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Ranking the 10 Hottest Burning Questions of the 2014 MLB Offseason

Now that the Boston Red Sox have wrapped up the World Series, it’s time to focus on what will occur during the Major League Baseball offseason. 

From the Alex Rodriguez debacle, to filling the remaining managerial vacancies, plus two marquee free agents on the markets, there is plenty to discuss regarding the offseason.

But which of these unanswered questions is the most pressing? 

Find out as we rank the 10 hottest burning questions of the MLB offseason.

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Detroit Tigers vs. Oakland A’s Game 2: Live Score and ALDS Highlights

After both starting pitchers turned in spectacular performances in Oakland, it is all up to the bullpens of the Tigers and Athletics to win Game 2 of the American League Division Series.

Which bullpen will get the job done in Oakland? 

Stay tuned for comprehensive live updates right here on Bleacher Report. 

Score Update: Tigers 0, Athletics 0 (Bottom 8) 


Follow me on Twitter, @JTansey90. 

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5 MLB Power Hitters Whose Bat Speed Has Disappeared

The sad sight of seeing a power hitter deteriorate right in front of our eyes is something baseball fans never want to see.

However, it is an occurrence that happens more often than we think. 

Here is a look at five power hitters who have lost their bat speed recently and, as a result, the performance on the diamond has not been pretty. 


All statistics obtained from 

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Washington Nationals vs. Atlanta Braves: Live Score, Analysis and Reaction

Braves 3, Nationals 2  (F/10) 

WP: Scott Downs (4-3) LP: Ian Krol (1-1) 

How They Scored: 


Bottom 1: Jason Heyward scores on a double play. 

Bottom 3: Justin Upton RBI Fielder’s Choice 

Top 4: Bryce Harper scores on a double play. 

Top 8: Jayson Werth RBI Single

Bottom 10: Justin Upton Solo Home Run 

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N.Y. Mets vs. Chicago White Sox: Live Reaction of Zack Wheeler-Chris Sale Duel

 White Sox 5, Mets 4

WP: Addison Reed (3-0) LP: LaTroy Hawkins (2-1)

How They Scored:

Top 1: Marlon Byrd Sacrifice Fly; Josh Satin RBI Single

Bottom 1: Alex Rios RBI Ground Out

Bottom 3: Tyler Flowers Solo Home Run (7)

Top 5: Andrew Brown Solo Home Run (3)

Bottom 5: Alejandro De Aza RBI Ground Out; Alexei Ramirez Sacrifice Fly

Top 9: David Wright Scored on Error

Bottom 9: Alexei Ramirez RBI Single

Follow me on Twitter: @JTansey90.

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Power Ranking the Most Overrated MLB Players of the Last Decade

If you asked any passionate sports fan what their favorite word in the dictionary is, “overrated” would be one of, if the, top answer. Overrated is a word that is constantly overused by fans as they chant it toward players and teams on a nightly basis.

Unfortunately for the 10 Major League Baseball players on this list, they are fully deserving of the “overrated: chant.

Here are 10 MLB players from the last decade that whole-heartedly deserve the title of overrated.

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San Francisco Giants vs. Atlanta Braves: Live Score, Analysis and Reaction

Giants 6, Braves 0 

WP: Madison Bumgarner (6-4) LP: Kris Medlen (3-7) 

How They Scored: 

Top 1: Gregor Blanco Solo Home Run (1) 

Top 2: Gregor Blanco RBI Single 

Top 3: Hunter Pence RBI Double 

Top 5: Brandon Crawford RBI Double 

Top 7: Buster Posey RBI Double 

Top 7: Hunter Pence Scores on Alex Wood Balk 

Follow me on Twitter, @JTansey90. 

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Ranking the Unluckiest Teams in Baseball in 2013

In the game of baseball, it is good to be lucky.

But, when a team has an unlucky season, it could mean a long 162-game stretch for the ballclub and its fans. 

Just like any other season, the 2013 Major League Baseball season has its own respective crop of unlucky teams. 

Here is a look at the five unluckiest teams in baseball so far this season. 

