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MLB Reports Hall Of Fame Predictions: Class Of 2014 Players

The deadline of December 31st has come and gone for The Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA). Members were asked to submit no more than 10 names of players they "deem" worthy of induction towards this year's National Baseball Hall of Fame ceremony set for July.

The deadline of December 31st has come and gone for The Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA). Members were asked to submit no more than 10 names of players they “deem” worthy of induction towards this year’s National Baseball Hall of Fame ceremony set for July.

By Patrick Languzzi (Cooperstown Correspondent)

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Results are scheduled to be announced on January 8th.

Players must receive at least 75 percent of the votes in order to be inducted by a voting body of roughly over 500 eligible writers.

There are many player names worthy of discussion, however, few will see enshrinement, now or ever.

Greg Maddux Tribute:

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Red Sox Great Dwight Evans Falls Short Of 2013 Expansion Era Ballot For Hall Of Fame

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By Patrick Languzzi (Cooperstown Correspondent)

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On November 4th the National Baseball Hall of Fame released the names of 12 candidates selected to the Expansion Era ballot of the Veterans Committee. 

The Expansion Era is composed of players, executives and managers who made their greatest career contributions between 1973 – present.

Of the 12 selected, any candidate receiving 12 of 16 votes, (seventy-five percent) will gain election into The National Baseball Hall of Fame with a ceremonial induction scheduled for July of 2014.

Dwight Evans Cannon For An Arm

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30 MLB Team Power Rankings: Week 14

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Monday July.01/2013

The Bucs have won 9 straight games and now possess a record of 51 - 30.  You have to think that the club will put the nail in the coffin on its 20 year losing streak - with just needing to win 31 of their 81 games remaining.  Better yet, ESPN has them listed as a 88 Percent chance to make the playoffs for the first time since the 1992 season.  At the halfway point in the season, the Bucs have the best record in the MLB - and have reached #2 in our power rankings

The Bucs have won 9 straight games and now possess a record of 51 – 30. You have to think that the club will finally put the nail in the coffin on its 20 year losing streak – with just needing to win 31 of their 81 games remaining. Better yet, ESPN has them listed as a 88 Percent chance to make the playoffs for the first time since the 1992 season. At the halfway point in the season, the Bucs have the best record in the MLB – and have reached #2 in our power rankings.

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

Another Week has come and gone in the MLB.

Week Stats Ending – June.29/2013

(MLB Reports) AL Hitter Of The Week -  Jason Kipnis (CLE – He reached base 24 times in the 8 games (14 hits, 9 Walks and 1 HBP) – with 3 HRs, 6 – 2B, 9 Runs and 11 RBI.  He hit .519 for the week).

Runners up were:  Miguel Cabrera (DET – OPS of 1.583, with 4 HRs and 7 RBI), Dustin Pedroia (BOS – .560 BA, 14 hits), and Raul Ibanez (SEA – OPS of 1.455 – 3 HRs and 5 RBI.)

(MLB Reports) AL Pitcher Of The WeekR.A. Dickey (TOR – 2 hit CG Shutout versus the Tampa Bay Rays.)

Runners up were: Koji Uehara (BOS – 3 Perfect Saves) and Joe Blanton LAA (1 – 0, with a 1.88 ERA in 2 GS). Read the rest of this entry

2 And A Hook Podcast Ep #8: Dodgers (Puig Especially), White Sox + Braves Talk With Awesome Guests!

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Thursday, June.20/2013

MLB reports and The Benchwarmers Show present 2 and A Hook Podcast

MLB reports and The Benchwarmers Show present 2 and A Hook Podcast.

’2 And A Hook’ is an expression from Baseball:  ‘Throw the guy 2 Fast balls and then a Hook’ (AKA Curve Ball, Wiggly one, Chair etc..)

