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The Chicago Cubs Should Pass On Tanaka

The Chicago Cubs are currently in the running for Masahiro Tanaka, the best pitcher in Japan over the last few years. In fact, near the end of this week he will be visiting Chicago to speak with both the Cubs and White Sox about his future employment, possibly with one of these teams. However the Cubs are currently on a path set for building, and shouldn’t put themselves in a position to throw off those plans by acquiring someone who’s ready for a “win now” type of team.

Chicago Cubs: Just Let Tanaka Go

By Robert Villarreal (MLB Reports Cubs Writer)

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Let me start by saying this: I have never seen Masahiro Tanaka play but from the footage I’ve seen I’d love to see him in Cubbie blue. 

He’s an incredible talent; So good in fact that once Yu Darvish left for America and the Major Leagues, he automatically became the best pitcher currently in Japan.

There are only 17 more days left in Tanaka’s 30-day signing period, with multiple teams anxiously awaiting a shot at the next pitching phenom.

However it would be in the Cubs best interest to pass on Tanaka at this time, no matter how incredible that argument may seem right now.

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Sully Baseball Daily Podcast – November 23, 2013

ChicagoNow.com

ChicagoNow.com

Today The Sully Baseball Daily Podcast looks at Chicago… a big market city that certainly isn’t acting like one with their baseball teams.

Both stink. The White Sox have hope. The Cubs have a long term rebuilding… REALLY long term.

To subscribe on iTunes, click HERE.

To subscribe on SoundCloud, click HERE.

Sully Baseball Daily Podcast – November 23, 2013

Trade Deadline Wrap – Up: Part I – The Winners

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Wednesday, August 7, 2013

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

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

By Nicholas Rossoletti (Yankees Correspondent/Trade Correspondent):

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

JAKE PEAVY: THE NEWEST MEMBER OF THE RED SOX

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

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Tuesday, July 23, 2013

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

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

By Nicholas Rossoletti (Yankees Correspondent/Trade Correspondent):

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

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

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

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

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

ALFONSO SORIANO ON THE THROW DOWN:

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Chicago Cubs Payroll In 2013: Team Organizational Rosters + Depth Charts – (MLB + MiLB)

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Wednesday, May.29/2013

Anthony Rizzo entered 2013 with high expectations as the Cubs Opening Day First Baseman. He has come along way since 2008.  The man has battled injuries, 2 team changes and has settled down in Chicago to be one of he most promising young power hitting prospects in the MLB today.  He could end up being a 35 - 40 HR, 100 RBI man in the 'Windy City' - and this would make him an icon at Wrigley Field.  Recently he signed a 7 YR/ $41 MIL extension and will be a vital part in the rebuild of this franchise

Anthony Rizzo entered 2013 with high expectations as the Cubs Opening Day First Baseman. He has come along way since 2008. The man has battled injuries, 2 team changes and has settled down in Chicago to be one of he most promising young power hitting prospects in the MLB today. He could end up being a 35 – 40 HR, 100 RBI man in the ‘Windy City’ – and this would make him an icon at Wrigley Field. Recently he signed a 7 YR/ $41 MIL extension and will be a vital part in the rebuild of this franchise.  He is hitting for a 3 Slash Line of .263/.324/.829 – with 10 HRs and 35 RBI in 50 in 50 Games in the 2013 season.

By Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner): and welcome Jeff Kleiner (Salary, Roster and Depth Chart Expert for the MLB) – visit his website  here  

You guys are all in for a treat.  Jeff Kleiner recently contacted me about a partnership merge for the website.  He has developed a site (prosportsrosters.com) that covers all organizational affiliates in the Minors for all of the Major League Baseball Clubs.  We are going to combine efforts to bring you the best look at salaries, current 25 Man Player Rosters and Depth Charts for all 30 teams. 

Jeff is going to provide the documents in form of spreadsheets and I am going to accompany the posts with deep analysis of what the numbers tell us from my perspective.  If you can’t wait for all of my assessments for each club, go and visit Jeff’s website over at http://www.prosportsrosters.com.

In Speaking with Jeff, he is one of the more passionate fans I have come across towards the game of baseball.  He spends enough time in updating his MLB Facts for it to be a Full-Time Job.  So after the usual Video Clip and READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY button, you will find some serious &*!@?!#!

Jeff updates this page below on a daily basis.  After you click on it….Bookmark it.  There is a 3 year salary forecast and stats not listed here on this page.  Jeff updates these pages daily and these changes include any Roster moves!

For a Full 3 year Salary Outlook plus last years Stats for every player in the Cubs Organization click here

Starlin Castro Highlights 2012 – Mature Lyrics So Parental Guidance Is advised

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A Night With Mookie Wilson Part 2: The Interview

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Thursday, May 9th, 2013

By Jordan Hennessey (Blue Jays Correspondent) 

One night with Mookie Wilson Part 2: The Interview

“Personality outweighed talent, you are most successful on the field when you have a group of men who are willing to make sacrifices for the betterment of the team. He thought the 1988 team might have been better, but the 1986 team “got the most out of each other” – Mookie Wilson.

