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Why It Is Time To Allow Marijuana In Baseball

a marijuana

Jordan Gluck (Part Owner/Featured Writer): 

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Why Its Time To Allow Marijuana In baseball

The Green Revolution has become a hot button topic recently constantly becoming one of the most recommended issues people have wanted national politicians including potential presidential nominees to talk about.

The issue is about to get really get on the hot stove as it could potentially be on the ballot in a dozen states and potentially pass in a couple of state legislators. Off those states include baseball hotbeds Arizona, Florida and California which not only all have major league teams but minor league affiliates as well.

As it currently stands players on a 40 man roster dont face penalties more than fines for smoking weed but players in the minor leagues (and for now D1 Colleges) face extreme penalties starting at 50 games.

Below is a quote I took from a Yahoo Sports article:

“Most stories about weed and baseball are rather funny.”

Like guys smoking their way onto the 40-man roster. Or the big leaguer who wrote a check for twice the size of his fine to cover the next one. Read the rest of this entry

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The Most Recent No Hitter For Each Franchise (Updated for Hisashi Iwakuma, August 12, 2015 )

(Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)

(Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)

 

A Masterpiece for Iwakuma!

This has been a let down of a season for the Seattle Mariners, but what a highlight for Iwakuma. The 5th no hitter in Seattle Mariners history and the first since the perfect game by Felix Hernandez in 2012.

It was also his first career complete game. It is a good thing they didn’t bring in Fernando Rodney for the 9th.

It is time to update my list!

The Most Recent No Hitter For Each Franchise (Updated for Cole Hamels, July 25, 2015)

David Banks/Getty Images

David Banks/Getty Images

 

If this is Cole Hamels final game with the Phillies, what a way to go!

The Phillies should take advantage and trade Hamels RIGHT NOW before anyone thinks he has any arm issues. Getting an ace fresh off of a no hitter?

I think he is in good shape.

This is also the first no hitter thrown against the Cubs since Sandy Koufax in 1965. A cool fact but the end of a Twitter account called @CubsNoHitStreak which reminded the world of their ability to break up no nos in every game since.

Alas, it is no more.

A few more thoughts… Cole Hamels has started more no hitters since September 1, 2014 than the Padres and Mets have had in their history combined.

But his last no hitter was a combined one, so that means Jake Diekman, Ken Giles and Jonathan Papelbon are off the list now.

They didn’t last long… not as long as Indians pitcher Len Barker who has been on this list since 1981.

It is time to update my list!

The Most Recent No Hitter For Each Franchise (Updated for Max Scherzer, June 20, 2015 )

Rob Carr/Getty Images

Rob Carr/Getty Images

Max Scherzer gets his first no hitter!

He nearly got a no hitter in his last start and nearly threw a perfect game (ah those hit by pitches.) I think he will take it. Man, Jordan Zimmermann didn’t last long on this list. After no Washington no hitter since Bobby Burke’s gem for the Senators in 1931 and no franchise no hitter since Dennis Martinez’s perfecto in 1991, Zimmermann ended the regular season of 2014 with a no no.

Now Scherzer takes Zimmermann’s place. And by the way he has been pitching, he will be back.

It is time to update my list!

The Most Recent No Hitter For Each Franchise (Updated for June 9, 2015 )

Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

The first No Hitter of 2015!

Lots of Giants greats have thrown no hitters, from Christy Matthewson to Tim Lincecum and Matt Cain. Now add Chris Heston to the list. Just think. In 2013, the Giants designated him for assignment and anyone could have picked him up.

I bet the Giants are glad nobody did.

With a 5-0 masterpiece, Chris Heston has his own piece of history and removes his teammate Lincecum from this list.

I am sure Tim is fine with it.

It is time to update my list!

The Best Teams In The MLB From 1980 – Now: SF Cements Their Place From 2010 – 2014 With WS Birth

The Giants won the World Series in 2010 and 2012, if they make a World Series Appearance in 2013, they could break up the best teams for the years to include the Red Sox from 2004 - 2007, the Phillies from 2008 - 2009, and then you would have to place the Giants as the best overall team from 2010 - 2014.  Can they keep up the format of winning a World Series every 2 years again next campaign?

The Giants won the World Series in 2010 and 2012, and now are in the 2014 World Series – with a great chance to win 3 titles in 5 years against Kansas City.   The best teams for the last several years include the Red Sox from 2004 – 2007, the Phillies from 2008 – 2009, and then you would have to place the Giants as the best overall team from 2010 – 2014. Can they keep up the format of winning a World Series every 2 years again this year? The Red Sox (3 Titles), plus the Giants and Cards each having 2 Fall Classics, are the only 3 teams to have multiple World Series Trophies since the 2004 year.

By Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner):

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There is only so much one can read in an article, otherwise I would make these lists up from the turn of the 20th century. 

If you gave me enough time as a reader, I promise to backdate this topic with another article featuring the best teams dating back further in years. 

Eventually, all of the years may be dissected and we can have a healthy debate on some of my selections.  I really started watching baseball in the early 1980’s. 

As I became older and discovered ways to research the history of the game, my knowledge and curious mind grew for more information. 

I have studied and read baseball stat books and breezed through the odd Bill James novel. 

If I ever take a break from writing or baseball park chasing, I may find some time down the road to watch the 9 part PBS documentary that Ken Burns did on baseball’s history.

Read the rest of this entry

The Most Recent No Hitter For Each Franchise (Updated For September 28, 2014 )

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The first Washington No Hitter since 1931!

No Washington Nationals pitcher has ever thrown a no hitter. The last one thrown representing Washington? Bobby Burke, who no hit the Red Sox in August of 1931.

That’s all over now!

Jordan Zimmermann threw the first Washington Nationals no hitter (and the first in Franchise History since Dennis Martinez‘s perfect game as a member of the Montreal Expos.)

9 complete, 1 walk and 10 strikeouts of the Marlins, who for the second straight year end the season on a no hitter. Last year Henderson Alvarez won 1-0 over Detroit. This year the Marlins LOST 1-0.

Odd symmetry.

Safe to say, Jordan Zimmermann looks solid for this post season.

It is time to update my list!

Why Ruben Amaro Jr. Should Be Fired Right Now!

Ruben Amaro JR and the brass of the Phils should have faced the facts - and started dismantling their team before they lost any relevant value

Ruben Amaro JR and the brass of the Phils should have faced the facts – and started dismantling their team before they lost any relevant value over the last few years.  Now players like Rollins, Burnett and Utley have had their Vesting Options all exercised – and with the exception of the 2nd baseman, none of them have any trade value. Add brutal dollars owed to Howard and Papelbon, and this team is headed for financial peril.

Why Ruben Amaro Jr should be fired

Jordan Gluck (Prospects/Organization Expert): 

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I believe that if any GM were asked what is the organization that they would least like to take over the answer would be the Phillies. This team is a train wreck and it starts with up top where a new general manager is needed.

The Phillies even with the money that they generate are a long-term project that won’t be easy to fix. Rubens tenure started November 3rd 2008.  The team had just won the World Series under the tutelage of Pat Gillick.

Amaro had a team that could have brought a dynasty type of run to the franchise.  After a slow-moving regression that went from World Series Appearance in 2009, to NLCS in 2010, and then NLDS in 2011, the team finally missed the playoffs.

The core began to grow older and become expensive.  It has been apparent the squad needed a rebuild on the fly, but the powers that be have sat on their diminishing assets too long, and now the apples have become rotten, and not useful to other 29 teams.  

It is a flawed way of thinking – and will set the organization back 3 – 5 years.  

Out of our entire staff here at MLB Reports, we all hold the same opinion about Amaro JR.  – and in this article, we have all added our 2 cents in some form. Be sure to listen to Sully’s great podcasts about the Phillies at the end of the blog.

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The Most Recent No Hitter For Each Franchise (Updated For September 1, 2014 )

JOHN BAZEMORE/AP

JOHN BAZEMORE/AP

Hey Phillies Fans! You finally have something to cheer about!

I bet when Jonathan Papelbon didn’t get dealt this trade deadline, he didn’t think he would be closing out a no hitter.

Cole Hamels gets his name in the no hitter ledger, but now so do Jake Diekman, Ken Giles and Papelbon of all people. A 7-0 win for the Phillies was NOT exactly what the Braves needed right now, but the Phillies have a highlight for the season.

Sadly that means taking Roy Halladay’s Division Series no hitter off this list, but oh well. History waits for nobody, especially not Jake Diekman,

It is time to update my list!

The Most Recent No Hitter For Each Franchise (Updated For Tim Lincecum, June 25, 2014)

AP Photo/Eric Risberg

AP Photo/Eric Risberg

Is Tim Lincecum done? NOT TODAY!

The Giants needed to have a decent pitching performance and give their bullpen a break. What did they get? A masterpiece from Tim Lincecum. For the second straight season, Giant fans can say “Tim is not a Cy Young contender anymore, but at least he gave us a no hitter this year.)