By James Acevedo – Host (Podcast Veteran )

On today’s show, brought to you by MLB Reports (www.mlbreports.com) & yours truly The Bench Warmers, I talked with MLB Reports Braves correspondent Bob McVinua (www.braveschoptalk.wordpress.com) about the Atlanta Braves season so far, what’s to come for them the rest of the season plus other things…

Then I talked to MLB Reports Dodgers correspondent Enrique Rivera about their phenom Yasiel Puig, if the Dodgers somehow can get back in the playoff race amongst other issues…

Also I interviewed MLB Reports White Sox correspondent Brian Madsen about the White Sox offensive struggles, is their farm system producing any future ball players & other stuff…also I do my Stats & Facts segment as usual so check out this baseball podcast that talks baseball like it outta be!!! SPREAD THE WORD!! Thank you all for your support!!!

People in this Podcast:

Bob McVinua (MLB Reports Guest Braves Correspondent – About 9 Minutes in and a 21 Minute Segment)

Enrique Rivera (MLB Reports LA Dodgers Correspondent – 31 Minute Mark and a 15 Minute Segment) 

Brian Madsen (MLB Reports White Sox Correspondent- 53 Minutes In and a 17 Minute Segment) 

(Stats and Facts done by James at the 1 Hour and 10 Minute Mark for 20 Minutes and for the 1st 9 Minutes.)

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Triple Play Podcast Ep # 13 – Around The Horn w/OAK/KC/COL/TOR + Bean Wars + The Genius Beane

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Monday, June.17, 2013

The Triple Play Show will have 5 shows per month.  Each show will be about 1 hour

The Triple Play Show will have 5 shows per month. Each show will be about 1 hour.

By The Big Ticket Show ( AKA Triple Play Podcast on http://www.mlbreports.com)

Guests in this Podcast – Chuck Booth (MLB Reports Owner and Lead Analyst) 

On this week’s show Chuck Booth joins us to break down all the biggest stories in MLB. We also go Around the Horn with Chuck to discuss the A’s, Rockies and Royals current situations and declare the worthy few that belong on their respective Mt Rushmore’s. Bethubb.com best bets end the show as always. Happy Father’s Day!!!!!!!

Intro – 10 Minutes, Toronto Blue Jays talk from 10 Minute to the 18 Minute Mark.  OAK chat – 18 minute – 33 Minute Mark, COL Talk 33 Minutes – 44 Minute Mark.  Kansas City Royals Chart 44 Minutes Mark – 59 Minute Mark.  Late Jays Talk Bethubb Best Bets 1 hour 1 MIN mark to 1 hour 9 Minute Mark.

Quick Facts:  Catsfish Hunter was 7 – 2 in the Post Season for the 1972, 1973 and 1974 World Series Winning A’s – and only 2 -4 with the 3 Post Seasons with the Yankees.  Still 5 World Series Winners was great.  Chuck also meant Ewing Kauffman (Chuck thought his nickname was Charlie in the podcast – maybe because his name his Charlie) when talking about the Royals MT. Rushmore for the franchise.

Yogi Berra did indeed play in 14 World Series and won 10 of them in his Yankees days.

To Keep Reading and Listen to this Podcast click the READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY or scroll past the Triple Play Logo.

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Hawk Harrelson – Love Him Or Hate Him, He’s Ours

 

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Saturday, June.01/2013

By Brian Madsen (White Sox Correspondent): 

“You can put it on the boaaaaaard!! Yeeeeeeeeeesssss!!” Almost all baseball fans are familiar with that catch phrase. Some love it, some hate it.

It belongs to Ken “Hawk” Harrelson, play by play TV announcer for the Chicago White Sox since 1982. Though he took a year off in 1986 to become the White Sox GM. That position didn’t suit Hawk very well (he fired Tony La Russa and traded Bobby Bonilla during his GM stint), and he jumped right back into the broadcast booth. He then called games for the Yankees in 1987 and 1988, and NBC until 1989.

In 1990, he once again became the Sox color man and has held that position until today. He’s been a polarizing figure ever since. I would say 70% of Sox fans love him, with the other 30% having grown tired of him over the years, and just want something new (and some hating him of course).

