Noah Syndergaard gets Opening Day nod

imagesThe New York Mets’ have officially announced their Opening Day starter for the inaugural game at Citi Field this season against the Braves. Not surprisingly that starter is emerging star and fireballer Noah Syndergaard.

Coming off of an MVP caliber year, the young right hander will look to put his best foot forward in getting the season going for his club. Manager Terry Collins commented on his decision saying it was the easiest one he has made in a while.

Syndergaard is quickly becoming a super star in the game, and after posting a 14-9 record with a 2.60 ERA in over 183 innings pitches with 218 strikeouts, it is no surprise Collins is turning to him for Opening Day. Syndergaard is one of the only Met pitchers to avoid landing on the disabled list last season and the Mets’ are certainly hoping that can remain true for this season as well.

Over the course of the five month off-season the All-star has put on a reported 17 lbs. of muscle. That is a remarkable 3.4 lbs. of muscle per month. Syndergaard claims that the muscle gain was mostly due to his desire to throw harder. That says a lot coming from a guy who is the hardest throwing starter in the game. However, many fans are concerned about his recent increase in muscle mass as they fear it may do more harm than good.

The right hander spoke about the opportunity to open the season for his club saying that he was grateful. The young pitcher remained humble and spoke of his fellow teammates like starters Matt Harvey and Jacob DeGrom. He said that this decision does not make him the “ace” of the club, and that it could just as easily be Harvey or DeGrom.

That will not be the case however, as Opening Day will be pitched by Noah Syndergaard, who was the last Met pitcher to start a game a Citi Field actually. Syndergaard pitched a gem against Madison Bumgarner and the San Francisco Giants last October in a Wild Card game to advance in the playoffs. Be sure to tune in to the Mets’ Opening Day game on April 3rd to see how much harder the young righty can throw this season.

Cardinals top prospect Reyes to undergo Tommy John Surgery


The St. Louis Cardinals’ are going to have to make it through the season without key starter Alex Reyes. An MRI on Reyes’ right elbow showed he will need Tommy John surgery to repair a partial tear of his ulnar collateral ligament. The rookie is ranked as the top pitching prospect in all of baseball, according to multiple sources. In 12 appearances last season, the rookie posted a 1.57 E.R.A in 46 innings pitched; while striking out just over 50 batters. The Cardinals’ are going to be in a tough spot this season being that they are in one of the most competitive divisions in the league, and being without their young stud will make the challenge that much more difficult.

Although most fans are hoping that the franchise looks to fill the void with the plethora of pitching that can be found on the free agency market, the team has informed the public that they intend to solve the problem internally. Even with proven pitchers like Jered Weaver and Doug Fister on the market, St. Louis intends to replace Reyes with one of their many starting pitchers.

The most intriguing internal fix to the absence of Reyes in the rotation is fellow teammate and fan favorite Michael Wacha. Although Wacha himself has been dealing with some minor aches and pains, he intends to be ready and able to serve as the teams fifth starter if need be. Other potential fillers for the role are pitchers Luke Weaver, Tyler Lyons, and even former closer Trevor Rosenthal. However, Rosenthal is likely a last resort having posted a 5.40 E.R.A through the first half of last reason.

Braves acquire Brandon Phillips


The Atlanta Braves have officially nabbed 2nd baseman Brandon Phillips of the Cincinnati Reds in exchange for minor league pitching prospects. Phillips is one of many seasoned veterans to join the club this off season. Other veteran acquisitions include, but are not limited to the beloved pitcher Bartolo Colon, knuckleballer and Cy Young Winner R.A Dickey, as well former St. Louis Cardinal Jaime Garcia. Are the Braves ready to win now?

The Braves are receiving a 2nd baseman with golden glove defensive skills, as well as a reliable bat. This is the type of player the Braves will need going into their season with so many young players on the roster. Even more exciting for Braves fans is the season Phillips had last season.

Phillips ended his 2016 season hitting .291 with 11 home runs, 34 doubles, and 64 R.B.I’s in just over 140 games played. Phillips is truly an all-around player and as Reds fans will tell you, he is well liked.

Reds fans will sorely miss Phillips All-star caliber talent and personality out at 2nd base. After spending the past 11 seasons in Cincinnati and setting numerous club records at his position including doubles and home runs, Phillips is headed home to Georgia, Phillips was a fan favorite, but he along with long time Red, Jay Bruce (acquired at the trade deadline by the Mets last season) are no longer part of the picture. It seems as though both the Reds and Atlanta are in rebuilding mode.

Perhaps the Braves have acquired enough veteran talent to help show the ropes to the younger players and at least be competitive this year if nothing else. Even if this season doesn’t pan out the way Braves fans might hope in a tough N.L East, they at least have a bright future ahead of them. Not only that, but fans will be thrilled this season for the grand opening of their new SunTrust Park.

Tigers owner Mike Ilitch passes away at 87

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Mike Ilitch was a businessman who founded the company Little Caesars pizza and used his fortune to purchase both the Detroit Tigers and the Detroit Red Wings. He passed away yesterday at the age of 87.

Although it is true that he was the owner of a billion-dollar fast food company and two professional sports teams, he was much more than that to a lot of people. Ilitch was also a husband and a father; he survived by his wife Marian, his son Christopher, and his daughter Denise. According to Ilitch’s son Christopher, Ilitch will be long be remembered for his devotion to his work and his family, as well as his immense love for the city of Detroit.

Ilitch first emerged in the world of sports thirty-five years ago, when purchased the Detroit Red Wings for 8 million dollars. He made it his mission to turn the team into a winner and although it took time, the Red Wings won the Stanley Cup four times in just eleven seasons. Back to back from 1997 to 1998, again in 2002 and most recently in 2008.

Just ten years after Ilitch purchased the Red Wings, Ilitch was writing a much larger check to purchase the Detroit Tigers. In 1992, Ilitch bought the franchise for 85 million dollars. The team underwent major changes under his management. First building Comerica Park and leaving the old Tiger Stadium behind. Next Ilitch began to sign big name players in hopes of winning championships. The Tigers owner had a way of creating a winning atmosphere, his success in his personal life carried over into his work life. Although the Tigers never brought home a World Series, they did make an appearance in 2012. Tigers players Justin Verlander and Ian Kinsler expressed the immense loss that is felt because of his passing.

Not every owner is as committed to their teams and their city as much as Mike Ilitch was. Born in Detroit, raised in Detroit and died in Detroit. I think it is fair to say he truly loved his city, his teams, but most of all his family. Mike Ilitch will most surely be missed.


Baseball is Back!


Football may be ending, but baseball is only just beginning. With the Super bowl completed and football season at an end, it is now time to focus on the sport we all love: baseball. Major League Baseball’s preseason is on the cusp of being underway with pitchers and catcher reporting in mere days. The earliest reported day for pitchers and catchers is February 12th; the Cleveland Indians will begin their preseason. The majority of the league however will be reporting on either the 13th or the 14th, with some teams even listed for as late as the 17th. Workouts will commence just days after the initial reporting, which is when the preseason action will really begin. This year isn’t any different in that each team is going into the year with high hopes. Although it could be argued that some teams have higher hopes than others, considering the difference of raw talent each different team possesses. One team in particular with high hopes for their season is the New York Mets. The Mets have arguable the most formidable, young pitching staffs in the history of the game, never mind just this season. Coming off a season in which 4 of their 5 aces landed on the disabled list, this young staff with have a lot to prove. Other teams like the Yankees and Phillies, who have been dominant in previous years, will be looking to rebuild. Hope for Major League Baseball teams is alive, and baseball is back. What could be wrong?


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Royals Strike Deal with Moss


The Kansas City Royals had something to celebrate Tuesday as they signed veteran Brandon Moss to a two-year deal, worth 12-million dollars. Moss is a journeymen having spent parts of ten seasons with Boston, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Oakland, Cleveland, St. Louis and now Kansas City. However, Kansas City fans should be content with what they are getting. The 33-year-old is a World Series champion, a one-time All-Star, he hit 28 home runs last season and has shown no sign of slowing down. Moss is largely expected to take on the role of designated hitter, but is also capable of offering help defensively in the outfield as well as first base.  This deal will certainly help put some much needed power in their lineup. There will be a press conference held later today to introduce the veteran to the organization and its fans.