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It's Dodgers and Rays.

The Dodgers have been here before. This will be their 21st appearance in the World Series, moving them out of a tie with the Giants for most in NL history. The Giants (and the Cardinals) have won more championships, though. That's because no one has lost more often in the World Series than the Dodgers, who've watched the other guys celebrate winning the last game 14 times.

That's really got to suck. The Yankees have lost the World Series 13 times, but they've won it 27 times. The Dodgers have won 6 times, most recently in 1988. It was a long time ago. I had a full head of hair. I played vigorous games of ball hockey on the weekend. Ah, memories.

That 6-14 record in World Series play, by the way, was 1-8 in Brooklyn, and then 5-6 in Los Angeles. They played in Brooklyn for more than fifty years and lost each of their first 7 appearances in the Series. They finally won it in 1955, and three years later they were in California. Where they won three titles in their first decade out west.

More than half of the Dodgers' WS appearances came against the Yankees, who made a positive habit of sending them home unhappy: 1941, 1947, 1949, 1952, 1953, by which time "Wait til next year" was the local mantra. All told, the two teams faced off in the Series 11 times, and the Dodgers would win just three of them.

The Dodgers have faced the A's and Red Sox twice. They lost to the A's in 1974 and beat them in 1988; they lost to the Red Sox in 1916 and again in 2018. They've lost the only time they faced Cleveland (1920), Baltimore (1966), and Houston (2017.) They beat the White Sox (1959) and the Twins (1965) on the single occasion they met up in October.

While the Dodgers have gone 49-68 in World Series play, winning 6 series and losing 14, Tampa Bay has been there once, losing to the Phillies in 2008. Tampa Bay has won 1 World Series game in their history.

Off the top of my head, the only thing Tampa Bay has done more often than the Dodgers is lose 90 games. And that's pretty remarkable when you remember that the Dodgers literally had a 100 year head start. Really, they did.

But none of that means anything now. This is just a Best of 7. It begins Tuesday. Anything can happen.

The World Series | 142 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
scottt - Monday, October 19 2020 @ 07:45 AM EDT (#391729) #
Of course the pertinent thing about the Rays/Dodgers is Andrew Friedman.

Friedman because Rays GM in 2005 and quickly turned the franchise around.
In only 3 years he took them to the World Series and then made the playoffs 3 of the next 4 years.
After that he became president of baseball operations for the Dodgers in 2014.
They have done pretty well since.

rpriske - Monday, October 19 2020 @ 09:43 AM EDT (#391731) #
I am cheering for the Dodgers but don't mind if the Rays win.

While that was the best possible outcome, it also makes the Series less interesting to watch for me.
John Northey - Monday, October 19 2020 @ 10:12 AM EDT (#391732) #
So 2 of the smartest, best run, organizations made it to the series. Nice to see smarts working. Kind of hope Kershaw can do well thus killing the last negative on his HOF resume. He'll have 200 wins and 3000 K's in a couple of years which should lock up the career requirements for the HOF, to go with is crazy peak argument 3 Cy Youngs, 5 ERA titles, but that losing record in the playoffs with a 4.31 ERA hurts his legacy. A WS title - ideally with a WS shutout mixed in somewhere, would take care of that much like Winfield getting the winning hit in 1992 took care of his 'Mr May' label.

On the other hand, I'd like the Rays to get that title after the management team has done such amazing work for a decade+ now. I think every teams fans deserve that miracle year where their team won it all. The Raptors will always have 2018/19, the Jays 92 & 93, Leafs 1967. The Expos on the other hand only have Blue Monday and 1994. The Rangers have 2010/11 when they got to the WS but blew it. The Mariners have made the playoffs 4 times but failed all 4 times - even the year they won 116 (their last playoff appearance).
Chuck - Monday, October 19 2020 @ 10:12 AM EDT (#391733) #
World Series = NHL champ vs. NBA champ

Quite a sports year for Florida teams, being in the finals in three major sports. I'm sure those writing the NFL script would love for another TB team to be in the finals.

hypobole - Monday, October 19 2020 @ 10:54 AM EDT (#391734) #
For all the handwringing about the expanded playoffs, it's the 2 #1 seeds facing off in the WS.
Magpie - Monday, October 19 2020 @ 11:01 AM EDT (#391735) #
For all the handwringing about the expanded playoffs, it's the 2 #1 seeds facing off in the WS.

I imagine you can count on that being used to justify expanded playoffs going forward. The horse has left the barn.
scottt - Monday, October 19 2020 @ 11:14 AM EDT (#391736) #
Personally, I don't see an asterix to this year's title.

Also, I'm totally fine with the Rays representing the American League, even though I don't care one bit who wins it all.
They play hard. They play defense. They Hustle.

I do wonder if the lack of scouting means anything this year.

ISLAND BOY - Monday, October 19 2020 @ 11:18 AM EDT (#391737) #
It would have been interesting to see the what attendance the Rays would have had during the playoffs considering the pathetic support they usually get. I'm sure MLB wouldn't have been thrilled to see empty seats for World Series games but maybe bandwagon jumpers and out of town fans would have filled the stadium.
SK in NJ - Monday, October 19 2020 @ 11:23 AM EDT (#391738) #
Expanded playoffs is a huge revenue generator for the league, and ESPN was apparently happy with the ratings for the Wild Card round. While having the two best teams in the World Series definitely improves the optics of an expanded format, I think the format would have stuck around regardless. Too much money to be made.

A part of me wanted the Astros/Dodgers matchup due to their hatred for each other and the backstory behind it, but the Rays were clearly the best team in the AL so they deserve to be there. Iím rooting for the Dodgers primarily so Kershaw can finally get a ring. He needs to have at least one great start in this series in addition to winning the championship to erase his reputation, though.
John Northey - Monday, October 19 2020 @ 05:14 PM EDT (#391744) #
For Rays attendance in the WS - look at 2008.
40,783 game 1 (lost 3-2)
40,843 game 2 (won 4-2)

Rays then lost the next 3 in Philly.

In 2019 in the ALDS they had crowds of (down 2-0 in games) 32,251 and 32,178 before losing in Houston in game 5.

I suspect the attendance figures were limited due to their blocking off seats and deciding 'we ain't getting 45,369 (first opening day crowd) so lets just close thousands of seats and say we sold out anyways'. Year 2 their biggest crowd was 38k. Year 3 42,823 (vs Miami), you get the idea. Jays in 2001 (with one of many 'meh' teams) had 48,115 on opening day, plus 2 more over 40k, so as many 40k+ games as the Rays had in their first 4 years.
hypobole - Monday, October 19 2020 @ 06:47 PM EDT (#391746) #
Still got some Dave Laurila stuff from Sunday, but today he revisits Patrick Murphy.
dalimon5 - Monday, October 19 2020 @ 07:21 PM EDT (#391747) #
Put the Rogers Centre on Toronto island with a bridge or move it to yorkdale junction and that would be an equivalent to the Rays awful location.

Also, am I the only one who thinks it is Rays ownership that is the single constant in the front office arrangements? Baseball lover moves into Wall Street, becomes partner at Goldman Sachs, buys the Devil Rays and becomes general partner of the team. Is he the one training Friedman, Silverman, Click, Bloom. Etc all?
Glevin - Tuesday, October 20 2020 @ 07:55 AM EDT (#391748) #
"For all the handwringing about the expanded playoffs, it's the 2 #1 seeds facing off in the WS."

And in year one, a. 483 team was one win away from the World Series. Bad teams will win in this format and mediocre teams will win all the time. I'm hoping players oppose which they would do if they were smart but owners will probably just wave a little short term money in their faces and they'll take it because players can't seem to think strategically. Also, the idea that it is a long term income generator is silly. Short-term it makes money, but long-term and even medium term, once playoffs get devalued in the minds of fans which is only a few years down the road, you're in a worse place because you've devalued both the regular season and the playoffs.
Parker - Tuesday, October 20 2020 @ 08:54 AM EDT (#391750) #
Also, the idea that it is a long term income generator is silly. Short-term it makes money, but long-term and even medium term, once playoffs get devalued in the minds of fans which is only a few years down the road, you're in a worse place because you've devalued both the regular season and the playoffs.

