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Daily Archives: May 27, 2012

Ask the Reports: ATR Answers Your Baseball Questions – May 27th, 2012

Sunday May 27th, 2012



Jonathan Hacohen:  Posted every Weekend: Your top baseball questions from the past week are answered. E-mail all questions to mlbreports@me.com, 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: What do you think about Honolulu (for MLB expansion)? They would get so many people during the summer for vacation.  Robert

JH:  Robert! I don’t think a week goes by where I don’t receive a question from you on MLB expansion. You know that it is one of my favorite topics- so inevitably, we end up discussing it seemingly at least once on ATR every week. Honolulu now…that is interesting. As we discussed in previous expansion talks, Major League Baseball will consider many factors in its next round of expansion. Population base and the availability of fans for games will be one key factor. Honolulu has apparently 337,000 residents while Hawaii itself is closing in on 1,000,000.  Not bad. Not bad at all. But even with a strong population base, we would have to be realistic on the area. Travel will be a killer. Which division would we even consider putting them in? The climate would be perfect though. Nice and dry in the summer, warm but not overbearing. A very population destination for tourists, but with most trying to enjoy sun and beaches, I am not sure how baseball would go over as a tourist attraction.

Ultimately, distance will be the killer. Also, taxes I understand may be an issue as well. Les Murakami Stadium in Honalulu is home to the University of Hawaii baseball team. The stadium holds 4,312 and has turf. Guess what? A new stadium will need to be built to accommodate MLB. Will that happen? Many of the other candidates for MLB expansion will need to build a stadium as well. But at least those areas have a decent shot at a team. To get a good stadium, you need a rich owner with a supportive community willing to subsidize the venture. Hawaii folded its winter league in 2008, but I have read reports it could return. If the area could not keep the winter league, I think MLB expansion would be a tough sell. But if nothing else, distance is the killer. You can have one team in Hawaii and expect all the other teams in the league (especially in the division) to travel such a distance. Ten hours from Hawaii to NYC? No thanks. We need to be creative in thinking MLB expansion, but Honolulu is reaching a little too far. Read the rest of this entry

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Indians Off to Another Strong Start – But This Time, Will it Last?

Sunday May 27th, 2012

Ryan Ritchey (Baseball Writer): The Cleveland Indians are off to a hot start for the second straight season. Last year it didn’t last… and the team ended up falling apart. What is going to happen this season? Will the pitching stay strong until the end of the season or fall off the map when it most counts? Asdrubal Cabrera has come down with a pulled hamstring in the past week and will be out. This could really end up affecting the team, or he could come back soon and be fine. The thing about a hamstring is that it can be a nagging injury, if it doesn’t fully heal properly. If I’m Manny Acta, I sit Cabrera until he is fully healthy.

To answer some of the above questions, I believe the starting pitching will last past the All-Star Break and the Cleveland Indians will have a shot at the AL Central crown. With Ubaldo Jimenez, Justin Masterson, and veteran Derek Lowe the Indians pitching staff is one of the best in its division.  Or at least it should be on paper. Derek Lowe with a 3.25 ERA and 6wins has been a horse for the Indians. The biggest surprise thus far for this team is Chris Perez, who has 16 saves in 17 chances. With a sweep of the Tigers this past week, the Indians made a statement in the American League Central. They are ready to show that least year was no fluke and that Cleveland is ready to return to the promised land. The MLB playoffs. With another Wild Card added this year, the Indians have to like their chances at postseason glory. Read the rest of this entry

Michael Choice Has Tremendous Power: A’s Prospect is On the Verge

Sunday May 27th, 2012

Sam Evans: Oakland Athletics prospect Michael Choice was drafted by the A’s 10th overall in the 2010 MLB Amateur draft. Looking back at the pick, most of the players drafted before Choice have risen quicker through their respective systems, but Choice still looks like a nice selection by Billy Beane and his scouting department. Michael Choice has 70 grade power, so even though his tools are raw, it’s hard not to like a future All-Star.

Michael Choice was born in 1989 in Forth Worth, Texas. Being a young Texan outfielder with power projection, it must be pretty difficult to go unnoticed out high school. Nonetheless, Choice was under the radar coming out of high school and he eventually ended up at the University of Texas-Arlington. At Texas-Arlington, Choice began to turn some heads. In three college seasons, or 175 games, Choice hit thirty-four homers and had a batting average over .375 in all three years.  His junior year at Texas-Arlington, in 2010, Choice drew seventy-six walks and he only struck out fifty-four times.

Coming into the draft, Choice was considered by most as a top fifteen prospect, so the A’s selecting him at #10 didn’t surprise many. The player that went before Choice, Karsten Whitson did not sign. The player that went after Choice, Deck McGuire, is a little overrated in my opinion, but he has reached Double-A already in the Toronto organization. Read the rest of this entry

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