When I was asked to write a piece on the State of the Game in America, I immediately questioned my qualifications. I’m not a writer. Sure I played the game. I did create an online recruiting service. I watch MLB network before bed and the playoffs as much as I can. Does that give me a doctorate in Baseball Ideology? No. I gathered my thoughts, fighting the anxiety of offering my opinions to those who may question my expertise on the subject. I scratched at the scab on my knee. Wait! The scab on my knee. The other equally pink and tender scab on my forearm. They are light years less important than the badges of honor worn by our true heroes, military, police, and firefighters, but to ballplayers these battle wounds mean something. No, they are not the result of a game saving play in Omaha. They were issued during a two out groundball in Beer League softball. Who does that? Who gives up their 36-year-old self for something so insignificant? I’m proud of them. As embarrassing as that is. I love this game. In every form, I love and respect baseball in every shape and size it comes in. Tee Ball to Rosenblatt Stadium. Beer League to the Bronx. I always have and I always will. I care about the game. I’ve seen it in every light and from every angle. In baseball’s current state, I must say that changes need to be made in order to preserve its future in our country.
This is my diagnosis of baseball in America, not the world. There are problems that exist from travel ball to scholarship opportunities to MLB responsibility. Let’s pray that Major League Baseball never forgets that the overwhelming majority of its revenue comes from the United States. In my humble opinion, they have a certain responsibility to the state of the game in our nation. Lately I’ve wondered where their loyalty lies, or if they even care. Continue reading
ISO is short for isolated power. It is a sabermetric statistic that looks a hitters power hitting. Anything over .200 ISO is a solid power hitter.
I simply used the sort function on FanGraphs.com and looked at hitters with 50 or more plate appearances in the last 30 days. Here are the top 10 ISO hitters on that list:
1. Tyler Flowers (Chicago White Sox): .429 ISO
Six home runs in your final 51 plate appearances certainly helps build the foundation of an amazing ISO number. On the season Mr. Flowers had a .155 ISO, but he sure did finish the season in beast mode at the plate!
2. Steve Pearce (Baltimore Orioles): .370 ISO
Mr. Pearce was a solid power hitter the entire season with a .263 ISO but he finished the season red-hot. Hopefully this great season has earned him every day at-bats next season.
3. Matt Kemp (Los Angeles Dodgers): .367 ISO
Nine home runs in his last 105 plate appearances is simply dominating. Mr. Kemp worked hard this year to restore fantasy baseball owners faith in him and rewarded those owners who had him down the stretch run of the season. Continue reading
Well then there was four. The MLB season is down to the LCS series and the teams left standing are the Royals and the Orioles in the junior circuit and the Giants and the Cardinals in the senior circuit. To me the Giants and the Cardinals are mirror images of each other. They are very good teams where the whole is greater than the sum of it’s parts. Also these organizations know how to win in October. Both teams beat much more talented opponents in their NLDS respective series in 4 games. Teams with top talent such as the Dodgers, Angels and Nationals should analyze the Giants and Cardinals organization in helping them take the next step. But now the Giants and Cardinals face off against each other in the LCS for the second time in three ears.
When breaking down this series what jumps out at me is that this we be a long series and games that should be very tight contests in every game. In terms of the starting pitching these teams are similar. Both are lead by aces, Wainwright for the Cards and Bumgarner for the Giants and the rest of the starting staffs are solid. The bullpens are a strength for both squads as well. I would say the Giants do have a little more experience in the bullpen. Continue reading