Archive for the ‘MLB’ Category

By: Eran Fabian

This year the American League East has been like something out of the X-Files. The Baltimore Orioles are currently tied for first with the Tampa Bay Rays in the division. The New York Yankees sit only a 1.5 games away. The Toronto Blue Jays, certainly the pride of Canada, are right in it at 2 games back. Then finally come the Boston Red Sox, who most would say are playing their worst baseball in a long time, yet they are only 3 games back.

But here’s the thing, the Red Sox (26-25 this season) are playing some pretty fantastic baseball, at least offensively. They have a team

David Ortiz has been playing like he’s hit his prime all over again.

batting average of .273, 491 hits, 814 total bases, and 265 runs, all of which are 2nd best in the American League. Big Papi is having one of the best seasons of his career so far. His .318 BA, 12 HRs, 35 RBIs, .392 OBP, 61 Hits (30 of which were for extra bases) are all team-highs. And this Saltalamacchia, he’d be worth picking up if he’s available in your fantasy leagues. Honestly, it is the pitching that is just destroying the Sox. Their team 4.61 ERA and 230 Runs Allowed are the 2nd highest in the AL behind the lowly Twins. Clay Buchholz has been the leader of the circus with a 7.19 ERA across 56.1 innings. If the pitching can come together for Boston they could be scary good; especially so if this injury to Dustin Pedroia doesn’t force manager Bobby Valentine to put him on the DL.

Our friends from the Great White North have been surprisingly, well, average this season. The Blue Jays (27-24 this season) aren’t shattering records or riding some hot streak, they’re just playing pretty good baseball and it has them right in the mix. Edwin Encarnacion has been everything but average this season. He is currently hitting .274 with 17 HRs and 42 RBIs (already tying his total from last year). The Blue Jays have shown that they have the talent to succeed with guys like Encarnacion, Jose Bautista, and Brett Lawrie. Brandon Morrow has been an excellent ace for the Jays this year and if the rest of the bullpen can come together they stay in the chase all season long.

Soriano has stepped in to try to fill the biggest shoes a closer has ever worn.

Then there comes the Evil Empire. The men in pinstripes lost one of the biggest icons in the game a few weeks ago and it has shown its effects. The absence of Mariano Rivera has forced the Yankees (27-23 this season) to move Rafael Soriano to closer and out of his position as set-up man. Then the injury to David Robertson really hurt because they lost the new set-up man. Obviously, the late inning bullpen is a little less reliable than when the season started which has brought some hardship. Despite having the second highest BAA, the Yankees rank 3rd in ERA. When it comes to their approach at the plate, the Yankees have played really well. They rank in the top 5 in the AL for runs, RBIs, hits, and average, not including a 1st place finish in HRs (76). And their fielding has been excellent, as their 20 errors are the least by any team in the league this year. The Yankees are a team that will always be hanging around come October.

The top spot in the division is split between the Baltimore Orioles and the Tampa Bay Rays (29-22 this season). The Orioles have been playing really well so far this year. Adam Jones, who just agreed to a 6 year, $85.5M extension, has been swinging a white hot bat this year. His .314 BA, 16 HRs, 34 RBIs, .365 OBP, and 64 Hits are all leading Baltimore so far this season. Right Fielder Nick Markakis was just placed on the 15 Day DL today. Their bullpen has been fantastic and the play of their closer, Jim Johnson, has really helped put them where they are. If Adam Jones can stay hot, and I think he can, the Orioles could really contend for a playoff spot this year.

My Tampa Bay Rays are miraculously clinging to their spot at the top of the division. I wrote about the problems with the individual problems (like Desmond Jennings and Evan Longoria on the DL) as well as the successes (the hot bats of Matt Joyce and B.J. Upton) but I didn’t touch on their overall performance as a team. The Rays’ 400 hits is 2nd worst in the AL and their .239 BA is the 3rd worst. It is the pitching staff that has truly kept the Rays atop the best division in baseball. Their 3.54 ERA, .240 BAA, and 179 runs allowed can only outdone by the Angels. The Rays have been painful to watch at times this year but, like I’ve said before, if they can play this poorly and stay in first, they Rays have a definite shot at going far this October.

Adam Jones’ big contract comes with big expectations and he’s answered so far.

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Piggybacking off my Lo Viste article yesterday, I recently found where Marlins fans can get their hands on one of Emilio Bonifacio’s “Lo Viste” shirts. Check it out at the link below and get yours today!

Get your Lo Viste shirt here

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Troy Tulowitzki will spend at least 15 days on the DL with a left groin injury.

