August 21, 2018

Clark’s Boner

August 16, 2018 by · Leave a Comment 

Next month, on September 23, is the 110th anniversary of one of the most famous games in baseball history. Known as “Merkle’s Boner,” the contest pitted the Chicago Cubs against the New York Giants at the Polo Grounds in New York City. As an estimated 40,000 fans watched, rookie Fred Merkle failed to run to second […]

Why the Nationals’ Bullpen Sucks

August 14, 2018 by · Leave a Comment 

It is an oft told story: the implosion of the Washington Nationals reliever corps. It is happening now, and it has happened oh so many times that the success stories stand out starkly from the failures because there have been so few of them. Whether it is the failures of Drew Storen in the playoffs […]

Projecting the 2018 MLB MVP and Cy Young Award Winners

August 9, 2018 by · Leave a Comment 

Each Major League Baseball team still has over 40 games left to play in the regular season, as the playoff race is starting to truly take shape. Even though a lot can happen during that roughly quarter of the season, let’s take a look at my picks (at this point in the season) for some […]

The Best Team Usually Wins

August 8, 2018 by · Leave a Comment 

One of the bigger surprises in the 2018 season has been the impotence of the Washington Nationals. But that is why they play the games, why paper comparisons in March of this year failed to see how quickly the Atlanta Braves young team would gel with its veterans, or how Aaron Nola and Jake Arrieta […]

All Hail Max Scherzer, the Clear-Cut Best Pitcher in Baseball

August 1, 2018 by · Leave a Comment 

Although star baseball players are covered endlessly in social media and the press, it is possible that the greatest of the great are occasionally not given their full due. Pitcher Max Scherzer seems to be in that category. Recognized as one of the best pitchers in baseball, the truth at this time is that he […]

Bob Tewksbury: Former Hurler Now Pitching Benefits of Sports Psychology

July 17, 2018 by · Leave a Comment 

During his career pitcher Bob Tewksbury was one of the best control artists in the game with the simple act of drawing a walk being about as impressive as hitting a home run off him. 20 years after his playing career ended, the right-hander is still deeply involved in the game, working with a different […]

Knowing When to Hold Them and When to Fold Them

July 16, 2018 by · Leave a Comment 

You have to know when to hold them; know when to fold them. That is what separates the winners from the losers, pure and simple. The Washington Nationals are faced with that conundrum as they ready themselves for the second half of the 2018 season. Their .500 record–48 wins/48 losses–puts them five and one-half games […]

Bret Boone: Recalling His Life in Baseball

July 2, 2018 by · Leave a Comment 

The Boones are baseball family royalty with Ray, Bob, Aaron and Bret having played, and played at high levels, across three generations. The quartet combined for 5,890 hits and 634 home runs, providing indisputable statistical proof of their enormous impact on the game. Bret, who enjoyed a 14 year career as a second baseman from […]

Are All 1-0 Games Pitchers’ Duels?

July 1, 2018 by · Leave a Comment 

As we reach the halfway point of the 2018 season, I would like to note that there have already been 32 games this season in which the two teams combined to score just one run, compared to 28 such games all of last season. This isn’t a tendency or a trend; it is a force […]

Looking at Statistical Leaders at the Half-Way Point

June 30, 2018 by · Leave a Comment 

Most teams are at or around the 81-game mark, so the 2018 regular season is essentially half way over at this point. It is always fun to scan the leaders in various categories at this point in the season and do the easy math to see what we are on pace for. Some things don’t […]

Principal Park: Despite City’s Size, Ballpark Has Big Impact

June 30, 2018 by · Leave a Comment 

Minor league baseball a Des Moines, Iowa, staple at same location since 1947 Submitted by Steve Dunn Located at the confluence of the Des Moines and Raccoon rivers in Des Moines, Iowa, Principal Park and its two predecessors have hosted professional baseball since Friday, June 20, 1947. One of the more unique games in minor […]

Dave Rozema, The Quirkiest Detroit Tigers Pitcher

June 25, 2018 by · Leave a Comment 

Baseball players are often remembered for the skill they displayed on the field, and in some instances for amazing plays they made. The ability to create such memories is the backbone of the game’s rich tradition and why legions of fans lovingly curate the stories throughout the years. Then there are players like pitcher Dave […]

