Tagged: Jason Bay

From Over-Bay to Overbay

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Jason Bay will forever be one of my favorite MLB players. His time in Pittsburgh gave fans a small glimmer of hope that a superstar was among us. 
We are seeing now that he is just a puzzle piece to the larger picture of a more productive team (if you want to call the Mets a productive team). 
Anyway, it has been a couple of years since Bay was dished to the Red Sox, but it has taken some time to get over the slugger who played left field ever so well. 
Not necessarily an attempt to rid Pirates fans of the thoughts of Bay, but management has brought in another power hitter for 2011 that has long ball potential. 
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Lyle Overbay will be manning first base for Pittsburgh this coming year.
For 5 million dollars the Bucs picked up the viable bat. Now to some that may seem like a steal, in fact some off-season projections had sights set on Overbay at being a deal worth at least 6 million. The Pirates, however, cannot afford to be throwing that kind of money at a guy that isn’t going to be earth shattering. 
In fact, in my opinion, Overbay is a step back for this organization.
General manager Neil Huntington has long said that he will not sign in to the long, money hindering contracts former GM Dave Littlefield was notorious for offering to below average players. Joe Randa, Jeromy Burnitz and Ty Wigginton all quickly come to mind. 
Overbay is a glorified version of all three.
photo credits: cbc.com, getty images

A Bay-Bay

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Blue and Orange fits him well, don’t ya think? Nah? I don’t think so either.

Bay is quite the ball player and the baseball world has taken notice. I’m so proud that my favorite player is making the big bucks after proving himself worthy the past few years.

$66 million is a whole heck of a lot of money. Bay will make $16.5 million a year, playing for the Mets and he will be worth every penny.

Bay is the definition of a major league baseball player. He puts up the numbers, comes through in the clutch and is good with the fans and media. You really can’t ask for anything greater than that when searching for a player to build your team around.

Bay batted for 100 RBIs and 30 home runs in back to back seasons with the Red Sox. In Pittsburgh he was just as productive with 2005 and 2006 being his best years when he belted over 30 HRs and 100 RBIs in each of those seasons. He has always flirted with the .300 mark in batting average making him one of the best combinations of power and average in the league. He has consistently hit above .900 is OPS in every season he has been in the MLB.

It was an absolute joy watching him play nearly 5 seasons in Pittsburgh. He was “the guy” for
the Pirates and fans flocked to him. There’s no question Bay shirts and jerseys were the hottest selling Pirate item during his time here. His batting song “Down with the Sickness” by Disturbed could be played miles around the Pittsburgh area and fans would recognize it mostly because it was played for Bay.

There is some skepticsm about the trading of Bay and the return we got for him, however it was necessary. There was no way the Pirates would be able to afford such a fine player. This was evident even with the amount the Red Sox paid him, which was at and above $6 million. My goodness I would love to be able to pay that much for a star player, seems like a peanut amount to you big market fans doesn’t it?

I do think the Pirates unloaded him at the right time. Having been involved in a 3-way deal with the Dodgers, Red Sox and obviously the Pirates- Andy LaRoche, Brandon Moss and Bryan Morris and Craig Hanson (minor league relievers).

LaRoche and Moss were forced into starting positions and mostly underachieved. However, with a little time, patience and practice they very well could blossom to their full potential. Will either of them match the performance of Jason Bay? Probably not but good numbers      
(.280, 20, 70) are definitely achievable in the pair.

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Jason Bay is my favorite player. His outlook and demeanor are straightforward and welcoming. He isn’t boastful with his abilities and his ego isn’t inflated liek other players of his caliber. I do think he will fit in as a New Yorker, because he is so easy going. The bright lights of the Big Apple may be something new for him to adjust to, but the Trail, British Columbia knows what is at stake in a new surrounding. He may be on a short leash with fans if his performance falters, if so he will always have one fan who always has his back-ME.