The list of Giants pitchers with more than one no hitter? It is short but impressive:

Christy Mathewson
Tim Lincecum

Good company to be in.

And like last year, Lincecum did it against the Padres, the only remaining franchise without a no hitter.

(Yes, I know, the Washington Nationals haven’t had a no hitter either. They had no hitters when they were the Montreal Expos.)

 

It is time to update my list!

The Most Recent No Hitter For Each Franchise (Updated For Clayton Kershaw, June 18, 2014)

Chris Carlson - AP

Chris Carlson – AP

The second Dodger no hitter this season!

Well Josh Beckett didn’t last long on this list! Less than a month ago, Beckett threw the first no no of the year. Tonight, the ace of the Dodger staff showed the Rockies why he is a multiple Cy Young winner.

In fact, only Hanley Ramirez‘s error kept him from being perfect.

It is safe to say that he will take it.

Still no San Diego Padres nor Washington Nationals no hitter yet (although the Nationals franchise have no hitters as the Expos and the city of Washington had some with the Senators.)

It is time to update my list!

Houston Astros Roster Part 2 In 2014: How All Of The Pitchers Were Acquired

From 1992 - 2006, Houston was one of the best franchises in the games of baseball, not having one losing season in that time span.  They won 4 Division Titles, 8 2nd place finishes, and appeared in 6 playoffs.  After being swept in the 2005 World Series, the core got old, and the team waited too long to rebuild.  Once it was time, the management actually did a smart thing in totally gutting the entire franchise, in order to restock the Minor League System.  Three trades with the Phillies kickstarted the youth movement, trailing all the way to Brad Lidge, and ending with Roy Oswalt and Hunter Pence.  2 out of the 3 have retired, and Pence now makes $18 MIL per year, which would be too much.

From 1992 – 2006, Houston was one of the best franchises in the games of baseball, not having one losing season in that time span. They won 4 Division Titles, 8 2nd place finishes, and appeared in 6 playoffs. After being swept in the 2005 World Series, the core got old, and the team waited too long to rebuild. Once it was time, the management actually did a smart thing in totally gutting the entire franchise, in order to restock the Minor League System. Three trades with the Phillies kickstarted the youth movement, trailing all the way to Brad Lidge, and ending with Roy Oswalt and Hunter Pence. 2 out of the 3 have retired, and Pence now makes $18 MIL per year, which would be too much.

How All Of The Astros Pitchers Were Acquired:

By Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner):

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The other day we talked about the hitters for the Astros and how they were acquired.

Today we delve into the Pitching Staff.  The Bullpen is compromised with some familiar names, that were Free Agent Signings.

A lot of the Starters were brought in by trade, or signed as Free Agents.

The biggest tree in the roster comes from Brett Oberholtzer, who was traded for in the deal with the Braves for Michael Bourn.

Philadelphia has made 3 deals for Brad Lidge, Hunter Pence and Roy Oswalt, that have left Houston stocked in the current makeup for the depth chart by subsequent deals.

Michael Bourn (with a few others) came over for the 2007 trade for the former Closer Lidge, and then was flipped to Atlanta for Oberholtzer and a package of players.

The other meaningful deal was Jarred Cosart and Jonathan Singleton brought into Houston for outgoing Hunter Pence.

One of the unfortunate deals the team did was for Miguel Tejada, but it certainly didn’t backfire as bad as it could have.

Read the rest of this entry

The Best Teams In The MLB From 1980 – 2013: The Biggest Question Is, Who Owns 2004 – 2013, BOS or STL?

The Boston Red Sox started out the season 21 - 8 after their 1st 29 games in 2013.  They rolled it all the way to their 3rd WS Title in a decade - but are they the best team in the MLB during this stretch

The Boston Red Sox started out the season 21 – 8 after their 1st 29 games in 2013. They rolled it all the way to their 3rd WS Title in a decade – but are they the best team in the MLB during this stretch from 2004 – now?

By Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner):

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There is only so much one can read in an article, otherwise I would make these lists up from the turn of the 20th century. 

If you gave me enough time as a reader, I promise to backdate this topic with another article featuring the best teams dating back further in years. 

Eventually, all of the years may be dissected and we can have a healthy debate on some of my selections.  I really started watching baseball in the early 1980’s. 

As I became older and discovered ways to research the history of the game, my knowledge and curious mind grew for more information. 

I have studied and read baseball stat books and breezed through the odd Bill James novel. 

