Brandon Hyde Named AL Manager of the Year

by Miguel Mike Medina

Baltimore Orioles are having a terrific week. Another day, another honor for the organization. Skipper Brandon Hype has been named the American League Manager of the Year. Hyde becomes the fourth Baltimore manager to win the accolade. He joins Frank Robinson, Davey Johnson, and Buck Showalter. Hyde led the Orioles to 101 wins this season. 

Brandon Hyde deserves this award. He took home 27 of 30 first-place votes. The Orioles improved last season when they won 83 games in 2022. Many people thought it was a fluke and were going to go back to their old ways. When Baltimore lost Trey Mancini to Houston, the city of Baltimore had concerns. Mancini was beloved in Baltimore.

But this Orioles group went out and proved everyone wrong. No one expected them to win the division. It took a group of young and veteran players to come together and put up an impressive season. Adley Rutschman, Gunnar Henderson, Ryan Mountcastle, Anthony Santander, Cedric Mullins, and many more were responsible for putting the Orioles on a winning path. 

Under Hyde, the Orioles have created a culture of playing smart baseball and team togetherness. There’s a lot of harmony in this team and that had to do with the leadership of Brandon Hyde. Before making his journey as the Orioles manager, he managed the Marlins from 2010-2011 and then served as the bench coach for the Chicago Cubs from 2014-2018. He won a World Series title in 2016 with Chicago. 

A Visit the Negro League Museum

by Avry Jones

Welcome to the heart of baseball history, where the echoes of legendary players and their remarkable journeys still resonate. Join us as we embark on a journey through time to explore the rich and fascinating legacy of the Negro League Museum in Kansas City, Missouri. Nestled in the heart of America, this hallowed ground stands as a testament to the triumphs and struggles of African-American baseball players during a time of segregation and racial injustice. Inside this sacred museum, we are transported to an era when baseball was more than just a sport—it symbolized hope, perseverance, and a driving force for social change. From the 1920s to the 1940s, the Negro Leagues provided a platform for countless black athletes to showcase their exceptional talents, proving that barriers could be broken and dreams could soar higher than the bleachers.

The Negro League Museum reveals the stories of trailblazing athletes who shattered stereotypes and defied odds while battling adversity both on and off the field. From the electrifying speed of Cool Papa Bell to the unrivaled charisma of Satchel Paige, and the legendary slugger Josh Gibson, The Negro League Museum pays tribute to the incomparable greatness of these unsung heroes who etched their names in the annals of baseball history.

Beyond the captivating anecdotes and riveting tales, the Negro League Museum serves as a powerful reminder of the resilience of a community united by their passion for America’s favorite pastime. During my visit to the Negro League Museum, there were inspiring narratives of team owners, coaches, and fans whose unwavering support breathed life into the league and solidified its place in history. When walking through this museum, an unforgettable journey has begun to celebrate the indomitable spirit of the Negro Leagues and the enduring impact they left on the fabric of American sports and society. The stories shown within these walls are tales of baseball, hope, unity, and the unyielding pursuit of equality. Let’s take a swing at history and honor the legacy of those who paved the way for generations of future players, and remember, at the Negro League Museum, every exhibit is a home run!

​The map below shows the cities that housed Negro League teams. Many teams were close, and traveling to games was a way of life; each city brought more fans to cheer on their teams. From 1920 to 1955, communities were home to these teams.

​After the Civil War, the United States was still divided. Although sports was an outlet that could bring many people together during Reconstruction, it also segregated sports. Playing in the Negro League meant traveling all over the Eastern, Southern, and Midwestern United States to play in front of sold crowds. For many players, their suitcase contained their life.

​Some of these pictures tell just a tiny part of the history of Negro League Baseball in the United States. Moreover, these pictures tell the story of history in the United States through the lens of baseball. Baseball was a form of escape as well as entertainment. Hopefully, this glimpse into the history of the Negro League will bring more information about its players and fans to the forefront as a way of highlighting the history of the United States and baseball.

Top 5 Biggest Surprises in Major League Baseball… so Far

By Avry Jones

Top 5 Biggest Surprises in Major League Baseball… so Far

Baseball has always delivered surprises, whether in the regular or postseason. However, sometimes the best surprises occur before the All-Star break, which can excite not only the fans of their respective baseball team but baseball fans and the baseball community. Two months into the baseball season, Major League Baseball has given us a few surprises from teams, making analysts second guess themselves: “Well, I didn’t see that coming.” Trying to find just five of the biggest surprises of the early baseball season thus far can be tricky; however, looking over the past two months to see what has excited fans and disappointed fans has become a highlight of the baseball season thus far. Overall, if the first two months can give us these five surprises, what can the last five months of the seasons give us?

