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…]

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…]

2014 MLB Team Preview: Arizona Diamondbacks

By Bobby Roberts
AmericasWhiteBoy.com

All the moves Arizona made last offseason didn’t do much for their record. They finished the season 81-81 in back-to-back seasons. They even traded their ace Ian Kennedy at the trade deadline.

Photo Credit: MLB.com

Photo Credit: MLB.com

This offseason, they once again completed one of the biggest offseason trades. They landed outfielder Mark Trumbo and closer Addison Reed, but had to give up one of the top outfield prospects Adam Eaton.

The NL West is improved with the Dodgers becoming a powerhouse and the Giants have all their guys back from injury. It will be difficult for Arizona to hang with those clubs.

Here is the 2014 MLB season preview for the Arizona Diamondbacks.

[Read more…]

2014 MLB Team Preview: Detroit Tigers

By Ryan Haidinger
PSDC Writer

Over the past three seasons the Tigers have averaged 92 wins per year, made the ALCS three times and appeared in the World Series in 2012. For most organizations this would be cause for celebration, but in Detroit it sparked a significant rebuild. The Tigers expect to win the World Series in 2014 but they will go about it in a drastically different way than in years past.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Gone are the days of slow pitch softball in Detroit when base runners stood still waiting for a home run to score them. This year’s Tigers will be much more aggressive on the base paths and in the field, in hopes of returning to their third World Series in nine years. [Read more…]

Tigers Trade Prince Fielder – The Tigers’ Fan Perspective

By Ryan Haidinger
PSDC Writer

Two years ago I texted a friend with a simple “That’s crazy!” and he had no idea what I meant. I told him to find a TV and soon enough we were discussing how the Tigers had broken the bank to sign Prince Fielder. Tigers’ fans have a long relationship with Fielder, his father Cecil was the Tigers slugging first basemen for most of the 90s. We watched Prince grow up on the field, in the dugout and in TV commercials. So when Dave Dombrowski gave him nine years and $214 million to hit behind Miguel Cabrera, it was a shocking reunion. Last night, almost two years exactly since I sent that text the same friend texted me “That’s crazy!” and just like that I learned two things: 1. There isn’t much diversity in my conversations, and 2. Prince Fielder was gone.

Prince-Fielder

Photo Credit: AP

In return the Tigers get second basemen Ian Kinsler who will fill a void left by Omar Infante. But this trade was about much more than just acquiring the all star second basemen. The Tigers rid themselves of Fielder’s giant contract that stood to hold back the organization for the next seven years. Next year 2013 Cy Young winner Max Scherzer will need to be paid. A lot of people speculated the Tigers would trade Scherzer this winter but now with roughly $160 million saved they can more reasonably re-sign him. Detroit is also shopping for a left fielder and may have the money to chase a big gun like Carlos Beltran or, to a lesser extent, Shin Soo Choo. [Read more…]

Texas Rangers, Detroit Tigers Pull Off Blockbuster Deal

By Joe Hines
PSDC Staff & Chicago Guru

Wednesday’s blockbuster trade between the Detroit Tigers and Texas Rangers signals divergent paths to the same goal. Ian Kinsler, Texas Rangers second baseman for Tigers’ first sacker Prince Fielder is classic power for pest. Kinsler will slip into the Tigers leadoff spot and the departure of Fielder clears the way for MVP Miguel Cabrera to move over to first base from third, protecting him from injuries that plagued him down the stretch this year.

Ian-Kinsler-Prince-Fielder

I saw enough of Fielder during his stay with Milwaukee to last a lifetime. A formidable presence in the lineup with his air-it-out swing, prodigious power numbers paved the way for the huge payday he received a few offseasons ago in free agency, nine years and $210+ million. First impression of Fielder leads you to the mistaken impression that he is a fat, out of shape ballplayer. In fact, he has been one of the most durable players in the league, playing an average of 157 games per year in his career. His athleticism is disconcerting to those who haven’t seen him play. He is an excellent baserunner with decent speed for big man. And of course he can hit a baseball a long, long way. What made him expendable in Detroit was his lack of postseason productivity. He was RBI-less in his last 18 playoff games, rather inexplicable hitting in front of baseball’s best hitter. [Read more…]

