Talkin' Baseball (MLB)

Permalink 06:15:19 pm, Categories: All World All Sports Blogs  

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-Digger's Daily-

Another tremendous baseball season is well underway. Texas Rangers Josh Hamilton's chasing baseball's coveted triple crown (leader in home runs, runs batted in and batting average). Baseball's are jumping off his bat.

Speaking of baseball's jumping off bats - Hamilton's Texas Rangers teammates compose the game's most feared lineup. They lead all of baseball with a .292 team average, 212 runs, 386 hits, 634 total bases, .480 slugging%, .828 OPS, and +75 run differential. Rangers are hungry for their first World Series title after back to back close calls. Texas is a much stronger team than the one which came within a strike of winning it all in 2011. Their loss to St. Louis made this squad more determined than ever to fulfill childhood dreams of glory.

Speaking of St. Louis - the defending Albert Pujol-less champions haven't missed a beat this season leading the NL Central with a 21-15 record. They've over come early season injuries to key players (Wainwright, Carpenter, Beltran, Berkman, Craig, Jay & Schumacker). Replacement players have excelled. Cardinals remain a very determined team. All players are chipping in admirably.

Time to pay tribute to a few successful clubs considered longshots before this season began. Washington Nationals 1/2 game off NL East lead (24-12). Another injury riddled club playing good baseball. Manager Davey Johnson has these guys ready to go every night....
New York Mets (20-16) showing the baseball world they're not dead yet despite plenty of spring training epitaph's. It's been a mixture of young and old getting it done through injuries, slumps and lack of over all team power....
Al East leading Baltimore Orioles (23-14) players and fans finally holding their heads high for the first time in ages. Adam Jones and Matt Wieters are real deal Baltimore fixtures for years to come. It'll be a long haul and big challenge for Oriole hurlers to keep down tough AL lineups. So far so good...
Los Angeles Dodgers (24-12) own baseball's best record. Don Mattingly has won over the trust and respect of Dodger players. LA is a talented team from top to bottom. Time is ripe for them to make a run for the NL crown.

MLB just named the New York Mets (CitiField) as hosts for the 2013 All Star Game. Mets haven't hosted an All Star Game since 1964 (a travesty). It's about time baseball recognized New York's other team. It's been a long time coming for the Mets to host another ASG. I was terribly disappointed only one ASG was played in Shea Stadium.

Stay tuned... more to follow.


Baseball Power Rankings Movers & Shakers

Permalink 12:13:59 pm, Categories: All World All Sports Blogs  

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-Digger's Daily-

Much attention remains focused on Cleveland, New York, Boston and Tampa Bay. Guess which team now has baseball's best record? St. Louis Cardinals. Albert Pujols appears to have shaken off an early season slump. Lance Berkman keeps crushing baseballs. Cards bullpen now getting the job done. Is St. Louis baseball's best? Probably not. However, they're playing great ball at the moment.

All Star Game is one month away. Fans stuffing ballot boxes hoping their favorite players garner enough votes to play in Arizona's mid-summer classic. A few ASG regulars still trying to shake off big time struggles. Hit machine Ichiro Suzuki season long slump continues (.260). Yanks Jorge Posada's (.195) batting average is slowly improving but I fear his days as a starting DH are soon to end. Derek Jeter's closing in on 3,000 career hits. Believe it or not New York has never had any player collect 3,000 hits!

Who is #1 in this week's installment of All World All Sports Power Rankings? Time to find out....
Top 10
1 - Philadelphia Phillies
2 - Boston Red Sox
3 - Cleveland Indians
4 - New York Yankees
5 - St. Louis Cardinals
6 - Detroit Tigers
7 - Milwaukee Brewers
8 - San Francisco Giants
9 - Texas Rangers
10 - Atlanta Braves

Bottom 5
30- Houston Astros
29- Chicago Cubs
28- Minnesota Twins
27- Kansas City Royals
26- Oakland A's


Power Rankings Movers & Shakers: NBA & NHL

Permalink 11:00:00 pm, Categories: All World All Sports Blogs  

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-Digger's Daily-

1 - San Antonio
2 - Lakers
3 - Chicago
4 - Miami
5 - Boston
6 - Dallas
7 - Oklahoma City
8 - Orlando
9 - Denver
10- Atlanta

1 - Vancouver
2 - Washington
3 - Detroit
4 - Philadelphia
5 - Pittsburgh
6 - San Jose
7 - Boston
8 - Tampa Bay
9 - Los Angeles
10- Phoenix



2011 Major League Baseball Predictions

Permalink 03:00:59 pm, Categories: All World All Sports Blogs  

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-Digger's Daily-

It's time. Major League Baseball's 2011 regular season is ready to begin. Buckle up for another thrilling season. 2010 was dubbed "Year of the Pitcher" after hurlers tossed gems including a bunch of no-hitters. What's in store for this season? Our "Spring Training Spotlight" will continue. Right now, it's time to predict how the 2011 season shakes out.

