Daily Archives: February 8, 2016

Sandy Alderson on Cespedes and Harvey’s Extracurricular Activities

Sandy Alderson checked in with WOR’s Pete McCarthy and commented on the roster, having Cespedes back in Queens, and Harvey’s appearance on Watch What Happens Live!

Click here to read the article.

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Checking out to see who is at the ballpark

Last week I stopped off at the CenturyLink Sports Complex for a couple of hours to see what was going on if anything and to see what players may have already shown up to get a jump on spring training. I have not been out earlier this year because the weather here in SW Florida has been a bit strange this year. A couple of weeks ago we had a tornado about a mile from the condo in Cape Coral and a few days later they had another tornado touch down in Ft. Myers not too far from Page Field. Cape Coral which is just across the river from Ft. Myers has had almost 13″ of rain in January and they average under 2″ of rain, so it has been a wet January. February has started out cool and windy (for this area anyway) with temperatures in the low to mid 60’s and our average is 75 for this time of the year.

Adam Walker signs for a fan.

                                                  Adam Walker signs for a fan.

When I got to the ballpark there were a couple of people buying spring training game tickets as I headed towards the back fields where I would expect to find the action if there was going to be any. The rest of the story can be seen here.

Can the Pittsburgh Pirates avoid Tommy John woes?

Photo Credit: MiLB

What does the alarming Tommy John surgery rate mean for the Pittsburgh Pirates?

Spring training is less than two weeks away for the Pittsburgh Pirates, which means reports will soon start pouring in of players suffering season-ending injuries and surgeries, specifically Tommy John surgery. 

According to a database maintained by Jon Roegele, there have been 1,169 such surgeries since its namesake first went under the knife of Dr. Frank Jobe in 1974.

If it seemed like the Pirates were plagued by the surgery bug in 2015, that’s because they were. 

In the Jim Benedict era, the former assistant to the general manager, critical to pitcher development in the organization, the Pirates had 33 players from the Dominican Summer League up through the majors lose time to Tommy John surgery just since 2009. 

From 1974 to 2008, they had just 15.  In fact, no team has had more since 2009.

What can the team do to stop this disturbing trend?

READ MORE AT PIRATES BREAKDOWN…

Baseball’s Greatest One Hit Wonders Part 2: The Pitchers

Chuck Booth (BBBA President/Owner mlbreports.com) 

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Pitching is the most unnatural motion I can think of.  The human arm is not meant to throw 90-100 MPH repeatedly over and over. 

It is for this reason why I am never surprised when Pitchers go out for any injury. 

When I was 15, I was the catcher for former Major League Pitcher Chris Reitsma on our ALL-Star Team.  I witnessed this kid throwing 90 MPH as a teenager. 

Honestly, no one could hit the guy.  As a catcher for 10 years and having a a decent baseball IQ, I was mad that the coach never let me call his pitches for him. 

Why he would even throw sliders, curves and breaking balls is beyond me and it cost us some games versus some California and Arizona teams.   There was no denying that he was a mega talented pitcher. 

He did go onto a decent MLB career, even appeared in 84 games for the Atlanta Braves in 2004.  Yet he finished pitching by the age of 29 because he threw junk. 

Now I will move on here, I am just pointing out that kids should not be throwing  junk until they are finished high school. 

There will be time in future articles to talk about pitching discipline and attitude. 

Just like the hitters that I featured last week, the pitchers I am featuring here took the MLB by storm for a while.  The fan bases were certain that these players would have great careers, only to see them fade quickly. 

If you ask me which position is tougher to stay up on top of, I would definitely say pitching! 

Remember that if you fail 70% of the time as a hitter, you are still labeled a great hitter.  Pitchers have to have a success rate of 75% to be elite. 

Plus when they are out there, it is a continual one after another moment, whereas a hitter has a chance to regroup after an AT BAT.

This set of 5 pitchers (Mark Fidrych, Mark Prior, Jeff Zimmerman, Tommy Greene and Derrick Turnbow) in this list are all pretty much of recent vintage. 

I saw 4 of them play as I only started watching baseball in 1980 and Mark Fidrych was already done by that time. 

This doesn’t mean that I have not seen countless highlights from the man in the last 30 years.  Here are a couple for your enjoyment before we start.

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Baseball’s Greatest One Hit Wonders Part 1: The Batters

Phil Plantier made his debut with the Boston Red Sox in 1990. During the 1992 season, Plantier crushed 11 HRs and added another 35 RBI in just 53 games. He was then traded in the off-season to the San Diego Padres for Jose Melendez. Plantier then thrived in California.

Chuck Booth (BBBA President/Owner mlbreports.com) 

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Music has one hit wonders, some have even made an entire career out of just one stretch of time where they were deemed relevant. 

Baseball is like everything else, they have had their fair share of players that fit this mold. 

In the next two weeks, we will take a look at hitters and pitchers that were really on fire for a stretch before they petered out just as fast. 

I harken back to the movie ‘Tin Cup” for this next saying,  “Greatness Courts Failure.”  The difference between the two in baseball is so miniscule. 

Unfortunately for every player that makes it to the show, hundreds never get their chance at all.  (more…)

The 224 MLB Game Journey Was Fast ‘N’ Loud – Gas Monkey Garage Style!!

MLB Reports

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Chuck Booth (Owner/Lead Analyst): 

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For those of you who may not know even by now, I am a huge Gas Monkey Garage Fan (aka the TV Show Fast “N” Loud) on Discovery Channel.    I liked the logo so much that I decided to buy three hats to take with me across the country to see my 224 MLB Games in all 30 MLB Parks trip.

88000 Miles later, 35 States and all 30 MLB Parks saw the lid.

The hat made its way onto several TV interviews, newspaper articles and I also made it to the Gas Money Garage and Gas Monkey Bar and Grill near Dallas TX.

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The 30 Best Quartets in the MLB

Ground Rule Triple

A.J. Pollock, Paul Goldschmidt Arizona Diamondbacks’ star duo A.J. Pollock and Paul Goldschmidt

As the offseason slows down, and Spring Training only days away, I thought it’d be nice to see which team had the best quartets in their lineups–the best group of four players. Not duos or triplets, but quartets. This way, we could see which teams have great depth in their lineup. The total 2015 WAR totals are from baseball-reference.com. So, let’s begin from the bottom of the league: 

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