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Chris Duffy Contacts All MLB Teams: Will He Get A Second Chance?

Chris Duffy Looks for An MLB Opportunity

By Nicholas Delahanty (MLB Reports Writer)  

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An interesting story broke out last week, as Evan Drellich of the Houston Chronicle wrote an article on Chris Duffy, A current independent ballplayer who has been searching for a chance to sign with a Major League team this spring. 

During his senior season at the University of Central Florida, Duffy was nominated for the Golden Spikes Award, which is annually given to the country’s best amateur baseball player.

He was nominated among the likes of Bryce Harper (who won the award), Chris Sale, Drew Pomeranz, and Yasmani Grandal

Unlike the other four nominees, Duffy was not a first-round draft pick and was unable to make it to the major leagues just yet. He fell to the 26th round, where the Philadelphia Phillies finally swooped him up.
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Baltimore Orioles State Of The Union Spring 2014 Part 1: The Lineup Now With Cruz Added

By Nicholas Delahanty (MLB Reports O’s Writer)  

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Nelson Cruz Signs with Baltimore

It has been a very busy week for the Orioles as Spring Training gets started, as the team is set to announce the signing of Nelson Cruz to a one-year, $8 MM contract.

Earlier in the week, I wrote about guys the Orioles could target to help bolster their lineup, and Cruz seemed to be the most logical fit. Read the rest of this entry

Orioles Finally Make A Free Agent Splash To Salvage Winter

By Nicholas Delahanty (MLB Reports O’s Writer)  

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Orioles Sign Ubaldo Jimenez 

The Orioles could not catch a break this off-season, as they lost out on free agents that they coveted as well as missing out on closer Grant Balfour , after he failed the team’s physical.

Bronson Arroyo balked at even going for a physical seeing what happened to the Aussie – opting to sign with the D-Backs even though the money was similar, rather than have his worth devalued by flunking the doctor’s visit from the O’s.

Tyler Colvin also fell victim to Baltimore’s stringent doctors, while Grady Sizemore didn’t have a chance to pass a physical with the club either despite Orioles interest.

Orioles fans all over wondered what the team’s intentions were, as many felt the team could be a serious contender with the core they have in place, but some moves needed to be made to bolster the roster.

On Monday night, the Orioles finally made a big splash in free agency that everyone anxiously awaited. The team announced they agreed to a four-year, $48 MM deal with pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez.

This is a huge move for the Orioles as an organization, as it now shows their fan base that they are willing to spend big money on key free agents.

The O’s have been linked to many of the big name free agents throughout the offseason, only to come up short when it came to signing them.

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‘Gambling 101′ Is Coming To The MLB Reports!

There is a reason why our website has gone to more of a Salary based menu of topics - it runs every aspect of the game of baseball in these modern times.  You want the truth, just follow where the money lies. Our site has coverage on all 30 teams payrolls, and what lies ahead based on their current payroll structure.  We also are going to be featuring more of a look at baseball gambling lines, offer information how to run baseball charity events.  This is in addition to the info we have always written here:  MLB Team States Of The Union, Sully Baseball, Audio Podcasting, Historical Posts about the game, Ballpark Chasing and MLB Road Trips Advice

There is a reason why our website has gone to more of a Salary based menu of topics – it runs every aspect of the game of baseball in these modern times. You want the truth, just follow where the money lies. Our site has coverage on all 30 teams payrolls, and what lies ahead based on their current payroll structure. We also are going to be featuring more of a look at baseball gambling lines – and offer information how to run baseball charity events. This is in addition to the info we have always written here: MLB Team States Of The Union,  Rosters, Prospects, Sully Baseball, Audio Podcasting, Historical Posts about the game, TJ Surgery History, Ballpark Chasing and MLB Road Trips Advice.  We may be an expert on a few categories,  but we have the guys that can also range in all of these topics.

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

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I come from a family steeped in betting in sports.  I grew up with a Grandfather that loved the horse races.  Of course it was a natural for me with love of math involved.  Kind of like numbers that baseball also provides.

While I understand it is against the law to gamble on sports in most states in the USA (except for Vegas), what I am about to divulge can be used for a lot of different things people do

Whether it is Sudoku, or just placing a certain amount of risk at your next visit to the track, these may help you, as they have been invaluable to me as a odds expert.

I will debunk this type of thinking.  Martingale system Not good..as it leaves no outs.

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Orioles Fill Closer Void With Signing Of Grant Balfour

The Baltimore Orioles signed Closer Grant Balfour to a 2 YR/ 14 Million dollar contract on Tuesday. Balfour will replace Jim Johnson, who was traded to Balfour’s previous team, the Oakland Athletics, earlier in the offseason.  In an overall picture, the club almost essentially traded Jim Johnson for Jemile Weeks and Grant Balfour.  The club will save $2 – $3 MIL in payroll next campaign, while they added Second Base depth, and perhaps may have the better Relief Pitcher out of the two.  Better yet, Baltimore has their Closer scenario sewn up for the 2015 season now as well.

By Nicholas Delahanty (MLB Reports O’s Writer)  

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What the signing of Grant Balfour means to the Orioles

As the winter moves along, the Oriole faithful keeps asking the same question: when are the Orioles going to make a big move?

The beginning of the MLB Free Agency period has not been friendly to Orioles fans, as they saw their team trade away Jim Johnson, one of the best Closers in baseball, as well as part ways with Left Fielder Nate McLouth and Starting Pitcher Scott Feldman through free agency.

On Tuesday afternoon, the Orioles found out that rumors surrounding the team were actually truth, as it was announced that Grant Balfour signed a 2 YR/ 14 Million dollar deal, with $500,000 deferred each season.

Grant Balfour Rage versus the Rangers

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The Mariners Managerial Search Continues

Former Ozzie Guillen assistant Joey Cora would be the popular choice for the Mariners open Managerial position.

Former Ozzie Guillen assistant Joey Cora would be the popular choice for the Mariners open Managerial position.  The man played a significant role on the the 1995 club that won their first Division Title since coming into the Majors in 1977.

Sam Evans ( Baseball Writer and Marlins, Mariners Correspondent):

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The Mariners new manager needs to be someone who can turn around the recent trend of losing baseball at Safeco Field and help bring a new era of baseball to the pacific northwest.

General Manager Jack Zduriencik has exhaustively looked at a number of different options, with potential candidates ranging from young to old, some with Seattle connections, some completely new to the city.

However, it appears, although this is just an assumption, that he has narrowed his list to three option.

Chip Hale, the Athletics bench coach, Lloyd McClendon, the Tigers hitting coach, and Joey Cora, the former White Sox bench coach. Here is a look at each of the three top candidates and which one is my favorite of the bunch.

Joey Cora Game #5  (ALDS) HR versus the Yankees in 1995

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When Can The Baseball Writers For The Hall Of Fame Consider Cheating Through PED Use, Or Not?

Barry Bonds once admitted to a Federal Jury that he used PED's. As MLB's ALL-Time HR King with 762 Round-Trippers, will the BBWAA ever consider looking past this and elect him into Cooperstown?

Barry Bonds once admitted to a Federal Jury that he used PED’s. As MLB’s ALL-Time HR King with 762 Round-Trippers, will the BBWAA ever consider looking past this and elect him into Cooperstown? —Photo by sportsagent.com.

Prof. Wes Reber Porter and Dan Dressman (Special Guest Writers):  and

When the 2014 MLB Hall of Fame Ballot is released in November, the heated discussion will begin about which controversial candidates, if any at all, would be inducted into Cooperstown (HOF). 

While isolated athletes have come up in previous years, this year represents a first real tension between the modern era of baseball – the “steroid era” – and traditional standards for admission into the Hall. 

The 575 baseball writers are, and should be, entrusted to weigh cheating and use of PEDs against the HOF’s criteria of “character,” “sportsmanship” and “upholding the integrity of the game” (the integrity standards). 

These writers each will struggle, however, with a preliminary question that falls outside of their expertise:under which circumstances may a HOF voter consider, at all, a candidate’s connection to cheating and performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs)?    Read the rest of this entry

Baseball Academies In The Dominican Republic

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Sam Evans (Baseball Writer): 

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In 2012, almost ten percent of all major league players were born in the Dominican Republic. This is despite the population of the United States of America being more than thirty-one times greater than that of the D.R.

How does the Dominican Republic produce so many baseball players, one might ask.

Well, baseball academies run by major league teams and player agents are one of the driving forces increasing the number of professional baseball players from the D.R.

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MLB Player Profile: Mariners Pitcher Erasmo Ramirez

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Sunday, July 28th, 2013

Erasmo Ramirez has a career 3.92 FIP in 69 MLB innings pitched.

Erasmo Ramirez has a career 3.92 FIP in 69 MLB innings pitched.  While he was putting together a decent campaign during the 2012 year (with a WHIP of 1.00 – and an ERA of 3.36).  The 2013 has not been as kind – with an ERA of 8.71, based on his 2 Game Starts this season, despite yielding a 1 – 0 record thus far.

Sam Evans ( Baseball Writer and Marlins, Mariners Correspondent):

Aside from Felix Hernandez and Hisashi Iwakuma, the 2013 Seattle Mariners starting rotation has been far from consistent.

Fortunately for them, Erasmo Ramirez, who has just been recalled, should be able to provide quality innings for a team that is definitely in need of pitching.

Ramirez, 23, has already had ten career MLB starts but elbow soreness at the start of this season has prevented him from really taking off in the Majors.

With his outstanding control and four impressive pitches, Ramirez should turn into a valuable middle of the rotation arm for Seattle in years to come.

Erasmo Ramirez Spotlight 5-28

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Felix Hernandez To Represent The Mariners In The 2013 All-Star Game

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Tuesday, July 16th, 2013

KIng Felix is one of the main reason  experts now pay more attention to Pitcher's peripheral stats to decipher whether or not he is 'CY Young Worthy' based on his 2009 AL Cy Young Award Winning Season.  Despite  13 - 12 record, he lugged 249.2 IP, carried an ERA of 2.27 in the AL - and a WHIP of 1.057.  The 9 year veteran will be in New York City tonight for the ALL - Star Game.

KIng Felix is one of the main reason experts now pay more attention to Pitcher’s peripheral stats to decipher whether or not he is ‘CY Young Worthy’ based on his 2009 AL Cy Young Award Winning Season. Despite a 13 – 12 record, he lugged 249.2 IP, carried an ERA of 2.27 in the AL – and a WHIP of 1.057.  His 13 Wins were the fewest wins ever by a Cy Young Winner.  The 9 year veteran will be in New York City tonight for the ALL – Star Game.

Sam Evans (Baseball Writer and Marlins, Mariners Correspondent):

The young Mariners roster has a lot of talented, exciting players competing at an All-Star type level at the moment, but almost all of those players haven’t been this way for long enough to be considered for the All-Star Game.

Felix Hernandez, 27, has been the same pitcher in 2013 that Mariners fans have loved watching over the past nine years. His 4.2 WAR and 138.2 outstanding innings pitched are numbers that can rival practically any pitcher in the game today

. For this reason, Felix Hernandez will be the Mariners lone representative, heading to his fourth All-Star Game.

