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The Miami Marlins State Of The Union – Winter 2013 + A 1 Year Look Back At MIA/TOR Trade

It has almost been a year since the Blue Jays and Marlins deal that saw Josh Johnson, Jose Reyes, Emilio Bonifacio, John Buck, Josh Johnson come to Canada - in exchange for a bushel full of prospects, Yunel Escobar and Henderson Alvarez.  Toronto suffered the same fate nearly as the 2012 Marlins - in terms of record.  All of the Miami players struggled at the MLB level, but primarily that is because they were all 1st or 2nd year players.  It will be plenty of seasons until the final verdict is handed down on this trade.

It has almost been a year since the Blue Jays and Marlins deal that saw Josh Johnson, Jose Reyes, Emilio Bonifacio, John Buck, Josh Johnson come to Canada – in exchange for a bushel full of prospects, Yunel Escobar and Henderson Alvarez. Toronto suffered the same fate nearly as the 2012 Marlins – in terms of record. All of the Miami players struggled at the MLB level, but primarily that is because they were all 1st or 2nd year players. It will be plenty of seasons until the final verdict is handed down on this trade.  Reyes still slashed .296/.353/.780 – and posted 113 Hits and 58 Runs in 93 Games Played the for Toronto Blue Jays.  He did miss 69 Games due to injury.

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

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A year has almost gone by since big blockbuster move made by the Miami Marlins and the Toronto Blue Jays.

In a bullet version of this story, the Miami team only finished with 7 wins less than the 2012 version of themselves, yet they have stockpiled many of young assets, and all for about a one-third of a payroll they had last year.

Jose Reyes, Mark Buehrle and R.A. Dickey (parlayed by throwing Travis d’Arnaud and former Marlin John Buck via trade) had average years only, and Emilio Bonifacio was eventually moved to Kansas City for bad play.

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Philadelphia Phillies 2014 Full MLB Schedule On 1 Page Post

Philadelphia Phillies 2014 Full Year Schedule On 1 Page Post

Dan Wanser (MLB Reports Writer):   
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All times listed for games are local.

Monday Mar.31/2014

Off

Tuesday April.01/2014

Phillies @ Rangers – TBD

April 2014

Wednesday April.02/2014

Phillies @ Rangers – TBD

Thursday April.03/2014

Off

Friday April.04/2014

Phillies @ Cubs – 2:20

Saturday April.05/2014

Phillies @ Cubs – 4:05

Sunday April.06/2014

Phillies @ Cubs – TBD Read the rest of this entry

Who Owned Baseball Yesterday (August.12th) – Updated Yearly ‘WOB’ Standings

AP Photo: Matt York

AP Photo: Matt York

Adam Eaton singled home a run and then crushed a walk off homer in the 9th ending a wild game for the Diamondbacks over the Orioles, 7-6.

Cole Hamels tamed the best team in baseball, the Atlanta Braves, with a complete game victory. The Phillies’ left hander let up only 6 hits and one run while striking out 9, getting the decision 5-1.

Alberto Callaspo doubled home the go ahead runs in the 9th inning to break open a tense match up with the Blue Jays, giving the A’s a 5-1 win. 

Yu Darvish  threw a no hitter into the 8th inning, finishing with 1 hit (a solo homer), struck out 15 and walking only one as the Rangers topped the Astros, 2-1 .

They all owned baseball on August 12, 2013.

My explanation for “Who Owns Baseball” can be found here.

At the end of the year, we will tally up who owned baseball the most individual days and see how it compares to the final MVP and Cy Young vote.

To view the Yearly Leaders for Who Owned Baseball Standings – Click the READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY ICON.

To View The List of just the nightly winners (WOB dedicated Page) starting from Mar.31/2013 – today click here Read the rest of this entry

The Kings of Pop: Who Are The Five Best Home Run Hitters In Each League?

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Wednesday July 24th, 2013 

Crush Davis

The Home Run might be the most exciting aspect of baseball, and this year we have some players who are definitely spoiling us with the shows they have been putting on so far. One of these players is Chris Davis. Davis lead the American League in Home Runs at the All-Star break but he is not the only player who has enjoyed going yard numerous times this season. Who are the best Home Run hitters in the league right now? Here’s my thoughts:

By Dan Wanser (MLB Reports Writer) 

Whether you’re a casual fan who just enjoys watching whatever games on or you’re a diehard who eats, sleeps, and breathes the game we can all agree that everyone loves the longball.

This season, numerous players are entertaining us by showing off their power whenever they can with some mid-game fireworks.

From the big names like Prince Fielder and Miguel Cabrera to the rising stars in Yoenis Cespedes and we definitely have some powerhouse hitters who are fun to watch.

So who are the best Home Run hitters in the game today? Lets rank them:

Chris Davis 2013 Home Runs:

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Who Owned Baseball Yesterday (July 4th) – Updated Yearly “WOB” Standings

 (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

(AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

Dan Straily returned from the minors to throw 7 innings of 1 hit shutout baseball, winning a 1-0 thriller for the A’s over the Cubs.

