|2014 MLB season|
|League||Major League Baseball|
|Duration||March 22 – October 29, 2014|
|Number of games||162|
|Number of teams||30|
|TV partner(s)||Fox/FS1, TBS, ESPN, MLB Network|
|Top draft pick||Brady Aiken|
|Picked by||Houston Astros|
|Season MVP||AL: Mike Trout (LAA) |
NL: Clayton Kershaw (LAD)
|AL champions||Kansas City Royals|
|AL runners-up||Baltimore Orioles|
|NL champions||San Francisco Giants|
|NL runners-up||St. Louis Cardinals|
|Champions||San Francisco Giants|
|Runners-up||Kansas City Royals|
|World Series MVP||Madison Bumgarner (SF)|
The 2014 Major League Baseball season began on March 22 at the Sydney Cricket Ground in Sydney, Australia, between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Arizona Diamondbacks. The North American part of the season started on March 30 and ended on September 28.
The Major League Baseball All-Star Game's 85th edition was held on July 14 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota, home of the Minnesota Twins. The American League (AL) beat the National League (NL) 5–3. With the win, the AL champion earned home-field advantage during the World Series.
This year the Houston Astros hosted the Civil Rights Game on May 30 at Minute Maid Park. They played host to the Baltimore Orioles.
This was also the final season of Bud Selig as the Commissioner of Baseball. Selig served as the Executive Council Chairman from 1992 to 1998, acting as the commissioner, and then was appointed as the official commissioner in 1998. On August 14, 2014, the franchise owners selected Rob Manfred to become the new Commissioner, starting in 2015.
Main article: 2014 MLB Postseason
|Wild Card Game|
|League Championship Series|
|4||Kansas City||1||4||Kansas City||3|
|5||Oakland||0||American League||4||Kansas City||4|
|National League||3||St. Louis||1|
|5||San Francisco||1||5||San Francisco||3|
No significant changes were made to the 2014 schedule. As was the case in 2013, each team played 19 games against each division opponent for a total of 76 games, and six or seven games against each team from the other two divisions in its league for a total of 66 games. All teams played 20 interleague games, with the majority of match-ups following the divisional rotation in place since 2004. For 2014, the matchups were AL East vs. NL Central, AL Central vs. NL West, and AL West vs. NL East. Teams played four games against a designated "rival" in two back-to-back two-game series, one home and one away. Unlike in 2013, when all of these series were played during the same week, these rivalry series were spread from early May through mid-August. The table below shows the interleague rivals for the 2014 season.
|AL East||NL East||AL Central||NL Central||AL West||NL West|
|Red Sox||Braves||White Sox||Cubs||Mariners||Padres|
On August 15, 2013, Major League Baseball announced that it would expand its video review process for the 2014 season, and MLB clubs unanimously approved the new rules on January 16, 2014. Managers were now able to challenge certain plays no more than twice per game, including force plays, fair or foul balls, and batters hit by a pitch, among others. If a manager exhausted his ability to challenge plays during the game and after the beginning of the seventh inning, the umpire crew chief could choose to invoke instant replay on any reviewable call. Calls that were challenged were reviewed by an umpiring crew at MLB headquarters in New York City, which made the final ruling.
On December 11, 2013, the Playing Rules Committee voted overwhelmingly to outlaw home-plate collisions between runners and catchers. On February 24, 2014, the new rule was put into effect as Rule 7.13 was released.
|Team||Former GM||New GM||Reason for leaving||Former job|
|Atlanta Braves||Frank Wren||John Hart (interim)||Fired||Hart was a former Indians and Rangers general manager and was the current Braves senior advisor.|
|Team||Former manager||Interim manager||Reason for leaving||Story/Accomplishments|
|Houston Astros||Bo Porter||Tom Lawless||Fired||Porter was fired on September 1 along with bench coach Dave Trembley. Lawless was named the interim manager. Porter finished with a 110–190 in under two seasons.|
|Texas Rangers||Ron Washington||Tim Bogar||Resigned||Washington resigned on September 5 for personal reasons after eight seasons with the Rangers. He finished with a 664–611 record and is the franchise's all-time leader in regular season wins and games managed. Washington led the Rangers to four straight 90-win seasons, three playoff appearances, and back-to-back American League championships in 2010 and 2011. Bogar, who is the current bench coach, was named the interim manager for the rest of the 2014 season.|
|Arizona Diamondbacks||Kirk Gibson||Alan Trammell||Fired||Gibson was fired on September 26 after four years as manager of the Diamondbacks. He finished with a 353–375 record and led the Diamondbacks to the division title during the 2011 season while capturing the National League Manager of the Year award. Trammell, who previously was the bench coach, will take over as manager for the final three games of the season.|
At the end of the 2013 season, the following teams made replacements to their managers.
|Team||Former manager||New manager||Reason for leaving||Story/Accomplishments|
|Seattle Mariners||Eric Wedge||Lloyd McClendon||Resigned||Wedge declined to return on September 27, 2013, as he missed part of the season with a partial stroke. He finished with a 213–273 record in three seasons. McClendon was announced as the new manager on November 5, 2013. McClendon previously managed the Pittsburgh Pirates from 2001 to 2005 and compiled a 336–446 record.|
|Chicago Cubs||Dale Sveum||Rick Renteria||Fired||Sveum was fired by the Cubs after two seasons and a record of 127–197. Rentería was named manager on November 7, 2013, after being the bench coach for the San Diego Padres the last two seasons.|
|Washington Nationals||Davey Johnson||Matt Williams||Retired||Johnson announced on November 12, 2012, that the 2013 season would be his last. He finished with a record of 224–183 in his three seasons. Matt Williams was announced on October 31, 2013, as the new manager.|
|Cincinnati Reds||Dusty Baker||Bryan Price||Fired||Baker was fired by the Reds after six seasons and a record of 509–463. Price served as the Reds pitching coach for four seasons.|
|Detroit Tigers||Jim Leyland||Brad Ausmus||Resigned and Retired||Leyland resigned on October 21, 2013, and then retired the next day with a record of 700–597 (.540) with three division titles (2011–13), one AL wild card (2006) and two AL pennants (2006 and 2012). Ausmus was announced as the next manager on November 3, 2013.|
|Baseball Writers' Association of America Awards|
|BBWAA Award||National League||American League|
|Rookie of the Year||Jacob DeGrom (NYM)||José Abreu (CHW)|
|Cy Young Award||Clayton Kershaw (LAD)||Corey Kluber (CLE)|
|Manager of the Year||Matt Williams (WSH)||Buck Showalter (BAL)|
|Most Valuable Player||Clayton Kershaw (LAD)||Mike Trout (LAA)|
|Gold Glove Awards|
|Position||National League||American League|
|Pitcher||Zack Greinke (LAD)||Dallas Keuchel (HOU)|
|Catcher||Yadier Molina (STL)||Salvador Pérez (KC)|
|1st Base||Adrián González (LAD)||Eric Hosmer (KC)|
|2nd Base||DJ LeMahieu (COL)||Dustin Pedroia (BOS)|
|3rd Base||Nolan Arenado (COL)||Kyle Seager (SEA)|
|Shortstop||Andrelton Simmons (ATL)||J. J. Hardy (BAL)|
|Left field||Christian Yelich (MIA)||Alex Gordon (KC)|
|Center field||Juan Lagares (NYM)||Adam Jones (BAL)|
|Right field||Jason Heyward (ATL)||Nick Markakis (BAL)|
|Silver Slugger Awards|
|Pitcher/Designated Hitter||Madison Bumgarner (SF)||Víctor Martínez (DET)|
|Catcher||Buster Posey (SF)||Yan Gomes (CLE)|
|1st Base||Adrián González (LAD)||José Abreu (CHW)|
|2nd Base||Neil Walker (PIT)||José Altuve (HOU)|
|3rd Base||Anthony Rendon (WAS)||Adrián Beltré (TEX)|
|Shortstop||Ian Desmond (WSH)||Alexei Ramírez (CHW)|
|Outfield||Giancarlo Stanton (MIA)||José Bautista (TOR)|
|Justin Upton (ATL)||Michael Brantley (CLE)|
|Andrew McCutchen (PIT)||Mike Trout (LAA)|
|Fielding Bible Awards|
|Pitcher||Dallas Keuchel (HOU)|
|Catcher||Jonathan Lucroy (MIL)|
|1st Base||Adrián González (LAD)|
|2nd Base||Dustin Pedroia (BOS)|
|3rd Base||Josh Donaldson (OAK)|
|Shortstop||Andrelton Simmons (ATL)|
|Left Field||Alex Gordon (KC)|
|Center Field||Juan Lagares (NYM)|
|Right Field||Jason Heyward (ATL)|
|Multi-position||Lorenzo Cain (KC)|
Player of the Month
Pitcher of the Month
Rookie of the Month
