Category Archives: MLB

MLB Standings 101

Major League Baseball is divided into two Leagues called the American League (AL) and the National League (NL). From there, each League is divided into 3 divisions called the East, Central, and West. So in MLB there is a total of 6 divisions.

Looking at the map above, I have color coordinated each MLB League and division. The teams in each division are circled and connected with different colors. The American League  divisions are all bright warm colors; the AL East is pink, AL Central is red, and AL West is yellow. The National League divisions are all dull cool colors; the NL East is green, NL Central is blue, and NL West is purple. The chart below also shows the teams in each division but includes each team’s name. The teams are in no particular order.

In MLB teams are scheduled to play other teams in 2-4 game series, meaning a team will be scheduled to play other teams for more than 1 game in a row. To the right is an example of the Texas Rangers 2012 June schedule. You can see how the team is scheduled to play other teams 2-4 times in a row. You can also see that in MLB teams are scheduled to play almost every day. If a game is called(cancelled) due to bad weather it could be rescheduled for another day and the teams may have two games to play in one day. The team that wins the most games in a series is said to have won that series, but that is not taken into account when looking at the team standings.

MLB standings are ranked by each team’s win-loss record from the total games they have played, not the number of series they win or lose. Also the teams are only ranked by their division and not by the League the team is in. So, in other words, a team’s win-loss record is only compared to the other teams in the same division to decide the ranking of that division. For example:

To see an example of where the teams are currently ranked click the link below and press refresh.

 http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/standings/index.jsp?tcid=mm_mlb_standings

Also please note that Major League Baseball is considering relocating the Houston Astros to the AL West starting just before the 2013 season. This move will even out the MLB Leagues and the Divisions.

Resources:

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=6659129

http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/standings/index.jsp?tcid=mm_mlb_standings

http://espn.go.com/blog/dallas/texas-rangers/post/_/id/4876105/astros-switch-to-al-west-is-good-call

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Rangers need to Re-Sign Josh Hamilton

Josh Hamilton will be a free agent when the season ends, if the Rangers do not extend his contract and re-sign him. The Rangers have had many chances to extend Hamilton’s contract this past Fall and Winter of 2011-2012 but have not done so. I guess they wanted to wait and see how he plays this season and how his injuries stand up. Richard Durret with ESPNDallas.com said, “Hamilton knows that how well he plays — and whether he stays healthy — can have a large impact on his next deal.”

This season only started a month ago, April 6, 2012, and the Rangers have played a total of 28 games. So far this season Josh Hamilton has been playing to the best of his ability. Hamilton has been amazing, and is currently ranked number 4 in batting average. To see the ranking click here.  While at bat Hamilton already has 9 homes runs and has batted in 26 runners. He has hit the ball 37 times and has safely made it to 67 bases. But lets not forget his fielding talent. Not only is Hamilton a good batter, but he is also a great fielder. Hamilton can play any of the three outfield positions: Center Field, Left Field, and Right Field. This season Hamilton has completed 54 putouts with no errors. Hamilton says he prefers the center position but “will do whatever they ask me to do.”

But even with being a great player Josh Hamilton does have two recurring injuries. He has to be careful of back stiffness and a groin injury. Hamilton was out almost a total of 6 weeks last season because of a groin injury. So far this season Hamilton has missed 3 games due to a stiff back. On Sunday April 29th after a hit and run to first Josh Hamilton noticed spasms in his back. Then during a run and slide into 2nd base Hamilton’s back began to hurt even more. When Hamilton got back to the dugout he did not come back into the game. Hamilton still planned to play in Monday’s game against the Toronto Blue Jays but the Manager of the Rangers, Ron Washington decided to keep Hamilton out during that series. Just before the last game of the Rangers vs. Blue Jays series on May 2, 2012 Washington explained to Ben & Skin on ESPN Dallas Radio that the turf on the Blue Jay’s field is not good for Hamilton to be playing on when his back is already acting up. Washington talked again how playing on turf affects all the Rangers. He said, “When you play on turf, it’s a little different if you’re playing on it every day, Than coming up in here for a series and you haven’t been used to it. It shocks your body. Everybody’s dealing with soreness the past three days, but we’re not using that as an excuse to not win a ballgame.”

