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We have a Final Four.

And we've been spared a painful, painful dilemma. I don't know what I would have done if confronted with another clash between the Astros and the Yankees. Now I can carry on as usual. It's pretty well impossible for me to cheer for the Rays to actually, you know, win. But I can sure yell with pleasure at the Astros losing. Which is pretty much how I coped with Rays vs Yankees. This will be a rematch of last season's Division Series which the Astros won 3-2, thanks largely to Gerrit Cole who blew the Rays away twice. That won't be happening this time.

I have to admit, in my tender youth - when was that, some ten or fifteen years ago - I never once contemplated the prospect of a Rays-Astros battle for American League supremacy.

The National League gives us Dodgers and Braves, of course. Tradition, it's their thing. These are two ancient franchises, who both started play in the late 19th century. They were far away from their present homes back then - indeed, they were Boston vs New York (okay, Brooklyn. Near enough, damn it!), way back in the day. Way, way back in the day. Both teams picked up their modern nicknames, Braves and Dodgers, roughly 100 years ago, and by then both teams already had histories behind them longer than Tampa Bay's.

These teams do not have a lengthy history with each in the post-season - they've spent their entire history in the same league, and then most of the division era years in the same division. Because, as any one who looks at a map can tell you,† Atlanta and Los Angeles are just obvious natural rivals. (There's a story there, it involves the Cubs...) Anyway, the Dodgers and Braves faced off in the post-season just twice previously, in the Division Series of 2013 and 2018. The Dodgers cruised to victory in four games on both occasions.

The Dodgers have faced Houston just once in post-season play - it was the 2017 World Series, of course. Of the remaining contenders, the two teams that have matched up most often in the post-season are the Braves and Astros. They faced each other in the NL Division Series four times. The Braves swept the Astros in 1997 and 2001, and won in four games in 1999 - the Astros won in five games in 2004.

The Rays have never won a championship. The Dodgers last won in 1988, the Braves in 1995. A generation of failure will suffice. I can regard a victory by any of those three teams with a certain amount of equanimity. But while the old softie in me would kind of like to see Dusty Baker win a championship... sorry. No freaking way. Not with these guys.

Anyway, he won one as a player (1981 Dodgers.) It will have to do.
The League Championship Series. Both of Them | 141 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Mike Green - Saturday, October 10 2020 @ 06:26 AM EDT (#391569) #
Same rooting interests. Dusty Baker was a mainstay of my APBA club in the early 80s in addition to being a nice guy. Still, no Astros.

Rays vs. Dodgers with the Rays winning please. I can't root for the overdog.
Gerry - Saturday, October 10 2020 @ 07:24 AM EDT (#391570) #
I really enjoyed that game last night.

When Chapman came into the league ten years ago his 100 mph fastball was probably 6-8 mph faster than the average pitcher. Last night Chapmans 100 wasn't far off what the hitters were seeing from Cole. The Tampa pitchers were all throwing upper nineties. Chapmans velocity is not the differentiator that it once was. That might explain his recent losses in the post season.
Thomas - Saturday, October 10 2020 @ 07:33 AM EDT (#391571) #
That might explain his recent losses in the post season.

Couldn't have happened to a nicer guy. I was not unhappy to see him blow another postseason game. Last night's was a really good one.

Like many, I'd be very pleased with a Tampa-Dodgers World Series. I'd probably be rooting for Tampa, but I wouldn't be unhappy if L.A. won. It would be nice for Kershaw to get a ring, and especially while he's still an effective member of the rotation (as opposed to L.A. winning in 2023 when he's a shell of his former self).

The Dodgers have a good core and a lot of likeable players. Also, I do feel sympathetic for them, as they lost to Houston in 2017.

And with respect to Gerry's comment about Tampa's bullpen, it seems like almost every late inning reliever they have throws fastballs in the high nineties with a good breaking pitch in the high eighties. It's remarkable the number of arms they have found and cultivated.

85bluejay - Saturday, October 10 2020 @ 08:25 AM EDT (#391572) #
Rays vs LA - probably the 2 best run operations in baseball and proving that you can win spending big and small - it's the execution that matters - It would be a tribute to Andrew Freidman for the organisation he helped build in Tampa and the one he's built in LA.
scottt - Saturday, October 10 2020 @ 08:46 AM EDT (#391573) #
The Chris Archer trade for Tyler Glasnow, Austin Meadows and Shane Baz was something else.

Think about a Pirate fan watching last night's game.

Thomas - Saturday, October 10 2020 @ 09:53 AM EDT (#391574) #
I had that thought several times last night, Scott.

And, don't forget, Gerrit Cole is a former Pirate, who was traded for an underwhelming package of average-ish players and prospects, in a deal that widely criticized at the time, as well.
John Northey - Saturday, October 10 2020 @ 09:58 AM EDT (#391575) #
Wow scottt - forgot that is how Tampa got those guys. Why I'd hesitate to ever do a deal with TB as they are as likely to take you to the cleaners. July 31, 2018 - a day Pittsburgh fans will be sad about for a long time. Glasnow has had 2 1/2 very good years (but short - 11/12/11 starts for Tampa so basically one full seasons worth - 12-7 3.32 ERA 129 ERA+ 3.9 WAR). Chris Archer has been 6-12 4.92 ERA for Pittsburgh over 33 starts 85 ERA+ 1.3 WAR (skipped 2020). So if it was Glasnow for Archer it would've been a poor trade. It took a slightly above 500 team (56-52 6 games out 3 1/2 from wild card) at the mid-point of 2018 and made then a tiny bit over 500 (82-79 that year, 4th place) then 5th place the next 2 years. Ugh. Mix in Meadows (all-star corner OF, 4.2 WAR) and Baz (starter in minors, a top 100 prospect just entering his age 22 season) and you have a massive blowout trade likely to look worse in 5 years. Why did Pittsburgh do that one wonders? Hovering around 500, not really contending, sub 500 the 2 previous years so they really weren't ready to contend so why dump so many prospects for a starter just to have a shot at the 2nd wild card? Weird.

Pittsburgh went through 3 great years with Bonds in 1990-1993 then missed the playoffs for 20 years and got 3 more playoffs, so I guess the current management team is trying to set up another 20 year gap. Pre-Bonds they had a 10 year gap (the 80's) after a 10 year period of contention (2 WS wins, 4 NLCS losses), 9 year gap, 1 WS (1960), nothing from 1927 to 1960 (WS win). Boy that franchise "enjoys" long gaps eh?
scottt - Saturday, October 10 2020 @ 11:55 AM EDT (#391576) #
Cole was closer to free agency and it seems that's the best offer they got for him.
They got better for Cole than what the Yankees gave up for Paxton.

Pittsburgh was known for its wizard pitching coach who could fix anybody.
Except it stopped working when everybody went crazy about launch angles.

The Jays even gave the other highly touted Pirate prospect a looksee but he just doesn't have enough velocity.

They must have thought they could fix Archer into an affordable ace.
His slider was really, really good. And they only seem to like slider/sinker pitchers. 

scottt - Saturday, October 10 2020 @ 12:05 PM EDT (#391578) #
Bonds really messed up the Expos back in the days.
Pittsburgh is going to tank for a while.
That's all they can do.

The Padres have finally had a winning season.
Only took a decade.

Tampa is probably going to trade established guys to make room for their prospects.
Wander Franco, Brendan McKay, Vidal Brujan, Shane McClanahan, Brent Honeywell, Josh Lowe, Ronaldo Hernandez, Moises Gomez, Taylor Walls, Kevin Padlo... Those are all guys ready to contribute who were ranked higher than Arozarena at 

bpoz - Saturday, October 10 2020 @ 12:39 PM EDT (#391579) #
Of the 4 pitchers TB used last night only D Castillo was home grown. Signed Mar 5, 2014. So not a high ranking Intl prospect that is signed July 2 for a nice bonus.

Glasnow Round 5 in 2011. So they have a lot of over achievers based on pedigree. TB does not understand how to use the value of the Top 100 prospect lists. Maybe those players are out of their price range.
Nigel - Saturday, October 10 2020 @ 12:44 PM EDT (#391580) #
Anybody but the Astros. Actually, anybody but Bregman. Outside of athletes who are criminals, Itís been a long time since Iíve found anyone so hard to cheer for.
SK in NJ - Saturday, October 10 2020 @ 02:10 PM EDT (#391581) #
Dodgers vs. Rays would be the two best teams in each league battling it out, so that would be the ideal World Series this year. Although, there's something about a Dodgers vs. Astros series that would be more exciting due to the built-in history between the two.
hypobole - Saturday, October 10 2020 @ 02:12 PM EDT (#391582) #
Might as well post this here. MLB has gone 40 days without a player having a positive covid test. Bodes well for the Jays actually being able to play in Toronto next year.
dalimon5 - Saturday, October 10 2020 @ 03:27 PM EDT (#391583) #
My only issue with Rays winning is it will re-affirm to the hold out clubs that the "pitcher an inning" mentality is the way to go. I hope the Rays win but I also hope that the High Heat commentator/host (Russo? I think his name is...) I hope he is right in that Cash is being too cute and this philosophy of "no more 7+ inning pitchers" won't be able to carry a team to a world series. We shall see.

