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The O’s Have Continuously Dropped The Ball This Winter – The Latest Is The Grant Balfour Fiasco:

Grant Balfour has been throwing verbal jabs to the Orioles on XM Radio concerning the club bowing out of his 2 YRs/$15 MIL  deal - and justifiably so.  The Orioles are losing credibility around the league for this bow out maneuver.  So, good luck on signing a Free Agent Pitcher in the future.  The O's are also reeling on the Free Agency Market, having not signed anyone of real value, while Brian Roberts, Scott Feldman and Nate McLouth have left the city.  2013 saw the club win 85 games, and that was part of a superhuman effort from Chris Davis.

Grant Balfour has been throwing verbal jabs to the Orioles on XM Radio concerning the club bowing out of his 2 YRs/$15 MIL deal – and justifiably so. The Orioles are losing credibility around the league for this bow out maneuver. So, good luck on signing a Free Agent Pitcher in the future. The O’s are also reeling on the Free Agency Market, having not signed anyone of real value, while Brian Roberts, Scott Feldman and Nate McLouth have left the city. 2013 saw the club win 85 games, and that was part of a superhuman effort from Chris Davis.  The team is completely missing the ball in their chance to rundown a World Series Title by playing conservatively with their money.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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‘Stoking The Fire’ – Week 10

The Orioles have continued to stumble along in the offseason – meanwhile pissing off their fanbase.  The latest Grant Balfour fiasco is going to set the franchise back.

it is not just the future Free Agent players that will think twice about setting foot in Maryland for the sake of landing a deal, but this kind of move could definitely deflate attendance next campaign.

Up until the Buck Showalter era, this kind of move was vindictive of the 1999 – 2009 regime of the Baltimore brass.

Grant Balfour Deal with the O’s Negated.

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Tigers Acquire Astros Closer Veras To Address Anemic Bullpen Woes – And Are Not Done Yet

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Mondday, July.29/2013

Jose Veras was acquired by the Tigers today, While clearly not the big name out their among Closers, he should add depth to a Bullpen that has had monumental struggles this season.  This could also lead to the Tigers picking up yet another Closer in the next 48 - 60 hours like a Joe Nathan or Luke Gregerson.  All of a sudden, a negative attribute could be a positive one for the team.

Jose Veras was acquired by the Tigers today, While clearly not the big name out their among Closers, he should add depth to a Bullpen that has had monumental struggles this season. This could also lead to the Tigers picking up yet another Closer in the next 48 – 60 hours like a Joe Nathan or Luke Gregerson. All of a sudden, a negative attribute could be a positive one for the team. Veras makes $1.85 MIL for 2013, and has a Team Option of $3.25 MIL for 2014 – or a Buyout of 150K.  It is an inexpensive risk for Motown.

By Matthew Lafave (Tigers Correspondent) 

The Detroit Tigers have finally got there much needed bullpen help in the form of Astros closer Jose Veras. They sent outfielder Danry Vasquez and a player to be named later to the Astros.

Vasquez, 19-years-old, was batting .281 with Low-A West Michigan before the trade. The Tigers signed him as an international free agent out of Venezuela in 2010.

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Tigers Are Rumored To Be Searching For A Closer: Papelbon Is High On The Hit List

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Friday, June.21/2013

It is is starting to like all to familiar to the baseball world when it comes down to late Tigers Pitching.  Dave Dombrowski simply can't go into the Post Season with what he has on his current Roster - based on recent track record.  This team needs to find a Closer via Trade - and be willing to mortgage some of the future - and take on even more salary if needed...otherwise the ramifications of a Bullpen Backfire would tarnish any success the club has had.

It is starting to like  familiar to the baseball world when it comes down to late Tigers Pitching in 2013. Dave Dombrowski simply can’t go into the Post Season with what he has on his current Roster – based on recent track record. This team needs to find a Premiere Closer via Trade – and be willing to mortgage some of the future – and take on even more salary if needed to accomplish this…otherwise the ramifications of a Bullpen Backfire would tarnish any success the club has had.  It is paramount to have a shutdown Game Finisher at the end of a Pitching Staff.  The Relief Core is a huge reason why Detroit has not run away with the AL Central already.  They possess a 5 – 13 Record (Have also blown 9 Saves in 25 Chances) – while carrying a 3.99 ERA (22nd in MLB).

By Matthew Lafave (Tigers Correspondent) 

During the off-season Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski prematurely appointed rookie Bruce Rondon as the closer. It’s a lot of weight on a pitcher who has never thrown a pitch in the majors before that.

No surprise to anyone, it did not pan out and Rondon started the season with Triple-A affiliate Toledo Mud Hens.

The ‘closer by committee’ began the season but after 3 blown saves and Octavio Dotel to the disabled list, it was time for a certified closer to come to Detroit.

So in an act of desperation the Tigers signed Jose Valverde to a major league deal on April 23rd.

Shocking to most fans he was still cheered when he made his first appearance of the season and actually got the close. But his success came to an abrupt end and currently has 3 blown saves, a 5.59 ERA, and has given up 6 home runs.

