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MLB Expansion, Possible Destination: Portland, Oregon

Portland:  One of the largest cities without a team, this would be a safe bet for Major League Baseball.  This city has been thrown around in almost every discussion on expansion.  This one will likely happen.  The population is over 625,000 -  but it has a couple more Million in the Metropolitan area.

Portland: One of the largest cities without a team, this would be a safe bet for Major League Baseball. This city has been thrown around in almost every discussion on expansion. This one will likely happen. The population is over 600,000 – but it has a couple more Million in the Metropolitan area.

Jordan Gluck (Baseball Operations Analyst): 

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MLB Expansion Destinations: Portland Oregon

The second city I think is a contender for MLB expansion is Portland Oregon. I think that MLB in the next 8 or so years will expand to 32 teams with one team absolutely somewhere on the west coast.

I think the west coast is a necessity due to division alignment and that the Astros who are located in the central time zone are in the American League West. Which West Coast team is the answer that we don’t know about yet.

I will Clarify that Portland WILL NOT receive the Oakland Athletics!!!!!!!!!!!

Portland due to high precipitation will require a retractable roof stadium. I would make the stadium kind of funky like the young “hip” town of Portland which is commonly referred by its natives as “Portlandia”. Read the rest of this entry

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Could The Toronto Blue Jays Turn Into The Canada Blue Jays + Play In Montreal And Vancouver As Well?

Olympic Stadium was a building catastrophe from the get go.  It was a contributing factor of the Expos leaving Montreal.  Having said that, it would have been really cool if the North America opener were to have been opened in Montreal, with a series with Toronto and the New York Mets.  Instead the series in an exhibition.  At least the Canadian stadium has hosted regular season MLB games.

Olympic Stadium was a building catastrophe from the get go. It was a contributing factor of the Expos leaving Montreal. Having said that, it would have been really cool if the North America opener were to have been opened in Montreal, with this past series with Toronto and the New York Mets. Instead it was just an exhibition. At least the Canadian park has hosted regular season MLB games  unlike the Sydney Cricket Ground.  Will another city other than Toronto ever host a regular season game again?

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

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I must be out of my mind right?

Having the Toronto Blue Jays play in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver during a regular season – and re-brand the club to a national team in the MLB?  But stop and think about this for a minute.

The club just drew almost 100K total fans for the 2 exhibition games in Quebec on Mar.28 and Mar.29/2014. 

This just reaffirmed my stance of last week.  I admonished the MLB for not starting the season with this series in Montreal.

Having thought about it further this weekend, I came up with a new idea.  Why not play some games in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver – and name the club the Canada Blue Jays? Read the rest of this entry

MLB Expansion Destination Part 1: Could Charlotte Be A New City In Major League Baseball?

By Jordan Gluck (Prospects/Baseball Operations Correspondent)

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Possible MLB destination: Charlotte 

In the upcoming weeks I will be doing a series on some cities that should be considered for an MLB team.

The cities are in no particular order but I will give a prediction whether or not they will receive a team in the next 15 years.

Having a major league franchise in your city is a big responsibility but comes with some major rewards which in my view heavily outweigh the negatives of not having a team even if you have to provide funding for the stadium in which they play.

So without further musings – here we go.  Read the rest of this entry

The Toronto Blue Jays Franchise 1977-1993 Part 1 Of A 7 Part Series

Friday, Nov.09/2012

Note from Chuck Booth:  I am attempting to bring the history for each of the 30 MLB Franchises into a 5 part series that will focus on 1. The teams history.  2. The hitters 3. The pitchers. 4. The 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.

The Blue Jays have not qualified for the Playoffs since they won Back to Back World Series in 1992 and 1993. Only Pittsburgh, Kansas City and Toronto have not made a playoffs appearance since the 1994 strike. At the time they were around the top of the MLB Payroll for all teams.

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer):

In sifting through 35 years of history with the Toronto Blue Jays as a franchise, it is sad that since 1994, only Pittsburgh, Toronto and Kansas City have not made a playoff appearance in the Major Leagues.  They have been battling the Red Sox and Yankees powerhouse clubs since the 1994 player strike/1995 Lock-out.  This baseball interruption of play was also a  deciding factor on the Montreal Expos losing their franchise, however one could say that this has had a profound effect on the other only team North of The Border.  The Jays were a model franchise all the way through the 80’s.  From 1983-1993, the team carried out 11 straight winning seasons, 5 Pennants and back to back World Series Wins in 1992 and 1993.

Pat Gillick had been with the baseball club from the get go, and after finishing in dead-last for the first 5 years of existence, the Jays rode the backs of several budding stars that were drafted by the man.  From the early pitching stars of Jim Clancy and Dave Stieb, to the young outfield that flourished as a core for years in: Lloyd Moseby, George Bell and Jesse Barfield, the team showed that drafting and trading for young players was the way to build an organization.  It took until 1985 for the teams first Pennant, barely edging the Yankees by 2 games for the AL East.  Playoff disappointment followed from 1985-1991.  The team soon would find the promised land as the top team in 1992 and 1993.

