Posted on: March 1, 2012 11:57 am

Gibson quotes Sparky

`Give me 25 guys playing for a contract and I'll show you a world champion,"
Great quote!! Sparky is a true LEGEND! The only reason why teams sign players to long term deals is because of free agency. Teams want to control the player's salary for a set amount of years and they don't want to lose the player to another team. Otherwise, signing players annually to one-year deals would DEFINITELY improve players performance. Players playing for their "financial life" would be much more motivated than players that are "fat & content" with big long-term contracts. The days of players taking whatever the team offers them and playing to win ARE WAY LONG GONE!! LIKE PRE-HISTORIC TIMES!! Seriously, if you read about some of the early legends of the game getting paid whatever the team decided, on annual one year contracts you'd be truly AMAZED!!
Posted on: January 24, 2012 12:29 pm


Think back a little.  How many OFFENSIVE all-star catchers have stayed behind the plate?  Pudge Rodriguez, Bengie Molina, McCann, Mike Piazza, ...  Most teams look for a way to get the catcher with a superb bat out from behind the plate.  So, I don't see the idea of moving Santana permanently to 1B or DH as an insult to his defensive skills.  Most fans have no idea how hard it is to be a good defensive catcher.  It takes many years to develop the basic skills (blocking pitches in the dirt, mechanics for throwing out base stealers, calling a good game, blocking the plate effectively when runner trying to score).

You shouldn't expect any young catcher to be "GOOD" defensively, it develops over time.  Guys like Tony Pena, Benito Santiago & Pudge Rodriguez are rare!  Guys that come into the league knowing how to play the position well and are solid at the plate come along once every ten or twenty years.

The argument for Posey being the better young catcher because of his defensive skills is weak because EVEN THE Giants consider moving him to 1B to avoid another injury (maybe career ending type).

Honestly, a GREAT catcher should not even be able to battle for a batting title, HR title, RBI title or whatever.  A GREAT catcher is a catcher that wins games through his defensive skills and game-calling/rapport with his pitchers.  A GREAT catcher is like a coach on the field.  He talks to his teammates, coordinates strategy on the field, controls the tempo of the game, etc.



As long as they are both playing catcher about 80+% of the time I'd say Posey is the better CATCHER.  But which is the better overall PLAYER playing catcher?  I'd say that Carlos Santana is the better player playing catcher because he is not known to hurt his team when he is catching ANDhis offensive production puts his pitchers at ease by pitching with a lead or knowing they are always in the game if they give up 4 or 5 runs or less.  Unless you've ever been a pitcher you don't know what this means.  PITCHERS LOVE RUNPRODUCERS IN THEIR LINEUP!!!  THEY'LL BUY DINNER FOR THE GUY THAT HITSA 3-RUNBOMB FOR HIM AFTER HE JUSTGAVE UP A BOMB THE INNING BEFORE!!

CARLOS SANTANA is one of the best hitters in the game ALREADY even after a torn ACL, surgery and rehab!  And he's only 25 years old!!  There have been HOFs that started their careers at 25!  Carlos Santana is one of the best hitters in the game, he's young and he happens to play catcher.  Therefore, CARLOS SANTANA IS THE BEST YOUNG CATCHER IN THE GAME.

Weiters and Posey are very close though.  They can catch up this year.  Unless SANTANA improves like most people expect him to.  Then there will be no close to him

Posted on: December 8, 2011 8:28 pm

Why Albert Pujols left St Louis

There is so much more to baseball then meets the eye, it's a huge business.  He owes it to his union and the membership to get every single penny he can.  He's not just a star or a superstar... he's put up the best numbers in the game overall for the last 10 years.  The more money he makes the better it is for everybody beneath him....  It's how it is.... that's it.  
It takes intelligence and logic to understand the not so obvious underlying issues.  I hope the Cardinals come to regret not resigning Pujols.  He WAS loyal to Cardinals.  Every person has their limit.  Cardinals fans loved him for more than his on-field contributions.  And he loved Cardinals fans back.  The problem is that the Cardinals organization did not "love" him enough.






;     take out his highest & lowest totals for each category and you'll notice more clearly his consistent AMAZING performance.

Word to the wise, if you want to keep your franchise players, meaning they are the foundation for your team's performance and they are the face of the team in the community and national media, you should never let them get a year away from free agency while they are still a franchise player and producing like one.

For the emotional Cardinals fans hating on Pujols, the hometown discount applies ONLY when the organization reaches out early enough and offers fair market value to show the player the appreciation and respect he deserves.  Most people know that Albert Pujols has been one of the most productive employees any sports organization has ever had.  He only left St Louis because he felt disrespected by the organization/management group. 

There are many examples of organizations making long term commitments to players before an antagonistic relationship develops.  Most recently are Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez.  You may not think these are hometown discounts but in reality they may eventually become that.  These may outperform their salaries (it seems impossible but think in terms of fair market value for players with similar performance).  Even Matt Kemp's recent signing could become a "hometown discoutn" signing.  If his next two years are just as good or better than last year then the 3rd year and after could be perceived as a discount.

Some people here HAVE stated that the Cardinals waited to long to get serious about keeping Pujols.  If it turns out that Albert was on steroids or that he is in fact actually older than his stated age then maybe the Cardinals had good reason to let him go.  But if Albert is clean, produces for at least the next five years like he has throughout his career and he helps the Angels contend for the WS in those years then the Cardinals will have proven wrong in not extending his contract early.

This signing is a shock for many because we all wanted to believe that the Cardinals wanted to keep Pujols as much as Cardinals fans wanted him to stay.  Albert Pujols just proved that he is a very smart man and baseball player.  Moving to the AL will improve his longevity and offensive statistics.  He will bat against weaker pitchers, play in smaller parks, have a more potent line up surrounding him (without pitcher hitting), and will rest his body on days that he is in the line up as DH.  He will enjoy California, the weather, the coast, the diversity, the culture, and attractions/entertainment.  He will DONATE to charities, foundations, churches, etc in SoCal & he will be loved more than he was in St Louis. 

Posted on: November 29, 2011 12:34 pm

Why Fielder won't sign with the Nationals


I don't think this is Fielder's only chance to sign for MONEY.  He is young enough (going on 28) that if he stays healthy and productive he will have another shot at a lucrative free agent deal.  He should play for a team that will pay him fair value and has a great chance at winning it all.  Of the teams that have been mentioned that would be the Rangers or the Brewers.  If the Brewers don't believe that Fielder is willing to leave and that another team is willing to pay him $25 million per year for 5 years or more then they won't offer him much.  I believe that Fielder WANTS to stay with the Brewers but he wants the respect of being paid like one of the top players in the game.

I don't see why he should be paid so much considering his weight issues, which affect his running and fielding.  But at his age his bat should be productive for about 5 years minimum.  With recent signings gone sour (Ryan Howard, Adam Dunn) teams are hesitant to sign big bats ( one or two tool players) to long term deals.  Fielder and his agent are just trying to squeeze as many dollars out of the Brewers because baseball is a business.  Players should get their slice of the pie.  Who's being greedy?  They're all greedy!!  Now let's put that aside and we see that it is in the best interest of both sides for the Brewers and Prince Fielder to come to an agreement on a 4 year deal with player option for the 5th year.  They should give him a $5 million signing bonus and pay him an average of $24.9 million a year.  The deal should be structured like Kemp's deal.  The first two years at a "bargain" of about $22 million per year.  The next two years at about $24.25 per year.  And the last year (the option year) at around $27 million. 

This is a TON  of money but if Fielder continues to produce as he has so far he will help the Brewers win games, division titles and maybe even a World Series title or two.  The team will win games and make 2 TONS of money!  Fans like to watch good games played by great and exciting players.  Players like to play baseball, win games and feel appreciated (get paid).  And teams like to win games, divisions, titles because winning translate into PROFITS!  Very few teams can turn a profit without winning.  But it's bad for baseball and fans hate when teams play only to "compete" and make a profit.

