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Could The Toronto Blue Jays Turn Into The Canada Blue Jays + Play In Montreal And Vancouver As Well?

Olympic Stadium was a building catastrophe from the get go.  It was a contributing factor of the Expos leaving Montreal.  Having said that, it would have been really cool if the North America opener were to have been opened in Montreal, with a series with Toronto and the New York Mets.  Instead the series in an exhibition.  At least the Canadian stadium has hosted regular season MLB games.

Olympic Stadium was a building catastrophe from the get go. It was a contributing factor of the Expos leaving Montreal. Having said that, it would have been really cool if the North America opener were to have been opened in Montreal, with this past series with Toronto and the New York Mets. Instead it was just an exhibition. At least the Canadian park has hosted regular season MLB games  unlike the Sydney Cricket Ground.  Will another city other than Toronto ever host a regular season game again?

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

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I must be out of my mind right?

Having the Toronto Blue Jays play in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver during a regular season – and re-brand the club to a national team in the MLB?  But stop and think about this for a minute.

The club just drew almost 100K total fans for the 2 exhibition games in Quebec on Mar.28 and Mar.29/2014. 

This just reaffirmed my stance of last week.  I admonished the MLB for not starting the season with this series in Montreal.

Having thought about it further this weekend, I came up with a new idea.  Why not play some games in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver – and name the club the Canada Blue Jays? Read the rest of this entry

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Master List Of All Free Agents Signed In 2013 Winter – Heading Into 2014 MLB Year

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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It has been a record setting year for contract $ doled out for players.  When you factor in the player extensions, we are talking about 7 contracts registering in the top 50 Player contracts in the history of the game.

Robinson Cano, Clayton Kershaw, Masahiro Tanaka, Jacoby Ellsbury, Freddie Freeman, Shin-Soo Choo and Homer Bailey have inked deal for between $105 MIL to $240 MIL.

Now there is word the Angels are working on an extension with Mike Trout, to the tune of 6 YRs/$150 MIL,  from 2015 – 2020.  This would be the 22nd highest contract in MLB History.

For the record, Trout’s deal for 2014 is already set at $510 K, and any extension wouldn’t have Luxury Tax Ramifications until his new deal would start in 2015. Read the rest of this entry

How All Of The Rockies Pitchers Were Acquired

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Tuesday Aug.13/2013

In one of the better moves done recently by Rockies management, this former Indian was picked up by the team in 2009, for a player that has never made the Major Leagues.  Betancourt has a 0.994 WHIP in his Colorado Career - spanning 244 IP.  Impressive considering some of the Innings lugged are in the thin air of Coors Field

In one of the better moves done recently by Rockies management, this former Indian was picked up by the team in 2009, for a player that has never made the Major Leagues. Betancourt has a 0.994 WHIP and a 2.97 ERA in his Colorado Career – spanning 233.1 IP. Impressive considering some of the Innings lugged are in the thin air of Coors Field.  At age 39 next season, the club has a Team Option for $4.25 MIL.  They should do it.  Their Bullpen has been better than expected.

How All Of The Rockies Pitchers Were Acquired:

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

At the MLB Reports, we intend to show you the Roster Tree for the Colorado Rockies – and how they assembled their current roster for hitting and Pitching.  It will work in a six degrees of separation like format.

Once we figure out the origin of how many trades going back in time it takes to see where the tree started, it will be time to dissect how the team fared on the deals.

If a player has never left the organization at all, the tree will be easy – as it will just be the year they were drafted or signed.  Today, we will cover the Pitchers.

Jorge De La Rosa’s Great Start

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The Humidor Effect On Baseballs At Coors Field: 11 Years In

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Tuesday Aug.06/2013

Since the Humidor room has been put into use at Coors Field, Team batting averages have dropped 8-10% and HRs have dropped 20-25% yearly.  The Rockies still have routinely finished in the top 7 in all offensive categories for every year since 2002.  This year, they lead MLB in every offensive category.

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

In the first 10 years of Coors Field, or the Rockies existence for that matter, the baseballs were being belted out of the park at a historically record rate. 

Some of this was due to the steroid era.  Most of it was arrived at by the dry air of Colorado.

The reason is simple, in dry air the ball travels further than in thin air, thus causing more frequent home runs. 

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Colorado Rockies Payroll in 2013 and Contracts Going Forward

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Monday, August.05, 2013

Troy Tulowitzki is one of the best all-round shortstops in baseball. he plays Gold Glove caliber defense, and is a great offensive player. He is the heart and soul of the Colorado Rockies. They are a better team when he is on the field.  Tulo has a .321/.387/.977 triple-slash in 290 at-bats this season. He has 20HRs and 60 RBIs on the season to go along with 18 Doubles and 93 hits overall. He is first in the NL with a Fielding Percentage of .992.  The young shortstop can hit righties or lefties. However he does have a higher average against righties with a .330 average facing them. He is also excellent with runners in scoring position, as indicated by his .330 batting average and and 40 RBIs in 90 at-bats.

Troy Tulowitzki is one of the best all-round shortstops in baseball. He plays Gold Glove caliber defense, and is a great offensive player. He is the heart and soul of the Colorado Rockies. They are a better team when he is on the field. Tulo has a .321/.387/.977 triple-slash in 290 at-bats this season. He has 20HRs and 60 RBIs on the season to go along with 18 Doubles and 93 hits overall. He is first in the NL with a Fielding Percentage of .992. The young shortstop can hit righties or lefties. However he does have a higher average against righties with a .330 average facing them. He is also excellent with runners in scoring position, as indicated by his .330 batting average and 40 RBIs in 90 at-bats in this situation.

By Chris Lacey (Lead Baseball Columnist/Minority Website Owner)  

The season for the Colorado Rockies may be near its breaking point with the 10 ½ games behind the Los Angeles Dodgers in the National League West division.

They might want to start thinking about next season and try to salvage what they can from the rest of this season. The biggest issue with the team right now is their pitching, as they are last in the NL with a 4.32 ERA from their pitching and they have allowed 514 runs.

Troy Tulowitzki 2011 Highlights – Parental Guidance Is Advised 

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Colorado Rockies’ Losing Even With 3 ALL – Stars

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Sunday July.14/2013

The Rockies jumped out to a 12 -4 record to start the season - and have played to a clip of 33 - 46 since.  Coming off a 90 Loss campaign in 2012, this may be more of a a true sign of this teams talent.  2013 may not be the year to try and challenge.

The Rockies jumped out to a 12 -4 record to start the season – and have played to a clip of 33 – 46 since. Coming off a 90 Loss campaign in 2012, this may be more of  a true sign of this teams talent. 2013 may not be the year to try and challenge for the NL West crown.  Perhaps it is time that the management looks to deal some veterans that are not part of the club’s long – term plan?

By Lou Hebert (MLB Reports Colorado Rockies Correspondent):

The Colorado Rockies have low odds of winning the National League West division title despite having three players on the 2013 MLB All-Star roster.

Troy Tulowitzki, Carlos Gonzalez and Michael Cuddyer are not enough to help Colorado regain their momentum against the Arizona Diamondbacks and Los Angeles Dodgers this season, which may encourage the Rockies to sell before the MLB trade deadline.

One month ago, the Rockies were favored to contend for the NL West division pennant this season.  Then Troy Tulowitzki broke a rib on June 13 while making a diving catch, which marked the beginning of a decline in Rockies success this season.

Dexter Fowler’s 2 HR

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Colorado Rockies Have Everything for A NL West Title Run In 2013

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Wednesday July.03/2013

Carlos Gonzalez always puts up far better numbers in the lineup with his running mate Tulowitzki.  CARGO has always tore it up out of the gate - and is worthy of NL MVP consideration thus far.  The Rockies OF leads the NL in Runs Scored (63), and in HRs wih (22).  The Rockies have maintained without Tulowitzki in the lineup (Going 10 - 12) - but will need their slugging SS back to compete for a playoff spot.

Carlos Gonzalez always puts up far better numbers in the lineup with his running mate Tulowitzki. CARGO has always tore it up out of the gate – and is worthy of NL MVP consideration thus far. The Rockies OF leads the NL in Runs Scored (63), and in HRs with (22). The club have maintained without Tulowitzki in the lineup (Going 10 – 12) – but will need their slugging SS back to compete for a playoff spot.  ‘Tulo’ was instrumental in the club going on playoff runs both in 2007 and 2009.

By Lou Hebert (MLB Reports Colorado Rockies Correspondent):

The National League West is a close division race with only three games separating the top and bottom teams.  The Colorado Rockies have been trailing by only a couple of games for most of the 2013 season.

As the All-Star break approaches, Colorado’s pieces to a division win are aligning for what could result in a dominant showing throughout the second half of the season.

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Triple Play Podcast Ep # 13 – Around The Horn w/OAK/KC/COL/TOR + Bean Wars + The Genius Beane

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Monday, June.17, 2013

The Triple Play Show will have 5 shows per month.  Each show will be about 1 hour

The Triple Play Show will have 5 shows per month. Each show will be about 1 hour.

By The Big Ticket Show ( AKA Triple Play Podcast on http://www.mlbreports.com)

Guests in this Podcast – Chuck Booth (MLB Reports Owner and Lead Analyst) 

On this week’s show Chuck Booth joins us to break down all the biggest stories in MLB. We also go Around the Horn with Chuck to discuss the A’s, Rockies and Royals current situations and declare the worthy few that belong on their respective Mt Rushmore’s. Bethubb.com best bets end the show as always. Happy Father’s Day!!!!!!!

