All-Star Game Voting: A Flawed System

Hello baseball fans! We’re less than a week away from the All-Star game and the representatives for each league were announced yesterday. With this years selections, it again showcases a flawed system in which more deserving players don’t get to start when their numbers say otherwise.

Possibly the most glaring mistake made by fans is Cubs’ Addison Russell starting over Dodgers’ Corey Seager at SS for the National League. It just takes a quick glance at the numbers to see the wrong doing here. Seager’s hitting .304, with 17 HRs,41 RBIs with a NL SS leading 101 hits while Russell is hitting just .242, with 11 HRs, 49 RBIs, and only 66 hits. It is very clear who should be the starting SS for the NL next Tuesday but due to a system that relies on extremely biased fans, Seager will miss out on the starting job. Unfortunately for the rest of the NL this isn’t the only position that Cubs’ fans botched. They also made a mistake at second base by voting in Ben Zobrist to play second base. Now don’t get me wrong, I do believe that Zobrist should make the ASG, but Daniel Murphy should have ended up getting the starting job rather than the reserve role. Again, if people would have looked to the numbers during voting they would have seen that Murphy leads the NL in batting average at .349, has 14 HRs, along with 56 RBIs (leads all NL 2B). Zobrist falls short of Murphy in all those categories with a . 291 BA, 12 HRs, and 44 RBIs.

There was clearly a mistake made here and it comes down to uneducated or just ignorant fans. The Cubs have the best team that they’ve had in years and they actually have a realistic chance of making the World Series. With this in mind, they should have tried their best to lock up home field advantage by voting in the most deserving players to give the NL the best chance to win. With the last 4 out of 5 World Series titles going to the team with home field advantage, fans should take the voting much more serious if they really want to give their team the best chance to win a title.

As always I’d love to hear some feedback from you readers. You can reach me at fivepointfivehole@yahoo.com with questions, comments, or concerns. I’m always up for a baseball debate. Thanks as always for stopping by and don’t forget to check back soon to see what else is making it’s way through the five point five hole!

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Somewhere in the Middle

Hello baseball fans!

We’re in the middle of spring training now and it has been pretty eventful thus far as we have seen some rule changes (notably the “Utley Rule”), some late FA signings (Ian Desmond and Pedro Alvarez), and even a lifetime ban of, now Ex-Mets pitcher, Jenrry Mejia. However, we have seen some interesting news break just today, in the form of two different ESPN articles. One, an article of the uniqueness of superstar Bryce Harper, who is trying to change what he calls “a tired game”. With the other being a crazed rant by HOF great Goose Gossage, highlighted by the two lines “Bautista is a f—ing disgrace to the game” and “A bunch of f—ing nerds running the game.”

Although my opinion will be about as heard as a pin dropping in a war zone. I know I cannot be the only person and fan that finds themselves torn between “new school” and “old school” so here is my two cents on the subject.

As for Harper calling baseball “A tired game” I think that part is a bit of a stretch. Baseball is moving in the right direction and is pouring multiple resources into getting the youth of America excited about baseball again. In the article, Harper also talked about celebrating and showing emotion on the field, something I absolutely have no problem with. From tee-ball on, kids are told that the most important thing to do in baseball is to have fun. Now what message are we sending to baseball’s youth if they see a player bat flip a home run in a clutch situation and then they watch that same player get thrown at and hit in the next at bat? It shows them that when you have fun you get shamed and potentially hurt. Now don’t get me wrong I’m not saying there is never a time to throw at a batter, because there is, but it’s not every time someone shows emotion. Emotion is good for the game. It creates better and more vivid memories. Just look at the now famous Bautista bat flip, that apparently Gossage lost his mind over, there isn’t a single die hard Blue Jays fan that was watching that game that will forget that moment. An entire team and fan base showed it’s relevance again with one flip of the bat. That was pure raw emotion and there was nothing wrong with that.

As I said before, I’m not saying there’s never a time to throw at or hit a player but, it needs to be saved for the moments that are done with the direct intention to humiliate or disgrace a player. Let’s say for example a team is winning 5-0 in the regular season and a player hits and pimps a home run. That is vastly different than pimping a home run in a close playoff game. It’s cases like that and ones similar to it that should lead to retaliation. Gossage was WAY off base and out of line with the remarks he made and has really made himself sound like the cranky old man yelling at kids for having fun. As a fan of both the Padres, who Gossage helped take to the World Series in 1984, and of baseball I’m very disappointed with his remarks and know that I am not alone.     

Baseball is a game and games are meant to be fun. Thanks as always for stopping by and don’t forget to check back in to see what else is making it’s way through the five point five hole.   

San Diego Padres Update (1/20)

Hello baseball fans!

