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MLBlogs Jumbo: Bleacher Boy


Hi, my name is David.  I go by my alter ego, Bleacher Boy.  I was inspired by my cousin’s blog, “Brewers Today.”  He showed me how to set up my blog and all of it’s tools.  I write about baseball in general, adding my personal viewpoint.  When I found out that I could be featured on the front page of MLBlogs, I was very excited to take a shot at it.   I get new viewers everyday and have had a lot of positive feedback.  I think I should be featured on MLBlogs Jumbo because I give advice, info, and opinions from my 11 year-old point of view.   It’s baseball, by a kid, for kids, and those who remember what it was like to be a kid.  You can get news on what’s happening in baseball anywhere, but rarely from a kids point of view.  Most friends my age hate writing, but I enjoy it very much.  I’m not like other kids who sit and play, “Call of Duty” all day and night.

I look forward to everything baseball including the crack of the bat, the roar of the crowd, and the aroma of brats while tailgating at Miller Park.   It is my passion and I hope to be playing the game as well as learning and writing more about the sport forever.  I love to go to Brewer games  and I try to watch every game on T.V.  Taylor Green, of the Brewers, is my favorite player, and none of my friends understand it because they don’t know who he is.   However, my “spidey senses” tell me that he has the potential to be a superstar and a great role model. So, I’m gonna keep my eye on him.   My family, including my mom, dad, sisters and cousins will always be playing baseball no matter where we are and we get pretty competitive.   Baseball is good, clean fun and is still for families, friends and the young at heart.  So, take a look at Bleacher Boy, and enjoy articles by a boy and his blog…….

Baseball Expressions Quiz, Do We Really Know What They Mean?


I decided to make a quiz about baseball expressions beacuse many people don’t know many.  Here it is and I hope you enjoy.

In a few days I’ll post the answers.  Some of these I had no idea what they meant too, so don’t feel bad if you didn’t do good.   Please comment if you have a few expressions that you don’t know.

EUREKA!!!!!! The Reason Why the Cubs Have Failed for Over 100 Years


I think I have found out why the Cubs stink and haven’t won a World Series in over 100 years.  Their last championship winning season was in 1908.  It must be the “Billy Goat Curse.”  In 1945 the Cubs were playing the Tigers at Wrigley Field for the World Series.  A man named Billy Sianis came to the game with a goat.  He was ordered to leave because the goat’s odor was bothering fans.  He was furious and said, “Them Cubs, they aren’t gonna win no more.”  His family claimed that he sent a telegram to team owner, Philip K. Wrigley saying, “You are going to lose this World Series and you are never going to win another World Series again. You are never going to win a World Series again because you insulted my goat.”  The Cubs ended up losing the World Series and still 100 hundred years later, nothing.

Trying to Crack the Curse

In 1984 and 1989 the Cubs brought Sam Sianis, nephew of Billy with a goat to opening day at Wrigley Field to try to remove the curse.  The Cubs ended up going to the playoffs both years, but still no luck on a World Series title.  They did the same thing in 1994 to stop a home losing streak and in 1998 for a Wild Card game.  Both times this worked and still no championship.

DANG IT STEVE, THEY WERE SOOO CLOSE!!!!!!!!!! 

You all probably heard of the infamous man, Steve Bartman.  On October 14, 2003 the Cubs were five outs away from going to the World Series and beating the Florida Marlins 3-0 at the time.  Luis Castillo hit a foul ball and Moisés Alou was ready to make the catch.  Steve accidentally interfered with the play.  Alou slammed his glove his glove down and was screaming at multiple fans.  The Marlins would later have an 8 run rally to beat the Cubs.  Steve had to get removed by security for his own safety because of people shouting at him and throwing things.  He was getting death threats and basically the whole city of Chicago hated him.  He was even offered to join a witness protection program.  In my opinion I think that this is ridiculous.  Why would you threaten to kill someone over a game?  Interferences happen all of the time.  It’s always nice to see the Cubs lose and even better for 100 hundred years.  This curse is really looking like it has some truth to it, but I think that the Cubs just have stunk for so many years that people don’t want to admit it so they blame it on a curse.  Will the Cubs ever win a World Series?

