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Why Ruben Amaro Jr. Should Be Fired Right Now!

Ruben Amaro JR and the brass of the Phils should have faced the facts - and started dismantling their team before they lost any relevant value

Ruben Amaro JR and the brass of the Phils should have faced the facts – and started dismantling their team before they lost any relevant value over the last few years.  Now players like Rollins, Burnett and Utley have had their Vesting Options all exercised – and with the exception of the 2nd baseman, none of them have any trade value. Add brutal dollars owed to Howard and Papelbon, and this team is headed for financial peril.

Why Ruben Amaro Jr should be fired

Jordan Gluck (Prospects/Organization Expert): 

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I believe that if any GM were asked what is the organization that they would least like to take over the answer would be the Phillies. This team is a train wreck and it starts with up top where a new general manager is needed.

The Phillies even with the money that they generate are a long-term project that won’t be easy to fix. Rubens tenure started November 3rd 2008.  The team had just won the World Series under the tutelage of Pat Gillick.

Amaro had a team that could have brought a dynasty type of run to the franchise.  After a slow-moving regression that went from World Series Appearance in 2009, to NLCS in 2010, and then NLDS in 2011, the team finally missed the playoffs.

The core began to grow older and become expensive.  It has been apparent the squad needed a rebuild on the fly, but the powers that be have sat on their diminishing assets too long, and now the apples have become rotten, and not useful to other 29 teams.  

It is a flawed way of thinking – and will set the organization back 3 – 5 years.  

Out of our entire staff here at MLB Reports, we all hold the same opinion about Amaro JR.  – and in this article, we have all added our 2 cents in some form. Be sure to listen to Sully’s great podcasts about the Phillies at the end of the blog.

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How All Of The Texas Rangers Hitters Were Acquired (2014 Roster Tree)

The Rangers had back to back World Series Appearances in 2010 and 2011 - and have 4 straight seasons of collecting 90+ Wins - with 370 victories overall.  2014 has been an injury plagued season, robbing the club perhaps of putting forth a 5th consecutive 90 win campaign.  Despite this, the organization has done spade work to be mentioned as a top franchise over the last 5 years.  This Roster Tree proves a little of this.

The Rangers had back to back World Series Appearances in 2010 and 2011 – and have 4 straight seasons of collecting 90+ Wins – with 370 victories overall. 2014 has been an injury plagued season, robbing the club perhaps of putting forth a 5th consecutive 90 win campaign. Despite this, the organization has done spade work to be mentioned as a top franchise over the last 5 years. This Roster Tree proves a little of this.

How All Of The Rangers Hitters Were Acquired:

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

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The Rangers set up their franchise for years to come in 2007, when they pulled off a trade of ALL – Star Mark Teixeira – to acquire several players in the franchise that they are still seeing solid returns.

My absolute favorite transaction tree is finding out the Michael Choice branch of trades.

It dates back to the team signing Todd Van Poppel as a Free Agent before the 1998 season.

Out of all of the players the team currently has, only Leonys Martin, Mitch Moreland and Rougned Odor and Jurickson Profar are composed of team draft picks – with the latter being hurt right now,

The rest of them were picked up via another route. Read the rest of this entry

Ian Kinsler Steps Over The Line: It Is Best To Say Nothing At Times Like These

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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Ian Kinsler had himself a bad day yesterday, and in my mind he totally deserves it.

You only have to have a few smarts in your brain to realize that something wasn’t right in Texas for the last few years in how that team handled the Nolan Ryan situation – and some treatment of some of the departing players.

Kinsler was interviewed by a reporter and spoke that Rangers GM Jon Daniels is a “sleazeball” – and that he was wrong in the treatment in Michael Young and also in the handling of his own affairs, citing the request for a position trade, and the eventual trade to Detroit that happened over this past winter.

Okay, blasting Daniels is not very wise to do this to begin with, but you can almost understand that theory, because other players have left the franchise recently with much aghast. Read the rest of this entry

Sully Baseball Daily Podcast – January 31, 2014

 Elsa/Getty Images North America

Elsa/Getty Images North America


In 2019, Michael Young will be eligible for the Hall of Fame.

He will have detractors and supporters as his candidacy falls somewhere in “on the bubble” territory.

The debate will be endless, like the Jack Morris back and forth. But that will be a welcome distraction from the never ending Steroid controversy in Cooperstown.

That and more on today’s episode of The Sully Baseball Daily Podcast.

To subscribe to The Sully Baseball Daily Podcast on iTunes, click HERE.

To subscribe on SoundCloud, click HERE.

Sully Baseball Daily Podcast – January 31, 2014

Having A Great DH Can Mean Winning The AL Pennant: For Other Teams – The Position Is A Waste!

David Ortiz has been the quintessential DH in the AL over the last 11 years.  Boston is in contention perenially because he put up great #s compared to his competition.

David Ortiz has been the quintessential DH in the AL over the last 11 years. Boston are perennial contenders because he put up great #s compared to his competition.  Ortiz had a great 2013 campaign – where he 3 Slashed .309/.395./.959 – with 30 HRs and 103 RBI in just 137 Games Played.  Ortiz is .292/.390/.962 in 11 Years with Boston, with 373 HRs and 1191 RBI.  The Red Sox won the World Series in 2004 and 2007 with him at DH, and are looking to win again this year.

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

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Watching the 2013 season, something really resonated with me while watching the American League:  ‘Where have all the great designated hitters in MLB gone?’  

It is surprising to me that teams haven’t figured out that having a dominant DH in the league could mean the difference in winning the AL pennant or not.

I also believe that players should be moved their earlier than in their mid 30’s.  If they can’t play the field at all, or are not superior at offense, they should be made to Pinch-hit in the NL. 

