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Sully Baseball Daily Podcast Archives Dec 1, 2016 – Dec 31, 2016 (Episodes 1500 – 1530)

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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 1499 days consecutively heading into Dec  of 2016!

Past the CLICK TO READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY are episodes 1500 – 1530 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.

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To subscribe on iTunes, click HERE.

To subscribe on SoundCloud, click HERE.

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Daily Fantasy MLB DFS Picks For Fanduel, DraftKings, and Fanpicks – 6/29/16

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DraftKings Daily Fantasy Baseball Lineup Picks (6/29/16): MLB DFS Advice

Fanduel Daily Fantasy Baseball Lineup Picks (6/29/16): MLB DFS Advice

Fanpicks Daily Fantasy Baseball Lineup Picks (6/29/16): MLB DFS Advice


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Daily Matchups for 6/29/2016

Pitcher

David Price

Dallas Keuchel

Archie Bradley

Max Scherzer

Danny Salazar

Jameson Taillon


Catcher

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Daily Fantasy MLB DFS Picks For DraftKings 6/29/16

P – Max Scherzer (vs. New York Mets): $13,500. Well, you can’t go wrong with this pick. First of all, the Mets offense has been TERRIBLE over the past seven days. They rank 28th in runs, last in slugging, 29th in OBP, and 15th in strikeouts. Second of all, Scherzer has dominated the Mets since joining the Nationals in 2015. In five starts against the Mets, he has a 2.00 ERA. His last start against the Mets, on May 17th, he threw 6.1 innings, giving up two runs, and he struck out 10.

P – Junior Guerra (vs. Los Angeles Dodgers): $7,400. Guerra has been pretty consistent this year. In 10 starts, he owns a 4-1 record, with a 3.67 ERA, 51 hits against, 53 strikeouts, and 19 walks in 61.1 innings pitched. He is facing a Dodgers’ offense that has struggled mightily over the past seven days. During those seven days, the Dodgers are ranked 26th in runs (26), last in OBP (.298), and 24th in slugging (.402).

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Daily Fantasy MLB DFS Picks For DraftKings 6/21/16

P- Jose Fernandez (vs. Atlanta Braves): $13,700. Fernandez has been lethal on the mound recently. In his last 10 games, he owns a 2.25 ERA, with 91 strikeouts in 64 innings pitched. Jose will be facing one of the worst offenses in baseball, so this should be a great matchup for daily fantasy.

P- Sonny Gray (vs. Milwaukee Brewers): $6,600. Gray pitched incredibly well in his last start until the sixth inning, which he surrendered five funs. In his two starts prior to his last starts (since returning from the DL), he gave up only three runs on 12.2 innings pitched. Over the last seven days, the Brewers’ offense ranks in the bottom third in runs, batting average, OBP, and slugging, so hopefully Gray can take advantage of this struggling offense in his home park.

 

To view the rest of the picks, click the link below:

 

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Twitter And The MLB: Better The Team, More Followers? It’s Much More Than That.

a bucs raise it

BY (Featured BBBA Website – bucsraiseit.com) 

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With Spring Training finally getting underway, it’s refreshing to have actual baseball news to talk and write about it after a long winter, which continues to drag on.  

But even with workouts beginning in Florida and Arizona, this is still a pretty quiet period for another week or so- when games actually begin.  

With the down time, and while bracing for the madness of the regular season to being, it’s sort of refreshing to have some time available to look into subject matter, that otherwise, I may not give a second thought about when the thick of the season is underway.  

Several days ago, I noticed on twitter that the NHL’s Montreal Canadiens were celebrating hitting the 1 million follower mark for their official twitter page.  

I thought to myself, “ok, that’s pretty impressive”.  So, I decided to see where the baseball teams in the Majors ranked in terms of their following on the social media network.  At first, I really didn’t have a purpose, but then I thought that it would be interesting to take a look from top to bottom and see if anything sticks out.  

Then, the project evolved a bit to look into whether there were any correlations between market size (which I heavily assumed), or perhaps the weight that winning has on increasing followers.  

Seemed logical to me that teams that were successful, most likely had a following that was greater than perennial “losers”   And finally I figured I would take a look at the data from a geographical perspective.  

First, let’s take a look at the data (twitter followers tab is in thousands- for instance 1,570= 1.57 million), and pick out a few things that stick out:  

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Sully Baseball Daily Podcast – March 12, 2015

Twitter

Twitter

Did you know Alex Rodriguez was having a good spring training?

Did you even know that A-Rod was AT spring training?

You wouldn’t know that if you were following the Yankees on Twitter.

That and the San Diego Padres rebuilding process continues to be passionate but reckless.

It is a Retweeted episode of The Sully Baseball Daily Podcast.

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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.

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The Best Teams In The MLB From 1980 – 2017: The Biggest Question Is, Who Owns 2015 – 2017 Mark? Early Favorite Lends 2 Cubs With 3 Straight LCS Appearances, 1 World Series

 

With 3 straight LCS appearances and 1 World Series – the Cubs can lay claim to the best team from 2015 – 2017. If Houston were to win the 2018 World Series, they could be turned back to the 2015 – 2016 stretch, however Chicago can advance the years if they are able to go farther than the Stros this campaign

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. 

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 Los Angeles Dodgers Roster Tree: How All Of The Hitters Were Acquired

Andre Ethier finished 6th in NL MVP Voting during the 2009 season. It has been his best year to date. He hit 31 HRs, added 106 RBI, 76 XBH Overall and scored 92 Runs.  He won a Silver Slugger Award for his efforts.  Ethier was acquired through a chain of transactions that goes all the way back to when the team drafted Mike Piazza (who was traded for Gary Sheffield), who was traded for

Andre Ethier finished 6th in NL MVP Voting during the 2009 season. It has been his best year to date. He hit 31 HRs, added 106 RBI, 76 XBH Overall and scored 92 Runs. He won a Silver Slugger Award for his efforts. Ethier was acquired through a chain of transactions that goes all the way back to when the team drafted Mike Piazza (who was traded for Gary Sheffield), who was traded for Andrew Brown from Atlanta, (who was later flipped for Milton Bradley from Cleveland, before lA turned around and traded Bradley to the A’s for Andre Ethier.)

How All Of The Dodgers Hitters Were Acquired:

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

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At the MLB Reports, we intend to show you the Roster Tree for the Los Angeles Dodgers – and how they assembled their current roster for hitting and Pitching.  It will work in a six degrees of separation like format.

Once we figure out the origin of how many trades going back in time it takes to see where the tree started, it will be time to dissect how the team fared on the deals.

If a player has never left the organization at all, the tree will be easy – as it will just be the year they were drafted or signed.

For all of the Rosters, Depth Charts, State of the Unions and Salaries that we do, please visit our dedicated page link here.

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Buster Posey Can’t Do It Alone

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 Wednesday, July.24/2013

Between his incredible performance in 2010 that led the Giants to the World Series title, and led him to the 2010 Rookie of the Year award, and his MVP-worthy performance in 2012 that gave the Giants their 2nd championship in 3 years, it seems that whenever the Giants have Posey on the field, they have a fighting chance.  The only time before this season the team struggled was in 2011- after Posey was smashed in a home plate collision.  But he needs helps this campaign.

