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On this weeks episode we talk with James Acevedo of the Bench Warmers showFollow @yankeeman1973 and mlbreports.com’s 2 and A Hook podcast. We run down the past present and future of baseball’s Evil Empire and James gives us his Mt Rushmore of greatest Yankees.
In the Around the Horn segment JP Hoornstra of the LA News Group fills us in on the goings on in La La Land’s baseball universe.
Finally we put it to you Padres, Rays, Rockies, Marlins, Nationals, Astros, D’Backs fans we don’t think they deserve a Mt Rushmore , convince us otherwise and tweet us whyFollow @bigticketshow Best submission wins a Big Ticket T-Shirt.
Click on The Video Player/or Download to your favorite listening is right after the READ THE REST OF THE ENTRY – or past the Triple Play Podcast Logo. Read the rest of this entry
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Wednesday April.3, 2013
5 Points About Posey’s Contract:
1.The Giants are ready to compete for a long time.
When franchises are starting to let their stars go, or even trading away their stars for younger players with little experience but lots of potential, it is generally the first sign of a rebuilding club.
This is not always true, sometimes the players are forced out, or they have fallen out of favor with the team, and then are traded, but generally it is the start of a bad pattern that eventually causes the team to end up looking like the Cubs or the Astros.
The Giants clearly feel that they won’t need to take this path to be competitive in the future, and that they can refuel their farm system without trades or extra draft picks.
Buster Posey Highlights from 2012 – Mature Lyrics so Parental Guidance is advised:
The Sully Baseball Daily Podcast had its first episode taped on an airplace.
While on an airplane, I sang the praises of the Astros and the Red Sox, two teams that I think will be lousy in 2013.
Subscribe on iTunes HERE.
On today’s episode of The Sully Baseball Daily Podcast, I answer the question “Why should anyone root for the Astros in 2013?”
To be cool, of course!
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Monday, March 4, 2013
By Nicholas Rossoletti (MLB Reports Trade and Yankees Correspondent): Follow @NRoss56
Allow me to re-introduce myself. I have spent the last three months discussing the Marlins, Astros, Mariners and the off-season trades. I have loved every second of it, and I appreciate my readers more than you will ever know. That being said, today I undertake something that has always been a dream. Today, I begin a journey where I get to do something that the 14 year old me always wanted to do. Today, I take over as the Yankees correspondent, which is a fancy term for a guy who gets to write about his favorite baseball team. Some of my most vivid memories of my past relate to the Yankees. I will never forget the moment that ball fell into Charlie Hayes‘ glove. The pure joy of the first time my team would be called world champions.
Embracing my Dad in a bear hug as we celebrated something that meant so much to the both of us. Since then the Yankees have provided endless enjoyment as I watched a dynasty grow up as I grew up. Now, it has come to a point where the Yankees face their championship window closing. It happens to all great teams, but the question that hangs in the balance is whether the window is already closed or can the Bombers come up with another magical season before this generation fades? We will try to answer that question starting with the Yankee pitchers.
CC Sabathia Highlight Reel:
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By Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner): Follow @chuckbooth3024
So I left off the other day talking about some sweeping changes at the site. What I want to talk about next – is what to expect. Our website is revving up to start the baseball year. We plan on posting 3-5 times a day. We will range from about 9 AM EST all the way through to 9 PM EST. Most MLB teams will have about 3-4 articles a month. Once per month May-October, we will also have our Monthly Power Rankings like we had last year. Our Lead Writer Sully will be posting a 20 minute daily PODCAST on the site.
In addition to this, MLB Reports presents the ‘Triple Play Podcast” – will be going ahead with Patrick and Chris with the Big Ticket Show, for about 5 PODCASTS a month during the regular season and about 1-2 per month in the winter months. These PODCASTS will feature yours truly 2-3 times a month as a guest. We will also have Saul Wisnia (Red Sox Correspondent), Jonathan Hacohen (MLB Reports Founder) and other personalities as part of the show.
We plan on interacting with the readers by way of Facebook and Twitter, when we start-up in March. So we will let you know. We have about 7 different general writers and reporters, 5 special analysts and 24 Team Correspondents so far. The goal is to find the 6 new Correspondents from the teams we have left (PHI, ATL, SEA, SD, KC and COL We continue to search for awesome independent writers, that can cover these teams with the same kind of passion our other Correspondents have displayed.
We still plan on having a weekly Fantasy Baseball article, a once a month Cooperstown article and a once a month – live interview from our ‘Junior Reporter’ Haley Smilow. We are also open to many suggestions by our readers, if they have great article ideas.
