Yes, it’s been awhile since we’ve had a Chapman in the news, and in honor of having the same last name as Cuban pitching sensation Aroldis Chapman, who will be showcasing his pitching on Tuesday for a handful of teams. It’s really the first time most will see him pitch live. He’s a 21-year-old lefty that is asking for Strasberg type money, actually more than Steven asked for, which I thought was ridiculous. Alas, he very well could end up being the next best Chapman since Rex (details here on one of the best white dunkers)! The main question for ML clubs is whether they want to spend on someone so raw and unproven. Seeing the triple digit fastball is good and all, but how coachable is he and what kind of worker is he? They also need to know if Aroldis will be able to adjust to the U.S. after getting out of a poverty stricken Cuba. I’m sure he’s going to get paid either way, which is always disappointing to see, since he hasn’t done anything yet. Hopefully, he will do something to once again make the Chapman name relevant in the sports world! Anyways, it sounds like the Angels, Red Sox, and Yankees have heavy interest in signing him, so it seems like he’ll get paid well where ever he goes.
Tag Archives: Angels
California Dreamin: Big Day for the Sports World
In just over an hour, the ALCS will resume from Anaheim as the Angels attempt to make their arrival to the series. The Yankees have a 2-0 lead thanks to some timely hitting, and some inept defense from the opposition at the most inopportune time. Postseason legend Andy Pettitte takes the hill tonight to face off against Jered Weaver. This is obviously a must win for the Angels. There’s now way they could come back from being down 3-0 with the Yankees having home field advantage. Although Weaver is having a great season, New York’s offense can only be held down for so long, so the Angels will have to outscore them and probably even need a 4+ run advantage going into the ninth so the meltdown machine, Brian Fuentes, can preserve a victory and get them back in the series. Since this is doubtful, it’s likely the Yankees will unofficially put the Angels away, and the bandwagon fans of Orange County will quickly go back to forgetting the Angels even exist.
On the National League side, the other Southern California team will resume play in Philadelphia, where the Phillies hold a 2-1 lead after last night’s blowout. While tonight’s game isn’t quite as urgent as for their SoCal counterparts, to go down 3-1 would be a huge hole to have to dig out of. If there was ever a game the Dodgers should be able to take, it would be Game 4 against the capable but unsure Joe Blanton. Blanton is usually solid, but we all know he’s prone to give up the longball. Look for the Dodgers to even the series behind some long bombs from Manny and company.
MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL
When the 2009 schedule was released, no one would’ve been surprised to look at this game and guess that it would be a 5-0 team versus a 2-2 team. The thing is, most would’ve expected the Chargers to be undefeated and leading the division. Instead, while they’ve been underachieving, the Broncos have excelled to a 5-0 start, the first time they’ve done so since the 1998 season, where they rattled off 13 straight wins to start the year en route to a Super Bowl victory. Tonight will be a battle of quarterbacks, as the overrated Philip Rivers has just 9 more passing yards than Kyle Orton, whom you wouldn’t necessarily say was underrated, but he’s better than the blind quadrapalegic the Chicago media made him out to be. It’s hard to say how he’ll fare tonight in a hostile environment under the bright lights of MNF, but one thing is for certain. Tonight is the night we’ll find out if the Broncos are for real, and we’ll also see if the Chargers run under it’s current nucleus has run its course.
Let’s be honest here, Doin Work isn’t exactly the foremost authority on the hockey world, but a big game is going down at 7pm Eastern time at Madison Square Garden. The 7-1 Rangers, who are tied with Pittsburgh for the best record in the league, will host the San Jose Sharks. San Jose has struggled to a 4-3-1 record, but they’re coming off a season in which they had the best record in all of hockey. If they want to still be considered a contender, tonight’s game will be a huge proving ground for them. Sharks’ forward Dany Heatley scored 10 points in his first four games with the team, but is scoreless in the three games since. He’ll need to get back on track if the Sharks are going to stand a chance. I can’t predict what will happen, or even really care for that matter, but keep the Versus Channel in your rotation tonight when MNF and MLB are both at commercial.
The MLB Playoffs on TBS!
