Blog Archives

What Miguel Cabrera’s New Contract Means To The Tigers And Him

Miguel Cabrera‘s new 8 YR/$248 MIL contract extension comes days after the club couldn’t come to terms with reigning AL Cy Young winner Max Scherzer.

The numbers are mind boggling.

He breaks the ALL – Time record for Average Annual Contract per year is at $31 MIL AAV (from 2016 – 2023), and also he is owed the most dollars at any given time by a contract at $292 MIL for the years of 2014 – 2023.

This man is the best pure offensive player in the game, and has only become better with age, but a lot of people are worried about the back end of this deal.

I fully understand that. Read the rest of this entry

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Detroit Tigers State Of The Union Part 1: What Will The Offense Look Like In 2014?

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Despite losing to Boston in the American League Championship Series, the Detroit Tigers had a respectable season in 2013 finishing the Regular Season with a solid record of 93-69, 24 games above .500 and AL Central Winners. To top that off, they also beat the Oakland Athletics in 5 games to advance past the ALDS .

By Dan Wanser (MLB Reports Writer)   

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Moving into 2014, the Detroit Tigers look to have a season which takes them past the ALCS where their 2013 run ended, and potentially all the way to the Fall Classic in November which was just outside their grasp.

The Tigers have made it to the ALCS for 3 straight years, and will attempt to be the 1st franchise since the Yankees made it to 4 consecutive League Championships from 1998 – 2001 in the American League next campaign.

With great players on the diamond everyday like Miguel Cabrera, newcomer Ian Kinsler, and Right Fielder Torii Hunter, Detroit is poised to make another deep playoff run not only in the upcoming season, but in many years to come.

Looking back at the 2013 lineup, there isn’t much that needs to be changed so here’s what I think their 2014 starters will look like.

2013 Detroit Tigers Pump-Up Video:

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Jose Valverde Returns To The Detroit Tigers: Rondon Also Called Up For The Bullpen

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Wednesday, April.24/2013

Valverde was the best option available for a club that is expected to win the American League Central Division - and possibly return to the 2013 World Series.  The 'Closer by committee had less than stellar results - and jim Leyland was not a fan of operating that way.  The big man.  The 35 Year Old from the Dominican Republic will assume the role immediately and should be available for game action tonight in Detroit at Comerica Park.'

Valverde was the best option available for a club that is expected to win the American League Central Division – and possibly return to the 2013 World Series. The ‘Closer by committee’ had less than stellar results thus far- and Jim Leyland was not a fan of operating that way. The slimmer 35 Year Old from the Dominican Republic will assume the Finisher’s role immediately – and should be available for game action tonight in Detroit at Comerica Park.

By Matthew Lafave (Tigers Correspondent) 

Yes, Jose Valverde has returned to the Tigers and will be available as early as Wednesday night.

This all came quite quickly through the evening on Tuesday. After making three appearances for Class A Lakeland, Valverde was expected to join the Toledo Mud Hens to get some extra extended work before possibly joining the Tigers.

But Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski decided to skip some steps.

Jose Valverde 2011 Highlights – Mature Content so Parental Guidance is advised:

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The Detroit Tigers Payroll In 2013 And Contracts Going Forward Updated Mar.09/13

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March.09/2013

Justin Verlander has 2 years left on his current contract left at 20.0 Million Dollars Per Year. Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder also make north of that total. Justin Verlander will be 31 years old when he hits Free Agency in 2015.

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst / Website Owner):

I believe that the Tigers are set up for a solid run as a perennial playoff contender, yet the club needs a small face change in order to get back to the dance in 2013.  I honestly was stunned to see Miguel Cabrera, Prince Fielder, Delmon Young and Jose Valverde all play at the type of body structure they possess during the Post Season. 

If you saw these guys in a bowling alley, the words ‘World Class Athlete’ would definitely not enter a conversation amongst strangers who were trying to sum them up.  Baseball is a game that your body type doesn’t hold you back, however when you have multiple heavy players on offense, it really clogs up the base paths.  While watching Game #4 was about the time I started to change my opinion on the state of the game needing to be more athletic.