Number 5 – Texas Rangers are leading the AL West, and the Houston Astros are not

At the time of this article, the Texas Rangers are leading the American League West by 3.5 games. The defending World Series Champions ended the month of April barely over .500 with a record of 15-13 (ESPN, 2023). But the Texas Rangers at the end of April with a record of 17-11, which got the ball rolling for leading the AL West. Generally, starting the season strong should end with a strong finish; however, collapses and breakdowns sometimes occur after the All-Star break, which can give other teams the run, they need to win divisions and make a move to get into the playoffs. Although the season is still new, let us see what the Texas Rangers can accomplish after overhauling their roster. Also, watch out for the Seattle Mariners, as what was in the water for the Seahawks and Kraken may work for the Mariners, and I look for them to be a sleeper team again, like in the 2022 postseason.

Number 4 – The AL East is looking to be the AL BEAST, also the Tampa Bay Rays

The Eastern Division of some sports has become the dominant division. Look to the NFC East in the National Football League when all the teams in the division are playing their best and not only fighting each other to make the playoffs but clinch the division title. Currently, ALL five teams in the American League East have above .500 records and over .500 at home. A potential AL Rookie of the Year candidate is left fielder Masataka Yoshida, who plays for the Boston Red Sox(ESPN, 2023). Furthermore, let’s talk about the Tampa Bay Rays. The Tampa Bay Rays started the season 13-0 before a loss to Toronto (wink, wink). However, the start of the Rays season has them currently leading the East, but like all professional sports teams, let’s see how they finish the season (see Boston Bruins and Milwaukee Bucks).

Credit: ESPN

Number 3 – Atlanta Braves, leading the NL East… again

This number may not seem surprising, but the Atlanta Braves leading the National League East is a surprise. Usually, the Braves will lead the East for a few days during the beginning of the season, then make a considerable run right after the All-Star break. Currently, the Atlanta Braves are ten games above .500 and lead the division by 4.5 games; however, their Away record is better than their Home record, not by a little but by a lot (ESPN, 2023). The Braves’ record is only second in the National League behind the Los Angeles Dodgers (again), but not by much. Overall, the National League looks to be a fascinating race this early in the season, with the Mets, Marlins, Brewers, Pirates, and Diamondbacks (What?!) to make moves in their respective divisions as the season progresses.

Credit: ESPN

Number 2 – Liam Hendriks from the Chicago White Sox is back in the majors

When athletes are injured, you hope they have a speedy recovery and that their careers will continue after their recovery. However, when an athlete is diagnosed with an illness, that can be especially heartbreaking. Liam Hendriks was diagnosed with cancer in December 2022 with non-Hodgkin lymphoma, a type of blood cancer. Non-Hodgkin is a treatable type of cancer; however, Hendriks had it from his neck to his ankles, Stage 4. For someone who lost a grandmother and a mother to cancer, my heart always goes to people who battle this disease, especially family, as it also affects them. All tests, doctor visits, and more tests can take their toll. However, Liam Hendriks was going to fight, and fight he did. After he announced his diagnosis, well wishes poured in from my baseball fans and teammates to everyday people who may have heard about it. Hendricks wanted to come back to baseball, and he made sure to mark the date; make it back in May. On May 29, 2023, Liam Hendriks returned to Major League Baseball to the roaring crowd of Southside Chicago faithful. Hendriks announced he was cancer-free in March and could not wait to return to the Majors. The fight against cancer can be daunting for those with the disease and those within their support network. However, when the battle is won, we should support those wins to show every survivor they are a champion.

Number 1 – New York Mets Pitching (What even is this?!)

During the offseason, there can be much to be excited about when free agents and teams make signings and trade moves. One of these moves was the signing of Justin Verlander after winning a World Series with the Astros. Although with Max Scherzer, the Mets look to have a starting pitching rotation to rival the Braves of the 1990s. However, when this article was written, neither Scherzer nor Verlander were the leaders of the Mets. The leader of the Mets is Kodai Senga, with 70 Ks, a 3.44 ERA, and five wins (ESPN, 2023). Max Scherzer has a record of 4-2, 39 Ks, and 3.54 ERA; Justin Verlander has a 2-2, 22 Ks, and 4.80 ERA (ESPN, 2023). Baseball analysts and writers were crowning the New York Mets with a division crown and postseason berth with this dynamic duo, but Scherzer and Verlander could be better as of now. Of course, the season is still early, but expectations are high for the Mets pitchers, especially with Scherzer and Verlander leading the way. However, can the Mets strike gold with this duo, or will another set of pitchers lead the Mets to the postseason?

