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By bullpenbrian - December 28, 2010 - 12:01 am Leave a comment.



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What Is The BBA?

By bullpenbrian - December 10, 2010 - 12:01 am Leave a comment.

If you haven’t already, it’s time to take notice of the Baseball Bloggers Alliance.

The group, comprised of roughly 200-plus members, is a network of baseball blogs covering everything from individual teams, baseball history, minor leagues and fantasy.

It’s a terrific way to break the mundane baseball coverage from traditional news outlets, especially this time of year, in favor of strong opinions, interesting takes and my favorite, parody posts, on all the latest baseball topics!

BullpenBrian.com is a charter member of the organization, joining forces during the spring of 2009.

Check us out today!

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Happy Halladay!

By bullpenbrian - October 7, 2010 - 12:01 am 6 comments.

I’m happy for Roy Halladay.
Happy he made it out of Toronto.
Happy he ended up on a contender.
Happy he’s found continued success.
Happy he’s getting the attention he deserves.

Masterful performance Wednesday.
Reds were off-balance from start to finish.
Lots of swinging strikes.
Travis Wood, the pitcher, made the best contact all day–a fly out to right field.
I’d say Roy Halladay won himself a Cy Young Award, too. (Wink! Wink!)

–Reds fans waited 15 years for this day. And many more, I suppose, would choose to wait longer than watch the Redlegs make forgettable history. But the series is far from over.

St. Louis kicked Cincy in the teeth earlier this season, and look where that got them. There’s also the veteran leadership of Edmonds, Rolen & Rhodes, who have all been through tough playoff series. It’s simply a Game 1 loss, not a clinching loss or a home loss. No-hitter aside, it’s not over yet, people!

–Love Cliff Lee. He, like Halladay, was under-appreciated for a long time. During the last year he’s endured many difficulties professionally–trades, new cities, new homes, new teammates, new manager. But the guy just perseveres. He’s the best pitcher in baseball. Always strong in the clutch. Worth every penny. I love watching him pitch.

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Bud Selig Talking Playoff Expansion

By bullpenbrian - September 25, 2010 - 12:01 am 1 comment.

I’m not for expanding postseason  baseball.
At least, not with additional Wild Cards.
Doesn’t mean I’m a purist. Doesn’t mean I’m not open for suggestion.
It’s just that I like significant importance tied to the regular season.
Is that too much to ask?

A meaningful regular season works well for the NFL, which is the gold standard other professional sports leagues model themselves after. So why should baseball be any different, especially for a league playing a whopping 162 games?

Keep adding playoff teams and you’ve got a regular season as meaningful as the NCAA’s basketball schedule (Which reminds me, there are actually more teams heading up March Madness in 2011). Ridiculous, but another story for another time.

Anyway, the good news is Bud Selig jumping into baseball’s think tank.
It seemingly doesn’t happen often enough, or long enough, but lately, Selig and friends have helped push baseball further out of the Dark Ages.

The regular season is beginning sooner.
The World Series will again be played in October, not November.
Instant reply is under further examination, too.
Now, if we could only get Opening Day games played in warm weather markets and World Series games ending before 1:30am EST!

One day, perhaps, baseball sorts this whole mess out.
In the meantime, however, it’s business as usual.
Slow, steady and follow the football leaders.

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Bautista Hits 50 HR, Big Deal?

By bullpenbrian - September 24, 2010 - 12:01 am 2 comments.

Jose Bautista hits 50 home runs and baseball fans talk about 50 dingers like it means something again. Really?

Albert Pujols hit 47 last year. Ryan Howard hit 48. Just three years ago A-Rod (54) and Prince (50) hit the 50-mark. Heck, in 2006 Howard hit 58, David Ortiz 54!

Bautista’s achievement, albeit a terrific one, isn’t exactly remarkable.
The guy’s hit 50 home runs, which is very respectable, but it’s not 60, and it’s not 70. To speak as though is silly.

It seems baseball fans want Bautista’s mark to mean more than is really does.
No question it’s our way of moving forward from the Steroids Era.

We want our sacred records back, and of course, more 50 homer seasons to cheer for. But this time around we want them clean, we want them real.
We want Jose Bautista, not A-Fraud.

Sure, 50 is worth celebrating, but to think we’ll never see 50 again, c’mon!

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Jim Edmonds Vs. Achilles

By bullpenbrian - September 23, 2010 - 12:01 am Leave a comment.

Good news for my boy, Jim Edmonds.
Turns out there’s no tear in his right Achilles’ tendon.
Which means, one of my favorite former Cubs lives to play another day!

Got to believe Baker will rest the 40-year-old for the remainder of the season.
Edmonds’ post season savvy and experience is critical for the young Reds, who will have lots of butterflies during Game 1 of the NLDS.

