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Jake Arrieta and Dallas Keuchel, Newly Anointed Aces, Win Cy Young Awards

Jake Arrieta and Dallas Keuchel reported to spring training in February with a combined career record of 55-59 and zero appearances on Cy Young Award ballots. By the end of the season they were certified aces, lifting their teams to the division series with shutout pitching in the wild-card games.

On Wednesday, Arrieta won the National League Cy Young Award, and Keuchel took the honor in the American League. Their breakout seasons mirrored those of their teams, and the baseball writers noticed. Arrieta’s award was the third this week for the Chicago Cubs, and Keuchel’s was the second for the Houston Astros

Arrieta went 22-6 with a 1.77 E.R.A., finishing with 22 scoreless innings. He allowed only 5.9 hits and 0.4 home runs per nine innings — leading the majors in both categories — and his 0.75 E.R.A. after the All-Star break was the best in baseball history for a pitcher with at least 100 innings.

“We have tremendous athletes at very young ages,” Arrieta said Wednesday. “We have arms that are going to be around for a while. We’re probably going to make some moves for some others, and that’s only going to strengthen our ball club.”

NATIONAL LEAGUE

Jake Arrieta, Chicago

Games started: 33

Record: 22-6

Earned run average: 1.77

Innings: 229

Hits: 150

Walks: 48

Strikeouts: 236

Led the majors in victories. Compiled an 0.41 E.R.A. from Aug. 4 to the end of the season, giving up four earned runs over 88 1/3 innings and going 11-0 in 12 starts. It was the lowest E.R.A. for any pitcher from Aug. 1 to the end of the season since E.R.A. became an official statistic. Source: MLB.com

“It’s hard to put in perspective,” Arrieta said. “I see the numbers on TV; people bring it up to me quite a bit. It’s kind of crazy to even think about.”

The N.L. vote was closer, though not as close as many had expected. Arrieta had 17 first-place votes, with 10 going to the Los Angeles Dodgers’ Zack Greinke and three to Clayton Kershaw, Greinke’s teammate. Greinke had a 1.66 E.R.A., the lowest in the majors in 20 years, and Kershaw had 301 strikeouts, the most in the majors since 2002.

Arrieta had a losing record in four seasons with Baltimore before a trade to Chicago in mid-2013. The Cubs encouraged him to use his preferred delivery — across his body — and he has thrived. He is the fifth Cubs pitcher to win the award, after Ferguson Jenkins, Bruce Sutter, Rick Sutcliffe and Greg Maddux.

The Astros’ Carlos Correa was the A.L. rookie of the year, and A. J. Hinch was the runner-up for the Manager of the Year Award. In the N.L., the Cubs’ Kris Bryant was the rookie of the year, and Joe Maddon was named the top manager. The Most Valuable Player Awards — the fourth set of honors given by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America — will be announced Thursday.
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The Astros’ Dallas Keuchel dominated the Yankees in the A.L. wild-card game. Credit Chang W. Lee/The New York Times

Dallas Keuchel, Houston

Games started: 33

Record: 20-8

Earned run average: 2.48

Innings: 232

Hits: 185

Walks: 51

Strikeouts: 216

Finished 15-0 in 18 starts in his home park, becoming the first major league pitcher to go undefeated with at least 14 victories at home in one season. Led the A.L. in victories and innings. Earned three A.L. Pitcher of the Month Awards (April, May and August).

Keuchel won all 15 of his decisions at home and went 20-8 over all with a 2.48 E.R.A. He led the A.L. in innings pitched (232) and walks plus hits per inning (1.017) and won a Gold Glove. He received 22 of 30 first-place votes, with David Price, who pitched for Detroit and Toronto, collecting the rest. Oakland’s Sonny Gray finished third.

Keuchel — the third Astro to win.

“There’s a lot more confidence, and with that comes a better understanding of what I can do,” Keuchel said Wednesday. “I’ve always been an advocate of striving to get myself better and better to the point of throwing any pitch at any point, to any location. I really feel like this year was the first time that I can remember that I was able to throw the majority of the pitches where I wanted.”

