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Triple Play Podcast Episode 2 Of 2014: Empire State Of Mind: NYM + NYY + TOR Chat

 

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

The Triple Play Show will have 2 shows per month. Each show will be about 1 hour. Chuck Booth will guest once a month for MLB  Reports Power Rankings,

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

Mike Silva (Radio Host 1240 AM WGBB, Long Island New York – 19 Minute Mark and a 31 Min segment) )

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New York, New York big city of dreams where not everything is as it seems, so we had Mike Silva (http://www.mikesilvamedia.com)of WGBB1240 AM break down the Mets and a bit of the Yankees + our new Mt .Flushmore segment. Read the rest of this entry

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Sully Baseball Daily Podcast – January 26, 2014

AP Photo/Colin E. Braley

AP Photo/Colin E. Braley


It is The Sunday Request on The Sully Baseball Daily Podcast.

It may seem counter productive and sacrilegious, but sometimes wanting your club to fall on its face isn’t such a bad thing. But the circumstances have to be right.

To subscribe to The Sully Baseball Daily Podcast on iTunes, click HERE.

To subscribe on SoundCloud, click HERE.

Sully Baseball Daily Podcast – January 26, 2014

Sully Baseball Daily Podcast – September 12, 2013

mobig day

Today on The Sully Baseball Daily Podcast, I move to a new house.

Plus I admire Gerald Laird and Alan Embree and I am mad at Bobby Valentine.

Robinson Cano, James Shields, Justin Morneau and Jose Fernandez all owned baseball on September 11, 2013.

To see the up to date tally of “Who Owns Baseball?,” click HERE.

Subscribe on iTunes HERE.

Sully Baseball Daily Podcast – September 12, 2013

Triple Play Podcast Episode #14: Empire State Of Mind: NYY + NYM Chat

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Sunday, June.23, 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. Chuck Booth will guest once a month for MLB Power Rankings,

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

Guests in this Podcast – James Acevedo (MLB Reports 2 And A Hook Podcast Host – 42 Minute Mark and a 15 Minute Segment) 

Mike Silva (Radio Host 1240 AM WGBB, Long Island New York – 14 Minute Mark and a 27 Min segment)

New York, New York big city of dreams where not everything is as it seems, so we had Mike Silva of WGBB1240 AM and James Acevedo of the Bench Warmers and 2 and a Hook podcasts come on and break down the Mets and Yankees.Mt Rushmore, BetHubb.com best bets and Blue Jays talk too. Another Home Run show! Read the rest of this entry

Eight Things To Watch For At Red Sox Spring Training

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Friday, February.15, 2013

Lester had started his career 61-26 (.709) before he has pitched to a 24-22 record the last two seasons (.522). Lester still led the active pitchers in Winning Percentage before the 2012 year - but now has fallen to 7th with a Career Record of 85-48 (.639).  Can he prove himself as an ace without Josh Beckett

Lester had started his career 61-26 (.709) before he has pitched to a 24-22 record the last two seasons (.522). Lester still led the active pitchers in Winning Percentage before the 2012 year – but now has fallen to 7th with a Career Record of 85-48 (.639). Can he prove himself as an ace without Josh Beckett.

By Saul Wisnia,  Red Sox Correspondent (Read his blog ‘Fenway Reflections’ here):

Now that the obligatory Q&A sessions about what went wrong in 2012 and what everyone thinks about Terry Francona‘s book are (hopefully) over, it’s time for Red Sox players and fans to start focusing on the season ahead.

The full squad was due at Jet Blue Park at Fenway South yesterday, but many position players showed up in Fort Myers early — a good sign that the club is hungry to rise from its unfamiliar spot in the American League East basement. While the club’s won-loss mark in spring training games is not necessarily a barometer of what is to come, the stage for the season can be largely set during the next seven weeks. 

Past the Youtube clip or (Read Rest Of this Entry Click) are eight intriguing story lines to watch for leading up to Opening Day at Yankee Stadium on April 1:

Boston Red Sox Highlights In 2012 – including 100th Year Celebration at Fenway:

Read the rest of this entry

Boston Red Sox Pitching Roster in 2013: State Of The Union Part 2

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Sunday, January.20, 2013

For the the Boston Red Sox State Of The Union Part 1:  The Hitters blog,  click here.

Clay and Jon Had Better Be On!

Lester had started his career 61-26 (.709) before he has pitched to a 24-22 record the last two seasons (.522). Lester still led the active pitchers in Winning Percentage before the 2012 year - but now has fallen to 7th with a Career Record of 85-48 (.639)

Lester had started his career 61-26 (.709) before he has pitched to a 24-22 record the last two seasons (.522). Lester still led the Active Pitchers in Winning Percentage before the 2012 year – but now has fallen to 7th with a Career Record of 85-48 (.639).

