Monthly Archives: January 2017

Ty Cobb Victimized By Trash Talking Catcher

Trash talking in professional sports is something that seems to have its genesis in the most recent of generations. However, that is simply not true, as athletes, including major league baseball players have enjoyed sniping at each other over the years. An early example of this was catcher Lou Criger, who came out swinging in the press more than a century ago about his major disdain for legendary outfielder Ty Cobb.

READ FULL POST

Advertisements

Rollie Hemsley: The Long Journey to Sobriety

hemsley-lede_orig

Rogers Hornsby himself couldn’t control the talented catcher, who drank himself off four teams before finding help — and eventually helping thousands of others. READ MORE AT PLATECOVERAGE.COM

 

Sully Baseball Daily Podcast – January 31, 2017

wbc_1280_er4o2xsw_wwvu45yr

The World Baseball Classic is going on again this year. I am not a big fan of it, but it SHOULD be a gateway to bring the best and most talented from all over the world to compete on the American stage.

Bring your poor huddled masses and shortstops on this episode of The Sully Baseball Daily Podcast.

Read the rest of this entry

Spike Owen 1989 Donruss – Sully Baseball Card of the Day for January 30, 2017

Sully Baseball

img_8379

While I was taking a train to a game at Yankee Stadium in the early 2000’s, I saw film critic Jeffrey Lyons was on the subway with me. We both appeared in the HBO Documentary Curse of the Bambino. I truly doubt if he recognized me from that.

We are both Sox fans and I decided I would try to stump him with a trivia question. I brought up Spike Owen, the starting shortstop on the ill fated 1986 Boston Red Sox. I asked him “What was Spike Owen’s real first name?”

He didn’t know.

I told him “Spike. His mother’s maiden name was Spikes, so Spike is NOT a nickname for him. That is his actual name.”

I took that as a moment of pride for me that he didn’t get it.

I don’t ever remember buying a pack of Donruss cards in 1989, but my eyes do…

View original post 485 more words

The Greatest Detroit Tiger By Position: Right Field

tigers-rfMoving on to the last position in the outfield, we’ve already anointed Bobby Veach the Greatest Tiger left fielder, and Ty Cobb the greatest Tiger center fielder.  The question now is, will Sam Crawford make an early 1900’s sweep of outfield greats, or will Al Kaline or possibly Harry Heilmann, or another Tiger take home that crown?  To be eligible for the list, a player must play at least 5-years for the Tigers with a majority of games coming at that position.  Unlike the infielder however, I do look at stats across all outfield spots.

If you’d like to catch up, you can see who I believe is the greatest Tiger catcher, first baseman, second baseman, third baseman, and shortstop of all-time as well.

Qualifying for today’s list is: Al Kaline, Harry Heilmann, Sam Crawford, Pete Fox, and Magglio Ordonez.  With this group, I am leaving Pete Fox off the list with a total Tigers WAR of 10.6.

Continue reading at Sons of ’84

Sully Baseball Daily Podcast – January 30, 2017

920x920

Karen Warren – Houston Chronicle

With the Cubs off the hook from their suffering fans, the Houston Astros must now be considered one of the most tortured fan bases in baseball.

A closer examination at their post season past shows a huge number of games that could have been theirs with a bounce here or there.

Houston has a problem on this episode of The Sully Baseball Daily Podcast.

Read the rest of this entry

1st 2 Weeks Schedule Of The 2017 MLB Season (Includes All Home Openers + Interleague)

Hosts the 1st ESPN SUNDAY NIGHT GAME of the year,,

Busch Stadium Hosts the 1st ESPN SUNDAY NIGHT GAME of the year vs the World Series reigning champs the Chicago Cubs.

