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Kansas City Royals Pitching Roster Tree In 2014 – World Series Edition: Shields Pivotal Despite Playoff Struggles

How All Of The 2014 Royals Pitchers Were Acquired:

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

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While James Shields has not had a banner postseason – however it is important to remember his influence on culture change in the Royals clubhouse for this successful franchise turnaround.

The trade that brought the RHP, also brought in Wade Davis, who may be the most important pitcher on the squad other than Greg Holland this campaign.

Dayton Moore has done a fantastic job of assembling this franchise’s roster over the last 5 – 7 years.  It came on the heels of a quarter century of futility yes, but the future definitely looks  bright.

As we have said before, teams residing in either league’s Central Division have a fair chance of competing in a season every year.

The highest payroll team is the Detroit Tigers, but they are not in the stratosphere of the Dodgers, Yankees, Rangers, Angels and Phillies, were there is a 2nd team in the division who can go buck wild in contracts.

The Nationals and Giants are able to spend in the $150 MIL range to join Philly and the Dodgers.  In the AL West, Texas and the Angels can mirror each other, whereas the Red Sox and Yankees own the AL East payroll leaders.

St. Louis is the highest NL Central club, and are always near the fringe of the top 10 for dollars spent annually only.  

The Tigers are the only franchise spending big cash in the AL Central, although the White Sox have delved into higher salaries in previous seasons – when they drew well following the 2005 World Series.  They have since scaled back.

The Royals should be able to field a nice team for the next 2 – 3 years, and it shouldn’t break the bank for the ownership.

  Detroit has aging and hefty contract problems coming up, and KC has more depth for the  1 – 25 Roster, when it comes to withstanding injuries

For the foreseeable few seasons ahead, you will bank on the emergence of Yordano Ventura and Danny Duffy to continue their development as aces, and the Relief Core is the still the strongest asset of the equation. Read the rest of this entry

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ALL – Time TJ Surgery Tracker 1974 – 2014 (30 Updates Including Jonny Venters 3rd Time)

Dr. James Andrews - leading Tommy John surgeon is the new senior leader on this innovative and break through procedure, championed 1st over 40 years ago, and responsible for extending over 700 players careers now.

Dr. James Andrews – leading Tommy John surgeon is the new senior leader on this innovative and break through procedure, championed 1st over 40 years ago, and responsible for extending over 700 players careers now.

For all the talk of baseball players (pitchers mostly) that will be undergoing Tommy John Surgery, we will be keeping a running list!  E-mail us at mlbreports@gmail.com if you have any names to add to our totals.

How many players are having or had TJ in history? You are about to find out:

Links

More Tommy John Surgeries By The Numbers + Who Is the 1st $100 MIL Pitcher To Go Down With It? + A Scherzer Angle?

TOMMY JOHN SURGERY – 2014 (30)

2014

Jonny Venters – (3rd Time Probable) Braves: Aug/Sept 2014

Jeremy Hefner, NYM Aug 2014 (TJ Watch List – Possible 2nd TJ Surgery)

Tyler Skaggs, Angels, Aug 10 – will have season ending TJ surgery soon.  expected to be out til 2016

Nate Jones, White Sox, July.30

Tyler Chatwood, Rockies, July,19

Masahiro Tanaka, Yankees (Partially Torn UCL, (TJ Watch List), July 10th

Bronson Arroyo, D’Backs July Surgery.

Matt Wieters, Orioles, June 17th

Sean Burnett, Angels, June 5th

Chris Withrow, Dodgers, June 3rd

Jose Cisnero, Astros, May 28th

Martin Perez, Rangers, May 19th.

Jose Fernandez, Marlins, May 16th

A.J. Griffin, Athletics, Apr.25th .

Pedro Figueroa, Rangers, Apr.30th

Ivan Nova, Yankees, – Apr.29th

Josh Johnson, Padres, – Apr.24

Matt Moore, Rays – Apr.24, 2014 –  Link: With Moore Out For TJ Surgery – The Rays Should Hold Onto Price Through 2015

Jameson Taillon – Pirates – April 9, 2014

Bobby Parnell - Mets – April 8th

Cory Gearrin – Braves – Mar.29 – Went on the 60 Day DL with partial ligament  tear of right elbow Mar.29, 2014 – May Require TJ Surgery.”

David Hernandez – D’Backs – Surgery April 2014.

Bruce Rondon – Tigers –  Mar.2014

Patrick Corbin – D’Backs –  Mar.2014.

Jarrod Parker – Athletics –  March 2014

Brandon Beachy - Braves – “2nd TJ Surgery” Mar 2014

Kris Medlen- Braves – Mar 2014

Luke HochevarRoyals – March.07, 2014.

Miguel Sano – Twins (Position Player) Mar, 2014.

Cory Luebke – Padres:   Luebke went under the knife for his 2nd TJ Surgery Feb 2014. Read the rest of this entry

ALL – Time Tommy John Surgery List 1974 – Present

For all the talk of baseball players (pitchers mostly) that will be undergoing Tommy John Surgery, we will be keeping a running list!  E-mail us at mlbreports@gmail.com if you have any names to add to our totals.

How many players are having or had TJ in history? You are about to find out: Read the rest of this entry

Sully Baseball Daily Podcast – March 6, 2014

 AP Photo/Rob Carr

AP Photo/Rob Carr

Rick Ankiel is retiring after finishing one of the most unusual careers in baseball history.

What does our reaction to Rick Ankiel tell us about our real thoughts about performance enhancing drugs? A lot.

That is the main topic for today’s episode of The Sully Baseball Daily Podcast.

