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MLB All Star Selection Show 2012: Sport’s Best Exhibition Doesn’t Need More Hype

The MLB has the best All Star game in sports, so the fact that they have a selection show is somewhat pointless. It doesn’t need any more hype.

Seriously, how many people are going to purposely sit down to watch the MLB All Star selection show? Tuning in accidentally or in an unplanned manner is all fine and dandy, and believe you me, that is nothing to be ashamed about.

Between the Matlock reruns, the infomercials and the worst of the worst movies ever made (Snakes on a Plane, anyone?), there is very little worthwhile television to watch on a Sunday afternoon. All of us would understand if you were to be scanning channels, ran across the selection show and spent a few minutes of your afternoon watching in “suspense” as the “drama” unfolded before your very eyes.

That scenario is likely, but who in their right mind purposely sits down to watch the MLB All Star selection show?

If I were to pick up the phone, call up my bro’s and invite them to an exciting afternoon of All Star game selection they would probably disown me.

Me: Hey guys, so here’s the plan. Come on over, we’ll put some steaks on the grill, play a little Frisbee, and then when the time is right we’ll pull the TV outside and enjoy the excitement of the selection show. Heck, feel free to bring your girlfriends and wives too, I’m sure they’ll love it.

Bro’s: Uhh…click…

The point that I’m trying to make here—it’s just pointless.

There’s plenty to gripe about with the MLB—their unwillingness to completely accept instant replay, horrible calls by umpires and the snail’s pace of many games—but if there’s one thing they do better than anyone else, it’s their All Star game.

At the very least, it’s watchable.

The NFL’s Pro Bowl has guys walking through plays at Tai Chi speed or quarterbacks kicking field goals. The NBA’s All-Star game is generally void of anything that resembles defense.

In contrast, MLB has done a great job of giving their players something to play for—home field advantage in the World Series.

This usually leads to players giving it their all, especially players on the better teams in the latter innings. They know that if their team makes the World Series, their play in the All Star game could drastically impact their chances.

This leads to better overall play, which leads to a good viewing experience for the fans.

The MLB All Star game doesn’t need additional hype—it’s good as it is. While most All Star games in sports have become unwatchable spectacles, the MLB has found a way to keep theirs relevant. They don’t need to do anything more than that.

Instead of a ridiculous selection show, why not just put the roster online, give it a few minutes of TV time on ESPN and the MLB Network, and of course let Twitter and the individual teams take care of the rest of the hype.

I’m not sure why there has to be a show where every selection is surrounded by drama, over-analysis and talking heads. Just keep it simple, and let’s get to the game.

It’s much more efficient, and it’s far less silly.

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Josh Beckett Injury: Updates on Red Sox Pitcher’s Injured Shoulder

It appears as if the Boston Red Sox‘ rough season is about to get worse, as news has broke that they are going to be losing starting pitcher Josh Beckett to the 15-day disabled list because of an injured shoulder.

The last update on Beckett’s shoulder was that it was sore because of inflammation in the joint and that he would miss his scheduled start on Sunday night, but Boston Globe baseball writer Nick Cafardo tweets that he’ll be going on the DL now:

This is a huge loss for the Sox, who are currently dead last in a very tough American League East. They sit 7.5 games behind the division-leading Yankees, and can’t afford to lose the best pitcher in their rotation.

That said, the Sox are doing the smart thing here by allowing Beckett time to rest. Any time a pitcher is dealing with a sore shoulder, it’s much better to be safe than sorry, so fans will have to hope the rest will give him time to heal up and get back to normal.

The bad news is that it’s going to be real tough for the Sox to claw back in this division without their ace. Even at this point in the season, every game counts.

The sooner Beckett can get fully healthy the better it will be for the Red Sox. As of right now, it appears as if they’ll be without him for the next 15 days though.

Check back in for more updates on Beckett as they become available.

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Fantasy Baseball Sleepers 2012: Sluggers You Don’t Want to Live Without

Detroit Tigers outfielder Brennan Boesch and Kansas City Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer are two players that you must have on your 2012 fantasy baseball team.

