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Young Guns To Watch In The MLB For 2014

“Hard Cheddar” – with ‘Baseball Writer’ Steve Cheeseman 

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Young Guns to Watch in 2014

The 2014 season is fast approaching.  With spring training just around the corner, there are many up and coming players who are on the brink of making it to the majors. Who knows!

It may also be the beginning of hall of fame careers for some of these guys.  There are also a couple of players, who are already in the majors, and look to continue their success. 

I’ve profiled 5 hitters and 5 pitchers for your reading pleasure.  Some of these guys may be a little under the radar; however I believe they have a tremendous upside, and are fun to watch.  Let’s take a look.  Read the rest of this entry

Cincinnati Reds State Of The Union: Is 2014 The Year?

The Cincinnati Reds are coming off of a heartbreaking season, losing in the one game playoff to the Pittsburgh Pirates. They finished third in the National League Central after winning the division in 2012. Manager Dusty Baker has been fired so the search is on for the next guy to take this team to the promise land. The Reds will most likely lose Shin-Soo Choo to free agency, and put Billy Hamilton in center field for 2014. Is 2014 the year of the Reds?

The Cincinnati Reds are coming off of a heartbreaking season, losing in the one game playoff to the Pittsburgh Pirates. They finished third in the National League Central after winning the division in 2012. Manager Dusty Baker had to be fired so a new manager could take this team to the promise land. Cincys will most likely lose Shin-Soo Choo to Free Agency, and put Billy Hamilton in center field next campaign. Is 2014 the year of the Reds?

BY Ryan Ritchey (Featured Baseball Columnist): 

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For the Cincinnati Reds 2013 ended in a disappointment. The Reds won 90 games once again, finishing 3rd in the National League Central, but couldn’t get past the Pittsburgh Pirates in the National League Wild Card.

Right after the season the Reds manager Dusty Baker was fired. I could write a full post just on Dusty Baker and how many things he did right/wrong but I won’t get into that.

Billy Hamilton steals 4 bases in his 1st four Games

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Reds Outlook For The Rest Of May: And 5 Week Recap Thus Far

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Wednesday May.08, 2013

Tony Cingrani has been filthy dominant in his limited Major League outings.  In 29 IP, he is 2 - 0, features a 2.48 ERA and has blown away 42 Batters for a 13.0/Per ( IP Strikeout Rate.  The Reds would ne nuts to send this guy anywhere from the Starting Rotation (let alone back to the Minor Leagues)  Cingrani was a 3rd Round Draft Pick of the Reds back in the 2011 MLB Amateur Draft.  The 23 Year Old  from Evergreen IL, is 14 - 6 with a 1.62 ERA during his Minor League Career.  The Cincinnati franchise  find yet another young phenom Pitcher for its coffers!

Tony Cingrani has been filthy dominant in his limited Major League outings. In 29 IP, he is 2 – 0, features a 2.48 ERA – and has blown away 42 Batters for a 13.0/Per 9 IP Strikeout Rate. The Reds wou.ld nb nuts to send this guy anywhere from the Starting Rotation (let alone back to the Minor Leagues) Cingrani was a 3rd Round Draft Pick of the Reds back in the 2011 MLB Amateur Draft. The 23 Year Old from Evergreen IL, is 14 – 6 with a 1.62 ERA during his Minor League Career. The Cincinnati franchise finds yet another young phenom Pitcher for its coffers!

Richie Devotie (Guest Baseball Writer):

Today were are going to take a look at the Reds first five week’s of play. The Reds have a 19-15 record. They sit two games back of the 20-12 St. Louis Cardinals for the NL Central Division. The Reds have five walk off victories out of their 13 home wins.

The 3 slash line for Reds at home is.264/.344/.427 and 22 Home Runs at Great American Ball Park. They have won all five series they have played at GABP. 2-1 vs LA, 2-1 vs WSH, 3-0 vs PHI, 3-1 vs MIA, 2-1 vs CHC.

Away from the Great American Ball Park is a different story for the Cincinnati Reds. They have a 3 slash line of   .224/.312/.329. and only 9 Home Runs. The have a 6-10 Road Record. The Only Road series win came in Chicago where they swept the Cubs. 1-2 @STL, 0-3 @PIT, 1-3 @WASH, 1-2 @STL, 3-0 @CHC.

