The World Series is upon us and wouldn’t you know it, there are no more MLBbro players left to play this season! The only representative in the October classic is Houston Astros manager, Dusty Baker, who is four wins from cleaning up the franchise’s reputation and finalizing the last goal on his iconic resume with his first World Series title as a manager.
But that doesn’t mean that MLBbro.com can’t get started on next year with three potential superstars that are oozing with talent and built to turn baseball into must-see TV next season.
Jazz “The Bahamian Blur” Chisholm:
The Miami Marlins franchise remains one of the most overlooked pro franchises in sports today. Why? Because in sports, a team has to have a big-time name to attract fans and national attention. Winning helps too and despite owning two World Series championships, the Marlins have mostly had losing seasons while going through name, managerial, front office and philosophical changes that keep the team without a selling point to the fanbase.
MLBbro Jazz Chisholm aka “The Bahamian Blur” is the first player in the Marlins franchise in years that will make people leave their homes, pay for parking, buy a ticket and watch the games. This guy alone could lift the blackout in Miami when it comes to baseball on television. While Chisolm is still developing as a player, his presence alone brings a certain level of energy and relevance that resonates with local fans and the younger generation. The charismatic baller does have major game and if he stays injury free should be a shoo-in to make the NL All-Star squad next season.
With the Marlins ownership being notorious for ignoring big name free agents while letting their own budding talent leave for bigger paydays, this MLBbro is the last man standing for a team that is last on the sports priority list in South Beach.
When the developers of the “MLB The Show 22 select a player as a part of the “Faces of the Franchises” section of a video game and produce the recreation of his Euro Step home run celebration, it’s a clear sign that Chisholm has arrived to potential superstar status.
“Money” Michael Harris II
This MLBro rookie has been so dominant in such a short time, he’ll get two different analysis styles.
First let’s do the Hollywood version (In 30 for 30 voice) …
What if I told you that there was this young player that grew up less than an hour from Truist Park admiring Andruw Jones and Chipper Jones, who gets called up in the middle of the season and won the NL Rookie of the Year Award?
Now let’s talk about reality…
It only took 29 games for Michael Harris II to shoot to the top of the list as the best rookie in baseball. His high batting average is remarkable considering he SKIPPED Triple A baseball and was called to the roster on May 31st. If he does officially take the Rookie of the Year award, he sits next to Willie McCovey as the only award winners with such a small percentage of service time.
Not only that, but Harris II has made sure that no one gets selective memory about the consistency he’s displayed. Our MLBbro collected three NL Rookie of the Month awards in four months including the last month of the season with a batting average of .324, six home runs, 19 RBI and five doubles. His defense is all-world too. Expect some Gold Glove level defense in the future with a rocket for an arm that would make Bo Jackson proud!
The Atlanta Braves didn’t waste time locking Harris up long term once it was obvious that he was a special player with ties to the community, that could be a face of the franchise for years to come. In August, Harris, a product of MLB’s diversity programs (Breakthrough Series) inked an eight-year extension worth $72 million, with a two-year club option that could push the deal to 10-years, $102 million. With season averages of .297 at the plate, 19 home runs and 64 RBI in less than a full season of work, yesterday’s price has already gone up for Money Mike’s services.
Triston “Dr. Sticks” McKenzie
At the beginning of the season, this MLBbro was called “Dr. Sticks” due to his ultra-skinny 6-foot-5, 165-pound frame. The questions reporters used to throw at him often focused on his physical composition and not his golden arm.
“I don’t know how I stay so slender. I feel like I eat a decent amount. I think it’s just how my body works. I believe baseball is very taxing. I feel like I burn through a lot of what I eat. I’d say throwing the way I do is me learning my body and learning what makes me feel good and being consistent day in and day out.”
By midseason, everybody in baseball was talking about the generational arm talent that McKenzie possessed as he devastated hitters with his repertoire, reminiscent of legendary MLBbros such as Dwight Gooden, Dave Stewart and Bullet Bob Gibson.
McKenzie completed his final start of the season allowing one earned run and registering four strikeouts without a walk, which continued a streak of 11 consecutive starts of allowing three runs or less matched only by co-ace Shane Bieber for the team lead in 2022. McKenzie’s ERA of 2.96 made him the first Cleveland pitcher under the age of 24 to boast an ERA under 3.00 since the Hall of Famer Dennis Eckersley back in 1975.
