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White Sox What Ifs: 2014

Jose Abreu signed the most lucrative contract for an international signee in MLB history - at 6 YRs/$68 MIL, before Tanaka eclipsed his deal . He'll more than likely start the 2014 season with the big club, rather than starting in the minors.  He'll spend most of his time at first base, with (more than likely) some occasional starts at DH.

Jose Abreu signed the most lucrative contract for an international signee in MLB history – at 6 YRs/$68 MIL, before Tanaka eclipsed his deal (7 YRs/$155 MIL). He’ll more than likely start the 2014 season with the big club, rather than starting in the minors. He’ll spend most of his time at first base, with (more than likely) some occasional starts at DH.

By ‘White Sox Correspondent’ Brian Madsen  

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Let’s play a game. Let’s play “White Sox What Ifs” 2014 version. And let’s assume that if 7 out of these 10 What Ifs come to fruition, our White Sox are going to the postseason in 2014. So let’s start….

(1.) What If Adam Eaton becomes the on-base machine it appears he could be so far in Spring Training? The White Sox haven’t had a lead-off hitter of his caliber since Scott Podsednik.

Not only can Eaton get on base with regularity, he can steal bases. He can stretch singles into doubles, and doubles into triples. He’s everything a lead off hitter should be. And he can bunt. Enough said.

Your mouth waters with just the above? Wait. He can play defense, unlike your beloved Scotty Pods (who also had the limp arm of an 8 year old). Eaton possesses similar daredevil-type maneuvers that Aaron Rowand possessed.

Though Rowand would often mis-judge fly balls and make up for it with above average speed in CF to make a great catch,

Eaton has the speed and instincts to make a great grab in front of him, to his left or right, and over the shoulder. Very excited! Read the rest of this entry

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Wishful Thinking Part 2: Chicago White Sox Style: They Sign Jose Abreu

"Rick Hahn made his first major move as White Sox GM yesterday when he signed 26 year old Cuban defector Jose Abreu to a 6 year $68 million contract. While most are surprised that the White Sox were able to sign Abreu, most are also happy with the signing. So fans are hoping that, along with Avisail Garcia, Abreu can be one of the Sox cornerstones for years to come.

“Rick Hahn made his first major move as White Sox GM yesterday when he signed 26 year old Cuban defector Jose Abreu to a 6 year $68 million contract. While most are surprised that the White Sox were able to sign him, most are also happy with the signing. So fans are hoping that, along with Avisail Garcia, Abreu can be one of the Sox cornerstones for years to come.  Chicago had their worst year in a long time this 2013 season, and this move is good in that it did not cost the franchise anything but money on the payroll.

By ‘White Sox Correspondent’ Brian Madsen  

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I love Paul Konerko. I love Frank Thomas. These two White Sox first basemen are whom we as fans will compare the recently signed Jose Abreu to, as we should.

Don’t compare him to Yoenis Cespedes, or Yasiel Puig, just because they are also from Cuba. He’s the direct replacement for Paul Konerko, just as the longest reigning White Sox player was the replacement for Frank Thomas.

I assumed Rick Hahn would wait until after the postseason was completed to begin the White Sox revamp going into the 2014 season.

Well, the World Series hasn’t even begun, and Hahn managed to sign the biggest free agent hitter available to a 6 year, $68 million contract. This is also the biggest contract given to an international free agent in the history of MLB.

Good start? Some say no, but many say yes. Abreu was very sought after, desired by many MLB clubs. We, as Sox fans, knew of the White Sox interest in him once it was announced that he was soon going to be made available as a free agent.

But, I don’t think many of us thought he would sign here. Boston maybe. Yankees? Rangers? All distinct possibilities. No way the White Sox get him.

Then, you started hearing rumblings that White Sox left fielder Dayan Viciedo, also a native of Cuba, knows Jose Abreu, and even played with him on a couple Cuban teams.

Could he be whispering in the Cuban players ear about coming to Chicago? Maybe. Was the $ the main contributing factor in Abreu signing with the White Sox? More than likely.

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White Sox 2014 Questions

This season was Flowers first chance at being the every day catcher, and he has also disappointed. Flowers was part of the Javier Vasquez trade to the Atlanta Braves a few years ago, and at the time, was a highly touted prospect. But, Flowers has fought through mediocrity ever since his acquisition. He has since hurt his shoulder, and will miss the rest of the 2013 season. While Tyler Flowers continued to struggle this season, the Sox called up catching prospect Josh Phegley from Triple A Charlotte in July.   Flowers is Arbitration Eligible in 2015 - and under team control until 2018

This season was Flowers first chance at being the every day catcher, and he has also disappointed.Flowers was part of the Javier Vasquez trade to the Atlanta Braves a few years ago, and at the time, was a highly touted prospect. But, he has fought through mediocrity ever since his acquisition.  Flowers has since hurt his shoulder, and will miss the rest of the 2013 season.
While the young backstopper continued to struggle this season, the Sox called up catching prospect Josh Phegley from Triple A Charlotte in July. Flowers is Arbitration Eligible in 2015 – and under team control until 2018.

By ‘White Sox Correspondent’ Brian Madsen 


As a very disappointing 2013 season winds down for the Chicago White Sox, several questions arise heading into 2014. Who will be the starting third baseman?

Who will be the starting catcher? Who will be in center field? Who’s at first base? And, maybe even, who will be the White Sox manager?

Let’s start at third base. Jeff Keppinger was signed during the 2012-2013 offseason with the expectations of being the every day third basemen, and a quality bat in the lineup.

