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Saturday, March 23, 2013
By Nicholas Rossoletti (Yankees Correspondent/Trade Correspondent): Follow @nross56
Heading into the 2013 season, few things in the Yankee universe have been more controversial than the organizations goals to get under the $189 million salary mark after the season. It has been largely debated as to whether such a goal is realistic for an organization known for spending wildly in its never-ending pursuit of championships.
It is also hotly debated whether the goal will have the desired effect of taking some of the Yankee millions out of the revenue sharing arena and placing them back into the Steinbrenner family pockets. I won’t spend much time discussing the benefits or negatives of a team sticking to a 189 million payroll, but I will say that it is very possible to build a world champion well within that budget.
The first step to building a future champion regardless of how much money the Yankees spend is to follow the formula that brought the Yankees success over the past two decades: build a base around young talent. So with this article we will take a look at the prospects that Yankees fans have to hope pan out and begin heading for the Bronx.
Slade Heathcott showing off how to slide in the AFL:
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Sunday, February 17th, 2013
By Sam Evans (Baseball Writer): Follow @RJA206
Group B in the 2013 World Baseball Classic is just as talented as some of the other divisions, but some of the best teams in this quartet of teams lack the star MLB players found in other divisions. From Netherlands unique blend of top prospects and washed out big leaguers to Jae Weong Seo’s veteran presence on an inexperienced Korean team, Group B definitely has it’s share of stories. They key for the two teams that will advance out of this round will likely be pitching. There seems to be a lack of proven pitchers in this year’s WBC, particularly in this group. With less than one month before these teams start playing each other, here is a preview of what to expect from Group B in the 2013 World Baseball Classic.
WBC Highlights 2009 Dominican Republic vs the Netherlands:
ATR: Ask the Reports Answers Your Baseball Questions: The Yoenis Cespedes Showcase Video, Evolution of the Yankees, Swisher to Boston and More!
Saturday October 20th, 2012
Posted every Weekend: Your top baseball questions from the past week are answered. E-mail all questions to email@example.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!
Jonathan Hacohen: Baseball, much like life, is always full of change. Just think of all the changes that Major League Baseball has undergone during the past few years. Expansion. Realignment. Wild Card. Second Wild Card. Luxury Tax. Home field advantage in the World Series from the All-Star game. And to think, that this is just the tip of the iceberg. The Astros are moving next year to the AL West. Daily interleague play. The Athletics may move to San Jose. There is no doubt that the baseball we knew once upon a time is gone and buried. We are in a new golden era of baseball, one that promises to continue to evolve and thrive. Much like the sport it covers, MLB reports is on the same fast track.
If you follow MLB reports daily (which you DEFINITELY should), you have noticed the changes that we have enjoyed over the past few months. New writers, pages, website format- if there is one thing that we don’t do here, is sit on our hands. We recently had Kyle Holland come on board as our Baseball Intern and Alex Mednick as a Baseball Writer and Analyst. Haley Smilow is on board as our MLB Junior Correspondent. We have a diverse stable of writers, all with different experiences and styles. That raises the bar on the content that we bring you each and every day on MLB reports. We love our team, which continues to grow all the time. We have a devoted Cooperstown page, featuring our Cooperstown Correspondent, Patrick Languzzi. Love Fantasy Baseball? Peter Stein has you covered every week highlighting his fantasy baseball notes and advice. Our Fantasy Baseball page features Peter’s work. Lead Writer Chuck Booth, a Guinness World Record holder in baseball travel brings you exciting and informative articles every Wednesday and Friday night. The list literally goes on and on. If it involves baseball, MLB reports has you covered.
We feature at least two articles per day, posted at the start of each day around 9:00am ET and in the evening at 8:00pm ET. Life gets busy- we know that. We strive at MLB reports to always have an article ready on your computer to go along with your morning coffee at work, and a feature in the evening while you unwind. Plus you never know when surprise bonus features will hit our site next. When we say MLB 4 Life, we meet it! Make sure to follow @mlbreports on Twitter and to subscribe to our website- http://www.mlbreports.com. The link is at the top of the site. It’s free. And it’s an excellent investment in your baseball knowledge!
