“Hard Cheddar” – with ‘Special Guest Writer’ Steve Cheeseman Follow @cheeseman_s
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Hello baseball fans. I apologize for being away so long, as my career outside of sports writing has kept me busy these last few weeks.
With that being said, let’s get going. Since the end of the 2013 season, there are many things that crossed my mind.
However, for whatever reason, one of the things that has me extremely interested if the hall of fame ballot.
Big Hurt Highlights
By ‘White Sox Correspondent’ Brian Madsen Follow @brianm731
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Don’t compare him to Yoenis Cespedes, or Yasiel Puig, just because they are also from Cuba. He’s the direct replacement for Paul Konerko, just as the longest reigning White Sox player was the replacement for Frank Thomas.
I assumed Rick Hahn would wait until after the postseason was completed to begin the White Sox revamp going into the 2014 season.
Well, the World Series hasn’t even begun, and Hahn managed to sign the biggest free agent hitter available to a 6 year, $68 million contract. This is also the biggest contract given to an international free agent in the history of MLB.
Good start? Some say no, but many say yes. Abreu was very sought after, desired by many MLB clubs. We, as Sox fans, knew of the White Sox interest in him once it was announced that he was soon going to be made available as a free agent.
But, I don’t think many of us thought he would sign here. Boston maybe. Yankees? Rangers? All distinct possibilities. No way the White Sox get him.
Then, you started hearing rumblings that White Sox left fielder Dayan Viciedo, also a native of Cuba, knows Jose Abreu, and even played with him on a couple Cuban teams.
Could he be whispering in the Cuban players ear about coming to Chicago? Maybe. Was the $ the main contributing factor in Abreu signing with the White Sox? More than likely.
By Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner): Follow @chuckbooth3024
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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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Thursday, August.08, 2013
1st part by Brian Madsen (MLB Reports White Sox Correspondent Follow @brianm731
It was all but certain that the White Sox were going to be sellers come the trade deadline in 2013.
The question was, were they selling everybody? Well, they didn’t trade everybody, but they still traded more players than they have during a season in recent memory.
And, there could be more to come during the August waiver period.
And he has fit in just fine in the Boston bullpen, accumulating a 2.70 ERA since his acquisition.
The second chip to fall was the still-DLed Jesse Crain. Crain was sent to the Tampa Bay Rays in a very unique “player-to-be-named” scenario.
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Monday, July.22, 2013
Guest in this Podcast – Gregg Olson: Follow @greggolson30
Brian Madsen Follow @brianm731
Brad Cuprik Follow @bradcuprik
The weather is hot and this week’s show is even hotter! Former big league fireballer Gregg Olson stops by to talk some Oriole baseball as well as sharing his stories of major league life and what it was like being Cal Ripken’s teammate.
If that wasn’t enough Brad Cuprik and Brian Madsen of mlbreports.com give us the lowdown on the Pirates and White Sox heading toward the trade deadline. All that and our bethubb.com best bets! Read the rest of this entry
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Wednesday July.03, 2013
By Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner): Follow @chuckbooth3024
We have talked a ton about Billy Beane‘s genius way on the website. The Website founder ‘Jonathan Hacohen’ was one of the first baseball writers to uncover the new Beane strategy last year.
I further studied some of his brilliant work – by figuring out the current roster tree for all of the current team last November. I was able to pick up a lot more patterns from his work as a GM.
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By Brian Madsen (White Sox Correspondent): Follow @brianm731
The South Side of Chicago. U.S. Cellular Field. You’re likely to have heard chants of “Let’s go White Sox!!”, “Ozzie!! Ozzie!!, and maybe even “Oh-E-Oh, Magglio!!”, over the years at this beautiful, yet underrated ball park. But, for the last 14 seasons, you probably would have heard “Paulie!! Paulie!!”, more than any other. No, not Paulie from Rocky fame. Paul Konerko, the 6 time ALL-Star and 2005 World Series Champion First Baseman of the Chicago White Sox. Some would say he’s underrated, much like the stadium he’s called home since 1999. Acquired via trade from the Cincinnati Reds in late 1998 by the White Sox for Mike Cameron, Konerko has been a consistent producer for them for 14 seasons.
