Since the start of the season rumors flew that 2009 would most definitely was Carlos Delgado’ last season in the Big Apple.
Even though was considered one of the key players for a pennant run this season, management knew behind the scenes most likely the 37-year-old Delgado, whose contract expires after this season, was not going to be ask to return.
For Mets management luckily they have the excuse to tell him goodbye after Sept. 28.
Delgado could never comeback from hip surgery and derailed by a right oblique strain. Not withstanding if he makes a comeback in the final weeks and shows his healthy no matter what it is very unlikely he will be ask to be a Met in 2010.
Well, no matter if he would not have suffered his setback Delgado would have been a victim anyway.
Fred Wilpon, the Mets principal owner, was one of the hardest hit financially by the losses caused by the Ponzi scheme run by his former friend Bernard Madoff.
According to various media reports, it have been divulged that Wilpon business, Sterling Equities, lost an estimate $700 million in Madoff’ $65 billion fraud revealed last December.
Moreover, it is not clear yet if Wilpon will lose more money in rights if the federal government re-asserts that Citigroup have to withdraw the name from Mets’ Citi Field as part of the federal banking bailout settlement.
However Delgado’ fate was not only because Wilpon’s financial distress.
Mets management has been closely watching if younger and less expensive Daniel Murphy could replace him in first base.
Another choice that has been mentioned is to trade make a trade for San Diego Padres’ Adrian Gonzalez. Due his high-priced tag words is also the Mets will make trades for Luis Castillo and Jose Reyes.
As for Delgado, he has said he wants to play in 2010.
If he can show he can comeback from injury odds are very likely he will land a deal as a designated hitter in the American League. Nobody be surprise the Toronto Blue Jays bring him back for a year with incentives.
Let keep in mind Delgado is a player with strong leadership skills and power hitting. Let be clear if it had not been for his hip injury he was coming from a 2008 season in which he hit 38 homers and 115 RBI.
Delgado is hungry career ego. The Puerto Rican All-Star, who wears number 21 in honor of Roberto Clemente, well knows that his shy of 27 dingers to reach the home-run club. That means possible Cooperstown bound.
Who will consider Delgado, time will let us know.
In two weeks Latinos living in the United States will start celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month.
It is the period to recognize the contributions of Hispanics to the United States and to celebrate Hispanic heritage and culture. The observation started in 1968 as Hispanic Heritage Week under President Lyndon B. Johnson and was expanded by President Ronald Reagan in 1988 to cover a 30-day period starting on September 15 and ending on October 15.
Every year Hispanic Heritage Month begins on September 15, the anniversary of independence for five Latin American countries–Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua.
In addition, Mexico declared its independence on September 16 and Chile on September 18. October 12, Columbus Day or Dia de la Raza, also falls within this 30-day period.
As a Florida resident and a baseball fan and writer, I have to acknowledge that one of the most notable contributions to the Sunshine State is baseball itself.
I can write a whole essay about it. However I’m going to keep it short and bring on the best 20 Latinos that have played either for the Marlins or Rays in the major leagues.
This season we are watching in both sides of the state two great All-Stars from the Dominican Republic.
The Marlins’ Hanley Ramirez is going on with an MVP season and is one month shy from winning his first career batting title in the National League.
On the other side, the Rays’ Carlos Peña is on pace to finish the season as the American League home run king.
This is my list of the top 20 Latinos to wear a Marlins and/or Rays jersey in the Major Leagues:
Luis Castillo (Marlins)
Miguel Cabrera (Marlins)
Hanley Ramírez (Marlins-active)
Mike Lowell (Marlins)
Alex González (Marlins)
Antonio Alfonseca (Marlins)
Edgar Renteria (Marlins)
Liván Hernández (Marlins)
Iván Rodríguez (Marlins)
Moises Alou (Marlins)
Bobby Bonilla (Marlins)
Armando Benitez (Marlins)
Ugueth Urbina (Marlins)
Carlos Delgado (Marlins)
Alfredo Amezaga (Marlins)
Jorge Cantu (Rays/Marlins-active)
Dioner Navarro (Rays-active)
Carlos Peña (Rays-active)
Roberto Hernández (Rays)
Julio Lugo (Rays)
This is the time of the year that many players are thinking October. It is the time to step up en route to the World Series.
Every franchise in the post-season race is looking closely at their so-called “super nine”, but there is always one or two players that can make the difference.
These are the Latino players that their franchises need, and count on as key factors.
These are the Latinos that can be their key master to this year 2009 Fall Classic.
New York Yankees: 3B-Alex Rodriguez; P-Mariano Rivera
Boston Red Sox: 3B-Mike Lowell
Tampa Bay Rays: 1B-Carlos Peña
Detroit Tigers: IB-Miguel Cabrera; OF-Magglio Ordoñez
Minnesota Twins: SS-Orlando Cabrera
Chicago White Sox: Ozzie Guillen (Yes! The Manager)
Los Angeles Angels: OF-Vladimir Guerrero
Texas Rangers: P-Neftali Perez; C-Ivan Rodriguez
Philadelphia Phillies: 3B-Pedro Feliz; C-Carlos Ruiz
Florida Marlins: SS-Hanley Ramirez; 3B-Jorge Cantu
Atlanta Braves: SS-Yunel Escobar; P-Javier Vazquez
St.Louis Cardinals: 1B-Albert Pujols; C-Yadier Molina
Los Angeles Dodgers: OF-Manny Ramirez; SS-Rafael Furcal
Colorado Rockies : P-Ubaldo Jimenez; P-Jorge de la Rosa
San Francisco Giants: C-Bengie Molina; 3B-Pablo Sandoval
Since 1929 when the New York Yankees and the Cleveland Indians were the first major league clubs to wear uniform numbers, players have been marked forever by their jersey numbers.
In Yankee Stadium at Monument Park you can see all the famous numbers that have been immortalize by such names as Billy Martin, Babe Ruth, JoeDiMaggio, Lou Gehrig, Mickey Mantle, Yogi Berra, Don Mattingly and Reggie Jackson.
The most famous no. 8 ever in Baltimore Orioles history was Cal Ripken. In Boston the most notable no. 9 ever was Ted Williams. No fan in Philly have forgotten that no. 20 was property of Mike Schmidt.
In Pittsburgh never has been forgotten the no. 8 Willie Stargell and number 21 Roberto Clemente.
Every franchise has its own history. Every fan is loyal to their favorite player’s number. When I pitched in the little leagues I was no. 30 in honor of Nolan Ryan. When my pitching young days were over my jersey number was no. 8 in honor of Dickie Thon.
This is my list of numbers that have been immortalize by latinos in Major League Baseball history:
3-Alex Rodriguez (Seattle Mariners-Texas Rangers))
11-Luis Aparicio, Edgar Martinez, George Bell
13-Alex Rodriguez (New York Yankees), Dave Concepcion, Omar Vizquel
18-Moises Alou, Omar Moreno
19-Juan Gonzalez, Bert Campaneris
20- Jorge Posada
21-Roberto Clemente, Sammy Sosa, Ruben Sierra, Carlos Delgado (New York Mets)
24-Tany Perez, Manny Ramirez, Miguel Cabrera
25-Jose Cruz, Rafael Palmeiro, Mike Lowell, Carlos Delgado (Toronto Blue Jays)
27-Juan Marichal, Vladimir Guerrero
30-Orlando Cepeda, Dennis Martinez, Magglio Ordoñez
34-David Ortiz, Fernando Valenzuela
45-Pedro Martínez, Carlos Lee. John Candelaria
46-Tony Armas Sr.
ESPN is celebrating 20 years of covering Major League Baseball and the network asked fans to vote for their all-time team of the last 20 seasons.
At this moment, fans are being asked to pick the winners for each position.
Not surprisingly, winning names in this national poll have been Edgar Martinez as the top DH, Albert Pujols top first baseman, Ivan Rodriguez as top catcher, and Mariano Rivera as the top closer in the last 20 years.
All players from Latin America.
For the last 23 years I have been covering the Major League Baseball beat of the Puerto Rican and Latin American players, and over that time I have seen a bunch of great players.
I’ve also seen how appealing they are to their fans. I have seen how hall-of-famers Roberto Clemente, Orlando Cepeda, Tany Perez, Luis Aparicio, Rod Carew, and Juan Marichal are perceived as never-gone heroes in the respective towns they played in in their hey-days.
Nowadays players like Albert Pujols, Hanley Ramirez, Manny Ramirez, Johan Santana and many others are closely watched and being regarded as the No. 1 players of their respective franchises.
Quite different to ESPN’ SportsNation Poll, I will share whom I believe are the best Latino players the last 20 years. Most possibly readers will have have a different opinion, but this is my own Latino All-Star team.
Catchers-Santos Alomar Jr., Javier López, Jorge Posada, Iván Rodríguez, Benito Santiago
First Base-Miguel Cabrera, Carlos Delgado, Andrés Galarraga, Rafael Palmeiro, Albert Pujols
Second Base-Roberto Alomar, Carlos Baerga, Julio Franco
Third Base-Vinny Castilla, Mike Lowell, Alex Rodríguez
Shortstop-Hanley Ramirez, José Reyes, Miguel Tejada, Omar Vizquel
Outfielders-Bobby Abreu, Carlos Beltran, José Canseco, Juan González, Vladimir Guerrero, Magglio Ordoñez, Sammy Sosa, Bernie Williams
Pitchers-Pedro Martinez, Johan Santana
Closers-Mariano Rivera, Francisco Rodriguez
Designated Hitter-Edgar Martinez, David Ortiz
Once upon a time Puerto Ricans used to chat about just two boricuas Roberto Clemente and Orlando Cepeda being in baseball Hall of Fame. If dream comes true like a fairy tale story this same time around next year we can be praising two more.
