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Baltimore Orioles Early Season Grades

Baltimore Orioles

By Nicholas Delahanty (MLB Reports Writer)  

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As the first full month of the season reaches its final week, the Orioles need to get away from the .500 baseball they have been playing in order to make a push towards the 2014 postseason. 

Of course, the season is still very young, as there are about 140 games left to play.

The O’s got an early taste of the competitive AL East Division, as six of their first seven series were against division rivals, including two series verse the defending World Series Champion Boston Red Sox. 

As we are about 1/8th through the season, I decided to grade the Orioles up to this point of the season, looking for ways for them to improve. Read the rest of this entry

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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

30 MLB Team Power Rankings: April

The Tigers fought off a tough KC club in the 1st series and now have battled their own bullpen and injury woes to be the only unbeaten team.  Add that to one of the weaker divisions, and you see the #1 ranked team in our list this week.

The Tigers fought off a tough KC club in the 1st series and now have battled their own bullpen and injury woes against the Orioles -  to be the only unbeaten team left in the MLB a. Add that to one of the weaker divisions, and you see the #1 ranked team in our list this week.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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Well, we have seen one week come and go.  It is important to realize that only about 3% of the entire season has gone by.

People tend to panic when their team isn’t doing so well, and some fanbases are ready to project their club as a playoff contender.

While it is still a good idea never to bury yourself with a bad first few week or 2, as long as you are hovering around the .500 clip, you should be fine.

How we do these rankings at the MLB Reports is based on 1 thing.  The chances of the club winning the World Series.

After all, that is why we have 45 days of Spring Training, 186 days in the regular season, and another 30 or so in the playoffs.

Some teams will have their number predicated on the strength of their divisions are not.

Nearly 47% of any teams schedule is within their own division.  So the AL East and NL West would be tough divisions.

The NL East and AL Central have 2 playoff contenders in each division, while 3 teams may be easier opponents. Read the rest of this entry

The Boston Red Sox State Of The Union Part 2 – The Pitchers: 2014 Preview

This is a not a slight on the Red Sox at all, but they should not be favored to win the American League right now.  Detroit should be that placeholder.  I am not sure the Red Sox will even in the AL East.  I would go with the Rays or Yankees before them right now.  The Rays had one of the best second half records in 2013, and the Yankees are a lot better as well.  I am also not sure of the team losing Ellsbury, Drew, Dempster and Saltalamacchia has improved itself with Capuano, Middlebrooks, Pierzynski and the tandem of Sizemore and Bradley JR.

This is a not a slight on the Red Sox at all, but they should not be favored to win the American League right now. Detroit should be that placeholder. I am not sure the Red Sox will even win the AL East. I would go with the Rays or Yankees before them right now. The Rays had one of the best second half records in 2013, and the Yankees are a lot better as well. I am also not sure of the team losing Ellsbury, Drew, Dempster and Saltalamacchia has improved itself with Capuano, Middlebrooks, Pierzynski and the tandem of Sizemore and Bradley JR.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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For added depth in the Bullpen, the franchise added Edward Mujica, amply giving the team multiple options at Closer should Koji Uehara not duplicate his 2013 success in 2014.

The management did a great job in peacemealing this Pitching Rotation in 2014.

Big injuries, 3 different Closers, and finally won the hottest Closers to end a year in Uehara pitching for the clubs final outs to win the Fall Classic.

The latest addition as of now for the 2014 season, are Chris Capuano for the Starting staff and also Bullpen arm Burke Badenhop, who came over from a nice year in the pen for the Milwaukee Brewers.

The club will sees Ryan Dempster take the year off for injury, but are stoked about saving his $14 MIL pricetag that he is forfeiting this season.

The Bullpen features Koji Uehara, Craig Breslow, Edward Mujica, Brandon Workman, Burke Badenhop, Andrew Miller, Junichi Tazawa and Alex Wilson round out the potential Relief Core.

The Starting Rotation was also held together with duct tape and barbed wire in 2013, but it was enough to aid the awesome offense, and the team will sporting championship rings because of it.

