Monday, June 28, 2010

My All-Star Picks

Every year I take a somewhat serious stance on all-star voting for the mlb all-star game. Every year a great player is sure to get snubbed, while a fan favorite who is not doing well makes the team. I understand that people vote in players they know by name or are on their team. I always was a stat based guy, it is what I attribute my success in fantasy baseball too. So when making my picks a lot of it is based of stats, but I also looked at what I thought would make a great overall team as well as what players I feel should go...So without delay here are my picks for the all-star game rosters. All stats mentioned are through 6/27/10

American League Starting All-Star Roster

1B - Miguel Cabrera - Detroit Tigers
Cabrera is off to a monster start so far. Batting .332/ 20HR/ 64 RBI. He leads all AL 1B in RBI and is tied for first in HR's with Paul Konerko, and is second in batting average. There are a lot of other good choices in this group of players but Cabrera stands out. Others who should make the team:Paul Konerko- White Sox, Justin Morneau- Twins, Kevin Youkilis - Red Sox

2B - Robinson Cano - New York Yankees
Cano is killing the ball this year and leads all AL 2B in Average (.359) , HR (15) and RBI (53). Not sure why there is any questions who else to vote for, it was probably the easiest choice I made this year. Others: Dustin Pedroia - Red Sox and Howie Kendrick- Angels

SS- Elvis Andrus - Texas Rangers
I am sure this pick is not most likely everyones choice, but hear me out. Andrus leads all AL SS (qualified) in Average (.291), Sb's (21), and Runs (51). I figure Jeter is a lock to make the team so why waste a vote on him, go for a guy who leads off for the best hitting team. He also has a great glove in field. Others: Alex Gonzales- Blue Jays and Derek Jeter - Yankees

3B - Adrian Beltre - Boston Red Sox
As much as I dislike this player this was an obvious choice. Beltre is having a monster year for the Red Sox. He is hitting .340/ 12 HR/ 52 RBI. Him and Evan Longoria have the same exact amount of HR and RBI, but Beltre is batting .340 and Longoria .297. Beltre also has one of the best gloves at 3b. Others: Evan Longoria -Rays, Michael Young- Rangers, Alex Rodriguez- Yankees.

C- Joe Mauer - Minnesota Twins
He is a fan favorite and is also having a great season, so I can't see why not to vote for him. He is hitting .304/ 3HR/ 33 RBI, he is third in AL Catcher's in RBI's. He also has a great glove and like I said he is someone people want to see in the game (including this blogger). Others: John Buck - Blue Jays, Victor Martinez - Red Sox, Kurt Suzuki - Oakland.

OF (3) - Josh Hamilton - Texas Rangers
Hamilton in just killing the ball this year, and is another fan favorite. But he really deserves to be an all star starter. He leads all AL Outfielders in Average at .346 and also has 18 HR/ 57 RBI.

Carl Crawford -Tampa Bay Rays
Crawford makes the team because he is a great fielder, runner, and base stealer. He leads all AL OF's in runs (56) and tied for second in SB's. He also has 7 HR and 38 RBI. Sorry Ichiro but there is a new guy in town.

Vernon Wells - Blue Jays
Wells has had a resurgence this year with the Blue Jays and is batting .285/ 19 HR
second in AL OF)/ 47 RBI as well as 44 runs scored. Wells numbers are just all around good, and I belive a Blue Jay should be starting this game based off how good the team has been hitting the ball. Wells also has one of the best arms in the game in the field.

Others: Ichiro - Mariners, Alex Rios - White Sox, Torri Hunter - Angels, Shin-Soo Choo - Indians

DH - Vladimir Guerrero - Texas Rangers
I know this makes 3 Rangers starting in the game, but they lead the the universe in offense and seeing Vlad come back to play in Anaheim should be fun sight. Plus Vlad really is deserving of the spot, he is hitting .327/ 15 HR/ 60 RBI/ 48 Runs.
Others: David Ortiz - Red Sox, Jose Guillen - Royals, Jose Bastista - Blue Jays

