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Sully Baseball Daily Podcast Archives Jan 1, 2015 – Jan 31, 2015 (Episodes 800 – 830)

sunkenDFiamond

Paul Francis Sullivan (please call him Sully) does a podcast 365 days a year – unless it is a leap year – then he will do another 1. He has done a show everyday since Oct.24/2012. This to date represents a streak of 1238 days consecutively!

Past the CLICK TO READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY are episodes 800 – 830 of the Sully Baseball Daily Podcast.

We will also archive all of his podcasts to date (in coming weeks) so they are easily accessible for all his fans. Check out all his Archived info here.

Our website followers have grown larger each year for his podcast.

Follow Sully Baseball On Twitter

To subscribe on iTunes, click HERE.

To subscribe on SoundCloud, click HERE. Read the rest of this entry

MLB Baseball Hall Of Fame (Class Of 2017) Voting Poll

Vladdy was an Expo from 1996-2003 and will be elected into the Hall of Fame as An Expo to join Andre Dawson, Gary Carter and potentially Tim Raines next year.

Vladdy was an Expo from 1996-2003 and will be elected into the Hall of Fame as An Expo to join Andre Dawson, Gary Carter and potentially Tim Raines next year.

Now that the 2016 Baseball Hall Of Fame Voting has come and gone it is time to turn our attention to the 2017 vote already.

There are 15 remaining names left from the 2016 Vote including:  Jeff Bagwell, Tim Raines, Trevor Hoffman, Curt Schilling, Roger Clemens, Barry Bonds, Edgar Martinez, Mike Mussina, Lee Smith, Jeff Kent, Larry Walker, Sammy Sosa and Gary Sheffield.

Out of those 15, Raines and Smith are in the final years of their names being on the ballot.

There are 21 new names that come to the 2017 selection process for the 1st time – headed up by Vladimir Guerrero, Manny Ramirez and Ivan Rodriguez.  All of these guys have the numbers to be 1st ballot Hall inductees, however Ramirez has been suspended over PED’s and Rodriguez has had whispers mentioned about him. Read the rest of this entry

Ken Griffey JR. + Mike Piazza Named To The Hall: Our Final Poll Vote Had Bagwell Joining Those Two

 

Ken Griffey was well on his way to the all-time career HR record before injuries slowed him down after the age of 30. He is also the last player in the MLB to have a HR in 8 straight contests, dating in 1993.

Ken Griffey was well on his way to the all-time career HR record before injuries slowed him down after the age of 30. He is also the last player in the MLB to have a HR in 8 straight contests, dating in 1993.  Griffey received a record 99% of the ballots vote from the BBWAA, eclipsing Tom Seaver’s old record for highest percentage of votes in his selection today.

There were the 32 names on the list for consideration for the Baseball Hall Of Fame, only 2 made were selected to Cooperstown with Griffey JR. and Piazza. Our poll also had Jeff Bagwell make it.

Mike Piazza, Jeff Bagwell, Ken Griffey Jr., Tim RainesCurt SchillingRoger ClemensBarry BondsLee SmithEdgar MartinezAlan TrammellJeff KentFred McGriffLarry WalkerSammy SosaGary SheffieldNomar GarciaparraMark McGwireJim EdmondsJason KendallTroy GlausMike HamptonLuis CastilloRandy Winn, Garret AndersonMike LowellBilly WagnerTrevor HoffmanMark GrudzielanekMike SweeneyDavid Eckstein are all on the ballot.

.Mike Piazza almost made it into the Baseball Hall Of Fame in voting for last year with a clip of 69.9% of the votes. He made it into the BBHOF this year.

.Mike Piazza almost made it into the Baseball Hall Of Fame in voting for last year with a clip of 69.9% of the votes. He made it into the BBHOF this year.

Out of 524 People Voting, Final  Results (75% would get a Hall Of Fame Induction)

Ken Griffey Jr. 519 99.04%  
Jeff Bagwell 416 79.38%  
Mike Piazza 397 75.77%  
Tim Raines 380 72.52%  
Roger Clemens 331 63.17%  
Barry Bonds 285 54.39%  
Curt Schilling 222 42.37%  
Trevor Hoffman 218 41.60%  
Edgar Martinez 203 38.74%  
Alan Trammell 190 36.26%  
Mike Mussina 188 35.88%  
Mark McGwire 169 32.25%  
Fred McGriff 130 24.81%  
Sammy Sosa 130 24.81%  
Larry Walker 120 22.90%  
Lee Smith 107 20.42%  
Jeff Kent 101 19.27%  
Billy Wagner 95 18.13%  
Gary Sheffield 81 15.46%  
Jim Edmonds 52 9.93%  
Nomar Garciaparra 35 6.68%  
Brad Ausmus 10 1.9%  
Jason Kendall 9 1.72%  
Mark Grudzielanek 9 1.72%  
Mike Hampton 7 1.34%  
Garrett Anderson 7 1.34%  
Troy Glaus 4 0.7%  
Randy Winn 4 0.7%  
MIke Lowell 4 0.7%  
Mike Sweeney 4 0.7%  
David Eckstein 4 0.7%  
Luis Castillo 2 0.35%
Despite coming 15 votes shy with the BBWAA vote, Bagwell made it to the Hall in our poll - registering almost 80% of the ballots.

Despite coming 15 votes shy with the BBWAA vote, Bagwell made it to the Hall in our poll – registering almost 80% of the ballots.

 

MLB Baseball Hall Of Fame (Class Of 2016) Voting Poll Results So Far (Last Chance To Vote)

ken griffey jr

Below the results listed so far, Pick 10 players who you believe should be in the Baseball Hall Of Fame this year.  We will post the results after the class of this year is posted.  We can see the amount of people who voted. 

So we will accurately adjust this mark once the poll ends.  A basic reference to see if a player is being voted for is to take their votes (times by 10) and then divide by the total amount of votes.

Here are the 32 names on the list for consideration. 

Mike Piazza, Jeff Bagwell, Ken Griffey Jr., Tim RainesCurt SchillingRoger ClemensBarry BondsLee SmithEdgar MartinezAlan TrammellJeff KentFred McGriffLarry WalkerSammy SosaGary SheffieldNomar GarciaparraMark McGwireJim EdmondsJason KendallTroy GlausMike HamptonLuis CastilloRandy Winn, Garret AndersonMike LowellBilly WagnerTrevor HoffmanMark GrudzielanekMike SweeneyDavid Eckstein are all on the ballot.

So Far (at 9:45 AM EST, Tuesday Jan.6, 2015) there have been 386 People who have voted, and only 6 people have left Ken Griffey JR. off of their list.  Piazza and Raines (just barely) would both join Junior on the Baseball Hall Of Fame Induction list should this come to fruition.

I think the BBWAA should really take stock on the Clemens and Bonds numbers as they are far superior to what they voted for last year.  Both of them are about 25% higher and on the fringe of making the Hall.. 

I also think that Hoffman is hurt by his 1st year on the ballot.  A lot of people may have factored this in. 

I really think Raines is going to see a big boost to his bid for the Baseball Hall Of Fame with it being his 9th year on the ballot.  Under the new rules, that means that 2017’s Baseball Hall Of Fame Class would be his last chance to be elected to Cooperstown.

