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Recent Stories Putting Black Eye on the Face of MLB 3

Posted on August 30, 2010 by Don Spieles

For as much as Bud Selig tries to make sure that Major League Baseball always puts its best foot forward, sometimes people just can’t seem keep from tripping him up. Here are four recent stories that make baseball look less then wonderful, one that centers on Selig, himself!

Nationals Handling of Steven Strasburg

Washington Nationals starting pitcher Stephen Strasburg throws against the Florida Marlins during the fourth inning of MLB National League baseball action in Washington in this August 10, 2010 file photo. According to the team's website, Strasburg has a significant tear in his ulnar collateral ligament will likely require Tommy John surgery, the team announced in a conference call on August 27, 2010. Picture taken August 10, 2010.  REUTERS/Larry Downing (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)As a friend said to me recently, “Well, that was short-lived.” He was, of course, speaking about Strasburg’s time on the MLB stage. Many (including your truly) predicted that Strasburg would not see the big show this year at all. Now that the young ace is scheduled for Tommy John surgery and will be missing possibly until the 2012 season, perhaps the Nationals brass is wishing that those predictions had proven accurate.

You certainly don’t have to look far to find success stories related to what is perhaps the most well known surgical procedure after a tonsillectomy. Some notable names who have made the papers after the procedures include Kenny Rogers, Tim Hudson, Chris Carpenter, John Smoltz, and Mariano Rivera. There is no reason to be overly pessimistic about Strasburg’s furture.

The bottom line is that his career need not have started with this setback. They monitored his pitches, innings, and all of that. But what was not taken into account (or so it would seem) is that there is a huge difference in throwing in front of 5,000 fans in a minor league game, and then throwing in front of 50,000 fans on a national stage. Especially when the pitcher in question throws as hard as Starsburg does. Read the rest of this entry →

2010 Baseball Previews: NL Central – The Cardinal Rule? Hitting Needs Pitching 3

Posted on March 29, 2010 by Don Spieles

One week left to go!  As we head back across the Midwest for a preview of the NL Central, we examine the division that boasts the most teams and the potential for the most surprises.

1. St. Louis Cardinals

San Diego Padres vs St. Louis Cardinals

Holliday and Pujols will be featured in a lot of pitchers nightmares in 2010.

Arguably the two biggest moves this off season were for near-homonyms Roy Halliday and Matt Holliday. In face, the Holliday signing holds significance on several levels.  First of all, most of the talking heads agree that the Cards spent too much money and contracted too long with Holliday.  There is the added pressure that expenditure will make when Albert Pujols, arguably the best player in baseball, becomes a free agent after the 2011 season.  Most importantly, if Holliday has a season like his 2007 and like his time in St. Louis last season, the Cardinals taking the division is all but carved in stone.

On the mound,the Cards will look to continue and extend the success that they saw last season with Chris Carpenter and Adam Wainwright at the top of there rotation. Brad Penny, will try to continue the NL success that began when he was traded to the Giants last season and avoid the mediocrity that he displayed in Boston.  The Cardinals pen is not a weak spot by any means, but on a team with such positives elsewhere, the relief crew gets the worried man’s attention. The bottom line for St. Louis is that if you add up the big bats (Pujols, Holliday), big enough bats (Rassmuss, Ludwig), then factor in the very good rotation, the Cardinals will be almost impossible to topple. Read the rest of this entry →

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