Scioscia says '88 World Series team was special, and so are the 2017 Dodgers

Sports / Baseball /

LOS ANGELES--Mike Scioscia got a good look at this year's Los Angeles Dodgers when the Angels team he manages played them to a draw in a four-game series in mid-summer, when the eventual National League champions were laying waste to the rest of baseball.

He came away impressed.

"They definitely looked like they had a lot of things going in ...Read more

Cubs assessing pitching needs through free agency, trades off roster

Sports / Baseball /

CHICAGO -- After a humbling exit from the National League Championship Series, a daunting but expected mission has arrived for Cubs President Theo Epstein and his staff.

"We knew the 2017-18 offseason would be one of our most challenging," Epstein said while answering questions for more than one hour, one day after the Cubs were knocked out of ...Read more

Tigers' Avila gets his manager in Gardenhire

Sports / Baseball /

DETROIT -- At long last, Al Avila got his man.

It had been more than two years between the time Avila first contacted veteran manager Ron Gardenhire, late in the 2015 season, and Friday afternoon, when he helped Gardenhire put on the Detroit Tigers home uniform for the first time.

A lot has changed in those two years: The Tigers are no longer ...Read more

Five key questions facing the Cubs this offseason

Sports / Baseball /

The Cubs' elimination from the National League Championship Series showed there's work to be done. Here are five questions entering the offseason:

-- 1. Where does the starting pitching come from?

Not from the minor leagues before 2019. The Cubs won't rush their top prospects, although 22-year-old Venezuelan Adbert Alzolay was promoted to ...Read more

Tigers to hire Ron Gardenhire as new manager

Sports / Baseball /

The Detroit Tigers are expected to make the safe play.

Faced with a number of painful rebuilding years on the horizon, the Tigers are expected to hire veteran Ron Gardenhire as the manager to guide the young team into the future, according to a person with knowledge of the situation.

The person requested anonymity because the Tigers have not ...Read more

Life without Wade Davis could be tricky for the Cubs in 2018

Sports / Baseball /

Manager Joe Maddon said he hasn't thought about life without free agent Wade Davis in 2018, but he knows the challenge of winning without a bona fide closer.

"When you have a legitimate closer, what that really means to me is it really permits you to manipulate before the ninth inning on a normal night," Maddon said.

"When you don't, you're ...Read more

Indians outfielder Michael Brantley to miss 4-to-5 months after ankle surgery

Sports / Baseball /

CLEVELAND -- Michael Brantley, the Indians' All-Star outfielder who has struggled with injuries the past two years, underwent surgery to stabilize his right ankle on Wednesday in North Carolina.

The surgery was performed by Dr. Robert Anderson. Brantley is expected to miss four-to-five months, putting his status for Opening Day in 2018 in ...Read more

Free-agent-to-be Jake Arrieta: 'I did my best and I left it all out there'

Sports / Baseball /

CHICAGO -- As he walked off the mound at Wrigley Field for possibly the last time in a Cubs uniform, Jake Arrieta tipped his cap to the roaring fans.

"Hopefully, it's not a goodbye; it's a thank you, obviously," Arrieta said after a sterling effort during the Cubs' 3-2 victory over the Dodgers in Game 4 of the NLCS on Wednesday night.

"I still...Read more

Dodgers could get Corey Seager back in lineup if they advance to World Series

Sports / Baseball /

CHICAGO -- Los Angeles Dodgers manager Dave Roberts expressed increased confidence that shortstop Corey Seager will be ready for the World Series, should the Dodgers advance.

Seager played catch Wednesday at Dodger Stadium. He is scheduled to take swings off a batting tee Thursday, which is considered a significant test of his injured lower ...Read more

Future finally arrives for Cubs left-hander Jose Quintana

Sports / Baseball /

CHICAGO -- After spending the first five-plus years of his career dedicating his thoughts to retiring hitters, Jose Quintana suddenly found himself being one.

That was the left-handed-throwing, right-handed-batting pitcher's biggest fear when he was traded midseason to the Cubs from the White Sox.

"That was a little scary," Quintana said.

