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Category Archives: MLB

Braun’s positive test brings up the same questions

(AP Photo/Jeffry Phelps)

Just when you think the dust has finally settled, another player takes a fall in the game’s biggest scandal to this day.

Ryan Braun, who was recently named the National League MVP, tested positive for performance enhancing drugs. With the league still down from the BALCO age, this is a blow to the collective gut of the baseball world.

When news like this comes out, it immediately raises two questions:

  1. Why? Why would an athlete who is seemingly at the top of his game tarnish his body in such a way?
  2. Who’s next? Who will be the next athlete to shake the foundations when they test positive for PED’s?

The same questions were asked when Alex Rodriguez and Manny Ramirez were linked to PED’s. And now, the same questions will be asked in the coming weeks about the 28-year-old Braun.

Braun already denied the positive tests, saying “it’s BS” and that the tests were wrong. But what if they weren’t wrong?

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Phils interest in 3B Ramirez increasing

With the way things are progressing, this will be a running post on the Phils pursuit for Aramis Ramirez.

(Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Dec. 7

12:05 — Danny Knobbler of CBS sports tweeted the Phillies fell out of talks for Aramis Ramirez. “Phillies decided Aramis Ramirez not for them. Will keep Polanco and $$$ and keep trying to sign Rollins.”

Dec. 5

6:15 — Paul Kinzer, the agent for free agent third baseman Aramis Ramirez, is scheduled to meet with the Phillies tonight. The Inquirer’s Matt Gelb has more.

Ramirez also is seeking a four-year deal.

2:00Buster Olney: “Phillies said to be very down on polanco because of injuries, lack of pop.”

12:48 — Ken Rosenthal just tweeted the Phillies are looking to move Placido Polanco to make room at third base for Aramis Ramirez.

ORIGINAL — The Phillies could be looking to upgrade the third base position for next season.

Marlins beat writer Joe Capozzi of the Palm Beach Post tweeted that the Phillies are “strong players for Aramis Ramirez.”

Todd Zolecki of MLB.com just confirmed the Phils interest as well, calling this a back-up plan if the Phils can’t sign Jimmy Rollins.

Ramirez, 33, would be an immediate power upgrade. Last season for the Cubs, he hit .306 with 26 home runs and 93 RBIs. His .871 OPS last season was also almost .200 higher than Placido Polanco’s (.674).

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Albert Pujols Wants All Your Money

Cardinals slugger Albert Pujols watches a solo homer in the 9th, his 3rd of the game, leave the park in Game 3 of the World Series on October 22, 2011 in Arlington Texas. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

Bring it by the truck loads.

Whatever team wins the Albert Pujols sweepstakes this offseason, they are going to need a lot of cash to do it.

Pujols is looking at potentially his last big paycheck, one that will not only be the largest of his life but quite possibly the biggest in the history of baseball.

It has become almost a signature to see Pujols standing in the batter’s box, holding his bat in his left hand like a small twig; his hulking glare watching another baseball travel to an undiscovered solar system. And from Brad Lidge in 2005 all the way to last night’s mash-fest, Pujols has continued to do it in the most fitting of times.

Pujols made history. He did something that only Babe Ruth and Reggie Jackson have done in baseball: hit three home runs in a World Series game. But that historical feat was only a microcosm of Pujols ridiculous career.

For the past decade, Pujols has been the most dominant player in baseball. And his name is so synonymous with baseball that when you type in the name “Albert” in Google, only Einstein’s name stands higher in the auto-fill.

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Game 5 Mayhem

The Texas Rangers, fresh off an elimination of the Rays, can sit at home while six teams fight to move onto the League Championship Series.

The Yanks forced a fifth game on Tuesday while the Cardinals and Diamondbacks, with their backs seemingly on the ropes, punched back at the Phillies and Brewers respectively. The NLDS Game 5′s will be tomorrow.

