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Baltimore Orioles State Of The Union For 2015

Baltimore Orioles

By Nicholas Delahanty (MLB Reports Writer)  

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Even with some key players being out of the lineup for long periods of time (due to injuries/suspensions), the Baltimore Orioles still found a way to win 96 games during the 2014 regular season, and advanced to the ALCS after sweeping the Detroit Tigers in the ALDS.

Unfortunately, the Orioles’ World Series hopes were crushed by the Kansas City Royals in the Final Four, as the O’s struggled mightily against this year’s “Cinderella story.”

It turned out to be an ugly end for a great season, but the Orioles now need to look forward to the off-season.

With some key players heading towards free agency and arbitration, the Orioles need to make some moves in order to put themselves in contention to compete once again come 2015. 

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How All Of The O’s Pitchers Were Acquired: 2014 Roster Tree Explains That The Staff Was Created By Deft Transactions!

Chris Tillman continues to assert himself as one of the emerging great arms in the American League.  The 26 Year Old RHP is 26 - 12 in his last 38 game decisions with a mid 3 ERA.  Not bad when you consider he and Adam Jones were brought to Maryland for former Draft Pick Erik Bedard, (who is barely hanging on to professional baseball - and was hurt or average in his Seattle days).  That deal and the Tommy Hunter and Chris Davis/for Koli Uehara deals kickstarted the renaissance of this historic club.

Chris Tillman continues to assert himself as one of the emerging great arms in the American League. The 26 Year Old RHP is 26 – 12 in his last 38 game decisions with a mid 3 ERA. Not bad when you consider he and Adam Jones were brought to Maryland for former Draft Pick Erik Bedard, (who is barely hanging on to professional baseball – and was hurt or average in his Seattle days). That deal and the Tommy Hunter and Chris Davis/for Koli Uehara deals kickstarted the renaissance of this historic club.  The O’s made the postseason for the 1st time in 15 years during he 2012 campaign, and now possess a massive lead in the AL East with 35 games to go.  The O’s management and brass can take stock in a job well done in building this current group of ballplayers.

How All Of The Orioles Pitchers Were Acquired:

By Chuck Booth Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner) & Nick Delahanty (MLB Reports Featured Writer):

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The Orioles made a swift and blunt move last off season, when they traded their 2012 and 2013 Closer Jim Johnson for Jemile Weeks.

The club took some flak in virtually discarding a 101 save man over the last few years to save some money.  Johnson was awarded $10 MIL for the year, and has flamed out in Oakland and Detroit since. Those dollars are about what the team receives collectively as a unit.

The team was also lambasted for the signing/not signing of Grant Balfour, because a sketchy physical.  Again, they have looked good in the transaction.

The O’s have done a great job building their Bullpen and Rotation.

Chris Tillman was part of the now extremely lopsided deal, which saw Adam Jones for Erik Bedard  several years back.

That coupled with some waiver claims (T.J. McFarland as a Rule 5 Draft Picks) and former team draft picks – converting in to late inning arms (Brian Matusz and Closer Zach Britton), and you have seen a brilliant molding of a Relief Core.

Darren O’Day was claimed off of waivers from Texas, in the same campaign the club also fleeced the Rangers, with the Chris Davis/Tommy Hunter deal for Koji Uehara.

Ryan Webb was actually optioned to the Minors, despite decent numbers, while clearing a path for Andrew Miller, as part of a deal from Boston.  Miller is one of the better LHP out of the pen in the last year.

The team has supplanted the rotation, with a few key Free Agents over the years, starting with Wei-Yin Chen, and Miguel Gonzalez.

Kevin Gausman represents the only starter right now that was drafted by the team originally.

Bud Norris was brought into Baltimore for a couple of former draft picks and a 2014 RD A compensation pick.

The other significant 2013 deal for the staff  – was dealing a Minor Leaguer for Brad Brach.

The Ubaldo Situation

Looking at the numbers, Buck Showalter has the right idea in taking Jimenez out of the rotation.Regardless of the contract figures, Jimenez has failed to be that ace that the Orioles expected to get  when he signed his 4 YR $50 MM dollar contract in the winter.