It seemed only a few years ago that every team had a bopper capable of hitting .300 with 30 HR’S and 100 RBI’s.  Upon further investigation, I found out some interesting facts.

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Its Gut Check Time For The Rangers: Indians + Rays In The AL Wild Card Driver Seats

Baltimore entered last Friday night just 1 game behind the playoff bar.  They were swept in a 4 game series down in Tampa Bay, in a wraparound series, that included a devastating 18 inning loss among the tough defeats.  The club also lost Manny Machado to injury.  The magic number to eliminate the club is just 3.

Baltimore entered last Friday night just 1 game behind the playoff bar. They were swept in a 4 game series down in Tampa Bay, in a wraparound series, that included a devastating 18 inning loss among the tough defeats. The club also lost Manny Machado to injury yesterday. The magic number to eliminate the team is just 3.  The guys end the regular season with 6 straight at Camden Yards.  The only real meaningful resolutions will be if Chris Davis can crack 4 Home Runs, to tie Ken Griffey Jr. (56 HRs) for the most HRs by a LHB in the AL for the last 52 years?

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

2013 WILDCARD Race Breakdown in AL

Team                         W –  L   GBL Games Left Upcoming in Sequence

Tampa Bay Rays       87 – 69     –   ( 3 @ NYY, 3 @ TOR)

Cleveland Indians     86 – 70     –   ( 2 vs CWS, 4 @ MIN)

Texas Rangers           85 – 71    1   (2 vs HOU, 4 vs LAA)

Kansas City Royals  83 –  73   3.0  (2 @ SEA, 4 @ CWS)

New York Yankees   82 – 74   4.0   (3 vs TB, 3 @ HOU)

Baltimore Orioles     81 – 75   5.0  ( 3 vs TOR, 3 vs BOS)

We have had some clarification occur over the last week in the AL Wild Card Race as the Rays and Indians have both won 4 straight in their goal to make the playoffs.

The Yankees went 3 – 3 for the week, including a heart – wrenching loss to the Giants late on Sunday,  It must have pained them even more to see the Rays come back in the late innings versus the Orioles.

Had Baltimore won that game, the Yankees would start the series in New York versus the Rays tonight with a chance to cut their deficit to them by 3 games via a sweep.

The Bronx Bombers then waltz into Houston, where they might win their last 3 games.  However, with Tampa’s come from behind win yesterday, it makes their Magic number versus the Yanks to 3. 

Manny Machado’s Gruesome Injury – Sept.23/2013

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The Philadelphia Phillies Players In All Organizational Affiliates, Prospects + Depth Charts (MLB + MiLB) Fall 2013

The club was one of the premiere franchises from 2007 - 2011, with 5 straight NL East Titles, 2 World Series Appearances, and taking home the big prize in 2008.  The Phightins have been battling old age, the injury bug, plus the management not knowing whether to pull the plug on the core talent of this squad - or to give it one more go at it.  Charlie Manuel was finally the fall guy last month when he was let go from his managerial duties.  Ryne Sandberg has the team playing better.  Will it be enough for the organization to back him beyond this season.  Will the franchise restock for another kick at the can in 2014?  Here is the players they currently possess in the system.

The club was one of the premiere franchises from 2007 – 2011, with 5 straight NL East Titles, 2 World Series Appearances, and taking home the big prize in 2008. The ‘Phightins’ have been battling old age, the injury bug, plus the management not knowing whether to pull the plug on the core talent of this squad – or to give it one more go at it. Charlie Manuel was finally the fall guy last month when he was let go from his managerial duties. Ryne Sandberg has the team playing better. Will it be enough for the organization to back him beyond this season?  Or maybe  the franchise restocks for another kick at the can in 2014? Here is the players they currently possess in the system.

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

The Phillies have posted winning records since 2001.  While the year may be getting away from them in 2013, there are some extremely encouraging signs for the future.’

Ben Revere was excelling at his position at CF and at the plate before he went down with a season ending injury.

The emergence of Domonic Brown in the 1st half, and 1B/OF Darin Ruf, have given the team a cost conscious alternative to combat huge salaries like Cliff Lee and Ryan Howard, that combine to be over $50 in the next 3 years, the latter, has been injured the most of the last 2 seasons.

You add high priced Veterans like Jimmy Rollins, and $22.5 MIL a year Cole Hamels, and you are talking about a lofty payroll for the next several years.

However, the team also extended franchise face Chase Utley, for 2 YRs/$25 – 30 MIL – that should see him possibly retire a Phillie.

The club has played much better since Ryne Sandberg assumed the helm as manager.

The team also has traded several veterans away in the last few years, to accrue Minor League Talent back in return.  Among the departed have been Hunter Pence, Shane Victorino and Michael Young.

The question going forward is to what this team will do with Roy Halladay and Carlos Ruiz.  Somehow, I think that Ruben Amaro JR, will find a way to re-sign these two guys for a limited years, and possibly incentive laden contracts this coming winter.

Whatever the case, it should be an interesting ride in Philly the next few years.

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

For the 3 Part Historical Series I did on the  Phillies organization, click here.

Chase Utley Highlights

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The 4 Teams Chasing Texas + Tampa In The AL Wild Card Have A Great Chance (Mon – THU Game W – L Grid For All 6 Teams)

The Cleveland Indians are in the driver seat in the AL Wild Card Race.  While they may not overtake the #1 Wild Card Spot by Thursday, they can guarantee to be in a playoff position if they can simply win 3 out of the next 4 games.  After Thursday, the Tribe has the easiest path to the Post Season out of any of these 6 clubs when it comes to Strength Of Schedule!

