2012 Season Edition No. 14 June 12, 2012
Let’s Play Ball!
“ Baseball? It’s just a game – as simple as a ball and bat. Yet, as complex as the American spirit it symbolizes.” - Ernie Harwell – longtime voice of the Detroit Tigers
And doesn’t that statement reflect how we approach our little slice of Nirvana known as the Hot Stove League? It seems so simple to gather some of your best friends, draft some real players for our “fantasy” league, share some laughs and stories, and stay in tune with baseball for the season. Yet it becomes so complex when we fret about wins and losses, home runs and strike outs, roster moves and free agents, and least of all the dreaded DL. But we keep at it, for 28 years now, and enjoy every minute of it whether we are in first, battling for the next rung above you, or in the cellar. Well, maybe not the cellar because then you would have to kick out the Skipper, and Lord knows you don’t want to get on his bad side!
As we pass the 1/3 of the season pole, it looks like we will have a dogfight between the Wahoos and Da Bums for League Champion, if this week shows us anything. And on the other end of the spectrum, there is a spirited battle being waged for the cellar. I am not sure it the fight is to get out or in, but there is only an 8-point margin separating three teams. It’s interesting to note the change in positions from April 26, 2012, and serves as a reminder that this is a marathon and not a sprint. The Cubs are intent on setting the record for most moves in a year, and that’s a lot of movements, while the League Leading ‘Bums have the fewest moves. Does that mean good drafting, good team management, or luck? I’m going with pure blind luck! And finally, on an issue near and dear to Skipper’s heart, the DL. As you can see, the two leaders and the cellar dweller have the most players on the DL but yet are on opposite ends of the scoring; so it appears the DL impact is applied evenly to all teams. But what is not mentioned is the number of players on teams’ rosters that are classified as NA. Are teams drafting them to create their own DL list, stockpiling those “lightning in a bottle” picks, or just making a mockery of us all?
Week’s Best Score: The Bronx Bombers! Scoring a weekly total of 621 points. Must be the power of the pen and some of the ‘Bums pure blind luck!
King of the Hill: A tie between Oakland’s Jarrod Parker and the six Seattle Mariner hurlers who threw the 10th combined no-hitter in Major League history. Parker held the vaunted Texas Rangers in check until the 8th inning before winning the game 12-1 and led to the A’s winning three of four games from the Rangers in the series. Seattle beat the Kemp-less Dodgers for their no-hitter, but it was the first combine’s no-hitter since 2003, and still only won 1-0!
Big Bopper: Three-way tie between Robinson Cano, Tyler Colvin, and Ben Zobrist. Each of them had two homer games on Friday, June 8th. Cano had two homers and four RBI’s in the Yankees 9-1 win against Johan Santana and the cross-town rivals, Mets. Colvin’s were both solo shots in the Rockies 11-5 loss to the Angels, and Zobrist had two homers and four RBI’s in Tampa’s 13-4 win over the Marlins.
Stat of the Week : Cliff Lee has no decision in his last 10 starts! Not a win, not a loss, nothing. Do you think that is what the Tigers had in mind when they drafted him? Incredible.
The 2012 MLB draft was this week and while I don’t normally follow this, I did find it intriguing as I listened to the first five picks of the draft live on XM radio on my drive home from work. The Houston Astros shocked the three announcers by taking Carlos Correa, the High School shortstop from Puerto Rico, first and then the Twins surprised them by taking Byron Buxton, a High School outfielder, second.
Their consensus top pick was Mark Appel, Stanford right-hander, who dropped to the number eight pick by the Pirates. The conversation then turned to the signability of the drafted players and the fact that Appel was represented by Scott Boras and would be a difficult sign. Who knows how much truth there is to that, but by looking at last year’s signing bonuses between first pick and eighth pick, it cost Appel a tidy sum. Note my guess on when the Bear’s will be selecting this year’s draftees.
The College World Series starts this week and looks who has crashed the party! The mighty Stony Brook Seawolves beat LSU on their home field to advance to Omaha for the first time in the history of their program. They played Division III baseball until 1991 and now they are in the top eight teams left standing. Who knows what will happen but Omaha loves the underdog so it will be fun to see how many Seawolves hats and tee shirts will be sold. In my meeting last Monday for the GA ticket book sellers, the CWS staff was hoping for LSU to make it to Omaha because they always increase ticket sales with their tremendous fan support. In 2011, 3000 fewer GA ticket books were sold for the first year at TD Ameritrade versus the last year at Rosenblatt, which was the first year over year decrease in ticket book sales in recent history. At $80.00 a book, that’s a cool $240,000. less in revenue for the NCAA, and they weren’t happy. I hope everyone gets a chance to go to a game this year and take in the great atmosphere.
“The Best Trip Ever” Part II
Since the “Best Trip Ever” happened so early in the year, would there be any interest in doing a short local trip to make the fun happen one more time this year? I am thinking of a possible trip to KC for the 2012 All-Star Game. We could rent a motor home and relive the “Krause Garbage Dump” saga that he has heard so much about, and then all stay with Jon for a few days. After seeing what kind of friends Jon has, and actually getting to meet a few of us, his new Gal Pal might think differently of him and possibly wait on that marriage stuff. Any interest?
Vote a maximum of 25 times. Voting ends at 11:59 PM ET on Thursday, June 28, 2012
From Sunday, July 1 to Thursday, July 5, be sure to return to MLB.com and cast your 2012 All-Star Game Final Vote for the final player for each League's All-Star roster.
Sliding in to home, it’s going to be close…Yer’ out of here!