Take me out to the ballgame!

MLB news by week through the eyes of Ricky Rivera.

Month: April, 2014

Sliding into the DL

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 Well here we go again! Last year the big debate was catchers getting ran over in close plays at the plate. It was all about having to slide out of the way of the catcher but still was kind off unfair for someone anyways. All this started after Buster Posey got seriously injured and lost most of the season because of a play at the plate. During previous years the catchers getting ran over had always been a topic brought up, but nothing major had been decided or no new changes to the rule had been made. Until this year where basically the runner is awarded a free path to the plate because the catcher can’t block the plate. The new rule states that the catcher can’t block home plate and the base runner is forced to slide or else he will be called out. In my opinion I don’t know how I feel about the rule. I mean obviously we need to protect our catchers but I kind off liked the blocking the plate deal because it made for some good plays at the plate and force the runner to make a good slide or the catcher to make a tough play. Also I ask myself like what would happen if there is a force out at the plate but the catcher is going for trail runner at first base? Can the runner take the catcher out with a slide or are they both going to get called out for that?

 

            On another topic what I am trying to talk about in my blog today was the famous and old school headfirst dive. As the years pass on we see less and less of this but we still see it. We mostly see it at second or third base while stealing and by fast or good base runners, and maybe sometimes at first. The past week two of the games best players Bryce Harper and Josh Hamilton went down with broken thumbs after sliding head first into a bag. Josh Hamilton’s was broken while he dove head first at first base and Bryce Harpers was while hitting a double. So this raises the question, should players stop diving headfirst into bases? In my opinion I love when players dive headfirst I think you are soft if you don’t slide headfirst. Injuries happen someway or the other so it doesn’t matter how you slide. Like looking at Jose Reyes who last year lost most of the season with an ankle injury by sliding feet first into second base. Sliding headfirst might be more dangerous but it’s a part of the game we all love. If you don’t like sliding headfirst because of these injuries I think they should all just get those protective hand mitts that people that have been hurt before like Emilio Bonifacio and Brett Gardner use. Don’t wait until the injury happens to take care or action about it. I personally loved how Mike Trout said that he would still do it because he plays the game one way and he wont change his style. What do you guys think?

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Homecoming New York Style

Robinson Cano a 6 ft. 212 pound native from the Dominican Republic enters his tenth season in the Major Leagues. He returns this week to the Yankee Stadium to see familiar faces. This year with a little change in his salary and his jersey. After playing nine years for the New York Yankees Cano left as a free agent rejected their offer of about 185 million dollars and signed with the Seattle Mariners for 200million dollar contract making him one of the highest paid players in all of baseball. Cano the leagues premier second baseman had spent 9 years in pinstripe in which he averaged .309 in that span with 1,677 hits. Out of his nine years there Cano averaged only twice under 300 for a whole season. He never played under 115 games in a season and was an All Star 5 times and started four of those. He tied a franchise record with Willie Randolph for all-star game appearances for a Yankee second baseman. Cano arguably is the best 2B in the game and best Yankee for the last three to four years. After a weird offseason when the Yankees decided to let Cano go, he signed with the Mariners. Yes the Mariners, a team that hasn’t made the playoffs since 2001 where the Yankees in the American League Championship series defeated them. For me it was a real weird decision by Cano and like most of us could say, after all it might be all about the money. Like why wouldn’t he stay in New York making 185 millions with the best franchise in the history of baseball where he had won a ring, where people loved him and there were so many Latin’s around. To go to Seattle, a losing team where the field is bigger or doesn’t play as small as the Yankees field. I don’t know as a Yankees fan I didn’t think the Yankees were or had any intentions of signing him because he was asking for too much money but still the Yankees over pay a lot of their players anyways and old players so why not give him what he wanted? On the other side maybe he just wanted too much like an unreal contract. Now days we see these crazy contracts that I don’t understand like a 10 year contract? I think they should be reduced and a max of seven years and there should be a limit in money or salary cap to give other teams with a smaller market a chance to compete and pickup these big name free agents that could change their franchise direction. So this brings up my question to you is it all about the money now? I understand its their job and its their lifes so they “need” the money, but common man 200 million dollars? Like what is there to do with that much money anyways lol. In my opinion it is turning to be more about the money so I think they should be more strict with their salary cap and reduce the maximum contracts to six or seven years.

Got Heeem!

Wow! Couldn’t pass up the opportunity to write about Pineda’s pine tar incident last night. Well for those of you that don’t know, last night the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox faced off on a cold night at Fenway Park for the third game of their series. Michael Pineda was on the bump for the Yankees last night, Pineda who had sat out the past season after a couple of arm injuries has been off to a pretty good start this year with a 2-1 record previous to last night and a 1.83 ERA. Michael Pineda had a rough inning giving up two runs early. Pineda looked like he wasn’t comfortable or sharp that inning. His pitches were catching too much off the plate and his go to pitch his slider wasn’t as sharp as we are used to seeing it. It looked like the cold was affecting him a little bit at least. He comes out for the second inning and has something really noticeable in his neck. He starts going and touching his neck after pitches so Red Sox manager Farrell comes out has a conversation with the home plate umpire and the umpire comes out to the mound where the Yankees infield is there with Pineda. He checks his neck touches it and immediately throws him out of the game. Pineda was ejected and today, the president of Major League Baseball suspended him for the next ten games, which would make him, miss his next two starts. This is not the first time this season has had a problem related to pine tar. As we can remember during his first start he had pine tar in his throwing hand but nothing happened during the game because people noticed it after the game in some pictures. I think this is one of the stupidest things and most embarrassing things I have ever witnessed in Major League Baseball. Like why would you put pine tar in your neck? Such a visible spot and obvious. I don’t know what could have been going through his head when he decided to do this really. He will now pay the consequences but also will the rest of us Latin’s. I think us Latin’s have been embarrassed not only by him in the past couple of weeks but also by Carlos Gomez when he decided to go off and start a brawl in a game versus the Pirates. As a Latin baseball player I am embarrassed by their actions and think that this is why some people don’t like us Latin’s. There have been a lot of incidents with the whole pine tar deal with pitchers. I don’t know if maybe the MLB might need to be stricter and give out fines and longer suspensions for it to stop or what should be done. What do y’all think?Image