I am trying to write my historical series on all 30 teams, but am still trying to make it to the regular season first. I have written entire series already for the Nationals, Phillies, Expos, Blue Jays and Rays already here. The plan is to write 1-2 series a month for the teams not done yet. By the end of 2014, we will have a full chronicled series for each team. This will be our legacy. We strive on our mission to include all 30 MLB Fan bases. All of our dedicated Correspondents exhibit the kind of passion for baseball that I am truly proud of. You can see all of their biographies here.
Our general writers and Reporters can be found here.
One of our writers, Thomas Roberts (Dodgers Correspondent), is a top 52 finalist for the MLB Fancave. We hope that he can make it to New York. Please check out the interview (and vote for him on the links provided there) I did with him here
We are going to have 5-6 dedicated pages from our General Writers. I will run a page called “The Baseball Booth”. This is the same as a page listed below here that is for MLB Player Awareness Weeks. In a sub-page to that are my best baseball road-trips advice links here.
Jonathan Hacohen will have his own page called the J-HAY Page.
Saul Wisnia is accomplished writer. He has authored 10 sports books and is one of the best Red Sox authors of late. His page is called the Words Of Wisnia. He will run additional Red Sox articles, and he will have many other fun things to browse in his subpages. You can find all of his archives for his own website here.
Paul Francis Sullivan (Sully) will have his own dedicated page called ‘Sully Baseball’. It is up to Sully to post anything and everything on his own page. I only know whatever he does around baseball is entertaining and worth the time. On the main page, Sully will post his daily Podcast. Subscribe to his daily podcast here.
We may have another website that we will have on board with us to cover a team thoroughly through a dedicated page. We are not finalized yet, so I will announce this on Twitter and Facebook.
We have a few writers from the strosbros.mlblogs.com with us covering the Astros. Lee White and Richard Perez will be keeping it real.
We have Tigers Correspondent Matthew Lafave of the examiner.com – to keep us up to date with what is going on in Detroit.
By the time the regular season rolls on, we will have all 30 MLB Teams Payroll and State Of The Unions done. We are close to finishing the State Of The Unions already. You can view these here.
Here are some really important pages at the Reports. It also says what they are about.
We are going to end every baseball year with a ‘STATE OF THE UNION’ Address for each team and also look forward to the next year’s Payroll for all 30 MLB Teams. This is in addition to all of the other information we will put out in our normal articles. More than ever, team’s salary and current 25 or 40 Man Rosters, are becoming more important to the fanbases. We will take a detailed look at both of these for you and provide some analysis. It will keep us busy and definitely on top of our game. We will be doing these in stages and not all at once, so please check back often for more updates.
This page has links to the entire 30 MLB Teams listed (for a minimum 5 Part Series on each club). These Franchise Series are signature website articles that take 3-4 times the normal amount of regular pieces to write. Do yourself a favor and follow along with us as we take the next 2 years to complete this mission. It is a great way to learn about your Franchises history, including the players, pitchers, management, mascots and the parks they have played in.
This full-page lists all of the Games I went to in establishing the new “Guinness Book Of World Record” for “Fastest To See A Full Home Game In All 30 MLB Parks from April.6-April.28/2012. The write-ups include many pictures and stories of how I arrived at all 30 MLB Parks and what the travel entailed. I promoted the trip by using Facebook and Twitter and met several top MLB Park Chaser Experts along the way. For someone who may have a similar goal, I think you will find this page quite entertaining.
This was a Twitter concept first driven to a webpage by promoting unheralded players not receiving their due credit. Each week, the MLB Reports will select an active MLB Player and a retired MLB Player to focus their attention on. We will write tweets about the players and showcase them on this page. It is our hope that we can receive some feedback with out twitter followers and website readers. Suggestions may always be presented to us for future nominations.
You have asked for it readers and now it is here! An entire page devoted to the upcoming 2013 edition of the World Baseball Classic! After the initial WBC in 2006, the tournament returned in 2009. The decision was made to have the WBC played three years after the inaugural edition and then four years later from there. As result, after a long wait for baseball fans…the third World Baseball Classic will be back in the year 2013!
