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“Hard Cheddar” Weekly Segment 2: MLB Heroes And Zeroes For 2013!

Yasiel Puig was signed as an International Free Agent in 2012.   The 22 Year old phenom exploded onto scene in the National League - 3 Slashing .319/.381/.925 - with 19 HRs, 42 RBI and 66 Runs Scored in his 104 Games Played.  He was a big part of the team winning the Division - and he will be a mainstay for years - being signed until 2018.  Puig's electrified the city of Los Angeles, and Dodger Stadium with his all out hustle, flamboyant play, and their flair for the dramatic.  Once fellow teammate Hanley Ramirez joined him, the club went on a historic 42 - 8 run, which hadn't happened in nearly 60 years for a 50 game stretch.

Yasiel Puig was signed as an International Free Agent in 2012. The 22 Year old phenom exploded onto scene in the National League – 3 Slashing .319/.381/.925 – with 19 HRs, 42 RBI and 66 Runs Scored in his 104 Games Played. He was a big part of the team winning the Division – and he will be a mainstay for years – being signed until 2018. Puig’s electrified the city of Los Angeles, and Dodger Stadium with his all out hustle, flamboyant play, and their flair for the dramatic. Once fellow teammate Hanley Ramirez joined him, the club went on a historic 42 – 8 run, which hadn’t happened in nearly 60 years for a 50 game stretch.

By ‘Special Guest Writer’ Steve Cheeseman 

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“Hard Cheddar” – with Steve Cheeseman

2013 Hero’s and Zero’s of MLB

Throughout the 2013 Major League Baseball season, there had been plenty to talk about. Lots of surprise players, as well as surprise teams.

This season in my opinion was as good as any.  However, like any sport, there was also plenty to forget, but not necessarily forgive, as you’ll see.  

Here are my hero’s and zero’s for the 2013 MLB season.

Yasiel Puig Highlights 2013 – Mature Content – Parental Guidance is Advised

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How Can The New York Mets Improve For The 2014 Season? Start With Some Outfielders!

 

New York Mets

As of today, The New York Mets sit in third place in the National League East with a not so good 57-66 record. With that record being nine games under the .500 mark, they need to make some improvements. How will they do that? One way is to pick up some free agents.

By Dan Wanser (MLB Reports Writer)   

The New York Mets have struggled this year, but they are hoping to be able to do much better next year.

With solid players such as Third Baseman David Wright, Pitcher Matt Harvey, and an up and coming star in Jenrry Mejia the Mets have key players that they can build a good team around for the years to come.

If they want to improve, they need to do something. To do this, they will likely pick up some free agents and possibly make a trade or two.

If they want to pick up some free agents, they can go after outfielders such as Shin-Soo Choo of the Cincinnati Reds who would help defensively in Center Field and could also hit lead-off  or anywhere else in the line-up if asked.

Marlon Byrd’s GS

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Sully Baseball Daily Podcast June.03/2013

The Bpston Red Sox are in 1st place in the vaunted AL East for early June, after the Yankees have lost 9 of their 12

The Boston Red Sox are in 1st place in the vaunted AL East for early June, after the Yankees have lost 9 of their 12

On Today’s edition of The Sully Baseball Daily Podcast,   We talk about What stands between the Red Sox and the World Series this year? According to KennyMack , it is Ted Lilly.
All on the Podcast.
Chris Davis , Buster Posey , Yu Darvish and Jorge De La Rosa all owned baseball on June 2nd, 2013.

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

Sully Baseball Daily Podcast – June 3, 2013

Sully baseball hosts a 20 Min Daily Podcast http://mlbreports.com/2013/04/27/sully-baseball-daily-podcast-april-27-2013/

‘Sully’ Baseball (Paul Francis Sullivan) hosts a 20 Minute Daily Podcast Every Day – 365 Days a Year – unless its a Leap Year – and then he is going to do another one.

check out Sully Baseball’s 20 Min Daily Podcast Right here

Don’t forget to Subscribe on iTunes HERE. RSS Feed here

WOB Stands For ‘Who Owned Baseball’  It is based on a Daily Look at the best players from the baseball games the day before. Our Lead Writer – Paul Francis Sullivan – (please call him ‘Sully’),  keeps a running total for the yearly leaders every day – and we will update the standings here every day on this page.. 

Agree or Disagree with him on the players he selects – leave him a comment at info@sullybaseball.com.  Follow him on twitter. 

Arroyo’s Last Stand: Revisiting The Trade That Brought Him To Cincy For Wily Mo Pena

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Wily Mo Pena was the classic 'tease' power hitter for several MLB clubs.  The Reds sold high on him - as he only hit 34 HRs and drove in 105 RBI fiun 827 AB for 4 different clubs over 7 seasons.  With Cincy, He hit for  51 HRs and drove in 134 RBI during his 830 AB with them.  I would say that the Trade has worked out well for the Reds - in receiving a top of the Rotation Starter for almost a decade in exchange.

