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“Stoking The Fire Segment” – MLB Games Are Too Long But Fantasy Baseball Is a Godsend!

More and more fans are accessing the MLB from their own personal phones these days.  Here is the problem. With games going too long, people lose interest in a real hurry - and especially just the casual fan..

More and more fans are accessing the MLB from their own personal phones these days. Here is the problem. With games going too long, people lose interest in a real hurry – and especially just the casual fan..

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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I tried to watch the Mariners vs Rangers a few months ago on  MLBTV.

5 Instant Replay reviews, many pitching changes, and the game lasted 3 hours and 30 minutes – and this was a 4 – 3 9 inning game.

It is not hard to figure out why games are longer in length.

Money Ball has forced every team to wear down pitchers, see as many tosses from the Starting Chuckers as humanly possible.

30 years ago, it was more of a rip it and grip it approach.

Strikeouts and Walks are at an all time high, but also are some pre-pitch rituals. Read the rest of this entry

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As Washington Fans Return To Baseball, Remember That OBP Equals Time Of Possession

With a brutal season of football just put recently behind them, many fans in the DC will look to baseball to stoke their fire in sports.  The Nationals are still a favorite to win the NL East.  With NFL fans hating the complexities of the MLB game, this blog gives a simile of a concept adaptation.

With a brutal season of football just put recently behind them, many fans in the DC will look to baseball to stoke their fire in sports. The Nationals are still a favorite to win the NL East. With NFL fans hating the complexities of the MLB game, this blog gives a simile of a concept adaptation.  It boggles my mind why more analysts do not try and use parallel’s between the two sports to attract more football fans to the MLB brand.

By David Huzzard (Nationals Correspondent via Citizens of Natstown.com – view website here): 

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When baseball fans huddle together and complain about the masses one of the biggest complaints about Washington DC’s sports fan base is that there are too many football fans.

That they view baseball through the football colored glasses of a short season and reactionary moves.

A player has a bad week or two to start the season and it is time to get rid of them, or a pitcher has a bad inning and it is time for the manager to come get them.

The type of responses to baseball that a baseball fan wouldn’t have.

Anthony Rendon’s Sac Fly

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The Best Teams In The MLB From 1980 – 2013: The Biggest Question Is, Who Owns 2004 – 2013, BOS or STL?

The Boston Red Sox started out the season 21 - 8 after their 1st 29 games in 2013.  They rolled it all the way to their 3rd WS Title in a decade - but are they the best team in the MLB during this stretch

The Boston Red Sox started out the season 21 – 8 after their 1st 29 games in 2013. They rolled it all the way to their 3rd WS Title in a decade – but are they the best team in the MLB during this stretch from 2004 – now?

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

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There is only so much one can read in an article, otherwise I would make these lists up from the turn of the 20th century. 

If you gave me enough time as a reader, I promise to backdate this topic with another article featuring the best teams dating back further in years. 

Eventually, all of the years may be dissected and we can have a healthy debate on some of my selections.  I really started watching baseball in the early 1980’s. 

As I became older and discovered ways to research the history of the game, my knowledge and curious mind grew for more information. 

I have studied and read baseball stat books and breezed through the odd Bill James novel. 

If I ever take a break from writing or baseball park chasing, I may find some time down the road to watch the 9 part PBS documentary that Ken Burns did on baseball’s history.

2013 Boston Dream Season – Mature Lyrics – Parental Guidance is Advised

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Enough With PED Users Being Rewarded! Peralta Signs For 4 Years With St. Louis

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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For those fans that may not think about it very much, every time a PED user is gaining an advantage with the crap they are ingesting or shooting them, they are talking away another guys opportunity to make the big leagues.

The Cardinals signed Jhonny Peralta to a 4 YR/$52 MIL deal yesterday.  I am not certainly not faulting the St. Louis for conducting business the way they have to.  They are just following the rules.

What I am choked about is how an offender of the drug policy, can just resume his career, and double his last contract with no real consequences.

It is absurd on so many levels…

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MLB’s Payroll Matters Part 2: Just Because Some Low Payroll Teams Have Bucked The Trend – Doesn’t Mean It Will Continue

It seems the only to way to build a team successfully - is to be atrocious for several (talking 6 - 8 seasons), stockpile top 5 Draft Picks, and have them all become your nucleus for a matter of a few seasons. The reason is because of Team Control Salaries.  Teams like the Rays and Pirates have also held players in the Minor Leagues longer than needed - due to salary and Arbitration implications.  I can think of Desmond Jennings, Wil Myers, Chris Archer for the Rays, while Gerrit Cole and Jeff Locke come to mind for the Bucs.