He’s averaged more than 32 HRs and 101 RBI in that time frame for the Sox – and has combined for a few quality 1-2 punches over the years with some big hitters. Frank Thomas, Carlos Lee, Magglio Ordonez, and now Adam Dunn, to name a few. He is said to be one of White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf’s favorite players of ALL-time. He should be, as he helped guide the White Sox to their first World Series Championship in 88 years back in 2005. Konerko even presented the “3rd and final out ball” to Reinsdorf at the victory parade, bringing the owner to tears in front of thousands of screaming Sox fans.
Paul Konerko 2012 Highlights: Mature Lyrics – Parental Guidance is Advised:
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Saturday, January 5th, 2013
Ryan Dana (MLB Reports Intern): Follow @ryandana1
In my previous article examining the decline of the DH position in the AL, I briefly touched on a few great DH’s. Now I will exert my focus on examining who the best DH of all time was. While the DH position may be in a decline, it has experienced good times. To be truly great at one of the hardest things to do in sports, (hit a baseball) is quite an accomplishment whether you play in the field or not. The Top 4 DH’s off all time have to be Harold Baines, Edgar Martinez, Frank Thomas, and David Ortiz. (The ordering just goes from 1st to enter the MLB to last, not who was the best. I will order them in that way later in the article.)
Harold Baines was somewhat of a pioneer of the DH position, as he was one of the early greats. His 22 Year Career started in 1980 with the Chicago White Sox, and ended for the same team in 2001, although he had stints with the Rangers, Athletics, Orioles, and Indians in between. Baines was a regular Outfielder for the White Sox until the ’86 season – where knee problems all but ended his fielding career. With Baines well-rounded, Left-hHanded stroke at the plate, he etched out a place in baseball history that will leave him remembered by many.
Frank Thomas Highlights:
Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer/Website Owner): Follow @chuckbooth3024
I recently had the privilege to meet Jill Workman on Twitter through a mutual friend. We started talking about love for the game of baseball and sharing war stories of fandom. I was extremely impressed with Jill’s devotion to baseball photography. I think the MLB Fans have a certain rabidness towards the game that is both encompassing and inspirational. That Jill will spend countless hours, at great individual cost, in order to ply her hobby as a photographer, represents the aforementioned qualities I just spoke of. After filtering through thousands of her pictures, I wanted the whole baseball community (including our readers) to see her fine work. I am glad that Jill agreed to do this interview. There is always a place on this website to express the passionate people who make the MLB the best fans in the World! Read the rest of this entry
Wednesday, Nov.28th, 2012
Note from Chuck Booth: I am attempting to bring the history for each of the 30 MLB Franchises into a 5-7 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.
Today’s Part 2 Feature of the Blue Jays Franchise will be written by our Baseball Writer Alex Mednick. To do this franchise series service, Alex has studied this club a lot more than I have in the last 20 years and will do this article better justice for you the reader!
Alex Mednick (Baseball Writer and Analyst):
Note from Alex Mednick: Chuck Booth offered to me the opportunity to step in to his Franchise Series and cover the Blue Jays history from 1994-Present. I gladly accepted the honor.
In Part 1 of this series, Chuck covered the Blue Jays history from their humble beginnings at Exhibition Stadium in 1977, through the glory years in the late 80s and early 90s. The story dropped off right after the Blue Jays won back-to-back World Championships in 1992 and 1993. We closed the books with the walk-off winning home run by Joe Carter to win the World Series, and the parties and celebrations that were to follow across Ontario, Canada. I will pick it back up at the beginning of the 1994 season, when the Blue Jays had high hopes to win a third consecutive world championship.
(Scroll Down Past the Links or Click the READ MORE OF THIS ENTRY ICON.)
Franchise Series Links:
Franchise History Part 1 1977-1993: http://mlbreports.com/2012/11/09/jays1/
2013 Team Payroll: http://mlbreports.com/2012/09/10/tor/
Special Bonus Fan Blog Of 2013 Team Payroll: http://mlbreports.com/2012/09/12/torfanalex/
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
US Cellular Field
I had a tip from my brother Trent early on in the planning stages, that the United States airline companies often ‘sand-bag’ their flying times to destinations to take jet-way delays into consideration. More often than not, the airlines are able to beat the scheduled arrival time by many minutes. I actually used a tool on the internet called ‘Flight Tracker’ to watch the very flight I was on to see if this was a correct statement. I watched this exact flight land 4 weeks in a row, all approximately 15 minutes earlier then the 6:32 PM time it was supposed to arrive on that day. That day I was not as lucky. It was after all a ‘Chicago Airport.’ Still at a 6:30 PM arrival-I had about 40 minutes to first pitch. I had called in a sedan service to pick me up from ‘MIDWAY’.