The MLB Divisional Series was kicked off today, and the most exciting game TBS has covered so far was the last game of the regular season. Not to say if your a Philly (won 5-1) or Yankee (won 7-2) fan it wasn’t a good day, but it just wasn’t all that exciting for the rest of us. The Dodgers game is the only one that’s been interesting so far. The Dodgers are currently up 3-2 going into the bottom of the 5th and are surprisingly ripping Carpenter. So this game could be promising! Watching the playoffs and the amazing last game of the regular season it has made me realize I just don’t enjoy any announcer combos baseball has to offer. Maybe they’re dumbing it down too much for the people who don’t know what’s going on, but I rarely hear anything remotely insightful. Maybe they use the sideline reporters too much, I think Craig Sager always scares me a little the first time I see him everynight. He gives me that hide your kids because I don’t know about this guy vibe, but at least we don’t have to hear them more than five or six times a game. One thing I’m a HUGE fan of TBS for having, is the pitch-by-pitch K zone up they throw in the corner for every batter. It almost makes up for the weak announcing crews that are scared to make anyone sound like a bad person. I’d love to hear them call guys out, and stop playing the soft story line. We need some more Charles Barkley’s on the air!
You can vote for more than one combo of announcers if you really think they are equally good… Is that even possible?
Some Contracts Really Are Killers
There are a lot of bad contracts for baseball players every year, but there are a few of them that must have had Ray Charles reading them over before they were inked in. In making this list, I decided to make a couple of parameters. The contract has to go through at least next season. The entire body of the contract has to be bad. For example, you really can’t argue against the $18 million Derek Jeter is due to make next year as being overpriced. If you look at how great the first seven years of his contract were for the Yankees, I’m sure there would be no hesitation in a do-over situation. You could say that someone like Eric Chavez would qualify as he’s due to make $11 million next season, and he has only played 418 games over the last 5 years of his 6 year contract. But on the flip side I can understand why they picked him to build a team around him at the time. He was never on the DL and won six straight gold gloves averaging nearly 25 HR’s and 100 RBI per season. So really when they signed him, it wasn’t quite as ridiculous as it looks. Here are a few of the ugliest contract situations in the MLB right now.
It’s hard not to ignore the third Blue Jays since they have been under the Riccardi regime, they seem to like to cut contracts short. BJ Ryan, who is now out of baseball is owed $10 million next year. I guess they shouldn’t sign pitchers at the ripe age of 30 to five year deals coming off their first and really only good season of their career. They also dumped Frank Thomas last year and nobody wanted to pick up the tab on him either. They were scared of Alex Rios and his outrageous contract, but were lucky enough to get bailed out by the White Sox earlier this week. Come to think of it, just based on these three horrific contracts, how is JP still running things across the border!?! Must be some kind of Canadian loyalty or a forgive and forget kind of thing. Vernon Wells is about as ridiculous as it gets! He’s owed $23 million in 2011 and $21 million in 2012. He isn’t a good defender, and isn’t exactly tearing the cover off the ball. He has a no trade clause as if anyone would want to take on that money. Wait, maybe the White Sox will!?!
Sorry Tony, but your Cubbies have a few monster contracts on the list. Soriano is tough to top as he’s due to turn 34 this off-season, and the Cubs owe him $18 million annually through 2014. He was a 40-40 guy when they signed him, but he was turning 31! It’s tough to justify giving him 8 years, and he may prove me wrong but since they signed him he’s been more of a 20-20 guy, and you can definately get that for cheaper. Milton Bradley is owed $9 million in 2010 and $12 million in 2011, for having half a good season in Texas before they signed him. Zambrano and Ramierez could be killers at the end of theirs, but we’ll see since they’re still doing well.
It’s impossible to avoid Barry Zito’s contract in San Francisco. He’s going to get about $19 million for the next four years, and it’s the most widely criticized contract among the baseball world. If anything, you just hope the Giants learned their lesson after this one. They really didn’t though as they overpaid for Renteria this offseason, but not to the extent of Aaron Rowand’s deal that is in place. Rowand is going to make $12 million annually for the next three years. He did come off a great season, but since going to SF he hasn’t really showed that he was worth the money. I think he was on the over-rated side defensively to begin with. Yeah, he made some amazing catches, but overall he isn’t anything that special to warrant that much money.
