Tag Archives: Prince Fielder

Texas Rangers 2014 Team Preview

yudarvish

Pinch hitting once again is Mike Hllywa, this time with the 2014 Texas Rangers team preview. You might recognize Mike’s name from his work at Gammons Daily, Halo Hangout, or Off Base Percentage. He’s also been a guest host on The Baseball Show Podcast. You can follow him on twitter here.

Four years ago, the Rangers lost the World Series in five games. Three years ago, they came within one strike of winning the fall classic numerous times, but eventually fell to the Cardinals in seven games. Two years ago, they lost the play-in game. Last year, they lost a play-in game that would have led to the play-in game. Bloggers are meant to be unbiased, but I cannot hide my smile when I see the slow erosion of a division rival.

But erosion is not the same as being not competitive. This is still a dangerous team that is capable of ousting the Oakland Athletics as the incumbent division champions, and with relatively little ease to boot. Just because I smile at their misery, doesn’t mean that I don’t recognize trouble when I see it. Continue reading

The Baseball Show: Mike Hllywa

trout

In this thrilling edition of The Baseball Show Podcast, M.J. Lloyd and I were joined by Mike Hllywa (@mike_hllywa on twitter) of Halo Hangout and Gammons Daily. Here’s how the flow went – and if you missed it make sure you catch up here because it was a very good show:

-Trying to predict the Mike Trout contract (Mike introduces us to the Mike Trout Sign-o-meter).
-Reaction to Shin-Soo Choo’s signing with the Texas Rangers
-We handicap the field for the Masahiro Tanaka sweepstakes
-Yasiel Puig’s value to the Dodgers as a potential trading chip
-How we voted for the Hall of Fame
-More reaction to the Fielder/Cabrera/Avasail Garcia rumor

The show went over an hour and a half, so there’s a lot of great tidbits that we talk about that aren’t listed there. If you’ve got some time this Saturday to listen to three guys talk baseball, this is the podcast you want to listen to them do it on.

A Rumor I’ll Print about Prince Fielder’s Wife, Avasail Garcia, and Miguel Cabrera

miguel-cabrera-prince-fielder

I led with this item on the last podcast, but after enough inquiring Google searches landing on this site in regards to the rumor; it’s time to bring into the open what I know (what I heard).

So at my real job – the one that has kept me barely blogging this winter - I am approached by a friend who played sports professionally. He’s got roots in the Detroit area and knows a lot of guys who know a lot of guys. He also knows I’m big into baseball and knows I run this site. He asks me if know how Miguel Cabrera really got re-injured last season. I tell him no. He tells me that he didn’t believe this rumor when he first heard it, but it was so interesting he decided to check it with a second person who would definitely know. He did, and they confirmed this. He then hits me with it:

  • Avasail Garcia was sleeping with Prince Fielder’s wife this past season.
  • When Miguel Cabrera and the team caught wind of what was going on, there was a clubhouse fight. Miggy was sticking up for Fielder and approached Avasail about it in the clubhouse. In this scuffle, Cabrera re-injures himself.
  • Team quickly trades Garcia in order to cut out the cyst in the clubhouse. And to separate him from Fielder’s wife of course.
  • Fielder was traded this offseason partially to go in a different direction and make sure that the chemistry wasn’t offset again this coming season. Translation: Fielder’s wife can screw whoever she wants. She’s the Rangers’ problem now.
  • I don’t care enough to look into it, but apparently Fielder said there was still sour grapes at least on his end for him being traded from the Tigers. He wasn’t completely over it and was bothered by it because he thinks it was for the wrong reasons. Here’s his introductory presser with the Tigers that I don’t care enough to read body language in right now.

If all this is true, it definitely adds up and possible sheds light on why Fielder was so lousy last season. I owned him in fantasy baseball, and he was albatross until the day I sold him for ten cents on the normal Fielder currency in fantasy.

And I guarantee this rumor is true. It’s out there in the Michigan area somehow. People don’t spread things this weird, at least not the people who spread it to me.

And this also makes us love and respect Miguel Cabrera even more. That guy really is a consummate leader. An every man’s man.

