Whenever someone asks me to play general manager, wondering what position I would fill first in assembling a team from scratch, I invariably say shortstop, unless of course there is another Roberto Alomar on the horizon at second base. However, I decided to take a look at the 13 World Series since the turn of the century and what I saw may have changed my mind. Over those 13 years, eight catchers have shared those World Series rings and four have two apiece. Furthermore you could argue that four or five of those eight will be going to the Hall of Fame. Lets start with the Yankees Jorge Posada. He won the "Fall Classic" with the Yankees in 2000, (not his first) at age 28 and then won again in 2009 at age 37. Then there is the Red Sox former captain, and now front office stalwart, Jason Varitek. He won that historic “Curse of the Babe” ending 2004 World Series with Boston at age 32. Varitek won it again at 35 with Boston in 2007. Yadier Molina, the best catcher in the game right now, won his first with St. Louis in 2006 at 24. Then in 2011 he won his second at 29. Now at 31, hes into the National League Championship Series against the Dodgers, with a decent shot at winning a third. Buster Posey of the Giants has had a remarkable career so far. He won the World Series in 2010 at 23 and, after missing a sizeable chunk of the following season, came back to win again in 2012. Molina already looks like a lock for the Hall of Fame, and Posey is right on that path. You can argue for and against Posada and Varitek, but I believe both will eventually get into Cooperstown. In 2003, Ivan "Pudge" Rodriguez won his World Series with the then Florida Marlins at age 31. The only thing that might keep Rodriguez out of the Hall of Fame, or at least delay his entry, are the allegations that he used steroids. If youre keeping count, thats nine of the last 13 World Series winners who had No. 1 catchers worthy of Hall of Fame consideration. Included in the other four is Yadier Molinas older brother Benji, who won with the Angels in 2002 at age 28. A third brother Jose, who later played with the Blue Jays and now suits up for Tampa Bay, was one of Benjis back-ups that year. The only one I really had trouble remembering was the Arizona Diamonbacks primary catcher in 2001 when they beat the Yankees. Damian Miller was 32 that year, and is probably the only one who might be termed a journeyman, at least compared to the rest. The other 2, oddly enough are going to be free agents after the World Series. A.J Pierzynski won with the Chicago White Sox in 2005, ending that franchises drought that dated back to 1917. He was 29 at the time. And Carlos Ruiz was part of the great run the Phillies had under Charlie Manuel and won his "Fall Classic” in 2008 at age 29. Ruiz has had shoulder issues and was suspended for PED use. Hell be 35 next season. The top two potential free agents in the off season are Bostons Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Atlantas Brian McCann. The Blue Jays must upgrade behind the plate in the wake of the horrible season J.P Arencibia had. McCann and Saltalamacchia are probably beyond their reach however Pierzynski and Ruiz would both offer a short-term fix and veteran stability. Pierzynski caught Mark Buehrle in 2005, and is known as a fierce competitor, while Ruiz has caught the likes of Roy Halladay, Cole Hamels and Cliff Lee. Travis DArnaud, didnt exactly make a major impact with the Mets after being dealt to New York in the R.A Dickey swap, but another catcher the Jays swapped this past off-season did make his mark. 26-year-old Yan Gomes was traded to Cleveland along with utility infielder Mike Aviles for right hander Esmil Rogers, who was plugged into the rotation when injuries took their toll again this season. Rogers effectively became the compensation for John Farrell moving on to manage Boston, since Aviles was part of that trade to Cleveland. Gomes though, was the real story of the deal. The Sao Paolo native was the first Brazilian to play in the Majors when he debuted with the Jays in 2012. He was viewed as more of a utility type who could catch, play third and DH, and hit with a bit of power. For Cleveland though he caught 85 games, and had a .996 fielding percentage. He also threw out 41% of those attempting to steal bases against him. Gomes hit .294 with 11 homers and 38 runs batted in. The Blue Jays may one day regret they dealt him away, if they dont already. Stephon Marbury USA Jersey
.ca presents a week long look at some of the teams and stories that will shape the up coming campaign. Chris Mullin USA Jersey
. Perez, 35, posted a 1-2 record with a 3.69 earned-run average in 19 relief appearances last season. His season ended Aug. 9 due to a torn ligament in his left elbow. Perez joins infielder Andy LaRoche and catcher Mike Nickeas with minor-league agreements for 2014 that include invitations to attend spring training. http://www.teamusaolympicsshop.us/Olymp ... y/.Mallais
