Daily Archives: January 9, 2012

The Casey Bond Guest Blog and Special Moneyball Surprise: Moneyball released on DVD and Blu-Ray

Monday January 9, 2012

Casey Bond-  Guest MLB Blog:  It’s a brand new year folks! Now all of the hard work and effort put into the previous year will generate some new and exciting happenings for 2012. Although released in September of last year, MONEYBALL continues to turn heads as it is now up for a plethora of awards.  I couldn’t be more proud to play such a large role in this film. Truly, it has been a wonderful ride already. I know that ride will continue for years to come, especially if we can walk away from this with some hardware!

The DVD/Blu-Ray release for the film is on January 10th, which is just around the corner. It’s going to be fun to walk around stores and see our work out on the shelves. I’m sure that not only will the movie come out looking stunning on Blu-Ray, but it will also have plenty of extras from behind the scenes of the filming we did while on set. I have already been on a number of flights in which MONEYBALL was an available option for people to watch on their personal in-flight television. Pretty awesome.  

It’s interesting how the DVD wasn’t released before Christmas, as I know many people were hoping they could stuff some stockings with it. However, I feel as though they didn’t want to push anything they didn’t have to, not to mention that the film is still in some theaters due to its nominations for some big awards. The movie is still fresh on people’s minds; and perhaps it will get an even bigger response because it is still going to be talked about throughout the award season into February. All I know is that all of my castmates, with whom I keep very close touch with, are excited to see the final product.

Since the release of the film, its been a great pleasure to travel around and speak with people about my career path, the story of being in MONEYBALL, and what’s next for me. People always seem to have a keen interest and the questions are endless. I hope this will continue for years to come, as I always love having the opportunity to go and speak in different places. Currently, I am working on Producing a few different films. They are in the early stages, but moving along very well.  Hope to have some more info on those in the near future, as all of you MLB Reports readers will be the first to know! (Editor’s Note:  We LOVE this guy!!!) All of you have been such a great fan and support base, and I thank you for that!

So, in closing, I will answer a few questions which I have been getting lately from different folks.  Firstly, why should you go out and pick up MONEYBALL on DVD or Blu-Ray?  Well, if you went and watched it in the theaters, I am hoping and assuming you liked it- especially if you have taken the time to read this far into this article! That being said, you should go out and own a piece of history as far as baseball, movies, and baseball movies go.  Another question to ponder is “where does MONEYBALL rank among the greatest baseball films of all time?”  Well, that is kind of a tough question in my position.  I am going to have answer that question like this. I think it depends on which category of baseball movie you are looking for.  I have to say that MONEYBALL is the best drama/comedy baseball movie of all time. It has such an interesting twist on baseball, as well as a pretty accurate behind-the-scenes glimpse into the game we all love.  Not to mention, the numbers tell us that its done the best in the box office as far as baseball films go.  As far as baseball romantic comedies goes, I have to go with Bull Durham. It’s just a classic, and a very accurate portrayal of baseball life in the minor leagues. Kevin Costner is probably the greatest baseball movie actor of all time (for now, maybe we can take over those reigns!)

 

What I will say, is that I’d like to add a little incentive to going out and purchasing the DVD, or reading this article.  If y’all go “Like” my Facebook page here and write on my wall that “MLB reports sent you“, I will send you a personally autographed photo from one of the MONEYBALL premieres I went to. You may be asking how I will know where to send the photo…well, we can communicate through a DM (Direct Message) on Twitter (my name on Twitter is @CaseyBond) to make sure you get it. It’s just a few clicks and you will have yourself some MONEYBALL memorabilia! (This offer applies to U.S. and Canada residents only, while supplies last)

Until next time: take care and I hope you will check out the Facebook page for the latest updates on what’s next!  Thank you all for your time!   Casey