This is Reds Country – Mature Lyrics So Parental Guidance is Advised:

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Reds Are Going To Make The Rest Of The NL Bleed Red

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Tuesday, March.26/2013

In his 1st half season during last year, Joey Votto clubbed for a 3 Slash Line of ..348/.471/1.124 with 35 Doubles, 14 HRs and 48 RBI.  He was the leading candidate to pull in his 2nd NL MVP Award.  Once he returned from injury, he was not the same - only plating 8 RBI and HRs in the last 28 games he played in

In his 1st half season during last year, Joey Votto clubbed for a 3 Slash Line of .348/.471/1.124 with 35 Doubles, 14 HRs and 48 RBI. He was the leading candidate to pull in his 2nd NL MVP Award. Once he returned from injury, he was not the same – only plating 8 RBI and HRs in the last 28 games he played in.  The Canadian still led the NL in OBP for the 3rd straight season.  He also led the NL In Walks despite missing 51 games.  Votto has a Career 3 Slash Line of .316/.415/.968.  He is signed through the 2024 year in a 13 YR/.$263 MIL deal.

MLB Reports:  Welcome to our newest Kids writer  Jason Alpert-Wisnia – for being selected to join our MLB Reports Kids Writing team.  We are pleased to present the readers with a youthful look to the game of baseball.  Moms and Dad’s – if you have a young kid who loves baseball and wants to write about the game, please email us at mlbreports@gmail.com.  We will be selecting three more kid writers for our website this year. 

By Jason Alpert-Wisnia  (AKA “JAWS”): (MLB Reports Kids Writer – visit his website here )

The Cincinnati Reds last season had a 97 Wins and 65 Losses Team Record, scoring them 1st place in the NL Central last season. The team could have made it even farther in the Postseason, maybe even beating the Giants and becoming the NL representatives, BUT, they missed their chance in losing 3 straight tries to eliminate the club from the BAY after taking a commanding 2 – 0 lead in the Series.

During the year Joey Votto injured his knee and was out for a while along with the manager Dusty Baker having a stroke, and you have to wonder about these two incidents not factoring in them feeling less than 100% heading into the Playoffs. 

You throw in Johnny Cueto‘s injury moving up all of the depth on the Starting Pitching versus the Giants in the 2012, and you can see that things spiraled downward.

Joey Votto Highlights – Mature Lyrics so Parental Guidance is advised:

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Cincinnati Reds Roster In 2013: State Of The Union

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Friday, January.04,  2013

The core is as solid as ever and they could potentially add Stolen Base Threat Billy Hamilton to the arsenal of attack next year.  The Reds will be a fast, entertaining team with lots of power from both hitting and defense.

The core is as solid as ever and they could potentially attack next year with more speed with some recent trades and Draft Picks. The Reds will be a fast, entertaining team with lots of power from both hitting and defense.

Matt Steinmann (Reds Correspondent):

97 wins. NL Central Championship. Knocked out of the playoffs by the eventual World Series Champion, San Francisco Giants in the NLDS. That’s the story of the 2012 Cincinnati Reds. Everything that was going so great in the summer of 2012 ended abruptly, leaving many people scratching their heads wondering what went wrong? How did this team, who went 2-0 in San Francisco in the NLDS, come home and lose 3 straight at Great American Ballpark? Having nobody on base when Joey Votto came to the plate didn’t help, but that was only part of the story. Lack of clutch hitting was another problem. You could point fingers at skipper Dusty Baker as well, who did not manage with the sense of urgency that San Francisco’s skipper Bruce Bochy did. Either way, it was a team effort to get where they got, and a team effort on why they didn’t get to where they wanted to be.

Cincinnati Reds:  Fan-Made 2012 NL Central Champions Video:

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Part 1 of a Series: All-Time All-Star Teams By Regionality

 

Friday November 23th, 2012

Note from Alex Mednick:  I am going to be putting together a small project that accumulates all the best players of all time, and puts them together on teams according to their birthplace.  For example, in this first edition I will be breaking down players from the United States of America into teams from the 1) Northeast, 2) Southeast, 3) Midwest, and 4) Southwest…(sorry, there really is not enough quality coming out of the northwest to compete with these teams…maybe I will put a Northwestern United States team in a later edition with less competitive teams).  Later on I will bring you teams assembled from the all-time greats out Central and South American (Mexico, Venezuela, Panama, Panama Canal Zone, etc.) and the All-Caribbean Team (Dominican Republic, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Curacao, etc).  Also look forward to teams from Japan, Canada and the EU.  Should be fun to sort of assemble an “Olympics” of Baseball.  I love watching the World Baseball Classic and seeing players fight for their nations pride…but by grouping the teams by region, it might make the teams more competitive.  Of course, this is all for the sake of speculation; Babe Ruth was a great player, but I don’t think he will be taking any at-bat’s soon. (Also, please note that I do not lend consideration to relief pitchers in this analysis). Read the rest of this entry

