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Friday, November 16, 2012

The 7 John Doe of the NBA

How many times have you sat in front of the TV during the NBA draft and wondered who in the HELL did my team just draft?  What country is he from again?  Why did they draft him?  I've never heard of this guy, can he play?  Instead you always hear about international players being drafted and stashed for years to come.  What is our reaction?  "There goes another wasted pick!   We could have had this player who is ready to play right now.  Believe it or not, international players have proven very well in the states in recent years. Let's take the San Antonio Spurs for example.  Tony Parker (Belgium) and Manu Ginobili (Argentina) have both been part of three NBA championships playing with the likes of Virgin Island's own Tim Duncan.  There are other superstars such as Dirk Nowitzki (the greatest international player of all-time), the Gasol brothers, Andrei Kirilenko and Andrea Bargnani who have all played at an all-star level.  But there is a new crop of international players making their wave in the NBA today.  The 7 John Doe of the NBA are:

7.  Houston Rockets Omer Asik #3 Center

Houston Rockets tried all summer to lure the likes of Dwight Howard to their organization at all cost.  Instead, he took his talents out west to LA LA land.  As a cancellation prize they picked up a back up center name Omer Asik from the Chicago Bulls.  Who is second year OMER ASIK?  Hmmmm from Turkey?  He was an afterthought, especially when they made the blockbuster trade to acquire James Harden.  Have you seen his numbers?  No afterthought anymore. Mr. Asik, in his first game as a Rocket grabbed an astounding 19 rebounds against the Atlanta Hawks.  However, he did go scoreless missing all seven of his attempts from the floor.  Since then, he has managed 4 double doubles in 7 games.  His early season average is 10.5 ppg, 12.9 rbs, and 1.3 blks a game.  James Harden maybe a sexier trade pickup but OMER ASIK is starting to turn some head himself.

6. Denver Nuggets  Kosta Koufos #41 Center

First off this Kosta Koufos is from America, go figure; but he does have Greek decent and also plays for the Greek national team.  The 7 foot, Kosta Koufos,  played his college ball at The Ohio State University.  He could easily be part of a trivia question of who was the guy to replace Greg Oden at OSU (then again, who is Greg Oden)?  Kosta is in his fourth year in the NBA and has finally found a home in Denver.  In his first six games of the season he is averaging 7.4 ppg, 6 rbs, and 1.9blks.  He has already posted his first double double of the year with 15 points and 10 rebounds against Utah Jazz.

5.  Minnesota Timberwolves Nikola Pekovic #14 Center

The Yugoslavian center started off playing in the Euroleague before making his way over to the Minnesota Timberwolves.  He enters his third season with the Timberwolves and has taken on a more active role since all-star Kevin Love has been out with an injury. Pekovic has shown that he can muscle with anyone in the low post as he is averaging 15.3ppg, 6 rbs, 1 blk in the first 7 games. Nikola has two 20 point games so far.  The Timberwolves front court of Andrei Kirilenko and Nikola Pekovic will be even tougher when Kevin Love returns from an injury.

4.  Minnesota Timberwolves Alexey Shved  #1 Point Guard

Alexey Shved is a Russian born player who has been in professional basketball since 2006.  At the age of 16!  He is a member of the Russian national team and has played majority of his professional ball in Moscow before joining the Minnesota Timberwolves.   Like his teammate Nikola Pekovic, Alexey benefits from injuries to Rickey Rubio, who is sidelined with a knee injury.  Alexey is a 6'6" versatile player that can play the 1 or the 2 guard.  He has range and a quick release.  He is currently averaging 9 ppg, 3.9 apg and 3.1 rb in 7 games.  His season highs so far are 16 points and 7 assist.  He is getting valuable experience in his first year as he is seeing around 22 minutes a game.


3.  San Antonio Spurs Tiago Splitter #22 Power Forward

This Brazilian basketball player is probably the most recognizable player out of the group.  Not for his play, but because the  ESPN's personality Stephen A. Smith's screams his name out in embarrassing fashion.  TTTIIIAAAGGGOOO SSSPPPLLLIIITTTEEERRR!!!!  I don't know any team that recruits international players better than the San Antonio Spurs organization.  Splitter is in his second year with the Spurs and has earned the trust of coach Gregg Popovich.  Tiago is averaging 6ppg, 4rbg and 0.9blks while giving an average of 15 tough minutes a game.  Against the Lakers earlier this year he produced 9 points, 9 boards, 2 assists, 2 steals and 1 block shot.  He is getting valuable playing time in crunch time, and if Popovich endorses him then you know he can play.  Oh and one thing, Tiago...... Stephen A. Smith has given you enough motivation to take care of business!

