Ten secrets to the success of playoff contenders

Ten secrets to the success of playoff contenders

MLB JERSEYS
Look at the top of the standings and you find the better teams. Look at the top of the leaderboards and you find simple explanations for why the better teams have been successful. The Boston Red Sox have been successful in part because Mookie Betts and J.D. Martinez rank first and third in baseball in wRC+. The New York Yankees have been successful in part because they lead the majors in home runs. The Houston Astros have been successful in part because their pitching staff leads the majors in strikeouts. The Chicago Cubs have been successful in part because they lead the majors in OBP.cheap nfl nike jerseys free shipping You usually don't have to dig very deep to find positive statistics for baseball's contending teams. We're all familiar with…
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Inside the discovery of Mike Trout

Inside the discovery of Mike Trout

MLB JERSEYS
Greg Morhardt was the Los Angeles Angels' scout assigned to oversee the Northeast corridor a dozen years ago, and on a beautiful, late-summer day, he watched over a flock of high school age ballplayers in New Jersey. When somebody mentioned that the last name of the muscular kid with the football-player build standing out at shortstop was Trout, Morhardt immediately wondered whether he had a connection with the teenager. More than two decades before, Morhardt had played minor league baseball with a Trout, Jeff Trout. He was fast, Morhardt recalled, and a really good hitter, someone who might have had a little time in the big leagues if he had hung around pro ball a few more years. But Morhardt had been present when Jeff met Debbie Busonick, and Jeff…
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Scenes from Cooperstown, where the game is always good

Scenes from Cooperstown, where the game is always good

MLB JERSEYS
Abner Doubleday, the game's mythical inventor, did not in fact invent it. Baseball had been played in nascent forms long before 1839, the year in which Doubleday supposedly but not really invented the game. Baseball's story did not begin in a cow pasture in Cooperstown. The myth is a false tune written by tycoons like Al Spalding. They still play footsie with the myth in Cooperstown. There is a cafe on Main Street named after Doubleday. There is of course the ballpark there -- Doubleday Field -- two blocks from the Hall of Fame, on the spot that used to be Elihu Phinney's farm. There's still a barn there -- it's used to house maintenance equipment. But the Hall doesn't try to pull the wool over people's eyes about baseball's…
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Yankees bolster AL’s best bullpen, beat rivals in deal for Britton

MLB JERSEYS
Tuesday's Yankees-Orioles trade centered on adding Britton to the bullpen is a partial accomplishment for the Bronx Bombers because he's just one piece of the overall puzzle that has the Yankees' attention. What Cashman and others around the organization have coveted most since last offseason, outside starting pitching help, has yet to materialize in the trade market. Although there is now less than a week until the non-waiver trade deadline, there still is time for such a move to happen. But even if that move doesn't come, Britton's addition greatly bolsters an already strong bullpen that could be every bit as important to the Yankees this postseason as the arms in the starting rotation.cheap nike jerseys nfl And there's something else. The trade for Britton (in exchange for three Yankees…
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Trade talk we’re hearing: Will the Rays deal Chris Archer?

Trade talk we’re hearing: Will the Rays deal Chris Archer?

MLB JERSEYS
The Tampa Bay Rays jumped into the trade deadline fray Wednesday and sent Nathan Eovaldi to the Boston Red Sox for prospect Jalen Beeks. Eovaldi is a pending free agent with overpowering stuff and a medical history that makes him the quintessential boom-or-bust deadline acquisition. Now the question remains: Are the Rays bold enough to trade Chris Archer to a contender between now and July 31?cheap nike nfl jerseys from china The Rays approached the deadline with a focus on moving Eovaldi and fellow short-timers Wilson Ramos, Sergio Romo, Carlos Gomez and Adeiny Hechavarria. Ramos was the clear headline piece until he suffered a pulled hamstring and went on the disabled list right after the All-Star break. But his recovery has progressed ahead of schedule, and he's at the point…
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Even worse news could be coming for Yoenis Cespedes

MLB JERSEYS
Mets outfielder Yoenis Cespedes spoke with reporters at his locker Friday night after appearing in his first major league game in nine weeks. Cespedes had been on the disabled list recovering from a hip flexor strain, the latest episode in what has become a chronic, recurrent soft-tissue injury pattern for him. During the session with the media, Cespedes referenced -- through an interpreter -- an ongoing condition involving calcifications in both heels. The news naturally left fans curious about what exactly is plaguing Cespedes' heels and what the realistic expectations can be for him moving forward. In the absence of a distinct diagnosis, the interpretation of Cespedes' brief interview warrants some caution. That said, his words in conjunction with the comments Sunday from Mets assistant general manager John Ricco offer…
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Noah Syndergaard DL-bound after contracting hand, foot and mouth disease

Noah Syndergaard DL-bound after contracting hand, foot and mouth disease

MLB JERSEYS
Mets right-hander Noah Syndergaard is going on the 10-day disabled list after recently exhibiting symptoms of hand, foot and mouth disease, a viral illness that normally affects children younger than 5 years old. As bizarre as the injury is, team officials don't believe the DL stint will last long. Scheduled now to miss his next start Wednesday, Syndergaard could be back for his following turn in the rotation. "Sounds like once the blisters and everything -- or whatever he's got going on on his hands -- clears up, he's going to be fine," Mets manager Mickey Callaway said Sunday. The Mets initially planned to recall rookie right-hander Corey Oswalt from Triple-A Las Vegas to pitch in Syndergaard's place Wednesday against his hometown San Diego Padres. But after Sunday night's scheduled…
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Manny Machado’s top 12 landing spots and MLB’s next big thing

Manny Machado’s top 12 landing spots and MLB’s next big thing

MLB JERSEYS
The Manny Machado Watch has intensified over the past couple of weeks. In some ways, that's hard to believe. After all, this has been going on since last winter, when the Baltimore Orioles' star infielder was reportedly first aggressively shopped during December's winter meetings. Still, the watch has intensified as we move toward the non-waiver trade deadline at the end of the month. Everything transaction-related seems to be in limbo until the Manny Watch is resolved.cheap nike nfl jerseys free shipping Last week, as part of my monthly Stock Watch rundown of the probability shifts around baseball, I incorporated a kind of automated Manny Watch into the proceedings. The point there was to virtually trade Machado to every team in the majors and see how doing so affected everything from…
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How fast is Shohei Ohtani? Faster than you think

How fast is Shohei Ohtani? Faster than you think

MLB JERSEYS
Billy Eppler had been traveling to Japan to scout Shohei Ohtani since 2013, which meant that by the time this spring rolled around, Eppler's Los Angeles Angels knew pretty much everything there was to know about Ohtani's on-field ability. They knew about the live arm, they knew about the prodigious power, and, though a bit understated, they knew about the blazing speed. "But video doesn't do him justice of how he runs," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "You have to see it in person." It didn't truly sink in until Feb. 27, during an afternoon spring training game against the Colorado Rockies. Ohtani bounced a routine grounder to the left side -- a potential double-play ball that Ohtani turned into a forceout because he made it down the first-base line…
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Mike Trout stays patient as pitchers take a pass

Mike Trout stays patient as pitchers take a pass

MLB JERSEYS
When Mike Trout was drafted by the Los Angeles Angels and began his journey through the minor leagues, he vowed to never swing until the opposing pitcher threw the first strike. Trout wanted to build a foundation of plate discipline at the professional level, and it didn't matter if it meant consistently falling behind in counts as a developing hitter. He was that confident in his approach. Coaches tried to shake the habit off him, worried that he might be getting too passive, but Trout didn't budge. Through 286 games in the Angels' farm system, his patience hardly wavered. "I just wanted to have that mindset," Trout said. "It made me a better hitter when I got deep in the count."cheap nfl nike jerseys china That composure, that persistence, is…
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