2013 WBC Qualifiers: Groups 3 and 4 Preview

Wednesday November 14th, 2012

Sam Evans: The WBC is coming to Panama and Taiwan! Qualifier 3 and Qualifier 4 both begin on November 15th.  Group 3 will feature Panama, Brazil, Nicaragua and Colombia. Group 4 includes Chinese Taipei, New Zealand, the Philippines and Thailand. Who will advance out of these two qualifying rounds? Keep reading to find out.

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The Time Has Come to Induct Dwight Evans into Cooperstown

Sunday July 22nd, 2012

By Patrick Languzzi (Guest Baseball Writer):

As we embark on baseball’s most exciting weekend, the eyes of baseball fans everywhere will be on Cooperstown, NY for the induction of Barry Larkin and Ron Santo into the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

Larkin was elected through the Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA) and Santo via the Veterans Committee after falling off the ballot in 1998.

The Veterans committee consists of 16 members made up of veteran media members, executives and current members of the National Baseball Hall of Fame. For a player to be elected, they must receive 75 percent or 12 of 16 votes.

But there’s another player that I’ll take a special interest in come the winter meetings of 2013. That’s when the Expansion Era ballot (Veterans) finalists are announced. It’s also when former Red Sox great Dwight “Dewey” Evans becomes eligible again. Evans fell off the BBWAA ballot back in 1999. Now his chance to shine comes up again very soon. Read the rest of this entry

He is a 30/30 Club Member: But How Good Was Eric Davis?

Friday June.8, 2012

Photo Courtesy of spokeo.com

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer and @chuckbooth3024 on twitter)- Eric Davis was an amazing talent for the Cincinnati Reds during the mid 1980’s.  He was drafted as a shortstop but quickly made his way through the minors and ended up in the Reds outfield for his debut in May of 1984.  You talk about 5 tools in a player, Davis was the poster-boy for this.  Pete Rose described him in one of his books as “having the greatest raw ability that he had seen since Roberto Clemente.”  Davis grew up in Los Angeles, California and was a thin-wiry 165 pounds when he came up to the Majors,  despite being 6 foot 2 in height.  In 174 AB that year, he hit 10 HRs an stole 10 bases.  In 1985, he hit 8 HRs and stole 16 bases in just 122 AB.  This prompted a promotion to full-time player by then skipper Pete Rose at the start of the 1986 season.

The Cincinnati Reds had just come out of he ‘Big Red Machine’ era and were searching for young players such as Davis and Barry Larkin to take the reins with the new club.  Eric Davis did not disappoint in his first season, in just 415 AB  he hit 27 HRs and stole an eye-popping 80 bases while scoring 97 runs.  A star was born.  Eric Davis played with an all-out mentality, as such he required rest days from time to time with the nicks and bruises he would sustain through stealing  bases or playing nice defense by diving.  The Reds were always in contention under Pete Rose, however they were always finishing in 2nd place.  It finally looked the team had a nucleus of players that could take them to the promise land.  Davis was right at the top of the forefront for talent. Read the rest of this entry

A Tribute to Barry Larkin: 2012 Cooperstown Inductee

Monday April 9th, 2012


Ryan Ritchey (MLB reports Intern): This coming June, Barry Larkin will be inducted in the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York. This is a special day for all the Cincinnati fans throughout the world. As a young kid, I grew up idolizing Barry Larkin and always wanted to be like him. Now as an 18-year-old, I am going to see my favorite player of all time go into the Hall of Fame.  Many people idolize the home run hitters, but for me it was about his hustle and heart to make the big plays when he needed to.

Larkin, as a young man growing up in Cincinnati was a huge Reds fan. Graduating from Moeller High School and being drafted by the Reds in the second round, he had a huge decision to  make. He was also offered baseball and football scholarships to the University of Michigan. He decided to take his talents to Michigan and only focus on baseball. Playing three seasons with the Wolverines was all he needed to be drafted 4th overall by his hometown team the Cincinnati Reds. Read the rest of this entry

How the Baseball Hall of Fame Voting Should Work

Monday  January 9th, 2012

Daniel Aubain (Guest Writer @DJAubain):  When it comes to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, there seems to be two schools of thought on which players are deserving of induction; those who see it as an inclusive process, and those who see it as an exclusive process.

