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2 And A Hook Podcast Ep #5: What about WAR? + The Good, The Bad + Downright Underachieving Teams in 2013

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Friday, May.17/2013

MLB reports and The Benchwarmers Show present 2 and A Hook Podcast

MLB reports and The Benchwarmers Show present 2 and A Hook Podcast.

People in this Podcast:

Chuck Booth – (`15 Minutes In – 15 Minute Segment) Guest (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner):

By James Acevedo – Host (Podcast Veteran) 

‘2 And A Hook’ is an expression from Baseball:  ‘Throw the guy 2 Fast balls and then a Hook’ (AKA Curve Ball, Wiggly one, Chair etc..)

On today’s show, brought to you by MLB Reports (www.mlbreports.com) & yours truly  ‘The Bench Warmers Show’, Chuck Booth does his regular segment this time about what’s been going on the MLB Reports website & talking about what to do with the DH position with Adam Dunn, Steve Pearce & Nolan Reimold In the AL.

Plus the Baltimore franchise signing and pitching Freddy Garcia & why the Orioles should have added veteran pitching depth before the season started

Why Raul Ibanez being an underrated player & the horrible starts of their seasons by David Price & Rickie Weeks!

Also I talk to Diamondbacks correspondent for MLB Reports & for Rant Sports (www.rantsports.com)  Chris Lacey 45 Minutes In (10 Minute Segment)  -  as we talk about whats going on with the team.

We also see the return of Yankees correspondent & trade correspondent for MLB Reports Nicholas Rossoletti (1 Hour In – 45 minute Segment)  as we talk about the importance of the WAR stat, sabermetrics, lack of trading & why buying free agents isn’t working for the Angels, Dodgers & Blue Jays!

I also do my stats & notes segment as usual for you baseball nuts out there so go check out the show & SPREAD THE WORD!!! Thanks for all of your continuous support!!!

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Why Felix Hernandez Is So Important To Seattle

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Monday March.11,  2013

Felix Hernandez has finished in the top 4 for AL CY Young Voting - including taking home the Award in 2010.  He is 59 - 40 in the last 4 years,

Felix Hernandez has finished in the top 4 for AL CY Young Voting – including taking home the Award in 2010. He is 59 – 40 in the last 4 years,

By Jon Schifferle ( Mariners Correspondent – visit his own personal website here.)

Although many Mariners fans are already very excited about the Felix Hernandez deal (as they should be), there are a few reasons that some may not see.  There are very few true aces in the MLB right now, but the Seattle #1 pitcher is definitely one of them. This signing of the former AL Cy Young Award Winner was paramount to the teams long-term stability. 

This could have definitely proved detrimental to the franchise for ever signing a Free Agent again if they lost #34.  Having said this, if Hernandez goes down for significant portion of this contract term do to injury – it would obliterate the organization at a $25 MIL per year clip.  The future of the next decade is firmly held with the big man

Felix Hernandez Commercial:

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New York Yankees Player Roster In 2013 Part 2 – The Pitchers: State Of The Union

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Monday, March 4, 2013


The Yankees come into 2013 relying more on pitching and defense than in previous seasons.  This incarnation of the Yankees will only go so far as their pitching can carry them.

The Yankees come into 2013 relying more on pitching and defense than in previous seasons. This incarnation of the Yankees will only go so far as their pitching can carry them.

By Nicholas Rossoletti (MLB Reports Trade and Yankees Correspondent):

Allow me to re-introduce myself. I have spent the last three months discussing the Marlins, Astros, Mariners and the off-season trades. I have loved every second of it, and I appreciate my readers more than you will ever know. That being said, today I undertake something that has always been a dream. Today, I begin a journey where I get to do something that the 14 year old me always wanted to do. Today, I take over as the Yankees correspondent, which is a fancy term for a guy who gets to write about his favorite baseball team. Some of my most vivid memories of my past relate to the Yankees. I will never forget the moment that ball fell into Charlie Hayes‘ glove. The pure joy of the first time my team would be called world champions.

Embracing my Dad in a bear hug as we celebrated something that meant so much to the both of us. Since then the Yankees have provided endless enjoyment as I watched a dynasty grow up as I grew up. Now, it has come to a point where the Yankees face their championship window closing. It happens to all great teams, but the question that hangs in the balance is whether the window is already closed or can the Bombers come up with another magical season before this generation fades? We will try to answer that question starting with the Yankee pitchers.

