Tagged: Cubs

Julio Borbon Won’t Be Winning an Oscar Anytime Soon

Cubs outfielder Julio Borbon will do anything to get on base it seems.  Even try and make it look like he got hit on the foot even though the ball hit the dirt a good foot away.  Can’t fault a guy for trying, but that’s the worst acting I’ve seen since Gigli.

-Bryan Mapes (@IAmMapes)

“Sweet Caroline” Around MLB in Honor of Boston

In the wake of the tragedy at the Boston Marathon on Monday, MLB teams showed their support for the city of Boston by playing “Sweet Caroline” by Neil Diamond.  The song is a staple at Fenway Park and is sung by Red Sox fans before the bottom of the 8th inning.  The song was played at home games by the Braves, Marlins, Reds, Cubs, Twins, Dodgers, Indians (who were playing the Red Sox), and even their biggest rival, the Yankees.  Here is the video of “Sweet Caroline” being played at the end of the 3rd inning at Yankee Stadium.

Here’s the Target Field version:

Down in Miami at Marlins Park:

All the way on the other coast at Dodger Stadium:

And at O.co Coliseum in Oakland:

Turner Field in Atlanta where the Braves went on to hit three homers in the bottom of the 8th:

The Brewers showed their support by playing another famous Boston song, the theme from “Cheers”. That can be heard at the 1:40 mark of this video.

You have to love the support that Boston is getting from across the country. It’s the little things like this that add up to big things.  It really is “so good, so good, so good.”

-Bryan Mapes (@IAmMapes)

Derek Jeter and the 5 Players We Can’t Imagine in Another Jersey

Imagine my poor blood pressure this morning when I woke up to a headline like THIS today.

Something like what Derek Jeter is alluding to would be disastrous if it actually came to fruition. I’m no Yankee fan by any measure, but I truly respect Jeter and have looked up to him since I was a little kid. And I just can’t imagine him wearing anything besides the pinstripes.

None of that Joe Montana-to-the-Chiefs, desperate-to-keep-playing, end of the career crap from Jeter, please.

Sure, the unthinkable has been done before – Ken Griffey, Jr. moved to Cincinnati from Seattle even though he looked like a super hero in the silver and teal. Heck, we had one happen this past off-season when Albert Pujols jumped ship to Anaheim, despite looking so damn good in Cardinal red.

But the super fan in me would like to keep that kind of olé B.S. to a minimum. I don’t know what it is…the players themselves, the jersey/color combo of the teams they represent, or just the nostalgia of a childhood long-gone (okay, I’m not that old), but I identify Jeter and the rest of this list as players who I could never, ever see in a different jersey:

*Disclaimer: Mariano Rivera and Chipper Jones not included because they are guaranteed to stay a Yankee and Brave, respectively, for the remainder of their Hall of Fame careers*

1. Derek Jeter, New York Yankees

Let’s start with the Captain himself. Jeter has played all 18 seasons as the shortstop of the Yankees, number two plastered on his back. Needless to say, Mr. November will be a first-ballot Hall of Famer and the next great Yankee to have his number retired. There is no more iconic jersey in sports than those of the Yanks, and even imagining Jeter in an Angels, Cubs, Red Sox (god forbid) or any other jersey is painful.

2. Buster Posey, San Francisco Giants

I know he’s only been around a few years, but damn if Posey hasn’t made himself a celebrity in San Francisco at Usain Bolt-esque speed. There is no way the team will let this guy walk away as long as he’s physically able to play the game. It’s really hard to predict this early, but we could be seeing the next great “one-team” lifer in Posey, who should be representing that awful orange and black for another decade and a half.

3. Felix Hernandez, Seattle Mariners

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again – if Mariners GM Jack Zdurineck trades Felix, he should not only be fired, but tarred, feathered and forced to watch Jack and Jill on loop. Hernandez is the King of Seattle and it should stay that way forever. I dig the silver and teal uni’s up there in the Pacific Northwest, and Hernandez wears it best. Plus, he wants to stay a Seattle Mariner. I’m sure Brian Cashman has visions, but I just can’t see this guy in Yankee garb.

4. Todd Helton, Colorado Rockies

When I say Rockies, you say Helton! “ROCKIES!” “HELTON!” Thank you. But seriously, Helton is about as synonymous with Colorado baseball as macaroni is with cheese. He’s played all 16 years of his career manning first base at Coors Field, and will most definitely have his number retired there whenever he hangs up the spikes. Todd Helton in anything but purple would be straight criminal.

