Posts Tagged ‘LeRoy McConnell III’

The Official Reading Between The Seams 2014 Hall of Fame Vote

Wednesday, January 8th, 2014

LeRoy McConnell III & the RBTS Crew

Leroy Blog






The writers of our own blog Reading Between the Seams embarked on the opportunity to evaluate this year’s deep Hall of Fame ballot and see if our thoughts might be an indicator for the final results (to be released on Wednesday, January 8).  With our sample size of six voters, it takes five to meet the Hall’s 75% necessary for election.  A sample of four (with three positive votes) would have played  to the right percentage, but a larger sample size is probably appropriate given the persnickety history of Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA) voters.  Our Hall of Fame writing cast had differing opinions on supposed PED users, but came to a consensus that could very well match the BBWAA results.

As for the voting mechanics, all bloggers submitted a private ballot without influence.  Once totaled, a brief group discussion took place on our private Facebook page, with a focus on those who didn’t vote for the more popular candidates (which we’ll include in the discussion below).  Without further ado…

The elected:

Greg Maddux (100%)

Credit: AP/Jeff Roberson

We vote in Maddux at 100%, he’ll be in for sure
Credit: AP/Jeff Roberson

The question for Maddux isn’t if, but by how much.  With 355 wins, an ERA just over 3.00 in a strong hitters era, no ties whatsoever to PEDs (I mean just look at him), “The Professor” is a shoe in.  Some rumors are “unanimous”, however if Stan Musial isn’t named on 23 ballots his first year, and Cy Younghad to wait two years to get in, it won’t quite be that way.

Craig Biggio (100%)

Biggio with 3000 hits will get in eventually, probably this year Credit: AP Photo/Tony Dejak

Biggio with 3000 hits will get in eventually, probably this year
Credit: AP Photo/Tony Dejak

Biggio only needs a bump of 7% over last year’s results and is likely to get it, given the first ballot avoidance given by some writers.  With 3,000 hits, he’s in for sure eventually. His total will probably be more like 80% when the dust settles.

Tom Glavine (83%)

Glavine and his 305 wins gets in on our ballot Credit: AP

Glavine and his 305 wins gets in on our ballot
Credit: AP

Glavine accumulated 305 wins and a 3.54 ERA, both worthy.  Only one voter did not put in Tom Glavine, and interestingly enough, he did cast a vote for Mike Mussina. Mussina has a better winning percentage and his ERA is about even given the AL/NL DH factor. However, enough voters put in the lefty, we expect Glavine to be voted in by the BBWAA as well.

Frank Thomas (83%)

Nobody on the blog penalized Frank Thomas for being a DH Credit: AP

Nobody on the blog penalized Frank Thomas for being a DH
Credit: AP

Thomas is the headline new hitter on the ballot for sure.  With over 500 HR and as an ardent critic of PED users, he’s legit.  A .301 average, and he reached base over 4,100 times with walks.  The only non-voter thought he was close, but didn’t think first ballot worthy in lieu of the huge power numbers of his era.

Missed it by that much, these candidates were one vote shy of election:

Jeff Bagwell (67%)

Bagwell's defense is probably being overlooked by HoF voters Credit: AP

Bagwell’s defense is probably being overlooked by HoF voters
Credit: AP

Bagwell remains an enigma. He has a few detractors who believe he might have used PEDs.  Others question straight up whether his numbers are good enough.  At 59.6% on the BBWAA ballots last year, he won’t make the leap to 75% and will probably fall short of our 67% tally.  One voter who didn’t put him in thought he was just short on career numbers, below 450 HR, below .300 average, and below 2,500 hits.  The other non-voter thought McGriff deserves in first based upon HR total. Both fair judgment, neither cited PEDs.

Roger Clemens (67%)

Too many PED questions doomed Clemens on our ballot Credit: AP

Too many PED questions doomed Clemens on our ballot
Credit: AP

Clemens was by far the biggest lightning rod for discussion after the votes were tallied.  Two bloggers did not vote him in.  One stated:

I have trouble voting for a guy who won 11 games or fewer per season from the age of 29 to 33, then “suddenly” captured youth and dominated again from his mid to late 30′s onward (162 wins after that). With the PED evidence, I have too many questions.

the other stated:

I like Clemens unfortunately, since he was linked to PEDs they would all [steroid users] have to be in.

No question, with 350 wins and an ERA better than Maddux, he’s just as qualified.  Much like the real BBWAA voters, enough of our electorate will not put in PED users.

Others getting votes:
Tim Raines 50%
Edgar Martinez 50%
Barry Bonds 50%
Larry Walker 33%
Lee Smith 33%
Mike Piazza 33%
Jeff Kent 33%
Mike Mussina 33%
Fred McGriff 33%
Don Mattingly 17%
Mark McGwire 17%
Jack Morris 17%

Noteworthy who did not get votes: Curt Schilling, Alan Trammell, Sammy Sosa, Rafael Palmeiro, Luis Gonzalez, and Moises Alou.

