Archive | July, 2013

Ryan Braun PED Users face shame. Real Brewers and Baseball Go On

25 Jul

It has been a tough season for the Milwaukee Brewers. 42-58 as I write this with an afternoon game against the San Diego Padres. They have the fourth worst record in baseball currently, and are both 20 games behind the division leading St Louis Cardinals and 3.5 games behind the Chicago Cubs in the NL Central basement.

But no one is talking much about this of course since MLB suspended Brewers star and PED user Ryan Braun for 65 games and the rest of the season. Other shoes may drop in this regard most notably Alex Rodriguez, A Rod who is the biggest suspected performance enhancing drugs user of the current time in baseball. Who knows what will happen with him. We’ll find out soon. But Ryan Braun and his suspension is a very close second in the shame of major league baseball.

We’ve all “watched and enjoyed “ these suspected steroid users over the years from Barry Bonds, Mark McGuire, Sammy Sosa, Rafael Palmerio , Roger Clemens, Manny Ramirez among others. And now here we go again with the current players although the 41 year old Ramirez isn’t quite done with a minor league contract with the Texas Rangers. But then we are shamed and disgraced by these players. And now some of the current players like Ryan Braun, Alex Rodriguez and maybe others soon.

I am going to a Brewers game in about a week against the Washington Nationals, and despite their disappointing performance, I’m looking forward to watching what I’ll call the Real Brewers. How ironic those are the same initials as Ryan Braun, RB.

I’m excited about the game and seeing the young team I like to follow.  They won their game vs San Diego last night 3-1 and have another game this afternoon as I write so add or subtract one from their record.

Jean Segura .317 BA and Carlos Gomez .297 BA both Made the All Star Team. Norichika Aoki the second year Brewers player after several seasons in Japan is hitting .294. And last Sunday  vs the  Florida Marlins, the Brewers had an exciting game winning home run from Caleb Gindi, a 24 year old left fielder. It was Gindi’s first major league homer, a walk off and I’ll show it here. http://wapc.mlb.com/play/?content_id=29015645&c_id=mil And the Brewers have won 5 of their last 7 games and maybe 6 of their last 8 after this afternoons game in progress at this writing to close out the current homestand. Stats courtesy of Milwaukee Brewers and MLB.com

The next time I’ll write will be a writeup after I go to the Brewers Nationals game on Sunday August 4th. And no matter what it will be about the Real Brewers and Ryan Braun who I think got off easy with just a 65 season ending suspension for the Brewers who aren’t going anywhere up in the standings likely this season. But the shame for Braun, A Rod and other PED users will last much longer. I’d personally like to see all steroid users records stripped or have an asterisk give the home run records back to Henry Aaron for a career 755 and Roger Maris for a season 61 in 1961,  but keep the team records. We can never totally whitewash the shame of users like Braun, but baseball needs to keep doing something to deter their accomplishments maybe a lifetime or season ban and whitewashing their records. It isn’t a perfect solution but just my thoughts. Talk soon. Doc.

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Why I think fans should have a say in the Baseball All Star Game

11 Jul

 

 

http://www.dallasnews.com/sports/columnists/rick-gosselin/20130709-gosselin-as-adrian-beltre-s-exclusion-illustrates-fan-voting-a-flaw-in-all-star-games.ece

I was reading an article this week by sportswriter Rick Gosselin of the Dallas Morning News titled “As Adrian Beltre ( of the Rangers) exclusion illustrates, fan voting a flaw in all-star games.” And it got me thinking about the All Star Game to be played next Tuesday night at the Mets home stadium, Citi Field in New York.

Gosselin like a number of other members of the media, thinks that fans shouldn’t vote for the All Star Game and the best players should be chosen by the league offices,  players, coaches and expert broadcasters and writers. And it also got me thinking how we the fans have the least amount of say and control over the games and happenings in sports, yet we put in an awful lot of money and passion.

