December 31, 2015

2016 Hall of Fame ballot

In my previous Hall of Fame posts, I have covered former Red Sox on this year's ballots, as well as Canadians.  Those posts covered 14 of the 32 players on this year's ballot. This post will cover the remaining players and reveal my ten player ballot.

Of the remaining players, I would cast a vote for:

Alan Trammell
Barry Bonds
Ken Griffey Jr.
Trevor Hoffman (can't not vote for him, after making the case for Lee Smith and Billy Wagner)

No need to justify Bonds and Junior.  As for Trammell,comparing him to other shorstops he should be in. He has a higher JAWS than some Jeter guy and essentially the same WAR as Barry Larkin. He was overshadowed by Ripken during his career so may not have gotten as much recognition as he deserved, even being robbed of a well earned 1987 MVP. Alas, by the time the voters recognized the extent of his full accomplishments the ballots were too crowded and there was no room for him.

December 24, 2015

Hall of Fame - Canadian related players

Now that I’ve covered the former Red Sox players on the Hall of Fame ballot, time to look at players of interest to Canadians.  This includes both players born here, as well as those who played here. As I did in my previous post, I will just look at each player on his own merits to see if he deserves induction, and ignore the ten vote per ballot limit for now.

The players who I will cover today (in order of years on ballot) are:

Tim Raines (9th season, 55% votes last year)
Fred McGriff (7th, 13%)
Edgar Martinez (7th, 27%)
Larry Walker (6th, 12%)
Roger Clemens (4th, 37%)
Jeff Kent (3, 14%)
Mark Grudzielanek (1st year)
Troy Glaus (1st)

December 23, 2015

Happy Festivus! The Airing of Grievances

Those of you who know me, know how I feel about xmas (not spelling it out and keeping it lowercase should give you a clue - Bah, Effing, Humbug!).

The only good thing is that it's close to Festivus and its tradional airing of grievances.  I rant a lot throughout the year, here, on twitter, and on my blog dedicated solely to rants, and this day is specially made for it, so without furter ado, here is my top 10 list of baseball related grievances:

December 22, 2015

Hall of Fame time - former Red Sox

Who will be the next Red Sox player I'll see in Cooperstown?
That time of year again.  My BBA ballot will be due by New Year's Eve. As in previous years I will start with a post analyzing former Red Sox on the ballot with a detailed explanation for why I will or will not be voting for them. Then I will repeat this exercise with Canadians or those who have played North of the border.  And finally, probably just hours before I partake in this age-old tradition of getting drunk because the earth succesfully spun around the sun another time without deviating course, I will post my ballot which will include the aforementioned Red Sox and Canadian players as well as any others.

There are 32 players on this year's ballot, including seven players who payed in the Boston organization at some point in their career.  These players who I will cover today (in order of years on ballot) are:

Lee Smith (14th season, 30% votes last year)
Jeff Bagwell (6th, 56%)
Curt Schilling (4th, 39%)
Roger Clemens (4th, 37%)
Nomar Garciaparra (2nd, 5%)
Mike Lowell (1st year on ballot)
Billy Wagner (1st year)

December 06, 2015

The Price i$ Right! Or is it?

AP Photo/Winslow Townson
David Price recently signed a $217 million / 7 year contract.  There's an opt out after three years, and it's slightly back loaded, but to keep things simple let's just call it $31 million per year.

Two types of people complained about the contract: First there were the many baseball fans that thought it was too much relative to what other comparable players might have cost and/or it may hinder the Red Sox potential expenditures in future years. Maybe. But this group would have thought it was a great deal if it was say three years for only $60 Million.

The second group of grumblers were those that saw the headlines and remembered the outrageous sums of money that athletes are paid, and would protest whether he was being paid $31 million or $20 million per year. Their argument goes something like this: The purpose of  atheletes is to provide entertainment for fans. Surely policemen, teachers,medical professionals etc. are much more valuable members of society and should be compensated commensurate with that value. If a firefighter only makes $60,000 per year, a baseball player should not make more! Admittedly this may be an extreme characterization of this group, but an accurate depiction is that they would reluctantly be satisfied if top athletes earned "only" $5 to $10 million but anything more than that is just pure greed.