To Read About A Night with Mookie Wilson Part 1 – click here

Click past the READ THE REST OF THE ENTRY ICON TO KEEP READING + Listen to the Audio Interview:

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Cubs Payroll In 2013 And Contracts Going Forward

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Saturday, Mar.02, 2013

The Cubs final payroll from 2012 was just north of $107 Million, and, over the winter, President of Baseball Operations Theo Esptein and GM Jed Hoyer added plenty of pitching depth to the 2013 team.

The Cubs final payroll from 2012 was just north of $107 Million, and, over the winter, President of Baseball Operations Theo Esptein and GM Jed Hoyer added plenty of pitching depth to the 2013 team.

By Alex Kantecki (Cubs Correspondent):

Only the Houston Astros stood between the Chicago Cubs and last place in the NL Central in 2012. The Cubs lost 101 games – their most losses since 1966, when the team went 51-103 — and finished with the second worst record in baseball. Under President of Baseball Operations Theo Epstein, the Cubs went backwards from the year before, losing 10 more games than in 2011.

Epstein continues to rebuild the Cubs’ farm system, and the organization boasts four top prospects – Shortstop Javier Baez, Outfielder Albert Almora, Outfielder Jorge Soler and Relief Pitcher Arodys Vizcaino — all of whom are represented in the Top 100 Prospects of Baseball America and Baseball Prospectus. Over the winter, the Cubs bolstered their Starting Pitching staff, adding Starters Edwin Jackson, Scott Feldman, Scott Baker and Carlos Villanueva.

Chicago Cubs 2012 Highlights: Mature Lyrics so Parental Guidance is advised:

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

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Wednesday February.27,  2013

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

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

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

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

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

Todd Helton 2011 Highlight Mix -

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Anthony Rizzo’s Time Is Now

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Thursday, February.14, 2013

Rizzo had  a decent rookie campaign - with a 3 Slash Line of .285/.342/.805 with 15 HRs and 48 RBI in just 337 AB during the 2012 season.

Rizzo had a decent rookie campaign – with a 3 Slash Line of .285/.342/.805 with 15 HRs and 48 RBI in just 337 AB during the 2012 season.

By Alex Kantecki (Cubs Correspondent):

One winter ago, Chicago Cubs President of Baseball Operations Theo Epstein and General Manager Jed Hoyer acquired First Baseman Anthony Rizzo from the San Diego Padres in exchange for hard-throwing Right-Hander Andrew Cashner, one of the Cubs’ top pitching prospects at the time.

But this wasn’t Epstein’s and Hoyer’s first go-around with the 6-foot-3, 220-pounder, who – along with Cubs Senior Vice President of Scouting and Player Development Jason McLeod – drafted Rizzo while serving as Boston’s GM and Assistant GM, respectively, in 2007. The threesome reunited four years later and brought the 23-Year Old star-in-the-making over to the North Side:

“We believe Anthony has the potential to be a middle-of-the-order run producer for the Cubs for a very long time,” Hoyer said (link here). “He still has some development left. We feel what he’s done at age 20 at Double-A and Age 21 at Triple-A was remarkable.”

Anthony Rizzo Highlights From 2012: Mature Lyrics so Parental Guidance is advised:

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MLB Player Profile: Chicago Cubs SP Matt Garza

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Friday, January.18, 2013

Matt Garza may only have a Career Record of 57-61 (.483)  - but had a ERA if 3.84 during his 7 year career for the Cubs, Rays and Twins.

Matt Garza may only have a Career Record of 57-61 (.483) – but had a ERA if 3.84 during his 7 year career for the Cubs, Rays and Twins.  He also has carried an ERA of under 4 for 6 straights seasons – including 3 tough years in the AL East.

Alex Kantecki (Guest Baseball Writer and Cubs Correspondent):

Matt Garza was Jim Hendry’s last big addition before the Cubs general manager got the boot in 2011. The Cubs needed a dependable No. 3 to slot in the rotation behind Cubs’ mainstays Ryan Dempster and Carlos Zambrano, and Garza fit the bill. In three years with Tampa Bay, Garza compiled a 34-31 record with a 3.86 ERA and a 1.25 WHIP with 7.10 K/9 and 3.05 BB/9 in 592.1 Innings Pitched — not ace numbers by any stretch of the imagination, but respectable for a No. 2/No. 3 type.

