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4 MLB Teams That Are Getting Hot at the Right Time

Momentum is important in Major League Baseball and the most important part of this season is starting to get into gear.

With a little bit more than a month left before the playoffs, any team that is lucky enough to end up in the postseason will want to be in top form when it begins.

That is why it is so important to do well right now and that is why the following four teams are so interesting. Some of them are securing their postseason positions while others are making charges at grabbing their playoff invitations.

While momentum is in their favor right now, we shall see if the rest of the season will be just as kind to these four teams.

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Ranking the Top 10 Starting Rotations of the Last 25 Years

Baseball is definitely becoming a more offensively-minded game, but there is still a large role for the starting rotation. This group of five pitchers is responsible for neutralizing this growing threat for a majority of every game.

I intend to celebrate some of the best starting rotations in recent memory with my article today. I am going to select the top 10 rotations of the past 25 years since using a much longer period of time would be incredibly difficult and would admittedly omit plenty of deserving teams.

Still, with only 10 positions for every team since 1989, it is a tall order, but I hope to hit the best of the best.

All stats are from Baseball Reference.

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MLB Players with the Most ‘Swag’ on the Field

Swag is one of the things that you either have or you don’t. It is kind of hard to define, but you absolutely know it when you see it. However, if you want some type of idea to help you begin this article, I would recommend you check out this article by Adrian Chen of Gawker.

For our purposes, we are going to be talking about attitude and charisma. Each of the following players seems to be overflowing with some type of confidence. As a disclosure, this list is by no means exhaustive, but these are some of the best.

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Top 10 MLB Superstars Who Have Played in the All-Star Futures Game

It is kind of fun to use the rosters of the Futures Games kind of like you use those copies of the Baseball America Prospect Handbook that you bought so many years ago. You can see what happened and which players became what they should have become.

All of those players were chosen for those games because they seemed to have a world of potential at the time.

Naturally, the people using the teams know something about baseball and many of their picks did indeed become quality major league players.

Today I’m going to pick the ultimate lineup of participants in this game over the years. Like I said, there were plenty of good players, but I only want the 10 best. I will take one of each fielding position with one right-handed pitcher and one left-handed pitcher to give this list some type of organization. Since we are talking about such a long span of time (the game began in 1999), some of these players might not be superstars right now, but they had been for substantial periods of time within the past decade.

All statistics were taken from Baseball Reference.

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The 7 Best Places to Watch a Ballgame on a Hot Summer Day

There is really no better way to spend a summer night than sitting at the ballpark. I have always loved sitting at anything from Little League baseball in my hometown of Barre, Vermont all the way up to my beloved Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park.

This article is kind of a testimony to that.

These are purely my opinions on the seven best places to watch a baseball game in the United States. Honestly, I am not sure if there is anywhere I wouldn’t like to watch a baseball game, but these are my top seven.

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5 Everyday Starters Who Are Way Past Their Prime

Some great players stay in baseball a little bit too long. I entirely appreciate wanting to play the best game on earth for as long as possible, but there does come a point where age begins to eat away at productivity.

Not everyone can be Julio Franco or Jamie Moyer.

I am going to point out five of these players for you today. Unfortunately, for each of these guys, 2013 has not been kind so far, and I am not sure that it is going to get better.

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5 Trends That Have Dominated the Early MLB Season

With just over a month of the Major League Baseball season behind us, it is time to take a little bit of a step back and see what has been happening.

Are there trends that are beginning to develop? Have they been surprising?

I would contend that there are five things that have been especially prevalent this season. Some of them are team accomplishments while others are individual, and some of them are incredibly positive while others are not so hot.

That being said, all of these trends can turn around. This season is young, but keep your eyes on these tendencies.

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5 Stars MLB Teams Are Thankful for Not Re-Signing This Winter

Over the winter, I know that general managers were agonizing over one important decision: Do we bring him back, or do we let him go?

When contracts run out, teams have to decide whether or not they should bring back their stars. A few good years doesn’t necessarily guarantee a few more years of success, but if that star has some more time left, it is naturally a good idea to bring him back.

For the purposes of this article, let’s focus on the first problem. What players have taken a step back this season? Again, just because you were a major star in the past does not necessarily guarantee continued success.

Any statistics used are from

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Latest Destination Predictions for Each Top Remaining MLB Free Agent

Pitchers and catchers are just about ready to report for spring training, but there are still some important free agents on the market.

Even though they might not be frantic, I am sure that the remaining players are looking for a favorable contract in an ideal location.

Time is running out though, so some of these men will need to perhaps take one-year contracts, hope for a big year and try to cash in on a bigger deal next year.

However, the point remains that these short-term contract offers have to come from somewhere. Let’s try to predict where each of the top 10 remaining free agents will finally land.

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Philadelphia Phillies: Why Angel Pagan Would Fit in the Lineup Perfectly

Free-agent center fielder Angel Pagan was expected to return to the San Francisco Giants. After all, they just won a World Series, and Pagan played a significant role on that team.

However, according to Buster Olney of ESPN, the Giants are not sure that they want to give him as long of a contract as he wants.

Of course, these two parties could easily resolve this problem, but if it does not work out, the Philadelphia Phillies need to make a move and sweep up Pagan for their void in center field.

The typical argument against Pagan joining the Philadelphia Phillies is his age. He is 31 years old, and the Phillies have one of the oldest teams in baseball. Many people would argue that they need to look at a younger option like B.J. Upton.

However, this argument is somewhat flawed.

Relying only on age to judge a player would be like an NBA team signing an eight-foot player who has never touched a basketball before. Yes, height is important in basketball just like age is important in baseball, but it is only one dimension. The skills need to be there beyond these unchangeable factors.

Pagan has the type of skill set that would benefit the Philadelphia Phillies.

Last season, he hit .288 with eight home runs, 56 RBI and 29 stolen bases. He also led the National League with 15 triples and rapped out 38 doubles. While he doesn’t seem to have a lot of home run power, he has quite a bit of extra-base-hit power.

The home run power also might develop in Citizens Bank Park, which is much more hitter-friendly than AT&T Park.

That is important because Chase Utley and Ryan Howard exist in the middle of the Philadelphia batting order to drive in runs. Both of these men have the potential to drive in over 100 runs, but they need people on base. Pagan has obviously proven that he can get on base, and that is the easiest way to score runs.

Also, it is significant to note that in his entire career (695 games), Pagan has only grounded into 25 double plays. By putting him in the second slot, Pagan gives the Phillies some safety at the top of the lineup: If leadoff hitter Jimmy Rollins got on base, the bases would rarely be cleared because of Pagan.

Again, Ryan Howard and Chase Utley need people to drive in. Pagan would not eliminate these opportunities.

The Phillies do not need more power from a high strikeout hitter like Upton in the middle of their lineup. They need people to handle themselves at the top of the order and utilize the power that they already have.

I realize that a lot of this argument relies on the fact that Utley and Howard need to be healthy and return to their normal level of. And perhaps that is a bit of an assumption. However, just by looking at his statistics, we can see that Pagan gets on base without compromising the offensive attack. Whoever is in the middle of the lineup would benefit from that.

General manager Ruben Amaro Jr. told Jim Salisbury of CSN Philly that Pagan is definitely on his radar, and if the Giants are not able to bring him back, the Philadelphia Phillies need to make a major play for the center fielder.


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