As a new season dawns, Geoff looks at how baseball went west in the first place.
As Yogi Berra might say, we'll have all year to discuss the season. This week takes us in a different direction. Come, step into my TARDIS, as we examine the origins of professional baseball in each of the NL West cities.
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Angels outfielder Mike Trout leads this team of prospects that have exceeded expectations this season.
With the end of the minor league regular season arriving, it's time to start wrapping up 2010. Instead of a traditional All-Star team, here are the players at each position that for one reason or another exceeded the most expectations. One additional caveat, all the players listed here are pure prospects that have yet to taste the nice hotels and big per diems of the big leagues.
A look at the four best-of-three series in the NCAA Tournament that begin Saturday.
The first three days of the NCAA Tournament went largely as planned, with nine top seeds advancing and five of the seven regional finales featuring the top two seeded teams. St. John’s and Minnesota were the only three and four seeds to finish the weekend 2-1 and force their regional hosts—Virginia and Cal State Fullerton—to play on Monday. Moreover, all of the top seeds made it past the first weekend, and only one national seed dropped one of their first two games, thereby having to win twice Sunday, and it wasn’t much of a test for Coastal Carolina as it drubbed Stony Brook 25-6. Two other hosts dropped their opening games and were forced to play sudden death doubleheaders Sunday as Auburn ousted Southern Mississippi and Cal State Fullerton finished of New Mexico in their respective first matchups of the day. Then, Auburn, Fullerton, and Coastal Carolina all won their nightcaps against rested foes, each forcing decisive Monday finales for their respective regions. Louisville, Miami, Arkansas, Virginia, and Georgia Tech each failed to win their only games on Sunday that could have punched their tickets to a super regional. While Coastal Carolina and Virginia managed to return to form on Monday and advance, regional host Auburn, as well as national seeds Louisville and Georgia Tech lost again Monday. Arkansas’ loss doesn’t change any travel plans, but with the brackets established to result in the winners of the Auburn and Atlanta regional meeting in the second round, No. 2 seed Clemson will host fellow 2 seed Alabama, despite not hosting a regional.
Here is the look at the four best-of-three super regionals that will be played Saturday-Monday.
Three weeks out, a stab at figuring out who goes in the first round after the Nationals take Stephen Strasburg.
Doing a mock draft nearly three weeks before the real thing is an exercise that combines gathering intelligence with making a lot of dart throws-especially in this draft, where clarity ends after the first pick. Here are reactions from various agents, scouts, scouting directors, and front office officials when I contacted them in reference to this article.
Bryan handicaps who's got the best chances at making the college playoffs coming out of the best conferences.
Before the season, my initial preview of the college baseball scene was an analysis of the offensive structure of the game. I tried to show that despite the aluminum bats we weren't talking about a 30-run brand of baseball (even though Virginia defied me by dropping 27 on Coppin State in the season's first week). I really hoped to prove that it's a game where Brian Roberts' major league numbers are average, and that it's a brand of baseball where defense is inconsistent. To prove this, I used the averages of the 12 conferences that had at least one at-large bid in the 2007 NCAA Tournament. With a few exceptions, it's those 12 conferences that host the best baseball in the nation. While the midway point of the regular season isn't until next week or so, I decided to abandon our usual six-point structure just for this week to review the state of those 12 conferences. As a point of reference, last year 45 of the 64 NCAA tournament spots went to teams in these conferences.
Kevin gets inside thirty skulls at once, and pegs his top picks for all thirty teams.
1. Tampa Bay Devil Rays
It's the worst-kept secret in the game. David Price came into the season as the top prospect in the draft, and then went out and pitched as well, if not better than expectations. The D-Rays have insisted that Price is just part of a three-player mix that includes California prep third baseman Josh Vitters and Georgia Tech catcher Matt Wieters, but that's just a cover-your-ass move. It's Price, and it has always been Price.
Nate uncovers the best spot for the Fish to migrate to, should they choose to swim to other waters.
If you build it, will they come? Cities that are attempting to procure a major league baseball team invariably find some way to spin the numbers in the most favorable light possible. I found a 1989 New York Times article in which Buffalo Bills owner Frank Rich, then trying to land a baseball expansion team in his city, claimed that Buffalo was the eighth-largest TV market in the country "when you include Rochester, Syracuse and the Niagara Peninsula." Backers of the San Antonio Marlins can cite the large population of the city proper, ignoring that its media market is decidedly minor league.