 Garza, 29, was an innings-eater, with two straight seasons of 200-plus innings from 2009-2010. To acquire Garza, the Cubs sent five prospects, including No. 1 prospect Chris Archer and No. 4 prospect Hak-Ju Lee to Tampa Bay. The move, considered by many as a desperation trade by a general manager looking to save his job, is still scrutinized today. But should it be?

Matt Garza Highlight:  Worst Throw Ever to 1st Base?

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MLB Player Profile: The Cubs OF Alfonso Soriano

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Sunday, January.06, 2013

Alfonso Soriano has hit 434 Career HRs in 14 Years and has clubbed 164 of them with Chicago over the last 6 years.  He is on the 7th Year of an 8 YR/136 Million Dollar Contract.  He has made 2 ALL-Star Appearances with the Cubs.

Alfonso Soriano has hit 373 Career HRs in 14 Years and has clubbed 164 of them with Chicago over the last 6 years. He is on the 7th Year of an 8 YR/136 Million Dollar Contract. He has made 2 ALL-Star Appearances with the Cubs.  The Man also has 270 SB and 836 Extra Base Hits.  He should end his Career with over 1000 XBH, which would place him in the top 40 of ALL-Time for that Category.

Alfonso Soriano: Misunderstood, Good, But Never A Fit    

Alex Kantecki (Guest Baseball Writer and Cubs Correspondent):

It’s no secret Alfonso Soriano isn’t the most liked player among Cubs fans. Following the 2006 season when then general manager Jim Hendry signed the Outfielder to the largest contract in team history ($136 Million over eight years), fans dreaming of a World Series title pinned their hopes on the unconventional Leadoff hitter that hit 46 HR and stole 41 bases with the Washington Nationals the year before. Soriano did his part and helped lead the Cubs to two straight National League Central titles in 2007 and 2008, but the Cubs were swept away in the Division Series both years. Like his teammates, Soriano struggled to do much of anything in the postseason, collecting three hits in 29 Plate Appearances and failing to score or drive in a single run in six games.

Alfonso Soriano 2012 Highlights – Parental Guidance Is Advised

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Kevin Youkilis: (The Greek God Of Walks) Can Still Help A Ball Club

Wednesday, Nov.28/2012

Youkilis was well short of his .388 Career OBP with the White Sox in 2012 (.346), however the guy is still better than over half of the 3B in the MLB. With the White Sox, his OPS was .772.

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer/Website Owner):

Part of being a baseball writer is leaving some of your fandom behind in the wake of it.  I never thought in a million years I would be writing a praise-full piece about Kevin Youkilis.  But here it is… Last month, the White Sox declined his 13 Million Dollar 2013 Team Option and bought him out for a 1 Million Dollars.  Anyone could have projected this, including Youkilis, but why didn’t Kenny Williams try to get creative with it?  What if they could have offered Youkilis a 2 year extension for 5-6 Million Dollars and bring the total value of the contract up to around 19 Million Dollars for the 3 years with the added $?  Youkilis stabilized the White Sox’s 3B position nicely during his 80 game stint.  His 3 category stat line read .236/.346/.772, with 15 HRs and 46 RBI and 47 Runs in 292 AB.)  If you double that production, his full year totals would have been about 30 HRs, 92 RBI and 95 Runs.  Those numbers will still fetch a pretty penny on the open market.  Now that the White Sox have bought him out, he can sign with anyone. Read the rest of this entry

Beltre and Hamilton Need to Carry the Rangers for a 3rd Straight WS Appearance

Tuesday, August.28/2012

Hamilton and Beltre need to carry the Rangers to their 3rd straight World Series Appearance. This feat has not been done since the Yankees went to 4 straight WS Appearances from 1998-2001.

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer): It is Adrian Beltre Awareness Week! What is that exactly?  I have adopted an idea to carry out on twitter-in order to provide the unheralded players of the MLB, their just credit.  So far there has been Juan Pierre, Mike Morse , Jose Altuve  Awareness Weeks and now it is Adrian Beltre’s turn.  I decided on the Rangers 3rd base slugger because I believe that he is on a path for Cooperstown.  Rather than bore you with details I have already written about before on the Reports, you can click here for my previous article on Beltre hitting himself into Hall Of Fame Consideration: click here.

Okay back to the point.  It was right after Adrian Beltre’s 3 HR game that I started sending out my link on the article and hailing Beltre as a man worthy for Cooperstown if he keeps it up.  I had many of my followers indicate they had never thought about him like that.  In bullet point style here.  Right after that he had a 3 hit game, in which he was a Triple short of the cycle.  The next day he hit for his second career cycle.  It made me feel really good about my stance on the guy.  5 HRs, 2 Doubles, a Triple and 2 singles is a month for some guys and Beltre accomplished this feat in 14 AB over 3 games.  That is 29 total bases folks, a slugging percentage of over 2 and a .714 Average.  The Rangers offense has several players that seem to blow up like this.  Nelson Cruz had 8 RBI not so long ago.  Beltre had that 3 homer game in the ALCS last year.  Then there was Josh Hamilton and his 4 HR game.  Hamilton has also had 3 games this year where he had collected 5 RBI or more.