Josh Hamilton is loved by all Rangers fans, Rangers staff, and his teammates. Whenever you go to a Rangers game you will see more Hamilton jerseys than any other player. Personally I am a huge fan of Hamilton, not only because of his talent, but because of his personality as well. I have never meet Hamilton, but I love to listen to him talk. Hamilton has been through so much in his life and still remains positive. He is a great role model for all, knowing that no matter how bad your situation is, you can always change. In June 2011 Josh Hamilton appeared on the Late Show with David Letterman in June 2011 which you can watch a clip of below. It was almost a year ago and before his second relapse, but it is a good interview.

I know that before the Rangers can offer Hamilton a contract extension they need to look at all aspects of things, like the injury, money, timing, other options, etc. But if the Rangers wait till Josh Hamilton becomes a free agent, they are taking a risk of losing him to another team. If Hamilton becomes a free agent many teams will do all they can to sign him. When asked about the issue of not receiving a contract extension yet and how he feels, Hamilton said, “It all depends on what kind of season I have. It’s either having faith that I’m going to play all year and have a good season or I could say, ‘Oh no, I’m scared and I don’t know if I’m going to play or if I get hurt and if I should take any kind of deal that comes my way.’ I have faith.” I feel that Rangers need to re-sign Josh Hamilton as soon as possible. He is a great leader on and off the field. Hamilton is a talented baseball player and one the Rangers need to keep on their team despite his recurring injuries. He is more of a positive to the team with his talent on the field and amazing personality, then a negative with his occasional back stiffness and groin pains. RE-SIGN JOSH HAMILTON!

UPDATE: On Monday May 7, 2012 the Texas Rangers started their series against the Baltimore Orioles. The Rangers won 14-3 with Josh Hamilton getting 1 HR (Home Run) and 2 RBIs (Runs Batted In). Tuesday May 8, 2012 the Rangers beat the Orioles again 10-3. During this game Josh Hamilton became the 16th player to ever get 4 HRs in one game. Hamilton was 5-5 tonight, meaning within 5 times at bat Hamilton hit the ball every time. He had 4 homers and a double. What an outstanding game for Josh Hamilton. His batting average has now gone up from .381 to .406. Hamilton is also now ranked number 1 in the AL (American League) in HR (14) and RBIs (36). RE-SIGN JOSH HAMILTON!

JOSH HAMILTON BATTING STATS SUMMARY from April 6, 2012 to May 6, 2012:

G AB R H TB 2B 3B HR RBI BB IBB SO SB CS AVG OBP SLG OPS GO/AO
SEASON 25 97 20 37 67 3 0 9 26 9 3 19 2 1 .381 .431 .691 1.122 1.32
MLB Totals 614 2360 388 735 1295 145 17 127 451 212 36 477 38 10 .311 .369 .549 .917 1.16
Minors Totals 290 1150 183 335 545 73 10 39 186 86 10 232 49 12 .291 .339 .474 .813 1.33

G – (Games) number of games a player has appeared in

AB – (At Bats) number of times a player bats

R – (Runs) number of times a batter safely makes it to home plate

H – (Hits) number of time a batter hits the ball and safely makes it to base.

TB – (Total Bases) the number of bases a batter safely makes it to, and or passes

2B – (Doubles) number of times a batter hits a ball and safely makes it to 2nd base

3B – (Triples) number of times a batter hits a ball and safely makes it to 3rd base

HR – (Home Runs) when a batter hits a ball and safely makes it all the way to home plate, this is always when the batter hits the ball over the fence in the back field

RBI – (Runners Batted In) number of runners that safely cross home plate because of balls that the batter hits.

BB – (Bases on Balls) number of times a batter gets to walk to 1st base, this is when the pitcher throws 4 balls before he throws 3 strikes to the batter, or when the pitcher hits the batter with the ball

IBB – (Intentional Bases on Balls) number of times a pitcher intentionally walks a batter by throwing 4 balls on purpose or hits the player with the ball on purpose

SO – (Strike Outs) number of times a batter strikes out, this is when the pitcher throws 3 strikes before he throws 4 balls

SB – (Stolen Bases) number of times a runner successfully steals a base

CS – (Caught Stealing) number of times a runner is caught trying to steal base and is tagged out

AVG – (Batting Average) H divided by AB

OBP – (On-Base Percentage) (H+BB+HBP) divided by (AB+BB+HBP+SF)      note: HBP – hits by pitch; SF – sacrifice fly balls