Jose Valverde Blows A Save

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Oakland A’s Player Roster in 2013: State Of The Union Part 2: The Pitchers

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Sunday, Mar.24/2013

A.J Griffin was 7-1 with a 3.06 ERA in 15 Games Started for the A's in his 2012 Rookie Season.  The A's will look for the 24 Year old for some Quality Starts in 2013

A.J Griffin was 7-1 with a 3.06 ERA in 15 Games Started for the A’s in his 2012 Rookie Season. The A’s will look for the 24 Year old for some Quality Starts in 2013.  The  former University of San Diego Pitcher yielded a 1.13 WHIP during his time last year.  As the teams #4 Starting Pitcher on the depth chart, Griffin should be able to see some favorable matchups in 2013.  If he throws like 2012 again in 2013, he might very pole vault to being the ace of the rotation.  We may have another 3 – 4 staff that contend for the AL Cy Young like the days of Hudson, Mulder and Zito.

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner):

Billy Beane has always recycled his great starting pitchers once they hit the experience level that he could not pay them for.  His new crop of pitchers include Jarrod Parker, Brett Anderson, Tommy Milone and new Starter A.J. Griffin

They also are bringing back Bartolo Colon for the 2013 season, despite taking a 50 game suspension for PED use last year. Billy Beane is a master tactician on assessing  a players worth and especially pitchers.  Just like the hitters, the pitchers are all mostly in the 25-30 Age bracket.  He has a quality set of controllable relief pitchers in the barn to close out games too.

A.J. Griffin at University of San Diego:

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Baltimore Orioles Player Roster In 2013: State Of The Union Updated Mar.15

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Friday March 15, 2013

The Orioles defied the odds with a 29 - 9 One run games record and a record streak of Extra Innings Wins that reached the teens.  In a vaunted AL East - Vegas has only predicted them as about a 77 win team this year.

The Orioles defied the odds with a 29 – 9 One run games record and a record streak of Extra Innings Wins that reached the teens. In a vaunted AL East – Vegas has only predicted them as about a 77 win team this year.  They used 12 Starting Pitchers and none of them are clear – cut Aces.  Might they call Dylan Bundy up in  May?  Will the management pull the trigger on a proven #1 Starting Pitcher to help them out? Will Brian Roberts be able to stay healthy?

By Kyle Holland (MLB Reports Writer):

2012 was a breakout year for the Baltimore Orioles and the start of something new. They finished the season with a 93-69 record, a record good enough to land themselves a spot in the Wild Card playoff game. This marked the first time since 1997 they were playing October baseball.

The Orioles took down the Rangers in that very game to advance to the ALDS against AL East foe, the New York Yankees. They gave the Yankees a run for their money sending the series to 5 games, only to lose a heart-breaker 3-1 finale of the matchup.  All of this happening with the Orioles having the 18th largest payroll in the MLB.

Orioles Wild Card Celebration:

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Why The Orioles And Lohse Make Sense

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Saturday February 16, 2013

Lohse has had an up-and-down career since making his debut in 2001. He has bounced around cities and has experienced some good seasons, and some less than impressive seasons. He was a big part in the middle of the rotation during their 2011 World Series run finishing 14-8 while posting a 3.39 ERA.

Lohse has had an up-and-down career since making his debut in 2001. He has bounced around cities and has experienced some good seasons, also with  some less than impressive seasons. He was a big part in the middle of the Cardinals rotation during their 2011 World Series run – finishing 14-8 while posting a 3.39 ERA.

By Kyle Holland (MLB Reports Writer):

2012 was a career year for the Cardinals’ RHP Kyle Lohse. At Age 34, Lohse has become one of the most inconsistent pitchers in the game of baseball. Since making his debut in 2001 at 21 years old with the Minnesota Twins, Lohse has had some stellar years, and some not-so-great years. This includes a 2008 season – where he went 15-6 with a 3.78 ERA. He followed that great season with ugly 2009 finishing 6-10 while posting a 4.74 ERA.

In 2012,  Lohse turned back to his ace pitching ways. Coming off a solid 2011 season – with a 14-8 record, it didn’t look like Lohse could improve too much. He proved everyone wrong and pitched his way to a 16-3 record. His .842 W-L% lead the National League – while his 2.86 ERA wound up eighth in all of the Majors.

Why the Cardinals will not sign Kyle Lohse:

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Its A Big Year For Yankees SP Phil Hughes And RP Joba Chamberlain

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Tuesday, February.04/2013

Heading into 2013, Hughes has a Career Record of 52-36 (.591) - with a 4.39 ERA.  He is projected to be the #4 starter for the Yankees in 2013.

Heading into 2013, Hughes has a Career Record of 52-36 (.591) – with a 4.39 ERA. He is projected to be the #4 starter for the Yankees in 2013.  He is 46-34, with a 4.68 ERA for his Career as a Starter opposed to a Reliever – where he was 5-1, with a 1.40 ERA during 2009.

