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The Lighter Side Of The MLB: Memories, Characters And Things That Make Me Laugh

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

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Okay, the MLB has has had their fair share of characters and memories that illustrate how funny some things are.  We all like to blow these up on social media circles.

In this article, I just wanted to share some of these occurrences I have found amusing – also some of things that have cracked up some of our writers at this website.

Of course, we also have Paul Sullivan (AKA Sully) who usually makes people laugh once a podcast because he is a former comedian.

Some of his things that make us laugh are:  “Did you know that Mariano Rivera is retiring?” diatribes and explaining WAR to novice baseball people is also classic.

Sully likes to emphasize that he understands sabermetrics, but several other of our listeners have cracked up at his pronunciation of BABIP. Read the rest of this entry

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The Best Teams In The MLB From 1980 – 2013: The Biggest Question Is, Who Owns 2004 – 2013, BOS or STL?

The Boston Red Sox started out the season 21 - 8 after their 1st 29 games in 2013.  They rolled it all the way to their 3rd WS Title in a decade - but are they the best team in the MLB during this stretch

The Boston Red Sox started out the season 21 – 8 after their 1st 29 games in 2013. They rolled it all the way to their 3rd WS Title in a decade – but are they the best team in the MLB during this stretch from 2004 – now?

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

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There is only so much one can read in an article, otherwise I would make these lists up from the turn of the 20th century. 

If you gave me enough time as a reader, I promise to backdate this topic with another article featuring the best teams dating back further in years. 

Eventually, all of the years may be dissected and we can have a healthy debate on some of my selections.  I really started watching baseball in the early 1980’s. 

As I became older and discovered ways to research the history of the game, my knowledge and curious mind grew for more information. 

I have studied and read baseball stat books and breezed through the odd Bill James novel. 

If I ever take a break from writing or baseball park chasing, I may find some time down the road to watch the 9 part PBS documentary that Ken Burns did on baseball’s history.

2013 Boston Dream Season – Mature Lyrics – Parental Guidance is Advised

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Having A Great DH Can Mean Winning The AL Pennant: For Other Teams – The Position Is A Waste!

David Ortiz has been the quintessential DH in the AL over the last 11 years.  Boston is in contention perenially because he put up great #s compared to his competition.

David Ortiz has been the quintessential DH in the AL over the last 11 years. Boston are perennial contenders because he put up great #s compared to his competition.  Ortiz had a great 2013 campaign – where he 3 Slashed .309/.395./.959 – with 30 HRs and 103 RBI in just 137 Games Played.  Ortiz is .292/.390/.962 in 11 Years with Boston, with 373 HRs and 1191 RBI.  The Red Sox won the World Series in 2004 and 2007 with him at DH, and are looking to win again this year.

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

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Watching the 2013 season, something really resonated with me while watching the American League:  ‘Where have all the great designated hitters in MLB gone?’  

It is surprising to me that teams haven’t figured out that having a dominant DH in the league could mean the difference in winning the AL pennant or not.

I also believe that players should be moved their earlier than in their mid 30’s.  If they can’t play the field at all, or are not superior at offense, they should be made to Pinch-hit in the NL. 

It seemed only a few years ago that every team had a bopper capable of hitting .300 with 30 HR’S and 100 RBI’s.  Upon further investigation, I found out some interesting facts.

Read the rest of this entry

Part 1 of a Series: All-Time All-Star Teams By Regionality

 

Friday November 23th, 2012

Note from Alex Mednick:  I am going to be putting together a small project that accumulates all the best players of all time, and puts them together on teams according to their birthplace.  For example, in this first edition I will be breaking down players from the United States of America into teams from the 1) Northeast, 2) Southeast, 3) Midwest, and 4) Southwest…(sorry, there really is not enough quality coming out of the northwest to compete with these teams…maybe I will put a Northwestern United States team in a later edition with less competitive teams).  Later on I will bring you teams assembled from the all-time greats out Central and South American (Mexico, Venezuela, Panama, Panama Canal Zone, etc.) and the All-Caribbean Team (Dominican Republic, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Curacao, etc).  Also look forward to teams from Japan, Canada and the EU.  Should be fun to sort of assemble an “Olympics” of Baseball.  I love watching the World Baseball Classic and seeing players fight for their nations pride…but by grouping the teams by region, it might make the teams more competitive.  Of course, this is all for the sake of speculation; Babe Ruth was a great player, but I don’t think he will be taking any at-bat’s soon. (Also, please note that I do not lend consideration to relief pitchers in this analysis). Read the rest of this entry

Melk! It’s Good For Your Outfield: Where Does Toronto’s New Outfield Stand?

