By Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner): Follow @chuckbooth3024
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It is a not a shock the Braves are shying away from the Free Agency thus far in the winter. After all, the franchise spent the most they ever had for B.J. Upton last offseason, only to have been served a train wreck in 2013.
Honestly, besides the 1st month, and a torrid stretch in August, Justin Upton wasn’t far off the power production of his older brother in the other 4 months of play.
If it weren’t for the Chris Johnson add in that deal (Braves savior), plus his subsequent Batting Average race for the NL lead, this would be an even graver subject.
The last line was not an indictment on the Braves and D’Backs trade, rather just that Johnson helped make up for the lack of production from B.J. Upton.
We all know overall Justin Upton made the same numbers as were likely projected. That trade is yet to be determined, but adding Johnson was a nice little move.
B.J. Upton – rare good game in 2013
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At the point after Eric O’Flaherty went down, many of us Braves fans began to panic and wonder how Fredi Gonzalez would get the ball to arguably the best closer
in all of baseball Craig Kimbrel. What happened after that? The Braves would still go on to post the best bullpen ERA in all of baseball and on top of that set a franchise record for the same mark.
BJ Upton and Dan Uggla struggled throughout most of the 2013 season and BJ was one of the players expected to make a huge impact when he signed with the Braves this winter and it just never happened.
Other players stepped up and young players assumed roles that were well beyond the original expectations of them in 2013.
No one panicked and no one quit and as a fan I am appreciative of the heart and effort this team always put forth.
The Dodgers Celebrate winning the NLDS Series versus Atlanta (At Turner Field)
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Despite injuries and struggles on the offensive end from highly paid players such as BJ Upton and Dan Uggla the Braves still manged to dominant the Eastern Division.
By “dominate” I mean they were in 1st place every single day of the season except for April 4th and they held at least an 8 game lead every single day for the final 60 of the season. If that’s not dominance I don’t know what is.
Besides the incredible season – and all that was achieved, the Braves did fail to secure the number one seed in the National League for the post season – which would have secured them home field throughout the playoffs and allowed them to play the winner of the Wild Card “play in game.” rather then having to face the Dodgers in the N.L.D.S.
By Hayley Howell (Featured Baseball Writer + Braves Enthusiastic Fan) Follow @heyhaylzzz
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The first fourteen years of my life (1991-2005) the Braves won consecutive division titles (the best run in MLB to date). They were the first team in the NL to go from last place to first place the next year (“Worst to First”).
They went to the World Series. (1991 was the first time that the home team won all 7 games of the World Series-too bad Atlanta wasn’t the home team).
On my first trip to the local library after moving downtown twenty minutes from home I quickly discovered there were only two Braves books in the whole four floors:
The Miracle Season and a book by John Smoltz that I wish I could remember the title of because I read that thing like it was a holy canon that summer.
I know the Braves beat the Astros 6-5 a few hours after I was born, and I think, in baseball astrology terms, that meant I was destined to become a Braves fan.
The first World Series I was alive for was the Braves and the Twins, not as if I could remember it, but I know that people still argue over the bad call that supposedly caused the Braves to lose, as if one call among thousands could determine a game much less a series.
And for fourteen years consecutively the Braves won their Division (of course the 1994 Season was cancelled, negating the only time the season ended, without them atop the NL East Standings – Montreal was leading that year).
Braves Clinch The NL East
By Josh Robbins (Special Guest Writer And Co – Creator for The Factor12 Rating Pitching Metric.)
The Factor 12 (F12) is an analytic measurement utilizing league average performance to compare the value of all MLB pitchers on 60ft6in.com.
My grandfather was a traveling salesman for most of his working life. Frequently, he recalls stories about selling his wares in exotic places such as Keokuk, Iowa, Hannibal, Missouri, and Cairo, Illinois.
However, the real Traveling Salesman Problem (TSP) asks this question: “Given a list of cities and the distances between each pair of cities, what is the shortest possible route that visits each city exactly once and returns to the origin city?”
Applying this computation to all 30 MLB stadiums is more complex given the nature of the regular season schedule. A handful of metropolitan cities host two clubs enabling for travel to occur in the same city more than once.
Without using a complex algorithm or formula based system, google maps will be utilized to determine the shortest distances between each city/stadium to determine the most logical route.
Extreme ballpark chasers are often left to the mercy of the schedule eliminating a perfect directional path.
After optimizing the mileage breakdown between stadiums, this is the shortest possible DRIVING route discovered:
30 Ballparks in 30 Days Documentary
30 in 21 chance by Jake Beham
By Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner): Follow @mlbreports
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.
