Tag Archives: 2011 baseball season

’30-YOC Top Ten’ – Top 10 Disappointments From The 2011 Baseball Season

’30-YOC Top Ten’ – Top 10 Disappointments From The 2011 Baseball Season

Ok, so last week I gave you my ‘Top Ten Surprises’ from the 2011 baseball season.  Sadly, for every hero that emerged, there was one that fell off…

Tonight it is all about the guys that did not live up to their hype.  The guys that may have been at the mountaintops, and are now looking up.

Ready?   Let’s Go!!!

Honorable Mention – Albert Pujols, Chase Utley, Chris Coghlan, Roy Oswalt, AJ Burnett, Ricky Nolasco, Joe Mauer, Tim Lincecum, Carl Crawford, and Justin Morneau.

10 – San Francisco Giants.  The Giants finished the season 86-76 and in second place in their division.  Lacking the dominance from Tim Lincecum as well as not having Buster Posey in their lineup really hurt the team’s chances of defending their championship.

9 – Alex Rodriguez.  Playing in only 99 games due to multiple injuries, A-Rod only connected for 16 home runs and 62 RBI, both well below his normal numbers.  His .276 batting average is 26 points below his career average.

8 – Jason Heyward.  Heyward batted just .227 on the season and never found his stroke.  Connecting for 14 home runs and only 42 RBI, Heyward was shuffled into several spots of the batting order and never established consistency at the plate.

7 – Hanley Ramirez.  Hanley played in just 92 games this season, one in which he missed almost 70 games.  His .243 batting average is 63 lower than his career average.  Hanley’s 10 home runs and 45 RBI are both career lows.

6 – Matt Garza.  With the chance of being the Cubs’ ace on the line, Garza was average at best.  Going 10-10 with 31 starts, Garza threw 198 innings and compiled a 3.32 ERA. 

5 – Jayson Werth.  After signing a blockbuster deal in the off-season, Werth was pretty bad in his debut season with the Nationals.  His .232 batting average was 64 points off his number from 2010.  And his 58 RBI was his lowest in the last 5 seasons.

4 – Ichiro.  2011 was definitely a down year for Ichiro.  It was the first season in which he did not collect 200 hits; he had just 184.  His .272 batting average is 58 points below his career number, and also marks the first time he hit under .300 in his career.

3 – Adam Dunn.  Dunn had a horrible season batting .159, 101 points lower than his 2010 average.  Dunn connected for just 11 home runs and 42 RBI, well off of his 30+/100+ averages.

2 – Josh Johnson.  Johnson enters each season being touted as one of the NL’s best talents.  And each year he fails to stay healthy enough to pitch an entire campaign.  Starting just 9 games in 2011, JJ was 3-1 with a 1.64 ERA.  He pitched just 60 innings during the year.

1 – Boston Red Sox.  The most hyped and predicted World Series contender that we have seen over the last few years, the Red Sox crumbled right before our eyes.  Of their 2 major off-season acquisitions, 1 was extremely successful and 1 was horrible.  The team that most people picked to compete for a World Series had one of the most horrible and public collapses in major league baseball history.

No real surprise at #1, huh??

Tell me what you think of the other on my list.  Did I miss anyone or anything that you think should have been there??

Thanks for reading.

Gotta Love Game 5!!!!

Gotta Love Game 5!!!!

The 2011 baseball playoffs have been nothing short of spectacular so far.

With dominant performances coming from both the hitters and the pitchers, we have seen some incredible player and team play in just one week’s time.

The next 30 hours will be quite remarkable – three Game 5 scenarios all being played right before our eyes!!!

I, for one, cannot wait!!!!

Enjoy the games everybody!!!

FINAL – Milestones To Look Forward To During The 2011 Major League Baseball Season

FINAL – Milestones To Look Forward To During The 2011 Major League Baseball Season

Wow, what a season.  Tons of surprises and tons of disappointments too…

Let’s get right into it.  These are the baseball milestones I was most looking forward to from the 2011 baseball season. 

Here is how that panned out…

Derek Jeter needs 74 hits to reach the magical number of 3,000 for his career.

Jeter’s season ended with 3,088 career hits.  He now rests at 20th on the all-time list.  If he has another solid campaign in 2012, he could get all the way up to somewhere between 11-13.

Jim Thome needs 11 home runs to join the 600 HR club.

Thome has 604 career home runs, ranking him at 8 on the all-time list.  6 more homers and he moves to number 7.

Mariano Rivera needs 41 saves to become just the second pitcher to reach 600.

Mo finished the season with 603 career saves, and 1st place on the All-time list.  It is very possible that he sees number 650 next year if health stays on his side!!

If Ichiro collects 200 or more hits, he has 11 200-hit seasons on his resume – a MLB record!!!

Ichiro finished the season with 184 hits and a .310 batting average.  And while that is not the kind of production we have become used to from Ichiro, it is still a very solid season.  Streak Busted!

