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Pittsburgh Pirates State Of The Union: 2014 Preview

The 2013 Pittsburgh Pirates went from zeros to heroes, after 20 seasons of cellar dwelling.  Finally, the people of Pittsburgh PA, finally had something to cheer about besides the NHL's Penguins, and NFL's Steelers.   They were the last NL team to make the playoffs (Post 1994 Player Strike)

The 2013 Pittsburgh Pirates went from zeros to heroes, after 20 seasons of cellar dwelling. Finally, the people of Pittsburgh PA, finally had something to cheer about besides the NHL’s Penguins, and NFL’s Steelers. They were the last NL team to make the playoffs (Post 1994 Player Strike).

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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The Pirates not only kicked the playoff curse in 2013,  but they also embarked on a journey that saw them improve on their win total for a 4th consecutive season.

In a row, it went 59, 72, 79 and 94 wins respectively from 2010 – 2014.

Neil Huntington could finally show the fruits of his labor in assembling his team.

In the last few years particularly, stalwart Draft pick Andrew McCutchen has asserted himself as one of the premiere players to suit up in the MLB right now. Read the rest of this entry

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Pittsburgh Pirates 2014 Roster + Organizational Depth Charts (MLB and MiLB)

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

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The Pittsburgh Pirates broke a 21 Year Old playoff drought in 2013, by winning 94 Games, winning the Wild Card Game to the Reds – before bowing out to the St. Louis Cardinals in 5 games of the LDS.

Neil Huntington has done an exceptional job assembling this club both via trade an drafting.

Not signing A.J. Burnett to a deal is actually a smart move when you figure he is going to earn $16.0 MIL in 2014.  If the Bucs GM would have doled out the 1 YR/$14.1 MIL for the cagey veteran, it would have blown the teams salary structure. Read the rest of this entry

Updated Odds To Win The 2014 World Series As Of Right Now

While I believe the Dodgers will win the NL West - and also represent that league in the World Series for 2014, the odds for betting them are not there.  As the favorite, you can't make any money.  The Giants (+2500), D'Backs (+3300) and Rockies (+5500) all represent great value - considering all of them have already upgraded their franchises over this winter.

While I believe the Dodgers will win the NL West – and also represent that league in the World Series for 2014, the odds for betting them are not there. As the favorite, you can’t make any money. The Giants (+2500), D’Backs (+3300) and Rockies (+5500) all represent great value – considering all of them have already upgraded their franchises over this winter.

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

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9 days ago I posted my last article on these odds.  One of my captions was to pick the Mariners at +4000 for a couple of bucks considering they may land Robinson Cano.

A day later they did, and now they are trading at +3300.  The M’s also picked up Corey Hart and Logan Morrison in separate transactions.  I still the team is a good bet at that value mark.

If they were to trade for David Price (by packaging Taijuan Walker, Nick Franklin, another prospect and maybe a relief pitcher, they would have 3 dominant top pitchers, plus a young fireballer in James Paxton still.

This team would vaguely resemble the type of squad the Giants were in 2010.  A great deal of pitching and a decent enough offense. Read the rest of this entry

MLB 30 Team Power Rankings: Week 21

42 - 8, 25 - 3, 19 - 1, 10 wins in a row.  These are all significant numbers put up with a team with deep pockets, the ability to outdraw everyone, and owners willing to do whatever it takes to bring home the 1st World Series Title since 1988.  No one can touch these guys right now. Best 3 Starters in the NL and hottest 2 NL Hitters in Puig and Ramirez.  Oh yeah, the Bullpen has been lights out for the last 50 contests!

42 – 8, 25 – 3, 19 – 1, 10 wins in a row. These are all significant numbers put up with a team with deep pockets, the ability to outdraw everyone for park attendance, and owners willing to do whatever it takes to bring home the 1st World Series Title since 1988. No one can touch these guys right now. Best 3 Starters in the NL and hottest 2 NL Hitters in Puig and Ramirez. Oh yeah, the Bullpen has been lights out for the last 50 contests!

