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Pro Sports Wrap - Sports Personality of the Day:Steven Stamkos

2011's Best Starting Pitchers

November 23rd 2011 18:53
This is a ranking of the best starting pitchers of the 2011 season, and it's based on the performance of last season alone.

1. Roy Halladay- His 2.20 FIP was awesome, his efficiency gets overlooked because of the hype surrounding the guy directly below him.

2. Justin Verlander- Deserved the Cy Young, but his season was a little overrated (.236 BABIP). Still, accomplishing a 2.40 ERA with 8.96 fans per nine is no easy feat.

3. Clayton Kershaw- Although Halladay should have won the award, it's tough to argue with a guy who had the pitching Triple Crown. But of course, the Triple Crown doesn't trump advanced statistics; even if it's still an incredible feat.

4. CC Sabathia- Lost among a season of elite pitching was Sabathia's 2011 campaign.

5. Cliff Lee- Had a 2.60 FIP and was in the thick of the "race", well, for those who paid attention to him.

6. Dan Haren- If you dig deeper, it becomes apparent that Haren was truly the best starter on the Angels last year.

7. Jered Weaver- But hey, Weaver did have a 2.41 ERA regardless of the luck involved.

8. Ian Kennedy- How could I not reward the former Yankees prospect?

9. Madison Bumgarner- This sophomore was no bum, as he garnered a 2.67 FIP.

10. Zack Greinke- A 10.54 K/9 and 2.56 xFIP? I think so.

11. C.J. Wilson- There's a reason why he's easily the top free agent starter on the market.

12. James Shields- Would have been in the top ten in most seasons; just not this one.

13. Matt Cain- The guy who somehow defies sabermetrical logic year in and year out, but he did have a 2.88 ERA that was in line with his 2.91 FIP this season.

14. Cole Hamels- Yeah, the Phillies offense really dragged the team down.

15. Doug Fister- And we thought this trade was meaningless when it first went down.

16. David Price- Wasn't all that much worse than his teammate, but he was still worse.

17. Matt Garza- Well, at least the Cubs got what they wanted in the trade; an over-performing pitcher. He won't always be this good, but that season alone might make that trade at least a solid one for the Cubbies.

18. Felix Hernandez- Yeah, I probably put him a little too low, but it really wasn't the best of years for Felix. But just you wait for 2012 Mariners fans, you'll have the Astros to beat up on.

19. Tim Lincecum- No top 20 is complete without Timmy's presence, even in a "down" year (he still had a 2.74 ERA).

20. Daniel Hudson- He and Kennedy are two young starters to build a rotation around.

21. Brandon McCarthy- Now who saw that coming?

22. Josh Beckett- He really carried the Red Sox sagging rotation this year with a 2.89 ERA.

23. Matt Harrison- Scouts love him when he doesn't nibble, and he had a solid year that he should be able to build on.

24. Chris Carpenter- A boss year in and year out, and to think that the Cards won it all without Wainwright.

25. Jaime Garcia- What better way to end a top 25 starter list than a World Champion?
What a rebound year

Two Days, Two Tragedies

November 21st 2011 19:33
On Sunday, Arkansas redshirt freshman tight end Garrett Uekman was pronounced dead at Washington Regional Medical Center in Fayatteville, Arkansas. Although you may not know him, I can assure you that his teammates, friends, family, and coaches knew and loved the 19 year old TE.

“Garrett’s loss is a terrible shock for the University of Arkansas and the Razorback program,” Arkansas athletic director Jeff Long said in a statement. “Our sincere condolences go out to his family and to all of those who knew him. He will be missed by many friends, teammates and others throughout campus. The well-being of our student-athletes is at the very core of our mission and when a tragedy like this happens it is a tremendous loss to the entire campus community. We will work with various campus services to provide support for the Uekman family, our student-athletes, coaches and staff during this difficult time.”