I believe that plus or minus one, this vote will be who really gets in. Frank Thomas may suffer first ballot jitters, Jack Morris may get last ballot sympathy (at 67.7% last year).  Nobody below the Bagwell line (<60%) will get in including Bagwell.  The next best first ballot guys after Thomas are Jeff Kent, Moises Alou, and Luis Gonzalez, none are clear cut.

Thanks to the guys for pulling this together, I think we are smarter than we get credit for!

– RBTS Staff


LeRoy McConnell III & the Staff of Reading Between the Seams

40 Iconic Moments in Football

Friday, January 3rd, 2014

by LeRoy McConnell III

Leroy Blog






Here at Sports Kings/War Room Sports, we went brainstorming in the past and present for the best iconic moments in football. Our goal is to feature players who have wowed us with their signature move that fans all over have talked about, mimicked, or can tell you where they were when the incident happened. We will use Terrell Davis for example. Do you remember the Mile High Salute? Well if you were a Denver Broncos fan or hater, you saw it plenty during their Super Bowl run in the late ’90s. The Mile High Salute indicated the Broncos way of celebrating one of their many touchdowns. There are 40 iconic moments that were chosen. They are not in any particular order.

40. Terrell Davis Mile High Salute

39. Ickey Woods “The Ickey Shuffle”
Ickey wasn’t in the league very long but he did make an impact when he reached the end zone. Woods’ touchdown dance became hip hop!

38. Michael Irvin’s First down Salute I can’t remember who was the first to celebrate a first down but you knew when it was 3rd and 9, Troy Aikman was going to hit Irvin with that ten yard slant. First and ten Cowboys!


37. Walter Payton’s Bulldozing Over Defenders & Jumping Over the Top Of The Pile. Sweetness, now that’s funny, Walter Payton was everything but SWEET! He was probably pound for pound the most physical mixed with athletic running back the game had ever seen.  

36. T.O. SMH! The Star, Popcorn, Sharpie, Pom Pom Terrell Owens brought WWF to football. Since the NFL only marketed the great Peyton Manning, Terrell promoted himself better than anyone else. Besides no one loves T.O more than T.O!  

35. Shawn Merriman’s Lights Out Dance Shawn Merriman perfected the Mark Gastineau sack dance representing the Charger’s bolt. Just when he made his niche as a sack master father time set in soon after.

34. Peyton Manning’s Cadence I always got tickled when Peyton barked out his cadence. You would see defenses change their call, for what? We all know Peyton is throwing the ball! Nevertheless, Peyton hike the ball please!  

33. Deion “Prime Time” Sanders Showboating Prime Time, Prime Time, Prime Time! Did anyone have more swag than #21. You knew if you Deion was at corner then his whole side of the field was covered.

32. The Eddie Lacy Spin Move Eddie Lacy is probably the only back in history that enjoyed the spin move drill in practice. Lacy’s looks like a human pinball machine.  

31. Bo Jackson’s 91 Yard Touchdown vs Seattle Seahawks Damn you Bo, how could you be the one to end Brian Bosworth’s football career! Hmmm, just think Bo was one time a marketing machine. I wonder who’s our Bo Jackson today?  

30. The Mack Brown’s Clap! If you are a Texas Longhorn fan shouldn’t we be clapping at Mack Brown’s resignation? After losing out on RGIII, Andrew Luck, Johnny Manziel, and Jameis Winston. Job well done Mack!MackBrown-Clap 

29. 1993 Buffalo Bills Greatest Comeback Against Houston Oilers Houston Oilers up 35-3 and Buffalo Bills are without Jim Kelly at the helm. Here comes backup quarterback, Frank Reich with a second half surge throwing for 21 of 34 pass completions for 289 yards and 4 touchdowns, with 1 interception.

28. Desmond Howard’s Heisman Pose Desmond probably got the Heisman for the simple fact he posed better than the Heisman himself!Desmond-Howard  

27. Jim Mora “Playoffs?” Don’t you just love meltdowns, does anyone even remember if they ever won a again?

26. John Elway’s Helicopter Run Of all the highlights John Elway has been a part of, his helicopter
run signifies a Super Bowl victory.

25. Robert Brooks’ Lambeau Leap I’m sure there were many of Packers before Brooks that leaped into the land of Cheese heads but I can’t think of one that did it before Brooks. I’m sure some Packer historian can tell me who was the first.  

24. Cam Newton’s “Superman” Is Cam really Superman? Not only does he have a S on his chest. He now wears Superman socks. Thank the Lord he’s winning football games now.

Carolina Panthers v Washington Redskins

23. Franco Harris’ Immaculate Reception All I can say is in the right place at the right time but what was the big deal, they lost to the undefeated Miami Dolphins a week later.  

22. Jamal Anderson’s “The Dirty Bird” What was once the Bird by Morris Day and the Time. Then comes Jamal Anderson with his touchdown celebration and it was a little bit on the dirty side.  

21. Dennis Green’s “Meltdown!” Yep, I agree Dennis your Cardinals did let the Bears off the hook, epic but not quite the greatest meltdown.  

20. Jim McMahon’s Headband You had to love Jim McMahon being ornery, he was the bad boy of sports. Without Jim McMahon pushing buttons you may not have a T.O. or a Chad Johnson.mcmahons-headbands 
19. Michael Strahan’s Sack Record So who really cheapens this sack record, Brett Favre or Michael Strahan? I guess if you are going to give it to me, I have to take it, right?  

18. Eric Dickerson’s Goggles & Neck Brace For those who don’t know what Eric hairdo was back in the day was, it was the Jheri Curl. The Curl also signified coolness to go along with the goggles and neck brace. Everything Dickerson did was cool, heck he even ran cool!Eric-Dickerson-Goggles-2 

17. Dwight Clark “The Catch against the Cowboys” That catch ended the Cowboy reign in the NFC and started a dynasty for the 49ers. Is that when the two-minute drill all started. Joe Montana to Dwight Clark!


16. Lynn Swann’s Circus Catch I guess it’s pick on Cowboys day! Yes it’s Lynn Swann and one of his epic Super Bowl catches. Okay it was spectacular!  

15. Mike Singletary’s “Intense Eyes” Is it me or did running backs just fall down after the Singletary stare at them?


14. Jerry Jones On The Sidelines No one complained when the Cowboys were winning but heck that was 16 years ago! Then again if my team was worth close to 2 billion dollars I would be on the sidelines too!


13. Tony Dorsett’s 99 yard touchdown run This happened on Monday Night Football January 3, 1983. This record will always be intact, it can only be tied.  
12. Tom Brady’s “Tuck Rule” This play started all this Patriot Dynasty BS! Of all teams getting screwed, DA RAIDERS! Between the Tuck Rule and Spygate……… Equals a New England Patriot Dynasty. Spygate wasn’t included but probably should have been.

11. David Tyree’s Super Bowl Catch David Tyree should have been given a second Super Bowl ring for this catch. One from the NY Giants and a second one from the ’72 Miami Dolphins. His catch led to the winning catch by Plaxico Burress. He kept New England from the perfect season of 19 – 0. Heck no love afterwards, Tyree didn’t make the squad the following season.


10. “Steve Tasker’s Hustle Play “Super Bowl XXVII” “Leon Lett” Oh Leon, if only people knew how dominant of a defensive tackle you were, but blunders like this and who could forget the Thanksgiving Day when you touched that blocked kick!  

9. Keyshawn Johnson’s “Give Me The Damn Ball” Perfect title for a starving wide receiver. Funny how Wayne Chrebet was getting the ball instead!


8. Kordell Stewart’s Hail Mary Throw To Michael Westbrook It was Kordell’s only highlight of his football career. As for Michael Westbrook, I can only remember him giving his former Redskins teammate Stephen Davis a can of whoop a$$!  

7. Pat Summerall & John Madden The pair was a very entertaining. Pat Summerall’s voice, I can hear it now giving True Value Hardware some love and Madden, I can envision him drawing plays on the tv monitor.


6. Mike Gundy’s “I’m A Man I’m 40!” Thank God for 40, I’m finally a MAN!  

5. Chicago Bears “Super Bowl Shuffle” The big bad Bears pulled this one-off. I remember having to do this same bit in choir back in junior high school. They came, saw, and kicked a$$ while doing the shuffle.

4. Herm Edwards “You play to win the game!” The best meltdown to this point. Who has more charisma than Herm Edwards? Great motivator, like him even more on ESPN  

3. “The Drive” Denver vs. Cleveland The Drive was only the start. It wasn’t the Cleveland Browns that was haunted by John Elway. It was Marty Schottenheimer who was being tormented. After Marty left Cleveland for Kansas City, Elway picked on him for another decade in KC.   

2. Joe Namath’s Super Bowl guarantee Namath’s Super Bowl guarantee gave the American Football Conference some legitimacy. Don’t hear too many bold predictions anymore.

1. 1972 Miami Dolphins Undefeated Season 17 – 0
I guess we can continue to watch these old geezers pop open champagne year after year. I don’t think anyone is going perfect anytime soon despite the league being watered down a bit.

