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.
|For baseball fans, this is one of the best days of the year, beginning with the Cubs and Pirates at 12:35 p.m. ET and ending with the Phillies and Cardinals at 8:15 p.m. Here are eight things things to watch for.
More»Big-time matchups set for Wednesday's slate|
|We're about to learn a bit more about both the 18-8 White Sox and the 15-10 Red Sox -- two first-place teams, two teams awash in good vibes. That's what a three-game series beginning Tuesday night at U.S. Cellular Field represents.
More»Division leaders set to square off on South Side|
|Now that's how you change a narrative. You show off another one of your gifted young pitchers. You watch that young pitcher flirt with history. And then you put a finishing touch on a game that will have fans debating how the thing went down at the end.
More» Conley keeps no-hitter going through 7th|
|Stories like Mat Latos' happen every offseason. Some free agents just slip through the cracks. So do some Minor Leaguers. They're part of another marketplace, one that doesn't require a lot of money to play in and rewards the clubs with smarts and vision.
More» Latos fans five, holds Angels scoreless|
|At times, Orioles third baseman Manny Machado makes the game look ridiculously easy, and maybe that's why we've been so slow to recognize his greatness. Let's cut to the chase. This is one of the 10 best baseball players on the planet, and that's not even a stretch.
More» Machado belts a grand slam to left-center|
|When the Orioles get a performance out of Chris Tillman like this one, they can almost see October from here. No, it's never that simple. Stuff happens. On the other hand, the O's probably aren't going to the postseason without Tillman being the guy he was in, say, 2014.
More» Tillman fans nine in scoreless start|
|The Seattle Mariners awoke Wednesday morning alone atop the American League West, a half-game in front of the Rangers and Athletics. Here's why it matters, and why it's time to take another look at the division that has been baseball's most surprising in these opening weeks.
More» Cano produces six RBIs against the Astros|
|Here's to you, Albert Pujols. Your 564th and 565th home runs on Monday night gave us another night to remember. Here's to your greatness as well as your grace and dignity. Has it really been 16 seasons?
More» Pujols hits two homers, passes Reggie|
|This was baseball at its insane, entertaining, thrilling best on Sunday. This was a day when leads slipped away, were grabbed back, then slipped away again. If you didn't know this was April, you'd swear it was October with teams punching and counter-punching as if an entire season was riding on the outcome.
More» Nats tie it in 9th, walk off in 16th|
|There are two things we know about these Houston Astros. One is that general manager Jeff Luhnow will not allow the season to get away from his team. The other is that he has options.
More»Justice discusses Astros' start to 2016|
|The Yankees have stepped away from free-agent spending to focus on replenishing the farm system and adjusting to a more traditional player-development approach. But if a division championship is within range on Sept. 1, history says they will figure out a way to strengthen the roster and position themselves for October.
More»Al Leiter discusses the Yanks' bullpen on MLB Central|
|Every so often, a player comes along who makes the game look oh-so-easy, a player who captivates us on so many levels. That's where we're at with Bryce Harper.
More» Harper hits second grand slam of the season|
|Milt Pappas, who passed away on Tuesday, spent nearly 20 years in the Majors, won 209 games, was a two-time All-Star and threw a no-hitter, so much more than what he is primarily remembered for: being traded for Frank Robinson.
More»Quick Pitch discusses the passing of Milt Pappas|
|They're arriving in waves now, these young shortstops. Gifted players, dazzling talents. In the early 1980s, Ozzie Smith, Robin Yount, Cal Ripken and Alan Trammell played the position in the same era. Smith, Yount and Ripken are in the Hall of Fame, and Trammell should be. Whether this generation has three future Hall of Famers is part of the story we can watch unfold over the next few seasons. For now, though, the joy is watching them play.
More» Correa notches four hits against the Yanks|
|Nothing gets cleared up these first two weeks. We think we know and then we don't. Every game has more importance than it should. That said, there are definite positive vibes in at least a few places.
More» Maeda limits Giants to one run over seven|
|When trying to answer the question why the Rangers extended Adrian Beltre's contract, a deal that will take him to nearly 40 years old in 2018, it's simple: They couldn't picture the team without him.
More»Justice on Beltre agreeing to two-year extension|
|Today, we celebrate Jackie Robinson, and don't think for a moment this is just about baseball. He represents baseball's finest hour, and the sport was Robinson's vehicle to begin reshaping the world.
More»Archer, Harrison among players anticipating day|
|Welcome to the day of the pitcher. When it's good like this, it's best to simply sit back and enjoy the show.
More»'Day of the Pitcher' after sizzling performances|
|The Royals bullpen has been so deep and so good the last three seasons that it has changed the way a lot of baseball people build teams. And it has continued this year, even though some of the names have changed.
More» Davis strikes out Springer for the save|
|You know who isn't one bit surprised by the Orioles' 7-0 start? That would be the Orioles. Adam Jones and Buck Showalter. J.J. Hardy and Chris Davis. Darren O'Day and Chris Tillman. Those guys.
More» Hardy on his two homers, Orioles' win|
|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»|