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Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner): Follow @chuckbooth3024
One month down in the MLB season and that means it’s time for some Power Rankings! Chuck Booth the czar of MLBreports.com joins us in studio to rank every team from worst to first. Where does your team rank? Read the rest of this entry
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People in this Podcast:
Chuck Booth – Guest (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner): Follow @chuckbooth3024
By James Acevedo – Host (Podcast Veteran) Follow @yankeeman1973
’2 And A Hook’ is an expression from Baseball: ‘Throw the guy 2 Fast balls and then a Hook’ (AKA Curve Ball, Wiggly one, Chair etc..)
On today’s show, brought to you by MLB Reports (www.mlbreports.com ) & yours truly (The Bench Warmers Show), I had Chuck Booth talk for over an hour about a bunch of topics.
We started off with the horrible season the Toronto Blue Jays have had thus far. We also talked about the Angels, what Robin Ventura is thinking – hitting Adam Dunn #4 still and how the Braves must regret paying B.J. Upton $15 MIL a year – while they are ecstatic about paying Justin Upton only about half of that. Read the rest of this entry
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By Brian Madsen (White Sox Correspondent): Follow @brianm731
.159 Batting Average, 11 HRs, 42 RBI, 177 SO, $12 Million. Those are the #’s posted by Adam Dunn in 2011 during his first season with the Chicago White Sox in just 415 AB or two-thirds of a season. Quite possibly one of the worst statistical seasons in MLB history. Far from Dunn’s previous season averages leading up to that point in his career: .248 Batting Average – with 33 HRs and 82 RBI. These were not the #’s the White Sox thought they were getting when they signed Dunn to a 4 YR/$56 Million Contract prior to the 2011 season. Dunn never was a high average kind of guy, has always struck out a lot (as a lot of power hitters do), but also walks a lot. Much to Dunn’s credit, he turned everything around in 2012 hitting (only) .204, but with 41 HRs and 96 RBI. His turnaround season was a big reason for Chicago’s success in 2012.
Dunn has been one of the game’s premiere power hitters since 2004. Yet, to this date, has never been on a playoff team. He and the Sox came close in 2012, but fell short behind the Tigers. Dunn surpassed 400 HRss last year for the Sox, ( the same year that his teammate Paul Konerko hit his 400th. Konerko actually hit his 300th HR in the same game, back-to-back with, then teammate, Jermaine Dye) and has a great chance to surpass 500 HR’s. While Dunn will probably fall short of 500 HRs in his next 2 seasons with the Sox, you have to figure he’ll catch on with a team in 2015 and get there. A common complaint about Dunn is, and has been, his average. Last year Dunn hit a “robust” .204, yet still managed to have an OBP of .333. Not quite as good as his career OBP of .370, but not awful either. For a guy that strikes out as much as he does, Dunn sure walks a lot. Though Dunn walked 105 times last year, his K’s more than doubled that amount with 222.
Adam Dunn Highlights: Mature Lyrics – Parental Guidance is Advised:
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Monday January 14th, 2013
By Ben Dobson ( Brewers Correspondent): Follow @brewerpride06
Teodoro Valenzuela Higuera (born November 9th, 1958 in Los Mochis, Sinaloa, Mexico) was an All-Star Starting Pitcher for the Milwaukee Brewers during the mid 80′s to early 90′s. Teodoro, better known as ‘Teddy”, began his career with the Brewers in 1983, when his contract was purchased from Indios de Ciudad of the Mexican League. Higuera spent a year in the Minor League’s before making his debut on April 23, 1985 at Comiskey Park in Chicago. In front of a massive crowd, (10,719 maybe not massive) Teddy produced the following line: 5.2 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 2 BB, 5 SO.
Pretty solid start to his rookie campaign. Higuera lost his first two career starts to the Tigers and White Sox before picking up his first win on May 3 at the California Angels. The Lefty pitched a Complete Game allowing, only 4 hits – en route to a Shutout performance. Higuera then had an amazing 2nd half to his Rookie season, going 11-3 in July, August, September and October combined. The season was stellar enough to place him 2nd in Rookie of the Year Voting – just behind Ozzie Guillen. Taking a look at Higuera’s Year by Year Statistics – it makes one wonder why he was only considered for (1) AL MVP Award and how he only made (1) Career All-Star Game Appearance?
MLB Bloopers: Teddy Higuera Milks a Cow!
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By Brian Madsen (White Sox Correspondent): Follow @brianm731
The South Side of Chicago. U.S. Cellular Field. You’re likely to have heard chants of “Let’s go White Sox!!”, “Ozzie!! Ozzie!!, and maybe even “Oh-E-Oh, Magglio!!”, over the years at this beautiful, yet underrated ball park. But, for the last 14 seasons, you probably would have heard “Paulie!! Paulie!!”, more than any other. No, not Paulie from Rocky fame. Paul Konerko, the 6 time ALL-Star and 2005 World Series Champion First Baseman of the Chicago White Sox. Some would say he’s underrated, much like the stadium he’s called home since 1999. Acquired via trade from the Cincinnati Reds in late 1998 by the White Sox for Mike Cameron, Konerko has been a consistent producer for them for 14 seasons.
He’s averaged more than 32 HRs and 101 RBI in that time frame for the Sox – and has combined for a few quality 1-2 punches over the years with some big hitters. Frank Thomas, Carlos Lee, Magglio Ordonez, and now Adam Dunn, to name a few. He is said to be one of White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf’s favorite players of ALL-time. He should be, as he helped guide the White Sox to their first World Series Championship in 88 years back in 2005. Konerko even presented the “3rd and final out ball” to Reinsdorf at the victory parade, bringing the owner to tears in front of thousands of screaming Sox fans.
Paul Konerko 2012 Highlights: Mature Lyrics – Parental Guidance is Advised:
Thursday November 22nd, 2012
Jake Dal Porto: Giancarlo Stanton isn’t the only human being that’s furious over the Marlins recent transactions which most notably saw them deal Josh Johnson, Jose Reyes, and Mark Buehrle to the Blue Jays. Or in English, Miami just betrayed their fans and players. While the fans do matter, you would have to think that Stanton’s words have a bit more meaning than any other figure or figures.
And Stanton is not pleased. He sounded off on his twitter account a little over a week ago, saying that “he’s pissed off”. The slugger doesn’t have to say much more. Perhaps the next words out of his mouth could be a trade request. That isn’t too far-fetched at this point either, and the idea is something that Miami’s management should highly consider in coming weeks.
At the moment, there’s no wrong choice in terms of trading Stanton or retaining him. The fans are already peeved off, and trading their cornerstone piece probably wouldn’t change he fans’ state of mind. Read the rest of this entry
Thursday November 22nd, 2012
Bernie Olshansky: What the Marlins had to do this offseason is horrible. Last year, the Marlins raised the hopes of the fans with a rejuvenated logo and uniforms, a new stadium, and most of all a new-look team. Last winter, Marlins management made a commitment to the fans to provide a contending team for the years to come. They went out and signed Jose Reyes for seven years. He and Hanley Ramirez were supposed to serve alongside Giancarlo Stanton as the core of the team for almost the next decade. To build on the Reyes signing, the Marlins also inked pitchers Mark Buehrle and Heath Bell. Ozzie Guillen also jumped aboard and was set up to be a lovable manager. With this spending spree, the Marlins brought a lot of excitement to South Florida and were supposed to be a major contender in the NL East.
Unfortunately this was not the case. The Marlins quickly faltered and Ozzie Guillen was immediately under the spotlight for his comments about Fidel Castro. Fans were already calling for Guillen to be fired. The team’s performance was not helping. I personally attended the second home game at Marlins Park against the Astros. Although it was against the Astros, any team that spends as much money as the Marlins did in the offseason should have a packed house at their second game of the season (in their new stadium!). The stadium was full, but not sold out. I was hoping that this was not a sign of things to come, but it was. The Marlins continued their spiral downward and talks of trades began. Heath Bell was the opposite of what the Marlins signed him to be and lost his job as closer. Both Reyes and Ramirez slumped. The Marlins needed to make some moves.
Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer): Follow @chuckbooth3024
I am in complete shock that the Jays hired John Gibbons as their recycled coach. For a guy that has largely supported Alex Anthopoulos on many moves since he has taken over the helm, I can’t believe he pulled this guy off the scrap heap for managers. Gibbons managed the Blue Jays from 2004-2008 and held down a mediocre 305-305 record. While he did post back to back winning seasons in 2006 and 2007 in a tough AL East, he also had some talented players to work with. Roy Halladay was the premier pitcher in the American League from 2005-2008 and would give a 11-13 games over .500 clip just by taking the hill every year. In the 3 full years that Gibbons had Halladay, he was 44-16 (.733) in 72 starts, so if he had been healthy for 96 starts in this time frame, he would have won about 59 Games versus only 24 losses. In Gibbons best year as a manager, he was 87-75 with the 2006 club. Halladay was 16-5 (11 Games over .500).
