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…]

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…]

MLB Trade Deadline Winners and Losers

By Andrew Voght
PSDC Writer

1. Boston Red Sox

Added: Yoenis Cespedes, Allen Craig, Joe Kelly, Eduardo Rodriguez, Kelly Johnson, Edwin Escobar, Heath Hembree and a player to be named later (from Chicago Cubs)

Lost: Jake Peavy, Jon Lester, Jonny Gomes, John Lackey, Stephen Drew, Andrew Miller, Felix Dubront and competitive balance pick (to Oakland)

Outlook: The Red Sox gave up very little considering that Jon Lester has come out and said he will resign with Boston this offseason. The addition of Cespedes to the outfield with Allen Craig allows not only a strong and upgraded outfield but the ability to release Shane Victorino at the end of the season.

The Red Sox dropped a lot of dollars in a season they knew was about to be terrible, but the main point of these trades was an unbelievable addition to the starting rotation and suring up the outfield for the 2015 season and beyond…damn, Red Sox! [Read more…]

MLB Trade Deadline Roulette

By Justin Broyles
PSDC Writer

It’s the MLB All-Star break and this is the time of year where rumors go flying around about who will get dealt. Where will they go? What will teams give up to get superstars? And with the rumor mill up and going, I thought I’d take a look at possible trade targets and where they may be playing in the next few weeks.

David Price

david-price

David Price is the biggest fish in the trade deadline pond. Every contender can use him but not every contender can afford the price the Rays have put on him. After what the Cubs were able to get from the Athletics for Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel, it will take a king’s ransom to pry Price from the Rays this month. It’ll take most likely two top prospects, one good prospect and a throw in. Add that to the fact that the team that trades for Price will have to take on a huge salary and the pool of possible suitors falls to one team. The Los Angeles Dodgers. They have the prospects to get a deal done and they definitely have the money to pay him. The Dodgers don’t necessarily need a rotation upgrade but adding Price would make that pitching staff unbeatable. So if I was a betting man, I’d put my money on Price wearing Dodger Blue in a few weeks. [Read more…]

Ernest is Tormenting the Texas Rangers’ Pitchers

By Brendon Morris
PSDC Writer

You know when David Ortiz took a hack in the seventh inning of Yu Darvish’s would-be perfect game last Friday? Then the ball splattered between a dazed and confused duo of Alex Rios and Rougned Odor?

The ball didn’t just fall and ruin another perfect game/no-hitter opportunity for the dealing Japan import. There was a third person involved that play.

It was the MLB Angel of Death. He was there, you just couldn’t see him. We’ll call him Ernest.

Ernest found his way to the ball club on that fateful Friday and decided to shake things up a bit.

Then he went after more, and we found his fingerprints just today.

Martin Perez, whom I believed would’ve been the No. 2 starter in Arlington by season’s end before today’s news, suffered a partially-torn UCL, a ligament in his throwing elbow, that usually requires Tommy John surgery.

That news stunk. Yet another starter on the cursed Texas rotation knocked out by Ernest. But then the angel did it again when Matt Harrison left last night’s game in the second inning with back stiffness. Ernest wants Harry to end his career with another back surgery, and all the Rangers want is someone to throw some strikes once every couple of days. Preferably the guy they’re going to pay for the next five years, which is Harry himself. [Read more…]

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Top 5 Surprises in MLB Thus Far

By Andrew Voght
PSDC Contributor

Well we are almost at the 20-game mark and most teams are ready to hit the panic button. Teams and players are either on a tear or are wishing this season would already come to an end. We’ve had a triple play, a few no no flirtations, big homers and weak game winners.

#5 Free Agents Still on the Market

2014 has been an odd time for free agent players, usually the Yankees, Red Sox or some other big spender steps up and overpays for a guy who is past his prime. That’s USUALLY the case, but not this year. We’ve seen big name players, small players and import players get taken off the board with the same amount of fan fare. [Read more…]

PSDC Random Stat of the Day

By Johnny Griffith
PSDC Stat Man 

Yesterday was a bad day for reigning Cy Young Award winners with David Price allowing eight runs in the Rays’ 13-0 loss to the Indians on Sunday and R.A. Dickey was charged with eight runs in the Blue Jays’ 13-0 loss to the Red Sox. It marked the first time that two reigning Cy Young Award winners were each charged with seven or more runs on the same day.  Price gave up eight runs, 10 hits and three walks in five innings. He had been 5-0 with a 1.64 ERA in six career starts against Cleveland.

The Red Sox had five straight hits against R.A. Dickey to begin Sunday’s game, capped by the first of three home runs by Will Middlebrooks. Dickey allowed five first-inning runs, matching the number of runs that he allowed during the first inning of games in the entire 2012 season. Sunday’s game was the first of Dickey’s major-league career in which the first five batters he faced all recorded hits. He’s the first defending Cy Young Award winner to allow hits to the first five batters he faced in a game since Baltimore’s Mike Cuellar did that at Fenway Park on Sept. 4, 1970.

*Courtesy of www.espn.com

2013 MLB Team Preview: Tampa Bay Rays

By Johnny Griffith
PSDC Writer

The Tampa Bay Rays annoy me.

Since exorcising the “Expansion Team” demons with their first AL East title in 2008, the Rays have consistently managed to do more with less than any other team in the division. Every year GM Andrew Friedman pulls his best Bob Cratchit to Owner Stuart Sternberg’s Scrooge, scratching by on virtual pennies compared to the big spenders in the division, yet somehow seems to get biggest bang for the buck of any franchise in the division.

Since winning the division in 2008, Tampa has posted the second highest winning percentage, at .565 and all the while accomplishing Johnnie Walker Blue Label results, on a Natty Light budget. Only the Yankees have posted a better win ratio at .591, but the Yanks did it at a cost of $2.17 million per win, vs. a paltry $621K per win in Tampa.

Once again skipper Joe Maddon is back to helm a team that just couldn’t keep up down the stretch with the Yankees and Orioles and finished in third place at 18 games over .500 which, for most teams, would be a great season but in the new Tampa Bay culture, is merely another disappointing year.

Annoying. And scary if you’re a fan of a divisional rivial. Tampa is just one good offense boosted season away from winning the division. [Read more…]