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MLB ALL – Star Break Report Cards – National League

The best letter grade we gave out was to the Milwaukee Brewers,  The team pole vaulted out to a fast start, and despite other clubs having a lot more talent than this bunch, young players have emerged for the Brew Crew.  Even with recent play, the other teams have had injury trouble while Milwaukee is relatively healthy.

The best letter grade we gave out was to the Milwaukee Brewers, The team pole vaulted out to a fast start, and despite other clubs having a lot more talent than this bunch, young players have emerged for the Brew Crew. Even with recent play, the other teams have had injury trouble while Milwaukee is relatively healthy.  Still with 4 clubs within 3.5 games or better in the NL Central, this should be a dogfight to the bitter end.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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Division             GBL Letter Grade

NL EAST

T1.  WSH 51 – 42: – (C+)

Have dealt with a plethora of injuries to Bryce Harper, Ryan Zimmerman, Wilson Ramos, Adam LaRoche and Doug Fister.

Jayson Werth had a nice hot streak right before the end of the 1st half.

The team with limited flaws has just not taken off like it should.

Gio Gonzalez hasn’t found his form yet.

T1.  ATL 52 – 43: – (B-)

This team has a nice 14 – 6 stretch to end the 1st half.

When you consider the club has withstood year ending injuries to Kris Medlen, Brandon Beachy and Gavin Floyd.

Dan Uggla and B.J. Upton are making 25% of the team payroll and are posting anemic numbers.  The older Upton has done better in the last 10 games.

Evan Gattis and Freddie Freeman have kept the team afloat, and whenever Justin Upton hits, this team wins.

A great patchwork job done by the Starting Pitchers replacements.  Aaron Harang and Alex Wood have done spade work.

Still one of the best Bullpens in the game. Read the rest of this entry

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Odds To Win The 2014 World Series Currently + Best/Worst Value Bets

I Have hammered this point to a fault, and sound like a broken record, but look at the proof.  The Cincinnati squad has reeled off 4 wins in a row, 7 out of 10, climbing within  a game of the playoff bar.  With a winning pedigree over the last several years, how are they tied for 16th only in odds to win the World Series with Boston?

I Have hammered this point to a fault, and sound like a broken record, but look at the proof. The Cincinnati squad has reeled off 4 wins in a row, 7 out of 10, and have climbed within a game of the playoff bar. With a winning pedigree over the last several years, how are they tied for 16th only in odds to win the World Series with Boston?  Give me the Redlegs any day with their 42 – 38. and a healthy team for the 1st time all year, and many ALL – Star toting the uniforms.  I nailed the odd when it was +6600, so I am definitely on the bandwagon for a hot team, that is still paying great value.  If they make poststeason, you can extensively hedge if need be with starting base that high.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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So I have finally had a sub-par week for predicting World Series Odds.  My worst selection was putting faith in the Royals, only to see them jump from +2500 – +3300, and the Red Sox plunged a +700 mark to +4000 from +3300.

It was somewhat diffused by picks for Baltimore to shoot upwards as a favorite, and I am still miffed at the Reds receiving no love at all.

Cincy has won 4 in a row and 7 – 10, and are climbing heavily into the Wild Card Race with the Dodgers and Cardinals.

With how fast the Giants are coming back to LA in the NL west, it may be these three teams fighting it out for 2 berths, with the loser of the Nats/Braves division, SF, and the Bucs still right in the loop.

Right now the oldest professional baseball team is playing some great baseball, have a fully healthy squad for the first time all season, and we are talking about a club who has made the playoffs in 3 of the last 4 years.

Billy Hamilton has batting over .300 since the end of April, and now Brandon Phillips and Jay Bruce are coming around, and it is only a matter of time before Joey Votto gets right.

Todd Frazier has been one of the best baseball players in the NL this campaign, and is currently tied for 3rd in NL HRs.

Devin Mesoraco is almost averaging an RBI per game, and is slugging .627 as a Catcher, with 14 HRs and 40 RBI in 47 Games Played.

Aroldis Chapman is lighting the lamp with 100 MPH. Jonathan Broxton is filthy. and the Starters are throwing the ball.

This is not the same team that started 3 – 8.  Look the hell out in the 2nd half.  Certainly they should not be tied for the 16th favorite on the odds board. Read the rest of this entry

Sully Baseball Daily Podcast – June 13, 2014

600Logo

It is the 600th episode of The Sully Baseball Daily Podcast.!

Today’s topics include changes that are coming in San Diego and the need for Yasiel Puig,  Bryce Harper or Manny Machado to be the next great baseball bad guy.

Derek Jeter, Max Scherzer, John Mayberry Jr, Jhoulys Chacin, Logan Morrison, Chris Sale, David Peralta and Jon Niese all added to their totals for Who Owns Baseball

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30 MLB Team Power Rankings: Week 11 MLB 2014

battle of the bay

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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Well, another few weeks have gone by, and there has been some separation from all the Divisions and the 2nd place squads, except for the NL East dogfight right now between the Nats and Braves.

9 teams are within the top 2 Wild Card Slots in the AL, with the Angels and Mariners holding onto the 1st and 2nd spots respectively.

