LATEST STORIES FROM THE OUTSIDE CORNER

Grading the offseason of every MLB team

For all intents and purposes, the 2013 MLB offseason is over. Sure, there are still three marquee free agents on the market, but Stephen Drew, Kendrys Morales, or Ervin Santana probably won't change much in the way of grades. At the beginning of the month, I looked at the winners and losers of this winter, and there have actually been some changes since then - most notably, the Baltimore...
Via The Outside Corner
February 25, 2014  |  Discuss

2014 Season Preview: San Diego Padres

The NL West was terrible last season. How bad was it? In mid-June, the Padres were one game out of first place. But San Diego eventually finished 16 games behind the Dodgers, only two ahead of the last-place Rockies.  It's possible the division could end up with the same results this year, though almost every team arguably made improvements. The Padres made a couple of key additions...
Via The Outside Corner
February 25, 2014  |  Discuss

Ozzie Smith, Budweiser want Opening Day to be national holiday

Baseball Hall of Famer Ozzie Smith and Budweiser are teaming together on a campaign to turn Opening Day into a national holiday. The campaign is essentially centered around one of those White House petitions that requires 100,000 signatures before it must be acknowledged by the White House. Over the next 30 days, Anheuser-Busch will be featuring videos from Smith's journey to Washington...
Via The Outside Corner
February 25, 2014  |  Discuss

Dugout Digest - welcome to Padres Day

NL West week is continuing on today with the San Diego Padres, who seemingly underachieve every year. San Diego had a mediocre winter, and they seem primed to have another mediocre season as a result. Yesterday was Rockies Day on TOC, and here's your recap. -Season preview -Two biggest weaknesses -Three key questions -Four horsemen Yesterday was a busy day in the...
Via The Outside Corner
February 25, 2014  |  Discuss

The four horsemen of the Colorado Rockies

The Rockies are hoping to extricate themselves from the NL West basement this year, but to do so, they are going to need four players to step up in a big way.. Troy Tulowizki For the Rockies, they go as Troy Tulowitzki goes. That isn't a big shock. Most teams' fortunes are pretty well tied to how the best player on their team performs. But for the Rockies, their performance...
Via The Outside Corner
February 24, 2014  |  Discuss

Braves starting pitcher Mike Minor recovering from urethra surgery

Mike Minor was one of the few young Atlanta players that didn't get a contract extension this winter. While a deal still may get done this spring, Minor may not be too active during Spring Training, because this winter, he underwent...urethra surgery. Oh. Mike Minor is a few weeks behind because he had to rest for a month after undergoing a 12/31 procedure to repair scarring...
Via The Outside Corner
February 24, 2014  |  Discuss

Three key questions for the Colorado Rockies

Questions? After having one of the most befuddling offseasons in the league, you be we have questions for the Colorado Rockies. What's the big plan? After two straight last place seasons, it isn't clear that the Rockies are away of their lot in life in the NL West. They had a perfect opportunity to trade veterans like Michael Cuddyer, Jorge De la Rosa and Rafael Betancourt...
Via The Outside Corner
February 24, 2014  |  Discuss

Minor league team rebrands itself...with bacon

The AAA Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs are rebranding, and their new alternate logos are very heavy on...bacon. The cap with a bacon strip on it will be worn during all Saturday home games. The bacon strip t-shirt you see above is a scratch and sniff t-shirt that smells like bacon. And the piping on those pants during Saturday games? Yeah, they're bacon strips. This is absolutely amazing...
Via The Outside Corner
February 24, 2014  |  Discuss

Ron Washington vows to keep bunting

Ron Washington defending bunting is one of the surest signs of spring. It's becoming a bit of an annual tradition, really, and when one writer in the Rangers' press corps asked what the deal was with all of the bunting in the team's early drills, Washington delivered with a goldmine of colorful quotes. Writers questioning Washington's decision-making is nothing new. Washington...
Via The Outside Corner
February 24, 2014  |  Discuss

The two biggest weaknesses of the Colorado Rockies

The Colorado Rockies have problems, this is well known. Constantly having to deal with playing in such an extreme environment is and always will be a major complication for anything they do. Headed into the franchise's 22nd season of existince, they still haven't fully figured out what they need to do in terms of roster construction to have sustainable success. Coors Field is...
Via The Outside Corner
February 24, 2014  |  Discuss

A fan sent Cliff Lee their fingernail clippings

In your "incredibly creepy" tidbit of the day, MLB.com's Anthony Castrovince is reporting (and I use that word loosely, considering the subject matter) that a fan has sent Phillies starting pitcher Cliff Lee their fingernail clippings. Tidbit from #Phillies camp today: Somebody mailed Cliff Lee their fingernail clippings. The perks of celebrity. #FanNail — Anthony Castrovince...
Via The Outside Corner
February 24, 2014  |  Discuss

2014 Season Preview: Colorado Rockies

After two straight seasons of dwelling in the NL West cellar, the Rockies are hoping to turn their fortunes around. But an offseason full of head-scratching moves once again has put into question whether or not Colorado is headed in the right direction. Depth Chart (as of 2/24) C: Wilin Rosario 1B: Justin Morneau 2B: D.J. LeMahieu SS: Troy Tulowitzki 3B: Nolan Arenado...
Via The Outside Corner
February 24, 2014  |  Discuss

Ike Davis on terrible 2013 season: 'I sucked because I sucked'