Uekman was found unresponsive in his dorm at around 11:15 on Sunday while most of us were busy talking about the upcoming NFL games. Arkansas will face off against LSU, in a game that will have huge BCS ramifications. However, this is more than just about a game; because no matter how important of a game, it's still a game. Even though I am an LSU fan, I'll still be happy if Arkansas takes down LSU. This game means a lot for the players, but it's still nothing more than that; a game. Garrett's death is a truly sad one, and the cause of death is unknown. Please keep the Uekman family in your mind.

If that wasn't bad enough, two young men were robbed of their lives recently. One of them died today, and I'm sure everybody knows about this one. Seattle Mariners outfielder Greg Halman was stabbed to death in Rotterdam, and his brother was arrested a suspect.

“Greg was a part of our organization since he was 16 and we saw him grow into a passionate young man and talented baseball player,” said the team in a statement. “He had an infectious smile that would greet you in the clubhouse, and he was a tremendous teammate. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Greg’s family.”

My thoughts and prayers also go out to his family, and this is yet another tragic even that transpired. I hope whoever did this is brought to justice, but more importantly, I hope that his family is able to get through this. Halman is a Dutch player who died at the age of 24, and he was born in Haarlem (not Harlem). Halman has been regarded as one of the better young talents in baseball, but this is all about the loss of life. These tragic events remind us that no matter how great sports are, they're just a bunch of games that sometimes make us lose sight of what is truly important. It's not that sports are stupid- they're fantastic and important when one thinks on a deeper level- it's just that people, life, friends, family, and emotions are more meaningful.
Keep his family in your thoughts

It's Staind time (I put on Grooveshark as I write). Yo Tim, be sure to correct me if I get some stuff wrong and add in your opinion. Your the history junky who knows this stuff better than I do and enjoys the game as I do.

Harold Reynolds is one of my favorite baseball players of all-time, and he was arguably the best defensive second baseman of the late 80's and early 90's, and he won three Gold Glove awards for his efforts. In 1990, he had an insane season at second defensively, and he was also terrific the season before defensively. The speedy Reynolds stole 60 bases in his second season (1987) and had 250 career swipes.

From 1983-1994, Reynolds played for the Mariners, Orioles, and Angels with all but the last two of those seasons with the Mariners. Although he was extraordinary in the speed and defense departments, Harold Reynolds was a poor hitter. He had very little power and was a career .258 hitter despite having a walk rate that was significantly higher than his strikeout rate. Reynolds's best season offensively was in 1989 when he had 103 wRC-plus and had the best season of his career (defense added) with 4.6 WAR.

The only other season in which the former ESPN broadcaster- yeah, I brought that up- had 4 WAR was in 1990 (4.2) WAR backed by that aforementioned stellar defensive season (20 TZ) with some subpar hitting (92 wRC-plus). It was the only season in which he hit the century mark in runs scored with exactly 100.

In 1987 and 1988, 2.3 and 2.6 WAR respectively, Reynolds was an All-Star. His best award, however, came in 1991 in which he won the Roberto Clemente Award for his character and charitable acts to the community. The career 53 triples hitter is known as having the best range for a second baseman in recent history.
10 seasons with M's


8/2011 MLB Power Rankings

August 26th 2011 11:24
1. Red Sox
2. Yankees
3. Phillies
4. Braves
5. Rangers
6. Diamondbacks
7. Brewers
8. Angels
9. Giants
10. Tigers
11. Rays
12. Cardinals
13. Reds
14. White Sox
15. Blue Jays
16. Indians
17. Rockies
18. Mets
19. Dodgers
20. Nationals
21. Padres
22. Marlins
23. Cubs
24. Athletics
25. Pirates
26. Royals
27. Twins
28. Mariners
29. Orioles
30. Astros
Offseason acquisition has Cubs highest WAR this year

8/2011 Team Scope: Seattle Mariners

August 16th 2011 14:15
The Mariners have the worst offense in baseball, and Dustin Ackley is the only player with at least 200 plate apperances who has an RC-plus of over 100. Franklin Gutierrez, Miguel Olivo, and Chone Figgins have been so bad that they might as well sign Carlton Lassiter (for you Psych fans out there). I mean really, this team just can't hit! Ackley has been outstanding, but nobody else has been around the league average in hitting (100 RC-plus ). Chone Figgins? He has an atrocious 35 RC , has a -0.8 WAR, and he only provides value on defense (marginal value really).

