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Sully Baseball Daily Podcast – July 24, 2014

Scott Strazzante - San Francisco Chronicle

Scott Strazzante – San Francisco Chronicle

What should the A’s do with Jim Johnson? Or the Phillies with Jonathan Papelbon? Whatever they do, they need to do it NOW! That and more on today’s episode of The Sully Baseball Daily Podcast.

Bartolo Colon, Yoenis Cespedes, Mark Reynolds, Alex Cobb, A. J. Burnett, Jose Quintana, Didi Gregorius and Jose Ramirez all added to their totals for Who Owns Baseball?

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The Philadelphia Phillies Prospects + Organizational Depth Charts For All Affiliates – 2014 (MLB + MiLB)

Among Amaro's staff of scouts and underlings, there must be some level of discomfort because no group of baseball men this large who evaluate talent for a living can make that many mistakes on a professional level. Unless, of course, these men are afraid to go against Amaro's will. If that's the case, it will be up to Phillies President and team ownership to hear that the citizens of Philadelphia have already figured out that the emperor has no clothes. It's time for Amaro to go.  It won't happen soon enough, and with Montgomery's latest proclamation, this club will set themselves back for a few more years by not selling off some players in a futile season.

Among Amaro’s staff of scouts and underlings, there must be some level of discomfort because no group of baseball men this large who evaluate talent for a living can make that many mistakes on a professional level. Unless, of course, these men are afraid to go against Amaro’s will. If that’s the case, it will be up to Phillies President and team ownership to hear that the citizens of Philadelphia have already figured out that the emperor has no clothes. It’s time for Amaro to go. It won’t happen soon enough, and with Montgomery’s latest proclamation, this club will set themselves back for a few more years by not selling off some players in a futile season.

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

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TRADE DEADLINE CHAT/Build your system by trading veterans and regroup for 2015.

I have a newsflash for David Montomery (President, part -owner of the Phillies), your fanbase already hates the team right now, and it is not like you won’t spend money on the club in 2015.

The Boston Red Sox were smart enough to realize that 2012 was a lost season.  Instead of riding it out, they made huge changes to the roster.

Deals that led to numerous Free Agent signings in that winter, that helped them win the 2013 World Series..

A lot of the trades they did were based on the team dumping payroll, becoming younger, and also not having lengthy contracts plaguing their franchises for many years to come.

The “Phigtins” are 8.5 Games the NL East leading Braves, and 8 behind the playoff bar, but here is the problem…. Read the rest of this entry

30 MLB Team Power Rankings: Month Of June 2014

Welcome to your new World Series Favorite. according to the oddsmakers.  I see their rationale.  The A's have the best record in the Majors, and also the biggest lead within their Division.  Oh yeah..this club has back to back West Titles, and a deep lineup in a parity league that is the AL.  While I don't endorse them as the favorite for the World Series right now (based on predicting playoffs solely), there is no doubt I ranked them #1 in power rankings

Welcome to your new World Series Favorite. according to the oddsmakers. I see their rationale. The A’s have the best record in the Majors, and also the biggest lead within their Division. Oh yeah..this club has back to back West Titles, and a deep lineup in a parity league that is the AL. While I don’t endorse them as the favorite for the World Series right now (based on predicting playoffs solely), there is no doubt I ranked them #1 in power rankings

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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*** Denotes Division Leaders

Records are before play Thursday June.26, 2014

RK Team   Last Wk Rnk  ()      Current Rec -  Last 31 Days Rec

1.  ***Oakland A’s (2) 48 – 30:  17 – 10:  The A’s are still the best team in the Majors for the last 2 1/2 years.  Coco Crisp on another hot spell.

Josh Donaldson and Brandon Moss both in the top 5 for HRs, and Sonny Gray/Scott Kazmir among several starters for ERA, WHIP and quality starts.

Yoenis Cespedes has the power numbers to be a perfect complement to the top guys, and the bar can always be raised higher.

Sean Doolittle is authoring one of the greatest Bullpen efforts ever for a Closer. A 53/1 Strikeout to Walk ratio is beyond filthy.

2.  ***Detroit Tigers (3) 42 – 32: 14 – 13:  A nice rebound after they dropped out of 1st place temporarily.

Victor Martinez and J.D. Martinez will exceptional June’s, and Miguel Cabrera is still on pace for 130 RBI.

Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer had sub-par starts, but look to correct themselves now.

Joe Nathan is making the late innings nervous for Tiger’s fans, after they had to endure Joaquin Benoit, Phil Coke, Jose Veras and Jose Valverde over the last few years. Read the rest of this entry

The Philadelphia Phillies Payroll In 2014 + Contracts Going Forward

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

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The Phillies slide down the NL East Standings all started at the end of the 2011 NLCS.  Gruesomely, Ryan Howard pulverized his ankle running down to 1st, and the team has not been right since.

A late charge in 2012 preserved a 81 – 81 record – to extend a decade of .500 or better baseball, however 2013 held a cruel fate of a 73 – 89 final mark.

Injuries to ‘now retired’ Roy Halladay and Howard helped plague the team to its first losing season in 11 years.

Ruben Amaro Jr. and the brass steadfastly approach this season like every other campaign in the last few years, “we will be better in 2014, and still have enough to compete.” Read the rest of this entry

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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Where Will Brian Wilson End Up?

