The 2013 Baseball Thread

Play it? Watch it? Listen to it? Post it! Discuss Movies, TV, DVDs, CDs, and Evangelion! Compare Computer, Video, Pen & Paper, Sports, and any other games you want. Most anything entertaining is fair game.
ampersand
Redshirt
Posts: 7404
Joined: Wed May 23, 2007 11:43 pm
Real Name: Andrew Kunz
Gender: Male
Location: Portland, Oregon

Re: The 2013 Baseball Thread

Post by ampersand » Sat Aug 31, 2013 10:59 pm

The Pirates are three wins from ensuring a winning seasons since gas was $1.13 a gallon. And they're tied with St. Louis for the NL Central.

User avatar
The Cid
Redshirt
Posts: 7150
Joined: Fri Nov 05, 2004 12:23 pm
Real Name: Tim Williams
Gender: Male
Location: The Suncoast

Re: The 2013 Baseball Thread

Post by The Cid » Sun Sep 01, 2013 3:54 pm

ampersand wrote:The Pirates are three wins from ensuring a winning seasons since gas was $1.13 a gallon.
-Since George H.W. Bush was president.

-Since Conan O'Brien was a writer for The Simpsons.

-Since David Letterman was on at 12:35 at night on NBC.

Could do that for a while. ("Since OJ Simpson was an actor.")
Image
Hirschof wrote:I'm waiting for day you people start thinking with portals.

ampersand
Redshirt
Posts: 7404
Joined: Wed May 23, 2007 11:43 pm
Real Name: Andrew Kunz
Gender: Male
Location: Portland, Oregon

Re: The 2013 Baseball Thread

Post by ampersand » Mon Sep 02, 2013 2:01 am

The Cid wrote:
ampersand wrote:The Pirates are three wins from ensuring a winning seasons since gas was $1.13 a gallon.
-Since George H.W. Bush was president.

-Since Conan O'Brien was a writer for The Simpsons.

-Since David Letterman was on at 12:35 at night on NBC.

Could do that for a while. ("Since OJ Simpson was an actor.")
Wait, OJ was an actor?

User avatar
Deacon
Shining Adonis
Posts: 44204
Joined: Wed Jul 30, 2003 3:00 pm
Gender: Male
Location: Lakehills, TX

The 2013 Baseball Thread

Post by Deacon » Mon Sep 02, 2013 7:30 am

Well...he was in movies. Lets just leave it at that.
The follies which a man regrets the most in his life are those which he didn't commit when he had the opportunity. - Helen Rowland, A Guide to Men, 1922

User avatar
The Cid
Redshirt
Posts: 7150
Joined: Fri Nov 05, 2004 12:23 pm
Real Name: Tim Williams
Gender: Male
Location: The Suncoast

Re: The 2013 Baseball Thread

Post by The Cid » Thu Sep 05, 2013 3:13 pm

He was Nordberg in the Naked Gun movies.

-So the Red Sox hit eight home runs last night. That ties a franchise record. Also, they did it against the Tigers. This team is for real. Their next ten games are: Four at New York, three at Tampa Bay, three at home against New York. Do well in those next ten games, and the AL East could be wrapped up by the end of next week. Time to bury the Yankees!

-Texas and Oakland are tied for the AL West lead. It's going to come down to the wire, and it looks like the loser is likely to host the Wild Card Game. (Against either Tampa Bay, the Yankees, or Cleveland.) Me, I want Texas to win because a Red Sox-Rangers ALCS would be awesome.

-The next game Pittsburgh wins will ensure a winning season. They can finish no worse than .500 as things stand right now. They're also a game up over St. Louis, and made a waiver wire deal for Justin Morneau from the Twins. The ownership has stopped robbing their fans and Pittsburgh is a part of baseball again. This is good news for everyone.
Image
Hirschof wrote:I'm waiting for day you people start thinking with portals.

ampersand
Redshirt
Posts: 7404
Joined: Wed May 23, 2007 11:43 pm
Real Name: Andrew Kunz
Gender: Male
Location: Portland, Oregon

The 2013 Baseball Thread

Post by ampersand » Thu Sep 12, 2013 9:27 pm

Image

We're going to need a stake.

