The Best Teams In The MLB From 1980 – 2013: The Biggest Question Is, Who Owns 2004 – 2013, BOS or STL?
By Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner): Follow @chuckbooth3024
Follow MLB Reports On Twitter Follow @mlbreports
There is only so much one can read in an article, otherwise I would make these lists up from the turn of the 20th century.
If you gave me enough time as a reader, I promise to backdate this topic with another article featuring the best teams dating back further in years.
Eventually, all of the years may be dissected and we can have a healthy debate on some of my selections. I really started watching baseball in the early 1980′s.
As I became older and discovered ways to research the history of the game, my knowledge and curious mind grew for more information.
I have studied and read baseball stat books and breezed through the odd Bill James novel.
If I ever take a break from writing or baseball park chasing, I may find some time down the road to watch the 9 part PBS documentary that Ken Burns did on baseball’s history.
2013 Boston Dream Season – Mature Lyrics – Parental Guidance is Advised
BY Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner): Follow @chuckbooth3024
Follow MLB Reports on Twitter Follow @mlbreports
The debate for whether or not Jack Morris belongs in the Baseball Hall Of Fame has heated up to an ALL-Time high with the big vote going down in Jan of 2014 for the final time.
575 members of BBWAA fraternity will decide whether or not the big man from Minnesota will enter one of the hardest Hall Of Fame’s to enter in pro sports (if not the hardest).
Morris will need a 75% (432 Minimum Votes) of them to write down his name on their ballot for enshrinement into Cooperstown.
Last year, Morris received 67.7 % of the writers votes in his 14th year of eligibility. He will have his name on a 14th ballot this year.
He has been trending up in recent years, so if he can improve in 2014, with the same amount of 2011-2012 jump of (+13.2%), then he will make it in.
If he fails to reach the Hall this year, it would be his last year of eligibility for the BBWAA Vote.
He could still make it via the Veterans Committee after that. But that could take some significant time.
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Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst / Website Owner): Follow @chuckbooth3024
I believe that the Tigers are set up for a solid run as a perennial playoff contender, yet the club needs a small face change in order to get back to the dance in 2013. I honestly was stunned to see Miguel Cabrera, Prince Fielder, Delmon Young and Jose Valverde all play at the type of body structure they possess during the Post Season.
If you saw these guys in a bowling alley, the words ‘World Class Athlete’ would definitely not enter a conversation amongst strangers who were trying to sum them up. Baseball is a game that your body type doesn’t hold you back, however when you have multiple heavy players on offense, it really clogs up the base paths. While watching Game #4 was about the time I started to change my opinion on the state of the game needing to be more athletic.
Fielder and Cabrera may be the best 3-4 tandem in the Major Leagues now. The Tigers can definitely weather these two guys in the lineup even though they jam the teams ability for base running. The key is to build a bunch of ‘Road Runners’ around them. I like Austin Jackson, Quintin Berry and Andy Dirks all being in the lineup to help the speed factor.
Also with Victor Martinez coming back in 2013, the team has one of the best Designated Hitters in baseball back in the fold. Then the team brought in classy veteran Torii Hunter (after inking him to a 2 YR/$26 MIL Contract. This shows how urgent it is for the organization to cash in a World Series with their roster.)
Torii Hunter Highlights – Explicit Language is used so Parental Guidance is advised:
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Pending a failed physical or other unforeseen mishap, Kevin Youkilis will be manning third base and wearing pinstripes when the Red Sox open the 2013 season at Yankee Stadium on April 1. Amazingly, it won’t be until July 19 that the teams will square off in Boston, giving Fenway Park fans their first chance to see their former favorite son in a New York uniform.
Red Sox Nation had an opportunity to adjust to life with Youk in the visitor’s dugout when the White Sox visited Fenway shortly after his trade to Chicago last summer, but this is a much different situation. Boston fans may develop a kinder, gentler hatred for the Yankees since 2004, but there is something about seeing a former Red Sox in enemy colors that still tugs at the heartstrings.
