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The Top Remaining Free Agents Left In The MLB 2014 Season + The Rest

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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With the latest signings (by Baltimore) of Nelson Cruz and Ubaldo Jimenez, there is now just 3 Free Agents who come with the price tag of your 1st RD pick (or 1st available pick if you have been busy already this winter).

SS Stephen Drew is still on the open market despite several rumors about the Big Apple,  DH/1B Kendrys Morales is on the board, with teams dwindling in interest, and SP Ervin Santana rounds out the list.

Agents of these gentlemen are now threatening to hold out their players until after the MLB Amateur Draft (when the Draft Pick is no longer forfeited), in order to turn the leverage back to their guys.

I am not sure that is such a great idea, particularly in the cases of the hitters, who are not likely to warrant more than 3 year deals apiece. Read the rest of this entry

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Top 10 Stolen Base Leaders in 2013

Ellsbury missed 88 Games in 2012 (and also missed 144 Games in 2010), which brings into question his long - term durability. Heck, even this year, he was seen with a walking boot only a few weeks prior to the playoffs. You can't deny the man has put up some great numbers out of the leadoff spot for the Red Sox since 2007. Ellsbury has a Career 3 Slash of .297/.350/.789 - and averages 57 XBH, 55 SB, 198 Hits and 108 RBI for every 162 Games Played. The Yankees have inked him to a 7 year deal, and will bank on him staying healthy for most of the contract.

Ellsbury missed 88 Games in 2012 (and also missed 144 Games in 2010), which brings into question his long – term durability. Heck, even this year, he was seen with a walking boot only a few weeks prior to the playoffs. You can’t deny the man has put up some great numbers out of the leadoff spot for the Red Sox since 2007. Ellsbury has a Career 3 Slash of .297/.350/.789 – and averages 57 XBH, 55 SB, 198 Hits and 108 RBI for every 162 Games Played. The Yankees have inked him to a 7 year deal, and will bank on him staying healthy for most of the contract.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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With a decrease in the total amount of players taking PED’s in the MLB, speed is a more important factor to help manufacture runs than it was even a decade ago.

Jacoby Ellsbury leads the list last year with 52 bag swipes.  The Yankees will need him to duplicate what he did in 2013 if they want any chance to compete in 2014.

Everth Cabrera would have been the odds on favorite to take the title – had he not been suspended 50 games for his part in the Biogenesis clinic.

Rajai Davis also enters the list.  The Blue Jay in 2013, and Tiger in 2014, swiped 45 bags despite only coming in with 331 AB.

Jacoby Ellsbury 5 Stolen Base Game 2013

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The Miami Marlins Payroll In 2014, Organizational Affiliates, Prospects, Depth Charts, (MLB + MiLB)

The Miami Marlins might have exited out of their plan to compete last season, however the talent wasn't going to cut it - and they were able to restock the system with some talent, despite not having an chance to compete in 2013.  Hopefully the ownership will buck up some cash when the team improves a little.

The Miami Marlins might have exited out of their plan to compete last season, however the talent wasn’t going to cut it – and they were able to restock the system with some talent, despite not having an chance to compete in 2013. Hopefully the ownership will buck up some cash when the team improves a little in future years.

By Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner): and Jeff Kleiner (Salary, Roster and Depth Chart Expert for the MLB) – visit his website  here  

The Miami Marlins are known for doing a gazillion transactions throughout the year.  Jeffrey Loria and CO. are always looking for ways to save dollars, become younger, and fill the Minor League System with players.

Since the team has won 2 World Series it is time in the MLB (21 Years), some people are even willing to give the franchise some credit, although most of that was attributed to the previous ownership regimes.

They are loaded with a multitude of young players that are highly touted and talented.  The biggest question to ask is how they are going to move forward with Giancarlo Stanton?

2014 will be an interesting campaign for Miami.  They have to hope that a lot of their several young players can mature and prosper, as they are in the same Division as the Washington Nationals and the Atlanta Braves.

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

Giancarlo Stanton Highlights _- Mature Lyrics So Parental Guidance is Advised

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The Los Angeles Dodgers Roster Tree: How All Of The Hitters Were Acquired

Andre Ethier finished 6th in NL MVP Voting during the 2009 season. It has been his best year to date. He hit 31 HRs, added 106 RBI, 76 XBH Overall and scored 92 Runs.  He won a Silver Slugger Award for his efforts.  Ethier was acquired through a chain of transactions that goes all the way back to when the team drafted Mike Piazza (who was traded for Gary Sheffield), who was traded for

Andre Ethier finished 6th in NL MVP Voting during the 2009 season. It has been his best year to date. He hit 31 HRs, added 106 RBI, 76 XBH Overall and scored 92 Runs. He won a Silver Slugger Award for his efforts. Ethier was acquired through a chain of transactions that goes all the way back to when the team drafted Mike Piazza (who was traded for Gary Sheffield), who was traded for Andrew Brown from Atlanta, (who was later flipped for Milton Bradley from Cleveland, before lA turned around and traded Bradley to the A’s for Andre Ethier.)

How All Of The Dodgers Hitters Were Acquired:

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

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

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

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

For all of the Rosters, Depth Charts, State of the Unions and Salaries that we do, please visit our dedicated page link here.

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The Miami Marlins Payroll In 2014, Organizational Affiliates, Prospects, Depth Charts, (MLB + MiLB)

The Miami Marlins might have exited out of their plan to compete last season, however the talent wasn't going to cut it - and they were able to restock the system with some talent, despite not having an chance to compete in 2013.  Hopefully the ownership will buck up some cash when the team improves a little.

The Miami Marlins might have exited out of their plan to compete last season, however the talent wasn’t going to cut it – and they were able to restock the system with some talent, despite not having an chance to compete in 2013. Hopefully the ownership will buck up some cash when the team improves a little.

