Tag Archive | "Ozzie Guillen"

Bursting Bubbles

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Bursting Bubbles

Posted on 18 February 2013 by Will Emerson

The Blue Jays are not going to win the World Series. Well, I mean, not, not ever. I am sure they will win the World Series again at some point in time, but not in 2013. Yes, you read that correctly. It is not my opinion, it is a fact. No, I did not ride a Delorean into the future and steal Biff Tannen’s Sports Almanac. I am not a soothsayer. Well, you got me, I almost never say sooth. I am not a mind reader and I do not have ESP. I just know that that Toronto Blue Jays will not win the World Series in 2013. This is a boldish statement, I suppose. And I am sure the best way to back this up would be with statistical proof and some sort of makings of sound reasoning, which I don’t have per se. What I do have is the 2012 Miami Marlins.

Toronto_Blue_Jays

In 2012 the Miami Marlins opened up their hearts and, well, checkbooks to Jose Reyes, Heath Bell, Ozzie Guillen and Mark Buehrle among others. They opened a new ballpark and they were the talk of the town. Expectations were high in the Sunshine State. The Marlins and their fans were ready to take the world, or at least the NL East, by storm. So how did that work out for the Marlins? Well they finished absolutely dead last in the NL East. They took absolutely nothing by storm. Now the Toronto Blue Jays are not the Miami Marlins, despite Toronto being the Miami of Canada, but you have to admit there are a few glaring similarities.

The 2012 Marlins went out and got themselves a superstar speedster shortstop. So did the 2013 Blue Jays. The exact same superstar shortstop, to be specific. The 2012 Marlins had a new manager. So do the 2013 Blue Jays. The 2012 Marlins had another speedster, to go along with their superstar speedster shortstop, by the name of Emilio Bonifacio. So do the 2013 Blue Jays. The 2012 Marlins got Mark Buehrle to supplement their rotation and eat some delicious innings. So did the 2013 Blue Jays. The 2012 Marlins had Josh Johnson in their rotation. So do the 2013 Blue Jays. The 2012 Marlins had a fading starting pitcher named Ricky. So do the 2013 Blue Jays. The 2012 Marlins had a couple of “superstar” hitters returning. So do the 2013 Blue Jays. Quite a few similarities there, wouldn’t ya say? Of course with similarities, there are some differences as well.

Unlike the 2012 Marlins, the 2013 Blue Jays did not, or have not, inked a “big time” closer. But, they don’t have a totally proven closer either (although I do like Santos and Jannsen) and after Bell kind of had some early season implosions it did not look like the 2012 Marlins did either. Also, the 2012 Miami Marlins did not sign a Cy Young starting pitcher like 2013 Blue Jays did. Even if R.A. Dickey does not, and he more than likely won’t, duplicate his 2012, he could still be a very reliable starter and I feel that does give the 2013 Blue Jays a slight edge over the 2012 Marlins in the starting rotation area. The 2013 Blue Jays also, unlike the 2012 Marlins, added another All-Star outfielder. But, in Melky Cabrera, does anyone really know what to expect in 2013, post PED suspension? At the very least he could be a Gaby Sanchez, Logan Morrison for the Jays, so there is that. The 2013 Jays also have Edwin Encarnacion, which is maybe one more bat the 2012 Marlins did not have. So yeah, on paper, the 2013 Blue Jays are a slightly better looking team than the Marlins were a year ago, but I still think Blue Jays fans will be in for a disappointing season.

I feel like there is just so much darned hype and foofarah surrounding the busy Blue Jay off-season and the team they have put together for 2013. It is a classic trap. A set up for what will seem like failure. In baseball especially there is just a certain, as the French would say, “I don’t know what” that causes what appears to be a very good team on paper, to just not come together as a cohesive unit and win a bunch of games. Look, I can’t say for sure that it is World Series or bust for the Jays and their fans, but if they don’t make the playoffs, at least, you would have to think that the season would definitely be considered as something of a failure. You know what, I am stating here first, not only will the Blue Jays not win the 2013 World Series, they will not make the playoffs in 2013. Boom. Roasted.