Here’s a look back at some of the biggest Boston heroes to wind up in the Bronx — and how they fared on their Fenway returns. Read the rest of this entry
Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer): Follow @chuckbooth3024
I can’t believe I am going to utter these next few words, “I am starting to shift on the idea of eliminating the DH in the AL and also I am beginning to find the National League Brand of Baseball a lot better these days.” I am not just saying this because the National League has registered 5 World Series Wins out of the last seven years (STL x 2, SF x 2 and PHI vs BOS AND NYY since 2006.) I just find that the American League Baseball is becoming boring. If you have read my articles in the past, I hate teams that strikeout non-stop and when you put two of these teams together for a Series like the AL routinely does, the games are filled with heavy pitch counts, four-hour games and not much contact. This years ALCS represented an all-time low for fan excitement. Put aside that I am a Yankees fan for a minute, it was absolutely brutal baseball. In fact, last years ALCS was no picnic either. If the games continue on like this, they might as well scrap the DH, start having the umpires call more strikes on the hitters and have all AL Teams convert to a National League style of game.
The National League has seen the Cardinals give us thrilling moments and comebacks to epic proportions over the last 2 years. I honestly think that Mark McGwire is not receiving enough credit for molding that team into a bunch of contact hitters. You watch the 2013 offense of the LA Dodgers, they will all have a different approach. We will save the DH debate for another day, but lets just say that 2012 was the worst year for DH’s in some time if not ever. There are only about 3-4 decent DH’s left in the game and if David Ortiz is not in the lineup for the Red Sox, there are no more marquee guys that just hit and not field! The National League Teams plan on more contact for runs created out of necessity and it is always reflective by the competitive games we see them play in the playoffs.
In 2012, the Giants made 4 key acquisitions before and during the season to change their offensive demeanor. If you ask me flat-out as a baseball observer, there is no way the Giants win the World Series without Marco Scutaro or Angel Pagan at the top of the lineup. I also am conceding credit to Melky Cabrera’s hitting contributions as a contact hitter before being busted. Before Melky Cabrera was shown the door for PED’s, he was the same hitter as Scutaro in the 2nd half and postseason, in just hitting every single pitch that was thrown at him. To be honest here, Angel Pagan does strike out a fair bit as a lead off hitter, however he also has speed that makes him dangerous whenever the ball is contacted. It is all about a mixture of power, speed and contact hitters. To illustrate this fact, Hunter Pence (also picked up near the Trade Deadline) did not hit well in the regular season or playoffs for average, yet he was able to drive in a pile of runs because guys ahead of him were always on base. All he needed to do was to make contact for his RBI. Read the rest of this entry
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.
Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer): Follow @chuckbooth3024
In sifting through 35 years of history with the Toronto Blue Jays as a franchise, it is sad that since 1994, only Pittsburgh, Toronto and Kansas City have not made a playoff appearance in the Major Leagues. They have been battling the Red Sox and Yankees powerhouse clubs since the 1994 player strike/1995 Lock-out. This baseball interruption of play was also a deciding factor on the Montreal Expos losing their franchise, however one could say that this has had a profound effect on the other only team North of The Border. The Jays were a model franchise all the way through the 80′s. From 1983-1993, the team carried out 11 straight winning seasons, 5 Pennants and back to back World Series Wins in 1992 and 1993.
Pat Gillick had been with the baseball club from the get go, and after finishing in dead-last for the first 5 years of existence, the Jays rode the backs of several budding stars that were drafted by the man. From the early pitching stars of Jim Clancy and Dave Stieb, to the young outfield that flourished as a core for years in: Lloyd Moseby, George Bell and Jesse Barfield, the team showed that drafting and trading for young players was the way to build an organization. It took until 1985 for the teams first Pennant, barely edging the Yankees by 2 games for the AL East. Playoff disappointment followed from 1985-1991. The team soon would find the promised land as the top team in 1992 and 1993.
