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2014′s Top Home Run Hitters (MLB): HR Streaks (3 Active) (Puig, Dozier, Crawford) + Goldy’s Big Night)

Paul Goldschmidt was the best hitter in the line up for Arizona. He carried the offense for the whole season and also played stellar defense at first base for the team. There were numerous occasions during the season where Arizona needed a clutch hit and Goldschmidt came through when it mattered most. He had a .302/.401/.952 triple-slash with 36 HRs and 125 RBIs and this also included him having 332 Total Bases. He also led the National League in Extra-Base hits with 75 and was third in runs scored at 103. He gave opposing pitchers nightmares when runners were in scoring position, where he had a .338 average with 12 HRs 84 RBIs. He proved to be a very good clutch hitter where he hit 13 HRs from the seventh inning on.  In 2014, he has continued his assault on NL pitching, despite the club not faring as well.  Heading into Sunday, he has a slash line of .324/.375/.571 - and leads the NL in GP (45) PA (202) AB (182) H (59) 2B (18) XBH (27) and TB (104) and is tied for 4th in HRs with 9.

Paul Goldschmidt  carried the offense for the whole season in 2013 and also played stellar defense at first base for the DBacks. . He had a .302/.401/.952 triple-slash with 36 HRs and 125 RBIs – and this also included him having 332 Total Bases. He also led the National League in Extra-Base hits with 75 and was third in runs scored at 103. He finished 2nd in NL MVP Voting for his efforts. . In 2014, he has continued his assault on NL pitching, despite the club not faring as well. Heading into Sunday, he has a slash line of .324/.375/.571 – and leads the NL in GP (45) PA (202) AB (182) H (59) 2B (18) XBH (27) and TB (104) and is tied for 4th in HRs with 9.

Paul Goldschmidt absolutely obliterated Dodgers Pitching on Saturday night, touching them up for 2 HRs, 2 – 2B, 6 RBI 5 Runs, Added 12 Total Bases, and even walked once for good measure.

Goldschmidt also was the only MLB’er to smack 2 big flies yesterday.  Furthermore he entered a logjam of players that are now tied for 4th place in the NL with Charlie Blackmon, Carlos Gomez, Brandon Belt, Justin Upton Adrian Gonzalez and Yasiel Puig.

Speaking of Puig, he hit a HR for a 2nd straight game, and his 4th smash over the fence of the week.  He finds himself back in the top 5 in several offensive categories.

Troy Tulowitzki enjoyed home cooking again, with his 3 – 4 night, with his 12th HR to stay tied with other NL Leader Giancarlo Stanton.

Both Jose Bautista and Brian Dozier did yard work yesterday, to draw themselves in a tie for 3rd place each with Nelson Cruz of the Baltimore Orioles.

Current HR streaks that ended yesterday were Derek Dietrich at 2, and Josh Donaldson at 3 games straight, although the A’s 3B hit a Triple and added 3 RBI in the win versus the Indians in Cleveland Saturday. Read the rest of this entry

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2014′s Top Home Run Hitters (MLB): HR Streaks (2 Active) (Donaldson-3,Dietrich-2) + Reddick WHAMS 2 Dingers FRI

Last year the RF was struggling mightily early in the year before he crushed a 3 HR game and a 2 HR game versus the Toronto Blue Jays at SkyDome. The LHB is a streaky hitter, but he has yet to duplicate his sustained success in the 2012 year, where he mashed 32 HRs for the year. If you look at his 2014 Slash Line, it looks a lot alike last campaign.  2013 - .226/.307/.379 - with 12 HRs and 56 RBI in 385 AB. 2014 #s now are .236/.297/.386  - with 4 HRs and 18 RBI, which is just about a 1/3rd of the totals pace from last year.

Last year Josh Reddick was struggling mightily early in the year before he crushed a 3 HR game and a 2 HR game versus the Toronto Blue Jays at SkyDome in 2 straight days.  .The LHB is a streaky hitter, but he has yet to duplicate his sustained success in the 2012 year, where he mashed 32 HRs for the whole season. If you look at his 2014 Slash Line, it looks a lot alike last campaign. 2013 – .226/.307/.379 – with 12 HRs and 56 RBI in 385 AB.  HIs 2014 #s now are .236/.297/.386 – with 4 HRs and 18 RBI, which is just about a 1/3rd of the totals pace from last year in a 1/3rd of the Games Played..

Josh Reddick has broken out of his slump and pasted the ball over the last 3 games.  His Grand Slam and 2 run HR effort last night, coupled with his HR a few nights ago, now give him 3 HRs on the year.

Reddick must continue his assault on pitching, as the team just picked up Kyle Blanks, and they are already armed with Coco Crisp, Yoenis Cespedes, Craig Gentry and Brandon Moss, all rotating through OF/DH/1B.

While Moss will see more action at the First Base Position, likely in a platoon with Blanks, both have capable ability to play RF like him.

Still for one night, it was good to see him rake the ball again, and all the Oakland fans are now bringing back the song ” Careless Whisper” by Wham, as it is the slugger’s walkup song.