I’ll let you know right off the bat which group I fall into…the inclusives. Just look at the official name of the place again. The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. AND MUSEUM. Their website lists “Preserving History”, “Honoring Excellence” and “Connecting Generations” as what can only be described as the core values or mission statement of the Hall itself.

A lot of people want to point to Section 5 of the BBWAA Election Rules which states, “Voting shall be based upon the player’s record, playing ability, integrity, sportsmanship, character, and contributions to the team(s) on which the player played”, as an instant ban for not only proven PEDs users but also those suspected to probably have used (but no proof was ever discovered).

Give me a break. Let’s stop talking about a player’s “character” and “integrity”, as the Hall’s first inductee was Ty Cobb. Or that we’ve left the voting to a group, the writers, of whom only 77.5% felt Jackie Robinson was Hall worthy. You know, THE Jackie Robinson who has an award named after him, an entire day dedicated to celebrating his career accomplishments and the only player to have his uniform number unilaterally retired by all teams.  In fact, there has NEVER been a unanimous selection into Cooperstown.  Not Babe Ruth. Not Cal Ripken. Not Hank Aaron.  How is that possible?

This is the same group of individuals who regularly use the phrase, “[Player X] is not a first-ballot Hall of Famer.” What the heck does that even mean? Either a player is “hall worthy” or he isn’t. It shouldn’t have to take an internet-based campaign by so-dubbed “statheads” to convince baseball writers that a player like Bert Blyleven belongs in the Hall.

Baseball has well-defined “eras” such as the “Deadball Era”, “Expansion Era” and now the “Steroid Era”. Players should be judged against the players they played against rather than against the greatest of all time. There are no Babe Ruths and Cy Youngs playing these days and there probably never will be again. They set the standards for players of their respective eras because they accomplished things no one had ever done prior to them. So for that, I refuse to weigh whether a player’s accomplishments of the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s compares to a player of the 1940s, 1950s and such.

Okay. So now that you know my opinion of what the Hall should be, here is my 2012 Hall of Fame ballot. But first, section 4.B of the BBWAA Election Rules states, “Electors may vote for as few as zero (0) and as many as ten (10) eligible candidates deemed worthy of election.” As such, I will be using all 10 of my votes today and will rank them in order of worthiness, in my eyes. I found this chart on Baseball-Reference.com to be very helpful in weighing my decisions.

  1. Jeff Bagwell
  2. Barry Larkin
  3. Edgar Martinez
  4. Tim Raines
  5. Larry Walker
  6. Alan Trammel
  7. Dale Murphy
  8. Rafael Palmeiro
  9. Mark McGwire
  10. Don Mattingly

I don’t think I need to go into the individual numbers of each player’s career accomplishments. But as you can tell, I am NOT keeping out PED users (proven or suspected) or a “DH-only” player. I’m voting with my eyes for the first nine players on my ballot and the last one with my heart. I’m okay living in a world where the “Hall of the Elite” exists.

I’m okay if we celebrate players who had human flaws just like you and me (Pete Rose, Joe Jackson, Palmeiro, McGwire, Barry Bonds, etc.) After all, it’s not like any of these guys ever killed a man. Right, Ty Cobb? Right?

Thanks to the great folks at MLB reports for allowing me the opportunity to share my voice with their audience. I truly appreciate it. Be sure to follow me on Twitter for updates on what the future has in store for me and all other guest posting articles I’ll be doing this offseason.

Please e-mail us at: MLBreports@gmail.com with any questions and feedback.  You can follow us on Twitter and become a fan onFacebook .  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.

Royce Dickerson Interview: My Rise to Associate Producer of Baseball Tonight on ESPN

Saturday December 31, 2011

MLB reports – Jonathan Hacohen:  For our final feature of 2011, we have the privilege of interviewing the person behind one of our favorite baseball programs.  Royce Dickerson was very kind to join us to chat a little baseball today.  As Associate Producer of Baseball Tonight, Royce is very busy at ESPN in putting together the content and production of the hit baseball show.  In broadcasting terms, Royce has hit the jackpot.  After learning about Royce, I wondered how a former Mariners draft pick rose to the ranks of ESPN programming.  My gut told me that this was an important baseball story that must be shared with our readers. Get to know Royce as you read his baseball tale: from the MLB draft, university, Indy ball and all the way up the ranks to ESPN. Royce has a success story that many people work towards. Baseball dreams do come true- Royce Dickerson is living proof of that.  Have you ever wondered how baseball highlights and programming gets to your television set? We introduce you today to one of the key players behind the scenes who makes that happen. It may not always be glamorous and the career definitely translates to countless hours and immense hard work.  But at the end day, there is nothing else on this earth that Royce Dickerson would rather be doing for a living.

