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MLB Odds To Win The 2014 Divisions – With Full Breakdowns After 1 Week

The Yankees are leading the AL East, having won 4 of their last 5 games - after dropping 2 straight to begin the year.  As the listed #3 team in the division, their +275 odd is a nice bit of value, and it flies onto the radar of one the best bets of the week.

The Yankees are leading the AL East, having won 4 of their last 5 games – after dropping 2 straight to begin the year. As the listed #3 team in the division, their +275 odd is a nice bit of value, and it flies onto the radar of one the best bets of the week.  Of course they do have a tough schedule coming up in April – with 7 games versus Boston, 4 versus Tampa, and 3 game sets with the Angels and Mariners will not be a picnic either.  Still the team looks better than everyone thought with their pitching, and they can actually manufacture runs with new found team speed.  My gut would still be with Tampa or Boston to win out the AL East, but the value is just not there this week.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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We wake this morning to see the betting world has finally clued in the Tampa Bay Rays are a good team.  What is weird about this is that it comes off the heels of them losing their 2nd straight and falling to 4 – 4.

The Yankees are now favored 3rd in the AL East.  Even with Mark Teixeira going down to injury, I like this club.  For a change, they have finally been seeded 3rd in the Division – yet they are leading the AL Beast after week 1.

Boston showed many weaknesses versus the Milwaukee Brewers.  One of my things I also wrote about in their season preview is that they will miss Jacoby Ellsbury, and that no one in their OF will see 500+ AB.

Also worth mentioning is that the Jays are tied for the 13th best World Series odd at +2500, yet are listed as #4 in the AL East,  Stay away from this team in all directions for these odds.

Yankees Roll Call – Opening Day @ Yankee Stadium Apr.07, 2014

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Triple Play Podcast Episode 2 Of 2014: Empire State Of Mind: NYM + NYY + TOR Chat

 

The Triple Play Show will have 5 shows per month.  Each show will be about 1 hour

The Triple Play Show will have 2 shows per month. Each show will be about 1 hour. Chuck Booth will guest once a month for MLB  Reports Power Rankings,

By The Big Ticket Show ( AKA Triple Play Podcast on http://www.mlbreports.com)

Mike Silva (Radio Host 1240 AM WGBB, Long Island New York – 19 Minute Mark and a 31 Min segment) )

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New York, New York big city of dreams where not everything is as it seems, so we had Mike Silva (http://www.mikesilvamedia.com)of WGBB1240 AM break down the Mets and a bit of the Yankees + our new Mt .Flushmore segment. Read the rest of this entry

30 MLB Team Power Rankings: April

The Tigers fought off a tough KC club in the 1st series and now have battled their own bullpen and injury woes to be the only unbeaten team.  Add that to one of the weaker divisions, and you see the #1 ranked team in our list this week.

The Tigers fought off a tough KC club in the 1st series and now have battled their own bullpen and injury woes against the Orioles -  to be the only unbeaten team left in the MLB a. Add that to one of the weaker divisions, and you see the #1 ranked team in our list this week.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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Well, we have seen one week come and go.  It is important to realize that only about 3% of the entire season has gone by.

People tend to panic when their team isn’t doing so well, and some fanbases are ready to project their club as a playoff contender.

While it is still a good idea never to bury yourself with a bad first few week or 2, as long as you are hovering around the .500 clip, you should be fine.

How we do these rankings at the MLB Reports is based on 1 thing.  The chances of the club winning the World Series.

After all, that is why we have 45 days of Spring Training, 186 days in the regular season, and another 30 or so in the playoffs.

Some teams will have their number predicated on the strength of their divisions are not.

Nearly 47% of any teams schedule is within their own division.  So the AL East and NL West would be tough divisions.

The NL East and AL Central have 2 playoff contenders in each division, while 3 teams may be easier opponents. Read the rest of this entry

The New York Yankees Organizational Depth Charts (All Affiliates) – Spring 2014 (Majors and Minors)

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

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Brian Cashman has signed 10 new Free Agents this winter, and also made a mockery of the waiver wire list, with his 2013 pluckings last campaign to aid an injury riddled squad of veterans.

Simply put, this franchise has done a brutal job of drafting over the course of the last decade or so. Cashman has to take his share of the blame for that.

Luckily for the big market club, these can be overlooked when you feature a payroll in the $235 MIL range.

Having said this, the cupboard is not bare in the Minor Leagues. Read the rest of this entry

The Homer Bailey Extension Is Good For The Short Term In Cincy: Not Sure About The Long – Term Though

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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Homer Bailey may be the 3rd Starting Pitcher on the depth chart, but he happened to be the 1st guy up on Free Agency out of Mat Latos (2016 FA) and Johnny Cueto (2016 FA).

For this reason alone, I like the team extending the 27 Year Old to a 6 YR deal worth a minimum of $105 MIL, and with a Mutual Option for $25 MIL for the 2020 campaign – that could make it a 7 YRs/$125 MIL pact.

The deal starts off pretty good for dollar sense in the first two years, with Bailey making $8 MIL in 2014, and $9 MIL in 2015.

