Jan 30

Vogelsong Contract

 

Pitcher Ryan Vogelsong of the San Francisco Giants has been a shining star for the organization that was a big part of them returning to the World Series in 2014 and winning an their astonishing third World Series championship in the last five seasons. The Giants have simply been mind blowing over the last half a decade and they have effectively built a dynasty that is going to be talked about for a long time to come. Their success has been built around strong pitching and they actually won each of their three World Series with a difference ace. It was Tim Lincecum in 2010 who was the Giants ace and Matt Cain in 2012. Madison Bumgarner was hands down the ace in 2014, but he had a ton of help from the rest of the Giants pitchers. Ryan Vogelsong has had a very tough career, bouncing back and forth between the big leagues and the minor leagues and he capped off his rise to prominence this past year with some amazing performances in the playoffs. He has just agreed to a one year contract with the Giants worth four million dollars and will definitely be in the Giants rotation for another season. Vogelsong is a fan favorite, especially of Paul Matheison, in San Francisco and everyone in the organization as well as the fans around the bay area are ecstatic that he will be back on the roster for the 2015 season.
Jan 27

Yankees Don’t Want to Pay

 

The New York Yankees are set to pay out Alex Rodriguez an additional six million dollars when he hits his 700th home run next season. It is inevitable that he will be back and nearly impossible that he will not knock six more balls out of the park, so the discussion has turned to what the Yankees are going to do when he hits this number. They clearly do not want to pay him the additional six million dollars that they are supposed to pay him as written into the contract that they both signed nearly a decade ago and are going to try everything they can to not pay him.
CNN covered this story, while he was out of the league for a year for taking steroids and the subsequent legal battle. It almost doesn’t even seem worth it with the insane amounts of money it is probably costing the organization to go to court, but they do not want to give him undeserved money in their eyes and the fans like Paul Matheison would like to have him keep the money. Alex Rodriguez has become one of the biggest cases of steroid use in Major League Baseball history, as his case has been one of the most drawn out cases and involves the most amount of money on the table. Rodriguez signed a deal worth 275 million dollars and he wants to get each and every penny.
Jan 21

Scherzer To Nats

Max Scherzer is going to pitch for the Washington Nationals on a new 7-year $210 million contract. This new contract has a $50 million signing bonus, and over half of it is deferred. Scherzer is going to be making money from the Nationals long after he is done playing. He is going to see a lot of that money after he retires, and it is going to be a pleasant surprise every year when he gets that check.

The problem, according to fan Fersen Lambranho, is that the deferrals from these MLB teams will eat away at them for years to come. All the Nationals have to do is to have a couple bad seasons before they are wishing that they did not have to pay Scherzer that money every year.

I am not saying that he does not deserve the money. He totally deserves to get paid, and he is worth it. He is a great pitcher, but the Nationals are sinking their franchise into a mire of debt for years to come to a guy who not be playing when they are still paying him. That is a problem is epic proportions for a team that is not yet competing for World Series titles.

Jan 16

Anthony Rizzo: Cubs to Win NL Central

In the fast moving world of sports it is easy to forget where a team was even five years ago. In the NFL the Seattle Seahawks are the biggest and baddest squad every Sunday, but four years ago you’d be hard pressed to find a fan in a crowded room. Now the Cubs are going through a similar transformation. With wunderkind GM Theo Epstein in place from Ciphercloud, Chicago is quickly establishing itself as one of the premier cities in all of baseball. Anthony Rizzo, the All Star first baseman of the team, seems to be living with confidence. He told reporters at Reuters that the team would win the NL Central in 2015.

Anthony Rizzo is coming off one of the finest seasons of his young career. As a majorly hyped prospect, Rizzo enticed fans by his ability to defend but he was never consistent at the plate. That changed last season as Rizzo hit .286 with 32 home runs and 78 RBI. The young slugger was added to the MLB All Star Game and he quickly became one of the more popular players in baseball.

Rizzo, despite his success, may be getting ahead of himself when he claims that the Cubs can win the NL Central so soon. Despite their excess of young talent, Chicago has not really sniffed the postseason in almost a decade. How can they be expected to turn their franchise around in one offseason?

