Matt Wieters, Francisco Pena, and the confouding reasons they are locked in a battle for backup catcher

As the number-five overall pick in the 2007 Major League Baseball draft, Matt Wieters was burdened with extraordinary expectations from the moment he joined the Baltimore Orioles organization. According to Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus (and later of the Houston Astros), Wieters was baseball's best prospect entering 2009, ahead of future MLB aces David Price and Madison…

Chris Duncan and getting to know players

Chris Duncan made his St. Louis Cardinals debut on September 10, 2005, and he was almost immediately my least favorite Cardinals player. The reasons behind this were largely circumstantial. Duncan debuted not too terribly long after I began my first job, one which I hated, and one at which I was constantly tormented by the…

Banning the shift seems like a bad idea

I want to share a screenshot from the beginning of a Youtube clip of Willie McGee making a great catch in Game 3 of the 1982 World Series. You probably know the play. As you can see, there are three infielders on our left side of second base, presumably from left to right, Ken Oberkfell,…

What should Kyler Murray do?

Later today, Oklahoma Sooners quarterback Kyler Murray is probably going to be announced as a finalist for the Heisman Trophy and will likely finish in the top two, along with Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa. He is an exhilerating football player, and he is the kind of dual-threat quarterback that has been increasingly coveted in the…

My NL MVP ballot

Here is how I would have voted. For the final time (oh, man, I've done a lot of these, haven't I?), this ballot is not a prediction of how I think MVP voting will shape up but rather how I would vote if I had one. 1. Jacob deGrom--New York Mets: He isn't even a finalist,…

My AL MVP ballot

I wrote quite a few of these awards ballot posts, as you may have noticed. Some of them were more fun than others to write. But MVP discussions are what really matter. Everything was a precursor to this. Cy Young Awards and Rookie of the Year awards are fun discussions, but each is necessarily a…

My Cy Young Award picks

Tonight, the awards for the best pitchers in the American and National Leagues will be conferred upon (probably) deserving candidates and perhaps one or two new men will forever be known as "former Cy Young winner", a prefix to names such as R.A. Dickey and Rick Porcello. This sounds like a joke, but you don't need…

My Manager of the Year picks

There is something nearly impossible about evaluating the best managers in Major League Baseball, and because of that, Manager of the Year is arguably the most fun of the major awards to discuss. With Rookie of the Year, Cy Young, and MVP awards, one could just rank the top relevant players by WAR and submit…

My Rookie of the Year picks

We saw a bunch of MLB breakthroughs this season, and today, we will learn which players will join such immortals as Todd Hollandsworth and Andrew Bailey as Rookies of the Year in their respective leagues. The ballots submitted by BBWAA voters goes three names deep, and that is how long my ballot goes as well.…

My NL Silver Slugger picks

This morning, I detailed my picks for the Silver Slugger awards in the American League. And now I'm going through my picks in the National League. Cool? Cool. Pitcher--Michael Lorenzen, Cincinnati Reds: There are two arguments for NL pitcher Silver Slugger, and one's side depends entirely on whether or not to classify Michael Lorenzen as a…

My AL Silver Slugger picks

Following the crowning of MLB's Gold Glove awards two days ago, it is now time for the Silver Sluggers. A slightly less popular award, largely because frankly the best hitters win MVP awards more often than the best fielders, the Silver Slugger honors the best hitter at each position. From a sabermetric perspective, I'm far…

My NL Gold Glove picks

Following my American League rundown earlier today, here are my picks for the Gold Glove awards in the National League. Pitcher--Zack Greinke, Arizona Diamondbacks: That Greinke is the four-time defending winner of this award is probably all the evidence that is necessary to presume he will win again in 2018, but his numbers from this season…

My AL Gold Glove picks

Today, the American League and National League winners of the Rawlings Gold Glove Award will be announced. Here are my picks for the American League awards. I ignored the finalists and made my picks for who I believe deserves to win regardless of what The Establishment has to say. National League picks will be coming…