Results tagged ‘ Rangers ’
I watched the Dodgers and Padres last night, and what took place in the sixth inning was frankly stupid. Zack Greinke had no outs and a full count on Carlos Quentin, with the Dodgers leading in a 2-1 game. Quentin gets hit with the 3-2 pitch, turns and takes a step to the mound.
Everyone said Greinke said something to Quentin. If you watch the video, you can see Zack turns his head to the left and says something to himself. He was mad that he had hit Quentin. Then he saw Carlos taking a step to the mound and did say something to him then. And the fight was on.
You have to use just a little bit of common sense when you make a judgment on whether a batter was hit on purpose. No one is going to hit a guy with a one-run lead and no one out in the sixth.
Good hitters don’t give at the plate. Carlos doesn’t give. He got hit earlier in the series, but he got himself hit, because he is a dive hitter. The only defense for a pitcher is to pitch dive hitters in. If big league hitters don’t have to think about anything but hitting, they are going to hit.
If umpires take that away from pitchers, then someone is going to get killed. I got hit in the head with a 102 MPH line drive. I didn’t have a helmet on. Last year Brandon McArthur got a fractured skull from being hit in the head.
People think I’m being one-sided on this. I’m not. I can’t stand pitchers who hit a batter because that batter hit a home run off him. If you hit a guy because you, as a pitcher, made a mistake, then you are ignorant and you should be heavily fined and suspended.
Vincente Padilla gave up a home run to Kurt Suzuki in Oakland a few years ago, and Padilla hit the next guy. Padilla was playing for the Rangers at the time. Michael Young came up for the Rangers the next inning and knew he was getting hit. It took two or three pitches for Young to finally get hit. The Rangers released Padilla after that.
As a player, you know if a guy was hit on purpose or if it got away from the pitcher. Watch the catcher. If he jumps right up and gets in front of the hitter, that hitter was hit on purpose. There is only one reason for a pitcher to intentionally hit a batter: to protect his players from being hit. In my opinion, if you hit a batter because he hit a home run off you, you are showing that hitter that you can’t get him out!
Last night never should have happened. Quentin claims there is a history between them. Well there is a history between Carlos and 113 other guys. What started the brawl was the fact that Carlos took steps to the mound immediately after being hit. Zack said something to himself, then said something to Carlos and Carlos charged. Now the Padres are going to be without Quentin due to suspension, and the Dodgers are going to be without Greinke for a couple of months. All because a guy got hit in the arm. Senseless!
As we sit here today, the American League division leaders are the Yankees, White Sox, and Rangers. The Wild Card leaders are Baltimore and Oakland.
Do I believe this is how the season will end up? NO!
As I look at the AL, I see a Yankee team that is beat up, an Oakland team that I think has been a great story, but ultimately are a little too young in their starting rotation to hang on to a Wild Card berth, and a White Sox team that is heaping a ton on two young left-handers in Chris Sale and Jose Quintana to take them some place niether of them have been in their careers: pennant chase baseball. Sale has been great this year, winning 16 games, but he recently lost back-to-back games for the first time this season. I don’t think they will be able to hold off Detroit. The Tigers are too talented. I believe that the Tigers will win the Central.
Not a lot of question about the West. The Rangers will win that division.
The most exciting baseball in September will take place in the East. I think the Rays are the team that will win that division because of their pitching. The question for me is whether the Yankees and Baltimore be able to win enough games to stay in the Wild Card hunt? I think the Yankees will be able to, because they have been through it so much. I love what Baltimore has done this year. It has been fun to watch, but I think they may be a little too young right now.
The team I think will be will be playing the Yankees in the Wild Card game will be the Angels. I see a late push by them to get that fifth and final spot.
Next week I will address the NL.
Before the season started, I made predictions as to what teams I thought would be Postseason teams. We are in the first week of July, and there are some teams that I thought would win divisions that are either not playing good baseball and are still in the hunt and there is one team that sits dead last in its division — the Phillies being that team.
As I sit here today, the American League East is shaping up to much like I thought it would, with the Yankees leading the division. The big surprise is that the Orioles sit in second place. I still believe that the Yankees will win that division, and I am sticking by my pick of Boston being one of the Wild Card teams. They have endured more days of players being on the DL than any other team in baseball, with over 900 games missed. And they still are only 6.5 games out of first. That means when they do get healthy, the Red Sox will be very deep heading into the second half.
