2014 Spring Training

Major League Baseball 2014 Preview: American League East

Manny Machado's 2013 was cut short by injury (14 HR, 71 RBI, 51 2B, .283 BA) but at age 21 he's and the Orioles are contenders in 2014

Manny Machado’s 2013 was cut short by injury (14 HR, 71 RBI, 51 2B, .283 BA) but at age 21 he’s and the Orioles are contenders in 2014

In the American League East anything can happen.

Last season the Boston Red Sox put a dreadful 2012 behind them and rode their top ranked offense (and their bearded camaraderie) to the World Series title. With so many issues entering the season last year you would have been hard pressed to find anyone who (here included) picked them to make the playoffs let alone win their division, league, and the World Series. The team will be hard pressed to replicate that success in 2014 and I will explain why. (more…)

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Major League Baseball Preview: American League Central

Chris Sale (11-14, 3.07 ERA, 226 K’s, 1.073 WHIP) is leading the youth movement on the Southside of Chicago

In the American League Central one thing is clear: you’re only as good as the sum of your parts, and the Detroit Tigers are as good as anyone in baseball. Their lineup features the best hitter in baseball (Miguel Cabrera), the last two American League Cy Young award winners (Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer), and the last three American League MVP award winners (Justin Verlander (2011), Cabrera (2012 and 2013). They traded for Ian Kinsler, get Victor Martinez for another full season, and their bullpen now features Joe Nathan who has 80 saves in 86 opportunities (93%) the last two years. They are the only team in this division who boast those kinds of parts all around. 

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Major League Baseball 2014: American League West Preview

Sonny Gray will look to lead the A's to a third consecutive AL West Crown (Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images North America)Sonny Gray looks to lead the A’s to a third consecutive AL West Crown (Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images North America)

The last couple seasons when I’ve kicked off these previews the American League West seemed all but won. In 2012 they had the best staff, best lineup, and best front-office heading into that season. The Oakland A’s proved that incorrect on the last day of that season by thumping the Rangers 12-5. Last season the Angels looked like the favorites heading into the season when they brought Josh Hamilton over from the Rangers to form an impossible lineup trio of Mike Trout, Albert Pujols, and Hamilton. Well, the A’s spoiled those plans as well winning a second consecutive AL West crown.

Yet here I am in 2014 about to prove I haven’t learned my lesson.

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Major League Baseball 2014: New York Mets In The Midst Of An Impressive Rebuild

David Wright thinks the Mets can win 90 games in 2014

David Wright thinks the Mets can win 90 games in 2014. Sandy Alderson’s moves have put them closer. 

I am going to admit this early so you don’t accuse me of forgetting: I’ve been a regular at the “Everyone Dump On The Mets” table for some time now. (more…)

Major League Baseball 2014 Preview: Five Players Poised To Bounce Back

Corey Hart (microfracture surgery in '13) attempts a bounce back with the Mariners

Corey Hart (microfracture surgery in ’13) attempts a bounce back with the Seattle Mariners

With quite a few teams fortunes tied to players coming off of injury I felt it important to highlight a few I felt were primed for the biggest bounce back seasons in 2014. (more…)

Major League Baseball 2014: 5 Early Spring Training Storylines To Keep An Eye On

Is Nick Swisher ready to lead the Indians to a Playoff encore in 2014?

Is Nick Swisher ready to lead the Indians to a Playoff encore in 2014?

To say this is my favorite time would be an understatement.

I’m not talking about the approaching March Madness or the incessant NFL draft conversation (although I’ll be weighing in on that later this Spring), I’m talking about the most glorious words any snow-covered East coast dweller can hear: (more…)