Starting Pitcher - David Price - Tampa Bay Rays
Price is having a season that shows why he was taken #1 overall in the draft. He leads the AL in wins with 11 and is second in ERA (2.44). He also has 84 K's and plays on a good Rays team. It would be nice to see some new blood starting in the game this season.
National League
1B - Albert Pujols - St. Louis Cardinals
This was the toughest choice I had to make, but its Pujols,,why shouldn't he make start? Well him, Joey Votto, and Adrian Gonzalez all have almost the exact same numbers, its almost scary how close they are. Pujols is batting .306, Votto .305, and Gonzalez .307. Pujols has 16 HR so does Votto and Gonzalez. Pujols has 51 RBI, Votto has 50, and Gonzalez has 49. Votto and Pujols also have the same exact number of SB, while Gonzalez and Pujols have the same amount of Runs (41)but Votto trumps them with (47). I give the nod to Pujols because he is a fan favorite, perennial MVP candidate, and leads in OBP. Others: Joey Votto - Reds, Adrian Gonzalez - Padres, Ryan Howard - Phillies.

2B - Brandon Phillips - Cincinnati Reds
Phillips leads all NL 2B in runs (57)and is batting .311/ 9HR/ 25 RBI/ 10 SB and unless you haven't watched the highlight he is always make some amazing catch or play in the field. The Reds are another surprise team who I would like to see get a starter in the game. Others:Martin Prado - Braves, Chase Utley - Phillies, Rickie Weeks - Brewers.

SS - Hanley Ramirez - Florida Marlins
Ramirez is my pick because he is having a great season once again, batting .296/ 11 HR/ 44 RBI/ 14 SB/ 41 Runs. Among qualified SS he is 3rd in batting, 2nd in HRs and 2nd in RBI (Juan Uribe leads in both those categories) . So why did I chose Ramirez over a player on my own team? Well as much as it pains me to say no one wants to see Juan Uribe start the All-Star game and Ramirez has a better average, stolen bases, and scores a tad more. Others: Juan Uribe - Giants,
Troy Tulowitzki - Rockies, Jose Reyes - Mets.

3B - David Wright - New York Mets
Wright is having a monster first half, much to my surprise. I looked at the stats and did not know he was doing so well this year. He is hitting .300/ 14 HR/ 61 RBI/ 13 SB/ 42 Runs. He is also the best 3B fielder in the NL and is another fan favorite and all around good player. Others: Scott Rolen - Reds, Casey McGehee - Brewers, Ryan Zimmerman - Nationals.

C- Miguel Olivo - Colorado Rockies
I bet no one else saw this pick coming. Catcher is a cateogry where most people pick players who they have picked every year before but I do not see why. Olivo is having a great season for the Rockies hitting .295/ 10 HR/ 34 RBI/ 31 Runs and even 4 SB. Among NL C's he is 3rd in runs scored, 2nd in HR, and leads all in RBI's, OPS, and SLG. He has the same Fielding % as Yadier Molina so he can field as well. Others: Brian McCann - Braves and Rod Barajas - Mets.

OF (3) - Andre Ethier - Los Angeles Dodgers
Ethier has had a big season for the Dodgers, a season where he missed a few weeks with an injury. But he is still batting .317/12HR/ 46 RBI. His numbers would probably lead the league if he wasn't out.

Ryan Braun - Milwaukee Brewers
Braun is becoming one of the most consistent players in the majors. He is having another great season batting .301/ 10 HR/ 47 RBI/ 11 SB/ and 47 Runs. I like seeing him play the game and would love seeing him start in the all-star game.

Andrew McCutchen - Pittsburgh Pirates
A Pirate starting??! Yep, I was looking at stats and he leads the NL OF in SB (19) and is second in Runs (48, Matt Kemp has 52), and he is on a terrible team! Plus he can play CF and is batting .301/ 7 HR/ 23 RBI.

Others: Colby Rasmus - Cardinals, Jayson Werth - Phillies, Corey Hart - Brewes, Chris Young - Diamondbacks, Shane Victorino - Phillies, Carlos Gonzalez - Rockies.