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

It is time for the MLB Power Rankings.  These are based on my thoughts on whether who has the best chance to win the World Series.

A lot of these positions are based on who has the toughest Strength of Schedule left, who their competition is for the Division, and possibly even the League they are in,

The races for the Divisions (AL East, AL West and NL Central are starting to tighten up, while the NL West, AL Central and most notably NL East are looking to be foregone conclusions

The Braves have rattled of a 18 – 3 stretch, and have been ousted by the Dodgers for the #1 spot in the MLB Rankings .

The Rangers are trying to ricochet off of a couple of great deals, in order to flame down the Oakland Athletics.

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MLB 30 Team Power Rankings: Week 18: Trade Deadline Edition

Click The Link Below For A Great MLB Reports Podcast On The Trade Deadline

Triple Play Podcast Trade Speculation

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Sunday July.28/2013

The Dodgers have won 25 out of their last 31, play in the weakest division in the MLB right now, and other than Arizona, do not have much competition right now.  Solid Pitching and a revamped healthy lineup has led the charge.  They climbed all the way up to 5th in this weeks rankings.

The Dodgers have won 25 out of their last 31, play in the weakest division in the MLB right now, and other than Arizona, do not have much competition. Solid Pitching and a revamped healthy lineup has led the charge. They climbed all the way up to 6th in this weeks rankings.  The Dodgers have a 230 Million Dollar Plus payroll, and have no plans to slow down in this offseason.  It may actually be a blessing in disguise if this team makes a long run in the playoffs.  It has been speculated they will pursue Robinson Cano this winter.  I have predicted they will offer him a 7 – 8 year deal worth $30 MIL per annum.

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

The Detroit Tigers finds itself back on top of our rankings.  It was a hard decision between them and the Atlanta Braves.

The prevailing thought is that I am more confident in the “Motown Boys” to make the World Series.

Since starting the year 12 – 11, the Braves have only gone 47 – 44.  Lets just say the should finish the season with about 89 wins.  That would force Washington to go 38 – 19 in their final 57 Games.

I fully expect the Nationals to take off at any part in the season, so this is not a foreign concept.

In contrast, I don’t believe in either the Indians or Royals to near 90 wins like the Tigers should have by seasons end.

With a bypass to eliminate the Wild Card Game, Detroit is our #1 team.

Clip is Francona talking about Fielder – (There are 2 more clips of C.Fielder +  P.Fielder at end of this blog)

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Who Owned Baseball Yesterday (May.31) – Updated Yearly ‘WOB’ Standings

Cincinnati Reds starting pitcher Johnny Cueto was one of the four players who owned baseball on May 31, 2013. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

Cincinnati Reds starting pitcher Johnny Cueto was one of the four players who owned baseball on May 31, 2013. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

Johnny Cueto let up only one and one walk over 8 shutout innings as the Reds defeated the Pirates 6-0.

Jonathan Lucroy went 5-5 with two homers, three runs scored and four runs batted in as the Brewers topped Philadelphia 8-5.

Chris Dickerson crushed a 2 out, 3 run, walk off, come from behind homer to turn a Baltimore loss into an Oriole 7-5 win over the Tigers and bring the Birds to within 1 game in the loss column of first place.

And CC Sabathia shut down the Red Sox into the 8th inning, going 7 1/3 innings, letting up only 1 run, no walks and 10 strikeouts to end the Yankee losing streak, 4-1 and bring them to within a game of first.

They all owned baseball on May 31st, 2013.

My explanation for “Who Owns Baseball” can be found here.

At the end of the year, we will tally up who owned baseball the most individual days and see how it compares to the final MVP and Cy Young vote.

To view the Yearly Leaders for Who Owned Baseball Standings – Click the READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY ICON.

To View The List of just the nightly winners (WOB dedicated Page) starting from Mar.31/2013 – today click here Read the rest of this entry

Who Owned Baseball Yesterday (May 30th) – Updated Yearly ‘WOB’ Standings

Dillon Gee

Dillon Gee pitched 7 1/3 innings, letting up one run, 4 hits no walks and 12 strikeouts as the Mets beat the Yankees 3-1 and completed the season sweep of the Subway Series.