ALL TIMES  DISPLAYED IN EASTERN TIME

WEEK 1 (Includes Season Opener Sunday Apr 2, 2017)

INTERLEAGUE GAMES IN MAROON

APR  2017

Sunday, Apr 2  MLB OPENING DAY (3 Games):

Yankees @ Rays 1:10 Tropicana Field Home Opener, St. Petersburg, FL (Tampa Bay Rays)

Giants @ D’Backs 4:10 Chase Field Home Opener, Phoenix, AR (Arizona Diamondbacks)

Cubs @ Cardinals 8:35 (ESPN SUNDAY NIGHT GAME) Busch Stadium Home Opener, St. Louis, MO (St. Louis Cardinals)

There are no Interleague Games On this Day Read the rest of this entry

Sully Baseball Daily Podcast – January 29, 2017

detroittigersvlosangelesangelsanaheimf97grer_w7bl

Jeff Gross/Getty Images North America

It is Sunday and time for The Sunday Request.

Cabrera and Pujols are both going to the Hall of Fame. Right now as the best offensive player of their generation, they could be neck and neck.

And a Trout is swimming up to them!

Looking back at right now on this episode of The Sully Baseball Daily Podcast.

Read the rest of this entry

MLB Doubleheader Master Schedule In 2017

Best Source of Information for all 30 MLB Ballparks - and network of stadium afficionado's

Best Source of Information for all 30 MLB Ballparks – and network of stadium afficionado’s

First off, if you have never been to one of the 30 MLB Parks, we don’t advise on doing a doubleheader as part of your initial experience with the venue.  2 Games in one day takes a lot of travel,planning, and receiving the utmost experience in a stadium requires time.

However, if you are already versed in a park, than we are giving you a list of all doable Doubleheaders for the entire 2017 Calendar MLB season,

Most of these are within 2 to  4 hours away from each other (if not a shorter distance.)

In my lifetime of ballpark chasing, I have now done almost 100 Doubleheaders as part of my journeys.  The more baseball in a day, the better I feel.

In the meantime, consider visiting my buddy Craig’s website ballparkchasers.com – and for Park Guides to every cathedral in the MLN!  If you have any questions about going to the park. hit my up – mlbreports@gmail.com Read the rest of this entry

Sully Baseball Daily Podcast – January 28 2017

padres

The San Diego Padres can be a unique fan base if 35,000 people can show up to PetCo Park a day.

Why not? It is a fun time at the ball game!

Love the Friars on this episode of The Sully Baseball Daily Podcast.

Read the rest of this entry

Was Dixie Walker a Racist?

walker-lede_orig

The only player to have been a teammate of both Babe Ruth and Jackie Robinson, Dixie Walker received MVP votes in eight separate seasons, finishing as high as second in 1946. Yet if he is remembered at all by today’s fans, it’s  for the charge that he was the player most responsible for trying to keep Jackie Robinson from joining the Brooklyn Dodgersa charge dramatized on the big screen in the 2013 film “42.” Walker has been characterized as a bigot for decadesbut is it a fair assessment of the man?. READ MORE

Sully Baseball Daily Podcast – January 27, 2017

rg6Was Rich Gossage the greatest reliever of all time? He is certainly in the conversation. But if one tiny thing had changed in his Hall of Fame career,  we’d think of him much differently.

It is a Call the Fireman episode of The Sully Baseball Daily Podcast.

Read the rest of this entry

New York Mets Top 25 Prospects

What started off as one of the weakest systems in baseball was bolstered by the additions by the trade of Zack Wheeler in 2011, then Noah Syndergaard and Travis d’Arnaud in 2012-13. Furthermore, the team opted to draft high ceiling project players like Brandon Nimmo, Michael Fulmer, Gavin Cecchini, and Dominic Smith.

In 2014, Alderson changed his draft approach again with the selection of college outfielder Michael Conforto, then after losing the Mets 2015 first rounder in the Michael Cuddyer signing, selected his first set of college pitchers in Justin Dunn and Anthony Kay.

Graduation and trades have lowered the ranking of the farm system to the bottom third of the league. What was once a system flush with ace level arms and high ceiling batters have since become a more balanced system that features both potential offensive contributors and future rotation contributors.

Still, the 2016 season saw many prospects make their first impressions in the majors, including Sandy Alderson’s first ever Mets draft pick in Brandon Nimmo. For the first time since 2011, the Mets find themselves looking up at their counterparts as opposed to the other way around. What can a full season from the 2016 draft class do? Which prospects will graduate from this list?

