Larry's Feed
Oct 3, 2013

Trout making case for whale of a contract

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Mike Trout, fresh off his second MVP-calibre season with the Los Angeles Angels, on Wednesday offered a frightening prospect for opposing pitchers to contemplate this offseason – he has room to improve.

The 22-year-old Trout, a unanimous choice as American League Rookie of the Year in 2012 and runner-up to Triple Crown winner Miguel Cabrera of Detroit as MVP, returned with a .323 average, 27 home runs, 97 runs batted in and 33 stolen bases.

Oct 3, 2013

Success breeds success in Cardinals’ youth movement

By Larry Fine

(Reuters) – The postseason rise or fall of the St. Louis Cardinals could well rest on contributions from 10 rookies on their roster, but the National League’s top seed are confident in them and their own winning culture.

Major League Baseball’s Cardinals own 11 World Series trophies, the most hardware among National League teams, and their long string of achievement has roots in their minor league levels, with players groomed to expect success.

Oct 2, 2013

Tigers need productive Cabrera and company to thrive

By Larry Fine

(Reuters) – The Detroit Tigers possess the best triple-threat on the pitcher’s mound but desperately need slugger Miguel Cabrera and his lineup mates to roar into gear if they are to claim an elusive World Series crown.

The Tigers fell in last year’s World Series in a four-game sweep by the San Francisco Giants, six years after losing the 2006 Fall Classic in five games to the St. Louis Cardinals.

Oct 1, 2013

Bearded Red Sox rejoice over turnaround season

By Larry Fine

(Reuters) – They went from 93 losses last year to 97 wins this season with a new manager and new players who helped transform a dysfunctional clubhouse with some frat-house bonding and a Boston Red Sox battle cry of “Fear the Beard.”

The hirsute band of brothers have flipped the standings upside down and last year’s American League East cellar dwellers enter Major League Baseball’s postseason as the AL’s top seed.

Sep 30, 2013

Red Sox, Cardinals top seeds for MLB’s second season

By Larry Fine

(Reuters) – The Boston Red Sox and St. Louis Cardinals are top seeds in Major League Baseball’s playoffs but they take a back seat on Monday as the postseason line-up will be completed with a Texas-Tampa Bay tiebreaker game.

The Rangers and Rays finished the regular season with 91-71 records, thus forcing a one-game tiebreaker to determine which club travels to Cleveland to play the Indians in a do-or-die, American League wild card showdown on Wednesday.

Sep 30, 2013

Indians grab wild card, Rays-Rangers to duel

By Larry Fine

(Reuters) – The Cleveland Indians claimed an American League wild card berth, while the Tampa Bay Rays and Texas Rangers extended the season for one more game by finishing in a tie for the league’s second wild card spot on Sunday.

Cleveland capped a 10-game, season-ending winning streak with a 5-1 victory over the Minnesota Twins that gave them a 92-70 record and ensured they would host the AL wild card playoff game on Wednesday.

Sep 26, 2013

Supreme closer Rivera dignified yet deadly on the mound

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Dignified yet deadly efficient with a game on the line, Mariano Rivera rose from makeshift games on the beach of his hometown fishing village in Panama to become Major League Baseball’s greatest closer.

The slender right-hander with the easy motion frustrated hitters for nearly two decades, relying more on precision than power, armed with a confounding, late-breaking version of a fastball that became his signature pitch – the cutter.

Sep 18, 2013

Giants versus Panthers a clash of desperate teams

EAST RUTHERFORD, New Jersey (Reuters) – Two teams with high aspirations and time running out on them collide on Sunday when the New York Giants visit the Carolina Panthers.

The error-plagued Giants and hard-luck Panthers have each started the National Football League’s (NFL) 2013 campaign 0-2, attaching a sudden sense of urgency to the outcome of their Week Three clash.

Sep 17, 2013

Wild finish looms for teams chasing playoff berths

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Major League Baseball is heading toward a fantastic finish to determine the postseason landscape with less than two weeks to go in the marathon, 162-game regular season.

A three-way battle is still raging in the National League Central with the Pittsburgh Pirates, St. Louis Cardinals and Cincinnati Reds fighting for the division title with the two also-rans having to settle for wild card berths.

Sep 16, 2013

Heat rising in opposition to Redskins nickname

By Larry Fine

(Reuters) – Protests, political pressure, media snubs and legal actions have turned up the heat on Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder over opposition to the NFL team’s nickname, considered by critics to be a racist slur.

About 24 members of American Indian tribes stood in the rain outside Wisconsin’s Lambeau Field before Sunday’s game between the Green Bay Packers and Redskins, demanding a change of the visitor’s nickname.