User avatar
The Cid
Redshirt
Posts: 7150
Joined: Fri Nov 05, 2004 12:23 pm
Real Name: Tim Williams
Gender: Male
Location: The Suncoast

Re: The 2013 Baseball Thread

Post by The Cid » Fri Sep 13, 2013 3:16 pm

Woah. The moral of this picture: Don't do steroids.

So okay. A couple weeks left. Where do we stand?

-The NL East, NL West, and AL East are essentially wrapped up. Atlanta is going to win the NL East. Los Angeles is going to win the NL West. Boston is going to win the AL East. None of them have clinched quite yet, but all three can do so within the next week. Detroit's six game AL Central lead puts them in similar company.

-Oakland has a 3.5 game lead in the AL West over a Texas team that has fallen on some hard times. The Rangers are 2-8 in their last ten.

-Texas leads the AL Wild Card race. Tampa Bay currently holds the second Wild Card spot, 2 games behind Texas, with a 1 game lead over the Yankees, 1.5 over the Indians, and 2.5 over both Kansas City and Baltimore. So if the season ends this way, Texas will host Tampa Bay for the Wild Card game. My guess though is that Cleveland has the best shot at that second Wild Card because they have the easiest remaining schedule.

-Pittsburgh and St. Louis are tied for the NL Central lead and are 2.5 games ahead of Cincinnati. Whoever doesn't win that division will probably host Cincinnati in the Wild Card game. The Pirates just swept the Texas Rangers, appropriate since they built a similar team to the Rangers of recent years. They are almost certain to be going to the playoffs and can clinch their spot in the next week. Yeah. Pittsburgh. The team whose owners I've been calling thieves forever. Funny things happen when you try to win.

-The only other NL team that could possibly sneak into the playoffs? The Washington Nationals, who are 5.5 games behind Cincinnati for the final NL spot. They'd have to all but win out, but they have a phenomenal amount of talent and it's definitely in play.

If I could pick a team for the Red Sox to play in the first round, the ideal matchup would be...probably Texas or Baltimore. I want no part of Cleveland and their manager Terry Francona, who is destined to come back to haunt the Red Sox. I don't want to endure a five game playoff series with the Yankees, even these depleted Yankees, because those are *excruciating.* (The fourteen games combined between the 2003 ALCS and 2004 ALCS probably had more negative effects on my health than all the smoking and drinking I've ever done or thought about doing.)

Also: A first round playoff series between the Pirates and the Reds might be an old school baseball person's dream.
Image
Hirschof wrote:I'm waiting for day you people start thinking with portals.

ampersand
Redshirt
Posts: 7404
Joined: Wed May 23, 2007 11:43 pm
Real Name: Andrew Kunz
Gender: Male
Location: Portland, Oregon

Re: The 2013 Baseball Thread

Post by ampersand » Tue Sep 17, 2013 5:58 pm

At this point, the AL Wild Card is kind of a toss-up, but I think the general consensus is Cleveland and Kansas City have the best chance to make up ground, and Texas, Tampa Bay and the Yankees have the best chance to lose ground. Baltimore could go either way. I think it's going to end up with Tampa Bay holding on and Cleveland getting the second slot.

Today's Washington - Atlanta double header will determine whether Washington will have a chance of advancing. It has to win both in order for them to become a viable wild card contender. Otherwise, they're done. I think they'll lose both to Atlanta.

Which leads the NL Central. I think it's looking like it's going to be the Pirates division to win, and then St. Louis and Cincinnati to play that one game series. I believe Pirates hold the tie-breaker over St. Louis, which is the only reason I think they'll win the Central.

User avatar
Martin Blank
Knower of Things
Knower of Things
Posts: 12685
Joined: Fri Feb 07, 2003 4:11 am
Real Name: Jarrod Frates
Gender: Male
Location: Dallas, TX

Re: The 2013 Baseball Thread

Post by Martin Blank » Sat Sep 21, 2013 2:30 am

I'm wondering about your opinion, Cid, on whether the issue with the Angels this year (who have had some good streaks, just not enough of them to be like the Dodgers and actually come completely out of the cellar) is with players who can't get their act together as a team, or if it's their manager, Mike Scioscia, one of the last of those influenced directly by classical management styles.
If I show up at your door, chances are you did something to bring me there.

