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

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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

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Oakland Athletics Roster In 2014: How All Of The Pitchers Were Acquired

Jarrod Parker is out for the year with  Tommy John Surgery.  You are talking about a guy that was 25 - 16 with a 3.68 ERA over the last 2 years combined.  He has top of the rotation stuff and will be greatly missed.  The A's also had a TJ scare with A.J. Griffin, but it has been downgraded to an elbow strain for now.  Parker was traded for by the Athletics in a major package sent to Oakland - including Chris Carter< Carlos Gonzalez and Ryan Cook for Starter Dan Haren.  The club still has many of the components left as assets from that very deal. While it is bad Parker is out in 2014, he will be back.

Jarrod Parker is out for the year with Tommy John Surgery. You are talking about a guy that was 25 – 16 with a 3.68 ERA over the last 2 years combined. He has top of the rotation stuff and will be greatly missed. The A’s also had a TJ scare with A.J. Griffin, but it has been downgraded to an elbow strain for now. Parker was traded for by the Athletics in a major package sent to Oakland with Collin Cowgill and  Ryan Cook for Starter Trevor Cahill. The club still has Parker and Cahill.  While it is bad Parker is out in 2014, he will be back. Cahill has been ineffective for the D’backs in 2014 – with a 9.17 ERA and an MLB leading 4 losses.

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

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I just finished writing an article about how Billy Beane was smart not to have signed Barry Zito, Mark Mulder and Tim Hudson to extensions here.

You really wont find him do this anytime soon with any of his chuckers.

The Scott Kazmir deal is the one he likes to do.  It is simple as to why the man operates like this.  He doesn’t have to give up any assets in the process.

Beane is a “Baseball Rounder”.

It is not unlike him to do manage 50 – 60 transactions per year.  He was won more than he has lost – whether it is Free Agency or trades.  His ballclub has the best record in the Majors since the start of play in 2012 – at 200 – 144 (.581 baseball).

We will go through the Pitching First, and then the hitting by the weekend. Read the rest of this entry

Houston Astros Roster In 2014 Part 1: How All Of The Hitters Were Acquired

The Astros decided to rebuild a few years ago  In doing so they traded away Lance Berkman, Roy Oswalt, Hunter Pence, Carlos Lee, at first, and then have since also traded Bud Norris, Jed Lowrie, Jordan Lyles and Brandon Barnes.  Many of the transactions have given the team many of its current roster today, with many of the players also with the organization - while hardly any of the departing guys are with the team that dealt for them.  Today is the 1st part of a 2 parter seeing how the current club was assembled by the Astros.

The Astros decided to rebuild a few years ago In doing so they traded away Lance Berkman, Roy Oswalt, Hunter Pence, Carlos Lee, at first, and then have since also traded Bud Norris, Jed Lowrie, Jordan Lyles and Brandon Barnes. Many of the transactions have given the team many of its current roster today, with many of the players also with the organization – while hardly any of the departing guys are with the team that dealt for them. Today is the 1st part of a 2 parter seeing how the current club was assembled by the Astros.

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

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At the MLB Reports, we intend to show you the Roster Tree for the Houston Astros – 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.

Sometimes pitchers will be in the hitters part of the write-up and vice versa.  This is simply done when one side of hitter or pitcher is dealt for each other.  Read the rest of this entry

Oakland Athletics State Of The Union: 2014 Preview

When does Beane ever sleep?   56 transactions over the last calendar year, and he may be prepping the phone with another rash of injuries to 60% of his Starting Staff.  Beane has at least addressed the teams depth for 15 years, and when you look at the salary for their Pitchers, you will be able to detect why.  They never overpay on long-term deals for Starters.

When does Beane ever sleep? 56 transactions over the last calendar year, and he may be prepping the phone with another rash of injuries to 60% of his Starting Staff. Beane has at least addressed the teams depth for next 2 – 3 years, and when you look at the salary for their Pitchers, you will be able to detect why. They never overpay on long-term deals for Starters.

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

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It has been a tough week in Oakland for the Starting Pitching.  Jarrod Parker will need Tommy John Surgery and is  out for the 2014 year.

A.J. Griffin received better news, but also will be sidelined for the near future with a UCL strain.

To complicate the opening roster even more, Scott Kazmir has Triceps soreness and is currently also on the shelf.

Billy Beane doesn’t seem that worried, as he has Tommy Milone and Jesse Chavez stretched out to work some starts if needed. Read the rest of this entry

Ortiz Is Almost Done Playing: Who Will Be The Next Great DH Among The AL Clubs??

David Ortiz has been the quintessential DH in the AL over the last 11 years.  Boston is in contention perennially because he put up great #s compared to his competition.  With all of the teams imploring several employees to scouting staffs - trying to find advantages to bring to Major League Lineups - why aren't teams focusing on the DH position more.  Ortiz has been a full time DH since joining the Red Sox, and has been instrumental in the club bringing home 3 World Series Titles.  In fact, the only time the team has struggled in the last decade, was if "Big Papi" is hurt or struggling.