Franchise History Part 2 1994-2012: http://mlbreports.com/2012/11/28/jay/
For Part 6 of the 7 Part Series: Blue Jays 2013 Team Payroll Click here:
For Part 7 of the 7 Part Series: Blue Jays 2013 Team Payroll: A Readers Thoughts, Click Here:
Thursday November 1st, 2012
Alex Mednick (Baseball Analyst and Writer)
The St. Louis Cardinals came into 2012 as the defending World Series Champions. In 2011 they just eked their way into the post season on the final day of the regular season when they defeated the Houston Astros and the Braves, who were tied for the wild card spot with St. Louis, ended up losing to the Phillies in extra innings. Coming into the 2011 postseason, the Cardinals were huge underdogs. That didn’t stop them from going for what they wanted: to win it all.
While most analysts amongst the sport would not have guessed St. Louis would even make it to the World Series, yet alone win it, the Red Birds emerged to show their true colors. The current team that the city of St. Louis has assembled and gets to watch for 81 games a year is, undoubtedly, a team that plays on all cylinders and the highest octane fuel. They play with the intensity of a little league team that wants nothing more than the coach to bring them out for ice cream when they win. Watching the Cardinals brand of baseball is to watch baseball again as a game, and not just as a competition played by millionaire athletes with tremendous talent.
Watching the scrappiness of St. Louis native David Freese in the 2011 playoffs is the perfect example. His David Eckstein-like approach to the game reminds us all of one of our teammates back in middle school. The one at the sandlot that always slid hard, tried to steal home, and complained when the rest of us wanted to go home because “it was getting dark”. In 2011, David Freese and his 39 teammates played baseball together as a true team and sent Tony LaRussa home with a World Series title in his final year managing. Read the rest of this entry
Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer): Follow @chuckbooth3024
I love the new era of baseball. One thing the 2nd Wild Card team enabled this year was a flurry of transactions right near the Non-Waiver Trade Deadline, plus we even saw a bunch of trades between Aug.01-31 as well. I am not going to breakdown the trades for who went the other way (unless both teams were in contention) since we have a dedicated page for that here. What I am going to do is see who made out well with their new player. I will tell you right now that the hands down winner was the San Francisco Giants for picking up Marco Scutaro and Hunter Pence. Marco Scutaro hit .362 for the Giants and smacked 90 hits in 61 games. He has parlayed another 19 hits in 59 AB during the playoffs (.322).
I am going to be writing a series of payroll breakdowns for each MLB team in the offseason. I have already compiled reports for the Boston Red Sox, Toronto Blue Jays, Philadelphia Phillies, Los Angeles Dodgers, Los Angeles Angels and Washington Nationals. These reports can be found in my author archives here. In addition to this, I am going to write another piece on Payroll Strategy specifically geared towards making runs at trades near the deadline. Look for those in the coming weeks. The work never ends here, and we will have you game ready for spring training when it comes to all of the clubs. Read the rest of this entry
Thursday October 25th, 2012
Bernie Olshansky: Over the past couple of years, Alex Rodriguez has been a Yankee disappointment. For the humongous 10-year $275 million contract that he is signed to, his production should be a lot more than hitting .272 with 16 home runs and 57 RBIs. A-Rod was injured for a bit and played in only 122 games this year, but come on—someone with that type of contract should drive in 100 runs every year. Rodriguez is signed through 2017, so his contract is not one that another team would be excited to take on. Not by a long shot.
The Yankees will likely be paying Rodriguez the majority (or all) of the rest of his contract (no team in its right mind would trade for Rodriguez without making the Yankees pay for him). So at the end of the day, I think the Yankees will keep him. Without a much better option at third base (Eric Chavez), the Yankees will be forced to use Rodriguez. Although there is a lot of pressure put on Rodriguez and the Yankees after getting swept by the Tigers in the ALCS to end the season, the dust will eventually settle. This will provide Rodriguez with the environment he needs to make his comeback.
