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By Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner): Follow @chuckbooth3024
There are certain players in the MLB that you cheer for more than others. For me, Rick Ankiel exemplifies this.
I always check for his stats in the boxscores early into my perusal of any baseball website.
His story is one of inspiration and dedication to the game of baseball.
I was disappointed when he was released by the Houston Astros – but completely understood why the change had to occur,
The Mets have the weakest Outfield in the Major Leagues and are actually one of the teams I suggested for Ankiel as a landing spot in my post 2012 year write-ups.
It is obvious that the Wilpon’s continue to look for cheap alternative options to patrol their grass.
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Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst Website Owner): Follow @chuckbooth3024
The Phillies are top-heavy for their payroll in 2013. I talked a lot about this in Part 1 of this series (The Franchise). What they really need is for Domonic Brown, John Mayberry and Ben Revere to improve in their role with the club and get as much production as they can out of their superstars. 2013 looks a lot better than the years after. Roy Halladay must return to form in 2013.
I am predicting the team will win at least 90 games in this year with the Starting Pitching having a bounce back season. The fans should all come in droves to the park while this club is competitive. The Phillies will age really fast after 2013, so there will undoubtedly be some rougher times ahead, as Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley and Ryan Howard all fade into the back half of their careers.
The New York Yankees are facing a similar dilemma. You might even see a Yanks/Phillies World Series rematch in 2013. I am sure the Dodgers, Angels, Tigers and Nationals will try to have their say about that as well.
The smaller market teams might fight for another ring as well. You are starting to see some distances set forth from the high-priced salaried teams to the lower payroll clubs with both Los Angeles teams and Detroit nearing or going over the Luxury Tax Threshold of 178 Million Dollars in Player Salaries.
Again, I am thinking that MLB Baseball might have to realign soon-to make the divisions stack up for payroll and geography reasons. I wrote an article about this some time ago here. The Phillies have led the MLB in attendance for the last 3 years, so they will be able to keep the payroll at a high mark as long as the baseball revenue is able to match it. It is the long-term contracts that won’t garner them much value at the end of these deals, that will ultimately set the Franchise back awhile.
Ryan Howard highlights are below. He must return to his 40 HR self next year otherwise the Phillies will have a tough time competing.
For Part 1 of the Phillies Article Series: The Franchise click here:
For Part 2 of the Phillies Article Series: The Hitters click here:
For Part 3 of the Phillies Article Series: The Pitcher click here
For the Montreal Expos/Washington Nationals Franchise 5 Part Series: click here
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Friday, December.21, 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 section here.
Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer/Website Owner): Follow @chuckbooth3024
The Rays have only been around for 15 years, however they have seen their share of talent grace the club. In their inaugural year, the club signed Free Agents Fred McGriff and Wade Boggs. A few years later when Boggs retired, they added Vinny Castilla, Jose Canseco and Greg Vaughn all to the club. This movement did not work out. It was the drafted talent of the club that started to surface in the early 2000′s. Aubrey Huff and Carl Crawford emerged as AL offensive threats. Other picks like Rocco Baldelli, Jorge Cantu and Jonny Gomes started out on fire, yet quickly flamed out. The club saw other guys come and go before the 2007 started to show what the team was really capable of. Carlos Pena gave them a bonafide HR guy. Soon Evan Longoria was called up to the Major Leagues and the club featured one of the best attacks in all of Major League Baseball.
The offense has suffered a bit of a drop-off in the last few years, but newly acquired Wil Myers is one of the best offensive prospects in the game of baseball. Longoria is signed through 2023 and Ben Zobrist is a great all-around offensive talent signed for the next 3 seasons. While the team will still be predominantly based with great pitching, the club should see some well-rounded offensive players.
Tropicana Field is one of the harder places to put up great numbers, so we will see what the future holds. We must look at the past. In these Series I have been doing for the teams, a lot of criteria had to be met to be included in the Franchises best hitters or pitchers. Obviously with a 15 Year Old team, the stakes are not raised as high. I still looked for significant contributions to the team. Of course if anyone ever leads the American League in any category, that is usually grounds for inclusion.
Franchise Series Article Links:
2013 Team Payroll Part 4: Tampa Bay Rays Payroll 2013 And Contracts Going Forward: Updated for Myers Trade Dec.11/2012
Tropicana Field Expert: An Interview with Tropicana Field Expert Kurt Smith
Monday August 20th, 2012
Jake Dal Porto: The Philadelphia Phillies are entering a rebuild mode. Or so it would appear. General manager Ruben Amaro dangled Hunter Pence and Shane Victorino away at the trade deadline, and now he’s left with nothing but little cash and prospects. The Phillies, though, were supposedly over the luxury tax until they traded away their two outfielders, so a move to free up a portion of their payroll seemed inevitable, just not in the fashion of trading away a cornerstone type piece in Pence. Since the departure of those two outfielders, the team is hitting a soft 221/.295/.363.
So which path does Amaro take during this crucial upcoming offseason? Does he rebuild for the future or does he attempt to craft a team that’s essentially a one and done gig? Given the amount of holes the Phillies’ current roster possess, the idea of going all in seems silly. It’s not like they have a ton of flexibility either. As I already mentioned, they are just a tick below the luxury tax. And with nearly $80 million invested in Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, Cole Hamels, and Jonathan Papelbon for next season alone, a big splash in free agency doesn’t seem to be in the cards. Read the rest of this entry