Results tagged ‘ orioles ’
Once I read about the greatest sluggers in major league baseball history, most of them were remembered by their nicknames.
The greatest of them all, in my opinion, was called “The Babe.”
No matter what is said and written these days, in my opinion the second-best ever is well-known as “The Big Mac.”
In my top-10 all-time slugger list there are such names as “The Mick,” “Say Hey Kid,” “Mr. October,” “The Splendid Splinter” and “Iron Mike.”
Among Latinos the all-time slugger my No. 1 is well-known today as “El Hombre.”
Albert Pujols just turned 30 a short time ago, and as we read about him for the upcoming season, it’s simply amazing the numbers and achievements he has done in his career.
In each of his nine seasons, Pujols has surpassed a .300 batting average, 30 home runs and 100 RBI.
All in one decade.
As we start a new season in a new decade, it has to be seen if he will keep his current pace that already is hall-of-fame bound.
As of this moment, the St. Louis Cardinal first baseman has surpassed at age 30 Latino names such as Roberto Clemente, Rod Carew and Orlando Cepeda.
Pujols’ numbers at 30 years old has better comparison numbers than Hank Aaron, Joe DiMaggio, Jimmy Foxx, Hank Greenberg, and Willie Mays.
Simply, Pujols has demonstrated he is the best slugger in the game.
Among all-time Latinos, the Dominican Republic native is No. 1 and he tops my All-Time Latino Greatest Sluggers.
Listed below are my 20 All-Time Latino Greatest Sluggers:
“Never make predictions, especially about the future.”
That was one of the most famous quotes ever from Casey Stengel.
Nobody listens to him. Not these days. Spring training is right around the corner on the calendar, and predictions are starting to pop up all over again.
Baseball is back.
No matter if you are a casual or serious fan or into fantasy baseball, everyone is looking for every opinion of what will happen in 2010.
There is a long way to go, but my preseason crystal ball says it will be the world champion New York Yankees and Philadelphia Phillies again in the Fall Classic.
As far as the majors’ Latino players, watch Florida Marlin Hanley Ramirez go for his first National League MVP award. Same as Ramirez, watch out in the junior circuit for former Marlin and nowadays Detroit Tiger Miguel Cabrera to be again on the move for his first American League MVP.
I should not make predictions, but I have a vision Seattle Mariner Felix Hernandez will be again a strong candidate for the American League Cy Young Award and young hurler Neftali Feliz of the Texas Rangers for American League Rookie of the Year.
Fans all over the baseball world love rankings, and this is my preseason Latino player rankings, in which I list the best 15 offensive players and best 15 pitchers who should be of impact for the 2010 season.
My 2010 Preseason Latino Player Rankings Listing
Hanley Ramirez, Florida
Albert Pujols, St. Louis
Alex Rodriguez, New York Yankees
Adrian Gonzalez, San Diego
Miguel Cabrera, Detroit
Victor Martinez, Boston
Pablo Sandoval, San Francisco
Carlos Lee, Houston
Vladimir Guerrero, Texas
Jorge Posada, New York Yankees
Robinson Cano, New York Yankees
Manny Ramirez, Los Angeles Dodgers
Carlos Peña, Tampa Bay
Yunel Escobar, Atlanta
Alexei Ramirez, Chicago White Sox
Felix Hernandez, Seattle
Mariano Rivera, New York Yankees
Francisco Rodriguez, New York Mets
Johan Santana, New York Mets
Yovani Gallardo, Milwaukee
Neftali Feliz, Texas
Aroldis Chapman, Cincinnati
Jose Valverde, Detroit
Jair Jurrjens, Atlanta
Javier Vazquez, New York Yankees
Vicente Padilla, Los Angeles Dodgers
Francisco Cordero, Cincinnati
Joakim Soria, Kansas City
Rafael Soriano, Tampa Bay
Joel Piñeiro, Los Angeles Angels
My Preseason 2010 Latino All-Star Team
C: Victor Martinez, Boston
1B: Miguel Cabrera, Detroit
2B: Robinson Cano, New York Yankees
3B: Alex Rodriguez, New York Yankees
SS: Hanley Ramirez, Florida Marlins
OF: Bobby Abreu, Los Angeles Angels
OF: Carlos Lee, Houston
OF: Manny Ramirez, Los Angeles Dodgers
DH: Vladimir Guerrero, Texas
SP: Felix Hernandez, Seattle
RP: Mariano Rivera, New York Yankees
Mark McGwire finally came clean with the truth.