The Baseball Show: Trademageddon

mlb-trade-analysis

A few evenings ago on The Baseball Show Podcast, M.J. Lloyd (Off Base Percentage) and myself discussed the full rundown of off-season activity. M.J. is also a great follow on twitter (@MnkysThrwngDrts).

Of the high points:

*Clint kicks off the show with a huge rumor involving Miguel Cabrera’s injury, Prince Fielder’s wife, Avasail Garcia, and why Prince might have been traded from Detroit.
*We recap many of the moves that happened on Trademageddon Tuesday.
*We talk Robinson Cano free agency.
*We discuss sabermetrics, and how many million dollars each win in WAR is worth.
*We weigh in on Brandon Phillips hot stove chatter.
*We make dick jokes.

If you have some time to kill on the weekend when you’re supposed to be doing chores, give us a listen. We’ll be sure to entertain if you love baseball.

AL wins exhibition game and is rewarded with home field advantage in season’s most important series

I don’t really have to explain how it’s stupid to have an exhibition game between the two leagues determine for one team who gets home field advantage in the World Series, particularly given the way the rosters are put together….however.

For now I’ll enjoy the pitching show the AL put on tonight. They only gave up three hits to an all-star NL lineup.  Here is the pitching numbers from the night.

AL pitching 7.16

For the offensive side, Jose Bautista ended up with the game winning hit – a sacrifice fly in the 4th inning.  JJ Hardy and Jason Kipnis added the 2nd and 3rd RBIs.  The best offensive play on the night was clearly Prince Fielder legging out a triple.

Prince triple 7.16

Not the most graceful slide I’ve ever but kudos for the hustle

The NL didn’t fare well.  Never getting more than a hit in any inning and only advancing a man to 3rd base once.

It’s fun to see all these guys get together and play a game and mostly have a lot of fun doing it.  It was fun to see Mariano Rivera get the MVP in his last game (not sure why they didn’t use him for the save).

A few final thoughts:

  • Fantasy owners are pissed at Matt Harvey for knocking the knee of Robinson Cano.
  • Neil Diamond is old and its hard to get New York fans to sing a Boston song.  I’ve never seen more disinterested New York fans as I did during the first verse of “Sweet Caroline”.
  • Has there been a better player than Carlos Beltran who has played for 5 different teams and seemingly been written off several times.
  • I have no idea how Joe Mauer didn’t throw out Andrew McCutchen.  Perfect throw.
  • Manny Machado made another ridiculous play at 3rd.  When is this guy moving to shortstop?

Try to enjoy tomorrow.  It’s the only day in the year with out a game played by any major sport.  Maybe read a book or do something productive with your life.  You’ll only have one day to do it.

 

Recap of the 2012 Home Run Derby

Prince Fielder wins the derby for the third time. He’s tied with Ken Griffey Jr. now as the leader in the clubhouse by accomplishing the feat that many times.

Here’s a couple of other memories we’ll take from last night’s derby:

  • The crowd booing Robinson Cano for not allowing Billy Butler to partake in the derby, and Cano zeroing out for the contest.
  • Mark Trumbo golfing out a few 420 foot shots where the pitch was pretty low and should have been taken.
  • Chris Berman had a careful amount of ‘back-back-backs’ but hasn’t entirely done away with the phrase.
  • Interviews with Mike Trout and Bryce Harper, getting their first look at being All-Stars.
  • Seemed like the energy at Kauffman Stadium was there last night overall.
  • I want some of the Kansas City Barbecue.
  • The fountain spray for sunken pearls added a nice touch.
  • My wife turned on the Bachelorette for round two. I watched the final round of Joey Bats vs. Prince on my iPhone. Brutal, but it was even getting boring for me. The main course is this evening, I thought to myself.

And that’s it about the 2012 Home Run Derby. The next one will be my 30th. Gross.

Your Opening Day 2012 Post

I read an article in the New York Times the other day that should be required reading of any close friend of mine. Maybe that’s because basically all of my close friends like baseball or it’s at the very least been what has sewn us together in the first place. The article was called ‘What Baseball Does to the Soul’.

