Richard Justice, who joined MLB.com as an executive correspondent in 2011, has covered Major League Baseball for more than three decades and offers his insight on MLB.com.
|It was a strange, confusing day for the Detroit Tigers. One moment, Justin Verlander is at his best, and another he is leaving the game with an injury.
More» Verlander exits with cramps in right triceps|
|At 36, Jason Marquis is headed back to the big leagues as a member of the Reds rotation. Relying on the sinker-slider combination that has helped him win 121 big league games, Marquis has a 3.15 ERA in five spring starts.
More» Marquis whiffs Johnson swinging to start 3rd|
|Good news here, good news there. Young players emerging. Yeah, even some not named Kris Bryant. Veteran players reproving themselves. Did you see the home run Miguel Cabrera belted Thursday afternoon? That's the thing about baseball's best players and one of the best things about Spring Training. They amaze us even when the games don't count.
More» Miggy smashes laser solo homer to left field|
|The Washington Nationals don't have to get it right in April or even May. That's a handy reminder on a week like this one. OK, so maybe the Nationals won't open the 2015 season with the team they'd drawn up on paper. No big deal there. At least, it's no big deal at this point.
More» Pitching coach McCatty discusses Nats' staff|
|Former President George W. Bush and Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred appeared together on Friday for 45 minutes in front of invited guests to talk baseball. Mostly, it was Bush peppering Manfred with questions about the state of the game.
More»Rob Manfred and George W. Bush bond over baseball|
|Lloyd McClendon knows what makes his players tick and how to get the most out of them. He's the right man to take the M's to the next level.
More»McClendon on second Spring Training with Mariners|
|He feels good. He feels confident. Little by little, he's finding he can do the things he usually has done better than almost anyone. In other words, he's feeling like Joey Votto again."I feel like I can perform like myself," he said. "I have very high expectations." Everything the Cincinnati Reds hope to accomplish in 2015 begins right here, with a healthy Votto at first base and in the middle of their lineup.
More» Votto could have bounceback year in 2015|
|MLB.com columnist Richard Justice is betting veteran third baseman Will Middlebrooks ends up being one of the smartest moves San Diego Padres general manager A.J. Preller made last winter.
More» Middlebrooks hits a double to left field|
|It's lousy news for the Mets about Zack Wheeler needing Tommy John surgery, but they have the pitching depth to survive an injury like this and still make a run at the postseason in 2015.
More» Torn UCL leaves Wheeler's status uncertain|
|This Spring Training seems to have verified all the things we thought we knew about Cubs rookie third baseman Kris Bryant. That is, he's on his way to becoming baseball's next great player. Sometimes, the bottom line couldn't be simpler.
More»Kris Bryant dazzling with Spring Training power|
|Jimmy Rollins motions a few lockers down, to where Howie Kendrick is also adjusting to a new clubhouse. They're the best thing to happen to the Dodgers during an offseason of change. In ways large and small, they represent everything new Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman believes in.
More»Rollins leads cast of fresh stars for Dodgers|
|Joey Gallo's power is the kind that changes games. Actually, it's the kind that can change the course of a franchise, too.
More» Gallo launches three-run homer to right|
|Will Ferrell had himself a perfect day, one he'll remember forever. Baseball had a great day, too, perhaps a transformative day. In the end, the whole thing couldn't be simpler than that.
More»Ferrell takes the field to raise money for charity|
|This is a great day for Major League Baseball, a proud day. Years from now, every player and every manager involved can look back and feel good about doing their part to make the world a better place. That's one of many reasons this is such a cool deal.
More»Will Ferrell talks with Mad Dog before ballpark tour|
|Jose Altuve begins his workday before sunrise. In this routine, he finds comfort. From this routine, he constructed a batting championship.
More»Hinch on Altuve's outlook after breakout 2014|
|The Toronto Blue Jays know a lot of what they're getting with their new catcher, Russell Martin. For one thing, plenty of it is easy to measure. Yet when the Blue Jays talk about why they signed him to a five-year, $82-million contract, they almost never begin there.