 

New York Mets Top Prospects

2017 All-Money Team: The Highest-Paid MLB Players at Each Position

While it may not feel like spring is on the way in certain parts of the country, it’s closer than you think. Why? Well, the start of Spring Training is less than three weeks away, and we all know that the mere sight of players on a baseball field gives people the warm and fuzzies — no matter what the thermometer says.

Another year of MLB action means there will be lots of money earned by the league’s best players. But who gets the honor of being the top earner at their position this season? That was a question we wanted to answer with the 2017 All-Money team.

Thanks to Spotrac, it was easy to check out the payroll salaries at each position to see who is bringing home the most bacon over the next few months. Here’s a squad that would be pretty darn good overall, but just a tad bit expensive.

READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY

MLB Interleague Master Schedule In 2017: AL Looking To Speedbag The NL For A 14th Straight Year

AL vs NL

We go over this every season, but I am shocked to not see that much coverage on the issue.  The American League has absolutely thrashed on the National League in Interleague for the last 13 years.

Don’t tell me this is an anomaly.  This is a massive trend.  Plus no, the answer is not to eliminate MLB Interleague to level out the playing field.

I am already not going to watch the ALL – Star Game this year because it doesn’t mean anything.  Yes. I may be in the minority of the game actually being worth something in the MidSmmer Classic.  For those keep scoring at home, the League that actually won the All Star Game incredibly played 3 less games than the loser thanks to MLB’s brilliant (insert sarcasm here) 2 – 3 – 2 format.

But I guess no one else remember’s guys high fiving each other in the dugout once they were lifted in the ALL – Star Game, so they could catch a plane.  I will watch the HR Derby, and that is it.  I digress. Read the rest of this entry

St. Louis Cardinals 2017 Keys: Aledmys Diaz

diaz1

St. Louis Cardinals 2017 Keys: Aledmys Diaz
By Bill Ivie

The dawn of Spring Training is just around the corner. Coverage for the last few months has focused on changes. Now, the focus becomes projections. What are the keys to success? Who can a team rely on.

For the St. Louis Cardinals, one of the biggest keys is Aledmys Diaz.

You’ve no doubt heard of Diaz by now. The casual fan probably couldn’t say the same thing this time last year. His unexpected arrival in 2016 changed that.

This time last year, Diaz was still just a minor league player, brought in on a free agent contract after defecting from Cuba. The Cardinals signed him in hopes that he was the future as their shortstop. An injury to Jhonny Peralta seemed to open the door. The signing of Miguel Tejada seemed to close it just as fast.

READ THE ENTIRE STORY HERE

Sully Baseball Daily Podcast – January 26, 2017

jonathanpapelbonsethsmithsportspicturesvoxaexi6lc6l

Jamie Squire/Getty Images Sport

It is the 10 year anniversary of the Red Sox second championship this century. The legacy of the team is not a cute and cuddly one.

Honoring the middle child in this episode of The Sully Baseball Daily Podcast.

Read the rest of this entry

Odds To Win The 2017 MLB Divisions

chicago-cubs-logo

It is coming to that time where we all start making our predictions, and also plunk down more cabbage on the yearly bets. The 1st week of the February usually will come out with Player Prop Bets, and Teams Win Totals of Over and Under.

I don’t need to remind our long term readers that we have excelled in this foray since the beginning of introducing Gambling 101 as a category to mlbreports.com.

We look to continue our 70% best bet percentage.  I am looking to bounce back in the regular season in particularly as I made up the most of the money in player props, HR Derby and World Series Odds.

Today we are focusing on the MLB Divisions.

The AL East is the strongest Division in the game as 4 clubs are at least half decent. and even Tampa Bay is not that bad. Read the rest of this entry

You Could Try To Attempt A World Record By Going To All 30 MLB Parks In 25 Days In 2017 By Driving!

baseball-map-framed-with-plaque

So I have done about everything there is to do in for World Records in going to all the 30 MLB Parks.  I was able to hit all 30 MLB Parks in just 23 Days during 2012, besting my own 2009 record of 30/24.