SEA@HOU: Felix fans nine en route to 100th career win

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The Top Five Things To Watch On The Mariners Before The All-Star Break

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Monday, June 17th, 2013

Will Tom Wilhelmsen be the Mariners closer by the time the 2013 All-Star break rolls around?

Will Tom Wilhelmsen be the Mariners closer by the time the 2013 All-Star break rolls around?

Sam Evans (Baseball Writer and Marlins, Mariners Correspondent):

While they might not be a very successful baseball team, the Mariners are definitely a very attention-grabbing baseball team. From top prospects aligning in the Majors, to a nasty closer dilemma, the 2013 Mariners have numerous storylines swirling around.

This year’s Mariners ballclub will be intriguing over the next month or so, even though they might not be a winning baseball team. Here are the top five things to watch for on the Mariners before the All-Star Break.

Mike Zunino, C Seattle Mariners Professional Debut

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The Mariners Are Playing Great Baseball In The Last 2 Weeks

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Sunday, May 5th, 2013

Dustin Ackley has been hitting the ball with a lot more frequency during the last 2 weeks of play.  Due partly to bad luck and partly to bad at bat’s, Dustin Ackley got off to a 5-for-49 start in 2013. Fast forward to the present, and Dustin Ackley is hitting .255/.290/.314 with a grand slam off of R.A. Dickey on Saturday.

Dustin Ackley has been hitting the ball with a lot more frequency during the last 2 weeks of play. Due partly to bad luck and partly to bad at bat’s, Ackley got off to a 5-for-49 start in 2013. Fast forward to the present, and the Mariners Second Baseman is hitting .255/.290/.314 with a grand slam off of R.A. Dickey on Saturday.  He has hits in 9 of his last 10 games (13 – 36, .361 Batting Average in that time frame – raising him 55 Points overall in his season BA.)

Sam Evans ( Baseball Writer and Marlins, Mariners Correspondent):

Believe it or not, the Mariners are one of the hottest teams in baseball right now. After an ugly 8-15 start to the season, the Mariners have won six out of their last eight games, and are two games in front of the Angels in the A.L. West.

It’s unclear how long the Mariners will be able to continue to play this brand of baseball, but for the time being, Seattle is one of the most fun teams to watch in the Majors.

Thanks to young players like Dustin Ackley and Michael Saunders heating up and Hisashi Iwakuma and others shutting down other teams, the Mariners have become a much more dangerous team to face.

Iwakuma’s great start:

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2 And A Hook Podcast Ep #3: Wil Myers, Mets + Baseball’s Importance To The World

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Thursday, April.18/2013

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

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

People in this Podcast:

Chuck Booth – Guest (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner):

By James Acevedo – Host (Podcast Veteran) 

In the Clutch Guys from 90.3 FM Tuesday Show In Long Island NY  

On today’s show, brought to you by MLB Reports (www.mlbreports.com )& yours truly (The Bench Warmers Show), I talk about the horrible bombings that happened in the Boston Marathon & how sports especially baseball unites us in this great country! Also I told to Chuck Booth who is the lead analyst and owner of MLB Reports on the world of baseball! Read the rest of this entry

To Cap Or Not To Cap? That Is The Question!

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Sunday Mar.24/2013

I was listening to my local sports talk radio station the other day and the show host, who, in my opinion, doesn't know what the heck he's talking about most of the time, actually said something that made sense.  He pointed out that in the leagues with the salary caps, the playing field is more level. Think about it for a second.  Who are always the teams that are in the playoffs year after year in the MLB?  You have the Yankees (large market), Red Sox (large market), California teams (the entire state is a large market).  Even Detroit, with all the economic struggles that the city has had of late, is still large market team.

I was listening to my local sports talk radio station the other day and the show host, who, in my opinion, doesn’t know what the heck he’s talking about most of the time, actually said something that made sense. He pointed out that in the leagues with the salary caps, the playing field is more level.
Think about it for a second. Who are always the teams that are in the playoffs year after year in the MLB? You have the Yankees (large market), Red Sox (large market), California teams (the entire state is a large market). Even Detroit, with all the economic struggles that the city has had of late, is still a large market team that can draw 3 Million plus fans.

By Robert Whitmer (MLB Reports Writer):

We have reached a crossroads in the game of baseball.

There is a poem by Robert Frost that goes as follows, ” Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, and sorry I could not travel both and be one traveler, long I stood and looked down one as far as I could to where it bent in the undergrowth; Then took the other, as just as fair, and having perhaps the better claim because it was grassy and wanted wear, though as for that the passing there had worn them really about the same, And both that morning equally lay In leaves no step had trodden black. 

Oh, I marked the first for another day!  Yet knowing how way leads on to way I doubted if I should ever come back.  I shall be telling this with a sigh somewhere ages and ages hence: Two roads diverged in a wood, and I, I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.”

Should there be a Salary Cap in the MLB?:

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Cuba Is Ready To Win The 2013 World Baseball Classic

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Saturday February 16th, 2013

LazoClasico1.jpg

Pedro Luis Lazo. One of Cuba’s greatest pitchers of all-time. Considered also one of the best pitchers in the history of baseball not to pitch in the big leagues. A legend, he represented Cuba in the 2006 and 2009 WBC tournaments. He will be missed in this year’s edition.

By Jonathan Hacohen  (Lead Baseball Columnist, Oakland A’s Correspondent and Website Founder):  

Going into the 3rd edition of the World Baseball Classic, the #1 question that I get asked on a daily basis is: “Which country will win it all?” A fair question, as all sports fans (not just baseball ones) love to predict champions before the first game is even played. Given that Japan has won the first two WBC titles (2006 and 2009), they have to be the favorites going into this year’s tournament. But as every new WBC edition begins, every country begins to get hungrier and hungrier. We had a qualifier tournament recently, the inaugural one for a WBC. 16 countries battled it out to win the 4 coveted spots into the tournament. Chinese Taipei, Brazil, Canada and Spain will field teams next month.