The views and opinions expressed in this report are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of mlbreports.com or their partners.***
Chuck Booth- Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner and author of the Fastest 30 Ballgames: To learn more about my “The Fastest 30 Ballgames Book” and how to purchase it, click here . You can also follow my Guinness Book of World Record Successful Bid to see all 30 MLB Park in 23 Days- click here. I am happy to be part of such an awesome Magazine-Style Baseball Website and am looking forward to talking to all of the fans of the MLB. You can reach me on Twitter here Follow @mlbreports
Please e-mail me at: email@example.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.Follow @mlbreports
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By Ryan Dana (MLB Reports Intern): Follow @ryandana1
Seattle Mariners fans must be pretty amazing, Felix Hernandez sticking with their team through recent times. The Mariners were established in 1977 and have made the playoffs just 4 times in their history. They were the AL West champs 3 times (’95, ’97, ’01) and winners of the Wild Card once (’00). They have never won a World Series, or even an AL Pennant, and in 2012 they shipped off a fan favorite, Ichiro Suzuki, to the Yankees. The AL West is a tough division. The Rangers and Athletics made the playoffs last year, and the Angels just landed the prize of the off-season in slugger Josh Hamilton. I guess one bright spot is the Astros are moving to the AL West, so the Mariners won’t be rebuilding within the brutal division alone.
The Seattle Mariners hopes and dreams start where they have for years now, on the shoulders of King Felix. Felix Hernandez is no doubt an Ace. He has pitched 200+ innings every year since ’08, and had a sub 4.00 ERA every year since ’07. Hernandez won the AL Cy Young in 2010, and is a perennial contender for the award. Last year the Seattle fireballer threw his first Perfect Game. Hernandez will once again be atop the Mariners rotation, which as of now figures to include Hisashi Iwakuma, Blake Beavan, Erasmo Ramirez, and Hector Noesi.
Hisashi Iwakuma was a pleasant surprise for the Mariners in 2012. He wasn’t a greatly sought after oversees free agent last year, overshadowed greatly by fellow Japanese hurler Yu Darvish, but proved to be a great signing. Iwakuma started 2012 in the bullpen until he later earned a spot in the team’s rotation. Iwakuma managed a very respectable 3.16 ERA in the 125.1 innings he split between the rotation and the pen. This success is part of the reason the Mariners resigned the pitcher to a 2YR/14 Million Dollar deal this past November. He figures to hold down the 2nd spot in the rotation and should do just fine if 2012 was a sign of things to come.
Blake Beavan is still just 23 Years Old, but he already has 41 Major League Starts under his belt which gives the club hope he can hold down the 3rd or 4th slot in the rotation. Beavan clearly has the talent which is what made him a 1st Round draft pick out of high school for the Rangers, and the reason the Mariners made sure he was a part of the package they received in return for Cliff Lee in 2010. Beavan’s 2012 stats won’t impress a lot of people, but they were a good start for a young player like himself to build and improve upon.
Felix Hernandez Highlights: Mature Lyrics so Parental Guidance is advised
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Friday, January.11, 2013
By Lee White (Astros Correspondent) Follow @Lee_White73
The Houston Astros have made many changes this off season. From uniform changes all the way to the broadcast booth. The Astros are close to yet another change. Many thought Roger Clemens would return to Houston as a pitcher. That didn’t happen. It doesn’t look like it will happen either. However, the Houston Astros are close to a deal with Clemens to return as a Minor League Pitcher’s mentor.
Roger Clemens Pitching with the Sugar Land Skeeters Aug.25/2012
Thursday November 22nd, 2012
Bernie Olshansky: What the Marlins had to do this offseason is horrible. Last year, the Marlins raised the hopes of the fans with a rejuvenated logo and uniforms, a new stadium, and most of all a new-look team. Last winter, Marlins management made a commitment to the fans to provide a contending team for the years to come. They went out and signed Jose Reyes for seven years. He and Hanley Ramirez were supposed to serve alongside Giancarlo Stanton as the core of the team for almost the next decade. To build on the Reyes signing, the Marlins also inked pitchers Mark Buehrle and Heath Bell. Ozzie Guillen also jumped aboard and was set up to be a lovable manager. With this spending spree, the Marlins brought a lot of excitement to South Florida and were supposed to be a major contender in the NL East.
Unfortunately this was not the case. The Marlins quickly faltered and Ozzie Guillen was immediately under the spotlight for his comments about Fidel Castro. Fans were already calling for Guillen to be fired. The team’s performance was not helping. I personally attended the second home game at Marlins Park against the Astros. Although it was against the Astros, any team that spends as much money as the Marlins did in the offseason should have a packed house at their second game of the season (in their new stadium!). The stadium was full, but not sold out. I was hoping that this was not a sign of things to come, but it was. The Marlins continued their spiral downward and talks of trades began. Heath Bell was the opposite of what the Marlins signed him to be and lost his job as closer. Both Reyes and Ramirez slumped. The Marlins needed to make some moves.