So, would society as a whole be better served - or to word it differently - would it be more 'fair' if baseball's top salaries were in the $10 million range, rather than the current situation where there are over 100 players making more than that, including 10 over $25 million?  To see why the answer is "probably not", read my rant over at my non-baseball blog.


October 10, 2015

SIDEARMNATION Pitching Camp right here in Calgary!


SIDEARMNATION will be holding a pitching camp in Calgary the weekend of October 24th and 25th. Several former professional pitchers will be on hand as instructors.

The camp will be held on Saturday and Sunday from 9 - 3 at the Coyote Den Baseball Centre.  The full cost is $275, or $150 for just one day.   Details on the attachment below.  This is open to pitchers of all ages.  Don't miss out on this opportunity to learn from the pros!

Click attachment for details: SIDEARMNATION Calgary Camp

August 18, 2015

Thank you, Ben

(Photo credit: Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
Some initial quick reactions:

I'd be lying if I said I didn't hate the Bobby V era.

And last place sucks.

But thank you Ben for all of the following:
A great iconic moment:
 (Stan Grosfeld/The Boston Globe)

Which of course, lead to this:
(Matt Slocum/AP)
Which was only possible because he got rid of these:
(Nick Punto, screen cap from MLB.com)
(Truly one of mankind's greatest mysteries; What WERE the Dodgers thinking???)

And also thank you for not getting rid of any of these:

 Bogey, Betts and Bradley
(Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
Swihart and Vazquez
(Steven Senne / AP)
Not trading away the farm for a quick fix has set us up for many great future years. Someone else may get credit, but just as Dan Duquette brought Pedro, Manny, Varitek, Lowe, Wake, Lester and others to Boston who were the foundation of the 2004 and 2007 Championships that his successor got credit for, future Championships will come due to the groundwork Ben Cherington layed out for this franchise.

Thank you, Ben. And best of luck.

August 04, 2015

Pe-dro Pe-dro Pe-dro!

God!


Pe-dro, Pe-dro, Pe-dro the fans cheered while proudly waiving the Dominican flags. What an amazing event to witness in person as Pedro Martinez was inducted to the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown this past Sunday.

As great a pitcher as he was, he is every bit as good as a speaker, having the crowd of an estimated 50,000 eating out of his hand.  It started early in the day  as every half hour or so the day's activities were announced on the PA, and each time Pedro's name was mentioned the crowd would spontaneously erupt.  Cheering, shouting his name and/or waving the flags. It was obvious that with all due respect to Craig Biggio, Randy Johnson and John Smoltz, the majority of the attendees were here for Pedro.


And then he started his speech with a simple "¡Hola!" which again made the crowd go wild.

June 22, 2015

There IS more to life than baseball

... contrary to what I usual say. One of my favorite sayings is "Baseball is Life... the rest is details". I even have a t-shirt with that on it.

But the recent murder of Darryl Hamilton is a sober reminder that life isn't all about fun and games. Hamilton adds to a long list of  baseball players senselessly murdered.

I was a young boy when I was first saddended to hear about the Lyman Bostock tragedy. I was not a fan of his teams, but even as a seven year old, I was impressed by his integrity. He had signed a large free agent contract, and when he struggled at the start of the season attempted to return his salary to the team. When the Angels refused, he donated it to charity instead. Can you imagine in today's game,Carl Crawford saying "sorry, I've sucked. Here's $20 Million to charity?". Anyhow, a few short months after this selfless act, Bostock was murdered in a case of mistaken identity (the killer thought Bostock was having an affair with his wife). The next one that I remember vividly was Dernell Stentson. A former top Red Sox prospect, he was violently killed after his sole season in the majors with the Reds. And of course, locally, nobody will every forget the tragic triple-murder suicide which ended the lives of promising young playes Mitch MacLean and Tanner Craswell.

There have been other young baseball lives which ended through violent killings as well. Pascual Perez and Ivan Calderon are two more who come to mind. And many more baseball playes have died while in the midst of their careers, Oscar Taveras the most recent one, joining Nick Adenhart, Josh Hancock, Darryl Kile, Cory Liddle, Tim Crews and Steve Olin, and Thurman Munson in the "what might have been" category. Roberto Clemente was probably the most well-known incident, but his tragedy was before my time, so I can't relate to it as much as I can with the other guys where I still remember exactly where I was and how I felt when I first heard the news. Darryl Hamilton's name will now be added to this sad and too long list of players whose deaths I will never forget.