By Saul Wisnia,  Red Sox Correspondent (Read his blog ‘Fenway Reflections’ here):

The fate of the 2013 Red Sox may very well lay in two sets of statistics:

Pitcher/Wins-Losses/WHIP/ERA
Jon Lester: 33-15, 1.19, 3.17
Clay Buchholz: 23-10, 1.233, 2.70

Lester: 9-14, 1.383, 4.82
Buchholz: 11-8, 1.326, 4.56

The first numbers cover the period from April 2010 through August 2011, when Lester and Buchholz were two of the best starting pitchers in the American League. “WHIP” — walks plus hits per innings pitched — has become a popular measuring stick for effectiveness.

Jon Lester Highlights:

Read the rest of this entry

The Red Sox Are Spending All That Cash Without Acquiring Pitching!

Tuesday December 11, 2012

250px-BenCherington

Kyle Holland (MLB Reports Intern):

The summer of 2012 was by far the Red Sox worst in recent memory. Hiring Bobby Valentine might have turned out to be the Red Sox front office’s worst decision within the last 20 years. It was probably a worst decision than signing Carl Crawford for seven years and $142 Million. The Sox have decided during the 2012-13 offseason that they would dish out some money to spend again. Their only problem? They are not spending any money on what they really need, pitching.

They drove through 9 starting pitchers throughout the 2012 campaign and their ERA leader had a 4.56 ERA. That’s not a very good ERA for a team leader. The same man, Clay Buchholz , also led the team with 11 wins. Also not amazing for a team leader. Read the rest of this entry

Why the Red Sox Need Jacoby Ellsbury and David Ortiz To Stay Healthy In 2013

Tuesday December 4, 2012

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Kyle Holland (MLB Reports Intern):

Every Boston fan, heck every baseball fan knows what a disaster the 2012 season was for the Red Sox. Coming off the off-season they had some high hopes. They signed a new manager in Bobby Valentine and Adrian Gonzalez was coming off one of the best years of his career. Plus, they were looking forward to the 100th year of Fenway Park celebration. Clearly whatever hopes they had were down the drain by the All-Star break. What was the biggest reason for this disaster of a season besides Bobby V? Injuries?

For one, Crawford was out until mid July and then again from mid August until he got traded. But the Red Sox most importantly need healthy years from centerfielder Jacoby Ellsbury and DH David Ortiz. Read the rest of this entry

The Toronto Blue Jays Franchise 1994-2012: Part 2 of a 7 Part Series

Wednesday, Nov.28th, 2012

Note from Chuck Booth:  I am attempting to bring the history for each of the 30 MLB Franchises into a 5-7 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.

Today’s Part 2 Feature of the Blue Jays Franchise will be written by our Baseball Writer Alex Mednick.  To do this franchise series service, Alex has studied this club a lot more than I have in the last 20 years and will do this article better justice for you the reader!

Alex Mednick (Baseball Writer and Analyst):

Note from Alex Mednick:  Chuck Booth offered to me the opportunity to step in to his Franchise Series and cover the Blue Jays history from 1994-Present. I gladly accepted the honor.

In Part 1 of this series, Chuck covered the Blue Jays history from their humble beginnings at Exhibition Stadium in 1977, through the glory years in the late 80s and early 90s.  The story dropped off right after the Blue Jays won back-to-back World Championships in 1992 and 1993.  We closed the books with the walk-off winning home run by Joe Carter to win the World Series, and the parties and celebrations that were to follow across Ontario, Canada.  I will pick it back up at the beginning of the 1994 season, when the Blue Jays had high hopes to win a third consecutive world championship.

(Scroll Down Past the Links or Click the READ MORE OF THIS ENTRY ICON.)

Franchise Series Links:

Franchise History Part 1 1977-1993:  http://mlbreports.com/2012/11/09/jays1/

The Hitters:  The Toronto Blue Jays Franchise Hitters: Part 3 Of A 7 Part Article Series: 

The Pitchers:  The Toronto Blue Jays Franchise Pitchers Part 4 Of A 7 Part Series

Skydome:  An Interview with ‘Rogers Centre Expert’ and “MLB reports Founder” Jonathan Hacohen Part 5 of 7

2013 Team Payroll:  http://mlbreports.com/2012/09/10/tor/

Special Bonus Fan Blog Of 2013 Team Payroll:   http://mlbreports.com/2012/09/12/torfanalex/

Read the rest of this entry

The Legacy of Chris Carpenter: Savior in St. Louis

Thursday October 18th, 2012

Chris Carpenter started his career in Toronto after being the 15th overall selection in the 1994 draft. After the 2001 season, the Toronto Blue Jays made a calculated decision not to offer Carpenter a major league contract. He elected for free agency, rather than pitching in the minors for Toronto, and his legacy in St. Louis began when the Cardinals picked him up.

