Tim Brown

  • Clayton Kershaw still wears scars of past playoff failures

    Tim Brown at Yahoo Sports 7 hrs ago

    LOS ANGELES – A year and a day have passed since the Dodgers boarded a plane bound for Los Angeles, and exactly a year since that plane landed in Los Angeles. Their baseball season was over, unfathomably to the people on that plane. They flew through the night.

    For the first hour or so, the cabin was quiet. The men were weary following a long summer and then four games against the St. Louis Cardinals, the last two in St. Louis. But it was disappointment, maybe regret, that held their moods, as it would have. Their ace, the best pitcher most of them had ever seen, had lost twice in the series, finally and fatally when a curveball had fallen on the wrong side of the fence in Busch Stadium's right field.

    As the plane steadied itself and found a comfortable place above the clouds, and the hurt of what happened way down below became more distant, conversations sprung across aisles and in the seat cracks between rows. Even a few laughs were heard, splattered in that wrong-time, wrong-place way.

    A year and a day later? Please.

    He stood in front of his locker recently. He was shirtless and pawing through hangers.

    "I don't have a jersey," he noted to no one in particular.

  • Angels new GM Billy Eppler believes in analytics ... when used properly

    Tim Brown at Yahoo Sports 3 days ago

    ANAHEIM, Calif. – As he stood Monday afternoon from his seat at the dais, Billy Eppler folded at the waist briefly and shot his wife, Catherine, one of those, "How'd I do?" looks.

    For several minutes on his first day he'd read from a script about his new job as general manager of the Los Angeles Angels. The owner, Arte Moreno, sat to his left. Beyond Moreno, members of the baseball operations department lined the far wall, which, it should be said, have endured quite a summer. The last guy quit some 3½ months earlier (a month before the trading deadline) and recently hooked on with the Seattle Mariners. President John Carpino sat to Eppler's right. Mike Scioscia, the team's manager for all of the 21 st century and, perhaps, has a shot at the next season, stood in the back by the door.

    Eppler's voice had gone thick when talking about the New York Yankees, the organization he was leaving after 10 years, and about Catherine, who sat in the front. "I love you with all of my heart," he'd read aloud to everyone but really to her, so we're guessing she thought he did just fine.

    "It was a non-issue," he said.

    So there you go.

  • For CC Sabathia, the most important thing is a change for the better today

    Tim Brown at Yahoo Sports 3 days ago

    A day at a time starts today and not tomorrow and not when it’s convenient.

    A day at a time probably should have started yesterday or the day before, all things considered, but those are gone, and that leaves today, which happens to be Monday, Oct. 5, the first hours of the rest of CC Sabathia’s life.

    If that happens to line up with the first day of the Major League Baseball postseason and the day before the New York Yankees would try to backdoor their 28th world championship, then that’s going to have to wait and is of no concern for today.

    Man, do we lose track of today, charging ahead like we do, stumbling forward lest we lose ground or get dragged down from behind. We pretend it’s all OK, fake it ’til we make it, promise ourselves it’ll clean itself up as long as we make it to tomorrow. And tomorrow, funny, never ever comes. There’s always tomorrow. Never enough today.

    So it was on a Monday in October that CC Sabathia, big ol’ CC, decided tomorrow had come, and it would be today, a few months after his 35th birthday, a few hours before his next drink.


    We know that he seemed regretful.

    But that’s for tomorrow.

    More MLB coverage:



  • MLB Power Rankings: October baseball is upon us

    Tim Brown at Yahoo Sports 7 days ago

    The rankings (records through Wednesday’s games):

    1. St. Louis Cardinals (100-59; Previous: 1) – That time when the Cardinals hired Julian Assange to lead their technical support team. (He’s the WikiLeaks guy.)

