Posts Tagged ‘Steven Strasburg’

I have to say I was a little disappointed when the Pittsburgh Penguins series against the Washington Capitals ended last night. I know that sooner or later they all end, but I was really hoping for a Game 7 out of this one. At first there looked as though we’d have no shot at a Game 7. Phil Kessel gave the Penguins a 1-0 lead in the 1st period. Kessel also scored the next goal of the game on a power play to put the Penguins up 2-0. After Carl Hagelin added a power play goal to make it 3-0 Pittsburgh it seemed as though the game might be over. When Chris Kunitz took a tripping penalty late in the 2nd period it was pretty much a must score power play for the Capitals. T.J. Oshie was able to capitalize and get Washington on the board with a goal on that power play to make the game 3-1 and give the Capitals a lot of momentum heading into the 3rd period. Now 3 goals is still a lot to make up and Matt Murray has been one of the hottest goaltenders in the playoffs; so Washington had a big hill to climb. After Justin Williams cut the lead to 3-2 with a goal the Capitals where back in the game. The Penguins seemed to lose a little bit of their composure and actually ended up taking 3 straight delay of game penalties for flipping the puck over the glass and out of play. Now this could’ve cost the Penguins the game, but Washington only scored 1 power play goal in this time. It was John Carlson who evened up the game at 3-3 and at the least Washington was even. Believe it or not Pittsburgh actually took one more penalty in the 3rd period, but where able to kill it off and we where headed to overtime.The Penguins had a really good chance to win the when there was a bit of a scrum in front of the Capitals net, but some how Washington’s Jay Beagle was able to keep out a rebound attempt to keep the game going.  The about six and a half minutes intl the overtime period Hagelin had a good look at the goal, but Branden Holtby was able to make the save. Unfortunately Nick Bonino was right there on the door step of the goal and was able to put the puck into the net to win the game for Pittsburgh 4-3 and send the Capitals home. It was a huge loss for the Capitals as they won the President’s trophy with 120 points during the regular season and they appeared to be the favorite coming into the playoffs. The victory sends the Penguins into the Eastern Conference finals against the Tampa Bay Lighting.

Now I mentioned wanting a Game 7 and there are two in the Western Conference. First up the St, Louis Blues are at the Dallas Stars tonight in there Game 7 and then tomorrow night the Nashville Predators are at the San Jose Sharks as they face off in a Game 7. While the NHL seems to be 4th on the list of the 4 major sports their playoffs are as exciting if not more than the other 3 major sports.

So who’s been the best fantasy player so far this baseball season. Now we play in two larger category leagues and according to our rankings the best player so far has been the Houston Astros Jose Altuve. Altuve was ranked 14th at the time of our draft; so it’s not a huge jump for him to get to the top. Anthony Rizzo (Chicago Cubs) has moved up from his 13th spot pre-draft to 2nd overall right now. Manny Machado (Baltimore Orioles) has moved up three spots since the draft going from 7th to 3rd. A couple of big draft movers round out the Top 5. Jean Segura (Arizona Diamondbacks) was ranked 205th when our draft came around and he’s moved up to the 4th best fantasy player right now. Rounding out the Top 5 is Daniel Murphy (Washington Nationals) who was ranked 158th as we where drafting and is now 5th.

Pitching wise things haven’t changed t much since we drafted. Clayton Kershaw (Los Angeles Dodgers) was #1 going into the draft and he’s still the top fantasy pitcher. Chris Sale (Chicago White Sox) was ranked #2 as we where headed into our draft and he’s still there. Now as hard as it might’ve been to believe Jake Arrieta (Chicago Cubs) was ranked 3rd heading into our draft and according to our league he’s still at #3. The last two spots are where some guys have moved up since the draft. Johnny Cueto (San Francisco Giants) was ranked 65th overall in our league at the draft, but has moved up to the 4th best fantasy pitcher. The other big mover in our league is Jose Quintana (Chicago White Sox) he was ranked 137th overall and has found his way into the Top 5. Now obviously “It’s just May” and these rankings will change quite a bit; especially the pitching, but it’s always fun to see which players are out performing there pre-season rankings.

The Washington Nationals signed pitcher Steven Strasburg to a 7 year $175 million dollar contract this week. This came as a bit of a surprise as Strasburg is a Scott Boras client and he normally takes his players out onto the free agent market. Strasburg’s contract does have a couple of opt out clauses and some deferred money breaks down something like this.Strasburg gets a $10 million signing bonus payable on July 1, 2019, and salaries of $15 million each in 2017 and 2018, $35 million in 2019, $25 million in 2020, $15 million apiece in 2021 and ’22, and $45 million in 2023. There are salary deferrals of $30 million in 2019, $10 million in 2020 and $30 million in 2023. If he stays for the full seven seasons, Strasburg would get $15 million each year from 2017-23, followed by seven $10 million payments each July 1 from 2024-30. The use of a deferral structure is similar to the $210 million, seven-year deal that the Nationals gave another Boras client, right-hander Max Scherzer, before last season. Strasburg would earn a $1 million performance bonus each year for pitching 180 innings. The new contract has an escape clause: Strasburg can opt out and become a free agent after the 2019 or 2020 seasons. If Strasburg opts out after three seasons, $30 million deferred from his 2019 salary would be paid out in three $10 million installments each July 1 from 2020-22. If he opts out after four seasons, $40 million deferred from 2019 and 2020 would be paid out in four $10 million installments every July 1 from 2021-24.

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The New York Yankees defeated the Detroit Tigers 7-2 last night in New York. In the bottom of the 1st inning Alex Rodriquez (A-Rod) hit his 13th home run to right center field off of Justin Verlander to give the Yankees a 1-0 lead. It was the 667th home run of Rodriguez’s career, but more importantly on this night it was his 3000th career hit. With his home run Rodriguez became the 29th player in Major League Baseball history to reach the 3000 hit milestone. Rodriguez is also the 3rd player who’s 3000th hit was a home run; the other 2 are Wade Boggs and A-Rod’s former teammate Derek Jeter. Rodriguez, who will turn 40 next month and is the first player to reach 3,000 hits since Derek Jeter did in July 2011. Compared to the celebration four years ago for Jeter’s accomplishment, there was noticeably less buildup for Rodriguez’s chase of 3000 hits. Rodriguez’s previous admissions of performance-enhancing drug use and season-long suspension in 2014 created a much different feeling. Four years ago, the Tampa Bay Rays applauded in unison for Jeter’s homer; on Friday, the Tigers mostly declined to acknowledge the moment, though a few opponents did tip their caps. After the game’s final out, Tigers slugger Miguel Cabrera offered Rodriguez a congratulatory hug. Rodriguez joined Hank Aaron, Willie Mays, Eddie Murray and Rafael Palmeiro as the only players to log both 3,000 hits and 500 home runs. Rodriguez, who played seven seasons (1994-2000) in Seattle Mariners and three (2001-03) for the Texas Rangers before collecting 1,465 hits and counting with the Yankees.

Zack Hampie is the fan who caught Rodriguez’s 300th hit and he has told the Yankees that he won’t be giving the ball back. On his Twitter account Hampie posted a picture of the baseball mention that he “Got it authenticated by @MLB” and also said :I’m keeping it”. Hampie elaborated further on why he wouldn’t give the baseball back to Ropdriguez to saying “I think that someone like Derek Jeter or Alex Rodriguez, who has made half a billion dollars in his career, doesn’t really need a favor from a normal civilian and a fan like me” Hampie went on to say ” I don’t know right now if I’m going to sell it. I mean, depending on what the Yankees could offer, I would consider giving it back. I’m not giving it back for – I don’t plan to give it back for a chance to meet him and fully autographed bats, because I don’t collect bats, I collect baseballs. Just having this baseball is so meaningful to me. I can’t believe that I got it. If you had caught Rodriguez’s 3000th hit; want would you do with the baseball?

