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Archive for the ‘2011 Baseball Previews’

5 Mistakes The Phillies Can’t Make 5

Posted on August 25, 2011 by Teddy Bailey

Even the best team in baseball can make mistakes.

At 83-45 and seven games ahead on the Atlanta Braves, the Phillies are looking to make a long run and win the World Series. Here’s what they can’t afford to do if they plan on winning it all:

1. Being Overconfident: Winning 100 games and annihilating your division doesn’t get you anything. The Phillies need to play like a Wild Card team, and get the job done. It’s still ways to go, and Atlanta is not a terrible team. Here in Philadelphia, fans laugh when the Detroit Tigers or Cleveland Indians come up in baseball arguments or discussions. “Well, if Detroit makes it to the World Series, their going to get destroyed!”. Philly fans have always been too confident in their teams when they are on a roll, and this season is no different. I hope the players are less confident than the fans, or the Phillies’ run to a title may end in a letdown.

2. Not having a consistent bullpen: The Bullpen for the Phillies has been extraordinary this season. But, with Ryan Madson and Michael Stutes struggling, the ‘Pen could be in jeopardy. The Phils’ have enjoyed their young rookies including Bastardo, and Stutes for the time being. The real question is, will they need veteran bullpen pitchers to win a title? As for now, there aren’t alot on the roster…

3. Injury Plagued: This goes to every team, in every sport, but with Polanco, Victorino, Hamels, Ruiz, Ibanez, Contreras and Utley all having recent injuries, it may be a huge block in their path to winning it all. Contreras is out for the year, which goes along with not having veteran relief pitchers, and Hamels is out for at least 15 days. However, the Phillies are one of the deepest teams in the league, so rookie Vance Worley (9-1) can always take Hamels’ place. Read the rest of this entry →

Pirates’ Shipwrecked 8

Posted on August 08, 2011 by Teddy Bailey

After a strong start, the Pittsburgh Pirates have wilted in the heat of summer.

It has been 18 long, dreadful years since the city of Pittsburgh shared a playoff experience for the Pirates. Trust me, it will be  19 very shortly.

In a competitive NL Central, there’s no margin for error. The Brewers lead the division by 3 games, with the St.Louis Cardinals on their back, and the Cincinnati Reds are being quietly diminished as a division contender. It’s one thing if you go 3-7, or 4-6, but 0-10? Really? Here’s how the Pirates’ ship sank, and how it happened: Read the rest of this entry →

2011 American League Preview: Is the East Still the Beast? 1

Posted on March 26, 2011 by Dean Hybl

The addition of Adrian Gonzalez should help lift the Sox back to the top of the AL East in 2011.

The question in the American League is whether the usually dominant East Division will regain the form that saw teams from that division make five of seven World Series between appearances by squads from the West.

While the Boston Red Sox, who failed to make the playoffs in 2010, made serious moves to regain playoff form, the other two powerhouses in the division, the New York Yankees and Tampa Bay Rays, did not make the same player gains.

With the Chicago White Sox, Minnesota Twins, Detroit Tigers and Texas Rangers all seemingly positioned to make a run at the playoffs, the wild card team in the AL could come from a division other than the AL East for the first time since 2006 and only the second time since 2002.

AL East

The conventional wisdom is that the AL East is a three-team race, but both the Baltimore Orioles and Toronto Blue Jays are better than many teams that will be contenders in other divisions.

The Tampa Bay Rays won the division a year ago, but lost a number of important components in Carl Crawford and Carlos Pena and Jason Bartlett. To replace the offensive losses, the Rays have brought in former superstars Johnny Damon and Manny Ramirez. Though both players are on the down sides of their careers, they should at least provide some production to offset the losses. The strength for the Rays will remain their pitching staff, with David Price and James Shields leading a unit that ranked second in the American League with a 3.78 ERA in 2010.

After reaching the AL Championship Series a year ago, the New York Yankees made relatively few changes to their lineup as catcher Russell Martin will likely be the only new addition to the opening day lineup. While in general the Yankees still have one of the most explosive lineups in the game, the age of veterans Jorge Posada, Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez has to be of concern as the Yankees move into 2011. The biggest question for the Yankees is in the pitching staff where ace C.C. Sabathia is the only reliable starter. Phil Hughes and A.J. Burnett must improve their consistency while the Yankees are also relying on unproven Ivan Nova and a trio of former major league aces to fill the void left by the retirement of Andy Pettitte. Read the rest of this entry →

  • Vintage Athlete of the Month

    • Dale Murphy: A Hallmark of Excellence
      July 2, 2024 | 1:53 pm
      Dale Murphy

      The Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month was a standout player of the 1980s, remembered not only for his exceptional skills on the field but also for his exemplary character and sportsmanship.

      Born on March 12, 1956, in Portland, Oregon, Dale Murphy’s journey to becoming one of the most respected players in baseball history is a testament to dedication, perseverance, and a genuine love for the game.

      Early Career and Rise to Prominence

      Murphy was drafted by the Atlanta Braves in the first round of the 1974 MLB Draft. He made his Major League debut on September 13, 1976, at the age of 20. Initially a catcher, Murphy transitioned to the outfield early in his career, where he would solidify his place as one of the premier outfielders of his era.

      Read more »

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