You must read of Yasiel Puig’s Journey to the United States

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Prepare to read a tale that has a little bit of everything: Cubans, smuggling, cigarettes, cocaine, guns, Miami mob-men, smuggling, guns, betrayal, smuggling, and mischief.

It’s the story that is all the buzz right now around baseball – Yasiel Puig’s defection to the United States from Cienguegos done by Scott Eden over at ESPN.

I already liked Yasiel Puig. I think he’s got a walnut for a brain – but I like Yasiel Puig. I turn on my television at night and I see a guy who; if he can manage to get up and brush his teeth and get through the afternoons like a normal human being, I think he could end up one of the greats of this era. This story endears Puig a little bit more to me.

I think about something different than most people do, and it was on my mind prior to reading Don Mattingly’s comments about it today. Here you have a 23-year old kid who is playing and living each day possibly in fear for his life. A kid who promised some shady character(s) 20 percent of his earnings and has to deal with that stress.

If it seems at times Puig’s mind is on 100 other things aside from baseball, it’s entirely possible after reading this story that you will understand why.

I don’t know how this story ends, but I hope it’s not with fast cars or guns and it’s with Puig having his face on a plaque someday.

ScoreBig: The Official Ticket Provider of Diamond Hoggers

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We’re here to tell you about a truly great site to purchase your sporting event or concert tickets from this summer – because we know most of our readers like to attend baseball games in person and you should be afforded the opportunity at this best-kept secret.

Score Big has tickets for every event you could possibly think of in every Major League city. We think the greatest thing about Score Big is you always have the opportunity to put in an offer on the tickets that are available. For instance, we offered $50 a piece for some seats on the Cincinnati Reds dugout. These are normally face valued at $70 and if you try to get them the day of the game from a scalper you’ll definitely pay more than that.

At Score Big, you’re told by a meter the chances you have at having your offer accepted. And there’s a little excitement to all of it. The most exciting thing is about 30 seconds after your offer when you find out it’s accepted and you get some great seats at a bargain basement value.

We highly recommend giving Score Big a try this summer if you’re planning ahead to get out to some ballgames. You’ll be happy with it and likely never go back to StubHub.

Going to sleep on Mike Trout was a bad idea

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I had the Angels game somewhat queued up last night when I passed out on the couch with my bulldog – Garrett Richards was doing everything he could to hand the game back to the A’s despite those darling Angels doing everything they could do to get him the win in the face of his own futility.

And I fell asleep on Michael Nelson Trout. And wouldn’t you know it that he did something that I very much would have liked to have been awake for. He hit a majestic two-run home run off the A’s closer Du Jour Sean Doolittle. It sent the game into extra innings. And that’s what Mike Trout does – he takes something and makes it beautiful. Trout’s gift to the world on Jackie Robinson Day was bonus baseball. As M.J. Lloyd would say, he isn’t real.

The Angels would lose the damn game 10-9 in 11 innings, making all those handicappers who said Oakland would win last night correct and my very gut feeling that the Angels would steal one so very wrong (I am picking stuff at around a 75% clip this season on the money line, giddeup).

Mike Trout has five home runs and just may have learned a new trick: how to lead the American League circuit in homers. Don’t worry about what the A’s players did because they’re boring.

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We’re celebrating Jackie Robinson Day in baseball by sitting on our couch all night and doing nothing but watching the game he loved!

Thank you Jackie Robinson for making it possible for wonderful stars of the past and present like Bo Jackson, Dee Gordon, Torii Hunter, and Joc Pederson (he’s not black, we just thought he was)to be part of the greatest game on earth.

Thank you Jackie Robinson!

Take your eyes off Flash Gordon; and he’ll steal all your plates

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What you’re looking at here is a man who is faster than the speed of light. This man stole four bases today, which I think officially makes him the theftiest sumbitch in the league.

Everyone knew that Dee Strange Gordon could run like a man possessed, but only a chosen few believed in his ability to hit. He’s sitting on .400 to start the year.

Anyone who can steal four bases in a game has to be considered as one of the most ‘fun’ players in the league. There’s just something we really like about Dee Gordon.

Replay FUBAR Leads to Morosi Idiocy

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In its relative infancy, the replay system that Major League Baseball has employed, so far, has ran pretty smoothly. We aren’t getting as many meltdowns from managers, but the pace of the game isn’t slowing down, and the umpires are getting the calls right. That is exactly what replay is there for: to get the call right.

In today’s Yankees vs. Red Sox game in the Bronx, the Sox manager, John Farrell, decided to use his challenge on a Dean Anna double. Let’s go to the video.
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Your Saturday Baseball Post

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It’s probably the nicest day of 2014 so far and as always a Saturday holds a full tilt of MLB action. Every team is in action, and all the stars should be in the lineup if they’re healthy.

Saturday is a great day to celebrate the game we all love. That’s what this post is for: the best day of the week and the best sport on earth.

Thank you for your continued support of Diamond Hoggers.

Danny Salazar’s Outing tonight was as Cleveland as it gets

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Danny Salazar was an unorganized, shitty mess tonight in Chicago.

Salazar became the first pitcher since 1900 with 10 strikeouts in fewer than four innings pitched; going an inefficient 3 and 2/3 innings, allowing five runs and losing the ballgame.

Only wearing a Cleveland Indians uniform can a pitcher manage to be so dominant with his stuff except not really be at all. I don’t know whether this feat is an admission of Salazar’s talent or an admission that Cleveland is terribly cursed barren wasteland in sports.

