Admin
Tuesday, 17 November 2020 17:20

Who’s heading to the Hall in 2021?

Hall of Fame season is in full swing once again.

The 2020 ballot has landed, with the Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA) preparing to cast their votes for the players who will join the immortals of the game with plaques hanging in Cooperstown.

We’ve seen an explosion of inclusivity on recent ballots, with the writers voting in 22 players over the past seven years (and 12 in the last three). This has eased the glut of qualified candidates considerably, though there remain a number of problematic names that still clog the list.

This year, however, may change the calculus considerably. It’s a year without a clear first-ballot candidate; this year’s newcomers are a collection of very-good-but-not-quite-great players. This means that, for the first time in recent memory, the ballot has opened up. This means that 2021 might be the year that sees an extended holdover or two make the leap.

Published in Sports
Tuesday, 20 October 2020 11:18

Dodgers-Rays: A 2020 World Series preview

An unprecedented baseball season is on the verge of concluding.

After a truncated regular season and an expanded postseason structure, all in the face of an ongoing pandemic, the World Series is set to begin. The Los Angeles Dodgers and Tampa Bay Rays will be facing off for the 2020 MLB championship.

Even now, things will be different than ever before. Due to safety protocols and restrictions, the World Series will be played in a bubble, with all games taking place at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas – the Dodgers are ostensibly the “home” team due to a better record. Obviously, this isn’t how these players anticipated their season playing out, but at the end of the day, a ring is a ring.

And these guys want that ring.

Published in Sports
Wednesday, 23 September 2020 12:17

MLB award races in 2020’s home stretch

Hard to believe that the 2020 MLB season has reached its end. As of press time, there are just a scant handful of games left in the strangest season we’ve ever seen. But before we reach the 60(ish) game mark and the season’s conclusion – and before we venture into the also-unprecedented 16-game playoff field – I thought it might be fun to check in with our season awards predictor.

Those who follow our baseball coverage here at The Maine Edge are aware of our usual Clubhouse Leaders feature, where we do quarterly predictions regarding the various MLB season awards – Rookie of the Year, Cy Young and MVP. However, given this year’s circumstances, we mixed it up a little (a quarterly breakdown would have meant a story every 15 games or so – a bit much, right?).

We made our predictions at the start of the season and now, as we approach its end, we’re going to revisit and revise those picks. Let’s see how close I got, shall we? And how close I will get?

(Note: All statistics current as of Sept. 20)

Published in Sports
Thursday, 30 July 2020 12:56

MLB Awards Predictions 2020

So baseball is back, albeit in a whole new way.

Major League Baseball in 2020 will be unlike any season that we’ve ever seen. Instead of a leisurely 162 games unfolding over six months, we’re getting a 60-game sprint taking place in just over two months. The National League has the DH for the first time and MLB is experimenting with new extra innings rules involving the addition of runners. Oh, and 16 teams will make the playoffs.

So yeah. Different.

With the ever-looming threat of the coronavirus, it’s hard to say what will happen over the course of the season; just because they’ve started is no guarantee that they will finish.

For the most part, no one knows anything when it comes to sports prognostication. But this year, we ESPECIALLY don’t know anything. You might think that that would discourage me from making any sort of predictions, but you would be wrong. While I won’t be doing my annual season preview, I am going to offer up my picks for the winners of MLB’s major awards this year.

Feel free to hold me to these, but just remember – I have no idea what I’m doing.

Published in Sports

Despite the fact that the Major League Baseball season has yet to begin due to the circumstances of the pandemic (and a fair amount of contentiousness between the players’ union and the owners, but that’s a whole different kettle of fish), the MLB draft took place this week.

Granted, it’s a drastically different draft than any we’ve ever seen, lasting just five rounds and featuring any number of caveats and alterations. It is an historic event – and not in a good way.

Still … even with no games, the game marches on.

Let’s take a look at Boston’s 2020 draft, a collection even more truncated than most thanks to the loss of their second-round pick as part of the organization’s punishment for sign-stealing. Instead of two dozen or more new additions, we’re looking at just four. And yet, even with that low number of selections, the Red Sox and chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom managed a few surprises.

Published in Sports
Wednesday, 19 February 2020 13:47

Some sweet stanzas of spring (training)

“People ask me what I do in winter when there's no baseball. I'll tell you what I do. I stare out the window and wait for spring.” – Rogers Hornsby

-

Sitting within winter's chilly deep-freeze

Our brains cry out for the spring's warming sun.

