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Breaking Down A Potential Suitor For My World Record Of 30 MLB Parks in 23 Days with a 30 – 21 bid

30 in 21 chance by Jake Beham

The schedule of Jake Beham, who is trying to chase down my World Record of Seeing all 30 MLB Parks (every pitch) in 23 calendar days or less.

The schedule of Jake Beham, who is trying to chase down my World Record of Seeing all 30 MLB Parks (every pitch) in 23 calendar days or less.  This schedule must have been done without knowing you have to witness all plays of the game to qualify.  Jake is going to have a tough time dodging a miss on day 2 – where he will try to beat Labor Day Monday traffic from after the game – in order to make 1st pitch at CBP.  He will never make it by car.  The Yankees always play games that are 3 Hours or longer as well.  Even Amtrak train is a longshot.  I give him a 10% chance to make it on his 1st Doubleheader attempt.

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

2 days later he flies to Chase Field – and has scheduled a Doubleheader with Angel Stadium For DH #2.  I am assuming he is planning on taking a Southwest Airlines flight that arrives at John Wayne Arpt.  The flight leaves Phoenix at 455 PM.

That is 4 hours and 15 minutes after 1st pitch.  The flight that arrives in SNA at 605.   If he makes the flight, he could make this.  However it is about a 67% chance.  Most NL games last about 2 hours and 35 minutes.

The airport is close enough to the park in PHX – as is SNA airport.  Any extra innings though, and it is over.

On FRI, Sept.6th, he has scheduled a Wrigley Field and Kauffman Stadium doubleheader for DH #3.  This one is impossible.  The game starts at 120 PM local Chicago Time.

The closest flight I saw that leaves ORD or MDW in time for Kansas City, leaves at 441 PM.  That is 3 hours and 21 minutes from 1st pitch at Wrigley Field.

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Athletics 8 Game Win Streak Is Nothing New To Pattern Formed Since Last Year

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Friday, Apr.12/2013

Oakland Athletics' Jed Lowrie has made Billy Beane look like a genius once again - with clubbing 16 hits, (8 of the Extra Base Variety), Scoring 10 Runs and Walking 6 times so far in the teams 8 - 2 start.  He has an OPS of 1.258 thus far.

Oakland Athletics’ Jed Lowrie has made Billy Beane look like a genius once again – with clubbing 16 hits, (8 of the Extra Base Variety), Scoring 10 Runs and Walking 6 times so far in the teams 8 – 2 start. He has an OPS of 1.258.  He was acquired from the Houston Astros in a February trade which sent Chris Carter the other way.  The man can play several defensive positions well.  He is due for Arbitration at the end of this season, before becoming a Free Agent in 2015.  Beane doesn’t seem to make a bad move these days.

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

Hands up.. How many people would have thought that the Oakland Athletics would start the 2013 season with the best record in the Major Leagues so far?

Of course this website is not surprised at all.  Jonathan Hacohen (Website Founder and current Oakland A’s Correspondent) wrote a brilliant piece in the 1st week of July/2012 – breaking down Billy Beane‘s new MoneyBall Philosophy here.

I have to admit something right now..  I had not seen the movie “MoneyBall” even by this time.  Yes…brutal and I was kicking myself for not seeing it before hand.

After the movie, I did some digging and was extremely flabbergasted with what I found about Beane’s magic.  I wrote a Roster Tree for the Hitters and Pitchers in the organization.  I studied every single transaction to back track how each of the current member of the team had arrived in an Oakland uniform.  You can find that 2 part series here.

Can the Oakland A’s Do it Again in 2013 Preview:

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Oakland A’s Player Roster in 2013: State Of The Union Part 2: The Pitchers

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Sunday, Mar.24/2013

A.J Griffin was 7-1 with a 3.06 ERA in 15 Games Started for the A's in his 2012 Rookie Season.  The A's will look for the 24 Year old for some Quality Starts in 2013

A.J Griffin was 7-1 with a 3.06 ERA in 15 Games Started for the A’s in his 2012 Rookie Season. The A’s will look for the 24 Year old for some Quality Starts in 2013.  The  former University of San Diego Pitcher yielded a 1.13 WHIP during his time last year.  As the teams #4 Starting Pitcher on the depth chart, Griffin should be able to see some favorable matchups in 2013.  If he throws like 2012 again in 2013, he might very pole vault to being the ace of the rotation.  We may have another 3 – 4 staff that contend for the AL Cy Young like the days of Hudson, Mulder and Zito.

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner):

Billy Beane has always recycled his great starting pitchers once they hit the experience level that he could not pay them for.  His new crop of pitchers include Jarrod Parker, Brett Anderson, Tommy Milone and new Starter A.J. Griffin

They also are bringing back Bartolo Colon for the 2013 season, despite taking a 50 game suspension for PED use last year. Billy Beane is a master tactician on assessing  a players worth and especially pitchers.  Just like the hitters, the pitchers are all mostly in the 25-30 Age bracket.  He has a quality set of controllable relief pitchers in the barn to close out games too.

A.J. Griffin at University of San Diego:

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The Washington Nationals Franchise Part 6 of 6: 2013 Team Payroll And Contracts Updated Mar.8

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Thursday, March.07/2013

Stephen Strasburg is eligible for Arbitration after the 2013 season. He originally signed a 4 Year/14 Million Dollar Entry Level Deal after he was drafted in 2009.

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst / Website Owner):

Perhaps no team will have more of a chance to win the 2013 World Series with Harper and Strasburg will be another year older, while both Zimmerman’s can both have been healthy for the year.  They have two Mutual Options for them to re-sign which I mention on the next page.  They do have several Arbitration Eligible Players including Super ‘2’ Free Agents Jordan Zimmerman and Tyler Clippard.  The Nationals should try to lock most of these guys up as long as they can.  Especially guys like Desmond, Espinosa and Storen.  

Their price shall only skyrocket as they become older.  The Nationals will not have to worry about their starting outfield of Morse, Werth and Harper as they are all signed for next year.  Strasburg enters the final year of this entry-level deal and Gio Gonzalez also has a nice value deal for the salary part of it.

Kurt Suzuki had a strong finish in 2013, so you could see the club maybe trading away he or Wilson Ramos before 2013 Trade Deadline.  I suspect the Phillies to be stronger this year, so major improvements by Harper and rejuvenated play from both Zimmerman’s will be crucial to the clubs success.  Micheal Lerner has made it abundantly clear he wants a championship for this club ASAP.  He will spend any amount of money .  The rest of the lineup looks set and ready to mash in 2013!

For Part 1 of the Article Series, The Expos Hitters: click here

For Part 2 of the Article Series, The Expos Pitchers: click here

For Part 3 of the Article Series, The Demise of the Montreal Expos: click here

For Part 4 of the Article Series, The Washington Nationals Franchise 2005-2012: click here

For Part 5 of the Article Series, The Nationals top 25 Man Roster from 20o5-2012 click here

MLB 13 The Show – Bryce Harper Interview:

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The Oakland A’s 2013 Roster Tree Part 2: The Pitchers And Analyzing Mulder, Hudson and Zito Post Oakland

Sunday, Dec.02/2012

A.J Griffin was 7-1 with a 3.06 ERA in 15 Games Started for the A's in his 2012 Rookie Season.  The A's will look for the 24 Year old for some Quality Starts in 2013

A.J Griffin was 7-1 with a 3.06 ERA in 15 Games Started for the A’s in his 2012 Rookie Season. The A’s will look to the 24 Year old for some Quality Starts in 2013.

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer/Website Owner):

Yesterday we talked about the hitters of the Oakland Athletics current roster and today we will talk about their pitching.  This has been an organization that has thrived on brilliant drafting of young arms.  In the early 2000’s, the team featured three ace pitchers in Barry Zito, Tim Hudson and Mark MulderBilly Beane had to let each of them leave Oakland because they couldn’t pay them the kind of dollars needed to secure them long term.  With the exception of this year, Barry Zito has not lived up to his 7 Years and 126 Million Dollar contract he signed with the San Francisco Giants since leaving the Athletics. Despite a 15-8 year for the SF club this past year, he holds a 58-69 (.447) record for San Francisco lifetime with a 4.47 ERA.  He was 102-63 (.618)  and a 3.55 ERA with the A’s before leaving at the age of 29.   The guy made 18.25 Million in his Oakland days and has already pocketed 99 Million with SF.