The only way I could have done anything more substantial was to do what my idea was in 2015.  I went to 224 MLB Games in all the 183 Days of MLB Action – live at all 30 MLB Parks, spanning the entire season – and showing up at a ballpark every single day.

I am now 40 years old and don’t feel like doing this anymore, but every year I put out a schedule for all 30 MLB Parks in the forms of a record.

I honestly don’t think that I would top 30 MLB Parks in 23 Days since there is practically never any schedule that would allow that to be attempted.  If someone on this globe wants to take a run at – I welcome it.

However, my buddy Josh Robbins holds the Ground Record (all 30 MLB Parks) done by land – in just 26 Calendar Days during the 2008 season.) Read the rest of this entry

Just a Few Words About Jake Daubert

daubert-lede_orig

The forgotten MVP, there was never a player easier to root for than Jake Daubert.

READ THE FULL STORY ON PLATECOVERAGE.COM

All 30 MLB Clubs Ball Park Home Openers In 2017 With Starting Times

SunTrust Park will open up its gates for baseball for the 1st time ever on Friday Apr 14, 2017. It is the last home opener to have its game on the schedule for the 2017 Regular Season.. IMAGE - Ballparksofbaseball.com

SunTrust Park will open up its gates for baseball for the 1st time ever on Friday Apr 14, 2017. It is the last home opener to have its game on the schedule for the 2017 Regular Season..
IMAGE – Ballparksofbaseball.com

We are not too far away from Spring Training folks.  That also means that the majority of the clubs have posted start times for all of their home openers upcoming to start the season.

After this post is published we will continue to monitor the schedule for any changes and will have them updated.

The season kicks off with a trio of games in Tampa Bay, Arizona and St. Louis on Sunday Apr 2, 2017 – and the last home opener will be at the new ballpark in Atlanta (SunTrust Stadium) on Friday Apr 14, (7:35).

For those of you that love ballparks as much as I do, if you click on the actual stadium highlighted itself, it will take you to some of the best advice on how to gameplan your Ball Park Chasing adventures.

Read the rest of this entry

The Los Angeles Angels Have Had a Great Offseason

Outside of watching Mike Trout dominate on a nightly basis, there wasn’t much else to be happy about in 2016 with regard to the Los Angeles Angels.

They went a disappointing 74-88 and missed the playoffs for the fourth time since 2012, which was Trout’s rookie season. To make things worse, it’s also been hard to feel optimistic about the organization’s future in recent years.

It’s getting better, though.

ESPN’s Keith Law (subscription required) no longer views them as baseball’s worst farm system, but coming in 27th out of 30 teams isn’t anything to party about. On the big-league level, big contracts to C.J. Wilson and Jered Weaver have come off the books, leaving just one more year of paying Josh Hamilton and another five years (womp womp) of Albert Pujols.

Without the financial means to throw money at a free agent or the farm system to offer a boatload of intriguing prospects in a trade, general manager Billy Eppler had to get creative this winter, which is exactly what he’s done.

Are the Angels now playoff contenders? Probably not, but they look better on paper for 2017 than they did in 2016.

Let’s see how much of a lift the roster could have with a series of moves that haven’t grabbed a ton of headlines over the past few months.

READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY

Sully Baseball Daily Podcast – January 25, 2017

richhilldivisionserieslosangelesdodgerslanac9q8vyfl

Patrick Smith/Getty Images North America

The Dodgers have a window of opportunity to win the World Series. They have some of the big building blocks in place.

But this has been a strange off season where they have been big spender to essentially stand pat.

Bleed Dodger Blue in this episode of The Sully Baseball Daily Podcast.

Read the rest of this entry

Should The Red Sox Extend Chris Sale For 3 Or More Years Right Now?