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 Miami Marlins are known for doing a gazillion transactions throughout the year.  Jeffrey Loria and CO. are always looking for ways to save dollars, become younger, and fill the Minor League System with players.

Since the team has won 2 World Series it is time in the MLB (21 Years), some people are even willing to give the franchise some credit, although most of that was attributed to the previous ownership regimes.

They are loaded with a multitude of young players that are highly touted and talented.  The biggest question to ask is how they are going to move forward with Giancarlo Stanton?

2014 will be an interesting campaign for Miami.  They have to hope that a lot of their several young players can mature and prosper, as they are in the same Division as the Washington Nationals and the Atlanta Braves.

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

Giancarlo Stanton Highlights _- Mature Lyrics So Parental Guidance is Advised

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MLB 30 Team Power Rankings: Week 18: Trade Deadline Edition

Click The Link Below For A Great MLB Reports Podcast On The Trade Deadline

Triple Play Podcast Trade Speculation

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Sunday July.28/2013

The Dodgers have won 25 out of their last 31, play in the weakest division in the MLB right now, and other than Arizona, do not have much competition right now.  Solid Pitching and a revamped healthy lineup has led the charge.  They climbed all the way up to 5th in this weeks rankings.

The Dodgers have won 25 out of their last 31, play in the weakest division in the MLB right now, and other than Arizona, do not have much competition. Solid Pitching and a revamped healthy lineup has led the charge. They climbed all the way up to 6th in this weeks rankings.  The Dodgers have a 230 Million Dollar Plus payroll, and have no plans to slow down in this offseason.  It may actually be a blessing in disguise if this team makes a long run in the playoffs.  It has been speculated they will pursue Robinson Cano this winter.  I have predicted they will offer him a 7 – 8 year deal worth $30 MIL per annum.

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

The Detroit Tigers finds itself back on top of our rankings.  It was a hard decision between them and the Atlanta Braves.

The prevailing thought is that I am more confident in the “Motown Boys” to make the World Series.

Since starting the year 12 – 11, the Braves have only gone 47 – 44.  Lets just say the should finish the season with about 89 wins.  That would force Washington to go 38 – 19 in their final 57 Games.

I fully expect the Nationals to take off at any part in the season, so this is not a foreign concept.

In contrast, I don’t believe in either the Indians or Royals to near 90 wins like the Tigers should have by seasons end.

With a bypass to eliminate the Wild Card Game, Detroit is our #1 team.

Clip is Francona talking about Fielder – (There are 2 more clips of C.Fielder +  P.Fielder at end of this blog)

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MLB 30 Team Power Rankings: Week 17

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Sunday July.21/2013

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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2 And A Hook Podcast Ep #9: LAA, SD, MIA And SEA Chat With Great Guests

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Friday, June.28, 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

On today’s podcast, brought to you by MLB Reports ( www.mlbreports.com ) & yours truly The Bench Warmers Show, I talk to the boss man Chuck Booth as he returns to do his segment!  8 Minutes and a 18 Segment

Chuck makes a HUGE announcement about MLB Reports & then we talked about contract stuff like arbitration, Super 2, & service time…

Also we talk about these guys Wil Myers, Yasiel Puig & Chris Archer on why they should have been up in the major leagues since the beginning of the season!

Then I talk to LAA correspondent Joshua Jones (34 Minute Mark and a 18 Minute Segment) about the Angels season & what might or might not happen…

Next up was Bernie Olshansky (53 Minute Mark and a 13 Minutes Segment)  about the padres & what moves they might make for the future…after that i talked to Mariners/Marlins correspondent.

The last guest of the show is the 2nd longest active writer on the MLB Reports website Sam Evans (1 HR and 12 Min Mark and a 25 Min Segment) ( @RJA206 ) as we get into the mariners/marlins & whats been going on with both of these teams!

I then get into everyone’s favorite segment Stats & Facts (29, Minute Mark (5 minutes) 1 HR, 7 Min Mark ( 5 Minutes ) and, 1 HR 37 MIN (20 Minutes) –  so go check it out & SPREAD THE WORD!!! Thanks Read the rest of this entry

The Future of the Miami Marlins Outfield

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Sunday, June 16th, 2013

 

Double-A OutfielderJake Marisnick could be the next top prospect to see playing time in Miami this year.

Double-A OutfielderJake Marisnick could be the next top prospect to see playing time in Miami this year.

Sam Evans (Baseball Writer and Marlins, Mariners Correspondent):

The Miami Marlins are probably going to have one of the best outfields in the National League in a matter of years. Whether or not one of the best young power hitters in the league, Giancarlo Stanton, will still be in Miami remains to be seen.

Nonetheless, with young superstars like Christian Yelich and Jake Marisnick on the verge of breaking into the Majors this season, it won’t be long before Miami has a star studded group of outfielders patrolling the green at Marlins Park. Here are a couple of quick notes on players that will have an impact on the future Marlins outfield.

