Tag Archives: MLB

MLB Postseason 101

MLB postseason starts when the regular season games (162 games) are over, usually in the first week of October. October baseball, also known as the “Fall Classic”, is some of the best baseball there is. But how do you know which teams get to play in the postseason? And what is a wild card?

To fully understand which teams get to play in the postseason, you need to understand the MLB Standings. Read MLB Standings 101.

Postseason teams:

When the regular season games are over, each teams’ win-loss record will show who gets to play in the postseason. Looking at the MLB Standings, the team with the best record in each division is guaranteed a spot in the postseason. This is a total of 6 teams, 3 in each league. There are also two wild card teams chosen from each league. After the 3 guaranteed teams are taken out of the league, the next two teams with the best record in each league will be the wild card teams in the postseason.

For example this is the MLB division standings after the 2012 season:

According to the 2012 standings, the guaranteed postseason teams are the New York Yankees, Detroit Tigers, Oakland Athletics (As) in the American League; and the Washington Nationals, Cincinnati Reds, and San Francisco Giants in the National League. The wild card teams in the American League are the Baltimore Orioles and the Texas Rangers having a record of 93-69. In the National League the wild card teams will be the Atlanta Braves with the record of 94-68, and the St. Louis Cardinals with a 88-74 record.

Tiebreakers:

If there are any tied records the teams will play a tiebreaker game to claim a spot in the postseason. If both teams will contain a postseason spot regardless and a tiebreaker game is not necessary, then a list of tiebreakers will be taken into account to determine which team contains the higher spot. The tiebreakers are:

  1. Head-to-head winning percentage during the regular season / series winner – This is the team that won the most regular season games when the two teams played each other.
  2. Higher winning percentage in intradivision games – The team with the best winning percentage in their own division. In other words the team that won the most regular season games played against other teams in their own division.
  3. Higher winning percentage in the last half of intraleague games – The team with the best winning percentage in their league during the last half of the season. In other words the team that won the most regular season games played in the last half of the season against teams in the same league.
  4. Higher winning percentage in the last half plus one intraleague game, provided that such additional game was not between the two tied clubs. Continue to go back one intraleague game at a time until the tie has been broken. – The team with the highest percentage of wins in the last half of the regular season, including the last game of the first half of the season played against a team in the same league. These games do not include any games the two tied teams played against each other in the regular season. If the teams are still tied 1 intraleague game will be added to the percentage until the tie is broken. (Tiebreakers were taken from MLB.com with my explanations)

Home-Field Advantage:

The home-field advantage is given to the team with the higher record. This means the team with the higher record will get more games played on their home field than the team with the smaller record. If the two teams are tied then the list of tiebreakers will be used to determine which team will get home field advantage. But as the series progress the home-field advantage rules change. I will explain as I explain each series in the Postseason Series section.

Postseason Matchups:

First, each league will play the teams in their own league until only one team in left. Then that team will play the team of the other league in the final series of the postseason. For each league, the team with the best record will take the 1st seed, the second best record is the 2nd seed and the 3rd best record will have the 3rd seed. To start the postseason the two wild cards in each league will play one another. The winner of that game will move on to the first full round of the MLB playoffs. The wild card team will play the 1st seed, and the 2nd seed will play the 3rd.

To further understand the matchups here is a look at the 2012 bracket before the postseason started:

Postseason Series:

There are 4 series/rounds in the MLB postseason:

  1. Wild Card – The two wild card teams in each division will play each other in 1 game, a winner-take-all game. This game will take place on the home field of the team with the higher record. The winner of that game will move on to the division series.
  2. Division Series: American League Division Series (ALDS) and National League Division Series (NLDS) – The 1st seed team will play the wild card team, and the 2nd seed will play the 3rd seed in a best-of-five series. The first team to win 3 games will advance to the league conference series. The home-field advantage is given to the team with the higher record. There are two different formats to play this series, 2-2-1 or 2-3. Usually it is the 2-2-1 format where the team with home-field advantage will host games 1, 2 and 5; and the other team will host games 3 and 4. This year, 2012, the format was changed to 2-3. The 2-3 format is when the team with home-field advantage will host games 3, 4, and 5; and the opposing team will host games 1 and 2.
  3. Conference Series: American League Conference Series (ALCS) and National League Conference Series (NLCS) – The two teams in each league will play each other in a best-of-seven series. This means the first team to win 4 games will progress to the World Series. In this series the home-field advantage is given to the team with the higher record unless a wild card team has advanced and is playing a division winning team with a lower record, in which the home-field advantage is given to the division winning team. This series is played in a 2-3-2 format. The team with home-field advantage will host games 1, 2, 6, and 7; while the opposing team hosts games 3, 4, and 5.
  4. World Series Championship – the conference series winners, or league winners, will play each other in a best-of-seven series played in the same 2-3-2 format. The first team to win 4 games will be the season champions. In this series the home-field advantage is given to the league that won the All-Star game played earlier that year. The team with home-field advantage will host games 1, 2, 6, and 7; while the opposing team hosts games 3, 4, and 5.

The winner of the World Series is the Championship team for that season. The winners are presented with the Commissioner’s Trophy after the last game is played.

Resources:

http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/standings/postseasonpicture.jsp

http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/standings/

http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20120907&content_id=38029316&vkey=news_mlb_nd&c_id=mlb

http://baseball.about.com/od/seasonstructur1/tp/playoffsformat.htm

http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20120907&content_id=38029316&vkey=news_mlb_nd&c_id=mlb

http://baltimore.orioles.mlb.com/schedule/index.jsp?c_id=bal#y=2012&m=10&calendar=DEFAULT

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Beltre Hit 3 Home Runs!

Last night the Rangers played the Baltimore Orioles and won 12-3. What a great night for the Rangers and for Adrian Beltre who was the star of the game. When it came to hitting, Beltre has been in a slump for quite some time hitting .244 in his last 31 games, but has been working hard to improve. Beltre said, “I’ve been kind of struggling for a couple of weeks. I’ve been working in the cages trying to find a comfort zone with my feet and hands.” Beltre must have found that comfort zone because his slump came to an exciting end last night when he hit 3 home runs in just 3 innings.

Beltre hit his first homer as the leadoff batter in the 2nd inning that took the Rangers to a 1-0 lead. At the end of the third inning the game was tied 1-1. In the 4th inning the Rangers came to life and Beltre really brought the heat. Beltre hit two home runs in one inning, which were both two-run shots that allowed Hamilton and of course Beltre to score. With the help of a few other Rangers the score was 10-1 at the end of the 4th. Beltre was now the second Ranger to ever hit two home runs in one inning, and had a chance to become the 17th player to ever hit 4 home runs in one game if he could just hit one more. The 16th player to have a four-home-run game was Beltre’s teammate Josh Hamilton on May 8, 2012 in a game also against the Orioles. Beltre had one chance in the 6th and one in the 8th inning to get that 4th home run, but he just didn’t do it. Beltre said, “I’m trying to hit a home run. I got a pitch to hit, too, but I couldn’t do it.”

Rangers manager Ron Washington said, “It was a fantastic night. I was hoping for him to get a fourth one also, but it didn’t work.”

Even though Beltre did not get that fourth home run it was still a great night for Adrian Beltre. Beltre helped lead his team to a 12-3 win over the Orioles and had 2 RBIs. Beltre now has 22 home runs this season and has a batting average of .462 in his last three games, which means in the last three games he is hitting every 6 out of 13. Keep it up Beltre!

Resources:

http://texas.rangers.mlb.com/team/player.jsp?player_id=134181

http://mlb.sbnation.com/2012/8/22/3261745/adrian-beltre-three-home-runs-texas-rangers-baltimore-orioles

http://scores.espn.go.com/mlb/playbyplay?gameId=320822113&full=0&inning=9

http://scores.espn.go.com/mlb/recap?gameId=320822113

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Roy Oswalt is back in the Major League

Roy Oswalt is a right-handed pitcher for the Texas Rangers. Oswalt was born on August 29, 1977. In 1996 the Houston Astros drafted Oswalt in the 23rd round of the amateur draft. Then Oswalt signed a contract with the Astros on May 18, 1997, but did not have his major league debut until May 6, 2001. Oswalt played for the Astros for 9 1/2 years (2001-2010) before he was traded to the Philadelphia Phillies in the middle of the 2010 season. From 2010-2011 Oswalt pitched for the Phillies. Then during the offseason Oswalt was never offered a contract by any teams during his free agency. This even carried over to 2 months into the season this year, but Oswalt finally found a team that wanted him when the Rangers got him on May 29, 2012. Ron Washington said, “He brings big-time experience. He’s healthy and he’s throwing the ball well. That’s why we signed him. He can help anchor our young pitching staff with Colby Lewis. We’re looking for him to come here and help us win some ballgames.”

Since then 34-years-old, Roy Oswalt has had 4 starts in the minor leagues. The Rangers and Oswalt felt it would be best to start him in the minor leagues to help build up his arm strength before joining the Rangers. Last Sunday on June 17, 2012 Roy Oswalt, pitching for Triple-A Round Rock, gave up 2 runs on 6 hits that included 5 strikeouts and 1 walk. That day Oswalt threw 100 pitches leading the team to a 4-2 win over Oklahoma City, and proved to everyone he was ready to return to the major leagues. Oswalt said, “The biggest thing down here was to build some arm strength and get back into pitching shape. You can throw a lot of bullpens and lift a lot of weights, but until you get out there and compete against hitters and get into pitching shape, you can’t duplicate it.”

The Rangers and Oswalt felt the goal was accomplished and it is time to call him up to play with the Rangers. To make room the Rangers send Scott Feldman back to the bullpen. When asked about Oswalt’s last game in the minors Nolan Ryan said, “There wasn’t a wow factor to his game, but the ball was coming out of his hand well. I thought he went about his business the way I would expect him to. He was making pitches and doing things I anticipated seeing him do.”

Roy Oswalt is scheduled to make his debut with the Texas Rangers tonight in Arlington in a game against the Colorado Rockies. When Oswalt was asked about his debut and the Rangers team he said, “Everyone that plays this game is looking for competition. You miss that when you’re not around it, and I’m looking forward to it. I’ve been watching this team for the last two years and thought I’d be competing against them (in the playoffs. The Phillies) thought we had the best team in the NL and fell short. It’s just a solid team, and I’m ready to get back on the field.”

I am not expecting Roy Oswalt to pitch a great game tonight, but it will be fun to see him come back onto a major league field and pitch again. I am sure Oswalt is very excited and looking forward to tonight’s game. Let’s Go Rangers!

Resources:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/nationals/veteran-rhp-roy-oswalt-will-make-1st-start-for-texas-rangers-on-friday-against-rockies/2012/06/20/gJQAbLP0qV_story.html

http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/o/oswalro01.shtml

http://espn.go.com/dallas/mlb/story/_/id/8078334/roy-oswalt-make-debut-texas-rangers-friday

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The Texas Silver Boot

The Silver Boot is a trophy rewarded to the Texas team that beats the other the most each year. The Lone Star series or Silver Boot series is an interleague matchup of rivalries, meaning one team is in the National League (Houston Astros), and the other is in the American League (Texas Rangers).

The Boot sort of got its started in 1992 before interleague games were played. The Astros and Rangers started an end-of-Spring Training game giving these two Texas teams a chance to play each other and the winning team would receive a trophy. The trophy went to the Texas Rangers the first year, but it was not as glamorous as it is today. In 1992 the trophy was just a regular leather boot painted silver. This Silver Boot trophy is referred to as Silver Boot I.

In 2001 the Texas teams matchup took to a new level when the two teams were scheduled to play each other in the regular season for the first time, interleague play was now introduced. For the new experience and change the two teams got a new trophy, Silver Boot II. This trophy was a glass cut boot outlined with silver and had a crystal ball under the toe of the boot. Since 2001 the two teams have been scheduled to play each other in 2 series (6 games) each year, and the team with the most wins would take home the Silver Boot or in the event of a tie the team that had the most runs scored would win. In 2001 the Rangers won on run differential and the manager, Jerry Narron accepted the trophy on the field after the game. This was the only time the trophy was ever presented to the winner on the field. The Astros came back and won it the next two years, 2002 and 2003. In 2004 the Lone Star series ended in a tie again but after runs were counted up the trophy went to the Rangers, but when it was received in the mail it was shattered.

In 2005 the teams got Silver Boot III, which is the one still awarded to the winner of the Silver Boot series today. Silver Boot III is a size-15 cowboy boot cast in silver with a hand-made spur attached. In 2006 the Houston Astros won the Silver Boot series to receive Silver Boot III for the first time, and possibly the only time. The Texas Rangers have won the Silver Boot series the past 5 years (2007-2011). It is also looking like the Rangers will win it again this year. The Rangers and Astros have already played 1 of the two series this year resulting in the Rangers winning 2 of the 3 games. The second and last part of the 2012 Lone Star series starts today June 15, 2012. If the Rangers win 2 of the 3 games they win the Silver Boot. If the Astros win all 3 games Houston will win the Silver Boot. If Houston wins 2 of the 3 then it will end in a tie and will refer to the run differential. But that is not the true story here.

This year could possibly be the last year for the Silver Boot III trophy and the Lone Star series. Next season the Houston Astros will relocate to the American League West, the same division as the Rangers. This means the Texas Rangers and Houston Astros will play more games against each other in the regular season. But it is not the relocation of the Astros that is causing talk of getting rid of the trophy, it is more of the fact that no one seems to care anymore. The current owners of the Rangers and Astros are considering the possibility of retiring the trophy because they no longer feel that the two teams are rivals any more. Rangers general manager, Jon Daniels said, “It has to be a rivalry on the field for it to be meaningful.”

Currently no decision has been made on this matter. I hope that the owners decide to keep this tradition going. As a fan, I enjoy the Lone Star series and love traditions like these. I also find it fun to watch these series each year with my friends that are Astros fans. I do not believe it would do any harm to keep the tradition alive.

How do you feel? Do you think the Astros and Rangers should retire the trophy or would you like to see it continue?

Update:

The Texas Rangers won all 3 games agains the Houston Astros in the second series of the Lone Star series. The Rangers win the Silver Boot for the 2012 season.

Resources:

http://texas.rangers.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20120516&content_id=31456234&vkey=news_tex&c_id=tex

http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20080516&content_id=2712533&vkey=news_mlb&fext=.jsp&c_id=mlb

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

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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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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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