Jim Leyland Stepping Down, List of Possible Replacements

By Ryan Haidinger
PSDC Writer

According to multiple reports, Detroit Tigers Manager Jim Leyland is stepping down. Leyland leaves Detroit as the eighth winningest Manager in Tiger history and the most successful since Billy Martin’s tenure that ended in 1973. The Tigers made four postseason appearances and two World Series in Leyland’s eight seasons. Maybe most impressive about his tenure is the turnaround from five straight 90-loss seasons before Leyland took over (including 119 losses in 2003) to 95 wins and a World Series appearance in his first season.

jim-leyland-tigers

Now that Leyland has decided to move on General Manager Dave Dombrowski faces his most important offseason decision yet. Whomever Dombrowski tabs to run the Tigers, they will take over one of the best rosters in baseball. Because of the talent and fan support in Detroit, and the willingness of owner Mike Illich to spend money, this will be a tough job for any manager to turn down. Here is a look at a few candidates. [Read more…]

MLB Playoffs: American League Division Series Previews

By Joe Hines
PSDC Staff & Chicago Guru

Tampa Bay Rays vs. Boston Red Sox:
Tampa has to feel like it’s been on the road trip from hell, having been to Canada, Texas, Cleveland and now Boston to get themselves here. I count that as a disadvantage and I believe the Rays will have a letdown, at least in Game 1 of the series. Boston can slug, Tampa can pitch. I believe the Rays succumb to the pressure. Interesting to me is the managerial contest. It should have more of an impact on its series, moreso than any other.  Each manager is unique, Joe Madden in his uber-hipster manner, and John Farrell, more old school but his impact can’t be underestimated.

Longoria is a force and DeJesus can be a factor in a short series for the Rays. Pedroia is a leader who will make sure his teammates are focused on the Red Sox side. I would be even more one-sided if these two teams were not in the same division, Boston is clearly a better team. I’ll take them in four games.

Oakland Athletics vs. Detroit Tigers:
Detroit is overwhelming favorites in this series which, for my money, is the most unbalanced in the postseason. I simply don’t see a scenario in which the A’s pull out this series. They have Cespedes and a couple of rotation stars, but the Tigers have Cabrera, Fielder as well as Scherzer and Verlander in the rotation. I’m taking the Tigers in three games. They’re the best team in the playoffs.

max-scherzer

Follow Joe on Twitter: @hines_joe

Denard Robinson Cannot Throw a Baseball, Not Even a Little

Denard Robinson cannot throw a baseball, not even a little. The switch to wide receiver is proving to be a good one.

2013 MLB Team Preview: Detroit Tigers

By Keith Alrick
PSDC Writer

Ten years ago the Detroit Tigers had one of the worst years in major league history finishing 43-119. A lot has changed since then and now the 2013 Tigers fit under the category of World Series or Bust. The defending American League champions are hoping to come back stronger after being swept in last year’s Fall Classic. Few teams can match the star power that the Tigers have which includes the last two AL MVP’s Justin Verlander and Miguel Cabrera. Detroit is clearly in the win now department and money doesn’t seem to be an issue. There are talks about making Verlander the first $200 million pitcher, which would give them three massive contracts between himself, Cabrera and Fielder. As a fan of the team, it is nice to see the team go for it all, but it’s hard to imagine all of these contracts looking very good in a few years. I guess the only good this is there isn’t a salary cap so bad contracts don’t hurt as much when you have deep pockets like the Tigers do.

[Read more…]

MLB Free Agency is Hardly Free

By Joe Hines
PSDC Chicago Sports Guru

The proverbial finger has been pulled from the dike. Elite free agents Josh Hamilton and soon after, Ryan Dempster signed mega contracts respectively with the Los Angeles Orange County by way of Alcatraz, California Angels and the Boston Red Sox. Dempster’s deal is two years for $26.5 million dollars, while Hamilton inked his for $125 million total over five years. They were the big fish in the pond left and I would expect the remaining, mostly middle of the road guys to sign within the next few days. [Read more…]

2012 World Series Game 4 Recap: We Won’t See You Tomorrow Night

By Chris Patton
PSDC MLB Dude

First and foremost, congratulations to the San Francisco Giants on winning the 2012 World Series. This is the Giants second championship in three years, after not having won a title since 1953. [Read more…]