The Bro Bracket, American League

Who is the biggest bro in the MLB, who is the Broseidon of the MLB? We decided that making a 68 man (bro) bracket of MLB players was the best way to answer this question. No one has seemed to take on the task of naming the biggest bro of baseball and we have decided to put that among ourselves. So over the next few weeks we will find out who has enough brotein to be named the most bro of the MLB. We made the bracket have automatic qualifiers, 30 a representative from each team, and then 38 at large bids. Then, we made a bracket out of all of the players with an American League side and a National League side. The Winner of each league will play each other in the final for an ultimate bro-off. In the end we will crown the bro of all bros by looking at what just makes them a bro, along with some pretty funny pictures of them. We have made the bracket now so you can take a look along with an explanation for each player of why they are a bro. Here are the representatives from the American League

* Note : These players were chosen based on their opening day roster. The first player listed is the team’s automatic bid, while the following name(s) are the at-large bid(s).

AL EAST

Baltimore
14 seed: J.J Hardy : He’s got the nickname, he’s a shortstop that hits for power and not to mention he’s a good looking dude. He definitely slays woman no problem anywhere he goes and rocks the Ed hardy t-shirt from time to time (even though I hate those tool shirts). Also has a celebrity look alike in the guy from Always Sunny. [J.D.]
12 Seed: Matt Weiters : He is one of the most underrated bros, loved in Baltimore. Last name is Wieters and is a member of the Golden Boys. [PF]

Boston
6 seed:David Ortiz
: Big Papi… Has funny commercials (especially the one where he wears the Yankee hat), slugs the ball and also had the best speech of the year so far when he told Boston, “This is our fucking city”. Just seems like a cool guy you could sit down, drink beer and watch a game with. Not to mention if you get into a fight no one is messing with Big Papi. [J.D.]
18 seed: Clay Buchholz : This guy was destined to be a bro. He was born in Texas and went to Louisiana for college, but was kicked off the baseball team for stealing laptops from a middle school and then selling them. In just his second major league start, he pitched a no hitter. That same season, his rookie season, he won the World Series with the Boston Red Sox. He is involved in charitable work and even has his own label of wine. Last but not least, his wife is banging. [LS]

New York
1 seed:Derek Jeter : Was this ever in doubt? For a second just forget the whole Captain of the most historic team in baseball, the fact he’s a good looking guy, forget the nickname captain clutch, forget he plays shortstop and forget he’s a 13 time all star. Just picture him as an average baseball player in the MLB that gives one night stands a present as the leave his house and one of the items is a signed baseball. What a boss. [J.D.]
31 seed:Curtis Granderson : For some reason Granderson is someone that you wouldn’t automatically think bro when you heard his name, but he makes our list for a number of reasons. He grew up just south of Chicago and decided not to root for the hometown Cubs because he would rather have watched Saved by the Bell over Cubs games. He has an active hand in helping out in his community, something that isn’t listed on his stats sheet, which is also very impressive. Don’t let his nice guy exterior fool you, he’s undoubtedly a bro. [LS]

Tampa Bay
21 seed: Kyle Farnsworth : A Brawler. He’s the Rick Vaughn of the MLB. Even has the specs to prove it. Throws (Threw) major heat back in the day clocking in around 100 miles an hour and is not afraid of throwing at the batter. He’s a family man now which always affects the bro-ness of a person but had to take him do to his bad ass ways in the past. [J.D.]
11 seed: Evan Longoria : One of the biggest snubs in the bracket in my mind. The guy is just an awesome personally. Was on the cover of MLB 2k10. His wife is a former playmate and maxim model. [PF]
30 seed:Yunel Escobar : Got that Rico Suave look to him and how can you forget his claim to fame; wearing the eyeblack “tu eres maricon” or in English “You’re a fag.” [PF]

