Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer/Website Owner): Follow @chuckbooth3024
A few months ago, our Lead Columnist/Website Founder (Jonathan Hacohen) wrote a brilliant piece about the assembly of the Oakland Athletics roster. He called it “MoneyBall 2.” Right after the piece, the A’s surged to the greatest record in the second half of the season and won the AL West. The team is now constructed of power hitters and power pitchers. The man behind it all is Billy Beane. I will not get into too much of this philosophy as you can read that piece here. What I intend to do is to show the roster of how it was comprised by Beane in the form of a roster tree. It is just like a family tree, however this shows trades dating back 2,3,4,5,6 fold etc.. in order to show you the mastery of the GM’s ability to field a roster on a limited budget.
The Future of the Oakland A’s: The Mustache Gang Meets the Bash Brothers: Revealing Billy Beane’s Master Plan click here.
The Oakland A’s 2013 Roster Tree Part 2: The Pitchers click here.
Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer and @chuckbooth3024 on twitter)- As the world of Twitter and Facebook has invaded the internet these days, I am brainstorming about all sorts of stats I have had in my head for years. This stat came to my head because of Gary Sheffield. A few years back, I watched a game on my birthday at Safeco Field. It was the New York Yankees and Sheffield visiting. There are players that you are sure to watch live in person. Gary Sheffield was one of these hitters. Not only is he one of 25 player in history to hit 500 HRs, but he had one of the fiercest swings ever. The man would wiggle that bat back and forth like a toothpick before striding and swinging with daunting ferocity. It was an unorthodox style that must have made Little League coaches cringe, yet it was effective. Sheffield was a bit of a hot head though, this may have led to him being traded or not re-signed by several teams. Hitting 40 HRs for 6 different teams is definitely impressive and may never be duplicated. I knew he had played on several teams already so the seed of today’s article was planted back in 2005.
Fred McGriff was the exact opposite of Gary Sheffield when it came to temperament. This man was traded several times in his career because he could flat-out hit. Jose Canseco is the only other player besides McGriff and Sheffield to hit 40 HRs with 5 different teams. The reason many older players are not on this list is because free agency never arrived in the MLB until the early 70′s when Curt Flood challenged a trade and the Players Union saw it through. Now player movement has enabled more players switching teams each season than ever before. Rusty Staub was the 1st to make this list and Alfonso Soriano is the last player to make this list and the only current player left. I have a feeling we will see more players arrive on this list in the next 25 years.
Its Travel Blog Friday:
Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer and @chuckbooth3024 on twitter)-Renting cars in all 27 MLB cities is an expensive proposition. Some of the bigger cities can charge from $50-$90 per weekday for just your run of the mill economy car. Throughout my travels in the last 5 years I have discovered many new ways to combat such prices. Earlier this year, I stumbled upon the latest nugget that I will share for you here. Air Miles is a Canadian reward that people have been collecting up here since 1991. It is designated with many of sponsors in order to collect Miles to redeem them for various redemptions. Most of the time these rewards are personalized to the cardholder themselves. I found a rare exception.
I learned that Canadians can transfer Air Miles, (in exchange for car rental redemptions towards USA Residents in any of the USA Airports.) Not only that, but the Canadian cardholder doesn’t even need be present as part of the rental. The rates are start at 230 Air Miles for an economy car, 250 Air Miles for a compact and 310 for a Full-Size Car. The only state that the rental rates are cheaper belong in Florida where the economy car rental goes for only 175 Air Miles for an economy car, 200 for a compact rental and 250 for Full-Size Car. The daily rate of the car rental in each airport is covered, the only thing that you would be responsible for are the taxes. I will give you an example. I rented a car in San Francisco Airport that carried a daily rate of $49.99, but was about $77 after taxes. I used 230 Air Miles to redeem for the free day, all that was left was about $27 in taxes once the redemption was made. 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
http://mlbreports.com/gwr-tracker/ or at my official website for all updates!
MLB Park # 22 Day # 17
TEX @ DET
Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer and @chuckbooth3024)-The passenger exchange was made at 4:30 AM near the Forrest Lawn Oasis. I jumped from the car that Ken Lee was in to Bob Devries’s rental car. We were on our way to Comerica Park via Highway 94. Through the course of the drive, Bob and I realized we know everything there is to know about rental cars. I rent cars for 365 days a year and Bob rents cars every weekend. It is not often people can relate to all of my car rental stories. I haven’t even owned a car since 2009. If the market was ever to drastically change I would be out of a job and a car. The day was going to be sunny from our drive in. After arriving into town early we headed towards HockeyTown and Cheli’s. We then moved onwards to a Bar Called ‘Bookies’ off of Elizabeth Street. This bar was ideal because it was where we parked for $5.
I had a BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwich with curly fries inside the Sandwich. It was tasty and hit the spot. Bob had the local IPA Beer. About an hour later we met up with the Salter Family (Joe, Dianne, Anthony, Jake and Robert). These guys have been part of every one of my streaks. I met them 1st in 2008 at PNC Park when I almost broke the World Record the first time around. In 2009, the Salter’s were there with me front and center when MLB Park #30 was completed at Comerica. I call these guys my good luck ‘surrogate’ baseball family. I was happy that Bob was there to meet them as well. We all took pictures and headed up to our seats.
Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer and @chuckbooth3024 on twitter)- I recently had a chance to talk with Josh Robbins about Dodger Stadium. Josh is the Land Record World Record Holder for visiting all 30 MLB Parks in 26 days during the summer of 2008. Here is what we talked about.”
CB: “Welcome to the MLB Reports Experts Interview Josh. Please tell us about yourself and then give us a bit of background information on your life as Yankees Fan?”