LeRoy McConnell of A Fan’s Point of View, for War Room Sports

Watch: Larry Allen humors the crowd with his Hall of Fame speech

Tuesday, August 6th, 2013

by LeRoy McConnell III

Leroy Blog






(Image via Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)

(Image via Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)

After watching longtime Dallas Cowboy, Larry Allen get inducted into the Football Hall of Fame Saturday Night, my first thought was, “is he really going to talk?” I’ve watched this massive human being anchor the offensive line since the time he stepped on the gridiron in 1994. Throughout his career I have never heard the man talk. This is the same individual who was walking to the Cowboys’ players parking lot many years ago with teammate, Terry Glenn and I just had to see what kind of vehicle he drove. I’m thinking it has to be some sort of SUV or a gigantic luxury vehicle. Well, it wasn’t a surprise to see Mr. Glenn get into a black Lamborghini. Glenn, a former wideout has a small frame that suits a fast, exotic car. As Terry got into his vehicle, Mr. Allen walked past Terry’s car to get into his black Lamborghini! I’m thinking WTF? Get out of here! How is this BIG MAN going to get into this itty bitty car? Just like Terry did, he got into his car and drove off.

Click here to read the rest of this story and watch videos of Larry Allen’s HOF induction speech and his 700 lb bench press.


LeRoy McConnell III of A Fan’s Point of View, for War Room Sports

MLB All-Star Trivia

Monday, July 15th, 2013

LeRoy McConnel III

Leroy Blog






(Logo courtesy of

(Logo courtesy of


In light of the 2013 MLB All-Star Game approaching this Tuesday (July 16th), WRS would like to provide some interesting tidbits leading up to the game. Scroll through our 25 MLB All-Star trivia questions and see how knowledgeable you are. Some of the questions require no effort at all; but hopefully there are some that will require a little thought. If by chance you don’t know the answer, the answer key is below the questions at the bottom of the page. So check out the list of questions and see how many you can answer without peeking!

Click HERE to see the list of trivia questions.


LeRoy McConnel III of A Fan’s Point of View, for War Room Sports

40 All-Time Iconic Baseball Moments

Monday, July 15th, 2013

LeRoy McConnel III

Leroy Blog






"The Babe" calling his shot. (Photo courtesy of

“The Babe” calling his shot.
(Photo courtesy of


Here at WRS, we went brainstorming for a list of baseball players in the past and present to see who has the best iconic moments. Our goal was to feature players who have wowed us with their signature move that fans all over have talked about, mimicked, or can tell you where they were when the moment occurred. We will use Babe Ruth for example. We have long heard about how he allegedly called his home run shot. Baseball purists have told stories about that for years. How truthful was it? We will never know. It sounds more like a tall tale but it’s still Babe Ruth’s iconic move.

Let’s take a look at other Major League players’ trademark or brand-defining moments that have made them forever popular. The iconic moments are not in any order.

Click HERE to see the list and accompanying video footage.


LeRoy McConnell III of A Fan’s Point of View, for War Room Sports

Top 11 Athletes That Have Been Involved in a Murder

Monday, July 15th, 2013

by LeRoy McConnell III

Leroy Blog






(Photo courtesy of

(Photo courtesy of


In light of what’s going on with Aaron Hernandez, I thought we could take a look back at other disturbing situations that involve murder cases.  Let’s take a look at the top 11 athletes that were involved in the most heinous murders of all-time.

Click HERE to see the list.


LeRoy McConnell III of A Fan’s Point of View, for War Room Sports


Sergio Garcia Is Getting A Reality Check

Thursday, May 23rd, 2013

by LeRoy McConnell III





(Courtesy of

Sergio, EVERYBODY IN AMERICA EATS FRIED CHICKEN!  Though you are not from the U.S., you don’t get a pass for your racist remark made toward Tiger Woods.  In the last few weeks, the sports world has witnessed how much disdain you have for the world’s number one golfer.  If you want to exchange insults with him, then privately say it to his face!  Sergio, don’t be surprised if the African-Americans are offended by your choice of words.  Just ask Fuzzy Zoeller, who also made the same inappropriate comment about “fried chicken”.  Zoeller is a racist bigot who maliciously attacked Tiger Woods in front of the world back in 1997.  Tiger Woods left Zoeller out to dry and Fuzzy was crucified for it.

In my opinion, those words were 100% directed toward Tiger Woods.  I don’t think Sergio meant to offend me or other African-Americans.  I don’t know Sergio personally, but I haven’t heard anything to lead me to believe he is a racist bigot.  However, I have to hold him accountable.

The only reason Sergio Garcia apologized today was the $10-12 million in endorsements that he is probably trying to save.

Luckily for you Sergio, Tiger Woods was classy enough to rescue you by responding to your apology.  I believe you can make a racist comment without being a racist.  If I’ve made the same mistake, I would pray someone would forgive me.

Look Sergio, if you want to get even with Tiger Woods, then you beat him on the playing course.  Until then, shut up and play golf.


