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Posts Tagged ‘Tampa Bay Rays’

2011 American League East Preview

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Yankees PitcherBaltimore Orioles
Strengths: Manager Buck Showalter joined the team late in the season last year and turned the Orioles into a respectable team. The additions of 1B Derrek Lee and 3B Mark Reynolds will add some much needed run producers to a team that had zero players with at least 80 RBIs.

Weaknesses: There are plenty to choose from, but the Orioles are very young. The pitching staff gave up runs in bunches last year and will need to improve if they hope to penetrate the .500 mark this season. If 2B Brian Roberts returns to form after an injury-plagued 2010, things will be looking good. If he struggles, a suitable replacement is nowhere in site.

Analysis: The AL East is arguably the best division in baseball; jumping over the Rays, Yankees and Red Sox is a monumental task. The leadership of Showalter will help, but the Orioles are a young team with few genuine stars. Look for them to improve over 2010 but struggle due to their weak pitching staff.

Prediction: 5th in AL East

More 2011 AL East Predictions after the jump >>

Money Well Spent (New York Yankees)


When the Yankees spent all that money to add CC Sabathia and A.J. Burnett to the rotation, one that includes Chien-Ming Wang, for what looks like a respectable starting rotation, I don’t think they anticipated having to put Nick Swisher, another free agent acquisition, on the pitching mound — especially when you realize Swisher was signed to play for his bat and fielding abilities. Unfortunately for the underwhelming Yankees, during the process of getting their behinds tanned by the Tampa Bay Rays, their starting and relief pitching was so, well, hittable, Joe Girardi didn’t have much of a choice other than to use Swisher, making the beatdown a little more humorous for those involved.

Here’s another item the Yankees front office might find amusing: Swisher is the only “pitcher” who didn’t give up a run to the “apparently, not a fluke” Rays. Apparently, not all big money spending sprees is good money spent.

Now that the Yankees have “addressed” their starting pitching, perhaps their next $400 million spending spree should address bullpen pitchers not named Mariano Rivera.

2009 MLB Hot Chick Preview: AL East

Sox Versus Yankees

This is our first (annual?) Hot Chicks look at the upcoming baseball season. In it, we’ll feature a small, best case/worst case blurb for each team, followed by the very eye candy that drives the sports blogosphere. As you can see, we’ll be starting with the league no one ever, ever talks about, the AL East. Is this the year the Yankees (and their payroll) return from being merely “good” to dominant World Series team, or will the Red Sox, et al, be able to overtake them.

Oh, one more thing: we’re doing this in alphabetical order, so don’t think this is the predicted order of finish, because it’s not.

The AL East Hot Chick preview after the jump >>

World Series – Phillies, Phillies, Phillies!!!

Phillies Win!

Congratulations Philadelphia. Your team (finally) did it. After the weather gods did their best to delay your right to celebrate, that time if here — finally. The resumption of Game 5 was about as exciting as a three-plus inning game could’ve been. In fact, the feeling is baseball would have a lot more fans if all games were that short. Armchair analysis aside, it’s your time Philadelphia. Enjoy it.

Some particulars:

Final score of Game 5 – 4-3
Series MVP – Cole Hamels
Final Out – Brad Lidge struck out Eric Hinske
Game-winning run – Eric Bruntlett (pitch-running for Pat Burrell)
Winning pitcher – J.C. Romero (wicked, wicked double-play)

The celebration parade is set for Friday at noon. Happy Halloween indeed.

World Series – How’s the Weather?

Sunny Beaches

The edict sent down by Bud Selig and the MLB was Game 5 would be completed when the weather permitted. Judging by the Philadelphia forecast, it looks like the game will continue tonight. It’s going to be a balmy 41 degrees or so, so make sure you’ve got those bikini tops and the sunscreen ready to go.

Gloves and hats? Who needs them? This is summertime weather.

More stunted baseball after the jump >>

World Series – No Baseball Tonight

Ground Crew

So much for finishing that pesky Game 5 up tonight. MLB just announced the weather will be too bad to continue the game. Once again, if you aren’t in one of the southern states and you have ideas of playing baseball in late October, your stadium might want invest in some kind of roofing mechanism.

They’ll try again tomorrow night.

World Series – Rain, Rain, Go Away

Rainout

Perhaps last night was God’s way of telling Philadelphia fans, “Not yet. You don’t get to celebrate until I say so.” Don’t believe me? Check out a Philly fan’s perspective. Bloggers aren’t the only ones who think that either. So here we are: tied 2-2, bottom of the sixth and now we … we wait.

When the will Game 5 be resumed? Perhaps tonight, but if the last night’s weather was any indication, it might be another day or two before the last 2.5 innings are completed. So who does this delay benefit? It has to be the Rays, who just before the game was suspended, tied it up when B.J. Upton did his magic on the base paths. A timely single by Carlos Pena that plated Upton deserves all the love as well, but if Upton didn’t get himself into scoring position, Pena’s hit just keeps the inning alive.

Upton’s score was the key. Without the 2-2 tie, would the MLB officials have suspended the game? Not according to Bud Selig (it would have been called but not “completed.”)

Of course, if the game was in Tampa, the inclement weather wouldn’t be a problem. On the other hand, not everyone in Philly is blaming the rain for last night’s debacle:

In October, the game went on. And Major League Baseball should be ashamed for allowing its most important game of the year to deteriorate into an embarrassing mess because of slavish obedience to its pimp, the Fox Television Network.

Simply put, Game 5 is hopelessly tainted by what transpired between the time the game should have been called and the middle of the sixth inning, when it was finally suspended.

Whatever happens when play resumes, whether the Phillies celebrate their first World Series championship or the Rays force a Game 6 in Florida, MLB can’t justify its decision or its decision-making process.

If you look at the immediate forecast for Philadelphia, it’s hard to say when the rest of Game 5 will be completed. Maybe God will look down on the Philly fans and give them a brief respite from the rain to see if their team can finish the job.

World Series – Philly Fans Are Ready To Party

Cole Hamels

Provided the pitcher in the lead image — Cole Hamels — does his job tonight, the city of Philadelphia is ready to get down and party. 25 years of non-championships have a way of getting a town lathered up, especially when they are this close to ending their frustrations. After reports from Tampa fans about their apparent mistreatment in the two previous away games, the fact Philadelphia is getting ready to throw down shouldn’t come as a surprise.

Over at Jaunted.com, they have a list of places you can expect to see or join the carnage celebration, if you are so inclined. If the NLCS festivities were any indication …

… I would expect absolute bedlam if the Phils finish the Rays off tonight. You know, something like the Penn State celebration from this weekend, only more so.

Not to rain on any parades, but seeing how there’s a 100% chance of non-baseball playing weather in the forecast tonight, these celebrations could very well be delayed until the early morning. Although, bad weather didn’t seem to stop anyone from enjoying the game Saturday night/Sunday morning, regardless of what time it ended.