5. Yadier Molina, St. Louis Cardinals

I know a few Cardinals fans who would actually sob uncontrollably if Yadi ever slips on another team’s jersey. And they should, because it would arguably be more devastating than the loss of Pujols to that devoted fan base. Whereas Pujols was the power and glam of the team, Molina is the heart, soul, lungs and kidney of the franchise. I know NL catchers have a short shelf life, but just trying to picture him as a Dodger or Phillie makes me want to elbow drop a baby penguin.

6. Andrew McCutchen, Pittsburgh Pirates

Last, but certainly not least, we have arguably the best all-around player in the National League. I don’t know what it is with him and that black and gold, but McCutchen just looks so right in a Pirates uniform. Maybe it’s the dreads, or the blindingly white smile, or the elegant physique over which the Pirates’ jersey falls. No matter, McCutchen can never go play for the Indians or Orioles or anyone else. He needs to be in Pittsburgh for life.

Honorable Mentions: Matt Kemp (Dodgers), Mike Trout (Angels), David Price (Rays)

Comment below if you think someone else should be considered for this list! And don’t forget to VOTE in the poll:

If you like what you see, you can follow @3u3d on Twitter and LIKE Three Up, Three Down on Facebook!

– Jeremy Dorn (@Jamblinman)

#MapesFantasySpecial For September 12th

It’s playoff time for fantasy baseball head-to-head leagues.  Not a better time to try and give a daily recommedation to try and help you out down the stretch!  We’re looking for pitchers that are available in more than half of leagues.  Here’s my pick for Wednesday, September 12th.

Cubs pitcher Travis Wood is just 7% owned in Yahoo! fantasy leagues.  Wood has had a quality start in 3 of his last 4 starts and only missed the 4th by 1/3 of an inning.  He takes on the Astros who he has dominated in his career with a 2.09 ERA and 0.98 WHIP over 43 innings.  Wood threw 7.2 shutout innings last time he faced Houston on July 1st.  I also think Clayton Richard at home in Petco against the Cardinals could be serviceable if you’re looking to use up some innings.  Richard is owned in 28% of leagues and has a 2.76 ERA and 1.07 WHIP at home this year.  Good luck!

-Bryan Mapes (@IAmMapes)

Recapping EVERY Trade of the Deadline

Wow, what a whirlwind week of baseball wheelin’ and dealin’ we’ve had. I’m exhausted just from trying to keep track of all the trades that went down in the past week or so. Some teams look completely different (helloooooo, Dodgers) and some we thought would get a face lift, look exactly the same (what’s wrong, Rays?).

But this is your home for all things deadline – where you can get every dirty detail of every trade that went down, plus a quick analysis of the deals. For the sake of brevity, only trades from July 24th through the end of the deadline are included. But, I won’t keep you waiting any longer…let’s get it rolling:

7/24 – Pittsburgh Pirates + Houston Astros

Pittsburgh acquires Wandy Rodriguez (SP)

Houston acquires Rudy Owens (SP), Colton Cain (SP) and Robbie Grossman (OF)

The Pirates’ pitching staff has been stellar all year, but they felt they needed more depth. In Rodriguez, they get a veteran who has been pedestrian at times, brilliant at others, overall one of the better catches on the pitching market. And Houston is on the fast track to 100 losses, so any young talent helps. They snagged three guys who were in the top 20 of the Pirates’ very deep minor league system.

Winner: Pirates

Tampa Bay Rays + Arizona Diamondbacks

Tampa Bay acquires Ryan Roberts (3B)

Arizona acquires Tyler Bortnick (IF)

Roberts, otherwise known as Tatman by his legions of fans in Arizona, was designated for assignment before being traded to the Rays. It gives Tampa a much-needed bat with some pop at a position they don’t necessarily need help at when Evan Longoria is healthy. The D’Backs like what they see with Bortnick, but he was sent to Triple-A, so it clearly wasn’t a move they expected to impact the club in 2012.

Winner: Rays

7/25 – Los Angeles Dodgers + Miami Marlins

Los Angeles acquires Randy Choate (RP) and Hanley Ramirez (3B/SS)

Miami acquires Nathan Eovaldi (SP) and Scott McGough (RP)

The dividends of this trade has already paid off for both squads – the Dodgers swept the rival Giants in San Francisco last weekend, largely in part to Ramirez and his clutch hits. Choate has already come in and fended off opposing lefty hitters in a couple of appearances. And Eovaldi made a good first start in Miami. McGough is a bit of a project but has a high ceiling in Single-A. The Dodgers traded long-term guys for immediate help. Read more about this trade HERE.