Mark Mulder never was the same pitcher in the NL and was out of baseball four years after being traded to St. Louis.  His A’s career had netted him an 81-42 (.659) record with a 3.92 ERA.  He was only 22-18 (.550) and a 5.04 ERA with the Cardinals before retiring. As you will read in this article below, the franchise made a worthy trade in returns for this man.  Mulder made 25.3 Million in his contract with the Cardinals after making only 8.4 Million with the A’s.

Tim Hudson on the other hand, has been one of the better pitchers in the NL for the last decade, still towing the hill for the Braves at the age of 38.  He was 92-39 (.702) with a 3.30 ERA for the A’s.  He has since gone 105-65 with a 3.52 ERA for the Braves in in 8 years.  He definitely has been worth the $ invested (84.5 Million plus another 9.0 Million in 2013.) He only made 4.5 Million in his 6 years with Oakland.  The sandwich pick they landed for Hudson’s Free Agent signing was Travis Buck.  Unfortunately Buck only played 170 games for the franchise, hitting .250 with 18 HRs and 71 RBI in 571 AB.

Total Record for 3 other teams is 185-152 (.549) and they have made 208.8 Million away from Oakland, whereas they were 275-144 (.656) and made a total 33.15 Million Dollars with the Athletics.  I would say, Beane made the right decision in not signing them.

The Future of the Oakland A’s:  The Mustache Gang Meets the Bash Brothers:  Revealing Billy Beane’s Master Plan click here.

For The Oakland A’s 2013 Roster Tree Part 1:  The Hitters  Click Here

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The Oakland A’s 2013 Roster Tree Part 1: The Hitters

Saturday, Dec.01/2012

How important was Cespedes to The A's Lineup?  They went 83-47 with him in the lineup and 12-20 without him.  He was the biggest reason the team has soared into the playoff race and wont the AL East.  Beane secured him Free Agency last year without trading any prospects.   He is signed for 3 more years.

How important was Cespedes to The A’s Lineup in 2012? They went 82-47 with him in the lineup and 12-21 without him. He was the biggest reason the team soared into the playoff race and won the AL East. Beane secured him in Free Agency before the start of last year. He is signed for 3 more years at 9 Million Dollars Per Year.

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer/Website Owner):

A few months ago, our Lead Columnist/Website Founder (Jonathan Hacohen) wrote a brilliant piece about the assembly of the Oakland Athletics roster.  He called it “MoneyBall 2.”  Right after the piece, the A’s surged to the greatest record in the second half of the season and won the AL West.  The team is now constructed of power hitters and power pitchers.  The man behind it all is Billy Beane.  I will not get into too much of this philosophy as you can read that piece here.  What I intend to do is to show the roster of how it was comprised by Beane in the form of a roster tree.  It is just like a family tree, however this shows trades dating back 2,3,4,5,6 fold etc.. in order to show you the mastery of the GM’s ability to field a roster on a limited budget.

The Future of the Oakland A’s:  The Mustache Gang Meets the Bash Brothers:  Revealing Billy Beane’s Master Plan click here.

The Oakland A’s 2013 Roster Tree Part 2:  The Pitchers  click here.

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MLB Should Distribute More Games Against All Teams For Every Club

Thursday, Nov.29/2012

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Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer/Website Owner):

I wrote an article about 6 months ago that investigated a solution to a Payroll/Geographical Alignment that the MLB should consider in going forward for the next CBA discussions in 2016 here.  Let’s be real and this will never happen.  The idea of running any drastic re-alignment is probably too much for the folks at MLB to fathom.  However, there is a growing trend that is starting to rear its ugly head in MLB Baseball.  It is the bigger market teams really starting to throw down some serious dollars, while the lesser revenue teams can’t keep up with same kind of salary influx.  Of course I have fought this fight on Twitter, Facebook and any other social media platform I have found.  Sooner or later these big salaried teams will reel off a bunch of World Series Titles amongst themselves and it will leave the MLB having as much competitive balance as the NBA. Read the rest of this entry

The Dodgers Are Going To Force the MLB Into Changes

Friday, September.21/2012

When Magic Johnson and his ownership group spent 2 Billion Dollars on acquiring the Franchise, that should have been a red-flag that they were going to outspend every club when it came to payroll. Get ready for it baseball world!

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer):

Baseball is about to receive a serious wake-up call from the Dodgers.  Perhaps the Yankees would have already done what the Magic Johnson ownership team is planning, had “The Boss” had full faculties and the team had not cashed in on the 2009 World Series.  With no salary cap and a soft luxury tax on the heavy spenders, the MLB is really setting themselves up for a disaster when a team finally pulls the trigger on obliterating the payroll system.  The Dodgers new ownership has spent 2 Billion on the California Franchise.  They are in perfect position with Billions in revenue about to be promised for the TV rights of their franchise.  So do you really think they are done spending on the team?  I would be surprised if the Dodgers payroll isn’t in the $230-$250 Million Dollar Range for 2013.

I wrote an article about this very topic right after the trade that brought over the Boston Red Sox big 3 salaried players.  You can check out that blog here.  As it stands right now, the 2013 Payroll projects to be in the 200-210 Million Dollar Range already.  You add the constant health doubts now plaguing Clayton Kershaw, plus a need for some more starting pitching and you could be sure these guys will make a play for a couple of starting pitchers.  Zack Greinke has to be on the club’s radar.  While Greinke might not be the top of the pitchers ‘Mount Rushmore’, he is really close to it.  He may get a 5-6 YR contract worth 90-105 Million Dollars.  He has pitched really well for the Los Angeles Angels, so clearly he likes the city. Read the rest of this entry

The Aftermath Of The Stephen Strasburg(less) Nationals sweep in the NLDS Oct 2012

Thursday, September.06/2012

Stephen Strasburg is eligible for Arbitration after the 2013 season. He originally signed a 4 Year/14 Million Dollar Entry Level Deal after he was drafted in 2009. The salary hit for the Nats in 2013 places him tied for 3rd on the team with Mike Morse.  He will be Unrestricted Free Agent in 2017, will he remain a National?

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer):

The Nationals are my favorite National League team.  It is my firm belief that you are allowed 1 team in each League to cheer for.  The Yankees are my team in the American League.  The love for the Nationals goes back to when they were the Montreal Expos.  It was a lean time for a lot of us fans until the last few years have given us hope.  So before I go on about the contracts and payroll for 2013 tomorrow, I officially am going on record in saying that shutting Strasburg down is completely wrong.  I don’t care about ramifications of the pitcher throwing his arm out.  You never know when injuries are going to occur.  The Babying method never worked for Strasburg the first time, or for Joba Chamberlain and Phil Hughes for that matter.  This all stems back to the over using of Kerry Wood and Mark Prior by Dusty Baker in the 2003 year.  Innings limits were soon introduced in every franchise to protect the players and managers from going after a championship and maybe shortening their career.  It also has a lot to do with teams not being able to insure players any more. 

Insurance companies (like Lloyd’s of London) realize that they will pay out teams at a less than profitable rate for Major League Baseball players based on how much these guys make now, so they will not cover any baseball player anymore.  So Washington is freely shutting him down because they think it is the best thing to do for the player and the club.  They think  by preserving him from any injury at all, that this will prolong his shelf life and thus make the baseball team more profitable in the long run.  This is a major role of the dice and could end up setting the fan base back with a sour taste in their mouth for generations.  If Washington wins the World Series, this would be the only scenario where the question would not be brought up again.  Anything short of this and it is going to start an epic debate. Read the rest of this entry

The Philadelphia Phillies Franchise Part 2 of 4: The Hitters

Friday August.24/2012

Note from Chuck Booth:  I am attempting to bring the history for each of the 30 MLB Franchises into a 5 part series that will focus on 1. The teams history.  2. The hitters 3. The pitchers.  4. The Teams Payroll going into 2013 and 5.The Ball Park that they play in. (The stadium articles will all be done next summer when I go to all of the parks in under a month again.)  Be sure to check my author page with a list of all of my archived articles here.

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer): -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 booth7629@gmail.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

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The Philadelphia Phillies Part 1 of 4: ‘The Franchise’

Friday August.17/2012

Note from Chuck Booth:  I am attempting to bring the history for each of the 30 MLB Franchises into a 5 part series that will focus on 1. The teams history. 2. The hitters 3. The pitchers. 4.  The 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.