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The Winter Meetings Feel So Much Different For The Astros In 2013 Compared To 2012

Ankiel hit 5 HRs in his first 40 AB with the Astros to start last year - including a huge Opening Day long bomb, but he could not buy a hit after that.  The Astros released him soon after that.  Ankiel was one of the acquisitions from last winter, so we can at least see the club is going after more astute players.

2012 Winter signing Rick Ankiel hit 5 HRs in his first 40 AB with the Astros to start last year – including a huge Opening Day long bomb, but he could not buy a hit after that. The Astros released him soon after that. Ankiel was one of the acquisitions from last winter, so we can at least see the club is going after more astute players.

By Lee White (Astros Correspondent) 

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The Houston Astros haven’t been all that busy the past few years in the offseason. They’ve signed older veterans to get them through the year.

Last year’s offseason acquisitions included Jose Veras, Carlos Pena, and Rick Ankiel. However, this year, they’re actually spending real money.

They’ve traded for Dexter Fowler, and they’ve signed Scott Feldman to a three year, 30 million dollar contract.

They also brought in a former Astro Chad Qualls at two years 6 million dollars with an option for a third year at 3.5 million dollars.

Those acquisitions could just be the tip of the iceberg for the Astros as the head into the Winter Meetings.

Chad Qualls Fist Pump – Followed By A Tumble

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Scott Boras, Is He Good For Major League Baseball?

A man ahead of his time, Boras was one of the original moneyball players.  For his career, Boras had 133 walks and only 76 strikeouts.  Those numbers were for good for a lifetime .363 OBP, to go along with his .288 AVG.  Knee injuries unfortunately cut his career short and Boras only made it as high as AA ball.  With the baseball experience under his belt, Boras went on to practice law and from there become a full-time baseball agent in the early 1980s.

A man ahead of his time, Boras was one of the original moneyball players. For his career in the Minor League, Boras had 133 walks and only 76 strikeouts. Those numbers were for good for a lifetime .363 OBP, to go along with his .288 AVG in the Minor Leagues. Knee injuries unfortunately cut his career short and Boras only made it as high as AA ball. With the baseball experience under his belt, Boras went on to practice law and from there become a full-time baseball agent in the early 1980s. (Caption courtesy of Jonathan Hacohen).

By Patrick Languzzi (Cooperstown Correspondent)

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He has a billion dollar smile, a list of clients taller than Shaquille O’Neil and is considered Major League Baseball’s super agent.

In 2006 Baseball America named him the most influential non-player in 25 years, beating out Major League commissioner Bud Selig, yes, that Bud Selig!

Major League Baseball has had to change its rules in response to him on multiple occasions and he has a list of clients that include or have included Jayson Werth (126m), Matt Holliday (120m), Barry Zito (126m), Carlos Beltran (119m) and now the wealthier Jacoby Ellsbury (153m) – just to name a few, and the list goes on..

Fans, teams and general managers may despise him for fear that he is destroying Major League Baseball.

We’re talking about Scott Boras.

Boras Interview From 2009 (After being named the most influential non – player for last 25 years)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Major League Contraction Talk Again?

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The MLB Needs To Amend Its Weighted Schedule/Payroll Flaws By The 2016 CBA Renewal!!

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Thursday August.1/2013

If you are a Mariners fan, your park is the furthest geographically away from an NL home park or vice versa (806 Miles).  If you are a fan of the NL, get your bags packed, because chances are, you will need to head on a roady in order to see your favorite NL team every year.

If you are a Mariners fan, your park is the furthest geographically away from another Leagues (NL) home park or vice versa (806 Miles). If your favorite team is in the NL, get your bags packed, because chances are, you will need to head on a roady in order to see your team every year.  The MLB needs to address the situation for complete fairness to every single team.  My plan would still be to have 44 – 52 Divisional Games, 60 other games against the 10 teams in your own league, and then to play 50 Interleague Games.  Of course this isn’t even possible until the MLB and MLBPA workout a new CBA in 2016.

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

Maybe it is because I am a West Cost (Vancouver B.C Canada) guy that lives 1100 Miles away from the nearest NL Ballpark, or maybe it is because I have seen it work well in other professional sports – when I worked as a pro handicapper for 3 plus years.

I am sick of seeing teams come in to town for 3 series in a year – when it might take another team 6 years to visit in Interleague.

Sure if I lived in the East Coast, in a place like New Jersey, I could have my pick of any home parks (AL + NL) within a 450 MILE radius, I may not feel the same, but even that I doubt it.

My friend Doug Miller (from Washington State), also wrote a column worth reading on this subject.  He called it “Team Fatigue”. read that article here

I also wrote a similar column on MLB Baseball’s need to adapt a Payroll/Geographical Re – Alignment that could bring a huge amount of parity to the MLB in future years here.

With the Orioles playing good baseball all year, I fear they will not be playing baseball in October.  You know why?  It is not because they don't deserve too be, and it will likely not be their fault.  The reason is:  they will have had the toughest Strength of Schedule: playing the Yankees, Blue Jays, Red Sox and Rays, while the Indians and Royals play extremely weak clubs like Minnesota and the White Sox a quarter of their schedule. The same can be said for the Oakland and Texas franchise feasting on the hapless (Trade Depleted Astros), and a steady dose of the Mariners (who are far easier to play than any of the AL East teams).

With the Orioles playing good baseball all year, I fear they will not be playing baseball in October. You know why? It is not because they don’t deserve to be, and it will likely not be their fault. The reason is: they will have had the toughest Strength of Schedule: playing the Yankees, Blue Jays, Red Sox and Rays 76 times this year, while the Indians and Royals play extremely weak clubs like Minnesota and the White Sox a quarter of their schedules. The same can be said for the Oakland and Texas franchises feasting on the hapless (Trade Depleted Astros), and a steady dose of the Mariners (who are far easier to play than any of the 5 AL East teams).