Franchise History Part 2 1994-2012: http://mlbreports.com/2012/11/28/jay/

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

For Part 6 of the 7 Part Series:  Blue Jays 2013 Team Payroll Click here

For Part 7 of the 7 Part Series:  Blue Jays 2013 Team Payroll:  A Readers Thoughts, Click Here: 

Read the rest of this entry

ATR: Ask the Reports Answers Your Baseball Questions: Lowe to the Yankees, Mauer Before Head and Shoulders, Extend Wright, Jose Canseco is Bankrupt (again) and Creative MLB Realignment

Sunday August 12th, 2012



Jonathan Hacohen:  Posted every Weekend: Your top baseball questions from the past week are answered. E-mail all questions to mlbreports@me.com, message us on Twitter, post on our Facebook Wall and leave comments on our website! There are many ways to reach us and we will get to your questions from all social media outlets!

Jonathan Hacohen: I am off to the Rogers Centre today to watch the Yankees battle the Jays. This game matters little in reality. The Yankees are in first place, with a 14 game lead over the last place Jays. The Yankees are on a 4 game winning streak, while the Jays have lost their last 5. Given the Jays bulging disabled list, they will likely be fielding a team that will more resemble a AAA squad. But I still go. I go because I love baseball. I go because it is the Yankees and I love the history and pride of the franchise. The truth is: I don’t care who is playing and where the game will take place. I go because I love baseball.

Speaking of the Yankees, I have something important on my mind. Derek Lowe. I will never stop thinking him as a member of the Red Sox, so today’s news took me somewhat by surprise. Lowe is now a member of the Yankees. So this is not your dad’s version of Derek Lowe. No, the 39-year old Lowe is nearly done. Unless he discovers the fountain of youth…or learns to throw a knuckleball. Lowe started off hot in Cleveland, but fizzled out quickly. Going to New York, his record on the year sits at 8-10 with a dismal 5.52 ERA. He has an unsightly 1.689 WHIP. He has walked more batters than he has struck out. But yet I hold out faith. Lowe was still very good as of 2010, but the wheels came off last year and never returned.

Apparently Lowe has accepted an assignment to the pen. Heck, for the league minimum- the Yankees have nothing to lose. Pettitte may not return and now Sabathia is having elbow issues. As the Jays, Red Sox, Yankees, Rangers and many other teams have proven this year- you can never have too much pitching. Pitchers get injured. Pitchers become ineffective. Remember how many Yankees fans were booing Bartolo Colon last year? Bet those same fans would love to have him back this year. Look at Ben Sheets on Atlanta. What’s old is new again. As long as Lowe’s arm is still intact, I say throw him in there. If he can get hot for even 2 weeks- that’s all what it might take in this game. Great signing by Brian Cashman. Derek Lowe could end up being a winning lottery ticket- or simply a lost dollar. Low risk, high reward is the name of the game folks.

For our Batting Stance Guy featured video of the week, we bring you Gar’s All-Star compilation titled: “Best Batting Stances By Position”  

For bonus points this week: Tell us which former MLB player Gar is hanging with…and which stance he is imitating? First correct answer gets a secret prize: e-mail your answer to mlbreports@gmail.com

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

ATR: Ask the Reports Answers Your Baseball Questions: Trade Beckett, Fire Selig, Chris Carter, New Orleans Baseball and MLB Expansion

Sunday July 8th, 2012



Jonathan Hacohen:  Posted every Weekend: Your top baseball questions from the past week are answered. E-mail all questions to mlbreports@me.com, message us on Twitter, post on our Facebook Wall and leave comments on our website! There are many ways to reach us and we will get to your questions from all social media outlets!

Jonathan Hacohen: I love this time of the week. As the weekend approaches, I sit and cultivate your top baseball questions from many areas. Some of you e-mail. Some of you tweet. Others post on Facebook and others leave comments on the site. If you write in, I will find you. So thank you all firstly for taking the time to reading our site and supporting MLB reports. At the end of the day, there is no MLB reports without you, the readers. Ask the Reports is one of our ways of saying thank you for being a part of us and to have as many of you directly involved with our site. I won’t lie- your questions can be diverse, interesting, different. Some may go over the line and some just make us shake our heads. But most make us think, laugh and enjoy baseball. So it with great pride that we get to feature your questions to all our readers. So please, feel free to write in each week with your questions. We will get to as many as we can!

We are also lucky to have so many strong writers on board. You can get to know them on our Meet Our Team page. We may have different styles and opinions. But at the end of the day, these writers work their behinds off every week: researching, analyzing and preparing your daily MLB reports. You may call them geniuses or you may yell at them. Everyone has a say and opinions/debates are the foundation of strong baseball fandom. Please feel free to say hello to all your favorite writers. They will appreciate it and love to hear from you.

As we approach the All-Star break, here are five of my random thoughts before we jump into ATR:

  1. I can’t help but feel but the White Sox are truly a team of destiny this year. They are playing .560 ball and will lead the AL Central going into the break. They were a good team for most of the year. But the acquisition of Kevin Youkilis may very well prove to be a difference maker for them. I am a Tigers guy- I bleed blue and orange. So for me to say this, you know I feel strongly about the White Sox chances. Konerko. Dunn. Pierzynski. Yes folks, keep an eye on the White Sox in the 2012 playoffs.
  2. Remember those Angels that everyone left for dead? They are only 4 games behind the Rangers and will be a dangerous force in the 2nd half. Albert Pujols should be a summer beast and the Angels will get a strong dose of offense, defense and pitching. I liked their chances to start the year and feel very strongly about them going into the second half. Plus, they have a secret weapon by the name of Mike Trout.
  3. Living in Toronto, it amazes me how funny Jays fans can be. Their starting rotation has been decimated by injuries, yet the fans are still screaming for trade reinforcements at the deadline. People, wake up and smell the disabled list. Rather than put on a couple of band-aids in the hope of finishing .500, time to unload some desirable pieces and stock for the next 2+ years. Edwin Encarnacion, Kelly Johnson, Yunel Escobar and Darren Oliver should all be considered moveable for the right price. It isn’t going to happen this year. This team is close. But until the top prospects are ready to perform at this level, keep shifting, moving and upgrading parts until you are ready.
  4. The Bryce Harper vs. Mike Trout debate continues to rage on. While Bryce was being talked about more earlier on, Trout is now the name on everyone’s lips. We won’t know for 10+ years as to who will be the better player. Health, attitude, development and luck will all play a part in deciding this debate. Until then, enjoy two of the biggest baseball stars that you will see for a long time. These are special kids with special talents. Savor what we have.
  5. Finally, everyone loves talking about the All-Star Game and Home Run Derby. But the biggest game is actually being played today. The MLB All-Star Futures Game. Team U.S. vs. Team World. The biggest and brightest prospects in the game. For many fans, they may know the names but have never actually seen these players perform. This is your chance. This game does not get the attention that it deserves. But as time goes by and the MLB Draft continues to get bigger and bigger, the Futures Game will become true baseball must-see tv. In case you weren’t aware, there is a prospect in the Reds organization by the name of Billy Hamilton, who just completed his 2nd straight 100 steals season. Considering that we are at the All-Star break and he has stolen over 100 bases, you can imagine how highly considered Hamilton is. For some reason though, he is not getting the press and notoriety that he deserves. If this was a Red Sox prospect, he would be bigger than Harper and Trout before they were called up. His time is coming and when he arrives at the big leagues, we may be seeing the next Vince Coleman…or…gasp…Rickey Henderson. So clear your schedule this afternoon and make sure to make the Futures Game a yearly tradition. It is a great investment in baseball knowledge.

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

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

Sunday July 1st, 2012



Jonathan Hacohen:  Posted every Weekend: Your top baseball questions from the past week are answered. E-mail all questions to mlbreports@me.com, message us on Twitter, post on our Facebook Wall and leave comments on our website! There are many ways to reach us and we will get to your questions from all social media outlets!

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

JH:  Happy Canada Day…eh! I am proud to call Canada my home. So for my fellow Canadians, I wish you a great day today. For our American friends that celebrate the 4th of July, your day is coming up this week. So enjoy it, drink responsibly and make sure you have a designated driver. We want each of you alive through many World Series to come!

A couple of thoughts before we start this weekend’s edition of ATR:

Firstly, a big baseball trade went down yesterday. The Orioles acquired Jim Thome from the Phillies for minor leaguers Gabriel Lino and Kyle Simon. I like this move from both ends quite frankly (catch my full review on Rate that Trade coming up).  Thome is a serious veteran presence in the O’s clubhouse and still swings a sweet hall of fame bat. He hits bombs and takes walks. The O’s trade two very young players who may or may not develop. The Phillies did not need Thome as a pinch-hitter and gave him a chance to play, while working towards replenishing their farm. One of those rare win-win scenarios.

Speaking the Orioles, did you catch my recent twitter conversation with Baseball Reporter Jen Royle? Well…the Baltimore Sun did and they ran an interesting article. You know what they say, any publicity is good publicity! Here is a bit of what they caught:

MLB reports asked Royle: “What is it the fans love most? Your charm?”

“They loved my honestly,” she replied, “and they absolutely love that I refued to root for the home team like Homer Simpson.”

MLB reports agreed with her distaste for “Homer” rooting.

“There are many homers that won’t listen to logic,” MLB said. “They think with baseball hearts. Not brains always. They can be fun too.”

And here’s Royle’s first dig: “Sounds like half the Orioles media… It was embarrassing.”

Remember Kevin Youkilis? Now a member of the Chicago White Sox. I talked to one of the top baseball reporters in the game recently on the subject. My colleague let me know that the Red Sox did as well as they could, literally no other team was offering a prospect for Youk. That still boggles my mind, but I guess Boston really put themselves in a no-win position. They traded Youk at his lowest point and had no leverage whatsoever. Still, paying most of his salary and not getting top players back…to me, the White Sox came out like bandits in this one. Wishing Youk all the best on his future, in Chicago this year and beyond.

Last but not least, the All-Star game is coming up from Kansas City in 9 short days. The Prospect Game is being played on Sunday July 8th, Home Run Derby comes your way on Monday July 9th and the big game itself, on Tuesday July 10th. We will have you covered, with previews and recaps of all the big All-Star game festivities and highlights.

Now that we have that behind us, on to your questions! Read the rest of this entry

Ask the Reports: ATR Answers Your Baseball Questions – June 16th, 2012

Saturday June 16th, 2012



Jonathan Hacohen:  Posted every Weekend: Your top baseball questions from the past week are answered. E-mail all questions to mlbreports@me.com, message us on Twitter, post on our Facebook Wall and leave comments on our website! There are many ways to reach us and we will get to your questions from all social media outlets!