SLG – (Slugging Percentage) TB divided by AB

OPS – (On-Base Plus Slugging) OBP + SLG

GO/AO – (Ground Outs/Air Outs Ratio) the ratio of a batters outs      note: GO- number of ground balls hit that result in an out for the batter; AO – air balls that are hit by the batter and caught by a player to get the batter out

JOSH HAMILTON FIELD STATS SUMMARY

SEASON POS G GS INN TC PO A E DP RF FPCT
SEASON OF 24 24 209.0 56 54 2 0 1 2.33 1.000
MLB Totals LF 204 176 1576.2 371 351 12 8 2 1.78 .978
MLB Totals CF 332 303 2602.1 779 754 15 10 8 2.32 .987
MLB Totals RF 68 66 580.0 166 157 7 2 2 2.41 .988
MLB Totals OF 559 545 4759.0 1316 1262 34 20 12 2.32 .985

POS – (Position) the position the player plays on the field

GS – (Games Started) the number of games the player has started in

INN – (Innings at this Position) the number of innings the player has played this position

TC – (Total Chances) the number of chances the player gets to make a play with a ball that was hit

PO – (Putouts) the number of times the player catches a ball that puts out the batter

A – (Assists) the number of times the player catches the ball and throws it to a teammate to get the batter or runner out

E – (Errors) the number of times the defensive player, or player on the field, makes a mistake that allows the runner to get to an extra base

DP – (Double Plays) the number of times a player on the field gets the ball that was hit and throws it to a teammate that gets a runner out and then throws it to another teammate that gets another runner out.

RF – (Range Factors) the sum of (PO+A)*9 divided by INN of that particular POS

FPCT – (Fielding Percentage) the effectiveness of a player calculated by (A+PO) divided by TC

Resources:

http://texas.rangers.mlb.com/team/player.jsp?player_id=285078&c_id=tex&player_name=Josh-Hamilton

http://espn.go.com/dallas/mlb/story/_/id/7759544/2012-spring-training-texas-rangers-josh-hamilton-willing-talk-contract-season

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?page=stats/glossary

http://mlb.mlb.com/stats/sortable.jsp#sectionType=sp&playerType=QUALIFIER&statType=hitting&page_type=SortablePlayer&season=2012&season_type=ANY&sportCode=’mlb’&league_code=’MLB’&split=&team_id=&active_sw=&game_type=’R’&position=&sortOrder=’desc’&sortColumn=avg&results=&page=1&perPage=50&timeframe=&extended=0&last_x_days=&ts=1336333242606&tab_level=child&click_text=Sortable+Player+hitting

http://espn.go.com/dallas/mlb/story/_/id/7881564/injuries-turf-keep-texas-rangers-josh-hamilton-adrian-beltre-out

http://www.sportingcharts.com/dictionary/

http://www.latimes.com/sports/la-sp-josh-hamilton-20120509,0,4619649.story

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Philip Humber’s Perfect Game

Yesterday on April 21, 2012 29-year-old Philip Humber, pitcher for Chicago White Sox, throws a perfect game against the Seattle Mariners.

A perfect game for a pitcher is not only when they strike out every player from the opposing team, but in definition it is when a pitcher pitches for all 9 innings and no player from the opposing team makes it to 1st base. So during yesterday’s game no Mariner ever made it to first base even though they got really close in the 9th inning. In the 9th the first Mariner up to bat was Michael Saunders. Humber pitched 3 balls and the count was 3-0 (3 balls, 0 strikes). This was the first time in the game Humber was 3-0. If he threw just one more ball then Saunders would get to walk to first base and Humber’s perfect game would not have been. Luckily Humber then threw a strike and then the next two were swinging strikes so Saunders was out. Then came John Jaso to bat. Humber’s first two pitches were strikes and the count was 0-2. The next pitch was hit and a fly ball was sent out to right field but was caught and Jaso was out. Last to bat for the Mariners was Brendan Ryan. The count was 3-2 when Humber threw a pitch that would have been a ball, but Ryan had slightly swung at it. The Umpire called it a swing, Ryan was out, and Humber got his perfect game.

Humber is the 21st pitcher to have a perfect game. During the game Humber had a total of 9 strikeouts, 13 flyouts (fly balls that were caught for an out), and 5 groundouts (balls that were hit and then thrown to first for an out). All of these added up to 27 outs and a perfect game for Philip Humber with some help from his teammates and a 4-0 win over the Mariners. This was also Humber’s first time to pitch all 9 innings. Before yesterday’s game the longest he had pitched was for 7 2/3 innings.

When the game ended and the last out was throw Humber fell to his knees but quickly got back up before all his teammates could make it over to him and knock him down again with excitement. The fans also showed their happiness by giving Humber a standing ovation as he walked off the field. He responded to the fans by taking off his hat and saluting them. It was truly a great day for Philip Humber. Humber said, “I mean, I can’t even put it into words,” Humber told Fox afterward. “I’m just so happy. There are so many good things happening right now. This just adds to the list. God is so good.”

Congratulations to Humber for his perfect game and to the White Sox for their unforgettable win.

Watch Humber’s Fox interview:

Watch the last pitch live:

Resources:

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2012/writers/cliff_corcoran/04/21/philip.humber.perfect.game/index.html

http://espn.go.com/blog/chicago/white-sox/post/_/id/9440/phil-humber-throws-perfect-game

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perfect_game

List of pitchers who have pitched perfect games: http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/history/rare_feats/index.jsp?feature=perfect_game

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Happy 100th Fenway Park

100 years ago on April 20, 1912 Fenway Park was built in Boston, MA in only 7 months. It is where the Boston Red Sox call home. Even though there have been some upgrades to the stadium, it has managed to keep its originality and has always been the model of what a baseball stadium should be like. Tim Wakefield, pitcher in Fenway for 17 seasons, said “they modernized it the best they could but kept the original historic Fenway Park intact, which is phenomenal. It’s unbelievable how they accomplished that. To have the same old feel as 100 years ago and to be playing in modern day with new amenities, it’s really amazing.” Wakefield just recently retired from the game of baseball.

Even with all the history within this stadium, it is mostly known for the beautiful color green from the grass on the field to the big Green Monster. The Green Monster is Fenway’s 37-foot-high wall in the outfield. This wall separates the field from the street, but what makes it unique is that it is the largest wall in a baseball stadium and is the color of the grass. The grass is also something that makes this stadium stand out. It is well-kept and is a true-green color.

Fenway Park has many great memories in these 100 years. Jim Caple with ESPN.com said “It’s where Babe Ruth pitched, Ted Williams batted, Carl Yastrzemski played balls off the Wall, Carlton Fisk waved his home run fair and David Ortiz has repeatedly delivered in the clutch.” What an amazing and historic stadium.

I have never been to Fenway Park, but after learning of it’s 100th birthday and all the history it still has despite the upgrades, I would love to see if for myself. When describing the field, Tim Wakefield said “What a cathedral. It’s like going to church. The stadium is the star here. Fenway is the star.” I love places that contain such history. I know that today’s game will be memerable. Today the Red Sox will play the New York Yankies, the same team the Red Sox played 100 years ago, but then the New York Yankees were the New York Highlanders. Before the game there will be big ceremony to celebrate. Also both teams will wear their throwback uniforms from 1912. This will be a great game to watch late this afternoon.

Happy Birthday Fenway Park!

100 moments at Fenway:

http://espn.go.com/boston/fenway/_/timeline/100/

Resources:

http://espn.go.com/mlb/story/_/id/7833554/here-another-100-years-fenway-park

http://boston.redsox.mlb.com/schedule/index.jsp?c_id=bos#y=2012&m=4&calendar=DEFAULT

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Does Texas Rangers Joe Nathan have Limits?

So far this season the Rangers have played 6 games, winning all but 2.

Before the season started the Rangers made some changes to their pitching rotation. The Rangers got Joe Nathan, a closing pitcher, from the Minnesota Twins. Rangers then moved Neftali Feliz, one of last season’s closing pitchers, to a starting pitcher position so that Nathan could be one of the closing pitchers.

Last night, Wednesday April 11, 2012 the Rangers lost to the Mariners 4-3. The Rangers played great for 8 innings and were up 3 to 1. Then in the 9th Nathan came in to close the game. It was up to Nathan to save his team and complete the win. Nathan also closed the game the night before, Tuesday, when the Rangers beat the Mariners 1-0, so he was closing a back to back game Wednesday night. Joe Nathan allowed 3 runs on 4 hits, meaning 3 runners scored from 4 Mariners hits off Nathan’s pitches. This put the Mariners up by one and cost the Rangers their win.

