The 2013 Baseball Thread

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The Cid
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Re: The 2013 Baseball Thread

Post by The Cid » Mon Sep 30, 2013 8:48 pm

I don't care that I'm the only person willing to talk about baseball right now. I need to keep updating this. This is interesting.

The Rangers and the Rays are playing tonight to see which of the two teams get into the playoffs. The winner plays at Cleveland on Wednesday night. The winner of that game plays the Red Sox in Boston on Friday in game one of the ALDS.
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Re: The 2013 Baseball Thread

Post by Deacon » Tue Oct 01, 2013 4:29 am

Well, congratulations to the Rays, I guess. I had higher hopes for the Rangers.
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

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Re: The 2013 Baseball Thread

Post by The Cid » Tue Oct 01, 2013 5:40 pm

That was a great game. Price pitched a gem, hard to win against something like that, but the Rangers came within feet. There was a double that hit the top of the wall and could have been a two-run homer instead of a run-scoring double, and a ninth inning fly ball to the very edge of the wall. On the bright side, at least the terrible out call in the seventh inning didn't end up impacting the final score at all.

So Reds at Pirates tonight. One of the best rivalries in all of baseball renewed. Ought to be a fun and excellent ballgame. Tomorrow night it'll be Rays at Indians. A long regular season, but we're here. Welcome to the playoffs.
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Re: The 2013 Baseball Thread

Post by Deacon » Thu Oct 03, 2013 3:48 am

Healer24 wrote:Just read this article. The last point is one I'd never heard before. Thoughts?
I actually was able to refer to this elsewhere. Thanks for sharing 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

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Re: The 2013 Baseball Thread

Post by ampersand » Sun Oct 06, 2013 8:03 am

Boston is apparently much better than the Rays. Every other series is tied at 1 and entering that pivotal Game 3. And did Dusty Baker needed to go? Yes, I believe he should.

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Re: The 2013 Baseball Thread

Post by The Cid » Sun Oct 06, 2013 2:50 pm

ampersand wrote:Boston is apparently much better than the Rays.
In those first two games, yeah. But the division series is always up in the air. Teams have come back from 0-2 quite a few times, so I'm not declaring the Rays dead yet.

But man, those first two games were awesome. Ortiz' homers last night were staggering. The team scored early to keep the crowd in it and never let up in those first two games. Then David Price had a Twitter meltdown last night after the game. Prediction: Price is a Cub by the end of 2014. Possibly earlier. Second prediction: The prospects the Cubs give away to get him turn into great players in Tampa Bay, while Price's career flames out abruptly like everyone else who leaves the Rays anymore.

The best news is that the Red Sox haven't even used their best pitcher yet. Buchholz goes on Monday against Alex Cobb, the guy who beat Cleveland and knocked them out on Wednesday night. At Tropicana Field, where noisemakers are king. (They like to bring cowbells. *Cowbells.* To a baseball game. Meanwhile we make more noise yelling their right fielder's last name. Which Myers handled like a pro by the way. So glad the cowbell tradition hasn't made its way to Tampa Bay's football team.) The Rays need a new stadium, but I wish they'd stop throwing that on the city of Tampa like it's Tampa's problem they chose a terrible venue in St. Pete in the first place. Nobody deserves a free stadium. Much as I love baseball it's really not that essential to our lives that everyone needs to pitch in and get one built. I don't get why they can't take up a collection, like museums with their suggested donation. Keep guys at the gate, have them hand out brochures about a new stadium, and see if they can get donations from fans. Or Hell, do a Kickstarter, or go to MLB and make the case that the other owners would benefit from a new stadium in Tampa so they'll help pony up the money.
ampersand wrote:Every other series is tied at 1 and entering that pivotal Game 3.
Loving Oakland-Detroit so far. The games have been close, the announcing has been solid (Don Orsillo and Dennis Eckersley were the guys who did most Red Sox games this year, so I'm familiar with them, but I wish TBS didn't stick them with Buck Martinez), it's pretty cool to see Oakland's football stadium filled with people for a baseball game. (Open Mount Davis! This team can't outdraw a horrible Raiders team? Did they or did they not make an Academy Award-nominated movie about this very team?) Last night's pitcher's duel was amazing. I love when two great pitchers just go at it. I think Oakland-Detroit goes five games.

Pittsburgh coming home with a lead seems dangerous. They're going to have a killer homefield advantage on noise alone. I can't tell if I like St. Louis' stoic team or if I think they'll respond poorly in a crisis. I wonder how a team like that might respond to falling behind on the road in a hostile environment. They might just flatline. The Cardinals' best chance here is to score early tonight and get the crowd nervous. I don't think they can. I don't think they make it back to St. Louis.

Atlanta is too streaky to trust in the playoffs. Kimbrel's a really good closer, but their hitters flail around a lot in the box (they strike out constantly) and kind of display an all-or-nothing offense. I could see LA pulling away in their two home games and putting everything away.
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Re: The 2013 Baseball Thread

Post by ampersand » Sun Oct 06, 2013 5:39 pm

Your thoughts on Dusty Baker, Cid?

