Archive for April 2011

New York Mets are 6-0 with Jason Bay

April 28, 2011

Via ESPN Mets Blog:

(AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

The Mets are 6-0 since Jason Bay was activated from the disabled list. Yet Bay, who is now hitting .391 after going 2-for-4 with a run scored Wednesday, is not exactly taking a bow.

“You’d have to get a perspective from someone that is not me,” Bay said. “And I’d really hope they’d say it was not me. I’ve told you guys before: In talking to Terry [Collins] and Sandy [Alderson] when I got here, they said, ‘Look, we’re not expecting you to be the guy to carry the team.’ What it really does, and it made a lot of sense — and, of course, Angel [Pagan] went down the same game or whatever — but it kind of puts guys in roles they envisioned rather than mixing and missing that.”

…What he has been bringing to the team is a much-needed bat and protection around the lineup for Wright and Beltran. Notice how those two have been hitting better with him in the lineup. Wright is hitting .304 with 3 home runs and 5 walks since the return. Also Bay is a savvy veteran who knows his position and role on the team. They don’t pay these guys the big bucks for no reason. Let’s see if the Mets get #7 tonight…

Hawaii football fans might enjoy this…

April 26, 2011

Here is an update that I got reading through Colt Brennan news on google. Thought you fans would enjoy this…

On April 18, 2011 The Honolulu Star-Advertiser announced that Colt Brennan’s father had released a statement that Brennan is expected to play for the Hartford Colonials in the United Football League in 2011.

This kid could throw in college at Hawaii. He holds the NCAA Division I  record for most touchdown passes in a single season with 58. He holds 30 other NCAA Division I FBS records. The only trouble is he has been injury prone and was in a major car accident in November and was in intensive care. He has recovered and wants to play football again and show scouts and teams that he is worth a shot. I loved watching this kid on TV throwing the ball to Devon Bess, wide receiver for the Miami Dolphins because he made it look so easy. If he can get a chance in the NFL one day, I really think he could do some big things. But it’s like what NFL scouts say, kids who excel in college sometimes can’t transfer it over to the pros…

This Day In Sports History: 1998

April 25, 2011

Cal Ripken Jr. was one of the best in the game during his career and on this day April 25, 1998 Ripken made it to 2,500 consecutive game starts. He was an iron man and a great third baseman. He is what made baseball great and can even be considered one of the best…

Prince Fielder is everything you want in an athelte

April 20, 2011

This is a great article from one of my favorite writers in baseball in Tim Kurkjian. Follow him on ESPN or on twitter @Kurkjian_ESPN 


Here’s what we know about Milwaukee Brewers first baseman Prince Fielder: He’s one of the game’s premier hitters; he’s 26; he can be a free agent after the season; the Brewers are going to try to win it all with him this year, but if they’re out of the race by the end of July, they’re going to have to trade him because they know they don’t have the funds to re-sign him after the season.

“So,” Fielder said, “give it all you got every day so you can sleep at night.”

Not everyone knows this about Prince Fielder: He’s even stronger than you think. A former Brewers coach, Rich Donnelly, once said that Fielder’s arms “are so big, you could tattoo a map of the United States on one of his biceps and still have room for Argentina.”

“He is the strongest man in baseball, no doubt, and I really think he could hold his own in the World’s Strongest Man competition,” said Brewers left fielder Ryan Braun. “His arms are bigger than my legs.”

“He is stupid strong, stupid strong,” said Milwaukee third baseman Casey McGehee. “We were just in Pittsburgh. He hit 20 balls in the water in batting practice in two days. The rest of us are blowing snot bubbles trying to hit one as far as him, and he’s just getting loose.”

Jerry Narron, one of the Brewers’ coaches, was among many Brewers who were asked to stand up and tell something about themselves to the team in spring training. “I told them that one of the highlights of my career was hitting a home run into the upper deck in Detroit one day,” Narron said with a healthy laugh. “Prince said he did that when he was 12.”

