Category Archives: MLB

Major League Baseball

Russell Wilson Selected By Texas Rangers in the Rule 5 Draft

So, this just happened…

wilson texas rangers

The Rangers selected Wilson, who has made a fine career for himself in the National Football League, during the minor league portion of the draft, and, as a result, didn’t lose anyone from their roster. For selecting the quarterback, though, the Rangers will be charged the $12,000 fee that goes along with making the pick.

Wilson, who was a two-sport athlete at NC State (baseball and football), was drafted by the Colorado Rockies in the fourth round of the 2010 draft, and played in their farm system from 2010-11. He hit .229/.354/.356 with five home runs, 19 stolen bases, and 118 strikeouts in 93 Class A games as a second baseman, but his baseball career came to an end when he was drafted by the Seattle Seahawks in 2012.

Wilson played in the Colorado Rockies farm system from 2010-11 (photo credit: ESPN)

Wilson played in the Colorado Rockies farm system from 2010-11 (photo credit: ESPN)

“We scouted him in high school and in college at N.C. State,” Rangers assistant general manager A.J. Preller told local media. “Obviously, he’s got bigger things going on, but we liked the player and the makeup and if he ever wants to get back to baseball, we’d like to give him the chance.”

What the Rangers may actually be hoping for from Wilson, though, is that he makes a trip to the Rangers’ spring training camp to deliver a motivational speech to the team’s young players. “Everything you see and read about him, we think he’d have a positive message for all our guys,” Preller said. “The make up and the way he goes about his business, to have him part of the organization is something we really like.”

At the very least, the Rangers earned themselves some time in the spotlight during the dull winter months.

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Andrew McCutchen Just Proposed to His Girlfriend On the Ellen Show

The NL MVP just took his game to another level.

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Thanks, Doc

roy halladay

ESPN Cancelled Ron Burgundy’s Guest Spot On SportsCenter For Some B.S. Reason

Ron Burgundy, who was scheduled to appear on the 6pm edition of SportsCenter with Champ Kind, had his appearance on ESPN’s flagship program cancelled because of “breaking news involving the Jameis Winston investigation.” The show announced the decision last night via Twitter:

ESPN made clear why the appearance was cancelled, but what I’d like to know is why this was cancelled. The “breaking news” ended up being that Winston will not be facing rape charges a year after a female student accused the Florida State quarterback of sexually assaulting her. The decision was announced by Willie Meggs, the state attorney for the Second Judicial Circuit, during a press conference at 2 p.m. this afternoon—four whole hours before Will Ferrell was to appear on SportsCenter as Burgundy.

The other thing I don’t understand is why this decision was made a whole day in advance. It’s as if ESPN was preparing (hoping?) for Winston to be charged, so they could cover the story, his arrest, his arraignment, and all that fun stuff over the next 72 hours, nonstop, in typical ESPN-fashion. Aaron Hernandez all over again.

Overreacting much?

Now with no charges being brought forth and this breaking news situation turning into a complete nonstory, ESPN just looks dumb. I’m sure they’ll find a way (they always do) to drag this thing through the mud for the rest of the night and well into tomorrow. Good luck getting people to stay tuned as you line up all of your legal experts to talk about a whole lot of nothing, and your college football experts to talk about how Winston still shouldn’t be considered for the Heisman after all of this. If you ask me, it would’ve been more entertaining had Ron Burgundy been hosting the show tonight with all of this going on, whether or not Winston was charged. Poo on you, ESPN.

But, hey, at least we got to see Burgundy get hit in the nuts on the Dan Patrick Show this morning.

Ron Burgundy Will Guest Host SportsCenter on December 5th

ron burgundy sportscenter

The cross promotion surrounding the upcoming release of Anchorman 2 has been absolutely incredible over the past few months. From Dodge commercials to late night TV appearances, and now to the World Wide Leader in Sports.

The Big Lead broke the story.

Will Ferrell will guest-host the 6 pm SportsCenter on Thursday, December 5th, two sources exclusively tell The Big Lead. The sources who spoke on condition of anonymity because the appearance has not been announced, also say that there will be some sort of Ron Burgundy element to telecast.

ESPN spokesman Josh Krulewitz declined comment.

Ferrell will be SportsCenter’s third celebrity guest-host in five weeks. Actor Ken Jeong and NASCAR driver Jimmie Johnson both delivered bigratings, but Ferrell, an A-list actor who just so happens to have a movie coming out soon (Anchorman 2, December 20th!) is a significantly bigger star.

Set your DVRs, folks.

