I’m giving away MLB Stuff every week on this blog to reward my readers.
I’ve given away a Matt Wieters shirt to Joey Orr,
a Brandon Phillips shirt to Matt Jackson,
a Dustin Pedroia shirt to Stephen D,
a Phillies shirt to Connor,
a Dodgers shirt to Matt Jackson,
and this Ryan Zimmerman shirt to Big Brown Fox.
Sabathia is the Yankees best starter, and has been for the past couple years. I’ll never forget the one hitter he threw against the Pirates back in August of 2008. The only hit was a swinging bunt off the bat of Andy LaRoche. Sabathia fielded the ball, but threw it away. If fielded cleanly, LaRoche surely would’ve been out. However, the official scorer awarded a hit rather than an error, thereby robbing me of seeing a no hitter. I still have never seen a no hitter in person.
Anyway, since joining the Yankees, Sabathia has had 19, 21, and 19 win seasons. He’s thrown at least 230 innings in each season with the Yankees. He’s struck out at least 197 in each of his 3 seasons with the Yankees, and posted ERA’s between 3.00 and 3.37 over those 3 seasons. Statistically, its amazing to see how consistent he’s been.
Now you can own a jersey shirt of his!
Here’s how you win the shirt:
I post blog entries every day. All you have to do is leave a comment or retweet my blog link on twitter.
So, again, to enter:
1) Leave a comment.
You can enter up to seven times per week simply by leaving a comment. Non-pertinent, spam, or inappropriate comments will not be accepted. If you comment multiple times on the same blog entry, it still counts as one entry. For example, if you commented on three different blog posts from this week, you’d have three entries. If you’d comment three times on the same blog posting, it would could as one.
2) Retweet (RT) my posts on Twitter
You can find me on twitter under 333greystreet. Simply retweet my daily posts of my blog link and I’ll count that as an entry. My blog is connected to my twitter so that I automatically tweet once I post a new entry. Each day, I’ll search who’s retweeted me and enter those users into a hat along with the commenters. By the way, you do not need to retweet my every tweet, only the tweets that announce a new blog post and url. For example, if I tweeted, ‘Rerun of the Pirates Opening Day 2011 on tonight,’ if you retweeted it, it wouldn’t count as an entry.
At the end of the week on Sunday, I’ll have Olivia, Amy or myself choose a name from a hat and announce the winner.
There’s only 24 more days until Opening Day!
Earlier today, the Pittsburgh Pirates acquired AJ Burnett from the New York Yankees for $13 million in cash and low level prospects Diego Moreno and Exicardo Cayones. The Yankees will also cover the other $20 million that is owed to Burnett over the final two years of his current contract.
AJ’s best years may be behind him, but I like the move. It was a good trade for both the Yankees and the Pirates. There is no loser in this deal. The trade allows the Yankees to go out and sign a DH with the money the Pirates are sending in the deal – likely Raul Ibanez, Johnny Damon, or Eric Chavez. The Pirates deepen a rotation that flopped in the second half of the season last year.
The move gives the Pirates six legitimate starting pitchers in their rotation.
Here’s the Pirates rotation candidates along with their 2011 stats:
Charlie Morton 3.83 ERA, 29 GS, 171 IP, 110 K
James McDonald 4.21 ERA, 31 GS, 171 IP, 142 K
Jeff Karstens 3.38 ERA, 26 GS, 162 IP, 96 K
Kevin Correia 4.79 ERA, 26 GS, 154 IP, 77 K
Erik Bedard 3.62 ERA, 24 GS, 129 IP, 125 K
AJ Burnett 5.15 ERA, 32 GS, 190 IP, 173
So, who comes out of the rotation? Charlie Morton may not be ready for opening day, as he is coming off of a hip injury. Assuming he is ready, I think that Kevin Correia is the odd man out. Correia was a surprising All Star for the Pirates in 2011, but his season drastically changed when he was awarded a spot on the All Star team. In the first half, he was 11-7 with a 4.01 ERA, a WHIP of 1.28 and a opponents avg/slug of .270/.414. In the second half, he was 1-4 with a 7.23 ERA, a WHIP of 1.74 and an opponents avg/slug of .338/.597. He was shut down at the end of August with a strained oblique. Because of Correia’s contract, I think he would probably fill the role of a long man in the bullpen and be the go to guy if a starter went down.
Will AJ Burnett be successful in Pittsburgh? I think he will be. First, he will be out of the spotlight and will be able to focus on pitching. He also will be close to his home, a mansion in Monkton MD, which is 4.5 hours from Pittsburgh.
AJ chose Pittsburgh in part because of its proximity to his home – he even nixed a trade that would’ve sent him to the playoff likely Angels for Bobby Abreu because he didn’t want to play 100 games on the West Coast.
Secondly, AJ will face a much weaker offense division than in the AL East. I looked into AJ’s career stats against the current players of each team in the NL Central:
Brewers vs AJ: .252 BA, .325 OBP, .324 SLG, 1 HR, 111 AB
Cardinals vs AJ: .263 BA, .365 OBP, .343 SLG, 2 HR, 99 AB
Cubs vs AJ: .160 BA, .263 OBP, .230 SLG, 2 HR, 100 AB
Astros vs AJ: .375 BA, .474 OBP, .438 SLG, 0 HR, 16 AB
Reds vs AJ: .192 BA, .261 OBP, .269 SLG, 0 HR, 78 AB
Those are impressive stats. Too bad Jason Michaels has owned AJ Burnett, or the Astros stats would be lower. Since the Astros will be playing with minor league caliber players in 2012, I’m not too worried about how he fares against them.
Thirdly, AJ will pitch half of his games in PNC Park, which typically surrenders home runs at a pace near the bottom of baseball. One reason is because of the Pirates offense, but another is that its a rather large field.
So, what did the Pirates give up? Besides the cash, not much. There’s Diego Moreno, a pitcher who throws 98 MPH, but was suspended from the Pirates minor league team for unprofessional conduct for making out with a fan during a game in the bullpen.
His career line in 5 minor league seasons is 11-9, 2.41 ERA, 116 G, 194 IP, 212 K. When left unprotected in the Rule 5 draft, he went ignored by the other 29 teams in the MLB.
The other prospect is Exicardo Cayones, who is basically a reincarnation of Rafael Belliard, except he plays the outfield. He has no power whatsoever.
His career line in 3 minor league seasons is .272 avg, .372 obp, .380 slg, 1 HR in 558 plate appearances. He would be more valuable if he were fast since he seems to be able to get on base, but he only has 14 career steals in 28 attempts in the minors.
Kudos to Neal Huntington for not giving in to the Yankees original request of AJ Burnett for Garrett Jones.
What’s everyone else think of this deal?
48 days until opening day, 1 day until pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training, and 2 days left to win this Dustin Pedroia T-Shirt.
This weekend, I went to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown NY.
Cooperstown is a little over 7 hours from Pittsburgh, so we drove most of the way on Saturday afternoon and stayed overnight in Binghamton NY.
The next day, we braved the 8 degree weather and snow and made our way to Cooperstown. There were lots of baseball shops lining Main Street on the way to Cooperstown. Unfortunately, since it was Sunday, most of them were closed. The Hall of Fame is open 9AM-5PM daily though.
Here I am outside of the Hall of Fame. (I know, Where’s my coat?!)
From Ebbets Field:
There was a large portion on this floor for Hank Aaron
And another section of the third floor was dedicated to Statistics. It featured all major statistical categories with the all time career record holder and active leaders:
Here’s a short video of that section of the Hall.
Also nearby was a display case of a ball from every No-Hitter thrown in the major leagues since 1940.
Another brief video:
The next exhibit was a display of World Series rings dating back to the early 1900’s.
It was pretty cool.
Here are two short videos of the rings:
Near the exit of the third floor was a large display of baseball cards that included all different kinds of cards from baseball’s history. There was another Honus Wagner 1909 card in there.
Another brief video:
We finished our trip by heading over to the library on the first floor which we missed the first time through.
There was a small area devoted to movies:
that had old baseball movie posters
The library section was a ghost town, everything was closed there. The Giamatti research center, the museum, the bullpen theater. All of it.
After several hours it was time to go. We left a bit before 3PM and got back home around 10.
It was well worth the trip. I wouldn’t buy a membership and go all the time, but it’s a must for any baseball fan that has never been there. I’d say there’s pretty much something for every hardcore baseball fan there.
Coming up next: Pirates Winter Caravan and Piratefest entries.