Blog Archives

ALL – Time Tommy John Surgery List 1974 – Present

For all the talk of baseball players (pitchers mostly) that will be undergoing Tommy John Surgery, we will be keeping a running list!  E-mail us at mlbreports@gmail.com if you have any names to add to our totals.

How many players are having or had TJ in history? You are about to find out: Read the rest of this entry

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Tommy John Surgeries Between 1974 – 1999

By Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner): & Website Founder Jonathan Hacohen 

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DR. FRANK JOBE, who will turn 87 in the summer of 2012, is a renowned orthopedic surgeon who revolutionized the medical care and prolonged the careers of baseball pitchers with his groundbreaking tendon transplant procedure now known as the “Tommy John” surgery.

In 1974, Dodgers pitcher TOMMY JOHN was diagnosed with a torn ligament in his left (pitching) elbow, apparently ending his career.

In an experimental surgery, which he estimated at the time as having 1% odds for a successful outcome, Jobe transplanted a tendon from John’s right forearm to his left elbow.  

Tommy John Surgeries List from 2000 – 2013 here.

What is Tommy John Surgery?

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Chicago Cubs State Of The Union: Fall 2013

The Chicago Cubs are still reeling from an abysmal 66-96 2013 season. They finished 31 games back in the NL Central, which saw three of it's five teams reach the playoffs. The wheels are churning in Chicago's farm system as it's seeing a meteoric rise in young talent, but even with the influx of fresh faces, success is still a season or two out of reach for the city's Northsiders. With a rebuild in the process the Cubs needed a new manager with a proven track record for player development. Dale Sveum is out. Rick Renteria is in. 2014 may not be the Cubs' year, but they're working on it.

The Chicago Cubs are still reeling from an abysmal 66 – 96 2013 season. They finished 31 games back in the NL Central, which saw three of its five teams reach the playoffs. The wheels are churning in Chicago’s farm system as it’s seeing a meteoric rise in young talent, but even with the influx of fresh faces, success is still a season or two out of reach for the city’s Northsiders. With a rebuild in the process the Cubs needed a new manager with a proven track record for player development. Dale Sveum is out. Rick Renteria is in. 2014 may not be the Cubs’ year, but they’re working on it.

Chicago Cubs State of the Union: Mired in Mediocrity

By Robert Villarreal (MLB Reports Guest Cubs Writer)

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It’s difficult to ask a Cubs fan to be patient.

The Cubs haven’t won a World Series since 1908, and every year we’re reminded of the enormity of a centuries worth of atrocious baseball that we must all endure year in and year out.

But in 2009, a man named Sam Zell purchased the Tribune company and decided to sell off some of its parts, namely the Chicago Cubs.

Tom Ricketts, a Chicago native, stepped up and was able to realize a boyhood dream, to own his favorite team. But owning it wasn’t enough.

Cubs fans are hoping the hometown boy can help deliver a promise of a Title in the near future.

Junior Lake Highlights – Mature Lyrics So Parental Guidance is Advised

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Its Going To Be A Different Season Without Grady Sizemore And Pronk

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Wednesday, March.13/2013

it

2013 will mark the 1st time in a decade that neither Travis Hafner nor Grady Sizemore will be on the Cleveland Indians.  For a 4 – 5 years stretch these guys were amongst the best offensive players in the game.  Injuries decimated them from action and prevented the team from contending.  So how will they be remembered in Cleveland?

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner):

I first went to Progressive Field in the opening week of 2007.  I was supposed to see a doubleheader with the Mariners in town to play the ‘Tribe”.  What I received instead was a foot of snow and a cancellation.  I went to the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame instead.  That is one cool place to go if you do have a weather related suspension of a game.  I was disappointed because I wanted to see Grady Sizemore and Travis Hafner light it up for the Cleveland Indians.