True to their word, there was a young guy in his twenties waiting for me in the arrival gate and he escorted me through to the limo stand at a running pace. I saw it had started to rain and weather was something I would always keep my eye on during transportation throughout the trip. Read the rest of this entry
Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer and @chuckbooth3024 on twitter)- Paul Konerko is a professional hitter. One day he will have his number retired from the Chicago White Sox at US Cellular Field. Drafted by the Los Angeles Dodgers 13th overall in the Amateur 1994 Draft, the 6 foot 2 slugger had lofty expectations by the time he made the Major Leagues. For the Albuquerque Isotopes in 1997, he hit .323 with 37 HRs and 127 RBI. The Dodgers ended up trading Konerko to Cincinnati for Jeff Shaw in 1998. The Reds then turned around and traded the man from Rhode Island to the Chicago White Sox for Mike Cameron.
There may be no more underrated player in the MLB over the last 14 years. All that Konerko has done is hit 402 HRs with the Chicago White Sox in that span and plated 1270 RBI. He currently sits 2nd all time in both categories on the club for the all time list, trailing only Frank Thomas . At age 36, Konerko seems to become better at the plate each year. He has hit .300 and clubbed 30 HRs and 100 RBI in both 2010 and 2011. If he keeps up this years pace, he will do it again, but this time he may challenge for an average title and possibly an AL MVP.
Paul Konerko enters today’s action with an AL Best .357 AVG and a .431 OBP-in leading the team to a 35-33 start, which trails the Cleveland Indians by just a half game. The team had started off slow before Konerko went absolutely beserk in May and had raised his average to .399 at one point during his torrid streak. To date this year, he has hit 13 HRs and added 38 RBI. In my opinion, he will be selected to his 6th all-time ALL-star game in Kansas City next month when they unveil the roster. Now Konerko still has a chance to catch Prince Fielder with the fan voting with only being a few hundred thousand votes behind the Tigers 1st baseman.
Wednesday June.6, 2012
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 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
Cade Kreuter “The Crocodile Hunter” Interview: Miami Hurricanes and 3rd Generation Baseball Prospect
Saturday February 4, 2012
MLB reports – Jonathan Hacohen: Talk about keeping it in the family. Cade Kreuter certainly knows how to follow in the baseball footsteps of his family. The 20-year old currently plays infield and outfield for the University of Miami, after spending 2010 as a USC Trojan. Both his grandfather (Mike Gillespie) and father (Chad Kreuter) were head coaches with USC as well. Then to top it all off, all three have worn the #19. Younger brother Cole wears #19 at his high school- so bottom line, if you are a Kreuter: you wear #19. From Chadden (Chad) to sons Cole and Caden (Cade) – the Kreuter family is writing its baseball family legacy. I had the opportunity to watch Cade’s dad on the field and I will tell you, he was as solid as they come. A solid major league catcher for 16 seasons, dad really set the bar high. But Cade is up for the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead for him.
Cade was drafted by the Diamondbacks in 2009 but opted to go to school instead. Playing the infield and outfield in his career, Cade can also catch if called upon. Just call him Mr. Versatility in Miami. Coming from a strong baseball family background, Cade is definitely learning the family business. Being named this past year to the California Coastal League All-Star Game and top prospect in the CCL shows that the accolades are coming. Standing 6’5″ and 205 lbs, Cade is a beast on the field. As he finishes up school- the next step will be to take his tools into pro ball. Maybe to New York one day?
Today on MLB reports, we introduce a prospect from a different side of the game. If you always wondered what it is like to play university ball for a major institution like Miami- today is your lucky day. Meet the man who helped train the actors you watched in the smash movie Moneyball. Plus after his playing days are done, we could be looking at the next crocodile hunter (trust us, it’s true!) Featured on MLB reports, we bring you our interview with baseball prospect and 3rd generation player, Cade Kreuter:
MLB reports: First question: Favorite team growing up?
Cade Kreuter: My favorite team growing up was always the team my dad was playing for at the time, but with that said, really my favorite team has always been the Yankees. They are the best and everyone knows it. Many of my favorite players have played on the Yankees at some point in time also. It is a dream to be a big leaguer, but it is an entire different dream to be a Yankee. I see it as one of the highest honors in baseball to have an opportunity to be a Yankee.