DH - Adrian Gonzalez - San Diego Padres
Again this could just as easily gone to Joey Votto, but the Padres have been the most surprising team in the majors this season. They do deserve to have a starter in the game and I am sure they will have a lot more pitchers represent them. Others: Joey Votto - Reds, Ryan Howard - Phillies, Corey Hart - Brewers, Troy Glaus - Braves, Adam Dunn- Nationals, Jayson Werth - Phillies,

Starting Pitcher - Ubaldo Jimenez - Colorado Rockies
I want my NL to win this year, having Ubaldo starting with his own catcher Olivo calling the signs would be nice. Plus let's face it this is one of the easiest choices I could make. Jimenez is having a season for the history books. He is 13-1 with an era of 1.60! Thats all I need to say.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Toy Story 3

I know its only a kids movie but damn so far Toy Story 3 is probably my favorite movie of the year! If you haven't seen it I would strongly recommend you get your ass out to the theatre and see it now. It is getting to the point where CGI movies could be up for Best picture oscars, especially since they have upped the number of nominees to 10. For a movie like Toy Story 3 I do not see why it shouldn't be nominated it far superior then most live action movies released this year.

Anyway I loved this movie because, well it has to do with growing up and letting go of things you once held close. As a kid I had more then my fair share of toys (mostly GI Joe, Ghostbusters, and Starting Line-Ups) thanks to my father working at Toys R Us for twenty years. Toys were very important way to connect with my dad and my brother when I was a kid. When I started to grow I would collect less and less toys and only bought an occasional sports toy. I had to stop collecting and get on with being a grown up (of sorts).

In the movie Andy (the kid from Toy Story 1 and 2) is now going off to college and has to make the same choices that we all do as we grow up, what do you do with these plastic things that once meant so much to you? Sure you can throw them in the attic or display them but they never get played with. Then you have your own kids or move out and you no longer have space or time for your childhood relics. Toy Story 3 is a movie that really delves into the toys and the choices we make. Of course they are just plastic but the movie does a good job of showing how the toys would feel if they were real.

If you have to see one movie right now, I wouldn't bother wasting your money on Jonah Hex (but Megan Fox is hot!) or Shrek the Third(the first one was okay and every sequel since has been terrible). I have seen the movie twice now and both times I enjoyed it just as much. I saw the movie with 4 other heterosexual males and we all admitted to getting choked up near the end of film. Go see a movie that will take you back to the time when you were a kid and playing with toys is all that mattered to you.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Fantastic Planet

I am never going to say I have a rich knowledge of music, I just know what I like. When I was a kid in middle school I used to listen to whatever was popular. Back then it was like Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch and MC Hammer. It is weird to say but my life changed one day when I heard the song Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm by the Crash Test Dummies. I would always listen to the rap stations on the radio but I heard that song playing on my brothers radio and kept it on that station, which I believe was KOME 105.3, an alternative rock station. After that I always into alternative rock. Ok, so enough about the history but yes I like punk, alternative, and music like that.

I probably heard Failure on KOME back 1997, they had a somewhat hit single in Stuck On You. The band never really had another hit after that, but somehow I went out and bought that album. I have traded in tons of CD's since then but I always held onto Fantastic Planet, currently I have been listening to the album more and more and realizing that it is becoming one of my favorites. The sound is nothing revolutionary but I just dig the hell out of the album. Check out the single from the album here:

I have been looking up Failure recently, they bad disbanded in 1997, a year after Fantastic Planet was released. I remember buying an older albums of theirs a while ago, but it just didn't stick to me like Fantastic Planet did. After Faliure's break up they went on to form other bands. The man singer Ken Andrews went on to form the band's Year of the Rabbit and On. Other band members went into bands like A Perfect Circle, Vercua Salt, Lusk, and Queens of the Stone Age to name a few.

I also found out that a lot of other people enjoyed Failure's album as much as me. Fantastic Planet has a small yet loyal following. The album is being released on vinyl today. The aforementioned song Stuck on You was covered by Paramore.

The album has a perfect 5 out of 5 star review on amazon's page (out of 106 reviews). Its nice to know that other people appreciate this band and this great album. I will leave you with one more cut from the amazing album, the song is called The Nurse Who Loved Me. This song is also covered by A Perfect Circle on their album Thirteenth Step.