Rays, not so hot right now

July 10, 2008

Here it is, the Tampa Bay Rays have lost 3 in a row, to the Yankees no less, and lead the AL East by a meger 2 games. This is a thought we have been kicking around for some time now, and we figure that now is just as good a time as any. The Rays won’t win the AL East, and they won’t even make the playoffs. Sure, all of the media thinks they are the greatest thing since sliced bread Super Smash Brothers, but the media has been known to get caught up in “who’s now” before. The Rays have several flaws that many “analysts” like to over-look. For the analysts and our reader, we have a comprehensive list about why the Rays ship will sink, and don’t worry, we won’t involve VORP or “adjusted batting averages.”

1.) Although the name has changed, these are still the same old Tampa Bay (Devil) Rays. This is a team that has never won more than 70 games in a season, and currently has 11 less wins than they had all of last season. Granted their players are maturing before our eyes, but they have not made too many tremendously key additions. Matt Garza appears to be performing well, but hey, it’s Matt Garza.

2.) Why are they so good right now? Superman Evan Longoria has helped tremendously, but he is only batting .281. Sure, he has 16 homers and hasn’t been playing the entire season, but he also has 76 K’s in that same time span. Carlos Pena, who hit 46 bombs last year, is a shell of his former self with 14 homers and his minute batting average of .233. Right now, they only have have 1 +.300 hitter. Dioner Navarro also happens to be a lifetime .261 hitter. The lovely thing about baseball, and batting average, is that is typical remains constant. A career .261 hitter, stays a .261 hitter. There might be some abberations, but .051 points is a little more than the standard deviation. The next closest average on the team is the aformentioned Longoria. Where is the offense going to come from on this team? We think Cliff Floyd is a swell guy, but he just isn’t going to cut it. I will take my chances with Manny Ramirez any day.

3.) Right now, the anchor of the team is the pitching staff. For wins, see Andy Sonnanstine. For ERA, see Matt Garza. For K’s see James Shields. Sonnanstine has nearly doubled his career win total, Garza looks stoned in his profile picture, and James Shields looks poised to have another stellar year. All of this great pitching has been going on without the mention of Scott Kazmir. He is clearly the ace of the staff, and by far the best player on the team (haha Mets fans). The starting pitching is looking good. Even in all of our negativity, we can’t deny this, but they are young. Those four pitcher have a combined 9 seasons under their belts. A youth movement is good, it is what the Yankees couldn’t put together, but youth is often seen as a detriment. The Rays have also managed to put together a pretty solid rag tag version of a bullpen. These guys are all successfull, but they but it remains to be seen if they can sustain. As of now though, the Ty Wiggington for Dan Wheeler trade appears to be going well. We will see if the staff can sustain.

4.) They play in the same division as the Yankees and Red Sox. Sure, people like to hate on them, but they are winners for a reason. Just ask Baltimore how it has felt battling them. For a team that is under .500 on the road, that isn’t a good thing.

5.) And the biggest reason is Joe Maddon. The man is a certifiable idiot; he doesn’t fight cancer, he doesn’t have an identity, and these are some of his philosophies. Many of Maddon’s “ideas” have been questionable at best. His immaturity in managing has never been under the spotlight, but if he plans on being in this race, the lights will only get brighter.

If anything is going to sustain this team, it is their pitching, but they are unproven, and the dog days of summer are coming up. We may be eating our words come the end of August, but we don’t think so.

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Voting for stuff is even cooler when it’s in the NL

July 8, 2008

Let’s get serious people. This voting business is serious, and if you don’t vote, P. Diddy will kill you. The avid readers of Awesomo probably saw yesterday’s post about who is trying to sway votes for the AL, and most likely you were thinking, “yeah that is great, but who should I vote for in the NL?” Never fear, Awesomo is here. Don’t like what we have to say, check out these jerks.

Pat “The Pearl” Burrell: WTF is the pearl for you ask? Well that is how his last name is pronounced, like Bearl. Down to the nitty gritty. Burrell is batting .277 with a monsterous 22 jacks, 54 RBIs, and his OBP is soaring at .409. A man that has stuckout no fewer than 120 in his 8 year career, has 72 already. The difference this year is that he has dropped 22 bombs, and looks to be on pace to set career highs in homers and batting average. Unless of course he pulls a Bobby Abreu and disappears in the second half. Remember, this is a Philly we are talking about.

Corey Hart: He is batting .299 with 14 bombs, 55 RBIs, and 13 more stolen bases than Pat Burrell. Aided by nothing bu fan voting and sheer Hart (see what we did there), the Brewer outfielder is looking to land his trip to NY. Too bad he isn’t that good. Better luck next year pal. The Brewers would have a better chance if they were campaiging for CC.