Between his incredible performance in 2010 that led the Giants to the World Series title, and led him to the 2010 Rookie of the Year award, and his MVP-worthy performance in 2012 that gave the Giants their 2nd championship in 3 years, it seems that whenever the Giants have Posey on the field, they have a fighting chance. The only time before this season the team struggled was in 2011- after Posey was smashed in a home plate collision. But he need helps this campaign.

By Jon Schifferle ( Giants Correspondent – visit his own personal website here.)  

It would not take someone very long to find a time that Buster Posey has made a tremendous contribution to the San Francisco Giants.  It seems that ever since his callup in 2010, Posey has been able to provide exactly what the Giants have needed.  

His entrance into the MLB has coincided with 2 World Series in the 2 full seasons he has played, however this year is not looking as promising.  The pitching has been suspect – and the offense has been anemic and hurt.

The team enters play today 6 Games behind the Los Angeles Dodgers, while the lead is in single digits, they must start the charge now, considering Los Angeles has won 22 of their last 27 games. 

The Giants conclude a series at home versus the Reds tonight, before the Cubs come to town.  After that, the Defending Champions hit Philadelphia and Tampa on the road in a 6 game span. 

They still have 6 games versus Arizona, and 7 versus the LA Dodgers the rest of the year, it is imperative this club wins the majority of these head to head matchups.

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Two Giants Who Need A Promotion: Giants Injury Roundup

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 Wednesday, June.12/2013

The Giants currently sit in 3rd place in the NL West - 2 Games behind the Arizona Diamondbacks.  With the amount of extra baseball games they have played the last three years in the Post Season, it would be okay to inject some fresh youth into the lineup.

The Giants currently sit in 3rd place in the NL West – 2 Games behind the Arizona Diamondbacks. With the amount of extra baseball games they have played the last three years in the Post Season, it would be okay to inject some fresh youth into the lineup.  Players like Pablo Sandoval, Angel Pagan and Ryan Vogelsong are currently on the Disabled list for awhile.  Santiago Casilla is also on the DL with a cyst on his right knee.

By Jon Schifferle ( Giants Correspondent – visit his own personal website here.)  

Some organizations move prospects very quickly.  They aren’t afraid to push their players, and love to show them a new challenge.  That is definitely not the way the Giants operate.

While I generally agree with this philosophy, I do feel that moving prospects mid season can benefit the organization.  Some players need to be challenged.  

Not only this, but the sooner they are moved up, the sooner they can contribute at the MLB level.  At this point in the season, there are two guys who definitely are showing that they are ready for the next step.  

Right now, there are two players that are definitely showing they have the tools to play at the next level.  

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LA Dodgers Payroll In 2013: And Contracts Going Forward

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Thursday Mar.28/2013

Adrian Gonzalez flew into LA last year  and paid immediate dividends as he clubbed a 3 run HR in the 1st Inning with his new team. Gonzalez is in the 3rd year of a 7 YR/154 Million Dollar Contract. At age 30, he is a career .294 hitter with 214 HRs and 750 RBI in 1176 Games.  Perhaps a full season back in California will re – ignite his MVP like numbers with the Padres during the 2009 and 2010 seasons – where he hit 71 HRs, drove in 200 RBI and hit for an OPS well over .900.  He also is a 3 Time Gold Glove Award Winner in the National League.

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst And Website Owner):

I must say I am completely shocked at the Dodgers spending as much money as they are since the ownership change.  I listened to Magic say how he ‘was not going to do anything stupid’, I will give him this much.  However, the amount of payroll the team has taken on is enormous.  The Dodgers are going to be over 200 Million Dollars in Payroll for years to come. 

After I put their top ten salaries on the board, I will break down the rest of the roster to analyze some more projections for salary.  The Dodgers have about 218 Million Dollars in signed contracts. 

If you can believe this next part, they even are paying Manny Ramirez 8.33 Million Dollars still in 2013, Andruw Jones 3.375 Million and Huroki Kuroda 2.0 Million.  That is roughly 13 Million Dollars on guys that are no longer in your organization.

Back to the trades that have brought in several players.  I do agree for the mentality of it.  The Dodgers fans were given a raw deal by the past management and the new guys are showing the rest of the MLB that they intend to be the big dog. 

With Cole Hamels re-signing with the Phillies, their coveted starter was no longer available in Free Agency.  Gonzalez was there to be had if they would take on the Carl Crawford/Josh Beckett contracts. 

The team went out and signed Zack  Greinke (15 – 5 with a 3.48 ERA split between the Brewers and Angels)  instead.

Here is a nice highlight clip of Carl Crawford below.  As a side note:  The only inside the park Home Run I have ever witnessed at a game live was hit by Carl Crawford at Us Cellular Field in 2008.  He was one of the best lead-off hitters back then.

Carl Crawford Highlights – Mature Lyrics So Parental Guidance is Advised:

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The Philadelphia Phillies Franchise Part 4 of 4: Team Payroll 2013 And Contracts Forward (Mar.1)

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Friday, Mar.01/2013

Since Roy Halladay missed almost 2 months of baseball in 2012, his 2014 (20 Million Dollar contract will only become exercised if he pitches 225 Innings in 2013) – Otherwise he becomes a Free Agent.

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst Website Owner):  

The Phillies are top-heavy for their payroll in 2013.  I talked a lot about this in Part 1 of this series (The Franchise).  What they really need is for Domonic Brown, John Mayberry and  Ben Revere to improve in their role with the club and get as much production as they can out of their superstars.  2013 looks a lot  better than the years after.  Roy Halladay must return to form in 2013.  

I am predicting  the team will win at least 90 games in this year with the Starting Pitching having a bounce back season.  The fans should all come in droves to the park while this club is competitive.  The Phillies will age really fast after 2013, so there will undoubtedly be some rougher times ahead, as Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley and Ryan Howard all fade into the back half of their careers.

The New York Yankees are facing a similar dilemma.  You might even see a Yanks/Phillies World Series rematch in 2013.  I am sure the Dodgers, Angels, Tigers and Nationals will try to have their say about that as well.  

The smaller market teams might fight for another ring as well.  You are starting to see some distances set forth from the high-priced salaried teams to the lower payroll clubs with both Los Angeles teams and Detroit nearing or going over the Luxury Tax Threshold of 178 Million Dollars in Player Salaries.  

Again, I am thinking that MLB Baseball might have to realign soon-to make the divisions stack up for payroll and geography reasons.  I wrote an article about this some time ago here.  The Phillies have led the MLB in attendance for the last 3 years, so they will be able to keep the payroll at a high mark as long as the baseball revenue is able to match it.  It is the long-term contracts that won’t garner them much value at the end of these deals, that will ultimately set the Franchise back awhile.

Ryan Howard highlights are below.  He must return to his 40 HR self next year otherwise the Phillies will have a tough time competing.

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 3 of the Phillies Article Series: The Pitcher click here

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

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Ricky Romero Is Almost Half-Way to Anthony Young’s MLB Record of 27 Straight Losses

Friday, September.14/2012

Ricky Romero started the year out 8-1 and was poised to have his best win season of his career. He has lost 13 straight decisions since.

