Tag Archives: AL East

Weekly Nickel 9-10-2012

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Much will be expected from Mark Trumbo (left) and Albert Pujols (right) if the Angels want to make a playoff run.

By Josh Kramer

Football, football, and more football.  How nice was it to have a Saturday and Sunday jam-packed with football action?  Your weekends may be less productive, but more entertaining for the forseeable future.  Not to mention we are nearing the end of the MLB regular season and the Chase for the Cup is on.  Last week was fun, but you better believe that this week will be a good one in its own right.  Here are the events to keep an eye on.

5.  The Chase is finally on.  After 31 races spanning over nearly seven months, the field has been whittled down to 12.  There are ten races left starting at Chicagoland Speedway on Sunday.  Who will take it home?  We know that Carl Edwards and Kyle Busch won’t.

4.  Strasburg is doneTeixeira could be done.  The injury-bug has struck as the season nears the final twenty games.  It is September and teams are doing all they can to land a spot in the postseason.  The races of note are taking place in the AL East, the AL Central, and of course for the four wild card spots this year.  My matchup of the week takes place in the friendly confines at Angel Stadium of Anaheim.

Oakland Athletics at Los Angeles AngelsWho else envisioned the Angels participating in the Fall Classic this year?  I know I am not alone.  Well the clock is continuing to tick and currently, the Angels will miss the postseason entirely.  Fortunately for them, they open up a four-game set tonight against the team they are chasing.  Got to love how MLB scheduling works out at times.

It is make or break time for the Angels.  There is no better way to track down the team you are chasing than to handle business against them head to head.  The Angels appear to finally be clicking at the right time led by the terrific trio of Trout, Trumbo, and Pujols.  Look for the Angels to close the gap by nabbing three of four in front of a very supportive home crowd.  Also, expect the Angels to catch and pass Oakland when all is said and done.  The remainder of the A’s schedule includes the likes of the Orioles, the Tigers, the Yankees, and lots of Texas. Continue reading

Food for Thought 9-4-2012

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Stephen Strasburg (pictured above) looked pretty sharp on Sunday against St. Louis. Sadly, his season will end on September 12th due to an innings limit placed on him by Washington Nationals GM Mike Rizzo.

By Josh Kramer

Operation Shutdown Strasburg” is an utter embarrassment.  Many MLB players go through an entire career and never make the playoffs once, much less contend for a playoff spot.  The Washington Nationals have failed to post a record better than .500 since making the move to the nation’s capital in 2005 (until yesterday).  There is only one way to describe Nationals GM Mike Rizzo’s September 12th expiration date on the Nationals star pitcher: A simple ego struggle.

That’s right, Washington is willing to risk a deep playoff run due to their General Manager’s ego.  I really have no other logical way to explain it.  Health concerns are are fine by me, but within reason.  There are always exceptions though.  Stephen Strasburg is a 24-year-old prized prospect who is in good health.  I realize that he had Tommy John surgery towards the end of the 2010 season.  But how many pitchers go through an entire career without a surgery such as Tommy John in this day and age?  Not many. Continue reading

Weekly Nickel 9-3-2012

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Adam Jones (pictured above) has been a main reason why the Baltimore Orioles are in contention for their first AL East title since 1997.

By Josh Kramer

Labor Day typically means two things other than a day off of work.  First of all, the dog days of August are over.  Secondly, America’s favorite sport is back.  College football took over this weekend and guess what?  The NFL is right around the corner.  Last week was a whole lot of fun, but this week will be good in its own right.  Here are the events to keep an eye on.

5.  Richmond International Speedway will be the place to be next Saturday in terms of NASCAR.  This is the final race before the Chase for the Cup begins at Chicagoland Speedway on the 16th.  In other words, Richmond is for all of the marbles.  Find a way into the top ten, or pray that you nab one of the two wild card spots.  I am looking at you Jeff Gordon, Kyle Busch, and Carl Edwards.

4.  The dog days are finally over.  Players are smiling from ear to ear due to the dog days finally ending, the expanded rosters, and of course the home stretch to the regular season.  We have learned a few things along the way.  The Baltimore Orioles are the real deal.  Crazy, I know.  Much of this is thanks to their star center fielder Adam Jones. Continue reading

Food for Thought 6-26-2012

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Kevin Youkilis (pictured above) received a nice curtain call from Red Sox Nation on Sunday. Now he will take the field for baseball’s other Sox (Chicago).

By Josh Kramer

From one Sox to another Sox.  Kevin Youkilis is now a member of the Chicago White Sox.  This is a great transaction for both Sox involved.  Boston rids themselves of a potential ongoing locker room problem (Youkilis/Valentine feud), and gives rising star Will Middlebrooks a chance to spread his wings.  Chicago on the other hand gets a proven All-Star who can provide the team with a 3rd baseman who can indeed bat above the Mendoza line ( Orlando Hudson batting .194 and Brent Morel batting .177).   Youkilis could even potentially bat over .300 (he has done this three times).

