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Miami Marlins State Of The Union Part 1: The Hitters Preview In 2014

By Nicholas Rossoletti (Lead Baseball Columnist):

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The 2012 baseball season was filled with skeptical optimism by baseball supporters in South Florida.

Along with the opening of the new stadium, the Marlins seemed committed to the idea of contention as they spent money with  reckless abandon.

 In 2013, Miami opened the season with as much negative public relations as possible as they quickly dumped all the excess salary they had acquired in 2012 on the open market.  

Overall, the short term roller coaster left a bitter taste with many fans.   Read the rest of this entry

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Don’t Believe Everything You Read: A Response to The New Normal For the New York Yankees- Part II

Alfonso Soriano came back to New York - and thrashed on the competition, with 17 HRs and 50 RBI - in just 58 games with the Bronx Bombers.  He also snuck in 18 SB for the campaign, but nobody even noticed.  Still the experts have failed to recognize that the offense was significantly better once this man entered the fray.  Even with his 38 year old season coming up, it is entirely possible he could club another 25 - 30 HRs and approach 85 - 95 RBI out of the DH slot.

Alfonso Soriano came back to New York – and thrashed on the competition, with 17 HRs and 50 RBI – in just 58 games with the Bronx Bombers. He also snuck in 18 SB for the campaign, but nobody even noticed. Still the experts have failed to recognize that the offense was significantly better once this man entered the fray. Even with his 38 year old season coming up, it is entirely possible he could club another 25 – 30 HRs and approach 85 – 95 RBI out of the DH slot.  Along with McCann, Beltran, Ellsbury, a potentially full year of Teixeira and Jeter, this lineup is a hell of a lot different from the team that limped to a 85 – 77 mark for the 2013 year.

By Nicholas Rossoletti (Yankees Correspondent/Trade Correspondent):

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As with the first part of this piece, this article is in response to a piece written for Grantland by Rany Jazayerli (which can be found here) that paints a fairly negative picture of the near-future for the New York Yankees.

Once again, I would encourage everyone to visit Grantland.com as it is a one stop shop for some of the best internet based writers on the planet. 

Again, a quick thank you to Fangraphs.com and Baseball-reference.com.

Those organizations are a huge reason for the increased understanding and intelligent discussion relating to baseball over the last decade, and they are used throughout as resources for all advanced statistics. 

If you aren’t reading the content on those sites, I would strongly suggest you do.

We will start with our Point/Counter-Point structure with a discussion of the new Yankee line-up, and more so, the effect of the departure of Robinson Cano on that lineup.

For Part 1 Of Don’t Believe Everything You Read:  A Response to The New Normal click here.

Alfonso 2013 Highlights as a Cub and a Yankee – Mature Lyrics so Parental Guidance Is Advised


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Don’t Believe Everything You Read: A Response to The New Normal For the New York Yankees- Part I

Opinions have varied wildly about the effect on the wholesale changes to the New York Yankees roster.  This piece is in response to in response to a piece written for Grantland by Rany Jazayerli (which can be found here  http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/10150907/the-new-normal-new-york-yankees).

Opinions have varied wildly about the effect on the wholesale changes to the New York Yankees roster. This piece is in response to in response to a piece written for Grantland by Rany Jazayerli (which can be found here lower in a link icon in the 1st couple of lines.)  As the Yankees Correspondent for the MLB Reports, I felt I needed to address the merits of the topic in question, make some counterparts, in order to move the dialogue from a slightly different perspective.

By Nicholas Rossoletti (Yankees Correspondent/Trade Correspondent):

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Before we get started, I wanted to give credit where credit is absolutely due.

This piece is in response to a piece written for Grantland by Rany Jazayerli (which can be found here) that paints a fairly negative picture of the near-future for the New York Yankees.

If you haven’t been to Grantland.com for sports and entertainment news and opinions, you are missing out.  Some of the best work in the business. 

All advanced statistics (and other statistics) are courtesy of our friends at Fangraphs.com and Baseball-reference.com

As always, we appreciate those sites making the information available to be able to debate the game we love. For ease to the reader, the response has been broken into two parts.  This is part one of the response.

Part 2 of the Don’t Believe Everything You Read: A Response to The New Normal For the New York Yankees click here

New York Yankees 2013 Year Highlights – With Full Credit Going To The YES Network

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The Red Sox Infield Shuffle Down The Stretch

Xander Bogaerts is ranked as the 2nd best Shortstop prospect in baseball, and the 6th best overall prospect in the game on mlb.com. Some are comparing him to Manny Machado of Baltimore due to their similar skill set and maturity at such a young age. I think the Red Sox would be very happy if he produces similarly to Machado.

Xander Bogaerts is ranked as the 2nd best Shortstop prospect in baseball, and the 6th best overall prospect in the game on mlb.com. Some are comparing him to Manny Machado of Baltimore due to their similar skill set and maturity at such a young age. I think the Red Sox would be very happy if he produces similarly to the young Orioles Third Baseman.  Boston traded away its top defense Infield prospect (in Jose Iglesias) to create room for Bogaerts.

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

As September approaches all teams have some uncertainty with their team heading towards the playoffs or the links.

Even serious contenders like the Red Sox have inefficiencies that they would like to correct.

Their decisions now will be under harsher criticism than ever as the franchise has missed out on the playoffs the past two seasons in dismal fashion.

There are certainly still big question marks on the clubs pitching staff like the health of Clay Buchholz.

The outfield also has question marks like Shane Victorino who is playing through injury right now to the point where he has dropped hitting from the left side (at the moment) because the injury affects his swing too much from that side of the plate.

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Trade Deadline Wrap – Up: Part I – The Winners

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Wednesday, August 7, 2013

The winners at the trade deadline have something in common.  One team used to call Theo Epstein their general manager and the other currently calls him their President.  Both the Red Sox and the Cubs have done a spectacular job at the deadline to meet the needs of their organizations.

The winners at the trade deadline have something in common. One team used to call Theo Epstein their general manager – and the other currently calls him their President. Both the Red Sox and the Cubs have done a spectacular job at the deadline to meet the needs of their organizations.  Boston fully expects to be in a pennant drive for the AL East, so adding a proven Starter like Peavy – is a great insurance move considering the Clay Buchholz injury situation.  Unlike last year, the Cubs were able to do some deals with their veterans – to help their team in the future.

By Nicholas Rossoletti (Yankees Correspondent/Trade Correspondent):

July 31, 2013 has come and gone.  The non-waiver trade deadline is always one of the more interesting times of the baseball year.  

Fans become obsessed with the idea of improving their team’s opportunity to win a World Series, whether it be for the upcoming October or in an attempt to rebuild for future seasons.

The question on everyone’s mind now that the deadline is over: how did your team do at the deadline? Did it get better? Did the organization “win” the transaction and will it translate now or later into more wins on the field?

This will end up invariably being a two-part article because of the depth we need to take to look at these moves.  Let’s get right into it with the Winners:

1. Boston Red Sox – The Red Sox are a unique team in that they are concerned both with the current championship window for 2013, but also, a larger window they hope to keep open over the next 3 to 5 years.  

In an effort to stabilize their rotation over the next 1 and 1/2 seasons, the Red Sox acquired Jake Peavy from the White Sox.  Peavy has pitched very well this season.  

His 8.55 K/9 and 1.91 BB/9 are both indicators of an elite level starting pitcher.  Peavy is not the same ace that he was during his prime of 2004 through 2007, but his current numbers speak to an adequate No. 1 starter or a very strong No. 2 starter.

JAKE PEAVY: THE NEWEST MEMBER OF THE RED SOX

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To Buy Or Not To Buy, That Is The Question For NYY? Soriano Deal Looks Imminent

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Tuesday, July 23, 2013

The trade deadline is quickly approaching, and there is very little doubt in the Bronx what the Yankees need.  For the first time since 1990, the Yankee offense is one of the worst in baseball. If there is any hope that the Yankees can compete for a playoff spot, the front office has to add pieces to the anemic Yankee lineup.

The trade deadline is quickly approaching, and there is very little doubt in the Bronx what the Yankees need. For the first time since 1990, the Yankee offense is one of the worst in baseball. If there is any hope that the Yankees can compete for a playoff spot, the front office has to add pieces to the anemic Yankee lineup. The Bronx Bombers are reeling out of the ALL – Star Break, dropping 3 of 4 – and 5 of their last 7 overall.  They need a quick resurgence, as the Rays have won 18 out of 20, while the Orioles have won 5 games in a row to both leapfrog them in the standings.  The Yankees begin play today 4.5 Games Behind the Playoff Bar.

By Nicholas Rossoletti (Yankees Correspondent/Trade Correspondent):

The dog days of summer have arrived.  Every team has played in excess of 90 games, and the All-Star break has come and gone.  At this point, it seems only right that we discuss the Yankees as either buyers or sellers at the trade deadline.

 Going into Sunday, the Yankees were 6 games behind the Red Sox for first place and were 8 games over .500, which is good for fourth in the uber-competitive American League East.  

Certainly, a playoff spot is still available to the Yankees at this point, and I believe that if you are the Yankees you have to at least examine the market to find what offensive help is available.

The Yankees have pitched well throughout the first half and have both David Phelps and Michael Pineda returning from injury in the next few weeks so the team has enough pitching to get them through the second half and potentially into a playoff spot.  

The major issue has been and will continue to be the once vaunted Yankees offense is a shadow of its former self.

ALFONSO SORIANO ON THE THROW DOWN:

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Red Sox Mid-Season Update: (Pitching)

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 Thursday. July.11/2013

I think it's safe to say that Clay Buchholz is the best pitcher on the Red Sox staff. He was looking like a strong candidate for the 2013 AL Cy Young Award until he was injured. Now he is on the road back as he threw his 1st bullpen Wednesday, and his 2nd is scheduled for Friday. Then he is set to start a rehab assignment if all goes well. I'm fine with him taking his time though. He NEEDS to be healthy for the playoffs.

I think it’s safe to say that Clay Buchholz is the best pitcher on the Red Sox staff. He was looking like a strong candidate for the 2013 AL Cy Young Award until he was injured. Now he is on the road back as he threw his 1st bullpen Wednesday, and his 2nd is scheduled for Friday. Then he is set to start a rehab assignment if all goes well. I’m fine with him taking his time though. He NEEDS to be healthy for the playoffs.

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

The MLB All-Star game is nearly upon us, and technically we are already passed the halfway point in the season, so it seems like a good time to do an update on where the Red Sox stand at this point.

The Boston Red Sox currently hold a record of 56-37. They still sit in 1st place in the AL East, 3.5 games ahead of the 2nd place Tampa Bay Rays. The Red Sox have led the division for most of the season and continue to exceed all preseason expectations.

In the early part of the season, the Red Sox were winning with pitching and hitting that was statistically at the top of the MLB. That is no longer the case. Their offense is still near the top, but their pitching has fallen off.

The Red Sox currently lead the MLB in Runs (484) and OPS (.802) showing their offensive prowess. However, their pitching staff currently sits in 17th in the Majors with an ERA of (3.96), 17th in K/BB ratio (2.43), 24th in WHIP (1.35), and have the 6th most Blown Saves (14).

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Mike Carp(e) Diem

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 Wednesday June 19th, 2013

Mike Carp was originally a 9th round pick of the New York Mets out of High School in 2004. He made him Major League debut in 2009 with the Mariners at just 22 Years of Age.

Mike Carp was originally a 9th round pick of the New York Mets out of High School in 2004. He made his Major League debut in 2009 with the Mariners at just 22 Years of Age.  Over the last 4 years. he has hit for a Career 3 Slash Line of .266/.336/.796 in 650 AB.  This is basically a season worth of At-Bats for the man from Long Beach. CA.  With those numbers, the LHB has 26 HRs, 38 Doubles and 96 RBI.  This pickup by the Red Sox may turn out to be a real bargain of the year.

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

I knew I would be devoting an article to this player sooner or later, but what better time than now? From top prospect to not being good enough for The Seattle Mariners 40 man roster, Mike Carp has emerged as a steady contributor to the current 1st place team in the AL East, The Boston Red Sox .

The 6 FT 2, 210 LB OF has been perhaps the most underrated pick up of the past offseason for the Boston Red Sox. At the time there was speculation whether he would even make the team, but questioning his viability as a Major League hitter has been put to rest at this point.

As Spring Training rolled around, the Red Sox were looking for depth at 1st Base behind newly signed Mike Napoli. They got Lyle Overbay into camp to compete for the spot and started giving Daniel Nava reps at the position too.

Then, falling into the Sox laps, came Mike Carp via the Seattle Mariners, the solution to the Red Sox 1B depth. All that was asked in return is the famous ‘PTBNL’ or cash.

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Red Sox 2013 Draft Recap

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Monday, June.10/2013

A look into the Red Sox Draft Room

A look into the Red Sox Draft Room. The Red Sox were aggressive in drafting the best talent they could, and trying to get their bonus pool to lineup in order to sign some of this talent, but how much will they be able to actually sign? Some people also say they might have reached on 1st pick Trey Ball as he was considered by many as more of a middle 1st round talent, but if you believe in a player you have to take him where you are. There is no trading draft picks like in other sports. I think their best pick was Jon Denney, but they really did have a great all-around draft in my opinion.

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

The First-Year Player Draft in the MLB (also known as the “Rule 4 Draft”) can make or break organizations. Drafting well will provide sustainability for even the smallest market teams, but drafting poorly could leave any team in a drought of epic proportions.

The Red Sox have had some good and some bad picks in recent drafts, but the 2011 draft was the end of the draft as we previously knew it. 2012 was the 1st year of a new draft system.

So before I get into the 2013 draft I want to talk a little about the Red Sox 2012 draft because not only is that draft over, but the signing period is over and the prospects are all in the Minors developing, so you can see a team’s strategy and how is working out so far.

I won’t get too into the rules of the new system because that could warrant a whole article itself, but feel free to ask any questions about it that you have and I will answer. I’m easy to get a hold of via twitter usually.

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New York Yankees: What Goes Up, Must Come Down

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Wednesday, June.5/2013

It had been a fun two months of the season for the Yankees until the last week in May lead to series losses to the Mets and Red Sox.  No amidst more controversy and another injury, the Yankees must regroup and get ready for the heart of the summer.

It had been a fun two months of the season for the Yankees until the last week in May lead to series losses to the Mets and Red Sox. No amidst more controversy and another injury, the Yankees must regroup and get ready for the heart of the summer.  Heading into play Wednesday, they are 33 – 25 (.569) and 2.5 Games Behind the Boston Red Sox for the AL East.

By Nicholas Rossoletti (Yankees Correspondent/Trade Correspondent):

There is no one that wishes that I could stop typing the words “Disabled List” and “Injury Replacements” more than me.  It seems like each of my articles since I took over the Yankee Correspondent position for MLB Reports has focused on how the team would survive the first portion of the 2013 season after off-season and Spring Training injuries left the team without its most expensive and experienced pieces.

Thanks to elite pitching from almost the entire team as well as some timely hitting from some unlikely sources, the Yankees have not just managed to compete through injuries but succeed.

As May turns to June, the thought was that the regular Yankee bats would return, which is basically the same thing we were told as April turned to May.  

Now more than ever it seems necessary as the team has been regressing back to a fairly disturbing mean.  The team has lost five in a row and dropped to two (2) games back of the Red Sox.  

It is imperative that the team get healthy quickly. The first of the Yankee regulars to return was Curtis Granderson, who got all of 31 Plate Appearances before lightning struck twice.

The injury bug continues to bite the Yankees moving forward.  The offense will be without a bat that generated 84 Home Runs over the 2011 and 2012 seasons for a little while longer.

BIG TEX:

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Get A (Fantasy Baseball) Grip On Reality: Blog Series Part 1

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Saturday May 18, 2013

Like Dale Doback, I too manage a baseball team --kootation.com.  Lucky for me, I was able to secure a steal 113th overall in a keeper league.  You have to read the post in order to find.  Now that I am done, I am going to attend a Catalina Wine Mixer nearby!!

Like Dale Doback, I too manage a baseball team  Lucky for me, I was able to secure a steal (113th overall) in a keeper league. You have to read the post in order to find out who that player is. Now that I am done, I am going to attend a Catalina Wine Mixer nearby!! kootation.com

By Derek Jackson (MLB Reports Fantasy Expert): 

I am happy to be joining the fantastic writer’s and leadership at MLB Reports, bringing you full coverage of Fantasy Baseball. If you’ve never won that elusive fantasy title or you’re the five-peat dynasty, we can all share our knowledge of players, outlooks, and advice in an open forum.

I urge any and all of you to leave me comments ripping apart my thoughts, giving me a firm but reassuring pat on the ass, or just to tell me how great of a fantasy player I must be – Now let’s roll out two player’s who have started out very differently in 2013. This will give you some insight into the stats I use and rely on in my own decision making. all thoughts are welcome.

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Yankees Current State Of The Union + The Phil Hughes Question

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Wednesday, May.08/2013

As the Yankees enter May, they do so in second place trailing their rivals, the Boston Red Sox. This is a surprise for many who thought that Boston and New York would struggle in 2013.

As the Yankees enter May, they do so in second place trailing their rivals, the Boston Red Sox. This is a surprise for many who thought that Boston and New York would struggle in 2013

By Nicholas Rossoletti (Yankees Correspondent/Trade Correspondent):

As April came to a close and May began, the Yankees found themselves in an all so familiar place. The New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox were atop the American League East.  It seems like this struggle between century old rivals has dominated the AL East for the better part of the last 15 years.  

This year was supposed to be different as New York and Boston were both expected to cede the division to the Baltimore O’s, Tampa Bay Rays and Toronto Blue Jays, and perhaps that will still be the case, but after five weeks of the season, it certainly seems like the demise of the Yanks and Sox was greatly overstated.

Part of the reason that the Yankees have managed to prove their naysayers incorrect has been their stellar starting pitching.  Each of the top four Yankee starters has pitched well to start the season, but as the title of the article suggests, there is one pitcher who has stood out especially in the last several weeks.

 His performance leads to this question: Is Phil Hughes finally becoming the pitcher he was always touted to be? Is the 26-year old right hander finally blossoming into a strong 1/2 starter? The numbers, at least early on, scream YES. 

The Phil Hughes Question:

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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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Boston Strong

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Monday, April.22/2013

While many people weren't giving the Red Sox a chance in the AL East this season, the Red Sox were just taking a 2 game lead in the stacked division. I have a feeling this is a team you should never count out.

While many people weren’t giving the Red Sox a chance in the AL East this season, the Red Sox were just taking a 2 game lead in the stacked division. I have a feeling this is a team you should never count out.

By Ryan Dana (MLB Reports Writer and Red Sox Correspondent):  with an assist to Kyle Holland (Boston native)  

As I’m sure you can imagine, writing this weeks Red Sox article was a little difficult. Figuring out what to say after a tragedy like what Boston has experienced over the past week is no easy task. I’ll just roll with the theme of the City and the Team over the past week. Boston Strong.

The Red Sox have stuck by their city and the rest of baseball has been great amidst this week’s events. The Red Sox are giving a hurting community something to root for.

Outside of the Red Sox organization other teams have also showed their support for the City of Boston after the tragic events at the Boston Marathon.

Just one example would be the Red Sox’ biggest rivals, the New York Yankees, playing Red Sox favorite “Sweet Caroline.” It doesn’t stop there though.

Other teams including the Chicago White Sox, the Cincinnati Reds,the Oakland A’s, and the San Francisco Giants also played “Sweet Caroline.” A little stranger, but just as meaningful, the Milwaukee Brewers played the theme song from the Boston based show “Cheers.”

And perhaps the greatest gesture of them all, after the Red Sox beat the Indians 7-2 on Tuesday evening the staff at Progressive Field played “Dirty Water,” the song played at every Red Sox win at Fenway Park. That’s not all Boston fans are cheering about: Winning keeps Red Sox Nation cheering night after night.

The team has been off to a strong start this season leading the AL East with a record of 12-4 after play on 4/20 thanks to another masterful performance by Clay Buchholz and a clutch Home run by Daniel Nava. They’re currently riding a 7 game winning streak.

Neil Diamond shows up unannounced to sing “Sweet Caroline” to Boston fans:

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Athletics 8 Game Win Streak Is Nothing New To Pattern Formed Since Last Year

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Friday, Apr.12/2013

Oakland Athletics' Jed Lowrie has made Billy Beane look like a genius once again - with clubbing 16 hits, (8 of the Extra Base Variety), Scoring 10 Runs and Walking 6 times so far in the teams 8 - 2 start.  He has an OPS of 1.258 thus far.

Oakland Athletics’ Jed Lowrie has made Billy Beane look like a genius once again – with clubbing 16 hits, (8 of the Extra Base Variety), Scoring 10 Runs and Walking 6 times so far in the teams 8 – 2 start. He has an OPS of 1.258.  He was acquired from the Houston Astros in a February trade which sent Chris Carter the other way.  The man can play several defensive positions well.  He is due for Arbitration at the end of this season, before becoming a Free Agent in 2015.  Beane doesn’t seem to make a bad move these days.

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

Hands up.. How many people would have thought that the Oakland Athletics would start the 2013 season with the best record in the Major Leagues so far?

Of course this website is not surprised at all.  Jonathan Hacohen (Website Founder and current Oakland A’s Correspondent) wrote a brilliant piece in the 1st week of July/2012 – breaking down Billy Beane‘s new MoneyBall Philosophy here.

I have to admit something right now..  I had not seen the movie “MoneyBall” even by this time.  Yes…brutal and I was kicking myself for not seeing it before hand.

After the movie, I did some digging and was extremely flabbergasted with what I found about Beane’s magic.  I wrote a Roster Tree for the Hitters and Pitchers in the organization.  I studied every single transaction to back track how each of the current member of the team had arrived in an Oakland uniform.  You can find that 2 part series here.

Can the Oakland A’s Do it Again in 2013 Preview:

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Are The Red Sox Mismanaging Their Shortstop Position?

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Thursday April.11/2013

Is Jose Iglesias the best fielding Shortstop in baseball? Maybe I'm biased but I believe he is. Keith Law called him the best defensive prospect he had ever seen. His defense has carried him thus far in his professional career, but I think his bat is ready for the Majors in 2013. It might not be at its full potential, but it is developed enough.

Is Jose Iglesias the best fielding Shortstop in baseball? Maybe I’m biased but I believe he is. Keith Law called him the best defensive prospect he had ever seen. His defense has carried him thus far in his professional career, but I think his bat is ready for the Majors in 2013. It might not be at its full potential, but it is developed enough.

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

The Boston Red Sox have been off to one of their best starts in recent memory so far in 2013. At this early juncture in the season they are still in 1st place in the AL East and for the most part are performing like a team with playoff aspirations.

A lot of this is due to the reemergence of veterans who had down 2013 campaigns but there are also a developing core of young players contributing such as Will Middlebrooks, Jackie Bradley Jr, and Jose Iglesias.

While batting .450 (9-20), Jose Iglesias couldn’t have done anything more to secure a spot on the 25-man roster. Despite his great start he was sent down to Pawtucket (AAA) to make room for Stephen Drew who is coming off injury (concussion).

Jose Iglesias Highlights: Mature Lyrics so Parental Guidance is advised:

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Oakland A’s Player Roster in 2013: State Of The Union Part 2: The Pitchers

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Sunday, Mar.24/2013

A.J Griffin was 7-1 with a 3.06 ERA in 15 Games Started for the A's in his 2012 Rookie Season.  The A's will look for the 24 Year old for some Quality Starts in 2013

A.J Griffin was 7-1 with a 3.06 ERA in 15 Games Started for the A’s in his 2012 Rookie Season. The A’s will look for the 24 Year old for some Quality Starts in 2013.  The  former University of San Diego Pitcher yielded a 1.13 WHIP during his time last year.  As the teams #4 Starting Pitcher on the depth chart, Griffin should be able to see some favorable matchups in 2013.  If he throws like 2012 again in 2013, he might very pole vault to being the ace of the rotation.  We may have another 3 – 4 staff that contend for the AL Cy Young like the days of Hudson, Mulder and Zito.

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner):

Billy Beane has always recycled his great starting pitchers once they hit the experience level that he could not pay them for.  His new crop of pitchers include Jarrod Parker, Brett Anderson, Tommy Milone and new Starter A.J. Griffin

They also are bringing back Bartolo Colon for the 2013 season, despite taking a 50 game suspension for PED use last year. Billy Beane is a master tactician on assessing  a players worth and especially pitchers.  Just like the hitters, the pitchers are all mostly in the 25-30 Age bracket.  He has a quality set of controllable relief pitchers in the barn to close out games too.

A.J. Griffin at University of San Diego:

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The Red Sox Are Getting Thrown Into The Dirty Laundry Bag!

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Saturday, March.23/2013

Bobby Valentine may have been happy to start the year as skipper of the Red Sox, but the 2012 season was nothing to smile about at all.

Bobby Valentine may have been happy to start the year as skipper of the Red Sox, but the 2012 season was nothing to smile about at.

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

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

The Red Sox in the 2011 season were managed by the Luckless Losing manager Bobby Valentine and made them lose with a HORRID and CRAPPY Season Record of 69-93 putting them in last (5th) place in the AL East. They, are guessed to be going on another losing streak and get 5th place in the AL East again.

Youkilis reaction to a question about Bobby Valentine – Returns to Boston:

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Projected Boston Red Sox Lineup For 2013: State Of The Union Part 1 – The Hitters

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Sunday, January.06, 2013

Will Victorino help point the way out of the cellar?

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

It has become trendy in recent weeks for experts to declare the Red Sox not only big players during the recent flurry of off-season transactions, but also big winners.

This may be wishful thinking, however, since it’s hard to imagine another season as dreadful as the 69-93 last-place debacle of 2012. It’s true Boston picked up strong character guys in Shane Victorino and Jonny Gomes, along with a few streaky power-hitter types in Stephen Drew and Mike Napoli. But the revamped Boston lineup still has plenty of uncertainties with spring training a little over a month away.

Let’s take a look around the diamond as things currently stand (projected starters in bold):

At First Base – the newcomer Napoli, who can also catch, will likely get the nod provided Boston and his agent come to terms over his contract. Health may be an issue; while Napoli hit HRs last year and 30 in 2011, he’s played more than 114 games just once in seven MLB seasons (140 in 2010). Current backup Mauro Gomez was the International League MVP at Pawtucket last summer, but in 102 at-bats with Boston posted only 2 HRs. Mark Hamilton has shown bursts of power in the minors but has hit .197 in two call-ups with St. Louis.

Mike Napoli Highlights from 2012:

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Is Roger Clemens a Hall of Famer? Try the Tom Seaver Test

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Friday, December.07, 2012

Clemens in his earl Boston Red Sox Days Clemens in his early Boston Red Sox Days.

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

Since the list of Hall of Fame nominees was announced in the last month, I’ve been pondering whether first-time candidate Roger Clemens would be earn my vote if I had one to give.

The Rocket has undeniable Cooperstown credentials, topped by a record seven Cy Young Awards, the 1986 AL MVP, and 354 victories. He struck out 4,672 batters during his long career, a total topped only by Nolan Ryan and Randy Johnson, and twice had 20-K games in which he didn’t walk a single batter. That combination of power and control also helped Roger Clemens lead his league in ERA seven times.

In my memory bank of Red Sox pitchers, which dates to the mid-’70s, only Pedro Martinez resonates as more dominant over a sustained period of time. But while Pedro was a delicate thoroughbred rarely allowed to reach past the seventh inning, Clemens was a good-old-fashioned workhorse who regularly finished what he started. Read the rest of this entry

The Oakland A’s 2013 Roster Tree Part 2: The Pitchers And Analyzing Mulder, Hudson and Zito Post Oakland

Sunday, Dec.02/2012

A.J Griffin was 7-1 with a 3.06 ERA in 15 Games Started for the A's in his 2012 Rookie Season.  The A's will look for the 24 Year old for some Quality Starts in 2013

A.J Griffin was 7-1 with a 3.06 ERA in 15 Games Started for the A’s in his 2012 Rookie Season. The A’s will look to the 24 Year old for some Quality Starts in 2013.

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer/Website Owner):

Yesterday we talked about the hitters of the Oakland Athletics current roster and today we will talk about their pitching.  This has been an organization that has thrived on brilliant drafting of young arms.  In the early 2000’s, the team featured three ace pitchers in Barry Zito, Tim Hudson and Mark MulderBilly Beane had to let each of them leave Oakland because they couldn’t pay them the kind of dollars needed to secure them long term.  With the exception of this year, Barry Zito has not lived up to his 7 Years and 126 Million Dollar contract he signed with the San Francisco Giants since leaving the Athletics. Despite a 15-8 year for the SF club this past year, he holds a 58-69 (.447) record for San Francisco lifetime with a 4.47 ERA.  He was 102-63 (.618)  and a 3.55 ERA with the A’s before leaving at the age of 29.   The guy made 18.25 Million in his Oakland days and has already pocketed 99 Million with SF.

Mark Mulder never was the same pitcher in the NL and was out of baseball four years after being traded to St. Louis.  His A’s career had netted him an 81-42 (.659) record with a 3.92 ERA.  He was only 22-18 (.550) and a 5.04 ERA with the Cardinals before retiring. As you will read in this article below, the franchise made a worthy trade in returns for this man.  Mulder made 25.3 Million in his contract with the Cardinals after making only 8.4 Million with the A’s.

Tim Hudson on the other hand, has been one of the better pitchers in the NL for the last decade, still towing the hill for the Braves at the age of 38.  He was 92-39 (.702) with a 3.30 ERA for the A’s.  He has since gone 105-65 with a 3.52 ERA for the Braves in in 8 years.  He definitely has been worth the $ invested (84.5 Million plus another 9.0 Million in 2013.) He only made 4.5 Million in his 6 years with Oakland.  The sandwich pick they landed for Hudson’s Free Agent signing was Travis Buck.  Unfortunately Buck only played 170 games for the franchise, hitting .250 with 18 HRs and 71 RBI in 571 AB.

Total Record for 3 other teams is 185-152 (.549) and they have made 208.8 Million away from Oakland, whereas they were 275-144 (.656) and made a total 33.15 Million Dollars with the Athletics.  I would say, Beane made the right decision in not signing them.

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

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

Read the rest of this entry

Boston Red Sox: Who is to Blame for this Mess?

Friday September 7th, 2012

Bernie Olshansky: The Red Sox are in a state of disrepair. They just traded two of the key players who were supposed to carry them to several postseasons in the future, and a pitcher who had the stuff to regain his status as the ace of the staff. Not to mention the team also has a manager who does not relate well to players. The Red Sox went from first to worst in the span of about a year. Why?

It all started going wrong in September of last year. The Red Sox started a skid and then information came out that some of the pitchers were drinking beer and eating fried chicken in the clubhouse during games in which they were not pitching during the pennant chase. The Red Sox had a horrible month and ended up falling out of playoff contention as the Orioles walked off on them in game 162 and Evan Longoria subsequently hit a walk off homer versus the Yankees to clinch a playoff spot for the Rays. Terry Francona, the manager who broke the Curse of the Bambino and won two World Series, was fired and general manager Theo Epstein was rumored to be leaving. Owners John Henry, Tom Werner, and Larry Lucchino promised that a collapse like this would not happen the next year. The good news: Red Sox fans will not have to worry about a collapse like last years’ now. The bad news: the Red Sox have been out of contention for almost the whole year. Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford, Josh Beckett, and Nick Punto have been traded, and it looks like Boston will be rebuilding for at least the next couple of years. Chaos in Boston is an understatement.