Intro – 10 Minutes, Toronto Blue Jays talk from 10 Minute to the 18 Minute Mark.  OAK chat – 18 minute – 33 Minute Mark, COL Talk 33 Minutes – 44 Minute Mark.  Kansas City Royals Chart 44 Minutes Mark – 59 Minute Mark.  Late Jays Talk Bethubb Best Bets 1 hour 1 MIN mark to 1 hour 9 Minute Mark.

Quick Facts:  Catsfish Hunter was 7 – 2 in the Post Season for the 1972, 1973 and 1974 World Series Winning A’s – and only 2 -4 with the 3 Post Seasons with the Yankees.  Still 5 World Series Winners was great.  Chuck also meant Ewing Kauffman (Chuck thought his nickname was Charlie in the podcast – maybe because his name his Charlie) when talking about the Royals MT. Rushmore for the franchise.

Yogi Berra did indeed play in 14 World Series and won 10 of them in his Yankees days.

To Keep Reading and Listen to this Podcast click the READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY or scroll past the Triple Play Logo.

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MLB Monthly Power Rankings May 2013 (Podcast Version)

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Sunday, May.05/2013

The Triple Play Show will have 5 shows per month.  Each show will be about 1 hour

The Triple Play Show will have 5 shows per month. Each show will be about 1 hour.

By The Big Ticket Show ( AKA Triple Play Podcast on http://www.mlbreports.com)

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner):

One month down in the MLB season and that means it’s time for some Power Rankings! Chuck Booth the czar of MLBreports.com joins us in studio to rank every team from worst to first. Where does your team rank? Read the rest of this entry

Triple Play Podcast Ep #5 – An Interview With James Paxton And A Full Farm Report

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Monday, April.22/2013

The Triple Play Show will have 5 shows per month.  Each show will be about 1 hour

The Triple Play Show will have 5 shows per month. Each show will be about 1 hour.

By The Big Ticket Show ( AKA Triple Play Podcast on http://www.mlbreports.com)

This week we introduce our first edition of Down on the Farm, a in-depth look at the hot prospects and future big league superstars. Former Astros and Mariners scout and current rotowire.com and mlb.com analyst Bernie Pleskoff joined us to give a scouts view .

We also spent a few minutes with Seattle Mariners pitching prospect James Paxton. Finally Curt Gill of atlantabaseball.com stopped by to give us the goods on what’s going on in Atlanta. All that plus our Bethubb.com best bets. Read the rest of this entry

The Rockies Record Is Misleading

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Tuesday Apr.16/2013

The Coors field Effect is still alive and well for Pitchers and Hitters.  19 out of the 20 years, the Rox have led the Major Leagues in Home Batting Average.  Last year, position hitters (1-8) hit for a .315. Batting Average.  This season will be no different.  The team played at Coors Field and Miller Park during week 1, pasting the Brewers and the Padres.  The team will host 16 of the next 22 games in Denver - and will need to make some hay.

Last year, position hitters (1-8) hit for a .315. Batting Average at home. The team played at Coors Field and Miller Park during week 1, pasting the Brewers and the Padres . Week 2 saw the Giants sweep them at AT and T Park, before they returned the favor to San Diego at Petco Park.  The team will host 16 of the next 22 games in Denver – and will need to make some hay because they haven’t played well on the road in the past few years .

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

If you take a look at the Standings in the NL West, you would see that the Colorado Rockies are among 4 teams over .500 right now.  They are tied with the Arizona DiamondBacks at 8 – 4 – and 1 game behind the defending World Series Champion Giants.

Judging by a lot of other publications placing the Rockies so high on their MLB Rankings, I am guessing these place do not give out much credence to Strength of Schedule.  at http://www.mlb.com – the club is listed #9 on the Power Rankings.

The Rockies are 6 – 0 this year already versus the hapless San Diego Padres and 2 – 1 versus the Milwaukee Brewers ( a team that is 3 – 8 itself and not looking so great).  The Rockies played the San Francisco in a 3 game set at AT and T Park – and were swept, surrendering 23 Runs Scored, while only scoring 9 Runs themselves.

2013 Rockies Commercial:

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Who Is Taking The Reigns In The Rockies Rotation?

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Friday, March. 22/2013

I think Jhoulys Chacin could be great for the Colorado Rockies for years to come. I feel like I am probably more high on him as a pitcher than most. I would be interested to hear what Rockies fans who have seen more of him than I have to say. Comment if you have an opinion

With pitching staffs always struggling in Denver every year, it is incredibly hard to promote consistency.  The team has had the best NL Batting Home Average in every year of their existence and 19 out of the 20 years in the entire MLB.  Even with the Humidor being implemented about a decade ago, there is a still the biggest advantage for the hitters in any park is in Colorado.I think Jhoulys Chacin could be great for the Colorado Rockies for years to come. I feel like I am probably more high on him as a pitcher than most. I would be interested to hear what Rockies fans who have seen more of him than I have to say. Comment if you have an opinion.

