2024 MLB ‘Wild-Card Era’ Franchise Rankings: Rangers break into top 10, Cubs fall out

The Athletic

As Jonah Heim squeezed the final strike of the 2023 postseason and Josh Sborz spiked his mitt on the mound to celebrate the Texas Rangers’ first World Series title, a thought crossed my mind: How will this change the franchise rankings? See, the Wild-Card Era (1995 to present) franchise rankings are not a creation of … Read more

Prominent MLB team physician sounds alarm on pitching injuries

One of the game’s leading orthopedic surgeons is sounding an alarm on pitching injuries — and citing the advent of the sweeper and power changeup as significant reasons for the spike. Dr. Keith Meister, the Texas Rangers’ head team physician, said teams are exacerbating the problem by emphasizing pitchers’ performance over their availability. “These front … Read more

When your landlord bats leadoff: The insular, clannish world of baseball real estate 

Shortly after haggling his way out of free-agent purgatory and into a new contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers, Kiké Hernández asked his wife, Mariana, to investigate another market. She contacted former Dodger Rich Hill’s wife, Caitlin, with a request: Could the Hernándezes live in the Hills’ house again?  The Hills had bought the property, … Read more

Rosenthal: How Cody Bellinger deal could impact Scott Boras’ other top free-agent clients

This can’t be what Scott Boras wanted. And now that the first of the Boras Four, Cody Bellinger, has reached agreement on a lesser contract than expected, it might only embolden the teams pursuing Boras’ other top free-agent clients to hold the line. The opt-outs in Bellinger’s reported three-year, $80 million free-agent agreement with the … Read more

Explainer: What we know — and don’t — about MLB’s ongoing issues with Nike uniforms

In the sweltering summer of 1994, back when Russell Athletics was Major League Baseball’s official uniform supplier, the New York Yankees suddenly switched jersey fabrics, from polyester to a more breathable cotton, to beat the heat. Yankees players raved about the cotton uniforms in a front-page story. Luis Polonia: “Cotton is king.”Wade Boggs: “What a … Read more

Which MLB teams, front offices and managers are feeling the most pressure? Insiders weigh in

As the February sunshine beams down on all of baseball, and the standings say that everyone is undefeated, it’s easy to melt into a zen state of spring training nirvana. But there’s one question in our annual spring survey that jolts us back to life. That’s the part where we ask our voters — a … Read more

Jerry Reinsdorf’s White Sox era takes another turn with new stadium push

For all his mishegas and misdirection, Chicago White Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf is right on one thing: It’s either now or later. Either he’s asking the city and state for more than a billion bucks of public money for a new stadium right now or someone else is going to be asking for it down … Read more

Why the Pirates keep losing: ‘Comfortable being mediocre’

The Athletic

A decade ago, then-Pirates general manager Neal Huntington presented ownership with plans for $8 million in upgrades to the club’s spring training facilities in Bradenton, Fla. The project would include constructing a 12,240 square-foot performance center to replace a weight room a tenth that size, and expanding a home clubhouse that was the oldest remaining … Read more