Wily Mo Pena was the classic ‘tease’ power hitter for several MLB clubs. The Reds sold high on him – as he only hit 34 HRs and drove in 105 RBI in his 827 AB for 4 different clubs over 6 seasons after he left Ohio – before packing up for Japan. With Cincy, He hit for 51 HRs and drove in 134 RBI during his 830 AB with them. I would say that the Trade has worked out well for the Reds – in receiving a top of the Rotation Starter for almost a decade in exchange.  Wily Mo Pena was still the best Batting Practice hitter in the Majors.  Clubbing 84 HRs in 1703 Career AB is just a little over 1 HR per 20 AB.  Just not worthy of  a Pitcher like Arroyo.

By Matt Steinmann (Reds Correspondent)

In March of 2006, the Reds completed a deal that sent outfielder Wily Mo Pena to the Boston Red Sox for Starting Pitcher Bronson Arroyo and cash.

Now, in 2013, Bronson Arroyo is in the final year of a contract with the Reds and Wily Mo Pena is in the Japanese League. With all the talk from fans for the team to sign Shin-Soo Choo to a long term deal, the name not being mentioned is Bronson Arroyo.

It almost seems like a foregone conclusion that he will walk at the end of the season, but is that the right move?

Wily Mo Pena Tribute in 2011 – Mature Lyrics So Parental Guidance is Advised

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Felix’s Flaw: The Boston Red Sox Starter May See Some Bullpen Time

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May.08/2013

Felix Doubront had 167 K's in 2012 in just 161 IP, but he also had 71 BB's in that same span. His K/9 and BB/9 rates have both climbed slightly in the small sample size that has been his 2013 season to this point.

Felix Doubront had 167 K’s in 2012 in just 161 IP, but he also had 71 BB’s in that same span. His K/9 and BB/9 rates have both climbed slightly in the small sample size that has been his 2013 season to this point.  Surprisingly, Doubront was the clubs best pitcher in 2012.  He hasn’t been so lucky in his second go around of the Major Leagues.

By Ryan Dana (MLB Reports Writer and Red Sox Correspondent): 

Per usual, I had a good start on an article for the week that I had to put on hold. Something always seems to come up, and this week it is the Starting Pitcher from Friday night’s game.

Felix Doubront, 25 Year Old southpaw from Carabobo Venezuela, had a rough night this past Friday. He lasted just 3.2 IP and exited after surrendering 12 Hits, 6 Earned Runs, 1 Walk, and managing only 2 Strikeouts on the night.

Doubront now has a 5.67 ERA through 5 Starts this year. During his promising rookie campaign in 2012 his season ERA was only 4.86. 

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2 And A Hook Podcast Ep #3: Wil Myers, Mets + Baseball’s Importance To The World

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Thursday, April.18/2013

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

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

People in this Podcast:

Chuck Booth – Guest (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner):

By James Acevedo – Host (Podcast Veteran) 

In the Clutch Guys from 90.3 FM Tuesday Show In Long Island NY  

On today’s show, brought to you by MLB Reports (www.mlbreports.com )& yours truly (The Bench Warmers Show), I talk about the horrible bombings that happened in the Boston Marathon & how sports especially baseball unites us in this great country! Also I told to Chuck Booth who is the lead analyst and owner of MLB Reports on the world of baseball! Read the rest of this entry

Yankees Week Two – Getting Right in Cleveland + A Triple Play = 4 – 1

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Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Week Two for the New York Yankees was a far more fun ride than Opening Week.  An offensive outpouring in Cleveland followed by taking 2 out of 3 from Baltimore has left the Yankees within striking distance of 1st place in a very strange AL East.  Now the Yankees enter the second half of April within striking distance of 1st place in a very strange AL East.

Week Two for the New York Yankees was a far more fun ride than Opening Week. An offensive outpouring in Cleveland followed by taking 2 out of 3 from Baltimore has left the Yankees within striking distance of 1st place in a very strange AL East. Now the Yankees enter the second half of April within striking distance of 1st place in a very strange AL East.

By Nicholas Rossoletti (Yankees Correspondent/Trade Correspondent):

In baseball, a momentum turn can be a slight thing.  A player getting a seeing eye single through the infield that turns him from slumping to streaking. A pitcher getting a lucky hop that turns a rally into a double play.

For this Yankees team, the momentum turn seems to have been C.C. Sabathia‘s gem against the Tigers on a Sunday afternoon.  

The Yankees used that 7 Inning performance to jump-start the second week of the season. In almost every regard, Week Two was the anti-thesis of Week One.

After Sabathia dominating the Tigers’ line-up and the Yankees getting after Detroit ace Justin Verlander, the Yankees headed to Cleveland where it was either raining or the Yankees were scoring runs.

After Opening Week, the 11 and 14 runs scored in the first two nights in Cleveland allowed the fan base to breathe easy.  This run shed some light on an issue I wanted to look at this week.  

Before the season got under way, my pre-season piece focused on the Vernon Wells trade and keeping the faith in a Yankees front office.  

The line-up’s ability to score runs has been largely based on the performance of their veteran acquisitions in the off-season (and the fact that Robinson Cano is absolutely an offensive superstar).

Pronk Cometh:

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The Baseball Struggles of Tall/Heavy Players After 30: Is Prince Next?