Exactly this. I mean, it's first-year microeconomics. I suspect the owners know this, but no MLB owner is in it for what's best for the game in the long run. These are guys who are going to be dead in 20 years - why would they care what the baseball landscape looks like after that?
bpoz - Tuesday, October 20 2020 @ 09:20 AM EDT (#391751) #
I know that I cared about the Jays making the post season from 1983 to 1996. This was an intense caring because we had stiff competition. Detroit, Boston.

Then if you are an Atlanta fan, I think they made the playoffs about 12-15 times and hardly ever did not make the playoffs during their run.

I believe the regular season became stale for Atlanta fans as they cruised to the post season practically all the time. So maybe their regular season attendance was weak. In the playoffs their interest would become intense because they won only 1 WS which came near the end of their run. LAD fans may be going theough this.
Chuck - Tuesday, October 20 2020 @ 09:34 AM EDT (#391752) #
Arash Madani is on my television telling me the Dodgers' window is closing and that it's now or never to win a World Series. I feel bad for Bellinger (24), Smith (25), Seager (26), Betts (27) and Kershaw (32) that due to their advancing years, their time as a front line core will soon be over.
James W - Tuesday, October 20 2020 @ 09:59 AM EDT (#391753) #
John Lott has a piece up at The Athletic announcing his retirement.
scottt - Tuesday, October 20 2020 @ 09:59 AM EDT (#391754) #
Arash is a guy who does interviews. He's not the guy who comes out with insight.
He was very critical of the 2020 format and it worked just fine.

With no NHL or NBA, content is about to get scarce on tv.

SK in NJ - Tuesday, October 20 2020 @ 10:10 AM EDT (#391755) #
The playoffs have been expanded twice in the last 25 years (not counting this season), and it hasn't impacted long-term profitability. MLB's TV deals keep getting larger. The league went from 4 playoff teams in 1993 to 8 playoff teams in 1995-2011, and then to 10 playoff teams in 2012-2019. It will probably be 12 or 14 soon based on what Manfred said recently. Why will this change devalue the playoffs any more or less than the other ones did?

Forbes did an article recently about local TV viewership/streaming numbers for the 2020 season, and the only playoff team that saw a drop in viewers from 2019 to 2020 was the Cardinals, and they were ravaged by Covid so their schedule was completely messed up. Every other team that made the playoffs saw an increase. The Jays saw an increase (up 23% over year). Some non-playoff teams also saw an increase. Now, this was a 60 game season during a pandemic, so hard to determine future viewing habits based on this small unique sample, but if you assume the playoffs are a crapshoot, then an expanded format might engage more fans than a normal season would. Maybe teams will be less inclined to go "all in" anymore, but I don't think teams have been going all in for a while now (since the CBA agreement in 2017).

I personally like the pre-2020 playoff format, and would prefer to keep that, but I don't think expanding the playoffs (as long as it's not 16 out of 30 teams again) is going to hurt the sport long-term.
Mike Green - Tuesday, October 20 2020 @ 10:41 AM EDT (#391756) #
John Lott is 75 years old and has given us many great pieces of work over the last decade.  Hats off to him.

Bill James commented years ago that Mookie Betts is the closest thing we have to Willie Mays, with Trout of course being the closest thing to Mantle.  Betts is probably the best defensive right-fielder ever, which is saying something considering he didn't play the position when he entered the big leagues.  I think that he probably dedicated himself more to learning the position than to hitting over his early 20s, and I think he's got another offensive gear left.  Maybe that gear will make an appearance in the World Series.  Betts is a joy to watch- I'm glad that he's in the other league so I don't have to feel conflicted about his exuberance, discipline and skill. 
Magpie - Tuesday, October 20 2020 @ 10:49 AM EDT (#391757) #
I mentioned this a few weeks back, but compared to the other major North American sports, baseball has far more season and far fewer playoffs. NBA and NHL teams play 82 games and can play 28 playoff games, which is 34% of the schedule. Even NFL teams can play 4 playoff games, which is 25% of the 16 season games. But baseball teams have maxed out at 20 playoff games after 162 season games, which is 12.3%.
Magpie - Tuesday, October 20 2020 @ 11:18 AM EDT (#391758) #
Betts is probably the best defensive right-fielder ever, which is saying something

Man, you don't want to say that in Puerto Rico.

I'll say this - he's got a great chance to be the second best 5'9 right fielder who ever lived.
Mike Green - Tuesday, October 20 2020 @ 11:30 AM EDT (#391759) #
I know.  I saw Clemente and I saw Barfield (who remains my favourite Blue Jay player).  Obviously both of them had better arms than Betts, but the difference in terms of ground covered and athleticism more than makes up for the difference.  Betts has the range of a very good centerfielder. 
Mike Green - Tuesday, October 20 2020 @ 11:33 AM EDT (#391760) #
In fairness, I didn't see Clemente in 1957-58 which was probably his defensive peak. 
scottt - Tuesday, October 20 2020 @ 11:50 AM EDT (#391761) #
It's kinda amazing that Boston didn't lock Betts up when you think about it.
ISLAND BOY - Tuesday, October 20 2020 @ 12:09 PM EDT (#391763) #
They were really focused on getting below the luxury tax threshold but it seemed stupid to me to trade their best player to do so. They've made other questionable decisions over the years though, like giving Pablo Sandoval 98 million and getting virtually nothing in return. But, who cares, it's the Red Sox!
hypobole - Tuesday, October 20 2020 @ 12:29 PM EDT (#391764) #
They had Betts in 2019 and they missed the playoffs. Betts had a terrific 60 games, 3.0 fWAR/3.4 bWAR. But would keeping him have gotten them into the playoffs this season? Also considering the trade netted them Verdugo who had a solid 1.6 fWAR/1.9 bWAR season himself.

The extra 1.5 WAR Betts could have provided the Red Sox would have been useless. And as mentioned the Sox saved a massive amount of money, both by the player swap plus dumping half of Price's contract plus any tax savings. So they now have a cheap Verdugo for 4 more years. Plus the best prospect in their system in Jeter Downs.
bpoz - Tuesday, October 20 2020 @ 12:33 PM EDT (#391765) #
That luxury tax is an issue to some/most/all owners. Boston decided it was an issue. I don't know of any team/owner that will go the distance and past so far. It would be an eye opener. The cost is tax money and draft pick loss.

Betts was a 6th round pick I believe. I don't think he was ever a top 10 prospect.
Magpie - Tuesday, October 20 2020 @ 02:02 PM EDT (#391766) #
ESPN's got Sam Miller's ranking of all the World Series ever played, and the 1924 Series comes in third and he suggests that Game 7 of that series has a case as the greatest game ever. It's got a case, but best of all, there's video! Of a baseball game played 96 years ago. I've watched it before, I watched it again, and once more I noticed that the action I was seeing didn't exactly match the on-screen descriptions, which take the form of title cards that precede the action. This was the age of the silent movie, the only sound is cheerful piano music.

Well, I'm here to do something about it. I've gone over the film and the play by play. Here is the film - and here's is what's on the title cards, along with my gloss on them.

0:00 Introduction and a long panorama of Washington's Griffith Stadium on a Friday afternoon.

0:39 Barnes starts for the Giants. We see a LH Washington batter put a ball in play. We then see a Washington base runner round second and pull into third base. This can only be the play in the bottom of the 9th. By this time, Barnes was out of the ngame and Art Nehf was pitching for the Giants. Judge was on first, a grounder was hit to the first baseman, the shortstop mishandled the throw and Judge went all the way to third. It's the only time a Washington baserunner went 1st to 3rd in the game. The Washington batter, Ossie Bluege was a RH hitter - so there's been a cut to a completely different play between the LH Washington batter and the base-running play.

0:54 Mogridge pitches for Washington. And we see a RH Washington pitcher, so it's definitely not George Mogridge. It's probably the starter, Curly Ogden. Manager Bucky Harris used the RH Ogden as his Opener - in 1924, people! - and pulled him after two batters for the LH Mogridge. There's a cut to a RH Giants batter dropping down a bunt and diving safely into first base, headfirst. That's Frankie Frisch, off Mogridge in the third inning.

