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MLB Reports: Welcome to our newest Kids writer Jason Alpert-Wisnia – for being selected to join our MLB Reports Kids Writing team. We are pleased to present the readers with a youthful look to the game of baseball. Moms and Dad’s – if you have a young kid who loves baseball and wants to write about the game, please email us at email@example.com. We will be selecting three more kid writers for our website this year.
By Jason Alpert-Wisnia (AKA “JAWS”): (MLB Reports Kids Writer – visit his website here )
The Cincinnati Reds last season had a 97 Wins and 65 Losses Team Record, scoring them 1st place in the NL Central last season. The team could have made it even farther in the Postseason, maybe even beating the Giants and becoming the NL representatives, BUT, they missed their chance in losing 3 straight tries to eliminate the club from the BAY after taking a commanding 2 – 0 lead in the Series.
During the year Joey Votto injured his knee and was out for a while along with the manager Dusty Baker having a stroke, and you have to wonder about these two incidents not factoring in them feeling less than 100% heading into the Playoffs.
You throw in Johnny Cueto‘s injury moving up all of the depth on the Starting Pitching versus the Giants in the 2012, and you can see that things spiraled downward.
Joey Votto Highlights – Mature Lyrics so Parental Guidance is advised:
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Monday February 11th, 2013
Jonathan Hacohen (Lead Baseball Columnist, Oakland A’s Correspondent and Website Founder): Follow @Jhacohen
Mark down the date of February 4th, 2013. The day that Billy Beane broke my heart. In preparing for my latest A’s feature, the working title of the article was “Chris Carter: The Next Great A’s Superstar”. Then fate intervened. Or rather, Beane decided to pull off one too many trades. After a successful offseason that saw the A’s GM bolster significantly bolster his playoff squad, Beane decided that one more blockbuster move was in order. Jed Lowrie was headed to Oakland, with Chris Carter (the good one), Max Stassi and Brad Peacock going over to the Astros. For the purpose of this piece, I will be focusing on the loss of Carter. Stassi is a former 4th round pick of the A’s and a young 21 Year Old catching prospect. With Derek Norris ready to grab the A’s catching job for the next decade, I can see how he was expandable. Peacock was a 41st round pick of the Nationals. A 25 Year Old arm that may develop one day, but crashed and burned last season in AAA. With the A’s pitching depth, I can see how he could be ticketed out-of-town for a change of scenery. But Chris Carter? Really Billy??!! You worked your magic to get him in the first place from the Diamondbacks. I certainly hope that your return pans out (Jed Lowrie and Fernando Rodriguez). Right now, I simply cannot see the logic of this move.
Tuesday October 23rd, 2012
Jake Dal Porto: The San Francisco Giants and current Reds’ manager Dusty Baker just don’t seem to mix all that well. Baker had a very capable Reds squad just a win away from the NLCS, putting pressure on the Giants to win all of the remaining three games. And they did, doing their best imitation of the comeback kids.
The thing is, the Reds weren’t expected to be on vacation by the end of the second week of October. They were built for a World Series run. They had the pitching, the powerful offense, and air-tight defense all in their favor to make a charge. They didn’t boast the second best record in baseball by accident. This was a team on a mission- a team of destiny.
More simply put, their expectations and the fans’ expectations exceeded a first round departure, especially with a lofty 2-0 lead in their home park. Of course, DustyBaker doesn’t deserve all the blame. He set up his troops to succeed and they didn’t answer the bell at home. It’s that simple, and there really is nothing else he or any other manager could have done differently to alter the outcome of that series. Read the rest of this entry
Thursday, October 4th, 2012
Alex Mednick (Baseball Analyst and Writer):
With the last games of the 2012 regular season being officially completed yesterday I get the same feeling I do every season…it’s a sickening pain in my stomach, that makes me want to hibernate and not wake up until April comes around. For baseball lovers, we are all very familiar with this feeling. We find solace in the fact that with the exception of the month of November, we can still follow baseball transactions all year-long. Furthermore, we cannot get too upset; baseball isn’t really over. In fact, some might argue that it is just beginning!
The boys of summer play all those games in the summer heat for one reason. The grueling 162 game schedule sees many ups and many downs, and all of these challenges are met with a firm resolve: to do whatever it takes to get to the postseason. October is the time when the weather turns cold, and ball players become unshaven warriors duking it out to be the victorious few who have the honor to take a championship ring home this offseason. Read the rest of this entry
Saturday September 22nd, 2012
John Burns: As you all know, the almighty Chipper Jones will be retiring from baseball after this season. He is it calling it quits after 19 seasons in the Majors. The 40 year-old Chipper Jones has been one of the best players in baseball for a longtime. With his outstanding career numbers, it is no question that one day he will be inducted into Cooperstown. A lock to be a first-ballot inductee. Jones has been part of Atlanta’s organization for 22 years after being drafted number first overall to the Braves in the 1990 MLB Draft. That is a lot of years at the hot corner, as well as some time spent in the outfield.
