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Sully Baseball Daily Podcast – July 15, 2014

Four Seam Images - AP

Four Seam Images – AP

The All Star Game is tonight, and if you want your team to win the World Series and clinch at home, maybe you should root for the other league tonight.

Also the Astros and first round pick Brady Aiken are locking antlers. Both sides should come to their senses.

It is a present and potential All Star episode of The Sully Baseball Daily Podcast.

Yoenis Cespedes and Todd Frazier used the Home Run Derby to add to their totals for Who Owns Baseball?

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Sully Baseball Daily Podcast – February 10, 2014

MLB.com

MLB.com

On today’s episode of The Sully Baseball Daily Podcast, I take a quick glimpse at the Face of Baseball off season competition.

It doesn’t really interest me, but some people are really getting into it. I support anything that gets people talking about baseball in the off season. But I also believe it illustrates the need to start the season with the All Star Game.

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Sully Baseball Daily Podcast – February 10, 2014

Passing The Torch From Greatest MLB Player To Player During The Years 1979 – 2013: From Brett To Cabrera

Cabrera has had back to back AL MVP seasons in 2012 and 2013.  He has also won 3 straight AL Batting Titles.  Cabrera is the best player offensively in the universe.  He has put up 10 straight 100+ RBI campaigns, but he has racked in 276 RBI, and also 88 HRs.  The 11 Year Veterans totals would have even been higher in 2013, but he fought a torn groin for the last half of the year.

Cabrera has had back to back AL MVP seasons in 2012 and 2013. He has also won 3 straight AL Batting Titles. Cabrera is the best player offensively in the universe. He has put up 10 straight 100+ RBI campaigns, but he has racked in 276 RBI, and also 88 HRs – while featuring an OPS well north of 1.000. The 11 Year Veterans totals would have even been higher in 2013, but he fought a torn groin for the last half of the year.  The 8 time ALL – Star and 5 time Silver Slugger Award Winner has improved even greater on his totals over the last decade.  Cabrera has a Career 3 Slash Line of .321/.399/.967 – with 365 HRs and 1260 RBI in just 1660 Games Played.

By Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner):

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While watching Miguel Cabrera this year, I started thinking about the best players in the MLB over the last 33 years.  I am talking the best player of the game at any point of time. 

I tracked back to 1979 for this article.  I may expand further back in follow-up articles.  I didn’t rank defense as  highly as offense when I came up with the players. 

I agonized over players like Mike SchmidtJim Rice, Wade Boggs and Cal Ripken for some of the years given in specific time frames.  These gentlemen were given every consideration. 

In the end, we are talking about the best player in the game though and it is always subject to debate and personal opinion. 

The criteria had to involve leading the league in several different offensive and/or defensive categories, followed by routinely being in the top 7 in MVP balloting (if not taking home the honor), All-Star Appearances for every year I listed them for and most of them won silver sluggers and/or Gold Gloves as well.

Cabrera’s 3 HR Game – 2013

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Sully Baseball Daily Podcast – July 21, 2013

Boston Globe Photo/Max Becherer

Boston Globe Photo/Max Becherer


It is the SUNDAY REQUEST on The Sully Baseball Daily Podcast.

Today’s request comes from @chrisskreager

I discuss my All Star Game memories and why so few were moment that occurred during the game.

Hanley Ramirez C. J. Wilson, Alex Rios and Gio Gonzalez  all owned baseball on July 19, 2013.

To see the up to date tally of “Who Owns Baseball?,” click HERE.
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Sully Baseball Daily Podcast – July 21, 2013
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Sully Baseball Daily Podcast – July 17, 2013

(AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

(AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

Here is the All Star Game edition of The Sully Baseball Daily Podcast!

Who could POSSIBLY have a problem with how Jim Leyland handled Mariano Rivera in the All Star Game or Rivera winning the MVP? Evidently some people DID.

Paul Goldschmidt, Matt Harvey, Prince Fielder and MVP Mariano Rivera  all owned baseball on July 16, 2013.

To see the up to date tally of “Who Owns Baseball?,” click HERE
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Sully Baseball Daily Podcast – July 17, 2013

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Who Owned Baseball Yesterday (July16th) – Updated Yearly “WOB” Standings

(AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

(AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

It is an ALL STAR GAME edition of Who Owned Baseball!

MVP Mariano Rivera pitched a perfect inning and had the entire stage to himself, giving the All Star Game its lasting memory for the night.

Prince Fielder legged out a triple in the 9th inning that delighted the crowd and probably gave his manager a heart attack.

Matt Harvey started the game and let the first two runners on. Then he bore down and retired the next 6 All Stars he faced.

And Paul Goldschmidt hit the National League’s lone extra base hit that gave the senior circuit some life in the 9th inning.

They all owned the All Star Game last night.

My explanation for “Who Owns Baseball” can be found here.

At the end of the year, we will tally up who owned baseball the most individual days and see how it compares to the final MVP and Cy Young vote.

To view the Yearly Leaders for Who Owned Baseball Standings – Click the READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY ICON.

To View The List of just the nightly winners (WOB dedicated Page) starting from Mar.31/2013 – today click here Read the rest of this entry

Cy Young Candidates: AL + NL

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Wednesday July 17, 2013

Felix Hernandez has been the face of the Seattle Mariners since 2009 when he won 19 games for their club. He looks to be doing it again in 2013 as he has already won 10. It is the first time in his career that he has won 10 games before the All-Star Break. In 138.2 innings pitched he has struck out 140 batters and has an excellent 2.53 ERA.

Felix Hernandez has been the face of the Seattle Mariners since 2009 when he won 19 games for their club. He looks to be doing it again in 2013 as he has already won 10. It is the first time in his career that he has won 10 games before the All-Star Break. In 138.2 innings pitched he has struck out 140 batters and has an excellent 2.53 ERA.

By Ryan Ritchey (MLB Reports Writer)

The Cy Young Award is always a fun award to predict. There are always three or four great pitchers from each league that could deserve the award. But in the end only one person can get that award and that is why it is so fascinating.

This season is no different. There are three players in my mind from the American League that deserve to be candidates for the Cy Young Award.

Those three players are Bartolo Colon of the Oakland A’s, Max Scherzer of the Detroit Tigers, and Felix Hernandez of the Seattle Mariners.

Who is the front runner? Here is who I have…

First is the King, Felix Hernandez. Every season since he came into the league at the age of 19 in 2005 he has gotten better mentally and physically.

As a young pitcher, he would get frustrated easily on the mound and it would go downhill from there. This season it looks as if he has got his emotions under control and just goes out and pitches.

Hernandez is 10-4 with a 2.53 ERA in an even 20 starts. This is the first season he has won 10 games before the All-Star Break in his nine year career.

Those numbers right there are a lot better than his 13-12 Cy Young season in 2010. He always seems to stay right around a .500 record but I think this is the season he breaks out and wins 20 games for the first time.

There is just one more player better than him that deserves the award more than the King.

Bartolo Colon 2013 Highlights: Mature Lyrics – Please Use Parental Guidance Here

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Felix Hernandez To Represent The Mariners In The 2013 All-Star Game

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Tuesday, July 16th, 2013

KIng Felix is one of the main reason  experts now pay more attention to Pitcher's peripheral stats to decipher whether or not he is 'CY Young Worthy' based on his 2009 AL Cy Young Award Winning Season.  Despite  13 - 12 record, he lugged 249.2 IP, carried an ERA of 2.27 in the AL - and a WHIP of 1.057.  The 9 year veteran will be in New York City tonight for the ALL - Star Game.

KIng Felix is one of the main reason experts now pay more attention to Pitcher’s peripheral stats to decipher whether or not he is ‘CY Young Worthy’ based on his 2009 AL Cy Young Award Winning Season. Despite a 13 – 12 record, he lugged 249.2 IP, carried an ERA of 2.27 in the AL – and a WHIP of 1.057.  His 13 Wins were the fewest wins ever by a Cy Young Winner.  The 9 year veteran will be in New York City tonight for the ALL – Star Game.

Sam Evans (Baseball Writer and Marlins, Mariners Correspondent):

The young Mariners roster has a lot of talented, exciting players competing at an All-Star type level at the moment, but almost all of those players haven’t been this way for long enough to be considered for the All-Star Game.

Felix Hernandez, 27, has been the same pitcher in 2013 that Mariners fans have loved watching over the past nine years. His 4.2 WAR and 138.2 outstanding innings pitched are numbers that can rival practically any pitcher in the game today

. For this reason, Felix Hernandez will be the Mariners lone representative, heading to his fourth All-Star Game.

SEA@HOU: Felix fans nine en route to 100th career win

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Five Cardinals Named To The National League All-Star Team

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Sunday, July 14th, 2013

 All five of these Cardinals are absolutely well deserving of the honor to be called National League All-Stars.  These five players are crucial to the success of the St. Louis Cardinals have lived up to the pressures that lie with being a St. Louis Cardinal.  They always seem to find a way to get the job done and be respectable leaders in the club house.  With these guys around, the future of the St. Louis Cardinals is very bright. The Major League Baseball All-Star Game can be seen on FOX, Tuesday night at 8:00 PM ET.

All five of these Cardinals are absolutely well deserving of the honor to be called National League All-Stars. These five players are crucial to the success of the St. Louis Cardinals have lived up to the pressures that lie with being a St. Louis Cardinal. They always seem to find a way to get the job done and be respectable leaders in the club house. With these guys around, the future of the St. Louis Cardinals is very bright. The Major League Baseball All-Star Game can be seen on FOX, Tuesday night at 8:00 PM ET.