By Ryan Dana (MLB Reports Writer): 

So I’m back talking about the Colorado Rockies again. I already did a State of the Union piece on them a while back so make sure to check that out for a full outlook on their 2013 hopes. This article I’m going to go in-depth on their starting rotation, more specifically I’m going to look at who is ready to take control of this staff and be a legitimate top line starter.

The Rockies rotation is far from final. They have about 8 guys vying for the 5 slots in my opinion. Jhoulys Chacin, Jorge De La Rosa, and Juan Nicasio all seemingly have a spot on lock, but the last 2 spots are probably between Drew Pomeranz, Jeff Francis, Chris Volstad, Christian Friedrich, and Tyler Chatwood.

I don’t want to get too far into the unique way one must look at the Rockies pitchers. I already talked a bit about it in my State of the Union article, but basically the Rockies pitching stats are going to be inflated due to playing at Coors Field, a notorious hitter’s ballpark.

The Home/Road splits are always something to look at with Rockies pitchers. Regardless of the fact that they have a home field disadvantage, Rockies Starting Pitchers in 2012 had the worst ERA in the MLB at 5.81. This simply won’t get it done if they have any playoff aspirations.

Jhoulys Chacin Highlights:

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The Washington Nationals Franchise Part 6 of 6: 2013 Team Payroll And Contracts Updated Mar.8

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Thursday, March.07/2013

Stephen Strasburg is eligible for Arbitration after the 2013 season. He originally signed a 4 Year/14 Million Dollar Entry Level Deal after he was drafted in 2009.

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst / Website Owner):

Perhaps no team will have more of a chance to win the 2013 World Series with Harper and Strasburg will be another year older, while both Zimmerman’s can both have been healthy for the year.  They have two Mutual Options for them to re-sign which I mention on the next page.  They do have several Arbitration Eligible Players including Super ’2′ Free Agents Jordan Zimmerman and Tyler Clippard.  The Nationals should try to lock most of these guys up as long as they can.  Especially guys like Desmond, Espinosa and Storen.  

Their price shall only skyrocket as they become older.  The Nationals will not have to worry about their starting outfield of Morse, Werth and Harper as they are all signed for next year.  Strasburg enters the final year of this entry-level deal and Gio Gonzalez also has a nice value deal for the salary part of it.

Kurt Suzuki had a strong finish in 2013, so you could see the club maybe trading away he or Wilson Ramos before 2013 Trade Deadline.  I suspect the Phillies to be stronger this year, so major improvements by Harper and rejuvenated play from both Zimmerman’s will be crucial to the clubs success.  Micheal Lerner has made it abundantly clear he wants a championship for this club ASAP.  He will spend any amount of money .  The rest of the lineup looks set and ready to mash in 2013!

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

For Part 2 of the Article Series, The Expos Pitchers: click here

For Part 3 of the Article Series, The Demise of the Montreal Expos: 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 Nationals top 25 Man Roster from 20o5-2012 click here

MLB 13 The Show – Bryce Harper Interview:

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MLB Reports Top 100 Prospects: A Rebuttal To The MLB.com’s Top 100

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Tuesday February.12, 2013

Our favorite Minor League Prospect - Tyler Austin has been invited to Yankees Spring Training in 2013.

By Jordan Gluck (Prospects/Baseball Operations Correspondent)

Before I show you my top 100 prospects – I want to get you familiar with my grading tactics and styles and what I value most. All prospects have ceilings and very few players reach that ceiling. First lets go through the tools of what I personally value most and where.

Tools: 

Bat:1
Power:2
Speed:3
Glove:4
Arm:5
Makeup:?

Those are the 5(6) tools that scouts use and the scale goes from 20-80. 80 being HOF rare like Giancarlo Stanton Power and 20 being absolutely terrible like Bengie Molina has 20 speed. Most people reading this will probably have more than 20 speed so that’s how pathetic it is.

Jurickson Profar Prospect Highlights:

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Colorado Rockies Roster In 2013: State Of The Union

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Friday Jan.25/2013

Todd Helton has to be the greatest Colorado Rockies player of All-Time. In what could very well be his last season of baseball, can he somehow push the team back into the playoffs?

Todd Helton has to be the greatest Colorado Rockies player of All-Time. In what could very well be his last season of baseball, can he somehow push the team back into the playoffs?

Ryan Dana (MLB Reports Intern): 

The Colorado Rockies finished 2012 with a 64-98 record – just escaping the dreaded 100 loss season. This record was bad enough to not only get them last place in the NL West, but also give them the 3rd worst record in the National League, only better than that of the Cubs and Astros. It was the Rockies worst season to date – and the 1st time in team history they failed to have a Winning Percentage of above .400. After having a season like the Rockies did in 2012, one would hope that the only place to go is up.

