The Week That Was in Baseball: June 6-12, 2011
After Derek Jeter, Who's the Next Mr. 3,000? • Will MLB Do Away With Divisions?
Farewell to Jim Northrup and Jose Pagan • Odds and Sods From This Year's Draft
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|All Things Being Equal: Our Picks For 2011
TGG's Eric Gouldsberry and Ed Attanasio give their predictions for the 2011 MLB regular season. Check it out now!
After Further Review: Making the Right Call on Replay
The Jeter Watch: Who's Next for 3,000?
While Jeter’s addition to the 3,000 Club has been viewed as a formality for the past few years, the next nine guys on the active list of most career hits see their chances range from iffy to almost certain. Here they are, with our guess as to what their odds are of reaching 3,000:
2. Ivan Rodriguez (2,835). The (likely) future Hall-of-Fame catcher’s career is winding down too quick for him to make 3,000. Washington is grooming Wilson Ramos as the next everyday catcher sooner than later, and I-Rod’s chances of catching on with a full-time gig elsewhere for the next year or two are unlikely. Odds: 20%.
3. Omar Vizquel (2,823). At 44, the defensive wizard still hits well but has settled into part-time status at best. Though good in a pinch, he’s simply running out of time and opportunity. Odds: 10%.
4. Alex Rodriguez (2,733). He’s not the beast he once was, but A-Rod is still quite active and should certainly reach the hallowed mark; barring injury or sudden decline, he should get there by early 2013, at age 37. Odds: 98%.
5. Johnny Damon (2,640). As long as he stays spry and is given the chance to play everyday, Damon has a shot; at his current pace, he can get to 3,000 before the end of the 2013 season, just before he reaches another milestone: His 40th birthday. Odds: 50%.
6. Chipper Jones (2,548). The Atlanta star third baseman has tailed off over the last three years into a Jeter-like malaise, and he turns 40 next April. A career uptick is possible, but could he sustain it long enough to reach the milestone? Odds: 15%.
7. Vladimir Guerrero (2,496). The .319 career hitter isn’t fading as quick as some believed, but how long can his shaky knees keep him running in pursuit of 3,000? Maybe he can alter his birth certificate again to add a few years to his chances. Odds: 10%.
8. Miguel Tejada (2,336). From everything we’ve been reading, he’ll be lucky just to have his job with San Francisco by next month (unless his Giant teammates keep dropping like flies). Tejada’s just not what he used to be, and he certainly won’t hang around long enough to get to the milestone. Odds: 2%.
9. Bobby Abreu (2,326). Had he not accrued all those darned walks over his career (nearly 1,400 to date), he might be at 3,000 already. Abreu is still a threat, but he’ll need the equivalent of four more full seasons at his current efficiency to reach 3,000. At age 37, that’s a dubious thought. Odds: 10%.
10. Ichiro Suzuki (2,314). Some believe he’s already achieved 3,000 hits if you work in his numbers from Japan. (Quick reality check: Japan is not MLB.) Yes, the 37-year old Seattle hitting machine is showing signs of rust, but it’s too early to tell whether this is really the beginning of the end. Don’t count him out quite yet. Odds: 40%.
The players’ union has formally heard the proposal and is “open to the idea,” but it’s believed that the odds of the idea becoming reality are “less than 50-50.” Possible sticking points include the concept of continuous interleague play that will have to occur with two odd-numbered leagues, as well as which National League team would be willing to move over to the American League (Olney’s report says Houston would be the most likely transplant, strengthening its in-state rivalry with current AL member Texas).
What's in a Draft Name?
Among the more familiar names taken were Shawon Dunston Jr. (by the Chicago Cubs), Dante Bichette Jr. (by the New York Yankees), Ryan Garvey (son of former Los Angeles all-star Steve Garvey, by Philadelphia) and Ivan Rodriguez, the son of…Ivan Rodriguez, selected by Minnesota. Additionally, Trevor Gretzkythe son of hockey great Wayne Gretzkywas picked by Milwaukee, as was Trent Boras, son of superagent Scott Boras (so who’s representing him?); Bryan Harper, the brother of last year’s number one pick Bryce Harper, was also taken by Washington; Detroit chose Colin Kaline, the grandson of former Tiger Hall-of-Famer Al Kaline; and Kyle Gaedele, picked by San Diego, is the great-nephew of miniature legend Eddie Gaedel, the 3’7” one-walk wonder who appeared in a 1951 game for maverick owner Bill Veeck’s St. Louis Browns.
