Major League Baseball’s Review at the Two-Thirds Point

By Joe Hines
PSDC Staff & Chicago Guru

Mike-Trout

Major league baseball is at the 2/3 mark of the 2015 season and begs for a review. These are the dog days, heading into mid-August with sellers selling and buyers hoping to rent their way to top of the heap. Re: Toronto Blue Jays. [Read more…]

Major League Baseball Quarter-Pole Report

By Joe Hines
PSDC Staff & Chicago Guru

Memorial Day is roughly the quarter pole of the Major League Baseball season, and along with July 4 and Labor Day, holidays that not only mark progress for your favorite team, but offer All-American encouragement to eat copious amounts of food and to drink until death. So assuming you haven’t taken the last suggestion literally, you can read here my observations of the first quarter of baseball season. Please keep in mind I am a Cub fan so therefore distracted with visions of Bryant and Lester leading fantastic post season charges, culminating with topless women in the streets of Chicago. I may not be completely objective.

Kris-Bryant-Chicago-Cubs

One overriding observation from the beginning of the season is that in the wake of the retirement of Derek Jeter, the game is in good hands of youngsters such as Mike Trout, Joc Pederson, Anthony Rizzo, Bryce Harper and Kris Bryant. It’s difficult for me to remember an era when such a plethora of young, accomplished star players has taken a toehold in the majors. Each of the names I mentioned is appointment viewing for fans. If you are more a fan of dominant pitching, Matt Harvey and a couple of his mound mates in New York should satisfy your appetite. Big free agent signees Max Scherzer and Jon Lester squared off yesterday at Wrigley with Scherzer getting the better of it. This time. Compelling matchups abound in baseball this year. Chris Sale of the White Sox faced off against reigning AL Cy Young winner Cory Kluber last week in one of the most fun and interesting pitching duels I’ve ever seen. Though the Indians lost 2-1, Kluber was dominant and left me to wonder, how the hell did he start the season 0-5 as he did? There hasn’t been a better time in recent history for baseball fans. Do yourself a favor and catch a few of these matchups. [Read more…]

2015 MLB Predictions

By Joe Hines
PSDC Staff & Chicago Guru

mike-trout

Baseball season kicks off on Sunday night with the Cubs and Cardinals in the first ever opening night game at Wrigley Field. The Cubs are teeming with hope this year, as with every year. This year though, the hope actually has some actual talent with which to base itself on. This isn’t another Cubs story though, these are my predictions for the upcoming baseball season. Division races, wild cards and the World Series. As a bonus I’m throwing in the individual postseason awards. So sit back, take a look and then let me know what you think. Play ball! [Read more…]

Jon Lester to Cubs with a Twist

By Joe Hines
PSDC Staffer & Chicago Guru

Prior to the big decision relative to baseball’s hot stove season; which team will “win” the Jon Lester sweepstakes, I have a reason other than making the Cubs an instant contender in a very winnable division for them to be interested in this year’s free agent diamond.

Photo Credit: AP

Photo Credit: AP

Teams have varying, often unique reasons for throwing truckloads of cash at that player that will move them from average to elite, or to help carry on a dynasty, a word I use loosely. A key bat in the middle of the lineup, a solid closer or a top of the line starter all are worthy reasons for expenditure of the filthiest kind in the world of Major League Baseball. [Read more…]

MLB Offseason Update Including Josh Donaldson Trade Reaction

By Andrew Voght
PSDC MLB Expert

josh-donaldson-athletics

Wow, just wow! This baseball offseason is just as exciting as the World Series this year. A big congratulations to San Francisco for another title and to Madison Bumgarner my break out player for the National League.

Congrats to the Boston Red Sox for only going one full season without breaking the bank! Pablo Sandoval just robbed Boston and I’m ok with that, Hanley Ramirez at least offers more than just a DH option and let’s not forget the possibility of bringing back Jon Lester after his trade to Oakland. [Read more…]

Chicago Cubs Raid the Candy Store on Halloween

By Joe Hines
PSDC Writer & Chicago Guru

As the waves from angry Lake Michigan pound Lake Shore Drive today, the Cubs have struck up some of their own turbulence, firing manager Rick Renteria after one season at the helm of the Cubs. Renteria’s ouster is expected to be followed Monday by the hiring of free agent manager Joe Maddon, late of the Tampa Bay Rays.

Photo Credit: MLB.com

Photo Credit: MLB.com

Instead of looking at the nuts and bolts of the business of baseball, and the moral implications of terminating one good man in order to hire another, let’s look at this within the confines of baseball karma. [Read more…]

Are GMs Letting Their Own Egos Run Their Teams?

By Justin Broyles
PSDC Writer

The MLB trade deadline has come and gone and there were several blockbusters. Jon Lester went to the A’s and David Price went to the Tigers. But the thing I found most amusing was how each team seemed to be making the trades because the GM wanted to be seen as the ballsier guy.