Thoughts and Prayers to his family and friends.

June 11, 2015

Great week for Alberta Baseball!

It started Monday night when Calgary’s own Mike Soroka was drafted in the first round.  He was the second Canadian taken, with Mississauga’s Josh Naylor taken at pick #12.  Soroka was the 28th pick, selected by the Braves.  Everyone knew he was going to be drafted high, being in the consensus top 100 in all the major projections, but he really opened some eyes in the Dominican just a couple ofweeks ago, and his stock soared all the way to where he made it in the first round.  Ironically, he was the first Albertan pitcher selected in the first round since Chris Reitsma, who has been one of his pitching coaches locally.

On the same day, the South Atlantic League announced its all-star selections, and Calgary’s Jordan Procyshen who was the only player from Alberta selected in the 2014 draft was named the starting catcher.  The Greenville backstop has had a good year, after having been quickly promoted from low A ball Lowell last year.

June 06, 2015

2015 MLB Draft Preview

The annual MLB player draft is next week.  As always there are many Canadians to keep an eye. This year an Albertan, Mike Soroka from Calgary, is one of the top Canadian prospects and may end up being the first Canadian taken overall.  The 17 year old Soroka is a member of the Canadian Junior Team, who has committed to Cal-Berkley and has garnered accolades everywhere he's played.



Among his accomplishments:
Here's a video profile of Soroka


Soroka isn't the only Albertan on scouts' radars.  Brendan Hendriks who was a late round selection of the Phillies back in 2011, is also on the list of top Canadian prospects. Hendriks, a third baseman from Cochrane, who played High School ball at the highly acclaimed Vauxhall Baseball Academy has been playing at University of San Francisco, where he led this team in home runs.

Also hoping to get a phone call next week is St. Albert's Jackson Wark. Like Soroka, Wark is also a RHP on the Canadian JNT.  He was named to Perfect Game's Honorable Mention All American Team and has committed to St. Louis University.

Last year, only one Albertan was drafted, and that was Jordan Procyshen who was selected by the Red Sox and is enjoying success in their organization, currently the starting catcher for Greenville.  It would be great if Boston selected more Canadian players this year.

Regardless of where they end up, am wishing all of these players success in their baseball future.



June 04, 2015

A Red Sox update...

Summary of 2015 season.
Courtesy of the Boston Red Sox
It's been 2 months since I posted something that was specifically about the Red Sox.  That's mainly because this whole season has been an epic shitshow and I just haven't had the motivation to write about it.  But I thought it would be fun to see what I wrote in my post on Opening Day to see how much of it has actually panned out.

That post summarized some of the analysis I had seen in the previous 24 hours where fans tried to extrapolate a whole season's worth of forecasting based on a single data point.  Let's review these tongue-in-cheek one liners that I reposted:



We were lucky to have avoided signing Jon Lester 
Well sure, he's 0-25 with 13 Ks on the season. Even Allen Craig hit better than that for us.
Unless, this was referring to his pitching.  Since 4/5 of our opening day rotation has an ERA north of 5, I think it's safe to say having Lester may have been beneficial.

May 11, 2015

Runners Passing on Bases

While umpiring a University of Calgary baseball game, I ran into an odd situation where a runner passed another runner on the base paths. This led to some confusion among the umpires, and I'm sure the official scorer may have had trouble scoring it correctly, too. How should this rare play be scored? Check out the details on the scoring blog

May 03, 2015

Runner Hit by Batted Ball

Well, you don't see that everyday. Twice!  Two games ended yesterday when a baserunner was hit with a batted ball with two outs in the 9th. Since this was interesting from an official scoring perspective I have all the details over at the scoring rules blog.  They say you can't predict ball, but you can be fairly certain that everyday you will see something on the diamond you haven't seen before.

April 14, 2015

Red Sox Hitters Beneficiaries of Generous Scorers?