David Ortiz has been the quintessential DH in the AL over the last 11 years. Boston is in contention perennially because he put up great #s compared to his competition. With all of the teams imploring several employees to scouting staffs – trying to find advantages to bring to Major League Lineups – why aren’t teams focusing on the DH position more. Ortiz has been a full time DH since joining the Red Sox, and has been instrumental in the club bringing home 3 World Series Titles. In fact, the only time the team has struggled in the last decade, was if “Big Papi” is hurt or struggling.

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

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There is no doubt in my mind that the Red Sox has won 3 World Series Titles in the last 10 years because they have had the quintessential DH in the American League.

While other teams have used the position as a rest stop for aging players, or stop-gap measure for players with defensive faulty, clubs have not seemed to have stressed emphasis on the slot in the lineup.

My question is why?  With everyone always searching for an edge in today’s game, you have one sitting right in front of you, that equates to over 600 AB a year.

David Ortiz (Post Season Heroics 2013)

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Houston Astros State Of The Union Address: Fall 2013

From 1992 - 2006, Houston was one of the best franchises in the games of baseball, not having one losing season in that time span.  They won 4 Division Titles, 8 2nd place finishes, and appeared in 6 playoffs.  After being swept in the 2005 World Series, the core got old, and the team waited too long to rebuild.  Once it was time, the management actually did a smart thing in totally gutting the entire franchise, in order to restock the Minor League System.

From 1992 – 2006, Houston was one of the best franchises in the games of baseball, not having one losing season in that time span. They won 4 Division Titles, 8 – 2nd place finishes, and appeared in 6 playoffs. After being swept in the 2005 World Series, the core got old, and the team waited too long to rebuild. Once it was time, the management actually did a smart thing in totally gutting the entire franchise, in order to restock the Minor League System.  Now with 3 105+ Loss seasons, and back to back 1st overall picks, the team has begun the process.  An ownership changed mirrored the last transference of all the remaining Veterans from the previous regime.  How long will it take for the Astros to compete again?

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

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The Astros had one of the easiest years to peg down in the game of baseball for 2013.

They were horrible early, traded away every possible Veteran that were making any kind of cash on the Major League Level, and then proceeded to be even worse after the ALL – Star Game.

The worst part of the campaign was left for the end, where they promptly lost their last 15 games – to finish with a record of 51 – 111.

It was their 3rd straight 100+ Loss season.  But overlooking the obvious is that they actual drew a few more fans in 2013 – compared to 2012.

That was more a symptom of the club moving to the American League.  At least they were not last in the league for Attendance, like payroll.

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The Houston Astros Payroll in 2014 + Organization: Affiliates, Prospects + Depth Charts (MLB + MiLB)

The Astros have scaled their Payroll to miniscule proportions.  As of this minute, the players they have signed - that aren't on entry level deals, equals $4.37 MIL, and that is if the club picks up their Team Option on Philip Humber for 2014.  The only other player that makes more than an entry level is Jose Altuve at $1.37 MIL in 2014.  The club is paying more in dead money to Wandy Rodriguez ($5.5 MIL in 2014) as part of the 2012 Trade worked out between clubs.

The Astros have scaled their Payroll to miniscule proportions. As of this minute, the players they have signed – that aren’t on entry level deals, equals $4.37 MIL, and that is if the club picks up their Team Option on Philip Humber for 2014. The only other player that makes more than an entry level is Jose Altuve at $1.37 MIL in 2014. The club is paying more in dead money to Wandy Rodriguez ($5.5 MIL in 2014) as part of the 2012 Trade worked out between clubs.  It has been bantered about that the ownership and management are willing to spend some money in Free Agency for 2014.  MLB currently does not have a floor for Team Salary in the current CBA, so why would the club do that until they are ready to compete?

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

A 3rd straight season with 105+ Losses, and 15 straight losses to finish the 2013 campaign does not give the fans very much to look forward to in 2014.

I am here to tell you that the MLB should be ashamed of letting the Houston Astros field such an incompetent team.

Having said this, I don’t personally blame them for tanking it over the last 3 years.  They are the other ‘extreme’ – of what the New York Yankees and LA Dodgers have done payroll wise.

Last season at the end of the year, their highest paid player for the Active Roster was Erik Bedard, making $1.1 MIL.

If they keep picking 1st overall, it is only a matter of time before the team becomes very good, just like the Rays, Nationals, Twins and Pirates have all done in recent times.

For the Up to Date Roster for the Astros all year around, please visit Jeff’s Website right here

For the Entire Page of teams links we have dedicated to Payroll, Rosters, Depth Chart, State Of the Unions and Roster Trees, please click right here. Please bookmark this page and check back, as we are busy on the analysis at MLB Reports always.

Jose Altuve Highlights

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Having A Great DH Can Mean Winning The AL Pennant: For Other Teams – The Position Is A Waste!

David Ortiz has been the quintessential DH in the AL over the last 11 years.  Boston is in contention perenially because he put up great #s compared to his competition.

David Ortiz has been the quintessential DH in the AL over the last 11 years. Boston are perennial contenders because he put up great #s compared to his competition.  Ortiz had a great 2013 campaign – where he 3 Slashed .309/.395./.959 – with 30 HRs and 103 RBI in just 137 Games Played.  Ortiz is .292/.390/.962 in 11 Years with Boston, with 373 HRs and 1191 RBI.  The Red Sox won the World Series in 2004 and 2007 with him at DH, and are looking to win again this year.