Yeah, baseball players are not very superstitious are they? Read the rest of this entry

Colorado Rockies State Of The Union For 2014

 This club often reminds me of an aging heavyweight fighter.  You may beat on them for a time, but there is always that chance the team will land a haymaker on you.  2007 was one of their days in the sunshine.  2014 may see them at least make the postseason again.  With a 20 - 1 odd for the club, the value is there for a longshot pick.

This club often reminds me of an aging heavyweight fighter. You may beat on them for a time, but there is always that chance the team will land a haymaker on you. 2007 was one of their days in the sunshine. 2014 may see them at least make the postseason for the 1st time since 2009. With a 20 – 1 odd for the club to win the NL west, the value is there for a longshot pick – should you be allowed to gamble on this chance.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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The Colorado Rockies brass were a busy bunch in the 2013 winter, heading into the 2014 year.  They have picked up several solid players for the upcoming campaign.

I simply hate that this club plays in the NL West with the Dodgers and Giants.

This year, just like any in recent memory, will depend heavily on whether the team can keep Carlos Gonzalez and Troy Tulowitzki.

When both are clubbing it, this 3 – 4 punch may be the best in baseball now that Prince Fielder and Miguel Cabrera have been separated. Read the rest of this entry

2 And A Hook Podcast #16: 2014 MLB Preview + Predictions – Over/Unders + Post Season + Opening Series in Sydney

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

By Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner): & TBWS Podcast Host James Acevedo

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WE ARE BACK!! On this podcast I have on the owner & head writer of www.mlbreports.com, Chuck Booth as we go over first the Australian series to start the 2014 MLB season with a double header with the Dodgers & the Diamondbacks!!

Then we go over each division in the American League & the National League with our division predictions!!

But not only do we do that but we also give our wild card & championship series predictions for both leagues!!

Plus we gave our World Series & World series winner predictions to put the cherry on this baseball podcast sundae.

so go check it out baseball fans & SPREAD THE WORD!!! Thank you all for your continuous support!!! Read the rest of this entry

Stoking The Fire: Blog 5 – The Giants Should Move Posey To 1B, Belt To LF – And Sign Ruiz

Buster Posey is one of the best players in the game of baseball pure and simple.  The 2012 NL MVP has Buster Posey is the leader of the Giants offense and game caller for the pitching staff. He has had a down year in respect to his numbers in recent years. He will finish 2013 with another 20 Home Run season and he will be looking forward to 2014 and another chance at a ring. The two time champion signed a contract extension that will see him make $164 MIL from 2013 - 2021.  Will he be able to play the duration of his contract as a backstopper - or will he eventually be moved to 1st Base?

Buster Posey is one of the best players in the game of baseball pure and simple. The 2010 NL Rookie Of The Year is the leader of the Giants offense and game caller for the pitching staff. In 2013, he had down year in respect to his incredible 2013 season.  Posey still slashed .294/.371/.821   The two time champion signed a contract extension that will see him make $164 MIL from 2013 – 2021.  In this article, I explain why I think the team has to move the Slugger to 1B.  The 26 Year Old has a career slash of .308/.377/.864.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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The Giants are at a crossroads in their nucleus.  When healthy and at optimum levels, the Giants can hang with any team in the MLB – as shown by taking home 2 out of the last 4 World Series Titles.

But here is the problem.  This club needs two Starting Pitchers, potentially an OF, a Utility Infielder, meanwhile the franchise must address their long term goals.

The Twins were smart enough to make Joe Mauer a permanent 1B – and it is time for the San Francisco Giants to do the same with Buster Posey.

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Someone Should Take A 30 AB Flyer On Rick Ankiel: (Even For A 40 Man Sept Roster Spot)

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Sunday, June.30/2013

Rick Ankiel has hit for 76 HRs and a Slash Line of .240/.302/.724 in 1858 Career At-Bats.  Ankiel is the 1st player to win at least 10 Games a Pitcher and hit 50 HRs in the Major Leagues since Babe Ruth.  Ankiel could be used in any of the Outfield Positions as a PH/defensive replacement even if he is not in the starting lineup, Ankiel would help just about any MLB Team.  This year the man hit .188/.235/.657 - but had 15 XBH (7 HRs, 1 - 3B and 7 2B - with 18 RBI in just 128 AB).

Rick Ankiel has hit for 76 HRs and a Slash Line of .240/.302/.724 in 1858 Career At-Bats. He is the 1st player to win at least 10 Games a Pitcher and hit 50 HRs in the Major Leagues since Babe Ruth. Ankiel could be used in any of the Outfield Positions as a PH/defensive replacement even if he is not in the starting lineup, he would help just about any MLB Team. This year the man hit .188/.235/.657 – but had 15 XBH (7 HRs, 1 – 3B and 7 2B – with 18 RBI in just 128 AB).

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

Rick Ankiel was DFA’d recently by the New York Mets.  Since he is one of my favorite players – I nicknamed him “Mr. Mission Impossible” – because he always seems to self – destruct after 30 – 35 AB with a new team.

Cast as one of the biggest underdogs/inspirational stories of ALL – time in the game of baseball I am here to give him his due.  I don’t even care if he never plays another inning in the field….or has another AB in the Majors.

The former Pitcher has had a flair for some dramatic moments in his 13 year career as both a hitter and a pitcher.