(CJ Gunther/EPA)
We won the home opener, while recording 13 hits.  But several of those should have been scored as reached on error instead. This isn't a criticism of Boston's official scorer, as he is only following the practice of all other MLB scorers. But if a routine fly ball falls between two fielders, in my opinion (and that of the pitcher on the mound, no doubt) an error should be charged.  I talk more about it over at my Scoring Rules blog along with some accompanying videos.  Take a look.

April 12, 2015

Fenway Home Opener!

A good excuse for another day off work. Last year's was absolutely amazing.  No banner going up or rings to hand out this year. But expectations for this season are pretty high.

The matchup looks pretty good, with the Nationals Jordan Zimmerman facing our own Rick Porcello. The starters for the home openers are all over the place. Unlike Opening Day where usually you get both team's #1 facing each other, the home opener is a bit of a wildcard. Sometimes they are scheduled after a 3 game series, so the teams' #4 starters oppose each other. If it's the 3rd series of the year, then it's game 7 so it's #2 starters facing off. And rainouts, injuries, extra inning games etc can impact all of that so it's really unpredictable.  Having said that here is who threw at Fenway for the home team over the past 10 seasons and the outcome of the game:

April 07, 2015

What did we learn from Opening Day?

 Drew Hallowell/Getty Images
What a great start to the season! Boston beat the Phillies 8-0, with some great pitching aided by some powerful slugging.  So what did we learn?  Here are a few things I saw on twitter / message boards / talk radio and the usual sources of idiocy:
  • We were lucky to have avoided signing Jon Lester
  • We were lucky to not have traded for Cole Hamels
  • We have an ace better than the above two options in Clay Buchholz
  • Dustin Pedroia is going to have a huge year
  • Hanley Ramirez is going to be a monster
  • Mookie Betts IS a Hall of Famer
  • David Ortiz is cooked
  • Nobody can remember why we wanted to sign Pablo Sandoval 
  • Our pitching is going to be just fine
  • We’re going to hit the shit out of the ball
Hey, feel free to extrapolate whatever you want from one day of baseball, but keep in mind it is just one day. Some of the above may end up being accurate forecasts, others maybe not so much. Hall of Famers have off days, and scrubs can look like stars for a few hours.

Here’s a boxscore from 2002 OD.  We hit four home runs before the 2nd inning was over! But lost the game because our starter gave up 8 runs in 3 innings. At least we could look forward to the fact that Tony Clark who went 3-5 with a big fly was going to fit in Boston just fine (he ended up batting .207 and hit 2 more home runs all season). And the starting pitcher? Some guy named Pedro, whose stats I'm not going to look up, but I'm sure he worked out all right, too.

So, what did we really learn from Opening Day? The only concrete takeaway is that baseball is back and it’s a lot of fun. During the long off-season it’s easy to forget just what a great game this is. 

I'm glad it's back!  Now, can someone tell me why there's an off-day already?

April 05, 2015

2015 MLB Predictions

Crystal ball time. I've done so well in the past, why stop now.  Below is my projected number of wins for each team, and a quick note or two about each one. Feel free to bookmark this so you can make fun of me in October.

AL East
Boston (88) -          Jackie Bradley Jr. will play a much bigger role for this team than anyone is currently anticipating. Mookie Betts and "future first ballot Hall of Famer" will be said in the same sentence a lot less than the Fenway Faithful are expecting, but that phrase will start to be heard about Xander Bogaerts again.
Baltimore (86) -      They lost many key players, but they won 96 games without Machado and Wieters last season. They could drop 10 games in the standings and still be in the division chase the last weekend of the year.
Toronto (80) –        Exciting team with lots of young future stars. Canadian fans should get excited about the team that AA is building up here. But not this year. A rocky summer will lead to John Gibbons being dismissed.
New York (80) –     What will they do without the season long Jeter ball-washing tour? Not to worry, there will be enough controversy in the Bronx to keep them on the front pages of the tabloids.
Tampa Bay (75) –   They still have some very good arms. Among the best rotations in the AL, but they’ll have difficulty scoring enough runs.

April 02, 2015

Red Sox Opening Day 25 man roster

Only a couple of days away. Still a lot of decisions to be made:
- What to do about the outfield logjam?
- What arms get the last couple of bullpen slots?
- Will Joe Kelly start on the DL?