Canada and Chinese Taipei were two of the four countries that did not receive automatic entries and were required to qualify. Brazil and Spain were the newcomers that got their first taste of the WBC…and evidently loved it. So who will be it folks? Japan beat Korea in 2009 and Cuba back in 2006. Ironically, Cuba lost to Japan twice back in the 2nd round of 2009. If not for Japan, Cuba would have at least WBC title under their belts. Maybe two. So who does Cuba get in their group as part of the 1st Round of the 2013 WBC? Japan, of course. This time around, things will be different. Cuba is ready to knock the Japanese gorilla off their backs and take the 2013 World Baseball Classic.  


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MLB Reports State Of The Union Part 2: Going Forward

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Friday, Feb.8/2013

MLB reports

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

So I left off the other day talking about some sweeping changes at the site.  What I want to talk about next – is what to expect.  Our website is revving up to start the baseball year.  We plan on posting 3-5 times a day.  We will range from about 9 AM EST all the way through to 9 PM EST.  Most MLB teams will have about 3-4 articles a month.  Once per month May-October, we will also have our Monthly Power Rankings like we had last year.  Our Lead Writer Sully will be posting a 20 minute daily PODCAST on the site. 

In addition to this, MLB Reports presents the ‘Triple Play Podcast” – will be going ahead with Patrick and Chris with the Big Ticket Show, for about 5 PODCASTS a month during the regular season and about 1-2 per month in the winter months.  These PODCASTS will feature yours truly 2-3 times a month as a guest.  We will also have Saul Wisnia (Red Sox Correspondent), Jonathan Hacohen (MLB Reports Founder) and other personalities as part of the show.

We plan on interacting with the readers by way of Facebook and Twitter, when we start-up in March.  So we will let you know.  We have about 7 different general writers and reporters, 5 special analysts and 24 Team Correspondents so far.  The  goal is to find the 6 new Correspondents from the teams we have left (PHI, ATL, SEA, SD, KC and COL  We continue to search for awesome independent writers, that can cover these teams with the same kind of passion our other Correspondents have displayed.

We still plan on having a weekly Fantasy Baseball article, a once a month Cooperstown article and a once a month – live interview from our ‘Junior Reporter’ Haley Smilow.  We are also open to many suggestions by our readers, if they have  great article ideas.

I am trying to write my historical series on all 30 teams, but am still trying to make it to the regular season first.  I have written entire series already for the Nationals, Phillies, Expos, Blue Jays and Rays already here.  The plan is to write 1-2 series a month for the teams not done yet.  By the  end of 2014, we will have a full chronicled series for each team.  This will be our legacy.  We strive on our mission to include all 30 MLB Fan bases.  All of our dedicated Correspondents exhibit the kind of passion for baseball that I am truly proud of.  You can see all of their biographies here.

Our general writers and Reporters can be found here.

News:

One of our writers, Thomas Roberts (Dodgers Correspondent), is a top 52 finalist for the MLB Fancave.  We hope that he can make it to New York.  Please check out the interview (and vote for him on the links provided there) I did with him here

We are going to have 5-6 dedicated pages from our General Writers.  I will run a page called “The  Baseball Booth”.  This is the same as a page listed below here that is for MLB Player Awareness Weeks.  In a sub-page to that are my best baseball road-trips advice links here.

Jonathan Hacohen will have his own page called the J-HAY Page. 

Saul Wisnia is accomplished writer.  He has authored 10 sports books and is one of the best Red Sox authors of late.  His page is called the Words Of Wisnia.  He will run additional Red Sox articles, and he will have many other fun things to browse in his subpages.  You can find all of his archives for his own website here.

Paul Francis Sullivan (Sully) will have his own dedicated page called ‘Sully Baseball’.  It is up to Sully to post anything and everything on his own page.  I only know whatever he does around baseball is entertaining and worth the time.  On the main page, Sully will post his daily Podcast.  Subscribe to his daily podcast here.

We may have another website that we will have on board with us to cover a team thoroughly through a dedicated page.  We are not finalized yet, so I will announce this on Twitter and Facebook.

We have a few writers from the strosbros.mlblogs.com with us covering the Astros.  Lee White and Richard Perez will be keeping it real.

We have Tigers Correspondent  Matthew Lafave of the examiner.com – to keep us up to date with what is going on in Detroit.

By the time the regular season rolls on, we will have all 30 MLB Teams Payroll and State Of The Unions done.  We are close to finishing the State Of The Unions already.  You can view these here.

Here are some really important pages at the Reports.  It also says what they are about.

http://mlbreports.com/paystat/

We are going to end every baseball year with a ‘STATE OF THE UNION’ Address for each team and also look forward to the next year’s Payroll for all 30 MLB Teams.  This is in addition to all of the other information we will put out in our normal articles.  More than ever, team’s salary and current 25 or 40 Man Rosters, are becoming more important to the fanbases.  We will take a detailed look at both of these for you and provide some analysis.  It will keep us busy and definitely on top of our game.  We will be doing these in stages and not all at once, so please check back often for more updates.

http://mlbreports.com/mlbhistory/

This page has links to the entire 30 MLB Teams listed (for a minimum 5 Part Series on each club).  These Franchise Series are signature website articles that take 3-4 times the normal amount of regular pieces to write.  Do yourself a favor and follow along with us as we take the next 2 years to complete this mission.  It is a great way to learn about your Franchises history, including the players, pitchers, management, mascots and the parks they have played in.