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

JH:  Happy Father’s Day one and all!  Yes, Father’s Day is technically tomorrow. But being a dad myself to two amazing boys, I say let’s make it a Father’s Weekend! Heck, I already got my gift and breakfast this morning…a whole day early. Off to watch baseball all weekend, as the Toronto Tommy Johns face the Philadelphia Disabled List. Yes, I am being a tad sarcastic this morning. But can you blame me? The Blue Jays are 6.5 out of 1st, 1 game out of the AL East basement. The Phillies are already 9 games out, firmly at the bottom of the NL East. I was hoping to see Roy Halladay this weekend, but that dream is dead. At least I get to see Cliff Lee vs. Ricky Romero. Lee is 0-3 in the middle of June? Romero is 7-1? I predict Lee will dominate the Jays and grab his first win of the year, while Romero will get lit up like a Christmas tree. Or so the crystal ball says.

Which brings me to the two points of discussion before we get to your baseball questions. 2012 in my book will go down as the year of the Tommy John surgeries and no-hitters. On MLB reports, we have been keeping track of all the baseball Tommy John surgeries, in 2012 and in the history of the game. We have a dedicated TJ Surgery Tracker page devoted to the latest Tommy John news. Seemingly every week we have a new name to the list. Since the start of March, there have been on the average 2 players per week (mostly pitchers) requiring the surgery. In Toronto, it appears that Kyle Drabek may be the next candidate as he heads off to meet with Dr. James Andrews next week. Joining him on the flight to Florida could be Drew Hutchinson, as the young pitcher left his start last night after 9 pitches with “elbow soreness”. He felt a pop in his elbow, just as Kyle Drabek had said. If I had to estimate the stats, 999/1000 elbow pops are not good. If Drabek/Hutchinson both require Tommy John surgery, they may become the first teammates to require the surgery on the same week. Heck, probably the first starting pitchers on the same team for sure.

This has been a year of Tommy Johns. Joakim Soria. Ryan Madson. The list goes on and on. Bookmark the TJ Tracker and please e-mail/message us if you have any names that we missed. The page is getting updated daily, including surgeries from the past. We intend to have the most complete baseball Tommy John surgery list.  So thank you all for your assistance!

A big shoutout to Matt Cain for his perfecto this week. Living on the East Coast, it was tough to stay up for that one. Wish I did. Matt Cain has always been a fave of mine. One of the most underrated pitchers in the game. Now he has a place in baseball history. Considering all the no-nos this year (Weaver, Humber, Santana, Mariners combined no-no) and this year is really shaping up to be the year of the No-Hitter. Ironic isn’t it. The year that so many pitchers are going down to TJ surgery, happens to be the same year that so many pitchers are achieving pitching perfection in the number of no-hitters. Irony in baseball. I wouldn’t have it any other way.  Now on to our regularly scheduled baseball questions:

Q:  If Canada does not qualify (for the 2012 WBC), is there still a chance of games being played in Toronto?  The Bull

JH:  Howdy Bull! I get asked this one quite a bit. Here is what I will lay down for you. I attended every single opening round game played in Toronto back in the 2009 WBC tournament. Aside from the first two opening games, the attendance and interest in the games was minimal at best. Even with team Venezuela in the pool and having its energetic fans dancing in the stands, Toronto did not show well in the WBC. I recall Kevin Youkilis for example, indicating that it was embarrassing how bad the vibe was in Toronto for the WBC games. I will say this about Canada. They head to Germany in September to face off against Germany, Great Britain and the Czech Republic. Not exactly baseball powerhouses. One of these countries will advance to the 2013 World Baseball Classic tournament. I think Germany will be scarier than most people realize, given the amount of players with German descent. But this pool is being played at a difficult time. In September, few teams will release players for the tournament. Thus Canada may not be able to send most of its stars and fall behind the 8-ball so to speak for the qualifiers. With or without its top players, Canada will be in touch to make the 2013 WBC. Whether they qualify or not, based on the poor attendance and atmosphere in Toronto for the previous WBC, I say there is a 0% chance that you will see another WBC game played in Toronto for a LONG TIME. With so many hopeful excited countries begging to host WBC games, I don’t see the tournament organizers feeling the love for picking Toronto as another destination. If you love the World Baseball Classic as much as I do, invest in the television package or get ready to buy some airplane tickets. Read the rest of this entry

Ask the Reports: ATR Answers Your Baseball Questions – June 10th, 2012

Sunday June 10th, 2012



Jonathan Hacohen:  Posted every Weekend: Your top baseball questions from the past week are answered. E-mail all questions to mlbreports@me.com, message us on Twitter, post on our Facebook Wall and leave comments on our website! There are many ways to reach us and we will get to your questions from all social media outlets!

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

Q:  Hey there, glad to see a Torontonian loving baseball! I was born in Burlington, but grew up in Charlotte, NC… and am a lifelong Jays diehard! But hey, as a baseball guy growing up in NC… no way Durham got pro ball over Charlotte.. no chance… mayyyyyyyyyybe Raleigh (only b/c Charlotte already has 2 pro teams)… but in which case does MLB choose the lesser populated city in a State? Never. The MLB is the BIGS for a reason… and Charlotte could most certainly (fans, sponsors, funding) support a MLB team. It would be a ‘Baseball Town’…people live and breathe the sport here. I grew up playing here, it was a treat.

