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Update: Friday March 1, 2013
By Ryan Dana (MLB Reports Writer): Follow @ryandana1
2012 was a disappointing year for the Philadelphia Phillies, as they saw their stranglehold on the NL East diminish to the point that they missed the playoffs for the 1st time since 2006. In fact 2012 was the 1st time since ’06 that someone other than the Phillies won the NL East. The team is also not that far removed from a World Series championship which they won in ’08. In 2012 with the emergence of the Washington Nationals, and the re-emergence of a very capable Atlanta Braves organization, the Phillies found themselves finishing with an 81-81 record, only good enough for 3rd in the division.
The Phillies saw themselves selling at the trade deadline, moving OFs Shane Victorino, and Hunter Pence, followed by a waiver induced trade of Joe Blanton. Make it clear though, Philadelphia plans to compete for the NL East again in 2013, made evident by their off-season moves. They are an aging team of veterans, with a depleted farm system, so this year might be their best chance to get back to the promise land and play some October baseball. The Phillies have a lot of money committed to players, so hopefully what they have on their current 40 Man Roster is enough.
Philadelphia Phillies Highlights 2012:
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Friday, February. 15/2013
By Ryan Dana (MLB Reports Writer): Follow @ryandana1
Brian McCann, Catcher for the Atlanta Braves, has had a great amount of success playing baseball in Georgia his whole life — but could he finally be leaving the Peach State following the 2013 MLB season? McCann was born in Athens Georgia, went to Duluth High School in Duluth Georgia, and currently resides in Lawrenceville Georgia while playing baseball in nearby Atlanta. McCann hasn’t strayed far from his roots to this point in his life. He was drafted out of high school in the 2nd round of the 2002 MLB Draft by his hometown Braves, but his current contract with the team is up after the 2013 season. The Braves just invested a lot of money in the Upton brothers, and may not be so eager to throw a bunch of money at an offensive-minded Catcher whose production at the plate was the worst of his career in 2012. Add in the fact that they have a highly regarded Catching prospect named Christian Bethancourt – who may be ready to contribute to the big club by the start of 2014, or soon thereafter.
There is also Evan Gattis who, while most likely not a threat to steal McCann’s job behind the dish, could be a part of replacing him if need be. So while McCann is coming off surgery to repair a torn labrum in his throwing shoulder, and a career worst season at the plate, he needs to show the Braves, or any other potential suitor for that matter, that he is still a major asset to any lineup and will be for years to come.
McCann’s accolades are quite impressive for a soon to be 29 Year old. McCann reached the Majors in 2005 at just 21 Years of Age, and never looked back. He is a 6 time All-Star (2006-2011), and 5 time Silver Slugger (2006, 2008-2011). He is a career .279/.351/.475 hitter who has averaged 22 HRs and 83 RBI per year since his 1st full season in 2006. Prior to last season he had never hit less than .269 and never had an OPS of less than .772. Last season McCann hit .230/.300/.399 giving him an OPS of only .698. He added 20 HRs and 67 RBI, but overall his numbers were not what you would expect from Brian McCann.
2012 Brian McCann Highlights – Mature Lyrics may be present so Parental Guidance is advised:
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Friday, February. 08/2013
By Ryan Dana (MLB Reports Intern): Follow @ryandana1
Who is Jose Bautista? He is a 32-Year Old, Dominican, Major League Baseball player. He is the starting Right Fielder and number 3 hitter in the Toronto Blue Jays lineup. He is a 3x All-Star (’10-’12), 2x Silver Slugger Award winner (’10-’11), and 2x Hank Aaron Award winner (’10-’11). Bautista is a former 20th round draft pick of the Pittsburgh Pirate s- who struggled to make any significant impact for a Major League team into his late 20’s. He arose from baseball obscurity and launched into the spotlight seemingly overnight. Bautista’s breakout campaign in 2010 was followed with an even better 2011, which was all foreshadowed by a promising September in ’09 – where he tapped into a power surge hitting 10 HRs in the month.