2.  New Orleans Hornets Greivis Vasquez #21 Point Guard

This Venezuelan basketball star played college ball at Maryland University.   Greivis Vasquez was the top point guard in the country his senior year receiving the Bob Cousy Award.  The 6'6" point guard was traded from Memphis in 2010 to run the point down there in New Orleans.  Vasquez is averaging 12.8 ppg, 8.8 apg and 4.2 rbg in 8 games.  His signature game so far was 24 points, 9 assists and 5 rebounds against the Houston Rockets.   He is comfortable at the point guard position and should be able to put up consistent numbers from that position.

Orlando Magic Nikola Vucevic #9 Center

Nikola Vucevic played three years of college ball at USC.  The Switzerland native is in his second season in the NBA and was part of the Andrew Bynum/Dwight Howard trade this past summer.  The Orlando Magic franchise are benefiting from Vucevic early play.  After 8 games he is averaging 11.1ppg, 8.4rbg and 0.9blks so far this season.  He has recorded 4 double doubles with his best game coming against the Phoenix Suns.  He managed to  put up 18 points, 13 rebounds and 3 assists.

These players maybe average JOE right now; but each of them deserve some mentioning.  Which player do you think has a chance to be the next Dirk Nowitzki, Pau or Marc Gasol, Manu Ginobili or Anderson Varejao?
 
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Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The Top 10 Changes In MLB I Would Make If I Were Commissioner.

Allan Huber "Bud" Selig has just completed his twentieth season as Commissioner of Major League Baseball. I am here to tell him that the league itself needs a face lift! No longer do I want to sit and watch the game I love commished by the likes of a PUPPET! Mr. Selig, you are a former owner, so its fitting that your interest only favors the other 30 owners. The game has passed you by and there has been numerous of times when baseball fans across the country were in dismay with some of the decisions made in your long tenure as commissioner. I believe it is time that I take the initiative in helping "Bud" pack up his rubbish and exit stage left! Major League Baseball needs to make a change, to find their own Roger Goodell, and his name is LeRoy McConnell III. If I were Commissioner for only a day here are my top ten changes that would benefit Major League Baseball.

10. Baseball Salary Cap
First off, there will be no RETRACTING TEAMS. Everyone gets to keep their jobs! Baseball isn't watered down, we just have frugal owners who have no business owning a professional team (not referring to the Oakland A's). The New York Yankees led Major Leagues in team payroll with a little under $200 million in salaries. The Oakland A's payroll was around $55 million and they both made the playoffs. The myth of spending money does not guarantee you a World Series championship; but it is important that each franchise put a competitive team on the field. So I am implementing a cap that each team must spend a minimum of $100 million dollars. Guys, we are in the 21st century, an $100 million dollar payroll should guarantee that each team has a franchise player or two that a team can build around. If an organization does not meet the minimum $100 million requirement, then they will be fined and pay the difference to make up the 100 million. Example.. If they spend 60 million then they owe the league 40 million to make up the difference. No more fattening of the owners pockets while fans have to watch double A baseball 81 nights a year.

9. All Star Game-This Time It Counts! Really?

The home-field advantage for the World Series each year goes to the league that wins the all-star. Sorry "BUD", this is BULL$#@T! I do have to give you credit on one aspect. If you want fans talking about your sport you have done an excellent job of getting ESPN, newspapers and sports talk radio conversing about your product. Fans have complained about this issue as much as getting a playoff series in college football. Thank Melky Cabrera, the MVP of the 2012 All-Star game and P.E.D user, for getting the home field advantage to the National League. NO MORE HOME FIELD advantage for the World Series, it is an exhibition game and that's all. The winner of the All-Star games gets an ATTA BOY!
As the new Commissioner, I suggest we stop worrying about tradition. It will be fun to see an All-Star games that showcases American born players versus an All-World born players. Another suggestion would be to let the Player in each league that LEADS in popularity votes pick their own team. This would allow ball players play with the opposite league. It sounds wacky but remember it is an exhibition.

8. Move The Season Back To 154 Games

1961 was the first year Major League Baseball adopted a 162 game season. The reason for adding the eight games was expansion. Really, we have expanded four additional times since the '90s and there were no expansion there. Don't believe the hype, it is all about money. Omitting eight games from an already long season will never happen, especially when there is money involved but it will make the remaining 154 games that more important. If you are so worried about tradition, then consider the 154 games. It didn't hurt the stats of a Babe Ruth, Mickey Mantle, or a Willie Mays.

7. Wild Card Playoff

"BUD", you almost got this one right. Smart move on the Wild Card playoffs. I believe it brought excitement to the sport but a one game winner take all in baseball does not work for me. This is not March Madness. As the new Commissioner, I implement Wild Card series that involves the best of 3.

