machado donaldson

Manny Machado or Josh Donaldson?

Two of the best third baseman in the league right now are Manny Machado of the Orioles and Josh Donaldson of the Athletics. Both are amazingly talented baseball players who will hopefully be cornerstones for their respected franchises for the rest of their careers. This leads to people choose one or the other to say is “better”.

With recent events that happened, the two players don’t seem to like each other and have started the “Machado-Donaldson Rivalry”, if you want to call it that. I’m sure you know what happened during that whole series. Benches were cleared, bats were thrown and players got really angry. Now I’m here to find out which one is the better baseball player.

To fully compare them, I’ll do it by season since the two have a significant age gap (Donaldson is 28, Machado is 22).

Batting Average (BA)
2012: Machado (.262), Donaldson (.241)
2013: Machado (.283), Donaldson (.301)
2014: Machado (.270), Donaldson (.238)

On Base Percentage (OBP)
2012: Machado (.294), Donaldson (.289)
2013: Machado (.314), Donaldson (.384)
2014: Machado (.319), Donaldson (.318)

Slugging Percentage (SLG)
2012: Machado (.445), Donaldson (.398)
2013: Machado (.432), Donaldson (.499)
2014: Machado (.442), Donaldson (.449)

Isolated Power (ISO)
2012: Machado (.183), Donaldson (.157)
2013: Machado (.148), Donaldson (.199)
2014: Machado (.152), Donaldson (.211)

Batting Average on Balls In Play (BABIP)
2012: Machado (.293), Donaldson (.278)
2013: Machado (.322), Donaldson (.333)
2014: Machado (.298), Donaldson (.250)

By these, it’s evident that Josh Donaldson has unleashed his true potential as a power hitter this season, with his batting average and average on balls in play have taken a hit. Machado, not known as a power hitter, has upped his average to .270 this season after a very slow start to his season. Both have been fairly even at getting on base the same, with the exception of 2013 when Donaldson’s was way higher than Machado’s. The most notable differences are the spike in power for Donaldson this season and Machado’s consistency while growing into the player he will be for the rest of his career.

Both players are amazing defensively and will be the front runners for the Gold Glove for many years to come. Both have exceptional range, arm strength and ability to make amazing plays everyday.

manny great play

josh donaldson play

Both of these guys are amazing baseball players and would be amazing pieces to any franchise, but which one would you rather have?

jake arrieta no hit through 8

The Trade the Orioles Lost and The Curious Case of Jake Arrieta

On July 2nd, 2013, the Orioles traded Jake Arrieta and Pedro Strop to the Chicago Cubs for Scott Feldman and Steve Clevenger. With their eyes on the playoffs, the Orioles wanted to add a veteran presence to a struggling rotation and they figured that Scott Feldman could be that guy. He wasn’t.

With Feldman now in Houston and Clevenger in AAA Norfolk, the Orioles have nobody left on their Major League roster from this trade. The Cubs still have Jake Arrieta and Pedro Strop on their Major League roster, and they’re both performing well. Before tonight, Arrieta was 4-1 with a 2.05 ERA, 1.12 WHIP, .185 BAA & 64 strikeouts in 57 innings pitched. Pedro Strop is 0-3 with a 3.08 ERA, 0.94 WHIP, .176 BAA & 30 strikeouts in 26.1 innings pitched.

This post however, will focus more on the season Arrieta has been having and how the Orioles are probably kicking themselves for trading him.

Dan Duquette hasn’t made that many bad moves in his time as the Orioles Executive Vice President of Baseball Operations (what a mouthful), and this was probably his worst. He resigned Adam Jones to keep him in Baltimore for a long time, he talked the Astros into taking L.J. Hoes and Josh Hader for Bud Norris, who is easily the Orioles best pitcher now, he gave Nelson Cruz $8 million when no other team wanted him, he traded for Joe Saunders who led the Orioles to two playoff game wins and several others.

arrieta

 

The Arrieta trade at the time seemed logical; get a reliable veteran starter and a solid backup for Matt Wieters by sending two struggling pitchers to a struggling organization. After almost a year since that trade occured, it’s a completely different precedent. Jake Arrieta has now come close to a no hitter TWICE and Pedro Strop has become a reliable set up man in the Chicago bullpen.

It’s also unclear if Arrieta can keep up these kinds of starts but it does further the suspicion that a change of scenery is all a guy needs, or is it?

