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Friday, February. 08/2013
By Ryan Dana (MLB Reports Intern): Follow @ryandana1
Who is Jose Bautista? He is a 32-Year Old, Dominican, Major League Baseball player. He is the starting Right Fielder and number 3 hitter in the Toronto Blue Jays lineup. He is a 3x All-Star (’10-’12), 2x Silver Slugger Award winner (’10-’11), and 2x Hank Aaron Award winner (’10-’11). Bautista is a former 20th round draft pick of the Pittsburgh Pirate s- who struggled to make any significant impact for a Major League team into his late 20’s. He arose from baseball obscurity and launched into the spotlight seemingly overnight. Bautista’s breakout campaign in 2010 was followed with an even better 2011, which was all foreshadowed by a promising September in ’09 – where he tapped into a power surge hitting 10 HRs in the month.
This was especially surprising since his career high for HRs in a season to that point was only 16 in ‘06. Modifications Bautista made in his swing were career changing. He completely reinvented the system he was using to time pitching, and it paid big dividends. Bautista’s success forced the Rogers Center to keep their roof open for all home games due to the amount of moonshots he was hitting. I’m only joking, but he did hit an MLB high 54 HRs in 2010 and 43 HRs in 2011.
Jose Bautista 2012 Highlights Mix:
The Patrick Languzzi Interview: The Man Behind The Petition About The Dwight Evans For The ‘BBHOF’ Candicacy Campaign
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By John Tuberty – Special Guest Writer and Cooperstown Correspondent (Owner of The Wesbite Tubbs Baseball Blog, please view here . )
Under current Hall of Fame voting rules, the Expansion Era Committee meets once every three years to vote on retired players who are no longer eligible for election by the BBWAA, have been retired 21 or more seasons, and made their biggest contributions to the sport after 1972. In addition to the retired players, the Expansion Era ballot also includes retired managers, umpires, and executives from the post-1972 era. One player who is eligible to be included on December’s Expansion Era ballot is former Red Sox Right Fielder, Dwight Evans.
Despite owning impressive career totals such as 385 Home Runs, 2,446 Hits, and 8 Gold Glove Awards, Evans struggled to draw support in BBWAA Hall of Fame voting and fell off the ballot after failing to draw the necessary five percent needed to stay on the ballot on a very crowded 1999 election. However in recent years, Evans has become a popular Hall of Fame debate in the sabermetric community and several articles have been written in support of his overlooked Hall of Fame candidacy. One particular writer, Patrick Languzzi is spearheading a campaign to put Dwight Evans on December’s Expansion Era ballot. Languzzi, who writes for MLB Reports as the Hall of Fame Correspondent, created his own website, Call to the Hall, which is devoted to bringing awareness to Dwight Evans’ overlooked Hall of Fame candidacy. Languzzi even started a petition which calls for Evans to be selected as one of the twelve finalists on December’s Expansion Era ballot. Languzzi was nice enough to take the time for me to interview him about his Call to the Hall website and petition.
JT: Patrick, you, along with Nick Carfardo of the Boston Globe were recently interviewed by Tom Caron on the New England Sports Network (NESN) to discuss Evans’ overlooked Hall of Fame candidacy (see link below). What was that experience like?
PL: The experience was validating for me, meaning, when I started this project, I never imagined it would have gone as far as it has, and gotten the attention it’s drawn. It’s great to see that I’m not the only one that feels that Evans’ case deserves to be revisited.
JT: You mention in the NESN clip that you got a chance to meet Dwight, what can you tell us about meeting him?
PL: Through all of my research, I’ve gotten to know Evans, and what I’ve found is that he is extremely humble and unwilling to discuss himself as a possible Hall of Fame candidate. He was humble as a player too. A good example of this is the clip from the 1987 All-Star game (see link to clip below) when Dwight fields a fly ball and fires a strike to home plate, Tim Raines the player at third holds from tagging up.
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Thursday January 3rd, 2013
Ben Dobson ( Baseball Writer and Brewers Correspondent): Follow @brewerpride06
1982….Mention this date to any Brewers fan and immediately you will witness a smile and a nod of the head. Very little has to be said that isn’t communicated with that simple smile and subtle shake of the head. Harvey’s Wallbangers; Cecil Cooper, Paul Molitor, Robin Yount, Gorman Thomas and Ben Oglivie to name a few. Coming off a (3-2) AL Division Series loss to the Yankees in 81′ the Brewers stormed in to 82′ ready to make amends. The Brewers began 82′ slowly going (23-24), thus Harvey Kuenn replaced Buck Rodgers. The Brewers made history going forward posting a (72-43) record leading the league in runs and HRs. This team poured it all out on the field before losing in Game 7 of the World Series to the St. Louis Cardinals. Yount, Molitor and Cooper will forever be household names associated with the epic ’82 team.
Fast-Forward 26 years….2008 & 2011….The Brewers finally made it back to the postseason. This time the club was led by Ryan Braun, Prince Fielder, Corey Hart and Rickie Weeks. These were both magical years but neither year ended in a World Series appearance. The constant and consistent cog of these two playoff teams was Ryan Braun. The “Hebrew Hammer” lead the team in batting both playoff years and put up power numbers as well as speed numbers. This perennial All-Star continues to perform as one of the best in the game, but how does Ryan Braun compare to the 82′ heroes of Yount, Molitor and Cooper. The following statistics were taken during 6 consecutive seasons for each player (only exception is the 84′ season for Molitor who was limited to 13 games, 85′ season was substituted).
Ryan Braun Highlights in 2012: Suggestive Mature Lyrics-Parental Guidance Advised: