Articles by Jared Macdonald

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…

Baseball

The evolution of Doug Fister

Call it appreciation or adoration, The Good Point has a soft-spot for Doug Fister. After an August feature following the man’s debut at Comerica Park, Jared Macdonald followed up with the hurler to get a thorough account of how he’s changed his game. Now as he stars for the Tigers in the ALCS, there’s no looking back.

Baseball

Ryan Braun: From All-Star to NL MVP?

Ryan Braun is no stranger to success, the fifth-year Brewer has thrived on and off the field in literally every chapter of his career. Given his uncanny ability to come through when it matters most for Milwaukee and his laughably impressive slash lines, it’s no surprise that the 27-year-old is a favorite to win the 2011 NL MVP award. We pulled him aside to ask how he does it.

Baseball

Jason Motte: From catcher to closer

After trimming down his repertoire and sticking to only three pitches last year, St. Louis Cardinals reliever Jason Motte put together a breakout season in 2010, slicing his ERA in half from the year before. It was hard to imagine him improving even more in 2011, but that’s exactly what he’s done. Having already set a new career-high with 64.2 innings pitched this season, Motte has managed a tidy 1.81 ERA (2.26 FIP) and allowed…

Baseball

Fielder and Braun agree, free agency chatter silenced by success

From July 26 to August 28, the Brewers put together a sparkling 27-6 record. They held a 10.5-game lead in a tough NL Central Division and looked virtually incapable of ever slowing down. Now, though, having lost nine of their last 15 games and with their division lead shrinking, the club sits firmly in the crosshairs of baseball’s media. With the conveniently-timed news of Prince Fielder’s recent comments to TBS about his future in Milwaukee, that media attention…

Baseball

Brandon Wood finding home with Pirates

Major League Baseball, more than any other sport, is a game of numbers, players consistently reduced to mere stat sheets and meticulously scrutinized over their slash lines or ERAs. Thousands of players are asked to produce tangible results in order to stick at the Major League level each year, but numbers hardly tell the whole story. If a player starts to struggle or fall into a long slump, numbers don’t reveal the amount of hours…

Baseball

Shaun Marcum at home with dominant Brewers

After missing the entire 2009 season due to injury, Shaun Marcum led a young Blue Jays pitching staff in 2010  to successfully rebound from Tommy John surgery, tossing a career-high 195 innings in 31 starts. The then-Jays ace not only ate innings, but cut down his walks and increased the frequency with which he threw first-pitch strikes; encouraging signs as he forged ahead into 2011 as the eldest member of his club’s starting rotation. That…