Thursday, April 23, 2015

Cub Kidd and the Athletic Butler

photo via bigtimebats.com


In a strange bit of sports news the Chicago Bears signed tight end Bear Pascoe to a contract. It's the first time I can remember a player sharing his first name with the team he plays for. The only example in professional sports that comes to my mind is Napolean Lajoie  for the Cleveland Naps and the team was named after him. If you can think of others, feel free to comment below.

It got me wondering. How do other team names sound as the first name of a player? More specifically, what would every Major League Baseball team's nickname look like as a first name? Why baseball? Because it's April and that's what I'm watching.

Just for fun, I've decided to list an example of every team name used as a first name, paired with a common surname in either North or South America. As in the Bear example above I'm going to drop the 's' at the end on most of the names.

Monday, April 13, 2015

2-out hits & misses: Week 1




The baseball season is officially a week old. Every team has played 6 or 7 games except for the Cubs and Cardinals. I'm introducing my weekly look around the league with my "2-out hits & misses" column. It's time for small sample sizes and overreactions. There was some good baseball and some really ugly baseball in the first week so let's take a look at what's going on now that the 2015 season is under way.

Hits

Top of the A.L. Central

The Detroit Tigers are something else. They've jumped out to a 6-0 start on the back of their juggernaut offense. Through 6 games the Tigers have a +31 run differential and have scored 47 total runs. That's just under 8 runs a game. It doesn't matter who is pitching for Detroit, they are getting enough run support daily.

Miguel Cabrera is locked in early hitting .520 (13-25) with 2 HR's and 2 doubles. Ian Kinsler keeps getting on base and has already scored 10 runs. Heck, Yoenis Cespedes is hitting .321 and it's only the 5th best batting average for a Tigers regular. This is Detroit's 4th time starting 6-0, the only time they started 7-0 was in 1984 when they ripped through the American League on their way to a title.

Kansas City is trying to prove that 2014 was no fluke. The Royals are also off to a 6-0 start. I haven't seen any of their games so I can't really speak to how they're doing it. I'll have to check them out sometime this week. By the way, the other 3 teams in the division have won a total of 5 games.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Opening Day 2015




"It's the most wonderful time of the year." -Andy Williams

I know, it' a Christmas song. But that's what today is for a guy like me. It's Opening Day! The greatest day on a baseball fan's calendar. I couldn't be happier. Hope springs eternal, everything is new, and blah, blah, blah. You get it. It's time for baseball.

To be fair, this offseason was a little easier to take. When baseball left us the San Francisco Giants had won the 2014 World Series in 7 games over the Kansas City Royals. It's a little easier to get through the long, cold, dark winter when your favorite team has just won it all. I was beaming with pride all offseason whenever I wore my Giants gear in public. Which was quite often. Remember, I live in Florida and love to give the reminder that the Giants are the champs.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

SF Giants preview: The other guys

This first appears over at TortureCast.com.

Photo via USA Today Sports

Well here we are. The 2015 San Francisco Giants season is upon us. I thought I’d take this time to preview the season and throw out some predictions. I’m sure you’ve read the “big boy” publications and what they forecast for the season so I’m not going to even mention the fact that none of them are giving the Giants a chance to do big things this season.

Nope. Won’t mention it at all. That whole odd year thing? I won’t mention that either.

I’ve already previewed the starting rotation and the regulars. Here are some links.


For the part 3 I’m going to take a pass at the other guys. It’s time to take a look at the Giants bullpen and bench players.
The bullpen

Saturday, April 4, 2015

SF Giants preview: The regulars

This first appears over at TortureCast.com.



Well here we are. The 2015 San Francisco Giants season is upon us. I thought I’d take this time to preview the season and throw out some predictions. I’m sure you’ve read the “big boy” publications and what they forecast for the season so I’m not going to even mention the fact that none of them are giving the Giants a chance to do big things this season.

Nope. Won’t mention it at all. That whole odd year thing? I won’t mention that either.

I previewed the starting rotation yesterday. Today I’m looking at the starting 8. Well, truthfully, it’s the starting 9. Even though Hunter Pence is out until sometime during April, I’m going to include him here. It’s not like he won’t be back and frankly we all love him.

So here are the starters. I’m not going to go by batting order because Bruce Bochy has already said that he will mix it up. Some days Angel Pagan will hit 3rd, others he’ll hit 5th. I’m going to go around the diamond starting with LF and ending with the catcher position. I’m choosing which stats from last season I want to highlight with each player because, well, I can do that. So sit back and enjoy a look at this year’s Giants starters. All slash lines are batting average, on base percentage, and then slugging percentage.

Friday, April 3, 2015

SF Giants preview: The rotation

This first appears over at TortureCast.com

Photo via NBC

Well here we are. The 2015 San Francisco Giants season is upon us. I thought I’d take this time to preview the season and throw out some predictions. I’m sure you’ve read the “big boy” publications and what they forecast for the season so I’m not going to even mention the fact that none of them are giving the Giants a chance to do big things this season.

Nope. Won’t mention it at all. That whole odd year thing? I won’t mention that either.

Since I tend to get wordy and long-winded I’m going to break this up in to 3 different parts. This one is all about the starting rotation, next will be the regular lineup, and finally I’ll close with the bullpen/bench players. I’m cheating a little bit because I’m trying to give the Giants some time to make their final roster decisions. The longer I put off the bench/bullpen, the better chance there is that we will actually know who’s made the cut.

I also want to note that I don’t have 2015 projections up for the guys. I’m sure Ben Lee or Chad King may have something like that, but not me. It’s not that I hate all the new stats, I’m just not the guy that’s going to give them to you. Think of me as the scout type that is holding on to the eye test, even if it’s to my own detriment. Also, I’m throwing out all the spring stats because frankly, they are ugly.
So without further ado, I present part 1, the starting rotation.

Madison Bumgarner
2014: 18-10, 2.98 ERA, 33 Starts, 4 CG, 2 SHO, 43 BB, 219 K, 217.1 IP

The ace of the staff. What more can be said about the job he did for the Giants in 2014? Well, probably volumes of work, but that’s not what I’m here for today. The biggest question mark is how Bumgarner will respond this season after compiling 270 total innings between the regular season and playoffs a year ago. His previous high was 2012 when he tossed 223.1 innings. He followed that with just over 200 innings in 2013 while posting his lowest career ERA (2.77) in 31 starts.