It took the Phillies 77 years to win their first World Series in 1980, however since that time, they have been to 4 more World Series:  In 1983, 1993, 2008 and 2009, while taking home the Trophy in 2008.

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer):  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

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MLB Parity Is At An All-Time High

Wednesday July.18/2012

The Pirates started today one game behind the Reds and are the leader of the 1st Wild Card Spot in the NL. Officially, they are 3 games up on the Dodgers for the playoff bar. With the 2nd Wild Card Team added to each League, this gives Pittburgh their best chance to make the postseason in 20 years.

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer and @chuckbooth3024 on twitter)- With 2 weeks before the non-waiver trade deadline, there are 21 teams within 6 games or less for the ten playoff positions.  Parity has officially hit the MLB like we have never seen before.  The Yankees are leading the AL East Division by 9.5 games, so the other 4 teams in the AL East enter action knowing they still have a chance.  Mr Selig’s idea for the 2nd wild card has definitely kept playoff dreams alive for teams that would have been otherwise doused  in the races.  Baseball purists seem to hate the notion that more playoff teams breaks the tradition of yesteryear.  I think that ten teams of 30 is still a great ratio (33.33%) compared to the three other Major Sports for percentage of teams making the playoffs.  The NFL has 12 teams out of 32 make the playoffs (37.5%) and are the highest revenue generated sport.  Both of the NBA and NHL have 16 out of 30 teams make  the playoffs-which is 53.33%. 

What I also like is that the new format penalizes the Wild Card teams and puts more of an emphasis on winning the divisions.  Gone will be the days (like last year) where the Yankees mailed it in being happy to just lock down a playoff position and rest their veterans instead of going for the pennant.  The one game playoff for those two Wild Card teams will have the teams playing for the division till the end.  Having said this, I just reminded myself of that big lead for the Yankees, so they will probably have a chance to rest their guys this year anyways.  The Rangers and Angels are a better example.  I believe that Los Angeles will make a charge at the Texas club.  None of these two teams wants to see their lives come down to a one game playoff, so if they remain close, this could be a great divisional race. Read the rest of this entry

The Demise of the Montreal Expos Franchise: Part 3 of the Expos Article Series

Friday June.29/2012

Note from Chuck Booth:  I am attempting to bring the history for each of the 30 MLB Franchises into a 5 part series that will focus on 1. The teams history. 2. The hitters 3. The pitchers. 4.  The 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 and @chuckbooth3024 on Twitter)-  The Montreal Expos were a model franchise from 1979-1994.  They only finished under .500 in 3 seasons out of 15 in this stretch of time.  The club simply drafted better than any other Major League team.  Long before the Oakland Athletics and Billy Beane came up with MoneyBall, or the Minnesota Twins, Florida Marlins and Tampa Bay Rays showed us that you can have good runs with your baseball teams on a shoe string budget, the Expos wrote the book on it.  The Expos were forced to trade away their best talent when they came up for free agency or lose them  outright.  There was no way the team could ever re-sign the players.  It wasn’t even in question.  The province of Quebec said good-bye to Hall of Famers:  Pedro Martinez, Vlad Guerrero, Tim Raines and Andre Dawson in the prime of their careers with nothing back in return as Free Agents.

Gary Carter was the 1st great player to be traded by the club after the 1984 season.  Other great players like Larry Walker, Marquis Grissom, Moises Alou and John Wetteland were jettisoned out the door as part of a 1995 Firesale after the strike/lockout because the team could not pay them after a massive loss in revenue at the end of the 1994 season. With the clock ticking on the Expos brass (financially as soon as the lockout was lifted) the ownership could not pay the bills!  It is a sad commentary on this franchise that the two big work stoppages in 1981 and 1994 stifled this franchise-perhaps the most out of any team in the MLB.  It all ended up costing the Expos the team and/or a chance to build a brand new ballpark in the downtown core to ever revitalize the interest of the avid baseball enthusiasts in Montreal.  This fan base had suffered enough and they made the baseball club pay for it at the turnstiles.  They had suffered 7 losing seasons at Jarry Park, a 2 billion dollar scam gone wrong in what was Olympic Stadium, a park that was supposed to be a modern-aged retractable roof that never materialized at all and Quebec was left with the bill.  I don’t blame the fans for walking away from the game after the 1994 strike.  They had supported the team through many of trials an tribulations-only to be disappointed time and time again by the economics of baseball.

There is a lot more of this article past the video clip, just click on: READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY

For Part 1 of the Article Series, The Expos Hitters: click here

For Part 2 of the Article Series, The Expos Pitchers: click here

For Part 4 of the Article Series, The Washington Nationals Franchise 2005-2012: click here

For Part 5 of the Article Series, The Nats Best 25 Man Roster 2005-2012 click here

A nice tribute video to the club!

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The Jose Altuve Phenomenon

Friday June.15/2012

Jose Altuve is listed as 5 foot five although he may be even shorter than that. His lethal swings have created a new metric measurement based on his height called an ‘Altuve.’ Everyone is picking up the new measurement including social media platforms dedicated to the cause: @howmanyaltuves on twitter and the official website http://www.howmanyaltuves.com –Photo courtesy of the Washington Post.

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer and @chuckbooth3024 on twitter)- Baseball lends itself to traditions and nicknames like no other sport in the world.  During last year, there were two phenomenons in the form of social media and radio.   I was lucky enough to be part of them both.  The MLB ‘Fancave’ sidekick Ryan Wagner was dubbed ‘thickish’ by Mitch Williams of the MLB Network.  The social media took off on his nickname and blogs, websites and a lot of the Fancave skits had Mike O’ Hara calling Wagner ‘thickish.’  I love things like this. I took it upon myself to be the West Coast distributor of the movement.  I was even fortunate enough to have Ryan Wagner write a blog about my buddy Justin and I.  It was cool  to be part of the fun of this social media driven nickname.

Then the summer of 2011 hit.  I was listening to MLB Roundtrip like I do every night while at work.  Mike Ferrin and Morgan Ensberg were talking about Jose Altuve of the Houston Astros.  There were saying the man was swinging out of his cleats like he was Paul Bunyan.  They also mentioned that Altuve was the leader of the Texas League (before his call up) for average.  The next thing I knew Ensberg suggested that they should come up with a new unit of measurement called an “Altuve.”  The idea would be that you can divide the total amount of feet hit for a home run divided Jose Altuve’s height.  I couldn’t stop laughing at the concept.  To me,  Ensberg was entirely right, Altuve does sound like a unit measurement!   For the next few weeks, the guys kept on speaking of long homers hit and how many Altuve’s they would go. Read the rest of this entry

The Yankees Should sign Vlad Guerrero

Wednesday June.13, 2012

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer and @chuckbooth3024 on twitter)- The events that happened yesterday with the Blue Jays and Vlad Guerrero are strange and totally warranted for further review.  In my opinion, the Blue Jays dropped the ball on this one. Guerrero lit up the Minor Leagues for a couple of weeks and should have been called up when Edwin Encarnacion was hurt on June.4th.  It was the perfect opportunity to have Vladdy come up and replace EE in the lineup.  It should have prompted a return to first base for Encarnacion when he came back from his injury just 5 days later.

The top average on the team actually belongs to EE, who is hitting .281 currently.  Vlad Guerrero has never hit worst than .290 in the last 15 years.  He tore it up in the minor leagues, and was said to have showed up in decent shape.  The Blue Jays had to know that Vladdy would be upset when he was bypassed on in favor of David Cooper or Yan Gomes.  I give full credit to the agent for Guerrero in this case, he negotiated a verbal contract with Alex Anthopoulos that the slugger could opt at any time and request to be released from his player contract with the club.  In the only thing that makes the Jays look okay on this, they never had to go through with letting Vladdy out of this contract.  Really it is a shame that the two sides could not work out something to have Vlad stay with the club.  It may actually work out better for both sides in the long run.

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He is a 30/30 Club Member: But How Good Was Eric Davis?

Friday June.8, 2012

Photo Courtesy of spokeo.com

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

MLB Reports Monthly Power Rankings: June 2012

Monday June.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 week.  Look out for Cincinnati Reds and New York Yankees to make their move towards the top this month.