Patches Below the Waterline to Put Washington Back in the Winners Circle in 2018

June 22, 2018 by · Leave a Comment 

Tom Boswell likened the addition of Kelvin Herrera to the Nationals bullpen as adding sheet metal instead of tin foil to a significant hole in their bullpen. Herrera is hopefully the first of several moves that the Washington Nationals front office will surprise us with this summer as they look to address the new reality […]

Former Pitcher Russ Ortiz Recalls His Baseball Career

June 15, 2018 by · Leave a Comment 

Pitching is one of the most difficult endeavors in baseball. It was particularly daunting in the early 2000s, as offenses were operating at high-octane levels. That makes the career of Russ Ortiz all the more impressive, as the right-hander won 99 games in one six-year stretch on his way to a wildly successful 12-year major […]

Mambo Soto! A Vision of Robles and Soto Playing DC Baseball With a Salsa Beat?

June 14, 2018 by · Leave a Comment 

Juan Soto’s two home runs at Yankee Stadium last night not only cast a spell over the Bronx crowd, but over the future for the Washington Nationals. The young slugger is intriguing enough in his own right. He IS Bryce Harper as a 19-year old. The comparisons can be made now as the young Dominican […]

Has Boston Red Sox Pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez Made the Leap?

June 11, 2018 by · Leave a Comment 

The Boston Red Sox gambled they were making a shrewd move when they traded star reliever Andrew Miller to the Baltimore Orioles in 2014 for prospect left-handed pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez. Although he had flashes of promise over the ensuing three seasons, injuries and inconsistency made him into somewhat of an enigma. Now 25, the southpaw […]

Firing On All Eight

June 6, 2018 by · Leave a Comment 

A friend recently opined that it is difficult to appreciate the arc of history when one is in the middle of it.  You cannot know how the moving hand will compose an ending, but last night, with temperatures around seventy degrees, Max Scherzer was cruising like a V-8 Oldsmobile out on an old country highway, […]

Bill Sampen: Pitcher Recalls Successful Career with Montreal Expos

May 28, 2018 by · Leave a Comment 

Although major league baseball has been gone from Montreal for over a decade now, the legacy of the game remains vibrant there. Fans have to rely on memories instead of being able to root for a team able to make new ones. Fortunately, there are ample fond recollections and players from  the past. Among them […]

Still Active Former Top Prospects: Where Are They Now?

May 20, 2018 by · Leave a Comment 

Every year the baseball world is put on notice by the publishing of various “top prospect” lists. These herald the best and the brightest of that year’s group of young players toiling in the minor leagues and hoping to eventually make their way to the big league limelight. Some receive their promotion rather quickly, and […]

Active Major League Players Who are Locks for the Baseball Hall of Fame

May 7, 2018 by · 2 Comments 

The National Baseball Hall of Fame is the sport’s Mount Rushmore. Only the best of the best and the most talented, memorable figures in the game’s history gain admittance, with fewer than 350 having been elected in the near 90 years of the existence of the shrine. There are future Hall-of-Famers playing now, but who […]

19-Year Old Juan Soto vs. 19-Year Old Bryce Harper

May 7, 2018 by · Leave a Comment 

The 25-year old Bryce Harper is on a pace to hit more home runs than in any prior season. It is fun to watch and no slugger since Frank Howard has put on a power display in Washington, DC, quite like this one. But as Harper crushes balls that approach Hondo’s mythic proportions, there is […]

Interview with Pittsburgh Pirates’ Pitcher Nick Kingham

April 29, 2018 by · Leave a Comment 

This interview originally appeared in 2012 in Toppsprospectalert.com Stockpiling quality young pitching is always a priority for a losing team trying to change their fortunes and culture. The Pittsburgh Pirates, who last had a winning season in 1992, have recently drafted highly touted arms like Jameson Taillon and Gerrit Cole to jump-start their rebuilding process. However, the team is also […]

Long-Term Battery Combinations

April 24, 2018 by · Leave a Comment 

Submitted by Howard Johnson The most comforting words that can be heard by any hard-core fan of professional baseball is the annual mid-winter pronouncement that “Pitchers and catchers will report on ….” Given those are the two positions involved on every pitch of every game, each performs within the confines of a space rigorously defined […]

A Great Game Ruined

April 17, 2018 by · 2 Comments 

This past Saturday (April 14, 2018) my family and I ventured to FNB Park in Harrisburg, PA for the contest between the home town Senators, the Nationals affiliate in the AA Eastern League, and the Bowie Baysox, an Orioles affiliate. As life-long Baltimore fans, we were eager to see the Baby Birds play, and the […]

Evar Swanson, the Fastest Player in Baseball History

April 15, 2018 by · Leave a Comment 

Speed is a quality in baseball that can achieve the swiftest of the swift legendary status. From Hans Lobert racing a horse, to Cool Papa Bell allegedly being able to turn off the lights and be under the covers before the room got dark, there are scores of examples of players showcasing blinding speed. However, […]

Did a Young Robin Yount Almost Quit Baseball for a Career in Professional Golf?

April 9, 2018 by · Leave a Comment 

Robin Yount forged a 20-year Hall of Fame career with the Milwaukee Brewers as a shortstop and then outfielder. He accumulated over 3000 base hits and won two Most Valuable Player Awards. However, that almost didn’t happen, as he threatened to quit baseball at the age of 22 to go join the PGA as a […]

Is it 1924 All Over Again?

April 3, 2018 by · Leave a Comment 

For decades the spring dawned in Washington, DC with false hopes that the local nine might have hidden talent. Then, as quickly as you could say “Shirley Povich,” reality was restored by the end of April.  But a new century has created a reality that bends like a pretzel and just when you think you […]

Chance Sisco’s Violation of One of Baseball’s Dumbest (Unwritten) Rules

April 2, 2018 by · 4 Comments 

The 2018 major league baseball season is not even a week old and there is already a strong candidate for the dumbest story of the year. With his team trailing 7-0 in the ninth inning on April 1st, Baltimore Orioles’ rookie catcher Chance Sisco laid down a bunt for a single against a shift employed by the […]

2018 Baseball Hall of Fame Inductees’ Highs and Lows

March 26, 2018 by · Leave a Comment 

The National Baseball Hall of Fame boasts a robust 2018 induction class, with six former players being enshrined. Jack Morris and Alan Trammell, who was tapped by the Veteran’s Committee, and Jim Thome, Chipper Jones, Vlad Guerrero and Trevor Hoffman, who were elected by the writer’s ballot will all have brand spanking new plaques in […]

Revisiting an Interview with Branch Rickey

March 18, 2018 by · Leave a Comment 

An interview can reveal a lot about its subject as long as the right questions are asked. There is little more fascinating than coming across such sources that had largely disappeared into the ether. One of the most interesting men in baseball history was Branch Rickey, the forward-thinking Hall-of-Fame front office man (he also played and […]

Frank Howard, Bryce Harper, and a Tip of the Hat to That

March 8, 2018 by · 2 Comments 

Frank Howard only played in Washington for seven years after coming over from the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 1965 trade. Bryce Harper is likely to play only seven seasons as well–the hour glass emptying steadily on what is likely his last in DC. In terms of longevity and in several important statistical categories, there […]

Which Former Major League Players Have Become Stars in Korea?

March 4, 2018 by · Leave a Comment 

Making it to the major leagues is a monumental task that is accomplished by a mere fraction of the players who are lucky enough to have professional careers. Getting there and staying there for any length of time is another matter altogether. For many, opportunity ends up being in other professional leagues. Many know about […]

The Forgotten Bash Brother

March 3, 2018 by · Leave a Comment 

Gary Sanchez is the forgotten or third wheel of the bash brothers. Yesterday’s enormous home run that ended up clearing the scoreboard made fans both of the Yankees and of the rest of the league realize that there is another bash brother in Sanchez. In 177 total games, Sanchez has 53 home runs. Of those […]

Mickey Mantle’s Forgotten Twin Brothers

March 2, 2018 by · Leave a Comment 

In baseball, it’s rare for a player to be deified to the level of former New York Yankees outfielder Mickey Mantle, who could seemingly do it all on the field. However, few baseball fans are aware that he had two younger twin brothers, Roy and Ray, who also played professional ball, but never reached the same heights as the […]

Jackie Robinson: Revisiting an Interview With a Baseball and Civil Rights Legend

March 2, 2018 by · Leave a Comment 

The age of the internet is a blessing in that it allows for the preservation of so many primary sources—the collection of video, audio and written materials from our past. This is particularly important to baseball history, where there is so much to keep track of. On April 14, 1957, legendary player and civil rights […]

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