Archive for the ‘baseball’ Category

The LA Dodgers had scheduled a pride night and had invited the anti-Catholic “Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence” a drag group that attacks the Catholic Church. After a letter from Marco Rubio noting the offence to Catholics the “sisters” were disinvited.

Gay groups whose hatred of faithful Catholics is only slightly eclipsed by the sisters threatened to pull out and the Dodgers caved like a wet blanket.

It goes without saying that if this had been a drag group that made fun of Islam the Dodgers would have run from these guys and denounced them publicly as bigots, but as it’s the Catholic Church the Dodgers are all in on hate.

What remains is what the response should be, I think it should be two fold, one spiritual and one secular.

The spiritual response that I would suggest is a Eucharistic Procession to and around Dodger Stadium, much like the one that took place in DC last week:

Over the weekend, the nation’s capitol saw a Eucharistic procession, the first of its kind organized by the Catholic Information Center (CIC), to bring “Christ’s Real Presence onto the streets of our downtown D.C. neighborhood.” 

Fr. Charles Trullols, director of the CIC, said that he was inspired by the Eucharistic processions of Pope St. John Paul II, who led processions through Rome’s streets for seven years. He continued to say that the U.S. needs God to be put back into Americans’ lives, hoping the procession would help the country, including those in the White House. 

“The CIC houses the closest tabernacle to the White House, and I have absolute faith in the many graces God will bestow onto our country when Christ’s real presence is carried through the streets of D.C. The procession will express our belief that Jesus is passing by and bestowing his love and help on all of us,” Fr. Charles Trullols said

I’m sure the Hispanic community of LA would really get into such an event, perhaps even bearing a banner of Our Lady of Guadalupe the Patron of the Americas. But the real advantage is that whenever you have the Eucharist you have the body blood soul and divinity of Christ and whenever you Christ to a situation you are working toward the good.

Of course a secular response might be appropriate too and there is a very simple one that might stop this in it’s tracks.

I’m sure California has laws concerning creating a hostile work environment and I’m also sure that there are more than a few devout Catholics who work for or play for the Dodgers.

Imagine if one or more of them filed a complaint with the appropriate agencies noting that inviting a group openly hostile to their faith as official guest constitutes a hostile work environment. Imagine the lawsuit that could follow. Imagine if this is promulgated in the largely Catholic countries that the dodgers recruit from.

The Dodgers have sown, let them reap.

In fairness all of this is consistent with the warming of Christ at the last supper:

“If the world hates you, realize that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, the world would love its own; but because you do not belong to the world, and I have chosen you out of the world, the world hates you.

Remember the word I spoke to you,  ‘No slave is greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours. And they will do all these things to you on account of my name, because they do not know the one who sent me. If I had not come and spoken to them, they would have no sin; but as it is they have no excuse for their sin.

Whoever hates me also hates my Father.

John 15:18-23

We’ll see much worse before it gets better.

Update: I just noticed that while the Dodgers put out their announcement on the twitter feed it’s not included in their spanish language twitter feed @losdodgers

I wonder why?

Ok let’s finish our look at the 1996 league with the NL west.

San Diego133.813——
Houston87.5334 1/2
Los Angeles88.5005
St. Louis511.3138

San Diego: 13-3 .813 1st place

The good news : San Diego is hitting .303 AS A TEAM! Kenny Lofton is leading the majors in runs (21) and is 2nd in the NL in stolen bases. Mark McLemore is tied for the NL lead in doubles and Ken Caminiti leads the NL in Homers and the majors in RBI’s Ron Karkovice and Todd Huntley are both hitting .400 or better. Darryl Strawberry is hitting .385 And the pitching staff has a team ERA of 3.29 best in the NL. .

The Bad News: Not much to choose from here but starters John Burkett (2-2 5.93 ERA and 5 HR given up in 27 1/3 innings) and Ariel Prieto (0-0 7.59 ERA WHIP 2.06 and .341 avg against are underperforming dramatically.

Didn’t see that coming: Tony Gwinn hitting .297 is not a big surprise SD having six starters hitting better than him is.

Medical Report: The only thing healthier than San Diego’s batting avg is their health.

Coming Attractions: It’s off to Boston for two and Houston for four before coming home to face Chicago and Atlanta. .

Houston: 8-7 .533 2nd place 4 1/2 games out

The good news : Dante Bitchette has been dynamite .333 4 HR 11 RBI. Biggio has hit .346 and stolen 10 bases in 13 attempts while driving in 13 without going yard.. Otis Nixon has stolen 22 more leading the majors. Houston’s 41 walks allows is the 2nd lowest among major league teams.

