Happy Birthday Mike Trout!!

mike trout 2

Doesn’t it seem like athletes always do something special on their birthday?? Well, the world’s best baseball player certainly followed that trend. Monday night, Mike Trout celebrated his 26th birthday. Yes, Mike Trout, the 2-time MVP, is only 26. And what better way to celebrate than collect your 1000th career hit, right??

Trout stepped to the plate to lead off the bottom of the 4th inning and promptly ripped a double down the left-field line (as pictured above). And just like that, Trout became one of the youngest players to reach 1000 hits. That distinction belongs to Ty Cobb (24 years, 145 days). Trout’s evening didn’t stop there. In the bottom of the 6th inning, Trout smashed a home-run off the left-field foul pole. Despite his historic evening, the Los Angeles Angels fell to the Baltimore Orioles 6-2.

While the Angels are 3 games under .500 (55-58), they stand just 3 games back of the 2nd Wild Card in the American League. Remember when there was only 1 Wild Card?? Better yet, do you remember when there was NO Wild Card?! Such a simpler time….

Anyway, it’s likely the Angels would be in a far better position to make the playoffs if Trout hadn’t gotten injured earlier in the season. Trout has missed 45 of the Angels’ 113 games this year thanks to a torn ligament in his thumb and a minor hamstring issue.

The craziest thing is Mike Trout still has a chance to win the AL MVP. There are only 3 players in the running for AL MVP:

1.) Jose Altuve – .364/16 hr/63 rbi/24 sb

2.) Aaron Judge – .299/35 hr/78 rbi/6 sb

3.) Mike Trout – .346/23 hr/52 rbi/ 13 sb

Jose Altuve is the most underrated player in MLB. Standing just 5’6″ tall, Altuve is a 5-tool player. He is the best player, on the best team, in the American League. If the season ended today, Altuve would undoubtedly be the AL MVP.

Aaron Judge is having a historical season. He is running away with the AL Rookie of the Year Award, and despite his current slump is still entrenched in the race for the AL MVP. The next 52 games will test Judge’s ability to handle adversity, in the Fall, in New York.

Mike Trout remains the best baseball player in the world. Trout’s impressive stat-line through 68 games speaks to his unparalleled talent level. Trout, when healthy, will always be in the MVP race, however, it’ll be interesting to see how the MVP voters judge (see what I did there?) Trout if he continues this pace down the stretch.

To see Mike Trout’s incredible career stats, click here.

Trout’s next milestone is rapidly approaching, as he is just 9 home runs shy of 200. We shouldn’t have to wait until his 27th birthday for that.

 

Can Mike Trout still win the AL MVP?? Who do you think will win the AL MVP?? Post your prediction in the comment section below.

You can now find me on the Radio too. Download the TuneIn Radio App and search OWWR. I’ll be on live every Wednesday from 6:00 P.M. – 8:00 P.M EST. I also broadcast every show on Facebook Live via my DaveTalksSports.com Facebook Page.

Since you enjoy my writing, follow me on twitter @DaveEttinger2 or like my page on Facebook at http://www.Facebook.com/DaveTalksSports. You can also Subscribe to my YouTube Channel called DaveTalksSports. Thanks for reading!! Now go tell all your friends!!

 

MLB Trade Deadline Review (Winners and Losers)

sonny gray

While July usually starts with a bang, Major League Baseball made sure to end July with their own kind of fireworks. July 31st, also known as Trade Deadline Day, should be a National Holiday too — haha. Many teams were active buyers and sellers, while others sat on the sideline afraid to play ball. And of course, in any trade there must be a Winner and a Loser….

Winners:

New York Yankees

Los Angeles Dodgers

Washington Nationals

Losers:

Boston Red Sox

Baltimore Orioles

Texas Rangers

Let’s start with the Losers. The Boston Red Sox made 1 notable move yesterday. They acquired bullpen arm, Addison Reed, from the New York Mets. This move, on the surface, is decent. It bolsters the Red Sox weak bullpen and seemed necessary. So why are they losers Dave?? Well, I think we all know the answer to that!! But no, seriously, they aren’t competing with themselves. They are competing with the Yankees. And solely adding Addison Reed won’t be enough to keep up with the Yankees following their additions this past month.

The Baltimore Orioles seem like a lost puppy. They’re roaming the streets unsure of where their home is. The Orioles should have been sellers this year, however, they traded FOR Jeremy Hellickson and Tim Beckham. Hellickson is a mediocre starting pitcher from the Philadelphia Phillies and Beckham is a middle infielder from the Tampa Bay Rays. I don’t get it….

