The Athletic – Zach Buchanon ($): Great baseball, at the professional level, takes place all year round. For many fans, baseball season begins and ends with Major League Baseball. However, for those looking for year-round baseball fun and excitement, there is more beyond the MLB brand. During the American winter, baseball thrives in warmer climates. One such league is the Dominican Republic’s Liga de Béisbol Profesional de la República Dominicana. It’s fun, wild, a little bit crazy, and some of the best baseball you could hope to see.
Beyond the Box Score – Matt Provenzano: Joe Ricketts is an abhorrent human being. He’s also the ultra-rich hidden owner of the Chicago Cubs. In what has been an awful offseason for the Cubs, Joe somehow found a way to make it even worse. Sifting through his right-wing conspiracy claptrap, racism, Islamophobia, and homophobia, one thing becomes clear: the Ricketts need to go. The National Basketball Association made Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling give up the team for similar racist remarks, and it’s time that MLB did the same with the Ricketts.
Sports Illustrated – Emma Baccellieri: Baseball is a great game, but it is just a game. It’s how some people make a livelihood, but it isn’t their entire lives. Too often we forget that players have a life away from baseball. They can be the best player in their league, win all kinds of awards, and still have issues to deal with when they step off the diamond. Some of those issues are of their own making, while others are out of their control. They are human, and no matter how great a player Christian Yelich may be, he is still just a guy living in an area ravaged by wildfires.
Lead photo courtesy of Robert M. Pimpsner – Pinstriped Prospects