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Archive for the ‘Sports’ Category

95 Years in the Making

Thursday, October 31st, 2013

It’s no secret that the Red Sox have won a couple World Series titles in recent years, however, none of those have been clinched within the walls of Fenway Park. In fact, last night was the first time since 1918 that Boston clinched a World Series in front of their home fans. Some fans waited 95 years to witness a World Series win at home, though most of them haven’t even been alive that long.

The last time Boston clinched a World Series at home gas was just 30 cents per gallon, a loaf of bread just cost 12 cents and World War I was fresh on the minds of every American. The last Red Sox team to celebrate a home World Series win had Babe Ruth on the roster. Even more notably,  the Red Sox traded away Babe Ruth following their 1918 win,  leading to the curse of the Bambino, which ended in 2004. Needless to say, Fenway Park waited for what seemed like an eternity for a World Series clincher at home. That wait came to an end last night as Boston fans witnessed a final out, which gave the Red Sox a long awaited home World Series win over the St. Louis Cardinals.

By: Jordan Mills

Reds Hire New Manager

Tuesday, October 22nd, 2013

It didn’t take long for the Reds to find a new manager after letting Dusty Baker go following another disappointing playoff run. The Reds front office looked within their organization and hired pitching coach Bryan Price. Price was the pitching coach for four seasons with the Reds and will replace Dusty Baker who was relieved of his managerial duties Oct. 3.

Before Price joined the Reds organization, he spent 10 seasons with the Mariners and D-backs as their pitching coach, this will be his first managerial position. Under Price, the Reds pitching staff had the fourth best ERA in the Majors and led the National League in strikeouts. The Reds and Price agreed to a 3 year contract.

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By: Jordan Mills 

Jim Leyland stepping down as manager of the Tigers

Monday, October 21st, 2013

MLB: ALDS-Oakland Athletics at Detroit Tigers

Jimmy Leyland has decided to step down as the Detroit Tigers manager after eight seasons at the helm. Leyland led the Tigers to two American League pennants with an overall record of 700-597 giving him a .540 winning percentage. Leyland was known for his no-nonsense approach to managing.

Leyland previously managed the Pirates, Marlins and Rockies and has managed nearly 3,500 games with an overall record of 1,757-1,711. In 1997 he led the Marlins to a World Series win over the Cleveland Indians in seven games. He is one of a few managers to have won pennants for an American League and a National League team.

Leyland made it clear in a Tiger’s press conference that he will not be retiring, but he will be working with the Tiger’s organization in a different role. This season was his 50th season managing in baseball.

- Jordan Mills

Cabrera Captures First Triple Crown since 1967

Thursday, October 4th, 2012

Ed Zurga/Getty Images

On Wednesday night, Detroit Tigers third baseman Miguel Cabrera became only the 15th player in Major League history to capture the sport’s Triple Crown. Cabrera finished the regular season leading the American League in Batting Average (.330), Home Runs (44) and RBIs (139) to deliver the sport its first Triple Crown winner in 45 years, and the first ever achieved by a Latin-born player. The last Triple Crown was won  in 1967 by Boston’s Carl Yastrzemski.

Cabrera and the Detroit Tigers now set their sights on loftier goals in the MLB Playoffs. Having won the AL Central Division, the Tigers will now match up with the young, upstart Oakland Athletics in the American League Divisional Series. The two teams begin a 5 game series in Detroit on Saturday October 6th with a 6:07 first pitch.

Miguel Cabrera reached the pinnacle of the sport swinging a custom Phoenix Wood Baseball Bat. Check out all Phoenix baseball bats at Baseball Rampage.

National League Takes 82nd Midsummer Classic 5-1

Friday, July 15th, 2011

Milwaukee Brewer’s first baseman Prince Fielder’s 3-run blast off C.J. Wilson of the Texas Rangers in the 4th inning proved the difference in the National League’s 5-1 victory over the American League Tuesday night.  The win gives the National League its first back-to-back All-Star game victories since the 1995-1996 seasons.  Prior to last year’s NL victory, the AL had won 13 consecutive All-Star Games.

