Monthly Archives: March 2012

Interview with Baseball Artist Kyle Morrissey: Baseball is Addictive Art Work

Saturday March 31st, 2012

MLB reports – Jonathan Hacohen: For another first on MLB reports, we charter into new waters. The Art World. While I would rather sit at Yankee Stadium for three hours than a museum, I have to admit that art has always fascinated me. A great painting can move people in many ways. It can tell a story and make different people draw many conclusions about the piece. They create conversations and discussions, while getting put up on our walls to be admired. So combining art with baseball is a logical step in my estimation. Today we feature on of the hottest young artists on the scene. While he does draw more than baseball, I found Kyle Morrissey through his love of the Angels. Kyle has prepared countless works of art for Angels’ players, as you will see featured throughout this interview.  We learn about Kyle and his venture known as “Addictive Art Work”. I found it extremely fascinating to get to know a baseball artist for this features. For all lovers of baseball, you will enjoy Kyle Morrissey and his art. Here is a little bio about Kyle and my feature interview with the artist himself: Read the rest of this entry

History, Baseball, Life: Connecting with the Baseball Lannings

Saturday March 31st, 2012

Paul Lanning (Guest Writer):  I first learned about a pitcher named Johnny Lanning back in the early 1990s when I started “managing” a fantasy team of old-time baseball players in something called “Bill James Classic Baseball” as a hobby my buddy Steve got me into when we were both working in the front office of the Albuquerque Dukes, then the Triple A affiliate to the Los Angeles Dodgers.  This was before the internet, and long before social media. Like with current fantasy baseball leagues, we had a salary cap and we drafted a full roster of players. The difference was that these players were all old-timers…players dating back to the very start of Major League Baseball in the 1800s. The games were played by some computer in Illinois, and we anxiously awaited printouts in the mail each week of the prior week’s box scores and stats.

Johnny Lanning

Tobacco Chewin’ Johnny” was a journeyman hurler with the Boston Bees and Pittsburgh Pirates before heading off to WWII. He’s pictured here after returning to the majors with the Boston Braves. (more…)

An Interview with Citi Field ‘Expert’ Lori Martini

Friday, March.30/2012

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer) Last year when I applied for the MLB FanCave, I did so with mixed emotions.  While the job looked like an awesome experience, it also would never be as exciting as going to the baseball games live.  Due to my waiting around for MLB’s decision on the chosen winners, I failed to plan for any extensive road trips last year.  I am not disappointed that I didn’t win.  Mike O’ Hara and Ryan Wagner did a fantastic job and were completely qualified.  What the verdict left me was a desire to prove a point that I have been trying to establish for the last 4 years.  MLB’s 30 Baseball Parks provide the best marketing tool that this entity may ever want.  It is my ultimate goal to show that people would rather go to the games live.  Chasing down the Guinness Book of World Record for visiting all parks in the least amount of days has a plethora of emotions that run through ones body.  It is both an adrenaline rush and a hyper vigilant anxiety clashing for every day I am on the road. 

In my 2 minute video that I sent for the FanCave,  I told them that “you either hire me or I am going to end up doing this on my own anyway!” So I intend to go on a 30 MLB Park journey every year from now until MLB decides to pay me a salary.  To give our readers the kind of insight and information that make these ballparks the best fan experiences in Major League Sports, I have sought out some of the greatest experts in the field of ballpark chasing.  Every park will have a Park Preview, an Expert Interview and a Post Game/Streak Synopsis.  Our first expert interview is Lori Martini.

Read the rest of this entry

2012: The Year of the Tommy John Surgery

Thursday March 29th, 2012

Ryan Ritchey (Intern Candidate:  MLB reports):  The 2012 season hasn’t even begun and we are already talking extensively about Tommy John surgery. As a baseball fan, it is sad to see players go down and require this surgery. It is a long recovery back to the big leagues and sometimes the players are never the same. This is an injury that happens mostly to pitchers, because of how much stress they put on their elbows. This year is no different.