I made the drive back to Toronto for a game indoors.  As I was driving to Toronto – it was announced that the Cleveland Indians were going to be moving their 3 games series versus the Angels to Miller Park.  I was already heading to Wrigley Field for my 1st ever visit and bought tickets to the 1st and 2nd game of the Series in Milwaukee.  I would have  a chance to see the Cleveland team play after all.  I am a Yankees fan – however I really wanted to see this duo swing the sticks.

Grady Sizemore Highlights – Mature Lyrics so Parental Guidance is Advised:

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The Chicago Cubs Schedule In 2013: (The Wrigley Field Ticket Is Still The Best Pure Baseball Experience)

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Saturday, January.26, 2013

Wrigley Field might just be the best place just to watch a baseball game (Fenway Park rivals it for entire ballpark experience).  AT &T Park and PNC Psrk usually round out the top 4 Parks

Wrigley Field might just be the best place just to watch a baseball game (Fenway Park rivals it for entire ballpark experience). AT &T Park and PNC Park usually round out the top 4 Parks

By Richie Devotie (MLB Schedule Correspondent): and Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer/Website Owner) 

I love Wrigley Field more than any other park just to watch a game. 

Having been to all of the MLB Parks a minimum of 3 times (and most closer to 5 and above) – there is something so unique about this baseball cathedral that makes me think it is the 1920s still.

We have another video presentation from our Baseball Schedule Correspondent’ Richie Devotie down below that has all of the Cubs opponents in the upcoming season in 2013 – plus a recap of how the team fared in 2012. 

After viewing it – plus read about one of the craziest, yet rewarding days of my ballpark chaser streaks. 

The setup to this was that I was 13 days into my 1st World Record Attempt – at breaking the category of “The Fastest Person to view a full game at all 30 MLB Parks”. 

I had already had to restart my streak attempt after some chaos that happened just a few days prior.  This day in Chicago would be my 3rd straight day of trying to fit 2 games in on one day. 

On the 1st day of the new streak, I nailed a doubleheader between Petco Park (day game) and Dodger Stadium (night game). 

I then boarded an overnight flight to Detroit (at 1 AM- Arrival in Motown at 10:30 AM.  I was poised to watch a day game at Comerica Park (1:05 PM) – before jettisoning 168 Miles to Cleveland right after for a 7:05 PM start at Progressive. 

The Tigers looked to nail down a victory until Todd “the Hammer” Jones blew the save by letting the Twins tie it up in the ninth – to prolong the game into extra innings. 

An hour later and the game finally ended but I couldn’t even try to head to Cleveland.  So I made my way to Chicago/Milwaukee.  I had a Wrigley Field/Miller Park doubleheader. 

The next day after – I was to fly to Toronto to see the Yankees play.  2 days after that, I would see if I could hit on a Nationals Park/Shea Stadium Sunday day/night double-header.

It would be 4 doubleheader attempts in 5 days.  I was only 1 for 2 so far.

Richie Devotie Presents His Power Point Cubs 2013 Schedule Breakdown

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MLB Player Profile: The Cubs OF Alfonso Soriano

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Sunday, January.06, 2013

Alfonso Soriano has hit 434 Career HRs in 14 Years and has clubbed 164 of them with Chicago over the last 6 years.  He is on the 7th Year of an 8 YR/136 Million Dollar Contract.  He has made 2 ALL-Star Appearances with the Cubs.

Alfonso Soriano has hit 373 Career HRs in 14 Years and has clubbed 164 of them with Chicago over the last 6 years. He is on the 7th Year of an 8 YR/136 Million Dollar Contract. He has made 2 ALL-Star Appearances with the Cubs.  The Man also has 270 SB and 836 Extra Base Hits.  He should end his Career with over 1000 XBH, which would place him in the top 40 of ALL-Time for that Category.

Alfonso Soriano: Misunderstood, Good, But Never A Fit    

Alex Kantecki (Guest Baseball Writer and Cubs Correspondent):

It’s no secret Alfonso Soriano isn’t the most liked player among Cubs fans. Following the 2006 season when then general manager Jim Hendry signed the Outfielder to the largest contract in team history ($136 Million over eight years), fans dreaming of a World Series title pinned their hopes on the unconventional Leadoff hitter that hit 46 HR and stole 41 bases with the Washington Nationals the year before. Soriano did his part and helped lead the Cubs to two straight National League Central titles in 2007 and 2008, but the Cubs were swept away in the Division Series both years. Like his teammates, Soriano struggled to do much of anything in the postseason, collecting three hits in 29 Plate Appearances and failing to score or drive in a single run in six games.