If I ever take a break from writing or baseball park chasing, I may find some time down the road to watch the 9 part PBS documentary that Ken Burns did on baseball’s history.

2013 Boston Dream Season – Mature Lyrics – Parental Guidance is Advised

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Philadelphia Phillies Trade Possibilities

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Monday July.29, 2013

The year started with the struggles of one of their ace pitchers, followed by injuries off and on to other key players.  With Halladay potentially coming back at the end of the year, plus talk of possibly signing him to an incentive laden contract for 2014, added with a new deal for Chase Utley, the Phils are hoping to extend their chance of a contender for one more year.  Improved play from Domonic Brown and Ben Revere (before being hurt) - has cause for optimism in 2014.  They will need to find a 3B, Catcher and 3rd OF, however that won't require the farm being spent.  Today we examine the possible moves by Ruben Amaro Jr.  at the Trade Deadline

The year started with the struggles of two of their three ace pitchers, followed by injuries off and on to other key players – including Doc Halladaay. With their former ‘CY Young Winner’ potentially coming back at the end of the year, plus talk of possibly signing him to an incentive laden contract for 2014, added with a new deal for Chase Utley, the Phils are hoping to extend their chance of a contender for at least one more year ‘next campaign’. Improved play from Domonic Brown and Ben Revere (before being hurt) – also has cause for optimism in 2014. They will need to find a 3B, a Catcher, a new Closer and a 3rd OF, however that won’t require the farm being spent. Today we examine the possible moves by Ruben Amaro Jr. at the Trade Deadline this year before we get to that point.

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

The time has come, Phillies fans. Make no mistake about what you’re seeing on the field and reading in the papers, sell mode has now become a reality.

Perhaps I may be channeling my inner Captain Obvious, but for the sake of those still holding out hope, change is a-comin’.

After the ugliest road trip in recent memory mercifully came to an end, the Philadelphia Sports Media pulled no punches welcoming several Phillies players to Seller-dome.

Carlos Ruiz Highlights 2012 – Mature Lyrics So Parental Guidance Is Advised

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The Most Recent No Hitter For Each Franchise

Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Last season had a flurry of no hitters, ending with Homer Bailey‘s gem that eliminated the Pirates from contention.

This season has been filled with one near miss after another, including close calls from Yu Darvish and Anibal Sanchez. When would the first no hitter of 2013 be thrown?

I guess only Homer Bailey is allowed to throw no-nos now. He threw a gem with only one walk against the punchless Giants and joined the likes of Roy Halladay and Mark Buehrle as a pitcher with multiple no hitters.

Let’s take a look at each franchise’s most recent no hitter:

THE MOST RECENT NO HITTERS
FOR EACH FRANCHISE
CINCINNATI REDS
Homer Bailey – July 2, 2013.
3-0 over San Francisco.
SEATTLE MARINERS
Felix Hernandez – August 15, 2012.
1-0 over Rays. (Perfect Game)
SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS
Matt Cain – June 13, 2012.
10-0 over Houston. (Perfect Game)
NEW YORK METS
Johan Santana – June 1, 2012
8-0 over St. Louis.
LOS ANGELES ANGELS OF ANAHEIM
Jered Weaver – May 2, 2012.
9-0 over Minnesota.
CHICAGO WHITE SOX
Philip Humber – April 21, 2012
4-0 over Seattle. (Perfect Game.)
DETROIT TIGERS
Justin Verlander – May 7, 2011.
9-0 over Toronto.
MINNESOTA TWINS
Francisco Liriano – May 3, 2011
1-0 over Chicago White Sox
PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES
Roy Halladay – October 6, 2010
4-0 over Cincinnati. (Playoff Game)
TAMPA PAY RAYS
Matt Garza – July 26th, 2010
5-0 over Detroit.ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS
Edwin Jackson – June 25, 2010
1-0 over Tampa BayOAKLAND A’S
Dallas Braden – May 9, 2010
4-0 over Tampa Bay. (Perfect Game.)
COLORADO ROCKIES
Ubaldo Jimenez – April 17, 2010
4-0 over Atlanta.CHICAGO CUBS
Carlos Zambrano – September 14, 2008.
5-0 over Houston.
BOSTON RED SOX
Jon Lester – May 19, 2008.
7-0 over Kansas City.
FLORIDA MARLINS
Anibal Sanchez – September 6, 2006.
2-0 over Arizona.
HOUSTON ASTROS
Roy Oswalt, Peter Munro, Kirk Saarloos, Brad Lidge, Octavio Dotel and Billy Wagner
June 11, 2003.
8-0 over New York Yankees.
ST. LOUIS CARDINALS
Bud Smith – September 3, 2001
4-0 over San Diego.
NEW YORK YANKEES
David Cone – July 18, 1999.
6-0 over Montreal. (Perfect Game.)
PITTSBURGH PIRATES
Francisco Cordova and Ricardo Rincon – July 12, 1997.
3-0 over Houston. (10 innings.)
LOS ANGELES DODGERS
Hideo Nomo – September 17, 1996.
9-0 over Colorado.
TEXAS RANGERS
Kenny Rogers – July 28, 1994.
4-0 over California. (Perfect Game.)ATLANTA BRAVES
Kent Mercker – April 8, 1994.
6-0 over Los Angeles.
KANSAS CITY ROYALS
Bret Saberhagen – August 26, 1991
7-0 over Chicago White Sox.WASHINGTON NATIONALS (AS MONTREAL EXPOS)
Dennis Martinez – July 28, 1991.
2-0 over Los Angeles. (Perfect Game.)
BALTIMORE ORIOLES
Bob Milacki, Mike Flanagan, Mark Williamson and Gregg Olson – July 13, 1991.
2-0 over Oakland.TORONTO BLUE JAYS
Dave Stieb – September 2, 1990.
3-0 over Cleveland.
MILWAUKEE BREWERS
Juan Nieves – April 15, 1987.
7-0 over Baltimore.

