June 21, 2011

Best game ever

Or should I say "evah!" for my Boston area friends. And, no I'm not talking about tonight's 7th inning 10 run outburst for our beloved Red Sox, although that was pretty cool too.

I'm talking about Out of the Park 12! I just got my copy earlier this evening (actually, yesterday I guess), and have been playing it non-stop. It has so many features and options, I feel like I've just scratched the surface. I can't do it justice by posting a review yet because I haven't tried everything (and it's approaching 4 AM... I should really go to sleep soon). So far I've tried a few different modes, and I just finished playing the 1975 season. I managed to get the Red Sox in the playoffs and keep Jim Rice healthy for them. But what I've seen so far is awesome, and it's going to be difficult to get me way from the computer for the next little while.

I will post a full review shortly. If I can get away from the game long enough to update this blog :)

Take a look here for more information on the game and how to buy it.  Or check it and other baseball games at Amazon..

June 08, 2011

Red Sox draft Alberta player

The Boston Red Sox had a very successful draft including getting several players who were expected to be taken before the Sox had a chance to pick.  And fans are rightfully excited about getting Matt Barnes, Blake Swihart, Henry Owens, and Jackie Bradley with their first 4 picks.  But lost in the shuffle of the 53 players taken by the Red Sox was Sean Dartnell taken in the 34th round.  He is a 6'2" 200 pound left-handed pitcher from St. Paul Manitoba who is a High School senior right here at the Vauxhall Baseball Academy.  He had already committed to attend Eastern Michigan University who play in NCAA Div I, and now will have to decide between signing with our Sox and attending school.  Either way, we wish him the best of luck.  If he does choose to sign with the Red Sox we are excited to have another Canadian in the organization to continue a long tradition of stars from the North playing at Fenway.

7 players from Alberta taken in annual MLB draft

Yesterday, Adam Paulencu, Ethan Elias and Jake Hansen were selected on day 2 of the draft.  Joining them as MLB draftees from Alberta today were LHP Sheldon McDonald from Spruce Grove,  outfielder Cory Scammell from Edmonton, Ryan Thompson who I previously wrote about, and Brendan Hendriks.

Some other names notable to Albertans including LHP Sean Dartnell who went to Vauxhall Academy and 1B Trevor Gretzky who I'm told had a dad who was a professional athlete in our province.

Here's a summary of Albertan's drafted in the 2011 MLB draft:

Adam Paulencu 
Spruce Grove
Ethan Elias 
Jake Hansen
Fort MacLeod
Sheldon MacDonald
Spruce Grove
Cory Scammell
Ryan Thompson

Fort McMurray
Brendan Hendriks

3 Albertans drafted in Day 2

{editor’s note:  I wrote this last night, but due to technical difficulties was unable to post it on the blog until after the end of the 3rd day.}
There were no Canadians taken in the first round of the MLB draft.  On day 2, Tom Robson was the first Canadian taken as expected, when the Blue Jays selected the big LHP with their 4th round pick.   RHP Adam Paulencu of Spruce Grove was the first Albertan taken when the Giants took him in the 13th round.   The next local prospect taken was another RHP, Ethan Elias of Entwistle who went to the Cubs in the 22nd round.  The third and last Albertan drafted today was another pitcher, this time a southpaw. Jake Hansen from Fort MacLeod was taken in the 30th round by the Mets.

There are still several outstanding prospects available, including Ryan Thompson and Cory Scammell, who are likely to be taken in tomorrow’s rounds.  I will post an article with the results of the final day after tomorrow.

June 03, 2011

Dale Anderson leads Seton Hall to NCAA Regionals

There are 64 teams who earned an entry into the annual NCAA baseball tournament to ultimately crown a College World Series Champion.  There are several Canadians playing on these rosters, but only one player is from Alberta. That is Strathmore's own Dale Anderson.  Read my article about how he helped the underdog Seton Hall Pirates beat #1 UConn on the way to win the Big East Championship, and are now playing in the NCAA Regionals.

June 01, 2011

MLB Power Rankings - June edition

Two months into the season, I can no longer use the excuse that it's early to hide some bad predictions.  When the 30th ranked Indians were off to a good start, I still thought they'd cool off by Memorial Day.  Well, that has come and gone and they still have the largest lead of any division leader, so maybe they're for real.   I still don't think they are a playoff team, but I'd like to take back my January comment when I said about the Pirates "Fans will probably be happy that I didn’t put them in their perennial #30 spot.  And there’s a very good reason for that.  It’s called the Cleveland Indians!" Pittsburgh is not at the bottom of my rankings, but it's not because Cleveland is any lower.  On the other end of the spectrum, my initial ranking of the Twins at #5 doesn't look too brilliant either.

Not all my predictions were quite as bad. I had Boston and Philly 1-2 and in spite of the Red Sox' slow start, these are still the 2 top teams.  I was one of the few who believed Tampa would still contend this year, and they have.  I had the Brewers ranked #7 in January, and that's where they're back to.  Predicting Adrian Gonzalez to win the MVP doesn't look like such a bad guess either.  And when I had Jon Lester winning the Cy Young, I actually meant Josh Beckett ;)