The AL Central has not played out in the first half like I thought it would. I had Detroit running away with the division, but they have not played well as a team yet. I still see them doing much like they did last year and winning the division by a wide margin. Their starting pitching hasn’t been as dominant yet this year. Namely Doug Fister. He came to Detroit last year at the Trade Deadline and went 8-1 for the Tigers. He is 1-6 at this point. That won’t last.
The AL West is right where I thought it would be, with the Rangers leading the division, and the Angels in second place, which will earn them the other Wild Card spot.
In the NL, it has been much harder to figure out what has happened. The Dodgers got off to a great start, but the loss of Matt Kemp due to a hamstring injury has left their offense unable to out-hit average starting pitching. The Giants lead the division, but the team I picked to win the division, Arizona, has started to gain a little ground and they are getting healthier. I still feel that they will win the West.
In the Central, I picked the Cardinals to win the division. They started off on fire this year, but have since come back down to earth. The team that has shocked me and every other so-called expert is the Pirates. They have pitched well and are starting to hit a little bit. This is one division I am changing my pick to win from St. Louis to the Reds. They are at the top of the division in spite of the fact that they have not hit well all year long. They will hit in the second half and win the Central.
The NL East is a division that looks upside-down. In the spring, I picked the Phillies to win the division, even though Ryan Howard and Chase Utley were starting the year on the DL. They are in last place and 11 games out of first. Roy Halladay hasn’t pitched in well over a month. Cliff Lee has not won a game. All of these things will change in the second half. Utley is back, Howard is rehabbing in the minors, and Lee will start winning games. Washington, who I picked to finish second and be a Wild Card team is leading the division and is a very deep team. Atlanta is getting healthy, despite losing Brandon Beachy for the year. They have gotten Jair Jurrjens back, and he has thrown very well in his first two starts. People are going to think I’m nuts, and that is ok. I’ve been nuts before. But I think Washington is going to win this division, and the two Wild Card teams are going to come out of the East, with Philly and Atlanta being the two Wild Card teams.
I think Philly is going to trade Cole Hamels at the deadline to get a big right handed bat to hit behind Howard and also get an arm or two in the deal. There is zero chance of Hamels resigning with the Phillies, in my opinion. He is a Southern Cal boy, and the Dodgers will overpay to get him in their rotation, to go along with Clayton Kershaw. Hamels is at his peak as far as trade value. If the Phillies get a big bat and a bullpen arm or two in the deal, they can win games with Halladay, Lee, and Worley in the top 3 spots in that rotation.
Like I said, people will think I’m nuts. Well, I have papers to prove it! So let’s see how it all shakes out.
We’ve reached that point in the year when I attempt to forecast which teams will be division winners. I’ll start with the American League.
Of all the moves that were made during the offseason, three have the potential to impact the chase for the AL pennant.
The obvious one is Albert Pujols to the Angels. And then there’s Prince Fielder signing with the Tigers, who are leaps and bounds ahead of the other teams in the AL Central. The midseason addition of Doug Fister to their rotation proved to be the best move made at last year’s trade deadline. Fister has a change to be a 20-game winner, with a full-year in Detroit and a lineup that will score runs in bunches. And I think AL MVP and Cy Young Award winner Justin Verlander may be better this year than in 2011.
Back to those impact moves: If Yu Darvish can stay healthy, the Rangers should make another trip to the postseason. Keep in mind that we have the additional Wild Card team this year, so here is how I see the AL shaking out:
I like Rangers over Angels in the West, and I the Yankees will rise to the top of the East while Detroit wins the Central in a runaway.
As for the Wild Cards, I’ve got the Angels and Red Sox playing the one-game playoff for the chance to advance to the Division Series. I have the Angels winning that game, which means they will have to play Detroit in the DS. Detroit will have the best regular-season record but, this year, that will mean playing the first two games on the road in Anaheim. Regardless, I still see the Tigers winning that series.
That means Texas and New York would play the other series, and I’d take the Rangers in that one, setting up a rematch of last year’s ALCS between the Rangers and Tigers. Adding Prince to the lineup gives the Tigers the edge and, unlike last season, Detroit advances to the World Series.