MLB reports: You were drafted by the Dbacks in 2009 but chose to attend the University of Southern California instead. How close were you to signing with the Dbacks, what were the negotiations like?
Cade Kreuter: Being drafted by the Diamondbacks was a very exciting moment of time in my life, I did not expect to be drafted at all actually. I had missed my entire season senior year after I dislocated my shoulder the first game of the year. So there really were not any negotiations with the Diamondbacks after I was drafted. I was contacted the morning of the draft by the Diamondbacks, about 15 minutes before I was drafted, and I was told to turn on my computer and listen to the draft and for my name to be called out. After I was drafted it was explained to me that I would be a “draft and follow” and I would now be in their system.
MLB reports: How have you enjoyed your time in University so far (what has your experience been like)? Do you feel you made the right choice in picking school over pro ball? (if you could go back in a time machine- would you have still made the same choice?)
Cade Kreuter: No doubt about it that I made the right choice to go to college for a few years before signing professional. I do always think about what if I signed out of high school, I could be three years ahead into pro ball and who knows where I could be. But I really do think I made the right choice by going to school. I have matured in so many different ways, as a ballplayer, and as a person. My shoulder injury was able to heal during my time in college, and now I am healthy and throwing again. I have met so many people who I may have missed out on if I had skipped college. On top of all that I have put at least 3 years of education in my pocket, from 2 of the top Universities in the country.
MLB reports: Number 19- how did you pick that number?
Cade Kreuter: Number 19 has become a family number, and my grandfather, Mike Gillespie, started it all when he was playing at the University of Southern California. My grandfather continued to wear the number while he was coaching at USC and still continues to wear it now at UC Irvine. My dad wore it when he could while he was playing. I have always worn the number 19 when it is available, and my little brother, Cole, who is a sophomore at Columbus High School also wears 19. We are both very proud to keep the number in the family, and hope to pass it on.
Cade Kreuter: Growing up I played baseball, basketball and football. In high school I played both baseball and football. I only played football my freshman and sophomore year, but I really do regret not playing football the rest of the way through high school. I have not ruled out walking on as a quarterback in football for my senior season at The U if I decide to stay for my senior year.
MLB reports: Did you have a favorite player growing up?
Cade Kreuter: I have had so many different favorite players from Ken Griffey Jr. to Frank Thomas, and to Mike Sweeney. But really my favorite player growing up was Gary Sheffield. I loved everything about Gary, his batting stance, his swing, his cleats. I could go on. But his locker was right next to my dads when they played on the Dodgers together, and I always looked up to him.
MLB reports: Which current MLB star do you most admire and why? Any current players that you pattern your game after?
Cade Kreuter: Right now I look at players in the MLB a little bit differently than I did as a kid growing up. Now I look at guys who have similar size and height to me, and I like to see how they do specific things in their swing and their batting stance. Being so tall it is difficult to keep my swing in tune since I am not fully filled into my body. So I like to look at players like Alex Rodriguez, Josh Hamilton, and Matt Kemp. They’re all such big hitters at the plate I can see how they use their bodies throughout their swing and relate to that.
MLB reports: What are your goals going into the 2012 season?
Cade Kreuter: My biggest goal for this upcoming season is to get to Omaha and win it. There is nothing else on my mind right now, and I know that with a national championship in my sights and putting my team first that my personal statistics will take care of themselves. That is my goal right now.
MLB reports: What has your offseason been like? What are you up to? What are you doing to prepare for the season?
Cade Kreuter: Well I consider my fall semester and winter break my offseason really. Fall semester here at The U consist of a lot of intra-squad games, a lot of weight training, and running. That is all done with the team. During my winter break I go two-a-days with the weight training, once in the morning and once at night. When I was not in the weight room I was in the cages taking as many swings I could. I would long toss 3 times a week and keep my throwing short distance on the other days.
Cade Kreuter: I have been playing ball since I can remember. Since I was a little kid I knew that I would be playing baseball as long as it allows me to. Right now I am playing the corners in the outfield and I like it a lot out there, but I can play any position and if somebody moves me back to the infield I would be more than happy and then they can move me back to the outfield if they wanted. As long as I am playing baseball I’m ok. But, long-term I do see myself in the outfield because of my body size, and my tools go well in the outfield. I love to throw people out, so beware.
