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Saturday May 18, 2013
By Kyle Holland (MLB Reports Writer and O’s Correspondent) Follow @mlbreports
After coming off their best season in a long time the Orioles are out to set it was not a fluke. They finished 2012 93 – 69, their first non-losing season since 1997.
They went on to qualify for the inaugural Wild Card game where they beat the Texas Ranger 5-1, only to lose to the Yankees in the ALDS 3 games to 2.
So when 2013 came around the Orioles just wanted to prove one thing: they are legitimate playoff contenders and plan to be for a long time.
Baltimore Orioles 2013- Mature Lyrics Parental Guidance is Advised:
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Monday, April 1/2013
By Ryan Dana (MLB Reports Writer): Follow @ryandana1
The start of the 2013 Major League Baseball season is upon us. While that is beyond awesome, unfortunately there is a list of really good players who will likely not start the season playing for a Major League team. Most of these players are out due to injury, but there are also a few others I would like to mention that are out due to retirement, suspension, or the fact that they have still yet to sign with a team.
It will be a bittersweet Opening Day for the Atlanta Braves who will be without Chipper Jones this season. He spent his entire 19 years of Major League service time with the Braves, and after an MVP season in 1999, a 1995 World Series Championship, and 8 All-Star appearances, Chipper has decided to call it a career. Jones was one of, if not the best, switch hitter of all time.
Chipper Jones Highlights
Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer): Follow @chuckbooth3024 To say that this year has been a good year for baseball is an humongous understatement. I thought after last years finish, that nothing was going to duplicate the experience. Everyone forgets (or maybe not) that there should not even have been many races last year with Atlanta and Boston having such substantial leads on playoff spots. The Red Sox and Braves collapsed like a couple of bowling pins with King Kong Bundy splashing down on them!
This year, there are 15 teams still vying for 10 playoff spots. So far the only probable locks are Washington for a playoff spot-and Cincinnati to probably win their division The player races for all of the categories is almost as fascinating. Will Andrew McCutcheon catch Melky Cabrera for the Batting title? Or will 2012 be forever cemented in baseball folklore by a stained player like Cabrera? He could still end up determining who wins the World Series in the Fall Classic by his Testosterone filled antics in his MVP ALL-Star Game. The big question is, will the San Francisco Giants fans cheer for him if he comes back in the playoffs? They cheered for another league leader before when it was obvious he was guilty. Right now if you are the Giants, you will take an opportunity to boo or cheer for Cabrera because that means you would be in the playoffs.
Will the spending happy Dodgers have to wait another year to capitalize on their new plan to make the playoffs? If they ultimately miss the playoffs outright, are they going to buy every player they can in the off-season? I sure hope Magic knows that there are Luxury Tax penalties for spending over 178 Million Next Year. 1st year fine is 22.5%, 2nd year is 30%, 3rd year and beyond is 40%. So if they plan on having a 250 Million Dollar Payroll in 2013 (by adding 2 or 3 more top Free Agents) will the Dodgers just forego the worry of any financial penalties on a yearly basis– just to dominate the whole National League (plus baseball for that matter.) Every other team has to consider the urgency in cashing out a World Series right now while the Dodgers have not had a full off season with the new management yet. Can Oakland and their ‘New Money Ball philosophy’ make it to the playoffs for the first time since 2006?
The Best Players over the last month were: Buster Posey, Prince Fielder, Giancarlo Stanton, Adrian Beltre, Josh Hamilton, Yovani Gallardo, Kris Medlen, Adam Wainwright, Aroldis Chapman and Felix Hernandez. The best teams have been Oakland, Washington, San Francisco, San Diego, Baltimore and Texas. The worst teams have been Houston (at least its better to go down hard and stockpile #1 Draft Picks guys.) I have a feeling you will be there for a while with the division you are heading into and may even challenge the 120 Loss Single Season Record. At least you are not going into the NL West to compete with the LA Dodgers! The Cleveland Indians have fallen to an epic drop-off as well. Toronto misses their top sluggers. What has happened to the Minnesota Twins? The Mets have ownership and payroll problems, so at least they have an excuse. Plus they lead the world in guys being hurt. When David Wright has been your healthiest player, you know the season has been backwards! So sit back, get your notebook and popcorn ready for this Month’s Rankings! Read the rest of this entry
Monday June.4, 2012
Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer and @chuckbooth3024 on twitter)-We are going to bring you monthly power rankings every month of the season. There will be a few notes written for each team. Please feel free to let us know your thoughts. The Texas Rangers are the top ranked team yet once again, although teams are certainly gaining on the them in the last week. Look out for Cincinnati Reds and New York Yankees to make their move towards the top this month.