It’s time to let Jimenez take some time to figure things out, as hopefully skipping a start or two will give him time to work on his mechanics to help get him back on track.

This is also familiar territory for the Orioles, as Showalter and crew have had some good success  sending guys to the bullpen.

Remember, Zach Britton and Tommy Hunter, two of the best arms in the Orioles’ bullpen this season, were starters that struggled, but once they were shifted to the bullpen they seemed to have figured it out and have been very reliable throughout the season.

Maybe Jimenez can find a role in the pen that could help the team clinch a playoff spot. Read the rest of this entry

How All Of The A’s Pitchers Were Acquired: Lots Of Depth Even For 2015 Without Breaking The Bank!

Part of the lure in acquiring Samardzija was that he had 1 year left of Arbitration.  He will likely cost in the $12 - 15 MIL range for 2015.  He tops the list of several A's players that will be ARB eligible in 2015 like Moss, Donaldson, Cook, Parker, Jaso, Reddick and Gentry.  While the club is going for it in 2014, there unloading of Cespdes's $10.5 MIL 2015 salary will be used to pay these guys raises.  Some of the club will be traded or released.  The A's should still have about $25 MIL to spend on 7 or 8 guys next year.  Their $95 MIL payroll in 2014 is their highest ever recorded for any one year.

Part of the lure in acquiring Samardzija was that he had 1 year left of Arbitration. He will likely cost in the $12 – 15 MIL range for 2015. He tops the list of several A’s players that will be ARB eligible in 2015 like Moss, Donaldson, Cook, Parker, Jaso, Reddick and Gentry. While the club is going for it in 2014, their unloading of Cespdes’s $10.5 MIL 2015 salary will be used to pay these guys raises for next year, which should ensure them of another chance to compete for it all.. The Pitching Staff will remain almost intact, with losing just Lester, Hammel and Gregerson, while 12 guys are still under Team control, and 3 more guys with lots of MLB experience are in Sacramento waiting for a callup.

How All Of The A’s Pitchers Were Acquired:

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

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Billy Beane has assembled quite the Pitching Staff for his 2014 final playoff push despite having both Jarrod Parker and A.J. Griffin out for the year with Tommy John Surgery.

Sonny GrayA.J. Griffin and Sean Doolittle (although he was drafted as a hitter) are the only active pitchers on their staff that are homegrown products.

Jon Lester was acquired with Yoenis Cespedes (who signed as an International Free Agent.

Much like the hitters, the ‘Moneyball GM’ has wheeled and dealt until he put together one of the best run prevention teams in the game baseball.

Bringing in Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel cost the team 2 young prospects and Dan Straily, all of whom were team draft picks. Read the rest of this entry

How All Of The A’s Hitters Were Acquired: 2014 Roster Tree Shows Incredible Beane Trading Record

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How All Of The Athletics Hitters Were Acquired:

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

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Truthfully this blog took me forever to do the research for, simply because the A’s GM Billy Beane has been so proactive at the trading helm.

From flipping Mark Mulder several years ago which fetched Dan Haren as part of the haul, to the massive deal with Dan Haren sent to the D’Backs, he added enough depth to pull off several other moves.

Yes, along the way he may have been burned by Colorado for Carlos Gonzalez, but in a the Dbacks deal still is paying off.

The Roster deals include several Oakland draft picks being flipped for current A’s.

Nick Swisher was traded for Gio Gonzalez, who in turn the club can thank for the Catching tandem of Derek Norris and John Jaso as assets received from Swisher initially.

Jaso was brought back in a 3 way deal from Washington, where the A’s sent the SP back to the team they traded Gio Gonzalez for.

Ryan Sweeney (another player brought in for the Swisher) was packaged with Andrew Bailey to obtain Josh Reddick. Read the rest of this entry

How All Of The Tigers Hitters Were Acquired: 2014 Roster Tree – Is It A ‘Title Worthy’ Lineup?