A career .281 hitter, Keppinger has disappointed in 2013. While he’s come around the passed month or so, he’s hitting just .244, well below expectations.

Jeff Keppinger Highlights

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The Chicago White Sox Payroll In 2014, Organizational Affiliates, Prospects, Depth Charts, (MLB + MiLB)

The White Sox have been one of the better clubs in the AL over the last decade, however the 2013 season will see them with their worst record in some time.  The team is loaded with controllable Starting Pitching, and have started the rebuild for the position players.  With playing in the AL central, with only the Tigers having a salary north of $100 MIL, the White Sox have shown they are willing to spend the cash to compete.  It probably wont be long before the Southsiders find themselves back near the top of the Division.

The White Sox have been one of the better clubs in the AL over the last decade, however the 2013 season will see them with their worst record in some time. The franchise is loaded with controllable Starting Pitching, and have started the rebuild for the position players. With playing in the AL central, with only the Tigers having a salary north of $100 MIL, the White Sox have shown they are willing to spend the cash to compete. It probably wont be long before the Southsiders find themselves back near the top of the Division.

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 White Sox Organization click here.

Adam Dunn Highlights 2012 _ Mature Lyrics So Parental Guidance Is Advised

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A Phillies 2014 Forecast, Part I: “The Emperor Has No Clothes”

I certainly wish Amaro was a little more Ben Franklin and a lot less Daft Punk as 2013's Song of the Summer, "Get Lucky", coincidentally captured the embattled GM's philosophy for this year's Phillies. When the song's lyrical hook defiantly proclaims, "We've come too far to give up who we are", I can easily see Ruben's head bobbing an arrogant yes, yes, yes to the beat en route to his office at One Citizens Bank Way. Unfortunately, who the Phillies are right now under Amaro's stubborn direction are a team that is painting themselves into a corner. The current roster carries several veterans already past their prime, but with very few promising young stars in the making ready to carry the torch.

I certainly wish Amaro was a little more Ben Franklin and a lot less Daft Punk as 2013’s Song of the Summer, “Get Lucky”, coincidentally captured the embattled GM’s philosophy for this year’s Phillies. When the song’s lyrical hook defiantly proclaims, “We’ve come too far to give up who we are”, I can easily see Ruben’s head bobbing an arrogant yes, yes, yes to the beat en route to his office at One Citizens Bank Way. Unfortunately, who the Phillies are right now under Amaro’s stubborn direction are a team that is painting themselves into a corner. The current roster carries several veterans already past their prime, but with very few promising young stars in the making ready to carry the torch.

By Chris Creighton (Phillies Correspondent via  http://www.oldcitybaseball.com – visit the website here

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“I live on a one-way street that’s also a dead end. I’m not quite sure how I got there.” - Steven Wright, Comedian

Sounds about right.

It should be obvious to most that Ruben Amaro Jr.’s ego has been waging war against his own rational sense of decision-making and his ability to consider the future of this Phillies franchise since he was handed the keys to the palace back in November 2008.

A speckled and spotty track-record ripe with big-splash acquisitions along with several transactions banking on a player’s abilities of yesteryear–each of which left the cupboard mostly bare down on the farm–is all he has to show during his tenure as the big boss man.

Even the most optimistic of Philadelphia fans (including myself) now envision the Phillies ship as a tired, rudderless old vessel drifting through uncharted waters without a compass. How did it ever come to this?

Ryan Howards Injury 2011 NLDS


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The White Sox Post Non Waiver Trade Deadline + Possible Aug/Offseason Trade Candidates

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Thursday, August.08, 2013

You almost have to be bitter about the Sox recently sweeping the New York Yankees.  While it was fun to do, and booing A - Rod was right up the Southsiders alley, this team just put itself too many wins away from the Astros from the 1st overall pick in 2014.  They should extremely active in the August Trade Market - and perhaps the offseason.  It is time for the rebuild to commence!

You almost have to be bitter about the Sox recently sweeping the New York Yankees. While it was fun to do, and booing A – Rod was right up the Southsiders alley, this team just put itself too many wins away from the Astros from the 1st overall pick in 2014. They should extremely active in the August Trade Market – and perhaps the offseason. It is time for the rebuild to commence!  Chicago enters play today at 43 – 69, tied with the Marlins for the 2nd worst record in the MLB.  This was a team that was within a week of playing in the Post Season in 2012.  A major shakeup is needed in going forward.

1st part by Brian Madsen (MLB Reports White Sox Correspondent

It was all but certain that the White Sox were going to be sellers come the trade deadline in 2013.

The question was, were they selling everybody? Well, they didn’t trade everybody, but they still traded more players than they have during a season in recent memory.

And, there could be more to come during the August waiver period.

Matt Thornton was the first to go, traded to the Boston Red Sox for the young Brandon Jacobs. A staple in the White Sox bullpen since 2006, Thornton was a quality reliever for quite a while.

And he has fit in just fine in the Boston bullpen, accumulating a 2.70 ERA since his acquisition.

The second chip to fall was the still-DLed Jesse Crain. Crain was sent to the Tampa Bay Rays in a very unique “player-to-be-named” scenario.

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How Would Detroit Move On If They Lost Jhonny Peralta? Perhaps Philly May Be The Answer!