The word “injury” has plagued this 2013 Braves team all season long.
The injury bug didn’t take long to hit as Jonny Venters the teams premier set up man was unable to throw a single pitch this regular season.
Then it was Eric O’Flaherty who was hit with a season ending injury. At this point in time it was about mid May and many were in panic mode over what would become of this feared and revered Atlanta Braves bullpen.
It wouldn’t take too long to find out the answer to that question. After a little mixing and matching Fredi Gonzalez found the right guys to plug into those critical 7th/8th inning roles and they have been nothing short of spectacular.
Jason Heyward Hit In The Face – Not For The Weak Of Heart, You Have Been Warned!
Ballpark Chaser definition: Someone who is actively pursuing quests to view Baseball Parks.
Guys talked about in this Article: Completely Insane!
By Josh Robbins (Special Guest Writer And Co – Creator for The Factor12 Rating Pitching Metric.) Factor 12 (F12) is an analytic measurement utilizing league average performance to compare the value of all MLB pitchers on 60ft6in.com.
MLB Expansion Makes Ballpark Chasing Possible
Twenty years ago, the course of history changed for ballpark chasing. In 1993, the Colorado Rockies and Florida Marlins debuted in the National League, increasing the total number of MLB teams to twenty-eight.
The two new franchises created positions for fifty players and expanded the pursuits for ballpark chasers.
In prior years, the nearest connection between a west coast team and the mid-west was Anaheim Stadium to Royals Stadium, a 23-hour drive covering 1,619 miles.
As a result, it was impossible for fans to attend games in consecutive days at every MLB stadium during one concurrent driving trip. Consequently, the only method to complete the entire circuit was to combine land and air travel.
The new league structure dramatically altered the traveling landscape by adding Mile High Stadium in Denver, a 14-hour, 1,011-mile drive from Anaheim Stadium.
Reggie Deal’s- 30 Day. 30 Park Compilation (A Blind Fan Who visited all 30 MLB Parks in 30 Days last year)
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’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 ) Follow @yankeeman1973
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) Follow @tomahawkchop95
Enrique Rivera (MLB Reports LA Dodgers Correspondent – 31 Minute Mark and a 15 Minute Segment) Follow @eriqwiththeq
Brian Madsen (MLB Reports White Sox Correspondent- 53 Minutes In and a 17 Minute Segment) Follow @brianm731
(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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Sometimes when a team is scuffling a little bit the fan base needs some reason for optimism. Now of course players are supposed to focus on the game and opponent at hand and not look too far away.
However I’m not a player so it’s perfectly fine for me to look ahead at the Braves schedule and what I see is nothing but smooth sailing ahead for Captain Fredi Gonzalez.
Now no game on a schedule can be counted as a win and on any given day anyone can beat anyone in Major League Baseball. I know the arguments against my point but I’d still much prefer to play a soft stretch in my schedule while I’m struggling a little bit then a difficult one.
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I don’t want this article to become one that is filled with stats and numbers. I don’t want to go into the details of the past season, this season or any other season. All this is about is discussing an often misunderstood entity of the game of baseball. The major league bullpens.
The topic of bullpens rarely turns into a heated debate even by baseball’s biggest fans. People are far more focused on the starting rotation and the position players that play every single day.
It’s rare for there to be a block buster bullpen signing or trade that really gets the juices of baseball fans going and the names in each bullpen are barely recognizable to most baseball fans.
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By Enrique Rivera (Dodgers Correspondent for MLB Reports) Follow @eriqwiththeq
I think it’s pretty safe to say that the Dodgers haven’t had a very mary month of May and with halfway through the month, they are 4-9. This includes an eight-game losing streak that went from May 1st to May 10th.
During that losing streak, the Dodgers committed a Dodger sin by being swept against their Rivals the San Francisco Giants at AT and T Park.
Usually when this happens to a team with a lot of talent, fans begin pointing fingers and try to figure out what the issue is. Either that or begin giving up on the team’s season right away.
Fingers have been pointed at many different things-from Dodgers’ skipper Don Mattingly to the injuries themselves. The biggest blow for the Dodgers was the injury that made their expensive new pitcher Zack Greinke miss several starts.
ESPN analysts Manny Acta and Alex Cora analyse Zack Greinke’s comeback
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Updated Last on March.25/2013
By Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer/Website Owner): Follow @chuckbooth3024
Over the course of 4 years of massive baseball travel, I have attempted 28 MLB Doubleheaders – and completed 22 of them. I Every year I take a look at the new MLB schedule and the 183 days worth of games. In the list (after the youtube clip I post), will feature every doable double-header scenario for a fan to view baseball games. Keep in mind that if you have never seen a MLB Park before – that rushing a day is not advised at all in these journeys.