We have to put up with player and team  moves, lockouts and strikes, rule changes and many other things out of our control. So why shouldn’t we the fans continue to have some control and vote who we want into the All Star Game. A popularity contest maybe. Does the All Star Game count for the winner of the World Series? Yes, that was a stupid league rule instituted in 2002 after a tie in the All Star Game used up a lot of players and innings.

The way I see it voting in the All Star Game gives us the fans a say and a small part of responsibility as to who gets into the game. Personally I wish it was an exhibition game again and with interleague being played all season they should see which league has the best record in interleague games if they are not going to go by the team with the best record or alternate years for home field between the leagues like they used to.

I also like seeing a player from each team in the All Star Game. For some losing teams it may be one of a few moments during the season in the spotlight, and this game is about all of baseball.  And baseball has the best All Star game in sports overall, because every team is represented. Besides the game, my favorite moment of the All Star Game is when the players of all the teams are introduced and doff their cap to the crowd.

The Mid Summer Classic. I’m looking forward to it along with the fun Home Run Derby the night before. And if a young hot star like the Dodgers right fielder Yasiel Puig who was called up to the majors in May and is batting above .400 and playing extremely well, is invited into the game well then that’s just great even if there are more deserving players according to the media and MLB people. After all in the end it was a game that was put together for the fans to enjoy. So why not keep them a part of it and give them a say in some small way.

References: Rick Gosselin, Dallas Morning News, MLB.com

2013 MLB Breakout Stars: Chris Davis, Max Scherzer and Yasiel Puig

5 Jul

th270px-Chris_Davis_on_August_10,_2011imagesCADKMZB9A little more than a week until MLB Baseball’s All Star Game and we already at the half way point of the season, I wanted to look at some of the breakout or star baseball players in the first half. There are several young and veteran MLB stars , but there are three that stand out to me so far.

Chris Davis of the Orioles has hit 32 home runs and a .330 batting average so far and could be on pace to break Roger Maris “normal and untainted” record of 61 home runs and Babe Ruth at 60 which were the single season records for home runs before the steroid era in the late 1990s and early 2000s when Mark McGuire hit 70 home runs and Barry Bonds hit 73.

But those records are tainted and as soon as a power hitting star like Davis has a big year, the naysayers and critics say steroids or HGH which is somewhat unfair until proven true and then that’s always tricky as we’ve seen with several suspected players. But a great start for Chris Davis and congrats to him.

Also an amazing start for Detroit Tigers pitcher Max Scherzer who is 13-0 after a 6-2  Tigers victory over the Blue Jays in Detroit. He has kind of passed by Justin Verlander as the ace and best pitcher currently in Detroit and Verlander is a 2 time Cy Young winner and has pitched a couple no hitters. But Scherzer is the first pitcher to start 13-0 since Roger Clemens started 14-0 in 1986 for the Boston Red Sox.
Scherzer has also matched Tigers pitcher Bobo Newsom from 1940, with 18 starts without a loss. Scherzer should start the All Star Game for the American League, and in a real outside shot could Scherzer go after another former Tigers pitcher Denny McClain’s record of 31-6 back in 1968. Everything would have to go right in the second half, but the way Scherzer is pitching right now who knows what kinds of heights he can reach.

Finally , Yasiel Puig,  the Cuban star right fielder on the Los Angeles Dodgers has been an instant success. Puig is the first major leaguer with 34 hits and 7 home runs in the first 20 games of his career. He hits for power and average, he can steal bases and he has an arm like a cannon that has already thrown out three runners from right field. It will be very interesting to see how Puig develops once  he and other players adapt to his games. And we’ll see if Puig is just a flashing star or a superstar. Some like Phiilies reliever Jonathon Paplebon have questioned his ability, while others think he could or should be voted into next weeks All Star Game even after only a month of major league play. He’s been that good, and the All Star Game is played under bright lights and for home field advantage in the World Series so its important for a number of reasons. But is Puig deserving for his short time of play in the major leagues. That is the question.

As I said there are many excellent stars in the major leagues right now but Chris Davis, Max Scherzer and Yasiel Puig are the brightest lights at this time. Best wishes and enjoy the baseball games and its stars.

References: MLB Statistics, Bleacher Report