From there if I can borrow a line from Anchorman “That escalated quickly”, the next few years go like this, $18 MIL, $19 MIL, $21 MIL and $23 MIL for the years starting in 2016 – and finishing in 2019. Read the rest of this entry

Top 5 HR Hitters In The MLB For 2014

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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You may be surprised at who I am going to pick to lead the Majors in tater – trots this upcoming campaign.  The names may not be foreign, yet I am betting on a couple of comebacks.

This is all really a crapshoot with injuries, lineups, whether or not a guy has protection in the lineup.

I also think this will be another season without a 50+ HR mark.  God I would love to be wrong.  Nothing would make me happier than someone approaching 60 RoundTrippers.

While it is a sham that Roger Maris‘s 61 HR year of 1961 has been dwarfed by the ‘PED’ use era, a lot of purists would still look favorably at somebody passing this mark clean for a change.

If a batter does it in the American League, then it would break the former Yankees Slugger’s AL record.

Just falling short of this list will be Pedro Alvarez, Paul Goldschmidt, Ryan Braun and Bryce Harper. I believe those gentlemen may hit in the high 30′s for HRs. Read the rest of this entry

The Top 50 Contracts Of ALL – Time IN MLB: Freddie Freeman Is 29th With His New Deal – But It Makes Sense

Freddie Freeman Highlights 2013 – Mature Content – Parental Guidance is Advised

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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Freddie Freeman is worth the money he just signed for when it comes to his talent level, age and production thus far.

Yesterday, the 24 Year Old First Baseman inked a 8 YR deal worth $135 MIL with the Tomahawk Choppers.  As someone who was just entering the 1st year of Arbitration Eligibility, he was bought out of that negotiation.

The Braves will pay more money in the short – term, but will make up for it in the long run – by not having to dole out 200+ MIL bucks for the guy once he could have hit Free Agency. Read the rest of this entry

For Those Thinking The Yankees Are So Much Older Than The Red Sox, Think Again

With spending $503 MIL on contracts this winter, however they are not as old of a club as they were last year.  That doesn't mean the problem won't come back in future years, it just means this is their best year to compete for some time.

With spending $503 MIL on contracts this winter, however they are not as old of a club as they were last year. That doesn’t mean the problem won’t come back in future years, it just means this is their best year to compete for some time.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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I am not a Yankees fan, and am definitely not a Red Sox fan either, however it is funny how this rivalry has captivated most baseball followers.

After this winter signings have occurred, I finally decided to do some investigating, because of all the venom fired towards the Bronx Bombers.

Immediately after Carlos Beltran signed, you saw, ‘hey, the Yankees are signing old fogies again.’

I also watched as Boston Red Sox Nation piled on the New York franchise for this.

So after reviewing both rosters, guess what….Both teams have similarly aged players.  It is almost dead on. Read the rest of this entry

The Top 50 Contracts Of ALL – Time IN MLB: Masahiro Tanaka Is 18th

Darvish has provided Texas with ace-like material ever since coming over from Japan.  At his current $10 MIL a year salary, he is a complete bargain compared to what Tanaka received from the Yankees.  It was because of the record posting fee the Rangers doled out - to have the exclusive rights to talk to Darvish.  You have to wonder what he must be thinking of the Tanaka deal.  bunch of financial freedom to sign other long term deals.  Darvish finished 2nd in AL CY Young Voting with a 13 - 9 record, a 2.83 ERA and a league leading 277 SO in his 209.2 IP worth of work in 2013.  Darvish's high posting bid was not part of his salary, or converted towards the total team payroll.

Darvish has provided Texas with ace-like material ever since coming over from Japan. At his current $10 MIL a year salary, he is a complete bargain compared to what Tanaka received from the Yankees. It was because of the record posting fee the Rangers doled out – to have the exclusive rights to talk to Darvish. You have to wonder what he must be thinking of the Tanaka deal. Texas reaped the benefits of financial freedom to sign other long term deals like Choo, and acquire Fielder based on this move. Darvish finished 2nd in AL CY Young Voting with a 13 – 9 record, a 2.83 ERA and a league leading 277 SO in his 209.2 IP worth of work in 2013. His high posting bid was not part of his salary, or converted towards the total team payroll.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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With Masahiro Tanaka’s new deal – for the 1st time all of the MLB’s ALL-Time top 50 contracts are $100 MIL or more.

Adam Wainwright was effectively bumped out of the #50 slot, leaving 4 guys tied for 47th, all registering deals of $100 MIL (Carlos Lee, Ryan Zimmerman, Albert Pujols (2004 – 2010) and Evan Longoria.

Masahiro Tanaka also joins Robinson CanoClayton KershawShin-Soo Choo and new teammate Jacoby Ellsbury, as players that have made it to the list this offseason.

Masahiro Tanaka’s Japan Highlights

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“The Record” Clayton Kershaw Contract By The Numbers: How It All Stacks Up

Clayton Kershaw has agreed to a 7 YRs/$215 MIL extension t- that will run through the years of 2014 - 2020 with the LA Dodgers.   The deal is slated for an opt out clause after the 2018 season by Kershaw, when he will be only 30 years old.