The Bad News: While the bullpen has been spectacular the starting pitching has been meh. Tom Glavine is 1-2 with a 5.19 ERA Jamie Navarro is 0-1 with hitter batting .313 against him and a 5.56 ERA and Mike Hamptons start was so bad (0-1 6.48 ERA and .375 avg against he ended up dealt to Baltimore along with Quintin McCracken (.077 avg till he went to Baltimore hitting .333 in the AL) Meanwhile Terry Steinbach is hitting a mere .204 and so is Matt Williams .204 with only 2 HR & 5 RBI.

Didn’t see that coming: Houston relivers Pedro Borbon, Mark Dewey, TJ Matthews , Mike Munoz and Paul Spoljaric in a combined 15 appearances and 24 innings have yet to give up a run..

Medical Report: All quiet on the Injury Front.

Coming Attractions: After a quick trip to NY to face the Yanks for 2 they return for a 9 game homestand with 4 against San Diego, 2 vs Seattle and 3 vs Florida

Los Angeles: 8-8 .500 3rd place 5 GB

The good news : Mike Piazza is hitting .322 with 3 HR and 8 RBI and has scored 11 while throwing out 13 runners. Brian Hunter is batting .359 Jessie Orosco has 3 saves in three chances. Starter Ismael Valdez has a WHIP of 1.02 6th in the league.

The Bad News: Piazza may have caught 13 runners but he’s let 47 steal. Steve Decker has already committed 5 errors at third to go along with his .170 avg. Rafael Bournigal has been not committed an error in the field but is also hitting a mere .169 and Travis Fryman .175 Avg and a .197 OBP runs)

The Meh News: In 13 starts 4 of Houston’s five starters have ERA’s between 4.26 & 4.76.

Didn’t see that coming: While LA’s avg against is the worst in the NL their staff’s 124 K’s in the 2nd best in the majors with three of their starters in the top 10 in K’s of the NL. Travis Fryman’s miniscule batting and OBP avgs has not stopped him from driving in 11 runs so far this season..

Medical Report: All present and accounted for

Coming Attractions: LA has one more to play in Baltimore before they head home for 4 against the Cards, two against the blue Jays and 3 vs the Pirates before an 11 game road trip.

St. Louis: 5-11 .313 4th place 8 GB

The good news : Ray Langford is leading the majors in triples with 3. Julio Franco is leading the NL with a .403 avg, leads the majors in hits (27). Brian Jordan is hitting .303 with 2 HR and 10 RBI. David Cone is is only allowing a .191 batting avg with a 1.12 WHIP and while being 3rd in the league in innings has yet to give up a home run.

The Bad News: The Benes Brothers have been a disappointment on the mound. Andy is 0-2 with a 6.62 ERA and Alan while 1-2 has an ERA of 7.04. Willie McGee has had a horrendous .190 0 HR 1 RBI Tim Rains is even worse hitting only .071 with an OBP of .133 with only a solo HR and RBI to his name. .

Didn’t see that coming: St. Louis has only five home runs in 596 at bats

Medical Report: Mark Langston came out of his first start of the season and will not be back till late July. .

Coming Attractions: St. Louis visits Cleveland for 2 and LA for four before coming home for 3 vs Cincy and then it back on the road for 2 in Boston before hosting Houston for another 4.

Ok we’ve looked at the AL East and West now let’s take a peek at the senior circuit the East that is.

(Current as of 5/12/23 Noon EST)

Cincinnati78.4671 1/2

Florida: 9-7 .563 1st place

The good news : Florida is flush with .300 hitters including Fred McGriff (.350 .435 OBP) Rondell White ( .364) Mariano Duncan ( .348 9 RBI 10 Runs scored 12 RBI) and Vinny Castilla (.338 12 Runs scored) Even pitcher Mark Portugal has is hitting .333 with a walk. Barry Bonds is only batting .246 by comparison but he has driven in 14 and scored 16. Reliever Billy Taylor is 4-0 with one save and the only save blown by the team in 5 in save chances. .

The Bad News: Florida is only 1-3 vs Left handers and starters Mark Portugal worse with the normally sure handed Mike Lansing with 4 errors in 14 games

Didn’t see that coming: Not only has Florida yet to win a game on turf they are also the only first place team with a negative runs differential (-7)

Medical Report: The bad news is reliever Todd Jones who went down in the San Diego series won’t be back till the current road stand is over. Of course given his .565 avg against, 4.15 WHIP & ERA of 18.69 that not a great loss.

Coming Attractions: Florida continues a long road trip with stops at Minnesota (2) and a big series in Atlanta (4) where they will try to finally get a some wins away from home before coming back to see the Orioles for two begore hitting the road again. .