CLEVELAND INDIANS
Len Barker – May 15, 1981.
3-0 over Toronto. (Perfect Game.)

Bonus

WASHINGTON SENATORS
Bobby Burke – August 8, 1931
5-0 over Boston.

The Padres are still on the clock. And it would be nice to simplify the list with the Nationals having a no hitter instead of including the Expos and Senators.

When will the next no hitter be?

Well, when’s Homer Bailey’s next start?

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The Astros 2013 Draft Day Decision

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Wednesday May 29th, 2013

Reid Ryan will be at the helm for his 1st ever draft as Team President for the Astros on June 6th.  The team is picking 1st overall - and will most likely pick 1st or 2nd in next years Amateur Draft.  This decision should be priority #1 with the management right now.

Reid Ryan will be at the helm for his 1st ever draft as Team President for the Astros on June 6th. The team is picking 1st overall – and will most likely pick 1st or 2nd in next years Amateur Draft as well in 2014. This 2013 Draft Day Decision should be priority #1 with the management right now.  Ryan was named Team President of the franchise only a few weeks ago.

By Jordan Gluck (Draft Correspondent)

The Houston Astros select first overall in the draft for the second consecutive year but have a big decision to make and that is the strategy they use. First let’s go through who the key people in the front office are.

Reid Ryan – Team President
Jeff Luhnow: GM- Upenn
David Stearns: Assistant GM- Harvard
Craig Biggio, Roger Clemens special assistants
Sig Mejdal- director of decision sciences (best title name in baseball)
Mike Elias: director of amateur scouting
Kevin Goldstein: director of pro scouting
Paul Ricciarini: scout
David Post: national cross checker

Before I talk about the Astros potential strategies I think it is worth mentioning that Craig Biggio‘ s son Cavan Biggio is in this draft and that is something to watch for although he will not go first overall.

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The Philadelphia Phillies Franchise Part 3 of 4: The Pitchers

Saturday September.01/2012

Note from Chuck Booth:  I am attempting to bring the history for each of the 30 MLB Franchises into a 5 part series that will focus on 1. The teams history.  2. The hitters 3. The pitchers. 4. The Teams Payroll going into 2013 and 5.The Ball Park that they play in. (The stadium articles will all be done next summer when I go to all of the parks in under a month again.)  Be sure to check my author page with a list of all of  my archived articles here.

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer):   This team has played for almost 130 years.  As such, they have a great deal of history, so there are going to be several more hitters than pitchers as is the case with most Franchises.  For the first seasons as the Quakers, they had some decent pitchers.  It wasn’t until Pete Grover Alexander joined the club, that Philadelphia Phillies fams got to see a Hall of Fame pitcher before their very eyes.  From Alexander, to Robin Roberts and Curt Simmons, to Jim Bunning, Rick Wise and Chris Short, to Steve Carlton, Tug McGraw and Jim Lonborg, to Curt Schilling and Mitch Williams, to Cole Hamels, Cliff Lee and Roy Halladay, the Phillies Pitchers have been improving in each generation.