Clayton Kershaw has agreed to a 7 YRs/$215 MIL extension – that will run through the years of 2014 – 2020 with the LA Dodgers. The deal is slated for an opt out clause after the 2018 season by Kershaw, when he will be only 30 years old.  The terms go like this for years.  2014:  $22 MIL ( $18 MIL signing bonus is part of that), 2015: $30 MIL, 2016: $32 MIL, 2017 and 2018 he will earn $33 MIL).  From here that will have been $150 MIL for the 1st 5 years of the contract.  If Kershaw remains past this, the deal pays $32 MIL in 2019 – and finally $33 MIL in 2020.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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The verdict is in.  Clayton Kershaw has agreed to a 7 YR Extension for $215 Million.

It is the highest Annual Average Contract ($30.7 MIL) in the history of Major League Baseball, topping A-Rod’s previously set deal worth $27.5 MIL.

The deal is also the richest contract ever in Pitching history – surpassing Justin Verlander’s 7 YRs/$180 MIL extension from 2013 – 2019.

It is the 6th highest deal ever in the MLB, and Kershaw becomes the 7th player ever to receive a contract north of $200 MIL.

Clayton Kershaw Highlights 2013

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Don’t Believe Everything You Read: A Response to The New Normal For the New York Yankees- Part II

Alfonso Soriano came back to New York - and thrashed on the competition, with 17 HRs and 50 RBI - in just 58 games with the Bronx Bombers.  He also snuck in 18 SB for the campaign, but nobody even noticed.  Still the experts have failed to recognize that the offense was significantly better once this man entered the fray.  Even with his 38 year old season coming up, it is entirely possible he could club another 25 - 30 HRs and approach 85 - 95 RBI out of the DH slot.

Alfonso Soriano came back to New York – and thrashed on the competition, with 17 HRs and 50 RBI – in just 58 games with the Bronx Bombers. He also snuck in 18 SB for the campaign, but nobody even noticed. Still the experts have failed to recognize that the offense was significantly better once this man entered the fray. Even with his 38 year old season coming up, it is entirely possible he could club another 25 – 30 HRs and approach 85 – 95 RBI out of the DH slot.  Along with McCann, Beltran, Ellsbury, a potentially full year of Teixeira and Jeter, this lineup is a hell of a lot different from the team that limped to a 85 – 77 mark for the 2013 year.

By Nicholas Rossoletti (Yankees Correspondent/Trade Correspondent):

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As with the first part of this piece, this article is in response to a piece written for Grantland by Rany Jazayerli (which can be found here) that paints a fairly negative picture of the near-future for the New York Yankees.

Once again, I would encourage everyone to visit Grantland.com as it is a one stop shop for some of the best internet based writers on the planet. 

Again, a quick thank you to Fangraphs.com and Baseball-reference.com.

Those organizations are a huge reason for the increased understanding and intelligent discussion relating to baseball over the last decade, and they are used throughout as resources for all advanced statistics. 

If you aren’t reading the content on those sites, I would strongly suggest you do.

We will start with our Point/Counter-Point structure with a discussion of the new Yankee line-up, and more so, the effect of the departure of Robinson Cano on that lineup.

For Part 1 Of Don’t Believe Everything You Read:  A Response to The New Normal click here.

Alfonso 2013 Highlights as a Cub and a Yankee – Mature Lyrics so Parental Guidance Is Advised


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Don’t Believe Everything You Read: A Response to The New Normal For the New York Yankees- Part I

Opinions have varied wildly about the effect on the wholesale changes to the New York Yankees roster.  This piece is in response to in response to a piece written for Grantland by Rany Jazayerli (which can be found here  http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/10150907/the-new-normal-new-york-yankees).

Opinions have varied wildly about the effect on the wholesale changes to the New York Yankees roster. This piece is in response to in response to a piece written for Grantland by Rany Jazayerli (which can be found here lower in a link icon in the 1st couple of lines.)  As the Yankees Correspondent for the MLB Reports, I felt I needed to address the merits of the topic in question, make some counterparts, in order to move the dialogue from a slightly different perspective.

By Nicholas Rossoletti (Yankees Correspondent/Trade Correspondent):

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Before we get started, I wanted to give credit where credit is absolutely due.

This piece is in response to a piece written for Grantland by Rany Jazayerli (which can be found here) that paints a fairly negative picture of the near-future for the New York Yankees.

If you haven’t been to Grantland.com for sports and entertainment news and opinions, you are missing out.  Some of the best work in the business. 

All advanced statistics (and other statistics) are courtesy of our friends at Fangraphs.com and Baseball-reference.com

As always, we appreciate those sites making the information available to be able to debate the game we love. For ease to the reader, the response has been broken into two parts.  This is part one of the response.

Part 2 of the Don’t Believe Everything You Read: A Response to The New Normal For the New York Yankees click here

New York Yankees 2013 Year Highlights – With Full Credit Going To The YES Network

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The Top 50 Contracts Of All – Time In The MLB

Technically A-Rod has received the two top contracts in baseball history, however he opted out after the 2007 year for the 1st one, so really it was a 7 Year Deal worth approximately $158 MIL that was paid out to him between 2000 and the end of the year in 2007.  Rodriguez contract from 2008 - 2017 also includes $30 MIL worth of player performances for passing milestones.

Technically A-Rod has received the two top contracts in baseball history, however he opted out after the 2007 year for the 1st one, so really it was a 7 Year Deal worth approximately $158 MIL that was paid out to him between 2000 and the end of the year in 2007. Rodriguez contract from 2008 – 2017 also includes $30 MIL worth of player performances for passing milestones.

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

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I start this paragraph saying that it blows my mind away that Alex Rodriguez has the #1 and #2 best contracts of ALL-Time.  This is sick.

At least he might forfeit up to $21 MIL of his salary in 2014, and another $5 – $7 MIL in 2015 – if the 211 game ban sticks. 

Therefore can we really say that he would have the top 2 earnings leaders for any given contract?  He would have to give up $27.51 MIL of it for that to happen.

Pujols would take over the reigns as the #2 contract with his 10 YRs/$250 MIL deal then.

Some of them are classic overpays, and others actually have netted the franchise their true value back and then more.  You can be your own judge.

Albert Pujols 2012 Highlight Mix – Mature Lyrics So Parental Guidance is Advised

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Brian McCann Signing Proves The Yankees Are Not Thinking About A Rebuild: Try A Reload!

The near 30 Year old McCann has clubbed 20+ HRs in 7 of his 8 seasons, including smacking 20 in 2013 - in just 356 AB.  His Career 3 Slash is .277/.350/.823.  McCann could also be used as a DH by the team to maximize his AB.  McCann will be the best offensive Catcher in the Bronx since the days of Jorge Posada.  Each one of the Yankees big runs at World Series Titles have had great Catchers.

The near 30 Year old McCann has clubbed 20+ HRs in 7 of his 8 seasons, including smacking 20 in 2013 – in just 356 AB. His Career 3 Slash is .277/.350/.823. McCann could also be used as a DH by the team to maximize his AB. McCann will be the best offensive Catcher in the Bronx since the days of Jorge Posada. Each one of the Yankees dynasty’s  at World Series Titles have had great Catchers.  New York has set themselves up nicely for the 2014 year.  They must now wait on the Alex Rodriguez hearing before they can set how much money they can spend next campaign.

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

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For those people who thought the Yankees were going to begin a rebuild project in the Bronx, forget about it.

This is the 27 time World Series Champions way of saying, “we intend to be around for a long time.”

The Yankees will still try to come under the $189 Luxury Tax Threshold, but that doesn’t mean they wont finagle around it with the Free Agents they bring in for next year.

Brian McCann was just the 1st strike.  Count on them bringing back Robinson Cano, and at least 2 Starting Pitchers.

Brian McCann Highlights

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The Phillies State Of The Union: Hitters Edition + They Should Give A Full Chance To Darin Ruf In 2014

The Phillies are to the NL what the Yankees are to the AL, and old and expensive team.  They had their 1st losing campaign in over a decade, and are without a 3rd Baseman, Catcher and possibly an OF to fill the holes.  That is if they end up resigning Doc Halladay.  But 2013 wasn't an entire loss.  Performances by Domonic Brown and Darin Ruf have to give the management some hope.  Playing guys under team control, low payroll deals will enable the franchise the flexibility to pursue high end talent in Free Agency.  Today, I explain how the Phightins' can do this.

The Phillies are to the NL what the Yankees are to the AL, and old and expensive team. They had their 1st losing campaign in over a decade, and are without a 3rd Baseman, Catcher and possibly an OF to fill the holes. That is if they end up resigning Doc Halladay. But 2013 wasn’t an entire loss. Performances by Domonic Brown and Darin Ruf have to give the management some hope. Playing guys under team control, low payroll deals will enable the franchise the flexibility to pursue high end talent in Free Agency. Today, I explain how the Phightins’ can do this.  How will the team fare under 2nd year skipper Ryne Sandberg – after a 20 – 22 finish?

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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2014 was a tough year on the Phillies.  For one, the fact that the MLB Reports is having an Awareness Day for them today, based on them having the 7th worst record (73 – 89) in the Majors during 2013 is mind – boggling.

We are talking about a team that had 5 Division Titles in a row (2007 – 2011), a huge payroll, and a bountiful nest of ALL – Stars to hit in the lineup, and in the Starting Rotation.

Much like the Yankees though, their core is all hitting their waning years.  Chase Utley, Ryan Howard and Jimmy Rollins are having a tough time staying on the field to be productive.

2013 was always going to be about the team resurrecting its status as an NL Elite, instead they saw Roy Halladay blow up before their eyes, Cole Hamels struggle, and nobody was there to save them.

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

Darin Ruf’s Towering Shot in Aug of 2013

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Mr. Fielder’s Name Might Be Prince, But He Is No King Of The Playoffs!