It seems the only to way to build a team successfully – is to be atrocious for several (talking 6 – 8 seasons like the Twins, Nationals, Pirates, Rays in recent years – and now the Astros are following suit), stockpile top 5 Draft Picks, and have them all become your nucleus for a matter of a few seasons. The reason is because of Team Controllable Salaries. Teams like the Rays and Pirates have also held players in the Minor Leagues longer than needed – due to salary and Arbitration implications. I can think of Desmond Jennings, Wil Myers, Chris Archer for the Rays, while Gerrit Cole and Jeff Locke come to mind for the Bucs.  If a player is ready for action in the Majors, he should playing – end of story.

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

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Lets just take a look at the teams that have played well above their value.  The Twins are a story much like the Marlins in 1997 and 2003.

The Twins had a good team in the late 80’s, and won 2 World Series Titles in 1987 and 1991.  However the economics of the game hit them hard, and they struggled for an 8 year stretch in the AL Central.

For Part 1 of the MLB’s State Of the Union Part 1:  Click here.

Major League Contraction Talk Again?

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Major League Baseball’s State Of The Union – Payroll Matters Part 1: Oakland Loses Again In Playoffs

The MLB used to be the favorite Past time in America.  Now with the NFL ruling the country as #1, the game continues to miss the mark of implementing a salary system - that helps all 30 MLB Teams be competitive from a spending type of structure on a yearly basis.  Either you run your franchise perfectly from a transactions standpoint - or if you make a few contract mistakes - it could cripple your franchise for years.  Despite many of different teams bucking the trend over the last decade - it doesn't mean there isn't a problem.

The MLB used to be the favorite Past time in America. Now with the NFL ruling the country as #1, the game continues to miss the mark of implementing a salary system – that helps all 30 MLB Teams be competitive from a spending type of structure on a yearly basis. Either you run your franchise perfectly from a transactions standpoint – or if you make a few contract mistakes – it could cripple your franchise for years. Despite many of different teams bucking the trend over the last decade – it doesn’t mean there isn’t a problem.

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

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As I started a minor fight on Twitter last night (with a supposedly respected writer), it reminded me of how much I hate that social media outlet, yet how it is a necessary evil.

While there were some words caught up in a misunderstanding, it left me thinking about the state of Major League Baseball.

I love this game..I have centered my life around being fan, writer, website owner, by having a job that affords me that highest capacity to receive my fix.

I have gone on crazy ballpark chasing tours, that have also helped feed my addiction.

Yet watching the Oakland A’s lose last night, and then having someone mention a joke aimed at Billy Beane (not sure how much of a joke it was – another stupid flaw of Twitter’s 140 Characters), I began thinking of everything I don’t like about the MLB.

Part 2 of this Series: MLB’s Payroll Matters Part 2: Just Because Some Low Payroll Teams Have Bucked The Trend – Doesn’t Mean It Will Continue

Read the rest of this entry

Sully Baseball Daily Podcast – June 16, 2013

Photo: Aidan K. Sullivan

Photo: Aidan K. Sullivan

While at the Genius Bar at the Apple Store, I observed people using tablets, devices and iPhones. And I didn’t just see the future of technology. I saw the future of baseball.

I break down this vision of the future today, on The Sully Baseball Daily Podcast.

Howie Kendrick, Felix Hernandez, Anthony Rendon and Clayton Kershaw all owned baseball on June 15, 2013.
To see the up to date tally of “Who Owns Baseball?,” click HERE.

Subscribe on iTunes HERE.

Sully Baseball Daily Podcast – June 16, 2013

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MLB Reports Mid – Week Around The Horn Rant – May 9th: Umps, LAD, LAA and Phillies

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Thursday May.09/2013

Adam Rosales was royally jobbed out of a Game - Tying HR in last nights game in Cleveland.  The Umpires being incompetent in the MLB has to be rectified - and right now.  Since the game last night - casual observers are thinking this sport is a joke based on a select few brutal umpires such as Angel Hernandez

Adam Rosales was royally jobbed out of a Game – Tying HR in last nights game in Cleveland. The Umpires being incompetent in the MLB has to be rectified – and right now! Since the game last night – casual observers are thinking this sport is a joke, based on a select few brutal umpires such as Angel Hernandez – constantly proving they are horrible game callers.  The MLB never holds their Umpires accountable – and are rarely disciplined.  This has given these maverick officials ‘Carte Blanche’ to continually influence results of baseball games.  It has to stop!!

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

Well, the umpires have definitely interjected themselves in the headlines yet again.  Angel Hernandez blew the Adam Rosales HR call not only once, but twice last night.