Indeed. Fielder went out to plenty of American League parks at that age, tagging along with his father, Cecil, one of the game’s best power hitters in the early 1990s.

Not everyone knows this about Fielder: He’s a good athlete, above average defensively and a decent runner. But, at 5-foot-11 and 275 pounds, he gets labeled as a slug, which isn’t the case.

“I could dunk a volleyball in high school,” Fielder said. “I didn’t play football because I knew they were going to put me at a fat-guy position and I didn’t want to do that. I am athletic.”

Said McGehee: “If he played football, I don’t want to say he’d be a lineman because it has a negative connotation, but he’d be a quick, athletic guard that pulls, then flattens someone. He is way better than people think on defense [in baseball]. Some of the shifts we play leave him 45 feet away from the bag, but he’s quick enough to get over there for the throw.”

Cecil Fielder was a far better defensive first baseman than he was given credit for, had great hands and good feet, and could easily dunk a basketball despite his size: 6-3 and 230 pounds.

“I’ve always liked playing defense,” Prince said. “But, nothing against my dad, but when I’d come home from a game, he’d ask, ‘How did you hit?'”

Garth Iorg, a Brewers coach who runs the team’s defense, said, “The way Prince charges a bunt — I haven’t seen the whole league — but I can’t imagine someone being that much better.”

Not everyone knows this about Fielder: He plays hard every play. He really cares.

“He is so much fun to manage,” said Ron Roenicke, the first-year manager for the Brewers. “On a routine ground ball to the first baseman, he is in full sprint. On a shallow fly ball to the outfield, he is in a full sprint. He takes ground ball after ground ball. He works.”

Milwaukee utility man Craig Counsell, 40, said, “It is a sign of mental toughness the way he plays — so, so hard. He’s not going to give in on anything. He’s not going to give up on anything.”

Fielder has always been that way. “I did it [not running hard] once; I was watching a runner instead of going all out,” Fielder said. “Robin Yount was with us [as a coach]. You know Robin. He looked at me. I never did that again.”

Said Narron: “Prince has a great attitude about the game. You know how many star players get their two at-bats in a spring training game, pack everything up and leave right after that? I never saw him this spring not stay for at least two or three innings on the bench.”

Added Braun: “He is so durable [Fielder holds the Brewers’ club record for consecutive games played with 327, breaking Yount’s record]. He’s never been on the disabled list in his career. We are in a sport where you are judged by production. How many guys are more productive than him?”

Not many. He has 195 home runs. Since the start of the 2007 season, only Ryan Howard has more home runs (174) than Fielder (165). When Fielder hit 50 home runs in 2007, he became the youngest player (23 years, 139 days) to hit 50, breaking the record held by Willie Mays. When free agency comes around in November, Fielder will be in great demand by several teams (how would he look in a Cubs uniform?) but likely not the Brewers. Not because they don’t want him, but because they can’t afford him at what likely will be about $20 million a year. That price tag could go up with another huge year. Off to a great start, he leads the major leagues with 17 RBIs and is hitting .338.

The demand for Fielder will be there not just because of his age — he is roughly 4½ years younger than Howard and another free agent-to-be, Albert Pujols — and not just for his track record, but for everything else he brings to a team. And what he brings to a team is a lot more than people realize.

Prince is one of the strongest people in the league and you can definitely see that from his stats. But one thing you can tell from reading other players thoughts is that he is a class man who can play the game the right way. They rave about his athleticism and about his will to win and I think Milwaukee needs him to stay based on that. This Brewers team needs to win now to generate more revenue to pay this guy the big dollars because he deserves it. He has done everything right for this ball club and if Milwaukee wants to stay competitive for a few more years, they are going to need a prince to lead the empire…

What are the average players in the NFL doing with their life?

April 20, 2011


You might be thinking: I’m on the owners’ side in this lockout mess because NFL players are all spoiled, hat-backward millionaires who will no more miss a year’s salary than they’ll miss their eighth Lexus.