http://mlbreports.com/gwr-tracker/

This full-page lists all of the Games I went to in establishing the new “Guinness Book Of World Record” for “Fastest To See A Full Home Game In All 30 MLB Parks from April.6-April.28/2012.  The write-ups include many pictures and stories of how I arrived at all 30 MLB Parks and what the travel entailed.  I promoted the trip by using Facebook and Twitter and met several top MLB Park Chaser Experts along the way.  For someone who may have a similar goal, I think you will find this page quite entertaining.

http://mlbreports.com/awareness/

This was a Twitter concept first driven to a webpage by promoting unheralded players not receiving their due credit.  Each week, the MLB Reports will select an active MLB Player and a retired MLB Player to focus their attention on.  We will write tweets about the players and showcase them on this page.  It is our hope that we can receive some feedback with out twitter followers and website readers.  Suggestions may always be presented to us for future nominations.

http://mlbreports.com/wbc-2013/

You have asked for it readers and now it is here!  An entire page devoted to the upcoming 2013 edition of the World Baseball Classic! After the initial WBC in 2006, the tournament returned in 2009.  The decision was made to have the WBC played three years after the inaugural edition and then four years later from there.  As result, after a long wait for baseball fans…the third World Baseball Classic will be back in the year 2013!

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The views and opinions expressed in this report are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of mlbreports.com or their partners.***

Chuck Booth- Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner and author of the Fastest 30 Ballgames:   To learn more about my  “The Fastest 30 Ballgames Book” and how to purchase it, click here . You can also follow my Guinness Book of World Record Successful Bid to see all 30 MLB Park in 23 Days- click here.  I am happy to be part of such an awesome Magazine-Style Baseball Website and am looking forward to talking to all of the fans of the MLB.  You can reach me on Twitter here

a      new mlb reports chuck

Please e-mail me  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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The Oakland A’s 2013 Roster Tree Part 1: The Hitters

Saturday, Dec.01/2012

How important was Cespedes to The A's Lineup?  They went 83-47 with him in the lineup and 12-20 without him.  He was the biggest reason the team has soared into the playoff race and wont the AL East.  Beane secured him Free Agency last year without trading any prospects.   He is signed for 3 more years.

How important was Cespedes to The A’s Lineup in 2012? They went 82-47 with him in the lineup and 12-21 without him. He was the biggest reason the team soared into the playoff race and won the AL East. Beane secured him in Free Agency before the start of last year. He is signed for 3 more years at 9 Million Dollars Per Year.

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer/Website Owner):

A few months ago, our Lead Columnist/Website Founder (Jonathan Hacohen) wrote a brilliant piece about the assembly of the Oakland Athletics roster.  He called it “MoneyBall 2.”  Right after the piece, the A’s surged to the greatest record in the second half of the season and won the AL West.  The team is now constructed of power hitters and power pitchers.  The man behind it all is Billy Beane.  I will not get into too much of this philosophy as you can read that piece here.  What I intend to do is to show the roster of how it was comprised by Beane in the form of a roster tree.  It is just like a family tree, however this shows trades dating back 2,3,4,5,6 fold etc.. in order to show you the mastery of the GM’s ability to field a roster on a limited budget.

The Future of the Oakland A’s:  The Mustache Gang Meets the Bash Brothers:  Revealing Billy Beane’s Master Plan click here.

The Oakland A’s 2013 Roster Tree Part 2:  The Pitchers  click here.

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ATR: Ask the Reports Answers Your Baseball Questions: Major Announcement on MLB reports and Melky Cabrera Special Feature

Saturday November 17th, 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:

The World, it is changing. It’s a fact of life, it’s something we can’t avoid. Change is inevitable.

Remember when the Chicago White Sox announced a new management structure? Long time General Manager Kenny Williams was promoted to Executive Vice President, with Rick Hahn being the new GM? We are experiencing a new management similarly here at MLB reports. I have been fortunate for the past couple of years to wear many hats at MLB reports. After founding the site and being the Lead Columnist, I was also the Editor responsible for content, updating the website and social media. I have spoken with many of you on Twitter.  Yes, that was me.

So today I am thrilled to announce that MLB reports has now changed that structure. Chuck Booth, Lead Writer for MLB reports will now be taking over my role. Chuck, in addition to his weekly columns, will now be the Editor and looking after our social media.  Chuck has been very active behind the scenes on MLB reports for some time and we have decided to evolve our roles. As partners in MLB reports, I have been very fortunate to be able to work side-by-side with a great baseball mind like Chuck Booth. This man is a Guinness World Record Holder, having viewed baseball games in all 30 stadiums in only 23 days. How does he do it? The man is a baseball legend.

Going forward, when you are reading our daily tweets, that will be Chuck. When you converse with MLB reports on Twitter, that will be Chuck. The great baseball articles that come every week from MLB reports? Chuck will be the Editor and responsible for all content on MLB reports. So where does that leave me you ask? I guess you could ask Kenny Williams that same question. While Kenny had the passion to have more time for scouting, I have the same passion for writing. There is much work that goes into being an Editor and social media. While I loved those roles, I ultimately want to spend more time writing. I will also be working behind the scenes, focusing on growing the MLB reports brand. It’s change…and change is good.

Not to worry, you will still be able to find me and converse baseball anytime. I am blowing the dust off my twitter handle @jhacohen – be sure to follow me, say hello and most importantly, let me know that I sent ya!