And then there’s the Texas Rangers. Sure, they traded Yu Darvish for prospects, but I can argue that haul was one-sided. They also traded Jonathan Lucroy to the Colorado Rockies. Again, while selling was the way to go for the Rangers, players shouldn’t be traded for a bucket of chicken (George Costanza style). When Lucroy was acquired by the Rangers, they gave up a major prospect (Lewis Brinson). Yesterday, they traded Lucroy, for a player to be named later. Nice work!!

_____________________________________________________________________________

Now, we shall move on to the smart people, the Winners. We may as well start with my beloved New York Yankees. They’ve had an extremely successful season and it should only get better. They acquired Sonny Gray from the Oakland Athletics for 3 prospects (Dustin Fowler, James Kaprielian, and Jorge Mateo). These are all nice prospects, but when you add the uncertainty of a prospect to the major surgeries Fowler and Kaprielian are recovering from, you may as well close your eyes and swing. Gray has a career e.r.a. of 3.42 and is 44-36 in his 5-year career. He should help get the Yankees’ starters into the 8th inning for the first time in 1700 years.

The Los Angeles Dodgers also find themselves in the W column. While everyone is talking about Yu Darvish, I’m talking about Tony Watson. Watson is a very solid bullpen arm. This was the Dodgers most glaring need, and they plugged up that hole in 1 move. Yes, Yu Darvish is nice because he’s a household name, but Watson is the prize for the Dodgers. You’ll see what I’m talking about come October.

And last but certainly not least, the Washington Nationals. Talk about bolstering your bullpen. Reminiscent of the Yankees’ farm system in 2016, the Nationals bullpen went from worst to first overnight. They added Ryan Madson, Sean Doolittle, and Brandon Kintzler. All have closing experience, and all are having good seasons. The Nationals are my new World Series favorite. Hopefully, the Yankees have the honor of staring down that barrel.

 

What is your take on the MLB Trade Deadline?? Who were the biggest Winners and Losers?? Type your reaction into the comment section below.

You can now find me on the Radio too. Download the TuneIn Radio App and search OWWR. I’ll be on live every Wednesday from 6:00 P.M. – 8:00 P.M EST. I also broadcast every show on Facebook Live via my DaveTalksSports.com Facebook Page.

Since you enjoy my writing, follow me on twitter @DaveEttinger2 or like my page on Facebook at http://www.Facebook.com/DaveTalksSports. You can also Subscribe to my YouTube Channel called DaveTalksSports. Thanks for reading!! Now go tell all your friends!!

 

 

So Many Sports, So Little Time

gausman

Wednesday was a busy day in the sports world. Too much for one person to handle some might say. But I’m here, so I may as well give it a shot….

NBA

Wednesday night showcased two NBA playoff matchups. Lebron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers steamrolled the Toronto Raptors (125-103), taking a 2-0 lead in the Eastern Conference Semifinals. Lebron did what he does, scoring 39 points while adding 6 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 steals, and 2 blocks. Just another day at the office huh?? Lebron’s 39 points were special because he passed Kareem-Abdul Jabbar for 2nd all-time on the playoff scoring list. Bad became worse for the Raptors as Kyle Lowry went down in the 3rd quarter with a left ankle injury. Lowry would return to the game, but with a noticeable limp, so I’d call Lowry questionable at best for Game 3.

The late game Wednesday night was Game 2 of the Houston Rockets vs. the San Antonio Spurs. The storyline here was simple: after a lopsided Game 1 win by the Rockets, how would the Spurs respond? And they responded exactly as I expected, with a 121-96 victory. Kawhi Leonard showed the world why he is an MVP candidate. Leonard dominated the offensive side of things with 34 points, 7 rebounds, 8 assists, 3 steals, and 1 block. Tony Parker also had a good game, however, he had to be carried off the court during the 4th quarter when his left knee buckled. The real story of Game 2 was Leonard’s defense, as he showed why he is the 2-time reigning Defensive Player of the Year. He locked up James Harden for the majority of the game, holding Harden to 13 points on 3 of 17 shooting. I guess Leonard doesn’t fear the beard.

NHL

The NHL also put forth two playoff games on Wednesday night. The Anaheim Ducks won an overtime thriller over the Edmonton Oilers (5-4). After an awful giveaway in his own zone by Adam Larsson of the Oilers, Ryan Getzlaf fed a wide-open Jakob Silfverberg right in front of the net.  Silfverberg drove home the one-time winner just 45 seconds into overtime, and this series is now tied at two games a piece.