User avatar
The Cid
Redshirt
Posts: 7150
Joined: Fri Nov 05, 2004 12:23 pm
Real Name: Tim Williams
Gender: Male
Location: The Suncoast

Re: The 2013 Baseball Thread

Post by The Cid » Sat Sep 21, 2013 2:48 pm

I'm not sure it's either of those things. I think the Angels' biggest problem is the way they built their team. They took chances on a lot of the wrong guys and built the entire team under faulty logic. Consider:

-There are some very real problems with chasing big name free agents. The Angels, in recent years, have landed Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton, as well as CJ Wilson. These players cost a lot of money, but all baseball contracts reward is past performance. Usually those guys getting record deals have already peaked. This seems to be the case for Hamilton (who, it's important to note, was drafted in 1999 and has battled serious drug addiction), and it might be the case for Albert Pujols. Pitchers are especially risky to give big contracts to, as pitchers can lose their edge seemingly overnight and never be the same again. This all spills into the second, and likely biggest, problem:

-Once you've spent money, you no longer have that money. This might not be true of the Dodgers and Yankees, whose payrolls appear to be unlimited, but every other team works within a budget--even big market teams like the Angels and Red Sox. Since the Angels have to pay Pujols, Wilson, and Hamilton whether those three perform or not, they won't have a lot of resources free to add to their lineup and pitching staff. Also:

-They couldn't have known this before 2012, but they don't really need a big star to anchor their team. Because Mike Trout is already that guy, he's already overshadowed Pujols and Hamilton, and if they knew (they couldn't) that he was going to be this good they never would have felt a need to spend so much money on their first baseman. Trout makes the entire team look different. What they need is to build a lineup around him, not make him fit into a lineup built around Albert Pujols. But they can't, because Pujols isn't versatile enough to have that work the other way around. Thus, they may be stuck trying to force Mike Trout into a Rickey Henderson-type role as a leadoff hitter with some power, rather than the lineup centerpiece he absolutely needs to be. Because of this, their lineup from day to day looks patched together. Which means:

-Mike Scioscia is going down like he just got radiation poisoning. (Never fear, Simpsons fans: Don Mattingly is still in the league. And I have a sneaking suspicion we have not heard the last of Ken Griffey Junior. Or at least, I hope we haven't. Yes, there have always been players who were featured in that one Simpsons episode somewhere in the MLB ranks.) Scioscia's going to take the fall for this, which is a shame because he's terribly misunderstood. For all of what you call his "classical" style, Scioscia unleashed creative new-school Tampa Bay Rays genius Joe Maddon on the world. And San Diego Padres manager Bud Black as well. He's good at surrounding himself with assistants, and his players adore him. (Except Mike Napoli, who was a little offended at how Scioscia hated him as a catcher. I should note that Mike Napoli is a Gold Glove candidate at first base this year and has not been a catcher for the Red Sox at all. So, you know, Scioscia was kind of right...) Let me just point out from experience: Firing a manager who has been around for a while and taken your team to new heights is generally a bad idea. One hopes Mr. Moreno avoids hiring Bobby Valentine.

Oh, one more aside on Scioscia: While there are fewer "classical" managers, there are still a number of them. Terry Francona isn't much of a sabermetric guy even if his bosses have historically been exactly that. Jim Leyland is probably incapable of being anything but "classical" in anything he does. Frankly, for all his new and wacky attitude, Joe Maddon isn't too far off from the Sparky Andersons of years gone by. But the bottom line here is:

-It's the GM who needs to go. Again, you don't just write checks and expect the titles to roll in. I know people think that's how it works, but it absolutely does not. The Angels have built an expensive team that is going to need an overhaul before it wins anything. So what to do moving forward?

1. Look for a rich trading partner to rid you of some contracts. This is, without question, how the Boston Red Sox went from worst to first: They ditched a quarter of a billion dollars' worth of payroll to the Dodgers in August of 2012 for a group of prospects. This gave them the financial and lineup flexibility to bring in high character players like Johnny Gomes and Shane Victorino, as well as Mike Napoli and his built-for-Fenway game. None of those guys are as talented as Carl Crawford or Adrian Gonzalez, but those two weren't working out in Boston and everyone needed a change. If the Angels could find someone to take Pujols (possibly the Cubs, who might be about to go on a spending spree that makes the Dodgers look prudent) and another bothersome contract, they could free up some payroll to sign a pitcher or two. Yes, Pujols can still be great, but he's forcing them to put Trout somewhere other than the middle of their lineup, and you go with the considerably younger player in that situation.