My favorite team to hate, the Angels, and Gary Matthews ugly contract will always makes me smile as long as it exists. He’s got two years left for nearly $12 million a year. He hitting a solid .250 in his Angels career and is holding down the fourth outfielder spot. Fuentes contract isn’t ridiculous, but personally I would have gone for something cheaper as he’s owed $10 million next year. At least his contract is a short one. Carlos Lee gets an honorable mention. He’s still a solid hitter, but how long can it last? He’s going to make $18.5 million annually for the next three years. He can’t run the bases or play in the outfield, so once he stops hitting it will look ridiculous. He looks to be on the road to being the next Travis Hafner, but at least the Indians only owe him $13 million annually over the next three years. As we wave goodbye to the steroid era (At least, I think) and the gross over spending on contracts for players on PED’s, I think lists like mine will shrink. If it doesn’t, we can blame it on GM’s like JP Riccardi!
Rex, A Man With His Own Agenda
As birthdays come and go, they seem to get less and less exciting. Today is my birthday, and thankfully I’m a couple years removed from those drink till you blackout birthdays. The one good thing about birthdays is that you are always right, and nobody argues with the bday person. I thought this would be the best possible time to blast my favorite announcer Rex Hudler.
If you don’t know who Rex Hudler is, you should probably thank god that you haven’t! He was a utility player that played for six major league teams over 13 seasons including the Angels for 3 of those seasons. Anyways, he never was a star, and his stats and bio aren’t the point of this post. If you were looking for info on him you should look on Wiki. He is currently the Angels color man, and is the worst announcer I’ve had to listen to. He might even be worse than this guy.
I don’t think I have ever had as much pure hatred for any other announcer in any sport. Sure guys like Joe Buck and Bill Walton annoy the crap out of me, but Hudler takes the cake. I think he somehow found a way around saying anything positive about the opposing team. I don’t mind homers, and even Jim Barnett the Warriors announcer gets pretty ridiculous with his rants, but at least he gives the other team credit when credit’s due. If you could just listen to his half of a broadcast without the play by play guy you’d think the Angels were playing against themselves. He just gives no insight to anyone except his Angels, and unless you like them it’s pretty hard to listen to. When I first moved to SoCal, I didn’t like the Angels or the rally monkey, but I didn’t hate them the way I do now. Thanks Rex for making me realize how lame your team is, and killing any chance of me ever rooting for the Angels on any level!
Doin Work MLB Power Rankings
The first Doin Work MLB Power Rankings! Sure there may be a few surprises in here, but where else can you see a westcoast biased rankings!?! I would think it should be a little refreshing after always hearing an East Coast point of view! Feel free to rip the placement of any of the teams, but this is our rundown of the league through 6/18.
1. Los Angeles Dodgers – They have the best record in the league, with Juan Pierre leading the team in average after Manny’s suspension. The team hasn’t been hitting as well the last couple of weeks, but their pitching is the real story, as they lead the majors with a 3.59 ERA and are holding opponents to a league low .235 BA.
2. Boston Red Sox – The much maligned Boston squad has surged of late to become the second team to 40 wins. They’ve ridden the success of the best home record in the majors (23-8), as well as the best record against their division (20-8). We all know about their success against the Yankees this year, but what some might not know is they’ve struggled against the AL West (5-10). Only the Orioles have a worse record.
3. Texas Rangers – Somehow the Rangers and manager Ron Washington have figured out ways to win in Texas. Will it will last through the dog days of August when pitchers usually start getting blown up in Arlington? We will see. Everyone knows their offense will hit, but can Millwood and Feldman keep rolling the way they have?
4. Anaheim Angels – This might be a little high, but the Angels have the longest current win streak in the majors. They’re also a proven contender whose main concern in the early going was injuries. They were without John Lackey, Vladimir Guerrero, and Ervin Santana but managed to stay afloat. Now, all three are back and the Angels look poised to reclaim control of the AL West. Joe Saunders and Jered Weaver have combined for a 14-6 record. If Lackey and Santana can regain their form, this team could be dangerous.
5. Philadelphia Phillies – They are (36-28) with a 3 game lead in their division, but they have struggled at home (13-18), which has knocked the reining champs down a few spots in the rankings. The placement of Ibanez on the DL probably won’t hurt them as much as their bullpen has this year as they rank 26th in pitching. They’ve made up for the pitching woes with the fifth most runs scored and the 3rd most HR’s in the league.