The Cleveland Indians are in the driver seat in the AL Wild Card Race. While they may not overtake the #1 Wild Card Spot by Thursday, they can guarantee to be in a playoff position if they can simply win 3 out of the next 4 games. After Thursday, the Tribe has the easiest path to the Post Season out of any of these 6 clubs when it comes to Strength Of Schedule!  Cleveland last made the playoffs in 2007, when they blew a 3 – 1 ALCS to the Boston Red Sox.

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

2013 WILDCARD Race Breakdown in AL

Team                         W –  L   GBL Games Left Upcoming in Sequence

Tampa Bay Rays       81 – 67     –   (4 vs TEX, 4 vs BAL, 3 @ NYY, 3 @ TOR)

Texas Rangers           81 – 67     –   (4 @ TB, 3 @ KC, 3 vs HOU, 4 vs LAA)

Cleveland Indians     81 – 68   0.5  (3 @ KC, 4 vs HOU, 2 vs CWS, 4 @ MIN)

Baltimore Orioles     79 – 70   2.5  (3 @ BOS, 4 @ TB, 3 vs TOR, 3 vs BOS)

New York Yankees   79 – 71   3.0  (3 @ TOR, 3 @ SF, 3 vs TB, 3 vs HOU)

Kansas City Royals  78 –  71   3.5  (3 vs CLE, 3 vs TEX, 3 @ SEA, 4 @ CWS)

The American League Wild Card spots #1 and #2 are  considerably up for grabs. 

To make it an even tighter race, the teams trailing Tampa and Texas can all make up ground in their own individual series this week when those clubs play each other 4 times.

This is a perfect storm for these 4 clubs to narrow the gap.

What I am going to do is make in make a grid based on how the teams will do based on the Rays and the Rangers series.

KC Royals Win the 1985 World Series – Now Sit in a 28 Year Playoff Drought (Longest in the MLB)

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Pirates, Dodgers, & Rays Improve Team With Good Deals

Justin Morneau is a great addition to the Pittsburgh Pirates. The team is hoping that he can propel  them to a division title along with the other new faces to their squad. Morneau is having a very productive with him hitting .259 to include 17 HRs and and 74 RBIs. He is not the guy who was the AL MVP in 2006 that hit 34 HRs while driving in 130 RBIs and had an average of .321. He can still provide a team with solid at-bats in a game and is a good guy to have in the clubhouse. The left-hander can hit righties as good as southpaws. He has a .286 average facing right-handers and hist .282 against left-handed pitchers. He still knows how to handle the bat with runners in scoring position, as indicated by him having 54 RBIs in this situation.

Justin Morneau is a great addition to the Pittsburgh Pirates. The team is hoping that he can propel them to a division title along with the other new faces to their squad. Morneau is having a very productive season with him hitting .259 to include 17 HRs and and 74 RBIs. He is not the guy who was the AL MVP in 2006 that hit 34 HRs while driving in 130 RBIs and had an average of .321. He can still provide a team with solid at-bats in a game and is a good guy to have in the clubhouse. The left-hander can hit righties as good as southpaws. He has a .286 average facing right-handers and hist .282 against left-handed pitchers. He still knows how to handle the bat with runners in scoring position, as indicated by him having 54 RBIs in this situation.

By Chris Lacey (Lead Baseball Columnist/Minority Website Owner)

The waiver wire during the month of August is way for teams that are either contending for a playoff spot or leading their respective division to improve their team.

Since we are in the final month of the baseball season, there are a couple of teams that made moves to ensure that they have players to help them for the stretch run.

Justin Morneau Career Highlights- Parental Guidance Is Advised 

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A Phillies 2014 Forecast, Part I: “The Emperor Has No Clothes”

I certainly wish Amaro was a little more Ben Franklin and a lot less Daft Punk as 2013's Song of the Summer, "Get Lucky", coincidentally captured the embattled GM's philosophy for this year's Phillies. When the song's lyrical hook defiantly proclaims, "We've come too far to give up who we are", I can easily see Ruben's head bobbing an arrogant yes, yes, yes to the beat en route to his office at One Citizens Bank Way. Unfortunately, who the Phillies are right now under Amaro's stubborn direction are a team that is painting themselves into a corner. The current roster carries several veterans already past their prime, but with very few promising young stars in the making ready to carry the torch.

I certainly wish Amaro was a little more Ben Franklin and a lot less Daft Punk as 2013’s Song of the Summer, “Get Lucky”, coincidentally captured the embattled GM’s philosophy for this year’s Phillies. When the song’s lyrical hook defiantly proclaims, “We’ve come too far to give up who we are”, I can easily see Ruben’s head bobbing an arrogant yes, yes, yes to the beat en route to his office at One Citizens Bank Way. Unfortunately, who the Phillies are right now under Amaro’s stubborn direction are a team that is painting themselves into a corner. The current roster carries several veterans already past their prime, but with very few promising young stars in the making ready to carry the torch.

By Chris Creighton (Phillies Correspondent via  http://www.oldcitybaseball.com – visit the website here

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“I live on a one-way street that’s also a dead end. I’m not quite sure how I got there.” - Steven Wright, Comedian

Sounds about right.

It should be obvious to most that Ruben Amaro Jr.’s ego has been waging war against his own rational sense of decision-making and his ability to consider the future of this Phillies franchise since he was handed the keys to the palace back in November 2008.

A speckled and spotty track-record ripe with big-splash acquisitions along with several transactions banking on a player’s abilities of yesteryear–each of which left the cupboard mostly bare down on the farm–is all he has to show during his tenure as the big boss man.

