In 2009, I called highlights for 144 Major League Baseball games, and here they are…all of ’em

During the Summer (and Fall) of 2009, I watched, logged, and called highlights for a lot of baseball games. A real lot. Almost 150 in total.

Since that time I have been feverishly and arduously compiling and posting the videos associated with my job at mlb.com, and I believe the time has come for me to unveil the collection (also, I desperately needed to clean out my external hard drive, so, two birds, one stone, etc.)

So, if watching 2:00 highlight packages of 144 Major League Baseball games from 2009 interests you, dig in


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MLB Dream Job Essays (Fingers Crossed)

So, as I mentioned recently, I may be getting a little bit of traction towards the gloriousness that is the “MLB Dream Job.”

My fingers are crossed, but the odds are steep, so who knows.

Either way, for my readers, I thought I might post the essays I submiited for consideration as part of Phase/Round 1.

Wish me luck!!!

The First Part

A little about myself, and why I love baseball.  Hmmm.  Truthfully, those two concepts are really one in the same, or, at the very least, they’re intertwined, not unlike the bright red stitching on a pure white Rawlings cowhide.

A baseball lifer, my childhood memories go back to grass stains, and booted grounders.  To the days of swinging a tiny bat, and connecting with nothing more than the rubber “T,” only to watch the ball fall limply onto the ground, a mere inches in front of home plate.

A purveyor of America’s pastime into High School, my dreams of making it to the show fell off the table with the varsity curveball, and my “cup of coffee” spilt soon thereafter.

But baseball has always been an original love.  I still recall my early glimpses of a Big League Ballpark, and thinking how green the grass looked, even from the cheap seats.  And each Spring, when the snow melts, and that same green grass begins to once again poke through, I’m brought back to those younger days.  A diamond may be a girl’s best friend, but in many ways, it’s the boy in all of us that carries the courtship on into adulthood.

As I’ve grown older, and chased journalism dreams up and down the East Coast, I’ve never forgotten my friend from back home:  baseball.  For it is this grand game that evokes our senses, and reminds us what is pure.

Un-timed, it’s rhythm is unlike that in any other sport.  Pitchers and catchers dictate the pace, while batters aim to wrestle it back through gamesmanship (and the occasional cup adjustment).  The infielders shift, the outfielders creep, and the bullpen waits at the ready.  All the while, opposing managers move pinch-hitters and relief pitchers like chess pawns, searching for the slightest advantage.  To the untrained eye, baseball is a routine repeated.  But to those who know what they’re looking at, it’s a dance ripe with intricacy and innuendo, governed by bylaws and codes all its own.

It’s these intricacies that draw me in, year after year, game after game, inning after glorious inning.  To hit for your pitcher, or to not hit for your pitcher.  That is the question.

Shakespeare knew his stage, but he had nothing on the Field of Dreams.

The Second Part

Okay.  Now things get slightly more complicated.  Explaining my love for the baseball?  That’s simple.  But predicting the future?  More ambitious.

But in the spirit of the game, I’ll take a crack at it.

Who will win the American and National League Most Valuable Player Awards in 2011? Make a strong case for your selections.

I’ll take the National League first, because this one jumps out at me:  Albert Pujols.

Why?  Well, let’s imagine Cuba Gooding Jr. was here.  “Show Me The Money.”  Fat Albert is arguably the most-talented offensive player in the game.  Maybe in the last decade.  Maybe ever.  Well, maybe not yet.  But he’s good.  Very good.  He hits for power, and average.  He moves runners along, takes the extras base, fields his position, and makes all the necessary throws.  He’s a tireless worker, an exceptional teammate, and a student of the game, past and present.

And now you want to go ahead and add the motivation of money?  Look out world!

Unable to come to terms with the Cardinals prior to the start of Spring Training, Pujols now stands to open the bidding to any team able to open their wallet.  For a lesser player, this added pressure might serve as a distraction, maybe even hurt his productivity.  But not “The Machine.”  He’ll be dialed in, as always.

And he’ll be adding another piece of hardware to the ‘ol mantelpiece.

Now over to the American League.  Things here are slightly less clear-cut.

My pick?  Adrian Gonzalez.

Why?  Well, I think the rest of the free world is about to find out what San Diego already knew:  This guy can play.