A BIG MLB reports thank you to Casey Bond for preparing today’s Guest Blog. For a Hollywood actor, producer and director with a busy schedule, we very much appreciate Casey taking the time to help us announce the release of Moneyball on DVD and Blu-Ray. Casey was also very generous in providing the Special Moneyball Surprise as part of this feature. The man loves his fans and really knows how to create a buzz! In addition to following Casey on Twitter and “liking” his Facebook Fan Page, please make sure to bookmark his website (http://thecaseybond.com).  Casey will be CONSTANTLY providing personal behinds the scenes photos, videos, etc. of upcoming events that he will be a part of such as Red Carpets and Premieres! If you love Baseball and Hollywood, welcome to the world of Casey Bond!

 

(Editor’s Note:  Casey Bond was an outfielder in the San Francisco Giants organization. He left the diamond and became an actor on the silver screen. In Moneyball, Casey portrays former Oakland A’s pitcher, Chad Bradford. Moneyball was a best selling book by Michael Lewis that became a hit Hollywood film in 2011. To grab your copy of Moneyball on DVD or Blu-Ray, get to your local video store or favorite on-line retailer like Amazon. Destined to be one of the finest cult classic baseball films of all time, Moneyball the movie needs to be in the DVD/Blu-Ray collection of every baseball fan!)


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Adrian Beltre is Playing Himself into Hall Of Fame Consideration

Monday January 9, 2012


Doug Booth-  Baseball Writer:  With today being the official day the Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA) to finalize the 2012 Baseball Hall Of Fame inductees, I thought some more about Adrian Beltre as a potential candidate when he is finished playing the game.  At first glance, Beltre would not seem like a viable candidate but I intend to plead his case for him.  Adrian Beltre was signed by the Los Angeles Dodgers while he was playing high school baseball at the age of fifteen.  The Los Angeles Dodgers would later be suspended for a year from the Dominican Republic when this was revealed. However, this was a minor price to pay for securing such a great prospect.  Beltre played in the Los Angeles Dodgers baseball Academy in his own country before heading to the minor leagues.  His minor league career was short-lived as he was called up as a teenager in 1998 at the age of 19.  Beltre struggled with Major League pitching that year hitting .215, but showed some power with 7 HRs and 22 RBIs in only 195 AB.  Beltre won the third base position out of training camp in 1999 and never looked back.  Beltre then enjoyed 5 solid seasons with the Los Angeles Dodgers, providing great defense and above average power.  It was 2004 that was his breakout year.

At age 25, Adrian Beltre had one of the greatest years of all-time offensively for a third baseman.  Included in his numbers were:  .334 with 48 HRs and 121 RBIs, 200 hits and 104 runs.  Beltre had a slugging percentage that year of .629.   Adrian finished second in MVP voting to Barry Bonds.  Beltre picked a perfect season to explode considering it was his free agent season.  The Seattle Mariners came calling with a 5-year $64 Million deal.  The Seattle Mariners had also signed Richie Sexson that year to try and compete in the AL West for 2005.

The move did not pay off at the start, with Beltre struggling in the 1st half of the season. Yet there was a nice second half of the year, as he still managed to put up 19 HR’S and 87 RBI.  Beltre was frustrated with his first year although he had optimism towards the future, citing the League switch (as it was hard to have a handle on pitchers you never had faced before).  The next three years, Adrian cracked 76 HRs and drove in 265 RBIs.  His average fluctuated a little between .260 to .280. Amongst the numbers that favored Beltre was that he hit 109 doubles in those 3 years.  This next point is playing in certain ballparks can make a huge difference.  As my regional team, I watched Beltre play for his entire Seattle Mariners career.  I would say half of his doubles at home were launched off the fences of Safeco Field.  Had Beltre played in a ballpark more offensive friendly, we are talking about a player capable of hitting 30-35 HRs every year.  When you add up all of the extra base hits for Beltre, he is always in the top 10-15 every year.  With 2010 coming, and finishing an injury plagued 2009 campaign for the Mariners, Beltre picked his worst year for a bad season (with him set to become a free agent for the 2nd time in his career).  The Boston Red Sox finally came calling with a 1-year $10 Million contract.