Luis Valbuena went 3-4, a triple shy of the cycle, scoring three runs as the Cubs swept the White Sox with an 8-3 win.

Jacoby Ellsbury went on a franchise record setting stolen base binge, swiping 5 bags against the Phillies while getting on base 4 times including 3 hits as the Red Sox beat the Phillies, 9-2.

And Freddy Garcia pitched 8 shutout innings, letting up only 3 hits and no walks as the Orioles topped the Nats 2-0.

They all owned baseball on May 30th, 2013.

My explanation for “Who Owns Baseball” can be found here.

At the end of the year, we will tally up who owned baseball the most individual days and see how it compares to the final MVP and Cy Young vote.

To view the Yearly Leaders for Who Owned Baseball Standings – Click the READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY ICON.

To View The List of just the nightly winners (WOB dedicated Page) starting from Mar.31/2013 – today click here Read the rest of this entry

Who Owned Baseball Yesterday (May.29th) – Updated Yearly ‘WOB’ Standings

(AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

(AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

Dioner Navarro crushed three homers in the Cubs 9-3 WIN over the White Sox. (Sorry Ryan Zimmerman.)

Mr. Zimmerman’s night (and baseball ownership) was foiled by the Orioles 9-6 comeback over the Nationals, led by Chris Davis‘ 4-4, 2 homer, 3 RBI  performance.

Eric Stults did not get the decision, but his 8 inning, 3 hit, 1 run, 12 strikeout and no walk performance set up the Padres 3-2 10 inning victory over Seattle.

Sam Deduno held down the Brewers bats for 7 innings and a single run, letting up 4 hits and 2 walks as the Twins won, 4-1.

They all owned baseball on May 28th, 2013.

My explanation for “Who Owns Baseball” can be found here.

At the end of the year, we will tally up who owned baseball the most individual days and see how it compares to the final MVP and Cy Young vote.

To view the Yearly Leaders for Who Owned Baseball Standings – Click the READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY ICON.

To View The List of just the nightly winners (WOB dedicated Page) starting from Mar.31/2013 – today click here Read the rest of this entry

Who Owned Baseball Yesterday (May.27) – Updated Yearly ‘WOB’ Standings

Aaron Harang

Aaron Harang threw a complete game 4 hit shutout as the Mariners beat the Padres, 9-0.

Kelly Johnson went 4-5 with 2 homers and a stolen base as the Rays topped the Marlins, 10-6.

Jeff Samardzija went the distance, throwing a two hit shutout over the crosstown White Sox, striking out 8 and walking 2 as the Cubs prevailed, 7-0.

And David Wright hit a triple, went 2-3 and his towering home run tied the game in the 7th and sparked the Mets come from behind 2-1 victory in the first game of the Subway Series with the Yankees, 2-1.

They all owned baseball on May 27th, 2013.

My explanation for “Who Owns Baseball” can be found here.

At the end of the year, we will tally up who owned baseball the most individual days and see how it compares to the final MVP and Cy Young vote.

To view the Yearly Leaders for Who Owned Baseball Standings – Click the READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY ICON.

To View The List of just the nightly winners (WOB dedicated Page) starting from Mar.31/2013 – today click here Read the rest of this entry

202 ‘WOB’ Awards Since Opening Day – Find Out Who

Sully baseball hosts a 20 Min Daily Podcast http://mlbreports.com/2013/04/27/sully-baseball-daily-podcast-april-27-2013/

‘Sully’ Baseball (Paul Francis Sullivan) hosts a 20 Minute Daily Podcast Every Day – 365 Days a Year – unless its a Leap Year – and then he is going to do another one.

check out Sully Baseball’s 20 Min Daily Podcast Right here

Don’t forget to Subscribe on iTunes HERE. RSS Feed here

WOB Stands For ‘Who Owned Baseball’  It is based on a Daily Look at the best players from the baseball games the day before. Our Lead Writer – Paul Francis Sullivan – (please call him ‘Sully’),  keeps a running total for the yearly leaders every day – and we will update the standings here every day on this page.. 