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2 And A Hook Podcast Ep #9: LAA, SD, MIA And SEA Chat With Great Guests

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Friday, June.28, 2013,

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

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

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

By James Acevedo – Host (Podcast Veteran )

Guests On The Show

On today’s podcast, brought to you by MLB Reports ( www.mlbreports.com ) & yours truly The Bench Warmers Show, I talk to the boss man Chuck Booth as he returns to do his segment!  8 Minutes and a 18 Segment

Chuck makes a HUGE announcement about MLB Reports & then we talked about contract stuff like arbitration, Super 2, & service time…

Also we talk about these guys Wil Myers, Yasiel Puig & Chris Archer on why they should have been up in the major leagues since the beginning of the season!

Then I talk to LAA correspondent Joshua Jones (34 Minute Mark and a 18 Minute Segment) about the Angels season & what might or might not happen…

Next up was Bernie Olshansky (53 Minute Mark and a 13 Minutes Segment)  about the padres & what moves they might make for the future…after that i talked to Mariners/Marlins correspondent.

The last guest of the show is the 2nd longest active writer on the MLB Reports website Sam Evans (1 HR and 12 Min Mark and a 25 Min Segment) ( @RJA206 ) as we get into the mariners/marlins & whats been going on with both of these teams!

I then get into everyone’s favorite segment Stats & Facts (29, Minute Mark (5 minutes) 1 HR, 7 Min Mark ( 5 Minutes ) and, 1 HR 37 MIN (20 Minutes) -  so go check it out & SPREAD THE WORD!!! Thanks Read the rest of this entry

Triple Play Podcast Ep # 13 – Around The Horn w/OAK/KC/COL/TOR + Bean Wars + The Genius Beane

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Monday, June.17, 2013

The Triple Play Show will have 5 shows per month.  Each show will be about 1 hour

The Triple Play Show will have 5 shows per month. Each show will be about 1 hour.

By The Big Ticket Show ( AKA Triple Play Podcast on http://www.mlbreports.com)

Guests in this Podcast – Chuck Booth (MLB Reports Owner and Lead Analyst) 

On this week’s show Chuck Booth joins us to break down all the biggest stories in MLB. We also go Around the Horn with Chuck to discuss the A’s, Rockies and Royals current situations and declare the worthy few that belong on their respective Mt Rushmore’s. Bethubb.com best bets end the show as always. Happy Father’s Day!!!!!!!

Intro – 10 Minutes, Toronto Blue Jays talk from 10 Minute to the 18 Minute Mark.  OAK chat – 18 minute – 33 Minute Mark, COL Talk 33 Minutes – 44 Minute Mark.  Kansas City Royals Chart 44 Minutes Mark – 59 Minute Mark.  Late Jays Talk Bethubb Best Bets 1 hour 1 MIN mark to 1 hour 9 Minute Mark.

Quick Facts:  Catsfish Hunter was 7 – 2 in the Post Season for the 1972, 1973 and 1974 World Series Winning A’s – and only 2 -4 with the 3 Post Seasons with the Yankees.  Still 5 World Series Winners was great.  Chuck also meant Ewing Kauffman (Chuck thought his nickname was Charlie in the podcast – maybe because his name his Charlie) when talking about the Royals MT. Rushmore for the franchise.

Yogi Berra did indeed play in 14 World Series and won 10 of them in his Yankees days.

To Keep Reading and Listen to this Podcast click the READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY or scroll past the Triple Play Logo.

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Triple Play Podcast Ep #9: Jays Misery, The Expos Franchise Mt. Rushmore + An Interview With Michael McKnight

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Monday, May  20th, 2013

The Triple Play Show will have 5 shows per month.  Each show will be about 1 hour

The Triple Play Show will have 5 shows per month. Each show will be about 1 hour.

By The Big Ticket Show ( AKA Triple Play Podcast on http://www.mlbreports.com)

Guests in this Podcast – Ian Hunter of bluejayhunter.com  ( and Michael McKnight [twitter-follow screen_name='mcknight_mike_' show_screen_name='yes'

On this week’s show we once again find ourselves lamented the Blue Jays futility but this time Ian Hunter of bluejayhunter.com joins in the misery. Chris’ Expos jerseys inspires a trip down memory lane to pick our Expos Mt Rushmore. Finally Michael Mcknight of Sports Illustrated drops in to recount the tale of Brian Cole.  Its a must listen. Read the rest of this entry

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

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Friday, May.17/2013

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

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

People in this Podcast:

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

By James Acevedo – Host (Podcast Veteran) 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

CLICK THE READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY ICON or scroll down to listen to the episode Read the rest of this entry

Rick Ankiel Has Another Shot To Stay In The MLB: The New York Mets Claimed Him

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Tuesday May.14/2013

Rick Ankiel had a dubious beginning as a Met last night, misreading a baseball and having it bounce in and out of his borrowed glove (Jon Nieses's) hit by Ty Wigginton that led to 3 runs. Ankiel went 0 - 3 with a walk in St. Louis.  Despite the poor game, I like the move and it should enable Ankiel to be a starting Outfielder for a stretch.  If he can hit, he may be a good late season defensive acquisition/Pinch Hitter for a contending ball club

Rick Ankiel had a dubious beginning as a Met last night, misreading a baseball and having it bounce in and out of his borrowed glove (Jon Nieses’s) hit by Ty Wigginton that led to 3 runs. Ankiel went 0 – 3 with a walk in St. Louis. Despite the poor game, I like the move and it should enable Ankiel to be a starting Outfielder for a stretch. If he can hit, he may be a good late season defensive acquisition/Pinch Hitter for a contending ball club.  Rick Ankiel hit for a 3 Slash Line of .194/.231/.715 with the Astros this year prior to being Designated For Assignment on May 5th.  The former Astro did have 5 HRs and 11 RBI in just 62 AB.