But here’s the catch, I just don’t know if Charlotte can support 3 major league teams… Panthers, Bobcats, and Baseball… If the Bobcats relocated… which could happen within 10 years… I could certainly see the city shift its focus to luring a pro ball team. The Knights (AAA) new stadium has pretty much gotten the city official’s approval and will be able to transform into a pro stadium if Charlotte becomes a relocation or expansion candidate.

But as a baseball fan, I would be all for the Bobcats moving and us getting MLB…. if I had to choose between NBA and MLB… pretty obvious…

But, LET’S GO JAYS!!!

Cheers,

Greg from Charlotte

JH: Hello Greg. Thank you for writing to us all the way from Charlotte! There are a couple of us here on the Reports from Toronto (present company included), but the majority of our writers are American. Hey, it is America’s favorite pastime!  But in all seriousness, you have touched upon one our most popular subjects:  MLB Expansion.  The World Baseball Classic is another one…and yes…we will cover that topic as well on this edition of the Reports.  But getting back to your comment, it was great to hear from a baseball fan directly from the area in question. Charlotte is brought up all the time in expansion talk. While it was not an area that I directly considered when I wrote my original expansion article, the area has been brought up countless times since. You bring up some very interesting points in your analysis. The local area and economy will play a HUGE part in the final decision when the next expansion locations are awarded. If indeed you are correct and it will take another sports team to relocate out of Charlotte for baseball to arrive, then I am afraid that you will be out of luck. The perception I feel will be that if Charlotte could not sustain the Bobcats, then it certainly cannot handle Major League Baseball.  40+ home games at 12-15,000 fans per game is no comparison to trying to feel 81 home games at 30,000+ fans per game. My mindset is that all existing teams need to do exceptionally well for the area to prove that it can handle a major sports team.

We can agree to disagree on this one, because of the subjective nature of what Major League Baseball will consider ultimately in expansion talks. But overall, factors will include population, health of the economy, television deal, stadium size/age/location, ownership groups etc. In other words, I am not counting out Charlotte just yet. There is still hope my friend, so keep the faith!!  And….Let’s GO TIGERS!!!!!!! Read the rest of this entry

Can Canada Support a Second Baseball Franchise in Vancouver?

Friday, June.01/2012

Newly renovated BC Place Stadium with $600 Million Dollars in upgrades, re-opened on Sept.30/2011 and features a 100 by 85 retractable roof. The lights also illuminate different colors both inside and outside of the building. The stadium could be converted to meet MLB specifications.

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer and @chuckbooth3024 on twitter)- At first look you might not think that Vancouver could support a Major League Baseball franchise, but there are a few things to consider.  With a surrounding area population of 2.5 Million, it is one of the biggest cities in the USA or Canada not to have a team. Of course when you are looking at the viability of a franchise submission/or relocation, you must look at the facility that the baseball would be played in.  With newly renovated B.C Place Stadium-(see http://www.bcplacestadium.com/,) and its $600 Million Dollar Renovations, it is one of the most impressive structures in North America now. 

The building itself is estimated to be worth over a billion dollars.  It’s clear, retractable roof, with an incredible look to detail inside the building with 22 inch stadium style seating has all of the modern amenities that a new age fan would want.  The facility features several new Skyboxes for corporate suites, and brand new concession stands that would be an extremely good revenue generator. The stadium’s surface is made up of Field Turf, and could be converted to meet baseball specifications.  This stadium is a turn-key situation unlike any other in North America when it comes to a baseball ready facility.

Major League Baseball has gained in popularity over the last 20 years in the Lower Mainland with turning out MLB’ers like Larry Walker, Jeff Francis , Ryan Dempster and Brett Lawrie all coming from this area.  Also in Canada, you have 3 TV networks that have an all-sports format in www.thescore.ca, www.tsn.ca and www.sportsnet.ca that would gladly love to fill content on their networks by bidding for television rights on a new baseball team in Canada.  There are enough talented sports personalities to fill in solid coverage. Read the rest of this entry

Ask the Reports: ATR Answers Your Baseball Questions – May 27th, 2012

Sunday May 27th, 2012



Jonathan Hacohen:  Posted every Weekend: Your top baseball questions from the past week are answered. E-mail all questions to mlbreports@me.com, message us on Twitter, post on our Facebook Wall and leave comments on our website! There are many ways to reach us and we will get to your questions from all social media outlets!

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

Q: What do you think about Honolulu (for MLB expansion)? They would get so many people during the summer for vacation.  Robert

JH:  Robert! I don’t think a week goes by where I don’t receive a question from you on MLB expansion. You know that it is one of my favorite topics- so inevitably, we end up discussing it seemingly at least once on ATR every week. Honolulu now…that is interesting. As we discussed in previous expansion talks, Major League Baseball will consider many factors in its next round of expansion. Population base and the availability of fans for games will be one key factor. Honolulu has apparently 337,000 residents while Hawaii itself is closing in on 1,000,000.  Not bad. Not bad at all. But even with a strong population base, we would have to be realistic on the area. Travel will be a killer. Which division would we even consider putting them in? The climate would be perfect though. Nice and dry in the summer, warm but not overbearing. A very population destination for tourists, but with most trying to enjoy sun and beaches, I am not sure how baseball would go over as a tourist attraction.