When the Orioles developed Arrieta through their Minor League system, they did not allow him to throw his cutter. This has been their philosophy with young pitchers since Dan Duquette took over and brought on Rick Peterson to help develop pitchers, such as Dylan Bundy and Kevin Gausman. They believe that throwing the cutter makes their arm more prone to injury than any other pitch.

The thing with pitching is that almost every pitch can lead to an arm injury, whether it’s in the elbow or shoulder. Throwing a baseball is the most unnatural arm movement you can do and when you do it 100 times every five days, it’s even worse. If any pitch is detrimental to a young pitcher or any pitcher, it’s the slider. With the flick of the wrist that comes with throwing a slider, it’s using that ligament that gets damaged and needs Tommy John Surgery to get back to normal.

Nonetheless, with the Orioles not allowing Arrieta to throw his best pitch, they limited what he could have been as a starter for them. Even that limited talent was exception at times, but that’s not the only thing that comes to the table with pitching.

A big part of pitching and baseball as a whole is how you approach it mentally. If you have the wrong frame of mind, you can’t perform your best. Jake Arrieta is the perfect example of this. A young pitcher with the talent to be a number 2 or even a number 1 in a rotation, but had the wrong mindset when he approached his starts. Buck Showalter said “The thing he’s got to solve is the mental side of it.” when Arrieta was sent down to AAA Norfolk after a disastrous April, 2013 start for the Orioles.

Arrieta stated after that game that he had let previous instances of performing poorly get to him when he was pitching well. He also talked about anxiety and how he feels he creates it for himself, which can be a pitcher’s nightmare. Anxiety brought on by poor performance and thinking about your past poor performances can erase all of your talent so fast.

Jake Arrieta

For Jake Arrieta’s sake, I hope he’s found a way to control his thoughts while pitching to let his stuff get hitters out and be the best pitcher he can be. As someone as promising as him, you can do nothing but root for him when this kind of stuff happens. Someone who has seen some of the lowest lows and is now experiencing some of the higher highs that come with playing baseball deserves all the support he can get, and he definitely has it from me.

A Love Story: Yoenis Cespedes and I

June 6th, 2014. I set off on my journey for Oriole Park at Camden Yards. I hop into my car, turn it on, tweet out “Baltimore !!!” with three airplane emojis, then set off for my destination. The drive there is pretty much the same as it always is.

After about 20 minutes or so, I arrive at where I’m going to be parking my car for the night. I pull up to the attendant to pay, get a weird look from her, then go on my way. Baffled as to why I got a confusing look, I look down and remember I’m wearing an Athletics shirt. Nonetheless, I continue my walk towards the stadium. I continue to get confusing looks as to why I’m wearing an A’s shirt in “Birdland”. Little do these people know, I’m a master of disguise and had a Nelson Cruz shirsey in my bad the whole time.

I get to one of the gates and see there is a line. I remember that they are handing out Orioles sunglasses to the first 15,000 people 15 and over. I then question this decision because it is a night game and why can’t people under 15 enjoy the pleasure that is Orioles sunglasses.

After I got another confusing look from the person handing out the glasses, I then went to center field to watch and see if the Orioles were doing BP. They weren’t since they arrived late that morning. The only people on the field were trainers, Manny Machado fielding grounders and Chris Davis catching them at first base.

At around 5:30 or so, the A’s came out for BP and the rest of the ballpark was able to be accessed. (The Orioles close off everywhere except for Eutaw Street and the statues area until 5:30 for some reason.) I make my way down to the wall in left field. There he is.

Standing in the flesh, neon green glove in hand, 52 chain around neck, hat on head backwards, it’s the amazing man known as Yoenis Cespedes. As he walks to shag fly balls, he throws up a peace sign to the fans acknowledging him, mainly me. He’s out there for no more than 10 minutes then goes towards the dugout to get ready to hit for BP.

I find myself behind the A’s dugout, surrounded by people who are begging for balls, batting gloves, calling a man Chili Davis even though he isn’t Chili Davis. It’s a weird situation to be in. After Yoenis finished his rounds of BP, he walks over to the side of the dugout agreeing to sign for the fans waiting there for him.

As a small line forms near the side of the dugout, usually blocked off by an usher, Yoenis signs for the eager fans. Fans walk away with their signed balls, cards, pictures, etc. and are happy to have the item autographed.

