Mets Trade Jay Bruce For A Bucket Of Chicken

MLB: New York Mets at Cincinnati Reds

Good Ol’ Mets

Making fun of the New York Mets never gets old. You may say that’s mean, but if it’s always true, how mean could it be?? The Mets are bad on so many levels. And Wednesday night, they took their stink to new heights. They traded Jay Bruce to the Cleveland Indians for a bucket of chicken — literally. Okay, not literally, but they might as well have. Because trading Bruce to the Indians for 30th round draft pick, Ryder Ryan, a relief pitcher, is not exactly a good R.O.I. (return on investment). Check out Bruce’s impressive season here. The Mets, as usual, kept money as their biggest concern. They received better offers for Bruce elsewhere, but dealt him to the Indians because they took on $5 million of his salary. Wow!! That’s good stuff. It’s days like these I’m overjoyed NOT to be a Mets’ fan.

PGA Championship (1st Round)

Raise your hand if you’ve heard of Thorbjorn Olesen and Kevin Kisner???? Yeah, me neither. These fine gentlemen are your 18 hole, co-leaders (-4) at the PGA Championship. I must give credit when credit is due. My guest co-host on my sports talk radio show, Uncle Mike, predicted Kevin Kisner would win the PGA Championship. I may have laughed in his face when he said this, but I bet he’s the one laughing now. Kisner, while relatively unknown, is the 25th ranked golfer in the world. This speaks to the state of golf, doesn’t it?? Imagine if no one knew who the 25th best basketball player was?? Kisner has Brooks Koepka nipping at his heels, at -3, and my pick, Jordan Spieth had a rough first day, finishing at +1. Check out the full leaderboard here. There’s a lot of golf yet to be played, so we’ll see how Kisner handles the grand stage today.

Stupidity Epidemic Continues

Zach Randolph is an idiot. There is no other opinion allowed in this situation. Zach Randolph was arrested early Thursday morning on marijuana possession with the intent to sell. This charge is a felony, and he was held on $20,000 bail. The LAPD found Randolph and a group of people drinking, smoking, and partying in the streets of Watts. Police backup was required as the crowd reportedly began slashing tires and smashing windows on police cars. Sounds healthy….

This story infuriates me. If you’re Zach Randolph, what the hell are you doing smoking and drinking in the projects?!?! And why do you have enough marijuana on you to get an entire city high?? Zach, you are 36 years old. You have earned $175,124,765 in your career. You are set to earn another $24,000,000 over the next 2 seasons. How freakin’ stupid can you be?!?! I know, other players do worse than this, but that doesn’t make this okay. And I want to shake the faces of the people who say this is not a big deal. Hey, just because this story involves marijuana, and some of you are potheads, doesn’t make this acceptable. IT’S TIME TO GROW UP ZACH RANDOLPH!!!!

 

What do you think of the Jay Bruce trade??

Who do you think will win the PGA Championship??

Should the Sacramento Kings release Zach Randolph??

Answer my questions in the comment section below. Please.

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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!

American League Central Predictions

Today, we will take a look at our first American League Division; the American League Central.  I will preview each team and give you my bold predictions for the upcoming season.  Here is a quick look at how each team finished last season:

2012 American League Central Final Standings:

                                                        W   L

Detriot Tigers:                                 88-74

Chicago White Sox:                        85-77

Kansas City Royals:                       72-90

Cleveland Indians:                         68-94

Minnesota Twins:                           66-96

Ah, the 2012 Minnesota Twins.  What a major disappointment they were huh?  No one was crowning them World Series champions prior to the 2012 season, but I think we all expected them to be above .500.  The Twins started out with a horrid record, and as the season continued it only got worse.  They finished dead last in the American League Central, a horrible 30 games under .500.  There is good news for 2013.  I don’t think it is physically possible to be as bad as they were last year.  That means there is only one way to go; up.  The Twins lost speedy outfielders Denard Span and Ben Revere, and they are hoping Darin Mastroianni can be their starting center fielder of the future, their leadoff hitter, and can blossom into a star.  I think he is a nice little player, but his strikeout rate is too high and his batting average is too low for me to say he’ll be a difference maker in Minnesota.  They also added Vance Worley and Mike Pelfrey to their starting rotation.  Mike Pelfrey after one solid year for the Mets in 2010, has underachieved beyond belief (if only I were 6’7″).  I don’t see the change of scenery being the difference for Pelfrey, and I see him struggling mightily this season.  As for Worley, after bursting on to the scene in 2011, his 2012 was very pedestrian (where he sported a 4.20 era and only won 6 games).  The Twins offense does have a chance to put up some runs, but that all depends on the health of their two former ‘superstars’; Justin Morneau and Joe Mauer.  Josh Willingham should have another nice season at the plate, but if Mauer and Morneau can stay healthy they could make a run at that elusive .500 record (hahaha).  That’s how good I think they will be this season, their ceiling is a .500 record.  When it’s all said and done I do think they improve upon their record from last season, but not by much.  They will be a stellar 70-92.