He ...Read more

Cubs avoid elimination with 3-2 victory over Dodgers in Game 4 of NLCS

Sports / Baseball /

CHICAGO -- Alex Wood could not contain Chicago Cubs second baseman Javier Baez, the lineup could not defuse the effective wildness of Chicago starting pitcher Jake Arrieta and the Los Angeles Dodgers could not topple Cubs closer Wade Davis as they missed a chance to sweep in the National League Championship Series, falling 3-2 in Game 4 in front...Read more

Tanaka gives Yankees the edge over Astros

Sports / Baseball /

NEW YORK -- This week, Dallas Keuchel mentioned two particular joys of his job as a Houston Astros starting pitcher. One is when he takes the mound for the first inning, his nerves cresting within him. He likes to take one deep breath and soak in the stadium's atmosphere. The other is when he warms up in the opposing bullpen and hears alcohol-...Read more

Cubs' Kyle Schwarber becoming all right in left

Sports / Baseball /

CHICAGO -- The first time Kyle Schwarber shed his catcher's gear in favor of an outfielder's glove for the Cubs, another player was generating attention for appearing at a different position.

"They worked me into a game when we were getting our butts kicked and David Ross pitched," Schwarber said of the July 26, 2015 contest during which the ...Read more

Cubs manager Maddon envisions entire coaching staff returning for 2018

Sports / Baseball /

CHICAGO -- After surviving some choppy moments to reach the National League Championship Series for a third consecutive season, manager Joe Maddon wants his staff to return intact next season.

"The staff has done a great job," Maddon said Wednesday. "Our staff has been awesome, and they're tight, a tightly knit group. There's a lot of synergy ...Read more

Worn-out Cubs on brink of elimination after Dodgers cruise in Game 3

Sports / Baseball /

CHICAGO -- After battling first-half fatigue, succumbing to the Brewers in a three-game sweep in mid-September and overcoming the Nationals in a draining five-game division series, the Cubs' 2017 season is on subsisting on fumes.

The ominous task of repeating as World Series champion reached the critical stage after the deeper and refreshed ...Read more

Dodgers one win away from first World Series since 1988

Sports / Baseball /

CHICAGO -- Yu Darvish stepped outside the batter's box as his eyes registered the location of the last pitch. It was a fastball from Cubs reliever Carl Edwards Jr., like the three pitches before it, and it was not a strike, like the three before it. Darvish roared and chucked his bat into the grass. The trajectory of the lumber was not majestic ...Read more

Jake Arrieta plans to savor his Wrigley Field start while hoping for more

Sports / Baseball /

CHICAGO -- A proverbial limb, not a fence, is where Jake Arrieta will find himself standing when this season is over.

The free-agent-to-be, along with his agent Scott Boras, both have said the 2015 Cy Young winner will test the market.

Late last week, Boras called Arrieta "a squirrel with a lot of nuts in the tree ... a big-game squirrel," ...Read more

'Bullpenning' all the rage as playoff teams yank starters earlier and earlier

Sports / Baseball /

A new terminology has entered baseball vernacular: "bullpenning."

It started with a phone call ... to the bullpen.

Cubs fans got a major dose of it during the team's run to the 2016 World Series title, especially when manager Joe Maddon pulled starter Kyle Hendricks with two outs in the fifth inning of Game 7 and his team leading 5-1.

In the ...Read more

With food, water and hugs, Molina delivers help to Puerto Rico

Sports / Baseball /

ST. LOUIS -- A short drive from where Yadier Molina grew up in Vega Alta, Puerto Rico, and into the Mavilla neighborhood, the Cardinals catcher stood atop a blacktop road surrounded by stripped-clean and snapped trees and covered with a message that gave words to the reason he came home.

"AYUDA," it listed. "AGUA. ALIMENTO."

Translated it ...Read more

Judge's offense and defense help lift Yankees over Astros in Game 3

Sports / Baseball /

NEW YORK -- Three pitches into Monday's fourth inning, Aaron Judge galloped onto Yankee Stadium's warning track and hurtled into its right-field wall to retrieve a deep drive. As ball met glove, Judge's oversized torso smashed into an advertisement that foretold the night's events.


In the bottom of the inning, Judge ...Read more


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