LeRoy McConnell III of “A Fan’s Point of View”, for War Room Sports

The 8 Famous Mommies In Sports

Monday, May 13th, 2013

by LeRoy McConnell III






courtesy of

Happy Mother’s Day to all the mommies all over the world.  Moms are famous for several reasons: For their nurturing, being a tad bit on the crazy side, and well, you know…“MILF”.  I wanted to take the opportunity of the occasion to shed light on The 8 Famous Mommies In Sports.


8. Wilma McNabb: Mother of former NFL QB Donovan McNabb


courtesy of nextimpulsesports

Wilma McNabb is better known as America’s Favorite Sports Mom.  She became famous in her own right thanks to the Chunky Soup commercials, where she fed her son and teammates.  She put an end to the fake mom on the commercial as it only made sense for her to play the role of Donovan’s mom, since in fact she is his real mom!


7. Gloria James: Mother of NBA Superstar LeBron James

Gloria James, the proud mother of LeBron; you’re talking about someone who hit the lottery!  I don’t know who really is the parent here, her or LeBron.  It’s amazing that LeBron turned out to be spectacular on and off the court, because the antics his mother puts him through are disturbing.  Slapping a hotel valet attendant while intoxicated, mouthing off with Boston Celtics’ Paul Pierce after he fouled James hard during LeBron’s Cleveland days, and of course the rumors of her and Delonte West!


6. Sonya Curry:  Golden State Warrior’s Superstar Steph & former Duke standout Seth Curry

The MILF; the most talked about mom in college basketball.  I sure hope she starts showing up to some of these NBA games now, since both of her kids are done with the NCAA.  There have been countless times that she is compared to the beautiful actress, Thandie Newton.  Sonya, also was an athlete.  She was a volleyball player at Virginia Tech, same place where she met her husband, former NBA player Dell Curry.


5. Ann Iverson: Mother of former 76ers great Allen Iverson

If you were an Allen Iverson fan, then you knew his mother quite well.  She was trying to be just as hip as her trendsetting son.  Then again, she was just a baby herself as the mom and son duo are only fifteen years apart.  When the initials A.I. came about, one would wonder who you were talking about, Allen or Ann!  Ann Iverson has to be at the top of the list of moms who defends their son whether he is right or wrong.  Sometimes it’s better if mom just stays out of it.


4. April Justin: Mother of Alabama recruit Landon Collins

Who says that mothers always know best?  Well Ms. Justin will tell you she does.  Her son, Landon Collins, one of the most coveted high school seniors in the country, chose to play football at Alabama next season.  No-brainer right…playing for Nick Saban and the national champions, Alabama Crimson Tide?  Only problem was mommy didn’t approve.  Let’s see how she felt about his decision and what she wants him to do.


3. Pamela Bryant:  Mother of 5-time L.A. Lakers Champ Kobe Bryant


courtesy of tmz

No child should ever think about putting his or her hands on their mom.  Especially her neck, and NO Kobe did no such thing, but he was probably thinking it.  I suppose that Mother’s Day wasn’t celebrated on Kobe’s end as he is engaged in an ugly lawsuit over his childhood memorabilia.  I guess since Kobe won’t front mommy with more money for a new home, Pamela Bryant is taking matters into her own hands by selling items of her beloved son, all the way back from his high school days.  I have to say, MY LAMB!

2. Pamela McGee:  Mother of Denver Nuggets Javale McGee

pam mcgee

courtesy of NBA Mistress

Pamela was the first WNBA player to have a child play in the NBA.  Pam is the overprotective mom who manages Javale’s career.  Lord knows what she may be doing to Javale’s social life when it comes to women!  Fortunately we may soon see a reality show called Millionaire Mama’s Boy, starring Javale and Pam, which will be airing on Oprah’s network real soon.

1. Janet Hill:  Mother of L.A. Clippers’ Grant Hill


courtesy of

The Hill family were compared to the Cosby show (Heathcliff & Claire) because it was rare to see an African-American couple, both having professional careers.  She married Yale graduate and former Dallas Cowboys running back, Calvin Hill.  Mrs. Hill raised one of the most elegant, respectable gentleman that the NBA has ever had in Grant Hill.  Oh by the way Janet Hill will always be linked with Hilary Clinton because they were roommates in college.


Happy Mother’s Day!


LeRoy McConnell II of “A Fan’s Point of View”, for War Room Sports



2013 MLB Top 10 Outfielders

Monday, April 1st, 2013

by Ryan Kantor





10. Atlanta Braves, RF, Jason Heyward

As tough as it was to leave guys like Bryce Harper and Adam Jones off the top 10 list, the Atlanta Braves right fielder squeaks in as the 10th best outfielder in the game.  At just 23 years of age, Heyward is only approaching his prime after completing his first 20-20 season.  With the Upton brothers, Brian McCann, and Freddie Freeman hitting around him, Jason Heyward is primed for a breakout year.  The first of many 30-20 seasons from the Braves slugger may be on the horizon.


