Friday, August 1, 2014

Talkin' Trades 2K14 8/1/14

Hey baseball fans!

I'm going to talk about something that I rarely bring up on Baseball with Matt: current baseball! Yes, today I think it is very important to talk about the trading that has been shaking up Major League Baseball. In this post, I will be talking about the three biggest trades that were recently made (in no particular order).

Who? OF Yoenis Cespedes of the Oakland A's for P Jon Lester and OF Jonny Gomes of the Boston Red Sox
My Thoughts: Wow!! This trade really shocked me. I did not think that one, the A's wanted Lester and two, that the A's were willing to give up perhaps their best hitter for him. Let me tell you what I think of this trade; overall, I think it's very fair. Obviously, Billy Beane and his Oakland A's are now going to trust their pitching a lot more. Expect Oakland to be winning very close games in the future, games with the final scores like 3-2, 2-1, or even 1-0. But let's not forget about Jonny Gomes. With an OBP that is 95 points better than his batting average, he is truly a quintessential Billy Beane ballplayer. He will definitely be able to get on base, but will he be able to step up his hitting game?

Now, in my opinion, the Sox got the better end of this deal just because of how good Yoenis Cespedes is. He has been part of the last two Home Run Derbies, winning both of them in spectacular fashion. His power will hopefully be just right for a struggling Red Sox team and could possibly surge them to a division title. I'm very excited to see if Cespedes can adapt to Fenway and the Bostonian crowd.

Who? John Lackey and P Corey Littrell of the Red Sox for 1B Allen Craig and P Joe Kelly of the St. Louis Cardinals
My Thoughts: So, now both Johns are out of Boston. As I mentioned before, Lester is in Oakland, something I didn't expect, but Lackey going to St. Louis is another move that I did not see coming. I expected the veteran pitcher to go to Los Angeles and play ball in Dodger blue, but I guess now he will be playing in Cardinal red. However, I think that he will be a good fit with the Cards, as they are in the middle of a tough NL Central and they want to make a push for the playoffs. Litrell is a minor league pitcher, so he will not have immediate success in the Bigs, but there is a great chance that he will provide success for the Cardinals in the future.

Allen Craig has been struggling this season, after an excellent 2013 campaign, and Joe Kelly is also not having the best season. Because of these factors, I think the Red Sox got the worse deal in this case, but who knows? Maybe Craig and Kelly will rise to stardom in New England? We will just have to wait and see.

Who? David Price of the Tampa Bay Rays to the Tigers, SS Nick Franklin, P Drew Smyly, and SS Willy Adames to the Rays, and CF Austin Jackson to the Mariners
My Thoughts: Good job, Tigers. In my opinion, Price was the best pitcher who was speculated to be traded before the trade deadline, so congratulations to Detroit for picking him up. Price was such a good pitcher for the Rays, and he will probably bring that pitching prowess over to the Motor City. As for Tampa Bay and Seattle, they did fine in this trade. To replace David Price, the Rays got Drew Smyly, a decent pitcher who played for the Tigers and the Mariners got Austin Jackson, a decent outfielder who is just experiencing some bumps in the road. Overall, this trade was good for everyone, but mostly for the Tigers.

Well, I hope you enjoyed my thoughts on some of the big trades that went on right before the trade deadline and thanks for reading them. Don't worry: more historical content is coming soon, so check back soon for more of "all the buzz on what wuzz."

Sunday, July 27, 2014

An Interview with Rangers Broadcaster and Ford Frick Award Winner, Eric Nadel 7/27/14

Hey baseball fans!

It's Hall of Fame induction weekend! Congratulations to Frank Thomas, Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, Bobby Cox, Tony La Russa, and Joe Torre for being inducted into Cooperstown. Oh wait, I forgot to congratulate the winner of this year's Ford C. Frick Award, Texas Rangers broadcaster, Eric Nadel (no relation)! The reason I'm mentioning the veteran Rangers announcer is that I just interviewed him live at Yankee Stadium in his radio booth in a recent Yankees vs. Rangers game, after Eric invited me to join him! I recorded the interview on my audio recorder, so the interview is up on YouTube. But before I give you the link, let me tell you a little bit about Eric.

Eric Nadel grew up in Brooklyn, NY and graduated from Brown University in 1972, where he practiced in the booth by broadcasting college hockey and football games. He has been a Rangers broadcaster for the last 36 years and has worked with other legendary broadcasters like Mark Holtz and John Miller and learned a lot about the game from them. Eric was elected into the Texas Baseball Hall of Fame in 1991 and became the 15th member of the Texas Rangers Hall of Fame in 2012. Nadel has won the Texas Sportscaster of the Year Award seven times and has announced all of the Rangers' trips to the playoffs, including their World Series appearances in 2010 and 2011. A speaker of Spanish, he has made many trips to Cuba to study baseball there. Nadel has also won the Associated Press award for best play-by-play in Texas twice. I was very honored to interview such a great broadcaster and hope he receives even more awards in the future.

Now that you are more familiar with Eric Nadel, click here to listen to the interview. By the way, while I was in the Rangers' broadcasting booth, I got to meet some of the announcers for the Yankees, such as radio announcers John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman, and television announcers for the YES Network, Michael Kay, Paul O'Neill, and John Flaherty. I also met Jesus Suarez Valmaña, the number one baseball broadcaster in Cuba and a good friend of Nadel.

(Left: Paul O'Neill) (Right: John Flaherty)

(Left: Michael Kay) (Right: Jesus Suarez Valmaña, Suzyn Waldman, Eric Nadel, and John Sterling)

Thanks for listening to my interview with Eric Nadel. And a huge thanks again to Eric for inviting me up to the booth!!  I hope you enjoyed the interview and check back soon for more of "all the buzz on what wuzz."

Saturday, July 26, 2014

An Interview with the Penguin: Ron Cey 7/26/14

Hey baseball fans!

Who's ready to read an interview with former Dodgers' All Star third baseman, Ron Cey? I hope you are, but before you get the chance to read about a member of the 1981 World Series-winning Dodgers, let me tell you a little bit about Cey.

Ronald Charles Cey (pronounced like "say") played in the MLB from 1971-1987 with the Dodgers, Cubs, and A's. The six-time All Star from 1974-1979 was an excellent third baseman, finishing his career with 316 career home runs. Nicknamed the "Penguin" in college because of the way he walked, Cey was a fan favorite in LA and led the Dodgers to four World Series (1974, 1977, 1978, 1981). He finally got his World Series ring in 1981, hitting .350 in the Series against the Yankees, with a homer and six RBIs. This performance earned the Penguin co-World Series MVP honors, along with Pedro Guerrero and Steve Yeager. He currently works for the Dodgers organization.

Now that you know a basic summary of his career, here is an interview with Dodgers' great, Ron Cey.

Matt: You were part of the fraternity Phi Delta Theta when you were a student at Washington State University. Do you remember any cool stories from the frat house?
Ron: There's lots of funny stories that I could share, but the frat house was all about bonding with the other members.

Matt: You were part of an infield with Steve Garvey, Bill Russell, and Davey Lopes for eight and a half years during your career. Did you become very close with them?
Ron: We were all signed by the Dodgers and were all part of Tommy Lasorda's team in the minors. We formed one of the most successful and long-lasting infields in baseball history so I would say yes, we did get close.

Matt: You played in four World Series in your career, three of them against the Yankees. Which one was the most fun to play in?
Ron: Probably 1978, because we should have won that one against New York. Even though we lost, it was still a fun World Series.

Matt: Do you think any rules should be changed in the MLB today?
Ron: I'm in favor of the new rules regarding instant replay and I think that no other rules need to be changed.

Matt: What do you like to do in your spare time?
Ron: I like the outdoors and, when I have time, I like working in the yard.

Matt: If you could’ve faced any pitcher in MLB history, who would it be and why?
Ron: I would have liked to face all the great Hall of Fame pitchers, but I think it would have been really fun and exciting to face Cy Young, Walter Johnson, and Christy Mathewson. I have no idea if the outcome of those matchups would have been good for me or not, but I think it still would have been fun.


Well, that's the interview. I hope you enjoyed reading it and thanks to Ron for answering my questions.  And a special shout-out to Nikki Warner, the Director of Communications at the Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association, for arranging it. Thanks for reading this post and check back in a few days for more of "all the buzz on what wuzz."

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

The Terrific Tom After Tom Terrific 7/23/14

Hey baseball fans!

There are four people who will be officially elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame on July 27th, 2014 who once were part of the Atlanta Braves franchise. Their names are Bobby Cox, Joe Torre (yes, he was a player and a manager for them), Greg Maddux, and Tom Glavine. But today, I just want to focus on Glavine.

Thomas Michael Glavine played for the Braves and Mets from 1987-2008. In his 22 years of outstanding pitching, the ten-time All Star won 305 games with an ERA of 3.54. He led the league in wins five times, three of those times being consecutive, and won the NL Cy Young Award in 1991 and 1998.

He helped the Braves win 11 straight division titles and also helped his teams in the postseason, going 14-16 with a low 3.30 ERA during the playoffs. Perhaps his best playoff series performance was in the '95 World Series, when his Braves took on the Indians. Glavine won two games and only gave up a little more than one run every nine innings. The Braves would end up winning that World Series, giving Tom his only ring.

Glavine, Maddux, and fellow pitcher John Smoltz were part of an elite starting rotation for Atlanta during the 1990s that was one of the best of all time, but that rotation wouldn't have had the same success without the always calm Tom Glavine. Anyway, thanks for reading this post. I hope you enjoyed it and check back soon for more of "all the buzz on what wuzz."

Friday, July 18, 2014

The "All-Small Hall" Team Part Four (The Finale) 7/18/14

Hey baseball fans!

This is my last post about the "All-Small Hall" team! If you don't know what the "All-Small Hall" team is, click here for the first post of this series that has an excellent explanation, click here for the second part of the series and click here for the third part. Anyway, it's time to discuss who will represent the outfield in my ASHT. So, let's get this show on the road.

Left Fielder: Rickey Henderson
Height: 5'10''
Weight: 180 pounds
Why? The Man of Steal sure was given the correct nickname; he has the most steals of all time at 1,406 and he also holds the record for most career runs scored. He was always a threat on the base paths, despite his size and he never let anything stop him from being the best. He even had 3,055 career hits. He was just a monster all over the field, whether in the outfield or speeding across the bases. By the way, here's the live interview I did of Rickey last year at the Hall of Fame Classic.
Honorable Mention: Stan Musial

Center Fielder: Willie Mays
Height: 5'10''
Weight: 180 pounds
Why? A lot of people would probably not expect the Say Hey Kid to be on this list because a lot of people expect him to be fairly tall. However, he was probably the overall best ballplayer in baseball history who is under six feet tall and one of the best of all time irrespective of his size. He is one of four players with 500+ home runs (660) and 3,000+ hits (3,283) and he even batted over .300 lifetime (.302). He was the quintessential five-tool ballplayer because he could hit, hit for power, run, field, and throw. You really can't ask for much else.
Honorable Mention: Kirby Puckett

Right Fielder: Willie Keeler
Height: 5'4''
Weight: 140 pounds
Why? Easily the shortest player on the "All-Small Hall" team, Keeler was a master with the bat. "Wee Willie," as he was nicknamed, really knew how to "hit 'em where they ain't"and collected 2,932 hits during his career in the 1890s and early 1900s. His lifetime batting average was a whopping .341, which just so happens to be 14th on the all time list. And he basically never struck out (only 136 K's over 8,591 at bats).
Honorable Mention: Mel Ott

Sadly, we have arrived at the end of the posts about the "All-Small Hall" team. However, soon, I will be announcing who is on my "All-Tall Hall" team, so expect those posts. Anyway, thanks for reading this series. I hope you enjoyed it and check back soon for more of "all the buzz on what wuzz."

Sunday, July 13, 2014

The "All-Small Hall" Team Part Three 7/13/14

Hey baseball fans!

It's time for the third installment of the series in which I talk about who is on my "All-Small Hall" team! In case you missed the first two posts of this series, click here for part one and click here for part two. Anyway, let's get on with part three, shall we? So, who will represent the ASHT on the left side of the infield? Read on to find out.

Shortstop: Honus Wagner
Height: 5'11''
Weight: 200 pounds
Why? The Flying Dutchman was probably the best National League pure hitter in the early 20th century. He batted .328 lifetime, had 3,420 career hits, won eight batting titles, and he even collected 1,733 career RBIs. Those numbers are so gigantic that Wagner had to be named to the "All-Small Hall" team.
Honorable Mention: Ozzie Smith

Third Baseman: George Brett
Height: 6'0''
Weight: 185 pounds
Why? One of the best contact hitters in the '70s and early '80s, Brett definitely made a name for himself as he helped the Royals become one of the best teams in the American League. His 3,154 career hits puts him at 16th on the all time hits list and the 13-time All Star batted .305 lifetime. Not bad for someone who is known for having too much pine tar on his bat.
Honorable Mention: Brooks Robinson

I hope you are enjoying this series and thanks for reading this post. The final part of the "All-Small Hall" team series is coming soon, so check back in a few days for more of "all the buzz on what wuzz."

Thursday, July 10, 2014

The "All-Small Hall" Team Part Two 7/10/14

Hey baseball fans!

Today, I'm going to continue where I left off in my last post and talk more about the "All-Small Hall" team. In the last post, I talked about my pitcher and catcher, but now, it's time to talk about the right side of the infield, the first baseman and second baseman.

First Baseman: Lou Gehrig
Height: 6'0''
Weight: 200 pounds
Why? Well, he was one of the greatest hitters that the game has ever seen. So, how could he not be on the ASHT? His 2,130 consecutive games played was a record that stood for more than 55 years! But you can't forget his 493 career home runs, his lifetime batting average of .340, and his 1,995 career RBIs. He was, simply, one of the best.
Honorable Mention: Jimmie Foxx

Second Baseman: Joe Morgan
Height: 5'7''
Weight: 160 pounds
Why? Although Rod Carew could have been at this spot, I decided to give the job to Morgan because he was well known for being small in stature and yet he accomplished so much. He was the NL MVP in the back-to-back years that the Reds won the Fall Classic (1975, 1976) and he was part of the NL squad in ten All Star Games. Overall, Morgan was an excellent second baseman, whether it was hitting in the clutch or fielding amazingly.
Honorable Mentions: Rod Carew and Jackie Robinson

Part Two of the "All-Small Hall" team has been completed! I hope you enjoyed this post and thanks for reading it. Two more parts of this series are coming soon, so check back in a few days for more of "all the buzz on what wuzz."