It’s official! Spring training is less than a month away and it’s becoming more and more clear which teams have the potential to compete. Before this off season it looked as if the Padres may be able to compete for a second wild card spot, however, now that the upcoming season can be seen with a touch more clarity, it looks like the dream of competing this year is slipping away. It’s not because GM A.J. Preller hasn’t done anything this off season (which he has, trading Craig Kimbrel for a huge haul of promising prospects, picking up a LHP in Drew Pomeranz at the cost of Yonder Alonso, dealing Gyorko to the Cardinals for Jon Jay, signing FA SS Alexei Ramirez, and just as recent as this morning filling the closer role with veteran CP Fernando Rodney) it’s more because of how much more the rest of the NL West has done. The D-Backs have seemed to have made the biggest splash thus far signing CY Young runner up Zach Grienke to a huge 6yr/$206.5 million deal, the Giants have brought in pitchers Jeff Samardzija and Johnny Cueto along with OF Denard Span, and as for the Dodgers… they are the Dodgers and are sure to compete. The bottom line is that it appears the Padres won’t be big factors in the NL West but there’s always the hope that the Padres turn into that one team that come out of nowhere to shock everyone.

Although it does not appear the Padres will be bringing playoffs to Petco Park this year, it will still be a very exciting time with everything going on.  The biggest being the All-Star game which makes it’s return to San Diego for the first time in twenty-four years. On top of the mid summer classic, the Padres also have a brand new look which includes commemorative All-Star season home jerseys, a new blue and yellow hat, new navy camouflage jerseys, and, my personal favorite, the return of the brown jerseys which will be worn on every Friday home game. The excitement does not end there however, as this years draft looks to add quite a bit of talent to the Padres organization with the friars having six picks out of the top 100.

Regardless of how the Padres season goes, this is an exciting time in San Diego and with the youth of the players they have now its only going to get better from here. So to my local readers do me and our Padres a favor. Show up. Be loud. Cheer for this team like it’s the only pro team left in our city because it could become that any day now. This is an organization that is trying now and as a fan base we should too.

Thanks as always for reading and don’t forget to check back to see what else is making it’s way through the five point five hole!

The Pete Rose Dilemma

Hello baseball fans! It’s that time of the year again, Hall of Fame Weekend. With no disrespect to the current incoming class, it is yet another year that Pete Rose is not being inducted. We all know the story by now, Pete Rose has a lifetime ban from Major League Baseball for betting on the game. But was the punishment too severe? Did Pete Rose hurt the game more then steroid users such as Barry Bonds or Alex Rodriguez, who can freely be a part of the game? Does a new commissioner increase his chances of being reinstated? These are just some of the questions that have once again began to swirl around the baseball world, and chances are you would be given a completely different answer depending on who you asked. Here’s my two cents on what they should do and why I think Rose deserves to be in the Hall of Fame.

4256 hits. That’s it. That’s what matters. Did Rose make a mistake? Yes, of course he did. He knows it. I know it. You know it. Baseball knows it. The long-time argument has been that his faults as a manager should not overshadow his accomplishments as a player. However, recent evidence has shown that he did bet on baseball while playing for the Cincinnati Reds, and this evidence will likely keep him out of the Hall for quite some time longer, and possibly forever. The one ray of hope still remaining for Rose is that he has never bet against himself or his team. This could prove to be enough to get him in the Hall of Fame, but only time will tell. Then there’s the steroid comparison. Many people will say that if baseball decides to let Rose in, then baseball will be forced to let Bonds, Rodriguez, McGuire, Sosa, Clemens, etc. in as well. But that’s simply not the case. Betting on himself or his team didn’t make it easier for Rose to hit, it didn’t make pitchers scared to pitch to him, and it didn’t change his amount of hustle and all around play. The same can’t be said about the steroid users.

When Rob Manfred became commissioner of baseball, Rose reached out to him and asked if his case could be reevaluated. For the first time, Rose was not immediately shut down. There was a growing sense around baseball that this could be his chance, but with the recent evidence that I stated above, it doesn’t look good. The chance is still there however, as Rose’s appeal process will not conclude until August, but at this point it will take a miracle.

There is a divide in baseball when it comes to Rose’s fate and, regardless of the decision reached in August, this is one of those things that will be debated for years and years to come. Thanks for stopping by and check back soon to see what else is making it’s way through the five point five hole!

San Diego Padres Update 7/19

Hello baseball fans! First off I’d like to apologize for not writing since just before the season started. As some of you may know, I have been pursuing my baseball career again after taking a year off. Between baseball and work, I haven’t had as much time to write as I would like, but I’m back now and can’t wait to start again. Without further delay, here’s the latest.