6. Milwakee Brewers – They seem to be back on track, winning their last 3 at Cleveland in a series that saw them put up 30 runs. They gave up 25, which could be reason to be alarmed, but they came away with the W each time. Assuming they’ve bounced back from the previous stretch where they lost 6 of 7, Milwaukee should remain atop an NL Central that is very winnable. They currently have, by far, the best intra-divisional record at 21-10. Prince Fielder, who leads the majors in RBI, heads up an explosive offense. Their fate will lie with their rotation. Yovani Gallardo is pitching like an all-star, but Suppan, Looper, Bush, and Parra will need to pick their game up to help the Brewers win the Central.
7. New York Yankees – Since A-Rod came back from the DL, Teixeira is on a tear with 15 homers and 38 RBI’s since June 9th. The Bronx bombers still have question marks on the pitching side as they are currently ranked 26th in ERA. The main question is whether the new ballpark is evening out their superior batting lineup, as they give up nearly as many runs as they score in the new version of Arlington. So far they have fared well at their new home (21-13), and have gotten lucky at times as well (Castillo comes to mind). They are only 3 games back of Boston in a very tough AL East division.
8. Toronto Blue Jays – They’ve proved they’re for real this year, especially on the offensive side. If everything goes according to plan, they should finish 3rd in the AL East! The only question mark for the Blue Jays has been their pitching, and that just got a lot more complicated with the loss of Roy Halladay.
9. St. Louis Cardinals – Big Albert has been on a tear lately slugging 10 homers with 21 RBI’s over the last month which has helped them stay within a game of the division leading Brewers. St. Louis boasts the sixth best era in the league (3.47), which has been a key in their success. Carpenter has been stellar since coming off the DL giving up a total of 9 runs in 41 innings.
10. Tampa Bay Rays – Tampa has been strong lately going 12-5 over their last 17. They are currently 3 games over .500 for the first time this season. They are determined to show that last year wasn’t a fluke, and have added to the congestion atop the AL East. They currently are +72 in run differential which is the highest in the league, so you have to figure sooner or later they are going to go on a good stretch in the win column.
11. Colorado Rockies – They have been as hot as any team in baseball, since they fired Clint Hurdle and replaced him with Jim Tracey they’ve gone a solid 14-4 since the switch. Their early season schedule was one of the toughest in baseball, which is why I think they struggled out of the gate. Their recent power surge has raised them to 8th in runs scored and they are now tied for 8th in HR’s in the MLB.
12. Detroit Tigers – Granderson and Inge are leading the charge as the Tigers look to be what everyone thought they would be last year. I would’ve put them higher but they have lost four in a row including two to lowly Pittsburgh.
13. New York Mets – This is just about the area in the rankings where the contenders segue into the pretenders. The Mets are still in the upper echelon of MLB teams, but have yet to show they can put together a full season. Luis Castillo’s game losing drop seemed an awful lot like September foreshadowing though!
14. San Francisco Giants – The offense has been bad, as expected, but they’ve managed to stay above .500 for some time now, thanks in large part to Tim Lincecum and Matt Cain, who are likely to keep up their pace. Anywhere above .500 should keep the Giants in the wild card race.
15. Cincinatti Reds – They’ve managed to stay afloat despite injuries to Edinson Volquez, Edwin Encarnacion, and I guess Joey Votto. Add to that poor starts to the season by Bronson Arroyo and Micah Owings. If the Reds can get healthy, even they could make a run at the division.
16. Chicago Cubs – Currently sitting in 4th place, but only 4 games back of the first place Brewers. The Cubs need to figure out two things if they’re going to make any noise this season: how to win on the road and how to win in their division.
17. Minnesota Twins – The Twins have been extremely inconsistent thus far, but they always end up finding a way to win. At 34-34, they are still very much in the wild card picture, but they’ll need the team to click altogether to make a run at the postseason. Their pitching won’t dominate, but it’ll keep them close and games will be winnable with Mauer and Morneau leading the way at the plate.
18. Chicago White Sox – It appears that the starting pitching has turned the corner with many great outings lately, led by Jose Contreras only giving up 3 hits in his last two starts (16 IP). The offense will have to pick it up soon if they are going to contend.
