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B.J. Upton And Dan Uggla Were The Biggest Reasons Why Wren Was Shown The Door!

The Brothers Upton both were acquired in the 2012 offseason by the Atlanta Braves.  This was a risk for the organization, and while Justin has played extremely well in condensed pockets, Upton is quickly establishing himself as one of the worst contracts ever signed in Major League Baseball.  a .197/.276/.310 3 Slash Line - with 20 HRs and 60 RBI in 902 AB is simply abysmal.  The Braves brass should send him to the Winter Leagues this off-year, to correct his problems.

The Brothers Upton both were acquired in the 2012 offseason by the Atlanta Braves. This was a risk for the organization, and while Justin has played extremely well in condensed pockets, B.J.Upton, now 30,  is quickly establishing himself as one of the worst Free Agent contracts ever signed in Major League Baseball. with a .197/.276/.310 – Braves 3 Slash Line – with 20 HRs and 60 RBI in 902 AB during his 1st 2 years as a Brave is simply abysmal. The club’s brass should send him to the Winter Leagues this off-year, to correct his problems.  Justin Upton, 27, has fared much better in his 2 seasons, with an OPS of .822, 54 HRs and 162 RBI for his 1108 AB. The worst part about this is that the younger brother only has 1 more year left on his deal in 2015, making $14.5 MIL, while B.J. has 3 more years left on his deal, paying him a sum of over $46 MIL for the duration.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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I started writing for this website about a year ago.  One of my first articles I put forth was one centered around the albatross contracts that were B.J. Upton and Dan Uggla.

True to prior blogs written here at the MLB Reports, the older Upton’s Free Agent contract of 5 YRs/$75 MIL will go down as one of the worst deals ever consummated on the open market.

You add the $15 AAV (Average Annual Value) to Uggla’s $11 MIL, and you are forking out over $26 MIL a year – for what are horrific numbers.

The genesis of my theory was simply the team would not recover financially, or be able to cover up any mistakes/injuries that may come to the club.

Atlanta has been one of the best franchises in the MLB for the last 24 years.  Even after the organization claimed 14 straight NL East titles, they only took about 5 years to reload the troops for another wave of success.

Since the end of the 2012 year though, the franchise has seen Chipper Jones retire, longtime Catcher Brian McCann move on to New York, and former Brave great Tim Hudson move out to the San Francisco Giants. Read the rest of this entry

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The Atlanta Braves Prospects + Organizational Depth Charts For All Affiliates – 2014 (MLB + MiLB)

The Atlanta Braves went to the World Series  5 times in the 90's, only winning the title in 1995.  The team won 14 Division Titles from 1991 - 2005, and have been very competitive for the last 4 years, after a short dry spell.  A lot of it has to do with their Minor League System.

The Atlanta Braves went to the World Series 5 times in the 90’s, only winning the title in 1995. The team won 14 Division Titles from 1991 – 2005, and have been very competitive for the last 4 years, after a short dry spell from 2006 – 2009.. A lot of it has to do with their Minor League System.

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

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Do you ever wonder how the Atlanta Braves have been so successful as an organization for the last quarter century? The answer is they are able to develop within.

In fact, the only times the club seems to do poorly is when it goes outside its comfort zone, and spend a bushel full of money for Free Agency.

Take the B.J. Upton abysmal deal, that may plague the franchise for spending until they reach their new stadium digs in Cobb County GA.

Yes, they hit a HR in the mid-90’s when they signed Greg Maddux, but times have changed for the economy of baseball.

The club also suffers from the trade to acquire Dan Uggla. These are small blips on a stellar establishment mostly comprised of homegrown talent.

Freddie Freeman, Jason Heyward, Craig Kimbrel, Alex Wood, Julio Teheran, Andrelton Simmons and Evan Gattis are the future of this team. Braves fans are hoping for another World Series Winner.

If you are a fan, get to know these players we list in the post, and follow their progress in the Minors.  if you click their name, it will take you to baseballreference.com’s player page of them.

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Atlanta Braves State Of The Union 2014: The Hitters

Freddie Freeman and Jason Heyward are the future of this team.  Having said that, Freeman has displayed a little bit more consistency in his play to start their Careers.  In 1908 AB so far (about 3 full years), Freeman has a 3 Slash Line of .285/.355/.466 with 68 HRs and 280 RBI.  2013 saw him make his 1st ALL - Star Game, and finish 5th in NL MVP Voting by going .319/.396/.501 - with 23 HRs and 109 RBI despite missing 15 games.