By Landen Crouch (Cardinals Correspondent)

One week ago, Major League Baseball released the rosters for the 2013 MLB All-Star Game, which will be held in New York City.  On the roster for the National League are five members of the St. Louis Cardinals, the most representatives by any single team for the 2013 mid-summer classic.  

Catcher, Yadier Molina; First Baseman, Allen Craig; Second Baseman, Matt Carpenter; Outfielder, Carlos Beltran; and Pitcher, Adam Wainwright were among those selected to represent St. Louis Cardinals.

So far, 2013 has been a phenomenal year for the Cardinals, heading into the All-Star Break with the best records in all of baseball. So, obviously, some things have gone right for this team.

 These five players have been crucial to the success of the St. Louis Cardinals in 2013 and are well deserving of their spots in the game.

National League All-Star Team Announced:

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Cincinnati Reds Got Snubbed For The ALL – Star Game

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Sunday July 14, 2013 

As we approach the All-Star Break and the teams have been selected everyone looks at who got snubbed. The Cincinnati Reds in my opinion had four players that should have made the National League All-Star team. Bruce, Choo, Leake and Latos are all worthy of All-Star Selections but this year were left off the list.

As we approach the All-Star Break and the teams have been selected everyone looks at who got snubbed. The Cincinnati Reds in my opinion had four players that should have made the National League All-Star team. Bruce, Choo, Leake and Latos are all worthy of All-Star Selections but this year were left off the list. Carlos Gonzalez injured his thumb and it is unknown if he will play in the game so Choo or Bruce could end up getting in after all.

By Ryan Ritchey (Baseball Writer): 

The Cincinnati Reds have the fourth best record in the National League as of July 14th and only have three all-stars.

Those three all-stars are very deserving no doubt about it but they should have at least two more if not three. Those four players are Shin-Soo Choo, Jay Bruce, Mat Latos and Mike Leake.

Mike Leake has matched his win total from last season with 8 in just 18 games started this season. He is having one of his best seasons since he has come into the league.

He has been the second best starter on this Reds pitching staff behind Latos. Above all he deserves to be in New York for the All-Star Game. 

Shin-Soo Choo Walk Off Home Run on May 7, 2013:

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Top Five MLB All Star Game Snubs (AL + NL)

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Tuesday July 9th, 2013

asg

Bernie Olshansky (Baseball Writer):

Every year there are a number of deserving guys who initially get snubbed out of the All Star Game.

For whatever reason, they just did not get picked. In this piece, I will cover the top five guys from each league that should have made the roster.

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Can Cleveland Keep Pace in the Second Half?

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Sunday July 7th, 2013 

The Cleveland Indians are in second place in the American League Central 3.5 games back of the Detroit Tigers. Kipnis has come out of his shell and is leading the team in Hits, RBI, Average, and On Base Percentage. Kipnis will be an All-Star on July 16th at Citi Field. The pitching is below average ranked throughout the league but for them to keep pace with the Tigers in the second half they will have to pick it up and try to carry the team. Guys like Jimenez, Swisher, Bourn and Kazmir will have to have a great second half for the Indians to make the playoffs. As it sits right now the only way they will make the playoffs is by winning the American League Central and beating the Detroit Tigers.

The Cleveland Indians are in second place in the American League Central 3.5 games back of the Detroit Tigers. Jason Kipnis has come out of his shell and is leading the team in Hits, RBI, Average, and On Base Percentage. Kipnis will be an All-Star on July 16th at Citi Field. The pitching is below average ranked throughout the league but for them to keep pace with the Tigers in the second half they will have to pick it up and try to carry the team. Guys like Jimenez, Swisher, Bourn and Kazmir will have to have a great second half for the Indians to make the playoffs. As it sits right now the only way they will make the playoffs is by winning the American League Central and beating the Detroit Tigers.

By Ryan Ritchey (Baseball Writer): 

The Cleveland Indians are three games above .500 but are still 3.5 games behind the first place Detroit Tigers after losing the first two game of the series at home.

New manager Terry Francona has done a great job with this club but he still has a lot more to do in order for them to make the playoffs. 

Big names that have produced so far this season are Jason Kipnis and Justin Masterson.

Swisher came over to Cleveland this winter by signing a four-year $56 million contract. The contract includes a fifth year vesting option worth $14 million.

Swisher has given the team a huge boost with his personality but hasn’t produced as much as wanted on the field. Only having 30 RBI has really hurt this club as it has put a lot of pressure on other guys to perform. 

Cleveland Indians 2013 Preview- MLB Network: 

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Sully Baseball Daily Podcast – July 4, 2013

AP

AP

On Today’s episode of  The Sully Baseball Daily Podcast, I look at Yasiel Puig and I realize there is no reasonable argument to NOT have him on the All Star team.

Plus I compare Manny Ramirez to Don Draper. Trust me, it works.

Andrew McCutchen, Matt Garza, Max Scherzer and Chris Davis all owned baseball on July 3, 2013.

To see the up to date tally of “Who Owns Baseball?,” click HERE

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Sully Baseball Daily Podcast – July 4, 2013

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Adam Dunn: The New Dave Kingman?

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Wednesday, February.06/2013

Adam Dunn has hit 40+ HRs 6 times in his career and 38+ HRs in 8 of the last 9 years. He is the Classic '3TO' AKA 3 True Outs: HR/BB or SO. At The MLB Reports, we call it a 'Dunn Trick' when he does all 3 in a game.

Adam Dunn has hit 40+ HRs 6 times in his career and 38+ HRs in 8 of the last 9 years. He is the Classic ‘3TO’  Guy. AKA 3 True Outs Guy: HR/BB or SO.  At The MLB Reports, we call it a ‘Dunn Trick’ when he does all 3 in a game.

By Brian Madsen (White Sox Correspondent): 

.159 Batting Average, 11 HRs, 42 RBI, 177 SO, $12 Million. Those are the #’s posted by Adam Dunn in 2011 during his first season with the Chicago White Sox in just 415 AB or two-thirds of a season. Quite possibly one of the worst statistical seasons in MLB history. Far from Dunn’s previous season averages leading up to that point in his career:  .248 Batting Average – with 33 HRs and 82 RBI. These were not the #’s the White Sox thought they were getting when they signed Dunn to a 4 YR/$56 Million Contract prior to the 2011 season. Dunn never was a high average kind of guy,  has always struck out a lot (as a lot of power hitters do), but also walks a lot. Much to Dunn’s credit, he turned everything around in 2012 hitting (only) .204, but with 41 HRs and 96 RBI. His turnaround season was a big reason for  Chicago’s success in 2012.

Dunn has been one of the game’s premiere power hitters since 2004. Yet, to this date, has never been on a playoff team. He and the Sox came close in 2012, but fell short behind the Tigers. Dunn surpassed 400 HRss last year for the Sox, ( the same year that his teammate Paul Konerko  hit his 400th. Konerko actually hit his 300th HR in the same game, back-to-back with, then teammate, Jermaine Dye) and has a great chance to surpass 500 HR’s. While Dunn will probably fall short of 500 HRs in his next 2 seasons with the Sox, you have to figure he’ll catch on with a team in 2015 and get there. A common complaint about Dunn is, and has been, his average. Last year Dunn hit a “robust” .204, yet still managed to have an OBP of .333. Not quite as good as his career OBP of .370, but not awful either. For a guy that strikes out as much as he does, Dunn sure walks a lot. Though Dunn walked 105 times last year, his K’s more than doubled that amount with 222.

Adam Dunn  Highlights:  Mature Lyrics – Parental Guidance is Advised:

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San Francisco Giants: The Pros and Cons Of Bringing Melky Cabrera Back For The Playoffs

Wednesday September 26th, 2012

Jake Dal Porto: Melky Cabrera went from a legitimate MVP candidate to a lost cause within the matter of a few hours. The Giants were shocked to hear the news, the baseball world was shocked. Then other than shocked, they wanted revenge. Cabrera won the National League the MLB All-Star game MVP. He had the Giants in first place for a while. Simply put, Melky Cabrera made a huge impact on the overall landscape of the MLB.

Thus our question of the day: Should the Giants bring Melky Cabrera back for the playoffs?

PROS

He Would Solve The Empty Hole In Left Field

Cabrera’s void was going to be hard to fill anyway. But the fact that he was so productive out of left field made his loss even more difficult for San Francisco. Mainly because the alternatives were slim at that point, and the same can still be said.

The addition of Xavier Nady has helped the Giants. However, he was on the shelf for a little bit more than a week, so his contributions have been marginal thus far. In 29 at-bats, he owns a triple slash of .310/.394/.414. He has also driven in six runs during his short stint. Simply put, his contributions have certainly been beneficial compared to what Gregor Blanco and Justin Christian provided. But Nady on his own can’t nearly match what Cabrera brought to the table. That’s a rather obvious theory too.

Plus, Nady’s defense is questionable. He isn’t the quickest of outfielders, which permits him from catching anything outside of his small circle. In some stadiums he could get by playing sub-par defense, but that’s not the case at AT&T Park.

Melky Would Add Depth To The Giants Lineup

It’s not like the Giants desperately need a jolt, but a jolt definitely wound’t be frowned upon. San Francisco has scored the third most runs in the National League since September 1st. Their Buster Posey led offense also owns the best batting average since September first as well.

If you were to add Cabrera into an already strong offense, then the Giants would be even tougher to beat with their solid pitching staff.

Manager Bruce Bochy had a lineup of Buster Posey, Pablo Sandoval, Hunter Pence, and Cabrera for exactly one day. By mischance, that day just happened to be the day before Cabrera was suspended by the league. Yet, players have stepped up since the suspension. Since August 1st, the Giants have four of the top seven batting averages in the N.L. Buster Posey leads that group with a .361 average, Marco Scutaro is third (.355), Angel Pagan is sixth (.328), and Brandon Belt ranks seventh (.326). It just goes to show how something like a suspension or injury can fire up an entire team.

