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Dan Haren posted by Dodgers Fan

Born September 17, 1980, Dan Haren plays Major League Baseball for Los Angeles Dodger as their pitcher. Haren manages a sharp split finger fastball in the range of 84 to 86 mph, a two-seam fastball in 89 to 92 mph range, and fastball in the 89 to 92 mph range. In 2008, he has added a cutter to his skills, which is at 85 to 87 mph. Haren now mainly relies on the cutter, which has rejuvenated his MLB career. For left-hand batters, he mainly uses two-seam fastball, along with other pitches.

Dan Haren joined Pepperdine University on baseball scholarship after he graduated from Bishop Amat High School in 1998. In 1999, he was selected Freshman of the Year by West Coast Conference. In season 2001, he posted ERA of 2.22 in 17 starts. Haren began his professional baseball career in 2001, when he was with the New Jersey Cardinals, where he made 12 appearances and posted 3.10 ERA, 3-3 record, and struck out 57.

In June 2003, Dan Haren made his debut in MLB as a starting pitcher, when he played against San Francisco Giants. Later he got his first win in July, where he allowed only a single run while playing against Los Angeles Dodgers. After that, Haren has played for Oakland Athletics, Arizona Diamondbacks, Los Angeles Angels, and Washington Nationals. In November 2013, Haren accepted a one-year deal with the Los Angeles Dodger for $10 million. This deal includes 2015 vesting option, which has now become a player option after Haren pitched 180 innings in the 2014 season. The 2014 season started strong for Haren, when he won five out of six decisions. However, there was a low spell during the all-star break, when he lost five straight starts. Nevertheless, Haren came back strong and finished the season with 13-11 record, and 4.02 ERA.

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Charles Bisbee

Seismic Deal Cleans Sox' Slate posted by Charles Bisbee

As you may have heard, Adrian Gonzalez, Josh Beckett, Carl Crawford and Nick Punto were traded to the Dodgers last week for James Loney, pitching prospect Rubby de la Rosa, and an assortment of water-logged baseballs. (I kid, obviously, though baseballs- fresh ones at least- could eventually prove to be more valuable than the players the Sox received).

On paper and from an overall talent perspective, the deal looks atrocious. James Loney is a utility player for a middling squad and the best prospect the Sox received (de la Rosa) projects as a mid-rotation innings-eater. Dan Shaughnessy compared the trade's magnitude to the infamous sale of the Bambino in 1920. 

While the gulf in overall baseball talent is wide, this is a deal that needed to be made. It doesn’t take a chemistry major to have noted the growing toxicity within the Sox clubhouse over the past couple of years, or to understand that Beckett and Crawford in particular were lightning rods for the vitriol directed toward the squad, both from fans and the media. Crawford was always hurt and could never live up to his $142 million contract. Beckett was inconsistent and seemingly lazy. If success were to be reclaimed by these players, it was not going to be in the hub. 

In gutting the nucleus of the squad, the Sox save more than $250 million and give Ben Cherington the opportunity to build his team, instead of continuing to saddle him with Theo Epstein’s band of misfits. This is a clean slate for the Sox. And after the past couple of years, a clean slate may be better than any player the team could have acquired. 

Continue reading "Seismic Deal Cleans Sox' Slate"


Hard work pays off for career minor leaguers posted by David

Reds rookie Mike Leake went from Arizona State to the majors without throwing a pitch in the minor leagues.  Stephen Strasburg spent two months split between Double-A and Triple-A before making his big league debut in front of the entire baseball world.  The rise to the top does not come so easily – or at all – for others who share the dream of playing in The Show.  Two such players are John Lindsey, who was drafted way back in 1995, and Max St-Pierre, who had played 978 games in the minors – nearly all of them as a catcher – before getting called up this month to the Dodgers and Tigers, respectively.  Lindsey had played for five different organizations and even tried independent ball in 2005.  St-Pierre had spent 14 seasons in the minors, including 13 in the Tigers organization, and was one of the Toledo Mud Hens' backstops in 2010.  He probably did not expect the promotion after starting the year at Double-A.  It’s always exciting for any minor leaguer to find out he's going up to the big leagues, but for a 33-year-old first baseman and a 30-year-old catcher going up for the first time, it has got to be the greatest feeling in the world.

How 'bout that?

How about Troy Tulowitzki?  The Rockies shortstop is having a September to remember, launching 14 home runs, slugging a ridiculous .884, putting together four multi-homer games, and collecting 34 RBIs.  If he can drive in 10 runs in Colorado's last nine games, Tulo will finish with 100 RBIs despite spending six weeks on the DL in June and July.  Along with Carlos Gonzalez, Tulowitzki is leading the Rockies in their hunt for another Rocktober.