Alex Mednick (Baseball Analyst and Writer):

The legend of Chris Carpenter started as a 19-year-old pitching for the Medicine Hat Blue Jays in 1994.  He was the 15th overall pick by the World Series Champion Toronto Blue Jays in the 1993 draft.  He was a physical specimen built to stand atop a 9.5” hill and stare down at hitters as they stared back at his 6 foot, 6 inch frame.  Drafted out of Manchester, New Hampshire, the 19-year-old already had a plus fastball and a nice curveball.  By 1997, at the age of 22, Chris Carpenter had broken into the Toronto Blue Jays rotation and was pitching against the best hitters in the world.

As a mid-season call up in 1997, Carpenter struggled in Toronto, hosting an ERA above 5.00 and a record of 3-7 over 13 games.  His role in Toronto was mostly to eat innings, and he was there to gain experience and hopefully blossom into what the Blue Jays brass new head could be.  He was in a rotation that consisted of the 1996 AL Cy Young winner Pat Hentgen, as well as the 1997 AL Cy Young winner Roger Clemens, so he had some serious  mentors to help guide him on breaking into the big leagues.  Despite his amazing talent, Carpenter struggled for most of his first season in Toronto and was eventually moved into the bullpen.  In 1998 however, he emerged and gave everyone at least a glimpse  of what would eventually come of Chris Carpenter, while proving himself to already be a competent starter capable of winning games.  He led the Toronto Blue Jays (tied with Pat Hentgen) with 12 wins in 1998, and continued to pitch well into 1999…at least until he became cursed by a spell of injuries. Read the rest of this entry

ATR: Ask the Reports Answers Your Baseball Questions: Hamilton Leaving Texas, Valentine’s Future, Crawford’s Return and More!

Saturday October 13th, 2012



Posted every Weekend: Your top baseball questions from the past week are answered. E-mail all questions to mlbreports@me.com, message us on Twitter, post on our Facebook Wall and leave comments on our website! There are many ways to reach us and we will get to your questions from all social media outlets!

Jonathan Hacohen: Today is one of those days where I am going to mix things up slightly. Go in a different direction- use a new style. Heck, it is playoff time! I got thinking last weekend after talking to one of our favorite readers. Lonnie Collins love Cincinnati. He eats, breathes and sleeps the Reds. But despite the love of his team, he is an overall baseball fan. Players of old and new- any team- anytime, Lonnie is up for baseball talk. When we were chatting on twitter the other day (Lonnie’s handle is @aplayatobenamed), he sent me a rapid fire list of questions. Bang bang bang…one after the other. He covered off such an interesting and diverse list of topics, that he got me thinking. Gosh, this man loves baseball!

So in honor of the great baseball fan Lonnie Collins, this week’s edition of ATR is devoted exclusively to his questions. 

Lonnie, thank you for your readership and support. The whole MLB reports team appreciates it! 

Now let’s get to Lonnie’s top questions of the week: Read the rest of this entry

Orioles vs. Yankees: Curse of Maier May Be Over

Wednesday October 10th, 2012

The last time the Yankees and Orioles met in Postseason play was in 1996. The Orioles lost that series, and a lot of fingers were pointed at the controversial home run caught young fan, Jeffrey Maier. The Orioles postseason fate may be different this time around against the Bronx Bombers.

Alex Mednick (Baseball Analyst and Writer):

The last time the Baltimore Orioles and the New York Yankees met in the playoffs was in 1996 in the ALCS.  Like in 2012, Andy Pettitte and Derek Jeter were on the Yankees roster.  The Orioles boasted a lineup that consisted of Rafael Palmeiro, Roberto Alomar, Cal Ripken Jr., B.J Surhoff, and Brady Anderson—who was having a career year.  That lineup, along with a rotation consisting of Mike Mussina and Scott Erickson and Jimmy Key, gave Baltimore an imposing roster that the Camden Faithful could expect to make a playoff run.

