Jeremy Guthrie pitched into the 7th inning, letting up only 2 runs as the Royals got a much needed win against the Tigers, 3-2.
Brandon Phillips went 2-4, diving in 6 including a grand slam into the fog as the Reds beat the Cubs 6-2.
Yovani Gallardo pitched eight innings of 4 hit shutout ball helping the Brewers beat the Marlins, 6-1.
Adam Dunn went 4-5, homering twice and driving in 5 runs as the White Sox outslugged the Blue Jays 10-6.
They all owned baseball on June 10th, 2013.
My explanation for “Who Owns Baseball” can be found here.
At the end of the year, we will tally up who owned baseball the most individual days and see how it compares to the final MVP and Cy Young vote.
To view the Yearly Leaders for Who Owned Baseball Standings – Click the READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY ICON.
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Wednesday May.08, 2013
Richie Devotie (Guest Baseball Writer): Follow @MrBaseballMan
Today were are going to take a look at the Reds first five week’s of play. The Reds have a 19-15 record. They sit two games back of the 20-12 St. Louis Cardinals for the NL Central Division. The Reds have five walk off victories out of their 13 home wins.
The 3 slash line for Reds at home is.264/.344/.427 and 22 Home Runs at Great American Ball Park. They have won all five series they have played at GABP. 2-1 vs LA, 2-1 vs WSH, 3-0 vs PHI, 3-1 vs MIA, 2-1 vs CHC.
Away from the Great American Ball Park is a different story for the Cincinnati Reds. They have a 3 slash line of .224/.312/.329. and only 9 Home Runs. The have a 6-10 Road Record. The Only Road series win came in Chicago where they swept the Cubs. 1-2 @STL, 0-3 @PIT, 1-3 @WASH, 1-2 @STL, 3-0 @CHC.
This is Reds Country – Mature Lyrics So Parental Guidance is Advised:
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Sunday April 14, 2013
Bernie Olshansky (Baseball Writer): Follow @BernieOlshansky
2012 was a long year for Rickie Weeks and the Milwaukee Brewers. Even after Prince Fielder left to sign with the Detroit Tigers, fans had high hopes for the 2012 season. Ryan Braun, Rickie Weeks, and upcoming First Baseman Mat Gamel were all set to bring the Brewers back to the playoffs.
Unfortunately Gamel started the season and suffered a torn ACL, which caused him to miss the rest. Braun was caught up in a steroid scandal that threatened to suspend him but never did. Luckily Braun was not suspended and had a very good season.
Weeks, on the other hand, had a horrific first half of the year. The Brewers wound up just four games over .500 at 83-79 and finished third in the NL Central. Brewers’ fans hope that 2013 will be different.
Rickie Weeks 2012 Highlights – Mature Lyrics so Parental Guidance is advised:
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Tuesday December 18, 2012
Kyle Holland (MLB Reports Intern): Follow @TheKHolland13.
2012 was a year to remember for Los Angeles fans. Even though neither team made a playoff appearance, both showed they will be a contender in years to come. The Angels signed Albert Pujols and C.J. Wilson before the season started. The club possibly had the best player in the league with Mike Trout. The Dodgers already had Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier, and 2011 Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw. In late August ,the Dodgers traded for slugger Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford, and Josh Beckett.
The 2012-13 offseason has been in no way different for Los Angeles. The Angels and Dodgers have clearly made the most impact so far heading into the 2013 campaign.
First let’s look at the Dodgers. They started their spending spree with a bang when they signed Hyun-Jin Ryu. The Dodgers won the right to sign him from his Korean League team (Hanwha Eagles), initially on November 9 for a $25,737,737.33 bid. He ended up signing for 6 Years/$36 Million on December 9. He has been reported to have a 90 MPH fastball that can top out at 95. He has a very impressive changeup-that has been said to be a very effective putout pitch. He also has a slider and a decent curveball. He pitched in the 2009 World Baseball Classic but has yet to announce if he’s pitching in the 2013 WBC. This is doubtful due to the fact the Dodgers probably want to preserve his arm during Spring Training and save the innings for the regular season.
The Dodgers have also made another huge acquisition in ace Zack Greinke. The guy started last year in Milwaukee as a member of the Brewers, before being traded halfway through the year to the Angels. He finished 2012 with a 15-5 Record, and a 3.48 ERA in 121.1 Innings Pitched. Greinke decided to sign with the cross town rivals for 6 years/$147 Million, the largest contract ever for a Right-handed pitcher. With Kershaw, Greinke and Ryu, the Dodgers may arguably have the best starting rotation in the National League.
Now that we know what the Dodgers have to offer in 2013, a plus lineup and a stellar pitching rotation. Across the city, the Angels have a situation that is not much different.
2012 was one of their best years in recent memory whether they made the postseason or not. The way they see it is the Billy Beane way: No one cares if you don’t win the last game of the season. So what do they do? They sign more absurd people so they can get the job done. The club went 81-57 with Trout in the lineup and only what could of have been if Pujols hadn’t started out so slow.
After signing the top Free Agent last year in Albert Pujols, they took the same approach again signing Josh Hamilton. It was almost identical in the events leading up to both signings. They didn’t even seem to be a contender in the Hamilton sweepstakes and yet they ended up landing the slugger. The contract awaiting the Outfielder in LA, is for 5 years/$125 Million. This is also key because they were able to weaken the Rangers. LA is basically the one team Texas did not want Hamilton to sign with and he did. Talk about frustration in the Rangers organization from pillar to post.
This Hamilton signing gives the Angels probably the best outfield in all of baseball. Mike Trout in Center just makes it fantastic alone. He probably should have won a Gold Glove and probably would have sewn up the MVP had he played in the 1st month. Hamilton will be in left and he has range and a cannon for an arm . Trumbo will round off the outfield in right. These are all fantastic outfielders, with the ability to make solid contact with the ball and hit it over the fence on a regular basis.