Brian Wilson has a great comeback bid in the 2013 campaign.  When you add up his Appearances in the regular season - and playoffs, he threw 19.2 IP - in which he entered 24 Games, and only gave up 1 ER in the process.  Good for a cumulative 0.47 ERA.  He also has yet to yield an ER in 17.2 Post Season Career Innings.  Boston, New York Yankees, Detroit Tigers and the Los Angeles Dodgers should be his top suitors this winter.

Brian Wilson has a great comeback bid in the 2013 campaign. When you add up his Appearances in the regular season – and playoffs, he threw 19.2 IP – in which he entered 24 Games, and only gave up 1 ER in the process. Good for a cumulative 0.47 ERA. He also has yet to yield an ER in 17.2 Post Season Career Innings. Boston, New York Yankees, Detroit Tigers and the Los Angeles Dodgers should be his top suitors this winter.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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Perhaps nobody is happier than Brian Wilson, that Tim Lincecum resigned in San Francisco for 2 YRs/$35 MIL.  While I think that is a bit of an overspend, it was what the Free Agency Market is dictating.

Having said this, the Relief Core of Pitchers available on the open market is quite interesting.

It is my contention, that Brian Wilson has the best value out there for clubs.

Forget about ‘lets wear my hat at a 45 degree angle’ Fernando Rodney, who was a world beater in 2012, before he almost cost the Rays a playoff spot in 2013.

Grant Balfour has a good case for a big raise, however he will be 36 years old in a few months.  My guess is Billy Beane will find a way for him to sign a short term deal anyway.

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The Philadelphia Phillies Players In All Organizational Affiliates, Prospects + Depth Charts (MLB + MiLB) Fall 2013

The club was one of the premiere franchises from 2007 - 2011, with 5 straight NL East Titles, 2 World Series Appearances, and taking home the big prize in 2008.  The Phightins have been battling old age, the injury bug, plus the management not knowing whether to pull the plug on the core talent of this squad - or to give it one more go at it.  Charlie Manuel was finally the fall guy last month when he was let go from his managerial duties.  Ryne Sandberg has the team playing better.  Will it be enough for the organization to back him beyond this season.  Will the franchise restock for another kick at the can in 2014?  Here is the players they currently possess in the system.

The club was one of the premiere franchises from 2007 – 2011, with 5 straight NL East Titles, 2 World Series Appearances, and taking home the big prize in 2008. The ‘Phightins’ have been battling old age, the injury bug, plus the management not knowing whether to pull the plug on the core talent of this squad – or to give it one more go at it. Charlie Manuel was finally the fall guy last month when he was let go from his managerial duties. Ryne Sandberg has the team playing better. Will it be enough for the organization to back him beyond this season?  Or maybe  the franchise restocks for another kick at the can in 2014? Here is the players they currently possess in the system.

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  

The Phillies have posted winning records since 2001.  While the year may be getting away from them in 2013, there are some extremely encouraging signs for the future.’

Ben Revere was excelling at his position at CF and at the plate before he went down with a season ending injury.

The emergence of Domonic Brown in the 1st half, and 1B/OF Darin Ruf, have given the team a cost conscious alternative to combat huge salaries like Cliff Lee and Ryan Howard, that combine to be over $50 in the next 3 years, the latter, has been injured the most of the last 2 seasons.

You add high priced Veterans like Jimmy Rollins, and $22.5 MIL a year Cole Hamels, and you are talking about a lofty payroll for the next several years.

However, the team also extended franchise face Chase Utley, for 2 YRs/$25 – 30 MIL – that should see him possibly retire a Phillie.

The club has played much better since Ryne Sandberg assumed the helm as manager.

The team also has traded several veterans away in the last few years, to accrue Minor League Talent back in return.  Among the departed have been Hunter Pence, Shane Victorino and Michael Young.

The question going forward is to what this team will do with Roy Halladay and Carlos Ruiz.  Somehow, I think that Ruben Amaro JR, will find a way to re-sign these two guys for a limited years, and possibly incentive laden contracts this coming winter.

Whatever the case, it should be an interesting ride in Philly the next few years.

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

For the 3 Part Historical Series I did on the  Phillies organization, click here.

Chase Utley Highlights

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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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Philadelphia Phillies Trade Possibilities

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Monday July.29, 2013

The year started with the struggles of one of their ace pitchers, followed by injuries off and on to other key players.  With Halladay potentially coming back at the end of the year, plus talk of possibly signing him to an incentive laden contract for 2014, added with a new deal for Chase Utley, the Phils are hoping to extend their chance of a contender for one more year.  Improved play from Domonic Brown and Ben Revere (before being hurt) - has cause for optimism in 2014.  They will need to find a 3B, Catcher and 3rd OF, however that won't require the farm being spent.  Today we examine the possible moves by Ruben Amaro Jr.  at the Trade Deadline

The year started with the struggles of two of their three ace pitchers, followed by injuries off and on to other key players – including Doc Halladaay. With their former ‘CY Young Winner’ potentially coming back at the end of the year, plus talk of possibly signing him to an incentive laden contract for 2014, added with a new deal for Chase Utley, the Phils are hoping to extend their chance of a contender for at least one more year ‘next campaign’. Improved play from Domonic Brown and Ben Revere (before being hurt) – also has cause for optimism in 2014. They will need to find a 3B, a Catcher, a new Closer and a 3rd OF, however that won’t require the farm being spent. Today we examine the possible moves by Ruben Amaro Jr. at the Trade Deadline this year before we get to that point.

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

The time has come, Phillies fans. Make no mistake about what you’re seeing on the field and reading in the papers, sell mode has now become a reality.