Adrian Beltre was an outstanding fit at hitter-friendly Fenway Park, posting remarkable numbers of a .321 AVG with 28 HRs and 103 RBIs. It was another impressive season for doubles with 49 (which led the league).  This was the second 80 Extra Base hits season of his career. Some would tell you that Adrian Beltre was the MVP of the Boston Red Sox in 2010, and that his absence from the team in the 2011 year was the main reason why the Red Sox struggled to start the season before missing the playoffs on the final day of the season.  Adrian Beltre took his offensive talents to Texas for 2011, signing a 6-year $96 Million Contract.

Beltre tore it up in Arlington last season. Despite missing 38 games, Beltre clubbed 32 HRs and drove in 105 RBIs while carrying an Avg of .296.  Beltre continued his torrid offensive pace in the playoffs, where he even had a 3-home run game in the ALDS versus the Tampa Bay Rays!  Later in the World Series, Beltre hit a home run where he fell to his knees.  At age 32 and with 5 seasons left in his contract with the Texas Rangers, this slugger shows no sign of slowing down.  His career numbers are already impressive at .276 with 310 HRs, 1113 RBIs and 430 doubles.  If Beltre can amass another 140 HRs, 170 doubles and 390 RBIs during these upcoming years(a yearly average of 28 HRs, 34 doubles and 78 RBIs), then you are talking about a guy that will have career numbers of 450 HRs, 1500 RBIs and 600 doubles.  Those statistics would garner the man some serious consideration for the Hall of Fame… and he may not even be done playing after that.  Beltre should have about 2800 hits by the time he is done as well. Beltre is also known as being one of the best defensive third baseman of late, which has culminated in 3 gold gloves over the last 5 years. With Beltre’s Gold Glove potential every year, there is no reason to think he will not win a couple more of these awards.  

In the end, Beltre could have historical numbers for a third baseman, surpassed by only a select few like Mike Schmidt. I think it is very important for the writers of the BBWAA to talk to all of the announcers/broadcasters of all major league teams about the potential BBHOF candidates out there, as a guy like Adrian Beltre might just slip through the cracks.  Ron Santo’s 2012 induction might just be a preview to the kind of third baseman who will one day join the fraternity. If you look up Beltre’s numbers as of today, their career numbers are already eerily similar.

*** Thank you to our Baseball Writer- Doug Booth for preparing today’s feature 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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How the Baseball Hall of Fame Voting Should Work

Monday  January 9th, 2012

Daniel Aubain (Guest Writer @DJAubain):  When it comes to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, there seems to be two schools of thought on which players are deserving of induction; those who see it as an inclusive process, and those who see it as an exclusive process.

I’ll let you know right off the bat which group I fall into…the inclusives. Just look at the official name of the place again. The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. AND MUSEUM. Their website lists “Preserving History”, “Honoring Excellence” and “Connecting Generations” as what can only be described as the core values or mission statement of the Hall itself.

A lot of people want to point to Section 5 of the BBWAA Election Rules which states, “Voting shall be based upon the player’s record, playing ability, integrity, sportsmanship, character, and contributions to the team(s) on which the player played”, as an instant ban for not only proven PEDs users but also those suspected to probably have used (but no proof was ever discovered).

Give me a break. Let’s stop talking about a player’s “character” and “integrity”, as the Hall’s first inductee was Ty Cobb. Or that we’ve left the voting to a group, the writers, of whom only 77.5% felt Jackie Robinson was Hall worthy. You know, THE Jackie Robinson who has an award named after him, an entire day dedicated to celebrating his career accomplishments and the only player to have his uniform number unilaterally retired by all teams.  In fact, there has NEVER been a unanimous selection into Cooperstown.  Not Babe Ruth. Not Cal Ripken. Not Hank Aaron.  How is that possible?

This is the same group of individuals who regularly use the phrase, “[Player X] is not a first-ballot Hall of Famer.” What the heck does that even mean? Either a player is “hall worthy” or he isn’t. It shouldn’t have to take an internet-based campaign by so-dubbed “statheads” to convince baseball writers that a player like Bert Blyleven belongs in the Hall.

Baseball has well-defined “eras” such as the “Deadball Era”, “Expansion Era” and now the “Steroid Era”. Players should be judged against the players they played against rather than against the greatest of all time. There are no Babe Ruths and Cy Youngs playing these days and there probably never will be again. They set the standards for players of their respective eras because they accomplished things no one had ever done prior to them. So for that, I refuse to weigh whether a player’s accomplishments of the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s compares to a player of the 1940s, 1950s and such.

Okay. So now that you know my opinion of what the Hall should be, here is my 2012 Hall of Fame ballot. But first, section 4.B of the BBWAA Election Rules states, “Electors may vote for as few as zero (0) and as many as ten (10) eligible candidates deemed worthy of election.” As such, I will be using all 10 of my votes today and will rank them in order of worthiness, in my eyes. I found this chart on Baseball-Reference.com to be very helpful in weighing my decisions.

  1. Jeff Bagwell
  2. Barry Larkin
  3. Edgar Martinez
  4. Tim Raines
  5. Larry Walker
  6. Alan Trammel
  7. Dale Murphy
  8. Rafael Palmeiro
  9. Mark McGwire
  10. Don Mattingly

I don’t think I need to go into the individual numbers of each player’s career accomplishments. But as you can tell, I am NOT keeping out PED users (proven or suspected) or a “DH-only” player. I’m voting with my eyes for the first nine players on my ballot and the last one with my heart. I’m okay living in a world where the “Hall of the Elite” exists.

I’m okay if we celebrate players who had human flaws just like you and me (Pete Rose, Joe Jackson, Palmeiro, McGwire, Barry Bonds, etc.) After all, it’s not like any of these guys ever killed a man. Right, Ty Cobb? Right?

Thanks to the great folks at MLB reports for allowing me the opportunity to share my voice with their audience. I truly appreciate it. Be sure to follow me on Twitter for updates on what the future has in store for me and all other guest posting articles I’ll be doing this offseason.

Please e-mail us at: MLBreports@gmail.com with any questions and feedback.  You can follow us on Twitter and become a fan onFacebook .  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.

Ask the Reports: Your Baseball Questions Answered – Monday January 9th, 2012

Monday January 9th, 2012

Jonathan Hacohen:  Posted every Weekend: Your top baseball questions from the past week are answered. E-mail all questions to mlbreports@gmail.com, message us on Twitter and post on our Facebook Wall!

Let’s get to your top questions of the week:

 

Q:  With Prince probably going to the Nats, where do you think it places them in the NL East? Are they ready to compete for a playoff spot?  Wade

MLB reports:  Great question Wade. Despite the reports (and there are plenty), Prince Fielder to Washington is far from a done deal. In the world of Scott Boras, a mystery team could appear at any time. That being said, let’s assume for this exercise that Prince becomes a National in 2012. Given the strength of the Phillies rotation, the improved Marlins and always steady Braves squads, the Nationals would still be in tough. The Nationals could hit .500, but would not yet be ready for a playoff run. Once they have Strasburg firing on all cylinders and Bryce Harper integrated fully into the majors, the story could change. The Nationals are sitting on one of the best farm systems in all of baseball. Adding Prince Fielder makes them a serious playoff contender by 2014 at the latest. They will go from a good team to a possibly a great one. Prince has done it in Milwaukee with the right squad and could replicate his success in Washington soon. 