So exactly who wins the battle of LA right now? Judging by player ability and experience combined, I’d say the Dodgers. The better overall team? Probably the Angels. The Dodgers hitting will win them games, but defense wins championships. The Angels have power, defense, and pitching in C.J.Wilson, Jared Weaver, and Jerome Williams. The Dodgers have a stellar lineup and an absurd rotation, but the defense behind the staff lacks compared to the Angels.
Only time will be able to tell between these two teams. Games between them will certainly be highly awaited by every baseball fan in LA. You better be ready to dish out large amounts of cash if you’re looking attend any of these games between the two clubs for the foreseeable future… Or at least cue up the CD of Rage Against the Machine’s: “Battle of Los Angeles.”
(*The views and opinions expressed in this report are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of mlbreports.com*)
Welcome to our newest Baseball Intern: Kyle Holland:
Kyle is a life long baseball fan outside of Boston. He is a sophomore in high school has played baseball since he was 5. Although growing up in one of the best baseball towns in the major leagues, he has been a Giants fan since 2009. He credits his aunt with the Giants being his favorite team as she lives in San Francisco. Some of his favorite players include Buster Posey, Stephen Drew, Trevor Bauer, Stephen Strasburg, and minor leaguer Danny Hultzen. You can find Kyle on Twitter Follow @TheKHolland13.
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Sunday, December 2nd, 2012
Sam Evans (Baseball Writer):
Aramis Ramirez just had one of the best seasons for a thirty-four year old third baseman in the history of Major League Baseball. However, it seemingly went unnoticed. Playing with Milwaukee after nine seasons with the Chicago Cubs, Ramirez had one of the finest seasons of his career. Throughout his fifteen years in the majors, Ramirez has never been the most consistent player. However, what gets overlooked very often is the fact that Ramirez has been one of the ten most productive third basemen since 2000. For one reason or another, Aramis Ramirez is criminally underrated.
Robert Whitmer (Baseball Writer) Follow @rwhitmer
So we have a dilemma in this 5-point series. We have a team here that, for the past two years has been in first place at the all-star break and ended up with a losing record. Do they really need a change in the team or do they just need to grow up a little bit and stay consistent through the final 3 months of the season? The first thing that you have to look at is the line-up. Does this crew have the ability to maintain after getting the start that it has the past couple of years? I think with some minor changes the Pittsburgh Pirates from perennial losers to World Series contenders.
On http://www.MLB.com the depth chart for the Pirates shows a couple of areas that they need to upgrade in. With a total payroll of about $65 million, they have money to spend on free agents that can assist them in accomplishing their goals. The following five points are designed to provide the pirates with a fix to win now. I firmly believe that they are on the right track in their minor leagues to sustain their future. Read the rest of this entry
Sunday July 29th, 2012
Bernie Olshansky: Here are some of the latest key baseball trades that have taken place over the last 24 hours:
Francisco Liriano to the White Sox
After losing out on Greinke, the White Sox needed to make a move. Their pitching needed an extra boost. Chris Sale hasn’t been himself his last two starts, giving up five earned runs in each, and Jake Peavy has been on and off lately, going 1-2 in his past three starts. Although Liriano has for the most part had a terrible year, holding a 3-10 record with an atrocious 5.31 ERA, he hasn’t been all that bad in his last few starts (excluding his last start against Chicago—2.2 innings, seven earned runs),striking out 10 and 15 in the two starts before facing Chicago. The White Sox are hoping that Liriano will continue his turnaround and help them reach the playoffs. This could be tough for the White Sox though; the Tigers seem to have the makings of a playoff team to not make the playoffs, and the AL West looks like it could produce three playoff teams as of now. But, with all this, Chicago does look promising after the acquisition of Kevin Youkilis earlier in the year. Adam Dunn has returned to form, hitting more home runs and striking out just as much. It looks like the White Sox will have a good shot to play in October. Read the rest of this entry
MLB Trade Deadline Update #5 7/28: Segura Traded, Scutaro to San Francisco, Reds Looking for Leadoff Hitter
Friday July 27th, 2012
Bernie Olshansky: After acquiring shortstop/third baseman Hanley Ramirez from the Marlins, the Dodgers got exponentially better. With Hanley, the Dodgers gained an offensive force on the left side of the infield. With two solid pitchers, the Dodgers are good team, but a third would take them to the next level. There are several options out there:
Cliff Lee, Phillies
Signed through 2015, Lee will be a long-term option that could cost a premium. Fortunately for the Dodgers, money isn’t too much of a factor now with the new ownership. The left-handed Lee would fit well possibly as the number-three starter after Chad Billingsley to rotate left/right/left with Clayton Kershaw at the top of the rotation. The Phillies might trade Lee this year due to his out-of-character 1-6 record with a 3.95 ERA. Signing Cliff Lee could potentially put at risk the ability to re-sign Clayton Kershaw, since Kershaw’s two-year $19 million contract expires after next year. The Dodgers would be busy paying Lee the last three and a half years of his five-year $120 million contract, so Kershaw might have to settle for a little bit less (even with the new ownership) or sign with another team—the last thing the Dodgers would want. Acquiring Cliff Lee will be highly unlikely for this reason, plus the fact that the Phillies might want to hold onto their 2nd/3rd ace. Read the rest of this entry
Wednesday July 25th, 2012
Sam Evans: The Texas Rangers are currently 57-39, which gives them the second-best record in baseball behind only the New York Yankees. Texas isn’t just playing for this year, they also have enough prospects to acquire anyone they want at the trade deadline. Instead of waiting for young players to develop, the Rangers should recognize their chance to win it all this year, and trade away a couple of those players. If Texas could acquire a top of the rotation starter or a superstar outfielder, they should seriously consider trading some of their finest young prospects.
