Longreads

Vlad Guerrero Jr. is trying to live up to his famous name
by Robert Sanchez
Now Baseball America’s new No. 2 prospect, Junior is not only taking the next step up the Blue Jays’ ladder, but he’s also beginning to burnish his legacy in baseball — and at home.

A Country in Turmoil: Venezuelan MLB Players Finding it Impossible to Ignore Trouble at Home, Part I
by Alan Saunders, Pirates Prospects
This is part one of a multi-part series on the current political climate in Venezuela, and how it impacts players in the majors and minors.

A Country in Turmoil: Getting Out of Venezuela is Difficult For Minor Leaguers and Their Families, Part II
by Brian Peloza, Pirates Prospects
This is part one of a multi-part series on the current political climate in Venezuela, and how it impacts players in the majors and minors.

The Oral History of Michael Jordan’s Minor League Baseball Career
by Rob Neyer, Complex
Terry Francona, former teammates, opposing pitchers, and minor league executives recall how Jordan almost made himself into a major leaguer.

“The Art of Letting Go”
by Mina Kimes, ESPN
In American baseball, flipping your bat is frowned upon. In South Korea, it’s an art.

Pebble Hunting
by Sam Miller
Baseball’s Greatest Hoax

Mariano Rivera’s a true Yankee, almost mythical in his dominance
by Joe Posnanski, Sports Illustrated
There is a Yankee mythology that sustains New York fans and drives everybody else crazy: To play for the New York Yankees, you need to have a certain quality…

The Best Player You Never Saw
by Michael McKnight
In clubhouses from Class A to the majors, even superstars such as Albert Pujols still speak in awe of the promise of Brian Cole.

The Greatest Night in Chicago
Relive Game 7 of the World Series through the eyes of the Cubs faithful who gathered near Wrigley Field, as captured by photographer Jon Lowenstein.

‘Maximum tension, minimum release’: why baseball produces so many brawls
by Allen Barra
For a non-contact sport, baseball appears to involve plenty of fights. What is it about the game that produces confrontations?

From Cuba With Heat
by Jordan Ritter Conn, Grantland
Marlins rookie pitcher Jose Fernandez on his journey from Cuban defector to MLB All-Star

The Steroid Hunt
by Bryan Curtis, Grantland
We know what MLB players were doing during the steroid era. Here’s what baseball writers did.

Getting Mike Trout to 168.4 WAR
by August Fagerstrom, Fan Graphs
And what Trout’s done through his first four seasons is unprecedented. Already, he’s arguably accomplished more than any player in history through his age-23 season.

I Was a Toronto Blue Jay
by Tom Verducci, Sports Illustrated
In five days as a major leaguer, the author saw the splendors of baseball—and its hard reality—from the best perspective: inside the game

SB Nation Reviews: Barry Bonds
by Grant Brisbee
10.0: Performance, 10.0: Style, 10.0 Overall

The Hell-Raising, Cocaine-Snorting ’86 Mets: Craziest Team in Major League Baseball History
by Robert Silverman, The Daily Beast
They hoovered rails of coke, destroyed airplanes, and wreaked havoc. Yes, the 1986 New York Mets were the wildest team ever—and the City of New York loved them for it.

I Covered The Braves For A Newspaper That Didn’t Exist
Phil Braun, Deadspin
When my sportswriter friend asked me, back in September of 2000, if I wanted to join him at an Atlanta Braves game that he was working, my first thought was, “That sounds fun!”

A League Of Their Own’ stands the test of time
by ESPN staff
On its 25th anniversary, an oral history of how director Penny Marshall made a “chick sports flick” that impacted the careers of Geena Davis and Tom Hanks, and created some of Hollywood’s most quotable lines.

 

Nearing 70, Bill Lee remains the ‘Spaceman’
Kevin Paul Dupont
Bill Lee will turn 70 next month, plans to pitch again next summer, of course, and calls himself a Zen Buddhist Rastafarian who seeks out the wonder in each day, provided it doesn’t happen to find him first.

‘Yankees Suck! Yankees Suck!’
by Amos Barshad, Grantland
The twisted, true story of the drug-addled, beer-guzzling hardcore punks who made the most popular T-shirts in Boston history

What do you think of Ted Williams now?
By Richard Ben Cramer
Regarded as perhaps the finest piece of sportswriting on record, the furious saga of teddy ballgame — from boy to man and near death — is an unmatchable remembrance for an American icon.

On the meaning of that wild and truly glorious seventh inning
by Stephen Marche
I’ve watched the seventh inning maybe 30 times by now. The number sounds high, but if I’m being honest, it’s probably low.

The Curious Case of Sidd Finch
by George Plimpton, Sports Illustrated
The Met front office is reluctant to talk about Finch. The fact is, they know very little about him. He has had no baseball career. Most of his life has been spent abroad, except for a short period at Harvard University.