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Tuesday July 30th, 2013 

 Jhonny Peralta and the Detroit Tigers might be in for a little trouble. With a number of players being investigated for potentially breaking the leagues policy on power-enhancing substances by being involved in the biogenseis  scandal, Peralta might find himself out for the rest of the regular season and the playoffs if the Tigers qualify

Jhonny Peralta and the Detroit Tigers might be in for a little trouble. With a number of players being investigated for potentially breaking the leagues policy on power-enhancing substances by being involved in the biogenseis scandal, Peralta might find himself out for the rest of the regular season and the playoffs if the Tigers qualify.

By Dan Wanser (MLB Reports Writer)  

Jhonny Peralta is one of a number of players being investigated by Major League Baseball for potentially breaking the leagues substance abuse policy by being involved with biogenesis in Miami.

If Detroit loses their shortstop for the rest of 2013 they may be in for some trouble.

Peralta has been heating up offensively as the season has moved along and is also solid in the field.

So if he does find himself out for the season, who will the American League Central Division leaders call on to take his place? They have a few options.

If Peralta needs to be replaced, Detroit will need someone with some pop in the bat.

Jhonny Peralta Talks about Miguel Cabrera Potentially Repeating His Triple Crown Feat:

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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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Chris Sale Proving His Worth, With Little Return – White Sox Target Potential Player Trades

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Thursday July.25/2013

As a baseball fan, no matter how bad the team you root for may be, the All-Star Game is the best. As a White Sox fan, I haven't experienced many really bad seasons in my lifetime. As I've written in previous posts, this has not been a good year for my White Sox. And, as a Sox fan, it feels like the sky is falling. Come the ALL-Star break, I try to forget about my team's struggles, and look forward to the Summer Classic.

As a baseball fan, no matter how bad the team you root for may be, the All-Star Game is the best. As a White Sox fan, I haven’t experienced many really bad seasons in my lifetime. As I’ve written in previous posts, this has not been a good year for my White Sox. And, as a Sox fan, it feels like the sky is falling. Come the ALL-Star break, I try to forget about my team’s struggles, and look forward to the Summer Classic.

 By Brian Madsen (White Sox Correspondent): 

So, I’d like to focus on a positive note this time around. Chris Sale. Man is he good.

While young star pitchers like Matt Harvey, Clayton Kershaw, and Stephen Strasburg get a lot of publicity (and rightfully so), Chris Sale doesn’t receive much of the spot light.

And that seems to suit him just fine. Though when the spot light shined its brightest at the MLB All-Star Game last Tuesday night at Citi Field, Sale stepped to the mound for 2 innings of perfect baseball.

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MLB 30 Team Power Rankings: Week 17

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Sunday July.21/2013

The Cardinals are the big benefactor of an early July swoon by the Pirates.  Will this team make some moves at the deadline - to aid the young Starting Rotation Innings?  Will Chris Carpenter be able to make an impact for the club at some point this campaign?  They sit perched back up upon the MLBR Power Rankings for now.

The Cardinals are the big benefactor of an early July swoon by the Pirates. Will this team make some moves at the deadline – to aid the young Starting Rotation Innings? Will Chris Carpenter be able to make an impact for the club at some point this campaign? They sit perched back up upon the MLBR Power Rankings for now.  The Cards have made 7 out of the last 12 NLCS showdowns – holding a 3 – 4 record in those years – and a 2 – 1 mark in the World Series.

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

The Tampa Bay Rays are making a huge statement.  Even as I write this post, they have a commanding 4 – 1 lead on the Toronto Blue Jays, which would make the 58 – 41, and no worse than 1.5 Games Behind the Boston Red Sox heading into play tomorrow.

The Rays will head to Fenway Park right after this for a four game series – before concluding a 10 game Road Swing at Yankee Stadium.  They could end up in 1st place in the AL East by next week.

With their pitching strength – and new underrated offense, would anyone pick against them for the rest of the season?  I have slotted them 7 positions higher than the previous week.

Chris Carpenter 5 months ago, He is now rehabbing in the Minor Leagues with a chance to come back in 2013 – Amazing!

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2 And A Hook Podcast #10: All Star Chat, Yankees, Dbacks + Trade Deadline Talk

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Friday, July.12, 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 )

Guests On The Show

Im back & ready after being off during the 4th of July week to give you all another baseball packed podcast. On today’s show, brought to you by MLB Reports ( www.mlbreports.com ) & yours truly The Bench Warmers Show.

I star by paying respect to the great Yankee Stadium PA announcer Bob Sheppard on the 3 year anniversary to the day that he passed away…

I talk to the boss man Chuck Booth as he returns to do his segment!  16 Minutes in and a 31 Minute Segment

Chuck makes some notions about the New York Yankees and Brian Cashman needing to risk it all for this year – for the legacies of Derek Jeter, Andy Pettitte, Mariano Rivera and Robinson Cano.  Plus whether the club can trade Joba Chamberlain and Phil Hughes – and maybe acquire a bat. Read the rest of this entry

Who Stays, And Who Goes? Pale Hose Brass To Make Some Decisions

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Sunday, July 7th, 2013

The bad 2007 season was preceded  by the 2006 season, during which the Sox won 90 games, but fell short in the AL Central behind the Twins and Tigers. 2006 was, of course, preceded by the World Series Championship 2005 season (man, a White Sox fan loves saying that. 2005). Following the aforementioned 2007 season, in 2008, the Sox won the AL Central title, but lost to the eventual AL Champ, Tampa Bay Rays in the ALDS. But, the Sox haven't had any REALLY BAD teams in recent memory. 2007 was, by all accounts, not good. But, to me, a 100 loss team is a REALLY BAD team.

