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Jeter Passes Yaz, Maybe Ties Wagner for 7th On ALL Time Hits List?: Plus #2’s Historical #’s

derek jeter

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

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Derek Jeter had 3 base hits in last night’s 4 – 2 loss to the Texas Rangers.  In doing so, the man now has 3420 hits for his career.

Carl Yastrzemski had 3419 to hold onto the 8th spot previously, but Jeter’s 3420th hit seems to be confusing when you look at the websites of both http://www.mlb.com and http://www.baseballreference.com

BBREF has Honus Wagner listed at 3420, which would have El Capitan tying that mark for 7th last night, while MLB has Wagner listed at 3430 Career Hits.

All will be a moot point when Jeter passes the 3431 hits plateau in a few weeks, and shortly after that he should nestle into the 6th slot for good, when he passes Cap Anson. (3435)

For those that still don’t give Derek Jeter the respect he deserves, the man also is the Career Hits leader ever for an Infielder.

Of his 3420 base knocks. 3337 have come as a SS and 81 at the DH position, which is ahead of Wagner, Anson, and Eddie Collins.

The other 2 hits come via pinch hitting.

Wagner and Anson both saw some time in the Outfield during their time. Read the rest of this entry

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Passing The Torch From Greatest MLB Player To Player During The Years 1979 – 2013: From Brett To Cabrera

Cabrera has had back to back AL MVP seasons in 2012 and 2013.  He has also won 3 straight AL Batting Titles.  Cabrera is the best player offensively in the universe.  He has put up 10 straight 100+ RBI campaigns, but he has racked in 276 RBI, and also 88 HRs.  The 11 Year Veterans totals would have even been higher in 2013, but he fought a torn groin for the last half of the year.

Cabrera has had back to back AL MVP seasons in 2012 and 2013. He has also won 3 straight AL Batting Titles. Cabrera is the best player offensively in the universe. He has put up 10 straight 100+ RBI campaigns, but he has racked in 276 RBI, and also 88 HRs – while featuring an OPS well north of 1.000. The 11 Year Veterans totals would have even been higher in 2013, but he fought a torn groin for the last half of the year.  The 8 time ALL – Star and 5 time Silver Slugger Award Winner has improved even greater on his totals over the last decade.  Cabrera has a Career 3 Slash Line of .321/.399/.967 – with 365 HRs and 1260 RBI in just 1660 Games Played.

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

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While watching Miguel Cabrera this year, I started thinking about the best players in the MLB over the last 33 years.  I am talking the best player of the game at any point of time. 

I tracked back to 1979 for this article.  I may expand further back in follow-up articles.  I didn’t rank defense as  highly as offense when I came up with the players. 

I agonized over players like Mike SchmidtJim Rice, Wade Boggs and Cal Ripken for some of the years given in specific time frames.  These gentlemen were given every consideration. 

In the end, we are talking about the best player in the game though and it is always subject to debate and personal opinion. 

The criteria had to involve leading the league in several different offensive and/or defensive categories, followed by routinely being in the top 7 in MVP balloting (if not taking home the honor), All-Star Appearances for every year I listed them for and most of them won silver sluggers and/or Gold Gloves as well.

Cabrera’s 3 HR Game – 2013

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The Best Teams In The MLB From 1980 – 2013: The Biggest Question Is, Who Owns 2004 – 2013, BOS or STL?

The Boston Red Sox started out the season 21 - 8 after their 1st 29 games in 2013.  They rolled it all the way to their 3rd WS Title in a decade - but are they the best team in the MLB during this stretch

The Boston Red Sox started out the season 21 – 8 after their 1st 29 games in 2013. They rolled it all the way to their 3rd WS Title in a decade – but are they the best team in the MLB during this stretch from 2004 – now?

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

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There is only so much one can read in an article, otherwise I would make these lists up from the turn of the 20th century. 

If you gave me enough time as a reader, I promise to backdate this topic with another article featuring the best teams dating back further in years. 

Eventually, all of the years may be dissected and we can have a healthy debate on some of my selections.  I really started watching baseball in the early 1980’s. 

As I became older and discovered ways to research the history of the game, my knowledge and curious mind grew for more information. 

I have studied and read baseball stat books and breezed through the odd Bill James novel. 

If I ever take a break from writing or baseball park chasing, I may find some time down the road to watch the 9 part PBS documentary that Ken Burns did on baseball’s history.

2013 Boston Dream Season – Mature Lyrics – Parental Guidance is Advised

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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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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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2 And A Hook Podcast #7: Ranking The 30 Ball Parks In The MLB + Giants And Red Sox Correspondent Interviews

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Friday, June.07/2013

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 News and Stats – 1st minute to 7 minute mark, 26 Minute Mark to 36 Minute Mark, and 1 Hour 4 Minute Mark to 1 Hour Minute 8.) 