Would love to see Kiermaier, Kershaw and Bellinger get a ring.
Shoeless Joe - Saturday, October 10 2020 @ 03:47 PM EDT (#391584) #
I want to see the Rays win, but its clearly the Dodgers to lose.

I think Taylor Glasnow would be my prime trade target this offseason.
hypobole - Saturday, October 10 2020 @ 07:23 PM EDT (#391585) #
Tyler Glasnow will not be traded this offseason. Why on earth would Tampa trade him??
scottt - Saturday, October 10 2020 @ 07:41 PM EDT (#391586) #
The Rays winning is more about pitching one time through the lineup.

The Astros don't really have 7+ inning pitches either.

I do like the seven days straight without a travel day. Too bad we can't have that with fans in the stadiums.

scottt - Saturday, October 10 2020 @ 07:48 PM EDT (#391587) #
Well, I really feels like the whole Buffalo situation was unnecessary.
If anything, the whole thing has proven itself to be an overreaction.

Now, however, they probably need to keep the NBA and the NHL out of the country as the pandemic gets to its worse.
This will, no doubt, make it difficult for Toronto to sign free agents.
The silver lining is that the Jays have played really well in Buffalo, but players will talk about what it was like playing there and it's probably going to be mostly negative.

John Northey - Saturday, October 10 2020 @ 10:43 PM EDT (#391588) #
I think we'll know a LOT more once November 4th rolls around when it comes to how COVID is treated stateside which will decide a lot about how our government acts about it. If the super-spreader is still in charge, then expect the border to be closed for a long, long time. If not, then there is hope. Bottom line is an effective vaccine - part of that will require people to trust it and I know I wouldn't trust one the current US president promotes.
Shoeless Joe - Sunday, October 11 2020 @ 08:45 AM EDT (#391591) #
Tampa trades players as they get expensive and their years of control winds down.
hypobole - Sunday, October 11 2020 @ 10:04 AM EDT (#391593) #
Rays still have 3 more years of control with Glasnow and he's still going to be relatively cheap. They agreed to a $2 million salary as his 1st of 4 arb years. And it's not like they have anyone ready to replace him.
scottt - Sunday, October 11 2020 @ 10:08 AM EDT (#391594) #
Right. The guys Tampa could part with are:

Morton, just don't pick up his option and save 15M.
Kiermaier, due over 23M over the next 2 years. They already have 3 other centerfielders and Kiermaier mostly bat 8th.
Snell, similar contract, due over 24M over the next 2 years and they have options.
Zunino is already a free agent.
Renfroe? Had a bad year. Second time through arbitration. They could just non-tender him.

hypobole - Sunday, October 11 2020 @ 10:45 AM EDT (#391595) #
With Morton, it's not a team option, it's a vesting option, From Cots:
"2021 option valued at $15M (with less than 30 days on disabled list in 2019-20 combined), $10M, $5M, $3M, or $1M (200 or more days on DL)"
He may also decide to retire.

Chuck - Sunday, October 11 2020 @ 11:28 AM EDT (#391596) #
I think we'll know a LOT more once November 4th rolls around

With all the mail-in voting, I'd be surprised to see results before mid- or late-November.

hypobole - Sunday, October 11 2020 @ 01:57 PM EDT (#391597) #
"Renfroe? Had a bad year. Second time through arbitration. They could just non-tender him."

Until this season, he'd been somewhat similar to Grichuk. On one hand he didn't have a bad year, he had a bad 37% of a year, 60/162. On the other hand scottt may well be correct on the non-tender, because I'm guessing there will be a lot more non-tenders this offseason than in the past. Why pay full price for a fringy player when there will be a buyers market for fringy players.

85bluejay - Sunday, October 11 2020 @ 02:43 PM EDT (#391598) #
The Pirates are most likely to decline Chris Archer's option and make him a FA - I've read mixed reports on the return to play success of players from neurogenic thoracic outlet syndrome and timelines - will be interesting to see which team takes the gamble - I'm guessing a 2 year deal with an in season return in 2021.
hypobole - Sunday, October 11 2020 @ 03:10 PM EDT (#391599) #
Andrew Stoeten has been given his unconditional release by The Athletic. He had a cult following there and needless to say, they are none too pleased.
hypobole - Sunday, October 11 2020 @ 03:16 PM EDT (#391600) #
"neurogenic thoracic outlet syndrome"

Didn't Patrick Murphy have surgery for this a few years ago?
scottt - Sunday, October 11 2020 @ 05:15 PM EDT (#391601) #
I think it's going to be more interesting to see who goes after Stroman.
dalimon5 - Sunday, October 11 2020 @ 06:26 PM EDT (#391602) #
Andrew Stoeten may be the only writer I have read in sports that has more ex-readers than readers. For years he actively banned readers who diverged from his point of view in the comments section of his web page, seemingly for his own amusement. His strong following from 10 or so years ago when Drunk Jays Fans was one of the only online places to get daily updates has crumbled. These sites are now a dime a dozen and his writing at The Athletic just didn't translate with Lott and McGrath easily out-classing him there with stronger stories. Too bad he alienated his original readers, he had a good thing going.
John Northey - Sunday, October 11 2020 @ 07:43 PM EDT (#391604) #
Stroman will be interesting to watch this winter. Would you sign him for the Jays and if so how big a deal? Under a 4 FIP every year, 200 IP twice in past 5 years (not many did that) 184 his last year (mixed with Mets). Missed 2020 so should be fully healed from any injuries/minor pains. I'd assume he is the type who would've been working out all year so he'll be at 100% come 2021. Entering age 30 season. Normally he'd be in line for a $100 million deal over 5+ years. But missing 2020 will hurt him, as will the attitude he showed after leaving - he was very mad about being traded to the Mets. He also stated how he felt about not getting a contract extension in not nice ways.

I don't see a path for him coming back, wonder if the Mets will make the QO ($18 mil) or not. I expect him to try to go to the Yankees or another perpetual contender.
Eephus - Sunday, October 11 2020 @ 10:25 PM EDT (#391605) #
I haven't read much of his work in recent years (which is really a result of me not following really any online baseball writers anymore, this excellent site excluded of course) but I've usually enjoyed Stoeten's writing. His style is certainly abrasive and he's not the most patient with people who disagree with him, but I find his perspective interesting and well thought through more often than not. It's not like he's Marty York or anything. Plus, the podcast he does with Drew Fairservice is pretty fun and I've been a fan for a while.

Also it wouldn't surprise me at all if the Rays win this whole thing on a parade of one run games. Love it or hate it, It's just their style.
scottt - Monday, October 12 2020 @ 06:37 AM EDT (#391606) #
I believe Morton's option is a team option for a vesting amount, which is now set at 15M.
I've seen a lot of speculation on what Morton, who is playing from home, will do if the Rays don't pick up that option.
Morton has even commented on it.

scottt - Monday, October 12 2020 @ 06:49 AM EDT (#391607) #
Was Stoeten covering the Jays specifically? Is someone else replacing him?
scottt - Monday, October 12 2020 @ 06:54 AM EDT (#391608) #
2021 will be a funny year and teams will avoid signing guys who could get paid even if no games are played.

Thomas - Monday, October 12 2020 @ 08:32 AM EDT (#391609) #
Stoeten only covered the Jays, from what I read of his work at the Athletic.

The Athletic also has Kaitlyn McGrath and John Lott who cover the Jays, so having three dedicated correspondents for one MLB team is probably not sustainable (I don't know the Athletic's revenue levels, but they had to make a round of layoffs in the summer). I also believe McGrath and Lott pre-dated Stoeten, for what that's worth.

I found Stoeten's writing at the Athletic better than I had in the past. I don't know if that was a result of his writing style changing naturally or whether it came due to greater editorial oversight and writing for a slightly different audience than on DJF. In any case, I thought he kept his style and some of his snark, without coming off as so abrasive as he used to.