Perhaps I may be channeling my inner Captain Obvious, but for the sake of those still holding out hope, change is a-comin’.

After the ugliest road trip in recent memory mercifully came to an end, the Philadelphia Sports Media pulled no punches welcoming several Phillies players to Seller-dome.

Carlos Ruiz Highlights 2012 – Mature Lyrics So Parental Guidance Is Advised

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Mission Impossible: Trading Chase Utley

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Sunday July.28, 2013

 Several general managers around the league will be jockeying for position over the next few days to make their pitch to Ruben Amaro Jr. for the rights to employ Utley, who is arguably Philadelphia's most beloved & admired athlete in the city's history. However, even if Don Corleone made Amaro an offer he can't refuse, I'd tend to lean towards the belief that he'd send the horse head back with his deepest regrets. In the past 48 hours, there have been encouraging signs of a contract extension brewing between the Phillies and Utley.

Several general managers around the league will be jockeying for position over the next few days to make their pitch to Ruben Amaro Jr. for the rights to employ Utley, who is arguably Philadelphia’s most beloved & admired athlete in the city’s history. However, even if Don Corleone made Amaro an offer he can’t refuse, I’d tend to lean towards the belief that he’d send the horse head back with his deepest regrets. In the past 48 hours, there have been encouraging signs of a contract extension brewing between the Phillies and Utley.

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

There are some things in life that can never be done. For example, it is impossible to move your leg in a clockwise circle and simultaneously draw the number “6″.

Now that you know this, I’ll give you time to try it, go ahead. It is impossible to run in flip-flops…for which there should probably be an Olympic event.

It is impossible to sneeze with your eyes open and finally, it’s GOT to be darned near impossible for the Phillies to trade Chase Utley. Right?

2009 World Series – Chasey Utley HR Highlights

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Shutting The Door: Who Are The Top Five Closers In Each League At The Break?

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Tuesday July 16th, 2013 

Mariano Rivera holds the ALL-Time Record for any closer (active of retired) with 638 Saves.  He has been the most dominant Relief Pitcher on the planet over the last two decades.  What is incredible, is that he never has a bad season - which is prone to happen to even Hall Of Fame Pitchers.  Rivera also leads Active Pitchers in ERA (2.20), Games Finished (1089) and a WHIP 1.005. Add another 42 Saves, and a 0.70 ERA in 142 IP in his Post Season Career - and you are talking about the standard which any future Closer will be measured up to.

Mariano Rivera holds the ALL-Time Record for any closer (active or retired) with 638 Saves. He has been the most dominant Relief Pitcher on the planet over the last two decades. What is incredible, is that he never has a bad season – which is prone to happen to even Hall Of Fame Relief Pitchers. Rivera also leads Active Pitchers in ERA (2.20), Games Finished (1089) and a WHIP 1.005. Add another 42 Saves, and a 0.70 ERA in 142 IP in his Post Season Career – and you are talking about the standard which any future Closer will be measured up to.

By Dan Wanser (Baseball Writer):  

You’re playing your rivals in a game that can put you in first place. You go in to the top of the 9th inning with the score 3-2.

Your starter went a solid seven innings, and then your middle reliever got you through the 8th. Three outs away, who do you call in from the pen?

 This one guy will be the difference in whether you win or you lose. He needs to come in and get the next three outs, arguably the most important three outs of the game.

In this nerve-racking situation, you need a guy who can come in, put his nerves aside, and finish off this ballgame to get the win. Who are you bringing in from the pen? Your closer.  

So if your team is in this situation, who do you want in the game? Here’s the pitchers who I think have been the best closers in this first half of the season.

Mariano Rivera Enters The Game To ‘Enter Sandman’

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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

Red Sox Mid-Season Update: (Pitching)

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 Thursday. July.11/2013

I think it's safe to say that Clay Buchholz is the best pitcher on the Red Sox staff. He was looking like a strong candidate for the 2013 AL Cy Young Award until he was injured. Now he is on the road back as he threw his 1st bullpen Wednesday, and his 2nd is scheduled for Friday. Then he is set to start a rehab assignment if all goes well. I'm fine with him taking his time though. He NEEDS to be healthy for the playoffs.

I think it’s safe to say that Clay Buchholz is the best pitcher on the Red Sox staff. He was looking like a strong candidate for the 2013 AL Cy Young Award until he was injured. Now he is on the road back as he threw his 1st bullpen Wednesday, and his 2nd is scheduled for Friday. Then he is set to start a rehab assignment if all goes well. I’m fine with him taking his time though. He NEEDS to be healthy for the playoffs.

By Ryan Dana (MLB Reports Writer and Red Sox Correspondent): 

The MLB All-Star game is nearly upon us, and technically we are already passed the halfway point in the season, so it seems like a good time to do an update on where the Red Sox stand at this point.

The Boston Red Sox currently hold a record of 56-37. They still sit in 1st place in the AL East, 3.5 games ahead of the 2nd place Tampa Bay Rays. The Red Sox have led the division for most of the season and continue to exceed all preseason expectations.

In the early part of the season, the Red Sox were winning with pitching and hitting that was statistically at the top of the MLB. That is no longer the case. Their offense is still near the top, but their pitching has fallen off.

The Red Sox currently lead the MLB in Runs (484) and OPS (.802) showing their offensive prowess. However, their pitching staff currently sits in 17th in the Majors with an ERA of (3.96), 17th in K/BB ratio (2.43), 24th in WHIP (1.35), and have the 6th most Blown Saves (14).