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Friday, Apr.12/2013

Prince Fielder will turn 29 in May.  Throughout my studies of some extremely tall - or heavy player, the time of deterioration in ones ability seems to seep in about 34.  In my opinion, the club should move to trade Victor Martinez and shift Fielder over to the DH position ASAP, so they can preserve his  body for the next 8 years of his contract.  He will be 37 when his big deal ends.  Fielder has a Career 3 Slash Line of .287/.393/.931

Prince Fielder will turn 29 in May. Throughout my studies of some extremely tall – or heavy playera, the time of deterioration in ones ability seems to seep in about the  34 Year Old Age range. In my opinion, the club should move to trade Victor Martinez and shift Fielder over to the DH position ASAP, so they can preserve his body for the next 8 years of his contract. He will be 37 when his big deal ends. Fielder has a Career 3 Slash Line of .287/.393/.931.  The second generation Fielder, has clubbed 262 HRs and added 774 RBI in 1168 Games Played.  Will he suffer the same fate as the others in this article (including his dad) – or will he buck the trend?

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

I am still astounded when I see that Prince Fielder has not been turned into a Full – Time DH – and can still man the position of First Base. The Tigers were lucky enough to sign him last year.

So when should the club decide to take the glove out of Fielder’s hand? 

Victor Martinez is there at the Designated Hitter position now, however they should convert Prince Fielder to DH the second V-Mart vacates the club after the 2014 season.

When I thought about this a little more I realized that tall/heavy hitters really have a tough time keeping their productivity up once they are near the second half of their career.  It is really not that hard to figure out.  

A player that is taller also carries a larger Strike Zone, where the overweight players will only lose any speed they had as their career starts winding down.  

For this particular article, I choose 4 players to study this exact scenario. Those players are: Richie Sexson, Tony Clark, Mo Vaughn and Cecil Fielder.

Prince Fielder wins the 2012 HR Derby:

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Todd Helton Should Be Retiring After This Year – But With His Head Held High!

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Wednesday February.27,  2013

Helton is still the active Leader in the MLB -  with a Career OBP of .419.  He was the beneficiary of the Pre - Humidor days of Coors Field, however he does have a .289/..84/.864 3 Slash Line on the Road.  His Coors Field 3 Slash Line is .350/.447/1.06

Helton is still the active Leader in the MLB – with a Career OBP of .419. He was the beneficiary of the Pre – Humidor days of Coors Field, however he does have a .289/.384/.864 3 Slash Line on the Road. His Coors Field 3 Slash Line is .350/.447/1.060.  He also has been a great defender – having won 3 Gold Gloves the early part of the 2000’s.  His best year was in 2000 – where he hit for a Slash Line of .372/.463/1.162 with 42 HRs, 59 2B and 147 RBI.  He flirted with .400 well into Aug.

By Jon Schifferle ( Rockies Correspondent – visit his own personal website here  .  Follow him on twitter here   

Todd Helton, the Rockies first round draft choice in 1995, has been a staple in the Rockies lineup ever since his first full season in 1998.  A batting champion, 5 time All-Star, 3 time Gold Glove winner, and the holder of many Rockies team records, plus he should be the first player to ever have his number retired by the Rockies after he retires.  The question is, when should he retire? 

Helton is clearly ending his career in the near future.  His 2012 numbers were definitely not where they need to be, especially considering the boost that he gets from playing in Coors Field for half of his games (he hit a dismal .208 on the road last season).  You could blame his struggles last season on his injuries, but even then you have to ask yourself if he will be able to recover, and if the injuries permanently damage his ability to play the game.   

Todd Helton 2011 Highlight Mix -

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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:

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MLB Reports State Of The Union Part 2: Going Forward

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Friday, Feb.8/2013

MLB reports

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

So I left off the other day talking about some sweeping changes at the site.  What I want to talk about next – is what to expect.  Our website is revving up to start the baseball year.  We plan on posting 3-5 times a day.  We will range from about 9 AM EST all the way through to 9 PM EST.  Most MLB teams will have about 3-4 articles a month.  Once per month May-October, we will also have our Monthly Power Rankings like we had last year.  Our Lead Writer Sully will be posting a 20 minute daily PODCAST on the site. 

In addition to this, MLB Reports presents the ‘Triple Play Podcast” – will be going ahead with Patrick and Chris with the Big Ticket Show, for about 5 PODCASTS a month during the regular season and about 1-2 per month in the winter months.  These PODCASTS will feature yours truly 2-3 times a month as a guest.  We will also have Saul Wisnia (Red Sox Correspondent), Jonathan Hacohen (MLB Reports Founder) and other personalities as part of the show.

We plan on interacting with the readers by way of Facebook and Twitter, when we start-up in March.  So we will let you know.  We have about 7 different general writers and reporters, 5 special analysts and 24 Team Correspondents so far.  The  goal is to find the 6 new Correspondents from the teams we have left (PHI, ATL, SEA, SD, KC and COL  We continue to search for awesome independent writers, that can cover these teams with the same kind of passion our other Correspondents have displayed.

We still plan on having a weekly Fantasy Baseball article, a once a month Cooperstown article and a once a month – live interview from our ‘Junior Reporter’ Haley Smilow.  We are also open to many suggestions by our readers, if they have  great article ideas.