Toronto
13 seed: Brett Lawrie 
: A Canadian bro? Yea we have a couple of them but the pictures speak more from him. Dude has a short temper and always is arguing something and may come off as a prick. That being said he’s a tatted up baseball player who is just living the dream right now.  Just take a look. Google him, yea that’s him with that smoke show and yea that’s him doing Edward 40 hands. [J.D.]
20 seed: Colby Rasmus : Here is an underrated bro in my opinion. A quick Google images search will give you some insight to Rasmus’ extensive resume. His father is hilarious, and is obviously a bro himself, so it runs in the family. All in all he’s a young guy from Georgia with some personality, plus his wife is pretty hot too. [LS]
23 seed:Jose Reyes : Though he’s been moving around the league lately, Reyes makes it rain wherever he goes. A lot of people hate him despite he’s still relatively young, but quite frankly he doesn’t care what other people think. He has a ton of accomplishments under his belt but he’s only made it to the postseason once in his career. In the mean time, Brose has a few reggaeton songs and even his own record label. [LS]

AL CENTRAL

Chicago
25 seed: Adam Dunn : The Big Donkey. Home runs, Home Runs, Home runs. He does not care about any other Stat in baseball (other than maybe strikeouts). I really wonder sometimes what the difference between him and Wily Mo Pena is and have a hard time separating the two. Why did the Big Donkey make it and not Wily Mo but anyway I’ll stop. He is 6’6” and close to 300 pounds and gets away for around 10 years now as solely a DH. The word defense doesn’t exist in his vocabulary as he just ists in the dugout as his team plays defense. [J.D]
17 seed:Chris Sale : Went to Florida Gulf Coast aka Dunk City. The guy has lights out stuff with a “funky” side arm delivery. Was only 23 went he made an all-star appearance. Has been seen with Snoop. [PF]

Cleveland
7 seed:Jason Giambi : I know this is a shocker, ladies and gentleman he is still in the MLB. He is doing awful but he has managed to make another team’s roster. He took steroids, just raked home runs for a few years, got a couple tats, got caught with the steroids, and 10 years later still playing baseball. Went to Long Beach State (total bro college) and only played in the minors for 2 years (thank you steroids). He has won an MVP award and also was on the cover of multiple video games. May not be one when you think of the MLB today right away but is a legend in the Bro history of baseball. [J.D]

9 seed:Nick Swisher– Yankee fans probably hate this pick. He’s to fault for Jeter breaking his ankle, making Jeter have a setback in rehab and also it’s his fault for Jeter getting fat. Get over yourselves Yankee fans everyone makes bad plays in their life and this one wasn’t even that bad. But whatever team he goes to the fans love him because he plays the game with a smile on his face. He also packs major bombs in his mouth and hits a good amount of homers. It also helps when he’s a guy that other teams hate because he is so loyal to the team he plays for (which is weird because he’s been to a bunch of different ones), just an ultimate team player. May come off as a douche but total bro. He even has been in a couple TV shows.

19 seed: Mark Reynolds : Went to a bro college, University of Virginia. The guy only does two things well, strikeout or hit bombs. Great hair. [PF]
32 Seed:Trevor Bauer : This kid made his MLB debut last year but is already a solid at large bid on our bro bracket. This bro is from Los Angeles and went to UCLA for college. He messed around and made the NCAA his bitch, earning him the third overall pick in the 2011 draft by the Arizona Diamondbacks. He modeled his pitching style after fellow bro, automatic qualifier Tim Lincecum, whom he looks up to. Bauer likes to warm up for a game in the most bro way possible by throwing bombs across the baseball diamond, like 400 foot distances. [LS]

Detroit
2 seed: Justin Verlander : Anyone that can throw 100 miles an hour of pure gas, chooses not and still dominates pitching in the MLB is a total Bro. Add on to that the fact he has been in a video game, strikes out 13 batter a game and won MVP as a PITCHER and you have a guy that can go very far in this bracket. He can toss a no hitter at any time and has no signs of slowing down. Oh right and he has been linked to a two time cover of the S.I. swimsuit edition Kate Upton. Just Google Verlander and tiger cub, fearless dude, look at that baby tiger. [J.D]
26 seed: Prince Fielder : This guy is a huge deal in Detroit. There was an urban legend about Fielder as a 12 year old kid blasting a home run into the upper deck of Tiger Stadium. Another rumor about Fielder was that we was a vegetarian, but he’s such a big guy that it was hard to believe. He does, though, have a tattoo on his neck that says his first name in Korean. [LS]

Kansas City
29 seed:Billy Butler : I have a thing for DH’s when it comes to bros. How can one not be when all they are asked to do is hit the ball as far as they can most of the time? They don’t play defense, they usually either pack major dappers or just have the biggest beer bellies in the business. Billy Butler is the beer guy. I’m convinced this guy is the real life landfill from Beerfest that just slugs beers as soon as the games over. That being said he is also a family man which could affect his bro-ness but I’ll try and ignore it landfill.  r. [J.D]
15 seed: Jeff Francoeur : His nickname is Frenchie but some call him the Natural. Was a high school bro and play QB in high school. Has a good looking wife. [PF]

Minnesota
3 seed:Joe Mauer : He was a huge football prospect with a full ride to Florida State, and the number one overall draft pick in the MLB draft. He actually is the only person ever to win player of the year by Parade in two sports. He then went on to play baseball in the city he was born in and won the 2009 AL MVP. He has modeled in the past, been on the cover of a video game and has been in a shit load of commercials (The Head and Shoulders one is the most famous of the bunch, he kills it). But what may separate Joe from the rest? It’s gotta be the sideburns cotton. They have had sideburn nights at the Twins games in honor of the burns. [J.D]
22 seed:Justin Morneau : Belongs in the club with Russell Martin as top Canadian Bro. Pretty much an all star in of all places Minnesota. [PF]

AL WEST

Houston
28 seed: Jose Altuve : Lil Tuves might be the only player on our list with his own unit of measure. Broadcasters sometimes like to joke of how far home runs travel by saying “how many Altuves” it went, and we think that’s freaking hilarious. The guy’s a 5’5” stud of a baseball player, and he’s only been in the majors for three years. His first big league homer was inside the park; he’s got wheels. The only blemish on his resume is that he plays for the Houston Astros. [LS]

Los Angeles
8 seed: Jered Weaver : Guy’s brother was a bro when he was a pitcher and he’s twice the bro and twice the player. Weaver went to Long Beach State and just dominated the college baseball scene. He was speculated to be the first person chosen in his draft class but demanded so much money teams were scared. Just a total boss move if you ask me. Looks like he is ready to surf at any time and must own like 5 different houses on the beach. He was on the cover of NCAA baseball 2007. Not much has come out about his life as an MLBer, however you have to imagine he’s a very chill, laid back guy. [J.D.]
4 seed: Mike Trout : Last name Trout, but known as Magic Mike or sometimes the Supernatural. Has been known to dress up. Much like the Kung Fu Panda, he has his own fans and crew, except there not panda pack but a pack of trouts. [PF]
Mike Trout doesn’t need much justification for why he’s on our list. He’s only 21 years old and was 2011’s American League rookie of the year. Born and raised in New Jersey, Trout decided to live it up at East Carolina University, a big party school on our list. Basically all you need to know is he’s young, has a bunch of big accomplishments in a short amount of time, and is living every young bro’s dream right now in the MLB. [LS]

Oakland
10 seed:Josh Reddick : Played baseball at some random school in Georgia which makes me think he did not give 2 shits about his grades. All this guy probably wanted to do is drink and play some baseball. Reddick broke out last year as a big time player for the Oakland A’s, another guy Billy Beane flipped a closer for. Not much is known about this guys personal life but he has the most awesome combo and beard out in the MLB. [J.D.]