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Baltimore Orioles Organizational Depth Charts (All Affiliates) – Spring 2014 (Majors and Minors)

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

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Management

CEO- Peter G. Angelos
GM- Dan Duquette
MGR- Buck Showalter
PCO- Dave Wallace
HCO- Jim Presley
1BCO- Wayne Kirby
3BCO- Bobby Dickerson
BHCO- John Russell
BPCO- Dom Chiti

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Forget The DH, Forget The Pitcher Hitting, Lets Hit With 8! Also Teams Should Hit Best Players At The Top

Disagree with me all you want, but I think the MLB would be better served to have just 8 hitters hit in one rotation of the batting order.  It is time to eliminate the DH and the pitcher both from hitting.  Give the fans more of what they want, the most feared hitters in baseball potentially batting 70 - 80 times more a year.

Disagree with me all you want, but I think the MLB would be better served to have just 8 hitters hit in one rotation of the batting order. It is time to eliminate the DH and the pitcher both from hitting. Give the fans more of what they want, the most feared hitters in baseball potentially batting 70 – 80 times more a year.  I also agree with Sully Baseball, that your best hitters should be afforded the most opportunities to contribute to your offense.  This means hitting in the highest slot in the order they can based on OBP, Slugging and overall Run production.

By Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner): w/assist to “Lead Personality” Paul Sullivan (Sully)

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(The 8 hitters in  lineup concept is my idea solely, I am agreeing with Sully on his lineup relevance for his approach for 1 and 2 hitters) – CB

I was listening to an archived show I did with James Acevedo, on our inaugural “2 And A Hook Podcast” show last March.

We were talking about the Designated Hitter position weakening by the year, and the Pitcher not doing any justice at the plate either.

In the show, I haphazardly referred to “they should just hit with 8 hitters.”

I forgot about the whole thing soon after saying it last year, but now I haven’t stopped thinking about for the last hour of today.

Baseball writers often will tell you it is best to write what is fresh on your mind. Read the rest of this entry

Baltimore Orioles State Of The Union Spring 2014 Part 1: The Lineup Now With Cruz Added

By Nicholas Delahanty (MLB Reports O’s Writer)  

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Nelson Cruz Signs with Baltimore

It has been a very busy week for the Orioles as Spring Training gets started, as the team is set to announce the signing of Nelson Cruz to a one-year, $8 MM contract.

Earlier in the week, I wrote about guys the Orioles could target to help bolster their lineup, and Cruz seemed to be the most logical fit. Read the rest of this entry

Orioles Finally Make A Free Agent Splash To Salvage Winter

By Nicholas Delahanty (MLB Reports O’s Writer)  

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Orioles Sign Ubaldo Jimenez 

The Orioles could not catch a break this off-season, as they lost out on free agents that they coveted as well as missing out on closer Grant Balfour , after he failed the team’s physical.

Bronson Arroyo balked at even going for a physical seeing what happened to the Aussie – opting to sign with the D-Backs even though the money was similar, rather than have his worth devalued by flunking the doctor’s visit from the O’s.

Tyler Colvin also fell victim to Baltimore’s stringent doctors, while Grady Sizemore didn’t have a chance to pass a physical with the club either despite Orioles interest.

Orioles fans all over wondered what the team’s intentions were, as many felt the team could be a serious contender with the core they have in place, but some moves needed to be made to bolster the roster.

On Monday night, the Orioles finally made a big splash in free agency that everyone anxiously awaited. The team announced they agreed to a four-year, $48 MM deal with pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez.

This is a huge move for the Orioles as an organization, as it now shows their fan base that they are willing to spend big money on key free agents.

The O’s have been linked to many of the big name free agents throughout the offseason, only to come up short when it came to signing them.

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MLB Futures (Regular Season Prop Specials): Gambling 101

Get set for another season of throwing some cash around when it comes to baseball.  MLB Reports will have you ready with what we are looking at as well.

Get set for another season of throwing some cash around when it comes to baseball. MLB Reports will have you ready with what we are looking at as well.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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We all love to see if we can be a good gambler right?

Of course some of it is just bragging rights with our buddies, and of course no one is allowed to gamble in the USA, unless you are living in a state that allows it either.