Cincinnati: 7-8 .467 2nd place 1 1/2 games out

The good news : Cincy’s 3.14 team ERA, 1.17 team WHIP , 46 Earned runs allowed and .993 fielding percentage all lead the majors. Their perfect 4-4 in save chances Lance Johnson and Barry Larkin each have 8 steals and Eric Davis’ 5 HR’s are second in the league.

The Bad News: With Ricky Henderson hitting .204 with a .338 OBP which is the highest on the team among players with at least 18 at bats and Eric Young hitting .241 with a .300 OBP the table isn’t being set for anyone. This would explain why the Reds have yet to win a 1 run game. Despite the highly touted Ivan Rodriguez behind the plate not only do they lead the majors in passed balls but have only caught 1 of 6 runners trying to steal.

Didn’t see that coming: After being unpicked in the draft Mike Blowers was picked up off waivers to help when Chris Sabo didn’t do the trick with Boggs on the DL. Blowers has hit .400 with an OBP of .538, a slugging of .800 and an OPS of 1.338

Medical Report: Cincinnati had an injury plagued start with Lance Johnson (3 games) Barry Larkin (4 games) and Wade Boggs who just returned from the 10 game disabled list for game two vs San Diego but for the first time since opening day they are all healthy

Coming Attractions: Cincy has one more at San Diego and then a pair at Chicago before they return home for 4 against Pittsburgh and a pair against the yanks.

Atlanta: 7-9 .438 3rd place 2 GB

The good news : Atlanta’s offense has been incredible with four starters Chipper Jones, Marques Grissom, Jose Offerman and Jim Eisenreich) hitting .364 or higher Jones has driven in 19 with 5 HR and before he broke a bone Larry Walker had 5 HR and 13 RBI. (Eisenreich is at .439). They lead the NL in hits and triples Homers and the majors in RBI’s. Alan Embree and newcomer Mariano Rivers (who came from the Yanks for John Smoltz who was 2-0) have not given up an earned run.

The Bad News: Closer John Wetland’s .333 avg against and 8.44 ERA is a big reason why they traded Smoltz for Rivera. More than half of their starts have been by pitchers with ERA’s from 5.79 to 12.46. Jeff Kent is hitting .150 in 15 games. Chris Hoiles is hitting .188 in 13 games. Their ERA is the 2nd worst in the league and only St. Louis has blown more saves in the league

Didn’t see that coming: Atlanta is the only team in the majors with both a losing record and a positive run differential. Greg Maddux 0-2 ERA 12.47 batters hitting .362 against.

Medical Report: It’s been a disaster for Atlanta in the outfield. Not only have they lost Jim Edmonds till the middle of their series vs San Diego three weeks away but Larry Walker broken bone means he will barely make it back before the September callups

Coming Attractions: It’s a back and forth scheduled for the braves, two in Toronto, back home for 4 vs Florida and a pair vs Cleveland then off on the road again to play the Padres.

Pittsburgh: 5-9 .357 4th place 3 GB

The good news : Glenallen Hill is hitting .333 playing full time and Mark Johnson is .393 with 3 HR and 7 RBI in part time play. Kevin Elster’s 5 HR puts him in a tie for 2nd in the league. On the mound Curt Schilling has proved himself worthy of the first pick overall in the draft with a 3-0 record in three starts a WHIP under 1 0.99 2 complete games and an ERA of 2.13. On the whole the team has an ERA of 3.39 (4th best in the majors) and has given up fewer hits (106) and fewer HR (7) than any other MLB team

The Bad News: Unfortunately the teams gloves have betrayed them their .966 fielding percentage is the worst in the league. Their Catchers have only thrown out 2 of 23 men trying to steal 0.87 the worst rate in the majors while giving up the fewest runs Pittsburgh has the lowest team avg in the majors (.224) and their obp of .297 is the 2nd worst. This is thanks to four regulars (Moises Alou, Ernie Young, Bret Boone and John Jaha ) all batting under .200 and two more starters (Joe Carter & Jason Kendall) both hitting .225 or under.

Didn’t see that coming: Pittsburgh has yet to win a game played on grass

Medical Report: Moises Alou missed the series against Cleveland but should be back for the final game vs Houston. Meanwhile Wade Terrell had to leave his last start early and will have his next start delayed by a day or two.

Coming Attractions: Pittsburgh has two at Houston before they head to Seattle for a pair and then Cincinnati for a big four game series.

You’ve now gotten a glimpse of the AL east in my Dynasty 16 team short season (80 games once a week) league. Lets continue with a look at the AL West. (Current as of 5/11/23 Noon EST)

Seattle 85.6151/2
Chicago67.4622 1/2

Toronto: 9-5 1st place (tie)

The good news : Ellis Burkes is tearing it up with a .393 avg 4 HR and 15 RBI’s He is in the AL Top three in Avg, Slugging, OBS, HR & RBI. Pat Mears has been a pleasant surprise hitting .302 with a pair of triples while Brian McRae has scored 12 runs with only 14 hits. Meanwhile Troy Percival has been lights out 5-5 in save chances and their Team ERA of 3.24 is tops in the AL and 2nd in the Majors.