Even the most optimistic of Philadelphia fans (including myself) now envision the Phillies ship as a tired, rudderless old vessel drifting through uncharted waters without a compass. How did it ever come to this?

Ryan Howards Injury 2011 NLDS


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Philadelphia Phillies Trade Possibilities

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Monday July.29, 2013

The year started with the struggles of one of their ace pitchers, followed by injuries off and on to other key players.  With Halladay potentially coming back at the end of the year, plus talk of possibly signing him to an incentive laden contract for 2014, added with a new deal for Chase Utley, the Phils are hoping to extend their chance of a contender for one more year.  Improved play from Domonic Brown and Ben Revere (before being hurt) - has cause for optimism in 2014.  They will need to find a 3B, Catcher and 3rd OF, however that won't require the farm being spent.  Today we examine the possible moves by Ruben Amaro Jr.  at the Trade Deadline

The year started with the struggles of two of their three ace pitchers, followed by injuries off and on to other key players – including Doc Halladaay. With their former ‘CY Young Winner’ potentially coming back at the end of the year, plus talk of possibly signing him to an incentive laden contract for 2014, added with a new deal for Chase Utley, the Phils are hoping to extend their chance of a contender for at least one more year ‘next campaign’. Improved play from Domonic Brown and Ben Revere (before being hurt) – also has cause for optimism in 2014. They will need to find a 3B, a Catcher, a new Closer and a 3rd OF, however that won’t require the farm being spent. Today we examine the possible moves by Ruben Amaro Jr. at the Trade Deadline this year before we get to that point.

By Chris Creighton (Phillies Correspondent via http://www.warrroomphilly.com – visit the website here

The time has come, Phillies fans. Make no mistake about what you’re seeing on the field and reading in the papers, sell mode has now become a reality.

Perhaps I may be channeling my inner Captain Obvious, but for the sake of those still holding out hope, change is a-comin’.

After the ugliest road trip in recent memory mercifully came to an end, the Philadelphia Sports Media pulled no punches welcoming several Phillies players to Seller-dome.

Carlos Ruiz Highlights 2012 – Mature Lyrics So Parental Guidance Is Advised

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Triple Play Podcast #18: The Trade Deadline + Rangers Chat

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Sunday, July.28, 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

Brooke Robinson

Nicholas Rossoletti

With the trade deadline around the corner we reach to mlbreports.com’s trade analyst Nick Rossoletti to break down the deals that have happened and the ones that will.

Brooke Robinson stops by to discuss all things Texas Rangers including who she’d put on their Mt Rushmore.

And of course Pat and Chris take a stick to that lying SOB Ryan Braun and their weekly Blue Jays bitch. All that and the bethubb.com best bets!

Click past the Triple Play Icon or CLICK: READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY TO CONTINUE:

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Mission Impossible: Trading Chase Utley

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Sunday July.28, 2013

 Several general managers around the league will be jockeying for position over the next few days to make their pitch to Ruben Amaro Jr. for the rights to employ Utley, who is arguably Philadelphia's most beloved & admired athlete in the city's history. However, even if Don Corleone made Amaro an offer he can't refuse, I'd tend to lean towards the belief that he'd send the horse head back with his deepest regrets. In the past 48 hours, there have been encouraging signs of a contract extension brewing between the Phillies and Utley.

Several general managers around the league will be jockeying for position over the next few days to make their pitch to Ruben Amaro Jr. for the rights to employ Utley, who is arguably Philadelphia’s most beloved & admired athlete in the city’s history. However, even if Don Corleone made Amaro an offer he can’t refuse, I’d tend to lean towards the belief that he’d send the horse head back with his deepest regrets. In the past 48 hours, there have been encouraging signs of a contract extension brewing between the Phillies and Utley.

By Chris Creighton (Phillies Correspondent via http://www.warrroomphilly.com – visit the website here

There are some things in life that can never be done. For example, it is impossible to move your leg in a clockwise circle and simultaneously draw the number “6”.

Now that you know this, I’ll give you time to try it, go ahead. It is impossible to run in flip-flops…for which there should probably be an Olympic event.

It is impossible to sneeze with your eyes open and finally, it’s GOT to be darned near impossible for the Phillies to trade Chase Utley. Right?

2009 World Series – Chasey Utley HR Highlights

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

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

Triple Play Podcast Trade Speculation

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Sunday July.28/2013

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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2 And A Hook Podcast Episode #6: Fantasy, Phillies And Rangers Expert Interviews + Notes

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Friday, May.31/2013

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) 

People in this Podcast:

On today’s show, brought to you by MLB Reports (www.mlbreports.com) & The Bench Warmers Show (thebenchwarmers.podomatic.com), I started by paying respects to a follower of mine on twitter (the great late Kiley)   who passed away last week…not only she was a great Yankee fan who loved Derek Jeter – but also was the most sweetest giving person ever, R.I.P….

I start to talk about the Subway Series then I interviewed my first guest Derek Jackson (10 Minute Mark  – 20 Minute Segment.   who is a fantasy expert for MLB Reports! We talked about which callups to watch midway through the season,a look at the rookie crop of players & second year players…check out his latest fantasy article here Read the rest of this entry

The Phillies Patience At The Plate Is Painfully Petulant: Brown Has Carried The Club In May With 10 HRs

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Thursday May.30, 2013

Jimmy Rollins (.309) and Ben Revere (.302) were the only regulars in the lineup last night to feature an OBP of over .300.  Despite that, plus a 1 - 8 start from Cole Hamels - and losing Roy Halladay for the season, the club is within 1 win of .500 heading into their 54th game tonight.  Otherwise know as the 1/3rd mark through the season.