However, in spite of their success without Cabrera, I’m sure the Giants wouldn’t mind having his bat back in the mix.

CONS

Unsettled Issues In The Clubhouse

When Cabrera was ruled out for the remainder of the season, it’s almost like he just disappeared. He didn’t speak to his fellow teammates or apologize in person. It just wasn’t a very classy move on his behalf. In his defense, it has to be hard to speak about a suspension in front of the entire clubhouse, but it’s a step that needs to be taken to clear the air. Some of his teammates recently spoke about his shyness. That could’ve been a factor as well.

But despite all of the factors, he shouldn’t have left the team the way he did. Clearly none of the Giants were pleased, feeling as if he let them down. And this could lead to some internal issues which is the last thing that needs to occur in the playoffs.

Plus, a boatload of attention would be put on the Giants, but not in a good way. Questions from the media wouldn’t be about the team, they would be about Cabrera. It could be just too much to handle when the team is focusing on reaching the World Series.

Rustiness

While Cabrera was among the upper echelon of players before being suspended, there’s no guarantee that he will return to that elite class if the Giants elect to bring him back.

The minor league season ended a few weeks ago, meaning that there isn’t necessarily a place from him to go and work off that rustiness. Yes, there are instructional leagues, but how is that going to prepare Cabrera to face some of the best pitching staffs in baseball?

The NLCS will only go seven games at best, which means that Cabrera has little time to perform and prove that he was worth bringing back.

While Melky Cabrera certainly was a hot commodity in July, the cons outweigh the pros. The Giants have continued to win without his presence, and they should continue with the same players that put them in the situation where they currently are. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. While Cabrera could potentially help the Giants in October, overall there is too much of a risk that he will hurt the team. Given how well the Giants have played since Cabrera’s suspension, that is a chance that the team is just simply unlikely to take.

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

Jake Dal Porto is a Baseball Writer with MLB reports and a student from the Bay Area. Jake’s favorite sports moment was when the Giants won the World Series back in 2010. He loves to use sabermetrics in his work. He thinks they are the best way to show a player’s real success compared to the basic stats such as ERA, RBIs, and Wins. Jake also enjoys interacting and debating with his readers. Follow him on Twitter:

 

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Will The Cardinals Repeat?

Sunday September 2, 2012

            John Burns: The season for the reigning World Champions the St. Louis Cardinals has been one filled with surprises.  With one of the biggest surprises being long time Cardinal Albert Pujols leaving the franchise to sign with the Los Angeles Angels.  In an attempt to replace Pujols, the Cardinals re-signed veteran outfielder Carlos Beltran. Although Beltran is not Albert Pujols, he is having a very good season for St. Louis with 28 HRs and 86 RBI. Nobody expected Beltran to play this well and basically be matching Pujols numbers.

As of September 1st, the Cardinals have a 72-61 record and are in possession of the second NL Wild Card Spot. We all know the story of the Cardinals last year when they got hot and never looked back-until they were holding up the World Series trophy. They are in a very similar situation this year, (as they were last year) by being in the hunt for a Wild Card spot. This year’s Cardinals squad is not the same as the 2011 World Series team version. With Tony La Russa, Chris Carpenter, Lance Berkman, and Albert Pujols all gone or injured, the Cards have a different look.  All three of those players played a major significance in the Cards winning the World Series in 2011.

Highlights courtesy of FOX and ESPN and MLB Reports is not the copyrights holder

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Baseball’s Greatest One Hit Wonders Part 2: The Pitchers

Wedesday August 22, 2012

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer) Pitching is the most unnatural motion I can think of.  The human arm is not meant to throw 90-100 MPH repeatedly over and over.  It is for this reason why I am never surprised when Pitchers go out for any injury.  When I was 15, I was the catcher for former Major League Pitcher Chris Reitsma on our ALL-Star Team.  I witnessed this kid throwing 90 MPH as a teenager.  Honestly, no one could hit the guy.  As a catcher for 10 years and having a a decent baseball IQ, I was mad that the coach never let me call his pitches for him.  Why he would even throw sliders, curves and breaking balls is beyond me and it cost us some games versus some California and Arizona teams.   There was no denying that he was a mega talented pitcher.  He did go onto a decent MLB career, even appeared in 84 games for the Atlanta Braves in 2004.  Yet he finished pitching by the age of 29 because he threw junk.  Now I will move on here, I am just pointing out that kids should not be throwing  junk until they are finished high school.  There will be time in future articles to talk about pitching discipline and attitude. 

Just like the hitters that I featured last week, the pitchers I am featuring here took the MLB by storm for a while.  The fan bases were certain that these players would have great careers, only to see them fade quickly.  If you ask me which position is tougher to stay up on top of, I would definitely say pitching!  Remember that if you fail 70% of the time as a hitter, you are still labeled a great hitter.  Pitchers have to have a success rate of 75% to be elite.  Plus when they are out there, it is a continual one after another moment, whereas a hitter has a chance to regroup after an AT BAT.

This set of 5 pitchers (Mark Fidrych, Mark Prior, Jeff Zimmerman, Tommy Greene and Derrick Turnbow) in this list are all pretty much of recent vintage.  I saw 4 of them play as I only started watching baseball in 1980 and Mark Fidrych was already done by that time.  This doesn’t mean that I have not seen countless highlights from the man in the last 30 years.  Here are a couple for your enjoyment before we start.

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The Philadelphia Phillies Part 1 of 4: ‘The Franchise’

Friday August.17/2012

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 Team’s Payroll going into in 2013 and 5. (The stadium articles will all be done next summer when I go to all of the parks in under a month again.)  To follow all of the updates, be sure to check my author page with a list of all archived articles here.

It took the Phillies 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, while taking home the Trophy in 2008.

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer):  The Phillies started as a franchise in 1883 in the city of Philadelphia-and have the longest continued stretch as their original name.  It has been a club that suffered tremendous droughts for the player and fans alike.  Only in recent vintage (since 1975) has this team come into permanent prominence, with the now Hall of Fame Mike Schmidt entering  the league and turning the fortunes of the city.  From signing Pete Rose to put them over the top for their 1st World Series Trophy, to just re-signing Cole Hamels to a 144 Million Dollar Contract, the team has been adamantly aggressive in keeping its name amongst the elite in baseballs annals. 

One could even argue that the Phillies had been the best team in baseball from 2008 up until the start of this season.  I recently named this club the best team from the years 1980-1983 and then again for the years of 2008-2009.  But before the likes of: Ryan Howard, Chase Utley and Jimmy Rollins, or Curt Schilling, Lenny Dykstra and Darren Daulton, or Mike Schmidt, Steve Carlton and Pete Rose, they were plenty of other men who left a mark on this historic NL Franchise.  We will look at all of the significant players that ever played for the club as a pitcher or hitter.  The pitchers and hitters will be focused on solely in the next 2 weeks.  Let us look and how the team has fared in its history.

Here are the final pitches of the 2008 World Series between the Philadelphia Phillies and the Tampa Bay Rays. Property of Major League Baseball & Fox.

For Part 2 of The 4 Part Philles Article Series: The Hitters, click here.

For Part 3 of  The 4 Part Phillies Article Series:  The Pitchers- click here

For Part 4 of the Phillies Article Series:  Team Payroll and Contractual Statuses click here

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Washington Nationals-The Pitchers and Hitters: 2005-2012 Best 25 Man Roster (Part 5 of Expos/Nats Series)

Wednesday July 25, 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 Team’s Payroll going into in 2013 and 5. (The stadium articles will all be done next summer when I go to all of the parks in under a month again.)  To follow all of the updates, be sure to check my author page with a list of all archived articles here.

Livan Hernandez leads the 2005-2012 version of the franchise in ALL-Time wins and innings pitched.

Chuck Booth (Lead baseball Writer and @chuckbooth3024 on twitter)- I think it safe to say that the best days of the Washington Nationals are purely ahead of them.  They have a great nucleus of young talent with Stephen Strasburg, Bryce Harper, Drew Storen, Ryan Zimmerman, Ian Desmond, Danny Espinosa, Mike Morse and Gio Gonzalez.  These guys are so good that they all made the ALL-Time 25 man roster for the 2005-2012 Washington Nationals.  I am a firm believer that these guys will be the best team in the National League within 2 or 3 years.  I like Ted Lerner’s attitude on spending for now.  This will ensure the money will be spent on the team to keep competing for the city of Washington’s 1st World Series Title since 1924.  I would venture to say that not many living  fans of the old Washington Senators saw the club hoisting the trophy 88 years ago. 

The Nationals Park went soaring up my ranks as a baseball venue to see in the 30 stadium circuit.  This place is now electric.  I was so elated when I was able to see Strasburg pitch and win for the Nationals back in April.  Next year I hope to see Bryce Harper play ball  when I go on another 30 park tour.   Next year is when I will have the official rankings of all of the ballparks posted here.  I can assure you that the President’s Race will probably be voted the most popular race of any in the Majors at the parks.  My humblest of apologies to the sausage race fans in Milwaukee and racing legend heads in Arizona.  I still follow the campaign to ‘Let Teddy Win’, however that may take all of the fun out of it if Teddy does win one of those races.

As a fan of the old Expos franchise, I have a soft spot in my heart for the Washington Nationals.  Playing meaningful baseball in September and October this year would be incredible to witness.  So without further speak, let us start with our 25 man roster for the best players in the last 8 years.  I picked the roster based on longevity or utter greatness for a couple of players.  If this team was to play an alumni game right now, all of the positions would be filled.  I don’t think I excluded anyone entirely crucial here.  Please feel free to let me know if I did on any social platform.  If you make a solid case for someone for whom I may have omitted, I could always add them later.