How will Atlanta recover without Chipper playing third every day? Are there any possible replacements? Besides his play on the field, can his leadership be replaced? This might shock a lot of you… but could David Wright be the one to replace Chipper in Atlanta? Read the rest of this entry
Monday September 17th, 2012
Jake Dal Porto: The Reds look primed to win the World Series. This year. They have all the making of one of those rare seasons. Young guys have stepped up greatly, veterans are producing, and they sit on an 11 game lead in the N.L Central.
Can they win the World Series?
They have a good chance. With that being said, they aren’t merely the clear-cut favorites. That honor goes to the Nationals in the National League or the Rangers in the American League. But outside of those two clubs, it’s anyone’s best guess as to who will win the pennant in each league. Meaning the Reds would likely be one of the multiple favorites come October. Read the rest of this entry
ATR: Ask the Reports Answers Your Baseball Questions: Strasburg, Valentine, Rolen to Cooperstown, Josh Hamilton to the Red Sox and More
Sunday September 9th, 2012
Jonathan Hacohen: Posted every Weekend: Your top baseball questions from the past week are answered. E-mail all questions to firstname.lastname@example.org, message us on Twitter, post on our Facebook Wall and leave comments on our website! There are many ways to reach us and we will get to your questions from all social media outlets!
Jonathan Hacohen: Many great questions this week people, as always. With the playoffs and WBC qualifiers around the corner, people are baseball crazy! Every week it is getting harder and harder to select the questions for ATR. People are feeling baseball fever and I see it in every corner. From the comments on our site, your e-mails, tweets and posts on Facebook, we hear from each of you in so many ways. Ah….gotta love the age of social media! Make sure to keep the questions and comments coming every week. You never know when your baseball insight will appear on MLB reports!
Before I get into this week’s questions, a quick comment. Saturday become lockdown day for Stephen Strasburg. From the second I jumped into my car yesterday and turned on MLB Network Radio, all I heard was Davey Johnson shutting down Stras for the year. I like Davey, but I have to say that blaming the media pressure is weak. In case you weren’t aware, Strasburg was supposed to have one more start next week before officially being shutdown for the season. Now, he is done for the year. Just like that.
People ask me all the time if I think the Nationals are doing the right thing. My response is a clear: NO! I cannot ascertain for the life of me what the Nats are thinking. They are committing the equivalent of baseball suicide in my book. When you have the chance to go far in the playoffs, you go for it. Period. There is no medical evidence of any clear cutoff point for Strasburg’s season. The reality is that any innings limit is a guess by the team. There is no true merit for shutting him down. Even Dr. Lewis Yocum has indicated that there is no clear sign of whether Strasburg should not pitch further. But let’s say we are even going to say that 160 innings was Strasburg’s limit. The Nationals knew this for some time and could have arranged their rotation to fit the limit. Skipping starts earlier in the season and limiting innings per start would have allow Strasburg to pitch further into the year, including the postseason. What was the use of having him pitch into games when the Nats had a commanding lead in the NL East?
The Nats have a 5.5 game lead as of today. If the lead gets cut any further, wouldn’t it have been nice to have your team pitching for you at the end of the year? What about a Wild Card one-game sudden death playoff? NLDS? NLCS? World Series? The bottom line is this: if the Nationals do not win the world series, Johnson and GM Mike Rizzo will have Strasburg-Gate hanging over them for the rest of their lives. Never mind the fact that the kid is upset and may never forgive the team for not letting him compete. There is a roster full of guys busting their behinds for a championship. Removing one of their top weapons for the playoffs hurts team morale, confidence and the ability to compete. We never know what next year or future years will bring. 2012 is a special year for Washington. You always go for it when you can.
Now let’s get to your top questions of the week: Read the rest of this entry
Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer): Follow @chuckbooth3024 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
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 here.
Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer): Follow @chuckbooth3024-The Phillies have had an incredible run in the last decade of baseball. Most of that time has been spent at Citizens Bank Ball Park which is a very hitter-friendly park. The management was smart enough to draft a whole bunch of offensive talent like Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, Pat Burrell, Scott Rolen, Jimmy Rollins and even J.D Drew(who never signed in 1997 with the Phillies and went back into the 1998 draft.) They also traded Scott Rolen for Placido Polanco. These guys have all taken advantage of the new baseball cathedral. Ryan Howard leads all active players in HRs per AB in the Major Leagues with hitting a HR per just a little over 13 AB. There is still a long way to go to chase down Michael Jack Schmidt. His 548 Career HRs and 1595 RBI lead the ALL-Time totals on the Phillies by quite a big margin.
Criteria for being put on this list was quite simple. You had to be a player of significance on the Franchise. Great watermarks are: 1000 hits, 100 HRs, 1000 games, if you led the league in any category for a few seasons or batted .285 or higher for the duration of your time. This is what I was looking for to include the players on the list. It has taken me a lengthy period of time to siphon through 130 years of baseball to bring you this list. From Ed Delahanty and Billy Hamilton, to Richie Ashburn and Dick Allen, to Mike Schmidt and Greg Luzinki, to Von Hayes, to John Kruk and Lenny Dykstra, to Bobby Abreu and Scott Rolen-to finally get us to the gentlemen aforementioned in the first paragraph. I want this study to be as interactive as I can with the readers. If you feel that there is someone worthy of being included in the list for hitters, please feel free to comment or send me an email to email@example.com. I would be glad to edit this post and add to it. After all, if you are reading this, chances are you are a Phillies fan, I am just a baseball historian.
