Lost in the Joycean drama: Austin Jackson made an incredible catch

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If it weren’t for the bad call by Jim Joyce we’d definitely be talking about this more: Austin Jackson made an absolutely incredible catch for the first out in the ninth inning of Armando Galarraga’s non-perfecto.

Check out the video here.  Mark Grudzielanek smacked it to the deepest part of Comerica Park — left-center — Jackson ranged after it forever and made an over-the-shoulder catch that was seven shades of spectacular.  Though not quite as spectacular as the catch DeWayne Wise made in Mark Buehrle’s perfect game last year — which was a good eight or nine shades of awesome — it belongs in the same conversation.

Here’s hoping that Jackson fares better than Wise in the long run, however.  He got stuck in AAA with the Phillies this year and got so fed up that he exercised an out-clause in his contract today and is now a minor league free agent.

But it was an amazing catch from Jackson, that’s for sure.

2017 Preview: The American League Central

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For the past few weeks we’ve been previewing the 2017 season. Here, in handy one-stop-shopping form, is our package of previews from the American League Central

Do the Indians have a weakness? Do the Tigers and Royals have one more playoff push in them or do they have to start contemplating rebuilds? The White Sox and Twins are rebuilding, but do either of them have a chance to be remotely competitive?

As we sit here in March, the answers are “not really,” “possibly,” and “not a chance.” There are no games that count this March, however, so they’re just guesses. But educated ones! Here are the links to our guesses and our education for all of the clubs of the AL Central:

Cleveland Indians
Detroit Tigers
Kansas City Royals
Chicago White Sox
Minnesota Twins

2017 Preview: The National League East

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For the past few weeks we’ve been previewing the 2017 season. Here, in handy one-stop-shopping form, is our package of previews from the National League East

The Washington Nationals crave a playoff run that doesn’t end at the division series. The Mets crave a season in which they don’t have a press conference about an injured pitcher. The Marlins are trying to put the nightmare of the end of the 2016 behind them. The Phillies and Braves are hoping to move on from the “lose tons of games” phase of their rebuilds and move on to the “hey, these kids can play!” phase.

There is a ton of star power in the NL East — Harper, Scherzer, Cespedes, Syndergaard, Stanton, Freeman — some great young talent on ever roster and, in Ichiro and Bartolo, the two oldest players in the game. Maybe the division can’t lay claim to the best team in baseball, but there will certainly be some interesting baseball in the division.

Here’s how each team breaks down:

Washington Nationals
New York Mets
Miami Marlins
Philadelphia Phillies
Atlanta Braves