People in this Podcast:

Jonathan Schifferle (MLB Reports Giants Correspondent – 7 Minutes in and a 18 Minute Segment)

Ryan Dana (MLB Reports Boston Red Sox Correspondent – 36 Minute Mark and a 27 Minute Segment) 

Chuck Booth (MLB Reports Owner and Lead Baseball Analyst – 1 Hour and 10 Minutes In and a 43 Minute Segment) 

On today’s show, brought to you by MLB Reports (www.mlbreports.com) & yours truly The Bench Warmers, I get into the Alex Rodriguez/Anthony Bosch soap opera very briefly.

I  then interviewed our (MLB Reports) Giants correspondent Jonathan Schifferle to talk about the giants team,”The Peapods” in the stands for Buster Posey, Pablo Sandoval, Angel Pagan and Hunter Pence also known as “The Killer Peas”. Read the rest of this entry

2 And A Hook Podcast Episode #6: Fantasy, Phillies And Rangers Expert Interviews + Notes

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Friday, May.31/2013

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) 

People in this Podcast:

On today’s show, brought to you by MLB Reports (www.mlbreports.com) & The Bench Warmers Show (thebenchwarmers.podomatic.com), I started by paying respects to a follower of mine on twitter (the great late Kiley)   who passed away last week…not only she was a great Yankee fan who loved Derek Jeter – but also was the most sweetest giving person ever, R.I.P….

I start to talk about the Subway Series then I interviewed my first guest Derek Jackson (10 Minute Mark  – 20 Minute Segment.   who is a fantasy expert for MLB Reports! We talked about which callups to watch midway through the season,a look at the rookie crop of players & second year players…check out his latest fantasy article here Read the rest of this entry

The Most Underrated Statistic: Extra Base Hits (XBH)

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Saturday, February.02/2013

Alex  Rodriguez is the Active Leader for XBH with 1190, however who knows when he will have a chance to resume his career again and is still owed 114 Million Dollars over the next 5 years

Alex Rodriguez is the Active Leader for XBH with 1190, however who knows when he will have a chance to resume his career again with injuries + allegations of PED use perhaps sparking an investigation/suspension for the MLB and is still owed 114 Million Dollars over the next 5 years.

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

I have nothing against sabermetrics in baseball.  Yes I know they are not going away and I will probably learn them one day as someone who can comprehend Math pretty good.  However, I understand the frustration of the casual fan who will not set a foot near them – although they know what Home Runs and Runs Batted In are.  I have thrown the topic out for discussion on Twitter – and am extremely curious to see what percentage of fans actually follow the new numbers formats.  This site totally allows our writers to convey any form of statistical analysis they want.  The only thing that I request, is that if  they use sabermetrics, to also add some regular stats with them.

One of the stats that can gauge any era since the beginning of baseball is Extra Base Hits.  Before the fences were brought in (or even put up), Doubles and Triples could be hit at any time.  Singles are great in the game too.  There have been several great baseball players that are singles hitters, that also compiled a bunch of Doubles and Triples.  That is why this statistic is fairest to all of the hitters in the history of the game and the most comparable.  Like the old saying, (hit’em where they ain’t), players that can hit the baseball into the open areas of the outfield are special.  Babe Ruth re-coined the phrase later when he said “Well they ain’t over the fence, so that’s where I hit them!”  The Bambino was right.  In the course of this article, we will list the top active list for this category – and some underrated hitters that may stack up nicely against historical hitters.

(Pete Rose Highlights):

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The Angels May Take The Torch As The Best All Around 1-4 Lineup In The MLB

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Saturday, January.19,  2013

Trout had 49 SB, 129 Runs 30 HRs and 83 RBI in just 138 Games. Might he improve on these numbers with a full year and the addition of Josh Hamilton to the cleanup spot in 2013?

Trout had 49 SB, 129 Runs 30 HRs and 83 RBI in just 138 Games. Might he improve on these numbers with a full year and the addition of Josh Hamilton to the cleanup spot in 2013?

Josh Jones (Angels Correspondent):

The 2013 Los Angeles of Anaheim have the opportunity to post one of the most fearsome foursome’s in Major League Baseball history.  The lineup posts three MVP-caliber talents. American League Rookie of the Year Mike Trout leading off with Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton hitting third or fourth respectively makes Angel fans ecstatic to watch this year’s club. Either Howie Kendrick or Erick Aybar will flank Trout and Pujols, hoping to take pitches and take walks in order to allow Trout to run and Pujols to have a bounty of runners on. The 1-4 hitters have the potential to be one of the greatest lineup toppers that the game has seen.  Let’s compare them to some of the best 1-4 lineups in the last few decades:

Josh Hamilton signs autographs right after his Angels Press Conference:

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Part 1 of a Series: All-Time All-Star Teams By Regionality

 