Instant Replay was supposed to help umpires make correct calls, yet this guy (and 3 other umpires) couldn’t come up with the fact that they blew the call?

The MLB has to realize they are behind the technology curve of the other sports entities (NHL, NBA and NFL) when it comes to using video to help the referees.

Adam Rosales Blown Call:

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Athletes vs. Actors – PEDs vs. Plastic Surgery

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Wednesday April.3, 2013

Alex Rodriguez is an admitted PED user - and claims only to have done this while playing for the Texas Rangers.  With the new Biogenesis scandal surrounding him - how much more would his legacy be tarnished if he was found to have cheated in New York City?

Alex Rodriguez is an admitted PED user – and claims to only have done this while playing for the Texas Rangers. With the new Biogenesis scandal surrounding him – how much more would his legacy be tarnished if he was found to have cheated in New York City? It is clear that the penalties enforced by MLB for such violations are not enough of a factor – to prevent their players from trying to gain an advantage. While MLB has adopted increasingly higher suspensions for positive tests than prior to 2005, they are still not high enough to prevent kids from trying out these enhancers, because the rewards still outweigh the risk.

By Lori Martini (Senior Reporter and Baseball Writer):

As an actor, especially being female it is very tough competition. There are fewer roles for women and more female actors than men. To make matters worse, nobody wants you when you get older, which makes our time frame as a working actor very slim if one is even lucky enough to be a successful working actor.  

Some women turn to plastic surgery to try to obtain roles for parts that really should be played by 30 or 40 somethings, yet the casting notices dictate that you must look 20’s.  

Not only are there these unrealistic roles, but lately I’ve been seeing more and more degrading roles out there for women such as being topless, OK with performing simulated sex acts – even as far to be OK with being peed or defecated on.  

Seriously, how much more are they going to push the envelope, yet not expect men to do the same?

Alex Rodriguez Admits To Steroid Use:

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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

MLB Parity Is At An All-Time High

Wednesday July.18/2012

The Pirates started today one game behind the Reds and are the leader of the 1st Wild Card Spot in the NL. Officially, they are 3 games up on the Dodgers for the playoff bar. With the 2nd Wild Card Team added to each League, this gives Pittburgh their best chance to make the postseason in 20 years.

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer and @chuckbooth3024 on twitter)- With 2 weeks before the non-waiver trade deadline, there are 21 teams within 6 games or less for the ten playoff positions.  Parity has officially hit the MLB like we have never seen before.  The Yankees are leading the AL East Division by 9.5 games, so the other 4 teams in the AL East enter action knowing they still have a chance.  Mr Selig’s idea for the 2nd wild card has definitely kept playoff dreams alive for teams that would have been otherwise doused  in the races.  Baseball purists seem to hate the notion that more playoff teams breaks the tradition of yesteryear.  I think that ten teams of 30 is still a great ratio (33.33%) compared to the three other Major Sports for percentage of teams making the playoffs.  The NFL has 12 teams out of 32 make the playoffs (37.5%) and are the highest revenue generated sport.  Both of the NBA and NHL have 16 out of 30 teams make  the playoffs-which is 53.33%. 

What I also like is that the new format penalizes the Wild Card teams and puts more of an emphasis on winning the divisions.  Gone will be the days (like last year) where the Yankees mailed it in being happy to just lock down a playoff position and rest their veterans instead of going for the pennant.  The one game playoff for those two Wild Card teams will have the teams playing for the division till the end.  Having said this, I just reminded myself of that big lead for the Yankees, so they will probably have a chance to rest their guys this year anyways.  The Rangers and Angels are a better example.  I believe that Los Angeles will make a charge at the Texas club.  None of these two teams wants to see their lives come down to a one game playoff, so if they remain close, this could be a great divisional race. Read the rest of this entry

The Best Teams from 1980-2012: Will Texas claim the title this year from 2010-2012?

Wednesday July.11, 2012

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer and @chuckbooth3024 on twitter)-  There is only so much one can read in an article, otherwise I would make these lists up from the turn of the 20th century.  If you gave me enough time as a reader, I promise to backdate this topic with another article featuring the best teams dating back further in years.  Eventually, all of the years may be dissected and we can have a healthy debate on some of my selections.  I really started watching baseball in the early 1980’s.  As I became older and discovered ways to research the history of the game, my knowledge and curious mind grew for more information.  I have studied and read baseball stat books and breezed through the odd Bill James novel.  If I ever take a break from writing or baseball park chasing, I may find some time down the road to watch the 9 part PBS documentary that Ken Burns did on baseball’s history.