Earlier in the evening, the Sydney Crosbyless Pittsburgh Penguins took on the Washington Capitals in Game 4. Crosby is still out after leaving Game 3 with a concussion. I guess the Capitals felt bad for the Penguins, so they decided to score for them. Oh yeah, you heard that right. In the 2nd period, Pittsburghs’ Jake Guentzel sent the puck in front of Washington’s net and defenseman Dmitry Orlov thought it would be a good idea to kick that puck into his own net. Nice work! The Penguins went on to win 3-2, and now hold a commanding 3-1 lead in the series.

MLB

There was a full slate of MLB games on Wednesday night, but there was one game that dominated the headlines. The Boston Red Sox and the Baltimore Orioles have an on going feud that began on April 11th. It all started with a hard slide from Manny Machado into 2nd base that took out Dustin Pedroia’s legs. Since then, the Red Sox threw at Machado’s head, the Orioles plunked Mookie Betts, and Machado was thrown at again (this time going behind him). These actions resulted in a conference call between the Red Sox and Orioles organizations, the MLB Commisioner, and the MLB Players Association calling for the feud to be put to rest. Well you guessed it, the feud was not put to rest. Wednesday night, Kevin Gausman hit Xander Bogaerts, albeit with a curveball, as some form of sneaky retribution. Gausman was immediately ejected. I view Gausman and the Orioles as the immature person who must get the last word in no matter how wrong they know they are. But at the same time, can we not throw baseballs at people’s heads at 100 miles per hour? Okay cool, thanks. Good Talk.

In New York baseball news, the New York Mets continued their roller coaster season, beating the Atlanta Braves 16-5. As for the Yankees, they continued their winning ways, beating the Toronto Blue Jays 8-6. Aaron Judge smashed his MLB leading 13th home run of the season, and I’m quite certain he grew a foot taller last night as well.

BOXING

I’m assuming you haven’t watched a boxing match since Evander Holyfield was in the ring, but let’s talk about it anyway. This Saturday, May 6th, Canelo Alzarez (48-1-1, 34 KO’s) will take on Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. (50-2-1, 32 KO’s) in an All-Mexican Showdown in Las Vegas. Coincidentally, this match will take place just one day after Cinco de Mayo. Canelo, the Junior Middleweight Title Holder, will move up a weight class to fight Chavez Jr. at a catch weight of 164.5 pounds. Canelo’s only loss to date remains a unanimous decision to Floyd Mayweather in 2013. Canelo is the odds on favorite to win this match and for good reason. I see Canelo winning fairly easily in a unanimous decision.

SOCCER

Juventus is very good.

 

What did you watch on Wednesday night? Let me know all about it in the comment section below.

Since you enjoy my writing, follow me over to intheneutralzone.com where I am a contributing author there as well. You can also follow me on twitter @DaveEttinger2 or like me on Facebook at http://www.Facebook.com/DaveTalksSports. Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoyed it!

 

 

Happy Birthday Aaron Judge!!

aaron judge

Did you see that?!?! This has become a common reaction to the early season accomplishments of New York Yankees’ outfielder, Aaron Judge. A mountain of a man, standing 6’7″ tall, Judge has taken the league by storm, one moonshot home run at a time. Wednesday night, Judge celebrated his 25th birthday by playing against the Boston Red Sox for the first time. Judge didn’t wait long to give himself a gift and introduce himself to this historic rivalry.

The first pitch Judge saw Wednesday night, an 89-m.p.h. fastball from Rick Porcello, landed exactly where you’d expect; the cheap seats. The 2nd inning, 2-run home run was the 7th of the season for Judge. He now has 7 home runs and 15 r.b.i.’s while batting .281 in his first 18 games. And to think just 4 short weeks ago, Judge nearly lost the right-field competition to Aaron Hicks. Good work Joe Girardi! This is Judge’s second audition in the big leagues (playing in 27 games in 2016), and I’d say he’s got the part. And who said you never get a 2nd chance at a 1st impression?!

The birthday boy’s evening didn’t end there. In the 3rd inning, Judge figured it was time to flash the leather. Xander Bogaerts popped-up a ball down the right-field line. As it appeared it would hang up just enough for Judge to make a play on it, he took off full-speed toward the foul line. The ball met his glove simultaneously with his knees meeting the half-wall, making an incredible catch and tumbling into the first row of the stands (pictured above) in a very Jeter-Esque manner. Dare I say that Judge’s home run in the 2nd inning was an inside-out swing reminiscent of one Derek Jeter as well? I’m just sayin’. 

