Tag Archives: Josh Hamilton

A Bat Flippin’ Good Time Podcast: Hamilton, Trout, Mets, Statcast, the Yips, and more

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Tonight on A Bat Flippin’ Good Time Podcast, I was joined by Mike Hllywa and M.J. Lloyd. I thought we had a great little show here tonight, one of our better efforts; but then again I am the same guy who thought it was a good idea to bet my hard earned, real-life wages against Matt Harvey today when he faced off with C.C. Sabathia.

That said, we talked about a lot of great topics tonight:

  • Josh Hamilton traded to the Texas Rangers
  • The debt of MLB Statcast
  • Surprises in baseball: the New York Mets, the Kansas City Royals, Nelson Cruz, and others.
  • Our usual Mike Trout mention
  • The Royals want to fight everybody
  • Kris Bryant, Giancarlo Stanton chatter
  • Clint tells a story on the Yips
  • Media markets in baseball – where is great, and where is a pressure cooker?

And as always, there’s a lot of golden stuff in between. Like Hllywa’s one-liners. Or me getting his last name right finally after eight tries. Or M.J.’s goat. If you have an hour at lunch and you’re allowed to put your headphones on, eat your lunch, zone out and listen to some great baseball talk; you should enjoy this installment.

MLB-Opening-Day-A

A Bat Flippin’ Good Time Podcast: Season Preview, Over/Unders

Tonight I was joined by M.J. Lloyd and Mike Hllywa, both of Off Base Percentage fame for the season preview podcast edition of A Bat Flippin’ Good Time.

On the podcast we discuss:

  • The Josh Hamilton verdict, and how poorly has the Angels organization handled this situation.
  • Ervin Santana’s PED suspension.
  • Division predictions, as well as playoff and World Series picks (we were all in agreement with who wins the 2015 World Series).
  • Season Award Predictions.
  • Over/Unders for many players statistical totals.

This was one of the best, and most fun shows we’ve done in a while. If you’re a big baseball fan this one will entertain you while you wait for Opening Day to arrive.

Addiction Sucks

Josh Hamilton had a relapse recently, bringing the ugly truth to life that sometimes our superhuman superstars are actually very human.

Plenty of people will write about this – which has to play out as a nightmarish scene for both Hamilton and his family members who have been battling these demon as a group for many years. We just want to say that our prayers are with Hamilton and we hope he gets past it and rises to a final triumph at some point.

We read his entire book on vacation a few years back in a couple days on the beach. It was a pretty good account of the mind of a junkie. Once you’re a junkie, you’re one every day for the rest of your life. It’s like when someone you love passes away. The pain never really goes away, you battle it every day and put it in the back of your mind. Anyone who tells you anything different is lying.

The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim have some serious Magic Working Right now

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[Box Score]

[Seattle Times] [OC Register Angels Blog]

The Angels – if you watch them each day – they’re that team this year that is high on character. That team that never seems to be out of a game. They are a gritty, grimy bunch (not without their fine items) that just seems to hang around and never actually be dead.

Today they did it again. Another day in which Mike Trout filled the stat sheet and hit an incredible home run, his 23rd of the year. Trout literally willed his team to a win today. He added a single, and a walk at a critical juncture, scoring three runs.

Josh Hamilton had three hits, Kole Calhoun added three more including a home run.

But the memorable part of this game will be when Fernando Rodney blew the save – and possibly shot his arrow a bit too early on the Angels. This isn’t a team to be declaring that you shot Jesse James on until you’re certain that he’s dead.

And the Angels had a little fun with it. We’re so glad that they did. If you’re a baseball fan, and you’re not taking the time to stop and smell the roses and enjoy what the Angels are doing this year for their fans and for all of us that follow baseball, you’re missing out.

It was their league leading 30th come-from-behind win in baseball. That says a lot about the group.

A Double-Dip of Trout

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Mike Trout hit home run number 19 in game one.

There is almost nothing better than when you get a doubleheader of a team you really want to watch. The Angels and White Sox were rained out last night and baseball did everyone a solid by starting game one at 5:05 ET, with game two getting underway at 8:40 ET, basically right now.

It was one of those weird things where you aren’t sure why these teams didn’t play in the afternoon for game one and then at night for game two, with plenty of rest in between. But we’re not complaining, it’s 18 innings of Mike Trout and the surging Angels. Trout didn’t disappoint, getting Anaheim off and running with a three-run home run that tied the game at three after Jose Abreu hit his 26th. Josh Hamilton and Albert Pujols added their own solo shots, and Garrett Richards improved to 9-2, going eight innings and striking out nine.

I would say more, but the Angels hot bats have a date with Scott Carroll. Shit could get out of hand. There’s nothing better than a full day of baseball in a city like Chicago with the holiday weekend looming. Life is good.