The Rangers are a power house offense.  They have guys like Mitch Moreland and Mike Napoli hitting 8th routinely.  They are going to win the AL West for a 3rd Straight year.  With all of this said, something doesn’t resonate with me in them making their 3rd straight World Series this year.  That feat has not been accomplished since the Yankees made 4 fall classics in a row from 1998-2001.  The Rangers are vulnerable and have weaknesses in their pitching.  They don’t have C.J Wilson this year and Rookie Yu Darvish is slowing down after a great first half.  I think with Darvish, it is the innings that are catching up to him.  In Japan, they usually have 6 man rotations.  This is new territory for the talented chucker.

Adrian Beltre Highlights!

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Us Cellular Field: Book Excerpt from ‘The Fastest 30 Ball Games.’

Wednesday August.01/2012

Baseball Park World Record Chasing All-Started for me at US Cellular Field. I had my first retro-active game if needed) on July.1/2008 of my first ever streak chase. I also finished my 30-29 at the CEL.’ I had gone to 40 Baseball Games in 35 Days overall.

     Game#2 Day#1

US Cellular Field

Chicago, IL

July.02/2008

I had a tip from my brother Trent early on in the planning stages, that the United States airline companies often ‘sand-bag’ their flying times to destinations to take jet-way delays into consideration.  More often than not, the airlines are able to beat the scheduled arrival time by many minutes.  I actually used a tool on the internet called ‘Flight Tracker’ to watch the very flight I was on to see if this was a correct statement.  I watched this exact flight land 4 weeks in a row, all approximately 15 minutes earlier then the 6:32 PM time it was supposed to arrive on that day.  That day I was not as lucky.  It was after all a ‘Chicago Airport.’  Still at a 6:30 PM arrival-I had about 40 minutes to first pitch.  I had called in a sedan service to pick me up from ‘MIDWAY’.

True to their word, there was a young guy in his twenties waiting for me in the arrival gate and he escorted me through to the limo stand at a running pace.  I saw it had started to rain and weather was something I would always keep my eye on during transportation throughout the trip. Read the rest of this entry

2012 Trade Deadline Update #7 7/31: League, Snider, Thames, Soto, and More

Tuesday July 31st, 2012

Bernie Olshansky: Monday night and Tuesday morning turning out to be a busy one for MLB General Managers! Here are the flurry of deals before the MLB Non-Waiver Trading Deadline:

Brandon League to the Dodgers

With the Giants talking to the Mariners about League, I think the Dodgers traded for him just so the Giants wouldn’t get him. They really don’t have a reason to get him other than that. Their bullpen has been solid this year with Kenley Jansen holding it down at the back and Josh Lindblom highlighting the other relievers. League would’ve been key for the Giants. They lost Guillermo Mota at the beginning of the year for 100 games due to his second failed drug test, Sergio Romo has been a bit shaky lately, and Santiago Casilla hasn’t been the best closer. Not to mention Brian Wilson went down with an elbow injury after only a few appearances. Although League hasn’t been the best this year (0-5 with a 3.63 ERA) he will definitely help strengthen the already strong Dodger bullpen. After acquiring Hanley Ramirez and Ryan Dempster, the Dodgers are definitely ahead of the Giants in my mind. For League, the Mariners get OF Leon Landry and RHP Logan Bawcom. Landry this year in Single-A Rancho Cucamonga has hit .328 with eight homers and 51 RBI, and Bawcom has gone 3-3 with a 2.60 ERA in 27 games with Double-A Chattanooga. League was removed from the closer’s role in Seattle in favor of Tom Wilhelmsen earlier this season, so losing him won’t drastically affect the Mariners. League is apparently owed $1.85 million for the rest of this year.

Eric Thames to the Mariners

Right after trading League, the Mariners went ahead and traded Steve Delabar to the Blue Jays for outfielder Eric Thames. Thames adds some more youth to the Mariners and looks like the fourth outfielder right now. This year, in 42 games, Thames is hitting .243 with three homers and 11 RBI. The Blue Jays add to their bullpen after getting Brandon Lyon and J.A. Happ (who can either start or come out of the bullpen) from the Astros. Delabar held a 4.17 ERA in 36.2 innings for Seattle this year. Neither team seems to be going anywhere, so it looks like each is building for the future, as each player is signed through 2017.