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

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Watching the 2013 season, something really resonated with me while watching the American League:  ‘Where have all the great designated hitters in MLB gone?’  

It is surprising to me that teams haven’t figured out that having a dominant DH in the league could mean the difference in winning the AL pennant or not.

I also believe that players should be moved their earlier than in their mid 30′s.  If they can’t play the field at all, or are not superior at offense, they should be made to Pinch-hit in the NL. 

It seemed only a few years ago that every team had a bopper capable of hitting .300 with 30 HR’S and 100 RBI’s.  Upon further investigation, I found out some interesting facts.

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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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The Arizona Diamondbacks: The Best Pitchers 1998 – 2013: Part 3 Of A 3 Part Article Series

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Friday, July.12, 2013

Johnson is by far the most illustrious pitcher that has pitched for the franchise. He holds multiple pitching records for the team, and it will take some time for someone to even come close to breaking those records. He came to the desert in 1999, and his impact was felt immediately, by him winning 17 games in his first season with 271.2 innings pitched and he struck out 364 batters. he would go on to win the CY Young Award his first four seasons with the club, while averaging 354 strikeouts per season in his first four years in Arizona. Johnson is 2nd all-time with 4,875 career strikeouts.He along with Curt Schilling was crucial was in brining a World Series title to the desert.

Johnson is by far the most illustrious pitcher that has pitched for the franchise. He holds multiple pitching records for the team, and it will take some time for someone to even come close to breaking those records. The “Big Unit” came to the desert in 1999, and his impact was felt immediately, by him winning 17 games in his first season with 271.2 innings pitched and he struck out 364 batters. he would go on to win the CY Young Award his first four seasons with the club, while averaging 354 strikeouts per season in his first four years in Arizona. Johnson is 2nd all-time in MLB history with 4,875 career strikeouts.He along with Curt Schilling was crucial was in bringing a World Series title to the desert in 2001. He had a SO/9 of 11.5 during the eight seasons he spent with the Diamondbacks.

By Chris Lacey (Lead Baseball Columnist/Minority Website Owner)

The Diamondbacks have had good years and bad years in terms of pitching for their club. The first season for the club which was in 1998, they lost 97 games and 69 of those losses were from the rotation, which caused to finish last in the National West Division.

Their rotation consisted of Andy Benes, Brian Anderson, Omar Daal, Willie Blair, Amaury Telemaco, and Jeff Suppan. The closer for them that season was Gregg Olson.

Click the Link Below to see the Hitters version

The Arizona Diamondbacks Best Hitters (1998 – 2013): Part 2 Of A 3 Part Series

Luis Gonzalez’s walk off hit Game 7 World Series 2011

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Top MLB Teams 1 – 30: Monthly Rankings + (Top 200 Stats For Reading And Fantasy Baseball)

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Thursday July.11/2013

The Giants have gone 9 - 23 in their last 32 Games and are in danger of having a brutal campaign just one year after capturing the World Series.  Key injuries and overlogged pitchers have been the main point of contention. They lost 8 Ranking Spots.

The Giants have gone 9 – 23 in their last 32 Games – and are in danger of having a brutal campaign just one year after capturing the World Series. Key injuries and overlogged pitchers have been the main point of contention. They lost 8 Ranking Spots this past time.  Should they also become sellers at the Trade Deadline,  Tim Lincecum and Hunter Pence could fetch a few players in return.  The Giants are currently 40 – 50 and 6.5 Games behind the NL West Leading DBACKS – but are in last in the NL West.

 

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

The time has come for the July Power Rankings with Stats Edition.  There will be one each for May, June, July, August, September – and then a special playoff edition Power Rankings will be done in October.

I will not do a weekly Power Rankings during these weeks, because in essence, these are the weekly rankings done on a much larger scale.

These Reports are done with a heavy thought to how the teams project by the end of the season – along with how the clubs have fared so far.

I will point out who has had great months for the all 30 MLB Teams.  I reward the good performances in these rankings – and leave the poor ones for the Podcasts or future articles. CLICK THE READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY ICON or scroll past the video and picture.

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The Billy Beane Way Of Contracts + His Trade History Since MoneyBall!

Wednesday July.03, 2013

Updated January.05, 2014

Beane does his transactions throughout the entire year - and very little at the deadline.  He is never finished with re-arranging his franchise.  Perhaps his best Trade Deadline deal was to acquire Jermaine Dye in 2001.  Conversely, he had to pay Dye a big FA contract afterwards.  Between he and Eric Chavez's deal, Beane learned not to be burned on long term deals.  He is a big fan of 1 to 2 Year Deals with Veterans.

Beane does his transactions throughout the entire year – and very little at the deadline. He is never finished with re-arranging his franchise. Perhaps his best Trade Deadline deal was to acquire Jermaine Dye in 2001. Conversely, he had to pay Dye a big FA contract afterwards (3 YRs/$30 MIL). Between he and Eric Chavez’s deal, (6 YR/$66 MIL deal) Beane learned not to be burned on long term contracts. He is a big fan of 1 – 2 Year Deals with Veterans.  A lot of his players have not fared as well when they have left the organization.  Even the guys that have, simply cost too much money for the A’s liking.  The Oakland team received the same kind of production from them for a small percentage of the salary paid out.

