Thursday, 20 December 2012 10:24

We Got To Play Baseball' a solid hit

Collection offers 60 stories from behind baseball's scenes

Of all the major American professional sports, perhaps none carries as much reverence and respect for its own history as baseball. It is a game built generationally, each era constructed on the foundation of the one that came before it.

It is also a game that comes to life not just through its numbers, but through its stories. That's what makes a book like 'We Got To Play Baseball' (Strategic Book Publishing, $15.95) such an engaging read.

Published in Buzz
Wednesday, 07 November 2012 18:44

Awards season big-league style

Predicting MLB's 2012 award winners

The 2012 Major League Baseball season is in the books. The World Series is over and the San Francisco Giants have been crowned the champions for the second time in three years. Now, 30 MLB teams get to gather round the hot stove and start planning for next year. We're looking at a few months of minor league hype, trades and free agent signings to get us through to the spring.

However, before that happens, MLB has to dish out its individual awards. Here are one man's thoughts on how that hardware might be distributed:

Published in Sports
Wednesday, 24 October 2012 16:35

World Series thoughts by the numbers

San Francisco and Detroit meet in the 108th Fall Classic

We're well into autumn the leaves have all changed and there's a chill in the air. And after an arduous six-plus months, a long season that began with 30 teams seeking that ultimate victory, we are left with only two. The Detroit Tigers and the San Francisco Giants are set to take the field and do battle in the World Series.

Published in Sports
Wednesday, 24 October 2012 16:31

Red Sox acquire John Farrell as manager

BOSTON - The Boston Red Sox are hoping that two big trades will help them get back to the playoffs after missing out three years in a row.

The first was a genuine blockbuster that sent Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford, Nick Punto and Josh Beckett to the Los Angeles Dodgers and freed up more than $250 million in future salaries. The second was the deal that brought John Farrell back to Fenway Park on Sunday.

Published in Sports
Wednesday, 10 October 2012 13:42

Making MLB history with the Triple Crown

Detroit's Cabrera first Crown winner in 45 years

Miguel Cabrera of the Detroit Tigers had a season for the ages in 2012. He batted .330, with 44 home runs and 139 RBI, leading the American League in all three categories.

Miguel Cabrera won the Triple Crown, one of the most elusive achievements in the sport. He accomplished something that only 15 players before him had done; something that hadn't been seen in baseball in 1967 the year Red Sox outfielder Carl Yastrzemski won the Crown while playing with the Impossible Dream team 45 years ago.

Published in Sports
Seattle ace throws 2012's sixth no-hitter and third perfect game

A couple of months ago, I wrote in these pages that 2012 had a chance to be 'The Year of the No-Hitter.' To that point, five no-hit games including two perfect games had been thrown in the majors this season. I proposed that this would be the year that set the new modern standard for most no-hitters in a season, breaking the record of seven set in both 1990 and 1991.

As one might expect with my track record of poor prognostication, the no-hitters promptly stopped happening. Until now.

Seattle Mariners pitcher Felix Hernandez brought the no-hitters record back into play last week when he pitched the 23rd perfect game in major league history against the Tampa Bay Rays, striking out 12 batters along the way.

Published in Sports
Wednesday, 01 August 2012 14:09

Red Sox Report Card July

Even optimism has its limits. We are reaching those limits when it comes to the 2012 Red Sox. As we enter August, it is clear that this season's squad is underachieving.

That's not to say that they are a bad team. They're not. A bad team, we could deal with. We dealt with bad teams for a long time. No, what we have in 2012 is worse a mediocre team. Boston has hovered around the .500 mark for the entire season; there have been a couple of strong stretches, but even those were almost immediately offset by bad patches.

This season's addition of a second wild card playoff spot has kept postseason hope alive in Boston. However, it has also kept hope alive in several other cities across the country. It's going to take an extended stretch of quality play to give the Red Sox a chance to leapfrog into that wild card spot. Is it possible? Absolutely. Is it likely? I'm not so sure.

Published in Report Card
Wednesday, 25 July 2012 13:53

The Cooperstown conundrum

What will happen to the Hall of Fame?

This past weekend, the Baseball Hall of Fame welcomed Cincinnati Reds shortstop Barry Larkin and Chicago Cubs third baseman Ron Santo. Their entrance into the Hall brings the total number of players inducted to 236, with Larkin getting in by way of over 86% of the writers' vote (75% is required) and Santo receiving a long-overdue invitation to the Hall by way of the Veteran's Committee. Both of these men were exceptional players, more than deserving of the honor.

But there's a storm brewing a storm that will greatly shape the future of what is still considered to be the greatest Hall of Fame in all of American sport.

Published in Sports
Wednesday, 18 July 2012 13:38

Bringing the heat for real

The recent weather in Maine has been hotter than NESN reporter Jenny Dell, so there's a slight chance I might be suffering from heat-induced delusions. But when it comes to the Red Sox, I think I can see clearly now; the rain is gone. While these thoughts might make you a bit overheated, here's what I think about the rest of the Sox regular season.

There will be no playoffs again this year. Sox are at .500 as we speak. Sure, they're getting healthier every day, but unless they have three quality starting pitchers coming off the DL (they don't), they're going nowhere. Message to John Farrell: 'Please come back!' Sox pitchers have struggled since he has been gone. The bullpen has been serviceable, but without a few guys who can get you to the seventh inning consistently, there'll be no October baseball for Boston again this year.

Published in The Sports Edge

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine sat back in the visiting clubhouse at Kauffman Stadium earlier this season, his feet propped up on the desk, and spoke glowingly of his first visit to the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum. 

The former player, longtime manager and lifelong baseball fan had never before stepped through its doors in the historic 18th and Vine District of Kansas City. Never gazed upon the countless artifacts or read the exhaustive research recalling a bygone era.

It opened the eyes of someone steeped in baseball history.

Published in Sports
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