I am well aware that just last month, I went on a tirade claiming that baseball was broken because of the lack of spending limits. But, just because I don’t like the system doesn’t mean certain teams aren’t stupid for not taking advantage of it. Boston Red Sox and Chicago Cubs — I’m looking at you.
Henry Blickenstaff is a junior studying history. He can be reached at email@example.com.
PECOTA stands for Player Empirical Comparison and Optimization Test Algorithm. It’s a fancy way of describing a system used by the organization Baseball Prospectus to predict the MLB standings in a given season, which it does every year. Let’s just say I’m not too crazy about the algorithm — and not just because it doesn’t have the Chicago Cubs winning the National League Central. These are, in my opinion, the five most insane PECOTA projections from this year’s iteration.
It’s Aug. 18, 2023. My friend and I had bought last-minute tickets to see the Chicago Cubs play the Kansas City Royals at Wrigley Field. A Cubs win should have been a safe bet — they had been playing good baseball since mid-July, but more importantly, Kansas City was an abysmal 39–84. Unfortunately, Bobby Witt Jr. had other ideas.
News that ace pitcher Corbin Burnes was being traded from the Milwaukee Brewers to the Baltimore Orioles was about the last thing I expected to see on Thursday night. It was looking very much like the 2021 NL Cy Young winner would be in Milwaukee until at least the trade deadline. Instead, the Orioles swung one of the biggest offseason moves in franchise history.
MLB’s TV policy is asinine. For a league that ostensibly wants (and actually needs) to grow the game of baseball, they sure do enjoy making it hard for fans to watch it. Right now, the money MLB makes from regional sports networks is more important to them than making the game more accessible.
For a look at baseball history this week, these are my picks for the five biggest Hall of Fame snubs in MLB history. This does not include players who have been left out due to steroid use (like Barry Bonds) or any other illicit activity (like Pete Rose).
In 2021, the Chicago White Sox were one of the best teams in baseball, cruising to an American League Central title with a record of 93–69. Tim Anderson’s epic walk-off home run against the Yankees in the Field of Dreams game was perhaps the best moment of the entire baseball season (look it up, it’ll give you chills). Years of rebuilding the farm system were paying off. Despite a disappointing exit in the division series, the future seemed bright. Heading into 2022, the White Sox were ranked No. 4 in ESPN’s preseason power rankings.
There are two players that teams looking for a superstar this offseason will be all-in on. The first is, of course, Shohei Ohtani. We’ve been waiting all year to see where the two-time American League MVP plays next. The other is Juan Soto, who no one thought would be available this offseason, and who still might not be (it’s complicated). Here are my thoughts on where these two end up.