It is tough to believe that someone once wanted to trade Miguel Cabrera.  The Marlins were so desperate to rid themselves of the Dontrelle Willis contract, that they unloaded Miguel Cabrera as part of a package for 5 different players in return from Detroit.  It will go down as one of the worst trades in MLB History by the time it is all said and done.  Cabrera has evolved into the best Right Handed Batter in this generation.  He only gets better each year that passes by.

It is tough to believe that someone once wanted to trade Miguel Cabrera. The Marlins were so desperate to rid themselves of the Dontrelle Willis contract, that they unloaded Miguel Cabrera as part of a package for 5 different players in return from Detroit. It will go down as one of the worst trades in MLB History by the time it is all said and done. Cabrera has evolved into the best Right Handed Batter in this generation. He only gets better each year that passes by.

How All Of The Tigers Hitters Were Acquired:

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

Follow MLB Reports On Twitter 

The Tigers have built a winning tradition on the backs of former Marlins.

1st it was GM Dave Dombrowski, then Jim Leyland, before the club pulled off the biggest trade in the modern day franchise – by landing Miguel Cabrera for not much in return as it stands now.

This started a string of roster moves that enabled this club to have a great run of success since 2006.

Back in 2003, the ‘Motown Boys’ had to win their last game of the year to avoid the worst season ever for losses by an MLB squad – with 119 losses.

The team drafted Justin Verlander the next year – and traded for future ALL – Star Carlos Guillen.

With a horrific lineup from the 2003 campaign, the Tigers GM, inked Free Agents Ivan Rodriguez and then Magglio Ordonez in subsequent years.

Guys like Gary Sheffield and Placido Polanco were also mainstays on the club for different stints of the lineup.

The pursuit of the club’s offense led them to a 2006 World Series Appearance.  The club lost to the Cardinals, and Dombrowski continued to build.

Prior to the 2008 year, the team traded for Miguel Cabrera, and the franchise would start a new era of dominance in the AL Central. Read the rest of this entry

How All Of The San Diego Padres Hitters Were Acquired: (2014 Roster Tree)

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.

As a 2nd RD draft pick (2005) of the franchise, Chase Headley has pretty much been disappointment over the .last 2 seasons after setting the world on fire for the 2nd half of 2012.  Headley led the NL with 115 RBI in 2012 amongst 31 HRs, Headley also captured 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.  In 600 AB during 2013, the man only had an OPS of .747 – with 13 HRs.  2014 has been worse, with a .620 OPS, .204 BA – with just 6 HRs in 211 AB.  The franchise has been criticized for not capitalizing on his 2012 year via a trade.  At least they never gave him a huge extension.

How All Of The Padres Hitters Were Acquired:

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

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Omar Minaya, A.J. Hinch and Fred Uhlman Jr. took over the “office of the GM” on June 22nd, when the Padres fired Josh Byrnes from his post.

In order to see if the canning was valid, one has to search through the transactions the man did under is tenure at the helm.

Some of the current squad was brought in by Byrnes (hired in Oct of 2011, after Jed Hoyer left to take the GM position with the Chicago Cubs. although through the course of the Roster Tree, you will see some of the players go back to the Kevin Towers era.

Crazy enough is that Byrnes was fired by Towers current team (ARI) as the GM in July of 2010.

Towers is also responsible for some of the assembled roster in 2014 for San Diego.  KT is one of several possible replacements candidates for the vacant SD GM job.

It is a franchise that has made several ‘suspect’ trades over the last 10 years, and the drafting record hasn’t netted them the kind of ‘blue chippers’ to sustain a lengthy period of success despite drafting high a lot of years.

San Diego’s club in 2014 is injury prone, hitters and pitchers alike, and are headed for a brutal campaign, already at 35 – 47 heading into games June.30, 2014. 

They are already 8.5 games behind the playoff bar. and 11 out of the NL West.

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Baltimore Orioles Early Season Grades

Baltimore Orioles

By Nicholas Delahanty (MLB Reports Writer)  

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As the first full month of the season reaches its final week, the Orioles need to get away from the .500 baseball they have been playing in order to make a push towards the 2014 postseason. 