Let me describe how I am in this exact situation. I’m surrounded by adults with pictures and balls waiting to be signed by a man who plays a sport. My friend is shouting at me how to ask for a picture in Spanish. On the outside I may have looked calm and cool, but on the inside, I was dying. I was ready to burst out of my skin in such excitement. Just the simple task of reliving the moment is making me shake and tremble.

The guy in front of me walks off. It’s my turn to meet him. I see him there, he sees me. I walk up to the edge of the dugout, say hello and say “I just want a picture.” He doesn’t say no or anything, so I go ahead and do it. At that moment, I took the best selfie since the word has been invented. I then shake his hand and say my farewells. As I walk away, I’m smiling bigger than Jurickson Profar. I meet up with my friend, who is happy for me that I just met one of my idols, but is also probably confused as to my I’m on the brink of tears because of meeting a baseball player.

Nonetheless, it was a great experience overall and I would recommend it to all of my friends. Also, his eyebrows look even more big in person, just saying.

The Oakland Athletics are Weird

The Oakland Athletics are known for being kind of a weird team. They do things like play baseball on a football field, pie each other in the face, and just leave their sewage everywhere. What they did last Saturday in Baltimore tops everything they’ve done up to this point. During the game, which didn’t see any bats thrown or benches clearing arguments, the Athletics bullpen got bored and decided to plant something.

image

 

As you can see, it starts out with a sunflower seed base. Something all plants start from.

image (1)

 

Soon, they added some type of candy and decided to water it and see what would happen.

image (2)

 

With something now in the middle, maybe they think something will sprout out of this weird plant.

image (3)

 

Once they realize that nothing is going to grow from this, they decide to put a Red Bull can in the middle of it.

image (4)

 

And finally, once every other attempt has failed, they finally just decide to pour orange Gatorade into the Red Bull can.

Never change Athletics bullpen, never change. Thanks for Alan Dobbins for sending me these photos. Go follow him on da Twitterz.

Josh Lueke Designated for Assignment

JOSH LUEKE, THE RAPIST, WAS DESIGNATED FOR ASSIGNMENT. 

JOSH LUEKE, THE RAPIST, WAS DESIGNATED FOR ASSIGNMENT. 

JOSH LUEKE, THE RAPIST, WAS DESIGNATED FOR ASSIGNMENT. 

JOSH LUEKE, THE RAPIST, WAS DESIGNATED FOR ASSIGNMENT. 

JOSH LUEKE, THE RAPIST, WAS DESIGNATED FOR ASSIGNMENT. 

JOSH LUEKE, THE RAPIST, WAS DESIGNATED FOR ASSIGNMENT. 

JOSH LUEKE, THE RAPIST, WAS DESIGNATED FOR ASSIGNMENT. 

JOSH LUEKE, THE RAPIST, WAS DESIGNATED FOR ASSIGNMENT. 

JOSH LUEKE, THE RAPIST, WAS DESIGNATED FOR ASSIGNMENT. 

JOSH LUEKE, THE RAPIST, WAS DESIGNATED FOR ASSIGNMENT. 

JOSH LUEKE, THE RAPIST, WAS DESIGNATED FOR ASSIGNMENT. 

JOSH LUEKE, THE RAPIST, WAS DESIGNATED FOR ASSIGNMENT. 

JOSH LUEKE, THE RAPIST, WAS DESIGNATED FOR ASSIGNMENT. 

JOSH LUEKE, THE RAPIST, WAS DESIGNATED FOR ASSIGNMENT. 

JOSH LUEKE, THE RAPIST, WAS DESIGNATED FOR ASSIGNMENT. 

JOSH LUEKE, THE RAPIST, WAS DESIGNATED FOR ASSIGNMENT. 

JOSH LUEKE, THE RAPIST, WAS DESIGNATED FOR ASSIGNMENT. 

ben revere home run

BEN REVERE HIT A HOME RUN

BEN REVERE, OF THE PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES, HIT HIS FIRST CAREER HOME RUN ON WEDNESDAY. WITH 1,565 CAREER PLATE APPEARANCES, BEN REVERE ACTUALLY HIT THE BASEBALL OVER THE WALL FOR A HOME RUN. AS YOU CAN TELL, THIS CALLS FOR TYPING THIS WHOLE THING IN CAPITAL LETTERS BECAUSE BASEBALL IS JUST WEIRD LIKE THAT.

