Monday, June 20, 2011

Monday Mop Up

OK, it's really hot outside.

If you live here in Jacksonville you know summer had been here for 2 months, as we have been battling blistering heat and smoke from wild fires.

Tomorrow, June 21st, we will welcome the official start of summer with a 100 degree day.

Thanks to all you baseball fans who keep checking back here on my blog.

We just recently saw our 19,000th page review, and I cannot thank you fans enough.

Speaking of the heat, no pitcher in the big leagues is hotter than Justin Verlander of the Detroit Tigers.

Verlander shut down the Colorado Rockies yesterday at Coors Field, tossing a 4 hit complete game victory, his 4th CG this season, as the Tigers beat the Rockies, 9-1.

It was the 1st complete game by an opposing teams pitcher this year at Coors Field.

Verlander's win was his 7th in a row, and during those 7 games Verlander has an ERA of 1.73.

Not so hot are the Florida Marlins, who have lost 10 games in a row, and 18 of 19.

Manager Edwin Gonzales resigned abruptly Sunday morning.

The Marlins are reportedly making gestures toward 80 year old Jack McKeon, the former Marlins skipper who guided the team to the 2003 World Series Title after replacing Jeff Torborg in in early May that year.

As soon as I heard about this possibility, that McKeon would come back and coach at age 80, I though, who does this guy think he is, Connie Mack?

Mack was the legendary manager of the old Philadelphia A's who coached the team until he was 87, more than 50 years.

Oh yeah, Mack was also the A's owner.

The Marlins have had some injuries, most notably to started Josh Johnson, one of baseball's best pitchers, who's on the disabled list.

But the team has also struggled with their hitting.

Eduardo Perez, a former big leaguer, was hired away from  ESPN's Baseball Tonight to be the team's hitting coach earlier this month.

The Marlins are hitting just .244 as a club, ranking them 22nd out of the 30 big league clubs.

The St. Louis Cardinals Albert Pujols is arguably the best player in baseball.

Today the Cardinals are figuring out how they're going to win without their superstar, now out for at least a month, after injuring his left forearm while trying to make a play at 1st base yesterday.

The Milwaukee Brewers(40-33), Cincinnati Reds(38-35), and the Pittsburgh Pirates are all battling the Cards for first place in the National League Central, and had better make the most of this opportunity while Pujols is on the DL.

Only four games separates the 4th place Pirates and the first place Cards(40-33) and Brewers.

Yes, baseball fans, the Pirates are still in the race, despite a team batting average of just .238.

Only the Nationals, .236, the Padres, .232, and the Mariners, .229, are worse.
Remember "Moneyball," 

The best selling book by Michael Lewis in 2003, about Oakland A's GM Billy Beane and his remarkable job running the A's on a very tight small market budget is now a movie, starring Brad Pitt as Beane.

 For more info on the movie, here's the Official Web Site.

The A's developed a lot of good players by out working teams, finding guys like Eric Chavez, and the "Big Three" pitching staff of Tim Hudson, Mark Mulder, and Barry Zito, who were the cornerstone of the A's four straight playoff appearances in the early 2000's.

As is the case with big league clubs who have small payrolls, the club couldn't afford to keep the three pitchers, and now only Tim Hudson, now with the Atlanta Braves, is till pitching in the big leagues.

I love baseball movies, and will look forward to it's release on September 23rd.

The Red Sox host the light hitting Padres tonight at Fenway Park.

The BoSox make a huge splash when they traded for Padres first baseman Adrian Gonzales, and starting tonight Gonzales will be facing his old team as inter-league baseball continues.

Gonzales is easily the leading candidate for the American League MVP, leading all of big league baseball with a .348 batting average, and 64 RBI.

Gonzales is also first in doubles, with 24, total bases, with 176,  second in hits, with 101, 4th in runs scored, with 52.

Looks like Boston fans will be enjoying the play of Gonzo for many summers to come.

Tomorrow I'll be back with Twitter Tuesday.

After missing last week I'll be back writing about baseball fans and sites that I follow on my Twitter page, @freehan11, 

Is your on Twitter, give me a shout out, or just leave a comment below.

See ya next time.

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