For Part 1 of The 4 Part Phillies Article Series: The Franchise- click here
For Part 3 of The 4 Part Phillies Article Series: The Pitchers- click here
For Part 4 of the Phillies Article Series: Team Payroll and Contractual Statuses click here
Ryan Howard Highlight reel
Note from Chuck Booth: I am attempting to bring the history for each of the 30 MLB Franchises into a 5 part series that will focus on 1. The teams history. 2. The hitters 3. The pitchers. 4. The Team’s Payroll going into in 2013 and 5. (The stadium articles will all be done next summer when I go to all of the parks in under a month again.) To follow all of the updates, be sure to check my author page with a list of all archived articles here.
Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer): Follow @chuckbooth3024 The Phillies started as a franchise in 1883 in the city of Philadelphia-and have the longest continued stretch as their original name. It has been a club that suffered tremendous droughts for the player and fans alike. Only in recent vintage (since 1975) has this team come into permanent prominence, with the now Hall of Fame Mike Schmidt entering the league and turning the fortunes of the city. From signing Pete Rose to put them over the top for their 1st World Series Trophy, to just re-signing Cole Hamels to a 144 Million Dollar Contract, the team has been adamantly aggressive in keeping its name amongst the elite in baseballs annals.
One could even argue that the Phillies had been the best team in baseball from 2008 up until the start of this season. I recently named this club the best team from the years 1980-1983 and then again for the years of 2008-2009. But before the likes of: Ryan Howard, Chase Utley and Jimmy Rollins, or Curt Schilling, Lenny Dykstra and Darren Daulton, or Mike Schmidt, Steve Carlton and Pete Rose, they were plenty of other men who left a mark on this historic NL Franchise. We will look at all of the significant players that ever played for the club as a pitcher or hitter. The pitchers and hitters will be focused on solely in the next 2 weeks. Let us look and how the team has fared in its history.
Here are the final pitches of the 2008 World Series between the Philadelphia Phillies and the Tampa Bay Rays. Property of Major League Baseball & Fox.
For Part 2 of The 4 Part Philles Article Series: The Hitters, click here.
For Part 3 of The 4 Part Phillies Article Series: The Pitchers- click here
For Part 4 of the Phillies Article Series: Team Payroll and Contractual Statuses click here
Wednesday July.4, 2012
Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer and @chuckbooth3024 on twitter)-We are going to bring you monthly power rankings every month of the season. There will be a few notes written for each team. Please feel free to let us know your thoughts. The Texas Rangers are the top ranked team yet once again, although teams are certainly gaining on the them in the last month. If this report was being done last week I might have put the New York Yankees in 1st and Texas in 2nd. A 7 game winning streak help preserve another month for Texas on the leader-board. There were superior months by Aaron Hill, Jose Bautista, Joey Votto , Jason Heyward and a new phenomenon was born with Jose Altuve. It was a great month for the MLB. With 20 teams within 5.5 games or less for the playoff races, we are sure to see some serious movements in the Power Rankings in the 2nd half of the season.
Standings taken before play Tuesday July.03/2012
July Power Rankings-Last Month Rank in Parenthesis
1. Texas-50-30 (1) The Rangers rode a 7 game winning streak to end up 18-8 for the last month. David Murphy, Adrian Beltre and Elvis Andrus all hit over .300 in the last 30 days. The Rangers were able to weather a slow spurt from Josh Hamilton, in which he hit .222 with only 4 HRs for the month. Matt Harrison has asserted himself as an ace on the staff with a 5-0 month with a 1.29 ERA, while leading the American League with 11 wins on the year. The Rangers have 6 players going to the ALL-Star Game including 3 starters. Yu Darvish can make a 7th if he is voted into the final roster spot with his rookie campaign of 10-5 so far.
2. NY Yankees 48-31(5) The Yankees have ridden good pitching and a hot bat from Robinson Cano to a 19-7 record over the last month, with a 5 games lead over their competition in the AL East. Cano hit .370 with 12 HRs and 24 RBI in the last month. Derek Jeter is hitting .298 overall but saw his average go from .389 in April, to .283 in May to .232 in June. He still tops a list of 4 Yankees heading to the ALL-Star Game including 23 HR homer man Curtis Granderson. Phil Hughes went 5-1 in the month with a 2.59 ERA and Ivan Nova won his 3 decisions with a miniscule 1.32 ERA. Rafael Soriano has converted 18 out of 19 save opportunities since taking over as team closer.