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Someone Should Take A 30 AB Flyer On Rick Ankiel: (Even For A 40 Man Sept Roster Spot)

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Sunday, June.30/2013

Rick Ankiel has hit for 76 HRs and a Slash Line of .240/.302/.724 in 1858 Career At-Bats.  Ankiel is the 1st player to win at least 10 Games a Pitcher and hit 50 HRs in the Major Leagues since Babe Ruth.  Ankiel could be used in any of the Outfield Positions as a PH/defensive replacement even if he is not in the starting lineup, Ankiel would help just about any MLB Team.  This year the man hit .188/.235/.657 - but had 15 XBH (7 HRs, 1 - 3B and 7 2B - with 18 RBI in just 128 AB).

Rick Ankiel has hit for 76 HRs and a Slash Line of .240/.302/.724 in 1858 Career At-Bats. He is the 1st player to win at least 10 Games a Pitcher and hit 50 HRs in the Major Leagues since Babe Ruth. Ankiel could be used in any of the Outfield Positions as a PH/defensive replacement even if he is not in the starting lineup, he would help just about any MLB Team. This year the man hit .188/.235/.657 – but had 15 XBH (7 HRs, 1 – 3B and 7 2B – with 18 RBI in just 128 AB).

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

Rick Ankiel was DFA’d recently by the New York Mets.  Since he is one of my favorite players – I nicknamed him “Mr. Mission Impossible” – because he always seems to self – destruct after 30 – 35 AB with a new team.

Cast as one of the biggest underdogs/inspirational stories of ALL – time in the game of baseball I am here to give him his due.  I don’t even care if he never plays another inning in the field….or has another AB in the Majors.

The former Pitcher has had a flair for some dramatic moments in his 13 year career as both a hitter and a pitcher.

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MLB Power Rankings: Week 11

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Tuesday June.11/2013

David Ortiz is providing the kind of difference at the DH position that is an automatic advantage for the Boston Red Sox.  The 37 Year Old has hit for a 3 Slash Line of .314/.395/1.018 - accounting for 13 HRs and 48 RBI in his 46 Games.  The DH position was created for one dimensional players like '''Big Papi", however teams are not imploring awesome players for the slot.

David Ortiz is providing the kind of difference at the DH position that is an automatic advantage for the Boston Red Sox. The 37 Year Old has hit for a 3 Slash Line of .314/.395/1.018 – accounting for 13 HRs and 48 RBI in his 46 Games. The DH position was created for one-dimensional players like ”’Big Papi”, however teams are not imploring awesome players for the slot.  Most teams use the Designated Hitter for position players that are nursing injuries.  The Red Sox have seen their best run in franchise history with the big man.  Later in this article, I will post a link on how valuable DH’s have been in the last 20 years in Major League Baseball AL Pennant Winners.  More often than not, you need a great DH.  Ortiz is signed through 2014 at $13 MIL for the next 2 campaigns.  One of the better deals signed in the offseason

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

Another Week has come and gone in the MLB.

(MLB Reports) AL Hitter Of The Week – David Ortiz has come up clutch in leading the Bo Sox to a season – high 15 games over .500 with many game changing hits like last week. 

Having the best offensive DH is a decisive difference compared to the rest of league.  If everyone remembers, the 2012 Red Sox actually skirted near .500 until ‘Big Papi’ went down with his injury.

DH article from 1992 – 2011 here

Runners up were: Howie Kendrick, Josh Donaldson, Adam Lind, all had strong weeks – especially for Batting Averages, but Ortiz had late inning heroics that changed the outcome for his team out of his 3 HRs and 9 RBI.

(MLB Reports) AL Pitcher Of The Week – Jarrod Parker

The Oakland A’s Chucker went 2 – 0, with a 1.35 ERA.  He has thrown 6 Straight Quality Starts – and has won 5 of his last 6 decisions after starting the year 0 – 5.

Runners Up were  Jeremy Hellickson and Clay Buchholz,

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Triple Play Podcast Ep #12 – Interview With MLB Fancave Dweller Aaron Roberts, Astros Chat + Lids

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Sunday, June.09, 2013

The Triple Play Show will have 5 shows per month.  Each show will be about 1 hour

The Triple Play Show will have 5 shows per month. Each show will be about 1 hour.

By The Big Ticket Show ( AKA Triple Play Podcast on http://www.mlbreports.com)

Guests in this Podcast – Thomas Aaron Roberts (25 Minute Mark and a 17 Min Segment) (Former MLB Reports Dodgers Correspondent and 1 of 7 MLB FanCave Dwellers left in New York)

Richard Perez (www.strosbros.mlblogs.com and 1 of our 3 Astros Correspondents from there – (4 Minutes in and a 20 Minute Segment)

Guys (Frank and Carmen) from the @mydopehatgame (44 Minutes In and a 10 Minute Segment)

To Keep Reading and Listen to this Podcast click the READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY or scroll past the Triple Play Logo

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MLB Team Power Rankings

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Sunday June.02/2013

Miguel Cabrera is absolutely unconscious this season so far;.  He has a 3 Slash Line of .369 (Leads AL)/.445 (Leads AL/1.121 (2ndi n AL), with 17 HRs (2nd AL) and a mind - blowing 65 RBI through 54 Games Played.  He is on pace for 51 HRs. 195 RBI and about 250 Hits.  He keeps getting better every single year if possible. Despite his prominence - and a lineup full of ALL - Star hitters and Pitchers, the Tigers are limping along at just a few games over .500.  It certainly isn't this 30 Year Olds fault.

