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Archive for April 2009

David Ortiz officially renamed “Little Papi.”

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The Red Sox’s David Ortiz won’t go the whole year without a homerun. But still, Sox fans have got to be worried about “Big” Papi’s utter lack of power.

He’s hitting doubles and some of those will turn into homers. Still, my grandmother can hit doubles in Fenway Park. And while it’s encouraging that he’s driving the ball to the opposite field, his average still sits at a measly .235. So despite what appears to be a positive, he’s obviously still not seeing the ball that well or his average would be up despite the power dip.

And this begs the question: Is it possible that Ortiz is going to be a shadow of the player he once was without the protection of Manny? Some stats indicate that Ortiz will be just fine; that he’ll simply garner more intentional walks while still slugging consistently.

I am not completely sold on that.

Ortiz is struggling to the tune of 0 homeruns.

The sample size is one-sixth of his data with Manny.

For that reason, American League pitchers are going to challenge Ortiz and make him prove that he can hit in a Manny-less lineup. So far he hasn’t.

He’s been swinging and missing way too often. He’s been chasing inside fastballs, a problem that dates way back to his Minnesota days. His inability to make contact with that pitch, or to even lay off it, was part of the reason he was unceremoniously ousted before even really getting a chance there. He’s already struckout 21 times this year, nearly one-third of his total last year and nearly one-fourth the total during his heydays with Manny. Did I mention it’s the first month?

And it’s not like Kevin Youkilis is a slouch batting behind him. Last year’s MVP candidate is currently batting .405 with 5 homeruns, 15 RBI, and 20 runs scored. I’m going straight after Ortiz with the Bearded One behind him.

Ortiz had a brutal April last year too, so maybe it’s just a matter of time before he breaks out. Still, I’m looking for the slow decline to continue.


On his way…

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Future Cy.

Don’t lie to me, Albert.

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Pujols looks like baseball's savior.

Written by dylansharek

April 30, 2009 at 11:00 am

Big time star. Even bigger juicer?

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Mr. New York Post feels betrayed!

Here we go again.

According to Selena Roberts’ new book¬†A-Rod, the New York Yankee’s slugger may have been juicing all the way back in high school. The report allegedly says that one of Rodriguez’s high school teammates admitted that the prospect used steroids as a prep-league player. The claim is refuted by Rodriguez’s high school coach, however.

Another source links Rodriguez to Kevin Brown, the former Yankee’s righthander and big bust signing, who also happened to be mentioned in the Mitchell Report.

At this point, I don’t believe a single word Rodriguez says. All the trouble and controversy that will be centered on him in the coming months could have been avoided if he simply said, “Yes, I did steroids. And yes, I meant to.” Everyday, my respect for Jason Giambi raises while guys like Rodriguez, Clemens, and Pettitte looks like total copouts.

Once a cheater, always a cheater.

This is getting ridiculous.

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Now, I am someone who is always intrigued by things like the bubonic plague and leprosy and the like. Any uncontrolled and contagious epidemic that could possibly turn a human being into something zombie-like, I am all about.

It’s one of my dreams to fight off zombies while in a Super Walmart, guns blazing, soccer balls flying and doors barricaded. It’d be awesome. But anyways…

The Dodger’s clubhouse is worried about swine flu.

Come on! The amount of scare tactics involved with this new flu strain is just absolutely out of hand. If anyone in the Dodger’s clubhouse comes down with swine flu, I’ll friggin’ inject myself with the bird flu while setting my clocks back for Y2K while on Three Mile Island.

Goddamn swine flu...

Written by dylansharek

April 29, 2009 at 12:00 pm

Welcome to Injury City. I’m the mayor.

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The other day I told Ramirez, “I know you think you’re ready to go, but we’re going to rest you for a couple more days.”

And Ramirez, like the competitor he is, tried to go out there and run on his hammy. He admitted he couldn’t accelerate like usual; that he couldn’t run well enough to merely be sufficient on the basepaths. Now he’s looking at a stint on the DL.

Ramirez is the latest of my stars to go down with an injury. First, it was the red-hot Christian Guzman and a similar leg injury. Then it was McLouth and his oblique. Then it was Soria and a mysterious shoulder injury. To add insult to injury, Delgado went down with a hurt hip a couple days ago.

Add to it a couple struggling starters, and my roster was unceremoniously depleted. It looked something like this when all was said and done:

After a hot start, Team Cuba is struggling.

As manager, it’s my responsibility to make sure I field the best team I possibly can. If I can open up a few roster spots, I can add the cream of the crop from the waiver wire and make something out of nothing.

I’m going to go ahead and drop Greene and Jacobs. They haven’t shown what they can do yet and they’ll still be on the wire in a month or so. In baseball, it’s important to remember that it’s a business; you should be able to cut players and trade ’em like playing cards. I’m going to put Guzman on the DL since he is the only one eligible. These moves leave me three open roster spots.

I’m taking an extended look at Seattle 1B Russell Branyan. After hearing tales about his prodigious power from everyone except my mother and after a 5-5 game on Tuesday against the White Sox, I’m sold on the big guy. He’s got 3B versatility too, so he looks like an ideal pickup. Versatility is clutch in times like this.

Russell "The Muscle" Branyan is a basher.

It’s also time to go ahead and sign the Indian’s Asdrubal Cabrera. Unlike other hot shortstops (the Ray’s Ben Zobrist comes to mind), Cabrera plays every day and will give you something each day he’s in the lineup. He doesn’t have much pop, but either does Guzman. He’ll be an adequate replacement.

Finding someone to replace a guy like McLouth is no easy task. You need someone who will be lightning in a bottle, someone who will give you all the pomp and circumstance of McLouth in one-tenth of the time.

I’m going to sign Jason Kubel. The Minnesota Twin’s OF and DH has taken strides in each of his MLB seasons, developing his power and plate discipline extremely well. He’s had some huge games this year and the best I can hope for is a couple homers and 10-12 RBIs while McLouth is hurting.

As the owner of Soria, I have a leg up on the competition. I know who his replacement is going to be. I don’t need to look far. Juan Cruz, you’ve got yourself a deal!

Here’s what my team looks like now (with a few other additions by subtraction):

The new faces of Team Cuba.

Patrick Schuster comes up short.

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Unfortunately the hard hurling high school lefty didn’t get no-no #5 yesterday, giving up a hit to Gaither High’s Drew Doty in the third inning.

We’ll look for you on the draft boards, bud.

For the original story, click here.

Written by dylansharek

April 29, 2009 at 10:41 am