Wednesday September 12th, 2012
Sam Evans: The 2012 Houston Astros are breaking records every day. If you have followed baseball at all these last two years, you know that these aren’t records that are normally associated with winning baseball teams. At their current pace, this year’s Houston team is on pace to lose at least 111 games. What Jeff Luhnow and others are doing to turn around the losing in Houston looks great, but it doesn’t hide the fact that the product the Astros are putting out on the field is historically bad.
Since 1962, only one team (the 2003 Detroit Tigers) has lost more than 108 games in a single-season. The 2003 Detroit Tigers were pretty awful, but it’s not like they were bereft of talent. That team featured a young Jeremy Bonderman in the rotation and Fernando Rodney pitched out of the bullpen. That Tigers team also had Dmitri Young, Carlos Pena, Omar Infante, Andres Torres, and Cody Ross. Looking at the current Astros’ roster, I don’t see anywhere close to that level of talent. Read the rest of this entry
Monday, September 10 , 2012
Sam Evans: The Houston Astros are most likely not going to win seventy games next year. With a young starting rotation, it would make sense for the Astros to pursue a veteran starter for the 2013 season. Not because it would put Houston over the top and have them competing for a playoff spot, but because a veteran could have a positive influence on the younger starters and limit their innings. Roger Clemens has expressed in interest in returning to Houston and he has impressed in two starts for Sugar Land of the independent Atlantic League. Houston should give Roger Clemens a spring training non-roster invite to see if he can pitch in the majors in 2013.
In just his second start with Sugar Land, Clemens got the opportunity to pitch to his son Koby Clemens. After the game, Clemens said “What a special game this is when you have opportunity at 50 to go out there and play a little catch with your oldest son.” That’s an awesome quote. Anyways, Clemens fastball was sitting at 86-88 MPH and he threw his curveball, changeup, and splitter as well. The Rocket pitched 4 2/3 scoreless innings. In eight innings for Sugar Land, Clemens has yet to allow a run.
Wednesday August 29th, 2012
Sam Evans: Roger Clemens deserves to be in the Hall of Fame. If Cooperstown picked candidates with regard to their off-field activities, players like Dick Williams and Mickey Mantle might have never been chosen to the elite class that is the Hall of Fame. If Hall of Fame voters look at Clemens’ career numbers, they’ll find it hard to not see him as having one of the best starting pitching careers we’ve ever seen. Clemens is currently pitching with the independent league Sugar Land Skeeters after five years away from the game. It’s been only one game so far, with more possibly to come. Let’s look at Clemens, his first start, and how he stacks up against some of his teammates.
Roger Clemens ranks eighth all-time among major leaguers in WAR, and second among starting pitchers (145.5). His upper 90’s fastball, nasty splitter, and above-average changeup led him to over 300 wins and a twenty-four year career in the majors. His last season, in 2007 with the New York Yankees, Clemens still managed to pitch at a fairly high level, posting a 4.14 FIP in seventeen starts. His average fastball velocity was just over 90 MPH for the 2007 season.