That being said, while I did enjoy his work at the Athletic, I also think highly of Lott and McGrath. Neither is heavy into analytics, but they are both strong writers who find interesting stories to tell.

It's a shame a lot of fanboys seem to be cancelling their Athletic subscriptions as a result of this. It's a really great site, with a lot of good writers on a variety of sports, that is worth supporting (if you are financially able to). I find it is easily worth my subscription price.
99BlueJaysWay - Monday, October 12 2020 @ 09:33 AM EDT (#391610) #
He was also completely intoxicated during the last recording of the Athleticís Blue Jays podcast. I canít imagine that was well received internally.
scottt - Monday, October 12 2020 @ 11:08 AM EDT (#391611) #
Funny that Loup was sent out there to load the bases with a walk, a hit and a hit batter.

85bluejay - Monday, October 12 2020 @ 11:28 AM EDT (#391612) #
Joe Morgan has passed away - another 2020 gut punch.
Mike Green - Monday, October 12 2020 @ 11:48 AM EDT (#391613) #
Joe Morgan.  Little Joe.  Damn, I wasn't even close to a Reds fan but this one hurts most of all.  
Mike Green - Monday, October 12 2020 @ 12:07 PM EDT (#391614) #
Incidentally, someone has to improve Joe's wikipedia page.  There are so many missing elements- the pitchout reading technique honed while laid up for almost a full season with an injury, the assault by an LAPD detective at an airport that led to a civil rights lawsuit...
Magpie - Monday, October 12 2020 @ 12:40 PM EDT (#391615) #
There are so many missing elements

Little Joe was simply an absurdly great player - imagine, say, Roberto Alomar with another 10 or 15 HRs and another 50 walks every year - and I'm seriously beginning to wonder when was the last time we lost so many Hall of Famers in the same calendar year. This seems more than a little excessive.

Certainly, we should never forget his immortal distinction, given in Ball Four, between your regular curve ball and your m*th*rf*ck*ng curve. Outfielder Norm Miller liked to pretend to be a broadcaster, and interview his teammates during the game. His interview with Morgan went like this:

--Joe, Joe Morgan, can I have a word with you?
--Sure Norm, how's it going?
--Fine, Joe, fine. We wanted to ask you about that pitch you missed. What was it?
--Norm, that was a m*th*rf*ck*ng curve.
--Can you tell our listeners, Joe, what's the difference between a regular curve and a m*th*rf*ck*ng curve?
--Well, Norm, your regular curve has a lot of spin on it and you can recognize it real early. It breaks down a little bit and out. Now, your m*th*ef*ck*r, that's different. It comes in harder, looks like a fastball. Then all of a sudden it rolls off the top of the table and before you know it, it's m*th*rf*ck*ng strike three.
--Thank you very much, Joe Morgan.
bpoz - Monday, October 12 2020 @ 01:25 PM EDT (#391616) #
Thank you Magpie.
Magpie - Monday, October 12 2020 @ 02:00 PM EDT (#391617) #
Yeah, I had to find out.

Little Joe is the sixth Hall of Famer we've lost in 2020. Five of them - Seaver, Brock, Gibson, Ford, Morgan - were in the last six weeks, along with Al Kaline back in April. And it's certainly possible that some future Veteran's Committee may look with favour on Jim Wynn's qualifications.

Only once have so many Hall of Fame players passed away in the same year, and it was a very long time ago. 1972 saw the passing of five HoF members: Pie Traynor, Gabby Hartnett, Zack Wheat, Jackie Robinson, Dave Bancroft, along with Roberto Clemente (who was still an active player, of course.)

And now I have a spreadsheet with the year each Hall of Famer died. Lucky me.
Magpie - Monday, October 12 2020 @ 02:05 PM EDT (#391618) #
Whoa. Rick Renteria is out in Chicago, along with pitching coach Don Cooper (who's been in that job since 2002.)
dalimon5 - Monday, October 12 2020 @ 02:17 PM EDT (#391619) #

Where do you get the impression that fanboys are canceling their subscriptions because of Stoeten being fired at The Athletic?

The Athletic uses a rating system to gauge the success of its authors. Tracks the amount of readers but more importantly the feedback of every reader after every article. There is always a button with every article with a question, "how did you enjoy this article," with "good," "okay" or "not at all" type options.

I imagine he has less readers than Lott and McGrath since he never published in print like them and I imagine his ratings were also lower based on the 2 year subscription I had and the quality I saw between them. It's hard to support. A reader who routinely takes Richard Griffin's mail bag and re-answers the questions and posts that to The Athletic.
hypobole - Monday, October 12 2020 @ 02:30 PM EDT (#391620) #
A bunch complained, but these are 5 readers subscription comments"

Cancelled my subscription after hearing Stoeten was let go. Bad move, Athletic.

Extremely disappointed in the Athletic to see Stoeten let go and considering cancelling.

Damn, just checked and my account just auto renewed. I will be writing to the Athletic registering my disgust and trying to get my money back. Iíll get my Jays content wherever Stoeten ends up.

Looking forward to taking my money elsewhere to wherever Stoeten lands

Really disappointed that The Athletic has let go of Stoeten. He was the main reason I subscribed and as of this point I donít expect to extend my subscription.
hypobole - Monday, October 12 2020 @ 02:32 PM EDT (#391621) #
Here's the link:
Eephus - Monday, October 12 2020 @ 03:03 PM EDT (#391622) #
I let my subscription to the Athletic expire quite some time ago, though that was a result of complicated financial reasons more than anything. It is unfortunate, since as many here have noted Lott and McGrath's work is consistently excellent. Not to mention Blake Murphy and Eric Koreen who cover the Raptors.

Joe Morgan is about a generation before my time so I never saw him play, but he's one of those guys whose numbers I look up on BBref and can't believe actually existed. A gold glove second baseman drawing 120 walks a season, stealing 40-60 bases, good power in the middle portion of his career, and he's (listed) at 5'7 160. He sounds like the type of player you create in the "Make A Player" part of a video game.

Mike Green - Monday, October 12 2020 @ 03:28 PM EDT (#391623) #
Green's best position players by decade:
1900-09  Wagner
1910-19  Cobb
1920-29 Ruth
1930-39 Ruth or Gehrig
1940s    Williams
1950s    Mantle
1960s   Mays or Aaron
1970s   Morgan
1980s   Schmidt or Henderson
1990s  Bonds
2000s  Pujols
2010s  Trout

scottt - Monday, October 12 2020 @ 03:41 PM EDT (#391624) #
I guess the White Sox had high expectations after spending in free agency.
Also, rebuilding managers are often dismissed as soon as a team starts to contend.

I'm afraid some teams will chase Hinch and Cora.

Keuchel made 11 starts and had an ERA of 1.99.
The bullpen was generally good.
However, Don Cooper is 64.
They might have decided it was a good time to make a change.

BTW, I wasn't following the Jays when Cooper pitched 5 innings in Toronto.

Thomas - Monday, October 12 2020 @ 03:49 PM EDT (#391625) #
I'm quite familiar with the rating system. I think it's a quite useful tool that lets readers provide immediate feedback on an article without commenting (although I also think there's problems if the Athletic dictates its approach solely by reader feedback, which they don't seem to be doing). I use it regularly.

I also think we're only speculating to say that he would have gotten worse feedback than Lott or McGrath. It seems reasonable to assume that, I agree. However, it also depends on what sort of numbers of fans he has, since I imagine they are more Stoeten readers who would go and upvote his articles reflexively.

I got the impression that a bunch of Stoeten fanboys were cancelling their subscriptions based on the replies I saw to his Tweet about being letting go by the Athletic, where more than a handful of the replies were of that nature. I don't know how significant a number that will be, if at all significant.

I don't listen to his podcast, but if he did a podcast drunk, then I'm sure that may have factored into the decision.
hypobole - Monday, October 12 2020 @ 04:05 PM EDT (#391626) #
Dan Szymborski at FG with Ha-Seong Kim's ZIPS projections. 3.5-3.9 fWAR per season the next 5 seasons. Wonder if the Jays are as interested as I think they should be.
Michael - Monday, October 12 2020 @ 04:58 PM EDT (#391627) #
For 1980s:

Ricky Henderson is ahead of Mike Schmidt IMHO.

In the 1980s Schmidt put up an impressive 56.6 WAR.
In the 1980s Henderson put up 71.1 WAR, and that isn't counting his 9.9 WAR 1990 season where he won MVP.

Schmidt has the 3 MVP awards in the 1980s and did put up better OPS/OPS+, but Henderson had better OBP and baserunning (838 SB - 190 CS: about 82% success rate at very high volume), and post season numbers.