Carlos Lee: “El Caballo” arguably boasts the best stats of everyone in this group, .290, 20 HRs, and 70 RBI. Plus he is on our fantasy team, and we traded Kerry Wood for him. The Astros will give a lucky voting fan a free signed bat, but a Panama City radio station will give you a free hat if you vote 25 times, and said hat is for a beer company.

Aaron Rowand: He made the all-star team last year. Apart from hitting instead of Albert Pujols, it was a very unforgettable night. He is batting .300 with 8 HRs, and 47 RBIs. Thanks but no thanks.

David Wright: Wright is batting .288, 17 homers, 70 RBI, 56 runs, and 9 SBs. Probably the second best numbers after Lee. We love everything about Wright, his style of play, his attitude, his ability, this website. Some might say we have a man crush, but this year, we don’t want this man to make the team. Right now, there is only 1 Met representative on the All-Star roster, and that is fine by us. With the class that this organization has handled themselves, they deserve nothing more. It is our hope that David doesn’t make this team.

Who we are voting for: Pat Burrell is putting up stellar numbers, especially in the first couple of months, but he has slowed his pace a little, and he is a Philly. We kind of just don’t like them. Carlos Lee has great numbers, and a cool nickname. That is enough to sway our vote. Now it’s up to you.

Voting for stuff is cool (AL)

July 7, 2008

Who should be the final player on each ballot (besides those guys that get hurt and replaced, or pitch and get replaced)? Here are your choices for the AL; Jermaine Dye, Jason Giambi, Jose Guillen, Brian Roberts, and Evan Longoria. Now, here is a look at why or why not they should be voted;

Dye: Batting .308 with 19 homers, and 52 RBIs, Dye clearly has the best stats of everyone else on this list. Stats have nothing to do with All-Star voting. We are talking about the fans here. Dye is having a resurgence of his career this year for the AL Central leading White Sox (is it a contract year?), but that isn’t going to be enough.

Giambi: He is it at .256 with 18 homers, and 53 RBIs. He has worse numbers than Dye, but lucky for the mustached one he is in the midst of an incredible marketing campaign. He has also managed to increase his average 65 points since May 18th, and as always is a king of the walk and has a .393 OBP with a .929 OPS, both of which are better than Dye. Giambi plays in the big city, and will likely end up 1st or second in voting.

Jose Guillen: He is at .272 with 13 knocks and 64 RBIs. He has solid RBI figures, but plays in crappy KC. A situation like that will typically doom a player. Getting into dust ups like this certainly don’t help. No way Jose.

Brian Roberts: He clearly can’t compete statistically with the other players, except his 24 SB. With Ian Kinsler and Dustin “I hate you” Pedroia, Roberts will enjoy his time on the bench at the game. So far, of the 4 candidates, 3 have been proven steroid abusers. See we knew steroids were good for you.

Evan Longoria; Hitting .281, 16 homers, and 52 RBIs, Longoria has the numbers. Besides the fact that he has numerous game winning hits, plays on the best team in baseball, and that Joe Crede is already on the team, Longoria is a rookie that hasn’t even been playing the entire season. Of all of the players to vote for, Longoria should be the popular choice, but it remains to be seen if the Rays can get the fans to come out and vote. Seeing as how Red Sox fans have accounted for their largest crowds this season, it may be difficult. Either way, the kid is having a heck of a year.

Who we are voting for: We don’t make are motives hidden. We want Giambi to win the voting because we have tickets to the Home Run Derby presented by State Farm, and Giambi says he won’t participate unless he is an all-star. Get out there and vote.

Greatest Tennis Match Ever!

July 6, 2008

Granted that is just our opinion. To show you how much our opinion means, the only other thing that we have ever watched that is remotely close to a tennis match is John McEnroe in Mr. Deeds. That still doesn’t change the fact that this match was riveting, exciting, dramatic, and any other word you can think of that means entertaining. Our new favorite tennis player, Rafael Nadal, became the king of grass and clay, becoming the first person since 1980 to win The French Open and Wimbledon consecutively. How did he do it you ask? With heart, perseverance, and determination.

