Friday, February 27, 2009

'09 World Baseball Classic Predictions

Okay, for those faithful blog readers of mine, you already know that I really suck at making predictions...but that doesn't stop me from making them. The WBC begins in one week and I am very excited to be able to go up to Toronto to watch all of the Round 1 Pool C games. We also got tickets to the finals at Dodger Stadium...I couldn't pass that one up, especially since it is in our backyard this year.  So here are my WBC predictions:

Round 1
Pool A- Winner- Japan
Pool A- Runner Up- Korea
Pool B- Winner- Cuba
Pool B- Runner Up- Mexico
Pool C- Winner- USA
Pool C- Runner Up- Venezuela
Pool D- Winner- Dominican Republic
Pool D- Runner Up- Puerto Rico

Round 2
Pool 1- Winner- Cuba
Pool 1- Runner Up- Japan
Pool 2- Winner- USA
Pool 2- Runner Up- Dominican Republic

Semi 1- Winner- Japan
Semi 2- Winner- USA

2009 WBC Champions- USA

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Life is All Good Again

Baseball season is almost upon us, with spring training games starting in only 3 days! Soon the weather will start warming up, the grass will be nice and green, and the crack of the bat will be heard all over this country. My alma mater, Long Beach State, had their first game of the NCAA season today against USC. Unfortunately the Dirtbags lost 4-0 to the Trojans in front of a record-breaking crowd; selling out Blair Field, weeks ago. We will be dusting off our passports and  heading up to the "Great White North" in two weeks, to watch a week of the World Baseball Classic in Toronto. Should be very cold, but we will definitely have a great time...I can't wait! Last, one of my childhood heroes, Ken Griffey Jr., is heading back to Seattle. Junior signed a one-year deal with the M's. Life is definitely all good again! 

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Miggy Tejada is in trouble

The MLB off-season soap opera continues with the drama with our good old tempermental friend, Miguel Tejada. Miggy has pled guilty to lying to Congress. He could face up to one year in jail for this crime. Maybe while he is locked up for a year, he will remember how old he really is!

Monday, February 9, 2009

A-Rod admits it!!!

Well baseball fans, Alex Rodriguez admitted to using steroids while playing for Texas. He may be a cheater, but at least he's not as big of a liar like Bonds and Clemens are. I have to give A-Rod some props for coming clean on it. I respect that. Shame on A-Rod for taking the steroids! But being a youngster on Texas around Canseco and Palmeiro taking them would be hard not to succumb to peer pressure. I am proud that Alex manned up and came forward...this is a overall positive thing for the team itself. It should be less of a media circus at Spring Training for the Yankees. Don't get me wrong, I am 100% against cheating and using steroids. It absolutely sickens me, like it should any baseball fan, that anyone would even think of using performance-enhancing substances to gain an edge in our past-time, especially when the sacred records are being broken. I think that all of these players that have cheated using steroids are big pieces of crap! I applaud them admitting their mistakes, but they need to be held accountable for their not being allowed into the Hall of Fame. If they let cheaters into the Hall, then for Pete's sake, let Pete Rose in NOW!!! Gambling vs. steroids, what is worse? I will still be booing A-Fraud at the Yankee games with everyone else. Check out the Yahoo story on it:

NEW YORK – Alex Rodriguez admitted Monday that he used performance-enhancing drugs from 2001-03, saying he did so because of the pressures of being baseball's highest-paid player.

"When I arrived in Texas in 2001, I felt an enormous amount of pressure. I felt like I had all the weight of the world on top of me and I needed to perform, and perform at a high level every day," the New York Yankees star said in an interview with ESPN that was broadcast Monday shortly after it was recorded.

His admission came two days after Sports Illustrated reported he tested positive for steroids in 2003, one of 104 players who tested positive during baseball's survey testing, which wasn't subject to discipline and was supposed to remain anonymous.

"And I did take a banned substance and, you know, for that I'm very sorry and deeply regretful. And although it was the culture back then and Major League Baseball overall was very — I just feel that — You know, I'm just sorry. I'm sorry for that time. I'm sorry to fans. I'm sorry for my fans in Texas. It wasn't until then that I ever thought about substance of any kind, and since then I've proved to myself and to everyone that I don't need any of that."

The 33-year-old All-Star third baseman was regarded by many in baseball as the most likely to break Bonds' record of 762. He's already 12th on the career list with 553 homers, 209 behind Bonds.

