The thing about driving a long distance alone is that you have a lot of time to think meanderingly. When you're driving a long distance alone on your way to a baseball event, your thinking tends to bend toward baseball.
During the particular trip I took last weekend to FanFest in Oakland, I saw a sign, I think somewhere near Coalinga, California, a perfectly usual sign, reading "high winds" or something else to that effect that got me joking
Offering at least one reason to tune in to each potentially talent-challenged team when you're flipping through your MLB.tv options this season.
Bad teams have been much on my mind lately. Blame it on being an A's fan, blame it on marrying into a Mets family, blame it on my generally sour personality. Irrespective of the cause, I find myself less intrigued by the powerhouses or the teams in tight races for the playoffs than by the squads that will come out of the gate slow, dawdle through the dog days, and finish in a muddle of obscure Triple-A players crowding the expanded September rosters as they fight for 2013 jobs on what will likely be yet another mediocre team.
If you're a fan of one of these franchises, you'll probably watch them whatever happens. But what will the rest of you watch on the nights when your team is off, or long, lazy weekend afternoons? You can always tune in to see the Yankees and Rays face off in a game with playoff implications for the umpteenth time, but if you're like me, you get a little bored seeing the same (really good) players over and over. Let me present, then, a team-by-team list of reasons to tune into a game at which more casual fans might turn up their noses. Call it the Every Team is Special list.
Which outfielders and DHs proved to be the biggest black holes in the majors?
Picking up where I left off on Friday, we continue hunting the fish at the bottom of the major-league barrel in search of the positions where teams got the worst production—worse than the Replacement-Level Killers, but without the burden of toiling for a contending team. As with their catching and infield brethren, the following players helped produce tornado-level disasters amid their lineups, often at salaries that represented far more than just soft breezes running through their teams’ bank accounts. These are the Vortices of Suck.
Teams dish out the dough for players whose only task is to mash, but they don't always get a good return.
The designated hitter is one of those principles that seem to be a lot better in theory than in practice for most American League franchises. In theory, AL clubs can replace their feeble-hitting pitchers with a big, strong bat that will help the offense’s efficiency. But those big hitters are not always plentiful for some teams and not affordable for others. For every Edgar Martinez out there, a team ends up with Pat Burrell, as the only guarantee a designated hitter gives a team is the right to choose not to put the pitcher in the batting order.
Which corner infielders make the Value Picks list for the first week of the season?
Finding fantasy waiver wire value requires several different strategies, featured in this week’s debut of the Value Picks regular-season edition. To ensure availability, candidates for the VP list must have less than 20 percent ownership in ESPN leagues (I’ll typically reference CBS for comparison), a narrow band that still saw Luke Scott, Mitch Moreland, Pedro Alvarez, and Gaby Sanchez among last year’s VPs.
The reigning American League Rookie of the Year gives a light-hearted lowdown of the diverse personalities in the Athletics' clubhouse.
Andrew Bailey is the reigning American League Rookie of the Year, and he is also one of the game’s most engaging personalities. The Athletics’ closer clearly has a talented right arm, as evidenced by his 1.81 ERA and 40 saves in 98 big-league appearances. Based on his responses to questions about several Oakland teammates, he also possesses a keen and calculated wit.