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Wednesday Mar.6th, 2013
Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner): Follow @chuckbooth3024
I have been communicating with Paula Vaughnn since December of 2011 on www.ballparkchasers.com. She was kind of enough to purchase my book “The Fastest 30 Ball Games.” When I first set out my Guinness World Schedule Streak last year, I was only supposed to use Chase Field on Opening Day (April.6/2012) as an emergency game. Well, the game turned into needing me to crack back the clock and make it Game #1 out of my 30 MLB Park Quest. One of the disappointments was that I was not going to meet Paula in Phoenix for a game later in the month of April.
There are few women around that rival Paula’s fandom in the game. I recently had a chance to ask Paula about her impending trip to all 30 MLB Parks, life in Phoenix Arizona and most importantly about Chase Field.
‘Chase Field’ 2011 ASG Highlights – Mature Lyrics so Parental Guidance is advised:
Wednesday November 7th, 2012
Robert Whitmer: Attitude is everything. When we talk about ways to fix a franchise by taking them from a non-playoff team to a playoff team, attitude is everything. I recently saw a movie that reminded me of something I had forgotten from long ago. The United States Marine Corps have a belief that when you are on the battlefield, your only concern is making sure that the man next to you gets home safe. By doing this, in theory, nobody would get left behind and nobody would be able to be ambushed. Taking this concept and applying it to the Colorado Rockies is the concept that they need to bring in to the organization. The following 5 steps will help install this concept- from the front office, all the way down to the third string bat boy.
1. Signing free agents.
The Rockies don’t necessarily have a hole at first base but they have a guy in Todd Helton that isn’t getting any younger. He is 39 and pushing 40. He can’t really be a viable first base option for much longer. It’s time for them to look younger. Casey Kotchman would be a good person that could spell Helton at times in the late innings or an off day every so often. The other upgrade is in the outfield. One high quality outfielder to pair with Fowler and Gonzalez would be very advantageous for them. BJ Upton would be a great fit with the Rockies and that thin air. If a sign and trade is what needs to be done, then Colvin and LeMahieu for Upton would be good with the Rockies picking up Kelly Johnson or Freddy Sanchez in free agency. Read the rest of this entry
Sunday October 28th, 2012
Jonathan Hacohen: This past spring, I had the chance to converse on the telephone with one of the greatest players of my generation. Middle-of-the-order power bat, combined with gold glove defense. Matt Williams is everything a manager could want in a baseball player. He showed up every day and played the game hard. Ran out every ground ball. Dove for every ball at third base. Consistently got his jersey dirty. Never complained to the media or spoke poorly about management or a teammate. Matt Williams was the ultimate professional, on and off the field. And now here he was, on the other end of the line conversing with me. It will be a baseball talk that I will never forget. Matt Williams has that strong of a presence.
I actually grew up a Giants fan, with the highlight of my baseball life being the 1989 Giants playoff run. But once Matt Williams and Will Clark left the Bay area, I was so devastated that I decided to never forgive the Giants. But I continued to follow the players that I idolized, through the rest of their playing days and into the next phases of their respective careers. Once Comerica Park opened, I grew to adopt the Tigers as my main team. The proximity to Detroit from my hometown made the Tigers a natural fit for me. But I was always a baseball fan first and foremost. If I respected a player, I followed them regardless of the team(s) they played for. Studying the history of the Tigers, I started to think about some of their former players. Kirk Gibson and Alan Trammell came to mind. Both were hard-nosed players who went on to manage in the big leagues. Gibson was a coach under Trammell in Detroit. Now Trammell is the bench coach in Arizona under Kirk Gibson. The team enjoyed an incredible run in 2011 and are still seen as a team on the rise. Ironically enough, Gibson’s third base coach? Matt Williams, of course. Read the rest of this entry
Wednesday June.6, 2012
Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer and @chuckbooth3024 on twitter)- While watching Josh Hamilton this year, I started thinking about the best players in the MLB over the last 33 years. I am talking the best player of the game at any point of time. I tracked back to 1979 for this article. I may expand further back in follow up articles. I did rank defense highly when I came up with the players. I did agonize over Mike Schmidt, Jim Rice, Wade Boggs and Cal Ripken for some of the years given in specific time frames. These gentlemen were given every consideration. In the end, we are talking about the best player in the game though and it is always subject to debate and personal opinion. The criteria had to involve leading the league in several different offensive and/or defensive categories, followed by routinely being in the top 7 in MVP balloting(if not taking home the honor), All-Star Appearances for every year I listed them for and most of them won silver sluggers and/or Gold Gloves as well.
George Brett 1979-1983-George Brett was the best hitter in the game from 1979-1983. He hit for a .320 average and slugged his way to having the Royals as perennial contenders. He led the league in triples (20) and hits in 1979. In 1980, he hit .390 with a .454 OBP, 664 SLG and a 1.118 OBP which led the league. In 1983, Brett led the league in slugging an OPS once again. Brett won the MVP in 1980 and was the runner-up in 1979. In 1985, George Brett would lead the Royals to a World Series. He later won a batting title at age 37 with a .329 average. This was the toughest time frame to judge from 1979-1983. Mike Schmidt was an incredible force at third base with huge power and Jim Rice also put up mammoth numbers, but in the end I chose George Brett because he was more consistent out of 3. Read the rest of this entry
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
Sunday March 25th, 2012
MLB reports – Jonathan Hacohen: We are excited to present our featured guest today on MLB reports, the one and only: Erika Monroe Williams. Erika has been involved in entertainment, news and baseball in many capacities over her brilliant career. From a news anchor in Texas and Phoenix, to working in public relations and then a pre-game host on Diamondbacks’ broadcasts. She even recently completed a stint on the VH1 reality show, Baseball Wives! Erika also forms half of what I call the “Baseball Power Couple”. You may know her husband- All-Star Third Baseman, multiple Gold Glove and Silver Slugger recipient and World Series champion, Matt Williams. The Williams couple actually hosted for a period the Diamondbacks pre-game show together (awwww…), before Matt went back onto the field to become a Diamondbacks coach. Matt is currently serving as the Third Base Coach on Kirk Gibson’s staff, as well as being a minority owner of the Diamondbacks. To say that Erika and Matt have strong Diamondbacks ties would be an understatement.
Matt and Erika currently reside in Arizona, raising their children. With hectic work schedules, they are truly living the modern-day baseball life! I had the chance to speak with both Erika and Matt recently. Today’s feature is my conversation with Erika Monroe Williams, with the Matt Williams interview coming up in part two of this two-part feature. In part one, Erika opens up about all the facets of her fascinating life. From meeting Matt and getting married, to working as a news anchor and in public relations, to what it is like to working and preparing as a host of the Diamondbacks pre-game programs. Did I mention that she also appeared on the VH1 show Baseball Wives? For those of you that followed the program, Erika actually quit the show. Today, we find out why. Erika though hasn’t given up on television…far from it. As Matt expressed to me during our interview: Erika is full of life and has a charismatic personality that is perfectly suited for entertainment. She is smart, funny, hard-working and extremely motivated. As she prepares for her next projects (Erika currently has a cooking show in the works), there is no doubt that the sky is the limit for Erika Monroe Williams! She is just getting started.
You know the name. Now get to know the lady. Today on MLB reports, our exclusive interview with Erika Monroe Williams:
Saturday March 10th, 2012
MLB reports – Jonathan Hacohen: Today’s featured guest on MLB reports needs no introduction. But he is still getting one anyways! Chad Moeller was a catcher for seven teams over eleven MLB seasons. The man won a World Series and hit for the cycle. Few players can say that. To say that Chad has lived the dream would be an understatement.
Here is a rundown of Chad’s baseball bio:
Born: Upland, California
College: University of Southern California – Majored in Economics
1st Team All Pac Ten in 1996.
College World Series 1995
Drafted and Signed with the Minnesota Twins in 96 (7th Round)
Major League Debut in 2000 (Twins)
Arizona Diamondbacks 2001-03
Milwaukee Brewers 2004-2006
Cincinnati Reds 2007
Los Angeles Dodgers 2007
New York Yankees in 2008
Baltimore Orioles in 2009
New York Yankees in 2010
Caught in over 500 major league games
Hit for the Cycle in 2004
Catcher for Randy Johnson 2002-2003
Caught Randy Johnson’s 16 strike out game
Caught Ben Sheets’ 18 strike out game
Played in the Big Leagues for 11 seasons
Played professional baseball for 16 seasons
Member of 2001 AZ Diamondbacks World Series Team
Resides: Scottsdale, Arizona since 2001