Rodriguez hit 52, 57 and 47 homers in his three seasons with the Rangers, winning the first of three AL MVP awards during his final season with Texas, where he received a $252 million, 10-year contract in December 2000.

"Back then it was a different culture. It was very loose. I was young. I was stupid," Rodriguez said. "I was naive, and I wanted to prove to everyone that, you know, I was worth, you know — and being one of the greatest players of all time."

He joined Jason Giambi and Andy Pettitte among All-Star players who have confessed to using performance-enhancing drugs. Many other players have denied any use.

Barry Bonds, a seven-time MVP, is to go on trial next month on charges he lied when he told a grand jury in 2003 that he never knowingly used performance-enhancing drugs.

Roger Clemens, a seven-time AL Cy Young Award winner, is under investigation by a federal grand jury which is trying to determine whether he lied when he told a congressional committee last year that he never used steroids and human growth hormone.

In his 2008 book, "Vindicated: Big Names, Big Liars, and The Battle to Save Baseball," Jose Cansecoclaimed he introduced Rodriguez to a steroids dealer. Canseco, who has admitted using steroids, subsequently said he had no knowledge of any drug use by Rodriguez.

"They are looking in the wrong places," Canseco said in a text message to The Associated Press. "This is a 25-year cover-up. The true criminals are Gene Orza, (union head) Donald Fehr and (commissioner) Bud (Selig). Investigate them, and you will have all the answers."

SI said that Orza, the union's chief operating officer, tipped off three players in September 2004 that they would be tested. Orza has repeatedly denied that he tipped off players, saying he merely reminded them late in the season that if they had not yet been tested, baseball's drug agreement required them to be tested by the end of the regular season.

Orza, who has been widely criticized by media since the SI report, said in an e-mail to The Associated Press that he doesn't care what the media says.

"I know the facts," Orza wrote.

Rodriguez said Orza told him in August or September 2004 about the list of names that had been seized by federal investigators.

"He said there's a government list. There's 104 players in it. You might or might not have tested positive," Rodriguez said. reported Rodriguez tested positive for Primobolan and testosterone.

"It was such a loosey-goosey era. I'm guilty for a lot of things. I'm guilty for being negligent, naive, not asking all the right questions," Rodriguez said. "And to be quite honest, I don't know exactly what substance I was guilty of using."

Monday's ESPN interview directly contradicted a December 2007 interview with CBS's "60 Minutes," when Rodriguez said, "No" when asked whether he's ever used steroids, human growth hormone or any other performance-enhancing substance.

On Friday, Rodriguez is still expected to attend an event at the University of Miami, which is renaming itsbaseball field in his honor.

He gave $3.9 million to the school in 2003, the largest gift ever to the Hurricanes' baseball program and money that provided much of the resources needed for renovating the existing on-campus stadium. In return, the baseball complex will be called Mark Light Field at Alex Rodriguez Park.

Despite the scandal, the facility will continue to bear Rodriguez's name, a university official said Monday. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because of the matter's sensitive nature.

Miami baseball players and coaches were not available for comment, spokesman Mark Pray said.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

et tu A-Rod?

So A-FRAUD really is a fraud and a cheater! According to SI and ESPN, Alex tested positive for 'roids in '03, while playing for Texas when he won the AL MVP and HR titles. Not only did he cheat on his wife, now he has been found out to have cheated at work, both of which I consider sacred grounds:
marriage and baseball. 
This really says a lot about his character. He has had such a tough time with the NY fans accepting him,
 now imagine how the fans and media are going to tear him up. He has never gotten Jeter-esque love in NY and face it, he 
never ever will. After Bonds broke Aaron's HR record, everyone in the media and baseball world were saying that A-Rod will be baseball's savior from the steroid tarnished era. Everyone said that he would be the next HR champion without having hit any with steroids...I guess they were wrong big time! It just really sucks that the pure records of Mays, Ruth, and Aaron are being broken by immoral, unscrupulous A-holes. Even with all of this crap going on 
over the last 20 years, we, the fans, still love the game for what it is...not what it has become- and we will always be there. The game would be better off without Bonds, Clemens, and A-Rod. We need more Jeters out there that play the game with 110% all of the time without any cheating or ego trips...yet another reason why he is MLBs poster child. Next time I am at a Yankee game, I will be booing Gay-Rod along with everyone else in the stands (home and away fans). NY has been a better team without him anyway! 

Venezuela wins!!!