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Re: The 2013 Baseball Thread

Post by The Cid » Sun Oct 06, 2013 6:03 pm

While it's a bit simple to say I think he's gone as far as he can go, the Reds certainly seem to think exactly that.

On one hand, Baker has gotten three teams to the playoffs in a span of eleven years. He took San Francisco to the World Series. He took the Cubs to within a few outs of the World Series. He took Cincinnati to the playoffs. But then you look at that team and you wonder if they could play better than they are. Votto's one of the best players in baseball. Their pitching staff is deep, and Baker has a reputation for not being kind to starting rotations.

It's all about the opportunities available. If there's a guy out there that the Reds think could take them to the next level, it's a great move. If they're firing Baker because somebody has to take the blame for not advancing, they'll probably just end up with someone else that isn't stellar. Most coaches in any sport are interchangeable, unless they're exceptionally great or exceptionally bad.
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Re: The 2013 Baseball Thread

Post by ampersand » Wed Oct 09, 2013 2:24 am

Well, at this point, it's looking like Detroit - Oakland and St. Louis - Pittsburgh are going five (with Pittsburgh going with Cole, a rookie, as the starter). Who knows how Tampa Bay and Boston will fair, but something tells me this is going five as well.

The Dodgers really have the early lead towards winning the whole thing, it's been interesting to listen to Scully on the MLB internet radio. I do have they make the World Series and then Vin Scully broadcasts an entire game and not just the first three innings. Heck, bring up past Dodger heroes. What's LaSorda doing these days?

Unless Boston chokes this series away, it's still looking like a Red Sox - Dodgers World Series at this point. A St. Louis - LA NCLS would be rather epic. (With no disrespect to Pittsburgh.)

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Re: The 2013 Baseball Thread

Post by The Cid » Wed Oct 09, 2013 1:46 pm

ampersand wrote:Who knows how Tampa Bay and Boston will fair, but something tells me this is going five as well.
Joe Maddon used every trick in his hipster manager book last night. Every pitcher in his bullpen. Pinch hitters.

I've joked this series that the Rays' theme road trips, the Chewbacca mask in the dugout, and the other quirky things they do remind me of a Little League team. Last night, with everybody getting some playing time, it looked even more like one. The best Little League team ever, yeah, but still.

Nice to see the Red Sox finish them off when they had the chance. Games 3 and 4 were such incredible baseball games though, they could easily have gone either way. A game five situation would have been frightening.
ampersand wrote:Detroit - Oakland
The safe pick is the Tigers tomorrow, but I like Oakland in this. The Tigers are a very top-heavy team between their middle of the order and the top of their pitching rotation. If they have to rely on other hitters, or their bullpen, they could be in a lot of trouble.
ampersand wrote:St. Louis - Pittsburgh
I like the Pirates tonight with Cole going. He's the best pitcher they have (no, not Burnett). Since the Cardinals' manager is a former LaRussa underling, jump on the starter fast and watch the Cardinals over-manage the rest of the game the way Joe Maddon over-managed last night.
ampersand wrote:The Dodgers really have the early lead towards winning the whole thing
That depends on how you feel about the Braves. I didn't think their team was built to win in October. The winner of Pittsburgh and St. Louis is going to give the Dodgers some real fits. Kershaw is the best pitcher remaining though, which is always a thing of major importance.
ampersand wrote:I do have they make the World Series and then Vin Scully broadcasts an entire game and not just the first three innings. Heck, bring up past Dodger heroes. What's LaSorda doing these days?
You don't like Charlie Steiner doing the middle innings? I prefer Vin too, but Steiner's pretty solid.

Some other Division Series thoughts:

-Speaking of announcing crews, I'd like to congratulate TBS on using one of my favorite announcer pairings (Don Orsillo and Dennis Eckersley) for the Oakland-Detroit series. I'd like to, but I can't, because TBS also threw Buck "I don't work for NESN like these other two people and therefore do not know them" Martinez into the mix. Just let Eck talk. Let him yell "I gotta have that!" at the ump four or five times during a game. Let him go into his state of befuddlement about everything that exists outside of baseball. Don't have Buck Martinez interrupt him with irrelevant patter we could look up online. Which brings me to another point:

-Hey, announcers everywhere: There's this thing called the internet. It has all the baseball stats on it. It is also available on devices almost everyone these days carries in their pocket. So really, you don't need to recite every single split to us. We can look that up if we're interested in how a hitter fares with two strikes and RISP. Tell us things we can't easily look up, things we might not notice as people who aren't at the stadium, or people who haven't played professionally. Or in Scully's case, just tell stories for multiple innings on end.