Not only do I expect a fairly sizable regression from Dickey and Cabrera, but even without that, the Jays are also in arguably the toughest division in baseball. The Yankees always find ways to win despite whatever soap operatic-like drama or supposed gaping weakness or what have you they may have going on. The Rays have just an all around solid squad with some superb pitching to boot. The Orioles made the playoffs last season somehow and the Red Sox should be much improved over last season (although it would be hard for them to not be). The Blue Jays have a scary roster to be sure and I can’t say how convincing my argument has been, but I am just not ready to hand anything over to them just yet. I mean, R.A. Dickey had a downright spectacular 2012, but he is no Dave Stieb. I just feel like history is getting ready to repeat itself..sort of.

Hey, I’m not saying the Blue Jays are going to finish last in their division like the 2012 Marlins did. I am certainly not saying that Blue Jays fans should not be excited about their chances. I am just saying that someone needs to burst the bubble. Well, okay, I guess no one has to go bursting the bubble, I just wanted to do it, what of it? Jays fans should just temper their expectations a tad, so they will not be as crushed come October when their team is no longer playing, much like those poor, poor souls in Miami, four months ago. But hey, what do I know, right? Well, okay, I do know this is definitely the most times I have typed the numbers 2012 and 2013 in a single post. Good day and godspeed!

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Drew Stubbs, Reds OF, Sell his stock

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Fantasy Baseball Stock Watch: Buy Jose Reyes Now

Posted on 06 August 2012 by Patrick Hayes

After a week off due to vacationing in the great state of Meeeeechigan, Fantasy Baseball Stock Watch returns to wheel and deal on a few interesting major leaguers. I do realize that the trade deadline in your fantasy league may have passed already but for those that haven’t, I suggest you take my following predictions and reactions to the bank, but not the one in Greece. Yeah, yeah, enough rambling, here we go:

Jose Reyes – SS, Miami Marlins

Jose  Reyes, Marlins SS, Buy his Stock

#1 on ESPNs 5×5 Player Rater for SSs

Jose Reyes is one of the last few remaining “names” on a dissipated Miami team that was ravished before the non-waiver trade deadline. He also happens to be completely on fire of late, to the tune of a .434/.474/.755 slash line in his last 14 games. Outstanding right? Right. He also has swiped six bags in this time frame and has touched home thirteen times in this span. The only lack of production has been his six RBI’s, with a majority of these ABs coming from the three-hole. I’m not too concerned about that from a fantasy perspective though, as with any shortstop position (outside of the injured Troy Tulowitzki), you aren’t expecting jaw-dropping power numbers anyway.

Manager Ozzie Guillen has gone on record saying that with the pending return of Giancarlo Stanton expected in the next week, Reyes will continue to bat third, which is good news for current owners. Adding to the optimistic outlook is the season BABIP of .304 that Reyes has currently, which is down a tick from his career average of .313. The only downside is that the rest of the lineup is one that draws blank stares and has nothing to play for, but nonetheless, Jose is finally playing the way he has in the past and what we have came to expect.

My verdict: Buy Now Candidate

Drew Stubbs – OF, Cincinnati Reds

Drew  Stubbs, Reds OF, Sell his stock

#27 on ESPNs 5×5 Player Rater for OFs

Drew Stubbs, synonymous with being part of a group of players who has all the potential in the world, gets drafted high each year, and still continues to disappoint and break hearts. When looking at the season in a whole, that previous sentence is dead on. However, Stubbs has been on point of late. Blasting 4 HRs in the past 14 days along with 5 SBs, these are the type of power and speed stats that makes scouts and fantasy owners go gaga. The accommodating slash of .362/.415/.660 is mighty appetizing as well, which makes now the perfect time to maximize take your gains and head home.

