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Author Archives: johnburnsmlb

Post Chipper Jones Era: Is David the Wright Solution?

Saturday September 22nd, 2012

    

John Burns:  As you all know, the almighty Chipper Jones will be retiring from baseball after this season. He is it calling it quits after 19 seasons in the Majors. The 40 year-old Chipper Jones has been one of the best players in baseball for a longtime. With his outstanding career numbers, it is no question that one day he will be inducted into Cooperstown. A lock to be a first-ballot inductee. Jones has been part of Atlanta’s organization for 22 years after being drafted number first overall to the Braves in the 1990 MLB Draft.  That is a lot of years at the hot corner, as well as some time spent in the outfield.

How will Atlanta recover without Chipper playing third every day? Are there any possible replacements? Besides his play on the field, can his leadership be replaced? This might shock a lot of you… but could David Wright be the one to replace Chipper in Atlanta? Read the rest of this entry

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The Quiet But Effective Ryan Howard

Saturday September 15th, 2012

John Burns:  The 2012 season has been anything but normal for the Philadelphia Phillies and Ryan Howard. The 32 year-old was out till June after tearing his Achilles in the postseason last year against the St. Louis Cardinals. Howard has consistently been one of the top first baseman in the league for a while now. This season has been a little different for him so far: First of all, his team the Philadelphia Phillies, are 16.5 behind the Washington Nationals for first place in the NL East, Second, Howard has only had a little over 200 at bats this season due to injury. The power is still there for Howard. In 58 games, played he has 41 RBIs and 10 homers. That might not be the numbers you expect from Howard, but you have to give the guy a break. He is coming back from arguably one of the worst injuries in sports. Read the rest of this entry

Will The Cardinals Repeat?

Sunday September 2, 2012

            John Burns: The season for the reigning World Champions the St. Louis Cardinals has been one filled with surprises.  With one of the biggest surprises being long time Cardinal Albert Pujols leaving the franchise to sign with the Los Angeles Angels.  In an attempt to replace Pujols, the Cardinals re-signed veteran outfielder Carlos Beltran. Although Beltran is not Albert Pujols, he is having a very good season for St. Louis with 28 HRs and 86 RBI. Nobody expected Beltran to play this well and basically be matching Pujols numbers.

As of September 1st, the Cardinals have a 72-61 record and are in possession of the second NL Wild Card Spot. We all know the story of the Cardinals last year when they got hot and never looked back-until they were holding up the World Series trophy. They are in a very similar situation this year, (as they were last year) by being in the hunt for a Wild Card spot. This year’s Cardinals squad is not the same as the 2011 World Series team version. With Tony La Russa, Chris Carpenter, Lance Berkman, and Albert Pujols all gone or injured, the Cards have a different look.  All three of those players played a major significance in the Cards winning the World Series in 2011.

Highlights courtesy of FOX and ESPN and MLB Reports is not the copyrights holder

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Derek Lowe: Is the Veteran Hurler a Playoff Savior for Yankees?

Saturday August 25th, 2012

John Burns:  On August 13th the New York Yankees made a move that went well under the radar. New York signed veteran pitcher Derek Lowe to a contract. The signing is looking like a very nice pick up for the Yankees as of right now. Lowe has 2.45 ERA in only 7.1 innings out of the bullpen. With all the injuries the Yankees have suffered through this season, the signing becomes a great insurance policy for New York. The sinker ball pitcher is a proven big time performer when it comes to October. The 39-year-old pitcher was dominant in the 2004 fall classic with Boston. Lowe posted 1.86 ERA and was 3-0  during that playoff run and was key part of the Red Sox winning the World Series. Read the rest of this entry