Winner: Dodgers

7/27 – Los Angeles Angels + Milwaukee Brewers

Los Angeles acquires Zack Greinke (SP)

Milwaukee acquires Juan Segura (SS), Johnny Hellweg (SP), Ariel Pena (SP)

The Angels bolstered an already-scary rotation with the addition of former Cy Young winner Greinke. He joins Dan Haren, C.J. Wilson and Jered Weaver in Anaheim. The Brewers got quite a haul in return, as all three prospects were top ten in the Angels’ system. Pena’s name stands out because he had a 216.00 ERA in his Futures Game appearance this year. Oops! Just for the sheer ridiculousness of the Angels’ new rotation, they win this trade. Read more about this trade HERE.

Winner: Angels

Colorado Rockies + San Francisco Giants

Colorado acquires Charlie Culberson (2B)

San Francisco acquires Marco Scutaro (IF)

Neither team needed to make this move, but it happened anyway. Scutaro gives the Giants a quality, veteran utility player who will definitely not solve their offensive woes. At best, Scutaro will find random ways to be in the lineup as soon as Pablo Sandoval returns from injury. Culberson is a good prospect and has a shot at stardom if he continues to progress. This one is a toss-up.

Winner: Push

7/29 – Chicago White Sox + Minnesota Twins

Chicago acquires Francisco Liriano (SP)

Minnesota acquires Eduardo Escobar (IF) and Pedro Hernandez (SP)

If the Sox think Liriano will be the added depth they need in the rotation to compete down the stretch, they are sorely mistaken. Brilliant occasionally, awful usually, Liriano was let go by the Twins because they just couldn’t take it anymore. They were able to pry a light-hitting, yet slick-fielding top-10 hitting prospect and a left-handed pitcher from Chicago. But the ultimate victory was ridding themselves of Liriano. Read more about this trade HERE.

Winner: Twins

Arizona Diamondbacks + Houston Astros

Arizona acquires Chris Johnson (3B)

Houston acquires Marc Krauss (1B/OF) and Bobby Borchering (3B/OF)

If you’re Houston…why not? You are selling everyone and their mothers anyway, so if a corner infielder is shipped away, bring in two others who are younger and can be molded however you see fit. Johnson hit a huge grand slam yesterday against the division rival Dodgers, so he’s already a D’Back hero. But this trade didn’t really hurt either team. Again, a default winner.

Winner: Diamondbacks

7/30 – Texas Rangers + Chicago Cubs

Texas acquires Geovany Soto (C) and cash

Chicago acquires Jacob Brigham (SP)

Another NL Central team going full fire sale, the Cubs gladly took the Rangers up on their offer to rid the club of a former Rookie of the Year in Soto, who had steadily declined both in health and production. Brigham is a pitcher the Rangers had pretty high hopes for that just wasn’t panning out. It looks like he’ll have to earn his way to the majors as a relief pitcher now. Texas designated Yorvit Torrealba in response to getting Soto.

Winner: Rangers

Atlanta Braves + Chicago Cubs

Atlanta acquires Reed Johnson (OF), Paul Maholm (SP) and cash

Chicago acquires Arodys Vizcaino (RP) and Jaye Chapman (RP)

The Braves got a veteran utility outfielder and an underrated big league starter for two minor league relievers. Sounds like a pretty sweet deal. That being said, Vizcaino has an exceptionally high ceiling. He was the number two prospect in the Braves organization coming into 2012, but was sidelined and needed Tommy John surgery in March. Not yet 22, we could see the hard-throwing right hander closing out games at Wrigley Field by 2014.

Winner: Braves

Pittsburgh Pirates + Toronto Blue Jays

Pittsburgh acquires Travis Snider (OF) 

Toronto acquires Brad Lincoln (RP)

This was a surprising and somewhat strange trade, but the Pirates got another high-potential bat in Snider, in exchange for a pretty solid reliever in Lincoln. Snider has great power potential but hasn’t put it together yet in the Majors. If he does, the Pirates got a steal. Lincoln is no slouch though. His 2.73 ERA in the Pirates’ bullpen this season opened some eyes, and the Blue Jays intend to let him try his hand as a set up man.

Winner: Push

Seattle Mariners + Toronto Blue Jays

Seattle acquires Eric Thames (OF)

Toronto acquires Steve Delabar (RP)

I actually like what the Blue Jays are doing. They know they have the offense, but need to bolster the pitching staff in the rotation and bullpen. So they are trading high-potential, excess bats to bring in some quality bullpen help. Delabar is a good pick-up, and Thames won’t be missed in that lineup. For the Mariners, who are always looking for bats, they are hoping Thames continues to improve and becomes a legit power threat from the right side of the plate.