I am trying to write my historical series on all 30 teams, but am still trying to make it to the regular season first.  I have written entire series already for the Nationals, Phillies, Expos, Blue Jays and Rays already here.  The plan is to write 1-2 series a month for the teams not done yet.  By the  end of 2014, we will have a full chronicled series for each team.  This will be our legacy.  We strive on our mission to include all 30 MLB Fan bases.  All of our dedicated Correspondents exhibit the kind of passion for baseball that I am truly proud of.  You can see all of their biographies here.

Our general writers and Reporters can be found here.

News:

One of our writers, Thomas Roberts (Dodgers Correspondent), is a top 52 finalist for the MLB Fancave.  We hope that he can make it to New York.  Please check out the interview (and vote for him on the links provided there) I did with him here

We are going to have 5-6 dedicated pages from our General Writers.  I will run a page called “The  Baseball Booth”.  This is the same as a page listed below here that is for MLB Player Awareness Weeks.  In a sub-page to that are my best baseball road-trips advice links here.

Jonathan Hacohen will have his own page called the J-HAY Page. 

Saul Wisnia is accomplished writer.  He has authored 10 sports books and is one of the best Red Sox authors of late.  His page is called the Words Of Wisnia.  He will run additional Red Sox articles, and he will have many other fun things to browse in his subpages.  You can find all of his archives for his own website here.

Paul Francis Sullivan (Sully) will have his own dedicated page called ‘Sully Baseball’.  It is up to Sully to post anything and everything on his own page.  I only know whatever he does around baseball is entertaining and worth the time.  On the main page, Sully will post his daily Podcast.  Subscribe to his daily podcast here.

We may have another website that we will have on board with us to cover a team thoroughly through a dedicated page.  We are not finalized yet, so I will announce this on Twitter and Facebook.

We have a few writers from the strosbros.mlblogs.com with us covering the Astros.  Lee White and Richard Perez will be keeping it real.

We have Tigers Correspondent  Matthew Lafave of the examiner.com – to keep us up to date with what is going on in Detroit.

By the time the regular season rolls on, we will have all 30 MLB Teams Payroll and State Of The Unions done.  We are close to finishing the State Of The Unions already.  You can view these here.

Here are some really important pages at the Reports.  It also says what they are about.

http://mlbreports.com/paystat/

We are going to end every baseball year with a ‘STATE OF THE UNION’ Address for each team and also look forward to the next year’s Payroll for all 30 MLB Teams.  This is in addition to all of the other information we will put out in our normal articles.  More than ever, team’s salary and current 25 or 40 Man Rosters, are becoming more important to the fanbases.  We will take a detailed look at both of these for you and provide some analysis.  It will keep us busy and definitely on top of our game.  We will be doing these in stages and not all at once, so please check back often for more updates.

http://mlbreports.com/mlbhistory/

This page has links to the entire 30 MLB Teams listed (for a minimum 5 Part Series on each club).  These Franchise Series are signature website articles that take 3-4 times the normal amount of regular pieces to write.  Do yourself a favor and follow along with us as we take the next 2 years to complete this mission.  It is a great way to learn about your Franchises history, including the players, pitchers, management, mascots and the parks they have played in.

http://mlbreports.com/gwr-tracker/

This full-page lists all of the Games I went to in establishing the new “Guinness Book Of World Record” for “Fastest To See A Full Home Game In All 30 MLB Parks from April.6-April.28/2012.  The write-ups include many pictures and stories of how I arrived at all 30 MLB Parks and what the travel entailed.  I promoted the trip by using Facebook and Twitter and met several top MLB Park Chaser Experts along the way.  For someone who may have a similar goal, I think you will find this page quite entertaining.

http://mlbreports.com/awareness/

This was a Twitter concept first driven to a webpage by promoting unheralded players not receiving their due credit.  Each week, the MLB Reports will select an active MLB Player and a retired MLB Player to focus their attention on.  We will write tweets about the players and showcase them on this page.  It is our hope that we can receive some feedback with out twitter followers and website readers.  Suggestions may always be presented to us for future nominations.

http://mlbreports.com/wbc-2013/

You have asked for it readers and now it is here!  An entire page devoted to the upcoming 2013 edition of the World Baseball Classic! After the initial WBC in 2006, the tournament returned in 2009.  The decision was made to have the WBC played three years after the inaugural edition and then four years later from there.  As result, after a long wait for baseball fans…the third World Baseball Classic will be back in the year 2013!

screen-shot-2011-01-11-at-7-12-04-pm2.png

The views and opinions expressed in this report are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of mlbreports.com or their partners.***

Chuck Booth- Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner and author of the Fastest 30 Ballgames:   To learn more about my  “The Fastest 30 Ballgames Book” and how to purchase it, click here . You can also follow my Guinness Book of World Record Successful Bid to see all 30 MLB Park in 23 Days- click here.  I am happy to be part of such an awesome Magazine-Style Baseball Website and am looking forward to talking to all of the fans of the MLB.  You can reach me on Twitter here

a      new mlb reports chuck

Please e-mail me  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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Why Terry Francona As The Manager Of The Cleveland Indians Makes Sense

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Tuesday Feb.5, 2013

Terry Francona played for five different teams in his playing Career.  His best year was in 1984 - where he hit .346 during his 218 AB.   He played as a 1B/OF/PH.  His only Post Season action was with the 1981 Montreal Expos.  He hit .333 in the NLDS but went 0-2 in the NLCS versus the eventual World Series winning LA Dodgers

Terry Francona played for five different teams in his playing Career. His best year was in 1984 – where he hit .346 during his 218 AB. He played as a 1B/OF/PH. His only Post Season action was with the 1981 Montreal Expos. He hit .333 in the NLDS but went 0-2 in the NLCS versus the eventual World Series winning LA Dodgers.  He has had much better success as Manager.

