World Series to Determine Fair Value for Albert Pujols, Stl. Cardinals?

Shaun Marcum and Edwin Jackson struggled in their starts on Sunday night in the 2011 National League Championship Series. That was no surprise considering their previous track records. The eighteen total runs scored made the over betters elated in Las Vegas. Albert Pujols had a home run and two runs batted in for the Cardinals.

Pujols has an average of over four hundred in the postseason with an on base percentage of over .550. He is widely seen as the top hitter in the National League and is a quality teammate-citizen in the Midwest. His prowess at first base has really improved over the years due to his diligence. There is nothing negative that I can write about the man besides his age. The player on the wrong side of thirty probably has the best years behind him…if he is not taking supplements.

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Lance Berkman: The Feel Good Story of the First Half

cardinals-logo

New York isn’t for everyone. Lance Berkman can certainly attest to that. He was shipped off to the Bronx last season and began his tenure as a reserve player. This simply didn’t suit the man who had been the face of the Houston Astros since the the days of the killer bees in Texas. Craig Biggio and Jeff Bagwell had a long run of success at Minute Maid Park, but Bagwell shouldered the load upon their departure.

It is no surprise that a Saint Louis Cardinal arguably has the best offensive statistics in the National League at the break. Fans would have thought that the name associated with those numbers would be Matt Holliday or Albert Pujols though. The latter has returned from his broken wrist extremely quickly and has the faithful with high hopes for the post break portion of the schedule.

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Do the St Louis Cardinals have the Best Outfield in MLB?

stl-cardinals

Expensive acquisition Matt Holliday might currently be on the Disabled List, but that doesn’t prevent the St. Louis Cardinals from continuing to have the highest producing outfield in all of  MLB. Very few expected the aging, but now slimmer downed Lance Berkman to be a seriously game-changing addition, but his numbers (including a 1000+ OPS) tell the story- he’s one of the best pick-ups of the off season.

And it seems like Berkman’s hitting has spread throughout the entire unit. Four of the five outfielders are hitting above .320; the depth in the Busch Stadium outfield has indeed been something to write home about. Holliday has been extremely solid when healthy, Colby Rasmus has been the team’s top run producer, and John Jay (not to be confused with one of the three authors of “The Federalist Papers” has added offensive depth off the bench, much like Allen Craig.

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The Backdoor Cut Twins-Yankees Series Breakdown

Andy Pettitte

The Backdoor Cut takes a look back at games one and two of the New York Yankees-Minnesota Twins ALDS….Umpiring, Andy Pettitte’s Dominance, playoff managing, and Lance Berkman’s re-emergance are just a few of the topics touched on…If you like what you hear, listen to the radio version of The Backdoor Cut Tuesday Nights from 9-11 p.m. on 91.7 fm KAUG or online at www.augsburg.edu/kaug.

http://thebackdoorcut.mypodcast.com/2010/10/The_Backdoor_Cut_TwinsYankees_Playoff_Breakdown-329010.html

-Mike Gallagher

5 Reasons Why the White Sox Should Resign Paul Konerko

The 2010 baseball season is not even over and the Chicago White Sox are still in the race for the American League Central crown. So why should any White Sox fan start thinking about 2011? Team captain and offensive leader Paul Konerko will be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season that’s why. While some may argue that it is time to turn the page on the Sox slugger and usher in the Dayan Vaciedo era, we offer five reasons the White Sox need to re-sign him without even thinking twice about it.

By: Soxman

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What’s Brewing in ’09: Strong Coffey, Boring Bench & Trenni Talk

 
By: Melissa Wollering

 
When half your team is playing really well and the other half can’t stop itself from imploding, the losses are disgusting, the wins are both shocking and satisfying and the word consistency is foreign.

 

 
In this week’s “Good, Bad & Ugly,” Coffey is my favorite beverage, Looper my favorite pitcher and Bush my Most Improved.  In his last outing, Bush gave up 4 hits, 3 BB and 3 runs in the 1st inning alone. However, on Thursday, Bush had a no-hitter against Philly going into the 8th. Former Brewer Matt Stairs eventually ended that with a homer that hit the right field foul pole.


Looper continued his winning streak Wednesday pitching six scoreless innings. Word is he may move ahead of Manny Parra in the rotation. Coffey did give up his first run as a Brewer on Wednesday, but should be thanked for a gutsy two-and-two-thirds-inning save earlier in the week.  In that game, Coffey forced a double play with the bases loaded in the 7th, got out of a jam in the 8th AND plopped down a perfect sac bunt in the 9th to move Kendall to second.  That transformed into an insurance run. Sicko good.


Coffey is also drawing comparisons to Brewers 2003-2004 closer Dan Kolb. Kolb hadn’t made many waves before the Brewers picked him up in his late 20’s.  Same for Coffey. Both showcase mid-90’s sinking fastballs.