June Power Rankings-Last Month Rank in Parenthesis

1. Texas-32-22 (1) The Rangers rode Josh Hamilton in the month of May-who enters today on pace for about 60 HRs and 170 RBI while hitting .354.  Nelson Cruz is starting to heat up and the duo of Adrian Beltre and Ian Kinsler are steady as as ever. Yu Darvish is 7-3 en route to the leading the group amongst Rookie of The Year Contention.  Joe Nathan is looking like his old self again out of the pen with an ERA under 2.

2. LA Dodgers 33-21 (5) Even with Matt Kemp out of the lineup again, the Dodgers are winning ball games with solid contributions from Andre Ethier and A.J Ellis on offense.  The pitching staff has been anchored by Clayton Kershaw and a fast 7-1 start by Chris CapuanoTed Lilly was 5-1 before a stint on the DL.  It is too bad because Lilly is 125-104 since 2004.

3. Tampa Bay 31-23 (2) Hideki Matsui homered in two of his first 3 games back with the Rays.  The team has had steady pitching to stay in contention.  Carlos Pena has really struggled in the last month and will need to pick it up.  Luke Scott with 35 RBI has good production numbers in spite of his .225 AVG. Fernando Rodney has converted 17 out of 18 saves to pace the club.

4. Cincinnati 30-23 (12) Joey Votto has hit .404 in the last 30 days and maybe the best all-around hitter in the National League right now.  Jay Bruce has 12 HRs and 34 RBI and is living up to his all-star potential.  Aroldis Chapman has 27 Strikeouts in just over 14 innings and has yet to yield a run while opponents are hitting a paltry .043 against him.

5. NY Yankees 29-24 (6) The Bronx Bombers have 6 players with 8 HRs or more, which is a good thing because with the exception of Derek Jeter, a lot of them are hitting under their career averages.  The return of Andy Pettitte has helped the rotation with the loss of Micheal Pineda.  Phil Hughes threw a complete game over the weekend and CC Sabathia is on pace for another 20 win season. Read the rest of this entry

Don Mattingly has managed The Dodgers to the ‘Best Record in the MLB’

Wednesday, May.30/2012

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer and @chuckbooth3024 on twitter)-At first glance at the LA Dodgers you will see a team that leads the Major League with a 32-17 record heading into action tonight.  Matt Kemp has missed the last two weeks of action and yet the team still continues to put up wins.  Before his injury, Kemp was playing like an MVP candidate and Andre Ethier has racked up 43 RBI to the lead the National League.  Clayton Kershaw has been his usual dominant self.  Key pitching contributions from Chris Capuano (7-1) and Ted Lilly (5-1) have paced the club in the pitching department, where they rank 2nd in a lot of categories amongst pitching staffs in the NL and the Majors.

Don Mattingly has battled several injuries, a team of platoon players, a lowered payroll due to the impending ownership changes en route to this record.  It is clear why the Dodgers are winning ball games, Mattingly is making good managerial decision at the key times.  When you look at how the current club is configured, you would see there is great baseball pedigree in the stable.  There are 4 sons of ex major league ball players on the roster: Scott Van Slyke (son of Andy), Tony Gwynn Jr. (son of Tony Sr.), Dee Gordon (son of Tom) and Jerry Hairston Jr (son of Jerry Sr.)  These guys are hardly trailblazing their way to Cooperstown anytime soon, however they play good fundamental baseball having grown up in Major League clubhouses.  (On a side note, I would pay good money to see a father son game with these boys versus their fathers.) Read the rest of this entry

The DH Tandem of Ibanez and Jones Are Providing Great Value Amongst the Position

Monday, May.28/2012

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer and @chuckbooth3024 on twitter)- Raul Ibanez and Andruw Jones might only be hitting about .250 as a combined DH unit, however they are providing some much-needed power from the DH slot for the New York Yankees.  Ibanez is batting .260 with 9 HRs and 27 RBI in 137 AB, Jones is .227 with 5 HRs and 10 RBI in 66 AB.  The two totals combined equal 14 HRs and 37 RBI in 193 AB.  This is really good production in the power department.  This puts the duo on pace for about 45 HRs and 120 RBI out of the DH slot.  These numbers are comparable to Chicago White Sox primary DH Adam Dunn, who is .240 with 15 HRs and 35 RBI, and Edwin Encarnacion for the Toronto Blue Jays, who is .274 with 15 HRs and is second in the AL with 39 RBI.

There are factors that cancel out the production of both Encarnacion and Dunn.  The Blue Jays first base position has killed any type of edge that Encarnacion’s start should have provided.  Adam Lind hit himself out of the Majors with his under .200 average, thus negating the production that the position of 1B needs to have in order to compete along with a DH.  Adam Dunn has racked up 74 strikeouts to add to his power numbers.  While this has been a renaissance year for Dunn so far, the all or nothing philosophy does hurt in the clutch sometimes.  I think the White Sox have to be happy with his production, plus Paul Konerko has been the best player in the AL outside of Josh Hamilton. Read the rest of this entry

The Yankees and Their Milestones Tracker: Jeter, A-Rod, Teixeira and CC

Wednesday, May.23/2012

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer and @chuckbooth3024 on twitter)-Heading into tonight’s game versus the Kansas City Royals, Derek Jeter sits in 16th all time for the All-time hits list.  He is only 3 hits behind Paul Waner and another 5 hits behind George Brett.  If Jeter has a decent last 120 games, he could find himself already in the top 10 all time by collecting another 145 hits and passing Willie Mays  for 10th all time with 3284 hits by the end of the year.  I am not sure how much longer the captain will play, but I think it has to be at least another year or two based on how he has started this campaign out.  If he plays another 300 games after this year, you have to think he is capable of averaging a hit per game the rest of his career.  This would place him in the top 5 of hits all time behind Pete Rose (4256), Ty Cobb (4191) Hank Aaron (3771) and Stan Musial’s (3630).  If I were a betting man, I think that 482 more hits might be asking a little much for the 37-year-old shortstop.  Having said this, Jeter will undoubtedly take his place amongst these immortal men by the time he is done playing the game. Read the rest of this entry

The End of a Baseball Journey in 2012(30+6)

The Streak ended at 30 MLB Parks in 23 calendar days!!

I broke my old record of 24 days by being-Fastest to see all 30 MLB parks in 23 days  from April 6th to 28th!

Sked is here: fastestthirtyballgames3021.wordpress.com/2012/04/18/30in20/

Follow me-@chuckbooth3024 on twitter

http://mlbreports.com/gwr-tracker/ or at my official website for all updates!

Monday May.7/2012

Chuck Booth and Lori Martini @ Yankee Stadium 5/1


Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer and @chuckbooth3024 on twitter)- The road baseball games are done for the year.  Sure I will still see about 5-6 more games at Safeco Field, but nothing beats going to games on the road!  It is has been 10 days since I officially broke my own Guinness Book of World Record by going to all 30 MLB Parks in 23 days.  After the streak, I decided to slowly wane myself off of baseball by watching another 5 games in 4 Parks during 8 days.  Those parks were Citizens Bank Ball Park, Fenway Park, Yankee Stadium and Citi Field for 2 games.  We are talking about 4 awesome places to watch baseball. Lest we forget the Season Opener I also went to at Citi in case of a retro-active decision. Read the rest of this entry

Chuck Booth’s GWR Streak (MLB Parks 22-24)

The Streak ended at 30 MLB Parks in 23 calendar days!!

I broke my old record of 24 days by being-Fastest to see all 30 MLB parks in 23 days  from April 6th to 28th!

Sked is here: fastestthirtyballgames3021.wordpress.com/2012/04/18/30in20/

Follow me-@chuckbooth3024 on twitter

http://mlbreports.com/gwr-tracker/ or at my official website for all updates!

Wednesday May.2/2012

Chuck Booth and Anthony Salter Prior to game #22 in Detroit. Anthony has been to a game with Chuck for every one of his streak quests.

