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Jed Hoyer on Theo leaving the Cubs: "I'll miss the daily wagers that never get paid off. I'll miss hearing about your latest 47 yd field goal attempt.
I'll miss the random mid 80's references to the Patriots or early 90's to the Celtics. I don't know what my life is going to be like without anyone comparing players to Mosi Tatupu or Acie Earl.
I'll miss calling you Al Davis once a week when you walk in the office in a sweat suit. I'll miss all the laughs, almost all at my expense.
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Customer Service. Worry Free Shopping. So where will he go? With the winter meetings going virtual, our reporters recall their favorite moments from past in-person sessions.
With Major League Baseball reducing the number of affiliated farm teams, here's a look at where things stand. The winter pitching swap could be a win-win for Chicago and Texas.
Here's what our experts make of the trade. What did L. Is LeMahieu a lock to return to the Yankees? Who's in on Springer? Passan weighs in on the hottest topics.
With baseball's offseason set to begin in earnest, we rank each club's roster and look at what work needs to be done.
Over and over again, Cooperstown has refused to admit this Black star who was neither quiet nor grateful. Teams came and went; was the first season where the league's membership was the same as the preceding season's, and only four franchises  survived to see Competitor leagues formed regularly and also disbanded regularly.
The most successful was the American Association — , sometimes called the "beer and whiskey league" for its tolerance of the sale of alcoholic beverages to spectators.
For several years, the NL and American Association champions met in a postseason championship series—the first attempt at a World Series.
The two leagues merged in as a single team NL, but the NL dropped four teams after the season. This led to the formation of the American League in under AL president Ban Johnson , and the resulting bidding war for players led to widespread contract-breaking and legal disputes.
The war between the AL and NL caused shock waves throughout the baseball world. At a meeting at the Leland Hotel in Chicago in , the other baseball leagues negotiated a plan to maintain their independence.
A new National Association was formed to oversee these minor leagues. The agreement also set up a formal classification system for minor leagues, the forerunner of today's system that was refined by Branch Rickey.
Several other early defunct baseball leagues are officially considered major leagues, and their statistics and records are included with those of the two current major leagues.
Some researchers, including Nate Silver , dispute the major-league status of the UA by pointing out that franchises came and went and that the St.
Louis club was deliberately "stacked"; the St. Louis club was owned by the league's president and it was the only club that was close to major-league caliber.
The period between and is commonly referred to as the "dead-ball era". The term also accurately describes the condition of the baseball itself.
The baseball used American rather than the modern Australian wool yarn and was not wound as tightly, affecting the distance that it would travel.
Fans were expected to throw back fouls and rare home runs. Baseballs also became stained with tobacco juice, grass, and mud, and sometimes the juice of licorice, which some players would chew for the purpose of discoloring the ball.
Also, pitchers could manipulate the ball through the use of the spitball. In use of this pitch was restricted to a few pitchers with a grandfather clause.
The adoption of the foul strike rule in the early twentieth century quickly sent baseball from a high-scoring game to one where scoring runs became a struggle.
Prior to the institution of this rule, foul balls were not counted as strikes: a batter could foul off any number of pitches with no strikes counted against him; this gave an enormous advantage to the batter.
In , the NL adopted the foul strike rule, and the AL followed suit in Baseball's popularity increased in the s and s. The season was notable for the death of Ray Chapman of the Cleveland Indians.
Chapman, who was struck in the head by a pitch and died a few hours later, became the only MLB player to die of an on-field injury, a tragedy which led directly to both leagues requiring the placing into play new, white baseballs whenever a ball became scuffed or dirty, helping bring the "dead-ball" era to an end.
Affected by the difficulties of the Great Depression , baseball's popularity had begun a downward turn in the early s. By , only two MLB teams turned a profit.
Baseball owners cut their rosters from 25 men to 23 men, and even the best players took pay cuts. Team executives were innovative in their attempts to survive, creating night games, broadcasting games live by radio and rolling out promotions such as free admission for women.
The onset of World War II created a significant shortage of professional baseball players, as more than men left MLB teams to serve in the military.
Many of them played on service baseball teams that entertained military personnel in the US or in the Pacific.
MLB teams of this time largely consisted of young men, older players, and those with a military classification of 4F , indicating mental, physical, or moral unsuitability for service.
Men like Pete Gray , a one-armed outfielder, got the chance to advance to the major leagues. However, MLB rosters did not include any black players through the end of the war.
Wartime blackout restrictions , designed to keep outdoor lighting at low levels, caused another problem for baseball. These rules limited traveling and night games to the point that the season nearly had to be canceled.