The “Bic Mac” was not different to former performance-enhancing drugs users Alex Rodriguez, Miguel Tejada, Manny Ramirez, Andy Pettitte, Jason Giambi, Manny Ramirez, and David Ortiz.
In the long run, they have to admit it–they were cheaters.
At least, McGwire called it the most “regrettable mistake” in his life.
The question nowadays is “who’s next?”
Next should be Rafael Palmeiro and Sammy Sosa.
Both have yet to divulge their personal transgressions.
For years both former sluggers had been named in multiple reports for their steroid use. They know they were not clean, and they know we know it.
Palmeiro and Sosa should know this is their time. It is. Both they know they have to clean their images to have the chance to be immortalized someday in Cooperstown.
Palmeiro quietly built numbers over a 20-year career that can be compared with Latino greats Roberto Clemente and Rod Carew.
The Cuban-born first baseman was a four-time All-Star; three-time Gold Glover, and two-time Silver Slugger.
He ended his career as member of the exclusive 500-home run and 3,000-hit club and is only one of four players in history to be member of both.
However, Palmeiro has never been forgotten for his actions at a Congressional hearing in 2005; while under oath, he pointed his finger, stating “Let me start by telling you this: I have never used steroids, period. I don’t know how to say it any more clearly than that. Never.”
Same with Sosa.
Most fans probably have forgotten that he was the biggest player ever after Ernie Banks in a Cub uniform. He was the “Bambino Latino” from the Dominican Republic that electrified fans for many seasons Wrigley Field.
He and McGwire were the men who gave us that magical 1998 season.
Sosa and McGwire were back-to-back in the pursuit of Roger Maris’ single-season home run record of 61. McGwire wound up with 70 and Sosa with 66.
No doubt his final career numbers are bound for the Hall of Fame.
However, what many fans remember is Sosa with an interpreter telling Congress after many years in the States he did not speak English and he should be excused.
As with McGwire, both Palmeiro and Sosa were liars in the infamous 2005 Congressional hearing on baseball and steroids.
Please, no more lies.
According to substantial media reports, Palmeiro and Sosa are not the only Latinos that should step forward for using performance-enhancing drugs.
Juan Gonzalez, a two-time American League MVP and two-time American League home run champion, had been mentioned often to have used steroids and human growth hormone mainly during his glory days as a Texas Ranger.
Gonzalez is eligible next year in the Hall of Fame ballot, and it should be his time to speak up too.
Other active Latino players highly mentioned by media reports are Ivan Rodriguez, Carlos Delgado, Magglio Ordoñez, and José Guillén.
It has been reported that, in Latin America, the reaction of the McGwire news was muted and taken with little fuss.
Probably very true.
South of the border, baseball-loving fans want their heroes to have the courage to come clean on the use of controlled substances.
They want that Palmeiro, Sosa, and many others to at least make the attempt to help close the chapter of the so-called steroid era in Major League Baseball.
Let’s hope they make it soon.
The 2000’s are heading into history.
As in all sports, fans love to know the opinion of who were the best players of the decade.
As Barry Bonds was the man in the 1990’s, this decade was all property of Albert Pujols.
“El Hombre” from the St. Louis Cardinals his offensive numbers made all the talking hitting every year for at least a .300 average, 30 home runs and 100 runs batted in.
He was as good as a hitter, defensively as a first baseman and as a ball player off-the-field that it was a no brainer was MLB’s Player of the Decade.
Both The Sporting News and Sports Illustrated agreed with the latter.
Pujols was the king of the diamonds but there were other bunch of player that excels to their best through the decade.
Only Latino great names from the best of the best of the decade of the 1990’s around major league baseball are Ivan “Pudge” Rodriguez and Omar Vizquel. Very possibly the duo will be future shoo-ins into the Hall of Fame.