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer):

Ricky Romero has had a brutal season.  Lets not lose the sight that he has lost 13 games in row here.  He also was 8-1 to start the year.  You must look at the numbers though.  He was sporting an ERA of nearly 5 when that took place, so he was simply being bailed out by the first half offense.  The Jays were killing the ball before the ALL-Star Break.  It only has been since the offense dried up with injuries that Romero started tail spinning.  Seeing a great young pitcher struggle with confidence is not foreign to the Jays.  Roy Halladay nearly through a no-hitter in his first start during his rookie year.  The phenom battled serious control issues and was sent back down all the way to A ball in order to fix his mechanics.  This ultimately saved Halladay’s career.  I am not saying that will have to happen with Romero.  He needs to grind through his last few starts.  Hopefully he can end the year off on a good note by erasing this losing streak.

 ‘On the Black.’ talks about the streak with  They own this video and not the MLB Reports.

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Houston Should Give Roger Clemens a Spring Training Non-Roster Invite

Monday, September 10 , 2012

Sam Evans: The Houston Astros are most likely not going to win seventy games next year.  With a young starting rotation, it would make sense for the Astros to pursue a veteran starter for the 2013 season. Not because it would put Houston over the top and have them competing for a playoff spot, but because a veteran could have a positive influence on the younger starters and limit their innings. Roger Clemens has expressed in interest in returning to Houston and he has impressed in two starts for Sugar Land of the independent Atlantic League. Houston should give Roger Clemens a spring training non-roster invite to see if he can pitch in the majors in 2013.

In just his second start with Sugar Land, Clemens got the opportunity to pitch to his son Koby Clemens.   After the game, Clemens said “What a special game this is when you have opportunity at 50 to go out there and play a little catch with your oldest son.” That’s an awesome quote. Anyways, Clemens fastball was sitting at 86-88 MPH and he threw his curveball, changeup, and splitter as well. The Rocket pitched 4 2/3 scoreless innings. In eight innings for Sugar Land, Clemens has yet to allow a run.

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It Is The 5 Year Anniversary Of His Re-Debut As A Hitter: What Is Next For Rick Ankiel?

Thursday August.09, 2012

At Age 20 (and starting out the year at age 19), Ankiel finished 2nd in ROY voting, 7th in strikeouts and ERA, 2nd in K’s/Per 9 IP and Hits/Per 9 IP in 2000. He threw 94-97 MPH as a Young Pitcher, however a mental block and injuries plagued him to the point where he changed into a permanent Outfielder in 2005.

­Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer and @chuckbooth3024 on twitter)- Playing the game of baseball is predicated on failure.  Most of us that have played the game, realize how hard it is to hit a flying object with a piece of wood or metal.  The majority of players, that are in the Major Leagues, have honed their skills from the time they were just starting grade school.  Generally it takes a hell of a lot of repetition to become good at something.  As an aspiring baseball player in my teens, I can remember swinging the baseball over 200 times a day in trying to perfect my swing.  I had practice drills that would emphasize on weight transference, foot work and eye-hand coordination.  So I imagine a lot of today’s current players did the same when they were a kid.  Today marks the 5 year anniversary from one of the greatest stories ever produced on the field by a Major League Player.

The Cardinals Drafted Rick Ankiel in the 2nd round of the 1997 Amateur Draft.  Ankiel had great pitching mechanics and made his dream come true on Aug.23 1999 (at the Age of 19),  by making his pitching debut with the St. Louis Cardinals against the Montreal Expos  He sported a 0-1 record in 5 starts to end the year with an impressive 39 Strikeouts in 33 innings, while posting a respectable 3.27 ERA.  Ankiel was a budding prospect with a chance to become a perennial ALL-Star.  In his Rookie year during the 2000 season, he finished with a record of 11-7 with a 3.50 ERA-and was 7th in the league with 194 Strikeouts. 

This season was good enough to finish 2nd in Rookie of the Year Balloting.    The Cardinals needed him to pitch in Game #1 of the NLDS because he and Daryl Kile were the only ones left on the roster as 3 starters from the regular season had become injured.  To further put pressure on this young kid, his mentor for the game of baseball, his father, had been incarcerated in jail at the time as he was making it to the Major Leagues and it ate at him not having him there live to see him play.  Still, Tony La Russa had complete faith in the kid to start in pivotal games at such a young age because of his electric arm. 

It proved to be a costly mistake as Ankiel started to mentally fracture by the 3rd inning of that very game and ended up walking 4 batters and throwing a record 5 wild pitches in one inning-while giving up 4 runs.  Ankiel never recovered from leaving the mound on that day.  Against everyone’s better judgement, La Russa sent out Ankiel again to start in  Game #2 of the NLCS versus the Braves.  His first pitch of the game sailed over Timo Perez of the New York Mets.  5 wild pitches later and La Russa mercifully pulled him from the game.  If you can believe it, La Russa brought out Ankiel to face four more hitters in Game #5 of the Series.  This time he walked 2 more hitters and threw 2 more wild pitches.  The Mets wiped out the depleted Cardinals pitching staff in that 5th game.  If you ask La Russa, these decisions all haunt him more than any other thing that he has ever done as a manager.

Here is a great highlight reel showing off Ankiel’s best moments as a National in 2011.

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Top Ten Stat Of The Week: Active Career Stolen Base Leaders

Wednesday August.8/2012

Juan Pierre was one of the most prolific hitters in terms of base hits in the last 12 years along with being the Active Leader for Career Stolen Bases. Pierre has 4-200 hit seasons in his resume.

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer and @chuckbooth3024 on Twitter)- The game has been moving back towards speed, offense and athleticism since the adaptation of the steroid testing in the MLB.  I think we will see a big emphasis on the Stolen Base in the coming years.  We have Billy Hamilton coming in the near future and he could actually challenge a 100 Stolen Base in one season.  30 years ago there were several guys challenge or eventually succeed in stealing 100 bases.  Rickey Henderson and Vince Coleman both hit the century mark 3 times, while Ron LeFlore and Tim Raines cracked the 90 SB plateau.  Teams used to have several speedsters in their lineup.  Jose Reyes has the most stolen bases in one year for the active players with 78 swipes in 2007.

I omitted Luis Castillo from the list because he has not played since 2010, (much to the delight of the New York Mets fans I am sure.)  I am sure that Boston Red Sox fans are hopeful that he can regain his stolen base prowess very soon with him being only in the second year of a 7 YR/140 Million Dollar Contract.  Johnny Damon also has foraged a great career to be on this list from sheer determination.   Out of this top ten , Jose Reyes has the most steals per games played, while Omar Vizquel (who has played 2947 games) has the least amount of steals per game played.  I was most surprised by Derek Jeter cracking this list because he has never stolen more than 34 bags in one year.  I wonder how many bags Ichiro would have stolen had he arrived in North America earlier?  Johnny Damon and Omar Vizquel making this top ten is a test to their long-playing careers.  I figured Jimmy Rollins had more steals than what his totals came in as.  Bobby Abreu  has the most HRs on this list with 286  and Juan Pierre has the least. with 17.