After Clemens figured out a bunch of legal things, he “tried out” for the Sugar Land Skeeters, who play in the independent Atlantic League, and made the team. In his first start on Saturday, August 25th, Clemens lasted 3 1/3 innings, allowing only one hit, not walking a batter, and striking out two. Facing a Bridgeport team that features former major leaguers Joey Gathright and Shea Hillebrand, Clemens topped out at 88 MPH and got a few outs via his splitter. Read the rest of this entry
Thursday August 9th, 2012
John Burns: With a 36-76 record the Houston Astros have been the laughing-stock of baseball this season. Houston is going into a complete rebuilding phase after trading the very few veterans they had, such as: Carlos Lee to Miami, Wandy Rodriguez to Pittsburgh, Brett Myers to Chicago (White Sox), Chris Johnson to Arizona, and J.A. Happ to Toronto. It is safe to say that Houston was definitely a seller at the recent non-waiver trade deadline and they made the right decision. They had one of the best deadlines in my opinion because they got rid of players that they were not going to win with and got very talented prospects in return. With the load of prospects Houston received, they will most definitely need several of their new young players to pan out if Houston plans to contend in the A.L. West one day. Oh yeah… I forgot to mention the worst team in baseball is going to one of the best divisions in baseball in 2013. A difficult situation is about to get a whole lot tougher. Read the rest of this entry
Sunday July 29th, 2012
Bernie Olshansky: Here are some of the latest key baseball trades that have taken place over the last 24 hours:
Francisco Liriano to the White Sox
After losing out on Greinke, the White Sox needed to make a move. Their pitching needed an extra boost. Chris Sale hasn’t been himself his last two starts, giving up five earned runs in each, and Jake Peavy has been on and off lately, going 1-2 in his past three starts. Although Liriano has for the most part had a terrible year, holding a 3-10 record with an atrocious 5.31 ERA, he hasn’t been all that bad in his last few starts (excluding his last start against Chicago—2.2 innings, seven earned runs),striking out 10 and 15 in the two starts before facing Chicago. The White Sox are hoping that Liriano will continue his turnaround and help them reach the playoffs. This could be tough for the White Sox though; the Tigers seem to have the makings of a playoff team to not make the playoffs, and the AL West looks like it could produce three playoff teams as of now. But, with all this, Chicago does look promising after the acquisition of Kevin Youkilis earlier in the year. Adam Dunn has returned to form, hitting more home runs and striking out just as much. It looks like the White Sox will have a good shot to play in October. Read the rest of this entry
Wednesday July 25th, 2012
Bernie Olshansky: Some more trades came down, including one exciting blockbuster to report. One of the biggest names though that was supposed to be traded will now be staying put. Cole Hamels, the Phillies great young left-handed starter is expected to re-sign for 6-years and $144 million. But even with Hamels off the market, the trade winds are in full swing. Hold on to your hats…this is HUGE:
Hanley Ramirez to the Dodgers
Another blockbuster deal. Announced late Tuesday night/early Wednesday morning, Hanley Ramirez is headed to the Dodgers with reliever Randy Choate for pitchers Nathan Eovaldi and Scott McGough. There were rumblings about a possible trade of Hanley, and it ended up happening. Hanley will start fresh on the west coast as the Dodgers are battling with the Giants for the NL West crown. The Dodgers started off hot with Matt Kemp leading the charge. Kemp went down with a hamstring injury and was re-injured in his first game back. After another DL stint, Kemp came back right after the All Star Break. Andre Either also had some time on the DL with an oblique injury, but he has since come back. Now, both are healthy and poised to help the Dodgers on a run down the stretch. With Clayton Kershaw and Chad Billingsley heading the pitching staff, one of the Dodgers’ weakest positions was third base. Juan Uribe, the main third baseman for the Dodgers this year, is hitting a weak .190 with just two homers and 17 RBI. Dee Gordon, the primary shortstop and currently on the DL, is hitting .229. Needless to say, the Dodgers needed some help on the left side of the infield. Read the rest of this entry
Monday July 23rd, 2012
Bernie Olshansky: As the trade deadline looms, teams are scrambling to make a final buy or sell in order to push toward the playoffs. Some teams are trying to get value out of their soon-to-be free agents while other teams are rebuilding. Here are some of the big deals that have gone down in the past few days:
The Astros are obviously in their rebuilding phase. Last year, they gave up Hunter Pence and Michael Bourn, and the year before they gave up Roy Oswalt and Lance Berkman. Earlier this year, Carlos Lee went to the Marlins for top prospect Matt Dominguez and others. More recently Brett Myers went to the White Sox for minor league pitchers and J.A. Happ went to the Blue Jays along with relievers Brandon Lyon and David Carpenter for Ben Francisco, Francisco Cordero, and other prospects in a ten-player trade. With these deals this year, the Astros have removed virtually all big names from the team. Not to say that J.A. Happ was a big name player, but he was a well-regarded pitcher that the Phillies gave up in the Roy Oswalt trade. Also given up by the Astros is former closer Brandon Lyon. He gave up the closer role to Brett Myers this year, but he does have the capability to serve in the back-end of a bullpen. Read the rest of this entry
Sunday April 6th, 2012
Sam Evans: Baseball is full of athletes with not only outstanding speed, but world-class predictive reflexes as well. These players use their power to steal bases as a way to create runs for their ballclub’s. While it might not be that hard to find a player who can steal bases at a productive rate, some players steal more than any other players in the sport. Here are five of baseball’s fastest base runners:
Emilio Bonifacio, CF, Miami Marlins: This year, Marlins Manager Ozzie Guillen has taken advantage of his lineup’s speed, and set them free on the base paths. So far, the results haven’t gone exactly as planned. Despite their speed, the Marlins offense is struggling to score runs. Nonetheless, Marlins Center Fielder Emilio Bonifacio has been outrageously productive on the base paths. Despite only a .240 batting average, Bonifacio has a .342 OBP, which has helped produce runs for the heart of the Marlins’ order behind him. However, there is a lot wrong with Bonifacio’s hitting approach that he needs to change immediately. For instance, in 104 at-bat’s, Bonifacio has yet to record an extra base hit. I’m not sure how that’s even possible. Still, in thirteen stolen base attempts, Bonifacio has yet to have been thrown out. To have a perfect success rate is absurd for someone who leads the majors in stolen bases. Read the rest of this entry
Saturday April.22, 2012
Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer and @chuckbooth3024 on twitter)- I found Ben Wahrle’s website over a year ago. All of his MLB Park write-ups are highly detailed as you can find on the web. This young man has a strong future ahead of him in this business. I recently had a chance to interview Ben about Milwaukee, tailgating and other traditions at Miller Park.”
