Category Archives: everyone digs the long ball

VIDEO: Giancarlo Stanton Vandalizes his Home Stadium & Jamie Moyer with a Granny Bomb

When you’re getting ESPN alert text messages to let you know that ‘ESPN MLB – Giancarlo Stanton hit HR of LF video board knocking off portion of digital display at Marlins Park’ (I actually got the text twice, for some reason) you know it’s a bomb you better get to a computer and see somehow.

Giancarlo didn’t disappoint, taking old man Moyer’s pitch to Biscayne Bay on this full count offering.

Moyer has now pitched in 50 big league stadiums. I can guarantee you he’s never seen a swing destroy things like that in any of them.

As for Stanton, love this guy. He’s obviously playing on a bad wheel and it doesn’t matter. He’s just that good. Mammoth power down in Vice City where he fits right in. What a time to live and die in Miami.

Jay Bruce hits Milestone Home Run #100

We didn’t want to say anything because we weren’t too sure he was going to get it this year–but Jay Bruce hit home run #100 of his career just before the bar closed down for the year.

And we have a slight connection to this bomb. It came off Chris Capuano who went to Duke, and Capuano’s pitching coach at Duke was also the pitching coach of our college staff. We spent an entire 3 hour flight one time talking about Chris Capuano and picking the brain of our poor former coach.

100 home runs at age 24 is no small feat. He hit 72 off righties and 28 off lefties. 61 long balls were at Great American Ball Park. You know what’s funny? I remember the first one off Manny Acosta like it was yesterday. I remember all of them, in fact. I remember where I was for each one–whether I was listening on the radio or watching on television. It’s been an incredible run already and it’s been fun to watch.

It’s been a challenging season for young Bruce in some respects, but rewarding in others. This is one of those moments. He’s going to end on 100 home runs and near 100 RBI. Next year, we wait for him to put it all together and become the complete ballplayer we all have seen flashes of and know he’s capable of. For the most part, he’s came real close to delivering as the type of talent we thought he would. No Cincinnati Red aside from Frank Robinson or Adam Dunn ever hit more long ones at a younger age.

Here’s to the first 100, and here’s to 400 or 500 more in a Reds uniform. Salute!

Update: Reds won in 13 innings last night. Jay Bruce had 3 hits and needs about 2 hits today to finish at .260 for the year. Also don’t forget, Bruce hit the bomb at Citi Field which is the same place he broke his wrist back in 2009.

The Summer of Upton continues

In case you missed it, Justin Upton played a little yardball in Milwaukee last night in Arizona’s 7-3 win.

He’s now OPS’ing at an .894 clip, with 14 long balls and 14 stolen bases, with 44 runs driven in and 52 runs scored. He’s collected 98 hits. He’s definitely been hot, but we would like to contend that he hasn’t gotten fully white hot yet at this point. When and if he does, his numbers will be completely out of this world insane.

The weather has officially become scorching (it’s 90+ degrees outside my office window). It’s a good time to be partying in Uptown.

This kid is only going to get better and better.

After a month of baseball, your MLB Home Run Leader is…. Alfonso Soriano?

Last night I had the Cubs and Dodgers on my MLB.com gamecast only to see how Clayton Kershaw threw (he’s counting heavily for me right now in a few fantasy baseball leagues) and I realized something upon him getting touched up for a homer in the 1st inning by Alfonso Soriano. What is that ’11′ next to Alfonso Soriano’s name?

No, it couldn’t be. They don’t mean he’s hit 11 home runs already this season. But they would have to mean that wouldn’t they? Is this the same Alfonso Soriano that’s been left for dead by so many including myself?

It’s true. In this bizarro world baseball season, Alfonso Soriano for the time being has found the fountain of youth and at age 35, leads the majors by jumping out to 11 home runs. He’s even money to break down at some point in the season–which could be a factor that keeps him from truly jumping off the page over the course of the long grind that is almost a 200 game season. He’s also only hitting .267 at the time of this post so maybe that’s why I’m not hearing about him as much as you usually would with a guy with those type of power numbers. Plus he’s on the Cubs, and they’re abhorrent.

Oh, as a footnote. Kershaw grabbed his third win of the season and that Andre Ethier guy extended his hitting streak to 28 games in this same ballgame.

When Joey Votto homers in 2011; Joey Votto is ‘ordering a Venti’

It’s too bad Baseball Tonight and Sportscenter can’t piggyback off our idea here–because it’s going to be huge.

We don’t know exactly where it came from, but somehow we got wind that last year’s National League MVP was into fine gourmet coffee. And at this point, we don’t care what he’s interested in. He could be into midgets, 4chan, Magic the Gathering, whatever. I don’t give a shit about any of it so long as he keeps hitting .330 and plates over 100.