CC Sabathia Highlight Reel:

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Tampa Bay Rays Player Roster In 2013 Part 2 – The Pitchers: State Of The Union

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Sunday, Mar.03/2013

The Rays led the Major Leagues last year in ERA (3.19) and were 3rd in team SO.  They also converted 50 of 58 Saves.  Even more impressive was that they were 45-31 with a 2.60 ERA after the ALL-Star Break.  They traded veterans Wade Davis and James Shields away for top level prospects.  Will they be able to duplicate their 2012 numbers with their young talented pitchers improving the club internally?

The Rays led the Major Leagues last year in ERA (3.19) and were 3rd in team SO. They also converted 50 of 58 Saves. Even more impressive was that they were 45-31 with a 2.60 ERA after the ALL-Star Break. They traded veterans Wade Davis and James Shields away for top level prospects. Will they be able to duplicate their 2012 numbers with their young talented pitchers improving the club internally?

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner):

The Rays are a team built on their strong pitching and timely hits.  The majority of their hurlers are homegrown.  The unfortunate part about all of this is that the Rays have a Stadium problem.  Tropicana Field just doesn’t bring in enough revenue in order to pay their pitchers once they become eligible to be Free Agents.  Let’s face it, when you can’t bank on a pitcher being healthy for the duration of his contract, the management will be hard pressed to sign a pitcher to a long – term, 9 figure contract.

The Tampa fans had better enjoy seeing David Price for the next 3 years – because he is on a path to the kind of dollars that will see him leave town.  The Rays have made their investment in their franchise player already in Evan Longoria.  So here continues the continual revolving door.  The good news is that the organization has stockpiled the kind of talented Minor League System that should be able to brunt the force of such a catastrophic loss forthcoming with the reigning AL CY Young winner.

Price might just be the premier Left Handed Pitcher in the MLB right now.  After him in the Starting Rotation is Jeremy HellicksonMatt Moore, Alex Cobb and Jeff Niemann.  The team alsoadded Roberto Hernandez (Don’t call me Fausto,) for added insurance.  There are 2 highly touted prospects with both Chris Archer and Mike Montgomery possibly seeing some time up with the big club.  They also could see Jake Odorizzi challenge for a spot in the rotation.

David Price Highlights in 2012:

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Tampa Bay Rays Player Roster In 2013 Part 1 – The Hitters: State Of The Union

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Sunday, Mar.03/2013

Ben Zobrist has quietly tuned into one of the best all around players in the game.  He has finished in the top for WAR in 3 of the 4 years - including 1st in 2011 and 2nd in 2009.  At Age 31, Zobrist goes into a contract year.

Ben Zobrist has quietly turned into one of the best all around players in the game. He has finished in the top 10 for WAR in 3 of the last 4 years – including 1st in 2011 and 2nd in 2009. At Age 31, Zobrist goes into a contract year in 2013.  It may be his last season with TB.

By Jake Bullington (Rays Correspondent)

Part 1: The hitters:

2012 saw the Tampa Bay Rays miss the playoffs for the first time since 2009. They would finish a very respectable 90-win season and finish third in the AL Wild card. The offseason saw much of what Rays fans are used to from this small market club. Impact players such as B.J. Upton (ATL), Jeff Keppinger (CHW),  and Carlos Pena (HOU),  would move on to greener pastures and sign elsewhere. That meant GM Andrew Friedman and his team would get to work. They would pick up options on SP James Shields, CL Fernando Rodney, and C Jose Molina. They would decline the option on DH Luke Scott and later sign him back.

The offseason would also see the reworking of a long-term deal to keep the Rays 3B Evan Longoria in a Rays uniform at least through the 2022 season. But with Free Agency looming for “Big Game” James the Rays would do what they do best and send Shields, Wade Davis, and a PTBNL (Elliot Johnson) to the Royals for a prospect package that included future rotation regulars Mike Montgomery and Jake Odorizzi and MLB.com 2nd best prospect OF Wil Myers. The Rays would shore up the middle of the infield by Signing and trading for the Blue Jays previous middle infield of Yunel Escobar (MIA) and Kelly Johnson (FA). To replace Carlos Pena, the Rays would sign Free Agent James Loney.   The organization also brought back Joel Peralta on a deal that included a record three Club Options.

