Salaries in baseball have risen exponentially in recent years.While only one player, Nolan Ryan, was making $1 million per season 30 years ago, 25 players will make $17 million or more this season. Fourteen will break the $20 million threshold, and one—Alex Rodriguez—will receive $30 million from the New York Yankees.The combined salaries of the top two highest-paid players (Rodriguez and the Angels' Vernon Wells) will cost just $4 million less than the entire Oakland Athletics roster.But how many are actually worth their exorbitant salaries and are contributing at the most important time of the year?Begin Slideshow
The Boston Red Sox and Los Angeles Dodgers completed one of the biggest trades in major league history, a nine-player deal which saw LA take on more than $270 million in salary.Roger Clemens, fresh off a not guilty verdict at his perjury trial, pitched for the Sugar Land Skeeters at the age of 50. He was very good, allowing one hit in 3.1 innings in what many think could be a precursor to a major league comeback with the Houston Astros.But what are the big stories being dwarfed by these ones, the stories no one is talking about?Begin Slideshow
Barry Larkin and Ron Santo will be enshrined in the National Baseball Hall of Fame this week, taking their place alongside 295 others who have a plaque hanging in Cooperstown.The Hall of Fame is meant to showcase and preserve the game's greatest players, moments and artifacts, but has provided moments and talking points of its own over the years. The current debate about whether to allow known steroid users into the Hall is going to rage for years to come.Here, we take a look at the 10 greatest moments of the inductees' speeches.Begin Slideshow
For all their early-season struggles, the Boston Red Sox are a playoff-calibre team. With 407 runs scored, they have the second-best offense in the league, behind only the Texas Rangers. The Sox also own the league's eighth-best bullpen ERA, and since June 1, they have the best mark in the game.Their relief corps struggled in April and the offense has been through slumps at times but generally, both have been excellent. However, the team's starting pitching has been terrible from start to finish. The second game of the season saw Josh Beckett destroyed to the tune of five home runs by the Detroit Tigers. Monday night saw the shortest outing of Daisuke Matsuzaka's major league career.Only four teams have a worse starting rotation, judging by ERA. Boston's starters are below average in innings pitched, as they struggle to make it deep into games. The bullpen's recent successes have mitigated some ...
We may only be a month into the season, but already we are learning things about the state of each team. Granted, not everything we learn in April is reliable.The L.A. Angels aren't going to finish last in the AL West with Albert Pujols not hitting a single home run. Likewise, it's highly unlikely the Baltimore Orioles snag a wild-card berth.However, we can still look at the state of the pitching and pinpoint one pitcher on each team who needs to have a better May.Begin Slideshow
The Boston Red Sox are one of baseball's greatest franchises. They have won more World Series championships than all but two AL teams, play in the oldest stadium, are part of the sport's best rivalry and have seen a long line of legends don their uniform.Babe Ruth, Ted Williams, Carlton Fisk and Carl Yastrzemski head a list of Hall of Famers who have played for the Sox, but there are many greats who have not yet had their chance at earning a plaque in Cooperstown.Here we take a look at the current and recently retired Red Sox who could or should one day receive baseball's greatest honour, as well as some who have been unjustly overlooked.Begin Slideshow
The Boston Red Sox have been represented very well in award balloting in recent years. Since 2007, 10 Boston players have finished in the top 10 in the MVP race and five have done it in Cy Young voting. Few teams can boast the number of award contenders that Boston can.Here we look at the five players who are most likely to finish 2012 with some new hardware.Begin Slideshow
By all standard and traditional measurements, Theo Epstein brought great success to the Boston Red Sox. In his nine seasons with the club, the Sox made the playoffs six times. They won the AL East for the first time in over a decade in 2007, reached the ALCS four times and won the World Series twice, ending an 86-year title drought. Under Epstein, Boston averaged over 93 wins a season, after averaging 86 for the previous decade (not counting the strike-shortened 1994 season). But as we were often told under Epstein, traditional metrics are bad. He didn’t want players evaluated by their RBI and home runs; we won’t evaluate him by his rings. The casual observer would think Theo had a great run as GM in Boston and would be loved by Red Sox Nation. One need only look to Chicago Cubs fans’ euphoria when he left Fenway for Wrigley ...
Clay Buchholz will take to the mound tonight against the Minnesota Twins and their lethargic offense. Last season, one would have expected him to mow down their lineup, go eight innings and allow just two hits.This season, however, it is different. In six starts, he is 2-3 with a 4.81 ERA. Almost every stat is worse than last year and many are the worst of his career. Despite his wonderful 2010 season—which saw him lead the league in ERA-plus, make his first All-Star team and finish sixth in Cy Young voting—there were concerns of a huge regression in 2011. The main reason was the fact Buchholz had the greatest ERA-xFIP (expected fielding-independent pitching) differential in the majors last season.In short, xFIP is used to calculate a pitcher’s future performance, and Clay’s was so much better, it might be difficult for him to replicate it. He is only six starts in, ...
The fans are the lifeblood of sport. Whether their team is winning or losing, they are at the games, dressed in their club's apparel, faces painted, cheering wildly. Or there are 20,000 empty seats.Some teams just do not have great fanbases. Others are well-supported but the fans just do not care about the team.With that in mind, here is a rundown of the most emotional fanbases in Major League Baseball, ranked by loyalty, commitment, attitude and general fan craziness.Begin Slideshow