The Empire State

Is it foolish to say that baseball is now front page news in New York? Well, given the state of the rest of the town’s teams (Giants, Jets, Knicks all pitiful) one could argue that the baseball offseason has given New Yorkers hope and something to talk positively about in these cold, snowy winter months.

Both the Yankees and Mets have been busy so far. Big names have been inked to free agent deals and are coming to the Big Apple in April. The Yankees stole Jacoby Ellsbury away from the hated Red Sox. Curtis Granderson switched sides of town to play for the Mets.

It could be that just because they are doing something, these teams have created a buzz around town and just gives everyone an excuse to talk about something other than a five INT game from Eli Manning again or another Knicks loss to a terrible team.

The preseason is the best time to be a fan in every sport because every team is a contender. It’s a new year, things are looking up, and new faces are in that exude optimism.

But listen up New Yorkers-baseball season won’t bring about anything different than what you are going through now.

Let’s start with the Mets. They might be easier to deal with due to the fact that, let’s face it, they haven’t been good and really are never expected to be. Continue reading

Elbow Problems

 

Eric O’Flaherty becomes latest Braves pitcher on the DL

By: Ryan Korp

 

Eric O’Flaherty becomes the latest Atlanta Braves pitcher to suffer “elbow tightness”, the dreaded words that every pitcher fears and ultimately leads to one thing – Tommy John.

 

Braves reliever Johnny Venters already underwent his second career Tommy John surgery this season, sidelining him for the remainder of the year and most of next year.

 

Venters and O’Flaherty were part of the dominant Braves bullpen the last few seasons, forming an almost unhittable bridge from the starters to lights-out closer Craig Kimbrel. Last year the two appeared in 66 and 64 games out of the pen.

 

There was concern going into last season after the bullpen was overworked in the 2011 season and started to tire out in September. 2011 saw O’Flaherty post a ERA under one in 78 games out of the pen and Venters appeared in 85 games, posting a 1.84 ERA and 96 strikeouts.

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Trouble In Hollywood

By: Ryan Korp

 

It was quite an off-season on the west coast in Major League Baseball. Los Angeles was a hot bed for off-season transactions, bringing lots of star power to California. From Hamilton to Greinke, the Angels and Dodgers loaded up on talent that sparked plenty of talk about an all-LA World Series.

Here we are in the middle of May, and both the Los Angeles Angels and Los Angeles Dodgers find themselves near the bottom of the standings.

The Angels are off to one of their worst starts in

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#TheList: Five MLB Players Made by the Steroid Era

By: Ryan Korp

Major League Baseball went through a dark time clouded by steroid use in the mid 1990s until the early 2000s. Players came out of nowhere to have huge years and short bursts of ridiculous success, only  to fade faster than they came onto the scene.

By now, most of these guys are just an afterthought. I’ll bring them back into your memory for a little, give them another 15 seconds of fame.

1. Shawn Green

A Rookie of the Year Candidate with the Toronto Blue Jays in 1995, Shawn Green came into the big leagues with a high upside. Through his first three full seasons in the league, Green topped out at 16 home runs and a .288 average. In 1998, Green exploded and seemingly out of nowhere hit 35 homeruns, drove in 100 runs and stole a whopping 35 bases.

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Let’s Play Two

By: Ryan Korp

“Mr. Cub” Ernie Banks is famous for his saying “It’s a beautiful day for a ballgame, let’s play two!” 

Well last night, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and the Oakland Athletics did just that.

On a night where two cities received free baseball, two Major League games went into extra innings and went on well into the night. The A’s and Angels played 19 innings in a game that lasted six hours and 32 minutes, the longest game by time in both teams’ franchise history.

The game featured 16 pitchers and

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Winter Classic

By: Ryan Korp

Coors Field the day after the storm

Coors Field the day after the storm (Photo credit: DanMcLean)

One day every season the NHL puts on a game outdoors. It’s freezing, maybe even snowing as the teams play in baseball stadiums across the US. Even though the NHL season got a late start, there have been some outdoor games this year.

No wait, those were baseball games.

Denver, Colorado has been the site of one of Major League Baseball’s hottest teams. Yet, the Rockies have had three games postponed due to snow. That’s right, snow.

Denver has been in a deep freeze this April and the Rockies have experienced some unpleasant game-time temperatures. The snow has forced them to play two doubleheaders already and have had a game

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Buck Wild

John Buck

John Buck (Photo credit: paul.hadsall)

By: Ryan Korp

A career .236 hitter, this player was nothing more than an average backstop on a sub-par team throughout his 10 Major League seasons in Kansas City, Toronto and Florida. But the first three weeks of the 2013 season, John Buck has been on a tear and looking like an all-star catcher for the New York Mets.

To give you an idea, here is a typical season for John Buck prior to 2013: 105 games played, 13 HRs, 47 RBI, 37 runs scored, .235 batting average.

John Buck’s career year: 2010 in Toronto where everyone and their mother seems to go and start launching homeruns and having off the charts offensive years. Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnarcion being the latest examples.

Buck batted .281 with 20 HRs and and 66 RBIs north of the border and landed a starting spot inFlorida the past two seasons where he didn’t produce all that much.

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