All posts by TheNaturalMevs

One Last Stop for the Big Donkey

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In what is looking like the final chapter in a long and storied career of home runs, Adam Dunn hit his 461st career blast today in his first at-bat as an Oakland Athletic.

Let us just say; we’re totally not ready for a baseball world without Adam Dunn being a part of it. It seems like just yesterday it was May of 2002, and Dunn was 22 years old in his first full big league season; and we were saying hello to him just as he came out of the Cincinnati dugout at old Riverfront Stadium before a game to get warm.

Where did the years go!

At least Dunn will finally get a chance to appear in some postseason games unless something unlikely happens. And Billy Beane finally has that coveted player that was written about in Moneyball.

What major Changes will Rob Manfred make as new MLB Comissioner?

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Have you gotten to know Rob Manfred yet?

After the 2014 MLB season, the 55-year old Harvard Law graduate will have the game resting in his hands. Now we speculate on some of the major changes he brings to the game during his tenure.

According to My Top Sportsbooks, here are the odds on some of the changes Manfred could implement:

• All-Star Game no longer determines home field for World Series
Odds: 10/1

• More Playoff Teams Added
Odds: 25/1

• Playoff teams taken away
Odds: 120/1

• Season is shortened
Odds: 200/1

• Ties established for the regular season
Odds: 200/1

• Teams are contracted
Odds: 40/1

• Teams added in Mexico/Puerto Rico/etc.
Odds: 50/1

• DH in both leagues
Odds: 80/1

• DH is abolished
Odds: 200/1

• Labor Peace ends with Strike
Odds: 75/1

• Labor Peace Ends with Lockout
Odds: 25/1

• Labor Peace continues
Odds: 10/1

• PED policy altered
Odds: 200/1

• Pitch Clock Instituted
Odds: 30/1

• Instant Replay expanded
Odds: 20/1

• Salary Cap instituted
Odds: 80/1

• No commercials during pitching changes
Odds: 100/1

• No warm up pitches after entering from bullpen
Odds: 80/1

• Abolish chewing tobacco
Odds: 4/1

Of these, if we were forced to pick two that were most likely; it would be that chewing tobacco is abolished. And we can see this happening soon, with the wake of Tony Gwynn’s death and Curt Schilling’s admission that tobacco caused his cancer battle.

Some of the stuff listed there is absolutely horrible. Shortening a season or abolishing the DH; these are wholesale changes that we want NOTHING to do with. Still, the best odds of all are that something not even listed here ends up being part of Manfred’s vision with baseball’s future.

Mike Trout sets a career high in home runs

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In an odd turn of events, the Anaheim Angels have won six games in a row; including a four-game sweep of the team that was supposed to win the American League West after acquiring the two biggest arms on the trade market. In yesterday’s 8-1 win in Anaheim, Mike Trout drove in three runs and set a new career high for home runs in a season with his 31st of the year off Jesse Chavez on a pitch that was in a zone that should never be sniffed to Mike Trout:

The Angels now sit five full games up on the Athletics who are scrambling to find some offense. Many awoke to the news yesterday that Adam Dunn had been traded to the Athletics at the waiver wire deadline.

Bryce Harper took a liking to Safeco Field

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Baseball can be such an odd game. With Bryce Harper struggling all season long, he hit two monster home runs in two at-bats in a pitcher’s park against Hishashi Iwakuma; a guy who doesn’t surrender a lot of long balls.

The Nationals still ended up losing the game 5-3 the day before Labor Day.

In all, Harper had three home runs in the series and now has ten on the year. He had three hit games in the Friday and Sunday games when Felix Hernandez and Iwakuma were the starting pitchers.

Your Saturday Baseball Post

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It’s the final Saturday in August in the 2014 season, and College Football is underway. Soon the weather and leaves will change; the field of MLB teams in play will be reduced to just a dozen or less, and the season will wind down.

Your little siblings are likely back in college – leaving town with only memories of what you did with your summer together.

The baseball season rolls along, beautifully and elegantly for us all. Full slate of games today as always during the best day of the week in the game of baseball.