Continue reading "Hard work pays off for career minor leaguers"


Will Chipper hang 'em up? posted by David

Chipper Jones is out for the year with a torn ACL, but let’s hope this isn’t it for the man who has played his entire major league career for manager Bobby Cox.  Chipper has made it known since last season that retirement could be around the corner, but like Baseball Tonight’s Eduardo Perez, I don’t see Chipper calling it quits now that his season has ended unexpectedly.  He wants to go out on his own terms, and these aren’t them.  At 38, his career is nearing the end, but I find it hard to believe that he will be able to say good-bye after watching from the bench as his team battles for the National League crown.

If he’s truly done, Chipper’s numbers speak for themselves: a .306 career batting average and .405 On-Base Percentage, 436 home runs, 147 stolen bases, 2,490 hits, two Silver Sluggers and an MVP award.  The six-time All-Star won a batting title at the age of 36, hitting a staggering .364 to edge Albert Pujols, who hit .357.  He is also tied for the most home runs in a season by a switch-hitter (45 in 1999; Lance Berkman accomplished the feat in 2006).  A little known fact about Chipper is that he and Paul Waner hold the Major League record for most consecutive games with an extra-base hit (14).  Chipper will join Waner in Cooperstown as soon as he is eligible.

How ‘bout that?

How about Jered Weaver?  The 27-year-old righty leads the majors with 182 strikeouts and is having his best season (11-7, 2.87 Earned Run Average) since his rookie year (2006), when he went 11-2 with a 2.56 ERA.  Since the All-Star break, Weaver has been even better, posting a 1.93 ERA, limiting opponents to a .204 batting average, and averaging seven innings per outing over six starts.  With the Rangers playing so well in the AL West, the Angels are unlikely to win the division for the fourth straight year and may even finish under .500 for the first time since 2003, but they have to be pleased with how their ace has pitched this season.

Continue reading "Will Chipper hang 'em up?"


Jamie Moyer: baseball's new Ageless Wonder posted by David

Julio Franco may be the oldest player in Major League history to hit a home run (he also holds a number of other oldest player records), but Jamie Moyer has established himself as the game’s new Ageless Wonder.  In throwing a two-hitter against the Braves on May 7th, the 47-year-old became the oldest player to throw a complete game shutout.

A perfect Mother’s Day

In case you missed it, Dallas Braden guaranteed his place in the record books earlier this month by throwing the 19th perfect game in Major League history.  A perfect game is always difficult to achieve, but throwing one against the Rays – the best team in baseball – is that much more impressive.  What’s also worth noting is that this was the first Complete Game of Braden’s career.  That said, the most perfect aspect about the achievement was that it occurred on Mother’s Day, with Braden’s grandmother, who raised him after his mother died of skin cancer, in the stands.

How ‘bout that?

How about Andre Ethier?  Leading all three Triple Crown categories (.392 AVG, 11 HR, 38 RBI’s) in the National League as of a week ago, Ethier is the most feared hitter in the Dodger lineup (even more than Manny Ramirez), but will spend at least the next couple weeks on the Disabled List with a broken bone in his pinky finger.  His injury is bad news for the Dodgers.

How about Ty Wigginton?  After hitting 11 home runs all of last season, Wigginton is tied for second in the majors with 12 homers and still has a week and a half left to play in the month of May!  The Oriole infielder slugged just .400 in 2009 but boasts a .617 slugging percentage through the first eight weeks of 2010.

Continue reading "Jamie Moyer: baseball's new Ageless Wonder"

Michael McGauley

"Time for the Giants to Focus on the Rockies and Not Wednesday's Disaster" posted by Michael McGauley

Okay Giants' fans, it's time to get over Wednesday's loss, and get ready for the Rockies Friday night. Hey, I can be just as greedy as anyone, especially when it comes to a potential three-game sweep of the defending N.L. Champion Phillies. Everything was looking good: Lincecum on the mound, a three-run lead in the top of the 9th, and Brian Wilson getting loose in the pen should Timmy run out of gas. Then, with one out, a four-pitch walk to Shane Victorino, Bochy yanks Lincecum after 106 pitches, and Wilson cannot close the door. Jayson Werth's bases-clearing bloop double down the right field line tied the game at 4-4. In my opinion, total fluke! Wilson had not allowed a single run all season, and actually retired the first batter he faced. There were two outs before Utley singled and Howard walked to load the bases. Listen, if Wilson had finished off the game as he usually does, we wouldn't be having this endless discussion about Bochy's ill-fated pitching change. If he had left Timmy finish the game and he blew it, the same people would be criticizing Bochy FOR NOT making a move. It's really an impossible position for the skipper. I don't mind seeing Lincecum throw 120 pitches, but you have to figure it will make a difference later in the season once he exceeds the 200-inning plateau. If Bochy can save him, and limit the pitch count here and there, it could keep him fresher into September, and that's really the big picture. Don't pound your horses into the ground in April. Yes, it would have been nice to see the complete game, but IT IS Wilson's job to slam the door, and Wednesday just wasn't his day.