Desmond Jennings Highlights:

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Detroit Tigers Roster in 2013: State Of The Union

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Thursday, February. 21/2013

The Trio of Verlander, Fielder, and Cabrera represented Detroit at the All-Star game in 2012 as well as on the MVP ballot with Cabrera winning, Verlander coming in 8th, and Fielder coming in 9th. They also combined for an 18.8 WAR in 2012

The Trio of Verlander, Fielder, and Cabrera represented Detroit at the All-Star game in 2012 as well as on the MVP ballot with Cabrera winning, Verlander coming in 8th, and Fielder coming in 9th. They also combined for an 18.8 WAR in 2012

By Ryan Dana (MLB Reports Writer): 

I would never say that a team is a lock to win their division, but I will say that the Detroit Tigers shouldn’t make any vacation plans for October of 2013. They’ve won the AL Central Division for the past 2 years, and added an AL Pennant in 2012. The Detroit Tigers franchise is one rich in history winning 4 World Series titles and having legends such as Ty Cobb, Hank Greenberg, Al Kaline, and Charlie Gehringer passing through the “D” just to name a few.

This proud franchise did suffer a lull in success somewhat recently as they had a losing record every season from 1994-2005. This included a dismal 43-119 record in ’03. The Tigers came back from the abyss and turned their team back into a winning ball club since 2006. This was Jim Leyland’s 1st season managing the Tigers, and all he did was lead the team to 95 wins (a 24 win increase from the prior season) and a World Series appearance.

In 2011, the Tigers lost in the ALCS, and in 2012 they lost in the World Series, so could they improve upon the previous seasons ending once again and win the 2013 World Series? Well, their roster is certainly improved from last year, but it’s all about keeping up with the “Jones” in the MLB nowadays. Every team with money is trying to make a serious World Series run this year. While the Tigers are in the weakest division in the AL, if and when they reach the playoffs, it will be a gruesome battle to endure.

The Tigers have all the makings of a World Series contender. They have Superstars in their lineup like Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder. They have a true Ace leading their deep, seemingly all in and around their prime, starting rotation in Justin Verlander. They also have good depth on their 25 man roster, and even more in their Minor League system. I’ll start with their rotation. Here’s what it will most likely look like…

2013 Detroit Tigers Starting Rotation: Justin Verlander, Doug Fister, Anibal Sanchez, Max Scherzer, Rick Porcello

Detroit Tigers 2012 ALCS Highlights:

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Chris Carter: The Future Star That Will Make Billy Beane Regret His Trade Mistake

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Monday February 11th, 2013

Chris Carter had a 3 Slash Line of .239/.350/.864 in 218 AB during the 2012 season. He clubbed 16 HRs and 39 RBI. He hit 11 HRs in just 122 AB away from o.co Coliseum. At just Age 26 - and team controllable until 2019, it is weird that Billy Beane would trade away the slugging 1B/DH

Chris Carter: A career .283 hitter in the minors, with a .378 OBP and .535 SLG. The perfect combination of power and patience. He will prove to be the one that got away from Billy Beane.

Jonathan Hacohen  (Lead Baseball Columnist, Oakland A’s Correspondent and Website Founder):  

Mark down the date of February 4th, 2013. The day that Billy Beane broke my heart. In preparing for my latest A’s feature, the working title of the article was “Chris Carter: The Next Great A’s Superstar”. Then fate intervened. Or rather, Beane decided to pull off one too many trades. After a successful offseason that saw the A’s GM bolster significantly bolster his playoff squad, Beane decided that one more blockbuster move was in order. Jed Lowrie was headed to Oakland, with Chris Carter (the good one), Max Stassi and Brad Peacock going over to the Astros. For the purpose of this piece, I will be focusing on the loss of Carter. Stassi is a former 4th round pick of the A’s and a young 21 Year Old catching prospect. With Derek Norris ready to grab the A’s catching job for the next decade, I can see how he was expandable. Peacock was a 41st round pick of the Nationals. A 25 Year Old arm that may develop one day, but crashed and burned last season in AAA. With the A’s pitching depth, I can see how he could be ticketed out-of-town for a change of scenery. But Chris Carter?  Really Billy??!! You worked your magic to get him in the first place from the Diamondbacks. I certainly hope that your return pans out (Jed Lowrie and Fernando Rodriguez). Right now, I simply cannot see the logic of this move.