 

Thursday, November 22nd, 2013

Photo Courtesy of bleacherreport.com

Alex Mednick (Baseball Writer and Analyst)

Since the Blue Jays and Marlins blockbuster trade, there has been a lot of discussion about Jose Reyes, Josh Johnson and Mark Buehrle.  Jose Reyes is going to have an amazing presence at the top of the lineup, getting on base, steal bases and playing beautiful shortstop on the left side of the infield with Brett Lawrie for the Blue Jays ground ball pitchers. Josh Johnson and Mark Buehrle immediately make the Blue Jays rotation a top rotation in all of baseball by being inserted in. Effectively, they got two top of the line starters to create an elite rotation that makes them serious contenders.

Read the rest of this entry

Alex Mednick (Blue Jays Fan and Writer for MLB Reports): Gibbons May Work Out!

 

Tuesday November 20th, 2013

Note from Lead Writer Chuck Booth:  Just to be fair on this whole John Gibbons hire, I am posting this article written by my fellow colleague/Baseball Writer at the MLB Reports) in order to give a different vantage point.  Alex is a Blue Jays fan, so he has a passion for the team.  His thoughts are of his own and while I may not agree with his opinion, that is okay.  That is why we all have our own minds and are not all sheep!  So here is his article (based on a question he answered on my previous piece this morning.)

The Blue Jays have not qualified for the Playoffs since they won Back to Back World Series in 1992 and 1993. Only Pittsburgh and Kansas City and Toronto have not made a playoffs appearance since the 1994 strike. Will 2013 be any different with OLD/NEW MGR John Gibbons?

Alex Mednick (Baseball Writer and Analyst):

I responded to our Lead Baseball Writers Message about not liking the Gibbons hiring in this article earlier today here

It was, frankly, my initial reaction as well..I was not pleased when I first read this news about Gibbons.  I think AA also realizes the consequences of spending his bosses money and then making a poor decision.  If it does not pan out, it could mean his job…AA is not untouchable, even though there has been a  demi-god status applied to him.  Bosses don’t like when you squander their money…period.

But for some reason I am intrigued by this hiring.  I was absolutely fed up with the Ricciardi/Gibbons regime, and thought that they should have been fired 2 years before they were.  But Gibbons acted largely as the puppet of an egotistical, and nonsensical J.P. Ricciardi, which I can attribute to a lot the reasons he was criticized.  There is no doubt, even though managers do not take any at bats themselves, they have a large impact on the team.  Look at Bobby V and Boston.

I think that Gibbons was a stooge for JP Ricciardi and that is part of why he is so attractive to AA.  AA actually stated during the hiring process he was looking for someone who could fall in line with his and the organization’s theory.  Farrell was the opposite of that, a free thinking executive type, who also seemed disinterested in the organization as a whole.  He didn’t take the job seriously.

“At first, I was not happy with the signing, having thought about it a little more, lets give it a shot.” Alex Mednick

Read the rest of this entry

The Toronto Blue Jays Franchise Hitters: Part 3 Of A 7 Part Article Series

Friday, Nov.16/2012

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.

 

Tony Fernandez leads the Blue Jays Franchise for Hits and Games Played ALL-Time. At the age of 37, he flirted with a .400 average for half of the season in 1999. In his first go around with Toronto, he was part of the BlockBuster Trade that saw he and Fred McGriff go to San Diego for Joe Carter and Robbie Alomar at the GM’s Meetings in Dec of 1990. -Photo Courtesy of Sports Illustrated.