Jake Marisnick, of, Miami Marlins

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The Marlins Should Promote Christian Yelich Now

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Sunday, May 12th, 2013

After being ranked as the No. 1 prospect in the Marlins farm system by Baseball America coming into 2012,  Yelich hit .330 in High-A with a .922 OPS. Most scouting reports have him again as either the No. 1 or No. 2 prospect in the Marlins system.  Yelich cracked both Baseball America and Keith Law’s top 50 prospects coming into 2012 and by mid-season Yelich had jumped into Law’s top 15 prospects (No.12).  If Yelich can stick in centerfield, he could be a huge asset for the Marlins as they build a foundation around an outfield of Stanton, Yelich and Jake Marisnick, who was acquired in the Reyes deal. Yelich could offer a very steady compliment to Stanton as early as 2013 depending on his performance at Double-A . He is not a power hitter as of yet, but his body projects as one that can fill out over time and gain strength

“After being ranked as the No. 1 prospect in the Marlins farm system by Baseball America coming into 2012, Yelich hit .330 in High-A with a .922 OPS. Most scouting reports have him again as either the No. 1 or No. 2 prospect in the Marlins system. Yelich cracked both Baseball America and Keith Law’s top 50 prospects coming into 2012 and by mid-season Yelich had jumped into Law’s top 15 prospects (No.12). If he cmarcellan stick in centerfield, he could be a huge asset for the Marlins as they build a foundation around an outfield of Stanton, Yelich and Jake Marisnick, who was acquired in the Reyes deal. He could offer a very steady compliment to Stanton right now based on his performance at Double-A  He is not a power hitter as of yet, but his body projects as one that can fill out over time and gain strength.”  Nicholas Rossoletti – (MLB Reports Writer)

Sam Evans ( Baseball Writer and Marlins, Mariners Correspondent):

The Marlins have turned heads all over baseball for their controversial promotions of young, inexperienced prospects over the last couple months. So far, the clubs decisions couldn’t have turned out much better. Marcell Ozuna is holding back at the plate, and it’s led to 13 hits in 45 at bat’s in 11 games.

Jose Fernandez looks like a serious N.L. Rookie of the Year candidate with his 3.15 FIP in seven starts and 39 strikeouts in only 37 innings. So with these two top prospects shining at the Major League level, why wouldn’t the Marlins bring up another elite prospect that will keep fans coming to the ballpark and plays a position of need?

Christian Yelich has proven he’s ready for the Majors and the Marlins would be silly not to call him up in the next week or two.

Miami Marlins- Christian Yelich talks Spring Training 2013:

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MLB Top Teams 1 – 30 + (Best 200 Stats of 2013)

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Monday May.06/2013

Matt Harvey with his stellar outings so far this season may have just become the New York Mets "ace". Harvey is now 4-0 with a 1.66 ERA. Harvey has pitched 40.1 innings - only given up 21 hits, 12 Walks for a League Leading WHIP of .0818  For his awesome 5 weeks we name him the MLB Reports NL Pitcher Of The Month

Matt Harvey with his stellar outings so far this season – may have just become the New York Mets “ace”. Harvey is now 4-0 with a 1.66 ERA. Harvey has pitched 40.1 innings – only given up 21 hits, 12 Walks for a League Leading WHIP of .0818. For his awesome 5 weeks – we name him the MLB Reports NL Pitcher Of The Month

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

Stats all Prior to May.06th games. 

The time has come for the 1sy May Power Rankings.  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

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

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Friday, May.02/2013

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

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

People in this Podcast:

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

By James Acevedo – Host (Podcast Veteran) 

‘2 And A Hook’ is an expression from Baseball:  ‘Throw the guy 2 Fast balls and then a Hook’ (AKA Curve Ball, Wiggly one, Chair etc..)

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

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

MLB Reports Mid – Week Around The Horn Rant

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Thursday May.02/2013

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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The Miami Marlins Are Clearly The Worst Team In Baseball

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Sunday, April 28th, 2013

Nick Green, 34, has a career .303 OBP in the Majors. He has been forced into duty as the Marlins starting shortstop with Adeiny Hechavarria on the DL.

Nick Green, 34, has a career .303 OBP in the Majors. He has been forced into duty as the Marlins starting Shortstop with Adeiny Hechavarria on the DL.  The Marlins continue to use journeyman Veteran players in many of their main positions.  Along with the Houston Astros, Chicago Cubs and San Diego Padres, all of them are nearly on pace to lose 100 games this year.  This Marlins team might even approach the 1962 Mets for the worst amount of defeats ALL – Time.  This club is not doing well at the turnstiles either – drawing just 19600 fans to an MLB Park that is in just its second year (down almost 8 K fans per game from last year.)

By Sam Evans (Baseball Writer): 

The 2013 Marlins are the most painful team in baseball to watch. With a lineup filled with washed up Major Leaguers – and young players struggling to keep their heads above water in the big league, the Marlins have struggled to score any runs this year. Despite having played 24 games, the club has only managed  to hit 7 Home Runs.

The Miami Marlins are without a doubt the worst team in the MLB right now – and the 2013 season is going to be unfathomable experience for even the most optimistic Miami fan, but there are signs of hope in their youth. 

Miami Marlins Misfire:

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NL Trade Deadline Targets

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Monday April.8/2013

If all goes well with the team this year, the Astros could improve on their 2012 year.  If all else fails, Houston might challenge the ALL-Time Loss Record.  Whatever happens, any Veteran Player with a heartbeat will be on the trading block by June.  The Astros will continue to dissolve any of their assets (with expiring contracts) onto other teams in order to pick off some more prospects.  The Astros will also Draft 1st overall at the 2013 MLB Amateur Draft.

If all goes well with the team this year, the Astros could improve on their 2012 year. If all else fails, Houston might challenge the ALL-Time Loss Record. Whatever happens, any Veteran Player with a heartbeat will be on the trading block by June. The Astros will continue to dissolve any of their assets (with expiring contracts) onto other teams in order to pick off some more prospects. The Astros will also Draft 1st overall at the 2013 MLB Amateur Draft.  The Astros also play in the toughest Division in the Majors for pitching, plus have already put up back to back 100 Loss Seasons.  Their second half Won – Loss Records might challenge historic rates.

By Jordan Gluck (Prospects/Baseball Operations Correspondent)

Likely Mid season trade targets NL:

I’m assuming these teams will have a winning percentage of at least .475 and therefore will not be sellers although that doesn’t entirely rule out being sellers at the deadline. We are far away from the deadline but it’s nice to see who might be available. Nationals, Braves, Phillies, Reds, Cardinals, Brewers, Diamondbacks, Dodgers, Giants and Rockies (sleeper).

