What's Going to Happen?

If you haven’t gotten a look yet at the new Sports Illustrated cover issue showing off Kosuke Fukudome of the Chicago Cubs, there you have it. I hope you Cubs fans enjoyed your nice little run to begin the season, cause now you’re fucked for sure. I got news for you people; you Cubs fans who really are just like any other fairweather fans out there (and it’s fine but just admit your following is no better than the Athletics when they were winning a few years ago). It’s not going to take a Billy Goat this year to destroy your dreams. Your team is going to fall apart at the seams and be right down there with the stink Reds and stink Pirates of the NL central here in a bit.

Here’s why:

Your two best hitters are aging. Derek Lee and Aramis Ramirez are great offensive players but they’re always one big swing away from having their body betray them. You’re getting Soriano back soon from the DL though right? Well, he hasn’t been an elite offensive player since he spent the year dropping balls in the Washington National outfield.

Kerry Wood isn’t an elite closer. When it comes right down to it (if he even can stay healthy all season) he’ll shit down his leg. While he might have the mental makeup to be a closer, good teams will find a way to send him through the gauntlet in the 9th inning and among closers in the game right now, I’m liking my chances against Wood in the 9th about as much as anyone. He’s a HUGE blown save or two waiting to happen in October when it matters. And I’ll laugh about it.

Fukodome. I’m sick and tired of hearing about the guy. For Chrissakes, he’s only hitting .319 people! One home run and 9 measley RBI. You can pair those numbers with 18 K’s thus far. That trend shows his average is going to drop if he doesn’t start making more consistent contact. It’s good to know how easy it is to make the cover of Sports Illustrated these days. Just more proof that when the Cubs win they’re hyped up more than any team in baseball with the exception of the cock-gobbling that takes place every time the Red Sox or Yanks win 5 in a row. Hope you’re proud of being grouped in with those barf buckets in something. And I know you are.

Where’s the punch in this lineup after Lee and Ramirez? Ryan Theriot? Mark DeRosa? Reed Johnson? Ha. This group honestly won’t hit its way out of a wet paper sack against elite pitching it will need to beat to ‘make it happen’.

Lets talk about the pitching. Big Z and Carlos Marmol are legit studs. After that it’s shit. How much longer do you think that Ryan Dempster is going to continue on this miracle run? I’ve got two answers: not.long. From there you’ve got a nice blend of Jason Marquis and Ted Lilly (who’s been especially brutal even for Lilly). You don’t really have a defined 5th starter since Rich Hill shit the bed early on. So after Zambrano your rotation is absolute crap.

The only thing that’s going to happen is the Cubs will subsequently fuck away their chance at anything worthwhile because they’ve got a roster assembled of fringe players and scummies. The only difference this year will be that the pitch of the crybabies who sit out in the bleachers will be loud enough you can hear it all over the nation. I can’t wait to hear you ‘waaaaah’ babies blame another Steve Bartman type because you had the world by the ass and pissed it away.

Take your SI cover and shove it straight up your ass!

Quentin is too legit to quit right now

One of the most rewarding parts of fantasy baseball; if not the most rewarding part of all, is finding that one player off the waiver wire who comes in and really tears it up. Forseeing a future for that player before anyone else in the league does, or if you’re really good–anyone else in any league.

I’ll tell you what; as much as I’m kicking my own ass for cutting Cliff Lee in favor of Brian Bannister at this point (4-0, 0.28 ERA, .103 BA against), Carlos Quentin has been a real song of joy for me.

People forget about Quentin quickly and easily. He’s only 25 years old, so he is still right in line to be the young superstar of the ChiSox if he breaks out this year. He’s hitting .300 with 7 home runs this month (he’s also been plunked 6 times on the year, a league leading stat at this point). The thing is he was supposed to do this. He was drafted high, has the body of Adonis, and was the #1 rated prospect in the Dbacks minor league system a few years ago before he got hurt.
Glad he’s part of my bunch.

'Gutless Reds' and their band of rogues

The Reds dropped another one tonight. This wasn’t unlike any other night, really; except that I predicted it. In the first inning you’ve got 2nd and 3rd, 1 out and Brandon Phillips (who’s been getting hot) at the plate. Phillips hits a ground ball that would lead to the most deflating double play I’ve seen in my lifetime. Corey Patterson gets into a rundown between 3rd and home plate, allowing Jeff Keppinger to advance from 2nd base. Keppinger makes like a sly fox and slides into 3rd while Patterson peels off, giving himself up for the second out. Then the dumb fuck, Keppinger gets up and begins to run back to second base. End of story, end of inning. I told my buddy that “they probably won’t get another hit till the 8th inning when it’s 7-0.”

They one-upped me. They didn’t get another hit until the 9th inning, which was of the bloop variety from Brandon Phillips. They were down 7-0. I shit you not. Then Adam Dunn comes up and hits his customary 2-pointer when the game is out of reach for his 4th home run of the season.