June Power Rankings-Last Month Rank in Parenthesis
1. Texas-32-22 (1) The Rangers rode Josh Hamilton in the month of May-who enters today on pace for about 60 HRs and 170 RBI while hitting .354. Nelson Cruz is starting to heat up and the duo of Adrian Beltre and Ian Kinsler are steady as as ever. Yu Darvish is 7-3 en route to the leading the group amongst Rookie of The Year Contention. Joe Nathan is looking like his old self again out of the pen with an ERA under 2.
2. LA Dodgers 33-21 (5) Even with Matt Kemp out of the lineup again, the Dodgers are winning ball games with solid contributions from Andre Ethier and A.J Ellis on offense. The pitching staff has been anchored by Clayton Kershaw and a fast 7-1 start by Chris Capuano. Ted Lilly was 5-1 before a stint on the DL. It is too bad because Lilly is 125-104 since 2004.
3. Tampa Bay 31-23 (2) Hideki Matsui homered in two of his first 3 games back with the Rays. The team has had steady pitching to stay in contention. Carlos Pena has really struggled in the last month and will need to pick it up. Luke Scott with 35 RBI has good production numbers in spite of his .225 AVG. Fernando Rodney has converted 17 out of 18 saves to pace the club.
4. Cincinnati 30-23 (12) Joey Votto has hit .404 in the last 30 days and maybe the best all-around hitter in the National League right now. Jay Bruce has 12 HRs and 34 RBI and is living up to his all-star potential. Aroldis Chapman has 27 Strikeouts in just over 14 innings and has yet to yield a run while opponents are hitting a paltry .043 against him.
5. NY Yankees 29-24 (6) The Bronx Bombers have 6 players with 8 HRs or more, which is a good thing because with the exception of Derek Jeter, a lot of them are hitting under their career averages. The return of Andy Pettitte has helped the rotation with the loss of Micheal Pineda. Phil Hughes threw a complete game over the weekend and CC Sabathia is on pace for another 20 win season. Read the rest of this entry
Sunday June 3rd, 2012
John Burns (MLB reports Intern Candidate): As we have just entered the month of June, it is worth pointing out that the AL East leader for most of the season has been one of the most surprising teams in the all of baseball so far during this young season.
The Baltimore Orioles, who finished 2011 last in the AL East with a 69-93 record, have emerged as one of the early East leader this seasons. It helps that they have arguably one of the best bullpens in all of baseball, and recently locked up their superstar centerfielder by the name of Adam Jones.
The Orioles currently are 2-8 in their last 10 games, mostly due to the inconsistency of their young starting pitching. But here is why I believe that the Orioles will be in the race for the East longer than most “experts” think: Read the rest of this entry
Tuesday February 14th, 2012
Peter Stein (Fantasy Baseball Analyst – MLB reports): As part of a six series installment to prepare for fantasy drafts, I examine the National League West from a strictly fantasy perspective. Instead of your run of the mill position-by-position rankings, I identify players who fall into the following three categories: value pick, buyer beware, and up-and-coming. The traditional rankings often do a disservice and give owners too close-minded of an approach, particularly in the ROTO format. An owner cannot have a clear-cut strategy and ranking system, as one must adapt to the circumstances on draft day. Remember that you are often building a team for five categories, and you cannot predict which categories you will need to target to offset weaknesses as the draft progresses. Therefore, the key to success is to understand which player’s are over and undervalued, by looking at determinants such as: performance trends, offseason movement, and skill development. We are all aware of the fantasy studs, but the way to build a winning roster is to identify players who provide sneaky good value. Read the rest of this entry