Baseball Preview Features 42 pages of Scouting Reports; Stephen Strasburg, David Price,
Justin Verlander, CC Sabathia, James Shields, and Clayton Kershaw on Six Regional Covers
Sports Illustrated predicts that the Washington Nationals will defeat the Tampa Rays for the 2013 World Series in the April 1, 2013 issue of SI, on newsstands Wednesday. The SI Baseball preview, which has six regional covers including one of Nationals’ ace Stephen Strasburg, features 42 pages of scouting reports with standings and playoff predictions, stat projections from rotowire.com and takes on every team from rival scouts.
In a profile on why the Nationals will win the World Series, senior writer Tom Verducci says that the they look a lot like manager Davey Johnson’s 1986 Mets team—and that the similarities will extend through October.
Verducci writes: “Like the ’86 Mets, the 2013 Nationals are the best team on paper at the start of the season. And like that championship team, Washington has young power pitching, a deep bullpen with multiple closers, a blend of power and speed, and an unmistakable swagger.” (PAGES 59-60)
The consensus from expert analysis in the SI Baseball Preview is that pitching, and strikeouts in particular, rule today’s game. In “Generation K”, Verducci writes on how swings and misses, which have increased in the major leagues for seven consecutive seasons, are changing the game: “As hitters accept strikeouts as a necessary cost of their search for power, pitchers are better equipped than ever to exploit that concession.” (PAGE 46)
Verducci finds that there has been a change in philosophy, as teams are less worried about their players striking out, as long as they produce power and runs. This coincides in an era that features pitchers who throw harder and with more movement, pitchers who have increased access to analytics and video that helps them exploit hitters’ weaknesses and teams that utilize power bullpen arms more frequently.
“More pitchers, more velocity, more movement, more strikes…Night after night, game after game, pitchers are asserting their power, three strikes at a time,” writes Verducci (PAGE 49).
Along with Strasburg (2nd SI cover), five additional star pitchers known for strikeouts are featured on regional covers of this week’s SI: David Price (2nd SI cover), Justin Verlander (3rd SI cover), C.C. Sabathia (2nd SI cover), James Shields (1st SI cover), and Clayton Kershaw (1st SI cover).
For the First Time Ever YOU Pick the Cover of Sports Illustrated By Choosing The Best Sports Moment of 2011Posted: December 9, 2011
For nearly 60 years the cover of Sports Illustrated has defined the story of the day in sports. Upon its release, the iconic cover image stirs a spectrum of passionate dialog, debate, celebration, criticism and for those who believe in jinxes, fear. But there has always been one constant in that the cover choice has rested in the hands of the SI editorial team. Today, that all changes. Beginning at 3:00 p.m. EST, sports fans can visit SI’s Facebook page (www.facebook.com/sportsillustrated) to rank the top five sports moments from 2011 drawn from a selection of 15 images which correspond to the editorial staff’s selections for the best sports moments of 2011. The moment that receives the most votes will be featured on the cover of SI’s year-end issue. Voting begins today and will end on Friday, December 16th, the magazine cover that YOU picked will hit newsstands on Wednesday, December 21st.
Why is picking the cover a big deal? Listen to what some of the great athletes who have graced the cover had to say:
“To be on the cover of Sports Illustrated it’s kind of a stamp of approval that you’ve made it,” said Sugar Ray Leonard who has appeared on the SI cover 12 times.
Kostya Kennedy, senior editor at Sports Illustrated, and author of the book “56: Joe DiMaggio and the Last Magic Number in Sports” (scheduled to be published this March) was a guest contributor to today’s New York Daily News. In the light of some recent noteworthy records that include Brett Favre’s 297 consecutive starts and UConn Women’s Basketball team establishing a new record in Division I basketball with 89 straight wins, Kennedy eloquently articulates how neither is as extraordinary as “The Streak.”
To pre-order a copy of “56:Joe DiMaggio and the Last Magic Number in Sports” visit: http://amzn.to/fW5GmG
Below is Kennedy’s Op-Ed piece, enjoy.
Huskies and Favre pale next to DiMaggio: His 56-game hit streak is the greatest feat in sports
Thursday, December 23rd 2010
It’s been a heady month for sports records, what with Minnesota Vikings‘ quarterback Brett Favre finally, after 297 games, missing a start two weeks ago, and the Connecticut women’s team just establishing a Division I basketball record for consecutive wins. Having defeated Florida State for their 89th straight victory, the Huskies have surpassed the record of 88 set by the UCLA men’s team from 1971-74.
Both achievements are astonishing. Yet after we get through praising the old quarterback and the young Huskies, we should admit this much: Neither run is nearly as remarkable, nor as destined to survive, as the most extraordinary of all sports streaks. That distinction still belongs – just as it did when you were a kid – to Joe DiMaggio, who hit safely in 56 consecutive games in 1941.
The streak – or, as it’s better known, The Streak – was achieved against incalculable odds, and under psychological duress of the kind that neither Favre nor the Huskies experienced.
DiMaggio’s run was the sports story of the summer of ’41, and it traveled far beyond the bounds of the game. Even as a fragile nation turned its eyes to the war that thundered in Europe, and young American men were being drafted, news of the streak appeared on the front page of newspapers and was delivered in radio bulletins and moviehouse newsreels. Day after sweltering day in that unusually hot summer, huge crowds turned out to see the “Sensational DiMaggio” perform a kind of high wire-act: get a hit and keep it going, don’t and fall. “Did he get a hit today? Did he get one?” was the question in barbershops, firehouses and ice cream parlors across the land.
DiMaggio was 26 then, and sometimes called “Dead Pan Joe” for his stoicism. But inside he churned. “I never felt so on the spot,” he allowed as the streak climbed. DiMaggio’s stress during that time was plain – in the coffee he drank, in the cigarettes he smoked, in the way he kept to his hotel room on the road.