At the moment, these guys are sleepers who can drastically impact your standings within your league. The problem is, they aren’t going to be sleepers for much longer, so you better hop to it.

Here’s a quick look at what we’ve seen so far from each player, how they are looking this spring and what you can expect from them this season.


Brennan Boesch, OF, Detroit Tigers

Boesch arguably has one of the prettiest left-handed swings you’ll see in the MLB. When he makes contact with the ball, he absolutely wails on it, and he has the potential to be a pure power hitter.

The problem with him has been his inconsistencies. He’s started off hot for two years now, but couldn’t keep the momentum going, ending last season with a broken hand.

When he’s on, though, he could be rather dangerous. Boesch has hit a great .274 with a slugging percentage of .629 and six home runs this spring, and he should see a lot of good pitches batting in front of guys like Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder this season.

This is his third season in the pros, and with the teammates he’s got around him, I expect him to play loose and comfortable. All he needs to do is make contact. When he does, great things happen.

He’ll knock in at least 20 bombs in 2012 and rack up a ton of RBI. This is a guy you need on your team.


Eric Hosmer, 1B, Kansas City Royals

Hosmer is a name that you better get used too, because he’s going to be the real deal for the Royals.  

He’s one of the hottest players in spring training right now, hitting a blazing .429 with 30 hits, 28 RBI, five home runs and a SLG of .757.

Hosmer is going to be a sleeper for about the next five minutes, so you may want to snag him while you can in your league.

The Royals are going to need a lot of hits to keep up in the AL Central this season, so they’re going to need Hosmer to step up.

What we’ve seen from him this spring would suggest that he’s a legitimate big league talent. I’d expect 25 home runs and a whole bundle of RBI. He’ll be one of the better hitters in the AL this season.


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Fantasy Baseball Sleepers 2012: Detroit Tigers You Must Have on Your Roster

The Detroit Tigers will be the best team in baseball in 2012, so if you’re looking for fantasy baseball sleepers, they are probably a good roster to check out.

Superstars like Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder are given fantasy studs, but they aren’t the only players on this roster that put up big numbers.

Catcher Alex Avila had a breakout year last season with a .295 batting average, 19 home runs, 82 RBI and .389 OBP, so he’s going to be a fantasy favorite.

And then there are the pitchers. With Justin Verlander, Doug Fister and Jose Valverde being the big-name arms, the Tigers pitching staff is obviously jam packed with must-have arms.

Who will be the sleepers on this year’s team, though?

Once you get to the later rounds of your draft, you will need to have player or two that can produce big numbers at a good value.

I’d keep an eye on these two Tigers for the sleeper pick role:


Brennan Boesch:

Do you remember when Boesch had that exceptional start to his rookie season and absolutely looked like a stud?

This kid’s got one of the nicest left-handed swings you’ll ever see in the MLB, and he’s full of raw potential and talent. The problem with Boesch is his consistency, and he missed the playoffs last year with a thumb injury.

There have got to be questions about how he’ll bounce back, but I’m confident in the young left-hander. He can only get better with both Cabrera and Fielder in the lineup, and he’s going to get better pitches to look at.

Expect a big year out of Boesch.


Austin Jackson:

Jackson ran into somewhat of a sophomore slump last season, only batting .249 with 10 homers, 45 RBI and a .317 OBP.

He definitely had his struggles from the plate, but some of his slide may have come from the exceptional rookie season he had and the expectations that were placed on him.

He doesn’t need to be the team’s star anymore, he just needs to play his role, continue to dominate the outfield and get on base.

Without that pressure, I expect to see a free-swinging and very efficient player this summer.

He’s the perfect fantasy sleeper candidate.


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Ozzie Guillen: Marlins Manager Blows Up over Quitting Allegations

Ozzie Guillen has always been a little bit crazy, but he has finally snapped and gone insane.