JR: “I am a Videographer/Journalist and Baseball Historian living in Gilbert, Arizona. In 2010, I earned a Master’s Degree in Sport Management from CSU-Long Beach. My first baseball game was July 23, 1983 at Yankee Stadium. Don Mattingly was my favorite player growing up and I saw the 1998 Yankees clinch the World Championship in person at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, CA.”
CB: “Josh, you attended 30 Major League Baseball games in 26 calendar days during June and July 2008. In fact we were the same game where you set your record. You own the land record for the quickest time. Looking back 4 years later, how much does this accomplishment mean to you?”
JR: The trip was a combination of all my greatest passions in life: baseball, traveling, and videography. It was the ultimate adventure combining the spirit of travel, the love of baseball, and sharing the time with friends and family members. While preparing to achieve a personal goal, an effort to share my passion for baseball emerged. Unexpectedly, I raised $2200 for the Jim Thorpe Little League in Hawthorne, California and donated the proceeds to the organization before the start of the pursuit.”
CB: “As part of that trip, what was it like being interviewed and featured on a segment of ‘This Week on Baseball?”
JR: “For the past dozen years, I have worked as a Videographer for several different television and production companies. So, I am very comfortable around reporters, cameras, and questions. I was very surprised to hear from TWIB after initially emailing them about Thirty26. It was a great experience having them cover an entire day of my road trip in New York.”
CB: “You have been to all of the ballparks Josh, how do the Dodgers fans compare to the rest of the country? It is my belief that this stadium is the loudest in MLB when the fans are rabid, what do you think?”
JR: “I enjoy watching baseball in Chavez Ravine but I would have to respectfully disagree. The most passionate and loudest fans are in the Northeast. New York, Boston, and Philadelphia crowds are into every pitch where LA fans tend to sit back and wait for the action to happen.”
CB:”The Dodgers have had recent ownership problems with the McCourts. How has this impacted the attendance?”
JR: “The attendance has declined in each of the past few seasons. Last season was the first time in the 21st century the LA Dodgers failed to draw 3 million fans. The new ownership group must restore trust with the fan base and create a more positive environment at the ballpark and community.”
CB: “What is your favorite method of transportation to and from Dodger Stadium?”
JR: “Unfortunately, there is no commuter friendly method to attend Dodger Stadium. An overwhelming majority of people drive to the stadium with limited alternatives. On a few occasions, I attempted to commute by Metro from Torrance/Redondo Beach. This system proved to be very inefficient due to the excessive changing of trains (green/blue/red/gold lines) and 1 mile walk from the nearest Metro stop to the stadium.”
CB: “What advice would you give for somebody experiencing Dodger Stadium for the very first time.”
JR: “I would tell people to give yourself enough to arrive at the game and enjoy the Southern California climate (bring sleeves for night games). If you drive, park outside the stadium on the street and save the $15-$20 for parking.”
CB: “What is the food like at Dodger Stadium? What is your favorite ballpark food there?”
JR: “My favorite food is a helmet cup filled with soft vanilla ice cream topped with colored sprinkles. However, Dodger Dogs are known for their size and taste.”
CB: “Finally, What is your favorite all time game that you have been in attendance in Dodger Stadium?”
JR: “There have been many memorable games over the 7 years living in the Los Angeles area but one ending was unforgettable. Game 2 of 2008 NLDS when Matt Holiday dropped the last out of the game and the Dodgers rallied to win.”
*** A big thank you goes out to our Dodger Stadium Expert Josh Robbins for participating in the expert article Series. Josh Robbins is a Video-Journalist and Baseball Historian living in Gilbert, Arizona. In 2010, he earned a Master’s Degree in Sport Management from CSU-Long Beach. From June 16 to July 11, 2008, he watched a game in all 30 MLB stadiums in a world record 26 days by car. Please email Josh at email@example.com and to read more about Josh’s record baseball journey click here . Also read Josh 1st guest article at the Reports and a new Pitching grading system here ***
***Thank you to our Baseball Writer- Chuck Booth for preparing today’s feature on MLB reports. To learn more about “The Fastest 30 Ballgames” and Chuck Booth, you can follow Chuck on Twitter (@ChuckBooth3024) and you can also follow Chuck’s website for his Guinness Book of World Record Bid to see all 30 MLB Park in 23 days click here or on the 30 MLB Parks in 23 days GWR tracker at the Reports click here. To Purchase or read about “The Fastest 30 Ballgames Book, ” please click here ***
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Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer and @chuckbooth3024 on twitter)- I had the chance to talk to my fellow co-author of the “Fastest 30 Ballgames” Ken Lee recently about Petco Park. Ken has made numerous trips to San Diego to visit this newer ball yard. This is what we discussed.
DB: “Welcome to the MLB Reports Experts Interview Series Ken. Please tell us about yourself and then give us a bit of background information on your life as a baseball fan?”
KL: “My name is Ken Lee, I am a General Manager for Jackson Hewitt Tax Service and I live in Marysville, WA with my wife Yvonne and our 2 pup pups, Boomer & Tilly. I am a co-writer of the book titled “The Fastest 30 Ballgames – A Ballpark Chasers World Record Story” that came out last year. I grew up playing baseball and loving every aspect of the game. I attended my first MLB game in April of 1977 @ the Kingdome in Seattle (Yankees vs Mariners). Since then I have attended about 1,000 games or so. I have seen games at 29 outta 30 current ballparks (the lone exception being the new Marlins Park – which I will pick up on May 14th & 15th) and I have seen 42 different MLB ballparks overall.”
DB: “You recently joined me in writing the book “The Fastest Thirty Ballgames”. What does having your name permanently as an author in the ‘Library of Congress’ mean to you?” Read the rest of this entry