The New York Yankees fell into a 2-0 hole in the ALCS with a 3-2 loss to the Houston Astros on Thursday. It’s really easy to see why the series has been so one-sided. Bottom line, the Yankees offense has fallen off a cliff.
In Game 2, Aaron Judge, who has struggled mightily at the plate this postseason, came close to hitting a two-run homer in the 8th inning that would have turned the season around. But the explanation by Yankees manager Aaron Boone on Judge’s near home run may give some insight concerning how desperate things are getting as the series goes back to the “Big Apple”.
Aaron Boone via ESPN…
“I think the roof open kind of killed us,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said, later adding “I didn’t think like he smoked it like no doubter, but it felt like his homers to the right”
That’s the problem with the Yankees bats this postseason. Instead of putting the ball in play and trying to put runners on base, they are trying to win games with the long ball. That works in the regular season, but rarely in the playoffs when you are facing the best pitchers from the best teams in the world. Now the Yankees have shown that it can be done in the deciding game of the ALDS against the Cleveland Guardians. That’s when Giancarlo Stanton, yet another MLBbro, sent the Yanks to the championship series with this three-run homer in the 1st inning of Game 5.
Giancarlo Stanton made his 3-run homer look too easy 😱
The New York Yankees and their fans may be frustrated over the lack of hitting, but the problem is that this is nothing new. In the regular season, the Yanks have been able to survive with this formula that would make the late Baltimore Orioles manager Earl Weaver proud. They live and die by the long ball. The Yankees were first in the American League in home runs with 254, buoyed by Judge’s record total of 62. However, they were only tied for 16th in total hits with 1308 which places them in the BOTTOM half of the league.
Stanton was the first to address the elephant in the room after a four-hit performance in Game 2 via MLB.com…
“We’ve got to shorten up a little bit and put the ball in play,” …” You never know what can happen if you put the ball in play.”
While our MLBbro deserves credit for calling out the issues of the Yankees offense, he’s part of the problem. Despite hitting two home runs in the last series against Cleveland, his bat has been M.I.A. as well hitting only 4-for-24 this postseason with a double and six RBI.
Despite the fact the Yankees have dominated at home with a 57-24 record, they have picked an inopportune time against the wrong team to have historic hitting struggles. The team’s batting average has bottomed out to .138 in two ALCS games with an unfathomable 30 strikeouts.
Can Stanton turn this around? MLBro.com thinks it’s a definite possibility as our first lady of sports, Rachel Hill discusses here.
Yankees Need MLBbro Giancarlo Stanton To Be At His Best Against Houston Astros In ALCS
With Aaron Hicks out for the season and Aaron Judge still trying to find his rhythm, it is the perfect time for our MLBbro to add substance to analytical stats that could put him in the Mr. October conversation. He currently has the highest HR/AB ratio in MLB postseason history with 11 homers and 23 RBI in 25 games.
On paper, Stanton can do this. Let’s look at the highlights on his resume, shall we?
In 2022, he hit 31 home runs and drove in 78 runs, despite being a down year with injuries and slumps in periods throughout the season.
His 378 home runs put him on the fast track to the 500 HR club if he stays healthy.
His 59 homers with the Marlins back in 2017 show that he’s a superstar that could explode at any moment and that he’s due.
Then if the MLBbro combination of Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge get it together at the same time, the Yankees can buck history and win this series.
The Yankees are 28-2 when both homer in the same game
Game 5 in the ALDS marked the 4th time the duo homered in the same postseason game. Meaning these two can bring “Houston…we have a problem” cliches for the rest of the ALCS.
They still have five more games left to make it happen.
The Major League Baseball season is starting to wind down as the ALCS and NLCS matchups start to take shape. While the World Series is being showcased in front of fans around the world, teams not preoccupied with postseason play are behind the scenes making tough decisions to put themselves in championship contention or just taking the necessary next steps. Usually, the first decision for the bottom-feeding teams is what to do with the manager situation.
There’s not a year where MLB managers get dismissed after spending time on the hot seat. Sometimes really good managers who come up short of lofty expectations get the pink slip. The most recent manager who is facing the possibility of termination, despite huge success is Los Angeles Dodgers skipper Dave Roberts. Roberts is fresh off being upset in the NLDS by the San Diego Padres, following a franchise-record 111 wins. Even though Roberts made history by passing Jim Leyland in postseason wins with 45, the unexpected loss raised questions as to whether he would return next year.