Miguel Cabrera is absolutely unconscious this season so far; He has a 3 Slash Line of .369 (Leads AL)/.445 (Leads AL/1.121 (2nd in AL), with 17 HRs (2nd AL) and a mind – blowing 65 RBI through 54 Games Played. He is on pace for 51 HRs, 195 RBI and about 250 Hits. He keeps getting better every single year if possible. Despite his prominence – and a lineup full of ALL – Star hitters and Pitchers, the Tigers are limping along at just a few games over .500. It certainly isn’t this 30 Year Old’s fault.

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

Featuring the Podcasters the Big ticket Show in the Audio Portion

I will be doing a stat fueled rankings list on this Thursday.  These rankings will have some stats and  random thoughts of what I will be talking about in today’s podcast with the Big Ticket Show (AKA, Triple Play Podcast.)

Games Prior to Sunday June.02/2013

Cardinals 2013 30/30 Preview

Click the READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY ICON to continue… or scroll past the Triple Play Podcast. Read the rest of this entry

MLB Team Power Rankings: Week 8

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Monday May.27/2013

The Detroit Tigers were second on the list for moving up rankings with 5 spots.  They have overtaken the Indians - and have 5 players that are hitting north of .300.  Their top 4 Starters may be the best in the game - and they play in an extremely winnable division where teams can`t match them for payroll or talent.

The Detroit Tigers were second on the list for moving up rankings with 5 spots. They have overtaken the Indians in the AL Central  – and have 5 players that are hitting north of .300. Their top 4 Starters may be the best in the game – and they play in an extremely winnable division where teams can`t match them for payroll or talent.  Miguel Cabrera is the best hitter on the planet – and has great support.

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

The Oakland Athletics are making another run at the expense of the lesser lites  in the Division.  This team feasts on the Astros and Mariners – and are not half bad at playing the Rangers and Angels either.  The goal for them is to continue to pitch.  They must try to at least take 2 games versus San Francisco in the 4 game set.

The Kansas City Royals may have rolled up snake eyes in gambling on their 2013 season.  Suffering the longest playoff drought in the majors at 28 years, the franchise traded away its best prospect player in Wil Myers for a 2 year pitching solution in James Shields.

The problem is that their nucleus of young talented hitters have failed them.  Eric Hosmer and Mike Moustakas are being outpowered by some teams Pitching cores in the NL.

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MLB Team Power Rankings: Week 7

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Monday May.20/2013

The Padres have played great baseball since they plugged Chase Headley back in the lineup.  Players like Yonder Alonso, Will Venable, Everth Cabrera and even Kyle Blanks have bashed the ball around.  Since a lot of the NL West clubs have not run away with the Division, the San Diego club has entered the picture for the Division Race

The Padres have played great baseball since they plugged Chase Headley back in the lineup. Players like Yonder Alonso, Will Venable, Everth Cabrera and even Kyle Blanks have bashed the ball around. Since a lot of the NL West clubs have not run away with the Division, the San Diego club has entered the picture for the Division Race.

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

The Rangers are #1 again based on the Division lead they currently possess, plus the fact they play all of these teams a total of 76 Games this year.

The Braves (rose their division lead to 2.5 Games with a 4 – 2 week), and Padres (18 – 13 in their last 31 Games and have been clubbing the ball lateley) were the biggest movers up for the week standings by climbing 6 spots apiece. 

The biggest drops were the San Francisco Giants (hate their Starting Pitching right now – except for Madison Bumgarner) and the Baltimore Orioles (late inning magic might be dying – and still need a DH + a Veteran Starter or 2).

The Los Angeles teams keep losing ball games – and the Blue Jays lost 2 straight versus the Yankees just when they looked to be on track.

Cleveland is still ranked outside the top ten because I don’t have faith in their strength of schedule in the next month starting May 21st:  2 vs DET, 4 @BOS, 2 vs CIN, 2 @CIN, 2 vs TB, 3 @NYY, 3 @DET, 3 @TEX, 3 vs WSH and finally 3 vs KC.  If they are above .500 after this stretch, I will be impressed.

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Current Top 5 MLB Home Run Leaders in the AL + NL: Home Runs Hit May 18th

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Saturday, May.19, 2013

David Ortiz has been crushing the ball at an all time rate since rejoining the club just 4 weeks ago.  In just 24 Games Played this season - he has a 3 Slash Line of .362/.408/1.089 - with 7 HRs and 29 RBI.  He is still the premiere DH in the AL - and could go along way in Boston making a return to the playoffs in 2013

David Ortiz has been crushing the ball at an all time rate since rejoining the club just 4 weeks ago. In just 24 Games Played this season – he has a 3 Slash Line of .362/.408/1.089 – with 7 HRs and 29 RBI. He is still the premiere DH in the AL – and could go along way in Boston making a return to the playoffs in 2013.

DH on our home site pages – Stands for Daily HR Hitters in the Majors.

We are going to run the gauntlet on the previous days HRs for all MLB Players.

I loved it when MLB XM Radio used to do a running total every night on their Roundtrip with Mike Ferrin (Laser Show).  So I am bringing it every day on this website.  To view every nights big boppers for the whole year (from May 8th on) visit the DH page!

Click beyond the Youtube link or click  the READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY ICON to see who hit yesterdays big flies.

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Current Top 5 MLB Home Run Leaders in the AL + NL: Home Runs Hit May 15th

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Thursday May.16/2013

Ibanez had 1004 RBI in the last 11 Years and he clubbed  338 of those from 2006-2008 with the Mariners.  He is likely to see around 350-400 AB this year.  Ibanez has hit HRs in consecutive days - hitting 1 HR on Tuesday versus the Yankees - before exploding for a Grand Slam and a 2 run shot yesterday versus his old Yankees Teammates.  He is currently on a 5 Games Hitting Streak ( 8 - 19, .421) with 5 HRs and 12 RBI

Ibanez had 1004 RBI in the last 11 Years and he clubbed 338 of those from 2006-2008 with the Mariners. He is likely to see around 350-400 AB this year. Ibanez has hit HRs in consecutive days – hitting 1 HR on Tuesday versus the Yankees – before exploding for a Grand Slam and a 2 run shot yesterday against his old teammates. He is currently on a 5 Game Hitting Streak ( 8 – 19, .421) – with 5 HRs and 12 RBI.

