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Monday, May 13th, 2013
On a Mother’s day edition of the triple play podcast we heed the advice of our mother’s and turn the lemon of our original guest being unable to join us into the lemonade of Bard Cuprik of mlbreports.com (Check out his latest Roster Tree piece – where he goes through the 6 degrees of separation of a how each pitcher arrived in a Bucs uniform here ) – and David Huzzard of the Citizens of Natstown podcast (and Writer) dissects the pitching and the Nationals start to the 2013 Season. Read the rest of this entry
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Saturday, April.27, 2013
MLB Reports: We are pleased to present you with Baseball Author Lee Edelstein as the newest writer with us at the Reports. Lee will be providing us with great stories about baseball memorabilia on a regular basis.
An American Hobby
This week’s article features a member of the 3,000 Hit Club.
Roberto Clemente is a beloved figure in baseball history, one of the greatest defensive right fielders of all time, and, in many ways, a pioneer – the Jackie Robinson of Hispanic and Latin ballplayers.
While Robinson faced the monumental hurdle of integrating baseball, Clemente’s challenges included overcoming pervasive language and cultural barriers.
Consider this – he is the first Latin American in the Hall of Fame, the first Hispanic ballplayer to win a World Series as a starter (1960), win an MVP award (1966), and win a World Series MVP Award (1971).
He played in the era of Aaron, Mays, and Mantle and, for much of his career, was under-appreciated.
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Saturday, January 5th, 2013
Ryan Dana (MLB Reports Intern): Follow @ryandana1
In my previous article examining the decline of the DH position in the AL, I briefly touched on a few great DH’s. Now I will exert my focus on examining who the best DH of all time was. While the DH position may be in a decline, it has experienced good times. To be truly great at one of the hardest things to do in sports, (hit a baseball) is quite an accomplishment whether you play in the field or not. The Top 4 DH’s off all time have to be Harold Baines, Edgar Martinez, Frank Thomas, and David Ortiz. (The ordering just goes from 1st to enter the MLB to last, not who was the best. I will order them in that way later in the article.)
Harold Baines was somewhat of a pioneer of the DH position, as he was one of the early greats. His 22 Year Career started in 1980 with the Chicago White Sox, and ended for the same team in 2001, although he had stints with the Rangers, Athletics, Orioles, and Indians in between. Baines was a regular Outfielder for the White Sox until the ’86 season – where knee problems all but ended his fielding career. With Baines well-rounded, Left-hHanded stroke at the plate, he etched out a place in baseball history that will leave him remembered by many.
Frank Thomas Highlights:
“The Baseball Stadium Insider: A Comprehensive Dissection of All Thirty Ballparks, the Legendary Players, and the Memorable Moments” – By Matt Lupica: Guest MLB Blog
Saturday July 21st, 2012
Matt Lupica (Guest MLB Blogger):
Hello baseball fans!
If there’s one thing that can be said about baseball, it’s that it really separates itself from the other major sports because it features venues that differ greatly from one another. If you are like me, then you appreciate every little caveat, feature, gimmick and statistic about each individual Major League ballpark. That said, attention to every detail is something I pride myself on and with baseball as my true passion, it was a no-brainer when it came to authoring what I feel is the most in-depth book regarding all thirty current stadiums. I introduce you to The Baseball Stadium Insider.
My love for baseball began in fifth grade when my class was assigned a project on a historical figure. Looking down the list of names, I noticed one that stood out more than any others: Roberto Clemente. The rest was history. My love for baseball, the Pittsburgh Pirates and everything about the game was officially born. Read the rest of this entry
Friday June.8, 2012
Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer and @chuckbooth3024 on twitter)- Eric Davis was an amazing talent for the Cincinnati Reds during the mid 1980′s. He was drafted as a shortstop but quickly made his way through the minors and ended up in the Reds outfield for his debut in May of 1984. You talk about 5 tools in a player, Davis was the poster-boy for this. Pete Rose described him in one of his books as “having the greatest raw ability that he had seen since Roberto Clemente.” Davis grew up in Los Angeles, California and was a thin-wiry 165 pounds when he came up to the Majors, despite being 6 foot 2 in height. In 174 AB that year, he hit 10 HRs an stole 10 bases. In 1985, he hit 8 HRs and stole 16 bases in just 122 AB. This prompted a promotion to full-time player by then skipper Pete Rose at the start of the 1986 season.
