Tagged: Joey Votto

All-Star Shame

SInce I began watching baseball, I always understood that the All-Star Game was a big deal. That the players that were a part of it were some of the very best that baseball had to offer. As I grew up and started paying attention to stats. I noticed that every single year, tons of deserving players have been snubbed each year. This year, however, had the most unbelievable snubs out of all the years that I can think of.

Joey Votto-The number one snub in my mind is Votto. I guess leading the league in OPS and ranking near the top of every other offensive stat doesn’t get you what it used to! I do understand that he is playing a tough position to get recognition. Albert Pujols is going to get voted in every year, Adrian Gonzalez was the lone representative of the Padres (More on that later), and Manager Charlie Manual picked his first baseman Ryan Howard.
Jeff Weaver– “The Dream Weaver” has been snubbed for what in my count is the third year in a row. The fact that he was a snub before should be enough reason to give him a bid. Weaver is leading the league in strike outs, and is tied in the league for quality starts. He is also among the top ten in both WHIP and ERA. Oh and by the way, this game is being played in his home stadium. Definitely deserved a spot over Fausto Carmona, CC Sabathia, or Phil Hughes.
Miguel Olivo– Olivo is hitting .070 points higher, has 8 more home runs, and has an ops of almost .300 points more than the voted starter at catcher, Yadier Molina. Olivo is leading all National League catchers in batting average, slugging percentage, home runs, and OPS. 
San Diego Padres Pitching Staff– The fact that out of starters Mat Latos, Jon Garland, Clayton Richard, and reliever Heath Bell not one member of the Padres’ pitching staff made it is a joke. I cannot remember the last time a first place team had only one representative.
Other mistakes
Michael Young deserved a spot as reserve third baseman over Alex Rodriguez. But of course with Yankees’ manager Joe Girardi managing the team, who didn’t see this one coming?
David DeJesus is hitting .324 and has an OBP near .440. Where is he?
The lone Orioles’ representative should have been outfielder Nick Markakis not Ty Wiggington.
Brennan Boesch is having the season that everybody expected Jason Heyward to have as a rookie. Boesch is hitting near .350 with an OPS around 1.000. By far the best offensive rookie in the Major Leagues.
I understand the at least one player-per-team rule, but Arizona’s Chris Young and Houston’s Michael Bourn should had been picked over outfielders like Colorado’s Carlos Gonzalez, Washington’s Josh WIllingham, Pittsburgh’s Andrew McCutchen, or Philadelphia’s Jayson Werth.
Those are only a few of the many mistakes made while filling out these two teams.

2010 NL Central Predictions

Today I will talk about the division that hits closest to home: The National League Central.
I am not shy about saying that I am a die-hard Cubs fan. In fact, I am currently wearing my Cubs hat. I might be drinking the Cubby kool-aid, but I have high expectations for this team. Marlon Byrd hit a home run in his first plate appearance as a Cub and although I don’t think that he will be a huge home run hitter for the Cubs, I do think that his production will more that double what Milton Bradley did last year for Chicago. Consistency will be a issue for Carlos Zambrano, Carlos Marmol, Geovanny Soto, and Alfonso Soriano. However if all of these players perfrom to even close to their abilities, the Cubs will be a force in the division. There are a lot of questions in the end of the rotation and throughout the bullpen, but I think that once Ted Lilly and Jeff Grey come back some of those questions will be answered. Another big key is that Carlos Silva can have a year similar to his years as Twin. If Silva can anywhere near that, the Cubs will have a solid 1-5.
The St. Louis Cardinals remain the team to beat, no doubt about that. However, I do not think that they are the hands-on favorite that most people think they are. yeah they have Chris Carpenter and Adam Wainwright, but after them the rotation is pretty thin. Yadier Molina, Brandon Ryan, Skip Schumaker and Ryan Ludwick are nice hitters–but they are not star players. Albert Pujols is the best hitter in the league, and Matt Holliday is a very good hitter. That being said, the Cards have very little deph, and if one star player gets hurt they will be in trouble. Also, I do not think that Dennys Reyes, Jason Motte, and Ryan Franklin will ever be confused for the “Nasty Boys” of the Cincinnati Reds in the early ’90s.
That is called a segue, folks. Next is the Cincinnati Reds. The Reds have a lot of good young players in Joey Votto, Jay Bruce, Brandon Phillips, and Chris Dickerson. They also have good young pitchers in Johnny Cueto, Homer Bailey, and Aroldis Chapman (who is currently in the minors.) However, with Edinson Volquez out for most of the season, i do not think the reds have enough to be serious contenders this season. Especially with a 1-2 punch of Aaron Harrang and Bronson Arroyo.
The Milwaukee have two of the most feared hitters in the league in Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder. They have a good young shortstop in Alcides Escobar. They also have an young up-and-coming pitcher in Yovani Gallardo. Another plus for them is that they have the all-time leader in saves, Trevor Hoffman. Unfortunately, that is all that they have. I do not think that Ricky Weeks will stay healthy, so their offense is pretty limited.
The Houston Astros do not have a lot going for them. Lance Berkman is hurt and their rotation after Wandy Rodriguez is awful. Carlos Lee has been a very good hitter for about a decade. Also, Hunter Pence and Michael Bourn emerged last season, but the Astros are in no way, shape, or form a powerhouse. 
The Pittsburgh Pirates are still the Pittsburgh Pirates. Garret Jones and Andrew McCutchen are fun young players to watch, but they won’t be in Pittsburgh for long. The Pirates will most likely not have a fire sale at the dead line again. That is hard to imagine since they basically traded away their whole roster the past two years.
1. Cardinals
2. Cubs*
3. Brewers
4. Reds
5. Pirates
6. Astros
I have the Cubs winning the National League WIld Card.