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MLB: Attending a World Series, and Why Every Fan Should Go Once

It was the same feeling I had as a little kid on the night before Christmas, where no matter how hard you try to sleep, it is physically impossible because you are anticipating the next day’s excitement.

As a kid, I was excited to see what Santa left under the tree, but last week I couldn’t wait to attend my first ever World Series.

Attending both a World Series and an All-Star Game should be on the bucket list of any baseball fan. While we all want to watch our favorite team play in the World Series, it is not always possible; just ask a Cubs fan. However, this should not detract any fan from attending the Fall Classic.

San Francisco is not often mentioned as a baseball city, but the Giants fans are among the best in the game and had the stadium literally shaking with noise at certain points throughout the games.

The fact that the Giants jumped out to a 2-0 series lead definitely helped the atmosphere, as all the fans were in a celebratory mood. I have been to AT&T Park numerous times, but the atmosphere at games one and two was a totally different experience.

There were countless times when I noticed that I had chills, not from the San Francisco wind, but rather from the excitement of being at the World Series.

While the atmosphere inside the stadium was unforgettable, the environment throughout the city was just as remarkable. There were orange and black signs as well as Giants merchandise everywhere I looked. 

The World Series was a truly unforgettable experience and an event that I will make sure to attend again.

I am not a fan of either the Giants or the Rangers, but the opportunity was too perfect for me to pass up. There will be classes again next week and the week after that, but there won’t be baseball for months.


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Don Mattingly to Replace Joe Torre as Los Angeles Dodgers Manager

Don Mattingly will has been announced as the next manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers

Torre, who is in his 29th season as a MLB manager, has resigned as the Dodgers manager. The Dodgers are 72-75 and have been struggling lately.

Torre has managed the Dodgers for three seasons.

The Dodgers have scheduled a news conference for later today where they will name Mattingly as the next manager.

It is still unclear whether Torre will retire or search for another job.

Mattingly has been the Dodgers’ hitting coach since 2008 and is honored to have the opportunity to manage.

“The opportunity to manage the Dodgers is truly an honor. There are few organizations in the world with the history, tradition, and track record of success as the Dodgers. I’m looking forward to continuing what I came here to accomplish with Joe, and that’s to win a world championship,” Mattingly said.

Mattingly like played his entire career with the Yankees. He was a nine-time Gold Glove first baseman and six-time All-Star. He is one of the most popular Yankees of all time.

The Dodgers job will be Mattingly’s first job as manager.

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Derek Jeter’s Acting No Different Than That of a Typical Outfielder or Catcher

Derek Jeter is loved by many and hated by more. No matter what he does, there are still going to be people who hate him and people who love him.

On Wednesday night, a Chad Qualls fastball ran inside on the Yankees captain, and Jeter spun around, acting as if he was hit by the pitch. However, the replay showed that the ball hit the bat and missed Jeter entirely.

Jeter later admitted that the ball hit the bat, but his acting convinced the umpire, and he was awarded first base. Though controversial, this play did not matter in the end because the Tampa Bay Rays won the game.

While people want to get on Jeter’s case about “cheating,” this play is no different than other types of “cheating” that happen all the time in baseball. Consider this…

A batter hits a soft liner over the shortstop’s head. The left fielder comes charging and dives for the ball. The outfielder knows that he has trapped the ball but raises his glove anyway to show the umpire that he “caught” the ball. This kind of play happens all the time.

Sometimes the batter is called out, and sometimes he is not, but either way it is no different that what Jeter did Wednesday night.

Players constantly try to “sell” umpires on things that didn’t happen. No one gets upset when a fielder pretends to catch a ball; no one complains when a catcher frames a pitch after he has caught it.

Those are both considered part of the game and smart baseball. Just because the Jeter situation is something new does not make it cheating. It is just as smart as the other types of plays and should be treated the same way.

The play was crafty, smart, and is now being blown out of proportion because of who was involved. If this were to have happened to either a different Yankee (with the exception of A-Rod) or even a different team, there would be no story. The media and fans alike tend to blow Jeter stories, as well as Yankee stories, way out of proportion.

There is no reason to be discussing this issue, as it was a simple play that showed why Jeter is such a great player.

Players who want to win and who want to get an edge use their resources and take advantage of every little opportunity they can in order to help their team. This is exactly what Jeter did, and there is no reason to ridicule him for it.

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Hank Aaron Takes High Road on Barry Bonds, Steroids Issue

Hank Aaron was recently at the US Open to receive the U.S. Tennis Association’s “Breaking the Barriers” award.

While there he was asked about Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, and the steroid era in baseball as a whole.

Aaron was able to sum up his thoughts in a single word:

“Saddened,” Aaron said. “I’m not a judge and I’m not a juror, and I don’t know who’s guilty and who’s what. I’m just saddened for baseball and saddened for Clemens and Bonds, both.”