Adrian Beltre clocked a pair of homers. The second homer began the Rangers 7th inning come from behind rally against the Mariners, resulting in a 5-4 Texas win.

Cole Hamels pitched 7 innings, letting up only one earned run and struck out 8 Pirates while walking none, giving the Phillies a much needed 6-4 win.

And Wil Nieves went 4-7 with a pair of RBI and got a 2 out single that helped the Diamondbacks set up the game winning rally in the 15th inning, 5-4 against the Mets.

They all owned baseball on July 4th, 2013.

My explanation for “Who Owns Baseball” can be found here.

At the end of the year, we will tally up who owned baseball the most individual days and see how it compares to the final MVP and Cy Young vote.

To view the Yearly Leaders for Who Owned Baseball Standings – Click the READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY ICON.

To View The List of just the nightly winners (WOB dedicated Page) starting from Mar.31/2013 – today click here Read the rest of this entry

Who Owned Baseball Yesterday (June 28th) – Updated Yearly “WOB” Standings

Photo: Chris O'Meara - AP

Photo: Chris O’Meara – AP

Miguel Cabrera was a triple short of the Cycle. He went 4-4 with a single, a double and a pair of homers. He drove in three and scored three as the Tigers beat the Rays, 6-3.

Delmon Young went 3-6 with a double and six runs batted in, leading the Phillies to a 16-1 embarrassment of the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Bartolo Colon threw 8 innings of 1 run, 6 hit ball as the A’s beat the Mighty Cardinals handily, 6-1.

And Matt Harvey may have been ripped off by the Mets bullpen, but he was sensational. He threw perfect game into the 5th inning. He finished the game letting up just 3 hits, 1 run and no walks in 7 innings, striking out 11 along the way. The Mets relievers surrendered the lead and ultimately the game to the Nationals, 6-4. That doesn’t make Harvey’s start any less noteworthy.

They all owned baseball on June 28th, 2013.

My explanation for “Who Owns Baseball” can be found here.

At the end of the year, we will tally up who owned baseball the most individual days and see how it compares to the final MVP and Cy Young vote.

To view the Yearly Leaders for Who Owned Baseball Standings – Click the READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY ICON.

To View The List of just the nightly winners (WOB dedicated Page) starting from Mar.31/2013 – today click here Read the rest of this entry

Who Owned Baseball Yesterday (June 25th) – Updated Yearly ‘WOB’ Standings

(AP Photo/Winslow Townson)

(AP Photo/Winslow Townson)

Dustin Pedroia drove in runs in the first, second, third and seventh inning, sparking the Red Sox to an 11-4 drubbing of the Rockies.

Chris Sale allowed only 3 hits over 8 innings, striking out 13. The bullpen prevented him from getting a decision but he set up the White Sox 5-4 walk off win against the Mets.

Rickie Weeks went 3-4 with 2 homers, a double and 4 RBI as the Brewers blasted the Cubs 9-3.

And Kyle Kendrick let up only 2 runs over 8 innings, walking none, as the Phillies came from behind to beat the Padres 6-2.

 

They all owned baseball on June 25th, 2013.

My explanation for “Who Owns Baseball” can be found here.

At the end of the year, we will tally up who owned baseball the most individual days and see how it compares to the final MVP and Cy Young vote.

To view the Yearly Leaders for Who Owned Baseball Standings – Click the READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY ICON.

To View The List of just the nightly winners (WOB dedicated Page) starting from Mar.31/2013 – today click here Read the rest of this entry

Who Owned Baseball Yesterday (June 24th) – Updated Yearly “WOB” Standings

 

Photo: Mark J. Terrill - AP

Photo: Mark J. Terrill – AP

Yasiel Puig hit a first inning home run and then broke a 1-1- tie in the 8th with an RBI single as the Dodgers topped the Giants 3-1.

Cliff Lee pitched shutout ball into the 9th inning and was brilliant against San Diego. Unfortunately for him, closer Jonathan Papelbon imploded, letting the Padres tie the game in the 9th. San Diego would win it 4-3 in extra innings.

Michael Brantley hit a 2 run, go ahead single in the 6th inning and then padded the lead with a 2 run homer in the 8th inning to lead Cleveland past Baltimore, 5-2. with a homer and four runs batted in including a two run shot in the second inning as the Blue Jays clobbered the Orioles 13-5.

And Jeremy Hellickson pitched seven brilliant 1 hit innings to stop Toronto’s 11 game winning streak and was credited with the win in Tampa Bay’s 4-1 decision.

They all owned baseball on June 24th, 2013.

My explanation for “Who Owns Baseball” can be found here.

At the end of the year, we will tally up who owned baseball the most individual days and see how it compares to the final MVP and Cy Young vote.

To view the Yearly Leaders for Who Owned Baseball Standings – Click the READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY ICON.

To View The List of just the nightly winners (WOB dedicated Page) starting from Mar.31/2013 – today click here Read the rest of this entry

Chase Headley: Contract Talks Or Trade Bait?