Featured on MLB reports, I proudly present my interview with Royce Dickerson, Associate Producer of Baseball Tonight on ESPN:

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________

MLB reports:  Welcome to MLB reports Royce.  First question:  You were drafted by the Mariners in 2002 out of high school.  What was the first thought that went through your mind when you got the call?

Royce Dickerson:  I was 18 when I got drafted and I remember I was driving around town running errands because I had a summer league game that night and wanted to get some stuff done. I didn’t actually believe it when I got the call cause I was still coming off an ACL, MCL tear and I wasn’t completely healthy yet. When I tore my knee up I thought that there was no way that I would be drafted. Once that call came it took a few minutes to sink in and I was elated. I immediately called my dad and mom and told them and they were just as excited as I was. It was something that I will always remember as one of the best accomplishments in my life.

 

MLB reports:  You ended up choosing to go to school over playing professional baseball.  Was it a difficult decision?  Looking back, would you have made the same choice?

Royce Dickerson:  It wasn’t too hard of a decision at the time. I was drafted in the 27th round and there wasn’t a lot of money in that late of a round and I wasn’t completely healthy. I thought at the time it was in my best interest to go to school and try to improve my draft stock in college and hopefully become a higher round pick after my junior year. Looking back it was the right choice. I didn’t want to go into pro ball not 100% on a knee that wasn’t completely healed yet. I would have been at a dis-advantage right away with the limitations of my knee, even though I had played a full high school season and started playing summer ball.

 

MLB reports:  How did you enjoy Western Michigan University?  What did you study?

Royce Dickerson:  I loved Western Michigan. Its home to me and I had known then Head Coach Fred Decker for a very long time so it was a very easy decision for me to sign with Western. My dad played football at WMU in the 70’s and my mother went there as well. Being a second generation athlete at Western was awesome, its something that my dad and I will have with us for our entire lives. I was born to be a Bronco and I loved every minute of it. While in school I studied Journalism. I went into school knowing that I wanted to do something in that field of work.

 

MLB reports:  When you completed university, tell us about your experience playing indy ball.

Royce Dickerson:  Indy ball was great, it was a chance to play baseball and get paid to do it. Being in a small town and playing in front of 5,000 fans every night was amazing. We were treated like celebs in Traverse City and the organization took great care of us. I know a lot of players complain about the long bus rides and low pay but at the same time it was a chance to play professional baseball and a chance to meet and see a lot of new things. I wish I could’ve done it longer but there came a time where I realized that I had to start my other life and the dream of playing in the big leagues had to stop.

 

MLB reports:  Was it always your plan to play professional baseball growing up- or did you have a different plan for life?

Royce Dickerson:  It was baseball from the beginning for me. I was in love with the game from day one. There was a time when I thought that I was a football player and then sometime around 8th or 9th grade I realized that I was really good at baseball and I shifted a lot of my focus to baseball while playing basketball and football.

 

MLB reports:  How did you get your start in broadcasting?

Royce Dickerson:  I got my start in high school actually. I took a Broadcast Journalism class in high school and that pretty much settled it when I took that class. From then on I got an internship at WWMT News Channel 3 in the sports department and learned about producing Sports TV from the Sports Director at the station, Ed Kengerski. He taught me so much and to this day I still credit him for giving me the producing gene.

 

MLB reports:  What brought you to ESPN?  That is the big leagues of televised sports!

Royce Dickerson:  Shortly after I retired from indy ball I was looking for jobs at ESPN and other sports media outlets. After not  being able to find a job anywhere my dad called a college friend of his who works at ESPN and he got my resume on the right persons desk. Three weeks after that I interviewed at ESPN and a month after the interview I started my career at ESPN.

 

MLB reports:  How long have you been at ESPN and how has your role developed since you started?

