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Adrian Gonzalez versus Jose Bautista for AL MVP

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Posted by Adrien Griffin
Categories: Athletes, MLB,

The MLB All-Star Game signals the unofficial end to the first half of the MLB season. With that begins all the end-of-season races, from playoff pushes to individual awards to even the trade deadline. One of the more interesting races to watch is for the American League MVP which, right now, is a two-horse race between the Boston Red Sox’s Adrian Gonzalez and Toronto Blue Jays’ Jose Bautista.  ...

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Closer role still a work in progress

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Posted by Adrien Griffin
Categories: Athletes, MLB,

In the last few decades, the role of the closer has grown exponentially from guys who had to mop up games that a starter couldn’t finish to pitchers with defined jobs that earn them save stats all their own as well as paychecks with a significant number of zeros. However, despite the prestige the role gets when successful, it’s still very much a work in progress. On average, teams only convert 68 percent of their …

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Derek Jeter the 3,000 hit man opts out of All-Star Game

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Posted by Adrien Griffin
Categories: Athletes, MLB,

Derek Jeter hit his 3,000th career hit on Saturday in grand fashion with a home run, which helps solidify his future place as a member of Cooperstown. But a calf injury will keep him out of Tuesday night’s MLB All-Star Game in Arizona. Jeter made the announcement on Friday that he decided – on his own – to vacate his spot on the American League’s starting roster and will watch from home instead. He joins …

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Cleveland Indians farm system largely responsible for major league successes

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Posted by Adrien Griffin
Categories: Athletes, MLB,

Maybe it’s because the city of Cleveland has seen so much misery in the sports landscape in recent years that has many surprised that the Indians are actually doing well in the American League Central. How they’re competing with the likes of the Detroit Tigers and Chicago White Sox amazes some. In reality, the team doesn’t have any individual superstars but instead has a strong core of above-average players and continues to grow talented prospects …

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Christian Ehrhoff signs with Sabres for $40 million

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Posted by Adrien Griffin
Categories: Athletes, Front Office, NHL,

Friday saw a record number of NHL free agent signings, mainly because many teams are scrambling to get players just to reach the salary floor required of them. Money was thrown around relentlessly and new Buffalo Sabres owner Terry Pegula was at the forefront of the spending. He held firm in his promise to build Buffalo back into a contending team as he signed former Vancouver Canucks blue-liner Christian Ehrhoff to a 10 year, $40 …

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Cliff Lee and Roy Halladay competing for pitching’s top honor

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Posted by Adrien Griffin
Categories: Athletes, MLB,

With Cliff Lee’s win over the Boston Red Sox on Tuesday night, he capped what was one of the best months for a pitcher in baseball history and all-but-guarantees he’ll be selected as NL Player of the Month for June. He posted a 5-0 record with an unbelievable 0.21 ERA in 42.0 innings pitched with 29 strikeouts, giving up one earned run on 21 hits and eight walks for a 0.69 WHIP. Opposing batters had …

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Pirates’ pen mild without Evan Meek

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Posted by Adrien Griffin
Categories: Athletes, Injuries, MLB,

In 2010, pitcher Evan Meek was one of the Pittsburgh Pirates' top relievers. Pitching for a team that has failed to reach even low expectations over the past two decades, Meek emerged as one of the team’s only reliable late inning options. Meek was exceptional all season long. He finished the year with a 5-4 record, but had a 2.14 ERA in 80.0 innings pitched, allowed 35 walks to 70 strikeouts, had a WHIP of …

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Alex Gordon finally coming around

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Posted by Adrien Griffin
Categories: Athletes, MLB,

After one month of baseball, the Kansas City Royals had exceeded expectations with a 14-13 record and were second in the AL Central. Only the more unexpected Cleveland Indians were better. Since then, the Royals have returned to form, going 18-32 through May and June to this point and have fallen all the way to the basement in the division. It seems to be a fan of the Royals is synonymous with dashed hopes and …

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Jim Riggleman’s reasons continue to intrigue

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Posted by Adrien Griffin
Categories: Athletes, Front Office, MLB, Rumors,

A managerial change in professional sports usually grabs headlines for a day or so before things return to normal, especially in-season. But the situation developing with former Washington Nationals manager Jim Riggleman walking out on his team after they won a game on Thursday night has continued to pique interests nationwide. Riggleman cites a lack of respect as baseball’s lowest-paid manager as one reason why he chose to relieve himself as the skipper and leave. …

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Justin Verlander should start first All-Star Game for AL

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Posted by Adrien Griffin
Categories: Athletes, MLB,

The Detroit Tigers' Justin Verlander is making a strong case to start the 2011 MLB All Star Game for the American League. He threw his second consecutive complete game on Sunday and now has recorded a “W” in five straight starts. During those, he’s pitched 41.2 innings with a 0.86 ERA, 37 strikeouts and a 0.65 WHIP. Truly ridiculous numbers over the last three weeks. And none of those include the no-hitter he threw on …

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