Fielder and Cabrera may be the best 3-4 tandem in the Major Leagues now.  The Tigers can definitely weather these two guys in the lineup even though they jam the teams ability for base running.  The key is to build a bunch of ‘Road Runners’ around them.  I like Austin Jackson, Quintin Berry and Andy Dirks all being in the lineup to help the speed factor. 

Also with Victor Martinez coming back in 2013, the team has one of the best Designated Hitters in baseball back in the fold.   Then the team brought in classy veteran Torii Hunter (after inking him to a 2 YR/$26 MIL Contract.  This shows how urgent it is for the organization to cash in a World Series with their roster.)

Torii Hunter Highlights – Explicit Language is used so Parental Guidance is advised:

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An Interview With Tigers Prospect Daniel Fields

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Saturday, January.26/2013

Daniel Fields has shown flashes of speed in the Minor Leagues for Detroit.  At Age 21, he has a bright future

Daniel Fields showed flashes of speed in 2012 -with 23 SB with the Lakeland Tigers (A+) and Erie SeaWolves (AA) in the Minor Leagues. At Age 22 (as of January.23/2013), Fields has been invited to attend Spring Training with the big club.

By Matthew Lafave (Tigers Correspondent)

Have you ever had that dream of being drafted by your favorite sports team? It’s a dream that replays in your head as you’re going about your day. A dream that makes you smile in the morning and a dream that you hope you experience again later that night.

Daniel Fields is living that dream. The Detroit, Michigan native out of University of Detroit Jesuit High School was drafted by the Detroit Tigers in 2009.

The highly toted prospect is making his way up the Minor Leagues. It’s a name that you’ll want to remember and a last name that may sound familiar to you. Read the rest of this entry

2012 American and National League MVP Awards Announced

Friday November 16th, 2012

Bernie Olshansky:  The final awards have been announced. Both races could have gone either way, with deserving candidates in each league. In the end, each winner won by a large margin (Cabrera 362-281 and Posey 422-285). There really were not any surprises in this year of MVP voting. Here’s my analysis for each league.

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

Tuesday, August.28/2012

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

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

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

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

Adrian Beltre Highlights!

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The Future of Delmon Young

Wednesday May 23rd, 2012

Sam Evans: There is a reason Delmon Young was selected with the first pick in the 2003 Amateur draft. Young has always had the potential to be a perennial All-Star, but he has never been able to sustain success over the course of a couple of major league seasons. Now, at twenty-six years old, Delmon Young is barely hanging on to a starting major league job. What’s in store for this former top five prospect in all of baseball? Keep reading to find out.

When Delmon Young was drafted out of high school back in 2003, the Rays made a smart choice taking him #1 overall. Even though things didn’t go as planned, the Tampa Bay organization drafted the most talented player available. Young possessed a rare combination of all five tools. The younger brother of MLB slugger Dmitri Young, Delmon could hit for power and had a strong arm, which projected well for a future corner outfield position. After a couple of impressive seasons in the minors, one of which he was suspended fifty games for hitting an umpire with his bat, Young finally reached the majors with the Rays organization in 2006. Read the rest of this entry

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

The Streak stands at 23 MLB Parks in 18 calendar days!!

Chuck Booth:  I am the World Record Holder for-Fastest to see all 30 MLB parks in 24 days (2009)!

In 2012, I am going for 30 MLB Parks in 23 days from: April 6th to 28th.

Follow me-@chuckbooth3024 on twitter

Follow my streak all the through to the bitter end.  Schedule is this link:

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

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

Tuesday April.24/2012

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

MLB Park # 16 Day # 12

CHC 2 @ MIA 3

April.17/2012

New Marlins Ball Park

‘Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer and @chuckbooth3024 on twiter)- It was a great day for a new baseball park.  During this trip, anytime that I have had a single game only for a day, I have felt a little bit more relaxed while watching the action.  I flew into FLL (Fort Lauderdale Airport) really early and caught up on some writing.  I was fully rewarded with my National Car Rental to the tune of a Chrysler 200 that was black in color.  I made my way to my Best Western Hotel near the airport.  Check in time was not till 3 PM, but I was able to coerce the staff to let me take a room early.  I really appreciate the professional way the Best Western staff always helps me in the travels. Read the rest of this entry