Agree or Disagree with him on the players he selects – leave him a comment at info@sullybaseball.com.  Follow him on twitter. 

So Bookmark this Page – and be part of the new phenomena of #WOB – If you reverse WOB it also means Players that take a BOW for being the best players of the night! Read the rest of this entry

Who Owned Baseball Yesterday (May 20th) – Updated Yearly ‘WOB’ Standings

Screen Shot 2013-05-21 at 7.21.26 AM

Yan Gomes hit a walk off, come from behind, 3 run homer in the bottom of the 10th to cap off a 3-5 day as the Indians won a bizarre 10-8 game over the Mariners.

R. A. Dickey pitched 8 strong innings letting up only 4 hits and 2 earned runs as the Blue Jays got a much needed win over the Rays, 7-5.

Brandon Belt went 4-5, homering and scoring 4 times as the Giants demolished the Nationals 8-0.

And Patrick Corbin threw his first career complete game, improving to 7-0, as he let up only 3 hits and 1 run in Coors Field, striking out 10 for the Diamondbacks 5-1 win over the Rockies.

They all owned baseball on May 20th, 2013

My explanation for “Who Owns Baseball” can be found here.

At the end of the year, we will tally up who owned baseball the most individual days and see how it compares to the final MVP and Cy Young vote.

To view the Yearly Leaders for Who Owned Baseball Standings – Click the READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY ICON.

To View The List of just the nightly winners (WOB dedicated Page) starting from Mar.31/2013 – today click here Read the rest of this entry

Who Owned Baseball Yesterday (May.19) – Updated Yearly ‘WOB’ Standings

Miguel Cabrera

In a losing cause, Miguel Cabrera hit three homers, reached base 5 times, scored three and drove in 5 runs. (His critics would point out that he made an error.) Despite his best efforts, the Tigers lost to Texas 11-8.

Matt Moore pitched seven terrific innings, holding the Orioles to a single run. The Tampa Bay Rays won 3-1 and swept a series in Baltimore that could come back to haunt the Birds later.

Carlos Gonzalez got on base four times and got RBI hits in the first and fifth as the Rockies blanked the Champion Giants 5-0 in Coors Field.

And Ricky Nolasco pitched 8 strong innings, letting up only 1 run and struck out 11 as the Marlins enjoyed a rare win, 2-1 over the Diamondbacks.

They all owned baseball on May 19th, 2013

My explanation for “Who Owns Baseball” can be found here.

At the end of the year, we will tally up who owned baseball the most individual days and see how it compares to the final MVP and Cy Young vote.

To view the Yearly Leaders for Who Owned Baseball Standings – Click the READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY ICON.

To View The List of just the nightly winners (WOB dedicated Page) starting from Mar.31/2013 – today click here Read the rest of this entry

MLB Team Power Rankings: Week 6

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Monday May.13/2013

The Rangers have opened up a 6 game lead over the Athetics - prior to their series with Oakland that kicks off tonight.  They have also only played 15 Home Games - as opposed to 22 Road Games.  Steady veteran hitting - and great Pitching all around has paved the way.  They are the only team in the Division over .500

The Rangers have opened up a 6 game lead over the Athletics – prior to their series with Oakland that kicks off tonight. They have also only played 15 Home Games – as opposed to 22 Road Games. Steady veteran hitting – and great Pitching all around has paved the way. They are the only team in the Division over .500

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

The Rangers are #1 again based on the Division lead they currently possess, plus the fact they play all of these teams a total of 76 Games this year.

St. Louis Cardinals have one hell of a pitching staff – and it is downright scary for the rest of the National League that they have played this well without the offense really clicking.