1:03 Harris, Washington, hits a Homer. This was in the fourth inning off Barnes, and this was the only Senator Barnes allowed to reach base in the first six innings.

1:32 President is there. Why it's Calvin Coolidge!

1:42 Giants score in the sixth. The Giants scored three times in the sixth, and I can't tell which of the three runs this might be. I think it's Youngs scoring from third on Meusel's sac fly. But it could be Kelly scoring from third on Judge's error, or Wilson scoring from third on Bluege's error.

1:53 Senators tie the score. They tied it up on a two-run single by Harris in the bottom of the eighth, but that's not the play we see. What we see here is Miller grounding into a double play, with runners on the corners to end the ninth inning. It kept the Giants alive, and their catcher lets loose a big fist pump as they run off the field.

2:06 With score 3 to 3, game goes to extra innings.
But the play we see is from earlier in the game. It's Frank Frisch lining a triple off Walter Johnson in the top of the ninth. Johnson would get out of the jam, the Senators would miss their chance in the bottom of the inning, and then we'd go to extra innings.

2:27 Walter Johnson, pitching last four innings, puts glorious close to his first World Series. And we see someone hit a popup to the Washington third baseman. This would have been hit by the very first batter Johnson faced when he entered the game in the top of the ninth. Lindstrom popped out to the infield - the next batter was Frisch, who hit the triple we've seen already.

2:51 Ruel comes home on McNeeley's single and the game and championship are safe for the Senators. It's the right play, although it's now being scored as a double.

3:19 Capital's fans swarm onto field to hail the victors. It would be a very, very long time before they'd be able to do that again.

3:50 Credits

Bucky Harris was 27 years old, in his fifth season as Washington's second baseman and his first year as their manager. He pulled the Opener manoeuver with his starting pitcher, brought his 39 year old ace starter out of the bullpen to work the last four innings - and knocked out three hits and drove in three of his team's four runs. I guess that's why they called him "The Boy Wonder."
Mike Green - Tuesday, October 20 2020 @ 03:13 PM EDT (#391767) #
Wonderful, Magpie.  I'll have to watch. 

John Northey - Tuesday, October 20 2020 @ 04:17 PM EDT (#391768) #
Fun to watch - makes sense that they'd juggle the video for effect as only those at the game would've seen what happened when. A shame the video of other moments would be long lost as odds are they cut it to make this video and tossed the rest (as was the usual back then). Although I prefer this World Series.
JB21 - Tuesday, October 20 2020 @ 05:30 PM EDT (#391769) #
Good news and bad news for us West Coast baseball fans as it looks like the Vancouver Canadians are no longer affiliated with the Jays going forward.

The good news (for Vancouver, not MiLB in general) is that the C's will now be playing a regular MiLB season insteaad of a short-season, and the baseball should be a lot better with the great Susan Slusser, of the San Francisco Chronicle, reporting that the Oakland Athletics are expected to move their Single-A team from Beloit, Wisconsin to Vancouver.
JB21 - Tuesday, October 20 2020 @ 05:33 PM EDT (#391770) #
Don't forget baseball is played on the field hypobole. Boston cheated their fans of joy.
hypobole - Tuesday, October 20 2020 @ 06:46 PM EDT (#391771) #
Maybe you're forgetting that on the field, Boston was a really bad team this season and would have only been a bit less bad with Betts for 60 games. How much joy would Boston fans have had?

mathesond - Tuesday, October 20 2020 @ 06:51 PM EDT (#391772) #
"How much joy would Boston fans have had?"

Possibly a joy similar to Jays fans watching Doc pitch, only perhaps more often.
Magpie - Tuesday, October 20 2020 @ 06:59 PM EDT (#391773) #
I prefer this [the 1992] World Series.

It was a really, really great Series. Still, any time you go to extra innings in Game 7, you've got - I believe the official term is - one humdinger of a ball game.

So I think Giants-Senators Game 7 1924 can at least be regarded as the Game of the 1920s, although I'll definitely take votes for Cards-Yankees Game 7 1926 (Alexander stumbles out of the bullpen to strike out Lazzeri, Ruth caught stealing to end it.)

Game of the Decade! Let's play:

1900s - Well, only one World Series went to a game 7, and because that one was an 8-0 blowout (Pirates-Tigers 1909) it drains a lot of the fun out of the Tigers very tense win in Game 6 to send the series to a seventh game. The most famous game of the decade was surely the Cubs-Giants tie in September 1908, forever known as Merkle's Boner.

1910s - You're asking me? Giants-Red Sox, Game 8 1912. Duh.

1920s - Sens-Giants 1924 or Cards-Yankees 1926. The A's rallying to win Game 4 in 1929 after trailing 8-0 in the seventh to the Cubs was also pretty cool.

1930s - No obvious contender - only two Game 7s and neither was a particularly great game. We do have Ruth calling his shot (or not) in 1932, and Joe Medwick getting pelted with garbage in 1934.

1940s - Dodgers-Yankees Game 4 1947 is the first that comes to mind - Bevens loses the no-hitter and the game on one swing with two out in the bottom of the ninth. But 1940 and 1946 both had Game 7s won by a single run. Cards-Red Sox in 1946 was especially tasty - Walker's 2b to score Slaughter in the 8th - then the Red Sox got the first two men aboard in the ninth but couldn't score the tying run.

1950s - I think the general consensus is the Giants-Dodgers playoff finale of 1951, even if Arnold Hano wrote an entire book on Game 1 of the 1954 Series. When Willie Mays made that catch. Don Larsen pitched a memorable game a couple of years later.

1960s - Great decade for World Series, but the 1960 Game 7 was probably the best game. If only because 10-9 is more exciting than 1-0, because Game 7 1962 was pretty great as well.

1970s- It's a tie. Game 6, Reds-Red Sox, 1976. And the Yankees-Red Sox playoff in 1978.

1980s - This is easy - Game 6, Mets-Red Sox 1986. Game 6 Royals-Cards 1985 was also pretty great. Both games were better than the Game 7s that followed (or any of the Game 7s in the decade.)

1990s - Well, Jays-Phillies Game 6 1993 comes to mind. But so does Game 7 Braves-Pirates NLCS 1992, Games 6 and 7 of the 1992 Series, Game 5 of the Mariners-Yankees ALDS....

2000s - The best stuff came early: Game 7 Yankees-Diamondbacks in 2001 and Game 6 Giants-Angels in 2002. But most people would probably go for the Dave Roberts game in the 2004 ALCS, no? Those Yankee-Red Sox battles in 2003-2004 really were something.

2010s - I'm voting for the Bat Flip game, and so is everyone here! But you could surely argue for the David Freese game (Cards-Rangers, Game 6, 2011) and two truly great Game 7s in 2014 (Giants-Royals) and 2016 (Cubs-Indians.)

And I bet you can all think of others - that's just the first ones that came to mind.
Magpie - Tuesday, October 20 2020 @ 07:01 PM EDT (#391774) #
Typo - it should have read "Games 6 and 7 of the 1991 Series." Braves-Twins, the Kirby Puckett game and the Jack Morris game.
Magpie - Tuesday, October 20 2020 @ 07:19 PM EDT (#391775) #
Merkle's Boner, and the ensuing tie, meant the game was replayed at the end of the season. By this time, it was essentially a single game playoff because the Cubs and the Giants were tied at 98-55. Jack Pfiester started for the Cubs - he hit the leadoff man, gave up a walk, an RBI double, and another walk to load the bases with one out. Chance brought in Mordecai Brown, who got out of the jam and went the rest of the game, which the Cubs won 4-2, scoring all their runs off Mathewson in the fourth.

But what a week that was for Miner Brown. The Cubs were ahead by half a game when it started. Brown beat the Reds on Tuesday and again on Friday, and then he beat the Pirates on Sunday. All complete games, the second on two days rest, the third on one day's rest.

