View From The Bleachers

Talking Cubs Baseball Since 2003

Monday

11

August 2014

46

COMMENTS

Division Races Begin To Heat Up, Record Books Change & More!

Written by , Posted in General

After a week away from the column, I’m back in business. Over the past week, even though I’ve been on vacation, I’ve still got to soak in quite a bit of baseball (including a look at the Daytona Cubs ballpark). With that said, let’s get to it!

AL Central Race Tightens

Going into the season, the Detroit Tigers were seen by many as World Series favorites and many also thought that they’d easily plow through to yet another AL Central title. Much like last year, though, the division hasn’t been the cakewalk they expected.

Just about three-quarters of the way through the season, the Tigers hold the lead in the Central by just a half of a game, and that lead is withering away with every day that passes as the red-hot Kansas City Royals have rattled off 7 games in a row.

Many of the problems that Detroit has faced have been blamed on their bullpen (I’m looking at you, Joe Nathan), but their supposedly daunting lineup has come up flat over the past week. Miguel Cabrera has found himself in a rare slump and it appears as if JD Martinez is finally coming back to earth.

With one of the highest payrolls in the league, it would be a colossal failure if the Tigers somehow managed to lose their lead on the division. With the upstart Royals coming for their heads, they’re going to need to figure things out quickly. With all of this being said, however, I still see them taking home the division crown. How do you think the AL Central will shake out? Will the Royals grab a Wild Card spot if they don’t win the division?

Jeter Moves Up Hit List 

No, not that kind of hit list.

In what has been a farewell tour of a season for New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter, he has reached yet another historic milestone in his illustrious career. Though a Hall of Fame spot is already locked up, this only adds to his resume.

In the sixth inning of Sunday’s game against the Cleveland Indians, Jeter came up to the plate against Corey Kluber (who was 9 years old when Jeter made his MLB debut). He hit a slow-rolling grounder to the third baseman, but beat it out and in turn moved up to 6th on the all-time hits list.

Realistically, this is probably where he’ll stay given that he’s 84 hits behind the player in 5th place (Tris Speaker). Also with his hit, he moved past Honus Wagner and became the leading hitter amongst shortstops in the history of the game.

With all of this being said and all of his accomplishments being taken into account, what do you think are the chances that Jeter becomes the first player to get into the Hall of Fame unanimously? Along with that, where do you place him amongst the best shortstops of all-time?

Brad Penny Starts, Wins Game For Marlins

Don’t worry; you didn’t hit your head. This is actually 2014, not 2004 like you may think from the headline. That’s right, Brad Penny (now 36) started and won a game for the Miami Marlins (he probably had to get directions to the new stadium) this week.

After spending the last decade bouncing around both the MLB and Japan, Penny has found himself back in the place he called home for the first four and a half years of his career. He spent last year overseas, but the Marlins signed him to a minor-league deal back in June.

His homecoming of sorts (the game was in Cincinnati) was a successful one, as he tossed 5 innings of one-run ball and put the Marlins in a position to win. His 4 walks were a tad bit concerning, but overall it was an impressive effort for someone who’s been a bit down on their luck the past few years.

With all of the injuries that have occurred to the Marlins staff, there’s a decent change that Penny could stick around as an innings-eater if he’s able to pitch well enough. All that’s needed for the Marlins is to trade for A.J. Burnett and sign Dontrelle Willis and they’d be right back in business. With a nostalgic story like Penny, who’s one non-star player you’d like to see back in a Cubs uniform?

This Week’s MVP: J.J. Hardy (.423/.444/.769, 2 HR, 7 RBI)

This Week’s Cy Young: James Shields (2-0, 1.06 ERA, 7 K)

  • PLCB3

    Did you tour Daytona International Speedway when you were there as well? I went to Daytona Beach for the speedway and then drove down International Speedway Blvd to go to the beach, which is home to THE beach in Daytona Beach, and I happened to see the Cubs minor league stadium while I was looking for parking.

