2 And A Hook Podcast Ep #5: What about WAR? + The Good, The Bad + Downright Underachieving Teams in 2013
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People in this Podcast:
Chuck Booth – (`15 Minutes In – 15 Minute Segment) Guest (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner): Follow @chuckbooth3024
By James Acevedo – Host (Podcast Veteran) Follow @yankeeman1973
’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’, Chuck Booth Follow @chuckbooth3024 does his regular segment this time about what’s been going on the MLB Reports website & talking about what to do with the DH position with Adam Dunn, Steve Pearce & Nolan Reimold In the AL.
Plus the Baltimore franchise signing and pitching Freddy Garcia & why the Orioles should have added veteran pitching depth before the season started
Also I talk to Diamondbacks correspondent for MLB Reports & for Rant Sports (www.rantsports.com) Chris Lacey 45 Minutes In (10 Minute Segment) Follow @aecanada12 - as we talk about whats going on with the team.
We also see the return of Yankees correspondent & trade correspondent for MLB Reports Nicholas Rossoletti (1 Hour In – 45 minute Segment) Follow @nross56 as we talk about the importance of the WAR stat, sabermetrics, lack of trading & why buying free agents isn’t working for the Angels, Dodgers & Blue Jays!
I also do my stats & notes segment as usual for you baseball nuts out there so go check out the show & SPREAD THE WORD!!! Thanks for all of your continuous support!!!
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Saturday, March 2nd, 2013
By Sam Evans (Baseball Writer): Follow @RJA206
Group D of the 2013 World Baseball Classic will be the division most closely followed by North Americans. The USA will attempt to do something they have never done; win the WBC championship. However, teams like Mexico and Canada won’t go down easily. The USA, Canada, Mexico, and Italy make up this year’s Group D of the WBC. With games starting as soon as Thursday, here is the final installation in my series of WBC previews.
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Tuesday February 12th, 2013
From the movie Glengarry Glen Ross came one of the most compelling scenes ever – when Alec Baldwin took the stage in an office setting – spewing out some of the greatest and powerful insults over a failing sales crew that included Jack Lemmon and Ed Harris. In the scene, Baldwin himself is a powerful corporate executive that has been sent down to yell at these guys – from the powers to be of the operation. At the beginning point in Alec Baldwin’s lecture, old sales veteran (Lemmon) goes for a cup of coffee. Baldwin yells out “Put the coffee Down! Coffee is for closers!
The same can be said for closers that are not doing the job in nailing down games. Many teams have bullpens that blow games at the most inopportune times. Nothing is as deflating as losing a lead in the late Innings. It is bad for team moral, the players and managers try to not play the blame game, however it is a tough pill to swallow when your team can’t close down baseball leads…. Just like the guys in Glengarry Glen Ross the movie couldn’t. After you view this clip, you can move past it and read on who the best players that nail down victories. The last part of the speech also works: A.B.C.: Always Be Closing. It is Close or hit the bricks! Great movie BTW…
Glengarry Glen Ross – Explicit Language so Parental Guidance is advised (Not for the Weak Of Heart):
Monday December 10th, 2012
Jake Dal Porto (Baseball Writer):
The Braves have been one of the most active teams during the offseason, but outside of the B.J. Upton signing, their additions and subtractions have pretty much flown under the radar. I guess that’s no surprise when the spotlight sits on Zack Greinke, Josh Hamilton, and the Dodgers. But it’s time to analyze what’s brewing in Atlanta.
The big headline here is the loss of Tommy Hanson. The 26-year-old has yet to fully reach his ceiling in the major leagues, after having such lofty expectations placed on him when he first broke into the league in 2009. In 2012, he took a few massive steps back, though, with mediocre numbers across the board.
To be specific, he posted a career-worst 4.48 ERA, yielded a career-high 27 HRs, allowed 9.4 hit per Nine Innings, and walked nearly four batters per Nine Innings. So in other words, he didn’t have much of a clue as to where the ball was headed when it left his hands. Still, he has the potential to be front of the rotation starter with the Angels.
Monday October 8th, 2012
Sam Evans: With the 2012 regular season completed, bullpens will become even more important during the postseason. Closers in particular will be under more pressure than usual during these next few weeks. Before these pitchers make a name for themselves in the postseason, let’s admire what the top closers in baseball did during the 2012 regular season. Some closers helped many fantasy teams, and their real-life teams, by their outstanding performances in the ninth inning. Here is a look at the top ten closers in baseball this past year in terms of saves:
Thursday September 27th, 2012
Bernie Olshansky: Kyle Lohse could be the most underrated pitcher in the National League, if not all of baseball. Granted, he does not have stand-out stuff and is not an eccentric character. He plays for the Cardinals, so he could be overshadowed by true “aces” Adam Wainwright and Chris Carpenter. He blends in with the rest of the league. Over his 12-year career, Lohse has been mediocre, posting a cumulative 4.44 ERA. He started his career on the Minnesota Twins and bounced around between Cincinnati and Philadelphia over a three-year span. He finally settled in St. Louis in 2008 and found his stride (minus 2010).