It will take a lot for the Texas Rangers to miss the playoffs this year. Despite playing in a division featuring an interesting Angels team, and a surging Oakland ballclub, Texas still has the highest playoff odds (99.8% chance) according to Baseball Prospectus. The Rangers could probably start Matt Kata instead of Adrian Beltre at third base for the rest of the season, and still make the playoffs. However, at some point, reaching the playoffs just isn’t enough. The Texas franchise wants to win the World Series this year, and in order to do that, they probably need to make a move at the deadline. Read the rest of this entry
Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer and @chuckbooth3024 on twitter)- Seemingly gone are the days where most of the MLB players stick with one team for their whole careers. As of right now there are not too many superstars that have spent their entire careers with one organization. Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera are 1st ballot Hall of Famers. Chipper Jones should make the BBHOF. Todd Helton is close to retiring but I am not sure the voters will see him worthy. There are some promising chances that Ryan Braun and David Wright might play their entire careers with their current clubs, however with Braun’s PED fiasco last year I just don’t see him entering Cooperstown. Wright must re-sign with the ownership hemorrhaging, this will prove hard for the Wilpons funds thanks to Bernie Madoff. When it comes to starting pitching, the list is shrunken that much further. Justin Verlander is the active win leader with a player only having played for one team. He has 114 wins with the Tigers, anybody above him on the active ALL-Time Wins list has pitched for multiple teams already. The next active leader for one team pitched for is Ervin Santana with 91 wins for the Angels franchise. Felix Hernandez has 90 wins for the Mariners. Tim Lincecum, Cole Hamels and Matt Cain have played their entire careers for the same team so far and have CY Young titles amongst them, but have a long way to go in establishing Hall of Fame Careers.
That brings me to my next stat. There are 9 players in history who have hit 500 HRs or more for one team. All of them are in the Hall of Fame except for Barry Bonds (who becomes eligible next year.) I am not sure the writers will cast a vote for him because of his steroid use. When I got the idea for this article, it came to be because I was amazed that Paul Konerko has hit over 400 HRs with the Chicago White Sox. Again at age 36, Konerko has a look at 500 HRs with the Chicago team. Right now he can end the season with about 410-420 HRs. Provided he can play 3-4 years more and have productive seasons, he may reach the milestone. Chipper Jones is the only other active MLB Player to have 400 HRs with one team. Larry is slowing down though and will most likely retire after this year. Read the rest of this entry
Friday June 15th, 2012
Image Courtesy of MLB.SI.com
The Milwaukee Brewers are currently sitting in fourth in the NL Central division with a sub-par 28-33 record. Yes, that’s a decent record but I mentioned that it was “sub-par” because baseball fans are used to seeing the Brewers with a better record, but the Brewers lost Prince Fielder to free agency and they lost Alex Gonzalez this year due to injury.
The Brewers are still in good shape to finish the year near the top of the NL Central, which is why I think they will be buyers at the trade deadline. As I mentioned above the team lost their shortstop, Alex Gonzalez for the season, the team had Cesar Izturis playing shortstop but he also got injured and he is currently on the 15 day DL. So the Brewers currently have Edwin Maysonet playing shortstop. Izturis was batting for a .216 in 31 games played and Maysonet is currently batting .200 in 23 games so there isn’t much difference in offense production between the two, in my opinion the Brewers need to get some offense production from their shortstop which is why I think the Brewers need and will go after a shortstop at the trade deadline. The teams ahead of them in the divison standings (Pirates,Reds, and Cardinals) are all not unbeatable teams. They still have a chance to make a playoff run, which is why I think they need to be buyers at the trade deadline. The Brewers need some more offense fire power if they want to make a run. Read the rest of this entry
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!
Follow me-@chuckbooth3024 on twitter
or at my official website for all updates!
MLB Park # 25 Day # 20
COL 2 @ PIT 1
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.
Friday April 27, 2012
Ryan Ritchey: The question for all the teams in the major leagues is if Zack Greinke is worth the $100 million that he is going to want…and likely get. With Greinke being a free agent at the end of the season, does he want to stay with the Brewers or does he want to test free agency. At the age of 28, he could get the big 7 -year deal he is seeking. But it won’t be worth 100 million. He could end up getting around $80 million with a great season in 2012. With a 16 win season last year and off to a pretty quick start this season, he is showing the league what he’s got. With Fielder leaving though, I don’t see him staying with the Brewers after this season.
The big question about Greinke is whether he can stay healthy. Last season was his best season in terms of wins, but he didn’t get to the 200 inning mark that every pitching coach wants his pitchers at. If he wants to be the ace that every team is going to want him to be, he is going to need to be a 200 inning guy. I can see Greinke being the guy that throws those 200 innings year after year but the only way this happens is if he can stay consistent and get batters out. Read the rest of this entry
The Streak stands at 23 MLB Parks in 18 calendar days!!
Chuck Booth: I am the World Record Holder for-Fastest to see all 30 MLB parks in 24 days (2009)!
In 2012, I am going for 30 MLB Parks in 23 days from: April 6th to 28th.
Follow me-@chuckbooth3024 on twitter
Follow my streak all the through to the bitter end. Schedule is this link:
or at my official website for all updates!
MLB Park # 16 Day # 12
CHC 2 @ MIA 3
New Marlins Ball Park
‘Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer and @chuckbooth3024 on twiter)- It was a great day for a new baseball park. During this trip, anytime that I have had a single game only for a day, I have felt a little bit more relaxed while watching the action. I flew into FLL (Fort Lauderdale Airport) really early and caught up on some writing. I was fully rewarded with my National Car Rental to the tune of a Chrysler 200 that was black in color. I made my way to my Best Western Hotel near the airport. Check in time was not till 3 PM, but I was able to coerce the staff to let me take a room early. I really appreciate the professional way the Best Western staff always helps me in the travels. Read the rest of this entry
Sunday December 11, 2011
Jonathan Hacohen: Posted every Weekend: Your top baseball questions from the past week are answered. E-mail all questions to firstname.lastname@example.org, message us on Twitter and post on our Facebook Wall!
