This Week in Baseball

-Taylor Ballinger, Matt Korte, Jeff Gangloff

Good morning, Nation. We’re back with our weekly installment of “This Week in Baseball”, where Taylor, Matt, and Jeff will highlight interesting and/or important stories happening throughout baseball. As always, hope you enjoy – and let us know what you’ve been reading by posting in the comment section below.

The changing face of the GM role by Jerry Crasnick,

Over the past ten years there has been a dramatic shift in what MLB organizations are looking for when it comes to hiring a GM. The days of looking at baseball personnel who have been around the league for what seems like forever as serious GM candidates are quickly fading (unless you’re Cincinnati). Recently, front offices have been valuing candidates that have “new baseball thinking” in their repertoire over reputation and past accomplishments. (Gangloff)

Better than your average catcher: Where Yogi Berra ranks all time by Jay Jaffe,

Baseball lost one of its greatest catchers of all time earlier this week with the passing of Yogi Berra. I’m too young to have seen Yogi play, the only memories I have of him were his goofy roles in the old Geico commercials. Jay Jaffe examines Yogi’s career and compares him to some of the other great catchers in baseball history. Where do you rank Yogi and how would you compare him to Johnny Bench? (Gangloff

How David Peralta Went from Cut, Burnt-out Pitcher to Breakout MLB Outfielder by Scott Miller, Bleacher Report

What are you willing to do to chase your dream?  What are you willing to sacrifice?  What if you were on the doorstep of achieving your life’s dream and then had to hit the reset button, go back to the drawing board and start all over again?  These are all questions that now Arizona Diamondback’s outfielder David Peralta had to ask himself.  The string had run short on his career as a pitcher, he was working at McDonald’s and his dream of being a successful big-leaguer would have been over to most people.  But David took a different path…and this article outlines his journey to becoming one of the better young outfielders in Major League Baseball (Korte).

Cardinals are Baseball’s Best Team, But They Won’t Win the World Series by Jesse Spector, Sporting News

Over the course of this year I have posted articles generally focused with some kind of positive tone or humor.  Stories that talk about a players struggle to make it (see above), creative ideas on how to improve baseball or even human interest stories that tie into our national pastime.  But in this case, with the season winding down, our Redlegs having been eliminated before September call-ups and not a lot of positivity being spread…I’ll dive further into the darkness.  Here is an article about how great the Cardinals are…and WHY THEY WONT WIN THE WORLD SERIES.  What could make for better reading?  If we can’t win it…I don’t want the Cardinals to win it either.  Sour grapes? Absolutely (Korte)

Baseball’s Big Three: A Look Back at Tim Hudson, Mark Mulder, and Barry Zito in Oakland by Jonah Keri, Grantland

This evening, Barry Zito and Tim Hudson will square off in Oakland in a matchup that will leave As fans reminiscing about the good old days. In this article, Jonah Keri takes a look back at the development of Oakland’s “Big Three” of the early 90s. It’s a fascinating glance at just how dominant these home-grown pitchers were, and gives this Reds fan hope that the bevy of young arms in the Reds system may net a Big Three as strong or stronger than what Oakland had. Really fun/informative piece. (Ballinger)

Pope Francis Featured on a Baseball Card by Enrico Campitelli, CSN Philly

This may be a first…in honor of Pope Francis’s visit to Philadelphia this week, the Phillies gave out a Pope Francis rookie card to fans at last Wednesday’s home game. I guess when you’re 30 games out your only hope for a playoff spot is divine intervention. (Ballinger)