Preseason NL favorites Los Angeles joins the reigning NL champs ‘The Cards’ at 0.5 Games behind the playoff bar – constituting either Atlanta or Washington (presently in a dead heat) – and the upstart Marlins. 

The Reds, Rockies and Pirates are within striking distance as well, but look for the Dodgers and Cardinals to take off from here, leaving the current Division leaders and those 2 as the 5 playoff teams.

Arizona and Houston have at least jumped into the conversation with recent good stretches of play, after brutal starts.

*** Denotes Division Leaders

Records are before play Monday June 9, 2014

RK Team  Current Rec  Last Wk Rnk  ()  -  Last 13 Days Rec

***1. SF 42 – 21: (1) 9 – 3:  Must be an even year in the teens of this century.  The offense has a different hero everyday.

Playing .667 ball this late into the year bodes well.  9.5 Games ahead of next club in your Division also will land you as slot #1.

***2. OAK 39 – 24: (2) 8 – 4: Brandon Moss and Josh Donaldson both towers of strength and Sean Doolittle is the best Closer no one has heard about 40+SO/1 BB rate is sick.

Billy Beane continues to find gems like Drew Pomeranz, Jesse Chavez – and Kyle Blanks has fitted in well.

The team could still trade for a 2B that can hit, or bring up Billy Burns, flip Jed Lowrie over to 2B.

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30 MLB Team Power Rankings: Week 6 – May. 2014

The Motown Boys won all 4 games they played this week and have opened up a 4 game lead on the Royals.  This team has the easiest schedule left on the board.  The squad also announced they have picked up Reliever Joel Hanrahan,  This is a great depth move on their part, and insurance for the Closers position.

The Motown Boys won all 4 games they played this week and have opened up a 4 game lead on the Royals. This team has the easiest schedule left on the board. The squad also announced they have picked up Reliever Joel Hanrahan, This is a great depth move on their part, and insurance for the Closers position.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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As we enter the 2nd month of play in the Major League Baseball, we really start to delve into who is playing good and who is playing bad.

How about we begin with the National League holding a 26 – 17 record versus the American League in Interleague play. 

The last stat is the main reason why there is only 3 teams out of the 15 with a positive Run Differential.  (No team in the AL East has a club in the plus, and only the Tigers have one in the AL Central.

The Angels and A’s also yield nice Run Differentials – however a lot of that was from beating up the Houston Astros.

The NL possesses 9 clubs with a positive mark.

The NL East has all 5 teams with a .500 clip or better heading into today’s action. Read the rest of this entry

30 MLB Team Power Rankings: Week 5 – Apr. 2014

The Astros have helped pad the stats for teams like the A's, Rangers and Angels offenses and Run Differentials so far,  Having this cupcake team will definitely help your playoff chances with the weighted divisional play.

The Astros have helped pad the stats for teams like the A’s, Rangers and Angels offenses and Run Differentials so far in 2014, Having this cupcake team will definitely help your playoff chances with the weighted divisional play.  I will be amazed if they finish out of last in the American League this year, and maybe only the Chicago Cubs will challenge them for the 1st overall pick again for the 2015 MLB Amateur Draft.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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We are now at the 13 – 14% pole of the MLB year.  Parity is reigning supreme on the standings.

For the record, while I love the Milwaukee start, they are just too many variables for them to keep up this pace.

Don’t get me wrong, i think this team is capable of making the playoffs, winning 90 games, but it could be eliminated as fast as they have compiled this record.

Ryan Braun’s thumb could require surgery. Ramirez’s knee’s could fail him.

Considering last night’s situation with Braun and Gomez, that could alter the playing field for the NL.

The suspension laid down for the brawl with the Pirates could also sway some momentum.  Good on Milwaukee for starting 18 – 6.  I just think the Cards will track them down in the next 138 games. Read the rest of this entry

Sully Baseball Daily Podcast – April 21, 2014

David Manning-USA TODAY Sports

David Manning-USA TODAY Sports


Unwritten rules, managerial decisions and not trying to score runs.

A lot of stuff is getting me worked up today!

That and more on today’s episode of The Sully Baseball Daily Podcast..

Rick Porcello, Josh Donaldson, Ryan Howard, Homer Bailey, Troy Tulowitzki, Adam Jones and Gerrit Cole  all added to their totals for Who Owns Baseball.

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30 MLB Team Power Rankings: Week 4 MLB Baseball Apr. 2014

los_angeles_dodgers_logo-9460

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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We are now at the 10% pole of the MLB year.  The American League looks to have some serious battles taking place in the divisions, while the National League has teams who are separating from others.

Kansas City put themselves back on the map with a 5 – 2 week, and now have a tie for the AL Central lead.

The Yankees started the week winning 4 straight, before dropping the last contests with the Rays, but look good for the long haul.

The Rays officially lost Matt Moore for the year, and Alex Cobb is gone for a while too.

Albert Pujols is bouncing towards 500 HRs, but his Halo’s are in the midst of a tough 3 city road trip.