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Triple Play Podcast #10: An Interview With MLB Reports Cards Correspondent Landen Crouch + Poor Show Of Brett Lawrie!

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Tuesday, May 28th, 2013

The Triple Play Show will have 5 shows per month.  Each show will be about 1 hour

The Triple Play Show will have 5 shows per month. Each show will be about 1 hour.

By The Big Ticket Show ( AKA Triple Play Podcast on http://www.mlbreports.com)

Guests in this Podcast – Landen Crouch (Cardinals Correspondent) of mlbreports.com  (

Landen Crouch of mlbreports.com is our guest on this episode as we discuss the continuous success of the cardinals. We also cover their rich history as Landen gives us his Mt Rushmore of Cards greats. Finally we bat around Brett Lawrie‘s recent run-ins and lack of maturity.

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St. Louis Cardinals – Week 1 Review

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Monday, April 8th, 2013

2012 was a season that ended with disappointment which ultimately distracted us from recognizing what a successful year it really was.  2012 highlighted a lot of the greatness that is to come for this great franchise.  The Cardinals are greatly positioned for the next 5 years with the influx of 6 top 100 MLB Prospects at  League Entry Level Contracts. Having said this, the club started out the year dropping 2 out of 3 to the Arizona Diamondbacks, before pulverizing the defending World Series Champions over the weekend - taking the series 2 - 1 and outscoring the Giants 20 - 7, while obliterating Matt Cain's ERA for some time. by hanging 9 Earned Runs on him in just 3.2 IP

2012 was a season that ended with disappointment which ultimately distracted us from recognizing what a successful year it really was. 2012 highlighted a lot of the greatness that is to come for this great franchise. The Cardinals are greatly positioned for the next 5 years with the influx of 6 top 100 MLB Prospects at League Entry Level Contracts. Having said this, the club started out the year dropping 2 out of 3 to the Arizona Diamondbacks, before pulverizing the defending World Series Champions over the weekend – taking the series 2 – 1 and outscoring the Giants 20 – 7, while obliterating Matt Cain’s ERA for some time. by hanging 9 Earned Runs on him in just 3.2 IP.

By Landen Crouch ( Cardinals Correspondent)

Week in Review:

The opening week of the 2013 season for the St. Louis Cardinals can now be considered successful after a 14-3 win over the San Francisco Giants on Sunday afternoon.  The Cardinals finished their opening week six-game West Coast road trip with a .500-record of (3-3).

This is definitely a huge success for the Cardinals to come back to St. Louis with at least a .500 record.  Of course, they wanted to win the 16-inning marathon against the Diamondbacks on Wednesday night (and early into Thursday morning), and the 1-0 pitchers-dual game against Barry Zito on Friday. 

Those were two tough losses.  Overall, though, this week was positive for the Cardinals and should give them some momentum coming into their home opening series against the Cincinnati Reds.

2013 St. Louis Cardinals Preview by MLB Network:

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Can The Cardinals Still Compete With Another Winter Of Losses For A 2nd Year?

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Friday March.29/2013

The Cardinals have been the most consistent Franchise in the National League, having appeared in 8 of the last 12 NLCS since 2000 (3-5).  They have also won 2 World Series in that time (2006 and 2011.)  They held a 3-1 NLCS lead over the San Francisco Giants before losing to the 2012 World Champions.  If there was an Atomic Bomb, I am sure that Cockroaches, Silly Puddy and the Cardinals would survive it because they just keep coming like Zombie's

The Cardinals have been the most consistent Franchise in the National League, having appeared in 8 of the last 12 NLCS since 2000 (3-5). They have also won 2 World Series in that time (2006 and 2011.) They held a 3-1 NLCS lead over the San Francisco Giants before losing to the eventual 2012 World Champions. If there was an Atomic Bomb, I am sure that Cockroaches, Silly Puddy and the Cardinals would survive it because they just keep coming like Zombie’s.  Will 2013 be any different for the team without being able for all of the NL Teams to fatten up on the Astros?


