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Archive for the ‘MLB’ Category

MLB Opening Day Approaches

Wednesday, March 16th, 2011

As the first day of Spring approaches, so too does Opening Day and the beginning of the 2011 Major League Baseball season.  Currently teams are shaking off the rust of the offseason and finalizing their lineups during spring training play as they set their sights on a successful 2011 campaign.  Starting March 31st baseball fans across the nation will suddenly develop that annual “cough” causing many of them to play hooky from school and work so that they can take in the atmosphere and excitement of the unofficial national holiday known as Opening Day.

The first pitch of the 2011 season will be thrown at 1:05 PM (ET) as the Atlanta Braves travel to the nation’s capital to take on the hometown Washington Nationals.  Meanwhile the Detroit Tigers will head to the Bronx and New Yankee Stadium to take on the New York Yankees.  Afternoon affairs begin with the Milwaukee Brewers visiting the defending NL Central champion Cincinnati Reds at 2:10 pm (ET), the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim squaring off against the Kansas City Royals at 4:10 PM (ET), and the San Diego Padres facing the St. Louis Cardinals with a 4:15 PM (ET) first pitch.  The day will be capped off by an 8:00 PM (ET) prime time rivalry match up between the defending champion San Francisco Giants looking to knock off the Los Angeles Dodgers on the road.  All remaining teams kick off their season the following day, Friday April 1st.

Last year the San Francisco Giants and Texas Rangers shocked the baseball world by meeting in the World Series with the Giants claiming the title.  As the 2011 season approaches, hopes ride high for all 30 MLB teams and their fans as the quest to play for the championship in October begins.

2010 MLB Playoffs – Major League Baseball Bats

Wednesday, October 6th, 2010

The 2010 MLB playoffs are finally here with many great matchups. The 2010 Major League Baseball season was one of the most exciting we’ve seen in a while with pitching dominating for the first time in many years. For the playoffs, Baseball Rampage has done some research to find which baseball bats and manufacturers some of this year’s teams biggest stars are using. Let the games begin:

Cincinnati Reds vs. Philadelphia Phillies

Reds: Jay Bruce appears to be using Old Hickory Bats. Possible 2010 NL MVP Joey Votto currently uses Louisville Slugger baseball bats.
Phillies: Former MVP Shortstop Jimmy Rollins currently uses Max Bats. Slugger Ryan Howard uses bats made by Marucci Sports.

San Francisco Giants vs. Atlanta Braves

Giants: Buster Posey was difficult to find but we think he’s using Louisville Slugger bats. Aubrey Huff currently uses Carolina Clubs.
Braves: Jason Heyward used to use Rawlings but appears to have switched to Marucci Sports. Catcher Brian McCann is using Marucci Sports baseball bats.

New York Yankees vs. Texas Rangers

Yankees: Future Hall of Fame shortstop Derek Jeter uses Louisville Slugger. Alex Rodriguez, ARod, also uses Louisville Slugger.
Rangers: Josh Hamilton appears to be healthy and ready to go in the playoffs with his Rawlings made bats. Vladimir Guerrero uses X Bat made by Tuff Bats.

Tampa Bay Rays vs. Minnesota Twins

Rays: Carl Crawford and superstar Evan Longoria both use Louisville Slugger bats.
Twins: Joe Mauer uses Marucci Sports ball bats. Justin Morneau appears to be missing the playoffs but uses BWP Bats.

We’re geared up for an exciting 2010 MLB playoff so be sure to watch every round. If you see a mistake above, or know which bats, gloves, or other gear this year’s playoff pros are using, please post them in the comments section.

Phiten MLB Baseball Necklace

Friday, July 17th, 2009

If you watched the All-Star game earlier this week, and especially the home run derby, you probably noticed several ball players wearing necklaces or bracelets. Most of these are the popular Phiten USA MLB titanium baseball necklaces that help alleviate pain and fatigue in muscles while shortening recovery time.

Phiten has numerous items available including their popular MLB baseball necklaces, baseball bracelets, wristbands, and more. The MLB styles include both American and National league teams. Our best selling teams to date are the Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees, and Chicago Cubs but every team is represented so pick up your favorite team gear today.