6. Home run derby

Lets go back to 2008 All-Star Home Run Derby in Yankee Stadium, when Josh Hamilton hits an unbelievable 28 home runs in the first round only to finish second to Justin Morneau's 22 home runs in two rounds. Josh lost because he only hit 4 homers to Morneau's 9 in round two. America you do the math. The winner of the home run derby goes to the player who hits the most home runs. That should settle all the confusion there.

5. Inter-league squad games

"BUD", I appreciate you giving the fans inter-league baseball. It was a genius idea on your part and it gives us fans a chance to see teams we normally don't see on a regular basis. I do believe a change or two will make inter-league a little more interesting. I will implement visitor rules during inter-league games during the regular and post-season. DHs in National League parks and no DHs in American League parks. I am represented by an American League team, and I think it would be more enjoyable to see the game played by National League rules. It would be fun to see the American League pitchers bat in front of their home crowds and it would also be a treat to see a designated hitter in the National League stadium.

4. Instant Replay

Human Element my a$$! Stop it, stop flirting with the idea of instant replay and implement it already. The game deserves the call to be right. There are times when the naked eye needs a second look, and I don't see any shame in that. We all remember June 2010, when Armando Galarraga, of the Detroit Tigers, was stripped of a perfect game with two outs in the ninth inning by first base umpire Jim Joyce. With instant replay, Jim Joyce would have avoided humiliation; while Armando Galarraga would have gotten his well deserved perfect game and forever have his name in the record book. As the new Commissioner, I implement instant replay. It is important for our gamblers out there and we don't want a missed call affecting the outcome of the game.

3. League wide double headers

Twice a year Major League Baseball will implement a day night doubleheader. The first doubleheader will be on Memorial Day and the second one will be an inter-league play on July 4th. This game will be for the fans as they will be charged for the price of a single admission.



2. P.E.D.s 
 
Sorry Bud, you don't get a pass on STEROIDS. You sat there with a blind eye, knowing that your product was tainted. You and the rest of the major league owners benefited just as much as the players did, financially. For years, fans enjoyed watching ball players swinging for the fences, putting up video game stats, breaking what use to be sacred records while you heard the rumblings of cheating in your sport. What did you do about it? NOTHING! Since you allowed this to happen, each professional game played will officially stand in the record books without an asterisk. I don't want P.E.D.s in the game, so as commissioner, I am implementing from here on out that if any players get caught using P.E.D.s there will be an automatic termination from Major League Baseball for two years. I have also decided that the accused contract will be null and voided. After a two-year ban, the suspended ballplayer can file for reinstatement. Enough with the three strikes and you're out!

1. Baseball Diamond Dimensions

I have never understood why all of the Major League stadium have different field dimensions. When you walk into an NBA arena, each court is 94 ft long, the 3 point line is 23 ft and the rim sits at an even 10 ft. When you walk in a NFL stadium, the field is 120 yards long (end zone included) and 53.5 yards wide. How come each baseball stadium dimensions are different? I believe each stadium's dimensions need to be the same, why should some ball players get an advantage of hitting a home run out because of a short right or left field and not everyone else. My last implementation as Commissioner of Major League Baseball will be to demand all left fields be measured at 330 ft, centerfields will be 400 ft and right fields will be 330 ft across the league.

As the Commissioner for a day I know some of my changes aren't popular to some, but they are mine suggestions. Tell me what would you do different?
 
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Friday, August 24, 2012

The Real Reason Clemens Is On His Way Back To The Majors.

It would be extremely obvious to think that Roger Clemens' ploy to come back to professional baseball is to delay his fate in being inducted into the Hall of Fame this winter. I mean, this is a man with one of the biggest egos Major League Baseball has ever seen. What do you expect from a 7 time Cy Young Award winner. Since the Mitchell Report, he has moved heaven and earth to plea for his innocence. I am not a Clemens fan by any means but at least he went head up against the federal government and kicked their rear-ends in a court of law! Like him or not, he was what we were looking for, the only one, who kept pleading for his innocence and won. Now public opinion thinks HE IS GUILTY AS THEY COME; but you can make your own assumptions! I just love how he says his good name and reputation is now tarnished. Roger, you did that betraying the Red Sox nation by making your way to the Yankees to chase for World Series rings, or do you misremember!


Pic is credited to The Associated Press

Clemens isn't a darling at all, in fact he is a bully. Remember game 2, of the 2000 World Series, when he threw Mike Piazza's shattered bat, back at Piazza. What in the world was that all about? Roger thought nothing about it and went on his merry way. He also hoodwinked his friend, Andy Pettite, and the sports world by telling the jury, that Andy misremember their conversation. Pettite probably saved Clemens from prison time when he testified in court as he all of a sudden actually did misremembered!

