Sunday, June 24, 2012

Quintin Berry

BA, Runners in Scoring Position (min. 25 AB)
.448 Quintin Berry (Tigers) 29 AB
.429 Daniel Nava (Red Sox) 49
.426 Skip Schumaker (Cardinals) 47
.410 Evan Longoria (Rays) 39
.409 Jonathan Lucroy (Brewers) 66

If you don't follow the Tigers, you might not know about the saga of Quintin Berry. Against all odds, he has seemingly played his way into the starting lineup on most days.  Since being called up for his Major League debut on May 23 to fill in for an injured Austin Jackson (at the age of 27 after being released from several other organizations), he has hit over .300, has a .396 OBP and 11 steals (and hasn't been thrown out once). 

He has managed to stay in the starting lineup for the most part with Andy Dirks on the DL and with the struggles of Delmon Young and Brennan Boesch.  The local experts seem to almost uniformly agree that this won't last but that he should be playing until the league figures him out, at which point he can be a valuable bench player. 

I have thought that the odds are that he's not a future All-Star, but now I'm not so sure.   Sure, 29 AB isn't a huge sample size, but he seems to hit when guys are on base.  He needs to cut down on the strike outs (30 in 97 AB), but that's not an uncommon problem.  He has great speed and an ability to steal bases (something the Tigers aren't exactly known for). 

Who is another player similar to Berry?  Maybe Scott Podsednik.  Podsednik was a 3rd round pick in 1994 (Berry was a 5th rounder in 2006), and didn't make it to the majors until 2001 with the Mariners.  He was claimed off waivers by the Brewers in 2002 and came in 2nd in Rookie of the Year voting in 2003.  He was traded to the White Sox and was a key part of their World Series team in 2005.  He led the NL in stolen bases in 2004 (with 70) and has 307 in his career.  He's been slowed by injuries in recent years (and is on the DL now with the Red Sox). 

He made one All-Star team and is not going to the Hall of Fame, but he had a nice career and most people probably wouldn't have predicted that when he was a 26 year old player that had been released by several teams.  Is Quintin Berry capable of doing this?  It is still too early to know, but he is making it easier to believe with every game.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Are the Royals a sleeper playoff contender?

It might be hard to believe that a team with an 11-20 record at home is a playoff contender, but there are some other factors that make it a distant possibility.  They started off 0-10 at home, and have gone 11-9 since.  They are 20-16 one the road, which is the 2nd best in the division. 

They are in a weak division where it is possible that no one runs away with it (and might be one of those rare divisions where 85 games might win it).  Their pitching has gotten better each month (although their hitting needs to improve a lot.  It is a longshot, but they are only 4.5 games out of first place and no one show any signs of taking over.

Guest Post - 5 Reasons Baseball is America's Favorite Pastime

5 Reasons Baseball is America’s Favorite Pastime

Hot summer days spent out at the ballpark, cold frothy beers or icy sodas in hand, a bag of peanuts resting on your lap… Baseball has long been hailed America’s favorite pastime. Who doesn’t love the crack of the bat making contact with the ball, and the anticipation that builds as the ball soars through the air, each fan holding their breath in anticipation… and letting a collective sigh, whether out of relief or frustration, when the play is made. If you still are harboring any doubts as to why baseball is America’s pastime, here are five reasons why it’s been cemented into our hearts:

1. It’s easy to follow – There aren’t a lot of tricky plays or schemes in the sport of baseball, making it easy for kids and adults both to not just watch the sport but truly understand what’s happening. Instead of having to scrutinize each play and drag on time-outs for hours, the plays are fast, clean, and easy to understand.

2. You get to eat hot dogs – Come on, you can’t mention baseball without mentioning hot dogs! Every game is an excuse to get a foot-long loaded with mustard and relish to enjoy while you’re sitting in the stands watching yet another home-run sail across the outfield. Paired with a bag of peanuts and an ice-cold beverage and you’ve set the perfect tone for a relaxing, delicious day.

3. It has history – Baseball has been around for hundreds of years, and there aren’t many people who don’t know baseball greats like Babe Ruth or Joe DiMaggio. Even kids who were born years after these baseball legends have passed on still collect their iconic baseball cards and can recite stats on the players with fervor.

4. It’s a family sport – A day spent at the ballpark with the family paints a picture-perfect summer afternoon. With the kids waving baseball mitts and sporting baseball caps, and everyone decked out in their favorite player’s shirts, it’s a game that appeals to both men and women, young and old alike.

5. It takes the perfect amount of time – Baseball haters have touted that baseball is too long, but in reality most games take about three hours total. That’s just long enough to occupy an afternoon, but short enough that by the time the kids are getting bored its ending. The perfect amount of time for the perfect sport.

While football may be the most popular sport, baseball will always be America’s favorite pastime. You just can’t deny the smile that spreads across your face when that opening pitch is thrown, when you’re favorite pitcher delivers the perfect game, or when a grand slam wins the game in the bottom of the 9th. You may say some other sport, but I say take me out to the ball game!

Author Bio

Melanie Slaugh is enthusiastic about the growing prospects and opportunities of various industries and writing articles on various consumer goods and services as a freelance writer. She writes extensively for internet service providers and also topics related to internet service providers in my area for presenting the consumers, the information they need to choose the right Internet package for them. She can be reached at slaugh.slaugh907 @

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Starters and Relievers

Starting Rotation, ERA
1. Nationals (#11 in 2011)
2. Dodgers (#3)
3. Giants (#2)
4. Rays  (#4)
5. Angels (#5)

Bullpen, ERA
1. Orioles (#27 in 2011)
2. Pirates (#20)
3. Reds (#11)
4. Yankees (#4)
5. Rangers (#26)

Monday, June 4, 2012

Darren Oliver

50+ Games, 2.90 ERA or lower, 2009-2011
Mariano Rivera
Darren Oliver
Heath Bell

It is still relatively early, but it looks like Darren Oliver might be the only one to do this again in 2012 (Rivera is hurt and Heath Bell has an ERA of 6.65).  He's 41 years old, with his 9th different team (including 3 different stints with the Rangers).  He might have been better off being a reliever his entire career (his career ERA would probably be a lot lower than 4.58). 

Oliver has pitched in 21 games (18.2 IP) this year and has an ERA of 1.93.  He still doesn't have a World Series ring (he came really close last with the Rangers in his first trip), so he might not be finished for a while.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Runs, April vs. May

April, Runs
#1 Red Sox (#7 in May)
#2 Rangers (#1)
#3 Yankees (#22)
#4 Braves (#8)
#5 Cardinals (#2)
#6 Rockies (#4)
#7 Rays (#23)
#8 Blue Jays (#6)
#9 Astros (#25)
#10 D-Backs (#26)

May, Runs
#1 Rangers
#2 Cardinals
#3 White Sox (#21 in April)
#4 Rockies
#5 Phillies (#25)
#6 Blue Jays
#7 Red Sox
#8 Braves
#9 Orioles (#12)
#10 Marlins (#28)
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