Sunday, January 22, 2017

My Thoughts on the 2017 MLB Hall of Fame Election 1/22/17

Hey baseball fans!

Congratulations to all who were elected into the MLB Hall of Fame on Wednesday! Here are my thoughts on the vote in general:

I'm really happy about...
Jeff Bagwell and Ivan Rodriguez receiving enough votes to get elected. Bagpipes is one of the top two hitters in Astros history (along with Craig Biggio) and should've been a first-ballot Hall of Famer and Pudge was one of the most dominant catchers of his era. Those were no-brainer shoe-ins.
















I'm indifferent about...
Tim Raines. I know his stats are great and he is one of the best base-stealers of all time, but I've always been on the fence about him being in the Hall. Maybe it's because he's been on the ballot for so many years and hasn't gotten the votes. But I'm not going to say that he doesn't deserve the induction because I didn't get to see his electrifying speed in real time. To be frank, I think I'm the wrong person to be judging Raines on whether or not he should be in Cooperstown, but good for him that he's in.


I'm outraged at...
How Trevor Hoffman and Vlad Guerrero didn't get in. Seriously, how? Hoffman is one of two closers ever with 600+ saves and Guerrero batted .318 lifetime with 449 home runs in just 16 years! I think Guerrero will get in sooner rather than later, but I'm not too sure about Hoffman, which scares me slightly. If the legendary member of the Padres doesn't get the required 75% in 2018, then he'll have to be compared with Mariano Rivera in the 2019 vote, which is a battle that the Sandman will definitely win. All I'm saying is Hoffman deserves a plaque and I don't see any argument against that.















Why in the world...
Is Edgar Martinez not in the Hall by now? There is an annual award named after him that is given to the best DH and he was the best DH ever at the time of his retirement! But even besides those obvious reasons, he batted .312 during his career and helped revamp the Seattle Mariners franchise! It just doesn't make sense to me.



With respect to Bonds and Clemens...
The voters made the right decision.

Do you agree with my thoughts or disagree? Write what you think down in the comments section. Thanks for reading this post and I hope you enjoyed it. Check back soon for more of "all the buzz on what wuzz."

Sunday, January 15, 2017

ML"what would"B: What If Miggy Was Never Traded? 1/15/17

Hey baseball fans!

A while back, I had a series on a website called More Than A Fan called ML"what would"B, where I would analyze a "what-if" scenario in baseball history, like what if the Yankees had won the 2004 ALCS. Well, I haven't done it in a while, so I decided to bring it back on Baseball with Matt. In this edition of ML"what would"B, let's see what would've happened if a certain Venezuelan slugger hadn't gotten traded from an NL East team named after a fish.

Miguel Cabrera was one of the best up-and-coming hitters in baseball, but following the 2007 season, the Marlins decided to trade him to the Tigers, where he would become the Triple Crown-winning Miguel Cabrera we all know and love today. But what if the Marlins hadn't traded him?


Well the first major change would be that Miggy never plays first base, because the Marlins have a great slugger at first in Mike Jacobs, but they also have Jorge Cantu at third, so Cabrera is put permanently in the outfield. This turns out great for the Marlins, because now they don't have to replace their sluggers with another slugger for the '08 season. Jacobs and Cantu hit 32 and 29 homers respectively during 2008, so putting Miggy's 37 homers at either position wouldn't have made much sense. But those 37 homers do pay huge dividends for the Marlins' record that season, as the team goes 92-70, good enough for the NL Wild Card spot. They would be knocked out by the Phillies in the NLDS, but with this great power-hitting Marlins squad, Jacobs is never traded to the Royals the following season and his power numbers don't dip.

The 2009 Marlins do even better than in 2008, with the help of batting champ Hanley Ramirez and 34 homers from Jacobs and Cabrera each. Their 97-65 record gets them all the way to the World Series, where they face the Yankees. There, they get absolutely humiliated in a sweep due to a lack of a good pitching staff. This is immediately solved when Florida is greeted by a soon-to-be retiree in the form of Roy Halladay during free agency, who wins the 2010 NL Cy Young award. Partner that with great seasons from Miggy, Jacobs, and Dan Uggla and the emergence of Giancarlo Stanton and the 2010 Marlins finish the season with 95 wins, which is good enough to win the NL East by one game over the Phillies. Florida powers through the NL playoffs, but loses its second consecutive World Series, this time to the Rangers and their AL MVP Josh Hamilton.