Jake Dal Porto (Baseball Writer)

The St.Louis Cardinals didn’t do much adding this offseason. Sometimes this isn’t such a bad thing, as constant tinkering to a roster isn’t always needed. But if anything, the Cardinals have become a weaker team since losing to the San Francisco Giants in the NLCS.

Perhaps the most concerning flaw to their roster revolves around the pitching staff.

Kyle Lohse just signed a deal with inner-division rivals, the Milwaukee Brewers. Lohse posted a 2.86 ERA in 2012, and finished seventh in Cy Young voting. Among other things, he also pitched a career-high 211 Innings, compiled a career-high 134 ERA+ and barely walked 1.5 batters per 9 IP. Read the rest of this entry

BBWAA Historical Overview Committee To Devise 2014 Expansion Era Ballot

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Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Photo by rsnalberta.blogspot.com

By Patrick Languzzi (Cooperstown Correspondent):  

From January 29th – 31st, the Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA) Historical Overview Committee met in Cooperstown to screen potential candidates for the 2014 Expansion Era ballot (Veterans Committee). The 12-member ballot will be released in the fall and is scheduled to be voted on at the baseball winter meetings in December by a 16-member electorate.

The Expansion Era is comprised of players, executives and managers who made their greatest career contributions between 1973 – present. Eligible players must be retired for at least 21 years and have played at least 10 major league seasons. Managers and Umpires are eligible five years after retirement, with 10 years of service, or six months from the date of election after retirement, if they are 65 years or older.

All candidates receiving at least 12 of 16 votes (75 percent of the 16 ballots) will gain election into the National Baseball Hall of Fame for a July 2014 ceremonial induction.

Under the new rules, the Veterans Committee ballots run on a three-year rotation beginning in 2010 with the Expansion Era (1973 – present), Golden Era (1947 – 1972) and Pre-Integration Era (1871 – 1946).

Here’s a look at the selected nominees from 2010. Long retired players; Dave Concepcion, Steve Garvey, Vida Blue, Ron Guidry, Tommy John, Al Oliver, Rusty Staub and Ted Simmons. Manager Billy Martin and executives George Steinbrenner, Pat Gillick and Marvin Miller.

Pat Gillick HOF Induction Speech:

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MLB Reports Playoff Power Rankings and Predictions 2012

Friday, October.5/2012

The Reds have Joey Votto back and definitely are the deepest team in the playoffs. They start in San Francisco versus the Giants on Saturday in a best of 5 Series in the NLDS Round.

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer):

In what could be one of the most exciting days in MLB History, we present to you a special edition of the MLB Reports Power Rankings,

1.  Cincinnati Reds:  The reason I have chosen these guys is because of their path to the World Series is probably easier than any other team in the MLB when it comes to Strength of Schedule.  Johnny Cueto, Aroldis Chapman and Todd Frazier will challenge for NL Cy Young Votes and the Rookie of the Year Award.  They have a healthy Joey Votto and it is time for Brandon Phillips to show his playoff metal.  They have the greatest bullpen in the playoffs and are playing in the 1st round against the San Francisco Giants.  The Great American Ball Park should be a great home field advantage.

Unheralded Player to watch in this Playoffs:  Starting Pitcher Homer Bailey has pitched really well this year and is coming off a recent no-hitter.

2.  Detroit Tigers:  The Tigers are playing their best baseball of the season and caught a break when the Athletics won the AL West.  Miguel Cabrera was on fire in September en route to his AL Triple Crown win.  The Tigers were 32-11 in their last 43 home games and their solid pitching bodes well versus all of the homer centric teams in the AL.  Their toughest competition would be the Yankees and Rangers and I am not sure those teams will be able to match the pitching of the club.  While in my rankings I have given the #1 ranking to the Reds, the Tigers were my preseason pick to win the WS Title and it will all be on the backs of Prince Fielder and Cabrera. 

Unheralded player to watch in the Playoffs:  Omar Infante He is a great all around player who comes up with clutch hits.

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Will The Cardinals Repeat?