Royce Dickerson:  I have been at ESPN for 3 ½ years now. I started out as a Production Assistant cutting high-lights for SportsCenter, Baseball Tonight and other shows for the network. I also performed other tasks such as overseeing the non High-Light related video for SportsCenter and ESPNews. After about a year at ESPN, I was lucky enough to be staffed on Baseball Tonight at the start of the 2009 season as a Production Assistant on the show. I worked on the show everyday for the entire season cutting Analysis tapes for the Analysts, Web Gems as well as producing the Graphics for the show. Early in 2011 I was promoted to Associate Producer and the role changed quite a bit. With the new title I was now responsible for Producing Television content for the show. I produce the Baseball Tonight Extra that airs within SportsCenter during the baseball season, Baseball Tonight segments that air within the morning SportsCenter that looks back on the previous day or look forward to the upcoming night of baseball, as well as all highlight segments that air on ESPN.com. At the end of the year I was provided the opportunity to produce an entire Baseball Tonight on my own with the oversight of our Coordinating Producer. In the 3 ½ years that I have been here, my role has completely changed and will continue to change moving into 2012.

 

MLB reports:  Biggest names that you have worked with in the baseball world?  

Royce Dickerson:  I am lucky enough to work with some great people at ESPN. I have worked with former players such as Hall of Famer Dave Winfield, future Hall of Famer Barry Larkin, Bobby Valentine, John Kruk, Curt Schilling, Rick Sutcliffe, Orel Hershiser, Aaron Boone, Chris Singleton and recently I produced Terry Francona at the 2011 Baseball Winter Meetings.

 

MLB reports:  Biggest sporting moment that you got to cover?

Royce Dickerson:  I’ve been fortunate enough to cover three World Series to this point, three all-star games, I was working on the last night of the 2011 season in Baltimore on that crazy day where the Red Sox lost to the Orioles and the Rays won the Wild Card. But the biggest moment so far that stands out to me happened about three weeks ago, when we were at the Winter Meetings and I was the producer when the Albert Pujols to the Angels news broke. We had a segment all planned out and three minutes before we were going live on SportsCenter from Dallas, we got word that Pujols had agreed with the Angels. For me to be the producer when the biggest name in the game changed teams and covering that moment was something that I will always remember and to this point has been the highlight of my career to be the producer for ESPN when Albert Pujols left the St. Louis Cardinals for the Angels.

 

MLB reports:  Do you ever see yourself taking a different role in baseball, perhaps coaching?

Royce Dickerson:  There was a time when I couldn’t find a job that I thought about becoming a grad assistant at a school and get started in coaching. It was never a passion of mine but I thought it was something that I could be really good at and it gave me a chance to stay in the game. Coaching is something that I would’ve love to have done but once I got the call from ESPN, that avenue was no longer an option.

 

MLB reports:  What is a typical day for you like working in ESPN?

Royce Dickerson:  I love my job cause everyday is different. I go into work everyday around 4pm and start getting prepared for our 4:30p.m. ET production meeting where we sit down with the entire show staff and lay out the day, talk about the biggest games, big storylines, news of the day, what the analysts at thinking about and looking forward too and just start setting the table for that day. From that point the producers and the other associate producers on the show attempt to figure out the best course of action for the show that night and assignments are handed out. On days that I am the segment producer for the show I am responsible for producing the BBTN Extra and all of the other segments that are requested for our group. When I produce segments we all sit in a room with the analyst and anchor and watch games and let our show develop during the night. Picking what game to lead the show with, what storylines we find in games and put a great show on TV that night for baseball fans. On days I don’t produce segments I cut the breakdown tapes for the analysts. I watch games, go to the analysts with ideas about what we can show on the tape or some night ill cut Web Gems for the show among other elements that are seen during the night. The days are long cause we don’t leave till all the games are over so we can react to anything. That means staying at work till that 10:15p.m. ET Padres vs Giants game ends at 2:00a.m. or later.

 

MLB reports:  How many times a day do you pinch yourself knowing that you have a dream job for so many sports fans?

Royce Dickerson:  There are definitely those times when that happens. I am lucky to get to go a lot of places and see a lot of awesome things. There is nothing like being getting to cover the game for the national media and just being around the people that I get to work with on a daily basis.

 

MLB reports:  Where do you see yourself in five years from now?

Royce Dickerson:  In five years I see myself being a full-out producer for ESPN. Whether that means covering Baseball or Producing SportsCenter for the Network, I don’t see myself leaving ESPN anytime soon. It’s a great place to work and I am lucky enough to get to watch sports and report it for a living.

 

MLB reports:  Final question:  What is the future of sports broadcasting?  What changes do you foresee over time?

Royce Dickerson:  It’s a rapidly changing field in which something can and will change at any moment. I do however feel good working for a company such as ESPN. We are always looking at ways to make our product more viewer friendly and enhance their experience in watching our shows and that is something that will never change.

***A special thank you to Royce Dickerson for his time and effort as part of being interviewed for this article.  You can follow Royce on Twitter (@Royce3D) and please feel free to leave your comments and feedback at the bottom of this page.  We love to hear from you!***

 

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.