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer):

I like that this franchise series is right dab smack in the middle of the biggest Franchise trade since Tony Fernandez and Fred McGriff went to San Diego for Roberto Alomar and Joe Carter in 1990.  A Toronto Blue Jays fan can only hope for the same result that came down afterwards to repeat itself in the next few year.  The early days of the Jays hitters (late 1970’s provided some long-term reliable guys,) however it wasn’t until Jesse Barfield won a HR Title and George Bell came home with the 1987 AL MVP, that the rest of the MLB started to take notice on the hitters of this Canadian Team.  As soon as the club moved into SKYDOME, the hitters had a field day.  Not to say that Exhibition Stadium didn’t aid some homeruns and nice averages in its day, it is just that SKYDOME is a hitter friendly park.

From George Bell and the outstanding other 80’s OF trio of Barfield and Lloyd “The Shaker” Moseby, to Tony Fernandez and Ernie Whitt, these guys all played a huge chunk of their careers with this Canadian Club.  Fred McGriff routinely hit towering shots off of the Windows Restaurant and led the AL in HRs during the 1989 Pennant Winning Season.  In 1991, when Joe Carter and Roberto Alomar arrived onto the scene, the offense just clicked on all cylinders.  Devon White was gracefully stealing bases and striding into runs with those gigantic high knee kicks of his.  John Olerud walked right out of College and added one of the best ‘natural’ swings that any of us have ever seen.  Veterans Dave Winfield and Paul Molitor bashed their way into Jays hearts with their limited time with the organization en route to back to back World Series Titles in 1992 and 1993.  After the Strike/Lockout, the team then saw Shawn Green and Carlos Delgado routinely destroy pitchers and be amongst the league lead in several power categories.

There is a ton more on this article just past these links or by clicking the READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY ICON. 

Here are the links for the article series.

The Toronto Blue Jays Franchise 1977-1993 Part 1 Of A 7 Part Series Click Here:

Franchise History Part 2 1994-2012: http://mlbreports.com/2012/11/28/jay/

The Hitters:  The Toronto Blue Jays Franchise Hitters: Part 3 Of A 7 Part Article Series: 

The Pitchers:  The Toronto Blue Jays Franchise Pitchers Part 4 Of A 7 Part Series

Skydome:  An Interview with ‘Rogers Centre Expert’ and “MLB reports Founder” Jonathan Hacohen Part 5 of 7

For Part 6 of the 7 Part Series:  Blue Jays 2013 Team Payroll Click here

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

Read the rest of this entry

The Toronto Blue Jays Franchise 1977-1993 Part 1 Of A 7 Part Series

Friday, Nov.09/2012

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. Only Pittsburgh, Kansas City and Toronto have not made a playoffs appearance since the 1994 strike. At the time they were around the top of the MLB Payroll for all teams.

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer):

In sifting through 35 years of history with the Toronto Blue Jays as a franchise, it is sad that since 1994, only Pittsburgh, Toronto and Kansas City have not made a playoff appearance in the Major Leagues.  They have been battling the Red Sox and Yankees powerhouse clubs since the 1994 player strike/1995 Lock-out.  This baseball interruption of play was also a  deciding factor on the Montreal Expos losing their franchise, however one could say that this has had a profound effect on the other only team North of The Border.  The Jays were a model franchise all the way through the 80’s.  From 1983-1993, the team carried out 11 straight winning seasons, 5 Pennants and back to back World Series Wins in 1992 and 1993.

Pat Gillick had been with the baseball club from the get go, and after finishing in dead-last for the first 5 years of existence, the Jays rode the backs of several budding stars that were drafted by the man.  From the early pitching stars of Jim Clancy and Dave Stieb, to the young outfield that flourished as a core for years in: Lloyd Moseby, George Bell and Jesse Barfield, the team showed that drafting and trading for young players was the way to build an organization.  It took until 1985 for the teams first Pennant, barely edging the Yankees by 2 games for the AL East.  Playoff disappointment followed from 1985-1991.  The team soon would find the promised land as the top team in 1992 and 1993.