Winner: Mariners

Seattle Mariners + Los Angeles Dodgers

Seattle acquires Logan Bawcom (RP) and Leon Landry (OF)

Los Angeles acquires Brandon League (RP)

The only reason the Dodgers made this move was because they were planning to move one of their current right handers in the bullpen, Josh Lindblom. League replaces Lindblom and is a slight upgrade, though it’s not a hugely noteworthy trade overall. The M’s pulled in a pretty good pitching prospect who needs a lot of work and a young, fast outfielder who has put up HUGE numbers at Single-A.

Winner: Mariners

7/31 – Los Angeles Dodgers + Philadelphia Phillies

Los Angeles acquires Shane Victorino (OF)

Philadelphia acquires Josh Lindblom (RP), Ethan Martin (SP) and Player To Be Named Later/Cash

A trade between the two biggest movers netted each team a pretty good haul. The Dodgers were in desperate need of an upgrade in the outfield and at the very top of the lineup, and came away with both in one guy. Philly received a good set up man who can become great with some consistency in Lindblom. But Martin may be a steal, considering the solid year he’s having in Double-A. Read more about this trade HERE.

Winner: Dodgers

San Francisco Giants + Philadelphia Phillies

San Francisco acquires Hunter Pence (OF)

Philadelphia acquires Nate Schierholtz (OF), Tommy Joseph (C), Seth Rosin (SP)

The Giants needed to answer their rivals’ big pick ups of Victorino and Ramirez, so they swung a move for a great all-around player in Pence. They lost a back up outfielder with a great arm in Schierholtz and their number two propsect in Joseph, but the immediate returns should more than make up for it. San Francisco is plenty deep at catcher for the foreseeable future, so Joseph was expendable. Great pick up for the Phils there though. Read more about this trade HERE.

Winner: Giants

Miami Marlins + St. Louis Cardinals

Miami acquires Zack Cox (3B)

St. Louis acquires Edward Mujica (RP)

This trade was completely unnecessary for the Redbirds, as their bullpen had been nearly impenetrable as of late. After slow starts, Mitchell Boggs and Mark Rzepczynski had turned it around and that relief corps was hot. Not that Mujica won’t just bolster it further, but did they really want to give up a top-five offensive prospect for a middle reliever? Miami scores again. Fire sale mode has worked wonders for the disappointing new-look Marlins.

Winner: Marlins

Arizona Diamondacks + Boston Red Sox

Arizona acquires Scott Podsednik (OF) and Matt Albers (RP) 

Boston acquires Craig Breslow (RP)

This isn’t much of a trade, despite all three players being Major League level. The Sox and D’Backs essentially swapped pretty good relievers, though Breslow is a lefty, Albers is not. So the Red Sox get the edge there. And while Arizona doesn’t necessarily need any help in the outfield, Podsednik can get on base and provide some speed. It’s the little things that will allow the D’Backs to climb back into the NL West race here.

Winner: Diamondbacks

Pittsburgh Pirates + Miami Marlins

Pittsburgh acquires Gaby Sanchez (1B) and Kyle Kaminska (RP)

Miami acquires Gorkys Hernandez (OF) and 2013 competitive balance draft pick

The Pirates continue to make under-the-radar moves that should help their playoff push in 2012. Sanchez was replaced by Carlos Lee in Miami, despite being mired in a similar slump as El Caballo. Hernandez goes to the Fish in a trade that really helps both sides. Sanchez has put up big numbers in the Majors in years past, while Hernandez has been a top prospect for Pittsburgh for a few years. Time will tell which team comes out on top.

Winner: Push

Cincinnati Reds + Kansas City Royals

Cincinnati acquires Jonathan Broxton (RP)

Kansas City acquires J.C. Sulbaran (SP) and Donnie Joseph (RP)

I understand that the Reds didn’t want to be left out, but this is an embarrasment of riches. They didn’t need bullpen help. That being said, you can never have enough quality bullpen arms. I also understand that the Royals need pitching, but what if Joakim Soria isn’t back to full strength after he returns next season? They better hope Sulbaran, Joseph and Soria pan out, or they let a good closer walk for cheap.