An Interview With Comerica Park Expert and co-founder of Stadium Journey- Paul Swaney

Sunday April 22, 2012

 

Paul Swaney and Son

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer and @chuckbooth3024)- I was fortunate to talk with Paul Swaney about Comerica Park recently.  Amongst the ball park chaser community (or any sports community for that matter), Paul Swaney has come to the forefront as one the top stadium reviewers for all of sports in the world.  Paul had a vision of starting a website to chronicle his own sports venue experiences.  He thought of this as soon as his son was born.  Since then, he co-founded the stradiumjourney.com website and they have since gone into publication as a magazine.  Paul has made it his full-time job to provide information on hundreds of sporting venue’s around the globe.  Get to know this man and website because he is going places with his new venture.  I asked Paul Swaney to be part of my featured profiles of ‘The Fastest 30 Ball Games’” and am pleased that he accepted my invitation.

CB: “Welcome to the Comerica Park Expert interview Paul, please about yourself and  then give us a bit of background information on your life as Tigers fan?”

PS: “I grew up in Northern Michigan, and the Tigers were definitely the first team I really loved. I remember watching the Tigers in the 1984 World Series, one of my first sports memories. The following season, my dad, my brother, and I traveled to Tiger Stadium. I remember the excitement I felt as the Tigers clashed with the Red Sox on a sunny September afternoon. The dark blue of the stadium, the green of the field, and the energy of being in a large urban setting for the first time of my life are still vivid memories.” Read the rest of this entry

An Interview With Progressive Field Expert Anthony Salter

Wednesday April.11/2012

Anthony Salter on the far left with his grandma

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer and @chuckbooth3024 on twitter)- I first met Anthony and his family on July.24/2008 at PNC Park.   A nice usher at the Pirates game talked to me for a while before telling everyone he knew that I was chasing a world record.  I hung out with the 4 Salter Boys for the rest of the game.  We remained in contact and they were there for me the next year when I broke the World Record in Detroit.  This family has brought me good luck in my trips.  Anthony and his family are the featured experts on today’s Progressive Field Article.

CB: “Welcome to the MLB Reports Progressive Field Interview Anthony. Please tell us about yourself and then give us some information on your life as a baseball fan?”

AS: “My name is Anthony Salter. I am 18 years old and I live in Flat Rock, MI, suburb of Detroit. I currently attend Wayne State University in Downtown Detroit. I grew up loving sports, both playing and watching them. I played all sports when I was younger, including baseball. Today, baseball is the one sport that I still play organizationally, as I am a member of a local recreation softball league. Growing up in Detroit, I have always loved the Tigers. They will always be my favorite team. Hopefully they will win the pennant this year with the addition of Prince Fielder.”

CB: “You are from Detroit, so tell us what the Indians will have to do in order to compete versus the Tigers this year?”

AS: “The Indians have made some minor improvements in the off-season but are still not ready to compete with the Tigers.  Even bounce back years from Grady Sizemore, Travis Hafner, Shin Shoo Choo and Ubaldo Jimenez wouldn’t be enough to catch the Tigers.”

CB: “Everybody loves the movie Major League.  How many times does the park make reference to this movie throughout the game?”

AS: “Major League is a classic baseball movie that pretty much all baseball fans have seen. However, out of all the Indian games I have been to, I have never seen them reference Major League throughout the game. It’s kind of surprising since the film features the Indians, and it was filmed in Cleveland too. Who knows though, maybe I am just too young and they stopped featuring it recently, or I was too young to pay attention. (I’m always focused on the game).”

DB: “Is it hard to navigate to the ballpark from the main highways?”

AS: “Not at all. Coming from Detroit, I come right down interstate 90, and get off at Ontario Street, and the park is right there. The ballpark is located right at the intersection of interstate 90 and 71, making it super convenient to get to from just about anywhere.”

CB: “What advice would you give for somebody experiencing Progressive Field for the very first time?”

