LATEST STORIES FROM BRUSH BACK PITCH

2015 Division Preview and Picks – AL Central

Welcome to our next 2015 division preview and prediction here at BBP! After addressing the NL East, a division I expect to be rife with competition despite a surefire first place pick, it’s time to turn our attention to a division I expect to be a dumpster fire: the American League Central. Despite being relatively strong the past few years, including hosting two of the last three...
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6 days ago  |  Discuss

2015 Divisions Previews and Picks – NL East

Well, it’s about time! With Spring Training merely days away from starting, one of the most eventful offseasons I can think of will soon be drawing to a close. Thus, it’s time for the annual division previews here at BBP, which I’ll handle this year. This week, we start with the NL East, whose first and last place picks are among the easiest to make. But it’s what’s in...
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18 days ago  |  Discuss

2015 Hall of Fame Ballot – Brad’s Picks

Here’s a little game called Judge(s), Jury(s), and Executioners that the BBWAA (Baseball Writers Association of America) perform every year. The masses call it the MLB Hall of Fame Ballot. Many will never see it, many will face it, and very few will survive it, but the agony is in the purgatory of being on the ballot year in and year out knowing you are worthy of consideration...
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January 13, 2015  |  Discuss

2015 Hall of Fame Ballot – Marshall’s Picks

Another year, another class enshrined in Cooperstown. Usually, my first instinct is to bemoan those excluded and ***** for the trillionth time about how crooked the voting process is. While I still think that process needs to be dramatically overhauled (I say replace the baseball writers with former players, managers, coaches, executives, etc.), I have to admit this year’s class...
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January 12, 2015  |  Discuss

Twins Offseason: So Far, So Meh

It’s getting harder and harder as a baseball fan in Minnesota to be excited about the game. The Twins needed to make some drastic moves, and they didn’t make any. They hired the safe, fan-friendly Paul Molitor to be their manager. They topped it off by bringing back or promoting almost every position of his coaching staff from within the organization, which does not give me a...
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January 09, 2015  |  Discuss

An update from Marshall

Hello everyone! Sorry if things have been a bit quiet around here at BBP. Needless to say, the three of us have been busy with many duties in our daily lives, and mine has been just as crowded, if not more so, than when I was in college mere months ago. I recently finished writing a book about the California Governor’s Mansion for the Sacramento Historical Society, as well as a...
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December 17, 2014  |  Discuss

Cardinals’ Tavares struck down before his time

Jim Morrison once wrote “death makes angels of us all.” Well, Sunday the St. Louis Cardinals lost their brightest star for the future in Oscar Tavares. His game clinching homer in the playoffs this year, and his steady-but-not-spectacular play as a rookie in 2014 was supposed to be the springboard to a superstar career. Oscar was a consensus top-five prospect going into both...
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October 27, 2014  |  Discuss

2014 MLB Awards – Marshall’s Picks

Hello all! First, an apology for the long layoff. With the summer of my lifetime giving way to fall, my already crowded writing schedule has only gotten bigger. In addition to wrapping up an e-book for my Presidents Baseball franchise, I’ve also taken on a second book for the Sacramento Historical Society, this one detailing the Governor’s Mansion. (If you can’t deduce what...
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October 16, 2014  |  Discuss

Call it a Comeback

I know that I’ve been MIA for a while now, and I’d like to take a quick moment to explain why. As a lot of you know I am a lifelong Twins fan. Hearing Terry Ryan’s vote of confidence for Ron Gardenhire last month broke my heart. When you couple that with the Ray Rice situation, and the Chris Kluwe issue, which I wrote about in my last article, I needed a break. I grew up with...
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October 01, 2014  |  Discuss

Meet the New Boss, Bland as the Old Boss

A tremendous event happened in Major League Baseball recently, although you might not have felt it. Hell, you could very well have not noticed or even forgotten about it. I’m of course referring to the selection of Rob Manfred as the next Commissioner of Baseball, a title that will become official in 2015. My thoughts on this choice are … well, nonexistent. As tremendous as the...
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August 27, 2014  |  Discuss

Lester, Price, and Tigers: Oh My!

As the wise philosopher Ron Burgundy once put it: “Boy, that escalated quickly.” In perhaps the most dizzying trade deadline ever, the American League erupted in an arms race in mere hours. First, my Oakland Athletics made a what-the-hell-but-it-makes-sense-when-you-cool-down trade with the Boston Red Sox, sending Yoenis Cespedes in exchange for Jon Lester and Jonny Gomes. Lester...
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August 06, 2014  |  Discuss

MN Twins handle violence issues better than Vikings, NFL

I’m a Minnesotan. Over the last week, the only sports headline that has come close to competing with the many Kevin Love trade rumors is the lawsuit filed by former Vikings punter Chris Kluwe against his former team. Without going into every detail, Kluwe’s case deals with claims that his special teams coach, Mike Priefer, created a hostile work environment by saying things such...
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July 25, 2014  |  Discuss