The Astros radio analyst Steve Sparks, who pitched in the majors for nine years, said Keuchel made his most important adjustment in May 2014, when he changed the angle of his wrist on his slider. The pitch now breaks much later, giving Keuchel another weapon to go with his sinker and changeup, which move the opposite way.

“He could do so many things once he perfected that slider,” Sparks said. “That’s what opened everything up for him.”

Keuchel’s stuff improved even more this season, changing his profile from a ground-ball pitcher to one also capable of generating lots of strikeouts. He had 216 in the regular season and then fanned seven in six innings at Yankee Stadium in the Astros’ 3-0 wild-card victory.

“All last year he was getting better and better — more confident, being more creative with setup pitches,” Sparks said. “And he stays low in the strike zone with his fastball, like three inches below the knees, better than anybody I’ve ever seen.”

That late, low movement, and the confidence to match, has lifted Keuchel to the same unlikely spot as Arrieta: the top of his profession for a sudden contender.

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Chicago Baseball

Well, Chicago baseball is heating up already this Spring. Just a few games into the season, and one of last season’s two playoff-bound Chicago baseball teams is having a whole lotta shake-up going on.

Fierty White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen has moved mostly untested but highly promising second baseman Chris Getz into the leadoff spot just a few games into the regular 2009 season. Although Getz made an oh-fer (0 for 4) in his leadoff man debut against the Kansas City Royals (which the Chisox lost 2-1, stranding men on base in the final inning), Guillen said he liked the way Getz took all four of his plate appearances and will leave him in the leadoff spot for the foreseeable future. Not giving Guillen a good look at the plate in the previous two games was what cost center fielder DeWayne Wise the leadoff man spot.

Speaking of his decision, the always-straight-forward Chisox manager said of Wise’s final three plate appearances the day before, “I don’t like it at all. I think he was trying to, I don’t want to say intimidated, but just wanted to protect the plate. I want to get him out of there for a couple of days until he starts to swing the bat better. When he starts to swing the bat better or the way we think he swings the bat, I’ll move him back up to see what happens.”

The Chicago crowd certainly seemed to be in sync with Guillen’s thoughts. They booed Wise roundly the previous games before he was dropped from the leadoff spot after going 0-for-8. Wise himself is, well, none too wise about exactly why.

“I can’t figure it out. I was at home last night, and I was thinking about it. I was like, ‘Wow, it’s not just me that’s not hitting.’ I’ve kind of been the guy that’s been singled out and taken all the heat. I guess this leadoff thing has been the topic all offseason and through the entire spring training, maybe it’s because the fans wanted a veteran guy in that spot, a natural leadoff guy that’s had success on this level in that spot.”

Still, Wise and Getz, along with third baseman Josh Fields (who, though confined to the bottom of the order for now, apparently has learned how to lay down bunt-singles to make up for his lack of brilliant hitting), are all touted as potential big offense for a Chisox team that spent the off season offing some of its older veteran players to add youthful energy to those who remained. Hitting coach Greg Walker says of Wise, Getz, and Fields, “We’re excited about them. We feel like what they do mechanically holds up and they are mentally strong kids, so they should be just fine.” And manager Guillen, who calls himself a “defense guy”, has also voiced the opinion that “When you got Wise, Getz, Quentin, and then go to A.J., Fields and Ramirez, you got more ability to do more stuff. I don’t have to wait for Konerko, Dye, Thome to get hot to score some runs.”

On the mound, fireballing closer Bobby Jenks, who has been known to hit 100mph with his heaters, put aside worries from some that he was losing his already legendary velocity by consistently hitting 96 and 97mph in his appearances. so far this season. Still, he did give up the losing run in the form of a homer to non-power-hitter Coco Crisp of the Royals in the 2-1 loss. According to Jenks, Crisp hit a “cutter that didn’t cut.” But Jenks is still plenty young, the season is plenty young, and nobody’s perfect.