Long gone are those great from the 90’s as Juan Gonzalez, Rafael Palmeiro, Sammy Sosa and Bernie Williams.
There is a great possibility Roberto Alomar and Edgar Martinez will be getting next January their enshrinement into Cooperstown.
As we are approaching the 2010’s this is a good time to select the All-Decade Latino Team for the 2000’s.
Our MLB’s Latino Decade Team 2000-2009:
SP: Bartolo Colón, Liván Hernández, Pedro Martínez, Johan Santana, Javier Vázquez
RP: Mariano Rivera
Every fan knows them. They are cheer. Some times not.
Albert Pujols is known as “El Hombre” in St. Louis and possibly could win his third career National League MVP award.
Felix Hernandez is known as “El Rey” in Seattle and possibly could win his first career Cy Young award.
Elvis Andrus is regarded the next best shortstop in the model of Omar Vizquel in the majors. Fans of the Texas Rangers are waiting to see if he will be this season’s American League Rookie of the Year.
Fans know many more of them and have high regards of them.
Hanley Ramirez of the Florida Marlins is this season’s National League batting champion; superstar New York Yankees Mariano Rivera and Jorge Posada; Carlos Lee in Houston and Miguel Cabrera in Detroit.
Of course, there is always in Dodger Blue Manny being Manny in Los Angeles and new names to follow in the other side of Los Angeles’ Angels, Kendry Morales.
All of them Latinos.
They all come from the passionate countries of Cuba, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Panama, and Venezuela.
We know them today but through history all this countries have supplied the best of the best to the majors.
As of the end of the 2009 season, these are the top Latinos by country:
Cuba: Rafael Palmeiro, 10,472
Dominican Republic: Sammy Sosa, 8,813
Panama: Rod Carew, 9,315
Puerto Rico: Roberto Clemente 9,454
Venezuela: Luis Aparicio, 10,230
Cuba: Tony Oliva, .304
Dominican Republic: Albert Pujols, .334
Panama: Rod Carew, .328
Puerto Rico: Roberto Clemente, .317
Venezuela: Magglio Ordoñez, .312
Cuba: Rafael Palmeiro, 3,020
Dominican Republic: Julio Franco, 2,586
Panama: Rod Carew, 3,053
Puerto Rico: Roberto Clemente 3,000
Venezuela: Omar Vizquel, 2,704
Cuba: Rafael Palmeiro, 585
Dominican Republic: Manny Ramirez, 531
Panama: Rod Carew, 445
Puerto Rico: Ivan Rodriguez, 547
Venezuela: Bobby Abreu, 483
Cuba: Tony Taylor, 86
Dominican Republic: Juan Samuel, 102
Panama: Rod Carew, 112
Puerto Rico: Roberto Clemente 166
Venezuela: Luis Aparicio, 92
Cuba: Rafael Palmeiro, 569
Dominican Republic: Sammy Sosa, 609
Panama: Carlos Lee, 307
Puerto Rico: Carlos Delgado, 473
Venezuela: Andres Galarraga, 399
Runs Batted In
Cuba: Rafael Palmeiro, 1,835
Dominican Republic: Manny Ramirez, 1,788
Panama: Carlos Lee, 1,103
Puerto Rico: Carlos Delgado, 1,512
Venezuela: Andres Galarraga, 1,425
Cuba: Luis Tiant, 229
Dominican Republic: Juan Marichal, 243
Puerto Rico: John Candelaria, 177
Venezuela: Johan Santana, 122
All-Time Latino Wins Leader is Nicaragua’s Dennis Martinez, 245
Cuba: Mike Cuellar, 3.14
Dominican Republic: Juan Marichal, 2.89
Puerto Rico: John Candelaria, 3.13
Venezuela: Johan Santana, 3.13
All-Time Latino ERA Leader is Panama’s Mariano Rivera, 2.25
Cuba: Danys Baez, 114
Dominican Republic: Jose Mesa, 321
Puerto Rico: Roberto Hernandez, 326
Venezuela: Francisco Rodriguez, 243
All-Time Latino ERA Leader is Panama’s Mariano Rivera, 526
No hay duda que el Todo-Estrella dominicano a obtenido una campaña de ensueño y una vez más no hay que poner a prueba que debe ser el hombre a ser escogido este año como Jugador Más Valioso de la Liga Nacional.
A estas fechas Pujols se encuentra entre lideres en alrededor de nueve categorias ofensivas y con buena oportunidad de obtener su primera corona de jonrones en su carrera.
Sí no fuese por la tan excelente campaña del inicialista de los Cardenales de San Luis a mi entender hubieran dado una buena carrera por ese galardón Adrian González de los Padres de San Diego, Hanley Ramírez de los Marlins de Florida y Pablo Sandoval de los Gigantes de San Francisco.
Por otro lado, en la Liga Americana sín hacer mucho ruido un candidato fuerte a su Más Valioso lo es Miguel Cabrera de los Tigres de Detroit.
El inicialista venezolano ha cargado practicamente la campaña entera con la ofensiva de un conjunto muchos criticos no los dieron para cualificar este año a las series post-temporada. Sí bien buscan las predicciones hechas atras en la primavera muchos entendian que esta temporada los Indios de Cleveland o los Medias Blancas de Chicago iban a dominar la División Central.
Al presente Cabrera esta entre lideres en cinco categorias ofensivas en el más joven de ambos circuitos.
Ademas de los antes mencionados, otros latinoamericanos se han destacado para bien esta campaña.
Vale la pena en estos momentos antes de que termine la temporada reconocer a todos los latinos que se destacaron con sus respectivas franquicias y aplaudir aquellos que hicieron bien su trabajo y ellos son:
Orioles de Baltimore: OF-Felix Pie
Medias Rojas de Boston: C-Victor Martínez; 3B-Mike Lowell
Medias Blancas de Chicago: 2B-Alexei Ramírez
Indios de Cleveland: 2B-Asdrubal Cabrera
Tigres de Detroit: 1B-Miguel Cabrera
Reales de Kansas City: 2B-Alberto Callapso
Angelinos de Los Angeles: 1B-Kendry Morales; IF-Erick Aybar; OF-Bobby Abreu;OF-Juan Rivera
Yankees de Nueva York: 2B-Robinson Cano; C-Jorge Posada; P-Mariano Rivera
Marineros de Seattle: OF-Franklin Gutierrez; P-Felix Hernández
Rays de Tampa Bay: 1B-Carlos Peña
Rangers de Texas: OF-Nelson Cruz
Azulejos de Toronto: SS-Marco Scutaro
Bravos de Atlanta: SS-Yunel Escobar; P-Javier Vázquez
Cachorros de Chicago: 3B-Aramis Ramírez
Rojos de Cincinnati: P-Francisco Cordero
Rockies de Colorado: P- Jorge de la Rosa; P-Ubaldo Jimenez
Marlins de Florida: SS-Hanley Ramírez: 3B-Jorge Cantu
Astros de Houston: OF-Carlos Lee; P-Wandy Rodríguez; SS-Miguel Tejada
Dodgers de Los Angeles; OF-Manny Ramírez
Cerveceros de Milwaukee: 2B-Felipe López; P-Yovani Gallardo
Mets de Nueva York: 2B-Luis Castillo; OF-Carlos Beltrán; OF-Angel Pagán; P-Johan Santana
Phillies de Philadelphia: 3B-Pedro Feliz
Cardenales de San Luis: 1B-Albert Pujols; C-Yadier Molina; P-Joel Piñeiro
Padres de San Diego: 1B-Adrian Gonzalez
Gigantes de San Francisco: 3B-Pablo Sandoval; C-Bengie Molina
Nacionales de Washington: SS-Cristian Guzmán
Since 1929 when the New York Yankees and the Cleveland Indians were the first major league clubs to wear uniform numbers, players have been marked forever by their jersey numbers.
In Yankee Stadium at Monument Park you can see all the famous numbers that have been immortalize by such names as Billy Martin, Babe Ruth, JoeDiMaggio, Lou Gehrig, Mickey Mantle, Yogi Berra, Don Mattingly and Reggie Jackson.