After an off 2011 season, the Marlins are looking to once again be a winning team. With the help of a stadium and branding change and the addition of Prince Fielder in the offseason, the Marlins explode for 98 wins, the best record in the NL, as Miguel Cabrera finishes the season with the first Triple Crown since 1967. Miami goes to the World Series where they face...the Yankees! Wait, but what happened to the 2012 AL champion Detroit Tigers, you ask? Well, they don't have Miggy or Prince, so they've been a laughingstock in the AL for years now. Anyway, because of postseason slumps by stars like Robinson Cano and Nick Swisher, the Marlins capitalize and win the franchise's third World Series! And they don't have to ship out their good players after this championship because they actually have a solid attendance record after being good for so many years! Huzzah! What can I say? Anything can happen, here in the ML"what would"B.


Saturday, January 7, 2017

Bo Jackson's 1989 All Star Game 1/7/17

Hey baseball fans!

The NFL playoffs start today! In honor of this momentous occasion, it's time to learn about one of the greatest MLB All Star Game performances ever. It just so happened that this performance came from a dual athlete.

Bo Jackson was arguably a better football player than a baseball player, but he actually made each sports' All Star Games. Jackson's lone MLB All Star Game appearance came in 1989, a season in which he went on to hit a career-high 32 home runs and collect a career-high 105 RBIs while playing for the Royals, so his All Star nod was very well-deserved. In the 1989 All Star Game, Bo did absolutely amazing.

Jackson led off the ASG with a gargantuan home run that landed in the center field tarp at Anaheim Stadium, 448 feet away from home plate to be exact. It's one of the farthest homers ever hit at an All Star Game. In his next at-bat, Bo grounded into a force out at second base, but still drove in a run. He then proceeded to steal second base, becoming the second batter in MLB history to hit a home run and steal a base in the same All Star Game, the first being Willie Mays. And in his next at-bat, Jackson singled to center field. He would finish the day going 2-4 with two RBIs, a home run, a stolen base, and an All Star Game MVP Award.


What an amazing performance by Bo Jackson in the '89 Midsummer Classic. If only he made more of those during his MLB career. Thanks for reading this post and I hope you enjoyed it. Check back soon for more of "all the buzz on what wuzz."

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Was It Worth It: Adrian Beltre and the Rangers 12/31/16

Hey baseball fans!

The MLB offseason has already been packed with excitement, as teams are already signing players to gigantic contracts. The question is, however, will the contracts be worth it? In this mini-series on Baseball with Matt, I will be examining the careers of current baseball players after they signed huge contracts to see whether the team that signed them has gotten enough back in return. For this post, let's check out the career of one of the most underrated hitters in baseball: Adrian Beltre.

Before the Big Bucks:
Adrian Beltre has been playing in the MLB for an extremely long time, since 1998 to be exact, and his first couple of years weren't filled with excitement. In the first six years of his career, which were played with the Dodgers, the third baseman never hit more than 23 homers in a season. But in 2004, he exploded, leading the league with 48 dingers with a .334 batting average and 121 RBIs. He placed second in the MVP voting and won his first career Silver Slugger that year. In the next six years of his career, he continued to post solid stats, averaging about 22 homers a season. He also collected his first two career Gold Gloves and made his first All Star Game in 2010. But after the 2010 campaign, which he played with the Red Sox, he was granted free agency. On January 6, 2011, Beltre signed a monster 6-year, $96 million deal with the Texas Rangers.