 

Q:  Does Beltran even come close to filling the void that Pujols left?  Kevin

MLB reports: No. No. And no. Did I say no?  Because I meant no. Carlos Beltran is a good player. But let’s face facts. Aside from his magical playoff run in Houston, he has never been a top player in baseball.  He has shown superstar numbers, but given his age and declining health, the Cardinals would simply be happy if he can stay healthy.  At best, the Cardinals would get another Berkman type season out of Beltran in 2012.  Albert Pujols is one of a kind. A Babe Ruth type slugger. Carlos Beltran is simply a good player that will provide steady production for a lineup that needs to fill a big void. The bigger question is whether the rest of the lineup will pick up the slack.  Can Freese continue his breakout? Will Furcal stay healthy? Can Matt Holliday be the main producer in St. Louis? Can Lance Berkman duplicate his 2011 season?  Many ifs…too many for my liking. Carlos Beltran helps part of the issue, but is far from the answer in how the Cardinals will play in the post-Pujols era.

 

Q:  Any chance Madson will return to his 8th inning role for the Phillies?  Sam

MLB reports:  I can’t see this happening. Ryan Madson is not likely to return to Philadelphia. With Jonathan Papelbon entrenched with his old job, Madson will at least need to take a job where he has a chance to win the closer role.  Not to mention that Madson’s wife had certain choice words a year ago about playing in Philadelphia. At the time I felt that the Madsons had burned their bridge with the team and I have not changed my opinion since.  Madson will need to move on and possibly take a set-up role somewhere. But one where the closer is more volatile and an opening is likely to open up. After the contract fiasco in Philadelphia, a return to the Phillies would be like him coming with his tail between his legs.  Pride alone will lead to a new team for Madson in 2012.

 

Q:  Any thoughts on tolleson being the closer for the dodgers by 2013? And when do you see Hutchinson joining the jays (ceiling)?  Justin

MLB reports:  Considering he was drafted in the 30th round of the 2010 draft, Shawn Tolleson is looking like an absolute steal for the Dodgers. After passing through 3 levels last season, ending in AA, Tolleson is certainly knocking on the door. I can’t see why he doesn’t make the big leagues at some point next season.  If he can continue his superior numbers, we could be seeing a set-up man in 2013 and possible closer.  I would say 2014 is a more realistic timeline for a full-time closing position, but it will depend on how he pitches at higher levels. Based on the body of work so far, the sky is the limit on this kid.  In Toronto, Drew Hutchinson is another kid on the fast-track. A 15th round pick in 2009, Hutchinson has been a dominant starter from day one.  At age 21 and finishing last season in AA, I would say 2013 is a realistic timeline for Drew. He clearly has the stuff to succeed. But he is very young and the Jays will not want to risk burning him out by rushing him too soon. Ceiling?  From everything he has done so far, I see a solid #3 starter on a contending squad. Good strikeouts and low walk rates are always a recipe for success.

 

Q:  What’s your favorite baseball movie of all time?  Lindsay

MLB reports:  I love almost every baseball movie that I have seen. Not a big fan of Mr. 3000 and even Mr. Baseball was so-so. There are too many good ones in my opinion. But if I had to pick one, I would go with For Love of the Game. There was something very special and real about that movie that really brought out a great deal of emotion out of me. For a recent film, Moneyball was fantastic. I can’t wait to own it on DVD (in stores Tuesday January 10th, 2012).  After I watch it a dozen times or so, we will see where it ranks on my list.  It is top-five for sure and could rise even higher. Major League for sure makes the list as well, as does Bull Durham, Field of Dreams and The Rookie. But give me For Love of the Game anytime and I will be a happy camper.

 

Q:  Who do you have starting opening day for the Royals? Jonathan Sanchez?  Michael

MLB reports:  Good question from one of our top KC readers.  My answer will surprise you. The Royals have Luke Hochevar listed at the top spot right now.  Sanchez is seen by many as the likely ace for 2012. I think spring training will answer best which arm is in the best shape and looks the strongest to lead the team. If I had to be a dollar right now, my money is on Bruce Chen. I see the Royals leaning on the veteran to guide their young up-and-coming rotation going into the season.  I am a Hochevar supporter, but I am not seeing a big upside as of right now. Chen has been very good since joining the Royals and I see him getting the nod in April for opening day.