The most common doubleheader is Wrigley Field or US Cellular Field – to be combined with Miller Park as part of a day-night doubleheader. The Yankees and Mets do play a few games on the same day together and are listed. The o.Co Coliseum in Oakland and AT & T Park also have a few doubleheader chances this season.
Other great doubleheader partners include both Dodger and Angel Stadium – combined with Petco Park if there is a matinée contest involved. Progressive Field and PNC Park also lends itself to easily connected doubleheaders if one has a day contest. Also watch out for Sunday Night ESPN games as part of programming as Eastern teams feature that 8:05 PM EST start time – which will lend it available to double up with a day matinée. The Phillies are compatible with both New York teams Via Amtrak Train option – and also with the Baltimore Orioles.
These doubleheaders mostly are located in different cities and some might even include a doable flight in the middle.
Field of Dreams Has To Be Part Of Your Trip Link Up Top and Video Down Below:
Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer): Follow @chuckbooth3024
In Atlanta, making the playoffs became so common for the Braves that the fans would just shrug off the feat and stay away from coming to the ballpark until the NLCS if they happened to make it. 14 straight division titles from 1991-2005, (Now as a Expos than Nationals fan) I would like to point out that they were not anywhere near the Expos in the 1994 Strike Year), spoiled the fans each season to take it for granted. 5 World Series appearances (including a 1-4 record), 9 NLCS Appearances (including a 5-4 record) and the team had a 9-5 NLDS record. After a playoff loss in 2005, the team was smart enough to rebuild for 5 years before making another playoff appearance in 2010 as the National League Wild Card team. That was Jason Heyward‘s rookie campaign, in which he finished 2nd in Rookie of the Year Voting with a .277 Batting Avg, 18 HRs and 72 RBI. The team lost out to the eventual World Series Champions, the San Francisco Giants in the NLDS.
In 2011, it was Freddie Freeman‘s turn to finish 2nd in ‘Rookie of The Year’ Voting, batting .282 wih 21 HRs and 76 RBI. Freddie Freeman was arguably the best Atlanta Brave last year and he did all he could to help the team make the playoffs-only to see the club lose the Wild Card Spot to the St.Louis Cardinals on the last day of the season. It was one of the biggest collapses in playoff clinching history (stay tuned for a big article on playoff collapses next week from your truly.) In the post-mortem analysis of the club, the startling ‘sophomore’ drop-off from Jason Heyward was one of the biggest reasons why. Heyward battled injuries, plus a lack of plate discipline, to hit only .227 with 11 HRs and 44 RBI. He wasn’t alone in struggling with the Braves during the 2011, however patrolling a highly productive position like Right-Field surely didn’t help in the late season charge. Read the rest of this entry
Friday August 17th, 2012
Bernie Olshansky: As of today, the Atlanta Braves sit four games out of first place in the NL East. This division was supposed to be the strongest in baseball. The Nationals made moves in the offseason to acquire Gio Gonzalez, the Marlins signed three big name free agents to go along with the core of Hanley Ramirez and Giancarlo Stanton, and the Phillies kept their strong pitching staff intact. The Braves didn’t make any huge moves and stuck with what they had—a strong hitting lineup to back up a good pitching rotation. The Braves started the season with Tim Hudson, Jair Jurrjens, Tommy Hanson, Brandon Beachy, and Mike Minor as their five-man rotation. Jurrjens was coming off a strong 2011 campaign in which he posted a 2.96 ERA through 152 innings. The Braves were hoping Jurrjens could replicate last season’s performance in order to give the team a better outcome and hopefully make the playoffs.
Unfortunately this was not the case for Jurrjens. He has been awful this year, going 3-4 with a 6.89 ERA. This isn’t the performance the Braves were hoping for, but somehow they are able to manage. Tim Hudson, the oldest on the staff at 36, has a 3.59 ERA to go with a 12-4 record. Tommy Hanson hasn’t been his best this year with a 4.29 ERA in 22 starts (his record is a bit deceiving at 12-5). He has also spent some time on the DL. The real story this year is Ben Sheets. After missing some of the 2010 season and not playing all of last year, Sheets joined the Braves midseason and has been fantastic. In his six starts this year, Sheets has gone 4-2 with a 2.13 ERA. In his 10-year career, Sheets’ best was 2004, when he posted a 2.70 ERA while going 12-14 with the Brewers. If he can keep his performance up, Sheets will have the best year of his career at age 34 (half a season, but still).