I believe these teams will be sellers and there are not many in the NL because of the parity. Many of these teams don’t have that much to offer so it would not surprise me if a team above (Brewers?) makes a few trades for over slot prices. Marlins, Mets, Pirates, Cubs and Padres.

Giancarlo Stanton (Formerly Mike Stanton hits it out of Dodger Stadium):

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Game 1 Recap Of The Nats Big Opening Day Win – A Glimpse Of Things To Come

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Tuesday, Apr.02/2013

Just as impressive as Harper taking on higher expectation in 2013 is Stephen Strasburg being unleashed on the world for a full season for the first time and starting off with an 80 pitch performance of seven shutout innings.Strasburg didn't even have his best command falling behind 1-0 on 13 of the 23 batters he faced. Strasburg finished the day with only three Strikeouts and no walks giving up only three hits, but this wasn't the dominate swing and miss Strasburg.

Just as impressive as Harper 2 HRs yesterdayn- was Strasburg’s being unleashed on the world for a full season.  His start featured an 80 pitch performance over 7 shutout IP. Strasburg didn’t even have his best command – falling behind 1-0 on 13 of the 23 batters he faced. He finished the day with only three Strikeouts, but no walks and giving up only 3 hits.

By David Huzzard (Nationals Correspondent via Citizens of Natstown.com – view website here): 

Seeing Stephen Strasburg picked to win the Cy Young should come as no surprise to anyone. He did finish 2012 tied with Gio Gonzalez for the best FIP in the majors at 2.82 – and led all starters with a staggering 11.13 K/9. There are arguments that can be made that when Stephen Strasburg is firing on all cylinders –  he is the best pitcher in the NL and among the best on the planet.

The same argument cannot be made for Bryce Harper as an Outfielder. Based on stats last year,  he finished seventh in the NL in fWAR and tied for eighth in wOBA with Jay Bruce and Garrett Jones.

No one is picking Jay Bruce or Garrett Jones for their MVP. In all of the NL Bryce Harper‘s .352 wOBA ranked sixteenth.

Bryce Harper 2 HR Performance On Opening Day – MLB Reports does not own anything from this video:

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The Marlins Seriously Make Stupid Choices

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Tuesday, April.02/2013

The Marlins will start year 2 of their ball park with about 33 % of their 2012 Team Salary.  They essentially have traded away veteran over the course of last season and then in the winter.  The club builds up for a few years, then tears it all with lighting fast movements.  When will the cycle end and the Marlins have some consistency with the product on the field?

The Marlins will start year 2 of their ball park with about 33 % of their 2012 Team Salary. They essentially have traded away every veteran over the course of last season and in the winter of 2013.  Just like they have always done, the club builds up for a few years, then tears it all down with lighting fast movements. When will the cycle end and the Marlins have some consistency with the product on the field?

MLB Reports:  Welcome to our newest Kids writer  Jason Alpert-Wisnia – for being selected to join our MLB Reports Kids Writing team.  We are pleased to present the readers with a youthful look to the game of baseball.  Moms and Dad’s – if you have a young kid who loves baseball and wants to write about the game, please email us at mlbreports@gmail.com.  We will be selecting three more kid writers for our website this year. 

By Jason Alpert-Wisnia  (AKA “JAWS”): (MLB Reports Kids Writer – visit his website here )

The Miami Marlins are a semi-new team compared to other teams such as the Red Sox, debuting as a team in the season of 1993 as the Florida Marlins.  They won two championships in that time, yet tore down the team right after.

In 2012, the team moved to Marlins Park with a boatload of new players and I say, after that, it was only a matter of the, before the team was headed for a downfall.  The past was sure to  repeat itself.

Florida Marlins Story on 1997 and 2003:

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Baltimore Orioles Payroll In 2013 And Contracts Going Forward Mar.15/2013

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Friday, March.15/2013

Buck Showalter had one of the best managerial season in recent vintage with the 2012 version of the Baltimore Orioles, will the fans and management turn on him if there is a small regression in 2013?

Buck Showalter had one of the best managerial season in recent vintage with the 2012 version of the Baltimore Orioles, will the fans and management turn on him if there is a small regression in 2013?

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer):

believe that 2013 will be a regressive season for the Baltimore Orioles.  Much like the 2011 Arizona DiamondBacks in the National League, all of the bounces and luck went the Orioles way to have a magical year of a playoff berth in 2012.  A crazy amount of 1 run wins, extra inning wins and a brilliant bullpen defied the odds in the American League in order to compete.  

I still think the Baltimore Orioles will be competitive in 2013, I just don’t see a 90 win team.  The team is not saddled with many outrageous contracts left, however it is a shame that Brian Roberts (10 Million Dollars Per Year) can’t stay healthy.  They will need repeat years from Adam Jones and Chris Davis, plus significant increases in production from J.J. Hardy,   Matt Wieters  and  Nick Markakis will need to hit his .300+.

This team has to take a run at a few players via trade or a remaining Free Agent.  The need for a power hitting DH and another OF with Pop to play LF would be a wise decision.  The ownership will need to extend the payroll for this very option.  Also, they will need to plunk down some dough to sign an ace on the Free Agency market.   You can’t tell me that a guy like Kyle Lohse won’t help the club!

2012 Winning Mix Highlights:

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New York Yankees Payroll In 2013 And Contracts Going Fwd Updated Mar.4/2013

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Monday, March.04/2013

You are looking at the #1 and #2 Hits Leaders of ALL-Time for Active Professional Hitters in the World. Having them hit 1-2 in the lineup only makes sense. You might as well have them both retire at the same timeJeter is signed for one more year at 17 Million Dollars plus a player option ($8 MIL) for 2014. The Yankees signed Ichiro to a 2 year deal worth $13 MIL this past winter.