Wednesday October 17th, 2012
Sam Evans: In the first three games of a thrilling ALCS, Detroit showed its dominance over the New York Yankees. In fact, even though the Yankees still technically have a chance, World Series tickets at Comerica Park go on sale Wednesday morning… and Tigers fans should be ready to use them. Detroit has been led by the outstanding performances of Miguel Cabrera, Justin Verlander, and Delmon Young. With Game Four coming up tonight, here’s a quick look at how Detroit has managed to win the first three games, what’s gone wrong with the Yankees, and what lies ahead for both of these teams. Read the rest of this entry
Monday October 15th, 2012
Sam Evans: With the Championship Series just beginning, predicting the two teams that will face off in the World Series has never been easier. Still, the teams playing in the ALCS and NLCS right now are pretty evenly matched so it’s still difficult to see which two will advance. Due to their momentum and great ability to come back, St. Louis will prevail over San Francisco in the NL. Due to their outstanding pitching staff and Miguel Cabrera being on his current tear, Detroit has a slight advantage over New York in the American League. Even if these predictions go horribly wrong, the one thing we can be certain of is that these two series are going to include some thrilling games played between some of the best teams in baseball. Read the rest of this entry
Sunday October 7th, 2012
Posted every Weekend: Your top baseball questions from the past week are answered. E-mail all questions to firstname.lastname@example.org, message us on Twitter, post on our Facebook Wall and leave comments on our website! There are many ways to reach us and we will get to your questions from all social media outlets!
Jonathan Hacohen: The regular season is done. Toast. That’s it. We even finished the one game sudden death Wild Card playoffs. We are now officially in full swing, MLB playoff mode.
It is a bittersweet feeling. I love the playoffs. But it is hard to go without having 12-15 MLB games going every day. And then I shudder to think what life is like when the playoffs are finished. We are less than 3 weeks away from the World Series. Can you believe it? This was an incredible season, with many highs and lows. From all those no-hitters to the countless players undergoing Tommy John surgery. The surprising A’s and Orioles. The disappointing Angels and Phillies. We had quite the year. Valentine Gate. Melky’s suspension. Miggy’s triple crown. Trout’s dominance. Dickey’s greatness. 2012 will go down as one of my favorite baseball seasons of all time.
Before we turn over to your questions, let’s address those Wild Card games. For all the talk of Atlanta’s great season, they are done. One game and over. The St. Louis Cardinals, the defending World Series champs squeaked into the playoffs…and are now heading to the NLDS for a date with the Nationals. Over in the American League, the powerhouse Rangers are done. For a team that led the AL in wins for most of the year and held the AL West crown for almost the entire season, their late season collapse ended in disaster. With a two game lead going into the final season, the A’s sweep in Oakland of the Rangers meant a date at home for Texas with Baltimore. This shows the importance of a division title vs. a wild card spot. While the A’s face the Tigers in a 5-game series, the Rangers had only one chance and blew it. Given the fact that they had enjoyed back-to-back World Series appearances the last two seasons, 2012 will go down as a black mark in Rangers history. It goes to show you: a team can have all the hitting on the planet, but to win- they need pitching. Sure the Rangers hitting cooled off in the 2nd half, but they also did not have enough reliable pitchers to be ready for the playoffs. Now imagine the Rays had a better offense. That’s the type of team that was built to compete in the playoffs. Great, young and healthy pitching is usually the secret to success in today’s game. But without enough hitting, the road was too hard for the Rays.
As a result, teams like the Orioles and the A’s are in, while the Rays and Rangers are out. The teams may not have the best pitching or hitting- but with a steady amount of both, playoff dreams became a reality. What the A’s and Orioles both enjoy is lights-out bullpens. So called experts may call bullpens/relievers/closers as overrated. Looking at the Orioles success in 1-run games and the A’s in extra innings, I would have to disagree. If a team can lock down a game from the 6th inning an on with a lead consistency, that is what we call a dangerous team. I have no idea if the A’s and O’s face-off in the ALCS. If they do, that should be one explosive series. My crystal ball sees the winner of the A’s/Tigers going to the World Series. In the NL, I see it as the Reds all the way. They are just too stacked and consistent. Anything can happen in a short series, but those are my picks for baseball’s biggest showdown of the season. Stay tuned!