Baseball lends itself more to the history than any other sport because of how it has been chronicled throughout their past.  Writers, announcers, former players, parents etc.. have always carried on with the stories of America’s favorite pastime.  I will never be sold that NFL is the greatest pastime in sports right now.  NFL is the greatest gambling sport presently.  It is my firm belief that the only reason why the NFL draws in more cash from its sport is because of the gambling factor.  If you took that aspect out of it, I believe baseball is the #1 sport.  Can you imagine how much attention we would pay to baseball if there were only a 16 game schedule?  Enough with that rant, let’s get down to the list.  Who were the best teams at any specific time period for the last 32 years?  We will start with the Philadelphia Phillies from 1980-1983. Read the rest of this entry

Ask the Reports: ATR Answers Your Baseball Questions – April 15th, 2012

Sunday April 15th, 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: (there are MANY great ones this week…better jump right in!)

 

Q:  How many triple plays were turned last year?  Wayne

MLB reports: Nice way to start off ATR Wayne. Four. Can you believe it? Four triple plays turned last year. Three in 2010, five in 2009, two in 2008 and four in 2007. Surprised? Me too. I thought they were more rare! Last year’s triple plays took place as follows:

(1) Indians turned a 3P against the White Sox on April 3rd

(2) Brewers turned a 3p against the Dodgers on August 15th

(3) Red Sox turned a 3p against the Rays in the 2nd game of a DH on August 16th (a day later!)

(4) The miracle Rays came back on September 27th to turn their own 3p against the Yankees.

 

Q:  Is it worth picking up Aroldis Chapman as a third reliever?!?  William

MLB reports:  Without a doubt. Yes. Are you kidding me? Grab him. Right now. Don’t wait. Now. Right now! As you can tell, I am high on Chapman. Long term, I see him as a starter. But for now, he is a reliever. I see him having some great save opportunities this year. Madson is done for the year. A ton of money is invested in Chapman and he has been nothing short of brilliant this season. In 4 games he has a 0.00 ERA. 11 strikeouts. 0 walks in 6 innings. Yes. As a third relieve, you cannot go wrong with Chapman. He has already vultured 2 wins. He can help you in so many ways. There will be ups-and-downs this year with Chapman, no doubts. But with pitchers around baseball dropping like flies, when you have a talented pitcher with huge upside, make sure he can find his way onto your team. (more…)

Ask the Reports: Sunday November 13th

Sunday November 13, 2011

Jonathan Hacohen:  Ask the Reports is back! After some thought and re-branding: we have decided to drop the E-mailbag moniker and to keep this section as “Ask the Reports”, which will appear every weekend.  E-mails is but one form you can reach MLB reports. You can follow us on Twitter  and tweet and direct message your questions and comments.  You can “Like” us on Facebook and write on our wall.  You can also leave all questions and comments at the end of each article and page on the website. With social media exploding as it has, we are truly connected in so many ways.  

So keep reading MLB reports. Everyday. Twice a day or more if your schedule allows it. Subscribe to the site to have all current articles sent to your e-mailbox. But most of all:  participate. Send tweets. Write on our Facebook wall. Comment on articles and leave feedback. MLB reports is for you: the readers. The love of baseball is best nurtured if enjoyed as a community. So don’t be shy. Get in touch with us as often as you can. Let your voice be heard on our Facebook wall. There is nothing better than an old-fashioned baseball debate.  We call it MLB4Life on Twitter because we all love baseball for life. Baseball is more than a passion.  It is a lifestyle. Thank you for enjoying MLB reports and we look forward to hearing from you.  Plus you never know when your questions will be answered in “Ask the Reports”: so keep checking and asking your questions every week!

Let’s get to your questions:

Q: Hi.  I just read the article: To Keep or Get Rid of the DH: The Future of the Designated Hitter in MLB and I wanted your honest opinion. Please reply with it. Thanks!! A 7th Grade Red Sox Fan in Maine
A:  This is an older question which I answered directly to the reader but wanted to share with the readers.  As many of you know reading my work, I am not the biggest proponent of the Designated Hitter.  I don’t hate it per say- but I am a bigger of fan of the National League game. I have read in baseball circles that Major League Baseball is working toward switching up the DH in interleague games.  Meaning there will be a DH in National League parks and no DH in American League parks. An exciting move should it come to fruition, that fans should very much enjoy.  The best pro-DH argument that I have heard is that the pitchers for the most part have little ability to hit and it is time to take that part of the game.  While that is true on some levels, having pitchers hit forces NL managers to use more strategy in games.  There are some strong hitting NL pitchers out there and the bottom is if pitchers know they will have to hit, they will just have to improve themselves in that department.  Ultimately I do not think the DH is going anywhere in the AL.  The players’ union will not allow MLB to get rid of it, as it will cost many older players their jobs.  But by the same token, given the tradition of the NL- I do  not see the DH being used in that league either.  But if I had my way: get rid of the DH and play “real baseball” across the board.  That is my two cents, for what its worth.
Q:  I have a question Mr. MLB reports Writer:  Where did the game of baseball first develop? What country, year, how did it take off, etc. Someone asked me this yesterday and I had no idea.  Mark
A: Great question Mark.  Thank you for the question.  I have read many great accounts on the subject.  However I will rely on Wikipedia for this one:

“The first published rules of baseball were written in 1845 for a New York (Manhattan) “baseball” club called the Knickerbockers. The author, Shane Ryley Foster, is one person commonly known as “the father of baseball”. One important rule, the 13th, stipulated that the player need not be physically hit by the ball to be put out; this permitted the subsequent use of a farther-travelling hard ball. Evolution from the so-called “Knickerbocker Rules” to the current rules is fairly well documented.

On June 3, 1953, Congress officially credited Alexander Cartwright with inventing the modern game of baseball, and he is a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame. However, the role of Cartwright himself has been disputed. His authorship may have been exaggerated in a modern attempt to identify a single inventor of the game, although Cartwright may have a better claim to the title than any other single American.

Cartwright, a New York bookseller who later caught “gold fever”, umpired the first-ever recorded U.S. baseball game with codified rules in Hoboken, New Jersey on June 19, 1846. He also founded the older of the two teams that played that day, the New York Knickerbockers. Cartwright also introduced the game in most of the cities where he stopped on his trek west to California to find gold.

One point undisputed by historians is that the modern professional major leagues that began in the 1870s developed directly from amateur urban clubs of the 1840s and 1850s, not from the pastures of small towns such as Cooperstown.”

Q:  Albert Pujols to the Marlins.  Done deal?  Excited Marlins Fan
A:  Not even close my friend.  Not even close.  Pujols did meet with Marlins’ officials this week and was reported to have received a contract offer.  But no- there is no contract in place.  The expectation is that Pujols will be staying in St. Louis.  He has won 2 World Series titles with the Cardinals, including last year’s championship.  He has played in St. Louis for his entire career.  All else being equal, no other teams will offer Pujols more money than the Cardinals.  Even if the difference is give or take $20 million, the man will receive a $200 million dollar deal.  He lives in Missouri, he has roots in the community. Pujols is a Cardinal for life.
Q:  Do you follow any other sports? I love baseball, but football is great also. Cindy
A:  Sorry: baseball only here.  In my younger days I did keep up with the three other major sports.  But life always came back to baseball for me.  162 games, plus spring training and the playoffs.  It is a long season.  But for a baseball fan like myself, there never seems to be enough baseball.  I will go watch another sport if invited.  But you will never find me watching another sport on television.  To be able to write about baseball everyday- the focus has to be on one sport.  Baseball consumes me.  I would not have it any other way.
Q:  Growing up in Cleveland as an Indians fan, my grandfather was also a fan of the Dodgers. I remember going over to his house and watching a Dodger game on tv. As an adult, I am still a fan of the Dodgers, with the Tribe number one on my list. My question: out of all the groups out there trying to buy the Dodgers, who do you think would be able to bring back the history and enjoyment to L.A.??
Thanks in advance.  Larry
A:  The last question of course goes to our #1 fan.  Great question as always.  For the time being, the names that are getting the most press are those of Orel Hershiser and Steve Garvey.  The Hershiser/Garvey group is making the loudest bid for the Dodgers, at approximately $1 billion.  But in the background, word is that former owner Peter O’Malley and former GM Fred Claire are also putting together their bids.  For excitement and name recognition, you have to give it to Hershiser/Garvey.  But at restoring the franchise back to former glory, I think it is time to bring back O’Malley.  For tradition and building winning ball clubs, there were few finer than O’Malley.  I still see that other bidders will come into the process, including Mark Cuban.  But Major League Baseball will look for stability and in the best interests of the Dodgers, in reviewing any agreements that Frank McCourt and a winning bidder reach.  This one is far from owner, but if I had to pick the “best” group for the Dodgers, mine would be on Peter O’Malley.

ARCHIVE:  Click here for Past Issues of Ask the Reports

Please e-mail us at: MLBreports@gmail.com with any questions and feedback.  You can follow us on Twitter and become a fan onFacebook .  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.

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


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