Growing up I was raised by my grandmother. She is my role model because no matter her condition she would get up everyday to make breakfast for my brothers and me, and then go to work. She was both of my parents and more, but she wasn’t a father figure. From basketball to baseball to football, sports have always been in my heart, in my blood. Growing up, sports were a way to keep me out of trouble and to keep me out of the street. Those who did not spend time on sports joined gangs and did other activities that damaged their lives. I kept playing sports from middle school to now college. My coaches have always been role models for me, the father figures that I try to shape myself around. Four coaches that I will never forget are my high school baseball and football coaches: Coach Pace, Coach Scmidt, Coach Jose and Coach Whittaker. These men gave the team all that they had, their complete respect and care. I can say that I love coach Scmidt and Coach Jose. Day after day they came to baseball practice, always showing us what it means to work hard and what it means to be a man. They gave us lessons of respect and responsibility. I wish someday I cane like them. I am thankful and grateful for having these men in my life.
We can now see the faces of some Red Sox players that have finally shaved their beards. Gillette announced, yesterday, that it would auction off two hair balls from the beards of David Ortiz and Shane Victorino. The beard hair would come in a case along with the razor that shaved it, and an autograph from each of the players. All the proceeds will go to Movember, a men’s health charity that encourages men to grow mustaches this month.
“We’ve never done anything like this,” Hooman Shahidi, senior brand manager for Gillette, said in a statement. “But their facial hair has been the symbol of the team since spring training and became part of baseball lore. We hope the shavings help raise awareness for important men’s health issues and find good homes with passionate fans.”
As of last night, Victorino’s beard hair was going for $1,575, while Ortiz’s had drawn a high bid of $3,550. The auction is set to close on Nov. 30. It will be interesting to see how high these bids end up going.
There are not enough words in the english language to describe how amazing Clayton Kershaw is. He is a two-time Cy Young award winner and in 2011 he won the National League Triple Crown for pitchers. However his greatest accomplishment has been his ability to keep my fantasy baseball team on track since 2009. On April 4, 2009 Clayton Kershaw was picked for me by auto-pick with the 200th pick in the first SSTC Fantasy draft. Like a successful blind date, Clayton and I were placed together without knowing much. Since that time we have both grown into our own. In 2009 Clayton finished 8-8 with a 2.79 ERA. In 2009 I was an awkward freshman in high school, known for a broken toe. In 2011 Clayton was 21-5 with a 2.28 ERA and won his first Cy Young. In 2011 I had transformed into a beautiful butterfly and earned a large role in the school musical. Clayton and I have not looked back since we became a team. Clearly auto-pick knew something no one else knew.
This winter the MLB is going to discuss eliminating collisions at home plate. I like the idea of eliminating “trucking the catcher.” Catching is already the most difficult position to play in baseball and there is no need for the additional risk of injury for them. Colliding with the catcher is meant to dislodge the baseball from the catcher’s glove as he attempts to tag the runner out. It is becoming increasingly less effective to force the ball out of the catcher’s glove and as the players have become faster and larger it is becoming increasingly more dangerous. Buster Posey’s entire career was put in jeopardy when he was clobbered at home plate in a regular season game in 2011. One run in a game should not take priority over a player’s career and safety in the long run. Eliminating collisions at the plate would be a great move by the MLB.
With evolving technology, baseball has incorporated instant replays to help solve disputes caused on close calls. But is instant replay a good thing? It eliminates the human element of making mistakes. When umpires make a controversial call, many fans react, getting upset or excited depending on if their team benefitted in this call. Baseball has also been referred to as a slow sport, and taking extra time to watch an instant replay and base a call on it consumes more time. Without instant replays, baseball was a very human sport. There was nothing telling umpires what was right or wrong, and the game was very simple.
With instant replays, arguments are eliminated, which can take away some excitement from the game. Everyone expects what is going to happen. Although instant replays decrease controversy, it also decreases discussion of the game between fans. Instant replays are going to become a more prominent part of baseball, but is it really in the best interests in a game that depends on human reaction?
Today, the winners of the most valuable player award were announced. Once again, Miguel Cabrera won the American League MVP, beating out the Sophomore player Mike Trout for the second straight year. Trout and Cabrera were very close in the race for the American League MVP, but just like last year, Cabrera beat him out in the end. As for the National League, Andrew McCutchen of the Pittsburgh Pirates one the Most Valuable Player award. McCutchen led the Pirates to the post season for the first time in 21 years, which is pretty impressive. Some people think that the idea of an MVP is unfair because it does not give credit to the other great players in the league, but personally, I love the idea of one player being recognized as the best for his/her outstanding work. If I was a professional athlete, my first goal would be to win a championship and my next would be to win the Most Valuable Player award. Being crowned the most valuable is a very high honor that only a very few talented players ever achieve.
Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia is expected to to make a full recovery for Boston’s opener at Baltimore on March 31 after surgery today on his left thumb. The operation was to repair the ulnar collateral ligament in his thumb. Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington said, “Good prognosis.” Pedroia hurt his hand diving into first base on opening day at Yankee Stadium and played the rest of the season without fixing it. Cherington said Pedroia likely would be eased into spring training with the idea of building him up to full strength by the time the season starts. “That’s our expectation,” the GM said. “We’ll know more as we get deeper into the winter on the exact timeframe.”
Former Red Sox manager Terry Francona beat current Red Sox manager John Farrell for the 2013 AL Manager of the Year Award. Both managers had great years this year as Farrell has been all over the papers taking the Red Sox from worst to best winning the World Series, while Francona exceeded expectations taking the Indians from 68 wins in 2012 to 98 in 2013.
Both managers led the Red Sox to at least one World Series win. Terry Francona in 2004 and 2007. And John Farrell in 2013. Unfortunately the votes are made before the World Series so the World Series win for Farrell this year was not taken into consideration.
MLB and MTV recently announced that they will have a multi-year partnership aimed at bringing the game and its athletes to fans in a new light. Starting in April, MLB stars will be featured on a new MTV show. The show will interview players and discuss some of their passions off the field, which will attempt to bridge the gap between the world of sports and pop culture. World Series MVP David Ortiz and Pittsburg Pirates star outfielder Andrew McCutchen will be the first players featured on the new show and will be the executive producers. The deal between MLB and MTV also includes having MLB stars featured on current MTV TV shows. This is an interesting deal for both MLB and MTV. However, I think this shows MLB’s desperate attempt at increasing its supposed fading popularity. Considering the success of reality television this deal can only help MLB by bringing the game’s biggest players to people who normally would not watch baseball.
The Atlanta Braves announced today that they will leave Turner Field for a new 42,000-seat, $672 million stadium about 10 miles from downtown Atlanta in 2017. Braves executives John Schuerholz, Mike Plant and Derek Schiller said the team decided not to seek another lease at 17-year-old Turner Field and began talks with the Cobb Marietta Coliseum and Exhibit Hall Authority in July.
Plant said the team has not signed a contract with Cobb County but that he’s “100 percent certain it will happen.” He said talks broke down with the Atlanta Fulton County Recreational Authority earlier this year over an extension of the team’s 20-year lease, which expires after the 2016 season. Plant said they started looking for new options back in 2005 when they “recognized some of the challenges the current site held for us, and we recognized some of the opportunities that we were going to pursue to enhance those.”
“It was with mixed emotions that we made this decision because we have many great Braves baseball memories,” Schuerholz said. “The new stadium, we believe, will be one of the most magnificent ever built. It will thrive with action and vitality 365 days a year, not just game days.”