I would never want to re-hire a manager that has 0 playoff appearances when the current club is going to be graded on exactly that. The Jays will have a serious ‘PR’ nightmare if this hire does not work out. No one would have faulted AA for hiring a manager with playoff experience. If those guys aren’t available as your top choice, at least bring in someone fresh that has not tasted failure for the club.
Friday November 9th, 2012
Jake Dal Porto: If the Miami Marlins fired Ozzie Guillen with the intention to improve the team, they are going to find that replacing Guillen will not make much of a difference. Perhaps Mike Redmond, the newly hired Marlins’ manager, has other thoughts on the topic. But realistically, a new face at the helm cannot improve a lethargic Marlins’ roster that was constantly tinkered with throughout the season.
Michael Hill, Miami’s general manager, twinkled with high hopes before the 2012 season with a couple of blockbuster moves that seemed to change the shape of a team that hadn’t posted a winning season since 2009. These moves in particular—-signing free agent Jose Reyes, signing Mark Buehrle, and signing Heath Bell. Reyes churned a sub-par season, compiling a .780 OPS. The upside is the fact that he stayed off the disabled list, a rarity indeed. For such a hefty contract though, (6-years, $106 million) it’s safe to assume that Hill and his team envisioned a bit more production out of the all-star shortstop. Read the rest of this entry
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
Chicago White Sox: How Big of An Impact Has Manager Robin Ventura Made In His First Year on the Job?
Sunday August 5th, 2012
Jake Dal Porto: Chicago White Sox’s manager, Robin Ventura has revitalized baseball in Chicago. The Ozzie Guillen era is far is the past, and Ventura’s new brand of baseball has the White Sox in the thick of the American league playoff race.
Chicago, who finished 16 games behind the first place in 2011, currently stand atop the Central division and own the third best record in the American league. Yet, being in the playoff chase in early August wasn’t what White Sox fans were merely expecting. After trading young closer Sergio Santos to the Toronto Blue Jays during the offseason, and pondering upon the idea of shipping John Danks away as well, it appeared as if General manager Ken Williams was looking to reconstruct his roster for the future and beyond. It would make sense, too, after granting Guillen’s request to be released during the offseason. Guillen, an icon in Chicago, managed the Sox for eight years (2004-2011), leading them to a memorable World Series win in 2005. But as his tenure came to an emotional end, it was time for a change. A new manager, a new roster, and a new feeling seemed to be the philosophy after the hiring of Ventura. But as we sit here in August, that philosophy doesn’t seem to matchup with prior predictions. Read the rest of this entry
Tuesday July 31st, 2012
John Burns: Much speculation has been in the past years that the Oakland A’s would be getting a new stadium. With Oakland currently playing great baseball (18-4 in July) it makes you wonder if the chances of a new stadium increase. It has been rumored that the new stadium would be in San Jose, California and named Cisco Field. The projected opening date would not be until 2016. Oakland has been playing at the Coliseum since 1968. It would be the first time since 1909 that the A’s received a brand new stadium. The field dimensions for Cisco Field are: Left Field – 302 feet, Left-Center – 375 feet, Center Field – 405 feet, Right-Center – 345 feet, and Right Field – 310 feet.
The chances are good for Oakland to make the playoffs this season with only being four games back of the Texas Rangers in the A.L. West lead and leading for one of the A.L. Wild Card spots. If the A’s keeps this up and the fan base increases, the chance for a new ball park increase also. With an increased fan base, the A’s will have help going after a new park because of the money that will be coming in from attendance, merchandizing, etc. Cisco Field would be ready for the 2016 season, so if the A’s have a bad rest of the season and continue to struggle the chances decline for a new ballpark. Another thing to consider is that 2016 is four years away, so anything can happen and the A’s don’t necessarily have to wait for Cisco Field. Oakland could explore other options if they start to become a power house and want a new stadium sooner rather than later. Perhaps they will look at other locations like Portland, Memphis and Durham. Or even go back to Oakland for one more try to obtain a new stadium in their current home.