Houston…We Have a Problem: The Astros Are in for a Painful Rebuild

Thursday August 9th, 2012

John Burns:  With a 36-76 record the Houston Astros have been the laughing-stock of baseball this season. Houston is going into a complete rebuilding phase after trading the very few veterans they had, such as: Carlos Lee to Miami, Wandy Rodriguez to Pittsburgh, Brett Myers to Chicago (White Sox), Chris Johnson to Arizona, and J.A. Happ to Toronto. It is safe to say that Houston was definitely a seller at the recent non-waiver trade deadline and they made the right decision. They had one of the best deadlines in my opinion because they got rid of players that they were not going to win with and got very talented prospects in return. With the load of prospects Houston received, they will most definitely need several of their new young players to pan out if Houston plans to contend in the A.L. West one day. Oh yeah… I forgot to mention the worst team in baseball is going to one of the best divisions in baseball in 2013. A difficult situation is about to get a whole lot tougher. Read the rest of this entry

The Best Second Baseman in Baseball? It’s Robinson Cano… Don’t Ya Know

Tuesday August 7th, 2012

John Burns:  It is easy to say that Robinson Cano is the best all-around second baseman in baseball right now. Cano has been the top second baseman for a couple of years now. What makes Cano so great is his ability to just flat-out hit and his much improved defense at second base.  Cano is having another great season with the Yankees. With a .316 average and 24 homers, Cano has been one of the most feared hitters in the stacked Yankees lineup.

At age 29, Cano has very impressive career numbers, including a .309 average with 168 career homers. Since being called up to the Yankees in 2005, Cano has been a 4x All-Star, 3x Silver Slugger Award Winner, 2009 World Series Champion, 2010 Gold Glove Winner, and he even won the 2011 Home Run Derby. Now that is a very impressive line for a 29-year-old 2nd baseman! There is much more in store for Cano in the future as well in my opinion. Cano is not only the best second baseman, but I strongly believe that he is the best player in baseball. He does it all: he will consistently 25-30 homers a season and is almost a lock to hit .300 every season. Combine his bat with gold glove defense and you have one of the best all-around players in the game. Cano has been criticized in the past about being “Lazy” which I find absurd; As Derek Jeter has said before: Robinson Cano plays the game very smoothly and has one of the best work ethics around. Personally, I will take Jeter’s word at face value. Read the rest of this entry

What’s Wrong with Ricky Romero? Jays Hope Their Ace Can Return to Form

Thursday August 2nd, 2012

John Burns:  The 2012 season has been one to forget for Ricky Romero. Romero was the Blue Jays ace coming into this season after posting a 2.92 ERA in 2011. This year has been a complete disaster for Romero. The Jays lefty has a 5.68 ERA this season and has allowed 82 earned runs in 129.2 innings. Last year, Romero allowed 73 earned runs in 225 innings. It’s obvious that something is not right with Romero this year. Romero has also lost seven straight starts for Toronto. The second half has been even rougher for Romero. Since the All-Star break, he has 8.38 ERA. Read the rest of this entry

Will the A’s Finally Be Moving to San Jose? MLB Relocation is a Slow Process

Tuesday July 31st, 2012

John Burns:  Much speculation has been in the past years that the Oakland A’s would be getting a new stadium. With Oakland currently playing great baseball (18-4 in July) it makes you wonder if the chances of a new stadium increase. It has been rumored that the new stadium would be in San Jose, California and named Cisco Field. The projected opening date would not be until 2016. Oakland has been playing at the Coliseum since 1968. It would be the first time since 1909 that the A’s received a brand new stadium. The field dimensions for Cisco Field are: Left Field – 302 feet, Left-Center – 375 feet, Center Field – 405 feet, Right-Center – 345 feet, and Right Field – 310 feet.

The chances are good for Oakland to make the playoffs this season with only being four games back of the Texas Rangers in the A.L. West lead and leading for one of the A.L. Wild Card spots. If the A’s keeps this up and the fan base increases, the chance for a new ball park increase also. With an increased fan base, the A’s will have help going after a new park because of the money that will be coming in from attendance, merchandizing, etc. Cisco Field would be ready for the 2016 season, so if the A’s have a bad rest of the season and continue to struggle the chances decline for a new ballpark. Another thing to consider is that 2016 is four years away, so anything can happen and the A’s don’t necessarily have to wait for Cisco Field. Oakland could explore other options if they start to become a power house and want a new stadium sooner rather than later. Perhaps they will look at other locations like Portland, Memphis and Durham. Or even go back to Oakland for one more try to obtain a new stadium in their current home.

