MLB

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Athletes and auctions Sports figures auctioning big-ticket memorabilia, including Gold Gloves, World Series rings and game-worn uniforms. /cbk/lists/athletes-sports-figures-auctioned-big-ticket-memorabilia-world-series-rings-cy-young-awards-jerseys-101612 http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2013/11/12/PI_20131112025841974_136_102.JPG
The phenoms of 2013 2013's rookies and first-year players full of phenoms making a crop that is the best in years, including Yasiel Puig, Evan Gattis, Wil Myers, Gerrit Cole and Hyun-Jin Ryu. /mlb/lists/2013-rookies-first-year-players-phenoms-best-in-years-yasiel-puig-evan-gattis-wil-myers-gerrit-cole-hyun-jin-ryu-061713 http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2013/06/07/060613-MLB-Yasiel-Puig-PI-AA_20130607011200341_136_102.JPG
MLB playoff team Power Rankings Shawn Ramsey ranks the 10 major league playoff teams 1 through 10. /mlb/lists/playoff-team-mlb-power-rankings-red-sox-cardinals-braves-dodgers-oakland-as-100113 http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2013/09/27/092713-MLB-RED-SOX-ORTIZ-PEDROIA-BRADLEY-JR-CELEBRATE-DC-PI_201309272311548_136_102.JPG
Most Embarrassing Sports Records Most Embarrassing Sports Records /boxing/lists/Most_Embarrassing_Sports_Records http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2012/12/02/wallace2_20121202145912105_136_102.JPG
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MLB 49 43 MLB's midseason report card 29946611 F-: Frank McCourt, NL West F-%3A+Frank+McCourt%2C+NL+West MLB

This choice is so obvious, it's visible from space. Is McCourt the worst owner in the history of sports? That the question can legitimately be asked speaks multitudes. McCourt has all but wrecked a proud franchise, and during the fallout he's redefined our notions of "chutzpah." May this charlatan go away very soon, and may MLB learn the obvious lesson that sufficiently capitalized owners who care about winning are superior to thieves who value nothing so much as their own senses of entitlement. Buh bye.

Kirby Lee/Image of Sport - USA TODAY Sports http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2011/06/29/18_20110629171246598_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2011/06/29/18_20110629171246598_107_80.JPG
MLB 49 43 MLB's midseason report card 29946609 F-: The Oakland Offense, AL West F-%3A+The+Oakland+Offense%2C+AL+West MLB

What a waste of a great pitching staff. What's wasting that pitching staff? The Oakland attack, such as it is. Right now, every team leader in plate appearances at a given position has a below-league-average OPS. You simply don't win when that's happening.

Jason O. Watson - USA TODAY Sports http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2011/06/29/17_20110629171244596_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2011/06/29/17_20110629171244596_107_80.JPG
MLB 49 43 MLB's midseason report card 29946610 F-: The Cardinals' Health, NL Central F-%3A+The+Cardinals%27+Health%2C+NL+Central MLB

No, this isn't an indictment of the St. Louis training staff. Rather, it's a failing grade for the forces of the universe that mete out baseball injuries. We're not even to the halfway point in St. Louis, and already Albert Pujols, Matt Holliday, Kyle McClellan, David Freese, Allen Craig, Nick Punto, Gerald Laird, Skip Schumacher and Eduardo Sanchez have spent or are presently spending time on the disabled list. And this, of course, is to say nothing of the spring injury to Adam Wainwright. Given better health, the Cards might be padding a division lead right now.
 

Scott Rovak - USA TODAY Sports http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2011/06/29/16_20110629171243594_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2011/06/29/16_20110629171243594_107_80.JPG
MLB 49 43 MLB's midseason report card 29946612 F-: Adam Dunn, AL Central F-%3A+Adam+Dunn%2C+AL+Central MLB

Dunn is better than his numbers, but, oh, those numbers are awful. He's batting .173, and he's on target for just 14 home runs against 203 strikeouts. Most damning of all? Dunn this season is an unthinkable 1-for-53 against lefties. The Dunn signing looked smart at the time, but it's turning into a sinkhole.

