Posts Tagged ‘Jenrry Mejia’

It’s NBA All-Star weekend or I guess I should say All-Star week. I find it a little odd that the NBA of all the major sports has the longest All-Star break. If you remember last season LeBron James cried quite a bit about how the All-Star break wasn’t long enough and he couldn’t spend time with his family. Of course this is the same guy that when he had time off ended up in Miami. If I remember right his family lives in Cleveland. I think he used the excuse that he was in Miami to see a certain doctor, but I don;t think anyone believed that. Now in no way am I saying that that basketball isn’t a physical sport. With all the running and the jumping has to be tough on the knees and ankles. I’m just not sold on it being tougher than playing in the NHL which got just 3 or 4 days off for their All-Star break. I have to wonder if it’s even as tough as playing Major League baseball with the long season and the fact that you play in the heat of the summer. Baseball also gets just 3 or 4 days off for their All-Star break. The NBA season is long enough as it is; do they really need an extended All-Star break?

Like I said it is All-Star weekend for the NBA and it kicked off yesterday wit 2 games I could care little or nothing at all about. The first game is the celebrity game which has a few former players mixed in along with a couple of WNBA players as well. All this game really proves is that all the entertainers playing in it made the right career choice. I was actually a little interested to see the Rising Stars Challenge until I turned it on. I thought the format might be interesting with the best young American players against the best players from the rest of the world. Now the game is just for first or second year NBA players, but when I turned it on I quickly realized that even these players knew they where n an All-Star game. Just like the All-Star game that will be played on Sunday there was ZERO defense played in this game was the World team won 121-112. I thought maybe the young players would try and play an actual game of basketball and not just let guys dunk at will and throw up 45 foot 3-pointers; sadly I was very, very wrong. It took me about 2 minutes of actual game action to realize this game was a joke and went and found something else to watch. So Friday is a complete waste of time for the NBA All-Star weekend and everyone knows that the game on Sunday will be a joke; so the only hope is the Saturday night events will be worth watching.

All-Star Saturday night kicks off with the Shooting Stars event. I was unable to find out who’ll be competing in this event, but if I remember right it’s a former NBA player teamed up with a current NBA player and a current WNBA player and they have to make a series of shots from different areas of the court ending with a half court shot. The team that makes all their shots in the fastest time wins this event. Then they move on to the Skills Challenge which features the players skills in ball handling, passing and shooting. This is the first season that more than just guards will compete. Patrick Beverly (Rockets) is the defending champion, but he is injured and won;t be in this seasons competition. Here’s the list of the players competing. DeMarcus Cousins (Kings), Draymond Green (Warriors), Anthony Davis (Pelicans), Karl-Anthony Towns (Timberwolves), Jordan Clarkson (Lakers), C.J. McCollum (Trailblazers), Isaiah Thomas (Celtics) and Emmanuel Mudlay (Nuggets). Dan the Man is picking Cousins to win this event. Next is the 3-point shootout with Stephen Curry (warriors) back to defend his title. Curry is up against Devin Booker (Suns), J.J. Reddick (Clippers), Kyle Lowry (Raptors), James Harden (Rockets), Khris Middleton (Bucks), C.J. McCollum (Trailblazers) and Klay Thompson (Warriors). Dan likes Thompson to unseat his teammate Curry in this event. With what the NBA game has turned into I’m a little surprised that the Slam Dunk contest still wraps up All-Star Saturday night, but it does. Zach LaVine (Timberwolves) is back to defend Slam Dunk his title against Aaron Gordon (Magic), Andre Drummond (Pistons) and Will Barton (Nuggets). Dan likes the big man Drummond to win this event. Tune into Sports Time Radio 5:00 p.m.-6:00 p.m. live at http://www.BlogTalkRadio.com and we’ll review how Dan the Man did with his picks. Do you agree with Dan’s picks? or do you have someone else winning these competitions.

Major League Baseball made history on Friday and not in a good way. Jenrry Mejia of the New York Mets became the first player to receive a lifetime ban for failing 3 drugs tests. Not only was this Mejia’s 3rd positive test, but his 3rd positive test in a year. It was reported that Mejia tested positive for Boldenone, which athletes have used to increase muscle mass and once was popular for use in horse racing. He is just the 2nd player to ever test positive for Boldenone and he’s done it twice. Mejia is just 26 years old and may apply to commissioner Rob Manfred for reinstatement in one year. If reinstated, he would have to sit out a minimum of two years before being able to pitch again in the majors. If an application is made and denied, Mejia could ask baseball’s arbitrator to end the ban, claiming the penalty is without “just cause.” The arbitrator cannot reduce the ban to less than two years. MLB suspensions are honored by affiliated leagues in other countries, such as in Japan, South Korea and Mexico. However, suspended players are allowed to compete in winter leagues, such as in Mejia’s native Dominican Republic. Independent leagues are not compelled to honor MLB suspensions but may choose to do so.There are a few comparable cases, but nothing quite like Mejia’s. Josh Hamilton who was in the minor leagues at the time had some issues and was suspended several times for drug abuse from 2003-05, but was allowed to return each time. During a time when there was not a drug agreement, Steve Howe was suspended for life by Commissioner Fay Vincent in 1992 after the pitcher’s seventh drug- or alcohol-related incident. Arbitrator George Nicolau said doctors concluded Howe suffered from attention deficit hyperactive disorder and cut the suspension to time served, which was 119 days. I’m not sure what Mejia was thinking, but he has talent and I’m sure will get another chance if he’s reinstated. You just have to wonder how a player can be so, so stupid to fail 3 tests in a year.