Honorable Mentions

1. The AL Central…it’s not bad but not good; it’s just ok.

2. The NL Central is a tight race with the Milwaukee Brewers and… the Pittsburgh Pirates!

3. Don’t sleep on Seattle this year, or you might get beat.

4. The Philadelphia Phillies are just ok, and Trea Turner is also just ok.

5. Baltimore Orioles… that’s it. That’s the post!

As a baseball fan, there are many times baseball has given us many surprises. Usually, those surprises can happen in the postseason. However, baseball can provide us with many surprises early in the season, making us more excited as the season continues. Moreover, shocks give us the unexcepted, making enjoying the game more memorable.

*** All data analytics and statistics were from ESPN ( ***

Sunday Sports Shorts

Team Venezuela beat Team Dominican Republic for the first time in the World Baseball Classic tournament, 5-1. 

Fourteen years ago today, Syracuse and UConn went to six overtimes in the Big East Tournament Quarterfinals.

Marquette wins the Big East Championship. The Golden Eagles defeat Xavier to capture their first Big East title. Congratulations to Marquette! Well deserved! 

Duke wins the ACC Championship. The Blue Devils defeated Virginia on Saturday night. It’s their first ACC title since 2019. Duke has now won 9 in a row—one of the hottest teams entering the NCAA tournament. 

Howard University defeated Norfolk State Spartans 65-64. The win gives Howard its first NCAA men’s basketball tournament birth since 1992, the last time before this season that the Bison won the MEAC Tournament and regular season title. 

Edmonton Oilers took on the Toronto Maple Leafs in arguably the most anticipated Saturday night game. Connor McDavid scored No. 55. Oilers had a 3-1 lead, but then the Maple Leafs rallied. They scored five unanswered goals, and they never allowed Edmonton to gain confidence. The Maple Leafs won 7-4. Maple Leafs are a tough team to beat when all their key players contribute. 

Sunday Sports Shorts

The Washington Wizards took on the Brooklyn Nets at Barclays Center. The nets didn’t have Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving in the building. The Wizards didn’t have Bradley Beal on the court. Wizards gave up a 20-point lead. The Nets fought and rallied in the second half. Both teams exchanged baskets in the 4th quarter, but the Nets came out victorious, 125-123. Cam Thomas led the Nets with 41 points. Kristaps Porzingis finished with 38 points. Kyle Kuzma left the game with an injury. The nets had one of the most impressive comeback victories of the season. 

The Clippers had a 17-point lead entering the fourth quarter on the road against the Knicks. The almighty Knicks rallied back to take the lead in the fourth quarter. They almost stole this game from the Clippers, but Nicolas Batik’s three-pointer tied the game at the end of regulation to force it to overtime. That’s where the Clippers took advantage of the momentum. The Clippers won 134-128. Kawhi Leonard and Paul George combined for 65 points. Norman Powell added 24 points. It’s a crushing loss for the Knicks. 

Michigan State Spartans took on the Rutgers Scarlet Knights in a fascinating Saturday afternoon game. Rutgers played outstanding against the Spartans, thanks to Paul Mulcahy. Paul led Rutgers to victory, 61-56, after scoring all 17 points in the second half. The Scarlet Knights improve to 16-7. 

Atlantic Division drafts Central Division to win the 2023 NHL All-Star Game in Florida. Florida Panthers forward Matthew Tkachuk had a goal and an assist. He was named the MVP of the All-Star Game. 

Saturday Hockey News with Miguel

The New York Rangers played smart and intellectual hockey against the Vegas Golden Knights at the garden on Friday night. Goaltender Jaroslav Halak made 33 saves for the Rangers. Vincent Trocheck scored a goal and an assist to Filip Chytil, who made a sweet goal in the third period. The Rangers won this game 4-1. 

New Jersey Devils, the best road team in the NHL, traveled to Dallas to take on the Dallas Stars. Jack Hughes scored two goals in this game, and one came in overtime to give the Devils a 3-2 over the Dallas Stars. Vitek Vanecek deserves more recognition for his goal-tending performance. He saved 33 shots for the Devils. Also, the Devils blocked 24 of the Stars’ shots. 

It was a thrilling finish between the San Jose Sharks and Carolina Hurricanes. Trailing 4-3 with less than a minute to go, Martin Necas ties the game 4-4 with 11.5 seconds left in the third period. Necas forced the game to go to overtime and struck once again by scoring the game-winning goal to send everyone home. The Hurricanes won 5-4. 