NL Central Team Previews: Pittsburgh Pirates


Co writer: Kyle S.

The Pirates have always had a trend to dig themself into a hole at the bottom of the NL central.  They had tons of bright spots at the beginning of the year starting of 47-43, but had one of the worst records the second half of the year going 25-47.   There were talks about the Pirates finally getting to the playoffs, but they ruined it.  The pirates winning games is going to come down to how well Andew McCutchen and Jose Tabata can perform along with their pitching.  Newly signed free agent, A.J Burnett should help bump up the rotation so the Pirates don’t need to make so many spot starts (they led the league in those last year).  The pirates have such a talented farm system so REALITY CHECK!!!!!!!!!!!!  STOP SIGNING SO MANY VETERANS!!!!!!  Another question is can Casey M. get back to his old self and will Clint Barmes strengthen the middle infield.  They had a lot of errors last year. The Pirates will need to have a great OBP.  This is because they will have scrappy good or bad players that will hit to get on base not for power so the RBI totals need to be through the roof and the team ERA for pitching needs to be low.  The managerial position is in good hands also.  It all comes down to how bad a they want it , I don’t see a championship any time soon but if there farm system turns out and they can keep some of their GOOD veterans and keep their  McCutchens and Tabata sort of players in the organization the future COULD be bright.  That’s my twist!!!!!!!!!!!

Braun, Officially a Free Man


I just heard the best news of all time.  Ryan Braun has been exonerated, by Shyam Das  from his 50 game suspension.  The panel posted a 2-1 vote which overturned Braun’s suspension.  Ryan just made history.  No one has ever in the MLB have had charges be exonerated before.  I’ve been praying that this would happen all winter.  I always had a hunch that he was innocent.   He seemed too much of a great guy to test positive.  I don’t get why in a statement, the MLB said it “vehemently disagrees” with the ruling.  The three man panel is supposed to find justice and that’s just what it did.  Nothing has been released on why he was overturned though.

“I am very pleased and relieved by today’s decision,” Braun said in a statement. “It is the first step in restoring my good name and reputation. We were able to get through this because I am innocent and the truth is on our side.We provided complete cooperation throughout, despite the highly unusual circumstances. I have been an open book, willing to share details from every aspect of my life as part of this investigation, because I have nothing to hide. I have passed over 25 drug tests in my career, including at least three in the past year.”

This will really help the Brew Crew this season.  It’s finally nice to have justice and now people can see that Braun truly does deserve the NL MVP award.

To Be or Not to Be


 Co Writer: Kyle S.
In case you are wondering the co writer is one of my best friends.  Kyle and I have been working together to make this article and maybe more in the future.
           I know this is on everyone’s mind.  When on Earth will it be announced if Ryan Braun is suspended or not?  As a Brewer fan I am dying to know if our MVP will return.  I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.
         Life without Ryan Braun would be a very hard time on Ryan himself, mentally and physically.  If suspended he might have to  deal with fans

hating him and taunting him.  This might ruin his confidence and make him mentally unstable.  After the 50 games (if the suspension happens) Braun may be very rusty.  It would take some time to come back and perform at a MVP level.  With Fielder gone and Braun possibly being suspended it would leave a huge gaping hole in their line up.  The Brewers may have the talent to win the games without Braun but it will be a lot tougher losing him for 50 games plus loosing that “dynamic duo” that they don’t have any more.   Maybe they would have another duo while their gone that no one expects.  I’m guessing that the signing of Japanese outfielder Norichika Aoki was for this situation.  He will probably be the replacement.  The Brewers may be the only team in the MLB who have a great pitching staff already locked in place and preparing to get better.  This will be the key part of the team if Ryan Braun is suspended.
        If Braun is in the lineup for the whole season I think overall they are a better team.  He’ll have some protection with Aramis Ramirez, but not as much as he did with Fielder.  Braun will strengthen the line up and  help the Brewers on their playoff run  It gives Roenicke the opportunity to flex the lineup card with so much outfield depth.  It also allows Corey Hart the chance at first base and the new signing Aoki a spot in the outfield.
         I would be very mad to see him get suspended.  This would cause me to dislike him and the other fans would think the same. If he is guilty, I don’t like seeing a cheater on the team.  If he gets exonerated of the charges business would go on as normal.  It’s the panel’s decision.  Will Ryan Braun get justice or guilt?

