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Category Archives: MLB

Doping Allegations Once Again Plague MLB

Boston, Detroit and Texas all lead their divisions in the American League; and Atlanta, St. Louis, and Arizona are the top seeds in the National League. But once again, it’s not points or rankings that are the top stories in Major League Baseball, as these have all once again been overshadowed by doping allegations. This time those allegations revolve around a dozen or so MLB players, and a clinic in Miami.

It was the Miami Times that first broke the news in January that it had collected records showing that a number of MLB players made drug purchases from an anti-aging clinic in Miami. Anthony Bosch is the founder of the clinic in question — the Biogenesis of America clinic — and is now cooperating with the MLB in their investigation.

Reportedly, approximately a dozen MLB players purchased performance-enhancing drugs from the clinic. Among them are Alex Rodriguez, Ryan Braun, Nelson Cruz, Melky Cabrera, and Bartolo Colon.

The penalties for these players will undoubtedly vary, should they be found guilty of purchasing drugs from the clinic. Many of them including Rodriguez, Colon, and Cabrera have already served a suspension for drug use last year, meaning that they would most likely receive suspensions effective immediately. Any players for which this would be a first offense would be able to put suspensions on hold during a grievance process, which would have to be initiated by the union.

The players involved are holding to the position that the allegations are untrue, especially Ryan Braun. When recently asked about the situation he said,

“I’ve already addressed everything related to the Miami situation. I addressed it in spring training. I will not make any further statements about it. The truth has not changed.”

Yankees and Red Sox Renew Rivalry on Opening Day

There’s something special about opening day in Major League Baseball. It’s a day that is full of hope for every team, and with a little luck, provides fans with a taste of spring and a good excuse to duck out of the office for a half day.

For the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox, though, this year will be particularly special, as they’ll renew one of the best rivalries in sports at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, New York. The first pitch is slated for 1:05 p.m. EST on Monday, April 1st.

Unfortunately for the Bronx Bombers, a few of their star players are expected to start the season on the disabled list. Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, Curtis Granderson and Mark Teixeira are all unlikely to be able to start on opening day.

Jeter is dealing with a sore ankle after surgery in October, Rodriguez is coming off hip surgery, Teixeira has a partially torn tendon sheath in his wrist and Granderson has a broken forearm.

Yankees ace C.C. Sabathia should be good to go, though, as he looks to continue his success from last season when he went 15-6 with a 3.38 earned runs average.

Meanwhile, the Red Sox are not without their injury struggles as well, as designated hitter Wilson Betemit was diagnosed with a torn posterior cruciate ligament and other injuries in his knee after being injured in a spring training game.

On opening day, the Red Sox are likely to give the ball to Jon Lester, though they haven’t made it official. The 29-year-old went 9-14 last year with a 4.82 earned runs average, but was impressive in 2011 with a 15-9 record and 3.47 ERA.

While the injuries are of concern to both perennial contenders, they may also underscore the urgency of not falling into a deep hole early in the season. Regardless, there’s always electricity in the ballpark when the Sox and Yanks meet, whether it’s in April or September. Don’t miss your chance to start the 2013 Major League Baseball season in style. Get your tickets today!

SF Giants Defeat Detroit Tigers to Win World Series

It’s not a stretch to think that the 2012 World Series Champions, the San Francisco Giants are destined for greatness. After all, this was the team’s second championship in three years–a feat bested only by the likes of the NY Yankees since the playoffs doubled in the mid-90s–and the Giants didn’t just take the championship, they took care of business. And it felt like business as usual for the Giants as they came and left Detroit with enough tiger’s blood to make Charlie Sheen jealous in a four-game sweep.

During Game 4 the Giants came out swinging, with some strong plays and big hits, putting some early distance between the Detroit Tigers and the championship. Comerica Park in Detroit erupted in the tenth inning with the winning strike-out by Giants’ ace Sergio Romo against the Tigers’ Miguel Cabrera for the 4-3 series win, making it the seventh title in the franchise’s history (its first five titles were clinched back when they were still a New York outfit), which makes the SF Giants’ win that much more impressive.

For many fans, the series may be over, but the celebration is in full order. Some even have their tickets for next season. In San Francisco, fans have taken to the streets, some of them literally wearing their love for the Giants on their sleeve. The skies ignite with fireworks. Cheers of fans echo in the distance. Sports bartenders citywide witness several spontaneous marriage proposals. Clearly, the City of San Francisco loves its Giants, and it’s a love affair between San Francisco, the fans, and a ball club that has proven its greatness…again.

Texas Rangers Coming into the Second Half

The Texas Rangers were looking good coming into the second half of the season with a five game lead.  Here’s where Major League Baseball gets serious.  With a little help from a Mariner‘s base running mistake, the Ranger’s ended Friday’s game against the Seattle team with a barely tweaking 3-2 lead. 