Last year when the club won a record 102 games for the Franchise, they had the best 4 starters they had ever assembled in Halladay, Lee, Hamels and Roy Oswalt to take the mound.  Having Kyle Kendrick and Joe Blanton as your 5th starter is an option most teams would love to have.  The Phillies have been one of the best teams in the National League since 1975.  They have appeared in 9 NLCS’s and 5 World Series while winning 2 of them.  That is an impressive 36 year run.  Going forward, the clubs pitchers still look solid.  Cole Hamels just signed a 6 year extension, Cliff Lee is around for 3 more years and Roy Halladay still has 2 more years left after this.  The club also signed Jonathan Papelbon up until the end of the 2015 season before 2012 began.  Papelbon may have a chance to make this list when someone else chronicles the best pitchers in Phillies history one day 25 years from now.

If you ask me to have a Mount Rushmore of Pitchers it would be: Steve Carlton, Robin Roberts, Grover Alexander and probably Cole Hamels because of his instrumental pitching since the 2007 season. 

For Part 1 of the Phillies Article Series: The Franchise click here:

For Part 2 of the Phillies Article Series: The Hitters click here:

For Part 4 of the Phillies Article Series:  Team Payroll and Contractual Statuses click here

For the Montreal Expos/Washington Nationals Franchise 5 Part Series click here

Steve Carlton Highlight Reel:

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The Philadelphia Phillies Part 1 of 4: ‘The Franchise’

Friday August.17/2012

Note from Chuck Booth:  I am attempting to bring the history for each of the 30 MLB Franchises into a 5 part series that will focus on 1. The teams history. 2. The hitters 3. The pitchers. 4.  The Team’s Payroll going into in 2013 and 5. (The stadium articles will all be done next summer when I go to all of the parks in under a month again.)  To follow all of the updates, be sure to check my author page with a list of all archived articles here.

It took the Phillies 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, while taking home the Trophy in 2008.

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer):  The Phillies started as a franchise in 1883 in the city of Philadelphia-and have the longest continued stretch as their original name.  It has been a club that suffered tremendous droughts for the player and fans alike.  Only in recent vintage (since 1975) has this team come into permanent prominence, with the now Hall of Fame Mike Schmidt entering  the league and turning the fortunes of the city.  From signing Pete Rose to put them over the top for their 1st World Series Trophy, to just re-signing Cole Hamels to a 144 Million Dollar Contract, the team has been adamantly aggressive in keeping its name amongst the elite in baseballs annals. 

One could even argue that the Phillies had been the best team in baseball from 2008 up until the start of this season.  I recently named this club the best team from the years 1980-1983 and then again for the years of 2008-2009.  But before the likes of: Ryan Howard, Chase Utley and Jimmy Rollins, or Curt Schilling, Lenny Dykstra and Darren Daulton, or Mike Schmidt, Steve Carlton and Pete Rose, they were plenty of other men who left a mark on this historic NL Franchise.  We will look at all of the significant players that ever played for the club as a pitcher or hitter.  The pitchers and hitters will be focused on solely in the next 2 weeks.  Let us look and how the team has fared in its history.

Here are the final pitches of the 2008 World Series between the Philadelphia Phillies and the Tampa Bay Rays. Property of Major League Baseball & Fox.

For Part 2 of The 4 Part Philles Article Series: The Hitters, click here.

For Part 3 of  The 4 Part Phillies Article Series:  The Pitchers- click here

For Part 4 of the Phillies Article Series:  Team Payroll and Contractual Statuses click here

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Top Ten Stat of the Week: Active Saves Leaders in the MLB (A Closers Role)

Monday August.13/2012

Mariano Rivera holds the ALL-Time Record for any closer (active or retired) with 608 Saves. Will he come back in 2013 to add to his totals?

Chuck Booth: (Lead Baseball Writer and @chuckbooth3024 on twitter)-  To be a closer in today’s baseball game takes quite the mental fortitude.  There is a lot of psychological warfare one could do to himself in preventing a successful run at saving games.  While I am of the mindset that the relief pitchers of yesteryear seemed to be relied on more for lengthier durations, this does not diminish this stat in any way.  It is hard to acquire the 90-100% save rate that most teams are striving for in a pitching staff.  In any given seasons the average save opportunities average from 45-65 chances to lock a game down.  A lot of this also depends on what team you play for.  There have been several phenomenal stretches put forth by closers of the game in recent vintage.  Who could forget Canadian born Erig Gagne?  This man once saved 85 straight games from 2002-2004.  He is the all-time leader in that category and beat out John Franco’s previous record by an astounding 30 games. Another incredible run was Brad Lidge‘s incredible 2008 season where he did not blow a save opportunity out of 48 games both in the regular season and playoffs.

