April 2007

Extra Innings: 4/30/07

All of our thoughts:  There is this saying that "Baseball is life" and anyone who has ever played or watched the game knows just how important it is to win games and play well as an individual. However, when something tragic happens as it did in St. Louis when the Cardinals lost Josh Hancock, you learn that losing a teammate transcends everything.
On behalf of the the entire Leading Off crew, our thoughts and prayers go out to the Hancock family and the Cardinal organization.

Josh Hancock Tribute on MLB.com

Extra Innings: 04/27/07

Everyones thoughts:  Vinny would like to thank the viewers for their birthday well wishes. John would like to thank the viewers for being able to put up with looking at his face for two hours.

We mentioned on the show that April the 27th has the most no-hitters thrown on it in Major League history. Below is the list…
1) 1944 – Jim Tobin – Boston vs. Brooklyn
2) 1968 – Tom Pheobus – Baltimore vs. Boston
3) 1973 – Steve Busby – Kansas City vs. Detroit
4) 1994 – Scott Erickson – Minnesota vs. Milwaukee
5) 2002 – Derek Lowe – Red Sox vs. Tampa Bay
6) 2003 – Kevin Millwood – Philadelphia vs. San Francisco

Because of this information, we on the show picked who will get a no-hitter today! If one of our guys does, cheesesteaks and pizza will be flowing through the studio on Monday! Below are our picks…

Marzano – Roy Oswalt
Cuch – Ian Snell
Chris the producer – Jake Westbrook
EJ the Engineer – Ramon Ortiz
Joy the Marlin – Anibal Sanchez

Extra Innings: 04/26/07

Marz’s thoughts:  I can’t wait to see Phil Hughes pitch tonight for the Yankees. I spoke with Yankee coach Larry Bowa and he said he is a can’t miss pitcher. He thinks he can be a 15-18 game winner in this league and last a long time. There will be a lot of pressure on him, but i think he will thrive in it! Tune into our show tomorrow at 10 ET and we will break down his start.
P.S. – How does Macoooooch not get my Joe Morgan stance reference! That young whipper-snapper.

Cuch’s thoughts:  The under the radar move of the day comes out of Los Angeles of Anaheim where the Angels sent down Kendry Morales…put Juan Rivera on the DL and brought up BRANDON WOOD! This top prospect has been the ying to Howie Kendricks yang for some time now and the Halos future up the middle looks promising. He will wear #3 when he makes his eventual debut and i look forward to seeing him play.
P.S. – I think that Curt Schillings sock is not real at all. I think it is a ploy by the government. They stuck it in there on a day that they rose taxes to deflect our attention away. Come on – WHO CARES if the sock is fake, he didn’t cheat…but i will think conspiracy if you want me to.

Chris the producer’s thoughts:  Thanks to Ryan Freel for joining us today on the show and we are hoping that he doesn’t go streaking through our studios anytime soon!

Check back SHORTLY for a pic of host Petey McCarthy looking all WEIRD in his Rick Vaughn glasses and hat (courtesy of the Indians)

Tune in tomorrow at 10 am ET for tomorrows show and thanks to www.mlblogs.com for the attention today!!!

Extra Innings: 04/25/07

Marz’s thoughts:  Even with Ryan Howard struggling, the Phillies offense has heated up. Chase Utley, Pat Burrell and Aaron Rowand have stepped it up and carried the team. Starting pitcher Jamie Moyer is 44 and is throwing like he is 34. If the Phils bullpen straigtens itself out with the addition of Brett Myers, they could be revived in the coming weeks!
P.S. – I got NOTHING today…i am in a state of confusion now

Cuch’s thoughts:  How often do you see two solid closers blow a save in the same game? That was the case in Anaheim as both Francisco Rodriguez and Todd Jones each let one go. Venezuelan Magglio Ordonez got into a fastball of Venezuelan K-Rod but he was redeemed when Reggie Willets crossed the plate with the winning run.
P.S. – Is it any surprise that Marzano has nothing today? Oh and the Mariners cancelled again? They are up to 6 games that they have to makeup!

Extra Innings: 04/24/07

Marz’s thoughts:   It’s nice to go to the ballpark and see so many older players doing well. I was at Citizens Bank Park yesterday and witnessed Craig Biggio launch a leadoff homerun against the Phils. Tonight, head out to Chase Field and watch as Randy Johnson makes his return to the field once again with the Diamondbacks. As an added note, he will be opposed by David Wells. If you get a chance, head out to the park to see guys like this or names lik Glavine, Maddux and Smoltz, you will not be disappointed.
P.S. – Don’t give EJ the Engineer……….a contract! He keeps messing up my microphone and music!

Cuch’s thoughts:  I had my doubts, but quietly in this early season, John Maine has impressed. I first thought that his outings in the playoffs although in a pinch and effective weren’t all that impressive and would be exposed in 2007. Maine so far has shown life to his fastball and has kept hitters off-balance enough to get some wins.
P.S. – Johnny Marz better be practicing his video game at home because he better not lose to Casey Stern when the big battle happens on the Xbox! That would let down the family…

Extra Innings: 04/23/07

Marz’s thoughts:  Mike Hargrove and Bill Bavasi are on the Hot Seat in Seattle. Mariners Chairman and CEO Howard Lincoln made it very clear in the off-season that the team would need to play better and if the team doesn’t start kicking it in gear, they are in trouble.
P.S. – I am writing a fictional book about Chris our producer… It’s a book about a skinny, physically fit guy who looks like Arnold Schwartzenegger. Like I said, it is fiction!

