Author Archives: Doug

2023 – It’s a Whole New Ballgame

The major leagues have instituted a number of rule changes this season with the objectives of speeding up the game and increasing offense. A quarter of the way into the season, it is abundantly evident that those objectives are being met, with games proceeding at a pace not seen since the 1980s, and offensive results providing some of the largest ever year-over-year increases for many metrics. More after the jump.

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Winning 20 Games for the First Time

This past season, Braves’ right-hander Kyle Wright won 20 games for the first time. His majors-leading total of 21 wins came in his 5th major league season, though it was really Wright’s first opportunity to win 20 games as he did not appear in more than 8 games in any of his four preceding seasons. In winning 20 games in his first opportunity to do so, Wright became the 87th such pitcher since 1901 and the second in as many seasons, after Julio Urias recorded the same feat in 2021. More after the jump.

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Circle of Greats 1978 Run-Off: Beltran vs. Dahlen

For the second year in a row, there was a tie vote in the annual Circle of Greats Balloting, so we will have a run-off election between the two tied players, Carlos Beltran and Bill Dahlen.

Beltran was bested in last year’s run-off against Roy Halladay, a contest that presented the challenge of evaluating an everyday player against a pitcher. This year’s contest is equally as challenging if not more so, comparing two everyday players whose careers are separated by more than a century. More after the jump.

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2022 Post-Season: Wildcard Round UPDATED!

The 2022 post-season is underway and, as in the pandemic-shortened 2020 season, the first round is a best-of-three wildcard series. This time there are four teams involved in each league instead of the eight that qualified two years ago. The other difference is that this time there are fans in the stadiums. More after the jump.

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Albert’s Magical Farewell Season

For his final season, Albert Pujols returned to his home state from his high school and college days and to the team for which he enjoyed his greatest successes. Probably both Pujols and the Cardinals expected his season to be largely a farewell tour, at most platooning at DH, giving first sacker Paul Goldschmidt an occasional day off his feet, and providing a bat off the bench when a pinch-hitter was needed. It turns out that Pujols must have taken a side trip to St. Augustine FL en route to St. Louis, as his season has become much more than he or the Cardinals might have expected, turning in one of the better seasons ever at his age, with some of the best rate stats of the back half of his career. More after the jump.

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