Honestly – only in Cleveland does this happen.

Bryce Harper Makes his Triumphant Return to the Upper Deck

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Bryce Harper is no longer a stranger to struggles. He was dropped to seventh in the order this evening, and the Nationals found themselves in a 5-0 hole early against the Miami Marlins against left-hander Brad Hand.

Then Harper put on his cape and won the battle in a ten pitch at-bat with an upper deck three run home run. The Nationals would later get a grand slam from Jayson Werth to cap off a huge rally, overcoming the 5-0 deficit as well as a late 7-6 to win the game 10-7.

The home run was the 43rd of his career, and ninth against a southpaw. It was the 24th time he’s gone deep at Nationals Park.

New Favorite Pitcher

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Yeah so; Yordano Ventura was as-advertised. I cannot state how much fun it is to watch this guy mix 101 MPH aspirin tablets with devastating offspeed stuff to middle of the order hitters like Wil Myers and Evan Longoria.

The Royals were futile enough that they couldn’t even get the kid a run so he could win his first big league start like he deserved, but that didn’t blemish the fact that we’ll always remember the first time we got to see Yordano take the pill and shut down the opposition for six strong.

If You’ve Been Looking for me for the last week – I’ve been on DraftStreet

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Fantasy Baseball as I know it will never be the same.

Take a guy with an addictive personality who will bet on anything; and put him on this site. What you have is me – sitting up late at night, researching what Norichika Aoki has done lifetime during day games against left-handed pitchers in even-numbered years.

And then I swap out the entire lineup I’ve researched so hard for some fly by night guy who I just feel is overdue. It’s madness. It’s a street where no one is your friend, and it’s every many for himself.

Since Opening Day began and I gave this daily fantasy baseball site a shot, I haven’t been able to stop. In fact, I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it.

During my workday I’m sitting at my desk, and I’m wondering Jordan Lyles’ odds at shutting down the opposition. I never thought I would use my money to depend on Jordan Lyles. And then I found myself on DraftStreet. And I placed in my first two tournaments.

It’s like online poker, only the cards are replaced by my favorite thing in life: baseball players. And even though I don’t own Miguel Cabrera or Mike Trout in any of my real big money leagues (and never will), I make sure to own one of them at least nightly.

And I’m no longer depending on that ace on the river to take down the sit and go poker game. Quite the opposite in fact. I’m depending on a shithead like Miguel Gonzalez against the Tigers to take down the $100K ‘Big Score’ tournament for me. And I failed miserably. Miguel Gonzalez was bad to the point that when my wife got home from her long day at work, I did not have much to say. She asked what was wrong, and I told her that sometimes things do not go as they should. I lied, because in this case things went exactly like they should. The gambler in me played Gonzalez on the grandest of Daily Fantasy stages, and I did not learn to tell about it. Lesson learned.

Today my family gathers for lunch. I arrive and don’t have much to say. My aunt asks me if my wife and I had an argument, and I tell her the truth; we haven’t argued in weeks. If they only knew the reason for my smug demeanor was that Justin Masterson got tuned up all afternoon by the Twins and Billy Butler couldn’t buy a fucking hit against Chris Sale (who he has owned lifetime).

On Draft Street, up is down and down is up. The man who played Edison Volquez against the Cardinals today and Scott Feldman against the Angels walked away with my money. And I’m pissed about it. Yet, because I am a glutton for punishment, the only thing I could think about tonight was building tomorrow’s winner.

I have thought less about my yearly teams this year than I have my entire life – and the sad thing is those teams are performing admirably. DraftStreet is the Rubik’s Cube I vow to solve before I draw my last breath. It is a challenge I cannot stop striving for the top for. I will crack ‘the model’ if I have to work day and night to do so. I can do this. I don’t think there is a human being on this earth who thinks about this twisted game of baseball as much as I do – it’s a matter of time until I find out the grid on DraftStreet.

As frustrating as it can be, if it weren’t so much damn fun I wouldn’t be this into it. If you play Daily Fantasy Baseball on DraftStreet, you’ll love it. Where else does Charlie Blackmon become baseball’s prized golden-goose? Where else can I find myself being the biggest Brandon Belt fan on the planet? Adeiny Echeverria made me as proud the other night during his four-hit performance as anyone has in a long time playing fantasy. And Jared Saltalamacchia was not far behind.

Look for a weekly column with a few picks – and if you want to sign up at DraftStreet and start with $25 in free play, tell them Diamond Hoggers sent you.

Meet A.J. Pollock, baseball’s biggest Doofus

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So 99.9% percent of the time you turn on a television and you see guys who are supremely talented, coordinated, and gifted. That other 0.01%? Well that’s A.J. Pollock.

Pollock first caught my attention because I was the lucky winner of his services for $1 in a deep Ottoneu auction league. I figured he could be depended upon to play against left-handed pitching. He’s in an underrated lineup, and he’ll get regular at-bats; I thought to myself.

Well Pollock has started the season hitting .156, commonly missing 88 MPH left-handed fastballs down the middle of the plate. He’s just all forms of awful and I wonder what a talent evaluator saw in the guy. I can’t help it.

He’s pictured here in last night’s game – of course he volleyed a ball hit by Nolan Arenado over the fence for a home run. Pollock can’t just get out of his own way.

You watch a guy like Mike Trout for a couple of innings and then you change the channel to the A.J. Pollock show and you’re left wondering whether or not it’s the same league.

Pollock will probably be teaching 8th grade Earth Science in his hometown in two years.

Baseball