The Cincinnati Reds had just come out of he ‘Big Red Machine’ era and were searching for young players such as Davis and Barry Larkin to take the reins with the new club. Eric Davis did not disappoint in his first season, in just 415 AB he hit 27 HRs and stole an eye-popping 80 bases while scoring 97 runs. A star was born. Eric Davis played with an all-out mentality, as such he required rest days from time to time with the nicks and bruises he would sustain through stealing bases or playing nice defense by diving. The Reds were always in contention under Pete Rose, however they were always finishing in 2nd place. It finally looked the team had a nucleus of players that could take them to the promise land. Davis was right at the top of the forefront for talent. Read the rest of this entry
Friday December 2, 2011
Rob Bland (Baseball Writer – MLB reports): With the MLB Winter Meetings just around the corner, we can all get excited about the draft that takes place there. The Rule 5 draft is a very important draft for teams, as they can find their diamond in the rough that may be undervalued by his current team. The Rule 5 Draft was created as a way for more players to have a chance at the big leagues, rather than spending more years in the minors. It forces a team to “protect” its minor leaguers by placing them on the 40-man roster.
The Rule 5 Draft is not simply for any minor leaguer, the players who are eligible must fall under certain criteria. The criteria are as follows:
If a player was signed at age 19 or older, and has been in the same organization for four years.
If a player was signed at age 18 or younger, and has been in the same organization for five years.
What this means that if an 18-year-old signs with a team, plays in the minor leagues for five years, and is not added to the 40-man roster, he will be put in a pool of eligible players for the Rule 5 draft. This forces teams to make a decision on their prospect and if he is ready to be added to the 40-man roster. The order of the draft is the same as the Amateur Draft that takes place in June, in reverse order of standings from the season prior.
Since many international players sign at the age of 16, they are eligible for the Rule 5 draft after their age-20 season. If not picked up on the team’s 40-man roster, an opposing team can take a big chance on a player in selecting him.
The draft is different from any other in that it costs the team $50,000 to select a player, which is paid to the team losing said player. Also, this player must be on the 25-man roster for the entirety of the season. If he is taken off the 25-man roster, he must then be offered back to his original club at half the price ($25,000).
There are two other phases of the Rule 5 Draft: AAA and AA. In the AAA phase, teams can select eligible players from AA and lower who fit the same criteria, and pay $12,000 for the selection. In the AA phase, players from A and lower are chosen at a cost of $4,000.
While it is pretty rare for a Rule 5 draftee to become a superstar, it does happen- and there are plenty of players who become useful with their new teams. Some of the most notable players chose in the Rule 5 draft are Hall of Famer Roberto Clemente (the Rule 5 draft was drastically different in 1954), Toronto Blue Jays slugger Jose Bautista, Texas Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton, and, in my opinion, the best Rule 5 selection of all, Johan Santana.
The Rule 5 Draft can take some interesting turns, and players are often offered back to their original team. Trades are made for other Rule 5 selections or money can be exchanged. Johan Santana was left off the Houston Astros 40-man roster before the 1999 Rule 5 Draft, and was selected by the Florida Marlins. The Marlins then trade Santana to the Minnesota Twins for cash and Jared Camp. After a lacklustre 2000 season, he went on to have a great career with the Twins, and has won 2 Cy Young Awards.
Bautista also represents an interesting case, as he was selected in the 2003 Rule 5 draft, and became the only Major League player in history to be on 5 ML rosters in one season. The Baltimore Orioles selected him in the Rule 5, was claimed off waivers by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays 2 months into the season, and then traded to the Kansas City Royals less than a month later. A month after that, he was traded to the New York Mets, who then flipped him to the Pittsburgh Pirates, who were his original team. He has since gone on to blossom into one of the finest hitters in all of baseball, leading the MLB in home runs in 2010 and 2011.
Josh Hamilton was selected in the 2006 Rule 5 draft by the Chicago Cubs, but was returned to the Cincinnati Reds before the season began. He was traded to the Texas Rangers after the 2007 seasons and won the 2010 American League MVP.
Other notable players taken in the Rule 5 Draft:
Most teams have between 15 and 30 eligible players, meaning that there are hundreds of players available. However, the Rue 5 draft has lasted no more than 21 picks in the last 9 years. Over this time, 40 or so players are selected in the AA and AAA phase combined per year.
Will a team strike gold and find the next MVP or CY Young in this year’s Rule 5 Draft? Probably not. But some teams may find some useful bullpen arms, or even a utility player or two that may stick around for a full season.
***Today’s feature was prepared by our Baseball Writer, Rob Bland. We highly encourage you to leave your comments and feedback at the bottom of the page and share in the discussion with our readers. You can also follow Rob on Twitter.***
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