So, whether you want to just play for winning amongst friends, or actually want to risk some sheckels, here are some fun specials to wager on in 2014 Read the rest of this entry

Top 5 HR Hitters In The MLB For 2014

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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

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

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

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

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

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

30 MLB Team Power Rankings FEB 2014

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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Not withstanding the last few signings in the MLB, noteworthy is Bronson Arroyo to the Diamondbacks, and Paul Maholm to the Los Angeles Dodgers, these will not effect the grand scheme for the rankings of all clubs.

Nelson Cruz is still available, and I would be very surprised if he doesn’t ink a deal with the Mariners.  This would put them slightly ahead of the Angels if done, as oppose to a dead heat right now.

There are no real surprises to be had here.

The Orioles, Blue Jays and Pirates have had the worst offseasons, while the Rangers, Royals, Rays, Giants, Yankees, Cardinals and Dodgers have helped out their causes for the upcoming campaign.

30 MLB Team Power Rankings MAR 2014

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Baltimore Orioles Payroll In 2014 + Contracts Going Forward Part 1

The Orioles are dreaming if they think they can remain dormant in Free Agent Signing's - and going into 2014 with the same club they resembled at the end of the 2013 year.  Small transactions are just not going to cut it.  Spending a projected $80 MIL - without superior pitching is not a good game plan to contend the AL East

The Orioles are dreaming if they think they can remain dormant in Free Agent Signing’s – and going into 2014 with the same club they resembled at the end of the 2013 year. Small transactions are just not going to cut it. Spending a projected $80 MIL – without superior pitching is not a good game plan to contend the AL East.

By Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner): & Jeff Kleiner (Org. Depth Chart/Payroll Expert)

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The Baltimore Orioles have not had a banner offseason, and their reluctance to up the ante in payroll might become the biggest reason why the team goes backwards in progression for 2014.

The franchise has Chris Davis in his 2nd year of Arbitration – and will enter the 8 figure salary ranger for the 2014 campaign.  MLB Trade Rumors has listed him as possibly making $10 MIL based on their grid.

The organization is also likely to spend (on Arbitration or come to terms) $20 MIL on the players Matt Wieters, Bud Norris, Tommy Hunter, Nolan Reimold, Brian Matusz, Troy Patton and Steve Pearce.

Matt Wieters Highlights 2013

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Top 5 Home Run Leaders in 2013

Chris Davis was awarded a 1 YR/$3.3 MIL contract in Arbitration for 2013, but based on his AL and MLB leading 53 HRs and 139 RBI. exactly what stratosphere of money will he enter based on those totals?  The Baltimore franchise must consider 2014 to be their best chance for a deep playoff run.  After this year, Davis will be making megabucks in 2014 and 2015 even in Arbitration - before hitting the Free Agency Market in 2016.

Chris Davis was awarded a 1 YR/$3.3 MIL contract in Arbitration for 2013, but based on his AL and MLB leading 53 HRs and 139 RBI. exactly what stratosphere of money will he enter based on those totals? The Baltimore franchise must consider 2014 to be their best chance for a deep playoff run. After this year, Davis will be making megabucks in 2014 and 2015 even in Arbitration – before hitting the Free Agency Market in 2016.  Can he duplicate his feats in 2013?  We will find out in about 9 and a half months.  I think with his swing, and playing in the AL East, he will have a chance to finish in the top 5 in HRs again in 2014 – if not take the crown again.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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It is time to start preparing for upcoming fantasy leagues.  While I don’t participate in them anymore, I will do some top 5 and top ten list in order to aid you in your quest.

I will stick with the main categories.  Over the next few weeks this site will be tackling Saves Leaders, Holds, Stolen Bases, Wins, and we may sprinkle in a few others.

In addition, Active Lists for top players in offensive and defensive stats are to be presented.  This is done so we can see who is close to making the mark historically.

Well, I guess we don’t have to worry about Alex Rodriguez breaking anymore historical records in 2014, so hallelujah!

Chicks Dig The Long Ball

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Baltimore Orioles State Of The Union Part 1: What Will the O’s Hitters Look Like In 2014?