MLB reports: Ever consider catching (wink)?
Cade Kreuter: I use to catch when I was young! But I guess the last time I caught was when I probably 13 years old, before my freshman year in high school. I did some catching drills at USC for a little too and I had a decent pop time. If I was told to get back behind the plate I wouldn’t argue, I think catching is a great position to play. I might have trouble with the signs. I would for sure need to practice that a lot.
MLB reports: What’s the keys to your game- power, speed, patience- or a combination?
Cade Kreuter: Right now I am focusing on staying aggressive at the plate and letting my natural power take over. So instead of just looking for my pitch to hit I’m starting to drive anything thrown in the zone. My power is a big part of the game, but it is difficult to not get caught up in my power sometimes. So I just need to stay smooth and quick through the zone instead of trying to jack the ball all the time. When I do that, my power really shows. I can turn the running turbo on too, if I think there can be another bag in there for myself I’ll take it.
MLB reports: What facets of your game do you most wish to improve upon?
Cade Kreuter: Right now I strike out a lot, and that is what I want to improve upon the most right now. If you asked me this question a few months ago I would have told you my number thing to do would be get my shoulder healthy and back in game shape. But I know as I continue to learn my body, learn my swing, and become a better hitter mentally at the plate that my strike out numbers will be cut down. That comes with repetition also, I have missed out on a lot of at bats and games since my senior year in high school because of this injury.
MLB reports: Who were the strongest baseball influences growing up? Any particular coaches that had a deep impact on your game?
Cade Kreuter: I have had so many great coaches and I have had a lot of awful coaches. First major influences that I have had in baseball are my dad and grandfather, Mike Gillespie. They both have so much knowledge about the game and understand that even the tiniest of things can make the biggest difference to a baseball player. That is why they have both been so successful in their careers, and they have taught me in very advanced ways that a lot of other coaches and players I have had or played with can’t even comprehend. I have had coaches that thought I was an awful baseball player because I was tall and lanky, and I have had teammates tell me that too. A lot of that is just plain jealousy, but you learn to use that negative stuff as fuel after a while.
MLB reports: Three years of school and then going back to the draft. Is that the plan? Where do you see yourself being drafted the next time around and what do you need to do to get there?
Cade Kreuter: The plan for me right now is to play as hard and as good as I can play for my team every game. My plan is to go to Omaha and win. Whatever happens with the draft happens. The draft is not going to make me a better or worse player in pro ball because I went high or low in the draft. The situation does need to be right for me to sign and there is a lot of different things that go with that. But I know when I play for my team and not for myself is when I will get the best out of me, so everything will fall into place when the draft comes.
MLB reports: Tell us about your dad, Chad Kreuter. What was he like as a dad? What is your relationship like?
Cade Kreuter: My dad is everything to me. When he was playing he brought me to the ballpark with him as much as possible, which is something a lot of players shy away from doing and worry about having their kid there for different reasons. Looking back it seems I spent every minute with him even while he was doing his work at the park. But he has given me the best life that he could ever give me and I couldn’t ask him for anything more.
MLB reports: Any pressure to become a ballplayer? Did you ever consider another career path? Is having a famous baseball dad any hinderance to you?
Cade Kreuter: I don’t feel pressure to be a ballplayer ever, it’s just what I have always done. It’s what I have always been good at. I did feel I needed to prove myself as a player to my teammates at USC when I was playing under my dad there. Really I’ve always wanted to be a Big Leaguer, so I’m just a kid dreaming still. Another career path? No, not really. I guess my backup plan would be something with science and wildlife, which people find shocking and weird. I just know a lot about nature for some reason, probably because I watch more Animal Planet than ESPN.
MLB reports: Favorite baseball movie of all-time and why?
Cade Kreuter: My favorite baseball movie has to be “Moneyball” now since I helped Chris Pratt “Scott Hatteberg” and Stephen Bishop “David Justice” with their hitting and defense for the movie. My dad and grandpa also worked on set while they were filming and they were both actually in the movie. It doesn’t get better than “Sandlot” though.
MLB reports: Final thoughts?
Cade Kreuter: Thank you for the interview! Go Canes! Cade.
Jonathan Hacohen is the Lead Baseball Columnist & Editor for MLB reports: You can follow Jonathan on Twitter (@JHacohen)
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