If Dan Uggla can amass 30 or more home runs with the Braves, he will continue his record-setting as the game’s greatest slugging second baseman.

Uggla kept the streak alive by belting 35 home runs, a career high.  His streak is now extended to five straight seasons.  He has a very solid 30+ game hitting streak to thank, for sure.

Mark Teixeira needs just 25 blasts to reach number 300 of his career.

Tex finished the season with 37 home runs and 312 career blasts.  At just 31 years of age, the sky is the limit for this very talented slugger. 

Can Albert Pujols hit 30+ home runs and drive in 100+ RBI for the 11th straight season and build on baseball history?

Mission failed.  37 home runs and 98 RBI leaves Pujols 2 RBI short of extending his record.  Kind of sucks – hopefully he can stay healthy in 2012, wherever he is playing…

Adam Dunn needs 46 home runs to reach 400.  Can his new home in Chicago become his latest launching pad?

Dunn connected for just 11 home runs in 2011.  He has 365 for his career, and while 400 is still very likely the question is what season will it occur in 2012 or 2015?

Alex Rodriguez is preparing to hit 30+ home runs and 100+ RBI for the 14th consecutive season and 15th overall.  Can he do it again???

A-Rod managed to reach just 16 and 62 this year, an injury plagued one.  Here’s to hoping that he can get back on track in 2012!!

The 2011 baseball season was fantastic!!!  It was a thrill to watch these milestones, and some other unexpected ones unfold.

I cannot wait for next season to start!!!!

Yankees Clinch AL East Title

Yankees Clinch AL East Title

By RONALD BLUM, AP Sports Writer

NEW YORK (AP)—A month past his 40th birthday, Jorge Posada walked up to home plate and found himself in a position so familiar, yet so different.

A starter no more, a champion still.

Posada came off the bench and helped the Yankees to yet another first-place finish, hitting a tiebreaking, two-run single in the eighth inning Wednesday night. The big hit propelled New York to sweep the Tampa Bay Rays by identical 4-2 scores in a day-night doubleheader, clinching the AL East title.

So filled with emotion was Posada, he was sure the game was over when his bases-loaded hit bounced into right field as pinch-runner Greg Golson came home from third.

“I thought it was the bottom of the ninth, to tell the truth,” Posada said. “Then I saw Tex scoring from second base, and I was like, `What’s going on?”’

For the Rays, it was a damaging day as they missed a chance to move up on Boston in the AL wild-card race. The Red Sox lost to Baltimore 6-4, but still extended their lead over Tampa Bay to 2 1/2 games. The Los Angeles Angels also are 2 1/2 games behind.

“We feel lucky,” manager Joe Maddon said. “We’re very fortunate that Baltimore has played as well as they have.”

Accomplishing most of their regular-season goals with a week to spare, the Yankees earned their 16th playoff berth in 17 seasons by winning the day game behind Robinson Cano’s tiebreaking, two-run double in the eighth. Mariano Rivera, a five-time World Series champion along with Posada and Derek Jeter,closed out the opener for save No. 603, extending his own career record.

Philadelphia Phillies Clinch 5th Straight NL East Title

Philadelphia Phillies Clinch 5th Straight NL East Title

By ROB MAADDI, AP Sports Writer

PHILADELPHIA (AP)—Hunter Pence clutched a bottle of champagne and jumped around like an excited child opening Christmas presents.

The Philadelphia Phillies won another division crown, and Pence is along for his first postseason ride.

Roy Oswalt threw seven dominant innings, Raul Ibanez hit a grand slam and the Phillies clinched their fifth straight NL East title with a 9-2 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals on Saturday night.

“I’ve waited for this moment a long time,” said Pence, the All-Star outfielder who joined Philadelphia in a trade from last-place Houston on July 29.

“It’s incredible, and I’m enjoying the moment. We’ve got a lot of work to do still. The expectation is to win the World Series, but this is one of the steps you gotta make, and to me it’s my first time, so this is great.”

In a season where nothing less than a World Series championship would be considered a success, there wasn’t much of a party on the field. The Phillies had a been-there, done-that attitude toward winning the division last year, and this time was no different.

Players ran onto the diamond a bit faster than usual, but they simply exchanged handshakes, hugs and high-fives as if this was an ordinary game in April. They did at least put on shirts and hats proclaiming themselves division champs.

The fans didn’t even scream all that loud, even when the Phillie Phanatic ran on the field with a big flag that said 2011.

Once they reached the clubhouse, however, the Phillies popped open the bubbly and celebrated their achievement.

“I’m excited for a guy like Hunter who has never been here before,” Chase Utley said. “It’s a long season and you never know what’s going to happen.”

With the Four Aces leading the way, the Phillies are seeking their third NL pennant in four years and second World Series title.