Alfonso Soriano 2012 Highlights – Parental Guidance Is Advised

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ATR: Ask the Reports Answers Your Baseball Questions: Chapman, Hamilton, WBC, Billy Corgan and Neiko Johnson

Sunday September 16th, 2012



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! We love to hear from you- so keep the questions coming every week!

Jonathan Hacohen: I hate being sick. In writing terms, I have been placed on the 5-10 day DL with a chest infection. It actually feels worse than it sounds. I have the cough of George Burns and probably his energy level as well. But the show must go on! ATR appears every weekend and dammit, I’m not letting a little thing like illness get in my way. Write through pain, that’s my philosophy. 

Before I get to your questions, I just want to take a quick look at the MLB standings as of this morning:

  • The Yankees are hanging onto the AL East by the skin of their teeth, with a 1 game lead over the Orioles. But for all the talk of those two teams, don’t forget about the Rays. They are only 4 GB. The Rays have pulled it off before and if I am placing my wager, I give it to Tampa Bay. Just too much pitching in my estimation.
  • As we continue to scan through the standings, I notice that the AL races are far more interesting than the NL ones. I’m not sure if that says much, but perhaps the AL teams will continue to battle each other to a pulp, and become easy pickings for the NL (who enjoys home field advantage in the World Series).  Just a thought.
  • The White Sox hold a 1 game lead over the Tigers in the AL Central. Yes, I bleed Tigers Blue and Orange. But I will admit that my crystal ball sees this season as the year of the White Sox. Sorry Tigers supporters, its nothing personal. Just business. Adam Dunn is back and as long as Chicago can continue their season long magic for a couple of more weeks, they will be playoff-bound.
  • The most interesting division has become the AL West. The Rangers, the 2-time AL champions now hold a slim 2 game lead over the Athletics (after losing to the Mariners and the A’s beating up on the O’s in a key weekend matchup). Chuck Booth and I have called what the A’s are doing as “Moneyball 2″. Let’s consider that when Moneyball the Movie came out last fall, critics were quick to mock Billy Beane and the A’s as being outdated and the movie being a historical piece, with no relevance to the current team. Guess who’s having the last laugh people? That’s right. Billy Beane. The A’s might actually have the guts to pull this thing off and take the division. It would be an incredible shot in the arm for Oakland and a tragedy in Texas. Keep an eye on this race people: if we have learned nothing else this season, the A’s are not going away.
  • The AL Wild Card spots are currently held down by the A’s and Orioles, with the Angels (2.5 gb), Rays (3 GB) and Tigers (3.5 GB) all in shooting distance. If we assume that the Rays, White Sox and Rangers end up taking their respective divisions, we are left with the A’s, Yankees, Orioles, Tigers and Angels as the contenders for the Wild Card spots. I see from there the Yankees and A’s taking the wild cards, with Oakland advancing to the ALDS. It is not an exact science, but playoff predictions are sure fun to create.
  • In the NL, we start with the Nationals, who enjoy a 6.5 game lead on the Braves. Not out of reach, but the Nats are still likely to take the AL East. They have been one of the best stories in baseball this year. Let’s see how far they go sans their ace.
  • In the Central, the Reds have a stranglehold on their division, with a 11.5 game lead over the Cardinals. Dusty Baker and company have a magic number of 6. ‘Nuff said.
  • Over in the NL West, the Giants are pulling away with a 7.5 game lead over the Dodgers. Now Clayton Kershaw may need surgery and be out for the season. It looks like the Dodgers’ big ticket items will not pay off until 2013 at the earliest.
  • The NL wild card race is messier than an algebra exam. The Braves hold a fairly good lead on the 1st spot, almost assuring Chipper Jones of at least one game of playoff action in his final season. The final spot is held in a tie, between the Cardinals and Dodgers. While there are several teams still in contention for that final spot (Pirates 2 GB, Brewers 2.5 GB, Phillies 3 GB, Diamondbacks 4.5 GB and even the Padres 6 GB). Predicting this spot is like taking a shot in the dark. Many are going with the Phillies, given their strong pitching staff (the three aces). I am not counting out any teams at this point, but I will say keep an eye on the Dbacks. It would not surprise me if they somehow face the Braves in the one-game sudden-death playoff series.