Sure these guys don’t log 120 innings anymore, or throw for 3 inning saves like Rollie Fingers and Goose Gossage did for many years.  By the way, we can all thank Tony La Russa for the invention of specialists pitchers (Rick Honeycutt, Jesse Orosco anyone?) and the one inning save closers.  La Russa perfected this scenario with former starter Dennis Eckersley coming out of the pen for the Oakland A’s during their powerhouse days in the late 80’s.  Eckersley was so dominant every team tried to duplicate their own bullpens to mock the A’s. 

Before this time had come, relief pitchers were all mostly comprised of young pitchers trying to acclimatize themselves into the Major Leagues first, before earning a spot as a Starting Pitcher.  For example, David Wells was once a relief pitcher for the Toronto Blue Jays first and then was promoted to a starting pitcher after he proved he could pitch in the Major Leagues.   In today’s baseball world, relief pitchers are now being drafted out of college and high school as relievers whereas they used to all come from the position of starting pitcher.  It also used to be that relief pitchers were players that graduated to a starter and then could not find success as starters and were sent back to the bullpen once again to stay.  When it came down to it, you had only a couple of chances to perform as a starter.  Maybe it was because there were bigger than life characters like Gossage that make remember these pitchers in such favorable terms.  Maybe it was because we never saw them interviewed on a social media platform like today’s athlete is and the mystery surrounded them made them more feared, or maybe it is because we tend to admire things more when they happened in the past.  I still love the closers role in today’s game and nothing has more drama in a baseball game than trying to nail down the last 3 outs!

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The Best Teams from 1980-2012: Will Texas claim the title this year from 2010-2012?

Wednesday July.11, 2012

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer and @chuckbooth3024 on twitter)-  There is only so much one can read in an article, otherwise I would make these lists up from the turn of the 20th century.  If you gave me enough time as a reader, I promise to backdate this topic with another article featuring the best teams dating back further in years.  Eventually, all of the years may be dissected and we can have a healthy debate on some of my selections.  I really started watching baseball in the early 1980’s.  As I became older and discovered ways to research the history of the game, my knowledge and curious mind grew for more information.  I have studied and read baseball stat books and breezed through the odd Bill James novel.  If I ever take a break from writing or baseball park chasing, I may find some time down the road to watch the 9 part PBS documentary that Ken Burns did on baseball’s history.

Baseball lends itself more to the history than any other sport because of how it has been chronicled throughout their past.  Writers, announcers, former players, parents etc.. have always carried on with the stories of America’s favorite pastime.  I will never be sold that NFL is the greatest pastime in sports right now.  NFL is the greatest gambling sport presently.  It is my firm belief that the only reason why the NFL draws in more cash from its sport is because of the gambling factor.  If you took that aspect out of it, I believe baseball is the #1 sport.  Can you imagine how much attention we would pay to baseball if there were only a 16 game schedule?  Enough with that rant, let’s get down to the list.  Who were the best teams at any specific time period for the last 32 years?  We will start with the Philadelphia Phillies from 1980-1983. Read the rest of this entry

Mike Gonzalez to Nats: Washington is Gearing Up For the Playoffs

Tuesday May 22, 2012

Ryan Ritchey:  With injuries to both Drew Storen and Brad Lidge the Nationals had to go out and find more depth to their bullpen. That is what they did by going out and getting Mike Gonzalez as a free agent, who last pitched for the Texas Rangers. Mike Gonzalez has playoff experience and has the stuff to carry this bullpen until Storen gets back in May. Fortunately for the Nats, they have a fairly deep pen despite loss of Storen and Brad Lidge to injuries. Henry Rodriguez was locked in as the closer, but it now appears that Washington will go with a bullpen by committee. Apparently Craig Stammen will see the bulk of the save opportunities at this point. With Storen coming back around the All Star Break, Gonzalez could continue in a setup role. Until then, perhaps Gonzo may even take over the closer job and give the Nats some needed 9th inning stability. It is looking like the Nationals are making a push for a playoff spot as they are noticing that the Phillies are struggling. They smell opportunity and are jumping in at the right time. If they are going to make a push, they will need a lock-down pen.