Blown Save?

As the new baseball season gets in full swing a couple of things have caught my eye. The MLB is trying for the first time ever instant replay during games. During spring training it looked pretty good, there were alot of questions of wether it would slow the game down too much and maybe make the game of baseball which is already a long one a even long one. But while using it in spring training it wasnt a bad idea at all and it ran smoothly. In some people’s eyes it looked like it could save the umpires and the game of baseball. We all thought that now there was no shot you can get a call wrong with replay. Like I mean you get to look at the play in slow motion and different angles so no way you get it wrong right? Well we all thought wrong because the MLB umpires have already gotten over four plays wrong. Like how does that happen? I dont understand, like might as well take the instant replay off. And how about this transfer rule now? If you dont pass the ball from the glove to the hand cleanly they wont even give you a catch on it. In my opinion this is ruining the game of baseball and needs to be reviewed and talked about soon because you cant just change the game of baseball now. Well back to the regul;ar season, the Milwaukee Brewers are off to a red hot start, lead by two players that needed to prove themselves and had a big year ahead of them. Ryan Braun and Francisco K-Rod Rodriguez, Ryan Braun is off to a good start after beuing suspended for 50 games last year after reportedly the use of steroids he is hitting 306 with 6 Home Runs and 16 rbi’s also 16 runs. Francisco Rodriguez is off to a great start with 8 saves and 16 strikeouts already in the early stages of the season. He had bounced around a couple teams and struggled after his record setting season with the Los Angeles Angels in 2008 with 62 saves in that season.  The Dodgers are off to a good start also as predicted and should be the front runner on the National League this year but it hasnt all been pretty for the dodgers this year. As always Yasiel Puig has been doing “Puig” stuff on and off the field so he will always be a distraction on and off the field. But coach Don Mattingly has a tough task at hand having four All Stars in their outfield with only three of them in the lineup daily. Carl Crawford, Andre Eithier, Yasiel Puig and “franchise player” Matt Kemp. Right now they are all healthy and wanting to play. So my question is who should they get rid off and why? In my opinion they shoould get rid off (trade) Carl Crawford because i figue there is more out there in the masrket for him than Andre Eithier which would be the other top candidate to be traded because of the contract extensions that Puig and Kemp got in the past couple of years. It will be interesting seeing what the Dodgers ownerships ends up doing but its obvious one of them has to go and they still have a solid backup outfield option in Van Slyke. Interesting stuff breaking out early in the year so I will keep track on these things and see what changes come to the MLB soon.Image

Back to the OLD days?

The New York Yankees started their season with some bad news.The face of the franchise and team captain for the past decade Derek Jeter is retiring after this season. Derek Jeter has been arguibly the best player on and off the field to play for the New York Yankees. With a career batting average of .312 and over 3,ooo hits at the end of it all might be one of the best to ever do it period. A year after hitting his 3,000th hit Derek Jeter had an injury full season. Playing on a career low 16 games in 2013 Derek Jeter suffered an ankle injury that kept him out over 80%of the year and because of that the Yankees struggled and failed to reach the playoffs. Jeter suffered the ankle injury during the Yankees playoff run in 2012. Including Jeters injury, the Yankees had to deal with more stuff. A lineup that is usually filled with stars and top players in their positions was never healthy. Last year the Yankees lost Jeter for a huge part of the season, after signing Kevin Youkilis he was out for most part of the season, Mark Teixeira suffered a wrist injury that kept him out as well, Cervilli was hurt most of the season and off course Alex Rodriguez was hurt and suspended from baseball. The start of the 2014 season looked bright and optimistic for the Yankees. This offseason they went out and signed Jaoby Ellsbury, Brian McCann and Carlos Beltran, all three were former All Stars. We are around 14 games into the season and a Yankee lineup which looked to be a solid lineup is back to being hurt. Also the big signing of Japan pitching superstar Masuhiro Tanaka. Alex Rodriguez is suspended for the whole season, Derek Jeter is having hamstring problems, so is Texeira, David Robertson has had groin problem, Brian Roberts has back problems and Cervelli went out again with another injury.  Out opf those players just menitoned the average age is around 34 years of age. For the past couple of years the Yankees have been hurt by injuries alot. This raises my question for you guys. Are the Yankees too old? Should they start signing younger players? In my opinion yes they are but it has been something that has worked for them in the past. As they have won 27 world series rings which is most in the history of baseball. Injuries are one part of the game that you cant control but you can also analyze players injury and health record to see if they are more injury prone than other players. I think tha Yankees are old yes and that they should start signing younger players. But also understand its hard to sign young players now a days when good young players sign big deals in the early stages of their career and get locked up to the team that brought them up.Image