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The Washington Nationals Franchise 2005-2012: (Part 4 of The Expos/Nats Series)

Friday, July.20/2012

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.

Stephen Strasburg is the new face of the Washington Nationals. Will Bryce Harper and he be able to bring a World Series to Washington?

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer and @chuckbooth3024 on twitter) At the beginning of 2005, MLB returned to Washington for the first time since 1971.  So how was this time going to be any different from the first two times in DC?  The Minnesota Twins first moved from the old Washington in 1961 and the Texas Rangers moved in 1971 from Washington a decade later.  The Washington Nationals (or Senators in the early 20’s where the won a World Series in 1924.  The first and only WS the city of Washington has seen) had hall of fame players such as: Goose Goslin, Sam Rice and Joe Cronin to accompany the great Walter Johnston.  By the time the team moved to Minnesota before the start of the 1961 season, the club had young phenoms Harmon Killebrew and Bob Allison seen as their nucleus of a young Washington team before moving.

Washington’s second go around (in the American League this time) lasted from 1961-1971.  The Washington fans were granted an AL Expansion team by MLB-to hold ontotheir anti-trust exemption status.  The Los Angeles Angels were their expansion cousins.  These AL Washington teams were awful and only were saved by Frank Howard and his 6 foot 7 frame smashing home runs for the years of 1965-1971 as their first baseman/outfielder.  The team only managed one winning season in a decade and that was under the managerial guide of Ted Williams.  Bob Short had acquired the team with 9.4 Million Dollars that was all borrowed after the previous owner had died in 1967.  Short promptly named himself the General Manager.  Finances caught up to him and he eventually traded away some of the best talent before selling the club to the city of Arlington after the 1971 season.  Washington would be without baseball for 33 years until the Expos moved back into RFK Stadium and changed their name to the Nationals in 2005.

For Part 1 of the Article Series, The Expos  Hitters: click here

For Part 2 of the Article Series, The Expos Pitchers: click here

For Part 3 of the Article Series, The Demise of the Montreal Expos: click here

For Part 5 of the Article Series, 2005-2012 Nats Best 25 Man Roster click here

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An Interview With Camden Yards Expert Roger Ratzenberger

Friday, July. 13/2012


Chuck Booth (Lead  Baseball Writer and @chuckbooth 3024 on twitter)-  I had the privilege to meet Roger Ratzenberger in person while I was on my Guinness World Record quest in April, (yes folks he is related to John Ratzenberger, the guy who played Cliff Clavin on Cheers for the show’s duration, they are cousins.)  Roger could not have been a cooler guy to hang out with.  I first met Roger on http://www.ballparkchasers.com over 4 years ago.  Quickly I saw that he had been to all 30 MLB parks and a lot of defunct baseball parks.  His family have been rabid baseball park aficionado’s for almost a century.  Roger is a lifelong Mets fan but also has spent many of years traveling to other parks around North America and the World.  One of Roger’s favorite parks is Camden Yards.

As luck would turn out, with some re-scheduling on my part, my 30 Ball parks in 23 days Guinness Record ended up with me seeing a game in Baltimore for the last game.  I had seen a game with Roger at Yankee Stadium a few weeks prior.  At that time, he had stated that he would like to meet me in Baltimore for the final game.  So in Maryland, Roger and I also met up with 2 other ballpark chasers in Ken Lee and Lori Martini.  This was a set of 4 ballpark chaser extremists.  All of us have been to the 30 MLB Parks.  It was Roger though,  who was our tour guide in Baltimore.  We managed to get the game in with constant rain fall.  The 4 of us also got together for 2 more games at Yankee Stadium and Citi Field afterwards to celebrate the record.  Here is the interview I did with Roger about Camden Yards. Read the rest of this entry

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

The Jose Altuve Phenomenon

Friday June.15/2012

Jose Altuve is listed as 5 foot five although he may be even shorter than that. His lethal swings have created a new metric measurement based on his height called an ‘Altuve.’ Everyone is picking up the new measurement including social media platforms dedicated to the cause: @howmanyaltuves on twitter and the official website http://www.howmanyaltuves.com –Photo courtesy of the Washington Post.

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer and @chuckbooth3024 on twitter)- Baseball lends itself to traditions and nicknames like no other sport in the world.  During last year, there were two phenomenons in the form of social media and radio.   I was lucky enough to be part of them both.  The MLB ‘Fancave’ sidekick Ryan Wagner was dubbed ‘thickish’ by Mitch Williams of the MLB Network.  The social media took off on his nickname and blogs, websites and a lot of the Fancave skits had Mike O’ Hara calling Wagner ‘thickish.’  I love things like this. I took it upon myself to be the West Coast distributor of the movement.  I was even fortunate enough to have Ryan Wagner write a blog about my buddy Justin and I.  It was cool  to be part of the fun of this social media driven nickname.

Then the summer of 2011 hit.  I was listening to MLB Roundtrip like I do every night while at work.  Mike Ferrin and Morgan Ensberg were talking about Jose Altuve of the Houston Astros.  There were saying the man was swinging out of his cleats like he was Paul Bunyan.  They also mentioned that Altuve was the leader of the Texas League (before his call up) for average.  The next thing I knew Ensberg suggested that they should come up with a new unit of measurement called an “Altuve.”  The idea would be that you can divide the total amount of feet hit for a home run divided Jose Altuve’s height.  I couldn’t stop laughing at the concept.  To me,  Ensberg was entirely right, Altuve does sound like a unit measurement!   For the next few weeks, the guys kept on speaking of long homers hit and how many Altuve’s they would go. Read the rest of this entry

Chuck Booth’s GWR Streak (Parks 25-29)

The Streak ended at 30 MLB Parks in 23 calendar days!!

I broke my old record of 24 days by being-Fastest to see all 30 MLB parks in 23 days  from April 6th to 28th!

Sked is here: fastestthirtyballgames3021.wordpress.com/2012/04/18/30in20/

Follow me-@chuckbooth3024 on twitter

https://mlbreports.com/gwr-tracker/ or at my official website for all updates!

Friday May.4/2012

Chuck Booth and Lori Martini being interviewed by ‘Did The Tribe Win Last Night’ Blog at the Social Suite at Progressive Field.

MLB Park # 25 Day # 20

COL 2 @ PIT 1

April.25/2012

PNC PARK

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer and @chuckbooth3024 on twitter)- My stay in Tampa Bay was a nice one the night before(despite having to commandeering a neighboring hotel just to do some laundry at midnight.)  I was too fired up to sleep and there was no chance at all I would risk sleeping in on this day.  I had known for a while that this was going to be an epic day.  Since the fallout of the missed doubleheader for Cleveland and Baltimore was first established on that San Diego flight, I looked forward to this day thoroughly.

Read the rest of this entry

An Interview with ‘Rogers Center Expert’ and “MLB reports Founder” Jonathan Hacohen

Monday April 16th, 2012

Follow Chuck Booth’s streak all the through to the bitter end.  Schedule is this link:

https://mlbreports.com/gwr-tracker/ or at his official website for all updates!