-So what's with the avocados? Every year, during the division series (and as far as I can tell only during the division series) there are constant ads for avocados. Which, evidently, are sad enough that they have to advertise collectively. Do apples advertise? No. Do carrots need to take out commercial time? Sure don't. This is a bad sign for the avocado. Another bad sign: Apparently they only have the budget to air ads during one playoff series in one sport every year. Maybe their market research has suggested that baseball folk eat the Hell out of some avocados.
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Re: The 2013 Baseball Thread

Post by ampersand » Thu Oct 10, 2013 1:02 am

Steiner's fine. It's the World Series, and it would be the perfect cap to an unbelievable career for Scully. Does he need another World Series call? No, but at that point, it would be stealing from God anyway.

By the way, been listening to the St. Louis - Pittsburgh game. Sounds like Cole is not stepping up after that 2-run homer by Freese. Can someone get into the Hall of Fame just on playoff statistics alone and drama?

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Re: The 2013 Baseball Thread

Post by The Cid » Thu Oct 10, 2013 3:00 am

ampersand wrote:Can someone get into the Hall of Fame just on playoff statistics alone and drama?
If Curt Schilling gets in one of these years you'll have your answer.

Cole pitched very well, but the Cardinals did stellar work in the field to keep Pittsburgh from ever getting anything going. Wainright put the game in the hands of his fielding early and they did not let him down.

St. Louis and LA looks to be a really even matchup. Oakland hosts Detroit tomorrow night to determine who plays Boston in the ALCS.
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Re: The 2013 Baseball Thread

Post by The Cid » Mon Oct 14, 2013 3:24 pm

Last night was one of the most thrilling games of baseball I have ever watched. Wow. What a game.

I hit my ceiling celebrating Ortiz' grand slam. If today weren't a holiday I might have had to apologize to my neighbors.

The night before, after the Cardinals beat the Dodgers, someone on TBS asked if Carlos Beltran belongs in the discussion with Reggie Jackson and the other all-time October greats. I don't know abut Beltran, but I think Ortiz might. He has provided the Red Sox with, by my estimation, at least 80% of all the playoff clutch hits they've ever had. Series continues Tuesday afternoon tied at one game each.

EDIT: I think I should add a video clip taken by a fan at the game. Not really safe for work. And make sure you don't already have your volume cranked.
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Re: The 2013 Baseball Thread

Post by ampersand » Tue Oct 15, 2013 1:44 pm

And your neighbor would probably been like, "Ortiz's Grand Slam? Wicked awesome!"

Was watching both the NLCS Game 3 and the Indy - San Diego game last night. (Buffalo Wild Wings is awesome.) The baseball game was much more riveting than the football game. (Indianapolis and San Diego sucked balls last night.)

What do you think about the 2-3-2 they have for this round in both series? I understand they're doing this because a travel stipulation that allows for the 2-3-2 instead of the traditional 2-2-1-1-1 format.

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Re: The 2013 Baseball Thread

Post by The Cid » Wed Oct 16, 2013 8:04 pm

ampersand wrote:What do you think about the 2-3-2 they have for this round in both series? I understand they're doing this because a travel stipulation that allows for the 2-3-2 instead of the traditional 2-2-1-1-1 format.
MLB's always done 2-3-2 though. They've never done 2-2-1-1-1 for a seven game series. That's the NBA and NHL who do that, though the NHL's format changes for the Stanley Cup Finals because the NHL likes confusing people for no apparent reason.

I prefer 2-3-2. It makes more sense for baseball, as they don't take off days between every game in a playoff series (like NHL and NBA teams do), only for travel days. So 2-3-2 is shorter than 2-2-1-1-1 would be, and more coherent. Those three games in the middle are grueling. Lose one night and you come out the next with your backs to the wall, no off day to readjust. Also keep in mind that the two extra off days in a 2-2-1-1-1 series would ensure most teams use a three-man rotation (instead of the typical four-deep playoff rotation). I like the deeper playoff rotations because it punishes teams for being top-heavy. You can't just win three games with your ace and hope to take just one of the other four, it has to be a team effort. The extra travel days would change that too much for my taste.
ampersand wrote:The baseball game was much more riveting than the football game
Well keep in mind the baseball game was a playoff game and the football game was a regular season out-of-division matchup. I would only be surprised if it were the other way around.

---
So this round of the playoffs is going to be all about pitching, I suppose. Three 1-0 games so far between the two series. Los Angeles needs a win today to stay alive, and I hope they get it because I want to see Clayton Kershaw pitch again before 2013 is over, which can only happen with a Dodger win.

Twelve months ago John Lackey was not well-liked among Red Sox fans. He was considered overpaid and washed up. He hadn't yet had a good season in Boston. Then he put up a regular season ERA around 3.5, and outdueled Justin Verlander in an ALCS game last night. (Yeah. He outdueled Justin Verlander. This comes after he got the win over David Price in his other playoff start.)
ampersand wrote:And your neighbor would probably been like, "Ortiz's Grand Slam? Wicked awesome!"
Boston in 2013 in a nutshell: Ortiz homers, Boston cop celebrates.
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