Vancouver Canucks played with a lot of intensity and high energy against the Columbus Blue Jackets. Bo Horvat added four assists. Elias Pettersson scored two goals. CanuCks defeated the Blue Jackets 5-2. Canucks wore the old-school jerseys from the 1990s. 

Saturday Hockey News with Miguel

New Jersey Devils took on the Anaheim Ducks. Almost 20 years ago, they faced off in the Stanley Cup Finals. As for this game, Jack Hughes scored two goals for the Devils. He has 21 goals in 22 games. The Devils jumped and scored three goals in the first period. Anaheim had no answer for New Jersey. The Devils won 6-2—an outstanding road performance by the best road team in hockey. 

Winnipeg Jets traveled to Pittsburgh to take on the Penguins. The Jets started the goal with a power-play goal. Two coaches’ challenges were in the first period, and both goals were waived. However, the Jets answered those challenges by scoring back-to-back goals late in the second period to go up 3-1. The Jets would win this game 4-1. It’s their seventh win in the last eight games. Mark Scheifele scored two goals for the Jets. 

On Friday night, it was Connor McDavid’s birthday. The captain turned 26. Did he have a good birthday performance on the ice? He certainly did. McDavid finished the game with three points – 2 goals and one assist. The Oilers dominated the Sharks from start to finish. Oilers trounce the Sharks 7-1. 

Saturday Hockey News with Miguel

The St Louis Blues have won another game on the road, and this time, it came against the Calgary Flames. Jordan Kyrou scored twice in this game. Calgary tried to spark a rally in the 3rd period when they cut the lead to 1; the Blues pulled away by scoring two goals to close the game, 5-2. Calgary Flames have lost five in a row. 

Minnesota Wild took on the Chicago Blackhawks. The game is known as the Mats Zuccarello hat trick. Zuccarello recorded his second hat trick. He also had an assist. His point streak is nine games. Will Zuccarello follow in the footsteps of Mitch Marner? Kirill Kaprizov also had a solid performance on Friday. Kaprizov scored a goal and had two assists. Goaltender Jean-Marc Fleury made 29 saves for Minnesota, who now have won four straight games and six in a row at home. Minnesota is playing great hockey lately. 

Sports Throwback Thursday: Donnie Baseball in the 1980s

We will not end this Thursday (the day before Friday) without giving you the only Sports Throwback Thursday. On today’s Sports Throwback Thursday, we will chat a little bit about the greatness of Don Mattingly in the 1980s. He put up staggering numbers.

From 1984 to 1986, Donnie Baseball hit 89 home runs and 145 doubles. He batted .340 and struck out 109 times. In today’s game, players are striking out over 200 times. When Donnie is healthy, he’s Tony Gwynn with power. He’s, without a doubt, one of the greatest hitters of all time and arguably the best hitters of the 1980s. 

Donnie retired after the 1995 season. He was one season short of winning a championship with the Yankees. Mattingly is not in the hall of fame, but I wish Donnie were in the hall of fame. I’m a harsh grader regarding who should be in the hall of fame, but I can make an exception for Donnie’s baseball because he was a special player for this franchise. 

Saturday Hockey News with Miguel

New York Rangers won in a shootout contest against the defending champions Colorado Avalanche, who were short-handed in this game. Artemi Panarin scored the winning goal. Rangers goaltender Igor Shesterkin stopped 41 of the 42 shots. Braden Schneider scored a goal in the second period, his fourth in the last ten games. Avalanche didn’t have Nathan MacKinnon, Gabriel Landeskog, Evan Rodrigues, Bowen Byram, and Artturi Lehkonen in their lineup. 

Edmonton Oilers took care of business against the Minnesota Wild on Friday night. The Oilers jumped early in the first period with two goals by Conor McDavid and Derek Ryan. Minnesota would respond with two goals on their own by Joel Ericksson and Mats Zuccarello to tie the game at 2-2. It looked like momentum shifted towards Minnesota way. Edmonton said not tonight. Oilers would end the game with three unanswered goals by Kailer Yamamoto, a power play goal by Leon Draisaitl, and an empty net goal by Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. Goaltender Stuart Skinner finished the game with 42 saves for Edmonton. 

Calgary Flames tried to make a comeback, but it was too little too late. Columbus Blue Jackets won 3-1. Patrik Laine is one of the stars of last night’s victory for the Blue Jackets as he scored the first goal of the game, which set the tone for Columbus. 

New York Islanders stopped the red-hot New Jersey Devils as they came to the Prudential Center and defeated the Devils, 6-4. The devils made a late push by scoring two goals after trailing 6-2, but the Islanders had enough defense, speech, and physicality to hold on to the lead.