Friday November 23th, 2012

Note from Alex Mednick:  I am going to be putting together a small project that accumulates all the best players of all time, and puts them together on teams according to their birthplace.  For example, in this first edition I will be breaking down players from the United States of America into teams from the 1) Northeast, 2) Southeast, 3) Midwest, and 4) Southwest…(sorry, there really is not enough quality coming out of the northwest to compete with these teams…maybe I will put a Northwestern United States team in a later edition with less competitive teams).  Later on I will bring you teams assembled from the all-time greats out Central and South American (Mexico, Venezuela, Panama, Panama Canal Zone, etc.) and the All-Caribbean Team (Dominican Republic, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Curacao, etc).  Also look forward to teams from Japan, Canada and the EU.  Should be fun to sort of assemble an “Olympics” of Baseball.  I love watching the World Baseball Classic and seeing players fight for their nations pride…but by grouping the teams by region, it might make the teams more competitive.  Of course, this is all for the sake of speculation; Babe Ruth was a great player, but I don’t think he will be taking any at-bat’s soon. (Also, please note that I do not lend consideration to relief pitchers in this analysis). Read the rest of this entry

The Toronto Blue Jays Franchise Hitters: Part 3 Of A 7 Part Article Series

Friday, Nov.16/2012

Note from Chuck Booth:  I am attempting to bring the history for each of the 30 MLB Franchises into a 5 part series that will focus on 1. The teams history.  2. The hitters 3. The pitchers. 4. The Teams Payroll going into 2013 and 5.The Ball Park that they play in. (The stadium articles will all be done next summer when I go to all of the parks in under a month again.)  Be sure to check my author page with a list of all of  my archived articles section here.

 

Tony Fernandez leads the Blue Jays Franchise for Hits and Games Played ALL-Time. At the age of 37, he flirted with a .400 average for half of the season in 1999. In his first go around with Toronto, he was part of the BlockBuster Trade that saw he and Fred McGriff go to San Diego for Joe Carter and Robbie Alomar at the GM’s Meetings in Dec of 1990. -Photo Courtesy of Sports Illustrated.

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer):

I like that this franchise series is right dab smack in the middle of the biggest Franchise trade since Tony Fernandez and Fred McGriff went to San Diego for Roberto Alomar and Joe Carter in 1990.  A Toronto Blue Jays fan can only hope for the same result that came down afterwards to repeat itself in the next few year.  The early days of the Jays hitters (late 1970’s provided some long-term reliable guys,) however it wasn’t until Jesse Barfield won a HR Title and George Bell came home with the 1987 AL MVP, that the rest of the MLB started to take notice on the hitters of this Canadian Team.  As soon as the club moved into SKYDOME, the hitters had a field day.  Not to say that Exhibition Stadium didn’t aid some homeruns and nice averages in its day, it is just that SKYDOME is a hitter friendly park.

From George Bell and the outstanding other 80’s OF trio of Barfield and Lloyd “The Shaker” Moseby, to Tony Fernandez and Ernie Whitt, these guys all played a huge chunk of their careers with this Canadian Club.  Fred McGriff routinely hit towering shots off of the Windows Restaurant and led the AL in HRs during the 1989 Pennant Winning Season.  In 1991, when Joe Carter and Roberto Alomar arrived onto the scene, the offense just clicked on all cylinders.  Devon White was gracefully stealing bases and striding into runs with those gigantic high knee kicks of his.  John Olerud walked right out of College and added one of the best ‘natural’ swings that any of us have ever seen.  Veterans Dave Winfield and Paul Molitor bashed their way into Jays hearts with their limited time with the organization en route to back to back World Series Titles in 1992 and 1993.  After the Strike/Lockout, the team then saw Shawn Green and Carlos Delgado routinely destroy pitchers and be amongst the league lead in several power categories.

There is a ton more on this article just past these links or by clicking the READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY ICON. 

Here are the links for the article series.

The Toronto Blue Jays Franchise 1977-1993 Part 1 Of A 7 Part Series Click Here:

Franchise History Part 2 1994-2012: http://mlbreports.com/2012/11/28/jay/

The Hitters:  The Toronto Blue Jays Franchise Hitters: Part 3 Of A 7 Part Article Series: 

The Pitchers:  The Toronto Blue Jays Franchise Pitchers Part 4 Of A 7 Part Series

Skydome:  An Interview with ‘Rogers Centre Expert’ and “MLB reports Founder” Jonathan Hacohen Part 5 of 7

For Part 6 of the 7 Part Series:  Blue Jays 2013 Team Payroll Click here

For Part 7 of the 7 Part Series:  Blue Jays 2013 Team Payroll:  A Readers Thoughts, Click Here: 

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The Toronto Blue Jays Franchise 1977-1993 Part 1 Of A 7 Part Series

Friday, Nov.09/2012

Note from Chuck Booth:  I am attempting to bring the history for each of the 30 MLB Franchises into a 5 part series that will focus on 1. The teams history.  2. The hitters 3. The pitchers. 4. The Teams Payroll going into 2013 and 5.The Ball Park that they play in. (The stadium articles will all be done next summer when I go to all of the parks in under a month again.)  Be sure to check my author page with a list of all of  my archived articles section here.

The Blue Jays have not qualified for the Playoffs since they won Back to Back World Series in 1992 and 1993. Only Pittsburgh, Kansas City and Toronto have not made a playoffs appearance since the 1994 strike. At the time they were around the top of the MLB Payroll for all teams.

