Last off-season, after I sorted through dozens of options to upgrade the Royals’ beleaguered rotation, they went off the board by trading for Jonathan Sanchez. I have barely begun to look at this off-season’s pitching options, but I can tell you with a fair degree of certainty that I could have put together a list a hundred deep and wouldn’t have gotten to Chris Volstad.
Adam Sobsey for Baseball Prospectus looks at the Giants Halloween costumes that they wore to the World Series: Sobsequy: The Freaks and Geeks Go All the Way
Well, and what did you expect? It’s Halloween, and the Giants wear black and orange.
Yes, I know, those are not stats. But to push on this a bit harder: it’s costume week, and the time of the dead, and the Giants dressed the part. Look at them. Brian Wilson, who is spending a year-plus dead, has the fake-looking beard, andSergio Romo went trick-or-treating in the closer costume (beard included) Wilson used to wear. Pablo Sandoval went as the power hitter he used to be (his ISO dropped 70 points this season and he hit 12 home runs). In Game One he went as Babe Ruth, Reggie Jackson, and/or Albert Pujols.
The Red Sox shipped Adrian Gonzalez and Carl Crawford, who joined the club in blockbuster moves three days apart in December 2010, to the Dodgers. World Series hero-turned-malcontent Josh Beckett and Nick Punto also headed to Los Angeles. Boston not only shed $261 million in salary commitments, but also managed to acquire a pair of quality arms in Rubby de la Rosa and Allen Webster, along with James Loney, Jerry Sands and Ivan DeJesus Jr.
Wendy Thurm explores the meaning of the record-low World Series ratings: National TV Ratings for World Series Tell Only Part of the Story
First, the national TV ratings for the World Series were released. The lowest in history!Lower than the last time the San Francisco Giants played in the World Series! Then came the commentary about how boring the series was — how it lacked national stars, how the ratings show interest in baseball is dying.
PUERTO LA CRUZ, Venezuela - It's an extremely hot Saturday afternoon at the Chico Carrasquel ballpark. So hot, in fact, the teams which will play later in the afternoon, the Caribes de Anzoátegui and Tiburones de La Guaira, have decided to skip batting practice altogether. The sun is unforgiving, and the temperature is about to reach 110 degrees. The Venezuelan Winter League resembles winter only in its name. The weather and intensity in which it is played is burning.
On one side, Edgmer Escalona has agreed to talk to us -- but only if we get to a place between the clubhouse and the dugout, away from the heat. This is the first time he has played in his native country for a team other than Leones del Caracas, the club he debuted with back in 2008.
The 26-year-old righty was traded to La Guaira in the middle of Spring Training. This was the team he grew up rooting for. He is a native of that region, known for its beaches near the capital city of Caracas. That's why he was extremely happy when he found out about the trade.
"I was born in La Guaira, my family is from La Guaira, I grew up being a La Guaira fan, what else can I ask for?", Escalona said. "I felt so proud when I found out about the news. And it has been extremely great for me so far. A great group of teammates and a great organization. I have nothing else to do but thank them for the chance they are giving me."
Escalona appeared in 22.1 innings spanning 22 games with a 6.04 ERA and 21 strikeouts for the Rockies in 2012. Late in the season his performance improved dramatically, but he could certainly use a lot of work during the winter in the extremely competitive Venezuelan circuit. Escalona has already shown the tools that allowed him to earn a spot on the big league roster: a blazing fastball combined with good command. In his very first outing in Venezuela, he struck out the side in the inning he pitched while working as setup man, the role he will have this season with Tiburones.
"I was focused on my work ever since I got here. I saw each batter, I noticed every weakness they showed. That's how I got a work plan for me. And thank God, the fastball was going wherever I wanted it to be".
Escalona's work on the mound has been impressive, but he knows he has to improve his off-the-field persona, which has been the subject of controversy. His high-voltage temper has been cooled off, at least for the time being. No showing off. No earrings. He has to prove to La Guaira and to Colorado that he has matured enough so he can move forward as a pitcher.
"I made that one of my goals, my objectives coming here," Escalona says. "When I came to La Guaira, I noticed that our fans, which are considered the most joyful and upbeat in Venezuelan baseball were divided among those who wanted me here, and those who didn't. Many of them said, 'this guy is crazy, we don't need him here.' It's my responsibility to show them what I'm capable of, both as a pitcher and as a human being. I'm not a bad person, and it's up to me to prove them that."