9.  Los Angeles Angels, RF, Josh Hamilton

In the most exciting move of the offseason, the Los Angeles Angels used their “Grienke Money” on Josh Hamilton, giving them the best outfield in baseball.  Hamilton batted .285 with 43 home runs last season, but in the two seasons prior he donked 25 and 32 dingers, respectively.  He’ll have a less grueling summer in the mild climate of southern California, but expect some regression as he moves away from the Ballpark in Arlington after a stellar year.  Something in the neighborhood of a .290 average with 34 home runs is still realistic.



8.  Atlanta Braves, LF, Justin Upton

The former number one overall pick will finally join his brother, B.J. Upton, as the Braves added both to their lineup this season.  Aside from the nice story and perfect marketing ploy for a team losing their legendary third baseman, Chipper Jones, Justin and his brother offer a rare speed/power combo.  Justin Upton has hit .300, he has slugged 30 home runs, and he has stolen 20 bases.  Entering his age 25 season, this will be the year it all comes together.  A batting average near.300 with about 30 home runs and 20 stolen bases is achievable.


7.  Toronto Blue Jays, RF, Jose Bautista

One of the best pure power hitters in baseball, Jose Bautista will now have Jose Reyes to knock in for a nasty Blue Jays ball club.  With an offseason to heal up his injured wrist, Bautista should be back to the form that saw him hit 54 home runs in 2010 and 43 with a .300 average in 2011.

Jose Bautista

6.  Miami Marlins, RF, Giancarlo Stanton

Stanton is one of the best up-and-coming power hitters in baseball, however he will be held back by the lineup around him.  The next best power hitter and his only hope for protection in the Marlins’ lineup may be Logan Morrison. Pitchers working around Stanton is a risk to his fantasy value, but even so, it is hard to believe he won’t record a respectable average, collect a handful of steals, and hit 30 home runs – possibly threatening the 40 home run plateau.

Giancarlo Stanton

5.  Pittsburgh Pirates, CF, Andrew McCutchen

Andrew McCutchen posted 31 home runs and 20 steals to go with his .321 batting average and .400 on-base percentage. With marginally less upside and less injury risk, he’s basically Cargo in Pittsburgh (though you could argue he’s better after controlling for field effects).  McCutchen is only 26 years old and should continue dominating in the National League Central, where he will continue to be a lock for 20-20 with potential for 30-30 and .300+.


4.  Colorado Rockies, LF, Carlos Gonzalez

When healthy, Carlos Gonzalez is capable of 30-30 .300.  Drafting Cargo is always a injury risk, but if you can swallow the pill you may get one of the best players in baseball.  He’s only 27 years old and should be good for 500 fantastic at bats.  If so, you’ll have one of the most well-rounded players in the game.  With a quality lineup and an advantageous home field, the sky is the limit for Mr. Gonzalez.  Plus, he is the only player to post 20 home runs and 20 steals over the past three seasons, indicating that, despite the injury woes, his floor isn’t too low.

Carlos Gonzalez


3.  Los Angeles Dodgers, CF, Matt Kemp

We’ve made it to the top three outfielders in baseball, and these three should be obvious, even if the order is not. Coming in at number three is Matt Kemp.  He nearly captured the NL MVP in 2011, barely being edged by Ryan Braun, but 2012 was largely derailed by injury.  Even still, he remains the closest thing to a 40-40 threat in baseball, falling just one home run short in 2011, and he is just entering his age 28 season.  With a full, healthy season in a lineup with Hanley Ramirez, Adrian Gonzalez, Andre Ethier, and Carl Crawford, Matt Kemp is primed for a big year. Matt Kemp 

2.  Los Angeles Angels, CF, Mike Trout

Although many are selecting Mike Trout as the top outfielder and even the top overall player in their fantasy drafts, I stop just short, ranking the youngster as the number two outfielder and number three overall player.  While it is tempting to project a ridiculous 30-60 type season, let’s just cool off and break it down for a moment.  Mike Trout has less than a full season of track record, so some risk is inherent.  He also plays the most demanding outfield position and does so with reckless abandon, again some risk.  Additionally, he’s gained a fair amount of weight over the offseason, causing some to wonder if he can steal bases with such ease in 2013 (he was 49/54 in 2012).  He also batted .284 and .257 in August in September, respectively.  While a stupendous .300, 30 home run, 40 stolen season wouldn’t shock anyone, a still great .290, a 25-35 campaign shouldn’t come as too big as a shock either.  Still, Mike Trout is a star and will likely be a stalwart as one of the games biggest stars for years to come.


