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Sunday, February.17, 2013
MLB Reports: We are pleased to present you with Baseball Author Lee Edelstein as the newest writer with us at the Reports. Lee will be providing us with great stories about baseball memorabilia on a regular basis.
An American Hobby
Collecting baseball cards is a uniquely American hobby. As a kid growing up in the 1950’s I had shoeboxes full of them. All of my friends did, too. We had so many cards that, when we got older and our interests shifted to teenage pursuits, our moms decided to clean house. Literally. Out went the cards which they considered to be nothing more than junk. Today, we wax nostalgic over those cardboard canvasses of our heroes that we treated so casually. That’s also why, in good condition, they are worth small fortunes.
I renewed my interest in card collecting a few years ago when I decided to build a collection of the elites of the game – the ballplayers who are members of three very exclusive clubs: 300 Wins, 3,000 Hits, and 500 Home Runs. It’s an exclusive membership that includes players from before the turn of the twentieth century (Kid Nichols and Pud Galvin are tied for #7 with 361 wins) through players who are active today (Derek Jeter is currently #11 on the ALL-Time Hit list with 3,304. He is only 11 hits behind Eddie Collins (10th) and 15 behind Paul Molitor (9th):
- 300 Wins – 24 players
- 3,000 Hits – 28 players
- 500 Home Runs – 25 players
Each week, I’ll feature a baseball card of one of these all-time greats. Along the way, we’ll talk about other aspects of America’s Hobby, why it continues to grow in popularity, and answer any questions you may have.
The Great Bambino Highlights and pictures:
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Wednesday, February.13, 2013
Chuck Booth (Yankees Correspondent/Website Owner): Follow @chuckbooth3024
The Yankees had a precarious winter after failing miserably in the ALCS, (AKA the last time the country saw them play on Television) – when the team was decimated by the Detroit Tigers in a sweep. So what has happened since? A lot of status quo: Re-signing Mariano Rivera, Andy Pettitte, Ichiro Suzuki and Hiroki Kuroda, while saying good-bye to Raul Ibanez (SEA), Andruw Jones (FA), Nick Swisher (CLE), Eric Chavez (ARI), Russell Martin (PIT), Derek Lowe (FA), Steve Pearce (BAL), Casey McGehee (FA), Freddy Garcia (FA) and Rafael Soriano (WSH). All they really added back was former arch-nemesis Kevin Youkilis (CWS) and Travis Hafner (CLE). The team is sitting around 215 Million Dollars at Payroll right now, yet they have are heading into the 2013 campaign with Catchers that are of limited experience.
For the first time in years, the club will need to see some internal progress from their farm system to help the big club. With A-ROD out with his hip injury, plus the Miami fiasco, can you really count on the prima-donna to play at all this season? Derek Jeter is coming off a brutal ankle injury that occurred in the aforementioned Post Season Series vs the Tigers . The club is also hoping that ‘MO’ Rivera can find it within himself to make it through another year as a 43 Year Old. Just like The ALL-Time Saves Leader, this team is aging fast. Robinson Cano and Curtis Granderson are Free Agents after 2013 is over. Brian Cashman is also going to take advantage of the reset option f the Luxury Tax loophole in 2014.
This means that when the Luxury Tax goes from 178 Million to 189 Million next year, that the club can stop paying its 40% annual penalty if they can get under for just one season. The Yankees will be sure to blow up the Payroll from 2015 and beyond that, it is just to not start the new luxury lax at the maximum penalty. Had the Luxury Tax not moved from its current spot, the Yankees would always pay the 40% penalty (even if they decided to skip one year).
