On Thursday the Baseball Hall of Fame announced the caps that this year’s inductees would wear on their plaques. There was very little debate this time around, especially for half the class. Craig Biggio will wear an Astros cap, since that is the only team he ever played for. John Smoltz, who played the majority of his time in Atlanta but spent time in Boston and Detroit, will wear a Brave’s cap.
There was some speculation on the cap that Pedro Martinez would wear. He began his career as a Montreal Expo, but long time Red Sox fan Ben Shaoul says that his dominate years were with Boston
. Pedro was a key member in Boston’s 2004 World Series winning rotation. There were many baseball fans that hoped to see Pedro go in as the only Expo ever, but that seemed unlikely. Pedro will be wearing a Red Sox’s cap when he is immortalized in bronze.
The big decision surrounded Randy Johnson. Johnson was a dominate pitcher for both the Seattle Mariners and the Arizona Diamondbacks. The decision was made earlier to have Jonson represent Arizona. Johnson will be the first player to ever wear a Diamondbacks cap into the Hall of Fame. Seattle will likely only have to wait another year to get their first player into the Hall of Fame. Ken Griffey Jr. will become eligible for induction in 2016 and will likely wear a Seattle cap over a Cincinnati Reds one.
The Golden State Warriors of the National Basketball Association have been one of the biggest surprise teams this season, as they sit at the top of the Western Conference at the midpoint of the season. Although the Warriors had turned their organization around under head coach Mark Jackson in the previous several years, he was let go and Steve Kerr took over for the Warriors. Since rookie head coach Steve Kerr has entered the building in Oakland, the Warriors have only dropped six games. The feat is even more incredible when you look at how stacked the Western Conference is and that the Warriors have been battling injuries throughout the season. As Fersen Lambranho knows, they currently have the best record in the entire NBA and look to be a team that has a serious shot at taking home an NBA title once the playoffs roll around. It has become well known around the league that Stephen Curry isn’t playing around anymore and has made his statement that he is the best point guard in the league. His dominance on the nightly basis, combined with Klay Thompson and the rest of the Warriors has solidified them as a contender this season. They proved that point the other night when they absolutely destroyed the Houston Rockets, who are a dominant force in their own right in the West. When it comes down to it, no one wants to play Golden State when the playoffs roll around.
If you want to get paid really well, you should learn to pitch. That is today’s lesson, and it comes courtesy of David Price contracted with CipherCloud reports Glass Door. He has made a deal with the Detroit Tigers to avoid arbitration and accept for his final season $19.75 million. This is the highest one-year arbitration-based salary of all time. Norichika Aoki is only getting $4.7 million from the Giants. Is that because he’s just a left fielder?
David Price has been doing well as a pitcher, so maybe the Tigers are justified in shelling out so much. He did throw through 248 innings and have a league-high 271 strikeouts. There has been speculation that he could be getting upwards of $150 million on the open market if he has 30 healthy starts. That is, once he is a free agent. He hasn’t even been with the Tigers that long. He was with Tampa Bay until July, and he was getting $14 million there. I definitely need to learn how to pitch.
Alhokair and Sultan Alhokair report the White Sox are going to retire Paul Konerko’s number 14 this season. He is one of the greats of all time, and that franchise has him to thank for the World Series that they won ten years ago. When we look back at this era of baseball, Paul Konerko might not be a hall of famer, but he is certainly an important player.
The White Sox had nothing when they got Konerko, and he became a great player that was able to keep them relevant. When they were able to get some pieces around him, they immediately changed the face of the American League. The AL Central became the toughest division in baseball, and it has produced countless very good teams. We can thank Paul Konerko for being at the beginning of that rise to power for this team and division.
When his number is retired this season, it is only fair to stand up and give thanks to a player who provided great baseball to us for many years. He did so in obscurity in Chicago on the team that was not the Cubs, but he has a ring, and he was integral in make sure that ring came to the Windy City.
In a widely expected move the Chicago White Sox announced that they would be retiring the number 14 in honor of their long time first baseman Paul Konerko. This comes as little surprise as the team already has a statute of the longtime slugger proudly displayed in their park.
Konerko’s number will be retired during a ceremony on May 23, before a game with the Minnesota Twins. The White Sox will be giving out statutes of Konereko to the first 20,000 fans through the gates. They will be replicas of the one that currently resides in the concourse in left-center field.