A couple of things I like from this article I’m requiring you to read if you already haven’t on Opening Day Eve:

  1. This is what baseball can do to the soul: it has the ability to make you believe in spite of all other available evidence.
  2. Baseball does what all good sports should do: it creates the possibility of joy.
  3. It confirms that life is not static. There is so much more left to be lived.

That’s really just a few of the reasons that it’s a great read, and why Opening Day is a celebration of hope. And changing seasons. And new beginnings.

I say it every year in this annual post: we could truly see anything tomorrow. We could see anything this season. That’s what makes tomorrow and the next several months to follow so special. Let your mind dream for a minute on what might be in store for this 2012 season.

We could see Jay Bruce win the National League HR title. We could see Jay Bruce become the MVP. How many bombs is Giancarlo Stanton going to hit? Will Adam Dunn rebound to be the Adam Dunn we all grew up watching? Are the Anaheim Angels going to roll to the World Series Miami Heat style? How’s Pujols going to adjust to American League pitching?

This will also be the year that we get acquainted with Bryce Harper for the first time–and we’ll get to know Mike Trout a lot better perhaps. Your fantasy teams are looking pretty solid right now, and every day is your chance at redemption for last year’s poor showings amongst your peers.

How many knocks will Joey Votto get towards earning that new big contract? How will Prince and Miggy fare together in Motown? Cubs fans have hope until the games are played tomorrow. The bad news is so do the Twins, Astros, and Orioles as well. Everyone’s in first place again.

The spring will quickly fade into summer and the seasons will change, and soon we’ll be doing this exercise all over again. Baseball will still be there for us, going on; happening. No clock involved. When we’re at the park, time will stand still for just a few hours after walking through the turnstiles before we have to walk opposite way out of those same entry points and return to reality.

It’s the greatest sport on earth, and it’s begun again. It’s time to savor the moment and enjoy it. As you take it all in tomorrow, baseball is good for the soul because the possibilities are unlimited and it allows you to dream where most other things in life do not. And remember on Opening Day, you might just see anything.

Diamond Hoggers salutes you, the fan; on Opening Day 2012. Follow Diamond Hoggers on Twitter live from Opening Day in Cincinnati for the 8th straight year.

10 Bold Predictions for 2012: The Cincinnati Reds make the NLCS

As part of our preview for the upcoming 2012 season, we’ll be doing a 10 Bold Predictions for 2012 series that will be featured between now and Opening Day. Our fifth installment of this prediction series is that the Cincinnati Reds are one of two NLCS representatives in 2012.

There’s people out there that won’t want to believe me–but my wife will serve as my witness on this (she would NEVER lie for me). I have been talking about the 2012 Cincinnati Reds making a possible World Series run for several years now.

The night my wife will remember me saying it was when the outs were starting to melt away in that NLDS game three versus the Phillies back in 2010. As I sat there in the last row of the stadium with her, I said “we’re really going to get swept. It’s really going to end like this”. I was right. The Reds got shutout by Cole Hamels on a night when he had his best stuff. But I made a prediction I have felt so strongly about for so long.

“Mark my words, this team will be back. They’ll miss out on the playoffs in 2011 and then they’re going to come roaring back and go after the whole thing in 2012. That’s been the year all along: 2012″.

Now, because she’s a woman and things like that aren’t important to her she wouldn’t be able to recite my exact prediction. But she can attest to the fact that her husband has never felt more strongly about something happening in sports than the Cincinnati Reds impending 2012 run to the World Series. This is because I’ve also reminded her countless times over the last year.

And I’ve hedged my prediction some. I don’t think they’re going to the World Series. Our season predictions won’t go up until next week on this site but I still don’t fully know who this mystery opponent who will knock off the Reds in the 2012 NLCS will even be yet. But someone’s knocking them off. All I know is they’re going to get that far, and they’re not going to make the World Series. And I feel like it’s going to be in six games that the NLCS lasts. Just enough so that you have some hopes and dreams of the Reds really playing for the whole thing. But they’re going to fall tragically short like all of our heroes eventually do. And that’s because they’re my team. That’s why they’re not going to the World Series. But mark my words, before this thing gets completely blown up and the Reds nucleus as you know it is disbanded, they’re going to take you on a ride that you haven’t been on in a long, long time.