19. Florida Marlins – Ten different pitchers have started games for the Marlins this year. However, Josh Johnson has been the only one to prove he belongs. They’ve made attempts to get back to .500 but can’t quite get there.
20. Seattle Mariners – The M’s started the season making some people believe they would be a contender in the West, but since the hot start they have struggled and look about the same as the last few seasons lackluster performances.
21. Atlanta Braves – They haven’t been consistent and don’t look to be taking the NL East anytime soon, with a few good teams now residing in their division. Chipper needs to break out of his slump for them to make any kind of a move.
22. Pittsburgh Pirates – Pittsburgh isn’t in last in their division for once. Somehow they have kept it going after trading away a top player (McClouth) for MORE prospects. I guess they’re just stockpiling them for something good to come along. Their pitching has kept them in games as they are currently ranked 13th overall in ERA.
23. Oakland A’s – A win against the Dodgers bumped them up a spot, but they have looked awful in the field and at the plate. Not the recipe for success for any team. Holliday, Giambi, and Cabrera seem to be battling it out for the biggest bust on the team.
24. Cleveland Indians – Like many teams at the bottom of the rankings and standings, breaks just don’t come their way. They look good for a week and terrible the next week. Their pitching has been awful this year which, makes it hard for any team to compete. They are ranked last in ERA.
25. Houston Astros – Tejada is the only bright spot on the team being 2nd in the NL in BA, and first in doubles (23). As we get closer to the All-Star break it looks as though we’ll see what players they are going to trade away. I saw the Vegas odds on a Houston firesale at 2/1.
26a. San Diego Padres – Not much to say here, except Adrian Gonzalez’s NL home run lead was just taken from him by Pujols. They had a ten game winning streak, but came crashing back to earth by losing 11 out of 17 after the winning streak.
26b. Arizona Diamondbacks – At least the weather’s nice there, and they have Danny Haren. It was basically a matchup of Gonzalez and Haren to take the coveted 26a spot! As close to a tie as you’ll see on a power rankings!
28. Baltimore Orioles – Being in the toughest division in baseball they have shown everyone how to struggle. They have been outscored by opponents by 56 runs. It’s the largest run differential in the league. Oh and Matt Wienters has arrived if you didn’t know, oh you did, cool.
29. Kansas City Royals – They probably don’t deserve to be this low, but they haven’t shown anything that would make any fan of them care what their rank is. They have some pitching as they lead the league in complete games (8).
30. Washington Nationals – They are 2nd to last in pitching and 20th in hitting. They need to sign Strasberg and get him on the mound this year for them to move out of the cellar. They’re on pace to lose over 100 games.
The A’s Shaky Start…
The A’s have shown signs of life the past few weeks, and I’ve wanted to write a post ripping them for this uninspired season thus far, but they just wouldn’t let me do it. The last two weeks they’ve won seven of their last twelve! So my assumption is they didn’t want me to write about how crappy their season has been going. I guess, since they are in the midst of their 2nd three game winning streak of the season, I will have to ease up on some of my feelings towards this miserable start, but for the most part it’s been about as bad as it could be…
During the first series of the year, I wanted to go to two of the four games that were in Anaheim. One of the games I went to was a come from behind win in the 9th, where they scored 3 runs in the 8th and 3 in the 9th to win the game 6-4. I was so excited that I ended up buying the MLB.com package to watch every game I could on my computer when time permitted. The second game was cancelled to the Adenhart tragedy. Little did I know that this would be their only exciting game to watch over the next month and a half. Aside from Mike Ryan Sweeney’s amazing grabs in the outfield, that was about the only positive feeling I had after watching them. The offense was so bad at one point, I wouldn’t even want to look at the box score because there would be six or seven guys hitting under .200!
I WAS excited about the players that they had signed over the offseason, because it was really the first time in two years that they really seemed like they were trying to compete in the west. Many people told me that we were signing too many old players, but I didn’t really care! I was just pumped to see them actually making off-season moves that didn’t involve (insert Oakland’s best pitcher/hitter) for (three major league ready MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS)! No wonder the Rivercats are always so good… Well, here’s my understanding of what is going on with some of the players that I was convinced during the off-season would make the A’s a force in the AL West.