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

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We have talked a ton about Billy Beane‘s genius way on the website.  The Website founder ‘Jonathan Hacohen’ was one of the first baseball writers to uncover the new Beane strategy last year.

I further studied some of his brilliant work  – by figuring out the current roster tree for all of the current team last November.  I was able to pick up a lot more patterns from his work as a GM.

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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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Triple Play Podcast Ep # 13 – Around The Horn w/OAK/KC/COL/TOR + Bean Wars + The Genius Beane

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Monday, June.17, 2013

The Triple Play Show will have 5 shows per month.  Each show will be about 1 hour

The Triple Play Show will have 5 shows per month. Each show will be about 1 hour.

By The Big Ticket Show ( AKA Triple Play Podcast on http://www.mlbreports.com)

Guests in this Podcast – Chuck Booth (MLB Reports Owner and Lead Analyst) 

On this week’s show Chuck Booth joins us to break down all the biggest stories in MLB. We also go Around the Horn with Chuck to discuss the A’s, Rockies and Royals current situations and declare the worthy few that belong on their respective Mt Rushmore’s. Bethubb.com best bets end the show as always. Happy Father’s Day!!!!!!!

Intro – 10 Minutes, Toronto Blue Jays talk from 10 Minute to the 18 Minute Mark.  OAK chat – 18 minute – 33 Minute Mark, COL Talk 33 Minutes – 44 Minute Mark.  Kansas City Royals Chart 44 Minutes Mark – 59 Minute Mark.  Late Jays Talk Bethubb Best Bets 1 hour 1 MIN mark to 1 hour 9 Minute Mark.

Quick Facts:  Catsfish Hunter was 7 – 2 in the Post Season for the 1972, 1973 and 1974 World Series Winning A’s – and only 2 -4 with the 3 Post Seasons with the Yankees.  Still 5 World Series Winners was great.  Chuck also meant Ewing Kauffman (Chuck thought his nickname was Charlie in the podcast – maybe because his name his Charlie) when talking about the Royals MT. Rushmore for the franchise.

Yogi Berra did indeed play in 14 World Series and won 10 of them in his Yankees days.

To Keep Reading and Listen to this Podcast click the READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY or scroll past the Triple Play Logo.

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Top Teams In The MLB 1 – 30 + (200 Best Stats For The Last Month)

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Thursday June.06/2013

Chris Davis was the hitter of the month for the MLB Reports.  The guy has 20 HRs and 20 2B on the season - after hitting 11/11 for both columns in the last 30 Days.  The Orioles slugger also hit for a 3 Slash Line of .385/.448/1.256.  Davis also Walked 11 Times, drove in 22 RBI - and collected 40 Hits in just 24 Games Played.  He is on pace for a 50 HR/ 50 Doubles Season.  "Crush" is due for Arbitration after this year - and will garner a considerable payraise from the $3.3 MIL he will earn this season.

Chris Davis was the AL hitter of the month for the MLB Reports. The guy has 20 HRs and 20 2B on the season – after hitting 11/11 for both columns in the last 30 Days. The Orioles slugger also hit for a 3 Slash Line of .385/.448/1.256. Davis also Walked 11 Times, drove in 22 RBI – and collected 40 Hits in just 24 Games Played. He is on pace for a 50 HR/50 Doubles Season. “Crush” is due for Arbitration after this year – and will garner a considerable payraise from the $3.3 MIL he will earn this season.

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

The time has come for the June Power Rankings with Stats Edition.  There will be one each for May, June, July, August, September – and then a special playoff edition Power Rankings will be done in October.

I will not do a weekly Power Rankings during this weeks, because in essence, these are the weekly rankings done on a much larger scale.

These Reports are done with a heavy thought to how the teams project by the end of the season – along with how the clubs have fared so far.

I will point out who has had great months for the all 30 MLB Teams.  I reward the good performances in these rankings – and leave the poor ones for the Podcasts or future articles. CLICK THE READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY ICON or scroll past the video and picture

Chris Davis 2013 Highlights:

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MLB Team Power Rankings

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Sunday June.02/2013

Miguel Cabrera is absolutely unconscious this season so far;.  He has a 3 Slash Line of .369 (Leads AL)/.445 (Leads AL/1.121 (2ndi n AL), with 17 HRs (2nd AL) and a mind - blowing 65 RBI through 54 Games Played.  He is on pace for 51 HRs. 195 RBI and about 250 Hits.  He keeps getting better every single year if possible. Despite his prominence - and a lineup full of ALL - Star hitters and Pitchers, the Tigers are limping along at just a few games over .500.  It certainly isn't this 30 Year Olds fault.

