In the latest episode of The Infinite Inning podcast, after introductory tales about a nineteenth-century pitcher who took the wrong train and a real-life Cookie monster, Steven Goldman and I get serious about gun control, service time manipulation, expanded rosters, four-man rotations, bench depth, retirement decisions, the Yankees, Angels, Pete Rose, Joe Mauer, Lucas Duda, and more in a wide-ranging conversation that necessitates two breaks and a Blazing Saddles clip. Enjoy!
The Twins came into the offseason with a clear need for pitching and a stated desire to go big in the pursuit of it. As we move into March, the Twins have added five arms (six if you include Rule 5 pick Tyler Kinley, a 27-year-old righty reliever out of the Marlins’ system who struggled in Double-A last year), but have they done enough to fend off the Angels and return to the Wild Card Game? My latest for The Athletic digs in to find the answer.
My latest for The Athletic addresses Jake Arrieta’s ongoing free agency and the gap between his asking price and actual value, which appears to be one of the key factors behind his continuing unemployment.
The one seemed easy enough. Find a few notable players coming off injury or poor performance who had something to prove in 2018 and explain what they had to prove and why. It didn’t take long for me to put together a list of more than 50 players, but it took a lot longer for me to whittle it down. So, if you think someone’s missing from the six names I wound up with . . . you’re right!
My latest for The Athletic takes a five-word comment from rookie Red Sox manager Alex Cora and spins it into roughly 1,000 words on how the J.D. Martinez signing impacts Hanley Ramirez’s role on the 2018 team, concluding that it is just as easy to see Cora’s comment as brilliant as it is to see it as boneheaded.
My latest for The Athletic looks at free agents who signed after the offseason was technically over, listing both the richest contracts handed out after pitchers and catchers had reported to camp and the top performances by players who signed that late. I pitched the piece in anticipation of this spring yielding both the richest contract handed out after pitchers and catchers reported and the most contracts with a guarantee of at least eight-figures agreed to at such a late date. Both records were set while I was researching and writing it, and there will be more where those came from given the quality of free agents still remaining on the market now a week past pitchers and catchers. My goal here, as it so often is, was to put all of that in context.
I don’t yet know the extent to which I will be taking part in The Athletic‘s baseball coverage this season, but I’m nonetheless very happy to have made my debut on the site. That comes via a ranking of the best batteries in baseball, in honor of pitchers and catchers reporting earlier this week.
This marks the first time that my writing has ever appeared behind a paywall online. That is no accident. I have long been an advocate of free access to content. However, given the realities of the industry these days, my frustration over the auto-play clutter burdening the articles at SI.com, and my strong belief in both The Athletic‘s approach to the written word and its presentation and the people putting that approach into practice, I had no hesitation in signing on to what they are doing.
If you haven’t subscribed yet, you can get a free one-week trial and 25 percent off for the first year. There may even be a free t-shirt involved.
Meanwhile, I’m already at work on my next piece for the site, due up early next week.