By Larry Myers (Indians Correspondent):

Terry Francona was hired as manager of the Cleveland Indians on October 6, 2012 – and officially took over the team on October 8th. He will be  returning to the dugout after a one-year hiatus of managing in baseball and doing sports broadcasting duties. After Manny Acta was let go as manager of the Indians, only two candidates were interviewed. Francona was picked as manager over Sandy Alomar Jr, who has stayed on as Bench Coach under the veteran skipper.

Before we decide if Francona was the right choice as manager of the Indians, we have to look at who the man is. Francona was born April 22, 1959 in South Dakota to former MLB player Tito Francona, (who played from 1956 to 1970). Tito ‘Jr’ played in the Majors himself from 1981 to 1990, including one year with the Indians. During his ten years, Francona played in 708 Games – with a BA of .274, 16 Home Runs  and 143 RBI as a utility player . After Francona’s playing days were over, he went on to become a Minor League coach, before finally becoming manager of the Philadelphia Phillies in 1997.  During his four years in Philadelphia, his team never finished above fourth place, but Francona helped develop some young players into stars that have turned the Phillies franchise into the winning seasons in 11 out of the 12 years since his departure.

Terry Francona at TribeFest:

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The Sad State Of The DH Position In 2012 And Probably Going Forward

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Tuesday January 1st, 2013

David Ortiz of the Boston Red Sox is one of the few players to have a lengthy and successful career almost exclusively from the DH position. He was The Sporting News DH of the decade in 2009. As his career winds down, who will be the next great DH?

David Ortiz of the Boston Red Sox is one of the few players to have a lengthy and successful career almost exclusively from the DH position. He was The Sporting News DH of the decade in 2009. As his career winds down, who will be the next great DH?

Ryan Dana (MLB Reports Intern): 

The Designated Hitter in the American League has morphed into many different roles for teams over the years since its adoption in 1973.  At times it has been used to put lethal bats into the lineup without having to put the player’s subpar defense on the field too. At times the DH was a great place to use aging veterans who could still hit, but could not handle the rigors of playing every day in the field and stay healthy at the same time. The former use of the DH has been more common amongst larger market teams, and the latter more common avenue for smaller market teams to take. Not all that long ago, the DH was a position of prominence and was a great advantage to teams that had one of the league’s best, but there has been a recent trend that has put the DH position into a role of diminished importance.

There are a lot of things happening in Major League Baseball that have contributed to the decline of the DH in one way or another. For one, the “steroid era” has seemed to fade and gone are the days of 16 players hitting 40+ HRs a year (like in 2000). Not to bring up a debate about steroids, but there were only 6 players in 2012 that hit 40+ HRs, and only 15 players to accomplish this in the past 4 seasons combined. So whether the reason for the decline in HRs is a decline in steroid use, or something completely different, the numbers are the numbers regardless. There has simply been a decline in availability of players to fill what was the prototypical, power hitting, DH of the past. Power numbers are down, and aging sluggers seem to be aging faster in recent times.

David Ortiz Highights:

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The Oakland A’s 2013 Roster Tree Part 1: The Hitters

Saturday, Dec.01/2012

How important was Cespedes to The A's Lineup?  They went 83-47 with him in the lineup and 12-20 without him.  He was the biggest reason the team has soared into the playoff race and wont the AL East.  Beane secured him Free Agency last year without trading any prospects.   He is signed for 3 more years.

How important was Cespedes to The A’s Lineup in 2012? They went 82-47 with him in the lineup and 12-21 without him. He was the biggest reason the team soared into the playoff race and won the AL East. Beane secured him in Free Agency before the start of last year. He is signed for 3 more years at 9 Million Dollars Per Year.

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer/Website Owner):

A few months ago, our Lead Columnist/Website Founder (Jonathan Hacohen) wrote a brilliant piece about the assembly of the Oakland Athletics roster.  He called it “MoneyBall 2.”  Right after the piece, the A’s surged to the greatest record in the second half of the season and won the AL West.  The team is now constructed of power hitters and power pitchers.  The man behind it all is Billy Beane.  I will not get into too much of this philosophy as you can read that piece here.  What I intend to do is to show the roster of how it was comprised by Beane in the form of a roster tree.  It is just like a family tree, however this shows trades dating back 2,3,4,5,6 fold etc.. in order to show you the mastery of the GM’s ability to field a roster on a limited budget.

The Future of the Oakland A’s:  The Mustache Gang Meets the Bash Brothers:  Revealing Billy Beane’s Master Plan click here.

The Oakland A’s 2013 Roster Tree Part 2:  The Pitchers  click here.