Jerry Lai - USA TODAY Sports http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2011/06/29/15_20110629171242592_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2011/06/29/15_20110629171242592_107_80.JPG
MLB 49 43 MLB's midseason report card 29946607 F-: Hanley Ramirez, NL East F-%3A+Hanley+Ramirez%2C+NL+East MLB

It's just odd. Ramirez is at an age that lends itself to skills growth, and his track record of performance is simply tremendous. Despite all that, however, he's been one of baseball's least productive regulars in 2011. The smart money suggests that Jack McKeon is going to have less patience with Ramirez than did his predecessor.

Kim Klement - USA TODAY Sports http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2011/06/29/14_20110629171235590_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2011/06/29/14_20110629171235590_107_80.JPG
MLB 49 43 MLB's midseason report card 29946605 F-: Derek Jeter, AL East F-%3A+Derek+Jeter%2C+AL+East MLB

The Captain will, soon enough, tally his 3,000th hit, and his standing as a first-ballot Hall of Famer and one of the greatest shortstops ever is unassailable. However, Jeter has been awful this season. In 2010, he showed signs of decline, and this season the wheels — the increasingly slow and creaky wheels that have never been able to range to the left — are coming off. A batting line of .260 AVG/.324 OBP/.324 SLG isn't acceptable, especially when you can't play defense.
 

Jason O. Watson - USA TODAY Sports http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2011/06/29/13_20110629171233588_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2011/06/29/13_20110629171233588_107_80.JPG
MLB 49 43 MLB's midseason report card 29946603 C: Colorado Rockies, NL West C%3A+Colorado+Rockies%2C+NL+West MLB

The Rox notched a winning campaign last season, and many expected them to claim the NL West flag in 2011. That's still possible, of course, but it's on Troy Tulowitzki, Carlos Gonzalez and Ubaldo Jimenez to improve in the weeks ahead.
 

Andrew B. Fielding - USA TODAY Sports http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2011/06/29/12_20110629171226586_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2011/06/29/12_20110629171226586_107_80.JPG
MLB 49 43 MLB's midseason report card 29946602 C: Texas Rangers, AL West C%3A+Texas+Rangers%2C+AL+West MLB

Last season, the Rangers won the pennant, and over the winter they added Adrian Beltre, who's a power bat and also the best defensive third baseman in baseball. It should all add up to a comfortable lead in the division. Instead, the Rangers are bogged down in a four-team race. Texas is the favorite going forward, but their injuries and struggles have kept things interesting in the West.

Thomas Campbell - USA TODAY Sports http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2011/06/29/11_20110629171221584_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2011/06/29/11_20110629171221584_107_80.JPG
MLB 49 43 MLB's midseason report card 29946606 C: Zack Greinke, NL Central C%3A+Zack+Greinke%2C+NL+Central MLB

One of the signature additions of the winter has, thus far, been something of a disappointment. Greinke has exceptionally strong peripherals: 80 whiffs in 62.1 innings and a strikeout-to-walk ratio that would comfortably lead the majors if he had a qualifying number of innings. On the other hand, he's not keeping runs off the board, which is sort of the point. Part of it is bad luck, and part of it is bad defense. Even so, if the Brewers are to earn a bit of separation in the division, then Greinke needs to whittle down that ERA.
 

Anthony Gruppuso - USA TODAY Sports http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2011/06/29/10_20110629171219582_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2011/06/29/10_20110629171219582_107_80.JPG
MLB 49 43 MLB's midseason report card 29946601 C: AL Central C%3A+AL+Central MLB

Yes, the division itself earns this mark. Why? Uninspired mediocrity, of course. Consider how the Central has fared against teams from outside the division. The AL Central is a cumulative 20 games below .500 this season with a cumulative run differential of -119. Heck, the AL Central has thus far even managed a losing record in interleague play (10 games under .500 vs. the NL this season), which is something that simply doesn't happen to an American League division these days. On second thought, maybe the Central deserves an F ...

