Millionaire takes the mound for the Rockland Boulders

08/31/2013 12:01 PM - Devo

Rockland_Boulders.pngThe Rockland Bouders, an independent Can-Am League team based out of Pomona, NY, announced South Korean millionaire Min Hur, has been signed for the remained of the season and is scheduled to start on Sunday. Hur, who is best known for online game Dungeon & Fighter, said in a 2011 interview to have assets in the range of $900 million.

Independent baseball will continue to push the envelope. At a disadvantage when competing against Major League Baseball and other affiliated clubs, they must stand out from the crowd to stay relevant. In May, the Florence Freedom took advantage of the Manti Te'o fiasco and held Manti Te'o Girlfriend Bobblehead Night (the box was, of course, empty).

Rockland sits in the middle of the pack one game below .500, and many might think this is just another ploy to get butts in the seats.

Hur, who is the owner of the Goyang Wonders, an independent team in the Korean Baseball Futures League, has been training with the likes of MLB HOF'er Phil Niekro and has attended rookie training camps with Arizona Diamondbacks, Texas Rangers, and Seattle Mariners. According to the Washington Post, Hur has been in training for the past eight years.

The Boulders have said that Hur earned his opportunity after participating in a two week tryout in July. He also feels that this chance can help others achieve their dreams;

"This is an opportunity for me to prove Goyang Wonders players that the dream becomes a reality if you don't give up. I have achieved part of my dream but I will keep trying to achieve higher goals"

It's unclear how good Hur will do in Sunday's game, but this is a global opportunity that can expand the exposure of independent baseball beyond the small markets it most certainly thrives in.

Devon is the Founder and Executive Director of The GM's Perspective. He is a former professional baseball player with the River City Rascals & Gateway Grizzlies. Currently, Devon is a Manager at a financial institution in Northern Ontario Canada, and can be reached at devon@thegmsperspective.com. You can follow The GM's Perspective on Twitter and Facebook. His full bio can be seen here.

Toronto Blue Jays sign former Indy POY Blake Gailen

08/29/2013 4:28 AM - Devo

Blake Gailen.jpgSeven years and nearly 600 Independent games later, Blake Gailen is one step close to the Major Leagues.

Late last week, in the midst of another stellar season, the Toronto Blue Jays signed Lancaster Barnstormers' OF Blake Gailen to a minor league deal and assigned him to their Triple A affiliate in Buffalo.

Gailen is no stranger when it comes to receiving news this important.

Last year Gailen had one of the best Independent seasons ever. Playing for the Barnstormers, he put up staggering numbers; .338/.415/.534, with 26 doubles, three triples, 22 home runs, 89 RBI, and 25 stolen bases. His league leading .338 average was his second consecutive batting title. As a member of the Lincoln Saltdogs of the American Association in 2011, he topped the leader board with a Ted Williams-eque .406.

After being voted the teams’ MVP by the fans, earning the Atlantic League MVP award and Baseball America’s Independent Player of the Year, he signed with the Colorado Rockies organization, but was released on the last day of spring training.

Gailen returned to Lancaster, and continued to impress.

His numbers aren't as earth shattering as last year, but rank amongst the best in the league. According to the Atlantic League, he ranks fifth with a .385 on base percentage and fourth in runs scored (72). He leads the team in doubles with 35, to go along with 11 home runs and 52 RBI. His .288 average ranks fourth on the team.

Since signing his minor league deal, Gailen is batting .333 in seven games with the Bisons.

At 28, Gailen still has plenty of years left in the game. He's taken the long road to get where he's going, but sometimes it's the diamonds in the rough that achieve what so many strive for.

Undrafted out of UNLV in 2007, Gailen has bucked the odds, while continuing to impress wherever he goes. A career .330/.413/.500 hitter, he knows how to play the game and gets the job done.

This might not register on the ESPN ticker, but it's another proud moment for the Atlantic League and for someone with a history of exceeding expectations.

Devon is the Founder and Executive Director of The GM's Perspective. He is a former professional baseball player with the River City Rascals & Gateway Grizzlies. Currently, Devon is a Manager at a financial institution in Northern Ontario Canada, and can be reached at devon@thegmsperspective.com. You can follow The GM's Perspective on Twitter and Facebook. His full bio can be seen here.

Cleveland Indians' Scott Kazmir is better than you think

08/27/2013 6:31 AM - Devo

Scott Kazmir 42.jpgScott Kazmir has seven wins and six losses. Not that impressive when you first look at it. But when you do, you can't truly understand how good he's been in his first full season since 2010.

In his last ten starts, he has surrendered two runs or less six times. In those ten starts, he's whiffed 49 in 56 innings, walking only 17. Considering Kazmir was in Sugar Land, Texas last year just hoping to make it through the season, you couldn't ask for anything better.