15 years later we see a tale that is much more of a David and Goliath story. The Orioles have not been in the playoff’s since 1997 and have finished 5th place in the AL East for the last 4 consecutive seasons.  The Yankees, conversely, have made the postseason 17 out of the last 18 seasons.  After getting off to a hot start, the Orioles made a trade for future Hall of Famer, Jim Thome, to help add some pop and veteran leadership to their lineup.  Even later in the season, when the team still found themselves in serious contention for October baseball, they called up 20-year-old phenom Manny Machado, who wasn’t even alive when Jim Thome took his first swing in the Major League.  Now, Manny Machado finds himself playing on the same field as his childhood hero, Alex Rodriguez. Read the rest of this entry

ATR: Ask the Reports Answers Your Baseball Questions: Yadier for NL MVP, Wild Card Rosters, USA in WBC 2013, Triple Crown for Miggy and Scioscia to Boston?

Sunday September 30th, 2012



Posted every Weekend: Your top baseball questions from the past week are answered. E-mail all questions to mlbreports@gmail.com, message us on Twitter, post on our Facebook Wall and leave comments on our website! There are many ways to reach us and we will get to your questions from all social media outlets! We love to hear from you- so keep the questions coming every week!

Jonathan Hacohen: I am going to channel some Jose Canseco right now. No- I don’t think that I can travel to the future. Or that everyone is out to get me. But I want to send a message to the “haters”. You know who you are. The so-called baseball traditionalists that cry every time our great sport makes any kind of adjustment. Every time there is realignment, relocation, expanded rosters, playoffs…the haters scream to the heavens. They say: leave the game alone! While I love the game the way it is, without a doubt, I still feel the need for improvements. But I take them on case by case basis.  The designated hitter? I say abolish the whole thing and go back to pitchers hitting in both leagues. I love the NL style of play, with real in-game decisions and strategies. But maybe that’s just me. While I may want to go back in time when it comes to the DH, I definitely look to the future on many subjects. For interleague play (assuming DH stays), I would play NL rules in AL parks and vice versa. Let’s mix it up! I say let’s increase rosters- up to 28-30 players per team. Poor attendance teams? Relocate. Expand by 2 teams to bring an even 16/16 split between leagues. From there, completely realign into 4 divisions of 4 teams each. And so the possibility of changes in baseball is endless.

Keeping that in mind, I come to a very hotly contested topic in baseball circles these days:  the Wild Card. Originally set up as one Wild Card team per league, this year we have expanded to two Wild Card spots per league. Coming up on October 5th, we will see the first ever sudden death one game Wild Card playoffs. Haters simply despise these upcoming games. Is it too much change? Is it unfair to the integrity of the game and the playoffs? We could debate that one for weeks…nay… months…nay… years.  But I will tell you this. If you take a look at the MLB standings as they are today, let’s reason the value of the Wild Card spots. In the NL for the last two weeks or so (more), it was a foregone conclusion that the Reds, Giants and Nats were taking the division crowns. Where would that have left the Braves? Cardinals? Dodgers? Brewers? Heck…even the Phillies and Pirates. Having the Wild Cards in place allowed fans for all those cities to remain interested and excited about baseball for weeks while their teams competing for Wild Card positions. No Wild Cards would equal many teams that would have been out of it long ago. Is that good for the game? To have fans in so many cities turned off from the game in August when they know the playoffs aren’t an option? I’m not so sure about that.

In the AL, the Orioles and A’s all still have a chance at division leads. The Angels and Rays still are very much in the playoff hunt. But no Wild Cards….would mean so many of those teams would not have had much of a shot. Unless we see total collapses, most are expecting the A’s and Orioles to face off in the Wild Card game. Considering how both have played, would you want to miss that one? Can you imagine if October came and the Braves, A’s and Orioles were not competing for a playoff position? Me neither. When I think about what we would lose by having so many of these teams going home if the Wild Card spots didn’t exist I shudder. I am not saying we should blow up the game. But before criticizing change just because its different, think about the pros and cons of the move. In this case, I say thumbs up to the extra Wild Card games. If you don’t believe me, check out the games on October 5th. They will be some of the best baseball that you will ever watch. That I guarantee.

Now let’s get to your top questions of the week: Read the rest of this entry

ATR: Ask the Reports Answers Your Baseball Questions: Strasburg, Valentine, Rolen to Cooperstown, Josh Hamilton to the Red Sox and More

Sunday September 9th, 2012



Jonathan Hacohen:  Posted every Weekend: Your top baseball questions from the past week are answered. E-mail all questions to mlbreports@me.com, message us on Twitter, post on our Facebook Wall and leave comments on our website! There are many ways to reach us and we will get to your questions from all social media outlets!

Jonathan Hacohen: Many great questions this week people, as always. With the playoffs and WBC qualifiers around the corner, people are baseball crazy! Every week it is getting harder and harder to select the questions for ATR. People are feeling baseball fever and I see it in every corner. From the comments on our site, your e-mails, tweets and posts on Facebook, we hear from each of you in so many ways. Ah….gotta love the age of social media! Make sure to keep the questions and comments coming every week. You never know when your baseball insight will appear on MLB reports!