Now let’s get to your top questions of the week: Read the rest of this entry
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 here.
Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer): Follow @chuckbooth3024 This team has played for almost 130 years. As such, they have a great deal of history, so there are going to be several more hitters than pitchers as is the case with most Franchises. For the first seasons as the Quakers, they had some decent pitchers. It wasn’t until Pete Grover Alexander joined the club, that Philadelphia Phillies fams got to see a Hall of Fame pitcher before their very eyes. From Alexander, to Robin Roberts and Curt Simmons, to Jim Bunning, Rick Wise and Chris Short, to Steve Carlton, Tug McGraw and Jim Lonborg, to Curt Schilling and Mitch Williams, to Cole Hamels, Cliff Lee and Roy Halladay, the Phillies Pitchers have been improving in each generation.
Last year when the club won a record 102 games for the Franchise, they had the best 4 starters they had ever assembled in Halladay, Lee, Hamels and Roy Oswalt to take the mound. Having Kyle Kendrick and Joe Blanton as your 5th starter is an option most teams would love to have. The Phillies have been one of the best teams in the National League since 1975. They have appeared in 9 NLCS’s and 5 World Series while winning 2 of them. That is an impressive 36 year run. Going forward, the clubs pitchers still look solid. Cole Hamels just signed a 6 year extension, Cliff Lee is around for 3 more years and Roy Halladay still has 2 more years left after this. The club also signed Jonathan Papelbon up until the end of the 2015 season before 2012 began. Papelbon may have a chance to make this list when someone else chronicles the best pitchers in Phillies history one day 25 years from now.
If you ask me to have a Mount Rushmore of Pitchers it would be: Steve Carlton, Robin Roberts, Grover Alexander and probably Cole Hamels because of his instrumental pitching since the 2007 season.
For Part 1 of the Phillies Article Series: The Franchise click here:
For Part 2 of the Phillies Article Series: The Hitters click here:
For Part 4 of the Phillies Article Series: Team Payroll and Contractual Statuses click here
For the Montreal Expos/Washington Nationals Franchise 5 Part Series click here
Steve Carlton Highlight Reel:
Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer): Follow @chuckbooth3024 It is Adrian Beltre Awareness Week! What is that exactly? I have adopted an idea to carry out on twitter-in order to provide the unheralded players of the MLB, their just credit. So far there has been Juan Pierre, Mike Morse , Jose Altuve Awareness Weeks and now it is Adrian Beltre’s turn. I decided on the Rangers 3rd base slugger because I believe that he is on a path for Cooperstown. Rather than bore you with details I have already written about before on the Reports, you can click here for my previous article on Beltre hitting himself into Hall Of Fame Consideration: click here.
Okay back to the point. It was right after Adrian Beltre’s 3 HR game that I started sending out my link on the article and hailing Beltre as a man worthy for Cooperstown if he keeps it up. I had many of my followers indicate they had never thought about him like that. In bullet point style here. Right after that he had a 3 hit game, in which he was a Triple short of the cycle. The next day he hit for his second career cycle. It made me feel really good about my stance on the guy. 5 HRs, 2 Doubles, a Triple and 2 singles is a month for some guys and Beltre accomplished this feat in 14 AB over 3 games. That is 29 total bases folks, a slugging percentage of over 2 and a .714 Average. The Rangers offense has several players that seem to blow up like this. Nelson Cruz had 8 RBI not so long ago. Beltre had that 3 homer game in the ALCS last year. Then there was Josh Hamilton and his 4 HR game. Hamilton has also had 3 games this year where he had collected 5 RBI or more.
The Rangers are a power house offense. They have guys like Mitch Moreland and Mike Napoli hitting 8th routinely. They are going to win the AL West for a 3rd Straight year. With all of this said, something doesn’t resonate with me in them making their 3rd straight World Series this year. That feat has not been accomplished since the Yankees made 4 fall classics in a row from 1998-2001. The Rangers are vulnerable and have weaknesses in their pitching. They don’t have C.J Wilson this year and Rookie Yu Darvish is slowing down after a great first half. I think with Darvish, it is the innings that are catching up to him. In Japan, they usually have 6 man rotations. This is new territory for the talented chucker.