AS: “I would just purchase some cheap upper deck seats to get in. The park is pretty cool, but the view of Downtown Cleveland is great from an upper deck seat. I would also plan on getting there early to explore the park, they have some pretty interesting things going on for the kids down there. There is also a section up in the nosebleeds which sells hot dogs for 1$. That is unreal for a major league ballpark, take advantage.”

DB:  “What is your favorite method of transportation to Progressive Field?

AS: “Car, its and easy drive from Detroit.”

DB: “What is the food like at Progressive Field?  What is your favorite ballpark food there?”

AS: “I always favor the chicken fingers.  I don’t mind the hotdogs either.  Really I don’t think it rates well versus the other parks.”

The Salters

CB: “What is your favorite all time game that you have been in attendance for at Progressive Field?”

AS: “My favorite game that I have been to at Progressive Field was vs. the Toronto Blue Jays. It was in 2008, Cliff Lee’s last season on the club. I had the honor to see Lee pitch, and he shut out the Jays, and was outstanding. That was the year he recorded a career high 22 wins, and it was just memorable to witness a part of it.”

*** A big thank you goes out to our Progressive Field Expert Anthony Salter for participating in the expert article Series. To read more about the Salters journey with Booth to the baseball parks click here ***

 ***Thank you to our Lead Baseball Writer- Chuck Booth for preparing today’s feature on MLB reports.  To learn more about “The Fastest 30 Ballgames” and Chuck Booth, you can follow Chuck on Twitter (@ChuckBooth3024) and you can also follow Chuck’s website for his Guinness Book of World Record Bid to see all 30 MLB Park in 23 days click here  or on the 30 MLB Parks in 23 days GWR tracker at the Reports click here. To Purchase or read about “The Fastest 30 Ballgames Book, ” please click here ***

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

The 2012 Tigers may Bring first WS Title Home to Detroit Since 1984

Monday, March.26/2012

Kirk Gibson celebrates with teammates during a 1984 World Series Game 1 homer, they won the series 4-1 over the San Diego Padres.

Douglas ‘Chuck’ Booth (Baseball Writer @ChuckBooth3024 on Twitter) - My dad and I were not always Yankees fans.  In the past blogs I had written that my favorite teams when I first started watching baseball were the Montreal Expos(because of Gary Carter) and my American League team was the Detroit Tigers (because of Lance Parrish).  As a 7-year-old kid playing baseball, our team name was the Tigers.  I remember that as I took my position behind home plate, the coach called me Lance Parrish.  My dad was the assistant coach that year and would whip baseball’s at me to toughen me up.  I asked him too, because I wanted to learn how to block them like #13. Read the rest of this entry

Ballparks Are Using Gimmicks to Attract Females and Children

Monday February 6th, 2012

Douglas “Chuck” Booth (Baseball Writer)- At first you might say, what are baseball teams doing to our classic baseball parks?  After a few minutes of thinking you will realize that your team is in business to make money just like every other multi-billion dollar industry.  I am talking about ‘Gimmicks’ at the baseball yard of course.  They are often there to attract more casual female fans and children into walking through the turnstiles.  From a Ferris Wheel in Detroit, to increased kid/mom interactive coloring stations that are located in almost every park, these gimmicks give the casual fan something to spend their time doing at the ballpark.  I consider myself a hard-core fan, so does this kind of thing bother me?  Absolutely not… and I will tell you why.When I arrive at the ballpark, I am there to watch baseball only!   I usually have traveled a long distance, spent a considerable amount of money, time and effort in order to watch these games from the stands.  So what do I care if the stands are not full with people waiting for every pitch?  To tell you honestly, I would rather the casual fans spend more time in the concourses occupying themselves, rather than disrupting anything in my realm of vision for the baseball game. Seeing kids throwing temper tantrums is normal in any public place, so if they are not in their seat while having a conniption fit- that is great.