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer):

In sifting through 35 years of history with the Toronto Blue Jays as a franchise, it is sad that since 1994, only Pittsburgh, Toronto and Kansas City have not made a playoff appearance in the Major Leagues.  They have been battling the Red Sox and Yankees powerhouse clubs since the 1994 player strike/1995 Lock-out.  This baseball interruption of play was also a  deciding factor on the Montreal Expos losing their franchise, however one could say that this has had a profound effect on the other only team North of The Border.  The Jays were a model franchise all the way through the 80’s.  From 1983-1993, the team carried out 11 straight winning seasons, 5 Pennants and back to back World Series Wins in 1992 and 1993.

Pat Gillick had been with the baseball club from the get go, and after finishing in dead-last for the first 5 years of existence, the Jays rode the backs of several budding stars that were drafted by the man.  From the early pitching stars of Jim Clancy and Dave Stieb, to the young outfield that flourished as a core for years in: Lloyd Moseby, George Bell and Jesse Barfield, the team showed that drafting and trading for young players was the way to build an organization.  It took until 1985 for the teams first Pennant, barely edging the Yankees by 2 games for the AL East.  Playoff disappointment followed from 1985-1991.  The team soon would find the promised land as the top team in 1992 and 1993.

Franchise History Part 2 1994-2012: http://mlbreports.com/2012/11/28/jay/

The Hitters:  The Toronto Blue Jays Franchise Hitters: Part 3 Of A 7 Part Article Series

The Pitchers:  The Toronto Blue Jays Franchise Pitchers Part 4 Of A 7 Part Series

Skydome:  An Interview with ‘Rogers Centre Expert’ and “MLB reports Founder” Jonathan Hacohen

For Part 6 of the 7 Part Series:  Blue Jays 2013 Team Payroll Click here

For Part 7 of the 7 Part Series:  Blue Jays 2013 Team Payroll:  A Readers Thoughts, Click Here: 

Read the rest of this entry

The Best Teams from 1980-2012: Will Texas claim the title this year from 2010-2012?

Wednesday July.11, 2012

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer and @chuckbooth3024 on twitter)-  There is only so much one can read in an article, otherwise I would make these lists up from the turn of the 20th century.  If you gave me enough time as a reader, I promise to backdate this topic with another article featuring the best teams dating back further in years.  Eventually, all of the years may be dissected and we can have a healthy debate on some of my selections.  I really started watching baseball in the early 1980’s.  As I became older and discovered ways to research the history of the game, my knowledge and curious mind grew for more information.  I have studied and read baseball stat books and breezed through the odd Bill James novel.  If I ever take a break from writing or baseball park chasing, I may find some time down the road to watch the 9 part PBS documentary that Ken Burns did on baseball’s history.

Baseball lends itself more to the history than any other sport because of how it has been chronicled throughout their past.  Writers, announcers, former players, parents etc.. have always carried on with the stories of America’s favorite pastime.  I will never be sold that NFL is the greatest pastime in sports right now.  NFL is the greatest gambling sport presently.  It is my firm belief that the only reason why the NFL draws in more cash from its sport is because of the gambling factor.  If you took that aspect out of it, I believe baseball is the #1 sport.  Can you imagine how much attention we would pay to baseball if there were only a 16 game schedule?  Enough with that rant, let’s get down to the list.  Who were the best teams at any specific time period for the last 32 years?  We will start with the Philadelphia Phillies from 1980-1983. Read the rest of this entry

The Montreal Expos Draft And Signing Record Was Outstanding: Part 1-Hitters

Friday June.22/2012

Note from Chuck Booth:  I am attempting to bring the history for each of the 30 MLB Franchises into a 5 part series that will focus on 1. The teams history. 2. The hitters 3. The pitchers. 4.  The Team’s Payroll going into in 2013 and 5. (The stadium articles will all be done next summer when I go to all of the parks in under a month again.)  To follow all of the updates, be sure to check my author page with a list of all archived articles here.

Andre Dawson and Tim Raines were perennial ALL-Stars and always had the Montreal Expos in contention every year they played for the Canadian Club.

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer and @chuckbooth3024 on twitter)-I recently saw a bunch of old Montreal Expos had a celebration dinner to honor the late Gary Carter at Olympic Stadium in Montreal.  This brought me back to when I was a little kid watching the Expos on the French Channel in Canada.  I followed this team before any other in MLB.  I was a catcher in little league because of Gary Carter.  My friends and I all would ask for Montreal Expos hats and jerseys for Christmas.  I would later move on to like the Yankees when Don Mattingly, Dave Winfield and Rickey Henderson joined the club, but I always liked the Expos in the National League as my team.  They were a consistent club from 1979-1995.  They drafted extremely well and were above .500 for pretty much the entire time.  At the end of this article today be sure to watch the documentary from youtube on the Expos Franchise that the Reports has linked for you.