I love the make up of this roster. I think there are any number of players who could go from respectable Major League professionals to star pretty easily because they have the pedigree and I think they’ve got the ability to truly be more than solid. Many of these guys moved up through the minor league system together and have grown up as ballplayers together. The chemistry in this organization with this group of players is not overstated as it so often is around baseball. These guys like each-other and have a strong clubhouse. They’ve also all reached that ‘peak ‘and ‘prime’ age around the same time. When you get several guys who have career years together you see teams come out of nowhere and take off.

Last year was absolutely painful for my heart and huge hit to my mental health at times. Just writing on this blog each day was a challenge because I was lamenting the fact it was baseball season as the Reds floundered their way through 162. Sometimes in baseball that just happens. And sometimes in life things happen for a reason that you never come to understand. And the reason the Reds of 2011 were so bad was so that they could fly under the radar in 2012. The baseball Gods made me purge my joys last season so that it could be a summer long party in 2012.

Aside from the Reds being able to once again sneak up on some teams quietly–something they lacked the ability to do from game one in 2011–it’s been the perfect storm off-season with some of the things that have happened. Let’s examine some of the things that have taken place that are going to allow the Reds to make a run in 2012:

  1. Reds trade for Matt Latos. Alright, he’s not an ace in my opinion yet. But it’s another lottery ticket thrown in the raffle of guys who could be aces for the Reds. And I still see Cueto, Bailey, and now Latos as guys who could have that type of ‘stopper’ season for the Reds. Give me the ball on day five and let me go get you a ballgame and end this slide or keep this streak going.
  2. Albert Pujols leaves the Cardinals for the Angels. Why don’t you do me a favor, look up what Albert Pujols did against the Reds over his career (Actually, let me do that for you. 172 GP, .350, 46 HR, 143 RBI, 10 steals/zero caught stealing, 92 BB, 50 K’s, .430/.641/1.072). Look, I’ll miss seeing the guy’s pure talent a few times a summer, but let’s get serious I can do without him making me miserable in the form of game winning grand slams and such. AL West foes, you enjoy that.
  3. Prince Fielder signs with the Detroit Tigers. Maybe the second greatest offensive lethal weapon in the National League, and he’s leaving the NL Central too! Now this is just gravy. People forget he’ll just be 28 years old this season, he is in his prime years and he will still torture pitching staffs for about 4 or 5 more seasons before he’s ‘getting old’ or no matter how big that spare tire gets.
  4. Ryan Braun is suspended for PED use for 40 games. Yea. Shit. Damn you formality. This would have been the nail in the Brewers coffin, trust me. They lucked out here.
  5. Chris Carpenter is out 3 to 4 months with a bulging disk. Chris Carpenter scares me. He’s fiery, he eats innings, you can hang a few runs on him in the first inning of a game and then he one hits you the rest of the way. He’s the type of catalyst ace that few guys around the big leagues truly are. This is a huge void for the Cardinals. And I found out they’re going to Opening Day start Kyle Lohse. A man doesn’t deserve such a life of luxury folks. I am that man.
  6. Adam Wainwright returns from Tommy-John surgery.People want to talk about Wainwright being the sleeper of the year. Look, he’s good and I have no doubts he’ll return to his previous levels of performance. But give me one guy who came back and was his dominant old self his first half season back from Tommy-John surgery. There aren’t any. Reds luck out again here. I’m still warm and fuzzy inside with memories of that February day last year.
  7. Theo Epstein got his hands on the Cubs a bit too late. Theo will turn the Cubbies around but it’s going to take time. Are they still employing the likes of Ryan Dempster and Alfonso Soriano? Bryan LaHair at first base? It’s going to be a fun season of making fun of Cubs fans again.
  8. The Phillies are a mess. I expect a regression from Cliff Lee. Roy Halladay has been nothing if not touch and go this spring. Jimmy Rollins is getting old. Chase Utley is hurt. Ryan Howard is hurt. The Phillies do not scare me. Not in the slightest.
  9. The Reds sign Sean Marshall. This guy is like the nastiest lefty in baseball. He’s not gonna crap out like Ricky Rincon did when the Indians went out and tried to make a splash in getting a nasty lefty to bolster a great pen. He’s going to get first dibs on the closer role, and I think he’s going to have a fine audition.