(more…)

Sample of what my Friday Travel Blog will Cover

Friday, February 03, 2012 

Douglas ‘Chuck’ Booth (Baseball Writer)- Since writing about traveling to ballparks  is what I know most about, I thought I would take the next 9 weeks (before the season starts) writing articles that extensively go through every part of my expertise.  Over the course of the last five years I have done countless hours of research on this subject matter, so I am going to share my information with you in hopes you may save some time or money this 2012 MLB season.  I am sharing my knowledge of: baseball tickets, maps, frequent flier miles/reward points, car rentals vs. driving your own car, hotels, airports and finally time management & budgeting.  Here is a sneak preview of what I will be posting.

Car Rentals

  The best way to ensure that you have money available on your credit card, (keeping in mind that most rental places take a $200 minimum deposit), is to bid on your car through www.priceline .com. There is a feature where you can bid on your car rental for specific airport locations called ‘BID NOW.’  You can offer a price that you have to pay immediately, but in most cases you will find a serious discount. I have often bid 40% of the average car rental per airport price and had the offer go through.  Anyways, 80% of the time your winning bid will come back to rent from Alamo/National Car Rental.

Car Rentals

 Alamo/National is the best car rental company by far in the United States. Not only do they have exceptional customer service—–they also do not charge your credit card for any $ amount more than the price of your rental. Do yourself a favor and also sign up for ‘The Emerald Club Rewards Program’ from National. They have airport bypass the counter options that enable you to USE self-serving kiosks that do not require you to stand in line at the car centers-rather pick your class of car and proceed to the exit. Other car rental companies have deposit charges that are held against your credit card.  If you are going on a 4 city trip, you can easily have up to $800-1000 dollars locked up in these deposits, this can be harmful in you enjoying your trip. Not all of us have the affordability to have so much money unavailable. An average of 5-8 days is what it will take for the deposited dollars to be restored when your car rental is completed.  National is the only car rental company in which you can redeem a free earned day car rental for a one-way drop off without paying an excessive fee if you have earned a free rental reward day.  I will give you an example.  This means you can rent a car in Los Angeles and drop it off it Albuquerque, New Mexico within the 24 hours for no money extra.  Also with this incredible deal, is that you pay just pennies in taxes for your accrued free rental days, where other car rental places can charge up to $20-30 just in taxes alone despite offering you the free day for a rental reward.  Perfect for that baseball traveler that wants to head in one direction!

Priceline

Priceline is great for bidding on car rentals, but is also fantastic for hotel rentals where you can use the same option to bid for your price of hotels. Honestly, when we are all in the middle of a big baseball road trip, the last thing we want is to spend excessive amounts of money on a hotel we are not going to use other than a quick sleep and shower.   Wouldn’t you rather spend a lot more time at the ball yard?  Again by bidding on the hotel, and paying for it right away you can ensure on a more of a budget/cost certainty. Even if the front desks take a small deposit at time of check in—these transactions are quickly released when you check out. The best to bid  is too low-ball your first few offers, then gradually increase your bidding. Now Priceline does make you alter your bid for every declined request you submit, so the key is to not act aggressive in frustration when you don’t win the bid.  The key here is to be patient.  After 24 hours, you can re-open up all columns to bid again with an increased offer from your first one. Just chart your offers to slightly increase your amount until you have success. I would not suggest you use Priceline for airline flights because the winning bid will usually feature layovers, or more importantly, the times of the flights on won bids may not be conducive to arriving in time for a baseball game in your destination city.

HOTELS

For those economy travelers such as myself, I implore you to use Motel 6 and/or Super 8 as hotel chains to stay throughout the USA. They are decent hotels for the $value you pay. The best feature about these hotels is the ability to check in by 11am-12pm. Most 3-5 star hotels have check in times that start and 3 or 4pm. Again if you are flying or driving in from some other place do you really want to drive around for 3-4 hours sight-seeing because you are simply waiting for a check in time?  Most baseball parks open their gates by 5PM for night games.  Plus with these places cash is preferred, so they do not require a deposit on your credit card. If you are staying in the same city or have sufficient time to stay in one hotel, I would recommend you use Priceline to bid on your hotels. You can save up to 50% off with winning bids on 2-5 star hotels. Keep in mind that most of those hotels can save you money vs the budget hotels, with their free breakfasts.