We are two weeks away from opening day and several pitchers have gone down with elbow injuries, both needing Tommy John. Two of those pitchers are Ryan Madson of the Cincinnati Reds and Joakim Soria of the Kansas City Royals. Madson who just signed with the Reds this offseason is hoping for a speedy recovery back to the bigs to make an impact in Cincy. For Joakim Soria, it’s a totally different story. This is his second go around with Tommy John Surgery (2003). (more…)

Alex Rodriguez vs. Albert Pujols: Which Slugger is Tops?

Thursday March 29th, 2012

Bryan Sheehan (MLB Reports Intern): There is no doubt that Albert Pujols and Alex Rodriguez are the most prolific sluggers in the MLB right now. Pitchers fear them, teammates love them and opposing fans hate them. Both have tremendous power, huge career numbers and legions of fans that argue who is more dominant. Pujols supporters argue that his career .328 batting average, 445 home runs and two gold gloves make him the most elite in the game, while fans of A-Rod counter with 629 home runs (the most of any active player), 104.6 WAR (the third best of all time) and 1,893 RBIs; beat that Albert. Read the rest of this entry

A Few Ways MLB can Make Stadiums More Tech-Friendly

Tuesday March 27th, 2012

Sam Evans: Major League Baseball has always been viewed as a classic American sport. In the last fifty years, the world has greatly changed… but for the most part, the game has remained the same. Today, in a modern world, baseball needs to make some simple adjustments to the fan’s experience in order to stay relevant.

Major League stadiums are just as nice, if not nicer, than NBA and NFL arenas and stadiums. In the last ten years, baseball fans have seen retractable roofs, pools in center field, and even weird dolphin home-run sculptures implemented in Major League stadiums. MLB has shown a commitment to bringing fans out to the ballpark. Despite baseball’s efforts, attendance still isn’t where it should be for THE major sport in the United States. (more…)

The 2012 Tigers may Bring first WS Title Home to Detroit Since 1984

Monday, March.26/2012

Kirk Gibson celebrates with teammates during a 1984 World Series Game 1 homer, they won the series 4-1 over the San Diego Padres.

Douglas ‘Chuck’ Booth (Baseball Writer @ChuckBooth3024 on Twitter) – My dad and I were not always Yankees fans.  In the past blogs I had written that my favorite teams when I first started watching baseball were the Montreal Expos(because of Gary Carter) and my American League team was the Detroit Tigers (because of Lance Parrish).  As a 7-year-old kid playing baseball, our team name was the Tigers.  I remember that as I took my position behind home plate, the coach called me Lance Parrish.  My dad was the assistant coach that year and would whip baseball’s at me to toughen me up.  I asked him too, because I wanted to learn how to block them like #13. Read the rest of this entry

Erika Monroe Williams Interview: Conquering the Baseball and Entertainment World- My Way!

Sunday March 25th, 2012

MLB reports – Jonathan Hacohen:
We are excited to present our featured guest today on MLB reports, the one and only: Erika Monroe Williams. Erika has been involved in entertainment, news and baseball in many capacities over her brilliant career. From a news anchor in Texas and Phoenix, to working in public relations and then a pre-game host on Diamondbacks’ broadcasts. She even recently completed a stint on the VH1 reality show, Baseball Wives! Erika also forms half of what I call the “Baseball Power Couple”. You may know her husband- All-Star Third Baseman, multiple Gold Glove and Silver Slugger recipient and World Series champion, Matt Williams. The Williams couple actually hosted for a period the Diamondbacks pre-game show together (awwww…), before Matt went back onto the field to become a Diamondbacks coach. Matt is currently serving as the Third Base Coach on Kirk Gibson’s staff, as well as being a minority owner of the Diamondbacks. To say that Erika and Matt have strong Diamondbacks ties would be an understatement.

Matt and Erika currently reside in Arizona, raising their children. With hectic work schedules, they are truly living the modern-day baseball life! I had the chance to speak with both Erika and Matt recently. Today’s feature is my conversation with Erika Monroe Williams, with the Matt Williams interview coming up in part two of this two-part feature. In part one, Erika opens up about all the facets of her fascinating life. From meeting Matt and getting married, to working as a news anchor and in public relations, to what it is like to working and preparing as a host of the Diamondbacks pre-game programs. Did I mention that she also appeared on the VH1 show Baseball Wives? 😉 For those of you that followed the program, Erika actually quit the show. Today, we find out why. Erika though hasn’t given up on television…far from it. As Matt expressed to me during our interview: Erika is full of life and has a charismatic personality that is perfectly suited for entertainment. She is smart, funny, hard-working and extremely motivated. As she prepares for her next projects (Erika currently has a cooking show in the works), there is no doubt that the sky is the limit for Erika Monroe Williams! She is just getting started. 

You know the name. Now get to know the lady. Today on MLB reports, our exclusive interview with Erika Monroe Williams:

Read the rest of this entry

Ask the Reports: ATR Answers Your Baseball Questions – March 25th, 2012

Sunday March 25th, 2012

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

Let’s get to your top questions of the week: Read the rest of this entry

2012 Fantasy Rankings: Who Ranks Higher – Moore or Hellickson?

Sunday March 25th, 2012

Sam Evans: The Tampa Bay Rays front office has assembled one of the most talented and youthful rotations in the Major Leagues. Matt Moore is the best pitching prospect in baseball and is ready to make an impact in the majors this year. Jeremy Hellickson was the 2011 A.L. Rookie of the Year and he will look to build on his success in 2012. So my question is, if you play fantasy baseball, which Rays pitcher should you draft first? Read the rest of this entry

Joakim Soria to Undergo a 2nd Tommy John Surgery: The Aftermath of the Loss of the Royals Closer

Saturday March 24th, 2012

Jonathan Hacohen:  I was digging in the MLB reports archive this morning, thinking about the recent news on Joakim Soria‘s seasoning ending injury. The inevitable story came out yesterday, as Joakim Soria is facing a second Tommy John surgery. A visit to Dr. Andrews confirmed it. With “definite damage” to the elbow, as was reported from Soria’s initial prognosis, it was only a matter of time till this announcement was made. So the Royals lose Soria for the season, their top closer facing a long road to return after the reconstructive elbow surgery he is about to face. Did the Royals take too much of a risk by hanging on to Soria this offseason? As a result, what is the Royals bullpen going to look like in 2012? Read the rest of this entry

You Must Be Careful When Buying Through PayPal or Stub Hub!

Friday March.23, 2012

Travel Blog: #10

Articles @ MLB Reports # 27

Days to GWR Attempt:15

Douglas ‘Chuck’ Booth (Baseball Writer and @chuckbooth3024 on twitter)- This wasn’t my topic that I was going to write about today but I felt it is so necessary to warn travelers on the pitfalls of PayPal and StubHub if they don’t know how to use their financial institutions properly.  First off, I am not bemoaning either of these entities.  Both offer a great service to the public.  This is just a cautionary tale.  When you have done extensive traveling such as I have you pretty much encounter everything, this is a kind of parallelism to the great game of baseball.  I have been overcharged, had entire flight itineraries be cancelled because of a simple date error.  Again I digress off topic, we can pick up on some of those on another day.
Read the rest of this entry

Chad Cordero Interview: Closing In On A Major League Comeback

Thursday March 22nd, 2012

(Photo courtesy of Scott Ableman- click here for link to Scott’s photographs)

MLB reports – Jonathan Hacohen: When you are discussing the terms “closer” and “saves”, this name will always come in conversation at some point. One of the top closers in baseball for several years, this man really needs no introduction. But he will get one anyways…because he is that damn good. As far as superstar closers go, Chad Cordero has been there. Between 2004-2007, Chad was one of the game’s elite. 2005 was his shining moment, as Chad led the league with 47 saves in Washington- the first year of the Nationals. Consistent and a bulldog on the mound. Injuries and a personal tragedy all made the last few years very difficult for Chad and his family. But like on the mound, Chad Cordero in life is not one to give up. He battles on.

I had the honor of speaking with Chad recently as the MLB season began to approach. Where did we speak? Amazingly enough, while Chad was getting a tattoo. Apparently talking baseball helped numb the pain.  If nothing else, it made for an interesting interview experience! We got to discuss many topics, centering around baseball and life in general.

Despite his stardom and popularity, Chad Cordero remains very grounded and focused. After taking the time to heal his body and family, Chad is back with renewed energy and confidence. Despite reports last year of his retirement from the game, I am happy to report that Chad Cordero is far from finished. He is working hard and training for his MLB comeback in 2013.

We covered many topics during our conversation. From closing in College, playing in Montreal and Washington, reaching major league success,  and recovering from the loss of his daughter to SIDS, Chad was very candid in this interview. I even discovered the secret behind the straight-brim hat! Today on MLB reports, we feature one of our favorite closers of all-time – on the comeback trail with the man they called “The Chief” – Chad Cordero:

Read the rest of this entry

Chipper Jones Announces 2012 Will Be His Last Season: Is Mariano Rivera Next to Retire?

Thursday March 22nd, 2012

Bryan Sheehan (MLB Reports Intern): At a press conference before a Grapefruit League Game today, Atlanta Braves third baseman Larry Wayne Jones (a.k.a. Chipper Jones) announced that 2012 would be his last season before retirement from baseball. At age 39, Jones has spent all of his 18 year career with the Braves, earning him the distinction of being the active player with the most time played for just one team. During this span, Jones has played in seven All-Star games, won an MVP and picked up a pair of Gold Glove Awards. His offensive WAR is a combined 84.9, good enough for 25th on the all-time list. Interestingly enough, the player with the second longest-one-team-tenure may also retire after this season. Closer Mariano Rivera, who has 16 years and 106 days of MLB service, all for the New York Yankees. Over the years Rivera has been one of the most consistently dominant closers in the league, and his record 603 career saves is the most in history.  Read the rest of this entry

Changes That I Would Make To Improve Spring Training

Tuesday March 21st, 2012

Sam Evans: MLB’s Spring Training needs a makeover. They play too many games, and the games aren’t usually in ideal locations. If MLB were to use my suggestions, I believe that Spring Training would become a more respectable, revenue producing venue. (more…)

AL East: Value Picks, Up-and-Coming Players and Red Flags in Fantasy Baseball

Tuesday March 20th, 2012

Peter Stein (Fantasy Baseball Analyst – MLB reports): We saved the best for last in our sixth and final installment to prepare for your fantasy drafts. The Al East is by far the most talented and exciting division in Major League Baseball. At times there were fourth place teams, such as the Blue Jays and Rays, that would most certainly finish in first place in other divisions. However, what makes the AL East most fantasy-relevant is the changing of the tides and cycle of talent. Just as the A-Rod’s, Ortiz’s, Jeter’s, and Crawford’s are aging and not to playing up to their price or draft pick, the entire division, from top to bottom, has young talent that appear primed to outperform their projected draft value.

Instead of your run of the mill position-by-position rankings, I identify players who fall into the following three categories: value picks, buyer beware, and up-and-coming. The traditional rankings often do a disservice and give owners too close-minded of an approach, particularly in the ROTO format. An owner cannot have a clear-cut strategy and ranking system, as one must adapt to the circumstances on draft day. Remember that you are often building a team for five categories, and you cannot predict which categories you will need to target to offset weaknesses as the draft progresses. Therefore, the key to success is to understand which player’s are over and undervalued, by looking at determinants such as performance trends, offseason movement, and skill development. We are all aware of the fantasy studs, but the way to build a winning roster is to identify players who provide sneaky good value. (more…)

MLB Ball Park Staff Can Make a World of Difference

Monday March 19, 2012

‘Douglas Chuck Booth’ (Baseball Writer and @chuckbooth3024 on twitter)- In 2007, MLB Opening Week experienced massive snowstorms along the Eastern Seaboard.  Several teams had to cancel games and reschedule them for later in the year.  I happened to have a bought a car near London, Ontario that I was driving all the way across America to return to Vancouver B.C Canada that week.  As I was visiting baseball parks, they were being snowed out.  I tried for the Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati only for it to have been snowed out.  I extended my trip by a day to make up the game in Cincy.  I watched the game in a snow storm.  I then went to Cleveland to try my luck at Progressive Field.  By the time I made it to the park, it was under a foot of snow.  I had been hoping to see a doubleheader with the Seattle Mariners being the away team.  Not the case, at least I parked at the Rock ‘N Roll Hall of Fame and had something to do in Cleveland instead of watching baseball. Read the rest of this entry

Ask the Reports: ATR Answers Your Baseball Questions – March 19th, 2012

Monday March 19th, 2012

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

Let’s get to your top questions of the week: Read the rest of this entry

MLB Expansion: Could Major League Baseball Add a Team in Mexico City?