Have you looked at his season stats? .238/.307/.399 wreaks of a havoc. If you have kept him lingering around to experience this explosion of unsustainable hope, then you might have more patience than me. Striking out at a rate of over 27% is disgusting, as well as his walk rate of 8.7%. I’ll give you credit that his BABIP is well below his career average (.300 in 2012 to .328), but I just can’t fathom putting him in the lineup for the long haul. Sure, he may get a few SBs and pop a HR out here or there, but he will also frustrate you even more so once he and the Reds start to cool down. Do the smart thing here.

My verdict: Sell High Candidate

Chase Utley – 2B, Philadelphia Phillies

Chase  Utley, Phillies 2B, Hold his Stock

#9 on ESPNs 5×5 Player Rater for 2Bs in the last 30 days

Oh, where to begin. Chase Utley has been an injury riddled shadow of what he once was. After starting the year on the DL for those terrible knees, he got off to a slow start but has been steadily getting his swagger back. Three homeruns, six RBI, two stolen bases and a line of .297/.458/.622 in the last 14 days. He knows how to draw a walk too, his eye has remained sharp as ever and is at a rate of 12.5% this year (in line with 2009 and 2010).

While the second base position might not be as scarce as it used to be in his heyday, Utley is proving to be valuable in your fantasy lineup of late. It’s almost impossible to expect a sudden reemergence of his capabilities from his peak years, but it’s equally impossible not to root for him to regain those marks. I love looking at BABIP’s and so far this year, Chase’s is well below his career average, .253 in 2012 vs .308, which provides that glimmer of hope that maybe it’s possible. But seriously now, he had a cameo in It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia, you should hold onto his bandwagon for the rest of the year just because of that.

My verdict: Hold while nostalgically grasping your shersey from the depths of closet in remembrance of yesteryear. 

Reactions and opinions are always welcomed. Find me on twitter: @pf_hayes

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Ozzie Guillen and I Have Way More in Common Than I Thought

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Ozzie Guillen and I Have Way More in Common Than I Thought

Posted on 27 June 2012 by Trish Vignola

Nothing has changed in the timeline for his return, the multifaceted Emilio Bonifacio is still due at some point back after the All-Star Break. Still, Tuesday was a crucial day for Emilio Bonifacio. That’s nice. I speculated pre-Full Spectrum Baseball Fantasy Baseball draft that Bonifacio was going to have a significant impact on the Marlins.

Heck. I even drafted him.

However, the only impact Bonifacio has made on my team is the space he takes up on my Disabled List.

The Marlins center fielder was examined and cleared by a team physician to increase his baseball activities. Bonifacio got the green light to start hitting and play catch. He is still recovering from surgery to repair a torn ligament in his left thumb.

The injury occurred in Cleveland on May 18, and he’s been on my disabled list since May 20. Sigh.

On Tuesday, Bonifacio began hitting off a tee. He also put a glove on and played catch. The injury is to his glove hand.

Before this, Bonifacio had taken practice swings in recent days. As previously mentioned, the team’s hope is to have him back after the All-Star break.

The Marlins come out of the break on July 13 at home against the Nationals.

“I don’t want to be rushed back,” Bonifacio said. Why should he? He has spent a whole season making me rethink my entire fantasy Baseball strategy. To be fair, I’ve also had David Robinson and any assortment of New York Mets bullpen at some point. Enough already. I’m glade Bonifacio is “feeling great,” but I really need him to get off his butt and start taking swings before I have to drop another person.

Who knew though that there was one person out there who understood what I was going through?

All the losing is trying Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen’s patience. Who can blame him?

Because Miami has a number of young players, the fiery Guillen has been careful not to lash out at his team. Instead, he’s been uplifting and encouraging. I just keep yelling at my Mac Book screen.