Before I get into this week’s questions, a quick comment. Saturday become lockdown day for Stephen Strasburg. From the second I jumped into my car yesterday and turned on MLB Network Radio, all I heard was Davey Johnson shutting down Stras for the year. I like Davey, but I have to say that blaming the media pressure is weak. In case you weren’t aware, Strasburg was supposed to have one more start next week before officially being shutdown for the season. Now, he is done for the year.  Just like that.

People ask me all the time if I think the Nationals are doing the right thing. My response is a clear: NO! I cannot ascertain for the life of me what the Nats are thinking. They are committing the equivalent of baseball suicide in my book. When you have the chance to go far in the playoffs, you go for it. Period. There is no medical evidence of any clear cutoff point for Strasburg’s season. The reality is that any innings limit is a guess by the team. There is no true merit for shutting him down. Even Dr. Lewis Yocum has indicated that there is no clear sign of whether Strasburg should not pitch further. But let’s say we are even going to say that 160 innings was Strasburg’s limit. The Nationals knew this for some time and could have arranged their rotation to fit the limit. Skipping starts earlier in the season and limiting innings per start would have allow Strasburg to pitch further into the year, including the postseason. What was the use of having him pitch into games when the Nats had a commanding lead in the NL East? 

The Nats have a 5.5 game lead as of today. If the lead gets cut any further, wouldn’t it have been nice to have your team pitching for you at the end of the year? What about a Wild Card one-game sudden death playoff? NLDS? NLCS? World Series? The bottom line is this: if the Nationals do not win the world series, Johnson and GM Mike Rizzo will have Strasburg-Gate hanging over them for the rest of their lives. Never mind the fact that the kid is upset and may never forgive the team for not letting him compete. There is a roster full of guys busting their behinds for a championship. Removing one of their top weapons for the playoffs hurts team morale, confidence and the ability to compete. We never know what next year or future years will bring. 2012 is a special year for Washington. You always go for it when you can.

Now let’s get to your top questions of the week: Read the rest of this entry

John Farrell for Bobby Valentine: The Second Managerial Trade Ever?

Thursday August 23rd, 2012

Bernie Olshansky:  After the Red Sox cut ties with longtime manager Terry Francona, there were a few options for his replacement. Among those options were former pitching coach for the 2007 World Series Champion team John Farrell, and high-profile former-manager Bobby Valentine. Both seemed to be good options, and the Red Sox signed Valentine. Farrell won the managerial job with the Blue Jays after the retirement of Cito Gaston (Brian Butterfield, DeMarlo Hale, and Sandy Alomar, Jr. were also rumored to be vying for the position). Each team was poised to finish atop or close to the top of the AL East standings. This wasn’t the case for either team.

First I’ll cover the Red Sox. Their main problem was the lack of production. Adrian Gonzalez—who the Sox acquired to help carry the offense failed to produce at the beginning of the season. At the All Star Break, he had less than ten home runs. Jacoby Ellsbury was injured after only a few games, and the pitching was absolutely awful. Carl Crawford took a while to come back from his wrist and elbow injuries, and recently shut his season down to undergo Tommy John surgery. Jon Lester, the number one starter was up and down, and has had an off-year. Josh Beckett received boos after being accused of playing golf in between starts. There was obviously something wrong. The Red Sox fell out of contention fairly early—something that wasn’t expected. A lot of the criticism fell on the manager. Bobby Valentine was accused of demeaning the players, saying something along the lines of “nice inning, kid” to rookie Will Middlebrooks after he made an error. Another of Valentine’s slip-ups was calling into question Kevin Youkilis’ effort. This ultimately led to Youk being traded to the White Sox, ending his successful Red Sox career. Veterans such as Dustin Pedroia and Adrian Gonzalez didn’t take kindly to this and sent a text to management, spurring a meeting between front office officials and players. The situation in Boston is not good; players are divided into players versus manager and players versus players that support the manager. A change in Boston seems necessary; the pitching coach has already been relieved, and it seems like Bobby Valentine may be next.

Read the rest of this entry

ATR: Ask the Reports Answers Your Baseball Questions: Special Edition – Fixing the Boston Red Sox

Sunday August 19th, 2012



Jonathan Hacohen:  Posted every Weekend: Your top baseball questions from the past week are answered. E-mail all questions to mlbreports@gmail.com, message us on Twitter, post on our Facebook Wall and leave comments on our website! There are many ways to reach us and we will get to your questions from all social media outlets!

