Posts Tagged ‘Rangers’

Because It’s the Cup!

April 24th, 2015 by Joe Buscemi | Comments Off on Because It’s the Cup! | Filed in Flyers, General, Hockey, Sports, TalkSportsPhilly

itsthecup

“It’s the most wonderful time of the year!” Some call it Christmas, others call it the NHL playoffs. If you are a die-hard of a hockey fan, as I am then you understand just how awesome and intense playoff hockey is.

There really isn’t anything better, and this year it has lived up to all its hype.

Interesting stat, there was a seven team turnover from last year’s NHL Playoff’s (seven teams from last year did not qualify this year), the highest turnover rate in the history of the NHL. That speaks volumes of how much the game has changed, from a business/salary cap perspective, and also from the balance of talent surrounding the league.

As a Flyers fan it is obviously tough not watching them compete for the cup, however I have caught quite a few games and they are some of the most evenly matched and entertaining series’ I can remember. Old-time hockey seems to be making more of an appearance as the refs are letting the boys play and blowing the whistles less. Tons of hits, fights, highly electric offensive displays, stellar goaltending performances, and a series that shockingly ended in a sweep.

The highly talented Anaheim Ducks spoiled the Jets first playoff appearance since relocating to Winnipeg back in 2011. The original franchise was last seen in the playoffs 19 years ago. That was a tough one for die-hard Jets fans to swallow.

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Michael Young to….?

April 4th, 2011 by Mike H. | Comments Off on Michael Young to….? | Filed in General

In article written by Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe, he relays a trade that a scout had mentioned. Michael Young to the New York Mets for Francisco Rodriguez. The Mets could look to upgrade at second base and are very willing to deal Rodriguez. The Rangers could be intrigued with Rodriguez because it could allow them to convert their current closer, Neftali Feliz, to the rotation. If the Rangers agreed in principle to a deal like that, don’t be surprised if Mets GM Sandy Alderson pull the trigger as fast as he can. The Mets are not currently on Young’s list of teams he’d be willing to accept a trade to, but the window is closing in on Texas as Young’s 10 and 5 rights will kick in next month, meaning that Young would have to approve any trade. Just something to keep your eye on.

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Hot Stove Breakdown Part 3

December 1st, 2010 by Johnny G | 5 Comments | Filed in General

* 1. Dodgers Sign Jon Garland to 1 year $5 million deal.
* 2. Rangers sign Yorvit Torrealba to 2 year $6.25 million deal.
* 3. Cardinals trade Blake Hawksworth to the Dodgers for Ryan Theriot.
* 4. Dodgers sign Juan Uribe to 3 year $21 million deal.
* 5. Giants sign Miguel Tejada to 1 year $6.5 million deal.

1. There’s nothing too bad about this Garland deal. I expected a couple of teams to get fooled by his fluky season last year and overpay for a mediocre innings eater. He recorded just 136 strikeouts in 200+ innings but it was also the highest number of strikeouts in his career. Its extremely unlikely that a guy with a 3.92 K/BB ratio can pitch to the tune of a 3.47 ERA. If it is possible, Garland would have to be extremely stingy with his walks and giving up 87 on the year isn’t exactly the definition of stingy. The Dodgers played this right, though. They are slotting Garland into the back end of the rotation in a pitcher’s park similar to Petco and they’ll let him take the ball every fifth day. Believe it or not, there is value to a pitcher who can eat up innings on a consistent basis, just don’t get fooled into having Jon Garland on your fantasy team or anything crazy like that.

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2. I really don’t like this deal at all. The Texas Rangers seem to have a knack for finding some really, really, bad catching options out there. Saltalamachia, Teagarden, Molina, and now Torrealba to continue the tradition. Yorvit is a career .257 hitter who doesn’t walk much and has very little power. He’s never hit 10 home runs in a season, he’s never had more than 35 walks in a season, and he’s never had an OPS+ higher than 85 (100 is league average). Does he make up for it on the defensive side? Not really. He struggles with his consistency to throw the ball and has slow feet behind the plate. Even with one of the best offensive seasons of his career last year, he still rated negatively on Win Probability Added. This wouldn’t be so bad if the Rangers didn’t lock themselves in for multiple years but that’s what Free Agency is all about.

3. Another head scratcher here for me. The Cardinals give up a fire-baller out of the pen who could also start if his team wanted to go that route with him for Theriot, who is such a defensive downgrade over Brendan Ryan, its difficult to put into words. Don’t get me wrong, Ryan has struggled mightily with the bat, but so has Theriot. Just last season Theriot hit .243 with a .323 OBP, one home run, and four stolen bases. What exactly does Theriot put on the table? Nothing. They plan to immediately start him over Ryan, who is one of the best defensive shortstops in the game. This on top of the refusal by Tony LaRussa to play Colby Rasmus on a consistent basis is really starting to make me question the Cardinals organization as a whole. The Dodgers on the other hand get some significant value for a stop gap utility player who they were going to non-tender in a couple of days anyway. Theriot made $2.6 million last year and was eligible for arbitration. Nice deal for the Dodgers.

