Tonight’s doubleheader game against the Tampa Bay Rays could allow the Yankees to clinch the AL East title. Wednesday’s early game against the Rays gave the Yankees a 4-2 win, clinching their spot for the 16th time in the postseason. The go-ahead double by Robinson Cano pushed the Yankees ahead in the 8th inning of the game. Yankees have made it to the playoffs 16 times in the last 17 years except in 2008. Yankees are five-time World Series champions and have won 11 division titles. It’s no wonder there are so many Yankees fans!
Tuesday night in the Bronx, the Seattle Mariners added another loss to their streak. The Mariners were up against the New York Yankees on Tuesday night, and had to face pitcher CC Sabathia. Seattle struck out eighteen times, and went the entire game with only one hit. They have now lost seventeen consecutive games, the 20th worst streak in MLB history. The current record holder for most consecutive losses is the Philadelphia Phillies, who lost 23 straight games in 1961. The Mariners play the Yankees again today at 1:05 PM… Will they add to their streak or will the make a comeback?
The MLB draft 2011 was a display of what’s the most demanded position in the season this year. The first 4 players selected were pitchers, for the first time ever. With the best two pitchers arguably Gerrit Cole and Trevor Bauer being selected in the top three. This unprecedented trend went on for the rest of the night, with 12 pitchers picked out of the top 20 picks. Anthony Rendon who was picked by some experts to be the favorite, was picked 6th overall in the draft by the Washington Nationals. Adding a cherry to his pie that day, since it was his 21st birthday. The other noticeable picks were prep star right handed Derek Starling, a young 18 year old prospect from the town of Gardner, Kansas. Starling was picked 5th overall by the Kansas City Royals. The GM of the Royals expressed his enthusiasm for the local legend in Gardner, a town of 20,000 people. The Cleveland Indians, who broke tradition, picked an athletic prep star from Montverde Academy in Florida. Cleveland was thinking long-term by trying to address the needs of future position by selecting the pitcher. It’s fair to say that prep stars also were in abundance in the top ranks with 5 prep stars being selected in the top ten . The draft placed more emphasis on college ranks in the 15th pick with Jed Bradley, a Milwaukee draftee. Six straight college players were drafted of whom five were pitchers, continuing the trend later the draft picks. From the 14th to 28th picks, only 3 position players were selected, one of the standouts was second baseman Kolten Wong, out of the University of Hawaii, who was selected by the Cardinals with the 22nd overall pick. Overall, this draft was signaling the importance of the mount in today’s Major League. The draft continues on Tuesday afternoon at 12 o’clock.
If you ever needed an example of persistence paying off look no further than local Houston businessman Jim Crane. After three attempts to purchase the Astros (along with bids to buy other baseball clubs in previous years) Crane and nine other investors finally bought the team from owner Drayton Mclane for the sum of 680 million dollars. The sale still needs approval from the league though, if everything goes as planned and the sale is approved it will mark the second highest in the history of Major League Baseball. Crane is no stranger to to the sport, having played collegiality as a pitcher for Central Missouri State in the 1970’s. Drayton Mclane bought the Astros for 117 million in 1992 and said part of the reason for selling the team was in part due to family considerations.
The $15.5 million deal is over a five-year period. The 23-year-old Cuban outfielder, Leonys Martin, is the most the Texas Rangers have ever paid for an international free agent. The deal was made official today. The deal had been in discussions for weeks, but since Martin was defected from Cuba, the team was required to wait for proper approval from the U.S. Department of State. Martin is known to have excellent defense ability and speed. He’s a left-handed hitter and a plus runner. The Rangers will have to clear a spot for Martin since they have a full roster with 40 men.
Those who are Milwaukee Brewers fans may be interested to hear that Ryan Braun signed a five-year extension worth $105 million on Thursday. The contract includes a mutual option for one additional year and marks the longest player commitment in franchise history. Signed by the Brewers (9-9) in 2007, the left fielder won National League Rookie of the Year that season and signed a $45 million seven-year extension soon after. So far this season, the 27-year old is batting .359 and 5 home runs.
Boston Red Sox fans may be interested to hear that the Red Sox and first baseman Adrian Gonzalez have come to an agreement on a seven-year deal worth $154 million. Now in his eighth season, Gonzalez has a career batting average of .282 with 911 hits, 532 RBIs, and 169 home runs. Those who are searching for Adrian Gonzalez memorabilia will find an extensive collection of autographed jerseys, bats and photographs.
After undergoing a decade-long $285 million renovation, the Boston Red Sox’s ballpark is ready to celebrate its 100th birthday. Opened on April 20, 1912, Fenway Park is the oldest major league stadium today. Among the many renovations made are: a new concourse behind home plate, three HD video boards in center field, and new or refurbished seats. Despite all the new upgrades, team president Larry Lucchino assures that the overall ambience of the ballpark is unchanged. The Red Sox will face the New York Yankees in their home opener on Friday, April 8.
As spring training progresses, the Washington Nationals, like other clubs, are making roster cuts and sending players down to the minors this season. Rookie Bryce Harper remains in the major league camp after today’s cut, but the Nationals maintain their intentions to move him to the minor league this season. At only 18-years old, Harper is one of the most exciting baseball prospects this year. He has appeared in every Nationals spring training game as a substitute, going 6 for 16. Fans of Washington Nationals memorabilia are looking forward to seeing how the team will perform this season.
Fans of St. Louis Cardinals memorabilia may be disappointed to hear that Adam Wainwright will miss the 2011 season. The 29-year old will undergo the Tommy John elbow surgery which usually requires at least one year for recovery. A key part of the Cardinals bullpen, Wainwright will surely be missed. Last season, the right-hander was 20-11 with a 2.42 ERA. Fans of Adam Wainwright memorabilia will find a great collection of photographs and Adam Wainwright signed baseballs available.