Chicago baseball could see a playoff repeat appearance from the 2006 World Champions this season. We’ll see how the off-season wheeling and dealing ends.

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Historical Events Contributing Up to the Creation of Baseball

Baseball is Americans true activity. Fans gather and cheer on their favorite team throughout the season and discuss the sport when speaking with friends, family, and co-workers. The early beginnings of baseball can be traced way back to the 1700s. In that time, the overall game was quite different, not commercialized, plus the rules varied. The concepts, however, were virtually the same. As the sport became more popular, semi-pro baseball clubs started to develop more or less within the 1860’s.

The New York Knickerbockers were the very first team to play using present day rules. Their club was formed in 1845 and consisted of people from the upper middle-class of recent York. It was a social club that played the sport as a activity. They were amateurs and not an expert organization. Club members followed a set of rules called the “Knickerbocker Rules.” These rules generally pertained to organization issues but also included specified game rules. Earlier practices allowed players to become tagged out by a thrown ball. The New York Knickerbockers prohibited this action and made rules for tagging which are similar to current baseball tagging guidelines. These rules were put in place to avoid arguments and fights that the original method often created.

As of 1857, there were sixteen baseball teams within the New York area. They gathered to create the Nation’s Association of Base Ball Players (NABBP). This was the start of organized baseball. It was also the very first organization to develop a championship for that sport. Throughout the Civil War, membership grew tremendously. By 1867, there were four-hundred or more clubs within the organization. These clubs were located throughout the country and reached so far as California. It wasn’t until 1869 that professional play was established and allowed.

Professional baseball did not become widespread until about the 1870’s. At that time the amateur and professional players separated. A brand new association known as the National Association of Professional Base Ball Players was formed for all professional teams. This association remained around for approximately four years and was the early beginnings of what we know as the major leagues. Contracts could be enforced through the clubs that prevented players from straying off to other clubs. Clubs also were required play all scheduled games even after the team was eliminated from the championship. During this period, clubs made a contract that denied non-white players the right to play professional baseball which remained in effect until 1947.

Many leagues formed in the following years and disbanded shortly after. The American League and National Leagues survived through the struggle. Their competitive offers to players created large bidding wars that forced baseball contracts to become broken all over the country. Both of these leagues combined with the national association signed an agreement that established dominance over mlb and developed the World Series. The agreement stopped independents from buying out dominate players in the major league. Bidding wars were largely eliminated. Eventually many of the independent leagues joined the NA to avoid pilfering, gambling, along with other issues. Check out Leo-wells-on-sports.com to see much more about baseball and view his discussions on today’s baseball information.

When writing this article I found some other great stuff from Leo Wells. He has a sports blog named Leo Wells on Sports that is really well done.

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Baseball Team and MLB Players in Jerseys

MLB in United States; it’s envisioned than a great associated with people want to play snowboarding with MLB jerseys wholesale in the United States and possibly Canadians have raised affectionate near observing its number of games furthermore baseball competitions. Because the particular big tiny league snowboarding shall be contains mentors and coaches and teams this originated us states and in addition Europe. In reality that bit of league includes 29 categories involving USA you select one staff outside of North the United States. Fundamentally, that significant little league snowboarding can be quite a group during which contains the specific US folks minor league and in so many cases this country wide. Within partnership while using the foreign very little leagues the exact significant tiny league football additionally grips earth baseball principals.

That name of snowboarding game is with the important football players within Torry Holt jerseys than in the various the rest associated having activity. MLB playoffs have grown designed to in the end get view via the internet. Reviewing the exact MLB playoffs on line along with survive is definitely an extremely enjoyable practical experience per USA. That’s the main reason.

