Author Archive

2011 Baseball Hall of Fame: In or Out?

With the 2010 class recently inducted, we can look forward to the 2011 class. 

There are really only two surefire locks to be inducted in 2011, and one tossup first ballot.

Here is a list of candidates who will appear on the ballot and whether or not they will get inducted in 2011. 

This is not indicative of whether or not they’ll get in at all, JUST in 2011.

Begin Slideshow

American League Prime Nine: MVP Update

The hunt for October is coming ever closer. With each day, it’s becoming more clear who is making a move in the MVP race and who is fading out of the race. Division leaders keep changing and these players are responsible for playoff pushes.

Here’s the weekly update on the top nine Most Valuable Player candidates in the American League.

Begin Slideshow

Justin Morneau is More Valuable to the Minnesota Twins Than Joe Mauer

I’ve said it over and over : Justin Morneau is more valuable to the Twins than Joe Mauer. Before recognition this year, Morneau was always shafted in terms of attention due to the depth of first basemen in the American League.

Morneau has consistently been a top-tier first baseman, but overshadowed by the likes of Mark Teixeira, Kevin Youkilis, and Carlos Pena.

If that wasn’t bad enough, he didn’t even get the most attention on his own team, despite being the Twins’ best player. Joe Mauer, after his marvelous 2009 season, continues to be one of the most popular players in America, even when he isn’t performing.

Mauer signed the fourth largest contract in MLB history in the offseason, netting a whopping $184 million over eight years. So in 2012 and 2013, Mauer will be netting $16 million more than Morneau.

Now Mauer isn’t having a bad season by any means, and is still the best catcher in the American League. But his numbers have dipped from last year. Here’s a comparison for what he’s on pace for this year and his last year numbers.

Stat ’09 ’10(pr)
BAvg .365 .313
HR 28 10
RBI 96 87
OPS 1.031 .850

Mauer’s numbers are all projected to be down, despite him missing a month of baseball in 2009. I am not saying Mauer isn’t a great player. However, after signing that huge contract, it is clear he is underperforming.

While Morneau is on the disabled list with a concussion, he is second in the AL in OPS (1.055) and third in batting average (.345). He’s got 18 home runs and 56 RBI in only 81 games played this season.

Now why is Morneau valuable than Mauer? It’s clear by Morneau’s absence. In games without Morneau this year against teams with a .500+ record, the Twins are 4-7. In games with Morneau against teams with a .500+ record, the Twins are 30-22. The Twins win tough games with Morneau and lose them without him.

In contrast, in games with Mauer against teams with a .500+ record, the Twins are 28-25. In games without Mauer against teams with a .500+ record, the Twins are 5-0. The Twins can win without Mauer. They cannot win without Morneau.

Before you say the Twins have been on a hot streak as of late with Mauer and without Morneau, we need to recognize that their opponents were against three of the worst teams in baseball in Seattle, Kansas City, and Baltimore.

So whenever Justin Morneau’s next contract extension talk comes up, his deal should be just bigger than Mauer’s. But it won’t be.

Read more MLB news on

The Top 20 American League MVP Candidates

With a lot of teams 100 games into the season, it’s starting to get clearer who is in contention for the American League Most Valuable Player award.

All of these players come from winning teams, and most come from teams that are in playoff contention.

Just Missed: Torii Hunter (Los Angeles Angels) and Vernon Wells (Toronto Blue Jays).

Begin Slideshow

Chicago White Sox Should Reacquire Scott Podsednik

EDIT: Scott Podsednik has since been traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The Chicago White Sox made a big mistake this past offseason. Needing a lead-off hitter, Kenny Williams had to decide whether or not to bring back Scott Podsednik.

Williams decided not to cede to Podsednik’s request for a multi-year deal. Now, the White Sox are paying Juan Pierre almost double Podsednik’s current salary to be a scrub.

Take a look at their numbers up to this point in the season:

Pierre: .256 avg, 0 HR, 21 RBI, .326 OBP, 37 SB, 12 CS
Podsednik: .311 avg, 5 HR, 44 RBI, .354 OBP, 30 SB, 12 CS

The big postive for Pierre, he can steal bases. But Podsednik also can steal bases, while both are caught stealing at a high level.

With Alex Rios and Paul Konerko bringing their consistent bats to the lineup, they need somebody ahead of them that can get on base so they can be driven in.