OK, but maybe you should meet …

Brian Schaefering, Cleveland Browns defensive lineman.

He has a wife, three kids — all 8 and under — and a rented house. He doesn’t have a shoe deal or a Lloyd’s of London policy or a super agent willing to float him till this is over.

Yeah, he’s got a safety net — himself.

“I’ll do anything,” says Schaefering, 27. “If I have to work for UPS, I will. I got a family to feed. I’ve paved roads, fixed roofs, done landscaping. I’m not better’n anybody else. I don’t want any handouts. I’d be happy with $12 an hour if I could get it.”

You hear anything about Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones wanting to run a road paver lately?

“The problem is,” Schaefering says, “who wants to hire a guy who may have to pack up and leave [for the NFL] a month or two into it?”

So Schaefering and his wife are cutting back. They slashed their cable and cell phone bills and chopped their weekly date nights considerably. They used to get a babysitter, then catch dinner and a movie. “Now, it’s put the kids to bed and slap in a DVD.”

You might be thinking: What the hell has he done with his money he has made so far in the NFL?

Well, he went undrafted in 2008, barely made the practice squad in ’09 and finally started nine games for the Browns last season, making $395,000. He says he netted just over $200,000 after taxes. And he had plenty of bills to pay going into last year.

“I hear people joking around about this thing, but it’s no joke,” he says. “If this goes into the season, my wife might start panicking a little.”

You might be thinking: What about these $60,000 checks that went out this week to the players from the NFLPA’s lockout war chest? That should pay for a few babysitters, right?

True, but maybe you should meet …

… former Air Force star Chad Hall, Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver.

(Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images North America)

Hall, 24, isn’t getting any $60,000. Since transforming himself from an F-16 mechanic into a modern-day “Invincible” with the Eagles, 5-foot-8 Hall hasn’t exactly hit the Lotto. He was on the team for only 11 games, so he got the minimum salary, prorated. The most he’ll get from the lockout fund is “about $10,000,” he says.

Now, he’s training friends’ kids for whatever they want to pay him — “I don’t really charge a set fee” — and trying to open a wings restaurant in Atlanta with his sister’s boyfriend, Detroit Lions QB Matthew Stafford.

“If we don’t have a season, I’ll be waiting tables and bartending there,” he says. “Plus, my uncle says he has a plumbing job for me. Pays $15 an hour, so that’s not bad.”

You think Seattle Seahawks owner Paul Allen will be asking “BBQ or teriyaki?” anytime soon?

You might be thinking: I’m supposed to feel sorry for these guys? At least they had a year of making $400,000. Try making $40,000!”

I guess so, but maybe you should meet …

… University of Wisconsin All-American lineman John Moffitt.

(Matt Fleming/2009)

Moffitt is a projected early- to middle-round draft choice, a can’t-miss NFL starter who “will make plenty of Pro Bowls once he’s signed,” says his agent, Mike George.

The problem is, what if he never gets signed?

“I saw some Girl Scouts selling cookies the other day,” Moffitt says. “Maybe I could try that?”

Moffitt’s got no job and no endorsement deals — “Nobody wants to see my face on anything,” he says — and “my parents stopped sending my allowance.” So George is paying for training and living expenses until something breaks.

After that?

“Well, my dad paints houses in Guilford, Conn.,” he says. “I think he’d maybe take me on doing that. But it’s kind of hard right now. I hope it doesn’t come to that.”

You hear anything about any NFL owners hitting up their dads lately?

Plus, staying in top physical shape is a full-time job. “It’s not like they can do that and work at Macy’s at the same time,” George says.

They might have to. Eagles lineman Winston Justice has opened a coffee shop. Teammate Owen Schmitt might student teach. Browns backup WR Rod Windsor is playing for the Arizona Rattlers of the Arena Football League, where some players are making as little as $400 per game. That barely covers the Advil.