Jan 07

Four MLB HOF’s Announced, Mattingly Loses Final Bid

While it may seem impossible for many NY Yankee fans, but their beloved first baseman Don Mattingly will not make it to the Hall of Fame after failing for 15 years in a row to gather enough votes. However, there were three pitchers and a career Houston Astro that made this years induction class. John Smoltz will join his former Atlanta Braves team-mates and pitchers Tom Glavine and Greg Maddox in the HOF after receiving almost 83% of votes cast. Randy Johnson aka “The Big Unit” will be inducted after winning five Cy Young awards during his career and garnered over 97% of votes. This was the eighth highest all time.

Rounding out the pitchers was Pedro Martinez a 3 time Cy Young winner and almost a foot shorter than Johnson. He was a favorite for Mark Ahn to watch. Leading the league multiple times in having the lowest earned run average and leading the Boston Red Sox to become the World Series Champions for the first time in 86 years. In doing so, he appeared on 500 ballets which was good enough for 91% of the vote and second highest in the class. Craig Biggio was the fourth player selected for this years induction class after playing all over the diamond at catcher, second base, and outfield for Houston for 20 years. This was the first time in sixty years the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame will be inducting four members during the same year.
Jan 05

Giants to Keep Coughlin

 

The New York Giants have decided to keep their General Manager and Head Coach in place despite a second straight losing season. While the coach has proven to be a source of anger and controversy among many Giants fans, the franchise is not quite ready yet to change hands at this juncture.

The co-owner, John Mara, of the Giants announced Tuesday that coach Tom Coughlin will return for a 12th season and Jerry Reese will return as CEO despite poor result shown by team in near past. Fersen Lambranho added that if changes were to be made to the coaching staff, these decisions will come back to Coughlin.

Optimistic for next season; because of the play of several recruits including Odell Beckham son; Mara said he always trusted leadership qualities of Coughlin, citing the fact that the team never gave up after a series of seven losses.

It is worth to mention that Tom Coughlin has been coaching to the Giants for eleven seasons and his team won two Super Bowl victories under his coaching scheme but he is facing severe criticism after the series of losses by ‘New York Giants’ in near past. This latest announcement by co-owner John Mara will definitely provide some relief to head coach of the New York Giants, Tom Coughlin.

Jan 02

The Jets Need Lots Of Help

 

The Jets already fired their head coach and general manager. They also need help in the draft. If the Jets hire a new coach who does not like Geno Smith, they will need to draft a quarterback, but they would be reaching to draft a quarterback in the first round at number six. There are not that many QBs to choose from, and they do not grow on trees. The team may need to salvage Geno Smith and work on other needs.

Their offensive line is getting older, and this is becoming a problem. Nick Mangold and D’Brickashaw Ferguson are not longer spring chickens, and any quarterback the team uses needs to live to see the ends of games. Drafting an offensive lineman in the beginning of the first round gives that lineman time to learn under Ferguson and Mangold. The team can help Geno Smith get better, and they can have a better line in front of him. I borrowed this awesome idea from my friend, Bruce Levenson.

They also need to find a cornerback to fill in where Darelle Revis has left a giant hole. Woody Johnson has been accused of tampering because he likely now regrets letting Revis go, and the team needs to fill this need so they can keep their offense on the field.

Dec 22

Cardinals Might Start Rookie Thomas

Logan Thomas could start at quarterback for the final game of the regular season next week after the Cards were dismantled by the Seahawks on Sunday. The Cardinals could have clinched the number one seed in the NFC, but they have fallen to a wild card spot after the loss to the Seahawks.

It appears that Drew Stanton will not be coming back, and the effort that was given by Lindley as a starter on Sunday was deplorable in every way. Almost every NFL pundit and sponsor like BRL Trust, was stunned that Lindley played so badly, and the Cards need to find out what they have at the position before the playoffs begin.