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Next stop in my baseball career – the Toledo Mud Hens! posted by David

In my life I have attended many more major league games than minor league ones, but 2010 will be a chance for me to experience the minors like never before.  I will be working in media relations for the Toledo Mud Hens of the International League.  The Mud Hens are the Triple-A affiliate of the Tigers and play at Fifth Third Field, just an hour from Detroit, which means that Tigers on rehab assignments will likely make cameo appearances throughout the season.

Those who have worn the Mud Hen uniform include Hall of Famers Kirby Puckett (the team was affiliated with the Twins from 1978 through 1986) and manager Casey Stengel, as well as longtime Tigers Travis Fryman and Kirk Gibson, and active players Curtis Granderson of the Yankees and Carlos Peña of the Red Sox.  Scott Sizemore, who will replace Placido Polanco as Detroit’s 2nd baseman this season, spent the better part of 2009 in Toledo.

Toledo, Ohio is a place I had never been until recently, but I am very happy to become a part of the Mud Hens staff and thrilled to work a full season in professional baseball.

Two more notable retirements

The 2009-2010 offseason has already seen the end of the brilliant careers of Randy Johnson, Tom Glavine, and Frank Thomas, but two other players with solid resumes announced their retirements this past week.

Nomar Garciaparra played for the Red Sox, Cubs, Dodgers, and Athletics, collected 1,747 hits, 229 home runs, 95 stolen bases, and a batting line of .313/.361/.521, and made six-time All-Star teams.  He was unanimously selected as the 1997 American League Rookie of the Year, and won back-to-back batting titles with very impressive averages – .357 and .372 – in 1999 and 2000.  In those years, Garciaparra also set career OPS highs at 1.022 (second to Manny Ramirez in the AL) and 1.033.  In seven postseason series, he hit .321 with seven home runs.  Nomar guaranteed himself a spot in the record books on May 10, 1999, when he became the 11th player in major league history to hit two grand slams in a single game.

Continue reading "Next stop in my baseball career – ..."

Marc Miller

Does Matt Kemp deserve a multi-year contract posted by Marc Miller

Matt Kemp is coming off the best year of his very young career and the Dodgers higher ups are unsure of whether to offer a multi-year contract.  This makes no sense to anyone who follows the Dodgers.  Matt Kemp has been in the majors for 4 years now, every year his numbers have improved greatly.  Just a few examples between his 2008 and 2009 seasons; He had 606 at bats in each year, and across the boards his numbers improved.  4 more runs, 4 more hits, 2 more triples, 12 more home runs, 25 more RBI’s, 19 more total bases.  Then for those of us who felt like every time he was at the plate he struck out, ( I know I was mad when he did) he actually improved his numbers from the previous year by 14.  I know most of the numbers aren’t a huge difference but there is a clear difference at the same time.  Matt Kemp improved throughout the season, and his defense was unstoppable.  He made very few mistakes throughout the year, in fact it was so few that he was recognized as one of the top outfielders in the National league and was awarded a Gold Glove.  On top of that he also got Silver Slugger honors which shows the improvements he made.  I think that the numbers alone,  with his leadership improvements should be recognized as enough to come to terms with a long term contract.

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Run production and slugging: not always hand in hand posted by David

While researching ballplayers of the nineties, I discovered that in 1993, Jeff King of the Pirates drove in 98 runs while hitting only nine home runs and slugging just .406.  I then wondered if any player has ever driven in 100 runs with fewer than 10 homers or with a slugging percentage under .400.  Upon further investigation, I found that in 1996 – the year he turned 40 during the Dog Days of August – Paul Molitor hit just nine homers but accumulated 113 RBI’s while playing for the Twins.  Thanks to his American League-leading 225 hits and batting two hitters behind leadoff man Chuck Knoblauch in the midst of his best season (.448 OBP), Molitor led the Twins in both hitting (.341) and Runs Batted In.  I have yet to find a player with a season of 100+ RBI’s despite a slugging percentage under .400 (Molitor’s was a healthy .468), but I will continue searching.

How ‘bout that?