The Giants continue to streak.  I like their offensive makeup – because players like Buster Posey, Pablo Sandoval, Marco Scutaro and Hunter Pence all tend to be streaky.

The Boston Red Sox have begun to slow down recently.

The Tampa Bay Rays seem ready to make their charge.

Josh Hamilton and his 1 AB back in Arlington:

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Pittsburgh Pirates 2013 Team Salary, Pirates Roster + Organizational Depth Charts (MLB and MiLB)

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Friday, Apr.26/2013

The Pittsburgh Pirates organization is looking a lot better over the last few years.  They have had 20 Losing season in a row - and are one of the 3 teams to not make the playoffs since the 1994 Player Strike (KC and Toronto) and are the the only National League team to hold this distinction.  The club were one of the best franchises around the game of the MLB in the 1970's

The Pittsburgh Pirates organization is looking a lot better over the last few years. They have had 20 Losing season in a row – and are one of the 3 teams to not make the playoffs since the 1994 Player Strike (KC and Toronto) and are the the only National League team to hold this distinction. The club were one of the best franchises around the game of the MLB in the 1970′s.  The club has started 13 – 9 in 2013.  This pattern has formed over the last few campaigns, – in the NL Central contention until just after the ALL – Star Break – before swooning in 2011 and 2012.

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 &*!@?!#!

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

Pittsburgh Pirates Look at Buc Nation 3 Videos:

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Miami Marlins – Updated State of the Union: The Hitters and Pitchers

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Saturday, March 16, 2013

In 2013, the Marlins will have an all to familiar feeling of being a team waiting to grow up around in a division of championship contenders.  Hopefully this is the exception and not the rule for the Miami club.

In 2013, the Marlins will have an all to familiar feeling of being a team waiting to grow up around in a division of championship contenders. Hopefully this is the exception and not the rule for the Miami club.

In December, we took a look at Miami moving forward after the now infamous salary dump of the Winter of ’12.  Living in South Florida, its been an interesting off-season to discuss baseball with those who care about the sport.  Some believe that the trade was a positive baseball move, others think it was another in a long line of for profit motivated transactions by a team whose reputation is for that type of maneuver.  

In either case, with opening day approximately three (3) weeks ahead of us, it is now time to move on from the trade and examine to a greater degree what the 2013 season holds for the Miami franchise.

As with the past article, we will start with Giancarlo Stanton.  Statistically, we have spent a large portion of time discussing Stanton’s strengths.  He is an elite power presence in the middle of the Marlins lineup.  I won’t spend time re-hashing the statistics that we have already went over.  I do think its important to point out a few things that may effect Stanton’s output this year.

For Part 1 of the Marlins State Of The Union Piece in December – The Hitters:  click here

For Part 2 of the Marlins State Of The Union Piece in December – The Pitchers: click here

More Giancarlo Stanton Highlights – Mature Lyrics so Parental Guidance is advised:

Pirates Payroll In 2013 And Contracts Going Forward

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Friday, February.8, 2013

Pittsburgh GM Neil Huntington has found creative ways to help the Budget out - by taking risks on Wandy Rodriguez and A.J. Burnett.  They are both being paid portions of their contracts by their previous teams.

Pittsburgh GM Neil Huntington has found creative ways to help the Budget out – by taking risks on Wandy Rodriguez and A.J. Burnett. They are both being paid portions of their contracts by their previous teams.  Signing Andrew McCutchen to a long-term contract has also given the franchise the ability to add players in 2013 if need be.

By Brad Cuprik (Pirates Correspondent)

On August 8 of last season, the Pittsburgh Pirates were 63-47, 2.5 games back of the First-place Cincinnati Reds, securely into the second Wild-Card Spot – and had the fourth-best record in the National League. The wheels came off, the Bucs finished on a 16-36 slide, 18 games back of the Reds and with the 10th-best record in the NL. Reality could have caught up to a overperforming squad, or a youthful team took the next step in learning how to win. Either way, the Pirates enter 2013 with breaking a streak of 20 losing seasons on their minds.