1.  Milwaukee Brewers, LF, Ryan Braun

Despite the steroid controversy, I am comfortable calling Ryan Braun the best outfielder in baseball.  He had his first 40-30 season last year, and easily could have won the NL MVP.  He’s cranked thirty home runs in all but one of his six professional seasons.  If you can overlook his inclusion in ugly steroid rumors (as an unbiased fantasy manager should) you’ll see a player that is as much as a lock for .300 30-15 with upside to reach 40 home runs and over thirty steals.  He is a career .313 hitter and at age 29, there’s no reason to expect significant drop off from the studly, Jewish-American superstar.  While repeating 40 home runs may be much to ask, a batting average over .300, over 30 home runs, and over 20 stolen bases with a long track record of reliability earn Mr. Braun the Reading Between The Seams crown as the best outfielder in baseball.



Players who could easily crash the party:

Baltimore Orioles, CF, Adam Jones could have easily cracked the top 10 as he is the continues to rise the ranks of up and coming outfielders in MLB.  Since signing his six-year deal last season, he managed to reach career highs with a .287 batting average, 186 hits, and 32 home runs.  This season Jones will bat cleanup which should provide opportunities for him to reach the century mark in RBI.  If Adam Jones wants to crack the top 10 he will have to improve on his career OBP of .323.

Oakland Athletics, CF, Yoenis Cespedes played in only 129 games in his first season and torched opposing pitchers with a .292 batting average and 23 home runs.  He managed to steal 16 out of 20 bases.  Now he is approaching his second season, barring a sophomore slump, he should reach 20-20 and has the potential to reach 30-20. If you don’t know any Oakland A’s players by name then keep an eye on this five-tool player.  His name once again is Yoenis Cespedes.


Ryan Kantor of “Reading Between the Seams”, for War Room Sports

Ryan Kantor is an author at Reading Between the Seams. He is a life-long Yankees fan and a proud Clemson alumnus, residing in North Carolina, where he works in marketing research. For more stories like this, you can visit his personal blog at and follow him on Twitter at @Ryan_Kantor.

2013 MLB Top 10 Third Basemen

Friday, March 29th, 2013

by LeRoy McConnell III





10. Pittsburgh Pirates 3B  Pedro Alvarez

Pedro Alvarez

When looking at Pedro Alvarez’ .244 BA last season, you may wonder how can he be part of top 10.  My take is it was his first full season in the big leagues.  Never mind the batting average, let’s talk about the power he displayed.  In his first full season at third base he smacked 30 HRs and drove in 85 RBI on an up and coming Pittsburgh Pirates team.  Alvarez will be asked to provide the same power as last season.  He will bat in the middle of the lineup once again with plenty of RBI chances.  If he can improve on his batting average, he will become even more dangerous.

2013 Prediction .249BA 29HR 99RBI.315OBP.440SLG

9. Toronto Blue Jay 3B.  Brett Lawrie

Brett Lawrie is a Canadian born player, playing right in his backyard for the hometown Tor0nto Blue Jays.  There is so much promise for the second-year stud as he has shown speed on the bases and power at the plate.  With the addition of Jose Reyes, Lawrie will now bat in the middle of the order to provide Edwin Encarnacion and Jose Bautista with some needed protection.  Brett put up decent numbers last season before missing the last two months with an oblique strain.  The injury has been a lingering problem for Lawrie as he just removed himself from the WBC this past week.  The key for Brett Lawrie is to just get well.  He could miss opening day.



2013 Predicitons .282BA 20HR 76RBI 24SB .330OBP.450SLG

8.  San Diego 3B Chase Headley

Stats don’t lie.  31HR 115RBI and OBP of .376.  This individual was a Silver Slugger and won the Gold Glove last year.  Kind of strange that those numbers didn’t even warrant a trip to the All-Star game last season.  I mean this guy earned these numbers playing half his games in a pitcher’s park in San Diego.  Padres aren’t known for scoring a lot of runs and Mr. Chase Headley managed to lead the NL in RBI last year.  Could you imagine what type of publicity Chase Headley would receive today if he played in a bigger market?  Put Headley as the starting third baseman for the New York Mets and he would be the one with the $100 million dollar contract.

2013 Prediction .272BA 27HR 100RBI 16SB .360OBP .440SLG



7. San Francisco Giants 3B  Pablo Sandoval

If we are keeping score at home, Kung Fu Panda has two more World Series rings than the legendary San Francisco great, Barry Bonds.  Oh, I forgot, he won the 2012 World Series MVP as he joined Reggie Jackson and Albert Pujols as the only members to hit three home runs in a World Series game.  Two of the long bombs Sandoval hit were off of Cy Young Award winner Justin Verlander.  Pablo didn’t stop there.  He played Winter ball and was the MVP of the Venezuelan League.  With all the accolades Pablo has received, he has yet to post a 30 homer/100 RBI season.  Is this the year that the 26-year-old, 2-time all-star puts it all together?