Now let’s get to your top questions of the week: Read the rest of this entry

Baseball’s Greatest One Hit Wonders Part 2: The Pitchers

Wedesday August 22, 2012

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer) Pitching is the most unnatural motion I can think of.  The human arm is not meant to throw 90-100 MPH repeatedly over and over.  It is for this reason why I am never surprised when Pitchers go out for any injury.  When I was 15, I was the catcher for former Major League Pitcher Chris Reitsma on our ALL-Star Team.  I witnessed this kid throwing 90 MPH as a teenager.  Honestly, no one could hit the guy.  As a catcher for 10 years and having a a decent baseball IQ, I was mad that the coach never let me call his pitches for him.  Why he would even throw sliders, curves and breaking balls is beyond me and it cost us some games versus some California and Arizona teams.   There was no denying that he was a mega talented pitcher.  He did go onto a decent MLB career, even appeared in 84 games for the Atlanta Braves in 2004.  Yet he finished pitching by the age of 29 because he threw junk.  Now I will move on here, I am just pointing out that kids should not be throwing  junk until they are finished high school.  There will be time in future articles to talk about pitching discipline and attitude. 

Just like the hitters that I featured last week, the pitchers I am featuring here took the MLB by storm for a while.  The fan bases were certain that these players would have great careers, only to see them fade quickly.  If you ask me which position is tougher to stay up on top of, I would definitely say pitching!  Remember that if you fail 70% of the time as a hitter, you are still labeled a great hitter.  Pitchers have to have a success rate of 75% to be elite.  Plus when they are out there, it is a continual one after another moment, whereas a hitter has a chance to regroup after an AT BAT.

This set of 5 pitchers (Mark Fidrych, Mark Prior, Jeff Zimmerman, Tommy Greene and Derrick Turnbow) in this list are all pretty much of recent vintage.  I saw 4 of them play as I only started watching baseball in 1980 and Mark Fidrych was already done by that time.  This doesn’t mean that I have not seen countless highlights from the man in the last 30 years.  Here are a couple for your enjoyment before we start.

To see the article about Baseball’s Greatest One Hit Wonders Part 1: The Batters click here Read the rest of this entry

Kerry Wood and the Unfulfilled Career

Wednesday May 23, 2012

Bryan Sheehan (Baseball Writer): When he first came into the league, there were comparisons drawn to Nolan Ryan. Not just, “hey look, both of these guys are from Texas and play baseball!” comparisons, but predictions by some that their career numbers would shine in a similar fashion. But, after 14 years in professional baseball, Kerry Wood has decided to retire from the league, falling far short of the media’s once lofty expectations. Read the rest of this entry

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…)

Ask the Reports: ATR Answers Your Baseball Questions – April 1st, 2012

Sunday April 1st, 2012


Jonathan Hacohen:  Posted every Weekend: Your top baseball questions from the past week are answered. E-mail all questions to mlbreports@me.com, message us on Twitter and post on our Facebook Wall!