Let’s get to your top questions of the week:
Q: Seriously, do you not think a large portion of pro athletes are using PHDs? It’s just a mistake when they get caught. Randy (via Twitter)
MLB reports: The Ryan Braun saga is upon us. The debate as to the use of performance enhancing drugs has been in play for too many years now. The names Mark McGwire, Rafael Palmeiro, Barry Bonds, Rogers Clemens, Sammy Sosa, Manny Ramirez…etc…etc… will forever live in PED infamy. Then Major League Baseball introduced drug testing, with HGH testing upon as well. After years of rumors and whispers, the sport was finally going to be clean. Now we have the news that Ryan Braun was tested positive for use of PEDs. I do not want to comment on Braun much until we have all the information. What we do know from reports is that Braun was found to have high levels of testosterone and determined to have resulted from artificial means. Braun is appealing the findings and more news will follow. Braun was named the 2011 NL MVP, which makes the situation that much more volatile. So do I think that a large amount of pro athletes use PHDs? I can speak of baseball and I would say in recent history, the answer is yes. I don’t want to unfairly label the sport and say “everyone was using them”, but many definitely were. With the introduction of proper testing and penalties, I think use has been curbed substantially. Looking at the numbers players put up in baseball in recent years compared to even ten years ago, there is a clear drop-off. Plus we are not seeing late 30s, early 40s players putting up astronomical numbers they way they were. So the sport is cleaning itself up in my estimation. But we have not seen the end of this topic. Far from it. As tests become better, the drug makers will become even more sophisticated in created betting masking agents to avoid detection. It is a nasty cycle. Just the mere fact that Ryan Braun could be considered using PEDs means this story lives on. Baseball will never fully clean likely. But it is certainly on a very good path. Hopefully, PED use eventually becomes almost non-existent in baseball one day.
Q: Can’t wait to see Mike Choice though. He crushed in single A last year. But offensively, we’ll (the A’s) be pretty slow in 2012. Pigaroo (via Twitter)
MLB reports: Agree and agree. I am very high on Michael Choice as well. There is nothing not to like. The 22-year-old Choice was a 1st round pick (10th overall) by the A’s in 2010. After a nice debut in his first professional season playing Low A-Ball in Vancouver in his draft year, Choice exploded last year playing High A-Ball in Stockton. The numbers were fantastic. 30 home runs, 82 RBIs, 79 Runs, .285 AVG, .376 OBP and .542 SLG. The future looks bright for Choice, as he likely to start 2012 in AA. But let’s keep some things in perspective. He is 22. He is still very raw, as shown by his 61/134 BB/K last year. Choice has a world of potential and is definitely a top prospect in baseball. But then so was Brandon Wood once upon a time. Dallas McPherson. Even looking in the A’s system, Chris Carter and Michael Taylor have developed much slower than expected. Choice has not even proven himself yet in AA, so there is still time for him to shine or fade. Prospects are almost impossible to predict, as many factors can affect their development. Health. Confidence. Ability. Work Ethic. Chances. If anyone area isn’t there, the rest of a person’s game can suffer. So while I am not devaluing the abilities of Michael Choice, I certainly want to see more from the kid before I hail him as the next A’s savior, as is being done in many circles. The Oakland A’s are clearly in a full-blown rebuild mode, as evidenced by their recent trade of Trevor Cahill and likely trade of ace Gio Gonzalez. Josh Willingham is likely to move on as well, as will Coco Crisp, David DeJesus and perhaps Hideki Matsui. The A’s will struggle in 2012 in all facets of the game, to score runs, not give up runs and win ball games. Remember the movie Major League? Sadly, you might be seeing the new Cleveland Indians, as the team owner threatens to move the team. A sad period for a once proud franchise, I certainly hope their stadium situation is resolved soon and the A’s go back to being a baseball powerhouse. Thank you for the questions!
Q: Do you think Josh Willingham would be a good fit with the Tribe? He would cost about as much as D Lee last year with 2 more years. Martin (via Twitter)
MLB reports: Thank you Martin for the question. I definitely think Josh Willingham would be a great fit for the Indians. I think you are comparing his contract status to that of Derrek Lee, who is coming off a 1-year, $7.25 million contract. On your logic, do I think the Indians could sign The Hammer for 2-years and $14.5 million? I do not. Sorry my man. The Hammer is looking at a contract in the 3-year, $30 million range. Do I think that he is worth it? Yes…but it depends. At an affordable rate, I would take Willingham at 2-years with a vesting or option 3rd year. There are strikes against Willngham, no doubt. He will be 33-years-old come opening day. He has battled injuries the last 4-years, missing significant time in 2008 and 2010. The numbers have been consistent, but 2011 was actually a misleading year. While he hit 29 home runs with 98 RBIs, Willingham also hit a career low .246 with .332 OBP. Amazingly, Willingham actually hit better at home than on the road, a surprise given that Oakland is one of the premier pitcher’s parks. .260 AVG at home, .233 on the road. .350 OBP and .523 SLG at home, .315 OBP and .435 SLG on the road. Imagine then what Willingham could do in a better hitting park surrounded by a stronger lineup? With Willingham, beware of injuries and age. If you can live with those risks, then he should be a sure bat in the middle of a lineup for 1-2 more years, perhaps 3. But the decline is coming…so buyer beware.
