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.
|If we're discussing the best baseball players on the planet, Joey Votto is back on everyone's short list, a point that was driven home on Wednesday as he hammered a three-run home run in the ninth inning to set the Reds up for a 7-4 victory over the Cubs at Wrigley Field.
More» Votto jacks go-ahead three-run shot in 9th|
|Twenty years later, it remains the sweetest and most surreal scene I've witnessed in sports -- the night Cal Ripken played in his 2,131st consecutive game to break Lou Gehrig's seemingly unbreakable iron man record.
More»O's honor Cal Ripken Jr.'s 2,131st consecutive game|
|Can the new kids on the block hang in there and join the postseason party this season? MLB.com's Richard Justice examines this question and offers additional scenarios to keep an eye on down the stretch.
More» Donaldson hammers go-ahead two-run triple|
|There aren't many things as much fun as playoff baseball in New York. These Mets are edging closer and closer to finding out.
More» Mets make several great defensive plays|
|This is one of the reasons the first-place Houston Astros wanted Carlos Gomez. Sure, they wanted the spectacular plays in center field. They wanted the power, the stolen bases and all the other stuff that has defined his nine seasons in the Major Leagues.
More» Gomez gives Astros 15-run lead with home run|
|Maybe you're waiting for those six September games between the Pirates and Cardinals to settle the National League Central. As a wise man once said, "You never know." These next 10 days might just be critical to the race when the Marlins, Rockies and Brewers could have a hand in deciding how important those September games are. At least there's that chance. This is always the interesting sidebar of a pennant race
More» Melancon induces double play, notches save|
|The AL West-leading Astros don't see themselves as a fluke. They've won enough this summer that the newness of it has worn off and now believe they're nicely positioned for a dash to the finish line.
More» Hinch on Astros' series sweep of Dodgers|
|In those final innings Friday night, Astros right-hander Mike Fiers fed off the roaring crowd, and his own endless supply of adrenaline and dreams.
More» Mike Fiers finishes off no-hitter|
|There was a point in the fourth or fifth inning when there was little doubt where this one was headed. Rays ace Chris Archer wasn't just good. He has been good plenty of times. He's usually good. That's why he's one of those guys that prompts baseball fans to stop channel surfing and check him out.
More» Archer on defense, pitching one-hit shutout|
|Baseball's playoff format does not need changing. That's the bottom line.
More» Bumgarner sends the Giants to the NLDS|
|Success is guaranteed with the hiring of Dave Dombrowski as the Red Sox president of baseball operations. At least that's his track record.
More»MLB Network reacts to Red Sox hiring Dave Dombrowski|
|There are things in this baseball season we didn't see coming. Maybe we should know better than to be surprised because parity has changed everything. Every season, there are new clubs in contention, new faces doing great things and a chaotic September awaiting. In that way, there are no surprises. Perhaps this is a list of things we should have seen coming.
More» Altuve lines a walk-off single to center|
|Certain people seem born to do certain jobs, and John Farrell seems to be about as perfect a fit for the Red Sox as any manager ever has been. So Friday's news that Farrell, 53, will leave the Red Sox temporarily to undergo treatment for what he called a "highly curable" form of lymphoma is devastating on a variety of levels.
More» Farrell discusses his lymphoma diagnosis|
|He presides over a game in which 11 American League teams are either in line to reach the postseason or within 4 1/2 games of a berth. Major League Baseball attendance may top 75 million for just the fourth time in history. Meanwhile, local television ratings are booming. And that's the state of Major League Baseball that Commissioner Rob Manfred addressed on Thursday afternoon when the quarterly Owners Meetings ended.
More»Manfred discusses league outlook, competitive balance|
|Another huge crowd -- 44,597 -- showed up and had the Rogers Centre rocking. Right from the start, there was an electric atmosphere. In that way, it was like the old days for the Toronto Blue Jays.
More» Colabello on the Blue Jays' potent offense|
|Sure, the really fun stuff was happening at Yankee Stadium this past weekend. But the Tampa Bay Rays made a statement of their own by winning two of three from the Mets. Meanwhile, the Baltimore Orioles have won 10 of 15 as they finish up a West Coast swing. With 56 days remaining in the regular season, here's a snapshot of the AL East.
More» Donaldson on the Blue Jays' sweep of Yankees|
|Suddenly, the Toronto Blue Jays are a different team -- a team with almost no weaknesses and quite possibly the best in the game. Funny how every so often things work out just so.
More»MLB Central on Bautista's impact in Toronto|
|Dave Dombrowski is held in such high regard that he could have an array of post-Detroit options. Let's consider five of them.
More»Duquette on Dombrowski and Tigers parting ways|
|What happened in Arlington on Monday night was so outside the norm. If it prompts people to pause and put his greatness in context, even better. It was one of those games that will resonate through an entire sport. Adrian Beltre became just the fourth player to hit for the cycle three times as the Rangers beat the Astros, 12-9.
More» Beltre hits third career cycle|
|The Mets completed a three-game sweep of the Nationals on Sunday with a 5-2 victory at Citi Field. And in doing so they got within a whisker of the Nats in a National League East that few thought would play out this way.
More» Mets rock Citi Field with three homers|
|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»|