Freddie Freeman and Jason Heyward are the future of this team. Having said that, Freeman has displayed a little bit more consistency in his play to start their Careers. In 1908 AB so far (about 3 full years), Freeman has a 3 Slash Line of .285/.355/.466 with 68 HRs and 280 RBI. 2013 saw him make his 1st ALL – Star Game, and finish 5th in NL MVP Voting by going .319/.396/.501 – with 23 HRs and 109 RBI despite missing 15 games.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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The Braves won 95 Games in 2013, and the NL East was a runaway by 9 games over Washington.

This was done even though of paltry numbers posted by Dan Uggla and B.J. Upton, and a half year with Jason Heyward hitting underneath the Mendoza Line.

The game changer for the offense was a surprise performance by 3B Chris Johnson, who contended for the NL Batting Title for the better part of the whole year.

Evan Gattis and Brian McCann also hit near 20+ HRs each for just about a seasons worth of Plate Appearances out of the Catchers position.

Justin Upton charged out of the gates in April with 12 HRs, and then after going cold in the next 3 months. bounced back in August to take a run at it again.

The younger brother to B.J., had stretches were he carried the club. Read the rest of this entry

Which Manager’s Seat Is The Hottest In The MLB – 2014?

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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There are many expectations in 2014 for a lot of the MLB clubs. 

Realistically, only the Houston Astros and the Minnesota Twins could be ousted from playoff contention before we even play in the American League.

The National League has several more teams with improbable chances to post a postseason berth in 2014.

The Mets, Marlins, Twins, Cubs and Padres are the longest shots on the board to nail down play in October as well.

Out of those teams, Chicago just hired Rich Renteria, and the other 5 teams would likely let the year play itself out before thinking of a skipper’s switch.

With those teams listed, I highly doubt the current bench bosses will remain in position by the time the clubs become good. Read the rest of this entry

Atlanta Braves Payroll in 2014 + Contracts Going Forward Part 1

It would be one thing if B.J. Upton were the only player on the Braves who had an abysmal season.  When you add the injuries and the season of Dan Uggla to Upton worst year of his career, it is actually amazing this team ended with 96 Wins.  With the club losing Brian McCann, Paul Maholm and Tim Hudson, they will need Upton and CO. to rebound for the team to contend again in 2014.  Upton has to get back to 20/20 years for powers and steals, and at least hit to 85% of his career 3 slash - to justify the contract doled out by the Atlanta Braves.  Uggla must correct his vision problems and get back to raking again.  These 2 guys are the #2 and #3 paid guys on the squad in 2014 behind Justin Upton.

It would be one thing if B.J. Upton were the only player on the Braves who had an abysmal season. When you add the injuries and the season of Dan Uggla to Upton worst year of his career, it is actually amazing this team ended with 96 Wins. With the club losing Brian McCann, Paul Maholm and Tim Hudson, they will need Upton and CO. to rebound for the team to contend again in 2014. Upton has to get back to 20/20 years for powers and steals, and at least hit to 85% of his career 3 slash – to justify the contract doled out by the Atlanta Braves. Uggla must correct his vision problems and get back to raking again. These 2 guys are the #2 and #3 paid guys on the squad in 2014 behind Justin Upton.

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

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The ‘Tomahawk Choppers’ have 2 players that are killing them for Free Agent signings this winter.

B.J. Upton is only in the 2nd year of his 5 YRs/$75 MIL – and underachieving Dan Uggla  is still on the  books for 2 more years.

Between these 2 gentleman, they will bring down $26.25 MIL in 2014.  The Braves are hoping for more than under the ‘Mendoza Line’ Batting Averages – and an occasional big fly.

The Braves are also headed to Arbitration with Freddie Freeman, Jason Heyward and Craig Kimbrel.  This is certainly bound to cost the organization a pretty penny.

In fact, those 3 players will likely exceed the amount of the B.J Upton and Uggla contracts.

Craig Kimbrel 2013 Highlights – Mature Lyrics Parental Guidance Is Advised:

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The Atlanta Braves State Of The Union – Fall 2013: Part 1

2013 was not an easy road traveled either. The Braves suffered so many injuries and set backs this season that I think a lot of us almost forget about the ones that happened earlier on in the year. Johnny Venters never even threw a regular season pitch this year and he has been our premiere set up man. Eric O’Flaherty threw his last pitch somewhere around the middle of May against this very Dodger team at Turner Field.

2013 was not an easy road traveled for Atlanta. The Braves suffered so many injuries and set backs this season that I think a lot of us almost forget about the ones that happened earlier on in the year. Johnny Venters never even threw a regular season pitch this year and he has been our premiere set up man. Eric O’Flaherty threw his last pitch somewhere around the middle of May against this very Dodger team at Turner Field.