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Potential All – Star Candidates For All 30 MLB Teams:

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Saturday, July.06/2013

Citi Field is one of the newest Ball Parks in the Majors and will have be host to the 2013 ALL - Star Game.  It is light years ahead of where Shea Stadium was.  The home club should have the Starting Pitcher and Third Baseman for the NL, who else will be picked for the NL and AL - will all be revealed in a matter of hours.  MLB Reports gave its candidates and choices in this blog

Citi Field is one of the newest Ball Parks in the Majors and will be host to the 2013 ALL – Star Game. It is light years ahead of where Shea Stadium was. The home club should have the Starting Pitcher and Third Baseman for the NL, who else will be picked for the NL and AL – will all be revealed in a matter of hours. MLB Reports gave its candidates and choices in this blog.  Citi Field also modified its fences last year in hopes of hosting this event.  This is the RF cavernous portion that used to be what Right Field was.  I took this photo in 2009 – during its 1st season in existence.

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner):

I am doing this list based solely on whether the player is a viable candidate or not.  I don’t care if the fans vote someone else in – although they have done a decent job.

This website’s stance on Yasiel Puig is known by know – if you are reading this for the 1st time.  We feel the man belongs based on his numbers.  He has numbers comparable to Bryce Harper – and his BA and OPS is far above and beyond.

In a recent article our Dodgers Correspondent also mentioned Hanley Ramirez deserves a shot to make the team.

Ordinarily, I would say no – but Troy Tulowitzki is hurt.

Han- Ram might be a victim of all teams needing to be represented as the Padres best candidate is definitely Everth Cabrera – unless Bochy takes Jason Marquis to replace him.

I think behind Bochy should take Ramirez behind David Wright and Pedro Alvarez at 3B.  With Segura, Cabrera and Desmond taking spots at SS. Read the rest of this entry

Sully Baseball Daily Podcast – July 4, 2013

AP

AP

On Today’s episode of  The Sully Baseball Daily Podcast, I look at Yasiel Puig and I realize there is no reasonable argument to NOT have him on the All Star team.

Plus I compare Manny Ramirez to Don Draper. Trust me, it works.

Andrew McCutchen, Matt Garza, Max Scherzer and Chris Davis all owned baseball on July 3, 2013.

To see the up to date tally of “Who Owns Baseball?,” click HERE

Subscribe on iTunes HERE.

Sully Baseball Daily Podcast – July 4, 2013

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Tigers Are Rumored To Be Searching For A Closer: Papelbon Is High On The Hit List

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Friday, June.21/2013

It is is starting to like all to familiar to the baseball world when it comes down to late Tigers Pitching.  Dave Dombrowski simply can't go into the Post Season with what he has on his current Roster - based on recent track record.  This team needs to find a Closer via Trade - and be willing to mortgage some of the future - and take on even more salary if needed...otherwise the ramifications of a Bullpen Backfire would tarnish any success the club has had.

It is starting to like  familiar to the baseball world when it comes down to late Tigers Pitching in 2013. Dave Dombrowski simply can’t go into the Post Season with what he has on his current Roster – based on recent track record. This team needs to find a Premiere Closer via Trade – and be willing to mortgage some of the future – and take on even more salary if needed to accomplish this…otherwise the ramifications of a Bullpen Backfire would tarnish any success the club has had.  It is paramount to have a shutdown Game Finisher at the end of a Pitching Staff.  The Relief Core is a huge reason why Detroit has not run away with the AL Central already.  They possess a 5 – 13 Record (Have also blown 9 Saves in 25 Chances) – while carrying a 3.99 ERA (22nd in MLB).

By Matthew Lafave (Tigers Correspondent) 

During the off-season Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski prematurely appointed rookie Bruce Rondon as the closer. It’s a lot of weight on a pitcher who has never thrown a pitch in the majors before that.

No surprise to anyone, it did not pan out and Rondon started the season with Triple-A affiliate Toledo Mud Hens.

The ‘closer by committee’ began the season but after 3 blown saves and Octavio Dotel to the disabled list, it was time for a certified closer to come to Detroit.

So in an act of desperation the Tigers signed Jose Valverde to a major league deal on April 23rd.

Shocking to most fans he was still cheered when he made his first appearance of the season and actually got the close. But his success came to an abrupt end and currently has 3 blown saves, a 5.59 ERA, and has given up 6 home runs.

Jose Valverde Blows A Save

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Top Teams In The MLB 1 – 30 + (200 Best Stats For The Last Month)

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Thursday June.06/2013

Chris Davis was the hitter of the month for the MLB Reports.  The guy has 20 HRs and 20 2B on the season - after hitting 11/11 for both columns in the last 30 Days.  The Orioles slugger also hit for a 3 Slash Line of .385/.448/1.256.  Davis also Walked 11 Times, drove in 22 RBI - and collected 40 Hits in just 24 Games Played.  He is on pace for a 50 HR/ 50 Doubles Season.  "Crush" is due for Arbitration after this year - and will garner a considerable payraise from the $3.3 MIL he will earn this season.

Chris Davis was the AL hitter of the month for the MLB Reports. The guy has 20 HRs and 20 2B on the season – after hitting 11/11 for both columns in the last 30 Days. The Orioles slugger also hit for a 3 Slash Line of .385/.448/1.256. Davis also Walked 11 Times, drove in 22 RBI – and collected 40 Hits in just 24 Games Played. He is on pace for a 50 HR/50 Doubles Season. “Crush” is due for Arbitration after this year – and will garner a considerable payraise from the $3.3 MIL he will earn this season.

