Top Performances of the Week: Rookie Stroman throws complete game shut out



Each Monday we will be bringing you MLB ’s top hitting and pitching performances of the week. You can find them right here, every Monday for the remainder of the season and throughout the postseason.

This week a couple players had career games. Rookie Marcus Stroman threw not only the best game of his career but also one of the most efficient. The A’s Josh Donaldson led the struggling A’s to victory on a career high five hit night and White Sox catcher Tyler Flowers had two clutch hits that are hard to beat. Here are those stories along with the other top performances of the week.

MLB Top Performances of the Week 9/8-9/14

Brought to you by the FanSided Network

Ranking the top 5 free agent starting pitchers (Sun. Column)

Some people think that baseball ends along with the World Series but even that is not the case. Not by a long shot. The so-called “end of baseball season” is actually the beginning of the Hot Stove season.

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Getty Images

What is the Hot Stove season? Well I am glad you asked. The term refers to, in a very basic sense, all the off season baseball talk and transactions amongst the fans, players and executives.

The term comes from the picture of fans gathering around a “hot stove” to keep warm while talking about the off season baseball action that begins in November. Oddly enough one of the best definitions on the web came from Urban Dictionary.

“The hot stove is a term used to describe all of the personnel movement in baseball. With all of the free agent signings, trades, hirings, and firings.”

The day after the World Series all eligible players become free agents. The teams then have five days to exercise their options on the player or offer them a qualifying offer.

If no deal is made between the player and their current team within the time period then things get exciting. The player becomes a free agent and can sign with any team in the league.

The bidding wars can become very large for some of the best players in the league. For example, during last off-season Robinson Cano who is arguably the best second baseman in the league decided not to resign with the New York Yankees but signed instead with the Seattle Mariners for 10 years and $240 million.

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Getty Images

So each Wednesday and Sunday for the next few weeks I am going to be bringing you my picks for the top five free agents in the league at each position.

Even players who have options on their contracts won’t necessarily remain with their  current a team. Those players will be marked with an asterisk because until their option is exercised they are, for all intents and purposes, free agents.

With so many really good pitchers on the market this year deciding the top five was not an easy task. I knew my top four right away but ranking them was another story. Finding a fifth pitcher then became a challenge because a lot of guys had good season this year.

Brandon McCarthy, for example, has had great numbers since being traded to the New York Yankees from the Arizona Diamondbacks, however, his past numbers don’t quite fit the the criteria for the list.

Longevity, consistency, post season experience and overall numbers have all been taken into consideration here. Without further ado, let’s get started with the first position, starting pitchers.

To find out how who I chose as the best free agent starters on the market and how I ranked them you’ll have to find out on FanSided via the link below – Enjoy! I had fun writing it! 

Ranking the top 5 free agent starting pitchers

Brought to you by the FanSided Network

Latest Leaders – August 2014

Thank you for making Bullpen, Baseball & Sock Talk make the list of  MLBlogs Latest Leaders for August!


1989! and some 2014 #OaklandSockSwag … SWEEP DREAMS gnats!

Every time you stop by here you make move towards being the #1 MLBlog! It went from 19th in July to 18th in August! Not bad! Keep coming back and help it move further up the list and I will try to provide cool, new content and of course my somewhat Oakland biased opinion!!


With my all time favorite: THE ECK!!! 2014

It’s been harder keeping up with the blog since I have been taking on more responsibilities and deadlines at work but I love this little blog …. so yep! It’ll be here!

Check out the link to the August Leaders List to find some more fun blogs – from beat writers to fan blogs to front office blogs – you’ll find just a long list of good baseball talk and fun!

Enjoy! Thanks for reading!

Love & A’s Baseball (win or lose), Jen 



Latest Leaders – August 2014.


I Love Baseball!!

* ICYMI: MLB Updates with Oakland A’s Socks Girl 9/13*


1937873_10154372807300026_269571575_nWelcome to ICYMI: MLB Updates with Oakland A’s Socks Girl! Here at Bullpen, Baseball & Sock Talk I’ve tried to keep my readers updated on what’s new in Major League Baseball in a couple of different ways, though mainly through daily updates that included highlights from my blog (here!, the newest articles from the FanSided Network’s flagship MLB site and the day’s scores. However, with the added duties to my position as Editor at Call to the Pen and as a Featured Columnist on FanSided Network’s main page, it has become increasingly difficult to keep you updated on a daily basis and continue to include all the new articles plus the scores from every single game.

So what I am now proposing is this: every weekend I will bring you a week’s worth of new articles from Call to the Pen, highlights of some of my favorite blog posts from the week here on Bullpen, Baseball & Sock Talk, any important/relevant posts from other MLBlogs or FanSided sites I may have noticed.

If you like the new format or don’t like it, please leave a comment below! Constructive criticism is always welcome as I strive to continue to improve my blog with each post! It seems my readership has diminished a bit lately and any suggestions on whatever I can do to keep you coming back is appreciated! So hopefully you will enjoy the *New, (hopefully) Improved* edition of ICYMI: MLB Updates with Oakalnd A’s Socks Girl!

Highlights from Bullpen, Baseball & Sock 9/13/14

My some of my new & most popular Wednesday and Sunday Columns from as of 9/13/14

*NEW: every Monday during the season on MLB Top Performances of the Week

This week’s latest news from Call to the Pen: as of 9/13/14

*Thanks for reading and stop by anytime – and for your weekly baseball update every Saturday!!*

** articles in bold with two asterisks are my work, my blog posts are my work as are my columns, the others are those of the staff writers!**


My column on the front page of!


My 1st column to make the front page of the Sports Illustrated website!

To Read the original article CLICK HERE!

So yeah! My completely awesome column (that I honestly did relatively fast since I overslept) made the front page of Sports Illustrated’s website for the first time! How awesome is that? It’s one thing having fun and running a MLB site for FanSided but applying for the Features Division was a great idea! I just have to write three extra pieces a week – plus a few a day for Call to the Pen and then attempt to keep up with my poor blog!!!

My blog numbers are dwindling – actually I am going to write an entire blog post about this but I may as well mention it – all those links I post on social media pages – ya know those? They probably annoy y’all but if you click on the link it helps me make more financially which is hugely important at this point in my life – even if you aren’t interested in baseball or don’t have time to read it – clicking on it helps!

What helps in a different way is if you (preferably of course) do have time to read my column/article/whatever and you like it?? Please share it, pass it along because that helps me get my name out there and gain credibility. You can even share my blog posts! Anyways, I will write more on that in it’s own blog post!

But this post is to celebrate being featured in Sports Illustrated for the first time!! Woo hoo!! I’ve been working hard for this so it actually feels really cool! Well, thanks for checking out my lovely blog – one of these days I might actually write about Socks again because it’s been all baseball since early in the season ….. LOL! Gotta keep with the blog name and sentiment – I am the Oakland A’s Socks Girl after all … whether that’s a good or bad thing I go back and forth on! Just kidding!! LOL! It’s brought me many more positive experiences than I could have ever asked for! Have a great day y’all and thanks for letting me commemorate this moment! :-D

Ron Washington Departed Over Legal Issues

Jen Rainwater:

Here’s the original report. I hate to believe it but you never really know do you?!

Originally posted on The Scoop Sports:

A special contribution from Founder and CEO Jamie Kelly

USA Today Sports

USA Today Sports

I have learned this evening through a source with knowledge of the situation that long-time Texas Rangers skipper Ron Washington’s sudden departure from the club was due to impending legal issues stemming from an alleged sexual assault of an Asian reporter. I have cross-checked this information and feel confident in going forward with what I know, and am currently reaching out to obtain more details of the situation. Please follow our official Twitter account at @TweetTheScoop for details as I get them.

Jamie Kelly is the Founder and CEO of The Scoop. Follow her on Twitter at @JamieSportsTalk.

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Ron Washington’s sudden departure from Rangers due to legal issues

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Getty Images

According to a report by The Scoop Sports’ CEO Jamie Kelly, Ron Washingtons sudden resignation as manager of the Texas Rangers was due to a bit more than aoff the field personal matter.” If Kelly’s information is indeed correct it seems that Washington’s reasoning may  have ended up having some on the field implications that could affect the team.

According to Kelly, Washington has been accused of sexually assaulting an Asian reporter. Washington resigned due to impending legal issues stemming from the alleged assault and apparently Kelly is not the only person to have come across this breaking news.

More on this developing story on Call to the Pen:

Possible new legal reason for Washington’s sudden resignation as Rangers manager revealed

Brought to you by FanSided’s Call to the Pen.

5 MLB teams that may be in the postseason mix in 2015

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Getty Images

There are quite a few teams that are not even close to a postseason berth right now, however, there some of those teams may be in the mix next for a trip to the playoffs in 2015.

Some teams, especially the Texas Rangers, have been completely and utterly decimated by injury.

While teams like the Chicago Cubs have an immense amount of young, up and coming talent that is on display right now and will have much needed experience under their belts when the 2015 season rolls around.

Whereas other teams such as the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Tampa Bay Rays. While they have had their fair share of injuries, neither team just did not perform to their expected potential in 2014 but they still have the opportunity to turn it around next season.


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Then there are the Houston Astros who are in a class by themselves. They’re terrible yet they have talent. Jose Altuve has the best batting average in the league and Chris Carter is rivaling the Baltimore Orioles’ Nelson Cruz for the American League home run crown.

Let’s take a look at these five teams who may be in the mix to play in October in 2015. To check out my slideshow on these ball clubs check out the link below:

MLB: 5 teams that may be in the postseason mix in 2015

Brought to you by the FanSided Network

Top MLB Performances of the Week: 4 Phillies throw no-hitter, Wainwright gets 3 RBI

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Getty Images

Every Monday on FanSided I’ve been bringing you Major League Baseball’s top pitching and hitting performances of the week and will continue to do so through the end of the season and postseason.

This week was so packed with action that not everyone who deserves to make the list could actually be on it. Four National League pitchers each got their MLB leading 17th wins, Los Angeles Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw, Cincinnati Reds’ Johnny Cueto, St. Louis Cardinals’ Adam Wainwright and the San Francisco Giants’ Madison Bumgarner.

Pittsburgh Pirates’ starter Gerrit Cole, who got his first big league home run at Wrigley Field on Sunday couldn’t even work his way into the top three hitting performances, although another pitcher did. So without giving too much away here are your top hitting and pitching performances of the past week.

MLB Performances of the Week: 4 Phillies no-hit Braves

Brought to you by the FanSided Network

It’s been 25 years should Pete Rose’s lifetime ban be reconsidered? (Sunday column)


Andy Lyons/Getty Images

In a word the answer to the question is ABSOLUTELY. Pete Rose’s lifetime ban from Major League Baseball and consequently his eligibility for the National Baseball Hall of Fame should be reconsidered.

I’ve always wanted to write a piece on Pete Rose. He’s a complicated character. His exploits are even more complicated and people’s opinions of him range from one end of the spectrum to the other and everywhere in between. He’s hated, he’s beloved, he’s looked down upon, he’s respected. It’s one of baseball’s strangest and most debatable stories.

It’s been 25 years. It really is time to take a look at this situation and do something about it before Rose gets older and possibly leaves this world. Reinstating him posthumously would honor his accomplishments, yes, but who doesn’t want to hear Pete Rose give a speech at his possible Hall of Fame induction. Come on, you know you want to hear some crazy speech from “Charlie Hustle.” I know I do.

Personally I am a firm believer that Pete Rose should be reinstated into MLB and become eligible to be voted into the Hall of Fame. There are so many reasons for and against this argument.

To read about my reasoning for my conclusion regarding Rose’s reinstatement check out my Sunday column:

Pete Rose: Should his lifetime ban be reconsidered?

Brought to you by the FanSided Network


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