How about Roy Halladay?  In a classy move following his trade to the Phillies, Halladay wrote an open letter to Blue Jays fans in a full-page ad in the Toronto Sun, thanking them for their “overwhelming passion and devotion.”  Halladay, the longest-tenured member of the Jays, will remain in the team record books for quite some time.  He is second to Dave Stieb in wins by a Blue Jays pitcher with 148, and during his big-league career, which began in 1998, he represented the Jays in six All-Star games, came within one out of a no-hitter in his second major league start, and set a single-season franchise record with 22 wins in 2003, when he won the Cy Young Award.  He also threw 49 Complete Games, including 15 shutouts, good for third and second, respectively, in Blue Jays history.  Halladay’s good-bye makes me feel good as a baseball fan.

Continue reading "Run production and slugging: not ..."


Phillies take a Halladay posted by David

After the way Cliff Lee pitched against the Yankees in the World Series six weeks ago, I would have been surprised to hear that the Phillies were even listening to offers for their ace.  But when the chance to acquire Roy Halladay comes around, I suppose any team would be crazy not to listen.  Before I knew it, Halladay was a Phillie and Lee was heading to Seattle, where he’ll join his third club in the span of four and a half months.  How often does that happen to the defending Cy Young Award winner?

Mauer wins Triple Crown in my book

No major leaguer has won the Triple Crown since Carl Yastrzemski in 1967, but this year Joe Mauer did lead the American League in what should be the three Triple Crown categories: batting average (.365), on-base percentage (.444), and slugging percentage (.587).  Home runs are exciting and contribute to a higher slugging percentage, but if I were a manager, I’d much rather see my cleanup hitter go 3-4 than hit a solo shot and strike out three times trying to do it again.  Reaching 100 RBI’s in a season is a nice accomplishment, but the stat itself is overrated.  If all nine guys in the lineup are getting on base 40 percent of the time, it doesn’t matter who is driving them in; someone must be.

Granderson to patrol center in the Bronx

At the Winter Meetings in Indianapolis last week, the Yankees landed themselves a great centerfielder in Curtis Granderson.  Many of Granderson’s fans – myself included – were disappointed that he will be wearing Pinstripes next season.  Even so, I’ll keep rooting for him wherever he goes.  Of all the people I met at the World Baseball Classic, he was the happiest to be there.  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Curtis Granderson is the truest friend of the game.

Continue reading "Phillies take a Halladay"

Los Angeles Dodgers News

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Cardinals arrive in New York at 8:30 am after flight delay (The Associated Press)

The St. Louis Cardinals did not arrive at their hotel in New York until 8:30 a.m. Monday after a flight delay that followed a nationally televised night game. St. Louis' 9-6 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers in Sunday night's ESPN game lasted 3 hours, 49 minutes, and ended shortly before 11 p.m. CDT. The plane taking the Cardinals to New York did not land in St. Louis on time because of weather, causing the team to remain in its clubhouse for several hours. [read full article]

From Yahoo Sports

Baseball-Highlights of Thursday's MLB games (Reuters)

(Adds remaining games) July 21 (The Sports Xchange) - Highlights of Thursday's Major League Baseball games: Dodgers 6, Nationals 3 Justin Turner hit two home runs with five RBIs to hand Stephen Strasburg his first loss of the season as the Los Angeles Dodgers posted a 6-3 victory over the Washington Nationals on Thursday afternoon. The Dodgers (54-43), who used eight pitchers, took two of three games in the series and are 5-1 this season against the National League East leaders. Washington (57-39) is 30-18 at home, but has lost six of its last 11 at Nationals Park. [read full article]

From Yahoo Sports

Reynaldo Lopez'sdebut for Nationals historic and disappointing (Big League Stew)

The Washington Nationals called up Reynaldo Lopez to make a start Tuesday against the Los Angeles Dodgers and it didn’t go so well, even though Lopez made a bit of history. The 22-year-old right-hander from the Dominican Republic pitched 4 2/3 innings giving up 10 hits and six earned runs and suffered the loss in the Dodgers 8-4 win. Lopez got off to a poor start allowing a home run to Chase Utley to leadoff the game. [read full article]

From Yahoo Sports

Reynaldo Lopez's debut for Nationals historic and disappointing (Big League Stew)

The Washington Nationals called up Reynaldo Lopez to make a start Tuesday against the Los Angeles Dodgers and it didn’t go so well, even though Lopez made a bit of history. The 22-year-old right-hander from the Dominican Republic pitched 4 2/3 innings giving up 10 hits and six earned runs and suffered the loss in the Dodgers 8-4 win. Lopez got off to a poor start allowing a home run to Chase Utley to leadoff the game. [read full article]

From Yahoo Sports

Can Kershaw win the MVP award for the second time? (The Associated Press)

It's rare for a pitcher to win an MVP award. If the season ended now, Clayton Kershaw of the Los Angeles Dodgers would have a good chance to do just that. In 2014, Kershaw became the first pitcher to win the National League MVP since Bob Gibson in 1968. [read full article]

From Yahoo Sports

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