Q: Ok guys, it’s time to announce locations (for the 2013 World Baseball Classic) so that we can make our plans. I went to Orlando in 2006 and the next series saw Netherlands beat the Dominican Republic – twice- in Puerto Rico.. Wow! So am I (and my family) going to Taiwan? Montreal? Mexico? Europe? If it’s Havana, I’m booking right away! King of America (via Website)
MLB reports: It is good to know that interest in the WBC is alive and well. I get asked often by non-baseball fans and casual supporters of the game whether the WBC will ever be a “big deal”…and the answer is: yes. Rarely a day goes by that I do not get a question or comment from a reader on the WBC. Aside from MLB Expansion, Realignment and Relocation, the WBC is the biggest topic that I deal with on a daily basis. The tournament is growing leaps and bounds, as 2012 will see the qualifying tournament for the first time. The field for the WBC has been expanded from 16 countries to 28. The number will even continue to grow in future years. I have been contacted by reps from different countries requesting information on applying for consideration. Baseball fans from all over the world, including Iceland, England, South Africa, Panama, Venezuela, Russia and Israel have contacted MLB reports to learn about the World Baseball Classic. Unfortunately we do not have named sites yet for the tournament. All we know is that the qualifiers will happen in the fall of 2012, with the tournament itself in the spring of 2013. Will baseball go with the usual venues or add new ones? That is the million dollar question. As there will be qualifiers and an actual tournament this time around, I can see more countries and venues having the opportunity to host games. Hopefully there will be an expansion of host countries this time around, so that more baseball fans around the world can enjoy the flavor of live WBC games. We will keep you up-to-date and will have a dedicated page coming soon on our site. MLB reports will continue to be your source for everything WBC.
Q: What are the chances of the Yankees getting Gio Gonzalez ? Dano (via Twitter)
MLB reports: Good luck in finding more frustrated people wondering the earth right now that Yankees and Red Sox fans. Once known for setting the tone in signing premium players, both teams have been unusually inactive this offseason. The Red Sox have suffered from their well-chronicled issues this past season, which came full steam with the change of their manager, GM and loss of their closer. The Yankees, by not making out of the first round of the playoffs this past season are also considered in their own form of crisis mode. While the Yanks are fairly set offensively, it is pitching (or the lack of) that has fans worried. The team has a strong pen, anchored by the ageless wonder Mariano Rivera. But the rotation is a series of question marks beyond ace C.C. Sabathia. Spots will likely go to Ivan Nova and Phil Hughes. Then you have A.J. Burnett and Freddy Garcia. Maybe Hector Noesi. The return of Bartolo Colon? Yankees would like to see another proven starter, perhaps two hurlers to be added to the roster. While Gio Gonzalez may be one of them, I would say likely no. I took a look at Gio two weeks ago. His numbers away from Oakland make me nervous, and likely other teams as well, including the Yankees. The A’s are reportedly asking for a truckload of top prospects and the Yankees will not likely bite. I still expect the Yankees to find another starting pitcher. But not at the risk of depleting their farm. Gio is a good pitcher, don’t get me wrong. But he is not the ace pitcher that the Yankees need. Hopefully though the Yankees don’t wait too long after the holidays and end up shopping in the bargain bins in January for starting pitching again. The team got very lucky with Garcia and Colon last year. I wouldn’t take the risk again in 2012 if I were them. With their huge payroll and superstar team, the Yankees need to solidify their rotation to have a chance at the World Series.
Last Q: I’ve been hoping that someone like Bud Selig or others at MLB Headquarters would read these expansion ideas that me and many other fans have. I’ve shared my expansion idea to other online forums but many people have told me that further expansion would water down the talent pool. Do you think the new international draft would fix that problem? Joe (via E-mail)
MLB reports: A great last question to end this week’s Ask the Reports. I have enjoyed corresponding with Joe this week and wanted to include his last question to me in this edition. I have enjoyed debating the merits of MLB expansion for years. Many…many…many fans have used the watered down talent argument to argue against expansion. I am sorry people, but I don’t buy that argument. Go watch some AA and AAA games. There is a TON of quality major league ready talent that is simply rotting in the minors in my opinion. Between the 30 MLB teams, each has more than 5 minor league affiliate teams stocked with talent. To bring 2 more MLB teams, for an even 32 teams, there would be no problem finding 25 players per squad. Between prospects, free agents and international talent, there would be no issues to stock two more teams. The issues surrounding international talent, including an international draft, is a topic for baseball as a whole. While a draft could help with expansion, it is only a minor point in the larger scheme of the issue. The signing and development of international players is an issue for all current MLB teams that needs to be addressed in the overall competitive balance and growth of baseball internationally and to bring more talent to North America. I am all in favor of MLB expansion. My hope is that we will see 2 more teams in the next 5 years, but we could be waiting as far as 2020 and beyond until it becomes a reality. As far as international players…this discussion is far from dead and will be a sensitive subject for years to come.
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Jonathan Hacohen is the Lead Baseball Columnist & Editor for MLB reports: You can follow Jonathan on Twitter (@JHacohen)
Wednesday December 7, 2011
Sam Evans: The Maddux brothers may have stopped playing the game years ago, but they definitely haven’t left it. Greg Maddux was the best pitcher of the 90′s and Mike Maddux enjoyed a long career. Now they have finally been reunited, working for one of the smartest organizations in baseball: the Texas Rangers.
When I heard that Greg Maddux (aka “The Professor”) was going to the Rangers, the first thing I thought was, ‘ As a pitcher or a coach?’ I still have vivid memories of Greg Maddux and his command unlike any other pitcher in the history of the game. Maddux controlled games. He wasn’t necessarily intimidating, he was just so intelligent and he had such great consistency.
Greg is only 45, four years younger than Jamie Moyer, and the Rangers are in need of pitching, so on some levels a comeback would have made sense. Maddux has no reason though to come back. He hasn’t pitched since 2008, so there was no real chance of that actually happening. He just seems like the perfect kind of pitcher that would pitch at the age of 45 if the desire was there.
Greg threw an amazing 5,008 innings in his career, with a 3.16 ERA and a 3.26 ERA. Mad Dog earned four Cy Young Awards and was an eight-time All-Star. There is no doubt that Greg Maddux is a first ballot Hall-of-Famer. He is not only appealing to the newer generation of voters ( 120.6 WAR ), but to old-fashioned voters as well (a whopping 18 Gold Glove Awards).
