Thursday, April 23, 2009

Fingers News

Countdown to 2,000 Hits

HR Race as of 5/3 AM

Horacio Martin's Hit Streak Ends at 28 Games

Record Holder - Juan Solano - 32 Games (Season 2)

During the Streak: 50 for 121; .413 avg; 30 runs; 9 doubles; 2 triples; 5 HRs; 20 RBIs; 21 BB

Monday, April 13, 2009

First Half Look

All-Star Game

American League 6, National League 5

The AL fought back from an early 4-0 deficit to win the 11th All-Star Game 6-5.

Boston's Bonk Blake drove in New York's Horacio Martin on a Sacrifice Fly for the game-winning run in the 7th inning. New York's Santiago Santiago scored the game-tying run earlier in the inning on a Brendan Strong single.

The biggest hit of the game though was Spike Cambridge's game-tying 3-run HR in the 3rd inning off Salt Lake's Boomer Charles. Cincinnati's Cambridge was playing in his first All-Star Game for the AL after two previous appearances representing the NL.

After a meager showing in the Home Run Derby, Fingers League HR leader Taylor Glynn drilled a 3-run HR in the 1st inning to give the NL a 4-0.

Game Notes
Bonk Blake makes 9th All-Star team. Most in league history.

Sante Fe and New York led the league with 6 All-Stars.

Entire Starting OF for Sante Fe makes All-Star team - Brett Krause, Davey West, Pat Rivera.

The Starting Pitchers were Emmanuel Russell for the NL and Norberto Pujols for the AL.

Home Run Derby

Chicago Blackhawks Catcher Esteban Rivera wins Home Run Derby. He hit the most HRs in every round and finished with 39 HRs. Hometown player Santos Lopez hit the longest HR of the day, a tape measure shot of 529 feet that landed far up in the left field seats of Citibank Park.

Record Book Assault

Three major hitting records may be challenged as we reach the first half's conclusion. The records for Single Season Batting Average, Hits, and Home Runs look to be threatened.


Stewart Hairston - Charleston Men of Risk - .380 - This looked a lot more possible about a week ago. Hairston's average has slipped, but he hit over .400 for most of the first half.

HITS RECORD - 233 - Juan Concepcion

Pat Rivera - Sante Fe Scorchers - 138 - The rookie Rivera is on pace for 245 hits. Playing in Sante Fe's ballpark will give him a great chance to break this record.
Horacio Martin- New York MaPS - 135 - Martin is not far behind Rivera. He's on pace for 240 hits. He's had 2 or more hits in about half the games this season.

HOME RUNS RECORD - 77 - Pedro Alvarez

Taylor Glynn - Iowa City Corn Kings - 45 - I don't know if we've seen a power hitting season like this one. Glynn is averaging a HR every other game. With 45 HRs at the break, Pedro Alvarez's HR Record is in serious danger. On pace for 80 HRs.

First Half Notes
The Detroit Motor City Mechanics are looking for its first ever playoff appearance. The franchise has only 2 seasons above .500. rwadk27 improved this team by 15 games last season and they are on pace to improve by 14 this season. The 2nd youngest team in the ML is winning with great pitching (2nd in ML in ERA, WHIP, OAV, OBP).

There's a Fight in the NL West between the Colorado Springs Rainbow Trout and the Salt Lake City Condors. They are tied for 1st place at 58-33. Colorado Springs is trying to pull off a worst-to-first. They haven't won more than 73 games since Season 3 and have never made the playoffs. The Condors are the back-to-back division champions, but have never won a playoff series. These two teams are playing .600 baseball in a division with every team at least 7 games over .500. It is very possible 3 of the 4 teams make the playoffs.

Charleston's trade for Emmanuel Russell has been the off-season move of the year. Russell is 13-0 and the team is 17-2 when he pitches. He's helped turn the Men of Risk from a sub-.500 team to a World Series contender.

Best Single Game Performances of the First Half

No-hitter, 9K's 3 BB vs. Charleston

Stewart Hairston - Rafael Silva - Ricardo Lee all hit for the cycle.