Priced from $23 to $35, the Phiten necklaces make a great gift or a cheap addition to your baseball apparel.

A-Rod Used Performance Enhancing Drugs

Tuesday, February 17th, 2009

So that pretty much does it. I think everyone was hoping that Alex Rodriguez was clean. We all hoped that he would break Barry Bonds’ homerun record, and that we could put the steroid talk to rest. That is not going to happen. A-Rod will be giving a press conference at noon today.

It seems that being a great player was just not good enough for these guys. They are ultra-competitive, Type-A people, who are always looking for an edge. They definitely made a bad decision by getting into drugs, but Major League Baseball is the real bad guy. MLB should have had a policy in place for testing and education. Because they did not, players get to use excuses, and allegations cannot be proven.

Baseball reaped the benefits of the homerun titans like McGuire, Bonds, and Sosa, and now baseball is going to feel the effects of the steroid allegations. I think it is sad that now every fan thinks about all players of the past decade with such suspicion. Had testing been in place, these players would not have used performance enhancing drugs, and their legacies would be intact. As it stands, some of the greatest players of our lifetimes are going to go down in the record books as cheaters.

Learn a lesson from those that have gone before you. Practice hard, lift weights, eat right, and you won’t need steroids.

Rice Gets into The Hall on Last Try

Tuesday, January 13th, 2009

Jim Rice

Jim Rice and Rickey Henderson were elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame as the 2009 class. For Jim Rice it was his last chance, his 15th year of hoping, that become the magical one.  “Rice received 412 votes, good for 76.4 percent. Certainly not an overwhelming number, especially compared to fellow inductee Rickey Henderson’s 511 votes (94.8 percent), but good enough to get in,” wrote Mike Sullivan.

Rice was known for his power and keen batting eye, and hit his 382 homers not with brute strength and performance enhancing drugs, but with a quick bat. He smacked 1451 RBIs to add to his case, but along the way became known for his bad relationship with Boston sportswriters. These are some of the very writers that kept him from being inducted for 14 years.

Henderson was an energizing player. He is regarded as probably the most productive lead-off hitter of all time, and his rare combination of raw speed and power helped him amass 3055 hits, 297 home-runs, and 1406 stolen bases.He also has 2 championship rings on his hand, from stints with the Oakland Athletics and the Toronto Blue Jays. His 20 career spanned many events in baseball, and he helped change the game.

Bert Blyleven was shut out of the Hall again, and was not shy when asked how he felt about this. He vented to a reporter on ESPN saying something along the lines of, it stinks, and of course I’m upset. He feels that his numbers speak for him, and that it should not be a character contest. I say stop your crying. If I was a writer who voted for the Hall and you went on television whining about not being elected, I would never, NEVER, vote for you. Be a man. If you get in great. If not, the I guess you didn’t do enough.

The Hall of Fame should never be expected by anyone, and if you get in it should be an honor. I think Rice and Henderson are deserving. If I were Blyleven I would stay off TV. I guarantee that others share my opinion and his moaning could be the final straw that keeps him out of the Hall.

2009 Free Agent Class Rich With Talent

Wednesday, November 19th, 2008

Due to the tough economy and billions of dollars in financial bailouts, I find it only fitting to talk about where the 2009 Free Agency Class is headed and the ridiculous amount of money some of them will be making. This year’s class includes a 36 year old man that wants a contract until he is 43, making him the richest pitcher in MLB history, and the richest closer in history. Add plenty of super-agent Scott Boras into the mix, and we a have a recipe for a fun offseason (a.ka. disaster). I have created a list of what I believe to be the top ten free agents this offseason, and where I think they will end up.