The bad 2007 season was preceded by the 2006 season, during which the Sox won 90 games, but fell short in the AL Central behind the Twins and Tigers. 2006 was, of course, preceded by the World Series Championship 2005 season (man, a White Sox fan loves saying that. 2005). Following the aforementioned 2007 season, in 2008, the Sox won the AL Central title, but lost to the eventual AL Champ, Tampa Bay Rays in the ALDS. But, the Sox haven’t had any REALLY BAD teams in recent memory. 2007 was, by all accounts, not good. But, to me, a 100 loss team is a REALLY BAD team.

By Brian Madsen (White Sox Correspondent): 

As I sit next to my daughters on the couch watching SpongeBob, my oldest (Abby, 9), turns to me and says, “Daddy, why aren’t you watching the White Sox?”. To which I respond, “They’re off today, they don’t have a game. They stink anyway….”

She looks at me in disgust and screams, “Daddy!! Don’t say that!!” She’s never heard me say that before. Granted, in 2007, the Sox were pretty awful, going 72-90.

But, she was 3 at the time, and didn’t really care about baseball. (Though I like to pretend she enjoys baseball now. I’m really trying to make that a reality….)

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The Yanks Are In Desperation Mode + Need Cashman To Be A Riverboat Gambler!

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Monday July.01/2013

The Yankees do have some decent prospects coming along the way like Mason Willians, Tyler Austin, Will the club stay true to their word and go under the 189 Million Dollar Luxury Tax Threshold next year?  If yes, the club could struggle for a few years like it hasn't for two decades.  Meanwhile, who cares about 2013's payroll.  The club will stand to receive over $50 MIL in insurance dough for their hurt players.  Why not reinvest the loot - and take some free swinging stabs?

The Yankees do have some decent prospects coming along the way like Mason Willians, Tyler Austin and Gary Sanchez. Will the club stay true to their word and go under the 189 Million Dollar Luxury Tax Threshold next year? If yes, the club could struggle for a few years like it hasn’t for two decades. Meanwhile, who cares about 2013’s payroll. The club will stand to receive over $50 MIL in insurance dough for their hurt players. Why not reinvest the loot – and take some free swinging stabs?  The club begins play today at 42 – 38, 4 games out of playoff spot, but 17 -24 in their last 41 Games Played.  They play 2 series versus the Twins, and also have  other series versus the Indians and Royals before the Break.  Will they make hay, or freefall by then?

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

It wasn’t always a rosy picture for the New York Yankee fanbase after the 1982 season.  In 1985, I became a fan of the team and Don Mattingly when I saw them smoke the Toronto Blue Jays like 22 – 0 or something on a  Nationally televised game.

My dad was a huge Thurman Munson fan – and told me the legend of the Yankees when I started being able to hear.  I even caught like his hero in little leaguie.  Sometimes you pick up your love for the team based on your dad.

We still both love them to this day.  I was there for 11 years of struggling from 1985 – 1995.  Even when the club cashed in their 1st World Series in 1996, to me while it was cool, it would have been so much better had ‘Donnie Baseball’ been part of the ride.

The Bronx Bombers ripping off 3 more titles from 1998 – 2000 – and then another in 2009, have made me happy to be a fan.  It is not just the playoffs that I have savored.  This team has averaged 94 – 95 wins for the last 20 seasons.

The Yankees would be lucky to be in the 2013 ALCS like 2012

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30 MLB Team Power Rankings: Week 14

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Monday July.01/2013

The Bucs have won 9 straight games and now possess a record of 51 - 30.  You have to think that the club will put the nail in the coffin on its 20 year losing streak - with just needing to win 31 of their 81 games remaining.  Better yet, ESPN has them listed as a 88 Percent chance to make the playoffs for the first time since the 1992 season.  At the halfway point in the season, the Bucs have the best record in the MLB - and have reached #2 in our power rankings

The Bucs have won 9 straight games and now possess a record of 51 – 30. You have to think that the club will finally put the nail in the coffin on its 20 year losing streak – with just needing to win 31 of their 81 games remaining. Better yet, ESPN has them listed as a 88 Percent chance to make the playoffs for the first time since the 1992 season. At the halfway point in the season, the Bucs have the best record in the MLB – and have reached #2 in our power rankings.

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

Another Week has come and gone in the MLB.

Week Stats Ending – June.29/2013

(MLB Reports) AL Hitter Of The Week –  Jason Kipnis (CLE – He reached base 24 times in the 8 games (14 hits, 9 Walks and 1 HBP) – with 3 HRs, 6 – 2B, 9 Runs and 11 RBI.  He hit .519 for the week).

Runners up were:  Miguel Cabrera (DET – OPS of 1.583, with 4 HRs and 7 RBI), Dustin Pedroia (BOS – .560 BA, 14 hits), and Raul Ibanez (SEA – OPS of 1.455 – 3 HRs and 5 RBI.)

(MLB Reports) AL Pitcher Of The WeekR.A. Dickey (TOR – 2 hit CG Shutout versus the Tampa Bay Rays.)