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

DH on our home site pages – Stands for Daily HR Hitters in the Majors.

We are going to run the gauntlet on the previous days HRs for all MLB Players.

I loved it when MLB XM Radio used to do a running total every night on their Roundtrip with Mike Ferrin (Laser Show).  So I am bringing it every day on this website.  To view every nights big boppers for the whole year (from May 8th on) visit the DH page!

Click beyond the Youtube link or click  the READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY ICON to see who hit yesterdays big flies.

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Rick Ankiel Has Another Shot To Stay In The MLB: The New York Mets Claimed Him

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Tuesday May.14/2013

Rick Ankiel had a dubious beginning as a Met last night, misreading a baseball and having it bounce in and out of his borrowed glove (Jon Nieses's) hit by Ty Wigginton that led to 3 runs. Ankiel went 0 - 3 with a walk in St. Louis.  Despite the poor game, I like the move and it should enable Ankiel to be a starting Outfielder for a stretch.  If he can hit, he may be a good late season defensive acquisition/Pinch Hitter for a contending ball club

Rick Ankiel had a dubious beginning as a Met last night, misreading a baseball and having it bounce in and out of his borrowed glove (Jon Nieses’s) hit by Ty Wigginton that led to 3 runs. Ankiel went 0 – 3 with a walk in St. Louis. Despite the poor game, I like the move and it should enable Ankiel to be a starting Outfielder for a stretch. If he can hit, he may be a good late season defensive acquisition/Pinch Hitter for a contending ball club.  Rick Ankiel hit for a 3 Slash Line of .194/.231/.715 with the Astros this year prior to being Designated For Assignment on May 5th.  The former Astro did have 5 HRs and 11 RBI in just 62 AB.

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

There are certain players in the MLB that you cheer for more than others.  For me, Rick Ankiel exemplifies this.

I always check for his stats in the boxscores early into my perusal of any baseball website.

His story is one of inspiration and dedication to the game of baseball.

I was disappointed when he was released by the Houston Astros – but completely understood why the change had to occur,

The Mets have the weakest Outfield in the Major Leagues and are actually one of the teams I suggested for Ankiel as a landing spot in my post 2012 year write-ups.

It is obvious that the Wilpon’s continue to look for cheap alternative options to patrol their grass.

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The Astros Feel Pressure From Disappointments: But Are Doing The Rebuild Right!

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Saturday, May 11th,2013

If all goes well with the team this year, the Astros could improve on their 2012 year.  If all else fails, Houston might challenge the ALL-Time Loss Record.  Whatever happens, any Veteran Player with a heartbeat will be on the trading block by June.  The Astros will continue to dissolve any of their assets (with expiring contracts) onto other teams in order to pick off some more prospects.  The Astros will also Draft 1st overall at the 2013 MLB Amateur Draft.  Whether you agree with them or not, they are going about their rebuild the right way.

If all goes well with the team this year, the Astros could improve on their 2012 year end record. If all else fails, Houston might challenge the ALL-Time Loss Record. Whatever happens, any Veteran Player with a heartbeat will be on the trading block by June. The Astros will continue to dissolve any of their assets (with expiring contracts) onto other teams in order to pick off some more prospects. The Astros will also Draft 1st overall at the 2013 MLB Amateur Draft. Whether you agree with them or not, they are going about their rebuild the right way.

By Richard Perez (Astros Correspondent visit the StrosBros Website here):

It seems that the only thing that you hear about the Astros in 2013 is that they are bad, really really really bad. Most of what you hear about the Astros is how they are bad enough to out do the 1962 expansion New York Mets’ worst record in the modern baseball era.

Most recently, Buster Olney (whom I revere and respect) on the Baseball Tonight podcast simply trashing the Astros, saying that they were “non-competitive” in their most recent sweep at the hands of the Detroit Tigers, the defending American League champion Detroit Tigers. 

Olney went on to talk about exactly how bad this team is, listing every possible statistic the Astros are on pace to set a new season worst record for, and summarized how they simply had their butts handed to them on a silver platter by the best team in the American League.

Opening Night PH 3 RUN HR by  Rick Ankiel

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MLB Top Teams 1 – 30 + (Best 200 Stats of 2013)

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Monday May.06/2013

Matt Harvey with his stellar outings so far this season may have just become the New York Mets "ace". Harvey is now 4-0 with a 1.66 ERA. Harvey has pitched 40.1 innings - only given up 21 hits, 12 Walks for a League Leading WHIP of .0818  For his awesome 5 weeks we name him the MLB Reports NL Pitcher Of The Month

Matt Harvey with his stellar outings so far this season – may have just become the New York Mets “ace”. Harvey is now 4-0 with a 1.66 ERA. Harvey has pitched 40.1 innings – only given up 21 hits, 12 Walks for a League Leading WHIP of .0818. For his awesome 5 weeks – we name him the MLB Reports NL Pitcher Of The Month

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

Stats all Prior to May.06th games. 

The time has come for the 1sy May Power Rankings.  There will be one each for May, June, July, August, September – and then a special playoff edition Power Rankings will be done in October.

I will not do a weekly Power Rankings during this weeks, because in essence, these are the weekly rankings done on a much larger scale.

These Reports are done with a heavy thought to how the teams project by the end of the season – along with how the clubs have fared so far.

I will point out who has had great months for the all 30 MLB Teams.  I reward the good performances in these rankings – and leave the poor ones for the Podcasts or future articles. CLICK THE READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY ICON

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Mid – Week MLB Reports Around The Horn Rant – April.25th/2013

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Thursday Apr.25/2013

Adam Dunn has hit 40+ HRs 6 times in his career and 38+ HRs in 8 of the last 9 years. He is the Classic '3TO' AKA 3 True Outs: HR/BB or SO. At The MLB Reports, we call it a 'Dunn Trick' when he does all 3 in a game. But this year he is hitting a meager .100 - with only 3 HRs.  His time may be up.

Adam Dunn has hit 40+ HRs 6 times in his career and 38+ HRs in 8 of the last 9 years. He is the Classic ‘3TO’ AKA 3 True Outs: HR/BB or SO. At The MLB Reports, we call it a ‘Dunn Trick’ when he does all 3 in a game. But this year he is hitting a meager .100 – with only 3 HRs. His time may be up.

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

Welcome to the 1st installment of the Mid – Week Around the Horn blog.  This weekly piece will feature random thoughts from the MLB – that I just cant go on without saying something.

Notes:

Will somebody please (for the love of god) remove Adam Dunn from  the #4 slot.  I think he would be best hitting 9th – even 2nd (if he continues to walk).  Hitting a .100 as the cleanup hitter has to have cost the club some games.

Shin-Soo Choo is off to a hot start and we are having an awareness week for him at the MLB Reports.  He has a Career 3 Slash Line of .282/.386/.856 and had 20+ Stolen Bases in 3 out of the last 4 years.  The one year he didn’t achieve 20, he swiped 15 Bags in 85 Games.

Shin-Soo Choo trains with the Reds

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MLB Weekly Power Rankings – Week 3

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Monday Apr.22/2013

The Giants have gutted out a 12 - 7 record despite Matt Cain being 0 - 2 with a 7.15 ERA, and Ryan Vogelsong featuring an early season ERA of 5.89.  Buster Posey is also off to a slow start.  This team has so much depth and talent, I see nothing that will stop this club from taking their 3rd NL West Division crown no that the LAD have had severe injury problems to their Starting Rotation.

The Giants have gutted out a 12 – 7 record despite Matt Cain being 0 – 2 with a 7.15 ERA, and Ryan Vogelsong featuring an early season ERA of 5.89. Buster Posey is also off to a slow start. This team has so much depth and talent, I see nothing that will stop this club from taking their 3rd NL West Division crown now that the LAD have had severe injury problems to their Starting Rotation.  The Giants take their rightful spot as #1 in the MLB Reports Weekly Rankings thids week.

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

The Major League Baseball Season is roughly 10% over and we are seeing some trends and patterns.  The next time you wonder why games are so long in the game right now, look no further than there are about 150 hitters that are currently on pace to Strikeout 100 plus times this season.

Other Notes:

The Cincinnati Reds won every game this past 7 days, after losing every day the week prior.  This is simply why they shot up the rankings.  I think the NL Central is the weakest Division this year.  It was my prediction that the oldest professional baseball club would run away with this Division by at least 10 games.

Shin-Soo Choo and Joey Votto are on the Basepaths at all times – carrying an OBP of over .500 plus each.  Votto is starting to drive the ball with authority too.  Brandon Phillips, Todd Frazier and Zack Cozart are driving in Runs at an incredible rate.

Look for BP to be a dark horse NL MVP candidate.

Brandon Phillips Talks about Winter Workouts:

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The Astros Are Making Player Moves And Are 4 – 5 In The Last 9 Games

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Saturday, April.20/2013

Brett Wallace had struggled something fierce to start this year.  At Age 26, he is nearing the end of his rope with the Astros.  He has a Career 3 Slash Line of .243/.316/.682 - with 16 HRs and 66 RBI in 743 At-Bats.  Not encouraging numbers.  He was acquired from the Toronto Blue Jays during the 2010 season for OF Anthony Gose.  At least Gose hasn't accomplished much with the Canadian franchise yet

Brett Wallace had struggled something fierce to start this year before his most recent demotion to the Minor Leagues. At Age 26, he is nearing the end of his rope with the Astros. He has a Career 3 Slash Line of .243/.316/.682 – with 16 HRs and 66 RBI in 743 At-Bats. Not encouraging numbers. He was acquired from the Toronto Blue Jays during the 2010 season for OF Anthony Gose. At least Gose hasn’t accomplished much with the Canadian franchise yet.

By Richard Perez (Astros Correspondent visit the StrosBros Website here):

After seven games played, 17 Strikeouts, and one hit in 27 Plate Appearances, the Astros optioned First Baseman Brett Wallace to Triple-A Oklahoma City, and it comes a great news to me. I feel that Brett Wallace is on limited time in the Major Leagues and that he just isn’t going to pan out to be the highly touted prospect he once was.

He’s had somewhat of a successful tenure in Houston, but I feel compelled to believe that he was transferred around from one organization to the next while never making an appearance at the Major League level is one of the more pieces of condemning evidence from early on the Brett Wallace was doomed to be a dud

Astros Struggle in the 2013 Year:

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Fear Beyond The Edge Of The Grass: Searching For The ‘Mets’ Outfield In 2013

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Monday January 21st, 2013

Collin Cowgill will figure into the Mets OF picture somewhere,  Barring them signing anybody else, not one of their Outfielders will even have 500 Career AB.  Cowgill has a 3 Slash Line of .255/.319/.631 in 196 AB.

Collin Cowgill will figure into the Mets OF picture somewhere. Barring them signing anybody else, not one of their Outfielders will even have 800 Career AB heading in 2013. Cowgill has a 3 Slash Line of .255/.319/.631 in 196 AB during his time in the Major Leagues.