We search for signs that put our minds at ease

Like the sharp crack of a well-struck home run.

Our eager anticipation rises.

Whose legend begins with the year's first pitch?

Which unknown becomes the face of the sport?

This game will not run out of surprises.

It's the time when fans become truly rich;

The time when pitchers and catchers report.

Florida swamps, Arizona deserts,

Hosting leagues named for grapefruit and cactus.

Players damp from the efforts they exert

Sprinting and swinging their way through practice.

Veterans trying to play out the string,

Superstars at the height of their powers;

Faded prospects get that one final shot

While those hotshot rookies perfect their swings.

And we, the fans, can while away hours

As the game consumes our every thought.

-

Baseball’s history is deep with detail,

Teeming with stories and numbers galore.

Legends loom largely with heroic scale

Epics greater than e’er we could ask for

Spring training's arrival heralds the season

Better than flowers or showers or grass -

The truest of our spring rites is baseball.

Our hopes and feelings overrule reason;

Everyone is first, and no one is last

And your team could wind up winning it all.

-

Spring training means flowers, people coming outdoors, sunshine, optimism and baseball. Spring training is a time to think about being young again.” – Ernie Banks

(A version of this poem appeared in a previous edition of The Maine Edge.)

Published in Sports

It might be tough to fathom, considering we’re still in the deep freeze of winter, but baseball season is just around the corner. Spring training begins in just a matter of weeks; before you know it, there will be meaningful action on the diamond once again.

But maybe you’re looking for something to tide you over, to remind you of just why we love the game as much as we do. If that sounds like you – and you’re a Red Sox fan – I might have something for you.

Martin Gitlin’s “The Ultimate Boston Red Sox Time Machine Book” (Lyons Press, $18.95) is a lovely quick-hit journey through Red Sox history, from those early days of success at the dawning of the World Series era to the incredible success of recent days, as well as the long, long, LONG stretch of championship futility that dogged the team through most of the 20th century.

This book offers a condensed timeline of the team’s illustrious history, featuring a number of classic photos to go along with the tales of tribulation and triumph. And while many of these stories will ring familiar to longtime followers of the team, there’s something here for every level of fandom, from the neophytes to the diehards.

Published in Sports

It’s a tale of two candidates in Cooperstown this year.

One was a no-doubter, as obvious a first-ballot shoo-in as there can be; the only question regarding his induction was whether he would become the second ever to be voted in unanimously. The other was a slow burn choice, an underrated player considered elite by the numbers but less so by perception, needing a record vote increase in his final years to make the cut in his last year of eligibility.

Now, they’re both Hall of Famers.

Derek Jeter and Larry Walker have been elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame by the Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA). Jeter makes it to Cooperstown in his first year on the ballot and Walker in his last, but both absolutely deserve to take their respective places among the immortals.

Published in Sports

The coming of the new year tends to inspire feelings of reflection, of looking back on the year that has passed. And so, as someone who spent part of that year telling you what was going to happen in the world of sports, I feel it my duty to share with you how it ultimately went.

As per usual, the results are … let’s just call them mixed.

You’re more than welcome to judge my ability (or lack thereof) however you see fit. I’m perfectly aware of the dart-monkey levels of accuracy I usually manage; you won’t be telling me anything I don’t already know.

Published in Sports
Tuesday, 19 November 2019 12:02

Who’s heading to the Hall in 2020?

Hall of Fame season is in full swing once again.

The 2020 ballot has landed, with the Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA) preparing to cast their votes for the players who will join the immortals of the game with plaques hanging in Cooperstown.

We’ve seen an explosion of inclusivity on recent ballots, with the writers voting in 20 players over the past six years. This has eased the glut of qualified candidates somewhat, though there remain a number of problematic names that clog the list.

This year, however, sees just one no-doubt candidate – Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter. It’s a departure from recent groups that have almost all featured multiple first-ballot talents. Will this allow for some deserving candidates, heretofore stuck on the fringe, to make their way into these hallowed halls?

We shall see.

Published in Sports
<< Start < Prev 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Next > End >>
Page 1 of 13

Advertisements

The Maine Edge. All rights reserved. Privacy policy. Terms & Conditions.

Website CMS and Development by Links Online Marketing, LLC, Bangor Maine