Can you keep a receipt for a manager? The Marlins may want their money back after his latest episode.

He is psycho, he is nuts, he’s got a few screw loose in his head.

The man’s a lunatic, and I am severely questioning whether or not he is psychologically fit to manage a professional baseball team.

Something is wrong with Guillen, and that may be a very big understatement.

Twitter is a dangerous place for public figures, especially in the athletic world. We see it play out time and time again—athletes spouting off on their Twitter handles and usually making a fool of themselves.

At this point it’s not a surprising thing. In fact, I dare say it’s expected. I’ve never seen a coach do it though and actually—I’ve never seen anything quite like this.

Guillen apparently got pretty upset about the fact that his former pitcher Jake Peavy called him out on quitting the White Sox last season in a local radio interview, according to Dave van Dyck of the Chicago Tribune:

Saturday, he said, “I know he had a hard time, saying I quit on him, which couldn’t be further from the truth,” Peavy said. “I would never quit on a team. … Ozzie didn’t finish the season with us the last (two) games. So I don’t know who quit on who.”

I can see how that would be upsetting to a former coach, so I don’t blame Guillen there. That being said, his response on Twitter was borderline psychopathic. 

D.J. Short of NBC Sports captures the Tweets with the help of Angie Wiatrowski of

I don’t know about you, but I’m about ready to get a straitjacket and call it a day with this guy.

What in the name of all that is good in this world is he thinking?

Okay, I can see where he’s coming from. He thinks people want him to look bad, so he tells us to buckle up and he’s going to spit some truth.


After that though he takes a nose dive straight from possible Twitter rant to possibly threatening people and their emotions.

Killing feelings? Is this even possible?

I’m not sure if Guillen has transported himself into The Matrix or if he’s been hanging out with Leonardo DiCaprio and has learned the power of inception, but either way I think we’re looking at a guy who may have lost touch with reality.

This is not good, especially if you’re the manager of the Miami Marlins.

It’s one thing if Jim down in his mom’s basement wants to tell us all that he’s going to enter our minds and destroy our feelings, but it’s completely different when somebody in Guillen’s position does it.

Something has to be done here. Not only do my feelings feel threatened, but this guy needs to be checked out.

In a few short months he’s going to be leading a team into a MLB season, but I’m not even sure he’s capable of leading himself back to reality right now.

Somebody’s going to have to do it though, and I have all the pity in the world on that poor soul.

I don’t know who it’s going to be, but somebody has to reach deep into the mind of Guillen, grab him by the hand, and slowly walk him back to reality.

He can’t be having tea and crumpets with the Mad Hatter and Roger Rabbit anymore, because it’s starting to get a little bit over the top.

Somebody please go help Ozzie Guillen, or at least give the Marlins a refund.

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Ryan Howard Injury: Very Little Silver Lining Surrounding Hurt Phillies Slugger

The first thing people are going to think, write and talk about concerning Philadelphia Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard is all the doom and gloom surrounding his Achillies’ injury.

Truth be told, there isn’t much good to talk about.

Not only did the Phillies lose the series and a chance at another World Series run, they lost their All-Star first baseman in the process. 

This was a team that entered into the postseason hungry for another championship. Not only did they want it, but they had all the man-power to make it happen.

They featured a great defense, exceptional pitching and a powerful lineup filled with big-time bats.

The Phillies looked set to make a big run, or so we thought.

Not only did they lose, now their future is in question as well.

Ed Barkowitz of reports on Howard’s injury:

The early prognosis on Ryan Howard is not good.

He’s being told that he might have a torn left Achilles’ tendon. An MRI is scheduled for later today.

Howard injured himself on the final at-bat of Friday’s Game 5 loss to the Cardinals. The Phillies slugger hit just .105 in the series and was hitless in his final 15 at-bats with six strikeouts.

“I was trying to run and I felt this pop and the whole thing went numb, like it was on fire,” he said. “It literally felt like I had a flat tire. I tried to get up and I just couldn’t go.”