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer and- @chuckbooth3024 on twitter)– For once the shoe is on the other foot.  I asked the MLB Reports Founder and ‘Lead Columnist’ Jonathan Hacohen if I could interview him 5 months after he interviewed me.  Jonathan and I came into talking by both talking to the  MLB FanCave guys at the same time on twitter last June.  Jonathan was really interested in My baseball book “The Fastest Thirty Ballgames” and I sent him a copy of it if he agreed to do a review.  Jonathan finished the book and gave one of the most incredible reviews for my book that I have ever seen for any baseball book anywhere.  Somewhere I had given up all of my creative writing energy in the process while writing this said book.  Jonathan followed up with an interview later.  During the World Series, he offered up a chance to do a guest article since I knew a lot about the ballparks in Texas and St. Louis.  Now I am sure it was all part of his master plan: the one guest article turned into a once a week article, before I even realized it myself, I was writing 2 articles a week and craving more!  I messaged Jonathan about a potential run at the record to see all 30 MLB Parks before anyone on this planet.  The reason is the man loves baseball.  He was just as fired up as I was!  From there we have worked together as a team to provide a different kind of article series that has ever been seen by a baseball writer and website.  I am happy to finally meet Jonathan today live in person for the Jays game during this record chase.  Before we write about that, I had a chance to talk the man about baseball life, the MLB Reports and the Rogers Center.  Here is what we discussed… Read the rest of this entry

An Interview with Dodger Stadium Expert Josh Robbins

Tuesday April.10/2012

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer and @chuckbooth3024 on twitter)- I recently had a chance to talk with Josh Robbins about Dodger Stadium.  Josh is the Land Record World Record Holder for visiting all 30 MLB Parks in 26 days during the summer of 2008.  Here is what we talked about.”

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

JR: “I am a Videographer/Journalist and Baseball Historian living in Gilbert, Arizona. In 2010, I earned a Master’s Degree in Sport Management from CSU-Long Beach. My first baseball game was July 23, 1983 at Yankee Stadium.  Don Mattingly was my favorite player growing up and I saw the 1998 Yankees clinch the World Championship in person at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, CA.”

CB: “Josh, you attended 30 Major League Baseball games in 26 calendar days during June and July 2008. In fact we were the same game where you set your record. You own the land record for the quickest time. Looking back 4 years later, how much does this accomplishment mean to you?”

JR: The trip was a combination of all my greatest passions in life: baseball, traveling, and videography.  It was the ultimate adventure combining the spirit of travel, the love of baseball, and sharing the time with friends and family members.  While preparing to achieve a personal goal, an effort to share my passion for baseball emerged. Unexpectedly, I raised $2200 for the Jim Thorpe Little League in Hawthorne, California and donated the proceeds to the organization before the start of the pursuit.”

CB: “As part of that trip, what was it like being interviewed and featured on a segment of ‘This Week on Baseball?”

JR: “For the past dozen years, I have worked as a Videographer for several different television and production companies.  So, I am very comfortable around reporters, cameras, and questions.  I was very surprised to hear from TWIB after initially emailing them about Thirty26.  It was a great experience having them cover an entire day of my road trip in New York.”

CB: “You have been to all of the ballparks Josh, how do the Dodgers fans compare to the rest of the country? It is my belief that this stadium is the loudest in MLB when the fans are rabid, what do you think?”

JR: “I enjoy watching baseball in Chavez Ravine but I would have to respectfully disagree.  The most passionate and loudest fans are in the Northeast.  New York, Boston, and Philadelphia crowds are into every pitch where LA fans tend to sit back and wait for the action to happen.”

CB:”The Dodgers have had recent ownership problems with the McCourts. How has this impacted the attendance?”

JR: “The attendance has declined in each of the past few seasons.  Last season was the first time in the 21st century the LA Dodgers failed to draw 3 million fans. The new ownership group must restore trust with the fan base and create a more positive environment at the ballpark and community.”

CB: “What is your favorite method of transportation to and from Dodger Stadium?”

JR: “Unfortunately, there is no commuter friendly method to attend Dodger Stadium.  An overwhelming majority of people drive to the stadium with limited alternatives.  On a few occasions, I attempted to commute by Metro from Torrance/Redondo Beach.  This system proved to be very inefficient due to the excessive changing of trains  (green/blue/red/gold lines) and 1 mile walk from the nearest Metro stop to the stadium.”

CB: “What advice would you give for somebody experiencing Dodger Stadium for the very first time.”

JR: “I would tell people to give yourself enough to arrive at the game and enjoy the Southern California climate (bring sleeves for night games). If you drive, park outside the stadium on the street and save the $15-$20 for parking.”

CB: “What is the food like at Dodger Stadium? What is your favorite ballpark food there?”

JR: “My favorite food is a helmet cup filled with soft vanilla ice cream topped with colored sprinkles.  However, Dodger Dogs are known for their size and taste.”

CB: “Finally, What is your favorite all time game that you have been in attendance in Dodger Stadium?”

JR: “There have been many memorable games over the 7 years living in the Los Angeles area but one ending was unforgettable.  Game 2 of 2008 NLDS when Matt Holiday dropped the last out of the game and the Dodgers rallied to win.”

http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/LAN/LAN200910080.shtml

*** A big thank you goes out to our Dodger Stadium Expert Josh Robbins for participating in the expert article Series.  Josh Robbins is a Video-Journalist and Baseball Historian living in Gilbert, Arizona.  In 2010, he earned a Master’s Degree in Sport Management from CSU-Long Beach.  From June 16 to July 11, 2008, he watched a game in all 30 MLB stadiums in a world record 26 days by car.  Please email Josh at robbinsjosh@hotmail.com   and to read more about Josh’s record baseball journey click here . Also read Josh 1st guest article at the Reports and a new Pitching grading system here ***

***Thank you to our Baseball Writer- Chuck Booth for preparing today’s feature on MLB reports.  To learn more about “The Fastest 30 Ballgames” and Chuck Booth, you can follow Chuck on Twitter (@ChuckBooth3024) and you can also follow Chuck’s website for his Guinness Book of World Record Bid to see all 30 MLB Park in 23 days click here  or on the 30 MLB Parks in 23 days GWR tracker at the Reports click here. To Purchase or read about “The Fastest 30 Ballgames Book, ” please click here ***

Please e-mail us at: mlbreports@me.com with any questions and feedback.  You can follow us on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook.  To subscribe to our website and have the Daily Reports sent directly to your inbox, click here and follow the link at the top of our homepage.

A Review of the New Marlins Ball Park By Lori Martini

Wednesday, April.04/2012,

Lori Martini (Guest Baseball Writer- and @lorimartini on twitter)- I touched down in Fort Lauderdale, FL.  Not only was it a little cheaper and more cost-effective to simply rent a car, but I did have a place to stay with friends which always makes a trip more enjoyable.  Hotels in Miami are outrageous and I couldn’t find a reasonably priced hotel that didn’t give me anxiety of potentially having bed bugs, my biggest nightmare (at least in hotels).  Driving is most certainly interesting here.  I’m from NYC and I can drive anywhere, but these people are ridiculous.  They either drive way too slow or excessively fast and erratic.  The highways are 4 to 5 lanes of traffic and your exits sneak up on you.  People don’t signal and cut across several lanes of traffic without looking, which somewhat reminds me of driving in LA.  Miami during rush hour is highly congested and you can’t park anywhere.  Everything is a parking garage.  It’s cluttered and populated like NYC, yet spread out like LA to get anywhere. Read the rest of this entry

Confessions of a Ball Park Chaser

Monday Apr.2/2012

My media picture before my 2009 trip.