The San Diego Padres (43-49 9.5GB) have been a bit disappointing thus far and it’s up in the air whether they’ll be buyers or sellers as the trade deadline approaches. There is a ray of hope however as the Friars are winners of their last 4 entering play today and it looks as if the players and fans alike are starting to rally behind Matt Kemp’s hot bat. Although a push for the division isn’t very likely, they could still make a run at one of the two wild card spots. This 10 game home stand could be the deciding factor for the Padres this season, because if they don’t start winning the Padres will definitely be sellers. Now most likely fans are gonna see a few players dealt regardless of whether the Padres win or lose. However, the difference will be the caliber of players traded. If the Padres do start winning and they become buyers, you can look for the club to go out and get an everyday SS such as Starlin Castro, Jean Segura, or Elvis Andrus, along with possibly looking to improve in CF and 2B as well. If they turn out to be sellers it’ll boil down to how much of a fire sale they’re willing to have. Justin Upton will be gone for sure, James Shields may be dealt if the Padres can get enough in return, and either Tyson Ross or Andrew Cashner will be dealt as well. As an important reminder to the fans, the Padres need your support more now, during this home stand, than they have all season. So go out there, fill the seats, get behind your players, and get LOUD!

I’ll be posting more and more now that I have my schedule figured out. If you have any questions, comments, or debates you can always reach me at fivepointfivehole@yahoo.com. Thanks as always for stopping by and don’t forget to check back in to see what else is making it’s way through the five point five hole!

Spring Training Performances

Hello Baseball Fans!

Spring training is in full swing which means we finally get to see how all of the off-season moves start to effect a team and how the players are doing in their new environments. With the plethora of moves that had the potential to drastically change a teams outlook on the upcoming season we can now take a look at how some of these players have performed thus far.

Starting out in the Cactus League with the Padres. Fans have valid reason for excitement as Justin Upton, Matt Kemp, Will Middlebrooks and Wil Myers are off to hot starts. Just yesterday Middlebrooks homered in the 2nd inning then Upton and Kemp went back-to-back in the 4th against the division rival Giants giving fans a sneak peak of the power they bring to the team. Those haven’t been the only highlights for the Padre newcomers as Myers currently sits at a .308 avg with 1 HR, Upton and Middlebrooks are both hitting .400 with 2 HRs, and Matt Kemp is crushing the ball hitting .545 with 1 HR.

Out in Mesa, AZ the Cubs were able to see new ace, and recently named opening night starter, Jon Lester for the second time this spring, as he pitched 3 innings, allowed 3 hits, no runs, and recorded 3 k’s. Lester’s first appearance, which came last Friday against the Reds, was just as dominate as he only allowed only 1 hit and recorded 3 k’s in two innings on the bump.

Moving to some of the new additions out in the Grapefruit League. The Red Sox added both Hanley Ramirez and Pablo Sandoval on the same day this off-season however the two players have preformed very differently so far this spring with Ramirez hitting .444 in 3 games while Sandoval is hitting just .125 in 3 games. For Ramirez this off-season’s focus won’t be his offense however, it will be his transition from SS to LF which will be closely monitored for the rest of Spring.

Finally over to the Nationals, who signed Max Scherzer to a 7 yr/ 210 million dollar contract this off-season. It’s been said that with the addition of Scherzer the Nationals have the best pitching rotation in all of baseball and if he can put up numbers anywhere near his 2013 and 2014 campaigns it’s going to be tough to argue with that statement. So far this Spring, Scherzer has appeared in two games, throwing a combined 5 innings, giving up 8 hits, 2 earned runs, and striking out 5. Although these numbers aren’t great there’s no reason to worry and he should be getting into regular season form very shortly.

Thanks for stopping by and make sure you check back to see what else is making its way through the five point five hole.

-Matthew Green

Introduction

Hello baseball fans! This is the first of many posts to the brand new Fivepointfivehole baseball blog. First off, I would like to thank you for coming here to check out my new website because without readership there is no journalism and thus no platform to share my passion.

As you may have seen in my “about” section my name is Matthew Green, I’m a 19 year old San Diego native, and I have a never ending love for the game of baseball. When it comes to sports (with the exception of soccer) I can talk for hours and hours but I have made the decision to write solely about baseball because in my mind baseball is the best. I’ve played baseball from the age of five until just recently when I made the decision to take a break until next spring. When trying to describe my love for baseball to people I need only look to my favorite movie The Sandlot to do all the explaining necessary as the narrator David M. Evans puts it, “Even as a kid, for most baseball is a game, but for Benjamin Franklin Rodriguez, baseball was life.” The same goes for me. Baseball is, and always will be, more then just a game.

This blog is going to be covering all things baseball from the offseason to the world series and every bit in-between. I’m fully open to any critiques, questions, suggestions, or opinions you may have so you can always email me at fivepointfivehole@yahoo.com. This is my first attempt at publishing anything on my own but have previously written for my high school newspaper. You can find all my past articles at http://saga.guhsd.net/?author=55. Once again thanks for stopping by and I hope you check back in the future.

-Matthew Green