The Spaniard, that refuses to wear sleeves, led the match two love before being halted in the third set due to rain. The Brits have yet to invent a roof for their stadium. The delay was just what Federer needed as he broke Nadal’s chance for a championship to take the third set, and did the same in the fourth. There they were, the king of clay, and the king of all tennis, knotted after 4 sets. The final set gave the fans any and everything they could have asked for. It was a back and forth thrilling set as Nadal refused to be broken. For the final set, the two traded games. Each refusing to be broken. Nadal led 40-0 with the two tied 5-5 and 6-6. Federer refused to be broken as he nailed aces and took each set. Not to be out-done, Nadal dazzled with his athleticism, broke Federer with the set 7-7, and Federer was done. Nadal, possibly running entirely on emotion, grunted and groaned his way to his first Wimbledon championship. Nadal celebrated with family and Spanish royalty, and was as gracious in victory as Federer was in defeat. Apart from some awkward hand pounds, hugs, and interviewing from John McEnroe, the match and the coverage was flawless. It is nice to see a network that knows they are not the story, the athletes are. This match was a raw confrontation of two men giving it all they had, and ended as the greatest match that we had ever scene, and arguably the greatest tennis match ever played. In all, it has been a pretty good summer for Spain.

Hot Chicks and Clicks- No Asterisks Edition

July 3, 2008

Read the rest of this entry »

Boob Tube Time: Back to back with the IB

July 1, 2008

ABC Stooge: Now that the writer’s have finished striking we can go for some orignal programming, right?

ABC Executive: That is okay, we will make more reality tv. How about a gameshow where contestants run through large obstacle courses and we hire annoying announcers to make fun of them.

ABC Stooge: You mean like that show MXC on Spike TV?

ABC Executive: No. Not like that. We will use American. While were at it, lets send American’s on a Japanese gameshow. It will be a hilarious culture clash.

ABC Stooge: Great idea boss.

ABC Executive: Who needs writers? This stuff is easy.

(ABC 8:00-9:00)-Wipeout-Seriously. This has been done before.

(ABC 9:00-10:00)-I Survived a Japanese Gameshow-Simpson’s did it.

(ESPN 8:00-9:00)-ESPY Nomination Special-ESPN is so hip, JT is hosting the show.

(WNBC 8:00-10:00)-Olympic Trials-Some may not care, but this sh*t is interesting.

The Show: Writing headlines is tough

July 1, 2008

Work is sort of busy, but we just can’t get into it right now. We had car problems, but that let us rent a Mustang, so we felt cool for a little. Then we remembered that we started a blog. Sure no one visits, and no one is reading it, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t post about baseball, and link to some other websites that we like. For now we are going to recap some baseball action. You want a recap? I got your recap right here

Rays 5, Boston 4; Gabe “Don’t Call Me” Gross and B.J. “What’s” Upton (Sorry that was too easy) each homered for the team that everyone thinks will need Cialis by the end of the season. For now the are 1 1/2 games up on those sorry Sox.

KC 6, Bmore 5; Miguel Olivo doesn’t need no stinkin’ maple bat. He homered to tie the game in the top of the 9th. KC gathered one more in the 11th and went home happy.

Rangers 2, Yanks 1; Arod went yard, and the team wasn’t down or up by 10 runs. Take that haters. Unfortunately, the remainder of the team wasn’t clutch, except for maybe Mike Mussina who used ice cream to power his way to 8 Ks. The comeback kid Josh Hamilton notched an RBI in his team’s victory.

Tigers 5, Twinkies 4; Joel Zumaya got a save. Not sure if that is going to be a recurring theme, or if he was just celebrating the release of “Guitar Hero: Aerosmith.”

Sox 9, Indians 7; According to ESPN “Swisher cracks grand slam, solo shot to lift White Sox to 5th win in row

A’s 6, TLAAofA 1; The LLAALALALAAofA have scored 2 runs in 4 games. Greg Smith pitched a complete game for the A’s. Typically that isn’t all that noteworthy, but CGs hardly happen, and Greg Smith is on my fantasy team, SUCKA! Sure this site updates less than we do, but we feel for them. As hardly read blogs, we need to stick together. Stick with it FSCB.

Blue Jays 2, M’s 0; The Blue Jays haven’t been scored upon in 18 consecutive innings. Maybe there is something to this whole steroids gone scoring down thing.

NL Time

Mets 1, Cards 7; Sure if you want news about the Cardinals go here, but thanks to our Jerry Manuel story, we found a link for Mets info here. Sometimes blog names are really clever. We tip our cap to that one. The Met’s lost last night, and Maine sucked.

Pirates 3, Reds 4; Griffey hit a walk-off bomb. Good for him. We know we are in the minority, but we don’t really like Ken Griffey Jr. Speaking of people that don’t like other people, Dan Shanoff sounds off.

Nats 5, Fish 6; 5 homers were hit in this game, including a walk-off by Josh Willingham to swat those pesky (g)Nats. See what I did there? It was a little play on words. The Nationals are like bugs, and…oh hell, you get it.