Adrian Gonzalez of the Boston Red Sox delivered the first blow of the game with a solo home run in the 4th inning off Cliff Lee to give the AL a 1-0 advantage.  However in the bottom half of the same inning, Fielder’s home run gave his team the lead for good giving way to a dominant display of pitching from the National League bullpen.  The American League failed to score the remainder of the game managing only 2 hits in the final 5 innings of 7 different NL relievers.  Tyler Clippard of the Washington Nationals recorded the Win for the NL while C.J. Wilson took the Loss.  Giants and National League manager Bruce Bouchy turned to one of his own, the bearded hero of last season’s World Series, Brian Wilson, to record the Save.  Prince Fielder received MVP honors for his game deciding 3-run home run.

The victory for the National League grants its World Series representative home field advantage for the 7-game series against its American League counterpart in October.

Youth Hitting Mechanics: Keep It Simple

Tuesday, December 9th, 2008

After observing countless young hitters in our demo-batting cage I have noticed several trends that seem to be the main problems why many kids struggle with hitting. There are many aspects involved with hitting. I am going to concentrate on the bad mechanics I have observed.

The first problem is the stride. Kids get in there and immediately want to kill the ball leading to a huge stride planting their front foot 16-18″ from it’s original position. The next problem is initial hand positioning being too low. If the hands are too low at the start, critical time is wasted getting them up into the loaded position. Then comes dropping the barrel and dragging the bat through the zone with a painfully long swing. Each of these problems compounds each other starting with the long stride. The stride is in sync with the loading phase of the swing, the long stride and low hands struggling to get into position leads to problems with timing and takes away any chance to adjust to the ball. When you combine the dropping of the barrel and being completely extended by the time the ball arrives, the hitter is usually behind and under the pitch.

The mechanics of a baseball swing are a controversial and complicated topic. Thousands of books have been written and millions of arguments/discussion have taken place. For young player’s I feel that simplicity is the key. A shortened stride, and less movement in the hands will almost always help a struggling young hitter. These are simply observations I have noticed and may not work for all players. I have had many coaches which all have a different philosophy on the swing, but one thing all of them agree on is a short, quick swing is the way to go. Young players have enough to worry about, including being cool, looking good in front of friends, and keeping dad happy. Keep it simple and let them have fun.

Cream of the Crop: The Best Baseball Gloves

Wednesday, December 3rd, 2008

I am a glove fanatic, and I am lucky enough to have the opportunity of placing every single glove listed on Baseball Rampage on my hand. I take my time and note all of the little details and note how the glove feels and what attributes I like or dislike. A good baseball glove is like a work of art, and you can tell a good glove just by putting it on your hand. Most of our manufacturers carry a high-end or pro style baseball glove. I have always been a Rawlings man, but after having the opportunity to try out other manufacturers such as Mizuno, Wilson, Nokona, Louisville Slugger, and Easton, I have realized that each have different attributes. I am very impressed with what they offer and realize you can’t go wrong with one or the other, which makes choosing a glove very difficult. Hopefully an evaluation of the elite gloves we carry at Baseball Rampage will help out in that decision.

Rawling’s Gloves - Since 1887 Rawlings has been the leading glove manufacturer in baseball. They just recently came out with the ultra-elite Primo ball glove and continue to produce some of the best gloves available.

Rawlings Primo baseball GlovesPrimo Baseball Gloves – Immediately catches your eye, the dark, rich leather is beautiful. Put one on your hand and you will wish you had one, that is if you can get by the price tag. These gloves are made with hand crafted Italian leather and flawlessly assembled and truly are the Mercedes Benz of all baseball gloves.

Rawlings Pro Preferred baseball glovesRawlings Pro Preferred – The Pro Preferred comes in several options, the two-tone and one tone black or tan. These gloves are made with soft leather but are left stiff so a player can break it in how they would like. Once broken in these glove will keep their rigidness where needed but break in exactly to how the hand wants. I had one of these gloves for eight years until left at (of all things) at a softball game by a friend. I felt like I lost a friend that day and still think of that glove in mourning.