You can find me on Twitter @Burketime

 

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We wrap up the Vs. Series by taking a look into the bullpens of are shared city teams. With starters pitching less and less innings the bullpens become more important to a teams success; so let’s see who’s relieving starting in New York.

The New York Yankees let David Robertson and his 39 saves go in free agency; so someone else will be closing games for them and the leading candidate looks to be Dellin Betances. Betances set up for Robertson last season appearing in 70 games with a 5-0 record a 1.40 ERA finishing 8 games and picking up 1 save in 90 innings. Betances struckout 135 batters in those 90 innings while walking 24 and his WHIP was .0778. WHIP is Walks, Hits to Innings Pitched. While Betances looks like a closer the Yankees did go out and sign left-hander Andrew Miller to a 4 year $36 million dollar deal in the off season in case Betances struggles. Miller split his 2014 season setting up for the Boston Red Sox and Baltimore Orioles. Miller appeared in 73 games total between both teams. He posted an ERA of 2.02; striking out 103 while walking 17 with a WHIP of 0.802 over 62 1/3rd innings. Miller doesn’t have a lot of closing experience as he has just 1 career save which he got last season, but he did finish 15 games last season. The Yankees sent minor leaguer Manny Banuelos to the Atlanta Braves for Chasen Shreve and David Carpenter. Carpenter will fill a bullpen role. He appeared in 65 games for Atlanta posting a 3.54 ERA and also picked up 3 saves. The Yankees also dealt catcher Francisco Cervelli to the Pittsburgh Pirates for left-handed reliever Justin Wilson. Wilson should help fill out the bullpen along with Esmil Rogers and Adam Warren if he doesn’t end up in the starting rotation for the Yankees in 2015.

The New York Mets bullpen situation is interesting going into 2015. The Mets actually have 2 closers. Going into the 2014 season it looked like Bobby Parnell had the Mets closer job all wrapped up. Parnell had 22 saves in 2013, but an injury forced him to pitch in just 1 game; actually just 1 inning in 2014. With Parnell back you have to wonder if the Mets will try to split up the closing duties between him and last season closer Jenrry Mejia. Mejia saved 28 games last season, but had a high ERA for a closer at 3.65. It has to be a good problem to have to guy who can close games; so we’ll have to see how the Mets manage this situation. Josh Edgin and his 1.32 ERA have been lost for the season and he will have Tommy John surgery. Jeurys Familia pitched in 76 games last season and posted a 2.21 ERA and should be the main set up guy. Carlos Torres appeared in 73 games last season and will be back in that same set up role this season. Vic Black and Scott Rice should help round out the Mets bullpen. 36 year old Buddy Carlyle has had a very solid spring for the Mets and it will be interesting to see if they find a bullpen spot for him.

With the numbers Betances put up last season this was an easy choice to go with the Yankees here. You have to wonder of having 2 closers is one to many for the Mets.

The White Sox bullpen really struggled last season; so they went into free agency and signed closer David Robertson to a 4 year $46 million dollar deal to finish games and then they signed Zach Duke to a 3 year $15 million dollar deal to set up in front of Robertson. Jake Petricka saved 14 games last season to lead the White Sox. Petricka appeared in 67 games and had an ERA of 2.96 last season and the experience will help him as a set up guy this season. Zach Putnam also picked up 6 saves last season in the White Sox pieced together bullpen. Putnam had an ERA of 1.98 in 54 2/3rd innings while appearing in 49 games and will be counted on to set up this season. The White Sox sent Andre Rienzo to the Miami Marlins for Dan Jennings who should be the lefty specialist out of the bullpen. Javy Guerra should help round out the White Sox bullpen.

The Cubs have a bullpen set up that became very popular during the playoffs last season. The starting pitcher goes 6 innings and then there’s a 7th inning guy, a 8th inning guy and then you turn it over to the closer. Neil Ramirez was the 7th inning guy last season appearing in 50 games with an ERA of 1.44 and even picked up 3 saves filling in at closer. Pedro Strop would be the 8th inning guy and he appeared in 65 games posting an ERA of 2.21 and picking up 2 saves last season. Then it’s turned over to closer Hector Rondon who saved 29 games with an ERA of 2.42 and a WHIP of 1.058 last season. The Cubs brought in Jason Motte to help in the bullpen, but he has had some struggles this spring and you wonder what his role will be. The Cubs will also have starters like Felix Doubront, Jacob Turner, Tsuyoshi Wada, Edwin Jackson and Travis Wood trying to win the 5th starter spot. Only one of them will get it’ so the others will have to find roles in the bullpen. The Cubs also have Justin Grimm and Brian Schlitter returning from last season and looking for spots in the bullpen.

While the White Sox went out and spent some money to fix their bullpen issues I like the set up the Cubs have. Robertson is a proven closer though while Rondon is still kind of learning on the job. Considering everything I think I’m going to go with the Cubs on this one.

Thanks for reading the Vs. Series I hope you enjoyed it and feel free to leave your comments.

You can follow me on Twitter @Burketime and listen to Sports Time Radio on BlogTalkradio.com