The most famous no. 8 ever in Baltimore Orioles history was Cal Ripken. In Boston the most notable no. 9 ever was Ted Williams. No fan in Philly have forgotten that no. 20 was property of Mike Schmidt.
In Pittsburgh never has been forgotten the no. 8 Willie Stargell and number 21 Roberto Clemente.
Every franchise has its own history. Every fan is loyal to their favorite player’s number. When I pitched in the little leagues I was no. 30 in honor of Nolan Ryan. When my pitching young days were over my jersey number was no. 8 in honor of Dickie Thon.
This is my list of numbers that have been immortalize by latinos in Major League Baseball history:
3-Alex Rodriguez (Seattle Mariners-Texas Rangers))
11-Luis Aparicio, Edgar Martinez, George Bell
13-Alex Rodriguez (New York Yankees), Dave Concepcion, Omar Vizquel
18-Moises Alou, Omar Moreno
19-Juan Gonzalez, Bert Campaneris
20- Jorge Posada
21-Roberto Clemente, Sammy Sosa, Ruben Sierra, Carlos Delgado (New York Mets)
24-Tany Perez, Manny Ramirez, Miguel Cabrera
25-Jose Cruz, Rafael Palmeiro, Mike Lowell, Carlos Delgado (Toronto Blue Jays)
27-Juan Marichal, Vladimir Guerrero
30-Orlando Cepeda, Dennis Martinez, Magglio Ordoñez
34-David Ortiz, Fernando Valenzuela
45-Pedro Martínez, Carlos Lee. John Candelaria
46-Tony Armas Sr.
ESPN is celebrating 20 years of covering Major League Baseball and the network asked fans to vote for their all-time team of the last 20 seasons.
At this moment, fans are being asked to pick the winners for each position.
Not surprisingly, winning names in this national poll have been Edgar Martinez as the top DH, Albert Pujols top first baseman, Ivan Rodriguez as top catcher, and Mariano Rivera as the top closer in the last 20 years.
All players from Latin America.
For the last 23 years I have been covering the Major League Baseball beat of the Puerto Rican and Latin American players, and over that time I have seen a bunch of great players.
I’ve also seen how appealing they are to their fans. I have seen how hall-of-famers Roberto Clemente, Orlando Cepeda, Tany Perez, Luis Aparicio, Rod Carew, and Juan Marichal are perceived as never-gone heroes in the respective towns they played in in their hey-days.
Nowadays players like Albert Pujols, Hanley Ramirez, Manny Ramirez, Johan Santana and many others are closely watched and being regarded as the No. 1 players of their respective franchises.
Quite different to ESPN’ SportsNation Poll, I will share whom I believe are the best Latino players the last 20 years. Most possibly readers will have have a different opinion, but this is my own Latino All-Star team.
Catchers-Santos Alomar Jr., Javier López, Jorge Posada, Iván Rodríguez, Benito Santiago
First Base-Miguel Cabrera, Carlos Delgado, Andrés Galarraga, Rafael Palmeiro, Albert Pujols
Second Base-Roberto Alomar, Carlos Baerga, Julio Franco
Third Base-Vinny Castilla, Mike Lowell, Alex Rodríguez
Shortstop-Hanley Ramirez, José Reyes, Miguel Tejada, Omar Vizquel
Outfielders-Bobby Abreu, Carlos Beltran, José Canseco, Juan González, Vladimir Guerrero, Magglio Ordoñez, Sammy Sosa, Bernie Williams
Pitchers-Pedro Martinez, Johan Santana
Closers-Mariano Rivera, Francisco Rodriguez
Designated Hitter-Edgar Martinez, David Ortiz
C’mon…whom the South Florida politicians are kidding that are sad and crushed with the departure of the Baltimore Orioles from Fort Lauderdale Stadium.
“It’s very, very dissapointing to see a tremendous era of spring training end”, Fort Lauderdale Mayor Jack Selier said. “It’s a sad day”.
Yeah, right. Since 2004, the team has been on a year-to-year lease with the City of Fort Lauderdale. Every time a possible discussion for a long term deal was brought to the table by the Orioles there was always some type of road block.
