Daily Dojo 7-22-2013

I haven’t written in a while because of the All Star Break in baseball. I always watch the game. I think that some parts of the game are dumb, but you will never see the same amount of talent on a baseball field at one time. Time, in a way, stops for me during the All Star festivities. I always find time to watch all of the events. However, a good amount happened this weekend, so here we go.

Phil Mickelson after his birdie putt on 18

Phil Mickelson after his birdie putt on 18

Phil Mickelson hit two shots plus one putt that will go down as the shots of the 2013 British Open and maybe, the shots of his career. He put on a show throughout the entire back nine on Sunday, but 17 and 18 were his shining moments. For his second shot on 17, he hit a 3-wood about 250 yards and then it took a vicious bounce and rolled 50 more yards onto the green. This gave him an eagle putt on the par 5. He was unable to make the eagle putt, but he had a tap in birdie. He goes off to 18 giving away the ball from 17 and high fiving every spectator on the way. He rips a shot out of the tee box once he’s able to shoot. And then came his second great shot. He hits a 6-iron to the left of the hole, runs it across the lip of the bunker and it turns around towards the hole. He sinks the putt for a birdie and the image of his celebration will go down in history. He earn this major championship and he had the final round of a lifetime. He is now 1 of 15 golfers the EVER win 3 out of the 4 major titles. If he could ever finish 1st instead of 2nd at the US Open, he’ll become one of 6 to win all 4 major tournaments.

Matt Garza

Matt Garza

The biggest loser of this weekend has t0 be the Texas Rangers. First of all, the Orioles go into Arlington and sweep the Rangers, with Chris Tillman going 8+ innings for the O’s on Sunday Night. The second reason is they lost out on Matt Garza. It appeared that the Rangers all but had Matt Garza as of Friday evening. As the night wore on, it started to break down. It has been speculated that it hit a snag because of one of the Rangers farm players that was going to be a part of the deal. I think it is Mike Olt. The Cubs are probably hesitant to deal Garza for a package that is built around a prospect that has seriously stalled in his development.

For tonight, I think Giancarlo Stanton gets back to his usual hitting ways against Drew Pomeranz (Left-handed pitcher) in Colorado. That will be the game I watch after the Orioles game today.

Greg Danchik

Daily Dojo 7-15-2013

Miguel Cabrera and Chris Davis

Miguel Cabrera and Chris Davis

Chris Davis has hit 37 home runs before the All Star break. The last person to hit at least 37 home runs before the All Star break was Barry Bonds when he set the single season home run mark at 73. That is A LOT of home runs before the break. Davis has played 14 more games than Bonds did before the break, but it’s still A LOT of home runs for 96 games. Now think about this… To go along with those home runs, he has 70 runs, 93 RBI’s and a .315 batting average. That is an MVP season in the first half. So, he has obviously been incredible. The funny thing is he doesn’t have the best offensive numbers of the first half. Miguel Cabrera has 30 home runs, 73 runs, 95 RBI’s, and a .365 batting average. This stat line has never been done before in the first half. He has just been an absolute beast. For the record, Davis is my MVP because he plays better defense than Cabrera, but their offensive production has been out of this world thus far.

With regards to Chris Davis PED speculation, I think we have to see the second half to decide that. If he goes on to hit homers in the high 60’s, I will start to be skeptical. But if Roger Maris hit 61 in 161 games, why can’t Davis hit 62-65 in 162? If Davis passes Maris, he will not be the single-season home run king. You cannot start removing people from the record books because it will become extremely messy. You have no idea what you should remove and what you should keep. Like, do the 2004 Red Sox keep their World Series title even though David Ortiz and Manny Ramirez tested positive for steroids in 2003? I am not saying that they don’t deserve that title; I think they do. I just do not know where you start and stop removing PED users from the record books.

Buster Posey and Tim Lincecum celebrating Lincecum's no hitter

Buster Posey and Tim Lincecum celebrating Lincecum’s no hitter

Tim Lincecum throwing a no-hitter is surprising to me, but I was not stunned when I heard the news. He had been a phenomenal pitcher prior to the last two seasons. This year has been interesting though. Big Time Timmy Jim has pitched well this season in most games, but his ERA is bad because he tends to have one poor inning each start. Obviously, Saturday night was different. He had 13 strikeouts and 4 walks, which supplemented his 148 total pitches. 1 pitch less than the most amount of pitches in a no-hitter (Edwin Jackson). Lincecum’s no-hitter was much better than Jackson’s because Jackson had 8 walks and only 6 K’s. Lincecum’s no-hitter could be a sign of things to come for him this season, or it could be a single bright spot in another season of struggles. I think he will regain his confidence after this performance and return to dominance, but we’ll see how he performs after the All Star break.

photo-showAll Star Game and Home Run Derby predictions

Home Run Derby: Yoenis Cespedes over Bryce Harper in the final round

All Star Game Starters: Max Scherzer and Matt Harvey (written at 10:47 PM Sunday night so if it is announced before this is posted, you know I didn’t cheat)

Outcome: There will be three home runs in the game by Miguel Cabrera, Chris Davis, and Paul Goldschmidt. AL wins the All Star game behind Edwin Encarnacion single that scores Manny Machado from second in the 8th inning. Mariano Rivera gets the save in his final All Star Game.