Last night was Nathan’s second time to pitch on back to back nights this season; the first was on April 7, 2012. On opening day, April 6, 2011 Nathan pitched the game against the Chicago White Sox and the Rangers won 3-2. Then Nathan pitched against Chicago again the next day. The game was tied 3-3 when Nathan approached the mound. Alex Rios, White Sox #51, hit a homerun and won the game for Chicago. Rangers lost 4-3.

So both of the Rangers loses have come from Nathan on nights he is pitching back to back. Joe Nathan pitched back to back nights only 3 times last season as a Twin. Maybe they thought he could not play to the best of his ability on back to back nights. Nathan has been a good closing pitcher for the Rangers, and has pulled out many saves and finished off a few great wins on nights he is not pitching back to back. The Rangers should really watch Nathan this season and take note, so come play off time, this is not a problem.

Resources:

http://espn.go.com/dallas/mlb/recap?gameId=320411113

http://espn.go.com/blog/dallas/texas-rangers/post/_/id/4881279/rapid-reaction-mariners-4-rangers-3-2

http://espn.go.com/dallas/mlb/recap?gameId=320407113

http://www.foxsportssouthwest.com/04/07/12/Rangers-sunk-on-night-of-missed-chances/landing_rangers.html?blockID=704812

http://texas.rangers.mlb.com/schedule/index.jsp?c_id=tex#y=2012&m=4&calendar=DEFAULT

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Ubaldo Jimenez’s Pitch…Intentional or Not?

On Sunday April 1, 2012 The Cleveland Indians played the Colorado Rockies in a spring training game. The Rockies won 12 to 10, but not without some sports drama. Cleveland’s pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez hit his former teammate Troy Tulowitzki on the elbow with his first pitch to the batter during the first inning. After the pitch Tulowitzki dropped his bat and headed toward Jimenez, who left the mount and motioned his arms several times while heading toward Tulowitzki. This act cleared both team’s benches. While they were exchanging words the umpire and teammates got in between Tulowitzki and Jimenez and pulled them apart. Many feel that Jimenez’s pitch was intentional!

Evidently Tulowitzki and Jimenez did not like each other before this game. Last year Ubaldo Jimenez played for the Colorado Rockies. Not long ago Jimenez explained to Foxsports.com he was unhappy that Colorado did not offer him a contract extension but offered one to both Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez. This past July, after Jimenez was not offered a contract extension he was traded to Cleveland. Jimenez talked to the media about how he felt the team treated him but never mentioned any names. Tulowitzki also talked to media about his former teammate Jimenez, and mentioned how he thought Jimenez should move on and not dwell on things. In the Denverpost Tulowitzki was quoted talking about last year, “For him to come out and badmouth an organization that I have a lot of respect for and take a lot of pride in being here, yeah, you are going to be upset. You don’t spend the portion of your career with a team then the next year come out and say something. I would have addressed my teammates directly and handled it from there because we were all wondering what was going on.”

After the hit and confrontation during the game, Tulowitzki was taken to the hospital to get X-rays done. Luckily for him the results were negative. After the game Ubaldo Jimenez tried to explain himself. He said, “It was the first inning and I didn’t have good control of my fastball. As you guys can see I walked the first guy on 4 pitches.” Jimenez expressed that he did not want to hurt Tulowitzki. On Monday when asked about the pitch again, Jimenez added, “Players are hit by pitches every day. With a guy like him, you have to go inside. I can’t get the ball to go where I want every time.” Jimenez also said that he would not apologize to Tulowitzki for the hit.

Indians manager, Manny Acta stuck up for his pitcher when he said that Jimenez’s pitches were “pretty wild all day.”

Tulowitzki said that he did not know if the hit was intentional or not. While talking with the media Troy Tulowitzki said, “You guys will have to talk to him and see if it was intentional or unintentional.” He was also quoted saying, “From my take, as soon as he hit me it just seemed like he wanted a little more. That’s when the confrontation started.” To me, this quote sounds like Tulowitzki did believe Jimenez’s bad pitch was intentional.

The Rockies manager, Jim Tracy defiantly believed that Jimenez hit Tulowitzki on purpose. Jim said, “Five days before Opening Day, you’re going to take a pot shot like that? It’s the worst I’ve ever seen. I’ve lost all respect for him, and that’s a very difficult thing for me to say with all the players I’ve had to manage over the years.” Jim described the event as “the most gutless act” he had ever seen in baseball.

The Commissioner of MLB, Bud Selig was at the game. The League reviewed the event on Monday April 2, 2012 and decided to fine Ubaldo Jimenez and suspend him for 5 season games.

