Friday, September 21, 2012

S24 Hall of Fame

We have had a somewhat sad history here in ARod when it come to getting HOF worthy players their ultimate recognition, which is trip to The Hall.  Why is this....stupidity?  nah, we all smart as a whip!!  Apathy?  perhaps.....

For many seasons the blog has labored, mostly in vain, to get our legends their due, but this season should be  walk in the park when considering these next 3 guys....

1)  Feast your eyes on arguably the 3rd or 4th best hitting in the history of ARod - Omar Castillo.  For the longest time Mr. Castillo held the all-time best career batting average in not just ARod but in all of HBD!!!!  (The blog is unable to confirm if he still is #1)   We did it things right by getting Ming and Bell into the HOF and now lets honor Mr. Castillo with our vote.   

2) Jack Redmond:   4-time Cy Young winner, 10-time All-star and 2-time World Series Champ.....nuff said!!!

3) Dan Stuart:  3-time Cy Young winner; 6-time All-Star and 2-time World Series Champ....and check the ARod record books.....again...nuff said!!

Both these guys should get 32 votes.....don't embarrass yourself....get it done!!!

Fringe Candidates include (in no particular order):  Tony WeissAlfredo SosaDavid PrietoSal MacDougalNeifi Domingo,    

Monday, September 10, 2012

World Series Recap by cebola

Here we go folks - LA vs. Iowa City for all the marbles......this one promises to be a good one!!
LA overcomes a 4-1 defecit in the 8th of game 1 and takes the 5-4 victory walk-off style. The big blast was a 3-run homer by Shock castoff Alberto Puente in the 8th to tie it, and the game winning hit was by Clay Stanley, which plated Matt Crawford who reached of CF Victor Bennett's error. LA's 1-2 punch at the back of the bullpen, Valdes and James combined for 4 innings, 1 run.

The story of game 2 was the brilliant performance of 37 year-old vet Fritz Mullin, who pitched 6 shutout innings, surrendering only 3 hits. Jamie "Fire" Byrne hits his 4th homer of the post season in LA's 4-1 win.

The Dodgers jump out to the commanding 3-0 series lead on the back of SP Charlie Rushford, who earned his 4th win of the playoffs in going 7 innings, giving up only 3 hits and 1 run. Tony "The Crooner" Bennett delivers a 3-run homer in LA's 6-1 win.

With Iowa down 2-0 in the 6th and champagne a-chillin' in the visitors' clubhouse, the Rounder bats finally come alive to score 4 in the 6th. Sammy Cochrane's 2 run shot was the closest thing to a Dave Roberts moment, and Clinton Puffer goes 6 effective innings in the 4-2 victory that stave's off elimination.

LA pitching did their part in game 5, as Iowa collects only one hit for the game. But that hit was a big 2-run single by Bob Newson, set-up by 2 costly LA errors, one by Geovany Molina and the other by Bennett. The usually sure-handed Bennett commits his 6th miscue of the post-season. Iowa clings to the life raft with the 2-0 victory on a brilliant 8 inning outing by Elrod "Rum &" Coke.

LA goes up 3-0 early in game 6 on a solo-shot by Bennett and a Molina 2-run single off Bruce "Money" Mullens, as the wearers of game 5's goat horns try to make amends. But Iowa puts up 2 in the 5th and another 2 in the 6th to take the 4-3 lead. Light-hitting SS Felipe Andrus (.244, 1 HR for the regular season) hit the 2-run HR to cut LA's lead to 1, Sammy Cochrane hit the double to tie it, and Al Posednik hit the go-ahead sac fly. Vinny Cortes, who was bumped from the rotation when "Money" Mullens returned, pitched 3 shutout innings of relief and Sal Jacobson earned his 4th save of the playoffs in the 4-3 win. Iowa is making the unlikely happen as they win three staight to send the series to the deciding game.

Iowa comes out of the gate strong and pummel Charlie "Mount" Rushford for 5 runs on 7 hits and 2 walks, and they never look back. Clinton Puffer gives his team 3 gutsy innings on only 3 days rest giving up only 1 run. 5th starter Jerry May comes on in relief to give his team 4 shutout innings and earn the historic win, completing the Rounders' dramatic series comeback to defend their title. Curtis Lewis hit his 5th homer of the playoffs, a crushing 3-run job.

LA had a terrific season, and were just innings away from the title. They have a team of veterans with great make-up, so there is little doubt that they will be back to try to finish the job next season. Great job!

