Thursday, May 13, 2010

The Ballad of Kyle Blanks

At the start of this season any fantasy baseball analyst worth their salt declared that Kyle Blanks should safely hit between 20-30 HR's in 2010. Raw power along with being named the starting left fielder during spring training did help; yet, despite these generous predictions, Blanks was able to stay under the radar in most mixed leagues as other young players like Jason Heyward, Austin Jackson, Colby Rasmus, and Travis Snider recieved more attention.

Last season, Blanks displayed a reasonable triple slash of .250/.355/.514 in 172 plate appearances.  As you can see by those final two stats, Blanks displayed good plate judgement (in correlation to his batting average) along with above-average power.  However, a major problem with his '09 stats were his high K rate of 37.2%.  Throughout his minor league career, Blanks was seen as an Adam Dunn style player (hopefully with better fielding skills) and his growing walk rate showed promise and would work to curtail his high strikeout totals.

During those few '09 at bats, luck did play a part in regards to his very high HR/FB rate of 21.3% along with a high BABIP of .325 despite only hitting with a linedrive rate of 12%.  Of course, small samples sizes must be damned when establishing order in the baseball world but I was able to successfully target Agent Blanks by landing him during the later rounds on both of my mixed-league fantasy teams.

Unfortunately, Mr. Blanks no longer takes up roster space on either of my teams after scoring a triple slash of .180/.311/.375 in 106 plate appearances as of May 11, 2010.  A major problem during these appearances are the 41 strikeouts which comes in at an alarming 46.1%.

Blanks began the season hitting cleanup but has been dropped down in the order to seventh.  So far, the Padres are fielding a competitive team and are lone occupiers of first place but how much longer is the team expected to utilize Blanks' high K rate and his, overall, lack of power?  I say overall because according to Isolated Power score, Blanks is hitting a reasonable .191 and among his 16 hits - 10 have gone for extra bases. 

Yet the sad ballad goes on...

Monday, May 10, 2010

Explain me this...

I may be a bit late to "The Show" but I must say after two months of aggressive advertising and non-stop rotation on the MLB Network.  I, being one of the many faithful doctors here at team transparency, decided to call out once and for all what exactly the advertisers for PS3 MLB The Show 10 are saying?

Case in point:

Why does Kevin Butler keep up this ridiculous charade of not knowing who Joe Mauer is? And to whose benefit does this even... benefit? I understand last year's schitck of 09's coverboy Dustin Pedroia being a bit insulted at his avatar's limitation and Butler acting bewildered when called upon but here the joke seems to be a bit forced and flat.

Also, why does Mr. Mauer possess compromising photos of PS3 executive Kevin Butler anyway??? Did they party in ways that would embarrass most men?  What others photos does Mr. Mauer have and does he intend to further blackmail this executive?  Do they suggest that Mr. Butler is hiding something and the relationship he has with the current AL MVP may be a bit more salacious??

Anyway, it could be funny but ,hopefully, some new and better comedic routine is thought of next season.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

A Brief and Transparent Look at American Hooliganism (a crime of sports fit for both the young and old!)

After all the viral buzzing (Ha! pun partially intended) of yesterday's incident in Philadelphia, the question was posed to us readers: has this ever happened before?

To back up a bit, the incident involved a 17 year old alleged Phillie fan, Steve Consalvi, who seemingly called his father for permission to trespass onto Citizen's Bank Park outfield during the 8th inning of yesterday's game.  After receiving an ambivalent answer from the old man (in the father's defense, he did later call a friend of his also at the game to try to talk some sense to the boy), Steve jumped onto the field and gave chase to stadium officials only to be tasered to the ground.

If anyone cares, the boy did recover and was medically cleared before being charged with criminal trespass but this incident has brought up the legality and potential safety issues of dealing with unruly fans (as well as a few boo's judging by the fan's reaction to this tasering).

Officially, no one has ever been tasered or shot at on the field of a professional baseball game and this includes the scary 2002 incident in Chicago where a father and his 15 year old son decided to attack a Kansas City Royals first base coach with a switchblade.  Drugs and various latent domestic issues were later to blame (although the son, now 23, still counts it as a crowning achievement). 

And even this incident of gross-out proportions earlier this season at a Phillies game could have been argued that tasering the said belligerent WASN'T ENOUGH!

However, in the stands and in parking lots, tasering the unruly has become quite common judging by this list.  But allow me, for a moment, to settle my transparent gaze on an incident involving a fan at an Oakland A's game last August.  During the seventh inning in a game between the Oakland A's and Texas Rangers, stadium officials were alerted to the actions of a drunken fan being profane and beligerent.  The fan was identified as 62 year old Thomas Bruso, and based on the video of the incident, one could draw up many conclusions on whether the use of tasering was valid or not.  Although it is interesting to watch the reactions of the fans becoming unsettled and angry with the police; conjuring up the age-old mantra that violence begets violence. 

*** in a related (or un-related) note, the same Thomas Bruso who was tasered at the Oakland A's game was also involved in a racially charged fight on a public bus earlier this year which was, again, captured on video-phone.  Apparently, this loon is a semi-celebrity in the bay area and his "explanation" of why he fought does seem to purge any shred of credence he previously may have had.

Enjoy, or not.