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 TSN Baseball Insider Steve Phillips answers several questions each week. [url=

TSN Baseball Insider Steve Phillips answers several questions each week. Rashaad Penny Jersey . This weeks topics include the Colby Rasmus-Colby Lewis bunting controversy, Yu Darvish suggesting a six-man rotation and the difficulties faced by the Colorado Rockies. 1. On Saturdays game against the Texas Rangers, Toronto Blue Jays outfielder Colby Rasmus laid down a bunt in the fifth inning with nobody on base with two outs and the Jays up 2-0. The shift was on and Rasmus got a base hit. The Rangers pitcher Colby Lewis took offence with the play after the game. Did Rasmus break an unwritten rule, or was Lewis simply complaining after a loss? Bunting for a base hit with two outs in an inning and no one on base is not good baseball. In that situation, the batter should go to the plate with the intention of getting a pitch he can drive to the gap for extra bases. That means that it would only take a single to score him. When a hitter bunts for a single, it means that it will take two singles to score him from first base. The only time that it is acceptable to bunt for a hit with two outs and no one on is if the man bunting has the kind of speed and ability to steal second base even when everyone knows he is going to try. Rasmuss bunt for a hit was bad baseball. Even with a shift on and the fact that they just about gave him first base on a bunt, it isnt a good play. He certainly doesnt have the kind of base-stealing ability to justify it. So Colby Lewis was right about his evaluation of the play. It was either very selfish of Rasmus or it showed a lack of baseball knowledge. Take your pick. Neither is flattering. What I dont understand is why Lewis voiced disgust over the play. Since it was bad baseball by Rasmus, he was doing Lewis a favor. Lewis should thank Rasmus rather than criticize him. Lewis just sounds like a pitcher who has a 6.23 ERA and has given up 139 hits in 95 innings leading to a .345 opponents average. Quite honestly, what Lewis did is worse that than what Rasmus did and what Rasmus did is bad. I guess I would rather be ignorant than whiny. 2. Texas Rangers ace pitcher Yu Darvish told the Japanese media that he believed that if MLB teams switched to a six-man rotation that teams could reduce injuries to pitchers. What do you think the ideal numbers in a starting rotation are? How ironic is it that a Texas Rangers pitcher made the suggestion of going to a six-man rotation? Former team president and Hall of Fame pitcher, Nolan Ryan, is just a year removed from the franchise. It was Ryan who had suggested that the Rangers pitchers needed to work harder. He thought that the organization needed to demand more from its pitchers. He wanted guys to be like him when he played. What Ryan didnt recognize is that he was a freak of nature. Others cant do what he did. Ryan wanted to do away with pitch counts. He thinks that todays pitchers are pampered and overprotected. Pitchers arms break down from fatigue and/or poor mechanics. At one point this year, the Rangers have had eight pitchers on the disabled list and five of them have had elbow injuries, four of whom had Tommy John surgery. Nolan Ryan is no longer with the Rangers organization, but he has left a mark for sure. Darvishs recommendation of moving to a six-man rotation to protect the health of the pitchers is an understandable suggestion. In Japan, teams typically play six games per week and starters make one start per week. It certainly has worked for him. One of the major adjustments for Japanese pitchers coming to the States is their ability to handle the workload. Masahiro Tanaka got off to a great start with the Yankees, but unfortunately he couldnt handle the rigors of a five-man rotation and tore his ulna collateral ligament in his elbow. I think a five-man rotation is sufficient. A six-man rotation would mean that there would be one fewer position player or reliever on the roster. This would tie the hands of the manager far too much to be functional. Adding a sixth starter would also drive payrolls higher, as starters make more money than relievers and utility bench players. The next suggestion will be to expand the rosters, adding three players. The MLBPA would support the addition of major league jobs, but owners would reject it as it would drive payroll budgets even higher. The answer isnt to add another starter - it is to better manage the innings of the five in the rotation. Managers need to trust their middle relievers to soak up innings. They need to make fewer pitching changes and trust that a pitcher who has one solid inning of work can keep pitching for a second inning. 