Miguel Cabrera is absolutely unconscious this season so far; He has a 3 Slash Line of .369 (Leads AL)/.445 (Leads AL/1.121 (2nd in AL), with 17 HRs (2nd AL) and a mind – blowing 65 RBI through 54 Games Played. He is on pace for 51 HRs, 195 RBI and about 250 Hits. He keeps getting better every single year if possible. Despite his prominence – and a lineup full of ALL – Star hitters and Pitchers, the Tigers are limping along at just a few games over .500. It certainly isn’t this 30 Year Old’s fault.

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

Featuring the Podcasters the Big ticket Show in the Audio Portion

I will be doing a stat fueled rankings list on this Thursday.  These rankings will have some stats and  random thoughts of what I will be talking about in today’s podcast with the Big Ticket Show (AKA, Triple Play Podcast.)

Games Prior to Sunday June.02/2013

Cardinals 2013 30/30 Preview

Click the READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY ICON to continue… or scroll past the Triple Play Podcast. Read the rest of this entry

Current Top 5 MLB Home Run Leaders in the AL + NL: Home Runs Hit May 14th

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Wednesday May 15th, 2013

CARGO had himself quite the day at Wrigley Field - ding yard work at the dish twice.  While his career home and away splits favor his Coors Field Play - he is leading the NL with Runs this year with 31

CARGO had himself quite the day at Wrigley Field – doing yard work at the dish twice. While his career home and away splits favor his Coors Field Play (.348/.409/1.041 – Coors Field Career), his 2013 numbers look better on the road OPS of 1.063 to .858 thus far.   Gonzalez is leading the NL with Runs Scored this year.  It still must be noted that 4 of his Road HRs have come in hitter friendly Miller Park and Wrigley Field.  Wait to see what the Averages are at the end of the year.  Has he matured as a hitter – or is this just a small sample size?

DH on our home site pages – Stands for Daily HR Hitters in the Majors.

We are going to run the gauntlet on the previous days HRs for all MLB Players.

I loved it when MLB XM Radio used to do a running total every night on their Roundtrip with Mike Ferrin (Laser Show).  So I am bringing it every day on this website.  To view every nights big boppers for the whole year (from May 8th on) visit the DH page!

Click beyond the Youtube link or click  the READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY ICON to see who hit yesterdays big flies.

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Daily HR Hitters Update From May 8th, 2013: Top 5 AL + NL HR Leaders In The MLB

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Thursday May 9th, 2013

Alex Gordon has been ramping up his power over the last 2 seasons - with 72 XBH in 2011 and 70 XBH in 2012.  Noted for being more of a Doubles hitter, Gordon has clubbed HRs in 2 straight games.  The 29 Year Old has a 3 Slash Line of .311/.336/.836 with 5 HRs and 23 RBI out of the Leadoff Spot so far this campaign.  The Man has also crossed home plate 22 times in just 30 Games Played

Alex Gordon has been ramping up his power over the last 2 seasons – with 72 XBH in 2011 and 70 XBH in 2012. Noted for being more of a Doubles hitter, Gordon has clubbed HRs in 2 straight games. The 29 Year Old has a 3 Slash Line of .311/.336/.836 with 5 HRs and 23 RBI out of the Leadoff Spot so far this year. The Man has also crossed home plate 22 times in just 30 Games Payed

DH on our home site pages – Stands for Daily HR Hitters in the Majors.

We are going to run the gauntlet on the previous days HRs for all MLB Players.

I loved it when MLB XM Radio used to do a running total every night on their Roundtrip with Mike Ferrin (Laser Show).  So I am bringing it every day on this website.  To view every nights big boppers for the whole year (from May 8th) visit the DH page!

Click beyond the Youtube link or click  the READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY ICON to see who hit yesterdays big flies.

Chris Carter hit a HR for the 2nd straight game for the Astros last night – and has hit 24 HRs in his last 336 AB dating back to last year in June (1 per every 14 AB).

With 27 HRs and 65 RBI (in just 450 Career AB – but a 3 Slash of .213/.303/.734) – he reminds me of a young Cecil Fielder with the Blue Jays .243/.308/.781 – with 31 HRs and 84 RBI in his first 506 AB – before being caught up in a numbers game in Toronto with Fred McGriff

Last Year the former A hit 16 HRs and drove in 39 RBI in just 218 AB during the Oakland A’s big second half.  CC was Walking more last year – and held a .350 OBP for the year.  The Astros must be patient with this slugger to learn how to hit  – despite his AL leading 51 SO.  He should be one of the players they keep when the rebuild is finished.

Chris Carter Highlights

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Daily Home Run Hitters Update From May 7th, 2013

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Wednesday, May.08/2013

Jose Altuve hit a blast last night that measured (77.82 Altuves).  Any time this man hits a Round Tripper, his picture will be on this page.  Go and check out @howmanyaltuves or www.howmanyaltuves.com  for all of your Home Run (or any measurement for that matter) needs.

Jose Altuve hit a blast last night that measured (77.82 Altuves) versus the Angels. Any time this man hits a Round Tripper, his picture will be on this page. Go and check out @howmanyaltuves or http://www.howmanyaltuves.com for all of your Home Run (or any measurement for that matter) needs.

DH – Stands for Daily HR Hitters in the Majors.

We are going to run the gauntlet on the previous days HRs for all MLB Players.

