February 26, 2015

Playing Pepper 2015 edition

(Photo from blog.homerunmonkey.com)

As mentioned previously, the Cardinals blog C70 at the bat at Cards Conclave hosts an annual series where bloggers from each team answer some specific questions in previewing their team's seasons.

As in previous years, other Baseball Bloggers Alliance members also participated including BBA Red Sox Chapter President Christine from Boston Red Thoughts, John at The Mighty Quinn Media Machine, and Michael at The Pesky Pole.

To see how these Red Sox bloggers answered these questions, take a look at the Red Sox "Playing Pepper" page at C70 at the bat.

Below are the questions with the answers that I provided. As always, I welcome your comments and thoughts:

1) What are your thoughts on the team’s offseason?  Did they do what they needed to do?

February 23, 2015

Red Sox Look To Get Back On Track With New Players

As Spring Training starts, fans are starting to think about the upcoming season.  Below is an article from guest blogger Matt Smith which summarizes the changes the Red Sox have made heading into 2015:

With the recent news that the Boston Red Sox have signed top free agent prospect Yoan Moncada, it is safe to say that the franchise has successfully erased a dreadful 2014 campaign from the minds of many. After winning at all in 2013, nothing really went right for them last season. However, going out and getting new talent is the best way to get back into not only the American League East race, but the World Series discussion as well.

People in fantasy baseball 2015 are going to be really excited to see this lineup in action. While Moncada will be heading to the minors to instantly be one of the stars at that level, Boston will rely on some veteran infielders to help out the offense right away. Hanley Ramirez and Pablo Sandoval were rivals in the National League West last year, but now they very well could be starting on the left side of the infield for the Boston Red Sox. No one knows for sure if Ramirez is going to play shortstop or move somewhere else, but they know that he is one of the best hitters in the game. At this point, he will probably end up in left field so Xander Bogaerts can play shortstop. Sandoval is also someone known more for his bat, but he actually plays a pretty solid third-base for a guy who is a bit on the heavy side.

Pitching is going to be the biggest thing standing in the way of another title for the Boston Red Sox. They are going to rely on guys like Clay Buchholz and Rick Porcello to anchor the staff. There are some quality arms that they can go after in a trade to solidify the rotation, but right now it is below average. Most of the pitchers on their staff are marginal prospects at best in fantasy baseball 2015.

Baltimore lost a lot of talent from 2014, and the New York Yankees and Toronto Blue Jays have some holes to fill as well. The Tampa Bay Rays appear to be in full rebuilding mode at this moment, so that leaves the American League East pretty much up for grabs. The Boston Red Sox feel like they have significantly improved their team, and now it is time to see what they’re made of.



February 08, 2015

Albertans Playing College Baseball

Even though this is thought of as a hockey province, there are over 50 players currently playing baseball south of the border.  Last year, Calgary's own Jordan Procyshen was on the list, and after being drafted by the Red Sox in the June draft, played for Lowell and Greenville and is expected to continue to climb up Boston's minor league system.

Which of the following players will we see be part of an MLB organization in the future?

NCAA Division I:
3B Nolan Bumstead, Calgary, California State University, Northridge
RHP Greg Hollman, Sherwood Park, Savannah State University (Georgia)
INF-RHP Tanner Kirwer, Sherwood Park, Niagara University
OF Dawson Ruschkowski, Oyen, North Dakota State University
3B-1B Dane Tofteland, Okotoks, Indiana State University
INF Mitch McGeein, Calgary, Eastern Michigan University
RHP Cashtyn DeLeeuw, Grimshaw, Murray State University (Kentucky)
OF Jeremie Fagnan, Calgary, Texas Christian University
INF Brendan Hendriks, Cochrane, University of San Francisco
RHP Chad Hodges, Medicine Hat, South Dakota State University
RHP Tyler Vavra, Calgary, Canisius College (New York)
Division II:
RHP Reese de Beaudrap, Three Hills, Salem International University (West Virginia)
2B Braden Goldade, Medicine Hat, Northern State University (South Dakota)
OF-RHP Jake Lanferman, Sherwood Park, Fort Hays State University (Kansas)
INF Derek Shedden, Edmonton, Northwestern State University (Oklahoma)
C Mike Belliveau, Calgary, Alta. Bellarmine University (Kentuck)
C Travis Steinke, Red Deer, University of Arkansas at Monticello
C Ramon Valdez, Chestermere, Barry University (Florida)
INF Kevin Czarnecki, Edmonton, Fort Hays State University (Kansas)
OF Bretton Gouthro, Calgary, Mount Olive College (North Carolina)
INF Cooper Langley, Edmonton, Fort Hays State University (Kansas)
OF Travis Sormaz, Calgary, Northern State College (South Dakota)
RHP Levi Westerlund, Oyen, Lubbock Christian University (Texas)
Division III:
INF Alex Bishop, Calgary, University of Texas at Tyler
RHP Chris Stodolka, Lethbridge, University of Texas at Tyler
INF Blake Patterson, Calgary, Spalding University (Kentucky)
RHP Cole Slamko, Okotoks, Spalding University
INF Austin Warkentin, Calgary, Mississippi College

NAIA
IF Jaxson Hooge, Calgary, Tabor College (Kansas)
OF Evan Loranger, Sherwood Park, Dickinson State University (North Dakota)
OF Carson Wlad, Calgary, Siena Heights University (Michigan)
LHP Dave Erickson, Sherwood Park, Waldorf College (Iowa)
RHP-3B Tyler Czech, Stirling, Dickinson State University (North Dakota)
RHP Brendan Ethier, Calgary, Jamestown College (North Dakota)
RHP Colin Feenstra, Calgary, University of Cumberlands (Kentucky)
LHP Tyrell King, Calgary, Missouri Baptist University
LHP Jeremy McPhee, Calgary, Jamestown College (North Dakota)
RHP Ryley Ross, Edmonton, Bethany College (Kansas)
INF Kym Barthel, Lethbridge, LSU-Shreveport University
RHP Donovan Feenstra, Calgary, University of Cumberlands (Kentuck)
1B Bryn Redhead, Leduc, Graceland University (Iowa)

JUCOs and Community Colleges
OF Trey Grant, Calgary, John A. Logan College (Illinois)
INF-RHP Tanner Karpinski, Edmonton, Garden City Community College (Kansas)
SS-RHP Matt Lloyd, Calgary, Iowa Western Community College
OF Aidan Lucas, Ft. Saskatchewan, Big Bend Community College (Washington)
INF Eduardo Sanchez, Okotoks, College of San Mateo (California)
INF Cole Schneider, Ft. Saskatchewan, Colby Community College (Kansas)
OF Josh Williams, Sherwood Park, Hutchison Community College (Kansas)
INF Tyler Czech, Raymond, Porterville College (California)
RHP Connor Girard, Morinville, Allan Hancock College (California)
RHP-INF Reign Letkeman, Red Deer, Big Bend Community College (Washignton)
RHP Bo Lewington, Calgary, Southeastern Illinois College
RHP CJ Lewington, Calgary, Southeastern Illinois College
OF Triffon Tatarin, Vegreville, Garden City Community College (Kansas)
C-INF Ryan Thrasher, Sherwood Park, Marshalltown Community College (Iowa)
1B Jake Derwent, Calgary, San Joaquin Delta College (California)


Take a look at the Canadian Baseball Network for a full list of Canadians playing in college.


February 04, 2015

Playing Pepper Preview

As a member of the Baseball Bloggers Alliance, it is my privilege, to among other things get to participate in C70 at the Bat's annual Playing Pepper project.  This will be the fourth season I have been asked to share my views on the upcoming Red Sox season. You can look here at what I said going into the 2012, 2013 and 2014 seasons.

This year I have been asked to answer the following questions.

1) What are your thoughts on the team’s offseason?  Did they do what they needed to do?
2) What do you expect out of Joe Kelly and Allen Craig this season?
3) Has it been tough following the roller-coaster of this team over the past few years?
4) What player do you expect to make the greatest strides this year?
5) What’s your projection of the team’s record and where will they finish in the division?
6) What do you like best about being a Red Sox fan?

My answers and those of several other Red Sox bloggers will be published on or around February 26th at the C70 site linked above.  Check there for previews of all other teams as well.

I will post my answers here at about the same time, and will be interested in my reader's comments on my thoughts. Stay tuned....

January 31, 2015

Super Bowl time = NFL Parity. NOT!

It's that time of year again, where I have to deal with the simpleton NFL fans with their knuckle-dragging cries of the supremeness of the Super Bowl since unlike baseball there's parity and on any given Sunday anyone can win.

Yawn!  

Haven't we been through this already? Like, every single year?  I don't feel like rewriting my original post from 2010, but the facts have only been strengthened since.  Jayson Stark has once again articulated this much better than I could.

Anyway you look at it - whether it's Super Bowl Champs vs. World Series winners, or playoff teams, or the spread amongst teams' regular season records, there is very little parity in the the NFL compared to the MLB. 

Anyhow, I always look forward to the Super Bowl.  Means Spring Training is right around the corner :)  For anyone else as excited as I am, here's a handy guide for anyone heading down to Arizona or Florida this spring: