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KC/TOR/SEA/MIA All Trying To Break Long Playoff Droughts: Last Appearances In October For Each Squad

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Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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Kansas City has rolled into the 3 quarter mark with a slim AL Central lead on the Detroit Tigers, and may finally stare down their best chance to make the playoffs since winning the World Series Title.

The Royals playoff futility is the ‘clubhouse leader’ in the MLB by 8 years.  The Toronto Blue Jays have not yielded a postseason berth since winning back to back World Series in 1992 and 1993.

Both of these two AL clubs have not made it to October baseball since the 1994 strike (the last 2 remaining clubs).

Toronto starts play today at 63 – 59, and have their best look at the playoffs since the team had Roy Halladay and A.J. Burnett back in 2007 – 2008.

The Canadian franchise had more of an excuse for years – competing with the Red Sox and Yankees when the economics 1st went out of whack during these two AL Beast 8 combined Titles, 10 ALCS appearances and all Division Titles but two during the last 20 years (Tampa Bay in 2008, 2010 being the exception. Read the rest of this entry

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The Toronto Blue Jays Could Be Facing Yet Another Challenge For Payroll

Toronto is the only team in the MLB not in the USA.  With that comes foreign currency.  For the years of 1990 - 2007, the Canadian Dollar was hovering around the 70 cents mark for the duration.  The last economic crash in the USA - had the dollar at par for the better part of the last 7 years, including once reaching $1.1o for every George Washington bill in America.  The average for the exchange rate has been in the mid 90 cents range.  The loonie has been in a nosedive since 2014 kicked in - and now it is around 90 cents for every US Dollar.  If it goes down much more, it will be just another challenge the Jays will face in a vaunted AL East Division.

Toronto is the only team in the MLB not in the USA. With that comes foreign currency. For the years of 1990 – 2007, the Canadian Dollar was hovering around the 70 cents mark for the duration. The last economic crash in the USA – had the dollar at near par for the better part of the last 7 years, including once reaching $1.10 over every George Washington bill in America. The average for the exchange rate has been in the mid 90 cents range since 2008. The loonie has been in a nosedive since 2014 kicked in – and now it is around 90 cents for every US Dollar. If it goes down much more, it will be just another challenge the Jays will face in a vaunted AL East Division.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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It was a big reason the Montreal Expos are no longer in the MLB anymore.  It also affected the only Canadian franchise left for that same stretch.

I am talking of course about the Canadian Dollar.

Luckily for Toronto, the last 6 years have been decent for the exchange rate.

The mark has fluctuated predominantly between .94 -.99 cents per US Dollar from 2008 – 2014.

This is even more crucial for the Blue Jays considering they reside in a tough AL East with payroll powerhouses Boston and New York. Read the rest of this entry

“Hard Cheddar” Weekly Segment 1: The Toronto Blue Jays Of The NL East?

The Blue have pretty much been a mediocre franchise in the league for the last 20 years.  After winning back to back World Series in 1992 and 1993, the club has some expensive and talented pieces, however like so many of the 'god awful' teams have shown us recently, maybe the club should tanked it for 7 - 10 years in order to stockpile Grade A level talent through the MLB Amateur Draft?

The Blue Jays have pretty much been a mediocre franchise in the league for the last 20 years. After winning back to back World Series in 1992 and 1993, the club has had some expensive and talented pieces, yet like so many of the ‘god awful’ teams have shown us recently, maybe the club should have tanked it for 7 – 10 years in order to stockpile Grade A level talent through the MLB Amateur Draft?  Toronto has been caught in the middle of a building a team through the Draft, but never seem to be bad enough to receive high enough picks to select ultimate fortune changers for the organization.  Maybe they should try another way..  Lets talk about that today.

By ‘Special Guest  Blue Jays Writer’ Steve Cheeseman 

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“Hard Cheddar” – with Steve Cheeseman

Regardless if you’re a casual fan, or die hard Toronto Blue Jay fan, many things come into mind with regard to what should happen next after a terrible 2013 season.  

Do Media/Cable giant Roger’s need to spend more money?  Should they rebuild from the draft?  Should they rent older, experienced players on short term deals?  

How about a shift from the American League to the National League?

For the start of the 2013 season, the Houston Astros made the move from the NL to the west division of the AL.  This was to equally balance the two leagues to contain 15 teams in each.

In terms of performance, it didn’t help.  The 2012 NL Astros finished the season with a 55-107 record, which was good for last in all of Major League Baseball.  

Montreal’s OIympic Stadium will host a Blue Jays Exhibition Game in 2014

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A Night With Mookie Wilson Part 1: The Gala Dinner Speech At Tangle Creek Golf And Country Club

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Monday, April.22/2013

Mookie Wilson talking at the Golf and Country Club Friday April.12/2013, Simcoe, Ontario, Canada

Mookie Wilson talking as the Keynote Speaker at the Tangle Golf and Country Club Friday April.12/2013, Thornton, Ontario, Canada.  MLB Reports was there to listen to the Mets Hall Of Famer speak – and we have a special 2 part series for you surrounding the event – including an exclusive one on one interview we conducted that will be the 2nd part of the 2 part series.