Like clockwork. They’re bad and they’re predictably bad.

A gamble so good a sane person would try it

Those of you who enjoy the Vegas Watch blog will enjoy this post. The Arizona DiamondBacks are now 6 to 1 odds to win the National League Pennant. So with that, you put down $200 on the DBacks to get to the World Series; and you make $1200 easy as pie.

Arizona will roll to a double digit division crown. Then it’s just 8 wins in the postseason and they’ve put you in the money. With Brandon Webb, Danny Haren, and Micah Owings; it’s as sure of a bet as you could ask for in sports today.

I apologize, I can’t accept gratuities from the winners.

Full Slate Tonight

We’ve got a full night of baseball action coming at you tonight, and nothing to do but blog about it. Please stop by, leave your opinions. Tell us what you think. Maybe relax with some classic 80’s songs that you haven’t heard in forever but you really dig when you hear them again.

Every night in this league there’s a new chapter of the story written. We’ll do our best to cover the highlights of this late April night in Major League Baseball.

Bring up Bruce and Bailey? Why would you wanna bring up guys that help you win?

There’s been a buzz of late among fans especially about the Reds two most promising farm hands, Jay Bruce and Homer Bailey; being brought up to the Major League Level to help out the collective band of stiffs that the Reds are dressing up each night and pretending are a Major League Baseball team.

A lot of this comes from the fact that Bruce (#1 overall prospect in baseball) and Bailey (#8 overall prospect in baseball) are expected to be great pro players. Part of this comes from the fact that Bailey and Bruce have torn it up in AAA Louisville to start the season. Part of this comes from the fact that guys like Corey Patterson, Ryan Freel, Josh Fogg, and Matt Belisle have done little to show that they deserve to be on a Major League roster, even one as bad as the Reds.

We’ve even heard that Bailey may be brought up as a reliever. Similar to what Walt Jocketty did in 2006 in St. Louis with Adam Wainwright (you’ll recall Wainwright made the final out in the 2006 World Series as a bullpen arm).

But the Reds and their management team won’t budge. Hear it from Dusty Baker:

“You’re not going to bring them up and don’t play them,” Baker said Thursday. “You want them to tear it up versus coming here prematurely and then have to go back. Even if we need them, you’ve got to do what’s right, number one, for the kids because when they get here, they’re not going back.”

But Dusty, couldn’t the lowly Reds use these two right now in a big way?

“Need is not the issue right now,” Baker said. “The issue is we’ve got guys here that have done the job and are about to do the job. I mean, are you going to tell me Adam Dunn is not going to hit 40 home runs? Are you going to tell me Griff’s not going to hit 30 home runs?“I’m dying for them to get here. I really am. I’m excited about it. But sometimes you have to sit on your hands and let them play.”

But it sure looks like to me that Bailey and Bruce are deserving of a shot at the ML level. Bruce is hitting .323 with 6 home runs (including another last night) and 18 RBI. Bailey is 4-0 with a 1.03 ERA.

“I’m not there with them,” he said. “I see the reports. Three weeks isn’t a real long period of time. Jay Bruce has been there three weeks and for Homer Bailey it’s his second tour there.”

You’re not winning with the bottom-feeder material you decided to start the season with. We’re not going to get to a World Series this season Dusty, or even the postseason, which if we were you could make the case that the more experienced veterans should be playing so the young guy isn’t at the Major League level with added pressure on him. Since we’re a lousy team, these young guys should get the opportunity to learn on the job now, so that in a few years or maybe even next year God-willing when we might be good, they’re more prepared.

Our predcition? The Reds front office stubbornly continues to hold off as long as possible to make the easiest call they’ve made in years on two young players. This comes from the fact it’s so cut and dry that it’s nearly slapping Walk Jocketty & company in the face that these two need to be up here, therefore they’re going to wait it out as long as possible. That is the way the Reds have done things for the last decade.

Bailey will be the first guy up. It will be early to mid-May. Things will have gotten so bad for the Reds 4th and 5th starter (since Bronson Arroyo and Matt Belisle can’t get guys out anymore) that the Reds will insert Bailey into the rotation.

Bruce will have to wait a little longer. He’ll continue to rake AAA pitching like it’s his job (it is his job) and he’ll be up mid to late July when the Reds trade Adam Dunn or Ken Griffey Jr., by which point they’ll be 12 games out of the Central division and the season will be long over because they’ve decided to trot out Corey Patterson, Norris Hopper and Ryan Freel for most of the season.

We've went dot Com on you

You might have noticed that we’re now DiamondHoggers.com here at what used to be a choppy, old blogspot.com address. This doesn’t mean we’re going to change any content and in fact, we hate change of anything in itself. We loathe it.