The Nationals are still not good enough to sign YOUNG & productive free agents.  Jason Werth was 31 going on 32 last off-season.  That was his LAST chance to make serious money.  If he had taken less to sign with a legitimate contender he would have given up maybe $10 million or more overall.  Who in their right mind would give up that kind of money just to sign with a better team?!  I'm not saying that young free agents never sign with rebuilding teams but it doesn't make too much sense to do that.  The Nationals are on the rise but I don't think they thought that Werth would make them title contenders.  Maybe Fielder would.  But Fielder has more to lose by signing with the Nationals than the Nationals have to lose.  The Nationals have to show their fans and other players that they are serious about becoming a perennial winner and that DC is a good option for future free agents.

Posted on: November 17, 2011 3:23 pm

Kershaw wins 2011 CY YOUNG AWARD!


It definitely took the triple crown to win the Cy Young Award.  Clayton Kershaw could easily had come in 2nd or 3rd place in the voting if he had not tied for 1st in wins or if he came in 2nd or 3rd in ERA or Ks.  It is extremely difficult to win this award.  Many deserving pitchers place in the top 5 in voting year in and year out and never win it.  I believe that Clayton Kershaw will get even better as he matures physically and gains experience.  He may never win another Cy Young Award but he has the POTENTIAL to win a few more.  What Kershaw has accomplished at such a young age and with only 3 full seasons in the major leagues is AMAZING. 

When players accomplish individual feats of excellence people also give credit to coaches, mentors, and others.  I'm not saying that the Dodgers have a poor coaching staff (in the majors and minors) but I can't help but think that Kershaw has done this pretty much all by himself, aside from a good upbringing and work ethic provided by his parents.

He just seemed very focused and discipline from the BEGINNING!!  He had a composure and consistency in his demeanor that you don't see very often in young athletes.  He's been a role model off and on the field since he first came up to the bigs as a 20 year old MANBecause we all know there are 20 somethings and 30 somethings in professional sports that are not yet MEN

I remember the Dodgers celebrating in the clubhouse that year and he couldn't fully participate because he was under legal drinking age.  It just hit me that this guy was a solid member of the starting rotation of a winning big league team at such a young age.

I wish Kershaw the best.  I hope he wins a lot of games for the Dodgers before he retires.  I hope he wins a championship or two with the Dodgers.  I hope he stays humble and remains a good teammate.  I hope he continues to play for himself, his team and for the "LOVE" of the game and not for MONEY.

Kershaw is a player and a person that makes me proud to say that I am a Dodgers fan.

Category: MLB
Posted on: October 24, 2011 1:04 pm

Ron Kulpa giveth, Ron Kulpa taketh away

Ron Kulpa, mea culpa.  Ron Kulpa, the home plate umpire last night, gave the Rangers the game last night in return for the bad call he made Saturday night during game 3.

"Two wrongs don't make a right".  Especially not in baseball.  The bad call on Saturday night does not warrant many bad calls on Sunday night.  Kulpa umpired with his conscience last night.  He admitted after game 3 that he made a bad call at first base.  And the very next day he shows up behind to plate to make up for it.

I'm sure Rangers fans will make up excuses.  They will say NOW that bad calls are part of the game.  A day after they were blaming Kulpa for the 16-7 massacre.  They will say that bad calls go both ways and have a way of evening out.  Watch the game AGAIN and see how many balls thrown by Holland were outside the strike zone and still called strikes by Kulpa.  Count them!!  A few balls, here and there, are acceptable.  Especially if it is happening to both sides.  But it is obvious that only Holland benefitted from Kulpa's calls behind the plate.  How else can you explain the Cardinals going from 16 runs to none and from 15 hits to two?  How else can you explain that Derek Holland pitches the game of his life and resembles Sandy Koufax for one night?  I'm telling you why, every ball called a strike for Holland gives the Rangers an edge and puts the Cardinals at an unfair disadvantage.  How is it fair that one lineup gets one strike zone and the other lineup gets a different strike zone?  I'm all for a wide strike zone but it has to be consistent, throughout a game, throughout a series and throughout a season.  I'm all for watching batters swing at close pitches instead of watching them go by and hope for a ball call.

Kulpa's bad calls during game 4 have convinced me that in order to have a fair and consistent strike zone umpires should not be rotated.  They should definitely not be rotated during the playoffs.  Not only will you get consistency but you'll also get accuracy as the umpires will get better through practice and experience at their respective umpiring positions.

Rangers fans will argue that rotating umpires is good for baseball.  Based on what logic?
Argument/counter-argument:  Do a little research.  NFL judges, officials, umpires, or referees do not rotate postions.  They usually work a specific  position for a whole season.  They start off at the easiest position and work their way up if they are good.

I like the human aspect of baseball umpiring but when a mistake is made it should be pointed out and accepted as a mistake.  And Ron Kulpa made MANY "mistakes" last night that essentially gave the Rangers the game.  And the one obvious mistake he made on Saturday night did not give the Cardinals the game (16-7).  Napoli's throwing error and the Rangers pitchers gave the Cardinals that game.
Category: MLB
Tags: Ron Kulpa
Posted on: October 20, 2011 3:09 pm

Pacquiao's a cockfighter

Interesting article.  I actually get the point!  I think Doyle is being sarcastic.  I don't hate dogs, chickens, bulls or any other animals that have not harmed me personally.  But I'll kill a spider in a split second!  Don't spiders have a right to live? 

People are strange and are getting stranger.  The same people who defend animal rights are in many cases the same people who defend abortion rights (the killing of unborn HUMAN babies).  The same people who defend hunting and the right to bear arms are many times the same people who "defend the American way of life" in foreign countries by killing the "ENEMY" (HUMANS)!!

How about we try a STRANGE concept, "judge not lest thou be judged".  Some people have it right.  We should look at entertainers only for the entertainment that they provide.  I don't live in the Phillipines.  I don't live with Pacquiao.  I don't go to cockfights.  I don't participate in cockfights.  To me, the only thing that will change my opinion about Pacquiao, is his performance in the ring and his integrity as a boxer.

I do not judge Filipinos and their culture.  I do not judge what other people consider to be a valid sports, as long as it is legal where it is happening.  If I don't like it I will avoid it.

In my opinion you can put dog racing and horse racing in with dog fighting and cockfighting, as far as it being inhumane.  People defend hunting as if all the people that hunt do it respectfully and correctly.  I am sure there are many hunters out there that hunt for sport only, not for sustinence.  And I am also sure that some cockfighters conduct there business professionally and respectfully, as far as it is seen in their culture.  And others do not.

I have respect for animals but I have more respect for human beings. 

And having a dog as a "child" is not the same as living with a pack of dogs.  If you love dogs so much live with them and see how they treat you!  Animals lovers make me sick!  If you love them so much, live with them!  Don't just have them live with you.  How do you know that the animal wouldn't rather live with its own kind?  You don't know because it can't talk.  Scientifically speaking, it's unnatural for an animal to live with humans, as a "child"!  No matter how much you domesticate an animal, it's still an animal.  It needs to socialize and mate with its own kind.  If you really love animals, are against cockfighting, and want to defend all animals let them live on their own, with their own kind, without ANY human interference.  We have our space, let them have theirs.  Otherwise, accept that humans are the superior species and we can use animals however we see fit (within local laws and regulations), for food and entertainment.
Posted on: October 18, 2011 2:36 pm

The Cardinals will win the World Series

Cardinals will win their 11th championship!!

The Cardinals have what it takes to bring down the house of cards known as the Texas Rangers.  The Rangers didn’t beat Justin Verlander.  They beat the paper Tigers.  I felt sorry for the Tigers, trying to fight off the Rangers caveman clubs with a broken paw.  I’m not going to negate Fister’s efforts but the other Tigers arms were intimidated and scared.  The Cardinals pitchers will not be scared or even impressed with the Rangers big bats.  The Cardinals will win the old-fashioned way, with pitching, solid defense and superior coaching.

The Rangers have a formidable team, especially their lineup.  But in the postseason anything can happen.  And more often than not experience overtakes talent.  The Rangers were in the World Series last year but they lost in a quick 5 games series.  They were vulnerable to good pitching.  What happened to those mighty bats?  I’ll tell you what happened.  They turned to dust because of the bright and hot spotlight of the World Series stage.  How many players, and even managers, are comfortable on that stage?  Not the Rangers.  Not Ron Washington.  The Cardinals, just plain and simple, know how to win championships.  They’ve been there before and they’re hungry for more. 

The Cardinals pitching staff may not have as many Cy Young awards as the Giants but they may be just as good.  Carpenter will pitch two or maybe three of the 7 games and he can be just as good as Lincecum on some nights.  Carpenter will give the Cardinals 2 wins.  Edwin Jackson, Jaime Garcia, and Kyle Lohse will combine to give the Cardinals the other 2 wins necessary to win the series.  They have a combined record of 15-8 after the all-star break.  And although their high ERA makes it seem as if they struggled badly in the post season it is only because they had short outings.  Good managers keep their starters on a very short leash in the post season.  But look at their strike out to walk ratio and you would see that they weren’t really that bad (27 to 7).  Overall Garcia, Lohse and Jackson combined for an ERA of about 3.50 in the regular season.  These boys are way better than the Rangers 2-4 starters (Harrison,Holland, & Lewis)!  It’s not so much Carpenter vsWilsonor the Cardinals rotation vs the Rangers rotation. It’s Carpenter and Garcia-Jackson-Lohse vs the Rangers lineup andWilsonand Lewis-Holland-Harrison vs the Cardinals lineup.  I think it is very obvious that the Cardinals have the edge here.  And the Cardinals bullpen has been on fire in the post season!  Salas, Motte, Dotel & Rzepcynski have combined for 28 innings, 29 strikeouts and 3 walks!  The Rangers bullpen is good as well but not as good (31 innings, 31 strikeouts and 10 walks).

With the pressure of the World Series spotlight comes mental lapses and nervousness.  This can lead to errors, extra outs for the opponent and unearned runs.  These will surely cause the better team to lose to the weaker team.  With strong leadership from the manager and his staff a team’s defense can make the difference between two close teams.  On any given day during this series the Cardinals will put the better defensive team on the field.  The Cardinals have the clear edge here.  Yadier Molina and Albert Pujols both has multiple Gold Glove Awards.  At second base Schumaker is just as good as or better than Kinsler.  Furcal’s great arm and experience make him better than Andrus.  At third base I give the Rangers the clear edge with Beltre and his 2 Gold Gloves.  The Cardinals outfield is solid with Berkman, Holliday, Jay & Craig having better arms, gloves and fielding percentages than all of the Rangers outfielders, with the exception of maybeHamilton’s arm.

I know that Ron Washing has done a good job during his 5 seasons as the Rangers’ manager but it’s hard to say that Tony isn’t the much better manager.  Tony LaRussa’s 33 seasons, 6 pennants and 2 World Series titles give Ron Washington a tough challenge in strategizing, coaching, and making moves and counter-moves during the games.  I like Ron Washington’s personality and managing style but I think he still has a ways to go to become a World Series winning manager and a leader of perennial contenders.  Don’t think for a minute that Ron Washington and the Rangers don’t have an advantage by playing in the AL West with the Angels, A’s and Mariners.  Every year at least one of those teams is very weak.  Their 96-36 record comes from 22-22 versus the AL East, 25-18 versus the AL Central, 9-9 versus NL teams and 40-17 versus their AL West counterparts. It’s not very hard to contend for the division and therefore enter the playoffs with a better record, home field advantage, and well-rested healthy players.



The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or