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner):

I am not like a lot of people thinking that there should be a full-scale blow-up of the Yankees current roster this year (past that I am acknowledging this will happen.)  They are old and 2013 will not make them younger.  However, there are some small tweaks that the team could do in order to make the payroll make sense.  1st priority was to sign Ichiro Suzuki.

The Japanese Superstar was not  and Yankees obliged to let him play RF in New York.  Adios to outgoing Nick Swisher.  He was much too pricey and Yankee fans have to be sick at his lack of production in his playoff career.  Swisher commanded a nice 4 or 5 year deal in the 56 – 70 Million Dollar Range from the Indians –  and was not a fit into the Yankees current payroll structure.

The Yankees were initially looking to spend just a little over 178  Million Dollars in 2013, but that didn’t happen.  At a 40% penalty (for every dollar spent over the 178 Million Mark)  for abusing the Luxury Tax Threshold, the team will need to have made financial considerations in moving forward each time they sign another new player.  Curtis Granderson and Robinson Cano are on the last year of their contracts.  Mark Teixeira, CC Sabathia and A-Rod still have multiple years left in their contracts. 

I would immediately move Alex Rodriguez to a permanent DH (when he returns to the lineup) –  and play Kevin Youkilis at 3B for all of 2013.

To the Readers on our Payroll Breakdowns:   Keep in mind these are all just estimates as we are all not forensic payroll accountants.  For a better look at how Payrolls work in the MLB please check out this article here.

Derek Jeter Highlights:

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An American Hobby: Baseball Memorabilia – The 1952 Stan Musial Card

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Saturday, March.o2, 2013

Stan Musial is 2nd (Aaron) ALL-Time for Total Bases with 6134. of them for his Career.. He is 3rd ALL-Time with 1377 XBH. He also is 5th ALL-Time in RBI with 1951 (1 ahead of A-ROD) and 8th in Runs Scored with 1949. " stan-1.jpg" width="588" height="350" /> Stan Musial is 2nd (Aaron) ALL-Time for Total Bases with 6134. of them for his Career. He is 3rd ALL-Time with 1377 XBH. He also is 5th ALL-Time in RBI with 1951 (1 ahead of A-ROD) and 8th in Runs Scored with 1949.  His 725 Doubles trail only Pete Rose and Ty Cobb on the ALL-Time List.  His 177 Triples are only good for 19th ALL-Time.  Meanwhile, only 4 players have topped 100 3B on the Active List: (Crawford-119, Reyes - 114, Damon -109, Rollins 105) and Juan Pierre (92) has a shot at the century mark for his Career.  The game has changed, importance of XBH has not.

Stan Musial is 2nd (Aaron) ALL-Time for Total Bases with 6134 of them for his Career. He is 3rd ALL-Time with 1377 XBH. He also is 5th ALL-Time in RBI with 1951 (1 ahead of A-ROD) and 8th in Runs Scored with 1949. His 725 Doubles trail only Pete Rose and Ty Cobb on the ALL-Time List. His 177 Triples are good for 19th ALL-Time. Meanwhile, only 4 players have topped 100 3B on the Active List: (Crawford-119, Reyes – 114, Damon -109, Rollins 105) and Juan Pierre (92) has a shot at the century mark for his Career. The game has changed, importance of XBH has not.

By Lee Edelstein (‘Baseball Memorabilia Enthusiast’ – visit his website here)

MLB Reports:  We are pleased to present you with Baseball Author Lee Edelstein as the newest writer with us at the Reports.  Lee will be providing us with great stories about baseball memorabilia on a regular basis.

MLB Reports

An American Hobby

Blog 3

Stan Musial

Each week, I’ll feature a baseball card of one of these all-time greats.  Along the way, we’ll talk about other aspects of America’s Hobby, why it continues to grow in popularity, and answer any questions you may have.

We lost Stan Musial on January 19th.  The outpouring of sentiment from all of baseball was heartwarming and appropriate.  No finer man or ballplayer ever graced a major league locker room. Musial’s passing touched a nerve in baseball fans across America, Bob Costas included.  Watch how he struggles with his emotions as he delivers his simple but eloquent eulogy to Stan The Man:

Bob Costas Eulogy for Stan Musial:

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Miami Marlins Payroll In 2013 And Contracts Going Forward

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Monday, February.18/2013

The Marlins will start year 2 of their ball park with about 33 % of their 2012 Team Salary.  They essentially have traded away veteran over the course of last season and then in the winter.

The Marlins will start year 2 of their ball park with about 33% of their 2012 Team Salary. They essentially have traded away every veteran over the course of last season and then in the winter.  They go to camp with a lot of prospects, some re-treads and a lot of broken promises to their fans.

By Nicholas Rossoletti (MLB Reports Trade Correspondent):

Welcome to Miami, home to sunshine, beautiful people and a unique multicultural atmosphere. Miami is not home, however, to a big market baseball team. For years the Marlins have attempted to fake it to make it. The team would build its payroll towards a single season where the front office felt like it could compete for a world championship. Then, regardless of result, the Marlins would break up the team, sell the pieces for as much value as was offered and rebuild towards another season when a championship hope seemed realistic. So the Miami Marlins, their fans, their brand new stadium enter 2013 in a very similar situation. In 2012, the team took a shot at competing by spending money on several free agents. I’ve written in detail about why that didn’t work and what the fans can look forward to in the future. In 2013, the payroll will be once again be amongst the lowest in baseball.

As with our past looks at payroll we will start with the high-end of the Miami payroll. You will notice that one of these is not like the other.