1. C.C. Sabathia: Recently Sabathia was offered a contract in the ballpark of 6 years, $140 million from the New York Yankees. Due to my love of the Cleveland Indians, I am naively believing that he won’t sell his soul for a huge paycheck. I look for him to stay in the National League because he loves to hit. Team: Los Angeles Dodgers

2. Manny Ramirez: No matter what you think of him, Manny can flat out hit. He is probably the best right handed hitter of my young lifetime. Although his agent won’t, we have to take into account that he is getting old. At 36 years old he can probably hit with anyone in the league, but at the end of the contract his agent is proposing (six years) he won’t be the same player. That is unless he joins the same gym as Barry Bonds, but I don’t see that happening. I look for him to get a four year deal with a club option for a fifth. Team: Los Angeles Angels

3. Mark Teixeira: At 28 years old, Mark Teixeira is still in his prime. He is someone that I could see receiving a six or seven year deal and over $100 million. I think Mark Teixeira should be the prize as far as hitters go. I am going to take all rational thought out of the equation and pick his team solely based on greed. Team: Cleveland Indians (please open up your wallets for once)

4. Francisco Rodriguez: KRod could not have had his record breaking season at a better time. Someone is going to open up their checkbook to the most dominating closer in the game. I think he could be looking at 5 years and $70 million. I don’t think it is out of the question that he stays with the Angels but… Team: New York Mets

5. A.J. Burnett: After hopefully losing the C.C. Sabathia sweepsteaks, I believe the Yankees will have to chase their tails to find another solid starting pitcher. I believe they will look Burnett’s way. However, i think they will once again get beat out by their American League East rivals. Team: Boston Red Sox

6. Derek Lowe: Derek Lowe is still a very solid pitcher. I think this is where the Yankees could make a splash. I think they will lose out on Sabathia, but need a solid starter for their rotation. They may be losing Pettitte, so I think a veteran like Lowe makes sense. Back to the AL East you go D-Lowe. Team: New York Yankees

7. Ben Sheets: Sheets is a tricky one to figure out. He is a great pitcher that is still fairly young, but hasn’t been completely healthy in a while. I could i see some of the bigger names (i.e. Yankees, Red Sox, Angels) take a stab at him, but I see him staying in the National League. Team: St Louis Cardinals

8. Orlando Hudson: I could see several teams vying for the services of Orlando Hudson. He will be the top middle infield free agent in baseball. Realistically (unlike with Teixeira), I could see the Indians in play here. They need to move Jhonny Peralta from shortstop anyway (presumably to third base), and Asdrubal Cabrera’s natural position is shortstop. That opens up a spot at second base. I believe it is a perfect fit. There is always the issue of cheapness with the Indians. Team: Cleveland Indians

9. Milton Bradley: There aren’t too many teams that would be willing to put up with Milton Bradley’s issues, which could drop his price into the mid market level. Milton’s talent has never been questioned, just his attitude. If his knee is not fully recovered, he could be limited to the AL as a DH. Team: Toronto Blue Jays

10. Ryan Dempster: Ryan Dempster was very solid for the Cubs last season. The Cubs have had such promising starters the past 10 years, but due to injury they haven’t worked out. I don’t see the Cubs letting him go. Team: Chicago Cubs

Cinderella Devil Rays Could Save Baseball

Friday, October 17th, 2008

Tampa Bay Devil RaysWhile the national sports media has been pulling for a Red Sox vs. Dodgers World Series, the rest of us have been rooting for the long shot Tampa Bay Rays. I personally believe that the Rays could save baseball. Not the type of saving that we thought we had with McGwire vs. Sosa in a steroid infused chase to Roger Maris’ home record. The type of saving I am talking about is an underdog story. The same type of story that gives March Madness it’s luster. The Tampa Bay Rays are Major League Baseball’s George Mason or Kent State. They give the everyday person a sense of accomplishment when they see a team with the second lowest payroll dominate the mighty Yankees and Red Sox. Major League Baseball has fallen behind the NFL, NCAA Football, and NCAA Basketball as America’s game. They lack something that those three leagues have: Parody. Baseball doesn’t have regular underdogs like Gonzaga in basketball or Boise State in football. They don’t have the parody that never lets you count anyone out in the NFL. They have the Red Sox and Yankees….Until this year. So I think Major League Baseball should forget about their market sizes and realize that baseball needs an underdog. We need parody. We need the Rays.