It was unfortunate they had the 2 billion dollar monstrosity of what was Olympic Stadium as their home venue.  It was a mistake from the beginning  to build a baseball park so far away from the downtown core.  The 1994 strike killed the franchises hopes to make their 1st World Series appearance.  The team was leading the NL East with a 74-40 record and featured the outfield of Larry Walker, Marquis Grissom and Moises Alou.  They had traded away their ALL-Star second basemen Delino DeShields prior to that year for some pitcher named Pedro Martinez.  The economics of baseball were starting to catch up on the baseball club.  When the lockout was lifted in 1995, gone were Walker, Grissom and great pitchers Ken Hill and John Wetteland.  It began a constant cycle of Montreal grooming awesome talent, only to trade the players away before they had to pay them big money.  The one constant of the team was an incredible draft record from 1985-2004.  Today is part 1 of a 3 part article series in which we will look at the history of the Montreal Expos.  I have listed 30 hitters drafted by the Expos Scouting Staff that went onto nice baseball careers.  Next week I will look at the pitchers and the third week I will cover the dissection of the proud franchise before the move to Washington. Read the rest of this entry

Passing of the Torch as The Greatest Player in The MLB: From Pujols to Hamilton

Wednesday June.6, 2012

Josh Hamilton is on pace for 64 HRs and 177 RBI in 2012 with a .345 AVG. He has taken over as the best player in MLB from Albert Pujols -Photo Courtesy of http://www.real-fans.com

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer and @chuckbooth3024 on twitter)- While watching Josh Hamilton this year, I started thinking about the best players in the MLB over the last 33 years.  I am talking the best player of the game at any point of time.  I tracked back to 1979 for this article.  I may expand further back in follow up articles.  I did rank defense highly when I came up with the players.  I did agonize over Mike Schmidt,  Jim Rice, Wade Boggs and Cal Ripken for some of the years given in specific time frames.  These gentlemen were given every consideration.  In the end, we are talking about the best player in the game though and it is always subject to debate and personal opinion.  The criteria had to involve leading the league in several different offensive and/or defensive categories, followed by routinely being in the top 7 in MVP balloting(if not taking home the honor), All-Star Appearances for every year I listed them for and most of them won silver sluggers and/or Gold Gloves as well.

George Brett won batting titles in 3 different decades and flirted with .400 in 1980 while hitting .390 for the year. -Photo courtesy of lanius.wordpress.com

George Brett 1979-1983-George Brett was the best hitter in the game from 1979-1983.  He hit for a .320 average and slugged his way to having the Royals as perennial contenders.  He led the league in triples (20) and hits in 1979.  In 1980, he hit .390 with a .454 OBP, 664 SLG and a 1.118 OBP which led the league.  In 1983, Brett led the league in slugging an OPS once again.  Brett won the MVP in 1980 and was the runner-up in 1979.  In 1985, George Brett would lead the Royals to a World Series.  He later won a batting title at age 37 with a .329 average.  This was the toughest time frame to judge from 1979-1983.  Mike Schmidt was an incredible force at third base with huge power and Jim Rice also put up mammoth numbers, but in the end I chose  George Brett because he was more consistent out of 3. Read the rest of this entry

Royce Dickerson Interview: My Rise to Associate Producer of Baseball Tonight on ESPN

Saturday December 31, 2011

MLB reports – Jonathan Hacohen:  For our final feature of 2011, we have the privilege of interviewing the person behind one of our favorite baseball programs.  Royce Dickerson was very kind to join us to chat a little baseball today.  As Associate Producer of Baseball Tonight, Royce is very busy at ESPN in putting together the content and production of the hit baseball show.  In broadcasting terms, Royce has hit the jackpot.  After learning about Royce, I wondered how a former Mariners draft pick rose to the ranks of ESPN programming.  My gut told me that this was an important baseball story that must be shared with our readers. Get to know Royce as you read his baseball tale: from the MLB draft, university, Indy ball and all the way up the ranks to ESPN. Royce has a success story that many people work towards. Baseball dreams do come true- Royce Dickerson is living proof of that.  Have you ever wondered how baseball highlights and programming gets to your television set? We introduce you today to one of the key players behind the scenes who makes that happen. It may not always be glamorous and the career definitely translates to countless hours and immense hard work.  But at the end day, there is nothing else on this earth that Royce Dickerson would rather be doing for a living.

Featured on MLB reports, I proudly present my interview with Royce Dickerson, Associate Producer of Baseball Tonight on ESPN:

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________

MLB reports:  Welcome to MLB reports Royce.  First question:  You were drafted by the Mariners in 2002 out of high school.  What was the first thought that went through your mind when you got the call?

Royce Dickerson:  I was 18 when I got drafted and I remember I was driving around town running errands because I had a summer league game that night and wanted to get some stuff done. I didn’t actually believe it when I got the call cause I was still coming off an ACL, MCL tear and I wasn’t completely healthy yet. When I tore my knee up I thought that there was no way that I would be drafted. Once that call came it took a few minutes to sink in and I was elated. I immediately called my dad and mom and told them and they were just as excited as I was. It was something that I will always remember as one of the best accomplishments in my life.

 

MLB reports:  You ended up choosing to go to school over playing professional baseball.  Was it a difficult decision?  Looking back, would you have made the same choice?

