Texas Rangers at the Trade Deadline

By Lindsey Jones
Texas Rangers and Dallas Cowboys Writer

The Texas Rangers find themselves in an interesting position after today’s 4-3 loss to the Kansas City Royals. They are currently 16.5 games back in the division and 3 games back in the wild card race to the Rays and Yankees. The Rangers have several impending free agents, including Yu Darvish, Andrew Cashner, Jonathon Lucroy, and Carlos Gomez, many of whom would be coveted by contending teams should the Rangers decide to sell. They also have veterans such as Mike Napoli, Cole Hamels, and Adrian Beltre who teams would also likely be interested in.

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PSDC Randomness: Baseball Rant Edition

By Johnny Griffith
PSDC Director of Randomness

In honor of Joe Girardi’s demonstrative rant after his ejection for arguing the home plate umpire’s interpretation of the strike zone last night, here are some random memorable managerial ejection rants from MLB history.

Joe Maddon – Rays

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PSDC Randomness: Triple Play Edition

By Johnny Griffith
PSDC Director of Randomness

Yankees vs Rays, April 17, 2014

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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…]

Darvish Stands and Delivers

By Bob Cole
PSDC Texas Rangers Correspondent

Yu Darvish took the mound against the Tampa Bay Rays today and delivered a gem for his first start of the season with a 3-0 shutout. The Rangers began the season without Darvish, who had been projected to be the Opening Day starter, due to a neck ailment. He started the game today and handed the Rays their only loss in this three-game series.

Darvish led the team with a strong seven innings that included six strikeouts and one walk. He threw 154 pitches with 89 of those being strikes. Although Darvish allowed seven hits in his seven-inning stint, the Rays did themselves no favors by going 0-11 with runners in scoring position. [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

Losing Control: Fernando Rodney in 2013

By Garrett Franskousky
PSDC Writer

If you’re like me, you‘ve probably spent many sleepless nights trying to explain to yourself why your fantasy baseball dream team is struggling. For my team, the biggest disappointment so far has been the play of Fernando Rodney, and so far this year it looks like his magic has run out.

It’s hard to expect Rodney to repeat what he did last year, as he had one of the most productive seasons as a reliever in recent years. In 2012, the Rays closer had an ERA of 0.60, allowing only five earned runs in 74 2/3rd innings. His WHIP was an astounding 0.78 and he allowed 15 walks all year. He led the American league in saves with 48 and finished fifth in the AL Cy Young voting. Fernando’s banner year elevated him from being considered a fair closer to one of the best in all of baseball. [Read more…]

5 Things We Know About the American League East So Far

By Johnny Griffith
PSDC Stat Man

5 things we know about the American League East so far…

1. Toronto is in trouble early. Chemistry was the buzzword in spring training for the Blue Jays as GM Alex Anthopoulos was opening the purse strings and assembling an all-star roster of talent to put on the field for opening day. As good as the team looked on paper, there was the ghosts of the Marlins and Phillies teams past that had all the makings of pennant contenders and just could not get it together when it counted. Toronto is making a believer out of me, but not in a good way. The offense is horrible, next to last in the AL in on-base percentage. The pitching staff is 28th in the majors for ERA led by an epic collapse of reigning Cy Young winner Dickey. Only one team has committed more errors, and they aren’t manufacturing runs at a prolific rate as 51 of their 106 runs have come by the long ball. The season is obviously still early and there is time for the ship to get right, but with an early 8.5 game deficit in the division, fans can officially start to get nervous.

Grade so far: F…I’d give an F minus here but you can’t really quantify absolute suckage.

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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…]

PSDC Random Stat of the Day

By Johnny Griffith
PSDC Writer 

With Opening Day rapidly approaching, the AL East is projected to be as convoluted and competitive as ever, if not more so than usual.  Since the Yankees and Red Sox seem to be always demonized for their willingness and ability to spend the almighty dollar for a win, I decided to take a little deeper look at the pecking order of the division and salaries to see exactly who is getting the most bang for the buck.   I went back to the 2008 season as this was the first time Tampa had won the division and having been little more than a bottom dweller before then and have been the most successful turning dollars into wins ever since.

Average Opening Day Salary Since 2008 (cumulative salaries)*

New York: $208,134,203 ($1,040,671,015  yes that’s BILLION)
Boston: $152,463,492 ($762,317,460)
Toronto: $82,301,711 ($411,508,557)
Baltimore: $75,831,065 ($379,155,328)
Tampa: $56,917,307 ($284,586,535)

Record Since 2008**

New York: 479-331 (.591)
Tampa: 458-352 (.565)
Boston: 438-372 (.540)
Toronto: 400-410 (.494)
Baltimore: 360-449 (.445)

Salary Cost Per Win Since 2008

New York: $2,172,590
Boston: $1,740,450
Baltimore: $1,053,209
Toronto: $1,028,771
Tampa: $621,368

*Salary information Courtesy of BaseballProspectus.com
**Records Courtesy of MLB.com