Franchise History Part 2 1994-2012: http://mlbreports.com/2012/11/28/jay/

The Hitters:  The Toronto Blue Jays Franchise Hitters: Part 3 Of A 7 Part Article Series

The Pitchers:  The Toronto Blue Jays Franchise Pitchers Part 4 Of A 7 Part Series

Skydome:  An Interview with ‘Rogers Centre Expert’ and “MLB reports Founder” Jonathan Hacohen

For Part 6 of the 7 Part Series:  Blue Jays 2013 Team Payroll Click here

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

Read the rest of this entry

Baseball’s Best Bullpen: Arizona Diamondbacks

Friday November 2nd, 2012

The Diamondbacks are looking at having an incredibly strong bullpen in 2013.

Alex Mednick (Baseball Writer and Analyst):

In 2011, the Arizona Diamondbacks made a really nice push in the AL West and finished with 94 wins, 8 games ahead of the second place San Francisco Giants.  They performed well above expectations, and they did so with a relatively unglamorous starting rotation, that consisted mainly of Ian Kennedy, Joe Saunders, Josh Collmenter, Daniel Hudson and a revolving 5th starter.  What really carried the team in 2011 and made the Arizona Diamondbacks a competitive in 2011, happened to be their weakest link in their miserable 2010 season: the bullpen.

The Diamondbacks won 29 more games in 2011 than they did in 2010.  The most drastic changes made by the organization were in the bullpen where the D-Back’s added closer J.J. Putz and setup man David Hernandez.  The 2011 bullpen allowed 100 fewer runs than their predecessors in 2010 and dropped their group ERA from 5.74 in 2010 to just 3.71 in 2011.  It goes without saying that their newly revamped bullpen allowed Arizona to stay close in a lot more games and gave them a better chance to be winners.

Following their great 2011 season, the D-Back’s found themselves reverting back to their former ways in 2012.  Finishing 13 games behind the first place Giants, and just barely hanging on to a .500 record, the Diamondback’s finished 81-81.  You want to know something interesting?  It was their bullpen, once again, that failed. Read the rest of this entry

The Philadelphia Phillies Part 1 of 4: ‘The Franchise’

Friday August.17/2012

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

It took the Phillies 77 years to win their first World Series in 1980, however since that time, they have been to 4 more World Series:  In 1983, 1993, 2008 and 2009, while taking home the Trophy in 2008.

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer):  The Phillies started as a franchise in 1883 in the city of Philadelphia-and have the longest continued stretch as their original name.  It has been a club that suffered tremendous droughts for the player and fans alike.  Only in recent vintage (since 1975) has this team come into permanent prominence, with the now Hall of Fame Mike Schmidt entering  the league and turning the fortunes of the city.  From signing Pete Rose to put them over the top for their 1st World Series Trophy, to just re-signing Cole Hamels to a 144 Million Dollar Contract, the team has been adamantly aggressive in keeping its name amongst the elite in baseballs annals. 

One could even argue that the Phillies had been the best team in baseball from 2008 up until the start of this season.  I recently named this club the best team from the years 1980-1983 and then again for the years of 2008-2009.  But before the likes of: Ryan Howard, Chase Utley and Jimmy Rollins, or Curt Schilling, Lenny Dykstra and Darren Daulton, or Mike Schmidt, Steve Carlton and Pete Rose, they were plenty of other men who left a mark on this historic NL Franchise.  We will look at all of the significant players that ever played for the club as a pitcher or hitter.  The pitchers and hitters will be focused on solely in the next 2 weeks.  Let us look and how the team has fared in its history.

Here are the final pitches of the 2008 World Series between the Philadelphia Phillies and the Tampa Bay Rays. Property of Major League Baseball & Fox.

For Part 2 of The 4 Part Philles Article Series: The Hitters, click here.

For Part 3 of  The 4 Part Phillies Article Series:  The Pitchers- click here

For Part 4 of the Phillies Article Series:  Team Payroll and Contractual Statuses click here

Read the rest of this entry

The Best Teams from 1980-2012: Will Texas claim the title this year from 2010-2012?