Jimmy Rollins (.309) and Ben Revere (.302) were the only regulars in the lineup last night to feature an OBP of over .300. Despite that, plus a 1 – 8 start from Cole Hamels – and losing Roy Halladay for the season, the club is within 1 win of .500 heading into their 54th game tonight. Otherwise know as the 1/3rd mark through the season.  Domonic Brown has hit 5 HRs in his last 5 games – and 10 for the month of May.  The problem is that no one is on base when he is doing this damage.  The team enters play today only 5.5 Games behind NL East leading  Braves.  The club is also without Chase Utley right now.

By Chris Creighton (Phillies Correspondent via http://www.warrroomphilly.com – visit the website here

We woke up today with the Phillies still flirting with our feelings by taking two steps forward, three steps back over the long weekend, unable to overtake the struggling Washington Nationals for second place while falling flat in Boston on Monday.

However, with the team driving in a division where neither of the top three teams seem to want to take the wheel and steer it to Titletown, the Phillies still remain within a decent hot streak of making some noise and maybe gaining some confidence in the process.

With the Memorial Day weekend in the rear view mirror, there’s no more room for excuses and it’s certainly getting a little too late to say “It’s early” anymore as almost a third of the season is in the history books.

Luckily for the Phillies, they are playing in a division which many might call weak with the Braves and Nationals battling their own demons. Tuesday’s 3-1 victory over the Red Sox was sweet, but in reality was largely due to Cliff Lee limiting the Boston nine to only four hits over eight innings.

The Nationals and Braves were busy yesterday polishing off their own victories plating nine and seven runs respectively.

Cliff Lee May 6th Start

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The Delmon Young Effect Is Crippling The Phils Lineup: Does it Need To Be Eradicated?

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Sunday May.19, 2013

Delmon Young has not exactly lit up for the Phillies this campaign - hitting .208/.286/.619 and just 1 HR, plus 4 RBI in 48 AB.  Despite this abysmal start, Delmon Young might just hit 5th?  Really?

Delmon Young has not exactly lit it up for the Phillies this campaign – hitting .208/.286/.619 and just 1 HR, plus 4 RBI in 48 AB. Despite this abysmal start, Delmon Young is still going to  hit 5th Today? Really?

By Chris Creighton (Phillies Correspondent via http://www.warrroomphilly.com – visit the website here

Charlie Manuel is, if not anything else, loyal to his players and his gut-feelings when it comes to filling out the Phillies lineup card every day. If it’s his dedication to Jimmy Rollins batting lead-off over the years or leaving Cliff Lee in for 120+ pitches when he might be cooked, he certainly honors a hunch for better or worse.

So it should come to no surprise there exists a strong belief in his mind that Delmon Young is the right-handed bat to protect Ryan Howard in the five-spot.

While maybe later this season that could eventually be true, the Delmon Young Effect has been plaguing the lineup over the past month after his return from an ankle injury.

Any batter entering into the MLB season a month late due to injury–and slightly out-of-shapedness–is going to play a little catch-up baseball at the plate and Young is certainly not an exception to the rule.

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Phillies Back To .500 After Chase Continues Hot Streak

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Saturday April 13, 2013

Chase Utley has seen a great start to the 2013 Season - after being hurt for most of the 2012 year.  He clubbed the Game Winning RBI in yesterday's 3 - 1 decision over the Phillies.  The Second Baseman is in the last year of his contract and would stand to benefit from a season put up like his 1st 10 games.

Chase Utley has seen a great start to the 2013 Season – after being hurt for most of the 2012 year. He clubbed the Game Winning RBI in yesterday’s 3 – 1 decision over the Phillies. The Second Baseman is in the last year of his contract and would stand to benefit from a season put up like his 1st 10 games. His 2013 – 3 Slash Line is .316/372/1.004 so far – with 2 Home Runs, 2 Doubles, 2 Triples and 10 RBI.  If the club could see Ryan Howard join Utley’s production, we are talking about a vaunted Philadelphia lineup sure to impose its will on its opposition again!

By Chris Creighton (Phillies Correspondent via http://www.warrroomphilly.com – visit the website here

No one has ever questioned Chase Utley‘s hands. The knees, maybe, but never the hands and he most certainly put them to good use at the most crucial time in last night’s Extra – Inning affair in Miami. Turns out, the knees are just fine, too!

Batting with one out and the score tied 1-1, the Phillies’ resident speedster, Ben Revere, smoked a 10th Inning single to right field off of the Marlins 6’11” giant, Jon Rauch. After a pop-out by Jimmy Rollins, it was Utley’s turn to slay Goliath with Revere still on first.

With the count full and Revere running on the pitch, Utley drilled a chin-high pitch over the First Baseman’s head for a laser down the line.

Revere could have moonwalked home from third as the ball rolled deep into the corner of cavernous Marlins Park. Utley hustled the hit into a sliding triple and after Ryan Howard was Intentionally Walked, Chase scored on a Michael Young single up the middle. 

Chase Utley Speaks About playing a full season in 2013:

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The Philadelphia Phillies Franchise Part 4 of 4: Team Payroll 2013 And Contracts Forward (Mar.1)

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Friday, Mar.01/2013

Since Roy Halladay missed almost 2 months of baseball in 2012, his 2014 (20 Million Dollar contract will only become exercised if he pitches 225 Innings in 2013) – Otherwise he becomes a Free Agent.

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst Website Owner):  

The Phillies are top-heavy for their payroll in 2013.  I talked a lot about this in Part 1 of this series (The Franchise).  What they really need is for Domonic Brown, John Mayberry and  Ben Revere to improve in their role with the club and get as much production as they can out of their superstars.  2013 looks a lot  better than the years after.  Roy Halladay must return to form in 2013.  