According to The Los Angeles Times, the Dodgers expect to retain Roberts through next season even though the team has not officially spoken publicly on the matter. The MLBbro manager had signed a three-year extension through 2025 on the strength of a 653-381 regular season record, six NL West Division titles, three National League pennants and a World Series title.
But there are six other managers who already have been fired.
The list includes Joe Maddon (Los Angeles Angels, replaced by Phil Nevin) and Joe Girardi (Philadelphia Phillies, Rob Thompson signed to two-year deal day before NLDS). Other openings are still up for grabs; Charlie Montoyo (Toronto Blue Jays), Mike Matheny (Kansas City Royals), Don Mattingly (Miami Marlins) and Chris Woodward (Texas Rangers).
Also, with Tony LaRussa being forced to leave the Chicago White Sox for medical reasons, there is a litany of opportunities for potential MLBbro managers next season. The aforementioned Dave Roberts and Houston Astros manager, Dusty Baker have been success stories with Baker still chasing championship gold this season.
But here are three MLBbro OGs who deserve a chance in one of these teams’ dugouts next year.
A special shout-out goes to MLBbro.com’s Managing Editor, J.R. Gamble for this candidate. He might be one of the best talent developers in major League Baseball who no one knows about. After finishing his career as a player, he served as a special assistant to the Atlanta Braves GM as well as working as the third base, outfield and base running coach. He also managed the Houston Astros through a rebuild and cultivated and developed many of the young stars that have become the cornerstone the Astros’ consistent success the past half decade.
Porter’s insight, baseball intelligence and ability to implement analytics into a deep understanding of the human element of the game and his reputation as a talent-developer and team constructor, makes Porter a great candidate for any talented club looking to elevate to the next level.
Struggling teams that are looking for a manager need one with an eye for talent. That Bo Porter has. Speaking of that coaching talent, Porter is currently MLB’s Director of Coaching, and he ran the Major League Baseball Players Association free agent camp during spring training back in 2018.
He also works directly with MLB’s diversity programs, which have produced the likes of Hunter Green and Michael Harris II, among other future stars. In addition, he recently opened the Bo Porter Academy, a school geared towards producing great, healthy young men and baseball players.
The six degrees of separation definitely fits here as Ron Washington was the one who replaced Bo Porter as the third base coach for the Atlanta Braves. He is one of the leaders on the bench, who helped the Braves win the 2021 World Series. His experience and influence is one of the main reasons that Michael Harris II is the odds-on favorite for NL Rookie of the Year and his infield instruction with his players is legendary.
If there is an MLBbro managerial candidate who deserves a shot at a position next year, it’s Washington. He has a wealth of World Series experience, having led the Texas Rangers to back-to-back World Series in 2010 and 2011.
All the teams listed are in need of a manager who can develop talent for the future. This MLBbro great is perfect for the job.
People remember Willie Randolph as the long-time second baseman of the New York Yankees who played for numerous teams throughout the late 70s to the early 90s.
But our MLBbro icon was also the manager for the crosstown rival, New York Mets back in 2005. The next season he led the Mets to the NL East Division title and a seven-game marathon with the St. Louis Cardinals in the NLCS before finally falling. Randolph holds the distinction of being the first manager in MLB history to improve his team’s record by at least 12 games in his first two seasons. Which makes it strange that he has not been offered a job since he was fired in New York in 2008. It’s been 14 years since Willie Randolph was named the 18th manager in Mets history. Randolph certainly has the goods, and he’s proved he can perform under the immense pressure of the NY City lights, on the field or from the bench.
With MLB wanting more Black and brown players in baseball, the game has to give more opportunities to MLBbro managers who can cultivate and develop that talent. These candidates are more than qualified and deserve a shot.
The New York Yankees offense disappeared in a surprising 4-2 extra innings loss to the Cleveland Guardians. Outside of a two-run shot from Giancarlo Stanton in the first inning, the rest of the roster had trouble putting bat on ball. The Guardians struck out 15 Yankees in the game. Notably, Oswald Cabrera had three Ks in a 0-5 performance.
With the series going back to Cleveland, it’s time to start asking the question…Is it time to give MLBro Aaron Hicks a chance to start again?