-T DeGirolamo

2008 National League Cy Young Award

Friday, October 3rd, 2008

Each year, as the weather cools and the hysteria of the Major League Baseball post season winds down, 28 members of the Baseball Writers Association of America decide on several regular season awards. Although many are debatable, this is the first year in recent memory that the writers will absolutely get one wrong.

The Cy Young Award is an award that is given to the most outstanding pitcher in each league. It is given to the player that exemplifies the most dominance over hitters in their respective league. In my opinion this is an easy choice, but there is an unwritten rule that will disqualify the most deserving player of his chance at grabbing his second Cy Young Award in as many years. This rule, of course, is that a player must play the entire season in one league. Baseball writers will undoubtedly take one away from C.C. Sabathia.

How do I know C.C. has no chance? Follow me back to 1998. Randy Johnson was traded from the Seattle Mariners to the Houston Astros. He went 10-1 with a 1.28 ERA and led the Astros to the playoffs. Johnson finished seventh in Cy Young Voting. While Johnson should have won, I would argue that Sabathia’s NL performance was without a doubt more dominating than Johnsons. C.C. couldn’t have been more dominant if he was pitching against the Milwaukee Over 50 Recreational League. But voters don’t look at dominance. They go to MLB.com and sort stats by wins, innings pitched and strikeouts. Even though Sabathia went 11-2 with a 1.65 ERA, 7 complete games, 3 shutouts, and one “unofficial” no hitter, you will most definitely see Brandon Webb or Tim Lincecum accept the hardware. Not to take anything away from Webb’s 22 wins or Lincecum’s 2.62 ERA, but these two weren’t rolled out to the hill on three days rest or forced to pitch almost every game until the game was over. Sabathia was a workhorse that dominated from the very first time he took the mound in the NL, and is the most significant reason the Brewers are in the playoffs. If that doesn’t exemplify dominance, then I don’t know what does.

But what do I know? I’m just a blogger, not a Baseball Writer…

Cleveland Indians and the Columbus Clippers Agree on a 4 Year Deal

Monday, September 22nd, 2008

Being based in Columbus, we feel very fortunate to have a great AAA baseball team in town. For years I have attended “Dime-a-Dog” nights and proudly rang my bell for the Clippers in Cooper Stadium on the South Side of Columbus. The Clippers were the farm team for the NY Yankees from 1979-2006, and the Clippers saw some great players rise through their ranks including Don Mattingly, Derek Jeter, and Jorge Posada.

The Yankees ended the relationship, and the Washington Nationals became the Clips MLB affiliate. Both teams’ contracts were up this season, and this left the door wide open for the much talked about partnership between the 2 Ohio clubs. The Indians announced Thursday that they had signed a four-year player development contract with the Columbus Clippers of the International League, marking the Tribe’s Triple-A move from Buffalo to Ohio’s state capital.

This deal makes perfect sense for all involved parties. Avid Indians fans from all over the state now can make a short trip to watch their prospects develop in Columbus. Columbus fans can make the 2+ hour trip to Cleveland and follow the former Clippers. This partnership will bring together two great baseball organizations, and make both stronger.

The Clippers will open the 2009 season in Huntington Park in the Arena District. The renderings of the park are outstanding, and I can see this becomeing a great attraction because of the new affiliation with the Indians, and also the location of the stadium in the heart of the Arena District. 2009 should be an exciting season for the Clippers and Columbus.

Instant Replay a First in the Majors

Friday, September 5th, 2008

Was A-Rod’s bomb a homer? I don’t know. I did not have a great angle. I do know that I didn’t really want to hear O’ Brian say it was foul one more time. The angle he was looking at was no good for telling fair or foul. I was happy that I actually saw the first use of replay in Major League Baseball.

The umpire had the best view and it wasn’t clear. This is exactly why replay is a good idea. It was quick and it got the call right. Obviously he did not see anything that made him want to call it foul.

If the technology is available then why not use it? The process took very little time and was smooth. Let’s get the calls right. Replay was great for the NFL and it will be great for MLB.

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