With those questions in mind, here is my projection for the starting 25:

March 30, 2015

115,000 + Watch an Exhibition Baseball Game

That was seven years ago. As part of the Dodgers 50th anniversary of moving to California from Brooklyn, they hosted three exhibition games against the Red Sox, the main one at the LA Coliseum. I made the 24 hour drive to be able to witness history along with my son and 115,298 other fans. It was well worth it! Was able to talk to and obtain autographs from players from both teams, saw a bunch of celebrities, and witnessed some interesting baseball.

Kris Bryant... Should he Stay or Should He Go?


The Chicago Cubs are faced with a decision as to what to do with their prospect Kris Bryant. He is not only undoubtedly one of the best 25 players in the organization, but may very well be one of the best players on the Cubs, period.  Should he Stay or Should he Go? (i.e., have him start the season in the MLB, or send him to the minors)  Should be an easy enough decision. A team's man goal is to win(*), and the Cubs are a better player with him on the team than not.

But there is a wrinkle. You see, MLB (in its Collective Bargaining Agreement) has decided that when a player spends 172 days on an MLB roster, that is deemed to be a whole season. And a team has control of a player for 6 seasons, after which he can become a free agent.  So, if Bryant starts the year in the minors and is called up in a couple of weeks, he will only be on the MLB roster for....171 days. Convenient. From the CBA's perspective this is no different than a prospect getting a cup of coffee in late September. You don't really want to discourage that by counting it as a whole year, so they have arbitrarily (or through heated negotiations, I'm not really sure) used 172 days as the cutoff between playing a whole season, and just getting a callup that doesn't really count.

March 29, 2015

Opening Day is approaching. Where are my Predictions?

Opening Day is less than a week away. I want to publish my predictions for the Red Sox, but things still aren't settled.

Will Vazquez need to miss the entire season, or will just need a few weeks of recovery? Will Boston trade away Craig or Victorino to clear the outfield logjam? Cole Hamels rumours are still swirling. If Vazquez is out does that open the door for Swihart, or another trade?

Anyhow, I will post something shortly with my thoughts on the upcoming season. Bet you can't wait....

February 26, 2015

Playing Pepper 2015 edition

(Photo from blog.homerunmonkey.com)

As mentioned previously, the Cardinals blog C70 at the bat at Cards Conclave hosts an annual series where bloggers from each team answer some specific questions in previewing their team's seasons.

As in previous years, other Baseball Bloggers Alliance members also participated including BBA Red Sox Chapter President Christine from Boston Red Thoughts, John at The Mighty Quinn Media Machine, and Michael at The Pesky Pole.

To see how these Red Sox bloggers answered these questions, take a look at the Red Sox "Playing Pepper" page at C70 at the bat.

Below are the questions with the answers that I provided. As always, I welcome your comments and thoughts:

1) What are your thoughts on the team’s offseason?  Did they do what they needed to do?

February 23, 2015

Red Sox Look To Get Back On Track With New Players

As Spring Training starts, fans are starting to think about the upcoming season.  Below is an article from guest blogger Matt Smith which summarizes the changes the Red Sox have made heading into 2015:

With the recent news that the Boston Red Sox have signed top free agent prospect Yoan Moncada, it is safe to say that the franchise has successfully erased a dreadful 2014 campaign from the minds of many. After winning at all in 2013, nothing really went right for them last season. However, going out and getting new talent is the best way to get back into not only the American League East race, but the World Series discussion as well.

People in fantasy baseball 2015 are going to be really excited to see this lineup in action. While Moncada will be heading to the minors to instantly be one of the stars at that level, Boston will rely on some veteran infielders to help out the offense right away. Hanley Ramirez and Pablo Sandoval were rivals in the National League West last year, but now they very well could be starting on the left side of the infield for the Boston Red Sox. No one knows for sure if Ramirez is going to play shortstop or move somewhere else, but they know that he is one of the best hitters in the game. At this point, he will probably end up in left field so Xander Bogaerts can play shortstop. Sandoval is also someone known more for his bat, but he actually plays a pretty solid third-base for a guy who is a bit on the heavy side.