Yankees Highlights 2012: Mature Lyrics So Parental Guidance is Advised:
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Friday, February. 08/2013
By Ryan Dana (MLB Reports Intern): Follow @ryandana1
Who is Jose Bautista? He is a 32-Year Old, Dominican, Major League Baseball player. He is the starting Right Fielder and number 3 hitter in the Toronto Blue Jays lineup. He is a 3x All-Star (’10-’12), 2x Silver Slugger Award winner (’10-’11), and 2x Hank Aaron Award winner (’10-’11). Bautista is a former 20th round draft pick of the Pittsburgh Pirate s- who struggled to make any significant impact for a Major League team into his late 20’s. He arose from baseball obscurity and launched into the spotlight seemingly overnight. Bautista’s breakout campaign in 2010 was followed with an even better 2011, which was all foreshadowed by a promising September in ’09 – where he tapped into a power surge hitting 10 HRs in the month.
This was especially surprising since his career high for HRs in a season to that point was only 16 in ‘06. Modifications Bautista made in his swing were career changing. He completely reinvented the system he was using to time pitching, and it paid big dividends. Bautista’s success forced the Rogers Center to keep their roof open for all home games due to the amount of moonshots he was hitting. I’m only joking, but he did hit an MLB high 54 HRs in 2010 and 43 HRs in 2011.
Jose Bautista 2012 Highlights Mix:
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By Chuck Booth (Yankees Correspondent/Website Owner): Follow @chuckbooth3024
3884 hits into his professional career, Suzuki starts his 13th Career in the Major Leagues and his 22nd season overall in 2013, only 116 hits shy of 4000. He is 308 short of passing Ty Cobb (4191) and 372 hits behind Pete Rose (4256) for the ALL-Time Professional Baseball Hits Lead. Suzuki just re-inked a 2 YR/13 Million Dollar Contract with the Bronx Bombers. He has a serious chance to chase down these legendary players in this time frame. The spry Right-Fielder has 2606 hits on this side of the water – including 10 straight 200+ hit seasons to start his career between 2001-2010. The last 2 campaigns have seen him regress to only 184 and 178 hits respectively. These are still decent hit totals, however not really Ichiro-like. His 3 months in New York has given fans optimism that he can still be a very productive top of the lineup hitter.
Suzuki had a 3 Slash-Line of .320/.340/.794 in New York with 73 hits in 67 games. The veteran even had 14 SB. Playing in the Bronx will keep him motivated to play to his fullest potential, as he has never been to a World Series in 12 years. The Yankees were swept by the Detroit Tigers in last years ALCS, although Suzuki went 6-17 (.353) in the series. Amongst those hits, was a 4-6 effort in Game #1. The man just knows how to hit. He has averaged 221 base knocks a year since coming over from Japan. He has a .322 Batting Average for his Career and has nailed down 2 Batting Titles, while he has led the American League in hits on 7 different occasions.
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Thursday January 3rd, 2013
Ben Dobson ( Baseball Writer and Brewers Correspondent): Follow @brewerpride06
1982….Mention this date to any Brewers fan and immediately you will witness a smile and a nod of the head. Very little has to be said that isn’t communicated with that simple smile and subtle shake of the head. Harvey’s Wallbangers; Cecil Cooper, Paul Molitor, Robin Yount, Gorman Thomas and Ben Oglivie to name a few. Coming off a (3-2) AL Division Series loss to the Yankees in 81′ the Brewers stormed in to 82′ ready to make amends. The Brewers began 82′ slowly going (23-24), thus Harvey Kuenn replaced Buck Rodgers. The Brewers made history going forward posting a (72-43) record leading the league in runs and HRs. This team poured it all out on the field before losing in Game 7 of the World Series to the St. Louis Cardinals. Yount, Molitor and Cooper will forever be household names associated with the epic ’82 team.
Fast-Forward 26 years….2008 & 2011….The Brewers finally made it back to the postseason. This time the club was led by Ryan Braun, Prince Fielder, Corey Hart and Rickie Weeks. These were both magical years but neither year ended in a World Series appearance. The constant and consistent cog of these two playoff teams was Ryan Braun. The “Hebrew Hammer” lead the team in batting both playoff years and put up power numbers as well as speed numbers. This perennial All-Star continues to perform as one of the best in the game, but how does Ryan Braun compare to the 82′ heroes of Yount, Molitor and Cooper. The following statistics were taken during 6 consecutive seasons for each player (only exception is the 84′ season for Molitor who was limited to 13 games, 85′ season was substituted).
Ryan Braun Highlights in 2012: Suggestive Mature Lyrics-Parental Guidance Advised:
Wednesday, Nov.28th, 2012
Note from Chuck Booth: I am attempting to bring the history for each of the 30 MLB Franchises into a 5-7 part series that will focus on 1. The teams history. 2. The hitters 3. The pitchers. 4. The Teams Payroll going into 2013 and 5.The Ball Park that they play in. (The stadium articles will all be done next summer when I go to all of the parks in under a month again.) Be sure to check my author page with a list of all of my archived articles section here.
Today’s Part 2 Feature of the Blue Jays Franchise will be written by our Baseball Writer Alex Mednick. To do this franchise series service, Alex has studied this club a lot more than I have in the last 20 years and will do this article better justice for you the reader!
Alex Mednick (Baseball Writer and Analyst):
Note from Alex Mednick: Chuck Booth offered to me the opportunity to step in to his Franchise Series and cover the Blue Jays history from 1994-Present. I gladly accepted the honor.
In Part 1 of this series, Chuck covered the Blue Jays history from their humble beginnings at Exhibition Stadium in 1977, through the glory years in the late 80s and early 90s. The story dropped off right after the Blue Jays won back-to-back World Championships in 1992 and 1993. We closed the books with the walk-off winning home run by Joe Carter to win the World Series, and the parties and celebrations that were to follow across Ontario, Canada. I will pick it back up at the beginning of the 1994 season, when the Blue Jays had high hopes to win a third consecutive world championship.
(Scroll Down Past the Links or Click the READ MORE OF THIS ENTRY ICON.)
Franchise Series Links:
Franchise History Part 1 1977-1993: http://mlbreports.com/2012/11/09/jays1/
2013 Team Payroll: http://mlbreports.com/2012/09/10/tor/
Special Bonus Fan Blog Of 2013 Team Payroll: http://mlbreports.com/2012/09/12/torfanalex/
Friday November 23th, 2012
Note from Alex Mednick: I am going to be putting together a small project that accumulates all the best players of all time, and puts them together on teams according to their birthplace. For example, in this first edition I will be breaking down players from the United States of America into teams from the 1) Northeast, 2) Southeast, 3) Midwest, and 4) Southwest…(sorry, there really is not enough quality coming out of the northwest to compete with these teams…maybe I will put a Northwestern United States team in a later edition with less competitive teams). Later on I will bring you teams assembled from the all-time greats out Central and South American (Mexico, Venezuela, Panama, Panama Canal Zone, etc.) and the All-Caribbean Team (Dominican Republic, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Curacao, etc). Also look forward to teams from Japan, Canada and the EU. Should be fun to sort of assemble an “Olympics” of Baseball. I love watching the World Baseball Classic and seeing players fight for their nations pride…but by grouping the teams by region, it might make the teams more competitive. Of course, this is all for the sake of speculation; Babe Ruth was a great player, but I don’t think he will be taking any at-bat’s soon. (Also, please note that I do not lend consideration to relief pitchers in this analysis). Read the rest of this entry
Note from Chuck Booth: I am attempting to bring the history for each of the 30 MLB Franchises into a 5 part series that will focus on 1. The teams history. 2. The hitters 3. The pitchers. 4. The Teams Payroll going into 2013 and 5.The Ball Park that they play in. (The stadium articles will all be done next summer when I go to all of the parks in under a month again.) Be sure to check my author page with a list of all of my archived articles section here.
Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer): Follow @chuckbooth3024
I like that this franchise series is right dab smack in the middle of the biggest Franchise trade since Tony Fernandez and Fred McGriff went to San Diego for Roberto Alomar and Joe Carter in 1990. A Toronto Blue Jays fan can only hope for the same result that came down afterwards to repeat itself in the next few year. The early days of the Jays hitters (late 1970′s provided some long-term reliable guys,) however it wasn’t until Jesse Barfield won a HR Title and George Bell came home with the 1987 AL MVP, that the rest of the MLB started to take notice on the hitters of this Canadian Team. As soon as the club moved into SKYDOME, the hitters had a field day. Not to say that Exhibition Stadium didn’t aid some homeruns and nice averages in its day, it is just that SKYDOME is a hitter friendly park.
From George Bell and the outstanding other 80′s OF trio of Barfield and Lloyd “The Shaker” Moseby, to Tony Fernandez and Ernie Whitt, these guys all played a huge chunk of their careers with this Canadian Club. Fred McGriff routinely hit towering shots off of the Windows Restaurant and led the AL in HRs during the 1989 Pennant Winning Season. In 1991, when Joe Carter and Roberto Alomar arrived onto the scene, the offense just clicked on all cylinders. Devon White was gracefully stealing bases and striding into runs with those gigantic high knee kicks of his. John Olerud walked right out of College and added one of the best ‘natural’ swings that any of us have ever seen. Veterans Dave Winfield and Paul Molitor bashed their way into Jays hearts with their limited time with the organization en route to back to back World Series Titles in 1992 and 1993. After the Strike/Lockout, the team then saw Shawn Green and Carlos Delgado routinely destroy pitchers and be amongst the league lead in several power categories.
There is a ton more on this article just past these links or by clicking the READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY ICON.
Here are the links for the article series.
Franchise History Part 2 1994-2012: http://mlbreports.com/2012/11/28/jay/
For Part 6 of the 7 Part Series: Blue Jays 2013 Team Payroll Click here:
For Part 7 of the 7 Part Series: Blue Jays 2013 Team Payroll: A Readers Thoughts, Click Here:
Saturday November 3rd, 2012
Luke Whitecotton: Pete Rose likes to talk baseball whenever he gets the chance to. When the subject comes up of someone breaking his all-time hits record, you know that Pete will always express his opinion. Since he is banned from baseball and will not likely ever make it into the Hall of Fame, you can’t help but think if this record is his “hall of fame”. That is likely why he is so protective of it. Pete Rose probably doesn’t want to hear that records are meant to be broken, and his one day will. But do any current active players even have a remote chance at the all-time hits record? There is a player out there who, if everything goes absolutely right, and the stars align could very well break this record. The climb to get there will be astronomical, and when you see the stats one would have to get in order to be successful, you probably will agree there is no way it will happen. Well in baseball if there is a will and a way, a record is probably going to be broken. Cal Ripken broke the record of most consecutive games played, which everyone thought that was unbreakable. Barry Bonds (who with a little help one might say), broke Hank Aaron’s home run record. And maybe one day someone will break the 56 game hit streak. So you see Pete Rose- someone could break your all-time hits record. With a little luck and skill, that guy is playing the game today. His name? Derek Jeter. Read the rest of this entry
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
Wednesday June.6, 2012
Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer and @chuckbooth3024 on twitter)- While watching Josh Hamilton this year, I started thinking about the best players in the MLB over the last 33 years. I am talking the best player of the game at any point of time. I tracked back to 1979 for this article. I may expand further back in follow up articles. I did rank defense highly when I came up with the players. I did agonize over Mike Schmidt, Jim Rice, Wade Boggs and Cal Ripken for some of the years given in specific time frames. These gentlemen were given every consideration. In the end, we are talking about the best player in the game though and it is always subject to debate and personal opinion. The criteria had to involve leading the league in several different offensive and/or defensive categories, followed by routinely being in the top 7 in MVP balloting(if not taking home the honor), All-Star Appearances for every year I listed them for and most of them won silver sluggers and/or Gold Gloves as well.
