Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Happy National Cat Day

Today is all about the kitty cats.

It's National Cat Day today, October 29th, 2014.

Now, I didn't wake up knowing it was a day for feline celebrations, but that changed when PAWS, the Official Detroit Tigers team mascot, posted this cool selfie today on Twitter.

As the proud owner of two new kitties myself, I'm going to make sure to give extra hugs and kisses to Mr. Paws and Miss Salem today.

In case you were wondering, yes, Mr. Paws was named after PAWS.


Tuesday, October 28, 2014

This Week's Sports Illustrated Cover... World Series

The San Francisco Giants have a 3 games to 2 lead in the World Series over the Kansas City Royals, with Game 6 tonight at Kauffman Stadium in KC.

We always love when baseball makes the cover of a magazine, and this week Sports Illustrated has the Giants Hunter Pence swinging a hot bat against KC this past weekend at AT&T Park.

The Giants give the ball to RHP Jake Peavy tonight on what could be the clinching game for the Giants 3rd World Series Championship in 5 years, cementing the Giants baseball dynasty run since 2010.

The Royals counter with RHP Yordano Ventura in the must win game for KC.

In 1985 the Royals returned home trailing the St. Louis Cardinals 3-2 in games, won the controversial Game 6 and then blew out St. Louis 11-0 in Game 7 to win the only World Series in franchise history.

I'd like to see a KC win tonight, just because I want a Game 7 tomorrow night.

This has been a fun series to watch, as a pure baseball fan with no rooting interest one way or the other.

I hope you all enjoy the game tonight.


Thursday, October 23, 2014

Rawlings Gold Glove Award nominee's ... American League Finalists.

The Rawlings Gold Glove Award finalists were announced today.

This is the 57th year that Rawlings has handed out the Gold Glove to the best big league ballplayers on the baseball diamond.

In this post we'll list the  American League finalists, followed by a separate National League post.

The American League finalists are...

Pitchers... Mark Buehrle, Toronto Blue Jays, Felix Hernandez, Seattle Mariners,  Dallas Keuchel, Houston Astros.

Catchers... Alex Avila, Detroit Tigers,  Yan Gomes, Cleveland Indians,  Salvador Perez, Kansas City Royals.

First Base... Miguel Cabrera, Detroit Tigers,  Eric Hosmer, Kansas City Royals,  Albert Pujols, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.

Second Base... Robinson Cano, Seattle Mariners,  Ian Kinsler, Detroit Tigers,  Dustin Pedroia, Boston Red Sox.

Third Base... Josh Donaldson, Oakland Athletics,  Adrian Beltre, Texas Rangers,  Kyle Seager, Seattle Mariners.

Shortstop... Alcides Escobar, Kansas City Royals,  J.J. Hardy, Baltimore Orioles,  Alexi Ramirez, Chicago White Sox.

Left Field... Michael Brantley, Cleveland Indians,  Yoenis Cespedes, Boston Red Sox/ Oakland Athletics, Alex Gordon, Kansas City Royals.

Center Field... Jackie Bradley, Boston Red Sox,  Adam Eaton, Chicago White Sox,  Adam Jones, Baltimore Orioles.

Right Field... Kole Calhoun, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim,  Kevin Kierman, Tampa Bay Rays, Nick Markakis, Baltimore Orioles.

The winners , sponsored  by Dicks Sporting Goods, will be announced on Baseball Tonight on ESPN2, on Tuesday, November 4th, at 7 pm.

The voting process is made up of a 75/25 (approximate) split among big league managers/coaches and SABR SDI.

Managers/Coaches  vote is Intra-League only, and they cannot vote for players on their own teams.

15 teams per league, up to 7 votes per team = 105 MGR/Coaches votes.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Happy Baseball Birthday... Steve Gierman

Happy Baseball Birthday shout out to my fellow baseball blogger and Chicago White Sox fan Steve Gierman.