Adrian Beltre Highlights!
Sunday August 19, 2012
Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer): Follow @chuckbooth3024 Baseball seasons are 162 games long. They used to be 154 games at one point, just ask all of the Yankees fans who did not want Roger Maris to break Babe Ruth’s HR Record with an additional 8 game schedule. The point is, every year is a marathon. Yes there are teams that can catch a hot streak and ride it all the way through the playoffs. We were privy to this the last few years with the World Series Championship teams of St. Louis and San Francisco. Ironically, both of these teams are on this top ten list. These organizations are on here because of a commitment to excellence as a Franchise. The New York Yankees do have a stacked lineup every year to help aid the World Championship Seasons, aside from them though, is there any other team that has spent money like crazy for decades? The answer is no.
Out of these teams listed in the top 10, The Baltimore Orioles have had the longest stretch since they have made the World Series (1983), yet the Cardinals were the closest to have been in the Fall Classic in wrapping up their 5th title in the last 50 years last year. Of teams that are not on this list, they are 5 teams that did not make the top 11 but have 2 World Series Trophies since 1961: Toronto won the WS in 1992 and 1993, Florida put away wins in 1997 and 2003, Pittsburgh won in 1971 and 1979, Detroit won in 1968 and 1984 and Minnesota in 1987 and 1991. Out of these 11 teams, only 3 teams have winning records in the Fall Classic since 1961: NY Yankees (9-6), Oakland (4-2) and St.Louis (5-4). This clearly shows that is easier to make the World Series than it is to win it. The Atlanta Braves made 5 World Series in the 90′s, only to lose 4 of them. All of these teams did exist in 1961. Some of the teams that are expansion clubs do have great numbers and maybe just haven’t been around long enough. Florida is in its 20th year and still has 2 World Series wins. The Blue Jays have only been around for 35 years and have 2 WS Titles. Arizona is in its 15th year right now and boasts a Trophy already. Tampa Bay has one WS appearance and is looking to make the playoffs for the 4th time in 6 years, to then add their 2nd WS Appearance if possible. It is long-suffering fans like the Chicago Cubs that haven’t won since 1909, or even appeared in the WS since 1945, that are growing extremely restless.
*** MLB Reports does not own the copyrights to the following videos or music. The videos are from MLB.com, courtesy of Fox, TBS, and KMOX, and the music is “Dark Horses” by Switchfoot from their album “Vice Versa”***
Wednesday July.11, 2012
Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer and @chuckbooth3024 on twitter)- There is only so much one can read in an article, otherwise I would make these lists up from the turn of the 20th century. If you gave me enough time as a reader, I promise to backdate this topic with another article featuring the best teams dating back further in years. Eventually, all of the years may be dissected and we can have a healthy debate on some of my selections. I really started watching baseball in the early 1980′s. As I became older and discovered ways to research the history of the game, my knowledge and curious mind grew for more information. I have studied and read baseball stat books and breezed through the odd Bill James novel. If I ever take a break from writing or baseball park chasing, I may find some time down the road to watch the 9 part PBS documentary that Ken Burns did on baseball’s history.
Baseball lends itself more to the history than any other sport because of how it has been chronicled throughout their past. Writers, announcers, former players, parents etc.. have always carried on with the stories of America’s favorite pastime. I will never be sold that NFL is the greatest pastime in sports right now. NFL is the greatest gambling sport presently. It is my firm belief that the only reason why the NFL draws in more cash from its sport is because of the gambling factor. If you took that aspect out of it, I believe baseball is the #1 sport. Can you imagine how much attention we would pay to baseball if there were only a 16 game schedule? Enough with that rant, let’s get down to the list. Who were the best teams at any specific time period for the last 32 years? We will start with the Philadelphia Phillies from 1980-1983. Read the rest of this entry
Monday July.9, 2012
Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer and @chuckbooth3024)- I thought we would try a different top ten today with the ALL-Star Break here today. This morning I did some research on the odds of what http://www.bet365.com thinks will happen for the rest of the MLB Year based on their gambling futures. Gambling is an increasing industry like no other entity in the world. The NFL is better suited for ‘punters’ to throw down some bucks at Vegas. They have only one game a week and the gambling experts think that baseball is easier for the bad teams to beat the good teams. I will tell you as one of these ‘so called experts’, they are completely right. The worst teams in baseball usually can still beat the best teams 1 out of 3 games in a series. This makes normal gambling for a regular season game really hard to make any money, or minimize losses. I do think that betting who makes the playoffs and who wins it all has some good value picks.
