Baseball Thoughts Entering the 2015 Playoffs (or how the Cubs can win the World Series)

By Joe Hines
PSDC Staff & Chicago Guru

I’m sitting in the ProjectShanks.com home office in Longview, Texas, six feet to the left of my slave-driving boss, Chris Stuckey. Talk about pressure.

But I surge ahead, determined to transfer these thoughts I have from my brain to keyboard, whether a thousand miles away at home, or at headquarters.

Photo Credit: USA Today

Photo Credit: USA Today

In case you haven’t noticed, the Cubs have the third best record in baseball. It is typical, that in such a case, the two better records belong to teams in their own NL Central Division; the Cardinals and Pirates. With only a couple of games this weekend to settle the dust and seal the postseason awards, the National League playoffs are set. The Cubs and Pirates will play the one game wild card game in Pittsburgh on Wednesday night, TBS the dutiful portrayer of the game. And don’t the playoffs just scream TBS? They broadcast an excuse me game every now and again, I was surprised to find late in the season that Ted Turner’s network even continued to broadcast baseball, with the superstations TBS and WGN dumping the local team coverage in the last few years, they being the Braves and Cubs. But that’s a conversation for a different column. [Read more…]

2014 MLB Team Preview: New York Mets

By Matthew Cafaro
PSDC Writer

New York Mets
Founded: 1962
Division Titles: 5
National League Pennants: 4
World Series Titles: 2 (1969, 1986) 

2013 Record: 74-88, 3rd Place in the NL East 
Key Losses: Johan Santana, Shaun Marcum, LaTroy Hawkins, Matt Harvey*
Key Additions: Curtis Granderson, Bartolo Colon, Chris Young

I want to point out that last year I predicted the Mets would finish with a record of 74-88. Which they did. Exactly so. So we now know something about me: I’m good at guessing how this particular baseball team would finish the 2013 season. Why couldn’t I have this power with guessing lottery numbers? Or NCAA brackets? Oh well. On to this year’s preview!

The 2013 New York Mets were a revelation in starting pitching talent. From some of their young pitchers, like Matt Harvey and Zack Wheeler, greatness was expected and delivered. Speaking as a Braves fan, I was not expecting Dillon Gee’s ascension, which was a not-so-nice surprise for New York’s division rivals. Alas, the Mets’ pitching success was undone by a spate of injuries, the hardest to swallow being Harvey’s need for Tommy John surgery with the feared prognosis that he would not pitch at all in 2014.** [Read more…]

2013 Oakland Athletics – The Best Team You’ve Never Watched

By Stephen Bonser
PSDC Contributor

Chances are, up until this postseason, you’ve watched fewer than two of the 2013 Oakland Athletics games. Obvious exceptions include A’s fans – which aren’t too common, given Oakland’s stellar 23rd place ranking in total attendance this year – and bored baseball fans with an MLB TV subscription like myself. Other than that, they’ve received little to no attention.

But why?

Coco-Crisp-Yoenis-Cespedes

Before the playoffs, before Sonny Gray’s gem and Stephen Vogt’s walk off, before a near-brawl with 20 outs in the ninth, before all of that, Oakland was locked in a tight race with Texas for the AL West lead. On my birthday, Sept. 6, they sat a half game behind Texas at 80-60. In those last three weeks and two days, Oakland went 16-6, including an emphatic weekend sweep over the Rangers. I missed those games, like most of America. And I’m not happy about that.

But why? Why did we miss those? Why couldn’t we be burdened to watch? Why couldn’t ESPN force us to watch on Sunday night or even Wednesday night? [Read more…]