Strange number to start you off with...How many pitchers that have started an All-Star Game have also pitched in a major league game this year (not including this year's starters)?
Doesn't that seem a little low? Injuries have gotten a few (Schmidt, Sheets, Mulder, Pedro), age a few more (Clemens, Glavine, Maddux, Schilling, Rodgers, Wells), and 1 is just so friggin random (Loaiza). Feel free to use this as a trivia question...The 9 are Lowe, Carpenter, Buehrle, Haren, Lee, Penny, Peavy, R. Johnson, Smoltz)
Speaking of Mulder, who could have seen his career go up in smoke the way it did? After being the #2 overall pick out of Michigan State, he soared up to the bigs and went 81-42 with Oakland in 5 years before being traded for Dan Haren. Then, a 16-8 season with St Louis showed he was in his prime. His numbers since that 16-8 season in 2005? 6-10, 106 IP, 150 Hits, 91 ER, 44 BB, 55 K - an ERA of 8.15...
More trivia for today...The 5 players who have won a Home Run Derby and an All-Star game MVP? Answer below...
Is the stolen base making a minor comeback? After hearing for years that stolen bases were declining due to the hundreds of home runs teams were hitting, there is a bit of running going on this year. In fact, Carl Crawford's 44 at the ASB is 3 more than Alfonso Soriano had in 2002 when he led the league for the entire year.
Crawford is on pace for 81, Ellsbury for 76, and Bourn/Upton for 60. In this decade, the only players to eclipse 65 in a season are Podsednik (70 in 2004), Reyes (78 in 2007), and Tavaras (68 in 2008). After 3 in 10 years, there could be 4 in 2009...
Where will Ichiro rank on the greatest hitters of all-time list? He should reach 2000 hits by September, which would also give him his 9th straight 200 hit season. His .332 career average is 30th all-time, but 3rd in the last 50 years (Gwynn .338 and Pujols .334). An all-star every year and an MVP as a rookie. My guess is he will be viewed as a better version of Wade Boggs with speed.
Hawks have had a decent off-season and Marvin Williams looks to be close to re-signing. J-Chillz is headed back to Greece, so nothing will be happening with him for at least another year. I think the Hawks are a solid big man away from being a 50 win team. I think McDyess would have been a good fit, but as a consolation prize I would take Joe Smith. A 6'10 34 year old veteran that can still score and rebound while blocking a shot or 2 would be a good fit.
Is this a 50 win team and can they get to the Eastern Conference Finals (franchise has never been to this point, not getting greedy yet)?
Josh Smith/Joe Smith
We should have a good idea of what the Braves are going to do in the next 10 days. Trim their defecit from 6 to 3, and look for them to acquire a reliever and/or hitter. Go from 6 to 9, say bye to Gonzo/Soriano/Vazquez...
HRD and ASG MVP's? Dave Parker, Garrett Anderson, Ken Griffey Jr, Cal Ripken Jr, and Miguel Tejada