    2. Pittsburgh Pirates (96-63; Previous: 2) – The Cole Train whistles. Totally.

    3. Toronto Blue Jays (92-66; Previous: 4) – “The Donaldson.”

    4. Chicago Cubs (93-65; Previous: 5) – AC/DC concerts.

    5. Kansas City Royals (91-67; Previous: 6) – The morning-after lineup.

    6. New York Mets (89-69; Previous: 7) – Scott Boras.

    7. Los Angeles Dodgers (88-70; Previous: 3) – Dunno. They were never on TV. So maybe we’ll miss missing Vin Scully, if that makes sense.

    8. Texas Rangers (86-72; Previous: 9) – Checking details of the return policy on Josh Hamilton. Angels get store credit.

    9. New York Yankees (86-72; Previous: 8) – A-Rod’s comeback. Unless he’s just setting us up for another one. Then, not so much.

    10. Houston Astros (84-75; Previous: 10) – Birthday passwords. Dog-name passwords. Pa55word passwords. GoStros15 passwords.

    11. Los Angeles Angels (83-75; Previous: 15) – Disposable left fielders.

    12. San Francisco Giants (83-75; Previous: 11) – Odd-year inevitability.

    More MLB coverage:

  • Angels' season of chaos leaves them with four games to make the playoffs

    Tim Brown at Yahoo Sports 8 days ago

    ANAHEIM, Calif. – These are the Los Angeles Angels, four errors' and seven walks' worth on Wednesday night, a 19-loss August and 18-win September in, stuff strewn everywhere, a teenager's room as much as a baseball team, but with a nice Mike Trout poster on the wall, signed and everything.

    They'd tell you it's better than it looks, that they know exactly where everything is, and maybe that's true, and maybe chaos just suits them.

    They'd won for a good decade like that once, when the scattered parts (set just so) could – from a distance, viewed from a tilted head and half-shuttered eyes – be construed as a championship team. It didn't always work out, in fact it worked out only once, but the goofy angles, frantic pace and steady results made for entertaining relevancy.

    This isn't that except for the past month, the one truly competent month in six for the Angels, which turns out to be plenty in the American League West.

    "I've been saying it all week," Trout said, "we've got to win every game."

    From behind Scioscia, a voice advised, "Guys, we have an 8:35 bus, so…"

    Scioscia rose from his chair. The room cleared.

  • Tuesdays with Brownie: Is Papelbon simply a symptom of Nats' dysfunction?

    Tim Brown at Yahoo Sports 9 days ago

    (A weekly look at the players, teams, trends, up-shoots and downspouts shaping the 2015 season.)

    Jonathan Papelbon’s crime, beyond of course the assault and battery, is the ego. He sees more of himself than is actually there. In that way it is surprising he did not fit in better with the Washington Nationals.

    On his way to becoming a rarity in the game – the object of derision by home fans in two cities in the same summer – Papelbon grabbed himself a fistful of neck (not his own) and a handful of trouble (his own), though this time his crotch was not involved, and for that we can be thankful. As such, if every clubhouse you walk into seems to have a locker for a boorish bully, maybe it’s not the clubhouse.

    The Nationals now have choices to make. Some will be easier than others. Papelbon’s participation beyond this season will be part of the discussion, presumably. Whether he stays or goes, Papelbon may have provided a service.

    It’s a helluva lesson. A dumb one. A borderline criminal one.

    No one gave it another thought.

    No one but Goldschmidt.

  • The legacy of Yogi Berra: He made everyone smile

    Tim Brown at Yahoo Sports 15 days ago

    LOS ANGELES – Yogi Berra passed away and the appropriate tears fell, the best stories told, the proper appreciation paid. Vin Scully nodded along Wednesday, happy for the warmth of another memory of dear Yogi. They'd spent the better parts of their lives on opposite sides of an old rivalry and a slightly older continent, though had come to know each other well enough.

    "Aw, what'd you make such a stink about?" Scully would needle. "Robby was safe."

