Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The MLB on TSC: Jim Thome, Albert Pujols and the D'backs

The MLB season is officially 75% in the books. With only a quarter of the season left, it'll be interesting to see which of the remaining contenders will tough it out and weather the storm or will there be a monumental collapse, a la San Diego Padres, circa 2010.

As we officially enter the eye of the hurricane known as the Dog Days of August, here are some odds and ends from the past 7 days--

JIM THOME AND BABE RUTH

Jim Thome photo courtesy of Getty Images
Aside from the fact that Jim Thome is ONLY the 8th player (and only the 5th with no suspicious baggage) to ever hit 600 home runs, I found it extremely interesting that he did it with the second fewest number of at-bats. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Thome, hit home run No. 600 in his 8,167th career at-bat. That is the second lowest total behind Babe Ruth who hit No. 600 in his 6,920th career at-bat. Very interesting.

Is Cooperstown in Thome's future? Mos def!

ALBERT PUJOLS, BARRY BONDS, ALEX RODRIGUEZ AND JIMMIE FOXX

Getty Images/AP Photos
CONGRATS to St. Louis Cardinals slugger Albert Pujols on hitting his 30th home run of the season. Pujols is the only player in major-league history to hit 30-or-more home runs in his first 11 seasons in the majors. He is also only the 4th player ever with 11-or-more consecutive 30-HR seasons at any point during a career. Barry Bonds did it 13 consecutive seasons. Alex Rodriguez also has done it 13 consecutive seasons and his streak is active. But with only 13 home runs so far this season it looks like A-Rod's streak is going to end at 13 seasons. Hall of Famer Jimmie Foxx had 12 consecutive seasons of 30+ homers.

Something tells me Mr. Pujols isn't done yet and will prolong his streak for years to come.

ARIZONA'S MOST DANGEROUS SNAKES

Getty Images/AP Photo
A message to the World Champion San Francisco Giants:

Hey Giants, if ya think that the Arizona Diamondbacks are going away any time soon, you guys must be out of your mind. From the looks of it, the D'backs are only getting better as the season winds down. They have a potential Cy Young Award winner in Ian Kennedy (15-3, 3.12 ERA) and they have a potential NL MVP in Justin Upton (25 HR, 75 RBI, .305 AVG). And don't count on the wild-card because it looks like the Atlanta Braves have a strangle-hold on that. So if you guys want to defend your title-- it's overtake Arizona or bust.

So you guys better get to work because those guys in Arizona look dangerous, deadly and relentless. Whatever it is that manager Kirk Gibson is doing out there, is working. No doubt.

FINALLY--

Let's keep an eye on Ozzie Guillen and his Chicago White Sox. They are 61-60 and only 3.5 games behind the AL Central-leading Detroit Tigers. Gotta give credit to Ozzie and his boys for being pesky and refusing to go away.

DOUBLE FINALLY--

Can't end this post without mentioning the Pittsburgh Pirates. Sigh! I still haven't lost all hopes of them having a winning season. Yes, they have fallen apart as of late but at 58-63, a winning season is still doable. C'mon Pirates, let's go 24-17 the rest of the way!

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