3. San Francisco 45-30 (9) The Giants went 16-11 in the month and saw a perfect game from Matt Cain, with a few other 1 hitters. The team shutout the Dodgers 3 games in a row in a series last week. The Giants have Pablo Sandoval, Buster Posey and Melky Cabrera starting in KC next week. The Melkman continues to show that last year was no fluke with his .352 Average and he is leading the Major Leagues with 111 base hits. The Giants pitching staff has coped with the loss of Brian Wilson and the ineffectiveness of starter Tim Lincecum, by the rest of the staff having career years.
4. LA Angels 45-35 (12) The Angels have been really steady since the end of May. They just finished going 17-8 in the last 25 days on the backs of ALL-Stars Mike Trout, Mark Trumbo and resurgent Albert Pujols. Trout might be the most exciting player on the planet these days and is a lock for AL Rookie of the Year if he keeps this up. Trout hit .367 over the last month and has taken over the AL batting lead with a .342 AVG. Trumbo hit 10 HRs and drove in 28 RBI for the month and Pujols hit .337. to raise his average 40 points. C.J Wilson was good enough in June to be named as CC Sabathia‘s replacement at the ALL-Star game.
5. Washington 45-32(9) Mike Morse has returned to the lineup with a vengeance during the last week with a .484 average. Super Sub Tyler Moore has also hit .415 in the last 14 games with 4 HRs and 12 RBI. Ian Desmond had 16 Extra base hits for the month to go along with 20 RBI, while he made the ALL-Star game as a reserve. Ryan Zimmerman awoke from a season long slump to plate 17 RBI. Adam LaRoche still contributed 7 HRs and 15 RBI despite a paltry .191 average in June. Stephen Strasburg is 9-3 on the year with a 2.81 ERA and a league leading 122 SO. Gio Gonzalez is 11-3 with a 3.01 ERA. Both Gonzalez and Strasburg made the ALL-Star squad. Read the rest of this entry
Reds Sunday Select: Is Dusty Baker the Right Manager in Cincy? And the Premiere of the Billy Hamilton Report
Ryan Ritchey (Baseball Writer, Reds Expert): Welcome to the premiere of Reds Sunday Select. This is going to be a segment on the Reports in which I post a weekly article on the Reds organization. At the end of each article, you will find an update on the up-and-coming star prospect for the Reds, Billy Hamilton. This week on the Reds Sunday Select is Dusty Baker and the job that he has done so far running this Reds team.
Dusty Baker has been in Cincinnati since ’08 and has yet to win a playoff game. He has made it to the playoffs once, in 2010 on the back of Joey Votto‘s MVP season. In Dusty’s 19 seasons as a manager, he has a 17-22 record in the playoffs, which in my opinion isn’t getting the job done. He has never won a World Series title, falling short back in ’02 with a 7-game series loss to the Angels. Do I believe Dusty Baker is a great manager? Yes I do. He has a strong career winning record as a manager. Which tells me he can win games, but just not get it done in the playoffs- which is where it really matters. Read the rest of this entry
Chuck Booth (Baseball Writer and @chuckbooth3024 on twitter)- Extra base hits kind of go hand in hand with slugging percentage to an extent. I have often used this category every season as a gauge on how good a player does. Sometimes there are extenuating circumstances why a player hits more doubles and triples rather than home runs but they are all considered extra base hits. Adrian Beltre is a perfect example of this. During his Seattle Mariner days, he would blast about 15-20 baseballs off the fences at Safeco Field every year (for a double or triple) that would have been an HR if he did not play in such a pitcher friendly park. This list represents great careers. If a player can reach the magic 1000 extra base hits, they will be hard to ignore for consideration towards Cooperstown. I have omitted Manny Ramirez from an active player. It is my firm belief that the man served a 50 game suspension for a team like Oakland, only to quit on them and maybe land on another club. If he is able to catch on with another job with a club, I will gladly put his name back as #2 player on this active list.
TOP 10 as of June.17/2012
Player Extra Base Hits Leaders Active (Rank All-Time)
1. Alex Rodriguez NYY 1169 (10)
2. Jim Thome PHI 1079 (20)
3. Chipper Jones ATL 1026 (26)
4. Vladimir Guerrero (FA) 972 (39)
5. Todd Helton COL 956 (45)
6. Albert Pujols LAA 941 (50)
7. Bobby Abreu LAD 908 (60)
8. David Ortiz BOS 886 (64)
9. Johnny Damon CLE 859 (73)
10. Scott Rolen CIN 857 (75)
I fully think that Vladimir Guerrero will sign with someone soon. At 972 extra base hits, he is 28 extra base hits away from that 1000 marker. If a team signs him in the next few weeks, he may have a chance to get there before the end of the season. Below is a 5 minute highlight package of his career thus far. There is not many Expos highlights, you can always search Youtube for more.
Saturday April.22, 2012
Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer and @chuckbooth3024 on twitter)- I found Ben Wahrle’s website over a year ago. All of his MLB Park write-ups are highly detailed as you can find on the web. This young man has a strong future ahead of him in this business. I recently had a chance to interview Ben about Milwaukee, tailgating and other traditions at Miller Park.”