Astros 4, Dodgers 1; Roy “The Enigma” Oswalt pitched a gem last night but left after 6 with an injury and 9 Ks. Since both of these teams suck, I can’t think of a better place to drop this debate.

Dbags 6, Brewbags 3; The Dbacks are struggling, Eric Byrnes is crumbling, and where is Max Scherzer? At least they got a win out of this one.

Cubs 9, Giants 2; The Cubs are the best team in the NL, but struggle a bit on the road. San Francisco is a friendly place, so they decided to help a good team get better by pitching Barry Zito. Mark “My name isn’t Derek” DeRosa belted 2 homers. We launched the recap with the Cubbies, and we end with them. Check it ooooooouuuuutttt!

Et tu Brute? (A Jerry Manuel Story)

July 1, 2008

Pardon us while we use the metaphor of Willie Randolph and Julius Caesar, but these words may never ring more true than they do in the wake of the Willie Randolph firing. For all intents and metaphoric purposes Willie is the Manager, and thus the Emperor. One could not be considered a closer alley to a manager/emperor than his bench coach/spineless leech. Brutus was held in high regard by Julius Caesar and the city of Rome. Manuel was at least considered a teammate by Willie, and clearly Met management has a vote of confidence in the man. I suppose when it comes down to the actual stabbing in the back, one cannot help but point to Omar Minaya, who is cowardace personified, but that doesn’t mean that Manuel’s hands are clean, several dagger thrusts came from the one time bench coach. Messages were sent with more tact in the Godfather, than the manliness displayed by the beheading offered by the Mets and Omar in Anaheim. An in depth look at these transgressions is needed in order to truly understand the back stabbing that was performed by Jerry Manuel, and the Mets organization.

In order to understand the depth of this conspiracy, lets delve into Manuel’s actions, or lack their of. When Manuel was called to the forefront of Met upper management, he very quickly offered his keys to success, which include resting certain players, shuffling the lineup, and of course simplifying. Manuel is a man that is a little full of himself, clearly evident in this article where he feels that he is the Gandhi of baseball.

The article explains how Manuel is often heard, and typically makes his opinion’s known. Where was this fantastic insight over the waning months of Willie’s Met career? Manuel was noted by other coaches as not implementing key baseball strategies to key Met personnel. The only talking he would was to tell players of critical comments made by Willie, in closed door meetings with management, as part of player evaluation. Willie’s straight forward demeanor made him unpopular with several players including stars like Beltran and bums like Delgado. Manuel wasn’t only complaining to players, but also to management. The incessant whining from the supposed heir to the thrown is well documented through encounters with knife wielding VP of player development Tony Bernazard. Manuel’s other nugget of insight, over Willie’s last few days, was to give rest to some of the best players (Wright and Reyes). Granted they may be tired, but Willie’s job depended on their performance. Apparently, in the end that didn’t matter as Willie won 5 of his last 7. Met management blamed the New York media, team dissention, and a general feel of uncertainty among the players as reasons for Willie’s firing. This sounds like a group of men that are grasping for any excuse to fire the leader of an underachieving team. Some of the Metropolitans maybe be quick with the feet, but not quick on the wit, and dizzying comments from management surely didn’t help the situation. The Mets played a daily version of who’s line is it anyway?

Highly touted pitching coach Rick Peterson, the not so lucky version of Mark Antony, is also a listed casualty of the midnight massacre. Clearly, Billy Wagner blowing 3 straight save chances is Peterson’s fault. Wagner feels that a simplistic pitching approach offered by Dan Warthen is the answer. Who cares about stats or scouting reports? Those things are overrated anyway.

Here at Awesomo, we can only hope that the Mets suffer a similar fate to those famous Romans that stood on the steps of the Senate. People are often punished for their dastardly acts. Currently, the Mets sit at 1 game under .500, and they are headed by a coward, a snake, and an idiot. After all of this dissention, we can only muster one thought…Bring back Bobby V!