Out of 386 People Voting, The Results Thus Far (75% would get a Hall Of Fame Induction)

Ken Griffey Jr. 380 98.45%  
Mike Piazza 312 80.82%  
Tim Raines 290 75.12%  
Jeff Bagwell 241 62.43%  
Roger Clemens 237 61.40%  
Barry Bonds 236 61.14%  
Trevor Hoffman 186 48.19%  
Edgar Martinez 162 41.96%  
Curt Schilling 161 41.71%  
Mike Mussina 148 38.34%  
Mark McGwire 147 38.08%  
Sammy Sosa 117 30.31%  
Alan Trammell 116 30.06%  
Lee Smith 98 25.39%  
Fred McGriff 98 25.39%  
Larry Walker 86 22.28%  
Jeff Kent 79 20.47%  
Gary Sheffield 69 17.88%  
Billy Wagner 49 12.69%  
Jim Edmonds 37 9.6%  
Nomar Garciaparra 25 6.48%  
Jason Kendall 6 1.56%  
Garrett Anderson 3 0.78%  
MIke Lowell 3 0.78%  
Troy Glaus 2 0.54%  
Mike Sweeney 2 0.54%  
David Eckstein 2 0.54%  
Brad Ausmus 2 0.54%  
Mike Hampton 1 0.27%  
Luis Castillo 1 0.27%  
Randy Winn 1 0.27%  
Mark Grudzielanek 1 0.27%

Vote up until 558 PM EST  today.

MLB Baseball Hall Of Fame (Class Of 2016) Voting Poll Results So Far (Last Chance To Vote)

Below the results listed so far, Pick 10 players who you believe should be in the Baseball Hall Of Fame this year.  We will post the results after the class of this year is posted.  We can see the amount of people who voted. 

So we will accurately adjust this mark once the poll ends.  A basic reference to see if a player is being voted for is to take their votes (times by 10) and then divide by the total amount of votes.

Here are the 32 names on the list for consideration. 

Mike Piazza, Jeff Bagwell, Ken Griffey Jr., Tim RainesCurt SchillingRoger ClemensBarry BondsLee SmithEdgar MartinezAlan TrammellJeff KentFred McGriffLarry WalkerSammy SosaGary SheffieldNomar GarciaparraMark McGwireJim EdmondsJason KendallTroy GlausMike HamptonLuis CastilloRandy Winn, Garret AndersonMike LowellBilly WagnerTrevor HoffmanMark GrudzielanekMike SweeneyDavid Eckstein are all on the ballot.

So Far (at 8:30 AM EST, Tuesday Jan.5, 2015) there have been 260 People who have voted, and only 2 people have left Ken Griffey JR. off of their list.  Piazza and Raines would both join Junior on the Baseball Hall Of Fame Induction list should this come to fruition.

I think the BBWAA should really take stock on the Clemens and Bonds numbers as they are far superior to what they voted for last year.  Both of them are about 25% higher and on the fringe of making the Hall.. 

I also think that Hoffman is hurt by his 1st year on the ballot.  A lot of people may have factored this in. 

I really think Raines is going to see a big boost to his bid for the Baseball Hall Of Fame with it being his 9th year on the ballot.  Under the new rules, that means that 2017’s Baseball Hall Of Fame Class would be his last chance to be elected to Cooperstown.

Out of 260 People Voting, The Results Thus Far (75% would get a Hall Of Fame Induction)

Ken Griffey Jr. 257 98.84%  
Mike Piazza 207 79.62%  
Tim Raines 206 79.23%  
Roger Clemens 166 63.84%  
Barry Bonds 166 63.84%  
Jeff Bagwell 166 63.84%  
Trevor Hoffman 133 51.15%  
Edgar Martinez 119 45.77%  
Curt Schilling 115 44.23%  
Mark McGwire 114 43.84%  
Mike Mussina 109 41.92%  
Sammy Sosa 89 34.23%  
Alan Trammell 84 32.31%  
Lee Smith 74 28.46%  
Fred McGriff 69 26.54%  
Jeff Kent 65 25.00%  
Larry Walker 62 23.85%  
Gary Sheffield 42 16.15%  
Billy Wagner 39 15%  
Jim Edmonds 29 11.15%  
Nomar Garciaparra 20 7.7%  
Jason Kendall 4 1.5%  
Garret Anderson 2 0.8%  
MIke Lowell 2 0.8%  
Troy Glaus 1 0.4%  
Mike Hampton 1 0.4%  
Luis Castillo 1 0.4%  
Randy Winn 1 0.4%  
Mark Grudzielanek 1 0.4%  
Mike Sweeney 1 0.4%  
David Eckstein 1 0.4%  
Brad Ausmus 1 0.4%

Vote today.

MLB Baseball Hall Of Fame (Class Of 2016) Voting Poll Results So Far

Below the results listed so far, Pick 10 players who you believe should be in the Baseball Hall Of Fame this year.  We will post the results after the class of this year is posted.  We can see the amount of people who voted. 

So we will accurately adjust this mark once the poll ends.  A basic reference to see if a player is being voted for is to take their votes (times by 10) and then divide by the total amount of votes.

Here are the 32 names on the list for consideration. 

Mike Piazza, Jeff Bagwell, Ken Griffey Jr., Tim RainesCurt SchillingRoger ClemensBarry BondsLee SmithEdgar MartinezAlan TrammellJeff KentFred McGriffLarry WalkerSammy SosaGary SheffieldNomar GarciaparraMark McGwireJim EdmondsJason KendallTroy GlausMike HamptonLuis CastilloRandy Winn, Garret AndersonMike LowellBilly WagnerTrevor HoffmanMark GrudzielanekMike SweeneyDavid Eckstein are all on the ballot.

So Far (at 7:30 AM EST) there have been 157 People who have voted, and only 2 people have left Ken Griffey JR. off of their list.  Piazza and Raines would both join Junior on the Baseball Hall Of Fame Induction list should this come to fruition.

I think the BBWAA should really take stock on the Clemens and Bonds numbers as they are far superior to what they voted for. 

I also think that Hoffman is hurt by his 1st year on the ballot.  A lot of people may have factored this in. 

I really think Raines is going to see a big boost to his bid for the Baseball Hall Of Fame with it being his 9th year on the ballot.  Under the new rules, that means that 2017’s Baseball Hall Of Fame Class would be his last chance to be elected to Cooperstown.