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Contact Hitters and Pitching Are Keys to Winning In the MLB Playoffs: Bravo Giants! Attn: Yankees!

Saturday, Nov.10/2012

 

The Giants GM Brian Sabean saw that his offense had significant holes from previous years and before 2012, dealt for Melky Cabrera and Angel Pagan. Both are decent contact hitters, with decent power and speed. It also took for the emergence of Marco Scutaro and the renaissance play from Pablo Sandoval to show that teams that can make regular contact (and are armed with great pitching,) ultimately win in the playoffs.

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer):

I can’t believe I am going to utter these next few words, “I am starting to shift on the idea of eliminating the DH in the AL and also I am beginning to find the National League Brand of Baseball a lot better these days.”  I am not just saying this because the National League has registered 5 World Series Wins out of the last seven years (STL x 2, SF x 2 and PHI vs BOS AND NYY since 2006.)  I just find that the American League Baseball is becoming boring.  If you have read my articles in the past, I hate teams that strikeout non-stop and when you put two of these teams together for a Series like the AL routinely does, the games are filled with heavy pitch counts, four-hour games and not much contact.  This years ALCS represented an all-time low for fan excitement.  Put aside that I am a Yankees fan for a minute, it was absolutely brutal baseball.  In fact, last years ALCS was no picnic either.  If the games continue on like this, they might as well scrap the DH, start having the umpires call more strikes on the hitters and have all AL Teams convert to a National League style of game.

The National League has seen the Cardinals give us thrilling moments and comebacks to epic proportions over the last 2 years. I honestly think that Mark McGwire is not receiving enough credit for molding that team into a bunch of contact hitters.  You watch the 2013 offense of the LA Dodgers, they will all have a different approach.  We will save the DH debate for another day,  but lets just say that 2012 was the worst year for DH’s in some time if not ever.  There are only about 3-4 decent DH’s left in the game and if David Ortiz is not in the lineup for the Red Sox, there are no more marquee guys that just hit and not field!  The National League Teams plan on more contact for runs created out of necessity and it is always reflective  by the competitive games we see them play in the playoffs.

In 2012, the Giants made 4 key acquisitions before and during the season to change their offensive demeanor.  If you ask me flat-out as a  baseball observer, there is no way the Giants win the World Series without Marco Scutaro or Angel Pagan at the top of the lineup.  I also am conceding credit to Melky Cabrera’s hitting contributions as a contact hitter before being busted.  Before Melky Cabrera was shown the door for PED’s, he was the same hitter as Scutaro in the 2nd half and postseason, in just hitting every single pitch that was thrown at him.  To be honest here,  Angel Pagan does strike out a fair bit as a lead off hitter, however he also has speed that makes him dangerous whenever the ball is contacted.  It is all about a mixture of power, speed and contact hitters.  To illustrate this fact, Hunter Pence (also picked up near the Trade Deadline) did not hit well in the regular season or playoffs for average, yet he was able to drive in a pile of runs because guys ahead of him were always on base.  All he needed to do was to make contact for his RBI. Read the rest of this entry

What 2012 Really Meant to the St. Louis Cardinals

Thursday November 1st, 2012

2012 was a season that ended with disappointment which ultimately distracted us from recognizing what a successful year it really was. 2012 highlighted a lot of the greatness that is to come for this great franchise.

Alex Mednick (Baseball Analyst and Writer)

The St. Louis Cardinals came into 2012 as the defending World Series Champions.  In 2011 they just eked their way into the post season on the final day of the regular season when they defeated the Houston Astros and the Braves, who were tied for the wild card spot with St. Louis, ended up losing to the Phillies in extra innings.  Coming into the 2011 postseason, the Cardinals were huge underdogs.  That didn’t stop them from going for what they wanted: to win it all.

While most analysts amongst the sport would not have guessed St. Louis would even make it to the World Series, yet alone win it, the Red Birds emerged to show their true colors.  The current team that the city of St. Louis has assembled and gets to watch for 81 games a year is, undoubtedly, a team that plays on all cylinders and the highest octane fuel.  They play with the intensity of a little league team that wants nothing more than the coach to bring them out for ice cream when they win. Watching the Cardinals brand of baseball is to watch baseball again as a game, and not just as a competition played by millionaire athletes with tremendous talent.

Watching the scrappiness of St. Louis native David Freese in the 2011 playoffs is the perfect example.  His David Eckstein-like approach to the game reminds us all of one of our teammates back in middle school.  The one at the sandlot that always slid hard, tried to steal home, and complained when the rest of us wanted to go home because “it was getting dark”.  In 2011, David Freese and his 39 teammates played baseball together as a true team and sent Tony LaRussa home with a World Series title in his final year managing.  Read the rest of this entry

2012 MLB Trades And Deadline Deals Revisited for Contenders: Who Won and Lost

Friday, October.26/2012

Ichiro Suzuki played the best baseball he has in the last 2 years with the Yankees. It would be a wise move to re-sign the guy for at least the next season. In my opinion, they should have Jeter and Suzuki linked together on the club until they retire.

