Tag Archives: Josh Hamilton

The Watch Report: Cincinnati Reds Opening Day

iannetta

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]

Game Six in St. Louis was a classic for All-Time

Baseball fans will always remember where they were when they were watching this one. I think that’s how it is for a true watershed event that contains guys who will go on to reach legendary status in this great game we follow–especially when it’s on the biggest and brightest stage.

There was just so much excellence packed in those 11 innings last night, it’s hard to really cover it all.

I am the Editor-in-Chief over at Tomahawk Take on the FanSided Network now, and I decided to have my main scribes about this classic be over there.

I stayed up and watched the entire thing (with my puppy trying to use my arm as a teething toy). I’ll always remember where I was for this one; on the couch with Bentley. Watching David Freese become our era’s Carlton Fisk with still a chance to win it all.

And I thought I saw the at bat that was Pujols’ last as a Cardinal. Once. Twice. A third time. You mean it’s going to end on a measly ground out? Well that was anti-climactic. Well, wouldn’t you know that Pujols gets a huge hit in his possible last at-bat as a Cardinal. You mean they’re going to walk the Great Pujols here, in his last at-bat as a Cardinal? I almost thought Ron Washington would think about pitching to him just because of the situation. It turns out that moment is still out ahead of us.

I thought I saw destiny. Instead it was just a World Series home run by Josh Hamilton. And if the Rangers don’t find a way to win it tonight he’ll someday be going on television and talking about how he thought that was his moment; a defining moment of a career and a lifetime. But it has already been lessened. He can look into the other dugout and thank Lance Berkman for that.

When people talk about Game Six in St. Louis, you should forever know what they were talking about. And there is a part of me that can empathize in a big way with the Texas Rangers and their fans. I’ve been on that side a lot. And when I’ve been on that side in sports, my teams come out and lose tonight. There’s no doubt, they’re sunk and I would be shocked to see them find a way tonight.

Anyone who says baseball is boring is missing games like last night. Those 11 innings went by in a flash and look at the names I just threw out there in this post alone. There is so much star potential in this series that it’s not even funny. Joe Buck even got to honor his legendary father.

Tonight, we get a miraculous game seven to start off a weekend. My only wish is that my team was in this thing. I am so insanely jealous. If I was a Cardinals fan I wouldn’t have went to work today. I would have just soaked it all in.

Baseball; after all this time, really is still magical. This was the second time the nation has been captivated in about a month by something that can be called ‘one of the greatest nights in baseball history’.

Who knows what kind of high drama is even in store tonight. There is only one guarantee, and that is that a new champion will be crowned and the curtain will fall on yet another season in our lives. What a closing act it’s been.

Your 2011 World Series Prediction Post

St. Louis Cardinals vs. Texas Rangers

I will admit up front, these are two teams that leave me scrambling to find a reason to care about the Fall Classic. Other than the good old adage that “it’s baseball and I love it, and it’s American for me to be informed and watch” these are not two teams that captivate me all that much.

Along with the rest of America, these Cardinals slipped into the series after sliding past heavyweights like the Phillies and Brewers. It was about as unlikely of a situation as you could have ever asked for. But look at the 2006 Cardinals that won the whole damn thing under Tony LaRussa. They had 83 regular season wins. No one had them rolling through the postseason and into the playoffs either that year. By the time that World Series rolled around, I knew that Albert Pujols was destined to get his ring.

Everyone short-changed the Rangers in a similar fashion. They were the forgotten team in the American League playoffs, with me expecting the Yankees or Rays to be the chick pick that would shake out of that side of the bracket.

There is still one thing in this series that I am happy about; one thing that is sacred and will forever have my adulation as a baseball fan. Josh Hamilton. Our friends at The Golden Sombrero have him as the MVP of the series and they’re picking the Rangers in 7 on the strength of several Hamilton bombs.

I’ll say this, I would love to see Josh Hamilton get his ring. He’s 30 years old, still in his prime and he’s always been a Diamond Hoggers type of ballplayer. For that reason–and the fact that after this grand series we’ll have nothing but the cold, dark offseason until next March–we’re planning to tune in.

Plus let’s not forget that this is possibly the final series of Albert Pujols’ Cardinals career. Although we believe it’s a forgone conclusion that he’s ending his career in St. Louis and have said that all along. And we’ll get Joe Buck and Tim McCarver. McCarver is still of sound mind, yes? If you really want to focus on positives, there’s no more postseason baseball on TBS.

It is baseball. If you’re here we assume that this series is relevant to you in some manner.

Diamond Hoggers’ World Series Prediction: Texas Rangers over St. Louis Cardinals in 7

Josh Hamilton is trying to kick the smokeless tobacco habit

Josh Hamilton and I have at least one thing in common: we both want to quit chewing smokeless tobacco, or more namely; dip.

“Today is the first day,” Hamilton said before the Rangers’ series finale with the Rays. “The Holy Spirit … I kept waking up last night thinking about different things and what might be causing me to stumble in my relationship with the Lord. I felt like chewing tobacco was one. So I got up this morning and threw it all away. So when it is time to take a dip, I pray instead.”

I’ve made the deal with myself several times, and when I say several I would say no more or less than fifty. This dip that I had in my mouth was going to be my last one. Every time I found myself in a stressful situation, or had a few alcoholic drinks, or went on a long trip on the car, or wrote a post on this very blog, or attended a ballgame; it seemed like a good time to have another chew from one of those nasty circular cans.

It’s a fun habit. It’s fun to enjoy if you’ve done it since you played. It’s not something I want to quit–while at the same time I lay awake in bed at night and think about wanting to stop. I’m at the point now that if I don’t quit, I’ll never quit and it will kill me. I know that. But it’s not easy.

I’ve never been addicted to anything else. There was nothing I couldn’t stop or go without. Chew has always been my biggest vice, and it is a bad one.

I commend Josh Hamilton in his battle. I imagine his past experience in swearing off harmful substances will probably help him in this instance. Hopefully by season’s end, the world will have two less tobacco chewing club card carrying members.

Texas Rangers looking to go short with Josh Hamilton’s next contract

Major League Baseball MVP’s haven’t had luck parlaying last year’s award winning seasons into multi-year deals.

Reports are that the Texas Rangers are talking about only a two year contract extension with Josh Hamilton.

Hamilton requested a $12 million salary following his MVP-winning season, while the Rangers submitted a figure of $8.7 million. The two sides have a hearing scheduled for February 14 if they can’t come to an agreement before then.

The reasoning for this is probably a little different reason than why the Cincinnati Reds didn’t lock up Joey Votto long-term. We think the reason is because of Hamilton’s history of injury and substance abuse. Look, the whole concept isn’t that far-fetched. He’s not that old. He’s a guy who you can definitely build around. But he’s looking more and more like a guy who is never going to get a long term contract from anyone.

Can you blame the Rangers for wanting to go relatively year to year with Hamilton? It’s two fold. It’s smart business if Hamilton were to get hurt or not continue putting up big numbers or even relapse. But it’s also bad because it might leave a sour taste in his mouth–that is if he desires long-term security.

I just wonder what has happened. I heard the rumors after his 2008 season of a long-term contract extension and there were rumors after this past monster season. It’s obvious the Rangers are wavering a little bit here. And it’s not like you really have to question why.

We like Josh Hamilton a whole lot. He’s a guy you want to see succeed and have things work out for. I hope the Rangers eventually find the reason to lock him up for a career. And I still hate the day the Reds dealt him for Edinson Volquez. I’m never going back on that.