Archive for the ‘Getting Blanked Special’ Category

MLB: Spring Training-Seattle Mariners at Los Angeles Dodgers

Spring Training is the opposite of memorable. It happens and then the real games begin. Hopefully nobody gets hurt. That’s the ultimate goal for most players and fans – keep everybody on the field. As such, it makes very few spring moments unforgettable.

Spring Training lolls like a ship in a gentle current, listing side to side until the season begins and real excitement spills over for most fans. It takes a lot for spring memories to persevere.

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Atlanta Braves shortstop Simmons makes an over the shoulder catch for an out on New York Mets Turner during their MLB National League baseball game in New York

Andrelton Simmons became a rich man yesterday, inking a seven-year contract extension with the Atlanta Braves that will keep him with the club through 2021. As argued in this space, Simmons can contribute some with the bat, smacking 17 homers in 2013. But his calling card is his defense.

He’s the best defensive shortstop in baseball and there is little room for debate. Advanced defensive metrics love him (41 runs saved last year alone, according to Dewan’s plus/minus system!) He showcases every single skill you’d want to see in at the crucial infield defensive job.

Check out some of his slickest defensive plays below!

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MLB: Los Angeles Angels at New York Yankees

Few players can claim as a trophy case as crowded as Derek Jeter. A sparking 20 year career with the same team, five World Series titles, one of the best shortstops in baseball history.

He’s an iconic player and the author of some of the most iconic moments in recent history. Even if the Derek Jeter mythology outgrew the Derek Jeter reality, his role in baseball history is well deserved.

Here are six of the most iconic Derek Jeter moments from his Hall of Fame career, which draws to a close at the end of the 2014 season.

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MLB: New York Yankees at Toronto Blue Jays

We live in dizzying times. Baseball player salaries continue to climb higher as more and more money enters the game. The Players Association and owners collectively bargained to ensure the players – the active players – get a bigger piece of the pie just two years and already we see the aftereffects.

Freddie Freeman, a good if unspectacular first baseman for the Atlanta Braves, just signed a contract worth more than $130 million. Eight years is a long time and Braves fans hope his name doesn’t end up on a future version of the worst contracts list.

The same holds true for fans of Albert Pujols, Prince Fielder, Clayton Kershaw, and Joey Votto, all with more than $200 million coming their way. Will they end up among the worst contracts in baseball history? If so, they join the same names you see below.

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To match Feature SOCCER/BRAIN

Major League Baseball finally approved expanded video replay for play in the 2014 MLB season. For a game slow to embrace technology on the field, this is a huge step. It won’t change the way we watch the game or the way it is played, but it might alter the outcome of some games. Some very big games.

For fans of losing teams in years gone by, video replay is too little, too late. Fans or players who lost on disputed or bad calls can only dream of a different world where the umps got a call right.

Let’s run down some of the world calls in baseball history but with a twist – how would video replay have changed the way this game was played? What would be the aftermath of these corrected calls?

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Baltimore Orioles' Davis watches his major-league leading 49th home run off of New York Yankees during their MLB American League baseball game in Baltimore

Home runs are beautiful, magical, spontaneous things. They can happen at any time in a baseball game. They can turn the tide of a baseball game in an instant. Watching live at the ballpark, the roar of the crowd tells you all you need to know about most home runs. Sometimes it isn’t the roar at all, it’s the gasp that really sells the moment.

On TV, it’s different. The crack of the bat and center field camera don’t pain the entire picture through the screen. Most home runs are accompanied by some variation of “it’s deep and outta here!” when conveyed to the listen on the radio or the viewer on TV. It’s hard to stand out from the crowd.

But some voices break through the din. Some calls are distinctive enough to bring you to a time or place when you hear it. The greats cause the hair on the back of your neck to stand on end. Let’s celebrate the best practitioners in the game by counting down the five best home run calls in baseball.

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MLB: Atlanta Braves at Miami Marlins

It’s almost over. The hot stove season is winding down and Spring Training slowly appears on the headline. Before the 2014 season begins in earnest, lets give 2013 its day in the sun. The pitchers, specifically. Which starter hurled the best game of the year?

Below are some nominees of my choosing but it is by no means the definitive list. Enjoy this buzz through some of the best of 2013 before it all becomes another cruel memory.

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