That fantasy could be reality next December when members of the Baseball Writers Association of America will receive ballots that list candidates eligible for induction into the Hall of Fame in 2010.
With historical and stats records furnished to them and with their own perception of greatness to back up their judgement, there should be great hope in Puerto Rico the writers wii consider our own Roberto Alomar and Edgar Martinez.
In my opinion, their career records should assure them of gaining acceptance and earning plaques in Cooperstown and why not in their first year of eligibility.
Roberto Alomar was one of the biggest stars and arguably the best second baseman in the history of the game. He was a 12-time All-Star, 11 consecutive seasons from 1991-2001, in 17 major league seasons. In the same career time he won 10 Gold Gloves, the most by a second baseman ever. In his prime he was doing everything right at second base a la Ozzie Smith did at shortstop or Brooks Robinson at third base.
Going strictly by his offense, his numbers are hall of fame too. He finished his career with a .300 batting average and among hall-of-fame comparisons he had more career hits and RBI than two other Hall-of-Fame second basemen Joe Morgan and Ryne Sandberg. Not enough ? In Alomar’s case, the most basic statistics should serve. Among all second basemen, Alomar ranks sixth in hits, seventh in runs scored, 10th in RBIs and fourth in steals. When he called it quits he was just 276 hits shy of 3,000 hits.
Among his hardware let’s not forget he was an American League Championship Series MVP (1992); All Star Game MVP (1998), two-time World Series member (1992,1993) and a four-time Silver Slugger Award. A three-time Toronto’ Player of the Year, franchise that inducted him into their Blue Jays Level of Excellence group last year and a two-time Cleveland Indians’ Player of the Year.
On the other hand, Edgar Martinez accolades are very,very long. To start, when as soon Martinez retired Major League Baseball recognized him as the greatest designated hitter of all time and renamed its yearly Designated Hitter Award as the Edgar Martinez Award. And its qualifications are his own numbers.
The 18-season veteran is only one of six in all history to have finished its career to have a batting average of .300 or more, on-base percentage of .400 or more, a slugging percentage of .500 or more, 2000 hits, 300 home runs, 500 doubles, and 1000 walks.
He is the Mariners’ all-time leader in hits (2,247), doubles (514), walks (1,283), and games played (2,055). He is also among the top 10 in other categories including at-bats (7,213), runs (1,219), home runs (309), RBI (1,261), total bases (3,718) and extra base hits (838).
He was among many recognitions a 7-time All Star, 5-time Silver Slugger, 2-time American League batting champion (1992, 1995) and won the Roberto Clemente Award (2004). He was also a two-time Mariners Player of the Year.
By the way, let’s not forget Edgar is “Señor Mariner”” not only in Seattle but in the whole Pacific Northwest. He was so cherished the Mariners waived the waiting period so they could induct him into the team hall of fame after his 2004 retirement and on the south side of Safeco Field named a street after him. Moreover, the Mariners have not issued Martínez’ #11 jersey since he retired.
Hope December arrives soon.
C’mon…whom the South Florida politicians are kidding that are sad and crushed with the departure of the Baltimore Orioles from Fort Lauderdale Stadium.
“It’s very, very dissapointing to see a tremendous era of spring training end”, Fort Lauderdale Mayor Jack Selier said. “It’s a sad day”.
Yeah, right. Since 2004, the team has been on a year-to-year lease with the City of Fort Lauderdale. Every time a possible discussion for a long term deal was brought to the table by the Orioles there was always some type of road block.
Finally after so much, should I stay or should I go, the franchise is relocating to the state’s west coast. The City of Sarasota and its county approved a $31.2 million renovation and expansion of Ed Smith Stadium, which hosted the Cincinnati Reds from 1998 to 2009. Also renovations were approved for the Twin Lakes Park, the new Orioles’ full time minor league complex.
The Orioles are expected to be in Sarasota next February.
In this side south side of the Sunshine State a big deal have been made now that it will be without a major league team in the spring for the first time in 60 years.
Let’s not forget long time ago Fort Lauderdale was home for the New York Yankees for 33 seasons before they went off to Tampa in 1995.
One year later, in 1996, Fort Lauderdale became the spring training home of the Birds franchise. Since that opening year you could hear the rumbles of problems between the two sides. It look the marriage was not going to be a long one.
It is true the nowadays Orioles are not even close to those of the late 90’s anchored by Cal Ripken Jr. and other big name stars such as Roberto Alomar, Mike Mussina and many, many others.
However no matter the Orioles product, the City of Fort Lauderdale never show a commitment and effort to keep them for a long time in town.
Let’s not forget either they are the same politicians never wanted to build a home for the Florida Marlins. Hey, no sorrow and complaints now that they will be the Miami Marlins in 2012.
Fort Lauderdale should not cry. The truth is they never like the baseball business in their backyard.
Cheers to Sarasota. The Orioles will have a spring training home there for the next 30 years.
Bye, Bye Orioles.
NOTE: The author covered the Baltimore Orioles from 1997 to 2008. Thanks Bill Stetka for your support to the international media.