The most bittersweet selection of the draft came in the last round when the Rangers selected Jonathan Taylor, an outfielder from Georgia who was paralyzed earlier this spring in an outfield collision with Zach Conewho the Rangers picked in the second round.
Twit of the Week
A Higher Call for Resurrection
Two Who Had Backbone
Right, Said Fred
This Week's Challenger to Joe DiMaggio
Wounded of the Week
Not on the DL but making injury-related news nonetheless was Cleveland outfielder Travis Buck, who along with his wife was taken to the hospital after being passengers in a New York City taxicab that endured a “minor fender bender.” Dude, no one goes to the hospital after a ‘minor’ fender benderunless Buck’s got an insurance scam going on the side.
Others hitting the shelf this week include New York Yankee reliever Joba Chamberlain, who’s out for the year with Tommy John surgery (leading the ever-creative Gotham headline gods to refer to him as “Joba the Hurt”); A return to the DL for Chicago White Sox pitcher Jake Peavy (groin); yet another San Francisco Giant (second baseman Freddy Sanchez, with a dislocated shoulder); yet another Oakland A’s starting pitcher (Brett Anderson, elbow); Florida all-star shortstop Hanley Ramirez (back); and Atlanta’s Martin Prado, sidelined with a staph infection.
A Day-by-Day Review of the Week:
In losing, the Nationals blew a 4-0 lead late in the game for the second straight day, though they had recovered and won the day before at Arizona.
Cliff Lee of the Philadelphia Phillies becomes the first pitcher on the year to record 100 strikeouts.
Tuesday, June 7
Wednesday, June 8
The Pittsburgh Pirates are trying. With their 3-2 win over Arizona at PNC Park, they up their record to 30-30the latest they’ve been at .500 during a season since 2005. The Bucs haven’t had a winning season since 1992.
The Milwaukee Brewers, down 6-2 at home against the Mets, score four in the eighth to tie the game and win it in the ninth when Nyjer Morgan doubles home Craig Counsell. Morgan is stunned to see his Brewer teammates race toward him in jubilation. Why? Because he thinks it’s the bottom of the eighth.
The Boston Red Sox crush the New York Yankees, 11-5, as Yankee starter A.J. Burnett falls to 0-4 with an 8.71 ERA against Boston since donning pinstripes.
Thursday, June 9
The San Diego Padres, in desperate need of a big-time hitter, call up hot prospect Anthony Rizzowho’s been tearing up the Pacific Coast League in Tucson. Rizzo’s major league debut at Petco Park against Washington is a good one; he triples and walks twice in two plate appearances in the Padres’ 7-3 win. He also needs to get a little more used to the Petco Park layout; chasing a foul ball from his first base spot, he crashes head-first into the first row of the stands, but survives intact.
The Late Show With the Red Sox and Yankees: After a thunderstorm rolls through Yankee Stadium in the evening, the Red Sox and Yankees get around to playing ball. First pitch: 10:32 p.m. Last pitch: 1:43 a.m. Boston wins, 8-3, and is now 8-1 this year against New York, including a 6-0 mark at Yankee Stadium.
Before that Red Sox-Yankee game, the Boston media publicly notes that David Ortiz has never been hit by a Yankee pitcher in his career. The Yankees apparently were reading; later in the game, he gets plunked by a CC Sabathia fastball. Afterward, an angry Ortiz “thanks” the media for bringing up the factoid, adding, “Hope you (bleep)s are happy.”Joakim Soria gets his first save opportunity since removing himself from the closer role a week-plus earlierand barely earns it, loading the bases but keeping the Blue Jays from tying it to win, 3-2.
Friday, June 10
After giving up a second-inning home run to Curtis Granderson that gave the Yankees a 4-0 lead, Cleveland pitcher Fausto Carmona plunks Mark Teixeira in the back with the very next pitchenraging Teixeira and clearing the benches, although no punches are thrown. The intensity of the moment peaks when both managersCleveland’s Manny Acta and the Yankees’ Joe Girardiget into a brief, heated nose-to-nose shouting match.
The A’s, trailing 5-3 at Chicago against the White Sox, are an out away from loising their 11th straight game when the next six batters reach base safely, highlighted by a two-run double by Scott Sizemore to cap a four-run rally and win the game, 7-5.
Saturday, June 11
Sunday, June 12
Kansas City pitcher Vin Mazzaro, who just four weeks earlier participated in one of the worst pitching performances in major league history when he allowed 14 runs in barely two innings of relief work, shuts down the Angels for seven innings at Anaheim in his second start since being recalled from the minors.
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