UPDATE (Wednesday): Video of the Trout homer, and box scores from game one and game two. The Angels swept the doubleheader, and enter play today at 47-35.

The Angels just keep on Winning

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[Box Score]

[OC Register]

Mike Trout hit his 17th home run of the season, and the Angels beat Kyle Gibson and the Twins 8-6 to move to 42-33 on the season in winning their fourth straight game. The nine games over .500 represents their high-water mark on the season.

While Trout was the main story as he so often is, he wasn’t the only story. Josh Hamilton, Kole Calhoun, and Howie Kendrick also logged solid nights at the plate and the Angels overcame a tumultuous start by C.J. Wilson.

Another story that emerged was Ernesto Freri throwing a scoreless frame in the 8th inning for the hold and Joe Smith earned his sixth save. After the game Mike Scioscia (it’s so hard to spell without checking) said that Smith would “remain in the back end for now”.

The Angels are a fun team and they’re going to continue to hang around, we believe.

The Watch Report: Cincinnati Reds Opening Day

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Who had Chris Iannetta in the Opening Day hero pool?

[Angels 3, Reds 1]

This was actually my first Opening Day that I haven’t been in the stands in Cincinnati since Joe Randa and Adam Dunn went back to back to walk off the Mets back in 2005. That’s a lot of Opening Days that I strung together. I doubt I ever make it back to that many consecutive Opening Days. I’m satisfied with the streak I put together. I’ve seen some unbelievable openers in the Queen City. From Randa’s walk-off, to Ramon Hernandez’s walk-off grand slam, to last year’s Cueto masterpiece with Bruce’s moonshot to seal it shut.

Here’s some notes from today’s ballgame, which was a long one.

  • The Reds really didn’t hit all spring long, and they didn’t hit today. Jay Bruce wore a golden sombrero in the middle of the order. Joey Votto went 0 for 4 but at least drew a few walks.
  • Shin-Soo Choo had two hits and Todd Frazier had one. And that’s all the Reds offense tallied. There weren’t even any hard hit balls.
  • Of the Angels fearsome three, Mike Trout was the only one with a hit. Trout went 1 for 6, Pujols and Hamilton went 0 for 4.
  • Chris Iannetta was the hero in this one, hitting a solo home run and doubling in the top of the 13th inning with two outs off J.J. Hoover.
  • The Angels pen just earned this game, though I would give it to the lack of Reds hitting. After Jered Weaver exited, six Angels relievers combined for seven scoreless innings. Ernesto Frieri was the final one and he earned the save.
  • I’m not too upset with this game. The Angels are a World Series contender, and the Reds are going to hit at some point. It hurts that they’ll miss Ryan Ludwick for the better part of a month with separated shoulder.
  • How could I forget Johnny Cueto. I feel like for the last year and a half, if you’ve seen Cueto throw once you’ve seen the same solid, dependable game. I love the effort this guy always brings to the mound with him.

Here’s some running total stats from today’s game, and from my most recent watched game:

Home Runs: 1 (Chris Iannetta 1)
Strikeouts: 30
Runs: 4
Hits: 9
Errors: 4
Stolen bases: none
Official time watching baseball: 4 hours, 45 minutes
Times taking the dog out to pee: 2
Chores my wife asked me to do during (unofficial): one half

EDIT: I watched about two innings out of the Rockies Brewers game today, I watched Chris Sale’s entire start on and off, and I watched about five innings out of the Phillies-Braves game today. I’m not going to count it, because my totals aren’t exact. And I’m honestly ready to abandon the 2000-Inning Quest after just a night and a day. It’s too damn tedious. But still I press onward to go where no idiot has ever gone before.

STATS during the 2000-Inning Quest:

Home Runs: 4
Bryce Harper home runs: 2
Strikeouts: 59
Runs: 16
Hits: 31
Errors: 5
Stolen bases: NONE
Official time watching baseball: 9 hours, 55 minutes
Times taking the dog out to pee: 6
Chores my wife asked me to do during (unofficial): .5
Innings left to go: 1,969

2013 Los Angeles Angels Team Preview

I feel like this year’s preview could be copied almost straight from last year with a few name changes.  The Angels went out and signed a big stud hitter for big bucks.  This year – Josh Hamilton, last year – Albert Pujols.  They changed up their pitching staff.  This year – Tommy Hanson and Jason Vargas, last year – CJ Wilson.  So what did it get them last year?  Jack shit.  3rd place in a pretty good division – even though they were playing much better towards the end of the season.  One thing they do have this year, that they didn’t last year: a full season of Mike Trout.

Let’s take a closer look at the Angels.