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Monday May 6th, 2013

Headley led the NL with 115 RBI in 2012 amongst 31 HRs, he will need to put up monster numbers for the Padres to compete with the LA Dodgers going forward.  Headley caaptured a Gold Glove Award and Silver Slugger in 2012. He ended up finishing 5th in NL MVP voting.  He hit 23 HRs and 73 RBI in just 75 Games after the 2012 ALL-Star Game.. Chase Headley actually fared well at Petco Park in 2012 - with a 3 Slash Line of .272/.357/.812.  He added 13 HRs and 51 RBI.  He could potentially hit a few more out with the fences drawn in.

Headley led the NL with 115 RBI in 2012 amongst 31 HRs, he will need to put up monster numbers for the Padres to compete with the NL West teams  going forward Chase Headley actually fared well at Petco Park in 2012 – with a 3 Slash Line of .272/.357/.812. He added 13 HRs and 51 RBI. He could potentially hit a few more out this season with the fences newly drawn in.

Bernie Olshansky (Baseball Writer):

For the past few seasons, Chase Headley has been the one guy on the roster that the San Diego Padres can rely on. Last year, he put up MVP-like numbers, hitting 31 HR and driving in 115 runs.

This year, he is really the only guy in the lineup that can truly produce runs. Yonder Alonso has that capability, but he is still a bit raw. Headley is signed to a one-year $8.58 million contract.

He becomes Arbitration-eligible in 2014 and is a Free Agent in 2015. The Padres are faced with a conundrum: should they trade Headley?

This third baseman is 28 years old—about the time when most players enter their prime. With the season we saw from Headley in 2012, I think it is safe to say that he has already entered his prime, and probably has two or three more years similar to 2012 ahead of him.

If the Padres are building for the future, which I sure hope they are, they need to trade Headley right away.

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Miami Marlins Payroll In 2013 And Contracts Going Forward

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Monday, February.18/2013

The Marlins will start year 2 of their ball park with about 33 % of their 2012 Team Salary.  They essentially have traded away veteran over the course of last season and then in the winter.

The Marlins will start year 2 of their ball park with about 33% of their 2012 Team Salary. They essentially have traded away every veteran over the course of last season and then in the winter.  They go to camp with a lot of prospects, some re-treads and a lot of broken promises to their fans.

By Nicholas Rossoletti (MLB Reports Trade Correspondent):

Welcome to Miami, home to sunshine, beautiful people and a unique multicultural atmosphere. Miami is not home, however, to a big market baseball team. For years the Marlins have attempted to fake it to make it. The team would build its payroll towards a single season where the front office felt like it could compete for a world championship. Then, regardless of result, the Marlins would break up the team, sell the pieces for as much value as was offered and rebuild towards another season when a championship hope seemed realistic. So the Miami Marlins, their fans, their brand new stadium enter 2013 in a very similar situation. In 2012, the team took a shot at competing by spending money on several free agents. I’ve written in detail about why that didn’t work and what the fans can look forward to in the future. In 2013, the payroll will be once again be amongst the lowest in baseball.

As with our past looks at payroll we will start with the high-end of the Miami payroll. You will notice that one of these is not like the other.

Giancarlo Stanton Highlights 2012 – Mature Lyrics  so parental guidance is advised:

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The Los Angeles Angels Roster in 2013: State Of The Union

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Saturday, January.05,  2013

With Trout, Trumbo and Pujols in the lineup for the next decade, plus Hamilton for the next 5 years. I could see the Angels appearing on another top 10 decades win list. Question is will they make a World Series?  They have not been to the dance since 2002 when they won it.

With Trout, Trumbo and Pujols in the lineup for the next decade, plus Hamilton for the next 5 years. I could see the Angels appearing on another top 10 decades win list. Question is will they make a World Series? They have not been to the dance since 2002 when they won it.

Josh Jones (Angels Correspondent):

Look-back at last year: 2012 was a year, much like this upcoming season, with expectations as high as the sky moon.  The Halos stole future Hall-of-Famer Albert Pujols and Texas ace C.J. Wilson from their respective 2011 World Series teams and looked to have a strong rotation headed by the trio of Jered Weaver, Dan Haren and Wilson. The team fought its way to a 89-73 record, missing the playoffs by a mere four games despite having more wins than the eventual AL Champion Detroit Tigers (Yes, I’m still bitter).

This year, Arte Moreno and the Angels front office decided once again to go big-fish hunting, giving outfielder Josh Hamilton a 5-Year Deal worth $125 Million.  Hamilton gave the Angels quite a logjam in the outfield and Designated-Hitter, leading to the trade that sent designated-hitter Kendrys Morales to the Seattle Mariners in return for Jered Weaver’s college teammate and fellow innings-eater Jason Vargas. You can read a post a fellow writer here at the MLB Reports wrote about that very trade here . Angels General Manager Jerry DiPoto also poured some money into the bullpen and back-end of the rotation, signing hurlers Ryan Madson, Sean Burnett and Joe Blanton. .

