The off-season flew by this year didn’t it? When you’re playing into November, it doesn’t take long for Spring Training to arrive, and now here we are counting down to the season opener in two days!
My friends over at “Diamondhoggers” have a little contest going to see who can come the closest to predicting the 2011 World Series winner! Here’s my contribution to the cause. Why not play along and see how you compare . For sure I’m not making any wagers on my predictions since last years turned out to be a bust! Maybe I’ll have better luck this year. Good luck on yours!
- East Division Champions ~ Boston Red Sox *
- Central Division Champions ~ Detroit Tigers
- West Division Champions ~ Oakland A’s
- Wild Card ~ New York Yankees
- East Division Champions ~ Philadelphia Phillies
- Central Division Champions ~ Cincinnati Reds
- West Division Champions ~ San Francisco Giants *
- Wild Card ~ Colorado Rockies
WORLD SERIES CHAMPIONS ~ SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS OVER BOSTON RED SOX!
Posted in A1 Baseball, General, Boston Red Sox, Cincinnati Reds, Colorado Rockies, Detroit Tigers, New York Yankees, Oakland Athletics, Philadelphia Phillies, San Francisco Giants
Tagged 2011 World Series, American League, American League East, boston red sox, Cincinnati Reds, Colorado Rockies, DETROIT TIGERS, National League, new york yankees, Oakland Athletics, philadelphia phillies, San Francisco Giants
“We weren’t trying to walk him; he just wouldn’t swing at any bad pitches.” -Bobby Cox, on the Braves walking Barry Bonds 7 times in a series
There’s nothing that irks me quite as much as the intentional walk. I’ve always wondered how the pitchers feel about it. If the batter’s a real crackerjack, would they be glad they don’t have to pitch to him or would they welcome the challenge? If the pitcher is a really good pitcher, and has a lot of confidence in knowing he’s a really good pitcher, wouldn’t you think he’d welcome the chance to get a strikeout, knowing he had the competitive edge? You know the saying, “Good pitching beats good hitting anytime”. Personally, if I were a pitcher I think I’d be a little insulted if the manager gave me the signal to walk a batter. I’d think he probably didn’t have enough confidence in me to be able to get the guy out. But that’s just me. On February 4, 1956, the American League announced it would begin testing the automatic intentional walk during spring training. I don’t know when the National League jumped on the bandwagon, but at some point they definitely did. Before that time, I guess the pitcher always pitched the ball and the batter swung, or not, depending on the pitch. Geez, what a novel idea huh? I think here in San Francisco we’ve had a belly-full of the stuff and that’s why I’m a little antagonistic on the subject. Back in 2004, ESPN reported the Giants concessions would start selling “rubber chickens” , appropriately named Walk’r, to protest the number of walks at AT&T Park. The chicken was an instant success and the chickens, if necessary, are still evident in the park today. To illustrate how bad it had become, you might be surprised to know that Barry Bonds today still holds the career record for most “Intentional Bases on Balls” (since 1955) with a startling 645 intentional walks. George Brett is second with 229. It’s highly unlikely Bonds’ record will be broken anytime soon. Here’s some statistics on Intentional Bases on Balls Records, provided by Baseball Almanac:
According to Baseball Almanac
, the one event in baseball that signifies true respect is the intentional walk with bases loaded. The implication, I guess, is that the pitcher is showing respect to the batter by walking him instead of pitching to him, out of fear he might hit the ball. Personally, I’d like to see the pitcher, pitch to the batter and strike the socks off him, or not. Now that, my friends, would command some real respect, don’t you think?
Posted in A1 Baseball, General, A2 Ballparks, Atlanta Braves, San Francisco Giants
Tagged Alvin Davis, American League, Barry Bonds, Base on balls, Bobby Cox, John Olerud, National League, San Francisco