Cuch’s thoughts:  Is there anything more annoying for a Major Leaguer than to go out and strike out 12 players and have your bullpen give up the lead as the Devil Rays did for James Shields? Certainly, Shields would not throw his team Under the Bus, but it has to be a punch to the gut!
P.S. – Don’t forget – UNDER THE BUS Tuesday returns tomorrow on the show!! Get your comments in now for the show tomorrow….or email us baseballchannel@mlb.com

Chris the producers thought’s:  I am kinda hungry!

Extra Innings: 04/20/07

Marz’s thoughts:  There is more than just the Yanks and Sox this weekend. I am excited to see many different series’ play out starting tonight. The Mets are home against Atlanta and Tim Hudson looks like he is back to his old form. The Cubs host the Cardinals and that is one intense rivalry as well. Plus, don’t fall short on the A’s and Rangers and White Sox and Tigers. Enjoy the weekend games…I know i will.
P.S. – Happy Birthday to my mother…she turns 80 this weekend and to all lefty throwing kids – – LEARN THE CHANGEUP!

Cuch’s thoughts:  The World Baseball Classic committee announced that they have approved 8 teams with 8 more to come for the 2009 tourney. The teams accepted are the obvious ones and irrelevant for this point. The fact that the tourney is back on someones mind is nice. I thought the first run through was great but filled with errors that hurt players going into, during and after the games. I think the 2nd time around, we will get a much better idea of what teams bring to the world stage!
P.S. – Of course, baseball is my favorite sport but i love ALL sports and i am kind of dissapointed that i have very little interest in this years NBA playoffs. Who is with me? The first round is predictable and the final four will be the same again!

Chris the Producers thought’s:  Don’t forget it was ME who said Alex Rodriguez will finish with 75 homers and 175 RBIs this year! The Year of A-Rod! I have spoken….

Extra Innings: 04/19/07

Marz’s thoughts:  Not only was Mark Buerhle great in his no-hitter in Chicago but I give alot of credit to AJ Pierzynski as well. As a catcher, in situations like this one, it is a real honor to be associated with the accomplishment. I was disheartened watching the ball go through Randy Johnson’s legs when i was catching in a game in Seattle. It was the closest I ever was to being a part of a no-hitter. The date was July 16th, 1998 vs. the Minnesota Twins at the Kingdome. Brent Gates got the only hit that day against RJ.

P.S. – Vinny wore a Mark Buerhle shirt in studio today showing that he has WAY too many shirts and my guess is he will wear his A-Rod shirt tomorrow because he is nothing but a front runner!

Cuch’s thoughts:  Thank goodness that Sanjaya is finally out of American Idol. Personally, i couldn’t care less who wins the thing. I just like Simon because he is the only one is gives legit statements…however, Sanjaya was a debacle and no longer funny!

P.S. – Bobby Cox signed an extension with the Braves and that is great news for the organization. When Cox, the Jones’ and Smoltz leave – i will be sad to see the official end of the dynasty in Atlanta.

Extra Innings: 04/18/07

Great comments with the re-debut of Under the Bus Tuesdays! Keep em coming and tune in next Tuesday for more! Meanwhile, check out The Drunken Tacoman on the M’s. We scour the blogs all the time to hear your voice and as we find ones we like, we will add it to our roster!

Marz’s thoughts:  The Cubs and the White Sox are two teams with high expectations and good offenses. However, they are not scoring any runs and each have managers that are fiery. Both are not afraid to get on the teams on the field and in the media. If the Cubs in particular do not pick it up, expect Lou to give a trademark blowup! The players won’t like it, but the fans will love it.

P.S. – Seth was great with the MLB.TV game of the day, but your open was horrible! Next time you do something that bad, we are putting flowers on the desk with you.

Cuch’s thoughts: Hearing the news that the Tampa Bay Devil Rays have doubled their ratings from last season is great. This is an exciting team and they have great youth that is ready to play everyday. In addition, a nice read will be the weekly diary from 3B Akinori Iwamura…check it out HERE!!!

P.S. – Great job in the Nationals front office to wear the Virginia Tech hats during last nights game.

Keep the comments coming!
Vinny & John

Extra Innings: 04/16/07

Marz’s thoughts: Albert Pujols started off slow this season and I don’t care how great you are, you will not succeed if you aren’t hitting strikes. This lesson was first brought up in Ted Williams’ book "The Science of Hitting". According to Ted’s Chart, the best zone to hit in is the middle of the plate and your average decreases when a pitch is on the corners or too high or too low.
Tim Hudson is off to a 3-0 start and although he wasn’t dominating, he still got the win and it could be that last year he was tipping his pitches and that has been fixed for 2007.
P.S. – Rain, rain go away, little Johnny wants to play!

Cuch’s thoughts: Why do people still run on the field at a baseball or any game for that matter? The cameras do not show you. The crowd mocks you. It proves you are intoxicated and you get thrown in the teams underground slammer! On top of that, someone in Philadelphia runs on the field on a Friday. Now, this dope must spend the entire weekend underground because no one is available to fill out the paperwork necessary to get him out! People are really not that smart sometimes.
P.S. – If i had 1,072 AB’s like Jason Tyner, i project i would have had 27 total homeruns over the course of my career. I assume that because I would have focused more on leading the league in hitting each season.

Marz’s additional thoughts: You are joking thinking you would have left the yard Cuch and i will give you as much "guff" as I want to give you!

Major Fun Announcement coming in the upcoming days!!! Stay Tuned!!!