The Athletics realistically have to look at moving the team out of the Bay Area altogether. With Yoenis Céspedes looking like Oakland’s franchise player, he would be the perfect player to build around the team and a new ballpark. Oakland is in a very similar situation to what the Miami Marlins faced in recent years. Miami ultimately were able to land a new stadium and make a big splash. But their new ballpark took a great deal of negotiations and was iffy right until the last minute. As a result of their new digs, the Marlins went out and signed Jose Reyes, Heath Bell, Mark Buehrle, traded for Carlos Zambrano, and hired Ozzie Guillen. Now they are starting to sell off their players, but that’s another story for another day. The A’s could do something very similar to that if they do get a new stadium (but actually keep their talent). Watch out for the Athletics if they get a new stadium in a city to be named later. Everything could change and I expect the change to be very positive.
***John Burns- MLB reports Intern: I am a highschool junior, play 1st base and catcher. I am a diehard Phillies fan. I was born in Philadelphia but now live in Virginia. I come from a huge baseball family and just love the game. My cousin was drafted by the New York Mets in the 2008 MLB draft. My favorite players are Shane Victorino, Carlos Ruiz, and Ryan Howard. I tweet all the time and you can follow me on twitter(@JohnBurns_MLB)***
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Monday July 23, 2012
Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer and @chuckbooth3024)- This weeks installment is actually a top 11. I bent the rules a little to accommodate the A’s. It is hard to maintain a great franchise in today’s Major Leagues. Sure the heavy hitters like New York and Boston will always be sniffing around the top of the league with their huge payrolls, but most teams don’t have the luxury to spend like these two teams do because of their limited revenue streams. In the last few years, the Phillies, Angels and Tigers have entered the echelon of top spenders. Spending money doesn’t always equal great results. The Texas Rangers have only had success lately and were often victim to heavy payrolls and not great results. How many years did Peter Angelos try to buy a contender with Baltimore? He has dedicated himself back to the right way of building a team the last couple of years and it has worked through player development.
Minnesota and Oakland have been run incredibly well for a long time. If this list was for a five-year stretch, you would have seen the Tampa Bay Rays as part of the top 10. These are the small market teams that have been consistently playing well against the big boys. The Twins have only faded back in the standings in the last couple of seasons. The Atlanta Braves finally had their consecutive playoff years stopped in 2005 and they were only mediocre for a few seasons. Right now, they might be the best team in the National League. The Angels, Twins, Dodgers, Athletics, Dodgers and Braves did not make any World Series appearances since 2003. Out of these teams, the Angels have the most wins.
According to the movie ‘The Natural,’ losing is a disease, and like other diseases, (insert disease here) it is curable. Most of these teams have not even struggled in the last 10 years. The Yankees have only won one World Series in this time frame, despite dominating the win total every year. In fact, the last time the Yankees has a losing season was 1991. The Cardinals and the Red Sox both have won 2 World Series, and the Cardinals are the only team to have appeared in the Fall Classic 3 times during this stretch. Read the rest of this entry
Thursday May 24th, 2012
Bernie Olshansky: This season was all set up to finally be the year that the Royals would have a good chance to contend. The division became less competitive than normal with the White Sox losing Mark Buehrle and manager Ozzie Guillen, the Twins not making any big moves in the offseason besides signing Josh Willingham, and a second wild card being added to increase the possibility of making the playoffs. Royals’ fans have long waited for the team to make the playoffs as they have only had a winning record once since 1993. This year, the Royals have no shortage of hitting with young stars Eric Hosmer (first base)—who is struggling as of late but is showing signs of coming around, and third baseman, Mike Moustakas who is hitting .285. The Royals also have a strong outfield with Alex Gordon and veteran Jeff Francouer. Prospect Wil Myers, who was just promoted to Triple A, may offer more strength in the future, and Billy Butler, hitting .301 is the designated hitter. With a strong bullpen and hitting lineup beside the slumping Hosmer, right now the only weakness for the Royals is their starting pitching. Presently, Felipe Paulino is an exception with a 1.93 ERA, but it is doubtful that he will keep up his performance. Read the rest of this entry
Friday March 2nd, 2012
Rob Bland: How long does a GM have job security after winning a World Series? I get asked this fairly often, as teams tend to stick with a general manager for longer than they should, especially when they have won a championship in the past. Even though a team may struggle and writers, experts and all of the pundits question every move they make, owners often stick with a GM if he has won “the big one”. Assembling a Major League quality team is not an exact science, even if the sabermetricians will have you believe it is. Sure, calculating OPS and WAR and FIP can help put you in a position to win, but there is something to be said about the culture of an organization. It may be a myth, but you always hear about winning teams having winning attitudes. They exude confidence. For example, is often said that there is an aura about the New York Yankees and Yankee Stadium. That being said, there has to be a mixture of personalities in a clubhouse. A general manager’s job is to put the best ballplayers on a roster, and the manager’s job is to utilize those players in ways that will maximize their talents and win games. A winning record should not directly reflect a GM’s performance. But then after all, he chose the players and hired the manager. Read the rest of this entry
Sunday January 15th, 2012
Jonathan Hacohen: Posted every Weekend: Your top baseball questions from the past week are answered. E-mail all questions to firstname.lastname@example.org, message us on Twitter and post on our Facebook Wall!