George Brett 1979-1983-George Brett was the best hitter in the game from 1979-1983. He hit for a .320 average and slugged his way to having the Royals as perennial contenders. He led the league in triples (20) and hits in 1979. In 1980, he hit .390 with a .454 OBP, 664 SLG and a 1.118 OBP which led the league. In 1983, Brett led the league in slugging an OPS once again. Brett won the MVP in 1980 and was the runner-up in 1979. In 1985, George Brett would lead the Royals to a World Series. He later won a batting title at age 37 with a .329 average. This was the toughest time frame to judge from 1979-1983. Mike Schmidt was an incredible force at third base with huge power and Jim Rice also put up mammoth numbers, but in the end I chose George Brett because he was more consistent out of 3. Read the rest of this entry
Wednesday December 28, 2011
Doug Booth- Guest Baseball Writer:
Watching the 2011 season, something really resonated with me while watching the American League: ‘Where have all the great designated hitters in MLB gone?’ It seemed only a few years ago that every team had a bopper capable of hitting .300 with 30 HR’S and 100 RBI’s. Upon further investigation, I found out some interesting facts. First, let us look at the top-3 DH’s this past 2011 season. Michael Young of the Rangers hit .338, 11 HR’S and 106 RBI, which was the best performance by any DH, in helping to win the Rangers a 2nd straight ALCS Pennant. A close second would go to Victor Martinez, who spent 112 games at DH and hit .330 with 12 HR’S and 103 RBI. The 3rd best DH was David Ortiz, who hit .309 with 29 HR’s and 96 RBI. The rest of the DH’s were average to below average.
The Yankees struggled with Posada and a rotation of Andruw Jones/Jesus Montero, although they hit about 30 HR’s combined. The Blue Jays never had a set DH, but received decent production from Encarnacion and Lind. The Baltimore Orioles had Vlad Guerrero, who had his worst year ever, as did the Angels’ Bobby Abreu and the Rays’ Johnny Damon. The Seattle Mariners had washed up Jack Cust and the likes of Willy Mo Pena by the end of the year. Oakland has steady Hideki Matsui, but not even a decent second half had him anywhere near his career average totals. Kansas City has been placing Billy Butler back onto the field, so his DH role was limited this season. Adam Dunn soon became a four letter word in Chicago’s South side. Aging and injury prone players Grady Sizemore and Travis Hafner saw the most amount of work for the Cleveland Indians at DH, so yet again these players were far from being in their most productive years.
So what is the underlying theme here? If you have a great DH, you may just make the playoffs and win it all. Young, Martinez, Ortiz had their teams in contention all year for the playoffs. The Tampa Bay Rays were the 4th team in the playoff chase and managed to overcome the position thanks to superior pitching. One could definitely say that Michael Young vs. Bobby Abreu is worth a definite amount of wins at that position, considering what they each produced in the AL West.
I am going to go through the last 20 years of ALCS Pennant Winners as part of my study. 80% of the time (the team with a great DH) was in the World Series:
1992 TORONTO-Dave Winfield .290 26 HR’S 108 RBI
1993 TORONTO-Paul Molitor .332 22 HR’S 111 RBI
1994 WORLD SERIES CANCELLED
1995 CLEVELAND-Eddie Murray .323 21 HR’S 82 RBI
1996 NEW YORK-Cecil Fielder 39 HR’S 117 RBI (Acquired at deadline by NYY)
1997 CLEVELAND-David Justice .329 33 HR’S 101 RBI
1998 NEW YORK-Darryl Strawberry 24 HR’S 57 RBI (295 AB IN 101 GAMES)
1999 NEW YORK-Chili Davis/Darryl Strawberry (not the greatest year-but in middle of NYY dynasty of 6 ALCS IN 7 YRS)
2000 NEW YORK-David Justice .286 41 HR’S 118 RBI
2001 NEW YORK-David Justice (not the greatest year but it was a solid NYY team. Edgar Martinez led SEA to a 116-46 record and were prohibitive favorites but lost to the Yankees-Martinez year was .306 23 HR’s AND 106 RBI
2002 ANAHEIM-Brad Fullmer (hit .289 with 60 XBH in 130 games and a slugging % of .531)
2003 NEW YORK-Jason Giambi 41 HR’S 107 RBI
2004 BOSTON-David Ortiz .301 41 HR’S 139 RBI
2005 CHICAGO-Carl Everett 23 HR’S 87 RBI in 135 games
2006 Detroit Tigers-Dmitri Young (They did not have a definite DH after Young’s injury so this year so was the worst out of the 20 years.)