More» Martin on Jays' debut, time in Pittsburgh|
|Justin Verlander ended his afternoon with a hard curveball that froze the hitter, Braves shortstop Daniel Castro. Unhittable? Close enough. Strike three.
More»Verlander on building from first outing, pitch clock|
|Eighteen months ago, Matt Harvey was arguably baseball's best pitcher, at least in terms of pure stuff and probably in terms of attitude as well. After a long road to recovery, the Mets' ace tossed two perfect innings in his Spring Training debut.
More» Harvey, Wright, D'Arnaud on Harvey's return|
|Matt Williams has the kind of problem every MLB manager would like to have -- potential No. 1 starters throughout his pitching rotation.
More»Harper discusses 2015 expectations, adding Scherzer|
|The Yankees feel good about Carlos Beltran this season. If it turns out the way they think it might, they're going to look back to an offseason in which Beltran was at Yankee Stadium five days a week for rehab work.
More» Beltran looks to move past '14 elbow injury|
|Tim Hudson is a reminder that prices are going up. Baseball teams have money to spend, and with a thin free agent market and at least 20 clubs thinking they’ve got a chance to win the World Series in 2014, it’s a great off-season to be a free agent. Jacoby Ellsbury and Brian McCann are […] More»|
|Revisionist history says the Phillies made terrible decisions in giving all these longterm commitments to Ryan Howard, Jimmy Rollins, etc. This is just silly. What were they supposed to do with these guys? Walk away from them? Allow Ryan Howard to leave via free agency? This group of players has transformed the Phillies from a […] More»|
|Until the moment the World Series was won on Wednesday night, the Red Sox were focused only on the job at hand. One pitch at a time. One inning at a time. Et cetera. “Whatever the task is in front of us, that’s the one we address,” manager John Farrell said earlier in the week. […] More»|
|Maybe the Astros came to town at just the right time to save the Rangers. Speaking of the Astros, this is the two-week anniversary of their last victory. During this little 0-12 run, they’ve been outscored 69-19. The Reds, Indians and Rangers all swept ‘em at a time when all three teams needed victories. The […] More»|
|How crazy is this American League Wild Card race? Donât blink or youâll miss something important, and I speak as one who stayed with the Rays and Orioles for their 6-hour, 54-minute marathon that ended at 2:05 a.m. Saturday. In case you missed it, the Rays won it 5-4 in the bottom of the 18th […] More»|
|Dodgers starters are 21-5 with a 1.91 ERA since July 26. In that time, they’ve had 12 games in which the starter didn’t allow an earned run. The Dodgers are 22-6 in August and 32-8 since the All-Star Break and 49-13 since June 22. 22 wins in August is a Los Angeles record for the […] More»|
|Tom Boswell of The Washington Post has an excellent column about baseball’s recent September surprises. He’s reminding his hometown team that it’s important to play the season out because you just never know. Here are some highlights: In just the past two years, six teams have imploded to lose division titles or a playoff spot. […] More»|
|I’m sure Ryan Braun was told that the reaction to whatever apology he issued would be negative. There’s nothing columnists and talk show nitwits like more than climbing on their soapbox and trashing another man’s ethics. As a matter of fact, I enjoy it myself. Some people were going to be satisfied only if Braun […] More»|
|Baseball Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig made the following statement today regarding the discipline issued to players in relation to Major League Baseballâs Biogenesis investigation: âMajor League Baseball has worked diligently with the Players Association for more than a decade to make our Joint Drug Program the best in all of professional sports. I am […] More»|
|It was the spring of 1993 in Fort Lauderdale when Orioles manager Johnny Oates introduced Cal Ripken Jr. to a skinny, 17-year-old kid from Miami. Alex Rodriguez would be the overall No. 1 pick in the draft that summer and had asked to meet with his boyhood idol. Ripken redefined the position of shortstop, proving […] More»|