With the season coming close to an end I'm feeling a bit blue... It's been such a great year for baseball! & isn't it every year? That's what I love about this game, you never know what you're going to get season after season. New stories are written and shared between fans, players and generations. This week I picked a few stories that I thought were worth mentioning. Please feel free to leave comments & you may get to go to a Mets game on me =)
I have! It seems to me like every week I read a story about someone getting hit by a pitch. Let’s see: Youkilis charges the mound, chucks his helmet and tackles a pitcher. Prince Fielder tries to barge into the opposing clubhouse. Ian Kinsler gets off the ground and confronts the catcher. Just to name a few. And then there were the few that weren’t so lucky—David Wright, Scott Rolen and Edgar Gonzalez are on the disabled list because of beanballs (Defined: "Beanball" is a colloquialism used in baseball, for a ball thrown at an opposing player with the intention of striking him such as to cause harm, often connoting a throw at the player's head (or "bean" in old-fashioned slang). August is typically the month when a lot of big league batters get notched. An average of 314 hitters were plunked in August during the previous four seasons; the rate is under 300 in every preceding month over the same span, according to STATS. So maybe this occurrence is more highly publicized this year.
I wanted to quickly mention this story, I never see this team in the headlines and they deserve a shutout. It seems like the Nationals knew they needed to sign No. 1 overall draft pick Stephen Strasburg. And they got it done, agreeing with Strasburg on a record-breaking contract worth $15.1 million over four years. Let’s hope that this will help the struggling last place team (someone always has to be in last place). Strasburg gets a $7.5 million signing bonus payable over three years. His 2009 salary is the $400,000 minimum, which comes to $102,732 for the remaining 47 days of the season. He gets $2 million in 2010, $2.5 million in 2011 and $3 million in 2012. Good luck to the Nationals!
First of all I wanted to cite this: According to the National Press Manny says there’s no list anymore. (What?) He says he was chewing potassium gum in 2003. Right…. Is that weird or what? Does he think that this whole thing is just a BIG joke? Maybe… Manny also loves guessing and he’s simply guessing wrong. Batting .252 since the All-Star break, Manny played as his team lost again on Wednesday night against the Cardinals. Is Manny worried? “Me?” he says. “Don’t worry about me. I’ll be fine. Remember, I’m almost in the 600 club. Relax.” (does that mean that you don’t have to try anymore? What about your team? This isn’t just about you!) While talking to the reporters he was dancing around the clubhouse, yes, dancing! “I’ll hit,” he says. “Don’t you worry.” OK Manny!
Friday night Ellsbury swiped a base to tie the Red Sox record of 54 steals set by Tommy Harper in 1973, as the Yankees broke a seven-game losing streak at Fenway Park. Nick Swisher reached for the 29th straight game, the longest current streak in the majors. Hideki Matsui hit 2 homers and drove in a career-high seven runs, A-Rod went 4 for 4 and Jeter went 3 for 6, actually lowering his batting average over an 11-game stretch to .543 (25 for 46). New York also led 12-1 after 4 1/2 innings. What a night & at Fenway of all places! Some cool game facts: Yankees’ 20 runs and 23 hits were its most since it had 21 runs and 25 hits against Tampa Bay on July 22, 2007. The 20 runs also were the most allowed by the Red Sox since the Yankees scored 22 on June 19, 2000, at Fenway Park.
Right after New York’s big night the spotlight went back to Boston. With Youkilis hitting 2 homers and tying a career high with six RBIs, Boston beat the Yankees with a 14-1 win on Saturday. New York dropped to 15-4 in their last 19 games, a stretch that includes a four-game sweep of Boston. Their AL East lead over the Red Sox fell to 6 1/2 games (still a good lead!). Surprisingly Jeter went 0 for 3 after entering the game on a 25-for-46 roll. At least this series won’t be a sweep.
I was surprised to see anyone bad-mouthing Jeter. To me he always comes off as one of the most genuine big leaguers. Look what Rice, a Hall of famer said about our clean cut good doing Jeter: “You see a Manny Ramirez, you see an A-Rod, you see [Derek] Jeter … Guys that I played against and with, these guys you’re talking about cannot compare,” said Rice, who coincidentally or not mentioned the three highest paid players in the game today. If that wasn’t enough, Rice also said, “We didn’t have the baggy uniforms. We didn’t have the dreadlocks. It was a clean game, and now they’re setting a bad example for the young guys.” Honestly I think that he meant to say A-Rod instead of Jeter, sometimes people mix those two up. But what’s even better is that Rice was trying to say that he was misquoted. Right… You put your foot in your mouth Mr. Hall of Famer! “Misquoted?” Jeter said. “How was he misquoted?”
I saw an article which talked about the Mets and how after 40 years they’re still filling seats. There was a mention of Jerry Manuel who was 15 when the Miracle Mets came out of nowhere to win the 1969 World Series. As far as I’m concerned the Miracle Mets are dead this season. Being a Mets season ticket holder I can personally say that we haven’t been able to sell any tickets for the last month of the season. Even the Mets/Phillis games were dead! I was surprised because I thought that there were quite a few Phillis fan in NYC. If anyone wants pair of FREE Mets tickets make sure to leave a comment.