Royce Dickerson:  It wasn’t too hard of a decision at the time. I was drafted in the 27th round and there wasn’t a lot of money in that late of a round and I wasn’t completely healthy. I thought at the time it was in my best interest to go to school and try to improve my draft stock in college and hopefully become a higher round pick after my junior year. Looking back it was the right choice. I didn’t want to go into pro ball not 100% on a knee that wasn’t completely healed yet. I would have been at a dis-advantage right away with the limitations of my knee, even though I had played a full high school season and started playing summer ball.

 

MLB reports:  How did you enjoy Western Michigan University?  What did you study?

Royce Dickerson:  I loved Western Michigan. Its home to me and I had known then Head Coach Fred Decker for a very long time so it was a very easy decision for me to sign with Western. My dad played football at WMU in the 70’s and my mother went there as well. Being a second generation athlete at Western was awesome, its something that my dad and I will have with us for our entire lives. I was born to be a Bronco and I loved every minute of it. While in school I studied Journalism. I went into school knowing that I wanted to do something in that field of work.

 

MLB reports:  When you completed university, tell us about your experience playing indy ball.

Royce Dickerson:  Indy ball was great, it was a chance to play baseball and get paid to do it. Being in a small town and playing in front of 5,000 fans every night was amazing. We were treated like celebs in Traverse City and the organization took great care of us. I know a lot of players complain about the long bus rides and low pay but at the same time it was a chance to play professional baseball and a chance to meet and see a lot of new things. I wish I could’ve done it longer but there came a time where I realized that I had to start my other life and the dream of playing in the big leagues had to stop.

 

MLB reports:  Was it always your plan to play professional baseball growing up- or did you have a different plan for life?

Royce Dickerson:  It was baseball from the beginning for me. I was in love with the game from day one. There was a time when I thought that I was a football player and then sometime around 8th or 9th grade I realized that I was really good at baseball and I shifted a lot of my focus to baseball while playing basketball and football.

 

MLB reports:  How did you get your start in broadcasting?

Royce Dickerson:  I got my start in high school actually. I took a Broadcast Journalism class in high school and that pretty much settled it when I took that class. From then on I got an internship at WWMT News Channel 3 in the sports department and learned about producing Sports TV from the Sports Director at the station, Ed Kengerski. He taught me so much and to this day I still credit him for giving me the producing gene.

 

MLB reports:  What brought you to ESPN?  That is the big leagues of televised sports!

Royce Dickerson:  Shortly after I retired from indy ball I was looking for jobs at ESPN and other sports media outlets. After not  being able to find a job anywhere my dad called a college friend of his who works at ESPN and he got my resume on the right persons desk. Three weeks after that I interviewed at ESPN and a month after the interview I started my career at ESPN.

 

MLB reports:  How long have you been at ESPN and how has your role developed since you started?

Royce Dickerson:  I have been at ESPN for 3 ½ years now. I started out as a Production Assistant cutting high-lights for SportsCenter, Baseball Tonight and other shows for the network. I also performed other tasks such as overseeing the non High-Light related video for SportsCenter and ESPNews. After about a year at ESPN, I was lucky enough to be staffed on Baseball Tonight at the start of the 2009 season as a Production Assistant on the show. I worked on the show everyday for the entire season cutting Analysis tapes for the Analysts, Web Gems as well as producing the Graphics for the show. Early in 2011 I was promoted to Associate Producer and the role changed quite a bit. With the new title I was now responsible for Producing Television content for the show. I produce the Baseball Tonight Extra that airs within SportsCenter during the baseball season, Baseball Tonight segments that air within the morning SportsCenter that looks back on the previous day or look forward to the upcoming night of baseball, as well as all highlight segments that air on ESPN.com. At the end of the year I was provided the opportunity to produce an entire Baseball Tonight on my own with the oversight of our Coordinating Producer. In the 3 ½ years that I have been here, my role has completely changed and will continue to change moving into 2012.

 

MLB reports:  Biggest names that you have worked with in the baseball world?  

Royce Dickerson:  I am lucky enough to work with some great people at ESPN. I have worked with former players such as Hall of Famer Dave Winfield, future Hall of Famer Barry Larkin, Bobby Valentine, John Kruk, Curt Schilling, Rick Sutcliffe, Orel Hershiser, Aaron Boone, Chris Singleton and recently I produced Terry Francona at the 2011 Baseball Winter Meetings.

 

MLB reports:  Biggest sporting moment that you got to cover?

Royce Dickerson:  I’ve been fortunate enough to cover three World Series to this point, three all-star games, I was working on the last night of the 2011 season in Baltimore on that crazy day where the Red Sox lost to the Orioles and the Rays won the Wild Card. But the biggest moment so far that stands out to me happened about three weeks ago, when we were at the Winter Meetings and I was the producer when the Albert Pujols to the Angels news broke. We had a segment all planned out and three minutes before we were going live on SportsCenter from Dallas, we got word that Pujols had agreed with the Angels. For me to be the producer when the biggest name in the game changed teams and covering that moment was something that I will always remember and to this point has been the highlight of my career to be the producer for ESPN when Albert Pujols left the St. Louis Cardinals for the Angels.