It's unbelievable that at age 50, Roger Clemens still commands the attention with his Rocket arm. I hope the radar gun doesn't register his pitches in the high nineties because I will be the first one to say bull(sugar,honey,ice,tea)! Sugar Land Skeeters is just a tune-up to get back to the majors. Clemens is a powerful man, and at his age I guess it's still good to know people in high places. Who, besides Houston Astros, is going to give Clemens another Major League opportunity? Lets be honest, the Astros have nothing to play for and bringing Clemens back in a Houston uniform will give the fans a reason to show up to the stadium. Rogers' motivation for coming back to the majors includes surpassing Jamie Moyer, as the oldest pitcher to pitch in a game, he will delay the voting of his Hall of Fame inductions another five years which would be smart because it will be dreadful being on the list with Bonds, Sosa, Palmeiro, and McGwire. The number one reason to come back to the Major Leagues is to pass Greg Maddux as the winningest pitcher in the modern era. You can't be the best pitcher in our generation if the soft throwing Maddux has one more victory than you do! Tell the truth Roger, Greg Maddux's 355 career wins has to be eating you alive! Sports world, Roger Clemens is a 7 time Cy Young Award winner, the greatest pitcher in our generation; or do you MISREMEMBER!


The winningest pitcher in the modern



KCMAC38 A FAN'S POINT OF VIEW

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Monday, August 20, 2012

Top 10 Eccentric Hairdos in the Majors

When I think of the top 10 eccentric hairdos in Major League Baseball, I tend to drawback to the 70's where not much grooming occurred. Does anyone remember how cool it was to sport one of those massive Afros, with the long side burns that look like pork chops, worn by Oscar Gamble?

Afro King!
How in the world was he able to keep his cap or helmet on his head while playing all those years? What about Bruce Sutter's mountain man beard. Soon came the mullet hairstyle worn popular by Randy Johnson and John Kruk, and let us not forget the Jheri Curl worn by Tony Gwynn. Do baseball players have that Samson-like thinking where their hair gives them strength. We are decades removed and you will still see ball players sporting some of unique hairstyles. Take a look at the top 10 eccentric hairdos that are worn in Major League Baseball!

10. Pedro Martinez "The Jheri Curl"

Pedro Martinez jheri curl.
When Pedro came on the scene, I immediately thought he could be one of the Jackson 5. Heck outside of Michael, I wouldn't have known the difference. The Jheri Curl symbolized COOL! Many people wished they had one, but honestly if you didn't carry any activator with you, having a Jheri Curl was pointless!


9. Mike Piazza "Wearing his hair blonde!"

Mike Piazza sporting the bleached hair look

When I first saw Mike Piazza's name, I thought PIZZA? Someone actual last name is PIZZA! He was known as the Dodger catcher with the porn star mustache. Then he took his act to Broadway, fighting off rumors about his sexual orientation. Piazza's identity crises with the blonde hair sure didn't help.



The Mullet!
8. Randy Johnson "The Mullet!"
Already the most intimidating man on the mound standing 6' 10". He is not the first person you would consider putting on GQ magazine because of his suave looks. However, if you ever considered the meaning of a mullet hairstyle, your answer is the Big Unit.




“Crazy Eyes”
7. Ross Grimsley "The Consummate Free Spirit!"
Ross Grimsley was known to be a little superstitious. Probably because Grimsley believe in witches and good luck charms. He reckon that a blue and green stone given by a witch was the reason he would win ball games. Of course when Sparky Anderson was made aware of it, he told Grimsley how ridiculous it was and he better stop or folks around the league would think he was....
according to an article in The Sporting News. “You’ll be known as the clown of the league once this gets around.” Grimsley didn’t care. He defended his belief in the charm. “If I think it’ll help me win,” he told The Sporting News, “why shouldn’t I keep in touch with the witch?”
Ross also had hygiene issues. Anytime he had a winning streak going on, his superstitious mind would include no bathing or washing his hair. He was once accused by Billy Martin for throwing spit ball pitches, by using Vaseline hidden in his long black curly hair.
6. Tim Lincecum "SAMSON"

Samson
Maybe it is true. The Samson-like hair definitely belongs to "The Freak!" Mr. Lincecum stands at a meager 5'10 while weighing in at 163 lbs., and kicking tail for the San Francisco Giants. I pray that he never meets his Delilah!



5. Brian Wilson "The Mountain Man"

The Hawk & Beard
I can only imagine that Brian Wilson must have a no-trade clause if ever being courted by the New York Yankees. The Yanks have been known for their strict grooming rules, ask Johnny Damon! Brian is a trailblazer as he sports the mohawk and beard. Does anybody remember what Mr. Wilson looked like prior to the beard? How long did it take to grow that thing? In fact, whose beard is better today, Wilson or Oklahoma City Thunder basketball player, James Harden?

