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BBA Stan Musial Award (National League MVP)

How we voted for National League MVP:

Mike: 1) Kemp  2) Braun  3) Upton  4) Votto  5) Halladay

Griff:  1) Kemp  2) Braun  3) Upton  4) Votto  5) Tulowitzki

Dee:   1) Kemp  2) Braun  3) Votto  4) Upton  5) Halladay

Jim:    1) Kershaw  2) Kemp  3) Braun  4) Votto  5) Upton

Towel:  1) Braun  2) Kemp  3) Upton  4) Votto  5) Pujols


National League Stan Musial Award Final Vote:

1)    Matt Kemp, OF, Los Angeles Dodgers

2)    Ryan Braun, OF, Milwaukee Brewers

3)    Justin Upton, OF, Arizona Diamondbacks

4)    Joey Votto, 1B, Cincinnati Reds

5)    Roy Halladay, RHP, Philadelphia Phillies

World Series Thoughts and Predictions

With the Fall Classic kicking off tonight, I felt compelled to make my predictions for this exciting World Series. Let me start off by saying that I am rooting for Texas. For starters, as an Astros diehard I would not be able to look myself in the mirror if I rooted for those bastards from the Midwest. Iʼve been raised better than that. Secondly, being from Texas has always allowed me to have a reason to root for an American League team, so long as they were not actually playing my beloved Astros. That appears to be changing though. With news last week of new ownership taking over (finally) and Houston headed for the AL West, this may be my last chance to cheer for the other team from Texas. Unless something drastic happens they will become my new division rival (read: mortal enemy). On the other hand, the Cards will begin fading away as an enemy in my mind. Now I will be able to cheer out loud for Albert Pujols and not have to feel guilty about it. I can watch Lance Berkman and not resent his resurgence, because it will not be at the cost of my team. It seems almost fitting then, that this final series of baseball for 2011 pits my arch nemesis from the past against the arch nemesis of my future. Or, maybe I am just grabbing at air as I try to ascend from the endless abyss known as Astros fandom.

For my predictions:

Rangers win in 7

Josh Hamilton wins MVP with 7 homeruns, including 2 in Game 7.

Changeups and Screwballs: A Southpaw’s Perspective for 9/8/11



–  Nyjer Morgan is exciting.  His defensive prowess in the outfield is absolutely fun to watch.  He brings a competitive nature to the game that should be lost on no man.  However, with that said, I wish Albert Pujols would have continued past the mound and cold-clocked Morgan right in his jaw last night.  C’mon Nyjer, there was no reason to get all butt-hurt over that AB last night.

–  It would appear that that Ian Kinsler just can’t help but lay lumber right now. (7 HR’s in his last 7 games.) I am proud to call him a fellow Central Arizona College Alum…ride Vaqueros, ride!

–  Is there anyone out there that can overtake Ben Revere’s over-the-shoulder masterpiece for play of the year?  Of course not.  So I ask you, which catch is better?  That one- or this one?

–  What is up with fans reaching over into the field of play on homeruns? I get it on foul balls, but really people? Don’t screw up a ball in fair territory folks.  It just makes you look bad.

–  Speaking of balls leaving the yard…heads up, pal!

–  A.J. Burnett sure is working hard to make his case for sticking in the Yanks starting rotation with amazing efforts like this.

–  If the criteria for voting on the MVP are so vague, why not just give the award to the player who accumulates the highest WAR at season’s end?  Are wins not the most valued outcome in all of baseball?

–  Did you know that Jeff “Frenchy” Francoeur is tied (with Ben “The Zorilla” Zobrist) for the most doubles in the AL?  Me neither.  To put the cherry on top of an excellently resurgent season, Frenchy turned back the clock to the first year of playing baseball on 90’ bases with this play.

Come on out to the ballpark with us, Part I: A ranking of ten MLB venues

As I sat in the left field corner of Nationals Park last Friday evening, enjoying baseball, banter and beer with friend and colleague Jimmy Chiang, I was reminded once again that watching a baseball game live at the ballpark is one of life’s greatest pleasures.  The crack of the bat, the roar of the crowd, and even the occasional cry of “Get your ice cold [nine-dollar] beer here!” all make the ballpark a special place, even for those with only a passing interest in the game.

In my 24 years, I’ve been fortunate enough to visit the home venues of ten of MLB’s thirty teams.  While each may provide a different type of baseball atmosphere, some ballparks are certainly better than others, so as I wait to add to the list, I decided to rank the ballparks I have already visited.  Rankings are based not only on the quality of the parks’ bricks and mortar, but also on the experience each provides on any given night at the ballpark.  I am hopeful to one day compile a comprehensive list of all thirty ballparks, but now that I am a third of the way there, here is how each of the first ten stacks up:


Sombrero Staff Prognostications: Griff’s 2011 Predictions

National League

West Division

1.     San Francisco Giants

2.     Colorado Rockies

3.     Los Angeles Dodgers

4.     Arizona Diamondbacks

5.     San Diego Padres

Central Division

1.     Milwaukee Brewers

2.     Cincinnati Reds

3.     St. Louis Cardinals

4.     Chicago Cubs

5.     Pittsburgh Pirates

6.     Houston Astros (tear drop)

East Division

1.     Atlanta Braves

2.     Philadelphia Phillies

3.     New York Mets

4.     Washington Nationals

5.     Florida Marlins

Wild Card Winner– Colorado Rockies


Milwaukee vs. Colorado- Milwaukee wins in 5

San Francisco vs. Atlanta- San Francisco wins in 4


San Francisco vs. Milwaukee- San Francisco wins in 6

Series MVP= Tim Lincecum