Runners up were: Koji Uehara (BOS – 3 Perfect Saves) and Joe Blanton LAA (1 – 0, with a 1.88 ERA in 2 GS). Read the rest of this entry

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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The Chicago White Sox Offense Is Offensive

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Sunday, June.16th/2013

Maybe it's Paul Konerko's fault? He's hitting .237, and has looked lost at the plate for much of the season. 2013 could be Konerko's last season with the Sox as his contract is up at the end of this year. Adam Dunn's fault perhaps? He's hitting .181, but does have 17 HR's and 39 RBI's. Looks to be a typical Dunn season. Lots of HR's, and lots of K's. Whatever the reason is, or whoever's fault it is, the White Sox offense has been abysmal so far in the 2013 season. Statistically one of the worst offenses in MLB, the White Sox offense is difficult to watch. But, the offense certainly hasn't been the only problem. What was a strong defensive team in 2012, has turned into a bad defensive team in 2013.

Maybe it’s Paul Konerko’s fault? He’s hitting .239, and has looked lost at the plate for much of the season. 2013 could be Konerko’s last season with the Sox as his contract is up at the end of this year. Adam Dunn’s fault perhaps? He’s hitting .182, but does have 18 HR’s and 40 RBI’s. Looks to be a typical Dunn season. Lots of HR’s, and lots of K’s.Whatever the reason is, or whoever’s fault it is, the White Sox offense has been abysmal so far in the 2013 season. Statistically one of the worst offenses in MLB, the White Sox offense is difficult to watch. But, the offense certainly hasn’t been the only problem. What was a strong defensive team in 2012, has turned into a bad defensive team in 2013.

By Brian Madsen (White Sox Correspondent): 

It must be AJ Pierzynski’s fault. After all, his absence from the White Sox lineup is the only major change from the 2012 team’s lineup. His replacement, Tyler Flowers, hasn’t exactly been lighting the lamp in 2013. Flowers was also billed to be an upgrade defensively behind the plate, which hasn’t been the case either.

Or, wait, is it Kevin Youkilis‘ fault? His replacement, Jeff Keppinger, has been the opposite of what he was advertised to be when the Sox signed him during the offseason. Keppinger’s hitting .229 with an OBP of .234. He was also billed as “a guy who never strikes out”, and should be the perfect number 2 hitter behind Alejandro De Aza. He’s struck out 21 times in 205 AB’s, and he’s walked TWICE.

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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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Who’s On Third? White Sox Edition.

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Friday May 10th, 2013

When Gordon Beckham broke a bone in his hand and required surgery, many White Sox fans weren't overly concerned. After all, Beckham's offensive struggles have been well documented throughout his young career. Simply move Jeff Keppinger to second base, and then.... Wait. Who's going to take Keppinger's place at third?

When Gordon Beckham broke a bone in his hand and required surgery, many White Sox fans weren’t overly concerned. After all, Beckham’s offensive struggles have been well documented throughout his young career. Simply move Jeff Keppinger to Second base, and then…. Wait. Who’s going to take Keppinger’s place at third?

By Brian Madsen (White Sox Correspondent): 

Who’s on Third Base for the White Sox you ask…Connor Gillaspie. Who? Connor Gillaspie. The same new guy that’s hitting .291, the highest current batting average for any White Sox player with more than 80 AB.

The same  that hit CLEAN-UP in the Sox lineup in Wednesday night’s inter-league game against the Mets. The man from Omaha, Nebraska has been a revelation, so far. He’s played solid defensively, and swung a pretty hot bat.

As I mentioned above, he hit cleanup for the Sox on Wednesday, and went 2 for 4, with 2 RBI.

Connor Gillaspie’s Diving Catch:

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2 And A Hook Podcast Episode #4: The Blue Jays Are Finished in 2013 + The Angels Are Close

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Friday, May.02/2013

MLB reports and The Benchwarmers Show present 2 and A Hook Podcast

MLB reports and The Benchwarmers Show present 2 and A Hook Podcast.

People in this Podcast:

Chuck Booth – Guest (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner):

By James Acevedo – Host (Podcast Veteran) 

‘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..)

On today’s show, brought to you by MLB Reports (www.mlbreports.com ) & yours truly (The Bench Warmers Show), I had Chuck Booth talk for over an hour about a  bunch of topics.

We started off with the horrible season the Toronto Blue Jays have had thus far.  We also talked about the Angels, what Robin Ventura is thinking – hitting Adam Dunn #4 still and how the Braves must regret paying B.J. Upton $15 MIL a year – while they are ecstatic about paying Justin Upton only about half of that. Read the rest of this entry

MLB Reports Mid – Week Around The Horn Rant

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Thursday May.02/2013

The Blue Jays have not done much celebrating this year so far.  With a bloated payroll after the Miami Marlins trade, plus the struggles of R.A Dickey, the Jose Reyes injury and signed FA Melky Cabrera, the franchise has gone 10 - 18.  Sitting in 5th place in the vaunted AL East, the playoffs seem impossible to make

The Blue Jays have not done much celebrating this year so far. With a bloated payroll after the Miami Marlins trade, plus the struggles of R.A Dickey, the Jose Reyes injury – and signed FA Melky Cabrera not hitting well, the franchise has gone 10 – 18. Sitting in 5th place in the vaunted AL East, the playoffs would seem impossible to make.

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

I am officially throwing the dirt on the Toronto Blue Jays season.  You will want to listen to the 2 AND A HOOK Podcast today on this page here (posted tonight about 10 PM EST).

Point blank.  The Jays are 10 – 18 – and can’t leapfrog the other clubs in the AL East Division.  Last nights Lineup featured J.P. Arencibia leading the team in Batting Average – with a .250 clip.  Their Team Batting Average currently sits at .228, they don’t Walk and they never seem to come up with a big hit.

