Posts Tagged ‘Manny Ramirez’

What We Assume Tampa Bay’s Locker Room Looked Like Last Month

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Monday Medley

What we read while narrowly avoiding an NPI shutdown…

MLB Preview: American League

We’re a full weekend into the baseball season, and NPI still hasn’t previewed the most important league! Don’t fret, though, John S is here to break it all down for you, and to make sure you don’t get fooled by Baltimore’s 3-0 start.

AL West

1. Oakland Athletics

2. Texas Rangers

3. Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

4. Seattle Mariners

So you’re on the A’s bandwagon? Yeah, and I’m not even going to pretend like I got on it particularly early. I was really just looking for someone to pick over the Rangers.

Why do you feel the need to mess with Texas? Well, I was early on the Rangers bandwagon, picking them to win the West at the beginning of 2010, so it’s not like I’m anti-Texas. This year, though, the defending AL champs are both overrated and underrated. They are underrated because people have inevitably focused on the loss of Cliff Lee this off-season; but while losing Lee is obviously big, it’s easy to lose sight of the fact that the Rangers were in first before trading for Lee last season, and that they likely would have won the division even without his acquisition (Lee was actually pretty mediocre for Texas in the regular season). Continue reading

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A-Rod: The latest member of an exclusive club.....

Here’s something you may not be willing to accept: Barry Bonds is probably one of the five best hitters to ever play professional baseball, regardless of his use of performance-enhancing drugs.

Bill James called him “certainly the most unappreciated superstar of my lifetime.” Bonds was, according to James, by far the best player of his era. It should be noted that Bill James wrote this after the 1999 season—that is, he wrote it before five consecutive seasons in which Bonds had an OPS over 1.100, an OBP of at least .440 (and over .500 four times), and (in)famously set the single-season home run record, with 73 home runs in 2001. Continue reading

MLB Preview Bonanza: NL West

The Major League Baseball season may have already started, but it’s not too late for some long-term predictions from John S and Tim. Tim will cover the old-fashioned, baseball-the-way-it-was-meant-to-be-played National League while John handles the by-this-point-too-far-gone American League. To build suspense, we’re starting in the West and gradually moving to the Central and East divisions by Saturday.

In 2005, the San Diego Padres won the National League West with an 82-80 record–the worst to ever claim a division crown. The West was the laughingstock of the NL, which in turn was looked down upon by the Junior Circuit. In the four seasons since, however, the NL West has had a bit of a renaissance, winning the NL’s Wild Card in three of those seasons and placing four teams in the NLCS over that time. The West had three teams win at least 88 games last year–the first NL division to do that since, well, the West in 2007. It is Major League Baseball’s most fluctuating division–the only one to place all of its teams in the playoffs since 2002–even as the Dodgers have won the division each of the last two seasons. That will change in 2010. Continue reading

Aught Lang Syne: Athletes of the Decade, Part I

You thought we were done, didn’t you? That we would stick to our promise to end by December 31? Please. We’ve still got two posts to go to determine the most important title of all: Athlete of the Decade.

In defining what exactly constituted the “Athlete of the Decade” in a sport, there’s a fine line between who is best and who is the most iconic. I tended toward the latter, which runs the risk of predicting how future historians remember the Aughts.

And a little wrinkle: The order in which I present the sports counts down to the Athlete of the Decade across sports. That is, the last sport I do will have the No. 1 Athlete of the Decade, the penultimate is the second-best across sports, and so on. Here are Nos. 6, 5, and 4. Continue reading

In Defense of Steroids

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Nobody likes steroids. On a list of things that are popular, steroids probably fall somewhere between cancer and traffic. While the popular outrage over steroid use in baseball has diminished recently, the primary reason for this is not any change in attitude; it’s mainly due to the fact that so many players have now been revealed as steroid users that fans have generally become jaded about the entire subject.

Most fans, however, still think that steroid use is objectionable, and that if Bud Selig could wave a magic wand and eliminate them from the game, then he should.

What exactly is it that makes steroids so despised, and should we so hastily vilify their use?

Now, a lot of people have made the argument that steroid users should be allowed in the Hall of Fame, and that their accomplishments should not be erased or totally invalidated. Even Bill James recently released a paper saying that he expects steroid use to be tolerated in the future—though his article is descriptive as opposed to normative.

But it doesn’t seem that anybody, aside from Jose Canseco, is actually advocating that baseball lift its ban on steroids.

Well, I am. Steroids are not bad for baseball; banning steroids is bad for baseball. Continue reading