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer):

I love the new era of baseball.  One thing the 2nd Wild Card team enabled this year was a flurry of transactions right near the Non-Waiver Trade Deadline, plus we even saw a bunch of trades between Aug.01-31 as well.  I am not going to breakdown the trades for who went the other way (unless both teams were in contention) since we have a dedicated page for that here.  What I am going to do is see who made out well with their new player.  I will tell you right  now that the hands down winner was the San Francisco Giants for picking up Marco Scutaro and Hunter Pence.  Marco Scutaro hit .362 for the Giants and smacked 90 hits in 61 games.  He has parlayed another 19 hits in 59 AB during the playoffs (.322).

I am going to be writing a series of payroll breakdowns for each MLB team in the offseason.  I have already compiled reports for the Boston Red Sox, Toronto Blue Jays, Philadelphia Phillies, Los Angeles Dodgers, Los Angeles Angels and Washington Nationals.  These reports can be found in my author archives here.  In addition to this, I am going to write another piece on Payroll Strategy specifically geared towards making runs at trades near the deadline.  Look for those in the coming weeks.  The work never ends here, and we will have you game ready for spring training when it comes to all of the clubs. Read the rest of this entry

The Tigers Prevailed in the 1987 AL East Race Before Losing The ALCS: In 2012, They Want a Parade!

Friday, October.19/2012

 

Most of the 1984 Tigers were still on the roster in 1987 when the Tigers wrestled the pennant away from the Toronto Blue Jays. Those 7 games the two teams played in their final 10 games were better than anything I watched in the playoffs that year including the World Series!

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer):

In 1987, 3 of the 4 teams that are in the 2012 MLB LCS Round also qualified back then.  The Cardinals and Giants won the NL East and West respectively while the Tigers won the AL East.  The only difference was that the Yankees are in this version of the ‘Final Four’ now and the 1987 opponent of the Tigers was the eventual World Series Winners the Minnesota Twins.  The Tigers were 3 years removed from their World Series Championship team and still held a majority of their core players from that run in 1984.

I was 11.  I only point that out because most of us find our true sporting identity around this age.  It would also be the last time my 3 brothers, my dad and I would watch every pitch of the post season together ever.  That is why I remember the club so well.  While I had transformed into a New York Yankees and Don Mattingly fan, I watched the Detroit Tigers all of the time on the WDIV Channel (Channel 4).  As someone who lived in BC Canada cable subscriber we only ever received the Tigers, the CUBS (WGN), the Braves (TBS), the Blue Jays (TSN and CBC), the Expos (RDS and French Channel CBC) and the Mariners (KING 5).  Those Braves and Mariners were bad in the 80’s and the CUBS you could only watch if you were sick from school because they always played day games.  So it was a heavy dose of the Expos, Blue Jays and Tigers. Read the rest of this entry

Big Collapses in MLB (1964-2011) + NYY And TEX Are in The Playoffs But May Choke Away Divisions

Wednesday, October.3/2012

The Athletics are 71-38 since June.2nd and have forced a winner take the AL West crown matchup tonight versus the Rangers. They once trailed the Rangers by 13 games at the 80 game mark.

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer):

In case you may have missed the standings of late, the Yankees and Rangers are in danger of choking away the AL East and AL West.  If MLB had decided to not infiltrate this year’s extra Wild Card playoff birth, we could have been in line for another monumental collapse.  Both of the Yankees and Rangers held sizable leads in their respective divisions over the Athletics and Orioles heading into the second half of the year.  Now it has come down to Game 162 for each club to decide the divisions.  If the perennial playoff teams of TEX and NYY end up losing their divisions, they still will have a playoff game against each other on Friday to see who moves on to the ALDS.

If you are a Yankees fan, you have to be elated the Raul Ibanez pulled a rabbit out of his hat last night,  with a 2 run HR to tie the game vs the Red Sox-and then he won it with a single in the 12th.   If the Yankees can win today versus the Red Sox, they will clinch the AL East division and best record in the American League.  It is nice to have your own fate in your hands, but really it should not have come down to this.  On July.18, the Yankees had a 10 game lead over the Orioles and were looking to cruise for the rest of the year.  Ever since that day, the Orioles have ridden 16 straight extra inning wins to post a 46-24 (.657) stretch in which they have pulled to within 1 game of the Bronx Bombers.  The Yankees have gone 37-33 (.529) in that same stretch.  So it all comes down to the Yankees have a magic number of one.  If New York wins, they clinch the division, if they lose and the Orioles lose, they win the division.  If they lose and the Orioles win, it will force a one-game playoff Thursday in Baltimore in which the winner takes the AL East and the loser would play the AL West loser in the Wild Card Game Friday.  The winner of the AL East will play the winner of the Wild Card game.

Amazing enough is all of the extra inning wins, now on the 162nd game of the season, the Orioles still have a chance to tie for the AL East crown with a win over Tampa Bay and a Yankees Loss to the Red Sox.

Read the rest of this entry

MLB Reports Monthly Power Rankings: August 2012

Monday August.6/2012

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer and @chuckbooth3024 on twitter)- It has been a crazy month in which teams have stockpiled some heavy talent at the trade deadline to get ready for the playoffs.  Amongst the biggest gainers for the rankings this month were: the Athletics, Reds, Braves, Tigers, Dodgers (because of the deals) and Mariners while the Mets, Red Sox, Indians and Royals saw brutal months all but seal their playoff fates.  I do think that Boston has a punchers chance but that all is dependent on David Ortiz returning to the lineup swiftly.  The power of the best teams is definitely leaning to the National League right now where several teams are playing great baseball.  With one-third of the season left we are all in for a treat as baseball fans.