Sunday September 2, 2012

            John Burns: The season for the reigning World Champions the St. Louis Cardinals has been one filled with surprises.  With one of the biggest surprises being long time Cardinal Albert Pujols leaving the franchise to sign with the Los Angeles Angels.  In an attempt to replace Pujols, the Cardinals re-signed veteran outfielder Carlos Beltran. Although Beltran is not Albert Pujols, he is having a very good season for St. Louis with 28 HRs and 86 RBI. Nobody expected Beltran to play this well and basically be matching Pujols numbers.

As of September 1st, the Cardinals have a 72-61 record and are in possession of the second NL Wild Card Spot. We all know the story of the Cardinals last year when they got hot and never looked back-until they were holding up the World Series trophy. They are in a very similar situation this year, (as they were last year) by being in the hunt for a Wild Card spot. This year’s Cardinals squad is not the same as the 2011 World Series team version. With Tony La Russa, Chris Carpenter, Lance Berkman, and Albert Pujols all gone or injured, the Cards have a different look.  All three of those players played a major significance in the Cards winning the World Series in 2011.

Highlights courtesy of FOX and ESPN and MLB Reports is not the copyrights holder

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Top Ten Stat of the Week: Active Saves Leaders in the MLB (A Closers Role)

Monday August.13/2012

Mariano Rivera holds the ALL-Time Record for any closer (active or retired) with 608 Saves. Will he come back in 2013 to add to his totals?

Chuck Booth: (Lead Baseball Writer and @chuckbooth3024 on twitter)-  To be a closer in today’s baseball game takes quite the mental fortitude.  There is a lot of psychological warfare one could do to himself in preventing a successful run at saving games.  While I am of the mindset that the relief pitchers of yesteryear seemed to be relied on more for lengthier durations, this does not diminish this stat in any way.  It is hard to acquire the 90-100% save rate that most teams are striving for in a pitching staff.  In any given seasons the average save opportunities average from 45-65 chances to lock a game down.  A lot of this also depends on what team you play for.  There have been several phenomenal stretches put forth by closers of the game in recent vintage.  Who could forget Canadian born Erig Gagne?  This man once saved 85 straight games from 2002-2004.  He is the all-time leader in that category and beat out John Franco’s previous record by an astounding 30 games. Another incredible run was Brad Lidge‘s incredible 2008 season where he did not blow a save opportunity out of 48 games both in the regular season and playoffs.

Sure these guys don’t log 120 innings anymore, or throw for 3 inning saves like Rollie Fingers and Goose Gossage did for many years.  By the way, we can all thank Tony La Russa for the invention of specialists pitchers (Rick Honeycutt, Jesse Orosco anyone?) and the one inning save closers.  La Russa perfected this scenario with former starter Dennis Eckersley coming out of the pen for the Oakland A’s during their powerhouse days in the late 80′s.  Eckersley was so dominant every team tried to duplicate their own bullpens to mock the A’s. 

Before this time had come, relief pitchers were all mostly comprised of young pitchers trying to acclimatize themselves into the Major Leagues first, before earning a spot as a Starting Pitcher.  For example, David Wells was once a relief pitcher for the Toronto Blue Jays first and then was promoted to a starting pitcher after he proved he could pitch in the Major Leagues.   In today’s baseball world, relief pitchers are now being drafted out of college and high school as relievers whereas they used to all come from the position of starting pitcher.  It also used to be that relief pitchers were players that graduated to a starter and then could not find success as starters and were sent back to the bullpen once again to stay.  When it came down to it, you had only a couple of chances to perform as a starter.  Maybe it was because there were bigger than life characters like Gossage that make remember these pitchers in such favorable terms.  Maybe it was because we never saw them interviewed on a social media platform like today’s athlete is and the mystery surrounded them made them more feared, or maybe it is because we tend to admire things more when they happened in the past.  I still love the closers role in today’s game and nothing has more drama in a baseball game than trying to nail down the last 3 outs!

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It Is The 5 Year Anniversary Of His Re-Debut As A Hitter: What Is Next For Rick Ankiel?