They’ve taken care of the first step. Now they’ll use the 12 remaining games to get ready for the postseason. It’s still uncertain who the Phillies will face in the best-of-five first round when the NL playoffs begin Oct. 1.

“This is the first step,” slugger Ryan Howard told the crowd that remained after the game. “We’re gonna try to go all the way and we’ll need you guys.”

The major league-leading Phillies (98-52) are four wins away from setting a single-season club record.

None of those accomplishments will matter if they don’t finish the season with a championship parade on Broad Street.

“It’s an extraordinary effort,” team president David Montgomery said. “Clearly, it’s a team that has its priorities in order.”

Detroit Tigers Win AL Central, 1st Division Title Since 1987

Detroit Tigers Win AL Central, 1st Division Title Since 1987

By JANIE McCAULEY, AP Baseball Writer

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP)—Pitcher Phil Coke yelled through the victorious clubhouse looking for Jim Leyland.

His turn had arrived to douse Detroit’s manager with beer and champagne.

“Where’s the skipper?” Coke shouted amid the cigar smoke and showers.

Leyland had already tucked himself away in the quiet confines of his office, reflecting for a few minutes on all the milestones in the Tigers’ run to the AL Central title while also preparing for the next step: lining everything up just right for what he hopes is a deep October run.

Newcomer Doug Fister pitched the Tigers to the division title on Friday night, beating the Oakland Athletics 3-1 to secure Detroit’s first top finish in nearly a quarter-century.

“A bunch of ‘em nailed me, and they should,” Leyland said of being soaked. “I want them to spray me. What the hell?”

Detroit is headed to the playoffs for the first time since winning the AL wild card in 2006 and losing to St. Louis in the World Series. The Tigers (88-63) had not finished on top since winning the AL East in 1987, three years after their last World Series championship.

“It’s been pretty much magical this whole second half,” Coke said. “We’ve gone out every day and handled our business. We’re all hungry. We’re all ready for this.”

When Josh Willingham grounded out to third to end it, the victorious Tigers sprinted out of their dugout. Closer Jose Valverde pumped both arms, then turned as catcher Alex Avila jumped into his embrace.

Leyland stood some 10 feet from the pitcher’s mound and waited for a hug from each of his players.

’30-YOC Top Ten Lists’ – ‘Top Ten Players To Watch As The Postseason Approaches’

’30-YOC Top Ten Lists’ – ‘Top Ten Players To Watch As The Postseason Approaches’

I cannot believe that there are just three weeks left of the 2011 regular season.  It has been fun to watch, most the of the time.

And as we head into the last few weeks, there are still some heated races for divisional crowns and wild-card spots.

Theses are the ‘Top Ten’ guys that I think are pivotal to their team’s success.  If these players can turn it up a few notches, they will help put their teams in better contention.

Away we go…

Honorable Mention – Josh Hamilton, Ryan Braun, Tim Lincecum, CJ Wilson, Dan Uggla, Derek Jeter, Adrian Gonzalez, Carlos Ruiz, Ervin Santana, and Dustin Pedroia.

10 – Zach Greinke – he has the skills,  and with possibly 2-3 more starts to go a few more wins should help his confidence.

9 – Josh Beckett – superb when ‘on’ and that seems to happen less and less.  He has the potential to be the ace and lead the Red Sox.   But will he?

8 – Justin Upton – the Diamondbacks most skilled offensive player, this is his chance to take center-stage and put his team on his back.

7 – Mark Teixeira – a feared hitter, can he get over his nagging injuries to help propel the Yankees?  His defense should not be overlooked either…

6 – AJ Burnett – Arguably the weakest and most unstable link in the Yankees chain, Burnett can be a helpful pitcher.  Will he?

5 – Adrian Beltre – Coming off the DL, Beltre has just a few short weeks to get ready for the post-season.  When he is in the lineup, Texas is a lot more dangerous…

4 – Jered Weaver – The ‘Ace’ of the Angels staff, Weaver will have to be near-perfect for the Angels to succeed.

3 – Tommy Hanson – While the Braves have one of the best bullpens in baseball, their starting rotation is a little shaky.  Hanson is coming off of an injury and if he wants to be helpful to the Braves’ success, he has to prove himself worthy of a role in the starting rotation.

2 – Cole Hamels – With the best record in baseball, and best starting pitching as well, it is very possible that the Phillies move to a 3-man rotation in the playoffs.  Hamels is probably the best man for that challenge, but he has yet to remind us of his prior post-season heroics.

1 – Alex Rodriguez – Hardly near 100%, anything that Rodriguez can offer the Yankees’ lineup will be a big help.  A dangerous threat each time he approaches the plate, A-Rod may be the player responsible for either the Yankees winning or sealing their fate.

And there you have it – I cannot wait to see how the last few weeks of the season unfold.  And while some teams are already locked into their spots for the post-season, there is enough drama and intrigue to make the next 3 weeks ‘Must See TV’.

Enjoy the games everyone!!!