My 2012 MLB Hall of Fame Ballot: Blandy’s Picks

Friday December 23rd, 2011

Rob Bland:  According to Baseball-Reference, there are 27 former Major League players eligible for the Baseball Hall of Fame.  13 of these players are new on the ballot.  Every year only one or two players are inducted, but this year, there should most definitely be more, although it is doubtful that the BBWAA actually induct more than two.  In order to be elected, a player must receive 75% of the total votes.  If a player receives less than 5% of the vote, or if he has gone 15 years without receiving the 75%, he is then taken off the list.

Of the newcomers, there is one player who deserves any attention; however I do not believe that he should ever be elected to the Hall.  After all, the Baseball Hall of Fame is supposed to be the best of the very best.  Career .297/.381/.477 hitter with 4 Gold Glove Awards in a premium position?  Seems like an almost lock to make it.  However, Bernie Williams and his World Series rings was not GREAT.  He was merely very good, on some great teams.  


Of the returnees, only two players received 50% of the votes, where 75% is necessary to be enshrined.

My list of players I would vote for, as well as near-misses are as follows:

Barry Larkin received 62.1% of the votes last year, and will likely be in by 2013.  Larkin played a premium position (shortstop), a 12-time All-Star, 9-time Silver Slugger, 1995 National League MVP, all while playing parts of 19 seasons with the Cincinnati Reds.  Seems pretty obvious to me.  YES.

Jack Morris is on the ballot for his 13th time, and I am really not sure how he was able to get 53.5% of the vote in 2011.  Sure, there is something to say about a durable innings-eater with 254 career wins, but upon closer look at his stats, he does not deserve to be in the Hall.  With an ERA+ of 105, a 1.296 WHIP, K/9 under 6, and K/BB of 1.78, he doesn’t scream “elite”, but good pitcher who came up huge in clutch situations.  NO.

Jeff Bagwell is still shrouded in controversy as many members of the media continue to believe he took steroids.  I am a guy who doesn’t believe in the asterisks or the stripping of records for those who did such things.  With a career .948 OPS and 149 OPS+, to go along with 449 home runs in 15 seasons, NL Rookie of the Year in 1991, NL MVP in 1994, there is no way he should be kept out of the Hall.  YES.

Edgar Martinez is a tough case because of the fact that he was predominantly a designated hitter in his career.  Therefore, he added basically zero defensive value over the course of his 18 year career.  However, upon looking at his stats, he more than makes up for it in offensive production.  With a career slash line of .312/.418/.515/.933 and OPS+ of 147, he was one of the best pure hitters of his generation.  He may not have been the most prolific home run hitter, but he mashed doubles in Seattle throughout his career at a very high rate.  YES.

Tim Raines was a great lead-off hitter.  Over 23 seasons, he reached base at a .385 clip, and stole 808 bases.  Between 1981 and 1987, it is hard to imagine a better hitter atop the line-up.  In those 7 seasons, he stole 504 bases, averaging 72 per season, including 90 in 1983.  However, his production (while still good), fell off dramatically at this point of his career.  Because of this, it is tough to vote him in.  NO, although very close.

Larry Walker is one of the all-time greatest Canadian players, and I feel as though this could be extremely biased.  Regardless of the fact that he played in Coors Field in the mid to late 90’s where balls soared out of the stadium at an alarming pace, Walker put up some incredible numbers.  Walker’s OPS+ of 140 with a slash line of .313/.400/.565/.965 is pretty ridiculous.  (OPS+ is adjusted to the hitter’s ballpark, so it shows just how ridiculous he actually was).  The 1997 NL MVP should be the second Canadian in the Hall after Fergie Jenkins.  YES.

Fred McGriff is in his 3rd year of eligibility, only received 17.9% of votes last year.  The Crime Dog was never flashy, but he was a consistent performer year in and year out for his 19 seasons.  Between 1988 and 1994, he never hit under 31 home runs (including 34 HR in 113 games in the strike-shortened 1994 season).  He was consistently a very good player, but unfortunately for him, he was never considered to be an elite first baseman, which is what the Hall of Fame stands for.  NO, but very close.

Mark McGwire.  The most controversial choice on the ballot, is my last selection.  Although he has admitted that he has taken steroids, and has been the hitting coach of 2011 World Series Champs St. Louis Cardinals, many believe he should not be in the Hall.  However, a career .982 OPS and 162 OPS+is enough for me.  The 11-time All-Star hit 583 home runs, and his career 162-game average was 50 home runs.  There is no way I would keep him out of the Hall, but there are many others who will do everything to keep him out.  YES.