DB: “Welcome to the MLB Reports Miller Park Expert Interview Ben. Please tell us about yourself and then give us some information on your life as a Brewer fan?”
BW: “I am 19 years old and currently working as a professional pizza chef at a local pizzeria. I have been to 24/30 current MLB ballparks. My goal is to make to every MLB ballpark. On average I go to 28 games at several different ballparks a year. I am die-hard Brewers fan and have been to every home opener the last 6 years. I always try to make it to at least 4 Brewer road games.”
DB: “You have been to many of the MLB teams parks Ben, what is your favorite park outside of Miller Park?”
BW: “Fenway Park- The atmosphere and the surrounding area is like nothing else around in MLB. The crowd seems like it is into every pitch. As soon as you walk into Fenway Park or Wrigley Field as a baseball fan you admire the history of the park.”
DB : “Talk about what inspired you to create www.benwahrlebaseballparks.com?”
BW: “As I was going to more baseball games I wanted a way to track all the games and ballparks I had been to. It was also a great way to show my friends, family and the public about each park. My site has a lot of great detail and stories. It also shows my upcoming trips, and every time I go to a game I keep track of each player’s statistics.”
DB: “Miller Park is on everybody’s short list for the best tailgate ballpark in the MLB, what can you tell us about these pre-game rituals?”
BW: “It is a party like atmosphere whether it is opening day or the 40th home game of the season. Everyone enjoys the time with their friends by grilling out and playing beanie bag toss.”
DB: “What advice would you give for somebody experiencing Miller Park for the very first time?”
BW: “You have to tailgate at least once at Miller Park. Lastly if you go to a “hot” game make sure you buy parking in advance.”
DB: “What is your favorite method of transportation to Miller Park?”
BW: “Miller Park is very easy to get to unlike some parks where you have to take a train, cab or a bus. Miller Park is right off the interstate, so everyone drives to the park.”
DB: “What is the food like at Miller Park? What is your favorite ballpark food there?”
BW: Over the last couple of years they have done a great job of adding different foods like garlic fries, pasta, and many different kinds of sandwiches. My favorite ballpark food at Miller Park has to be the loaded nachos or the honey roasted nuts.”
DB: “What is your favorite all time game that you have been in attendance for at Miller Park?”
BW: “Hands down it is the Carlos Zambrano no-hitter vs Astros in 2008. In Houston a hurricane occurred, MLB decided to locate the game to Miller Park. I remember going to the game and it was supposed to be a home game for the Astros but I would say about 90% were Cubs fans. This was a home game basically for the Cubs.”
DB: “Bob Uecker is one of the best radio personalities in the game. In your own words, how does the city of Milwaukee like him?”
BW: “He is an inspiration to this city, the fans adore him for what he has done. Over 50 years in the booth is a great accomplishment.”
DB: “With Prince Fielder leaving, the Brewers were lucky that Ryan Braun did not have to miss the 1st 50 games for the PED scandal. Does this give the Brewers a chance to contend in the NL Central now?
