Pirate will “Let it Go” at the plate this season

Frozen continues it grip on pop culture by now getting involved in baseball

Frozen continues it grip on pop culture by now getting involved in baseball

Unless you’ve been under a rock the past three months you’ve had to have heard the song “Let it Go” performed by the wickedly talented Adele Dazeem, I mean Idina Menzel. If people thought Frozen’s popularity would fade as winter began to thaw into spring, you’d be wrong. In Pittsburgh, catcher Tony Sanchez has announced that the smash hit “Let it Go” will be his walk up song when he comes to bat in 2014. Talk about an unusual choice. It may have won an oscar, but Let it Go is a rapid departure from the usual hard rock and hip hop walk up songs the big leaguers usually use. Who knows? If Sanchez helps the Pirates win and makes an all star team, maybe will be hearing more of the Walt Disney soundtrack throughout major league ball parks. Sorry Pirates parents, looks like your not escaping Frozen just yet! For the full music video check out the link here (Frozen “Let it Go”). Comment and follow below!

What Could Have Been? Michael Jordan’s Baseball Career

What would have happened to the sports world if MJ had succeeded?

What would have happened to the sports world if MJ had succeeded?

It’s been twenty years since Michael Jordan shocked the sports world by announcing his retirement from basketball in order to pursue a career in baseball. People were shocked and outraged, but most of all confused. Why would the greatest player in the NBA hang up his sneakers after winning his third championship in a row? We all know what happened next. Jordan rode the bus in the minors with the Chicago White Sox Double A affiliate Barons for one season before returning to the hard wood. After his return to the game, Jordan won three more titles and cemented his legacy as the greatest basketball player of all time. However, one can only wonder what would have happened if Jordan continued playing baseball? What impact would that have had on the sports world?

Many people look at Jordan’s baseball career as a failure but was it really? Despite lackluster stats in his first season, his manager Terry Francona has said that Jordan showed steady improvement throughout the season and raised his batting average by fifty points in the Arizona Fall League. Had there not been a baseball strike at the end of the season

Despite early struggles, had Jordan continued playing he could have maybe made it

Despite early struggles, had Jordan continued playing he could have maybe made it

there was a good chance Jordan would have continued his baseball career. While it is unlikely he would have been the star player he was in the NBA in baseball, with his world-class athleticism and work ethic Jordan could have developed into a solid major league starter. Had he made it to the show, Jordan would have been one of only a few athletes who successfully played two professional sports. His popularity could have helped baseball’s popularity because people wanted to see Jordan. While he might not have been the missing piece to a world series, Jordan’s impact on the game could have been huge in regards to the exposure and attention he would bring to a franchise. If Jordan had continued his baseball career what would have happened to his basketball legacy?

What would the NBA be today if Michael Jordan was successful at baseball? The murder of his father in 1993 played a major role in Jordan’s decision because his father always wanted Michael to be a professional baseball player. Would Jordan’s legacy be remembered as fondly as it is today?

Think about it. Without Jordan the Bulls probably don’t win three more championships, Phil Jackson doesn’t become one of the greatest coaches in league history, and Jordan doesn’t add more stats or moments to his resume. No more game winners, no flu game, not another three peat. Lebron James is viewed as a traitor would walked out of Cleveland. Can you imagine if Jordan never came back? All of those NBA fans would have viewed him as a traitor to the game. Chicago fans surely wouldn’t remember him as fondly, that’s fore sure. The Bulls and Jordan built the NBA’s future in the 90s by making the sport more popular and making basketball one of the most popular sports in the world. Would the NBA be what it is today if Michael Jordan never came back?

Thankfully Jordan would return to NBA and cement the sport’s popularity. But it is hard to fathom a world without Jordan holding a basketball. We will never truly know the ramifications if Jordan had continued to play baseball. The repercussions across the sports world have dramatically changed the landscape of professional sports in America had Jordan been successful in his baseball career. Who knows? For all we know Jordan could have built up baseball or maybe decided to play both at the same time. Either way, its hard to imagine a world where Michael Jordan played baseball. All we can do now is ask ourselves what could have been if Air Jordan became Jordan in the outfield instead.