DB: “Welcome to the MLB Reports Miller Park Expert Interview Ben. Please tell us about yourself and then give us some information on your life as a Brewer fan?”
BW: “I am 19 years old and currently working as a professional pizza chef at a local pizzeria. I have been to 24/30 current MLB ballparks. My goal is to make to every MLB ballpark. On average I go to 28 games at several different ballparks a year. I am die-hard Brewers fan and have been to every home opener the last 6 years. I always try to make it to at least 4 Brewer road games.”
DB: “You have been to many of the MLB teams parks Ben, what is your favorite park outside of Miller Park?”
BW: “Fenway Park- The atmosphere and the surrounding area is like nothing else around in MLB. The crowd seems like it is into every pitch. As soon as you walk into Fenway Park or Wrigley Field as a baseball fan you admire the history of the park.”
DB : “Talk about what inspired you to create www.benwahrlebaseballparks.com?”
BW: “As I was going to more baseball games I wanted a way to track all the games and ballparks I had been to. It was also a great way to show my friends, family and the public about each park. My site has a lot of great detail and stories. It also shows my upcoming trips, and every time I go to a game I keep track of each player’s statistics.”
DB: “Miller Park is on everybody’s short list for the best tailgate ballpark in the MLB, what can you tell us about these pre-game rituals?”
BW: “It is a party like atmosphere whether it is opening day or the 40th home game of the season. Everyone enjoys the time with their friends by grilling out and playing beanie bag toss.”
DB: “What advice would you give for somebody experiencing Miller Park for the very first time?”
BW: “You have to tailgate at least once at Miller Park. Lastly if you go to a “hot” game make sure you buy parking in advance.”
DB: “What is your favorite method of transportation to Miller Park?”
BW: “Miller Park is very easy to get to unlike some parks where you have to take a train, cab or a bus. Miller Park is right off the interstate, so everyone drives to the park.”
DB: “What is the food like at Miller Park? What is your favorite ballpark food there?”
BW: Over the last couple of years they have done a great job of adding different foods like garlic fries, pasta, and many different kinds of sandwiches. My favorite ballpark food at Miller Park has to be the loaded nachos or the honey roasted nuts.”
DB: “What is your favorite all time game that you have been in attendance for at Miller Park?”
BW: “Hands down it is the Carlos Zambrano no-hitter vs Astros in 2008. In Houston a hurricane occurred, MLB decided to locate the game to Miller Park. I remember going to the game and it was supposed to be a home game for the Astros but I would say about 90% were Cubs fans. This was a home game basically for the Cubs.”
DB: “Bob Uecker is one of the best radio personalities in the game. In your own words, how does the city of Milwaukee like him?”
BW: “He is an inspiration to this city, the fans adore him for what he has done. Over 50 years in the booth is a great accomplishment.”
DB: “With Prince Fielder leaving, the Brewers were lucky that Ryan Braun did not have to miss the 1st 50 games for the PED scandal. Does this give the Brewers a chance to contend in the NL Central now?
BW: “I think all the facts need to come out first before we decide Ryan Braun guilty. Obviously no one can replace Prince and what he brings to the team day by day. Aramis Ramirez can make up some of the production. Ramirez had a terrific year last year hitting .306 with 26 home runs. This central division is wide open. The Brewers still have a good rotation in Yovani Gallardo, Zack Greinke, Shaun Marcum and Randy Wolf. Also the bats of the NL MVP Ryan Braun, Aramis Ramirez, Corey Hart, and Rickie Weeks. Even though the Cardinals lost the best player in the game- Albert Pujols , they are getting Adam Wainwright back. They will have a David Freese for a whole season with Matt Holliday. The Reds are another team with good pitching. The starters did not do a good job last year for the Reds. Acquiring Mat Latos was huge for the Reds this offseason. The Reds lineup has a lot of depth with Jay Bruce, Joey Votto, Scott Rolen, Brandon Phillips, Drew Stubbs. Overall I still like the Brewers chances of getting back to the postseason.”
***Thank you to our Miller Park Expert- Ben Warhle for participating in today’s article. If you would like to read more about Ben and his baseball travels click here ***
***Thank you to our Baseball Writer Chuck Booth for preparing today’s feature on MLB reports. To learn more about “The Fastest 30 Ballgames” and Chuck Booth, you can follow Chuck on Twitter (@ChuckBooth3024) and you can also follow Chuck’s website for his Guinness Book of World Record Bid to see all 30 MLB Park in 23 days click here or on the 30 MLB Parks in 23 days GWR tracker at the Reports click here. To Purchase or read about “The Fastest 30 Ballgames Book, ” please click here ***
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Monday March. 12, 2012
Douglas ‘Chuck’ Booth (Baseball Writer): When I was a kid, the best players in the game of baseball all seemed to play Third or First Base. Think back to the mid-eighties, where George Brett, Wade Boggs, Mike Schmidt, Howard Johnson, Terry Pendleton and Paul Molitor were some of the better players in the game. Even Bobby Bonilla broke into the Majors at third base. The next wave of third baseman were impressive too, guys like: Chipper Jones, Ken Caminiti, a young Scott Rolen, Vinny Castilla and Robin Ventura. As little as five years ago, there was Alex Rodriguez and David Wright both being top-5 players in baseball. When you added Miguel Cabrera and Mike Lowell to the mix, it was a pretty formidable bunch of players at the Hot Corner. Read the rest of this entry
Wednesday December 28, 2011
Jeff P (Guest Writer – MLB reports): The amnesty clause has received a great deal of attention in the National Basketball Association, as it became a new provision in the new collective bargaining system. The amnesty clause allows a team to terminate a player’s contract, though it comes with certain conditions and restrictions.