Thanks to Judge’s hot start (and some surprisingly OUTSTANDING starting pitching), the Yankees have opened the season 12-7, just 1.5 games behind the Baltimore Orioles in the American League East. Only time will tell if the Yankees and Judge will continue their strong play. For now, I will enjoy watching him hit 448-foot home runs into the stratosphere.

Do you think Aaron Judge is the real deal? Are the Yankees really contenders or is the other shoe about to drop? Let me know in the comment section below.

Since you enjoy my writing, follow me over to intheneutralzone.com where I am a contributing author there as well. You can also follow me on twitter @DaveEttinger2 or like me on Facebook at http://www.Facebook.com/DaveTalksSports. Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoyed it!

A-Rod Drama Continues

mad joe

Alright sports fans, here we go again! It’s Mid-August, and while pennant races are heating up, the only thing on our minds is what will happen on the next episode of A-Rod TV. The stage for this last installment was none other than Fenway Park. It is the perfect place for this unbelievable story to rise to the next level. The Yankees, have been counted out of the playoff race by most, but like him or not Alex Rodriguez has brought the Yankees back to life in more ways than one. He and the Yankees have found their way back onto the front page of the sports section, and despite popular belief they have found themselves sniffing at the backdoor of the playoffs. We will discuss how The Yankees can make the playoffs later on, but for now let’s get back to the more important issues.

Sunday night, The Red Sox and Yankees faced off in a tiebreaker of a 3-game series, but the actual game quickly became an afterthought. Alex Rodriguez stepped up to the plate to lead off the 2nd inning as The Yankees were already in a 2-0 hole. Ryan Dempster, with the first pitch, decided to send a message by airmailing a pitch just behind his knees. A-Rod shuffled forward, said thank you very much, and made his way back to the batter’s box. With no warnings issued the at bat continued on it’s natural progression. Dempster then came inside with another fastball for ball two. Dempster then came inside AGAIN with yet another fastball for ball three. As if all this fun wasn’t enough for one day, with a 3-0 count, Dempster decided to plunk A-Rod right in the back. A-Rod turned and glared at Dempster and along with The Yankee’s trainer, walked down to first base. Now before I continue, I want to point out something the one and only Michael Kaye brought up on his radio show last week. Following the decision by MLB to expand the use of instant replay, Michael Kaye was worried about losing a part of the game that he personally enjoyed; The Manager-Umpire argument. He stated how much he enjoyed the old school manager mentality of getting right up in an umpire’s face and giving them a piece of their mind. He thought with the use of instant replay to remove human error (while Kaye supports replay for the sake of the quality of the game) the game would miss the kicking of dirt by a manager after a blown call. He went on to cite Joe Girardi as an example. He said that he would miss Joe Girardi storming out on to the field with his target locked on to an umpire and his vein pulsating from the side of his head. Well, Michael, last night you got your wish. Immediately following the pitch heard ’round the world, both benches were warned by the home plate umpire, and Girardi immediately stormed out to politely inquire about what was going through Brian O-Nora’s mind. No, seriously, Girardi went ballistic on O’Nora (rightfully so). Girardi, while absolutely right in his argument, was ejected from the game for arguing with the umpire. Both benches and bullpens had briefly cleared, but returned to their respective burrows without an altercation.