2013 Prediction .297BA 28HR 94RBI .350OBP.480SLG        


6. Milwaukee Brewers 3B  Aramis Ramirez

Hard to believe Ramirez has been in the Major Leagues for 15 years!  He has been a pleasant surprise for the Brew Crew, as he protected MVP Ryan Braun in the lineup with the departure of Prince Fielder just a year ago.  Aramis proved to the baseball lords that he could put up numbers outside of Wrigley Field.  Ramirez led the majors in doubles with 50 last season and also maintained a .300 average.  Though he is now in his mid-thirties, expect Aramis to continue protecting Braun in the lineup and putting up MVP numbers.



2013 Prediction .300 26HR 101RBI .344OBP.497SLG


5. Washington Nationals 3B  Ryan Zimmerman 

Who says that the Washington Nationals aren’t serious about winning?  They paid Zimmerman over $100 million to man the position at third base.  Ryan is the second highest paid third baseman behind Alex Rodriguez because he has some serious game.  Just last year he bounced back from an injury plagued season to put up 25HR and 95RBI while batting in the #3 hole.  Zimmerman went and had shoulder surgery during the offseason and though his surgery was successful, he may come out of the gates a little slow this spring.  As the season progresses, look for Ryan to enjoy another successful season at third base.  

2013 Prediction .285BA 30HR 100RBI.350OBP.471SLG 



4. New York Mets 3B David Wright

Is David Wright ready to be the darling in New York?  Well he does wear a “C” on his uniform, just not in pin stripes.  Jeter is still the man in the Bronx while David owns Manhattan.  Mr. Wright is definitely the right man at third.  He has been a cornerstone for the Mets for the past nine seasons.  The 6x-All-Star, 2x Gold Glove, and 2x Silver Slugger will own every statistical offensive mark in a Mets uniform before he is done.  So while he is now in his prime, it’s time to go after the National League MVP.  That award is within his reach and it will be the first time a Mets player would hold such an honor.


2013 Prediction .294BA 27HR 89RBI.366OBP.464SLG



3. Tampa Bay Rays 3B Evan Longoria

An injury plagued season kept Evan from having another  decent year at the plate.  Any time he is in the lineup, he is sure to do damage with his wooded piece.  Just last season, he spent 13 weeks nursing a hamstring tear that cost him and his team another playoff berth.  The former Rookie of the Year hits for average, has power all over the field, is willing to take a pitch, and draws walks.  He is a 3X All-Star, 2X Gold Glove, and has a Silver Slugger’s Award at the ripe old age of 27.  He is now entering his prime and barring injuries could make a run at Most Valuable Player.




2013 Prediction .295BA 31HR 102RBI .365OBP.510SLG



2. Texas Rangers 3B Adrian Beltre

By far the best defensive third baseman in the majors, as he has now collected back to back Gold Gloves (total 4) since joining the Texas Rangers.  This 3x All-Star could have easily been last year’s MVP with his .321 BA, 36 HR, 102 RBI, getting on base 35% of the time, and with a slugging rate of .561!  Texas will lean heavily on Adrian’s production even more this year with the departure of Josh Hamilton and Michael Young.  Beltre is the clear leader on this team now and will bat cleanup again, protecting the likes of newly acquired Lance Berkman.  Adrian will turn 34 in early April and is entering his 16th season in the BIGs.  The question is, how much longer will the talented third baseman play at an elite level?


2013 Prediction .305BA 33HR 117RBI .355OBP.519SLG




1. Detroit Tigers 3B Miguel Cabrera

Without a doubt the 7x-All-Star, Miguel Cabrera is flat out the best third baseman in baseball.  He became the American League MVP last season by achieving the triple crown (first time since Carl Yastrzemski in ’67) which primarily gave him a slight edge over Mike Trout as being the best player in baseball.  The 29 year old, Cabrera reached career highs in average, home runs, RBI, and collecting his first ever 200 hits in a season.  With the addition of Prince Fielder last season, Miguel was able to take advantage of pitchers and that contributed to his historical season.  Cabrera is now entering into his prime years with the Tigers and with Prince protecting him, so don’t be surprised if Miguel continues putting up triple crown-like numbers.

2013 Prediction .322BA 39HR 131RBI.401OBP.574SLG




Players who could easily crash the party.

David Freese – Freese made the All-Star game for the first time last year and the World Series MVP is capable of cracking the top 10.  2013 Prediction .300BA 22HR 86RBI.351OBP.436SLG

Will Middlebrooks – Numbers should improve even more now.  He will be the every day player for a full season and also half of his games are in Fenway, which should contribute to a successful second year.  2013 Prediction  .290BA 22HR 76RBI.310OBP.430SLG

Todd Frazier- Todd has the chance to put up some pretty nice numbers hitting in Great American Ballpark.  2013 Prediction .258BA 25HR 70RBI.314OBP.433SLG

LeRoy McConnell III of “A Fan’s Point of View”, for War Room Sports