 

MLB reports:  Do you ever see yourself taking a different role in baseball, perhaps coaching?

Royce Dickerson:  There was a time when I couldn’t find a job that I thought about becoming a grad assistant at a school and get started in coaching. It was never a passion of mine but I thought it was something that I could be really good at and it gave me a chance to stay in the game. Coaching is something that I would’ve love to have done but once I got the call from ESPN, that avenue was no longer an option.

 

MLB reports:  What is a typical day for you like working in ESPN?

Royce Dickerson:  I love my job cause everyday is different. I go into work everyday around 4pm and start getting prepared for our 4:30p.m. ET production meeting where we sit down with the entire show staff and lay out the day, talk about the biggest games, big storylines, news of the day, what the analysts at thinking about and looking forward too and just start setting the table for that day. From that point the producers and the other associate producers on the show attempt to figure out the best course of action for the show that night and assignments are handed out. On days that I am the segment producer for the show I am responsible for producing the BBTN Extra and all of the other segments that are requested for our group. When I produce segments we all sit in a room with the analyst and anchor and watch games and let our show develop during the night. Picking what game to lead the show with, what storylines we find in games and put a great show on TV that night for baseball fans. On days I don’t produce segments I cut the breakdown tapes for the analysts. I watch games, go to the analysts with ideas about what we can show on the tape or some night ill cut Web Gems for the show among other elements that are seen during the night. The days are long cause we don’t leave till all the games are over so we can react to anything. That means staying at work till that 10:15p.m. ET Padres vs Giants game ends at 2:00a.m. or later.

 

MLB reports:  How many times a day do you pinch yourself knowing that you have a dream job for so many sports fans?

Royce Dickerson:  There are definitely those times when that happens. I am lucky to get to go a lot of places and see a lot of awesome things. There is nothing like being getting to cover the game for the national media and just being around the people that I get to work with on a daily basis.

 

MLB reports:  Where do you see yourself in five years from now?

Royce Dickerson:  In five years I see myself being a full-out producer for ESPN. Whether that means covering Baseball or Producing SportsCenter for the Network, I don’t see myself leaving ESPN anytime soon. It’s a great place to work and I am lucky enough to get to watch sports and report it for a living.

 

MLB reports:  Final question:  What is the future of sports broadcasting?  What changes do you foresee over time?

Royce Dickerson:  It’s a rapidly changing field in which something can and will change at any moment. I do however feel good working for a company such as ESPN. We are always looking at ways to make our product more viewer friendly and enhance their experience in watching our shows and that is something that will never change.

***A special thank you to Royce Dickerson for his time and effort as part of being interviewed for this article.  You can follow Royce on Twitter (@Royce3D) and please feel free to leave your comments and feedback at the bottom of this page.  We love to hear from you!***

 

Jonathan Hacohen is the Lead Baseball Columnist & Editor for MLB reports:  You can follow Jonathan on Twitter (@JHacohen)

 

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

A Great DH Can Mean Winning the AL Pennant

Wednesday December 28, 2011



Doug Booth-  Guest Baseball Writer:  

Watching the 2011 season, something really resonated with me while watching the American League:  ‘Where have all the great designated hitters in MLB gone?’  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.  First, let us look at the top-3 DH’s this past 2011 season.  Michael Young of the Rangers hit .338, 11 HR’S and 106 RBI, which was the best performance by any DH, in helping to win the Rangers a 2nd straight ALCS Pennant.  A close second would go to Victor Martinez, who spent 112 games at DH and hit .330 with 12 HR’S and 103 RBI.  The 3rd best DH was David Ortiz, who hit .309 with 29 HR’s and 96 RBI.  The rest of the DH’s were average to below average.  

The Yankees struggled with Posada and a rotation of Andruw Jones/Jesus Montero, although they hit about 30 HR’s combined.  The Blue Jays never had a set DH, but received decent production from Encarnacion and Lind.  The Baltimore Orioles had Vlad Guerrero, who had his worst year ever, as did the Angels’ Bobby Abreu and the Rays’ Johnny Damon.  The Seattle Mariners had washed up Jack Cust and the likes of Willy Mo Pena by the end of the year.  Oakland has steady Hideki Matsui, but not even a decent second half had him anywhere near his career average totals.  Kansas City has been placing Billy Butler back onto the field, so his DH role was limited this season.  Adam Dunn soon became a four letter word in Chicago’s South side.  Aging and injury prone players Grady Sizemore and Travis Hafner saw the most amount of work for the Cleveland Indians at DH, so yet again these players were far from being in their most productive years.  

So what is the underlying theme here?  If you have a great DH, you may just make the playoffs and win it all.  Young, Martinez, Ortiz had their teams in contention all year for the playoffs.  The Tampa Bay Rays were the 4th team in the playoff chase and managed to overcome the position thanks to superior pitching.  One could definitely say that Michael Young vs. Bobby Abreu is worth a definite amount of wins at that position, considering what they each produced in the AL West.  