First of all, if a player is amnestied, his contract doesn’t go against the salary cap. As a result, players like Chauncey Billups, Travis Outlaw, and others with large contracts, were amnestied. However, only one player per team can be amnestied. When this occurs, he goes to the waiver wire, and teams can proceed to bid for his services.
An amnesty clause would help many MLB teams lower their financial deficits. It might not make players happy, but business is business, and in many cases an amnesty clause is very much-needed.
The amnesty clause not only helps a team clear financial deficit. It can also play a huge role for a team that needs to acquire just one small missing piece in the quest for a championship. Without a doubt, if an amnesty clause is put into place, there will be some talented players available on the waiver wire. It will be enjoyable for fans to follow the player movement. New players could change the look of different teams. A new available player could take a team to the playoffs. He can help his new team succeed. Having an amnesty clause in place could prove to be very beneficial to all teams involved, financially and in competitive balance.
Currently Major League Baseball has no form of amnesty clause in place. Even so, let’s take the time today to project if it was. Here is a look of each MLB team if an amnesty clause was in effect in Major League Baseball.
Boston Red Sox
The Victim: John Lackey
He had the Boston Red Sox record for the highest earned run average in at least 150 innings in 2011. He is getting paid over $15 million each season. He posted 12 horrific losses, and had a 6.41 earned run average, not to mention he is expected to miss the whole 2012 MLB season, due to Tommy John surgery. The unlucky man’s name is John Lackey.
It all started off on December 16, 2009, when John Lackey signed an eye-opening contract worth $82.5 million dollars over 5 years with the Boston Red Sox. He had a disappointing start as he posted a 14-11 record, with a 4.40 ERA in 2010, and topped that off with a 12-12 record, and a 6.41 earned run average in 2011 and the announcement that he would miss the 2012 season with Tommy John surgery.
His contract is up in 2014.
It is clear to say, John Lackey should be a victim of the amnesty clause.
Toronto Blue Jays
The Victim: Mark Teahen
Mark Teahen was acquired by the Toronto Blue Jays from the Chicago White sox near the trade deadline in July. He finished off the 2011 season with a .200 average, four homers, and 14 runs batted in. He is getting paid $5.5 million this coming season, which is the last season of his contract.
Teahen, really doesn’t have much of a role in 2012 as part of the Blue Jays organization. As a backup, a player with $5.5 million contract, in a small market team is enough to be amnestied.
New York Yankees
Alex Rodriguez had an off-year. He played less than 100 games, and only posted decent stats. Rodriguez is a good player, and would be a Yankee fixture likely for many more years to come. But he has the largest contract in the league, which must be terminated. He is getting paid almost $30 million per season throughout 2017, and is declining, as next season he will turn 37-years-old.
The Yankees can get much better pieces with the large contract he has.
A.J. Burnett has come off another terrible season, and has shown no signs of getting better. He is receiving about $16.5 million per year throughout the 2013 season, and has given the Yankees nothing but trouble. For the past two seasons, he posted an earned run average above five, and the Yankees would have no reason in the world not to terminate his contract if they had a choice.
The Victim: Brian Roberts
This was an easy one. Brian Roberts’ season was filled with injuries, and his bat is going into decline. Despite Roberts’ speed and strong defense, overall a .221 average, three homers, and only six steals, do not justify his large contract.
Brian Roberts has $10 million per year remaining on his contract through to the 2013 season. As he gets older and continues his decline, the former all-star’s playing days are nearing an end. With a large contract, it is clear that Roberts would be amnestied if the team had the choice.
Tampa Bay Rays
The Victims: No One
I’ll be honest here, the Tampa Bay Rays have been extremely lucky. The Rays have a terrific team, even as a small market team, and their players played very well during the past season. In fact, the Rays aren’t even paying very high salaries to any players, with the largest salary they have being around $7 million, which is going to James Shields, who was a contender for the Cy Young award last year.
Chicago White Sox
The Victim: Adam Dunn
Adam Dunn, is getting paid $15 million per season through 2014, yet he did not exhibit any valuable skills during his first season in Chicago. His power was barely existent, his average barely got past the .150 mark, and his defensive skills are negligible. Even though the White Sox have Jake Peavy, and Alex Rios, who aren’t worthy of their contracts, they are still playable.
Adam Dunn is just horrible. He is not a useful piece at this point in the White Sox puzzle.
The Victim: Travis Hafner
Travis Hafner has been a nice contributor in previous seasons, but he isn’t worthy of his whopping $13 million per year contract.