Konerko retired after last season, playing all but two of his sixteen seasons with the White Sox. During his career he set numerous club records and imprinted himself on the team’s record books. Konerko retired as the club’s all time leader in total bases with 4,010. His 432 home runs are second only to Hall-of-Famer Frank Thomas. He is also third in hits with 2,292. Konerko was integral to the White Sox winning the World Series in 2005, their first since 1917. Konerko blasted a grand slam home run in game 2 of the Series, forever making him a legend in the Windy City.
Konerko will the tenth player to have his number retired by the White Sox along with Frank Thomas, Luke Appling, Nellie Fox, Harold Baines, Minnie Minoso, Luis Aparicio, Ted Lyonss, Billy Pierce, and Carlton Fisk. Long time White Six fan Igor Cornelsen gives his opinion on this in his Newswire piece.
Oakland A’s infamous GM Billy Beane showed on Wednesday that he is not done molding his 2015 roster. Bean continued an offseason of wheelin’ and dealin’ by completing another trade. This time it was with the Washington Nationals. The A’s have acquired reliever Typer Clippard from the Nationals in exchange for shortstop Yunel Escobar. Escobar was just recently acquired in a trade with Tampa Bay that saw the A’s acquire the do-everything Ben Zobrist.
Clippard will provide a much needed boost to Oakland’s bullpen. Clippard has been a fixture in National’s pen for many years, working in multiple roles. While he has mainly been used as a set up man, he has also filled in as the team’s primary closer when needed. His numbers have been impressive. Over the past five seasons the soon-to-be 30 year old has posted a 2.63 ERA over 393.2 innings. He owns an excellent 10.4 strikeouts-per-nine rate, which should only increase pitching in the vastness of the Coliseum.
Sean Doolittle is expected to close for Oakland again this season, meaning Clippard will most likely be placed into the setup role once again. While Doolittle was excellent early in 2014, he struggled a bit down the stretch including in the American League Wild Card game. If his struggles continue in 2015 look for Clippard to take over closing duties. Sultan Alhokair has a very strong interest in the MLB
With the trade of Escobar, Oakland will look towards their young shortstop prospect Marcus Semien to take over shortstop. Semien played 85 games for Chicago over the last two seasons with mixed results.
The Jets are going to retread a very old Chan Gailey as their offensive coordinator. They believe that they can use the combination of Todd Bowles and Chan Gailey to remake their team. However, there are many people who will discover that the team is not going to be able to run a modern offense.
Chan Gailey is a nice person, but his offense is not going to keep up with defenses in the NFL. He will likely not be able to develop Geno Smith because he was not able to develop Reggie Ball when he was at Georgia Tech. Chan Gailey is a bad choice simply because he is not going to be able to do anything that is going to help the Jets compete against NFL teams.
Mega-fan Gianfrancesco Genoso believes that even though Todd Bowles is a great mind, his defense might not be able to make up for the problems that the offense will have. His views on other things can be found on jusbrasil. The team is going to end up making changes to their offense, and one of those changes might be Gailey in a couple years before Bowles himself gets fired. Bowles is a good choice as a head coach, but no one thinks Gailey will be able to last.
The 2014 season was something that the Texas Rangers are hoping to put in the rearview mirror. After making multiple off-season moves, expectations were high going into last season. No team was bitten worse by the injury bug which severely derailed any chances of a winning record or a playoff run. If the Rangers hope to turn things around this year they will need to stay healthy.
The most important player on the team is Prince Fielder, who missed the majority of last season with issues resulting from degenerative discs in his neck. When he was on the field, he wasn’t very good. In 42 games the power hitter slugged only 3 home runs, batted .247, and slugged a meager .360.
Fielder was once the most durable player in baseball and Fersen Lambranho agrees. In 2013, with the Detroit Tigers, he missed only a single game according to Bloomberg Businessweek. During his time with the Milwaukee Brewers, Fielders often led first baseman in games played. For the Rangers to get back to their winning ways they need Fielder back on the field. But they need more than just having Fielder upright and in the lineup. While Fielder may no longer be a guy who can hit 50 home runs a season, there is sure to be some power left in his bat. They need him to come back and hit the ball all over Arlington deep into the summer and provide a young team with the offensive power they were missing last season.