December 6, 2016

Chris Sale Joins Red Sox Rotation After Surprising Trade

The Red Sox have acquired pitcher Chris Sale in a blockbuster trade.

The White Sox will receive infielder Yoan Moncada, pitcher Michael Kopech, outfielder Luis Alexander Basabe, and pitcher Victor Diaz.

Sale will turn 28 next March 30. He pitched for the White Sox for seven seasons.

November 17, 2016

AL MVP: Mookie Betts Finishes Second To Mike Trout

Mike Trout has played five full seasons in the major leagues - and a very strong case can be made for him deserving the AL's Most Valuable Player award in all five of them. His finishes? 2nd, 2nd, 1st, 2nd, 1st.

They have not posted the voters' individual ballots, yet, so I don't know who is the mind-boggling dumb idiot who had Trout 7th on his ballot.

November 16, 2016

Rick Porcello Wins AL Cy Young Award

Rick Porcello has won the 2016 American league Cy Young Award.

Detroit's Justin Verlander received 14 first-place votes to only eight for Porcello, but the Boston right-hander got 18 second-place votes compared to Verlander's two to enable him to win in a very close race.
Pitcher, Team            1st   2nd   3rd   4th   5th   Points
Rick Porcello, Red Sox      8    18     2     1     1     137
Justin Verlander, Tigers   14     2     5     4     3     132
Corey Kluber, Indians       3     6    12     8     1      98
Zach Britton, Orioles       5     3     2     5     9      72
Chris Sale, White Sox             1     4     9     6      40
J.A. Happ, Blue Jays                    3     2     1      14
Aaron Sanchez, Blue Jays                1           3       6
Masahiro Tanaka, Yankees                      1     4       6
Andrew Miller, Yankees/Indians          1                   3
Michael Fulmer, Tigers                              1       1
Jose Quintana, White Sox                            1       1
The five-point differential is the second closest of any election since ballots permitted voting for more than one pitcher in 1970. Verlander, who was not listed on two ballots, also finished second in the 2012 election to the Tampa Bay Rays' David Price, 153-149.
Ian Browne,
In 27 of Porcello's 33 starts, he allowed three earned runs or fewer. In nearly half of his starts -- 16 of them -- he permitted two earned runs or fewer. And on nine occasions, Porcello gave up one or zero earned runs.

Then there was the durability. Not only did the 27-year-old make every start, but he never went fewer than five innings. In fact, he lasted fewer than six innings a remarkable three times all year. ...

Porcello led the Majors with 22 wins, the most by a Boston pitcher since Martinez's 23-4 masterpiece in 1999.

Check out various other portions of the leaderboard, and Porcello isn't hard to find. He was fifth in the AL in ERA (3.15), second in WHIP (1.01), fourth in innings (223), second in BB/9 (1.29) and first in the Majors with a 5.91 SO/BB ratio. ...

When the pennant race heated up, so did Porcello. From June 28 through the end of the season, Porcello turned in 17 quality starts in his final 18 outings.

November 14, 2016

Howard Bryant: "The Mascot Must Go"

Howard Bryant, ESPN:
[B]aseball apparently needs to be told right from wrong, as a kindergartner would be about calling people names. One ubiquitous image ran throughout the [World] Series, and it wasn't the video feed from some North Side tavern of delirious Cubs fans sloshing beer on one another after the eventual winners scored yet another run. It was the red face of Chief Wahoo emblazoned on the sleeves of the Indians' uniforms and on the front of their baseball caps, the caricature of big teeth and the untrustworthy smile preceding deception.

[Commissioner Rob] Manfred has said, completely unconvincingly, that there is no place for racism in the game of baseball. He is wrong, of course. There is a place for it in baseball, and that place is on the jerseys and caps of Cleveland's baseball club, the blankets, T-shirts and foam fingers it sells, along with virtually everything for sale in the team gift shop. Before Game 2, sitting next to Aaron and Ortiz, Manfred did the worst thing a white man in his position could do: He attempted to turn an obvious issue of simple decency into one of the great, complex and wrenching issues of our time. He said he and Indians owner Paul Dolan would "revisit the issue" of Chief Wahoo, as if an image borne from one of the most racist periods in American history required further review, discussion, caucus or, worse, some form of canvassing of an indigenous tribe to ask if it's offended by the use of the logo, as if the commissioner of a multibillion-dollar industry has no common sense of his own. ...

Manfred took the question of Chief Wahoo with a head shake and a flash of temper, as if he were the one being inconvenienced by baseball's willful racism. There is a difference between difficult and complicated, and the issue of Native Americans as caricatures for sports teams might be difficult because the white men in charge have no interest in the courage it would take to retire top-selling images or confront the appearance of succumbing to public pressure, of being told what to do and to alienate the overwhelmingly white season-ticket base. But it is not complicated. ... The mascot must go.

November 12, 2016

Mookie Betts Has Surgery On Right Knee

Mookie Betts underwent successful right knee arthroscopy, chondroplasty, and a loose body removal on Thursday. He should be fully recovered by spring training. Betts was also named as the best defensive player in baseball, which is amazing since he moved from second base to the outfield very recently (2014).

Gary DiSarcina will be the Red Sox's new bench coach. He managed the Lowell Spinners from 2007-09 and was Pawtucket's manager in 2013.

The 2017 spring training schedule has been released. ... Truck Day is Monday, February 6.