There’s No Crying in Baseball
So the resumption of the baseball season began with a slew of games this past Friday . But the subject that seems to be heightened as of late , has to be the surprising runs of both the Pittsburgh Pirates and Washington Nationals . Both teams, have placed themselves nicely , to at least make a run at a wildcard playoff berth , if not winning their respective divisions within the NL (National League) .
Slide show , for your perusal .
In addition , we also have Nationals’ GM Mike Rizzo still contemplating shutting down the team is starting ace Stephen Strasburg . If we are to believe the general manager in conjunction with the managerial staff will keep Strasburg innings’ pitch count for the season at 160 innings . Now apart from Strasburg’s outstanding season , we also have the exciting play of the team’s young phenom Bryce Harper . This season however , it has been the exciting introduction of a slew of young players who have reached new heights , that now has the fans in awe . Harper , along with Mike Trout and Mark Trumbo , gives this game of baseball hope , that it may or not have recovered its tainted era of steroids’ use . Something of which baseball’s hierarchy and Bud Selig seems to be in still in complete denial as to whether or not baseball has completely recovered from that reign of malfeasance and incompetence shown by the players in embroiled in this saga , as well as the continued incompetence of the MLB commissioner .
Now while the Nationals have been in large part leading the NL East with what appears to be some ease . In reality , you would have to specify that the position that the Davey Johnson’s ….. team now finds itself in , is one of un-chartered territory . Mike Rizzo either has the intent of wanting to see Washington Nationals to win a World Series’ title or he does not . From my own perception , I firmly believe that this sends a dubious signal to the Nationals’ long-suffering fans ! I mean it is not as if this franchise has ever been a perennial contender for baseball’s highest prize . Instead, it has been this season where the team seems to have the MLB analysts and fans stepping back to take a really good look at this baseball franchise . Rizzo’s continued insistence that Stephen Strasburg will be shut down even if the team is contention places the Nationals under even greater pressure if they are without Strasburg as their headlined starter . While there has been a great deal of praise heaped upon Strasburg’s lofty shoulders , he might not currently be the best pitcher on that Nationals’ pitching staff . Simply look at the stats of Gio Gonzalez for what is clear evidence of that . Now the question that has to be asked , are the Washington Nationals capable of winning their division without Strasburg , while making the postseason ? I will let you be the judge of that !
As an avid Atlanta Braves’ . I am curious to see if Fredi Gonzalez and his managerial staff can get this team into the postseason . Winners of seven of their last ten games , the Braves currently find themselves three games behind the division leading Washington Nationals (50-35) within the NL East. In the wildcard standings they are one game behind aspirants , the Cincinnati Reds(49-38) and Pittsburgh Pirates (49-38) . With Chipper Jones acknowledging that this will be his final season in the Majors, there is a renewed interest in the Cooperstown bound Hall of Fame caliber player. Jones for his part has shown great leadership as he and seasoned veterans Tim Hudson , Brian McCann , Eric Hinske and Dan Uggla have led this team to their current record (48-39). While the roster has seen its fair share of injuries , Gonzalez has managed to get his players playing with a great deal of resolve .
The future seems bright for the Atlanta Braves with their current crop of young stars led by Jason Heyward , Luis Avilan , Mike Minor , Freddie Freeman and Juan Francisco . While I am under no misconception as to what will be needed from the Atlanta Braves , I firmly believe that they are capable of making the playoffs this season . As competitive as the standings now appear to be , it will be the teams playing with a great deal of consistency and being able to maintain that momentum , that we will see making it to baseball’s postseason grand spectacle . The team’s last appearance in the postseason came in 2010 where they end up losing (4-1) to the San Francisco Giants in the NLDS . The Giants would go on to win the World Series that year , defeating the Texas Rangers .
If there are said to be perceived favorites this season based on the play of the teams then at this point of the season , then the New York Yankees , Texas Rangers and Chicago White Sox would have to be seen as the ball-clubs in contention within the AL . In the NL , those teams in question are the Washington Nationals , Cincinnati Reds and San Francisco Giants . Granted , with an additional team within each league , now part of the playoff format in terms of the wildcard berth . This premise as engineered by Bud Selig , we are led to believe will create an even bigger interest in the postseason . It is hard to make a case against that notion , as presented by baseball’s hierarchy .
Say what you will , if baseball really wants to be taken seriously and proving to the fans that they are not still operating in the “dark ages” , then the officiating by the umpires has to be a great deal more consistent . Anyone who believes that the game can continue have these inconsistencies without there being some major controversy for the fans to gripe over , has to be questioned as to their mental health. Mike DiMuro’s incompetence and indecision only further heightens the case , that instant replay has to be added to all facets of the game . Anyone who witnessed his ineptitude during a game played between the Cleveland Indians and New York Yankees could clearly see that his missed call of Yankees’ outfielder DeWayne Wise alleged catch . DiMuro’s incompetence , is now being masked by the idiocy shown by the fans who claim that baseball does not need any changes with regard to how the officials review their decisions . Yes, and Stevie Wonder was heard to make the statement … “ even I could see that wasn’t a mother-##cking catch “ ! Baseball much like the indifference being shown by David Stern and his continued backing of many of the NBA’s own inept game officials gives credence to the fact that both sports are clearly out of touch with reality , as it relates to baseball( MLB) and the sport of professional basketball . Bud Selig has remained indifferent to this continued controversy , as he has done with so many issues that currently besiege the game but yet he is still viewed as a competent executive .