General Manager Neal Huntington has been shrewd and active, signing MVP candidate Andrew McCutchen to a long-term deal in 2012 and getting other clubs to eat up significant chunks of their largest contracts when acquiring their top two starters. Starting pitching depth has been added and Huntington is even taking more high-priced risks, landing Catcher Russell Martin as a Free Agent.

Pittsburgh Pirates 2012 Highlights:

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Pittsburgh Pirates Roster in 2013: State Of The Union

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Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The Pirates have not made the playoffs since the 1992 Season. That year, Barry Bonds could not throw out Sid Bream from deep Short - and he subsequently left the team for the SF Giants.  20 Losing Season have since occurred.

The Pirates have not made the playoffs since the 1992 Season. That year, Barry Bonds could not throw out Sid Bream from deep Short in Game #7 of the NLCS versus the Braves – and they were eliminated for the 3rd straight year in the playoffs before reaching the World Series.  Bonds subsequently left the team for the SF Giants in 1993 – and 20 losing seasons have since occurred. Only the Kansas City Royals have a longer streak of not making the playoffs (1985). Will this change in 2013?

By Brad Cuprik (Pirates Correspondent)

Although the Pirates made significant strides in 2012, they still finished in fourth place in the National League Central – with a 79-83 mark – extending their professional sports record for consecutive losing seasons to 20. After being active at last season’s trading deadline, the Bucs added two key Free Agents in the offseason. One of those signings, LHP Francisco Liriano, agreed to 2 YR Deall for just under $13 Million – but broke his arm from an undisclosed injury in late December. The two sides agreed to a deal that lowers the first-season payout if Liriano misses any time due to the injury.

That has not dimmed the enthusiasm swelling around Pittsburgh and very few roster spots are up for grabs as the 2013 season nears. With the Houston Astros moving to the American League West, the division is down to five teams, but the Pirates still have numerous questions surrounding their ability to compete for a Post Season Berth.

Andrew McCutchen hitting mechanics: Mature Lyrics Content – Parental Guidance is Advised

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MLB Player Profile: The Pirates 1B/OF Garrett Jones

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Monday, January.07, 2013

Garrett Jones clubbed his way onto the scene in July of 2009 for the Bucs, where he hit .310/.370/1.061 with 10 HRs and 17 RBI in his 1st 100 AB of his Rookie Year.  He would go onto to finish 7th in NL ROY Voting

Garrett Jones clubbed his way onto the scene in July of 2009 for the Bucs, where he hit .310/.370/1.061 with 10 HRs and 17 RBI in his 1st 100 AB of his Rookie Year. He would go onto to finish 7th in NL ROY Voting.

Richie Devotie (Guest Baseball Writer):

Today we will be taking a look at Pittsburgh Pirates First Baseman and Right Fielder Garrett Jones. Jones was drafted by the Atlanta Braves in 1999 and made his MLB debut on May 15, 2007 with the Minnesota Twins.   Jones is kind of an all or nothing free swinger as his Career 3 Slash Line of .259/.321/.788 suggests.  He does have some serious HR power when he is on and tends to do most of his damage versus Right Handed Pitching.  In this article, we will dissect his Career performance so far, thus ending up with a verdict whether the Bucs can make the Playoffs and go far with the man as part of their Starting Lineup.

Garrett Jones Interview – Courtesy of Rant TV Sports You Tube Channel

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The Miami Marlins: State Of The Union for 2013 Part 1: The Hitters

Thursday, December.6, 2012

Giancarlo Stanton led the National League in Slugging Percentage with a .608 clip in 2012, amidst 37 HRs and 86 RBI in just 449 AB.  In order for a quick rebuild, they must sign this slugger to a long-term contract.  Question is, will he want to?

Giancarlo Stanton led the National League in Slugging Percentage with a .608 clip in 2012, amidst 37 HRs and 86 RBI in just 449 AB. In order for a quick rebuild, they must sign this slugger to a long-term contract. Question is, will he want to sign with a newly depleted roster?