Mike Maddux was mainly the “other guy”. Greg Maddux’s older brother had a lengthy career playing for nine years, but he was never as successful as his younger brother. He threw 862 innings in his career, with a 4.05 ERA and a 5.6 K/9.
Now in 2011, things are very different. Mike is now doing better than Greg at something baseball-related. Mike Maddux has become known as one of the best pitching coaches in baseball, first for the Brewers, and now for the Rangers. Meanwhile, Greg had been working as a coach with the Cubs. While it is impossible to find the true impact of a coach, so far Mike has had a much larger effect to-date. Mike was even considered for both the recent Red Sox and Cubs managerial openings, but he opted to stay put in Texas.
News broke late in November that Greg would be joining his brother with the Rangers. Greg was hired as a special assistant to the general manager. According to GM Jon Daniels, Greg will help with the development of their young players.
This truly is a great story. Two brothers who have never played or worked for the same team, not even in high school, will finally get the chance to do so. They will be working alongside Nolan Ryan molding one of the most talented teams in all of baseball. I’d be surprised if having these two studs working with the Rangers young pitchers doesn’t work out perfectly.
***Today’s feature was prepared by our Baseball Writer, Sam Evans. We highly encourage you to leave your comments and feedback at the bottom of the page and share in the discussion with our readers. You can also follow Sam on Twitter***
Please e-mail us at: MLBreports@gmail.com with any questions and feedback. You can follow us onTwitter and become a fan on Facebook . To subscribe to our website and have the daily Reports sent directly to your inbox , click hereand follow the link at the top of our homepage.Follow @mlbreports
Wednesday November 23, 2011
Sam Evans: Over the last two days, Major League Baseball announced their 2011 MVPs. Justin Verlander of the Detroit Tigers took home the award in the American League while Ryan Braun of the Milwaukee Brewers won the National League award. Now that the voting is over, we can look at who really deserved the awards.
American League MVP: In August, Buster Olney sparked discussion on the AL MVP, when he said on Twitter that if he had a vote it would go to Verlander. At the time, I thought that the award was Jose Bautista‘s to lose. However, after watching Verlander dominate team after team, it became clear to me that this was the most valuable player in the American League. He meant more to his team than any other player in the league. Verlander finished with a with a 2.40 ERA in 251 innings. Verlander threw more innings than any other pitcher in the majors, and to have that strong of numbers in those innings makes it even more impressive.
Verlander also threw his second career no-hitter this year, and led the majors in strikeouts. Jacoby Ellsbury and Jose Bautista are not shabby candidates either, but they didn’t have the effect Verlander did on his team. The Tigers expected to win every single time that Verlander was on the mound. Overall, even if the BBWAA made this decision based on Verlander’s twenty-four wins, it was the right choice. Verlander became the first pitcher to win the MVP since Dennis Eckersley in 1992.
National League MVP: In somewhat of a surprising decision, Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun was awarded the NL MVP award, receiving 20 out of 32 first place votes, and a total of 388 points. Finishing a close second was Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp, who received 10 first place votes, and a total of 332 points.
First of all, these were obviously the top two candidates. They both had amazing years that should not go unnoticed despite who actually won the award. What I think it came down to was that Braun made the playoffs and Kemp didn’t. This is somewhat understandable because you can make the argument that if a certain player had such a big impact on their team then they should have made the playoffs. The real question is did Braun really make his team that much better, or did he just play on a much better team? Also, did the distractions surrounding the Dodgers and its ownership affect Kemp’s chances of winning the MVP? It definitely did not help his case.
To truly compare these players first you have to evaluate their defense. Kemp played a much harder position then Braun and he had to cover more ground. Kemp had a UZR (Ultimate Zone Rating, a stat used to show how much ground a player covers) of -4.6. Braun had a UZR of -3.8. Neither of these is very impressive, so I guess we can just call this comparison a draw.
As for offense, in my own opinion, Kemp had a stronger year. Both players were very similar in normal statistics. Braun hit .332 with 33 HR and 111 RBI. Kemp hit .324 with 39 HR and 126 RBI. What impresses me is that Kemp scored more runs than Braun despite not having Prince Fielder batting behind him. Also, Kemp had a harder ballpark to hit in, and plays in a stronger pitching division. Kemp was really the only dangerous hitter in the Dodgers lineup, so pitchers could avoid him more than Braun.
According to Baseball-Reference WAR, Kemp was by far the more valuable player. Kemp led the NL with 10.0 WAR, which make Braun’s 7.7 seem miniscule. Kemp also led the National League in total bases, with 353, and Adjusted OPS + with 171.
These two players had almost identical years. If I had a vote, it would have gone to Kemp. But I don’t think Braun winning is anything to get worked up about. A strong case could have been made for him, as shown by Braun being the winner of the 2012 NL MVP award.
***Today’s feature was prepared by our Baseball Writer, Sam Evans. We highly encourage you to leave your comments and feedback at the bottom of the page and share in the discussion with our readers. You can also follow Sam on Twitter.***
***Today’s feature was prepared by our Baseball Writer, Sam Evans. We highly encourage you to leave your comments and feedback at the bottom of the page and share in the discussion with our readers. You can also follow Sam on Twitter.***
Tuesday November 22, 2011
Peter Stein (Fantasy Baseball Analyst – MLB reports): Accompanied with my projections and analysis, I profile the top-five fantasy baseball sluggers to target for 2012. I encourage your thoughts and feedback!
