Thursday, July 31, 2014

Athletics add Lester, Gomes and Fuld in flurry of moves

Oakland Athletics general manager Billy Beane is at it again, pushing the A’s all-in with two deadline day deals in a matter of an hour.

Less than four weeks after landing Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel from the Chicago Cubs, Beane sent outfielder Yoenis Cespedes to the Boston Red Sox for Jon Lester and Jonny Gomes.

Lester, a life-long Red Sox player who owns two World Series rings has a very good chance to win for the second year in a row as the deal makes the Athletics the odds-on favorite to reach the World Series representing the American League.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Blame the Yankees’ offense, not Betances and Robertson

For the first time this season, New York Yankees' relievers Dellin Betances and David Robertson allowed runs to score in the same game. In a game the Yankees tied up three times, their ultra-reliable tandem let the Toronto Blue Jays re-take the lead.

To blame Betances and Robertson for the 5-4 loss is short-sighted. In fact, without Betances putting out fires and Robertson converting 26 of 28 save chances, the Yankees would be reeling at the bottom of the American League East.

The Yankees' offense once again failed to score more than four runs in a game. Sunday’s loss marked the 12th time in their last 14 games in which they were held to four or fewer runs. They have scored 10 or more runs TWICE this season; the last time coming Apr. 24 when they tallied 14 against the Red Sox.

Friday, July 18, 2014

An optimistic view for the New York Yankees’ second half

The final 68 games on the New York Yankees schedule will get underway this evening in the Bronx against the Cincinnati Reds. After dragging us along for the first 94 games, can the Yanks keep us interested the rest of the way?

There has been little to be cheerful about when it comes to the 2014 Yankees. The rotation is in shambles. The offense as a whole has failed to produce and show any semblance of consistency. The back end of the bullpen, a bright spot overall, has been worked hard because the middle relief options have been underwhelming.

So, why be optimistic?

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Jeter, Trout, Wainwright and social media dominate MLB All-Star Game moments

Going into the 2014 mid-summer classic at Minnesota's Target Field, there was little doubt that all eyes would be on New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter as he played in his last All-Star Game. Further, there was little uncertainty that Los Angeles Angels outfielder Mike Trout might play a role in the outcome. What was not expected was social media frenzy over comments made by St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Adam Wainwright, and how one mistake in a tweet by a reputable news network would illicit viral chatter.

Monday, July 14, 2014

MLB Preseason Predictions Revisited

As the Major League Baseball All-Star break has arrived, I’m going to take the chance to revisit my preseason predictions. Some are spot on, or well within reach and some are pretty far off base, including my guess for the World Series champion. Below is the order in which I predicted teams would finish and the original snippet about the division. I’ll now provide an updated comment as to whether my predictions can become reality by season’s end.

American League East - Predicted Finish
  1. Tampa Bay Rays
  2. New York Yankees (WC)
  3. Boston Red Sox (WC)
  4. Baltimore Orioles
  5. Toronto Blue Jays
Preview Comment: Many suggest this is the best division in baseball. The top three here will all make the playoffs beating up on the other divisions along the way. Each team could win 82+ games.

All-Star Break View: Well, this is certainly not the best division in baseball. The teams I had pegged for fourth and fifth in the division are first and second. The Orioles have played solid baseball for the last month and the Blue Jays have begun to fade already. The Yankees, currently in third place are decimated with injuries and have not played consistently good baseball all season. The Red Sox have wasted their honeymoon period from the 2013 World Series victory and the Rays, while playing better of late, might have dug a hold too big to climb out of. That being said, the way this division is playing out, I would not count the Rays out of this one. If there is a manager in the game who can get his team to play above themselves it’s the Rays’ Joe Maddon. I now only see one team from the division making the playoffs and it’s anyone’s guess at this point.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Lack of accountability earned David Ortiz a “free pass"

Boston Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz went on another rampage Monday, defending his honor when it comes to his connection to performance-enhancing drugs.

Ortiz aimed bombastic comments toward MLB Network analyst Joe Magrane, and the network itself after being mentioned in an on-air discussion about PEDs and Baltimore Orioles OF/DH Nelson Cruz, after Red Sox pitcher John Lackey’s comments following Sunday’s game.

Magrane suggested that Ortiz received a “free pass” because his positive test was during MLB’s trial period of testing and it was not against the rules. Ortiz, in typical fashion, took offense to his name being mentioned in the same breath as PEDs, and lashed out at anyone who thinks he’s received a free pass via WEEI.com.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

New York Yankees mid-season agita report

The New York Yankees have played 81 games through Monday night's 12th inning loss to the Tampa Bay Rays. The team's inconsistent play, a slew of injuries and under-performing players has placed a dark cloud over them; one which threatens to extend their streak of missing the postseason to two years.

The Yankees stood six games back on June 8. They proceeded to win eight of their next 10 games. Since then they have won just two out of nine. While the American League East is pathetic, the Yankees performance to date is enough to give anyone, even those with a steel stomach, agita.