 

O My! Johan Santana Signs One Year Deal with Orioles

Can Santana make the Orioles roster?

Can Santana make the Orioles roster?

Weeks after a workout that seemed to derail his attempt at a comeback, Johan Santana is back on a major league team. ESPN has reported that if Santana makes the 40 man roster he would get a 3 million dollar deal with upwards of 2.1 million dollars in bonuses. The 34-year-old was released by the Mets earlier this offseason after Santana after he missed the 2013 season with his second shoulder surgery. Through 12 seasons Santana has posted a 139-78 record with a 3.20 era. Despite his dominant run from 2004-2010, The last few years for Santana have been filled with injury issues that have cost him more than two full seasons. The main question is will he be able to pitch again? Earlier this spring he could barely crack 80 miles per hour in a workout. While some guys can get away with fading velocity, Santana’s whole game is based on mixing speeds. With the lack of velocity and mounting injuries, it is hard to imagine the 34-year-old Santana making the Orioles, let alone returning to his previous form. Only time will tell if the Orioles have made a good investment in the former Cy Young Award winner.

Let Him In! Why Mike Piazza deserves to be in the Hall of Fame

Mike Piazza's 9/11 home run was one of the most memorable homers in baseball history

Mike Piazza’s 9/11 home run was one of the most memorable homers in baseball history

How is it that the best hitter at his position is not in the Hall of Fame? The fact that Mike Piazza is not in Cooperstown just proves how much of a mess the baseball world really is. By playing in the “steroid era”, Piazza has been placed in baseball’s rogues gallery under the premise that he could have used steroids. While no hard evidence has come out on Piazza, despite having seven years to find evidence, the Hall of Fame continues to let other players in. How about Frank Thomas? He played under the same circumstances as Piazza but hasn’t been marred by the steroids acquisitions? What happened America? I thought this was the land where you were innocent until proven guilty? Mike Piazza is a Hall of Famer, and here is why.

While Frank Thomas was a first round pick in the MLB Draft, most people forget about Piazza’s long and hard road to the top. Piazza was selected in

Piazza had to overcome the odds just to make it to the show

Piazza had to overcome the odds just to make it to the show

62nd round, and he was drafted by Tommy Lasorda because he was doing a favor for Piazza’s father. In the minors, he had to learn to play a new position, catcher, and prove that he could make it to the majors. In 1993 Piazza erupted on the Major League scene where he won the National League rookie of the year by hitting .315 with 35 homers and 112 runs batted in. With the Dodgers Piazza became one of the most feared hitters in baseball and changed the way we looked at catchers.

Most major league catchers don’t get remembered for their bats. They play a physically grueling position that takes a toll on their bodies. If a catcher can start 140 games for a team, it is considered a good season. Most teams would be happy with a good defensive catcher who could call a game. Then they’d stick that catcher at the bottom of the order and hope they could scrape out a few hits here and there.

Piazza was a hitter first, catcher second which broke the catcher stereotype

Piazza was a hitter first, catcher second which broke the catcher stereotype

This changed with Piazza who was the polar opposite. He became a slugging catcher with a lethal bat. He broke the stereotype of defense first, offense second for the catching position. If anything he was one of the worst defensive catchers in history. Piazza was a trend setter, he changed the game. Now we look at catchers to not only catch well, but also to be competent hitters. Look at Buster Posey, Joe Mauer, and Matt Wieters to name a few. While Piazza’s prime was in Dodgers’ blue, his greatest impact was in Queens where he became an icon of the Big Apple.

On May 22, 1999, New York baseball changed forever. The New York Mets traded for Mike Piazza and brought his big bat to the big apple. For a franchise that had been terrible in the early 90s, and were fresh off a season where they missed the playoffs, the Mets needed a savior. With Piazza’s help the Mets became a contender by making the playoffs in 1999, and then the World Series in 2000. Most importantly he gave the Mets a superstar. In a time where it seemed like all Mets fans were bring drowned by the constant snickering and boasting of Yankees’ fans during their dynasty, Piazza gave the Mets a voice in New York. While the next few seasons would be tough, Piazza continued to produce at a high level and eventually Piazza passed Carlton Fisk’s record on May 5, 2004 for the most home runs hit by a catcher. That day he belted number 352, a number that no catcher is close to catching.

