Shutting down Strasburg is. . .STUPID

Stepehen Strasburg

Washington Nationals pitcher Stephen Strasburg has certainly lived up to all the hype surrounding him when he became the #1 pick in the 2010 Major League Baseball draft. Despite his elbow injury during his rookie season, which required Tommy John surgery, Strasburg has bounced back to nearly 100% health and strength. But a lot has been made on the Nationals decision to shut Strasburg down, no matter what, when he reaches 160-165 innings this season. With a legitimate shot to go all the way, is this really smart by the Nationals?

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Cubs Randy Wells Compares Himself to “Major League’s” Ricky Vaughn

Charlie Sheen as Ricky Vaughn in "Major League"

Ah the hubris of comparing oneself to one of the greatest movie characters of all time, from “Major League,” one of the greatest movies of all time. However, that’s exactly what Chicago Cubs pitcher Randy Wells did.

Here’s the quote in the Chicago Tribune

“Last year I got caught up in a lot of stuff,” Wells said Wednesday at a Cubs Caravan luncheon at Harry Caray‘s restaurant. “I maybe got too big for my britches.”

Wells likened his season to that of fictional pitcher Ricky “Wild Thing” Vaughn in the sequel of “Major League.” After a successful season in the original film, Wells said Vaughn’s character “turned into a businessman/pretty boy” in “Major League 2.”

Wells went 8-14 with a 4.26 earned-run average, after a strong rookie season in which he won 12 games with a 3.05 ERA. After opening the 2010 season by starting the third game in Atlanta, he’ll now be competing with five or six pitchers for two vacancies in the rotation

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RIP Lou Brown. We’ll Miss You!

major league

In about a week I’ll be visiting Cleveland. On vacation; for fun. I am not joking. I am not going there for business, or to visit a chica. I’m going for tourist purposes. To get in the mood, the days leading up to my trip will feature myself listening to Bone Thugs n Harmony, and watching “Major League,” one of the greatest sports movies of all time.

And watching that film will be bittersweet, because the man who played Lou Brown, one of the key characters in the film has recently moved on to a better place.

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The pros and cons of Interleague Play

Interleague Play

Another year of Interleague baseball (and an American League victory) is in the books, and unfortunately for the haters, it was deemed a success by Major League Baseball. Commissioner Bud Selig’s brainchild surely won’t be going anywhere anytime soon.

By Jake McCormick [Read more…]

Stay Classy Ohio: Both MLB teams among top 3 HATED

major league

Interesting study in the Wall Street Journal, which surveyed the most hated teams in all of Major League Baseball. Yes, ESPN’s home team, the Boston Red Sox did indeed finish second, but #1 and #3 may surprise you.

From a scintillating  Yardbarker article and the Ohio sports blog Wait till Next year:

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Thank you Rick Vaughn! ‘Major League’ advantage: Brewers

Great movie

Great movie

By Jake McCormick

Major League should’ve centered around the Milwaukee Brewers. The movie was filmed at Milwaukee County Stadium (R.I.P.), the two most memorable Yankee

players (Clu Haywood and “The Duke”) were played by former Brewers (1982 Cy Young-winner Pete Vuckovich and Willie Mueller, respectively), and of course, Bob Uecker made the movie great as drunk announcer Harry Doyle.

But for Cleveland, a city obviously known for hoarding sports championships, the movie gave a national audience a glimpse into one of the most underrated lack-of-success stories in baseball. After it was released, the real-life Indians went on to collect seven AL Central Division titles and two World Series appearances, causing speculation that the movie actually had a positive impact on the organization. This holds true simply because after Mr. 3000 was released, the Brewers have been to the playoffs and are looking more like a respectable franchise again. Thank you, Bernie Mac. Which brings me back around to the Brewer’s three game sweep of the Indians.

JUUUST a bit outside!

JUUUST a bit outside!

The 2009 Milwaukee Brewers might have to thank Harry Doyle, Rick Vaughn, and Willie Mays Hayes for sweeping the Cleveland Indians. Monday’s crazy win on the 20th anniversary of Major League’s release was easily the team’s strongest mental game of the year. It was a turning point for the team in the same way that Jake Taylor’s motivational “win the whole, f***ing thing” speech was for the movie Indians. I’m not predicting a pennant, but the Brewers’ collective hitting confidence is growing.

Corey Hart, Jason Kendall, Mike Cameron, JJ Hardy, and Bill Hall forgot which end of the bat to grip over the past two weeks, if not months. Hart, Hardy, and Hall have been especially painful to watch, as they have more problems with curveballs and sliders than Pedro Cerrano. The bright side is that each member of the Triple H Club hit a home run against Cleveland, and Hart has increased his season total from six to nine over the last four days.

Popeye

Popeye

Hart and Hardy must’ve found a couple of diamond-plated slump busters before the Cleveland series, because they’re producing like their fantasy draft positions predicted they would. Remember when Kendall (or Popeye, as I like to call him for his look at the plate and massive wad of *gum* lodged under his left lip) started last season hitting like Joe Mauer, minus the power? Kendall is a lot like Taylor because his value is more in leadership of a young pitching staff than his incredibly powerless swing.

Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder will get their statistics, but they usually do it in ying-yang fashion, where one is up while the other is down. Lately they’ve been lockstep together like the West Side Story, but the scarier part for other teams is the resurgence of the supporting cast. The Brewers role players have been like the lesser known guys in Major League – shortstop Malina, left fielder Tomlinson, or pitcher Kellner, all mentioned at some point in the film.

Clu Haywood pitching in real life

As good as the Brewers’ hitting has been over the last few games, the pitching has been stuck in a bizarro world. Jeff Suppan is the Eddie Harris of the Brewers staff because he does well in clutch games, is religious, and looks like he’s not a real pitcher sometimes. The only difference between the two is that Harris consistently went eight to nine innings in all two games he pitched in the movie, whereas Suppan is successful with a six inning, three to four run outing. Suppan has been the team’s most consistent pitcher over the past two weeks, while Manny Parra especially has done a spot-on Rick Vaughn impression for the last month. But glasses won’t fix what ails him. Parra has some big confidence issues, and a stint in Triple A should do him well. The rest of the starting rotation has slumped lately, including a couple of wins by Yovani Gallardo where he was only able to get through five innings. It’s not what you want to see from a staff on a first place team, but as long as the rest of the division continues the “any way you can suck, I can suck better” mentality, the Brewers shouldn’t lose too much ground on anyone.

Note the Milwaukee WTMJ radio station ad under the press box

Note the Milwaukee WTMJ radio station ad under the press box

The Brewers definitely have a Willie Mays Hayes swagger, and they’re continuing to hold strong in the Central Division despite some injuries and drop offs in production. Only time will tell if the team’s hitting woes have been cured and if the pitching will turn around, but Milwaukee showed an offensive spark against Cleveland that wasn’t always around when pitching was solid. Ken Macha’s squad has more talent and better Vegas odds than Lou Brown’s Indians, but it’ll take a collaborative pitching and hitting effort to do anything close to what happened in the movie.