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2010 MLB Power Rankings: Playoff Edition

September 23rd, 2010 by Johnny G | 24 Comments | Filed in Baseball, General

The Power Rankings Are Back!

1. New York Yankees (92-60)-  The Yanks are still the class of the MLB but this team is starting to show some weaknesses. The starting rotation has taken some major blows since my last ranking. Javier Vazquez has been removed from the rotation, A.J. Burnett has continued to struggle, Andy Pettite is still not back from injury, and CC Sabathia is the only consistent starter for the Yankees right now. Gardner in Left Field has seen his average steadily decline recently and Derek Jeter, despite his latest 11-game hitting streak is still hitting just .267. This is the kind of veteran team that can turn it on when the bright lights come on, though.

2. Tampa Bay Rays (90-61)- This is the Rays chance. Ownership has stated they will be cutting payroll by 22 million next season, no questions asked. That means it is extremely unlikely that guys like Carlos Pena, Carl Crawford, and Rafael Soriano will be resigned. On the flip side of the coin, the Rays minor league system is flush with talent just waiting to be summoned to the Major Leagues. The knock on this team entering the playoffs right now would be their lack of a true ace. James Shields has not pitched like a #1 but David Price certainly has. With Price, Garza, Shields, and Niemman, it is going to be tricky figuring out how they will shuffle this rotation. This team is built perfectly for a 162 game season, not necessarily a 5 or 7 game series, which is the only thing that would worry me entering the playoffs.

3. Philadelphia Phillies (92-61)- Well, its September. That could only mean one thing- the Phillies are absolutely red hot. With Halladay, Hamels, and Oswalt, they have the best top of the rotation in the game. As crazy as it may seem, Hamels has actually pitched most effectively in the second half and he has looked nearly unhittable for months now. The Phillies have won 10 in a row without the services of Jimmy Rollins and Brad Lidge has quietly pitched effectively over the last several months. This is where I draw an imaginary line between these three teams listed above and the rest of the MLB. The Phillies, Rays, and Yankees are in a class of their own and whoever comes out of the ALCS between the Rays and Yanks, will be facing off against Philly in the Fall Classic.

4. Minnesota Twins (92-60)- The Twins were the first team in the Big Leagues to clinch a division title so it will be interesting to see how they go about resting some of their big sluggers. This team needs to get Justin Morneau back to have a shot at advancing deep into the Playoffs and they will also need their largely inexperienced rotation to pitch effectively. Ron Gardenhire has already announced that Francisco Liriano will get the ball in their first playoff game but will Gardy go with the veteran Pavano or the young guns like Brian Duensing and Scott Baker. We’ll find out soon enough.

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Johnny G’s MLB Power Rankings Part 11

June 14th, 2010 by Johnny G | 74 Comments | Filed in General

1. Tampa Bay Rays (1) (40-23)- The Rays almost get bounced from the top spot in this week’s rankings, but ultimately their consistency gives them the benefit of the doubt. After taking two of three from the Blue Jays, the Rays dropped two of three from their in-state rivals, the Marlins. The starting pitching has shown some signs of weakness but Carlos Pena is really starting to heat up. Pena homered in six consecutive games at one point and BJ Upton’s average has been on the rise, as well. The Rays are finally dealing with a little bit of adversity. Let’s see how they deal with it before removing them from the top spot.

2. New York Yankees (2) (40-23)- I wish I could list the Yankees right next to the Rays this week, but that is not an option. The Yankees have dealt with their fair share of injuries to this point and continue to win games at a consistent pace. That is a testament to Joe Girardi and the job Brian Cashman has done to give this organization some depth in the minor leagues. It seems like every week I say the same thing but Robinson Cano is really coming into his own. We are looking at a perennial MVP candidate, perennial batting title contender, and a tremendous defensive second basemen. With Chase Utley slumping, Cano is the best second basemen in the game.

3. Atlanta Braves (4) (37-27)- The Braves end week 11 fresh off a series win over the Twins and continue to lead the pack in the NL East. Martin Prado leads the league in hits with 90 and Troy Glaus has his average up to .290 with 13 long-balls after hitting under .200 in April. Tim Hudson and Tommy Hanson have been a tremendous duo atop the rotation and Billy Wagner has been lights out in the back end of the bullpen.

4. Boston Red Sox (5) (37-28)- Here we are, more than 60 games into the season, and we have three teams in the AL East in the top four spots in these power rankings. Looking back at my pre-season rankings, I was pretty close, with all three of these squads in the top five. Adrian Beltre’s season has flown under the radar for some reason. Beltre is hitting .335 with 9 homeruns and 44 RBI’s. Jon Lester and Clay Bucholz continue to lock down this Red Sox rotation as John Lackey and the rest of the bunch search for some consistency. If the back end of this rotation does find their stuff, the sky is the limit for the Bosox.

5. Los Angeles Dodgers (6) (36-27)- The Dodgers impressed me early in the week with a sweep of the Cardinals and then severely disappointed me by getting swept by the Angels. Clayton Kershaw is starting to go deeper in the games along with Chad Billingsley. That is the recipe for success for this Dodgers team. The offense is doing more than enough to keep the wins coming but there has to be some concern for Manny Ramirez. He only has five homeruns so far but he is getting on base at a very good clip. Same old same old for Jonathan Broxton in the ninth inning. He has a 0.95 ERA with 42 strikeouts and only 3 walks. Amazing.