Read the rest of this entry

The Boston Red Sox Should be Cautious Pursuing Josh Hamilton

Saturday  September 1st, 2012

Sam Evans: By trading Carl Crawford, Adrian Gonzalez, and Josh Beckett, the Red Sox created a lot of salary cap space for the upcoming season. With outfielder Josh Hamilton set to become a free agent after this year, the Red Sox will definitely have interest in this five-time All Star. It is unclear how much teams will be willing to pay for this troubled slugger, but the Red Sox will be able to make the highest offer on Hamilton if they want to. Should the Red Sox go after Josh Hamilton? Keep reading to find out.

Boston currently has Jacoby Ellsbury as their only outfielder set in stone for next season. With no outfield prospects ready to make an impact next season, the Red Sox will definitely look to free agency for their next outfielder. Melky Cabrera, Shane Victorino, and B.J. Upton are some of the more attractive options out on the market. Cabrera could make sense for Boston, but it is improbable he will get more than a three-year contract.

This season, Josh Hamilton is hitting .293/.358/.583 with thirty-three homers in 130 games. His career wRC+ of 136 rivals that of Vladimir Guerrero, Carlos Delgado, and Will Clark, among others. Hamilton’s power/batting average this season is certainly impressive, but according to ESPN’s Hit Tracker, ten of Hamilton’s home runs have been “just enough”. That’s tied for fourth-most in the majors. One has to wonder if Hamilton would put up the same kind of numbers playing away from the hitter’s haven that is the Ballpark in Arlington.

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Chicago White Sox: Should They Pick Up Kevin Youkilis’ Option?

Monday August 27th, 2012

Jake Dal Porto:  The Chicago White Sox weren’t expected to be in the race this late in the season, but hey, here they are, 2.5 games ahead of the favorite Tigers in the American League east division. A big piece to their success has been Kevin Youkilis, who came over from Boston during the final week of June. Red Sox fans refer to him to leaving as a curse, while White Sox fans refer to him as a spark. Sure, his overall numbers aren’t anything to write home about (.254/.380/.469), but third baseman are hard to come by these days, especially experienced ones. And Youk is as steady as they come, health permitting. Youkilis, who has a $13 million option that comes into play once the season concludes, will likely gain a fair amount of interest should Chicago let him test open waters. However, Chicago shouldn’t give him the opportunity to test the market.

OK, so he might not be worth $13 million. But who will skipper Robin Ventura pencil in at third base of Youkilis leaves the windy city? They might as well forget about finding someone in free agency as the pickings are slim. David Wright could headline the group. Unless the Mets pick up his option (which they will), in which case he will only come through trade or in free agency in another year. Also, GM Kenny Williams would have to enter a bidding war with the Mets and several other clubs who have a hole at the hot corner to obtain Wright. Then, the rest of the crop boils down the likes of Placido Polanco, Mark Reynolds, and Brandon Inge. Any intriguing options in that group? I don’t think so. 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

The Return of Carl Crawford: What to Expect From This Battered Superstar?

 

Thursday July 19th, 2012

Bernie Olshansky: Carl Crawford undoubtedly has the potential to bring some extra oomph to the already powerful Red Sox lineup with his long-awaited return from the disabled list. Hopefully this Carl Crawford will be the guy the Red Sox hoped he would be when he signed with them. In his last year with Tampa Bay, he hit .307 with 19 homers and 90 RBIs, along with 47 stolen bases. Crawford is a .293 hitter over his career that started in 2002. This is what the Red Sox were hoping to get when they signed him in December of 2010 for a 7-year $142 million contract. So far, this contract has been a disaster. Last year, in his first year of the contract, Crawford hit a paltry .255—38 points less than his career average. Also, Crawford only played 130 games—which was rare for him, as he’s only played less than 140 games one other time (not including his rookie season).

So, what would happen if Crawford was back to his old self? With the return of Jacoby Ellsbury, the Red Sox could easily shoot up to become one of the best offenses in the league. Pedroia is slated to return today, so a lineup including Ellsbury, Crawford, Pedroia, Adrian Gonzalez, and David Ortiz is most likely going to happen once Ortiz returns from the DL. Ortiz was placed on the DL with an Achilles injury after scoring on a home run. Once Ortiz is healthy, the Red Sox should be all set up for a big comeback down the stretch. Read the rest of this entry

Lars Anderson Needs a New Team: Red Sox Prospect Slowly Turning into a Suspect

Friday July 6th, 2012

Sam Evans:  Red Sox prospect Lars Anderson went from being an 18th round draft pick, to being in-line for a starting spot on one of the most storied teams in baseball. However, after the Red Sox signed Adrian Gonzalez, Anderson no longer was part of the Red Sox future. Now, in Triple-A, Anderson needs a new team that believes in him. After all, he’s only twenty-four years old and just a step away from the majors.