I am predicting  the team will win at least 90 games in this year with the Starting Pitching having a bounce back season.  The fans should all come in droves to the park while this club is competitive.  The Phillies will age really fast after 2013, so there will undoubtedly be some rougher times ahead, as Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley and Ryan Howard all fade into the back half of their careers.

The New York Yankees are facing a similar dilemma.  You might even see a Yanks/Phillies World Series rematch in 2013.  I am sure the Dodgers, Angels, Tigers and Nationals will try to have their say about that as well.  

The smaller market teams might fight for another ring as well.  You are starting to see some distances set forth from the high-priced salaried teams to the lower payroll clubs with both Los Angeles teams and Detroit nearing or going over the Luxury Tax Threshold of 178 Million Dollars in Player Salaries.  

Again, I am thinking that MLB Baseball might have to realign soon-to make the divisions stack up for payroll and geography reasons.  I wrote an article about this some time ago here.  The Phillies have led the MLB in attendance for the last 3 years, so they will be able to keep the payroll at a high mark as long as the baseball revenue is able to match it.  It is the long-term contracts that won’t garner them much value at the end of these deals, that will ultimately set the Franchise back awhile.

Ryan Howard highlights are below.  He must return to his 40 HR self next year otherwise the Phillies will have a tough time competing.

For Part 1 of the Phillies Article Series: The Franchise click here:

For Part 2 of the Phillies Article Series: The Hitters click here:

For Part 3 of the Phillies Article Series: The Pitcher click here

For the Montreal Expos/Washington Nationals Franchise 5 Part Series: click here

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Hamilton Strikes Out Again In Texas

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Monday, February.25/2013

Josh Hamilton

From the Editor’s Desk ***There will be no highlights,captions or additional statistics in this article.  Some of the articles we have are of the seriously opinionated angle that doesn’t warrant these peripheral things to a post.****

By Brooke Robinson (Rangers Correspondent):

Baseball fans in Texas were heartbroken in December when the news broke of OF Josh Hamilton signing with the rival Angels. Many had grown to love his personality and ability on and off the field, even buying Hamilton jerseys when he signed with his new team. The Slugger had given several good seasons to the fans in Arlington, however bitter it did end. So you could imagine the turmoil in Texas after his interview February 17 with comments regarding the Dallas/Fort Worth area and its fans. In an interview with CBS, Hamilton gave a few choice words about the area not being a “true baseball town” and that the fans there were “spoiled, quickly”. You would have thought Nolan Ryan left for the Yankees.

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The Texas Rangers Payroll In 2013 And Contracts Going Forward

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Saturday, January.19th,  2013

Texas has doubled their total team payroll since the new ownership group took over.  As good as they are doing right now for Payroll - the Angels still have them beat by 35-40 Million Dollars

Texas has doubled their total team payroll since the new ownership group took over. As good as they are doing right now for Payroll – the Angels still have them beat by 35-40 Million Dollars.

By Nicholas Rossoletti (MLB Reports Trade Correspondent):

It is easy to equate a big market team’s success with merely a willingness to overspend on free agents and use their superior earning power to dominate the sport. While the Rangers certainly are not afraid of spending all that money that playing the Dallas/Fort Worth area provides, it would be inaccurate to equate the team’s recent string of success with only their ability to outspend a fair portion of their competitors. As we enter the 2013 season, the Rangers have built a very strong base – while managing to not tie themselves to any back-breaking, future altering contracts. That is a testament to the organization’s belief in its system – and its refusal to spend on player just because they are able to. With that being said, let’s take a look at the Rangers 2013 payroll as of now and see where Texas will be spending its money next season.

Rangers 2011 ALCS Clincher:

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The 2013 Texas Rangers Roster: State of The Union

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Monday January 14th, 2013

The Rangers had back to back World Series Appearances in 2010 and 2011 - does this club have another run in them without Josh Hamilton?

The Rangers had back to back World Series Appearances in 2010 and 2011 – does this club have another run in them without Josh Hamilton and Michael Young?  They regressed in the 2012 Season – losing a 13 Game Division Lead in the AL West before barely capturing a Wild Card Spot.  They eventually lost the Play In Wild Card-Game to the Baltimore Orioles.

By Brooke Robinson (Rangers Correspondent): 

Looking back on the end of the 2012 season, and how the AL West lead was given up in a matter of days to Oakland, it’s clear the Texas front office wanted change in the clubhouse for 2013. It seems as though GM Jon Daniels’ motto for the offseason is “out with the old, in with the new….er”. Daniels is eager to bring a World Series victory to Arlington and has pieced together a team of new players with old postseason successes. There is also a chance that the Rangers will also bring up some of their promising prospects that they protected throughout the offseason trade frenzy. This makes for some very interesting lineup possibilities for the upcoming season, especially with the major roles needing to be filled by former Ranger departures such as 1B/C Mike Napoli, U Michael Young, OF Josh Hamilton, and P Ryan Dempster.