The Rangers suffered a minor set-back when catcher, Mike Napoli bruised the inside part of his upper right knee, sliding into home plate during the fifth inning, but his fans have been assured there is no structural damage and he’ll be back in the game within the next few days.  In the meantime, the Rangers decided to recall catcher Luis Martinez from Triple-A Round Rock, sending Reliever, Yoshinori Tateyama in his place. 

That winning streak came to a screeching halt July 14th, when the Mariners turned around and clobbered the Rangers 7-0.  Even with Yu Darvish giving it his all, after an initial rough start, pitching a walk, single and hit-batter to load all the bases in the first inning, the Rangers just couldn’t catch up.  Right-hand pitcher, Felix Hernandez slammed the base plate again and again, leaving the Rangers with no score. 

The pressure is on.  The Rangers have a formidable team.  They made five appearances in MLB, between 1996 and 2011, all following division championships.  They advanced past Division for the first time in 2010 by defeating Tampa Bay Rays, going on to defeat the New York Yankees for the 2010 World Series, but succumbing to the San Francisco Giants in five games. 

They battled again to become the American League champions in 2011, but lost the World Series Championship to the St. Louis Cardinals in seven games.  Will this be the year they win the title?  Three consecutive World Series appearances would be impressive, no matter how great the team is that steps up to the plate.  The feat has only happened once in thirty-four years, when the Yankees went to four consecutive World Series from 1998 through 2001.  Maybe you can’t win them all, but you can bet the Texas Rangers are going to try.

Cincinnati Reds – What’s the Latest News?

After a slow start, the Cincinnati Reds are breaking into the National League games in high style.  Never mind that their hard-hitting first baseman, Joey Votto had to leave the game early–a precautionary measure for an inflamed knee.  Tapping that plate with formidable force, Miguel Cairo and Ryan Hannigan were each credited with runs batted in the four games starter against the San Francisco Giants.  However, pitcher Mat Latos proved once and for all that a smoking hot pitcher is every bit as valuable an asset as a hard hitting batter. 

With only one year under his belt with the Cincinnati Reds, fans are already saying Latos is proving he’s got what it takes to be a major league pitcher.  They call him “Mr. Complete.”  He delivers with equal aplomb his speed balls, curve balls and sliders.  Handing out no-hits to his opposition seems to be his favorite style.  Anxieties run high when he steps into the pitcher mound, and that ball goes sizzling across the plate.  There’s only one thing the batter knows: Latos’ pitch will be unpredictable.  However, “Will that be enough to win the series?” more skeptical fans want to know. 

No wonder all eyes have turned anxiously to Cincinnati star, first baseman, Joey Votto.  Jamming his knee sliding into base during the Giant’s games, the question is on everybody’s minds; is Votto down for the count?  And if he is, how is that going to affect the Reds’ line-up?  If Votto loses significant time, it could have a devastating effect on the team trying to bolster its hitting average.  Some experts state that the Reds are hanging their reputation on a strong defense and a pitcher you just can’t beat.  Baseball is, after all, a team sport.  With players like Cairo, Hannigan, Frazier and Stubbs, coming up to bat, just waiting for their chance to hit a home run, the Reds are not going to enter the season lying down.

You are not going to want to miss the opportunity to see them in action.  All eyes are on the Cincinnati Reds, who are out to prove that even with a first baseman sitting in the bleachers, they know how to play ball.

Behind The Houston Astros Relocation

You had to know something was up with the Houston Astros.  After all, they finished disastrously last season, and became the first team in the franchise’s history to lose 100 games in one season.  Not the sort of history making event Drayton McLane was hoping for!

Perhaps someone decided it was time to take drastic measure.  Now, we hear the big news–that the Houston Astros are moving to the American League after nearly half a century playing in the National League.  This move will balance the number of teams in the MLB.  More importantly to Texas fans, it will set up a very interested rivalry with the Texas Rangers.  

The deal is practically done, as the team was already sold to Jim Crane (Crane Capital Group) and approved by the league.  The word is that the Astros will join the league and be ready for competition as soon as 2013.  While this isn’t the first time a team has changed leagues, it is the first time it has happened in a while–well over ten years have passed since the trick was last done in 1998. 

When the team re-launches, each league will have 15 teams.  The Astros will be part of the AL West, leaving behind the NL Central.  Team owners remain positive about the change, and hope that the new territory will help attract more viewers to America’s favorite game.

The only piece of the puzzle left is what legendary player and current team owner Nolan Ryan thinks of the news.  Ryan of course, used to play with the Houston Astros, before becoming president of his favorite team, the Texas Rangers.  Reportedly, Ryan is very happy with the news and is anxious to see Houston battle the Rangers on a regular basis.  “If both teams are competitive in a given year,” commented Ryan, “It will create a good rivalry within the state.  There’s a lot of pluses from our perspective.”

Yes, the Astros have clearly fallen from grace (their final record this past season was 56-106) but perhaps brighter Texas skies are ahead for the team.  Perhaps things are much better in the American League, which produced a stellar season for the Texas Rangers who finished 96-66 and reached the World Series two seasons in a row.

What do you think?  Is Houston going to come back in a big way?

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