Also in this category: Mike Cameron.  At time of print, Cameron led the team with a .316 batting average and 4 homers. More impressive is his .422 on-base percentage, which is tops among Milwaukee regulars.

 
As for bad, we move Suppan up one category from ugly this week. The Mets seemed to hit quite a few hardballs off Supp in his last outing, but he held them off going 6 innings and giving up just two runs.  It’s progress. Now build on it like a kid with 4 hours in Legoland at Mall of America.


Brew Crew Haiku provides us with this thoughtful analysis of his last outing:
Suppan Effective
But story of this game is
Strong Coffey brewing

 
Hopefully the bullpen won’t be as bad once Trevor Hoffman returns.  He’s expected to return on Sunday.  Cue Hells Bells once we get back to Miller Park.

 
If you want a bad stomachache, buy any large Pizza Hut pizza until May 2 and get a free Brewers ticket. Or just buy a real ticket and opt for Palermo’s in your frozen section.

 
As for what’s ugly for the Brewers, avid reader Justin Z. and I both salute Rickie Weeks’ ass.  Have you ever seen the Family Guy episode where Peter’s midsection and backside actually have an orbit around them?  Brian the dog throws objects into the gravitational pull to demonstrate.


If you’ve ever mistaken Rickie’s face for his ass, then perhaps you’ve identified the reason for his tough month of April. Rickie collided with JJ Hardy’s shoulder and was removed from Tuesday’s game for dizziness.  A game or two prior, his face got nailed by a pitch. If it didn’t already, NOW his face looks like his… Fine, I’m done. But I was having so much fun!

What else is ugly?  The bench. I spent a great deal of time discussing Chris Duffy, Brad Nelson and Casey McGehee during Spring Training.  I also explained that one of Dale Sveum’s campaigns in Maryvale was to make the bench so solid that each member could step for the starters without anyone taking notice.  He wanted pinch hitters to be winning factors in games….uh…yeah. You should pinch yourself at this point.  Are you dreaming, Dale?


Since Opening Day, we’ve hardly seen the bench.  When we do, they suck. Duffy, Nelson and McGehee combined have stepped up to the plate less than 20 times in the first 14 games. To put this in context, Counsell alone has batted 15 times in the same number of games.


My final ugly thought is Jorge Julio.  I so badly wanted to chant, “Rufio, Rufio, Ru-fi-ohhhhhhhhhh” all season.  Now I would like to catch a glimpse of the crack addict who drew his strike zone and see if he knows that he paints the corners like Jackson Pollack.  Wow.  If you got my art reference, I will give you a shout out in the next What’s Brewing.

 
In “Just a Bit Outside,” Bob Uecker does not think highly of the Mets’ new CitiField ballpark. He gave a long rant about the design of the visitor’s booth. He says there are half-a-dozen seats in front of them.  When someone stands, they loose all visibility – batter, catcher AND home plate.

As for other problem areas with that park; you can’t see the playing field from the visitor’s bullpen. Here’s Coffey’s reaction: “It’s horrible. It’s awful. It’s the worst bullpen I’ve ever been in…It’s a bad design.”

 
Nice.  In “Friendly Fire with the Cubs,” your favorite board-game creator and mine, Milton Bradley, was ejected from last Thursday’s game after a K in a pinch-hit appearance. Apparently he made contact with the ump. He was suspended two games. If you’re groin still hurts and you’re on the bench though, why even bother, Milton? Of course, he’s appealing it on principle (says Lou).  Andy Paschen has bequeathed Milton with the nickname of “The Meth Bear.” Children, if an angry bear is chasing you with a syringe full of meth coursing through his veins, make sure you can run faster than your slowest friend.

 
In “Where Are They Now?” former Brewer Geoff Jenkins wants to play. I think he could find a spot on a bench somewhere in National League. He can pinch hit and always adds to the defensive depth in the outfield wherever he goes.

 

 “Around the NL,” Lance Berkman is reportedly in an “uncharacteristic slump.”  Time out.  So the slump he was in for the majority of 2007 makes this one uncharacteristic how?

 

Pirates may resort to kidnapping although these wouldn’t do it off coast of Africa.  The Pittsburgh Pirates are about to start kidnapping fans. Not only did the team sell just 8,700 tickets the other day, but they only counted 4,500 actually enter the turnstiles.  I smell the first MLB team bailout…

And finally, your friend and mine, Trenni Kusnierick is getting a little traction for her MLB Network makeover.  She’s been very open about it, saying they wanted to ‘girl her up’ for the NY market crowd.  She’s done some interviews this week on 1250 AM in Milwaukee and written into Right Field Bleachers about it. What do you think?  I think they gave her a Jenny McCarthy look.  Not bad…