The 2013 Baseball Thread

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The Cid
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Re: The 2013 Baseball Thread

Post by The Cid » Fri Oct 18, 2013 2:42 pm

-Koji Uehara is the fourth person to be given the Red Sox' closer job this season. I counted. First it was Joel Hanrahan, who fought injuries. Then Andrew Bailey fought injuries and ineffectiveness. Then Junichi Tazawa was closer for like an hour and a half. Then people started talking about how they hoped the Red Sox would trade for former closer Jonathan Papelbon. Now Uehara is a lights-out closer getting multiple-inning saves in the playoffs. He also likes to give enthusiastic high fives.

-Nolan Ryan stepped away from the Texas Rangers last night. I hope it was just because he thought it was time, but the way the story is framed indicates that he was kind of ushered out the door by people who wanted to get control away from him. I've made it pretty clear how I feel--sports-wise, Nolan Ryan is the angel on Texas' shoulder (opposite Jerry Jones with horns and a tail), and the best thing to ever happen to Rangers baseball. He turned the Rangers into a serious ballclub for...really, outside of a few years in the mid 90s, the first time ever. He got people to pay attention to that organization in a way they really hadn't before.

-Clayton Kershaw goes tonight to try and keep the Dodgers alive for one more game. I hope he does. I want a game seven, and obviously I don't want that game seven to involve my favorite team.
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Re: The 2013 Baseball Thread

Post by ampersand » Sun Oct 20, 2013 9:43 am

So it's now Boston and St. Louis for the Whole Enchilada™. Already I've been hearing from the St. Louis side, including my crazy Cardinals friend, wanting revenge for...wait for it, 2004.

I have no idea who will win, but I do know that in these playoffs, the pitching has been unreal. I fully expect water-dripping torturous pitching and hitting struggles with a lot of deep pitching numbers. Would not surprise me at all if we see 4 hour games that could go extra innings.

Also, we're looking at preliminary very cool evening conditions for the first game on Wednesday, maybe 41 at first pitch and dropping to 30 by top of the 9th. It will probably be even colder in St. Louis for games 3 - 5.

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Re: The 2013 Baseball Thread

Post by Deacon » Sun Oct 20, 2013 1:10 pm

We've stretched things out so much that the boys of summer are really playing pretty deeply into snow season in some parts of the country.
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 » Sun Oct 20, 2013 4:02 pm

It's mind-blowing. A year ago the Red Sox lost 93 games. It was their worst season since the sixties. The manager had been terrible, and a firing/replacing was inevitable. The general manager, who was only in his second year, seemed in over his head. Ownership seemed to be a dangerous combination of distracted with soccer, undermining their own GM, and bitter to anyone who left the team. Great players were starting to show age and facing free agency. The pitching had crashed hard, with Jon Lester looking rusty and John Lackey looking like a sunk cost. Very few people liked the offseason moves, signing Victorino, Napoli, and Johnny Gomes. The hiring of John Farrell seemed at best to be a tacit admission that ownership was wrong to fire Terry Francona to begin with.

...And then Farrell got the pitchers back on track. Napoli got on one of his patented hot streaks. Victorino and Gomes turned a toxic clubhouse into a wicked entertaining group that uses Bob Marley's "Three Little Birds" as a sort of anthem. (In fact, that's what the entire crowd was singing before Victorino's grand slam.) David Ortiz got the two year deal he wanted and went right back on doing Ortiz things. John Lackey--again, "sunk cost"--put up an ERA around 3.5 and outdueled Justin Verlander in a playoff game. The first closer (Joel Hanrahan, who the Red Sox traded Mark Melancon to the Pirates for. By the way Melancon ended up Pittsburgh's closer) got hurt after looking shaky. The second closer (Andrew Bailey, for whom the Red Sox traded Josh Reddick to the Athletics, one of the reasons they won the AL West) got hurt after looking shaky. The third closer (Junichi Tazawa) wasn't effective and got demoted back to middle relief. The fourth closer, Koji Uehara, has been unstoppable.

Notice a theme at the end of that last paragraph? Yeah, the Red Sox have been making win-win trades with everyone lately. Trade for the Pirates' closer? That's fine, throw in a guy they can use as their next closer. Trade for Oakland's closer? Give them a right fielder with a power bat. That mega-deal with LA helped the Dodgers make the NLCS. At midseason they traded for Jake Peavy and gave Detroit a rookie of the year candidate in exchange. You rarely see win-win trades in sports, and suddenly the Red Sox are making them on a regular basis.

It's all unlikely. I didn't pick the Red Sox to make the playoffs, much less the World Series, and I'm a bit of a homer. Nobody had it. This is amazing.
ampersand wrote:revenge for...wait for it, 2004.
That's the part of this series I definitely will enjoy: Clips from 2004. The best year ever for baseball. By the way, we Red Sox fans believe this team's modeled after the 2004 team. And honestly, every Red Sox team moving forward should be. These kinds of teams are so much fun to watch.