In St. Louis excluding 2010, Lohse never had an ERA higher than 4.74, and beside this year, his lowest ERA was 3.39—last year. He has been reliable for the Cardinals, and has carried a good percentage of the workload. 2010 was a rough patch for Lohse—he only threw 92 innings and posted a 6.55 ERA. Last year was his best—leading up to this year—when he posted a 3.39 ERA over 188.1 innings of work. This year has been the best of his career by far. Up to now, Lohse has pitched over 200 innings—for just the third time in his career. His ERA sits at 2.77—the best of his career, and he has gone 16-3—his best record. He still will have a start or two left this season, so it will be interesting to see how he will build on these strong numbers. While everyone is talking Kris Medlen these days, plus Cain, Gio and Dickey, Lohse seems to have been lost in the shuffle. Read the rest of this entry
Wednesday September 19th, 2012
Jake Dal Porto: Ever heard of a pitcher named Kris Medlen? By now, you should have at least come across the name. The Nationals were the most recent victims of Medlen’s dominance, as the unknown starter fanned 13 Nats hitters.
The Braves loss of ace Brandon Beachy was a void that supposedly couldn’t be filled. Medlen has seemingly done the impossible since being thrown into the starting rotation. But, with success comes higher expectations. And yes, going 7-0 with a 0.86 ERA is certainly a successful stint. Meaning, Medlen is the Braves X-factor for late season success, and barring a collapse, aka 2011, he is their X-Factor for a successful postseason run.
Tuesday September 18, 2012
Peter Stein: Follow @peterwstein
The following stat is the most telling about the roles of closers from a fantasy baseball perspective: 47 players have recorded 5 or more saves and a total of 61 have record 3 or more in 2012. The dispersion of saves throughout baseball reaffirm the old fantasy adage to never overpay for saves, demonstrating just how volatile the closing position is… and the difficulty of predicting saves.
A look at the top-five save leaders tells us even more:
Fernando Rodney (0.66 ERA, 0.78 WHIP 43 saves)
Jim Johnson (2.82 ERA, 1.04 WHIP, 43 saves)
Rafael Soriano (2.07 ERA, 1.11 WHIP, 40 saves)
Chris Perez (3.48 ERA, 1.06 WHIP, 36 saves)
Thursday September 13th, 2012
Bernie Olshansky: Aroldis Chapman has had an unbelievable season for a closer. He has gone 5-5 with a miniscule 1.60 ERA and 119 strikeouts. And, he has only pitched 67.2 innings. His strikeouts-per-nine-innings is 15.8. That would mean that if he were to start, he would strike out more than half the batters he would face if he went the distance. Chapman has established himself as a dominant pitcher, and with Mariano Rivera on his way out, is “the Cuban Missile” the best closer in baseball?
When the Reds signed Aroldis Chapman, they had intentions to make him a starter. Many thought he would be very successful with the plus fastball that he already had, along with other, developing pitches. Chapman spent his first two years towards the back of the bullpen, but not as a closer. He was a bit wild and had not completely gotten control of his ridiculous 103 mph fastball. Even with some of these flaws, Chapman showed major closer potential. He had no problem striking batters out, he had an out pitch, and he had a decent ERA. His only major issue was walks. In his second season—his first full—Chapman walked 41 in 50 innings. If he would make it as a closer, he would have to gain control and make adjustments.
Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer): Follow @chuckbooth3024 To say that this year has been a good year for baseball is an humongous understatement. I thought after last years finish, that nothing was going to duplicate the experience. Everyone forgets (or maybe not) that there should not even have been many races last year with Atlanta and Boston having such substantial leads on playoff spots. The Red Sox and Braves collapsed like a couple of bowling pins with King Kong Bundy splashing down on them!
This year, there are 15 teams still vying for 10 playoff spots. So far the only probable locks are Washington for a playoff spot-and Cincinnati to probably win their division The player races for all of the categories is almost as fascinating. Will Andrew McCutcheon catch Melky Cabrera for the Batting title? Or will 2012 be forever cemented in baseball folklore by a stained player like Cabrera? He could still end up determining who wins the World Series in the Fall Classic by his Testosterone filled antics in his MVP ALL-Star Game. The big question is, will the San Francisco Giants fans cheer for him if he comes back in the playoffs? They cheered for another league leader before when it was obvious he was guilty. Right now if you are the Giants, you will take an opportunity to boo or cheer for Cabrera because that means you would be in the playoffs.
Will the spending happy Dodgers have to wait another year to capitalize on their new plan to make the playoffs? If they ultimately miss the playoffs outright, are they going to buy every player they can in the off-season? I sure hope Magic knows that there are Luxury Tax penalties for spending over 178 Million Next Year. 1st year fine is 22.5%, 2nd year is 30%, 3rd year and beyond is 40%. So if they plan on having a 250 Million Dollar Payroll in 2013 (by adding 2 or 3 more top Free Agents) will the Dodgers just forego the worry of any financial penalties on a yearly basis– just to dominate the whole National League (plus baseball for that matter.) Every other team has to consider the urgency in cashing out a World Series right now while the Dodgers have not had a full off season with the new management yet. Can Oakland and their ‘New Money Ball philosophy’ make it to the playoffs for the first time since 2006?