For Part 1 of the Article Series, The Expos Hitters: click here

For Part 2 of the Article Series, The Expos Pitchers: click here

For Part 3 of the Article Series, The Demise of the Montreal Expos: click here

For Part 4 of the Article Series, The Washington Nationals Franchise 2005-2012: click here

For Part 6 of the Article Series, The Nationals 2013 Payroll and Contract Statuses click here 

Here is the highlight reel from Stephen Strasburg’s debut at Nationals Park.  14 Strikeouts is amazing!

Read the rest of this entry

The MLB Pitching Leaders in Wins: What to Make of Them?

 

Monday July 9th, 2012

Bernie Olshansky: With more than half of the season over, we’ve seen a lot of surprises when it comes to pitching. Some have pitched unbelievably well and are rewarded for it, some haven’t pitched as well and have been lucky, and some aren’t so lucky. Although it might be wrong to spotlight pitchers on the night of a hitting showcase, here’s a list of pitchers (some lucky and some not) who are atop the majors in wins.

Eight Wins:  To name a few: Ubaldo Jimenez, Clay Buchholz, Ricky Romero, Jason Vargas. I would think it’s safe to say these guys are getting really, really lucky. Taking a look at these ERAs, Jimenez has a 4.50, Buchholz has a 5.53, Romero has a 5.22, and Vargas has a 4.07. Not to mention, Buchholz has only two losses. Looking purely at wins and losses, he’s a legitimate Cy Young candidate. Obviously wins don’t tell the whole story. Luck plays a huge part in each of these win-loss records. The Indians average 4.52 runs per game, so that explains why Ubaldo wins. The Red Sox and Blue Jays never have a problem producing runs either. But the Mariners? Although he’s been lucky, Vargas has also had seven losses, so for almost every time the Mariners have scored for him, they’ve also failed to score for him.

Nine Wins:  C.J. Wilson, Stephen Strasburg, Matt Cain—among others. With a 2.43 ERA, Wilson deserves all the wins he has. The Angels provide a strong offense that produces enough runs to give CJ his wins. Strasburg, too, has a 2.82 ERA to explain his high number of wins. The Nationals weren’t a early season team to put up big numbers in the offensive department in the early part of the season, but Adam LaRoche and Bryce Harper have helped to carry the team. In his career with the Giants, Matt Cain has never gotten the run support he deserves. This year he has finally gotten it and it has shown. Cain earned the starting spot in the All Star Game and will definitely be a Cy Young candidate. Read the rest of this entry

MLB Reports Monthly Power Rankings: July 2012

Wednesday July.4, 2012

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer and @chuckbooth3024 on twitter)-We are going to bring you monthly power rankings every month of the season.  There will be a few notes written for each team.  Please feel free to let us know your thoughts.  The Texas Rangers are the top ranked team yet once again, although teams are certainly gaining on the them in the last month. If this report was being done last week I might have put the New York Yankees in 1st and Texas in 2nd.  A 7 game winning streak help preserve another month for Texas on the leader-board.  There were superior months by Aaron Hill, Jose Bautista, Joey Votto , Jason Heyward and a new phenomenon was born with Jose Altuve.  It was a great month for the MLB.  With 20 teams within 5.5 games or less for the playoff races, we are sure to see some serious movements in the Power Rankings in the 2nd half of the season.

Standings taken before play Tuesday July.03/2012

July Power Rankings-Last Month Rank in Parenthesis

1. Texas-50-30 (1) The Rangers rode a 7 game winning streak to end up 18-8 for the last month. David Murphy, Adrian Beltre and Elvis Andrus all hit over .300 in the last 30 days.  The Rangers were able to weather a slow spurt from Josh Hamilton, in which he hit .222 with only 4 HRs for the month.  Matt Harrison has asserted himself as an ace on the staff with a 5-0 month with a 1.29 ERA, while leading the American League with 11 wins on the year.  The Rangers have 6 players going to the ALL-Star Game including 3 starters.  Yu Darvish can make a 7th if he is voted into the final roster spot with his rookie campaign of 10-5 so far.

2. NY Yankees 48-31(5)  The Yankees have ridden good pitching and a hot bat from Robinson Cano to a 19-7 record over the last month, with a 5 games lead over their competition in the AL East.  Cano hit .370 with 12 HRs and 24 RBI in the last month.  Derek Jeter is hitting .298 overall but saw his average go from .389 in April, to .283 in May to .232 in June.  He still tops a list of 4 Yankees heading to the ALL-Star Game including 23 HR homer man Curtis GrandersonPhil Hughes went 5-1 in the month with a 2.59 ERA and Ivan Nova won his 3 decisions with a miniscule 1.32 ERA.  Rafael Soriano has converted 18 out of 19 save opportunities since taking over as team closer.

3. San Francisco 45-30 (9)  The Giants went 16-11 in the month and saw a perfect game from Matt Cain, with a few other 1 hitters.  The team shutout the Dodgers 3 games in a row in a series last week.  The Giants have Pablo Sandoval, Buster Posey and Melky Cabrera starting in KC next week.  The Melkman continues to show that last year was no fluke with his .352 Average and he is leading the Major Leagues with 111 base hits.  The Giants pitching staff has coped with the loss of Brian Wilson and the ineffectiveness of starter Tim Lincecum, by the rest of the staff having career years.

4. LA Angels 45-35 (12) The Angels have been really steady since the end of May.  They just finished going 17-8 in the last 25 days on the backs of ALL-Stars Mike Trout, Mark Trumbo and resurgent Albert Pujols.  Trout might be the most exciting player on the planet these days and is a lock for AL Rookie of the Year if he keeps this up.  Trout hit .367 over the last month and has taken over the AL batting lead with a .342 AVG.  Trumbo hit 10 HRs and drove in 28 RBI for the month and Pujols hit .337. to raise his average 40 points.  C.J Wilson was good enough in June to be named as CC Sabathia‘s replacement at the ALL-Star game.

5.  Washington 45-32(9)  Mike Morse has returned to the lineup with a vengeance during the last week with a .484 average.   Super Sub Tyler Moore has also hit .415 in the last 14 games with 4 HRs and 12 RBI.  Ian Desmond had 16 Extra base hits for the month to go along with 20 RBI, while he made the ALL-Star game as a reserve.  Ryan Zimmerman awoke from a season long slump to plate 17 RBI.  Adam LaRoche still contributed 7 HRs and 15 RBI despite a paltry .191 average in June.  Stephen Strasburg is 9-3 on the year with a 2.81 ERA and a league leading 122 SO.  Gio Gonzalez is 11-3 with a 3.01 ERA.  Both Gonzalez and Strasburg made the ALL-Star squad. Read the rest of this entry

Paul Konerko is Playing Like An MVP in 2012

Wednesday June.20/2012

Paul Konerko is having his best season ever so far, can he keep his White Sox in contention all year and challenge for the batting title? Photo courtesy of beyonderstv.com

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer and @chuckbooth3024 on twitter)-  Paul Konerko is a professional hitter.  One day he will have his number retired from the Chicago White Sox at US Cellular Field.  Drafted by the Los Angeles Dodgers 13th overall in the Amateur 1994 Draft, the 6 foot 2 slugger had lofty expectations by the time he made the Major Leagues.  For the Albuquerque Isotopes in 1997, he hit .323 with 37 HRs and 127 RBI.  The Dodgers ended up trading Konerko to Cincinnati  for Jeff Shaw in 1998.  The Reds then turned around and traded the man from Rhode Island to the Chicago White Sox for Mike Cameron.

Paul Konerko in his early days with the LA Dodgers, the team decided to trade him because they already had Eric Karros. Photo courtesy of bleacherreport.com

There may be no more underrated player in the MLB over the last 14 years.  All that Konerko has done is hit 402 HRs with the Chicago White Sox in that span and plated 1270 RBI.  He currently sits 2nd all time in both categories on the club for the all time list, trailing only Frank Thomas .   At age 36, Konerko seems to become better at the plate each year.  He has hit .300 and clubbed 30 HRs and 100 RBI in both 2010 and 2011.  If he keeps up this years pace, he will do it again, but this time he may challenge for an average title and possibly an AL MVP.

Paul Konerko enters today’s action with an AL Best .357 AVG and a .431 OBP-in leading the team to a 35-33 start, which trails the Cleveland Indians by just a half game.  The team had started off slow before Konerko went absolutely beserk in May and had raised his average to .399 at one point during his torrid streak.  To date this year, he has hit 13 HRs and added 38 RBI.  In my opinion, he will be selected to his 6th all-time ALL-star game in Kansas City next month when they unveil the roster.  Now Konerko still has a chance to catch Prince Fielder with the fan voting with only being a few hundred thousand votes behind the Tigers 1st baseman.

Read the rest of this entry

The Jose Altuve Phenomenon

Friday June.15/2012

Jose Altuve is listed as 5 foot five although he may be even shorter than that. His lethal swings have created a new metric measurement based on his height called an ‘Altuve.’ Everyone is picking up the new measurement including social media platforms dedicated to the cause: @howmanyaltuves on twitter and the official website http://www.howmanyaltuves.com –Photo courtesy of the Washington Post.

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer and @chuckbooth3024 on twitter)- Baseball lends itself to traditions and nicknames like no other sport in the world.  During last year, there were two phenomenons in the form of social media and radio.   I was lucky enough to be part of them both.  The MLB ‘Fancave’ sidekick Ryan Wagner was dubbed ‘thickish’ by Mitch Williams of the MLB Network.  The social media took off on his nickname and blogs, websites and a lot of the Fancave skits had Mike O’ Hara calling Wagner ‘thickish.’  I love things like this. I took it upon myself to be the West Coast distributor of the movement.  I was even fortunate enough to have Ryan Wagner write a blog about my buddy Justin and I.  It was cool  to be part of the fun of this social media driven nickname.