- Matt Holliday – He was acquired via trade, and is supposed to be our big bat in the middle of the order. Observing him closely through the first month of the year (probably even a little more because he was on my fantasy team) I noticed one main theme. He looked like Pedro Serrano from Major League, as he constantly swung at bad pitches that weren’t even hittable. I wonder if he ever watched video of himself, because if they kept a stat for swings at a bad pitch out of the strike zone, Holliday would have one per at bat! Holliday’s thought process when he goes to the plate must be something to the extent of, “Cmon Matt, hit a bomb! Swing as hard as you can at the next pitch no matter where he throws it! Then grimace and tap the bat barrel on your head.” It really makes me wonder how he could have ever won two out of three triple-crown categories in one season. I guess Coors is truly the ultimate hitters’ park, I am a believer! I can’t say I’ve been impressed with anything he’s done this year! Ok, Ok he has turned it around lately, and I truly hope he proves me completely wrong! I hope I praise him and he inspires me to write up an MVP ballot for him, but he’s got to prove that to me. The whole “not mind being traded thing”, nope, not getting into it today…
- Jason Giambi – I’m guessing that I must’ve set the bar a little too high for the Giambino, since my last glimpse of him in the green and gold was his MVP season, and well, that Giambi will never stroll to the plate again, unless he starts taking some PED’s again! During this A’s offensive struggles, he was slumping as bad as Holliday, I found myself wishing that he had never signed on again and we just had Cust hitting in his spot with whoever at first. My opinion has been swayed lately with his power coming alive a little bit. Part of his problem was the way his swing has looked this year. I guess I didn’t watch him much while he was on the Yankees (seeing him only on SC highlights). At times I’d say he looks about as good as David Ortiz this first third of the season, but at least Giambi has 800% more homers than Ortiz! Bottom Line, his bat speed must be slowing, if not, it must be his reflexes…
- Orlando Cabrera – This guy tried to find any way possible to not sign with Oakland, and in the end I can’t completely blame him, since they were low-balling him. It’s been hard for me to root for him watching him play for the Angels and Red Sox, but I’m slowly adjusting. One thing is for sure, he has been playing like an unhappy guy (.225 BA). It’s probably like when I was answering customer calls for Oakley (I really hated the job), but I needed to work, so you just do what you gotta do. I just hope something snaps him out of his funk. I’ve watched way too much Angels baseball over the past few years living in Southern California, and when he was in Anaheim he always looked like he was having fun. In Oakland he’s had the someone just told me a relative died look on his face for nearly every game. If I was playing as bad as him, I’d probably have that look on my face too. I’ll tell you what O-Cab, we’re unhappy with your play so far this year, you need to step it up!
- Nomar Garciapara – Well, he’s played a lot so far this year… I guess he came to Oakland to take Chavez’s place when he’s hurt, er, uhh, I guess now Nomar is just competing with Chavez for who can spend the most time on the DL this season…
- Our Pitching – I’ve been excited at times, and shrugged my shoulders at times. What can you expect from a bunch of guys making their first dip in the major leagues!?! I have to say I’m pleasantly surprised. If their offense wasn’t ranked 12th out of the 14 teams in the AL we’d probably be close to .500. Ok, maybe that’s a bit hasty, but they’ve pitched plenty of games that the offense could have won if they could have scored a couple! Oh yeah, have to mention Mazzaro’s first gem in his first career start going 6 1/3 shutout innings only giving up two hits on Tuesday. Anderson and Cahill, the other two of the “big three” young guys, have pitched well on and off. Our bullpen has a lot of “live arms”. I really do like our pen, we’re full of guys with closer stuff. Between Bailey, Ziegler, Casilla, and Wuertz (even Breslow) we should be able to hold a lot of leads, if we can actually get them!
I feel at this point there’s no way to go but up! I’m finally content with the way the A’s are playing as winning will cure everything. I’m crossing my fingers that the team on the field over the last two weeks is what people were making a big fuss over during the off-season. They need to be within 5 games of first by the All-Star break or it’s going to be time for this year’s fire sale! First on the block, (Matt Holliday) for (Three major league ready minor league players). I hope this day doesn’t happen too soon, as I’m just starting to get into it again!