I loved it when MLB XM Radio used to do a running total every night on their Roundtrip with Mike Ferrin (Laser Show).  So I am bringing it every day on this website.  To view every nights big boppers for the whole year (from May.7th) visit the DH page!

Click beyond the Youtube link or click  the READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY ICON to see who hit yesterdays big flies

Dingers!!

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MLB Monthly Power Rankings May 2013 (Podcast Version)

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Sunday, May.05/2013

The Triple Play Show will have 5 shows per month.  Each show will be about 1 hour

The Triple Play Show will have 5 shows per month. Each show will be about 1 hour.

By The Big Ticket Show ( AKA Triple Play Podcast on http://www.mlbreports.com)

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner):

One month down in the MLB season and that means it’s time for some Power Rankings! Chuck Booth the czar of MLBreports.com joins us in studio to rank every team from worst to first. Where does your team rank? Read the rest of this entry

The Houston Astros Should Not Trade The Popular Jose Altuve…Yet Or Maybe Ever…

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Friday May.03,  2013

Jose Altuve was named an ALL-Star Reserve at 2B in 2012 with his .309 AVG in the 1st half and after appearing in the 2011 Futures Game.  He hit .290 with 33 SB and 80 Runs in his 1st full season.  He is under club control until 2018.  Will he last in an Astros uniform until then?

Jose Altuve was named an ALL-Star Reserve at 2B in 2012 with his .309 AVG in the 1st half and after appearing in the 2011 Futures Game. He hit .290 with 33 SB and 80 Runs in his 1st full season. He is under club control until 2018. Will he last in an Astros uniform until then?

By Lee White (Astros Correspondent)  

Ever since last season, mentions of the Houston Astros trading their All Star Second Baseman have been cropping up, and for good reason. Whether you agree with me or not, Jose Altuve is an All Star, and not just because he is on the Astros.

Last season at the All Star game, Altuve was voted as the best Second Baseman in baseball by his peers (Major League players and Managers). He is a great ball player. He hits for a high Batting Average, Steals Bgs and has a some pop in his bat for his size. He also plays pretty good defense.

Jose Altuve (1 Altuve) faces Jon Rauch (1.29 Altuves):

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2 And A Hook Podcast Episode #4: The Blue Jays Are Finished in 2013 + The Angels Are Close

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Friday, May.02/2013

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

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

People in this Podcast:

Chuck Booth – Guest (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner):

By James Acevedo – Host (Podcast Veteran) 

’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..)

On today’s show, brought to you by MLB Reports (www.mlbreports.com ) & yours truly (The Bench Warmers Show), I had Chuck Booth talk for over an hour about a  bunch of topics.

We started off with the horrible season the Toronto Blue Jays have had thus far.  We also talked about the Angels, what Robin Ventura is thinking – hitting Adam Dunn #4 still and how the Braves must regret paying B.J. Upton $15 MIL a year – while they are ecstatic about paying Justin Upton only about half of that. Read the rest of this entry

The Astros Are Making Player Moves And Are 4 – 5 In The Last 9 Games

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Saturday, April.20/2013

Brett Wallace had struggled something fierce to start this year.  At Age 26, he is nearing the end of his rope with the Astros.  He has a Career 3 Slash Line of .243/.316/.682 - with 16 HRs and 66 RBI in 743 At-Bats.  Not encouraging numbers.  He was acquired from the Toronto Blue Jays during the 2010 season for OF Anthony Gose.  At least Gose hasn't accomplished much with the Canadian franchise yet

Brett Wallace had struggled something fierce to start this year before his most recent demotion to the Minor Leagues. At Age 26, he is nearing the end of his rope with the Astros. He has a Career 3 Slash Line of .243/.316/.682 – with 16 HRs and 66 RBI in 743 At-Bats. Not encouraging numbers. He was acquired from the Toronto Blue Jays during the 2010 season for OF Anthony Gose. At least Gose hasn’t accomplished much with the Canadian franchise yet.

By Richard Perez (Astros Correspondent visit the StrosBros Website here):

After seven games played, 17 Strikeouts, and one hit in 27 Plate Appearances, the Astros optioned First Baseman Brett Wallace to Triple-A Oklahoma City, and it comes a great news to me. I feel that Brett Wallace is on limited time in the Major Leagues and that he just isn’t going to pan out to be the highly touted prospect he once was.

He’s had somewhat of a successful tenure in Houston, but I feel compelled to believe that he was transferred around from one organization to the next while never making an appearance at the Major League level is one of the more pieces of condemning evidence from early on the Brett Wallace was doomed to be a dud

Astros Struggle in the 2013 Year:

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

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Friday, Apr.12/2013

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Nate Freiman: Beane Finds Yet Another Hidden Gem… And The A’s Next 1st Baseman

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Friday April 5th, 2013

All Nate Freiman did was carry the Country of Israel during the recent World Baseball Classic Qualifying Tournament. Can this First Base giant do the same in Oakland?

All Nate Freiman did was carry the Country of Israel during the recent World Baseball Classic Qualifying Tournament. Can this First Base giant do the same in Oakland?

