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2014 ALCS Preview: O’s Vs Royals

This year's 2014 ALCS matches up two teams that not many people predicted to get to this point, but as arguably the two hottest teams in baseball, the Baltimore Orioles and the Kansas City Royals definitely will be a fun and exciting series to watch.

This year’s 2014 ALCS matches up two teams that not many people predicted to get to this point, but as arguably the two hottest teams in baseball, the Baltimore Orioles and the Kansas City Royals definitely will be a fun and exciting series to watch.

By Nicholas Delahanty (MLB Reports Writer)  

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It’s been a while since the Baltimore Orioles and the Kansas City Royals have found themselves in the American League Championship Series, but the wait for these two fan bases is finally over. 

These two teams will open up a best-of-seven series at Camden Yards on Friday night.

Although it isn’t the usual suspects we see in the series (such as the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox of the world), baseball fans should definitely keep an eye on this series, as two of the hottest teams in baseball will face off to determine who represents the American League in the World Series.

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An American Hobby: Baseball Memorabilia – 1978 Topps Eddie Murray Card

Eddie Murray is second among active switch hitters ALL - Time in HRs to Mickey Mantle with 504 HRs.  This former Rookie of The Year Award Winner in 1977, 7 time ALL - Star, 3 time Silver Slugger and Glove Award Winner, also featured 6 top AL MVP finishes.  In a time where 3B weren't known for hitting that much, he was a masher.  Murra

Eddie Murray is second among  switch hitters ALL – Time in HRs to Mickey Mantle with 504 HRs. This former Rookie of The Year Award Winner in 1977, 7 time ALL – Star, 3 time Silver Slugger and Glove Award Winner, also featured 6 top AL MVP finishes. In a time where 3B weren’t known for hitting that much, he was a masher. Murray still is in the top 10 with his 1917 RBI (1st as a switch hitter).  He also is the Career Leader in SF with 128.

By Lee Edelstein (‘Baseball Memorabilia Enthusiast’ – visit his website here)

MLB Reports: twitter-follow screen_name=’MLBreports’ show_screen_name=’yes’]  We are pleased to present you with Baseball Author Lee Edelstein as the newest writer with us at the Reports.  Lee will be providing us with great stories about baseball memorabilia on a regular basis.

MLB Reports

An American Hobby

Blog 13

Eddie Murray

Today’s article features a member of the 3,000 Hit AND 500 Home Run clubs.  He is one of only four players in MLB history to accomplish this dual feat (Hank Aaron, Willie Mays, Rafael Palmeiro).

His nickname was ‘Steady Eddie’ and it was the perfect moniker for Eddie Murray, who would go on to play more games at first base than anyone in baseball history.

As a rookie, Murray played in 160 games, hit .283, swatted 27 homers, and drove in 88 runs.  His debut performance earned him the Rookie of the Year Award for 1977.

No sophomore jinx for Murray who, over the next ten years, would average 28 home runs and 99 RBI per year.

Eddie Murray – Baseball Hall Of Fame Biographies

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Fixing The Phillies Offense: All Good Things To Those Who Wait

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Friday April 19, 2013

Ryan Howard once was an extremely great OBP Player before the last couple of years  In his MVP year (2006) - he was 5th in the NL with a .425 OBP.  He went for a .392 clip in 2007, before a precipitous fall to .339 in 2008.  2009 saw a .360 mark, 2010 - .353, 2011 - .346 and finally a Career Low in 2012 for the tune of a .295 OBP.  This year he is not much better at ,303.  Howard's Career 3 Slash Line is still .271/.363/911 but plummeting.

Ryan Howard once was an extremely great OBP Player before the last couple of years In his MVP year (2006) – he was 5th in the NL with a .425 OBP. He went for a .392 clip in 2007, before a precipitous fall to .339 in 2008. 2009 saw a .360 mark, 2010 – .353, 2011 – .346 and finally a Career Low in 2012 for the tune of a .295 OBP. This year he is not much better at ,303. Howard’s Career 3 Slash Line is still .271/.363/911 but plummeting.

By Chris Creighton (Phillies Correspondent via http://www.warrroomphilly.com – visit the website here

The late, great Harmon Killebrew, author of 573 Home Runs during his Hall of Fame career, was also exceptionally talented in another skill when he stepped to the plate: drawing Walks.

Charlie Manuel knows this better than most because he played alongside “Killer” for four years as a member of the Minnesota Twins in the late 1960’s. Over dinner, in the clubhouse and on the bench they’d talk baseball quite a bit, mostly about the art of hitting. Manuel said of Killebrew:

HR Derby Between Killerbrew vs Mantle Part 1:

HR Derby Between Killerbrew vs Mantle Part 2:

“Killer used to preach to me that the most important thing was getting strikes [to swing at]. He said he didn’t like to walk, but that he had to take pitches to get good strikes.”

