Blog Archives

Heart of the Panda

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“Everybody was Kung Fu Fighting….”

Just a quick update here, but I just wanted to talk about how remarkable Pablo Sandoval’s three homer game was in Game One of the World Series and how no one seems to be talking about it.

In a feat that has been matched only by baseball greats Babe Ruth, Reggie Jackson, and Albert Pujols, Sandoval blasted three shots off the tenacious Tiger pitching staff and slugged his way into the record books. His first inning shot off King Verlander was a surprise, on an 0-2 count nonetheless, and then he did it again. And again.

The Panda hit three shots into the stands on a crisp San Francisco night and yet no one seems to be talking about this performance. Could it be that its luster was diminished because Pujols hit three in a game just last year? Maybe it was because the game drew the lowest ratings of any World Series game in history? Whatever the case, Pablo deserves just a little bit more recognition than he received, but don’t worry, he’ll get it when he takes the World Series MVP trophy off of Mr. Selig’s hands next week.

It’s going to be Panda-monium.
The Manoman

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Giant Predictions for this World Series

The 2012 season has been a year of surprises. Both the Orioles and the Athletics, teams that were predicted to dwell in the cellars of their respective divisions, made the playoffs. Mike Trout became Superman Reincarnated and is likely to win at least the AL Rookie of the Year, if not the AL MVP. Fernando Rodney discovered what it was like to pitch again, while aces Tim Lincecum and Roy Halladay seemingly lost all understanding of the concepts of winning baseball games. However there is still one thing we know, Jason Bay still sucks. But now it has come time for the ultimate conclusion to our eventful 2012 season, as we have reached the Fall Classic.

*cue the dramatic music*

In a matchup that offers little surprise to baseball analysts who had created postseason predictions before the season’s beginning, the San Francisco Giants are set to take on the Detroit Tigers in this year’s World Series. With the first game happening tonight, predictions are rampant among baseball analysts and casual observers of the game. That being said, here are my five startling predictions for the 2012 World Series.

1. Justin Verlander will not be the winning starting pitcher tonight.

-That would be Mr. Overpaid Barry Zito, who will regain his form and allow a total of 2 runs over 7 innings. Verlander will allow 3 but will still be on the hook for the loss.

2. Brandon Crawford will become the Giants’ Derek Jeter, leading the team in hits during the series.  

-Move over Marco Scutaro, there’s a new OBP monster in town. Crawford will erupt this series, and I’m predicting about 10 hits from him in total over a course of 22 at-bats.

3. Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder will combine to total 4 RBI’s and a .240 BA.

-Miggy and Prince aren’t invincible, and this will be one of those unforeseen situations where in major moments they won’t be able to put the bat on the ball. It will drive the guys at ESPN insane!

4. José Valverde will reclaim the closer role and save one of the Tiger victories.

-Sorry Phil, but I prefer Pepsi. José will save a game, but before he does he will allow one walk and one hit to make things a little more interesting.

5. Giants in 6.
-Trust me, it’s a tough prediction to swallow, but as we’ve seen with this season, anything is possible.

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The Manoman

Fantasy Baseball 2012 Rankings-Top 50

Below are my Fantasy Baseball Rankings for the top 50 players in 2012

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1. Albert Pujols (1B- Angels)

2.Miguel Cabrera (1B/3B- Tigers)

3. Matt Kemp (OF- Dodgers)

4. Troy Tulowitzki (SS- Rockies)

5. José Bautista (3B/OF- Blue Jays)

6. Robinson Cano (2B- Yankees)

7. Prince Fielder (1B- Tigers)

8. Adrian Gonzalez (1B- Red Sox)

9. Evan Longoria (3B- Rays)

10. Justin Upton (OF- Diamondbacks)

11. Jacoby Ellsbury (OF- Red Sox)

12. Joey Votto (1B- Reds)

13. Justin Verlander (SP- Tigers)

14. José Reyes (SS- Marlins)

15. Hanley Ramirez (3B/SS- Marlins)

16. Mike Stanton (OF- Marlins)

17 . Clayton Kershaw (SP- Dodgers)