I will have one more regular season Power Rankings month of September (to be posted on Labor Day Weekend,)  before I also provide a playoff style ranking of the 1-10 seeds right before the Wild Card Teams play the play in game.  It certainly has been awesome to follow how the trade deadline has effected the Monthly Rankings this time around.  I think it is safe to say that this years deadline provided more interest and following-from even the casual fan more than any other year before.  I also believe that the Non-Waiver Trade Deadline is now the best Trade Deadline in all of sports.  Social Media has a lot to do with this but so does parity.  The 2nd Wild Card spot has also created more teams willing to trade prospects in lieu of going for it. Read the rest of this entry

MLB Reports Monthly Power Rankings: July 2012

Wednesday July.4, 2012

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer and @chuckbooth3024 on twitter)-We are going to bring you monthly power rankings every month of the season.  There will be a few notes written for each team.  Please feel free to let us know your thoughts.  The Texas Rangers are the top ranked team yet once again, although teams are certainly gaining on the them in the last month. If this report was being done last week I might have put the New York Yankees in 1st and Texas in 2nd.  A 7 game winning streak help preserve another month for Texas on the leader-board.  There were superior months by Aaron Hill, Jose Bautista, Joey Votto , Jason Heyward and a new phenomenon was born with Jose Altuve.  It was a great month for the MLB.  With 20 teams within 5.5 games or less for the playoff races, we are sure to see some serious movements in the Power Rankings in the 2nd half of the season.

Standings taken before play Tuesday July.03/2012

July Power Rankings-Last Month Rank in Parenthesis

1. Texas-50-30 (1) The Rangers rode a 7 game winning streak to end up 18-8 for the last month. David Murphy, Adrian Beltre and Elvis Andrus all hit over .300 in the last 30 days.  The Rangers were able to weather a slow spurt from Josh Hamilton, in which he hit .222 with only 4 HRs for the month.  Matt Harrison has asserted himself as an ace on the staff with a 5-0 month with a 1.29 ERA, while leading the American League with 11 wins on the year.  The Rangers have 6 players going to the ALL-Star Game including 3 starters.  Yu Darvish can make a 7th if he is voted into the final roster spot with his rookie campaign of 10-5 so far.

2. NY Yankees 48-31(5)  The Yankees have ridden good pitching and a hot bat from Robinson Cano to a 19-7 record over the last month, with a 5 games lead over their competition in the AL East.  Cano hit .370 with 12 HRs and 24 RBI in the last month.  Derek Jeter is hitting .298 overall but saw his average go from .389 in April, to .283 in May to .232 in June.  He still tops a list of 4 Yankees heading to the ALL-Star Game including 23 HR homer man Curtis GrandersonPhil Hughes went 5-1 in the month with a 2.59 ERA and Ivan Nova won his 3 decisions with a miniscule 1.32 ERA.  Rafael Soriano has converted 18 out of 19 save opportunities since taking over as team closer.

3. San Francisco 45-30 (9)  The Giants went 16-11 in the month and saw a perfect game from Matt Cain, with a few other 1 hitters.  The team shutout the Dodgers 3 games in a row in a series last week.  The Giants have Pablo Sandoval, Buster Posey and Melky Cabrera starting in KC next week.  The Melkman continues to show that last year was no fluke with his .352 Average and he is leading the Major Leagues with 111 base hits.  The Giants pitching staff has coped with the loss of Brian Wilson and the ineffectiveness of starter Tim Lincecum, by the rest of the staff having career years.

4. LA Angels 45-35 (12) The Angels have been really steady since the end of May.  They just finished going 17-8 in the last 25 days on the backs of ALL-Stars Mike Trout, Mark Trumbo and resurgent Albert Pujols.  Trout might be the most exciting player on the planet these days and is a lock for AL Rookie of the Year if he keeps this up.  Trout hit .367 over the last month and has taken over the AL batting lead with a .342 AVG.  Trumbo hit 10 HRs and drove in 28 RBI for the month and Pujols hit .337. to raise his average 40 points.  C.J Wilson was good enough in June to be named as CC Sabathia‘s replacement at the ALL-Star game.

5.  Washington 45-32(9)  Mike Morse has returned to the lineup with a vengeance during the last week with a .484 average.   Super Sub Tyler Moore has also hit .415 in the last 14 games with 4 HRs and 12 RBI.  Ian Desmond had 16 Extra base hits for the month to go along with 20 RBI, while he made the ALL-Star game as a reserve.  Ryan Zimmerman awoke from a season long slump to plate 17 RBI.  Adam LaRoche still contributed 7 HRs and 15 RBI despite a paltry .191 average in June.  Stephen Strasburg is 9-3 on the year with a 2.81 ERA and a league leading 122 SO.  Gio Gonzalez is 11-3 with a 3.01 ERA.  Both Gonzalez and Strasburg made the ALL-Star squad. Read the rest of this entry

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