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Thursday Feb.28th, 2013
By Haley Smilow (MLB Reports Junior Reporter and Writer): Follow @smilow
February is black history month. This made me think about the impact that African-Americans have had on the sports world. One of the biggest impacts, in my opinion, was the Negro Leagues. In August 2011, I was lucky enough to go to Kansas City to see a Royals vs. Yankees game. What I did not know was the history of baseball in K.C. is more then just the Royals.
I learned about many great players and the history of a great league on my visit to the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum. I never imaged that baseball was once divided based on the color of your skin. The Negro Leagues Baseball Museum is dedicated to preserving the history of great black players. In the 1920’s, a structured league of black players began under the guidance of Rube Foster, and The Negro Leagues were born.
The Negro Leagues had many great players and stories of men like Satchel Paige, James “Cool Papa” Bell, Josh Gibson, Buck O’Neil, Jackie Robinson and many others, including one amazing women named Effa Manley. What made these people great were their astonishing abilities.
Jackie Robinson Steals Home Plate!
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Tuesday February 26th, 2013
Bernie Olshansky (Baseball Writer): Follow @BernieOlshansky
After the signings and trade this winter, Atlanta Braves fans have a lot to be excited about. The Braves made a big impact by signing B.J. Upton and trading for his brother, Justin. Both young outfielders have tremendous skill and will undoubtedly make an impact on the National League East. The Braves got an early jump on the Free Agent market by signing B.J. Upton early in the winter. The main reason for the B.J. Upton signing was to replace Michael Bourn in Center Field.
Bourn became a Free Agent after 2012 and wound up with the Cleveland Indians. The Braves strengthened their outfield even further with the acquisition of B.J.’s brother, Justin, in a trade with the Arizona Diamondbacks that meant sending utility-man Martin Prado.
Jason Heyward 2012 Highlights Mature Lyrics so Parental Guidance is Advised:
Thursday November 15th, 2012
Alex Mednick (Baseball Writer and Analyst)
Last week Jonathan Hacohen, the founder of MLBReports.com called to my attention that the Tampa Bay Rays are an anomaly. Ultimately, if you look at the way their team is structured and where their talent lays, and the kind of game that Joe Maddon manages the Rays are ultimately a National League team; displaced in the AL East. The Rays greatest strength is their depth of pitching that they can reach into the bowels of an amazing farm system ripe with young talent. But from there on out, they rely on an offense that generates runs due to other inefficiencies.
With B.J. Upton leaving town, and Carlos Pena only a carcass of what he once was, there is ultimately zero power left in their lineup. Their DH for the past two years have been the likes of an aging Johnny Damon, Hideki Matsui, and Luke Scott. Ownership is constantly complaining about attendance and looking for bargain free agents like Johnny Damon to bring in at the end of their careers and hopefully attract some Yankees and Red Sox fans to the stadium.
At this point, the Rays power hitters are Evan Longoria, Matt Joyce and Ben Zobrist. They have an amazing nucleus of pitching talent, including David Price who just won the AL Cy Young, and they are mentioning trading almost all of their starting pitchers. This is understandable, as you have to dish out talent to bring back offensive talent that they are in great need of. But I still have major gripes with the way owner Stuart Sternberg has approached the past 4 seasons in St. Petersburg, and I will get into more detail about this in a little while. Read the rest of this entry
Thursday November 8th, 2012
Bernie Olshansky: With center fielder B.J. Upton most likely leaving for free agency, the Tampa Bay Rays will have some gaps to fill in their lineup this offseason. Unless they sign a high-profile free agent like Josh Hamilton (which I discussed in my last feature), the Rays will need to make a move to land a bat. The Rays have a solid pitching staff. Some may even say they have a pitching surplus. With David Price and James Shields leading the staff that includes Jeremy Hellickson and Matt Moore, the Rays can say that pitching is their strength. Out of all these pitchers, one should probably be traded though in order to boost the offense.
The two pitchers that would carry the most trade value on the staff are Shields and Price. Hellickson and Moore are both young and somewhat unproven, so they would probably not provide much of a return. Shields is a pitcher I compare to Mat Latos, who was traded to the Cincinnati Reds from the San Diego Padres last offseason. The Padres cashed in big time. For Latos, the they got a haul including Edinson Volquez, the projected number two starter in the Reds’ rotation at the time, Yonder Alonso, a top prospect, and Yasmani Grandal, another prospect and first-round pick. If the Rays traded Shields and got a deal similar to that of the Padres, they would be set up quite nicely for future success.
The Streak ended at 30 MLB Parks in 23 calendar days!!
I broke my old record of 24 days by being-Fastest to see all 30 MLB parks in 23 days from April 6th to 28th!
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MLB Park # 22 Day # 17
TEX @ DET
Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer and @chuckbooth3024)-The passenger exchange was made at 4:30 AM near the Forrest Lawn Oasis. I jumped from the car that Ken Lee was in to Bob Devries’s rental car. We were on our way to Comerica Park via Highway 94. Through the course of the drive, Bob and I realized we know everything there is to know about rental cars. I rent cars for 365 days a year and Bob rents cars every weekend. It is not often people can relate to all of my car rental stories. I haven’t even owned a car since 2009. If the market was ever to drastically change I would be out of a job and a car. The day was going to be sunny from our drive in. After arriving into town early we headed towards HockeyTown and Cheli’s. We then moved onwards to a Bar Called ‘Bookies’ off of Elizabeth Street. This bar was ideal because it was where we parked for $5.
I had a BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwich with curly fries inside the Sandwich. It was tasty and hit the spot. Bob had the local IPA Beer. About an hour later we met up with the Salter Family (Joe, Dianne, Anthony, Jake and Robert). These guys have been part of every one of my streaks. I met them 1st in 2008 at PNC Park when I almost broke the World Record the first time around. In 2009, the Salter’s were there with me front and center when MLB Park #30 was completed at Comerica. I call these guys my good luck ‘surrogate’ baseball family. I was happy that Bob was there to meet them as well. We all took pictures and headed up to our seats. Read the rest of this entry