Mike Bauman has been a national columnist for MLB.com since 2001 and has covered Major League Baseball for more than three decades.
|Commissioner Bud Selig describes the final days of his 22 years in office as "very emotional, very sentimental." But emotional and sentimental haven't been much in Selig's mix. Until now. And it's understandable.
More»Commissioner Selig speaks at PBSFA|
|With the acquisition of Max Scherzer, it immediately became trendy to favor the Nationals to win the 2015 World Series, but though they should be able to once again secure the National League's best record during the regular season, there will be far less certainty come the postseason, and no club knows that better than the one in Washington.
More»Nationals unveil pitcher Max Scherzer in D.C.|
|When it comes to intangible factors, James Shields' previous employers rave about him. He is, the essence, by all reasonable accounts, of a positive clubhouse presence, a leader and a role model. However, the typical big bidders have expressed no interest in acquiring free-agent righty.
More»How does Scherzer's deal affect the pitching market?|
|It may be true that the Brewers would have had difficulty retaining Yovani Gallardo when he became eligible for free agency after the season. But simply trading him for possible improvement at some point in an indefinite future doesn't necessarily look like the move of a team committed to contending on an annual basis.
More»Callis on Brewers acquiring Sardinas, Knebel, Diplan|
|The comments by Anthony Rizzo to an elementary school class, guaranteeing the Chicago Cubs would win the NL Central in 2015, are merely the first signs of stunning events yet to come. Those events may include a division title from the Cubs -- just the fact that you can grant that possibility is a big breakthrough for the North Siders.
More»Rizzo belts three of the Cubs' longest homers in 2014|
|These are not your father's Yankees -- or the Yankees of Hal Steinbrenner's father, George M. Steinbrenner III. They will be praised for their relative restraint -- unless they don't make the postseason again.
More»Drew set to impact both sides of the ball for Yankees|
|Early last season, the Royals were slumping at the plate and the critics were calling for the dismissal of manager Ned Yost. But Yost never wavered in displaying confidence and patience in his club, which turned things around to break a 29-year postseason drought and advance to the World Series. On Tuesday, Yost was rewarded with a one-year contract extension through the 2016 season.
More»Moore, Yost on one-year extension through 2016 season|
|The Max Scherzer free-agent market has defied what we think of as normal procedure. The righty's market may currently be in the range between enigma and mystery, but there remains a widespread belief that Scherzer and his agent, Scott Boras, will end up with a contract very much like the one that they want.
More»Are Tigers interested in bringing back Scherzer?|
|James Shields' value to a club has not been measured only through pitching statistics. With Tampa Bay, and then with Kansas City, he has played a leading role in the transformation of not only a rotation, but a team.
More»MLB Tonight on the mystery offer to James Shields|
|The Hall of Fame voting process is not broken. It is simply more difficult than it used to be. We all have candidates who we wish would receive more votes, but this year's election illustrated that the underlying process still makes sense and still remains viable.
More»Newest elected Hall of Famers take in New York City|
|Pedro Martinez was small in stature, but large in performance. His nicknames indicated both aspects: the diminutive "Petey" and the great performer "El Grande." He was one of those rare pitchers who combined both power and exquisite command.
More»Pedro Martinez receives Hall of Fame call|
|The last time four players were simultaneously elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame was 60 years ago. The time to break that streak could be now. This year, both circumstance and achievement indicate that four candidates not only could be, but should be elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame.
More»Baseball's transcendent stars debut on '15 HOF ballot|
|The sweeping change brought about by Bud Selig that had the greatest impact on baseball was the reform of the game's economic system. Selig, who will retire as Commissioner of Baseball later this month, instituted vast increases in revenue sharing -- along with a luxury tax -- in an attempt to reduce the economic disparity among franchises.
More»Bud Selig joins the guys on MLB Tonight|
|Tony Oliva looked like a Hall of Famer more than four decades ago. And for many of us who saw him play then, that notion has not changed. One more vote for him among those 16 committee members would have been, even after all this time, fair and fitting.
More»Molitor on Oliva missing out on Hall of Fame in 2014|
|The one safe Major League prediction for 2015 is this: Competitive balance is going to be even more competitive and even more balanced than ever. This offseason is a considerable distance from the finish line. But some of the greatest strides have been taken by teams that finished with losing records in 2014. The Marlins, the Cubs, the Padres, the White Sox and the Red Sox have all made significant roster improvements.
More»Marlins introduce Gordon, Latos and Morse|
|The notion that Cuba, a baseball hotbed, might be open for business as a talent pool is more compelling to North American baseball people than even cigars and rum.
More»MLB Tonight discusses Cuba - U.S. relations|
|One aspect underlies Bud Selig and has informed each and every decision he has made in 22-plus years as Commissioner: He is a baseball fan. He loves the game.
More»Selig honored at Broadcasting and Cable Hall of Fame|
|The bottom line with 2015 Hall of Fame ballot is that there are more candidates with legitimate arguments for a place in Cooperstown than there are available votes on any given ballot. This is not a pleasant situation for the candidates who will be disappointed when the results are announced on Jan. 6.
More»Baseball's transcendent stars debut on '15 HOF ballot|
|Chicago baseball seems to have entered into an entirely new era. No pennants are won in December, but both Windy City clubs have made moves that can only be interpreted as major improvements. The Cubs have made the bigger splashes, but the White Sox have made wider improvements.
More»Samardzija, Cabrera and Robertson introduced as Sox|
|The Brewers Monday announced plans for a 1,400-square-foot exhibit inside Miller Park honoring Commissioner of Baseball Bud Selig. The "Selig Experience" will be a suitable nod to a man who has meant so much to the sport and the city of Milwaukee.
More»Selig on Brewers' new fan expeirence|