In 94 games last season, Hafner posted 13 homers, and a decent .280 average. Hafner is still a good player, although he is not the same player as the 2005 season Hafner, or the 2006 season Hafner where he was contending for the MVP award. Hafner remains a clutch player and positive influence in the dugout, but his contract is slightly high for an aging 34-year-old.
Kansas City Royals
The Victim: No One
The Royals’ team is filled with youth, and cheap pieces. The Royals contracts aren’t very bad as a whole. Their main star, Joakim Soria, had a slumping season last year. Since his contract is made up entirely of options, there is no reason in the world to amnesty him. Also Soria is still an elite player. The Kansas City Royals are looking at some great youth coming up to the big leagues, and own arguably the best farm system in the league.
The Victim: Brandon Inge
Brandon Inge is a clear victim. $5.5 million in salary makes him a clear candidate for amnesty, while his batting average didn’t hit the .200 point, and he only had three homers last season. Despite his strong defensive side, and being a piece to the team, he’d be dropped.
The Tigers, remain a successful team, with large contracts, yet none deserve to be terminated. In the averaged Detroit market, $5.5 million for a player who has no offensive side is a clear victim for the amnesty clause.
The Victim: Joe Mauer
The answer to that question is no. Mauer had an unexpected downfall in the 2011 season, where he only played 82 games, batted .287 (36 points less than his career average), and hit only three homers. His plagued season earns him the amnesty spot. He isn’t consistent on the field, nor is he healthy. No one here can argue $23 million is well deserved at this point. Too much risk for us.
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
The Victim: Vernon Wells
When we hear the name Vernon Wells, the thoughts are apparent: a once powerful bat, with a whopping contract. Wells was traded to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim during the last offseason for Mike Napoli and Juan Rivera. Napoli had an outstanding breakout season while Vernon Wells just proved he can’t hit a ground ball through the middle.
Wells has a well-known name. He is a three-time All-Star, two-time Gold Glove winner, and had a nice batting average once upon a time. When a person looks at his whopping contract, the jaws are widened, and the name will get cut off the list with amnesty. If only it were that simple for the Angels.
The Victim: Ichiro Suzuki
Ichiro Suzuki had a horrific 2011 season despite his 40 stolen bases, which is a mere luxury for the team considering Chone Figgins, and various other sources of speed on the team. The Mariners would be quick to amnesty Ichiro, because his bat is slumping, average is down, he has no power, and speed in itself isn’t worth $17 million a year.
The Victim: No One
The Rangers do not have many problems with contracts, and have none worth the amnesty clause. They really need little work with their team, and are only a little step away from winning their rings, which they almost got each of the last two years.
The Victim: Brian Fuentes
The Athletics are a small market team, but received little help from the closer who had absolutely no luck last year, which resulted in eight losses on his record. Brian Fuentes in actually doesn’t deserve to be amnestied, considering he had a decent 3.70 earned run average. Fuentes is set to earn $5.5 million this year.
With the contract being large for a small market team, and his unsuccessful 2-8 record, they would cut him in a second.
New York Mets
The Victim: Jason Bay
The Mets are plagued with their high, unsuccessful payroll, and with often injured Johan Santana and Jason Bay. There is a lot to say about Bay, as he was signed for a whopping $16 million per year, failed to reach the .250 batting average mark, and didn’t even provide a power bat, as he posted only 12 homers during the 2011 season.
Johan Santana, can also be a likely victim. Santana, is going to get paid a whopping $24 million next year, and still might be plagued with his constant injuries. Santana has lost a great deal of time due to injuries, although he still has a nice chance to come back with a successful future in a Mets uniform. Bay though is a lost case in my estimation, and the Mets without amnesty would need to suffer with him throughout the 2013 season.
The Victim: Ricky Nolasco
The Marlins have a new team, a new star, an above average pitcher in Mark Buehrle, and some depth adding to it.
Ricky Nolasco posted a horrific 4.67 earned run average last year, and had 12 losses. This could result in an amnesty clause cut. Nolasco’s contract isn’t very pretty, as he still has a remaining $20.5 million through the next two seasons.
Nolasco is still a decent piece, and would be picked up by a team, for reasonable money. He has good skills, but his stats ruin his chances of being worth a big contract in the Major League Baseball market.
The Victim: Jayson Werth
The Nationals have an up-and-coming team. They have Stephen Strasburg, Bryce Harper, some nice depth, given their current roster, and of course, the newly acquired Gio Gonzales. However, Jayson Werth is a failure, and is set to receive $116 million over the next six years.
Jayson Werth had a horrific season in 2011, giving the Nationals troubles all season long. Werth posted 20 homers last year, but only had a .232 average, as he showed similar symptoms of slumping power hitting, as did Adam Dunn, Alex Rios, and several others.
With an amnesty clause, the Nationals would cut Werth with a blink. Werth had a terrible season, and didn’t satisfy any of the Nationals needs.