Steve is celebrating birthday #38 today, in of all places, Portage, Michigan, where I grew up and went to high school.

Steve loves the ChiSox and runs the blog White Sox Cards.

One of Steve's passions is to get former ChiSox slugger Harold Baines into the baseball Hall of Fame.

Check out his blog, or go to
on Twitter to give Steve a
#HappyBaseballBirthday shoutout.

Happy Baseball Birthday Steve!

Play Ball!

This weeks Sports Illustrated cover

The American League champion Kansas City Royals are on the regional cover of this weeks Sports Illustrated World Series preview issue.

The World Series begins tonight in Kansas City as the Royals send James Shields against Madison Bumgarner and the National League Champion San Francisco Giants.

Royals closer Greg Holland, my choice for this years Baseball Bloggers Alliance Goose Gossage Award, is the KC cover boy.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

BBA Awards...Stan Musial Award

My previous Baseball Bloggers Alliance post on this year's Stan Musial Award was somehow deleted, so here's a quick post to show my ballot.

American League MVP

#1...Jose Altuve, Houston Astros

#2...Victor Martinez, Detroit Tigers
#3...Mike Trout, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
#4...Miguel Cabrera, Detroit Tigers
#5...Jose Abreau, Chicago White Sox

National League MVP

#1...Giancarlo Stanton, Miami Marlins

#2...Adrian Gonzalez, Los Angeles Dodgers
#3...Andrew McCutcheon, Pittsburgh Pirates
#4...Anthony Rizzo, Chicago Cubs
#5...Matt Kemp, Los Angeles Dodgers

Play Ball!

BBA Awards... Walter Johnson Awards

Today I'm finishing up my regular season big league baseball  posts for the annual Baseball Bloggers Alliance awards.

The BBA is a membership of over 200 dedicated baseball bloggers, and I'm honored to be a member of the general baseball category.

Because I write a generic/ general baseball blog I am able to vote for award winners in both the American League and the National League.

My votes are counted in with all the other voters in my category,  and the votes are totaled up for the final votes.

Before I reveal my winners in the Walter Johnson Award  for the top pitchers in each league,  I must be honest to you, my readers, on how I decied the top five pitchers and winners.

For the entire baseball season of 2014 I had no cable or satellite TV service.

My baseball TV viewing was relegated to the few FOX games of the week and the annual All-Star Game.

I was also able to watch some ball games on MLB.TV,  the FREE Game of the Day, and then several Detroit Tigers games the last two weeks of the season.

I followed baseball mostly through MLB.TV, my Twitter page... @freehan11, on my Facebook page, and on Instagram.

I must also remind you, as I try and do every year, that I will never vote for any player who has used steroids, HGH, etc.

So, for instance, I refuse to acknowledge any stats by know steroids users.

I mostly vote for players using basic, traditional baseball stats... HR, RBI, batting average for hitters,  Wins/Loses and ERA for pitchers.

There are two exceptions... OPS for hitters, and WHIP for pitchers.

Yes, I understand I'm considered a baseball stats dinosaur,  but thats OK, I actually appreciate that I still love baseball and its traditional statistics.

OPS and WHIP are SABR stats that I understand and recognize as valuable stats.

There are no right or wrong choices for fans, its just our opinions.

I hope to at the very least to be able to have good baseball conversations with all baseball fans, and will never argue that their choices are wrong...their choices are to be respected , and I hope they feel the same.

OK, with all that said,  here are my choices for the Walter Johnson Award...

In the American League...

1. Corey Kluber, Cleveland Indians, 18-9, 2.44 era, 269 K's, 1.09 WHIP

2. Felix Hernandez, Seattle Mariners,  15-6, 2.14 era, 248 K's 0.92 WHIP

3. Max Scherzer, Detroit Tigers, 18-5, 3.15 era,  252 K's, 1.18 WHIP

4. Jered Weaver, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, 169 K's,  18-8, 3.59 era, 1.21 WHIP

5. Matt Shoemaker, LAA, 16-4,  3.04 era, 124 K's

In the National League...