President Franklin D. Roosevelt and pleaded for the continuation of baseball during the war in hopes for a start of a new major league season.
President Roosevelt responded, "I honestly feel that it would be best for the country to keep baseball going.
There will be fewer people unemployed and everybody will work longer hours and harder than ever before. And that means that they ought to have a chance for recreation and for taking their minds off their work even more than before.
With the approval of President Roosevelt, spring training began in with few repercussions. Branch Rickey, president and general manager of the Brooklyn Dodgers, began making efforts to introduce a black baseball player to the previously all-white professional baseball leagues in the mids.
He selected Jackie Robinson from a list of promising Negro league players. In what was later referred to as "The Noble Experiment", Robinson was the first black baseball player in the International League since the s, joining the Dodgers' farm club, the Montreal Royals , for the season.
The following year, the Dodgers called up Robinson to the major leagues. On April 15, , Robinson made his major league debut at Ebbets Field before a crowd of 26, spectators, including more than 14, black patrons.
Black baseball fans began flocking to see the Dodgers when they came to town, abandoning the Negro league teams that they had followed exclusively.
Robinson's promotion met a generally positive, although mixed, reception among newspaper writers and white major league players.
Manager Leo Durocher informed his team, "I do not care if the guy is yellow or black, or if he has stripes like a fuckin' zebra. I'm the manager of this team, and I say he plays.
What's more, I say he can make us all rich. And if any of you cannot use the money, I will see that you are all traded.
Robinson received significant encouragement from several major league players, including Dodgers teammate Pee Wee Reese who said, "You can hate a man for many reasons.
Color is not one of them. Less than three months later, Larry Doby became the first African-American to break the color barrier in the American League with the Cleveland Indians.
Satchel Paige was signed by the Indians and the Dodgers added star catcher Roy Campanella and Don Newcombe , who was later the first winner of the Cy Young Award for his outstanding pitching.
MLB banned the signing of women to contracts in , but that ban was lifted in From to , the major leagues consisted of two eight-team leagues whose 16 teams were located in ten cities, all in the northeastern and midwestern United States: New York City had three teams and Boston , Chicago, Philadelphia , and St.
Louis each had two teams. Louis was the southernmost and westernmost city with a major league team. The longest possible road trip, from Boston to St.
Louis, took about 24 hours by railroad. After a half century of stability, starting in the s, teams began to move out of cities with multiple teams into cities that hadn't had them before.
In three consecutive years from to , three teams moved to new cities: the Boston Braves became the Milwaukee Braves , the St. The Major League Baseball season was perhaps the pivotal season in making Major League Baseball a nation-wide league.
The Giants were already suffering from slumping attendance records at their aging ballpark, the Polo Grounds. Had the Dodgers moved out west alone, the St.
The joint move made West Coast road trips economical for visiting teams. In , the first Washington Senators franchise moved to Minneapolis—St.
Paul to become the Minnesota Twins. Two new teams were added to the American League at the same time: the Los Angeles Angels who soon moved from downtown L.
The Astros known as the "Colt. The Mets established a reputation for futility by going 40— during their first season of play in the nation's media capital—and by playing only a little better in subsequent campaigns—but in their eighth season the Mets became the first of the s expansion teams to play in the postseason, culminating in a World Series title over the heavily favored Baltimore Orioles.
In , the major leagues moved to the "Deep South" when the Braves moved to Atlanta. In , the American and National Leagues both added two expansion franchises.
In , baseball expanded again , adding a second Canadian team, the Toronto Blue Jays , as well as the Seattle Mariners.
Subsequently, no new teams were added until the s and no teams moved until By the late s, the balance between pitching and hitting had swung in favor of the pitchers.
In —later nicknamed "the year of the pitcher"  —Boston Red Sox player Carl Yastrzemski won the American League batting title with an average of just.
In , the American League, which had been suffering from much lower attendance than the National League, sought to increase scoring even further by initiating the designated hitter DH rule.
Throughout the s and s, as baseball expanded, NFL football had been surging in popularity, making it economical for many of these cities to build multi-purpose stadiums instead of single-purpose baseball fields.
Because of climate and economic issues, many of these facilities had playing surfaces made from artificial turf , as well as the oval designs characteristic of stadiums designed to house both baseball and football.
These characteristics changed the nature of professional baseball, putting a higher premium on speed and defense over home-run hitting power, since the fields were often too big for teams to expect to hit many home runs and foul balls hit in the air could more easily be caught for outs.
Teams began to be built around pitching—particularly their bullpens—and speed on the basepaths. Artificial surfaces meant balls traveled quicker and bounced higher, so it became easier to hit ground balls " in the hole " between the corner and middle infielders.