Aaron said he hasn’t given any thought to whether Bonds’ or Clemens’ achievements should stand as they are or be accompanied with an asterisk.

“I have too much to worry about to worry about Clemens and Bonds,” Aaron said.

Although Aaron probably has a lot to say on this issue, he chose the humble and admirable route of keeping quiet and taking the high road.

Aaron could have easily caused a media scene. He could have said he feels asterisks should be adjacent to the records. He could have said he should still be the “Home Run King.”

Instead, he pushed the issue to the side and, in a sense, told the world he was ready to move on. He admitted he was saddened by what had happened to baseball over the past few years but was reluctant to go into detail.



Aaron realizes that the records are there and his opinion is not going to change them. No matter what Aaron says, baseball will do whatever baseball wants to do, so there is no point in talking about steroids all the time.

This is something admirable and something that needs to be copied by many others. Aaron made the right choice by avoiding the steroids topic as much as he could.

If baseball wants to move past this issue, it is going to need to copy this approach and avoid talking about steroids as much as possible.

Obviously, they cannot ignore a whole era of baseball and questions will continue to be brought up, but baseball should avoid it as much as possible. If someone is caught using them, then talk about it. When Clemens is in court, talk about it. Otherwise, focus the attention on the playoff races and the rest of the 2010 season.

The whole steroid conversation has begun to feel like Brett Favre in that it is something that never seems to go away.

Thankfully at least one person, Hank Aaron, seems to be just as tired of steroids and wants baseball to move forward.

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Mark Prior Story a Warning To Stephen Strasburg and Aroldis Chapman

Stephen Strasburg.  Aroldis Champan.  Meet Mark Prior.

Although Washington Nationals and Cincinnati Reds fans may not want to hear it, the fate of hard-throwing prospects is all to familiar.

In Will Carroll’s book, Saving the Pitcher, he talks about the struggles and frequent arm troubles that seem to so often hinder the careers of today’s most promising stars.

Carroll states, “more than half of all starting pitchers will end up on the disabled list and over the last three seasons, more than two hundred pitchers at all levels of professional baseball have undergone ligament replacement surgery.”

Strasburg and Prior get all the attention because they are the biggest names and the pitchers who had the most hype. Chapman has avoided the disabled list in his brief career, but the facts are this type of thing is happening far too often and pitchers who throw hard tend to hit the disabled list just as hard.

Mark Prior was the second pick in the 2001 MLB draft and signed for $10.5 million. Fast forward nine years and Prior is pitching for the Orange County Flyers of the Golden Baseball League trying to fight his way back into the majors, where he hasn’t pitched since 2006.

Prior knows exactly what it is like to be Stephen Strasburg. Eerily similar to Strasburg, Prior also faced premature hype, excessive expectations and injuries.

Although it is possible Strasburg comes back just as dominant as before, his injuries cannot be ignored. This is Strasburg’s second trip to the disabled list and baseball fans know how quickly injuries can begin to pile up.

There is hope because Tommy John surgeries have a high success rate and Chapman is still healthy, but the tides can turn quickly and before you know it Strasburg and Chapman could find themselves in the Independent league trying to get noticed.  Just ask Mark Prior.

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The San Francisco Giants Will Win the National League West

The San Francisco Giants will rely on strong starting pitching, a struggling Padres team, and an easy September schedule to overtake the San Diego Padres and win the 2010 National League West.

The Schedule:

The Giants are currently three games back of the Padres with 28 games to play. 12 of the remaining games are against teams with sub .500 records, and another seven of those games are against the division leading Padres. The other games are against the struggling Cubs and the hated Dodgers.

The Padres have lost seven straight games and seem to be trying to hand the Giants the division title. The Giants next 10 games are on the road, but they are all favorable matchups for the Giants. San Francisco will go to L.A for three games, Arizona for three, and San Diego for four.

The Pitching:

Although he had been struggling recently, Tim Lincecum pitched eight strong innings last night and looked to have regained his Cy Young winning form. Lincecum’s one run performance was his first win since July 30th, but it could go a long way towards rebuilding Lincecum’s confidence.

There is no doubt Lincecum has the talent to be one of the best pitchers in the MLB and if last night was any indication of how Lincecum is going to pitch down the stretch, Giants fans should be full of optimism.

Along with Lincecum, the Giants have Matt Cain whose 10-10 record reflects his lack of run support more than his lack of ability. Cain is a dominant pitcher who has recorded nine straight quality starts and is more than capable of leading the Giants into October.

The San Francisco rotation also features Madison Bumgarner who is possibly the best fifth starter in the league. Bumgarner is 5-4, but has won four of his last five starts.

