- Jeff Passan at Yahoo Sports1 day ago
Race burbles through so many of Ken Burns’ films, a predominant subtext in the great American stories he chooses to tell. Twenty years ago this week, as Burns’ epic “Baseball” miniseries debuted and served as a nightly reminder of embarrassment over the cancellation of the 1994 World Series, he introduced the world to a man named Buck O’Neil.
Nobody distilled life in the Negro Leagues to its disturbing essence quite like Buck, a player, manager, scout and, best of all, master raconteur. And yet he still radiated dignity amid cultural indignity, romanticized portions of our history that otherwise would’ve been relegated to the deepest and darkest corners of shame. There could be beauty in the Negro Leagues, this entity that never should have existed in the first place, because people like Buck brought shades of gray to a world that couldn’t bring itself to see black.
- Jeff Passan at Yahoo Sports3 days ago
Considering the Cleveland Indians have spent the majority of summer coming up with different ways to talk about how old Scott Atchison is, it's a minor miracle they haven't stumbled upon this little nugget of delight: Scott Atchison has had gray hair longer than he hasn't.
"The first one, where you have just one pop up, was probably my senior year in high school," Atchison said. "But they really started coming my last, maybe second-to-last year in college. It's been a gradual process."
There's more salt than pepper now atop the head of the 38-year-old Atchison, one of the 2014 season's greatest success stories in a Swiss Army knife role out of the Indians bullpen. He can do mop-up. He can do high-leverage. He can vulture up wins, as evidenced by the 6-0 record that sits alongside his 2.53 ERA. Best of all, he can weather a joke from his teammates, which is a wonderful talent for someone among the most wizened players in baseball.
If there is a Senior Olympics I know who I'm picking in the 100 meter dash. https://t.co/Rpv6KRH0W6Thu, Sep 185:10 PM PDTCleveland at HoustonPreview Game
- Jeff Passan at Yahoo Sports5 days ago
Chris Davis knew exactly what he was doing when he started popping Adderall again. More than any sport, baseball’s relentless toll can ruin a player’s psyche, cause him to forget who he is and what he’s done, send him into the sort of spiral that makes him look for something, anything. Davis sought answers in a pill bottle.
The wonderment of his 2013 season had yielded to the misery of 2014, and when Davis’ troubles tracking the baseball out of the pitcher’s hand and concentrating continued, sources told Yahoo Sports, he turned to what he used in the past, well aware of the potential consequences. Major League Baseball on Friday smacked Davis with a 25-game suspension for his second positive test for amphetamines, a penalty that will bench the Baltimore Orioles slugger for the remainder of the regular season and eight postseason games, should the Orioles make the ALCS.
- Jeff Passan at Yahoo Sports7 days ago
A lawsuit Wednesday alleged that Jeff Wilpon, the chief operating officer of the New York Mets, harassed and later fired one of his senior vice presidents because he didn't agree with her pregnancy. If this is true – if these disgusting, abhorrent acts of misogyny receive even one iota of confirmation – one of Bud Selig's final acts as commissioner must be to rid Major League Baseball of this nepotistic fraud once and for all.
- Jeff Passan at Yahoo Sports8 days ago
The Boston Red Sox lead Yahoo Sports' all-minor league team with a whopping eight players, three more than the runner-up Chicago Cubs and twice as many as the New York Mets, Houston Astros and Texas Rangers.
While the Red Sox's frontline talent doesn't approach the Cubs', their organizational depth is the envy of baseball and could play a vital role in a potential offseason splash. The draft-and-develop philosophy of general manager Ben Cherington continues the M.O. of his predecessor, Theo Epstein, who has stocked the Cubs with a number of impact players, including Kris Bryant, the Minor League Player of the Year.
Tyler Glasnow, the 6-foot-7 right-hander stolen by Pittsburgh in the fifth round of the 2011 draft, is the Minor League Pitcher of the Year, one of three Pirates on the team. It leans prospect-heavy, though an emphasis on production in 2014 leaves some of the game's top prospects – whether because of injury (Minnesota center fielder Byron Buxton, Houston shortstop Carlos Correa) or underperformance (Arizona starter Archie Bradley, Cincinnati starter Robert Stephenson) – out of the running.Thu, Sep 185:05 PM PDTLA Dodgers at Chi CubsPreview Game
- Jeff Passan at Yahoo Sports10 days ago
Do not consider the following a declaration of war on WAR as much as an invitation for its greatest adherents in the sabermetric community to practice what they preached to the mainstream media during baseball's analytical revolution: Please do better.