Interesting trade deadline coming soon

It’s that time of year again. And if you’re an amateur GM like me, then the fast-approaching trade deadline means you are glued to www.mlbtraderumors.com (currently my home page on both my desktop and laptop). We’ve already seen the Oakland A’s land the second best pitcher in Jeff Samardzija. They also picked up Jason Hammel, who has been having an amazing season. With no...
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July 18, 2014  |  Discuss

All-Star flaw revealed again last night

I’m not a huge All-Star game fan. I appreciate what the contest used to be back when Hall of Famers played half or more of the game and they went all out in an effort to win for their league. I’m less a fan these days when the bigger emphasis is on glitz and making sure almost everyone has an opportunity to play. There’s even been talk from Adam Wainwright that he grooved the...
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July 16, 2014  |  Discuss

All-Star Game Odds and Ends

Hello again Brushback faithful! It’s only been a few weeks since my Max Scherzer piece, but it feels thrice as long given the extent of things packed into my college graduation summer. And trust me, I’m not saying that with any complaint. In addition to a whole bevy of personal projects that of course includes this site, I’ve completed the first chapter of the book I’m writing...
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July 15, 2014  |  Discuss

Low-budget A’s make big-market play

On some Major League teams this year Tommy Milone, with his six wins and 3.55 ERA, would be approaching the level of Ace.  On this year’s Oakland Athletics squad, even with season-ending injuries to AJ Griffin and Jarrod Parker, he has been reduced,  to the role of Triple-A insurance policy. The A’s have been the league’s most dominant team this year, at least according to...
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July 07, 2014  |  Discuss

Eddie Murray and the 4th of July

It was 1979 … my uncle was taking me to my first Twins game. It was also the first time I truly found a favorite player. The bad thing for my uncle is that his name was Eddie Murray. Murray went 3-5 with three homers and drove in seven RBI that day. In 1983, my uncle promised to take me to a bunch of games because the previous year I’d broken my leg and wasn’t able to play...
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July 03, 2014  |  Discuss

Charging the mound with Brad — baseball winners

The reception that Tony Gwynn Jr. received upon his first at bat after the tragic loss of his father was beautiful. MLB.com writes about it, but putting into context the passion that Phillies fans have for the game, it’s meaning, and the players that play for them and around the country make them my favorite fan base in the entire game.  Their reaction to Gwynn’s at bat last...
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June 25, 2014  |  Discuss

A Story of Max Scherzer, Finals, and Graduating College

First off, an apology for my long absence from this site. The past few weeks were a mind-numbing blitz of final schoolwork and graduation events, which left me without the time I need to write substantial pieces for the sites I contribute to (I only managed a quick article at Last Token Gaming). Luckily, in that time I landed my dream job, as I was commissioned by the Sacramento...
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June 21, 2014  |  Discuss

Great player, better man: Tony Gwynn gone too soon

As you know Hall of Fame baseball player Tony Gwynn died Monday at the young age of 54. Most people who read my posts know that he’s the 19th ranked hitter in all time hits, and his career batting average of .338 left him tied at 18th all time, and that the only hitter from 1940 through the modern day ahead of him is Ted Williams. Incidentally, contemporary Hall of Fame hitters...
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June 20, 2014  |  Discuss

Charging the Mound with Brad: World Cup Edition

It’s time again for the most important sporting event in the world — and I couldn’t care less, even if I was paid handsomely. This is Baseball season and this is America, and while I sound like Glenn Beck via The O’Reilly Factor for a moment I’m actually quite OK with that (for the only time in my life). Padres fans tire of putrid play The Padres are sick and tired of losing...
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June 16, 2014  |  Discuss

Charging the Mound with Brad: Tempers Flare in June

Simmer Down, Manny Hey Manny Machado! You must be a fan. The feeling is mutual, but replay shows you were just a little over emotional my friend. Mattingly wearing down? The Dodgers are usually left to my friend and colleague Marshall, but something tells me that he’s too depressed to deal with the underachievers in Chavez Ravine. Plus I know he has a lot of other things going...
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June 08, 2014  |  Discuss

Longo the Leader

When I first saw Evan Longoria play it was a defensive move at third base that reminded me a little of Carney Lansford, the old A’s and Red Sox 3rd baseman, and a little of Scott Rolen. He’s not quite that good defensively in my opinion, but he’s far above average, and, at 28, he’s still relatively young — just in the middle of his prime. His bat is much more like Eddie...
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May 28, 2014  |  Discuss

Charging the Mound with Brad: Nicknames

Listening to Ron Gardenhire add an “ie” or a “y” at the end of everyone’s name makes me sick! However, his annoying behavior has me wondering about major leaguers today … and their nicknames. Baseball Reference has an amazing list of major league and minor league nicknames from players throughout the history of the game. So does Wikipedia, if  you’d like to peruse...
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May 19, 2014  |  Discuss

Having faith in the Freak

Tim Lincecum isn’t my typical choice when it comes to a favorite player. I don’t know if he does anything amazing for the community in SF as Justin Morneau has done here in Minnesota. I don’t know his Photo credit Bruce Edwards via Wikipedia college or minor league back stories. Heck, I remember looking at him the first time and wasn’t impressed. He’s slight of frame and...
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May 18, 2014  |  Discuss
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