Friday, September 30, 2011

Predictions revisited and playoffs previewed

I was going to review my preseason predictions even before Night Owl said anyone who doesn't is gutless. Besides, I did pretty good this year. Here is the original link.

AL East - I was 5 for 5! Though not always for the right reasons - I thought the reason the Rays would edge the Red Sox for the wild card was Manny Ramirez.

AL Central - I was 0 for 5! Who would have thought the Twins would lose 99 games? The Yankees sure are going to miss their ALDS patsy this week.

AL West: I was 4 for 4! So in the American League I got two divisions completely right and one completely wrong.

NL East: Only mistake was switching the Marlins and Nationals. But who cares whether a sub-.500 team finishes 3rd or 5th?

NL Central: Didn't do so well here, though to give myself credit, even though I picked the Brewers third, I did say they had a good shot to win the division.

NL West: Didn't do so great here either but who expected Ian Kennedy to turn into Doug Drabek? Another Yankee pitcher traded away who becomes a superstar after he leaves.

Now its postseason time.
ALDS - Yankees/Tigers - I'm of course rooting for the Yankees but don't feel good about this team. Other than Nova, Cano and the bullpen this team has just looked tired the past few weeks. Maybe they'll kick it back in gear for the playoffs but it's also possible that their age is catching up with them. If Sabathia can't outduel Verlander the Yankees are in big trouble. Remember, it's been ten years since the Yankees won an ALDS against anyone other than the Twins.

ALDS - Rangers/Rays - I'm more scared of Texas than Tampa, so I'll be rooting for the Rays on the off chance the Yankees can get by the Tigers.

NLDS - Cardinals/Phillies - The Cardinals are my NL team so of course I'll be rooting for them but it's hard to see how any team from either league could beat the Phillies. They might go 11-0.

NLDS - Diamondbacks/Brewers - Hard to get excited about this one. Besides, given the other marquee matchups these games are probably going to be on at 11 AM or something.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Willie Ansley on baseball cards

Willie Ansley, the Astros number one draft choice in 1988, played five seasons in their organization, stealing 141 bases in 515 games. Now the Pastor at Bondage Breaking Ministries in Houston, he kindly answered my questions about baseball cards.

"Growing up I collected cards with my cousin. I guess my favorite card would be my Topps card. I don't know about any other players or my favorite but was always a Rickey Henderson fan."


Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Player Profile: Brian N. Anderson

I have three cards of Brian Anderson. This one is from 2007 Upper Deck.

Playing career: Brian Anderson was a backup outfielder for the White Sox and Red Sox from 2005 to 2009. In 355 games he hit .227 with 22 HR and 80 RBI.

My memories: First heard of him from his baseball card.

Where he is now: Unable to stick in the majors as an outfielder, he has tried his hand at pitching, his original position in college. He pitched in the Kansas City organization in 2010 and signed with the Yankees in 2011. He pitched seven games in AA, got hurt, and was released on May 27.

Google Autocomplete results: Brian Anderson Yankees is fifth when you type Brian Ande, between Brian Anderson Dunks, a Nike sneaker, and Brian Anderson Baseball, which could refer to either Brian Anderson.

Coming up next: The next profile will be Bud Anderson.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Player Profile: Brian J. Anderson

I have seventeen Brian Anderson cards. This one is from 1996 Score.

Playing career: Brian Anderson pitched thirteen seasons in the major leagues, for the Angels, Indians, Diamondbacks and Royals. He went 82-83 with a 4.74 ERA.

My memories: I remember him being very good with the Indians, and thought he would be a star. In retrospect, that was probably due to his great postseason in 1997. He then was drafted by Arizona, and being picked in the expansion draft is not really the route to stardom.

Where he is now: Broadcaster for the Rays since 2008.

Google Autocomplete results: Brian Anderson is seventh when you type Brian A, between Brian and Shannon Gore, accused child-killers, and Brian Alvarez, a firefighter arrested on arson charges. Another prominent Brian Anderson is the Senior Editor of City Journal.

Coming up next: The next profile will be Brian N. Anderson.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Player Profile: Brady Anderson

Check out the latest installment of This Week in Baseball Cards over at the Hall of Very Good, featuring Charlie Sheen, Lenny Dykstra and the scantiest-clad girl on a baseball card.

I have 51 cards of Brady Anderson. This one is from 1998 Topps.

Playing career: Brady Anderson played 15 seasons in the major leagues, almost all with Baltimore, and hit 210 home runs. Almost a quarter of those came in one season, 1996, when he hit 50. He never hit more than 24 in any one season, making that a very unusual season for Anderson, who outside of HR and RBI had a season very much within his established norms. That year was also the first of four straight 15+ HBP seasons for Anderson, who led the league three times. Other than 1996 he was known as a speedy leadoff man and center fielder for the Orioles.

My memories: I remember him as a highly touted prospect with the Red Sox. I was actually on a family vacation in Massachusetts when the Red Sox traded him to the Orioles for Mike Boddicker. It was fun in those pre-internet trade to read sports pages from a city other than New York, and it was cool that the local team made a blockbuster deal. Actually, because my memory of them only stretched back to their World Series against the Mets, I was actually a Yankee fan who liked the Red Sox, until the rivalry ramped up again in 2003/2004.

Where he is now: Doing some coaching for the Orioles, and is the hitting coach for the Glendale Angelenos of the California Collegiate League.

Interesting stories: From a Brady Anderson fansite: Had a baby with former Playboy model Sonia Vassi. Co-Owned an ABA team with Nick Lachey and Kyle Boller. Favorite book is Atlas Shrugged. Played in “Tee Ball on the South Lawn” at the White House in 2002 with President Bush. In 1987, tried out to be a replacement player (running back) with the Los Angeles Rams.

Google Autocomplete results: He is seventh when you type Brady, between Brady Hoke, the head football coach at Michigan, and Bradykinin, a peptide that causes blood vessels to dilate. There do not appear to be any other prominent Brady Andersons.

Coming up next: The next profile will be Brian J. Anderson.