Mr. Lock!
4. Manny Ramirez. "The Dreadlocks"
Manny being Manny. I am curious if the women's fertility drug that Manny was taking helped him grow his dreadlocks? No, no they were weaved in, and I hope he didn't pay much to get them done. MY LAMB!


3. Dmitri Young "The Blonde hair & goatee"

The blonde hair & goatee
If you were wondering, that is not Mr. Brown from Tyler Perry's Meet the Browns television show. It is definitely Dmitri Young sporting a blonde goatee and hair! Did he happen to use Mike Piazza's hairstylist? I thought he was cool with the Afro. He is way too young for a mid-life crisis. Note to Delmon Young: Don't take after your big brother on this one!




The Jesus look.
2. Johnny Damon "The come to Jesus look!"
I can remember Johnny Damon as the clean-cut, no facial hair rookie that played for the Kansas City Royals. Then all of a sudden he went to Boston and became an "Idiot". At least that is what he called himself.


1. Coco Crisp "The modern-day Oscar Gamble!"
Just the other day I spoke with a colleague about the massive Afro of Oakland A's, Coco Crisp, has been sporting this season. My only thought was, can Rogaine help me grow my Afro back? I wonder, does Coco use Sta-Sof-Fro? Oscar Gamble has to be reminiscing about the good old days with a smile!

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Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Mavs Fan For Life?

What the hell just happened?  Just eighteen months ago Dallas Maverick fans just watch our superstar Dirk Nowitzki hold up the Larry O'Brien Trophy as the Dallas Mavericks punched the Miami Heat in the mouth!  We pinched ourselves to make sure we really won and after realizing that it was true, a big grin, a sense of bravado, and a little shit talking to all those Mavs haters!  We gloated a little, we have that right, Marc Cuban and his vision made believers out of us.  He sold the goods and us Mavs Fans bought into what he was selling.  He did the impossible and brought the Dallas metroplex a championship in Cowboy country.

My hangover didn't last very long as we entered the 2011 NBA season without Tyson Chandler, who bolted to the New York Knicks after not receiving a contract extension from Cuban.  I watched the Mavericks give away the best center in the history of the organization and what did he do this past season?  DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR.  You let Chandler walk and decided to keep Eric Dampier's clone Brendan Haywood, who set up his own heist before you use the amnesty clause on him.       Mavericks since you fatten his pockets. 



as expected we literally threw the 2011-2012 season away. This was not suppose to happen to a NBA championship team.  Say Cuban, didn't this team deserve the right to try for a repeat?  I know you are not just satisfied with just one NBA Championship, heck even Houston repeated back in the '90s.  What about San Antonio......they are the benchmark in the state of Texas.






Marc Cuban has a different vision, and he realize that by clearing up salary cap space, he will have financial flexibility for the first time in his regime and be able to sign top tier free agents to play alongside Dirk Nowitzki.  So basically what he was telling the MFFL that we are going to sacrafice the 2011 season and go for broke in 2012.  As I am scratching my head, it sounds good but shaky at the same time.  As much as I want this team to come back and defend their title, maybe Cuban is right.  If we can get our own big three down here in Dallas, wow.  The big three has been a popular trend in the NBA.  Much success has resulted in championships.  Boston, Miami, San Antonio, LA Lakers, all have at least three super stars on their roster. OKC has their big three and Dallas has only one, now I am seeing the vision.  Dallas is a winner, we will have cap space and since Marc Cuban cares about the well-being of the Mavs, its a win win. 

The 2011-2012 NBA season went as expected, the Lakers gave us a sleeper cell name Lamar Kardashian, who pretty much sabotage the Mavs season.  I don't blame him though, without the same nucleus I didn't expect much from this team.  The big picture was this summer's NBA Draft and July 1, when the free agency starts.

I will only speak for myself; but the NBA Draft as a Mavs fans was very ambiguous.  We chose the Tyler Zeller with the #17 pick of the draft and traded him to Cleveland for the #24 pick and two second round picks.  Okay, my heart rate elevated a little with the choice but we traded the pick for 3 additional picks.  With Perry Jones III and Arnet Moultrie still on the board I was excited with the potential of Dallas drafting a talented big man.  Instead David Stern goes up to the podium and says,"With the 24th pick of the 2012 NBA DRAFT, the Dallas Mavericks select Jared Cunningham."  Who? As, I stare at the television, I am looking at the first of three picks and wondering what?  Who is this guy?  I watch some NCAA basketball, I have some idea who a player is and where he is from.  I don't know this kid, who is he?  Marc Cuban and Donnie Nelson (the Mavericks GM), have leadway, a proven track record, hopefully pick number one is a diamond.  I hear the comparisons of Cunningham to a poor man's Russell Westbrook.  I am more concern with July first as free agents can talk to team and this is what Dallas has been waiting for,

