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“Hard Cheddar” Weekly Segment 1: The Toronto Blue Jays Of The NL East?

The Blue have pretty much been a mediocre franchise in the league for the last 20 years.  After winning back to back World Series in 1992 and 1993, the club has some expensive and talented pieces, however like so many of the 'god awful' teams have shown us recently, maybe the club should tanked it for 7 - 10 years in order to stockpile Grade A level talent through the MLB Amateur Draft?

The Blue Jays have pretty much been a mediocre franchise in the league for the last 20 years. After winning back to back World Series in 1992 and 1993, the club has had some expensive and talented pieces, yet like so many of the ‘god awful’ teams have shown us recently, maybe the club should have tanked it for 7 – 10 years in order to stockpile Grade A level talent through the MLB Amateur Draft?  Toronto has been caught in the middle of a building a team through the Draft, but never seem to be bad enough to receive high enough picks to select ultimate fortune changers for the organization.  Maybe they should try another way..  Lets talk about that today.

By ‘Special Guest  Blue Jays Writer’ Steve Cheeseman 

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“Hard Cheddar” – with Steve Cheeseman

Regardless if you’re a casual fan, or die hard Toronto Blue Jay fan, many things come into mind with regard to what should happen next after a terrible 2013 season.  

Do Media/Cable giant Roger’s need to spend more money?  Should they rebuild from the draft?  Should they rent older, experienced players on short term deals?  

How about a shift from the American League to the National League?

For the start of the 2013 season, the Houston Astros made the move from the NL to the west division of the AL.  This was to equally balance the two leagues to contain 15 teams in each.

In terms of performance, it didn’t help.  The 2012 NL Astros finished the season with a 55-107 record, which was good for last in all of Major League Baseball.  

Montreal’s OIympic Stadium will host a Blue Jays Exhibition Game in 2014

Read the rest of this entry

MLB Should Distribute More Games Against All Teams For Every Club

Thursday, Nov.29/2012

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Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer/Website Owner):

I wrote an article about 6 months ago that investigated a solution to a Payroll/Geographical Alignment that the MLB should consider in going forward for the next CBA discussions in 2016 here.  Let’s be real and this will never happen.  The idea of running any drastic re-alignment is probably too much for the folks at MLB to fathom.  However, there is a growing trend that is starting to rear its ugly head in MLB Baseball.  It is the bigger market teams really starting to throw down some serious dollars, while the lesser revenue teams can’t keep up with same kind of salary influx.  Of course I have fought this fight on Twitter, Facebook and any other social media platform I have found.  Sooner or later these big salaried teams will reel off a bunch of World Series Titles amongst themselves and it will leave the MLB having as much competitive balance as the NBA. Read the rest of this entry

ATR: Ask the Reports Answers Your Baseball Questions: Realignment, Ross to the Red Sox, Izturis to the Jays, Breaking Up the Rays and Remembering Matt Garza

Monday November 12th, 2012



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

Jonathan Hacohen: I will admit that this is a great time of year. I love speculating on free agency signing and the trades that are coming up. But I am getting to the point that there are three words that I no longer feel like speaking: Hamilton, Greinke and Upton. You know exactly who I am talking about. The most popular catches on the market: free agents Josh Hamilton, Zack Greinke and B.J. Upton (with his brother Justin Upton apparently available on the trade market). My flavor is lesser lights, like Mike Napoli, Joakim Soria, Hiroki Kuroda, Ryan Madson and so forth. I really think that someone will get a steal in Mike Napoli. I also think that someone will be very frustrated with Edwin Jackson. And if a team gives Anibal Sanchez anything close to the reported $90+ million that he is seeking- get ready for a Vernon Wells contract disaster to appear. 

With all the talk of free agency and hot stove, remember that the WBC qualifiers are still being played. Groups 3 and 4 are set to do battle, starting in 4 short days. Panama and Taiwan are the lucky venues that will be hosting these upcoming classic games. My picks to qualify for the 2013 World Baseball Classic? Panama in Group 3 and Thailand in Group 4. A very balanced group of countries that will be competing and in a short series, anything can happen. I like the addition of Johnny Damon to the Thailand squad, I really think that he will be a difference maker. Those are my two cents at least.

So enough talking- more asking! It’s time for Ask the Reports.

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: 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

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 – March 19th, 2012

Monday March 19th, 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: 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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