3. The Colorado Rockies are poised to miss the playoffs yet again and now there are rumblings that their two star players – who are both under long-term deals – Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez are open to being moved. If you ran the Rockies, how would you try to the turn this franchise around? The Rockies have the toughest path to long-term winning because of playing in the high altitude of the Rocky Mountains. Coors Field is a hitters dream come true and a pitchers nightmare. It is also so dramatically different than playing on the road that it almost feels like a different sport. Hitters stats drop significantly almost across the board away from Coors Filed. At home, pitchers have to cope with the reality that they are going to give up more hits and home runs and it is okay. Baseball is a mental game. The mind can play tricks on players. The roller coaster of emotions takes a toll to the point that players dont know which direction they are going. It takes a special breed to play in Colorado. The Rockies have been able to configure winning teams here and there, but the inability to sustain success will forever be a trademark of this franchise. There swing of the emotional pendulum at home and on the road is so tiring that it will be nearly impossible to consistently win. The key to winning in Colorado is to have strike-throwing, ground-ball pitchers. It is also critical to have a solid defence. The idea is to not give the opposition free passes on the bases or extra outs in a game. Because every at-bat can be an extra-base hit at Coors Field, runners are in scoring position when they are on first base. It is critical to make the opposition earn every base runner and run that they get. Offensively, contact hitters are critical because, every time a hitter makes contact, they have a chance to do something impactful. I would not trade Tulowitzki or Gonzalez. As soon as the Rockies get more competitive, they are going to wish they had them. They are both extraordinary defensive players and impactful offensive studs. A trade is not the answer. Their best chance to win in Colorado is to stockpile pitchers and hope to catch lightning in a bottle with a couple of them. They need to have at least 20 major league-ready pitchers every year because of the mental toll of pitching at Coors Field. They need a full-time sports psychologist to aid in keeping the pitchers sane. Ballplayers like stats. Pitchers hate to give up runs. They try to miss bats when they give up hits and runs. Rockies pitchers need to understand that giving up five runs over six innings may be a successful result, despite what the stats may say. The key for the Rockies will be to keep their successful pitchers. If a guy shows he can handle the stress of performing at Coors Field, they need to secure him for the long term. The Rockies are fighting an uphill battle because of the nature of their stadium. That isnt going to change. So they need to change the thinking of their players as to what is success. They will win again at some point, but I think it will be very difficult to win year after year. -- This weekend is the induction ceremony for the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY. It is a big year for the Hall. Bobby Cox, Tony LaRussa and Joe Torre, three of the games best managers ever, are being enshrined. So too are Tom Glavine, Greg Maddux and Frank Thomas. It will certainly be a weekend to remember. Bryant Gumbel from HBOs Real Sports made a really good point this week about the contradiction that exists in Cooperstown, particulary around Tony LaRussas induction. Gumbel said, “La Russa is being honored for guiding teams he managed to 2,728 wins — a total that ranks third in baseball history. But heres the rub — about 43 percent of all of those wins were recorded when La Russa was managing Mark McGwire and winning because of his prodigious power. Thats the same Mark McGwire who has been denied inclusion in the Hall because voters believe that prodigious power owed a great deal to steroids. By what logic can the guardians of the Hall vilify McGwire for his pharmaceutically assisted feats — yet glorify La Russa, who benefitted most from those same feats — and who, by the way, conveniently played dumb while his slugger morphed into the Incredible Hulk?" Now the same could be said about Joe Torre, too. He had multiple players tied to PEDs over the years. I would add that Tom Glavine and Greg Maddux and Bobby Cox won a ton of games over the years with some PED-users on their teams, too. Isnt there some amount of shame for all of this years inductees? Now, you can make the argument that all of this years inductees had to overcome cheaters to earn their success, as well. The reality is that all of them, in some way, were impacted by steroid-users, one way or another. So why discriminate? The Hall of Fame is a museum that documents the history of the game. In every era of baseball, performance was enhanced in one way or another. Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig, two iconic Yankees never faced the best African American players of their time. Didnt that enhance their performance? Isnt there some shame in the segregation and discrimination that existed in that era? The mound was lowered in the early 70s to increase offence. Didnt that enhance performance? In the 70s, baseball introduced the designated hitter. Doesnt that mean that, every season prior to that, a pitchers performance was enhanced as they didnt have to face line-ups of the same strength? I could go on and on with examples which changes the balance of power in the game. The Hall of Fame needs to induct all worthy players based upon their production. They need to document the era by inclusion and then explanation, not by exclusion. This weekend has a chance to be one of the best ever in Cooperstown, but it could be so much better. Rasheem Green Jersey . TSN Hockey Insider Bob McKenzie tweeted Monday morning that Callahan - who is set to become an unrestricted free agent this summer, is now open to a six-year contract at less than $7 million per season. Will Dissly Jersey .C. -- When Michael Jordan speaks, people still listen. .C. -- Panthers offensive tackle Jordan Gross is saying goodbye to the NFL after 11 seasons.The pressure has cranked up on Roberto Martinez after a 4-0 Merseyside derby humbling for his Everton side at Anfield. While Jurgen Klopp laughed and joked in the home dugout, the Spaniard cut a stern figure on the touchline, as Liverpool pulled his 10-man team apart in the second-half.The hosts were already 2-0 up when Ramiro Funes Mori saw red for an ugly challenge on Divock Origi on 50 minutes and from there on it was an exhibition from Liverpool, with Daniel Sturridge and Philippe Coutinho rounding off a miserable night for Everton. Here, we look at the talking points from the match…Martinez feeling the heat Roberto Martinez told Sky Sports Evertons defeat to Liverpool was embarrassing It was a horrible, horrible showing… Its a feeling of embarrassment. Roberto Martinez, so often eager to put a positive spin on his Everton teams defeats, could not hide his disappointment at this heavy loss to Liverpool. The Spaniard had gone into the game under pressure and this result and performance has only served to exacerbate the situation.Thats an embarrassing defeat, an embarrassing performance and if he gets something similar against Manchester United [in Saturdays FA Cup semi-final] I think its difficult for him to come back, said Sky Sports pundit Jamie Carragher. Liverpool on top Liverpool are unbeaten in the last 11 Premier League Merseyside derbies (W4 D7 L0). The numbers dont make for good reading. Liverpool had 37 attempts on goal to Evertons three. The visitors didnt force Simon Mignolet into a single save. The Reds also enjoyed 67 per cent possession and had 64 touches in the opposition box. On only three occasions did one of Martinezs players touch the ball in the Liverpool box. Everton didnt manage a single shot on target.It was one of the most one-sided derbies in recent times - although Liverpool did also beat Everton 4-0 in January 2014. Martinez was manager of Everton that day, too.Now Martinez has to find a way to lift the spirits of his players for their trip to Wembley this weekend. His future tenure as Everton manager could depend on it. He said himself it was a defining four or five days, said Carragher. The first half of that has been a disaster for him. How can he pick them up now and go again?Everton dealt FA Cup blows John Stones was forced off with stomach cramps As if a thrashing at the hands of your rivals was not bad enough preparation for a major Wembley fixture, Everton are facing a defensive crisis for their FA Cup semi-final.Ramiro Funes Mori will be suspended, following his straight red card. John Stones was forced to leave the pitch in the second half with stomach cramps. Thats in addition to Seamus Coleman and Phil Jagielka, who are both struggling with hamstring problems.Muhamed Besic and James McCarthy finished the game at centre-half for Everton at Anfield, and Martinez may well be forced into playing another inexperienced pairing in defence on Saturday.Funes Mori sees red Ramiro Funes Mori grabbed the Everton badge as he left the pitch During his time with River Plate in Argentina, Funes Mori played and scored against arch rivals Boca Juniors in a Superclasico Copa Libertadores final, so the notion that hed