Let’s get to your top questions of the week:
MLB reports: Great questions Rick. No and no are the answers. Sorry! To answer your first question: Lee and Kotchman are plans “c” and “d”, if that, for contending teams. Teams on the rise would prefer to use younger players at first base. So the market for both is limited at best. Both Lee and Kotchman will need to fight to get full-time jobs. Kotchman will find something based on his solid 2011 campaign. Perhaps a return to the Rays is in order. Lee on the other hand, is getting on in years. I could see him retiring at this point, or in a year from now. It just depends on how desperate some teams are to get a veteran presence on their team and if trust is there for either player. With regards to Oswalt, I see him signing very soon. Boston could use him, yes, but I am not sensing a fit. The top teams for his services appear to be the Rangers and Jays. At 1-year and $8 million, he will likely have 20+ teams pursuing him. Boston does need Roy Oswalt in the worst way at this point. He would help stabilize a rotation that needs his presence. But this decision will come down to geography and fit for the player.
MLB reports: The Montero questions begin! I made the comparison on the trade of the trade that Montero was comparable to V-Mart and I stand behind that one. Carlos Santana is another good comparison. Extremely strong bat, will hit for high average with good pop. Glove is questionable. Montero will be good, I am just on the fence on whether it will happen in Seattle. The hope is that with a young team, he will blossom into a superstar. It will depend on whether he feels any pressure to live up to replacing Michael Pineda and ends up putting too much pressure on himself. He seems like a confident young man, so he should do well. The V-Mart threshold is a high one to reach. But we are definitely talking in the same category. Now d’Arnaud and Arencibia are a different story. Being based in Toronto, I get asked on these guys often. Here is my take put simply. Arencibia is a good guy, with good power in his bat. He is popular in the clubhouse and seen as a developing defensive catcher. His liabilities are his low average, high strikeouts and inability to take a walk. A .219 AVG and .282 OBP don’t cut it in my book. If JP doesn’t develop, he will become the Rob Deer of catchers. Travis d’Arnaud, on the other hand, may not have JP’s power (debatable), but he will definitely hit for a much higher average. He also will need to learn to take walks and cut down on strikeouts, but he should be more consistent offensively than Arencibia. Defensively, I have heard mixed things- but both will stick at catcher. So defensively, both Arencibia and d’Arnaud are above Montero. But Montero’s bat is far superior to either of the other guys. He is major league ready now to hit, while JP and Travis are still learning to hit consistently. If I had to rate each, I would give Montero an 8/10, d’Arnaud a 6/10 and Arencibia a 5/10. Montero is far ahead, with only d’Arnaud having the best chance to close the gap.
Q: Do the Phillies really expect Ryan Howard to be fully “baseball ready” before June 1st? Old Man Mack
MLB reports: LOL. That is the hope sir. If I had to be a fly on the wall, I bet the Phillies are hoping that he will be ready before that. But if the Kendrys Morales injury has taught us anything, is that you never know how some of these freak accidents will heal. My crystal ball sees Howard back after the All-Star break. Unless he is 110% healed, why risk it? His long-term health and productivity are at risk. I would not be shocked if Howard took longer to heal and had to miss all of 2012. But chances are that he will be back, just not till sometime in July or August of 2012. If he is back sooner, he better be ready…or a setback could be around the corner. I would say the bigger question is how long he stays in the lineup, rather than when he is back.
Q: What are the Tigers chances on Yoenis Cespedes? Michael
MLB reports: The Cespedes rumors are flying fast and furious. The teams that have been most linked to him are the Marlins and the Tigers. There have been stories of 5 teams, 10, 20…all sorts of numbers thrown around about this guy. Now, people are questioning why he is playing winter ball and in fact hurting his stock. My gut feel is that there isn’t as high of a demand for him as people suspect and that teams are cautious at throwing big money at an unknown quantity. But even if he doesn’t put up the best numbers this offseason, it has to be considered that he is rusty and been away from the game for some time. People should not expect Babe Ruth immediately, just to view his tools and to see if the mechanics are there. I like the Marlins chances best at signing Cespedes. Team Latino gets a 50% chance of landing Cespedes, with the Tigers at roughly 20%.