Albert Pujols Highlights from 2012- Parental Guidance is Advised for watching the video:

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The San Francisco Giants 2013 Player Roster: State Of The Union

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Monday December 24, 2012

San Francisco Giants

Kyle Holland (MLB Reports Intern): 

There’s no question that the San Francisco Giants have been one of the best teams in the MLB in recent years. This includes 2 World Series championships in 2010 and 2012. Without an injury to Buster Posey in 2011, we could be talking about a three-peat right now. 2012 was without a doubt the greater year between 2010 and 2012 making sure they would have a spot in October baseball. In 2010, they cut it close by not clinching the NL West until Game 162. This year, they wasted no time at all as they took out the Dodgers by clinching the Division on September 2nd.   When they were in the playoffs,  they won won 6 straight elimination games during the NLDS and NLCS, versus the Reds and Cardinals respectively, erasing 2-0 and 3-1 deficits.  The Giants then swept Detroit on their way to their second World Series ring in 3 Years.

Now the question all Giants fans are asking: What is needed for the Giants to have the possibility to repeat in 2013?

So far the Giants have done a lot this winter. That all but means you’ll see a different 9 guys on the field opening day. Right now it looks like it may be the same 9 that started game 4 of the World Series. The Giants haven’t really made any changes so far. They have resigned their 2 Major Free Agents, Marco Scutaro and Angel Pagan. They even resigned their major pitching Free Agent, Jeremy Affeldt. Their projected 25 Man Roster is going to be a tough one to take down in the NL West.  Even with he Dodgers looking to eclipse the 250 Million Dollar Mark in Payroll, the Giants should still make a push for the Division in 2013

First, let’s look at their starting pitching. It’s not going to change much besides the order. You can expect Matt Cain to be taking the bump when the Giants open up on the road against the Dodgers on April 1st. Cain was their ace in 2012. He led the team in Wins  (16) ERA (2.79) and SO (193). He also got the W in-Game #5 of the NLDS, Game 7 of the NLCS, and he started Game 4 of the World Series.  His most memorable moment of the 2012 season was a Perfect Game against the Houston Astros on June 14. Read the rest of this entry

The Oakland A’s 2013 Roster Tree Part 1: The Hitters

Saturday, Dec.01/2012

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

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

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer/Website Owner):

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

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

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

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The Toronto Blue Jays Franchise 1994-2012: Part 2 of a 7 Part Series

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/

The Hitters:  The Toronto Blue Jays Franchise Hitters: Part 3 Of A 7 Part Article Series: 

The Pitchers:  The Toronto Blue Jays Franchise Pitchers Part 4 Of A 7 Part Series

Skydome:  An Interview with ‘Rogers Centre Expert’ and “MLB reports Founder” Jonathan Hacohen Part 5 of 7

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/

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Florida Baseball and The San Juan Rays

Thursday November 15th, 2012

Alex Mednick (Baseball Writer and Analyst)

Last week Jonathan Hacohen, the founder of MLBReports.com called to my attention that the Tampa Bay Rays are an anomaly.  Ultimately, if you look at the way their team is structured and where their talent lays, and the kind of game that Joe Maddon manages the Rays are ultimately a National League team; displaced in the AL East.  The Rays greatest strength is their depth of pitching that they can reach into the bowels of an amazing farm system ripe with young talent.  But from there on out, they rely on an offense that generates runs due to other inefficiencies.

Joe Maddon might very well be the best manager in baseball. He possesses a unique approach to the game, that if had to be categorized, is definitely more national league style than american league. He has to be creative in how he manufactures runs, as his offense does not boast the big sluggers other AL East teams do. He does, however, have a plethora of pitching talent available.

With B.J. Upton leaving town, and Carlos Pena only a carcass of what he once was, there is ultimately zero power left in their lineup.  Their DH for the past two years have been the likes of an aging Johnny Damon, Hideki Matsui, and Luke Scott.  Ownership is constantly complaining about attendance and looking for bargain free agents like Johnny Damon to bring in at the end of their careers and hopefully attract some Yankees and Red Sox fans to the stadium.

At this point, the Rays power hitters are Evan Longoria, Matt Joyce and Ben Zobrist.  They have an amazing nucleus of pitching talent, including David Price who just won the AL Cy Young, and they are mentioning trading almost all of their starting pitchers.  This is understandable, as you have to dish out talent to bring back offensive talent that they are in great need of.  But I still have major gripes with the way owner Stuart Sternberg has approached the past 4 seasons in St. Petersburg, and I will get into more detail about this in a little while. Read the rest of this entry

Contact Hitters and Pitching Are Keys to Winning In the MLB Playoffs: Bravo Giants! Attn: Yankees!

Saturday, Nov.10/2012

 

The Giants GM Brian Sabean saw that his offense had significant holes from previous years and before 2012, dealt for Melky Cabrera and Angel Pagan. Both are decent contact hitters, with decent power and speed. It also took for the emergence of Marco Scutaro and the renaissance play from Pablo Sandoval to show that teams that can make regular contact (and are armed with great pitching,) ultimately win in the playoffs.