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Johnny G’s MLB Power Rankings Part 9 & 10

June 7th, 2010 by Johnny G | 40 Comments | Filed in Baseball, General

1. Tampa Bay Rays (1) (37-20)- The Rays starting rotation came back to earth, as expected, but the team as a whole continues to plug along. No matter what the issue has been this season they have battled through it. John Jaso hitting leadoff? No problem. Carlos Pena hitting well below .200? No problem. Ben Zobrist has come on strong and has his average over .300 with some decent power after going homer-less for the first month of the season. As long as this young staff can keep going deep into games, the Rays have a playoff spot waiting for them.

2. New York Yankees (2) (35-22)- How good is Robbie Cano? .363 batting average along with 45 RBI’s and 41 runs scored and a 1.013 OPS. That is absolutely incredible. The struggles for Mark Teixeira have continued, though. That has to be concerning as it is starting to get too late in the season to use the excuse that “it’s early yet”. Make no mistake about it, if the Yankees want to win, Tex has to hit.

3. Minnesota Twins (3) (33-24)- Justin Morneau continues to absolutely carry this offense and leads the Twins in just about every category. He has a .370 average, 13 homeruns, 40 RBI’s, a .483 OBP, 71 hits, and 43 walks, all best on the team. The other part of this two-headed monster, Joe Mauer, has been in a bit of a slump, seeing his average drop to a human .313. Even with the injuries the Twins have dealt with, they still hold a comfortable 3.5 game lead in the division and look like they could improve.

4. Atlanta Braves (13) (33-24)- Wow, what a roll this team is currently on. Finally this offense has come around and what a difference it has made. Suddenly Troy Glaus is a middle of the order threat and Martin Prado has continued to rake. Chipper Jones was starting to come around before yet another nagging hand injury and Eric Hinske has taken advantage of his increase in at-bats. The Braves currently hold a two game lead in the NL East. How great of a story would it be to see Bobby Cox go out a winner? This team has the talent to make that happen.

5. Boston Red Sox (8) (33-25)- Where are all those people who said “this isn’t the Red Sox year”, “the Red Sox just aren’t good this year”, “you are biased because you are on the East Coast”. Let’s break this down simply. When you build a team with strong pitching (check), phenomenal defense (check), a phenomenal bullpen (check), and a very solid lineup (check), that team is probably going to win its fair share of games. I realize everybody hates the Red Sox but why don’t we all get a clue and sit back and learn something about the game of baseball. Like I said in week one and every week thereafter, pitching wins and this team has one of the best pitching staffs in the majors.

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Johnny G’s MLB Power Rankings Part 8

May 24th, 2010 by Johnny G | 36 Comments | Filed in General

1. Tampa Bay Rays (1) (32-12)- The Rays continue to cruise and as they stretch their lead in the AL East, they are beginning to approach some modern day records. This is the 4th best start in American league history and they have outscored their opponents by over 100 runs through only 44 games. Ben Zobrist is now hitting over .300 with his first two homeruns of the season this week. This squad is going to get very scary to play against if you can add Ben Zobrist to the mix playing like he did in 2009.

2. New York Yankees (2) (26-18)- The Yankees are really struggling with some injuries right now but they better be careful. After being swept in a mini two game set by the Rays, they now sit six games back of the division. Jorge Posada is on the DL, along with Curtis Granderson and Nick Johnson. Whenever a team of the Yankees caliber drops a series to a team like the Mets, there is always room for concern.

3.Philadelphia Phillies (3) (26-17)- The Phillies start inter-league play off with some less than stellar play, as they do every year. Jimmy Rollins and Brad Lidge are both back on the DL and Rollins absence in the lineup is really starting to show at this point. Carlos Ruiz’ hot start is a distant memory, as his plate approach and pitch selection has reverted back to the old Carlos Ruiz. Roy Halladay was roughed up by the Red Sox on Sunday, which will bring all of the questions out of the wood work about whether or not Manuel has overworked Doc. Everybody Relax. He will be fine.

4. Minnesota Twins (4) (26-18)- It is absolutely insane the numbers Justin Morneau is throwing up right now. .383 batting average with 11 homeruns 24 RBI’s and 35 walks. His OBP is .497 and his OPS is a ridiculous 1.199. Joe Mauer is still plugging along with a .343 average and the rest of the offense has continued to produce. All the starter’s ERAs have come back down to earth but this is an overall solid team throughout.

5. San Diego Padres (5) (26-18)- The fairytale continues for the San Diego Padres. In a recent Sports Illustrated Heath Bell was questioned about the possibility of a fire sale, where he and Adrian Gonzalez would be traded. He said both he and Adrian discussed it during Spring Training and came to the following conclusion. “Lets just win so much that they can’t break this team up.” It really looks like the rest of this crew has taken the same attitude, because if they continue to play like this, the Padres roster might be making additions come the trade deadline.

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