In 39 games for his Playoff Career, he holds a miniature .194 batting average with 5 home runs and 11 RBIs.  This Playoff stretch of 11 Games in 2013 - there were no big flies and not even a solitary RBI.  Fielder had 9 Hits out of 40 AB (.225) with just one Double.fans, we cannot blame Prince Fielder for wanting to play everyday. When you are going through personal issues, you may like to keep busy to stay away from the negative. You just have to wonder that if Fielder didn’t have an active consecutive games streak, would Leyland have rested him already. The bat points towards yes.

In 39 games for his Playoff Career, he holds a miniature .194 batting average with 5 home runs and 11 RBIs. This Playoff stretch of 11 Games in 2013 – there were no big flies and not even a solitary RBI. Fielder had 9 Hits out of 40 AB (.225) with just one Double.fans, we cannot blame Prince Fielder for wanting to play everyday. When you are going through personal issues, you may like to keep busy to stay away from the negative. You just have to wonder that if Fielder didn’t have an active consecutive games streak, would Leyland have rested him down the stretch when they had a commanding lead over the rest of the AL Central?. The bat points towards yes.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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I am still amazed that the Boston Red Sox won the ALCS.  I mean they were leading Game #2  5 – 1 in the Bottom of the 8th, and the Red Sox players had a collective Batting Average – not much higher than their wives watching the game.

Cue in David Ortiz‘s Grand Slam HR to tie the game – and pesto, the fortunes of the Boston club were soon changed with a win in the 9th.

The Red Sox only managed to squeak a HR from Mike Napoli in Game #3 to top Justin Verlander.  They had another crazy Grand Slam HR hit against them by Shane Victorino in the Bottom of the 8th in Game #6 to seal their playoff fate

I am also at a loss for words, that throughout the ALCS/NLCS, that Clayton Kershaw, Justin Verlander, Adam Wainwright and Max Scherzer failed to win a game this round, yet other than Kershaw’s poor performance in Game #6 of the NLCS, these Cy Young Pitchers were virtually unhittable, but couldn’t win buy some run support.

Then there is Prince Fielder.  I have been friends with Chuck Booth for 20 years, and he nailed it perfectly with the Reports in their coverage on this guy for the 2013 year.

Prince Fielder 2013 Highlights – Mature Lyrics so Parental guidance is advised.

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2 And A Hook Podcast #15: AL Wild Card Race Breakdown, NL Central Chat + The BallPark Pass-Port Inventor

The 2 And A Hook Podcast will be running 7 consecutive shows on Thursdays Sept. 19 + 26, and Oct 3,10,17,24,31) - Join us for our extensive playoff coverage from Chuck Booth, Chris Lacey, James Acevedo and many other guests!

The 2 And A Hook Podcast will be running 8 consecutive shows on Thursdays Sept. 19 + 26, and Oct 3,10,17,24,31) – Join us for our extensive playoff coverage from Chuck Booth, Chris Lacey, James Acevedo and many other guests!

’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 show, brought to you by www.mlbreports.com 

& yours truly The Bench Warmers Show.

I start it off with talking about the Yankees chances of getting the 2nd Wild Card Spot & giving them props for having a good season no matter what happens..

CLICK THE READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY ICON or CLICK PAST THE MLB REPORTS LOGO

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The Yankees Keep The Pedal To The Metal For A Playoff Spot

Despite not having a top Catcher in the mix, and also not wishing for Soriano to be a Yankee, Cashman has still done a decent job maneuvering the team through some murky times, by finding a bunch of guys on the scrap heap, to help this club.  Recently, the teams offense is resembling the 'Bronx Bombers' mantra, and the club has gone 22 - 11 over their last 33 game, to pull within 1 game of the last playoff spot, with 15 games left on the schedule.

Despite not having a top Catcher in the mix, and also not wishing for Soriano to be a Yankee, Cashman has still done a decent job maneuvering the team through some murky times, by finding a bunch of guys on the scrap heap, to help this club. Recently, the teams offense is resembling the ‘Bronx Bombers’ mantra, and the club has gone 22 – 12 over their last 34 game, to pull within 1 game of the last playoff spot, with 15 games left on the schedule.

By Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst and Website Owner)

This season has seen the Yankees face a multitude of injuries to their best players, plus a lot of the key components to the 2012 version of the club are playing elsewhere.

The Bronx Bombers surprising flew out of the gate in April, led by Vernon Wells and Travis Hafner of all people.  If it weren’t for New York, Wells would be rusting on the Anaheim bench, and “Pronk” might be looking for work still.

Despite a fast start, the team was counting on Curtis Granderson and Derek Jeter to return after a few weeks into the season, both of them ended up going back on the DL.  Jeter is now on his 4th stint on the Disabled List – and is out for the remainder of the regular year.

I will say that while I was ultra choked at Brian Cashman for not bringing in an experienced Catcher like A.J. Pierzynski, or potentially trading for a guy like John Buck, that he did acquire Vernon Wells and brought back Alfonso Soriano.

I wrote an article back when Curtis Granderson was hurt in the preseason, that these should be the 1st and 2nd options for the team (Soriano and Wells.  It simply made sense for this year, and even for the 2014 year.

In early July, right before the ALL – Star break, the Yankees were hovering around .500 again, and I send it was time for the team’s Management to become ‘Riverboat Gamblers.’