Sunday March 18th, 2012

Sam Evans: Mexico City has the largest population of any city in North America, so it is somewhat surprising that it does not have an MLB franchise. Thanks to technology, the world is getting smaller and language barriers are rapidly shrinking. If there was ever a time for MLB to either expand or relocate a team to Mexico City, it is right now. Read the rest of this entry

The Priceline ‘Bidding Tutorial’ for Baseball Road Trips

Saturday March 17, 2012

Douglas ‘Chuck’ Booth (Baseball Writer)-I am constantly grateful for living in an era that you can negotiate prices for almost anything.  Such as everything we do in life, you become better at something the more  you practice at it.

I use Priceline for most of my lodging on baseball road trips.  The only circumstances I would not use Priceline is if I am only going to be staying in a room for five hours or less.   For Cars, I usually have 20 free car rentals a year but that is only since I rent cars for 365 days a year.  People owning their own cars are better off bidding on Priceline. So here is the process that I came up with that tends to have the greatest results. Read the rest of this entry

Can Alex Gordon Have Another Stellar Year in Kansas City?

Friday March 16th, 2012

Bryan Sheehan (MLB Reports Intern): There hasn’t been much for fans of the Kansas City Royals to be excited about recently. A 71-91 record in 2011, combined with a playoff drought that dates back to 1986 (they’ve only had six winning seasons since), tells the story of a team playing without much inspiration or value.  Last year had few bright spots for the club, but perhaps the best beacon of hope came in the form of outfielder Alex Gordon. The 28-year-old had a breakout season last year, hitting .303 with 87 RBIs and a Gold Glove in left field. This raises the question: was 2011 a fluke or is Gordon quickly becoming a superstar outfielder? (more…)

Daniel Bard: Future Red Sox Ace?

Thursday March 15, 2012

Rob Bland (Baseball Writer):  With most of Red Sox Nation knowing that big time closer Jonathan Papelbon would be leaving the team via free agency after the 2011 season, many thought that it would be a seamless transition to throw Daniel Bard into the mix as the closer for the foreseeable future.  However, new Red Sox GM Ben Cherington surprised many when he announced that Bard would be stretched out as a starter in the spring.

Now, it’s not the first time a good reliever has been turned into a starter, and many of them have turned into useful starters.  C.J. Wilson is just one of these successful conversions, having been the Texas Rangers’ closer from 2007-2009, then shifting into the rotation for 2010 and 2011.  Wilson earned 46 saves in those 3 seasons, and after his move to the rotation, he went 31-15 and accumulated 10.5 WAR, putting him in the upper echelon of starters.

This year, another closer for the Rangers will be shifting to the rotation in Neftali Feliz.  Many believe that he will struggle. But if C.J. Wilson, who was a decent reliever can do it, why not Feliz?  Why not Bard?

Bard has an electric fastball, averaging over 97 mph over his MLB career.  He also has a solid slider that sits around 84 mph.  Bard has induced ground balls at an extremely high rate; 48.6% over 197 IP.  Bard has lowered his walk rate, as well as HR/FB while maintaining an extremely low BABIP over the last two seasons, .215 and .224, respectively.

Bard hasn’t started a game since 2007 when he was in single-A ball.  He threw 75 innings of 7.08 ERA, striking out 47 and walking 78.  Obviously a lot of those control issues are behind him, as evidenced by his shrinking BB/9; 4.01, 3.62, and 2.96 in 2009, 2010, and 2011, respectively.  Bard has been able to get guys out with a fastball that touches 100 mph, and a plus slider.  The problem here is that he only ever threw one inning at a time, and thus rarely needed a third pitch.  According to, in 2011, Bard threw his change-up 83 times, which is only 7.5% of all his pitches, in contrast to 64% on his fastball, and 25% on his slider.  He also threw 46 sinkers, around 4.1%.

In such a small sample size of changeups, one should definitely not get too excited over the results.  However, in 2011, Bard fared pretty well with his change-up.  He was able to induce swings on 48.19% of his changeups, and 25% of those were swing-and-misses.  His changeup was put in play 23% of the time, and had a ground ball rate of 63%.

In no way does this mean it is a good changeup. However, it does seem promising.  It is also possible that Bard just throws them at the most opportune time, and delivers when necessary.  It could also mean that he is incredibly lucky.

With Bard having to throw 6+ innings every 5th day, how will his arm hold up moving to the rotation?  Most relievers have a limit in their first years starting as to how many innings they will throw.

Brandon Morrow was moved to the rotation full time when he was traded to the Toronto Blue Jays, and was shut down after 146 innings in 2010, and threw only 179 innings in 2011. This year, there will be no limitations on the hard throwing righty, whose profile closely fits that of Bard.  Morrow can get his fastball in the upper 90s as well as having a devastating slider.  His success has been only moderate due to mediocre offerings in his curve ball and changeup.

Bard’s development as a starter rests mostly on the development of his changeup.  If he is able to use it more often and maintain success with it, he could be a solid starter this year and going forward.  The other extremely important thing to look at is whether new manager Bobby Valentine will limit his innings, or let him go for the full season, as the Rangers did with Wilson in 2010 (204 IP).

I see Bard throwing somewhere around 170 innings this year, and performing fairly well, getting acclimated to throwing every 5th day.  His changeup is developing, and if he harnesses it, he could be a deadly addition to a rotation that includes Josh Beckett, Jon Lester, and Clay Buchholz.

***Today’s feature was prepared by Baseball Writer, Rob Bland.  We highly encourage you to leave your comments and feedback at the bottom of the page and share in the discussion with our readers.  You can also follow Rob on Twitter.***

Please e-mail us at: with any questions and feedback.  You can follow us on Twitter and become a fan on FacebookTo 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.

Looking Back at the Careers and Legacies of La Russa and Torre

Wednesday March 14th, 2012

Sam Evans: Tony La Russa and Joe Torre were two of most successful managers of all time. They combined for over five thousand managerial wins, and there is no chance either manager won’t make the Hall-of-Fame. Two years ago, Torre retired, and after the Cardinals World Series championship in 2011, La Russa called it quits as well. Join me as we look back at the careers of two of the best managers the game of baseball has ever seen. (more…)

AL Central: Value Picks, Up-and-Coming Players and Red Flags in Fantasy Baseball

Tuesday March 13th, 2012

Peter Stein (Fantasy Baseball Analyst – MLB reports): Prince Fielder teams up with Miguel Cabrera and Justin Verlander, as the Detroit Tigers are the home of the Al Central’s three biggest fantasy stars. While the rest of the teams in the division are “rebuilding” (I don’t really know what the White Sox are doing), there are many promising youngsters and other players to target as value picks in the AL central on your draft day.

Read the rest of this entry

The Top Players Used to Play the ‘Hot Corner’: The Sad State of Third Base in 2012

Monday March. 12, 2012

Douglas ‘Chuck’ Booth (Baseball Writer): When I was a kid, the best players in the game of baseball all seemed to play Third or First Base. Think back to the mid-eighties, where George Brett, Wade Boggs, Mike Schmidt, Howard Johnson, Terry Pendleton and Paul Molitor were some of the better players in the game.  Even Bobby Bonilla broke into the Majors at third base. The next wave of third baseman were impressive too, guys like: Chipper Jones, Ken Caminiti, a young Scott Rolen, Vinny Castilla and Robin Ventura. As little as five years ago, there was Alex Rodriguez and David Wright both being top-5 players in baseball. When you added Miguel Cabrera and Mike Lowell to the mix, it was a pretty formidable bunch of players at the Hot Corner. Read the rest of this entry

Ask the Reports: ATR Answers Your Baseball Questions – March 12th, 2012

Monday March 12th, 2012

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

Let’s get to your top questions of the week: Read the rest of this entry

The Twins Need Justin Morneau

Sunday March 11th, 2012

Sam Evans: In this new era of baseball, you can’t make the playoffs without an above-average first baseman. Two years ago, the Twins had one of the best first basemen in the game and they won ninety-four games. Then, Justin Morneau got injured sliding hard into second base on July 7th, 2010. Morneau might not ever be the same after suffering this fatal concussion. The Twins witnessed how rough it was without Morneau, after suffering through a 99-loss season last year.