 The prize this years free agent is Deron Williams, a metroplex native, the potential second piece in aquiring the big three. Deron Williams narrowed his choices to Brooklyn or Dallas.  Brooklyn can offer he 5 years for 98mil and Dallas can offer 4 for 76

Dallas put every egg in the Deron Williams sweepstakes. 
Cuban was shooting Shark Tank instead of focusing on signing Williams or any other potential free agents. The money is not a factor as


Tuesday, July 10, 2012

2012 Major League All-Star Disabled List Team

The much-anticipated Major League All-Star Game has come upon us. Fans have stuffed their ballots at all 30 stadiums and hacked into the internet sites several times to ensure that their favorite player makes the team. Each year unfortunate injuries occur, and some of those potential All-Star players won't generate enough votes to make the team. With over 100 ball players on the disabled list, there are enough players on the list to make my own All-Star team. I am basing all my choices off of last years performances. Here is my starting line-up.
Boston Red Sox LF Jacoby Ellsbury

In 2011, Jacoby had an MVP like season, joining the 30-30 club. He batted .321, with 32 HR, 105 RBI, 46 2B, 39 SB and a career high 212 hits. He has blossomed into an everyday player but has been injured with subluxation of right shoulder since the Red Sox home opener. He is currently on the 60-day DL and is scheduled back after the All-Star break. Boston will be happy to see the speedy Ellsbury back in centerfield and leading off things at the top of the order.



Los Angeles Dodgers CF Matt Kemp

2011 National League MVP runner-up went to Mr. Kemp, as he was one home run from joining the prestigious 40-40 club. In 2011, Matt batted .324, with 39 HR, 32 2B, 126 RBI, 40 SB and 195 hits. He started the 2012 season in the same fashion leading the National League in average and home runs before pulling his hamstring in the end of April. He came back a month later and re-aggravated it again. Matt Kemp is scheduled to be back in the first place Dodgers' line-up after the All-Star break.





St. Louis Cardinals RF Lance Berkman

Lance Berkman is my utility guy who can play the outfield as well as first base. He bounced back last year from a sub par season in 2010 by hitting .301, with 31 HR, 94 RBI and 147 hits. He struck out 93 times and walked 92 times. He is currently on the 15-day disabled list with a torn meniscus of the right knee. St. Louis will surely welcome him back after the break to pair up with All-Star Carlos Beltran in their pursuit of another World Series run.







Tampa Bay Rays 3B Evan Longoria

Evan is one of the games best all-around third basemen. Even though last year he had a career low batting average of .244, he still managed 31 HR, 99 RBI and 118 hits in just 133 games. Longoria is on the disabled list due to a torn hamstring and is not expected to be back until sometime in August.









Colorado Rockies SS Troy Tulowitzki

There is no shortstop in Major League Baseball that puts up power numbers the way Tulowitzki can. Could it still be the mystique of Coors field or is Troy that good?! In 2011, he batted .302, with 30 HR, 36 2B, 105 RBI and 162 hits. Tulowitzki hasn't played since the end of May because of a strained left groin muscle that he ended up needing surgery. There is no timetable of when he will be back in action.





Boston Red Sox 2B Dustin Pedroia

Dustin is one of the most intimidating players in baseball, and he only stands 5'9, 180lbs. The little guy packs a powerful punch, as in 2011, he batted .307, with 21 HR, 91 RBI, 37 2B, 26 SB, and 195 hits. Dustin also walked 86 times with only 85 strikeouts. He just recently landed on the disabled list because he hyperextended his right thumb.







Philadelphia Phillies 1B Ryan Howard

I can vividly remember Howard's last at-bat in the NLCS, against the St. Louis Cardinals, when he hit a routine ground ball that ended the Philadelphia Phillies' season. As he was jogging towards first, he collapsed as if he were shot from behind. A torn Achilles is the last thing you want to deal with to end your season. Howard will be my first basemen, as he ended 2011 batting .253 with 33 HR, 116 RBI and 141 hits. Howard just came off the disabled list this week and played his first game of the season this past Friday. The Phillies are indeed glad they have their big bat back in the line-up.

Detroit Tigers C Victor Martinez

The Detroit Tigers signed Prince Fielder to bolster a line-up of Miguel Cabrera and company after receiving news of Victor Martinez suffering a serious injury. Victor tore an ACL during offseason workouts and was announced out for the season. In 2011, Victory batted .330 with 12 HR, 40 2B, 103 RBI and 178 hits, while striking out only 51 times. There is an outside chance that Martinez could be back for the stretch run in late August or early September.







