Baseball writers have been voting to determine league MVP award winners, under various imprints, for more than 100 years.
But only in the past 25 years have players amassed the bodies of work in the postseason to jostle with regular-season performance in the overall value conversation.
In between the Year of the Pitcher in 1968 and Miggy’s Triple Crown in 2012, the number of playoff teams increased from two to 10, while the maximum number of postseason games possible in a given year grew from seven to 43.
At the extremes, Omar Vizquel logged 86 postseason plate appearances in 1997, while Madison Bumgarner pitched 52.2 October innings in 2014. Those totals come on the heels of a six-month regular season and give modern players’ October résumés gravitas that only players for select clubs—the Yankees, Cardinals and Dodgers—could match in the days before divisional play.
Continue reading your story on the app
Continue reading your story in the magazine
OLD MEETS NEW
Brian Snitker expertly navigated the Braves to a third straight division title despite myriad pitching injuries
Focusing on the Northeast pays off for the Indians
Over the past few years, the Indians have mined the Northeast for talent. The 2020 team got big-time contributions from former college righthanders Aaron Civale (Northeastern) and James Karinchak (Bryant). Waiting in the wings are three more prospects from the region, all from high school: third baseman Nolan Jones (Bensalem, Pa.), catcher Bo Naylor (Mississauga, Ont.) and righthander Lenny Torres (Beacon, N.Y). All five of those players were signed by area scout Mike Kanen, a former Baseball America intern. BA recently spoke with Kanen about his first impressions of those players. The interview is edited for brevity.
Bobby Dickerson was integral in transforming the Padres’ infield from error-prone to October-caliber
TRUST THE TOOLS
The minor league season was lost, but dynasty players should keep the faith for these nine prospects
HISTORY IN THE MAKING: FEW TEAMS CAN MATCH THE DODGERS' DOMINANCE
The 2020 Dodgers led the National League in runs scored and fewest runs allowed.
From scouting to player development to analytics to acquisition, the Dodgers cover all the bases as baseball’s model franchise.
COAST TO COAST
Andrew Friedman has more money to play with in Los Angeles than he did in Tampa Bay, but his core principles remain unchanged— just like the results
WINTER OF DISCONTENT
The hot stove could quickly turn to deep freeze
A MODERN-DAY CRASH DAVIS
Cody Decker mashed his way into the hearts of minor league fans
A LASTING LEGACY
All-star player. Decorated manager. Ambassador for the Dominican Republic. Felipe Alou wore many hats, but above all he was a pioneer who helped pave the way for generations of Latino players.
Murray returns to MetLife
The first two quarterbacks taken in the 2019 NFL Draft could face off for the second time win Week 14. Kyler Murray is having an electric second season, and his team has a legitimate chance to make the playoffs.
The Rosen release from every angle
The Miami Dolphins’ decision to make quarterback Josh Rosen one of their cuts when they got down to the 53-player limit signified the end of an unfortunate chapter that began and ended in controversial moves.
AROUND THE NFC WEST
The NFC West division was tough enough already. But after the 49ers and Seattle Seahawks combined for three playoff victories last year — and the Los Angeles Rams also would have advanced to the postseason if the NFL’s new expanded playoff format had been implemented last year — the wild West looks even tougher this year, universally considered as the toughest division in the entire league with the Arizona Cardinals also an up-and-coming team. The NFC West promises to be a veritable battle royale this season, and here’s a look at what’s new and what’s different from last year while reviewing San Francisco’s three divisional rivals moving into the early stages of the 2020 season.
A new kind of gameday experience
As he enters his 32nd season covering 49ers football, The Niner Report’s Craig Massei has attended virtually every 49ers home game of the 21st century. But never one quite like San Francisco’s 2020 season opener against the Arizona Cardinals. Amid the fallout from historic wildfires that burned throughout Northern California, the enduring effects of the novel coronavirus pandemic and pervading issues of social justice, the game experience at Levi’s Stadium — and throughout the NFL, for that matter — promised to be uniquely different than during any other time in the team’s illustrious 75-year history. And it was. Here’s a narrative chronicling the events and atmosphere surrounding the start of the most different and strange of all 49ers seasons.
Get to know one of North America’s most iconic species and learn how to attract them.
No Shur' Thing
Latest mismanagment by HC casts doubt about his future.
Jewellery Trends after Covid-19: EMERGING TRENDS IN THE POST COVID ERA
In a post-pandemic world, nature, sustainability and design with meaning and purpose will form the crux of consumer behaviour says Reena Ahluwalia a multifaceted artist, award-winning jewellery designer and painter
Steely Canadian detective John Cardinal tackles his last ever case
Top 10 Game 6S In MLB World Series History
Not much compares to the drama and mystique of a Game 7 in the World Series - but a Game 6 is as close as it gets.