The franchise was established in 1993 – and have made the playoffs 3 times (’95, ’07, ’09). All of these were Wild Card births, and in ’07 they won the NL Pennant, before being swept by the Red Sox in the World Series.  2007 was a remarkable season though, as they won 21 of their last 22 regular season games just to get in the playoffs. It was one of the great runs in recent memory, maybe even more impressive than the ’02 Athletics 20 game win streak – since this streak propelled them into the playoffs seemingly out of nowhere. To get back to the playoffs in 2013 might be a little far-fetched considering they are in a division with the reigning World Series Champs (Giants), and a team with a seemingly infinite payroll (Dodgers). It isn’t far-fetched to say they will be better than last year, and could be contenders in the near future.

Carlos Gonzalez Highlights – Mature Lyrics so Parental Guidance is Advised:

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Robert Whitmer’s 5-Point Plan to Fix the Colorado Rockies

Wednesday November 7th, 2012

Robert Whitmer:  Attitude is everything. When we talk about ways to fix a franchise by taking them from a non-playoff team to a playoff team, attitude is everything. I recently saw a movie that reminded me of something I had forgotten from long ago. The United States Marine Corps have a belief that when you are on the battlefield, your only concern is making sure that the man next to you gets home safe. By doing this, in theory, nobody would get left behind and nobody would be able to be ambushed. Taking this concept and applying it to the Colorado Rockies is the concept that they need to bring in to the organization. The following 5 steps will help install this concept- from the front office, all the way down to the third string bat boy.

1. Signing free agents.

The Rockies don’t necessarily have a hole at first base but they have a guy in Todd Helton that isn’t getting any younger. He is 39 and pushing 40. He can’t really be a viable first base option for much longer. It’s time for them to look younger. Casey Kotchman would be a good person that could spell Helton at times in the late innings or an off day every so often. The other upgrade is in the outfield. One high quality outfielder to pair with Fowler and Gonzalez would be very advantageous for them. BJ Upton would be a great fit with the Rockies and that thin air. If a sign and trade is what needs to be done, then Colvin and LeMahieu for Upton would be good with the Rockies picking up Kelly Johnson or Freddy Sanchez in free agency. Read the rest of this entry

The Toronto Blue Jays Payroll 2013 and Contracts (Updated For MIA Trade Nov.13/2012)

Monday, September.10/2012

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

The Blue Jays have not qualified for the Playoffs since they won Back to Back World Series in 1992 and 1993. At that time, they were around the top of the MLB Payroll for all teams. How much will they spend in 2013?

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer):

It has been a disastrous season for the Toronto Blue Jays in 2012.  Only the Boston Red Sox can usurp them in the AL East for being more disappointing.  It is not entirely anyone’s fault, injuries to many key pitchers-plus the loss of Jose Bautista just after the All-Break, crippled the team’s ability to compete.  Just chalk up the season to unlucky.  Fortunately for the Blue Jays, Alex Anthopoulos has kept the team flexible with the payroll going forward.  I still think that getting out of the Vernon Wells and Alex Rios contracts was the biggest ‘Houdini Act’ of the New Millennium.  Since he got out from under those contracts, only Joey Bats makes more than 10 Million Dollars now on the club.  To contend in the AL East, the Jays will need to spend at least 100-110 Million Dollars.  The core of the team is intact for a couple of more years.  From 2013-2016 is the clubs best window to make a charge at the playoffs and have some success.

Perhaps the best move that the Blue Jays GM did this year was to lock up Edwin Encarnacion to a 3 YR/27 Million Dollar contract before he hit the Free Agency Market.  In a downtrodden year, EE could have requested an arm and leg for his services and been obliged.  He left between 8-10 Million Dollars on the Table in my opinion.  The keys will be to lock up a couple of their young player to long-term contracts.  The catching looks solid (Arencibia and Mathis) for years to come with some more prospects filtering through the Minor Leagues (Travis D’arnaurd.)  Trading away Eric Thames and Travis Snider paved the way for the club to lock-up Colby Rasmus long-term-and maybe take a run at a power hitting Outfielder.  The team’s starting pitching must heal up from multiple Tommy John Surgeries and come back to be relevant.  The team should definitely be players for free agent pitchers.  

For Part 1 of a 7 Part Article Series:  The Toronto Blue Jays Franchise 1977-1993, click here

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

Josh Johnson brings a career record of 56-37 (.602) to the Blue Jays lineup in 2013. With one year and 13.75 Million Dollars left on this current deal. will Toronto try and extend him or wait to see if he can stay healthy all year.

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The Humidor Effect On Baseballs at Coors Field: One Decade In Part 2 of 3 Article Series

Saturday, July. 14/2012

Since the Humidor room has been put into use at Coors Field, Team batting averages have dropped 8-10% and HRs have dropped 20-25% yearly.  The Rockies still have routinely finished in the top 7 in all offensive categories for every year since 2002.  This year, they lead MLB in every offensive category.