The Athletics realistically have to look at moving the team out of the Bay Area altogether. With Yoenis Céspedes looking like Oakland’s franchise player, he would be the perfect player to build around the team and a new ballpark. Oakland is in a very similar situation to what the Miami Marlins faced in recent years. Miami ultimately were able to land a new stadium and make a big splash. But their new ballpark took a great deal of negotiations and was iffy right until the last minute. As a result of their new digs, the Marlins went out and signed Jose Reyes, Heath Bell, Mark Buehrle, traded for Carlos Zambrano, and hired Ozzie Guillen. Now they are starting to sell off their players, but that’s another story for another day. The A’s could do something very similar to that if they do get a new stadium (but actually keep their talent). Watch out for the Athletics if they get a new stadium in a city to be named later. Everything could change and I expect the change to be very positive.

 ***John Burns- MLB reports Intern:  I am a highschool junior, play 1st base and catcher. I am a diehard Phillies fan. I  was born in Philadelphia but now live in Virginia. I come from a huge baseball family and just love the game. My cousin was drafted by the New York Mets in the 2008 MLB draft. My favorite players are Shane Victorino, Carlos Ruiz, and Ryan Howard. I tweet all the time and you can follow me on twitter(@JohnBurns_MLB)***

 

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A Story of MLB Free Agency: Prince Fielder and Albert Pujols

Thursday July 26th, 2012

 John Burns: Two of baseball biggest sluggers Albert Pujols and Prince Fielder both signed $200 million plus contracts this offseason when they hit free agency. Pujols was the first of the two sluggers to sign. On December 10th, 2011, Pujols signed a ten-year deal with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, worth around $254 million. It was speculated around the winter meeting that Pujols could join the Miami Marlins who emerged as early favorites for Pujols. Albert could have easily been a Marlin right now if it wasn’t for Miami not granting Pujols a no-trade clause. As for Prince Fielder he waited until late January to sign. Fielder ended up signing a nine-year, $214 million contract with the Detroit Tigers. Both Fielder and Pujols shocked the baseball world by signing with teams that you would have never expected to see either of them play for. But that is part of the beauty of this game. You never know what will happen. Read the rest of this entry

Watch Out For the Oakland A’s: Top Pitching and Countless Walk-Offs

Wednesday July 25th, 2012

John Burns:  Nobody would have told you prior to the season that the A’s would be 7 games over .500 in late July. With a 51-44 record the red-hot Oakland A’s have been one of the baseballs biggest surprises in baseball. Oakland is coming off a 4 game sweep of the AL East leading New York Yankees and that is when the A’s caught everyone’s attention. Oakland has a MLB-leading 11 walk-off victories this season. The A’s have the second lowest payroll in the league with $55 million and the New York Yankees who they just swept has a $200 million payroll. The A’s season so far has been basically a recap of the movie “Money ball”, how Oakland is having this success with virtually no superstar and such a low payroll is truly amazing. With the sweep of the Yankees the A’s are tied for a Wild Card spot. July has been a huge month for Oakland and they produced with a 15-2 record so far to show their GM Billy Beane they are serious. Add to that a 7-game winning streak. Still not convinced? Ask the Toronto Blue Jays and Ricky Romero. The A’s have taken 2-straight games in Toronto, including tonight’s 16-0 massacre. These A’s are a team to keep an eye on. Read the rest of this entry

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim: 2012 World Series contenders?

Thursday July 19th, 2012

John Burns:  The 2012 season for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim looks like it might be getting saved by a 20 year-old named Mike Trout. The L.A. Angels had a record of 6-14 before they called Trout up from Triple-A, and has a 44-27 record since the call up of Trout. Mike Trout leads the A.L. and is 3rd in baseball with a .353 batting average and is tied with Dee Gordon for the MLB lead in stolen bases with 30. Trout is almost a lock for the A.L. Rookie of the Year. But if he keeps this up and leads L.A. to the playoffs, he could be the A.L. MVP. Read the rest of this entry

Bryan LaHair: The Future of the Cubs or Simply Another Trade Deadline Candidate?