    • Brian Rzeppa

      I actually didn’t have the time to see it during this vacation, but I have stopped there before!

      • PLCB3

        Daytona International Speedway is awesome! I was amazed at how huge it was when I drove by it. I like the beach at Daytona as well. The sand is so hard packed that you can drive on it.

  • AC0000000

    Did you tour Daytona International Speedway when you were there as well? I went to Daytona Beach for the speedway and then drove down International Speedway Blvd to go to the beach, which is home to THE beach in Daytona Beach, and I happened to see the Cubs minor league stadium while I was looking for parking.

    • Brian Rzeppa

      I actually didn’t have the time to see it during this vacation, but I have stopped there before!

      • AC0000000

        Daytona International Speedway is awesome! I was amazed at how huge it was when I drove by it. I like the beach at Daytona as well. The sand is so hard packed that you can drive on it.

  • PLCB3

    Idk if he qualifies as a non-star, but I would like to see Matt Clement back. He was treated like dog waste at the end of his time in Chicago. We should have kept him after 2004. We might have made a playoff run if we had him in 2005.

  • AC0000000

    Idk if he qualifies as a non-star, but I would like to see Matt Clement back. He was treated like dog waste at the end of his time in Chicago. We should have kept him after 2004. We might have made a playoff run if we had him in 2005.

  • Doug S.

    My guess is one or two guys will not vote Jeter in the first year. Then they might get interviewed to explain. To me he’s a top five ss in the modern era.

    • Very insightful Doug (the interview comment.)

    • PLCB3

      Agreed. There’s always a jerk who doesn’t vote for anyone. If Ripken and Maddux can’t get 100%, no one will.

  • Doug S.

    My guess is one or two guys will not vote Jeter in the first year. Then they might get interviewed to explain. To me he’s a top five ss in the modern era.

    • Very insightful Doug (the interview comment.)

    • AC0000000

      Agreed. There’s always a jerk who doesn’t vote for anyone. If Ripken and Maddux can’t get 100%, no one will.

  • Seymour Butts

    He won’t be unanimous. Sportswriters do the voting. People who write things about sports for others to read are A-holes. Several A-holes will find a justification in their mind to leave him off.

    Most of the best shortstops of all time are placed between second and third base (often closer to second).

    • PLCB3

      Statistically, Jeter is one of the worst fielders ever. He should have been moved to OF or 1B a long time ago.

  • Seymour Butts

    He won’t be unanimous. Sportswriters do the voting. People who write things about sports for others to read are A-holes. Several A-holes will find a justification in their mind to leave him off.

    Most of the best shortstops of all time are placed between second and third base (often closer to second).

    • AC0000000

      Statistically, Jeter is one of the worst fielders ever. He should have been moved to OF or 1B a long time ago.

  • Bryan

    One non-star player I would love to have back, for at least this Milwaukee series, is Randall Simon. I would love to see the look on those sausages’ faces as they see him standing at the top of the dugout, bat-in-hand.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w4HMRtxY-ik

    • PLCB3

      That tape has nothing to do with the time Randall Simon hit the Italian sausage. That was the only thing he was ever capable of hitting.

      • Bryan

        Yes, my bad. That was what I was referring to but I uploaded the wrong video.

      • Doc Raker

        Randall Simon hit the game winning homer in game 5 of the 2003 NLCS.

      • PLCB3

        It’s the expression, duh! Plus the Cubs lost that game

      • Doc Raker

        “Game winning homer” denotes a game that was won- game 4 winning homer duh. The Cubs were up 3-1 at that point. Had Carlos Zambrano pitched even an average game in game 1 the Cubs sweep the series.

      • PLCB3

        Game 4 was a rout led by the Ramirez grand slam in the first inning. So Randall Simon had 1 hit. The Italian Sausage was still his best hit that season.

      • PLCB3

        Randall Simon went yard in game 3 to give the Cubs the lead, but it was Doug Glanville who had the game-winning hit in the 11th. So Randall Simon had 1 hit. The Italian Sausage was still his best hit that season.

      • PLCB3

        Or had Dusty pulled Prior after 5 or 6 innings in game 2, he wouldn’t have run out of gas in game 6, that the incident never happens. Why did Dusty let Prior throw 120 pitches with a 10-run lead in game 2?

      • Doc Raker

        Why did Dusty leave Shawn Estes off the playoff roster and leave Dave Veres and Mark Guthrie on?

        Why didn’t Matt Clement pitch in game 7?

      • PLCB3

        I thought Estes was part of the pen come the playoffs. Clement would have been pitching game 7 on 3 days rest.

  • Bryan

    One non-star player I would love to have back, for at least this Milwaukee series, is Randall Simon. I would love to see the look on those sausages’ faces as they see him standing at the top of the dugout, bat-in-hand.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w4HMRtxY-ik

    • AC0000000

      That tape has nothing to do with the time Randall Simon hit the Italian sausage. That was the only thing he was ever capable of hitting.

      • Bryan

        Yes, my bad. That was what I was referring to but I uploaded the wrong video.

      • Doc Raker

        Randall Simon hit the game winning homer in game 5 of the 2003 NLCS.

      • AC0000000

        It’s the expression, duh! Plus the Cubs lost that game

      • Doc Raker

        “Game winning homer” denotes a game that was won- game 4 winning homer duh. The Cubs were up 3-1 at that point. Had Carlos Zambrano pitched even an average game in game 1 the Cubs sweep the series.

      • AC0000000

        Game 4 was a rout led by the Ramirez grand slam in the first inning.

      • AC0000000

        Randall Simon went yard in game 3 to give the Cubs the lead, but it was Doug Glanville who had the game-winning hit in the 11th. So Randall Simon had 1 hit. The Italian Sausage was still his best hit that season.

      • AC0000000

        Or had Dusty pulled Prior after 5 or 6 innings in game 2, he wouldn’t have run out of gas in game 6, that the incident never happens. Why did Dusty let Prior throw 120 pitches with a 10-run lead in game 2?

      • Doc Raker

        Why did Dusty leave Shawn Estes off the playoff roster and leave Dave Veres and Mark Guthrie on?

        Why didn’t Matt Clement pitch in game 7?

      • AC0000000

        I thought Estes was part of the pen come the playoffs. Clement would have been pitching game 7 on 3 days rest.

  • Doc Raker

    Mark Grudzalanik , all he did was quietly hit .300 and play a pretty good second base. Grudz was on base a lot for Sosa and Alou to drive in. I thought it was a bad idea to let Grudz go in favor of Todd Walker.

    Let’s not forget that all where invited onto the Cubs bandwagon last week, ignoramuses and geniuses alike which bent the cap’n nose all out of joint. Almost as bad as when Seymour’s nose gets all out of joint when people burn all those fossil fuels getting to places they need to go.

    • PLCB3

      Grudz was injured half the year in 2004, that’s why the Cubs got rid of him and kept Walker.

  • Doc Raker

    Mark Grudzalanik , all he did was quietly hit .300 and play a pretty good second base. Grudz was on base a lot for Sosa and Alou to drive in. I thought it was a bad idea to let Grudz go in favor of Todd Walker.

    Let’s not forget that all where invited onto the Cubs bandwagon last week, ignoramuses and geniuses alike which bent the cap’n nose all out of joint. Almost as bad as when Seymour’s nose gets all out of joint when people burn all those fossil fuels getting to places they need to go.

    • AC0000000

      Grudz was injured half the year in 2004, that’s why the Cubs got rid of him and kept Walker.

  • PLCB3

    Baez went yard again yesterday. His swing reminds me of Juan Uribe the way he falls down after a hack.

  • AC0000000

    Baez went yard again yesterday. His swing reminds me of Juan Uribe the way he falls down after a hack.