Buried on the Left Coast for the entirety of his career to this point, a dosage of East Coast bias might be just the thing to take Gonzalez’s game to the next level.  Stick the power-hitting first-baseman right into the thick of a pennant race, add some media glare, and bring on the Green Monstah!

All while playing in pain a year ago, Gonzalez belted more than 30 dingers, drove in more than 100 runs, and hit nearly .300.  Now fresh off of shoulder surgery, he stands to bring the hurt to the Yankees, Rays, and the rest of the AL East.

Here’s thinking his shoulder will feel just fine in time to hoist the 2011 AL MVP.

New Horizons, and Hardball Happenings

Well, there is new news to report.  Some exciting news, if I might say so myself.

I have recently tossed my hat (a Fitted New Era, as it were) into the ring for a once-in-a-lifetime venture/oppurtunity.

The title essentially says it all:  MLB Dream Job.

The job application encouraged me to “Live Every Baseball Fan’s Dream,” by watching, writing, blogging, video-blogging, tweeting, etc. about every game, all season long.

I was first charged with writing a pair of essays, detailing my love for the game, and predicting my winners of the AL/NL MVP awards for the upcoming season.

Apparently, they enjoyed my prose, as they invited me to next create a 2:00 video, explaining my passion for the game, and showcasing my unique style and personality.  Done, and done.

Here’s said video:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3tClVgUE0hs

mlb.com on Thursday 10.22

This time it was the Angels skipper who might be crtiticzed for over-managing his pitching staff.

But in Game 5 of the ALCS, the former catcher in question, is bailed out by his ballclub.

Did Mike Scioscia have too quick a hook with starter John Lackey?

Perhaps, but in a fireworks-filled 7th inning, which featured 9 combined runs, and a pair of lead changes, it’s the hometown Halos who laugh last, showing a resounding resilience, and sending the series back to the Bronx for Game #6.

0-2 on days in which I anchor, the Evil Empire will take another swing at knocking out upstart Anaheim on Saturday.

Yankees/Angels – ALCS, Game 5

http://losangeles.angels.mlb.com/media/video.jsp?content_id=7088145&c_id=ana&topic_id=7222034

John Lackey “Extra”

http://losangeles.angels.mlb.com/media/video.jsp?content_id=7087957

Jered Weaver “Extra”

http://losangeles.angels.mlb.com/media/video.jsp?content_id=7087955

mlb.com on Monday 10.19

Now We’re Talkin’!!!

If you like nail bitin’ baseball, with managerial moves, clutch contributions, and late-inning excitement, then Monday, was your night.

In Anaheim early, and back to the City of Brotherly Love late, both LCS showdowns end in walk-off wins, and both by a count of 5-4.

And as the only in-house “talent” on the evening schedule, I was callin’ each contest,  plus any associated sidebar “extras.”

Suffice it to say, it was a busy, and boisterous evening (especially if you’re a Halo Homer, or Philly Fan).

Yankees/Angels – ALCS, Game 3

http://losangeles.angels.mlb.com/media/video.jsp?content_id=7075741

Dodgers/Phillies – NLCS, Game 4

http://philadelphia.phillies.mlb.com/media/video.jsp?content_id=7076547

Ryan Howard “Extra”

http://philadelphia.phillies.mlb.com/media/video.jsp?content_id=7076545

Manny Ramirez “Extra”

http://losangeles.dodgers.mlb.com/media/video.jsp?content_id=7076655

mlb.com on Wedneday 10.14

With the Division Series’ already decided, but the LCS’ not yet underway, Wednesday was more about previews, than recaps.

The powers-that-be assigned me 4 stories on players whose performance will be critical to their clubs success.

Note:  I did NOT select the players, so if you feel we’ve got the wrong guys here, take it up with management!

Yankees Extra – Mark Teixeira

http://newyork.yankees.mlb.com/media/video.jsp?content_id=7053889

Angels Extra – Torii Hunter

http://losangeles.angels.mlb.com/media/video.jsp?content_id=7054025

Dodgers Extra – Manny Ramirez

http://losangeles.dodgers.mlb.com/media/video.jsp?content_id=7054027

Phillies Extra – Chase Utley

http://philadelphia.phillies.mlb.com/media/video.jsp?content_id=7054029