Baltimore Orioles

Even though they fell short of the playoffs this year, I don’t think the Orioles need to change much as they move forward and begin to focus on next season. With very few Free Agents at the end of this year, the 2014 line-up is likely to be very similar to last years.

By Dan Wanser (MLB Reports Writer)   

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Despite not making the playoffs at 85 – 77, the Baltimore Orioles had a very successful season that they just couldn’t finish off.

With leaders in the line-up like First Baseman Chris Davis and Manny Machado at the Hot Corner, the O’s are poised to be playoff contenders from the very start of next season.

Although there aren’t too many holes to fill, there are some things that need fixing so here’s what I think the Orioles will look like next year.

Chris Davis 2013 Highlights of all HRs – Mature Lyrics So Parental Guidance is A Must

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The Phillies State Of The Union: Hitters Edition + They Should Give A Full Chance To Darin Ruf In 2014

The Phillies are to the NL what the Yankees are to the AL, and old and expensive team.  They had their 1st losing campaign in over a decade, and are without a 3rd Baseman, Catcher and possibly an OF to fill the holes.  That is if they end up resigning Doc Halladay.  But 2013 wasn't an entire loss.  Performances by Domonic Brown and Darin Ruf have to give the management some hope.  Playing guys under team control, low payroll deals will enable the franchise the flexibility to pursue high end talent in Free Agency.  Today, I explain how the Phightins' can do this.

The Phillies are to the NL what the Yankees are to the AL, and old and expensive team. They had their 1st losing campaign in over a decade, and are without a 3rd Baseman, Catcher and possibly an OF to fill the holes. That is if they end up resigning Doc Halladay. But 2013 wasn’t an entire loss. Performances by Domonic Brown and Darin Ruf have to give the management some hope. Playing guys under team control, low payroll deals will enable the franchise the flexibility to pursue high end talent in Free Agency. Today, I explain how the Phightins’ can do this.  How will the team fare under 2nd year skipper Ryne Sandberg – after a 20 – 22 finish?

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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2014 was a tough year on the Phillies.  For one, the fact that the MLB Reports is having an Awareness Day for them today, based on them having the 7th worst record (73 – 89) in the Majors during 2013 is mind – boggling.

We are talking about a team that had 5 Division Titles in a row (2007 – 2011), a huge payroll, and a bountiful nest of ALL – Stars to hit in the lineup, and in the Starting Rotation.

Much like the Yankees though, their core is all hitting their waning years.  Chase Utley, Ryan Howard and Jimmy Rollins are having a tough time staying on the field to be productive.

2013 was always going to be about the team resurrecting its status as an NL Elite, instead they saw Roy Halladay blow up before their eyes, Cole Hamels struggle, and nobody was there to save them.

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

Darin Ruf’s Towering Shot in Aug of 2013

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Odds To Win The 2014 MLB World Series + Around The MLB Horn For Quick Team Wish Lists

The Red Sox may have won the 2013 World Series, but they are not the 2014 favorites.  No team has repeated since the Yankees won 3 straight titles from 1998 - 2000.

The Red Sox may have won the 2013 World Series, but they are not the 2014 favorites. No team has repeated since the Yankees won 3 straight titles from 1998 – 2000.

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

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Now that the Boston Red Sox have won the 2013 World Series, the oddsmakers have already dropped them, plus fellow 2013 Fall Classic Participants (St. Louis) to be tied for the 3rd seed, with the Washington Nationals.

A massive surprise on the list are the Los Angeles Angels, who will have the 6th favorite slot to win the World Series at +1400.

If you are looking for value, you should consider the Reds (Tied for the 8th seed) at +1600.  They are merely a few players, and perhaps a few tweaks from going far in one of these playoffs.

2013 World Series Champion – Red Sox

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“Hard Cheddar” Weekly Segment 2: MLB Heroes And Zeroes For 2013!

Yasiel Puig was signed as an International Free Agent in 2012.   The 22 Year old phenom exploded onto scene in the National League - 3 Slashing .319/.381/.925 - with 19 HRs, 42 RBI and 66 Runs Scored in his 104 Games Played.  He was a big part of the team winning the Division - and he will be a mainstay for years - being signed until 2018.  Puig's electrified the city of Los Angeles, and Dodger Stadium with his all out hustle, flamboyant play, and their flair for the dramatic.  Once fellow teammate Hanley Ramirez joined him, the club went on a historic 42 - 8 run, which hadn't happened in nearly 60 years for a 50 game stretch.