HERE ARE A LIST OF THINGS IN BASEBALL THAT HAPPENED BETWEEN BEN REVERE’S FIRST AT BAT AND HIM HITTING THE HOME RUN.

  • THE SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS WON THEIR FIRST TWO WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS SINCE MOVING TO SAN FRANCISCO
  • THE FLORIDA MARLINS BECAME THE MIAMI MARLINS
  • THE TEXAS RANGERS LOST IN THE WORLD SERIES…IN CONSECUTIVE SEASONS
  • THE BALTIMORE ORIOLES, PITTSBURGH PIRATES, OAKLAND ATHLETICS, AND WASHINGTON NATIONALS ALL MADE IT TO THE POSTSEASON
  • 18 PLAYERS WERE SUSPENDED FOR PERFORMANCE ENHANCING DRUGS
  • ALEX RODRIGUEZ STRUCK OUT 24 TIMES IN THE POSTSEASON
  • ALEX RODRIGUEZ HAS BEEN PAID OVER $122,000,000
  • MARIANO RIVERA RETIRED
  • JACOBY ELLSBURY LEFT THE RED SOX FOR THE YANKEES
  • KEVIN YOUKILIS PLAYED FOR THE YANKEES
  • MIKE TROUT POSTED A 23.4 WAR
  • MIKE STANTON CHANGED HIS NAME TO GIANCARLO
  • FAUSTO CARMONA TURNED INTO ROBERTO HERNANDEZ
  • 15 NO HITTERS WERE PITCHED
  • HOMER BAILEY PITCHED TWO NO HITTERS
  • BUSTER POSEY CAUGHT TWO NO HITTERS (MATT CAIN & TIM LINCECUM)
  • THERE WERE SEVEN NO HITTERS IN 2012
  • THE SAN DIEFO PADRES HAVE STILL NOT THROWN A NO HITTER
  • AND FINALLY, JOSH LUEKE WAS STILL A RAPIST

CONGRATULATIONS TO BEN ON HIS FIRST CAREER HOME RUN. HE WILL TURN THE BATON OVER TO BROCK HOLT, WHO HAS GONE 211 PLATE APPEARANCES WITHOUT HIS FIRST CAREER HOME RUN.

MLB: Baltimore Orioles at Arizona Diamondbacks

Manny Machado: 80 Grade Everything

Manny Machado is the Orioles third baseman, and he is very well received around the league. Many fans go to see the youngster play an amazing third base, which he was recognized for with the Platinum Glove, which I guess is a thing now. There are many things to love about Machado, so I figured I’d help point out a few things that would get an 80 grade on the rating scale that baseball players are usually measured by.

80 GRADE DERP

manny derp

80 GRADE SMILE/LAUGH

manny smile

manny smile2

80 GRADE HEAD NODDING 

manny nod

80 GRADE HOME RUN CELEBRATIONS

manny cruz

AND FINALLY, 80 GRADE DEFENSE

manny defense

machado defense2

manny defense2

manny defense3

manny defense4

manny defense5

Never change, Manny <3

 

My 2014 MLB All-Star Teams

All-Star Game voting is upon us for some reason, so it’s time for MLB fans to go out and vote for their favorite player to head to Minnesota for the 2014 MLB All-Star Game. Since I haven’t voted yet, I figured I’d take a crack at this whole online voting thing and submit who I think should represent the AL and NL in the Mid-Summer Classic.

Let’s start with my votes for the American League and each player’s stat line.

First Base: Daric Barton (Oakland Athletics)
.158, 0 HR, 5 RBI

Second Base: Ryan Goins (Toronto Blue Jays)
.150, 1 HR, 1 RBI

Shortstop: Pedro Florimon (Minnesota Twins)
.108, 0 HR, 1 RBI

Third Base: Will Middlebrooks (Boston Red Sox)
.197, 2 HR, 5 RBI

Catcher: Geovany Soto (Texas Rangers)
.000, 0 HR, 0 RBI

Designated Hitter: Jason Giambi (Cleveland Indians)
.125, 1 HR, 3 RBI

Outfielders: Abraham Almonte (Seattle Mariners), Oswaldo Arcia (Minnesota Twins), and Robbie Grossman (Houston Astros)
Almonte: .198, 1 HR, 8 RBI
Arcia: .111, 0 HR, 1 RBI
Grossman: .125, 2 HR, 6 RBI

And now, the National League.