2. Your new top baseball commandment: Thou Shalt Always Trust Thy Farm. The best player on the Angels is a kid barely old enough to drink. The Angels' minor league affiliates have turned out a number of quality big league players over the years, and since it's been a while since the Halos made the playoffs they should have a fair number of good draft picks in there. Bring up some guys to fill holes. Use the eye-popping package they'll be sure to get for Pujols to either shore up the pitching staff or do the one thing that teams with money should consider an advantage:

3. Go Ace Shopping. There are two ways you can land a true ace pitcher: Farm system, or having lots and lots of money to go bring one in. In the Angels' case, they have money and these hypothetical farmhands from the Pujols trade. Spin those into a Felix Hernandez or a Chris Sale, suddenly the Angels have a guy who can pencil in a win on every fifth day. This is especially important as they play in a division with Texas and therefore with Yu Darvish. Now that the big things are taken care of:

4. Load up with characters. This starts with the manager. Just know that, because of money and a big overhaul and the existence of Mike Trout, the Angels are going to get more attention than a lot of other teams. So they're going to need people around who can take the edge off. This is why it's going to be a shame that they're going to can Scioscia. My recommendation and I am absolutely not kidding about this: Dave Roberts, currently a base coach for the Padres. Roberts is a well-liked former player who spent time under Black in San Diego, and as a player all over the place. Most notably, Roberts played for the 2004 Red Sox and has a special place with us. (Bostonians can't mention Mariano Rivera without bringing up Dave Roberts.) He's young, so if the rebuilding process takes more than a year he'll wait. He was a great base-runner, so he can help push Trout to new heights. And let's see, Francona might make the playoffs, his protege John Farrell just won the AL East, might not be a bad idea to take a branch from that coaching tree. Who you don't want as a manager is an older guy who has managed for a long time, such as Joe Torre or the nightmare scenario that is Bobby Valentine. Take a chance on a Roberts, or somebody along similar lines. Surround that manager with a couple of veterans known as characters who people don't expect much out of. (Already supposedly washed-up and therefore super-cheap Tim Lincecum comes to mind.) I will never believe chemistry is overrated in baseball. I can't. I've seen it work too many times.
Image
Hirschof wrote:I'm waiting for day you people start thinking with portals.

User avatar
Healer24
Redshirt
Posts: 897
Joined: Tue Jan 11, 2005 1:33 am
Gender: Male
Location: Eureka, Illinois

Re: The 2013 Baseball Thread

Post by Healer24 » Wed Sep 25, 2013 3:16 pm

Just read this article. The last point is one I'd never heard before. Thoughts?
"He was a genius - that is to say, a man who does superlatively and without obvious effort something that most people cannot do by the uttermost exertion of their abilities." - Robertson Davies

User avatar
The Cid
Redshirt
Posts: 7150
Joined: Fri Nov 05, 2004 12:23 pm
Real Name: Tim Williams
Gender: Male
Location: The Suncoast

Re: The 2013 Baseball Thread

Post by The Cid » Wed Sep 25, 2013 9:30 pm

On "greenies:" Remember, well into the 1970s, players still smoked. During games. Now it would be a minor-scandal to see a player sneaking a cigarette in the offseason. (Or at least cause for ridicule.) So keep in mind that general fitness among ballplayers is a very recent thing.

I like that someone brought up greenies. It's a good point, because it speaks to the weird way we've viewed this whole performance-enhancing drug stuff in baseball.

Also, Ball Four needs to be turned into a TV show by a Netflix or an AMC. If Friday Night Lights could become a successful television show, Ball Four should make it. It even has the perfect elevator pitch: Eastbound and Down meets Mad Men. How has this not happened yet?