Alfonso Soriano 2 HR Game August versus the Angels

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30 MLB Team Power Rankings: Audio Version

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Monday, Aug.12, 2013

The Triple Play Show will have 5 shows per month.  Each show will be about 1 hour

The Triple Play Show will have 5 shows per month. Each show will be about 1 hour. Chuck Booth will guest once a month for MLB Power Rankings,

By The Big Ticket Show ( AKA Triple Play Podcast on http://www.mlbreports.com)

Patrick sits in as the Producer and only representative of the Big Ticket Show – and Chuck Booth joins him to break down all 30 current rankings, plus what the clubs are up to.

To listen to the audio for this Click the READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY logo or past the Triple Play Logo. 

If you want the written version of these rankings click here Read the rest of this entry

MLB 30 Team Power Rankings: Week 20

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Sunday Aug.11/2013

Texas has fought off a July slump - and are 9 - 1 in their last 10 games.  They have added reinforcements in the way of Alex Rios and Matt Garza.  If they can just hold the course - and win the AL West, they have the horses and experience to challenge every other team.  The club was the biggest mover upwards in our rankings this week - going from #10 - #4

Texas has fought off a July slump – and are 9 – 1 in their last 10 games. They have added reinforcements in the way of Alex Rios and Matt Garza. If they can just hold the course – and win the AL West, they have the horses and experience to challenge every other team in October. The club was the biggest mover upwards in our rankings this week – going from #10 – #4.  It was not too long ago that the Rangers were sitting at just a half – dozen games above .500 – and behind the playoff bar.

Audio Version Of These Power Rankings

Audio Monthly Rankings – Aug

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

It is time for the MLB Power Rankings.  These are based on my thoughts on whether who has the best chance to win the World Series.

A lot of these positions are based on who has the toughest Strength of Schedule left, who their competition is for the Division, and possibly even the League they are in,

The races for the Divisions in the NL are becoming less competitive every week.  The NL East and NL West look to be done.  The Pirates are within weeks of ending a 20 year playoff drought.

The Braves rattled off a 14 game winning streak – and should cruise to the NL East crown.

The Athletics are in big trouble with some of their talented offensive players not putting up numbers like they did in 2012.  They now find themselves in 2nd place in the AL West.

Adrian Beltre 2 HR day in July

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Who Has Earned Their $ – And Who Has Not: The Top MLB Contracts Of All – Time Part 1 of 10

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Saturday Aug.10/2013

Mike Piazza has been linked to admission of using PED's during.  his career.  This will probably not go down favorably with the BBWAA.  Mike Piazza hit 427 HRs in his MLB Career (397 as a Catcher) to go along with a .308 Avg and 1335 RBI.

Mike Piazza has been linked to admission of using PED’s during. his career. This will probably not go down favorably with the BBWAA towards an entry into the Baseball Hall of Fame. Mike Piazza hit 427 HRs in his MLB Career (397 as a Catcher) to go along with a .308 Avg and 1335 RBI. From 1999 – 2005, he signed a 7 YR/$91 MIL deal with the New York Mets after being acquired from the Miami Marlins.  He was full value for the franchise, hitting for a 3 Slash Line of .296/.373/.915.  In the 7 years of his deal, he blasted 197 HRs and drove in 579 RBI – despite missing half of the 2003 year.  He was the most prolific hitting Catcher during the era.

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

In doing a recent article about the Oakland Athletics and Tampa Bay Rays ways of contracts, I thought I would delve into some of the biggest contracts of ALL – Time – in order to dissect them.

I have decided to break the articles up into a 10 part series that will go through the top 53 contracts in the history of the MLB.  We are going to count backwards.

Each week for the next 2 months, there will be a post over the weekend with a set of 5 or 6 players. 

At the MLB Reports, we are committed to being the best overall payroll/roster/depth chart/state of the union site for each club. Bookmark our page dedicated for keeping track of this here.

Signing high 8 or 9 digit Salaries is a risky business that can cripple a franchise for many years.  I mean who wouldn’t want to shed themselves of the biggest Free Agency contracts of late.

I think once we have gone through these all, you will see most of them have not lived up to the value they did – when they first received their deals.

Billy Beane, The A’s Management, The Rays front office and the Braves have been the best run franchises in terms of not making horrendous mistakes.

I have to give the ultimate edge to the A’s and Rays because of B.J. Upton‘s current 5 YR/$75 MIL contract looks to be the worst FA signing ever presently, he fell just short of being in this list.’

Tied for #49 are 5 players, and the 48 th biggest contract belongs to Mike Piazza.

Mike Piazza Post 9/11 HR

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To Buy Or Not To Buy, That Is The Question For NYY? Soriano Deal Looks Imminent

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Tuesday, July 23, 2013

The trade deadline is quickly approaching, and there is very little doubt in the Bronx what the Yankees need.  For the first time since 1990, the Yankee offense is one of the worst in baseball. If there is any hope that the Yankees can compete for a playoff spot, the front office has to add pieces to the anemic Yankee lineup.