Tuesday July 17th, 2012

John Burns:  The 2012 season has been one to forget for the Chicago Cubs, as they currently stand in fifth place in the NL Central with a 36-52 record. Chicago has had some pleasant surprises this season so far even though the record doesn’t show it. The All-Star emergence of Bryan LaHair brought Cubs fans something to talk about in the first half. LaHair was never even in anyone’s Top 100 prospect list ever in his career. The 29-year-old was drafted in the 39th round of the 2002 Draft by the Seattle Mariners and has spent a majority of his baseball career in the minors. LaHair is having a solid 2012 campaign and earned himself a trip to Kansas City for the All-Star game. Even though LaHair has slowed down, I expect his name to be swirled around at the trade deadline. Numerous teams could be in on LaHair who is hitting .282, with 14 homers and 31 RBIs. Read the rest of this entry

The Prince is Crowned Yet Again! Fielder Wins Another Home Run Derby Title

Tuesday July 10th, 2012

John Burns:  Kauffman Stadium was electric Monday night from the top sluggers in baseball putting on an absolute home run clinic. Detroit’s Prince Fielder won his second Home Run Derby by beating Toronto’s Jose Bautista 12-7 in the final round. Fielder got off to a slow start with 5 homers in the first round which barely advanced him over Carlos Gonzalez and Andrew McCutchen who both had 4 home runs in the first round. After the first round it was all Prince Fielder. Prince hit 23 homers in the final two rounds and became only the second player to win multiple titles in the Home Run Derby.

Matt Kemp and Robinson Cano were the captains for their respected leagues and picked 3 sluggers to represent the NL and AL. The first round results for the sluggers were: Robinson Cano (0 homers), Matt Kemp (1 homer), Andrew McCutchen (4 homers), Carlos Gonzalez (4 homers), Prince Fielder (5 homers), Mark Trumbo (7 Homers), Carlos Beltran (7 homers), and the leader in the first round Jose Bautista with 11 homers.  Robinson Cano, Matt Kemp, Andrew McCutchen, Carlos Gonzalez were all eliminated after the 1st round. Read the rest of this entry

2012 MLB All-Star Futures Game Preview

Thursday July 5th, 2012

John Burns: On July8th 2012, the 14th annual MLB All-Star Futures Game will be held at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City.

For those who do not know about the Futures Game, it is where a team of minor league baseball prospects from the United States and a team of prospects from other countries in the World compete against each other in a 9-inning exhibition game. The rosters for both teams are picked by Baseball America and all 30 teams must have at least one representative.

Here are some highly regarded names of players that will be playing in this year’s Futures Game: Dylan Bundy (BAL), Manny Machado (BAL), Billy Hamilton (CIN), Nick Castellanos (DET), Wil Myers (KC), Zack Wheeler (NYM), Gerrit Cole (PIT), Jameson Taillon (PIT), Danny Hultzen (SEA), Enny Romero (TB), and Anthony Gose (TOR). Read the rest of this entry

The Return to Glory of Jose Bautista

Tuesday July 3, 2012

John Burns:  Jose Bautista has returned to his power hitting ways this season, with a MLB leading 27 homers.

The slugger did start the 2012 campaign very slowly. In his first 25 games this season, Bautista was hitting just .180 with four homers, 12 RBIs and a .659 OPS. Albert Pujols struggles got most of the media’s attention, but Bautista who led all of baseball in the previous season with 43 homers was struggling himself.

Many people believed that the bad start to the season meant that Bautista was starting to become a declining player. That was until June rolled along, when Bautista batted .271 (26-for-96) with four doubles, 14 home runs, 30 RBIs, 22 walks and 24 runs scored in 27 games. With those numbers he was named the American League Player of the Month for June. Read the rest of this entry

The New York Yankees Are Back Folks!

Friday June 29th, 2012

John Burns:  As July approaches, the New York Yankees have one of the best records in baseball with a record of 46-29.