Yasiel Puig was signed as an International Free Agent in 2012. The 22 Year old phenom exploded onto scene in the National League – 3 Slashing .319/.381/.925 – with 19 HRs, 42 RBI and 66 Runs Scored in his 104 Games Played. He was a big part of the team winning the Division – and he will be a mainstay for years – being signed until 2018. Puig’s electrified the city of Los Angeles, and Dodger Stadium with his all out hustle, flamboyant play, and their flair for the dramatic. Once fellow teammate Hanley Ramirez joined him, the club went on a historic 42 – 8 run, which hadn’t happened in nearly 60 years for a 50 game stretch.

By ‘Special Guest Writer’ Steve Cheeseman 

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“Hard Cheddar” – with Steve Cheeseman

2013 Hero’s and Zero’s of MLB

Throughout the 2013 Major League Baseball season, there had been plenty to talk about. Lots of surprise players, as well as surprise teams.

This season in my opinion was as good as any.  However, like any sport, there was also plenty to forget, but not necessarily forgive, as you’ll see.  

Here are my hero’s and zero’s for the 2013 MLB season.

Yasiel Puig Highlights 2013 – Mature Content – Parental Guidance is Advised

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Where Will Brian Wilson End Up?

Brian Wilson has a great comeback bid in the 2013 campaign.  When you add up his Appearances in the regular season - and playoffs, he threw 19.2 IP - in which he entered 24 Games, and only gave up 1 ER in the process.  Good for a cumulative 0.47 ERA.  He also has yet to yield an ER in 17.2 Post Season Career Innings.  Boston, New York Yankees, Detroit Tigers and the Los Angeles Dodgers should be his top suitors this winter.

Brian Wilson has a great comeback bid in the 2013 campaign. When you add up his Appearances in the regular season – and playoffs, he threw 19.2 IP – in which he entered 24 Games, and only gave up 1 ER in the process. Good for a cumulative 0.47 ERA. He also has yet to yield an ER in 17.2 Post Season Career Innings. Boston, New York Yankees, Detroit Tigers and the Los Angeles Dodgers should be his top suitors this winter.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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Perhaps nobody is happier than Brian Wilson, that Tim Lincecum resigned in San Francisco for 2 YRs/$35 MIL.  While I think that is a bit of an overspend, it was what the Free Agency Market is dictating.

Having said this, the Relief Core of Pitchers available on the open market is quite interesting.

It is my contention, that Brian Wilson has the best value out there for clubs.

Forget about ‘lets wear my hat at a 45 degree angle’ Fernando Rodney, who was a world beater in 2012, before he almost cost the Rays a playoff spot in 2013.

Grant Balfour has a good case for a big raise, however he will be 36 years old in a few months.  My guess is Billy Beane will find a way for him to sign a short term deal anyway.

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Its Gut Check Time For The Rangers: Indians + Rays In The AL Wild Card Driver Seats

Baltimore entered last Friday night just 1 game behind the playoff bar.  They were swept in a 4 game series down in Tampa Bay, in a wraparound series, that included a devastating 18 inning loss among the tough defeats.  The club also lost Manny Machado to injury.  The magic number to eliminate the club is just 3.

Baltimore entered last Friday night just 1 game behind the playoff bar. They were swept in a 4 game series down in Tampa Bay, in a wraparound series, that included a devastating 18 inning loss among the tough defeats. The club also lost Manny Machado to injury yesterday. The magic number to eliminate the team is just 3.  The guys end the regular season with 6 straight at Camden Yards.  The only real meaningful resolutions will be if Chris Davis can crack 4 Home Runs, to tie Ken Griffey Jr. (56 HRs) for the most HRs by a LHB in the AL for the last 52 years?