Ultimately, distance will be the killer. Also, taxes I understand may be an issue as well. Les Murakami Stadium in Honalulu is home to the University of Hawaii baseball team. The stadium holds 4,312 and has turf. Guess what? A new stadium will need to be built to accommodate MLB. Will that happen? Many of the other candidates for MLB expansion will need to build a stadium as well. But at least those areas have a decent shot at a team. To get a good stadium, you need a rich owner with a supportive community willing to subsidize the venture. Hawaii folded its winter league in 2008, but I have read reports it could return. If the area could not keep the winter league, I think MLB expansion would be a tough sell. But if nothing else, distance is the killer. You can have one team in Hawaii and expect all the other teams in the league (especially in the division) to travel such a distance. Ten hours from Hawaii to NYC? No thanks. We need to be creative in thinking MLB expansion, but Honolulu is reaching a little too far. Read the rest of this entry

Ask the Reports: ATR Answers Your Baseball Questions – May 20th, 2012

Sunday May 20th, 2012



Jonathan Hacohen:  Posted every Weekend: Your top baseball questions from the past week are answered. E-mail all questions to mlbreports@me.com, message us on Twitter, post on our Facebook Wall and leave comments on our website! There are many ways to reach us and we will get to your questions from all social media outlets!

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

Q:  I watched the replays of the 3-1 and 3-2 count with Brett Lawrie batting in last nights Blue Jays game.

As far as I’m concerned, Bill Miller missed two calls. Brett Lawrie was entirely justified in his outrage.

Ok, you gotta throw him out when the helmet hits the ump, but there’s no outrage if Miller makes those calls right.

It infuriates me that umpires are so go**am arrogant and they have so little tolerance for a player objecting to a bad call.

The 3-2 pitch was farther out of the strike zone that the 3-1 pitch, and it looked a lot like Miller called it a strike since, apparently in his mind, he’d been shown up by Lawrie  after the previous pitch. I’d like to see a 3-day suspension for Miller, and any ump who’s that arrogant.       John

JH:  Before we start this discussion, let’s go to the video replay and see what happened in Toronto the other night:

John, I feel your frustration. I hear where you are coming from. But let’s get this straight. Firstly, Lawrie lost his cool and crossed the line. He didn’t just cross the line, he buried it. Regardless of whether he agrees or disagrees with a call, he clearly acted in a manner that was not professional and put the umpire and himself at risk. Lawrie got a 4-game suspension…and he should consider himself lucky. It could have been much worse.  Look again at how the helmet was thrown- Lawrie threw it in a manner that the helmet made contact with the ump. I have long detested when players start trotting to first base during an at-bat before hearing the call of ball/strike from an ump. In my estimation, that shows up the ump and is more likely to result in a strike call. I am not defending Miller though. He was not on his game and clearly made some terrible calls. The league should have periodic reviews of umps (report cards), with specific instances of issue to be addressed when incidents arise.

Given the nature of the two blown calls, I would not have an issue of Miller going before a reviewer to discuss the incident. I would not suspend him in this instance, but a warning and discussion would be in order. Where an ump shows up a player and acts in a manner that is detrimental to the game, then suspensions could be in order. I agree that the whole process of umpire accountability is somewhat of a mystery and should be more transparent. We should have a better idea on the scale that umpires are graded, reviewed, rewarded and reprimanded. Lawrie had to be accountable for his actions- but where is Miller’s part in the process? That is unclear. Umpires should hold power given what they role in the game is. If that power is taken away, the very state of how the game is played and called could be severely damaged. But we don’t want umpires abusing their role and power. The Lawrie incident in Toronto was not pretty and accountability should be required from all involved. Again, I don’t see a suspension coming for Miller. But without dealing with this incident properly from the start, there is no guarantees that it won’t happen again. Read the rest of this entry

Ask the Reports: ATR Answers Your Baseball Questions – May 12th, 2012

Saturday May 12th, 2012



Jonathan Hacohen:  Posted every Weekend: Your top baseball questions from the past week are answered. E-mail all questions to mlbreports@me.com, message us on Twitter, post on our Facebook Wall and leave comments on our website! There are many ways to reach us and we will get to your questions from all social media outlets!

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

Q:  (a) What are the chances of the indians moving; and

(b)  Josh Hamilton obviously, Matt Kemp too, but after that Im not sure(maybe Bruce,Braun, etc). Who do you think will be the contestants this year?  Robert

JH: Two questions for Robert this week. A great way to kick off ATR! Now I am getting many messages on the Indians moving, so it is time for some clarification. I had tweeted a couple of weeks back on the hypothetical scenario on “if your team was to relocate or contract, which team would you start to follow and why.”  Completely hypothetical and never intended to be more than that. The Indians came up with Larry, MLB reports’ #1 fan (his fave team)…and based on that discussion, the whole concept of the Indians moving was born. Now digging through the attendance figures for last season, the Indians were ranked 24th with approximately 1.8 million fans. Good…but certainly not great. Just to compare, both the Yankees and Phillies draw approximately 3.6 million fans as the top gates, while Oakland was the worst at 1.476 million. The Marlins and Rays were both very close to the bottom, with the Marlins now having a new stadium and the Rays desperately needing one. If the Rays and A’s don’t get new parks, expect to see these teams move in the next five years. The Indians though are not going anywhere. Not in our lifetimes at least. The Indians as a major league team were formed in 1901 in Cleveland and formally became the Indians in 1915. Translation: too much history and tradition. Still a very popular team. This team is not going anywhere. Progressive (formerly Jacobs) Field opened in 1994, so it is still relatively new. A beautiful park and a loyal fan base that loves their team, the Indians are here to stay.