By: Eran Fabian

The Colorado Rockies placed Troy Tulowitzki on the 15 day disabled list on Thursday with a groin strain. Tulo had been battling with the injury for a few days now but the time has come to get him some rest and let the doctors take a look at it.

The injury couldn’t have come at a worse time for the Rockies. They already trail by 11.5 games in the NL West and now their second best bat, behind Carlos Gonzalez, has been taken off of the lineup card. Hopefully Tulo won’t need more than his currently scheduled time on the DL because the Rockies will certainly need him out there to avoid losing any more ground in the division.

Tulowitzki is currently hitting .287 with 8 HRs and 27 RBIs. He is also currently on a 9 game hitting streak.

By: @Sean_Grimm

Anyone who’s ever suited up and been a part of a competitive team knows that one of the more quirky and fun aspects of sports is the traditions and superstitions. From the “rally cap” to the high socks, the most famous and common traditions are easy to spot.

However, some of the more interesting and fun traditions tend to break the mold and can quickly spread throughout fan bases and the general public.  For example, LeBron James’ powder toss that he began using during his Cleveland Cavalier days. There is some debate as to whether or not James is the true pioneer of the act, but regardless, he undoubtedly trademarked it.

Emilio Bonifacio gets the credit for creating the Lo Viste tradition

The Miami Marlins have started a tradition of their own that is rapidly gaining popularity in South Florida.  What is it?

Lo Viste.

Marlins’ utility player Emilio Bonifacio created the tradition himself last season, but it never really caught fire until this year.  The act of the Lo Viste is done by raising your hand to your face and holding a sideways V with your middle and index fingers up to your eye.

And if you’re wondering what the English translation of “Lo Viste” is, it’s “see that”.

Now whenever any Marlin gets a hit, they can be seeing throwing up the V to their eye seconds later as they look back towards their dugout. It has become a fun tradition for the fans to take part in as well and Lo Viste has become a regular part of every Marlins fan’s vocabulary.

Some, like buddies and I, have even gotten a little creative with it. What do college kids for fun? Create drinking games, of course.  If you’re ever out in a bar in Tallahassee and see a few guys holding up V’s to their eyes, that’s us.  The last person to throw it up to their eye has to drink.

Original, I know.

What are some of your favorite traditions? Is there anything you or a team of yours created while you played a sport?

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By: Eran Fabian

Kemp is hitting .355 with 12 HRs and 28 RBIs this season.

In just his second game back after returning from the DL, Matt Kemp left Wednesday night’s game against the Milwaukee Brewers. Hamstring injuries are the most common type to creep back up on a player, especially in baseball since you’re on the diamond night in and night out.

Kemp is going to have to take some time away from the field to make sure it heals properly this time. If the Dodgers are going to have any chance at making a push in October they are going to need last year’s runner-up for MVP to stay healthy.

By: @Sean_Grimm

Everything continues to go according to plan down in Miami, as the Miami Marlins stay hot with a sweep over the first place Washington Nationals and the Miami Heat take a 2-0 series lead over the Boston Celtics.

Not only did the Marlins successfully knockoff the Nation’s Capital’s team for the third night in a row, but the also set a franchise record for most wins in a single month at 21. The win also brought the Fish within a half of a game of the Nationals for possession of first place in the National League East.

Josh Johnson picked up his third win of the 2012 season, bringing his record to 3-3. Closer Heath Bell also took another step down the path of regaining his confidence as he successfully saved the win for Miami, bringing his count to 10 saves on the year.

Perhaps the most exciting part of this run in Miami has been the bat of Giancarlo Stanton and on Wednesday night, that bat stayed hot. Stanton went 2-3 at the plate with a solo shot (13) and another RBI (39).

Hanley Ramirez’s batting average also continued its steady climb, as the newly-converted third baseman went 3-4 on the night.

With the Nationals in the rear view mirror, the Marlins finally have a day to catch their breaths before its off to Philadelphia for a showdown with the Phillies that begins on Friday at Citizens Bank Park.

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By: @Sean_Grimm

If you like baseball, social media, comedy, and complete randomness, then I have something for you that gives you all of the above in one location: Miami Marlins’ Logan Morrison’s Twitter account. You can reach him at @LoMoMarlins.

Known for his off the wall comments and constant fan interactions, Morrison has quickly become one of the more popular athletes on the social media monster that is Twitter.

And if you don’t believe me, check out the response our very own JP Ross got from him a few months ago.

Morrison is known for being quite personable on Twitter.

So there you have it, give this guy a follow if you haven’t already, but I’m sure many of you have. Oh, and LoMo, if by chance you’re actually reading this, feel free to give us a shout out!

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