Finally after so much, should I stay or should I go, the franchise is relocating to the state’s west coast. The City of Sarasota and its county approved a $31.2 million renovation and expansion of Ed Smith Stadium, which hosted the Cincinnati Reds from 1998 to 2009. Also renovations were approved for the Twin Lakes Park, the new Orioles’ full time minor league complex.
The Orioles are expected to be in Sarasota next February.
In this side south side of the Sunshine State a big deal have been made now that it will be without a major league team in the spring for the first time in 60 years.
Let’s not forget long time ago Fort Lauderdale was home for the New York Yankees for 33 seasons before they went off to Tampa in 1995.
One year later, in 1996, Fort Lauderdale became the spring training home of the Birds franchise. Since that opening year you could hear the rumbles of problems between the two sides. It look the marriage was not going to be a long one.
It is true the nowadays Orioles are not even close to those of the late 90’s anchored by Cal Ripken Jr. and other big name stars such as Roberto Alomar, Mike Mussina and many, many others.
However no matter the Orioles product, the City of Fort Lauderdale never show a commitment and effort to keep them for a long time in town.
Let’s not forget either they are the same politicians never wanted to build a home for the Florida Marlins. Hey, no sorrow and complaints now that they will be the Miami Marlins in 2012.
Fort Lauderdale should not cry. The truth is they never like the baseball business in their backyard.
Cheers to Sarasota. The Orioles will have a spring training home there for the next 30 years.
Bye, Bye Orioles.
NOTE: The author covered the Baltimore Orioles from 1997 to 2008. Thanks Bill Stetka for your support to the international media.
The All-Star Game is almost here and the 2009 season have reached its historically midway point of its schedule, making the perfect moment for this year Midseason Awards.
Disregard the predictions written back in April. Both The Sporting News and Sports Illustrated had the Yankees, Twins, Angels and Red Sox making October . Both publications went Phillies, Cubs, Dodgers and Mets in the National League.
Honestly, not bad at all. Except in both Central Division, the Tigers and the Cardinals at the moment are changing the spring prognosis. Also, the Angels have to be careful with the surprising Rangers in the American League West. Moreover, in the National League wild-card race unless the Mets get a miracle as the famous New York expression “Forget About It!”. At the moment the Giants, Marlins and Brewers look best for the coveted prize in the old circuit.
I will not give any forecasts. After all, who said back in 2007 the Colorado Rockies would make it to the World Series. Nobody crystal ball predicted the Phillies and the Rays last season in the October Classic.
Let’s have fun. Here are my midseason award winners:
Best Team: Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees (tie)
Surprise Team: Texas Rangers
Disappointing Team: Cleveland Indians
Best Latino Player: Miguel Cabrera, Detroit Tigers
Best Latino Pitcher: Felix Hernandez, Seattle Mariners
Best Latino Rookie: Elvis Andrus, Texas Rangers
Best Boricua: Mike Lowell, Boston Red Sox
Best Latino Surprise Player: Nelson Cruz, Texas Rangers
Dissapointment Latino Player: Magglio Ordoñez, Detroit Tigers
Forget About Him!: Alex Rodriguez, New York Yankees
Best Team: Los Angeles Dodgers
Surprise Team: San Francisco Giants
Disappointing Team: Chicago Cubs
Best Latino Player: Albert Pujols, St. Louis Cardinals
Best Latino Pitcher: Yovani Gallardo, Milwaukee Brewers
Best Latino Rookie: Omir Santos, New York Mets
Best Boricua: Carlos Beltrán, New York Mets
Best Latino Surprise Player: Joel Piñeiro, St. Louis Cardinals
Dissapointment Latino Player: Alfonso Soriano, Chicago Cubs
Forget About Him!: Manny Ramirez, Los Angeles Dodgers
My Midseason Latino All-Star Team:
C Victor Martinez (Indians); 1B Albert Pujols (Cardinals); 2B Robinson Cano (Yankees); 3B Mike Lowell (Boston); SS Hanley Ramirez(Marlins); OF Carlos Beltran (Mets); Carlos Lee (Astros); Juan Rivera (Angels); P Felix Hernandez (Mariners); PR Mariano Rivera (Yankees).
This column was also published by The Puerto Rico Daily Sun / MLB Notebook