Josh Hamilton: The Real Winner

I’m guessing that even if you wanted to watched the Home Run Derby last night, you may not even know that Minnesota Twins’ first baseman Justin Morneau won. That’s because Morneau wasn’t the main story. He wasn’t even a story. The night belonged to Josh Hamilton and rightfully so. Unfortunately for Hamilton, his historic first round performance did not result in a Home Run Derby victory. The Texas Rangers’ outfielder hit a record 28 home runs in the first round and didn’t even have to hit in the second round since he had already clinched a spot in the finals (he took a couple of hacks anyways though). The finals didn’t go so well for Hamilton as he smashed just three home runs and lost to Justin Morneau who hit five homers in the final round. In the end though, Hamilton walked away with something much more important than the trophy: He walked away with the respect and admiration of everyone watching.

Hamilton was selected first overall by the Tampa Bay Rays in the 1999 MLB Draft and was the Rays’ top prospect until he became addicted to drugs and alcohol. He lost years of his life to his addiction. He didn’t play baseball and his major league baseball career, all of that potential, seemed to have come to an end. He didn’t even workout, because he spent so much time using needles. Yet, in a harsh confrontation with his grandmother, Hamilton finally came to realize his problem. He turned to God, faith, and Christianity to change his life. All of a sudden, Hamilton was back on the rise. He straightened his life out. He hung out with better people and stayed away from drugs at all costs. Even today, Hamilton brings someone with him wherever he goes, because he doesn’t trust himself. Continue reading “Josh Hamilton: The Real Winner”

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MLB All Star Starters Part 2

Just about a week ago, I wrote an article about who deserves to start for the American League in the 2008 All Star Game at Yankee Stadium. Now I am choosing who deserves to start for the National League. The AL was actually straightforward for the most part and there were not many difficult decisions. The National League was much more difficult.

Designated Hitter: This one was tough to choose since the National League does not have a DH. The solution I came up with was to choose the best hitter who I did not select to start at any other position and I came up with Albert Pujols. He has the second highest OPS in the National League at 1.121, behind only Lance Berkman who plays the same position as him. Pujols also has hit 16 homers and driven in 43 runs while boasting a .358 batting average. He has been injured for some of the year, but has still put up excellent stats, making him deserving to start as the National League’s DH.

Catcher: This one was extremely difficult, because there are so many catchers having an exceptional years in the National League. Bengie Molina is having an excellent year, batting .313 and driving in 48 runs. Cubs’ catcher Geovany Soto has a .277 average, 12 home runs, and 46 RBI, but the player worthy of starting at catcher is Brian McCann from the Braves. He has a .303 average with 14 home runs and 44 RBI, but he leads all catchers with a .921 OPS, much higher than Molina’s .787 OPS and Soto’s .869 OPS. That’s not to mention the fact that McCann has made only 3 errors all year and has the fewest passed balls in the National League (1) making him the deserving catcher to start for the NL in Yankee Stadium Continue reading “MLB All Star Starters Part 2”

MLB All Star Starters

The Major League Baseball season is nearing its midpoint and with that comes the 2008 All Star game in Yankee Stadium. With fans voting for the All Star starters, the game many times turns into a popularity contest with deserving players not voted in as starters. Here are those American League players who should be starting at the 2008 All Star game:

Designated Hitter: I find it funny this year that there are no designated hitters have good years. I will give the nod to David Ortiz (though he is injured) with his 13 home runs and 43 RBI, but his .252 batting average makes him a non-ideal candidate. Of the 6 players qualifying for DH, only Hideki Matsui has a batting average above .265, but Matsui has only 7 home runs and 34 RBI, hardly an All Star caliber season. No DH is slugging above .500, so with the lack of talent at DH this year, I select Ortiz as he is the most balanced player amongst designated hitters.

Catcher: There aren’t very many candidates in the AL for starting catcher, but it has to go to someone. With a .332 batting average and .417 on base percentage, Joe Mauer is my choice to start at catcher. He has only 2 home runs and 27 RBI, but no other American League catcher stands out. Mauer has made only 2 errors at catcher all season and has thrown out 34% of runners. Continue reading “MLB All Star Starters”