Well it's official, Venezuela captured the '09 Serie del Caribe championship. They solidified their title with yesterday's win vs. Mexico. Congrats Venezuela...enjoy it now because you won't win the '09 WBC.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Caribbean Series 2009- Update

Damn, what's up with Venezuela? They are undefeated so far with a 4-0 record. Unfortunately, Puerto Rico is going into tonight's game winless against a strong Mexican team who has only lost one game so far. Adrian Gonzales from the Padres is en fuego!!! He hit 3 homers in last night's slugfest against the DR. He almost hit 4. It looks like Venezuela will be the winner of the 2009 Serie Del Caribe due to their winning record. The team with the best record wins the series. There is a championship game played only if there is a tie with records, which could happen if Venezuela loses a game and Mexico wins their next 3 games. It's been one of the most entertaining series that I've seen, since I started watching it 3 years ago. If you haven't watched any of the action, put on MLB Network and enjoy some great baseball. 

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Caribbean Series 2009- Day 2

Wow, this really has been exciting. Having the day off from work yesterday, I was fortunate enough to watch both games. The first game was between Venezuela and DR. It turned out to be a true pitchers dual, with Venezuela winning the contest. The second game last night was between Mexico and Puerto Rico. Mexico ended up winning 3 to 2. In today's earlier game, my Puerto Rican favorite team lost to the Dominican Republic in a close action packed least the highlights looked like it. I was at work so  I missed this one. I am currently watching the battle of the unbeatens Mexico vs. Venezuela game. It's a bummer the PR lost their first two games, but I am just glad that they were here this year. It just wasn't the same last year without PR. Hopefully Panama and Cuba will return to the tourney in the near future to add to the excitement.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Caribbean Series 2009- Starts Today!!!

Yes friends, it's that time again for beisbol in the tropics...the Caribbean Series! La Serie del Caribe starts today!!! This year it is being held in Mexicali, Mexico, just right across the border from Calexico, CA. It should be action packed with some of Latin America's best talent. I am predicting my favorite latin team, Puerto Rico, to win it all this year, as I do every year. I can't wait to watch the games on the MLB channel from the safety of my couch. We were going to take a trip down to Mexicali to watch a couple of games, but considering the recent dangers that Mexico presents, we decided to steer clear of any potential problems. The druglords have taken over the country and there are daily kidnappings and beheadings going on throughout the country, especially in the border towns. The U.S. State Dept.  has issued a travel advisory for U.S. citizens and have put Mexico on the same travel list as Iraq and other dangerous places in the world. Regardless, I will once again enjoy watching the Serie on TV. Next year it should be in Venezuela and the year after (2011), back in PR. We might start saving up now to check it out live in February 2011 from Puerto Rico where it's much safer to travel to and we don't have to exchange our dollars for pesos.

Top Italian American Players of All-time

Italian Americans have a rich history of excellence in baseball  over the years. As a tribute to my pisanos, here's my list of the top Italian American baseball players of all-time by


Johnny Antonelli
Sal Maglie
Vic Raschi
Kevin Tapani
Tom Candiotti
Jeff Fassero
Dave Giusti
Frank Viola
John Smoltz 
John Montefusco 
Pete Falcone 
Barry Zito


John Franco
Rick Botallico
Joe Sambito
Don Mossi
Dave Righetti
Ralph Branca


Ernie Lombardi
Mike Piazza
Yogi Berra
Roy Campanella
John Romano
Joe Girardi


Dolph Camilli
Phil Cavarretta
Joe Pepitone
Frank Torre
Jason Giambi


Tony Lazzerri
Craig Biggio
Billy Martin
Steve Sax
Tony Cuccinello
Mark Lemke


Phil Rizzuto
Rico Petrocelli
Gary Di Sarcina
Larry Bowa
Frank Crosetti
Rich Aurilia


Ron Santo
Joe Torre
Frank Malzone
Sal Bando
Ken Caminiti
Robin Ventura
Mike Pagliarulo
Gary Gaetti


Joe DiMaggio
Dom DiMaggio
Rocky Colavito
Carl Furillo
Tony Conigliaro
Dave Pasqua
Lee Mazilli
Jack Clark
Tito Francona
Pete Incaviglia 
Sam Mele 
Bernie Carbo 


Tom LaSorda
Tony LaRussa
Joe Torre
Bobby Valentine
Mike Scoscia


  Leo Mazzone 
Sal Varreale 
Joe Ferguson