Wednesday July.11, 2012

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer and @chuckbooth3024 on twitter)-  There is only so much one can read in an article, otherwise I would make these lists up from the turn of the 20th century.  If you gave me enough time as a reader, I promise to backdate this topic with another article featuring the best teams dating back further in years.  Eventually, all of the years may be dissected and we can have a healthy debate on some of my selections.  I really started watching baseball in the early 1980’s.  As I became older and discovered ways to research the history of the game, my knowledge and curious mind grew for more information.  I have studied and read baseball stat books and breezed through the odd Bill James novel.  If I ever take a break from writing or baseball park chasing, I may find some time down the road to watch the 9 part PBS documentary that Ken Burns did on baseball’s history.

Baseball lends itself more to the history than any other sport because of how it has been chronicled throughout their past.  Writers, announcers, former players, parents etc.. have always carried on with the stories of America’s favorite pastime.  I will never be sold that NFL is the greatest pastime in sports right now.  NFL is the greatest gambling sport presently.  It is my firm belief that the only reason why the NFL draws in more cash from its sport is because of the gambling factor.  If you took that aspect out of it, I believe baseball is the #1 sport.  Can you imagine how much attention we would pay to baseball if there were only a 16 game schedule?  Enough with that rant, let’s get down to the list.  Who were the best teams at any specific time period for the last 32 years?  We will start with the Philadelphia Phillies from 1980-1983. Read the rest of this entry

Vlad Guerrero is one of the Most Exciting Players Ever to Watch Live

Friday March 5, 2012


Douglas ‘Chuck’ Booth (Baseball Writer)-
 I love watching Vladimir Guerrero play baseball live in person.  I first saw him play in 1996 at the Big ‘O’ in Montreal. I think he swung at 9 balls in a row.  I am lucky enough to have seen him play about 20 games live since then.  Perhaps no other Major League Player has ever liked to swing the bat as much as Vlad (with a heavy apology here to Randall Simon, who swung his bat at one of the Sausages during a Miller Park race.)   Believe me, the television set does not do this man enough justice.

In 2005, I saw my first game at Angel Stadium.  It was Vladdy’s first year in with the Angels.  They were playing the Texas Rangers.  I think Kenny Rogers was pitching back with his original club.  He threw 3 intentional balls way outside to Guerrero in the bottom of the 1st.  On a 3-0 count, he bounced one to the plate.  Wouldn’t you know Vladdy was swinging on a 3-0 count? He smashed a ball off of the fence in left with a line drive about six feet off the ground!  I swear that Vlad would have been one of the best cricket players in the world had he played.  I am sure he has hundreds of hits similar to this in his career.

Vladimir was also an incredible fielder in his early years with the Expos.  He could throw a guy out from the wall in right field all the way to home plate.  It was unbelievable to witness such an amazing arm like this.  He was an all-round player with 5-tools.  He will be regarded more for his offense as some baseball historians say he is the best bad ball hitter since Roberto Clemente.  This is heavy praise for the future Hall of Famer.  While you never really think of Vladdy as lightning fast, he did steal 40 bases in 2002 for the Expos during his 2nd straight 30-30 campaign.  He only missed the 40-40 club by one home run.  (more…)

Having Long Term Managers Produces Results

Monday February 20, 2012

Douglas ‘Chuck’ Booth:  Let’s face it, we live in a right here, right now world.  With this motto, baseball manager have great expectations for instant results.  This rule even applies to managers who have a great track record.  The template from yesteryear was simple, hire a manager that had been coaching in your organization for years.  This way, it would be an easy transition into the Manager role.  When the managers were hired, they were given years to shape the team.  It wasn’t unheard of for managers to be with a Major League Team for 20-30 years, when you factored in coaching and Manager positions of elevation.  Today we take a look at four skippers who personify this philosophy: Tommy Lasorda, Tony La Russa, Cito Gaston and Sparky Anderson. Read the rest of this entry

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