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By Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer/Website Owner): Follow @chuckbooth3024
I have nothing against sabermetrics in baseball. Yes I know they are not going away and I will probably learn them one day as someone who can comprehend Math pretty good. However, I understand the frustration of the casual fan who will not set a foot near them – although they know what Home Runs and Runs Batted In are. I have thrown the topic out for discussion on Twitter – and am extremely curious to see what percentage of fans actually follow the new numbers formats. This site totally allows our writers to convey any form of statistical analysis they want. The only thing that I request, is that if they use sabermetrics, to also add some regular stats with them.
One of the stats that can gauge any era since the beginning of baseball is Extra Base Hits. Before the fences were brought in (or even put up), Doubles and Triples could be hit at any time. Singles are great in the game too. There have been several great baseball players that are singles hitters, that also compiled a bunch of Doubles and Triples. That is why this statistic is fairest to all of the hitters in the history of the game and the most comparable. Like the old saying, (hit’em where they ain’t), players that can hit the baseball into the open areas of the outfield are special. Babe Ruth re-coined the phrase later when he said “Well they ain’t over the fence, so that’s where I hit them!” The Bambino was right. In the course of this article, we will list the top active list for this category – and some underrated hitters that may stack up nicely against historical hitters.
(Pete Rose Highlights):
Wednesday, December 5th, 2012
Brooke Robinson (Guest Baseball Writer and Rangers Correspondent):
In the early months of 2011 when Mike Napoli was traded to Texas, most fans welcomed him with open arms (especially the women). After all, Napoli had given the fans in Arlington headaches when playing against him so the Rangers did exactly what they did with Vladimir Guerrero- added him to their own roster. His defense was incredible, and he opened up a side of his offense that Anaheim never got to enjoy as a full-time player . He hit .320, with 30 homers in his first season with Texas, but his most incredible performance was during October of 2011. His Game 5 two-run double in the bottom of the eighth inning to deliver the win and the World Series lead to 3-2 was honored by Ranger fans and ultimately put him on a fan pedestal. Read the rest of this entry
Note from Chuck Booth: I am attempting to bring the history for each of the 30 MLB Franchises into a 5 part series that will focus on 1. The teams history. 2. The hitters 3. The pitchers. 4. The 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)-I recently saw a bunch of old Montreal Expos had a celebration dinner to honor the late Gary Carter at Olympic Stadium in Montreal. This brought me back to when I was a little kid watching the Expos on the French Channel in Canada. I followed this team before any other in MLB. I was a catcher in little league because of Gary Carter. My friends and I all would ask for Montreal Expos hats and jerseys for Christmas. I would later move on to like the Yankees when Don Mattingly, Dave Winfield and Rickey Henderson joined the club, but I always liked the Expos in the National League as my team. They were a consistent club from 1979-1995. They drafted extremely well and were above .500 for pretty much the entire time. At the end of this article today be sure to watch the documentary from youtube on the Expos Franchise that the Reports has linked for you.
It was unfortunate they had the 2 billion dollar monstrosity of what was Olympic Stadium as their home venue. It was a mistake from the beginning to build a baseball park so far away from the downtown core. The 1994 strike killed the franchises hopes to make their 1st World Series appearance. The team was leading the NL East with a 74-40 record and featured the outfield of Larry Walker, Marquis Grissom and Moises Alou. They had traded away their ALL-Star second basemen Delino DeShields prior to that year for some pitcher named Pedro Martinez. The economics of baseball were starting to catch up on the baseball club. When the lockout was lifted in 1995, gone were Walker, Grissom and great pitchers Ken Hill and John Wetteland. It began a constant cycle of Montreal grooming awesome talent, only to trade the players away before they had to pay them big money. The one constant of the team was an incredible draft record from 1985-2004. Today is part 1 of a 3 part article series in which we will look at the history of the Montreal Expos. I have listed 30 hitters drafted by the Expos Scouting Staff that went onto nice baseball careers. Next week I will look at the pitchers and the third week I will cover the dissection of the proud franchise before the move to Washington. Read the rest of this entry
Chuck Booth (Baseball Writer and @chuckbooth3024 on twitter)- Extra base hits kind of go hand in hand with slugging percentage to an extent. I have often used this category every season as a gauge on how good a player does. Sometimes there are extenuating circumstances why a player hits more doubles and triples rather than home runs but they are all considered extra base hits. Adrian Beltre is a perfect example of this. During his Seattle Mariner days, he would blast about 15-20 baseballs off the fences at Safeco Field every year (for a double or triple) that would have been an HR if he did not play in such a pitcher friendly park. This list represents great careers. If a player can reach the magic 1000 extra base hits, they will be hard to ignore for consideration towards Cooperstown. I have omitted Manny Ramirez from an active player. It is my firm belief that the man served a 50 game suspension for a team like Oakland, only to quit on them and maybe land on another club. If he is able to catch on with another job with a club, I will gladly put his name back as #2 player on this active list.
TOP 10 as of June.17/2012
Player Extra Base Hits Leaders Active (Rank All-Time)
1. Alex Rodriguez NYY 1169 (10)
2. Jim Thome PHI 1079 (20)
3. Chipper Jones ATL 1026 (26)
4. Vladimir Guerrero (FA) 972 (39)
5. Todd Helton COL 956 (45)
6. Albert Pujols LAA 941 (50)
7. Bobby Abreu LAD 908 (60)
8. David Ortiz BOS 886 (64)
9. Johnny Damon CLE 859 (73)
10. Scott Rolen CIN 857 (75)
I fully think that Vladimir Guerrero will sign with someone soon. At 972 extra base hits, he is 28 extra base hits away from that 1000 marker. If a team signs him in the next few weeks, he may have a chance to get there before the end of the season. Below is a 5 minute highlight package of his career thus far. There is not many Expos highlights, you can always search Youtube for more.
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.
Friday June.8, 2012
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
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 Capuano. Ted 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
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
Saturday May 12th, 2012
Jonathan Hacohen: Posted every Weekend: Your top baseball questions from the past week are answered. E-mail all questions to firstname.lastname@example.org, message us on Twitter, post on our Facebook Wall and leave comments on our website! There are many ways to reach us and we will get to your questions from all social media outlets!
Let’s get to your top questions of the week:
Q: (a) What are the chances of the indians moving; and
(b) Josh Hamilton obviously, Matt Kemp too, but after that Im not sure(maybe Bruce,Braun, etc). Who do you think will be the contestants this year? Robert
JH: Two questions for Robert this week. A great way to kick off ATR! Now I am getting many messages on the Indians moving, so it is time for some clarification. I had tweeted a couple of weeks back on the hypothetical scenario on “if your team was to relocate or contract, which team would you start to follow and why.” Completely hypothetical and never intended to be more than that. The Indians came up with Larry, MLB reports’ #1 fan (his fave team)…and based on that discussion, the whole concept of the Indians moving was born. Now digging through the attendance figures for last season, the Indians were ranked 24th with approximately 1.8 million fans. Good…but certainly not great. Just to compare, both the Yankees and Phillies draw approximately 3.6 million fans as the top gates, while Oakland was the worst at 1.476 million. The Marlins and Rays were both very close to the bottom, with the Marlins now having a new stadium and the Rays desperately needing one. If the Rays and A’s don’t get new parks, expect to see these teams move in the next five years. The Indians though are not going anywhere. Not in our lifetimes at least. The Indians as a major league team were formed in 1901 in Cleveland and formally became the Indians in 1915. Translation: too much history and tradition. Still a very popular team. This team is not going anywhere. Progressive (formerly Jacobs) Field opened in 1994, so it is still relatively new. A beautiful park and a loyal fan base that loves their team, the Indians are here to stay.
As far as your second question, I will say this on the MLB Home Run Derby. It’s time is starting to run out. Last year, Ortiz and Fielder were the captains for the event. Contestants included Cano, Bautista, Adrian Gonzalez, Weeks, Kemp and Holiday. Cano ended up winning it, which was suprising considering that he wasn’t even a considered candidate by many. By Rickie Weeks? A little weak in my book. Many players do not wish to participate anymore, given injury risks and the issues it can create with their swings. Remember Bobby Abreu back in 2005? He was never the same after that one. I think we will see more and more young players participating. I think the old guard has had enough, with the young players still looking forward to the event. I would love to see Cespedes, Bruce, Napoli all join in the fun. I think Kemp will want a year off from this one, but Major League Baseball would love to see him and Hamilton duke it out. It boils down to politics vs. players’ preferences. I would expect to see some established stars, but more of the prospects as this event continues to grow. The captains idea was a good one- allowing more players input into the event. Hopefully Major League Baseball can continue to grow and evolve the Derby. Read the rest of this entry
Sunday April 8, 2012
Bryan Sheehan (MLB Reports Intern): The MLB season has already officially kicked off, and yet there are still some veteran players looking for a place to play. The list is occupied mainly by former outfielders that may not have enough left in the tank defensively, including Johnny Damon, Vladimir Guerrero and, maybe most notably, Hideki Matsui. The 37-year-old, who played just 27 of his 141 games in left field hasn’t been a regular in the outfield since his 2007 campaign with the Yankees. Last season for the Oakland A’s, Godzilla hit a career low .251 with 72 RBIs and 12 home runs, and was not brought back by the club for 2012. The Yankees seemed to show interest in the 37-year-old slugger, but ultimately decided to sign Raul Ibanez instead. Read the rest of this entry