By Bob McVinua (Special Guest Braves Writer – visit his website here):

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At the point after Eric O’Flaherty went down, many of us Braves fans began to panic and wonder how Fredi Gonzalez would get the ball to arguably the best closer

in all of baseball Craig Kimbrel. What happened after that? The Braves would still go on to post the best bullpen ERA in all of baseball and on top of that set a franchise record for the same mark.

Jason Heyward missed significant time as did Brian McCann. Freddie Freeman spent a couple of weeks on the disabled list and still drove in over 100 runs on the season.

BJ Upton and Dan Uggla struggled throughout most of the 2013 season and BJ was one of the players expected to make a huge impact when he signed with the Braves this winter and it just never happened.

Other players stepped up and young players assumed roles that were well beyond the original expectations of them in 2013.

No one panicked and no one quit and as a fan I am appreciative of the heart and effort this team always put forth.

The Dodgers Celebrate winning the NLDS Series versus Atlanta (At Turner Field)

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The Braves Keep On ‘Chopping’ Despite Several Key Injuries

The Braves have been falling by the wayside to injury since the 1st part of the year.  They have lost Venters, O'Flaherty. Hudson and now Heyward for a 2nd time.  If you couple that with lackluster performances from Dan Uggla and B.J. Upton, then this team has overachieved to the fullest with the rest of the choppers!

The Braves have been falling by the wayside to injury since the 1st part of the year. They have lost Venters, O’Flaherty. Hudson and now Heyward for a 2nd time. If you couple that with lackluster performances from Dan Uggla and B.J. Upton, the injury time on the DL for Brian McCann, Brandon Beachy – and even Evan Gattis, plus the retired Chipper Jones having been departed from the 2012 squad, then this team has overachieved to the fullest with the rest of the choppers!  Atlanta currently owns the best record in the MLB – with a 77 – 50 mark, 14 games clear of the 2nd place Washington Nationals in the NL East. Also, please stop inadvertently injuring our players New York Mets!

By Bob McVinua (Special Guest Braves Writer – visit his website here):

The word “injury” has plagued this 2013 Braves team all season long.

The injury bug didn’t take long to hit as Jonny Venters the teams premier set up man was unable to throw a single pitch this regular season.

Then it was Eric O’Flaherty who was hit with a season ending injury. At this point in time it was about mid May and many were in panic mode over what would become of this feared and revered Atlanta Braves bullpen.

It wouldn’t take too long to find out the answer to that question. After a little mixing and matching Fredi Gonzalez found the right guys to plug into those critical 7th/8th inning roles and they have been nothing short of spectacular.

Jason Heyward Hit In The Face – Not For The Weak Of Heart, You Have Been Warned!

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2 And A Hook Podcast Ep #8: Dodgers (Puig Especially), White Sox + Braves Talk With Awesome Guests!

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Thursday, June.20/2013

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 )

On today’s show, brought to you by MLB Reports (www.mlbreports.com) & yours truly The Bench Warmers, I talked with MLB Reports Braves correspondent Bob McVinua (www.braveschoptalk.wordpress.com) about the Atlanta Braves season so far, what’s to come for them the rest of the season plus other things…

Then I talked to MLB Reports Dodgers correspondent Enrique Rivera about their phenom Yasiel Puig, if the Dodgers somehow can get back in the playoff race amongst other issues…

Also I interviewed MLB Reports White Sox correspondent Brian Madsen about the White Sox offensive struggles, is their farm system producing any future ball players & other stuff…also I do my Stats & Facts segment as usual so check out this baseball podcast that talks baseball like it outta be!!! SPREAD THE WORD!! Thank you all for your support!!!

People in this Podcast:

Bob McVinua (MLB Reports Guest Braves Correspondent – About 9 Minutes in and a 21 Minute Segment)

Enrique Rivera (MLB Reports LA Dodgers Correspondent – 31 Minute Mark and a 15 Minute Segment) 

Brian Madsen (MLB Reports White Sox Correspondent- 53 Minutes In and a 17 Minute Segment) 

(Stats and Facts done by James at the 1 Hour and 10 Minute Mark for 20 Minutes and for the 1st 9 Minutes.)

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Atlanta Braves Organizational Charts: 2013 Team Payroll, Depth Charts + Rosters, (MLB + MiLB)

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Thursday, June.20/2013

The Braves are right up there with the St. Louis Cardinals, New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox for best run organizations over the last 25 years.  Some would say that Atlanta's brass is the king at organizational bang for the buck from drafting a trading. The team reeled off a professional record 14 straight Division Titles from 1991 - 2004.  They made it to 6 World Series, unfortunately only winning 1 of them.