Now anyone with two eyes that function properly could see and understand that Ryan Dempster hit Alex Rodriguez on purpose. Dempster absolutely should have been ejected from the game instantaneously. I mean, he did throw at him three times before finally hitting him. I personally find it hilarious, and the moral of the story for me is simply how bad Dempster’s aim is. Maybe that’s why his e.r.a. is almost 5.00 (4.77 if you were wondering). However, following the game, the political responses that make baseball the blatantly obvious façade that it is ensued. Let’s start with Red Sox head coach John Farrell. He was asked in his post-game press conference if Dempster hit A-Rod on purpose. He candidly responded, I don’t know that he hit him in purpose (or something to that affect). Dempster stated that he was just trying to establish his inside fastball. Excuse me while we take a quick intermission, HAHAHAHAHAHAHA (that’s me laughing off-air while I accidentally leave my microphone on and the audience get’s to hear my honest opinion). Oh yeah, way to establish your inside fastball behind him and in A-Rod’s ribcage. Listen, I dislike A-Rod the baseball player as much as the next guy, but this is not how you do it on the baseball field. You don’t take it upon yourself to plunk a guy to send a message in the 2nd inning of an important game. If Dempster had been rightfully ejected, the Red Sox bullpen would have been put in a precarious situation. And more importantly, when you miss him with the first pitch, let that be your message and move on with he game. Now, last but not least, let’s get to the ultimate politician, A-Rod. On the field just after the end of the game, Buster Olney caught up with A-Rod for a quick interview. I want to analyze his responses one by one to illustrate just how intelligent this evil genius is. First, Buster asked him how what he thought about winning this big game. A-Rod responded by saying it was huge and that The Red Sox have such a great team over there and they’ve had a great season all year long. Translation: The Red Sox have a good record, but essentially today was the beginning of the end of the 2013 Red Sox. He then proceeded to say that they are gathering their goups and now that they are scoring runs on a regular basis, everyone else should watch out. He was then asked about having a pitch thrown behind him and then being hit by a pitch in the same at bat. To that he slyly replied, well that was a bit odd and that was a weird situation. Next he added that the game has a way of policing itself. Translation: We are going to hit one of their best players on the first try the next time we get a chance. Buster also asked him what he said to Dempster as it appeared that A-Rod mouthed something in his direction following the incident. You know how you know you’re a good liar? When there is proof of something on video tape, and you still stand there and deny it. That’s how you know you’re good. I believe Shaggy said it best, “It wasn’t me.” He then went on to tell the truth for the first and only time in the entire interview. He spoke about the home run and how he got a fastball right down the middle and sent it back to where it came from. He also said that no matter what is going on around him, the main focus is and always has been winning baseball games and getting to the postseason. He also pointed out that he has great teammates and a great manager that have always supported him. Believe it or not, that part is also true. Joe Girardi’s actions and Bret Gardner’s words are proof of that. Gardner said that he doesn’t know how he would feel (about A-Rod, who else?) if he was on another team, but he is on this team and he supports everyone of his teammates to the best of his ability. And here is where A-Rod lost me completely. He said he has faith in God to get him through all the trials and tribulations that surround him everyday. Now don’t get me wrong, I believe that everyone has the right to believe in whatever faith, religion, culture, and lifestyle they want, but did A-Rod really need to take it there? He used God as a springboard to say that despite all the boos he has a lot of people in his corner supporting and praying for him throughout this whole situation. Yup, you’re right, you’re the victim. Why didn’t we all realize that a little sooner? What he’s really saying is, I don’t give a crap what anyone thinks of me, I’m very rich and I’m happy! Lastly in response to the boos, he basically said I take boos on the road as a compliment. Which brings me to a saying that I believe in, “they don’t boo nobodies.” To summarize this entire interview I will say one thing: if A-Rod ran for Mayor, Governor, or anything in political office I would vote for him.

After all the nonsense in the game quieted down, A-Rod exacted his revenge on the field. As I referenced in the interview, A-Rod took a fastball and crushed it to dead center. If you were watching the game live, you knew that the second he hit the ball and you heard the beautiful crack of the bat; the ball was long gone. He got fired up as he rounded the bases, mouthing some obscenities, and that plus the Girardi ejection seemed to fire up The Yankees squad. They went on to win the game 9-6 and take the 3-game series two games to one. With A-Rods’s solid play of late, Granderson’s return, and Alfonso Soriano’s lights out performance thus far, The Yankees have a realistic shot of sneaking into the final wild card spot in the American League. While they appear that they can win enough games to make the playoffs, they would still need help from the teams currently ahead of them. Let me list these teams, and you tell me if you think they can outplay their American League foes. The Yankees are chasing at the coattails of the Baltimore Orioles, The Cleveland Indians, and The Oakland Athletics. How do you say not worried, not worried, and definitely not worried? All The Yankees need to do is take A-Rod’s advice (hahahaha), and keep their main focus on winning baseball games and making it to the postseason. If The Yankees can and will make the playoffs this season is yet to be seen, but you can be certain that there will be more drama to unfold each day on A-Rod TV. I mean, Brain Cashman, The General Manager of The Yankees, actually said he doesn’t feel comfortable speaking to A-Rod because of lawsuits that could ensue. Now if that isn’t awesome drama I don’t know what is!! Enjoy!!

If you enjoy my writing, follow me over to intheneutralzone.com where I am a contributing author there as well. Also you can follow me on twitter @DaveEttinger2 or like me on Facebook at http://www.Facebook.com/DaveTalksSports. Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoyed it!