MLB Park # 22 Day # 17

TEX @ DET

April.22/2012

Comerica Park

 

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer and @chuckbooth3024)-The passenger exchange was made at 4:30 AM near the Forrest Lawn Oasis.  I jumped from the car that Ken Lee was in to Bob Devries’s rental car.  We were on our way to Comerica Park via Highway 94.  Through the course of the drive, Bob and I realized we know everything there is to know about rental cars.  I rent cars for 365 days a year and Bob rents cars every weekend.  It is not often people can relate to all of my car rental stories.  I haven’t even owned a car since 2009.  If the market was ever to drastically change I would be out of a job and a car.  The day was going to be sunny from our drive in.  After arriving into town early we headed towards HockeyTown and Cheli’s.  We then moved onwards to a Bar Called ‘Bookies’ off of Elizabeth Street. This bar was ideal because it was where we parked for $5.

 I had a BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwich with curly fries inside the Sandwich.  It was tasty and hit the spot.  Bob had the local IPA Beer.  About an hour later we met up with the Salter Family (Joe, Dianne, Anthony, Jake and Robert).  These guys have been part of every one of my streaks.  I met them 1st in 2008 at PNC Park when I almost broke the World Record the first time around.  In 2009, the Salter’s were there with me front and center when MLB Park #30 was completed at Comerica.  I call these guys my good luck ‘surrogate’ baseball family.  I was happy that Bob was there to meet them as well.  We all took pictures and headed up to our seats.

Read the rest of this entry

PNC Park Book Excerpt from ‘The Fastest 30 Ballgames’ Novel

Wednesday April.25/2012

Original Print of the book was June 2011
Book Excerpt writeup By Chuck Booth

“This was the first of two visits to PNC Park during streak chases of 2008.  This date was on July.7/2008.  The events that happened right after this game caused me to restart the Guinness Streak on July.08/2008.  A little diversion from a closure in the Lincoln Tunnel heading towards LGA cost me a flight from New York to Dallas.  Hmmm..  I have not had a lot of luck in flying to Dallas have I?”

Game #7 Day #6

PNC Park

Pittsburgh PA

July.07/2008

It was not my first time to see the Pirates play at ‘PNC’, the previous year I watched a doubleheader featuring Barry Bonds last games to be played in Pittsburgh—for awhile I was thought he might pass Hank Aaron for the all time Homer list for the games I was attending. Barry had surpassed Aaron a week earlier but I was still glad to see him in the starting lineup.  Now I was back less than a year later. 

I was ready to rebound from the day before.  I drove 340 miles from my brother’s house in New Jersey—to arrive in Pittsburgh with lots of time to spare. 

I parked in a business building across the “Roberto Clemente Bridge.”  PNC Park is very convenient for parking, as they close off most of the bridges directly nearest to the ballpark.  The park looks immaculate from the bridges and especially in reverse from the park where you can see the bridges. 

Pittsburgh is a blue collar town but it a beautiful city downtown.  The crowd was not bustling that night.  There were 13,223 fans for the game and half that many were there when I arrived.

There may not be a better new ballpark when it comes to respecting the history of their team.  There are statutes for just about any significant member ever associated with Pirates.  There is a great amount of history of the World Series Runs of 1971 and 1979.  The area my ticket was in was the left field bleachers section for a $9 price.  Quite simply it is the best value in the majors considering it is general seating.  You are right on top of the left fielder. 

I made it over to “Greentree Pizza”—located just behind the huge scoreboard.  I was staving so I ordered the large fourteen inch Pepperoni Pizza.  It is made on a light thin crust and is one of the best singular foods in the majors.

Around the park, people were texting each other on their cell phones as the Pittsburgh Pirates display between every inning on their scoreboards.  This is a fun thing to do—and very fan interactive. 

They have two mascots that are running around the empty park.  ‘The Pirate,’ (who will steal your food if you are not looking and/or opposing team ball caps that fans wear) and ‘The Parrot,’ (who is a lot more kid friendly and usually can be found occupying seats in the empty lower bowl.).  I was pleasantly surprised that the ushers were so nice to me when I told them about my record streak.  The lady talked to me for thirty minutes about the ballpark and even asked if I had time for a tour while in the city, she said she could call her boss if I wished.  I politely declined as I had a long drive back to New York City.  It was then I realized I actually needed a quick game.

It was one of the plane fares bought before the trip started and impossible to change because it was too costly.  I would have about six hours to drive back to New York for a five and a half hour drive.  There was not much wiggle room.

One of the coolest things about the PNC Park-is the size of left field center scoreboard.  They play a four minute introduction at the start of the game that shows years of Pirate highlights and it always pumps me up.  Then there is a segment where a cartoon pirate is away at sea with his crew and they come across the opposite team boat. A 3 minute battle ensues with the Pirates crew eventually taking ownership of the other boat.  The pirate laughs and then it is game time. 

 The scenery is beautiful with the backdrop. The big green fence in right-center field has ‘Pirates’ perfectly hedged in shrubs.  The only thing that is kind of weird is you can’t walk in the general area entirely across the outfield sectors.  The seat’s in right field are in the 3rd level and is quite a shot from home plate to hit a  home run.  It is even a better sight at night with the bright lights of all the bridges illuminating the park.  If only the franchise was in better shape.

The food courts are impressive for the limited amount of people attending.  They are quick with the vendors—and have some of the longest serving staff of any in the majors. 

In the left field bleachers there is a sit in restaurant that features live performances out on the patio deck including ‘mariachi band’s’ and groups that sing ‘a cappella.’  There is not much going on downtown directly around the park inside of the bridges that does not pertain to the ball game. 

That night began sunny but soon clouds over giving me the worry of a rain out.  The Houston Astros ran out to a 3-0 lead on a towering homer by Carlos Lee.  The Pirates responded with a 4 run bottom of first. The inning took about forty-minutes and I was in time trouble again.

Fast forward to the 4th inning and it was 10-7 Pittsburgh—and we were already nearing 9:15 PM.  I was sweating the game big time.  If I left about 10:30 PM—I would be in massive trouble.  I had done the drive from Pittsburgh to New York a few times before so I had some confidence to make good time. 

It is a scheduling nightmare the certain Monday and Thursday baseball games on the condensed nights of the MLB when you are chasing this record. 

There were not too many other nights I could see the Pirates playing.  Again I was thinking about the July.9th restart option.

I was happy to see a quick 5th and 6th inning.  The only thing that made me happier then that—was the game went the last 5 innings—only with one hit, and no runs after 17 runs in the 1st four innings. The last 5 innings only elapsed 40 more minutes in time. 

 I thanked the ushers for signing my logbook and ran out of the southwest corner near the ‘Clemente Bridge.’  I was happy at this moment it was Pittsburgh—as the crowd was smaller to navigate back to the highway.  I had 7 hours in order to make it there for an hour before my flight.

I had prepaid the parking fare in the business garage, and was horrified to see the PT Cruiser I had rented the previous week in New York had now been keyed by someone.  I was relieved that I had added the extra insurance to the car rental-which I usually forego however, because of the New York City garage experience the last time I had been to New York—I took the insurance. 

This was still a concern.  The car rental place would certainly want to discuss this.  Just like some other rentals the scratches were not too visible and for a minute I thought they had been there the whole time.  The scratches were on the passenger side so I had not seen that area much in the week.  I pressed on.

I was revving on adrenaline as the time and miles wore away.  I stopped at the edge of NJ State to stop for gas.  All I had to do was go through the Lincoln Tunnel merge onto the ‘FDR’—in order to merge onto the 495-S Long Island Expressway.  It was just after 4:40 AM-when I was headed for the tunnel.

“You have got be friggin kiddin me!!!! I yelled as I approached the tunnel which was closed for construction.  I was at a loss for what was next.  I knew the FDR would take me to the bridge I needed to take over.  I then remembered the “Holland Tunnel” would work.  I starting making way in that direction as panic set in.  It was only starting to become daylight.  At 5:00 AM-I made it to ‘Times Sqaure.’ I then finally made it to the FDR before merging onto the 495—and was on the Brooklyn-Queens-Expressway within reason. 

Then the fun began.  LGA is an airport dropped into a rural neighborhood.  I made it to the airport okay—the problem was the car rental place was up the street.  I arrived into ‘Thrifty Car Rental’ at 5:25 AM-with the flight leaving at six sharp I had a chance at that point. 

I was on the shuttle bus awaiting the driver to leave for the airport which would have taken about 5 minutes—maybe another 10 minutes for early morning security and then I would have 10 minutes to run to the gate.  The shuttle was away.