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

The time has come for the June Power Rankings with Stats Edition.  There will be one each for May, June, July, August, September – and then a special playoff edition Power Rankings will be done in October.

I will not do a weekly Power Rankings during this weeks, because in essence, these are the weekly rankings done on a much larger scale.

These Reports are done with a heavy thought to how the teams project by the end of the season – along with how the clubs have fared so far.

I will point out who has had great months for the all 30 MLB Teams.  I reward the good performances in these rankings – and leave the poor ones for the Podcasts or future articles. CLICK THE READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY ICON or scroll past the video and picture

Chris Davis 2013 Highlights:

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Buyer’s Remorse: The Failed Joel Hanrahan Experiment

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 Thursday May.16/2013

It seemed like everyone was so much more excited about Hanrahan joining the Red Sox this offseason than any of their other acquisitions. Turns out his time in Boston was not only short, but memorable for all the wrong reasons. Where is Mark Melancon when you need him...Oh wait.

It seemed like everyone was so much more excited about Hanrahan joining the Red Sox this off-season than any of their other acquisitions. Turns out his time in Boston was not only short, but memorable for all the wrong reasons. Where is Mark Melancon when you need him…Oh wait.

By Ryan Dana (MLB Reports Writer and Red Sox Correspondent): 

While some people in Red Sox Nation have had concerns about the team’s offense recently, it is clear that the major worry at the moment is the bullpen.

Their starting rotation is no longer at the top of the league statistically, but it has still been good, and the offense is still at the top of the league in most categories. The Sox are 4th in the MLB in Runs Scored, and 2nd in Doubles, AVG, OBP, SLG, and OPS. They’re also 1st in Triples.

The Bullpen was supposed to be a strength for the Red Sox entering the 2013 season, but it has been in shambles recently. At the forefront of the mess is Joel Hanrahan who I will talk about in-depth in a moment. First let me run through some of the other pitchers.

The Red Sox are 26th in the Majors with a 4.47 ERA from their relievers. Their BAA is .250 which is 23rd in the Majors, and they have 6 blown saves which is tied for 6th most in the MLB.

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Texas Rangers Staff – A Preseason Pitching Analysis: State Of The Union

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Saturday, March.30/2013

Ortiz was brought up from the farm system, and although he is only 22 years old, has spent six years with the Rangers. Ortiz has had an impressive spring, and has caught the eye of fans as well as pitching coach Mike Maddux.Ortiz posted a 1.97 ERA in 24 Appearances with AAA Round Rock last season, and has officially made the big league bullpen for 2013. Lindblom was acquired in the Michael Young trade with Philadelphia during the offseason, and adds more depth to the Bullpen.

Joe Ortiz was brought up from the farm system, and although he is only 22, he has spent six years with the Rangers. Ortiz has had an impressive Spring Training – and has caught the eye of fans as well as pitching coach Mike Maddux. Ortiz posted a 1.97 ERA in 24 Appearances with AAA Round Rock last season – and has officially made the big league Bullpen this year.

By Brooke Robinson (Rangers Correspondent):

Though baseball season begins in Texas just hours away, there were many questions left for the team to answer throughout Spring Training. Who will become the fifth starter? Who will recover from surgery this season? And who will revive the Bullpen?

In the past month of training in Surprise, Arizona, some of the answers of these questions have come to light. The Rangers were plagued with injury in the latter part of the 2012 season, particularly with their pitching.

So it was no surprise that the front office brought in and up some new faces to test out this spring. Pitchers that will still be recovering at the beginning of the season include: RHP Colby Lewis, RHP Neftali Feliz, RHP Joakim Soria, and LHP Martin Perez.

Neftali Feliz hits 100 MPH!

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The Philadelphia Phillies Health Will Be Key To Their Success

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Tuesday, March.12, 2013

The Phillies will need their staring rotation to the strong, if they want to dethrone the Nationals and take back the top spot in the NL East.

The Phillies will need their staring rotation to be strong, if they want to dethrone the Washington Nationals and take back the top spot in the NL East. The Phillies have three pitchers at the top of their rotation that can match up against any other teams top 3.

By Chris Lacey (Baseball Writer)

The Philadelphia Phillies had various injuries to key players on their roster last season that had an impact on their season. They were not able to field a healthy team on a consistent basis.  The health of the team was a major factor as to why the Phillies finished the season with a .500 record and 3rd in the National League East putting them behind the Atlanta Braves and the Washington Nationals.

The major area where the health impacted the team was with the starting rotation. The starting rotation had been an area of strength for the Phillies in past seasons. The 2012 season the Phillies were ranked 7th in the NL with a 3.83 ERA for their starting pitching. This was a significant drop-off when compared to 2011 – when they were ranked 1st in the NL with a 2.86 ERA for the starters.

Philadelphia Phillies 2008 World Series Champion Highlights. Mature Lyrics – Parental Guidance Is Advised:

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MLB Player Profile: SD Padres – Huston Street

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Sunday Mar.03, 2013

Huston Street was the 2005 Rookie of the Year for the Oakland.  He has really good control for a Closer - with a Strikeout to Wal ratio of 4-1 (9.2 SO per 9 IP vs 2.3 BB per 9 IP

Huston Street was the 2005 Rookie of the Year for the Oakland. He has really good control for a Closer – with a Strikeout to Walk ratio of 4-1 (9.2 SO per 9 IP vs 2.3 BB per 9 IP)His game is suited for the Petco Park.  At only Age 29, he could conceivably pitch for the next decade and has an outside chance at about 400 Saves for his Career.  He has played for the 3 West Coast teams (OAK, COL and SD.)