The trade deadline is quickly approaching, and there is very little doubt in the Bronx what the Yankees need. For the first time since 1990, the Yankee offense is one of the worst in baseball. If there is any hope that the Yankees can compete for a playoff spot, the front office has to add pieces to the anemic Yankee lineup. The Bronx Bombers are reeling out of the ALL – Star Break, dropping 3 of 4 – and 5 of their last 7 overall.  They need a quick resurgence, as the Rays have won 18 out of 20, while the Orioles have won 5 games in a row to both leapfrog them in the standings.  The Yankees begin play today 4.5 Games Behind the Playoff Bar.

By Nicholas Rossoletti (Yankees Correspondent/Trade Correspondent):

The dog days of summer have arrived.  Every team has played in excess of 90 games, and the All-Star break has come and gone.  At this point, it seems only right that we discuss the Yankees as either buyers or sellers at the trade deadline.

 Going into Sunday, the Yankees were 6 games behind the Red Sox for first place and were 8 games over .500, which is good for fourth in the uber-competitive American League East.  

Certainly, a playoff spot is still available to the Yankees at this point, and I believe that if you are the Yankees you have to at least examine the market to find what offensive help is available.

The Yankees have pitched well throughout the first half and have both David Phelps and Michael Pineda returning from injury in the next few weeks so the team has enough pitching to get them through the second half and potentially into a playoff spot.  

The major issue has been and will continue to be the once vaunted Yankees offense is a shadow of its former self.

ALFONSO SORIANO ON THE THROW DOWN:

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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 #10: All Star Chat, Yankees, Dbacks + Trade Deadline Talk

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Friday, July.12, 2013

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

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

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

By James Acevedo – Host (Podcast Veteran )

Guests On The Show

Im back & ready after being off during the 4th of July week to give you all another baseball packed podcast. On today’s show, brought to you by MLB Reports ( www.mlbreports.com ) & yours truly The Bench Warmers Show.

I star by paying respect to the great Yankee Stadium PA announcer Bob Sheppard on the 3 year anniversary to the day that he passed away…

I talk to the boss man Chuck Booth as he returns to do his segment!  16 Minutes in and a 31 Minute Segment

Chuck makes some notions about the New York Yankees and Brian Cashman needing to risk it all for this year – for the legacies of Derek Jeter, Andy Pettitte, Mariano Rivera and Robinson Cano.  Plus whether the club can trade Joba Chamberlain and Phil Hughes – and maybe acquire a bat. Read the rest of this entry

The NY Yankees Roster Tree Part 1: The Hitters Acquisitions For Each Player

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Tuesday July.09/2013

Derek Jeter starts the 2013 year only 11 hits behind Eddie Collins for 10th place on the ALL-Time hits list.  With a possible Player Option in 2014, - and maybe playing one additional year after - can he hit 327 base knocks to pass Stan Musial for 4th place on the list by that years end?  Will he play beyond this year even?  Derek Jeter was Drafted by the team in 1992 - and represents all that good drafting the team did prior to the new regime

Derek Jeter starts the 2013 year only 11 hits behind Eddie Collins for 10th place on the ALL-Time hits list. With a possible Player Option in 2014, – and maybe playing one additional year after – can he hit 327 base knocks to pass Stan Musial for 4th place on the list by that years end? Will he play beyond this year even? Derek Jeter was Drafted by the team in 1992 – and represents all that good drafting the team did prior to the new regime.

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

At the MLB Reports, we intend to show you the Roster Tree for the Yankees – 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.

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Twins’ Justin Morneau And Josh Willingham Days Are Numbered In Minnesota

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Tuesday, July.02, 2013

The Minnesota Twins are 36-43 on the season, and they are 6.5 games behind division leaders Cleveland Indians and Detroit Tigers.

The Minnesota Twins are 36-43 on the season, and they are 6.5 games behind division leaders Cleveland Indians and Detroit Tigers. It looks they will have another losing season for the team, but there is still a chance they make a run and contend for a division title this season. They do have players that other teams would love to acquire. The only question is how long will they hold on to these players before pulling the trigger on deal. General Manager Terry Ryan will be busy to determine what he can get in return for the players on his roster.

By Chris Lacey (Lead Baseball Columnist/Minority Owner)

The Minnesota Twins are at midpoint in their season and they will have a decision to make with the Trade Deadline only a month away. They will have to make an assessment on their team and determine if they will be a buyer or seller.

The team is currently 4th in the American League Central division with a 36-43 record. They are 6.5  games behind division leaders Cleveland Indians and Detroit Tigers. They are also 8.5 games out of the Wild Card.

Justin Morneau Highlights- So Parental Guidance Is Advised

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The Yanks Are In Desperation Mode + Need Cashman To Be A Riverboat Gambler!

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Monday July.01/2013

The Yankees do have some decent prospects coming along the way like Mason Willians, Tyler Austin, Will the club stay true to their word and go under the 189 Million Dollar Luxury Tax Threshold next year?  If yes, the club could struggle for a few years like it hasn't for two decades.  Meanwhile, who cares about 2013's payroll.  The club will stand to receive over $50 MIL in insurance dough for their hurt players.  Why not reinvest the loot - and take some free swinging stabs?