Thursday August.09, 2012

At Age 20 (and starting out the year at age 19), Ankiel finished 2nd in ROY voting, 7th in strikeouts and ERA, 2nd in K’s/Per 9 IP and Hits/Per 9 IP in 2000. He threw 94-97 MPH as a Young Pitcher, however a mental block and injuries plagued him to the point where he changed into a permanent Outfielder in 2005.

­Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer and @chuckbooth3024 on twitter)- Playing the game of baseball is predicated on failure.  Most of us that have played the game, realize how hard it is to hit a flying object with a piece of wood or metal.  The majority of players, that are in the Major Leagues, have honed their skills from the time they were just starting grade school.  Generally it takes a hell of a lot of repetition to become good at something.  As an aspiring baseball player in my teens, I can remember swinging the baseball over 200 times a day in trying to perfect my swing.  I had practice drills that would emphasize on weight transference, foot work and eye-hand coordination.  So I imagine a lot of today’s current players did the same when they were a kid.  Today marks the 5 year anniversary from one of the greatest stories ever produced on the field by a Major League Player.

The Cardinals Drafted Rick Ankiel in the 2nd round of the 1997 Amateur Draft.  Ankiel had great pitching mechanics and made his dream come true on Aug.23 1999 (at the Age of 19),  by making his pitching debut with the St. Louis Cardinals against the Montreal Expos  He sported a 0-1 record in 5 starts to end the year with an impressive 39 Strikeouts in 33 innings, while posting a respectable 3.27 ERA.  Ankiel was a budding prospect with a chance to become a perennial ALL-Star.  In his Rookie year during the 2000 season, he finished with a record of 11-7 with a 3.50 ERA-and was 7th in the league with 194 Strikeouts. 

This season was good enough to finish 2nd in Rookie of the Year Balloting.    The Cardinals needed him to pitch in Game #1 of the NLDS because he and Daryl Kile were the only ones left on the roster as 3 starters from the regular season had become injured.  To further put pressure on this young kid, his mentor for the game of baseball, his father, had been incarcerated in jail at the time as he was making it to the Major Leagues and it ate at him not having him there live to see him play.  Still, Tony La Russa had complete faith in the kid to start in pivotal games at such a young age because of his electric arm. 

It proved to be a costly mistake as Ankiel started to mentally fracture by the 3rd inning of that very game and ended up walking 4 batters and throwing a record 5 wild pitches in one inning-while giving up 4 runs.  Ankiel never recovered from leaving the mound on that day.  Against everyone’s better judgement, La Russa sent out Ankiel again to start in  Game #2 of the NLCS versus the Braves.  His first pitch of the game sailed over Timo Perez of the New York Mets.  5 wild pitches later and La Russa mercifully pulled him from the game.  If you can believe it, La Russa brought out Ankiel to face four more hitters in Game #5 of the Series.  This time he walked 2 more hitters and threw 2 more wild pitches.  The Mets wiped out the depleted Cardinals pitching staff in that 5th game.  If you ask La Russa, these decisions all haunt him more than any other thing that he has ever done as a manager.

Here is a great highlight reel showing off Ankiel’s best moments as a National in 2011.

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Top Ten Stat of The Week: Team Wins Since The Start of the 2003 Season

Monday  July 23, 2012

With only one World Series Win and a 2003 Loss to the Florida Marlins, it hasn’t stopped the Yankees from raking in wins every year. They have averaged 95 wins a season since 2003.

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer and @chuckbooth3024)-  This weeks installment is actually a top 11. I bent the rules a little to accommodate the A’s.  It is hard to maintain a great franchise in today’s Major Leagues.  Sure the heavy hitters like New York and Boston will always be sniffing around the top of the league with their huge payrolls, but most teams don’t have the luxury to spend like these two teams do because of their limited revenue streams.  In the last few years, the Phillies, Angels and Tigers have entered the echelon of top spenders.  Spending money doesn’t always equal great results.  The Texas Rangers have only had success lately and were often victim to heavy payrolls and not great results.  How many years did Peter Angelos try to buy a contender with Baltimore?  He has dedicated himself back to the right way of building a team the last couple of years and it has worked through player development.