Seattle
16 seed: Michael Morse : Anyone who plays for the Nationals just seems to have some Bro in them. Michael Morse is no exception. For one no one can convince me this man doesn’t take steroids. He got caught early on his career and was suspended ten days for it. He went from a lanky 6’6” shortstop to now a monster, power hitting first basemen. I respect it to be honest because he hasn’t been caught since and the rules have gotten stricter. Know that he is on a team that has no relevance to the MLB all this dude cares about is raking homeruns. He’s doing what any bro would. He’s got flow to back his bro-ness. [J.D.]
27 seed: Justin Smoak : Is a former South Carolina Gamecock, one of the most bro schools out there. Was a boss at South Carolina and has swagger which he has brought to the majors. Packs monster lips, part of the Skoal Brotherhood. [PF]

Texas
5 Seed: Yu Darvish : The ultimate Japanese Bro. May seem like a high seed for him but look at the resume. When he came over the greatest country in the world they compared him to rock star status in Japan. He was breaking rules over there smoking on some Japanese stuff that he was not old enough to smoke. He has had a shotgun wedding with some Japanese actress back in 07 and the couple is already divorced. He was selected as GQ man of the year in 2012 for Japan and is in multiple ads over there. Not to mention this year he is completely killing it in the MLB this year. He throws many different pitches that batter get baffled at when thrown. He doesn’t even pitch his best pitch anymore (the screwball) because he hurt his shoulder back in the day throwing it. Just imagine how nasty he would be with that. [J.D.]
24 seed: Derek Holland : Great mustache. He is the funniest MLB player out there right now in my mind. Hilarious youtube videos, the weather man one is my favorite. [PF]

Can the starting rotation carry the Mets in 2013?

johan-santana-no-hitter

by Chris DiLorenzo

            The New York Mets projected starting 5 in 2013 is Johan Santana, Jon Niese, Dillon Gee, Shaun Marcum, and Matt Harvey. The most obvious missing piece is the knuckleballer who was traded above the border to the Blue Jays in the offseason. While the Mets aren’t expected to do much this year their most obvious strong point is their starting pitching. Johan is a pure competitor and expect him to start on Opening Day if he feels he can compete. If the saying in baseball is true, “You are only as good as your starting pitching”, then look for the Mets to make it interesting in the East.

Starting with the ace Johan Santana, who will be the biggest key in the rotation, his health means everything to his success. Johan got off to a hot start last season returning to his old form while etching himself in Mets fans memory forever when he threw the first no- hitter in franchise history on June 1st against the Cardinals. Manager Terry Collins was worried during and after the game with Johan’s pitch count and as it turned out he had every right to be. Johan simply wasn’t the same pitcher following the no hitter and was shut down in August. Johan’s numbers weren’t pretty last season finishing with a 6-9 record with an ERA of 4.85 in 117 innings pitched. It was sad to watch Johan collapse the way he did due to the problems with his back, especially after making history for the franchise. If Johan is healthy coming into the season there shouldn’t be any reason why he can’t pitch the way he was last season leading up to the no hitter. If the Mets want to contend, Johan is the backbone to their rotation.

The southpaw Jonathon Niese has great potential in him but has not seemed to take his game to the next level which we all desperately want to see. Niese has a nasty curveball that can buckle the hitter knees but he tends to leave it hanging over the plate too often which can be disastrous and led to him giving up 22 home runs last season. Niese finished last season with a 13-9 record which was an improvement from 2011 when he finished 11-11. His ERA was a 3.40 which is will need to be lower this year for Niese to take that step to the next level. Niese threw 190.1 innings last year in 34 starts which will also need to increase with Dickey’s departure (Dickey threw in 233.2 innings last season with 33 starts). Jon Niese recorded 155 strike outs which is an average of 1.2 strikeouts per inning which isn’t bad by any means. Expect Niese to finally make Met fans proud and take his game to the next level to be a feared lefty in orange and blue.

Dillon Gee was rushed to the emergency room in mid July when he felt numbness in his fingers which was later diagnosed as a blood clot in his pitching shoulder, a scary moment for Dillon who was pitching fairly well before the medical procedure to break up the clot. In 17 games last season Gee had a 6-7 record with a 4.10 ERA who seemed to come from nowhere (drafted in the 21st round in 2007) when he made his career debut in 2010. Gee appeared in 109.2 innings in his injury shortened season last year while giving up only 12 home runs. This is essential for the Mets this season to keep the ball in the park as much as possible with their lack to produce a lot of runs. Dillon Gee is still young at 26 with a lot left to prove to the Mets but expect him to live up to those expectations. Gee keeps the hitter guessing with a vast arsenal of pitches which is what makes him effective and why the Mets see a lot of potential in Gee.