The big question is whether going out and getting Gonzalez was a good move… I believe it is. This is a team with tremendous starting pitching that needs a deep pen to shut down games and get wins. I see Gonzalez quite capable of filling in for Storen until he comes back,  and perhaps taking the closer’s job in the interim. The biggest thing for this Nationals team is staying atop the National League East through the All Star Break, to give them confidence for the rest of the season. In my opinion the Nationals go to the playoffs if they are within three games of the National League East leader.

Could it be that the Nationals front office wants to put people in the seats? That is a possibility, but I believe this team wants to win and wants to win now. Bryce Harper and Stephen Strasburg are in the majors, this could be a great chance for them to get to the postseason. You put the Nationals in the postseason and baseball ratings go through the roof. Every time the Nationals are on national tv, my twitter feed is filled with Harper tweets. The kid is taking over baseball right now, no doubt about that. 2012 could be a big year in Washington, as the Nationals move to contenders from pretenders.

Ryan Ritchey is a Baseball Writer for MLB reports. I am a high school senior, play second base and plan on studying sports journalism in college. I am a huge fan of Barry Larkin and Brandon Phillips. Have been a baseball fan my whole life and have been writing about baseball since freshman year. You can reach me on Twitter(@Ryan13Ritchey)

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First Week of the 2012 MLB Season is in the Books: Fantasy Baseball Thoughts

Tuesday April 10th, 2012

Peter Stein (Fantasy Baseball Analyst – MLB reports): What an interesting first week of baseball, in both the real and fantasy world. What jumps out most to me; however, is the proof that you should never overpay for closers. Saves can be had on the waiver wire, which Hector Santiago, Fernando Rodney, Henry Rodriguez, and Brad Lidge each demonstrated in the season’s first week. Last week, if you recall, I told you to grab Alfredo Aceves as well as Lidge and Rodriguez. Although Aceves has struggled as closer (except for his save last night in Toronto), his value skyrocketed when he was named the closer and I was able to flip him for John Danks. In a surprise move, rookie manager Robin Ventura named rookie Hector Santiago closer for the White Sox. I had monitored this situation since spring training and owned Santiago. Again, as soon as he was named closer I traded him as well- this time for DL’d Tim Hudson. So, after a draft in which I was left thin in pitching, within one week I was able to add Hudson and Danks for two waiver pickups, to join Dan Haren, Matt Cain, Wandy Rodriguez, and Bartolo Colon for a now very formidable starting staff in a 15-team league. The point is: people will overpay for saves, especially as guys go down with injuries. Do your best to capitalize while you can!


On the same note, take advantage of some of the old timers or well-known players who are off to a good start. For instance, Rafael Furcal is off to a blazing start, and is a great add. At the top of the Cardinals lineup, he can be a great source for runs and stolen bases. With his name recognition, he might also be able to net you some great value. Chone Figgins fits this mold as well, but he has been so horrendous the past few seasons, it is tough to expect much of anything from him. A definite buy-low candidate.


What has really surprised me after the first week, are the surprise starting pitchers. There are a lot of intriguing names more than likely available on your waiver wire. Filling in for Chris Carpenter, Lance Lynn dominated the Brewers lineup and I actually expect him to pitch himself into the rotation even when Carpenter returns. Likewise, Jeff Samardzija had a great 2012 debut start with the Cubs and could be a great matchup starter. With 11 strikeouts and 8 1/3 innings against San Diego, Chad Billingsley reverted back to his old form. Perhaps he can put his 2011 struggles behind him…or just maybe the Padres lineup can make any pitcher look good.


Although we are only a week into the season, Matt Kemp is already trying to prove that 2011 was no fluke. Maybe he can repeat his MVP-like season. Another consensus top-five player, Miguel Cabrera looks primed for a huge year with a solid first week, and his value will truly rise to another level when he gains 3B eligibility in a few days. A slow start for Albert Pujols with the Angels, but I expect him to breakout in a big way, perhaps on the big stage against the Yankees this weekend. Oh, and Eric Hosmer is the real, real, real deal. He could easily finish as a top-ten player this year and is a legit five-category stud at just 22 years of age.


That’s all for this week! Remember, the season is just one week old, but you can use it to your advantage. Be active on the waiver wires and with trades, and if can make an upgrade, or what you would have thought was an upgrade during your draft two weeks ago, go ahead and do it!

 

***Today’s feature was prepared by our Fantasy Baseball Analyst, Peter Stein.  We highly encourage you to leave your comments and feedback at the bottom of the page and share in the discussion with our readers.  You can also follow Peter on Twitter (@peterWstein)***

 

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