However, if you’d adjust accordingly we’d appreciate it. It’s now http://diamondhoggers.com, but if you don’t do anything and keep on coming to the same old addy, the world will go on rotating on it’s axis like always; we suppose.

Throwing it around

Hi, hello, and welcome to our new .Com version of this blog. We’re like the big boys now. Here’s some monday links to make your day go faster; or get you in trouble for reading them at work. Or whatever.

-Ken Griffey Jr. is 3 home runs away from 600. More people should be focusing on this amazing accomplishment. I know that we’re going to try to be at Great American Ball Park when he does it. [Sportaphile]
-A detailed post about how to fix the Cincinnati Reds [Seeing Reds]
-A couple possible deals in the future that could involve Adam Dunn & Brian Roberts. [Bleacher Report]
-Remember how much we love Jason Werth? Well Orestes Destrade thinks his mom is a MILF. [Y! Sports Big League Stew]
-Scott Hatteberg would like to be traded. Take a number, Scott. [MLB Trade Rumors]
-Lastly, we told you Matt Chico was the worst pitcher in the Major Leagues. [Nationals Enquirer]

Clemens took a fancy to Mindy McCready

My first thought when hearing the rumor? Roger Clemens must have pictures of Jose Canseco in some drag or something. Something is rotten in Denmark and I’m picking up the scent.

Yeah that’s right. Remember in Canseco’s first book, Juiced he went strangely out of his way to tell us all that every single Major Leaguer in baseball cheats on their wives at sometime or another; but NOT Roger Clemens. He’d never ever cheat. Not even once. By the way did I make it clear that Roger Clemens doesn’t cheat on his wife? I mean it was that blatant of a statement a few times in the book, I remember thinking ‘what in the hell does Canseco keep going back to that for?’ You also in the recent history had Canseco’s false cover-up of Clemens at his house party when Clemens decided to do steroids. Canseco wants to blow everyone else up in Major League Baseball but he won’t touch Clemens. Something seems off.

Perhaps, Clemens threw Canseco a large large chunk of change when the steroids stuff got hot on the press and Canseco promised to cover for him. I can see Roger saying ‘and oh by the way, I’ll throw you an extra million if you say I’ve NEVER cheated on my wife’. Then Clemens thinking of “that’ll cover up that shit with Mindy McCready.”

My question to Roger is….. couldn’t you do any better than that bro?

-Roger Clemens’ affair with a 15-year old country singer. [Deadspin]

All is right on a sunday night in America's best baseball city

If you want our opinion, St. Louis is the finest baseball city in America. The fans are like that of the Green Bay Packers. They haven’t got quite the tradition of the Yankees, or even the history; but there is nothing that says the Great American Ballgame to us like that sea of red that gathers for 9 innings to cheer on the Cards.
They’ve still got baseball’s best player, as of now, as of the moment. Baseball’s best player Albert Pujols, aka Gigantosaur, homered to dead center field today in the New Busch Stadium to deliver the death blow to the Houston Astros. Kyle Lohse improved to 3-0 on the season (did we ever tell you that we sat at a poker table with his former agent?) and the Cardinals are now 16-10 on the season.

They’re welcoming the Cubs to town next sunday night. We’ll be sure to tune in for what is a first place NL Central showdown.

Grady's Ripken Streak in jeopardy

Grady Sizemore is not in the lineup today as the Indians play the New York Yankees and go for a sweep. If Sizemore doesn’t play before the end of the game, it would snap a consecutive games played streak of 391 ballgames which is the longest active streak in the Major Leagues.

Ironically, I don’t think Justin Upton (who I traded Sizemore for) is going to be in the lineup in San Diego either, when the Dbacks prepare to face Jake Peavy. Upton tweaked a leg and has cramps that caused him to be removed from last night’s game and his status at this time is unknown.

The burning desire to win that is Troy Percival & the Rays

The Tampa Bay Rays are doing something they haven’t done in their existence: finding ways to win meaningful ballgames. They’ve now won 5 games in a row, including the past two against the Boston Red Sox (and 3 against the Toronto Blue Jays in Toronto).

Troy Percival has notched saves in 4 of the 5 victories. He also hasn’t allowed an earned run on the season.

Isn’t it good for baseball that these guys compete? We think so.

[Box Score]

Baby Boy for the Win

[Box Score]
Prince Fielder was my pick to win NL MVP this season, and he’s heating up. For the second time this week, a home run by Fielder won a game for the Brewers at Miller Park. Today’s was to dead center off lefty Marlins reliever Renyel Pinto and in the bottom of the 8th inning. Fielder has come out of the worst power slump in his life to hit 4 HR in a week’s time.
A crowd of 44,169 even got to see Eric Gagne work a 9th inning in which he struck out three hitters and didn’t allow a run to earn his 7th save.

Both clubs now sit at 14-10 for the season. This is an important time for Milwaukee Brewers baseball. The Brewers need Ben Sheets to be healthy.