Out of 157 People Voting, The Results Thus Far (75% would get a Hall Of Fame Induction)

Ken Griffey Jr. 155 98.72%  
Mike Piazza 129 76.43%  
Tim Raines 129 76.43%  
Jeff Bagwell 110 70.06%  
Barry Bonds 106 67.52%  
Roger Clemens 105 66.88%  
Trevor Hoffman 84 53.51%  
Edgar Martinez 77 49.04%  
Mark McGwire 77 49.04%  
Mike Mussina 75 47.78%  
Curt Schilling 71 45.22%  
Sammy Sosa 61 38.86%  
Lee Smith 52 33.12%  
Alan Trammell 52 33.12%  
Fred McGriff 47 29.34%  
Larry Walker 46 29.29%  
Jeff Kent 41 26.11%  
Gary Sheffield 32 20.38%  
Billy Wagner 31 19.75%  
Jim Edmonds 24 15.29%  
Nomar Garciaparra 19 12.11%  
MIke Lowell 2 0.12%  
Luis Castillo 1 0.06%  
Randy Winn 1 0.06%  
Jason Kendall 1 0.06%  
Garret Anderson 1 0.06%  
Mark Grudzielanek 1 0.06%  
Mike Sweeney 1 0.06%  
David Eckstein 1 0.06%  
Brad Ausmus 1 0.06%  
Troy Glaus 0 0%  
Mike Hampton 0 0%

Vote today.  The Hall Of Fame Class of 2016 will be announced tomorrow.

2016 MLB Baseball Hall Of Fame Voting Poll

Pick 10 players who you believe should be in the Baseball Hall Of Fame this year.  We will post the results after the class of this year is posted.  We can see the amount of people who voted. 

So we will accurately adjust this mark once the poll ends.  A basic reference to see if a player is being voted for is to take their votes (times by 10) and then divide by the total amount of votes.

Here are the 32 names on the list for consideration.  Mike PiazzaJeff BagwellKen Griffey Jr., Tim RainesCurt SchillingRoger ClemensBarry BondsLee SmithEdgar MartinezAlan TrammellJeff KentFred McGriffLarry WalkerSammy SosaGary SheffieldNomar GarciaparraMark McGwireJim EdmondsJason KendallTroy GlausMike HamptonLuis CastilloRandy Winn, Garret AndersonMike LowellBilly WagnerTrevor HoffmanMark GrudzielanekMike SweeneyDavid Eckstein are all on the ballot.

Canadian MLB Expansion Or: Should The Jays Play At Least 1 Series In Vancouver + Montreal Per Year?

Olympic Stadium was a building catastrophe from the get go. It was a contributing factor of the Expos leaving Montreal. Having said that, it would have been really cool if the North America opener were to have been opened in Montreal, with a series with Toronto and the New York Mets. Instead the series in an exhibition. At least the Canadian stadium has hosted regular season MLB games.

Olympic Stadium was a building catastrophe from the get go. It was a contributing factor of the Expos leaving Montreal. Having said that, it would have been really cool if the MLB were to at least designate the Canadian stadium to host some regular season games in the next few years.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer) 

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I must be out of my mind right?

Having the Toronto Blue Jays play in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver  allduring a regular season – and re-brand the club to a national team in the MLB?  But stop and think about this for a minute.

The club as drawn almost 100K total fans for the 2 exhibition games in Quebec during the last 2 years in exhibition series right before the season started.

Why not play some games in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver – and rename the club the Canada Blue Jays?  Okay.. that is a little drastic here.  Keep them the Toronto Blue Jays, but what would be wrong with selling 40K+ fans a game for 12 total games?  Maybe 6 games in each city.

Since the MLB insists on having 19 Divisional games a year – with 3 series in each city, would it be that bad if the Tampa Bay Rays or Baltimore Orioles were to visit Montreal to play the Blue Jays  a series?

Or how about and grow the brand on the West Coast by playing a 3 game set at BC Place Stadium followed up with Toronto heading down to Seattle right afterwards for another series?  Read the rest of this entry

David Oritz Is Retiring After 2016: It Is A Perfect Time To Eliminate The DH!

David Ortiz has been the quintessential DH in the AL over the last 15 years. Boston is in contention perennially because he put up great #s compared to his competition. Realistically, only he and a few other players are even at the All-Star level, and if given the choice if there were no DH slot in the game, I guarantee you their teams would brave their physical defiencies - in order to keep their bat in the lineup. The AL has had the Designated Hitter Position since the start of the 1973 season.

David Ortiz has been the quintessential DH in the AL over the last 15 years. Boston is in contention perennially because he put up great #s compared to his competition. Realistically, only he and a few other players are even at the All-Star level, and if given the choice if there were no DH slot in the game, I guarantee you their teams would brave their physical deficiencies – in order to keep their bat in the lineup. The AL has had the Designated Hitter Position since the start of the 1973 season.  But that was before Free Agency where the American League has an advantage for signing top guys because of the DH slot, and then there were no Interleague Games, where the AL has a 12 year winning streak, and is routinely posting over a .540 Win Percentage against.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer/Part Onwer) 

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David Ortiz has announced he is retiring after the next season.  Thus ends the greatest Left Handed DH of ALL-Time, (sorry Harold Baines).

The Designated Hitter Position has been taking a hit for effectiveness more and more over the last several years, and more teams than not use it as a rest for veterans.

Listed on MLB.com, only 5 DH’s qualified for the Batting Title race in 2015.

Billy Butler had a crappy year.

David Ortiz started slowly being hampered by the new foot in the box rule, before settling in to a 37 HRs and 108 RBI campaign – with a .913 OPS. Read the rest of this entry

Seattle Is Poised For 2015 Dominance: But Off To A Slow Start

 

Seattle was everyone's pick to win the American League it seemed. A slow start mirrored the beginning of the 2014 season as well.  There are some outliers though, as they spent 10 of their 1st 13 games on the road.  The club has looked a lot better of the last week. included in that were awesome starts by Felix Hernandez.  Nelson Cruz has also picked up where he left off in 2014, with an MLB leading 9 HRs and 18 RBI in the teams first 16 games.

Seattle was everyone’s pick to win the American League it seemed. A slow start mirrored the beginning of the 2014 season as well. There are some outliers though, as they spent 10 of their 1st 13 games on the road. The club has looked a lot better of the last week. included in that were awesome starts by Felix Hernandez. Nelson Cruz has also picked up where he left off in 2014, with an MLB leading 9 HRs and 18 RBI in the teams first 16 games.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer)

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Forgive me for a second while I didn’t lose sleep on the Mariners losing Chris Taylor for some time early this year  I actually think that Brad Miller may have a chance to breakout this year.

But more importantly Seattle had themselves a great offseason.  Yes.. you read that right.  I am endorsing Jack Z. for a job well done, even though he saw fit to sign Endy Chavez and Franklin Gutierrez for yet one more year.  But since the club is full with depth, I am hoping the guys wont be counted on.

Last year the club had to start the year without Hisashi Iwakuma, James Paxton and Taijuan Walker for the majority of the 1st half, and while Paxton has still been bothered my a flexor strain early in the year, his arsenal speaks to the of an ace. Read the rest of this entry

Sully Baseball Daily Podcast – March 15, 2015

COREY SIPKIN/NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

COREY SIPKIN/NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

It is Sunday and time for The Sunday Request.

I see absolutely no need to have uniformity in the leagues. Having the DH in one league and not the other is something I love about baseball.

Let the pitchers hit in this episode of The Sully Baseball Daily Podcast.

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A Early Look at Future Hall of Fame Candidates

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Craig Biggio finally got his “call to the hall” and should set an example for players who didn’t get that call on their first try. Other notable players are still on the ballot, and should receive legitimate consideration for induction in the future.