Some other points we tend not to consider about steroids and performance enhancing drugs in baseball:

-They're not a magic potion that makes people better at sports. People talk like Barry Bonds rubbed some cream on his arms and it was like Popeye tearing into a can of spinach. Clearly, as we live in the real world and not a cartoon, that can't be true. There was far more to it. Like I said, players used to smoke cigarettes. But then they started getting in better shape. Some players became paragons of virtue within baseball for working out religiously, even in the offseason. Roger Clemens' late career resurgence was attributed to work ethic and a commitment to the gym. Now it's written off as the work of steroids. In reality, the first part is still absolutely true, because that's what you do with steroids when you're an athlete, you use them to recover from workouts faster so you can get back in the gym sooner. I just want a doctor to appear on television, explain what all this stuff is, why athletes are harming themselves to use it, who should use it, and what impact it may have on the skills related to baseball. Until then, aren't we all kind of talking out of our asses about this stuff? All the time?

-We use the wrong things as signs that someone's on "the juice." The biggest sign that baseball fans used to look for in a cheating player was their head size. If your head grows you're clearly on steroids. Nope. Not kidding. We really did that and really made jokes about it. Barry Bonds' head grew. That's when we knew he was on something. (I really think we picked this up from The Simpsons.) Yet Clemens couldn't have been doing anything because he just worked out harder than anyone else. We still act like steroids are a shortcut to working hard, when in reality steroids are allowing people on them to work harder. So rather than looking at head or arm size, look at people who randomly become gym rats in their late thirties despite already being millionaire professional athletes. Also:

-Some people kind of suck at taking steroids. In the Mitchell Report (baseball's officially-commissioned report on who was doing what), it was claimed that Mo Vaughn received some steroids, tried them, and was taken off of the steroids by his trainer because he couldn't keep to a proper schedule and wasn't doing the required work to make the steroids actually do anything. Jason Giambi's brother took steroids. I bet you forgot Jason Giambi had a brother who played Major League Baseball. He did, and he wasn't great. There are other skills besides being strong required for being a good ballplayer.

-Hey wait a second, aren't steroids and adderall like, real medicine? Yes. They are. And that means that there's lots of prescription abuse going on. Care to talk about that, the world at large? No? Then let's go watch baseball in peace, hmm?

I just hate real world issues getting mixed up in my baseball. Baseball's where I go to get my us vs. them energy out so I don't bring that into the real world. Sports and video games and fiction. You know, crap that doesn't really count for anything. The steroid stuff and all the drug stuff brings the real world too close to my sports.

My bottom line is that this stuff all exists. Since it exists, it will be out there. Since it's out there, people will try to improve upon it. And the producers will always be ahead of the testers. Keep testing, keep punishing violators, look down upon various record holders if you'd like, but Bonds' home runs happened. 1998 happened. Ryan Braun won an MVP while he was probably on something. So did Ken Caminiti. So did Jose Canseco and many others. Can't undo it, and erasing it whittles down 30 years of baseball history to Ozzie Smith, Pedro Martinez, Ken Griffey Junior, Derek Jeter, Greg Maddux, and a few memorable postseason series. I think baseball's done all it can reasonably do. I wish it would stop publicly flogging itself about the matter and act like the NFL does, where they punish violators and keep quiet.
Image
Hirschof wrote:I'm waiting for day you people start thinking with portals.

User avatar
Healer24
Redshirt
Posts: 897
Joined: Tue Jan 11, 2005 1:33 am
Gender: Male
Location: Eureka, Illinois

Re: The 2013 Baseball Thread

Post by Healer24 » Thu Sep 26, 2013 1:17 pm

I think baseball's done all it can reasonably do. I wish it would stop publicly flogging itself about the matter and act like the NFL does, where they punish violators and keep quiet.
Yeah, that might be for the best. Some people cheat, some people don't. Just try to enjoy watching.
On "greenies:" Remember, well into the 1970s, players still smoked. During games. Now it would be a minor-scandal to see a player sneaking a cigarette in the offseason. (Or at least cause for ridicule.) So keep in mind that general fitness among ballplayers is a very recent thing.
My dad sometimes talked about some of the stuff old teams got up to (rampant drug abuse on some old Mets teams), and I kind of felt like drugs that are clearly the opposite of a performance enhancer shouldn't be banned. Hey, if you want to smoke and show up to the stadium hammered, go ahead as long as you can still play.
"He was a genius - that is to say, a man who does superlatively and without obvious effort something that most people cannot do by the uttermost exertion of their abilities." - Robertson Davies