Piazza deserves a place in Cooperstown because of his production and impact on the game

Piazza deserves a place in Cooperstown because of his production and impact on the game

In most cases, this would have been Piazza’s shining moment, the one everybody remembers, but it isn’t. He’s known for an event bigger then baseball.

On September 11th, 2001, a horrific and unspeakable attack happened to our country. 10 days later, the Mets played the first game since the terrorist attacks that rocked this country. There was an uneasiness that hung in the air. Is this what we should be doing? Is it too soon? Is it safe? It was hard to cheer through the tears and fear. That night, the Mets were losing 2-1 in the eighth to their arch rivals the Braves. Then a crack rang throughout Shea Stadium breaking the silence. Piazza had smashed a fastball over the centerfield fence to give the Mets the lead, 3-2, and gave the crowd something to finally cheer about. Piazza did something that became more than a baseball highlight, he gave a city devastated by disaster hope and helped to begin the healing process.

After a second straight snub from the Hall of Fame, it is clear that Piazza is being cheated out of Cooperstown. While playing the most physically grueling position in the sport, a position that beats players up and wears them down, Piazza still was an offensive force. Despite his decline in his last few seasons, Piazza finished with a career .308 average, 427 home runs, and 1,335 runs batted in. He was a 12 time all-star, 10 time silver slugger, and rookie of the year in 1993. With all these statistics, the way he dominated when he played, and by being the best offensive player at his position in history, Piazza being snub just proves the bureaucracy of baseball writers. Just because they think someone did something, without any proof, gives them the right to deny a player’s shrine in Cooperstown that they deserve? While this is certainly not the last Hall of Fame controversy, especially with more of the so-called steroid era candidates coming up, this is just another sad commentary on the mess in baseball. Mike Piazza rightfully deserves his place and Cooperstown, and the longer they keep him out will just continue to compound the mess when it comes to judging this era of the game. Mike Piazza has to be in   on the next Hall of Fame ballot, or else the writers of baseball will be cheating one of the greatest hitters of all time.

Baseball’s newest villain

From franchise savior to baseball villain

From franchise savior to baseball villain

It wasn’t that long ago when baseball and steroids were as common as peanut butter and jelly. However, in an era where baseball is desperatly trying to clean up its “juiced” image, the Biogenesis case has certainly been a black eye. In a game that once encouraged players to get as big and strong as possible in order to hit tape measure home runs, it just seems that every time baseball is just about to even playing field, we come to find out that yet another superstar took steroids. This isn’t the first time Ryan Braun and steroids have been linked together. Just a few years ago the Brewers slugger was found guilty of using performance enhancing drugs. While the original suspension was appealed and later reduced, the fact that baseball was now implementing the 50 game suspension. Now Major League Baseball has found out that once again Mr. Braun has been getting a little too brawny. For his second strike, Major League Baseball gave Braun a 65 game suspension, and there are rumors that A-Rod could be next. Braun has become the villain of baseball, and MLB might be happy about that. They need to create a poster child for what happens when you cheat and cheat again. For College Football it was SMU, for the NFL it was Pacman Jones, and the NHL Billy Couto. MLB wants to prove that no superstar is too big, and that it will no longer tolerate the substance abuse that has plagued the game for decades. This will also lead to the question, what happens if he is caught for a third time? Will it be the classic baseball saying that “three strikes and you’re out”? Will MLB now consider a life ban from the game? Either way Braun has let down his team, and his other players. Will the problem of performance enhancement drugs ever go away? In my opinion it will never go away. As long as there are millions of dollars at stake players will take the gamble. Seriously if the risk was sit fifty games but make fifty million if you took performance enhancers you’re telling me that most if not all people would take that risk? Here’s what I think. Will a lifetime ban be effective, not really because  you already have two chances to clean up your act before the final strike. You really want to stop these players? Hit them where it hurts, the wallet. Have a new rule in their contracts where if they are caught taking performance enhancing drugs that they can be terminated immediately and t will lose any money remaining on their contract. With Ryan Braun’s suspension, baseball is taking a step in the right direction, but they need to do more. Whether it is right or wrong baseball is going to make this guy a villain. Baseball needs a person who will now not only pay the consequences on the field, but socially and in the media. The media is going to rip Braun apart for cheating, while the majority of baseball fans will look upon him with disgust. It’s truly sad to see some one cheat their way to the top. Being a former player and not cheating my entire life it angers me when I see other players getting ahead by taking short cuts. Despite how he has tainted baseball, Braun may be a great thing for the game. Because he is the villain and now has been dragged through the ringer, maybe the rest of the pros will finally wake up and stop juicing.