Iowa keeps their trophy and all bets have it that it will even tougher next season to pry in away from them. Puffer, Coke and Mullens all return next season, and they aren't losing any of their big guns in the line-up either. For the season, they were tops in the league in team ERA, runs against and opponent on-base %. They were first in fielding % and first in plus plays, and 4th best in minus plays. Runs are tough to come by against this team! On the offensive side, they manufactured runs as they were 3rd in the league in OBP and 1st in steals. All in all, this was another great performance by a great team, as they go 7-0 in elimination games this post-season. Great job Iowa, congratulation on a victory for the ages!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

League Championship Recap by cebola

In the AL, Cincinnati took a 3-1 series lead over LA as the teams got right back to it after each of their dramatic 5 game Division Series victories. In game 1, Cincy takes advantage of a rare error by Tony "The Crooner" Bennet ( who is usually as cool a cat as Bobby Darin was during his "Beyond the Sea" years) in the 8th of a 1-1 tie. Brant Ducey's 2 run double and Cam Weston's 2-run HR were the damage-doers once the floodgates were opened by the miscue. Paul Merrick pitched 8 strong in the 7-1 win.
The Sextons got 6 key innings out of the pen from Al Lopez in their game 2 come-from-behind win. Davey Diaz tied the game at three with his solo shot off closer and former Cy Young winner Travis Jones. Ducey once again delivered the big hit, a 2-run double in the 10th in the 5-4 win.
Merrick pitched another beauty (8 shut-out iniings) in game 4's 8-1 win that staked Cincy to the 3-1 lead.
LA comback began with big homeruns by Colorado castoff Alberto Puente in both games 5 and 6. He had a 2-run shot in 5's 9-7 victory and a granny in game 6's 10-3 thrashing that forced the rubber match.
LA worked its formula for victory to a tee in game 7, as they got 6 workable innings from starter Charlie Rushford, who then turned it over to ace reliever Carlos "Exxon" Valdes for 2 scoreless. The LA big bats did their part by banging out 17 hits in the 8-3 win that decided the series. Clay Stanley belted 2 homers and Jamie "Fire" Byrne hit one as well. Paul Merrick just didn't have enough in the tank in his third start of the series.

Another great season by the Sextons. The foundation of the team is sound and in its prime, and ownership knows how to add the extra pieces as needed. Great job, sir Sexton!

In the NL, Helena took 2 out of the first three in a series of dramatic nailbiters. The run differentail in those first 3 was Helena +2. In game 1, Helena saw their 6-1 lead disappear in the 8th on a big hit by Sam Cochrane, only to win it in the 9th on a couple RBI hits by Leon Justice and Barolo Posado (4 RBI for the game.)
In game 2, Iowas scored single runs in the 7th, & 8th to tie it, and then again in the 10th in their walk-off 3-2 win. Chris Cust hit the game-winning solo blast. Iowa's lock-down bullpen pitched 4 scoreless in support of starter Elrod "Rum and" Coke.
In game 3, it was touche for Helena as they spoil Bruce Mullens's return from the DL. He obviously wasn't affected by the layoff, as he throws 7 innings of 1-hit shutout ball. But Cristobal Chavez is the walk-off hero as he erases a 2-o defecit with a 3-run blast in the bottom of the 9th.
From this point, the series belonged to Iowa, as they again get 7 shutout innings from their starters in each of the next 2 games. Clinton Puffer in game 4 and Elrod "Rum and" Coke in 5.
Helena got out of the gate quickly with their backs against the wall in game 6, as they score 3 in the first on homers by Gerald Hull and Hersh Glynn, only to see Iowa answer right back with 4 in the bottom half. Gary Girardi's 3 run homer was the crushing blow, sending Paul Cintron to the early shower. But Ronald "Third Degree" Byrne pitched brilliantly out of pen for Helena (4 2/3, 1 hit, 0 runs) to allow his teammate, Cristobal Chavez to tie it up with another dramatic PH homer in the 8th. But the game and series ends in a way nobody could have expeced. Curtis Lewis gets into scoring position with a key steal in the 11th inning, and with all of Iowa's position players burned, reliever Carlton Magee is forced to bat for himself in the key situation. He delivers the walk-off single, advancing Iowa to their second consecutive World Series.

Helena came out the the bowels of rebuild to shock the World and win two playoff series against tough opponents, and gave the champs a run for their money. Without a couple of key injuries during the playoffs, who knows what may have been?! By the way mtg, I considered your wish to have tmantom see your team now and sitemailed your team link to him. Whether he got it or not, we shall probably never know! Great job, sir!