Category Archives: National Sports

A Message to Umpires: Stop the Warnings

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Umpires this year have taken warnings too far.

Last week when Yankee Left-fielder Brett Gardner went hard into second base injuring Carlos Guillen, I was expecting some retaliation from Detroit. Two games later Gardner was hit leading off the game, rising suspicions that it was intentional. Honestly if it was on purpose then hats off to Detroit pitcher Jeremy Bonderman. He was protecting his teammate. The only thing that peeved me about it was he hit Brett in the leg. Hit the man in the back. Never aim to low or too high. That is what baseball is about. I know people hate to hear that, but I’m sorry that’s baseball. The players police themselves. Gardner hurts Guillen, he gets hit, end of discussion and we go on to playing baseball. But the umpires, by issuing all these warnings, take that aspect of the players policing themselves out of the game. I have no problem with umpires warning both benches to prevent a bean-ball war. But all I and fans ask is use common sense when issuing them. Surprisingly in that Yankee game Yankee pitcher Chad Gaudin hit Miguel Cabrera who had homered twice and a warning already issued, but Gaudin was not ejected.

As I write this, a warning in the Chicago White Sox and the Baltimore Orioles game was issued after Alex Rios got hit with two outs and a runner on second. With the O’s still in the game, there is no intention of hitting Rios in that spot. But a warning was issued anyway. All umpires have to do is use common sense. They have been in baseball long enough to know when it is just a pitcher pitching inside or not. People get hit, that is baseball. Pitchers have to throw inside to command the plate. I have seen it too many times this year, umpires issuing warnings when they are not warranted. Once a warning is issued it cannot be rescinded and it makes the umpires job harder. If a batter gets hit or a pitch is inside they have to play mind-reader. Was it intentional or was it just a pitch that got away? So umpires, lets not always jump the gun and slow down with the warnings and lets just play baseball.

Now for some news around the Bigs:

I have one question for the Seattle Mariners: What were you thinking? They gave up Brendan Morrow for Brandon League and a pick. Now, League is having a pretty good year (63 IP, 2.84 ERA). But League is a reliever who doesn’t have the potential Morrow has nor does he have the stuff Morrow has. How do you give up on someone who has the stuff Morrow has. I watched him make professional, all-star quality players look horrible. In his last fifteen innings against the two best teams in baseball, the Yankees and the Rays, Morrow has given up two runs, five hits, and has a whopping twenty-nine strikeouts. His stuff is top quality and should factor into the Jay’s future for their rotation. I bet Seattle wants a do-over on that one.

This week two big name players, Johnny Damon and Manny Ramirez, were rumored to go on waivers. Damon has already hit waivers, while Manny is still waiting.  These two former all-stars can play a huge role in the pennant race. Damon can still hit and can be a productive player in the two hole in a lineup. He was claimed by his former team, the Red Sox on Tuesday, but he rejected the claim to stay in Detroit. Manny is the wildcard in this pennant race. If he is claimed by the White Sox or Rays for example, who knows what he can do. If he gets out of LA and into a race we could see a similar Manny that we saw when he went to LA after leaving the Red Sox. Just to jog your memory, Manny in 53 games in 2008 with LA hit .396 with 17 home runs and 53 RBI’s. Inject anything like that into a lineup like the Rays, White Sox, or Yankees and the whole pennant race is changed.

Quick notes on those Yankees. Without A-Rod this year the Yankees are 13-1. Now that is just a statistic , there really is nothing behind that. But what is not just a stat is Robby Cano is really stepping up in A-Rod’s absence. He is closing in on his first career 30 home run campaign. Someone is going to get a nice pay day in the off-season. In other news, Javy Vaszquez’s struggles have now led him to the bullpen. Rookie Ivan Nova will take his spot in the rotation. This is a scary thought for Yankee fans because after CC Sabathia, the Yankees have Phil Hughes who is on a inning limit, a struggling A.J Burnett, journeyman Dustin Mosely, and Nova in their rotation. Now with Andy Pettite’s return pushed back even further, it seems Mosely and Nova will pitch big innings in the Bronx this fall.

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Left Field Lite: Say Goodbye to the Beard?