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

There are certain players in the MLB that you cheer for more than others.  For me, Rick Ankiel exemplifies this.

I always check for his stats in the boxscores early into my perusal of any baseball website.

His story is one of inspiration and dedication to the game of baseball.

I was disappointed when he was released by the Houston Astros – but completely understood why the change had to occur,

The Mets have the weakest Outfield in the Major Leagues and are actually one of the teams I suggested for Ankiel as a landing spot in my post 2012 year write-ups.

It is obvious that the Wilpon’s continue to look for cheap alternative options to patrol their grass.

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Giants Farm System Update

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Friday April. 18, 2013

The Augusta Greenjackets are the official low-A team for the San Francisco Giants

The Augusta Greenjackets are the official low-A team for the San Francisco Giants.

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

It seems that we are probably far enough into the season to start looking at the farm system and start making some assumptions about players at their new levels.  While it is definitely too early to make big judgments on players, it is always fun to speculate, isn’t it?  

For this article, I will take a look at players at Low-A Augusta, and will look at the other teams later on.  I won’t go over every single player, or else this series of articles could be 20 pages long.  For now I will just take on top prospects and potential breakout candidates.  Let’s take a look into the Giants Low A team to start:

Joan Gregorio Highlights:

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WBC 2013 Final Results, Recap And Review

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Wednesday March 2oth, 2013

Congrats to the Dominican Republic: The 2013 World Baseball Classic Champions!

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

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 was back for the 3rd edition in 2013.

 It was a thrilling March- with the final 2 countries facing off for global baseball supremacy:  The Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico.  The DR won the game 3-0 behind the MVP bat of Robinson Cano.  

Congrats to the Dominican Republic on being crowned the 2013 WBC Champions!

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Raising Cain: The New Ace Of The San Francisco Giants

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Wednesday February 20, 2013

Matt Cain has been living in the shaddow of Tim Lincecum ever since the 2008 season. After Cain's brilliant 2012 campaign and Lincecum's worst season to date, he has proven himself as the ace of the Giants' pitching rotation.

Matt Cain had been living in the shadow of Tim Lincecum ever since the 2008 season. After Cain’s brilliant 2012 campaign – coinciding with Lincecum’s worst year to date, he has proven himself as the new ace of the Giants’ pitching rotation.  He is 55-35 (.611) over the last 4 seasons -with an ERA under 3.

By Kyle Holland (MLB Reports Writer):

On Saturday, February 16, the Los Angeles Dodgers announced, to no one’s surprise at all, that Clayton Kershaw would be the Opening Day starter for the third straight year. You didn’t have to be a baseball expert to see that one coming. What may have possibly come as a surprise to some is who his opponent will be on April 1 at Dodger Stadium.

Bruce Bochy announced Monday, February 18 that Matt Cain will be making his first career Opening Day start. For the last 4 years Tim Lincecum took the hill on Opening Day. The 2 years before that was Barry Zito and the 2 before him? Jason Schmidt. That brings us all the way back to when Matt Cain first suited up in 2005. Matt Cain has had a brilliant career since debuting in 2005 with the Giants. Throughout these fantastic years though, Matt Cain has been unable to call himself the ace of the Giants staff.

Matt Cain Perfect Game All 27 Outs:

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Ranking the Top 10 Hitters In The MLB Right Now: Part 1 (1-5)

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Tuesday February 19th, 2013

Miguel Cabrera: Cooperstown Bound.  Undoubtedly, "Miggy" is one of the great players of this generation.  Watching him play the game every day is a gift to baseball lovers.

Miguel Cabrera: Cooperstown Bound. Undoubtedly, “Miggy” is one of the great players of this generation. Watching him play the game every day is a gift to baseball lovers.

By Jake Dal Porto (Baseball Writer)

The best hitters in baseball aren’t hard to identifying, but arranging them is the tough part.

The “new” era of hitters have arrived on the scene. This doesn’t necessarily imply that some of the older hitters might as well call it quits, rather, it means that they have taken the backseat.

So, here we go: Baseball’s Top 5 hitters.  This is part 1 of a 2 part series.  Next week, we go through the 6-10 best hitters.

1. Miguel Cabrera

Mike Trout is baseball’s consensus best overall player, factoring in defense and speed, but Miguel Cabrera gets the nod as baseball’s best hitter.

Cabrera won the Triple Crown award in 2012, and in turn, beat out Trout for MVP honors.

As for the stats, well, they’re also impressive. He was second in the American League in oWAR (offensive WAR), third in ISO (Isolated Power), led the MLB in OPS, slugging percentage, total bases and extra base hits.