First Base: Yonder Alonso (San Diego Padres)
.198, 2 HR, 13 RBI

Second Base: Rafael Furcal (Miami Marlins)
.000, 0 HR, 0 RBI

Shortstop: Ruben Tejada (New York Mets)
.183, 0 HR, 9 RBI

Third Base: Chase Headley (San Diego Padres)
.211, 4 HR, 16 RBI

Catcher: A.J. Ellis (Los Angeles Dodgers)
.178, 0 HR, 1 RBI

Outfielders: Domonic Brown (Philadelphia Phillies), Nate Schierholtz (Chicago Cubs), and Chris Young (New York Mets)
Brown: .210, 3 HR, 22 RBI
Schierholtz: .204, 0 HR, 13 RBI
Young: .206, 3 HR, 11 RBI

SEE YOU ALL IN MINNESOTA.

all star ballot

lawrie selfie

This Week in Baseball Weirdness 4/21-4/25

  • Andrew Cashner played left field.
  • Mike Carp pitched.
  • The Angels scored 13 runs without Mike Trout reaching base once.
  • Daisuke Matsuzaka has a save.
  • Bobby Abreu got his first hit since 2012.
  • Ryan Goins hit a home run before Adrian Beltre.
  • The Diamondbacks beat the Phillies 5-4 on Friday. It’s only the 2nd time they’ve won at home.
  • Charlie Blackmon no longer has a batting average over .400, it’s .398.
  • The current HR leaders: Jose Abreu and Albert Pujols.
  • The current RBI leaders: Jose Abreu, Chris Colabello, and Giancarlo Stanton.
  • Dee Gordon and Eric Young, Jr. got to double digits in steals before Billy Hamilton.
  • Aaron Harang has a 0.85 ERA.
  • Jason Hammel has a 0.69 WHIP.
  • Johnny Cueto has a .140 BAA.
  • The two pitchers with two complete games: Johnny Cueto and Martin Perez.

DERPS OF THE WEEK FEATURING THE ST. LOUIS CARDINALS’ PITCHERS SHELBY MILLER & MICHAEL WACHA

photo 5 (3)

photo 4 (2)

photo 3 (3)

photo 2 (4)

photo 1 (6)

And finally, the Bartolo Picture Of The Week

bartolo colonn

brett lawrie

Brett Lawrie’s Interesting Twitter Follows

Brett Lawrie is a very interesting baseball player and human being. He shows this by his on the field craziness and off the field activities, which includes following some very interesting people on Twitter. As pointed out by @Amelia_C_87 on Twitter (well, in a Skype call), Brett Lawrie has quite a few interesting people on his “following list” on Twitter. This may be a NSFW post, so just a warning. (It’s a NSFW post.)

brett lawrie twitter1

Okay, this one is semi-normal. He’s the mayor of the city Lawrie plays in and is a noted public figure in today’s media. But it definitely gets weirder.

brett lawrie twitter2

Now we start to step into the secret obsession of girls in yoga pants that Brett Lawrie has. Fun fact: Byron Buxton also follows this account.

brett lawrie twitter3

I’m not really sure why Brett Lawrie would follow two accounts centered around girls in yoga pants, but to each his own.

brett lawrie twitter4

That’s good to know, bro.

brett lawrie twitter5

Hey look, it’s a whole Twitter account based off of the Blue Jays bullpen.

brett lawrie twitter6

Nice to see Brett Lawrie is using Vine for the exact thing it was created for.

brett lawrie twitter7

You don’t need to speak Spanish to understand what this account is about.

brett lawrie twitter8

At least this one is based out of Canada!

brett lawrie twitter9

 

Brett Lawrie do love hotties.

brett lawrie twitter91

I’m still not quite sure what this Twitter account is about.

brett lawrie twitter92

At first, there was Red Sox Nation, then came along, Yoga Pant Nation.

brett lawrie twitter93

I think this was only meant for Rickie and Jemile Weeks.

I think we can all learn a lesson in how to properly use social media, thanks to Brett Lawrie. Also, let the record show that Jose Bautista follows none of these accounts. Good on you, Jose.