This was especially surprising since his career high for HRs in a season to that point was only 16 in ‘06. Modifications Bautista made in his swing were career changing. He completely reinvented the system he was using to time pitching, and it paid big dividends. Bautista’s success forced the Rogers Center to keep their roof open for all home games due to the amount of moonshots he was hitting. I’m only joking, but he did hit an MLB high 54 HRs in 2010 and 43 HRs in 2011.
Jose Bautista 2012 Highlights Mix:
Monday October 8th, 2012
Patrick Languzzi (Cooperstown Correspondent, Twitter @PatrickLanguzzi):
I’ll be honest, when my editor handed me the assignment of posting my thoughts on Keith Hernandez and the Hall of Fame, I initially thought: Was Hernandez ever really a “superstar”? Aren’t those the kind of players that generally get elected to the Hall of Fame?
Hernandez lasted nine years on the Hall of Fame ballot, peaking in 1998 at 10.8 percent of the votes. He was the 1979 National League Most Valuable Player. Hernandez finished his career with a .296 batting average, was selected to five All-Star games, received two-Silver Slugger Awards, won a record setting 11 Gold Gloves, and is arguably considered the greatest fielding first baseman of all-time.
So why isn’t he in the Hall of Fame? Read the rest of this entry
Tuesday August 14th, 2012
Patrick Languzzi (Cooperstown Correspondent, Twitter @PatrickLanguzzi): On July 22nd, 2012, Ron Santo was inducted into The National Baseball Hall of Fame.
Santo, a long time radio broadcaster for the Chicago Cubs, had no reservations about sharing his passion for baseball, his beloved Cubs and the Hall of Fame, where he felt he had always belonged.
And, according to Joe Lemire of SI.com’s inside baseball, Santo once told Chicago Magazine, “The last thing I want is to die and then be put into the Hall of Fame. It’s not because I won’t be there to enjoy it, exactly. It’s because I want to enjoy it with family and friends and fans. I want to see them enjoy it.”
Sadly, we lost Ron Santo before he ever got a chance to receive the phone call he longed to yearn for. Santo passed away slightly more than a year (and two days) to the day he was to finally be elected into baseballs highest pantheon.
“This is not a sad day, not at all. This is a very happy day… I am certain that Ronnie is celebrating with us right now.” -Vicki Santo
On December 5, 2011, Ron Santo was voted into the Hall of Fame 15-1 by the Golden Era committee (Veterans) some 31 years after he first became eligible. At the end of the day, few will remember how a player got into Cooperstown, or how long it took. Once the plaques are on the famed wall, all hall of famers are treated the same. It took too long, but Ron Santo’s plaque is finally where it belongs. Read the rest of this entry
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
Wednesday July.11, 2012
Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer and @chuckbooth3024 on twitter)- There is only so much one can read in an article, otherwise I would make these lists up from the turn of the 20th century. If you gave me enough time as a reader, I promise to backdate this topic with another article featuring the best teams dating back further in years. Eventually, all of the years may be dissected and we can have a healthy debate on some of my selections. I really started watching baseball in the early 1980′s. As I became older and discovered ways to research the history of the game, my knowledge and curious mind grew for more information. I have studied and read baseball stat books and breezed through the odd Bill James novel. If I ever take a break from writing or baseball park chasing, I may find some time down the road to watch the 9 part PBS documentary that Ken Burns did on baseball’s history.
Baseball lends itself more to the history than any other sport because of how it has been chronicled throughout their past. Writers, announcers, former players, parents etc.. have always carried on with the stories of America’s favorite pastime. I will never be sold that NFL is the greatest pastime in sports right now. NFL is the greatest gambling sport presently. It is my firm belief that the only reason why the NFL draws in more cash from its sport is because of the gambling factor. If you took that aspect out of it, I believe baseball is the #1 sport. Can you imagine how much attention we would pay to baseball if there were only a 16 game schedule? Enough with that rant, let’s get down to the list. Who were the best teams at any specific time period for the last 32 years? We will start with the Philadelphia Phillies from 1980-1983. Read the rest of this entry