Don’t worry Jason, I’m planning your triumphant August 20th homecoming to PNC Park already!

photo credits:

getty images, morthas.com, si.com


My Home Run Derby Predictions

Probably my second favorite day of the baseball season happens today, the Home Run Derby. I’ve always loved the contest from I was a young boy. I remember the ’97 derby at Jacobs Field, the ’98 derby at Coors Field and the ’99 derby at Fenway. Thsoe were the glory days for baseball in my lifetime. I loved seeing a young Griffey drive the ball deep and the B-list players entering the contest. Players such as John Jaha, Brady Anderson and Jeromy Burnitz. They are just afterthoughts in today’s minds but I welcomed them with open arms back in the day.

More recently I’ve followed the derby closely and embraced a new era of players. In 2005 I was overjoyed when Jason Bay was selected to be a derby participant.


jay bay.jpgYou can see from the grimace of on his face that he was pretty dissapointed. Bay did not hit a single ball over the fence at Detroit’s Comerica Park. He was booed off the field, but remained in good spirits. This was back when Jason was coming off his Rookie of the Year campaign.  He was fresh on the scene and a young face. It is amazing how far he has come. WIth all the talks on his multi year and multi million dollar contracts forthcoming, I’m proud to say I was there form the start. When he was booed at the derby in 2005 I was still proud. Seeing one of my guys with the gold P, in the national spotlight. It was touching.

While seeing a single player in the spotlight is cool it was even better to see the city of Pittsburgh and PNC Park living in the limelight. In 2006 the All Star festivities came to the Steel City. With everything on display for the entire baseball world to see, the city surely did not dissapoint….and neither did Ryan Howard in the 2006 Home Run derby.

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Howard too was fairly new to the baseball world back then. He was a big body filling in the shoes of Jim Thome out there in Philly. He used his big wood to amaze the sold out crowd at PNC Park. I was lucky enough to be in attendance at this derby and let me tell you, it was the best live baseball moment I have ever seen. Howard, along with other sluggers David Ortiz, David Wright, Miquel Cabrera and Miquel Tejada dazzled the world with their powerful swings. Many balls landed in the Allegheny River and boats and kayaks went crazy trying to recover the commemorative balls. The best jaw dropping scene came when Howard hit a “HIT IT HERE” sign out in left field. If you’ve ever seen the derby you will see  a smattering of these banners around teh stadium. They are sponsered by Mastercard and if a player hits it somebody in the crowd wins a bunch of money. Howard nailed the banner to win the derby. You couldn’t have asked for a better finish to cap off a homerun derby. It was fantastic. As much as I dislike the Philies I was so happy for Howard and myself for seeing such an amazing feat live and in person.

With the derby just hours away I can’t help but feel a little sad. I will be working late for the second year in a row missing the Home Run Derby. Last season I was working and recieved a wave of texts from friends telling me a play by play. I heard all about Josh Hamilton going bonkers and how he ended up losing it. This year I’ve informed my buds not to tell me what is going on. I will have it taped for my enjoyment when I am home and showered up.

Here is the lineup for this year’s HR Derby.

Joe Mauer, Minnesota Twins
Brandon Inge, Detroit Tigers

Nelson Cruz, Texas Rangers

Carlos Pena, Tampa Bay Rays

Albert Pujols, St. Louis Cardinals

Prince Fielder, Milwaukee Brewers
Adrian Gonzalez, San Diego Padres
Ryan Howard, Philadelphia Phillies

The National League guys look stacked. It was unique seeing all members of the NL being first basemen. They are the best candidates for the derby and will be sure to put on a show. With Albert Pujols batting in front of his hometown fans, I’m sure he’ll be loaded with an advanatge. He knows the park and knows the atmosphere, however I do not think he will win it.

The American League is the lesser of the two of two in terms of power. Cruz, Pena, Inge and Mauer are doing well at the plate and earn the spot but compared to Pujols, Fielder, Gonzalez and Howard the first basemen blow them out of the water.

When the dust settles I beleiev an underdog will come out victorious in this derby.



Thats right Adriiiiiiiiian! Not Rocky’s wife, Adrian Gonzalez of the Padres. He’s a cool guy. Playing on a well below average team but he sticks out. He has 24 homers in the first half and has been swinging the bat very well. I remember a game earlier in the year when Gonzo nailed 2 dingers in a game.

I’m very excited for what is to come in this derby. Just make sure nobody texts me the results between the hours of 8 and 10.