When the 22-year-old Morneau first broke the big leagues with Twins in 2003, he struggled miserably. Year by year after 2003, Morneau improved, leading him to the 2006 AL MVP award. The Twins, led by manager Ron Gardenhire, were slowly building an A.L Central dynasty. From 2003-2009, the Minnesota Twins won an average of eighty-eight games.

Without Morneau and Joe Mauer leading the Twins to the playoffs regularly, the Twins probably wouldn’t have Target Field. Justin Morneauhad six straight seasons of an OPS over .834. He was a leader in the clubhouse, and on the field. Morneau’s exemplary play didn’t fly under the radar nationally. He was a four-time All-Star, and a two-time Sliver Slugger award winner. Morneau was the most consistent player on the Twins, and without him, you can question if Target Field would exist. (more…)

Chad Moeller Interview: From MLB Catcher to Coaching- Living the Baseball Dream

Saturday March 10th, 2012

MLB reports – Jonathan Hacohen: Today’s featured guest on MLB reports needs no introduction. But he is still getting one anyways! Chad Moeller was a catcher for seven teams over eleven MLB seasons. The man won a World Series and hit for the cycle. Few players can say that. To say that Chad has lived the dream would be an understatement.

Here is a rundown of Chad’s baseball bio:

Chad Moeller Bio

Born: Upland, California

College: University of Southern California – Majored in Economics
1st Team All Pac Ten in 1996.
College World Series 1995

Drafted and Signed with the Minnesota Twins in 96 (7th Round)
Major League Debut in 2000 (Twins)
Arizona Diamondbacks 2001-03
Milwaukee Brewers 2004-2006
Cincinnati Reds 2007
Los Angeles Dodgers 2007
New York Yankees in 2008
Baltimore Orioles in 2009
New York Yankees in 2010

Individual Accomplishments:
Caught in over 500 major league games
Hit for the Cycle in 2004
Catcher for Randy Johnson 2002-2003
Caught Randy Johnson’s 16 strike out game
Caught Ben Sheets’ 18 strike out game
Played in the Big Leagues for 11 seasons
Played professional baseball for 16 seasons
Member of 2001 AZ Diamondbacks World Series Team

Resides: Scottsdale, Arizona since 2001

(courtesy of Chad Moeller Baseball, via Read the rest of this entry

Time Management and Planning Tips for Baseball Road Trips

Friday March 9, 2012

Douglas ‘Chuck’ Booth (Baseball Writer)- You have booked your vacation time off work after scouting out the Major League Baseball Schedule this year(Usually posts Sept.15 for the next following year).  You then either have to buy plane tickets or organize Ground Transportation to move around to these cities, in a lot of cases you will need to do both.  Most people do not want to feel rushed on vacation, as chances are their real life is already like this and they are looking for a reprieve from a hectic pace.  Obviously, the better travelers would already have priced out everything from flights to: parking, food, lodging, gas, car rentals, taxi cabs, tickets, tolls, luggage, add that to electronic considerations like; roaming charges for cellphones and all forms of picture-taking like maybe additional Memory Cards.  You are left with a lot of planning and money management to tackle.  You have finagled a way to pay for your vacation, however how do you go about the process in stages? Read the rest of this entry

Bob Gibson: Ranking the Cardinals Hurler Among the Greatest of All Time

Friday March 9th, 2012

Rob Bland:  Bob Gibson is, in Jonathan Hacohen’s mind, the best pitcher of all time.  To me, there is certainly in an argument for at least top-10, maybe top-5. But I have trouble actually justifying putting him ahead of Cy Young, Christy Mathewson, Pedro Martinez and Walter Johnson.  Now, these pitchers played in different eras, so it is extremely difficult to compare them side-by-side.  

Bob Gibson pitched for the St. Louis Cardinals for parts of 17 seasons, racking up 251 wins against 174 losses.  He made his debut on April 15, 1959, and played his last game in September of 1975.  Six years later he was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame, receiving 337 of a total 401 votes (84%).  

Between 1961 and 1974, Gibson threw over 200 innings all but twice; 175.1 in 1967, and 195 in 1973.  He surpassed 250 innings pitched eight times, and 290 innings four times.  Needless to say, Gibby was a work horse.   (more…)

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