This first started when the Oakland A’s traded for Jeff Samardzija early in July. Everyone was saying the A’s were all-in, that Billy Beane is the riskiest GM in the business and the team was going to win the World Series. Well, that wasn’t all Billy Beane did. He added Jon Lester on Thursday and that same type of talk continued. That apparently didn’t make Dave Dombrowski feel good. [Read more…]

Reaction to the Jon Lester, Yoenis Cespedes Trade

By Matt Conley
PSDC Contributor

July 23, 2007: Jon Lester made his first start back from treatment for Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, in Jacobs Field against the Cleveland Indians. I was in attendance that day. Lester went six innings, giving up two runs. The sheer feat of seeing a man coming off cancer treatment turning in that kind of performance against the eventual AL runner-ups would be enough to make a fan out of anyone. As a Red Sox fan, I certainly didn’t need any reason, but that was the start of the love affair most Sox fans had with Jon Lester. [Read more…]

2014 MLB Team Preview: Boston Red Sox

By Bobby Roberts
AmericasWhiteBoy.com

Boston went from worst to first to win the World Series. It’s hard to believe that this time last year, we were still talking about ‘chicken and beer’. Manager John Farrell turned around the team at a ‘wicked’ fast rate.

Photo Credit: WEEI

Photo Credit: WEEI

The Red Sox now have a target on their backs. They will get the best effort from their opponents in every game. The Yankees and Rays are extra hungry to knock off the defending champs.

Xander Bogaerts, Jackie Bradley Jr. and Will Middlebrooks, players who have yet to live up to their hype, will be asked to play everyday. Is Boston asking too much?

Here is the 2014 MLB season preview for the Boston Red Sox.

[Read more…]

Only Larry Lucchino Can Be Insecure About Yankees

By Leslie Monteiro
PSDC Contributor

The Red Sox are hard to root for. They are as unlikable as the Yankees.

There are litanies of reasons the Red Sox are unlikable from their fan base to the arrogance of so many of their players.

From my perspective, it’s Red Sox CEO Larry Lucchino that comes off as unlikable. His shot at the Yankees couple of times this year is unbecoming of him. He should mind his own business rather than commenting on another team’s business. Nothing irks me more than a team employee doing it, especially a front office figure.

Photo Credit: AP

Photo Credit: AP

Lucchino has been taking shots at Yankees since the day he took control of the Red Sox operations in 2002 when John Henry and his ownership group bought the Red Sox. He started his nonsense by calling them the “Evil Empire” after his team lost out to the Yankees for the rights of Jose Contreras in 2002. Since then, he makes it a point to goad the Yankees in taking shots of him and the Red Sox. [Read more…]

2014 Red Sox: Empire Strikes Back or Caddyshack 2?

By Matt Conley
PSDC Contributor

The 2013 Red Sox were a Hollywood movie script. Coming off of a tumultuous 2012 season in which they finished last place, fired their embattled manager and lost their wunderkind GM that brought two titles to town, there weren’t many people with high expectations. Then, on Patriot’s Day, the Boston Marathon bombing tragedy happens. Through the pain and sorrow, the city rallied around this team they previously had minimal expectations for. You know the ending of the story, and all the, “Team of destiny” talk already. This is baseball, though. The most analytically scrutinized sport in the world. Destiny isn’t something we can quantify. We can, however, figure out what made this team so good, and estimate if they can repeat their “magical” season.

Photo Credit: fansided.com

Photo Credit: fansided.com

The Red Sox led the majors in runs, by a wider margin over the second place Tigers than the gap between the Tigers and the sixth place Indians. Seems to be a pretty impressive feat for a team that only had two players in the top 60 in wRC+. So how does a team that doesn’t feature what we traditionally think of as a loaded lineup manager to greatly outscore everyone else in baseball by a significant margin? The answer seems to be good old-fashioned barreling of the ball, baserunning, power and luck. [Read more…]

Japanese Team Flip Flops, Masahiro Tanaka To Be Posted

By Chris Stuckey
Editor-in-Chief

Will he be posted or will he not be posted? He was then he wasn’t and he is again. Who is he and what does posted mean you might ask? He is Masahiro Tanaka, the most coveted pitcher in Japanese baseball. And his Japanese league team, the Rakuten Eagles, has apparently changed course and decided to post the 25-year-old pitcher for MLB teams to bid on.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Photo Credit: Getty Images

To put it simply, the posting process determines which MLB team(s) is awarded the right to negotiate with Tanaka based on the highest bid(s). Tanaka’s Japanese team receives the compensation. The posting system has been revised and the posting bid is now $20 million max. The Texas Rangers paid over $50 million to negotiate with Yu Darvish as did the Boston Red Sox with Daisuke Matsuzaka. [Read more…]