Nicholas Rossoletti (Guest Baseball Writer and Marlins Correspondent):

Coming into the 2012 season, the Miami Marlins were entering a new stage in their franchise history. The City of Miami had graciously (and according to some residents, foolishly) provided the organization with a new 600 million dollar home in the New Marlins Ball Park. The franchise changed its name to Miami instead of Florida, its colors and albeit briefly, its spending habits in the free agent market. The Marlins decided to build on the foundation of Hanley Ramirez, Josh Johnson, Anibal Sanchez, Ricky Nolasco, Omar Infante, Gaby Sanchez and Giancarlo Stanton. As most know, when building a championship contender it is of crucial importance that the foundation is solid. This foundation was anything but. Despite the numerous question marks surrounding a Marlins team that won 72 games in 2011, the Marlins went out and spent money in the Free Agent market in a way that had not been seen in South Florida since 1997.

The organization placed expensive brick after expensive brick on top of this foundation refusing to see the glaring cracks developing across the surface. The ace, Josh Johnson, was coming off a shoulder injury that cost him all but 60 innings in 2011. The star offensive player, Ramirez, had not produced at “star” level in two seasons. Ramirez had produced back to back seasons of adding 7 wins to the team in 2008 and 2009. In 2010, Ramirez posted a WAR of 4.6 and in 2011 a WAR of 1.3.  At best, Hanley was a player with huge question marks. Needless to say, it was a strange decision to spend money to add to this group instead of questioning whether this group should be sold off for spare parts and the foundation re-poured. We all know how this ended. In another excruciating fire sale by the franchise who knows little else. And now we are left, the residents of South Florida with a monstrous stadium, an eyesore of a statute in Centerfield and little hope for the future…. or are we?

The HR contraption that is the CF wall in MIA

The HR contraption that is the CF wall in MIA

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What 2012 Really Meant to the St. Louis Cardinals

Thursday November 1st, 2012

2012 was a season that ended with disappointment which ultimately distracted us from recognizing what a successful year it really was. 2012 highlighted a lot of the greatness that is to come for this great franchise.

Alex Mednick (Baseball Analyst and Writer)

The St. Louis Cardinals came into 2012 as the defending World Series Champions.  In 2011 they just eked their way into the post season on the final day of the regular season when they defeated the Houston Astros and the Braves, who were tied for the wild card spot with St. Louis, ended up losing to the Phillies in extra innings.  Coming into the 2011 postseason, the Cardinals were huge underdogs.  That didn’t stop them from going for what they wanted: to win it all.

While most analysts amongst the sport would not have guessed St. Louis would even make it to the World Series, yet alone win it, the Red Birds emerged to show their true colors.  The current team that the city of St. Louis has assembled and gets to watch for 81 games a year is, undoubtedly, a team that plays on all cylinders and the highest octane fuel.  They play with the intensity of a little league team that wants nothing more than the coach to bring them out for ice cream when they win. Watching the Cardinals brand of baseball is to watch baseball again as a game, and not just as a competition played by millionaire athletes with tremendous talent.

Watching the scrappiness of St. Louis native David Freese in the 2011 playoffs is the perfect example.  His David Eckstein-like approach to the game reminds us all of one of our teammates back in middle school.  The one at the sandlot that always slid hard, tried to steal home, and complained when the rest of us wanted to go home because “it was getting dark”.  In 2011, David Freese and his 39 teammates played baseball together as a true team and sent Tony LaRussa home with a World Series title in his final year managing.  Read the rest of this entry

2012 MLB Trades And Deadline Deals Revisited for Contenders: Who Won and Lost

Friday, October.26/2012

Ichiro Suzuki played the best baseball he has in the last 2 years with the Yankees. It would be a wise move to re-sign the guy for at least the next season. In my opinion, they should have Jeter and Suzuki linked together on the club until they retire.

