Kyle: “I was listening to today's podcast and it was mentioned that the Astros have the best record since ‘some arbitrary date.’ It got me wondering how many teams that statement could apply to if we just vary that endpoint. My blind guess is six.”
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As the 2013 season concluded, Alex Anthopoulos’ chair in Toronto was, per reports and common sense, wobbly. “He needs a winning season in 2014 or he will likely be fired,” wrote Richard Griffin, in an article that suggested opposing teams had cracked his tactics, putting the Blue Jays in a disadvantageous position on the trade market. Now, of course, the Blue Jays are the class of the AL East, the most improved team (by winning percentage) in baseball from a year ago, and as likely to make the playoffs as the Tigers are. Clearly, Anthopoulos had a tremendous offseason. Clearly, he’ll be in contention for executive of the year. Anybody who foretold his dismissal clearly didn’t see this incredible act of General Managing in the winter of 2013-2014. Let’s review the seven key moves that Anthopoulos made:
So far as I can tell, ballplayers aren’t all that interested in our concern for their safety. They probably understand the risks better than we do (or feel like they do) and they understand the unintended consequences of ‘solutions’ better than we do (or feel like they do). So there’s a certain pointlessness to any article that dwells too much on the suspensions doled out by Major League Baseball, which are (theoretically) supposed to incentivize responsible behavior and reduce the risks violence imposes on players.
Hi friends! What would you say if I told you that the Justin Verlander extension was just as big a mistake as the Ryan Howard extension? Would you call me an idiot and never listen to me again? Good, because I would never say that. Never. However, the Tigers did make one mistake that was similar to Ruben Amaro Jr.'s, and it looks increasingly likely that they'll pay for it. At Fox Sports, I went over Verlander's early-season struggles, why they're different than last year's, and why the two years a club has to wait and see might be its most valuable, if often overlooked, asset. Block quote time!