Category Archives: Team building


At the Winter Meetings following the World Series, major league teams must decide on the 40 players they want to protect in a special draft that is commonly referred to as the Rule Five Draft.

The rule is basically a good idea as it prevents teamsimages (25) from stockpiling players in their farm systems and it gives hope to minor league players who may be languishing behind a all star major leaguer playing the same position. Depending on age when they signed, players become eligible after three or four years

Historically, players such as Roberto Clemente (above) who as we know turned into the steal of the Century for the Pirates, R A Dickey (left),download (9) Dan Uggla, and Jose Bautista (below) revitalized their careers after being taken in this draft. Last year, the Rangers caught lightning in a bottle when they selected images (26)Delino Deshields who became the Texas Rookie Of The Year. For major league teams, the price of a selection is a mere $50,000…….but there’s a catch……
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If there is one thing the 2015 season demonstrated, it’s that younger (read athletically) constructed teams were the ones who played well into October. In essence, speed kills. Whether you’re talkingimages-1 about a fast ball consistently in the 95-97 mph range (Mets starters) or quick thinking and athleticism on the base paths, or swift and reliable ball tracking in the outfield (Royals on both counts)  – all winning teams (add the Cubs, Astros, and Pirates too) have speed as a common thread between them. Continue reading


All you really need to know about Matt Harvey is not the fact that he pitched eight credible inningsimages-32 for the Mets in the final game of the 2015 World Series (as the ace of any staff is expected to do)……’s the fact that he missed a mandatory TEAM workout the day before the Playoffs began. And the fact that neither the Mets organization or Harvey himself have publicly addressed the issue gives you a glimpse into the”play” on both sides.

Look, full disclosure here……..I’ve had a problem with Matt The Brat since he announced to the masses that he was the second coming of Derek Jeterimages-35 and his singular goal in life is to have as many girls as Jeter (whatever that’s supposed to mean). To make it worse, the New York media fell right into step snapping photos of him with a girl on each arm for Page Six for weeks on end. Continue reading


What is the one thing that you never hear anyone saying about the Toronto Blue Jays? It’s not their awesome lineup…..we hear plenty about that. It’s also not their lack of star power……they have plenty of that too with Bautista, Price, Tulowitski, and Encarnation. It’s not any of that. What you never hear anyone say about the Blue Jays is that they are a closely knit team. And you never hear about it because they simply don’t have one (not yet anyway).

You might recall that the Jays played a rather dismal first half of the season. Far into July, they were as many as seven games behind the Yankees. The wind had yet to catch their sails and it didn’t look like they were capable of creating a small draft themselves. Then ownership stepped in with an open checkbook and the willingness to give the team a makeover at the expense of their farm system. In came Tulo and Price and off they went as the Yankees couldn’t seem to run fast enough to get out of their way.

To be fair, often a team with a bunch of All Stars with $20 million + in yearly salaries finds it a challenge to blend together as a team. It’s also true that they haven’t been playing together as a unit for very long either.

Still, the Cubs, Royals, and Mets are clearly solidified as teams who work together to achieve a common goal. For the Royals, this is their second year with the same group of guys. In the crunch of the playoffs, good teams play with a bounce in their step. They scrounge for runs. They move runners over. They throw strikes. Toronto had none of this last night. It looks like it’s home run or bust. 

I’m not saying that the Blue Jays can’t  or won’t take it all the way. They could easily hit ten home runs over the next two games. But one thing you will not see is their team playing small ball – sometimes called Playoff Baseball. The players will always say it’s just another game we’re playing. But, it’s a different style of play that wins games at this point in the year. Good “teams” know that.

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