Braden Looper Retires

Braden Looper has told the Chicago Cubs he is retiring.

The 36-year-old pitcher was in camp as a non-roster player, trying to make a comeback after sitting out last season. The Cubs informed him Friday that he would not make the team out of spring training, so Looper decided to retire.

Looper did not pitch last season after going 14-7 with a 5.22 ERA in 2009 for the Milwaukee Brewers. He made his major league debut with the St. Louis Cardinals in 1998.

The right-hander, drafted No. 3 overall by St. Louis in 1996, spent the first nine seasons of his big league career as a reliever before working as a starter from 2007-09. He finished 72-65 with a 4.15 ERA and 103 saves.

Associate Press

NL West Predictions

National League West Predictions
1.San Francisco Giants
2. San Diego Padres
3. Colorado Rockies
4. Los Angeles Dodgers
5. Arizona Diamondbacks
The Giants have the pitching they need to win this division. With Lincecum, Cain, Zito, Sanchez and Baumgarter they will win 95 games. Padres where two games behind in 2010, so they will be right behind the Giants. With Ludwick-Hawpe and Cantu this will be a very offensive team. I see Rockies, Dodgers and Arizona flopping in and out of the 3rd,4th, and 5th place.

Chris Duncan and Jason Simontacchi back to St.Louis

For those of you that wondered what ever happen to Chris Duncan and Jason Simontacchi well Duncan was with the Nationals in 2010 and then released. Simontacchi left the Cardinals in 2004 but was out for the next two seaons till he was signed with the Nationals in 2007. After 07′ he faded out.
Well they are back in St.Louis with Andy Van Slyke. They are the new baseball analyst for ESPN101.1’s new radio show “St.Louis Baseball Tonight”. The show starts Monday 3/28 at 6pm weekdays. Brian Stull will also be a part of the radio show too. A rotation of hosts.

                      

NL Central Predictions

National League Central:
1. Milwaukee Brewers
2. St.Louis Cardinals
3. Chicago Cubs
4. Cincinnati Reds
5. Pittsburgh Pirates
6. Houston Astros
I believe the top four teams will do battle in the NL Central. Brewers, Cards, Cubs and Reds have improved their teams but all four are having DL issues. Looks like a fun divison to watch. Cards will keep up with the others with timely pitching from Lohse and McClellan. I am concerned with our middle infield and a possible sophmore slump with Garcia.

NL East Predictions

National League East:
1. Atlanta Braves
2. Philadelphia Phillies
3. Florida Marlins
4. Washington Nationals
5. New York Mets
I Find this division to be somewhat fun to watch. With the changes the Braves made by adding manager Freddi Gonzalez and snatching up Dan Uggla just might give the Braves a shot to dethrone the Phillies. Their starting rotation is no where near the Phillies but I find this team to be thorn in the side of Charlie Manuel. I also think that the Nationals and the Marlins will also have a better year to challenge the Phils. Looks like the Mets will stay in the bottom of the pond.

American League Predictions 2011

AL East- 1. Boston Redsox  2. New York Yanks  3. Baltimore Orioles   4. Tampa Bay Rays  5. Toronto Bluejays

AL Central– 1. Minnesota Twins  2. Chicago Whitesox*  3. Detriot Tigers  4. Kansas City Royals  5. Cleveland Indians

AL West– 1. Texas Rangers  2. Oakland Athletics  3. Anaheim Angels  4. Seattle Mariners

 I see the Orioles as one of those teams in a up swing but blocked in the standings. The Twins will represent the AL in the World Series.

In Memory of Marty Marion "Mr. Shortstop"

I am sad to report the passing of Marty Marion. My dad always refered to him as “Mr. Shortstop”. Marion spent thirteen years in MLB as a Cardinal and a Brown.
Marion suffered a heart attack Tuesday night.
Marty was 94 and still lived in Ladue.
My dad spoke often of Marion as being one of his favorite Cardinals which also includes Stan Musial and Enos Slaughter. My dad loved the 1946 team, mainly because the Cards beat the Redsox for the World Series. He was also an All-Star and also led in put outs as a shortstop in 1946.
 Marion was named manager of the Cardinals in 1951.
 He took over for Rogers Hornsby as player-manager of the Browns early in 1952 and was dismissed after the 1953 season when the franchise moved to Baltimore. Mr. Marion was hired as a coach by the Chicago White Sox in 1954, then quickly promoted to manager, a position he held through the ’56 season before stepping down.
My prayers and thoughts are with the Marion family.

Ian Snell Calls It Quits

Today Ian Snell announced his retirement right after the Cardinals reassigned him to minor league camp.
Snell is only 29. His career went into decline since leaving the Pirates for Seattle.
Snell has lost about 1.5 miles per hour off his fastball compared to his peak, but still throws in the low-90s and certainly could have struck around for a few more seasons at Triple-A waiting for another shot in the majors. I can’t blame him for calling it quits.

Mitchell Page Passes Away Today

Mitchell Page died in his sleep last night. The former hitting coach  was 59.
Page, playing for Oakland, was named American League Rookie of the Year by the Sporting News in 1977 after hitting .307 with 21 homers and 42 steals.
Page worked at the big-league level for the Cardinals from 2001-04 after being a minor league hitting instructor for the organization before that

New Reality Show "Up to Bat"

The Rome Braves announce a casting call for a new television reality series. Crazy Legs Productions and 10Ten Entertainment will be filming a promo that will serve as casting for a new series on Saturday March 26th from 10am – 6pm at State Mutual Stadium. Participants will be required to take part in baseball tryouts so bring your gear and come ready to play. Free Rome Braves hats to the first 100 contestants.

Registration begins at 9:30am with tryouts starting promptly at 10am concluding at 4pm. Cuts will be made throughout the day. The better a player is the longer they stay. Family and friends are strongly encouraged to come out and cheer. Concessions will be available.

Up at Bat is a one hour reality television series that offers every male or female in America the chance to play professional baseball. But it’s not easy. It’s a cut-throat competition eliminating players through 13 episodes until there’s only one left. Participants must be at least 18 years of age with no high school or collegiate eligibility remaining.

Crazy Legs Productions is a full service film, television, and commercial development and production company with offices in Atlanta, New York, and Los Angeles. They have produced programs for the History Channel, DIY, MSNBC, Travel Channel, National Geographic, PBS, and Cartoon Network.

10Ten Entertainment LLC Develops, Designs and Manages business opportunities in the Entertainment Industry, partnering with individuals and companies in evaluating, developing and distributing content for Network, Cable and Independent Media Outlets.

For rules and additional information email info@upatbatreality.com or visit http://www.upatbatreality.com.

All information used from the official Rome Braves website Press Release.

Thanks for the heads up from Brian Jordan