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.
|There's no such thing as a perfect team, but the Indians might be as close as anyone gets in the American League in 2017. Now, it's about doing it.
More»Kipnis discusses Indians' motivation for 2017 season|
|If you'd like to understand what Clayton Kershaw means to the Los Angeles Dodgers, you can start with the area behind the bullpen mound in left field.
More» Kershaw strikes out Cabrera on nasty pitch|
|The World Baseball Classic is a particularly big deal around the Mariners -- with 11 players, including Minor Leaguers, participating. That includes the franchise's three biggest stars: Felix Hernandez, Nelson Cruz and Robinson Cano.
|It was a mere two springs ago that plenty of people wondered if Joey Votto could still be great. Votto, ever the realist, understood the doubt.
More» Votto on pitchers changing style|
|Offseason acquisition Mark Melancon is the guy the San Francisco Giants are rebuilding their bullpen around. After throwing some young guys into the fire last season, the Giants believe they've got a nice blend of veterans and younger guys to give manager Bruce Bochy plenty of late options.
More»Bochy, Melancon on excitement for 2017, Giants' 'pen|
|Major League Baseball may have just one significant rule change this season -- an automatic international walk. However, other changes -- all of them designed to increase the pace of play -- seem very much a possibility for the 2018 season.
|Welcome to one of the real cool days of a new baseball season. This one reminds us how quickly things are moving toward an Opening Day less than six weeks away.
More»Arizona's ready for Cactus League Media Day|
|Ben Zobrist acknowledges the incredible effect that the Cubs' championship had on its fans, and after an offseason of celebration, he wants to help deliver another title.
More» Zobrist provides decent power, strong OBP|
|He's for putting everything on the table. Raising the strike zone? Sure, let's have a chat. Automatic intentional walks? Absolutely, worth a discussion.
|This is what we're seeing each time Dodgers left-hander Clayton Kershaw takes the mound this season: One of the best ever. After just nine seasons, that's where his career seems to be headed.
More»Kershaw ties LA Dodgers record with Opening Day nod|
|Jim Palmer stood in front of a mirror, combing his hair and remembering the little man playing golf a few miles away. "Don't believe everything you hear," Palmer told me. "We had our differences with Earl Weaver, but everyone in here had tremendous respect for him."
More»Francona discusses the Indians' 2017 mindset|
|What kind of player are the Braves getting in Brandon Phillips? One who is not only coming off a strong season, but a leader and someone who can make an impact on many levels.
More»Phillips determined to show he'll perform with Braves|
|This is where we begin again. With familiar things. With some of the people we admire. With reminders of why we love it so. So to honor Spring Training in 2017, here are 17 things to be excited about:
More»17 stories to be excited about in 2017|
|Optimism abounds. Cynicism melts away. Spring Training is a time of hope and possibility, and that spirit will be ingrained in the game forever.
More»First day of Spring Training begins for several teams|
|This is the season Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow envisioned almost from the moment he was hired six offseasons ago. Perfect team? Don't be silly. Very, very good? There's a chance.
More»Hinch comfortable with World Series expectations|
|Some difference-making players changed teams this offseason. While it may take a few years to truly grade those moves, there are players that clearly have the ability to significantly impact a franchise in the short term and/or long term. Here's my top five
More»New acquisitions highlight aggressive team offseasons|
|We don't see teams going back-to-back atop their divisions much anymore. If you're trying to understand baseball's current landscape, this is a good place to start. In the last five seasons, 22 of 30 teams have played at least one playoff series. The American League has had five different champions in six seasons, the National League four.
More»Red Sox, Indians, Dodgers could win divisions in 2017|
|Here's a story that may sum up Chris Carter's Major League career. It may also explain why he could end up being the best free-agent bargain of this offseason.
More»IT discusses Carter's interest in playing in Japan|
|For many teams, January is decision time. Here is a list of 5 teams that significantly helped themselves in January.
More»Bautista on new deal with Blue Jays, city of Toronto|
|Commissioner Rob Manfred may never have a tougher decision than handing down the Cardinals' punishment for hacking the Astros' database, because it pitted one club against another, and few precedents exist for walking this kind of tightrope.
More»Mozeliak on actions of Correa following breach ruling|
|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»|