This week we are going to do things a little differently people. We have been receiving hundreds of e-mails and social media messages on the Boston Red Sox all season long. Red Sox/baseball fans are trying to figure out what went wrong with the team; where is the team heading; and how can the Red Sox be fixed. I have been compiling your questions in preparation for this feature. I was originally going to prepare a featured report titled “How to Fix the Boston Red Sox”. But instead, this week’s edition of ATR will cover all of the issues that you, the readers, feel face the Red Sox. It is a little different, perhaps even scary. Given the number of times we have received each question, I will present the major ones as the “issues” followed by my proposed solutions. Let’s face it…whether you love or loathe the Red Sox, you need to know:  What will happen next…

In today’s special edition of ATR, you are about to find out!

Before we jump into analyzing the “Red Sox Issues”, we present or our Batting Stance Guy featured video of the week. Keeping with our Red Sox theme, Gar brings us “9 Things Red Sox Nation Misses About Youkilis”. The end of the Youkilis Era really cemented the downward spiral of the Red Sox in my mind. But keeping Kevin Youkilis close to our hearts, enjoy this little BSG clip:


Now that we have your hearts pumping and motors racing, let’s get right into “Fixing the Boston Red Sox”:

Issue:  How much do you blame the Red Sox owners on the team’s current problems?

JH:  I am definitely not a person shy about passing the blame. Taking a look at the Red Sox head honchos, we see that the team is led by John Henry, Larry Lucchino and Tom Werner. While I have not seen Werner’s name tossed around much, I certainly have seen Henry and Lucchino prominently in the news. My thoughts are that a good owner should not be seen or heard from. They can pay the bills, approve/veto major transactions- but otherwise, let the professionals run the show. The fact that there was even the idea of the owners meeting with key players of the team to discuss the state of the franchise is disturbing to me. Look, Henry and Lucchino clearly have money in their pockets and the right to do as they wish. I would never take that away from them. But there is no doubt that key personnel/management decisions have their fingerprints all over them. Who really hired Bobby Valentine? Who really decided to trade away Kevin Youkilis? Lucchino/Henry or Cherington, the GM? Nobody knows for certain, but many of us have an idea. Remember the comments by John Henry in the offseason that essentially showed the displeasure of signing Carl Crawford? Exactly. If you are going to go into the kitchen and start messing with the meals that are being produced, you are going to have to take responsibility. The Red Sox ownership may be very smart individuals. But as long as they continue to meddle, they will have to shoulder at least part of the responsibility of the misfortunes. Long-term, I would recommend getting the right GM/manager/management in place and starting becoming more hands-off. As long as we continue to see the names Henry and Lucchino in the news when it comes to the Red Sox, I see the same patterns continuing to emerge. Read the rest of this entry

Kevin Youkilis to the White Sox: What Happened in Boston?

 

Wednesday June 27th, 2012


Bernie Olshansky: The end of the road in Boston has finally been reached for third baseman Kevin Youkilis. But why? He was so productive a few years ago and he could have continued to contribute to the Red Sox lineup. Unfortunately for Youk, he simply got passed up.

At the start of this year, Youkilis was all set to start at third and have a productive season. To his dismay, he has been a little bit banged up this year, giving rising star Will Middlebrooks an opportunity to shine. And shine he did, as Middlebrooks hit a grand slam as his first Major League home run and immediately contributed to the struggling Red Sox lineup, with Jacoby Ellsbury out and Adrian Gonzalez not himself. Middlebrooks did everything he could to win himself a lineup spot as he squeezed out Youkilis. Read the rest of this entry

The New York Yankees Are Getting Old

Thursday May 10, 2012

Ryan Ritchey: The beloved New York Yankees that everyone knows are getting older and starting to not make that much of an impact. One of the many has already retired, Jorge Posada. Posada ran the team from behind the dish for 15 years and did a very good job at what he did. The Yankees didn’t ask him to be an offensive power (although he certainly had a strong bat for a catcher). Posada was told to focus on his defense and he did just that.  It wasn’t that he didn’t hit the ball that great, it was just defense came first for him. Calling games from behind the plate isn’t easy, especially in front of the whole city of New York. Posada had a lot of pressure on him calling the games in 5 World Series Championships. With Posada ending his career: Jeter, Rivera, and A-Rod are not far behind.