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Atlanta Braves: Bullpen Issues Continue with Injuries to Lefties

The Atlanta Braves were handed a double dose of bad injury-related news this week as Jonny Venterssecond Tommy John surgery was announced and Eric O’Flaherty was put on the disabled list with a torn UCL.

Over the last few seasons, both left-handed relievers were heavily relied on in the Braves’ chase for the playoffs. 

While the duo were pitching in a combined 293 games over the last two seasons, the concerns about the longevity of both players’ have been ever-present. 

Both Venters and O’Flaherty have provided the Braves with some superb work in relief and they formed one of the most feared bullpen combinations in the majors with closer Craig Kimbrel.

But with both relievers out for the foreseeable future, the criticism of how the two pitchers were used can be heard even more than it was in the past. 

Throwing a reliever over 60 games in just one season can do some damage, especially combined with two seasons of stress-filled situations on the mound in the latter innings. 

Manager Fredi Gonzalez now faces a situation that he created himself. His two best left-handed relievers are most likely out for the season and now he has to find capable relievers to fill that void. 

Luis Avilan and Cory Gearrin will assume the “next man up” mentality for now. And the addition of veteran left-hander Joe Beimel, who is on the road to recovery from Tommy John surgery himself, will help the ball club if he reaches the majors. 

There is also be some concern about the right arm of Kimbrel, who has appeared in 142 games over the last two seasons and 16 games already this season.

If Kimbrel begins to experience arm issues, the World Series and even playoff hopes of the Braves could go down the drain in a heartbeat. 

For now, Braves fans can focus on the terrific job that Gearrin and Avilan have done in relief so far this season. But if they fold under pressure in the seventh and eighth inning roles in front of Kimbrel, the criticism will grow around Gonzalez on how he managed his bullpen over the past few seasons. 

Follow me on Twitter, @JTansey90. 

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Atlanta Braves: Grand Slam by Justin Upton Powers Victory over Dodgers

After a brutal 10-game road trip that saw the Atlanta Braves go 4-6 against the Cincinnati Reds, San Francisco Giants and Arizona Diamondbacks, they returned home to Turner Field and finally got back on track with an 8-5 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The main talking point going into Friday night was the return of Jason Heyward, but by the time Craig Kimbrel closed the game out in the top of the ninth inning with his 12th save of the season, all everyone wanted to talk about was the grand slam delivered by Justin Upton in the bottom of the sixth inning. 

Upton’s 14th home run of the season came at a crucial point in the game, as the Braves were down by two runs and starting pitcher Paul Maholm was reaching the end of his start after throwing 95 pitches. 

After Upton’s shot to left field scored Jordan Schafer, Andrelton Simmons and Heyward, the Braves bullpen got down to business. 

The trio of Luis Avilan, Eric O’Flaherty and Kimbrel conceded just two hits, one of which was a home run by Scott Van Slyke in the eighth off of O’Flaherty, as they preserved Maholm’s fifth win of the season. 

The performance of Avilan was the most important to Braves fans, especially after the news of Jonny Venters’ second Tommy John surgery (via Atlanta Journal-Constitution) was delivered yesterday. Avilan will be one of the many Braves relievers who will be asked to fill in for Venters and bridge the gap to O’Flaherty and Kimbrel for the rest of the season. 

As for how the returning Heyward performed in first game back, the right fielder went 2-for-4 at the plate, and he delivered an important insurance run in the seventh inning as he brought home Simmons on a RBI single. 

With Heyward’s activation from the disabled list on Friday, manager Fredi Gonzalez was forced to make a roster move, and he did so by placing right-hander Jordan Walden on the disabled list (via

By placing Walden on the DL, Gonzalez has given himself more time to demote or release a position player, which should come before the Braves hit the road in a week’s time to play the New York Mets and Toronto Blue Jays

On Saturday, Mike Minor will take the mound for the Braves against Matt Magill of the Dodgers in the second game of a three-game set in Atlanta. 

Follow me on Twitter, @JTansey90. 

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