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Billy Beane Found His Catcher in Seattle: John Jaso is Ready to Lead the A’s Back to the Playoffs

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Sunday January 20th, 2013

A .372 OBP in 2010. A .394 OBP last season. Can you blame Billy Beane for LOVING John Jaso?

A .372 OBP in 2010. A .394 OBP last season. Can you blame Billy Beane for LOVING John Jaso?

Jonathan Hacohen  (Lead Baseball Columnist, Oakland A’s Correspondent and Website Founder):  

My name is Jonathan Hacohen. And I am a John Jaso fan. There…I have said it. Feels very good to get it out. Ok, so I don’t own any John Jaso t-shirts or jerseys. I wouldn’t recognize him if I hit him with my car. But when #27 (formerly #28 on the Rays) comes up to bat, I know that good things will usually happen. Remember that .372 OBP in 2010? I sure do. So do many Tampa Bay Rays fans. For you see my friends, John Jaso is a special breed of baseball player. He is a catcher with patience. He won’t hit for great pop, but he finds ways to get On Base. That is a skill that served him very well back in his aforementioned first full MLB season.

From that season on, I came to expect great things from Mr. Jaso. But then 2011 hit. Or actually, he didn’t. A .224 AVG with a .298 OBP was good enough for the Rays to dump Jaso on the Mariners for Josh Lueke. Remember him? Do I really have to say more? The Rays, for all the talk of their poor offensive showing and need for major league bats, decided that John Jaso just didn’t fit into their system. So Jaso was off to Seattle and Jose Molina was brought on board. The same Jose Molina who hit .223 last season with a .286 OBP. The same Jose Molina who got paid $1.5 Million last season. John Jaso on the other hand got paid $495,200 last year. What did he do? Only hit .276 with a .394 OBP. Plus a .456 SLG for good measure. His reward? A one-way ticket to Oakland with a 30 second stopover in Washington. The man can’t win. A good or bad season, either way MLB GM haven’t shown faith in this kid so far in his career. But then, most GMs are not Billy Beane. Despite being apparently set at the position for 2013, Beane proceeded to trade for Jaso and dump George Kottaras, to catch with Derek Norris. Beane said on record that he would have kept Kottaras unless Jaso was made available. So does Billy Beane know something that Andrew Friedman, Jack Zduriencik and Mike Rizzo don’t? The answer is yes. Beane knows which players he wants and usually, he will get them at the end. Now John Jaso is set to bring flair, leadership and of course, On Base skills to Oakland. The playoff picture just got much rosier for the A’s. 


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Bartolo Colon: Ready For One More “BIG” Season in Oakland

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Sunday January 13th, 2013

bartolo colon

Bartolo Colon saw his 2012 season end early due to a PED suspension. He is scheduled to return in April. Does he have one more big year left in the tank?

Jonathan Hacohen  (Lead Baseball Columnist, Oakland A’s Correspondent and Website Founder):  

Bartolo Colon (or Fatolo as he is known in inner-baseball circles), is set to make his major league return in April, 2013. Back in August, 2012 Colon received a 50-game suspension for the use of a Performance Enhancing Drug (PED). This suspension came a week after Melky Cabrera received his 50-game ban. With only 5 games left in his suspension, Colon will be back in early-April (health permitting). But as much as fans discuss his performance on the field, Colon’s weight always seems to be the center of attention. Generously listed at 5’11” and 265 lbs. on the Baseball Reference site, Colon won’t be winning modelling contests anytime soon. Billy Beane said it best in Moneyball, when he made it clear to his scouts that the team wasn’t trying to sell jeans. They were trying to win ballgames. Regardless of his weight and appearance, as long as Bartolo Colon can get the job done, I say hand him the ball every 5th game. Babe Ruth wasn’t a small guy, but he sure got the job done. Colon may not have the talent possessed by Ruth, but he can still be effective on most given nights. When baseball has 1-2 pitchers falling to Tommy John surgery on a weekly basis, there is something to be said for a pitcher that can go out there and give his team a good chance of winning. That is the Bartolo Colon that the A’s are hoping for in 2013. With a $3 Million salary this year and approximately $2 Million in incentives to be earned, Colon has all the incentives in place to give the A’s the workhorse they need this upcoming season.


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