When the West will be Won:

The Giants are averaging six runs per game over the past 10 games and seem to be heating up at the right time of the year. They have won three of their last four and could take over the National League West lead as early as Tuesday in Arizona.

Expect the Giants to win the 2010 NL West and return to the playoffs for the first time since 2003.

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Oakland Athletics: Offense Has Been Found (Temporarily)

Over the past 10 games, the Oakland A’s are 7-3 and have scored five or more runs five times. They are averaging four runs per game and have Athletics’ fans wondering where the offense has been all year.

The offensive outburst could be related to the fact that the A’s have had games against Toronto and Cleveland, but nevertheless the offense is a welcome sight for Oakland fans.

The A’s currently sit eight and a half games back and while this is probably too big of a hole to climb out of, they do have three games against the Rangers over the weekend. If Oakland can find a way to sweep Texas, then the AL West race might become interesting.

Oakland always has strong starting pitching and this year is no different, the pitching has carried the team all year, so it is nice to see the offense step up for a change

However, this recent offense does not mean that the A’s should keep this same team for the 2011 season. Oakland still needs to find a power hitter in the offseason to make sure that offense in Oakland becomes expected rather than surprising.


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Trevor Cahill: Oakland Athletics’ Ace Is Having a Cy Young Season

After Wednesday night’s victory over the Indians, Trevor Cahill improved his record to 14-5.

            Cahill was named to the American League All-Star team this season and is having a season in which he is worthy of Cy Young consideration.

            Cahill currently has a 2.43 ERA, which is second among American league starting pitchers. He also has a WHIP just over one (1.005).

            Although he may be worthy of a Cy Young, Cahill will have a hard time getting recognition because he plays in the small market of Oakland and is not on a contending team.


The A’s are currently 63-62 and eight and a half games back in the American League West.


            Cahill is hardly ever talked about and it seems not many people know who he is or what kind of year the 22-year-old right-hander is having.


            If more people begin to take note of Cahill, he can become the first Oakland Cy Young award winner since Barry Zito. However, it seems Cahill is being ignored right now and it is hard to believe there will be a drastic change in the next month and a half.

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Oakland Athletics Fans Should Be Happy With Billy Beane’s Inactivity

Billy Beane is notorious for deadline deals. He has a quick trigger finger and seems to always be shuffling players in and out of the Oakland clubhouse. However, the 2010 trade deadline was different, as Beane and the Athletics just sat back and watched from a distance.


Some A’s fans are disappointed by the quiet deadline because they feel that if the A’s added a power bat they would be able to contend for the division crown. However, this is an unlikely scenario, and even if the A’s did catch the Rangers, it is hard to imagine this Oakland team making a splash in the playoffs.


By staying quiet at the deadline, Beane is looking to improve the 2011 and 2012 Oakland Athletics. This is a talented group of young players who have had a rough season due to inconsistency and injuries. Keeping this team together through the remainder of the year and the offseason will help the current A’s build continuity and trust in each other.


It is hard to win or feel comfortable on a team where players are constantly being shuffled in and out. Teams that have success generally have a core group of players that know what it is like to play with each other.


The A’s are young which means if Beane can keep this group together, they will be able to build continuity and return to the winning ways of the early 2000’s.


The current team has a great pitching staff and is desperate for a power hitter, but the trade deadline was not the right time to address this.


When rosters expand in September, the A’s will more than likely call up Chris Carter and Michael Taylor. Both these players have promising bats and will help the A’s in the future.


Fans may be upset that the remainder of 2010 seems pointless, but 2011 and 2012 look to be filled with young talent and a fresh start.


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A’s Focus Shifts From Winning In the West—To Having a Winning Season

After losing two of three in Arlington to the division-leading Rangers, the Oakland Athletics need to shift their focus from winning the American League West to having their first winning season since 2006.


The Oakland Athletics went into Texas playing their best baseball of the season. They had won nine of the past 11 games, four straight series, and were seven and a half games out of first.


The Texas series was huge for the Athletics, and they were unable to come away with the series win. Although they only fell to eight and a half games back, they also lost Andrew Bailey due to injury.


The Athletics’ disabled list seems to multiply by the week, and with the A’s appearing as if they will remain silent at the trade deadline, it is time for them to concede the AL West and focus on finishing above .500


While this would normally mean the A’s should be sellers at the deadline, Billy Beane has been adamant that he wants to keep his team in tact, and build continuity for the future.


This is a good sign for A’s fans who have grown accustomed to new faces every year,  because of Beane’s tendency to acquire as many young prospects as he can get his hands on.


If the A’s can finish 2010 strong, build continuity together, and use the off season to get healthy, there will be a lot of promise in 2011.


Oakland still needs a power bat before they can be considered a legitimate threat to win the division, but the team appears to finally be heading in the right direction.

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