 MLB.com / Hal Bodley, May 17, 2011

Killer was an 11 Time All - Star and an 7 time HR King. He also hit 40+ HRs 7 times. The man had a Hall Of Fame Career.  The Phillies could take a page out of Killebrew's patience...He Walked 1559 times  in 2435 Games Played.  His 3 Career Slash was .256/.376/.884.

Killer was an 11 Time All – Star and a 6 time HR King. He also hit 40+ HRs 8 times. The man had a Hall Of Fame Career. The Phillies could take a page out of Killebrew’s patience…He Walked 1559 times in 2435 Games Played. His 3 Career Slash was .256/.376/.884.

Amen to that. Killebrew didn’t need to say much at all on the matter as his patience did all his preaching for him. He led MLB in free passes four times in his career – with a high mark of 145 drawn in the 1969 season. It’s not a coincidence that he went on to hit 49 Home Runs and drive in 140 RBI that Summer. 

And in his best seasons, Killebrew would crack the 100-Walk plateau seven times while reaching 90+ Bases on Balls in three other campaigns.

Killebrew’s 1969 MVP season totals:

Year AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS
1969 555 106 153 20 2 49 140 145 84 .276 .427 .584 1.011

Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 4/19/2013.

Returning to present day, the Phillies are mired in a severe slump where they’re finding runs are about as hard to produce as water from a dry sponge.

Our boys of Summer have been as impatient as children at church with little to no plan or approach at the plate, swinging their bats like orchestra conductors at a dubstep concerto.

Show a pitcher you’ll offer at a ball outside the zone and they’ll pitch it outside the zone. 

Too many Phillies batsmen have been all too eager to flail away in undisciplined fashion, such as Ryan Howard (3 Walks), Ben Revere (4), and even Chase Utley (4).

Of those three, only Utley is producing with two doubles, two triples, three home runs and 13 RBI, but with a very un-Utley-esque .339 OBP (career .379). Impatience has begotten impatience among the Phillies’ brass:

“Who wants to go for a walk?”
Courtesy of DelawareOnline.com

Please take note of that quote having been tweeted about two hours before game-time last night vs. St. Louis, a one-run loss which would also see the Phillies earn a big, fat zero in the walk column.

For those keeping score, that’s zero walks in four straight games. Clearly with no change in plans at the plate, our boys have forgotten that sometimes the best things in life are free.

The translation is quite simple, really, even in today’s game. So far in 2013, three of the top four National League teams in drawing walks (Reds, Rockies and Mets) are also the top three teams in runs scored.

And while the Phillies are ranked sixth in hits as a team, they are 14th (of 15 teams) in seeing ball four which again translates to scoring runs, where they rank 11th in the National League. Combine all of this with a third place ranking in Strikeouts (126), they currently sit 13th in the NL with an OBP of just .291.

To drive the point home, this is only slightly better than the cellar-dwelling Chicago Cubs and the lowly Miami Marlins. Yuck.

It took the Philles 77 years to win their first World Series in 1980, however since that time, they have been to 4 more World Series in 1983, 1993, 2008 and 2009 and took home the Trophy in 2008.  The Phillies have finished .500+ or better for every year since 2002.  However 2012 saw their streak of 5 straight NL East Division Titles come to an end.  Now that they have started slow at 6 - 10 - can they come back to make the playoffs and a have a shot at a World Series  in 2013?

It took the Philles 77 years to win their first World Series in 1980, however since that time, they have been to 4 more World Series in 1983, 1993, 2008 and 2009 – and took home the Trophy in 2008. The Phillies have finished .500+ or better for every year since 2002. However 2012 saw their streak of 5 straight NL East Division Titles come to an end. Now that they have started slow at 6 – 10 – can they come back to make the playoffs and a have a shot at a World Series in 2013?

*** The views and opinions expressed in this report are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of mlbreports.com or their partners.***

A big thank – you goes out to our Philadelphia Phillies Correspondent Chris Creighton for preparing today’s featured post..  Chris is a Phillies Phan, Baseball fan & player. He thinks that there is no better place for food and is a  proponent of the city of Philadelphia. Huge U2 fan. Phillies writer at  http://www.warroomphilly.com .

Chris says:  “Follow a Web Show covering everything in the Philadelphia Sports Scene. Sit back and enjoy from the hearts of two die-hard Philly guys here !  You can follow Chris Creighton on Twitter or the WarRoomPhilly

a war room chris

Please e-mail me at: mlbreports@gmail.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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