We will be delving a lot more into all team payrolls on the MLB Reports as part of our regular features from now on. One of the things that I have been thinking about a lot is the Red Sox Payroll. I wonder if they shouldn't just extend Chris Sale for an additional 3 years. Yes it is risky with a guy who throws with a whipping motion, but you have a lot to consider on this. First you could offer him a 3 Year deal extension worth about $90 MIL total. It would be an awesome move to align Sale on the same years of service with David Price. IMAGE by Sports Mockery

We will be delving a lot more into all team payrolls on the MLB Reports as part of our regular features from now on. One of the things that I have been thinking about a lot is the Red Sox Payroll. I wonder if they shouldn’t just extend Chris Sale for an additional 3 years. Yes it is risky with a guy who throws with a whipping motion, but you have a lot to consider on this. First you could offer him a 3 Year deal extension worth about $90 MIL total. It would be an awesome move to align Sale on the same years of service with David Price. IMAGE by Sports Mockery

Chris Sale will enter the year at age 28, and while his current deal will take him to age 31 before he hits Free Agency prior to the 2020 season, maybe the Red Sox could capitalize on him maybe seeking some security.

I am suggesting the starting point of a AAV of $30 MIL.  Maybe the club adds a Mutual Option for the 4th and 5th year of the extension with a Buyout, but this is a smart concept from the Red Sox perspective.

Never in their long standing organization have they had such rich young superstars just entering the league at the same time.

Mookie Betts/Jackie Bradley Jr – and Xander Bogaerts are both under Team Control until 2021 and 202o respectively- with Betts/Bogaerts as perennial MVP contenders.

Even better than that are Andrew Benintendi (2023) and Blake Swihart (2022) rounding out a nice nucleus of talent held for cheap on the longterm. Read the rest of this entry

With No Top 50 ALL – Time Contracts Signed This Winter – Who Is Next To Make The List?

Signing Cespedes would not take care of all of New York's postional roster troubles, and injuries may ultimately ravage them again for the next campaign. Many of the Mets Starters are coming off health concerns in 2016. I am not sold they should be placed at such a valuable odd until they sign some players.

Signing Cespedes  has signed the biggest contract of the offseason thus far at 4 YRs/$110 MIL.  it is ranked tied for 60th ALL – Time even though the Annual Average Value is tied for 2nd ALL – Time among position players.  With power having been devalued and a firm new set of penalties for Luxury Tax Threshold Abusers, it may take until the winter of 2018 – heading into 2019 – for another player to ink a contract that places them in the top 50 ALL – Time Salaries.

The winter has seen a lot of great Free Agents sign like Yoenis Cespedes, Aroldis Chapman, Dexter Fowler, Kenley Jansen, Ian Desmond, Mark Melancon and Edwin Encarnacion, however none of them were historic by any means.

While Cespedes’s $110 MIL pact over 4 years is $27.5 MIL per year, which ties him for the  2nd best AAV ALL – Time for a position player with Alex Rodriguez, (trailing Miguel Cabrera‘s 8 YR/$248 MIL extension that started in 2016) – only brings him in for a tie for about 60th on the ALL – Time Biggest Contracts list.

To crack the top 50 list ALL – Time right now, you need to bring in a deal that makes at least $120 MIL for the life of the contract.

During last years offeseason, David Price ($217 MIL), Zack Greinke, ($206.5 MIL) Jason Heyward, ($184 MIL), Chris Davis, ($161 MIL), Justin Upton ($132.8 MIL) and Johnny Cueto ($130 MIL) all inked pacts in excess of that.

Early in the season, Stephen Strasburg shocked the world with his new 7 YRs/$175 MIL deal soon afterwards. Read the rest of this entry

The Tampa Bay Rays Should Play 3 Series A Year In Montreal Right Now

Trioicana Field is reg

Tropicana Field is regarded as the 2nd worst facility in the Major Leagues next to the o.co in Oakland.  The Rays are always in the bottom 2 for attendance in the ML and simply can’t draw much more than that – even though they had 6 straight 80 win seasons from 2008 – 2013.  With 4 other clubs in their Division all spending double to triple the amount of money on payroll as them, it will not get better for the clubs finances any time soon.  They are locked in a lease deal until 2027.  Why not play some of their games at Olympic Stadium in Montreal in the meantime?

With horrible attendance each year, coupled with the recent success of exhibition games at Olympic Stadium over the last few years, along with the stadium issue sill being prominent in the area, the Rays should host 9 – 10 games in Montreal, QC, Canada.

