September 07, 2007

2007: An Early Recap - Part 1

It's early September, Summer is almost gone (groan) and with the first official NFL game having been played last night, it feels as if the Winter Meetings are just around the corner. Of course, before that happens, we've got some amazing divisional races going on, and some great baseball being played.

First of all, the feel-good story has to be the return (albeit in a new role) of Rick Ankiel! He knocked in 7 runs last night, with 2 dingers, and is .358 with 9 homers and 29 RBI's in only 23 games and 81 at-bats, with 22 runs scored, with a slugging percentage of .765!! Not bad for a pitcher who couldn't hit barn with a ball if he were three feet away just a few seasons ago! And then I saw the headlines this morning, that Ankiel allegedly received shipments of the now-banned HGH in 2004 from the same Signaturelab that has been linked to so many pro athletes lately from the Albany, NY investigation...and so goes that story...(I know - innocent until proven guilty, but in this day and age, with the amount of smoking gun evidence pointed these athlete's way, I'm not so sure..)

Then, there's A-Rod...he's having a monster year, in, of course, the potentially last season of his contract (he has an opt-out from the original $252 million deal he signed with the Rangers), hitting 48 homers, knocking in 134 runs, batting .312 with a .651 slugging percentage in 138 games and 507 at-bats. He's on pace for a 55 homer, 155 RBI season that will end up in a contract even richer than the record-breaker he signed back in 2000. I used to be a big A-Rod fan, but he seemed to lack that big game reliability, a la Reggie, that his huge contract justified. He's seemingly righted that this season, in time for another huge payday, and if he re-signs with the Yanks and DOESN'T opt out, they receive $29 million from Texas as part of the original trade...if he DOES opt out, here's betting he moves on to a California team, either the Dodgers or Angels...this first major off-season story starts now (and let's see what happens if his lovely wife wears another "interesting" t-shirt in CA!)
Ryan Braun - as in "brawn" - he's the best third base prospect since...what's his name??? Oh yeah- David Wright!! His fielding needs work, but so did one Michael Jack Schmidt when he started and that seemed to go a mere 91 games and 365 at-bats, Braun has hit 28 homers, knocked in 76 runs and is batting .334 with a .649 slugging percentage. At 24, he's older than Wright was when he "arrived" as a star, but he's a multi-tool player with huge upside and combined with Prince Fielder will rival the Mets' Reyes-Wright and the Phils Utley- Howard combo for years to come. I can NEVER remember this many great third baseman (or, for that matter, shortstops, at one time!)

The Kansas City Royals- they're not the worst team in the league, or the game, anymore, and new GM Drayton Moore has them on target to be a contender quicker than anyone realizes. Nice to see Mets' cast-offs Bannister, Huber and Brazell have a future, especially one that keeps them in the American League. I'm long over the Bannister deal, as Burgos still has the potential (once healthy) to be a devistating set-up man for Wagner a la the Tiger's Joel Zumaya...let's hope it happens next season! And good luck to this once-proud franchise, who used to punish the Yankees' and gave us hope some 30 years ago...(and no, the Bannister deal is nowhere near the blunder of the old Amos Otis deal once was!)

Finally, Hanley Ramirez- I REFUSE to say anything more about this guy, except that, if we didn't have Reyes around, BOY would I be desperate to sign this guy!!!!!

Back with more tomorrow!


Anonymous said...

aint that the truth - ramirez

Anonymous said...

they just found out the ankiel took hgh in 2003-2005

Anonymous said...

where have you guys been david and jonathan?

Anonymous said...

nice to see you guys back with great write ups!!!

Anonymous said...

ramirez should be awsome in the future

David Rubin & Jonathan Elfenbein said...

We're back on a semi-regular (3-4 times per week) schedule until the play-offs, when we'll be posting daily. I've been fighting an illness (David) for a while, and while Jonathan's had some great topics, by the time he'd be able to get on to post, John had already tackled them! Keep reading - we've got a few interesting articles coming up this week! And thanks!!!!