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”

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”

2008 MLB Mid Season Report

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”