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer and @chuckbooth3024 on twitter)- In the first 10 years of Coors Field, or the Rockies existence for that matter, the baseballs were being belted out of the park at a historically record rate.  Some of this was due to the steroid era.  Most of it was arrived at by the dry air of Colorado.  The reason is simple, in dry air the ball travels further than in thin air, thus causing more frequent home runs.  Baseballs being stored in drier air become harder and therefore explode off of a bat when contacted.   After nearly a decade with inflated numbers at Coors Field for offense, a decision was made by baseball and the Colorado Rockies to start holding/storing the game baseballs  in a  room-sized Humidor-that was installed at the Park in order to keep them moist.  This was done so the baseballs will not carry as far when hit with impact.  Elevation would still play a role in the baseball games. Baseballs carry farther in the thinner air and especially when they are rising in trajectory. Remember that in Denver, you are nearly a mile above sea level already.  In fact, there are purple bleacher tickets that you can buy at Coors Field  that indicate where that mile marker is. 

The cause and effect is harder on pitchers, whose curveballs curve less with the thin air than at sea level-leading to fewer strikeouts and the result is less pitches to use in their arsenal.   So has the Humidor worked since being implemented before the start of the 2002 season?  The answer is yes.  The amount of HRs hit now sits with the rest of the MLB Parks that are amongst the top 10 over the last decade.  The averages have dropped only around 10% of what they were, however Colorado is routinely in the top 4 or 5 parks for average on a yearly basis in the MLB and dominate the NL in home average.  In 2012, the hotter temperatures(and dry air) have   helped  the team to lead every offensive category in the Major Leagues once again.  Now, there is still a decisive advantage to playing at Coors for hitters when it comes to playing an 81 game schedule there.  I am going to look at the careers of some previous players to show you the weighted advantage of having this park as a home venue.  We are going to look at the careers of Larry Walker, Todd Helton, Carlos Gonzalez and Garrett Atkins.  It is easier to use the hitters as a barometer when deciphering this study because not many pitchers ever prosper again in any city after playing for the Colorado Rockies. See: (Jeff Francis, Ubaldo Jimenez, Mike Hampton and Jason Jennings once they left Coors Field or before they arrived at Denver after playing somewhere else first.)

For Part 1 of the Article Series:  Carlos Gonzalez on the Trade Block? Buyer Beware!  click here .

For Part 3 of the Article Series:  The Coors Field Effect: Part 3 of A 3 Article Series click here.

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Can Canada Support a Second Baseball Franchise in Vancouver?

Friday, June.01/2012

Newly renovated BC Place Stadium with $600 Million Dollars in upgrades, re-opened on Sept.30/2011 and features a 100 by 85 retractable roof. The lights also illuminate different colors both inside and outside of the building. The stadium could be converted to meet MLB specifications.

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer and @chuckbooth3024 on twitter)- At first look you might not think that Vancouver could support a Major League Baseball franchise, but there are a few things to consider.  With a surrounding area population of 2.5 Million, it is one of the biggest cities in the USA or Canada not to have a team. Of course when you are looking at the viability of a franchise submission/or relocation, you must look at the facility that the baseball would be played in.  With newly renovated B.C Place Stadium-(see http://www.bcplacestadium.com/,) and its $600 Million Dollar Renovations, it is one of the most impressive structures in North America now. 

The building itself is estimated to be worth over a billion dollars.  It’s clear, retractable roof, with an incredible look to detail inside the building with 22 inch stadium style seating has all of the modern amenities that a new age fan would want.  The facility features several new Skyboxes for corporate suites, and brand new concession stands that would be an extremely good revenue generator. The stadium’s surface is made up of Field Turf, and could be converted to meet baseball specifications.  This stadium is a turn-key situation unlike any other in North America when it comes to a baseball ready facility.

Major League Baseball has gained in popularity over the last 20 years in the Lower Mainland with turning out MLB’ers like Larry Walker, Jeff Francis , Ryan Dempster and Brett Lawrie all coming from this area.  Also in Canada, you have 3 TV networks that have an all-sports format in www.thescore.ca, www.tsn.ca and www.sportsnet.ca that would gladly love to fill content on their networks by bidding for television rights on a new baseball team in Canada.  There are enough talented sports personalities to fill in solid coverage. Read the rest of this entry

Ask the Reports: Your Baseball Questions Answered – Sunday February 5th, 2012

Sunday February 5th, 2012

Jonathan Hacohen:  Posted every Weekend: Your top baseball questions from the past week are answered. E-mail all questions to mlbreports@gmail.com, message us on Twitter and post on our Facebook Wall!

Let’s get to your top questions of the week:

Q: I know you are a Jays fan. What’s your opinion on Joey Bats? How can he go from 15 HRs to leading the league 2 years in a row?  Joe

JH:  I am??!! I have been accused of many things, but a Jays supporter is not one of them. Being based in Toronto, many people naturally assume that I am a Jays fan. Plus we have many Jays readers and followers, so their team often comes up in conversation. Here is the scoop on many Jays fandom. If you have to categorize me a particular “team fan”, then the Tigers will be that pick. Only since AA has taken over the team have I been excited about the Jays prospects. JP did a masterful job of destroying the Jays farm system and creating a mediocre Jays squad for years. AA has swooped in and created a team that looks like they are on the verge of contention for years to come. I am a fan of the game overall (obviously). I like what the Jays are doing and see a bright future ahead…and that’s all I have to say about that.

