Posts Tagged ‘Jeff Samardzija’

It’s just 1

Posted: April 7, 2015 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, sports
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The baseball off season was very exciting in Chicago. The Cubs went out and signed the top starting pitcher on the market (Jon Lester) to a 6 year $155 million dollar deal. They also signed Jason Hammel to a 2 year $20 million dollar deal to round out the starting rotation. The Cubs also sent Dan Straily and Luis Valbuena to the Houston Astros to get centerfielder Dexter Fowler. Now not to be out done the White Sox added 3 players of their own. They signed left handed power hitter Adam LaRoche to a 2 year $25 million dollar deal. They also inked Melky Cabrera to a 3 year $42 million dollar free agent deal. Then the White Sox sent Rangel Ravelo, Chris Bassitt, Josh Phegley and Marcus Semien to the Oakland A’s for starting pitcher Jeff Samardzija.

Now after these signings and deals most if not all fans of Chicago baseball where looking forward to opening day. Well opening day was Sunday night for the Cubs and yesterday (Monday) for the White Sox. Both teams lost their opener. The Cubs 3-0 to the St. Louis Cardinals and the White Sox 10-1 to the Kansas City Royals. Now what surprised me was how after each of these losses was how quickly the excitement that was there in the off season quickly turned to negativity and dislike for each team.

We have two radio stations in Chicago that cover sports 24/7. There’s the one that offers national coverage with a couple of local shows added in; this is the one Dan the Man listens to. Then there’s the station that focuses on just Chicago teams and that’s the one I listen to. I was actually caught off guard with some of the callers to the overnight show I was listening to after both games. I heard everything from wait until next year to the Cubs wasted their money on Lester and the White Sox made a bad trade for Samardzija. It was just 1 game. There are 161 more games left this season.

The Cubs had some good scoring chances and just didn’t get that hit when they needed it. Do fans really think the Cubs will go 0-13 with runners in scoring position every game. They should also factor in that the pitcher they where facing was Adam Wainwright; who is a Top 10 or maybe even a Top 5 pitcher in baseball. Now Lester didn’t have a great outing, but he found a way to limit the damage when he had to. Remember that Lester had some dead arm issues towards the end of spring training and he has to work his way through that. There where 2 things that concerned me with the 1st Cubs game. Lester not being able to make pick off throws to the bases is one. Now he he doesn’t let any runners get on base this won’t be an issues, but you’d have to think that any team who gets a runner on against him would take a shot at stealing a base. The other one was the batting order. I’ve heard all of the reasoning for hitting the pitcher 8th and they always sound like excuses to me. It came back to bite the Cubs a little as Lester came up with a runner in scoring position and 2 outs. Now 1st base was open and they could’ve worked around a guy to get to Lester anyway, but there was no decision involved with Lester at the plate because he was in the 8th spot. I think this move was Joe Maddon trying to prove he’s a wacky guy and he’ll go against the grain. Or it was just a sad cry for attention.

With the White Sox it looks like it was a bad outing for your pitchers. Samardzija really struggled through 6 innings giving up 5 runs on 6 hits while striking out just 1 batter. Samardzija had some control issues as well as he walked 3; hit 2 batters and uncorked a wild pitch. The fans will dump all of the blame on Samardzija since he was the big guy they picked up in the off season, but the 2 pitchers who followed him weren’t any better. The White Sox picked up Dan Jennings to help shore up the bullpen and get lefties out. Jennings struggled on opening day just like Samardzija did. Jennings pitched 2/3rds of an inning gave up 3 runs on just 1 hit while walking 2 (1 intentionally) and striking out 1. Kyle Drabek was the next White Sox pitcher out of the bullpen. Drabek pitched an 1 1/3rd giving up 2 runs on 6 hits with 1 strikeout. Call it opening day jitters or just a bad outing, but don’t forget that the Royals are the defending American League champions and while they haven’t gotten a lot of respect from the baseball experts this off season maybe they’re better than people thought. Maybe you could add in that Yordano Ventura was the Royals opening day starter and he’s an up and coming pitcher in the game of baseball. Ventura along with Kelvin Herrera, Wade Davis and Ryan Madson held the White Sox to 5 hits, but 1 of them was a Jose Abreu home run. If yoou noticed last season that’s the Royals formula for winning. 6 innings out of the starter and an inning each out of 3 relievers to wrap the game up. Hopefully White Sox fans can let this game go unless you think Samardzija is as bad as he was on opening day.

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The baseball winter meetings are rolling along this week and there have been some big name players signed and traded. Late last night the Chicago Cubs where able to sign their #1 free agent target; Jon Lester. Lester gets a six year deal for $158 million dollars and a vesting option for a 7th year. The 7th year option is being reported to be worth $15 million dollars. This offer beat out the Boston Red Sox to who were the other team left in the Lester derby. The Red Sox final offer to Lester was six years and $135 million dollars. Lester joins Jason Hammel in the Cubs 2015 starting rotation. Hammel signed back with the Cubs earlier in the week for two at $10 million dollars. The Cubs dealt Hammel to the Oakland A’s last season. The Cubs also acquired catcher Miguel Montero from the Arizona Diamondbacks for young pitchers Zack Godley and Jefferson Mejia.

The baseball team on the south side of Chicago was busy as well as the White Sox agreed to a deal with the Oakland A’s that sends Jeff Samardzija back to Chicago, though this time with the South Siders. Righty Michael Ynoa is going with him in return for infielder Marcus Semien, righty Chris Bassitt, Josh Phegley and Rangel Ravelo. The White Sox also added a closer having agreed to sign David Robertson to a four year deal worth more than $46 million dollars. Robertson has been zeroed in on landing a four-year deal this winter and he found a team happy to give him one with a solid average annual value.

Yesterday the Pittsburgh Pirates agreed to a deal with left-handed pitcher starting pitcher Francisco Liriano. The deal is for three years at a total of $39 million dollars. The deal seems quite a reasonable price for a pitcher with Liriano’s ability to dominate. The Pirates had express interest in bring Liriano back, but with the resigning Pittsburgh will give up the ability to add draft pick compensation, which it was in line to receive if Liriano had found a new home after declining a qualifying offer.

The story I kept hearing reported from the winter meetings was that the Houston Astros where looking to add to their bullpen. They where in on left-handed reliever Andrew Miller and actually offered Miller more money then what he got when he signed with the New York Yankees. Robertson was also a reported target of the Astros before he signed with the White Sox. Today the Astros added two relievers that should help improve their bullpen. The Astros have agreed to a three-year, $18.5 million dollar deal with reliever Luke Gregerson. Also the Astros have reached a deal with fellow right-handed reliever Pat Neshek. Neshek receives a $12.5 million dollars guarantee over two years, with an option for a third.

Also earlier in the week the Oakland Athletics have officially agreed to ship outfielder/first baseman/DH Brandon Moss to the Cleveland Indians in exchange for minor league second baseman Joe Wendle. This deal had been talked about between these 2 teams for a couple of weeks and they finally agreed to it Tuesday.

We’ll have to see if they are a couple pf more moves out there before the winter meetings end, but if we don’t it’s been a pretty exciting week for baseball fans.

Let’s look at how we did in Week 14 of our NFL picks. Schaumburg Stu and Mr. Fantasy tied for the best record at 12-4. I finished a game behind them with and 11-5 record while Dan the Man ended the week at 9-7. For the season Mr. Fantasy and I are ties for the lead at 135-71-1. Schaumburg Stu is three games behind us with a record of 132-78-1. Dan the Man is stuck at the bottom of the standings with a record of 128-78-1. Let’s see what Week 15 brings us.

How did Greg and Mr. Fantasy do against each other in Week 14? Well let’s take a look at who they picked and how they did. At quarterback Greg took a chance on Thursday night with Jay Cutler of the Chicago Bears while Mr. Fantasy went with New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady. Cutler scored 24.22 points and finished 8th in the quarterback standings for Week 14 while Brady scored 17.54 points and ended up 12th for the week. It was Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton who led all players at that position for Week 14 with 39.82 points. It seems like both Greg and Mr. Fantasy rate their running backs similarly as they managed to select the same player again. This time it was Eddie Lacy of the Green Bay Packers. Lacy finished 4th for the week with 29.60 points. He was behind Joique Bell (Detroit Lions), DeMarco Murray (Dallas Cowboys) and Le’Veon Bell of the Pittsburgh Steelers who topped all other running backs with 52.50 points in Week 14. At wide receiver Greg went with a Oakland Raiders player as he likes to do and this week it was James Jones. Mr. Fantasy took Calvin Johnson of the Detroit Lions for his wide receiver. While the Raiders did get their 2nd win of the season in Week 14 Jones only scored 2.60 points for Greg and finished ranked 103rd among wide receivers. Johnson had a little better week scoring 28.05 points and finishing 6th among wide receivers for Week 14. At tight end Greg took Jordan Reed of the Washington Redskins while Mr. Fantasy went with Antonio Gates of the San Diego Chargers. Reed scored 4.75 points and finished 26th among tight ends for the week. Gates scored 7.15 points which was good for 17th among tight ends for Week 14. At kicker Greg picked Matt Prater of the Detroit Lions while Mr. Fantasy selected Mason Crosby of the Green bay Packers. Prater scored 11 points in Week 14 and tied for 6th place. Crosby out up 15.25 points which was good for 3rd place among kickers for Week 14. The sleeper picks for Week 14 where Sebastian Janikowski the Oakland Raiders kicker for Greg and Charles Johnson the Minnesota Vikings wide receiver for Mr. Fantasy. Janikowski scored 9 points for Greg while Johnson scored 19.55 points for Mr. Fantasy. I think it’s the first time I’ve ever heard of a kicker being a sleeper pick, but hey why not. Let’s see who Greg and Mr. Fantasy like for Week 15. You can hear Mr. Fantasy make his choices Sunday morning in between 10:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m. during the Sports Time Radio preview podcast for Week 15 of the NFL on Sadly you have to wait until I write this blog on Wednesday’s to know who Greg selected and how they did against each other.

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