Philadelphia Phillies P Roy Halladay

There is no other pitcher in the league that I would feel comfortable giving the ball to in any situation. Roy has the potential to do something special every time he has the ball. Halladay has been on the disabled list since Memorial Day weekend with a right latissimus dorsi strain. In 2011, Roy posted a 19-6 record, striking out 220 batters while giving up only 35 walks. His ERA was 2.35 with one shut-out. Halladay maybe looking for a return sometime this month depending on how the sore shoulder reacts.







New York Yankee RP Mariano Rivera

May 3rd in Kansas City, Mariano went down with an ACL tear catching fly balls in the outfield. This was not the way to spend his last year in the Majors. He made a commitment to go through a vigorous rehab and make a comeback in 2013 to finish off his career. In 2011, Mariano posted 44 saves, 3-3 record, with an ERA of 1.76. He struck out 72 batters while giving up 12 bases on balls in 66.1 innings.

RESERVES

New York Yankee P CC Sabathia, St. Louis Cardinals P Chris Carpenter, Boston Red Sox LF Carl Crawford, Los Angeles LF Vernon Wells, Philadelphia Phillies 2B Chase Utley, and RP Brian Wilson.

Let me know who would be your starting on your disabled list All-Star team.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Top 9 active players that have a legitimate shot at 500 home runs.

Believe it or not Major League Baseball has two active players that are members of the 500 home run club. In fact both Alex Rodriguez(640) and Jim Thome(608) are members of the 600 home run club. With the new drug testing policy in MLB, you will no longer see power hitters continue to put up inflated numbers . With a level playing field it will be difficult for upcoming ball players to reach the magical 500 number. However, there are still big league players with a chance at joining the elite club. Here are my list of players that have a shot at 500 home runs.

9.Detroit Tigers 1B Prince Fielder


 

Prince, son of former Detroit Tiger Cecil Fielder, is a whopping 28 years old with 241 home runs in seven big league seasons. He and dad are the only father son tandem in MLB history to hit 50 home runs in a season. Prince won the 2009 Home Run Derby and is a 2-time Silver Slugger Award winner. This past off-season he left Milwaukee Brewers and took his talents to the Detroit Tigers, where he signed a nine-year deal worth 214 million dollars. Since being in the big leagues, Prince has averaged 37 home runs each season. I am predicting that he will reach the 500 club at the age 35. So far he has hit eleven homers this season, so he has some work to do.

8.Detroit Tigers 3B Miguel Cabrera



Superstar Miguel Cabrera is on pace to be one of the greatest right-handed hitters of all-time when his career is over. He is part of the new "Bash Brothers" that exist in Detroit, alongside his new slugging partner Prince Fielder. The Detroit Tigers will be intimidating the American League Central for years to come because of "Miggy's" potent bat. At the age of 29, he has sent 292 balls out of the park. This young man has already won a home run crown(2008), he is a 3-time Silver Slugger Award, and won an American League batting title just last year. Cabrera is averaging 33 dingers a year and at his age you can calculate him reaching the 500 club at the age 35. He is also on pace for 3000 hits.

7. Texas Rangers 3B Adrian Beltre



Once the youngest player in the big leagues, Adrian Beltre has blossom over the years to become a 3-time Gold Glove third basemen as well as a 3-time Silver Slugger Award winner. He is now 33 years of age with 322 home runs in fourteen Major League seasons. In 2004, he led the National League in home runs with 48. Adrian is in his second season with the two-time defending American League Champions, Texas Rangers, where he flourished with 32 home runs a year ago. Beltre will continue to see good pitches because of the Texas dynamic offensive squad. It also doesn't hurt that he is playing in a hitters park. In his career he has averaged 26 home runs a year so it's possible that he may join the 500 club at the age of 39.

6.New York Yankees 1B Mark Teixeira


This slugger came into the Majors swinging for the fences as soon as he was called up. Tex has never hit less than 26 home runs in a season and that was his rookie year. Mark is 32 years old with 326 round trippers. He will soon join Micky Mantle and Eddie Murray as the only switch-hitters to ever hit 500 home runs. He is a 4-time Golden Glove winner, a 3-time Silver Slugger Award winner, and he won a home run title in the American League with 39 dingers in 2009. Teixeira is currently a member of the New York Yankees, where he gets to benefit from a short porch down the right field line. He averages 37 homers a years so my prediction for him to reach the 500 club would be at the age 36. Realistically he may be looking at the 600 club!



5.Chicago White Sox 1B Adam Dunn

 

We have Former Texas Longhorn, Chris Simms, to thank, for Adam "Big Donkey" Dunn becoming a Major League ball player. When Simms arrived in Austin, Mack Brown asked Dunn to move from quarterback to tight end. So long Austin, no more gridiron for the "Big Donkey"! Adam is 32 years old with 388 home runs. In his career, he hits a home run every 14 at-bats, second on the active list behind Jim Thome and only Mark McGwire, Babe Ruth, and Barry Bonds have a better ratio. In 2011, Adam had a season low 11 homers. He may have thought his career was in jeopardy, but so far in 2012, he leads the Majors in home runs and he probably will be the comeback player of the year. Dunn averages 38 home runs a year so expect the 500 club in his future at the age of 35. Like Teixeira, barring injuries, he has a legitimate shot at 600.

4.Boston Red Sox DH David Ortiz


 

This man needs no introduction as he is known as the greatest clutch hitter in Red Sox history. David Ortiz, or "Big Papi" holds the all-time MLB record for RBIs and home runs for designated hitter. David has a total of 398 career homers, 5-time Silver Slugger Awards, led the American League in home runs in 2006, and won the Home Run Derby in 2010. "Big Papi" averages 35 home runs a year and at the age of 36 he has some work to do. Fenway is the perfect place for the slugger to pile up home runs so expect Red Sox nation to welcome Mr. Ortiz to the 500 club at the age of 39!

3.Chicago White Sox 1B Paul Konerko


Paul Konerko is the blue-collar player out of the group who steadily puts up numbers year in and year out. He is the surprise of the list with a total of 409 home runs. Konerko, has never led the league in home runs, never won a Home Run Derby, never won a Silver Sluggers Award, but at this time he can hang his hat on leading the American League in batting with a .346 average. At the age of 36, Paul is 91 homers from 500. He is averaging 32 home runs a season, so I predict in 2 1/2 years he will join his old teammate Frank Thomas into the club.

2.New York Yankees OF Andruw Jones

 

Did I raise an eyebrow? Mine raised as well; but I had to put him down. This once 10-time Gold Glove, Silver Slugger, National League Home Run leader(2005), and no longer a sure-fire Hall of Famer has only hit 56 home runs in the last four years. What the hell happened? Remember he was the youngest player ever to hit a home run in the World Series ('96). I believe he hit a home run in his first two at-bats in that series. Andruw is 35 years old with 427 home runs and averages 32 homers a season. Jones had a chance at 600 home runs but now I will be surprise if he threatens the 500 club simply because he is no longer an everyday player and he has a history of given into the breaking ball. He only needs 73 home runs, so if he makes it, he will be the one to limp to the finish line.

1.Los Angeles Angels 1B Albert Pujols


No one in the history of the Major League Baseball has put up the numbers Albert Pujols has. Since arriving to the league, his lowest output for home runs has been 32. Upon last year, he had hit at least 30 home runs and 100 RBIs every year until last season when he was 1 RBI short. Like Prince Fielder, he took his talents to the American League and signed a 10-year, 254 million dollar contract with the LA Angels. At age 32, he has hit a comfortable 456 home runs. We can say he will passed the 500 home run club as he averages 42 home runs a season. In his first year with the Angels he has put up a meager 11 homer runs, pressing a little at each at-bat and trying to living up to that ridiculous contract. Albert is a perfectionist and will soon settle down and figure it out. He is a 3-time MVP,2-time Gold Glove, 6-time Silver Slugger Award winner, a National League batting champ (2003), and 2-time National League home run champ. In the next ten years, we can predict he will chase down A-Rod, Mays, Ruth, Aaron, and Bonds for the number one overall spot. He will be the Home Run King, and with over 2100 career hits, he will be in that select group of 3000 hits and 700 home runs. The only player ever to do that is the great Henry Aaron.

Honorable Mentions

Chipper Jones is 40 years old with 459 round trippers and has announced that this will be his last year. Chipper is going out with class and knows when to hang them up. Vladimir Guerrero 37 years old with 449 HRs, oh so close, not with a team right now. If he gets pick up by another MLB team it will be painful to watch! Jason Giambi is 41 years old with 429 HRs and playing for Colorado Rockies. Jason is no longer an everyday player and only has 1 HR this season, can we say father time! Lance Berkman is 36 years old, fighting a mcl tear and has 359 HR. He has pop in his bat but with injury issues he probably won't make it. Todd Helton will be 39 this year with 354 HR. He has had a wonderful career, and can rival Peyton Manning as the riches quarterback ever to come out of Tennessee, but too far away from the elite club. Alfonso Soriano 354 HRs & Carlos Lee 353 HRs are both 36 years old and might be too far out of reach. The two that may fall just short of the 500 home run club maybe Aramis Ramirez who is 34 years old with 324 HRs and Carlos Beltran, who is 35 with 322 HRs.





KCMAC38 @ A FAN'S POINT OF VIEW