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer and @chuckbooth3024 on twitter)- My name is Chuck Booth, and I am a baseball addict!  I can try therapy all I want to, the addiction is too strong to ignore.  It all started when I was an infant.  My mom wheeled me in my stroller to watch my dad play windmill fastball tournaments on the weekends.  She said that I watched intently and was quiet the whole time.  Then I grew to a preschool kid and would play on both of my older brother’s baseball teams in addition to my own team.  When I turned 9 years old, my dad was the Umpire In Chief for our town’s local Little League Baseball Association.  As the top umpire, he proposed that they should build a concession stand at the main little league parks, then use the profits to pay kids to be umpires themselves.  So I became a certified little league umpire by studying the rulebook for days and passing the test. Read the rest of this entry

The 2012 Tigers may Bring first WS Title Home to Detroit Since 1984

Monday, March.26/2012

Kirk Gibson celebrates with teammates during a 1984 World Series Game 1 homer, they won the series 4-1 over the San Diego Padres.

Douglas ‘Chuck’ Booth (Baseball Writer @ChuckBooth3024 on Twitter) – My dad and I were not always Yankees fans.  In the past blogs I had written that my favorite teams when I first started watching baseball were the Montreal Expos(because of Gary Carter) and my American League team was the Detroit Tigers (because of Lance Parrish).  As a 7-year-old kid playing baseball, our team name was the Tigers.  I remember that as I took my position behind home plate, the coach called me Lance Parrish.  My dad was the assistant coach that year and would whip baseball’s at me to toughen me up.  I asked him too, because I wanted to learn how to block them like #13. Read the rest of this entry

Sample of what my Friday Travel Blog will Cover

Friday, February 03, 2012 

Douglas ‘Chuck’ Booth (Baseball Writer)- Since writing about traveling to ballparks  is what I know most about, I thought I would take the next 9 weeks (before the season starts) writing articles that extensively go through every part of my expertise.  Over the course of the last five years I have done countless hours of research on this subject matter, so I am going to share my information with you in hopes you may save some time or money this 2012 MLB season.  I am sharing my knowledge of: baseball tickets, maps, frequent flier miles/reward points, car rentals vs. driving your own car, hotels, airports and finally time management & budgeting.  Here is a sneak preview of what I will be posting.

Car Rentals

  The best way to ensure that you have money available on your credit card, (keeping in mind that most rental places take a $200 minimum deposit), is to bid on your car through www.priceline .com. There is a feature where you can bid on your car rental for specific airport locations called ‘BID NOW.’  You can offer a price that you have to pay immediately, but in most cases you will find a serious discount. I have often bid 40% of the average car rental per airport price and had the offer go through.  Anyways, 80% of the time your winning bid will come back to rent from Alamo/National Car Rental.

Car Rentals

 Alamo/National is the best car rental company by far in the United States. Not only do they have exceptional customer service—–they also do not charge your credit card for any $ amount more than the price of your rental. Do yourself a favor and also sign up for ‘The Emerald Club Rewards Program’ from National. They have airport bypass the counter options that enable you to USE self-serving kiosks that do not require you to stand in line at the car centers-rather pick your class of car and proceed to the exit. Other car rental companies have deposit charges that are held against your credit card.  If you are going on a 4 city trip, you can easily have up to $800-1000 dollars locked up in these deposits, this can be harmful in you enjoying your trip. Not all of us have the affordability to have so much money unavailable. An average of 5-8 days is what it will take for the deposited dollars to be restored when your car rental is completed.  National is the only car rental company in which you can redeem a free earned day car rental for a one-way drop off without paying an excessive fee if you have earned a free rental reward day.  I will give you an example.  This means you can rent a car in Los Angeles and drop it off it Albuquerque, New Mexico within the 24 hours for no money extra.  Also with this incredible deal, is that you pay just pennies in taxes for your accrued free rental days, where other car rental places can charge up to $20-30 just in taxes alone despite offering you the free day for a rental reward.  Perfect for that baseball traveler that wants to head in one direction!

Priceline

Priceline is great for bidding on car rentals, but is also fantastic for hotel rentals where you can use the same option to bid for your price of hotels. Honestly, when we are all in the middle of a big baseball road trip, the last thing we want is to spend excessive amounts of money on a hotel we are not going to use other than a quick sleep and shower.   Wouldn’t you rather spend a lot more time at the ball yard?  Again by bidding on the hotel, and paying for it right away you can ensure on a more of a budget/cost certainty. Even if the front desks take a small deposit at time of check in—these transactions are quickly released when you check out. The best to bid  is too low-ball your first few offers, then gradually increase your bidding. Now Priceline does make you alter your bid for every declined request you submit, so the key is to not act aggressive in frustration when you don’t win the bid.  The key here is to be patient.  After 24 hours, you can re-open up all columns to bid again with an increased offer from your first one. Just chart your offers to slightly increase your amount until you have success. I would not suggest you use Priceline for airline flights because the winning bid will usually feature layovers, or more importantly, the times of the flights on won bids may not be conducive to arriving in time for a baseball game in your destination city.

HOTELS

For those economy travelers such as myself, I implore you to use Motel 6 and/or Super 8 as hotel chains to stay throughout the USA. They are decent hotels for the $value you pay. The best feature about these hotels is the ability to check in by 11am-12pm. Most 3-5 star hotels have check in times that start and 3 or 4pm. Again if you are flying or driving in from some other place do you really want to drive around for 3-4 hours sight-seeing because you are simply waiting for a check in time?  Most baseball parks open their gates by 5PM for night games.  Plus with these places cash is preferred, so they do not require a deposit on your credit card. If you are staying in the same city or have sufficient time to stay in one hotel, I would recommend you use Priceline to bid on your hotels. You can save up to 50% off with winning bids on 2-5 star hotels. Keep in mind that most of those hotels can save you money vs the budget hotels, with their free breakfasts.

Travel Note:Traveling to other cities with luggage is hard to finagle sometimes. When arriving in a new city, there may be time constraints or monetary issues that make you think about your luggage. Before you make any purchases for your trip, you must be cognizant of where your luggage will be at all times throughout the travel. You will not be allowed to bring your suitcase through security at the ball parks. Most cities will not even allow you to bring a briefcase into the games. So therein is a dilemma. If you are able to make it to your hotel before the game then your luggage will be okay.  The same can be said if you have rented a car. The toughest games for luggage management are day games when arriving from other cities. For the Eastern Seaboard there is an ally you can use—and it is called ‘Amtrak.’