    Jackie Robinson stole home against Berra's New York Yankees in a World Series game 60 years ago. Berra was the catcher. The Yankees won the game. The Brooklyn Dodgers won the series. Yogi, perhaps, is still arguing the call.

    He'd laugh with Vin though, and the conversation would run off to other places.

    Scully stood Wednesday evening in the back of the press box at Dodger Stadium, he too having mourned the loss, and celebrated the life, and watched it all go past. He was struck, he said, by the reactions to the news of Yogi on Wednesday, as the reactions were the same to Yogi in the flesh.

    Mattingly grinned and added, "And I was looking for gold."

    He'll keep digging, presumably.


  • Tuesdays with Brownie: Blame for Mets' situation falls on one man

    Tim Brown at Yahoo Sports 16 days ago

    (A weekly look at the players, teams, trends, up-shoots and downspouts shaping the 2015 season.)

    This isn’t Matt Harvey’s fault. This isn’t the fault of his team or his agent or the doctor who fixed Harvey’s elbow.

    It’s Terry Collins’ fault.

    Collins, after all, has managed the New York Mets to the brink of their first NL East title in nine years, and none of this would have come up had the Mets been irrelevant like they were supposed to be. It’s the Washington Nationals’ fault too, a little.

    The 185-inning limit on Harvey, according to sources, was hard and fast and not to be strayed from. Everyone involved agreed. The only way it would become an issue was if the Mets – ha-ha – were somehow to scrape together all this young pitching and make do without David Wright and have Curtis Granderson become good again and then have the front office hit it rich at the trading deadline.

    Then the Nationals would have to tank, and at some point the Mets would have to take advantage of that and believe in all of this.


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    But Collins only brought it on himself … by winning all these games.

    His name is Patrick Corbin.

    More MLB coverage:




  • Jung Ho Kang injury challenges principles of the game

    Tim Brown at Yahoo Sports 20 days ago

    Jung Ho Kang had surgery Thursday, hours after his left leg was broken and MCL torn at second base in a game at PNC Park. It left the talented Kang without baseball for at least six months and the Pirates without one of their more productive players for the games they have left, because Kang lingered in a bad area at a very bad time.

    Not everyone who takes a throw at second base ahead of an incoming runner gets his leg broken. Most get out of the way. Some get lucky. The rest hope for compassion from the man whose job in that moment is to separate the player with the ball from the out.

    That’s where it gets hazy. And in the very worst scenario, Kang is half-carried from a baseball field in mid-September, the Pirates are sorting through their available options a few minutes later, and a season changes on a play that doesn’t have to happen, and doesn’t have to include casualties, but does and can.

    “That, unfortunately, is called ‘sport,’” Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. “Men are playing for championships. … They’re big, they’re strong, they’re passionate.”

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    “Without,” Hurdle said, “taking away from the game.”


  • Meet the Dodger who learned to have fun and provide serious value

    Tim Brown at Yahoo Sports 20 days ago

    LOS ANGELES – Justin Turner arrived at second base one night this week and discovered an old friend, a man with a pleasant smile who once showed him a better way.

    Jose Reyes stood near second base one night this week and along came the thick redheaded kid with the Elmo beard and wide, wobbly eyes. The same kid, turned out, who’d shown up in New York City four years before – closer cropped around the ears and chin then – whose desperation to be somebody in the game may have disturbed the broader truth that this was supposed to be a hell of a good time, too.

    They’re all the same mostly, the young guys who are kicked up to the big leagues because they’re good enough or there’s no better choice, when it occurs to them there are enough wounded and defensive men, some maybe old enough to be their fathers. There, they can choose to swing a heavy hammer alongside them. Or, they can laugh along with those whose spirits applaud the 140th semi-acceptable version of the national anthem in 146 nights, and endure the boss’ mood swings, and pick out the smiling child from the 50 booing adults, and get better at 5 p.m., five swings at a time.

    “Wow,” Reyes said, “you found your home.”