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Jayson Werth could soon find himself on another team if the Phillies get the right deal

When you’re a defending NL Champion seven games out of first place, it’s time to make a trade.

Right now, Ruben Amaro, Jr. and the Phillies’ front office are looking to get some pitching, preferably someone who will be more than a rental player. As of today, the only two people who fit those guidelines are the Astros’ Roy Oswalt and the Diamondbacks’ Dan Haren. Both of these players are top of the line pitchers, which means the Phillies will once again have to sacrifice some of their top prospects in order add rotation strength.

What this means for fans, however, is that one of the Phils’ prominent players will be saying goodbye in the near future. The man I’m speaking of is outfielder Jayson Werth. Continue reading

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Dwayne Jones is Moving North of the Border

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In an NBA offseason full of blockbuster moves, the Phoenix Suns made their own today, acquiring Josh Childress from Atlanta and Hedo Turkoglu from Toronto. Going to the Raptors in today’s deal was former Hawk Dwayne Jones, ’05, who signed with the Suns before the 2010 playoffs. Along with Jones, the Raptors also acquired Leandro Barbosa in the deal.

During his brief stint with the Suns, Jones saw little action, playing in two games for a total of 3.5 minutes, with his single stat being a defensive rebound. In the playoffs, Jones played in two games against Portland for a total of five minutes, scoring five points with a total of five rebounds.

The Raptors will be Jones’ fifth teams in the past six years of a career that saw brief stints in Boston and Charlotte, with a longer stay in Cleveland in between. So far in his career, Jones has played in 82 regular season games averaging 7.8 minutes per game with a career 107 points.

Jones will add depth to a Raptors team bereft of a big man after center Chris Bosh left to join Dwayne Wade and Lebron James in Miami.

-Tom Hagan ’11

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Left Field Lite: All the king’s agents and all the king’s men couldn’t put the franchise back together again.

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See? Even LeBron James is confused about where he’ll land.

Well folks, tonight’s the night: LeBron’s decision night, brought to you by Nike, Powerade, and anyone else who wants to jump in on the deal. With every team with a speck of cap room making their moves in order to sign King James, the world is abuzz with ideas of what LeBron’s new  (or old) jersey will look like, and surely what headband will match best.

But amidst all this excitement, has anyone thought about the backlash for the team and players who aren’t fortunate enough to land the king? Continue reading

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Left Field Lite: Don’t Call it a Comeback

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With his win on Sunday, Jamie Moyer tied Roy Halladay as the Phillies’ wins leader.

You know, for a little while there, things were a little scary for Phillies fans. While the Phillies offense has slumped in seasons past, this year anemic didn’t even begin to describe it. Normally the “June Swoon” comes during interleague play. This year, the Phils were slumping entering interleague play. Within a week, the Phillies dropped from being right behind the Braves in the standings to 5.5 games out of first place.

Well, with a solid win against the Blue Jays today, the Phillies look to be back on track, averaging 7 runs a game in their last 5 games, finding themselves now only 2.5 games back and closing in on an early July showdown with the Braves. But as the great LL Cool J once said in his song “Mama Said Knock You Out,” “Don’t call it a comeback, I’ve been here for years.” Continue reading

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Left Field Lite: What I’ve Learned Over My Summer Vacation (So Far)

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Desmond Tutu is now one of my top 5 favorite people ever.

I have to admit: I’ve never been a soccer fan… ever. I have always thought it was just a sport you play until you get serious about baseball or football in high school.

That is, until this summer.

After I was surprised how much I enjoyed hockey and the Stanley Cup playoffs, I figured I would give soccer a try with the World Cup.  I’m very glad I did. Continue reading

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Left Field Lite: When Good Umpires Go Bad

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Joe West: Colorful Umpire or Major League Annoyance?

I must say, I was going to just let this go, but after Tigers pitcher Armando Galarraga lost a perfect game bid to a blown call with two outs in the ninth inning, I have to say something to the umpires of Major League Baseball: just call the game. Since the beginning of the season, umpires have found themselves in more sticky situations than usual, even when instant replay was supposed to resolve a whole bunch of controversy for the men in blue. Continue reading

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