“I have to be careful how I treat these kids here,” the manager said. “I don’t have a veteran team. I don’t know how they’re going to handle it. I’m not going to put more pressure on them. I don’t need to say something they know. How you’re going to say it, how they’re going to digest it, how they’re going to take it.”

Veterans don’t take it well either. Ask Bobby Valentine or any of my players…who apparently can’t hear me yelling through my computer screen.

While he’s bitten his tongue, the manager cautioned he could be close to once again making headlines because of his emotions.

“I will, pretty soon,” Guillen said. “I want to be on ESPN. I want to be all over the news. I haven’t been there for a long time.”

Thank you. I’m always looking for writing topics.

Guillen continues, “I should. I make a lot of money when I’m doing that. Pretty soon I’m ready to erupt. But right now … I’m just trying to be positive the most that I can, because we need that.”

Bottom line for both Ozzie and myself is production. The Marlins have been an enigma, because they won 21 games in May, but have just five wins in June entering Tuesday. I dropped two spots in the rankings since Monday.

“I believe we have a good ballclub,” Guillen said. I’m not so sure I do.

Guillen continues, “I believe we do. Why? Because we’ve played good before. I know we’re going to play good again. The only thing I want is more consistency. I want the players to feel that way, how good they are.
“We went from the best team in baseball to the worst team in baseball. You can’t be that drastic. That’s why I’m confused. I think we have the talent.”

I have Jose Reyes AND Joey Votto. How could I have gone so wrong?

Guillen on Tuesday sported a cleaner look, shaving off his goatee. I don’t have one.

“I shaved it because I had more white hair than when I got here,” he joked. “Thank you to the Marlins. I look older.” Me too, Ozzie. Me too.

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Ozzie is at it again – This time without a Twitter character count!

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Ozzie is at it again – This time without a Twitter character count!

Posted on 20 May 2012 by Trish Vignola

You haven’t had a good week of baseball, if you haven’t gotten a little bit of crazy courtesy of Ozzie Guillen.

Does he’s go too far? Absolutely.

Do I make my bread and butter talking about it myself? Yup.

If there’s one thing I love writing about more than Roger Clemens, it’s Ozzie Guillen’s big mouth.

I still mourn the fact he ditched his twitter account.

Sans a 143 character count, Ozzie Guillen is still providing us with plenty of material. This time his target is not a significant section of Miami’s population. He is going after something just as big and just as ludicrous – Miami Heat Superstar, Dwyane Wade.

Wade may not be on Guillen’s team. He may not play his sport for that matter. Nonetheless, Guillen has never met a problem he didn’t want to butt in to.

Ozzie Guillen is apparently unhappy how Wade behaved towards the Heat’s head coach Erik Spoelstra after Thursday’s loss. Wade had a heated altercation with Spolestra during the third quarter of a 19-point loss to the Indiana Pacers in Game Three. Wade had only five points on 2-for-13 shooting as they fell behind 2-1 in the series.

Sigh. So much for Guillen’s promise to keep his non-baseball opinions to himself. Was Wade out of line? Absolutely. Nevertheless, is it actually necessary to take this outside?

“Players have to understand what kind of job we have,” Ozzie said. “Some players think they know baseball more than you do. But they can [only control] what they do on the field. They don’t know what we’re thinking. They don’t know what kind of moves we make.”

“I would kick his [butt],” Guillen said. “Listen, we’ve got a job to do. I’m not going to say I’m going to kick his [butt], because they’re bigger than me, and I’m older. But I would take my chances.”

That’s right Mr. Guillen. He’s bigger than you. He’s younger than you and now you are starting to sound like my crazy dad when we’re stuck in traffic on the Lincoln Tunnel helix. I highly recommend you don’t take your chances.