I could keep going, but these are all things that have made it a wonderful off-season towards building my case for the Reds run to the 2012 NLCS.

We led off the prediction series by telling you that Jay Bruce was going to be the 2012 MVP. But now for some of the unheralded guys who will pay off huge for the Redlegs in 2012. Chris Heisey, Homer Bailey, Ryan Ludwick, and the rebound of guys like Scott Rolen and Drew Stubbs will pay off for the Reds. Brandon Phillips and Joey Votto will play their usual role.

You look in the pen and the Reds have some serious firepower. Jose Arredondo is a year into his own Tommy-John recovery, and the Reds have Bill Bray, Nick Masset, Aroldis Chapman, Marshall, and some other very capable arms that will be down in that bullpen. They’re deep. Especially if Ryan Madson hadn’t gotten hurt. But we’re here to focus on why this prediction will come true.

The Reds are about to give you the finest season since 1990, if you can just make it until October. This is going to be the year and I want you to remember where you heard it. Just don’t expect too much ultimately. I’ll sign up for an NLCS run and take my chances from there right now.

Detroit adds a Prince

The Detroit Tigers signed Prince Fielder to a monster, 9-year $214 million dollar contract today. While you were busy thinking of him in a lineup that already contains Miguel Cabrera, or where the Tigers will put Fielder, Cabrera, and Victor Martinez once Martinez returns from injury in a year or so; you probably didn’t realize that this deal brought Fielder to the city where the Fielder name gained fame and notoriety in the baseball world.

Prince is going to the city where his daddy Cecil hit 284 big league home runs. The Tigers were the forgotten team all along while everyone seemed to speculate about Prince signing with the Nationals, Mariners and Rangers. All the while, this move makes perfect sense for the Tigers who were likely to jump into the sweepstakes once Victor Martinez went down with season ending surgery on his knee last week.

Our opinion is while it’s a great signing for the immediate term–Fielder got too much money. He’s not like an Albert Pujols in the sense that he’s likely always to remain in peak physical condition into his middle and late 30′s. By the time this deal is done, Fielder probably won’t be worth the value. This deal is really going to see the value come to the Tigers within the first four to five years of the contract. This is not unique for a lot of baseball contracts that are signed today. How many 9-year contracts ever even see the player live out the life of the contract in the same place?

It was that same length and money amount that got Prince Fielder through the door in Motown. And while we all thought the market for Prince Fielder was becoming extremely thin with the Rangers throwing big money at Yu Darvish, the market all along was very much alive.

The Baseball Show: Hot Stove Madness

Last night on The Baseball Show, Mike Rosenbaum of The Golden Sombrero and M.J. Lloyd of Off Base Percentage & Halo Hangout and I discussed the following topics:

-M.J.’s thoughts on the Angels off-season
-Discussion of the Atlanta Braves lack of moves
-Where will Prince Fielder end up?
-The Washington Nationals future
-Top Prospect Debuts we’re anticipating
-Mike’s thoughts on the White Sox off-season
-Thoughts on the Mat Latos & Travis Wood trades
-Alex Rodriguez’s new girlfriend & hipster glasses
-Preview of Hall of Fame Voting

We went for nearly two hours so there’s naturally a lot of goodies in between.

The Brewers know Prince Fielder has played his last game as a Brewer

This news stems from a Buster Olney tweet, but I don’t like linking tweets in case for some reason that twitter account gets hacked and the tweet gets deleted or in case Buster Olney leaves ESPN and is no longer twitter handle ‘Buster_ESPN’ and all that good stuff. So I’ll link Hardball Talk where I originally read the post.

Brewers indicating to others they are pretty much out on Prince Fielder, and are moving on.

Short and sweet, and a bummer for Brewers fans who never got to see a Prince/Braun team make it to a Fall Classic. It’s hard to feel sorry for a franchise that has Ryan Braun as their centerpiece. Cecil and Prince take their act to a new big league city. Or maybe they’re just done. Stay tuned to this development.