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

2013 WILDCARD Race Breakdown in AL

Team                         W –  L   GBL Games Left Upcoming in Sequence

Tampa Bay Rays       87 – 69     -   ( 3 @ NYY, 3 @ TOR)

Cleveland Indians     86 – 70     –   ( 2 vs CWS, 4 @ MIN)

Texas Rangers           85 – 71    1   (2 vs HOU, 4 vs LAA)

Kansas City Royals  83 -  73   3.0  (2 @ SEA, 4 @ CWS)

New York Yankees   82 – 74   4.0   (3 vs TB, 3 @ HOU)

Baltimore Orioles     81 – 75   5.0  ( 3 vs TOR, 3 vs BOS)

We have had some clarification occur over the last week in the AL Wild Card Race as the Rays and Indians have both won 4 straight in their goal to make the playoffs.

The Yankees went 3 – 3 for the week, including a heart – wrenching loss to the Giants late on Sunday,  It must have pained them even more to see the Rays come back in the late innings versus the Orioles.

Had Baltimore won that game, the Yankees would start the series in New York versus the Rays tonight with a chance to cut their deficit to them by 3 games via a sweep.

The Bronx Bombers then waltz into Houston, where they might win their last 3 games.  However, with Tampa’s come from behind win yesterday, it makes their Magic number versus the Yanks to 3. 

Manny Machado’s Gruesome Injury – Sept.23/2013

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Sully Baseball Daily Podcast – September 14, 2013

Source: Brandon Wade/Getty Images

Source: Brandon Wade/Getty Images

I recorded today’s episode of The Sully Baseball Daily Podcast with a stuffed nose.

Then I stuffed the show with my thoughts on Red Sox/Yankees, the Rays, and Chris Davis.

But most importantly, I think no match up today is as interesting as A’s and Rangers.

Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Kyle Lohse, Willin Rosario and Hisashi Iwakuma all owned baseball on September 13, 2013.

To see the up to date tally of “Who Owns Baseball?,” click HERE.

Subscribe on iTunes HERE.

Sully Baseball Daily Podcast – September 14, 2013

Aug.31 Trade Deadline Maneuvers Part 1

 had his best year in 2011 with the Nationals, where he hit .303, with 31 HRs and 95 RBI during his 515 AB.  The Orioles would love that kind of production to aid their DH core of hitters.  The club however, would simply settle for his Career 3 Slash Line of .284/.338/.816 in parts of 9 seasons and 1827 At-Bats.  Morse makes $6.75 MIL this year, and will be a Free Agent after the campaign is finished.

Mike Morse had his best year in 2011 with the Nationals, where he hit .303, with 31 HRs and 95 RBI during his 515 AB. The Orioles would love that kind of production to aid their DH core of hitters. The club however, would simply settle for his Career 3 Slash Line of .284/.338/.816 in parts of 9 seasons and 1827 At-Bats. Morse makes $6.75 MIL this year, and will be a Free Agent after the campaign is finished.

By Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst and Website Owner)

The Orioles picking up Mike Morse is a good move.  The  guy is familiar with Region, is a nice contrast to Chris Davis – and cost the club a minimal amount to bring over.

I think the big 6 FT 5 players is just the kind of guy the Baltimore team has missed over the year.

The Designated Hitters slot has been abysmal – and if Morse can to the back of his bubblegum card, this move will pan out.

The team’s lineup will now feature  Manny Machado 3B, , Nick Markakis RF, Chris Davis 1B, Adam Jones CF, Matt Wieters C, J.J. Hardy SS, Mike Morse DH, Nate McLouth LF and Brian Roberts 2B.

Morse joins Scott Feldman, Francisco Rodriguez and Bud Norris as late season acquisitions.  All of them have contributed to the franchise.

All of a sudden having a 7 – 9, with a 25 – 30 HR powers in Morse, added with veteran Brian Roberts (if healthy) and Nate McLouth, could add a speed element when the team swings around back to the top of the lineup.

It is good for depth and when consider the team is only 5 games out of the 2nd Wild Card Spot, this is plausible with 3o games left.

Chris Tillman has asserted himself an up and coming #2 Pitcher on the team. I must say, him doing this 2 years in a row, has made a believer out of me now.

