Speed Thrills: How pace shapes the way we consume professional sports

Billy Hamilton

There’s a general consensus that baseball is a fascinating and deeply complicated sport, but it’s never exactly been a source of fast-paced thrills. How, then, in a world where speed and tempo make basketball, hockey and football teams stand out among their peers, are the best teams in MLB often the ones who slow the game down the most? What does it all mean?


The Tommy John Chronicles: Matt Harvey Edition

Matt Harvey

Dear Mets fan, Matt Harvey has a partial tear of his ulnar collateral ligament, and you are helpless. You worried that this might happen, that the prized young Mets prospect might go down with any pitch, all the while you delighted to his dominance, a bright orange lining that turned up when you were feeling blue. You recognized that he was no flash in the pan and that his talent was real and lasting – or at least as lasting as the baseball gods would allow. But then fate struck.


Kevin Pillar: Life Before the Bigs

Kevin Pillar

In pronouncing Kevin Pillar’s name, put the emphasis on the second syllable. In emphasizing Pillar’s path to the Majors, pronounce the Blue Jays outfielder a scout-doubted, self-motivated steamroller. Jesse Goldberg-Strassler connects with the young man to discuss life, obstacles and the journey that has taken him through minor league baseball to the Bigs.


Bud Selig, Steroids and Legacies

Welcome to Stage 4 of Major League Baseball’s continuing relationship with steroids and other such performance-enhancing drugs: the Avenging Angel stage. It’s been a long and interesting road. Jesse Goldberg-Strassler walks us through where we’ve been, where we’re going and what it all means for Bud Selig.


The Adage that Didn’t Add Up

There is a popular saying that goes a little like this: Baseball’s the only avenue in life in which you can fail 70 percent of the time and still be considered a success. While it’s been around for years and in many different forms, you can especially thank Pete Rose for it. Does it make sense? Do you agree with the sentiment? Good. Now let’s attack it.


Man of Steal: Why Superman is better suited for the diamond than grid iron

Superman is Baseball

Superman is a wholesome figure, a symbol of tradition, pleasant summers and family fun. Batman? Not as much. Jesse Goldberg-Strassler explains why the Man of Steel is better suited for the diamond while his caped counterpart has more in common with the grid iron.


Countdown to the Byron Buxton Countdown

Byron Buxton

The Minnesota Twins have a long history of success. Unfortunately, it’s one that’s been marred of late by injuries to key players and various cases of underachievement. Luckily for Twins fans, their fortunes have already started to course correct in the form of superstar prospect Byron Buxton. Will 19-year-old Buxton eventually save the franchise?


The Peculiar Case of MLB Prospect Development

A thoughtful minor league broadcaster and friend shared a theory this past week on why Major League teams don’t work as hard to develop talent in American inner-city communities as they do in the Dominican Republic or Venezuela and it got us thinking about how prospect development and the draft in general is handled by professional ball clubs. Jesse Goldberg-Strassler explains.


Life on the Farm

Between Jimmy Negrych and Chris Bootcheck, the International League’s most productive hitter and most effective pitcher, arguably, are non-prospects. This is far from unusual. In Triple-A, prospects are often outnumbered by journeymen, role players, veterans and free agents, floating freely between organizations, continuing to chase their own Major League dreams. The Majors are, after all, right there, one step above the International League! How do such circumstances affect the atmosphere in the clubhouse?


Neither ran, nor sleet, nor snow…: Minor League Baseball in April

The Mississippi River has flooded parts of the Quad Cities stadium parking lot, encroaching on the ballpark and the downtown streets of Davenport, Iowa. This, not first overall MLB draft choice Carlos Correa, is the type of headline that’s dominated River Bandits media coverage for the past few weeks. Is baseball in April, unpredictable weather and all, worth it?