The newly acquired Shaun Marcum knows he cannot fill R.A. Dickey’s shoes this season but believes he can succeed in New York. Marcum has been nursing an injury since last season on his throwing shoulder but wisely took the necessary time to return to the mound fully healthy this spring with the Mets. The 31 year old right hander had a good season last year in Milwaukee posting a 7-4 record with an ERA of 3.70 in 21 starts. Prior to the injury Marcum seemed to be cruising to another impressive season having gone 13-7 in 2011 with an ERA of 3.50 in 33 starts. Last season Shaun was striking batters out with fair ease having 109 strike outs in 124 innings pitched. If fully healthy coming out of Spring Training Shaun Marcum can be a tremendous asset to this rotation which the Mets will need to replace R.A. Dickey’s CY Young performance last season.

Matt Harvey, one of the top pitching prospects in the minors last season, made his major league debut last season and came out firing. Harvey, a towering presence on the mound at 6’4, did not look like a 23 year old on the mound. Matt Harvey was throwing hard and accurately while posting a 3-5 record in 10 games started (thank the Mets lack of offense for a couple of the losses in his record). Harvey’s 2.73 ERA is exactly what you want to see in this young righty while striking out 70 batters in 59.1 innings pitched; only allowing 5 home runs last season. Possibly even more impressive from Harvey last season was his WHIP which was 1.146. Harvey’s WHIP will aid John Buck, the projected starting catcher for the Mets in April, who only throws runners out 27% of the time. The sky is the limit for Matt Harvey who has all the necessary tools to break out sometime in the near future as an ace pitcher for the Mets. Look for Harvey to thrive this season, the first full season of his career, both on the mound and on the plate since he was one of the better hitters on the Mets line up last season.

What to expect from the New York Mets infield in 2013

Mets1

by Chris DiLorenzo

It seems as though the Mets have been going through the “rebuilding” phase since game 7 of the 2006 NLCS when Carlos Beltran struck out looking in the bottom of the 9th with 2 outs. Or maybe the rebuilding phase started after the 2007 and 2008 seasons following two of the worst collapses in MLB history. Either way you want to look at it, it has been a long, stressful, and depressing six seasons since the Mets last tasted the playoffs. Could this year be the year we finally play baseball in November again? Let’s not get ahead of ourselves. However the 2013 Mets could be a surprising team if they can figure out how to play above .500 baseball past the midsummer classic.

Third base is never in question when someone mentions the boys from Queens with David Wright handling the hot corner. Since joining the big leagues David Wright has been as consistent as it gets defensively. Wright’s fielding percentage only dropping below .950 his first two seasons with the Mets (.942 and .948 respectively) with his overall career fielding percentage being .953. Expect David Wright’s fielding percentage in 2013 to be just as high, if not higher due to him playing competitive baseball before the season in the World Baseball Classic. When it comes to David’s bat he is as good a third basemen as there is in the National League. He has consistently put up great numbers for an average, with a .301 career batting average. Wright however has not hit 30 homeruns since the 08 season, which is a concern to many. I wouldn’t read too much into his home run numbers because David has taken on a different role as a hitter. His approach of less power with more consistent contact produced a career high OBP of .391 last season. One of the biggest weaknesses with his hitting has been the strike outs; his highest season was in 2010 when he whiffed 161 times. Last season Wright struck out 112 times which is a great improvement, most likely as a result of the change to his swing and approach at the plate. We should expect big things from David Wright this year, being the “Captain” of the team and the face of the franchise. It is clear David is involved with the front office operations when he attempted to recruit Michael Bourn to Queens before he decided on going to Cleveland. David Wright will be here for the long run so no need to worry Mets fans. He signed a contract extension through 2020 with his overall contract being worth $192 million.