By Chuck Booth (Yankees Correspondent/Website Owner):

Phil Hughes represents a nice #3 or #4 starter for the New York Yankees – and Joba Chamberlain will be counted on more than ever with Rafael Soriano not being back in the bullpen for 2013.  This will be his 7th season in the ‘Bronx for both Pitchers.  The 6 Foot 5 native (Hughes) of California, is coming off a decent season in 2012 – after he struggled with arm fatigue in 2011.  Chamberlain has had a litany of injuries pile up on his 6 Foot 2, 250 LBS frame over the last several years.  Yankees fans all know too well how this man and Joba Chamberlain have been bounced to and from the Starting Rotation to the Relief Corps.  I think it is safe to say the Yankees finally have it right.  Joba is a reliever and Hughes is a Starting Pitcher.

The Yankees have them both locked up on one year deals for 2013.  Chamberlain will make 1.88 Million Dollars – while Hughes will make 7.15 Million Dollars.  With an aging offense this year, the Yankees will be counting on several internal improvements amongst their pitching staffs. These two veterans will need to take it to the next level based on their projections of talent.

Joba Chamberlain – How To Be Awesome

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Detroit Tigers Prepare For Spring Training: Invite 17 Players

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Thursday, January.17/2013

Pitchers and Catcher have less than 4 weeks to report in FLA

Pitchers and Catcher have less than 4 weeks to report in FLA.

By Matthew LaFave (Tigers Correspondent):  

The Detroit Tigers announced on Wednesday that they have invited 17 players to Major League camp in Lakeland, Florida.

The names include some familiar faces like Don Kelly, Shawn Hill, and Nick Castellanos.

Kelly, who will turn 33 at the start of spring training, reportedly turned down a National League team to remain with the Tigers. After struggling at the plate last season, his contract was out righted to Triple-A affiliate Toledo. He is the only active MLB player to play all 9 positions in his career.

Don Kelly – Post Game after Game #2 of the 2012 ALDS (Walk off Sac Fly)

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The Oakland A’s 2013 Roster Tree Part 2: The Pitchers And Analyzing Mulder, Hudson and Zito Post Oakland

Sunday, Dec.02/2012

A.J Griffin was 7-1 with a 3.06 ERA in 15 Games Started for the A's in his 2012 Rookie Season.  The A's will look for the 24 Year old for some Quality Starts in 2013

A.J Griffin was 7-1 with a 3.06 ERA in 15 Games Started for the A’s in his 2012 Rookie Season. The A’s will look to the 24 Year old for some Quality Starts in 2013.

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer/Website Owner):

Yesterday we talked about the hitters of the Oakland Athletics current roster and today we will talk about their pitching.  This has been an organization that has thrived on brilliant drafting of young arms.  In the early 2000′s, the team featured three ace pitchers in Barry Zito, Tim Hudson and Mark MulderBilly Beane had to let each of them leave Oakland because they couldn’t pay them the kind of dollars needed to secure them long term.  With the exception of this year, Barry Zito has not lived up to his 7 Years and 126 Million Dollar contract he signed with the San Francisco Giants since leaving the Athletics. Despite a 15-8 year for the SF club this past year, he holds a 58-69 (.447) record for San Francisco lifetime with a 4.47 ERA.  He was 102-63 (.618)  and a 3.55 ERA with the A’s before leaving at the age of 29.   The guy made 18.25 Million in his Oakland days and has already pocketed 99 Million with SF.

Mark Mulder never was the same pitcher in the NL and was out of baseball four years after being traded to St. Louis.  His A’s career had netted him an 81-42 (.659) record with a 3.92 ERA.  He was only 22-18 (.550) and a 5.04 ERA with the Cardinals before retiring. As you will read in this article below, the franchise made a worthy trade in returns for this man.  Mulder made 25.3 Million in his contract with the Cardinals after making only 8.4 Million with the A’s.

Tim Hudson on the other hand, has been one of the better pitchers in the NL for the last decade, still towing the hill for the Braves at the age of 38.  He was 92-39 (.702) with a 3.30 ERA for the A’s.  He has since gone 105-65 with a 3.52 ERA for the Braves in in 8 years.  He definitely has been worth the $ invested (84.5 Million plus another 9.0 Million in 2013.) He only made 4.5 Million in his 6 years with Oakland.  The sandwich pick they landed for Hudson’s Free Agent signing was Travis Buck.  Unfortunately Buck only played 170 games for the franchise, hitting .250 with 18 HRs and 71 RBI in 571 AB.

Total Record for 3 other teams is 185-152 (.549) and they have made 208.8 Million away from Oakland, whereas they were 275-144 (.656) and made a total 33.15 Million Dollars with the Athletics.  I would say, Beane made the right decision in not signing them.

The Future of the Oakland A’s:  The Mustache Gang Meets the Bash Brothers:  Revealing Billy Beane’s Master Plan click here.

For The Oakland A’s 2013 Roster Tree Part 1:  The Hitters  Click Here

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