Travel Note:Traveling to other cities with luggage is hard to finagle sometimes. When arriving in a new city, there may be time constraints or monetary issues that make you think about your luggage. Before you make any purchases for your trip, you must be cognizant of where your luggage will be at all times throughout the travel. You will not be allowed to bring your suitcase through security at the ball parks. Most cities will not even allow you to bring a briefcase into the games. So therein is a dilemma. If you are able to make it to your hotel before the game then your luggage will be okay.  The same can be said if you have rented a car. The toughest games for luggage management are day games when arriving from other cities. For the Eastern Seaboard there is an ally you can use—and it is called ‘Amtrak.’

Amtrak Trains/Greyhound Buses

Both of these methods of transportation are  a great way to see a bunch of baseball games fast while missing a lot of cluttered highway traffic, particularly in: New York-Baltimore-Washington-Philadelphia-Chicago-Milwaukee. Not only will you save gas/traffic scenarios-but Amtrak has a baggage check option at most stations for $3-4 dollars an item per day. All you have to do is have an itinerary, (coming or going) and you can check your luggage items. You will have to monitor the hours of operation for these places-however this option is exceptional when attending matinée games in any of these cities. New York’s Amtrak Station-(New York Penn Station), is a life saver when you can drop off your luggage and avoid renting a car. ‘Greyhound Bus Lines’ is also a good alternative for this in the cities of : Tampa Bay-Miami-Los Angeles-San Diego-Minnesota-Cleveland and Pittsburgh.

Kayak.com

Early morning flights are usually the cheapest airfares. I always use www.kayak.com when booking flights into baseball cities.  If you are flying to cities like Cincinnati-Milwaukee-Detroit-Houston-Atlanta-or Dallas you may be shocked at how much they charge for flights. There is a way to get back at those airlines. I have done the following several times. Since these are hubs for other cities from big airlines,  I would check flights from your starting departure and use your intended city of these listed above as a stop-over and then you can walk off the plane during the stop-over if it is cheaper—-and providing you are traveling without checked baggage—example.  Three years ago I had to fly from Pittsburgh to Detroit during a double-header attempt for the first day of my World Record Chase. I needed a Pittsburgh Northwest Airlines flight that left at 5:15 PM  directly to Detroit that arrived at 6:28 PM—it was the only non-stop flight that I could get that would give me a chance to make the Detroit game on time. There was a problem when the price came back was $500  for what was less than a 500 mile flight!  I went to work with my strategy.  I came up with a flight from Pittsburgh to Chicago-with the 1st leg of the trip being my flight that arrived in Detroit at 6:28 as the layover.  The price for this flight was $130. There are many instances of this. I will explain more in the book how I used this scenario for a flexible schedule in case of make-up games.

Air Lines Best To Fly With:

Southwest Airlines-‘I wanna get away’ feature at http://www.southwest.com is a good price point for all of this airline’s domestic flights.  Southwest might be marginally higher in price than some other airlines, however they do not charge for the 1st 2 checked bags as you may have seen from their steady TV Ad Campaign.  They also do not charge transfer flight fees.  This airline is setting the pace for customer price gouging acknowledgement.

Air Tran Airways-Quite frankly, they are the best airline in the USA for MLB fans.  They are cheap, have newer airplanes with the most leg space for a coach ticket. They also offer more one-way non-stop tickets in the morning.  Oh yeah…They are the official airline of XM Sirius Radio.  You can listen to MLB games live in flight, or during off hours you can catch up on all of your favorite shows on XM Home Plate.  Air Tran only charges $75 in case you have to change your flight at anytime plus the difference in flight.  This price is half of most of the legacy airlines.  Should you miss your Air Tran flight they also let you fly stand-by for the rest of the day on any remaining flights to your city of destination.

This is just the start as I will provide a game plan for all of  the 30 MLB cities.  I will take a look at all facets/methods of travel-that will include money and time-saving tips.   After all, don’t we all want to see as many baseball games as we can without being hit in the pocket-book?

