Chris Gilmore, a student at Brevard Community College in Florida and a pitcher on the baseball team there used his experience to help himself win $1 million in the MLB 2K12 Perfect Game Challenge tournament.
“I can think like a pitcher and throw pitches in different locations and change speeds and such. You can use the pitching [wisdom] for hitting, as well. As a hitter, it helps you to read the pitcher and pick up on what he might be thinking about throwing on what counts.”
In case you’re not 100 percent familiar with the video game, it’s the one with the Kate Upton and Justin Verlander-as-Randy Johnson commercial.
Gilmore won his prize at the MLB Fan Cave in New York City in a eight-person tournament final. This was the first season that 2K sports used a tournament to determine the winner. The eight players who threw “the most perfect” game won a chance to go to New York for the finals. Gilmore, as CC Sabathia and the New York Yankees, beat the Detroit Tigers in the final, 10-1.
Cincinnati Reds first baseman Joey Votto and Pittsburgh-based PLB Sports have created a cereal that they of course are calling VottO’s. VottO’s are honey nut toasted oat cereal, packaged in a 14-ounce limited edition collector’s box with Votto on the cover. The cereal is on sale now exclusively at Cincinnati and Dayton-area Kroger stores.
Votto’s cereal is the latest athlete-endorsed product from PLB Sports. Last year, former Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Chad Ochocinco launched Ochocinco’s. And earlier this spring it launched Justin Verlander’s Fastball Flakes in Detroit.
Model and Sports Illustrated swimsuit cover girl Kate Upton is back for her second MLB 2K12 ad and this time she’s the gatekeeper at the Perfect Club. Detroit Tigers ace pitcher and the games cover man Jason Verlander can’t even get into the club, not even looking like Randy Johnson.
Detroit Tigers pitcher and American League Cy Young Award winner Justin Verlander is getting ready throw the heater in your morning breakfast routine. Verlander has his own cereal called “Fastball Flakes” which is to benefit VA Hospitals in Detroit and Ann Arbor.
The cereal is being sold through PLB Sports, which is a Pittsburgh-based company that makes athlete-endorsed products like similar cereals featuring Jason Kendall, Marshall Faulk, Chad Ochocinco, David Eckstein, Doug Flutie, Wayne Chrebet, John Elway, Jerome Bettis, and more.
2K Sports hit a home run when they decided to select model Kate Upton to help sell MLB 2K12, their newest version of the series, as she has now also was been selected to be the cover girl of the 2012 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue. Perfect timing.
Upton stars along with Detroit Tigers and AL Cy Young award winner, MVP, and 2K Sports cover athlete Justin Verlander, David Price of the Tampa Bay Rays, Jay Bruce of the Cincinnati Reds and Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim pitcher C.J. Wilson, were she teaches them the fine art of the circle change up.
Every Tuesday Sports Grind Entertainment presents you with the Buffalo Wild Wings Blazin Player of the Week. This week the recipient of this prestigious honor goes to Detroit Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander for being the first pitcher in the Major Leagues to reach the 19 game win plateau. Verlander’s season continues to be that of American League Cy Young Award worthy even with his latest performance against the Tampa Bay Rays, in which he surrender one run on three hits and struck out eight over seven innings. His 19th win equals his career high that he established in 2009 as well as winning his last seven seven straight starts. It’s a season that has him leading the AL in victories, strikeouts, winning percentage, innings pitched and opponents batting average. Verlander’s ERA of 2.28 is second only to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Jered Weaver. On top of it all, Verlander threw a no-hitter on May 7 against the Toronto Blue Jays, the second no-no of his career.
Congratulations Justin Verlander you are this weeks Buffalo Wild Wings Blazin Player.
During the Minnesota Twins and Detroit Tigers game over the weekend, Tigers ace pitcher Justin Verlander played one of Major League Baseballs oldest tricks on utility man Don Kelly by setting his foot on fire with the ‘Hot Foot’ prank.
For those not yet use to MLB’s new embed videos, just click the circle triangle in the upper left corner to play.
Every Tuesday Sports Grind Entertainment presents you with the Buffalo Wild Wings Blazin Player of the Week. This week the recipient of this prestigious honor goes to Minnesota Twins Francisco Liriano and Detroit Tigers Justin Verlander for each throwing a no-hitter this past week. Liriano threw his no-hitter on Tuesday night on the road against the Chicago White Sox for the franchise seventh and his first. Verlander threw his no-hitter also on the road in Canada against the Toronto Blue Jays which also was the Tigers seventh but his second of his career. Verlander’s second no-hitter puts him along with White Sox’s Mark Buehrle and Philadelphia Phillies Roy Halladay as the only active pitchers with more than one.
Liriano entered his start with a 1-4 record and an 9.13 ERA, he went on to walk six and strikeout two to lower his ERA to 6.61. His two strikeouts in a no-hitter are the fewest though since Jerry Reuss did so with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1980. It’s also the first no-hitter by a Twins pitcher since Eric Milton threw one back on September 11, 1999.
Verlander only struck out four in his second career no-hitter Saturday, compared to 12 punchouts in his first one in 2007. Prior to either of his no-hitters, the last Tigers pitcher to throw one was Jack Morris, who did back on April 7, 1984.
Congratulations Francisco Liriano and Justin Verlander you are this weeks Buffalo Wild Wings Blazin Player.