Stephon Johnson ( Baseball Writer and Mets Correspondent):

New York Mets General Manager Sandy Alderson has every right to not be happy.

Speaking on local New York sports talk radio station WFAN, Alderson didn’t try to delude himself or others into thinking that the 2013 Mets campaign wouldn’t induce at least several headaches.

“I’m not happy where we are in preparation for 2013,” said Alderson about the current roster assembled. “… I can assure you that where we are now is not where we want to be opening spring training. I mean, it’s conceivable we could be in the same position, but it’s not where we want to be.”

This can particularly be directed toward the outfield. With several options for the Mets to check out, it’s baffled many how a Major League franchise wouldn’t have at least a slight idea what kind of starting lineup they could field on opening day.

Scott Hairston Interview in 2012:

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Juan Pierre: The Unappreciated Stolen Base Master

Thursday January 3rd, 2012

Juan Pierre was one of the most prolific hitters in terms of base hits in the last 12 years along with being the Active Leader for Career Stolen Bases.  Pierre has 4-200 hit seasons in his resume.  He also strikes out only about 1 time every 17 PA.

Juan Pierre is one of the most prolific hitters in terms of base hits in the last 12 years along with being the Active Leader for Career Stolen Bases (591). Pierre has 4-200 hit seasons on his resume. He also strikes out only about 1 time every 18 PA  (452 SO in 7950 PA).  He is a .297 Career hitter, with 2141 Hits and has scored 1039 Runs.

Jake Dal Porto (Baseball Writer) //

Remember Juan Pierre? The guy who’s the definition of consistent? Yeah, that’s him. He now resides in Miami with a bleak Marlins’ crop of players. At 34-Years-Old, he is not entirely irrelevant, and could turn out to be a worthwhile signing for the Marlins. Yes I know, he’s not the big bopper that garners the media and headlines, but his career isn’t one to disregard.

Let me enlighten you…

For Pierre, it all started in Colorado where broke into the majors at 22 years of age, and instantly caught the eye of the baseball world thanks to a solid rookie year with the Rockies. After spending some time as a pinch-runner and defensive replacement, he eventually overtook Colorado’s leadoff spot. He finished the season with a triple slash of .310/.353/.320, and swiped a modest seven bases.

Juan Pierre Feature Video-Beast Mode:

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The Toronto Blue Jays Payroll 2013 and Contracts (Updated For MIA Trade Nov.13/2012)

Monday, September.10/2012

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 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.

The Blue Jays have not qualified for the Playoffs since they won Back to Back World Series in 1992 and 1993. At that time, they were around the top of the MLB Payroll for all teams. How much will they spend in 2013?

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer):

It has been a disastrous season for the Toronto Blue Jays in 2012.  Only the Boston Red Sox can usurp them in the AL East for being more disappointing.  It is not entirely anyone’s fault, injuries to many key pitchers-plus the loss of Jose Bautista just after the All-Break, crippled the team’s ability to compete.  Just chalk up the season to unlucky.  Fortunately for the Blue Jays, Alex Anthopoulos has kept the team flexible with the payroll going forward.  I still think that getting out of the Vernon Wells and Alex Rios contracts was the biggest ‘Houdini Act’ of the New Millennium.  Since he got out from under those contracts, only Joey Bats makes more than 10 Million Dollars now on the club.  To contend in the AL East, the Jays will need to spend at least 100-110 Million Dollars.  The core of the team is intact for a couple of more years.  From 2013-2016 is the clubs best window to make a charge at the playoffs and have some success.

Perhaps the best move that the Blue Jays GM did this year was to lock up Edwin Encarnacion to a 3 YR/27 Million Dollar contract before he hit the Free Agency Market.  In a downtrodden year, EE could have requested an arm and leg for his services and been obliged.  He left between 8-10 Million Dollars on the Table in my opinion.  The keys will be to lock up a couple of their young player to long-term contracts.  The catching looks solid (Arencibia and Mathis) for years to come with some more prospects filtering through the Minor Leagues (Travis D’arnaurd.)  Trading away Eric Thames and Travis Snider paved the way for the club to lock-up Colby Rasmus long-term-and maybe take a run at a power hitting Outfielder.  The team’s starting pitching must heal up from multiple Tommy John Surgeries and come back to be relevant.  The team should definitely be players for free agent pitchers.  

For Part 1 of a 7 Part Article Series:  The Toronto Blue Jays Franchise 1977-1993, click here

For Part 7 of the 7 Part Series:  Blue Jays 2013 Team Payroll:  A Readers Thoughts, Click Here:

Josh Johnson brings a career record of 56-37 (.602) to the Blue Jays lineup in 2013. With one year and 13.75 Million Dollars left on this current deal. will Toronto try and extend him or wait to see if he can stay healthy all year.

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Baseball’s Greatest One Hit Wonders Part 1: The Batters

Wedesday August 15th, 2012

Phil Plantier made his debut with the Boston Red Sox in 1990. During the 1992 season, Plantier crushed 11 HRs and added another 35 RBI in just 53 games. He was then traded in the off-season to the San Diego Padres for Jose Melendez. Plantier then thrived in California.

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer and @chuckbooth3024 on twitter)- Music has one hit wonders, some have even made an entire career out of just one stretch of time where they were deemed relevant.  Baseball is like everything else, they have had their fair share of players that fit this mold.  In the next two weeks, we will take a look at hitters and pitchers that were really on fire for a stretch before they petered out just as fast.  I harken back to the movie ‘Tin Cup” for this next saying,  “Greatness Courts Failure.”  The difference between the two in baseball is so miniscule.  Unfortunately for every player that makes it to the show, hundreds never get their chance at all.  I am sure if you ask each one of these players if they were happy at their time in the Major Leagues, they would tell you that they thought they did not perform to their full capability.  