Today Jimenez went to the players’ union and requested an appeal of his suspension. ESPN, The Associated Press stated that Jimenez is scheduled to start the Cleveland’s second game of the season this Saturday.

Personally, I feel that if this hit was not intentional, then Jimenez would not have rushed off the bound and headed for Tulowitzki the way he did. Knowing that there was bad blood between the two just this past summer, I cannot help but feel that this hit was on purpose. I am very surprised that Jimenez was not ejected from the game.

Terms to know:

Manager: in MLB the head coach is called the manager.

Resources:

http://espn.go.com/mlb/spring2012/story/_/id/7762625/ubaldo-jimenez-cleveland-indians-drills-troy-tulowitzki-colorado-rockies

http://www.denverpost.com/rockies/ci_20303434/ubaldo-jimenez-drills-troy-tulowitzki-benches-clear-tulo-leaves-elbow-injury?source=rss

http://espn.go.com/mlb/spring2012/story/_/id/7765713/cleveland-indians-ubaldo-jimenez-says-suspension-not-warranted

http://espn.go.com/mlb/story/_/id/7770839/cleveland-indians-ubaldo-jimenez-appealing-5-game-suspension

http://espn.go.com/mlb/story/_/id/7767204/mlb-bans-cleveland-indians-ubaldo-jimenez-5-games-hitting-colorado-rockies-troy-tulowitzki

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Magic Johnson’s group buys the Dodgers

Frank McCourt, owner of the MLB Dodgers team in LA, was caught taking money from the organization and spending it on personal thing like multiple houses and much more. Frank McCourt was forced to sell the Los Angeles Dodgers on Tuesday March 27, 2012, and three different groups placed bids for the team. Magic Johnson, Mark Walter, and baseball executive Stan Kasten got together as one of the three groups and placed a $2 billion bid and now own the Dodgers. This is the highest amount to purchase a team in MLB history.

“I am truly honored to have partnered with such talented individuals and to be associated with the Dodgers organization. We look forward to building upon the legacy of the Dodgers and providing long-term stability to one of the most revered franchises in baseball,” said Walter.

Each member of this group have their own individual talents and responsibilities that help make this a great group. Johnson said that Stan Kasten is “the baseball man.” Mark Walter is said to be the controlling owner of the Dodgers. Johnson’s role will mostly be recruiting free agents with his talks and experience of winning. Johnson also plans to help bring back old Dodger fans as well as new ones. They also all plan to work together to bring this team back. Johnson said, “The Dodgers, it’s not that they need to be fixed, we need to just take them to the next level. People love this brand, they love the team, they love going to Dodger Stadium to watch a game. We just need to take them to the next level.”

The MLB Commissioner, Bud Selig believes that Magic Johnson is a good part of this group. Selig said, “I believe that a man of Magic’s remarkable stature and experience can play an integral role for one of the game’s most historic franchises, in a city where he is revered.”

Magic Johnson played for the LA Lakers for 13 years. During his NBA career Johnson won 5 championships, got 3 MVP awards. In 1991 Johnson was diagnosed HIV positive and retired. He moved on to be a great business man, and was also accepted into the NBA Hall of Fame.

Kobe Bryant, the current star of the LA Lakers, was asked how he felt about Magic Johnson being a part of the group that bought the Dodgers. Bryant said, “I’m happy for him. Everybody knows how well he’s loved in Los Angeles, and he’s started another chapter in his life, another chapter in his post-NBA career, rebuilding the Dodgers franchise.”

I believe this group will work well together to help the Dodgers get back to where they need to be. It was a good thing that Frank McCourt was forced to sell the team, but I don’t agree with the fact that he is not totally out of the picture. So far McCourt still owns part of the land (parking areas) around the arena, which will still bring him in profit. ESPNLosAndeles interviewed Walter who said, “What Frank does have is an economic interest in land, but we control the parking and all the fan experience and that’s of the utmost importance to us.” I feel that if McCourt caused the organization so much money that they went bankrupt and he was forced to sell, then he should have to sale it all. I don’t agree that McCournt should be allowed to own anything that brings in money from the team.