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

CONQUERING MOTOWN: BRAD PENNY, DETROIT TIGERS

MLB reports:  On January 11, 2011, after weeks of speculation in the media the news became official:  Brad Penny was officially a Detroit Tiger.  The deal was announced as a 1 year, $3 million dollar base salary with an additional $3 million in incentives.  The overall reaction was positive- a low risk and high reward situation for both the team and player.  With Penny in Motown and spring training a mere days away, let’s review the factors behind this signing and how Brad Penny in 2011 will become the “King of Comerica”.

After the 2010 season came to an end, one of my first projections on the free agent market was that Brad Penny and the Detroit Tigers would be a perfect match.  I had the pleasure of corresponding with Brad Penny in early December and asked him directly whether he was considering Detroit for his new home.  Brad’s response was, “wearing the blue and orange would be sweet.”  Taking a look at the team that he is joining, it is easy to see why Penny could not contain his excitement.

The Tigers enjoyed a relatively strong 2010 campaign and as their roster became molded during the offseason, the future of the Tigers appears to be very bright.  The team has a potent offense led by Cabrera, Ordonez, Jackson and newly acquired V-Mart, combined with a rotation led by Verlander, Scherzer and Porcello and a deep bullpen including Valverde, Benoit, Zumaya and Perry.  Dombrowski in constructing the team covered off the key components and contention in the AL Central appears to be a lock.  Penny as a veteran starter however brings many intangibles to the Tigers that could be the difference maker in a playoff spot.

With young starters Scherzer, Porcello and Coke, Penny serves as a mentor and role model for the young hurlers in learning the finer points of the game.  The experiences and successes that Penny has enjoyed in his 11 seasons in the bigs will rub off on the rest of the Tigers’ pitching staff and hopefully take each of them to the next level.  As well, Verlander and Penny as potentially #1 and #2 potentially on the staff will bring up the game of the other in competing every 5th day to be the best possible starters that they can be.  Lets not kid ourselves, bragging rights in the clubhouse counts and Penny is one of the most focused and intense warriors that you will find in baseball. Comerica, known as a pitching friendly venue, will also prove to benefit Penny as his home field.  Brad Penny will bring out the best in his Tigers’ mates and having a solid core of talent on the team will take his own game to the highest levels.

Standing 6’4” and weighing a solid 230 lbs, the 32 year old Oklahoma born Penny has an outstanding baseball resume. 16 win campaigns and All-Star game appearances in 2006 and 2007, a 3rd place Cy Young finish in the NL in 2007 and near perfection in the 2003 World Series title run with the Marlins, with 2 wins in 2 starts with a 2.19 ERA.  Penny has played for a total of 5 teams in his career.  Penny started off very strong in 2010 for the Cardinals, with a 3-1 record in April and 1.56 ERA.  A strained lat muscle ended Penny’s season on May 21st with the pitcher not returning for the rest of the year despite intense rehab and attempts to return.  Now healthy and raring to go, the Tigers represent a fresh start and promise for the right-handed pitcher.

Offseason reports have been positive on Brad Penny.  He recently got engaged to Karina Smirnoff of “Dancing with the Stars” fame.  As well, Brad mentioned to me on several occasions that he was working out hard at the gym and the impression that I got was that Penny is in the best shape of his life coming into the season.  Secure in his personal life with the hunger to win, Penny is focused on doing all the right things to make himself successful.  His commitment to training and evolution as a pitcher means that at the still young age of 32, Penny has many quality years ahead of him.  Observers need to remember that coming off a strain is much different than arm troubles and/or surgery.  The bonus from last year’s experience is that Penny will come into camp with a fresh arm and more motivation than ever to reclaim his position as one of the top pitchers in baseball.

The Tigers in signing Brad Penny could very well have secured themselves the #2 pitcher in their rotation as part of the drive to return to the playoffs. Penny’s goal in coming to Detroit is to win and to surely get another World Series title under his belt.  At this stage of his career, Brad Penny does not focus on the past and any impressions that people have of him.  As my projected 2011 American League comeback player of the year, Brad Penny will simply let his pitching do the talking and the ranking of the Tigers as a team being his only statistical goal.

Good luck on the season Brad Penny and welcome to Motown.  Tiger Nation awaits your arrival.

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