BW: “I think all the facts need to come out first before we decide Ryan Braun guilty. Obviously no one can replace Prince and what he brings to the team day by day. Aramis Ramirez can make up some of the production. Ramirez had a terrific year last year hitting .306 with 26 home runs. This central division is wide open. The Brewers still have a good rotation in Yovani Gallardo, Zack Greinke, Shaun Marcum and Randy Wolf. Also the bats of the NL MVP Ryan Braun, Aramis Ramirez, Corey Hart, and Rickie Weeks. Even though the Cardinals lost the best player in the game- Albert Pujols , they are getting Adam Wainwright back. They will have a David Freese for a whole season with Matt Holliday. The Reds are another team with good pitching. The starters did not do a good job last year for the Reds. Acquiring Mat Latos was huge for the Reds this offseason. The Reds lineup has a lot of depth with Jay Bruce, Joey Votto, Scott Rolen, Brandon Phillips, Drew Stubbs. Overall I still like the Brewers chances of getting back to the postseason.”
***Thank you to our Miller Park Expert- Ben Warhle for participating in today’s article. If you would like to read more about Ben and his baseball travels click here ***
***Thank you to our Baseball Writer Chuck Booth for preparing today’s feature on MLB reports. To learn more about “The Fastest 30 Ballgames” and Chuck Booth, you can follow Chuck on Twitter (@ChuckBooth3024) and you can also follow Chuck’s website for his Guinness Book of World Record Bid to see all 30 MLB Park in 23 days click here or on the 30 MLB Parks in 23 days GWR tracker at the Reports click here. To Purchase or read about “The Fastest 30 Ballgames Book, ” please click here ***
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Lori Martini (Guest Baseball Writer- and @lorimartini on twitter)- I touched down in Fort Lauderdale, FL. Not only was it a little cheaper and more cost-effective to simply rent a car, but I did have a place to stay with friends which always makes a trip more enjoyable. Hotels in Miami are outrageous and I couldn’t find a reasonably priced hotel that didn’t give me anxiety of potentially having bed bugs, my biggest nightmare (at least in hotels). Driving is most certainly interesting here. I’m from NYC and I can drive anywhere, but these people are ridiculous. They either drive way too slow or excessively fast and erratic. The highways are 4 to 5 lanes of traffic and your exits sneak up on you. People don’t signal and cut across several lanes of traffic without looking, which somewhat reminds me of driving in LA. Miami during rush hour is highly congested and you can’t park anywhere. Everything is a parking garage. It’s cluttered and populated like NYC, yet spread out like LA to get anywhere. Read the rest of this entry
Sunday January 8th, 2012
Sam Evans: It’s no fun to be a fan of a losing team. Every game seems longer and it hurts to look around and see fans of the other teams loving every moment. There’s always supposed to be next year, but that kind of talk just hurts the players and coaches as much as it does the fans. Let’s look at my bottom five teams in 2012: based on the major league roster and talent in the system that could make an impact in the upcoming season.
25. Seattle Mariners: As a Mariners fan, this one hurts. It’s been eleven years since the Mariners made the playoffs. A city blessed with a beautiful new ballpark, Seattle hasn’t had much of chance to cheer on many winners in recent times.
Since he was hired in 2008, Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik has transformed the Mariners farm system into one of the best in the game. The problem is that the major league club is still struggling, and fans are losing interest. The Mariners are like New Year’s resolutions. They’re so promising at first, but after two weeks, most people just give up.
So far this offseason, the Mariners have been rumored to be actively pursuing Prince Fielder. The argument for Prince Fielder is that his contract would be worth the risk for the team given all of the fans he would draw… not to mention, the M’s need for a middle of the order slugger. However, other fans feel that Fielder is overpriced and point to the fact that if the Mariners signed Prince, they would be only the fourth team with two players making over $20M in 2012.
The Mariners do have some young promising players. Justin Smoak, a former top 10 BA prospect, will finally be healthy heading into the new year. Also, the M’s have a trio of young pitchers in the minors that are all top 100 prospects. James Paxton and Danny Hultzen could possibly see time in the rotation this year. Furthermore, last time I checked Felix Hernandez was still a Mariner, and he’s signed through 2014.
26. New York Mets: The Mets have always been second to the Yankees in New York in terms of popularity, but there’s never been this much of a difference. The Mets have been silent this offseason, except for a swap of outfielders with the Giants, and bringing in some bullpen help. The Mets do have Zack Wheeler (acquired in the Carlos Beltran trade) and Matt Harvey (2010 1st rounder) on the way, but neither will make a huge impact in ’12.
Jason Bay has struggled ever since receiving his enormous contract two years ago. In 2009, Bay hit 36 homers for the Red Sox. In 2010 and 2011, Bay had only eighteen homers. Part of the decline in numbers is the park factor that Citi Field has on hitters (which is due to change with the new park dimensions in 2012). It should be noted though that Bay hasn’t hit a home run to right field since June 28, 2010.