Minnesota and Oakland have been run incredibly well for a long time.  If this list was for a five-year stretch, you would have seen the Tampa Bay Rays as part of the top 10.  These are the small market teams that have been consistently playing well against the  big boys.  The Twins have only faded back in the standings in the last couple of seasons.  The Atlanta Braves finally had their consecutive playoff years stopped in 2005 and they were only mediocre for a few seasons.  Right now, they might be the best team in the National League. The Angels, Twins, Dodgers, Athletics, Dodgers and Braves did not make any World Series appearances since 2003.  Out of these teams, the Angels have the most wins.

According to the movie ‘The Natural,’ losing is a disease, and like other diseases, (insert disease here) it is curable.  Most of these teams have not even struggled in the last 10 years.  The Yankees have only won one World Series in this time frame, despite dominating the win total every year.  In fact, the last time the Yankees has a losing season was 1991.  The Cardinals and the Red Sox both have won 2 World Series, and the Cardinals are the only team  to have appeared in the Fall Classic 3 times during  this stretch. Read the rest of this entry

MLB Reports Monthly Power Rankings: July 2012

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 GrandersonPhil 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

MLB reports Monthly Power Rankings: May 2012

Tuesday May 8th, 2012

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer and @chuckbooth3024 on twitter)-We are going to bring you a monthly power rankings every month of the season.  There will be a few verses for each team.  Please feel free to let us know your thoughts.

May Power Rankings

  1. Texas (19-10)  Josh Hamilton is clubbing the ball at his 2010 like AL MVP clip.  Yu Darvish appears to be the real deal.  Mike Napoli hits 8th on most nights. Michael Young might be the most under-appreciated hitter in the last decade.  Ian Kinsler is on pace for 162 runs.  If Nelson Cruz starts hitting and or Nathan rounds into form, than this team may blitz by every one.
  2. Tampa Bay (19-10) The pitching staff is incredible right now.  David Price is asserting himself as one of the premier left-handed pitchers in baseball. Strong starts from Evan Longoria, Luke Scott and Carlos Pena have helped.  Joe Maddon may be the best ‘in-game manager’ of baseball now with Tony La Russa out of the Majors.
  3. Atlanta (18-12) The reason I have Atlanta rated so high is they are not even having a good year from Tim Hudson yet and Jair Jurrjens has been atrocious.  Still they sit near the top of the standings.  Chipper Jones has 21 RBI and Freddie Freeman has taken the next step so far with 26 RBI.  Last year the team had a lot of players with career worst years and they were only eliminated on the last day of the season.  This year may be different.
  4. St. Louis (18-11) You lose a franchise player like Albert Pujols and you spend half the money for Carlos Beltran and Rafael Furcal, who are finally hitting the numbers like the back of their bubble gum cards from 5 years ago.  Are we giving enough credit to Mark McGwire here? Lance Lynn has morphed into Chris Carpenter with his 6-0 start.
  5. LA Dodgers (19-10) Matt Kemp is the best player in baseball right now and may walk away with the triple crown this year.  Andre Ethier has matured into the RBI guy he needs to be.  Solid pitching by Clayton Kershaw, Chris Capuano and Ted Lilly have this team looking solid. Dodgers look good in the future when  the new ownership takes over. (more…)

Which MLB Managers Are in the Hot Seat?

Wednesday February 22nd, 2012

Bryan Sheehan (MLB Reports Intern):  A new year of baseball brings with it so many questions, rumors and, most importantly, expectations about every team in the league. Will the Marlins improve? Can the Red Sox make the playoffs this year? And behind every question and prediction is the team that hometown fans and front-office executives expect to win. More specifically, the manager of each team is expected to take the players that he has and mold a winning ball club; if he can’t, he’ll be the first one to go. Read the rest of this entry

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