Peter G. Aiken - USA TODAY Sports http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2011/06/29/9_20110629171217580_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2011/06/29/9_20110629171217580_107_80.JPG
MLB 49 43 MLB's midseason report card 29946604 C: Roy Oswalt, NL East C%3A+Roy+Oswalt%2C+NL+East MLB

Oswalt hasn't necessarily had a bad season, but he's fallen well short of his fellow travelers in the Phab Phour. As well, Oswalt's lingering back issues figure to sideline him until well into August. The Phils have a reasonably comfortable lead, so that means they can allow Oswalt to take his time. They'll need him in fighting shape if they're to satisfy those "belt and the title or bust" expectations.

Mark J. Rebilas - USA TODAY Sports http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2011/06/29/8_20110629171217579_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2011/06/29/8_20110629171217579_107_80.JPG
MLB 49 43 MLB's midseason report card 29946600 C: Boston Red Sox, AL East C%3A+Boston+Red+Sox%2C+AL+East MLB

Harsh assessment for a team on pace for 93 wins? Perhaps. But considering the substantial talent already in place combined with offseason acquisitions like Adrian Gonzalez and Carl Crawford, second place, even in the exacting AL East, isn't enough. Defenders will point to the Sox's record since that 2-10 start, but — breaking news — that 2-10 start counts.

David Butler II - USA TODAY Sports http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2011/06/29/7_20110629171211575_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2011/06/29/7_20110629171211575_107_80.JPG
MLB 49 43 MLB's midseason report card 29946599 A+: Arizona Diamondbacks, NL West A%2B%3A+Arizona+Diamondbacks%2C+NL+West MLB

The Snakes are this season's surprise contenders in the NL. Over the winter, new GM Kevin Towers set about reconstructing a relief corps that in 2010 was, without exaggeration, one of the worst bullpens ever. A balanced offense and a better-than-expected rotation are also helping 'Zona defy expectations. And Justin Upton is well on his way to super-stardom.
 

Matt Kartozian - USA TODAY Sports http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2011/06/29/6_20110629171211576_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2011/06/29/6_20110629171211576_107_80.JPG
MLB 49 43 MLB's midseason report card 29946596 A+: Jered Weaver, AL West A%2B%3A+Jered+Weaver%2C+AL+West MLB

If the season ended today, Weaver would deserve the AL Cy Young Award. At this writing, Weaver leads the league in ERA, parked-adjusted ERA and games started. As well, he ranks second in innings and third in strikeouts. Given Weaver's recent body of work, it's time to start thinking of Weaver as an ace of the first order.

Kirby Lee/Image of Sport - USA TODAY Sports http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2011/06/29/5_20110629171157571_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2011/06/29/5_20110629171157571_107_80.JPG
MLB 49 43 MLB's midseason report card 29946597 A+: Pittsburgh Pirates, NL Central A%2B%3A+Pittsburgh+Pirates%2C+NL+Central MLB

The Buccos, famously, have not enjoyed a winning season since way back yonder in 1992. But right now they're on pace for just that, and they're doing so directly on the heels of a 105-loss season, their worst such mark in almost 60 years. Not only is a winning campaign possible in 2011, but, given the native weaknesses of the division, so is legitimate contention. The Pirates are slowly building a winning organization. Believe it.

Charles LeClaire - Getty Images http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2011/06/29/4_20110629171157573_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2011/06/29/4_20110629171157573_107_80.JPG
MLB 49 43 MLB's midseason report card 29946598 A+: Miguel Cabrera, AL Central A%2B%3A+Miguel+Cabrera%2C+AL+Central MLB

His criminal misdeeds of the spring notwithstanding, Cabrera is enjoying an outstanding 2011. In the AL, Cabrera ranks second to Jose Bautista in OPS, and he's on pace for 41 doubles, 30 spanks and 122 walks. He's an ideal middle-of-the-order hitter, and he's a big reason why the Tigers are the favorites to win the division.

Rick Osentoski - USA TODAY Sports http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2011/06/29/3_20110629171157572_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2011/06/29/3_20110629171157572_107_80.JPG
MLB 49 43 MLB's midseason report card 29946594 A+: Brian McCann, NL East A%2B%3A+Brian+McCann%2C+NL+East MLB

Has Brian McCann been the best player in the National League this season? One can make the case. McCann has done nothing but produce since he arrived in the majors, and in 2011 he's crafting his finest season. At present, McCann, an underrated defensive catcher, is hitting .317 AVG/.391 OBP/.533 SLG. Given Joe Mauer's issues in Minnesota, McCann has emerged as the top catcher in baseball, and he just mind wind up as the NL MVP.

Troy Taormina - USA TODAY Sports http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2011/06/29/2_20110629171157570_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2011/06/29/2_20110629171157570_107_80.JPG
MLB 49 43 MLB's midseason report card 29946593 A+: Tampa Bay Rays, AL East A%2B%3A+Tampa+Bay+Rays%2C+AL+East MLB

The Rays are within hailing distance of first place in the toughest division, and they have one of the best records in all of baseball. Perhaps that's not surprising given Tampa Bay's recent history. However, consider that over the winter they lost, among others, Carl Crawford, Matt Garza, Jason Bartlett, Carlos Pena and pretty much every useful reliever from the 2010 squad. Yet here they are.

Jeff Griffith - USA TODAY Sports http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2011/06/29/1_20110629171156568_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2011/06/29/1_20110629171156568_107_80.JPG
MLB 49 43 MLB's midseason report card 29946595 Baseball's midseason grades Baseball%27s+midseason+grades MLB

As we are told from infancy, everything in life is mostly reducible to three categories: rousing successes, uninspired mediocrities and abject failures. Sure, some other hues populate the spectrum, but that's how we generally keep score in this, our bizarre existence. In scholastic circles, we symbolize these three labels with the A+, the C and the eternally dreaded F-.

In baseball, as in life, no? Indeed, some thing — a team, a player, an exec, a corps — in each and every division can be classified as a rousing success, an uninspired mediocrity or an abject failure. Yep: A+, C, F-. So let the division-by-division "report carding" begin ...

— Dayn Perry

The Canadian Press, Darren Calabrese - http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2011/06/29/perryintro_20110629171157569_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2011/06/29/perryintro_20110629171157569_107_80.JPG
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http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2013/11/12/PI_20131112025841974_136_102.JPG Athletes and auctions Sports figures auctioning big-ticket memorabi... Sports figures auctioning big-ticket memorabilia, including Gold Gloves, World Series rings and game-worn uniforms. Turns out you can own some pretty hefty pieces of sports history . . . but you’ll need a pretty hefty wad of cash to get in on the action. Nov 12, 2013 7:02 AM ET 1 3 /cbk/lists/athletes-sports-figures-auctioned-big-ticket-memorabilia-world-series-rings-cy-young-awards-jerseys-101612
http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2013/06/07/060613-MLB-Yasiel-Puig-PI-AA_20130607011200341_136_102.JPG The phenoms of 2013 2013's rookies and first-year players full of... 2013's rookies and first-year players full of phenoms making a crop that is the best in years, including Yasiel Puig, Evan Gattis, Wil Myers, Gerrit... These guys have big hype or big numbers -- or both. Either way, this rookie class appears to be something special. Nov 3, 2013 9:56 PM ET 1 3 /mlb/lists/2013-rookies-first-year-players-phenoms-best-in-years-yasiel-puig-evan-gattis-wil-myers-gerrit-cole-hyun-jin-ryu-061713
http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2013/09/27/092713-MLB-RED-SOX-ORTIZ-PEDROIA-BRADLEY-JR-CELEBRATE-DC-PI_201309272311548_136_102.JPG MLB playoff team Power Rankings Shawn Ramsey ranks the 10 major league playof... Shawn Ramsey ranks the 10 major league playoff teams 1 through 10. Boston made quite a turnaround from last season, but can the Sox conclude the year with their third title since 2004? Oct 2, 2013 3:10 AM ET 1 3 /mlb/lists/playoff-team-mlb-power-rankings-red-sox-cardinals-braves-dodgers-oakland-as-100113
http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2012/12/02/wallace2_20121202145912105_136_102.JPG Most Embarrassing Sports Records Most Embarrassing Sports Records Most Embarrassing Sports Records Most Embarrassing Sports Records Oct 1, 2013 7:23 AM ET 1 3 /boxing/lists/Most_Embarrassing_Sports_Records