Major Off-Season Moves:

  • Signed Josh Hamilton to a 5 yr/$125M contract.
  • Acquired SP Jason Vargas from the Mariners.
  • Acquired SP Tommy Hanson from the Braves.
  • Signed SP Joe Blanton.
  • Signed RP Ryan Madson.

The Angles certainly weren’t quiet this off season and pulled another sneak attack when they signed Josh hamilton from rival Texas.  It was seemingly likely the Mariners or Rangers for Hamilton and then the Angels swooped it and gave him exactly what he wanted.  When Arte Moreno sees a shiny toy he wants, he steps up big. They also need to reload their rotation after Zach Greinke left and they jettisoned Ervin Santana.  They grabbed 3 new starting pitchers so they at least got some bodies in there.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now on to who is going to take the field this year.

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The Baseball Show: Only an Insane Man Tries This Hard to Trade Justin Upton

This evening on The Baseball Show podcast, I was joined as always by co-hosts Mike Rosembaum (Bleacher Report Prospect Pipline, Golden Sombrero) and M.J. Lloyd (Halo Hangout, Off-Base Percentage).

Topics of discussion included:
-The Hall of Fame voting
-Which teams that have never had a Hall of Famer will next get the opportunity to have one?
-Baseball’s new mandatory HGH testing policy
-Justin Upton’s rejected trade to the Seattle Mariners, and why would the Diamondbacks try this hard to trade him?
-MLB ’13 The Show Cover Campaign Talk
-“Collectors corner”
-Zips Projections for the Angels, Mike Trout, Josh Hamilton

The Baseball Show: Throwing Another Log on the MLB Hot Stove

On this week’s edition of The Baseball Show, co-hosts Mike Rosenbaum and M.J. Lloyd along with myself discuss the following:

-Denard Span being traded to the Nationals for Alex Meyer
-Mike profiles Alex Meyer as a prospect
-B.J. Upton to Atlanta
-Possible destinations for Josh Hamilton, Michael Bourn, Zach Greinke and more players
-Reactions to the Evan Longoria contract extension
-Thoughts on the 2013 Hall of Fame nominees

This was a very quick edition of the podcast but a very fun show with lots of discussion. We hope you enjoy!

It’s Midsummer Classic Time

In my entire life, even as a kid; I’ve never looked forward to an MLB All-Star Game like the 2012 version that takes place tonight.

It’s a ‘who’s-who’, a ‘gang’s all here’ shot of some of my favorite figures of the past and present in the game of baseball. One of my childhood favorites Chipper Jones to Adam Dunn, into Josh Hamilton and Jay Bruce. Joey Votto, Aroldis Chapman, Mike Trout and the cherry on top was Bryce Harper. There’s never been so many of my favorite players involved in this game before. The closest I can remember was around the time in my life that I was still cutting the league batting leaders out of the Sunday paper and pinning them to a wall in my room. My mother hated that. It was tacky.

Baseball has a way of quietly bridging time and eras perhaps more than any other sport. Maybe tonight when there’s some down time in the dugout, Larry Wayne Jones will find some time to talk to Bryce (Aron) Max Harper. They could talk about Chipper’s first All-Star Game in 1996. He was the game’s young buck then, as opposed to being the game’s artifact that he is now. With all the big names that were involved in that game (and its virtually every slugger you can remember from the era) the game’s artifact that night might have been Ozzie Smith. He was 41 years old and playing in his final season. Ozzie played back in the late 70’s.

Baseball is amazing in that; I imagine if these guys sat around as a group and shot the shit long enough they would know someone who knew someone who played against Babe Ruth.

Take Adam Dunn for instance. Dating back to my high school years when I was still worried about proms and such (scary to think about that a ballplayer could bridge the gap from that era to fatherhood) I thought Dunn would pile up the All-Star selections. That’s what I read in a few different magazines when scouts talked about Dunn. He made his first All Star Game in 2002 in Milwaukee because he hit .300 on the nose the first half of that season. I don’t know how he did it, but I remember back then that Adam Dunn was a complete hitter. People thought he would hit .300 for the next decade and end up a Hall of Fame player. Dunn flew out to the track that night, barely missing a home run that would have saved Bud Selig from a lifetime gaffe. Dunn couldn’t leave the hero that night, but no matter. He would have a run of All Star appearances and MVP trophies awaiting him.

Fast forward to now. Tonight’s game is just the second of The Big Donkey’s career. We’re both on the wrong side of our prime now, Adam. But I’m still thrilled to see that he made it back. Maybe Jay Bruce ends up being that Reds outfielder who piles up the All Star selections. If you had told me when Joey Votto broke into the big leagues that he would end up the perennial MVP and guy who lead the league in votes and not Dunner, I would have laughed. Dunn, Bruce, and Votto all appeared in the same lineup in a different space and time. Oh and they shared time being a teammate of Ken Griffey Jr., tell me those guys don’t already have some great stories to tell.