Lars Anderson was drafted in the 18th round of the 2006 MLB Amateur, draft mainly because teams thought he wouldn’t sway from a commitment to the University of California-Berkley. However, the Red Sox went way over slot to sign Anderson handing him a $825,000 signing bonus. $825,000 was a lot for a second-round draft pick, let alone an eighteenth rounder. Pretty soon, Red Sox nation got excited about this young first baseman/outfielder and his seemingly bright future. Read the rest of this entry

Jesus Montero: Mariners Franchise Player of the Future?

Thursday May 24, 2012 

Ryan Ritchey (Baseball Writer): Jesus Montero is not a guy that gets a lot of attention because he plays for Seattle, but he did get my attention. Montero is one of the better players in the American League and he is going to continue to show his excellence throughout the rest of this season. Montero came to Seattle from the Yankees in exchange for Michael Pineda, who is done for the year…and maybe longer. The big question is whether the Mariners got the better part of the deal. No one will know the answer to this question for at least another couple of years. But as of right now, I believe they did. This is why. 

Montero, who should be moved from the catcher position in the next couple of seasons to either first base or DH, will be more durable than Pineda, who is coming off surgery. As long as Montero stays relatively healthy, he will be the kind of player who can hit 25 homers every season. We are just a month and a half into the season and the young slugger already has 6. Not putting too much pressure on him but he is on my fantasy team. So he better produce! His RBI numbers will be down though as he plays on a team with terrible overall offensive production, including an inability to score runs. 

The other big question that comes along with Montero is his strikeout to walk ratio. With 38 strikeouts to only 9 walks so far this season, the Mariners should be a little alarmed. With that many strikeouts he is not helping out the team very much as far as getting on base consistently. You can be a 25 homer guy but if your average is around .24o for the season with an OBP under .300, that isn’t a very good overall season. Any general manager is going to want a guy that can hit for average, power and take the occasional walk. A player that does day-in and day-out is Joey Votto and he just got a great contract from the Reds. Production pays off for everyone in the long run.

For Montero to get that big contract one day and to get Seattle into the playoffs as soon as possible, he is going to need to produce and show he can put the ball in play consistently. Nothing against the Mariners, but reality is that this not the team a big time hitter normally chooses to play on from his initiative. Montero if he evolves as a player, could one day end up in Boston to replace Ortiz when he retires. But that is just my opinion. For now, Montero is a player to watch out for. He could do very big things in the near future. The Mariners are counting on Montero to fill the shoes of their current franchise player, Ichiro Suzuki as he prepares for retirement likely one day soon. Until then, Montero will need to grow and develop into the player that the Mariners and the rest of the baseball world think that he can be.

Ryan Ritchey is a Baseball Writer for MLB reports. I am a high school senior, play second base and plan on studying sports journalism in college. I am a huge fan of Barry Larkin and Brandon Phillips. Have been a baseball fan my whole life and have been writing about baseball since freshman year. You can reach me on Twitter(@Ryan13Ritchey)

 

Please e-mail us at: mlbreports@me.com with any questions and feedback.  You can follow us on Twitterand 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.

The End of a Baseball Journey in 2012(30+6)

The Streak ended at 30 MLB Parks in 23 calendar days!!

I broke my old record of 24 days by being-Fastest to see all 30 MLB parks in 23 days  from April 6th to 28th!

Sked is here: fastestthirtyballgames3021.wordpress.com/2012/04/18/30in20/

Follow me-@chuckbooth3024 on twitter

http://mlbreports.com/gwr-tracker/ or at my official website for all updates!

Monday May.7/2012

Chuck Booth and Lori Martini @ Yankee Stadium 5/1


Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer and @chuckbooth3024 on twitter)- The road baseball games are done for the year.  Sure I will still see about 5-6 more games at Safeco Field, but nothing beats going to games on the road!  It is has been 10 days since I officially broke my own Guinness Book of World Record by going to all 30 MLB Parks in 23 days.  After the streak, I decided to slowly wane myself off of baseball by watching another 5 games in 4 Parks during 8 days.  Those parks were Citizens Bank Ball Park, Fenway Park, Yankee Stadium and Citi Field for 2 games.  We are talking about 4 awesome places to watch baseball. Lest we forget the Season Opener I also went to at Citi in case of a retro-active decision. Read the rest of this entry

Chuck Booth’s GWR Streak (Parks 25-29)

The Streak ended at 30 MLB Parks in 23 calendar days!!

I broke my old record of 24 days by being-Fastest to see all 30 MLB parks in 23 days  from April 6th to 28th!

Sked is here: fastestthirtyballgames3021.wordpress.com/2012/04/18/30in20/

Follow me-@chuckbooth3024 on twitter

http://mlbreports.com/gwr-tracker/ or at my official website for all updates!

Friday May.4/2012

Chuck Booth and Lori Martini being interviewed by ‘Did The Tribe Win Last Night’ Blog at the Social Suite at Progressive Field.

MLB Park # 25 Day # 20

COL 2 @ PIT 1

April.25/2012

PNC PARK

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer and @chuckbooth3024 on twitter)- My stay in Tampa Bay was a nice one the night before(despite having to commandeering a neighboring hotel just to do some laundry at midnight.)  I was too fired up to sleep and there was no chance at all I would risk sleeping in on this day.  I had known for a while that this was going to be an epic day.  Since the fallout of the missed doubleheader for Cleveland and Baltimore was first established on that San Diego flight, I looked forward to this day thoroughly.

Read the rest of this entry

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