The man is 24 – 7 over his last 31 decisions – and has a mid tier 3 ERA – competing in a donnybrook of a Division.  Yesterday’s win over Boston was just another example of how much the 25 year old has bailed the club out of a losing streak.

You know Buck Showalter will have his guys ‘game ready’ for the challenge.

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The Orioles’ Best Time To Strike Is 2013 Or 2014: Especially While The Yankees Are Down!

Chris Davis was awarded a 1 YR/$3.3 MIL contract in Arbitration for 2013, but based on his possible 55+ HRs and 130+ RBI. exactly what stratosphere of money will he enter based on those totals.  The Baltimore franchise must consider 2013 - 2014 to be their best chance for a deep playoff run.  After this year, Davis will be making megabucks in 2014 and 2015 - before hitting the Free Agency Market in 2016

Chris Davis was awarded a 1 YR/$3.3 MIL contract in Arbitration for 2013, but based on his possible 55+ HRs and 130+ RBI. exactly what stratosphere of money will he enter based on those totals? The Baltimore franchise must consider 2013 – 2014 to be their best chance for a deep playoff run. After this year, Davis will be making megabucks in 2014 and 2015 – before hitting the Free Agency Market in 2016.  Hardy and Markakis are signed through the 2014 year, while other salaries only escalate – including Matt Wieters becoming eligible for Arbitration next season.  Whenever you have a team where the nucleus is all around the same age, you have team control on $$ for only a short period of time.

By Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst and Website Owner)

Buck Showalter is no dummy.  There was a reason why he flew off the handle a few weeks ago – when he showed bitterness towards the Yankees receiving salary relief via the Alex Rodriguez suspension.

With a mind like his, he realizes the Yankees had painted themselves into a corner for a few seasons, and one of the biggest reasons why, was the albatross of a contract for #13.

The Yankees are sure to receive the ‘biggest get out of jail free card’ ever – and Buck is eyeballing the fallout. Showalter should be asking management to go for it now.

I have been talking all season (and prior to) about the O’s not having a #1 ace, and it will cost them extensively.

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MLB 30 Team Power Rankings: Week 21

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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2 And A Hook Podcast #13: MLB Reports State Of The Union Address + MLB Fancave Top 7 Finalist Aaron Roberts

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Friday, Aug.16 2013

A      berts ball 1

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

By James Acevedo – Host (Podcast Veteran )

Guests On The Show:

On today’s show, brought to you by www.mlbreports.com 

& yours truly The Bench Warmers Show.

  I start off with the new replay rules that mlb wants to put in starting next season in 2014.

Chuck Booth (16 minute mark and a 40 Minute Segment) calls in on his segment to talk about the HUGE changes that are taking place on the MLB Reports website so make sure you all check that out!!

Also I got to talk to Thomas Aaron Roberts (1 hour in and 50 minutes) )

Roberts was one of the last 7 MLB Fancave Dwellers & was our first LA Dodgers correspondent back in the infancy of MLB Reports!!

We talked about his experience in the MLB Fancave, all of the ball players he met & advice on being a MLB Fancave Dweller for future contestants…

then we get into about his team the Dodgers & if he thinks they have a chance to go to the World Series!!

Plus i get into my future award winning segment & everyone’s favorite Stats & Facts so pull up a chair, download/play this podcast & SPREAD THE WORD!!! Thank you all for your continuous support!!!

Either click the link just below here… or you can go past the show logo or CLICK THE READ TO READ THIS ENTRY – to listen to it on our Player

2 And A Hook Podcast #13

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The Kings of Pop: Who Are The Five Best Home Run Hitters In Each League?

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Wednesday July 24th, 2013 

Crush Davis

The Home Run might be the most exciting aspect of baseball, and this year we have some players who are definitely spoiling us with the shows they have been putting on so far. One of these players is Chris Davis. Davis lead the American League in Home Runs at the All-Star break but he is not the only player who has enjoyed going yard numerous times this season. Who are the best Home Run hitters in the league right now? Here’s my thoughts:

By Dan Wanser (MLB Reports Writer) 

Whether you’re a casual fan who just enjoys watching whatever games on or you’re a diehard who eats, sleeps, and breathes the game we can all agree that everyone loves the longball.