One of the main reasons for the great play of New York has been the long ball, which the Yankees lead all of baseball with a team total of 118 homers. Curtis Granderson (21 HR), Robinson Cano (18 HR), Mark Teixeira and Alex Rodriguez (13 HR each) have shown the most power for NY this season so far, but really the majority of the lineup has been fairly steady al year for this team. Read the rest of this entry

What’s Wrong with the Colorado Rockies?

Wednesday June 27, 2012

John Burns:  As July quickly approaches, the Colorado Rockies have been one of the biggest disappointments in baseball this season.

With a 28-45 record, the Rockies are already 14 games back from the NL West leading Los Angeles Dodgers. So it’s obvious that the Rockies are ready to put this season behind them already, right? Well many would say yes, but if the Rockies can acquire some pitchers at the deadline, this team could still make a run. Read the rest of this entry

What a “Ri-Dickey-lous” Story

Thursday June 21st, 2012

John Burns:  One of the better stories in all of baseball this season has been the dominance of R.A. Dickey.

The 37 year-old pitcher has been one of the top pitchers in baseball this season with a MLB best 11 wins with a 2.00 ERA. Dickey has had success in his career with the Mets posting an ERA of 2.84 and 3.28 in 2010 and 2011. But Dickey has been more than just successful this season- he has been dominant.

Dickey has been considered as a “late bloomer” in his career. He was drafted by the Texas Rangers in the first round of the 1996 MLB draft. The Rangers discovered a missing ulnar collateral ligament in the elbow joint which caused major concerns for Texas. The Rangers still gave Dickey a chance; he debuted in 2001 and played through 2006 with Texas. In 2005, Dickey started to concentrate on throwing a knuckleball to extend his career. Read the rest of this entry

Adam Dunn: 2012 American League Comeback Player of the Year?

Tuesday June 19, 2012

John Burns:  What a comeback season it has been for Adam Dunn so far, as he leads all of baseball with 23 homers… and it’s not even July yet.

Dunn experienced a miserable 2011 campaign in his first season in Chicago, as he hit a career low .159 and was not showing his usual power numbers. After signing a 4-year, $56 Million deal with the White Sox in 2010, the expectations were huge for the slugger. 2011 was a season to forget for Dunn. After he underwent an appendectomy in April, Dunn’s productivity declined rapidly. Dunn broke the White Sox record for most strikeouts in a season by a hitter with 177 strikeouts in only 415 at-bats. Dunn’s 2011 campaign was by far the worst of his career. Read the rest of this entry

Jose Canseco: MLB Hero or Villain?

Thursday June 14, 2012

John Burns (MLB reports Intern Candidate):  The “Godfather” of steroids Jose Canseco has been through the depths of baseball controversy- from the start of his baseball career to this present day. 

Canseco is one of the few MLB players that admitted to using performance enhancing drugs during his career. He was definitely though not the only player in his era to use steroids. Canseco wrote a book titled: “Juiced: Wild Times, Rampant ‘Roids, Smash Hits & How Baseball Got Big”, where he “snitched” on a large number of MLB players that were juicing at the time. Some of the MLB players that Canseco stated that were steroids users in his book: Ivan “Pudge” Rodriguez, Mark McGwire, Jason Giambi, Rafael Palmeiro, Juan González, and Roger Clemens to name a few.

Jose Canseco was a fan favorite in Oakland from 1985-1992 and then had another stint with the A’s in 1997. Canseco received many awards and achieved a number of milestones during his 16 years in the MLB; First player ever to join 40-40 club, 6 time All-Star, 2 time World Series Champion, 4 time Silver Slugger Award, AL MVP, AL Rookie of the Year, and AL Comeback Player of the Year. Of course most of those awards are now tainted because of his use of steroids.

As crazy as this might sound I consider Jose Canseco a hero for cleaning up the game of baseball. Yes, he cheated- but he is one of the few who admitted it. In the process, he virtually cleaned up baseball by “ratting out” other MLB players. Most of the past or present MLB players highlighted by Canseco do not admit to taking steroids, even though there is sufficient evidence that many of them did. I believe Jose Canseco is great for baseball and he is the reason for baseball being clean. Or at least cleaner.