Let’s get to your top questions of the week:

Q:  My question this week in about a prospect in the Diamondbacks system. Was reading an article about Trevor Bauer and his 10 different pitches along with his unique training program. What I want to know is how MLB Reports see his future. Will he be a number one starter on their staff one day and where will he end up when he retires?  Larry

MLB reports:  First question this week goes to our #1 fan, Larry! Happy April Fool’s Day by the way! No tricks today from us. Just baseball talk! Watching this kid pitch, it is hard not to get excited about him. Trevor Bauer comes with a lot of hype as a top-3 pick from last year’s MLB draft. He will definitely see time in Arizona this year, with a full rotation spot in 2012 possibly happening. Will Bauer be a #1 starter? Will he retire as a Dback? Very difficult questions, because of the complexity of the circumstances. Injuries. Performance. Financial expectations. So much goes into the equation. But if you are asking me to check the crystal ball (which I think you are), here is what I see: Yes, Bauer will become a #1 starter one day. We love his mechanics too much for him not to develop. As long as he stays healthy, works hard and keeps his nose clean. Which we all hope he does! But I cannot see him retiring as a Dback. In this day and age, it is very rare for a player to stay on the same team for his whole career. The law of baseball probability says that if Bauer becomes a stud, he will go one day to a major contender, like the Yankees or Red Sox. Even if for some reason Bauer does play the majority of his career in Arizona, he will at some point make a team change. Maybe his skills will diminish. Or a conflict with the manager. The bottom line, he will be in Arizona for the next 5+ years likely at least. So let’s enjoy his time there for now. Thanks for writing! Read the rest of this entry

Time is Ticking for the Toddfather: Todd Helton Approaching Retirement

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.

Young Phenom Pitchers May Ignite Your City

Monday January 30th, 2012

Doug Booth-  Baseball Writer: Perhaps it is because we see pitchers for more plays in any given baseball game, or maybe it is that young pitchers so rarely dominate to start their careers. But witnessing young pitchers start their careers with a flash- ignites the baseball cities they play for at epic levels.  Sometimes these players may even captivate the baseball world across the nation or even the world.  Today I take a look at 4 players that I have watched or heard about from my baseball experiences.  These players are:  ‘The Bird’ Mark Fidrych, Kerry Wood, Dwight Gooden and (the last player is underneath everyone’s radar,) former Blue Jays pitcher Juan Guzman.

Juan Guzman- Career Record was 91-79 with a 4.08 ERA.  For those people that watched this guy burst onto the scene in Toronto, this was guy was virtually unhittable in his first four seasons.  Barring any other person telling me different, he holds the record for winning percentage for his first 50 starts.  Guzman started his career 39-11 (.780).  Guzman helped anchor a pitching staff that won back to back World Series in ’92 and ’93, by going 5-1 with a 2.44 ERA in his postseason starts.  Guzman would routinely walk batters and throw wild pitches, but when he was looking at runners in scoring position,  he often left them stranded with a strikeout or a weak grounder.  The early 1990’s Toronto Blue Jays  were the model franchise in the Major Leagues. The SkyDome created enough buzz about futuristic ballparks to have all teams look at building their own new ballparks for themselves.  Juan Guzman was there for much of the early successes.  The fans gravitated towards him at the park.  It seemed the more they cheered for him, the better he would bear down and concentrate.  Even though Juan struggled after coming out of the lockout in 1995 (until he retired) going 51-69, he is forever entrenched in the Blue Jays championship seasons.

 Dwight Gooden- Career Record was 194-112 with a 3.51 ERA.  As a teenager at age 19, Dwight Gooden went 17-9 with a 2.60 ERA in capturing the ‘Rookie of the Year’ award.  In his next season, Gooden had one of the best pitching seasons in the modern era.  He went 24-4 with a mind-boggling 1.53 ERA.  He threw 16 complete games and 8 shutouts, while his 268 strikeouts in 271 innings pitched helped solidify the pitching ‘Triple Crown’ of wins, ERA and strikeouts.  This New York Mets team was looking like they were on the verge of a dynasty with the likes of Gooden, Strawberry and veteran catcher Gary Carter playing so well.  In 1986, the New York Mets won the World Series with Gooden as their ace.  Even though he struggled in the postseason for his career with an 0-4 record, most times his ball club would have never made it to the playoffs without his strong regular seasons.  By the age of 26, Gooden was 132-53 for his career(.721).  He was headed for a Hall of Fame Career, however drug problems (as was the case with fellow Met Darryl Strawberry) caused the rapid decline of his career.  Gooden spent parts of many seasons fighting the addiction.  Gooden had his career revived with the New York Yankees in 1996.  In wearing the pinstripes, he threw a no-hitter and helped the team win the 1996 World Series.  His career winning percentage is still decent at .634, but what could this man have done if he was playing it straight?  As years go by, he is still revered by both New York clubs. So who knows what could have been?