 

Q:  Any idea what’s going on with Pudge Rodriguez?  Nick

MLB reports:  Pudge will be back in 2012. I was told that he has been working hard in winter ball and is in great game shape.  Speaking to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports (a neighbor of Ivan Rodriguez in Florida), Pudge is in training and gearing up for the season. I don’t see Pudge starting, but he will be a veteran backup on a squad.  The list of available jobs is dwindling, but a team will take a flier on him soon. Perhaps a return to the Nationals.  Tigers? Angels? Otherwise, if a catcher goes down, Pudge will be one of the first free agent catchers to get the call. The career is definitely winding down for the future hall-of-famer.  I can definitely see him getting a contract in place before the start of spring training.

 

Q:  Why does the winning team only give high 5s to each other and not the other team after the game?  Javaman

MLB reports:  This is one tradition that I still enjoy in baseball. Teams are supposed to go into battle. Players are supposed to go onto the field looking to win, not make friends. Heck, it bothers me when a baserunner and a first baseman get chatty after a base hit. When a baseball team wins, they will rejoice and celebrate as a squad. The losing team wants to get off the field and into the clubhouse as soon as possible. When a team loses, the last thing they want to do is shake hands and socialize with the team that just beat them. They want to recoup and prepare for the next game.  Old time mentality and I like it.

 

Q:  Who is the next big star (besides Prince) to get a $200 mil+ contract?  Martin

MLB reports:  I don’t even see Prince getting $200 million at this point to be honest. There are very few guys that I could see getting a contract of that magnitude.  Going to the list, I am drawing blanks.  Josh Hamilton is too injured to get there.  Tim Lincecum and Clayton Kershaw might, but teams are generally not interested in handing out unlimited years and money to pitchers.  Perhaps Joey Votto will have a chance. Otherwise, we will literally have to wait until the Stephen Strasburgs and Bryce Harpers of this world are eligible for free agency. If I had to throw out one another name, maybe Mike Stanton one day. To reach the $200 million club, you need to be one of the best, if not THE  best in the game. Quite frankly, there is just too much risk in handing out deals of that size.  Show me the next Babe Ruth and maybe I will change my mind. Until then, expect more $100+ million deals, but not $200 million.

 

Last Q:  With a lack of spending this offseason are the Yankees getting ready to buck up for Hamels/Cain next offseason?  Chris

MLB reports:That certainly seems like the plan. But it is a risky plan. A very risky plan that could backfire. Sure, C.C. Sabathia and Mark Teixeira found their way to New York.  But remember Cliff Lee?  He certainly did not work out well for the Yankees. Holding back for such a contingency plan is risky on many fronts.  Perhaps the desired player gets injured.  Or signs a long-term deal with their current squad.  Better yet, the player hits free agency and joins a different team all-together. So while I could see the Yankees waiting for a better group of free agents to be available, there is no guarantees that those players will ultimately land in New York.  The decision to hold off on spending this offseason is more based on the overall talent level and asking prices. If there was the right player at the right price on the market currently, the Yankees would grab him. The team would rather go with what they have then take on a bad contract with little return. Next year could find a better talent level available to the Yankees in the form of Cole Hamels and Matt Cain. But as the old saying goes: you have to play for today, because tomorrow might never come. If any of the future free agents do end up signing with the Yankees, it will be  a bonus for the team. But to count on it is a pathway to disappointment. The offseason is not over yet, another free agent signing or trade could be in the works. Until opening day is upon us, a lot can still happen. Thank you for reading MLB reports and we appreciate your question.

 

 

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Jonathan Hacohen is the Lead Baseball Columnist & Editor for MLB reports:  You can follow Jonathan on Twitter (@JHacohen)

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