The Braves are right up there with the St. Louis Cardinals, New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox for best run organizations over the last 25 years. Some would say that Atlanta’s brass is the king at organizational bang for the buck from drafting a trading. The team reeled off a professional record – 14 straight Division Titles from 1991 – 2005. They made it to 6 World Series, unfortunately only winning 1 of them in 1995.

By Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner): and welcome Jeff Kleiner (Salary, Roster and Depth Chart Expert for the MLB) – visit his website  here  

You guys are all in for a treat.  Jeff Kleiner recently contacted me about a partnership merge for the website.  He has developed a site (prosportsrosters.com) that covers all organizational affiliates in the Minors for all of the Major League Baseball Clubs.  We are going to combine efforts to bring you the best look at salaries, current 25 Man Player Rosters and Depth Charts for all 30 teams. 

Jeff is going to provide the documents in form of spreadsheets and I am going to accompany the posts with deep analysis of what the numbers tell us from my perspective.  If you can’t wait for all of my assessments for each club, go and visit Jeff’s website over at http://www.prosportsrosters.com.

In Speaking with Jeff, he is one of the more passionate fans I have come across towards the game of baseball.  He spends enough time in updating his MLB Facts for it to be a Full-Time Job.  So after the usual Video Clip and READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY button, you will find some serious &*!@?!#!

Jeff updates this page below on a daily basis.  After you click on it….Bookmark it.  There is a 3 year salary forecast and stats not listed here on this page.  Jeff updates these pages daily and these changes include any Roster moves!

For a Full 3 year Salary Outlook plus last years Stats for every player in the Braves Organization click here

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Braves Schedule Sets Them Up For Smooth Sailing

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Sunday, June.16/2013

The Braves have only gone 4 - 6 in the last 10 games, however this team has a great schedule ahead of them, a 5.5 Games lead on the Nationals, 51 Games remaining at home, while only playing 43 on the road.  That and they play in the worst Division in the National League

The Braves have only gone 4 – 6 in the last 10 games, however this team has a great schedule ahead of them, a 5.5 Games lead on the Nationals, 51 Games remaining at home, while only playing 43 on the road. That and they play in the worst Division in the National League.  Atlanta is 15 – 6 versus their NL East counterparts – and have 55 Games left against the Mets, Marlins, Phillies and Nats out of the last 94 contests.

By Bob McVinua (Special Guest Braves Writer – visit his website here):

Sometimes when a team is scuffling a little bit the fan base needs some reason for optimism. Now of course players are supposed to focus on the game and opponent at hand and not look too far away.

However I’m not a player so it’s perfectly fine for me to look ahead at the Braves schedule and what I see is nothing but smooth sailing ahead for Captain Fredi Gonzalez.

Now no game on a schedule can be counted as a win and on any given day anyone can beat anyone in Major League Baseball. I know the arguments against my point but I’d still much prefer to play a soft stretch in my schedule while I’m struggling a little bit then a difficult one.

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We’re A 1/3 Of The Way Home: 10 Braves Questions To Ponder For The Last 2/3

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Friday, May.31/2013

The Braves have entered the 1/3rd part of the NL East atop of the Division,  The Nationals and Phillies have struggled, while the franchise has seen more ups and downs.  Even with B.J. Upton, Dan Uggla and Jason Heyward having poor numbers (other than Uggla's power,) the club may really take off if these guys get aboard the train.

The Braves have entered the 1/3rd part of the NL East atop of the Division, The Nationals and Phillies have struggled, while the franchise has seen more ups and downs. Even with B.J. Upton, Dan Uggla and Jason Heyward having poor numbers (other than Uggla’s power,) the club may really take off if these guys get aboard the train.

By Bob McVinua (Special Guest Braves Writer – visit his website here):

I can’t believe it’s already the end of May and that baseball season is almost a 1/3 of the way over already. It’s been a fun two months and I’ve enjoyed cheering for and stressing over these Bravos for the past almost 60 days.

I thought that this was a good time to assess what I think the Braves have and what they don’t have. And moving forward what this team will have to do in order to be successful.

As usual I don’t want to bore anyone with stats, I may throw a few in there for reference points but I’ll try not to over load anyone. I can’t stand the fact that you can’t even read an article on baseball without it looking like a math problem.

Past the Read Entry Tag – or youtube clip – as there are the 10 questions to be answered in the last 108 Games.