To Purchase this Book please click here
Original Print of the book was June 2011
Book Excerpt writeup By Douglas ‘Chuck’ Booth
“The Book Excerpt for The Great American Ball Park. As it turned out I would have been disqualified for a dangerous driving ticket had I kept up with this streak attempt anyway. During this game it was crazy because a rain delay in my favor saved the day. It was also when I realized doing interviews might actually impede a streak.”
The Great American Ball Park
It felt wrong from the time I made it to the Philadelphia Airport. It was a tough shuttle ride from the parking lot to arrive at a full security checkpoint-even at an early time of a 5:45 AM flight. I had flown out of PHL before-just never the dreaded ‘F’ gate. The fact you have to wait in yet another line for a shuttle to the gate is brutal. This caused me even more panic. I had to catch that flight to Indianapolis on time to make it to Cincinnati on time. One of the things I learned when booking all of these flights was that Cincy’s Int’l Airport (CVG) completely rips you off for fares to and from its fine city. I was at an all time frustration when I became the last person on the shuttle—and virtually sprinted to the jet-way to make it 2 seconds before they closed the security door for my US Airways Flight from Philly. Read the rest of this entry
The Streak stands at 23 MLB Parks in 18 calendar days!!
Chuck Booth: I am the World Record Holder for-Fastest to see all 30 MLB parks in 24 days (2009)!
In 2012, I am going for 30 MLB Parks in 23 days from: April 6th to 28th.
Follow me-@chuckbooth3024 on twitter
Follow my streak all the through to the bitter end. Schedule is this link:
http://mlbreports.com/gwr-tracker/ or at my official website for all updates!
MLB Park # 16 Day # 12
CHC 2 @ MIA 3
New Marlins Ball Park
‘Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer and @chuckbooth3024 on twiter)- It was a great day for a new baseball park. During this trip, anytime that I have had a single game only for a day, I have felt a little bit more relaxed while watching the action. I flew into FLL (Fort Lauderdale Airport) really early and caught up on some writing. I was fully rewarded with my National Car Rental to the tune of a Chrysler 200 that was black in color. I made my way to my Best Western Hotel near the airport. Check in time was not till 3 PM, but I was able to coerce the staff to let me take a room early. I really appreciate the professional way the Best Western staff always helps me in the travels. Read the rest of this entry
Wednesday April 18, 2012
Chuck Booth- (Lead Baseball Writer and @chuckbooth3024 on twitter)- Today’s expert is Kurt Smith. Kurt will be the interview subject of the following parks: Citizens Bank Ball Park Tropicana Field and today’s featured expert Article of Turner Field. Kurt is highly respected in the ball park chaser community for his BallparkEGuides. After you are done reading this article I implore you trust in Kurt to deliver up tips and suggestive idea’s on how to make your stadium visits affordable and pleasurable. I had a chance to ask some questions of the man recently.
CB: “Welcome to the MLB Reports Experts Interview Kurt. Please tell us about yourself and then give us a bit of background information on your life as a Braves Fan?”
KS: “I’ve been to Turner Field for a few games and a tour, in researching for the Turner Field E-Guide that is available at my website. I wouldn’t call myself a Braves fan necessarily, but there are a lot of things I like about the team. They have a history of great players like Hank Aaron, Eddie Mathews, and Dale Murphy, and I loved watching Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine pitch in their prime. Turner Field is a fine ballpark too; they did a nice job tearing it up after the Olympics and on a nice day it’s as good a place as any to see a game. Braves games are very affordable too; the team gives a lot of value even though they are putting a pretty good product on the field. So in a pinch, I could certainly pull for the Braves.
Sunday December 25, 2011
Doug Booth- Guest Baseball Writer: The entire baseball community is looking forward to the ‘New Marlins Ballpark’ in 2012. This new opening will give some of extreme ballpark chasers a chance to tack another ballpark to their viewing history. I will be attending the opening of this Ballpark in April and that will make it 35 Major League Stadiums for me, 5 that are defunct and this park in Miami will help me re-establish the 30 current MLB Parks. We all assume that Oakland will have a new baseball park eventually so I will have a few years before attending a new baseball park again. These traditions only help the folklore of baseball. I believe it helps distinguish the sport from the other major sports leagues.
Here are the National League Parks Traditions:
1. 7TH inning stretch-made famous by Harry Caray and kept up by guests now.
2. They started throwing the ‘opposition’s’ home runs back onto the field and have not stopped even though it is illegal to throw the baseballs back on the field.