With all the exciting changes at MLB reports, the truth is… that there is even more to come. We always are on the lookout for bright new talent. New concepts. New topics. Just like MLB, we always want to improve and evolve. But it’s a gradual process. Starting Monday though, you will see that we will be adding a new something to MLB reports. I can’t tell you what…I’m very sorry. But you will find out very soon. My advice? Bookmark mlbreports.com and/or make it your homepage. Get into work on Monday October 22nd. Grab a cup of coffee and turn on your computer. When your boss thinks you are working, you will be preparing for our feature of the day. At 9:00am ET, you will find a new addition to MLB reports. It is both different and exciting. The feature is called “The Interview of a Lifetime” and one that you certainly cannot miss. Get ready to be shocked, entertained and informed. The best part? This is only the beginning. I feel like the Riddler…and have already said too much….
Now let’s get to your top questions of the week: Read the rest of this entry
Thursday May 10, 2012
Ryan Ritchey: The beloved New York Yankees that everyone knows are getting older and starting to not make that much of an impact. One of the many has already retired, Jorge Posada. Posada ran the team from behind the dish for 15 years and did a very good job at what he did. The Yankees didn’t ask him to be an offensive power (although he certainly had a strong bat for a catcher). Posada was told to focus on his defense and he did just that. It wasn’t that he didn’t hit the ball that great, it was just defense came first for him. Calling games from behind the plate isn’t easy, especially in front of the whole city of New York. Posada had a lot of pressure on him calling the games in 5 World Series Championships. With Posada ending his career: Jeter, Rivera, and A-Rod are not far behind.
As everyone in the baseball world should know by now, Mariano Rivera has a torn ACL and will be out for the rest of the 2012 season. While going in for a check up something else was found. Rivera has a blood clot in his left calf. Rivera was put on a blood thinner and everything should be back to normal soon with that. As soon as the injury occurred he came out and said he was not finished, that he wouldn’t go out like that. Read the rest of this entry
Tuesday January 31st, 2012
Bryan Sheehan (MLB reports Intern Candidate): At age 38, it’s a wonder how Rockies’ first baseman Todd Helton is still going. His .302 batting average and 70 RBIs in 2011 are impressive considering his age, not to mention his .997 fielding percentage being second best in the league. On the other hand, his .466 slugging percentage and 14 home runs leave more to be desired from the once ferocious hitter. After the recent retirements of Pat Burrell and Jorge Posada, the question must be asked: How much does Helton have left in the tank? Helton, who was drafted number eight overall in the 1995 draft (which now boasts only three active players – Helton, Roy Halladay and Kerry Wood – from its first round), came into the league with a bang in 1998. In his first full MLB season, Helton hit .315 with 97 RBIs and a .530 slugging percentage. Since then he’s compiled a .323 lifetime batting average, 554 doubles (ties for 24th all time), 347 home runs and 2,363 hits.
But, like most older players, Helton has been having back troubles. To be fair, his back problems started as early as 2002, and his stats were never really affected until 2008, when he hit under .300 (.264) for the first time in his career. His stats may not tell the whole story, as he hit well in 2009 and 20011, but Helton is nearing the end. Last February Helton claimed that he wanted to play baseball through the 2013 season, when his contract with the Rockies is up.
With Michael Cuddyer waiting in the wings, it’s unlikely that Colorado will re-sign Helton after 2013. By that time Todd will, barring a miracle, be unable to play everyday, and he’s not the type of hitter than can perform off the bench: in 47 at bats as a pinch hitter, Helton has struck out 15 times and holds a batting average of .149. It should also be noted that other than his one hit in 2009, the Toddfather hasn’t hit safely as a pinch hitter since 1999.
As much as Helton and many longtime Rockies fans would love to see #17 play forever; it’s not going to happen. If he plays like he did in 2011, Todd will live to see another day and finish out his contract in the Mile High City. But, if he plays like he did in 2010 or his injuries get the best of him, 2012 will be the last year Helton will be wearing the purple pinstripes. From there, the Cooperstown debate will begin on Helton. Will he get in? If Larry Walker is any indication, Helton may have to wait some time until his name is called at the Hall of Fame inductions.
Today’s feature was prepared by our Intern Candidate, Bryan Sheehan. You can follow Bryan on Twitter (@Sheehan99), read his interviews with Phillies’ minor league prospects at PhightingOn.com, and catch him writing the occasional article for BleacherReport.com (search his name). Tweet him about this article and he will follow you back!
Please e-mail us at: MLBreports@gmail.com with any questions and feedback. You can follow us on Twitter and become a fan onFacebook . To subscribe to our website and have the daily Reports sent directly to your inbox , click here and follow the link at the top of our homepage.
Wednesday December 21, 2011
Jonathan Hacohen: We are pleased to welcome to MLB reports: Toronto Blue Jays Prospect, George Carroll. Coming off his first professional season, George played in the Gulf Coast and Appalachian leagues in 2011. The 23-year old New York native looks to rise in the Blue Jays system and make his name in the big leagues one day soon. As a 6’2″ catcher, George has the physical tools. We look forward to his development as he approaches his first full season in baseball.
Featured on MLB reports, I proudly present my interview with George Carroll – Catching Prospect for the Blue Jays:
MLB reports: Welcome to the Reports! First question- Who was your favorite baseball player growing up, that you most idolized and patterned your game after?
MLB reports: Which current MLB star do you most admire and why?
George Carroll: I don’t admire just one guy. I enjoy watching guys like Joe Mauer, Derek Jeter, Josh Hamilton and Posada. These are hard-working players that had the attitude to “put up or shut up”. I am a big fan of guys that go about their business the right way.
MLB reports: What are your proudest accomplishments in baseball?
George Carroll: I had three goals. Play Division I College baseball; Play in the Cape league; and play pro ball. All three dreams have come true and now I just have to work harder to stay here. I also got to play College baseball with my best friend from High School, Effrey Valdez.
MLB reports: What are your goals going into the 2012 season?
George Carroll: My biggest goal is to work hard and make a full season club. I just want an opportunity to prove myself as a ball player at this level.
MLB reports: What do you consider your greatest baseball skill(s)?
George Carroll: My greatest skill is my ability to play defense, not just behind the plate but at all positions. I feel this elevates my game for the positive.
MLB reports: What facets of your game do you most wish to improve upon?
George Carroll: Biggest thing I have to improve upon is my consistency with the bat.
MLB reports: How do strikeouts and walks figure into your game? Do you see any of these items changing over time and to what degree?
George Carroll: Walk more and strike out less. I have to better discipline myself as a hitter.
MLB reports: Long term do you see yourself as a catcher, first baseman or at another position? How do you view your role in the organization?
George Carroll: Mostly as a catcher. But if I have to switch positions, I’m just going to have to make that adjustment.
MLB reports: If you had to look into a crystal ball, when do you see your expected time of arrival in the big leagues and what do you think you need to do most to get there?
MLB reports: Has pro ball been everything you expected it to be thus far?
George Carroll: It has been everything and more. This is the greatest job in the world.
MLB reports: What do you do for fun when you are not playing baseball?
George Carroll: I enjoy just hanging out with my buddies and my family. My fun is when I am playing baseball!
MLB reports: Do you have a favorite pre-game meal?
George Carroll: Peanut butter and strawberry jelly sandwiches, with a glass of milk.
MLB reports: Final Thoughts?
George Carroll: I just got to work hard, believe in my abilities and get to the next level.
Thank you again to George Carroll for taking the time to join us today on MLB reports. We highly encourage our readers to post at the bottom of the article any questions and/or comments that you may have for George. You can also find George Carroll on Twitter (@GeorgeCarroll20)
Jonathan Hacohen is the Lead Baseball Columnist & Editor for MLB reports: You can follow Jonathan on Twitter (@JHacohen)
Please e-mail us at: MLBreports@gmail.com with any questions and feedback. You can follow us on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook . To subscribe to our website and have the daily Reports sent directly to your inbox , click here and follow the link at the top of our homepage.