After a very successful 8.5 year stint in Boston, where Youkilis helped end the curse and bring Beantown two World Series, it was time to move on.  The great thing  is Boston has a solution in young stud Will Middlebrooks, while Chicago gets a guy who is only 33-years-old.  The White Sox are looking to make a deep playoff run in the present.  As much as Boston would like to be a playoff contender, they currently find themselves near the cellar of the AL East.  It is hard to believe, but with the departure of Youkilis, Big Papi is the only member of the 2004 championship team still left in Beantown.

Chicago’s hitting has been good this year, but not great.  Youkilis has the ability to provide the production out of the 3rd base position needed to help this team reach the next level.  It is no secret that the AL Central is perhaps baseball’s weakest division.  The White Sox have a golden opportunity to make postseason baseball this year.  As we all know, anything can happen in October.  Just ask Youkilis. Continue reading

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By Josh Kramer Beantown is not exactly the place to be these days.  At least when it comes to sports.  First, the Boston’s beloved Red Sox had arguably the worst breakdown in baseball history, blowing a seemingly insurmountable nine-game lead during the course … Continue reading

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By Josh Kramer Philadelphia is known as the City of Brotherly Love.  Unfortunately, with no football or college hoops going on at the moment, there is not too much love in Philly these days. Things have gone from good, to bad, … Continue reading

Weekly Nickel 4-23-2012

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Not too many people knew who Philip Humber (pictured above) was heading into Saturday. After tossing the 21st perfect game in MLB history, Humber has become a household name.

By Josh Kramer

Saying last week was a great one in sports would be an understatement.  Philip Humber became a household name when he tossed a perfect game on Saturday.  Rafael Nadal finally conquered his Djokovic fears in taking home his eighth consecutive Monte Carlo title on Sunday.  And the NHL playoffs have not been too shabby in their own right.  Want to know the best part?  This week should be even better than last.  Here are the events to keep an eye on.

5.  Rafael Nadal seems to have regained his “swagger.”  Or at least he temporarily slayed his Djokovic fears in Monte Carlo.  Next stop, Barcelona.  It is no secret that Rafael Nadal, a six-time French Open Champion, is God-like on the clay.  This is his time of year.  A little over a month from now Roland Garros will be the place to be.  Make sure to enjoy the Barcelona stop of the clay-court season this week.

4.  How many of you knew who Philip Humber was last week at this time?  Be honest.  I bet almost all of you know who he is now.  Humber deserves it.  He appears to be a real class act both on and off the field. Continue reading

Throwback Saturday Part XII

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Bobby Valentine (pictured above) is the current Red Sox manager due to a horrible September collapse last year. Will he right the ship in Beantown?

By Josh Kramer

Three months and still going strong.  The “Throwback Saturday” experiment has gone better than expected.  For those of you who have no idea what “Throwback Saturday” is, here’s a quick synopsis.  It is a time to look back and reflect.  What was happening on April 7, 2011? How about April 7, 2010?  Let’s find out.

One year ago..

Panic Time in Beantown?

Here is a snippet..

There are currently only two teams in all of Major League Baseball that we can call “defeated.”  Otherwise known as, “winless.”  Surprisingly, both of these teams are perennial playoff teams that reside in what most, including myself, consider the best division in all of baseball.

Were we all too high on the mighty AL East?

Tampa Bay currently sits at 0 and 5.  While the team that Sports Illustrated and most baseball experts picked to win not only the American League, but the World Series, sports the worst record in baseball.  Yes, the Boston Red Sox, the team with the most potent and dangerous lineup in all of baseball sits at 0 and 6.

Is it time to press the panic button in Beantown?

How many games are in an MLB Season?  162 right?  Boston has completed a little less than 4 percent of their games and people act as if the world is ending.  SportsCenter is providing stories on why history is against the Red Sox.  Most internet sites are calling the Red Sox a fraud.  And if you forget what a fraud is, just ask Colin Cowherd what the term means.

Well I am not playing into it, yet.  Sure the BoSox supposedly unstoppable offense has only scored 16 runs on the year, which is tied for second worse in the American League.  Sure Boston’s supposedly, “very solid” pitching staff has given up the second most runs in all of baseball.  38 to be exact, which translates to a little over six runs a game.  Even in Little League, giving up six runs a game is not part of a winning formula.  But they have only played six games.  It is a six month marathon for a reason (To finish reading this post, click this link). Continue reading

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By Josh Kramer The sun is shining, the birds are chirping, and spring is here.  Come April,  it’s time for baseball season.  There are few minor changes this year to the playoff system, but have no fear, the excitement will … Continue reading

Weekly Nickel 9-12-2011

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Just a month ago, Casey Kotchman (pictured above) and the Tampa Bay Rays appeared to be out of the playoff picture. After a big weekend, they have new life.

By Josh Kramer

The sporting world still stays hot despite the looming start of Fall.  Many areas saw cooling temperatures this week, but things heated right back up both with temperature and sports in time for the weekend.  Well the great thing is we have another great week ahead.

Here is what you should be watching for.

5.  As the Texas A&M/Big 12 tussle continues on, realignment appears to be almost inevitable.  Keep an eye out this week for new happenings in the A&M saga as they continue to look to make a clean break from the Big 12 and start fresh in the SEC. Continue reading