American League
New York Yankees
Boston Red Sox*

Tampa Bay Rays
Toronto Blue Jays
Baltimore Orioles

Minnesota Twins
Chicago White Sox
Detroit Tigers
Kansas City Royals
Cleveland Indians

Oakland A's
Los Angeles Angels
Texas Rangers
Seattle Mariners

National League
Philadelphia Phillies
Atlanta Braves*
Florida Marlins
New York Mets
Washington Nationals

St. Louis Cardinals
Chicago Cubs
Milwaukee Brewers
Cincinnati Reds
Pittsburgh Pirates
Houston Astros

Los Angeles Dodgers
San Francisco Giants
Colorado Rockies
Arizona Diamondbacks
San Diego Padres

AL MVP: Carl Crawford (Bos)
AL Cy Young; Gio Gonzales (Oak)
NL MVP: Albert Pujols (StL)
NL Cy Young: Tim Hudson (Atl)
World Series: Dodgers over A's



2011 Spring Training Spotlight: Baltimore Orioles

Permalink 04:17:54 pm, Categories: All World All Sports Blogs  

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-Digger's Daily-

The year was 1997. Davey Johnson skippered Baltimore to an American League best 98 wins. Orioles seemed destined for long term greatness. Mike Mussina, Jimmy Key and Scott Erickson anchored their starting rotation. Rafael Palmeiro, Cal Ripken Jr, Roberto Alomar, BJ Surhoff, Chris Hoiles and Brady Anderson were the main offensive cogs. Who would have believed it was to be Baltimore's last winning season?

Ownership changes, managerial failures, poor free agent selections, dwindling revenues and division rivals getting stronger all factored into creating the longest losing era in franchise history. Can the 2011 Baltimore Orioles return this once proud organization into winners?

Orioles 2011 roster is very promising. There's reason for optimism heading into spring training. Orioles begin the year with a serious manager, Buck Showalter. Buck's late season arrival woke up a team left for dead. Players auditioning for future considerations rejuvenated this once lifeless club to a 34-23 record to close out '10. Baltimore is ripe to make a move in 2011. At the very least, they'll be challenging opponents for 162 games. How many they win remains to be seen.

What's new for 2011? Big defense and bigger bats. Baltimore's defense has been monumentally transformed. No longer will simple ground balls roam unopposed for base hits. A sputtering offense has been retooled to keep pace with slugging AL East teams. Welcome new additions Derek Lee (1B), Matt Reynolds (3B) & JJ Hardy (SS) join veteran and fan favorite Brian Roberts (2B). All have Gold Glove potential. Pitcher's ERA's will drop significantly. O's offense received another boost recently by signing slugging free agent swinger Vladmir Guerrero to take over DH duties. Behind the plate is a very capable Matt Weiters who stands to benefit by the new veteran chemistry. Nick Markakis has been a doubles machine. '11 could see a big surge in his RBI totals. Baltimore's offense is ready to fly. Defense set to cut down opposing batters.

Pitching staff has been a concern for too many recent years. Team defense will turn past weak hits and errors into outs. Offense will finally generate run support. Now it's up to the staff not handing out free passes. There's no doubt in my mind Showalter will insist O's arms throw pre-season strikes. He's a no nonsense style of manager eagerly attempting to transform Baltimore into winners. Recent history has proven anything can happen. Starting rotation is an up for grabs free for all spring competition. Jeremy Guthrie and Brian Matusz head into camp 1-2.

Baltimore's disabled list has been a revolving door. A few question marks regarding Lee, Hardy & Roberts ability to remain healthy. If these guys can average 150 games each then returning to winning ways is not a crazy thought or pipe dream. Boston, New York, Tampa Bay & Toronto all have issues of their own. Orioles offense can keep pace. Defense is 2nd only to New York. Attention Baltimore Orioles players... the time is ripe to make a move. Colorado, San Diego, Minnesota, Cincinnati and Tampa Bay all overcame skepticism to shock the baseball world. Will Baltimore be next...? Their first winning season since 1997 probable. 90 wins possible if cosmic tumblers fall into place.

Baltimore Orioles baseball will be fun to watch in 2011.


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