When you will find yourself a person’s occupied people style that is definitely focused on the attempt you are generally just these days applied along with, yet pursue to prefers have got modified in the number of hobby that you choose and obtain beneficial for the activity, view these on-line. That creation will serves as as for a solution considering the plea associated with countless Folks that planned to see the own missed playoffs. Your program which will fields MLB playoffs world wide web may be speedy adequate that can catch coupled with give each necessary level plus go from gamers for every audience to consider plus judge. Since then the particular playoffs of MLB started to be designed for via the internet watchers, this encountered commenced so as to command an individual’s personal inclination with seeing this playoffs belonging to the beloved rivals with cheap MLB jerseys.

In the final 5 many years the developing popularity and us going for illegal things in key league hockey has developed a arrest outcry and took indictments, arrests as well as congressional hearings. Some get even decide to put major little league baseball upon par having professional wrestling because it is right now a drugged or maybe ‘juiced’ activity and aged, lasting records with the greats including Ruth and also Hank Aaron can simply be busted by less athletes with steroids and still have become worthless. Just check out Barry Bonds for a good example.

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The Importance Of Baseball Field Tarps

The maintenance of a baseball field is very important for this sport as it needs to be kept in good condition for the use of the game. It shall be very essential for a field to be ready and well prepared so the games can then be played in an effective and safe manner. With the use of the baseball field tarps that will help to protect the field and allow the players to play at their best during this event.

All of these tarps are water proof and will stay in place from the weighed ball bearings that are inserted from the manufacturers. The round shaped tarps that are used to surround the pitchers mound and the home plate area are designed to form a perfect circle and the ones that coves the bases covers are rectangles.

No matter what the weather conditions are these covers are designed to help keep the field ready for use during a game. They are rip resistant of woven fabric and are also rot and mildew resistant with heat welded seams that will assure water proof protection.

These covers come in a standard color of forest green even though there are about 13 other colors, the forest green is what is mostly used for the major league fields. These types of covers were designed to protect and manage any moisture around the pitchers mound and the home plate area and also the bases and bullpens too.

These tarps are surely a great product and can are designed for protection from ultra violet rays of the sun. Plus they will not ever crack from any coldness from the winter months. Some improvements with these field tarps are that they now have rolling functions which will make it even more quicker and easier to cover the field so there is less of a chance of any cancellation of a game.

 

Michael Stein is the President of Tarps Plus – www.tarpsplus.com Tarps Plus has been distributing tarps since 1954.

Athletic Performance For Baseball Players!

Being a strength and conditioning specialist and ex-athlete I understand the importance of having strength, speed, agility, and power when it comes down to playing any sport. The amazing thing to me is that I have had more argumentative disagreements with baseball coaches on training than any other coach in any other sport. The smart coaches are coming around, but there is still an “old school” mindset that looms out there with some coaches on how they train their players in athletic performance.

The thing that those “old school” coaches don’t get is that bigger, faster, and stronger should be the goal in EVERY sport! The old school coaches don’t understand the importance of athletic performance. They still want to constantly work on specifically “baseball skills” rather than trying to optimize there players’ athleticism. Performance for baseball is just as critical as any other sport. Football players spend the better part of their summer in the weight room or on the field conditioning before they ever touch a football. The truth is that those “football skills” will come back in regular season practice.

The same thing happens with basketball these days too. Guys spend more time in the weight room and trying to sharpen their speed and agility for when the time comes for them to jump back on the court. Just about every other sport does this across the board more than baseball. I simply point out the facts. I don’t make this stuff up. I’m a former baseball player so don’t think I don’t understand, because I do. If you are a player then don’t cheat yourself. Make sure you take the time to get stronger, faster, more agile, and overall well conditioned before the season.

Its time for a change in the baseball community. If you are a parent that is paying for your kid to take cuts in the batting cage during the off-season you need to rethink your investment. I’m not saying they don’t need to practice those skills, but if you really want them to improve on those skills then try to work on making them a better athlete first! That is where you will get them better. Train hard my friends!

