Archive for February, 2012

As we mentioned yesterday, Tampa Bay Rays designated hitter Luke Scott enjoys a myriad of off field activities, including:

  • hunting;
  • fishing;
  • showing off his spears;
  • questioning the birth place of the President of the United States; and
  • causing communists concern.

We can now add inciting opposition fan bases to the list after his comments to Bill Chastain of MLB.com regarding supporters of the Boston Red Sox.

The fans come in and they take over the city. They’re ruthless. They’re vulgar. They cause trouble. They talk about your family. Swear at you. Who likes that? When people do that, it just gives you more incentive to beat them. Then when things like [the last game of last season] happen, you celebrate even more.

The Rays will visit Boston for the Red Sox home opener on Friday, April 14th. Should be fun.

Giancarlo Is The New Mike Stanton

I’m led to believe that it’s more than mere coincidence that the name “Giancarlo” and “giant” share the first four letters of their respective spellings.

Miami Marlins outfielder Mike Stanton has recently informed us that his birth name is actually Giancarlo Cruz Michael Stanton and the mammoth home run slugger would like for us to now refer to him by his first given name. I doubt he’ll receive many complaints over this request.

It seems that the change was the result of official documentation already referring to him by his new to us name, as well as the increasing number of teammates who have begun calling him Gincarlo.

That’s not all according to Stanton:

Everything. Cruz. Giancarlo, Mike, Mikey, Big Mike, Big Foot, Bam-bam. Man-Child. I respond to 25 different names.

While there’s little doubt that Giancarlo is a far cooler sounding name than Mike, I think Marlins catcher John Buck has the right idea:

I told him he needs to have longer hair. ‘When I think of Giancarlo, I think of someone with long, flowing hair, like Fabio. But if he keeps hitting homers, I’ll call him whatever he wants me to call him.

The Score is currently running a tournament between 64 sports video games to see which one will emerge as the Greatest Sports Video Game of All-Time (Ever).

theScore.com has assembled a field of 64 classic and modern sports games and seeded them 1-thru-8 across eight divisions: Hockey, Basketball, Combat, Racing, Football, Soccer, Baseball and Miscellaneous.

All 64 of the candidates are legitimate contenders to the crown. However, as most of us are aware, there is only one true sport worth our time and attention, and as such, I’m curious if there’s anything close to a consensus on what the best baseball video game of all time is.

I’m not really much of a gamer. In fact, MLB 11: The Show was the first video game I purchased this Century. It should come as no surprise that I am horrible at it. However, I do have fond memories of RBI Baseball battles on the original Nintendo, as well as playing Tommy Lasorda Baseball on the Sega Genesis after school at a buddy’s house.

I’m sure that my fellow Getting Blankards have a far more informed opinion on baseball video gaming than I do, so let’s hear about it. What’s the best baseball video game, and why?

Celebrate Good Times, C’mon!

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2012 Previews: The Detroit Tigers

2011 Record: 95-67, 1st AL Central
2011 Prediction:
82-80, 3rd Central

Impact Player: 3B Miguel Cabrera
Impact Pitcher:
RHP Justin Verlander
Best Reliever:
RHP Joaquin Benoit
Top Prospect:
RHP Jacob Turner

Last Year
Last season the Tigers rode the right arm of ace Justin Verlander to their first division title since 1987 and just their second playoff appearance since then. Verlander was named the unanimous AL Cy Young Award winner and perhaps more surprisingly, was named the AL MVP. Miguel Cabrera continued his Hall of Fame-calibre career, leading the AL in both batting average and on-base percentage while finishing second in wOBA and wRC+ and catcher Alex Avila had a massive breakout campaign and was probably the best all around catcher in baseball in 2011.

On July 30th, the Tigers lost to the Dan Haren and the Angels; it was their third loss in four games and it felled them to a 56-51 record, a mere game-and-a-half up on Cleveland. From that point, on Detroit was the best team in baseball going 39-16 in the last two months and finished 15 games up in the AL Central. The run continued into October when they dispatched the high-octane Yankees in five games in the ALDS before losing to the Rangers in the ALCS in six games.

With the addition of Prince Fielder to an already solid lineup, the Tigers appear poised to repeat as AL Central champs and be in contention once again for the World Series. But are there red flags abound? Are they really as good as they appeared down the stretch, or were their successes more of an aberration?

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A.J. Burnett has made 320 plate appearances in his career. He somehow managed to avoid getting out in 17.3% of those times at the plate. Since leaving the National League in 2005, Burnett has made only 20 plate appearances. He’s collected a single hit from those opportunities.

Now that he’s moving back to the National League to pitch for the Pittsburgh Pirates, he’ll have to step into the batter’s box more regularly. At Pirates’ camp today, he was practicing just that, when a bunt attempt resulted in a foul ball hitting him right in the kisser.

Momentarily dazed, Burnett dropped into a crouch at the plate after the ball struck his face. As he was examined by an athletic trainer, Burnett joked, “Where did the bone go?”

We can laugh primarily because it happened to A.J. Burnett, but also because the injury wasn’t serious.

Of note is Burnett’s 2000 season when, despite his career numbers, he led all pitchers in baseball (with at least 20 plate appearances) with a .376 wOBA. He even hit a home run that year.

Today In Poorly Formed Thoughts

Given the subject matter, we’ll keep this brief.

It shouldn’t be surprising in the least that an article praising blogger Murray Chass like this:

He has now been blogging for over three years, though I would not call it that. Chass has simply continued to write his old column, which is so far above the level of what is generally called blogging as to be a higher category altogether.

Would go on to make a mistake like this:

In his column, Chass has provided a superb summation of the press’s near hysterical reaction over an arbitrator’s decision to throw out Matt Braun’s 50-game suspension for a positive drug test.

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