As far as your Jose Bautista question, I see where you are going with it. Here are my thoughts. Back in August 2008, I was horrified when the Jays traded Robinson Diaz for Bautista. A young catcher with upside for a limited utility player? No thanks I said. From there, I was mortified when Bautista proceeded to become the home run king. I have heard the whispers of steroids/HGH/PEDs and how Bautista became a star overnight. I also heard the talk that Cito Gaston fixed his swing and got him to become more aggressive instead of swinging late. I think the latter, rather than the former are true. With drug testing in full swing, I would like to think that Bautista would have been caught had he been “juicing”. Can I guarantee? Absolute not, considering the Braun scandal. Some players do figure it out late in life and Jose Bautista appears to be one of the lucky few. Unfortunately, our cynical society does not allow us to be 100% confident in many of our modern athletes, with the amount of PEDs that have apparently flowed in the game. I would like to believe in Bautista. I really do. Let’s stick with the ‘innocent until proven guilty’ mentality and give him his due. Unless proven otherwise, Jose Bautista figured it out and turned into one of the best all-around players in the game. I am prepared to give credit where credit is due.

Q: Arbitration hearings have started. Is there a count of how many have been heard, how many left to hear and winners/losers?  Old Man Mack

JH: A shout-out to the final people over at MLB Trade Rumors, as Tim, Ben and the gang do some fine work in providing the latest transactions in the world of baseball. If you haven’t visited it already, they have a dedicated page called Arbitration Tracker which will answer all your arbitration questions. You will be able to see all the figures submitted by both players and teams, the mid-point and the award amounts. By my count there are still 19 players left with scheduled arbitration cases (who could still settle beforehand). I have seen 2 cases heard and the players are 0-2 (Lannan and Niemann both lost their cases). A fascinating process, in my opinion most of these cases should be settled before arbitration. Likely a lot of hard feelings can be achieved but little else from going through arbitration. But budgets are budgets and money is money. Welcome the business side of baseball.

Q: Is Brett Lawrie in the top 100 (fantasy players)?  Forrest

JH: Now that is interesting. Hmmmm….is Brett Lawrie a top-100 fantasy baseball right now? My answer off the cuff is…no. Maybe one day.  But not today. Reason? There are thirty MLB teams. I can think of the top of my head at least 3-4 players per team that are better than Lawrie in fantasy terms right now. Don’t get me wrong, Lawrie is a stud. He is good and will get better. But we only have a very small sample size for him thus far in the big leagues. With his blazing start in 2011, you have to expect a bit of regression this year. It’s called the “sophomore jinx”.  Will Lawrie fall victim? Maybe. Possibly. It also depends on your league. Lawrie to me is a strong player to have in a keeper league, while being less valuable in a non-keeper league. Right this minute, I would rather have players like Youkilis, Verlander, Fielder, Halladay, Rivera, Strasburg, Cabrera, Avila, Choo, Gallardo, Weaver, Haren, Mauer, Hernandez…and the list goes on. Lawrie is not far off and would make my top 120 or 130.  Give him another year and you could be seeing a top 50 player…or higher!

Q: Do you think the Miami Marlins will Contend in the NL East this upcoming Season?  Marty

JH: Contend- yes. Win- no. The Marlins are definitely improved, no doubt. But they have not done enough in my mind to take them over the top. The Phillies are still the team to beat, with the Braves being close behind. The Nationals? With their improved rotation, I would be very nervous about them. Reyes will bring excitement and Buehrle/Zambrano will help stabilize the rotation and Bell solid as the closer. But I just see some of the other teams being too strong. At best, I see the Marlins in 2nd place. But at worst? A 4th place finish. They are still missing a big bat and need all their key players to stay healthy. Too many if’s for my liking.

ATR: Who will enjoy being stretched out in 2012: Feliz, Sale, or Chapman?  Justin

JH: Looking at the crystal ball, I am seeing clear visions. Neftali Feliz and Chris Sale are both headed back to the bullpens by June at the latest. Both have enjoyed success in the bullpen and I can see each being ok but not great starters. They could develop over time, with the White Sox having more patience than the Rangers. But in a sport with a “win now” mentality, both will be relievers if they cannot succeed early on. Chapman on the other hand, I am seeing a different vision. With Ryan Madson entrenched as the closer, I can see Chapman being needed more in the rotation. With his stuff, he would be a very dangerous starter if he could learn some control. That could come sooner rather than later, as early as 2012. At the very least, Chapman could be a fine 4th or 5th starter. He will go 5-6 innings per start and rack up a ton of K’s.  So yes to Chapman, no to Feliz and Sale right now. Especially Feliz- as he will turn one day (if he hasn’t already) into a Papelbon lock-down closer. But if the Rangers aren’t careful, they could be hurting his long-term growth if they continue this see-saw back and forth like the Mariners did with Brandon Morrow some years ago.