get carried away in this fixture seems an odd one. But, with his team seemingly reeling from a half-time dressing down from the management, the 25-year-old made an ugly challenge on Origi and was rightfully dismissed.Referee Robert Madley at first drew a yellow card from his pocket, beforre appearing to be advised by assistant that the challenge warranted a more severe punishment. Rashaad Penny Seahawks Jersey. It was a decision Carragher in the Sky Sports studio agreed with, although he was critical of Funes Moris reaction to his dismissal. Merseyside derby dismissals There have now been 21 red cards in the Merseyside derby in Premier League history, more than any other fixture (14 Everton, 7 Liverpool). He has let himself down with the challenge, said the former Liverpool defender. It happens in football. Ive made bad challenges and other players have made bad challenges, but going off the pitch he was kissing his badge to the Everton fans.Why was he kissing the badge? Number one, he has only been here for two minutes and number two, why is he playing to the crowd? Because hes injured a Liverpool player? Are they going to be happy with that?They were getting battered in the game and hes now going to miss the biggest game of the season when theyve got Jagielka out. Its embarrassing. What is he doing? Everton fans wont fall for that nonsense. It was the only challenge anyone put in by the way, but it was a bad one.Liverpool on a roll Liverpool have won their last four fixtures across all competitions Regardless of how many changes Jurgen Klopp makes, Liverpool keep on winning. Despite 10 changes at Bournemouth and nine on Wednesday, the Reds have now notched up four victories in a row across all competitions - with an aggregate score of 14-5.With a Europa League semi-final on Thursday, expect further changes for the visit of Rafa Benitezs Newcastle to Anfield this weekend. But the momentum is with Klopps squad right now, and Liverpools former manager Benitez will face a huge test with his relegation-threatened side.Against Everton, Liverpool impressed from front to back, but Mamadou Sakho, Philippe Coutinho and James Milner deserve special credit. Milner on song James Milner has recorded 11 assists in 2016 in all competitions, three more than any other PL player. The latter was imperious at the back, aggressive in the opposition box and careful in possession. His Brazilian colleague had 116 touches (almost twice as many as any Everton player), fired nine shots at goal and recorded six key passes.However, Milner took home the man of the match prize after registering two assists in one game for just the second time in his Premier League career. The previous occasion came just 10 days earlier at Stoke.Klopp has got his Liverpool squad firing at the business end of the season. Origi injury opens the door for Sturridge Daniel Sturridge scored his 50th Liverpool goal Despite the win, Klopp conceded he could not be 100 per cent happy with the outcome, given Origis injury. The 21-year-old Belgian appeared to have established himself has his managers first-choice forward and, after his first-half goal against Everton made it five in five games, all was going to plan.However, Funes Moris challenge saw Origi leave the field on a stretcher and, while the full extent of his ankle problem is yet to be revealed, there are concerns he could be set for an extended period on the sidelines.That presents an opportunity for Daniel Sturridge. The England striker grabbed a goal and attempted to claim Coutinhos after replacing Origi and he is now in a position to stake a claim for a regular starting spot. Divock Origi was stretchered off with an ankle injury Sturridges cool finish made it 50 goals in 87 games for Liverpool - only Fernando Torres has reached the milestone in quicker time for the Reds during the Premier League era. However, Carragher says Sturridge still has work to do to ensure he is part of Klopps plans going forward.That record hes got shows the quality of Daniel Sturridge, said Carragher. Hes an unbelievable striker. But hes got to think to himself, why am I not in this team? Its not an unbelievable Liverpool team. The fact hes not playing is something that has to sink in. Also See: Klopp: Were in a good place Moyes: Everton were terrible Cheap Jerseys China NFL Jerseys China NFL Jerseys Wholesale Discount Basketball Jerseys Cheap NHL Jerseys Authentic Cheap Baseball Jerseys Free Shipping Cheapest College Jerseys Sale Cheap Football Jerseys China Nike NFL Jerseys Canada Wholesale NHL Jerseys From China MLB Jerseys Outlet Canada Wholesale NBA Jerseys Canada Store Cheap Soccer Jerseys China Cheap Authentic Jerseys Canada ' ' '

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