The MLB playoffs are far-reaching. In fact, baseball fans in Australia will even spend ungodly hours of the day in front of their televisions with all the necessary provisions, cheering on their Yankees or sharing worldwide shock and amazement courtesy of the Athletics. Here’s some insight as to how those Down Under do it, courtesy of The Good Point’s resident Aussie, Harlan Ambrose.
The battle for the American League Most Valuable Player is squarely between Miguel Cabrera and Mike Trout. Cabrera is on the verge of possibly winning the first hitters’ Triple Crown since 1967, while Mike Trout is dominating the new metrics charts like few ever have – and doing so as a rookie. This year’s award will essentially come down to a battle of the old guard versus the new.
The 2012 MLB season has been absolutely packed with interesting storylines, but perhaps none moreso than that of the underdogs. Many surprising teams are challenging for playoff positions right now, and if you’re ready to hop on the bandwagon, Harlan Ambrose has everything you need to know about the top contenders for your newfound affection.
Despite such a massive number of games played, playoff races in MLB are often tight. With the addition of a second wild card, things will be even more hotly contested. The AL East is often a very competitive division and with the Yankees leading the way, the Rays and Orioles are hot on their tail. Will a playoff play-in game make the difference for any of these franchises?
There’s nothing more volatile in MLB than relief pitching. Despite being baseball’s version of the proverbial box of chocolates, GMs are still willing to pay top dollar for “proven” closers, while those earning fractions of what the big names make prove time and again that they can put up the same numbers. Still, long-term investments in bullpen arms rarely proves to be a wise choice.
Baseball is not Australia’s most common pastime, which is why Tom West’s career choice has caught the attention of many. West, a native from Down Under, is on his way in umpiring Rookie Ball in the minor leagues. Fellow Australian Harlan Ambrose sat down with Tom to ask him about the decision to move halfway around the world.
Big money contracts are a big risk for teams. This is largely because of the expectations that come with the huge deal. There are countless examples of players who fall short of the hype, both past and present, yet these deals keep happening. Why? Mostly, it has to do with the potential legacies that owners and GMs can establish for themselves if things go right, even though they rarely do.
On Wednesday, Matt Cain threw the 22nd perfect game in MLB history. On top of that, it was one of the best nine-inning performances ever. Cain’s career has been excellent to this point, and he’s just getting better. The 27-year-old right-hander is thoroughly making the case that he’s the best there is on the mound.
In 2004, the Red Sox stole the hearts of many baseball fans worldwide by toppling the Goliath that was the Yankees in the ALCS. Since then, they’ve slowly been giving those hearts back because of selfish, uninspired play. Lately though, with a cast of second-string players, the Red Sox are slowly turning heads back in their favor.
David Ortiz is anything but finished. After years of slow starts, he’s redefined his approach at the plate – particularly against lefties – and is tearing it up in Boston. For the first time in years, 30 home runs won’t be a unexpected surprise, it will be a baseline expectation.