Governor's Cup champion Pawtucket Red Sox

So close and so far: One night at the Governor’s Cup Final

Late on Thursday night, something caught my eye as it came across Twitter: the Durham Bulls had beaten the Pawtucket Red Sox 4-3 to take a 2-1 lead in the Governor’s Cup Final (aka the International League final or the Triple-A semifinal). I remembered seeing an e-mail from earlier in the day that the Bulls would […]

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Jose Fernandez and the uncertainty of injured young stars

There aren’t many specific baseball dates that I remember from my childhood. I have plenty of baseball memories, of course, and I could go on for hours recounting them. I can’t really peg very many of them to specific dates on the calendar though. As I sit here in 2014, there really are only two […]

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When is a team truly out of contention?

On Monday, one day after Mother’s Day, Jon Paul Morosi wrote a eulogy for the 2014 Tampa Bay Rays, wondering if it was time for them to blow up their roster and aim for the future. Amazingly, it was not the earliest 2014 eulogy written for a 2013 playoff team; SB Nation’s Steven Goldman beat […]

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How the Brewers went from 74-88 to 20-7 in six months with no prospects

At this point, the formula for building a perennial contender on a small-market budget is well-established: build around a strong core of young players and have a continuous supply of talent coming from the minors. That minor league talent can be used in any of a number of ways; it can supplement the big league […]

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The promise of George Springer

It’s not a secret that baseball fans of all stripes loves prospects; between the lengthy minor league process and the degree of mystery that surrounds even the best young minor league baseball players, baseball’s prospects are different than college football or basketball players or junior hockey players. This phenomenon is not limited to bad small […]

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Through the looking glass: Opening Day

From 1994 through 2007, I attended almost every home opener in Pittsburgh at PNC Park and Three Rivers Stadium. Home openers are a weird thing when you don’t have much hope for the upcoming season; you’re excited that baseball is back, but it’s hard to be truly optimistic about what’s in front of you, as […]

Dominican Republic shuts out Puerto Rico 3-0 to claim 2013 WBC crown

It's been apparent since the earliest days of the 2013 WBC that the team from the Dominican Republic was the best team in the tournament, and now they have a trophy to prove it. With a 3-0 win over Puerto Rico on Tuesday night, the Dominican Republic officially claimed their first WBC title and in […]

Puerto Rico stuns Japan to advance to WBC final

For the first time in seven years and three iterations, the World Baseball Classic is going to have a new champion. Puerto Rico upset defending champion Japan 3-1 last night just two days after upsetting the United States, and as a result, their Cinderella run is going to take them all the way into the […]

Puerto Rico withstands late US rally to earn WBC semifinal berth

A double elimination tournament is vastly different than a typical best-of-seven baseball playoff series, and so less than 72 hours after their best and most complete game of the 2013 World Baseball Classic, Team USA's stars are headed back to their Major League camps while Puerto Rico is on their way to the semifinals. That's […]

David Wright and Gio Gonzalez lead USA to 7-1 victory over Puerto Rico

In the first round of the 2013 World Baseball Classic, Team USA often found themselves playing from behind, always in search of a big hit, always needing a strong bullpen outing to keep the game close or preserve a tight lead. The knuckleballs weren't floating, they weren't bunching their hits the way a lineup like […]

World Baseball Classic Recap: Andruw Jones scores winning run as Netherlands shocks Cuba, advances to semis

The semifinals of the World Baseball Classic are halfway set. With Netherlands second upset over Cuba in four days, Japan and the Netherlands will play tomorrow morning to determine seeding, then travel to San Francisco and await the two qualifers from the double-elimination pool of the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, the United States, and Italy.  […]

David Wright slams USA to 6-2 comeback win over Italy

When Team USA woke up on Saturday morning, they faced an uncertain future in the World Baseball Classic. Thanks to their tournament-opening loss to Mexico on Friday night, it was possible that the United States could win their final two games and still not advance to the second round of the 2013 World Baseball Classic. […]