We all know Ozzie is talking to hear himself talk. Spolestra (the coach this actually happened to) isn’t even making the incident an issue. “That happens,” Spoelstra said. “Anybody that has been part of a team or has been a coach or been a player, you have no idea how often things like that happen. That was during a very emotional part of the game. We were getting our butt kicked. Those exchanges happen all the time during the course of an NBA season.” Wade brushed it off in the locker room as if it never happened.

Here’s the funny part. The Heat were having a meltdown a midst the playoffs. Does that happen? Absolutely. Come to think of it, when was the last time the Marlins or Guillen have a team in the playoffs? Maybe it’s time to worry about your problems at hand, instead of acting like “The Simpsons” Barney Gumble after one too many at Moe’s. (Remember what he did to Wade Boggs in “Homer at the Bat”? see image above)

I’m starting to think that asking Ozzie Guillen to kill his twitter account as well as to keep his non-baseball opinions to himself was too much. It’s like asking a bird not to fly… or me not to shop. I know, let’s set up a Friendster account for him and keep him out of trouble. He can chat all the heck he wants and no one of us will be on there to care.

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Jamie Moyer – The Father of Reinvention

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Jamie Moyer – The Father of Reinvention

Posted on 06 May 2012 by Trish Vignola

With Mariano Rivera hurt, Roger Clemens on Trial and Ozzie Guillen lacking a filter, this season has gotten off to a pretty dark start. Nevertheless, there are always several “feel good” stories that develop over the season, showing us why Baseball is always a good thing. Picture it! June 1986. The Boston Celtics win the NBA championship. Americans are still trying to sanitize after touching all those hands in “Hands Across America”. Chicago Cubs Second Baseman Ryne Sandberg meets his new teammate – Jamie Moyer.

The future Hall of Famer didn’t see much in his new teammate. “There wasn’t too much about him that said long-term major league pitcher.” Twenty-six years later Jamie Moyer is still getting major league lineups out, most of which werenʼt even born when Sandberg first met Moyer.

How does Moyer do it? He has a 4.23 ERA, less than 2,500 strikeouts over a twenty-five year career and a win/loss record barely over .500.

I would hardly call those Hall of Fame numbers.

You can say that he has extraordinary motivation. In fact, you can say Moyerʼs motivation helped him to become the oldest pitcher to notch a win. Does he have discipline? Of course, he does. Name me one professional athlete that doesnʼt demonstrate extreme mental or physical discipline and Iʼll show you an out-of- work athlete…or anyone starting for Rex Ryan. But, how is Moyer still playing fifteen years after Sandberg hung up his glove for the final time?

In a time when mangers can insult entire sectors of their community’s fan base to former icons on trial for perjury, baseball always finds a way to provide us with more feel good stories than not. One is Jamie Moyer – the Father of Reinvention. Once Moyer realized he wasnʼt going to be Nolan Ryan per say, he found a way to make himself useful to his organization at all times. Thatʼs right, folks! When in doubt, make yourself indispensible. For example, pitchers tend to lose velocity later in their career. For Moyer, “later in their career” could potentially translate to ten years ago. In 2011, his average fastball speed was about 80 miles per hour, a very slow speed for a non-knuckleball pitcher. His fastball this season is currently clocked at 78 miles per hour. Still amazing by our “common folk” standards, but letʼs face it. Miami Marlinsʼ Jose Reyes can run to the mound and grab the ball out of Moyerʼs hand quicker than that. If Moyer relied on velocity, he would have been an analyst on SportsCenter by now.

Moyer relies on control and mixing his pitches. He has the ability now to throw five main pitches: a sinker, a cut fastball, a slider, a changeup and a curveball. Five pitches? Do you know what it takes to do that? Most pitchers are lucky to have three. Moyer may not have freak speed, but he sure has a freaky amount of pitches to choose from. Not many pitchers can do that. Also, who knows? Moyer can always reinvent himself again. When (and if) he retires, the National Baseball Hall of Fame offered him an internship. Well, if he keeps breaking records at the rate he is, somebody is going to have to catalog all of Moyer’s stuff.

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