Complete 2016 MLB Awards Predictions

Ground Rule Triple


We’ve wrapped up our awards predictions, so one final time, I’d like to present Ground Rule Triple’s complete 2016 MLB Awards predictions:

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Final 2016 NL MVP Update

Ground Rule Triple

Screen Shot 2016-07-16 at 10.07.50 AM

I think it’s clear that the favorite for the NL MVP is 2015 NL Rookie of the Year Kris Bryant. He’s led the Cubs to over a 100 wins in their quest for a World Series title. Making a leap from Rookie of the Year to MVP is special in itself, as we’ve seen Trout and Harper both do it recently, but to do it in back-to-back seasons would be extremely remarkable. However, there are some other worthy candidates that deserve recognition.

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Born from Scandal: The History of the Most Valuable Player Award



Presentation of the 1913 Chalmers Trophy. Winner Jake Daubert is dressed for the occasion. His teammates look thrilled.


Hugh Chalmers (b. 1873) was that most authentic American construct: The brazen, huckster industrialist. Part Henry Ford, part P.T. Barnum, the self-made Chalmers began his career at the age of 14 as an office boy at the National Cash Register Company; by the time he was 35, he owned an eponymous automobile manufacturer, the Chalmers Motor Company, renowned for building “medium-priced” cars aimed at a burgeoning and aspirant middle class.

The charismatic Chalmers was a born salesman who saturated newspapers with ads for his cars (“Not How Large but How Good” was a tagline). He sponsored road races and exhibitions to showcase his merchandise, and became something of an authority on marketing and promotion. He was a popular speaker on the Chamber of Commerce circuit, giving countless talks on the art of selling, which he described as “simply influencing the human mind.” His speeches were reprinted in newspapers, advertising books, and educational pamphlets. 

Which is to say, Chalmers gave a lot of thought – a lot of thought – to how he might sell his cars to people who might not have known they wanted one. 

The automobile man was also a baseball fan, and keenly aware of the sport’s immense and growing popularity in the early years of the 20th century (he was fond of peppering his speeches with baseball metaphors and imagery). In 1910, he hatched a marketing campaign that would dominate the summer headlines and become the progenitor of the modern MVP award:

“Fans all over the country are turning their attention to the battle which is being waged between the leading batters of the big leagues for a motor car, which has been offered for the batting championship this season.”–Milwaukee Journal, August 25, 1910

The motor car on offer was a Chalmers-Detroit Model 30. The man doing the offering was Hugh Chalmers.


Read the full story at Plate Coverage

Foul Call: Jim Joyce Ruling Exposes Flaw in Major League Baseball Umpire Judgment Calls

I am not at all a fan of  many Major League Baseball umpires. I especially dislike Jim Joyce and would love to see him leave the game. I’m a lifelong Tigers fan and the image of him blowing a call that cost Tigers starter Armando Galarraga his perfect game is still very fresh in my memory. So when he makes a foul call, I tend to jump all over him.

September 2016 gave me another reason to dislike Joyce. I fell for a “foul ball” call by Joyce. Joyce, behind the dish during a Houston Astros – Cleveland Indians game was brutally maligned on Twitter for a wild pitch call during a Lonnie Chisenhall at-bat. People, including well-respected reporters all jumped on the “Bash Joyce” bandwagon. I am embarrassed to admit my own distaste for the man colored my response too…until I went to the official Major League Baseball rule book. Then I changed my mind. Kind of.

It was on September 7, 2016.

This is the play that awaken the disdain:


Houston Astros hurler David Paulino threw a pitch into the dirt. The ball hit about a foot in front of the plate and bounced up. Chisenhall, the Indians’ batter, checked his swing and the ball caromed off to the left of the catcher.



Tigers GM: We Will Get Younger and Cut Payroll

Ground Rule Triple


Tigers GM Al Avila had his end-of-the-season press conference today and addressed his offseason plans. Avila stated that the Tigers “want to get younger, want to get leaner, want to run the organization without having to go over [their] means, want to stay competitive, but at the same time, this organization has been working way above its means for some time”.

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How Josh Tomlin Dominated the Blue Jays in Gm 2 of ALCS




If you were like me, you were probably looking forward to watching the Toronto Blue Jays take the mound against Cleveland starter Josh Tomlin in Game 2 of the ALCS. After all, in Game 1, Corey Kluber was frustrating because he would allow some hits and chances for the Blue Jays to score, but, he managed to shut them down repeatedly. He bent, but did not break. He pitched like an ace. That’s why we were licking our chops at a chance to face a guy who was decidedly not an ace.


Entering the postseason, Tomlin posted a 13-9 record with 4.40 ERA, a 4.88 FIP, and most enticing of all, a HR rate of 1.86/9 innings. He looked to be the kind of guy that the Blue Jays could light up. Home runs have been a problem for Tomlin in 2016- he gave up 36 of them in the regular season. The Toronto Blue Jays live by the home run- hitting 221 of them in 2016. In the ALDS, we saw just how much they relied on it.





Milwaukee Brewers Research Interview – Lew Krausse

As I started doing research for my Milwaukee Brewers book, I was grateful that Lew Krausse from the original 1970 team took the time to answer some questions about his career.

Lew Krausse was born on April 25, 1943 in Media, Pennsylvania.  His father Lew Sr. was a baseball pitcher and that certainly influenced the younger Krausse in making a career choice.



Asdrubal Cabrera’s Drastic Improvement vs. Fastballs Turned His 2016 Season Around

New York Mets shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera has been with the organization for just one season, but he’s instantly become a fan favorite. A strong April helped start his tenure on a positive note, but it was an epic late-season surge that instantly brings a smile to every Mets fan.

It’s interesting how one player transformed from being the biggest rally killer to the team’s most dependable run producer, but that’s a microcosm of the Mets’ 2016 performance.

His turnaround can be credited toward a number of things, but there was one specific area that tells a lot of the story.


Report: Toronto Blue Jays Look to Bring Slugging Duo Back

According to a recent report, the Toronto Blue Jays will make efforts to retain the services of Edwin Encarnacion and Jose Bautista.




If the Toronto Blue Jays were not comfortable with extending Edwin Encarnacion before the season started, perhaps they would be now that he’s put up some impressive MVP type numbers. Or, perhaps his clutch postseason hitting has tipped the scales in his favor. Whichever it is, the club certainly has to be thinking long and hard about ponying up the dough for Edwin.


Jon Heyman says that the club plans on making qualifying offers to both Edwin and Jose Bautista (more on him in a bit), assuming the new collective bargaining agreement allows for one. That is not much of a surprise. The team would certainly offer up the one year deal in the hopes of retaining the players or them rejecting the nearly $17M in favor of free agency, which would net the club two picks in the next draft. So, the QO is not such a difficult decision.





Final AL MVP Update

Ground Rule Triple


There are a lot of worthy candidates this year for the AL MVP candidate. At the end of the season, let’s take a look at how they rank in AL statistics. 

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