PING! I hope the BCS was watching

June 26, 2008

The Fresno State “Don’t Call Me Cinderrella” Bulldogs became the national champions of college baseball at the College World Series (that sentance is a bit of an oxymoron). Steve Detwiler was a one man wrecking crew, with “one thumb” (he actually has two thumbs, but ESPN insists he has only one). The RF drove in all 6 of his teams runs, and recorded the final out, but Detwiler reminded interviewers that the victory was a team effort. It was a beaten down Bulldog team at that. They had injuries to their best pitchers, injuries to their best players, a low RPI, a low batting average, and a high ERA. ESPN announced that the team scored an average of 6+ runs a game which was good enough for 102nd in the nation (possibly the most unlikely championship ever). It turns out, that is just how Bulldogs like it, unless you are from Georgia. (For the entire game recap, check out this live blog)

With all of that lined up, Fresno shouldn’t have won. They shouldn’t have even been there. As a matter of fact, if this was the BCS, they wouldn’t have had the chance. They most likely, wouldn’t have even gotten a BCS game. If there was ever a case against the BCS, it is the way that baseball runs their championship (and basketball for that matter). All the little guys are asking for is a chance. They might not win often, but every now and then, they just might shock you. Not too many people in the world cared about Fresno St. before this championship (hell, not too many people cared about the city of Fresno), but for one week people cared. For one week they weren’t the little guy. They don’t want to be known as Cinderella, and they won’t. From now on, they will be known as champions.

PING! Pick your Bulldog

June 23, 2008

If a college baseball tournament is played, but it is televised on ESPN Classic, does it make a sound? Much of the world has become disenfranchised with the WWL, the 4 letter word, the propaganda machine that is ESPN. Myself included in this group. I have pretty much come to terms with ESPN and their endless rants, lack of accountability, and recyclying of the same story…(T.O.?) Really, those things don’t bother me anymore, but their latest programming decision has me baffled. Why was one of the final games of the College World Series buried on ESPN Classic? One might think that perhaps there was a major sporting event that was taking place. Something like Eurocup, or maybe even olympic gymnastic qualifying, but that was not the case. The College Baseball World Series wasn’t even good enough for ESPN2 because of re-runs of the 2007 World Series of Poker. That is right, something that took place a year ago, has already been seen, and is seriously waning thanks to the constant barrage of coverage from the WWL, is what bumped one of the most improbable runs in college baseball history. How college baseball continues to be constantly put on the backburner of the sports pyramid is beyond me, but programming decisions like those made at ESPN certainly don’t help. For those of you not lucky enough to be in Omaha, or catch the game on channel 140 (cablevision customers only), we have a recap of the weekends college action right here for you.

UGA 10, Stanford 8 (Game 1); And game 1 was all the Bulldogs needed. The Cardinal came into the game needing to take 2 from the undefeated Bulldogs, and didn’t even get one. Stanford decided that they liked to play down multiple runs. Facing deficits of 5 or more throughout most of the game. The Cardinal continued to play, and even brought the game to 2 in the 9th, on a homer by Ben Clowe, but that wasn’t enough, and the Bulldogs advanced.

UNC 4, Fresno State 3 (Game 1); On the brink of elimination, the Tar Heels led off the 8th with a double. The obvious baseball decision here is to bunt. Chad Flack attempted to do just that. Having been the clean-up hitter for most of the season, he wasn’t very good at sacrificing. As our coach always said, “the bigger the game, the bigger the bunting game.” Turns out this adage wasn’t entirely true. After Flack’s failed bunt attempt, he launched this towering homer into the stands for the go ahead run. Big Mo was on the side of the Tar Heels, and so was their ace, who would pitch game 2.

Fresno 6, UNC 1 (Elimination Game); The team that many had picked to win the whole enchilada had rallied from the losers bracket, and was facing a team that appeared to lack any real definition. Some idiots even predicted Fresno to be 2 and done. UNC also had their “ace” on the mound. A man that was 22-2 in his college career. One of his two losses came earlier in the week to Fresno State. When the cards are all in line, that is when the house seems to come crumbling down (thank you medal bats). The Tar Heels looked to be off to a good start, as they led off the game with a double, but Cinderella kept on her slipper and got out of the jam. The Bulldogs went on to strike first, and wouldn’t stop striking. They scored in 4 consecutive innings, including 2 crooked numbers. Now this years Cinderella has a ticket to the ball.

Prediction: Lucky for the fans, we can catch tonight’s action on ESPN2 at 7, and the great programmers at the 4 letter have given us the privilege of watching the kiddies on ESPN on Tuesday and Wednesday. Our prediction for tonight, pain! That is at least for Fresno State 3B, Tommy Mendonca,¬†who has two dislocated and two bruised fingers in his throwing hand, and a laundry list of other players with injuries from a broken hamate to a chipped tooth. They have all played with the injuries thusfar, and there is no reason for one to think that will hold them back. In a pure match-up, the FS Bulldogs are a weaker in pretty much every facet, but they have been that way for the entire postseason. We are going to pick the FS Bulldogs because they “want it more,” which isn’t a real attribute. Oh well, who needs reasoning?