Jimmy, however, has been to the post season many times with much success. He’s made big plays, hit big home runs and won a world championship, which is why Cincy traded for him him in the first place.

Losing Edmonds Tuesday night would have been a crushing blow.
Not just for the Reds, but for me, too.
Edmonds has always been a favorite of mine.
But losing both he and Griffey Jr. in the same season would’ve proved too much. Here’s hoping Edmonds rides off into a Reds October sunset!

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Buster Posey NL ROY

By bullpenbrian - September 22, 2010 - 12:01 am 2 comments.

Buster Posey is my NL Rookie of the Year.
He’s been the back bone of the Giants since being recalled May 29.
San Fran is nowhere near the West title without him.

Since his call-up, Posey is batting .324. That’s fifth highest in the NL and trails only Carlos Gonzalez (.350), Omar Infante (.338), Joey Votto (.329) and Matt Holliday (.325).

He’s hit safely in 12 of his last 16 games and 17 of his last 38 hits (45%) have gone for extra bases, including his game-winning home run Tuesday night at Wrigley.

Posey’s started 94 of 97 games, has 36 multi-hit efforts, and plays the toughest position on the field. He’s already logged more than 550 innings behind the plate, including six shutouts.

Among rookies, Posey ranks:
1st in average & slugging percentage.
2nd in on base percentage.
4th in RBI (62) & multi-hit games (36).
5th in HR (15).
6th in hits (118).
7th in doubles (23).

Rookie. Of. The. Year!

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Miami Marlins New Stadium

By bullpenbrian - August 17, 2010 - 12:10 am 1 comment.

One of the biggest hurdles keeping the Marlins from becoming a financial power-house is the crummy ballpark that is Dolphin Stadium.

If the Marlins are smart when designing their new park, to be completed by 2012, there’s a strong possibility this organization will transform from frugal spenders in to big-budget contenders.

The club’s historically poor attendance records reaffirm the idea that baseball is not best observed, or enjoyed, while played on a football field in ninety-degree heat–and from terrible site lines, no less.

Building a dynamic stadium located in downtown Miami–a top-10 U.S. market, mind you–could very well allow the Fish to thrive financially under the retractable roof of a baseball only facility.

Quite frankly, it’s astonishing the city didn’t approve a new stadium sooner given Miami’s warm climate and its Latin flavor, which simply adores baseball.

But strictly from a baseball perspective, I believe the right stadium puts the soon to be Miami Marlins in the same financial class as its division rivals in New York & Philadelphia.

Winning, of course, is always of most importance and the Marlins are no strangers to championship teams. They’ve reached the summit twice, and more noteably, doing it once on a belt-busting budget and once on a shoe-string budget.

A new stadium with new unis and a revitalized fan base is sure to draw some of the most coveted talent in the major leagues, only this time around the Marlins will be able to reasonably afford its players long-term.

Of course this all sounds crazy right now, but if you don’t believe it, you soon will.

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Missing Ken Griffey Jr.

By bullpenbrian - June 3, 2010 - 12:15 am Leave a comment.

We talk about it all the time–great players hanging on too long. Ken Griffey Jr. is no exception.

He should’ve retired last year when his teammates carried him off the field. But at last, Griffey is leaving the game of baseball, and on his own terms, nonetheless.

It’s just the kind of exit you expect from Junior, which is why he’s one my all time favorites.

No silly press conference, no poor-pitiful-me attitude and zero fanfare. Just a simple ‘goodbye.’

We may have forgotten about Griffey the past five years, but as time drags on, bringing the Steroids Era into better focus, one of the game’s greatest players will be sorely missed.

Griffey’s Better Than Milton Bradley

Seattle Right Move For Griffey Jr.

Griffey’s Swan Song

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Cubs’ Dream Is Blackhawks’ Reality

By bullpenbrian - May 24, 2010 - 1:00 am Leave a comment.

It’s been awesome watching the Blackhawks celebrate its trip to the Stanley Cup Finals!

Reminds me of the Cubs celebrating its division titles in 2007 & ’08…TV cameras swarming the locker room…player interviews…the anticipation of a possible world championship!

I just hope the Blackhawks take advantage…because you never known when they’ll get back, as evident from its last Finals appearance in 1992.

Reaching the mountain top comes with great difficulties. And despite the Hawks’ core-talent of proven young players, look no further than our Cubbies to remember a good team this year doesn’t guarantee a good team the following one.

The Blackhawks have a tremendous, yet delicate, opportunity to reach the Chicago ranks of the Bulls’, Bears’ and White Sox’s world championship teams.

But a failed chance at returning the Stanley Cup to Chicago will only leave the Hawks wondering, like our Cubs, when that next chance for glory might come again.

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