The Bad News: No team has swung and missed more than Toronto with 136K’s in 14 games and Cecil Fielder (8K .174 avg) and Ed Sprague (17K’s .184) have only one HR between them in 51 AB. With the glove their .976 fielding is 2nd to last in the AL only Cleveland has done worse with the normally sure handed Mike Lansing with 4 errors in 14 games

Didn’t see that coming: Toronto Relievers Kent Bottenfield, Mike Jackson, Tory Percival and Jim Poole combined have appeared in 14 games, pitched 20 1/3 innings and have yet to give up an earned run

Medical Report: Rusty Greer was hurt early in the season and won’t be back for this homestand and isn’t expect back until the team hits LA although there is an outside chance he makes the last game in Minnesota, The prognosis on John Valentin who went down during the Seattle series is much better as he’s expected to be able to make the the Atlanta Series before the team hits the road for six.

Coming Attractions: Toronto has two more against Cleveland and hosts Atlanta for a pair before going on a six game road trip ending in LA but starting with a critical four games at Minnesota.

Minnesota: 10-6 1st place (tie)

The good news : Their +23 run differential is the AL’s best fueled by Johnny Damon whose .451 avg and 1.237 OPS both lead the majors Chuck Knoblauch .354 1 HR 11 RBI, and Mark Whiten .295 2HR 12 RBI are big reasons for it. Ben McDonald 3-0 with a 1.73 leads the league.

The Bad News: Brad Radke 5.21 ERA and no decisions in three starts. Javy Lopez has disappointed with the bat .191 1 HR 8 RBI and the glove he and Brian Johnson have a combined 25 stolen bases and 4 errors between them with only 5 caught. Whiten is wowing with the bat but already has 2 errors in the outfield and Jason Giambi .220 1 HR 7 RBI .270 OBP, and Garret Anderson .182 0 HR 1 RBI 1 R scored have underperformed.

Didn’t see that coming: Pedro Martinez 2-1 3.94 ERA

Medical Report: They feel fine

Coming Attractions: Minnesota’s home stand continues with Florida in for 2 and a huge 4 game series with Toronto interrupted briefly for a pair in St. Louis before they come back home for 3 vs the Yanks

Seattle: 8-5 .615 3rd place 1/2 GB

The good news : Albert Belle has been a monster at the bat hitting ,339 with 6 HR and 13 RBI. A-Rod only has 3 HR but has driven in 10. Jeff Cirillo his hitting .333 and has an OBP over .400

The Bad News: Dan Naulty has a 1.08 ERA but with an 0-2 record with only a 50% save rate (1 in 2 chances) Ken Griffey Jr. .214 1 HR 5 RBI

Didn’t see that coming: Randy Johnson in the bullpen 1-0 1.29 ERA 3 saves in 4 chances

Medical Report: Daren Oliver who was hurt in his 2nd start will be available for the final game of their series with Boston but with a record of 0-1 and an ERA of 10.29 the question is, will he come back to the rotation?

Coming Attractions: Seattle faces Boston and Pittsburgh on their current homestand before traveling for 4 against the White sox in Chicago and a pair in Houston before they see home again.

Chicago : 6-7 .313 4th place 2 1/2 GB

The good news : Marty Cordova has been a pleasant surprise with his .351 avg he and Steve Finley both have six doubles tied for 3rd in the AL Frank Thomas line is .300 4 HR 10 RBI with a 1.004 OBS. Alex Fernandez is making other teams earn their way on as his 1.57 walks per nine innings demonstrates. Steve Finley already has 2 outfield assists and Robin Ventura and Omar Visquel have only one error in 113 chances and the White Sox are tied for the fewest runs given up in the majors.

The Bad News: Unfortunately while giving up the fewest runs Chicago is also dead last in the AL in hits, batting avg (.242) and OBP. .311. White teams don’t score runs on Chicago they sure can run against them as Mike Macfarlane has caught only 1 of 11 runners trying to steal 0.91.

Didn’t see that coming: Mark McGuire .132 0 HR 2 RBI BUT .353 OBP 13 walks (3rd in league)

Medical Report: Every is healthy just not contributing much

Coming Attractions: Chicago has a nine game homestand with the Yanks coming in for 3 Cincy for two and then four huge games vs Seattle before hitting the road.

UPDATE: Had Baltimore coming attractions for Chicago, fixed.