 Mark ‘The Bird’ Fidrych- Career Record was 29-19 with a 3.10 ERA.  This guy is the best of example of a phenom pitcher capturing a city by storm.  At age 21, Mark Fidrych blitzed onto the scene with a 19-9 record, with leading the league in ERA (2.34) and CG (24), even though he did not make his first start until early May.  He won the ‘Rookie of the Year’ award and his pitching galvanized the city of Detroit despite a 74-87 season.  Fidrych displayed some of the weirdest antics on the mound.  He would fix scuffs on his cleats, talk to the baseballs, manicure the pitching mound and throw back baseballs to the home umpire he thought ‘were going to make him give up hits.’  As a tall and lanky player, with constant body-jerk movements, he was given the nickname ‘The Bird” with his likeness to Sesame Streets character ‘Big Bird.’  Fidrych had his own fans come out for games at Tiger Stadium.  These fans were often referred to as ‘Bird Watchers.’  He was a big draw for attendance for both home and road games.  His 16 starts drew half of the teams 81 home games attendance in 1976.  Fidrych was truly a national celebrity by the time he started his second year.  However, a torn rotator cuff plagued him for the remainder of his brief career, as it went improperly diagnosed until Dr. James Andrews saw him in the mid 80’s.  Fidrych was still a popular figure around MLB until he was killed while working on his truck in an accident in April of 2009.

 Kerry Wood- Career Record is 86-73 with 3.64 ERA.  Still only age 34 right now, Kerry Wood has been pitching in the Majors since 1998.  In his 5th start as a player at age 21, Wood turned in one of the best all time single game performances.  The man struck 20 batters in tying Roger Clemens established record.  There were only two batters to reach base, a hit batsmen and a questionable hit that could have easily been scored an error, prevented Wood from throwing a no-hitter or perfect game.  Instantly Wood’s name was recognizable across the Cubs fans.  This was the year that Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa were going toe to toe in the historic single season homer chase, yet  Wood was just as popular at Wrigley Field.  Soreness in his elbow forced Wood to miss the last month of the season.  He still registered a 13-6 record, en route to a ‘Rookie of the Year’ award.  Wood spent 1999 on the shelf, from there he struck out 200 batters or more in three of the next four season.  In 2003, the ace teamed up with Mark Prior to deliver a great regular season that ultimately led to a 3-2 lead in the NLCS before the Marlins came back to win the NL Championship (Bartman).  The next 4 seasons were marred by injury, as neither he nor Prior could stay healthy for the Cubs.  It was only a move to the bullpen that finally saw him revive his career in 2007.  Wood was part of 2 division championships in his time with the Cubs, but the one that was sweeter was the 2008 season.  He made the All-Star team as a reliever and the fans were able to cheer for him on a regular basis again.  That season he converted 34 of 39 saves.  After decent years with Cleveland and New York in 2009 & 2010, Wood took less money to return to the city that he loves and started his career with.  Chicago fans will always return the love back for Wood.  He is where he ought to be, wearing number 34 for the Cubs.

So who might be the new pitcher to take on this mantra?  Could it be Matt Moore?  Or maybe it will be Stephen Strasburg in a larger sampling?  Whoever it is, that MLB team and/or baseball will be better served with another new pitching phenom entering its ranks!

 

*** Thank you to our Baseball Writer- Doug Booth for preparing today’s feature on MLB reports.  To learn more about “The Fastest 30 Ballgames” and Doug Booth, you can follow Doug on Twitter (@ChuckBooth3024) and click here Doug’s website, fastestthirtyballgames.com*** 

 

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.

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