By Chance Moore (Padres Correspondent)  

Street was traded by the Rockies to the San Diego Padres for Left Hander Nick Schmidt on December 7, 2011. As part of the deal the Padres paid the remaining money on his contract. Street missed a month with a right shoulder strain, but otherwise had an excellent first half with the Padres. He compiled a 1.13 ERA, was 13 for 13 in converting Save Opportunities, and did not allow a Home Run in his 1st 25 games, earning a selection to his first All-Star Game.

Street is an underrated Relief Pitcher in the MLB realms.  The man burst onto the scene for Oakland in 2005 – netting the Rookie of the Year Award in the American League with a 5-1 Record and 23 Saves during his 78.1 IP.  8 Years into his career, he has 201 Saves – while yielding a 3.01 ERA.  Here he is on the Active MLB Saves List in #8 position.  Really he will be 7th early into the year because Brian Fuentes recently retired.

Rank Player (yrs, age) Saves Throws
1. Mariano Rivera (18, 42) 608 R
2. Jason Isringhausen (16, 39) 300 R
3. Joe Nathan (12, 37) 298 R
4. Francisco Rodriguez (11, 30) 294 R
5. Jose Valverde (10, 34) 277 R
6. Jonathan Papelbon (8, 31) 257 R
7. Brian Fuentes (12, 36) 204 L
8. Huston Street (8, 28) 201 R
9. J.J. Putz (10, 35) 183 R
10. Brian Wilson (7, 30) 171 R

Huston Street Interview on his 1st Save for the San Diego Padres in 2012:

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The Philadelphia Phillies Franchise Part 4 of 4: Team Payroll 2013 And Contracts Forward (Mar.1)

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Friday, Mar.01/2013

Since Roy Halladay missed almost 2 months of baseball in 2012, his 2014 (20 Million Dollar contract will only become exercised if he pitches 225 Innings in 2013) – Otherwise he becomes a Free Agent.

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst Website Owner):  

The Phillies are top-heavy for their payroll in 2013.  I talked a lot about this in Part 1 of this series (The Franchise).  What they really need is for Domonic Brown, John Mayberry and  Ben Revere to improve in their role with the club and get as much production as they can out of their superstars.  2013 looks a lot  better than the years after.  Roy Halladay must return to form in 2013.  

I am predicting  the team will win at least 90 games in this year with the Starting Pitching having a bounce back season.  The fans should all come in droves to the park while this club is competitive.  The Phillies will age really fast after 2013, so there will undoubtedly be some rougher times ahead, as Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley and Ryan Howard all fade into the back half of their careers.

The New York Yankees are facing a similar dilemma.  You might even see a Yanks/Phillies World Series rematch in 2013.  I am sure the Dodgers, Angels, Tigers and Nationals will try to have their say about that as well.  

The smaller market teams might fight for another ring as well.  You are starting to see some distances set forth from the high-priced salaried teams to the lower payroll clubs with both Los Angeles teams and Detroit nearing or going over the Luxury Tax Threshold of 178 Million Dollars in Player Salaries.  

Again, I am thinking that MLB Baseball might have to realign soon-to make the divisions stack up for payroll and geography reasons.  I wrote an article about this some time ago here.  The Phillies have led the MLB in attendance for the last 3 years, so they will be able to keep the payroll at a high mark as long as the baseball revenue is able to match it.  It is the long-term contracts that won’t garner them much value at the end of these deals, that will ultimately set the Franchise back awhile.

Ryan Howard highlights are below.  He must return to his 40 HR self next year otherwise the Phillies will have a tough time competing.

For Part 1 of the Phillies Article Series: The Franchise click here:

For Part 2 of the Phillies Article Series: The Hitters click here:

For Part 3 of the Phillies Article Series: The Pitcher click here

For the Montreal Expos/Washington Nationals Franchise 5 Part Series: click here

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Philadelphia Phillies Player Roster in 2013: State of the Union Updated Mar.1/2013

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Update: Friday March 1, 2013

If the "Big 3" in the Phillies rotation could repeat their 200+ IP and Sub 3.00 ERAs from 2011, the Phillies will be a force to be reckoned with.  If all of they duplicate their Career Win Percentages - they could net the team 60-70 Wins from just their 100 starts whether they are around for the decision or not.

If the “Big 3″ in the Phillies rotation could repeat their 200+ IP and Sub 3.00 ERAs from 2011, the Phillies will be a force to be reckoned with in 2013.  Also, if Halladay, Lee and Hamels duplicate their Career Win Percentages  for their Careers (415-234, – .635) – they could net the team 60-70 Wins from just their 100 starts.  If the other 2 starters just go .500, you could see a 90-100 Win Season.

By Ryan Dana (MLB Reports Writer): 

2012 was a disappointing year for the Philadelphia Phillies, as they saw their stranglehold on the NL East diminish to the point that they missed the playoffs for the 1st time since 2006. In fact 2012 was the 1st time since ’06 that someone other than the Phillies won the NL East. The team is also not that far removed from a World Series championship which they won in ’08. In 2012 with the emergence of the Washington Nationals, and the re-emergence of a very capable Atlanta Braves organization, the Phillies found themselves finishing with an 81-81 record, only good enough for 3rd in the division.