Moving from third to short stop, Ruben Tejada is an exciting young and extremely talented player. He is no Jose Reyes but it is simply unfair to ask him to fill the shoes of Reyes at short. Tejada will never be the hitter Reyes was and more importantly he will never be the leadoff hitter that the Mets have been searching for since Reyes’ departure to Miami. Tejada showed a lot of promise and potential last year with the bat putting up a .289 batting average in 114 appearances at the plate. It seemed like Tejada was always working the pitcher while at the plate, going deep into the count and eventually either drawing a walk or getting the hit with an OBP of .333. His on base percentage needs to rise this season if Tejada wants to take the next step as a hitter since he doesn’t hit for power (Tejada hit 1 home run all of last season). When it comes to the field I believe Tejada can be just as effective as Reyes was and he proved that last season. Diving up the middle, turning double plays or going to his right, it was exciting watching him field the position. Tejada had a fielding percentage of .974 while committing only 12 errors. Look to see Ruben Tejada improve on his bat by putting the ball into play more while being as consistent as it gets at short stop.

Daniel Murphy doesn’t look like a natural at second base, but boy did he turn it around last season with the glove. Appearing in 138 games last season at second base, Murphy had an identical fielding percentage as his neighbor middle infielder with a .974. Murphy struggled his first few seasons at second but worked hard in the off season to fix his mistakes and it showed tremendously. Murphy reacted quicker off the bat, moved easier to his left, and covered up the middle better than ever while committing only 15 errors. Murph was just below a .300 batting average last season, putting up a .291 in 571 AB after a hot start, joining David Wright at the top of the National League for batting averages. He seemed to see the ball better, only striking out 82 times, but lacked the ability to hit for power with only 6 home runs. If Murphy wants to make a name for himself in Flushing he needs to hit for more power, especially since the Mets desperately need some power this season. As for the fielding Murphy is headed in the right direction, although he may never look like he quite belongs.

Valley Fever was the biggest issue with the first basemen Ike Davis last season, and it deeply impacted him at the plate in the first half the year. Ike flat out couldn’t hit early on, and he actually flirted with a trip back down to the minors. Following the All Star break Ike Davis looked like a completely different player at the plate, finishing the season with 32 home runs and looking like the power hitter the Mets envisioned when they drafted him in 2008. Although his average was a mere .227, it was a break out second half of the season while the rest of the team fell apart. Playing first base defensively has never been an issue with Ike, who looks like he was born to play the position. Nothing gets past Ike who can stretch like a ballerina and scoop anything in the dirt (which had a big effect on David Wrights decrease in errors at third base.) Davis finished last season with a .994 fielding percentage in 148 games with only 8 errors. Ike Davis is going to have to battle with Valley Fever for the rest of his life, but if the second half of last season is any preview to Ike’s young career, the league better take notice. Look for Ike to have a higher batting average since he has handled the adversity Valley Fever brings, and can prepare for it this time around. Dare I say put up 45+ home runs in a full healthy season? I don’t think it is farfetched to say this due to the fact that he put up 30+ home runs last season after his record slow start.

Having sent Josh Thole to Toronto in the R.A. Dickey trade it has been a mystery as to who will call the game behind the plate for the Mets. It is expected that John Buck will man the plate for the beginning of the season until they deem Travis D’arnaud ready for the big leagues. One of the top prospects in the MLB, the Mets acquired Travis D’arnaud in the R.A Dickey trade with the Blue Jays. John Buck has more pop than Thole with the bat (which is easy to do) having hit 12 home runs last season while appearing at the plate 343 times in Miami. His batting average however was atrocious, hitting only.192 which the Mets will not be able to live with. His OBP was .297, having drawn 49 walks. Don’t expect Buck to hit high in the batting order. What Buck does lack with the bat he makes up for behind the plate. Buck had a .991 fielding percentage last season with the Marlins, while only committing 7 errors in 105 games. Something that causes concern with Buck is his ability to throw runners out, only catching runners stealing 27% of the time. John Buck clearly is not the long term answer for the Mets at catcher, but is a solid interim solution until the debut of Travis D’arnaud sometime in the 2013 season.