18. Matt Holliday (OF- Cardinals)

19. Curtis Granderson (OF- Yankees)

20. Ian Kinsler (2B- Rangers)

21. Andrew McCutchen (OF- Pirates)

22. Roy Halladay (SP- Phillies)

23. David Wright (3B- Mets)

24. Ryan Braun (OF- Brewers)

25. Carlos Gonzalez (OF- Rockies)

26. Brian McCann (C- Braves)

27. Tim Lincecum (SP- Giants)

28. Mark Teixeira (1B- Yankees)

29. Dustin Pedroia (2B- Red Sox)

30. Josh Hamilton (OF- Rangers)

31. Ryan Zimmerman (3B- Nationals)

32. Felix Hernandez (SP- Mariners)

33. CC Sabathia (SP- Yankees)

34. Adrian Beltre (3B- Rangers)

35. Cliff Lee (SP- Phillies)

36. Jay Bruce (OF- Reds)

37. Jered Weaver (SP- Angels)

38. Buster Posey (C- Giants)

39. Brett Lawrie (3B- Blue Jays)

40. Elvis Andrus (SS- Rangers)

41. Carlos Santana (C- Indians)

42. Michael Young (1B/3B- Rangers)

43. Hunter Pence (OF- Phillies)

44. Alex Rodriguez (3B- Yankees)

45. Nelson Cruz (OF- Rangers)

46. Desmond Jennings (OF- Rays)

47. Starlin Castro (SS- Cubs)

48. Pablo Sandoval (3B- Giants)

49. Dan Haren (SP- Angels)

50. Carl Crawford (OF- Red Sox)

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Oh So Close :

51. Brandon Phillips (2B- Reds)

52. Mike Napoli (C- Rangers)

53. David Price (SP- Rays)

54. Michael Bourn (OF- Braves)

55. Paul Konerko (1B- White Sox)

56. Matt Cain (SP- Giants)

57. Jimmy Rollins (SS- Phillies)

58. Craig Kimbrel (CL- Braves)

59. Alex Avila (C- Tigers)

60. Dustin Ackley (2B- Mariners)

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Oh and by the way, Brett Lawrie is going to rake this year.

The Manoman

New Blog Photo

What do you guys think?

The Manoman

The 2011 G.I.B.B.Y.’s

I went onto MLB.com and stumbled upon the GIBBYs (Greatness in Baseball Yearly Awards) which allow the fans to vote each year for the players and plays that they thought were the best at their respective categories. I ended up voting and figured I’d share those votes with you. Let’s begin, shall we?

MLB.com GIBBY's

Stars:

Player of the Year- Matt Kemp

Matt Kemp

If this was the MVP, my vote would have probably changed to Ryan Braun (MIL,OF). However, I felt that Kemp was a worthy recipient of my vote,  being as this award is based purely off stats and also because in 2011, Kemp recorded a 39-40 HR/steal season, one home run away from the exclusive 40-40 club.

Starting Pitcher of the Year- Justin Verlander

Justin Verlander

This one was pretty much a no brainer in my mind, as without Verlander, its very likely that the Tigers don’t even make it into the playoffs. His 24-5 record and dominant season is reminiscent to that of Pedro Martinez in 2001 and when you throw a no-hitter in there, he is untouchable.

Rookie of the Year- Craig Kimbrel

Craig Kimbrel

When a player has 46 saves in a season, you know he is an amazing player. But when that player is a rookie, that takes that accomplishment to a whole new level, and that is exactly what Kimbrel did last year. He set a new rookie saves record and posted an otherworldly 14.84 K/9 ratio last year.

Closer of the Year- Mariano Rivera

Mariano Rivera

This one was, at the outset, a tough decision. You have a guy like Jose Valverde, who goes 49-49 in save opportunities, leads his club into the ALCS, and becomes the Tigers all-time single season saves leader, and then you have Mariano. The same Mariano who had 44 saves and a 1.91 ERA this past season. The same Mariano who recorded his 600 and record-breaking 602 saves. And the same Mariano who, at age 41, continued his dominance over MLB hitters for an astounding 14 years straight. That’s my vote for Closer of the Year.

Setup Man of the Year- Jonny Venters

Jonny Venters

Jonny Venters

Another close race, but I feel that Venters deserves my vote. Kimbrel and he were the anchors of the Braves bullpen, and without Venters’ solid season, the Braves wouldn’t have fared as well as they ended up: 1 game away from a Wild Card berth. His 35 holds were 2nd in the NL and he still has many more great years to come, as this was only his 2nd Major League season.

Defensive Player of the Year- Asdrubal Cabrera

Asdrubal Cabrera

If you have turned on Sports Center this year, even once, I can guarantee you that you’ve seen at least one of Asdrubal’s amazing plays this year. He induced 78 double plays this year and his finesse and grace when handling the ball is unmatchable.

Breakout Player of the Year- Ryan Vogelsong

Ryan Vogelsong

This was probably the hardest pick of them all, as how do you choose between a pitcher who went from 9-10 to 21-4 (Ian Kennedy)  and one that came from Japan to become a Major League All-Star? I ended up going with Vogelsong, as I felt that his contributions to the Giants this year should not be overlooked, and becoming a MLB All Star after having to readjust to a whole new life in the US from Japan is pretty phenomenal.