This season, numerous players are entertaining us by showing off their power whenever they can with some mid-game fireworks.

From the big names like Prince Fielder and Miguel Cabrera to the rising stars in Yoenis Cespedes and we definitely have some powerhouse hitters who are fun to watch.

So who are the best Home Run hitters in the game today? Lets rank them:

Chris Davis 2013 Home Runs:

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MLB 30 Team Power Rankings: Week 17

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Sunday July.21/2013

The Cardinals are the big benefactor of an early July swoon by the Pirates.  Will this team make some moves at the deadline - to aid the young Starting Rotation Innings?  Will Chris Carpenter be able to make an impact for the club at some point this campaign?  They sit perched back up upon the MLBR Power Rankings for now.

The Cardinals are the big benefactor of an early July swoon by the Pirates. Will this team make some moves at the deadline – to aid the young Starting Rotation Innings? Will Chris Carpenter be able to make an impact for the club at some point this campaign? They sit perched back up upon the MLBR Power Rankings for now.  The Cards have made 7 out of the last 12 NLCS showdowns – holding a 3 – 4 record in those years – and a 2 – 1 mark in the World Series.

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

The Tampa Bay Rays are making a huge statement.  Even as I write this post, they have a commanding 4 – 1 lead on the Toronto Blue Jays, which would make the 58 – 41, and no worse than 1.5 Games Behind the Boston Red Sox heading into play tomorrow.

The Rays will head to Fenway Park right after this for a four game series – before concluding a 10 game Road Swing at Yankee Stadium.  They could end up in 1st place in the AL East by next week.

With their pitching strength – and new underrated offense, would anyone pick against them for the rest of the season?  I have slotted them 7 positions higher than the previous week.

Chris Carpenter 5 months ago, He is now rehabbing in the Minor Leagues with a chance to come back in 2013 – Amazing!

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MVP Candidates For The First Half: AL + NL

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Monday July 15, 2013

Chris Davis is having a breakout season for the Baltimore Orioles. He has already hit 37 Home Runs  at the ALL - Star Break (Tied 1st ALL - Time for HRs at break with Reggie Jackson in 1969 (A's) is the only person - hekeeping Miguel Cabrera from a second Triple Crown. He has always been a player that swings for the fences but this season he is connecting and sending balls a long way. Will he end up winning the Most Valuable Player Award? We will have to wait and see but here are my predictions.

Chris Davis is having a breakout season for the Baltimore Orioles. He has already hit 37 Home Runs at the ALL – Star Break (Tied 1st ALL – Time for HRs at break with Reggie Jackson in 1969 (A’s) is the only person – that is keeping Miguel Cabrera from a potential second Triple Crown.  Davis has always been a player that swings for the fences but this season he is connecting and sending balls a long way. Will he end up winning the Most Valuable Player Award? We will have to wait and see – but here are my predictions.

Ryan Ritchey (Baseball Writer): 

The American League has three worthy candidates for the Most Valuable Player Award. Chris Davis, Max Scherzer and Miguel Cabrera. It will be a tight race until game 162 is played but here are my predictions are the first half comes to a close…

First I will start with Chris Davis. Does he deserve to win the MVP? Yes, but will he? That is a whole other question. He has the numbers that deserves the MVP.

He has already surpassed his Home Run and RBI totals from last season and has only played in 93 games. It could be the change of scenery, knowing his name will be on the line up card every day, it could be something else. We will never know.

But  there is one thing stopping him. If you took Chris Davis out of the Oriole line-up I still think they win games. They have enough fire power in other guys to survive without him.

If you are going to win the MVP you have to be the best player first for your team, and second in the entire league.

That is why I don’t have Chris Davis as my American League Most Valuable Player. There is one player better than him.

Chris Davis 2013 Highlights:

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

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Saturday July 13th, 2013 

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

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

By Dan Wanser (Baseball Writer): 

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

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

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

2012 MLB Homerun Derby Slow Motion Swings:

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

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Friday, July.12, 2013

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

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

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

By James Acevedo – Host (Podcast Veteran )

Guests On The Show

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

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

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

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

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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