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer):

I can’t believe I am going to utter these next few words, “I am starting to shift on the idea of eliminating the DH in the AL and also I am beginning to find the National League Brand of Baseball a lot better these days.”  I am not just saying this because the National League has registered 5 World Series Wins out of the last seven years (STL x 2, SF x 2 and PHI vs BOS AND NYY since 2006.)  I just find that the American League Baseball is becoming boring.  If you have read my articles in the past, I hate teams that strikeout non-stop and when you put two of these teams together for a Series like the AL routinely does, the games are filled with heavy pitch counts, four-hour games and not much contact.  This years ALCS represented an all-time low for fan excitement.  Put aside that I am a Yankees fan for a minute, it was absolutely brutal baseball.  In fact, last years ALCS was no picnic either.  If the games continue on like this, they might as well scrap the DH, start having the umpires call more strikes on the hitters and have all AL Teams convert to a National League style of game.

The National League has seen the Cardinals give us thrilling moments and comebacks to epic proportions over the last 2 years. I honestly think that Mark McGwire is not receiving enough credit for molding that team into a bunch of contact hitters.  You watch the 2013 offense of the LA Dodgers, they will all have a different approach.  We will save the DH debate for another day,  but lets just say that 2012 was the worst year for DH’s in some time if not ever.  There are only about 3-4 decent DH’s left in the game and if David Ortiz is not in the lineup for the Red Sox, there are no more marquee guys that just hit and not field!  The National League Teams plan on more contact for runs created out of necessity and it is always reflective  by the competitive games we see them play in the playoffs.

In 2012, the Giants made 4 key acquisitions before and during the season to change their offensive demeanor.  If you ask me flat-out as a  baseball observer, there is no way the Giants win the World Series without Marco Scutaro or Angel Pagan at the top of the lineup.  I also am conceding credit to Melky Cabrera’s hitting contributions as a contact hitter before being busted.  Before Melky Cabrera was shown the door for PED’s, he was the same hitter as Scutaro in the 2nd half and postseason, in just hitting every single pitch that was thrown at him.  To be honest here,  Angel Pagan does strike out a fair bit as a lead off hitter, however he also has speed that makes him dangerous whenever the ball is contacted.  It is all about a mixture of power, speed and contact hitters.  To illustrate this fact, Hunter Pence (also picked up near the Trade Deadline) did not hit well in the regular season or playoffs for average, yet he was able to drive in a pile of runs because guys ahead of him were always on base.  All he needed to do was to make contact for his RBI. Read the rest of this entry

Philadelphia Phillies: Brotherly Love and the Upton Brothers

Saturday November 3rd, 2012

 

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

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

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

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

2012 MLB Postseason Preview: Every Pitch Counts

Thursday, October 4th, 2012

October is the time when there is a quiet current of electricity surrounding baseball. There is an intensity in every second between pitches, and the players really zone in. This is the reason they played 162 games through the regular season. They are all after one thing: A World Championship.

Alex Mednick (Baseball Analyst and Writer):

With the last games of the 2012 regular season being officially completed yesterday I get the same feeling I do every season…it’s a sickening pain in my stomach, that makes me want to hibernate and not wake up until April comes around.  For baseball lovers, we are all very familiar with this feeling.  We find solace in the fact that with the exception of the month of November, we can still follow  baseball transactions all year-long.  Furthermore, we cannot get too upset; baseball isn’t really over.  In fact, some might argue that it is just beginning!

The boys of summer play all those games in the summer heat for one reason.  The grueling 162 game schedule sees many ups and many downs, and all of these challenges are met with a firm resolve:  to do whatever it takes to get to the postseason.  October is the time when the weather turns cold, and ball players become unshaven warriors duking it out to be the victorious few who have the honor to take a championship ring home this offseason. Read the rest of this entry

The Quiet But Effective Ryan Howard

Saturday September 15th, 2012

John Burns:  The 2012 season has been anything but normal for the Philadelphia Phillies and Ryan Howard. The 32 year-old was out till June after tearing his Achilles in the postseason last year against the St. Louis Cardinals. Howard has consistently been one of the top first baseman in the league for a while now. This season has been a little different for him so far: First of all, his team the Philadelphia Phillies, are 16.5 behind the Washington Nationals for first place in the NL East, Second, Howard has only had a little over 200 at bats this season due to injury. The power is still there for Howard. In 58 games, played he has 41 RBIs and 10 homers. That might not be the numbers you expect from Howard, but you have to give the guy a break. He is coming back from arguably one of the worst injuries in sports. Read the rest of this entry

The Aftermath Of The Stephen Strasburg(less) Nationals sweep in the NLDS Oct 2012

Thursday, September.06/2012

Stephen Strasburg is eligible for Arbitration after the 2013 season. He originally signed a 4 Year/14 Million Dollar Entry Level Deal after he was drafted in 2009. The salary hit for the Nats in 2013 places him tied for 3rd on the team with Mike Morse.  He will be Unrestricted Free Agent in 2017, will he remain a National?