Ruben Amaro Jr. Is Slowly Killing Phillies Fans

Right back at ya! (Photo courtesy CrossingBroad.com)

Right back at ya! (Photo courtesy CrossingBroad.com)

Between the Marlon Byrd signing and the rumors that are flying around about the Phills entertaining offers for Dom Brown, I’m slowly losing my mind—it’s like the summer of the Flyers’ dismantling all over again. I just can’t watch anymore. I’m fed up with all of these small bandages that Ruben Amaro Jr. is trying to use to cover up the gaping wounds this team is suffering from. And, not surprisingly, I’m not alone.

A website has been created, but “not activated” yet, that threatens to boycott the Phillies. From the static homepage that currently exists:

You should fire Ruben Amaro and David Montgomery and bring in proven baseball winners to run the organization. The country club management of Maitre d’ Montgomery must end.

I know you have that big TV contract coming up so you’ll probably make money even if the team sucks.  But have some pride in the product you put on the field.  Stop accepting the excuses and blame shifting of failed management by old boy collegiality.

Remember the courage of Chuck LaMar, who told you the truth and quit in protest. That’s the kind of stand up leadership the Phillies need now–someone who won’t make excuses, won’t compulsively gamble away the organization’s future, then double down on failed bets.

For now this site will sit dormant. If positive change is not forthcoming,  all Phillies fans will be invited to come and discuss how we can make the difference that’s needed to encourage Phillies owners to build a solid organization that will produce consistent winning baseball that fans can enjoy and support every year.   You’d make even more money and be seen as community heroes once again.

That’s the growing sentiment around the team’s fanbase. Not good.

Let’s look specifically at the moves that have been made, and are rumored to be coming down, involving the Phillies outfield, which—I really hate to admit—hasn’t been the same since that bearded monster left for D.C.

Rube has this infatuation with over-the-hill, big, slow, right-handed (former)power hitters. The Delmon Young project collapsed in miserable fashion last year, so Rube thought signing a guy that played here a decade ago and had a career-best year last year at the age of 35/36. Not only did he sign Marlon Byrd, but he’s paying him $8 million a year for the next two years.

I do get the fact that Rube was looking for an upgrade over Darin Ruf, the young and still improving right field, but he hand-picked someone that is well into his decline and isn’t really that much of an upgrade. Ruf played half the amount of games that Byrd did a season ago, and look how their stats stack up:

Darin Ruf Marlon Byrd
73 Games 147
.247 BA .291
14 HR 24
.348 OBP .336
30 RBI 88
91 SO 144
27 AGE 36

Double those numbers and you have essentially the same person—except for the age. The only one up there that might seem a little disconcerting is the strikeout total for Ruf, but all that tells me is that he’s an aggressive young player, something that he should improve on over time. The other one that ought to stand out is the last line that shows Ruf has a good 9 years on Byrd. This is a team that should be looking to get younger, not older and slower.

Which brings me to my next point about the rumors swirling around—thanks to one Howard Eskin—that the Phillies were in the process of working with the Toronto Blue Jays to swap a few power outfielders, Dom Brown for Jose Bautista. Please, God, no, no, no, no, No, NO, NO!

Those rumors have since been shut down by less loopieheaded medials, but no one is denying the idea that the Phillies are fielding trade offers for Brown. Let me reiterate the fact that this is a team that SHOULD be looking to get younger. Instead, they have a GM who’s flying by the seat of his pants, making ridiculous moves, essentially tearing apart any semblance of the core of this team in order to save his job. At this rate, the Phils won’t be starting a single person under the age of 33, with the exception of Roger Bernadina (29) and maybe Cody Asche (23) if he makes the opening day roster. (I’m not counting the 29-year-old Hamels, either.) Think about that.

And if the Bautista thing were to actually happen, the Phillies would essentially be getting a player who has ssllliiigghhtly better numbers than Brown, but who’s 7 years his elder and more injury prone. I get that Rube is trying to balance the lineup with righties and lefties, but how about dumping a guy like John Mayberry Jr. instead? Dom is the guy we’ve been waiting, praying, begging, to finally show up for the last three years, and now that he does, you want to get rid of him? Sure, let’s sell high on the only guy that makes me believe there’s some light at the end of this aging tunnel.

At some point in the next two, maybe three years, this roster is going to experience a significant amount of turnover. I’d like to have at least one All-Star caliber player around that makes watching baseball enjoyable. So please, for the love of God, Rube, stop destroying this team, and start putting a little more faith in the nonexistent stat guy that you hired—who, by the way, I’m absolutely positive is wondering what exactly the hell he got himself into by agreeing to serve in a consultancy-type position, with no real title, and who I bet you haven’t listened to at all, because there’s no way in hell any stat/sabermetrics nerd would ever be able to justify the moves you’re making.

Go to hell, Rube.

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ESPN’s Surprise-Returns Video Speaks for Itself This Veterans Day