Of course, the season is still very young, as there are about 140 games left to play.

The O’s got an early taste of the competitive AL East Division, as six of their first seven series were against division rivals, including two series verse the defending World Series Champion Boston Red Sox. 

As we are about 1/8th through the season, I decided to grade the Orioles up to this point of the season, looking for ways for them to improve. Read the rest of this entry

Oakland Athletics Roster In 2014: How All Of The Pitchers Were Acquired

Jarrod Parker is out for the year with  Tommy John Surgery.  You are talking about a guy that was 25 - 16 with a 3.68 ERA over the last 2 years combined.  He has top of the rotation stuff and will be greatly missed.  The A's also had a TJ scare with A.J. Griffin, but it has been downgraded to an elbow strain for now.  Parker was traded for by the Athletics in a major package sent to Oakland - including Chris Carter< Carlos Gonzalez and Ryan Cook for Starter Dan Haren.  The club still has many of the components left as assets from that very deal. While it is bad Parker is out in 2014, he will be back.

Jarrod Parker is out for the year with Tommy John Surgery. You are talking about a guy that was 25 – 16 with a 3.68 ERA over the last 2 years combined. He has top of the rotation stuff and will be greatly missed. The A’s also had a TJ scare with A.J. Griffin, but it has been downgraded to an elbow strain for now. Parker was traded for by the Athletics in a major package sent to Oakland with Collin Cowgill and  Ryan Cook for Starter Trevor Cahill. The club still has Parker and Cahill.  While it is bad Parker is out in 2014, he will be back. Cahill has been ineffective for the D’backs in 2014 – with a 9.17 ERA and an MLB leading 4 losses.

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

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I just finished writing an article about how Billy Beane was smart not to have signed Barry Zito, Mark Mulder and Tim Hudson to extensions here.

You really wont find him do this anytime soon with any of his chuckers.

The Scott Kazmir deal is the one he likes to do.  It is simple as to why the man operates like this.  He doesn’t have to give up any assets in the process.

Beane is a “Baseball Rounder”.

It is not unlike him to do manage 50 – 60 transactions per year.  He was won more than he has lost – whether it is Free Agency or trades.  His ballclub has the best record in the Majors since the start of play in 2012 – at 200 – 144 (.581 baseball).

We will go through the Pitching First, and then the hitting by the weekend. Read the rest of this entry

Baltimore Orioles Organizational Depth Charts (All Affiliates) – Spring 2014 (Majors and Minors)

By Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner): & Jeff Kleiner (Org Depth Chart + Payroll Expert – find his website here)

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Management

CEO- Peter G. Angelos
GM- Dan Duquette
MGR- Buck Showalter
PCO- Dave Wallace
HCO- Jim Presley
1BCO- Wayne Kirby
3BCO- Bobby Dickerson
BHCO- John Russell
BPCO- Dom Chiti

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Orioles Fill Closer Void With Signing Of Grant Balfour

The Baltimore Orioles signed Closer Grant Balfour to a 2 YR/ 14 Million dollar contract on Tuesday. Balfour will replace Jim Johnson, who was traded to Balfour’s previous team, the Oakland Athletics, earlier in the offseason.  In an overall picture, the club almost essentially traded Jim Johnson for Jemile Weeks and Grant Balfour.  The club will save $2 – $3 MIL in payroll next campaign, while they added Second Base depth, and perhaps may have the better Relief Pitcher out of the two.  Better yet, Baltimore has their Closer scenario sewn up for the 2015 season now as well.

By Nicholas Delahanty (MLB Reports O’s Writer)  

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What the signing of Grant Balfour means to the Orioles

As the winter moves along, the Oriole faithful keeps asking the same question: when are the Orioles going to make a big move?

The beginning of the MLB Free Agency period has not been friendly to Orioles fans, as they saw their team trade away Jim Johnson, one of the best Closers in baseball, as well as part ways with Left Fielder Nate McLouth and Starting Pitcher Scott Feldman through free agency.