Detroit Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander threw one the oddest pitches you’ll see in the fifth inning against the Oakland A’s Saturday with David DeJesus at the plate. After the umps scratched their heads for awhile, they eventually decided Verlander had thrown an illegal pitch and called a balk. Huge egg on the face moment for Verlander.
Oh it’s postseason time in baseball and that means it’s time to hand out some awards on the baseball diamond here at Sports Grind Entertainment.
Starting off with the senior circuit, the National League MVP couldn’t have been any easier. Don’t get it twisted that since Albert Pujols plays for the only professional sports origination in all of sports that I truly care about, that this vote wasn’t hands down his. Yes, if the race was close and I went with Pujols I could understand your concern but the 2009 season produce no one within a mile.
- NL MVP Award: The Cardinals first baseman leads his league in on-base percentage and slugging percentage plus homers, runs scored, total bases, grand slams and extra-base hits. He’s second in batting average with men in scoring position. Third overall in batting average and in RBI’s. Crazy as it sounds Pujols lead the Cardinals in stolen bases. Pujols also has an NL-record 184 assists from first base.
- NL Cy Young Award: There was a three-way choice between San Francisco’s Tim Lincecum and St. Louis teammates Chris Carpenter and Adam Wainwright. They’re 1-2-3 in ERA and 1-2-4 in wins.
- Carpenter has been the most brilliant and dominant, but he’s not in the top 10 in the NL in innings pitched because of early-season health issues. Lincecum has the lowest OPS allowed, but he plays in a great pitcher’s park. Wainwright leads the league the league in wins.
- Carpenter still took the ball against the other team aces so he gets it by a hair over Wainwright.
- NL Rookie of the Year: Was loaded with fresh new propest that made a mark in the 2009 season, with Philadelphia’s J.A. Happ, Atlanta’s Tommy Hanson, Randy Wells of the Cubs, Milwaukee’s Casey McGehee, Florida’s Chris Coghlan, Colorado’s Dexter Fowler and Pittsburgh’s Garrett Jones and Andrew McCutchen.
- As far as position player Coghlan (229 total bases, 82 runs scored and .319 average) is as good of a choice as any but it came down to the two pitchers that came to show earlier and never fell off all season. Happ (12-4, 2.85 ERA) vs. Hanson (11-4, 2.89 ERA).
- While Hanson is a terrific prospect, Happ threw 164 innings and the Phillies would have been in big trouble without him.
- NL Manager of the Year: There are a few good candidates. Fredi Gonzalez kept the Marlins in contention for 25 weeks. Tony La Russa had little in his lineup other than Pujols for the first three months. Charlie Manuel got the Phillies back on top, as did Joe Torre with the Dodgers.
- But this award is a no brainier for Colorado Jim Tracy, they have gone 74-41 since he took over for Clint Hurdle. That’s the equivalent of a 104-win season.
- AL Cy Young Award: When the Cy Young is discussed many see a losing team and figure there is no way a pitcher from such team would win the award over someone on a contending team, but that’s not what the Cy Young is about. On any squad the best pitcher is not responsible on how well or bad the team plays on his days off.
- And that makes Kansas City’s Zack Greinke is the best pitcher in the AL. Period. He lead the league with a 2.16 ERA on a bad defensive team. He had 6 complete games, 3 shutouts and was second in strikeouts with 242. Greinke had a 15 strikout performance and on his next outing threw a one hitter. He was the best pitcher in both leagues. Period.
- Felix Hernandez, Justin Verlander and CC Sabathia are great. And if Greinke wasn’t around, it would be a three-way debate. But this year, that debate is about second place.
- AL MVP Award: Joe Mauer leads the American League in batting, on-base percentage and slugging percentage. And he’s a catcher. Mauer leads the AL in batting average at home, on the road, against right-handers and in night games. He is second in average with runners in scoring position, third in average in day games and fourth in average vs. lefties.
- If Mauer was playing in New York, he’d be everywhere. He would be on every billboard, every magazine cover.
- Derek Jeter, Mark Teixeira, Kendry Morales had very nice years. Very nice.
- Considering the lack of protection in his lineup as compared to the others in the debate, it Mauer as the choice. Also since the only protection he had in teamamte and former MVP Justin Morneau is sidelined for the year. That forced Mauer to put the team on his back as they got back into contention of the AL Central Divison to force a one game playoff with the Detriot Tigers.
- AL Rookie of the Year: What a great season for rookie talent, in both leagues. The White Sox third baseman Gordon Beckham, who has hit well. Baltimore outfielder Nolan Reimold who leads Beckham in on-base percentage, slugging percentage and homers. Texas’ Elvis Andrus, meanwhile, has played all season excelling at shortstop with acceptable production at the plate for a 20-year-old.
- Comparing position players against pitchers is comparing apples to oranges. Oakland’s Andrew Bailey with his .168 opponents’ average, Detroit’s Rick Porcello, Toronto’s Ricky Romero.
- Tough call, but Porcello is 20, and he made 30 starts while pitching in a pennant race to the finish and he went 14-9 with a 4.04 ERA.
- AL Manager of the Year: Great job by Ron Washington to help make the Rangers relevant. But Mike Scioscia didn’t just guide the Angels to another division title. He kept the team from falling apart through a rough first few months, not only because of a rash of pitching injuries but also because of the death of Nick Adenhart. Managing a team is about managing people, and Scioscia did a great job this year. Joe Girardi managed his team to 103 wins and probably wont get a sniff at the award is tough but that how things play out sometimes.