The Yankees do have some decent prospects coming along the way like Mason Willians, Tyler Austin and Gary Sanchez. Will the club stay true to their word and go under the 189 Million Dollar Luxury Tax Threshold next year? If yes, the club could struggle for a few years like it hasn’t for two decades. Meanwhile, who cares about 2013′s payroll. The club will stand to receive over $50 MIL in insurance dough for their hurt players. Why not reinvest the loot – and take some free swinging stabs?  The club begins play today at 42 – 38, 4 games out of playoff spot, but 17 -24 in their last 41 Games Played.  They play 2 series versus the Twins, and also have  other series versus the Indians and Royals before the Break.  Will they make hay, or freefall by then?

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

It wasn’t always a rosy picture for the New York Yankee fanbase after the 1982 season.  In 1985, I became a fan of the team and Don Mattingly when I saw them smoke the Toronto Blue Jays like 22 – 0 or something on a  Nationally televised game.

My dad was a huge Thurman Munson fan – and told me the legend of the Yankees when I started being able to hear.  I even caught like his hero in little leaguie.  Sometimes you pick up your love for the team based on your dad.

We still both love them to this day.  I was there for 11 years of struggling from 1985 – 1995.  Even when the club cashed in their 1st World Series in 1996, to me while it was cool, it would have been so much better had ‘Donnie Baseball’ been part of the ride.

The Bronx Bombers ripping off 3 more titles from 1998 – 2000 – and then another in 2009, have made me happy to be a fan.  It is not just the playoffs that I have savored.  This team has averaged 94 – 95 wins for the last 20 seasons.

The Yankees would be lucky to be in the 2013 ALCS like 2012

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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 Yankees Youth Movement

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Monday, June 24/2013

The Yankees find themselves in the unfamiliar territory of having to rely on younger players to get the team back to the post-season.  Hopefully, the youth movement in the Bronx can help keep the Yankees competitive.

The Yankees find themselves in the unfamiliar territory of having to rely on younger players to get the team back to the post-season. Hopefully, the youth movement in the Bronx can help keep the Yankees competitive. Almonte, Adams and Romine, who is exactly are these guys?  3 guys whom have seen regular duty in the lineup over the last few weeks.  The Yankees managed to take the 1st 2 games of their weekend  series with Tampa before losing the series finale on Sunday.  At 41 – 34, they start play today at 2.5 Games Behind the Boston Red Sox in the AL East.  A Division in which all teams are over .500.

By Nicholas Rossoletti (Yankees Correspondent/Trade Correspondent):

As I sit here typing this, I feel a bit out of my element.  My own life has been very much a roller coaster of late.  I’m in the process of moving out of a place I’ve called home for the last four years.  I’ve been traveling for most of the month, and generally, I feel about as out of touch with the Yankees as I have in quite a long time.

After preaching patience to Yankee fans everywhere over the last several months, its become abundantly clear that those All-Stars I’ve been waiting on to carry the team back to October may not show up.  Mark Teixeira is back on the Disabled List with his bothersome wrist. Curtis Granderson just had pins removed from his hand and has yet to take a rehab swing.

Kevin Youkilis‘ back may end his career.  Alex Rodriguez, well, is actually putting on a show in rehab, but god only knows if and when he will face the wrath of Major League Baseball for whatever role he played in this Biogenesis noise. 2013 was supposed to be the final ride of this Yankees group with the serious regrowing pains coming in 2014 and beyond.

In addition to the absolutely atrocious injuries, the glass slipper has shattered for the replacement Yankees, who carried the team through April.  Vernon Wells, the most notable of the slumping replacements, has given the team little to no reason to continue to give him run.  

After writing several pieces begging for patience and instructing fans to embrace Wells, I will admit to having a bit of mud on my face.  Wells is what most people thought he was.  An expensive piece with just enough left in his bat to give you a bit of hope.  I was hoping for a 1-2 WAR player out of Wells.  It is official.  I am (and/or was) delusional.

ZOILO GOES DEEP:

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Triple Play Podcast Episode #14: Empire State Of Mind: NYY + NYM Chat

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Sunday, June.23, 2013

The Triple Play Show will have 5 shows per month.  Each show will be about 1 hour

The Triple Play Show will have 5 shows per month. Each show will be about 1 hour. Chuck Booth will guest once a month for MLB Power Rankings,

By The Big Ticket Show ( AKA Triple Play Podcast on http://www.mlbreports.com)

Guests in this Podcast – James Acevedo (MLB Reports 2 And A Hook Podcast Host – 42 Minute Mark and a 15 Minute Segment) 

Mike Silva (Radio Host 1240 AM WGBB, Long Island New York – 14 Minute Mark and a 27 Min segment)

New York, New York big city of dreams where not everything is as it seems, so we had Mike Silva of WGBB1240 AM and James Acevedo of the Bench Warmers and 2 and a Hook podcasts come on and break down the Mets and Yankees.Mt Rushmore, BetHubb.com best bets and Blue Jays talk too. Another Home Run show! Read the rest of this entry

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