The Mets future will be based on how they spend their money and how they control their prospects. If the Mets hadn’t pushed Jenrry Mejia, chances are he wouldn’t have gotten injured. If the Mets hadn’t signed the Jason Bay and Johan Santana contracts, then they would have had the money to go after Prince Fielder this offseason (in theory). New York has a long ways to go to compete with the other N.L. East teams, and they’re going to need to make smart long-term decisions to get there.
27. San Diego Padres: The Padres acquired Carlos Quentin and Yonder Alonso this offseason in an attempt to boost their offense. They ended up trading away Mat Latos and Anthony Rizzo, and losing Heath Bell and Aaron Harang to free agency.
Carlos Quentin is really going to struggle in Petco Park, and Alonso is going to have his share of issues developing into a power hitter with his new team. The fact is that the Padres will never have a terrible pitching staff due to the spacious Petco Park effect. But their rotation is actually as bad as it has been in some years. I also am a supporter of Will Venable, and I think the Padres would be making a mistake if they traded him.
San Diego plays in a division where it’s not impossible that they could make a nice run and make the playoffs. But I would be surprised.
28. Oakland Athletics: Led by GM Billy Beane, the Athletics have been extremely active this offseason. They’ve shipped away their best pitchers and let their best hitter leave in free agency. The A’s have had a good offseason, thanks to all the new talent that they’ve imported into their farm system.
2012 is not going to be the year of resurgence for the A’s. 2013, maybe, but right now the Angels and Rangers are just too good. The A’s strength is probably their middle infield which will feature Jemile Weeks and Cliff Pennington. If Chris Carter can show some power in the majors, then he will do just fine at DH.
With acquisitions such as Derek Norris, Jarrod Parker, and A.J. Cole, Billy Beane has shown he’s not afraid to trade his best major league players in order to obtain talent that won’t be ready for a year or two.
29. Baltimore Orioles: The Orioles were a promising team heading into 2011. The “Fighting Showalter’s” had a late run in 2010, and Buck Showalter seemed to be really getting through to the players. Unfortunately, 2011 didn’t go as expected for the Orioles. They finished 69-93 and solidified their reputation as the worst baseball team in the A.L East, if not the whole American League.
The 2011 Orioles will forever go down in baseball history not for their season, but for their last game against the Red Sox on September 28, 2011. The Orioles were down 3-2 heading into the bottom of the ninth on the last day of the season. Going into the game, the Red Sox were 77-0 on the season when leading after the eighth inning. The Orioles came back to win, and they will forever be remembered for their contributions to one of the best days in baseball history.
2012 can be a successful year for the Orioles if they discover an ace… and if Adam Jones improves his game to the next level. It’s not going to be easy, but if everything falls into place, Executive Vice President of Baseball Operations Dan Duquette could lead the Orioles out of the A.L. East basement in the next coming years.
30. Houston Astros: Moving into the 2011 season, the Astros were projected by pretty much everyone in baseball to be the worst team in baseball. Well, at least they didn’t let anyone down. The Astros finished 56-106, which was the worst record in all of baseball.
I traveled to Houston this summer and I expected to find an uninterested Astros fanbase. I was surprised to see countless devoted fans who truly cared about their team. Astros fans are out there and they will start coming back to Minute Maid Park when the team starts winning.
Sorry Houston fans, but 2012 isn’t going to be much fun for you. Chances are that you will return to the basement of the N.L. Central and lose over one hundred games. Nevertheless, there is hope. Jose Altuve is turning into a nice young second basemen who can hit for average . Jordan Lyles can be a #3 starter, and Jarred Cosart could finally reach the bigs in 2012.
Another piece of the silver lining is Houston’s new General Manager Jeff Luhnow, who is involved in sabermetrics and helped build the Cardinals who won the 2011 World Series. Luhnow was in the Cardinals scouting department since 2003 and helped produce major league talent from the draft. He also has been a General Manager for Petstore.com, and has an M.B.A from Northwestern. His first move was trading for Jed Lowrie. On the surface this seems like a solid deal, whereby he attained a young talented infielder for his new organization. In my opinion, this is going to look like an amazing hire in four years time.
So even if 2012 is rough, Astros fans can start looking towards the future. It might take a couple of seasons, but it won’t be long before the Astros are packing Minute Maid Park everyday. Ironically, the road to the respectability for the worst team in the majors won’t happen until they move to the A.L. West. With the Rangers and Angels waiting in their new division, the journey towards success for the Astros will get that much tougher in 2013.
**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***
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