Now for the next announcement. You didn’t think that was it, did you? I certainly hope that you enjoy this edition of Ask the Reports, as it will be the last one that I will be producing. With hot stove season in full force, Chuck and I have decided to put ATR on hiatus for the offseason to concentrate on other baseball areas. The WBC qualifiers are currently going on, with the tournament itself starting in March. Free agency season has begun (which will the topic of today’s ATR). So please continue to send in your questions, we love to hear from you! While we will continue to write back on our site in the comments section, on our Facebook wall and Twitter, we will say goodbye to ATR for the winter months. This has been a weekly feature that was a baby for me. I loved conversing with each of you and featuring your questions. Thank you for taking the time each of you to sending in your questions, we really appreciate it. We look forward to continuing to talk baseball with all of you 24/7  through social media and our site. Send in those questions people, keep sending them in!

In today’s edition of ATR, I focus on the signing that shook the baseball world. Fresh off their major trade with the Marlins, the Blue Jays announced that they signed free agent outfielder, Melky Cabrera. We all know the story- All-Star Game MVP, batting leader with the San Francisco Giants. Gets busted for PEDs, tries to cover up with a fake website, requests to be removed from the batting leaderboard in the NL, does not play in the 2012 playoffs and wins a World Series ring. The sordid tale of Melky Cabrera. Now for a fresh start, Melky is banished to Canada. Ok, I kid. Heck, Chuck and I are both from Canada! But with less pressure than say New York or Boston, Melky gets a fresh start in 2013. My e-mail box has exploded with your Melky Cabrera questions over the last 24 hours. As a result, I have devoted this week’s ATR to your most popular Melky Cabrera questions. This is our Melky Cabrera Special Feature, ATR edition.

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

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

Philadelphia Phillies: Brotherly Love and the Upton Brothers

Saturday November 3rd, 2012

 

Can Phillies Phans fathom having these big-league-brothers manning the outfield at Citizen’s Bank Park?

Alex Mednick (Baseball Analyst and Writer):  Both B.J. Upton and his younger brother Justin will be available this offseason.  Bossman Junior (B.J.) will be a top centerfield free agent option, and Justin signed a lucrative 6-year deal just two years ago, is widely known to be on the trading block from Arizona.  The Upton brothers are the two highest drafted brothers in sports history.  B.J. was a second overall pick in 2002 and Justin, the first overall pick of the 2005 draft.  They have both had ups and downs in their young careers, but both have performed extremely well and shown glimpses of brilliance.  Justin has already cashed in on his first big major league contract, and B.J. is looking to so this offseason.  Where B.J. will sign, we will find out over the next months.  But one thing that is clear…he makes since for just about any team out there.

The Philadelphia Phillies are one of those teams that could envision B.J. Upton gracefully patrolling centerfield for 162 games.  As a premier center fielder facing free agency, B.J. as become far too expensive a commodity for the Rays to retain going forward.  He plays top-notch defense in centerfield and has a cannon for an arm.  All he did in 2012 as 27-year-old (in his 8th year in the MLB) was hit 29 doubles, 28 home runs and steal 31 bags.  Yes, with this amazing tool set that combines defense with speed and power comes a lifetime .255 batting average and about 150 strikeouts a year.  There are weaknesses in every player’s game, but B.J. Upton’s strengths make him a very attractive target for any team that doesn’t have Joe DiMaggio manning centerfield.

There is no doubt that B.J.’s speed and power will fit very nicely into the Phillies lineup along with Chase Utley, Jimmy Rollins and Ryan Howard.  We have to also consider what it is going to take to get B.J. signed to a contract.  Right now, we know that the Tampa Bay Rays have offered B.J. a qualifying offer.  While the chances of B.J. agreeing to this are virtually ‘zero’, it does mean that whoever signs B.J. is going to have to sacrifice their first round draft pick next year to Tampa.  For a team like Philadelphia that can afford to sign top free agents, giving up a top prospect is an acceptable part of doing business. Read the rest of this entry

Josh Hamilton: Three Reasons To Believe That He Could Sign With The Brewers

Tuesday October 30th, 2012

Jake Dal Porto: This year’s free agent market may be slim on depth, but it does not lack a main attraction with Josh Hamilton set to hit the open market. Hamilton hit a career-high 43 home runs this past season, but a slew of late season miscues have affected his marking price.

While he isn’t the safest of offseason additions, teams will still look to acquire the powerful lefty because of his middle of the order presence which very few others can match.

With the Yankees and Red Sox likely out of the running for the slugger, the Brewers suddenly have a decent chance of bringing in Hamilton.

Here are three reasons why: Read the rest of this entry

2012 NLCS Recap: The Cardinals are 1 Win Away from the World Series

Friday October 19th, 2012

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Kyle Holland:  The 2012 postseason has been all but “normal” so far, considering all division series went to 5 games. Conclusion? The NLCS has yet to disappoint. The St. Louis Cardinals and San Francisco Giants. Both teams had to battle to even still be playing to this point. The Giants had to come back down 0-2 and beat the hot Cincinnati Reds in three straight games in Cincinnati.

The Cardinals, after first having to win the play-in wild card game, had to beat the Nationals, who had the best record in baseball. To make it worse, the Nationals were up 6-0 in game 5… and blew it. Both of these teams have a lot of fight, and experience this late in the season.

There is something unique about the Giants and Cardinals facing off in the 2012 NLCS. This is the first time in MLB history that the last 2 world champions are playing in the LCS (the Giants in 2010 and the Cardinals in 2011). Read the rest of this entry

Jason Giambi: From Slugger to Managerial Candidate in Colorado

Wednesday October 17th, 2012

Codey Harrison(Lead MiLB Prospect Analyst): Jason Giambi, who was once a superstar with the Athletics and Yankees, is more recently known for his role with the Colorado Rockies as the team’s go-to pinch hitter. Giambi, currently rehabbing from offseason surgery, has been given a chance to interview for the vacant Rockies Managerial position. Most people in baseball believe Giambi doesn’t have a legitimate shot at being named the Rockies next manager, given that Giambi is still an active player and has no coaching experience. However it is worth noting that during his tenure in the Rockies organization, Giambi has helped the young Rockies hitters grow and mature on and off the field, as well as discussing strategies with former Rockies manager Jim Tracy. A mentor and leader, Giambi now has the chance to graduate to MLB manager.