Resources:

http://www.grantland.com/blog/the-triangle/post/_/id/22321/state-of-the-dodgers-crime-does-pay

http://espn.go.com/los-angeles/mlb/story/_/id/7747476/los-angeles-dodgers-sale-magic-johnson-praised-deal-dissected

http://espn.go.com/los-angeles/mlb/story/_/id/7745566/los-angeles-dodgers-selling-team-magic-johnson-group-2b

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Josh Hamilton Relapsed

Josh Hamilton with the Texas Rangers had been sober for three years before he relapsed last Monday night. He was out at a restaurant in Dallas where he ordered three or four drinks. Then he said he called his teammate Ian Kinsler to come join him, but he kept the drinks he had a secret. When Kinsler came Hamilton did not drink in front of him. After the restaurant closed they continued their conversation at a place across the street. Then after thirty minutes Kinsler took Hamilton to where he said,  “I needed to be” and made sure Hamilton was not thinking of going back out. Even though Hamilton told his teammate he wouldn’t, Hamilton went back out and had more drinks. Josh Hamilton said that no drugs were involved and has taken two drug-tests since his relapse the night of January 30, 2012, and has already made plans to meet with the right people and get the help he needs. Hamilton has also scheduled an apology conference at the Ballpark Friday February 3, 2012. He spoke in front of media and others with no script or notes and did not take questions. Hamilton wanted his apology to be from the heart.

Hamilton is a great baseball player with a career .308 batting average (gets 308 base hits out of 1,000 times at bat), 118 home runs, and 425 RBI (Runs Batted In). His life thus far has been filled with many ups and downs.

Josh Hamilton was a very talented baseball player in high school. In 1999 from high school Hamilton was drafted to Tampa Bay who then sent him to play in their minor league teams. Hamilton played so well on these teams that he was moved up quickly from Princeton Pirates of the Appalachian to Class-A Hudson Valley to the Charleston River Dogs. While with the Charleston River Dogs in July Hamilton injured his knee when chasing a fly ball. He had a torn lateral meniscus and needed arthroscopic surgery that some people said should end his career.

Hamilton still planned to play again but in February of 2001 he and his parents were hit by a dump truck that ran a red light. In this accident Hamilton hurt his back and his parents received injuries as well. Hamilton’s parents  had to return to their home town so that Hamilton’s mother could get the medical treatment and help she needed for her injuries. Hamilton stayed in Florida and was on his own for the first time in his life. Hamilton was with Class-AA Orlando by this time but his back was not completely healed. He was still feeling a lot of pain. While not getting to play much and having extra time on his hands, Hamilton fell into a crowd that made bad decisions and started experimenting with drugs and alcohol. He continued his career with having more injuries and experimented more and more with drugs and alcohol. Hamilton was then banned from baseball in 2003 for refusing to take drug-tests.

After all this Hamilton looked to meet with Mike Chadwick, a man who gave lectures on how he himself overcame the addiction of drugs and alcohol. During the time of talking with Mike, Hamilton got to know Mike’s daughter Katie and fell in love. They got married and before the birth of their first-born Hamilton got back into drugs. About a month after his daughter was born Josh Hamilton vowed he took his last drink on October 6, 2005 and cleaned himself up.

In January 2006 Roy Silver heard Hamilton was cleaning up so Roy offered Hamilton a job cleaning restrooms and taking care of the field at The Winning Inning complex. Hamilton was also allowed to use the training facilities. After this the League heard about Hamilton and were very impressed. They allowed him back into the Major Leagues but required him to have a drug-test three times each week. Hamilton made his debut in 2007 with Cincinnati who then traded him to the Rangers in 2008.

Josh stayed sober till January of 2009 when he had his first relapse. Right after, Josh took the right actions and got the help he needed. Hamilton then stayed sober for 3 years till his second relapse last Monday on January 3oth. Hamilton has not given a specific reason for his relapse but said it was due to “personal reasons.” This past year has been a pretty rough year for Hamilton. Some of the things he has been through this year include:

  1. Back in July Hamilton threw a foul ball into the stands where a fan reached too far over the rail and fell. He passed away shortly after. The man had attended the game with his son who was standing next to him as his father fell. I do not believe in any way that this was Hamilton’s fault, but I could not imagine how this would weigh on someone in Hamilton’s position.
  2. The Texas Rangers went to the World Series for the second time and lost yet again. This time they were so close and were one out away from winning it all, but lost. I bet this would be heartbreaking to be so close to a goal like that for a second time and not accomplish it yet again.
  3. Then Hamilton’s accountability partner, Johnny Narron left the team to be the Milwaukee Brewers hitting coach. Johnny was Hamilton’s accountability partner and the man Hamilton turned to for many years and now he is leaving. The Rangers are in the process of finding Hamilton another accountability partner. Hamilton was going to have Mike Chadwick, his father-in-law be his accountability partner, but Mr. Chadwick could not accept because he wanted to stay close to his family while his daughter finished high school.
  4. Last, Hamilton has been hoping for a contract extension with the Texas Rangers before spring training but the Rangers have not yet offered one. I wonder if this has a little to do with why they have not yet assigned Hamilton an accountability partner.