Cabrera’s compact swing enables him to do damage on most pitches. In 2012, he hit .344 on hits to left field, .412 on hits to center field and .424 on hits to right field. These three figures simply imply that Cabrera hits the ball where it’s pitched. Yes, it’s a simple approach, but it’s proven to be the most effective approach in baseball. The stats speak for themselves.

For Part 2 of the Top 10 Hitters Series (6-10) click here

Miguel Cabrera 2012 Highlights – Mature Lyrics so Parental Guidance is advised:

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Cuba Is Ready To Win The 2013 World Baseball Classic

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Saturday February 16th, 2013

LazoClasico1.jpg

Pedro Luis Lazo. One of Cuba’s greatest pitchers of all-time. Considered also one of the best pitchers in the history of baseball not to pitch in the big leagues. A legend, he represented Cuba in the 2006 and 2009 WBC tournaments. He will be missed in this year’s edition.

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

Going into the 3rd edition of the World Baseball Classic, the #1 question that I get asked on a daily basis is: “Which country will win it all?” A fair question, as all sports fans (not just baseball ones) love to predict champions before the first game is even played. Given that Japan has won the first two WBC titles (2006 and 2009), they have to be the favorites going into this year’s tournament. But as every new WBC edition begins, every country begins to get hungrier and hungrier. We had a qualifier tournament recently, the inaugural one for a WBC. 16 countries battled it out to win the 4 coveted spots into the tournament. Chinese Taipei, Brazil, Canada and Spain will field teams next month.

Canada and Chinese Taipei were two of the four countries that did not receive automatic entries and were required to qualify. Brazil and Spain were the newcomers that got their first taste of the WBC…and evidently loved it. So who will be it folks? Japan beat Korea in 2009 and Cuba back in 2006. Ironically, Cuba lost to Japan twice back in the 2nd round of 2009. If not for Japan, Cuba would have at least WBC title under their belts. Maybe two. So who does Cuba get in their group as part of the 1st Round of the 2013 WBC? Japan, of course. This time around, things will be different. Cuba is ready to knock the Japanese gorilla off their backs and take the 2013 World Baseball Classic.  


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Master Schedule For All 30 MLB Parks In Double Header Opportunities In 2013

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Updated Last on March.25/2013

baseball_teams-7143

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

Over the course of 4 years of massive baseball travel, I have attempted 28 MLB Doubleheaders – and completed 22 of them.  I Every year I take a look at the new MLB schedule and the 183 days worth of games.  In the list (after the youtube clip I post), will feature every doable double-header scenario for a fan to view baseball games.  Keep in mind that if you have never seen a MLB Park before – that rushing a day is not advised at all in these journeys. 

The most common doubleheader is Wrigley Field or US Cellular Field – to be combined with Miller Park as part of a day-night doubleheader.  The Yankees and Mets do play a few games on the same day together and are listed.  The o.Co Coliseum in Oakland and AT & T Park also have a few doubleheader chances this season.

Other great doubleheader partners include both Dodger and Angel Stadium – combined with Petco Park if there is a matinée contest involved.  Progressive Field and PNC Park also lends itself to easily connected doubleheaders if one has a day contest.  Also watch out for Sunday Night ESPN games as part of programming as Eastern teams feature that 8:05 PM EST start time – which will lend it available to double up with a day matinée.  The Phillies are compatible with both New York teams Via Amtrak Train option – and also with the Baltimore Orioles. 

These doubleheaders mostly are located in different cities and some might even include a doable flight in the middle.

http://mlbreports.com/2012/03/02/field-of-dreams-site/

Field of Dreams Has To Be Part Of Your Trip Link Up Top and Video Down Below:

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MLB Reports Junior Reporter Haley Smilow Interviews Joel Hanrahan

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Saturday January 5th, 2013

a    joel hanrahan

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer/Website Owner):

Haley Smilow was a busy reporter last year.  So much so, that we couldn’t keep up with her.  In her latest interview from last summer, Haley talked to Joel Hanrahan (of the Pirates back then) about his favorite Ball Parks to Play in, who he doesn’t like to face, what he does for pre and post game rituals, what he likes to cook, what he does on the road.  Haley pulls no punches in asking the Relief Pitcher about his life in this candid interview.  Amongst other topics discussed were:  What Hanrahan does for charity work, what his favorite animal is…etc Read the rest of this entry

The Tampa Bay Rays: The Franchise 1998-2012: Part 1 Of A 5 Part Article Series

Thursday, December.20, 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 Teams Payroll going into 2013 and 5. The Ball Park that they play in. (The stadium articles will all be done next summer when I go to all of the parks in under a month again.)  Be sure to check my author page with a list of all of  my archived articles section here.

The many Rays Logo's over the years.  Is the best of this franchise yet tom come

The many Rays Logo’s over the years. Is the best of this franchise yet to come?