Pitchers were men back then, I tell ya.
SK in NJ - Tuesday, October 20 2020 @ 10:34 PM EDT (#391776) #
Betts simultaneously helping the Dodgers and making the Red Sox look awful at the same time.
John Northey - Tuesday, October 20 2020 @ 11:02 PM EDT (#391777) #
On a pure baseball basis, yes 1924 game 7 was better, but from a Jays addict POV the Jays winning their first WS was bigger. 1991 game 7 where Morris went 10 shutout innings (thanks to Lonnie Smith doing some very poor baserunning) in a 1-0 game has to be viewed as the best. 5 times games were decided by 1 run (Games 2/3/4/6/7) with the other 2 being 5-2 and 14-5. Quite the series indeed.

1992 had 4 one run games including the extra inning game 6 win. 1995 had 5 games decided by 1 run (6 games total, game 4 was a 5-2 game).

1997 saw 2 one run games, with game 7 going 11 innings for a 3-2 win for Florida at home (Edgar Renteria single with 2 out and a runner was on via an error by Tony Fernandez who should've been the hero instead of the goat with his 2 RBI's in a 3-2 game).

1998 or 1999 would be ranked the most dull one - one game decided by 1 run, the rest were 3+ run spreads (2 3 run games both years, plus a 5 or 6 run spread in the other game each year) in a 4 game sweep by the Yankees both times. Guess I'd put 1999 as the dullest as 1998 was the year the Yankees looked unbeatable all year. The only story for 1999 was Clemens getting his ring at last after forcing a trade.
hypobole - Tuesday, October 20 2020 @ 11:51 PM EDT (#391778) #
Possibly a joy similar to Jays fans watching Doc pitch, only perhaps more often.

See that's the thing. That Doc "joy" never really translated to attendance. Can't remember who, but a poster on this site a few years back made mention of the fact that games Halladay pitched didn't really draw more fans than games the rest of the starting staff pitched. As much as people want to see stars in their home teams uniform, it's having a winning team that really matters.
Magpie - Wednesday, October 21 2020 @ 12:58 AM EDT (#391779) #
Betts is the first player to walk and steal two bases in the same World Series inning since... Babe Ruth?

Just a great night in Boston.
scottt - Wednesday, October 21 2020 @ 08:22 AM EDT (#391780) #
In a best of 7 series, Cash not willing to show his bullpen unless he has a lead.

Glasnow is the first pitcher to walk 6 and allow 6 earned runs.

dalimon5 - Wednesday, October 21 2020 @ 09:11 AM EDT (#391781) #
The Jays drew more fans on TV every time Halladay pitched and also drew more fans to the ballpark when he pitched when they were in contention. In early. 2000s there was no boost because the team wasn't competitive.

Do you not remember the near sold out Halladay vs Burnett game at the dome???
John Northey - Wednesday, October 21 2020 @ 09:23 AM EDT (#391782) #
Yeah, there were sellouts for Halladay games now and then, and sell outs for other guys too. Normally another factor was bigger. Just looking at 2005, when the Jays were recovering from that horrid 2004 season and Halladay was the big star. I see April 9th vs Boston 28,765; April 24 vs Baltimore 20,566; May 10th vs KC 20,123; May 21st vs Washington 24,518; May 29th vs Minnesota 24,287; June 13th vs St Louis 20,032 (so much for interleague play drawing fans); June 18th vs Milwaukee 25,264; June 23rd vs Baltimore 22,390; at which point he had 3 road starts then got hurt. That year the Jays averaged 24,876 per game at home. Halladay had more than that twice in 8 starts. So much for him being a big draw.
mathesond - Wednesday, October 21 2020 @ 09:50 AM EDT (#391783) #
I wonder how many jerseys sold then were Halladay jerseys.
Mike Green - Wednesday, October 21 2020 @ 10:06 AM EDT (#391784) #
In a best of 7 series, Cash not willing to show his bullpen unless he has a lead.

I don't think that is quite right.  The leverage index would have been quite different in a tie game in the 5th and I am pretty sure that Cash would have gone to his bullpen earlier. in that situation.  I would guess that Yarbrough would have been brought in to face Seager. 
Magpie - Wednesday, October 21 2020 @ 10:12 AM EDT (#391785) #
The last starting pitcher to make an impact on home attendance was probably Mark Fidrych. He might have been  the only one, actually.

But Fidrych's impact on the Tigers attendance in 1976 really was massive. They drew 605,677 in his 18 starts and 861,343 in their other 62 home games. That's 33,648 when Fidrych pitched and 13,890 when he didn't. He became a noticeable phenom in mid-June, and the Tigers promptly started juggling their rotation to give him as many starts at home as possible - sometimes he got 5 days rest, more often he got 3 - whatever got him an extra start at home.

15 May - 14,583 SAT
31 May - 17,894 MON
11 Jun - 36,377 FRI
16 Jun - 21,659 WED
28 Jun - 47,855 MON
 3 Jul - 51,032 SAT
 9 Jul - 51,041 FRI
16 Jul - 45,905 FRI
29 Jul - 44,068 WED
 7 Aug - 35,395 SAT
11 Aug - 36,523 WED
17 Aug - 51,822 TUE
21 Aug - 34,760 SAT
25 Aug - 39,884 WED
 3 Sep - 32,951 FRI
 7 Sep - 16,410 CLE
17 Sep - 20,371 FRI
21 Sep -  7,147 TUE

The Tigers was a lousy team, and not even the prospect of seeing the Bird could bring them out in September.
Magpie - Wednesday, October 21 2020 @ 10:45 AM EDT (#391786) #
I know what you're thinking (those of you old enough to remember, anyway) - Fernandomania!

And Valenzuela likely did boost the Dodgers' attendance in 1981. They averaged 48,430 when Fernando pitched, which includes Opening Day. But they're the Dodgers - they were already averaging 42,860 when he wasn't pitching. It's a nice little boost, though. Over the course of the season, it's just short of an extra 67,000 tickets.

Fernando's rocket start might have meant more if he hadn't done so much of it away from Dodger Stadium. He made 9 of his first 14 starts on the road. And then the players went on strike for two months.
Magpie - Wednesday, October 21 2020 @ 11:05 AM EDT (#391787) #
But with the Jays, I think by far the biggest thing affecting attendance - besides whether the team is any good, and which day of the week we're talking about - is the identity of the opposition, not the identity of that day's starting pitcher. The Yankees or the Red Sox are a bigger draw than any Toronto player. Which makes sense - an opposition team only comes to town two or three times a year, whereas you've got the home team for six months.
mathesond - Wednesday, October 21 2020 @ 11:15 AM EDT (#391788) #
Not to mention the sheer numbers of Red Sox/Yankees fans making the trip to the Dome in the mid-2000s.
James W - Wednesday, October 21 2020 @ 11:17 AM EDT (#391789) #
No mention of Game 4 of the 1993 World Series? It's the most fun game I can think of, though definitely not the "best" game.
scottt - Wednesday, October 21 2020 @ 11:35 AM EDT (#391790) #
It's always a gamble at that point in the game.
Kept Glasnow hoping to get 5 innings.
Mookie walked.
Mookie stole second, so walked lefty Seager.
Kept Glasnow against Turner, don't want to bring Yarbrough against a right bat.
Double steal. Turner struck out.
Now Yarbrough can't get out of it with a double play so Glasnow pitches to Muncy hoping for another strike out.
One run scores on the fielder's choice. No out.
Glasnow stays to face Smith who singles.
Yarbrough comes in and pops Bellinger who hits left. 

So, I think it's more situational  than the leverage index.