I am going to go through the last 20 years of ALCS Pennant Winners as part of my study.  80% of the time (the team with a great DH) was in the World Series:

1992 TORONTO-Dave Winfield .290 26 HR’S 108 RBI
1993 TORONTO-Paul Molitor .332 22 HR’S 111 RBI
1994 WORLD SERIES CANCELLED
1995 CLEVELAND-Eddie Murray .323 21 HR’S 82 RBI
1996 NEW YORK-Cecil Fielder 39 HR’S 117 RBI (Acquired at deadline by NYY)
1997 CLEVELAND-David Justice .329 33 HR’S 101 RBI
1998 NEW YORK-Darryl Strawberry 24 HR’S 57 RBI (295 AB IN 101 GAMES)
1999 NEW YORK-Chili Davis/Darryl Strawberry (not the greatest year-but in middle of NYY dynasty of 6 ALCS IN 7 YRS)
2000 NEW YORK-David Justice .286 41 HR’S 118 RBI
2001 NEW YORK-David Justice (not the greatest year but it was a solid NYY team.  Edgar Martinez led SEA to a 116-46 record and were prohibitive favorites but lost to the Yankees-Martinez year was .306 23 HR’s AND 106 RBI
2002 ANAHEIM-Brad Fullmer (hit .289 with 60 XBH in 130 games and a slugging % of .531)
2003 NEW YORK-Jason Giambi 41 HR’S 107 RBI
2004 BOSTON-David Ortiz .301 41 HR’S 139 RBI
2005 CHICAGO-Carl Everett 23 HR’S 87 RBI in 135 games
2006 Detroit Tigers-Dmitri Young (They did not have a definite DH after Young’s injury so this year so was the worst out of the 20 years.)
2007 BOSTON-David Ortiz-.305 35 HR’S 117 RBI
2008 TAMPA BAY-Cliff Floyd/Wille Aybar 22 HR’S 72 RBI combined (Again great pitching carried TB.)
2009 NEW YORK-Hideki Matsui .274 28 HR 90 RBI IN 456 AB
2010 TEXAS-Vlad Guerrero .300 29 HR’S 115 RBI
2011 TEXAS-Michael Young .338 11 HR’S 106 RBI

In 2006, half of the league possessed great DH’s:  Ortiz .287 54 HR 137 RBI, Hafner .308 42 HR’S 117 RBI, Giambi 37 HR’S 113 RBI, Thome .288 42 HR’S 109 RBI, and Thomas hit 39 HR’S 114 RBI.  This group is far more productive than the 2011 bunch.  Given this Information, why wouldn’t more teams elect for permanent DH slots just to gain an edge over their competition?  The Seattle Mariners had an incredible run from 1994-2004 with Edgar Martinez as a permanent DH.  The Boston Red Sox have won 2 World Series titles and are perennial playoff contenders with David Ortiz as their DH.  The Yankees have not been the same since Hideki Matsui has left the club as their DH.  This leads me to the Toronto Blue Jays pitching an offer to Prince Fielder and making Adam Lind a permanent DH.

With a signing of Fielder, the Jays could move Adam Lind to just a DH.  Could you dare envision a lineup of: Escobar SS, Rasmus CF, Bautista RF, Fielder 1B, Lawrie 3B, Lind DH, Arencibia C, Johnson 2B, and your pick of Thames or Snyder?  This would free up your club to make a trade as well.  If you are the Jays, and offered Yu Darvish the posting bid of over $50 million and another $60-75 million in salary, why wouldn’t you offer Fielder a 7 year deal in the $140-150 Million range?  With Fielder signed, I think his presence would potentially alter the attendance by 8,000-10,000 fans per game to justify his salary (not to mention merchandise and television ratings).  With a 3-4-5 lineup of Bautista, Fielder and Lawrie, I could see 120 HR’S and 350 RBI combined each year.  The best aspect of these guys is that they are patient.  If you add Adam Lind as the #6 hitter with 30 HR 100 RBI capability, then it will become lookout time for the rest of the league.

The Angels signing of Albert Pujols should not cause concern about his production.  Even into his early 40’s, Pujols should be able to hit well given his dedication to personal fitness.  The question is: why wait to move him to DH right now with the amount of 1st baseman they already possess with Trumbo and maybe a return from Morales? It is my belief that aging players should be shipped off to the National League when they can’t post impressive offensive numbers. A good example of this are recent NL pinch hitters Jason Giambi and Matt Stairs making a living off pinch such roles after failing as DH’s late into their careers.  If the AL teams persist in signing aging players past their prime for the DH role, then I believe they will struggle.  Vlad Guerrero and Johnny Damon would be perfect for an NL team at this stage of their respective careers considering this rationale.

So whatever players are ultimately signed by each team from this point forward or already have signed, whichever AL teams have the best Designated Hitters in the league for the 2012 season will likely have the best shot at winning the AL Pennant.

 

*** Thank you to our Guest Baseball Writer- Doug Booth for joining us today on MLB reports.  To learn more about “The Fastest 30 Ballgames” and Doug Booth, you can follow Doug on Twitter (@ChuckBooth3024) and click here for Doug’s website, fastestthirtyballgames.com*** 

 

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

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