Besides playing the lead off role, it’s nice to have a player that can provide an occasional pop and clutch hit. Pierre has not always been reliable to drive in runs when he has the opportunity. Pierre is batting .257 with runners in scoring position while Podsednik is batting 70 points higher at .327 with runners in scoring position.

Slugging isn’t as important for a leadoff hitter, but it’s hard to ignore the difference between these two. Pierre is slugging .287 with ten doubles, one triple, and no home runs. Podsednik is slugging .401 with eight doubles, six triples, and five home runs.

Don’t forget Podsednik likes to hit at US Cellular field. In 25 at-bats there this year, he’s hitting .400 with a 1.063 OPS.

I’m not saying this should be the White Sox’s top priority. They’re interested in a left-handed power bat (Adam Dunn or Prince Fielder) and they should focus on that. But if they can’t get one of those two players, they should improve their lineup at the top.

Read more MLB news on

Tampa Bay Rays Midseason Report Card

The Rays were the best team early in the season, and they stumbled out of first place into third. However, via a sweep of the Red Sox, the Rays are back comfortably in second place.

How’d that happen? Here are the grades for the players of the Rays in the first half of 2010.

Begin Slideshow

Kevin Youkilis Not In The All-Star Game: Blame David Ortiz

The tweet world is up in arms. The fan-selected All-Star starting first baseman, Justin Morneau of the Minnesota Twins, has withdrawn from the All-Star Game with concussion-like symptoms.

AL Manager Joe Girardi moved up Detroit Tigers slugger Miguel Cabrera to the starting role and has selected Chicago White Sox slugger Paul Konerko as an injury replacement to the team.

Girardi has been accused of “hating the Red Sox” with this “biased” selection and that “Youkilis was clearly snubbed.”

Except for the fact that this implies Konerko was undeserving, Paul Konerko deserved to go over Kevin Youkilis. Compare the statistics.

Stats Youkilis Konerko
BA .293 .299
HR 18 20
RBI 57 63
OPS .987 .942

Konerko is also better when there are runners in scoring position. With runners in scoring position, Konerko’s stats are .298, 6 HR, 41 RBI, and .945 OPS. Compare that to Youkilis’s .259, 4 HR, 35 RBI, and .915 OPS. Youkilis also gets lots of help and protection with Boston boasting the best offense in baseball, Chicago is near the bottom third.

Red Sox fans are going to say that Youkilis is a better defender. This is true and obvious. But not one All-Star has been sent to Anaheim based on their defense. If they want to be angry, they should be angry with the system, not with Joe Girardi or Paul Konerko.

Youkilis or Paul Konerko could have both easily been selected to represent the American League as a designated hitter reserve. But unfortunately, David Ortiz, whose selection is less deserving than Youkilis or Konerko, was selected as the backup because of his position as designated hitter.

This is asinine given that Ortiz was selected as a first baseman for the American League in 2006 and 2007 when he primarily played designated hitter. He played a total of 17 games at first base during those two years!

So while Konerko and Youkilis should both be going to Anaheim, there’s only room for one, and it was Konerko. Both could have gone with one of them in the DH position, like the NL choosing random players for the DH, but the system is broken.

Read more MLB news on

MLB All-Star Game Snubs

It’s that time of year again: selection Sunday. And of course, fans everywhere are questioning the roster choices.

I consider being placed on the final ballot a snub, because there’s an 80 percent chance they won’t make it.

Here’s who was snubbed for the 2010 Major League Baseball All-Star Game.

Begin Slideshow

MLB All-Star Game: Final American League Ballot

The All-Star selection show is on Sunday. Inevitably, there are going to be some snubs (whether it be due to fan voting or the “every team must be represented” rule).

As of today, here are who should be the 34 All-Stars for the American League in Anaheim this year.

Begin Slideshow

MLB Prime Nine: Top Candidates for AL MVP

It’s never too early to determine who is at least in the running for awards in Major League Baseball. Sports Illustrated recently put out a column stating there are only three major candidates for the AL MVP.

I call shenanigans. There is one clear-cut deserving front-runner now, but there also at least eight others who are in the running.

We know that players go through hot and cold streaks, so here are the top nine candidates for the AL MVP.

Apologies to: Alex Rios (CHW), Magglio Ordonez (Det), Nick Swisher (NYY), Torii Hunter (LAA), and Kevin Youkilis (Bos).

Begin Slideshow

Copyright © 1996-2010 Kuzul. All rights reserved.
iDream theme by Templates Next | Powered by WordPress