Fond memories of baseball in Utah? Dial up the wayback machine and remember when...
The dead of winter and a particularly rough week as far as the trials and tribulations of adulthood go have me wishing for a warmer, simpler time in a long-lost place. As I've written before, I grew up attending ballgames in the late '70s and '80s in Salt Lake City, Utah, a spot far from a major-league stadium, but a city with a rich history as a minor-league outpost dating back to the old Pacific Coast League and its 200-game seasons. During my childhood and adolescence, Salt Lake City played host to the Triple-A affiliates for the Angels and Mariners in the modern-day PCL, both known as the Gulls. Additionally, every summer I would visit my paternal grandparents in in Walla Walla, Washington, the site of the Padres' Low-A Northwest League affiliate.
Unveiling the new general manager aptitude test. Are you destined for front-office glory, or will you be left on the farm?
Several months ago in this space you may have seen the Baseball Skipper Aptitude Test (BSAT), a semi-tongue-in-cheek battery of questions designed to tease out the thought processes of managerial candidates and identify those who may be a little more forward-thinking. In response to that piece, I received a number of reader requests to develop a similar set of questions for general manager candidates, and the results can be found below for your enjoyment. Coming up with questions for GMs is a lot harder than it is for field managers, since the job of the GM is far more varied, far more important, and in most cases far less visible. Making it even harder is the fact that GMs as a group, at least to my untrained eyes, seem to be making fewer and fewer cringe-inducing decisions than they used to, reducing the number of obvious targets for gentle ribbing in the questions. I hope you enjoy them nonetheless.
Tim Beckham, Josh Reddick and Chris Withrow are among those who have regressed in 2010.
The minor league regular season has about one month left; as a result, you can't call bad performances "slow starts" anymore. Instead, they're bad seasons. Here are 10 guys who entered the year with high expectations and have seen those expectations plummet.
A preview of the Dominican Winter League, taking a look at the teams, stadiums, managers, and players to watch for.
The "National Religion" came back on October 16th, as the Dominican League launched its 56th edition. Reliably praised as having the highest level of talent among the winter leagues, one should expect to watch another mix of highly ranked prospects, mid-level major leaguers, a few recognizable American players, veterans looking for another shot, and some major league stars between now and the end of the Caribbean Series in February. The league format has six teams playing a 50-game regular-season schedule, with the four best records advancing to a long 18-game round-robin playoff, and the two remaining best clubs play a best-of-nine final series to decide the league's champion. Without further ado, here's what this season will bring us:
Tigres del Licey (Licey Tigers)
Home: Santo Domingo
2008-09 record: 26-24, fourth place (tied) regular season; 12-6, first place round-robin; beat the Gigantes in the final series 5-0.
Ballpark: Estadio Quisqueya; strong pitcher's park, with a Park Factor of 92.
A conversation with the journeyman about the minors, indie ball, the business of baseball, and more.
Jon Searles is unique. Originally an eighth-round pick by Pittsburgh in 1999, Searles attended Penn while pitching in the Pirates, Expos, and Cubs organizations, earning a finance degree from the Wharton School of Business when he wasn't on the mound. Now, after his fourth consecutive season in Double-A, his career is at a crossroads. David talked to Searles about where his career has been, where he sees it going, and how he views the game on both a personal and a business level.