The Nationals are learning once again that nothing is handed to you. Read the rest of this entry

Odds To Win The 2014 MLB World Series – Updated For Week 3

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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Odds To Win The 2014 World Series

1.  LA Dodgers +600 (Up from +650)

Dodgers are still a good pick, but with SF lurking and Clayton Kershaw not back yet, that +600 looks bad.  Plus SF beat them 5 out of 6 so far.

2.  Washington Nationals +800

I like this club – but Stephen Strasburg‘s slow start, and injuries are plaguing Ryan Zimmerman and even Bryce Harper to an extent.  Plus Atlanta is right there with them right now.   

3.  Detroit Tigers +700 (Up From +900)

Lets see. They can’t score that well yet, and have a horrid start with the Bullpen.  The odds has swung to far to the favorite side here.  Stay Away.

4. St. Louis Cardinals +850 (Up From +1000)

This has to do with ownership over the Reds and Pirates so far. Read the rest of this entry

MLB 2014 Bold Predictions Including Awards Categories

Prince Fielder's 2013 - 3 Slash Line (.279/.362/.819) is far below his Career Mark of .286/.389/.916.  The man has not hit a HR in his last 74 AB.  Fielder at least had 5 HRs in 1st 70 AB for his playoff Career.  Maybe that will change in Texas, after he clubs his way to an AL MVP for the Rangers

Prince Fielder’s 2013 – 3 Slash Line (.279/.362/.819) is far below his Career Mark of .286/.389/.916. The man also has not hit a HR in his last 74 AB in the postseason. for the last 2 years of 2012 and 2013.  Fielder at least had 5 HRs in 1st 70 AB for his playoff Career. Maybe that will change in Texas, after he clubs his way to an AL MVP for the Rangers.  He is capable of putting up monster numbers in Texas, and should enjoy hitting at ‘The BallPark In Arlington” 81` times a year.

By Jordan Gluck (Prospects/Baseball Operations Correspondent)

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Since everyone else was making their predictions for the upcoming seasons, I am throwing down my picks too.  But first there are some categories to rifle through 1st.

AL MVP:
Prince Fielder

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Washington Nationals Payroll In 2014 + Contracts Going Forward

By Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner): & Jeff Kleiner (Org Depth + Payroll Expert – find his website here)

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The Washington Nationals have had an escalating salary structure for the last few years.  The truth is that their talent needs to be paid as time goes on.

In 2014, the Budget is looking to be around $130 MIL so far, after just being over $110 MIL.

The situation is more expensive next year, with 10 players under the Arbitration Eligible – highlighted by Stephen Strasburg for his 2nd year of it.

Among the others are:  Craig Stammen, Danny Espinosa, Tyler Clippard, Doug Fister, Drew Storen, Ross Detwiler, Wilson Ramos, Jerry Blevins, Jose Lobaton and Ryan Mattheus. Read the rest of this entry

Chris Duffy Contacts All MLB Teams: Will He Get A Second Chance?

Chris Duffy Looks for An MLB Opportunity

By Nicholas Delahanty (MLB Reports Writer)  

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An interesting story broke out last week, as Evan Drellich of the Houston Chronicle wrote an article on Chris Duffy, A current independent ballplayer who has been searching for a chance to sign with a Major League team this spring. 

During his senior season at the University of Central Florida, Duffy was nominated for the Golden Spikes Award, which is annually given to the country’s best amateur baseball player.

He was nominated among the likes of Bryce Harper (who won the award), Chris Sale, Drew Pomeranz, and Yasmani Grandal

Unlike the other four nominees, Duffy was not a first-round draft pick and was unable to make it to the major leagues just yet. He fell to the 26th round, where the Philadelphia Phillies finally swooped him up.
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Top 5 HR Hitters In The MLB For 2014

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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You may be surprised at who I am going to pick to lead the Majors in tater – trots this upcoming campaign.  The names may not be foreign, yet I am betting on a couple of comebacks.

This is all really a crapshoot with injuries, lineups, whether or not a guy has protection in the lineup.

I also think this will be another season without a 50+ HR mark.  God I would love to be wrong.  Nothing would make me happier than someone approaching 60 RoundTrippers.

While it is a sham that Roger Maris‘s 61 HR year of 1961 has been dwarfed by the ‘PED’ use era, a lot of purists would still look favorably at somebody passing this mark clean for a change.

If a batter does it in the American League, then it would break the former Yankees Slugger’s AL record.

Just falling short of this list will be Pedro Alvarez, Paul Goldschmidt, Ryan Braun and Bryce Harper. I believe those gentlemen may hit in the high 30′s for HRs. Read the rest of this entry

The Nationals Case Against Extending Jordan Zimmermann

The problem with any of the Nationals players not name Harper or Strasburg, is that any time the club is talking about extending one of their players before them, those guys have to be kept in mind for when they hit Free Agency.

The problem with any of the Nationals players not named Harper or Strasburg, is that any time the club is talking about extending one of their players before them, those guys have to be kept in mind for when they hit Free Agency..  The Nationals are creeping up the payroll scale each year that their core is together.  Whether it is Arbitration, or players like Jayson Werth and Gio Gonzalez being paid more as their own contracts mature.  2014 will see the club set another record for player salaries, adding to the fuel that it will be tough to extend Zimmermann.

By David Huzzard (Nationals Correspondent via Citizens of Natstown.com – view website here): 

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With how much love role players like Michael Morse and Steve Lombardozzi have garnered from Nats fans as they’ve left town it will be amazing to see what happens when the Washington Nationals lose a legitimate star player.

With Ian Desmond and Jordan Zimmermann both two years away from free agency there is a high likelihood that that day is soon approaching.

The Nationals have made several overtures to Jordan Zimmermann but no deal has been reached or even come close. Zimmermann wants fair market value which is understandable but what is fair market value for a pitcher like him?

Zack Greinke with a career 3.65 ERA and one Cy Young under his belt set the record for free agent pitchers with the $147 million contract he signed last off-season heading into his age 29 season.

Jordan Zimmermann April 2013 Shutout – Mature Lyrics so Parental Guidance is Advised

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Don Mattingly Would Be Perfect For The Nationals Or Tigers MGR Positions: Dodgers Skipper Is Still In Limbo

Don Mattingly has a Managerial Record of 260 -225 (.536) in his 1st 3 years as Dodgers Skipper.  Among the totals in this year - was that he guided the club to a 62 - 30 record during the last 92 Games this year.  The Dodgers were knocked out the NLCS Round versus the Cardinals

Don Mattingly has a Managerial Record of 260 -225 (.536) in his 1st 3 years as Dodgers Skipper. Among the totals in this year – was that he guided the club to a 62 – 30 record during the last 92 Games this year. The Dodgers were knocked out the NLCS Round versus the Cardinals.  Mattingly’s $1.4 Vesting Option was picked up by that accord of being in the final 4 this season.  The Dodgers are only offering the one year of 2014, and Mattingly believes he has done a great enough job to earn a multi-year deal.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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The Dodgers are making a mistake in not signing Don Mattingly to a multi – year deal.  If you actually sit back and think about what he was able to do is a miracle this year.

Matt Kemp was 50% of himself – and also missed half of the year.

Hanley Ramirez played at an MVP caliber for the time he was in there, problem was – missed 74 games.

Carl Crawford was great, but he missed 45 Games.

Yasiel Puig came up – with 60 Games already taken off of the year.

Zack Greinke missed 2 months after Carlos Quentin charged him.

Brandon League was abysmal early as a Closer.

The 3rd base/Shortstop position featured an opening day of Luis Cruz and Justin Sellers.

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The Washington Nationals State Of The Union Part 1: Fall 2013 Through Spring 2014

The Nationals failed to meet expectations as the Preseason favorites to lock down the World Series in 2013.  Heck, they didn't even qualify for the playoffs.  Whether it was injury, or complacency, the talent of this team didn't maximize their potential this year.  However, the club did go 24 - 12 in their last 36 Games Played, and made a late charge at the 2nd Wild Card Spot.  Most of the nucleus is coming back for the 2014 year.  Here are some priorities for the winter.

The Nationals failed to meet expectations as the Preseason favorites to lock down the World Series in 2013. Heck, they didn’t even qualify for the playoffs. Whether it was injury, or complacency, the talent of this team didn’t maximize their potential this year. However, the club did go 24 – 12 in their last 36 Games Played, and made a late charge at the 2nd Wild Card Spot in the Nationals League.  Most of the nucleus is coming back for the 2014 year. Here are some priorities for the winter.

By David Huzzard (Nationals Correspondent via Citizens of Natstown.com – view website here): 

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1. Find a Manager

There are moves that can be made without a new manager in place, but this is the most important thing the Nationals have to do this off-season. Not having the leader of the team will make all the other moves more difficult.

Players want to know who they are playing for and the manager is going to have a lot of input into what free agents the Nationals go after for the bench and bullpen, which happen to be their two biggest needs personnel-wise.

It is also important to get the new manager in place early so that he has an entire off-season to communicate with the players already in the majors and to familiarize himself with the system and the minor leaguers that could help during the season.

For all of the Rosters, Depth Charts, State of the Unions and Salaries that we do, please visit our dedicated page link here.

Jordan Zimmermann Interview

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MLB 30 Team Power Rankings: Week 21

42 - 8, 25 - 3, 19 - 1, 10 wins in a row.  These are all significant numbers put up with a team with deep pockets, the ability to outdraw everyone, and owners willing to do whatever it takes to bring home the 1st World Series Title since 1988.  No one can touch these guys right now. Best 3 Starters in the NL and hottest 2 NL Hitters in Puig and Ramirez.  Oh yeah, the Bullpen has been lights out for the last 50 contests!

42 – 8, 25 – 3, 19 – 1, 10 wins in a row. These are all significant numbers put up with a team with deep pockets, the ability to outdraw everyone for park attendance, and owners willing to do whatever it takes to bring home the 1st World Series Title since 1988. No one can touch these guys right now. Best 3 Starters in the NL and hottest 2 NL Hitters in Puig and Ramirez. Oh yeah, the Bullpen has been lights out for the last 50 contests!

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

It is time for the MLB Power Rankings.  These are based on my thoughts on whether who has the best chance to win the World Series.

A lot of these positions are based on who has the toughest Strength of Schedule left, who their competition is for the Division, and possibly even the League they are in,

The races for the Divisions (AL East, AL West and NL Central are starting to tighten up, while the NL West, AL Central and most notably NL East are looking to be foregone conclusions

The Braves have rattled of a 18 – 3 stretch, and have been ousted by the Dodgers for the #1 spot in the MLB Rankings .

The Rangers are trying to ricochet off of a couple of great deals, in order to flame down the Oakland Athletics.

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The Washington Nationals Brand Of Baseball Is Hard To Watch Right Now

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Saturday, Aug.10/2013

Surely a team with Stephen Strasburg, Gio Gonzalez, Jordan Zimmermann, Ryan Zimmerman, Ian Desmond and Bryce Harper can at least be in the Wild Card Race being stocked with so much talent.  After an atrocious stretch, the Nats are 55 - 60 - buried 15.5 Games behind the Braves in the NL East.  They are even 9 Games behind the 2nd Wild Card team (Reds)

Surely a team with Stephen Strasburg, Gio Gonzalez, Jordan Zimmermann, Ryan Zimmerman, Ian Desmond and Bryce Harper can at least be in the Wild Card Race being stocked with so much talent right? After an atrocious stretch, the Nats are 55 – 60 – buried 15.5 Games behind the Braves in the NL East. They are even 9 Games behind the 2nd Wild Card team (Reds).  This team was supposed to challenge for a World Series, and now it will take a small miracle now to make the playoffs.

By David Huzzard (Nationals Correspondent via Citizens of Natstown.com – view website here): 

Digging through numbers and searching through the rubble of the Nats season to find answers to what went so horribly wrong can numb the mind.

The reasons are right there spelled out in bold and painful numbers, but many of them raise more questions than they do answers. The Nats are awful in high leverage situations.

More than .040 points of OPS worse than the next worst team.

This could simply be a sample size issue or it could be an issue of the players internalizing all the pressure or it could be that the manager makes the moments feel more tense.

The main issue with trying to find the reason behind the numbers is that some of the possible explanations are beyond our ability to know.

The Nats Mindset 6 months ago

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The MLB Needs To Amend Its Weighted Schedule/Payroll Flaws By The 2016 CBA Renewal!!

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Thursday August.1/2013

If you are a Mariners fan, your park is the furthest geographically away from an NL home park or vice versa (806 Miles).  If you are a fan of the NL, get your bags packed, because chances are, you will need to head on a roady in order to see your favorite NL team every year.

If you are a Mariners fan, your park is the furthest geographically away from another Leagues (NL) home park or vice versa (806 Miles). If your favorite team is in the NL, get your bags packed, because chances are, you will need to head on a roady in order to see your team every year.  The MLB needs to address the situation for complete fairness to every single team.  My plan would still be to have 44 – 52 Divisional Games, 60 other games against the 10 teams in your own league, and then to play 50 Interleague Games.  Of course this isn’t even possible until the MLB and MLBPA workout a new CBA in 2016.

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

Maybe it is because I am a West Cost (Vancouver B.C Canada) guy that lives 1100 Miles away from the nearest NL Ballpark, or maybe it is because I have seen it work well in other professional sports – when I worked as a pro handicapper for 3 plus years.

I am sick of seeing teams come in to town for 3 series in a year – when it might take another team 6 years to visit in Interleague.

Sure if I lived in the East Coast, in a place like New Jersey, I could have my pick of any home parks (AL + NL) within a 450 MILE radius, I may not feel the same, but even that I doubt it.

My friend Doug Miller (from Washington State), also wrote a column worth reading on this subject.  He called it “Team Fatigue”. read that article here

I also wrote a similar column on MLB Baseball’s need to adapt a Payroll/Geographical Re – Alignment that could bring a huge amount of parity to the MLB in future years here.

With the Orioles playing good baseball all year, I fear they will not be playing baseball in October.  You know why?  It is not because they don't deserve too be, and it will likely not be their fault.  The reason is:  they will have had the toughest Strength of Schedule: playing the Yankees, Blue Jays, Red Sox and Rays, while the Indians and Royals play extremely weak clubs like Minnesota and the White Sox a quarter of their schedule. The same can be said for the Oakland and Texas franchise feasting on the hapless (Trade Depleted Astros), and a steady dose of the Mariners (who are far easier to play than any of the AL East teams).

With the Orioles playing good baseball all year, I fear they will not be playing baseball in October. You know why? It is not because they don’t deserve to be, and it will likely not be their fault. The reason is: they will have had the toughest Strength of Schedule: playing the Yankees, Blue Jays, Red Sox and Rays 76 times this year, while the Indians and Royals play extremely weak clubs like Minnesota and the White Sox a quarter of their schedules. The same can be said for the Oakland and Texas franchises feasting on the hapless (Trade Depleted Astros), and a steady dose of the Mariners (who are far easier to play than any of the 5 AL East teams).

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Knorr Skippers Nats To A Win Behind Ian Krol, Lights A Fire Under The Club – Winning 4 of 5

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Monday, July.29th/2013

The Nationals don’t have the best history when it comes to their win loss record, but the 2012 season brought on a lot of “what could have been” from fans in the area hungry for a championship. In 2011, Davey Johnson took the manager’s role after Jim Riggleman decided to (as it is now rightfully dubbed) pull a Riggleman and walk out on the team because of his dispute with Mike Rizzo regarding a contract extension. Since then, Davey Johnson has been loved by the D.C. fanbase and players alike because of his honest criticisms and confidence in players.

The Nationals don’t have the best history when it comes to their win loss record, but the 2012 season brought on a lot of “what could have been” from fans in the area hungry for a championship. In 2011, Davey Johnson took the manager’s role after Jim Riggleman decided to (as it is now rightfully dubbed) pull a Riggleman and walk out on the team because of his dispute with Mike Rizzo regarding a contract extension. Since then, Davey Johnson has been loved by the D.C. fanbase and players alike because of his honest criticisms and confidence in players.

By Matthew Davila (Nationals Correspondent via Citizens of Natstown.com – view website here): 

In 2011,Davey Johnson was a welcome breath of fresh air.

Jim Riggleman was just kind of there, a place holder manager, but at the time there was no reason to fire him.

There were concerns at times over Jim Riggleman “losing the clubhouse,” but that is standard the-team-isn’t-playing-great jargon. When Riggleman walked out, things changed greatly.

Davey Johnson made it his mission to get a slumping Jayson Werth going and to figure out why it was that Ian Desmond, who had flashed power in the past, wasn’t able to put any baseballs into the seats.

Davey Johnson was not afraid to point out when a pitcher wasn’t doing his job, either.

Things Haven’t Been As Rosy In 2013 For Davey Johnson

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MLB 30 Team Power Rankings: Week 18: Trade Deadline Edition

Click The Link Below For A Great MLB Reports Podcast On The Trade Deadline

Triple Play Podcast Trade Speculation

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Sunday July.28/2013

The Dodgers have won 25 out of their last 31, play in the weakest division in the MLB right now, and other than Arizona, do not have much competition right now.  Solid Pitching and a revamped healthy lineup has led the charge.  They climbed all the way up to 5th in this weeks rankings.

The Dodgers have won 25 out of their last 31, play in the weakest division in the MLB right now, and other than Arizona, do not have much competition. Solid Pitching and a revamped healthy lineup has led the charge. They climbed all the way up to 6th in this weeks rankings.  The Dodgers have a 230 Million Dollar Plus payroll, and have no plans to slow down in this offseason.  It may actually be a blessing in disguise if this team makes a long run in the playoffs.  It has been speculated they will pursue Robinson Cano this winter.  I have predicted they will offer him a 7 – 8 year deal worth $30 MIL per annum.

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

The Detroit Tigers finds itself back on top of our rankings.  It was a hard decision between them and the Atlanta Braves.

The prevailing thought is that I am more confident in the “Motown Boys” to make the World Series.

Since starting the year 12 – 11, the Braves have only gone 47 – 44.  Lets just say the should finish the season with about 89 wins.  That would force Washington to go 38 – 19 in their final 57 Games.

I fully expect the Nationals to take off at any part in the season, so this is not a foreign concept.

In contrast, I don’t believe in either the Indians or Royals to near 90 wins like the Tigers should have by seasons end.

With a bypass to eliminate the Wild Card Game, Detroit is our #1 team.

Clip is Francona talking about Fielder – (There are 2 more clips of C.Fielder +  P.Fielder at end of this blog)

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Who Owned Baseball Yesterday (July.25th) – Updated Yearly ‘WOB’ Standings

Evan Vucci - AP

Evan Vucci – AP

Bryce Harper erased a Nats losing streak and a 9th inning meltdown with his first career walk off homer. He went 3-5 for the day as Washington snuck past Pittsburgh, 9-7.

Mat Latos won a game between hot playoff contenders. He went 7 2/3 giving up only one earned run to the Dodgers, getting the 5-2 decision for the Reds.

Billy Butler got on base 3 times, scored in the first and homered in the 7th, leading the Royals past the Orioles, 7-1.

Mark Buehrle threw a complete game , 2 hit shutout, striking out 9 Astros, as the Blue Jays prevailed 4-0.

They all owned baseball on July 25th, 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.

To View The List of just the nightly winners (WOB dedicated Page) starting from Mar.31/2013 – today click here Read the rest of this entry

How All Of The Nats Players Were Acquired: (Trade, Signed, Drafted, Waiver Wire) + Analysis

How All Of The Washington Nationals Players Were Acquired:

Strasburg and Harper are the franchises future.  Through drafting and smart trades, the club is now considered one of the best talented clubs in the MLB as of now.  Despite dealing with several injuries this current 2013 season - the future is definitely bright in DC

Strasburg and Harper are the franchises future. Through drafting and smart trades, the club is now considered one of the best talented clubs in the MLB as of now. Despite dealing with several injuries this current 2013 season – the future is definitely bright in DC.  The club has strong pitching in the Major Leagues – with some help coming  for more years to come.  They have potential ALL – Stars in almost every position.  Lets see how all of the players were acquired.

Tuesday July.23/2013

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

At the MLB Reports, we intend to show you the Roster Tree for the Washington Nationals – and how they assembled their current roster for hitting and Pitching.  It will work in a six degrees of separation like format.

Once we figure out the origin of how many trades going back in time it takes to see where the tree started, it will be time to dissect how the team fared on the deals.

If a player has never left the organization at all, the tree will be easy – as it will just be the year they were drafted or signed.

The Rise of the Nationals

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Who Owned Baseball Yesterday (July15th) – Updated Yearly “WOB” Standings

(AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

(AP Photo/Matt Slocum)


Initially I wasn’t going to do a Who Owned Baseball for the Home Run Derby. But the post derby buzz made me change my mind. It’s my stat, I can do what I want with it.

Yoenis Cespedes put on a remarkable show at CitiField, smashing 32 homers in all. The final shot was a massive blast into centerfield with an even cooler bat flip. (A Home Run Derby is no time for humility!) So he will get a full point added to his WOB total.

Meanwhile Bryce Harper came up just short. But he put on a great show as well and had the added bonus of having his dad pitch to him.

Harper did not own baseball. Last night it was Cespedes’ night. But his performance will give him a 1/2 WOB.

Again, my rules.

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.

To View The List of just the nightly winners (WOB dedicated Page) starting from Mar.31/2013 – today click here Read the rest of this entry

How Will This Years Home Run Derby Play Out At Citi Field?

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Saturday July 13th, 2013 

This years annual Homerun Derby will be held during All-Star weekend at Citi Field. Like every year, four players from each league will compete to see who is the best Homerun hitter in the MLB right now. Prince Fielder will once again compete in the Derby looking to win in back-to-back years. The only difference is, this year he will compete with the American League instead of the National League like in previous years. We are definitely in for an exciting treat this year as we will get to see the likes of Prince Fielder, David Wright, Robinson Cano, Chris Davis, and several others compete to see who can hit the most homeruns.

This years annual Homerun Derby will be held during All-Star weekend at Citi Field. Like every year, four players from each league will compete to see who is the best Homerun hitter in the MLB right now. Prince Fielder will once again compete in the Derby looking to win in back-to-back years.  We are definitely in for an exciting treat this year as we will get to see the likes of Prince Fielder, David Wright, Robinson Cano, Chris Davis, and several others compete to see who can hit the most big flies.

By Dan Wanser (Baseball Writer): 

During this years All-Star break festivities that will take place at Citi Field, we will be lucky to see players such as Chris Davis, Prince Fielder,  David Wright, and  Robinson Cano take the field and try to hit as many Tater Trots as they can.

Players like Robinson Cano and Prince Fielder will look to add to their previous victories, as players like Chris Davis and Bryce Harper will look to make a name for themselves by being first time winners.

How will the different players do in this years State Farm Homerun Derby? Here’s my take:

2012 MLB Homerun Derby Slow Motion Swings:

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2 And A Hook Podcast #10: All Star Chat, Yankees, Dbacks + Trade Deadline Talk

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Friday, July.12, 2013

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

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

’2 And A Hook’ is an expression from Baseball:  ‘Throw the guy 2 Fast balls and then a Hook’ (AKA Curve Ball, Wiggly one, Chair etc..)

By James Acevedo – Host (Podcast Veteran )

Guests On The Show

Im back & ready after being off during the 4th of July week to give you all another baseball packed podcast. On today’s show, brought to you by MLB Reports ( www.mlbreports.com ) & yours truly The Bench Warmers Show.

I star by paying respect to the great Yankee Stadium PA announcer Bob Sheppard on the 3 year anniversary to the day that he passed away…

I talk to the boss man Chuck Booth as he returns to do his segment!  16 Minutes in and a 31 Minute Segment

Chuck makes some notions about the New York Yankees and Brian Cashman needing to risk it all for this year – for the legacies of Derek Jeter, Andy Pettitte, Mariano Rivera and Robinson Cano.  Plus whether the club can trade Joba Chamberlain and Phil Hughes – and maybe acquire a bat. Read the rest of this entry

Potential All – Star Candidates For All 30 MLB Teams:

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Saturday, July.06/2013

Citi Field is one of the newest Ball Parks in the Majors and will have be host to the 2013 ALL - Star Game.  It is light years ahead of where Shea Stadium was.  The home club should have the Starting Pitcher and Third Baseman for the NL, who else will be picked for the NL and AL - will all be revealed in a matter of hours.  MLB Reports gave its candidates and choices in this blog

Citi Field is one of the newest Ball Parks in the Majors and will be host to the 2013 ALL – Star Game. It is light years ahead of where Shea Stadium was. The home club should have the Starting Pitcher and Third Baseman for the NL, who else will be picked for the NL and AL – will all be revealed in a matter of hours. MLB Reports gave its candidates and choices in this blog.  Citi Field also modified its fences last year in hopes of hosting this event.  This is the RF cavernous portion that used to be what Right Field was.  I took this photo in 2009 – during its 1st season in existence.

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner):

I am doing this list based solely on whether the player is a viable candidate or not.  I don’t care if the fans vote someone else in – although they have done a decent job.

This website’s stance on Yasiel Puig is known by know – if you are reading this for the 1st time.  We feel the man belongs based on his numbers.  He has numbers comparable to Bryce Harper – and his BA and OPS is far above and beyond.

In a recent article our Dodgers Correspondent also mentioned Hanley Ramirez deserves a shot to make the team.