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer):

The Nationals are my favorite National League team.  It is my firm belief that you are allowed 1 team in each League to cheer for.  The Yankees are my team in the American League.  The love for the Nationals goes back to when they were the Montreal Expos.  It was a lean time for a lot of us fans until the last few years have given us hope.  So before I go on about the contracts and payroll for 2013 tomorrow, I officially am going on record in saying that shutting Strasburg down is completely wrong.  I don’t care about ramifications of the pitcher throwing his arm out.  You never know when injuries are going to occur.  The Babying method never worked for Strasburg the first time, or for Joba Chamberlain and Phil Hughes for that matter.  This all stems back to the over using of Kerry Wood and Mark Prior by Dusty Baker in the 2003 year.  Innings limits were soon introduced in every franchise to protect the players and managers from going after a championship and maybe shortening their career.  It also has a lot to do with teams not being able to insure players any more. 

Insurance companies (like Lloyd’s of London) realize that they will pay out teams at a less than profitable rate for Major League Baseball players based on how much these guys make now, so they will not cover any baseball player anymore.  So Washington is freely shutting him down because they think it is the best thing to do for the player and the club.  They think  by preserving him from any injury at all, that this will prolong his shelf life and thus make the baseball team more profitable in the long run.  This is a major role of the dice and could end up setting the fan base back with a sour taste in their mouth for generations.  If Washington wins the World Series, this would be the only scenario where the question would not be brought up again.  Anything short of this and it is going to start an epic debate. Read the rest of this entry

2012 Braves Pitching Staff: What’s Going on in Atlanta?

Friday August 17th, 2012

Bernie Olshansky:  As of today, the Atlanta Braves sit four games out of first place in the NL East. This division was supposed to be the strongest in baseball. The Nationals made moves in the offseason to acquire Gio Gonzalez, the Marlins signed three big name free agents to go along with the core of Hanley Ramirez and Giancarlo Stanton, and the Phillies kept their strong pitching staff intact. The Braves didn’t make any huge moves and stuck with what they had—a strong hitting lineup to back up a good pitching rotation. The Braves started the season with Tim Hudson, Jair Jurrjens, Tommy Hanson, Brandon Beachy, and Mike Minor as their five-man rotation. Jurrjens was coming off a strong 2011 campaign in which he posted a 2.96 ERA through 152 innings. The Braves were hoping Jurrjens could replicate last season’s performance in order to give the team a better outcome and hopefully make the playoffs.

Unfortunately this was not the case for Jurrjens. He has been awful this year, going 3-4 with a 6.89 ERA. This isn’t the performance the Braves were hoping for, but somehow they are able to manage. Tim Hudson, the oldest on the staff at 36, has a 3.59 ERA to go with a 12-4 record. Tommy Hanson hasn’t been his best this year with a 4.29 ERA in 22 starts (his record is a bit deceiving at 12-5). He has also spent some time on the DL. The real story this year is Ben Sheets. After missing some of the 2010 season and not playing all of last year, Sheets joined the Braves midseason and has been fantastic. In his six starts this year, Sheets has gone 4-2 with a 2.13 ERA. In his 10-year career, Sheets’ best was 2004, when he posted a 2.70 ERA while going 12-14 with the Brewers. If he can keep his performance up, Sheets will have the best year of his career at age 34 (half a season, but still).

Read the rest of this entry

2012 Waiver Deals: The First Wave

Friday August 3rd, 2012

Bernie Olshansky:  Now that the trade deadline is over, teams will have a harder time making trades, but they can still be made through waivers. Over the past few hours, a couple trades have been made.

Joe Blanton to the Dodgers

The Dodgers claimed Blanton off waivers and decided to trade for him. They offered to pay the rest of his contract–$2.9 million, and send a player to be named later. After failing to land a big-name starter like Ryan Dempster or James Shields, the Dodgers went after Blanton. Blanton will bring his 8-9 record and 4.59 ERA to Los Angeles for the stretch-run this season. His best season ERA-wise was his rookie year in 2005 with the A’s when he went 12-12 with a 3.53 ERA. Since then, his lowest ERA has been 3.95. Before the 2010 season, he signed a three-year $24 million dollar contract with the Phillies—I think they overpaid. In those three years, Blanton has gone 18-17. He should give the Dodgers a slight boost, but this move isn’t a season-changer.

Read the rest of this entry

2012 Trade Deadline Update #4 7/27: The Dodgers Need More Pitching- Evaluating the Options

Friday July 27th, 2012

Bernie Olshansky: After acquiring shortstop/third baseman Hanley Ramirez from the Marlins, the Dodgers got exponentially better. With Hanley, the Dodgers gained an offensive force on the left side of the infield. With two solid pitchers, the Dodgers are good team, but a third would take them to the next level. There are several options out there:

Cliff Lee, Phillies

Signed through 2015, Lee will be a long-term option that could cost a premium. Fortunately for the Dodgers, money isn’t too much of a factor now with the new ownership. The left-handed Lee would fit well possibly as the number-three starter after Chad Billingsley to rotate left/right/left with Clayton Kershaw at the top of the rotation. The Phillies might trade Lee this year due to his out-of-character 1-6 record with a 3.95 ERA.  Signing Cliff Lee could potentially put at risk the ability to re-sign Clayton Kershaw, since Kershaw’s two-year $19 million contract expires after next year. The Dodgers would be busy paying Lee the last three and a half years of his five-year $120 million contract, so Kershaw might have to settle for a little bit less (even with the new ownership) or sign with another team—the last thing the Dodgers would want. Acquiring Cliff Lee will be highly unlikely for this reason, plus the fact that the Phillies might want to hold onto their 2nd/3rd ace. Read the rest of this entry

The Rangers Should Sacrifice Some of Their Prospects to Win This Year

Wednesday July 25th, 2012

Sam Evans: The Texas Rangers are currently 57-39, which gives them the second-best record in baseball behind only the New York Yankees. Texas isn’t just playing for this year, they also have enough prospects to acquire anyone they want at the trade deadline. Instead of waiting for young players to develop, the Rangers should recognize their chance to win it all this year, and trade away a couple of those players. If Texas could acquire a top of the rotation starter or a superstar outfielder, they should seriously consider trading some of their finest young prospects.

It will take a lot for the Texas Rangers to miss the playoffs this year. Despite playing in a division featuring an interesting Angels team, and a surging Oakland ballclub, Texas still has the highest playoff odds (99.8% chance) according to Baseball Prospectus. The Rangers could probably start Matt Kata instead of Adrian Beltre at third base for the rest of the season, and still make the playoffs. However, at some point, reaching the playoffs just isn’t enough. The Texas franchise wants to win the World Series this year, and in order to do that, they probably need to make a move at the deadline. Read the rest of this entry

The Pirates Trading For Shane Victorino Makes Sense

Thursday July 19th, 2012

Sam Evans: Over the last five years, Shane Victorino has been a consistent force in the Philadelphia Phillies lineup. Now, playing in his contract year on a Phillies squad out of contention, he has to start to wonder what the future looks like for him. Numerous teams have been seen scouting Victorino, but nobody needs Victorino as bad the Pirates do. Do the Pirates have what it takes to acquire Victorino? Keep reading to see what I think… Read the rest of this entry

Top 10 Stat of the Week ( Career HRs With One Team )

Sunday June.24/2012

‘Hammering’ Hank passed the legendary Babe Ruth as the ALL-Time HR leader in 1974. Some still feel that he is the ALL-Time HR leader with the admitted steroid use from Leader Barry Bonds. –Photo courtesy of goldenagebaseballcards

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer and @chuckbooth3024 on twitter)-  Seemingly gone are the days where most of the MLB players stick with one team for their whole careers.  As of right now there are not too many superstars that have spent their entire careers with one organization.  Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera are 1st ballot Hall of Famers.  Chipper Jones should make the BBHOF.  Todd Helton is close to retiring but I am not sure the voters will see him worthy.  There are some promising chances that Ryan Braun and David Wright might play their entire careers with their current clubs, however with Braun’s PED fiasco last year I just don’t see him entering Cooperstown.  Wright must re-sign with the ownership hemorrhaging, this will prove hard for the Wilpons funds thanks to Bernie Madoff.  When it comes to starting pitching, the list is shrunken that much further.  Justin Verlander is the active win leader with a player only having played for one team.  He has 114 wins with the Tigers, anybody above him on the active ALL-Time Wins list has pitched for multiple teams already.  The next active leader for one team pitched for is Ervin Santana with 91 wins for the Angels franchise.  Felix Hernandez has 90 wins for the Mariners.  Tim Lincecum, Cole Hamels and Matt Cain have played their entire careers for the same team so far and have CY Young titles amongst them, but have a long way to go in establishing Hall of Fame Careers.

That brings me to my next stat.  There are 9 players in history who have hit 500 HRs or more for one team.  All of them are in the Hall of Fame except for Barry Bonds (who becomes eligible next year.) I am not sure the writers will cast a vote for him because of his steroid use.  When I got the idea for this article, it came to be because I was amazed that Paul Konerko has hit over 400 HRs with the Chicago White Sox.  Again at age 36, Konerko has a look at 500 HRs with the Chicago team.  Right now he can end the season with about 410-420 HRs.  Provided he can play 3-4 years more and have productive seasons, he may reach the milestone.  Chipper Jones is the only other active MLB Player to have 400 HRs with one team.  Larry is slowing down though and will most likely retire after this year.  Read the rest of this entry

The Montreal Expos Draft And Signing Record Was Outstanding: Part 1-Hitters

Friday June.22/2012

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 Team’s Payroll going into in 2013 and 5. (The stadium articles will all be done next summer when I go to all of the parks in under a month again.)  To follow all of the updates, be sure to check my author page with a list of all archived articles here.

Andre Dawson and Tim Raines were perennial ALL-Stars and always had the Montreal Expos in contention every year they played for the Canadian Club.