What is worse for the Canadian franchise is that their pitching was supposed to be solid.  R.A. Dickey has found that pitching in the AL East is not like pitching in the NL East. 

 Mark Buehrle is having a tough time missing bats back in the American League too. 

Josh Johnson has been bad so far as well.  Now he has been placed on the 15 Day Disabled List.  Who knows if he will be healthy to pitch even after that.

Like I said in the Weekly Rankings on Monday – this club doesn’t have the chops to play .625 baseball for the rest of the remaining schedule.ESPN currently has them at a 4.4% probability for making the playoffs.

The team will play for John Gibbons job, potentially to break .500 – and respectability the rest of 2013 and nothing more.

Yankees beat the Toronto Blue Jays last week (Part of a 4 game Sweep)

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Good Start Gone Bad For The White Sox

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Monday April.29/2013

Any fan of the Chicago White Sox knows that they hit a lot of HR's. HR's are a good thing, obviously. Although when it seems like the ONLY way a team can score, some consider it a problem. I wrote earlier in the season that the Sox had gotten of to a good start, going 4-2. They proceeded to get swept by the Washington Nationals, no shame in that, then have struggled ever since. Heading into last Monday, White Sox starting pitchers had 6 consecutive quality starts, consisting of a 1.63 ERA and a .201 OPP BA. Based on those stats alone, one would think the Sox went 4-2 in that span, maybe 5-1? Nope, 1-5.

Any fan of the Chicago White Sox knows that they hit a lot of HR’s. HR’s are a good thing, obviously. Although when it seems like the ONLY way a team can score, some consider it a problem. I wrote earlier in the season that the Sox had gotten of to a good start, going 4-2. They proceeded to get swept by the Washington Nationals, no shame in that, then have struggled ever since.Heading into last Monday, White Sox starting pitchers had 6 consecutive Quality Starts, consisting of a 1.63 ERA and a .201 OPP BA. Based on those stats alone, one would think the Sox went 4-2 in that span, maybe 5-1? Nope, 1-5.

By Brian Madsen (White Sox Correspondent): 

The Club Struggles To String Together hits in 2013 season

Heading into play Monday night, the club has gone 10 – 14 to start this year – and currently sit behind the KC Royals by 4 1/2 Games right now for the AL Central Division Lead.  It doesn’t get easy for the team having to face Darvish and the Rangers on Tuesday night – to kick off a 9 Game Road Trip, where they also visit Kansas City and the New York Mets.

So the White Sox are offensively challenged you ask? Absolutely. In the first game of what turned out to be only a 2 game series with the Minnesota Twins this last week due to cold, Jake Peavy pitched masterfully. But, he took a no-decision in a 2-1 Sox loss.

Game 2 of that series, Gavin Floyd had his best start all season. But, it was all for naught as the Sox offense could only muster 2 Runs, and lost 3-2.

Rewind back a week or so ago when the Sox lost 2 of 3 games in Cleveland. Jose Quintana pitched a gem, throwing 7 scoreless Innings, allowing only one hit, while Striking out 7.

But, the Sox offense was shut down by Justin Masterson, and lost in 10 innings, 1-0. Now, games like this are going to happen throughout a 162 game season.

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The Rays Need To Call Up Wil Myers Pronto!

2 And A Hook Podcast Talks About Calling UP Wil Myers – 25 Minute Mark

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Thursday Apr.18/2013

Myers ascended onto the PCL scene last year and ripped out 24 HRs in just 99 Games at Omaha. The Rays will be counting on him for their offensive future for many years to come. The club has featured a futile attack with the bats - hitting for a 3 Slash Line of .204//284/.588. They have scored only 39 Runs - while allowing 59 Runs through 13 Games.

Myers ascended onto the PCL scene last year and ripped out 24 HRs in just 99 Games at Omaha. The Rays will be counting on him for their offensive future for many years to come. The club has featured a futile attack with the bats – hitting for a 3 Slash Line of .204//284/.588. They have scored only 39 Runs – while allowing 59 Runs through 13 Games.

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

First off, I wanted to say that I completely respect the Tampa Bay Rays – and especially am an avid supporter of the head office – including GM Andrew Freidman.  I will get to all of this in this article.

It is time to call up Wil Myers to the big club! 

The club is mired in a slow start at 4 – 9 and are already 5 Games Behind the AL East Division Leaders ‘Boston Red Sox.

The team traded away Veteran Pitchers James Shields and Wade Davis to Kansas City in order to acquire the top hitting prospect.

Here is why the time makes sense.

Service time for Super 2 Arbitration Status and Free Agency Year aside, this clubs current offense is abysmal despite having great pitching ability.

Wil Myers Highlight Reel:

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White Sox Off To A Good Start

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Thursday April.4/2013

Opening Day saw 39012 brave and tough Chicago and other natives - took in this game.

Opening Day saw 39012 brave and tough Chicago and other natives – take  in the  game.  The club narrowly escaped with a 1 – 0 victory against their Division AL Central Rival The Kansas City Royals.  Game #2 saw the Bullpen throw 3 IP and only yield 1 hit for their effort.  The Sox are not expected to contend for a playoff position – although they carry multiple time ALL – Star players on their Roster. Does everyone forget that the ‘Southsiders’ led the AL Central for the majority of the year during the 2012 season?  The Tigers barely nudged them out for the Division at the end of September.  The Sox are looking for payback in 2013.