There are many people who believe that Jose Canseco is a bum who turned his back on the game of baseball. Everyone has a right to their opinion, as even Canseco himself on occasion has said that he would not have written his books had he known the long-term effects of the decision. But believe it or not, I strongly disagree with the Canseco critics. Don’t get me wrong, steroids are terrible for baseball and nobody should use them. But Jose Canseco admitted to his mistakes. Like I said earlier, many players still do not admit their errors to this day. This is one of the reasons why Jose Canseco has my respect. For not only telling the truth, but by cleaning up the sport I love.

Jose Canseco should be remembered as one of the men who helped save the game of baseball. Just imagine if Canseco didn’t sell out the players named in his literary works. You can’t tell me that guys like Mark McGwire would admit to any wrongdoing if they weren’t accused. At the end of the day, Jose Canseco should have the legacy of a great player, who made some dumb decisions. But he was man enough to admit when he was wrong and ended up fixing the game that he helped break in the first place.

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Padres to Sign or Trade Carlos Quentin: Decision Time in San Diego

Tuesday June 12, 2012

John Burns:  The Padres who are in last place in the NL West and 18.5 games back of the first place L.A. Dodgers have obviously struggled tremendously in the 2012 season so far.

The Padres have seen some positives in this awful season and the most notable is the emergence of Carlos Quentin. The San Diego native Quentin has been on a tear since being activated from the Disabled List; in 10 games, Quentin is hitting .429 with 5 homers. Quentin has quickly become one of the Padres best players and a hot trade commodity.

Carlos Quentin is making $7 million for the 2012 season and becomes a free agent in 2013. So if the Padres want to lock up there “hometown hero”, it will have to be fairly soon. With the trade deadline coming up in July, Quentin has been a commonly referred to name on the trade block since coming back from knee surgery.

San Diego will have to make a tough decision in the coming weeks on the future of Carlos Quentin. With Petco Park being such a harsh park for power hitters, the Padres might want to lock up their superstar while he’s producing. It is very hard for the Padres front office to convince power hitters to sign with San Diego because of the unforgiving dimensions of Petco Park. So it may be easier for the Padres to get Quentin because he is a native of San Diego and is a fan favorite. Plus, his swing seems to be tailor-made for Petco, as one of the few hitters to enjoy hitting in San Diego. If the Padres were serious on signing the 29 year-old star outfielder it could cost between $45-60 million and 4-6 years.

There are plenty of ball clubs that would inquire on Quentin if he was made available at the deadline. His trade value keeps rising the more games he plays and his power numbers stay consistent. Quentin has struggled to stay healthy in his career; He hasn’t played in more than 130 games since 2010 with the Chicago White Sox. If the Padres were to trade Quentin it would be for 1 to 2 top prospects. Some teams would view Quentin much like the San Francisco Giants did last year with Carlos Beltran, the best hitter available at last year’s deadline as a rental player. If Quentin gets traded his new team though would not receive compensation if he leaves, which could further hurt his trade value.

In my opinion Carlos Quentin’s days in San Diego are numbered. The Padres are currently in a rebuilding stage, so it would not make much sense if San Diego signed Quentin who is 29-year-old when they could easily trade him for a pair of top prospects. The Padres could acquire better prospects trading Quentin then they had to give up to acquire Quentin in the first place. Contending ball clubs will keep a very close eye on Quentin as the season progresses and if he continues to play very well his value will just continue to rise.

Meet our newest Baseball Intern – John Burns:  I am a highschool junior, play 1st base and catcher. I am a diehard Phillies fan. I  was born in Philadelphia but now live in Virginia. I come from a huge baseball family and just love the game. My cousin was drafted by the New York Mets in the 2008 MLB draft. My favorite players are Shane Victorino, Carlos Ruiz, and Ryan Howard. I tweet all the time andyou can follow me on twitter (@JohnBurns_MLB)

Please e-mail us at: mlbeports@me.com with any questions and feedback.  You can follow us on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook .  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.

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