Ian Kinsler Highlights for 2012:

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Pierzynski Takes His Talents To Texas

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Sunday, December 23rd, 2012

a  a AJ Pierzynski

Brooke Robinson (Baseball Writer and Rangers Correspondent): 

The offensive losses suffered in Arlington were becoming very real for the days leading up to December 20. Former starting Catcher Mike Napoli, U/DH Michael Young had left for the East coast, and CF Josh Hamilton left for the West. It seemed as though GM Jon Daniels was in no hurry to make any moves, and the fans in Texas were eager to get the bitter taste of the previous season out of their mouths. So to their surprise and pleasure, the front office signed one of the best Catchers on the free agent market: Anthony John Pierzynski. Some teams considered him a liability because of his age, but the 35 year old’s numbers in 2012 are actually quite astounding. The Texas front office obviously did their homework. Read the rest of this entry

The Rangers (And Especially Their Fans) Will Miss Mike Napoli

Wednesday, December 5th, 2012

a  a mike napoli

Brooke Robinson (Guest Baseball Writer and Rangers Correspondent):

In the early months of 2011 when Mike Napoli was traded to Texas, most fans welcomed him with open arms (especially the women). After all, Napoli had given the fans in Arlington headaches when playing against him so the Rangers did exactly what they did with Vladimir Guerrero- added him to their own roster. His defense was incredible, and he opened up a side of his offense that Anaheim never got to enjoy as a full-time player  . He hit .320, with 30 homers in his first season with Texas, but his most incredible performance was during October of 2011. His Game 5 two-run double in the bottom of the eighth inning to deliver the win and the World Series lead to 3-2 was honored by Ranger fans and ultimately put him on a fan pedestal. Read the rest of this entry

The Toronto Blue Jays Franchise 1994-2012: Part 2 of a 7 Part Series

Wednesday, Nov.28th, 2012

Note from Chuck Booth:  I am attempting to bring the history for each of the 30 MLB Franchises into a 5-7 part series that will focus on 1. The teams history.  2. The hitters 3. The pitchers. 4. The Teams Payroll going into 2013 and 5.The Ball Park that they play in. (The stadium articles will all be done next summer when I go to all of the parks in under a month again.)  Be sure to check my author page with a list of all of  my archived articles section here.

Today’s Part 2 Feature of the Blue Jays Franchise will be written by our Baseball Writer Alex Mednick.  To do this franchise series service, Alex has studied this club a lot more than I have in the last 20 years and will do this article better justice for you the reader!

Alex Mednick (Baseball Writer and Analyst):

Note from Alex Mednick:  Chuck Booth offered to me the opportunity to step in to his Franchise Series and cover the Blue Jays history from 1994-Present. I gladly accepted the honor.

In Part 1 of this series, Chuck covered the Blue Jays history from their humble beginnings at Exhibition Stadium in 1977, through the glory years in the late 80s and early 90s.  The story dropped off right after the Blue Jays won back-to-back World Championships in 1992 and 1993.  We closed the books with the walk-off winning home run by Joe Carter to win the World Series, and the parties and celebrations that were to follow across Ontario, Canada.  I will pick it back up at the beginning of the 1994 season, when the Blue Jays had high hopes to win a third consecutive world championship.

(Scroll Down Past the Links or Click the READ MORE OF THIS ENTRY ICON.)

Franchise Series Links:

Franchise History Part 1 1977-1993:  http://mlbreports.com/2012/11/09/jays1/

The Hitters:  The Toronto Blue Jays Franchise Hitters: Part 3 Of A 7 Part Article Series: 

The Pitchers:  The Toronto Blue Jays Franchise Pitchers Part 4 Of A 7 Part Series

Skydome:  An Interview with ‘Rogers Centre Expert’ and “MLB reports Founder” Jonathan Hacohen Part 5 of 7

2013 Team Payroll:  http://mlbreports.com/2012/09/10/tor/

Special Bonus Fan Blog Of 2013 Team Payroll:   http://mlbreports.com/2012/09/12/torfanalex/

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MLB: Final Fantasy MMXXII

Monday October 1st, 2012

Peter Stein:  Although the past week may have marked the end of your fantasy season, in many of the most competitive leagues the championship comes down to the very last games of the regular season. Just as many of these games have significant meaning to many MLB times, the same holds true with fortunate fantasy owners. If you fighting it out for a championship in the final days, then read on. If not, check back next week as the focus will shift to strategy and 2013 rankings.

First and foremost, in the final days some teams will be sitting players to rest for the playoffs or giving their youngsters a taste of the big leagues. However, with the second wild card spot implemented this year, these games actually have significance for almost half of the teams in the league. No team can rest easy, including Texas, as teams want to avoid the one game playoff. Ironically, with a now a three game lead, it will probably be the Tigers (7th best record in the AL) that will clinch first and be able to rest players. However, don’t think they will be sitting Miguel Cabrera when he is in the hunt for the elusive Triple Crown title. Thus, the good news is that you most likely don’t need to worry about your star player being benched, but these are the people you need to monitor over the final three days: Read the rest of this entry

Mike Olt is One of the Best Hitting Prospects in the Minors

Sunday July 22nd, 2012

Sam Evans:  Rangers’ prospect Mike Olt is seemingly blocked in Texas. However, with his MLB-ready power bat, he’ll force Texas to either start him or trade him in the next year. Olt has tremendous raw power and a sweet swing that help make him one of the most advanced hitters in the minor leagues. It won’t be long before Mike Olt has established himself as a premier power hitter in the majors.

Mike Olt was born in New Haven, Connecticut, which isn’t exactly a baseball hotspot. At Branford High School, Olt hit .475 his senior year, and set a school record for single-season hits. Coming out of high school, Olt was undrafted so he took a scholarship to the University of Connecticut. In his first season with the Huskies, Olt struggled at third base, but was a monster at the plate. In fifty-four games, Olt hit .318 with a .577 slugging percentage. As a sophomore, Olt started to battle some injuries, and as a result, he came back to down to earth a little. He continued to struggle with his defense at third base. In his junior season at UCONN, Olt hit .318 with a .659 slugging percentage, and became the UConn career home run leader. Olt was drafted by the Rangers with the 49th overall pick in the 2010 MLB Amateur draft. 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…)

Texas Rangers: Best Team in the Majors?