By Brian Madsen (White Sox Correspondent): 

The last time the White Sox won on Opening Day by a score of 1-0 was 2005. They won the World Series that year. They beat the Royals 1-0 on Monday behind a solid pitching performance by Chris Sale and a solo HR from Tyler Flowers.

Monday was Opening Day. Not that that means anything, but baseball fans are superstitious. I know I am.

The Sox were 6-12 against the Royals in 2012, proving to be the Sox undoing. After their victory on Wednesday against KC 5-2, they’re 2-0 against the Royals so for in 2013. You have to understand, this is mind boggling for a White Sox fan.

The Royals have been the Sox’ achilles heel for what seems like forever now. If the Sox find a way to knock around Jeremy “Catfish” Guthrie today, the world may come to an end. Guthrie posted a 0.30 ERA vs the Sox last season, but, only managed one victory against them.

White Sox Opening Day At Us Cellular Field – Mature Content so Parental Guidance is advised:

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Adam Dunn: The New Dave Kingman?

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Wednesday, February.06/2013

Adam Dunn has hit 40+ HRs 6 times in his career and 38+ HRs in 8 of the last 9 years. He is the Classic '3TO' AKA 3 True Outs: HR/BB or SO. At The MLB Reports, we call it a 'Dunn Trick' when he does all 3 in a game.

Adam Dunn has hit 40+ HRs 6 times in his career and 38+ HRs in 8 of the last 9 years. He is the Classic ‘3TO’  Guy. AKA 3 True Outs Guy: HR/BB or SO.  At The MLB Reports, we call it a ‘Dunn Trick’ when he does all 3 in a game.

By Brian Madsen (White Sox Correspondent): 

.159 Batting Average, 11 HRs, 42 RBI, 177 SO, $12 Million. Those are the #’s posted by Adam Dunn in 2011 during his first season with the Chicago White Sox in just 415 AB or two-thirds of a season. Quite possibly one of the worst statistical seasons in MLB history. Far from Dunn’s previous season averages leading up to that point in his career:  .248 Batting Average – with 33 HRs and 82 RBI. These were not the #’s the White Sox thought they were getting when they signed Dunn to a 4 YR/$56 Million Contract prior to the 2011 season. Dunn never was a high average kind of guy,  has always struck out a lot (as a lot of power hitters do), but also walks a lot. Much to Dunn’s credit, he turned everything around in 2012 hitting (only) .204, but with 41 HRs and 96 RBI. His turnaround season was a big reason for  Chicago’s success in 2012.

Dunn has been one of the game’s premiere power hitters since 2004. Yet, to this date, has never been on a playoff team. He and the Sox came close in 2012, but fell short behind the Tigers. Dunn surpassed 400 HRss last year for the Sox, ( the same year that his teammate Paul Konerko  hit his 400th. Konerko actually hit his 300th HR in the same game, back-to-back with, then teammate, Jermaine Dye) and has a great chance to surpass 500 HR’s. While Dunn will probably fall short of 500 HRs in his next 2 seasons with the Sox, you have to figure he’ll catch on with a team in 2015 and get there. A common complaint about Dunn is, and has been, his average. Last year Dunn hit a “robust” .204, yet still managed to have an OBP of .333. Not quite as good as his career OBP of .370, but not awful either. For a guy that strikes out as much as he does, Dunn sure walks a lot. Though Dunn walked 105 times last year, his K’s more than doubled that amount with 222.

Adam Dunn  Highlights:  Mature Lyrics – Parental Guidance is Advised:

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Chicago White Sox Payroll In 2013 And Contracts Going Forward

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Sunday, January.27/2013

Former GM 'Maverick  Kenny Williams has rolle the dice on some big contracts with Rios, Dunn  and Peavy..  There have been some moments of prosperity and failure for each, however the results have been ok overall.  The team should be competitive with both payroll - and on the field in 2013

Former GM ‘Maverick Kenny Williams has rolled the dice on some big contracts with Rios, Dunn and Peavy.. There have been some moments of prosperity and failure for each, however the results have been ok overall. The team should be competitive with both payroll – and on the field in 2013

By Brian Madsen (White Sox Correspondent):  

Considering the collapse of the 2012 White Sox, the team losing A.J. Pierzynski and Kevin Youkilis to Free Agency, one might not expect the 2013 White Sox to fare any better. But, looking on the bright side, they should have a solid starting staff, with Chris Sale having another year of experience under his belt, and, hopefully, the return of a healthy John Danks. That’s a pretty good 1-2 punch. Next is Jake Peavy. Not a bad 1-2-3 punch, if you ask me. Follow those 3 with Gavin Floyd and/or Hector Santiago/Jose Quintana, not too shabby. An “expert” may look on the not so bright side, and see a “whole lotta outs in the lineup”.

Between Gordon Beckham, Alexei Ramirez (both struggled in 2012) and the newly anointed starting Catcher, Tyler Flowers, that’s a combined average of .237 (which equals a whole lotta outs). While some say Beckham’s and Ramirez’s defensive prowess make up for their offensive deficiencies, many White Sox fans disagree. But, if Alex Rios and Adam Dunn can carry over their production from 2012 into 2013, the Sox could be in the running for the division title again. The addition of Jeff Keppinger at third base, while not a high-profile move that White Sox fans had grown accustomed to with former GM Kenny Williams, he is solid at the plate and in the field. Let’s take a look at the Sox payroll for the 2013 season….