Then the summer of 2011 hit.  I was listening to MLB Roundtrip like I do every night while at work.  Mike Ferrin and Morgan Ensberg were talking about Jose Altuve of the Houston Astros.  There were saying the man was swinging out of his cleats like he was Paul Bunyan.  They also mentioned that Altuve was the leader of the Texas League (before his call up) for average.  The next thing I knew Ensberg suggested that they should come up with a new unit of measurement called an “Altuve.”  The idea would be that you can divide the total amount of feet hit for a home run divided Jose Altuve’s height.  I couldn’t stop laughing at the concept.  To me,  Ensberg was entirely right, Altuve does sound like a unit measurement!   For the next few weeks, the guys kept on speaking of long homers hit and how many Altuve’s they would go. Read the rest of this entry

Bryce Harper: 2012 National League All-Star, ROY and MVP?

 

Wednesday June 13th, 2012


Bernie Olshansky: It’s finally Bryce Harper’s time. He’s been up for just about a month and a half and he’s already making a contribution. Some were a tad bit skeptical as to how he would break into the league (including myself), but with the way Harper is playing now, there isn’t a doubt in my mind about his readiness for The Show and the Midsummer Classic. Harper clearly hasn’t had a problem producing, hitting a solid .303 with seven home runs and 19 runs batted in, to go along with three stolen bases in 39 games. For the amount of games he’s played, with these numbers he should named be an All-Star in 2012. If he gets voted in to start, he would be the youngest positional starting player in MLB All-Star game history.

With the Nationals fans’ excitement behind him, Harper should have no problem getting the votes to get to Kansas City. Over the past few years, fans have elected some questionable players, most notably last year’s election of Derek Jeter, who got off to a slow start. Even if Harper isn’t a shoo-in (which with his numbers, he is), he should be on the team. Harper hasn’t played enough to qualify for the batting leader board, but if he did, he would rank 13th among National League outfielders in average, and he is ahead in home runs of notables Justin Upton (5), Adrian Gonzalez (5) Pablo Sandoval (5), and fellow rookie star Mike Trout (6). Read the rest of this entry

Ask the Reports: ATR Answers Your Baseball Questions – June 10th, 2012

Sunday June 10th, 2012



Jonathan Hacohen:  Posted every Weekend: Your top baseball questions from the past week are answered. E-mail all questions to mlbreports@me.com, 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!

Let’s get to your top questions of the week:

Q:  Hey there, glad to see a Torontonian loving baseball! I was born in Burlington, but grew up in Charlotte, NC… and am a lifelong Jays diehard! But hey, as a baseball guy growing up in NC… no way Durham got pro ball over Charlotte.. no chance… mayyyyyyyyyybe Raleigh (only b/c Charlotte already has 2 pro teams)… but in which case does MLB choose the lesser populated city in a State? Never. The MLB is the BIGS for a reason… and Charlotte could most certainly (fans, sponsors, funding) support a MLB team. It would be a ‘Baseball Town’…people live and breathe the sport here. I grew up playing here, it was a treat.

But here’s the catch, I just don’t know if Charlotte can support 3 major league teams… Panthers, Bobcats, and Baseball… If the Bobcats relocated… which could happen within 10 years… I could certainly see the city shift its focus to luring a pro ball team. The Knights (AAA) new stadium has pretty much gotten the city official’s approval and will be able to transform into a pro stadium if Charlotte becomes a relocation or expansion candidate.

But as a baseball fan, I would be all for the Bobcats moving and us getting MLB…. if I had to choose between NBA and MLB… pretty obvious…

But, LET’S GO JAYS!!!

Cheers,

Greg from Charlotte

JH: Hello Greg. Thank you for writing to us all the way from Charlotte! There are a couple of us here on the Reports from Toronto (present company included), but the majority of our writers are American. Hey, it is America’s favorite pastime!  But in all seriousness, you have touched upon one our most popular subjects:  MLB Expansion.  The World Baseball Classic is another one…and yes…we will cover that topic as well on this edition of the Reports.  But getting back to your comment, it was great to hear from a baseball fan directly from the area in question. Charlotte is brought up all the time in expansion talk. While it was not an area that I directly considered when I wrote my original expansion article, the area has been brought up countless times since. You bring up some very interesting points in your analysis. The local area and economy will play a HUGE part in the final decision when the next expansion locations are awarded. If indeed you are correct and it will take another sports team to relocate out of Charlotte for baseball to arrive, then I am afraid that you will be out of luck. The perception I feel will be that if Charlotte could not sustain the Bobcats, then it certainly cannot handle Major League Baseball.  40+ home games at 12-15,000 fans per game is no comparison to trying to feel 81 home games at 30,000+ fans per game. My mindset is that all existing teams need to do exceptionally well for the area to prove that it can handle a major sports team.

We can agree to disagree on this one, because of the subjective nature of what Major League Baseball will consider ultimately in expansion talks. But overall, factors will include population, health of the economy, television deal, stadium size/age/location, ownership groups etc. In other words, I am not counting out Charlotte just yet. There is still hope my friend, so keep the faith!!  And….Let’s GO TIGERS!!!!!!! Read the rest of this entry

Passing of the Torch as The Greatest Player in The MLB: From Pujols to Hamilton

Wednesday June.6, 2012

Josh Hamilton is on pace for 64 HRs and 177 RBI in 2012 with a .345 AVG. He has taken over as the best player in MLB from Albert Pujols -Photo Courtesy of http://www.real-fans.com

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer and @chuckbooth3024 on twitter)- While watching Josh Hamilton this year, I started thinking about the best players in the MLB over the last 33 years.  I am talking the best player of the game at any point of time.  I tracked back to 1979 for this article.  I may expand further back in follow up articles.  I did rank defense highly when I came up with the players.  I did agonize over Mike Schmidt,  Jim Rice, Wade Boggs and Cal Ripken for some of the years given in specific time frames.  These gentlemen were given every consideration.  In the end, we are talking about the best player in the game though and it is always subject to debate and personal opinion.  The criteria had to involve leading the league in several different offensive and/or defensive categories, followed by routinely being in the top 7 in MVP balloting(if not taking home the honor), All-Star Appearances for every year I listed them for and most of them won silver sluggers and/or Gold Gloves as well.

George Brett won batting titles in 3 different decades and flirted with .400 in 1980 while hitting .390 for the year. -Photo courtesy of lanius.wordpress.com

George Brett 1979-1983-George Brett was the best hitter in the game from 1979-1983.  He hit for a .320 average and slugged his way to having the Royals as perennial contenders.  He led the league in triples (20) and hits in 1979.  In 1980, he hit .390 with a .454 OBP, 664 SLG and a 1.118 OBP which led the league.  In 1983, Brett led the league in slugging an OPS once again.  Brett won the MVP in 1980 and was the runner-up in 1979.  In 1985, George Brett would lead the Royals to a World Series.  He later won a batting title at age 37 with a .329 average.  This was the toughest time frame to judge from 1979-1983.  Mike Schmidt was an incredible force at third base with huge power and Jim Rice also put up mammoth numbers, but in the end I chose  George Brett because he was more consistent out of 3. Read the rest of this entry

MLB Reports Monthly Power Rankings: June 2012

Monday June.4, 2012

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer and @chuckbooth3024 on twitter)-We are going to bring you monthly power rankings every month of the season.  There will be a few notes written for each team.  Please feel free to let us know your thoughts.  The Texas Rangers are the top ranked team yet once again, although teams are certainly gaining on the them in the last week.  Look out for Cincinnati Reds and New York Yankees to make their move towards the top this month.

June Power Rankings-Last Month Rank in Parenthesis

1. Texas-32-22 (1) The Rangers rode Josh Hamilton in the month of May-who enters today on pace for about 60 HRs and 170 RBI while hitting .354.  Nelson Cruz is starting to heat up and the duo of Adrian Beltre and Ian Kinsler are steady as as ever. Yu Darvish is 7-3 en route to the leading the group amongst Rookie of The Year Contention.  Joe Nathan is looking like his old self again out of the pen with an ERA under 2.

2. LA Dodgers 33-21 (5) Even with Matt Kemp out of the lineup again, the Dodgers are winning ball games with solid contributions from Andre Ethier and A.J Ellis on offense.  The pitching staff has been anchored by Clayton Kershaw and a fast 7-1 start by Chris CapuanoTed Lilly was 5-1 before a stint on the DL.  It is too bad because Lilly is 125-104 since 2004.

3. Tampa Bay 31-23 (2) Hideki Matsui homered in two of his first 3 games back with the Rays.  The team has had steady pitching to stay in contention.  Carlos Pena has really struggled in the last month and will need to pick it up.  Luke Scott with 35 RBI has good production numbers in spite of his .225 AVG. Fernando Rodney has converted 17 out of 18 saves to pace the club.

4. Cincinnati 30-23 (12) Joey Votto has hit .404 in the last 30 days and maybe the best all-around hitter in the National League right now.  Jay Bruce has 12 HRs and 34 RBI and is living up to his all-star potential.  Aroldis Chapman has 27 Strikeouts in just over 14 innings and has yet to yield a run while opponents are hitting a paltry .043 against him.