On Tuesday afternoon, the Orioles found out that rumors surrounding the team were actually truth, as it was announced that Grant Balfour signed a 2 YR/ 14 Million dollar deal, with $500,000 deferred each season.

Grant Balfour Rage versus the Rangers

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The Miami Marlins Payroll In 2014, Organizational Affiliates, Prospects, Depth Charts, (MLB + MiLB)

The Miami Marlins might have exited out of their plan to compete last season, however the talent wasn't going to cut it - and they were able to restock the system with some talent, despite not having an chance to compete in 2013.  Hopefully the ownership will buck up some cash when the team improves a little.

The Miami Marlins might have exited out of their plan to compete last season, however the talent wasn’t going to cut it – and they were able to restock the system with some talent, despite not having an chance to compete in 2013. Hopefully the ownership will buck up some cash when the team improves a little in future years.

By Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner): and Jeff Kleiner (Salary, Roster and Depth Chart Expert for the MLB) – visit his website  here  

The Miami Marlins are known for doing a gazillion transactions throughout the year.  Jeffrey Loria and CO. are always looking for ways to save dollars, become younger, and fill the Minor League System with players.

Since the team has won 2 World Series it is time in the MLB (21 Years), some people are even willing to give the franchise some credit, although most of that was attributed to the previous ownership regimes.

They are loaded with a multitude of young players that are highly touted and talented.  The biggest question to ask is how they are going to move forward with Giancarlo Stanton?

2014 will be an interesting campaign for Miami.  They have to hope that a lot of their several young players can mature and prosper, as they are in the same Division as the Washington Nationals and the Atlanta Braves.

For a Full 3 year Salary Outlook plus last years Stats for every player in the Miami Organization click here.

Giancarlo Stanton Highlights _- Mature Lyrics So Parental Guidance is Advised

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The Detroit Tigers Roster Tree Part 1: How All Of The Hitters Were Acquired

It is tough to believe that someone once wanted to trade Miguel Cabrera.  The Marlins were so desperate to rid themselves of the Dontrelle Willis contract, that they unloaded Miguel Cabrera as part of a package for 5 different players in return from Detroit.  It will go down as one of the worst trades in MLB History by the time it is all said and done.  Cabrera has evolved into the best Right Handed Batter in this generation.  He only gets better each year that passes by.

It is tough to believe that someone once wanted to trade Miguel Cabrera. The Marlins were so desperate to rid themselves of the Dontrelle Willis contract, that they unloaded Miguel Cabrera as part of a package for 5 different players in return from Detroit. It will go down as one of the worst trades in MLB History by the time it is all said and done. Cabrera has evolved into the best Right Handed Batter in this generation. He only gets better each year that passes by.

How All Of The Tigers Hitters Were Acquired:

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

Follow MLB Reports On Twitter

At the MLB Reports, we intend to show you the Roster Tree for the Detroit Tigers  – and how they assembled their current roster for hitting and Pitching.  It will work in a six degrees of separation like format.

Once we figure out the origin of how many trades going back in time it takes to see where the tree started, it will be time to dissect how the team fared on the deals.

If a player has never left the organization at all, the tree will be easy – as it will just be the year they were drafted or signed.

For the 2nd part of the Roster Tree for the Tigers: The Pitchers – click here

For all of the Rosters, Depth Charts, State of the Unions and Salaries Posts that we do, please visit our dedicated page link here.

Miguel Cabrera 2013 Highlights Before The All – Star Break – Mature Lyrics

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The Miami Marlins Payroll In 2014, Organizational Affiliates, Prospects, Depth Charts, (MLB + MiLB)

The Miami Marlins might have exited out of their plan to compete last season, however the talent wasn't going to cut it - and they were able to restock the system with some talent, despite not having an chance to compete in 2013.  Hopefully the ownership will buck up some cash when the team improves a little.

The Miami Marlins might have exited out of their plan to compete last season, however the talent wasn’t going to cut it – and they were able to restock the system with some talent, despite not having an chance to compete in 2013. Hopefully the ownership will buck up some cash when the team improves a little.

By Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner): and welcome Jeff Kleiner (Salary, Roster and Depth Chart Expert for the MLB) – visit his website  here  

The Miami Marlins are known for doing a gazillion transactions throughout the year.  Jeffrey Loria and CO. are always looking for ways to save dollars, become younger, and fill the Minor League System with players.

Since the team has won 2 World Series it is time in the MLB (21 Years), some people are even willing to give the franchise some credit, although most of that was attributed to the previous ownership regimes.

They are loaded with a multitude of young players that are highly touted and talented.  The biggest question to ask is how they are going to move forward with Giancarlo Stanton?

2014 will be an interesting campaign for Miami.  They have to hope that a lot of their several young players can mature and prosper, as they are in the same Division as the Washington Nationals and the Atlanta Braves.

For a Full 3 year Salary Outlook plus last years Stats for every player in the Miami Organization click here.

Giancarlo Stanton Highlights _- Mature Lyrics So Parental Guidance is Advised

Read the rest of this entry

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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MLB Reports Monthly Power Rankings: September 2012

Monday, September.3/2012

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer):   To say that this year has been a good year for baseball is an humongous understatement.  I thought after last years finish, that nothing was going to duplicate the experience.  Everyone forgets (or maybe not) that there should not even have been many races last year with Atlanta and Boston having such substantial leads on playoff spots.  The Red Sox and Braves collapsed like a couple of bowling pins with King Kong Bundy splashing down on them!  

This year, there are 15 teams still vying for 10 playoff spots.  So far the only probable locks are Washington for a playoff spot-and Cincinnati to probably win their division  The player races for all of the categories is almost as fascinating.  Will Andrew McCutcheon catch Melky Cabrera for the Batting title? Or will 2012 be forever cemented in baseball folklore by a stained player like Cabrera?  He could still end up determining who wins the World Series in the Fall Classic by his Testosterone filled antics in his MVP ALL-Star Game.  The big question is, will the San Francisco Giants fans cheer for him if he comes back in the playoffs?  They cheered for another league leader before when it was obvious he was guilty.  Right now if you are the Giants, you will take an opportunity to boo or cheer for Cabrera because that means you would  be in the playoffs.

Will the spending happy Dodgers have to wait another year to capitalize on their new plan to make the playoffs? If they ultimately  miss the playoffs outright, are they going to buy every player they can in the off-season?  I sure hope Magic knows that there are Luxury Tax penalties for spending over 178 Million Next Year.  1st year fine is 22.5%, 2nd year is 30%, 3rd year and beyond is 40%.  So if they plan on having a 250 Million Dollar Payroll in 2013 (by adding 2 or 3 more top Free Agents) will the Dodgers just forego the worry of any financial penalties on a yearly basis– just to dominate the whole National League (plus baseball for that matter.) Every other team has to consider the urgency in cashing out a World Series right now while the Dodgers have not had a full off season with the new management yet.  Can Oakland and their ‘New Money Ball philosophy’ make it to the playoffs for the first time since 2006? 

The Best Players over the last month were:  Buster Posey, Prince Fielder, Giancarlo Stanton, Adrian Beltre, Josh Hamilton, Yovani Gallardo, Kris Medlen, Adam Wainwright, Aroldis Chapman and Felix Hernandez.  The best teams have been Oakland, Washington, San Francisco, San Diego, Baltimore and Texas.  The worst teams have been Houston (at least its better to go down hard and stockpile #1 Draft Picks guys.)  I have a feeling you will be there for a while with the division you are heading into and may even challenge the 120 Loss Single Season Record.  At least you are not going into the NL West  to compete with the LA Dodgers!  The Cleveland Indians have fallen to an epic drop-off as well.  Toronto misses their top sluggers.  What has happened to the Minnesota Twins? The Mets have ownership and payroll problems, so at least they have an excuse.  Plus they lead the world in guys being hurt.  When David Wright has been your healthiest player, you know the season has been backwards!  So sit back, get your notebook and popcorn ready for this Month’s Rankings! Read the rest of this entry

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