While the Yankees struggle for offense in this ALDS matchup against the Cleveland Guardians, Aaron Hicks has been M.I.A. since the series started. Even though he was added to the playoff roster, the move was clearly made based more on Hicks’ potential rather than reputation or production.
MLBbro.com showcases the Black and Brown players of Major League Baseball, but we do provide realistic breakdowns on the players as well. Aaron Hicks has played underwhelming baseball during this 2022 season. Things really went south following an above-average 30 game stretch early in the season. Hicks floundered while Yankees fans were enamored with the record setting exploits of Aaron Judge.
They spent the rest of the season rolling their eyes at the struggles of Aaron Hicks. Judge surprised the baseball world with his dominance that almost landed him a Triple Crown, while Hicks disappointed everyone in what was supposed to be a potential 30/30 season. To say that he came up short is a mild understatement. His failures also broke up the only All-Black outfield in MLB (When Stanton isn’t DH).
His eight-homer, 40 RBI performance was accompanied by a .216 batting average with 109 strikeouts in 384 at bats. While Aaron Judge blocked the distractions of his contract extension, Hicks let the pressure get to him to the point where the sure-handed fielder allowed his struggles at the plate to affect his play on the field.
This incident on Derek Jeter Hall of Fame night is what probably sealed his fate and permanently cost him his job.
Then another misplay in the outfield immediately afterwards was enough for Yankees manager Aaron Boone to bench Hicks off and on for the rest of the season.
Reasons for the move?
He deserved the benching, and the Yankees fan base was all over him which was affecting his confidence and compounding his struggles.
But the issues in early September have not stopped Aaron Hicks from wondering about his future when he shared his thoughts with The New York Post after New York acquired Harrison Bader from the St. Louis Cardinals…
“I expect [Bader] to come in and start playing every day as he should,” Hicks said back then. “He got traded here to help us win. We need him to be himself to win a World Series. When I get opportunities, I’ll try to make the most of them, but it’s extremely hard when I play a game and then I’m off for three days and now there’s another outfielder out there.”
“I don’t know. The Yankees are gonna have to make a decision and I’ll wait for whatever happens. It’s not really my call.”
Our MLBbro appears to be pining for a situation like Joey Gallo, who was sent to the Los Angeles Dodgers, but even that discussion has an interesting context attached to it.
“Joey started to play better with the Dodgers and I saw on [a] podcast that [Los Angeles manager] Dave Roberts played a big part of that, with him wanting to get the most out of his players.”
“As of right now I feel the more I play, the better I’m gonna play. That’s not what’s going on right now. Things are tough in New York. I don’t have an answer. If they feel this isn’t the right fit for me, that’s their call. If I do go to another team, I know I can help them win.”
At this point, our MLBbro needs to focus on staying ready and continuing to do the work behind the scenes with his pre-game routine. Something that he has done and will probably be even more appreciated after the incident with Aroldis Chapman just before the playoffs began.
Our MLBbro may need to get ready to contribute Saturday night in Cleveland. In the 10th inning, both Bader and Cabrera struggled making plays in the field that contributed to the loss. Sometimes the answer to your problems is right there under your nose. The grass isn’t always greener on the other side, to borrow from an old cliche. Baseball is a game of streaks as we know all too well. With fellow MLBbro Aaron Judge struggling out of the gate, the Yankees may need to bring this veteran off the bench to provide some pop.
Maybe it’s time for Hicks to get hot. Hopefully, Aaron Boone doesn’t wait until it’s too late to exhaust all options.
Well, Dusty Baker and the Houston Astros are back on their postseason grind to win their first World Series championship since their infamous “sign stealing” stained one back in 2017. Let’s just say that Dusty Baker’s postseason start had some drama…in a good way of course.
Yordan Alvarez sent everyone home happy with a two-out, three-run home run to cap off a classic 8-7 win in Game 1 of the American League Division series over the Seattle Mariners. MLBbro JP Crawford helped Seattle build a lead by contributing his first postseason homer. But a managerial gaffe by Seattle manager Scott Servais turned a 7-3 Mariners lead into a heartbreaking loss.
What’s the difference between this Houston Astros team and the 2017 squad?
The manager. Dusty Baker wasn’t there.