5. NY Yankees 29-24 (6) The Bronx Bombers have 6 players with 8 HRs or more, which is a good thing because with the exception of Derek Jeter, a lot of them are hitting under their career averages.  The return of Andy Pettitte has helped the rotation with the loss of Micheal Pineda.  Phil Hughes threw a complete game over the weekend and CC Sabathia is on pace for another 20 win season. Read the rest of this entry

The Jon Heyman Interview: The Writer Behind the Breaking MLB Stories

Monday January 2, 2012

MLB reports – Jonathan Hacohen:  One of the pleasures I enjoy in writing for MLB reports is that I get to speak with many of the key personalities in the game of baseball.  Over the past year, I have been very fortunate to interview some of baseball’s most important movers and shakers.  Derrick Hall, President and C.E.O. of the Diamondbacks.  Bob Kendrick, President of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum.  Adam Jones, star outfielder of the Baltimore Orioles.  Casey Bond, former baseball player and actor in a little film known as Moneyball.  Writer Danny Knobler of CBS Sports.  Author Howard Megdal.  From each interview, I always walk away with more wisdom by having received the opportunity to talk baseball with leading industry people.  While my love of baseball fuels me to write about the game, analyze and discuss it, I never believe that I am above the game.  I always feel that there is more to learn and understand. Baseball is an endless pursuit of knowledge.  With its long rich history, it is impossible to know everything about the game.  We just try to keep up as best as we can.

With that in mind, there is one baseball personality that I have longed to interview for some time.  One of my idols in the business.  He may not be a walking baseball encyclopedia, but he is pretty darn close.  Jon Heyman, formerly of Sports Illustrated and now with CBS Sports.  Jon’s story is well-known in the industry.  He worked for Newsday for 16 years covering the New York Yankees.  Jon was also at one point a Baseball Columnist for the Sporting News.  He became the Senior Baseball Writer for Sports Illustrated before joining CBS Sports just last month.  There are several aspects to Jon Heyman’s writing that I was always found appealing.  He is very well-connected in the industry.  If there is a story to be broken, generally he is one of the first (if not THE first to break it).  He has a strong ability to analyze different aspects of the game and to break down various subjects (whether it be a trade or free agent signing) in concise terms.  Jon is opinionated and is not afraid to share his two cents.  He is engaging with his readers and is very accommodating in answering the many questions and comments he receives.  But most importantly, he is human.  Jon Heyman does not believe that he is superior to his readers and writes to them, not above them.  It is a very fine skill that only the top writers possess.  Jon Heyman is one of those writers in my estimation.

When I speak to young writers starting in the industry (usually those starting their own websites/blogs), I tell them all one key point.  The most important thing to remember in writing is that you want to invoke reactions from your readers.  They could be good reactions…or negative.  But at least you are able to elicit emotions.  There is nothing worse for a writer than to produce material that nobody reads or cares about.  Some posts may fuel anger and backlash.  Young writers tend to be afraid of turning off or losing readers by upsetting them.  It is a delicate balance, but my advice is those posts that are received negatively are often the ones most read.  From there, readers will return because “they want to see what you will say next”.  Nobody knows this better than Jon Heyman.  For the writing genius that Heyman is, I have never seen a writer that receives more negative backlash and criticism from readers.  Yet the ironic twist is that those same “haters” are the ones that are the first to read Jon’s work.  It is almost like some readers are watching his every move, just waiting to find a mistake so that they can pounce and call him out on his errors.  Jon knows this and thrives on it.  Another reason why he is one of the best in the industry.

Baseball writing is a high stakes field.  Reputations are built by the strength of a person’s writing and ability to report the news.  In this golden age of internet and social media, getting the “scoops” is more competitive than ever.  But as the reporting game changes, Jon Heyman remains a constant.  A leader in his field, he inspires other writers like myself to grow and develop our craft.  Today Jon joins us to discuss his storied career.  From his start in Newsday, to his shift to Sports Illustrated and CBS Sports.  To his possible future in baseball broadcasting (including his analyst role on the MLB Network).  Jon shares his favorite all-time interview (you won’t believe this one!)  To his opinions on a variety of baseball topics, including the next MLB commissioner, realignment and an international draft.  After bringing so many interviews to his audience, the tables are turned- and today Jon Heyman becomes the featured subject.  You know the scoops.  You know the stories.  Now get ready to know the person behind the headlines.  I am proud to present my interview with famed baseball writer (and Cooperstown candidate, regardless of what he says):  CBS Sports Baseball Writer, Jon Heyman.

MLB reports:  Welcome to MLB reports Jon Heyman.  It is an honor to be speaking to you today.  You were born in Santa Fe, New Mexico.  A beautiful area that I have visited before (my uncle lived for many years in Taos).  At what age did your family move to New York and why the relocation?

Jon Heyman:  I was 6 when we moved to New York. My mother was from New York, and she had a nice childhood, so I’m guessing that is why we moved to New York (it’s so long ago I can’t be sure).

 

MLB reports:  If you hadn’t grown up in New York, would you still have pursued journalism?

Jon Heyman:  I guess I’ll never know the answer to that one. I’d guess so.

 

MLB reports:  At what age did the writing bug first bite you?   When did you decide that you would write about baseball for a living?

Jon Heyman:  At Lawrence High School on Long Island I wrote for the school newspaper, The Mental Pabulum, which is a dumb name that I think means ‘food for thought’… or something like that. It was probably my senior year that I started to think about it. Then when I went to Northwestern, it seemed like the thing to do. It really wasn’t much more complicated than that.

 

MLB reports:  If you had not pursued writing as a career, what would you be doing today for a living?

Jon Heyman:  Maybe something with numbers. The sabremetric folks may find that hard to believe. But I loved math as a kid. I outgrew that though.

 

MLB reports:  Being a well-regarded baseball writer, you must be constantly on the go.  What percentage of the year are you on the road?

Jon Heyman:  First of all, thanks for the nice word. Not everyone would agree with that characterization. I’m on the road for spring training, the All-Star Game, the playoffs, the World Series and the GM and Winter Meetings. So about three months out of the year. Although since I live in Miami, I spend about two weeks of spring training at home.

 

MLB reports:  I understand that you are now primarily located between Miami and New York.  What factors played a role in your decision on residence?

Jon Heyman:  We lived in New York when I was at Newsday, and it’s a good spot for baseball so we keep a small place there. My family loves Miami.

 

MLB reports:  Aside from a successful career, you are also married with a daughter.  How do you balance work and home life?

Jon Heyman:  Family is much more important. Sometimes I need to remind myself of that, especially when I’m spending hours trying to nail down a Guillermo Mota signing.

 

MLB reports:  What was your first big break in the industry?  I presume it was the job with Newsday as a Yankees beat writer?

Jon Heyman:  My first break was the opening of The National. Although they didn’t hire me, they opened up jobs at newspapers all over the country by hiring tens of sports writers at major papers. The best day of my career was the day I got the call from Jeff Williams of Newsday offering me a job at Newsday, the paper I delivered as a kid. I was working at the Copley Los Angeles papers at the time, covering the Angels for the Santa Monica Outlook and the Torrance Daily Breeze, and that was a great way to break into daily beat coverage, on the West Coast for an afternoon paper. But Newsday was the pinnacle for me at the time. I got a call the same day from the Los Angeles Times for a possible backup Angels job. But I wanted to go home. My mother still lived in New York. So it was an easy call for me.   

 

MLB reports:  Did you choose to cover the Yankees….or did the Yankees choose you?

Jon Heyman:  The job Newsday had was covering the Yankees. They decided to promote Tom Verducci to national baseball writer (good decision there), and Marty Noble preferred the Mets, so the opening they had was for the Yankees. A lot of folks were afraid to cover the Steinbrenner Yankees. I didn’t know any better. They were my favorite team growing up. At that time it was a dream job.   

 

MLB reports:  Since leaving Newsday, do you find you still have a special relationship/affinity for the Yankees?  How did you find the change from Newsday to SI?

Jon Heyman:  Once I started covering baseball, I stopped rooting for the Yankees or any one team. There’s someone on the web who claims I am a big Yankees honk, but some of the pro-Yankees websites know better. The only team I root for now is Northwestern football.  

 

MLB reports:  You arrived at Sports Illustrated in 2006 after a lengthy stint with Newsday.  Tell us about the process of joining Sports Illustrated and how you were selected to become one of their senior baseball writers.

Jon Heyman:  My time was about up at Newsday. They had new management that wanted to pay themselves high salaries while cutting the writing staff to bare bones. I went to Sports Illustrated and pitched a mostly Web job, and they decided to give me a shot. As it turned out, I was pretty fortunate, because as I suspected, Newsday laid off its two other general sports columnists. There isn’t a question in my mind they would have laid me off, too.   

 

MLB reports:  What is your favorite interview that you have conducted in your career?

Jon Heyman:  That’s easy. It was Pascual Perez in a limo outside a strip club in Pompano Beach after he failed a (recreational) drug test. Don Burke, the beat guy from the Bergen (N.J.) Record and I went from strip club to strip club in the Fort Lauderdale area (there were plenty of them) looking for Pascual, and we finally found him a bit north of Lauderdale on US 1.  

 

MLB reports:  Best baseball event/moment that you covered?

Jon Heyman:  Got to the Game 7 of the 1991 World Series. Great game. Unreal performance by Jack Morris and John Smoltz.

 

MLB reports:  Do you end up forming many personal relationships/friendships with the players through your role, or is it kept to a neutral basis?

Jon Heyman:  I’m friendly with some of the guys I covered as players: Chili Davis, Mike Gallego, Jim Abbott, but not friends. So no, it’s not like the really old days where players and writers used to hang out. Back in the ’60s and ’70s, the players weren’t gazillionaires and maybe had a bit more in common with the writers. That changed to some degree by the ’80s.

 

MLB reports:  After so many years as one of the faces for SI baseball, what brought you to CBS Sports this December?  (Please give us an insight as to why you left SI and decided to join CBS Sports.)