 “Yes, I am going to make it,” I pronounced—it would be the closest miss yet.  The shuttle driver had informed me that there was not much of a lineup for people traveling without checked baggage.  The sun popped out and all of a sudden I loved New York City.  Despite a small detour, I had overcome it by feeling out my way through it like I did as a courier back home.

A knock on the loading window stopped the shuttle bus smooth–and a grey haired, tall lanky old man with glasses came on the bus and pointed in my direction.  “There is damage to your Cruiser. We need you to fill out an accident report.”

“Sir, I have full insurance and have a plane to catch, there is no time.  I will be back this way next week watching a baseball game at Shea Stadium can I fill it out then?”

“Son, I could get in serious trouble for that.  If you hurry there is another shuttle leaving in 5 minutes.”

I knew if I left the shuttle I would miss my flight.  The only saving grace was that ‘Air Tran Airways’ are nice enough to their travelers—by letting them fly stand by on remaining flights to their original destination should they miss their flight.  It was a stand-by option good for one day only.  I knew there were two more flights to Dallas that day—both had a lengthy stop over in Atlanta.  The first flight arrived in Dallas at 3:30 PM.  I had designated that flight the first time I was going to book the flight.  I then mistakenly thought the drive from Pittsburgh was only 5.5 hours-like it was from my brother’s house to PNC Park.  I had the two confused in my final booking of the flight! 

I opted for the earlier flight because I would arrive in Dallas at 11:00 AM-and could check into the Motel 6 right away to catch up sleep.

 I filled out the accident report and made the next shuttle to LGA. Like I was a possessed addict chasing an addiction I ran to the ticket window at ‘Air Tran’.  It was 5:45 AM.  The system had already shut me out of the flight.  I ran to the window were a mid-40’s gentleman was typing a keyboard and looking at me running at the same time.

“Flight to DFW right?” he questioned, he knew the answer.

“Yeah, I thought that you could print out the tickets up to 10 minutes before?” I answered, somehow gaining a glimmer of hope that he could radio ahead, stop the plane until I got there.  I heard stories growing up of this happening.

“Actually you need to be in the boarding area 10 minutes prior to gates closing-we cut off the boarding passes 20 minutes before sorry.”

“Ah, man.”  I was pissed, I half-wanted to race back to the car rental facility and drag the manager out into the street and beat him to a pulp.  “How does the next flight look to Dallas?”

 “Lemme check that for you.”  The man typed quickly as he could, a man who was late for the same flight I was—came in line to be helped next.  “The flight is oversold and there are 7 people on the waiting list ahead of you.”

If there is one thing I know is waiting for stand-by on flights.  My step-mom had worked in the airline industry for 25 years.  I was able to fly whenever I wanted, wherever I wanted provided there were available seats.  7 seats was a lot for a 9:00 AM Flight.  It would have been different if it was the flight I had just missed.  I had to try it.  New York traffic had swallowed me up that morning, maybe it would swallow up others.  “Print me the pass, I will try.”

“You never know sir you might also get a family that does not want to fly separately. You are a single traveler so you have a better chance than others.”

I grabbed my new boarding pass and headed trough security, and pressed onward to the gate.  There was not much open for breakfast so I was happy to have polished off that huge pizza in Pittsburgh the night before.  I needed to call the airlines to see if I could arrange other travel arrangements to Dallas. 

I searched for the internet at ‘LGA’ which was non-existent at that time.  I called every airline up.  It was going to be $600 or $700.  Day of flight’s prices sky rocket on same day sales.  My plan was simple now.  I would see if I made the next flight before another decision was to be made.  I called Visa in the meantime and I was appalled to see that I had little credit left with all of the pre-authorizations against the car and hotel rentals.  I was awaiting a payment to go through as well.  I had $450 left.   I was stuck.  Not only was I in danger of missing my game in Texas—but my streak reset needed to start over in San Diego the next day.

It was a lost cause at ‘LGA’ and I left the airport at 10:00 AM-by boarding what I thought was a charter bus in between ‘LGA’ and “JFK.” I wanted to be at JFK incase I was stranded-since there were more amenities and late night domestic flights.  At 10:30 AM-the charter bus let me off downtown in Manhattan.

 “Wait a second I purchased a bus-ride all the way to JFK.”  I said to a heavy set German fellow.

“You boarded the wrong bus.”  The man replied.

“No I didn’t.” I was right–the man had forgotten to switch the template on the bus signage based on what I had seen back at ‘LGA’- he had deceived me. 

“I paid for a ticket to JFK, and that is what your sign said.  I know you are going to try to stiff me,” I was being rude back to the rude New York people now, “so why don’t you tell me how I get to JFK, it has been a brutal morning.”

The man radioed a bus a block away, “hold the bus for a minute, I need to drop a passenger for you to take to JFK, I made a mistake, no charges either.”  The man actually smiled and nodded at me.  I was relieved but knew that New Yorkers were good at nearly breaking you and then surprising you with doing the right thing.

I made it to JFK at noon in the hot heat, it was approaching 90F.  I was still not ahead of the game.  Like LGA-JFK did not have internet accessible terminals anywhere.  I was running out of options.  I called my buddy Dan Dion.

Dan Dion and his brother Justin had given me the time off delivering newspapers for the trip.  I had known them both for eight years.  Justin was doing one of my routes for me while I was away.  I had to forfeit the second route because of the timing, but was promised a different route when I returned in August. 

 Dan was in Langley, British Colombia, and was in front of his computer.

“Dude, It’s me, missed my flight to Dallas because of an idiot car rental worker and a bridge closed for construction, I need your help, are you online?”

 “Ya, I am online right how. Where are you?”

 “I am on the Air-Tram at JFK circling the gates and don’t know where to go because I don’t have a plane ticket yet, I need you to go to the site www.kayak.com.”

 “10-4 man.”

 “Man, I am glad you are home.  Okay click on the flights icon and then enter JFK letter into the: ‘from part’-and ‘SAN’ letters in the: ‘to’ part, and don’t forget to make this a one-way flight.”

“How is it in the big crapple?” Dan was laughing and typing at the same time.

“Dude, this is a brutal city sometimes, good thing I always had the reset option, knew I was probably going to need it after that Philly/New York doubleheader miss anyway.”  Some girl left here tote-bag on the seat next to me and I was going to hand it in. 

Some old man freaked out on me saying I was stealing it.  All this was happening while awaiting results.

“Cheapest flight is $545.”

“Not good, okay try LAX from JFK, I need to return there tomorrow night anyway so it will work for a car rental.”  The man scoffed a look of disgust at me again.  If I was not on a good will ambassador tour I would have sworn at him for his ignorance.

A few seconds elapsed, “Dude, I got an American Airlines flight leaving at eight your time arriving at just after eleven in LA-price is $160.”

“That is awesome, book that dude, click on it for me and I will give my credit card number to buy it-and then you can give me the confirmation code, then I will need to hit Budget Car Rental’s site next.”

Dan helped me for the next fifteen minutes and I was now going somewhere again.  I had several hours before the flight to kill.  I was fortunate enough to have the reset option.  The new attempt was still 30-26 days.  I had a grueling stretch of 4 doubleheader attempts in 5 days: SD Padres-Los Angeles Dodgers, followed by a Detroit Tigers-Cleveland Indians attempt; followed by Chicago Cubs/Milwaukee Brewers; then Toronto isolated by itself before a Washington Nationals/New York Mets attempt to hit the all-star break. 

If all were hit all games I would be at 9 games in 5 days, even with the 3 day penalty for the all-star break I would have a chance on the other side of it.  I arrived in LAX without a hitch.

I had just enough credit on my visa to rent the car and I had $150 cash.  I knew there was lots of deposit money coming off by the next night at midnight eastern time.  I had to make it the next 24 hours with the money I had.  There was $30 for parking/probably $20 for gas and $100 left for food and shelter.  I drove to San Diego right away.  I tried the Motel 6-but no there was no vacancy.  I wish I would have known about the hostel downtown then.  I decided to keep all my money.  I had an idea to shower at a ‘YMCA’ in the morning.  Besides I had to spend money on batteries for the digital camera-plus I needed some health and beauty aids. 

 I ate 7-Eleven food for dinner and drove around San Diego for a few hours before resting at a ‘Rite-Aid.’  I slept for a few hours and finally it was open. A homeless man was outside and needed some money bad to eat.   I only had $60 left after the drugstore but decided to give him $5. He was so thankful.  I talked to him about my day in New York City. He informed me that my day was about to change for the better.  After I drove away somehow I finally believed it.