So, who will move on and who will go home? Detroit’s Doug Fister and Yankee rookie Ivan Nova have the weight of their seasons lying firmly on their shoulders. Tonight, those two will duel at 8:07 ET.

For the Diamondbacks, their ace Ian Kennedy will face Brewers #2 Yovani Gollardo at 5:07 ET. Kennedy was lit up in his Game 1 start and Gollardo cruised to a Game 2 win. Arizona won both Games 3 and 4 at home, forcing the series to return to Milwaukee.

The Phils and Cards traded blows. Roy Halladay and Chris Carpenter will match up once again. If you remember, Halladay gave up a three-run homer to Lance Berkman in Game 1 before settling down. Carpenter proceeded to implode in the 4th inning and his night ended drastically.

Tune in to TBS (shameless plug for an awful sports broadcasting station) for the games

LaRussa’s criticism of umpires lands him a fine from MLB

MLB had to do something about Tony LaRussa’s comments during a Game 2 in-dugout interview.

The comment: “I would add — which could get me in trouble, but I’m going to add anyway — is that we are pitching to two different strike zones.”

You’re right, Tony. You did get in trouble.

LaRussa was fined an undisclosed amount by the Commissioner’s Office, a slap on the wrist to remind LaRussa not to cry about Jerry Meals’ rather awful strike zone on National TV.

First pitch for Game 3 is tonight at 5:07. Cole Hamels will take the hill for the Phils against Cardinals starter Jaime Garcia in a battle of the lefties. John Mayberry will get the start in left field over Raul Ibanez.

Jeter vs Bonds: A battle for the most valuable baseball

Derek Jeter hits his 3,000th hit, a 3rd inning home run on July 9 against the Tampa Bay Rays. (Bill Kostroun/AP)

Here’s a hypothetical situation (everyone loves these, right?):

You have an unlimited payroll. Would you pay more money for a tainted ball that signified the greatest record in baseball history or a ball that represented a personal milestone by one of the greatest players on the greatest franchise in sports history achieved on pure talent alone?

Magic vs Morals. Power vs Consistency. Barry Bonds vs Derek Jeter.

One month ago, Derek Jeter completed the last of the great milestones the most storied sports team in history needed to accomplish. Before Jeter, never did the New York Yankees boast a 3,000 hitter. Sure, guys who have donned Yankees pinstripes accomplished the feat in their careers but none ever did it solely as a Bronx Bomber.

On the other side of the debate, Only two sluggers before Barry Bonds cracked the 700 home run mark and Hank Aaron’s 755 stood (and still does to baseball purists) as the magical home run number many believed would never be touched. That is, until a steroided Bonds broke the record in 2007, topping a mark that stood the test of time for 31 years.

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B. Mac: A Cy Young Presence to Anchor a Franchise

We asked TTB writer Brian McCollum who would he rather have to start his team with: a Cy Young winning pitcher or an MVP bat. His answer…

P Roy Halladay, Phillies (Photo by Abelimages/Getty Images)

Pitching and defense wins championships.

It’s true in combination with staying consistent throughout the season. Good pitching will always stop good hitting. And face it: you can score all the runs you and try to out hit the other team, but if your pitcher gives up equal or more runs and hits than you can muster in a given game, what good does an MVP bat do?

And let’s face it, this question just can’t be answered with a snap and rash decision. My opinion is this: you need to take a player that is going to both put up the numbers and pack the fans in the stands. A player that is both a leader on the field and in the clubhouse. A player that other players would want to play on the field with.

That being said: I come from the school of pitching wins championships. You want an example? As much as it kills me to say this, look at last season’s World Series Champions, the San Francisco Giants. They are proof that good, no GREAT pitching will win you a championship. I would pick a Cy Young Award caliber/winning pitcher as my cornerstone for my franchise.

Names like: Halladay, Lincecum, Lee, Hernandez, Verlander, Sabathia, Lester, and Hamels come to mind.

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