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Golden Sombrero: Carlos Gonzalez

Top 1: Carlos Gonzalez struck out on a foul tip against Ryan Vogelsong

Top 4: Gonzalez called out on strikes against Vogelsong

Top 6: Gonzalez struck out swinging against Vogelsong

Top 9: Gonzalez struck out swinging against Brian Wilson

Final Line: 0-for-4, 4 K

Notes: CarGo struck out swinging in each of his four at-bats on Sunday against the San Francisco Giants.  Three of his strikeouts were against Ryan Vogelsong, who is pitching out of his mind right now.

Total 2011 Sombreros: 37

The Future of Catching and the Draft

With the draft quickly approaching and in light of the incident with Buster Posey at the plate a week ago, I think it makes sense to look at the catcher position and the future of it within the draft.  Granted I probably would not even have considered this if the two best catchers in baseball weren’t currently on the disabled list, but that hardly makes anything about the inherent risks of the position less true.  No reader of this site requires an explanation of these risks and the dangers of the catcher position, but I am skeptical many would disagree that it’s about time the offensive catcher disappears from baseball, and it starts with the draft.


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:


Golden Sombrero: Chris Iannetta

Top 2: Chris Iannetta struck out swinging against Kyle Kendrick

Top 3: Iannetta called out on strikes against Kendrick

Top 5: Iannetta struck out swinging against Danys Baez

Top 7: Iannetta struck out swinging against Scott Mathieson

Top 9: Iannetta flew out to right field J.C. Romero

Final Line: 0-5, 4 K

Notes: Not only did Iannetta wear the golden sombrero on Thursday, he also was kind enough to leave six runners on base in the Rockies 7-1 win over the Phillies.  Luckily for he and the rest of the Rockies’ offense, Jason Giambi picked up the slack, accounting for all seven runs thanks to three home runs.

Total 2011 Sombreros: 26

Top 50 Prospects Update: Arenado, Jackson, Dominguez, Lee and Green

With the first month of the MLB season in the books, and some of the baseball’s best prospects now suiting up for their respective big league squads, it’s time to reflect on the performances of our Top 50 Prospects.  Today we look at 44-40, which include: Nolan Arenado, Brett Jackson, Matt Dominguez, Zach Lee and Grant Green.

44. Nolan Arenado, 3B, Colorado Rockies

High-A: .248/.280/.316, 8 2B, 12 RBI, 5 BB, 16 K, 2 SB

43. Brett Jackson, OF, Chicago Cubs

Double-A: .295/.420/.518, 7 2B, 3 3B, 4 HR, 17 RBI, 24 BB, 30 K, 13-for-15 SB

42. Matt Dominguez, 3B, Florida Marlins

N/A; Injured

41. Zach Lee, RHP, Los Angeles Dodgers

Class-A: 3-0, 1.17 ERA, 30.2 IP, 11 BB, 28 K, 1.272 WHIP,

40. Grant Green, SS, Oakland Athletics

Double-A: .293/.364/.421, 9 2B, 3B, 2 HR, 24 RBI, 14 BB, 30 K, SB