Y0u have to search for the value in anything. I never like to play the #1 favorites of each league because they simply don’t pay enough of an odd. Right now, Bet365.com has the Texas Rangers at +175 to win the AL, or The Yankees at +190. I love these two teams to probably represent the AL in the World Series, however these odds are not good at all. As I list all of the odds for each league first, then the World Series, I will make some notes up. I have two teams in the NL that I have already wagered with and I am coming up roses on them so far. It is time for Gambling 101. Read the rest of this entry
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Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer/Website Owner): Follow @chuckbooth3024
The debate for whether or not Jack Morris belongs in the Baseball Hall Of Fame has heated up to an ALL-Time high with the big vote going down tomorrow. 575 members of BBWAA fraternity will decide whether or not the big man from Minnesota will enter one of the hardest Hall Of Fame’s to enter in pro sports (if not the hardest). Morris will need a 75% (432 Minimum Votes) of them to write down his name on their ballot for enshrinement into Cooperstown. Last year, Morris received 66.7 % of the writers votes in his 13th year of eligibility. He will have his name on a 14th ballot this year. He has been trending up in recent years, so if he can improve with the same amount of 2011-2012 jump of (+13.2%), then he will make it in. If he fails to reach the Hall this year, 2014 would be his last year of eligibility for the BBWAA Vote. He could still make it via the Veterans Committee after that.
Jack Morris was a winner, a true throwback pitcher who came after hitters with reckless abandon. He pitched based on what the score was – and had no personal regard for his own personal statistics. It is this very reason why the debate has hit epic proportions on social media hubs, amongst bloggers, former players, analysts, broadcaster and statisticians. I intend to prove the case for the guy in a manner that will have some similarities to other pieces you may have read, yet promote a big look into the numbers that I have been bouncing around in my head for months. I even have had a #JackMorrisAwarenessWeek on Twitter and have been having feuds with people on the other side who don’t think he belongs in Cooperstown- while I have been Retweeted by his biggest supporters. Let the battle lines be drawn!
Saturday October 29, 2011
MLB reports – Jonathan Hacohen: The game of the year turned out to be a non-starter at the end. Before game time I predicted a 5-1 Cardinals victory. I was close…they took it 6-2. The big reason for my vision was the fact the Cardinals had ace pitcher on the mound, Chris Carpenter. The Carp was solid on this night as he gave Tony La Russa as strong out of an outing as could have been expected on short rest. Carpenter went 6.0 innings, giving up 2 runs on 6 hits, 2 walks and striking out 5. With the Cards’ ace in the zone, the Rangers could not muster any runs after the 1st. Not only did the Rangers not score any runs, but the Cardinals bullpen was perfect for the final 3 innings, in not giving up any runs, hits or walks. Arthur Rhodes, Octavio Dotel, Lance Lynn and Jason Motte played as they did for most of these playoffs as the St. Louis Cardinals became the 2011 World Series champions.
While Carpenter got his second World Series victory, Matt Harrison took his second loss. Harrison pitched decently, going 4.0 innings and giving up the 3 Cardinals winning runs. Ron Washington proceeded to bring in Scott Feldman, C.J. Wilson, Mike Adams (who gave up the 4th run), Mike Gonzalez and Alexi Ogando. The difference in this game hitting-wise was David Freese coming up big again with 2 RBIs and Allen Craig delivering the game winning run, a solo home run in the 3rd. Those two relatively unknowns coming into the playoffs delivered time and time again for La Russa in this postseason.