Mike Green - Wednesday, October 21 2020 @ 11:44 AM EDT (#391791) #
In a tie game, with Glasnow at 85 pitches through 4 innings, I am pretty sure that Cash would have ensured that Yarbrough would be ready to go right after Betts to face Seager.  It's a very similar situation from a leverage perspective to the one where he took out Snell last series, and Glasnow had the same issues. 
scottt - Wednesday, October 21 2020 @ 11:44 AM EDT (#391792) #
There seems to be a huge question mark regarding arbitration this year.
2020 was 37% of a full season. How will players be rewarded for getting 10 home runs?
I'm sure the owners can argue that it's not fair to assume the players will have continue to produce at the same pace over a full year.
How about hitting and getting on base? Is it fair to get 37% of the raise one would have gotten for doing the same over a full year?
Also, the owners can point out they were losing money over the 2020 season.
How can players settle with their GM if they have no idea what parameters the arbitrators will use?
JB21 - Wednesday, October 21 2020 @ 12:38 PM EDT (#391793) #
Again, back to metrics. I remember turning on the TV (or going to a game) when Doc pitched knowing that regardless of our team had an opportunity to win the game today.

I doubt you'd find many Red Sox fans that are happy that their billionaire owners saved a little money in exchange for a couple (of meaningless) wins vs. watching Mookie take the field every day for the next X amount of years.
Mike Green - Wednesday, October 21 2020 @ 12:49 PM EDT (#391794) #
For what it's worth, Bill James obliquely criticized his employer for the series of moves that led (in his view) to Betts' departure.  He was always of the belief that you do not trade a Hall of Famer in mid-career unless something even better is coming back- he made the comment when the Jays traded McGriff that Alomar was something better.  That view turned out to be correct.    No one is thinking Alex Verdugo will be a player of Betts' quality over the next 5 years. 

In Betts' case, I'd rather have him on a long-term contract than just about anybody (and frankly even more than Trout).  Subjectively, I think he's more likely than Trout, Harper or anybody to be great from age 35-37. 
BlueJayWay - Wednesday, October 21 2020 @ 05:13 PM EDT (#391795) #
Can't remember who, but a poster on this site a few years back made mention of the fact that games Halladay pitched didn't really draw more fans than games the rest of the starting staff pitched

That shouldn't be surprising. Bill James studied this years ago, looking at attendance when Nolan Ryan or Roger Clemens pitched. He found that, contrary to what a lot of people thought they knew at the time, there was hardly any increase.

I doubt Halladay games had any higher attendance or tv ratings. I haven't seen anything to indicate that.

JB21 - Wednesday, October 21 2020 @ 09:17 PM EDT (#391796) #
It's also quite hard to time a ticket purchase with a specific starting pitcher, unless it's fairly last minute.
Chuck - Wednesday, October 21 2020 @ 11:58 PM EDT (#391797) #
Aaron Loup, World Series hero. I wonder if even Nostradamus saw that coming.
ISLAND BOY - Thursday, October 22 2020 @ 06:31 AM EDT (#391798) #
Nah, Nostradamus wasn't into sports. When it came to baseball he was out of the Loup.
Mike Green - Thursday, October 22 2020 @ 08:17 AM EDT (#391799) #
There's a long recount of a presser with Mark Shapiro over at the Athletic.  He couldn't say much because of the understandable uncertainty about revenues arising from the pandemic, but there were 3 items of interest for me:

1. He indicated that Susan Slusser's report that the Vancouver franchise was moving to Oakland was inaccurate (time will tell)
2. He favours expanded playoffs, but not to the extent of 8 teams per league.
3. Shapiro convinced me that he really would like to stay in Toronto with this quote- "...I love living here and working here.  It's been life-changing for me and my family, my kids, to have been here and certainly appreciate it more every day in light of the next two weeks where I come from; I want to be here, both from a personal perspective and maybe most importantly, I want to finish the job".

bpoz - Thursday, October 22 2020 @ 08:57 AM EDT (#391800) #
Both Atkins and Shapiro have talked about improvements for next year. I believe that I was unfair in my understanding of what was said.

Atkins "open to adding talent that is condensed one player and a super high impact". My thought was Realmuto/Bauer which is unfair.

Both have mentioned improving defense and strike throwing ability. Our youth are doing this. Teoscar's defense really improved. I now have confidence that he can catch a ball that is hit to him. From all of those young pitchers some should be able to develop strike throwing ability. Zeuch always could. Hopefully a few others can do that.

Thomas - Thursday, October 22 2020 @ 01:47 PM EDT (#391803) #
I've made my thoughts on the stupid expanded playoffs already, so I won't reiterate them here.

One change I do quite like to the playoff structure is the elimination of offdays before the World Series within a series. I think it has forced teams to use their entire 25 (excuse me, 28) man roster in the playoffs and has really tested the depth of teams, in the same way the regular season does.

While I understand not everyone is sold on AJ Minter vs. Dustin May or John Curtiss vs. Luis Garcia, I think the new structure has really tested the depth of teams, as well as their ability to manage and use their talent over a short series. I think I noticeably prefer it to the old structure.

I also like the idea of keeping off-days in the World Series. I might prefer one off-day instead of two, but I understand why two makes sense in a normal season due to travel. Once a team has made it to the World Series, I don't mind the idea that they can rely more heavily on the arms at the upper end of the rotation and the back end of the bullpen.

While I'm going to be very disappointed when eventually it turns out that the expanded playoffs are here to stay (there was a tiny part of me that wanted Houston to make the World Series just to show how silly the expanded filed was....but it was very tiny), I hope that they retain this scheduling structure.
scottt - Thursday, October 22 2020 @ 07:44 PM EDT (#391808) #
You realize the schedule is the result of not playing in home parks?
ISLAND BOY - Friday, October 23 2020 @ 07:40 AM EDT (#391809) #
I don't understand why some people are against having more fans feel the excitement of having their teams make the playoffs. I didn't see too many people complain about the Jays qualifying in this weird shortened season and while very few probably gave them much of a chance against the Rays, it was fun to be there after last year's misery.

The point is, what fan likes to see their team playing out the string starting in July? What if you're stuck in a division with perennial spending superpowers like the Yankees and Red Sox, plus Tampa who wins without a big budget? Some say mediocre teams will qualify for the postseason, but shouldn't good teams beat mediocre teams most of the time, otherwise they aren't really a good team when it counts the most? I favor 7 teams from each league making the playoffs with top team in each league getting a bye into the second round. I looked up the standings for the past 10 years and here are the results:
ISLAND BOY - Friday, October 23 2020 @ 07:53 AM EDT (#391810) #
American League

7th place 8th place

2019 Red Sox 84-78 Rangers 78-84

2018 Mariners 89-73 Angels 80-82

2017 Rays 80-82 Royals,Angels 80-82

2016 Mariners 86-76 Yankees,Astros 84-78

2015 Twins 83-79 Indians 81-80

2014 Indians 85-77 Yankees 84-78

2013 Royals 86-76 Yankees,Orioles 85-77

2012 Tigers 88-74 White Sox 85-77

2011 Blue Jays 81-81 Indians 80-82

2010 Blue Jays 85-77 A's, Tigers 81-81

I don't know how this will format but hopefully it will be clear. The 7th place teams usually have decent records although there are anomalies like the Rays in 2017 being 2 games under .500. On the flip side, the Jays were 9th in 2014 and had a 83-79 record.

bpoz - Friday, October 23 2020 @ 09:14 AM EDT (#391811) #
Being in a playoff race is always nice. The interest will generate revenue.
scottt - Friday, October 23 2020 @ 10:13 AM EDT (#391812) #
Having teams with losing record in the playoffs takes from the experience.
Getting a prize doesn't feel good if you think you don't deserve it or if you see some bozos getting the same.
The Jays would have been in a tie for the second wild card had they won their last game in Buffalo.

With the wild card, the only teams playing the string are the tankers.
Making the playoffs if other teams in your division are much better is nothing to get excited about and the superspenders argument is wasted when the Rays make the playoffs consistently.

I don't like the idea of a bye.

scottt - Friday, October 23 2020 @ 10:45 AM EDT (#391813) #
Doc is in Cooperstown wearing a blank hat. I look at what AA got out of the trade and I find no comfort.
Mookie will be in Cooperstown wearing a Dodgers hat.
It's true that the Red Sox were a lousy team this year, but they extended a bunch of guys after winning the World Series 2 years ago and ignored Mookie.

bpoz - Friday, October 23 2020 @ 11:24 AM EDT (#391814) #
Not extending Mookie Betts was probably a strategy. If you are going to spend a lot on overall payroll then you have to go low somewhere.