The Rockies this year become known for unconventional decisions running the franchise, whether it was the failed experiment of the 4-man starting rotation, or believing in Jim Tracy for so long as they did- given that so many people in baseball thought of Tracy as arguably the worst manager in all of baseball. This is a team that is seen to be run almost completely by the front office. With so much politics and turmoil surrounding the team, it may be very difficult for the Rockies to get an experienced winning manager to take the job. Thus the team may need to look in order directions, including giving Giambi a shot at the vacant role. Read the rest of this entry

2013 MLB Fantasy Keeper Rankings: Installment #1

Friday October 12th, 2012

Peter Stein:  Now that the 2012 season is over, it is time to start thinking about the 2013. For many owners, that includes deciding on keepers, although keeper systems vary from league to league. In some leagues, keepers can be held onto for an indefinite period of time, while others build upon the previous year’s draft value. Regardless of your league’s keeper setting, this piece identifies the top keeper player at each position. I chose a time period of five years; therefore, the player at each position should produce the most total fantasy value over the course of the next five years. That is, of course, assuming another Mike Trout doesn’t jump onto the scene.

Here is the first installment of the 2013 fantasy keeper focus:

First Base:

Winner: Joey Votto

Honorable Mention: Paul Goldschmidt

First base is actually the most tenuous and hardest to predict position on this list.  Can we really expect Albert Pujols to be super-productive for another five years? He will be 33 next season and his struggles at the beginning of the year are certainly not encouraging. Then again, a .285/30/105/8 season is considered a major down year from him. And, we all know how much better he was after the brutal start. Edwin Encarnacion (.280/42/110/13) emerged into the mix and excluding Miguel Cabrera was the top option at first base. However, he is 29 years old and has just a career .815 OPS in eight seasons. Clearly he has made strides, but he is very tough to predict moving forward. (more…)

The Athletics and Orioles: Staying Alive in the 2012 ALDS

Wednesday October 10th, 2012

Sam Evans:  The 2012 MLB playoffs have been thrilling so far. From Lew Ford to Derek Jeter, every player on the field is playing like they have something to prove. Two of the most exciting teams during the regular season, Oakland and Baltimore are both trying to prove that they belong in the postseason. So far, both teams have been successful in doing that. Both teams have benefited from outstanding pitching performances, but other than that- the two teams are very different.

Oakland finally looked like the team most hoped they would be on Tuesday, shutting out the Tigers 2-0 at home. Detroit still leads the series 2-1 but Oakland has home field advantage and better back-end starting pitching. With young talents such as Yoenis Cespedes and Jarrod Parker, Oakland, for the first time in what seems like forever, has put together a roster that is exciting to watch. With their pitching, the Athletics have a legitimate shot at advancing in the playoffs. Read the rest of this entry

Cleveland Indians: Terry Francona or Sandy Alomar Jr. for Manager?

Tuesday October 2nd, 2012

Jake Dal Porto:  The Cleveland Indians began their expected renovations early on Thursday, firing manager Manny Acta with just six games left in the season. Acta was at the helm of a team that currently holds a 67-93 record, and more simply, a mess. Acta, who managed the Nationals for three years (2007-2009), also managed Cleveland for nearly three years as well, though never did he lead them to a winning season. In fact, he has never managed a team that has finished the regular season with a winning record, period. So it’s safe to say that he has dealt with some pretty bad clubs, and the Indians of 2012 were just another one of those clubs.

With Acta out of the picture, the Indians have to find a new manager to take on their mess. That will be much easier said than done, but the two early front-runners appear to be former Red Sox manager Terry Francona and assistant coach Sandy Alomar Jr. whose currently serving as the interim manager. With those two, the Indians have two very worthy candidates with two very different managerial portfolios. Read the rest of this entry

The Way to Save Baseball: Coaches are the Key

Tuesday October 2nd, 2012

Robert Whitmer:  Now you might say that baseball doesn’t need any saving. Like I have said on this very site, however, everything that has a beginning also has an end.  My Grandfather, who was a very intelligent man, told me a very wise saying before I embarked on missionary service for my church.  He told me that “even the church is one generation away from being non-existent.”  He told me to stop and think about that for a little bit and tell him what I thought he meant.  I was your average 19-year-old and wasn’t really paying much attention to what he was saying, but that phrase stuck with me.  As I was doing my service I realized what that phrase meant to me.  I needed to try my hardest to teach people because if I didn’t, then what I was teaching about becomes null and void.  Everything in the world is in the same boat no matter what it is.  Imagine if the human race just decided that everyone, starting today, who is 15 and under was no longer going to learn how to drive a car; what would happen?  Eventually cars would become extinct.  Nobody would know how to drive and as a result, nobody would need cars.  Such is the same with baseball.  Baseball is one generation away from being extinct.