Thank you for your continued support of Diamond Hoggers.

Bryce Harper’s Seattle Debut is a Good one

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Fifty times now we’ve done a Bryce Harper Home Run post. Last night in his first career game at Safeco Field in Seattle, Harper collected three hits including two singles off King Felix Hernandez.

The Nationals homered four times off Felix – the first time that’s ever happened in his career – and the Harper and Wilson Ramos went back to back off Joe Beimel.

The Nationals won the game 8-3.

Thursday’s Betting on Baseball

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If you’re looking for a few picks for Thursday’s MLB action in the baseball betting realm, you’ve arrived at the right place. Welcome to Betting on Baseball; a series we provide you with every now and again when we know that we can pick a winner.

Tonight  features a monumental start to the baseball weekend, with the Anaheim Angels (79-53) hosting the Oakland Athletics (78-54). The A’s are currently a -102 favorite right now at the Las Vegas Hilton.

Sonny Gray takes the mound for the Oakland A’s, and he’s allowed a .198 opposing average to right handed hitters on the road this season. Look, we don’t want to get into a bunch of stats and shit. When we say a team is going to take a game, it’s money in the bank for you if you take the bet somewhere.

The bottom line is, sometimes you need to look at things on a macro level. Tonight’s game is only one game; it’s micro. We see the Athletics unfortunately winning this division by a couple games. They’re probably going to win this series – with the Angels being a game ahead, to even the series the A’s will need to take three of four. The A’s just kind of seem to have Anaheim’s number.

Take Oakland -102 or whatever you can get them at tonight and enjoy the free money.

Mike Trout continues his MVP showing at the Oakland Coliseum

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ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball. A’s and Angels on center stage, gridlocked in a 76-52 tie for first place in the AL West. The Angels are down a Garrett Richards and to be honest the first two games of the series went exactly as we planned with the A’s getting a couple wins to pull even in the division standings. This was even though Mike Trout hit his 28th home run of the season on Friday night off Sonny Gray. This was despite Gray having lights out command and going eight strong for the win.

But last night, the Angels took the game they had to take. You can’t go into the Oakland Coliseum and get swept by your foes; those rotten A’s. And Mike Trout hit a towering home run into the camera well to put the exclamation point on a 9-4 Angels win.

This was obviously one of the more impressive Trout home runs of the season – though it’s hard to pick a favorite. And you guessed it: it was a low pitch. He was also the Sunday conversation on SportsCenter with Buster Olney. He’s all the rage right now for good reason.

It is important to document as much as we can in what might Mike Trout’s first MVP season.

My friend vists Nats Park; Bryce Harper visits the Right Field Foul Pole

My buddy/former fraternity brothers Brent and Ryan from DC were present at the Nationals game yesterday to see the masterpiece of a game the Nats put together in slaughtering the San Francisco Giants 14-6 to take yet another series from a National League foe.

When they paid for their ticket and got to their seats, they had no idea that they were about to be at a Bryce Harper Home Run game. But it was exactly that. When Bryce Harper homered off the Giants J.C. Gutierrez, it was the 49th of his career; and his seventh of the season.

My friends also got to see Harper’s first home run that went off a foul pole in any park, and a Stephen Strasburg start (he got rocked).

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And if you haven’t read it yet – here’s a great read from the Washington Post by Adam Kilgore that details Bryce Harper’s bat usage. It is VERY interesting. If it ever seemed to you that Bryce Harper never uses the same bat twice, it’s because he really doesn’t.

Tips That Can Turn you into a Great Baseball Player

Baseball is one of the most popular sports played by kids as well as grown ups in America. Watching a game of baseball is thrilling and exciting and people throng in large numbers to see their favorite teams fight it out in the Major League Baseball season every year. Baseball is one of the most favorite American sports that has been enjoyed by people for many decades now. All you need is to have lots of practice, courage, determination and a stable mind to become a great baseball player.