 

By Nicholas Delahanty (MLB Reports Writer)  

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The BBWAA elected four players into the Baseball Hall of Fame for the class of 2015: Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez, John Smoltz and Craig Biggio. This is the first time that the BBWAA has elected four players in 60 years, as these four players truly exemplify what the MLB Hall of Fame is all about.

Now that the official results have been released, we can now take a look at not only some of the guys who will return on the ballot in the upcoming years, but also some future eligible players who present a very interesting case for their enshrinement into the Hall of Fame. 

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Sully Baseball Daily Podcast – January 7, 2015

High Heat Stats

High Heat Stats

Andy of High Heat Stats joins the podcast to discuss the Hall of Fame vote, Tim Raines, Edgar Martinez and putting aside any steroid policing by voters.

It is a meeting of baseball Twitter minds on  The Sully Baseball Daily Podcast.

Follow High Heat Stats on Twitter by clicking HERE.

Go to the High Heat Stats website by clicking HERE.

Read the rest of this entry

2015 MLB Hall of Fame Voting: Who Deserves to Get In?

The MLB Hall of Fame will announce which players will be part of the Induction Class of 2015. The question leading up to the announcement is which players make the cut in this loaded group of talent.

The MLB Hall of Fame will announce which players will be part of the Class of 2015. With players such as Randy Johnson and Pedro Martinez being added to the ballot this year, the question remains as to which players will ultimately make the final cut this year?

By Nicholas Delahanty (MLB Reports Writer)  

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It is very possible that history is made with regards to this year’s MLB Hall of Fame induction class. In the past, the committee has been hesitant to vote in more than three players in one class, and it has been very rare to see more than three voted in at one time. In the past, the committee voted in four players twice (1947 and 1955) and five players only once (1936- the first year of the voting process).

As the decision day quickly approaches, there is speculation that the BBWAA could possibly end the long drought and elect five players this year. With this year’s ballot having a ton of players who could make a legitimate case to be inducted, I decided to go to the process of picking my own ballot (which doesn’t count for the BBWAA), and after taking the time and effort to research my ballet, I realized that it was a much harder process then I anticipated it would be. 

Read the rest of this entry

Forget The DH, Forget The Pitcher Hitting, Lets Hit With 8! Also Teams Should Hit Best Players At The Top

Disagree with me all you want, but I think the MLB would be better served to have just 8 hitters hit in one rotation of the batting order.  It is time to eliminate the DH and the pitcher both from hitting.  Give the fans more of what they want, the most feared hitters in baseball potentially batting 70 - 80 times more a year.

Disagree with me all you want, but I think the MLB would be better served to have just 8 hitters hit in one rotation of the batting order. It is time to eliminate the DH and the pitcher both from hitting. Give the fans more of what they want, the most feared hitters in baseball potentially batting 70 – 80 times more a year.  I also agree with Sully Baseball, that your best hitters should be afforded the most opportunities to contribute to your offense.  This means hitting in the highest slot in the order they can based on OBP, Slugging and overall Run production.

By Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner): w/assist to “Lead Personality” Paul Sullivan (Sully)

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(The 8 hitters in  lineup concept is my idea solely, I am agreeing with Sully on his lineup relevance for his approach for 1 and 2 hitters) – CB

I was listening to an archived show I did with James Acevedo, on our inaugural “2 And A Hook Podcast” show last March.

We were talking about the Designated Hitter position weakening by the year, and the Pitcher not doing any justice at the plate either.

In the show, I haphazardly referred to “they should just hit with 8 hitters.”

I forgot about the whole thing soon after saying it last year, but now I haven’t stopped thinking about for the last hour of today.

Baseball writers often will tell you it is best to write what is fresh on your mind. Read the rest of this entry

MLB Reports Hall Of Fame Predictions: Class Of 2014 Players

The deadline of December 31st has come and gone for The Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA). Members were asked to submit no more than 10 names of players they "deem" worthy of induction towards this year's National Baseball Hall of Fame ceremony set for July.

The deadline of December 31st has come and gone for The Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA). Members were asked to submit no more than 10 names of players they “deem” worthy of induction towards this year’s National Baseball Hall of Fame ceremony set for July.

By Patrick Languzzi (Cooperstown Correspondent)

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Results are scheduled to be announced on January 8th.

Players must receive at least 75 percent of the votes in order to be inducted by a voting body of roughly over 500 eligible writers.

There are many player names worthy of discussion, however, few will see enshrinement, now or ever.

Greg Maddux Tribute:

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Ortiz Is Almost Done Playing: Who Will Be The Next Great DH Among The AL Clubs??

David Ortiz has been the quintessential DH in the AL over the last 11 years.  Boston is in contention perennially because he put up great #s compared to his competition.  With all of the teams imploring several employees to scouting staffs - trying to find advantages to bring to Major League Lineups - why aren't teams focusing on the DH position more.  Ortiz has been a full time DH since joining the Red Sox, and has been instrumental in the club bringing home 3 World Series Titles.  In fact, the only time the team has struggled in the last decade, was if "Big Papi" is hurt or struggling.

David Ortiz has been the quintessential DH in the AL over the last 11 years. Boston is in contention perennially because he put up great #s compared to his competition. With all of the teams imploring several employees to scouting staffs – trying to find advantages to bring to Major League Lineups – why aren’t teams focusing on the DH position more. Ortiz has been a full time DH since joining the Red Sox, and has been instrumental in the club bringing home 3 World Series Titles. In fact, the only time the team has struggled in the last decade, was if “Big Papi” is hurt or struggling.

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

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There is no doubt in my mind that the Red Sox has won 3 World Series Titles in the last 10 years because they have had the quintessential DH in the American League.

While other teams have used the position as a rest stop for aging players, or stop-gap measure for players with defensive faulty, clubs have not seemed to have stressed emphasis on the slot in the lineup.

My question is why?  With everyone always searching for an edge in today’s game, you have one sitting right in front of you, that equates to over 600 AB a year.

David Ortiz (Post Season Heroics 2013)

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Cano Signs With Seattle 10 YRs/$240 MIL: Do You Want A Good Team Or A Good Business?

Cano and his brass were in the Emerald City over night - to dicker with the Seattle Brass over a supposed 9 YR contract worth around $225 - $240 MIL.  But something went awry, and the Cano camp made the Seattle Mariners storm off with disgust over what the demands were. In a city where they have only had 2 winning seasons in the last 10 years, they do not need to put all of their eggs in just one basket.  We will go through the long decade of suffering in his blog, and come up with the conclusion, that the last thing the franchise needs - is another Free Agency flop.

Cano and his management posse were in the Emerald City over night – to dicker with the Seattle Brass over a supposed 9 YR contract worth around $225 – $240 MIL . But something went awry, and the Cano camp made the Seattle Mariners storm off with disgust over what the demands were originally.   It has now been reported the sides agreed to a 10 YR/$240 MIL deal.  This could be a colossal mistake from the club, despite seeing probable early returns on their investment and the ticket wicket and for TV Ratings. In a city where they have only had 2 winning seasons in the last 10 years, they didn’t need to put all of their eggs in just one basket. We will go through the long decade of suffering in his blog, and come up with the conclusion, that the last thing the franchise needs – is another Free Agency flop.

By Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner): (Big Credit to Paul Francis Sullivan)  

Follow MLB Reports On Twitter

The deal was supposed to be 9 YRs/$225 MIL for Robinson Cano‘s services to be taken to The Pacific Northwest, and play for the home fans of Safeco Field.

Somewhere in the deliberations, the Roc Nations Sports Agency (Jay – Z’s gang) made an unruly notion for something, to which the brass of the Seattle Mariners stormed off.

It would be nice to have been a fly on the wall for that sparing off of the minds.

The two sides finally agreed this morning to a 10 YR/$240 MIL deal for the ALL – Star, SIlver Slugger 2B.

Before the deal, a neutral fan had to ask Cano really taking the M’s seriously, or was it all for show – in hopes he could draw more cash from a team he really wants to play for?

Sully’s Daily Podcast from last night – truer words have never been spoken – Listen to this 20 Min show!

Sully Baseball Daily Podcast – December 5, 2013

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“Hard Cheddar” With Steve Cheeseman – My BBHOF Ballot

The members of the BBWAA will vote on the BBHOF ballot in January of 2014,

The members of the BBWAA will vote on the BBHOF ballot in January of 2014,  A player that is still on the ballot, needs to receive 75% of the vote in order to make in the Hall.  A player needs receive 5% of the votes in order to remain on the list of players eligible for the next  year.

“Hard Cheddar” – with ‘Special Guest Writer’ Steve Cheeseman 

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Hello baseball fans.  I apologize for being away so long, as my career outside of sports writing has kept me busy these last few weeks.

With that being said, let’s get going.  Since the end of the 2013 season, there are many things that crossed my mind.

However, for whatever reason, one of the things that has me extremely interested if the hall of fame ballot.

New names on this year’s ballot include Tom Glavine, Greg Maddux, and Frank Thomas.  In my mind these guys deserve to be in the hall of fame.

Big Hurt Highlights

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Having A Great DH Can Mean Winning The AL Pennant: For Other Teams – The Position Is A Waste!

David Ortiz has been the quintessential DH in the AL over the last 11 years.  Boston is in contention perenially because he put up great #s compared to his competition.

David Ortiz has been the quintessential DH in the AL over the last 11 years. Boston are perennial contenders because he put up great #s compared to his competition.  Ortiz had a great 2013 campaign – where he 3 Slashed .309/.395./.959 – with 30 HRs and 103 RBI in just 137 Games Played.  Ortiz is .292/.390/.962 in 11 Years with Boston, with 373 HRs and 1191 RBI.  The Red Sox won the World Series in 2004 and 2007 with him at DH, and are looking to win again this year.

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

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Watching the 2013 season, something really resonated with me while watching the American League:  ‘Where have all the great designated hitters in MLB gone?’  

It is surprising to me that teams haven’t figured out that having a dominant DH in the league could mean the difference in winning the AL pennant or not.

I also believe that players should be moved their earlier than in their mid 30’s.  If they can’t play the field at all, or are not superior at offense, they should be made to Pinch-hit in the NL. 

It seemed only a few years ago that every team had a bopper capable of hitting .300 with 30 HR’S and 100 RBI’s.  Upon further investigation, I found out some interesting facts.

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2 And A Hook Podcast #7: Ranking The 30 Ball Parks In The MLB + Giants And Red Sox Correspondent Interviews

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Friday, June.07/2013

MLB reports and The Benchwarmers Show present 2 and A Hook Podcast

MLB reports and The Benchwarmers Show present 2 and A Hook Podcast.

‘2 And A Hook’ is an expression from Baseball:  ‘Throw the guy 2 Fast balls and then a Hook’ (AKA Curve Ball, Wiggly one, Chair etc..)

By James Acevedo – Host (Podcast Veteran News and Stats – 1st minute to 7 minute mark, 26 Minute Mark to 36 Minute Mark, and 1 Hour 4 Minute Mark to 1 Hour Minute 8.) 

People in this Podcast:

Jonathan Schifferle (MLB Reports Giants Correspondent – 7 Minutes in and a 18 Minute Segment)

Ryan Dana (MLB Reports Boston Red Sox Correspondent – 36 Minute Mark and a 27 Minute Segment) 

Chuck Booth (MLB Reports Owner and Lead Baseball Analyst – 1 Hour and 10 Minutes In and a 43 Minute Segment) 

On today’s show, brought to you by MLB Reports (www.mlbreports.com) & yours truly The Bench Warmers, I get into the Alex Rodriguez/Anthony Bosch soap opera very briefly.

I  then interviewed our (MLB Reports) Giants correspondent Jonathan Schifferle to talk about the giants team,”The Peapods” in the stands for Buster Posey, Pablo Sandoval, Angel Pagan and Hunter Pence also known as “The Killer Peas”. Read the rest of this entry

2 And A Hook Podcast Ep #3: Wil Myers, Mets + Baseball’s Importance To The World

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Thursday, April.18/2013

MLB reports and The Benchwarmers Show present 2 and A Hook Podcast

MLB reports and The Benchwarmers Show present 2 and A Hook Podcast

People in this Podcast:

Chuck Booth – Guest (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner):

By James Acevedo – Host (Podcast Veteran) 

In the Clutch Guys from 90.3 FM Tuesday Show In Long Island NY  

On today’s show, brought to you by MLB Reports (www.mlbreports.com )& yours truly (The Bench Warmers Show), I talk about the horrible bombings that happened in the Boston Marathon & how sports especially baseball unites us in this great country! Also I told to Chuck Booth who is the lead analyst and owner of MLB Reports on the world of baseball! Read the rest of this entry

The Best DH of All-Time

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Saturday, January 5th, 2013

Martinez had a 3 Slash line of .312/.418/.933. He smacked 309 HRs. 514 Doubles and had 1261 RBI Will he be the 1st ever Primary DH to be inducted into the Hall? Or will 2247 Career Hits or suspicions of PED Use prevent him from being elected?

Martinez had a 3 Slash line of .312/.418/.933. He smacked 309 HRs. 514 Doubles and had 1261 RBI. Will he be the 1st ever Primary DH to be inducted into the Hall? Or will 2247 Career Hits and suspicions of PED Use prevent him from being elected?

Ryan Dana (MLB Reports Intern): 

In my previous article examining the decline of the DH position in the AL, I briefly touched on a few great DH’s. Now I will exert my focus on examining who the best DH of all time was. While the DH position may be in a decline, it has experienced good times. To be truly great at one of the hardest things to do in sports, (hit a baseball) is quite an accomplishment whether you play in the field or not. The Top 4 DH’s off all time have to be Harold Baines, Edgar Martinez, Frank Thomas, and David Ortiz. (The ordering just goes from 1st to enter the MLB to last, not who was the best. I will order them in that way later in the article.)

Harold Baines was somewhat of a pioneer of the DH position, as he was one of the early greats. His 22 Year Career started in 1980 with the Chicago White Sox, and ended for the same team in 2001, although he had stints with the Rangers, Athletics, Orioles, and Indians in between. Baines was a regular Outfielder for the White Sox until the ’86 season – where knee problems all but ended his fielding career. With Baines well-rounded, Left-hHanded stroke at the plate, he etched out a place in baseball history that will leave him remembered by many.