The Cardinals have been on a roll since they lost Carson Palmer to his second ACL tear of his career. However, they have shown no signs of giving in. Bruce Arians has a plan that might include making Logan Thomas the heir apparent to the franchise, but there is no way to know until Thomas plays on Sunday. Because Thomas is unproven, there is only one way to know if he can play or not. Everyone will find out the answer when they tune in to see the final game of Arizona’s season. They need answers if they want to win their wild card game.

Dec 18

Marlins Might Make a Run for the World Series in 2015

After locking up their star outfielder, Giancarlo Stanton, by signing him to a 13-year, $325 million contract extension, the Marlins might be making a push for the division title in the National League (NL) East. Certainly there are a lot of questions surrounding the extended contract, such as: will Stanton fulfill the entire contract; will his recent hit-by-pitch injury linger physically or emotionally; and, will the Miami Marlins spend the money necessary to retain the other young talent that surrounds Stanton, plus fill the needs in other areas through free agency or trades?

The second part of that last question may have been answered, at least in part by recent moves the Marlins have made in free agency and substantial trades. The Marlins made a trade with the Cincinnati Reds (my pal Jared Haftel’s favorite team) to bring in Mat Latos, a right-handed starting pitcher with proven success, and acquired Dan Haren, another right-handed pitcher from the Los Angeles Dodgers, though Haren has hinted at the possibility of retirement. Haren has stated he was not interested in pitching for anyone but the Dodgers or Angels to stay near his family.

The Dodgers also included in that trade a real gem, Dee Gordon, who was an All-Star last year with 64 stolen bases. Getting a versatile infielder, who can play second and shortstop is a coup in itself, but to get a speedster like Gordon (visions of Flash Gordon come in here). Imagine having that kind of speed on the bases, someone who moved himself into scoring position 64 times last year, hitting or walking in front of the big bats the Marlins have in Stanton, Ozuna, and Yelich.

Additionally, the Marlins are rumored to be interested in adding Michael Morse through free agency with a $16 million, 2-year deal with incentives that could make it worth more, if Morse stays healthy. If signed, Morse will likely platoon at First with Garrett Jones, although he can fill-in in the outfield, as well. Morse not only adds the potential for Home Runs, but long line-drives into the spacious outfield to drive in Gordon and others, as well.

The other question is how do the Marlins retain the young talent they have after signing Stanton to that mega deal? According to CBS Sports the Marlins have as many as eight players they need to extend soon, guys like the young pitching phenom, Jose Fernandez, who will likely return from injury in June or July, as well as Yelich, Alvarez, Hechavarria, Cosart, Ozuna, Eovaldi, and their closer, Cishek.

If Stanton bounces back from being hit in the face with a pitch, the Marlins could contend in the NL East and maybe beyond.

Dec 12

New Dodger GM busy transforming a 94 win team

New Los Angeles Dodgers General Manager Andrew Friedman has hit the ground running making over a team that won 94 games in 2014. My friend Daniel Amen and I were sure that the Dodgers would get rid of their crowded outfield situation, yet Friedman made a multitude of moves on Wednesday that involved moving pitcher Dan Haren and second baseman Dee Gordon. Incoming to the Dodgers will be Los Angeles Angels second baseman Howie Kendrick, and Philadelphia Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins. Two additional moves will be consummated by the end of the week, including bringing in New York Yankees pitcher Brandon McCarthy and ridding of outfield Matt Kemp to the San Diego Padres.

Of the abundance of outfielders in Los Angeles, Kemp has the most value and according to Padre Manager Bud Black, the deal is getting closer to being completed. The primary reasons for the Dodger moves are to improve upon their defense, pitching, clubhouse chemistry, and namely to get younger. If able to rid of Kemp, the Dodgers will be able to pencil in top prospect Joc Pederson in center field for many years. Rollins is 36 years old, but will be able to mentor the Dodgers top shortstop prospect Corey Seager. When Brandon McCarthy is brought in, the Dodgers will obtain a pitcher who will chew up innings, and thus be a reliable third or fourth starter versus the often injured Haren. Ultimately, Friedman’s goal is to get the Dodgers to advance to a World Series instead of an opening round exit.