I personally do not know all that goes on with addicts and am not going to try. I feel that Hamilton made his own decision, but I also feel that he has been through a lot. I hope that Josh Hamilton gets cleaned up again, because when he is sober he is a great baseball player and seems to be a great person. I have never meet Hamilton but from watching him on T.V. and hearing his interviews he seems to be a positive and good-hearted guy. I love that he talks about God in his apology and says “my recovery is Christ.” I hope Hamilton means all this and cleans himself up again, but for good this time.

Resources:

http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/news?slug=ycn-10925952

http://espn.go.com/dallas/mlb/story/_/id/7537732/texas-rangers-outfielder-josh-hamilton-relapse-alcohol

http://www.jockbio.com/Bios/J_Hamilton/J_Hamilton_bio.html

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Ron Washington Contract extension

The Rangers have offered a two-year contract extension to manager Ron Washington. Ron Washington has been the coach of the Texas Rangers since 2007. His contract would have expired after this coming season (2012), but now his time with the Rangers has been extended till after the 2014 season unless he is offered another contract extension after the 2013 season. Mr. Washington has had an amazing career as a manager with the Rangers. In the past four seasons he has increased their wins each year. In 2007 they had 75 wins, 79 in 2008, 87 in 2009, 90 in 2010, and 96 in 2011. It is stated in the Dallas News Blog that “He is the first manager in major league history to increase his team’s win total in four consecutive seasons after his initial year with a club.” Also in the past two seasons he has coached the Rangers all the way to winning American League Pennants and getting to play in the past two World Series.

With a coaching record of 427 wins and 383 losses these last 5 seasons, I believe this was the right move for the Texas Rangers. Ron Washington has been a great coach and I look forward to what this season will bring.

Resources:

http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20120131/SPORTS0104/201310331/1129/rss15

http://rangersblog.dallasnews.com/archives/2012/01/rangers-give-manager-ron-washi.html

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Yu Darvish

On Wednesday January 18, 2012 the Texas Rangers signed 25-year-old Japenese pitcher, Yu Darvish. Darvish agrees to a 6 year, 60 million contract. This means he will get an average of about 10 million each year for 6 years. That is a lot of money. Buster Olney with ESPN the Magazine said, “Yu Darvish is the most expensive right-handed pitcher in Baseball history.” Now we will just have to wait till the season starts to see what he’s got and to see if he can handle this Texas heat.

What is next for the Rangers? Rangers have also been meeting with Prince Fielder this month. Fielder is a 1st baseman with a salary of about 15 million last season. But the Rangers also have to keep in mind, their own Josh Hamilton will be a free agent after the 2012 season is over. Josh is loved by many Ranger fans and has played for the Rangers since 2008, 4 years now. Hamilton’s salary last season was about 8 million.

Now that the Rangers have Yu, what can they afford to do now? Can they afford Fielder too? or both Fielder and Hamilton? Will the Rangers offer Hamilton a contract extension? Only time will tell.

UPDATE: Prince Fielder signed a  9 year contract with the  Detroit Tigers for 214 Million. Now we are still waiting to see what the Rangers will do with Josh Hamilton.

Resources:

http://insider.espn.go.com/mlb/blog?name=olney_buster&id=7478521&_slug_=texas-rangers-signed-yu-darvish-historic-six-year-deal-mlb&action=login&appRedirect=http%3a%2f%2finsider.espn.go.com%2fmlb%2fblog%3fname%3dolney_buster%26id%3d7478521%26_slug_%3dtexas-rangers-signed-yu-darvish-historic-six-year-deal-mlb

http://espn.go.com/mlb/player/_/id/5915/prince-fielder

http://espn.go.com/mlb/player/_/id/4652/josh-hamilton

http://espn.go.com/mlb/story/_/id/7498284/source-detroit-tigers-land-prince-fielder-nine-year-214-million-deal

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