MLB Closeup – R.A. Dickey

New York Mets pitcher R.A. Dickey went 20-6 and posted a 2.73 ERA in 2012. His win total and ERA were 2nd in the National League. Dickey also led the NL in strikeouts with 230. R.A. Dickey is one of the top candidates for the NL Cy Young award, which will be announced later today. Here is his story, from the March issue of Sports Spectrum:

The knuckleball. It dips and dives, darts and drops, and is the most unpredictable pitch in baseball. It seemingly takes a wild journey before reaching its destination to the plate. No one knows exactly where it will go. The batter doesn’t, the fielder doesn’t, even the catcher, and most importantly the pitcher, aren’t exactly sure where the ball will land.

It’s so tough to tame that there is just one active major league knuckleballer: R.A. Dickey… Continue reading

“Conversations” with Ryan Mathews

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This edition of Sports Spectrum “Conversations” features Ryan Mathews, an outfielder in the Oakland Athletics organization. This past spring, Mathews hit 17 HRs and helped his teammates at NC State advance to the Super-Regionals of the NCAA baseball tournament. Ryan joins us to talk about his faith, his NCAA tournament experience, getting drafted, and what life is like in the minor leagues.

To hear the full interview, including Ryan’s thoughts on the A’s playoff run, if he’s ever faced a pitcher who throws as hard as Justin Verlander, and how he shares the Gospel though Twitter, click the link to the podcast. Continue reading

From the Archives – Dave Drevecky

Dave Dravecky was a Cinderella story – if Cinderella could have worn cleats to a ballgame instead of glass slippers to a royal ball. Sure athletes retire with every season, but America had followed the ups and downs of Dave’s career as closely as the sporting year’s many scandals and tragedies, though for an entirely different reason.

Dave Dravecky had overcome cancer surgery on his throwing arm and come back to pitch again in the major leagues. Not since watching helplessly as Lou Gehrig battled amyotrophic lateral sclerosis had the nation so intimately identified with a ballplayer’s struggle with illness… Continue reading

From the Archives – Andy Pettitte

Andy Pettitte and the New York Yankees have clinched yet another AL East title in 2012 and the once-retired Pettitte figures to factor into the Yankees postseason success one last time. Pettitte is the all-time leader in postseason wins with 19 and could be going for number 20 in Game 2 of the ALDS.

Pettitte has always been a strong believer and family man, Here is our story on Andy from the May-June 2001 issue of Sports Spectrum.

It was the perfect day for an all-star showcase. The best baseball players from the Houston area had been invited to show their stuff in front of college and professional scouts. But something was wrong.

Where was the Pettitte boy? Continue reading

Torii Hunter – Fully Reliant

As the 2012 MLB season winds down, Torii Hunter and the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim have found themselves in a furious race to win one the the two spots in the AL Wild Card. The Angels are currently 81-69 and 4.5 games back from the second Wild Card spot. We ran Torii’s story in the Spring 2012 issue of Sports Spectrum, and we found out about Torii’s rough childhood, how he’s found refuge in Christ through the mentally and physically demanding baseball schedule, and what he prays before every at-bat… Continue reading

Old School — Why the Nats are making a mistake

Much ado has been made about the Nationals shutting down ace Stephen Strasburg in the middle of a pennant race, so I figured I would go ahead and give my own two cents. In case you haven’t heard, the Nationals have said all season they were going to be very careful this season with Strasburg because he is coming off of Tommy John surgery. The plan was to limit him to 160-180 innings, much like they did last season with Jordan Zimmerman. This Saturday, the Nationals shut down Strasburg. having pitched 159.1 innings and finishing 15-6 with a 3.16 ERA, and 197 strikeouts.

Perhaps the Nationals believe he can’t get hurt when he’s not on the field, so his future will be safe.

Well, unless he plays pickup basketball like Aaron Boone.

Or carries deer meat up stairs like Clint Barmes… Continue reading

Old School – Analyzing the MLB Trade Deadline (American League)

With the MLB trade deadline fast approaching (July 31, 4 p.m. EST), I thought it would be a good time to take a look at every team in baseball and see if they should be buyers or sellers and figure out what each team should do. Yesterday, we took a look at the National League. Today, it’s the American League’s turn. Continue reading

Old School – Analyzing the MLB Trade Deadline (National League)

With the MLB trade deadline fast approaching (July 31, 4 p.m. EST), I thought it would be a good time to take a look at every team in baseball and see if they should be buyers or sellers and figure out what each team should do. Today, we’re going with the National League. We will take a look at the American League tomorrow. Continue reading

Musings — Thoughts from around the world of sports

If you wondered why Kansas City Royals fans were booing New York Yankees All-Star Robinson Cano last night and also on Monday night during the Home Run Derby, it was because he seemingly lied.

Most commentators, writers, etc., failed to mention that fact when they derided the Kansas City fans for booing. The booing was merciless and constant… Continue reading

Uncommon Challenge