Last season the Cleveland Indians showed that they can compete in the American League Central.  They held a record of 44-41 at the All-Star break.  Then the Indians went on to have a disastrous 2nd half, going 24-53 to close out the season.  This forced the Indians owner to fire their manager Manny Acta.  Over the offseason, the Indians hired former Red Sox manager Terry Francona.  They believe that the combination of Francona and their new acquisitions this offseason gives them a chance to compete for the division title.  They added former Yankees outfielder Nick Swisher, home-run hitting Mark Reynolds, speedy centerfielder Michael Bourn, and the power/speed threat of Drew Stubbs (if only Stubbs didn’t strike out a million times he’d have the potential to be GREAT).  Between Reynolds and Stubbs their batting average will plummet while their strikeout rate soars through the roof, but they have the potential to be a very good team.  If Ubaldo Jimenez can return to All-Star form, watch out for the Cleveland Indians!  I think that they will be the most improved team from last season but will just miss out on the playoffs.  I believe they will finish with a record of 85-77.

The Kansas City Royals have been a model of inconsistency over the years, and that’s exactly what they were last season.  I do believe that they are heading in the right direction though and might actually surprise some folks this season.  The Royals have a good young team with a mountain of potential.  They also added James Shields, Ervin Santana, and Wade Davis to their starting rotation this offseason.  I believe this will vastly improve this team, and they will finish with a winning record for the first time since 2003.  The Royals have a lineup with a rare combination of speed and power.  Between Lorenzo Cain, Alcides Escobar, Jarrod Dyson, and Alex Gordon the Royals should swipe a lot of bases this season.  They also have a lot of pop in their bats, with Mike Moustakas, Eris Hosmer, and Billy Butler anchoring the lineup.  Expect the Royals to be improved from last year, finishing with a record of 82-80.

Outside of Chris Sale, the Chicago White Sox rotation hovered around .500 in terms of wins and losses last season.  I believe that is what we will see from this team in 2013.  They did not make much noise this past offseason.  The only real addition they made was bringing in Jeff Keppinger to play 3rd base.  He should help with their batting average but not much more.  They do have nice players in their lineup in Paul Konerko, Alexei Ramirez, and Alejandro De Aza, but that won’t be enough to compete in this division.  This will be the most improved division in baseball, and the White Sox will finish in 4th place in the division this season.  I don’t think their pitching is good enough and it will ultimately be their downfall.  I see the White Sox having a disappointing season, finishing with an 80-82 record.

This is the Detroit Tigers division to lose.  With Justin Verlander heading up a rotation that includes Max Scherzer and Doug Fister, the Tigers rotation should continue to mow batters down.  Add that to a lineup that features Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder, and I think it’s safe to say that the Tigers will win the American League Central again this season.  The Tigers do have a big question mark this season though, that could throw a big curveball into their plans.  They don’t have a closer right now.  They don’t seem to be interested in re-signing Jose Valverde.  Now, I dislike Valverde more than anyone in the world.  Watching him pitch makes me want to stab myself in the eyes with a pencil.  However, sometimes the scarcity at a position should dictate how you put your team together.  Valverde did implode in the postseason last year, but he is by far the best option at closer for the Detroit Tigers (at least right now).  Come playoff time, are you really going to feel comfortable handing the ball to a rookie in the 9th inning??  I highly doubt it.  I foresee the Tigers holding off the Indians to win the division, but I don’t think they’re going to make it look easy.  Their record should be similar to that of last year at 89-73.  They will narrowly win the American League Central.

2013 American League Central Projected Final Standings:

W   L

Detroit Tigers:                                  89-73

Cleveland Indians:                          85-77

Kansas CIty Royals:                        82-80

Chicago White Sox:                         80-82

Minnesota Twins:                            70-92

Projected American League Central Winner: Detroit Tigers

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!