May 2007

Extra Innings: 05/31/07

Marz’s thoughts:  With all of my blabbering during the show, we completely were overshadowed with the masterful performance of Chris Young. The Padres received a big game from the big guy and despite the fact that he is tall, he gives the impression that he doesn’t challenge you often. He doesn’t throw awfully hard, yet he will come right at you.
P.S. – Next time i am out on the field playing football, i pledge to interfere with Deion Sanders so that he doesn’t make the catch.

Cuch’s thoughts:  The All-Star balloting update is out there and we will talk about this on the show more but the voting bothers me. I like that the fans are involved but they often vote the wrong guys in. The major markets get the entire starting lineup and i want to see when someone who really deserves it gets the nod!
P.S. – John Marzano…you think you would dress up for the show. Did you see my nice pimpin’ shirt and tie. You wear an Astros shirt? They have lost 10 in a row!

Extra Innings: 05/30/07

Marz’s thoughts:  With all that happened in Major League Baseball yesterday, we overlooked a very dominant performance by Dodgers pitcher Brad Penny who is now 7-1 with a 2.06 era. He was the NL All Star starting pitcher in 2006 and tends to start well and then slow in the 2nd half. Hopefully for the LA Dodgers, after the All-Star break, he continues to pitch the same way. With San Diego and Arizona playing so well, he is going to have to.
P.S. – Vinny is going to the Mets-Giants game tonight and I hear he plans to barge in and do play-by-play!

Cuch’s thoughts:  So how many of the approximately 50,000 fans at Shea Stadium will be booing Barry Bonds? Why exactly are they booing Barry Bonds? Is it the steroids? Is it is his personality? Plus, how many of those fans as long as the game is not close will actually WANT to see Bonds hit a homerun on the night they are there? Sure, I have my suspicions about Bonds, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that we are still watching one of the greatest players of our generation.
P.S. – John Gibbons’ decision to send Aaron Hill from 3rd is among the best managerial moves of the season just because of the situation and status of both teams!

Extra Innings: 05/29/07

Marz’s thoughts:  Watching that Ryan Freel play when he collided with Norris Hopper in right-centerfield, I was inspired by the way, this young man plays the game of baseball. The Cincinnati Reds are having a horrible season and if there is any reason to go out and watch a baseball game it is because of Ryan Freel. He plays the game because he loves baseball… not for the money… not for the glory! In this day and age of homeruns, RBI’s and slugging percentage, people tend to overlook the players that play for the love of the game.
P.S. – Bobby Abreu and Rod Barajas – please read the comments above!

Cuch’s thoughts:  After being at 2 straight Roger Clemens’ tune up starts in the Minor Leagues, this is a guy who is ready to go! He looked good in the AA start to me. I don’t mind that his walks were a bit up or his line was not great. Ultimately, he is a veteran and KNOWS what he needs to do to get major league hitters out. Expect Clemens not to be the SAVIOR, but the stabilizer.
P.S. – What is the negative thing? I am told I am one of the most positive people around. I am gonna start throwing things in studio. No wait, i am just kidding.
P.P.S – How about Al Roker? He was great!

Extra Innings: 05/25/07

Seth’s thoughts:  Pinch-hitting for Marzano was fun and Vinny and I go together like Smoltz and Glavine except they are now on different teams and throw with the opposite arm among other things but you get the point. Sorry Mets fans, but you know that Glavine was over the loss and happy that his buddy reached 200 career wins last night!
P.S. – Why does John think i need a bigger chair and how are you gonna knock a guy with Plantar Fasciatis?

Cuch’s thoughts:  Thanks to Seth for stepping in…I always have a great time talking with him. However, I am certainly looking forward to the return of Marz on Tuesday! Thanks also to Brett doing a great job – it will be fun to have Chris back in the saddle Tuesday as well! Enjoy the Holiday weekend of baseball and prediction of the weekend…James Shields will pitch beautifully tonight in Chicago leading the Rays to a big win and series sweep over the White Sox.
P.S. – Petey Mac is the man – that guy gives great information when he jumps on. Now i just have to figure out a way to get on his schedule for a day and play some golf…

Enjoy the weekend and thank you to the Veterans of this country on this Memorial Day weekend!

The Leading Off Show

Extra Innings: 05/24/07

Marz’s thoughts:  I have a feeling that pretty soon Jerry Narron could be the fall guy in Cincinnati but it is not all his fault. What is a skipper supposed to do when he just doesn’t have the pitching horses to compete. I would not be surprised if the Griffey Jr. rumors out of town start to pick up because he is playing too well and can contribute to a competing team.
P.S. – They just finished bringing my small chair out of studio and they are currently bringing in the extra large one for Seth tomorrow! haha

Cuch’s thoughts:  Be sure to check out FSN Detroit tonight where Mario Impemba  will work alongside Hall of Famer Ernie Harwell. Harwell retired after the 2002 season but still remains one of my favorite voices to listen to.
P.S. – I had a blast with the Roger Clemens game. It was great to work with the folks at CN8 and all the people with that put it together.