Frank Thomas Highlights:

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The Sad State Of The DH Position In 2012 And Probably Going Forward

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Tuesday January 1st, 2013

David Ortiz of the Boston Red Sox is one of the few players to have a lengthy and successful career almost exclusively from the DH position. He was The Sporting News DH of the decade in 2009. As his career winds down, who will be the next great DH?

David Ortiz of the Boston Red Sox is one of the few players to have a lengthy and successful career almost exclusively from the DH position. He was The Sporting News DH of the decade in 2009. As his career winds down, who will be the next great DH?

Ryan Dana (MLB Reports Intern): 

The Designated Hitter in the American League has morphed into many different roles for teams over the years since its adoption in 1973.  At times it has been used to put lethal bats into the lineup without having to put the player’s subpar defense on the field too. At times the DH was a great place to use aging veterans who could still hit, but could not handle the rigors of playing every day in the field and stay healthy at the same time. The former use of the DH has been more common amongst larger market teams, and the latter more common avenue for smaller market teams to take. Not all that long ago, the DH was a position of prominence and was a great advantage to teams that had one of the league’s best, but there has been a recent trend that has put the DH position into a role of diminished importance.

There are a lot of things happening in Major League Baseball that have contributed to the decline of the DH in one way or another. For one, the “steroid era” has seemed to fade and gone are the days of 16 players hitting 40+ HRs a year (like in 2000). Not to bring up a debate about steroids, but there were only 6 players in 2012 that hit 40+ HRs, and only 15 players to accomplish this in the past 4 seasons combined. So whether the reason for the decline in HRs is a decline in steroid use, or something completely different, the numbers are the numbers regardless. There has simply been a decline in availability of players to fill what was the prototypical, power hitting, DH of the past. Power numbers are down, and aging sluggers seem to be aging faster in recent times.

David Ortiz Highights:

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Safeco Field: The Effect Of Moving In The Fences

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Wednesday, December 5th, 2012

Safeco+Texas+Rangers+v+Seattle+Mariners+GjzNWDePp-el

Sam Evans (Baseball Writer):

The Mariners made a decision regarding the dimensions of Safeco Field in October that will likely change the way the Mariners front office will attempt to put a potent baseball team on the field. By bringing in the fences, the Mariners are symbolizing that they have moved on from the early Jack Zdurencik philosophy that the Mariners could win in Safeco Field with pitching in defense. This move could entice some free agent position players that normally would not want to play in such a hard ballpark to hit home runs in. By moving the fences iTTn at Safeco, more runs will be scored at Safeco and the Mariners will likely no longer play in debatably the most pitcher-friendly park in the American League.

It’s pretty easy to see why the Mariners organization has finally decided to move in the fences at Safeco. Since 2000, the Mariners have scored the fewest runs of any American League team. In 2012, Seattle ranked last in the AL in runs scored per game, home runs, and batting average at home. The Mariners were a far better team on the road then at home. Right-handed hitters like Jesus Montero and Casper Wells had their power numbers and projections greatly affected by spending their first full seasons in Seattle. The Mariners had their reasons for moving their fences, and if they believe the new dimensions will help them win more ballgames, there should be no argument that Seattle is not making the right move. Read the rest of this entry

Part 1 of a Series: All-Time All-Star Teams By Regionality

 

Friday November 23th, 2012

Note from Alex Mednick:  I am going to be putting together a small project that accumulates all the best players of all time, and puts them together on teams according to their birthplace.  For example, in this first edition I will be breaking down players from the United States of America into teams from the 1) Northeast, 2) Southeast, 3) Midwest, and 4) Southwest…(sorry, there really is not enough quality coming out of the northwest to compete with these teams…maybe I will put a Northwestern United States team in a later edition with less competitive teams).  Later on I will bring you teams assembled from the all-time greats out Central and South American (Mexico, Venezuela, Panama, Panama Canal Zone, etc.) and the All-Caribbean Team (Dominican Republic, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Curacao, etc).  Also look forward to teams from Japan, Canada and the EU.  Should be fun to sort of assemble an “Olympics” of Baseball.  I love watching the World Baseball Classic and seeing players fight for their nations pride…but by grouping the teams by region, it might make the teams more competitive.  Of course, this is all for the sake of speculation; Babe Ruth was a great player, but I don’t think he will be taking any at-bat’s soon. (Also, please note that I do not lend consideration to relief pitchers in this analysis). Read the rest of this entry

Stat of the Week: Will Extra Base Hits Help Punch Tickets to BBHOF?

Monday June.18/2012

Alex Rodriguez leads the list of active players and is already 10th All-time for XBH. If Rodriguez can hit 308 XBH before he retires, he will pass Hank Aaron for 1st overall. –Photo courtesy of nytimes.com

Chuck Booth (Baseball Writer and @chuckbooth3024 on twitter)-  Extra base hits kind of go hand in hand with slugging percentage to an extent.  I have often used this category every season as a gauge on how good a player does.  Sometimes there are extenuating circumstances why a player hits more doubles and triples rather than home runs but they are all considered extra base hits.  Adrian Beltre is a perfect example of this.  During his Seattle Mariner days, he would blast about 15-20 baseballs off the fences at Safeco Field every year (for a double or triple) that would have been an HR if he did not play in such a pitcher friendly park.  This list represents great careers.  If a player can reach the magic 1000 extra base hits, they will be hard to ignore for consideration towards  Cooperstown.  I have omitted Manny Ramirez from an active player.  It is my firm belief that the man served a 50 game suspension for a team like Oakland, only to quit on them and maybe land on another club.  If he is able to catch on with another job with a club, I will gladly put his name back as #2 player on this active list.

TOP 10 as of June.17/2012

Player                                                    Extra Base Hits Leaders Active (Rank All-Time)

1. Alex Rodriguez NYY                              1169   (10)

2. Jim Thome PHI                                   1079   (20)

3. Chipper Jones ATL                              1026   (26)

4. Vladimir Guerrero (FA)                         972   (39)

5. Todd Helton COL                                   956   (45)

6. Albert Pujols  LAA                                 941   (50)

7. Bobby Abreu LAD                                  908   (60)

8. David Ortiz  BOS                                   886   (64)

9. Johnny Damon CLE                               859   (73)

10. Scott Rolen CIN                                   857   (75)

I fully think that Vladimir Guerrero will sign with someone soon.  At 972 extra base hits, he is 28 extra base hits away from that 1000 marker. If a team signs him in the next few weeks, he may have a chance to get there before the end of the season.  Below is a 5 minute highlight package of his career thus far.  There is not many Expos highlights, you can always search Youtube for more.

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Can Canada Support a Second Baseball Franchise in Vancouver?

Friday, June.01/2012

Newly renovated BC Place Stadium with $600 Million Dollars in upgrades, re-opened on Sept.30/2011 and features a 100 by 85 retractable roof. The lights also illuminate different colors both inside and outside of the building. The stadium could be converted to meet MLB specifications.

