ left-hander Zach Britton will likely get one more Spring Training start before he is either sent to Triple-A or chosen as the O’s fifth starter.  The 22-year-old, our No. 25 prospect, has been ridiculous this spring, giving up only one earned run in 14 innings of work while walking four and fanning nine.  But just like with any high-profile prospect, the organization has a decision to make: have him begin the 2011 season in Triple-A and control his contract for an extra year, or immediately put him to work.  For everyone over at Birds Watcher it’s a no-brainer: keep this promising left-hander in the organization as long as possible.
  • The Giants’ Brandon Belt is in the same boat as Britton – he is yet to be assigned to Triple-A and is being considered (perhaps even favored) for an Opening Day roster spot.  Compared to other prospects, Belt has received an inordinate amount of playing time this spring – kind of like a big league crash course – and has played well enough (.292 BA, 5 doubles, 3 home runs, and 13 RBI) to keep himself in mix.  Our friends at Splashing Pumpkins weigh in on the situation in a piece called, ‘The Brandon Belt Conundrum,’ and establish a set of criteria that, if met, would justify the first baseman’s spot on the Opening Day roster.


Prospect Buzz Part I: Julio Teheran, Dustin Ackley, Brent Morel, and Jordan Lyles

  • The Seattle Mariners’ second baseman of the future, Dustin Ackley, was optioned to Triple-A Tacoma on Wednesday, thus ending his chances of making the Opening Day roster.  Although the left-handed hitting Ackley — the Arizona Fall League MVP and No. 3 on our list — didn’t have a blistering Spring Training, it was by no means poor.  In 15 games he hit .269 with eight walks and 16 runs.  Considering that Brendan Ryan received the nod as Opening Day shortstop, which in turn shifts the defensively-sound Jack Wilson to second base, it shouldn’t be long before Ackley is called up.


Paying respect to Mike Sweeney and his mighty temper (Video)

Mike Sweeney was the type of player who was always regarded as one of the nicest guys; a great clubhouse guy who was always genuine with his teammates.  But if anyone tried to double cross him, they quickly learned that the big fella had quite the temper — just ask Jeff Weaver or the entire 2010 Seattle Mariners team.

To honor the once prolific slugger, we decided that it would only be appropriate to showcase the real Mike Sweeney. So here it is: the video of the epic Sweeney/Weaver brawl. Enjoy.

I like the part where he refers to Jeff Weaver as “one of the better pitchers in baseball.”

Five games, Five ballparks, Five sunburns and the Q: Another Spring Training in Phoenix

Last Wednesday, my dad and I flew in to Phoenix for Spring Training.  It was our second year in a row of watching baseball that doesn’t matter in the Valley of the Sun, and this year’s trip was even better than the last.  Of course, the outcomes of the games don’t mean anything. The players we know only play four or five innings a game (if at all) and the mid-day heat of the Arizona can bother even the most ardent of fans. But none of that is important to us as we spend a few days in the sun enjoying not only the game we love, but also the return of spring and the hope of another Rockies playoff run—all of that adding up to what my brother Sean (himself not even a baseball fan) appropriately calls “The Baseball Feeling”.

The trip started with a visit to the Rangers’ facility in Surprise.  Although driving in stop-and-go traffic up dreaded Grand Avenue was an ordeal, the Rockies won a wild and wacky game over the defending AL champions, 11-10.  Among the unsurprising portions of the game were a towering blast by a minor-leaguer off of former Rockies closer Franklin Morales, a wild Rockies comeback in the late innings, and not one but two instances of poor baserunning by Eric Young Jr., one of the fastest but also one of the poorest baserunners in the game.  With the winning run at the plate in the ninth, the Rangers hit into a game-ending line-drive double play to seal a bizarre win for the Rockies.