See for more.

Magpie - Monday, October 12 2020 @ 05:41 PM EDT (#391628) #
You look at Morgan's two MVP seasons, and about the only question you have is - how were these votes not unanimous? Let's see, you've got a Gold Glove second baseman who leads the league in On Base and Slugging, and just for fun tosses in 60 SB (while getting caught just 9 times.) Who else you gonna vote for?

And five writers actually said, surely his teammate in left field? That guy hit 29 HRs and Joe only hit 27. He drove in 121 runs, and Joe only drove in 111. And he played a pretty good left field, too.

Well, at least the right guy won the damn thing.
John Northey - Monday, October 12 2020 @ 07:25 PM EDT (#391629) #
The 80's were a lot of fun.
Henderson: fWAR from a low of 5.0 in 1987 to a high of 9.7 in 1985. Imagine - a decade where your worst year is a WAR of 5.
Schmidt: Last 2 years of the 80's were terrible - 2.0 and -0.5 fWAR after 5.2 to 9.0 during the rest of the decade. Schmidt's problem is his career covered most of 2 decades. From 1974 to 1987 he ranged from 5.2 to 9.4 for fWAR - crazy good and consistent despite the 81 strike (7.8 fWAR that 2/3's of a year).

A bit surprised when I looked into others - George Brett for example had great peaks (9.1 and an 8.3) but also lows (1.6 in '89, 5 other years sub 5.0). Wade Boggs, Roger Clemens, Dwight Gooden all started too far into the decade to be a 'player of the decade'.

Henderson would be my choice for player of the 80's, but Schmidt isn't a bad choice - Henderson just was better.
scottt - Monday, October 12 2020 @ 08:41 PM EDT (#391630) #
One bad throw from Altuve along with a bad pick from Gurriel leads to a 3-run bomb in the first inning and that's the game.

Nice grab by Margot as well.

Miraculous 9th inning save to cap it off.

Houston can still hit, there' s just a little something missing to their game.

I just realized that the Jays will have the 19th draft pick since Houston is skipping the first round.

scottt - Tuesday, October 13 2020 @ 07:41 AM EDT (#391631) #
No Joe Morgan thread?
bpoz - Tuesday, October 13 2020 @ 10:05 AM EDT (#391633) #
19th pick. Thanks scottt.
scottt - Tuesday, October 13 2020 @ 11:36 AM EDT (#391635) #
The Archer deal is probably the biggest one sided trade since the turn of the century.
Just wait to see what Baz can do.

Also of note, while the Cubs traded Torres for 3 months of Chapman, the Rays basically traded Ryne Stanek for 6 years of Nick Anderson. Stranek had made 56 starts for the Rays with ERAs of 2.98 and 3.40 but in Miami has only pitched 31 times in the bullpen with ERAS of 5.48 and 7.20.

hypobole - Tuesday, October 13 2020 @ 12:08 PM EDT (#391636) #
Jesus Sanchez also went to Miami with Stanek. Was a top 100 prospect at the time on most sites.
scottt - Tuesday, October 13 2020 @ 12:45 PM EDT (#391637) #
Right. Sanchez was in AAA and had hit at every level but  only an OPS of .599 in the International League.
A the end of 2019, MLB had him as #51 with grades of Hit: 60, Power: 55, Run: 55,  Arm: 55, Field: 55, Overall: 55

Only 25 AB and hasn't hit at all in Miami this year. 1 for 25.
The Marlins signed Corey Dickerson (31) and Mathew Joyce (35) and traded for Starling Marte (31).

Waiting for prospects can be painful.

Also, the Rays gave 400K to Sanchez but 3M to Adrian Rondon in 2014 and he hasn't hit anywhere.

The Rays also got Trevor Richards in that trade.
Sanchez for Anderson is still a better trade than Torres for Chapman.
Of course, the Cubs got a World Series out of that, but haven't done anything in the playoffs since.

John Northey - Tuesday, October 13 2020 @ 02:02 PM EDT (#391640) #
Generally I feel if you win the Series it was worth whatever you paid. Thus OK with the Jays sending Jeff Kent and the vast majority of his near HOF career away to get David Cone in 1992. But not OK with the Expos trading nearly all of HOF'er Randy Johnson (plus 2 others) for Mark Langston in 1989 (didn't come close to the playoffs). The Expos in those days were the anti-Rays of today. Great at drafting, lousy at trades. Rays seem fantastic at trades, lousy at drafts.

Rays: only counting guys they signed using the years since they became a contender (avoiding the 'Devil Rays' era when they were 1st overall/top 5 annually)... 2008: 2.2 WAR; 2009: -0.1 WAR; 2010: 36.4 (Kiermaier); 2011: 9.3 (Snell and some negatives); 2012: 5.1; 2013: 0.6; 2014: -0.2; 2015: 6.6 (Brandon Lowe); 2016: -0.3; 2017: 0.8; 2018-2020: none reached.

Jays: same time frame for reference...2008: 0.9; 2009: 40.4 (Gomes, Marisnick, DNS Paxton); 2010: 29.4 (Syndergaard, Sanchez, DNS Bryant...sigh); 2011: 33 (Pillar - DNS Aaron Nola); 2012: 15.2 (Stroman); 2013: 16.8; 2014: -0.7; 2015: 0.1;2016: 8.6; 2017: -0.2; 2018-20: none.

So net over those years: Rays: 60.4 Jays: 143.5 - Rays have 2 great ones (Kiermaier & Snell) while the Jays have a stack plus 3 killer Did Not Signs in Nola, Bryant, and Paxton (not factored into the total or it would've been around 200). 2016 has Biggio, Bichette, and Zeuch so the spread could grow drastically.

Clearly the Rays don't count on their draft. Imagine if they did better on it.
bpoz - Tuesday, October 13 2020 @ 03:24 PM EDT (#391641) #
The Rays can make trades that their nonexistent/few fans don't complain about.

One example: Matt Garza for C Archer in their package. Then Archer to the Pirates. So prospects that are received are high quality that have a good chance of working out. They do that a lot because they refuse to pay the $ to keep them. So quality and quantity.

We traded a good player Halladay for 2 top prospects. Drabek and d'Arnaud. I think very often you miss. Olerud had a lot left when traded for R Person. He could have been a non prospect because he was kind of old with a low ceiling.

TB also makes mediocre trades. Good reliever E Pagan for a useful M Margot (OF). Maybe they had a surplus or they thought he would be too expensive to pay.

AA never picked up waiver claims. Not sure why (mediocrity). No rule 5 also. Atkins got Bass on waivers and A Cole as Minor league FA. Biagini and Luciano as rule 5.

Mike Green - Tuesday, October 13 2020 @ 03:37 PM EDT (#391642) #
Carson Cistulli was hired by the Blue Jays late in 2018.  He may have had a role in the waiver wire acquisitions and in the Luciano pick. 
Gerry - Tuesday, October 13 2020 @ 03:45 PM EDT (#391643) #
No Kershaw tonight, he has back spasms.

Aaron Sanchez has been putting on showcases for teams to try and get a deal for 2021. He missed 2020 after shoulder surgery.
Magpie - Tuesday, October 13 2020 @ 05:59 PM EDT (#391644) #
But not OK with the Expos trading nearly all of HOF'er Randy Johnson (plus 2 others) for Mark Langston in 1989

It sure looked like a great deal for two months. The Expos rolled into August in first place, and Langston went 9-3, 1.99 in his first 15 starts in Montreal.

It was the offense that shrivelled up and died. Langston lost twice in September by 2-0 scores, and had to pitch a shutout to win another time when they team scored a single run for him. The Expos were scoring about 4.5 runs per game through the first four months - it dropped to 3.25 over the last two.
hypobole - Tuesday, October 13 2020 @ 06:36 PM EDT (#391646) #
Laura Armstrong of the Toronto Star with some alternate site stuff.
Chuck - Tuesday, October 13 2020 @ 07:18 PM EDT (#391647) #
Carson Cistulli was hired by the Blue Jays late in 2018.

I never knew what to make of that signing. While I enjoyed his FG podcasts when he'd interview Dayn Perry, the two carrying on like intelligent imbeciles, I never really got the sense that Cistulli had remarkable acumen when it came to baseball. He always struck me as a writer and entertainer first. I must have underestimated his abilities.

John Northey - Tuesday, October 13 2020 @ 07:27 PM EDT (#391648) #
The best GM's (like HOF'er Pat Gillick) make use of all the tools but even they have holes in their game - his drafting was horrid until the late 80's when he let others run it iirc. If he drafted like he did everything else the Jays of the 80's would've been unbeatable (Clemens, Dwight Gooden, Randy Johnson all picked not long after the Jays wasted their first round pick on guys who produced negative WAR total - pretty sad 1982-1985 drafts, no first round pick in 1984 lost to sign Dennis Lamp). Plus of course, his one miss in Rule 5 - he was going to Wade Boggs 3 times but twice decided not to, then finally was going to but Boston protected him at the last minute. Sigh.
hypobole - Tuesday, October 13 2020 @ 08:09 PM EDT (#391649) #
Cistulli's signature idea was the fringe 5. Each week he covered minor league performers that weren't on any industry Top 100 list. Check this out:
bpoz - Tuesday, October 13 2020 @ 08:35 PM EDT (#391650) #
Atlanta is winning.
Nigel - Tuesday, October 13 2020 @ 11:45 PM EDT (#391651) #
I know this is hard to fathom now (or maybe it isnít) but Morgan used to take considerable criticism (from old timey types) for walking too often. He was leaving it to the other members of the team to do all of the heavy lifting. Prime Joe Morgan and the 25 year old version of Trout (before he lost some of his defensive chops) are the two greatest position players Iíve ever watched.
hypobole - Wednesday, October 14 2020 @ 12:47 AM EDT (#391652) #
Tampa 1 win away from knocking off the Astros. Altuve's 3rd error of the series played no small part in the 5 run 6th for Tampa. I feel for the Altuve, although all I feel is schadenfreude.
scottt - Wednesday, October 14 2020 @ 06:23 AM EDT (#391653) #
Second game in a row that an Altuve error leads to the loss.
They can't get Arozarena out and that's forcing errors.
He got a hit, scored and then was walked intentionally in the same inning.

So, what now? Greinke in an elimination game?

John Northey - Wednesday, October 14 2020 @ 10:21 AM EDT (#391655) #
Wow has Altuve had a horrid year. Negative WAR value in the regular season (via a 71 OPS+ and poor defense) and now in the post season. His offense after round 1 (hitless vs Minnesota) has been great (over 1000 OPS) but defense... Wonder if the Astros are strongly regretting that mega contract they gave him? $29 mil a year for the next 4 years. Ouch. He is entering his age 31 season - most top 2B seem to die off in the early 30's, Roberto Alomar fell off a cliff at 34 and never recovered, Ryne Sandberg the same (bit of a dead cat bounce at 36 after a year off but 3.2 WAR isn't HOF level), Joe Morgan from 34 to the end had a 114 OPS+, pretty good but was at 140 before his age 34 season. Craig Biggio 34 to end 95 OPS+, before 34 124. Altuve is just starting his decline a bit early - maybe he needs to hear trash cans banging or someone tore off his shirt or something :)
SK in NJ - Wednesday, October 14 2020 @ 12:49 PM EDT (#391657) #
Dan Szymborski at FG with Ha-Seong Kim's ZIPS projections. 3.5-3.9 fWAR per season the next 5 seasons. Wonder if the Jays are as interested as I think they should be.

Kim makes a lot of sense for the Jays. He's a fit in both position (3B/SS) and age (25). Those projections look extremely optimistic, but from an upside standpoint, he might be the best free agent target for the Jays this winter (aside from pitching, obviously). The FO signed Ryu this past winter, and Oh two years ago, so at least there's some recent history of South Korean players signing with the team. Whether that means anything in terms of attracting KBO players going forward remains to be seen.
John Northey - Wednesday, October 14 2020 @ 02:36 PM EDT (#391658) #
Ha-Seong Kim looks good on paper, but he was in the KBO which is a crapshoot. Lifetime 295/373/494, 767 games at SS (4.66 range factor per 9 innings, 970 fld%) 104 at 3B (2.44 RF, 939 fld%) - hard to say how good on defense he is as I suspect those fields aren't as well maintained as ML ones are. The last 3 years he has split time between 3B and SS (101 games at 3B vs 318 at SS). Lots to like, but also Eric Thames (a 108 OPS+ guy in majors) hit 349/451/721 there in 2014-2016 (the first 3 years of Kim's career - he was 18-20 those years with over an 800 OPS 2 of the 3 years). Scouting is massively important here as stats there are a crapshoot.
johnny was - Wednesday, October 14 2020 @ 04:51 PM EDT (#391661) #
From watching the KBO daily in May/June, the one big thing you notice is there really isn't any velo. The two import pitchers per team might throw 90-95, but the Korean-born members of the staff often sit in the 80s. Lots of homer-friendly parks, too. That said, most KBO hitters have a really good two strike approach and don't K much, which is a welcome departure from what we see in the MLB these days.

bpoz - Wednesday, October 14 2020 @ 05:42 PM EDT (#391662) #
A list of draft eligible players was put up today. College (J Callis). HS (J Mayo).

My stab in the dark with the 19th pick was #9 and #10 on each list.

Ethan Wilson OF Lefty bat with both power and hit tool but weak arm.

Jonathan Cannon RHP 6'6" 207 lb.mid 90s FB with plus slider and changeup.


James Wood CF fastest player in class pretty good power and hit.

Josh Baez OF/RHP best power. 97 mph FB.

We could get a good player.

scottt - Thursday, October 15 2020 @ 09:01 AM EDT (#391663) #
Historically, the 19th pick was a good spot to take a pitcher. Mostly a right handed  one.

The draftees from 2006 to 2016 were 10 pitchers (2 left handed) and 1 shortstop.
Guys like Andrew Cashner, Shelby Miller, Mike Foltynewicz, Matt Barnes, Michael Wacha and Marco Gonzales.

More recently, picks in the last 4 years have all signed for over 3M and have been 2 outfielders, a thirdbaseman and a left handed pitcher.  Too early to know the results.

Cracka - Thursday, October 15 2020 @ 09:59 AM EDT (#391664) #
19th pick should have a slot value of about $3.4M; looking back, it's fairly common to go below slot in this part of the draft... so that could be part of their strategy this year.
scottt - Thursday, October 15 2020 @ 12:47 PM EDT (#391667) #
It was common to go below slot with the previous CBA, before 2017.
Right now, if you want to sign the best player available, you can't save much.

Logan Warmoth was pick 22 overall in 2017.
T.J. Zeuch was pick 21 in 2016.
D. J. Davis was pick 17 in 2012.
Stroman was pick 22 in 2012.
Tyler Beede was pick 21 2011.
David Cooper was pick 17 in 2008.

The first 2 were from the current front office but before Shane Farrell became scouting director.

Eephus - Thursday, October 15 2020 @ 08:29 PM EDT (#391674) #
I have to admit, the Rays are growing on me. Maybe itís seeing their annoying scrappiness and stellar defence against another team not the Blue Jays (especially an Astros team that a just Baseball God would smite justly).

Aesthetically though I think itís not having to watch a very good team play in that dimly lit joke stadium in Tampa. That place even sounds bad on television.
Eephus - Thursday, October 15 2020 @ 08:31 PM EDT (#391675) #
Yarg what I truly meant was that the sounds of that stadium are bad even on television. Nevertheless.
John Northey - Thursday, October 15 2020 @ 09:31 PM EDT (#391676) #
19th pick all-time: 56 picked, 40 reached (last from 2016).
  • 3 times the Jays had that pick: Alex Rios (1999), Shannon Stewart (1992), Eddie Zosky (1989)
  • Best ever: Roger Clemens (1983) 139.2 bWAR
  • 2nd best: Bobby Grich (1967) 71.1 bWAR
  • 3rd best: Alex Rios: 27.3 bWAR
  • Also over 20: Mike Scioscia (1976) & Shannon Stewart
  • 2 more over 10: Andrew Cashner (2008), James Loney (2002)
  • 7 in the 5-9.9 range
  • Expos had it once and wasted it on Dave Wainhouse (-1.6 bWAR 1988 pick - 5 picks later was Alex Fernandez but they did get Marquis Grissom in the 3rd round that year)
bpoz - Friday, October 16 2020 @ 09:33 AM EDT (#391677) #
The Jays prioritize the ability to make contact for position players it seems to me.

So no high picks used on the likes of DJ Davis and Reggie Pruitt (round 24). Both selected by AA.

Teoscar, Fisher and J Davis have all been healthy and were able to hit in the minors. Teoscar had the luxury of learning to hit ML pitchers when the Jays were not contending and succeeded. But the team suffered through his weak defense.

Now that we are contending learning at the ML level is a luxury that we do not have. J Davis has 1 more option and has elite defense.

Fisher has good tools and is a lefty bat but no options left. If he is DFA'd we risk losing him.

Atkins used high draft picks on JB Woodman 2016 and G Conine 2018. I am not sure what was the issue with the bat of Woodman, I think Ave and Ks. Conine too many Ks in Lansing and too little time to solve this issue due to his suspension and covid.
Mike Green - Friday, October 16 2020 @ 09:35 AM EDT (#391678) #
I got to wondering about whether Freddie Freeman is on a Hall of Fame track after his great series in the NLCS, so I ran a Play Index for age 23-30 (OPS+ between 140 and 152- Freeman is at 146 for this period, PA between 4000 and 5350- Freeman 4686, WAR between 30 and 40- Freeman 35).  I got 4 comps: Thome, McCovey, Cepeda and Will Clark. Clark is the best comp and fell a little short of Hall of Fame numbers- he retired after a very good age 36 season to help his wife take care of a young child with a form of autism. 

I think Freeman has a pretty good shot.  He's been getting better with a broad base of offensive talent,.306/.400/.557 over the last 5 years, and he has overcome adversity in the form of a nasty case of COVID before the season started. 
scottt - Friday, October 16 2020 @ 10:07 AM EDT (#391679) #
Probably unfair, but I think it depends on what Atlanta does over the next 5 years.

scottt - Friday, October 16 2020 @ 10:11 AM EDT (#391680) #
Fisher is a lefty bat with reverse splits.
I've really no idea about him at all.
Lots of mental issues it seems.

ISLAND BOY - Friday, October 16 2020 @ 11:34 AM EDT (#391681) #
I don't know if you'd characterize Teoscar Hernandez's defense as weak. Most of his mistakes seem to be mental, like overthrowing the cutoff man or throwing to the wrong base. He was actually tied for the league lead in assists for a right fielder with 6 and the outfield overall with 7. Surprisingly in 881 career innings playing in centerfield he has yet to make an error.
bpoz - Friday, October 16 2020 @ 12:51 PM EDT (#391682) #
For 2020 NYY scored 315 runs, CWS 306 and the Jays 302. So we have a good offense. It is also very young and inexperienced. Our offense should improve.

The rest of our team (defense and pitching) should improve over time. Vlad and Rowdy will get better. Teoscar, Gurriel and Grichuck are good enough in the OF defensively IMO. The pitching is not really a mess, but getting ML tested. I expect the pitching to be a problem until it sorts itself out in a few years. Pearson is good now but needs to prove it. Manoh, Kloff and SWR will start arriving in the 2nd half of 2022. Hope some of them can be good.

I expect NYY to be better in 2021. Especially if Severino is back. It is best that I don't doubt TB. Boston will be good if they can improve the rotation behind Sale. The young Jays will gain experience and become good eventually. I believe that they will still have growing pains in 2021 so I rank them behind NYY, TB and Boston.
Michael - Friday, October 16 2020 @ 07:08 PM EDT (#391683) #
A fun baseball play from Taiwan:
Magpie - Friday, October 16 2020 @ 09:01 PM EDT (#391684) #
I got to wondering about whether Freddie Freeman is on a Hall of Fame track

It will be interesting to see what the voters make of Joey Votto first. Votto seems like a no-brainer to me, and probably to all of you as well - but when his name comes up it's going to be a first baseman who barely cleared 2,000 hits and 1,000 RBIs and didn't even hit 400 HRs. And Votto is quite clearly better than Freeman.

Of course, Freeman's counting totals are liable to be significantly better than Votto's because he had about a three season head start at the beginning of his career. That will likely make up for quite a bit.
dalimon5 - Friday, October 16 2020 @ 09:18 PM EDT (#391685) #
Looks like the High Heat host was right when he said two weeks ago on Writers Block that he guaranteed Kevin Cash would out-manage himself this post season and cost himself either a World Series or trip to the World Series by overtaxing his bullpen and not trusting his starters. The look on Snell's face and the eye roll when Cash signalled for Castillo was priceless.
John Northey - Friday, October 16 2020 @ 11:40 PM EDT (#391686) #
Fun play there Michael - saw he caught it, couldn't understand the announcers. Guess we all expect an OF to celebrate a great catch like that but the guy just was casual about it instead.

As to the Rays - this is what I figured the Jays would do at some point - over-manage. Your ace allows 2 baserunners and you pull him? Dumb, dumb, dumb. Give the ace a chance to get out of it. That is what they do - get out of jams. Reminds me of the Jays pulling R.A. Dickey with 2 out in the 5th (1 runner on) just so they could hand a cheap win to David Price. Was idiotic, but not as much as this was as Dickey had his issues and Price was an "ace". This is the playoffs - this is when guys like Snell are supposed to shine but the Rays haven't let him throw 6 innings yet in any game this playoff season. 3 times in the 80's now for pitches, once allowed to get to 105. Now might not get to pitch again until 2021.
Mike Green - Saturday, October 17 2020 @ 07:14 AM EDT (#391687) #
I completely agree with Cash's decision. Snell uncharacteristically lacked control last night and had gone through 84 pitched in 4 innings, despite a generous strike zone from the umpire. There was no way that he was going more than 5 innings. So it was a high leverage situation with a pitcher who was likely to be a lot less effective than Castillo. The move didn't work out but that will happen sometimes.

Obviously you can't manage like this during the regular season, but most managers take a different approach in the playoffs. For what it's worth, I would go a little deeper into a game with Glasnow right now than Snell. It's no time to rest on laurels.

hypobole - Saturday, October 17 2020 @ 09:48 AM EDT (#391688) #
I'm guessing the some of the people criticising Cash's decision to pull his ace(who didn't really have his ace stuff) also criticised Montoyo for leaving his ace in to give up the grand slam.
John Northey - Saturday, October 17 2020 @ 12:09 PM EDT (#391689) #
Generally I'm good with leaving in the horses that got you there. Unless the pitch count has gone way past 100. But of course, I grew up when Stieb would complete double digit games a year and when he didn't the pen seemed to always blow it (pre-Henke), then enjoyed Halladay finishing what he started. Loved Randy Johnson who would throw 120+ without an issue, same with Nolan Ryan. I get the reason to go with pens and shrinking innings but with the top pitchers you are playing the game of 'lets find who doesn't have it today and lose with them' when you shuffle quickly.
scottt - Saturday, October 17 2020 @ 01:28 PM EDT (#391690) #
Snell had way too many full counts. They Rays were up 1 nothing and the bullpen was rested from the previous day.
Castillo quickly blew hit and Cash made sure the pen would be well rested for game 7.

Lowe has been terrible since the season ended.

Magpie - Saturday, October 17 2020 @ 10:42 PM EDT (#391693) #
Kevin Cash gets right back on the horse. This is the way we do things. I imagine the idea of Brantley getting a big hit the third time he'd seen Morton was not to be permitted.
hypobole - Sunday, October 18 2020 @ 12:02 AM EDT (#391694) #
Thank goodness it's over and I can stop cheering for the Rays.
John Northey - Sunday, October 18 2020 @ 03:36 AM EDT (#391695) #
Agreed. Hated cheering them on as Houston had to lose.
dalimon5 - Sunday, October 18 2020 @ 09:46 AM EDT (#391696) #
The issue the industry is having according to the High Heat host is not about Cash so much as the "26 year old UCLA grads telling Kevin Cash how to manage, and trust me they are 26 and 24 year olds." It's not about one decision it's about how the Rays manage every game like this for the past 2 years and how it slows down the game, and ultimately will back fire on him/them. That was the point of the host's argument. Here is the link, go to 54:00 minutes to hear Chris Russo discussing hall of fame pitchers, "greatness" and how it doesn't exist anymore because of teams like the Rays and how they manage. Strasburg and Verlander in the last few years were exceptions.

In a nutshell he says the drama and theatre of mlb from the past is gone because of college analytics ruining baseball. No more great performers.

The original rant started when Montoya took out Shoemaker after 3 innings of work.
dalimon5 - Sunday, October 18 2020 @ 09:59 AM EDT (#391697) #
I just want to say that this site is nearly impossible to post to without errors when using a phone. Between auto correct and basic html, new devices I find have a real challenge with this webpage for reading and posting. Does anyone else have this issue? Do you use desktop computer or tablet? I use a Blackberry running Android latest OS. I don't have issues with any other sites.
dalimon5 - Sunday, October 18 2020 @ 10:05 AM EDT (#391698) #
I'm predicting Ian Anderson gets rocked tonight.
85bluejay - Sunday, October 18 2020 @ 10:35 AM EDT (#391699) #
Almost every sport has undergone significant changes in the way the game is played and usually most "old-timers" dislike and decry the changes, while younger fans tend to embrace - Chris Russo's (High Heat) rant was very predictable and meant as "clickbait" material for his show - fact is, you can win using the Rays pitching model or the more traditional "Dusty Baker" model - it's all in the execution. I have a tough time criticizing a manager for doing what was successful for his team all season.
85bluejay - Sunday, October 18 2020 @ 10:44 AM EDT (#391700) #
I understand that Matthew Liberatore is a fine prospect and may become a somebody but given their offensive problems this season and Randy Arozarena performance,cardinal fans must be going stir crazy.
Kasi - Sunday, October 18 2020 @ 10:58 AM EDT (#391701) #
Yeah I mean itís the Mad Dog. Weíre you expecting stuff there that was not conservative with respect to the sport? Itís kinda what he does. For a more reasoned approach to some of the same points there is this article by Posnanski.

Tbh for me the starter going long isnít something Iím bothered that we lost. I am a little more bothered by defensive shifts and that the game is so much more just 3 true outcomes (out, K, HR) now. Balls in play happen less and do less well.
scottt - Sunday, October 18 2020 @ 11:54 AM EDT (#391702) #
They were discussing before that game how Houston finally realized they had to stop pitching to the guy hitting .400 with 9 homers and deal with the rest of the team who's hitting .180.  So of course, they decide to go after Arozarena in the first inning with one guy on base.

I cannot stand Correa.
His pep talk the other day looked a lot like bullying.
This is baseball. The rookies are not supposed to talk back to the team's established stars.
Having somebody yelling in somebody else's face should never be seen as a positive.

John Northey - Sunday, October 18 2020 @ 12:26 PM EDT (#391705) #
Part of the issue is this site was set up years ago and the internet/browsers keep changing rules. As a web programmer I'm now hopelessly out of date - been out for a few years and code keeps needing changes. Some basics still work but the more complex it gets, the less it works is the rule now. IMO a handful of top programmers at browser companies decided to make programming impossible to self-learn. In the 90's I self-taught myself HTML, ASP classic, and other stuff. Now sites need so much code that has 1001 other acronyms that you can't keep up. People need to be specialists which makes them irrelevant in just a few years without taking courses non-stop almost. Very frustrating. So since this site is a pure volunteer effort and the guy who set it up doesn't have the time or energy (as far as I know) to rebuild it with a more recent interface you'll find the best features are when you use Firefox (which it was built around and was the #1 browser at the time), and weak on mobile devices (which weren't common when the last rebuild happened - yes, the world changed that much that quickly). I find issues posting on my cellphone (a Samsung S20 Plus - love the camera), but it works.

If this site was being redone odds are it'd be like 1001 other sites - where the comments become irrelevant and the story is everything. Instead here it is the readers who drive most of the site imo. Me and others write stories to get conversations going, not to be the Gods on High. Even though my ego would enjoy that :)
John Northey - Sunday, October 18 2020 @ 12:37 PM EDT (#391706) #
8:15 tonight - game 7 of the NLCS - see if AA gets a team in the WS at last, see if a rookie who has given up just 7 ER in 9 starts (including post season) can push Atlanta to the series. He is on regular rest (4 days off) and threw just 4 innings last time (85 pitches). How hard do you push a kid in a game 7? It'll be interesting to see. FYI: Jays never had a shot at Anderson as he was the 3rd overall pick in 2016 (Jays picked T.J. Zeuch 21st overall). 2016 has produced already with Will Smith (Dodgers CA), Dakota Hudson (Cardinals pitcher) also doing stuff this postseason for example. Dodgers haven't named their starter yet - probably doing a Johnny Fullstaff approach to try to pull this off with no one going more than 2 innings.

It'll be interesting to see if we get a 'best vs best' with the Rays vs Dodgers (only 40 win teams this year) or best vs 3rd best (SD and LA had better records than Atlanta).
hypobole - Sunday, October 18 2020 @ 12:49 PM EDT (#391707) #
Some jocks feel emasculated because FO's are listening to the nerds, not them.

A newer manager like Montoyo would do well to follow the analytic advice, especially with an analytically inclined FO. But he also has to learn to use his judgement when situations call for it. How good is his judgement will be one of main deciding factors for managerial longevity.

Renteria's dismissal was apparently predicated on a combination of poor decisions on his part combined with pushback against the analytic department. If a manager pushes back, he had better be right a lot, especially in crucial situations..
Magpie - Sunday, October 18 2020 @ 05:08 PM EDT (#391709) #
Does anyone else have this issue? Do you use desktop computer or tablet?

Don't ask me, I'm old school. As is fitting for an old person. Desktop, with two big monitors. Once you get used to having lots of visual real estate, there's no going back. Or elsewhere.
Magpie - Sunday, October 18 2020 @ 05:12 PM EDT (#391710) #
you'll find the best features are when you use Firefox

True dat. Chrome is my browser of choice, and it gets the job done well enough for reading this site or making a simple comment. But if I'm actually writing something, or if HTML or pictures or inserting a link are going to be involved, I always dust off the Firefox.
dalimon5 - Sunday, October 18 2020 @ 05:24 PM EDT (#391711) #
Thanks for the Firefox tips I'll use it. I'll see if the mobile version is better through fire fox as well.

Regarding the old school vs analytics, where I stand is similar to Kasi.
SK in NJ - Sunday, October 18 2020 @ 06:48 PM EDT (#391712) #
The Rays are doing a facsimile of what Terry Francona did during the 2016 playoffs, and Francona started managing in the mid-90's. He adapted. The game will always evolve over time, especially baseball that is driven so much by analytics.

I would hope openers are only used out of emergency and not strategy, but as far as removing starters before they face an order for the 3rd time, that is likely going to become the norm for SP's moving forward. At least in the playoffs when each game is magnified in importance. This is not going to be specific to the Rays. Every team is going to do it. The execution has to work, though. That's the issue. The Yankees used their best pitching prospect as an opener (Garcia) in Game 2 of the ALDS instead of letting him pitch longer, and it backfired. If you're going to live or die with analytics, then you have to be right more often than not. I did not agree with pulling Shoemaker after 3 innings, but the Shoe/Ray combo did what it was supposed to do. The execution made the decision look better.
scottt - Sunday, October 18 2020 @ 07:19 PM EDT (#391713) #
Cash seems to be following a script to the letter.
If Cash wins it all, we could see less managerial judgment.

The wildcard was a best of 3 and Montoyo had already figured out who was pitching when.
It was all on the team to execute.

Right now the biggest factor is still the pandemic.

Trading resumes the day after the World Series.
Then teams have 5 days to offer QOs for 18.9M. A big raise over last year.

John Northey - Sunday, October 18 2020 @ 07:19 PM EDT (#391714) #
With Shoemaker - I disagreed with it, but can understand it, he is recovering from injury and has a lot of that in the past - if it was game 7 of the WS, then push him. But the first round of 4 it would've been a poor idea in retrospect. You know you won't get 5+ out of him so why push it for an extra inning when you have a plan and a rested pen?

The Rays situation was different - your ace is on the mound and you have just 1 round to go with the game not a 'must win' but still a 'want to win' to avoid a risky one game winner takes all situation. Given they won game 7 it worked out but still seemed a poor choice imo.

I'm hoping MLB sees how this takes away from the game, going with 101 relievers, and limits rosters more on the pitching side. Give a manager 10 pitchers max and he'll let starters go 6+ often. Give him 15 and no one goes 5+. If they are limited to 13 next year (as is the plan) then teams like the Jays and Rays will need to adjust as then you can't just pull everyone after 2 times through the order.
Magpie - Sunday, October 18 2020 @ 07:20 PM EDT (#391715) #
removing starters before they face an order for the 3rd time, that is likely going to become the norm for SP's moving forward.

For most of them... yeah, probably. I think that your modern pitcher simply doesn't have more than one way to attack a hitter. They don't know how to do it. They generally have this one thing they can do. It works quite well once through the order and you can usually get by with it a second time. But then... well, no con man makes a living in the same town for very long.

But obviously, there's enormous value if you can find a pitcher who's still effective the third time through the order. That's two or three innings you don't have to give to the bullpen. Verlander, third time through the order: .248/.300/.401 - no, not as good as first or second time. But good enough, especially with a lead. And guys like Halladay and the Unit (never mind old-timers like Seaver and Gibson) were better than that third time around. It used to be part of a pitcher's skill set, something they were expected to learn. And it's still worth learning.
scottt - Sunday, October 18 2020 @ 07:23 PM EDT (#391716) #
Happ wasn't good, but he's struggled against right handed lineup for a long time now.
The surprise opener wasn't a bad move. Maybe they give Garcia more innings, but that only makes it harder for Happ since he has to wait longer to get in the game.

christaylor - Sunday, October 18 2020 @ 07:35 PM EDT (#391717) #
After the Jays left for the year, I've had many games on in the background, but tonight's is the first that will have my full attention. I'm hoping Dodgers will win, but I'm thinking that the Atlanta team will win. Anyone else? It has to be at least a coin toss, correct?
hypobole - Sunday, October 18 2020 @ 07:41 PM EDT (#391718) #
Dave Laurila with Sunday stuff I found interesting. Here's 2

1) If I asked who hit the first ever Blue Jays home run, people would be typing Doug Ault before I even hit the Submit Comment button (OK, that's a bit hyperbolic). But who hit the first ever Tampa Bay home run?

2) The Toronto Blue Jays made it into the postseason without a single player who had been in the majors for 10-plus years. The last team to do so was the Philadelphia Phillies, in 1915.

Thomas - Sunday, October 18 2020 @ 09:09 PM EDT (#391719) #
That stat in number 2 is interesting. I had no idea.

For the trivia question, I guessed Bubba Trammell. It wasn't him. He was third player in Rays history to hit a homer. Also interesting, who hit the second homer in Rays history?
hypobole - Sunday, October 18 2020 @ 09:27 PM EDT (#391720) #
Guessed Crime Dog. Wrong.
Magpie - Sunday, October 18 2020 @ 11:06 PM EDT (#391721) #
But who hit the first ever Tampa Bay home run?

I had no idea, so I looked it up.

And then, I thought - well, who hit the first Yankees home run?

Technically, it was Ed Sweeney on 5 May 1913, because that's the year they started calling themselves "Yankees." The franchise started play in 1903 as an expansion team, replacing the defunct Baltimore Orioles franchise. And the first New York (AL) home run hitter was John Ganzel, on May 11 1903. Yes - May. The team hit 8 HRs in 1903.

By now - well, by now I'm totally into it. I'm finding out the first HR for every AL franchise. (The NL teams go back too far to have this kind of data.) And it's pretty much a whole gang of obscure nobodies, most of whom I'd never heard of. The only Hall of Famer is the guy who hit the first Tampa Bay homer back in 1998. I thought Nap Lajoie - who led the league with 14 HRs - was going to make the list for the A's, but the immortal Lave Cross beat him by a couple of days.

A couple things struck me as fun. As most people know, Doug Ault hit the first Jays homer, one of two he hit that day. The exact same thing happened once before - the first HR in franchise history by a man who hit a second homer later in the game. Just to make it more fun, both times the first homer was hit in the first inning, and both players were first baseman. The original Doug Ault was Ted Kluszewski of the Angels, on April 11 1961.

The American League started up in April 1901, and its eight teams hit a grand total of nine (9!) homers that month. I had to look at the box score to discover who hit the first Detroit homer, because Pop Dillon and Kid Elberfield both went deep in the same game on April 29. In the same inning, as it turned out. Dillon followed by Elberfield was the first back-to-back in AL history.

And the very first home run in AL history was struck by the immortal Erve Beck, playing 2b for the Cleveland Blues, in a 7-3 loss to Chicago on April 25, 1901. It was his first career homer, the first of 6 he would hit that season. Which was enough to tie for 9th most in the league.
John Northey - Sunday, October 18 2020 @ 11:18 PM EDT (#391722) #
Magpie - kind of surprised BR doesn't have box scores for the 1800's - I remember in the early 90's finding tons of them when fooling around in the library at university (yeah, I was a boring stat obsessed person even then). For example, the Cubs in 1876 hit 8 home runs among 6 players, but no summary. Found their first box score - in the Chicago Tribune. Only singles hit. I'm sure if someone can find and have the time to dig more they could get the data. Kind of surprised BR hasn't done this yet.
Magpie - Monday, October 19 2020 @ 12:05 AM EDT (#391723) #
They're probably slowly assembling it, but they're not going to put it up until it's somewhat complete. I was looking for Game Logs, which begin along with the box scores.

Is it just me, or is Mookie Betts just a whole lot more likeable in blue and white? Not that I actually disliked him before....
Chuck - Monday, October 19 2020 @ 12:17 AM EDT (#391724) #
is Mookie Betts just a whole lot more likeable

Too bad the small market Red Sox couldn't afford to keep him. He seems like a pretty good player.

dalimon5 - Monday, October 19 2020 @ 12:18 AM EDT (#391725) #
Rays home run I'd guess Canseco, Biggio or Alvarez. I just looked it up...I confused Biggio with the actual person who is the answer.
hypobole - Monday, October 19 2020 @ 12:27 AM EDT (#391726) #
Here's an interesting pair of pairs from Laurila

Lou Gehrig had 21 extra-base hits and a 1.214 OPS in World Series games.
Babe Ruth had 22 extra-base hits and a 1.214 OPS in World Series games.

Willie Mays slashed .239/.308/.282 with no home runs in 78 World Series plate appearances.
Hank Aaron slashed .362/.405/.710 with six home runs in 74 World Series plate appearances.
Magpie - Monday, October 19 2020 @ 12:52 AM EDT (#391727) #
He seems like a pretty good player.

And quite the vertical leap. What is he, 5'10 or something?
Gerry - Monday, October 19 2020 @ 06:56 AM EDT (#391728) #
That botched run down with the play at the plate really cost the Braves. Riley's base running was terrible.
Chuck - Monday, October 19 2020 @ 08:43 AM EDT (#391730) #
And quite the vertical leap.

Surely unmatched by the other world class bowlers.

ISLAND BOY - Monday, October 19 2020 @ 11:24 AM EDT (#391739) #
" What is he. 5'10 or something?"

5'9 at the most.
James W - Monday, October 19 2020 @ 11:47 AM EDT (#391740) #
Magpie let slip that a hall-of-famer hit Tampa's first home run, so - Wade Boggs?
bpoz - Monday, October 19 2020 @ 12:04 PM EDT (#391741) #
I am very interested in how the game is currently changing. I find it an intellectual morsel so to speak.

Someone noticed (I did not) that the 3rd time through the order was very troublesome. I thought and still do that it was the pen that was weak most of the Jays years from about 1995 to 2014.

2020's strong pen was due to the 1 inning wonders most definitely. Last night J Urias pitched 3 innings in a tense situation (I know the whole game was tense).

We need to acquire/develop some 3-5 inning pitchers that are good. In 2020 Ryu, T Wakler, Shoemaker did the job. Coming close and with a history Stripling, Ray, Anderson for 2020.

The whole season was SSS for the above veterans. For SRF, P Murphy and Zeuch the SSS was miniscule and they definitely played games against the NYY (only Sept games).
hypobole - Monday, October 19 2020 @ 12:12 PM EDT (#391742) #
Wade Boggs and Doug Ault will forever be intertwined in the history of the Toronto and Tampa franchises.
John Northey - Monday, October 19 2020 @ 05:22 PM EDT (#391745) #
Still remember how Boggs pretty much sold his HOF cap choice to the Rays in order to get to keep playing a bit longer. Then the HOF said 'that is it, we pick from now on'. Thus Gary Carter is an Expo in the HOF, as is Dawson.
ISLAND BOY - Tuesday, October 20 2020 @ 08:33 AM EDT (#391749) #
The Jays signed 4 international free agent pitchers yesterday: RH Jeury Hiciano, RH Geison Urbaez, LH Johan Simon and LH Kendry Rojas. Rojas is 17 years old and from Cuba. The rest are from the Dominican with Hiciano at 20 years old being the most advanced with a mid-nineties fastball.
scottt - Tuesday, October 20 2020 @ 12:08 PM EDT (#391762) #
You got some pitchers who often struggle in the first inning, trying to figure out the strike zone and what's working that night against the top hitters of the lineup. Getting the same guy out a second or a third time is harder because the hitter remember what you did the first time and is getting more chances to figuring the timing of the pitch to the plate.
I used to look at it just by pitch count, just speculating that the pitcher is starting to get tired around 70 pitches.
Maybe the fastball isn't so firm, maybe you see more hangers.

The Jays starters were not throwing enough strikes. It's hard to go far with those 70 pitches if everybody sees 3 balls or more. In Little League you gotta make sure the pitchers are not over their allowed pitch count and many coaches didn't care. It's really annoying having to tell the umpire that the opposing pitcher has to come out.

-You're guy's over 80 pitches.
-What about yours?
-He's at 35.

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