Ordinarily, I would say no – but Troy Tulowitzki is hurt.

Han- Ram might be a victim of all teams needing to be represented as the Padres best candidate is definitely Everth Cabrera – unless Bochy takes Jason Marquis to replace him.

I think behind Bochy should take Ramirez behind David Wright and Pedro Alvarez at 3B.  With Segura, Cabrera and Desmond taking spots at SS. Read the rest of this entry

Yasiel Puig Should Be Selected Into The All-Star Game

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Monday, July.01/2013

Dodgers' Yasiel Puig has been on fire ever since he joined the big club. He is hitting .417 with 7 HRs and RBIs through his first 25 games.

Dodgers’ Yasiel Puig has been on fire ever since he joined the big club. He is hitting for a 3 Slash Line of .436 with 7 HRs and RBIs through his first 27 games. His 44 Hits collected in the 1st month of his career is 2nd All – Time to the great Joe Dimaggio.  There is no doubt that the Cuban Player is one of the best 7 or 8 OF in the National League right now – and it would be blasphemy if he is not given the right to put into the Mid – Summers Classic!

 By Enrique Rivera (MLB Reports – LA Dodgers Correspondent)

There is no doubt about it, Dodgers’ OF Yasiel Puig has been all over the sports media – and rightfully so.

Puig has only played in 27 games and he is batting an excellent .436 with 7 HRs and 16 RBIs.

The Dodgers are 15-11 during that stretch including 8-2 in their last 10 games.

Puig doesn’t seem like he’s ready to cool off as he has a 5 game hitting streak including a 4 for 5 game against the Philadelphia Phillies on Sunday June. 30.

Yasiel Puig helps extend the Dodgers winning streak to six

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The Washington Nationals Offense – Post Rendon At 2B + Going Forward

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Saturday, June.29/2013

The Nationals still rank next to last in the NL in runs per game, but it was known weeks ago that all the bad from April and May would take a long time to correct. The Nationals however are on the way to correcting it, and when analyzing the current team that is on the field it is important to look at the team that is currently taking the field. Since inserting at second base the Nats offense has scored 72 runs in 18 games, an average of four runs a game. That is much better than the overall season average of 3.55 and much better than the average with Espinosa at second of 3.40.

The Nationals still rank next to last in the NL in runs per game, but it was known weeks ago that all the bad from April and May would take a long time to correct. The Nationals however are on the way to correcting it, and when analyzing the current team that is on the field it is important to look at the team that is currently taking the field. Since inserting at second base the Nats offense has scored 72 runs in 18 games, an average of four runs a game. That is much better than the overall season average of 3.55 and much better than the average with Espinosa at second of 3.40.

By David Huzzard (Nationals Correspondent via Citizens of Natstown.com – view website here): 

Numbers before June.27/2013

Not surprisingly replacing a .158/.193/.465 hitter with a .354/.402/.887 guy – has had a marketable difference. The Nats offense hasn’t yet turned the corner, for in June, the Nationals left fielders have hit .228/.293/.616.

Surprisingly that isn’t the worst in baseball but it is pretty darn close. Soon the Nationals are going to replace those paltry numbers with the numbers of Bryce Harper who at the time he was placed on the DL was hitting .287/.386/.973.

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30 MLB Team Power Rankings: Week 13

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Monday June.24/2013

EE continues to show his metal this year - by clutching up for 21 HRs thus far .  He has a 3 Slash Line of .274/.355/.900 for the year.  EE had an OPS of 1.326 with 3 HRs and 3 Doubles over the last 6 games.  He was part of key rallies that led to the clubs 6 - 0 week.  Encarnacion is now tied with Miggy Cabrera with 63 HRs since the start of the 2012 year.  He is the MLB Reports hitter of the week!

EE continues to show his metal this year – by clutching up for 21 HRs thus far . He has a 3 Slash Line of .274/.355/.900. EE had an OPS of 1.326 – with 3 HRs and 3 Doubles over the last 6 games, and also scored 7 Runs. He was part of key rallies that led to the clubs 6 – 0 week. The 1B only Struckout 1 time for the 6 Games.  Encarnacion is now tied with Miggy Cabrera with 63 HRs since the start of the 2012 year. He is the MLB Reports hitter of the week!

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

Another Week has come and gone in the MLB.

(MLB Reports) AL Hitter Of The Week -  Edwin Encarnacion (See Picture Above).

Runners up were: Chris Davis (BAL) – (1.357 OPS, with 4 HRs and 10 RBI), Nelson Cruz (TEX) – (.379 BA, 3 HRS and 11 RBI) and Miguel Cabrera (.536 BA, 20 times reached on base in 7 Games, 15 Hits – with 2 HRs and 6 RBI).

(MLB Reports) AL Pitcher Of The WeekMax Scherzer – who went 2 – 0 with a 2.08 ERA in 2 Game Starts and 16 SO in 13 IP.

Runners Up were: Casey Janssen (1 – 0, with 3 Saves – while only yielding 1 Hit and 1 Walk in 4 IP), Jarrod Parker 2 GS (1 – 0, with a 0.79 WHIP in 14 IP.)

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