After the Signing:
I think it's safe to say that although $96 million is a lot of money, this deal was definitely worth it for the Rangers. In my opinion, even though he is not always recognized for it, Adrian Beltre has become one of the best third basemen in baseball. From 2011-2016, he's batted a solid .308, averaging 28 home runs and 94 RBIs a season. He's made three more All Star Games (2011, 2012, and 2014) and was even the starting third baseman for the AL for the '11 and '12 ASG. But perhaps the biggest reason why this deal was worth it for the Rangers was Beltre's insane fielding ability. He's won the Gold Glove at third base for the AL in four of the last six years. Oh, and did I mention that Beltre's unbelievable leadership and play has led the Rangers to four playoff births since 2011, including a trip to the 2011 World Series?


The bottom line is that if Beltre continues his dominance for another few years, he will absolutely be a Hall of Famer, despite the fact that he tries to make contact with the wildest of pitches. His time with the Rangers has made him the legend that he is. Thanks for reading this post and I hope you enjoyed it. Check back soon for more of "all the buzz on what wuzz."

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Was It Worth It: Max Scherzer and the Nationals 12/24/16

Hey baseball fans!

The MLB offseason has already been packed with excitement, as teams are already signing players to gigantic contracts. The question is, however, will the contracts be worth it? In this mini-series on Baseball with Matt, I will be examining the careers of current baseball players after they signed huge contracts to see whether the team that signed them has gotten enough back in return. The first player I analyzed was Albert Pujols, but now let's travel to the mound to look at the career of Max Scherzer before and after he signed for big bucks to play in our nation's capital.

Before the Big Bucks:
Max Scherzer started his career with the Diamondbacks in 2008 and was traded to the Tigers following the 2009 season. The pitcher with different-colored eyes was just an alright pitcher for the first five years of his career. His best year in that timespan was 2012, when he went 16-7 with a 3.74 ERA. There were flashes of greatness, but he wasn't an All Star pitcher until 2013. That year with Detroit, he went 21-3 (those 21 wins led the league) with an ERA of 2.90, led the league with a 0.970 WHIP, was the AL starting pitcher at the All Star Game, and won the Cy Young Award. The next year, he again led the league in wins with 17 and again made the All Star Game. But following the 2014 season, he was granted free agency and signed a 7 year, $210 million contract with the Washington Nationals.


After Signing:
Boy, was this a great move for D.C. Sure, it's a lot of money, but it's been extremely worth it considering Scherzer is still one of the best pitchers in baseball. His record wasn't so hot in 2015, going just 14-12, but his ERA was his best of his career at 2.79. He made the NL All Star team, led the league in complete games and shutouts, and placed fifth in Cy Young Award voting. In 2016, he won a league-leading 20 games with a 2.96 ERA, led the league in strikeouts (284) and WHIP (0.968), made the All Star Game, and won his second career Cy Young Award. On top of that, he led a talented Nationals team to an NL East title. Seriously, this guy has been an insane pitcher in the National League. Speaking of pitching in the NL, Scherzer also had 12 RBIs in 2016. Wow!!


Max Scherzer is one of the most important reasons why the Nationals are a force to be reckoned with in the National League every single year. So, in conclusion, this deal has definitely been worth it so far for the Nats. Who knows what Scherzer will turn into in the last five years of his contract, but he doesn't seem to be slowing down any time soon. Thanks for reading this post and I hope you enjoyed it. Check back soon for more of "all the buzz on what wuzz."

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Was It Worth It: Albert Pujols and the Angels 12/14/16

Hey baseball fans!

The Winter Meetings are here and teams are already signing players to gigantic contracts. The question is, however, will the contracts be worth it? In this new mini-series on Baseball with Matt, I will be examining the careers of current baseball players after they signed huge contracts and seeing if the team that signed them has gotten enough back in return. The first player I am analyzing will be Albert Pujols.


Before the Big Bucks: 
From 2001-2011, Albert Pujols was perhaps the best player in baseball. A first baseman for the Cardinals, Prince Albert batted .328 with an average of 40 home runs and 121 RBIs per season during those years. He made nine All Star Games and won the NL MVP three times. He also helped the Cardinals win the 2006 and 2011 World Series. But after the 2011 season, Pujols was granted free agency and signed a ten-year, $240 million contract with the Los Angeles Angels. What a big contract, right? Well, at the time, Pujols was one of the best of the best in the MLB and the Angels needed some help in the lineup. Since then, however, things have not been the same for the slugging future Hall of Famer.