The funny thing is that offseason acquisition Brendan Ryan has the highest WAR on the team. His RC is only 90, but that's the fourth highest on the team. We all know Ryan can't hit, and the reason why he has value is because of his glove. He has been very good in the field, and Ryan has also been smart on the basepaths this year

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8/2011 Center Fielder Rankings

August 6th 2011 14:07
One of the premier positions in baseball is center field. First off, it is the second most important position on the diamond- after shortstop- and many of the game's greats were center fielders. Below are my rankings of the center fielders in baseball today. (Minimum 750 plate appearances as a center fielder since 2009)

1. Rangers Josh Hamilton

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Guys, I am finally back from a very lengthy vacation that did not produce a single blog post. A lot has transpired in my absence from this blog, and I am going to start things off with a rumor post that details potential trades in the MLB.

The Yankees are still searching for left-handed relief help with Rafael Soriano still on the DL, and Pedro Feliciano and Damaso Marte are out for the rest of the year. Boone Logan is their only lefty in the pen, and this is certainly a pressing need for the Bronx Bombers

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6/18 Daily Rundown: Osi vs. LeSean

June 18th 2011 06:13
1. Osi Umenyiora Shoots Back at LeSean McCoy

I think Osi Umenyiora just hurt himself some more in terms of league-wide respect. He once threatened to retire, and now he said that Jerry Reese lied to him. LeSean McCoy called Osi overrated and the third best defensive lineman on the Giants. I don't agree with what McCoy said at all, but it is his opinion. I think that he is the third most important defensive lineman on the defense. Justin Tuck is better, and Barry Cofield is an important leader. Osi is a great player, but he's such a head case

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Even without one of the best pitchers in baseball and staff ace Adam Wainwright, the Cardinals are the best team in the NL Central. They are currently two and a half games ahead of the second place Milwaukee Brewers. Albert Pujols has just started to turn up the heat after being in the worst slump of his career since he was a rookie.

Pujols is only going to get better from here on out, and another sign that points to this is his .257 BABIP. He currently has 14 dingers with 43 runs and 39 RBIs. Lance Berkman has been the story of the team so far. Although he has sucked in the field, as expected, he's been mashing it this year. Bekman is a terrible right fielder, but the Cardinals will take it given his great hitting ability

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The Mariners are hanging around in the AL West race thanks to some great starting pitching that has overcome the league's worst offense. The M's simply can't hit. They bring out their ace to face James Shields. Yours truly predicted a huge bounce-back season for Shields after he had a poor 2010. So far, Shields has been lights out, and Felix Hernandez is also pretty good. He only won the Cy Young Award last season.

Among starting pitchers, Felix has the 5th best WAR and Shields the 7th best WAR mark in the Majors, but there are quite a bit of ties. Although Shields has an ERA of 2.15 and King Felix a 3.19 ERA, Hernandez's FIP is 2.78 and Shields' 2.96. This game is in Safeco, which is obviously one of the three best parks in the game for pitchers. This is a pitching matchup through and through. The numbers above show that Shields has been luckier than Hernandez, and Hernandez's numbers will rise while there will be a slight fall in Shields' overall production

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5/2011 Starting Pitcher Rankings

May 22nd 2011 14:01
1. Tim Lincecum
2. Roy Halladay
3. Josh Johnson

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5/21 Baseball Stats Check

May 21st 2011 15:56
1. Jonny Gomes has the lowest BABIP at .185 as well as the 14th highest strikeout rate 31.2%. He is hitting .176.

2. A.J. Pierzynski is hitting .252, but he has the lowest strikeout rate in the league at 5.8

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