DeWayne Wise’ catch to preserve Mark Buehle’s perfect game:

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What Is In Store For The 2013 Chicago White Sox: State Of The Union

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Tuesday December 18th, 2012

awhite

Bernie Olshansky (Baseball Writer):

If I had to describe the 2012 White Sox in one word, I would describe them as underperforming. Although they improved on their 2011 season, the White Sox still performed below expectations in the 2nd Half and it cost them a trip to the playoffs. In a division with the Detroit Tigers, who signed Prince Fielder last winter, the White Sox were not favored. They finished with an 85-77 record, which was not bad—I just expected better.  After all, the Tigers ended up in the World Series.

I’ll start with Adam Dunn. Dunn had one of the worst seasons in baseball history in 2011, the year that he signed a Four Year deal worth $56 Million. He hit .159 with only 11 HRs and 42 RBI. He was poised for a great comeback in 2012. I guess you could call hitting .204 with 41 HRs and 96 RBI a comeback, but it still was not the normal Adam Dunn. The HRs and RBI were there, but the .204 average was well below what he hit in previous years. If Dunn were to have hit for a higher average, one might be able to say that the White Sox would have made the playoffs. Read the rest of this entry

MLB Reports Monthly Power Rankings: September 2012

Monday, September.3/2012

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer):   To say that this year has been a good year for baseball is an humongous understatement.  I thought after last years finish, that nothing was going to duplicate the experience.  Everyone forgets (or maybe not) that there should not even have been many races last year with Atlanta and Boston having such substantial leads on playoff spots.  The Red Sox and Braves collapsed like a couple of bowling pins with King Kong Bundy splashing down on them!  

This year, there are 15 teams still vying for 10 playoff spots.  So far the only probable locks are Washington for a playoff spot-and Cincinnati to probably win their division  The player races for all of the categories is almost as fascinating.  Will Andrew McCutcheon catch Melky Cabrera for the Batting title? Or will 2012 be forever cemented in baseball folklore by a stained player like Cabrera?  He could still end up determining who wins the World Series in the Fall Classic by his Testosterone filled antics in his MVP ALL-Star Game.  The big question is, will the San Francisco Giants fans cheer for him if he comes back in the playoffs?  They cheered for another league leader before when it was obvious he was guilty.  Right now if you are the Giants, you will take an opportunity to boo or cheer for Cabrera because that means you would  be in the playoffs.

Will the spending happy Dodgers have to wait another year to capitalize on their new plan to make the playoffs? If they ultimately  miss the playoffs outright, are they going to buy every player they can in the off-season?  I sure hope Magic knows that there are Luxury Tax penalties for spending over 178 Million Next Year.  1st year fine is 22.5%, 2nd year is 30%, 3rd year and beyond is 40%.  So if they plan on having a 250 Million Dollar Payroll in 2013 (by adding 2 or 3 more top Free Agents) will the Dodgers just forego the worry of any financial penalties on a yearly basis– just to dominate the whole National League (plus baseball for that matter.) Every other team has to consider the urgency in cashing out a World Series right now while the Dodgers have not had a full off season with the new management yet.  Can Oakland and their ‘New Money Ball philosophy’ make it to the playoffs for the first time since 2006? 

The Best Players over the last month were:  Buster Posey, Prince Fielder, Giancarlo Stanton, Adrian Beltre, Josh Hamilton, Yovani Gallardo, Kris Medlen, Adam Wainwright, Aroldis Chapman and Felix Hernandez.  The best teams have been Oakland, Washington, San Francisco, San Diego, Baltimore and Texas.  The worst teams have been Houston (at least its better to go down hard and stockpile #1 Draft Picks guys.)  I have a feeling you will be there for a while with the division you are heading into and may even challenge the 120 Loss Single Season Record.  At least you are not going into the NL West  to compete with the LA Dodgers!  The Cleveland Indians have fallen to an epic drop-off as well.  Toronto misses their top sluggers.  What has happened to the Minnesota Twins? The Mets have ownership and payroll problems, so at least they have an excuse.  Plus they lead the world in guys being hurt.  When David Wright has been your healthiest player, you know the season has been backwards!  So sit back, get your notebook and popcorn ready for this Month’s Rankings! Read the rest of this entry

MLB Reports Monthly Power Rankings: August 2012

Monday August.6/2012

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer and @chuckbooth3024 on twitter)- It has been a crazy month in which teams have stockpiled some heavy talent at the trade deadline to get ready for the playoffs.  Amongst the biggest gainers for the rankings this month were: the Athletics, Reds, Braves, Tigers, Dodgers (because of the deals) and Mariners while the Mets, Red Sox, Indians and Royals saw brutal months all but seal their playoff fates.  I do think that Boston has a punchers chance but that all is dependent on David Ortiz returning to the lineup swiftly.  The power of the best teams is definitely leaning to the National League right now where several teams are playing great baseball.  With one-third of the season left we are all in for a treat as baseball fans.

I will have one more regular season Power Rankings month of September (to be posted on Labor Day Weekend,)  before I also provide a playoff style ranking of the 1-10 seeds right before the Wild Card Teams play the play in game.  It certainly has been awesome to follow how the trade deadline has effected the Monthly Rankings this time around.  I think it is safe to say that this years deadline provided more interest and following-from even the casual fan more than any other year before.  I also believe that the Non-Waiver Trade Deadline is now the best Trade Deadline in all of sports.  Social Media has a lot to do with this but so does parity.  The 2nd Wild Card spot has also created more teams willing to trade prospects in lieu of going for it. Read the rest of this entry

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