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer and @chuckbooth3024 on twitter)- At first look you might not think that Vancouver could support a Major League Baseball franchise, but there are a few things to consider.  With a surrounding area population of 2.5 Million, it is one of the biggest cities in the USA or Canada not to have a team. Of course when you are looking at the viability of a franchise submission/or relocation, you must look at the facility that the baseball would be played in.  With newly renovated B.C Place Stadium-(see http://www.bcplacestadium.com/,) and its $600 Million Dollar Renovations, it is one of the most impressive structures in North America now. 

The building itself is estimated to be worth over a billion dollars.  It’s clear, retractable roof, with an incredible look to detail inside the building with 22 inch stadium style seating has all of the modern amenities that a new age fan would want.  The facility features several new Skyboxes for corporate suites, and brand new concession stands that would be an extremely good revenue generator. The stadium’s surface is made up of Field Turf, and could be converted to meet baseball specifications.  This stadium is a turn-key situation unlike any other in North America when it comes to a baseball ready facility.

Major League Baseball has gained in popularity over the last 20 years in the Lower Mainland with turning out MLB’ers like Larry Walker, Jeff Francis , Ryan Dempster and Brett Lawrie all coming from this area.  Also in Canada, you have 3 TV networks that have an all-sports format in www.thescore.ca, www.tsn.ca and www.sportsnet.ca that would gladly love to fill content on their networks by bidding for television rights on a new baseball team in Canada.  There are enough talented sports personalities to fill in solid coverage. Read the rest of this entry

An Interview With Safeco Field Expert Doug Miller

Thursday April 19, 2012


Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer and @chuckbooth3024)- Doug Miller is another Pacific West guy that exemplifies what it is like to be a ball park chaser.  Living on the this side of the mountains forces you to exercise every single one of your travel tricks to make it to all of the MLB Parks you can.  Doug has made it to the majority of the current parks.  He is knowledgeable, a class act and it is a shame that the baseball world does not hire this man and use some of his skills.  Today Doug is our Safeco Field Expert and the subject of our featured article.

CB: “Welcome to the MLB Reports Experts Interview Doug. Please tell us about yourself and then give us a bit of background information on your life as Mariners ticket fan?”

DM:You bet, thanks for having me!  It’s funny, but I wasn’t a baseball fan when I was a kid.  I played some Little League for a while, but was awful at it.  Right Field all the way.  Ha-ha.  I had some friends that were on the baseball team in high school and I really started getting into the game in a different way.  This was back in 1988-1992 –- I didn’t know this interview was going to make me feel old!  I knew a few guys from school that got drafted, so I paid more attention because I thought I could be watching these guys in the Kingdome someday, whether with the Mariners or the couple of other teams they got drafted by.  My enthusiasm was ramping up, I’m in college and watching games at WSU, I’m hitting a handful of games in Seattle during break and then BOOM, the strike.  I was happy when it started back up, and by the time I got out of WSU, baseball was just a way of life for me.  Since then I’ve hit close to 50 ballparks, but Safeco Field is my home away from home.”

CB: “You have been to nearly all the baseball park. Besides Safeco Field, what has been your favorite other ballpark so far?”

DM; “Definitely Fenway, with Wrigley as a close second.  One of the things about the game that I really love is the history.  It’s hard to argue with the history of the franchises and these parks.  I had my first games at Petco last year and was really surprised at how much I liked it.  I thought it was going to feel kind of forced, you know, with the whole retro vibe so many parks have gone for, but I really liked it.  There are a ton of parks I like for different reasons, like Citizens Bank in Philly.  Without a doubt the best smelling park in baseball!  I could talk ballparks all day long, I know you’re the same way!” Read the rest of this entry

Steve Palazzolo Interview: The Pitching Tower of Pisa

Sunday January 15, 2012

MLB reports – Jonathan Hacohen:  When I first spoke with Steve Palazzolo, I was blown away by his stature. How could you not be…the man stands 6’10” and throws baseballs for a living! The first images that went through my mind were Jon Rauch and Randy Johnson. Comparisons that I am sure Steve has heard his whole life. But once you get past the sheer size of the man, you find a person with an even bigger heart. A gentle giant, Steve is very well spoken and intelligent to converse with. With the shortage of quality arms in today’s major league bullpens, one would expect that available arms would be snapped up in a second. But that is not always the case, especially for Steve Palazzolo. He pitched five seasons in the minor leagues, between the Brewers, Giants and Mariners organizations. He made it all the way up to AAA before returning to Indy ball the past season and a half. Steve will be 30 by opening day and continues to battle his  way to achieve his dream: making the big leagues. As we discussed in yesterday’s interview with Luis Lopez, Jerome Williams made his way from Indy ball to the Angels rotation last year. Dreams do come true. Steve Palazzolo has shown that he has the talent. Taking a look at his numbers from last year, Palazzolo pitched 53 games for the Blue Crabs- finishing with a 9-5 record, 3.06 ERA and 1.200 WHIP.  He only surrendered 4 home runs while striking out 57 batters. Watching him on video and considering his talents and strong character, I would be snapping this guy up pretty quickly if I was a baseball General Manager. To succeed in baseball, you need to have talent and a chance. Steve Palazzolo has the talent.  Now he is just waiting for his opportunity.

Today on MLB reports, we are proud to present pitcher Steve Palazzolo- or as we refer to him:  The Pitching Tower of Pisa

MLB reports:  First question:  Steve.  Palazzolo is an interesting last name.  Meaning and origins?

Steve Palazzolo:  It comes from the Italian word Palazzo, which means palace.   There is also a village in Sicily named Palazzolo. I’d definitely love to visit some day.


MLB reports:  Everyone reading your profile would see: 6’10”, 29-years-old and a right-handed reliever.  On paper you should be in a major league bullpen.  What is your current active status?

Steve Palazzolo:  Current active status is “trying to join a major league bullpen.”  Really, though, I’ve spent the last year and a half in the Atlantic League with the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs, just continuing to learn and get better. It’s definitely a never-ending process in baseball, and I’ve spent the last couple years adding different pitches and arm angles, while also learning different ways to attack hitters.

I’m also looking at a possible opportunity to play in Japan, so we’ll see how it all plays out.


MLB reports:  We last saw you playing for AAA Tacoma in 2010.  Since then you have been playing Indy ball.  What led you back to playing Indy?  What are the differences between Indy and playing in the minor leagues?

Steve Palazzolo:  I was sent back to Indy ball in what I viewed as a three-way trade. Back in July 2010, it went something like this:

Rangers Get: Cliff Lee, Mark Lowe

Mariners Get: Blake Beaven, Justin Smoak, Josh Lueke, Matt Lawson

Blue Crabs Get: Steve Palazzolo

OK, so the Cliff Lee deal brought in a few minor league pitchers and I got the axe.

I’d say the main difference in Indy ball is the organizational structure. There is no class level, so you’re not really worried about moving up or being sent down. Just go out and do your job and do it for the team. I’d say my Indy teams have been the most closely knit teams I’ve ever been on. It’s usually the same core of guys for the entire year, and everyone wants to get back to affiliated ball, but there is a definite emphasis on winning as a team. Not to say that affiliated teams can’t be close, but there is a lot more player movement that tends to disrupt team chemistry throughout the year.