Bleacher Boy, Questions and Answers


In the future I’ll be answering questions about baseball in general and really anything.  You can reach me at thebleacherboy@yahoo.com for questions.  Please leave your first name so I can know who to acknowledge.  I hope you look forward to this as much as I do.

NL Central Team Previews: Chicago Cubs


This year the Cubs look very hopeless.  It would be a miracle if they made it to the playoffs.

So What is Looking Good and Bad for the Cubs???????

The Cubs don’t have many things going their way so let’s try to find some positives and negatives.  They were probably happy to lose, “Big Z” Carlos Zambrano who has massive anger issues.  They picked up a decent pitcher in Chris Volstad.  Matt Garza and Carlos Marmol will also help the team in pitching.  Most of the other pitchers are below average.  Another plus is that they have received a decent replacement for 3rd baseman Aramis Ramirez in Ian Stewart, from the Colorado Rockies. He’ll provide some of the production that Aramis had, but not nearly as much. Alfonso Soriano is getting close to the end of his career and may not be a big help this year.    They have lost Carlos Peña, who was an above average, slugging  first baseman.  One good thing is that Geovany Soto “Rookie of the Year” winner of 2008 is healthy and may be one of the only bright spots for the Cubs.  Stralin Castro will continue to be a good, speedy, contact hitting shortstop.  I think they will take 5th or 6th place this year.  This will be rebuilding year for them and they hope to be good in the future.  The Billy Goat Curse  will do it’s magic once again.

NL Central Team Previews: St. Louis Cardinals


The world champions of 2011 are looking forward to the 2012 season and hope to repeat (I hope they don’t).  They have had a few major changes that may affect the outcome of the season.

The Return of Adam Wainwright and Pitching

The Cardinals starting pitching looks to be balanced out well.  They have all star pitcher, Adam Wainwright back and Cy Young award winning pitcher, Chris Carpenter.  Adam Wainwright was out for the season of 2011 due to “Tommy John” surgery and the Cardinals are thrilled to have him back.  However, the main problem is the bullpen, which last year was like a roller coaster.  Sometimes they had the worst bullpen in the league and sometimes they had the best.  For example, right before the playoffs the bullpen was a train wreck.  All of the baseball “specialists”  thought the Cardinals would just get crumbled into pieces in the post season, but they were wrong.  As soon as they entered the playoffs everything changed, and they were lights out, nearly perfect.  No one saw this coming, and even I was amazed.  Will the bullpen be consistent enough to have a winning season?

 Can Freese and the Rest of the Team Replace Albert???????

The worst possible thing happened to the Cardinals during the winter meetings.  They lost the  best hitter in the league and maybe ever, Albert Pujols.  He signed the second biggest contract ever, $254 million, for ten years with the Angels.  The Cards are hoping that David Freese can provide part of the production that Albert would.  I personally think that Freese will have a crazy breakout year, just like he did in the postseason.  Even with the loss of Albert Pujols they  have Matt Holiday, Yadier Molina, Lance Berkman, Rafael Furcal, Carlos Beltran, and Jon Jay.  It’s not looking too bad for the Cardinals.  It’ll be very interesting to see David Freese play this season.  Hopefully this year the Brew Crew can take them on.

 Under New Management

The Cards were very sad to see their manager, Tony LaRussa retire.  LaRussa has managed  5,097 games, and he has 2,728 wins, which makes him third on the all time win list.  Tony has won 3 championships, and will be known as one of the greatest managers. As a Brewer fan I’ve grown to dislike him, but I have to say he was a great manager.  Just to show how great of a manager he was here is an interview with Lance Painter talking about him and describing him as a person and manager.  Lance was pitcher for the Cardinals and he is my cousin’s uncle and he got a chance to interview him.

Source: Brewers Today, Painting a picture of LaRussa.

BK: How would you describe Tony LaRussa’s managerial style?

LP: LaRussa was an aggressive manager who wanted his players to go on the field and act like they were the best team no matter what opponent the Cardinals were facing.  He loved to match up hitters/pitchers, as you saw during the series against the Brewers as well as the Rangers.  He was also a very positive manager.  Never said a bad thing about one of his players publicly unless the player went to the media first.

BK: As a player, how did you react to and view that style?

LP: As a player, you knew you had to be ready to pitch everyday or play everyday.  I also learned to respect the game of baseball as well as understand how blessed I was to have an opportunity to play in the major leagues.

BK: How do you think Tony LaRussa impacted the 2011 Cardinals in their winning of the World Series?

LP: Tony knew how to keep his team motivated and he would never concede a game until the final out was made.  In game 6 of the World Series, the Cardinals were down to their last out and cameras showed LaRussa clapping in the dugout, rooting his team on.  He also knew matchups well.  Fielder had a tough time in the NLCS.  That was the player who Tony decided would not beat the Cardinals.  When I say that, I mean if Prince was ever in an at bat that could cost the Cardinals a win, he would not pitch to him.

BK: Did you take any lessons from LaRussa that you use in now in your current job as a pitching coach?

LP: Yes. I use things that I learned with the Cardinals now in my coaching young kids.  First of all, all I ask is you give me the best you have on that certain day.  Sometimes a player is going to struggle, but if you scream and yell at them you won’t get the best out of that individual.  People have to remember, a lot of Tony’s success was because he had a tremendous pitching coach in Dave Duncan.  One of the things I try to use with my pitchers is to simplify the game.  Understand the situations.  What is your best pitch for the day?  That’s the one to get hitters out with that day.  And even though the hitter is a fastball hitter, it doesn’t mean you don’t throw him a fastball, you just locate better.

BK: What do you think about LaRussa’s retirement?

LP: I have always respected the fact that LaRussa has always given credit to his players for his success.  He understood that he was not bigger than the game of baseball.  He loved the game and he also loved to think along with the game.  Major League Baseball has lost one of the best managers ever to retirement.  Don’t be surprised if you see him back at some point in the next 3-5 years.

Tony LaRussa just told ESPN Chicago yesterday that “I need to get back in baseball somewhere, but you don’t want to go into some place that already has it figured out.” So maybe we will see Tony back in baseball. But when exactly? Two years? Three years? Or even at the end of this month? We’ll just have to stay tuned. Before I go I’d like to thank Mr. Painter for his time and wonderful insight of Tony LaRussa. It was very generous of him to answer my questions. Thanks!
This interview shows how much respect the players have for him.  He seems to be a great leader and stands up for his players.  How will this affect the team???
I hate to say this, but I think the Cardinals will take first place in the NL Central.  David Freese will have a monster year and become an instant superstar.

NL Central Team Previews: Cincinnati Reds


The Cincinnati Reds are looking pretty good right now in many aspects of the game.

Pitching

The Reds have very good pitching.  Newly acquired star pitcher, Mat Latos, will truly help the Reds in pitching depth.  He is one of the most feared pitchers in the game.  I’m very surprised the Padres traded him.  Bronson Arroyo, is also a very good pitcher.  He didn’t have a great year last year, but has had five years with 14 or more wins.  I think Bronson is a very under rated pitcher with all of his good statistics and performances.  The rest of the starting rotation is pretty solid.  The Reds have lost their great closer, Francisco Cordero, but have found a new closer that I think will be just as good.  He’s from the Phillies and he is Ryan Madson.  Ryan had to replace Brandon Lidge when he was on the Phillies and he did an outstanding job.  If Aroldis Chapman can locate his record breaking speed, I think he’ll be unstoppable.  The Reds pitching seems to be pretty good at the time.  Pitching will probably be the biggest part of the year for them.

Batting

Another good player the Padres traded to the Reds is outfielder, Ryan Ludwick.  He’s an above average hitter that teams would love to have.  The best hitter on the team is obviously the 2010 NL MVP, Joey Votto.  Votto can hit with power or for contact, and he also has great plate discipline.  The Reds are very thrilled to have other hitters whom are Scott Rolen, Jay Bruce, and Brandon Phillips.  Cincinnati has a solid line up.  There are threats up and down their batting order.

I think the Reds will have a good year, but not good enough to win the World Series.  I say they take third place in the NL Central.

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