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…]

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…]

Thank Yu! Darvish Dominates Astros

By Bob Cole
PSDC Texas Rangers Correspondent

Texas Ranger pitcher Yu Darvish dominated the Houston Astros for eight innings at Globe Life Park Friday night. He led the Rangers as they defeated the Astros 1-0 in a 12-inning battle in Arlington. A pitchers’ duel in Arlington? Yes. And Yu Darvish once again proved to all that this Japanese import deserves his spot on the Major League stage.

How dominant was he? He retired the first 15 batters he faced. During those eight innings he struck out nine Astros, walked one and only allowed one hit. Darvish threw 101 pitches with 63 of them being strikes. The Ranger bullpen took over in the ninth. Joakim Soria threw 14 pitches in the ninth (eight for strikes), walking one batter, striking out one and forcing two groundouts. [Read more…]

PSDC Random Stat of the Day

By Johnny Griffith
PSDC Stat Man

Astros off to worst start in team history

The Tigers defeated the Astros, 6-2, as Houston’s record fell to 10-30. That’s the Astros’ worst mark through 40 games in team history. Their previous low was 13 wins through 40 games in 1967 and 1975. Over the last 10 seasons, only two other teams had a record as poor as 10-30 through Game 40: Detroit in 2003 (9-31) and Kansas City in 2006 (10-30).

Courtesy of Elias Sports Bureau via ESPN.com

PSDC Random Stat of the Day

By Johnny Griffith
PSDC Stat Man

Show me the money…

So, I was filling my truck up with gas today and was griping about the near 80 dollars that I spent to do so.

Then I get home to write up my stat of the day and I see this:

Alex Rodriguez, on-again off-again third baseman for the New York Yankees, will make more money this year than the ENTIRE HOUSTON ASTROS TEAM COMBINED. A lot more.

A-roid is scheduled to make in the neighborhood of $29 million this season. His salary tops the major leagues for the 13th consecutive season according to the Associated Press.

The Houston Astros payroll this season will be around $25 million, for the entire opening day roster.

And here’s the best part. Rodriguez won’t even sniff the starting lineup until mid-season at best.

What a game.

Stats courtesy of ESPN.COM

2013 MLB Team Preview: Houston Astros

By Bobby Roberts
PSDC Staff

The Houston Astros are in complete rebuilding mode. It will take longer than most teams, because their farm system was completely bare of top-notch young talent. They traded every asset they had and now their farm system is better, but not anywhere near the top. Also, their top prospect, Jonathan Singleton, has been suspended for the first 50 games due to a failed drug test. It will be a rough season in Houston.

Will Houston set a new modern-day record for most losses in a season? Would you go to an Astros game, even if you were given a ticket? It’s insane you even have to pause to answer a question about receiving a free ticket to an MLB game…but, I still wouldn’t go.

Here is the 2013 MLB season preview for the Houston Astros. [Read more…]

Little Giant Astro: Craig Biggio’s HOF Case

By Joshua V. Best
PSDC Contributor 

In the spring of 2004, I traveled to Florida on my third spring training outing. Writing for the Longview News-Journal and with press pass in hand on the night of March 25, we headed for Astros camp in Kissimmee. Once the starters were out of the game and, I headed toward the clubhouse. [Read more…]