Now that Rodriguez has reached the 3000th hit milestone; who’s next on the hit list. Ichiro Suzuki has 2886 career hits; so it looks like he’ll be the next player to get to 3000 hits. After Ichiro it’s Adrian Beltre with 2657 hits, Albert Pujols with 2587 hits, Tori Hunter with 2386 hits and Carlos Beltran rounds out the list with 2373 hits. I would think we’ll see Beltre and Pujols become members of the 3000 hit club before their careers end, but I’m not sure if we’ll see Hunter or Beltran get to 3000. Including Rodriguez these are the Top 6 players in career hits right now; so those 5 players are the closest to 3000 hits.

How do you feel about Rodriguez joining the 3000 hit club? I consider myself a fan of the Seattle Mariners and used to root for him. The Mariners selected Rodriguez with the 1st pick of the 1993 amateur draft. As I mentioned before Rodriguez did miss all of last season because he was suspended for P.E.D. use. While Rodriguez has won a slew of awards and made countless All-Star teams; he’ll also be coming up on 700 home runs very soon. All of these numbers are tainted for me as I always wonder where he’d be if he hadn’t taken P.E.D.’s.

How much more can the Washington Nationals take? Some how the Nationals are just 1/2 game out of the lead in the National League East behind the New York Mets. I’m not sure if any team has had more injuries to key players than the Nationals have. The Nationals season started with Anthony Rendon missing the first 2 plus months of the season along with Jayson Werth missing some time. Denard Span also missed some games at the start of the season. Werth returned played 27 games and then fractured his left wrist and will be out until at least August. While Span has returned to play full time Rendon suffered a set back working his way back and while he has returned he’s been in only 15 games for Washington. 1st baseman Ryan Zimmerman was placed on the 15-day disabled list last week with left foot plantar fasciitis and there is no timetable for hi return. Nate McLouth was going to be the Nationals 4th outfielder, but he hasn’t played a game this season due to injury. McLouth was just moved to the 60-day disabled list as he felt pain in his shoulder earlier in the month while swinging a bat. The pitching staff hasn’t been immune to the injury bug either. Doug Fister is just returned from his injury on June 18th pitching 5 1/3rd innings against Tampa Bay. Fister struck out 3 gave up 9 hits and 5 runs while taking the loss. Steven Strasburg has a left  trapezius strain and has just started a minor league rehab assignment and the Nationals expect him back in the starting rotation by the end of June. Craig Stammen got off to a great start out as a set up man this season. Stammen got in 5 games covering 4 innings and hadn’t given up a run until he had an issue with his forearm. Stammen ended up needing season ending surgery on that forearm. Aaron Barrett was working out of the Nationals bullpen and has appeared in a team high 30 games this season. Barrett ended up on the disabled list this week with a  right biceps strain. There’s no timetable set for Barrett’s return. Then there’s Bryce Harper. Harper hasn’t been placed on the disabled list, but he did suffer a mild left hamstring strain when he slipped on the outfield grass making a throw home. Now this brought out a lot of talk about how baseball handles rain delays and especially the way they remove the tarp. After seeing replays of Harper’s injury I’m not sure the way they removed the tarp had anything to do with Harper getting hurt; it really just looked like he didn’t get good footing making a throw and injured his leg. Even if you’re not a fan of the Nationals or Bryce Harper with the season he’s having you don;t want to see him get hurt. Now if you are a fan of the Nationals can they handle an injury to Harper were he misses time? Being a baseball fan I understand that teams are going to have to deal with injuries, but a lot of those teams weren’t picked to go to and in some cases win the World Series.Can the Nationals live up to those expectations? and will they suffer any more key injuries this season?

So how was your week?

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