This season we have seen the good and the bad. Late April against the Houston Astros, he gave up six runs in three innings. In July, Kazmir was the Kazmir of old against the Seattle Mariners, striking out seven over eight innings allowing one hit.

On average, Kazmir is averaging 92.3mph on his fastball, something we haven't seen since 2005, according to FanGraphs. When you add that to a repertoire that includes six pitches, he can be as dangerous as anybody on the mound.

Deception and control are the two biggest attributes Kazmir has going right now. Struggles in the past, including wildness on the mound, could destroy any pitcher, and when you keep runners off base, the score stays relatively low.

As of today, Kazmir's WHIP sits at 1.328, the lowest it's been since 2008 and his walks per game are down to a career best 3.0. With better control comes the ability to make opponents swing at your pitches.

As the season progresses, a pitcher needs to change his pattern. If stale, players can pick up on it. Of his six pitches, Kazmir capitalizes on it by using his fastball, sinker and change-up the majority of the time.

The increase in the use of those particular pitches, directly relates to what the batters are swinging at.

Despite the decrease in the use of his slider, Kazmir will use it when he has two strikes. In July, he threw it with two strikes 44 percent of the time against left-handed hitters. Against right-handed hitters, he will start them off with a sinker.

In August, Kazmir continues to be slider heavy against lefty's with two strikes, relying on it 30 percent of the time, except the sinker is used more of an out pitch than before.

Against righty batters, the increase of his fastball is across the board, while the use of his slider is non-existent.

After nine years in the bigs, Kazmir has reinvented himself, and has become a vital piece of the puzzle in the Cleveland Indians playoff run. We have seen the worst, but we have seen his best.

*Graphs courtesy Brooks Baseball*

Devon is the Founder and Executive Director of The GM's Perspective. He is a former professional baseball player with the River City Rascals & Gateway Grizzlies. Currently, Devon is a Manager at a financial institution in Northern Ontario Canada, and can be reached at devon@thegmsperspective.com. You can follow The GM's Perspective on Twitter and Facebook. His full bio can be seen here.

 

Yankees' Alex Rodriguez was loved? It's true

08/24/2013 9:36 AM - Devo

Alex Rodriguez4.jpgA-Rod, A-Fraud, or Alex Rodriguez.

 There was a time when Alex Rodriguez was widely considered the best baseball player alive. Those days are long gone. We're now reduced to Oompa Loopma jokes and pictures of him making out with himself.

Rodriguez has 649 career home runs and 1,956 RBI, both good for fifth all-time. We should be celebrate not berate.

He will never be as beloved as Mr. Yankee Derek Jeter, or Mo, or even Andy Pettitte, who admitted to using HGH. But, there was a time when the Yankees couldn't have won without him.

In 2009, Rodriguez slapped all those playoff demons in the face.

In his six seasons up to that point, he had done everything the Yankees had asked for, including two MVP's. His playoff performances were quite the opposite.

He erased the 6-44 and 1 RBI debacle between 2005-2007, batting .365 with six home runs and 18 RBI. As a matter of fact, without Rodriguez anchoring their lineup, there's a good chance the Yankees don't even advance past the ALCS. 

There is a fascinating information on Baseball Reference, identifying and categorizing the best playoff performances by a single player who played in seven or more postseason games with a WPA (Win Probability Added) <.05. They rank his 2009 playoff performance as the best of all-time, surpassing even Barry Bonds' coming out party in 2002.

In a 2009 article by Eric Neel on ESPN, Reggie Jackson gave a glowing description of A-Rod's play;

"It's wonderful to see," Reggie Jackson said after Game 4. "I'm diggin' it. It's like watching a star in a movie. We all knew he had it in him. And when you see it come out like this, there's a real joy in it."

Game two of the 2009 ALCS against the Los Angeles Angels, down 3-2 in the bottom of the 11th, Rodriguez hit one of the biggest home runs of his life off of AL saves leader Brian Fuentes. The Yankees would go on to win the game in 11 innings 4-3, and the series in six games.

At the conclusion of the season, he exorcised his demons, and won the title that eluded him for years. There was even a chance he would be accepted as a true New York Yankee?

We all know that's not true.

Rodriguez was supposed the player with no flaw in his game. Someone who would challenge, and ultimately become the all-time home runs leader. 

Those days are long gone.

Accusations stick to this guy like Velcro, and every rumour brings another cringe. His reputation is tarnished, an admitted PED user, and now he's on trial for his life.

Devon is the Founder and Executive Director of The GM's Perspective. He is a former professional baseball player with the River City Rascals & Gateway Grizzlies. Currently, Devon is a Manager at a financial institution in Northern Ontario Canada, and can be reached at devon@thegmsperspective.com. You can follow The GM's Perspective on Twitter and Facebook. His full bio can be seen here.

Browse by Month »

April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010

Arizona Winter League
Jury Jiu Jitsu
Myles Jury
OMG Cleaning Services