1. Ryan Braun
2012 Projections: .321 38 HR 119 RBI 108 R 32 SB
Given that he is at the prime of his career having just turned 28 on November 17, Ryan Braun ranks at the top of the list. He is the complete package and enjoyed a 2011 season that had fantasy owners drooling and was named the 2011 NL MVP today! He was a machine in all five of the standard fantasy categories with a .332 average, 33 home runs, 111 RBI’s, 109 runs and 33 SB’s. The exciting thing is that the will only continue to get better. The home run total has the potential to reach 40 and I don’t see reason why Braun won’t steal 30 bases again. Braun is by no means one of the speediest players baseball, but he is truly one of the smartest base runners. He steals at a career success rate of 80% and was only caught 6 times in 2011. Some people wonder about the effect that Prince Fielder’s potential departure will have on Braun, but I am not overly concerned. Braun is truly a special and hall of fame caliber player because he not only possesses all of the physical tools, but also is one of the game’s smartest players. He continually makes adjustments and just has such an impressive knowledge of the game that allows him to better utilize his talents than others.
2012 Projections: .312 39 HR 120 RBI 117 R 12 SB
Albert Pujols has been the best fantasy player in baseball since he emerged onto scene in 2001. Ten Ruth-like seasons later, the slugger might find himself in a new uniform. Furthermore, his somewhat “down” season in 2011 has caused concern for many fantasy owners. But before we expect an A-rod-like decline, lets take a closer look at the numbers. Through the Cardinal’s first 54 games, Pujols batted .257 with 8 home runs and 28 RBI. That means in the team final 108 games, which included the time missed with the wrist injury, he batted .322 with 29 home runs and 71 RBI’s. That is the Pujols that we have all been accustomed to over the last decade. I will not go into detail explaining just how good Pujols has been throughout his career because you should already know by now. Last year was the first season he did not put up .300 30 HR and 100 RBI. He missed this feat by one RBI and one point of average, in a season that included an uncharacteristic 50 game stretch (contract issues?). I expect Pujols to be back in St. Louis next season, and all though he well on the back nine of his career, he is still too good and has a lot left in the tank. Expect the usual numbers, the type that he continued to put up despite his slow start to the season in 2011.
2012 Projections: .336 34 HR 122 RBI 109 R 2 SB
Did you know that Miguel Cabrera is only 28 years old? I sure didn’t. He has been an offensive force for almost a decade. In my mind, he is the game’s best pure hitter and will only continue to get better. He managed to have another elite season in 2011, despite all the controversy and off the field issues he had to deal with. He continues to improve at the plate and BB right is on the incline while his K rate declines. For these reasons, and his career .317 average, there is no reason to not expect his average to hover around .330. He is an average anchor for your lineup that will also exceed 30 HR and 100 RBI’s and runs. The only thing he does not do is steal bases. However, refer to my article last week, Cabrera is the type of average and power anchor that can allow your team roster a space for the one-trick ponies, i.e. Michael Bourn. Overall, just expect more of the same from Cabrera: which means elite production in four of the five standard fantasy categories, average, runs, home runs, and runs batted in.
4. Matt Kemp
2012 Projections: .296 33 HR 108 RBI 103 R 34 SB
At 27 years of age, Matt Kemp is also just entering his prime. He missed a 40/40 season by just one home run and batted .326 and drove in 126 runs, which led to being the runner-up for the 2011 NL MVP award. However, he is easily the most difficult to predict on the list. If I expected him to improve upon or even just repeat his 2011 season, he would be at the top of the list. We simply cannot expect Kemp to be this fantasy-tastic again in 2012. Matt Kemp’s .380 BABIP lead all of major league baseball, however he does hold a career .352 clip, which is tops in baseball. Therefore, expect regression in his batting average in the .290-.300 range. Kemp also strikes out a lot, not like in 2010, but he still struck out in 23 percent of his at bats in 2011. When you are not putting the ball in play at a high rate, there is potential for a lot of volatility. Given his skill set, 2011 was essentially a best-case scenario for Kemp. The other four guys on the list make contact much more consistently and therefore have been more consistent throughout the career and are easier to project forward. Furthermore, I am not encouraged by the line up around built around Kemp. He is still elite, but it is unwise to expect him to repeat 2011. He will come down to earth but still provide across the board value for your team.
5. Joey Votto
2012 Projections: .316 32 HR 112 RBI 115 R 11SB
At 28 years of age, Joey Votto is also in the prime of his career. His 2011 season, with heavy expectations after an MVP season, was a down season for Votto. A down season in which he batted .309 29 HR 103 RBI 8 SB. And if this type of season is Votto’s worst-case scenario, you can live with it! However, given his age and peripheral stats, all signs point to an improved season for Votto in 2012. Votto is a pure hitter who continues to gain better command over strike zone, as his walk rate his increased steadily in each of the four last seasons. The average will always be there for Votto, just a notch below Cabrera. The biggest concern for fantasy owners was the drop in power, form 37 to 29 home runs. However, Votto hit the ball in the air more often in the second half of the season and hit 16 post all-star HR’s in 260 at-bats, compared to just 13 in his 339 at-bats before the break. Furthermore, his .222 ISO was well below his 2010 season (.276) and career average of .237. Therefore, expect him to bounce back to the 35 HR territory with elite average. The true wildcard for Votto is what he does on the basepaths. He stole just 8 bases in 2011, but if he puts a greater emphasis on running like he did in 2010, with 16 stolen bases, then he has the potential to provide extreme five-category value to your roster.
Jacoby Ellsbury: His .230 ISO in 2011 (career .152) explains his surprise 30-home run season. Ellsbury’s peripheral indicate he will be more of a .300 20 HR 80 RBI 40 SB type players, making him a notch below Braun and Kemp.
***Today’s feature was prepared by our Fantasy Baseball Analyst, Peter Stein. We highly encourage you to leave your comments and feedback at the bottom of the page and share in the discussion with our readers. You can also follow Peter on Twitter (@peterWstein).***
Please e-mail us at: MLBreports@gmail.com with any questions and feedback. You can follow us on Twitter (@MLBreports) 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.
Sunday November 20, 2011
Jonathan Hacohen: We are proud to welcome to MLB reports: Lance Durham, first base prospect and 2nd generation baseball player. His father, Leon Durham, played 10 seasons in the show. Best known as an outfielder/first baseman for the Cubs, Leon had pop in his bat and a strong ability to get on base. Following in his dad’s footsteps, Lance looks to make his own mark on the game. Originally signed by the Detroit Tigers in 2006, Lance opted to attend college and was drafted again in 2009, this time by the Toronto Blue Jays. Lance has just completed his third season in the Jays’ organization. I have enjoyed the opportunity to talk baseball with Lance on several occasions. He is an extremely intelligent bright man, with a strong sense of his roots and his path in the game. An extremely motivated and hard-working player, Lance has the fundamental tools to succeed in the game. At 23-years of age, the future looks bright for “The Bull”.
Featured on MLB reports, I proudly present my interview with baseball prospect and future superstar, Lance Durham:
MLB reports: Who was your favorite baseball player growing up, that you most idolized and patterned your game after?
Lance Durham: My favorite baseball player growing up was my father. I know it sounds cliché but it’s the truth. I didn’t get to see him play in person but we have tapes all over the house of him when he was with the Cubs and I loved the intensity he played with. His demeanor, swagger and confidence were never lacking out on the playing field and that’s something I try to carry out on the field.
MLB reports: Which current MLB star do you most admire and why?
Lance Durham: I admire Prince Fielder the most. First, he was the only player to play all 162 games in 2011 and 160 games in 2010. That’s something to admire a lot because he brings it to the table everyday and doesn’t ask for days off.
MLB reports: Reflecting on your career to-date, what are your proudest accomplishments on the baseball field?
Lance Durham: Having the opportunity to follow in my father’s footsteps.
MLB reports: What are your goals going into the 2012 season?
Lance Durham: Stay healthy and set no limitations for the season. Sky’s the limit.
MLB reports: When you first found out you were drafted, what were your reactions? Did those reactions change over time? What was the process like being drafted originally by the Tigers in 2006 and Blue Jays in 2009 and not signing with the Tigers originally? What made you decide to finally sign with the Jays in 2009?
Lance Durham: When I first got drafted out of high school, I thanked God and was happy to know that my name was already out there. But I thought it was best for me to go to college at that point. In 2009, it was just like “well, its time to start the grind” because I wasn’t a first rounder like my father and he told me it was time to out perform the competition. I didn’t sign with the Tigers originally because I was drafted in the 45th round and I figured going to college and getting smarter about the game of baseball and physically stronger (was in my best interests). Not to mention mom (Angela Durham) always wanted me to go college and I promised her I would one time in my life. So I did it (went to college) fresh out of high school.
MLB reports: What facets of your game do you most wish to improve upon?
Lance Durham: I just hope to improve on all areas of the game, whether it’s hitting, base running, defense, and having a great baseball IQ- which I think is the best advantage. The more you know about the game, the better you will do. My baseball IQ includes knowing what to do with the ball once you get it, thinking before the play even happens, so that the game slows down for you.
MLB reports: How do home runs and walks figure into your game? Do you see any of these three items changing over time and to what degree?
Lance Durham: Well home runs are awesome. There is no better feeling for me, except winning a ball game. Walks are also great because it shows your patience at the plate. Those are two statistics that you want to be pretty high.
MLB reports: How much of an influence was your dad on you growing up? What did you learn from your dad that has shaped you as a baseball player?
Lance Durham: Dad was a great influence on my baseball career. He has been involved in baseball his whole life, so to learn stuff from him about the game is great. The thing I learned from my dad the most is the mental part of the game. You are going to strike out. You are going to make errors. But it is how you learn from them and not make the same mistakes twice. He always preaches adjustments. If we are in the batting cage and I keep making the same mistake over and over, he won’t say anything until I make the adjustment on my own. Then he will say “what took you so long,” and we just laugh. But the quicker you pick up on the adjustments, the better ball player you will become.
MLB reports: If you had to look into a crystal ball, when do you see your expected time of arrival in the big leagues and what do you think you need to do most to get there?
Lance Durham: Hopefully as soon as possible. That is what all of minor leaguers strive for. I am just going to take it one day at a time. Even in the offseason: with the workouts and the cage work and everything, you just have to have it on your mind and want it bad.
MLB reports: If you were not playing professional baseball, you would be ____
Lance Durham: A video game creator.
MLB reports: What do you do for fun away from the ballpark?
Lance Durham: Hanging out with friends, go to the movies and spending time with the family.
MLB reports: Which of your teammates are you closest with – any good stories?
Lance Durham: This past year on the Lansing Lugnuts team, I got really close with a lot of guys. Michael Crouse, Jake Marisnick, Jack Murphy, Markus Brisker, Matt Nuzzo. The stories could go on for days. Let’s just say that they are a great group of guys and I thank God I got to play with them.
MLB reports: Your father Leon was known as “The Bull”. Do you go by the same nickname? What is the origin of the nickname and how did you adopt it?
Lance Durham: Well my dad’s nickname just stuck with me because of him. When he would bring me into the locker rooms as a kid, everyone would already call me “Little Bull” when I was like 10. So it has stuck with me even until today, so I just roll with it. Won’t be long until they just start calling me BULL!!!
MLB reports: Final thought: When fans think of the name Lance Durham, what images do you want them to associate you with?
Lance Durham: He was a student of the game. He played the game right and he played the game hard. He was also a great teammate.
Thank you again to Lance Durham for taking the time to join us today on MLB reports. We highly encourage our readers to post at the bottom of the article any questions and/or comments that you may have for Lance. As well, please follow Lance on Twitter (@LanceBullDurham)
Jonathan Hacohen is the Lead Baseball Columnist & Editor for MLB reports: You can follow Jonathan on Twitter (@JHacohen)
Please e-mail us at: MLBreports@gmail.com with any questions and feedback. You can follow us on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook . To subscribe to our website and have the daily Reports sent directly to your inbox , click here and follow the link at the top of our homepage.