New York Mets first baseman Ike Davis had a disastrous 2013 season. He played in just 103 games, hit just .205/.326/.334 with only nine home runs in the majors, earned a midseason vacation to AAA Las Vegas, and saw his season end in August followed a strained oblique. While talking to Mike Puma of the New York Post over the weekend, Davis revealed that the oblique had been bothering...
Via The Outside Corner
February 24, 2014  |  Discuss

Dugout Digest - welcome to Rockies Day

Preview day number eleven. Today's victim? The Colorado Rockies, who improved from 64 to 74 wins from 2012 to 2013, but still couldn't escape the NL West basement. In 2014, the Rockies will be without a franchise legend in Todd Helton, who retired after last season, but will look to once again improve on their win total and maybe turn themselves back into contenders. Back on...
Via The Outside Corner
February 24, 2014  |  Discuss

Yankees agree to four-year contract extension with Brett Gardner

The New York Yankees once again spent money on a player Sunday, but instead of dishing it out on a free agent, they retained one of their own. Outfielder Brett Gardner agreed to a four-year, $52 million contract extension with the team that begins in 2015 and will take him through the 2018 season. The Yankees also have a $12.5 million club option on the contract for 2019.   ...
Via The Outside Corner
February 23, 2014  |  Discuss

Zack Greinke is not happy about playing games in Australia

The Los Angeles Dodgers will kick off their 2014 season a week before nearly the entire rest of the league, playing a two game series against the Arizona Diamondbacks. One of the players who isn't too pleased with this turn of events is Dodgers starting pticher Zack Greinke, who may start one of the games as the team attempts to keep 2013 NL Cy Young winner Clayton Kershaw'...
Via The Outside Corner
February 23, 2014  |  Discuss

Report: Nelson Cruz signs one-year deal with Orioles

The Baltimore Orioles continued their fancy offseason spending, agreeing to a one-year contract with Nelson Cruz for $8 million. The contract's details were reported by ESPN's Enrique Rojas, and as always, the completion of the deal is pending a physical. Cruz is reportedly going to serve as Baltimore's designated hitter, and I'd expect that Cruz will displace non-roster invitee...
Via The Outside Corner
February 22, 2014  |  Discuss

The four horsemen of the Oakland Athletics

These aren't your Athletics of a decade ago, when their division champion teams were loaded with stars like Jason Giambi, Miguel Tejada, Eric Chavez, Barry Zito, Mark Mulder, and Tim Hudson. Only one member of the 2013 A's was as much as a four win player, and only three others joined him in being a three win guy. Thus, it's simultaneously difficult and easy to choose the four horsemen...
Via The Outside Corner
February 21, 2014  |  Discuss

Three key questions for the Oakland Athletics

It's not all gravy for the Oakland Athletics. Yeah, they've won two straight AL West championships, but I look at this team and I see a few question marks. Billy Beane has always been great at picking guys off the scrap heap and making the most of their abilities, but this Oakland club isn't just the detritus of other teams - there are some real solid players in this bunch. However...
Via The Outside Corner
February 21, 2014  |  Discuss

The two biggest weaknesses of the Oakland Athletics

The Oakland Athletics had a busy offseason, mainly spent upgrading their bullpen. Billy Beane has never been one to throw around large amounts of salary, but he did that this winter when he traded for Jim Johnson and signed both Scott Kazmir and Eric O'Flaherty to two-year, multi-million deals. But the A's aren't flawless, as no teams really are. Their two biggest weaknesses are...
Via The Outside Corner
February 21, 2014  |  Discuss

2014 season preview: Oakland Athletics

In 2012, the A's needed to scrape and claw to win the AL West. They held sole possession of first place for just one day all season - the final day of the year, when they completed a sweep of the Rangers at O.co Coliseum. Oakland's 2013 run wasn't nearly as dramatic - they spent most of the second half in first, and broke free of Texas for good on September 6th. However, both 2012...
Via The Outside Corner
February 21, 2014  |  Discuss

Dugout Digest - welcome to Athletics Day

TOC's season preview series is now one-third of the way complete - well, it will be after today, when we turn the spotlight to the two-time defending AL West champion Oakland Athletics. The A's were able to breathe a bit easier during the 2013 season than they were in 2012, but ran into the same buzzsaw in October - the Detroit Tigers. Can Oakland finally make the jump past Detroit...
Via The Outside Corner
February 21, 2014  |  Discuss

The four horsemen of the Texas Rangers

As we've established during our initial team season previews here at The Outside Corner, a club's "four horseman" does not necessarily mean its four best players. The intention is to present the four guys who might have the greatest influence on their team's fortunes with their success or failure during a season. Players like Prince Fielder, Shin-Soo Choo and Neftali Feliz will certainly...
Via The Outside Corner
February 20, 2014  |  Discuss

Three key questions for the Texas Rangers

Going into the 2014 season, the Rangers' biggest concern appears to be their starting pitching. The team has one, perhaps two spots to fill in its rotation, depending on who's healthy. With Matt Harrison again having back issues, there may be three openings on the staff. So that may be the key question for Texas right now. But we've already beaten that drum in our two previous...
Via The Outside Corner
February 20, 2014  |  Discuss

Braves continue extension party, sign Andrelton Simmons for seven years

Hey Braves? This whole contract extension business is getting out of hand. The latest young member of their roster to sign a long-term extension with the club is shortstop Andrelton Simmons, who will make $58 million over the next seven years. The extension will take Simmons through the 2020 season when he turns 31 and buys out his first two years of free agency. 2013 was Simmons...
Via The Outside Corner
February 20, 2014  |  Discuss
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