The Victim: Joe Blanton
The Philadelphia Phillies have an All-Star rotation, and Joe Blanton just doesn’t make the cut. Joe Blanton, had an injury-plagued season in 2011, and Vance Worley took his spot, and was extremely successful. Rookie Vance Worley unexpectedly posted eleven wins, a 3.01 earned run average, and earned a spot in the rotation.
With Joe Blanton slumping and barely playing last season, his $8.5 million contract coming into the bank in 2012, he is a clear cut for the Phillies.
The Victim: No One
There’s really is no one to choose from the team. The Braves, had a good season, and their players succeeded greatly. Derek Lowe was dealt, Chipper Jones was an All-Star, and Dan Uggla had a late season surge. There is no one left. Their team is set, if only there was an amnesty to cut Derek Lowe’s remaining $10 million dollar contract.
The Victim: Scott Rolen
Scott Rolen had his time. The Reds are going to pay Rolen $6.5 million next year, while he only posted a .242 batting average. The Reds are clear to cut him despite his attitude as a great teammate, and his decent glove.
The Victim: Randy Wolf
The Wolf is out of the house. Wolf had a nice season last year, but can the 35-year-old continue his winning ways?
Wolf will be receiving $9.5 million next year, and the hopes are pretty low him. Not many believe he will be worthy of $9.5 million, including the Brewers. Soon enough, he will be the victim of amnesty clause.
The Victim: Carlos Lee
Carlos Lee is set to receive a whopping $19 million a year, and he is expected to have a similar year to this past year, which was 18 homers, a .275 batting average, and 94 runs batted in. Despite his decent stats, the $19 million really hurts. The Astros wouldn’t mind oto cut Lee in a second, if the amnesty clause rule was in effect.
Did anyone realize the Pittsburgh Pirates payroll is only $10 million more dollars than Alex Rodriguez’s contract?
Yep, it’s $42 million this coming season, and they have no immediate victims worth using the amnesty clause. They aren’t even paying a single player more than $5.5 million. That is insanity in this day and age.
St. Louis Cardinals
The Victim: No One
The Cardinals players as a whole were extremely successful this year. There was Lance Berkman, who coming off a slumping season broke out in 2011, with a 30 homer, .300 batting average season. Kyle Lohse had a surprising 3.39 earned run average, and 14 deserving wins. The Cards are in good shape going into 2012.
The Victim: Alfonso Soriano
If only a team can use the amnesty clause an unlimited amount of times. The Chicago Cubs have Alfonso Soriano, who is receiving $18 million per season throughout 2014. They also have the clubhouse hell known as Carlos Zambrano.
Alfonso Soriano makes the cut. The 35-year-old enjoyed a nice power season last year, as he posted 26 homers, though his .244 average makes him a clear choice for the cut. The seven time All-Star is on a downfall, and he would be the Cubs choice if there was an amnesty clause rule.
San Francisco Giants
The Victim: Barry Zito
The San Francisco Giants, have a strong rotation, and similar to the situation the Phillies had with Joe Blanton, the Giants have a decision to make with Barry Zito.
Barry Zito has $39 million remaining on his contract for the next two years. His injury-plagued season may cause him to be lost, and stuck with no spot. Replacing Barry Zito in the rotation was Ryan Vogelsong in 2011, who had a 13-7 win to loss record, and a 2.71 earned run average. Zito is now working in Triple-A after suffering from two hectic injuries in the 2011 season.
The Victim: No One
The Diamondbacks had a whopping breakout season last year, and have almost no financial issues either. They have a clear path to be successful in the upcoming years. As their total payroll is only $56 million, there is no reason to cut anyone at the moment (especially since Joe Saunders is off the roster).
Los Angeles Dodgers
Juan Uribe is a terrible batter at the moment. After playing 77 games in 2011, he barely hit over .200, and only posted four homers. He has $15 million remaining on his contract, and with those stats, who would want to pay for that?
The Victim: Jorge De La Rosa
After suffering a complete tear of the ulnar collateral ligament, the Rockies would be bound to drop De La Rosa. Jorge De La Rosa had an average season last year despite being injury-plagued and inconsistent.
The last thing Rockies want is another dominant player having injury issues in the 2012 season. With Carlos Gonzalez, and Troy Tulowitzki suffering injuries last, year the last thing the Rockies want is $10 million dollar starter Jorge De La Rosa on the roster, and unable to contribute. The team needs to free up money for healthy alternatives.
San Diego Padres
The Victim: Jason Bartlett
The San Diego Padres, are financially in no deficit. In 2011 their payroll barely exceeded 45 million dollars, though they wouldn’t hesitate to cut an unneeded player.
Jason Bartlett, is a decent player, though his bat is unworthy of $5.5 million. He has a nice defensive side, and he has decent speed, though it is difficult to overlook his .245 batting average, and two homers last season.
The 32-year old had a paltry .307 slugging percentage last season, which was an all-time MLB record for the lowest slugging percentage for a player with over 512 at bats in a season.
***Today’s feature was prepared by Jeff P, Guest Writer to MLB reports. 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 Jeff on Twitter.***
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