3. They have their own song “go Cubs go” which they play after every win.
4. Of course they have the curse of the ‘BILLY GOAT’ and also have not won a World Series in 103 years.
1. They have a train that goes from side to side whenever they hit a homer.
2. They play the song “Stars at Night” right after 7th inning stretch
3. They play all their games indoors and only open up the roof when the park is cleared.
1. They do 2 really cool waves. One is a reverse wave where the goes clockwise all around the ballpark and then change direction. The other one they do is a slow motion wave which is hilarious.
2. They have the sausage race!!!
3. The sing the song “Over The Barrell” after “Take me out to the ballgame”.
4. ‘Bernie Brewer, (Brewers mascot) goes down the slide in upper left field bleachers-and has recently started throwing t-shirts from there.
5. They give out fridges for who has the best-”Tailgate Party”.
1. Easily the most respectful fans in baseball.
2. They cheered the 2004 Boston Red Sox even when they lost the World Series, so they are classy.
1. They have the pierogi races.
2. Between every inning they have text messages posted on-screen from people.
3. They have one of the coolest beginnings where they have a pirate ship full of pirates and they take over the opposing team’s ship on the scoreboard.
Great American Ball Park
1. They have fireworks that explode from the ship in center-field when there is a home run.
2. The Reds Museum is the best “Hall Of Fame” out of all the teams.
1. The beach balls are still being thrown around.
2. It is routine to show up 4 innings into the game and leave at the 8th inning-Last year I watched a game that lasted only 2 hours and the parking lot was jammed because people had arrived late and did not leave early because the game was so quick. I still love the replay of the ‘KIRK GIBSON’ homer because of all the tail lights in the parking lot that were leaving.
1. The Kayaker’s in McCovey Cove are fun to watch.
2. The hecklers in center-field always are after the opposing outfielders with this chant’ “What is the matter with (insert player here)? The answer is: “He’s a bum!” They do this all game.
3. They have a Panda Bear now because of Pablo Sandoval-(Kung-Fu Panda.)
4. They chart the splash hits that go into the cove.
1. They sell food and beverages outside the ballpark with their own vendors for a good price.
2. They use the ‘humidor’ to reduce the flight of the baseballs by 8-10%.
1. They sing “Sweet Caroline” like the Boston fans do.
2. They are the only park that plays a second verse of “Take me out to the Ballgame”.
3. They are very fanatical at security about you operating camera/videos so watch out.
1. There is a picnic area where you can watch the game for 5 dollars.
2. They are the most pet-friendly stadium as pets are allowed into the game a lot.
1. ‘The tomahawk chop’ is the worst tradition in baseball, but it is here to stay-routinely sections of people will get up and stand while doing the chop.
2. Skip Caray and Mark Lemke do the pregame show from the media gondola in center-field every home game.
3. They routinely have ‘concerts’ on weekend night games free of charge and are decent groups. I saw Arrested Development there last year.
1. The ‘BIG APPLE’ still comes out after every homer is hit (unless it is stuck which has happened at Citi Field).
2. There are planes that come over every five minutes–I find this very disrupting to the game and that is why I have the park ranked 11th overall.
Sun Life Stadium coming soon/New Marlins Ballpark in 2012!!
1. You can buy a parking pass that will work for any home date online-which is convenient.
2. The mascot is always featured on the big screen throwing fake pies at people in the stands who have on opposing gear.
1. The president’s race is a definite highlight of every game-and one of them always falls flat on their face–usually it is Teddy Roosevelt.
2. They shoot t-shirts into the crowd-that have chili-dogs wrapped up in them–just ask the 20 people or so that were pelted with the contents when they failed to wrap the t-shirts tight enough with the food.
Citzens Bank Ballpark
1. The Phillie Phanatac is always in trouble with the ‘grounds crew’ because he whips around in the ATV.
2. There is about 4,000 S.R.O’S for every game and most hang out in ‘Ashburn’s Alley’.
3. They boo the home players more than any other team including Boston and both NY clubs. That is understandable considering they booed Santa Claus–and cheered when Michael Irvin was knocked unconscious at the old ‘VET’.
4. They have the biggest fine in the league for jumping on the field.
Click here to view Part 1 of Doug Booth’s Ballpark Traditions feature on MLB reports, with a look at the American League Traditions.
*** Thank you to our Guest Baseball Writer- Doug Booth for joining us today on MLB reports. To learn more about “The Fastest 30 Ballgames” and Doug Booth, you can follow Doug on Twitter (@ChuckBooth3024) and click here for Doug’s website, fastestthirtyballgames.com***
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