D Price and JD Martinez are 2 that got a lot. $55 mil combined?
ISLAND BOY - Friday, October 23 2020 @ 11:25 AM EDT (#391815) #
I don't particularly like teams with losing records in the playoffs either so that's why I like the 7 team idea. Only once in the last ten years has a 7th place team been under .500 in the American League and twice in the National League.
Thomas - Friday, October 23 2020 @ 12:07 PM EDT (#391816) #
Yes, I do Scott. I'm aware of the context. My comment was about whether I think they should keep it going forward or not.

As you're probably aware, some of these COVID-19-inspired changes, such as the expanded playoffs that I referenced in that same posted, are likely to stick around in some form. So I was simply commenting on whether this one should stick around, as well.
SK in NJ - Friday, October 23 2020 @ 12:39 PM EDT (#391817) #
Younger people are less likely to appreciate the marathon aspect of a baseball season and the lack of playoff teams every year. Yes, expanded playoffs is primarily a money grab for the owners, but it's also about maintaining interest and having more engaged markets/fan bases throughout the course of a long season. I mentioned the Forbes numbers earlier. The Jays saw a 23% increase in viewership for the 2020 season for an inconsistent slightly above .500 team. Likely because the lure of making the playoffs excited more fans. The White Sox saw a 152% increase. A competitive team with playoff aspirations should in theory help in boosting ratings and attendance (though not guaranteed).

MLB more than the NFL or NBA is a very regional/local sport. You want your local fans to be engaged because once a local fan's team is out of it, they are less likely to follow other teams. It's not like the NFL where a Cowboys fan will care about what the Steelers are doing, or vice versa. MLB has to embrace its regional appeal, and that means making sure more fanbases are engaged throughout the season. I'm fine with the expanded format as long as it is not 16 teams again, which Manfred has said it won't be.

Honestly, I think a much bigger problem with baseball right now is the 3 true outcomes obsession. That's going to be much harder to fix.
bpoz - Friday, October 23 2020 @ 12:56 PM EDT (#391818) #
Our 32 wins in 60 games was a .533 winning %. I don't know if we can match .533 in 2021 (86 wins) due to Boston probably being better and our pitching (if the same) being inexperienced.

scottt - Friday, October 23 2020 @ 12:58 PM EDT (#391819) #
It's more fun to watch a good team winning than a bad team losing.
I don't see the bad team being watched more because it's in the playoffs.
Those who cares about that will watch the playoffs and nothing else.
The 2020 Blue Jays playoffs games were not that good.
The Rays took the lead in the first game on a ball not blocked and the Jays never recovered.
Ryu had nothing in game 2.

I watched to see the Yankees and Astros get eliminated.
Then I canceled Sportsnet until next year.

Rays-Dodgers = low viewership.

hypobole - Friday, October 23 2020 @ 01:29 PM EDT (#391820) #
Don't want to watch bad teams, but when the 2 best teams in MLB are playing in the WS, don't want to watch that either.
scottt - Friday, October 23 2020 @ 03:01 PM EDT (#391821) #
Yeah, no emotional involvement.
John Northey - Friday, October 23 2020 @ 06:40 PM EDT (#391822) #
The pitching will be the biggest challenge in 2021 as what worked for 60 - 5 innings at most from most starters, 10 man bullpen, won't fly over 162. I'm hoping they stretch the kids arms out next summer in AAA while signing/trading for a top flight starter for the rotation. Easier said than done.

Perfect AAA rotation would be Pearson/Zeuch/Kay/Waguespack/Merryweather while having Ryu/Roark/Thornton/Stripling/new guy in the majors. Then when a guy goes down any of those kids could come up and take over that slot. Doubt that will happen, I expect at lest one of the kids to be in the ML rotation and another in the pen but we'll see.
bpoz - Saturday, October 24 2020 @ 10:34 AM EDT (#391823) #
I am sure ownership wants/hopes for the revenue that a winning team would provide. Our position core, Ryu and the pen should be good enough parts for that. So it is definitely the rotation that is the weak link for competing with NYY, TB and Boston. Pearson provides hopeful strength to the rotation. Will he be healthy or be on a pitch count.

The next step for the young starters is to develop into becoming 6-8 inning pitchers. They would need a long opportunity in the Majors to do that. A J Litsch or more durable C Jansen type needs to materialize next year. Would young starters be capped at 100 innings because of the low innings pitched in 2020?

Covid will determine fan attendance, length of schedule, roster size with taxi and playoff format. This is probably decided by the end of Dec and announced/leaked in Jan.

Chuck - Saturday, October 24 2020 @ 11:39 AM EDT (#391824) #
The next step for the young starters is to develop into becoming 6-8 inning pitchers.

I don't know that organizations think that way about starting pitchers any more. Severe limitations on pitch counts and times through the order have changed the nature of the job. Ace pitchers now average 6.x IP per start. The rank and file, maybe 5.

I would think that when teams look internally for competent starting pitchers, they are asking the question: who can give us 5 innings?

scottt - Saturday, October 24 2020 @ 04:11 PM EDT (#391828) #
It goes back to throwing strikes. The good AL East teams don't chase that much.
There's too many pitches that are just bad pitches.
Pitchers are throwing more curves and sliders, but you need to be able to throw those for strikes, or the other team will sit fastballs.

AWeb - Saturday, October 24 2020 @ 04:46 PM EDT (#391829) #
As someone in the Atlantic time zone, I'd just like to say...screw you mlb for starting the game at 10pm. That puts the end of a standard 3.5 hour (shiver...) game so so late. Well past midnight for the eastern time zone too. Mlb continues its 3 decade assault on children watching, and making the start of a game fall in prime time, rather than the end. You know, if they seriously addressed pace of play, they could have both.

Hoping to wake up to a dodgers win tomorrow. Just can't cheer for the rays.
Eephus - Saturday, October 24 2020 @ 11:16 PM EDT (#391833) #
Are you not entertained..
Eephus - Sunday, October 25 2020 @ 12:28 AM EDT (#391834) #
Thatís some ending.
Magpie - Sunday, October 25 2020 @ 12:36 AM EDT (#391835) #
That was the baseball gods saying Pedro Baez does not get to be the winning pitcher. No way, no how. (Dude actually had two Blown Saves in the same game.)
Magpie - Sunday, October 25 2020 @ 12:41 AM EDT (#391836) #
they are asking the question: who can give us 5 innings?

I think the crap being served up by these two exhausted bullpens is a direct result of all these starting pitchers who struggle to give you five innings. If you're lucky. The unending cavalcade relief pitchers has never been anything more than weaponized mediocrity. If you ask for more than three outs, the mediocrity just swallows you up.
AWeb - Sunday, October 25 2020 @ 06:36 AM EDT (#391837) #
There's also, one would think, a penalty similar to times-through-the-order for starters, when you get to see the relievers over and over. That 5th or 6th guy in the pen could be a surprise weapon once a week, but as the 5th inning guy every game? He's just the worst of the fb/slider guys who throws 98mph.

And this has to be it for Jansen closing right? Roberts loses his job for sure if he blows another one this series.
scottt - Sunday, October 25 2020 @ 09:47 AM EDT (#391839) #
Game 6 is the point where starters can come back as relievers.
The Dodgers have 2 starters who were dominant the first time around and need 2 more wins.

Not surprised that the Rays do well behind Yarbrough.
I've seen that movie.

Cash talked about defensive alignments.
He did mention that the pitch is part of the equation.
I so hate it when the Jays pitch to the outside corner while shifting.

Dodgers made outs on the basepaths.
The winning run does not score if Jansen backs up the home plate like he's supposed to.
Instead he was kneeling on the mound and it became a Little Leagues play.

bpoz - Sunday, October 25 2020 @ 10:09 AM EDT (#391841) #
I understand about the SP pitching now. I think.

In 2001 Oakland had M Mulder, T Hudson and B Zito pitching 214-235 innings. In 2019 Houston had Verlander and Cole doing 223 and 212 innings. Recently the Jays had Stroman pitching 204 innings (2016) and 201 in 2017. So it is very hard to have 3 of this type of pitcher. 2 is a little easier and 1 has to happen in the ALE to compete.

Potentially TB has 3, NYY 2 if Severino can come back and Boston 1 Sale. We have Ryu for 3 years. Injuries happen Severion, Sale, Snell only 107 IP in 2019 and the Jays Stroman 102 IP in 2018.
Chuck - Sunday, October 25 2020 @ 10:14 AM EDT (#391842) #
If you ask for more than three outs, the mediocrity just swallows you up.

Yes indeed. Is there a solution? Or do we just have to accept that we live in a world now where every bullpen has 8 guys and they are all designed to throw 95+ MPH for one inning?

What might change this would be to swing the advantage back to the pitchers. That would reduce pitch counts, make at-bats less perilous, allow pitchers to go longer and perhaps move us back into the baseball I grew up with: 10 pitchers, 15 position players with enough bodies to platoon, pinch-hit and pinch-run.

Now, does the world even want this (or just old bastards like me)? I can't say. This TTO world we live in, where every pitch must be max effort, is not one we can easily move away from, even if there were an appetite.

bpoz - Sunday, October 25 2020 @ 10:32 AM EDT (#391843) #
No blister issues this year. Is the ball ok now?
James W - Sunday, October 25 2020 @ 05:15 PM EDT (#391846) #
You can't get two blown saves in the same game. He wouldn't have been eligible for a save the second time he blew the lead.
Magpie - Sunday, October 25 2020 @ 11:09 PM EDT (#391849) #
You're right, of course. Baez merely blew the lead twice.
scottt - Monday, October 26 2020 @ 09:06 AM EDT (#391851) #
Good question. I don't think the homerun rate was down in 2020.
There was a lot of pitcher injuries, but not many blister issues.
Walker Buehler dealt with a nasty blister all year.
This year, most pitchers did not throw as many pitches, because of the bigger pen. That might have helped.

bpoz - Monday, October 26 2020 @ 11:29 AM EDT (#391855) #
Very interested in how R Arozarena does over the next few full seasons. Is he just hot?

Gurriel too from Cuba. 1.5 years older than Arozarena.

Hope we get lucky with some of our own Cuban prospects.
Mike Green - Tuesday, October 27 2020 @ 09:28 PM EDT (#391879) #
I wonder what the over/under for Snell is for Snell's innings tonight. I think that Cash will leave him in for 8 innings unless he falters noticeably.
Magpie - Tuesday, October 27 2020 @ 10:53 PM EDT (#391880) #
I think that Cash will leave him in for 8 innings unless he falters noticeably.

But... but... then he'd have to face some of these hitters ... gulp... three whole times. It's not like he's an order of magnitude better than Nick Anderson. Oh wait...

Mookie Betts, by the way, has an extreme reverse platoon split. Just in this fragment of a season, but there you go. (Over his career, he basically has no platoon split at all. But this year, he's destroyed RH pitching.)
John Northey - Tuesday, October 27 2020 @ 11:49 PM EDT (#391882) #
Sadly the Rays acted just like everyone knew they would. Snell pitching well and is pulled anyways in the biggest game of the year. Bullpen comes in and blows it immediately. Bet Snell wishes he didn't sign that long term deal with the Rays now - 3 more years (last is an option but at $16.6 mil the Rays will pick it up unless he gets hurt between now and 2023).
hypobole - Tuesday, October 27 2020 @ 11:58 PM EDT (#391883) #
There's actually 2 parts to Cash's decision. He pulled Snell, but the reliever he replaced him with was Anderson, who had given up at least one run in his last 6 appearances - Yankees, 3 times vs Houston and twice already to the Dodgers. He's been nothing like the guy he was in the regular season. Big shock it became 7 in a row.
Eephus - Wednesday, October 28 2020 @ 12:59 AM EDT (#391884) #
Some thoughts on the series:

Cash's decision to pull Snell when he did is going to get a lot of words written about it... and as it should because it was completely insane. For the most part I thought he made some smart moves, but this was just "this is our plan and nothing will make us deviate from it" taken to an idiotic extreme. The way Snell was throwing, in a game you have to win, with an exhausted bullpen... he's obviously your best option to keep preventing runs by far, even a third time through the lineup blah blah. Surely one of the most baffling (yet simultaneously unsurprising) moves I've ever seen a manager make. Extremely pleased it blew up in the Rays' face so spectacularly.

The Dodgers (Game Four wild ending aside) were the stronger team and deserved to win. After "losing" to the Astros in 2017, getting steamrolled by a juggernaut Boston team in 2018 (also not totally on the level) and losing to the Cinderella story Nationals last year, it's nice to see these guys (many of the same players) finally break through and get one. There might be some historical asterisks because of the Covid shortened schedule, but it's safe to assume the Dodgers would've still put up a pretty good record in a normal 162 game season.

It is extremely good that Mookie Betts is no longer in the American League East. Mercy.

Never realized what a good fielder Joey Wendle is. He made some exceptional plays in this series and throughout the postseason.

Kenley Jansen's days of closing for the Dodgers are surely over, though the Game Four meltdown wasn't completely his fault (if Taylor doesn't boot the ball or Smith handles the throw at home it's still a tie game).

Corey Seager is going to be a very rich dude, very soon. He's kind of an odd player to watch: stiff and jerky at the plate, unconventional with how he approaches ground balls in the field (like he goes to his backhand just for fun sometimes).

Boy, sure seems like guys who throw 100 just grow on trees now, eh.

Finally, I'm not sure what to think of Randy Arozarena. Anybody can get hot for a month, though he was pretty en fuego even by that distinction. It does seem like he did a lot of his damage on middle/outside pitches, but what do I know.

It was a much more fun series (and season) than I expected.

Mike Green - Wednesday, October 28 2020 @ 07:53 AM EDT (#391885) #
Needless to say, I am in agreement with the consensus here. Snell was sharp and had thrown 79 pitches.  You do have to adjust to what is happening on a particular day.
dalimon5 - Wednesday, October 28 2020 @ 08:05 AM EDT (#391887) #
Looks like Chris Russo from High Heat was correct with his prediction that Kevin Cash would have the opener/innings limit blow up in his face this playoffs. You can see now that it is the philosophy and way of the game that was criticizing and not a single specific move to pull Shoemaker. His argument is quite strong.

"Snell could've had a great performance for the ages last night but never even had the chance because of some analytics created by 24-26 year olds."

We're seeing that the line can be pretty thin between the trendy idea that old baseball minds are out to lunch vs new age analytics.

It's never a good idea to role eyes or ignore advice/numbers from either side.

I'm actually quite happy that the Rays lost even thought I love watching them play. For two reasons:

1) I don't like the cheapest owner being rewarded for having ultra low budget and investments for 95% of the team's existence

2) they tried to outsmart the opposition rather than out play and perform them

dalimon5 - Wednesday, October 28 2020 @ 08:07 AM EDT (#391888) #
Also, this just in: I am still using Chrome on a mobile Android device to post...
scottt - Wednesday, October 28 2020 @ 08:17 AM EDT (#391889) #
I don't see why Snell would have regrets over the contract.
He's been hurt and cashing his check.

Cash followed the same formula. Nothing works all the time
Now, maybe in a 7 game series the relievers are overexposed and lose some of their value?
I think Anderson just didn't have it and that is another thing.
It's hard to make sure everyone you bring in is sharp.

Snell has only been good one time through the lineup this year.
Snell's ERA by inning:

1st, 0
2nd, 0.82
3rd, 0.90
4th, 11.25
5th, 3.38
6th, 13.50

One the one hand he's only pitched 2 innings worth in the 6th.
On the other he only managed 6 outs facing 11 hitters.

Chuck - Wednesday, October 28 2020 @ 10:00 AM EDT (#391893) #
Needless to say, I am in agreement with the consensus here.

Analytics is a terrific tool at the macro-level. Kevin Cash may have gone overboard applying it a micro-level.

And of course the talking heads who struggled with high school math are enjoying this opportunity to disparage a topic they know little about, conflating the findings of mathematics with the application of mathematics. It's time for their revenge on the nerds and I imagine the pearl-clutching "analytics has gone too far" editorials will be numerous.