One of the most important things that you should be conscious as a baseball player is safety. You should be fully aware in your mind as to where the ball will be so that you do not break a tooth or get hit in your body when facing a baseball pitcher. The same goes when you slide into your base. You should practice hard in making the right sliding move during your practice sessions so that you do not mess it up while playing a game.

The way the baseball hops and skips in the grass after pitching is one thing that you should know while playing the game of baseball. Studying the ball’s trajectory changes on the grass will easily help you to guess which way the ball would move after pitching on grass. It is also ideal for you to know the locations where the other baseball players are located in the playing area. This will prevent you from colliding with other players. You should also be shouting out loud or letting other players know that you are attempting to catch the ball or going to field it, so that no other player comes in your path.

You should be fully concentrating on the ball if you are batting in a real baseball game. This will help you to score better and to hit the ball for a home run as well. No matter you are playing an entertaining Roulette game in an online casino or playing a baseball game, you can win the game only if you play with total concentration. Always remember that baseball is a team sport and you might even need to sacrifice while batting for the sake of the team.

Your Saturday Baseball Post

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It’s the last Saturday of the baseball season where there is no football involved. Also, the Simpsons Marathon is taking place on FX; and last night I dived in when I was trying to fall asleep. Last night while trying to fall asleep I ended up watching three episodes. I laughed until I woke up my wife and the dog at this:

Today we’ll be away from the baseball scene for most of the day. Make sure your fantasy lineups are set, as we will. If you’re not in first place in your fantasy league, you’re probably not going to be when the season ends. But be a good owner and finish things out the honorable way.

Have a great Saturday. Thank you for your continued support of Diamond Hoggers.

The Washington Nationals are an on-fire, well-oiled machine

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We literally didn’t even have time to get the post up about last night’s walk-off win that gave the Nationals nine in a row; and they’ve tallied yet another one this afternoon to make it ten wins in a row.

Last night proceeded as if it was drawn up straight out of a Mike Rizzo wet dream. The Nationals won in the bottom of the ninth inning, 3-2. Bryce Harper led off the inning with a rip job single off a full-count pitch, his third hit of the game. Kevin Frandsen moved him to third with a single of his own. Then Anthony Rendon provided the big hit to give the Nationals what has seemed like a month of walk-off wins.

They’re 73-53, and as we predicted before the second half began; they’re running away with the National League east race. It’s over. They’re on one of those rare rolls that you see a team get on once every couple seasons – the Nationals have never played ball like this. Absolutely everything is working. The pitching staff is giving a quality outing each night and it seems like a different guy in the lineup steps up one game after another. Span, LaRoche, Harper, Rendon, Desmond, Ramos, Werth; they’re all taking turns carrying the torch. It’s a lot of fun to watch.

They’ve totaled five walk-off-wins in their last six games; this is not something you see often in the game. It is to be appreciated.

Chris Carter: All he does? HIT HOMERS!

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Back when I was a kid – Chris Berman used to have a line that anyone who loves sports will remember about former Vikings Hall of Fame receiver Cris Carter. I guarantee someone out there more clever than me has used it when referring to Vernon Christopher Carter and his home run hitting ability.

That brings us to your Hard Hittin’ Mark Whiten Memorial Player of the Week from last week. The award is not just about hitting for average or bringing varying degrees of good play to the table. It’s just about straight mashing. Carter has done that all season long, without being quite as terrible as he was last season during the process.

In the week that was that earned Carter the HHMWMPOTW honors, here’s what he did:

9 for 28 (.321), four home runs, nine RBI, 1.083 OPS

His .818 OPS for the season is up almost 50 full points from where he was last season. He has already matched his 2013 home run total with 29. And he’s cut his strikeout % from 36.2% to a sparkling 30.4%. So he still strikes out a shitload, but he’s improving! FanGraphs went as far as to do a post on what’s different for our chameleon first basemen/outfielder hybrid this season.

He’s actually been as valuable to his fantasy owners as Albert Pujols. He’s helping someone beat me in a fantasy league and keeping me in second in another.

Chris Carter. All he does is hit homers. And strike out some. And help people like me lose people fantasy leagues.