The Baseball Show: Introducing Tomahawk Take

Last night on The Baseball Show, Mike Rosenbaum of The Golden Sombrero and M.J. Lloyd of Off Base Percentage discussed the following topics:

-Our involvement with Tomahawk Take on the FanSided Network.

-Thoughts on the Braves shortstop situation, minor league prospects, Jason Heyward, the Jair Jurrjens rumors, and the Braves rotation for next season.

-We offer our thoughts on Derek Lowe’s departure to Cleveland.

-We talk about early hot stove off-season activity: Grady Sizemore, Prince Fielder, Jose Reyes, Hanley Ramirez, Albert Pujols and many more free agents are discussed.

-We talk about the managerial possibilities around baseball: Sandy Alomar, Terry Francona, and Ryne Sandberg.

-We debate about the importance of a manager in the game of baseball today.

-Mike talks about Ozzie Guillen’s departure from the White Sox, along with thoughts on Robin Ventura.

-As always, much more is discussed.

2011 Major League Baseball All Star Game

[Box Score]

There is one thing that came clear to me during yesterday’s All-Star Game, of which I watched the entire thing.

First off, the game was boring. It didn’t do a lot to showcase the sport’s midsummer classic. But there’s a reason for that. I felt the same way about this year’s game as I did about last year’s game. Pitching and arms are nastier and deeper than they’ve ever been before and on a lot of nights that equates to some really bland baseball.

Gone are the days where you have a Danny Darwin type arm sneak into the game or a guy who throws nothing but 86 and gets by on guile. You’ll never see that again. Baseball has a plethora of flamethrowers to choose from who have succeeded enough with their dynamite stuff in the first half of the season that you’ll virtually never watch another inning of All Star Game baseball that doesn’t feature a guy on the mound absolutely pumping 97 to 100 MPH.

Power arm after power arm last night trotted out and did their thing–and if you want to say Cliff Lee wasn’t throwing that hard–go ahead and notice that he got a bomb hit off him to allow the AL’s only run.

Prince Fielder hit the big majestic 3-run blast that salted the game away. The memorable plays I remember in the field were Hunter Pence’s assist at home plate that seemed to swing the momentum, along with Jordan Walden’s barehand play and Jose Bautista’s sliding catch against the right field wall.

But for nine innings, the display for all to see was the incredible arm that this league features. And the All Star Game was really a 9 inning sample of what we have going on all around baseball. Pitching is dominating everywhere you look and offense is down to 1992 levels for the second season in a row.

It’s neither good, bad or indifferent. It’s just how the game is today.

Click below for a few shots of the Reds.

Continue reading

The NL’s Fluorescent Home Run Derby Shoes, and other odds & ends

Here’s a shot of the fluorescent cleats that Prince Fielder, Matt Holliday, Rick Weeks, and Matt Kemp wore for the derby last night. I’m not real sure why they decided to do this, but it did not translate into any type of extra power. An immensely disappointing night for the NL squad; and Weeks and Kemp were especially nondescript.

In short, Prince you pansy ass. We let you select the squad and in true Brewer fashion you fuck it all up. Joey Votto, Justin Upton or Jay Bruce would have done just fine in this contest. But you selected Rick Weeks who swung so damn hard that he hit more foul poppers (and led off with a whiff swing) than anything.

Pure legend next to never will be, Bobby Valentine. Barry, you deserve so much better than to be sitting there with the likes of Bobby V. and we pity that you were there for what probably added up to about 5 hours of Bobby putting his foot in his mouth.

This is Adrian Gonzalez’s spray chart in the final round. He hit 11 in all and most figured that was going to be good enough to win it. But then Robinson Cano came up and started hitting off his daddy and made 12 look easy. Cano easily stole the show last night and about 5 of the bombs he hit were the most impressive. Although I give Big Papi major credit for having the idea to put Adrian in this contest because he has a nice easy stroke that translates well for a Derby.

And don’t forget about the State Farm Gold Balls that were inserted into last night’s derby that caused fans in the outfield seats to act like sharks (one fan jumped into the pool to make the catch, one nearly fell from the stands to do the same).

The Gold Balls are MSRP’ing at around $150 we’re told. Yes they’re made with actual gold and all, but we’re just glad no one else got hurt.