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Changeups and Screwballs: A Southpaw’s Perspective for 9/20/11


–  I am finally sold on Ian Kennedy.  Dude has won more games this year than he has in his entire big league career.  And after watching him strike out six in a row in the 7th and 8th innings last night, I just can’t ignore the impression it left upon me.  He is no Cy Young winner this year, in my opinion, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make a strong argument for him.

–  With the Brew Crew signing Ryan Braun to the deal they did, the writing is basically on the wall for Prince Fielder to read.  And he has.  The thing of it is, I’m not sure the market for a $100 million first baseman is what people believe it to be.  Look at all the usual big spenders, and see that they all have their own pricey 1B’s already.  I’m just saying that the market for Fielder is much smaller than people might realize.

–  Is Brad Pitt not the most Ironic actor to portray Billy Beane in the upcoming movie Moneyball?  Seriously, you can’t help but chuckle at that.

–  Here is some neat trivia for you- Do you know who holds the highest era for a single season?  That’s right, it is Roy Halladay, who posted an atrocious 10.64 era for the 2000 season.  Now pick your chin up off the ground and continue reading. (Author’s note: Now Brian Matusz is the owner of this prestigious award; he is sporting an era of 10.68-congrats to you sir.)

–  What kind of baseball blogger would I be if I didn’t have a mention of Mariano Rivera and his record 602 saves in here?  I am still mesmerized by the fact that he has gotten every last one of those in pinstripes.

–  How about those St. Louis Cardinals?  They might actually pull off their own comeback and rip the wild card spot right out of the Braves hands.  After writing about the lack of tight races, the game of baseball is making me eat my words.

–  If you had to take one of these starting pitchers and run them out on the bump, whom would you rather have: John Lackey or A.J. Burnett?  Me, I’d rather let the mascot go out there and see what he can do…in his costume, too.

Changeups and Screwballs: A Southpaw’s Perspective for 9/19/11

–  What a weekend for baseball.  The Rays were able to pull within 2 games of the Red Sox and the AL Wild Card spot. The best play of this series was started by David Price’s chest, though.

–  Justin Verlander is a beast.  12 consecutive starts, and 12 consecutive wins.  Not to mention he has now won 24 games this season.  But that’s the obvious.  Here are a few nifty stats for you sabr-minded folks:  Verlander has a WAR of 7.0-still a full 1.1 WAR behind Doc Hallady; Verlander has guys swinging at pitches out of the zone at a whopping rate (33.8%); He is also only throwing pitches in the strike zone 42% of the time while getting hitters to swing and miss at a rate of 10.2%.  Dude is filthier than the turds I leave in the toilet after a night of partying.

–  Apparently Dmitri Young is ready to play baseball again…I know, I didn’t believe it either.  It must be that whole older brother/younger brother rivalry thing. I can’t think of any other reason for a 40-year-old 1B to come out of retirement after four years.

–  Being a fantasy nerd, and at the same time absolutely loathing reality television, I am so thankful for Grantland’s GLRTFL.  It now gives me a new perspective on watching the hideous programming that my girlfriend prefers.

–  Speaking of fantasy, here is a quick rundown of how the Denslow Cup standings are looking heading in to the final week:

  1. Asik and Destroy  ——————-139
  2. The Clownpenis. Farts  ————-137
  3. So Fresh n So Sheen Sheen  ——–118.5
  4. Dingo Teriyaki  ———————–113
  5. tits and giggles  ———————–100
  6. The Nads  ——————————-97
  7. Dingleberry Smoothies  ————–90.5
  8. The Blump Cornelius  —————–78.5
  9. Capital City Corporate Towls  ——-62
  10. Quade Steak Burritos —————–57.5
  11. The Religion of Mike Hunt  ———-55
  12. Ardi’s A-holes   ————————-44

As you can see there is quite a race for the championship.  Fellow writer Barfy is the manager of Clownpenis. The battle for 3rd is a good one too, with my team (Sheen Sheen) hoping to lock down its first podium finish ever.  Editor in Chief, Mike (The Nads), is actually losing to his girlfriend Julia (tits and giggles) but has an outside shot of overtaking her.


Changeups and Screwballs: A Southpaw’s Perspective for 9/15/11

–  Who does Shelley Duncan think he is?  He must think he is the man he makes sure all bad things happen in 3’s.  Bad joke…maybe.  But bad defensive outfielder…not last night.

–  Why in the world was Clayton Kershaw ejected for that pitch the other night?  And I better not hear the argument that he was attempting to seek revenge on Parra, either.  That means that you are telling me one of the best pitchers in baseball, a Cy Young frontrunner if you will, wanted to hit a guy and couldn’t do it?  That’s crap.  And so was his ejection.

–  You know Joe Maddon is cooler than a New Mexico winter when he doesn’t mind playing tricks like this…in the middle of a chase for a playoff spot.  And to think, that was poor little Matt Moore making his MLB debut.  Was it the trick that gave up this shot though?

–  The Astros lose again. Weird.  At least Bud Norris made this play; otherwise it was just another day at the corral for Doc Halladay.  You know the kind, one where he goes the distance, throws a shutout, only issues one walk mixed in with a healthy helping of strikeouts, and makes it look easy.  Man that guy is good.   On a short aside, I am hoping the Astros lose every single game from here on out.  Might as well make history, right?

–  Is there any pitcher more frustrating than Ricky Nolasco right now?  His yo-yo season is down right confusing.  How can a guy with that good of stuff- and it is legit stuff- not be worth the dingleberries on his own ass for half his starts?

–  Here is an outstanding article from SBNation’s baseball blog Baseball Nation.  Make sure to waste some work time and read it.


Sombrero Staff Prognostications: Justin’s 2011 Predictions

AL East:

Boston Red Sox

New York Yankees (Wild Card)

Tampa Bay Rays

Toronto Blue Jays

Baltimore Orioles

AL Central:

Chicago White Sox

Minnesota Twins

Detroit Tigers

Cleveland Indians

Kansas City Royals

AL West:

Texas Rangers

Oakland A’s

Los Angeles Angels

Seattle Mariners


Red Sox def. Rangers in 5

White Sox def. Yankees in 4

Red Sox def. White Sox in 5 (MVP: Carl Crawford)


Sombrero Staff Prognostications: Ryan’s 2011 Predictions

1 – Boston Red Sox
2 – Tampa Bay Rays (Wild Card)
3 – New York Yankees
4 – Toronto Blue Jays
5 – Baltimore Orioles

1 – Chicago White Sox
2 – Minnesota Twins
3 – Detroit Tigers
4 – Kansas City Royals
5 – Cleveland Indians

1 – Texas Rangers
2 – Oakland Athletics
3 – Los Angeles Angels
4 – Seattle Mariners