Comeback Player of the Year- Jacoby Ellsbury

Jacoby Ellsbury

Yes, its a Red Sox player, but Jacoby was worthy of my vote. He rebounded from a season in which he played only 18 games to post a .321-32 HR-39 steal campaign in addition to providing spectacular defense in center for the Sox, allowing no errors all year. Quite the comeback if you ask me.

Wow Factor of the Year- Robinson Cano

Robinson Cano

 Robby has truly evolved into a different animal from the days in which people considered him to be lazy and to not have a passion for the game of baseball. His strong work ethic has pushed him into a force to be reckoned with on the field each night, and with his amazing glove work, hitting ability, and determination, he certainly “wows” me when he plays the game.

Manager of the Year- Joe Maddon

Joe Maddon

 If this award included the postseason, I would have went with Tony La Russa for his amazing strategizing and spectacular ways of overcoming the odds against strongholds such as the Phillies, Brewers and Rangers. However, being as this award is only applicable towards the regular season, one would have to give it to Joe Maddon for sticking with his players and making the best with what he had. The Rays comeback from nine games back made history, and he totally deserves this award.

Executive of the Year- Jon Daniels

Jon Daniels

Daniels made key deals and trades to contribute to the formation of the 2011 Rangers, including signing Adrian Beltre, dealing Frank Francisco for Mike Napoli, and acquiring Mike Adams and Koji Uehara at the Trade Deadline to bolster the Texas bullpen.  These moves, especially the bolstering of a weak bullpen and not dealing Michael Young, helped the Rangers get to the World Series for the second consecutive year and gave Jon Daniels my vote for Executive of the Year.

Postseason MVP- David Freese

David Freese

All of the nominees for this award put together strong cases, however, how could I not have voted the NLCS and WS MVP David Freese? His game-tying two-run triple and walk-off home run against the Rangers in Game 6 were historic, and his 21 RBI’s set a new postseason record and led the Cardinals to their eleventh World Series title.

And with that, my votes are in! Did I get them all right?

haitian-truth.org

We’ll just have to wait and see…

The Manoman

Verlander for AL MVP?

Justin Verlander

CC vs. Verlander…A True Pitchers Duel

Today is sure to be a great matchup as the Yankees face up against the fiercesome Tigers and their ace…

 

(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Justin_Verlander)

Justin Verlander.

Of course I dropped Verlander in my fantasy league when he was doing terrible in the beginning of the season but since then he has been lights out.

Lights Out! It's Turtle Time!

(http://www.beachviewsanibel.com/Pages/kids.html)

Now for the Yankees today it’s not turtle time but CC time as the big man takes the hill today.

CC Sabathia

(http://feeds.nydailynews.com/~r/nydnrss/sports/baseball/yankees/~3/eDkC-IaoZbk/2009-02-07_yankees_head_south_with_arods_steroid_me.html)

CC hasn’t been pitching great at home lately but today I think he is gonna turn it around and shut the Tigers down. Complete game anyone? (I’m hoping this will end up like Julia and Cheeky’s predictions so let’s see!)

Gametime

So it looks like the duel is raging on as Verlander and CC are both pitching great games. Did anyone see that bat of Teixeira’s flying into the stands during the 6th inning? He just let it loose and it flew. I’m glad a kid got it though. CC has another 1-2-3 inning in the 7th and is pitching great.

Yes!!!! A-Rod hit an A-Bomb and the Yankees are up 1-0!

Alex Rodriguez

  (http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/columns/story?columnist=stark_jayson&id=2947658)

It looks like Verlander is in some trouble now. Runners on 2nd and 3rd and…. 

The Melk-Man delivers!!!

(http://assets.nydailynews.com/img/2009/04/23/pf_melk.jpg)

He beats out an infield single! Scoring is Swisher! 2-0 Yankees! Yeah! 

Top of the 8th Aceves comes in ( I guess I don’t have the luck like Cheeky or Julia but maybe next time 🙂 and he gives up a homer to Marcus Thames (hey, didn’t he used to play on the Yankees once) but preserves the lead as it is still 2-1.

The Yankees still are up 2-1 and they only need to close it out to win game 2 of the series. So who do they bring in…

 

(http://files.blog-city.com/files/J05/139396/p/f/entersandman.jpg)

Oh yeah….

The rest, well you know the deal. Let’s just say he:

 (http://www.yourmusic.com/browse/album/34960.html)

The Yankees win! Ahhahhhahh! The Yankees win!!!

Side notes:

 Today is the 10 year anniversary of David Cone’s perfecto.

Jeter did the awesome Jeter play in the 9th inning to help Mo out:

image for listing #103477091

Don’t mess with the Captain.