Hal Bodley, dean of American baseball writers who joined MLB.com as senior correspondent in 2008, has covered baseball since 1958.
|The Braves returned to the top of the National League East last year, but they were dispatched in the NL Division Series. Soon after, they said goodbye to veteran leaders Brian McCann and Tim Hudson, so manager Fredi Gonzalez and a young roster will have their hands full trying to hold off the Nationals in their bid to repeat as division champs.
More» Gonzalez pleased after first spring game|
|This time last year, the Blue Jays were looking forward to getting measured for 2013 World Series rings. The problem was they gagged on the lofty predictions. The Phillies, after winning the National League East five consecutive summers, came up short in 2012 and opened 2013's Spring Training determined to prove that the prior season was a mere aberration. It wasn't.
More» Bautista opens the scoring with a moon shot|
|The Phillies' 2014 season can be summed up in one word: If. Somebody should have tacked up a big sign with "If" on it in the clubhouse as Spring Training opened for this team at the Carpenter Complex on Thursday.
More»Zolecki on Burnett to Phillies, Hamels' setback|
|Rays fans are bemoaning the loss of pitcher Jeremy Hellickson, who'll miss the first six to eight weeks of the season after undergoing elbow surgery. But the injury makes it almost a certainty that ace David Price won't be traded anytime soon.
More» Price's surge in '13 reconfirms ace status|
|For the most part, team presidents are about as behind-the-scenes as it gets. Yet, as Chuck Armstrong prepares for retirement, it's difficult to picture the Mariners without him. He's one of the most respected club presidents in Major League Baseball.
|Charlie Manuel is returning to the Phillies, a great move for both the team and its former manager. He's swallowed his pride and taken a position in a city where he remains one of its most beloved sports personalities.
More»Manuel returns to Phillies as a senior advisor to GM|
|New Hall of Famer Greg Maddux is a cinch to be wearing an Atlanta Braves cap on his plaque when it is unveiled in Cooperstown on July 27. Maddux won 194 games and three National League Cy Young Awards during 11 years pitching for the Braves, but it almost was different. The cap might have had an NY on it.
More»Greg Maddux on entering Hall of Fame in 2014|
|If 2013 was one of the darkest moments for the National Baseball Hall of Fame, 2014 will be one of its brightest. Circle July 27 on your calendar, writes Hal Bodley.
More»Maddux, Glavine and Big Hurt get nod for the 2014 HOF|
|Pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training in about six weeks, and to say change is on the horizon is an understatement.
More»Selig, Manfred talk about replay expansion|
|After assuming the lead spot in the Braves' dugout in 1990, Bobby Cox began one of the most successful stretches in baseball history. That, and the respect that he had for his players, and they for him, led Cox to Cooperstown.
More»Bobby Cox elected to Baseball Hall of Fame|
|Major League Baseball is seriously considering changing its rules to make certain types of hits at home plate illegal. The sooner the better.
More» Avila, Ross collide at the dish|
|While departed baseball purists are turning over in their graves at the thought of expanded replay, it's good for the game, for the fans, not to mention managers and umpires.
More»Torre gives the latest word on replay expansion|
|As the Cardinals lick their wounds after being crushed by Boston, 8-1, in the first game of the World Series, all they have to do is look back to 1982 to gain a measure of hope.
More» Matheny on moving on from lopsided game|
|John Farrell's current version of the Red Sox shares a a great deal in common with Dick Williams' 1967 "Impossible Dream" team, which lost the World Series to the Cardinals in seven games.
More»Dick Williams' 2008 Hall of Fame speech|
|The Rays finally were unable to find a miracle in the eleventh hour of the American League Division Series against Boston. But even though they're finished for 2013, this franchise is establishing a legacy that is the envy of many other Major League teams.
More» Maddon on being proud of the 2013 Rays|
|These Rays do nothing easily. They like to play with one arm tied behind their backs, with those backs to the wall. They're at their best when they're down for a 10 count, and they don't get up until it reaches nine. That's their trademark this autumn.
More» Maddon on deciding to lose the DH spot|
|The Rays, clinging to a one-game lead in the American League Wild Card race, open a series on Tuesday against a Yankees squad and in front of a Yankee Stadium crowd that is sure to be fired up for Mariano Rivera's final games at The Cathedral.
More» Loney discusses walk-off homer after win|
|When the Rays stunned the Rangers, 4-3, in 12 innings Wednesday night in a game that had more twists and turns than a mountain trail, it was right there on display: the "organic moment" manager Joe Maddon sought. As moments go, Tampa Bay's was short-lived.
More» Loney doubles in DeJesus to knot score early|
|With fewer than three weeks -- just 14 games -- left, the Red Sox are poised to go very deep in the postseason. They are certainly capable of returning to the World Series for the first time since 2007. I'll be surprised if they don't.
More»Ortiz wants to #WinToday|
|Put runners in scoring position and the Tampa Bay Rays come up empty. In blunt terms, they choke. The Rays, who led the rugged American League East by percentage points on Aug. 25, have been in an out-of-control free fall. They're a Major League-worst 4-12 since then, trying desperately to hold onto the AL's second Wild Card berth.
More» Price fans nine, holds Sox to two over eight|