It seems the MLBbro icon, Dusty Baker has spent his whole life playing the game of baseball. He’s been a manager for so long, most forget that he played 19 years in the big leagues for four teams. His lone World Series championship was with the Los Angeles Dodgers when the world was caught up in Fernando-mania when rookie pitcher, Fernando Valenzuela looked into the heavens and aced the New York Yankees in 1981.
Fernando Valenzuela's career resume: – 6x All-Star – 2x Silver Slugger – 1981 World Series Champ – 1981 NL Cy Young & ROY – 1986 Gold Glove Award – 1981 MLB Ks (180) & SHO (8) leader – 1986 NL Wins (21) leader – 1st to win Cy Young & ROY in same seasonpic.twitter.com/SBJXIVj5ZZ
But few players in the history of MLB have dominated the managerial profession the way Dusty Baker has. As good a player as Dusty was throughout his career, his shine as skipper will be what fans will always remember in the realms of history. Baker is the first manager to make the playoffs and win division titles with five different teams. He’s the ninth manager to win pennants in both the National and American Leagues. But there’s one honor, our MLBbro manager wants to erase from the record books…
He’s at the top of the list of managers WHO HAVE NOT won the World Series.
Even though he led the San Francisco Giants to the 2002 World Series and the Houston Astros to the 2021 World Series, his teams came up just short of the grand prize. The 2021 loss probably means more to Baker and the Astros than baseball fans realize. A victory would have brought redemption and respect back to the franchise.
Despite the franchise’s recent success culminated by a 2017 World Series win over the Los Angeles Dodgers, the eye-rolling continues not only from fans but from fellow players after Major League Baseball sanctioned the Astros for sign stealing on the base paths. How bad did this get? Check out how this year’s MLBbro MVP, Aaron Judge, felt about it after finishing second in the MVP voting in 2017 to Houston’s Jose Altuve via The New York Times in 2020…
“I was pretty mad, pretty upset,” Judge said. “To hear that you got cheated out of that opportunity, that’s tough to kind of let go.”
Judge added, “I was sick to my stomach.”
Fast forward to last week, when San Diego Padres pitcher Joe Musgrove, who was on that Astros 2017 World Series winning team showed that the embarrassment of the scandal was in-house as well.
“I still don’t feel great about wearing that ring around or telling people that I was a World Series champion on [that Astros team],” Musgrove said via The Associated Press. “I want one that feels earned and that was a true championship. So that’s the goal.”
Here’s where an MLBbro icon in Dusty Baker can make history in ways few in sports are able. He can exorcize some demons on one of the most embarrassing scandals in recent baseball history by bringing home a clean World Series championship to garner some respect for the Houston Astros.
Dusty Baker was brought in to stabilize a franchise that was supposed to sink back into oblivion. After the franchise was fined $5 million and stripped of several future top draft picks, Baker took over in 2020 and still found a way to lead the team to the ALCS in the pandemic-shortened season despite finishing the season under .500.
While most believe that the Los Angeles Dodgers will ease their way into another World Series title, the Houston Astros’ ascension to being one of the best teams in the American League has been overshadowed by the Aaron Judge record-breaking home run watch. The baseball Gods are shaping up a rematch of the 2017 World Series showdown that has been historically controversial.
If this rematch happens, the Astros have two advantages.
Sure the Dodgers have pitching, but the Astros are loaded. Justin Verlander is eyeing his second ERA title, (1.80) and has dominated all season long. With Lance McCullers Jr (2.27 ERA), Luis Garcia and Christian Javier, the Astros are top-ranked in innings pitched by their starters (940 innings) and second in ERA (2.98).
The Dodgers have been so good it covers up the closer concerns that have arisen at the end of the season. The Astros are ready.
Sure it’s easy to mention Dusty Baker in the battle of the MLBbro managers in the final series but pay attention to the aforementioned words. Dave Roberts took over an established winner and kept the winning going along. Dusty’s situation required patience and a ton of adjustments that may have saved a franchise. If it comes down to adjustments in the World Series, look for Baker to make the biggest one.
This is a huge year for Dusty Baker and the Houston Astros. Baker is not getting any younger being one of only three managers to coach past the age of 70 and this could be one of his final chances. The Astros want to be known more for raising a championship trophy and not for this infamous video…
You'll be seeing this a lot.
Jose Altuve signaling to his teammates NOT to rip off his jersey in celebration because it would "allegedly" reveal a buzzer that would go off when triggered by someone on the Astros video team.