In recent months, the leaderboards for the Wins Above Replacement metric at FanGraphs and Baseball-Reference.com found themselves increasingly littered with players whose greatest value comes from their glove. Cognitive dissonance resulted, because as wonderful as analytics have been to baseball – as much as they've imbued us with a greater appreciation and knowledge of the game – defensive metrics, in their current form, are entirely incomplete.
And so WAR, the all-encompassing number that is supposed to allow us to compare ballplayers across generations, remains a great-in-theory idea whose kinks warrant if not a full reconsideration than at very least a healthy dose of skepticism.
- Jeff Passan at Yahoo Sports14 days ago
SAN DIEGO – About two weeks ago, at 5:30 a.m., a scream echoed through Daniel Hudson’s house. He didn’t mean to yell so loud. He couldn’t help himself. Of all the ways to derail what he’d worked more than two years for, all the boneheaded things to do. His elbow was finally healthy, and now he wasn’t going to be able to use it because of a stupid toe.
An hour earlier, Hudson woke up to give his newborn daughter a bottle, and then his frenetic bulldog, Milley, started whimpering. So Hudson dragged himself up to let her out, clomped toward a door and pulled a classic exhausted-parent maneuver: He smashed his foot against the jamb. Pain seared toward his big toe when he landed awkwardly. He was certain it was broken. If it all weren’t so ridiculous, so typical, he might have laughed. Only he couldn’t. Not with his past behind him and his future so close.
“Who else would this happen to?” he asked.Thu, Sep 185:40 PM PDTArizona at ColoradoPreview Game
10 Degrees: Cole Hamels' trade value might be Phillies' lone bright spot amid roster of bloated contractsJeff Passan at Yahoo Sports16 days ago
The latest reminder that the Philadelphia Phillies are an actual major league ballclub, as opposed to a Ruben Amaro Jr. fever dream in which he endeavors to lavish old, older and oldest ballplayers with contracts bad, worse and what were you thinking, came Monday afternoon. Four Phillies pitchers combined to no-hit the Atlanta Braves. It was a cool moment.
Particularly because it reminded the world that not only does Cole Hamels still exist amid the mountain of derp that is these Phillies, he is turning in one of his finest seasons at the perfect time for Philadelphia to cash in.
Some time between now and Nov. 1, Hamels must submit to the Phillies a 20-team no-trade list for next season, major league sources told Yahoo Sports. The nine teams to which he couldn't block a trade this season indicate his mindset: both Los Angeles teams, the Yankees and Red Sox, Washington, Atlanta, St. Louis, Texas and San Diego. The first eight were expected to be among the game's finest. San Diego is his hometown.Thu, Sep 186:10 PM PDTPhiladelphia at San DiegoPreview Game
- Jeff Passan at Yahoo Sports21 days ago
The Texas Rangers are almost certain to shut down Yu Darvish for the season, because that’s what a smart team would do, and the Rangers are no dummies. They don’t cater to the whims of a manager who after all these years doesn’t care to acquaint himself with the intricacies of arm injuries, and they don’t kowtow to media members looking for some bright light in this Alaska winter of a season, and they certainly don’t put at risk one of the most valuable assets in baseball to salvage some sliver of a year long ago lost.
The fact that this is even an issue in 2014 – in a year that has seen pitcher after young, dynamic pitcher wake up from an anesthetic slumber with a scar on his elbow – speaks to the willful ignorance that still pervades certain factions of baseball. Earlier in the month, Darvish’s right elbow hurt. An MRI showed inflammation, which was about the best-case scenario. The Rangers should celebrate the fact that one of baseball’s five best pitchers isn’t so myopic to think he alone can solve the woes of an injury-destroyed team that owns the game’s worst record at 52-80. Pride has killed too many arms to count.Thu, Sep 1812:35 PM PDTTexas at OaklandPreview Game
- Jeff Passan at Yahoo Sports23 days ago
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – At the bottom of Shawn Kelley's locker sat 1.1 pounds of horror. It had giant nostrils and a full set of teeth and frightened brown eyes and a lovely mane. It is the New York Yankees' new good-luck charm.
Last week, Kelley found himself ensnared in the spider web of Amazon.com when he came upon a horse head mask offered by a company called Accoutrements, which also peddles a pickle that yodels, bacon-flavored lip balm and an inflatable unicorn horn for cats. The horse head garnered more than 3,000 ratings and a 4½-star consensus. Kelley, a Yankees relief pitcher, needed no further convincing.
"When I see those things, randomly in a crowd, it makes me laugh," he said. "So I figured I'll do that, and it'll make everyone laugh in the clubhouse.
"And then we went on a winning streak."Thu, Sep 184:05 PM PDTToronto at NY YankeesPreview Game