By Jordan Hennessey (Blue Jays Correspondent) 

One night with Mookie Wilson Part 1:

“Speed is the one thing that there’s no answer for. You can kind of contain it but in order to do that, you have to change your game” – Mookie Wilson.

Mookie Wilson is remembered for his speed and enthusiasm on the base baths, but there is more to him than that. I recently had the opportunity to sit down with Mookie Wilson at a Gala for Smith Brothers Baseball Central Sports Facility, a great new Baseball factory in Central Ontario.

The event was held at Tangle Creek Golf and Country Club. Partial proceeds went to Candlelighters Simcoe, in support of parents whose child has been diagnosed with cancer. Needless to say it was a great night for two great causes.

As an added bonus, we got to hear Mookie Wilson talk baseball, life, and his time on Sesame Street hanging out with the count. Which he told like it was yesterday.

To listen and read about the Interview I did with Mookie Wilson: Part 2 of a night with Mookie click here

The Mets and Mookie on Sesame Street

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Fixing The Phillies Offense: All Good Things To Those Who Wait

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Friday April 19, 2013

Ryan Howard once was an extremely great OBP Player before the last couple of years  In his MVP year (2006) - he was 5th in the NL with a .425 OBP.  He went for a .392 clip in 2007, before a precipitous fall to .339 in 2008.  2009 saw a .360 mark, 2010 - .353, 2011 - .346 and finally a Career Low in 2012 for the tune of a .295 OBP.  This year he is not much better at ,303.  Howard's Career 3 Slash Line is still .271/.363/911 but plummeting.

Ryan Howard once was an extremely great OBP Player before the last couple of years In his MVP year (2006) – he was 5th in the NL with a .425 OBP. He went for a .392 clip in 2007, before a precipitous fall to .339 in 2008. 2009 saw a .360 mark, 2010 – .353, 2011 – .346 and finally a Career Low in 2012 for the tune of a .295 OBP. This year he is not much better at ,303. Howard’s Career 3 Slash Line is still .271/.363/911 but plummeting.

By Chris Creighton (Phillies Correspondent via http://www.warrroomphilly.com – visit the website here

The late, great Harmon Killebrew, author of 573 Home Runs during his Hall of Fame career, was also exceptionally talented in another skill when he stepped to the plate: drawing Walks.

Charlie Manuel knows this better than most because he played alongside “Killer” for four years as a member of the Minnesota Twins in the late 1960’s. Over dinner, in the clubhouse and on the bench they’d talk baseball quite a bit, mostly about the art of hitting. Manuel said of Killebrew:

HR Derby Between Killerbrew vs Mantle Part 1:

HR Derby Between Killerbrew vs Mantle Part 2:

“Killer used to preach to me that the most important thing was getting strikes [to swing at]. He said he didn’t like to walk, but that he had to take pitches to get good strikes.”

- MLB.com / Hal Bodley, May 17, 2011

Killer was an 11 Time All - Star and an 7 time HR King. He also hit 40+ HRs 7 times. The man had a Hall Of Fame Career.  The Phillies could take a page out of Killebrew's patience...He Walked 1559 times  in 2435 Games Played.  His 3 Career Slash was .256/.376/.884.

Killer was an 11 Time All – Star and a 6 time HR King. He also hit 40+ HRs 8 times. The man had a Hall Of Fame Career. The Phillies could take a page out of Killebrew’s patience…He Walked 1559 times in 2435 Games Played. His 3 Career Slash was .256/.376/.884.

Amen to that. Killebrew didn’t need to say much at all on the matter as his patience did all his preaching for him. He led MLB in free passes four times in his career – with a high mark of 145 drawn in the 1969 season. It’s not a coincidence that he went on to hit 49 Home Runs and drive in 140 RBI that Summer. 

And in his best seasons, Killebrew would crack the 100-Walk plateau seven times while reaching 90+ Bases on Balls in three other campaigns.

Killebrew’s 1969 MVP season totals:

Year AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS
1969 555 106 153 20 2 49 140 145 84 .276 .427 .584 1.011

Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 4/19/2013.

Returning to present day, the Phillies are mired in a severe slump where they’re finding runs are about as hard to produce as water from a dry sponge.

Our boys of Summer have been as impatient as children at church with little to no plan or approach at the plate, swinging their bats like orchestra conductors at a dubstep concerto.

Show a pitcher you’ll offer at a ball outside the zone and they’ll pitch it outside the zone. 

Too many Phillies batsmen have been all too eager to flail away in undisciplined fashion, such as Ryan Howard (3 Walks), Ben Revere (4), and even Chase Utley (4).

Of those three, only Utley is producing with two doubles, two triples, three home runs and 13 RBI, but with a very un-Utley-esque .339 OBP (career .379). Impatience has begotten impatience among the Phillies’ brass:

“Who wants to go for a walk?”
Courtesy of DelawareOnline.com

Please take note of that quote having been tweeted about two hours before game-time last night vs. St. Louis, a one-run loss which would also see the Phillies earn a big, fat zero in the walk column.

For those keeping score, that’s zero walks in four straight games. Clearly with no change in plans at the plate, our boys have forgotten that sometimes the best things in life are free.

The translation is quite simple, really, even in today’s game. So far in 2013, three of the top four National League teams in drawing walks (Reds, Rockies and Mets) are also the top three teams in runs scored.

And while the Phillies are ranked sixth in hits as a team, they are 14th (of 15 teams) in seeing ball four which again translates to scoring runs, where they rank 11th in the National League. Combine all of this with a third place ranking in Strikeouts (126), they currently sit 13th in the NL with an OBP of just .291.

To drive the point home, this is only slightly better than the cellar-dwelling Chicago Cubs and the lowly Miami Marlins. Yuck.

It took the Philles 77 years to win their first World Series in 1980, however since that time, they have been to 4 more World Series in 1983, 1993, 2008 and 2009 and took home the Trophy in 2008.  The Phillies have finished .500+ or better for every year since 2002.  However 2012 saw their streak of 5 straight NL East Division Titles come to an end.  Now that they have started slow at 6 - 10 - can they come back to make the playoffs and a have a shot at a World Series  in 2013?

It took the Philles 77 years to win their first World Series in 1980, however since that time, they have been to 4 more World Series in 1983, 1993, 2008 and 2009 – and took home the Trophy in 2008. The Phillies have finished .500+ or better for every year since 2002. However 2012 saw their streak of 5 straight NL East Division Titles come to an end. Now that they have started slow at 6 – 10 – can they come back to make the playoffs and a have a shot at a World Series in 2013?

*** The views and opinions expressed in this report are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of mlbreports.com or their partners.***

A big thank – you goes out to our Philadelphia Phillies Correspondent Chris Creighton for preparing today’s featured post..  Chris is a Phillies Phan, Baseball fan & player. He thinks that there is no better place for food and is a  proponent of the city of Philadelphia. Huge U2 fan. Phillies writer at  http://www.warroomphilly.com .

Chris says:  “Follow a Web Show covering everything in the Philadelphia Sports Scene. Sit back and enjoy from the hearts of two die-hard Philly guys here !  You can follow Chris Creighton on Twitter or the WarRoomPhilly

a war room chris

Please e-mail me at: mlbreports@gmail.com with any questions and feedback. You can follow us on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook. To subscribe to our website and have the Daily Reports sent directly to your inbox, click here and follow the link at the top of our homepage.

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The Toronto Blue Jays Franchise Pitchers Part 4 Of A 7 Part Series

Monday, November 26th, 2012

Note from Chuck Booth:  I am attempting to bring the history for each of the 30 MLB Franchises into a 5 part series that will focus on 1. The teams history.  2. The hitters 3. The pitchers. 4. The Teams Payroll going into 2013 and 5.The Ball Park that they play in. (The stadium articles will all be done next summer when I go to all of the parks in under a month again.)  Be sure to check my author page with a list of all of  my archived articles section here.

 

Roy Halladay won 148 out of his 199 career wins under the years he played for the Blue Jays. After struggling with his mechanics early in his career, he was one of the best pitchers in the AL for the years of 2002-2009.

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer/Website Owner):

The Toronto Blue Jays have had some incredible pitchers in their 35 years in the MLB.  From Dave Stieb being one of the top 2 pitchers in the 1980’s, to the dominant closers like Tom Henke and Duane Ward be part of their playoff runs, to Pat Hentgen and Juan Guzman firing out of their career like a sprinter making a mad dash for the finish line, to David Wells, Jimmy Key and Roger Clemens tasting success, awards and leading the league in many categories.  Finally, you had the premier pitcher in the American League with Roy Halladay in the 2002-2009 time frame.  Yes there may be some competition from C.C. Sabathia for that last claim, however no one will argue that Halladay is not one of the best pitchers of this ERA.  His being the Career Leader in winning percentage attests to that with 199 Wins versus 100 Losses (.666).  So let us take a journey through the franchise and recognize all of the best hurlers that have towed the hill for the Toronto club.  (Scroll Down Past the Links or Click the READ MORE OF THIS ENTRY ICON.)

Franchise Series Links:

Franchise History Part 1 1977-1993:  http://mlbreports.com/2012/11/09/jays1/

Franchise History Part 2 1994-2012: http://mlbreports.com/2012/11/28/jay/

The Toronto Blue Jays Franchise Hitters: Part 3 Of A 7 Part Article Series:  http://mlbreports.com/2012/11/16/torhitter/

Skydome Part 5 of 7 :  An Interview with ‘Rogers Centre Expert’ and “MLB reports Founder” Jonathan Hacohen

2013 Team Payroll  Part 6 of 7 :  http://mlbreports.com/2012/09/10/tor/

Special Bonus Fan Blog Of 2013 Team Payroll Part 7 of 7:   http://mlbreports.com/2012/09/12/torfanalex/

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