The 2012 Hall of Fame class will be more stripped down than my version, with the potential of zero players getting in. Barry Larkin may have a better chance in 2012, due to the fact that he will not be overshadowed by Roberto Alomar, who received the third-most votes of all time to be enshrined in the Hall, with 523.  Stay tuned for the results when they are released.

***Today’s feature was prepared by our Baseball Writer, Rob Bland.  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 Blandy 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 onFacebook .  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.

My 2012 MLB Hall of Fame Ballot

Sunday December 18th, 2011

Sam Evans:  2012 brings several new candidates to the MLB Hall of Fame ballot.  One thing that really annoys me about the current voting process is that it can take up to fifteen years for a player to be elected. So instead of saying that a player should/could be elected in the future, I’d rather they be elected right away.

For any Hall of Famer, I think they need to have at least ten seasons where they were one of the best players at their respective position. Also, if there is indisputable evidence of them using steroids, then I won’t vote for them.Without futher ado, let’s get to the players:

Mark McGwire: My vote is a no. Given his steroid use, I can’t bring myself to support one of the most dominant hitters of the 1990’s.

Barry Larkin: Larkin is a yes for me. From 1988 to 2000, he was the best shortstop in all of baseball. Yes, even better than Cal Ripken Jr. Larkin was a twelve time All-Star and he won the 1995 NL MVP award. In 2011, he received 62.1% of the BBWAA votes. He only needs about 13% more of the votes to make it this year, and it would be pretty surprising if he didn’t get in this time.

Jack Morris: Jack Morris is not a Hall of Famer. Jack Morris did show America that a starting pitcher can win clutch games for his team all by himself. In Game 7 of the 1991 World Series against the Braves, Morris threw a ten inning shutout. This probably was the greatest World Series performance of all-time. However, when you look at his overall numbers, they’re just not that impressive. A career ERA of 3.90 and only 39.3 career WAR are just not enough for the Hall of Fame. Morris will always be remembered for his great clutch performances, but he doesn’t deserve to be a Hall of Famer. 2012 will be his twelfth year of eligibility, and he actually has a decent chance to make it. In 2010, he received his highest percentage of votes to-date, with 53.5%.

Edgar Martinez: My vote is a yes. Without Edgar, who knows if we’d still have the DH? You can read more about Edgar and the Hall of Fame in my previous article here.

Jeff Bagwell: This is a very easy yes for me. Bagwell collected an 83.9 WAR in his career. That is more than Derek Jeter and Reggie Jackson. Bagwell was an extremely consistent player, who won a ROY and MVP award. As of right now, Jeff Bagwell is the best player who played his whole career in the state of Texas. In his first year of eligibility, “Bagpipes” received 41.7% of the voters votes. He will definitely make it in the next couple of years.

Bernie Williams: Bernie Williams is a hesitant yes for me.  I have only liked two Yankees players in my history of fandom. Mariano Rivera and Bernie Williams. Williams played the game every day like there was nowhere in the world he would rather be. Williams played about league-average defense, yet won four Gold Gloves due to his stature as a Yankee. Williams won four World Series and is now a superstar Jazz musician. However, the athleticism of Williams never translated into him being a great center fielder. Williams was solid at what ground he did cover, but he never really covered as much space as a center fielder should. Williams had a disappointing -109 TZ (total zone; a stat used to find how much ground a player covers) over the course of his career. However, Williams should be a Hall of Famer because of his loyalty to his team and helping break the Puerto Rican-American barriers. Williams was never the best player at his position, let alone his team, but he was a shining star in an era in which we needed one. This will be Williams’ first year of eligibility.

Bill Mueller: No chance I would vote for Mueller. Bill Mueller only played eleven seasons and he never even made an All-Star team. Every Hall of Famer should have at least fifteen years to their resume. Mueller was a decent player and he helped the Red Sox win the World Series in 2004, but he was not a Hall of Fame type player.

Larry Walker and Fred McGriff: Walker is a yes for me, and McGriff is a no. You can read more about these players in my previous article here.

2012 should be an interesting year for Cooperstown. There are probably three players that could be elected this year and they all deserve it. Lost in all of the comparisons of players from different era’s, we often forget how good all of these players were. Instead of criticizing people’s opinions on who deserves a vote, we should just appreciate all of the players’ individual greatness for what they are.

***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 onFacebook .  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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