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer and @chuckbooth3024 on twitter)-I recently saw a bunch of old Montreal Expos had a celebration dinner to honor the late Gary Carter at Olympic Stadium in Montreal.  This brought me back to when I was a little kid watching the Expos on the French Channel in Canada.  I followed this team before any other in MLB.  I was a catcher in little league because of Gary Carter.  My friends and I all would ask for Montreal Expos hats and jerseys for Christmas.  I would later move on to like the Yankees when Don Mattingly, Dave Winfield and Rickey Henderson joined the club, but I always liked the Expos in the National League as my team.  They were a consistent club from 1979-1995.  They drafted extremely well and were above .500 for pretty much the entire time.  At the end of this article today be sure to watch the documentary from youtube on the Expos Franchise that the Reports has linked for you.

It was unfortunate they had the 2 billion dollar monstrosity of what was Olympic Stadium as their home venue.  It was a mistake from the beginning  to build a baseball park so far away from the downtown core.  The 1994 strike killed the franchises hopes to make their 1st World Series appearance.  The team was leading the NL East with a 74-40 record and featured the outfield of Larry Walker, Marquis Grissom and Moises Alou.  They had traded away their ALL-Star second basemen Delino DeShields prior to that year for some pitcher named Pedro Martinez.  The economics of baseball were starting to catch up on the baseball club.  When the lockout was lifted in 1995, gone were Walker, Grissom and great pitchers Ken Hill and John Wetteland.  It began a constant cycle of Montreal grooming awesome talent, only to trade the players away before they had to pay them big money.  The one constant of the team was an incredible draft record from 1985-2004.  Today is part 1 of a 3 part article series in which we will look at the history of the Montreal Expos.  I have listed 30 hitters drafted by the Expos Scouting Staff that went onto nice baseball careers.  Next week I will look at the pitchers and the third week I will cover the dissection of the proud franchise before the move to Washington. Read the rest of this entry

Cole Hamels: Will the Phillies Third Ace Stay in the City of Brotherly Love?

Wednesday May 16, 2012

Bryan Sheehan (Baseball Writer): Cole Hamels has been with the Phillies Organization since he was drafted by them in the first round of the 2002 draft, when he was just 18 years old. He made his debut with the club at the age of 22, and won the World Series in 2008, taking home the Series MVP award after two solid performances (his second start was cut short by the infamous rain delay that cut Game Five into two parts). Now 28, Hamels is facing the biggest decision of his life, as his contract expires at the end of this season. While he is technically the third starter for the Phillies, behind Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee, there is no doubt that Cole is one of the best aces in the league. He finished fifth in Cy Young voting for 2011 after going 14-9 with a 2.79 ERA. And yet, the Phillies don’t seem to worried about resigning or extending their longest tenured pitcher. After all, they do have both Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee, and considering his prowess, Hamels will likely fetch a gargantuan contract. On the other hand, the Phillies pitching is the only thing keeping them above water right now. So, should the club make a bigger push to resign the ace, or should they look to trade him during the season? Read the rest of this entry

Can the 2012 Phillies Be Saved?

Monday May 14th, 2012

Brendan Henderson: The Phillies are currently in last place in the NL East division with a 17-19 record, YES the Phillies, the team that won the 2008 World Series and the team that has won the NL East division in 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008 and 2007.

Why are the Phillies doing so badly? The hitting has been okay for the Phillies this year despite the absence of stars, Ryan Howard and Chase Utley; the Phillies are 10th in the MLB in batting average with a team batting average of .257. The Phillies aren’t doing the best as in scoring runs and hitting for power though, they have scored 122 runs as a team this year which is the 19th best in the Big Leagues. As for home runs, they are 23rd in the MLB with 22 team homers this year. Their offense has picked up as of recently though. The Phillies pitching on the other hand, hasn’t been up to par so far this season; they are 15th in the league with a team 3.70 ERA. They Phillies’ opponents have a .255 batting average against Phillies pitchers, which is 20th best in the MLB. Read the rest of this entry

The End of a Baseball Journey in 2012(30+6)

The Streak ended at 30 MLB Parks in 23 calendar days!!

I broke my old record of 24 days by being-Fastest to see all 30 MLB parks in 23 days  from April 6th to 28th!

Sked is here: fastestthirtyballgames3021.wordpress.com/2012/04/18/30in20/

Follow me-@chuckbooth3024 on twitter

http://mlbreports.com/gwr-tracker/ or at my official website for all updates!

Monday May.7/2012

Chuck Booth and Lori Martini @ Yankee Stadium 5/1


Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer and @chuckbooth3024 on twitter)- The road baseball games are done for the year.  Sure I will still see about 5-6 more games at Safeco Field, but nothing beats going to games on the road!  It is has been 10 days since I officially broke my own Guinness Book of World Record by going to all 30 MLB Parks in 23 days.  After the streak, I decided to slowly wane myself off of baseball by watching another 5 games in 4 Parks during 8 days.  Those parks were Citizens Bank Ball Park, Fenway Park, Yankee Stadium and Citi Field for 2 games.  We are talking about 4 awesome places to watch baseball. Lest we forget the Season Opener I also went to at Citi in case of a retro-active decision. Read the rest of this entry

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