Great American Ball Park Book Excerpt from the Fastest 30 Ballgames Novel

US Cellular Field Book Excerpt from “The Fastest 30 Ballgames” Novel

 ***Thank you to our Lead 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 ***

Please e-mail us at: mlbreports@me.com with any questions and feedback.  You can follow us on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook.  To subscribe to our website and have the Daily Reports sent directly to your inbox, click here and follow the link at the top of our homepage.

An Interview with Wrigley Field ‘Expert’ Bob Devries

Follow me-@chuckbooth3024 on twitter

Follow my streak all the through to the bitter end.  Schedule is this link:

http://mlbreports.com/gwr-tracker/

fastestthirtyballgames3021.wordpress.com/2012/04/18/30in20/

Saturday April 21, 2012

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer and @chuckbooth3024 on twitter)-  Bob Devries loves baseball, this much is evidently clear when you get to know his story around the game.  I am going to meet Bob in person for the doubleheader attempt of Chicago and Milwaukee.  I can think of no other one person than I would rather hang out for the day in Chicago than Bob.  His spirits were brought back up back in his life by visiting all of the 30 MLB parks.  While my case was entirely different from Bob’s, our common theme is that baseball brought us both back from the depths of despair.  I had the chance to talk to Bob about life, baseball and how we share the unique distinction of being the only two people on the planet to have attended a game in every park as a fan for two consecutive years in a row.

DB: “Welcome to the MLB Reports Wrigley Field Expert Interview Bob Please tell us about yourself and then give us some information on your life as a Cub fan?”

BD:  “I am just your average, soon to be 49-year-old sports fan. I got married last summer to someone who I have known since we were in the 6th grade and reconnected on Facebook. Charlie (Charlene) and I make our home in McHenry, IL. I work for a distribution company as a logistics manager. I have a stepson, Brent, who is of all things, is a St. Louis Cardinal fan. Brent got to live out a baseball fans’ dream this past season. He was at Busch Stadium for game 6 and 7 of the World Series.

My life as a Cub fan started in 1971 when my dad took me to Wrigley Field for my birthday. I often wonder if we would have gone to old Comiskey Park for a Sox game that day would I be a Sox fan today, thankfully we went to Wrigley.

Being a Cub fan, like all Cub fans, has been met with frustration and disappointment but thru it all we have remained fiercely loyal to the Cubs and always will. Why you ask? I don’t know and I ask myself that question every season when the Cubs are eliminated from the playoffs. Read the rest of this entry

An Interview With Safeco Field Expert Doug Miller

Thursday April 19, 2012


Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer and @chuckbooth3024)- Doug Miller is another Pacific West guy that exemplifies what it is like to be a ball park chaser.  Living on the this side of the mountains forces you to exercise every single one of your travel tricks to make it to all of the MLB Parks you can.  Doug has made it to the majority of the current parks.  He is knowledgeable, a class act and it is a shame that the baseball world does not hire this man and use some of his skills.  Today Doug is our Safeco Field Expert and the subject of our featured article.

CB: “Welcome to the MLB Reports Experts Interview Doug. Please tell us about yourself and then give us a bit of background information on your life as Mariners ticket fan?”

DM:You bet, thanks for having me!  It’s funny, but I wasn’t a baseball fan when I was a kid.  I played some Little League for a while, but was awful at it.  Right Field all the way.  Ha-ha.  I had some friends that were on the baseball team in high school and I really started getting into the game in a different way.  This was back in 1988-1992 –- I didn’t know this interview was going to make me feel old!  I knew a few guys from school that got drafted, so I paid more attention because I thought I could be watching these guys in the Kingdome someday, whether with the Mariners or the couple of other teams they got drafted by.  My enthusiasm was ramping up, I’m in college and watching games at WSU, I’m hitting a handful of games in Seattle during break and then BOOM, the strike.  I was happy when it started back up, and by the time I got out of WSU, baseball was just a way of life for me.  Since then I’ve hit close to 50 ballparks, but Safeco Field is my home away from home.”

CB: “You have been to nearly all the baseball park. Besides Safeco Field, what has been your favorite other ballpark so far?”

DM; “Definitely Fenway, with Wrigley as a close second.  One of the things about the game that I really love is the history.  It’s hard to argue with the history of the franchises and these parks.  I had my first games at Petco last year and was really surprised at how much I liked it.  I thought it was going to feel kind of forced, you know, with the whole retro vibe so many parks have gone for, but I really liked it.  There are a ton of parks I like for different reasons, like Citizens Bank in Philly.  Without a doubt the best smelling park in baseball!  I could talk ballparks all day long, I know you’re the same way!” Read the rest of this entry

You Shake, Rattle and Roll On A World Record Chase

Tuesday, April.11/2012

 

Chuck at Dodger Stadium

 

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer and- @chuckbooth3024 on twitter)- My step-mom is a retired executive from Air Canada.  Back when I was a teenager, Nancy taught me how to travel properly, by how to pack, schedule and always be able to adapt when things go awry.  I am pleased to say that she had an incredible influence on me becoming a travel expert now.  Her slogan was always; “You gotta learn how to shake, rattle and roll when traveling.” My dad (Tom Booth), helped teach a proper demeanor for my 3 brothers and me while on vacation that I also implement.  He said to us “You guys are going to encounter several things when traveling.  “If you break, lose or-your items are lost for you, just replace them immediately and don’t let it consume you.  After all, why should you be miserable on vacation?”  These are motto’s I live by while traveling.  I perpetually move forward and don’t look back.  While I am glad this trip has generated a lot interest, really the passion here is baseball and traveling.  If by some chance I don’t best my own record, I will have fun watching a baseball game in every city again.  “You have nothing to prove in this world other to anybody but yourself!”

 I have encountered numerous ways of being delayed in chasing baseball parks.  Last night was no different.  I sat in the San Diego Airport ready to embark on my flight to Cleveland that was supposed to be part of a Progressive Field/Oriole Park at Camden Yards day-night doubleheader. Out of all the 10 doubleheaders that I placed to attempt during this World Record chase, this particular one I would rank the second toughest.  The only doubleheader I thought was tougher was the Angel Stadium/Petco Park double header.  Ironically enough, I converted that doubleheader.  So when the flight was cancelled last night-(due to mechanical failure) I knew I had to think fast on my feet.  The Airline was offering up help to fly on other flight, or destinations within reason.  Much to my dismay, the airline was not even able to fly me into the second half of the double header n Baltimore, thus creating a plane flight domino.  Adding to the severity of the pressure, was I had to think of something fast because the airline needed to help me book a morning flight out of San Diego.

Whenever I plan one of these trips, I have a depth chart for each team.  I am lucky that after a few hours of placing this schedule together, I also come up with many different alternatives.  Missing the game in Texas the other night for a small delay was nerve-wracking, but maybe it was all meant to be.  When I expressed to the airline that I wanted to fly to Dallas, they quickly were on board with that option.  The other dominoes came to me quickly.  I moved Cleveland to the 25th as part of PNC Park and Progressive Field Ground Transportation doubleheader.  As part of my original streak attempt when I first dreamt up another run at this, the schedule had this exact doubleheader.  Cleveland was the last team in the Majors to post their start times.  When the Indians scheduled a matinee for the 11th of April, it opened up another doubleheader attempt for me by placing the Orioles with Cleveland.  All I had to do was bring Detroit into the doubleheader chance with Pittsburgh instead.  Now that I am not going to Progressive Field today, I am able to re-schedule the easier to attain doubleheader.  Baltimore was switched to the date left vacated by Texas on the 27th of April.  This left Detroit.  I knew the team played on the 22nd of April.

One of the reasons I went to Chase Field last Friday, was to protect myself against something like last night.  That Chase Field game is now the 1st game of the streak.  I moved Detroit into their slot on the 22nd.  All the teams have a home in the streak again.  What is more incredible about this: is that by shifting these cities around and shuffling transportation costs this little maneuver is going to save me $300.   I was dreading having to schedule the Texas game after the streak ended, whether it was driving 17 hours or flying, it was going to be costly and time-consuming,  I managed to switch out all my flights and actually have a surcharge in my favor.  Since I am flying to Denver from Dallas tomorrow, it was a cheaper flight from almost anywhere when you near a travel day fare.  Now I am flying to Dallas for a plane fare I spent $160 to originally go to Cleveland for.  This day of plane for to Dallas would probably be in the $500-$600 area.

By re-scheduling the trip this way, it also frees up more availability should I have to make up another game or two.  That Detroit game doubleheader was risky.  If I was running the streak near perfect, I could have risked it and then shuffled the Tigers to the very next day and forego the Cincinnati/Chicago White Sox doubleheader on the 25th.  This was not the case and I need that 26th doubleheader.  If I kept that doubleheader and missed the Tigers, the next date they were home was April.30th (or the 24th day of the streak.)

Moving Detroit to Sunday the 22nd is pretty decent too, I have a doubleheader for Chicago and Milwaukee on the day before.  This is about a 7 hour drive to Michigan.  Ken Lee will now attend at least 8 of my games with me for this streak.  The Pittsburgh/Cleveland double dip is very doable.  The Pirates game should end around 3:30.  It is only a couple of hours drive to Progressive Field from there.  I would give us a 80-85% chance to hit this game.  If for some reason we don’t, the Indians play on the 27th- through the 29th.  Other doubleheaders remaining are the TOR-NYY (Yankees play on the 27th-29 in case of miss) ATL-STL (Cardinals play on the 27th-29 in case of miss) CIN/CWS (The White Sox play a series on the 27th-29th). CHI/MIL (The Brewers do not play so I will need the DH).  I also give us a 80-85% of making this.  Finally I have the Boston/Washington DH (If I miss WSH-I can move them into the Marlins slot of the 17th and then re-do the Marlins from the (27-29 series).

So far I have had 2 missed doubleheaders in this trip that were entirely out of my control.  Now a 30-22 schedule hangs in the balance.  Whatever happens throughout the rest of the trip is up in the air.  The 2009 streak of 30-24 seems even more impressive now than before.  In a night where I have already logged 17,000 Air Miles for this trip and running on all fumes, I was able to come up with the best viable solution I could.  So whenever I have a chance, I will sleep comfortably about my performance on this trip thus far.  I go into tonight’s game looking for my 8th Ball Park in 6 days.  Its been a tough 20 hrs-fighting airlines-car rentals not having cars and several doubters and haters-i made it 2 the ballpark-suitcase/briefcase and all-scoreboard says 8 gms 6 days parks 30/22 days

NEW SCHEDULE UPDATED APR 11

With a flight cancellation last night, it has caused me to reschedule several games for the streak.  The Arizona D’Backs game now becomes the official game #1.  If the game was changed from the original, it will be highlighted in red.  I also changed the PIT/DET doubleheader to now be a PIT/CLE Doubleheader on the 25th ave.  I lost one of my doubleheader attempts today, but at least I am not taking an a zero.

Game#1 Day #1  Friday April.06 Chase Field in Arizona 4:10 PM (Completed:  Arizona wins 5-4)

Game # 2 Day # 2  Saturday April.07 Angels Stadium in Anaheim 1:05 PM (Completed LAA loses 6-3 to KC)

Game # 3 Day # 2 Saturday April.07 Petco Park in San Diego 5:35 PM (I Have 2 doubleheader attempts with SD as Game 2 of the day)( Completed: San Diego loses 6-5 to the LAD in 11 innings)

Game # 4 Day # 3  Sunday April.08 Minute Maid Park in Houston 1:05 PM (Completed: Houston wins 3-2)

Game # 5 Day # 4  Monday April.09 Citizens Bank Ball Park in Philadelphia 1:05 PM (Citizens Bank Ball Park Season Opener) (Completed: Philly loses 6-2 to the Miami Marlins)

Game # 6 Day # 4   Monday April.09 Citi Field in New York (NYM win 3-2 over WSH)

Game # 7 Day # 5   Tuesday April.10 Dodgers Stadium in Los Angeles 1:05 PM (Dodger Stadium Season Opener) Completed: LAD wins 2-1 over  Pit)

Game # 8 Day # 6  Wednesday April.11 The Ballpark in Arlington 7:05 PM

Game # 9 Day #7 Thursday April.12 Coors Field 1:05 PM

Game #10 Day # 8 Friday April.13 AT&T Park in San Francisco 1:35 PM  (AT & T Park Season Opener)

Game # 11 Day # 9 Saturday April.14 Target Field in Minnesota 12:10 PM

Game # 12 Day # 10  Sunday April.15 Rogers Center in Toronto 1:07 PM

Game # 13 Day # 10 Sunday April.15 Yankees Stadium in the Bronx 8:05 PM

Game # 14 Day #11 Monday April.16 Fenway Park in Boston 11:05 AM

Game # 15  Day #11 Monday April.16 Nationals Park in Washington 7:05 PM

Game # 16  Day #12 Tuesday April.17 New Marlins Ballpark 7:05 PM

Game # 17  Day #13  WED April.18 Turner Field in Atlanta 12:10 PM

Game # 18  Day #13  WED April.18 Busch Stadium in St. Louis 7:15 PM

Game # 19 Day #14 THUR April.19 Safeco Field in Seattle 7:10 PM

Game # 20  Day # 15 Friday  April.20 Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City 7:10 PM

Game # 21 Day # 16 SAT.    April.21 Wrigley Field in Chicago 12:00 PM

Game # 22 Day # 16 SAT.    April.21 Miller Park in Milwaukee 6:05 PM

Game # 23  Day # 17 SUN.   April.22 Comerica Park in Detroit 1:05 PM 

Game # 24 Day # 18 MON.  April.23 O.co Coliseum in Oakland 7:05 PM

Game # 25 Day # 19 TUES  April.24 Tropicana Field in Tampa Bay 7:05 PM

Game # 26 Day # 20  WED.  April.25 PNC Park in Pittsburgh 12:35 PM

Game # 27  Day # 20 WED.  April.25 Progressive Field in Cleveland 7:05 PM

Game # 28 Day # 21 THU.   April.26 Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati 12:35 PM

Game # 29  Day # 21 THU.   April.26 US Cellular Field in Chicago 7:11 PM

Game# 30  Day # 22 FRI      April.27  Oriole Park at Camden Yards. 7:05 PM

 ***Thank you to our Lead 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 ***

Please e-mail us at: mlbreports@me.com with any questions and feedback.  You can follow us on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook.  To subscribe to our website and have the Daily Reports sent directly to your inbox, click here and follow the link at the top of our homepage.

The First Five Games of The Streak

Tuesday April.10/2012

Douglas “Chuck” Booth at Citi April 9th

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer and @chuckbooth3024)- Well, I finally get a chance to breathe for one second.  Too bad it was at the expense of the events that transpired yesterday.  Contrary to popular belief, this world record streak is not a walk in the park. Traveling is a hard thing to do at the best of times.  I will break down the trip synopsis game by game.  I am breaking down the travel games at Parks day by day. Read the rest of this entry

An Interview with Petco Park Expert Ken Lee

Saturday April.07/2012

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer and @chuckbooth3024 on twitter)- I had the chance to talk to my fellow co-author of the “Fastest 30 Ballgames” Ken Lee recently about Petco Park.  Ken has made numerous trips to San Diego to visit this newer ball yard.  This is what we discussed.

DB: “Welcome to the MLB Reports Experts Interview Series Ken.  Please tell us about yourself and then give us a bit of background information on your life as a baseball fan?”

KL:  “My name is Ken Lee, I am a General Manager for Jackson Hewitt Tax Service and I live in Marysville, WA with my wife Yvonne and our 2 pup pups, Boomer & Tilly. I am a co-writer of the book titled “The Fastest 30 Ballgames – A Ballpark Chasers World Record Story” that came out last year. I grew up playing baseball and loving every aspect of the game. I attended my first MLB game in April of 1977 @ the Kingdome in Seattle (Yankees vs Mariners). Since then I have attended about 1,000 games or so. I have seen games at 29 outta 30 current ballparks (the lone exception being the new Marlins Park – which I will pick up on May 14th & 15th) and I have seen 42 different MLB ballparks overall.”

DB: “You recently joined me in writing the book “The Fastest Thirty Ballgames”. What does having your name permanently as an author in the ‘Library of Congress’ mean to you?” Read the rest of this entry

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