Now it would be remiss not to remind fans , that this year baseball also has its lone international competition , the World Baseball Classic , with qualifiers starting September 20th-24th 2012 in Regensburg , Germany , with the following quartet of teams looking to make it through a qualifying round-robin competition . Canada , Germany , Czech Republic and Great Britain are those teams in question . The full competition itself will be 2013 , and Team USA will be managed by Joe Torre as seeks to guide the US national to their first victory in the international competition . The event in 2013 promises to be a thrilling competition as they seek win the game’s second most prominent international competition . And for those wishing to see a speedy return of baseball to the Olympics , simply ask that ” bumbling buffoon “ Bud Selig , as to the reason why the game has been shuttered by the IOC Executive Committee ?
Picture gallery for your perusal .
In the ensuing second-half of the MLB season what do you envisage seeing as a fan ? In addition, which teams do you believe will be ultimately triumphant as the AL and NL pennant winners ? Do leave a comment as you see fit on this and anything else you believe pertinent to the subject matter .
Picture and slide show details below .
(1) Pittsburgh Pirates’ Garrett Jones, left, congratulates Andrew McCutchen (22) after McCutchens’ solo home run against the Milwaukee Brewers during the fourth inning of a baseball game , Sunday, July 15, 2012, in Milwaukee. AP Photo/Jim Prisching …
(2) MILWAUKEE, WI – JULY 15: Aramis Ramirez (16) of the Milwaukee Brewers celebrates in the dugout after scoring the last run against the Pittsburgh Pirates putting the Brewers up 4-1 in the bottom of the 6th inning at Miller Park on July 15, 2012 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Photo by Mike McGinnis/Getty Images …
(3) Washington Nationals’ Stephen Strasburg pitches against the Miami Marlins in the first inning of a baseball game in Miami, Sunday, July 15, 2012. The Nationals would go on to defeat the Marlins 4-0 , to remain atop of the NL East . AP Photo/Alan Diaz …
(4) MIAMI, FL – JULY 15: The Washington Nationals celebrate victory over the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park on July 15, 2012 in Miami, Florida. Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images ….
(5) MIAMI, FL – JULY 15: Justin Ruggiano (20) of the Miami Marlins strikes out in the ninth inning against the Washington Nationals at Marlins Park on July 15, 2012 in Miami, Florida. Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images …
(6) Atlanta Braves pitcher Ben Sheets delivers against the New York Mets during the first inning of their baseball game , Sunday, July 15, 2012, in Atlanta. AP Photo/Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Curtis Compton … MARIETTA DAILY OUT; GWINNETT DAILY POST OUT; LOCAL TV OUT; WXIA-TV OUT; WGCL-TV OUT ..
(7) Atlanta Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman (5) follows through with a three-run home run as New York Mets catcher Josh Thole looks on in the fifth inning of a baseball game, Sunday, July 15, 2012, in Atlanta. The Braves would defeat the Mets 6-1 . AP Photo/John Bazemore ….
(8) Home plate umpire Jordan Baker , right, calls a timeout after Chicago White Sox’s Paul Konerko (14) gets hit by a pitch during the eighth inning of a baseball game at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Mo., Sunday, July 15, 2012. Kansas City Royals catcher Salvador Perez watches. AP Photo/Orlin Wagner ….
(9) Yankees’ outfielder DeWayne Wise is seen here trying to make his way back unto the field in a game played at Yankees Stadium , against the Cleveland Indians . Inset , also seen , MLB umpire Mike DiMuro who made an erroneous mistake declaring an “out ” when Wise failed to catch and remain in complete control of the ball. DiMuro failed to ask the player whether or not he had caught the ball or seek evidence in light of the availability of instant replay. Numerous fans in the stands tried to make the official aware that Wise did not make a “clean catch” , during which the official shrugged off their claims . AP Photo/ Michael Smith …..
This day in baseball history 16th July
Hot chics pics of the day Denise Milani . Who just happens to be one of SportsChump’s favorite dream women , and you can understand why because of her “ample bounties” .
Esther Baxter . A ‘sista’ with a wonderful disposition about her . Girl , I do want to lay you down and “lay some pipe ” , ’cause I’m Al “The Plumber” , here , to unclog your pipes !
Myself , I’m not at all indifferent to the female form as it brings out the best in any heterosexual red blooded male ! Would you not agree ?