Here's what I'm not going to enjoy: Four to seven games of an announcer whose father was Cardinals baseball, and another who caught Bob Gibson, lecturing the whole world on how we too should be better baseball fans like those wonderful and virtuous Cardinals fans. Any drinking game for this World Series needs to involve taking a drink every time Cardinals fans are referred to as the best fans in the world. Now, don't take it personally any individual Cardinals fans reading this. It's just, the lectures, man.
ampersand wrote:Would not surprise me at all if we see 4 hour games that could go extra innings.
Understand that these are the Red Sox, and the three hour game is unheard of around Boston. Four hours? Last night's game went four hours. And that was a nine inning game that didn't have all that much scoring. Extra innings, and The World Series will be running up against Craig Ferguson in the ratings. So, you know, settle in.
Deacon wrote:We've stretched things out so much that the boys of summer are really playing pretty deeply into snow season in some parts of the country.
At least it begins and ends in the same month, as opposed to the endless basketball and hockey playoffs.
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Re: The 2013 Baseball Thread

Post by ampersand » Sun Oct 20, 2013 4:23 pm

You would be dead or your liver would blow out after one game of the Joe Buck, Tim McCarver, and Ken Rosenthal show.

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Re: The 2013 Baseball Thread

Post by The Cid » Thu Oct 24, 2013 1:39 pm

Here's Adam Wainwright watching a ball he very clearly called for land directly in front of him.

Alternate angle.

Some more thoughts:

-Think David Ortiz might have heard all the pregame talk about how awesome Carlos Beltran is in the postseason and thought "what am I going to have to do to get into that 'great postseason hitters' discussion if I'm not already there?" Hits a home run and comes within inches of a grand slam.

-So while announcers have talked about how the Red Sox are always up against a tough ace in the playoffs, Jon Lester has been the single best pitcher in this postseason so far.

-Last night underlined a problem with increasing instant replay in baseball: Sometimes an umpire will have a perfect view of a clear play and still screw up the call. Granted, all the other umps got together and reversed the bad call, but I suddenly don't trust umpires to get a replay right.

-Hope Beltran's okay and his rib injury doesn't keep him out. Hate to see a guy get hurt, especially while making a great catch (he got hurt robbing Ortiz of a grand slam)
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Re: The 2013 Baseball Thread

Post by The Cid » Sun Oct 27, 2013 3:10 pm

The ending of last night's game--which, until the bottom of the ninth, was an amazing ballgame--is due to yet another of baseball's rules being poorly-written and subject to interpretation.

I think it was a bad call. It was a bad call because Middlebrooks couldn't get out of the way. Because Craig could have avoided him. Because the throw home beat Craig by a lot more than the announcers care to admit, and with his foot I'm not sure he would have scored anyway. Most importantly, because we could have had a fantastic baseball game go into extra innings rather than end on a crappy call.

It's not a matter of who deserved to win--at that point, both teams had done plenty to be proud of. But what a horrible way for a baseball game to end.
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Re: The 2013 Baseball Thread

Post by ampersand » Mon Oct 28, 2013 1:10 am

Yeah, it's a necessary rule, but boy was that a bad way to end Game 3.

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Re: The 2013 Baseball Thread

Post by The Cid » Mon Oct 28, 2013 2:20 pm

And now a game ends on a pickoff at first base! This is setting us up for what could be a truly memorable finish. So far, this has been an incredible World Series.
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Re: The 2013 Baseball Thread

Post by ampersand » Tue Oct 29, 2013 12:27 am

World Series is drunk and needs to go home. That's how bizarre this series has been.

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Re: The 2013 Baseball Thread

Post by The Cid » Tue Oct 29, 2013 1:16 am

-The prices for tickets to game six tomorrow night are mind-blowing. People will take out mortgages. People will borrow against their retirement funds despite penalties. Rainy day funds will be drained.

-Admit it: You didn't know baseball numbers went as high as the statline David Ortiz is putting up in this World Series. He was great before, but this postseason he began to sneak into a lot of conversations, like "greatest postseason hitters ever," "best playoff runs by a single player ever," and "all-time Boston sports figures." .733 batting average, .750 on base percentage, 2.017 OPS. Holy crap.

-Jon Lester has a 1.56 ERA in 34.2 postseason innings. And yet, in every game he pitched this October, he came in seen as the lesser starting pitcher.

-I have no idea what I'm going to do with myself at the end of this week when there's no more baseball for a while.
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Re: The 2013 Baseball Thread

Post by ampersand » Wed Oct 30, 2013 11:23 pm

Interesting articles about:
  • Fenway Park will host a Champion at it's ballpark for the 5th time ever. Last time a team won the Series at Boston was the 1975 Cincinnati Reds.
  • Before that? Cardinals beating Red Sox in 1967.
  • And more recently, Cardinals have gotten to be very good at coming back and winning the whole thing. If I were Ortiz, I'd bring a really large wooden stake tonight.
  • Only in Baseball can the penultimate game (Game 6) could be more exciting than Game 7. At least that's one guy's opinion.
So it seems a Game 7 appears to be fairly likely. And I don't have to work the next two days.

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Re: The 2013 Baseball Thread

Post by ampersand » Thu Oct 31, 2013 2:19 am

So, Cid, who's the World Series MVP? Ortiz?

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Re: The 2013 Baseball Thread

Post by The Cid » Thu Oct 31, 2013 3:39 am

Ortiz by a mile. He had a Series for the ages. .688? .688!!

WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!
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Re: The 2013 Baseball Thread

Post by ampersand » Thu Oct 31, 2013 1:36 pm

"Cid will not be able to go to work this morning...he's suffering from Red Sox celebration hangover, he and about 95% of the city."

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