The Best Players over the last month were: Buster Posey, Prince Fielder, Giancarlo Stanton, Adrian Beltre, Josh Hamilton, Yovani Gallardo, Kris Medlen, Adam Wainwright, Aroldis Chapman and Felix Hernandez. The best teams have been Oakland, Washington, San Francisco, San Diego, Baltimore and Texas. The worst teams have been Houston (at least its better to go down hard and stockpile #1 Draft Picks guys.) I have a feeling you will be there for a while with the division you are heading into and may even challenge the 120 Loss Single Season Record. At least you are not going into the NL West to compete with the LA Dodgers! The Cleveland Indians have fallen to an epic drop-off as well. Toronto misses their top sluggers. What has happened to the Minnesota Twins? The Mets have ownership and payroll problems, so at least they have an excuse. Plus they lead the world in guys being hurt. When David Wright has been your healthiest player, you know the season has been backwards! So sit back, get your notebook and popcorn ready for this Month’s Rankings! Read the rest of this entry
Sunday July 8, 2012
Bryan Sheehan (MLB Writer): The All-Star Break is now upon us, so now is a good time to start looking at stats for the first half of the season. One of the most important statistics in the game of baseball is the “save,” and the mammoth contracts that relievers are signed to every year in free agency are proof that teams are hungry for a strong closer capable of providing saves. In fact, a third of the league’s closers are making at least $4.5 million in 2012, while eight are raking it at least $7 million. This does not include the huge salaries of Ryan Madson ($8.5 million), Mariano Rivera ($15 million), Brian Wilson ($8.5 million) or any other that may have been injured or otherwise removed from their role as closer. But salary does not always equal success: six of the top eleven saves leaders are earning less than $2.75 million (keep in mind that the MLB average is just about $3 million). This top eleven, all of whom have recorded 19 saves or more, is not as predictable as you might think: Heath Bell of the Marlins serves as a surprise member of the list while his NL East counterpart Jonathan Papelbon, while more consistent in terms of ERA and opportunities converted, falls just shy. So who else is on the list? You’ll have to read on to find out. Read the rest of this entry
Sunday May 6, 2012
Bryan Sheehan (Baseball Writer): Seeing Mariano Rivera go down with a torn ACL is like driving by a car accident and reflecting on how easily it could have been you in that accident, or in this case- how it could have been your team’s closer cringing in pain on the warning track. And this is the year of the injured closer: from Boston’s Andrew Bailey to San Francisco’s Brian Wilson, closers across the league have been dropping like flies. Other closers, like the Angels’ Jordan Walden, have stayed healthy but haven’t played well enough to keep their coveted ninth inning role. Even though there has only been a month of baseball so far, much has changed for some clubs.
Today, I’ll be taking a look at every team’s closer situation, and breaking down how it got to be the way it is: Read the rest of this entry
Wednesday April 18, 2012
Chuck Booth- (Lead Baseball Writer and @chuckbooth3024 on twitter)- Today’s expert is Kurt Smith. Kurt will be the interview subject of the following parks: Citizens Bank Ball Park Tropicana Field and today’s featured expert Article of Turner Field. Kurt is highly respected in the ball park chaser community for his BallparkEGuides. After you are done reading this article I implore you trust in Kurt to deliver up tips and suggestive idea’s on how to make your stadium visits affordable and pleasurable. I had a chance to ask some questions of the man recently.
CB: “Welcome to the MLB Reports Experts Interview Kurt. Please tell us about yourself and then give us a bit of background information on your life as a Braves Fan?”
KS: “I’ve been to Turner Field for a few games and a tour, in researching for the Turner Field E-Guide that is available at my website. I wouldn’t call myself a Braves fan necessarily, but there are a lot of things I like about the team. They have a history of great players like Hank Aaron, Eddie Mathews, and Dale Murphy, and I loved watching Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine pitch in their prime. Turner Field is a fine ballpark too; they did a nice job tearing it up after the Olympics and on a nice day it’s as good a place as any to see a game. Braves games are very affordable too; the team gives a lot of value even though they are putting a pretty good product on the field. So in a pinch, I could certainly pull for the Braves.
Wednesday February 29th, 2012
Peter Stein (Fantasy Baseball Analyst – MLB reports): The National League East is filled with many big name fantasy players, particularly the Philadelphia Phillies with their starting rotation and hitters like Howard, Utley, Rollins, Victorino, and Pence. However, this division is intriguing, because teams like the Braves have a plethora of up-and-coming players. Furthermore, scattered throughout the rest of the division are players who have potential to provide sneaky good value. Read the rest of this entry