- Tim Brown at Yahoo Sports1 day ago
There's stuff we need to know. We have six weeks to know them.
With just that much remaining in the regular season, 11 teams are done. Of 30. Eighteen have a less than 50 percent chance of October.
That leaves plenty. By now, three-quarters of the way through a baseball season, a ballclub generally has found its authentic self, as has its players. Sometimes the mirror is not very kind. It is, however, accurate. Sometimes, Hey gorgeous…
So, we made a list of what might shape the races, what might draw our attention, what might inspire us to tear the mirror from the wall and slam it repeatedly against our foreheads.
Are the Los Angeles Dodgers really that interested in winning this thing?
So, apparently, somebody told the most expensive team in history it could take weekends off. Their record over the last three – Fridays through Sundays – is 2-7. Kevin Correia, Roberto Hernandez and Dan Haren are rotation mainstays for the foreseeable future. The road from them to Kenley Jansen is long and winding. The left side of the infield is on the disabled list. On the bright side, the Dodgers have three series remaining against winning teams, two of those against the San Francisco Giants.Wed, Aug 207:10 PM PDTSan Diego at LA DodgersPreview Game
- Tim Brown at Yahoo Sports3 days ago
LOS ANGELES – The drive from Samana, a town on the northeastern shore of the Dominican Republic, across the island to Santo Domingo was maybe five hours, much of it slow, some of it treacherous.
This was before the new highway went in a few years back, before there were four lanes of fresh pavement, tollbooths and guardrails.
Wily Peralta had taken the old route, the one that would seemingly go to nowhere until it emptied into somewhere. He was 11, and he was going to play baseball, the kind with real baseballs and real baseball gloves.
“Mom, I want to play baseball,” he’d told his mother.
“I want you to go to school,” she’d said.
“I want to go to school, too,” he’d said. “But I believe I can do it; I can play baseball.”
In Samana, Peralta had plucked his baseballs from the lemon tree in his backyard. Sometimes the neighborhood boys would wait months for the lemons to reach the size of a baseball. They’d play catch using squares of cardboard as gloves, and before long their ball was a soft, pulpy mess, sending them back to the tree to pick out a new yellowy pearl.Wed, Aug 2011:10 AM PDTToronto at MilwaukeePreview Game
- Tim Brown at Yahoo Sports5 days ago
Major League Baseball owners on Thursday selected Rob Manfred, MLB’s chief operating officer and longtime right-hand man to outgoing commissioner Bud Selig, as the game’s next commissioner.
Despite opposition from a handful of owners, most notably Jerry Reinsdorf of the Chicago White Sox, Manfred received at least the required 23 votes to become baseball’s 10th commissioner. Boston Red Sox chairman Tom Werner and MLB executive vice president of business Tim Brosnan also were candidates, all three identified as such by a Selig-appointed search committee. Brosnan withdrew his name before owners cast their votes, so the final decision was between Manfred and Werner.
The owners met into the early evening in Baltimore after the first returns had Manfred within a vote or two of approval. At about 6 p.m. ET, and after many meetings of the full membership and breakoff groups, enough owners had flipped their votes from Werner to Manfred. At that point, the owners agreed to make the vote unanimous, and announced it as 30-0 for Manfred.
- Tim Brown at Yahoo Sports5 days ago
On what old Orioles really need, the Tigers as bad dogs, and what the Cardinals can expect out of Lackey for half-a-mil:
The rankings (records through Wednesday):
1. Oakland Athletics (73-47; Previous: 1) – A’s so committed to 2014, front office refuses to pre-order 2015 calendars.
2. Los Angeles Angels (70-49; Previous: 2) – Angels spend entire Freeway Series explaining they wouldn’t want to live in Los Angeles, but don’t mind visiting.
3. Baltimore Orioles (69-50; Previous: 5) – O’s hold on-field ceremony to honor 60 years of baseball. Either that or they were giving away support hosiery.
4. Los Angeles Dodgers (69-53; Previous: 3) – Rotation kind of like a mullet: business in the front, bullpen party in the back.
5. Washington Nationals (65-53; Previous: 6) – When they need an extra outfielder, Nats pick up the Souza phone.
6. Kansas City Royals (65-54; Previous: 17) – Former Missouri Tiger Aaron Crow gets save on ballpark’s “Missouri Night,” former Nebraska Cornhusker Alex Gordon hits homer on “Nebraska Night,” beat writer expecting Pulitzer consideration on upcoming “GED Night.”
7. Milwaukee Brewers (66-55; Previous: 8) – Wily Peralta among league leaders in W’s, still short one L.Wed, Aug 204:10 PM PDTLA Angels at BostonPreview Game
- Tim Brown at Yahoo Sports6 days ago
A new commissioner will come, if not Thursday then some other day and presumably by the time Bud Selig is supposed to retire in January, but the game lately is running thin on absolutes.
Baseball’s 30 owners are gathered in Baltimore, where they are attempting to identify Selig’s successor, otherwise known as the man most likely to preserve the status quo and/or change everything. Their choice, for the moment, is Rob Manfred, Tom Werner or Tim Brosnan. The first to 23 votes wins.