My idea would be to have one series in the French Province against the Jays, one against the Boston Red Sox and also one set of games versus the Yankees.

Considering the amount of traveling fans from these 3 AL East contending clubs, I would think the contests would be well attended.

This schedule would still allow the Tampa Bay Rays to hold 2 other series in St. Petersburg versus all 3 clubs.

With the 19 Games a year versus Division rivals, this is a good way to have the Rays also not create team fatigue within their home dates. Read the rest of this entry

Odds To Win The 2017 MLB World Series:

world2520series2520trophy

Last time we did these odds we talked more about why clubs should be wagered on, and now I will explain how we listed our top 5 bad value bets.

The New York Yankees head the category for this one.  There is no rhyme or reason this club should be parallel with their crosstown rivals the Mets – and ahead of the Cardinals, Rangers or Mariners for their odd.

Quite simply, the club is not as good as those other squads right now.  The direction of the organization to the youth movement may change that scenario in the near future – however can you really bank on any of their Starting Pitchers in a playoff series?

Also if you have the Blue Jays and Red Sox already ahead of you on the list, a lot of other 2nd place clubs in each of the other Divisions may hav a better leg up on you to snare the 2nd Wild Card Spot.

I like the Detroit Tigers as more of a chance to make the playoffs the Bronx Bombers in 2017. I will say that if they are in contention, that the money is always there to  acquire guys midway through the year (hopefully all on expiring contracts.) Read the rest of this entry

Sully Baseball Daily Podcast – January 24, 2017

colonnewyorkmetsvsandiegopadrespid-4bw3gayl

Denis Poroy/Getty Images North America

Took a question from Cubs Fan with an 8.

We tend to forget the regular season moments, so let’s savor them while they still are fresh.

Loving the days of Spring and Summer on this episode of The Sully Baseball Daily Podcast.

Read the rest of this entry

Philadelphia Phillies Optimistic About Heading To Spring Training In 2017

By Dan Wanser

Philadelphia held a massive consecutive sellout streak from the time CBP was in its first year until the latter parts of their team starting to decline in 2012.   In 2015, the franchise finished 14th out of 15 clubs at the turnstiles with just 1.8 Million fans.  This was the second straight year of a huge decline.  For those reasons it is okay to slowly build this team up with salary.

Philadelphia held a massive consecutive sellout streak from the time CBP was in its first year until the latter parts of their team starting to decline in 2012. In 2015, the franchise finished 14th out of 15 clubs at the turnstiles with just 1.8 Million fans. This was the second straight year of a huge decline. For those reasons it is okay to slowly build this team up with salary.  Philadelphia even dipped below the $100 MIL barrier in 2016 for payroll, and managed to bump attendance up to 1.95 MIL fans.  With a projected payroll of $104.0 based on recent additions of Clay Buchholz and Howie Kendrick, the club will look to be a little more competitive in 2017, and rise that attendance beyond 2 MIL again.

The Philadelphia Phillies used to be a force to be reckoned with. “The team to beat” started their historic stretch in 2007, ripping off five straight National League East Division titles which included two trips to the World Series and a championship in 2008.

Players like Jimmy Rollins, Cole Hamels, Chase Utley, and Ryan Howard paved the way to the first championship team since 1980, but that all began to spiral out of control when Howard tore his achilles tendon during the final out of the 2011 NLDS.

Since then, the Phillies have not broken the .500 mark and the players that led the parade down Broad Street have moved on to other teams or left the game for good; the 2017 team is not the team of old. Read the rest of this entry

Cleveland Indians Top Prospects

The major selling point of this system is the success of the pitching coaches in recent years. The Major League rotation is one of the best in baseball, and there are many top prospects who may challenge for those spots. The age range for both pitchers and fielders offers a look for continued success with players breaking through to the top level both now and three years into the future. A team coming off of a World Series run will not need a complete roster overhaul, allowing the lower level clubs to develop their players at the right pace.

Cleveland Indians Top Prospects

%d bloggers like this: