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 and MLB.com/live.
|In a division that seems wide open, the Padres have breathed life into their season since their 5-15 start. Their 30-19 run has been triggered by outstanding pitching, timely offense and a belief throughout the organization that they could win.
More» Stults shuts down D-backs with arm, defense|
|The Cardinals are one of the model franchises in baseball, overcoming the loss of Albert Pujols and manager Tony La Russa to remain on top.
More» Cards put up seven runs in the 10th inning|
|Nolan Ryan still speaks to his three children virtually every single day. This ritual, this simplest of gestures, sums up his views on fatherhood.
More»Biggio, Nolan Ryan on Astros' new executive hire|
|The announcement that the D-backs and Dodgers will open the 2014 regular season with a pair of games in Sydney on March 22-23 feels like an appropriate next step in growing the sport.
More»D-backs will play first ever MLB games in Australia|
|In his finest work as a manager, Buck Showalter has helped turn the Orioles into one of the most unselfish teams in the big leagues.
More» Davis' solo homer pulls Orioles within one|
|Is he still capable of greatness? That's the question Lance Berkman occasionally asks himself.
More» Berkman drills a two-run homer to left field|
|In an era when managers can study reams of data, there's nothing that can replace the human touch of a skipper who can get his guys to play with a consistent and cohesive effort. And those things are why baseball people -- especially those who've played for him -- absolutely love Terry Francona. He's unwavering in his approach and has been for virtually all of his years as a manager.
More» Francona gets ejected in the eighth inning|
|Jeff Luhnow on Mark Appel… “We?re absolutely thrilled. We believe he?s a premium talent. The fact that he went back to Stanford for his senior year and got better, continued to dominate in high level competition in college ball and did it with a great attitude, good work ethic. Everything about him. He just checks […] More»|
|Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow raved about first overall pick Mark Appel, about his pure physical gifts, work ethic, smarts and intangibles the Astros believe will make him a cornerstone of a rotation -- and a franchise -- for years.
More»Jeff Luhnow discusses taking Mark Appel first overall|
|Maybe the Dodgers -- and those happy people in Chavez Ravine -- will feed off 22-year-old Yasiel Puig's joy and enthusiasm and production. Have you seen him running around out there smiling, bumping teammates, having the time of his life? How can you not be excited?
More» Puig on first two Major League homers|
|The Angels were transformed the moment Mike Trout stepped on the field last season. They were 6-14 without him, 83-59 with him. Trout was baseball’s best player for those 142 games, and he almost led the Angels to an improbable playoff sprint. The Dodgers are 2-0 since calling up 22-year-old Yasiel Puig. He’s 5 for […] More»|
|Baseball wants a clean sport. Baseball wants an even playing field. Baseball will test. Baseball will punish. Every player who wears the uniform should understand this by now. So should the millions of kids who dream of wearing one.
More» Astros broadcasters discuss Biogenesis news|
|At some point for the Houston Astros, the unloading of players will stop and the reconstruction of a franchise will end. When is the time to begin the next step? In other words, how close are the Astros to being good again? Here's a rosy scenario: They're close.
More» Norris throws six scoreless frames, fans six|
|If you're looking for a winner of this first round of All-Star balloting, it's an easy call. How about them Orioles?
More» Davis' solo homer pulls Orioles within one|
|The Rays are doing a real good imitation of the American League East’s best team. They’ve picked up five games on the Yankees in five days, and as usual the manager has had a big hand in it. Joe Maddon long ago showed he’s both aggressive and innovative, unafraid of changing things. Anyway, on Monday […] More»|
|The Pirates are a talented bunch, and with energetic and confident skipper Clint Hurdle at the helm, the Bucs are determined to finish the year as strong as they started it.
More» Hurdle discusses Pirates' walk-off win|
|The All-Star Game ought to have a place for the players who still have star power. Hey, that's one reason the fans have a say. If it's only for the players who've had the best 3 1/2 months of one season, then we can have a computer spit out the rosters.
More» Pujols crushes a long homer to left-center|
|Little by little, the Astros are doing exactly what they hoped to do this season. They're developing players like reigning American Player of the Week Jason Castro. They're developing a winning mindset, too. But how long will it take until they're a contender?
More» Castro connects for four hits, scores a run|
|This year's All-Star Game ballot is, in part, a tribute to the men and women who run the Atlanta Braves. That's because the Braves' Minor League system produced 14 of the players on this year's ballot, more than any other Major League franchise.
More»Braves' strong start has Atlanta fans optimistic|
|Jerry Reinsdorf received the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2013 Sports Business Awards on Wednesday, but he knows it was mostly a night for reflection and larger lessons. The White Sox owner said that 32 years in professional sports have shown him again and again how they can make a substantive and positive impact on communities and in the lives of men and women.
More»A look back at the legacy of Jerry Reinsdorf|
|The Orioles are hoping to find the same magic they found last season. Here's your chance, Kevin Gausman. After just 13 Minor League starts, he'll get the ball Thursday in Toronto. With the organization's other prized prospect, Dylan Bundy, injured, he's the club's best prospect.
More» Kevin Gausman, RHP, Orioles|
|Josh Donaldson isn't just playing third base for the A's. At the moment, he's among the best in the game, his name dotted across the leaderboard with Miguel Cabrera, Adrian Beltre, Evan Longoria, Manny Machado and others.
More» Donaldson snares grounder, throws out Trumbo|
|If you drew up the perfect baseball player -- that is, if you gave someone size and strength and quickness, if you also gave him a dedication to his craft and a commitment to being the best teammate he can be -- you would have Miguel Cabrera.
More» Cabrera hits three homers, drives in five|
|Okay, it wasn’t the matchup we hoped for. We wanted Justin Verlander and Yu Darvish to go toe to toe for 11 innings, both throwing 99 mph, each matching the other inning by inning. We wanted one of those games we’d be talking about whenever great pitching matchups are discussed. That we didn’t get. Verlander […] More»|
|The Yankees, Dodgers and Phillies would be out. They’re Nos. 1, 2 and 3 in payroll. The No. 7 Angels would be sitting home, too. So would the No. 9 White Sox and No. 10 Blue Jays. On the other end, Nos. 28, 29 and 30 would also be out. That’s the Rays, Marlins and […] More»|
|The Dodgers lost three straight one-run games over the weekend in San Francisco, and afterward, Don Mattingly said he liked the way his team went about things. He didn’t like the outcome, but he liked the effort, approach, etc. For this, he has taken some shots. One columnist used the world “clueless.” Which brings up […] More»|
|On this first day of May, the Red Sox, Orioles and Yankees have to be feeling pretty good about things. Let?s face it, not everyone believed in these three clubs. So far, though, they?ve passed every test. The Rockies, Royals, Pirates, Diamondbacks and Brewers are off to solid starts, too. There were significant questions about […] More»|
|When the history of the Tampa Bay Rays is written, James Shields will have his own fat chapter. Perhaps more than any other single player, he’s responsible for the franchise becoming one of the most efficient, admired and successful in the game. Others—Stu Sternberg, Matt Silverman, Andrew Friedman—drew up the blueprint. Joe Maddon has brilliantly managed […] More»|
|If you’re scoring at home, plate umpire Tom Hallion seemed to be more in the wrong than David Price. On the other hand, this situation was similar to the Zack Greinke-Carlos Quentin incident. In the heat of the moment, competitive people occasionally do and say things they might regret upon reflection. And that’s how things […] More»|
|To the tote board we go: Red Sox pitchers lead the majors with 218 strikeouts and need 14 more to break the franchise’s all-time record of 231 in September, 2000. They lead the majors with 10 strikeouts per 9 innings and have 14 games of 10+ strikeouts. The Reds are next with 10. Boston’s rotation […] More»|