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer/Website Owner):

The Tampa Bay Rays Franchise can be summarized into two different categories:  “The Devil Rays Days” and the “Rays Days.”  The Devil Rays endured 10 straight losing seasons to start the club’s history.  From 1998-2007, was a complete gong show (645-972) and last place finishes in a tough AL East every year, except for 2004, when they finished 4th, although they did stockpile several top Draft Picks based on their horrid regular seasons.  In 2008, all of that changed when the ‘Devil’ was literally and figuratively knocked away from the Tampa Bay team.  Their young stars finally saw their potential realized and they appeared in the 2008 World Series versus the Philadelphia Phillies.  The Franchise would lose in 5 hard-fought, weather fulfilled games, however the team was now one of the model clubs in baseball.  From 2008-2012, the club has gone 458-352.

The Rays have made the playoffs in 2010 and 2011 since, plus featured two other over .500 records in 2009 and 2012.  The club has now had 5 winning seasons in a row.  There is still a long way to go as they feature the worst winning percentage in MLB History, with a 1103-1327 Franchise Record (.454).  The next worst team is the Padres at .463.  The Arizona DiamondBacks were the NL Expansion cousins of the Rays and they feature a Win Percentage of (.498), which is second overall for the Expansion teams.  The Arizona DiamondBacks also have made the playoffs 5 times and won the World Series in 2001.  Still if you asked anyone right now, the Rays would gladly be the team everyone picked.

Franchise Series Links:

The Hitters:  The Tampa Bay Rays: The Hitters 1998-2012: Part 2 Of A 5 Part Article Series

The Pitchers:  The Tampa Bay Rays: The Pitchers 1998-2012: Part 3 Of A 5 Part Article Series

2013 Team Payroll:  Tampa Bay Rays Payroll 2013 And Contracts Going Forward: Updated for Myers Trade Dec.11/2012

Tropicana Field Expert:  An Interview with Tropicana Field Expert Kurt Smith

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How to Fix the Attendance Issues At Safeco Field

Wednesday, December 12th, 2012

a  a safeco field

Sam Evans (Baseball Writer): 

The Mariners home attendance at Safeco Field has decreased each of the last five years. In 2003, the Mariners were 93-69 and averaged over 40,000 fans per home game. Last season, Seattle finished 75-87 with an average of  roughly 21,000 per game. What can the Mariners do to bring fans back to the ballpark and revitalize baseball in Seattle?

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Baseball’s Best Bullpen: Arizona Diamondbacks

Friday November 2nd, 2012

The Diamondbacks are looking at having an incredibly strong bullpen in 2013.

Alex Mednick (Baseball Writer and Analyst):

In 2011, the Arizona Diamondbacks made a really nice push in the AL West and finished with 94 wins, 8 games ahead of the second place San Francisco Giants.  They performed well above expectations, and they did so with a relatively unglamorous starting rotation, that consisted mainly of Ian Kennedy, Joe Saunders, Josh Collmenter, Daniel Hudson and a revolving 5th starter.  What really carried the team in 2011 and made the Arizona Diamondbacks a competitive in 2011, happened to be their weakest link in their miserable 2010 season: the bullpen.

The Diamondbacks won 29 more games in 2011 than they did in 2010.  The most drastic changes made by the organization were in the bullpen where the D-Back’s added closer J.J. Putz and setup man David Hernandez.  The 2011 bullpen allowed 100 fewer runs than their predecessors in 2010 and dropped their group ERA from 5.74 in 2010 to just 3.71 in 2011.  It goes without saying that their newly revamped bullpen allowed Arizona to stay close in a lot more games and gave them a better chance to be winners.

Following their great 2011 season, the D-Back’s found themselves reverting back to their former ways in 2012.  Finishing 13 games behind the first place Giants, and just barely hanging on to a .500 record, the Diamondback’s finished 81-81.  You want to know something interesting?  It was their bullpen, once again, that failed. Read the rest of this entry

Marco Scutaro: The Best 2012 Trade Deadline Deal And NLCS MVP

Wednesday, October.24/2012

The Post Season almost ended for Marco Scutaro in Game #2 in St. Louis as Matt Holliday slid late to break up a double play. Scutaro stayed in that game and collected a key hit before being pulled as a precautionary move. He would come back and play from games 3-7.  —Photo Courtesy of giants.com

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer):

am pleased to always write about a player that has appeared one of my #UnheraldedAwarenessWeeks on Twitter.  For those that don’t know what that is, every week I pick a retired player and a current player to talk about and share info, stats, stories and funny anecdotes about.  Marco Scutaro was one of those players in September.  My buddy Patrick (who hosts a PODCAST I do MLB Expert Interviews on called ‘The Big Ticket Show‘) was the first one to say this signing was good.  I did remember that Scutaro was able to plate a 100 runs for the Jays in 2009 despite only playing in 144 games and also provided solid offense out of the Shortstop Position.  He was hitting in low .300′s at the time of the trade on July.27 to the San Francisco Giants from the Rockies.  I wasn’t as sold on the guy heading to AT &T Park to play half of his games at home.  I quickly came on board when he started tearing it up in his 1st week as a Giant.  Boy did I ever turn out to be wrong with him batting in San Francisco too, where he hit .352 in 33 games at AT &T Park in 2012.  That is an incredible average for what is one of the toughest parks on player averages in the Major Leagues!