|Team Name||Wins||%±||Home attendance||%±||Per Game||Est. Payroll||%±|
|Los Angeles Dodgers||94||2.2%||3,782,337||1.0%||46,696||$233,386,026||-8.2%|
|St. Louis Cardinals||90||-7.2%||3,540,649||5.1%||43,712||$129,932,500||15.4%|
|New York Yankees||84||-1.2%||3,401,624||3.7%||41,995||$258,118,959||4.7%|
|San Francisco Giants||88||15.8%||3,368,697||0.0%||41,589||$163,510,167||16.9%|
|Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim||98||25.6%||3,095,935||2.5%||38,221||$128,667,000||10.4%|
|Boston Red Sox||71||-26.8%||2,956,089||4.3%||36,495||$134,628,929||-23.2%|
|Toronto Blue Jays||83||12.2%||2,375,525||-6.3%||29,327||$136,466,200||9.6%|
|San Diego Padres||77||1.3%||2,195,373||1.3%||27,103||$76,662,100||16.2%|
|New York Mets||79||6.8%||2,148,808||0.6%||26,528||$82,663,615||19.1%|
|Kansas City Royals||89||3.5%||1,956,482||11.8%||24,154||$89,804,075||2.7%|
|Chicago White Sox||73||15.9%||1,650,821||-6.6%||20,381||$87,475,500||7.5%|
|Tampa Bay Rays||77||-16.3%||1,446,464||-4.2%||17,858||$77,814,300||9.3%|
The following teams will wear commemorative patches for special occasions:
|Atlanta Braves||To commemorate the 40th anniversary of Hank Aaron's 715th home run|
Remembrance of the life of longtime announcer Pete Van Wieren
|Baltimore Orioles||60th anniversary in Baltimore|
Remembrance of the life of former part-owner Tom Clancy
|Boston Red Sox||To commemorate their 2013 World Series championship [home opener only]|
|Chicago Cubs||Wrigley Field's 100th anniversary|
|Chicago White Sox||Remembrance of the life of David Reinsdorf, son of owner Jerry Reinsdorf|
|Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim||Remembrance of the life of former shortstop and manager Jim Fregosi (August 12)|
|Milwaukee Brewers||Remembrance of the life of scouting director Bruce Seid|
|Minnesota Twins||Host city of the 2014 Major League Baseball All-Star Game|
|New York Mets||Remembrance of the life of long time broadcaster Ralph Kiner|
Remembrance of the life of former general manager Frank Cashen
|Oakland Athletics||25th Anniversary World Series champions reunion|
Remembrance of the life of former pitcher Bob Welch (July 19)
|Philadelphia Phillies||Remembrance of the life of part-owner Claire Betz|
Remembrance of the life of former manager Jim Fregosi (August 12)
|Pittsburgh Pirates||Remembrance of the life of Hall-of-Fame OF Ralph Kiner|
|San Diego Padres||Remembrance of the life of long time broadcaster Jerry Coleman|
Remembrance of the life of Hall-of-Fame OF Tony Gwynn
|Tampa Bay Rays||Remembrance of the life of senior adviser Don Zimmer|
|All 30 teams||May 11, Mother's Day – Breast cancer awareness|
|June 15, Father's Day – Prostate cancer awareness|
|July 4 – patches with ALS and Lou Gehrig in commemoration of the 75th anniversary of Gehrig's speech|
|July 27–75th anniversary of the Baseball Hall of Fame. The Cardinals and Cubs wore the patches July 26.|
In addition to ten Cubs throwback uniforms to mark the 100th anniversary of Wrigley Field, selected teams wore throwbacks throughout the season:
This was first year of the new eight-year TV contracts with ESPN, Fox Sports, and TBS. ESPN will air Sunday night games, some Monday Night games and Wednesday night games, while Fox Sports will air Saturday games and TBS will air Sunday games.
Contract provisions in ESPN's contract virtually eliminated local blackouts among the network's Monday and Wednesday night games, allowing ESPN coverage to co-exist with that of the local broadcasters in home markets. Sunday Night Baseball blackout rules will still apply.
Fox Sports' contract also covers Fox Sports 1, which began its first year of Major League Baseball coverage. Fox Sports 1 televised 40 regular-season games (mostly on Saturdays) and possibly up to 15 playoff games. The increase in televised games from previous years is due to a provision in the contract that allows for Fox Sports 1 to take a game between two teams in which Fox operates the teams' individual RSNs and elevate it into a national broadcast. As a result, MLB regular season coverage on the Fox network was reduced to 12 weeks beginning in 2014.
In the post-season, TBS and ESPN aired two Wild Card Games. TBS, Fox Sports 1 and MLB Network aired the Division Series, while TBS aired the American League Championship Series. The Fox network and Fox Sports 1 aired the National League Championship Series, and the Fox network exclusively aired the All-Star Game and the World Series.
This is the first year of eight-year contracts for national broadcasts in Canada. Sportsnet, owned by Rogers Communications (and sister company of the Toronto Blue Jays), continues to be the primary rightsholder, retaining rights to the All-Star Game, the Home Run Derby, and most postseason games. In total (including Canada-wide rights to all Blue Jays games which are acquired directly from the team), Sportsnet's various channels will carry almost 300 MLB games per season until 2021. As part of the deal, Rogers Cable became the Canadian launch partner for MLB Network, which was not previously available in Canada, and did not secure carriage on any Canadian providers other than Rogers that year. Despite this, MLB Network's Division Series telecasts were kept exclusive to that channel in Canada as well.
Separately, TSN announced its own eight-year deal to expand its MLB coverage. Having carried ESPN's Sunday Night Baseball since 2010 under sublicense from Sportsnet, TSN and TSN2 will now carry all of ESPN's regular-season coverage (ESPN being a minority partner in TSN), adding Monday Night Baseball and Wednesday Night Baseball, totalling over 75 games per year.
French-language rights, previously held exclusively by TSN's French-language sister channels RDS and RDS2, will now be split with TVA Sports, with each group airing approximately 70 games per season (TVA Sports also carries additional Blue Jays games acquired directly from the team). RDS will continue to carry the All-Star Game and the World Series, but the remaining postseason rights will be split equally between RDS and TVA Sports.
ESPN Radio aired its 17th season of national coverage, including Sunday night games, Saturday games, Opening Day and holiday games, the All-Star Game and Home Run Derby, and the entire postseason.
The New York Yankees left WCBS, which was their radio home for 12 years, but the rights remained with CBS Radio's New York cluster, as they moved to WCBS's sister station WFAN with a new rights agreement, which allows an FM simulcast with WFAN-FM, which would mark the first time the Yankees are heard on FM radio in their hometown. The move to WFAN means that the New York Mets moved to WOR (purchased by Clear Channel in late 2012) for the 2014 season, as they had been on WFAN since the station had adopted the all-sports format in 1987.
This will be the final year in which the Chicago Cubs will air on WGN. WGN has had some form of broadcast relationship with the Cubs since 1925 and has been the exclusive broadcaster of the team since 1958; for many years, the Cubs and WGN were both owned by Tribune Company. The spin-off of the Cubs to new ownership, combined with continued financial losses, the Cubs' persistent on-field futility and the pending end of the rival Chicago White Sox's contract with WSCR after the 2015 season, prompted Tribune to end its relationship with the Cubs. Cubs broadcasts will move to CBS Radio's WBBM for 2015 and, if the White Sox do not renew with WSCR, to WSCR for 2016 and beyond.