And then there’s this: recently reported that an estimated 180 NFL players might have signed for “lockout loans,” at rates that can climb over 30 percent upon default, to make ends meet.

Not just dumb, desperate.

You might be thinking: So throw these guys a freaking telethon! I don’t care. Tell them to stop bitching. The rest of us have real jobs!

I guess. But remember, the players aren’t the ones bitching. Among the four big pro sports in this country, these guys picked the one that pays the least money, lasts the fewest years and wrecks the most bodies. They’re fine with that.

It’s the owners who have taken the football and gone home. It’s the owners who want a billion dollars back from the deal they have now. It’s the owners who want two more games from the players for nothing. And not a single owner is contemplating roofing at $12 an hour.

So, if you’re still thinking you’re on the owners’ side in this?

Then you’re not thinking at all.

This is the most interesting thing I have read all week because it speaks about how much the NFL Labor union is going to affect the younger, no name players in the NFL. Just because you play in any sport doesn’t make you a multi-million dollar player and I think that conception of fans needs to change. There are so many players who have off-season jobs coaching, teaching, and working in shopping stores just to make money to provide for their family. It’s just sad to see this happening because you have players like Matt Stafford and Jamarcus Russell who are making bank and have only played 2 years in the league. These other guys are playing their hearts out and won’t make the money they have until their 5th or 6th season. So in the end, this article is to prove to the American population that not everyone in football makes the big bucks and a lot of the players are struggling to make money and support their families in this time of struggle around America. Hopefully this lockout doesn’t last any longer…

What if the Diamondbacks didn’t make this trade?

April 20, 2011

Via MLBTradeRumors:

Former Diamondbacks GM Josh Byrnes made many trades that dramatically altered the team’s future, but none more so than the 2007 deal to acquire Dan Haren.  Hindsight is always 20/20, but what would the team look like if we undid this trade?

On December 14th, 2007, the Diamondbacks shipped Brett Anderson, Carlos Gonzalez, Chris Carter, Aaron Cunningham, Dana Eveland, and Greg Smith to the Athletics for Haren and Connor Robertson.  At the time I called this a win for the Diamondbacks, failing to fully realize what Gonzalez and Anderson would become.  So I can’t knock Byrnes for pulling the trigger, especially since he was adding a second ace to pair with Brandon Webb without hurting his big league club.  Plus, Haren was signed at a third of his market value for three seasons.  You have to give up a ton to get a guy like that.

Still, let’s undo the Haren trade and put CarGo in left field for Arizona.  We can also take Joe Saunders out of the rotation and slide Anderson in.  Those are a couple of huge upgrades.  WAR might peg the total upgrade over what the Diamondbacks have now at five wins or so, but I have to admit that intuitively it feels like the difference would be about twice that.  Just undoing the one Haren deal, the D’Backs have a fantastic, affordable front three of Anderson, Kennedy, and Hudson in their rotation plus a pair of superstars at the outfield corners. 

What else would be different right now?  Would Byrnes still have his job?  Would Mark Reynolds still be manning third base?  Would the team have made a more serious offseason push toward contending in 2011?  It’s fun to wonder, unless you root for the Diamondbacks.

…This is interesting because I still think it was the right move in the end. They made the playoffs in 2007 and went all the way to the NLCS beating a very good Cubs team that year. I think it was the right move to make this trade and go with the pitching because honestly, you never know what could happen to these prospects. No one knew that #1 pick Jeremy Reed would be a bad bench player or that Josh Hamilton would be out of the league due to a drug issue. Evaluating talent is so hard to do because sometimes it is just luck of the draw and which situations you are fortuanate enough to be in. It’s interesting that the writer Tim Dierkes brings this up because would the Diamondbacks be competing every year with Gonzalez and Anderson? It’s an interesting thought…

Donnie Dwyer CBS 58 sports broadcast 4/18/11

April 19, 2011

Check out my broadcast last night on CBS 58 nightly news…