Jonathan Hacohen  (Lead Baseball Columnist, Oakland A’s Correspondent and Website Founder):  

Baseball is a funny game sometimes. One minute you’re crying the Chris Carter blues. Then before you  know it, Nate Freiman appears. That is how Billy Beane works my friends. Just when you think he might be slipping, he pulls a magic rabbit out of his hat (better known as the waiver wire in baseball terms). 

On February 11, 2013, I wrote an article outlining Billy Beane’s error in trading Chris Carter. While I have always endorsed the talents of Jed Lowrie, it was my opinion that giving up a future star in Chris Carter was too high of a price to pay.

The trade (which actually took place on February 4th) saw the Astros acquire yet another stud First Base prospect. I wondered out loud what the Astros would do with all their First Base talent (Brett Wallace, Jonathan Singleton, Nate Freiman and veteran Carlos Pena).

It seemed like too many bats and not enough positions in Houston, despite the newfound need for a Designated Hitter. A little over a month later, March 23rd to be exact- I had my answer. Nate Freiman was on his way to Oakland.

The star for Israel in this year’s World Baseball Classic qualifying tournament was going to get the opportunity of a lifetime.

While some felt the A’s were simply acquiring roster depth, I saw a different vision. The A’s had their replacement for Brandon Moss at First Base.

Billy Beane had an uncovered yet another gem that was going to thrive in Oakland. Remember Josh Reddick 2012? Meet Nate Freiman 2013.  

Nate Freiman Interview:

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Why The Houston Astros Can beat The Texas Rangers On Opening Night

From Chuck Booth:  Lee White sent this to me on late Saturday Night – no joke.  I am still on vacation and watching the Dodgers Season Opener today (Cain vs Kershaw), but attest to this.

The Houston Astros will take the diamond at 7:10 local time to square off against the Texas Rangers. Everyone is looking past the Astros, and for good reason. The Astros have lost 213 games over the past two season, but are looking for a change of fortune in 2013. It won’t be easy for ex cellar dweller of the NL Central. The Astros are now in a tougher division, but can still improve on the field of play. But forget all that. It is Opening Night!

Baseball is back, and the games finally mean something again. Everyone has a fresh clean slate, and are looking to improve on their past seasons. Forget what teams did what last year, that doesn’t matter anymore.

When the Astros play the Rangers tonight, I fully believe the Astros may be able to surprise some people. They have arguably the best pitcher (at home) that you can have taking the mound in Bud Norris.

Last season Norris was terrible, unless he was pitching at home. My ‘Stros Bro and I, Richard Perez, had a bit of a debate about Bud pitching Opening Night instead of Lucas Harrell, and there is no way around what Norris can do at home. Last season at home, he went 4-1 with a 1.71 ERA.

He came extremely close to setting a franchise record for ERA at home last year. How can you not pitch him for Opening Night? Especially since, you know, it is at Minute Maid Park. I predict that manger Bo Porter may stretch Norris out a bit in his first start and let him go seven innings. If he can make it that far, he’ll go seven innings and give up one run and help propel the Astros to victory.

Another reason I think the Astros can beat the Rangers on Opening Night is because they’re facing Matt Harrison. Harrison was a pretty good pitcher for the Rangers last season, I’m not trying to belittle what he can do.

But, he has never pitched well against the Astros. In fact, in four outings, two starts, he is 0-1 with a 5.04 ERA against the boys from Houston. Harrison isn’t exactly a veteran either. So he has been facing the rebuilding Houston Astros, especially as a starter.

One more reason why I think the Astros can win. Here it is: Offense. The Astros haven’t had it the past few years, but with the addition of Chris Carter, and a little from Carlos Pena, they will get some offense. Yes, they will also strike out a ton, but tomorrow night against the Rangers, I believe we may see a few long balls from the Astros.

Houston will have the little hit machine, Jose Altuve, leading off with Brett Wallace following, and then probably Chris Carter in the three hole. Carter will probably be the Astros biggest bat in the lineup, so Brett Wallace will see his fare share of pitches. Especially if Altuve is on base. The Rangers will try to make Brett Wallace earn his way on base, and Wallace can run into a baseball. He is no slouch.

I’m not predicting a blowout, but I may be one of the few people who actually believe the Astros can win tonight against the Rangers. They will need to put it all together though. Pitching will be the main key as Bud Norris will need to shut the Rangers potent lineup down if the Astros want to have a chance to shock the baseball world on Opening Night.

Lee White

Jose Altuve: The Speedy Little Big Man

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Sunday Mar.31/2013

Jose Altuve was named an ALL-Star Reserve at 2B in 2012 with his .309 AVG in the 1st half and after appearing in the 2011 Futures Game.  He hit .290 with 33 SB and 80 Runs in his 1st full season.  He is under club control until 2018.

Jose Altuve was named an ALL-Star Reserve at 2B in 2012 with his .309 AVG in the 1st half and after appearing in the 2011 Futures Game. He hit for a 3 Slash Line  .290/.340/.750  with 34 Doubles, 7 HRs and 41 RBI.  The man also had 33 SB (7th in the NL) and 80 Runs in his 1st full season.  Altuve is also a great defender (4th in the NL with Assists during the campaign – while only committing 11 Errors.  He  is under club control until 2018 with the Houston Astros.