Extra Innings: 05/23/07

Marz’s thoughts:  Johan Santana looks like he is back. His changeup was devastating and his command was back on track. I think Santana is proving once again that he is the best pitcher in baseball and the Twins need him win the division. If they had Liriano, you probably have them as your AL Central winner anyways!
P.S. – Don’t worry, i am practicing the video game so that I can beat Casey to a pulp! A big win is coming on June 23rd.

Cuch’s thoughts:  Roger Clemens makes yet another start tonight, this time for Trenton. Sure he will bring a ton of energy and wins to the Bronx BUT is it too late? Certainly not for the playoffs – since the Wild Card exists but the division becomes more of a problem. The reason is not just because NY is struggling but also because Boston has been too strong.
P.S. – Check out our LIVE and FREE coverage of the Rockets start tonight. I will handle the play-by-play along with Billy Sample. Coverage begins with the pre-game at 6 ET and the game starts at 7 ET on the Baseball Channel.

Extra Innings: 05/22/07

Marz’s thoughts:  Cole Hamels nearly threw a no-hitter his last time out. Here is a guy with nasty stuff and says he feels like if it is all working, he can throw a no-hitter on any given night. Here is a stat to ponder. Hamels is the Major League leader in pitches that opposing hitters swing and miss with.
P.S. – What jersey do you want me to wear on the show tomorrow? Let me know!

Cuch’s thoughts:  Milwaukee went 3-7 in their tough 10 game stretch that we on the show would give us an idea of how good they are. I still think they are ok, but the next 9 games will test them again. 3 @ LA, 3 @ SD and 3 vs. ATL – they already won the first – so if they can go 4-4 the rest of the way, they can be at 32-17 and that is very respectable headed into June!
P.S. – I think John can wear any jersey he wants as long as he wears a paper bag over his head!

Extra Innings: 05/21/07

Marz’s thoughts:  I am glad to see that Interleague play is over. Now i can get to watching some good divisional battles. I will be focused on the Yankees-Red Sox tonight. I really would like to see the Yankees play better and put a little pressure on the Red Sox but I just don’t think it will happen. They are too old and they are not going to all turn it around enough to even make the playoffs.
P.S. – If the Yankees really want to get younger, they should bring me back and see the difference I make as they fight Boston!

Cuch’s thoughts:  Talk about a tale of two different teams. They may have met in the 2006 World Series but these aren’t the same teams. The Tigers look like they could get back there. They are hitting on all cylinders, are playing well without Kenny Rogers and Joel Zumaya and just swept St. Louis. The Cardinals on the other hand might finish 5th in their division. They played well at the right time last October but this does NOT surprise me. They are not that good of a team with weak pitching and when the offense is playing as poorly as they have so far, it is no surprise that they are so far below .500.
P.S. – The Ducks (with one more win) will beat the Senators in the Stanley Cup Finals. Why? Because it will be the 3rd straight year that Hockey Crazy Canada will be ousted by a warm weather US city for the ultimate prize.

Tampa Bay over Calgary – 2004
Carolina over Edmonton – 2005

Extra Innings: 05/18/07

Marz’s thoughts:  With Interleague Play beginning again tonight, I would like to see the whole idea of it abolished. It has totally run its course and I think it takes away from the postseason. I liked it better when teams met in the World Series that have never met before in the regular season. There was an intrigue there.
P.S. – No, contrary to popular belief, it was NOT me who streaked onto the field in Philadelphia.

Cuch’s thoughts:  I am totally fine with Interleague play, but lets see if pulled back a little. No more than 10 games a year and 1 series with your natural rival. See example here:
        In 2007 – The Dodgers may play 3 @ Angels, 3 @ Rangers & 4 v. Mariners
        In 2008 – The Dodgers may play 3 v. Angels, 3 v. Twins & 4 @ Royals
Under this system, it balances the schedule a little bit, you still get Interleague action for NL only or AL only cities and you keep some intriguing matchups just that…..intriguing over the years.
P.S. – Jason Giambi’s comments sound like he is still upset with himself and how everything has come out about steroids. He clearly is apologetic and is trying to make ammends. Let’s move on and stop steroids from happening now.

Extra Innings: 05/17/07

Marz’s thoughts:  There are only 6 legitimate contenders for the playoffs in the National League in my opinion. It will be much easier for some teams to make the postseason in the NL because I only see the Mets, Braves, Brewers, Dodgers, Padres and Phillies as threats. In the American League, there are many more solid teams and because it is that much better, it will make it harder to comeback from deficits.
P.S. – Join me for some Spring Training later this month in Philadelphia and I prepare to play softball with the Phillies ballgirls and Sixers dancers. Spring Training will last as long as they want it to.

Cuch’s thoughts:  With a team in such dire straits due to numerous injuries as the Blue Jays are, it will take a leader to step up and pick up the slack. Clearly, guy number one to do so is AJ Burnett. The righty pitched beautifully tossing a complete game against the O’s while allowing just 1 run and striking out 10.
P.S. – What was Lino Urdaneta thinking getting a 50 game ban for substance abuse? He just had two days at the big league level and allowed a homer in one total inning of work.