With his 3rd organization since Jan.21 of this year, Scutaro has provided the necessary spark to the Giants lineup that was voided with losing Melky Cabrera. At 37 years old, he should be able to garner one more multi-year contract

Scutaro ended up being the best trade deadline acquisition in the Major Leagues this year.  Not only did he hit .339 in the second half, he also hit .402 in the month of September and the last 3 games of the regular season in October.  After going 0-12 in the 1st 3 games against Cincinnati in the NLDS, Scutaro has put a 9 game hitting streak together-and he had 6 multi-hit games in the NLCS en-route to being named the NLCS MVP.  He has pivotal game changing hits in Game #2 (where he also got run into by a hard and controversial slide by Matt Holiday before leaving) and in Games 6 and 7.  Scutaro tied and LCS record by recording 14 hits in 28 AB for a .500 Average. while scoring 7 runs.  The man has also contributed solid defense at second base, a position the Giants have struggled to fill since Jeff Kent left almost a decade ago.  Read the rest of this entry

The Coors Field Effect: Part 3 of A 3 Article Series

Wednesday, September.19/2012

Even with playing teams in the NL West with Parks like Petco, Dodger Stadium and AT &T Park, a Rockies player gets 81 games of AB versus 27 against the other 3 California parks or a 75-25 % split. The Rockies continue to lead the MLB for Home Averages year in and year out-even with the Humidor Room taking effect.

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer):

Both myself (and Lead Baseball Columnist and Founder) Jonathan Hacohen think alike on some points as writers will often do when working for the same website.  Jonathan wrote a brilliant piece on the ballooned numbers that a player in Colorado receives as a byproduct of playing at Coors Field.  My head started spinning and swirling and I knew it to be true from my memory bank.  My Part 2 column, dissected the Coors Field Effect on some previous players, plus what has transpired in the last decade since the Humidor Room has been implemented.  You must read the 1st 2 parts of this series to fully understand what I am going to tell you here.

For Part 1 of the Article Series:  Carlos Gonzalez on the Trade Block? Buyer Beware!  click here

For Part 2 of the Article Series:  The Humidor Effect at Coors Field-One Decade in click here

The numbers don’t lie in either of the first two parts to this series- with the Rockies having led the league in 19 out of the 20 Years for Home Batting Average overall in the MLB and every year in the NL since they have existed.  This includes heavy hitting AL clubs, with hitter friendly parks such as: Yankee Stadium (Old or New), Citizens Bank Ball Park or Fenway Park.  What people also fail to realize is that the Pitchers also account for about 140-150 AB at home per year.  So really there is no way a Colorado team should have a higher BA than a team from the AL if that is the case?  Wrong.  The Batting averages for positional players from 1993-2002 in Colorado ranged from an average of .325-.345 every year.  May I point out they also led the Major Leagues in overall batting average every year for this span in the Pre-Humidor days too!

A Todd Helton Walk-off Shot at Coors:

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It Is The 5 Year Anniversary Of His Re-Debut As A Hitter: What Is Next For Rick Ankiel?

Thursday August.09, 2012

At Age 20 (and starting out the year at age 19), Ankiel finished 2nd in ROY voting, 7th in strikeouts and ERA, 2nd in K’s/Per 9 IP and Hits/Per 9 IP in 2000. He threw 94-97 MPH as a Young Pitcher, however a mental block and injuries plagued him to the point where he changed into a permanent Outfielder in 2005.

­Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer and @chuckbooth3024 on twitter)- Playing the game of baseball is predicated on failure.  Most of us that have played the game, realize how hard it is to hit a flying object with a piece of wood or metal.  The majority of players, that are in the Major Leagues, have honed their skills from the time they were just starting grade school.  Generally it takes a hell of a lot of repetition to become good at something.  As an aspiring baseball player in my teens, I can remember swinging the baseball over 200 times a day in trying to perfect my swing.  I had practice drills that would emphasize on weight transference, foot work and eye-hand coordination.  So I imagine a lot of today’s current players did the same when they were a kid.  Today marks the 5 year anniversary from one of the greatest stories ever produced on the field by a Major League Player.

The Cardinals Drafted Rick Ankiel in the 2nd round of the 1997 Amateur Draft.  Ankiel had great pitching mechanics and made his dream come true on Aug.23 1999 (at the Age of 19),  by making his pitching debut with the St. Louis Cardinals against the Montreal Expos  He sported a 0-1 record in 5 starts to end the year with an impressive 39 Strikeouts in 33 innings, while posting a respectable 3.27 ERA.  Ankiel was a budding prospect with a chance to become a perennial ALL-Star.  In his Rookie year during the 2000 season, he finished with a record of 11-7 with a 3.50 ERA-and was 7th in the league with 194 Strikeouts. 

This season was good enough to finish 2nd in Rookie of the Year Balloting.    The Cardinals needed him to pitch in Game #1 of the NLDS because he and Daryl Kile were the only ones left on the roster as 3 starters from the regular season had become injured.  To further put pressure on this young kid, his mentor for the game of baseball, his father, had been incarcerated in jail at the time as he was making it to the Major Leagues and it ate at him not having him there live to see him play.  Still, Tony La Russa had complete faith in the kid to start in pivotal games at such a young age because of his electric arm. 

