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MLB Power Rankings: Baseball’s Top 10 Rookie Hazing Costume Rituals

It’s been going on for many moons in leagues across the nation.

In Major League Baseball, it’s no different. The rooks get messed with by the savvy vets.

The objective? Humiliation.

Over the past decade, hazing has gotten a bad rap, mostly due to the fact that high-school athletes seem to focus their hazing rituals on cruelty rather then good-natured fun.

While most stories involve cross dressing and costume shenanigans, let’s take a look at some funny times in MLB hazing history.

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San Francisco Giants: Why Aubrey Huff, Not Brandon Belt, Is Best at 1st Base

Brandon Belt has received a lot of buzz, and rightly so. The 6’5″ left-handed slugger has batted for a .352 average in 136 minor league games.

In his debut in spring training yesterday, Belt drove in four RBI on two doubles and one single.

But what about Aubrey Huff and the solid job he did for the team last year? Huff is still the guy, but with each appearance by the young stud, Huff might be counting his reps.

Brandon Belt certainly looks promising, but there’s no need to rush the situation. The time will come for Belt to be a rising star, but for now and in the short term, Aubrey Huff is still the right fit at first base heading into the 2011 season.

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MLB Trade Rumors: Why the Giants Must Pursue Reyes, Young, Fielder for Future

The Giants are good to go, right?

I happen to believe that’s the case, and so do most Giants fans. When it comes to a repeat, there’s certainly not much evidence as to why they wouldn’t at least have a viable chance.

The question is how set up will SF be in the future with the sluggers they have, and the ones being raised up through the farm system.

Buzz has circled some of the players I will mention, and it’s important to keep in mind that while it’s unlikely the Giants will make any monumental moves heading into the offseason or before the trade deadline, there is always room for improvement.

That being said, let’s look at reasons going forward as to why the Giants need to get a premiere slugger in place, something they haven’t seen since the likes of Barry Bonds.

If none of this sinks in, then take a look at the videos and be sure to laugh.

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San Francisco Giants: The 10 Biggest Challenges to a World Series Repeat

Is there such thing as a World Series hangover? Do the Giants need to add talent in order to bolster their chances at a repeat? Is Pablo Sandoval the guy that might make all the difference?

These questions and many others will eventually define the season for the Giants in 2011, similar to almost every other team’s quest for the trophy.

San Francisco will just have to wait until all the pieces fall into place before an accurate judgment can be made. Until then, lets look at some pitfalls that may be a deterrent in the Patriots-like repeat journey that is the upcoming 2011 baseball campaign. 

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San Francisco Giants: 5 Ways Pablo Sandoval’s Bat Is the Key To 2011 Offense

It’s the same old song and dance. Pablo Sandoval is trying to improve his habits at both plates, whether it’s dinner-time, or during the season.

Reports have reached the consensus that Pablo has shed over 20 pounds as of Christmas, and with spring training quickly approaching, one can only wonder how long he can keep his goals in sight.

Some Giants fans have written off the panda as nothing more then a marketing ploy to sell the hats, but if you take a look at his red-hot 2009 batting average which sat at .330, the idea of willing to work with him becomes much more feasible.

Let’s take a look at some ways that Pablo, in true form, can help the Giants make a miracle into a repeat.

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MLB Power Rankings: Buster Posey and the 25 Best Players in the NL West

The NL West was arguably one of the best divisions last season thanks in large part to the Giants bullpen and the Padres’ early success.

With young talent running deep, the NL West looks to continue its exciting play and eventually sponsor a squad in a playoff run in October.

Let’s look at 25 guys that could make that a reality, or a repeat.

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MLB Trade Rumors: 10 Reasons the SF Giants Should Deal for Michael Young

The Texas Rangers made headlines recently with the signing of Adrian Beltre. The next question they have to answer is concerning their former third baseman, Michael Young.

Young is not new to big league position changes, however. He’s had time at all infield positions besides first base, although it’s been some time since he’s had to consider a switch. In 2008 he spent time at SS, and back in 2003 Michael Young was primarily a second baseman.

One major hurdle remains. Michael Young won’t be a free agent until 2014, trading him might actually be harder then keeping him sparingly, or moving him to a different position. There has been talk about using him at DH, but for a guy like Young with plenty of years left as a solid defensive player, that might be somewhat of a downgrade as far as his rhythm goes. 

In a recent ESPN article, I came across the notion of Young becoming a Lance Berkman, who was traded mid-season and became a DH for the Yankees. It was obvious that Berkman wouldn’t play first base, a position anchored by Teixeira. The idea of Berkman becoming bored came up, in which he referenced the sheer awkwardness of simply not trotting out to your normal position.

For Michael Young, it may be a good thing. A better thing would be if he could use utilize his talented defense in a city that would love to make him an everyday player. As for now, and according to the Rangers website, Michael Young is officially a DH. I guess the playoffs proved fatal in his campaign to man the hot corner, as he made a handful of crucial mistakes.

Let’s take a look at some reasons why he’d be perfect for San Francisco should his time with Texas in the DH role become unbearable.

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MLB Trade Rumors: 10 Ways the SF Giants Can Swap Young Pitching for Offense

It’s a known fact for all SF Giant fans: Pitching is not a weak link.

But previous to last year’s World Series plight, it was undermined by a possible lack of hitting.

Oh, how we were wrong.

The Giants put together some moves that were at the time thought of as inadequate. As we look back, such moves have proved to be of the World Series MVP quality.

What moves could possibly benefit the Gigantes? I know it’s a story often told, but let’s discuss some trade talk that could benefit the Giants’ offensive potential.

Keep in mind, exercises such as this are purely interpretive. You probably won’t agree, but just remember that sometimes moves thought of as ridiculous do pan out.

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San Francisco Giants: 10 Barriers Between Them and an NLCS Rematch With Philly

The Phillies have been a hot topic during the offseason of 2010-11. Jayson Werth is out, Cliff Lee is in and people are talking about perhaps witnessing the best pitching rotations in baseball history.

Let’s not jump the gun, but on the same note, it may be tougher for the Giants to repeat as the NL West becomes more competitive.

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C’mon, Blue! The 5 Worst Calls in Baseball History

It’s the ultimate variable in sports. It’s the frustration of every fan when one man makes a blind call. It’s simple, however: Umpires are the last true holders of sports destiny.

The NBA and NFL can pause everything and revert to replays. Baseball can do the same, but only in very specific instances. Even though home-runs can now be replayed, it’s only a recent development. Umpires can make a pitchers life hell on every single pitch. They can aggregate an entire city on what they consider to be a strike.

All in all, Umpires may have the hardest job in my humble opinion. That doesn’t mean that they don’t blow it twice as much as any other sport.

Let us take a fun look at the 5 worst calls in baseball history. For sake of this list, they have to have video proof. Little League, as you will see, is certainly not barred from the terrible umpire association.

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