Amtrak Trains/Greyhound Buses

Both of these methods of transportation are  a great way to see a bunch of baseball games fast while missing a lot of cluttered highway traffic, particularly in: New York-Baltimore-Washington-Philadelphia-Chicago-Milwaukee. Not only will you save gas/traffic scenarios-but Amtrak has a baggage check option at most stations for $3-4 dollars an item per day. All you have to do is have an itinerary, (coming or going) and you can check your luggage items. You will have to monitor the hours of operation for these places-however this option is exceptional when attending matinée games in any of these cities. New York’s Amtrak Station-(New York Penn Station), is a life saver when you can drop off your luggage and avoid renting a car. ‘Greyhound Bus Lines’ is also a good alternative for this in the cities of : Tampa Bay-Miami-Los Angeles-San Diego-Minnesota-Cleveland and Pittsburgh.

Kayak.com

Early morning flights are usually the cheapest airfares. I always use www.kayak.com when booking flights into baseball cities.  If you are flying to cities like Cincinnati-Milwaukee-Detroit-Houston-Atlanta-or Dallas you may be shocked at how much they charge for flights. There is a way to get back at those airlines. I have done the following several times. Since these are hubs for other cities from big airlines,  I would check flights from your starting departure and use your intended city of these listed above as a stop-over and then you can walk off the plane during the stop-over if it is cheaper—-and providing you are traveling without checked baggage—example.  Three years ago I had to fly from Pittsburgh to Detroit during a double-header attempt for the first day of my World Record Chase. I needed a Pittsburgh Northwest Airlines flight that left at 5:15 PM  directly to Detroit that arrived at 6:28 PM—it was the only non-stop flight that I could get that would give me a chance to make the Detroit game on time. There was a problem when the price came back was $500  for what was less than a 500 mile flight!  I went to work with my strategy.  I came up with a flight from Pittsburgh to Chicago-with the 1st leg of the trip being my flight that arrived in Detroit at 6:28 as the layover.  The price for this flight was $130. There are many instances of this. I will explain more in the book how I used this scenario for a flexible schedule in case of make-up games.

Air Lines Best To Fly With:

Southwest Airlines‘I wanna get away’ feature at http://www.southwest.com is a good price point for all of this airline’s domestic flights.  Southwest might be marginally higher in price than some other airlines, however they do not charge for the 1st 2 checked bags as you may have seen from their steady TV Ad Campaign.  They also do not charge transfer flight fees.  This airline is setting the pace for customer price gouging acknowledgement.

Air Tran Airways-Quite frankly, they are the best airline in the USA for MLB fans.  They are cheap, have newer airplanes with the most leg space for a coach ticket. They also offer more one-way non-stop tickets in the morning.  Oh yeah…They are the official airline of XM Sirius Radio.  You can listen to MLB games live in flight, or during off hours you can catch up on all of your favorite shows on XM Home Plate.  Air Tran only charges $75 in case you have to change your flight at anytime plus the difference in flight.  This price is half of most of the legacy airlines.  Should you miss your Air Tran flight they also let you fly stand-by for the rest of the day on any remaining flights to your city of destination.

This is just the start as I will provide a game plan for all of  the 30 MLB cities.  I will take a look at all facets/methods of travel-that will include money and time-saving tips.   After all, don’t we all want to see as many baseball games as we can without being hit in the pocket-book?

*** Thank you to our Baseball Writer- Doug Booth for preparing today’s feature on MLB reports.  To learn more about “The Fastest 30 Ballgames” and Doug Booth, you can follow Doug on Twitter (@ChuckBooth3024) and click here Doug’s website, fastestthirtyballgames.com*** 

 

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.

Michael Schlact Guest Blog: Preparation for Uncertainty

Wednesday February 1st, 2012

MLB reports: It took us a year.  A long…long year. Begging. Pleading. We literally tried every trick in the book. Fortunately we did not have to resort to bribery. But it came close! 😉 When you are one of the most popular baseball players on social media, time becomes a precious commodity for interviews and blogs. He is a busy man with many time commitments. But finally he is here. For your reading pleasure today, we have the one and only, Michael Schlact joining us with a guest blog.

In a recent article feature, the top 30 Must-Follow Baseball Players, Analysts and Writers were named. #8 on the list? MLB reports! Quite flattering and we were very humbled to receive the honor. Now…who came in #2 you ask? You guessed it: our dear Mr. Schlact. Michael plays Twitter like a fiddle. The man is smooth. 10,644 Followers as of this article and counting. The people LOVE this guy…and quite frankly, who can blame them? Michael is 26-years of age, stands 6’7″ and is a baseball pitcher. He is living the American dream! With his beautiful wife Jillian by his side, Michael is fighting and battling everyday to achieve his dreams of playing in the big leagues. 

Originally a third round pick by the Rangers in 2004, Michael pitched for seven seasons in the Texas system. He returns for his second season this year pitching in the Atlantic League for the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs. Michael definitely has inspirations for his journey. Looking at a pitcher like Jerome Williams for example, he rose in 2011 from the Atlantic League (pitching for Lancaster) all the way to cementing a rotation spot for the Anaheim Angels. Dreams can come true and Michael Schlact looks forward to being the next baseball success story. He is young and just entering his prime. Good looking. Stable family man. Driven. Popular with the fans. Michael Schlact is the complete baseball pitching package. Plus did we mention that he is a talented writer?

Exclusively today on MLB reports, we feature Michael Schlact- with his Guest Blog titled “Preparation for Uncertainty”.  Enjoy!

Michael Schlact (Guest Blogger): First, I’d like to thank MLB reports for asking me to contribute to their website. I appreciate the opportunity and I’m honored they chose me to write a piece. A common question that I’m asked is regarding the preparation for the season. As a free agent yet signed with an independent ball team, how does that affect my off-season conditioning and strength program? How does not knowing what your future holds affect the throwing that you do? I will answer these questions and more as we continue.

For those of you that follow me on social media, I’m sure you saw my announcement last week that I have recently signed with the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs of the Atlantic League. I am honored to be a part of that organization and playing with those guys again in 2012. I want to make it clear however, that just because I signed with an independent ball team does not mean I can’t be signed by a MLB team as well. Until I throw my first pitch with the Blue Crabs in 2012, I can be signed by a MLB team without them having to buy out my contract. Once I’ve thrown a pitch in independent ball, the MLB team that wants to sign me must buy me out of my contract. Having that option available makes the future still uncertain even though I have signed to play somewhere. Having gone through this scenario last year, I’ve been able to fine tune my off-season workouts and conditioning to best suit my needs as I move forward.

There is one thing that’s certain at this point. Come April, I’ll head up to Maryland to begin the 2012 season. What is uncertain, however, is when or if a MLB team will come calling and need me to report to their spring training in February or March. This makes the throwing program and workout program very difficult to fine tune. I’ve figured out that if I work out and throw based on a MLB team’s spring training schedule, I’ll be ready for anything. The worst thing that would happen is that I’ll be beyond ready come April when I have to report to Maryland for the independent ball season. I’ve found that preparing for the earliest possible scenario motivates me and drives me to work hard and hope for the best.