Pitching is going to be the biggest thing standing in the way of another title for the Boston Red Sox. They are going to rely on guys like Clay Buchholz and Rick Porcello to anchor the staff. There are some quality arms that they can go after in a trade to solidify the rotation, but right now it is below average. Most of the pitchers on their staff are marginal prospects at best in fantasy baseball 2015.

Baltimore lost a lot of talent from 2014, and the New York Yankees and Toronto Blue Jays have some holes to fill as well. The Tampa Bay Rays appear to be in full rebuilding mode at this moment, so that leaves the American League East pretty much up for grabs. The Boston Red Sox feel like they have significantly improved their team, and now it is time to see what they’re made of.



February 08, 2015

Albertans Playing College Baseball

Even though this is thought of as a hockey province, there are over 50 players currently playing baseball south of the border.  Last year, Calgary's own Jordan Procyshen was on the list, and after being drafted by the Red Sox in the June draft, played for Lowell and Greenville and is expected to continue to climb up Boston's minor league system.

Which of the following players will we see be part of an MLB organization in the future?

NCAA Division I:
3B Nolan Bumstead, Calgary, California State University, Northridge
RHP Greg Hollman, Sherwood Park, Savannah State University (Georgia)
INF-RHP Tanner Kirwer, Sherwood Park, Niagara University
OF Dawson Ruschkowski, Oyen, North Dakota State University
3B-1B Dane Tofteland, Okotoks, Indiana State University
INF Mitch McGeein, Calgary, Eastern Michigan University
RHP Cashtyn DeLeeuw, Grimshaw, Murray State University (Kentucky)
OF Jeremie Fagnan, Calgary, Texas Christian University
INF Brendan Hendriks, Cochrane, University of San Francisco
RHP Chad Hodges, Medicine Hat, South Dakota State University
RHP Tyler Vavra, Calgary, Canisius College (New York)
Division II:
RHP Reese de Beaudrap, Three Hills, Salem International University (West Virginia)
2B Braden Goldade, Medicine Hat, Northern State University (South Dakota)
OF-RHP Jake Lanferman, Sherwood Park, Fort Hays State University (Kansas)
INF Derek Shedden, Edmonton, Northwestern State University (Oklahoma)
C Mike Belliveau, Calgary, Alta. Bellarmine University (Kentuck)
C Travis Steinke, Red Deer, University of Arkansas at Monticello
C Ramon Valdez, Chestermere, Barry University (Florida)
INF Kevin Czarnecki, Edmonton, Fort Hays State University (Kansas)
OF Bretton Gouthro, Calgary, Mount Olive College (North Carolina)
INF Cooper Langley, Edmonton, Fort Hays State University (Kansas)
OF Travis Sormaz, Calgary, Northern State College (South Dakota)
RHP Levi Westerlund, Oyen, Lubbock Christian University (Texas)
Division III:
INF Alex Bishop, Calgary, University of Texas at Tyler
RHP Chris Stodolka, Lethbridge, University of Texas at Tyler
INF Blake Patterson, Calgary, Spalding University (Kentucky)
RHP Cole Slamko, Okotoks, Spalding University
INF Austin Warkentin, Calgary, Mississippi College

NAIA
IF Jaxson Hooge, Calgary, Tabor College (Kansas)
OF Evan Loranger, Sherwood Park, Dickinson State University (North Dakota)
OF Carson Wlad, Calgary, Siena Heights University (Michigan)
LHP Dave Erickson, Sherwood Park, Waldorf College (Iowa)
RHP-3B Tyler Czech, Stirling, Dickinson State University (North Dakota)
RHP Brendan Ethier, Calgary, Jamestown College (North Dakota)
RHP Colin Feenstra, Calgary, University of Cumberlands (Kentucky)
LHP Tyrell King, Calgary, Missouri Baptist University
LHP Jeremy McPhee, Calgary, Jamestown College (North Dakota)
RHP Ryley Ross, Edmonton, Bethany College (Kansas)
INF Kym Barthel, Lethbridge, LSU-Shreveport University
RHP Donovan Feenstra, Calgary, University of Cumberlands (Kentuck)
1B Bryn Redhead, Leduc, Graceland University (Iowa)