Travis Snider to the Pirates

Snider went to the Pirates for reliever Brad Lincoln right before Eric Thames was traded. The Blue Jays seem to be bolstering their bullpen by getting rid of young outfielders. Snider started the season in Toronto last year before being demoted to Triple-A Las Vegas, and stayed there until recently being called back. The Blue Jays must have finally given up on him after he hit .225 last year and .235 this year in nine games. Snider will join the mix of Andrew McCutchen, Alex Presley, and Starling Marte in the outfield for Pittsburgh. The Blue Jays get reliever Brad Lincoln in return, who has gone 4-2 with a 2.73 ERA in 59.1 innings this year. He’s only 27 so he should be with Toronto for a while.

Paul Maholm and Reed Johnson to the Braves

After losing out on Ryan Dempster, the Braves went out and got Paul Maholm, who has been doing well for the Cubs going 7-4 with a 3.74 ERA. The Braves also received Reed Johnson. Johnson has hit .307 for the Cubs this year and will join Jason Heyward, Michael Bourn, and Martin Prado in the outfield. He should serve as a fourth outfielder and possibly come in late in games as a pinch hitter. The Cubs will get Arodys Vizcaino and Jaye Chapman. Vizcaino went 1-1 with a 4.17 ERA with the Braves last year. Chapman, this year for Triple-A Gwinett, has gone 3-6 with a 3.52 ERA in 53.2 innings.

Geovany Soto to the Rangers

Soto will go to the Rangers after they designated catcher Yorvit Torrealba for assignment. Soto will primarily catch while Mike Napoli will see some time at first base. Soto struggled this year for the Cubs, hitting just .195 with six homers and 14 RBI. He makes $4.3 millon this year. Hopefully for the Rangers, Soto will put up better numbers than Torrealba, who hit .236 with three homers and 12 RBI. The Cubs will obtain pitcher Jacob Brigham, who went 5-5 with a 4.28 ERA in124 innings for Double-A Frisco. Soto just wasn’t cutting it for the Cubs; maybe he’ll have a fresh start with the Rangers.

***Today’s feature was prepared by Bernie Olshansky, Baseball Writer & Facebook Administrator.  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 Bernie on Twitter (@BernieOlshansky)***

 

Please e-mail us at: mlbeports@me.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.

Report on the Travel Companies of the 30 MLB Cities

Friday, May.11/2012

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer and @chuckbooth3024) -After logging 65,000 miles from planes, trains, subways, Buses and other methods of transportation in one month, I am left with some thoughts about certain companies.  I don’t believe in trashing a company based on one incident or a rogue employee, so I will leave the negativity for a future travel book.  I will say that my four favorite travel companies helped me tremendously.  I am not just saying this because they helped me out on my trip, I wrote about the same four companies in my book ‘The Fastest 30 Ballgames.’  I am also happy to say that these companies had no blame for the half of dozen mishaps that caused me cancellations or delays during the streak.   The mishaps were a poorly executed plane de-boarding at IAH airport that cost a doubleheader attempt in Texas.  The second plane issue was some sort of mechanical failure that the airline gave up after 30 minutes of trying only in San Diego. The worst blunder was having the seat belt of the first officer not close properly cause an hour delay.  Other mishaps were a failure to understand car rental procedures right in Cleveland costing me an hour delay.  But that wasn’t as egregious as a hotel chain overcharging me three separate time for a hotel booking even though I cancelled way in advance.  All of these are about the average for the amount of traveling .  The four companies that stood above the rest are: Southwest Airlines, Air Tran Airways, Best Western Hotel Chain and National Car Rental. Read the rest of this entry

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

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

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

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

Follow me-@chuckbooth3024 on twitter

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

Friday May.4/2012

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

MLB Park # 25 Day # 20

COL 2 @ PIT 1

April.25/2012

PNC PARK

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

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A New GWR Record and Many New Ball Park Chaser Friends

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

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

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

Follow me-@chuckbooth3024 on twitter

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

Monday, Apr.30/2012

Ken Lee, Chuck Booth, Lori Martini and Roger Ratzenberger after the final pitch in Ball Park #30 in 23 days for Chuck Booth’s New World Record. Camden Yards is the sight of this picture.

Monday April.30/2012

MLB Park # 30 Day # 23

OAK 1 @ BAL 10

April.28/2012

Oriole Park at Camden Yards

 

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer and @chuckbooth3024 on twitter)- I am going to do this segment in reverse.  I am jumping right ahead to the last game of the streak.  Sure I have eight other recaps (besides this one) to still post that were technically before this game, but I need to write about this game first.  I will post parks 22-24 on Wednesday and 25-29 on Friday.  I will also have the Expert Interviews for Chase Field, Miller Park, US Cellular Field, The Great American Ball Park, Busch Stadium and PNC Park updated by the week’s end.  Eventually all of this information will be available on my website at www.thirtyballgames3021.wordpress.com. The game had wrapped up in Busch Stadium for what was game #29.  My wing-man Ken Lee, had done some great driving work to help me with 2 straight double-header even before heading to St. Louis.  As we left the city on I-70, I took on the duties of driving.  Ken had exhausted himself in the process of helping me.  I started the 1st 8 hours of driving towards Baltimore.  This would be park number 30 in only 23 days.  For me I knew this would mean another world record.  In the back of my mind it was a long time between cities so I was gearing up to face the challenge.  I was rested up as much as I had been in several weeks.  The driving was actually a nice change from being a passenger.