As everyone in the baseball world should know by now, Mariano Rivera has a torn ACL and will be out for the rest of the 2012 season. While going in for a check up something else was found. Rivera has a blood clot in his left calf. Rivera was put on a blood thinner and everything should be back to normal soon with that. As soon as the injury occurred he came out and said he was not finished, that he wouldn’t go out like that. Read the rest of this entry

The Boston Red Sox Are Falling Apart

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Tuesday May 8, 2012

Ryan Ritchey: The Boston Red Sox since last September have been a team that has been falling apart. Ever since the report that pitchers were drinking in the clubhouse (and eating fried chicken), the team hasn’t been the same. After the season, Theo Epstein decided not to bring back Terry Francona… and then left the Red Sox himself. With this being said, the Sox had several holes to fill. First the general manager. This hole was filled by none other than Ben Cherington. Cherington had a lot of pressure placed on him to perform and to win. His first big job was to hire a manager to get the job done. He went and got Bobby Valentine. Bobby Valentine in my opinion was not a good hire for the Red Sox and judging by the Red Sox current record, most would agree.

You can put the blame on many people for the Red Sox woes this early in the season. Not only is it the fault of the manager, but it also goes on the players as they are the ones that play the game. Dustin Pedroia is one of the hardest working players in the league and doesn’t take a day off so it can’t fall on his shoulders (or Big Papi’s). But many of the Red Sox hitters need to be accountable. Mostly though, you could blame the pitching. In my opinion it is the pitching that is causing this down fall for Boston.

Josh Beckett has the best ERA from any starter in the rotation and he is 30th in the American League with a 4.45 ERA. With that number alone, you aren’t going to win many games. The Red Sox have a great offense but giving up that many runs per start you aren’t going to get many wins. Even when the starters throw a decent game, the bullpen usually ends up giving up runs on many nights and losing the game. If the Red Sox are going to do anything this season, Cherington better go find some pitching or it is going to be a long season for Red Sox Nation.

Another big reason the Red Sox are playing like they are is Adrian Gonzalez. Epstein went out and got Gonzalez from San Diego thinking he would be the best hitter in the American League. He was that player for one season but that is no longer the case. We are a little over a month into the season and Gonzalez only has 2 home runs and 16 RBI. For a power guy like Gonzalez, those numbers are subpar to say the least. His power numbers are down and he hasn’t been showing up in big games against the Rays and Yankees as he  did last year. Not only are his power numbers down, his average is a “whopping” .270. Read the rest of this entry

An Interview With Fenway Park Expert Brian Merzbach

Monday, April.16 /2012

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer and @chuckbooth3024 on twitter)- “Brian Merzbach and I often don’t see eye to eye on a plethora of baseball issues and opinions.  What I will say from this Yankees fan to a Red Sox fan, I respect Brian as a human being and as a member of the ballpark chaser community.  Plus even though we have different opinions, we are both forthright in our own views and never waver from these ideals.  As frustrating as the truth can be it is nice to have someone as completely honest as Brian as part of a baseball network. To fulfill the expert interview for Fenway Park we needed this diehard fan to legitimize the whole series.  So all being nice aside, I recently had a chat with Brian about Fenway Park.  Here is what we discussed:”

CB: Welcome to the MLB Reports Fenway Park  Expert Interview Brian. Please tell us about yourself and then give us some information on your life as a Red Sox fan?”

BM: “I grew up in Amherst, MA, which is located in western Massachusetts, about 2 hours from Boston.  Most of my family were Red Sox fans, so naturally I picked up on that from an early age.  I don’t remember a day when I wasn’t a Red Sox fan, so I guess I was just born with Red Sox genes.  Because we didn’t live closer to Boston, we usually only went to one game a year at Fenway.”

BM: “Unfortunately, I am old enough to remember the nightmare of the 1986 World Series.  But being just 12 years old at the time, I expected the Red Sox would make the Series again soon.  Little did I know they wouldn’t make it back for another 18 years !  Obviously winning the 2004 World Series will be something I’ll never forget.” Read the rest of this entry

The Latest on the 2012 Red Sox Bullpen

Sunday April 15th, 2012

Sam Evans: The Boston Red Sox are in trouble. The A.L. East looks as strong as ever with four out of the five teams talented enough to make the playoffs. The Red Sox will have problems keeping up with the rest of the East due to some crucial injuries that they’ve suffered. First, the Red Sox just lost their best outfielder, Jacoby Ellsbury, for who knows how long. Also, Carl Crawford might be out until May. Maybe longer. A shaky bullpen is suffering from the loss of Jonathan Papelbon (free agency), Daniel Bard (moved to the rotation), and Andrew Bailey (injury), which does not help the Red Sox stay in contention. Some of their relief pitchers as a result need to step it up.

Other than the abysmal Orioles, the Red Sox have the worst bullpen in the A.L. East. The majority of their relief pitchers are unproven pitchers who don’t belong in a top-tier bullpen. Currently, the Red Sox plan to have Alfredo Aceves closing out games. Aceves has been considered a long reliever for most of his career and this past offseason, the Red Sox even contemplated trying Aceves out in the rotation. Read the rest of this entry

Daniel Bard: Future Red Sox Ace?