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer):

I love the new era of baseball.  One thing the 2nd Wild Card team enabled this year was a flurry of transactions right near the Non-Waiver Trade Deadline, plus we even saw a bunch of trades between Aug.01-31 as well.  I am not going to breakdown the trades for who went the other way (unless both teams were in contention) since we have a dedicated page for that here.  What I am going to do is see who made out well with their new player.  I will tell you right  now that the hands down winner was the San Francisco Giants for picking up Marco Scutaro and Hunter Pence.  Marco Scutaro hit .362 for the Giants and smacked 90 hits in 61 games.  He has parlayed another 19 hits in 59 AB during the playoffs (.322).

I am going to be writing a series of payroll breakdowns for each MLB team in the offseason.  I have already compiled reports for the Boston Red Sox, Toronto Blue Jays, Philadelphia Phillies, Los Angeles Dodgers, Los Angeles Angels and Washington Nationals.  These reports can be found in my author archives here.  In addition to this, I am going to write another piece on Payroll Strategy specifically geared towards making runs at trades near the deadline.  Look for those in the coming weeks.  The work never ends here, and we will have you game ready for spring training when it comes to all of the clubs. Read the rest of this entry

Montreal Expos Drafting Record Part 2: The Pitchers

Wednesday June.27/2012

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

Drafted in 1985 by the Montreal Expos, Randy Johnson was erratic in his early days. After trading away Mark Langston to acquire the young fireballer, the Mariners worked him into the rotation and he developed into a Hall of Famer.

Chuck Booth (Baseball Writer and @chuckbooth3024 on twitter)-  When looking back at some of the pitchers that the Montreal Expos have had in their organization, you don’t have go down the list very far to find Randy Johnson.  He is the ‘crown jewel’ of the draft history record for the club.  It is unfortunate the ‘The Big Unit’ was traded to the Seattle Mariners with Brian Holman and Gene Harris to the Mariners for rental player Mark Langston and a player to be named later.  To be fair to the Montreal Expos, they were in serious contention for the pennant in 1989 and were trying to chase down the Chicago Cubs.  Langston was one of the top Left Handed Aces in the Majors and he was available.    Johnson was completely wild in the Minor Leagues and the Expos had a lot of veteran pitchers like Dennis Martinez and Bryn Smith that were on the back end of their careers.   The time to try and win was now and they could not wait for Johnson to come around.  The Expos did not succeed in capturing the pennant and Langston moved onto the California Angels as a free agent while Johnson blossomed into the premier left handed pitcher in his generation.   Speaking of Martinez and Smith, they won 100 and 81 games respectively for the club.  While they were not drafted by the Expos, they are 2nd and 3rd on the all-time win list.

Along with Smith and Dennis Martinez (who threw a perfect game as an Expo in 1991 and note:  Bill Stoneman also threw two no-hitters for the franchise), you have to factor in the career of Pedro Martinez as an Expo for guys that were great pitchers during their prime. Pedro was acquired prior to the 1994 season from the Dodgers in exchange for the Expos departed ALL-Star second baseman Delino DeShields.  Martinez went 11-5 in the strike shortened year and formed an impressive 1-2 ace combination with Ken Hill.  Pedro went onto a 55-33 record and a 3.06 ERA for his 4 year Expos career.   Pedro’s best year with the club was 1997 where he was the NL CY Young with a 17-8 record and a 1.90 ERA.  Martinez finished the year with 305 strikeouts and a ridiculous 13 complete games.  Pedro ended up signing with the  Boston Red Sox before the 1998 season and he ultimately won a World Series with the Beantowners in 2004.  In his post game celebration, Martinez mentioned the Expos franchise and their fans.  Pedro shared his triumph as a testament to them.  It was talent like this that Expos could never afford to resign and would lose outright- or have to trade for prospects based on their economic viability. I will get more into this in Part 3 of the Article Series on Friday. 

For Part 1 of the Article Series, The Hitters: click here

For Part 3 of the Article Series, The Demise:  click here

For Part 4 of the Article Series, The Washington Nationals Franchise 2005-2012: click here

For Part 5 of the Article Series, The Nats Best 25 Man Roster 2005-2012 click here

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