J.D. Shelby drives in 8 runs on 2 Grand Slams vs. New York

Pedro Owen - Low A No-hitter, 11K's, 2 BB vs Pawtucket

Things to look for in 2nd Half:

Davey Nieves creeping ever so closely to 2,000 hits.

Harry Hinch nears 500 HRs.

Alex Flores is 25 appearances away from 800 for his career.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Draft Recap

For the first time in 11 seasons six pitchers were taken with the first six picks. All but one has signed. With the first overall pick Syracuse chose Placido Lopez, a 22 year-old lefthander from UCLA. He was quickly placed on the Lo-A Hop Hound squad. In his first start, he allowed only 3 hits and struck out 7 in 5 1/3 innings but drew the loss.

The first position player drafted was SS Angel Rojas at pick seven. He was drafted out of College of William & Mary by the Colorado Springs Rainbow Trout. He's the fourth SS that Colorado Springs has taken in the first round since season 5. They drafted a 5th SS, Bernie Elcano, at pick 23.

#4 Overall pick Johnny Donahue may be the hardest first rounder to sign. Philadelphia spent $16M on two International signings. $15.2M went to switch-hitting C J.T. Decker. Not able to see what Donahue's signability is, but even if his demands are in line with the rest of the draft ($3.75M) then Philly may have to juggle some money to sign him.

I'm sure everyone drafts players with Scott Boras-type agents. The kind of player that wants a ridiculous amount of money even though they were drafted after the 1st round. It was easiest to look mine up and I had at least two. My 20th rounder, 3B Greg Fisher wants $6M. He's projected 41 overall with 8 contact, 47 power and 40/20 splits. The other player is P Bruce Beckett. He wants $2M even though he projects 35/30 splits.

For the 5th time, the New York Mets R Pond Scum had the final pick of the draft. This year's Mr. Irrelevant was 18 year-old DH Terry Daniels. Looking back, the greatest Mr. Irrelevant ever to sign is MaPS Rookie League DH Howie Buford. Buford has 111 hits in two MiL seasons. If you look up the last pick of season 1, you will see Trenton drafted Stump Lawton, who graduated from Sacred Heart Griffin HS in Springfield, IL as a 9 year-old.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Season 11

We're about 50 games into the season. After going through the leaderboard, I picked a bunch of different players and pointed out what they've done so far.

MVPs? - Clarence Black and Bill Stevenson, the MVPs from Season 10, started slow this season. Both have a batting average hovering around a .270, and neither has more than 10 HRs or 20 extra base hits. To their credit, both guys have gotten hot their past 10 games. Black .351/3/16; Stevenson .375/3/9.

Simmer Down - The NL is being terrorized by a trio of power hitters. Taylor Glynn, Kris Jones, and Cristobal Johnson have hit 24, 24, and 23 HRs respectively. All are hitting over .340 as well.

Hitting, Walking, Running - Not many players do all three better than Horacio Martin. Martin, the ML league leader in walks, has 20 stolen bases, is hitting .337, and is averaging about one run scored per game.

What the F? - The Japanese fireballer, Antonio Nomura, is 1-7, but leads the ML with 78 K's (17 more than any other pitcher).

Lose a Game, Blow a Save? Blow Me - In 14 games this year, Gene Greer has walked away a winner every time. He is 1-0 with 13 saves in 13 opportunities. Opposing teams are only hitting .140 off of him and his ERA is 1.29. Sorry if I jinxed him, but he's having a great season.

Wish I caught these Crabs - The Baltimore pitching duo of Taylor McKinley and B.J. Milliard are proving to be the best 1-2 combo in the league. In 20 combined starts, they are a 13-2 with an ERA of 1.40.

The Home Plate Ump Hates Me - Sante Fe catcher Harry Nieves has 11 passed balls. That's 5 more than any other catcher. But with 16 HRs and 49 RBIs, opposing pitchers hate him too.

One On = Two Outs - Tom North has enduced 14 double plays this season in 10 starts. On the hitting side, Butch Kirkland has rolled into 18 of them.

Just Stay Put - Don't try and steal a base on Lawrence Walker . He's thrown out 56.5% of base runners. No other catcher has thrown out better than 45%.