JUCOs and Community Colleges
OF Trey Grant, Calgary, John A. Logan College (Illinois)
INF-RHP Tanner Karpinski, Edmonton, Garden City Community College (Kansas)
SS-RHP Matt Lloyd, Calgary, Iowa Western Community College
OF Aidan Lucas, Ft. Saskatchewan, Big Bend Community College (Washington)
INF Eduardo Sanchez, Okotoks, College of San Mateo (California)
INF Cole Schneider, Ft. Saskatchewan, Colby Community College (Kansas)
OF Josh Williams, Sherwood Park, Hutchison Community College (Kansas)
INF Tyler Czech, Raymond, Porterville College (California)
RHP Connor Girard, Morinville, Allan Hancock College (California)
RHP-INF Reign Letkeman, Red Deer, Big Bend Community College (Washignton)
RHP Bo Lewington, Calgary, Southeastern Illinois College
RHP CJ Lewington, Calgary, Southeastern Illinois College
OF Triffon Tatarin, Vegreville, Garden City Community College (Kansas)
C-INF Ryan Thrasher, Sherwood Park, Marshalltown Community College (Iowa)
1B Jake Derwent, Calgary, San Joaquin Delta College (California)


Take a look at the Canadian Baseball Network for a full list of Canadians playing in college.


February 04, 2015

Playing Pepper Preview

As a member of the Baseball Bloggers Alliance, it is my privilege, to among other things get to participate in C70 at the Bat's annual Playing Pepper project.  This will be the fourth season I have been asked to share my views on the upcoming Red Sox season. You can look here at what I said going into the 2012, 2013 and 2014 seasons.

This year I have been asked to answer the following questions.

1) What are your thoughts on the team’s offseason?  Did they do what they needed to do?
2) What do you expect out of Joe Kelly and Allen Craig this season?
3) Has it been tough following the roller-coaster of this team over the past few years?
4) What player do you expect to make the greatest strides this year?
5) What’s your projection of the team’s record and where will they finish in the division?
6) What do you like best about being a Red Sox fan?

My answers and those of several other Red Sox bloggers will be published on or around February 26th at the C70 site linked above.  Check there for previews of all other teams as well.

I will post my answers here at about the same time, and will be interested in my reader's comments on my thoughts. Stay tuned....

January 31, 2015

Super Bowl time = NFL Parity. NOT!

It's that time of year again, where I have to deal with the simpleton NFL fans with their knuckle-dragging cries of the supremeness of the Super Bowl since unlike baseball there's parity and on any given Sunday anyone can win.

Yawn!  

Haven't we been through this already? Like, every single year?  I don't feel like rewriting my original post from 2010, but the facts have only been strengthened since.  Jayson Stark has once again articulated this much better than I could.

Anyway you look at it - whether it's Super Bowl Champs vs. World Series winners, or playoff teams, or the spread amongst teams' regular season records, there is very little parity in the the NFL compared to the MLB. 

Anyhow, I always look forward to the Super Bowl.  Means Spring Training is right around the corner :)  For anyone else as excited as I am, here's a handy guide for anyone heading down to Arizona or Florida this spring:

January 24, 2015

Local fundraisers: Support your team and meet MLB stars

Several local baseball groups are having their annual fundraisers in the next few weeks and it is a great opportunity for Albertans to support their home baseball organizations while having a chance to meet some MLB stars and win some great prizes.

January 19, 2015

Math Iz hard!


I almost posted this on my rant’s blog. But I’ve already posted there about people’s stupidity. More. Than. Once.  And this is baseball related anyways, so thought I’d just write about it here. 

Max Scherzer just signed a 7 year / $210 Million deal with the Washington Nationals. Congratulations to him, the organization and Mr. Boras on this signing. Right away I saw people on twitter and message boards talk about how $30 M per year was way more than Lester and he’s probably not worth that much more etc. A while later, started seeing posts saying since the money is deferred (he’s getting $15 Million per year over 14 years), the NPV of the contract is actually less than the 6/$144 he turned down from the Tigers last year, or Lester's money. And he’s signed for 7 years, not 6 so it’s actually more of a bargain.