Q: Who do you think will be in the World Series?  Ethan

JH: I was discussing this with a reader the other day. He predicted the Dbacks and Tigers. I have to like those picks. If I had to look at the top-4 teams, I am seeing the Tigers/Angels in the AL and Reds/Dbacks in the NL. The Yankees, Rays and Rangers will still be strong, as will the Red Sox. The Phillies, Cards, Brewers and Giants will provide a challenge in the NL. But I can’t get over the look to the Angels and I am sensing good things coming out of Anaheim this year. The Dbacks look very powerful and have built a team that will contend for the next several years. But the Reds are a strong force and manager Dusty Baker should be able to get the most out of that squad this year. I would like to say Tigers and Dbacks as well- that would be my heart pick. But looking at the crystal ball, I am seeing Angels and Reds right now. I can’t say why. The crystal ball says what it says. If it changes in picture, I will let you know.

Q: What do the Nats gain from banning Phillies fans???  Tammy

JH: If this is not THE dumbest thing I have ever heard, it definitely comes close. For those that are not familiar, the Nationals are trying to block Philadelphia fans from buying tickets to Phillies/Nats games by curbing where you reside when buying single game seats. Silly. Silly. Silly. Firstly, the Nats have enough of an attendance problem as it is, so they certainly should not be limiting ticket sales. Secondly, by discouraging Phillies fans at the stadium, it will create a hatred type mentality for those fans that do make the games. Baseball is about the love of the game. Rather than discouraging certain fans, the Nats should encourage all fans to buy tickets to their park. This new idea will have the effect of creating a bitter rivalry between the two teams every time they play in Washington, which might actually be a good thing. But the issues and conflict that it could create in the stands between opposing fans is a negative one. Let’s not forget what recently happened between Dodgers and Giants fans when hatred becomes spread. People can become injured or even yet, have a risk of life. Let’s spread baseball love- not hatred people.

Q: Are the Tigers done? And not will they do this or not, but your thoughts on Jeff Francis for Detroit’s lefty problem?  J Raddy

JH:  They are not done. The Tigers are never done. With the addition of Prince Fielder, the Tigers are even more serious World Series contenders in 2012, despite the loss of V-Mart. When you have Verlander and Fister in the rotation, Avila behind the plate and Cabrera/Prince in the heart of the lineup- you are going to be winning a ton of baseball games. Jeff Francis, or a Francis type pitcher is not the answer. Firstly, he was already signed by the Reds. But secondly, too many question marks surround him. If the Tigers can score a true #3, like Roy Owalt- they will be unstoppable (if they aren’t already). The more likely scenario is the team going with what they have, with a tweak or two. Turner could be the #5 if he has a strong spring, with the club picking up a Fister type pitcher at the deadline. If no Oswalt, the Tigers could sign 1-2 veteran pitchers to minor league contracts and invite them to spring training. Near the end of spring, come cut time, they could then pick someone up to start the year. Dombrowski is a smart guy and knows what he doing. By the time October rolls around, don’t expect the exact same Tigers roster that you see today.

Q: Realignment 2013 Proposal:  Dennis

al east  nyy, bost , tap b, Miami. and balt

al central  detr . min, chic w, torn, and clevel

al west   tex, oak, sea, laa, and houst

nl east phil, atl,  nym, wash, and pitts

nl central  milw, stl, cin, chic c, and kann

nl west  arz, sd, sf, col, and lad

play 4 divisional teams 18 games each and other 10 league teams 7 games each  and one divisional of the league 4 games each.   would only need to play 2, 2 games series in interleague play against the same team home and away    all other series would be 3 or 4 games series.   Only houst , kann, and miami would change leagues, and only Pittsburgh and Toronto would change divisions.

JH: Very ambitious my friend.  Very ambitious indeed.  I prepared an article on MLB realignment back in May 2011 that you should check out. I caught a ton of flack for it, but many people have a tough time with change. It is interesting the route that you have gone. Currently, only the Astros are moving (to the AL West), with the rest of the teams staying put. I agree that the current divisional alignments don’t work and need a shakeup. Ultimately, I would like to have 2 more expansions, bringing the total amount of teams to 32. I think only upon expansion will you see a true realignment in baseball. It’s not that I don’t like your plan- it has merits. But I am not sure geographically and with team rivalries why some of the changes would be implemented. KC and St. Louis in the same division is a no-brainer, as is Miami and Tampa Bay. We can definitely agree that more realignment is needed, but perhaps a shift in the number of divisions or the format on playoff seeding needs to shift as well. For now, we will have to live with Houston in the AL West in 2013 with 2 more likely added Wild Card teams for now.


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

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