The Rockies have only one restriction regarding Escalona: he cannot pitch in consecutive games.
"They want me to stay healthy and not to get injured. I would love to see the Rockies where the Giants are now -- fighting in the postseason," Escalona said. "That's the one thing I want to help achieve. I want us to be out there. So I'm paying attention to the instructions they gave me. I'm doing my training and everything needed in order to stay useful to them."
Bob Dutton confirms the Royals have declined the $8 million club option on reliever Joakim Soria, paying instead the $750,000 to buy him out. This makes Soria an unrestricted free agent free to sign with anyone. Dutton had previously reported the Royals planned to decline the option and negotiate an incentive-laden contract for Soria.
Soria is recovering from Tommy John surgery that kept him out the entire 2012 season. He is already rehabbing and is throwing 2-3 times a week. Prior to his injury, he was a two-time All-Star, who enjoyed a career-best 43 saves in 2010 with a 1.78 ERA before suffering a decline in performance in 2011 with a 4.03 ERA. In five seasons in KC he has 160 saves and a 2,40 ERA in 315 innings.
Conor Moylan asked a few weeks what should we do with Joakim Soria? The free agent market for closers is pretty weak right now. Rafael Soriano is probably the cream of the crop, with post-season choke artist Jose Valverde in the mix as well as Matt Capps and former Royal Jonathan Broxton. Reliever Brandon League - certainly not anyone's vision of a shutdown reliever - just got a 3 year $21 million deal with the Dodgers. How much does that escalate the price for Soria? If a team is desperate for someone with closing experience, even as a depth move, would they offer more in base salary than the Royals are comfortable paying? Is there loyalty between the Royals and Soria for committing to each other early on?
How high are you willing to pay to keep Joakim Soria in Royal blue?
Kris Medlen, best pitcher in baseball, and part-time Teletubby.
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Jim Abbott 1992 Bowman The 1992 Bowman set receives a lot of praise. Partly due to the rookie cards that are part of the set, and partly due to the minimalist design, the cards just look great. They offer nice, … Continue reading →
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From the request form at the Astros website:
Requesting Orbit to visit your event is easy. Just complete the online appearance request form below. Upon receipt of the form, a representative from the Houston Astros will contact you to discuss guidelines, costs and availability.
All requests for appearances must be made at least three weeks prior to the event. Completion of the form is a request only and does not guarantee an appearance.
If that wasn't enough look under the submit button:
Thank you for your interest in the Houston Astros Mascot "Orbit."
The leak is now complete.
With a hat tip to Astros County, according to MLB's twitter profile the leak on Tuesday was due to super-storm Sandy. If you don't believe me check it out for yourself. Maybe this falls along those same lines and we're just catching it now. It'll be interesting to see what they have to say about this one if they even say anything.
I know Orbit is a beloved figure in Houston, but sometimes the things with the most nostalgia are often disappointing to us as adults. I know Junction Jack wasn't a popular mascot among adults, but he was popular with my three year old daughter and had he stuck around I'm sure she would have formed some nostalgic memories with him. That's not to say Orbit will be a terrible mascot I'm just weary of his return. Not all remakes end up being as good as the original.
I'm also a bit miffed by the fact that this re-branding was supposed to take elements of the past and update them. We still need to see everything, but I feel like this re-branding has been more of a retread than an update to branding from the past.
UPDATE: It appears the form has been taken down from the website.
When the ball left the park fans cheered. Every time a home run is hit it excites baseball fans. So naturally when a home run hitter steps up to the plate everybody watches with raised eyebrows.
Back a few years I recall Ernie Banks, Cub shortstop, leading the league in home runs. In spite of many ground outs or strike outs, there was no doubt about it whenever a baseball left Wrigley Field or other baseball park.
Last year Albert Pujols, St. Louis Cardinal, and Prince Fielder, Milwaukee Brewer, got baseball fans excited with one swing of the bat and hitting lots of home runs.
This past week Pablo Sandoval, San Francisco Giant, surprised the crowd by hitting 3 home runs in one World Series game. And some baseball players are lucky enough if they ever hit one home run during the regular baseball season.
And so there will always be a time when an outfielder runs out of landscape chasing a fly ball into the seats or out of the ball park.
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