Jon Heyman:  I’d established a relationship over the years with the editor at CBSSports.com, Mark Swanson. I don’t recall how it started, but they are located in Fort Lauderdale (seems like Fort Lauderdale has played a big role in my career). We did lunch at the Longhorn Steakhouse maybe a dozen times over the past several years. They have been an increasingly big player in the sports internet world but this year they made huge strides in content and breaking stories by hiring several established and talented writers like Jeff Goodman, Bruce Feldman, Brett McMurphy and many others. It was clear they were serious. I interviewed right after the World Series, and we had a deal a month later.   

 

MLB reports:  Has your role changed from your time at SI to CBS Sports?  What is your primary focus with CBS Sports?

Jon Heyman:  It isn’t too much different. CBS has me doing more blogs to get the news out there more quickly. There are two other veteran baseball writers, Danny Knobler and Scott Miller, who are also actively seeking news and working on newsy angles. There’s a lot of discussion, planning and teamwork at CBS, and fortunately, the teammates are great. Sports Illustrated was great in many ways but totally different.

 

MLB reports:  If you were the commissioner, what would you do to the change the game of baseball?  Is the current system working?

Jon Heyman:  In general, yes. I am worried about the new rules to contain bonuses for drafted amateur talent, and whether that will curtail poor teams from making up the talent gap.


MLB reports:  Time to play Rapid Fire: Tell us your immediate reaction to the following words:  

  1. Realignment

Jon Heyman:   There should be 15 teams in each league. Even steven.

  1. Expansion

Jon Heyman:  I don’t think that’ll be in the baseball lexicon for a while.

  1. Contraction

Jon Heyman:  Not happening.

  1. Expanded Playoffs

Jon Heyman:  Sorry to be wishy-washy, but I’m taking a wait and see approach.

  1. Future of the Designated Hitter

Jon Heyman:  It’ll be here awhile.

  1. International Draft

Jon Heyman:  Against.

  1. World Baseball Classic

Jon Heyman:  Like it. Wish it would catch on more in the U.S.

  1. Baseball in the Olympics

Jon Heyman:  Not necessary.

  1. Collective Bargaining Agreement

Jon Heyman:  Looks good, except for the draft thing.

  1. Hall of Fame Voting

Jon Heyman:  A privilege, but one I get hit over the head for annually (that’s ok, too).

 

MLB reports:  Who do you expect will be the next commissioner of baseball and why?

Jon Heyman:  Rob Manfred. He’s the guy doing the heaviest lifting. Anyone else would be for unfair, and strictly for name recognition.


MLB reports:  What are your future plans Jon?  Where will find you in the next 10+ years?  As an insider for the MLB Network, do you have plans to move into full-time broadcasting?

Jon Heyman:  After 10 years of broadcasting, I think I am finally starting to improve to the point where I occasionally know which camera to look at. Heavens no! I enjoy it, and the producers at MLB Network are nice and incredibly patient and forgiving. But I am a writer. I’d probably be docked at one of those places where the interviewer fancies himself a great intellectual, but I think CBS is my last job.

 

MLB reports:  What are your feelings on the explosion of baseball blogs and social media like Twitter and Facebook?  Is it good for the game?

Jon Heyman:  I’m OK with twitter. It makes me nervous 24 hours a day, but I’m getting used to it. Facebook isn’t something I know anything about.

 

MLB reports:  One day you will likely be getting a call confirming election into Cooperstown as a Baseball Writer.  Have you considered it?  How would you feel about being elected into the Hall of Fame?

Jon Heyman:  Ha, ha. I don’t think writers should be in the Hall of Fame. (Technically, I’m told they aren’t.) It’s self aggrandizing and a popularity contest and serves no purpose. I liked when Ross Newhan was elected because he’s a nice man and very good writer. But maybe we should have just elected Murray Chass and Peter Gammons, and called it a day (although we could have done without Murray’s speech). Those really were the game changers.  

 

MLB reports:  Final question:  What advice would you give to aspiring baseball writers?  What does it take to become the next Jon Heyman?

Jon Heyman:  Not sure anyone would want to be that. But I’d stay to find some aspect of journalism, and concentrate on that, whether it be writing, reporting, editing or whatever. If it’s writing, write a lot. And read a lot. Read the New York Times even if you think it’s too liberal, because on average, noting compares as far as daily newspapers. In general, journalism is like anything else. With a few exceptions, the more you put into it, the more you get out of it.

 

MLB reports:  Thank you again Jon and I look forward to speaking to you soon.  Happy New Year to you and your family!

Jon Heyman:  You, too!

***A special thank you to Jon Heyman for taking the time out of his hectic schedule today for us on MLB reports.  You can follow Jon on Twitter (@JonHeymanCBS) and yes, he responds to questions and comments!  Be sure to also catch Jon’s column on CBS Sports.  It is a MUST baseball read for all fans!***

 

Jonathan Hacohen is the Lead Baseball Columnist & Editor for MLB reports:  You can follow Jonathan on Twitter (@JHacohen)

 

Please e-mail us 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.

Is It Time To Shorten the MLB season?

Thursday December 15th, 2011

Sam Evans: The MLB season right now is longer than it has ever been. With pitchers and catchers reporting February 19th this year,  and the World Series ending in early November, it is outrageous to expect players to stay physically and mentally healthy for an entire season. Major League Baseball needs to look into how they can make the season more fan and player friendly. One solution to this issue is to shorten the season.

The Major League schedule is more demanding than any other league. Not every MLB player is like Roger Hornsby who once said, “People ask me what I do in winter when there’s no baseball. I’ll tell you what I do. Stare out the window & wait for spring.” The players have hinted that they would like a little longer offseason.  I don’t blame them, as Major League players go through a tremendous grind to complete a season.

It must be especially hard for the foreign players to have to be away from their respective homes for such a long time. Even if it means that the fans have to watch less baseball, the reality is that players deserve more time off. They are away from their families longer than anyone should be. In college, you only play roughly 60 games. In high school, the average team plays about 40 games. Overseas, the young players play about the same as an American high school. To have to make the jump from 40 games a year to up to 211, must be extremely difficult- to almost impossible.

However, shortening the season isn’t as easy of a task as it seems. Here is my multi-step proposal to fix the issue of the lengthy MLB season:

Players voluntary report to Spring Training: February 1st. This is for the Roger Hornsbys and Roy Halladays of the world. Having voluntary reports more than two weeks earlier than it is now would also provide injured players a trusted place to rehab. However, this timeline would also be optional for coaches, as they would also have the option to take time off if needed.

Spring Training: Starts February 20th. That date is about two weeks earlier than it was last year. Major League spring training would have teams playing only 20 games instead of 30. However, the games would be more spread out over the schedule, giving fans a chance to watch multiple teams every week. When I went to spring training in Arizona two years, I was disappointed that the players didn’t have enough time to just go enjoy themselves. Whether it’s in Arizona or Florida, the players should be able to have days off to rest their bodies and minds.  Downtime is healthy, especially during the spring in preparing for the season.

Start of Regular Season: April 4th. This is the exact same date that the Cardinals and Marlins will face off on opening night this year. Players would get back to doing what they do best, playing baseball in the most competitive league in the world. Every year, the quality of players would get better. During the long offseason, players would have time to get faster, stronger, and better prepared for the following season.

All-Star Break: July 9th – July 18th. Here is where it gets really interesting. The current schedule allows players only about three days off in the middle of the season. With this schedule, players would be able to return to their families for a nice vacation. However, here is a twist that I want to propose as well:  the trade deadline should moved up to July 20th. That way, the public would not lose interest in the game while the players are taking a break. The media would be filled with trade rumors, and once the break was over, the players could get back to playing baseball.

End of Regular Season: The season comes to a close on September 30th, which cuts off three games at the end.

Playoffs: The playoffs would start in October 2nd and end by October 26th at the latest. This would be following the same format as MLB currently uses with no more than one day needed for travel. Ideally, the World Series would end a week before Halloween. Baseball is a game that is supposed to be played under the sun, not in snow.

                Spring  Regular Season  Total
Current Sched:    30       162            192
Proposed Sched:   20       153            173

I completely understand that the current schedule exists in its current format because MLB needs to generate revenues.  Teams would have a hard time letting go of the extra games and the revenues they bring in, as the players could balk at any pay reductions based on a proportional reduction in games to salaries.  However, I think a lesser number of games would boost interest in the game. The first bowl of ice cream tastes much better than the fifth.  That is something to keep in mind in keeping the game fresh and exciting.

The schedule that I proposed today would hopefully give more time off for players, while not drastically decreasing the amount of revenue that the current schedule brings in. Major League Baseball’s current schedule is just too long and unaccommodating for the players. As much as fans and revenues are keys to the success of our national pastime, it is the players who define the game.  Shortening the season would lead to better rested, conditioned and happy players- which in turn would lead to better baseball overall.  If it improves the game of baseball, I am all for it.

 

***Today’s feature was prepared by our Baseball Writer, Sam Evans.  We highly encourage you to leave your comments and feedback at the bottom of the page and share in the discussion with our readers.  You can also follow Sam on Twitter***

 

Please e-mail us 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.

Interview with Derrick Hall: President and CEO of the Diamondbacks

Monday July 18, 2011

  

MLB reports:   Today on MLB reports, we bring you our biggest and most important interview to-date.  From the executive side of baseball, we present our interview with Arizona Diamondbacks President and Chief Executive Officer, Derrick Hall. 

Derrick joined the Diamondbacks in May 2005 after working in the front office of the Los Angeles Dodgers for many years.  In September 2006, Derrick was named President of the Diamondbacks and later added the title of  Chief Executive Officer in January 2009.