I heard the other day on a well-known sports radio program that plays during the day that baseball is a dying sport.  I listened as the host hypothesized that the whole purpose for Bud Selig to create this Wild Card playoff was to get people talking about baseball before the playoffs were upon us.  He continued to say that it had failed to work.  Are you kidding me?  We are looking at the playoffs on a daily basis right now because we have so much of an unknown as to who is playing who going in to the last day of the week.  Now part of the equation that I would tend to agree with him on is that from a playing perspective, it is somewhat of a dying sport especially in the lower-income communities.  Why is that you might ask?  How many times have you driven through the lower-income housing areas and seen the beautiful, plush green grass with perfectly painted baselines and the perfectly measured pitching mound in the middle of the concrete jungle?  More often than not, you see the basketball goals that are on the corner that double as a church parking lot for a couple of hours on Sunday. Read the rest of this entry

Miguel Cabrera: Baseball Royalty is Ready to Take the AL Triple Crown and a Spot in Cooperstown

Tuesday September 25, 2012

Alex Mednick:  1967 was the year that boxer Muhammad Ali was stripped of his boxing world championship because he refused to join the U.S. Army.  There were 475,000 US Troops in Vietnam.  The Beatles had just come out with Sargeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band and the Woodstock music festival was still 2 years away.  Never had a man stepped foot on the moon, a gallon of gas cost $0.33 and Federal Minimum Wage was $1.40 per hour.  It was also the last time that any professional ballplayer was awarded the triple crown: Carl Yastrzemski.

Carl Yastrzemski was the last major league baseball player to ever win the triple crown, 45 years ago in 1967.

Here we are, in present day 2012, and 29-year-old phenom Miguel Cabrera is vying to be the first man to hit for the triple crown since 1967…after almost a half century.  Back in 1998 when Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire reignited national interest in our pastime, they were pursuing Roger Maris’ single season record for most home runs.  Without deducting any valor from the record which I believe still belongs to Mr. Maris, the triple crown does not only take home run power into consideration; rather the triple crown validates a hitter based upon the three most important (Sabremetrician’s may disagree) measures of a hitters overall productivity. Read the rest of this entry

Kyle Wilson Interview: Haley Smilow Talks Baseball with the Laredo Pitcher and Member of Team Great Britain in the WBC Qualifiers

Tuesday September 18th, 2012

MLB reports:  Great news folks, Haley is back! And of course, she has brought a friend. Our Junior MLB Correspondent is featured today with her interview of pitcher Kyle Wilson. The 29-year old Wilson is a baseball story of grinding every day and playing the game he loves. A 22nd round pick of the Dodgers in 2004, Kyle Wilson pitched 4 seasons in the Dodgers system. In 2008, he reached AA Jacksonville of the Southern League. The past few years, Kyle Wilson has played indy ball. In 2012, he spent time with both the Gary SouthShore RailCats and the Laredo Lemurs of the American Association.  

Timing for Haley worked out really well (as usual), given that Kyle Wilson is currently in Germany preparing to represent Great Britain in the World Baseball Classic qualifiers! With the tournament set to begin tomorrow, we get to learn about one of its representatives- up close and personal. Featured today on MLB reports, Haley Smilow speaks one-on-one with pitcher Kyle Wilson:


HALEY:
I know your home games are played at U.S. Steel Yard, what are some of your other favorite ballparks?

KYLE: The best park I have played in was in Jacksonville, FL when I played for the Suns. The stadium was great and fans showed great support. The league I am currently in I would have to say that Kansas City and Winnipeg had the best facilities, fans, and accommodations. Read the rest of this entry

MLB Playoff Expansion: Business or Personal?

Tuesday September 18, 2012


Robert Whitmer: What do you think of when you hear the number “1”?  Do you think of singularity, of lonesomeness?  The significance of the number “1” in the history of the world is vast.  In science the number 1 is the atomic number of Hydrogen, the most basic element that exists on earth.  With regards to philosophy, Plotinus refers to the number 1 as the basis ultimate reality and the source of all existence.  1 can be used to refer to an individual person or to groups of many people.  In the sports world the number 1 is tossed around all the time.  We hear of one game leads in the yearly standings and in playoff series.  We know players that have the number one as their jersey number.  For the majority of sports the number 1 is the way that points are tracked.  At the end of the seasons when we go into the playoffs, the teams take on the attitude of “there can be only one.”  This means that there can be only one team left when it is all said and done.  One survivor out of however many teams get the chance to play for the ultimate prize.

In 1995 Major League Baseball did some adding of teams and realigning of divisions.  They took the two divisions that we had and divided them up into the three that we have now and added a Wild Card team to the playoff mix.  In the format that was laid out previous to this year the three division winners got an automatic spot in the playoffs with the fourth team coming from whatever division and whatever team in the respective AL and NL had the highest winning percentage.  At this point if there was a tie for a division lead, it would be settled by the head to head record and the team with more wins winning the division and the other one, if they had the highest winning percentage, winning the wild card.  The concept of this process is good.  There are times, however, that if it had happened differently, we would have been looking at a very different playoff picture.  We will examine the 2005 AL playoffs as an example. Read the rest of this entry

Your Saves Savior: The Closing Strategy for Your 2013 Fantasy Baseball Team

Tuesday September 18, 2012

Peter Stein:  

The following stat is the most telling about the roles of closers from a fantasy baseball perspective: 47 players have recorded 5 or more saves and a total of 61 have record 3 or more in 2012. The dispersion of saves throughout baseball reaffirm the old fantasy adage to never overpay for saves, demonstrating just how volatile the closing position is… and the difficulty of predicting saves.

A look at the top-five save leaders tells us even more:

Fernando Rodney (0.66 ERA, 0.78 WHIP 43 saves)

Jim Johnson (2.82 ERA, 1.04 WHIP, 43 saves)

Rafael Soriano (2.07 ERA, 1.11 WHIP, 40 saves)

Chris Perez (3.48 ERA, 1.06 WHIP, 36 saves)

Craig Kimbrel (1.14 ERA, .0.67 WHIP, 36 saves) Read the rest of this entry

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