2007 BOSTON-David Ortiz-.305 35 HR’S 117 RBI
2008 TAMPA BAY-Cliff Floyd/Wille Aybar 22 HR’S 72 RBI combined (Again great pitching carried TB.)
2009 NEW YORK-Hideki Matsui .274 28 HR 90 RBI IN 456 AB
2010 TEXAS-Vlad Guerrero .300 29 HR’S 115 RBI
2011 TEXAS-Michael Young .338 11 HR’S 106 RBI
In 2006, half of the league possessed great DH’s: Ortiz .287 54 HR 137 RBI, Hafner .308 42 HR’S 117 RBI, Giambi 37 HR’S 113 RBI, Thome .288 42 HR’S 109 RBI, and Thomas hit 39 HR’S 114 RBI. This group is far more productive than the 2011 bunch. Given this Information, why wouldn’t more teams elect for permanent DH slots just to gain an edge over their competition? The Seattle Mariners had an incredible run from 1994-2004 with Edgar Martinez as a permanent DH. The Boston Red Sox have won 2 World Series titles and are perennial playoff contenders with David Ortiz as their DH. The Yankees have not been the same since Hideki Matsui has left the club as their DH. This leads me to the Toronto Blue Jays pitching an offer to Prince Fielder and making Adam Lind a permanent DH.
With a signing of Fielder, the Jays could move Adam Lind to just a DH. Could you dare envision a lineup of: Escobar SS, Rasmus CF, Bautista RF, Fielder 1B, Lawrie 3B, Lind DH, Arencibia C, Johnson 2B, and your pick of Thames or Snyder? This would free up your club to make a trade as well. If you are the Jays, and offered Yu Darvish the posting bid of over $50 million and another $60-75 million in salary, why wouldn’t you offer Fielder a 7 year deal in the $140-150 Million range? With Fielder signed, I think his presence would potentially alter the attendance by 8,000-10,000 fans per game to justify his salary (not to mention merchandise and television ratings). With a 3-4-5 lineup of Bautista, Fielder and Lawrie, I could see 120 HR’S and 350 RBI combined each year. The best aspect of these guys is that they are patient. If you add Adam Lind as the #6 hitter with 30 HR 100 RBI capability, then it will become lookout time for the rest of the league.
The Angels signing of Albert Pujols should not cause concern about his production. Even into his early 40’s, Pujols should be able to hit well given his dedication to personal fitness. The question is: why wait to move him to DH right now with the amount of 1st baseman they already possess with Trumbo and maybe a return from Morales? It is my belief that aging players should be shipped off to the National League when they can’t post impressive offensive numbers. A good example of this are recent NL pinch hitters Jason Giambi and Matt Stairs making a living off pinch such roles after failing as DH’s late into their careers. If the AL teams persist in signing aging players past their prime for the DH role, then I believe they will struggle. Vlad Guerrero and Johnny Damon would be perfect for an NL team at this stage of their respective careers considering this rationale.
So whatever players are ultimately signed by each team from this point forward or already have signed, whichever AL teams have the best Designated Hitters in the league for the 2012 season will likely have the best shot at winning the AL Pennant.
*** Thank you to our Guest Baseball Writer- Doug Booth for joining us today on MLB reports. To learn more about “The Fastest 30 Ballgames” and Doug Booth, you can follow Doug on Twitter (@ChuckBooth3024) and click here for Doug’s website, fastestthirtyballgames.com***
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