The players would think highly of the time they had their biggest successes and would wish they could have had more of the limelight for a prolonged stretch.  The fans of baseball are left to form their own opinions on these individuals.  Just like what happens in the world, there will be some fans who remember these guys fondly and others will turn the page on them, not thinking much at all.  The split is usually right down the middle.  The next five hitters are players that I remember making a big splash before bowing out just as quick as they came into prominence.   I contemplated adding Sam Fuld to this list, however he has a chance to play in the Major Leagues for years to come, so it is too early to list him amongst these men.  So at the very least, I will give him the video tribute down below before the page break.  Fuld is a great inspiration and I look forward to writing about him in future articles.  Also, other players I considered for this piece were Bob Hamelin and Rick Ankiel.  I gave Ankiel a pass in both pitching and hitting because he was so unique to have done both.  You can read a recent article I wrote about the man here .  In the end, I did not think Bob Hamelin had a standout performance even as a rookie.  He was lucky to have such a weak class of rookies to compete against in the year he won it.

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It Is The 5 Year Anniversary Of His Re-Debut As A Hitter: What Is Next For Rick Ankiel?

Thursday August.09, 2012

At Age 20 (and starting out the year at age 19), Ankiel finished 2nd in ROY voting, 7th in strikeouts and ERA, 2nd in K’s/Per 9 IP and Hits/Per 9 IP in 2000. He threw 94-97 MPH as a Young Pitcher, however a mental block and injuries plagued him to the point where he changed into a permanent Outfielder in 2005.

­Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer and @chuckbooth3024 on twitter)- Playing the game of baseball is predicated on failure.  Most of us that have played the game, realize how hard it is to hit a flying object with a piece of wood or metal.  The majority of players, that are in the Major Leagues, have honed their skills from the time they were just starting grade school.  Generally it takes a hell of a lot of repetition to become good at something.  As an aspiring baseball player in my teens, I can remember swinging the baseball over 200 times a day in trying to perfect my swing.  I had practice drills that would emphasize on weight transference, foot work and eye-hand coordination.  So I imagine a lot of today’s current players did the same when they were a kid.  Today marks the 5 year anniversary from one of the greatest stories ever produced on the field by a Major League Player.

The Cardinals Drafted Rick Ankiel in the 2nd round of the 1997 Amateur Draft.  Ankiel had great pitching mechanics and made his dream come true on Aug.23 1999 (at the Age of 19),  by making his pitching debut with the St. Louis Cardinals against the Montreal Expos  He sported a 0-1 record in 5 starts to end the year with an impressive 39 Strikeouts in 33 innings, while posting a respectable 3.27 ERA.  Ankiel was a budding prospect with a chance to become a perennial ALL-Star.  In his Rookie year during the 2000 season, he finished with a record of 11-7 with a 3.50 ERA-and was 7th in the league with 194 Strikeouts. 

This season was good enough to finish 2nd in Rookie of the Year Balloting.    The Cardinals needed him to pitch in Game #1 of the NLDS because he and Daryl Kile were the only ones left on the roster as 3 starters from the regular season had become injured.  To further put pressure on this young kid, his mentor for the game of baseball, his father, had been incarcerated in jail at the time as he was making it to the Major Leagues and it ate at him not having him there live to see him play.  Still, Tony La Russa had complete faith in the kid to start in pivotal games at such a young age because of his electric arm. 

It proved to be a costly mistake as Ankiel started to mentally fracture by the 3rd inning of that very game and ended up walking 4 batters and throwing a record 5 wild pitches in one inning-while giving up 4 runs.  Ankiel never recovered from leaving the mound on that day.  Against everyone’s better judgement, La Russa sent out Ankiel again to start in  Game #2 of the NLCS versus the Braves.  His first pitch of the game sailed over Timo Perez of the New York Mets.  5 wild pitches later and La Russa mercifully pulled him from the game.  If you can believe it, La Russa brought out Ankiel to face four more hitters in Game #5 of the Series.  This time he walked 2 more hitters and threw 2 more wild pitches.  The Mets wiped out the depleted Cardinals pitching staff in that 5th game.  If you ask La Russa, these decisions all haunt him more than any other thing that he has ever done as a manager.

Here is a great highlight reel showing off Ankiel’s best moments as a National in 2011.

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The 2012 Washington Nationals Are For Real

Friday April 20th, 2012

Sam Evans: The Washington Nationals have gotten off to a hot start and they’re currently in first place in the National League East. It is very early in the season, but every game matters and the Nationals have looked very strong so far. If the Nationals pitching lives up to expectations, and a certain outfield prospect can make the major impact he is capable of, I see no reason why the Nationals can’t win the N.L. East in 2012.

The N.L. East isn’t as strong as it has been in recent years. The Phillies lost their two superstar position players, Ryan Howard and Chase Utley, for who knows how long. The whole Philadelphia roster looks like they’ve been suffering from the loss of those two guys. Still, they have one of the best rotations in baseball and a decent offense. The Marlins have a chance to contend this year, but they’re relying on Josh Johnson to get back to his old form, which is a risky business. The Braves have an abundance of young pitching, but a couple of their key aging position players can no longer be relied on to produce All-Star season. The one constant is the Mets. To no one’s surprise, they’re still terrible.

The Nationals are going to be an above-average baseball team in the coming years. The farm system is stacked with talent, and Stephen Strasburg is healthy. However, there is no reason why they can’t put in all their chips for this year. Let’s look at the Nationals major league roster, areas they can improve, and why they have a chance to compete in 2012. Read the rest of this entry

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