Monthly Archives: January 2017
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.
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
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.
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…
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Moving 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.
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.
ALL TIMES DISPLAYED IN EASTERN TIME
WEEK 1 (Includes Season Opener Sunday Apr 2, 2017)
INTERLEAGUE GAMES IN MAROON
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
It is Sunday and time for The Sunday Request.
@sullybaseball sunday request: whos the best hitter of this generation? Pujols, miggy or other.
— TheStartingBloc (@thestartingbloc) January 16, 2017
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.
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 – firstname.lastname@example.org Read the rest of this entry
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.
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 Dodgers—a charge dramatized on the big screen in the 2013 film “42.” Walker has been characterized as a bigot for decades—but is it a fair assessment of the man?. READ MORE
Was 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.
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?
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
The forgotten MVP, there was never a player easier to root for than Jake Daubert.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
Took a question from Cubs Fan with an 8.
@sullybaseball What are the top 5 (or 10) moments of the regular season that will stick with you from the 2016?
— cubsfan (@cu8sfan) January 22, 2017
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.
By Dan Wanser
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
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.