Hello all! It’s been quite a while since I last posted but that’s only because life got in the way. Between vacationing up in Glacier National Park with Shannon this summer, working 50 hours a week every week, taking a full load of classes at Missouri State, and watching every Derek Jeter at-bat that I could, the ole’ blog has been on the backburner. But with the start of the 2014 playoffs finally upon us, that’s all about to change. Each week I’m planning 3-5 posts that cover a variety of postseason topics, starting with tonight’s long-awaited matchup in Kansas City.
Strike 1 – Oakland’s slumping lumber, meet Kauffman
The struggles of the Oakland A’s since the trade deadline have been well-documented. The team’s been playing .400 ball for the better part of the last two and a half months after posting the best record and run differential in baseball before the All-Star break. And while many have been quick to point the finger at Billy Beane for his myriad of offense-for-pitching moves, those aren’t exactly the culprit. The only player Oakland departed with that was of any significance to the 2014 lineup was Yoenis Cespedes, and while that’s a major blow, it’s really only a small part of the problem. Continue reading
Exactly one year ago, August 8th 2011, the Tampa Bay Rays sat way back in the playoff race, a distant 10 games out of the Wild Card spot, playing solid yet uninspiring, baseball with a .522 win percentage. They finished a mind-boggling 32-17 (.653 win %) to pass Boston on the memorable final day of the season to win the Wild Card. This year’s Tampa Bay team is 57-52 (.523 win %) entering play today, while exhibiting the same good pitch/bad hit tendencies from a year ago. The Rays have also been missing quite a few key bats due to injury this season. Luckily the most important one of those injured hitters, Evan Longoria, is returning to action tonight, and could provide just the spark Tampa Bay needs to come out ahead of a crowded American League Wild Card field that features 7 teams jostling for 2 spots.