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Braves Bullpen Burnout

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Monday, May.27/2013

Isn't it funny who times change, the Braves used to be the model franchise when it came to health of their Pitching Staff.  Now it seems that every year there are a couple of guys going down with Tommy John Surgery.  What is going on?

Isn’t it funny who times change, the Braves used to be the model franchise when it came to health of their Pitching Staff. Now it seems that every year there are a couple of guys going down with Tommy John Surgery. What is going on?

By Bob McVinua (Special Guest Braves Writer – visit his website here):

I don’t want this article to become one that is filled with stats and numbers. I don’t want to go into the details of the past season, this season or any other season. All this is about is discussing an often misunderstood entity of the game of baseball. The major league bullpens.

The topic of bullpens rarely turns into a heated debate even by baseball’s biggest fans. People are far more focused on the starting rotation and the position players that play every single day.

It’s rare for there to be a block buster bullpen signing or trade that really gets the juices of baseball fans going and the names in each bullpen are barely recognizable to most baseball fans.

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Getting Healthy Could Catch Up To The Braves

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Friday, April.26/2013

The Braves have weathered many injuries in the early season - and a slump of Jason Heywards 3 Slash Line of .121//269/.519 in 17 Games Played - with only 2 HRs and 5 RBI.  Freeman just returned from a strained oblique on Apr.23rd.

The Braves have weathered many injuries in the early season – and a slump of Jason Heywards 3 Slash Line of .121//269/.519 in 17 Games Played – with only 2 HRs and 5 RBI. Freeman just returned from a strained oblique on Apr.23rd.  The First Baseman has had a better start to his year, clutching up for 1 HR and 8 RBI in just 8 Games Played.  His 3 Slash so far is .321/.424./924.

By Bob McVinua (Special Guest Braves Writer – visit his website here):

It’s a very rare set of circumstances. One that not many teams in sports will ever experience. Something that appears so positive that it can’t possibly bring a negative or complicated outcome to your franchise. That circumstance is getting healthy.

Baseball teams worry about health from the moment Spring Training begins and they don’t stop worrying about it until the last pitch of October is thrown and a champion is crowned.

The Braves have had their fair share of injuries to begin this season (Jason Heyward - the latest to go down with an appendectomy) but fortunately we have plugged players in there that have been able to experience a great level of success and lead the team to what is now a 15-7 record to start the season, very impressive.

A lot of these injured players will have a home waiting for them when they return, a spot on the diamond and a place in the line up. Freddie Freeman had no trouble fitting back into the line up this  nor will Jonny Venters when he returns to the Bullpen later this year.

Braves 2013 Preview Mature Lyrics so Parental Guidance is Advised:

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The Atlanta Braves Are The Best Team In The National League

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Monday, April.15/2013

The Braves have roared out of the gate during the 2013 MLB Season, with a baseball best 11 - 1, including a convincing sweep of the Washington Nationals over the weekend.  This has been done without long time player Chipper Jones retiring - and Brian McCann being on the shelf for the 1st part of the season

The Braves have roared out of the gate during the 2013 MLB Season, with a baseball best 11 – 1, including a convincing sweep of the Washington Nationals over the weekend. This has been done without long time player Chipper Jones retiring – and Brian McCann being on the shelf for the 1st part of the season.

Jake Dal Porto (Baseball Writer)

At 11-1, the Atlanta Braves can seemingly do no wrong. Fresh off a sweep of the Washington Nationals, the Braves can make a very good case regarding their status as the best team in the NL.

That spot was occupied by the Nationals in the preseason chatter. And I wouldn’t blame the pundits who circled them as the NL’s best team.

After all, they fixed their leadoff spot woes with the addition of Denard Span, further improved their bullpen with Rafael Soriano and probably most importantly, started the season with an improved Bryce Harper. On paper, they had minuscule flaws.

The Brothers Upton Both HR to win the game!:

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5 Random Injustices In Baseball For The Last 27 Years

Wednesday, Nov.21/2012

Baseball needs to consider upping its INSTANT REPLAY USE in order to help umpires out.

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer/Website Owner):

I am hoping that baseball decides to use more INSTANT REPLAY in the near future as it would aid the umpires from making calls that everyone in this planet knows are wrong except for them.  In four of the injustices I am talking about here it might have changed the landscape of the outcome.  The reason I am writing about these is that it is important to never forget the history of the game.  Baseball has changed so much in the past 25-30 years and should continue to evolve with the modern times.  We have so much technology and resources at our disposal, that we should be able to cut down on the amount of injustices that occur because of Human Error.  We Will count these errors back from #5 to #1 in amount of craziness. Read the rest of this entry

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