There are 4 main components to the Cardinals winning the World Series this year:
1) David Freese: World Series MVP was a man on fire in October and was the overwhelming choice for the award. Freese hit .397 in the postseason, 5 home runs and a record 21 RBIs. It seems that every time the team needed him, Freese came through. Considering that the third base was a question mark for the Cardinals coming into the season, Freese was exactly the player the team needed at the right time.
2) Chris Carpenter: Every big game, every time the needed a big performance, Carpenter was there. All Carp did this year was get the team into the playoffs, knock off Roy Halladay and the Phillies in the NLDS and win the final World Series game 7. Carpenter has been Mr. Steady for the team and fulfilling the role of ace in every sense of the word. Sure the Cards had other weapons to rely upon. But no Carpenter…no championship.
3) The Bullpen: Looking at the numbers, the Cardinals bullpen was obscene this postseason. Tony La Russa had so many weapons out there as his pen gelled at the right time. When a team can almost count on 3-4 shutdown innings every night, they stand a good chance of winning. Jason Motte blossomed into the closer that was envisioned for him and as he honed his control, he has been nearly untouchable. Dotel, Rhodes and the boys have been as strong a part of this team as any bullpen I have ever seen. The Cardinals caught lightning in a bottle with this group and rode them all the way to the World Series.
4) Tony La Russa: Say what you want about TLR: the man won the big one. Another World Series championship under his belt and second one in St. Louis. Considering how many critics blasted him during the season and the Cardinals seemed to be a non-factor going into September, credit needs to be given where it is deserved. Too often in sports we are quick to blast a manager for making a mistake, but not quick enough to throw praise where it is due. It is my feeling that in the aftermath of the past week, many critics were relentless on their criticism of La Russa after the bullpen phone fiasco in game 5. But even if there is blame to be laid there, the bottom line is game 5 was that the Cardinals bats went cold in that game and the team could not deliver a win. A manager can only do so much. His team needs to play well in front of him. Game 7 was about Carpenter and the bullpen, with some timely hits by Freese and Craig. But Tony La Russa helped guide this team, with bullpen selections, lineups and match ups and in-game decisions. TLR is a master chess player and in 2011, his smarts and wits played a big part in his team over taking the Braves for the Wild Card and beating the Phillies, Brewers and Rangers. Few, if any managers, are as prepared and knowledgeable as TLR. The Cardinals manager was one of the main building blocks of this particular World Series championship.
Where do we go from here? After stories and questions circulated all season long, we will finally find out who will be back in St. Louis come 2012. After winning their second World Series championship together, I am prepared to bet the farm (if I had a farm to bet) that Tony La Russa and Albert Pujols will be back together next year. With the foundation of the bullpen, Lance Berkman, Yadier Molina and Matt Holliday, combined with Carpenter and a returning Adam Wainwright, this team has the pieces to make a dynasty run. Pujols has the chance to create a legacy for himself. His time, his standing in history, all centre around St. Louis. Pujols and his manager have too much invented in this city and team to turn away. Both will be back in 2012 as the Cardinals are now the team to beat going into next year.
With the ending of game-7 of the World Series, the major league season has come to an end for another year. Heading into this offseason, we will have many topics, issues and news stories to cover. The MLB Winter Meetings. Winter Ball. Free agency. The Collective Bargaining Agreement. The future of Bud Selig. MLB Expansion and Realignment. Spring Training. Baseball never ends. The season, from spring training to the World Series is 8 months long. We are now coming to the hardest 4 months of a baseball fan’s life. With baseball news stories everyday, MLB reports will continue to bring you the latest news and analysis that you have come to expect all season long. MLB 4 Life. That is the name of the game. On this day, we congratulate Tony La Russa, David Freese and the St. Louis Cardinals on an exciting and well deserved World Series championship. This has been one of the most exciting postseasons and World Series of all time. Now…the countdown to Spring Training begins.
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