After Signing:
After playing with the Angels for five seasons, in my opinion, it's safe to say that this deal was not worth it for LA and here's why. Sure, Albert has averaged 29 home runs a season in Southern California, but other than that, his numbers have been significantly worse. His batting average per season with the Angels is a mediocre .266, 62 points lower than when playing by the Arch. His difference in slugging percentage is even worse: .474 compared to .617. And don't even get me started on his WAR: 7.8 per season in St. Louis and only 2.9 in LA. On top of all this, since 2012, the Angels have only made one playoff appearance, a 2014 AL West Division title, and in that appearance, they were swept in the first round. I don't think this sudden decline was really expected by the MLB community, but it's clear now why Pujols's stats have worsened since the 2011 season and it's not his fault: age. His body is starting to slow down, but it started slowing down at a rate that the Angels probably never saw coming. So, in conclusion, although Pujols has still put up solid numbers, they aren't what we have long considered to be "Albert Pujols numbers," so the deal was not worth it.

An Alternative: 
The Angels aren't exactly known for their pitching. In 2016, LA's pitching staff had an ERA of 4.28, good for 21st in baseball. Their hitting wasn't too good last year either, but it's on the pitcher's mound where there is a real concern. They also only saved 29 games last year, which was 28th in the MLB last year. Imagine if instead of signing Pujols in 2011, they traded for a guy like Yoenis Cespedes and then signed him on a much cheaper and shorter deal and in this past offseason signed someone like Kenley Jansen to improve the bullpen.

I'm not saying that I hate Albert Pujols. In fact, he's one of my favorite players right now and I'm always rooting for him to put up great stats. But the bottom line is that he's not the same first baseman from ten years ago. The Angels' franchise would be in a much better place right now if they hadn't spent that much money on him. Thanks for reading this post and I hope you enjoyed it. Check back soon for more of "all the buzz on what wuzz."

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Hispanic Baseball Last Name Vocab Quiz! 12/4/16

Hey baseball fans!

One of the things I love about baseball is how international it is, specifically how many Latin American players get the chance to play in the MLB. However, do you know what the last names of some familiar Spanish-speaking baseball players mean? That's what this post is for.

Last Name: C├ęspedes
Player with this last name: Yoenis C├ęspedes
Meaning: Lawns

Last Name: Posada
Player with this last name: Jorge Posada
Meaning: Inn



Last Name: Rivera
Player with this last name: Mariano Rivera
Meaning: Brook

Last Name: Cabrera
Players with this last name: Miguel Cabrera, Asdrubal Cabrera
Meaning: Goatherd

Last Name: Clemente
Player with this last name: Roberto Clemente
Meaning: Merciful

Last Name: Castillo
Player with this last name: Luis Castillo
Meaning: Castle

Last Name: Correa
Player with this last name: Carlos Correa
Meaning: Strap

Last Name: Last Name: Gallardo
Player with this last name: Yovani Gallardo
Meaning: Gallant

Last Name: Guerrero
Player with this last name: Vladimir Guerrero
Meaning: Warrior

Last Name: Delgado
Player with this last name: Carlos Delgado
Meaning: Thin

Last Name: Bautista
Player with this last name: Jose Bautista
Meaning: Baptist

Last Name: Garza
Player with this last name: Matt Garza
Meaning: Heron

Some of these meanings are extremely allegorical. Roberto Clemente was known for his charitable nature and Vlad Guerrero fought off every pitch thrown at him. Others make absolutely no sense. I don't think that Matt Garza would compare himself to a heron. And some are very funny. I would totally stay at a hotel called "Jorge's Posada." Any way, did you know any of the meanings to these last names? Leave more Hispanic baseball surnames in the comments section below with their translations. Thanks for reading this post and I hope you enjoyed it. Check back soon for more of "all the buzz on what wuzz."