It really all goes back to the youth infusion involved in this game. That’s what excites me. I love greatness, particularly at a young age. For Trout and Harper to each be part of this storied ballgame, it’s just really special. While interleague play has taken away from some of the mystique, you can’t tell me that the possibility of Harper going toe to toe with Chris Sale or Felix Hernandez for one AB doesn’t sound exciting. How about Mike Trout against Aroldis Chapman?

People who want to pretend this is a meaningless exhibition game need to know that it’s the finest All-Star game of any of the professional leagues. It’s a time honored tradition. One that takes you back to those summers in your yard with the neighborhood crew when you spent an entire day playing backyard ball and arguing about how Junior or Jay Buhner would fare against Hideo Nomo or Greg Maddux. The characters of the story are different now and we can’t have those old memorable times back.

The bottom line is we’re likely to learn which side of the league the World Series Winner comes from (21 of the last 28 World Champions have had home-field advantage in October) and we’re likely to see something memorable.

Plus you may want to someday tell your unborn son that you were watching the night that Chipper and Harper sat in the same dugout together. He won’t believe you.

The Baseball Show: Hamilton, Memoribilia, Mickey Mantle Racing Limousines and more!

Business is about to pick up in the sport of baseball, and business picked up last night on The Baseball Show, Mike Rosenbaum of The Golden Sombrero and M.J. Lloyd of Off-Base Percentage and Halo Hangout discussed the following with me:

-The latest chapter in the Josh Hamilton relapse saga
-M.J. tells a Mickey Mantle story about racing a limousine
-We talk memorabilia, baseball cards, collectibles (who remembers Fleer Ultra?)
-PECOTA Projections, top 5 in each league, Gordon Beckham, Drew Stubbs, Jay Bruce, etc.
-Top Prospects List

As we always do, we cover a variety of subjects in between the main melody line. Another great installment of The Baseball Show awaits you.

If Josh Hamilton is Like the Rest of us, I Forgive Him

There are some salacious rumors going around right now about Josh Hamilton.

I really, really hope that they’re not true. But if they are–I forgive the guy.

For Christmas I came across Hamilton’s book Beyond Belief: Finding the Strength to Come Back at the book store and decided it would make a great Christmas gift for my wife. Hamilton is her only athlete crush and I think the book probably has some really good life lessons about overcoming adversity that she could apply to her own life. Besides, when she’s finished with it I could definitely use the lessons that Hamilton has learned to apply to my own; I thought.

Before we even crack the book open and start turning pages, the Hamilton relapse story broke. It wasn’t the first time that Hamilton had slipped up. Any addict knows there is a better than even chance that it won’t be the last time. It’s unfortunate, and I hope it goes away quietly and the guy is only involved in subjects pertaining to his play soon enough.

But if Hamilton really was guilty of the things that are being rumored–and I’m not making any excuses for him–I sympathize and feel sorry for him in the same way that I do a figure like Darryl Strawberry.

In so many ways we are nothing like super-human athlete Josh Hamilton. He can hit a ball like only a few people that have walked this earth could. He can abuse his body and still be in absolutely freakish shape. He hits home runs in the World Series that should clinch championships. But in one way, we’re all like Josh Hamilton. We try, and we try again; and yet we fail because we are weak, because we are imperfect, and because we are human.

Try as we may to push the heavy rock up the hill–we will most certainly fall many times before reaching the top. Many of us sit there at the bottom of the hill and we look at the rock, wondering how we had came so close to reaching the top but we lacked the strength to gain the proper footing to get the rock all the way up to the top. We sit there for a while, and we might even sit in misery; disgusted with ourselves that we have failed. But I know what I will do–and I think I know what Hamilton will do. That rock will be picked up again and when the time is right he’ll head back up the hill in search for the top, hoping one day he can find the perfect route to get there, carrying the full weight on him.

I still admire the guy because in one small way I see my own struggles within his. Anyone who doesn’t is either a better person than I am because they’ve never fallen back into habits they wished to escape or never had them to begin with. I’m simply not that fortunate. And there’s no rhyme or apparent reason as to why we are not successful no matter how much we desire to be.

I’ve always been a big fan of Josh Hamilton the ballplayer. Right now I’m really pulling for Josh Hamilton the person.

 

God told Josh Hamilton he would hit the dramatic World Series Home Run

The God I believe in told Josh Hamilton that he was going to hit the home run that should have won the Texas Rangers the World Series Championship before he hit it. The baseball Gods had other ideas on the World Title, ironically.

“I would tell y’all something,” he said with a grin, “but y’all wouldn’t believe me.” “The Lord told me it was going to happen before it happened,” Hamilton continued. “‘You hadn’t hit a home run in a while. You’re about to right now.’” [FOX Sports]