Sunday December 4th, 2011
Sam Evans: Between these two catchers, they have six World Series rings, eight All-Star selections, and nearly five hundred home runs. There is no question that Jorge Posada and Jason Varitek were two of the best catchers in the last ten years, if not major league history. Unfortunately, the last two years everything has changed for both of them. Now, with the organizations they both have spent their whole respective careers nudging them out the door, one has to wonder what will be the next chapter for these two superstars.
Jason Varitek: Tek has always been a step below Jorge Posada. He is recognized as a great game caller, but he is not an especially strong offensive catcher. At Varitek’s peak in 2004, he batted .296 with 18 home runs and a .390 OBP. He helped lead the Red Sox to their first World Series in eighty-six years.
In 2008, Varitek really fell off a cliff in terms of offensive production. In the following years, he wouldn’t be able to get back to what he once was. I think the Red Sox have only kept him around the last three years because he is a great veteran in the clubhouse and out of loyalty and respect.
Varitek is now 39 years old, and without a contract. In 2010, Varitek was signed by the Red Sox for one year at $2 million. This offseason, he should be looking for a similar contract where he can mentor and back up a young catcher. I think the perfect team for Varitek is the Houston Astros. Houston has no catchers over twenty-five, with none of the catchers on their roster being highly rated. If Varitek could just come to Houston on a one-year deal and call two to three games a week, I think that would be the best scenario for both sides.
There is always the chance that Varitek will want to retire as a Red Sox and as a result, he could retire this offseason. As for Varitek’s chance at the Hall of Fame, I don’t really think he has a strong enough case. He never dominated the field, and he was never the best player at his position. He will be remembered for helping Boston reverse the curse but not as a Hall-of-Famer.
Posada has 275 career home runs, but he has never hit more than thirty in one season. His career batting average, .246, is not very impressive. Posada has always had the power, he is just missing a lot of other skills. He is not known as a great defensive catcher, as was shown when the Yankees decided to move Posada to being their everyday DH for the 2011 season.
2011 turned out to be a pretty rough season for Posada. In May, Posada asked for a day off against the Red Sox. In any normal baseball city, this wouldn’t be a big deal. However, in New York, things are different. Posada ended up apologizing and GM Brian Cashman had to write a press release. Posada finished 2011 with a .235 BA, .309 wOBA, and 14 home runs.The highlight of his year was in the ALDS where Posada was 6 for 14 with a .579 OBP.
I would be surprised if the Yankees plan on having Posada back as their starting DH for next year. They can’t risk weakening their team just to make sure a player’s feelings don’t get hurt. Every member of the Yankees core-four are seeing their career come to a slow end. I am curious to see if Posada does decide to keep playing baseball in 2012, whether he chooses to market himself as a DH or a catcher.
Jon Heyman of Sports Illustrated wrote that Posada will play baseball next year if he finds the right opportunity and the Marlins are a possible suitor. I don’t see Posada providing much on-field value, but if the Marlins are looking for a veteran who knows how to win, Posada would be a perfect match.
Similar to Varitek, Posada just didn’t have a strong enough career to make the Hall of Fame. He will be remembered as a great person, and one of the Core Four that defined this new age of Yankee baseball. I just don’t see Posada getting enough support from BBWAA members who will focus more on stats, rather than intangibles.
Neither of these players are going to have an easy end to their careers. Both are in the last days of professional baseball and have some important decisions to make. Neither Varitek nor Posada will ever be forgotten for their character and contributions to their franchises. Regardless of whether either one makes the hall of fame, both have enjoyed careers to be proud of and that few other players could ever imagine possible.
***Today’s feature was prepared by our Baseball Writer, Sam Evans. We highly encourage you to leave your comments and feedback at the bottom of the page and share in the discussion with our readers. You can also follow Sam on Twitter***
Please e-mail us at: MLBreports@gmail.com with any questions and feedback. You can follow us on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook . To subscribe to our website and have the daily Reports sent directly to your inbox , click here and follow the link at the top of our homepage.Follow @mlbreports