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.
|First-year manager Jeff Banister went back to the basics to get the Rangers started on a bounceback campaign, which started slowly, but appears to be shifting into high gear.
More»Millar talks Rangers with Prince Fielder|
|It stinks that Jayson Werth -- a consummate pro, an important part of the intangible thing that makes the Nationals go -- is injured. It stinks for him and for the Nats. But they're likely to be in first place when he returns, and he might end up being a perfect stretch-run acquisition for a team that as close to perfect as there is.
More» Werth takes a pitch off wrist, stays in game|
|Maybe all you need to know about the Minnesota Twins was on display in the bottom of the third inning Wednesday afternoon at Target Field. This would be the day the Twins would grab a share of first place in the American League Central, the day of another raucous clubhouse celebration after a 6-4 victory over the Red Sox. Sure, there's a long way to go, but for the Twins, these small milestones have significance.
More» Hunter pulls the Twins even at 2 with single|
|If we're going to have a Giants-Dodgers summer, we must be doing something right. Isn't this the living, breathing definition of a great rivalry? Isn't baseball better when they're both competitive? Who ya got?
More» Giants rally for seven runs in the 6th|
|The Astros are an absolute joy to watch. That's surely one part of this season's sweetest and most improbable story. They have youth and energy, resilience and toughness. They have some confidence, too, growing day by day. Is there anything else? Yes, there is. They're a simple team in a lot of ways. They hit home runs in bunches and play very good defense and hold onto leads when they get them. Isn't that a formula for success right there?
More» Gattis, Tucker on homers in win over Tigers|
|Two months in, there has been significant progress in quickening the pace of play in baseball. Even without dramatic changes, the average time of a game has dropped almost nine minutes since last season. Playing games in less than three hours is an important benchmark for Commissioner Rob Manfred. While this may be only a first step, it's an encouraging one.
More»Manfred talks pace of play with Costas|
|Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper must stay on the field. It's that simple. He let an umpire get under his skin for the second time in eight days on Wednesday night and got himself ejected. This can't happen.
More» Harper, Williams react to getting tossed|
|Good times are coming for the Pirates, A's and Red Sox despite a disappointing start to the season. Those three teams are going to be in contention in September, and possibly later due to talented rosters and the right leadership.
More» Melvin on team's sloppy play, loss at home|
|Although the Nationals struggled early on, they have turned their season around because they simply have more good players than any other team in baseball. Which got us to thinking: Who are the other teams with a pure talent edge?
More»Harper and Scherzer shine as Nats win five|
|We are seeing the continued emergence of one of baseball's dominant pitchers. That's really what Sunday afternoon was about for Shelby Miller and the Atlanta Braves.
More» Miller talks about no-hit bid|
|Russell Martin is a three-time All-Star and a former Gold Glove and Silver Slugger winner. That the Blue Jays would make an $82 million commitment says they believe he's a franchise-changing player. But in 2015, there's no doubt who is better. Martin's .954 OPS is excellent, but Stephen Vogt's 1.098 is spectacularly good. Similarly, Vogt's .337 batting average is 49 points higher than Martin's .288.
More»Which AL catcher is #ASGWorthy?|
|When George Springer returned from the disabled list Wednesday night against the Giants, the Astros needed a spark. In another perfect moment for this team, Springer delivered a towering home run in the eighth inning to give the Astros a 4-3 victory.
More» Hinch on Springer's return in win over Giants|
|We appear headed for a third straight Cardinals-Dodgers postseason series in the National League, and won't that be fun? Who would you take? Between them, they have the two best won-loss records in the Majors, as well as the two best run differentials. They've both remained in first place for most of the season despite some serious problems.
More» Gonzalez's three-homer, four-hit game|
|The New York Yankees are built for October. In fact, they might be one starting pitcher away from being a perfect postseason team. While there's the teensy matter of 130 regular-season games left on the schedule, it's never too early to prepare for the big party.
More» Pineda strikes out 16th batter of the game|
|Bryce Harper stepped into the batter's box with the game on the line Saturday afternoon. Funny thing about a moment like this: It separates players -- the great ones from most of the rest.
More»Harper heats up with six home runs in three games|
|Paul Goldschmidt is the perfect baseball player. Or at least he's about as close to perfect as anyone will get. Joey Votto is like that, too. But there being only so many spots for National League first basemen in the All-Star Game, you may already see where we're going with this.
More»Which first baseman is #ASGWorthy?|
|Bryce Harper's three-homer game Wednesday showed that the young Nationals star is just scratching the surface with his talent.
More» Harper hammers three homers|
|A moment we knew was coming happened in Thursday night's game between the Yankees and Orioles, when Alex Rodriguez hit the 661st home run of his career to pass Willie Mays and stand alone in fourth place on the all-time list.
More»A-Rod reacts to passing Mays on all-time homers list|
|Commissioner Rob Manfred outlined his vision for the future of baseball in three meetings on Wednesday at Minute Maid Park. He took some questions, too, and made some small talk. All in all, a productive day.
More» Manfred discusses assortment of topics|
|Commissioner Rob Manfred praised the Astros' dramatic reversal of fortune during a visit to Minute Maid Park before Wednesday's Rangers-Astros game.
More»Manfred praises Astros front office for turnaround|
|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»|