But make no mistake about it, he likes to sample some of the finer cups of java this world has to offer. Confirmed by multiple sources. We don’t not want to shy away from this. We would like to embrace it.

So when Joey Votto dismounts; when Joey Votto dials long distance; when Joey Votto, MVP, hits one into the seats this season, he’s not simply just homering. Joey Votto is ordering a Venti on your ass! And he wants extra foam! Don’t sprinkle cinamon or vanilla in there. Just give him the espresso, the foam, and a turtleneck! That’s how our MVP rolls. And he’s taking no prisoners in 2011.

If you use twitter, we can tag it #VottoGoesVenti about 42 times this season.

This is going to be fun. Let it catch fire. Follow me into the streets of Babylon, Diamond Hogger nation. Use what I have taught you and use it wisely.

Two more Bombs, and a career high

Man does Jay Bruce love hitting this time of year or what? On this Saturday afternoon in October he’s hit two more home runs to bring his season total to 24 long balls on the season. We had a feeling that he would at least increase his total from last season by one; he went a step further and beat it by two.

It’s not the 30 home run season we were hoping for, but in a season where we’re playing 1992 baseball again in terms of power numbers, it’s a great season for a young player and a huge step forward.

Way to go Jay. Stay hot as the whether cools!

Jose Bautista’s historic power season

“After failing to hit more than 16 homers or bat better than .254 in any of his first six big-league seasons, Bautista could be the first player since 2007 to hit 50 homers. Somehow, stars have aligned for him in 2010. With revamped mechanics at the plate and a chance to play every day, Bautista leads the majors in home runs — eight more than three-time MVP Albert Pujols of the St. Louis Cardinals.” [USA Today]

Don’t Discredit 1998′s Home Run Race For What It Was

Now that the skeletons are all out of the proverbial closet, people are saying things like ‘the last real home run race was between Maris and Mantle’. You have every right to feel that way but we’re here to tell you that simply isn’t true.

I remember the summer of 1998 very vividly. If you’re telling me that looking back now and knowing that both Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire were dirty changes the awesomeness of those couple of months, you’re simply full of shit and not being honest with yourself.

That was the summer that in a lot of ways saved the game. It was two storied franchises that played eachother about a dozen times down the stretch with both guys matching eachother with one herculian blast after another. It was simply incredible to watch.

Those guys were both doing things that were humanly impossible. You had to know then that something strange was in the water, even if we didn’t really know. But looking back, didn’t you have a feeling that something was just a little bit strange? We did, we just couldn’t put our finger on it.

That didn’t diminish the fact that as a fan it was cool to watch.

I guess we’re somewhat of the fence-sitter variety on the issue. We’ve played the game, so we know how damn difficult it is to hit a ball out of the ballpark in the first place. Then add in doing it some 70 times in a given season when you get one or two pitches in a game to do it. Sure Mark McGwire was hitting some fly balls that left the park that season; but the bottom line is that sport is meant for our entertainment. In our lifetime, I look back and still can’t think of a more fun summer as a baseball fan. Every night regardless of which buddy’s house I was staying at, I had to try and find out what Big Mac was up to, and Slammin‘ Sammy as well.

Then you fast forward to when Bonds hit the 73 a few summers later. To me, that lacked the luster. Bonds was a prick, far from the upstanding guys that Sosa and McGwire seemed to be. And they really liked one another. They were a perfect vaudeville complimenting each other going head to head and in the media. Plus it was history! They were chasing the pace of a man who was no longer living (Roger Maris). Every day your local newspaper would update you on if they were staying on this man who was now a ghost of the game’s pace or not. By the time Bonds rolled around, we still hadn’t recovered enough to get our sea legs under us to prepare for another home run chase. And that year, Bonds had no partner in his act. It just felt more fraudulent, did it not?

We’re not condoning what McGwire did. We’re simply recognizing the moment as special just like you did back when it took place over a decade ago. Now that we know what we know, we’re sure we will not see anything like it again.

The Legend of Justin Upton should continue to grow

Justin Upton likes hitting at Dodger Stadium it seems (remember his first career grand slam). In front of 45,211 he broke a few hearts and helped the Diamondbacks play major spoiler as baseball entered September.

Since returning from the DL, he’s homered in 3 straight ballgames; and is 12 for 21 with 8 runs, 6 RBI, and a stolen base. He’s hit in all six of those ballgames and is now hitting at a .312 clip on the year.

He’s the type of player that single-handedly wins ballgames for an organization. He can do it all, just ask George Sherrill, who gave up that missile into the left field bleachers last night at Chavez Rivine.

It’s just been a special year for Upton, and he’s been relatively hidden because he plays in Arizona. But as a baseball fan you have to be excited to spend a lot of summer days watching this kid get it done. He has talent that could rank him right up there with the legends and ghosts of this game. Trust us.