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. Mesoraco hurt his hamstring while scoring from second in Friday nights 5-4 loss at Atlanta. Chapman was hit by a line drive during an exhibition game on March 19, breaking his nose and a bone above his left eye. The left-hander looked strong while throwing 43 pitches in batting practice before Saturday nights game against the Braves.Over the winter, we wrote about the Blue Jays coming to terms with a pair of pitchers who were trying to become knuckleballers. They were Josh Banks and Tomo Ohka. Banks had been a Blue Jays draft pick who had a brief stint with the club in 2007 before moving on to San Diego and then Houston, compiling a career record of 4-8. The other was Ohka, a journeyman from Japan who spent time with six organizations, including the Blue Jays in 2007, where he went 2-5. Ohka, who turns 38 next week, was already sent to the minor league camp last week. Now there is a third. Hes 30-year-old Frank Viola III. If the name is familiar, it should be. Hes the son of former big league star lefty, Frank Viola Jr. Frank Jr. had a very good career, predominantly with the Twins and the Mets. He was the MVP of the 1987 World Series - the Twins first win ever - and won the Cy Young Award in the American League the following season - his final full season with the Twins with a 24-7 season. Frank "Sweet Music" Viola, as he was affectionately known, is a member of the Twins Hall of Fame. Viola actually finished off his major league career in a short stop over with the Blue Jays in 1996. He went 1-3 for the Jays and ended his career on May 28 of that year. His son chased that major league dream as well and pitched in the White Sox organization thtough 2007 before injuries appeared to cut his career short. He dabbled in the media doing Florida State League games and even had his own fishing show, but Viola III never gave up his dream of pitching in the majors. The next step was trying to master the knuckleball. He worked with the likes of R,A Dickey, Tim Wakefield and Hall of Famer Phil Niekro and finally impressed the Blue Jays enough that they signed him last week. This doesnt necessarily mean the 30-year-old will make it to the big club. The Jays game plan is to have a knuckleballer or two in the minors to work with their catching prospects. That way, if they get called up to the Jays theyll be ready to work with Dickey without any major adjustment. Still, it would be great to see one of these knuckleballers eventually make it to the majors. Frank Viola Jr. incidentally is entering his second season as the pitching coach with the Mets Triple A farm club, the Las Vegas 51s. After writing about the passing of Dr. Frank Jobe, the man who pioneered Tommy John surgery last week, I discovered another interesting twist to the Tommy John sstory.dddddddddddd Back in 1968, in a game at old Tiger Stadium, John was pitching against Detroit. In the first inning he hit Dick McAuliffe with a pitch. He later scored on an RBI single by Al Kaline. When McAuliffe came up again in the third, threw one pitch high and tight and then a 3-2 pitch behind McAuliffes head that sent him sprawling in the dirt. When he got up he dusted himself off and started to head to first glancing out towards John. McAuliffe claims that John taunted him by saying "What the F are you looking at?" That was the final straw for McAuliffe and he charged the mound. John got into a defensive position and the knee of the charging McAuliffe dug into Johns left shoulder. He suffered a separated shoulder and torn shoulder ligaments and missed the rest of the season. McAuliffe was suspended for five games and was fined $250.00. The interesting thing about John is that he resisted the advice to have surgery and let the shoulder heal with rest and rehab. The plan worked, though it took a while for John to get back to peak efficiency. 1974 was different. When Tommy John blew out his elbow, he said his arm simply felt dead. This time he agreed to surgery, which not only changed his career but revolutionized baseball in terms of treating this type of elbow injury. The Detroit Tigers have made history over the last three years, winning five of the six major awards handed out. They have won three straight MVP awards - the last two by Miguel Cabrerra and three straight Cy Young awards. The Tigers have made the postseason in each of the last three years. The only other time the organization did that was in the hay day of Ty Cobb in 1907, 1908 and 1909 when they dropped three straight World Series - two to the Cubs and one to the Pirates. This season under rookie manager Brad Ausmus, they will be trying to make the playoffs for the fourth straight time and for the first time in franchise history. Over the weekend, Tigers GM Dave Dumbrowski denied rumours he was listening to offers for starting pitcher Rick Porcello. In fact, he denied trying to trade any of his starters. But considering the Tigers have question marks at 3rd base and left field, you have to wonder a bit. Its still a bit too early to get too excited or too worried about this but Baltimore is 8-2 so far this spring and is scoring nearly eight runs-again, even without a rehabbing Manny Machado (knee) at full strength. Cheap NFL Jerseys Wholesale Jerseys Wholesale NFL Jerseys Jerseys From China Wholesale NFL Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys Cheap Jerseys
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