The Diamondbacks are very fortunate to have one of the most progressive and dynamic baseball leaders at their helm.  Derrick developed the “Circle of Success” mission statement, the foundation for the management of the Diamondbacks.  A true ambassador to the game, Derrick Hall is a tireless worker in promoting and developing baseball in Arizona.  Derrick is often mentioned by many baseball commentators as a candidate to succeed Bud Selig as Commissioner after Selig’s contract expires following the 2012 season. 

As part of our Q&A, we covered many topics with Derrick Hall.  This year’s MLB All-Star game in Arizona, the hiring of Kirk Gibson and Kevin Towers, MLB realignment, the state of the Los Angeles Dodgers and even the possibility of Hall becoming MLB Commissioner one day were all covered.  We now present Derrick Hall, Arizona Diamondbacks President and Chief Executive Officer:

 

MLB reports:  Mr. Hall, Derrick.  Thank you for joining us today on MLB reports.  With the All-Star game held in Arizona this year, you must have been an extremely busy man.  How did the planning go for the big event?  How did the Diamondbacks and Major League Baseball make this year’s All-Star game different from those of past years?

Derrick Hall:  The All-Star festivities were extremely successful and we were told by many they thought the experience ranked up there with the best ever.  I received zero complaints and heard rave reviews from all of my colleagues and fans.  I am so proud of my hard-working staff.  The fact that we brought nearly $70 million of economic impact to our region, in addition to $5 million in legacy community projects makes this All-Star summer a much-needed success.
 
 
MLB reports:  It must be an incredible undertaking to put together the All-Star festivities.  I had the pleasure of attending many such events and literally entire cities get taken over by the festivities.  Can you give us an idea as to the amount of people working just for this project and what your role is in seeing the event from beginning to the end?

Derrick Hall:  It is safe to say that over 2,000 individuals worked on the All-Star game, either from my staff or as volunteers.  We oversaw all planning and coordination in conjunction with MLB Special Events.  They put the Mid-Summer Classic on every year and have it down to a science.  We then direct them based on our knowledge of our fans, economy and market.

 
MLB reports:  On a personal note, you joined the Diamondbacks in 2005 and was named President in 2006.  What factors were part of your decision in joining Arizona?  What was the process like to becoming President and how quickly did you jump at the chance?

Derrick Hall:  I worked for the Dodgers for many years before coming over.  It was always a hope and dream of mine to run the Diamondbacks.  My wife is from Arizona, and we both attended and met at Arizona State University.  It is a dream come true to be back home and changing the employee and fan culture on a daily basis. We are considered the most fan-friendly team in all of sports, and were just named the most positive sports team in the world by the United Nations.  I am proud indeed.
 
 
MLB reports:  Since becoming President, how has the role itself been for you?  Please give our readers an idea as to your day-to-day functions and the various front office staff that you work with.  Does the job today differ from what you expected when you first started as President?

Derrick Hall:  My days are jam-packed, but I love it that way.  I work closely with both the baseball operations side and the business side, but leave baseball decisions to the experts I have hired.  I am responsible for all aspects of the organization and oversee about 350 full-time employees and 2,000 part-time and worldwide employees. It is similar to a large corporation and is a 365-day business.
 
 
MLB reports:  The Diamondbacks have received great feedback on the hires of Kirk Gibson as manager and Kevin Towers as the GM.  Please give us a glimpse as to your role in the hiring of each of these fine baseball men.  How do you rate the job that each has done so far in their respective roles?  Why did the team choose these individuals specifically?

Derrick Hall:  I first decided to make Kirk Gibson interim manager with the thought of him becoming permanent, but wanted my new GM hire to have a say-so because they need to work closely together.  Before the end of last season, I concluded a GM search and hired Kevin Towers.  I have known him for years and have always admired his reputation and track record.  He agreed that Gibby should be our guy.  They have been terrific.  They have completely changed the culture in the clubhouse which is now one of accountability, results and grittiness.  I could not be happier.  We still have a long way to go, but for the first time in years, we are all on the same page, from CEO to GM to manager.  And I am most proud of the coaching staff that Gibby has assembled, which I consider the best in the game hands down.
 
 
MLB reports:  The 2011 MLB Draft is completed and the Diamondbacks appear to have done very well in stocking the farm.  How do you view the players that your team chose and can we get a glimpse into the future Diamondbacks superstars?

Derrick Hall:  We did very well according to the post-draft reviews and experts.  It helped that we have the numbers 3 and 7 picks.  And with those picks, we picked the best college pitcher and arguably the best high school pitcher respectively.  We have been restocking our farm system over the last year or so, so are excited to be adding this talent to the list of prospects like Skaggs, Corbin, Parker, Holmberg, Goldschmidt and Owings to name a few.  Trevor Bauer is very close to Major League-ready and could be an impact on our team soon, when focusing on our recent draftees.
 
 
MLB reports:  The topic of realignment has been thrown around in many circles.  I have proposed the idea of moving the Diamondbacks to the American League.  What do you think of realignment in general and if given the choice, would the Diamondbacks move divisions at all?

Derrick Hall:  I would not be in favor of us moving to the American League.  I personally am a big fan of the National League.  I like its strategy and I enjoy seeing the pitchers hit.  I am not a fan of the DH, but understand its place and like the fact that it prolongs players’ careers.  We have established some great rivalries within our division and want to stay here.  I also think there are better candidates for a move if one is needed.  But not sure 15-15 works.  That would include too much interleague throughout the season.  I like interleague play as it is conducted now.  However, I would recommend AL rules in NL cities and NL rules in AL cities.
 
 
MLB reports:  “The Circle of Success” is a topic that is associated with Derrick Hall as President.  Please give our readers the ideas behind the Circle and how it has worked in developing the Diamondbacks organization.

Derrick Hall:  I am so proud of the “Circle of Success.”  We created it in 2007 and it is proudly displayed in our hallways and in everyone’s office.  These are our five main areas of focus: (i) performance on the field, (ii) financial efficiency, (iii) community impact, (iv) culture in the workplace and (v) fan experience.  We recognize and reward employees every day for excelling or displaying a commitment to these areas.  We constantly refer to these, as well as our mission and values statement to remind our staff who we are and what we stand for.
 
 
MLB reports:  Watching the turmoil surrounding the Dodgers must be painful for you, having spent so many years in the organization.  How did you find your time in Los Angeles?  Was it difficult to leave the team after being there for over a decade?  What do the Dodgers have to do in your opinion to go back to the glory days as one of the proudest franchises in baseball?

Derrick Hall:  It is sad, having been there more than a decade and beginning my career there. I learned under Peter O’Malley and developed my skills there.  I began as an intern and worked my way up to Senior Vice President in a short amount of time.  I am proud of that achievement and will always hold that franchise near and dear to my heart.  The Dodgers will be fine, I know that.  This is one of the most relevant brands in all of sports with too rich a history not to. With a brand that includes Scully, Lasorda, Koufax, Valenzuela, the Dodger Dog, Chavez Ravine and beach balls, I have no doubt this organization will bounce back and be a force to be reckoned with.
 
 
MLB reports:  Fans must ask you all the time about the team’s big picture plans and chances of playoff success.  Do the Diamondbacks have a 3/5/10 year type plan?  With the goal of winning the World Series this year and future years I’m sure, how will the Diamondbacks get there?

Derrick Hall:  We will get there.  We do have short and long-term plans, but they all include being competitive, and adding revenues that will in turn be added to player payroll.  We needed first and foremost to bulk up our prospect list and minor league system.  A market-size like ours needs to develop from within, and we are now in a strong position to do so.  There are several teams doing just like we are with success, such as Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Colorado, Florida, to name a few.  This is an exciting time for all of us with bright futures ahead.
 
 
MLB reports:  What do you see as the future of Derrick Hall?  If you had to look into crystal ball and see yourself in 10 years, where will you be?  Any chance we will see you as a candidate as a successor to Bud Selig as the Commissioner one day?

Derrick Hall:  I am often asked if I am a future Commissioner, which is a tremendous honor.  I do not know what the future holds, but I am extremely content right where I am at.  I want to bring a World Series back here before I do anything else.  This organization is a great one, and I love all of my employees.  What we are building here is special, and time has been flying.  Ten years will feel like one, so if I still have the honor of leading this franchise, I will be grateful and satisfied.
 
 
MLB reports:  Last questions Derrick.  Why do you work in baseball?  What do you love about this game?  What are the positives in baseball as an industry and what areas need improvement?  Are you happy/satisfied with the state of the game today?

Derrick Hall:  I work in baseball because I love this game more than anything other than my family.  And my family would tell you I love it more than them most of the time.  You have to have love and passion for what you do.  I often tell young employees that if you truly love what you are doing, you will never work a day in your life. I can tell you, what I do every day does not feel like a job.  I love all of our employees, players and fans.  I arrive at work every day with a smile on my face and challenge our staff to be pioneering and show leadership in the sports industry.  I work in paradise and have my sites set no further than right here and right now.  I feel the weight of responsibility to help grow the interest and intrigue in our game and to create technological solutions that will compete with the many options our youth, and future fans, have before them.

 

MLB reports:  Thank you again to Derrick Hall for taking the time out of his very busy schedule to talking with us today and to sharing his insights and opinions with us.  Derrick shed light on many pertinent baseball topics as part of this interview and we encourage everyone to leave your comments and feedback.  We congratulate Derrick and the Diamondbacks organization on a stellar performance in hosting this year’s All-Star game.  We also wish the Diamondbacks the best of success this year as they battle for a playoff berth.  To stay current on the Diamondbacks and support the team, you can follow Derrick Hall on twitter.  

 

 

Please e-mail us 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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