Giancarlo Stanton Highlights 2012 – Mature Lyrics  so parental guidance is advised:

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The New York Yankees Hitting Roster In 2013: State Of The Union Part 1

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Wednesday, February.13, 2013

The Yankees have 27 World Series Titles and 13 Losses in the Fall Classic since 1921.  That is 40 Appearances in  91 years.  They have had the highest payroll team in MLB for the Majority of that span.  As of 2013, they will not be able to claim that stake anymore.  Will they still make the playoffs for the 18th time in 19 years?

The Yankees have 27 World Series Titles and 13 Losses in the Fall Classic since 1921. That is 40 Appearances in 91 years. They have had the highest payroll team in MLB for the Majority of that span. As of 2013, they will not be able to claim that stake anymore. Will they still make the playoffs for the 18th time in 19 years?

Chuck Booth (Yankees Correspondent/Website Owner):

The Yankees had a precarious winter after failing miserably in the ALCS, (AKA the last time the country saw them play on Television) – when the team was decimated by the Detroit Tigers in a sweep.  So what has happened since?  A lot of status quo:  Re-signing Mariano Rivera, Andy Pettitte, Ichiro Suzuki and Hiroki Kuroda, while saying good-bye to Raul Ibanez (SEA), Andruw Jones (FA), Nick Swisher (CLE), Eric Chavez (ARI), Russell Martin (PIT), Derek Lowe (FA), Steve Pearce (BAL), Casey McGehee (FA), Freddy Garcia (FA) and Rafael Soriano (WSH).  All they really added back was former arch-nemesis Kevin Youkilis (CWS) and Travis Hafner (CLE).  The team is sitting around 215 Million Dollars at Payroll right now, yet they have are heading into the 2013 campaign with Catchers that are of limited experience. 

For the first time in years, the club will need to see some internal progress from their farm system to help the big club.  With A-ROD out with his hip injury, plus the Miami fiasco, can you really count on the prima-donna to play at all this season?  Derek Jeter is coming off a brutal ankle injury that occurred in the aforementioned Post Season Series vs the Tigers .  The club is also hoping that ‘MO’ Rivera can find it within himself to make it through another year as a 43 Year Old.  Just like The ALL-Time Saves Leader, this team is aging fast.  Robinson Cano and Curtis Granderson are Free Agents after 2013 is over.  Brian Cashman is also going to take advantage of the reset option f the Luxury Tax loophole in 2014.

This means that when the Luxury Tax goes from 178 Million to 189 Million next year, that the club can stop paying its 40% annual penalty if they can get under for just one season.  The Yankees will be sure to blow up the Payroll from 2015 and beyond that, it is just to not start the new luxury lax at the maximum penalty.  Had the Luxury Tax not moved from its current spot, the Yankees would always pay the 40% penalty (even if they decided to skip one year).

Yankees Highlights 2012:  Mature Lyrics So Parental Guidance is Advised:

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After Coming Off Of TJ Surgery – Carl Crawford Looks To Help The LA Dodgers in 2013

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Monday, January.21/2013

Carl Crawford Ranks 3rd on the ALL-Time Active  Stolen Base Leaders.  He also has a Career 3 Slash Line of .292/.332./.774 heading into 2013.

Carl Crawford Ranks 3rd on the ALL-Time Active Stolen Base Leaders (Pierre 1st – 591, Suzuki 2nd – 452) with 432 SB. He also has a Career 3 Slash Line of .292/.332./.774 heading into 2013.

By Aaron Roberts (Dodgers Correspondent):  

Allow me to pose a scenario for you to pensively ponder. I shoot a basketball 9 times. The first 6 of my 9 shots are swishes. The next 2 aren’t as pretty but still go in the basket. My last shot I miss. Overall, I succeeded in making 8 of the 9 shots which means I have an 89% success rate. Now let me ask you this; would you bet on me to make a 10th shot?

This in a nutshell is Carl Crawford’s career. A 4-time All-Star, he has also consistently been amongst the top producing outfielders in all of baseball for the last decade. Barring his rookie season, His first 5 Major League campaigns were incredible – with him routinely posting over a .300 average and 50 steals – while still belting 10-15 HRs. That combination of speed and power is a rare mix that Crawford displayed with ease. He fared very well for his RBI totals when you take into account he has mostly been a Lead-off and #2 batter for his time in the Majors. He faltered slightly in his 6th season with a .273 Average, 8 HRs and only 25 SB, yet still scored 69 Runs in just 109 Games Played during the 2008 season. Not terrible numbers by any means but not Carl Crawford like production. The following 2 seasons, he regained form and astounded many by posting some of his best numbers yet – even placing 7th in the MVP voting of the 2010 season.

Then came the dark days. Then came Boston. 

Carl Crawford – The ALL-Star!

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Juan Pierre: The Unappreciated Stolen Base Master

Thursday January 3rd, 2012

Juan Pierre was one of the most prolific hitters in terms of base hits in the last 12 years along with being the Active Leader for Career Stolen Bases.  Pierre has 4-200 hit seasons in his resume.  He also strikes out only about 1 time every 17 PA.

Juan Pierre is one of the most prolific hitters in terms of base hits in the last 12 years along with being the Active Leader for Career Stolen Bases (591). Pierre has 4-200 hit seasons on his resume. He also strikes out only about 1 time every 18 PA  (452 SO in 7950 PA).  He is a .297 Career hitter, with 2141 Hits and has scored 1039 Runs.

Jake Dal Porto (Baseball Writer) //

Remember Juan Pierre? The guy who’s the definition of consistent? Yeah, that’s him. He now resides in Miami with a bleak Marlins’ crop of players. At 34-Years-Old, he is not entirely irrelevant, and could turn out to be a worthwhile signing for the Marlins. Yes I know, he’s not the big bopper that garners the media and headlines, but his career isn’t one to disregard.

