March 2012

Baseball

The Former Franchise: Greg Reynolds

The second of Zach Sommers’ series about former top draft picks who haven’t panned out features the second-overall selection in 2005: Greg Reynolds. This pitcher spent far too much time on the DL and not nearly enough on the mound. Can he ever get it together and even make an impact in MLB?

Hockey

Kane carrying Jets into NHL playoffs?

Evander Kane is breaking out, and he’s carrying his Winnipeg Jets with him. The team’s leading goal-scorer is on pace to break 30 goals this season, and as a result, Winnipeg may make the playoffs in a season which the fans were just happy to have a team back. Are they still playing with house money, or is Kane raising the stakes in 2011-12?

Baseball

The Pittsburgh Pirates: Beating Michael Jordan

Michael Jordan had a knack for ruining his opponents. Like his adversaries, the Pittsburgh Pirates have been beaten down for years at the hands of the rest of the league. But now, things finally are looking up for the Pirates, as key acquisitions, emerging prospects and smart money management may be turning this hard-luck franchise around, and sooner than you think.

Hockey

Is plus/minus a positive or negative in the NHL?

It’s not often you get rewarded in life for just showing up. But in hockey, you can find a nice little positive beside your name on the game sheet, even if you didn’t do a whole lot. Unfortunately, life on the ice is not always so kind, and often times you can play a great game and find a nasty little negative next to your name. Sometimes that’s just the nature of plus/minus. Plus/minus was…

Baseball

Jeff Mathis: Fitting in wherever he goes

When the Toronto Blue Jays acquired Jeff Mathis from the Los Angeles Angels back in December, the catcher didn’t exactly represent the kind of blockbuster offseason acquisition that their fan base was hoping for. After all, Mathis, having long been criticized for his limited offensive skills, brought with him a career .194 average and .557 OPS to Toronto. Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos, however, didn’t go after him because of his bat. Having been…

Hockey

Jason Spezza: In the shadow of Erik Karlsson

The Ottawa Senators currently hold down seventh place in the Eastern Conference standings with a comfortable cushion over eighth. Arguably the most surprising team in the NHL – thanks in large part to defenseman Erik Karlsson – the Sens have reaped the benefits of the league’s sixth-best offense at 2.96 goals per game. As a result of the club’s rapid ascent, the young star onthe blueline has received more attention in Canada’s capital than even…