Winner: Reds

New York Yankees + Pittsburgh Pirates

New York acquires Casey McGehee (1B/3B)

Pittsburgh acquires Chad Qualls (RP)

At the last second, the Yanks just had to do something. Anything. And they actually made a pretty shrewd move, getting someone the Pirates felt they didn’t need, in return for a veteran reliever. Qualls is good, he’s always been steady – but the Yankees might be laughing if McGehee can actually step in and fill the shoes of the crippled Mark Teixeira and Alex Rodriguez for them. Pirates get another bullpen arm, Yankees get a power bat. Close call.

Winner: Yankees

Texas Rangers + Chicago Cubs

Texas acquires Ryan Dempster (SP)

Chicago acquires Christian Villanueva (3B) and Kyle Hendricks (SP)

After weeks of drama, the curtain finally fell on the Cubs’ ace Dempster, who wound up in Texas. It makes you wonder if the Rangers already assumed Neftali Feliz was seriously injured (announced earlier today that he would need season-ending Tommy John surgery) before the trade was made. The Cubs stack the minor league system with two more guys who can be molded into very good players a couple of seasons down the road. Read more about this trade HERE.

Winner: Rangers

Boston Red Sox + Cleveland Indians

Boston acquires Steven Wright (SP)

Cleveland acquires Lars Anderson (1B/OF)

Um. Who? I don’ t know. So I did a little research. The last trade before the deadline hit looks on paper as if it favors the Red Sox. Wright is a 27-year-old knuckleballing reliever who had a pretty nifty ERA in Double-A this season. If he comes around late like R.A. Dickey, who knows? And Anderson was formerly thought to be a top prospect, but has struggled in the minors. At only 24 years old, the Tribe is willing to take their chances.

Winner: Red Sox

There you have it folks. A run down of the last week of trading in Major League Baseball, leading up to the crazy finale of the trade deadline. Are you surprised at some of these trades? Anyone still in the same uniforms who you thought would have been moved?

Let us know in the comments below, or Tweet us @3u3d. You can also LIKE Three Up, Three Down on Facebook!

– Jeremy Dorn (@Jamblinman)

Opening Day Thursday, What to Look For

Opening Night turned into the Kyle Lohse show as the Cardinals pitcher baffled the Marlins in the debut of their new stadium, even no-hitting them for the first 6 innings.  The Cardinals won 4-1 to spoil the Marlins Park festivities.  It’s on to Opening Day now for 13 more teams on Thursday.  Here’s something to look for in each game.

Red Sox at Tigers 1:05 EST

The obvious is the debut of Prince Fielder.  Even better though, is the best pitching matchup of the day between reigning AL MVP Justin Verlander and Jon Lester.  Lester has struggled against Detroit in his career, so look for the Motor City to be in a jovial mood.

Braves at Mets 1:10 PM EST

The return of Johan Santana to the Mets rotation after missing all of the 2011 season.  Santana pitches well against Atlanta carrying a 2.28 ERA in 12 career starts, despite a 3-6 record.  What you won’t see or hear are the LARRRRRRRRRYYYYYYYY chants at Citi Field, as Chipper Jones will be on the DL to start the season for the Braves.

Phillies at Pirates 1:35 EST

The Battle of Pennsylvania kicks off the season.  How will the Phillies lineup fare without Ryan Howard and Chase Utley?  Erik Bedard takes the hill for the Pirates, which might cure some of the offensive problems.

Nationals at Cubs 2:20 EST

Stephen Strasburg settled down late in spring training and looks ready for his first Opening Day start.  Ryan Dempster looks for redemption after a disastrous 2011 Opening Day start giving up 6 runs, but Dempster has a 9-1 career record against Washington.

Blue Jays at Indians 3:05 EST

Possibly the most underrated pitching matchup with Ricky Romero vs. Justin Masterson.  However, all eyes will be on the Blue Jays budding superstar Brett Lawrie who comes in with a lot of hype after delivering in his 2011 Major League stint.

Marlins at Reds 4:10 EST

Despite the loss, the pressure is off the Marlins on the road.  It’s all on the new 200+ million dollar man, Joey Votto, Cincinnati fans are excited for this season with great reason as they are among the favorites for the NL Central crown.

Dodgers at Padres 7:05 EST

The night cap of opening day Thursday (or late afternoon cap for fans of these teams) features NL Cy Young winner Clayton Kershaw.  With the weak-hitting Padres lineup and Petco Park in effect,  you’re on alert for the 1st Opening Day no-hitter since Bob Feller in 1940.

It’s time for one of the best days on the sports calendar, enjoy all the games!

-Bryan Mapes