Rawlings Gold GlovesRawlings Gold Gloves – The Gold Glove has been Rawlings signature glove for many years. This model has been refurbished this year yet has kept the classics around as well. The new Gold Glove models have a Dual Core adding position specific key break-in points on the gloves. These gloves are softer than the original models and will become “game ready” quicker. The new Dual Core models feel great on the hand and are an excellent option for a player looking for a high-end glove that needs to get it broken in quickly.

WilsonBaseball Gloves carries the A2K, and the A2000. For over fifty years these gloves have been in the hands of many pro ball players and continue to produce two of the most popular models on the market.

Wilson A2K baseball glovesWilson A2K Gloves – This glove fits around your fingers like you are sticking your hand into memory foam, and still has a solid and tight fit. I love gloves that fit snug on your hand and the A2K does more than any other glove out there. The leather is softer than the other high-end gloves and can be more easily broken in. This is an amazing glove and I would suggest the A2K for any ball player.

Wilson A2000 Baseball GlovesWilson A2000 Baseball Gloves – The A2000 has been around for over 50yrs! This is the glove that older guys tell stories of having an A2000 for 20-30 years and still using it. The glove is tough and lasts. It has the same fit as the A2K but the leather isn’t as soft and just a bit stiffer. For the price, you are getting an excellent glove and one that you know will last.

Nokona Gloves an American legend has bounced back from a devastating fire that destroyed their warehouse and everything inside. With loyal employees and hard work they have re-built and continue hand making every glove once again. Nokona added to their extensive collection of gloves with two new lines the Bloodline, and Kimera.

Nokona Bloodline baseball glovesNokona Bloodline Baseball Gloves – Nokona’s new top-of-the-line addition that will be incredibly successful. This glove has baseball enthusiast foaming at the mouth. It’s hard to explain how this glove feels, in my opinion it feels better on the hand than any other glove I have experienced. The glove is incredible looking and soft but rigid where it needs to be. The Bloodline gloves can be broken in quickly so anyone looking to get this glove but are worried it won’t be broken in for the season don’t have anything to worry about.

Instead of listing all of the models Nokona carries I am going to go through the type of leather they carry. Nokona has become famous for the different types of leather they integrate into their gloves. Nokona uses cowhide, buffalo, and kangaroo to make the most unique gloves available. Their cowhide is tough and durable, they use the cowhide for the core of their gloves and implement the buffalo and Kangaroo in the areas where the leather needs to bend and crease. The buffalo leather is incredibly light and somewhat flexible. With these characteristics it is surprising that it is still very strong. The Kangaroo has the same characteristics and is used in the same way.

Last note: I have never known anyone who has owned a Nokona to ever switch to another brand of glove. They have a loyal following and continue to be the only handmade and American made glove available.

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

Product Review: WSI Heatr Warming Sleeve

Wednesday, October 15th, 2008

WSI Sportrs Heatr Warming SleeveSo I heard about this new product called the Heatr Warming Sleeve from WSI Sports. WSI Sports manufactures baseball-specific performance wear in Eagan, Minnesota. They have some very innovative products that promise some awesome results, but I wanted to see if the hype was for real.

The product claims that Wikmax HEATR generates heat while it wicks moisture off your skin. Designed to help get muscles warm and keep them warm. The WIKMAX HEATR material is located in the key muscle areas used in the pitching mechanics. The HEATR also helps get oxygen to the blood faster and keeps your muscles warm thus helping with recovery time.

So the Heatr Warming Sleeve is a compression sleeve worn from mid-biceps to wrist, that is made of the WIKMAX HEATR material. Seems like a great idea, but does it work?

I opened up one of these sleeves and put it on. I threw some balls in the cage, and took some swings. I felt multiple benefits from the sleeve. I like the compression aspect, and my muscles did feel slightly warmer in my throwing arm, but not hot or sweaty. It was very comfortable, and did not hinder my motion at all. The sleeve seems well manufactured, and the stitching seems very heavy duty. It feels like a quality product. I would have to pitch a complete game to tell you how it works over the course of nine innings, but after an initial review I would give the Heatr Warming Sleeve two thumbs up.

WSI also sells catcher’s shirts and compression pants, sliding shorts, moisture management apparel, and more. Right now you can get a free Heatr Warming Sleeve with any WSI Sports purchase at Baseball Rampage.

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…

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