Major League Baseball announced few weeks ago, on Roberto Clemente Day, the names of the 30 finalists for the prestigious Roberto Clemente Award.
The award is given annually to the Major League Baseball Player who combines a dedication to giving back to the community with outstanding skills on the baseball field.
Among the winners are 13 members of the Hall of Fame and nominees this year feature 13 players selected for the 2009 All-Star Game. And once again you the fans have the opportunity to vote for who you think deserve this coveted award.
For Pittsburgh Pirates fans, Clemente’s name live in the nostalgia of great years long gone.
Even though he was not present, he would have been proud of Willie Stargell and his 1979 “We Are Family” World Champions.
He would have been proud of Jim Leyland’s Bucs from 1990-92.
But sitting up there in heaven, he can’t be proud of the club’s 17-year cycle of futility and losing. By the way, that’s a new major league record.
This season, they’ve proved to be so bad that the only position player remaining from opening day is catcher Ryan Doumit.
I bet Clemente would not be proud of what used to be, from the ’60s to the ’90s, a franchise driven year after year to have in its roster the best Latino players possible.
Let’s not forget either that a day like Sept. 1, 1970 Manager Danny Murtaugh made the first all-black and Latino lineup in MLB history.
Clemente was batted third in that lineup that beat the Philadelphia Phillies 10-7 at Three Rivers Stadium.
Clemente who was a very proud man himself definitely would be very sad to see what have become his once great Bucs whom are inothing great and not even for 2010.
Only a light from heaven can give them little brightness for the future.
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.
Ten years ago it was a dream season for Iván Rodríguez.
1999 will never be erased from his memory.
His team, the Texas Rangers, won the American League West Division pennant, while individually, he won the American League Most Valuable Player Award.
Sadly, the Rangers were swept by the New York Yankees in the league Division Series for a second straight year and eliminated for the third time in four seasons.
Texas lost nine consecutive postseason games, all versus New York in Division Series play. In fact, the only time they beat the Bronx Bombers was in Game One of the 1996 Division Series at Yankee Stadium.
Since then, the Rangers have never made another postseason run. If they can catch up to the Boston Red Sox in the next three weeks for the American League wild card, it could be not only their comeback year, but also a chance to finally play in the Fall Classic.
If that happens, Manager Ron Washington has publicly stated that “Pudge” Rodriguez has been one of the key players in the team’s resurgence.
Rodriguez arrived in his Rangers cradle back in mid-August via trade from the Houston Astros. Let’s not forget Rodriguez started his Hall of Fame-bound career in a Rangers uniform, from 1991 to 2002.
At the beginning, many thought that his return was simply one in which a player returns to his old team for a farewell tour.
His desire and big ego won him back the everyday catcher position. His batting so far has been hot, with sparks very similar to the ones that gave inspiration to the World Champion Florida Marlins back in 2003.
On Sept. 28, we will know the fate of the Rangers–and the same for Ivan Rodriguez.
No matter what, do not expect any retirement announcement. “The way I feel and the shape that I am in, I know I’m going to play for years and years,” Rodriguez said.
Even though his long resume includes 14 All-Star selections, 13 Gold Gloves, seven Silver Slugger and MVP awards, he is not planning to give up yet.
By the way, don’t forget that he is the catcher with the most games played in Major League Baseball history.
However, he is still pursuing one more record: 3,000 hits.
Since he was a kid, as most Puerto Rican players, one of his heroes was Roberto Clemente. Among friends, Rodríguez has mentioned to truly honor Clemente, he would like to share the limelight with him in Cooperstown.
While it is well known that the present finances of the Texas Rangers are very delicate, Rodríguez has said he wants to to the team–that remains to be seen.
No matter what happens, there should be no doubt that Rodríguez deserves to be signed by a team for his 20th career season. His strong leadership and still-average hitting deserves the chance.
The 37-year-old catcher is not ready to quit just yet.
El baseball de las Grandes Ligas anunció en el Día de Roberto Clemente los 30 jugadores nominados al Premio Roberto Clemente 2009.
El galardón es presentado anualmente a aquel jugador que demuestra a lo largo de la temporada excelencia en el terreno de juego como al igual dedicación a su comunidad.
El Premio lleva el nombre del miembro del Salón de la Fama puertorriqueño quien fue un 12 veces Todo-Estrella; 12 veces Guante de Oro y entre otros muchos otros reconocimientos Jugador Más Valioso en 1966 de la Liga Nacional y Jugador Más Valioso en 1971 de la Serie Mundial.
Clemente falleció el 31 de diciembre de 1972 en un accidente aéreo cuando llevaba provisiones a victimas del terremoto del mismo año en Nicaragua.
El número 21 de los Piratas de Pittsburgh fue un jugador que ademas de dar el todo por el todo en el diamante se le reconoce tambien por el bien que siempre tuvo hacia su prójimo.
Este año entre los 30 candidatos seis son latinoamericanos. Ellos son Miguel Batista (Seattle); Adrián González (San Diego), Jhonny Peralta (Cleveland); Albert Pujols (San Luis); Hanley Ramírez (Florida) y Johan Santana (Mets).
Para este reconocimiento no soy de dar favoritos porque todos han hecho una labor encomiable esta temporada para sus equipos y sus comunidades donde pertencen sus franquicias.
Gane quien gane sí es uno de nuestros jugadores latinoaméricanos se unirá a previos latinos ganadores que son Sammy Sosa (1998); Edgar Martínez (2004) y Carlos Delgado (2006). El gran Cardenal Albert Pujols fue el recipiente el año pasado del Premio Roberto Clemente.
Vale reconocer que en el pasado un sín número de latinos han sido nominados a este honor y entre otros han sido los latinos activos Robinson Cano, Vladimir Guerrero, David Ortiz, Carlos Peña, Iván Rodríguez y Jorge Posada.
El Premio Roberto Clemente será presentado y entregado por el Comisionado Bud Selig y la familia Clemente al galardonado durante la Serie Mundial.
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.