Thursday March 15, 2012

Rob Bland (Baseball Writer):  With most of Red Sox Nation knowing that big time closer Jonathan Papelbon would be leaving the team via free agency after the 2011 season, many thought that it would be a seamless transition to throw Daniel Bard into the mix as the closer for the foreseeable future.  However, new Red Sox GM Ben Cherington surprised many when he announced that Bard would be stretched out as a starter in the spring.

Now, it’s not the first time a good reliever has been turned into a starter, and many of them have turned into useful starters.  C.J. Wilson is just one of these successful conversions, having been the Texas Rangers’ closer from 2007-2009, then shifting into the rotation for 2010 and 2011.  Wilson earned 46 saves in those 3 seasons, and after his move to the rotation, he went 31-15 and accumulated 10.5 WAR, putting him in the upper echelon of starters.

This year, another closer for the Rangers will be shifting to the rotation in Neftali Feliz.  Many believe that he will struggle. But if C.J. Wilson, who was a decent reliever can do it, why not Feliz?  Why not Bard?

Bard has an electric fastball, averaging over 97 mph over his MLB career.  He also has a solid slider that sits around 84 mph.  Bard has induced ground balls at an extremely high rate; 48.6% over 197 IP.  Bard has lowered his walk rate, as well as HR/FB while maintaining an extremely low BABIP over the last two seasons, .215 and .224, respectively.

Bard hasn’t started a game since 2007 when he was in single-A ball.  He threw 75 innings of 7.08 ERA, striking out 47 and walking 78.  Obviously a lot of those control issues are behind him, as evidenced by his shrinking BB/9; 4.01, 3.62, and 2.96 in 2009, 2010, and 2011, respectively.  Bard has been able to get guys out with a fastball that touches 100 mph, and a plus slider.  The problem here is that he only ever threw one inning at a time, and thus rarely needed a third pitch.  According to brooksbaseball.net, in 2011, Bard threw his change-up 83 times, which is only 7.5% of all his pitches, in contrast to 64% on his fastball, and 25% on his slider.  He also threw 46 sinkers, around 4.1%.

In such a small sample size of changeups, one should definitely not get too excited over the results.  However, in 2011, Bard fared pretty well with his change-up.  He was able to induce swings on 48.19% of his changeups, and 25% of those were swing-and-misses.  His changeup was put in play 23% of the time, and had a ground ball rate of 63%.

In no way does this mean it is a good changeup. However, it does seem promising.  It is also possible that Bard just throws them at the most opportune time, and delivers when necessary.  It could also mean that he is incredibly lucky.

With Bard having to throw 6+ innings every 5th day, how will his arm hold up moving to the rotation?  Most relievers have a limit in their first years starting as to how many innings they will throw.

Brandon Morrow was moved to the rotation full time when he was traded to the Toronto Blue Jays, and was shut down after 146 innings in 2010, and threw only 179 innings in 2011. This year, there will be no limitations on the hard throwing righty, whose profile closely fits that of Bard.  Morrow can get his fastball in the upper 90s as well as having a devastating slider.  His success has been only moderate due to mediocre offerings in his curve ball and changeup.

Bard’s development as a starter rests mostly on the development of his changeup.  If he is able to use it more often and maintain success with it, he could be a solid starter this year and going forward.  The other extremely important thing to look at is whether new manager Bobby Valentine will limit his innings, or let him go for the full season, as the Rangers did with Wilson in 2010 (204 IP).

I see Bard throwing somewhere around 170 innings this year, and performing fairly well, getting acclimated to throwing every 5th day.  His changeup is developing, and if he harnesses it, he could be a deadly addition to a rotation that includes Josh Beckett, Jon Lester, and Clay Buchholz.


***Today’s feature was prepared by 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 Rob on Twitter.***

Please e-mail us at: mlbreports@me.com with any questions and feedback.  You can follow us on Twitter and become a fan on FacebookTo 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.

Which MLB Managers Are in the Hot Seat?

Wednesday February 22nd, 2012

Bryan Sheehan (MLB Reports Intern):  A new year of baseball brings with it so many questions, rumors and, most importantly, expectations about every team in the league. Will the Marlins improve? Can the Red Sox make the playoffs this year? And behind every question and prediction is the team that hometown fans and front-office executives expect to win. More specifically, the manager of each team is expected to take the players that he has and mold a winning ball club; if he can’t, he’ll be the first one to go. Read the rest of this entry

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.

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