Let me enlighten you…

For Pierre, it all started in Colorado where broke into the majors at 22 years of age, and instantly caught the eye of the baseball world thanks to a solid rookie year with the Rockies. After spending some time as a pinch-runner and defensive replacement, he eventually overtook Colorado’s leadoff spot. He finished the season with a triple slash of .310/.353/.320, and swiped a modest seven bases.

Juan Pierre Feature Video-Beast Mode:

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Contact Hitters and Pitching Are Keys to Winning In the MLB Playoffs: Bravo Giants! Attn: Yankees!

Saturday, Nov.10/2012

 

The Giants GM Brian Sabean saw that his offense had significant holes from previous years and before 2012, dealt for Melky Cabrera and Angel Pagan. Both are decent contact hitters, with decent power and speed. It also took for the emergence of Marco Scutaro and the renaissance play from Pablo Sandoval to show that teams that can make regular contact (and are armed with great pitching,) ultimately win in the playoffs.

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer):

I can’t believe I am going to utter these next few words, “I am starting to shift on the idea of eliminating the DH in the AL and also I am beginning to find the National League Brand of Baseball a lot better these days.”  I am not just saying this because the National League has registered 5 World Series Wins out of the last seven years (STL x 2, SF x 2 and PHI vs BOS AND NYY since 2006.)  I just find that the American League Baseball is becoming boring.  If you have read my articles in the past, I hate teams that strikeout non-stop and when you put two of these teams together for a Series like the AL routinely does, the games are filled with heavy pitch counts, four-hour games and not much contact.  This years ALCS represented an all-time low for fan excitement.  Put aside that I am a Yankees fan for a minute, it was absolutely brutal baseball.  In fact, last years ALCS was no picnic either.  If the games continue on like this, they might as well scrap the DH, start having the umpires call more strikes on the hitters and have all AL Teams convert to a National League style of game.

The National League has seen the Cardinals give us thrilling moments and comebacks to epic proportions over the last 2 years. I honestly think that Mark McGwire is not receiving enough credit for molding that team into a bunch of contact hitters.  You watch the 2013 offense of the LA Dodgers, they will all have a different approach.  We will save the DH debate for another day,  but lets just say that 2012 was the worst year for DH’s in some time if not ever.  There are only about 3-4 decent DH’s left in the game and if David Ortiz is not in the lineup for the Red Sox, there are no more marquee guys that just hit and not field!  The National League Teams plan on more contact for runs created out of necessity and it is always reflective  by the competitive games we see them play in the playoffs.

In 2012, the Giants made 4 key acquisitions before and during the season to change their offensive demeanor.  If you ask me flat-out as a  baseball observer, there is no way the Giants win the World Series without Marco Scutaro or Angel Pagan at the top of the lineup.  I also am conceding credit to Melky Cabrera’s hitting contributions as a contact hitter before being busted.  Before Melky Cabrera was shown the door for PED’s, he was the same hitter as Scutaro in the 2nd half and postseason, in just hitting every single pitch that was thrown at him.  To be honest here,  Angel Pagan does strike out a fair bit as a lead off hitter, however he also has speed that makes him dangerous whenever the ball is contacted.  It is all about a mixture of power, speed and contact hitters.  To illustrate this fact, Hunter Pence (also picked up near the Trade Deadline) did not hit well in the regular season or playoffs for average, yet he was able to drive in a pile of runs because guys ahead of him were always on base.  All he needed to do was to make contact for his RBI. Read the rest of this entry

Beltre and Hamilton Need to Carry the Rangers for a 3rd Straight WS Appearance

Tuesday, August.28/2012

Hamilton and Beltre need to carry the Rangers to their 3rd straight World Series Appearance. This feat has not been done since the Yankees went to 4 straight WS Appearances from 1998-2001.

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer): It is Adrian Beltre Awareness Week! What is that exactly?  I have adopted an idea to carry out on twitter-in order to provide the unheralded players of the MLB, their just credit.  So far there has been Juan Pierre, Mike Morse , Jose Altuve  Awareness Weeks and now it is Adrian Beltre’s turn.  I decided on the Rangers 3rd base slugger because I believe that he is on a path for Cooperstown.  Rather than bore you with details I have already written about before on the Reports, you can click here for my previous article on Beltre hitting himself into Hall Of Fame Consideration: click here.

Okay back to the point.  It was right after Adrian Beltre’s 3 HR game that I started sending out my link on the article and hailing Beltre as a man worthy for Cooperstown if he keeps it up.  I had many of my followers indicate they had never thought about him like that.  In bullet point style here.  Right after that he had a 3 hit game, in which he was a Triple short of the cycle.  The next day he hit for his second career cycle.  It made me feel really good about my stance on the guy.  5 HRs, 2 Doubles, a Triple and 2 singles is a month for some guys and Beltre accomplished this feat in 14 AB over 3 games.  That is 29 total bases folks, a slugging percentage of over 2 and a .714 Average.  The Rangers offense has several players that seem to blow up like this.  Nelson Cruz had 8 RBI not so long ago.  Beltre had that 3 homer game in the ALCS last year.  Then there was Josh Hamilton and his 4 HR game.  Hamilton has also had 3 games this year where he had collected 5 RBI or more.

The Rangers are a power house offense.  They have guys like Mitch Moreland and Mike Napoli hitting 8th routinely.  They are going to win the AL West for a 3rd Straight year.  With all of this said, something doesn’t resonate with me in them making their 3rd straight World Series this year.  That feat has not been accomplished since the Yankees made 4 fall classics in a row from 1998-2001.  The Rangers are vulnerable and have weaknesses in their pitching.  They don’t have C.J Wilson this year and Rookie Yu Darvish is slowing down after a great first half.  I think with Darvish, it is the innings that are catching up to him.  In Japan, they usually have 6 man rotations.  This is new territory for the talented chucker.