As far as your second question, I will say this on the MLB Home Run Derby. It’s time is starting to run out. Last year, Ortiz and Fielder were the captains for the event. Contestants included Cano, Bautista, Adrian Gonzalez, Weeks, Kemp and Holiday. Cano ended up winning it, which was suprising considering that he wasn’t even a considered candidate by many. By Rickie Weeks? A little weak in my book. Many players do not wish to participate anymore, given injury risks and the issues it can create with their swings. Remember Bobby Abreu back in 2005? He was never the same after that one. I think we will see more and more young players participating. I think the old guard has had enough, with the young players still looking forward to the event. I would love to see Cespedes, Bruce, Napoli all join in the fun. I think Kemp will want a year off from this one, but Major League Baseball would love to see him and Hamilton duke it out. It boils down to politics vs. players’ preferences. I would expect to see some established stars, but more of the prospects as this event continues to grow. The captains idea was a good one- allowing more players input into the event. Hopefully Major League Baseball can continue to grow and evolve the Derby. Read the rest of this entry

Ask the Reports: ATR Answers Your Baseball Questions – May 6th, 2012

Sunday May 6th, 2012





Jonathan Hacohen:  Posted every Weekend: Your top baseball questions from the past week are answered. E-mail all questions to mlbreports@me.com, message us on Twitter, post on our Facebook Wall and leave comments on our website! There are many ways to reach us and we will get to your questions from all social media outlets!

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

Q:  Watching Jamie Moyer tonite wondering if he reaches 300 wins (2-3 more yrs of pitching). Will that make him HOF bound?  Old Man Mack (via Twitter)

JH:  OMM. We are starting of ATR with one of your questions…and of course, it is a Jamie Moyer one. This is the 3rd Moyer question that I recall receiving from you. He certainly is a great story in baseball and you are on top of this one! Moyer is turning 50 this November. His current records sits at 1-2, 4.01 ERA and 1.663 WHIP. He is 32 wins away from 300. How can I put this nicely…it ain’t happening! As much as all of us would love to see Moyer reach the magical 300 plateau, he would need to win 10+ games for the next 3 years. That would have him pitching until 52. A neat story, but the odds are certainly against that happening. In my estimation, Moyer will be done after this year. He came back, proved he could pitch until 50…and then ride off into the sunset. At his age, we are asking a ton from his body to be able to grind out 3 more years. Plus, he would also have to be effective at such an advanced age. Not impossible…but nearly. Moyer has a career 4.23 ERA and 1.319 WHIP. He was never a true #1 starter and the best among his peers. A good pitcher, but not a great pitcher. Cooperstown is supposed to be reserved for the elite, the best of the best. While Moyer’s story deserves to be enshrined in the Hall of Fame, his statistics do not. Even if Moyer reaches 300 wins- I don’t see a Cooperstown plaque in his future. Sorry my man- that’s just the way it goes! Thank you for the great question and your support of ATR and MLB reports. We very much appreciate it!

 

Q:  They should fire Scioscia for how he handled Napoli. I seriously thought Napoli must have slept with Scioscia’s wife for a while.  Mike (Via Twitter)

JH:  Probably one of the funniest tweets I have received in some time. I agree with you that the Angels did not handle Mike Napoli well. I can’t speak on his relationship with Mike Scoscia…but certainly, it did seem strained. Unless you have been living under a rock, you would know that I firmly believe that the Angels and Jays blew it by not hanging on to Napoli. The Great Napoli had a season for the ages in 2011. In only 113 games, Napoli hit .320 for the Rangers, with a .414 OBP, .631 SLG (1.046 OPS), 30 home runs, 75 RBIs, 72 runs, plus 58/85 walks/k’s. In other words, Napoli is a beast. This year, Napoli already has 7 home runs in 24 games, with a .241 AVG- but .330 OBP and .506 SLG.  I called Napoli the “Next Bautista” when the Jays acquired him and when you look at his numbers since 2011 over a full season, it is pretty darn close. How great would Napoli’s bat look right now in a slumping Angels lineup? What about at first base for the Jays or catcher over Lind and/or Arencibia?

Now would you like to hear some irony? Here it is. The Angels dumped Napoli in the Vernon Wells trade, really moving his salary and writing him off. In the process the Angels kept Jeff Mathis. How did Mathis do in 2011? In 93 games, he hit a whopping .174 avg, .225 OBP, .259 SLG and 3 home runs all year. That’s how many Napoli hits in many weeks! Mathis had 15 extra base hits all year in fact. Now where is Mathis you ask? In Toronto, of course. The team that couldn’t find a spot for Napoli, now is following the Angels twisted plan of succession. Funny though- how Mathis has played well though in Toronto. In 8 games, Mathis has 2 home runs, .250 AVG, .400 OBP and .650 SLG. Looking at him at the plate, you think Mathis should be a slugger. But it never developed. When the trade was made to the Jays, I thought Mathis could hit 15-20 home runs…if the Jays were able to get him on track. Still could happen, but I see Mathis moving back closer to his career average of .195, .259 OBP and .306 SLG.  Now for Mathis’ replacement in Anaheim? Chris Iannetta, a Mike Napoli-clone as I call him. In 23 games, Iannetta has popped 3 home runs, hitting .220 with a .324 OBP and .441 SLG. Good numbers, but certainly not great numbers. If that was the kind of production though Anaheim wanted, why not just hold onto Napoli and let him explode at the plate? That is certainly the question. So we will never know the truth behind Mike Scioscia’s thinking in wanting Mike Napoli off the Angels. But if Anaheim and Toronto could go back in time, I’m sure they would have done things differently. For the future, they may want to read up on MLB reports before making another blunder like that again! Read the rest of this entry

