MLB Offseason Update Including Josh Donaldson Trade Reaction

By Andrew Voght
PSDC MLB Expert

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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…]

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…]

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?

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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…]

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.

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Follow Joe on Twitter: @hines_joe

Major League Baseball’s Triumphs and Flops…So Far

By Ted Parrish
PSDC Contributor

As usual, Major League Baseball is full of pleasant surprises and cruel disappointments in early June. A prime example is the Washington Nationals, a star-studded team coming off a 98-win season and an NL East championship in 2012.  They were picked by 38 out of 43 ESPN.com analysts to win the division for a second straight year. Despite all the preseason hype, Washington sits in third with a 29-30 record after 59 games.

In the NL West, Arizona finished 2012 at 81-81, 13 games behind the eventual World Series champion Giants. They traded away four players, including their two-time All-Star Justin Upton and their top pitching prospect, Trevor Bauer. Now, led by hot-hitting Paul Goldschmidt, the Diamondbacks sit atop the NL West with a 35-26 record, 3.5 games ahead of the Colorado Rockies.

This article will take a look at teams that have surprised or disappointed their fans so far. This week we will go through the American League divisions, and next week we will visit the National League.

AMERICAN LEAGUE EAST:

Surprise: New York Yankees 35-26, 2nd place, 2.0 GB

There have been very few times in the last 10 years when you can describe the Yankees sitting in second place in the AL East as a “surprise.”  For years the Yankees have been almost a lock for the playoffs, including last season when they won 95 games and the division.

This season was shaping up to offer more of the same before injuries began to take their toll. At one point, New York had $95 million in salaries on the DL, including Alex Rodriguez, Derek Jeter, Curtis Granderson, Kevin Youkilis and Mark Teixiera. Those five players alone have combined for 35 career All-Star appearances. [Read more…]

2013 MLB Team Preview: Oakland Athletics

By Bobby Roberts
PSDC Staff

The Oakland A’s were one of the major surprises in 2012. Not only did “Moneyball” do well at the box office, but the A’s made their first playoff appearance since 2001.

The A’s have a few breakout performances last season. Josh Reddick, Yoenis Cespedes, Jarrod Parker and Ryan Cook pushed Oakland to the next level. Manager Bob Melvin really outdone himself with his roster.

Can Oakland repeat last year’s performance or was it a case of being lucky in one-run games?

Are the Los Angeles Angels and Texas Rangers too talented to surpass in the AL West?

Here is the 2013 MLB season preview for the Oakland A’s. [Read more…]

MLB Playoffs Preview: Intensity in 10 Cities, Volume II (American League)

By Chris Patton
PSDC MLB Correspondent 

Under the new MLB postseason format, the intensity levels just got kicked up a notch in 10 different cities. With apologies to Ted Nugent, I decided to rank all ten potential matchups in each league on a scale of 1 (matchup with the least history and backstory) to 10 (matchup with all the ferocity of a steel cage match between Hulk Hogan and “Macho Man” Randy Savage). [Read more…]