Who said that live baseball is over and that you have to wait over four months for the Cactus League to start to see a baseball game? What do the names David Wright, Albert Pujols, Dustin Pedroia, Ryan Howard and the recently retried Derek Jeter, to name a few have in common? They all have played in the Arizona Fall League. Yes you can see live baseball games in October and November. For your live baseball “fix”, consider attending an Arizona Fall League baseball game.
The Arizona Fall League is an off-season league owned and operated by MLB. The teams include Glendale Desert Dogs, Mesa Solar Sox, Peoria Javelinas, Salt River Rafters, Scottsdale Scorpions and the Surprise Saguaros. If you notice the team names reveal the Southwestern Desert traditions in this great state of Arizona.
The teams are divided into two divisions and each MLB team sends six of their top prospects to the Arizona Fall League, with over 200 players in all. Games are played at the Spring Training sites you attend every spring and are all are first-class facilities. The playing surfaces are outstanding, and the seating and concession areas are always fan friendly. Another advantage for the Arizona Fall League is that all the stadiums are within a short driving distance of each other and the weather is always pleasant for a game. Continue reading
The MLB playoffs got off with a bang last night after a legendary extra inning game between the A’s and the Royals. We now know Kansas City is moving on to the ALDS and facing the Angels. Here is my ALDS predictions.
Detroit vs Baltimore:
Very quietly it seems the Orioles were one of the best teams in baseball this year. Baltimore is a gritty team with a deep lineup and a very deep and talented bullpen. However I am not in love with their starting pitching. The Tigers have plenty of star power between Melky Cabrera, Victor Martinez and the big 3 in the rotation between Scherzer, Price and Valender. However Detroit’s bullpen is scary and not in a good way. To me the key stat of this 5 game series is if these games are tied come the 6th inning. If that holds to form that is a huge advantage for the Orioles. This series is a very tough call.
Orioles in 5 – Tiger bullpen will cost them the series as it did last year versus the Red Sox.
Kansas City vs Angels Continue reading
The NL CY Young Award for 2014 seems to be an easy decision with the Dodgers Clayton Kershaw the clear-cut favorite to win the award. No one was more dominating on the mound this season. In fact, no one has been this good in quite some time. Kershaw went 21-3 with a 1.77 ERA, along with 239 K’s and 2 shutouts. He is the first pitcher ever to lead MLB in ERA for four straight seasons. Kershaw joins Ron Guidry as the only pitchers in the modern period to win 20 or more games and post a sub-1.80 ERA, with a winning percentage of .875 or better. The only other candidate who might get a first place vote, but that is unlikely, is Reds Johnny Cueto, who won 20 games while pitching 243 2/3 innings with two shutouts and 242 K’s.
In the AL picking a winner will not be so easy. There are several candidates to consider. Corey Kluber of the Indians, Max Scherzer of the Tigers, Felix Hernandez of the Mariners and Jared Weaver, Matt Shoemaker and Garrett Richards all of the Angels are considered contenders for the award. So, it will come down to the votes submitted by members of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America to determine your AL winner.
My vote, would go to Kluber, with Hernandez finishing second. There is no doubt that this is a difficult selection to make. Comparing ERAs, Hernandez ended the season at 2.14, with a slight edge over Klubers’ 2.44. They both worked nearly the same number of innings with 230 2/3 innings for Hernandez and innings for 227 2/3 innings for Kluber. Continue reading