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

Last year we all discovered what was the phenomenon of what was the Jose Altuve Movement.  You can check out that article here.  Since that day, the Astros have traded away every semblance of a veteran – and are carrying a salary that is being challenged by the Yankees Taxi Sqaud of players that have come in since the start of the week.

One of the best things to do at Minute Maid Park – and on broadcast via Root Sports, will be to watch the little speedster from Venezuela.  He is 5 Foot 5 – and swings like Jeff Bagwell.  Everything about this man is pure heart, emotion and effort.

MLB Fancave gets measure in Altvues!!

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

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Sunday, Mar.24/2013

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

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

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner):

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

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

A.J. Griffin at University of San Diego:

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The New Bash Brothers of Oakland – The A’s State Of The Union 2013 Part 1: The Hitters

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Sunday March 24th, 2013

With Cespedes (23 HRs)and Reddick (32 HRs) anchoring the middle of the lineup last year in the 2nd half - the Athletics belted an MLB Leading 112 Round Trippers after the ALL - Star Game.  Many players clubbed the long - ball despite limited AB in the lineup.  They also finished 3rd in the Major Leagues for the whole season on the road.  This is bad news for teams in the AL West.  The team looks to duplicate their incredible second half of power into a full season in 2013.

With Cespedes (23 HRs)and Reddick (32 HRs) anchoring the middle of the lineup last year in the 2nd half – the Athletics belted an MLB Leading 112 Round Trippers after the ALL – Star Game. Many players clubbed the long – ball despite limited AB in the lineup. They also finished 3rd in the Major Leagues for the whole season on the road. This is bad news for teams in the AL West. The team looks to duplicate their incredible second half of power into a full season in 2013.

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

The success of the Oakland Athletics was the surprise of the year in 2012. No one expected them to win the AL West after the Angels signed Albert Pujols and C.J. Wilson and with the Rangers coming off of their second straight World Series Appearance. The A’s completely came out of nowhere with players stepping up that no one had heard of.

Josh Reddick proved to be a great acquisition from the Red Sox, hitting 32 bombs and driving in 85 runs. Cuban import Yoenis Cespedes also exceeded expectations after he was signed in the offseason, hitting 23 Homers and driving in 82. These two hard-hitting Outfielders served as mini Bash Brothers.

Of course, no pair of hitters could compare to the Bash Brothers of 1987 consisting of Mark McGwire and Jose Canseco, who combined for 80 HR.

But, seeing Reddick and Cespedes both have good hitting seasons could have reminded longtime A’s fans of the greatness that happened in 1987, Canseco’s second year and when McGwire was a rookie. Cespedes and Reddick, along with the rest of the Oakland Athletics’ cast brought excitement to the Oakland Coliseum for the first time in a few years. But, the big question is: was last year a fluke?

The Swinging A’s in 2013 – Mature Lyrics So Parental Guidance Is Advised:

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Yoenis Cespedes: While Cuba Misses Their Star in the 2013 WBC – the A’s Slugger Looks to be an A.L. MVP Candidate

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Friday March 8th, 2013

From Cuba to A.L. MVP? Despite not being able to represent his native country in the WBC, Cespedes is a year older and wiser. The more he adjusts to North America life and baseball, opposing pitchers will shudder even more each time Cespedes comes to the plate.

Jonathan Hacohen  (Lead Baseball Columnist, Oakland A’s Correspondent and Website Founder):  

It’s pretty ironic if you ask me. The 2013 World Baseball Classic is here and Cuba is off to a huge start. I had to pick a winner and went with Cuba as my pre-tournament favorite. Considering that Japan has won both editions of the WBC, Cuba was definitely going to be in tough. To top it all off, they are starting off the first two rounds in Japan. Why is it ironic? For Cuba is missing its biggest star for the tournament. Yoenis Cespedes, the Oakland A’s star outfielder is in Arizona for Spring Training.

Far away from the bright lights of Japan, where Cuba finally beat its nemesis this week in WBC play after several failed attempts in the past. With that monkey off their back, Cuba has made the statement that they are ready to win it all. But yet without their biggest star. For when one defects from Cuba, they are forever banished from representing their country again in any baseball capacity.

I couldn’t help but think watching Cuba play in Japan this week that in fact Cespedes and the A’s opened their season last year in Japan. Cespedes actually started off his season with a bang out there and never looked back. On March 29th last year, Cespedes had a home run in the 2nd game of the A’s young season. That bomb in Japan was the start of the legend. Who knew that Cespedes would actually be in Japan a year too early? For all the success that Cuba has enjoyed thus far in the 2013 WBC, imagine if they had Cespedes anchoring that lineup?

Cuba may very still win the 2013 WBC. My money is on that happening. But if Cuba falls short yet again, the what if scenarios will endlessly get bounced around. What if the team had Aroldis Chapman? Alexei Ramirez? And most of all, Yoenis Cespedes? Until Cuba allows its defectors to come home again, the talent drain will continue to affect the country in international tournaments.

Yoenis Cespedes 2012 Highlights Mature Lyrics so Parental Guidance is Advised:

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