The Phillies saw themselves selling at the trade deadline, moving OFs Shane Victorino, and Hunter Pence, followed by a waiver induced trade of Joe Blanton. Make it clear though, Philadelphia plans to compete for the NL East again in 2013, made evident by their off-season moves. They are an aging team of veterans, with a depleted farm system, so this year might be their best chance to get back to the promise land and play some October baseball. The Phillies have a lot of money committed to players, so hopefully what they have on their current 40 Man Roster is enough.

Philadelphia Phillies Highlights 2012:

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Put That Coffee Down! Coffee Is Closers Only: Top 5 Closers Projected For 2013

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Tuesday February 12th, 2013

Fernando+Rodney+Tampa+Bay+Rays+v+Minnesota+DsZ1C9fAXm_l

Fernando Rodney had one of the best seasons for a reliever in baseball history in 2012. It will be interesting to see if he can build on his strong season in 2013.

MLB Reports:

From the movie Glengarry Glen Ross came one of the most compelling scenes ever – when Alec Baldwin took the stage in an office setting – spewing out some of the greatest and powerful insults over a failing sales crew that included Jack Lemmon and Ed Harris.  In the scene, Baldwin himself is a powerful corporate executive that has been sent down to yell at these guys – from the powers to be of the operation.  At the beginning  point in Alec Baldwin’s lecture, old sales veteran (Lemmon) goes for a cup of coffee. Baldwin yells out “Put the coffee Down!  Coffee is for closers! 

The same can be said for closers that are not doing the job in nailing down games.  Many teams have bullpens that blow games at the most inopportune times.  Nothing is as deflating as losing a lead in the late Innings.  It is bad for team moral, the players and managers try to not play the blame game, however it is a tough pill to swallow when your team can’t close down baseball leads….  Just like the guys in Glengarry Glen Ross the movie couldn’t.  After you view this clip, you can move past it and read on who the best players that nail down victories.  The last part of the speech also works:  A.B.C.:  Always Be Closing.  It is Close or hit the bricks!  Great movie BTW…

Glengarry Glen Ross – Explicit Language so Parental Guidance is advised (Not for the Weak Of Heart):

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Boston Red Sox Pitching Roster in 2013: State Of The Union Part 2

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Sunday, January.20, 2013

For the the Boston Red Sox State Of The Union Part 1:  The Hitters blog,  click here.

Clay and Jon Had Better Be On!

Lester had started his career 61-26 (.709) before he has pitched to a 24-22 record the last two seasons (.522). Lester still led the active pitchers in Winning Percentage before the 2012 year - but now has fallen to 7th with a Career Record of 85-48 (.639)

Lester had started his career 61-26 (.709) before he has pitched to a 24-22 record the last two seasons (.522). Lester still led the Active Pitchers in Winning Percentage before the 2012 year – but now has fallen to 7th with a Career Record of 85-48 (.639).

By Saul Wisnia,  Red Sox Correspondent (Read his blog ‘Fenway Reflections’ here):

The fate of the 2013 Red Sox may very well lay in two sets of statistics:

Pitcher/Wins-Losses/WHIP/ERA
Jon Lester: 33-15, 1.19, 3.17
Clay Buchholz: 23-10, 1.233, 2.70

Lester: 9-14, 1.383, 4.82
Buchholz: 11-8, 1.326, 4.56

The first numbers cover the period from April 2010 through August 2011, when Lester and Buchholz were two of the best starting pitchers in the American League. “WHIP” — walks plus hits per innings pitched — has become a popular measuring stick for effectiveness.

Jon Lester Highlights:

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Aroldis Chapman: The Best Closer in Baseball?

Thursday September 13th, 2012

Bernie Olshansky:  Aroldis Chapman has had an unbelievable season for a closer. He has gone 5-5 with a miniscule 1.60 ERA and 119 strikeouts. And, he has only pitched 67.2 innings. His strikeouts-per-nine-innings is 15.8. That would mean that if he were to start, he would strike out more than half the batters he would face if he went the distance. Chapman has established himself as a dominant pitcher, and with Mariano Rivera on his way out, is “the Cuban Missile” the best closer in baseball?

When the Reds signed Aroldis Chapman, they had intentions to make him a starter. Many thought he would be very successful with the plus fastball that he already had, along with other, developing pitches. Chapman spent his first two years towards the back of the bullpen, but not as a closer. He was a bit wild and had not completely gotten control of his ridiculous 103 mph fastball. Even with some of these flaws, Chapman showed major closer potential. He had no problem striking batters out, he had an out pitch, and he had a decent ERA. His only major issue was walks. In his second season—his first full—Chapman walked 41 in 50 innings. If he would make it as a closer, he would have to gain control and make adjustments.

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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

The Philadelphia Phillies Franchise Part 3 of 4: The Pitchers

Saturday September.01/2012

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 here.

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer):   This team has played for almost 130 years.  As such, they have a great deal of history, so there are going to be several more hitters than pitchers as is the case with most Franchises.  For the first seasons as the Quakers, they had some decent pitchers.  It wasn’t until Pete Grover Alexander joined the club, that Philadelphia Phillies fams got to see a Hall of Fame pitcher before their very eyes.  From Alexander, to Robin Roberts and Curt Simmons, to Jim Bunning, Rick Wise and Chris Short, to Steve Carlton, Tug McGraw and Jim Lonborg, to Curt Schilling and Mitch Williams, to Cole Hamels, Cliff Lee and Roy Halladay, the Phillies Pitchers have been improving in each generation.