The words “like it was on fire” have to be ringing through the minds of Phillies fans right now, and they will continue to dwell on that through the offseason.

He couldn ‘t have used a scarier illustration. Howard goes on to explain the situation:

“They think it might be torn, so we’ll see what happens; get the MRI to confirm it,” said Howard, who has had bursitis in the troubled ankle all season. He wasn’t sure if those problems contributed to what happened Friday night.

Howard swung hard on Chris Carpenter’s 2-2 pitch and grounded to second. He took three, maybe four steps out of the box and crumpled.

“I thought I hit the ball better than I did. I thought it was in the outfield,” he said. “I tripped and tried to get up. The adrenaline in me was kind of going. I looked up and saw (second baseman Nick) Punto had the ball and had thrown it and I couldn’t go. I couldn’t feel anything in my ankle. It sucks. It sucks.”

Howard said it best: It sucks, and there doesn’t seem to be much silver lining right now. Reports are out stating that Howard will be out until at least mid-May or June of next year.

This may not be any consolation, but at least it happened when it did.

Imagine if this happened the first game of the 2012 regular season rather than the last game of 2011, it would be disastrous.

At the very least Howard has a whole offseason to heal up, and I think the Phillies can hold on in the beginning of the 2012 season without him.

If there is a silver lining, that would be it.

There is never a good time for an injury, but that is about the only good news you could find in this situation.


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Detroit Tigers: Hottest Team in MLB Doesn’t Look to Cool Off Anytime Soon

In Major League Baseball there is nothing more dangerous than a team on a hot streak, and right now the Detroit Tigers are riding some kind of hot streak.

Simply put, there is nothing or nobody that can stop them right now.

They are arguably the best team in baseball, and right now I have no problem saying that they will soon be the favorites in the American League.

This is not the same Tigers team that we have seen in the past few years.

They have gotten a bad reputation for starting hot, but then choking away the division in the second half. This is not that team, though. In fact, they have been quite the opposite.

These Tigers are getting hot at the right time, but they also have the talent to back it up. There is arguably no better four-five combination in the league than Miguel Cabrera and Victor Martinez.

They have the perfect “pick your poison” combination. We all know what Cabrera can do when you elect to pitch to him, but now the opposition has to worry about the hot hitting RBI machine Martinez coming up right behind him.

Players like Jhonny Peralta, Delmon Young and Austin Jackson are all performing much better than anybody expected—both at the plate and in the field.

Speaking of home plate, young catcher Alex Avila has come out of nowhere to put together an All-Star year and he just keeps getting better!

I’m not even going to get into Cy Young favorite Justin Verlander and his 22 and counting wins, or super closer Jose Valverde and his 42 and counting perfect-save streak. Those two deserve an article all to themselves, and that alone goes to show you how good the Detroit Tigers are.

The Tigers have put together an exceptional lineup top to bottom, and I wouldn’t hesitate to give them the nod in a playoff series. You have to assume that they would pitch Verlander twice in a five-game series and even three times in a best of seven.

It’s hard to argue that those aren’t locks for a win.

Doug Fister has been exceptional since coming over to the Tigers and he would be a formidable No. 2 starter. Rick Porcello and Max Scherzer would be Detroit’s options at No. 3 if they even needed to go that far.

Behind this offense, all the pitchers have to do is keep the opponent to a few runs, and that’s something that this Tigers rotation can do against any team.

Get it to the seventh inning and you have Joaquin Benoit or lefty Phil Coke as the setup men. Valverde in the ninth means it’s a done deal.

You could make the argument that as good as the Tigers have been they won’t be able to keep up with a team like the Yankees or Red Sox, but keep in mind that those two and the Rays are currently beating each other up right now in the AL East. Even the Rangers in the West have to worry about the Angels breathing down their throats.

The Tigers are sitting pretty in the AL Central, and by the time the postseason rolls around they will be more than prepared for whatever matchup faces them.

The Detroit Tigers are the hottest team in baseball right now and I don’t see anything stopping them.

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