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Pro Baseball | Hot Sports Topics - Part 2

Pro Baseball Archives

Jeff Samardzija Catches Opportunity for Cubs Rotation

One of the greatest wide receivers in Notre Dame Football history has finally earned a spot in the Cubs starting rotation.  Thanks in great part to a pre-spring training, one-on-one meeting with new Team President Theo Epstein; Jeff Samardzija (sah-MAR-jee-yah) plotted a diligent course of preparation leading to his eventual promotion as the Cubs No. 3 starter (behind Ryan Dempster and Matt Garza) for 2012.  It wasn’t easy.  First, he had to choose baseball over football for a pro career path.  Since being drafted by the Cubs in the 5th round of the 2006 MLB Draft, the “$10M Bust” as he was first anointed in Chicago, had just five starts in 53 appearances over his first three years.  His 1.10 strikeout-to-walk ratio and 5.95 ERA over 81-2/3 innings were NOT what Cub fans were expecting either.  He gradually started to find the strikezone more often while limiting his walks; and…

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Bobby Valentine Stirs Up the Pot in Beantown

Just one week into the season and first-year Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine has created a virtual media frenzy in Boston by calling out clean-up hitter Kevin Youkilis on his level of effort.  Bad thing is, he did it with reporters and NOT privately with “Youk”.  Bobby, Bobby, Bobby…….you just don’t go doing something like that to one of the most beloved Red Sox players this side of Carl Yastrzemski.  “I don’t think he’s physically or emotionally into the game as he has been in the past for some reason,” questioned Valentine.  Youkilis said he was confused by Valentine’s comments……..so are we, Youk! Valentine’s clarification to Youkilis the following day was even more confusing and more criticized.  Immediately, teammates rushed to Youkilis’ defense, with All-Star second baseman Dustin Pedroia leading the charge declaring, “I don’t know what Bobby’s trying to do, maybe that stuff works in Japan, but that’s not…

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Jamie Moyer Makes Us Feel Good About Becoming Older

This season, at the age of 49, he has become the oldest player ever to make an opening day MLB roster.  This spring, he was 2-1 with a 2.50 ERA in five spring training appearances to earn a spot in the starting rotation for the Colorado Rockies.  Amazingly, he’s just 17 months younger than the combined ages of the two pitchers he beat out for the rotation spot!   Jamie Moyer is one of the truly good guys in all of professional sports.  He and his wife have eight children and they still dedicate time to run a free bereavement camp (known as Camp Erin) for parent-less kids and teens 6-17 in more than 40 cities.  Moyer is entering his 25th major league season, and has now played for eight different clubs.  He’s amassed 267 wins (ranked 35th all-time), winning 103 of those games since turning 40 (2nd all-time behind Phil…

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The money MLB teams are throwing around these days is staggering.  It seems all it takes is one or two productive years and a player can be set for life.  But last week, things got entirely out of hand.  The San Francisco Giants signed 27-year old starting pitcher Matt Cain to a 6-year, $127.5M contract, making him the highest paid right-handed pitcher in baseball history.  You have got to be kidding me!  “Big Sugar” as he is known in his hometown of Dothan, Alabama, has certainly squeezed all the sweetness out of Giants GM Brian Sabean.  How in the hell does a freakin pitcher like Matt Cain deserve to become the highest paid RHP of all-time?   This is an embarrassment to baseball!   To answer my own question, I went straight to MLB stats because I really didn’t know much about Matt Cain (see his stats yourself).  In fact, that’s my first…

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Matt Bush is Finally Out of MLB Career Chances

Matt Bush was the 1st overall pick of the 2004 MLB Draft by his hometown Padres straight out of high school, but after eight years of unfortunate injuries, excessive drinking, and reckless behavior, the 26-year old has reached the end of his once promising baseball career.  On the afternoon of March 22 in Charlotte County Florida, while driving a teammate’s vehicle at a blood-alcohol level more than twice the legal limit, Matt Bush rear-ended a 72-year old motorcyclist.   Bush was arrested for multiple DUI-related charges, driving with a suspended license, and fleeing the scene of an injury accident.  He also admitted to Florida Highway Patrol officers that he had hit a pole with this vehicle earlier the same day.  The victim still lies in a coma (as of this posting) with a fractured wrist, broken ribs, several broken bones in his back, hemorrhaging in his brain, and a collapsed lung. …

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What is Andy Pettite Thinking?

MLB’s all-time post-season winningest pitcher (19 victories) has decided to un-retire.  Andy Pettite’s comeback negotiations with the Yankees, which first began back in December, were never smooth.  However, while he was serving as a special instructor in this year’s spring training camp and working out in Tampa he made the decision to give it another go, signing a one-year, $2.5M minor league contract.  I thought he was done……..beginning the (minimum) 5-year wait for his possible call to the Hall of Fame.  Obviously, I’m NOT thinking like Andy Pettite!   His stellar 16-year career includes 240 wins, a 3.88 ERA, 2,251 strikeouts, and 99 pickoffs.  The 6’-5” lefty did finish last season very well (11-3, 3.28 ERA over 129 innings), had two decent post-season starts, and was selected to his third All-Star team.  He’s been on seven AL pennant-winning Yankee teams and one NL pennant-winning Astro team (2005), was a two-time…

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David Price is Baseball’s Biggest Goofball

Baseball is generally viewed as a slow-moving, cerebral game. Many times players have to find things to do during agame to entertain themselves. The “hot foot” (wrapping a wad of gum around a burning cigarette, then sticking it to the heel of an unsuspecting teammate), and “bubble gum-blown bubble placed unknowingly on top of a teammate’s cap” are some of the more recognizable pranks that keep the dugout amused over the course of lackluster games.  But, who do suppose is today’s Biggest Goofball?   There’s nothing wrong with millionaires in their 20s and 30s goofing around during a game, but some players just seem to constantly be doing it……especially pitchers since they are not every-day players. Recent Hall of Fame inductee Bert Blyleven was one of baseball’s greatest practical-jokers. One of his traditional pranks was to moon the photographer during the annual team photo. Also, don’t forget the beer-drinking, fried chicken-eating,…

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On February 23, Ryan Braun got his 50-game suspension overturned because baseball failed to follow its own drug testing agreement procedures. Braun’s press conference the following day was essentially unscripted, well-articulated, and quite believable. His defense team focused strictly on the fact that his urine specimen (for whatever reason) was not sent to the Anti-Doping Lab in Montreal until 44 hours after it was taken. The policy requires same-day FedEx shipping. The 28-year old reigning NL MVP wins his case on a technicality, and becomes the first MLB player ever to win his appeal on a positive drug test. Baseball management is fuming over this interpretation and resulting decision by independent arbitrator Shyam Das (is that pronounced “sham”?)…….and further legal action may be forthcoming from BOTH sides. All this decision leaves with me are many more questions than answers………such as, • Why was Braun’s drug tester apparently not aware of…

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