For the first time in more than two decades, the owners will not have Selig to shepherd them to grudging agreement, which, in the Selig years, came to be known as unanimous, hold-hands-and-smile-for-the-cameras-dammit agreement. Oh, they know where Selig leans on this, and his man – Manfred, his COO and a commissioner’s office executive since 1998 – is the frontrunner, if surely not a shoo-in.
- Tim Brown at Yahoo Sports8 days ago
ANAHEIM, Calif. – On a routine afternoon in a season that was going nowhere even before management made it boldly and darkly official, Dustin Pedroia gnawed on his lower lip and got after another day.
No matter the color of flag over his season – last year’s was red with “World Champions” on it; this year’s is plain white – Pedroia honors them equally. This season inches toward nothing, toward what they call, “seeing what the kids can do,” toward a fairly significant remodel, and still Pedroia sweats every inch. Hours before the Boston Red Sox will play a game that matters only to the Los Angeles Angels, Pedroia concentrated on threading the needle, filling the holes, pulling it all as taut as it can be, tying off the loose ends.
He was re-lacing his glove.
Done, he gathered the leather strings he’d snipped, the awl he’d used, and packed them neatly into a pouch. He examined the tan glove, popped it a couple times with his free hand, tested the knots. The glove appeared new, maybe like everything else around here being prepped for 2015.
Look around. Who are these guys? What happened here? Now what?
Pedroia shook his head. He didn’t want to talk.
“I gotta buncha stuff,” he explained.
- Tim Brown at Yahoo Sports11 days ago
The job is relentless. Matt Williams knew that walking in.
The town is waiting. Still waiting. Forever waiting, that town. The injuries, like they do everywhere, complicate the plan. The kid, especially the kid, can be a handful. When the ballgame flexes, it brings a decision Williams has not made before, and there’s room on the top step for only one.
The job exposes a man. The team exposes a man. The schedule, too. Good or not so good, reasonable or not, accountable or not, there he is, alone. In the job, some very rational men have been reduced to behavior beneath them.
So it was with some curiosity that we got Williams, all of 111 games into this gig, not yet three-quarters through Season One, scolding reporters for a scrape – the kid, Bryce Harper, being demoted to the minor leagues or not – he created.
“It’s unacceptable. It won’t happen. Is that good enough for you?” he sneered at the end of his admonishment.Wed, Aug 204:05 PM PDTArizona at WashingtonPreview Game
- Tim Brown at Yahoo Sports12 days ago
LOS ANGELES – Right-handed pitcher Roberto Hernandez is, last we heard, 33 years old, coming up on 34. He was quite competent once, and then he wasn’t, and then he wasn’t whom we thought he was, and now it’s difficult to know exactly what he is.
For the moment, the Los Angeles Dodgers hope he’s merely a decent alternative.
To what ails the back end of their starting rotation.
To what threatens their intentions of holding off the San Francisco Giants in the NL West.
To, among other things, Josh Beckett.
On Thursday, the Dodgers acquired Hernandez from the Philadelphia Phillies for two players to be named later or cash. Hernandez is expected to start in Beckett’s place Friday night in Milwaukee.
The agreement came hours after Dan Haren, another recently suspect area of a rotation that leads with Clayton Kershaw, Zack Greinke and Hyun-jin Ryu, beat the Angels with 7 1/3 sturdy innings, and hours before Hernandez was to start for the Phillies against the Houston Astros.
- Tim Brown at Yahoo Sports14 days ago
LOS ANGELES – A fastball away for a strike. The fastball that has just enough natural cut to backdoor a right-handed hitter such as Mike Trout. The fastball that, considering Clayton Kershaw is devastating on his glove-side corner, appears to a batter to be forever off the plate and a sure-thing ball and instead grazes the black. For strike one.
A curveball away for a ball. The curveball Vin Scully once formally dubbed Public Enemy No. 1. The curveball that, according to Baseball America, managers consider second only to Adam Wainwright's, against which the league is batting .143. For ball one.
A fastball in, because that's where Trout can be vulnerable, because that's where Kershaw loves to pitch, hard at 93, cutting toward the bat handle and the right thumb. For a ground ball to the left side, hard with some top spin, three steps and a dive to Juan Uribe's left.
Kershaw turned to watch over his right shoulder. Trout burst from the box, low like a sprinter chasing the gun, broad like a linebacker hunting a tailback. "As big as he is," Vin Scully oozed from overhead, "he has wings on his feet."
- Tim Brown at Yahoo Sports15 days ago
LOS ANGELES – First off, they're not in the same town. They're not in the same county. If that dude up north with all the Bitcoins and the bright idea about six Californias has his way, they won't even be in the same state.
They are separated by 31 miles as I-5 flies, which it never does, so that's not relevant.
They've never played an important game against each other. Only once – five years ago – were they sort of close to playing an important game, and that died inside four days in late October, in an imprecise Vicente Padilla start in Philadelphia and a chilly two-error night in the Bronx. Over more than a half-century, that's about it.
But, well, here they are, the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Los Angeles Angels, generally overrun by the Los Angeles Lakers but typically not until training camp opens, each of them mid-summer relevant, each of them riding along in an era of West Coast baseball revival.