Ask the Reports: ATR Answers Your Baseball Questions – April 29th, 2012

Sunday April 29th, 2012




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

Let’s get to your top questions of the week (LOTS of Expansion talk this week):

Q: Where will the WBC games be played in March  Chris

Q: Does anyone know what the dates are for the 2013 World Baseball Classic and how it will affect the schedule for Spring Training?  Steve

JH: Hello Chris and Steve. Yes, we love talking WBC on MLB reports. So much so, that we have a page dedicated exclusively to the greatest international baseball tournament of all time! Please click on wbcreports.com to find out all the latest World Baseball Classic news and reports. With the WBC qualifiers still coming up, we are still far away from the tournament itself- coming up in March 2013. The qualifiers will be played in Florida, Panama, Germany and Taiwan. Each site will host 4 countries- with 1 winner advancing to the WBC tournament from each pool. For the 1st two tournaments, the finals were held in Los Angeles (Dodger Stadium). As to which cities will be lucky to host the 2013 WBC- stay tuned. I expect the announcement to come sometime between the end of the World Series and New Years. But as soon as we have the info- we will announce it! The WBC will have the effect of extending the spring schedule to some degree. It is a never-ending battle for Major League Baseball, to accommodate spring training while still keeping the WBC schedule on track. It’s not a perfect system, so certainly expect baseball officials to continue to tweak the schedule every tournament until they find the best possible schedule. Read the rest of this entry

Ask the Reports: ATR Answers Your Baseball Questions – April 23rd, 2012

Monday April 23rd, 2012



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

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

 

Q:  When do the WBC Qualifiers begin? When does the WBC itself begin?  William

JH:  Starting off with one of our most loyal Twitter followers. A great question Williams, you know we love talking WBC! In fact, we love the World Baseball Classic so much, that we have a dedicated site for it: wbcreports.com. Keep the page bookmarked for all the latest WBC info! To answer your question, the WBC Qualifiers begin September of this year. With the MLB playoffs just about to begin, tensions and debates will begin as playoff-bound teams are unlikely (will not) send their players to the qualifiers. One or two missing players could mean the difference between a WBC berth…or elimination. The tournament itself begins in March 2013. Debates have also raged as to when the World Baseball Classic should be held. Some feel mid-season to replace the All-Star Game. This will NEVER happen, as Major League Baseball depends on the All-Star Game to appease sponsors and is one of the biggest events on the MLB calendar. Some others feel that the WBC should be held after the World Series. This creates issues with players that are tired and worn out from a gruelling MLB schedule…which would likely result in low participation rates. Thus during Spring Training was deemed as the lesser of all the evils as to when to hold the tournament. The start of the tournament has led many to believe that pitchers participating in the tournament run the risk of arm injuries- as they are not prepared and warmed up sufficiently to go all out in March. I wouldn’t necessarily disagree. But it is what it is. Fortunately though we are only several months away from the qualifiers. I for one can’t wait! Read the rest of this entry

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

Sunday April 1st, 2012


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

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

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

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

MLB Expansion: Could Major League Baseball Add a Team in Mexico City?

Sunday March 18th, 2012

Sam Evans: Mexico City has the largest population of any city in North America, so it is somewhat surprising that it does not have an MLB franchise. Thanks to technology, the world is getting smaller and language barriers are rapidly shrinking. If there was ever a time for MLB to either expand or relocate a team to Mexico City, it is right now. Read the rest of this entry

Ask the Reports: Your Baseball Questions Answered – Sunday March 4th, 2012

Sunday March 4th, 2012

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

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

Q: Serious question, if you have a Mike Stanton signed baseball, is it worth more cause all autos from here on are Giancarlo?  Bryan

MLB reports: A very interesting question Bryan. Having collected my share of baseball autographs and memorabilia in my day, the same notion popped into my head a couple of times. Here is what the Palm Beach Post News had to say on the subject last Wednesday:

“Many friends still call him Giancarlo, however. He uses that name for his legal signature, while on baseball paraphernalia he signs “Mike Stanton.”

But he notes that his scrawl is such that his “M” looks a lot like a “G.” And teammates are starting to call him Giancarlo more often.”

So it remains to be seen what signature Stanton uses when putting down his name for the fans on pieces of baseball memorabilia, whether they be baseball, cards or other pieces. From the sounds of it, Stanton went by the name Giancarlo on/off for most of his life, along with Mike and similar names. I expect his signature will likely the stay or similar, in which case the value will remain the same. Only, and if only if, his autograph changes drastically would the value of the old signature have any kind of serious increase. But again, as long as the signatures stay the same or similar- value is the same. Thank you again for writing! Read the rest of this entry

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