My workouts are well-rounded, and I enjoy keeping my muscles guessing. I try to change it up often. Not only does this help with boredom, it keeps your muscles “thinking” and doesn’t allow them to become used to the same routines. A big focus for me is conditioning. I do a workout called Turbo Fire, which is a mix of high intensity training and kickboxing. I also run and ride the bike. My running is usually more sprints than long distance, but that all depends on the workout that I had and the amount of throwing that I’ve done the previous day. I work out my legs and core a lot, and because of my shoulder surgery, I do a lot of rotator cuff maintenance. Putting your body through a 140-160 game schedule demands that you keep your body in top condition.

I’ve been throwing since December, and that’s usually when I begin my program. I feel that it’s very important to slowly work up to long tossing, and building arm strength over an extended period of time tends to work better for me than jumping right in and trying to get game ready quickly. Once I have long tossed enough and my arm feels strong, I’ll hop on a mound. Personally, I get 5-6 bullpen sessions in before heading off for Spring Training. There is a fine line between being ready to go for Spring Training and being game ready too early. The latter tends to cause players to burn out in August.

As always, thank you all for the support that you show me at the stadium, in person, or on social media. I sincerely appreciate each and every one of you. Thanks to MLB reports for allowing me to give you a sneak peek into my off-season workouts, regardless of my destination. My hope is that I’ll play in a town near you and we can meet at the stadium. Make sure to come and say Hi if you see me! You can find me on Twitter at: www.twitter.com/michael_schlact or on Facebook: www.facebook.com/michaelschlact

Thank you to Michael Schlact for preparing today’s MLB Guest Blog.  Please feel free to “like” Michael on Twitter and follow him on Facebook. You can follow Michael’s journey on his blog titled “The Schlact Stories”.  Michael loves interacting with his fans (and giving away game used goodies)- so be sure to say hello and tell him that MLB reports sent you! 


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.

Twitter and Baseball: Thoughts from Toronto Blue Jays Prospects

Thursday September 1, 2011

 

 

April Whitzman (Guest Writer- MLB reports):  There is no denying that social media has completely changed the sports world. It changes the way we watch it, the way we consume it, and the way we interact with it. Sports fans used to live their lives with everything at arm’s length, but now, it is just a finger click away.

One of the biggest advancements that social media has presented is the ability for fans to interact with players, and in return, allow the players to be able to interact with the fans. This has become predominant thanks to one specific social media tool, Twitter. Discussing this opportunity, I spoke with numerous Toronto Blue Jays prospects, who frequently engage on Twitter, to discuss their thoughts on this subject.

I first spoke with Justin Jackson, the Toronto Blue Jays 1st round pick of the 2007 MLB Draft. He has found great success this year as the present outfielder for the Dunedin Blue Jays, posting a .265 batting average. Despite his success at the plate, many Blue Jays fans are even more impressed with his ability to interact with everyone on Twitter via his handle of, @JaxChillinONE. When asked what he likes best about the tool, Jackson replied, “My favourite thing about Twitter is definitely the interaction with fans and friends!”

Next, I turned to Ian Kadish, present reliever for the Bluefield Blue Jays. He has been dominant on the mound, maintaining a 2-3 record with a 2.67ERA in 23 games. What has also been more dominant, however, is his ability to consistently keep his fans and followers updated and connected. Not only does Kadish inform via his Twitter handle, @BearJew36, but he also has his own blog featured at: http://livinginthelifeofian.blogspot.com/. Discussing his activity on social media, Kadish informed me:  “There is no denying that I am a fan of social media, but I realize that it has its positives and negatives.  Athletes need to be smart about it. I definitely think it has brought the athletes and fans closer together because they can interact with each other much easier.  It is more of an interactive environment where fans can give the athlete their praise or tell them how bad they were on that specific day.  Hopefully, the latter does not happen, but sometimes it will, so athletes need to take the comments with a grain of salt.”

Kadish’s statement regarding the fact that players must be cautious could not be more accurate. It was also echoed by Sam Strickland, who is also a reliever for the Toronto Blue Jays organization. This season, with the Lansing Lugnuts, Strickland has posted a 3-1 record with a 4.98 ERA yet has also proven his command and control on the Twitter mound via his handle of @S_Strickland34. Strickland stated, “Without fans, baseball has no purpose. Being a professional athlete comes with a few attachments of the field – Including answering to fans. If you have a great game, people will notice, as is the same with a poor game. And as a pro athlete you have to learn that both occur. It wasn’t that long ago that I was the huge crazy fan, so I am definitely an advocate for social media being intertwined with pro sports. It allows closer access. We as athletes just have to be careful!”

Right-handed pitcher for the Bluefield Blue Jays, Tucker Jensen (@Tucker_Jensen), also highlighted the fact that social media does have its faults, but indicated how the positives certainly outweigh each and everyone. He stated: “Of course, through social media, an athlete is going to hear both praise and hate because of their play. That is just the way sports work. But what needs to be realized is that it is beneficial because it allows others such as JaysProspects or myself to communicate with one another and at the same time get updates of the individuals being followed.”

Steve McQuail has shown his power this season with the Vancouver Canadians, already hitting 12 home runs. He has also shown his power online as well, as through his handle @SteveMcQuail, McQuail consistently keeps his followers updated with his progress throughout the season. He admitted his praise of social networking, indicating: I think Twitter is an amazing tool because it gives people the opportunity to get on a personal level with their favorite players, stars or idols. You can pick up on everyday routines of the people you look up to, an option that was never available before.”

@Mark_Biggs, a right-handed pitcher who only joined the Blue Jays organization a few weeks ago upon signing in the 8th round of the 2011 MLB Draft., echoed McQuail’s statements, indicating, “I think the major benefit of social networking is for people to follow their favorite athletes or actors or whatever the case may be, and allow them to directly interact with them. It’s a unique and wonderful opportunity!”

Brandon Berl, known by his Twitter handle, @Brandon_Berl, has posted a 3-5 record with a 2.47 ERA with the Lansing Lugnuts so far this season. While Berl shows his presence frequently with the Lugnuts, appearing in 28 games so far this season, he shows his presence on Twitter even more regularly. When he was asked to discuss his thoughts on social media, he answered: Social media has definitely added a great opportunity to connect with fans and for them to learn a little bit more about me and all other players.  I have enjoyed the opportunity to communicate with fans and engage with new people and I cannot wait to do so with more!”

Lastly, I spoke with Jonathan Jones, @JonJones707, who echoed all of the Blue Jays thoughts perfectly, stating, I believe that Twitter is a great tool. It gives the fans access to follow their favorite players and see what they are doing, learn their likes and dislikes, and even get to see photos. It allows fans to feel like they have a personal relationship and for the athletes, and in return, it allows us (the players) to see all the fans’ love and support. It goes a long way for us.” 

Knowing that it goes a long way, make sure you follow each and every player mentioned on Twitter. While you are at it, also follow me on Twitter at @Alleycat17. For more information on these players and for regular updates, also add @JaysProspects, or visit www.JaysProspects.com.

 

 

***Today’s feature was prepared by our guest writer, April Whitzman.  We highly encourage you to leave your comments and feedback at the bottom of the page and share in the discussion with our readers.***

 

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