Meet the Mess!!

It's getting to the point that you can't pay Met fans to see this team

It’s getting to the point that you can’t pay Met fans to see this team

Ever since 2006, when Carlos Beltran stood frozen in the box after committing the final out in the National League Championship series, the New York Mets franchise has endured its darkest era. Back to back collapses in 2007 and 2008 followed by irrelevance since 2009, Mets fans have been constantly told just wait till next year. Here’s the thing were not little kids, we’ve waited for progress and instead have seen recession. Now its 2013, and the wait continues. Mets fans have endured financial scandals, terrible free agent signings, home-grown talent leaving Flushing, and most importantly, terrible baseball on the field. This team has gotten to the point where they’re so bad they can’t even be stomached. Other than David Wright and Matt Harvey, this ball club is an absolute joke. While many Mets fans will blame the Wilpons, and

Mr. Wright is one of the few things that have gone right for the 2013 Mets

Mr. Wright is one of the few things that have gone right for the 2013 Mets

rightfully so, I believe that Sandy Alderson must be held accountable. While many experts will defend Alderson and his “rebuilding plan”,  its been three years. Sure, he’s brought in Zach Wheeler and Travis D’Arnaud, but they haven’t even stepped foot on the Citi Field Diamond. In the same breath, he’s failed to re-sign Jose Reyes or trade him for top prospects, and is responsible for constructing the worst outfield in majors. Outside of Wright, you’d be more lily to find Waldo then a worthy major leaguer. The same goes for the rotation, that outside of Matt Harvey, has been absolutely atrocious. The All Star Game is a clever ploy by the front office in an attempt distract the irate fan base from the woeful performance on the diamond. If this mess on the field isn’t addressed, Alderson may want to start looking for another job. He hasn’t improved this team in three years, and while the future rotation does look promising, the rest of the franchise is barren with both a lack of major league and prospect talent. As a Mets fan, I can’t even watch this team anymore. They can’t hit, pitch, and they make some of the dumbest mistakes that I’ve ever seen on a diamond, and it’s only May! Wow, Seth Mcfarlane summed it up perfectly in this Family Guy clip here. Listen, moving forward I think the Mets can build around Wright, Wheeler, Harvey, and D’arnaud. However, I do not believe the Mets can look at Tejada, Davis, and Duda as being cornerstone pieces moving forward. We’ve seen enough of their struggles to know they probably aren’t everyday players. Hopefully, the Mets will have money to spend this next offseason and finally

Unless some major changes are made, Mets fans will continue to be tormented

Unless some major changes are made, Mets fans will continue to be tormented

be able to go out and get the missing pieces. For instance, the  entire outfield, that this team needs to climb out of the cellar. Mets fans can do their part. Don’t go to the games or support this team! When people stop showing up, that will force the front office to make some moves. Trust me, if fans stop paying for season tickets and the ballpark is empty the Wilpons will be forced to act. They keep wondering what will bring fans back? It’s simple, Win! If this team can compete late into the season and actually create some hope, then the fans will come. But until then Mets fans will stay far away from the mess in Flushing. What grade would you give Sandy Alderson’s performance as GM? What do you think about the Mets? Comment below.