User avatar
The Cid
Redshirt
Posts: 7150
Joined: Fri Nov 05, 2004 12:23 pm
Real Name: Tim Williams
Gender: Male
Location: The Suncoast

Re: The 2013 Baseball Thread

Post by The Cid » Fri Sep 27, 2013 5:30 pm

Healer24 wrote:(rampant drug abuse on some old Mets teams)
To me, the most fascinating "what if" scenario in baseball history is "What if the Mets of the 1980s didn't get into cocaine?" Strawberry might have had a really long and solid career, almost a prototype version of Ken Griffey Junior. And Doc Gooden, oh man, Gooden could have been the best pitcher of his generation. You look at how good he was by 1986, and how quickly his career tapered off, it's sad when you realize the downfall was all due to poor decisions. It wasn't his arm going out, or a line drive taking his nerve away, or being on a terrible team, it was...well, it was the eighties. The eighties happened to Doc and Strawberry. Twenty years earlier and they're a sensation, ten years later and they'd have gotten into PEDs and produced numbers we can't really imagine. But they played in the eighties, in New York, and it played out pretty much like every movie set in New York from that decade.

---
Last weekend! In the AL, only the Wild Cards and homefield advantage are up for grabs. Tampa Bay holds the top spot, Cleveland would get the second one if the season ended right now, but Texas is one game off the pace and could still end up hosting the game if things break their way. Three games left for all three teams: Tampa Bay's in Toronto, Cleveland's in Minnesota, Texas hosts the Angels. The Rangers probably need a sweep. Then it's possible that Cleveland loses one (which would put them and Texas in a tie, meaning they would play an extra game against each other) and/or Tampa Bay loses two (which would put them in the same tie). Winner of the Wild Card game will probably play the Red Sox, who lead Oakland in the best-record-in-the-AL race and could finish that off tonight in Baltimore.

In the NL, Pittsburgh could still tie St. Louis for the NL Central division title, but they'd have to sweep the Reds and the Cardinals would need to get swept by the Cubs. The Pirates and Reds are probably playing for homefield advantage in the Wild Card game. Cincinnati needs to win two out of three this weekend to host that game, otherwise they'll need to go to Pittsburgh. Who really, really deserves a home game in the playoffs. Just one, at least just one. It would be sad for them to come all this way and not get to give their home crowd one playoff game. Every playoff team has been decided, only seeding is up for grabs.

What I'm rooting for is an AL Wild Card mess, where Tampa Bay, Texas, and Cleveland end the season in a tie. Which would mean they would all have to play one another to determine the wild card game, then they'd have to play that game, and after that they'd have to come to Boston to play the Red Sox. I don't know what happens if Pittsburgh and St. Louis end the season tied, if it goes to some tiebreaker or if they have to play a game where the loser has to host the Wild Card game, which would be awesome. So I'm rooting for ties and chaos is what I'm saying.
Image
Hirschof wrote:I'm waiting for day you people start thinking with portals.

User avatar
The Cid
Redshirt
Posts: 7150
Joined: Fri Nov 05, 2004 12:23 pm
Real Name: Tim Williams
Gender: Male
Location: The Suncoast

Re: The 2013 Baseball Thread

Post by The Cid » Sun Sep 29, 2013 8:44 am

Update: If the Twins beat the Indians today, the Rays beat the Blue Jays, and the Rangers beat the Angels, there will be a three way tie for the two AL Wild Card spots. In the event of a tie, Cleveland hosts Tampa Bay on Monday. Winner becomes the host of the AL Wild Card game. Loser plays at Texas for the second Wild Card spot on Tuesday.

All other playoff spots and seeds are decided. Pittsburgh will host Cincinnati in the NL Wild Card game, a throwback to the NL's best rivalry. (Sorry, Cubs-Cardinals, the Reds and Pirates have an extensive playoff history.)
Image
Hirschof wrote:I'm waiting for day you people start thinking with portals.

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Common Crawl (Research) and 0 guests