Read the rest of this entry

Chuck Booth’s 30 MLB Park Quest: (Games 16-21)

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:

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

fastestthirtyballgames3021.wordpress.com/2012/04/18/30in20/

Tuesday April.24/2012

Ken Lee, Chuck Booth and Doug Miller all at Safeco Field for the game #18 in 14 days on April.19/2012. (They would later be featured on TV several times above the King’s Court Seats. ) Chuck also had a special welcome wave from the TV Jumbo Tron and was given a free gift bag from the Seattle front office.

MLB Park # 16 Day # 12

CHC 2 @ MIA 3

April.17/2012

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

Time Management and Planning Tips for Baseball Road Trips

Friday March 9, 2012

Douglas ‘Chuck’ Booth (Baseball Writer)- You have booked your vacation time off work after scouting out the Major League Baseball Schedule this year(Usually posts Sept.15 for the next following year).  You then either have to buy plane tickets or organize Ground Transportation to move around to these cities, in a lot of cases you will need to do both.  Most people do not want to feel rushed on vacation, as chances are their real life is already like this and they are looking for a reprieve from a hectic pace.  Obviously, the better travelers would already have priced out everything from flights to: parking, food, lodging, gas, car rentals, taxi cabs, tickets, tolls, luggage, add that to electronic considerations like; roaming charges for cellphones and all forms of picture-taking like maybe additional Memory Cards.  You are left with a lot of planning and money management to tackle.  You have finagled a way to pay for your vacation, however how do you go about the process in stages? Read the rest of this entry

Field of Dreams Movie Site Traveler Guide

Friday, March.02/2012

If you build

it……………….

They will come!!


Douglas ‘Chuck’ Booth (Baseball Writer)- If you are a baseball fan, chances are you have seen one of the best baseball movies all time in “Field Of Dreams”. From sitting on the same benches of Kevin Costner, to viewing the Field that happens to have been built after plowing down a corn field, this place is a perfect day trip for the avid baseball fan! One story I heard was so good I am passing it on to you.

A group of baseball players that played ‘extras in the field’ during the filming of the movie continued to play a regular Sunday night game after the picture went to Hollywood.  Tourists liked this idea so much that they asked the Land Owners if they could have the players play every year.

The following year, and unbeknownst to a 300 passenger bus of Japanese Tourists (in the middle of the night mind you), the group of ball players walked through the cornfields and reached the grass in the outfield as the tourists gasped with nervous energy.  The tour guide never told this group that these players were to arrive.  The Japanese tourists cheered feverishly as the players took the field and played.

 The Japanese tourists were so impressed with the caliber of play (and for what these ball players had done for them), that they hired these two teams to travel all throughout the Japan year-round and play exhibition style games.  All of the extras (who all had played semi-pro in some fashion) had a great career now.  Even to this day, there is a new generation of men playing with the old style “Sox” jerseys.

QUICK TIPS:

Fly into Milwaukee via Air Tran on any flight you can find from the best Airline in America.  Try to tie it in with the Chicago teams, Milwaukee, St. Louis or Minnesota on a baseball vacation.  Luckily for you, Milwaukee is one of the cheaper cities to rent a car, and/or pay for lodging. Use Priceline (www.priceline.com) to bid on your hotel rooms-and you will be amazed at what price you will only have to pay.

To drive to the Field of Dreams Movie Site will take you about 4 hours from the Milwaukee International Airport.  The park is still as beautiful as it was when the movie was a hit nearly a quarter-century ago.  This amazing landmark must be on a baseball fan’s bucket list.  Not only is it a fantastic attraction- but there is no cover charge to see the Field!

Those who visit are welcome to bring bats, balls and gloves to break out in a pick-up game.  Visitors from all over will just come and do the same.  Be sure to buy something from the gift shop on your way out as that is how the kind landowners are able to keep up the maintenance of this truly amazing ballpark in Iowa.

*******There is a Best Western in Dodgeville,  which is a 90 minute drive North East from this movie site-where you can stay for under $100 a night.  Dodgeville does have a Walmart and is one of the nicest heritage towns in America.

So be like James Earl Jones & Kevin Costner and GO THE DISTANCE!!!!

*** Thank you to our Baseball Writer- Douglas “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 click here for Chuck’s website, fastestthirtyballgames.com***

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.