1. Clayton Kershaw, Los Angeles Dodgers, 21-3, 1.77 era, 239 K's, 0.86 WHIP

2. Johhny Cueto, Cincinnati Reds,  20-9, 2.25 era, 242 K's, 0.96 WHIP

3. Doug Fister, Washington Nationals, 16-6, 2.41 era, 98 K's, 1.08 WHIP

4. Adam Wainwright,  St. Louis Cardinals,  20-9, 2.38 era, 179 K's, 1.03 WHIP

5. Zack Greinke, L A Dodgers,  17-8, 2.71 era, 207 K's, 1.15 WHIP

I did as much research as possible,  combining over stats for as many pitchers as possible.

My goal is to do as honorable job at voting with the information I've collected.

Many fans will say that Felix Hernandez should be the clear cut winner in the A.L., or wonder why Chris Sake or Phil Hughes arent on my list.

Some of my fellow Detroit Tigers fans will wonder why I didn't vite Max Scherzer, the defending A. L. CY Young Award winber, #1 on my list,  and will argue David Price should be in my top five list.

I'm pretty sure no one will complain about the Dodgers Clayton Kershaw as my #1 choice, and I believe the Reds Johnny Cueto deserves his #2 place on my list.

Again, I did my best,  and wish all my fellow bloggers good luck in their voting this year.

My next post will be for the annual BBA Stan Musial Award for leagues MVPs.

Play Ball!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

BBA Awards...Goose Gossage Award

This is my official ballot for the 2014 Goose Gossage Award as a member of the Baseball Bloggers Alliance.

In the Ameican League my vote goes as follows...

1. Greg Holland, Kansasas City Royals

2. Fernando Rodney, Seattle Mariners

3. Zach Britton, Baltimore Orioles

...and in the National League...

1. Craig Kimbrel, Atlanta Braves

2. Trevor Rosenthal, St. Louis Cardinals

3. Kenley Jensen, Los Angeles Dodgers

Monday, October 13, 2014

Hurdle, Showalter win BBA Connie Mack Awards

The Baseball Bloggers Alliance announced the the winners of their annual Connie Mack Award today.

Pittsburgh Pirates manager Clint Hurdle is the National League winner, the second consecutive year the Bucs skipper has won the award.

San Francisco Giants manager Bruce Bochy finished second, followed by Washington Nationals skipper Matt Williams.

In the American League, Baltimore Orioles manager Buck Showalter is the landslide winner, beating out Ned Yost of the Kansas City Royals and Mike Sciocia of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.

For complete story and balloting follow the link below...

Thursday, October 9, 2014

BBA Awards...Connie Mack Award

Here are my picks for this years Baseball Bloggers Association Connie Mack Awards for the top managers this year in big league baseball.

In the American League...

1. Buck Showalter, Baltimore Orioles

2. Mike Scocia, LA Angels

3. Ned Yost, KC Royals

In the National League...

1. Matt Williams, Washington Nationals

2. Mike Matheny, St. Louis Cardinals

3. Clint Hurdle, Pittsburgh Pirates

Next up for the BBA Awards will be the Goose Gossage reliever of the year awards.


BBA Awards...Willie Mays Rookie of the Year Award

It's time for my annual Baseball Bloggers Alliance post.

Each year the 200+ members of the BBA vote on the traditional big league baseball awards as a group.

As a general baseball blog I always vote for winners in both leagues.

We start with the Willie Mays Award for Rookie of the Year.

In the American League...

1. Jose Abreau, Chicago White Sox.

2. Matt Shoemaker, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

3. Nick Castellanos,  Detroit Tigers

In the National League...

1. George Springer, Houston Astros

2. Billy Hamilton, Cincinnati Reds

3. Travis d'Amaud, New York Mets

My next BBA Award post will be for the Connie Mack Award for the top Managers in big league baseball.