Who's gonna have the best record in baseball this year?

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Buster Olney runs down the teams who have had the best overall record in the regular season the most times. The Yankees, nor surprisingly lead the pack with 30, the Athletics nine times, the Cardinals seven, and then a whole bunch of teams such as the Reds, Cubs and Indians did it six times.  But this is the fun part:

If you’re a believer that the Red Sox or Phillies are legit challengers
to beat out the Yankees for the best record, consider this: The Red Sox
have had or shared the best record in baseball only five times. The
Phillies have NEVER had the best record in baseball.

If Buster thinks that a history of having the best record is worth “considering” doesn’t he have to think that the A’s, Reds and Indians all stand a better shot at having the best record in baseball this year than do the Red Sox or Phillies? I mean, they’ve ACTUALLY DONE IT BEFORE.

Statistics: take with food; do not shake as contents are under pressure; wear proper eye protection at all times. 

Imagining Theo Epstein in politics

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“When Alexander saw the breadth of his domain, he wept for there were no more worlds to conquer.”

Or: “When Theo Epstein won World Series championships with the two most championship-starved franchises in baseball history, he got bored, and decided to run for the Senate or something.”

That latter bit is the premise of a Politico piece speculating that the Cubs president could go into politics one day. The story features an interview with former Obama chief strategist David Axlerod, who thinks Theo has what it takes. Mostly what he has is fame, popularity, good looks and money. No idea what his positions on issue are, but that other stuff goes a long way in politics these days.

Bonus: given what we just elected last fall, a guy who once had a little temper tantrum and dressed up in a gorilla suit is just as viable a candidate as anyone.

Another interestingly named player is promoted by the Pirates

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When you promote a player from the minors, the first and foremost consideration is whether or not he can help your ball club. But, assuming that’s taken care of, teams should really, really make it a priority to call up dudes with cool sounding names because it makes life more interesting for the rest of us.

The Pirates are doing that. The other night Dovydas Neverauskas made his big league debut. In addition to being the first Lithuanian born-and-raised player in major league history, it’s a solid, solid name. Now the Pirates are making another promotion: Gift Ngoepe.

Yep, Gift Ngoepe. He’s an infielder from South Africa, making the leap to the bigs due to David Freese‘s hamstring injury. Ngoepe, 27, was batting just .241/.308/.379 through 66 plate appearances this season with Triple-A Indianapolis, his ninth in the minors, so he’s not exactly a prospect. But man, that’s a killer name.

It’s also worth mentioning that Gift and Neverauskas were arrested together in a bar fight last August in Toledo, so there is already a good basis for some bonding here.

Good luck, Gift. Gift Ngoepe. Mr. Ngoepe. G-Ngo. Man, I could do this all day.