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Baseball Geek Group: Jimm Hendren?Baseball in Cuba

Baseball was first introduced to Cuba in 1860s by students who returned from the US and also from Western sailors docked in the nation. It quickly became popular and was spread widely.

In 1878, the Cuban League was established composed of 3 teams — Mantanzas, Habana, and Almendares — each playing 4 games. At first, players were all whites and amateurs but professionalism soon emerged as rivalry among teams strengthen.

The Cuban Revolution in 1959 resulted significant changes that reached the sports community. Baseball was chosen as the sport that symbolizes Cuba’s nationalism after the revolution. (Since the 19th century, baseball has already served as a symbol of Cuban pride.)

After the revolution concluded, guerilla leaders joined in exhibition matches in baseball as symbolic gestures. The 1960s also saw the replacement of pro baseball system with the Cuban National Series, an amateur baseball league. This is to encourage post-revolutionary games that depend on national ideals and not montery gain.

During the same period, Cuba’s government created the INDER (Institute for Sports, Physical Education and Recreation). This agency handled the physical education functions and the coordination of everything related to sports and served as a driving point in prioritizing success in sports games. Cuba’s eventual succss in the international sports scene put the revolution at the forefront and became a symbol of its triumph. Participation in sports was made essential as part of the revolutionary activity.

Baseball still played a key role even after the revolution, along with soccer and boxing.The government encourages its people to pursue sports albeit for a more political reason. Although it can be argued that sports really serve as a factor in improving health, it can also be surmised that games serve as training grounds for citizens in the area of self-defense.

From the outside, everything seemed good. However, when the professional system was removed to make way for amateur leagues, players ended up not getting paid enough. Prominent players only made an average of USD 2,000 per year. The situation got worse with Russia’s collapse in the 90s. Because of this, a number of players defected to the US for more rewarding opportunities. During this time, the sports scene in Cuba was also marred by bribery scandals which saw players and coaches fixing games and getting suspended as a result.

 

Just before you decide on purchasing an HGH product, look at the label well and verify if it’s made from natural and organic ingredients. But oral sprays aren’t highly recommended as these won’t directly head to your intestines, mouth as well as stomach membranes. And should you be an athlete, injections might not be suggested for you as it can certainly cause some problems. It really pays off to pay only with the genuine ones since this can even have an impact on your health in general.

CWG Games or GCW Games

In a cricket crazy nation as India, where every rich man is gladly pouring out all his heart and money to invest big time in the game, it was always somewhat difficult to throw open the nation gates to host a major world event like ‘Common Wealth Games’. And although, such huge events can give a tremendous boost to the nation’s tourism and can pull in the huge international brands to the national market, it is very critical to realize the efforts and sincerity needed to pull off such a major international event.

The Indian officials, however, have failed to realize not only the planning efforts but also the consequences that the nation can suffer in case of below average preparations. The yet unanswered vigorously growing questions about the improper grooming of the CWG, only goes on to highlight the already embarrassing preparation scenario. The carelessness and sheer irresponsible behaviour shown by the Indian CWG officials, is also boiling the blood of many locals awaiting the event.

The never-ending controversies that have come in open since the last month, has only brought serious disappointment to the national athletes, fans, and even the local people. And the scenario is only getting worse. The corruption scam opened the controversial curtain to CWG, which was later followed by the schedule problems, after which came the official anthem delay saga, and was followed by collapsed bridge and bad rooms. And many are still amazed at the paradox, of how excited our nation was to host such a major event and how under prepared we are.

The catastrophic CWG, has not only brought shame on India but also has killed any possibility of hosting such a huge non-cricket event in the near future. But our shameless CWG officials have successfully pulled off one thing for sure, they have managed to turn the ‘CWG’ to ‘GCW’. From the ‘Common Wealth Games’ to ‘Games with Common man’s Wealth’.

 

The author is a prolific article writer on a variety of topics. He writes quizzes on personality, astrology and love. He also works on twitter backgrounds and photo effects aimed at the general public.

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