 

MLB reports:  You have played in the Brewers, Giants and Mariners systems.  Tell us about the best teams that you pitched for in your professional career.

Steve Palazzolo:  As far as talent goes, the 2009 Fresno Grizzlies are near the top. Our overall record doesn’t show it, but with about three weeks to go in the season, we had the second best record in the Pacific Coast League but we were 14 games out of first place behind Sacramento.

Bullpen wise, the 2008 Connecticut Defenders was probably the most talented I’ve been a part of. We had a number of pitchers who went on to have some big league success, most notably Sergio Romo who was closing for us.

If we’re talking clubhouse unity, I mentioned the Indy teams, but the 2010 Tacoma bullpen will always hold a special place for me. Even though I was only there a short period of time, we had an outstanding group of guys who genuinely cared for each other and did a great job of staying entertained for the first five innings of every game (always an important in the bullpen).

 

MLB reports:  What are your goals going into the 2012 season?  

Steve Palazzolo:  First to marry the love of my life, and best friend, Kelley Donoghue (she is looking over my shoulder as I type).  Simple answer is to pitch to the best of my ability, regardless of where I’m playing.


MLB reports:  You were signed as a free agent by the Brewers as your first organization in 2006.  Tell us about the process in joining Milwaukee.

Steve Palazzolo:  Pretty fun story actually. I had just finished my second professional season with the Worcester Tornadoes and was sitting at my computer on a Thursday in late January when I received an email from my good friend, Will Carroll. He forwarded me an email from a Brewers scout that referenced an invitation-only tryout at their spring training complex that Saturday. Will mentioned how it was unfortunate that I was not in Arizona. I emailed him back with the title, “Last Minute Trip to Arizona?” Will sent the request back to the Brewers scout who agreed that if I could get to Arizona, I would be welcome to try out. I immediately booked a flight for Friday and made the workout on Saturday. At the workout, they suggested I mix in a couple different arm angles (which I’d experimented with before) and as it turns out, I was one of only two guys signed that day.

 

MLB reports:  Given your size, most people would think that you would be a power pitcher.  How would you describe yourself as a pitcher and tell us about what you throw.

Steve Palazzolo:  I wouldn’t say power pitcher, but I do think my height gives me a big advantage and helps all of my stuff to play a little better. I throw a 4 seam fastball, slider, splitter and I just added a new changeup. My change is interesting as I started to experiment with it toward the end of last year, and I may have found a really good grip that I will stick with for good, possibly even replacing the splitter. As I mentioned, I’ve also experimented with a number of different arm angles, so I’m always mixing it up.


MLB reports:  Every baseball player works towards making the big leagues.  What do you need to do in order to achieve that dream?

Steve Palazzolo:  At this point in my career, or anyone’s career for that matter, the phrase you hear is “right place, right time.” Pitchers mature and figure things out at various times in their careers so that’s why I’m constantly looking to improve. I think I just need another shot to play in Double or Triple A, then it’s all about pitching well. Pitch well, and if it matches up with a situation where the big league team needs a pitcher, then it can happen. I know this: I’m confident in my abilities to pitch successfully in the big leagues, it’s simply a matter of continuing to improve while also getting an opportunity.

 

MLB reports:  If you weren’t playing baseball today- what would you be doing?

Steve Palazzolo:  I’d probably be a pitching coach, and that’s what I do all offseason. On my long road through the minors, I used myself as my own science (pitching) experiment. It’s been a constant process of trial and error, and I’ve learned so much along the way. So my plan is to coach, while also developing my own business as a pitching coach. I have a couple of blog posts up at www.stevepalazzolopitching.wordpress.com, but I have to get better putting up more consistent material.

I’m also an analyst and writer for www.profootballfocus.com. Just started this year, and it’s been a lot of fun breaking down the NFL.


MLB reports:  Looking back at your career to-date, would you have done anything different?

Steve Palazzolo:  I do remember a hanging slider I threw in 2008 that went for a home run. I should have thrown a fastball.

Really though, I made the decision early in my career to put everything I had into it, and I’ve been very blessed along the way. No major regrets.


MLB reports:  When you think of your expectations going into professional baseball, what are some of the biggest surprises you have encountered?

Steve Palazzolo:  This is a tough question. Making me think here. As a kid, expectations are always glamorous. Everyone wants to be like their TV heroes, but when I entered pro ball, I already knew that it was a difficult grind. Not sure I can think of any major surprises, but I will mention the one thing I appreciate and that’s the uniqueness of everyone in the game. Players coming from all walks of life, all over the world, unified by the game of baseball. It’s really amazing to think of the people I’ve met along the way.


MLB reports:  Choice of cleats and glove- what brands do you use?

Steve Palazzolo:  Nike cleats and Spalding glove. If and when I hit, always Franklin batting gloves.


MLB reports:  Given your height, how do you find clothes shopping?

Steve Palazzolo:  It’s difficult. There are a few stores that carry big sizes, but I have to do a lot of my shopping online. The Big and Tall store is better for wide rather than tall, so a lot of the stuff is just way too big.


MLB reports:  Which past or present MLB players would you most compare yourself to?  Are either Randy Johnson or Jon Rauch a close comparison?

Steve Palazzolo:  Kenny Powers. Actually, he stole my look. I’ve been rocking the mustache and long hair since ’06.

I really try to take something from everyone, whether it’s Randy Johnson or Tim Lincecum. As far as comparisons, Johnson isn’t great because he was such a hard thrower. Rauch is an OK comparison, but he has a higher arm slot than me.

The one pitcher I’ve seen who compares favorably is Kameron Loe from the Brewers. We’re not identical, but our natural arm slot is similar. He’s 6’8” tall and also likes to mix up arm angles so I can relate to his style a bit.


MLB reports:  We discussed the potential of you heading to Japan.  What are your thoughts on heading to the far east?

Steve Palazzolo:  It would be a great opportunity. The competition is great and I’ve seen a lot of pitchers who have gone there and then come back to the states as better pitchers. It’s a different style in Japan, and I think the hitters force each pitcher to use his entire repertoire. Even though the culture change would be difficult, I’m hoping I get the chance to play there.


MLB reports:  Last question:  to a young pitcher in school just starting out, what advice would you give them?

Steve Palazzolo:  Work hard, work smart. I don’t think the grammar is correct on that statement, but I think it gets the point across. Anyway, pitching is a lot more than throwing a ball to a target (or is it?). Preparation is extremely important, and when I work with young pitchers, I like to break it down into four main areas: mechanics, strength and conditioning, nutrition, and mental approach. Oh and it’s important to have fun while doing it. The best players love the preparation.

***Thank you to Steve Palazzolo for taking the time out of his offseason training to speak with us today on MLB reports!  You can follow Luis on Twitter (@Palo50). Steve loves interacting with his fans, so please feel free to send him any questions/comments you have.  Or just wish him good luck on the season, as he would appreciate your support!***

 

Jonathan Hacohen is the Lead Baseball Columnist & Editor for MLB reports:  You can follow Jonathan on Twitter (@JHacohen)

 

Please e-mail us 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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