Public Transit is A Cheap Method of Travel to MLB Parks

Friday, February 24, 2012

Douglas ‘Chuck’ Booth (Baseball Writer)- I am sure all of us know how grinding it is to make a baseball game in terms of traffic.  Well add to that problem with unfamiliarity of the area and this can be a stressful time.  I learned some valuable lessons in my 30 park trips.  Some of the expertise I crafted came from deep research.  If you are traveling with 1-3 people, you are better off trying to find yourself on public transportation.  In most cases, price and time wise, taking public transportation is effective.  You just have to know what you are dealing with.  I will break down all 30 MLB Cities-with quick hints and suggestions. Read the rest of this entry

When Will the Chicago Cubs Win the World Series?

Tuesday February 14th, 2012

Bryan Sheehan (MLB Reports Intern): I was going to write a long lede, comparing Valentine’s Day and people’s love for baseball in the cheesiest way possible, but seeing as how this isn’t the movie Fever Pitch, I’ll save it. What I am going to do, though, is talk about a city that is in love with a baseball team that hasn’t done much but disappoint for the last hundred years or so. Read the rest of this entry

Is Ryne Sandberg the Next Cubs Manager?

Tuesday October 18, 2011

 

MLB reports – Sam Evans:  Before we even begin to speculate on who will be the next Cubs manager, there is something baseball fans have to realize.  The most important move made by the Cubs this offseason will be naming their General Manager.  It looks like Theo Epstein will be taking over duties as the GM, if everything goes according as planned.  One of Theo’s first moves will be to decide whether to keep Mike Quade and his coaching staff for next year.  I think there is little to no chance that this happens considering the Cubs on-field product from the last year.   My guess is that Epstein would be looking for a very intelligent manager that is behind the recent sabermetrical discoveries but at the same time, has a lot of experience in the game of baseball.  Someone similar to Joe Maddon of the Rays.

One of the top managerial candidates for the Cubs position, and for other open coaching spots around the league, is Hall of Fame Second Basemen Ryne Sandberg.  Sandberg was born in 1959 in Spokane,WA.  He was drafted in the 20th round of the 1978 Rule 4 MLB draft by the Philadelphia Phillies, and he shot through the minors and made his major league debut in 1981.  After the 1981 season, Sandberg was shipped along with Larry Bowa to the Cubs for shortstop Ivan DeJesus.  This turned out to be one of the best trades in the history of the Chicago Cubs organization.  The Phillies made this trade due to a middle infield logjam, and it will forever haunt Phillies fans.

In his career, Ryne Sandberg hit .285 with 282 home runs and 344 stolen bases.  From 1989 to 1992, Sandberg hit 122 home runs.  He was MVP in 1984, he was named to ten all-star teams and was a nine-time gold glove award recipient.  Cubs fans will remember “Ryno” for his amazing defensive plays and his ability to hit home runs.  Sandberg was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2005.

Once the 2006 season had come to a close, Ryne Sandberg met with Cubs GM Jim Hendry and told him that he was wanted to manage the team.  Smartly, Hendry decided that Sandberg needed experience managing so he gave him a job managing way down the Cubs depth charts.  In 2007, Sandberg began his managing career with the Class-A Peoria Chiefs, and he led the Chiefs to 71-68 finish.  With the Chiefs again in 2008, the Chiefs went 60-78.  In 2009, the Sandberg was promoted to manager of the Cubs AA team, where in one year he went 71-69.  In 2010, he was the Cubs AAA manager and he finished 82-62, and earned the honor of being named Pacific Coast League Manager of the Year.  As you may remember, in 2010 Lou Piniella stepped down from his position as interim Cubs manager.  Mike Quade was the interim manager and he led the team to a 24-13 record for the rest of the season.  However, after the season, the Cubs organization didn’t make it clear that Quade was their man until October 19. Most baseball people thought that Ryne Sandberg would be named manager and that he deserved to be the Cubs manager. The Cubs decided to remove the interim tag from Quade’s position and promote him to the full-time manager. Unfortunately, Quade and the Cubs had a rough year, finishing 2011 with a 71-91 record.

I almost feel sorry for Sandberg. He worked so hard managing in the minors and when his opportunity finally arose when Piniella retired, Jim Hendry turned him down. I definitely think he deserves a chance at managing the Cubs. He not only has playing experience but successful managing experience in the minors.

After an awkward offseason for Sandberg, he took up an offer to manage the Philadelphia Phillies Triple-A team, the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs. He was also, according to sources, offered by Theo Epstein to be the manager for the Pawtucket Red Sox.  Despite a very minor league baseball-esque name, the Iron Pigs are actually considered to be in the upper echelon of the minors. They average a higher attendance (over 10,000 per game) than any other MiLB team. Ryne Sandberg put together another winning season leading the Iron Pigs to an 80-64 record. His career managerial record is 364-341, which is good for a .556 winning percentage.