Last year when the club won a record 102 games for the Franchise, they had the best 4 starters they had ever assembled in Halladay, Lee, Hamels and Roy Oswalt to take the mound.  Having Kyle Kendrick and Joe Blanton as your 5th starter is an option most teams would love to have.  The Phillies have been one of the best teams in the National League since 1975.  They have appeared in 9 NLCS’s and 5 World Series while winning 2 of them.  That is an impressive 36 year run.  Going forward, the clubs pitchers still look solid.  Cole Hamels just signed a 6 year extension, Cliff Lee is around for 3 more years and Roy Halladay still has 2 more years left after this.  The club also signed Jonathan Papelbon up until the end of the 2015 season before 2012 began.  Papelbon may have a chance to make this list when someone else chronicles the best pitchers in Phillies history one day 25 years from now.

If you ask me to have a Mount Rushmore of Pitchers it would be: Steve Carlton, Robin Roberts, Grover Alexander and probably Cole Hamels because of his instrumental pitching since the 2007 season. 

For Part 1 of the Phillies Article Series: The Franchise click here:

For Part 2 of the Phillies Article Series: The Hitters click here:

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

For the Montreal Expos/Washington Nationals Franchise 5 Part Series click here

Steve Carlton Highlight Reel:

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Phildelphia Phillies: Have They Reached the End of an Era?

Monday August 20th, 2012

Jake Dal Porto:  The Philadelphia Phillies are entering a rebuild mode. Or so it would appear. General manager Ruben Amaro dangled Hunter Pence and Shane Victorino away at the trade deadline, and now he’s left with nothing but little cash and prospects. The Phillies, though, were supposedly over the luxury tax until they traded away their two outfielders, so a move to free up a portion of their payroll seemed inevitable, just not in the fashion of trading away a cornerstone type piece in Pence. Since the departure of those two outfielders, the team is hitting a soft 221/.295/.363.

So which path does Amaro take during this crucial upcoming offseason? Does he rebuild for the future or does he attempt to craft a team that’s essentially a one and done gig? Given the amount of holes the Phillies’ current roster possess, the idea of going all in seems silly. It’s not like they have a ton of flexibility either. As I already mentioned, they are just a tick below the luxury tax. And with nearly $80 million invested in Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, Cole Hamels, and Jonathan Papelbon for next season alone, a big splash in free agency doesn’t seem to be in the cards. Read the rest of this entry

ATR: Ask the Reports Answers Your Baseball Questions: Special Edition – Fixing the Boston Red Sox

Sunday August 19th, 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, post on our Facebook Wall and leave comments on our website! There are many ways to reach us and we will get to your questions from all social media outlets!

This week we are going to do things a little differently people. We have been receiving hundreds of e-mails and social media messages on the Boston Red Sox all season long. Red Sox/baseball fans are trying to figure out what went wrong with the team; where is the team heading; and how can the Red Sox be fixed. I have been compiling your questions in preparation for this feature. I was originally going to prepare a featured report titled “How to Fix the Boston Red Sox”. But instead, this week’s edition of ATR will cover all of the issues that you, the readers, feel face the Red Sox. It is a little different, perhaps even scary. Given the number of times we have received each question, I will present the major ones as the “issues” followed by my proposed solutions. Let’s face it…whether you love or loathe the Red Sox, you need to know:  What will happen next…

In today’s special edition of ATR, you are about to find out!

Before we jump into analyzing the “Red Sox Issues”, we present or our Batting Stance Guy featured video of the week. Keeping with our Red Sox theme, Gar brings us “9 Things Red Sox Nation Misses About Youkilis”. The end of the Youkilis Era really cemented the downward spiral of the Red Sox in my mind. But keeping Kevin Youkilis close to our hearts, enjoy this little BSG clip:


Now that we have your hearts pumping and motors racing, let’s get right into “Fixing the Boston Red Sox”:

Issue:  How much do you blame the Red Sox owners on the team’s current problems?

JH:  I am definitely not a person shy about passing the blame. Taking a look at the Red Sox head honchos, we see that the team is led by John Henry, Larry Lucchino and Tom Werner. While I have not seen Werner’s name tossed around much, I certainly have seen Henry and Lucchino prominently in the news. My thoughts are that a good owner should not be seen or heard from. They can pay the bills, approve/veto major transactions- but otherwise, let the professionals run the show. The fact that there was even the idea of the owners meeting with key players of the team to discuss the state of the franchise is disturbing to me. Look, Henry and Lucchino clearly have money in their pockets and the right to do as they wish. I would never take that away from them. But there is no doubt that key personnel/management decisions have their fingerprints all over them. Who really hired Bobby Valentine? Who really decided to trade away Kevin Youkilis? Lucchino/Henry or Cherington, the GM? Nobody knows for certain, but many of us have an idea. Remember the comments by John Henry in the offseason that essentially showed the displeasure of signing Carl Crawford? Exactly. If you are going to go into the kitchen and start messing with the meals that are being produced, you are going to have to take responsibility. The Red Sox ownership may be very smart individuals. But as long as they continue to meddle, they will have to shoulder at least part of the responsibility of the misfortunes. Long-term, I would recommend getting the right GM/manager/management in place and starting becoming more hands-off. As long as we continue to see the names Henry and Lucchino in the news when it comes to the Red Sox, I see the same patterns continuing to emerge. Read the rest of this entry

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