Starting pitchers were no longer expected to throw complete games ; it was enough for a starter to pitch 6—7 innings and turn the game over to the team's closer , a position which grew in importance over these decades.
As stolen bases increased, home run totals dropped. After Willie Mays hit 52 home runs in , only one player George Foster reached that mark until the s.
During the s, baseball experienced a number of significant changes the game had not seen in years. Home runs were on the decline throughout the decade, with players hitting only 40 home runs just 13 times and no one hitting more than 50 home runs in a season for the first time since the Dead-ball era — The Major League Baseball strike from June 12 until July 31 forced the cancellation of total games and resulted in a split-season format.
In , Pete Rose broke Ty Cobb 's all-time hits record with his 4,nd hit, and in Rose received a lifetime ban from baseball as a result of betting on baseball games while manager of the Cincinnati Reds.
Rose was the first person to receive a lifetime ban from baseball since Eleven players were officially suspended, but all the suspensions were commuted in exchange for fines, drug testing, and community service.
The —95 Major League Baseball strike from August 12, , to April 25, , caused the cancellation of over games and the forfeit of the entire postseason.
In , Major League Baseball opened an investigation into allegations that members of the World Series champion Houston Astros stole signs from opposing teams using technology during the and seasons.
The Astros were found guilty in January and while no active players faced any repercussions, Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow and field manager A.
Hinch were suspended for the entire season. Routinely in the late s and early s, baseball players hit 40 or 50 home runs in a season, a feat that was considered rare even in the s.
It has since become apparent that at least some of this power surge was a result of players using steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs.
Petersburg, Florida. After the season, the team owners voted in favor of contraction. Several MLB teams had been considered for elimination in early talks about contraction, but the Montreal Expos and the Minnesota Twins were the two teams that came closest to folding under the plan.
Plans for MLB contraction were halted when the Twins landlord was awarded a court injunction that required the team to play its home games at their stadium.
MLB owners agreed to hold off on reducing the league's size until at least The Montreal Expos became the first franchise in over three decades to move when they became the Washington Nationals in This move left Canada with just one team, but it also returned baseball to Washington after a year absence.
This franchise shift, like many previous ones, involved baseball's return to a city which had been previously abandoned.
Not counting the short-lived Federal League, Montreal is the only city granted an MLB franchise since that does not currently host a team.
A baseball uniform is a type of uniform worn by baseball players , and by some non-playing personnel, such as field managers and coaches.
It is worn to indicate the person's role in the game and—through the use of logos, colors, and numbers —to identify the teams and their players, managers, and coaches.
Traditionally, home uniforms display the team name on the front, while away uniforms display the team's home location. In modern times, however, exceptions to this pattern have become common, with teams using their team name on both uniforms.
The New York Knickerbockers were the first baseball team to use uniforms, taking the field on April 4, , in pants made of blue wool, white flannel shirts jerseys and straw hats.
In the late s, the Detroit Wolverines and Washington Nationals of the National League and the Brooklyn Bridegrooms of the American Association were the first to wear striped uniforms.
Spring training is a series of practices and exhibition games preceding the start of the regular season. Teams hold training camps in the states of Arizona and Florida, where the early warm weather allows teams to practice and play without worrying about late winter cold.
Spring training allows new players to audition for roster and position spots, and gives existing team players practice time prior to competitive play.
The teams that hold spring training in Arizona are grouped into the Cactus League ,  while teams that hold camp in Florida are known as the Grapefruit League.
Autograph seekers also find greater access to players during spring training. Spring training typically lasts almost two months, starting in mid February and running until just before the season opening day, traditionally the first week of April.
As pitchers benefit from a longer training period, pitchers and catchers begin spring training several days before the rest of the team.
Each team's schedule is typically organized into three-game series, with occasional two- or four-game series.
A team's series are organized into homestands and road trips that group multiple series together. Teams generally play games five to seven days per week, commonly having Monday or Thursday as an off day.
Frequently, games are scheduled at night. Sunday games are generally played during the afternoon, allowing teams to travel to their next destination prior to a Monday night game.
In addition, teams will play day games frequently on Opening Day, holidays, and getaway days. Each team plays 19 games against each of its four divisional opponents.
It plays one home series and one away series, amounting to six or seven games, against the 10 other teams in its league.
A team also plays one of the divisions in the other league, rotating each year, with two opponents in a three-game home series, two in a three-game away series, and one with four games split between home and away.
Furthermore, each team has an interleague "natural rival" in many cases its counterpart in the same metro area with which it plays two home games and two away games each year.