Who knows what the Cubs relationship is like with Sandberg? Their relationship appeared to be very stalwart but after the Cubs denied Sandberg the chance to manage at the major league level last year, you have to wonder why they would want him this year. Even if Theo Epstein does end up getting the job, just because he wanted Sandberg to manage the PawSox, there is no guarantee that he would want to work with Sandberg at the major league level.

The X-factor in this situation is Terry Francona. Epstein and Francona got along beautifully in Boston, and maybe Theo wants to keep Terry as his manager. This would not surprise me because the two are so comfortable with each other, and they have proven that their methods work with two World Series rings.  Although their relations were apparently strained at times, the bottom line is that they were able to get the job done together.

There is one thing that I am sure of from this Sandberg debacle.   Ryan Sandberg will have a major-league coaching job come April.  The Phillies might have an assistant coaching position open, or the Red Sox could be interested in Sandberg as their manager.  Options will be available to him.  The most likely option is that Sandberg will return to where he already spent fifteen years of his baesball life: Wrigley Field.

 

Today’s feature was prepared by our Intern, 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 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.

Theo Epstein Heads to the Windy City to Lead the Cubs

Thursday October 13, 2011

 

Rob Bland (Baseball Writer – MLB reports):  On October 12, 2011, Theo Epstein, former GM of the Boston Red Sox agreed to a 5 year deal worth more than $15M.  With the Chicago Cubs.  This all comes as no real surprise to anyone, as it had been speculated since the Cubs fired GM Jim Hendry in August that Epstein was their top target.  The real surprise is that Epstein and the Boston Red Sox’s falling out happened so swiftly.  Within two weeks of the Red Sox collapse, which has been widely discussed by everyone in baseball circles, manager Terry Francona and the team parted ways, as well as, now, their general manager Theo Epstein.

It has been well-documented that Epstein was able to overcome the “Curse of the Bambino” by employing a bunch of “idiots” in the locker room that went on to win a World Series in 2004.  This mentality has been a similar mantra of the Red Sox throughout his tenure.  Because they won in 2004, and also in 2007, it was completely acceptable for players to do what they pleased in the locker room.  Now that the epic collapse took place, the organization needed a change, and true accountability never took place for the Red Sox.

Epstein is a GM of great stature.  He is trusted and many people believe in his abilities.  He employs a “Moneyball” type strategy, which is also aided by having a large payroll, something he will also have the ability to create in Chicago.  Ownership of the Cubs have not been afraid to spend money, and most of the time have put themselves in unfortunate situations.

Two contracts come to mind when I think of the Cubs.  Alfonso Soriano and Carlos Zambrano.  Prior to the 2007 season, Soriano inked a contract worth $136M over 8 years.  In 2007, Zambrano signed an extension for the 2008-2012 seasons, with a vesting option for 2013 worth $91.5M.  Epstein has a lot of work cut out for him with an aging, mediocre core, but finding a suitor for these two players, or finding a way for them to produce and not be distractions in the clubhouse is paramount.

Another major task for him is to figure out what he wants to do with incumbent manager, Mike Quade.  Quade was hired as the Cubs’ interim manager on August 22, 2010, and in October, the interim title was stripped.  Quade led the Cubs to a 71-91 record and a 5th place finish in the NL Central, only ahead of the lowly Houston Astros.  This record was tied for the 5th worst in all of baseball.  When Quade was hired, much to the dismay of Cubs fans, who wanted Ryne Sandberg to take the helm, he was highly regarded as a smart, methodical baseball thinker.  Was the year and month enough of a trial, or will Epstein want to bring in his own talent to manage this struggling franchise?

Epstein will also consider bringing in his own front office, using members from his group with the Red Sox.  With news breaking that Senior Vice President and Assistant General Manager Ben Cherington will take over as GM in Boston, Epstein will be fighting to bring his favorite guys over with him.

The last thing holding up this deal is compensation for the Red Sox.  Since Epstein had one year remaining on his contract with Boston, the Cubs had to ask permission to even speak with him.  Epstein had made it known to the organization that he would be leaving after 2012, so the Red Sox allowed talks to run smoothly, as they would have owed him $3M for the season, and a contract bonus of $4M.  Cash and/or prospects will easily get the job done.

The deal has not yet been completed due to some of these complications, but should be done by the beginning of next week.  Epstein will have a major challenge in Chicago, as they are not even close to competing.  Major decisions need to be made, and even with his high level of competency, it will take up to five years for the Cubs to be a major contender in the NL Central.

 

***Today’s feature was prepared by our Baseball Writer, Rob Bland.  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 Rob on Twitter.***

 

Please e-mail us at: MLBreports@gmail.com with any questions and feedback.  You can follow us on Twitter and become a fan onFacebook .  To subscribe to our website and have the daily Reports sent directly to your inbox , click here and follow the link at the top of our homepage.

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