Adrian Beltre Highlights!

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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

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Top Ten Stat Of The Week: Active Career Stolen Base Leaders

Wednesday August.8/2012

Juan Pierre was one of the most prolific hitters in terms of base hits in the last 12 years along with being the Active Leader for Career Stolen Bases. Pierre has 4-200 hit seasons in his resume.

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer and @chuckbooth3024 on Twitter)- The game has been moving back towards speed, offense and athleticism since the adaptation of the steroid testing in the MLB.  I think we will see a big emphasis on the Stolen Base in the coming years.  We have Billy Hamilton coming in the near future and he could actually challenge a 100 Stolen Base in one season.  30 years ago there were several guys challenge or eventually succeed in stealing 100 bases.  Rickey Henderson and Vince Coleman both hit the century mark 3 times, while Ron LeFlore and Tim Raines cracked the 90 SB plateau.  Teams used to have several speedsters in their lineup.  Jose Reyes has the most stolen bases in one year for the active players with 78 swipes in 2007.

I omitted Luis Castillo from the list because he has not played since 2010, (much to the delight of the New York Mets fans I am sure.)  I am sure that Boston Red Sox fans are hopeful that he can regain his stolen base prowess very soon with him being only in the second year of a 7 YR/140 Million Dollar Contract.  Johnny Damon also has foraged a great career to be on this list from sheer determination.   Out of this top ten , Jose Reyes has the most steals per games played, while Omar Vizquel (who has played 2947 games) has the least amount of steals per game played.  I was most surprised by Derek Jeter cracking this list because he has never stolen more than 34 bags in one year.  I wonder how many bags Ichiro would have stolen had he arrived in North America earlier?  Johnny Damon and Omar Vizquel making this top ten is a test to their long-playing careers.  I figured Jimmy Rollins had more steals than what his totals came in as.  Bobby Abreu  has the most HRs on this list with 286  and Juan Pierre has the least. with 17.

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MLB reports Monthly Power Rankings: May 2012

Tuesday May 8th, 2012

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer and @chuckbooth3024 on twitter)-We are going to bring you a monthly power rankings every month of the season.  There will be a few verses for each team.  Please feel free to let us know your thoughts.

May Power Rankings

  1. Texas (19-10)  Josh Hamilton is clubbing the ball at his 2010 like AL MVP clip.  Yu Darvish appears to be the real deal.  Mike Napoli hits 8th on most nights. Michael Young might be the most under-appreciated hitter in the last decade.  Ian Kinsler is on pace for 162 runs.  If Nelson Cruz starts hitting and or Nathan rounds into form, than this team may blitz by every one.
  2. Tampa Bay (19-10) The pitching staff is incredible right now.  David Price is asserting himself as one of the premier left-handed pitchers in baseball. Strong starts from Evan Longoria, Luke Scott and Carlos Pena have helped.  Joe Maddon may be the best ‘in-game manager’ of baseball now with Tony La Russa out of the Majors.
  3. Atlanta (18-12) The reason I have Atlanta rated so high is they are not even having a good year from Tim Hudson yet and Jair Jurrjens has been atrocious.  Still they sit near the top of the standings.  Chipper Jones has 21 RBI and Freddie Freeman has taken the next step so far with 26 RBI.  Last year the team had a lot of players with career worst years and they were only eliminated on the last day of the season.  This year may be different.
  4. St. Louis (18-11) You lose a franchise player like Albert Pujols and you spend half the money for Carlos Beltran and Rafael Furcal, who are finally hitting the numbers like the back of their bubble gum cards from 5 years ago.  Are we giving enough credit to Mark McGwire here? Lance Lynn has morphed into Chris Carpenter with his 6-0 start.
  5. LA Dodgers (19-10) Matt Kemp is the best player in baseball right now and may walk away with the triple crown this year.  Andre Ethier has matured into the RBI guy he needs to be.  Solid pitching by Clayton Kershaw, Chris Capuano and Ted Lilly have this team looking solid. Dodgers look good in the future when  the new ownership takes over. (more…)

An Interview with ‘Rogers Center Expert’ and “MLB reports Founder” Jonathan Hacohen

Monday April 16th, 2012

Follow Chuck Booth’s streak all the through to the bitter end.  Schedule is this link:

http://mlbreports.com/gwr-tracker/ or at his official website for all updates!

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer and- @chuckbooth3024 on twitter)- For once the shoe is on the other foot.  I asked the MLB Reports Founder and ‘Lead Columnist’ Jonathan Hacohen if I could interview him 5 months after he interviewed me.  Jonathan and I came into talking by both talking to the  MLB FanCave guys at the same time on twitter last June.  Jonathan was really interested in My baseball book “The Fastest Thirty Ballgames” and I sent him a copy of it if he agreed to do a review.  Jonathan finished the book and gave one of the most incredible reviews for my book that I have ever seen for any baseball book anywhere.  Somewhere I had given up all of my creative writing energy in the process while writing this said book.  Jonathan followed up with an interview later.  During the World Series, he offered up a chance to do a guest article since I knew a lot about the ballparks in Texas and St. Louis.  Now I am sure it was all part of his master plan: the one guest article turned into a once a week article, before I even realized it myself, I was writing 2 articles a week and craving more!  I messaged Jonathan about a potential run at the record to see all 30 MLB Parks before anyone on this planet.  The reason is the man loves baseball.  He was just as fired up as I was!  From there we have worked together as a team to provide a different kind of article series that has ever been seen by a baseball writer and website.  I am happy to finally meet Jonathan today live in person for the Jays game during this record chase.  Before we write about that, I had a chance to talk the man about baseball life, the MLB Reports and the Rogers Center.  Here is what we discussed… Read the rest of this entry

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