Jim Parque isn’t and wasn’t a big time superstar. He didn’t smash home runs. He didn’t fire the ball 100 MPH. He was a scrawny, persistent fifth starter just trying to survive in MLB. He pitched for the Chicago White Sox from 1998 to 2002, starting more than twenty games three times during his tenure there. His best season came in 2000 when he was 13-6 with a 4.28 ERA. Other than that season, his ERA was always above five. He didn’t dominate batters. He was a fourth-to-fifth starter who just sucked up innings and tried his best to keep his team in ballgames.
Then he hurt his shoulder and just like that, his career was in grave jeopardy. He signed with Tampa Bay in 2003 and started five games for them, but of those five games, he made it out of the third inning just twice and ended up with an 11.94 ERA. His career was finished as quick as it had started. Parque was done.
Now six years later, Parque is doing the unprecedented. He’s admitting using HGH with absolutely no pressure and no reason to do so. Few people even know who Jim Parque is. No one is going to care that he used HGH six times while with the Rays to try to stay alive in the league. Yet, this courageous action should be glorified by MLB. It should be put on a pedestal and shown to the world. Continue reading “Jim Parque: A Role Model For Steroid Users”
On to the AL Central, the most competitive division in baseball though not the most talented.
1. Cleveland Indians
2. Chicago White Sox
3. Detroit Tigers
4. Minnesota Twins
5. Kansas City Royals
Best Hitter: Miguel Cabrera
Best Pitcher: Cliff Lee
The Indians have some question marks in both their lineup and pitching staff, but a solid enough core of players to make them a slight favorite in this competitive division. Cliff Lee leads the rotation and is followed by Fausto Carmona, Carl Pavano, Anthony Reyes, and Aaron Laffey. Lee is a strong pitcher, but the end of that staff is very uncertain as no one really knows what to expect from the 2-5 pitchers. Grady Sizemore leads the lineup, but more questions exist in Travis Hafner and Victor Martinez, both of whom need to bounce back from tough 2008 seasons. Kerry Wood is the closer for Cleveland, but I doubt that he’ll spend the entire year on the active roster. A lot of questions remain for this team, but not more than the other teams in the division.
The White Sox have many questions as well, but also possess a solid rotation and lineup that make them a contender in the AL Central. Ace Mark Buehrle, John Danks, and Gavin Floyd lead the White Sox’s starting staff and though the second two are not stars, they are solid enough starters to keep Chicago in the game. A lineup with Jim Thome, Jermaine Dye, and Paul Konerko won’t be short of power, though their age is certainly a concern. Carlos Quentin and Alexi Ramirez are much younger and offer offensive skills as well. With Bobby Jenks closing out games, the White Sox will be capable of holding leads. Whether or not this team can overtake the Indians will depend upon the health of their lineup and the consistency of their rotation. Continue reading “2009 American League Central Preview”
It is nearly the middle of June and Interleague Play is about to get underway so I have decided that it is a good point to look back at the first couple of months of the season
Best Team: Though not completely clear cut, this award goes to the Chicago Cubs who are currently 18 games above .500 and own the best record in MLB, a game and a half ahead of the Los Angeles Angels. They have scored 369 runs, second in Major League Baseball, but the Cubs have allowed the fifth least amount of runs in the entire league at 268. The 101 differential between runs scored and runs allowed is first in baseball and they also have the best ERA in the National League at 3.66. Alfonso Soriano leads the team with 15 home runs and seven of the Cubs’ eight daily batters have averages equal to or above .280. The Cubs possess the best team OPS in National League at .809 and have the third best bullpen ERA at 3.17. Leading in almost ever statistical category, offense or pitching, the Cubs have jumped to the top of league as they hope to win their first championship in 100 years.
Worst Team: One of my favorite awards, the Worst Team Award gives me a chance to look at the most incompetent, hopeless, and pitiful team that Major League Baseball has to offer. Though there are many candidates for this award, the Washington Nationals are most deserving. Though they only have the seventh worst ERA in MLB at 4.56, they have scored the fewest runs out of any team for the entire season at 243. The Nationals have the second lowest OBP (.310) and the lowest OPS (.666). They have blown 14 saves in 27 opportunities and possess the third highest bullpen ERA at 4.37. All of these stats have combined to make the Nationals 15 games below .500, 6.5 games behind the fourth-placed New York Mets. Continue reading “2008 MLB Mid Season Report”