It proved to be a costly mistake as Ankiel started to mentally fracture by the 3rd inning of that very game and ended up walking 4 batters and throwing a record 5 wild pitches in one inning-while giving up 4 runs.  Ankiel never recovered from leaving the mound on that day.  Against everyone’s better judgement, La Russa sent out Ankiel again to start in  Game #2 of the NLCS versus the Braves.  His first pitch of the game sailed over Timo Perez of the New York Mets.  5 wild pitches later and La Russa mercifully pulled him from the game.  If you can believe it, La Russa brought out Ankiel to face four more hitters in Game #5 of the Series.  This time he walked 2 more hitters and threw 2 more wild pitches.  The Mets wiped out the depleted Cardinals pitching staff in that 5th game.  If you ask La Russa, these decisions all haunt him more than any other thing that he has ever done as a manager.

Here is a great highlight reel showing off Ankiel’s best moments as a National in 2011.

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A Busch Stadium Book Excerpt from ‘The Fastest Thirty Ballgames’

Friday, Aug.03/2012

Game#25 Day#24
Busch Stadium
St. Louis, MO
Aug.01/2008

I never thought anything was going to equal the previous day. We had arrived back at my brother’s house to spend a quality morning with my nieces and nephew—and Trent’s wife Kristy before returning to the road. It was a quick trip from Philadelphia to St. Louis. It was going to cost us a fortune to all take the shuttle into the Hilton at $17 each-so I got us on the next transportation shuttle bus, and then negotiated a deal with Budget to give me an extra few hours head start on the 24 hour time line  airport rule—so I would not have to return after the St. Louis game to pick up the Mini-SUV, which had been the original plan.

Budget was awesome to let me have this deal early. I am a Fast Break member with them-and have/had spent a lot of money with them. We got a Mitsubishi SUV. My brothers thought it was a little small, but for a $65.00 rental that started out in St. Louis and ended up the next day in Minnesota-it was a great deal. Yes we had a five-hour drive from St. Louis to Chicago tomorrow, but we were all tough guys. I once again told them-“welcome to my world.”
That day in St. Louis was myopic. My brother Trent knew a guy at head office St. Louis, and that gentlemen made a few calls and arranged for my dad and I too receive ‘Field Passes’-and to be interviewed by Fox-Sports Midwest. I was almost in disbelief of that option, but it was now going to happen later that day. This experience was even better because none of us had been to new Busch Stadium-so all of us were there for the first time. Overall it was my 29th stadium so I only had “The Ballpark In Arlington” for stadiums left to complete my active 30. Much like Coors, Safeco and AT&T Park, the red-brick around the whole Stadium at Busch Stadium is top-notch. Read the rest of this entry

Chuck Booth’s Game and Streak Updates for MLB Parks 6-10

Follow me-@chuckbooth3024 on twitter

Follow my streak all the through to the bitter end.  Schedule is this link:

http://mlbreports.com/gwr-tracker/ or at my official website for all updates!

Tuesday April 17, 2012

Chuck Booth and Lori Martini are interviewed by Sports NY

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer and @chuckbooth3024 on twitter)- “In what technically is Park #1 on Day #1 of the streak after a retro-active option I capitalized on, this game is the 6th write-up.  So let us go back to April.5th First.  I watched the New York Mets Season Opener with Lori Martini and we were both interviewed by Sports Net New York and were featured on Mets Weekly Episode 2 on SNY.tv .  This episode aired on Sunday April.15th.  After the incredible adrenaline rush of being on camera for an extended interview, the Mets won the season opener on a well-pitched effort by Johan Santana of the Mets.  Directly after the game, Lori and I were taken to Don Peppe’s in Queens by her friend Mike.  This place serves great Italian platters and was featured on the hit TV Series “Entourage.”  A nice meal with some great new friends then saw me make the trip to Boston.  I had to take a Greyhound Bus to Boston(for only $15) because that airport was the only one in the radius that Southwest could fly to Phoenix in time for the opener.”

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An Interview With AT and T ‘Expert’ Tike Narry

Friday, April.13/2012

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer and @chuckbooth3024 on twitter)-  I will have the chance to meet Tike for the Season Opener for the San Francisco Giants.  Tike knows his stuff around the bay area and it today’s featured expert for AT&T Park.

CB: “Welcome to the MLB Reports Expert Interview For AT&T Park Tike. Please tell us about yourself and then give us a bit of background information on your life as a baseball Fan?”

TN: “I’m 39 years old, and attended my first baseball game at age 10. I have been a Giants fan my whole life, and have been a Season Ticketholder at AT&T Park since its opening in 2000. I have attended 679 games Major League, regular-season games entering 2012, with a goal of reaching 1,000 by my 50th birthday, and have attended games in 32 different MLB parks (23 current).”

CB: “As one of the ballpark experts who seen virtually every park, how do you rank AT&T Park versus the rest of the home venues?”

TN: “The only park that can come close to matching the setting of AT&T is PNC Park in Pittsburgh. It is spectacular, on the waterfront in China Basin in San Francisco, with a view across to the East Bay. Seats from right field can see the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge, and there are very few seats with a bad sight-line in the park. My only complaint about AT&T, and it’s a minor quibble, is the width of the concourses, but that’s to be expected when building a park on just 13 acres.” Read the rest of this entry

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