Q: Does Vance Worley come back to earth in his sophomore season? Justin
MLB reports: Nah man, Vance never left! Just kidding, but I know what you mean. Vance Worley was unbelievable in 2011, with an 11-3 record, 3.01 ERA and 1.230 WHIP. His won/loss record will depend largely on his offensive support and bullpen, so that we will leave to fate somewhat. I see Vance throwing quality strikes and keeping his walks low. He will not be an ace, but he will be very steady. He has the minor league track record and has already proven himself at the highest stage (in one of the most pressure filled environments, Philadelphia). Expect some regression, but not too much. Vance Worley is the real deal. A sophomore jinx should be avoided, but he will still take time to develop. Remember he is only 24-years of age. By year 3 or 4, expect a stud 20 game winner to emerge.
Q: With the new players eligible for the 2013 Hall of Fame class (Bonds, Clemens, Sosa etc.): will any be inducted? Ken
MLB reports: Ken. Ken. Ken. Mr. I say that Tim Raines MUST be inducted. He is back for more… Just playing with you Ken, you know we love ya. 48.7% of the vote Ken, I guess the voters aren’t all sold…yet. Here is my knock on Raines- get ready. Played 23 seasons. Not a bad thing in its own right. But definitely inflated some of his numbers. 980 RBIs. So he averaged less than 50 a year. 1571 runs scored. For 23 years played, not fantastic. A hall of fame leadoff man should easily be scoring 100+ per year, even on poor teams. Raines only did it 6 times. .294 AVG and .385 OBP. Very good. Like those numbers. The man did not hit many doubles or triples. He was basically a singles and stolen base machine. Now go check out our man Vince Coleman. Both in their primes, they were one of the top stolen base threats. Raines got more hits and got caught less stealing. But then Coleman appears to have attempted more stolen bases. Raines played longer and ultimately had the stronger career. But in the prime years, I can’t say that Raines was that much more spectacular than Coleman. Raines is very good and will get into the hall of fame the Jim Rice route. But it is not the Hall of Very Good. It is the Hall of Fame.
Now with your true question: Will any of the new eligible players be inducted into Cooperstown in 2013? The candidates are Bonds, Clemens, Piazza, Sosa, Schilling, Biggio and Lofton. I can tell you right now, based on Palmeiro and McGwire’s poor standings, that there is no chance in heck that Bonds, Clemens or Sosa are getting in. No way. No how. The ones I see getting in are Biggio and Piazza. Secretly, I have fantasized at night about Biggio and Bagwell getting in together. It was just meant to be. If Bagwell does not get in next year, then he will have to wait for some time. I feel next year will be his year. Piazza has to get in as a 1st ballot hall of famer. The numbers he put up as a catcher demand it. Next year is the year that hall of fame voters get their true test. If Piazza is out, then the hall of fame will really have to sit down and work out a better set of criteria for voting. The writers are going to feel like they are on a raft without paddles…it is time to fix the voting mess once and for all. Are these guys hall of famers or not? Let’s lay down the law and be done with it. No more fence-sitting. 2013 will be a big year for sure.
Q: Over/under 13.5 psychotic episodes in Miami? Sam
MLB reports: Under. Way under! I think you will see maybe 5-6 big blow ups. Carlos Zambrano will get into 1-2 confrontations. Hanley will explode about the position change once. LoMo will have one twitter incident. Ozzie will have a couple of issues likely develop. Apparently the Miami Marlins are being considered for the baseball reality show this year. If that happens, watch out. That will be Grade A television!!!
Final Q: Will the Brewers be able to win the central despite losing Prince and no Braun for first 50 games? Eric
MLB reports: My brain says no and my heart says maybe. The reality is that the Brewers are in tough. Very tough. The loss of Prince will be huge (when it happens) and same with Braun if the suspension is upheld. But even with those guys, the Brewers would still be in tough. The Cardinals, even with the loss of the Pujols and La Russa and absence of Duncan would still be a strong team. The Reds though are the team to beat, as they are frontrunners to take the NL Central this year. The Brewers still have Greinke and Gallardo, so they have a chance. But I just see the Reds as the class of the division this year. The Cardinals are going to regress and will have a tough time defending their title. But without their main offensive stars, the Brewers go from stars to ordinary. The window appears to be closing on the Brewers… and opening for the Reds in 2012.
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