 Greg Danchik

Daily Dojo 7-12-2013

Brian Roberts after his third inning homer against the Rangers

Brian Roberts after his third inning homer against the Rangers

I was pumped that the Orioles were able to split the series with the Rangers last night. They are trailing the Red Sox and Rays in the AL East and they are also two games back in the AL Wild Card chase. If they can get a sweep this weekend against the Blue Jays, it would be huge for them. The Blue Jays are not playing great right now, and I do not think they are going to suddenly turn it on at Camden Yards. Hopefully, the Orioles can go into the break hot, and the Blue Jays go in cold.

A couple of big series are starting today, but the biggest is out in Oakland. The Oakland Atheltics (54-38) host the Boston Red Sox (57-37) for a three-game series. They are both leaders in their divisions, and this series could end up having huge consequences. If the Athletics are able to pull off a sweep, the Orioles and Rays get a huge boost as they chase the Sox in the division. While the Rangers, who need all the help they can get, would benefit from a Red Sox sweep. The once feared Rangers had the third worst team OPS in the month of June. They have started to turn it around in July, but they are still not the same hitting team they used to be. Maybe losing Josh Hamilton was a bigger deal than they initially thought. I, as a fan of another AL team, am happy that this has happened because it has, hopefully, made the road to the playoffs a little bit easier.

Chris Capuano

Chris Capuano

Last night, I watched the Rockies play the Los Angeles Dodgers. It was late, but I had to stay up because Vin Scully‘s voice is so soothing. He is the best announcer in sports, no doubt in my mind. He is the one man show, and his voice is amazing. It was a good game because of the dominating performace delivered by Chris Capuano. Troy Tulowitzki and Dexter Fowler were activated just before the game, so he dominated a fully loaded Rockies’ lineup. I was pretty amazing to see Capuano pull of 8 strikeouts in 6.1 innings.

Greg Danchik

 

Daily Dojo 7-11-13

Yasiel Puig

Yasiel Puig

Yasiel Puig has taken the fast track to stardom. He has dominated since his call up, but he needs to realize he is still a youngin’ and has not proven himself as truly elite yet. He’s a 22 year old, supposedly, and he decided that he was too good to speak to a former great in Luis Gonzalez. You know, the guy who won a World Series with a base hit off the greatest closer in the history of history in Mariano Rivera… that guy. Puig is too good for him now. And don’t say, “Oh, he can’t speak English. He just did not understand.” False. Gonzalez approached Puig in his native Spanish language, and straight up ignored him. Puig did not even turn to look at Gonzalez.

People dislike Bryce Harper because he knows he’s great and shows it. But at least Bryce would respect a great from a rival team approaching him. He respected future Hall of Famer Chipper Jones by admitting he would vote for Chipper in last year’s final vote instead of himself. Puig is just coming off as a cocky, disrespectful asshole. He should learn to respect the game and its former greats because other players are starting to hate him.

Kyrie Irving and LeBron James

Kyrie Irving and LeBron James

Andrew Bynum signs with the Cavaliers. I am on the record of saying LeBron James will be a Cleveland Cavalier for the 2014-2015 NBA season. I have made two bets actually and I will take anymore that people want to offer up. If you look at the Cavaliers and Heat this season and take LeBron James out of the picture, the Cavaliers are much better. Starting five of Kyrie Irving, Dion Waiters, and Anthony Bennett with Tristan Thompson, Anderson Varejao and Andrew Bynum splitting the 4 and 5 duties. The Heat minus LeBron looks like this… Mario Chalmers, Dwyane Wade, Mike Miller, Udonis Haslem, and Chris Bosh. I realize that this is an unfair comparison because the Heat built their team around LeBron, but wouldn’t LeBron want to play with the better supporting cast? That’s what he did in 2010, and he will probably do it again. If you say he’s the best player in the world now and he doesn’t have to move because players come to him, you’re wrong. He was the best player in the world in 2010 and he moved. He is already building an extension on his house in Ohio, he wants his kids to grow up in Akron, he donated $1 million dollars to rebuild his former high school’s basketball gym, and he wants to win. LeBron will be donning a crisp #6 Cleveland Cavaliers’ jersey opening night in 2014/2015.

I was wrong about the baseball games last night. I am glad I was wrong about the Orioles. Wei-Yin Chen pitched well and I hope he can sure up that rotation as they make a second half playoff push. Cliff Lee giving up 4 solo homers was a shock to me. My only explanation is that Citizens Bank Park is very hitter friendly. If you put it in the air, its gone. Tonight, I am hoping for the Orioles to score 10 runs on the Yu Darvish replacement starter, Ross Wolf. Making his second career start, the Orioles should be able to take advantage of a pitcher with a career ERA of 4.78. I am excited to watch this one as an O’s fan. And I just remembered I won’t get to watch it live… good thing MLB.tv has full replays of every game!

Greg Danchik