Tuesday May 1, 2012

Ryan Ritchey: Are the Texas Rangers the best team in baseball? In my eyes they are. They are the most balanced team I have seen in this short period of the season. Going out and getting Yu Darvish was a huge part of the winter for the Rangers. Darvish a Japanese phenom, has come over the United States and gone 4-0 in 5 starts. He has changed his windup 4 times since the first pitch on opening day. Starting with his hands going over his head, to now just pitching from the stretch the whole game.

Darvish isn’t the only stud pitcher on this team. Derek Holland can also throw over 200 innings for this Rangers team. With a team focused around pitching, they sure do get the job done. Add Hall of Fame pitcher Nolan Ryan watching every pitch from the first row the pitchers have to succeed. Rangers starters have combined for a 13-4 record, with Darvish and Colby Lewis going 7-0. The Rangers starting pitching is in my opinion what is going to get them a World Series championship this season. Read the rest of this entry

Ryan Strausborger Interview: Texas Rangers Prospect

Saturday January 28, 2012

MLB reports – Jonathan Hacohen:  Ryan Strausborger is today’s featured interview on MLB reports. A 16th round pick of the Texas Rangers in 2010, Ryan is entering his 3rd professional season. He completed last season with the Myrtle Beach Pelicans of the Carolina League (High-A ball).  What to expect from this up-and-coming baseball prospect? There are three aspects to his game: speed, getting on base and defense. Ryan stole 21 bases in 25 attempts in his first pro season and followed it up with 31 stolen bases last year. He has shown good doubles power (29 doubles in 126 games) and chipped in 9 triples. It may be difficult to replicate Rickey Henderson, but perhaps we are looking at the next Tim Raines? I’m sure Ryan will take that! He can play all three outfield positions, although center is his primary spot. For a team that plays in a well-known hitters’ park, Ryan Strausborger could be setting the table and scoring many runs for the future Rangers boppers. At 23-years of age, Ryan is still developing and working his way up to the majors. But if his two first pro seasons have shown us anything, the potential and tools are there. Get to know one of the next wave of Texas Rangers players, as we introduce you to Ryan Strausborger, outfield prospect:

MLB reports:  First question Ryan:  Who was your favorite baseball player growing up, that you most idolized and patterned your game after?

Ryan Strausborger: Growing up I never really tried to be just like anyone, but I was always a fan of the Cubs.


MLB reports:  Which current MLB star do you most admire and why?

Ryan Strausborger: Michael Young, just because I have been around him now a couple of times. He is obviously very good, yet he is also one of the most humble and professional guys I have ever seen.


MLB reports:  What are your goals going into the 2012 season?

Ryan Strausborger: To win the league championship and to better myself as a hitter and overall player.


MLB reports:  Did you play any other sports growing up?  Why did you choose baseball as your sport?

Ryan Strausborger: Basketball. It was my goal as soon as I started playing baseball to become a pro someday.


MLB reports:  When you first found out you were drafted, what were your reactions?  What made you decide to sign with the Rangers?

Ryan Strausborger: They drafted me out of college as a senior and gave me the chance I was looking for.


MLB reports:  What do you consider your greatest baseball skill(s)?

Ryan Strausborger: My speed and determination are my two most important skills.


MLB reports:  What facets of your game do you most wish to improve upon?

Ryan Strausborger: Just continue to make strides to being a more consistent hitter like I did last year.


MLB reports:  How do home runs, stolen bases and walks figure into your game?  Are you a speed, power guy or both?

Ryan Strausborger: Home runs are not important, while stolen bases and walks are.  I am a speed guy with a little bit of gap to gap power and my job is to get on base and score runs.


MLB reports:  I see that you have played all three outfield positions, but mostly center.  Where do you think you will ultimately end up?

Ryan Strausborger: I would like to end up in center field. But i am a role player and would play anywhere they need me.


MLB reports:  Strausborger: Ever get razzed about the long name on the jersey?  Ever get mistaken for a certain pitcher in Washington?

Ryan Strausborger: Always get razzed about the long name, but no, Ii haven’t been mistaken for him. But people do like to make jokes about the names being so similar.


MLB reports:  If you had to look into a crystal ball, when do you see your expected time of arrival in the big leagues and what do you think you need to do most to get there?

Ryan Strausborger: I need to just prove that I can be consistent and get the job done.  As for the arrival, we will just wait and see what happens.


MLB reports:  If you were not playing professional baseball, you would be ____________

Ryan Strausborger: Finishing my college degree.


MLB reports:  What do you do for fun away from the ballpark?

Ryan Strausborger: Just hang out with my teammates and try to take advantage of all of the very few off days we get.


MLB reports:  Have you ever been to Texas?  Is it all cowboy hats and boots?

Ryan Strausborger: Only been there for a short stay a couple of times.  No, Ii didn’t see any cowboy hats or boots on anyone.


MLB reports:  Final thoughts?

Ryan Strausborger: Appreciate you allowing me to be featured!!

***Thank you to Ryan Strausborger for taking the time today to speak with us on MLB reports.  You can follow Ryan on Twitter (@Ryan_Straus).  Ryan is working his way up the Rangers ladder. So give him a follow, say hello and watch his baseball journey unfold!

 

Jonathan Hacohen is the Lead Baseball Columnist & Editor for MLB reports:  You can follow Jonathan on Twitter (@JHacohen)

Please e-mail us at: MLBreports@gmail.com with any questions and feedback.  You can follow us on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook .  To subscribe to our website and have the daily Reports sent directly to your inbox , click here and follow the link at the top of our homepage.

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