Mike Green - Wednesday, October 28 2020 @ 10:13 AM EDT (#391895) #
The pearl-clutching would be funny, given how the Dodgers managed their pitching staff in the playoffs.  The two best teams in baseball chose fairly similar approaches- maybe they know something...
scottt - Wednesday, October 28 2020 @ 10:15 AM EDT (#391896) #
Cash won 40 games doing it this way and it's pretty clear that the best team won.
The Betts trade has paid off for the Dodgers.

Mike Green - Wednesday, October 28 2020 @ 10:18 AM EDT (#391897) #
When you test positive for COVID, you isolate.  Even when your team has just won the World Series.  Furthermore, the precautionary principle ought to have dictated that Turner be removed from play after the first positive test. 

It's a terrible coda to the World Series and ought to leave MLB with one big black eye. 
Chuck - Wednesday, October 28 2020 @ 10:54 AM EDT (#391898) #
It's a terrible coda to the World Series and ought to leave MLB with one big black eye.

I would guess that we will not hear anything if any teammates now test positive. The season is done. They are private citizens once again. MLB would like to avoid any embarrassment.

What's next? A Zoom parade with CGI'd ticker tape through downtown LA?

Mike Green - Wednesday, October 28 2020 @ 10:57 AM EDT (#391899) #
They might try, but there's an election in 6 days where the mishandling of the pandemic is probably the #1 issue in voter's minds.  I don't see this one going away, but I've been wrong many times before.
bpoz - Wednesday, October 28 2020 @ 11:35 AM EDT (#391900) #
Dodgers Win!! Dodgers Win!!

1988 and 2020. I guess if you make the playoffs as often as LAD then you should win a few WS titles.

From the 2019 LAD pitching staff they lost Rhu, Maeda and Stripling. All are V good to pretty good (Stripling). Stripling will get a WS ring.

D May, Urias and Gonsolin were good replacements. They managed to earn their way onto the rotation.
John Northey - Wednesday, October 28 2020 @ 11:40 AM EDT (#391901) #
32 years between titles is about right - 30 teams, odds of winning in a random situation would be 1 title every 30 years. I suspect droughts like the Cubs 100+ year one will become common now. The Dodgers, Yankees, Red Sox, and any other clubs who are willing to spend will get more titles, but cheap ones will find it harder.
hypobole - Wednesday, October 28 2020 @ 12:10 PM EDT (#391902) #
I've heard the excuses for Anderson's failure as exhausted, overworked, worked extremely hard, but looking at his gamelogs, I just don't see it. This was his 3rd appearance in 10 days. This wasn't 2017 Brandon Morrow pitching in all 7 WS games. Replacing a dominant Snell with a reliever whose last scoreless appearance had been 3 weeks prior was just bad judgement.

SK in NJ - Wednesday, October 28 2020 @ 12:46 PM EDT (#391903) #
Removing Snell was the wrong decision. At the time and obviously in hindsight. It's possible keeping him in would have resulted in the Dodgers scoring anyway, but when a SP is pitching that well (and it was utterly dominating by any standard you want to use), then you have to adjust accordingly some times. However, Cash and the Rays have a system in place, and are going to live or die by it. Can't deny it has worked for them considering we are talking about a pitching decision made in Game 6 of the World Series.

Unfortunately, this is not going away. There might be a unicorn among future SP's who is a workhorse allowed to pitch deep into games, but the vast majority of SP's are going to be taken out 3rd time through the order. They will be groomed that way. Maybe not as religiously in a 162 game regular season to avoid bullpen fatigue, but certainly in games that matter.
Kasi - Wednesday, October 28 2020 @ 01:49 PM EDT (#391905) #

Eno at athletic had a good article on this. Snells fastball was fading and his struggles with the 6th and onward are well documented. The issue wasnít pulling him but putting in a reliever who hasnít been good in weeks. They needed to put someone else in there. Anyway despite this happening last night itís not going away. Donít expect many starters to get through 7 anymore. If they want to try to go back to longer innings for starters theyíll have to make rules to make restrictions on roster size and transactions between minors and majors.
dalimon5 - Wednesday, October 28 2020 @ 06:45 PM EDT (#391909) #
I think the bigger issue is that Cash and the Rays did not trust their eyes or what was actually happening in real time. You had utter domination from Snell, striking out the top 3 hitters 8 out of 9 times. Pretending that numbers "tell the truth," based on past results is like giving someone a breathalyzer test and letting them drive away because the numbers said they were under the limit, even though they couldn't walk straight and stunk of alcohol and had bloodshot eyes.

It's common sense in my mind to go batter by batter and extend Snell out as long as possible since he was just utterly utterly dominant.

What if Snell was peaking and dialing it up and just had his pitches perfect last night? Previous starts don't factor that in. There was no pitcher, in my mind, in a better position to come in.
John Northey - Wednesday, October 28 2020 @ 07:29 PM EDT (#391910) #
MLB got very lucky the Rays didn't force a game 7. That COVID case could've disrupted everything. As is they have a PR challenge to deal with, but they did get all the playoff cash they could.
John Northey - Wednesday, October 28 2020 @ 10:21 PM EDT (#391911) #
The big problem for Cash and the Rays is they didn't learn what Cito learned early on - the playoffs are not the regular season - you have to manage differently. Regular season Cito didn't pinch hit much, or do tons of shuffling. Playoffs in 92/93 he did. Heck, he used rookies as pinch hitters (Ed Sprague for example). Bobby Cox never really got that - he was killed by a manager who did get it in 1985, Cox kept doing his usual platoon no matter what, even though Garth Iorg had dropped off badly he kept putting him in for Mulliniks (Iorg had more PA than Mulliniks in '85's playoffs). Al Oliver was on fire but only got 8 PA over 7 games. Willie Upshaw had passed his best before date during the season (which was obvious to pretty much everyone but Cox, as Cecil Fielder came up and hit well but Upshaw kept playing and not hitting). As a Jay fan who lived through that era you better believe it was painful watching Cox repeat the same mistakes over and over again while the Royals were pulling top starters after a few innings to flip the lineup early and get Mulliniks & Oliver out of the game as fast as possible. So frustrating - a strategy that worked great in the regular season but flopped in the playoffs. Now things have reversed - pulling starters early is a regular season strategy but in the playoffs you need to go with the hot hand.
bpoz - Wednesday, October 28 2020 @ 10:41 PM EDT (#391912) #
Great job by da Box. Thank you.
scottt - Thursday, October 29 2020 @ 11:27 AM EDT (#391924) #
Cash had a plan and was going to stick to it. That's as simple as that.

Legally, you can't be convicted of DUI if you're under the limit, unless if for something else than alcohol.
The problem there is lawyers getting the over the limit results thrown out, for whatever reasons.

The Rays don't operate by common sense. They go for extremes.

Snell will have to dominate during the regular season if he wants to do it during the playoffs.

Magpie - Thursday, October 29 2020 @ 01:09 PM EDT (#391927) #
pulling starters early is a regular season strategy but in the playoffs you need to go with the hot hand.

See, in my mind this idea of leaning on your relief pitchers more than your starters was first utilized by Tony LaRussa in the 2011 post-season. He actually described it at the time as something you couldn't do during the regular season, when there are simply too many innings to account for. It was the brevity of the 2020 regular "season" that made what had originally been a post-season strategy applicable at all times.
Mike Green - Thursday, October 29 2020 @ 03:18 PM EDT (#391931) #
I agree, Magpie.  The abbreviated training period also meant that starting pitchers had to start out with less endurance than usual, and the expanded roster also allowed greater use of interchangeable relievers. 
Magpie - Thursday, October 29 2020 @ 04:26 PM EDT (#391933) #

Baseball in 2020. Very, very weird.
John Northey - Thursday, October 29 2020 @ 08:28 PM EDT (#391939) #
Agreed Magpie - might be time for Cito to come back and run the Jays :) So he will be 77 next year. Or maybe go with the young guy - Ernie Whitt (he did get Team Canada to win over the USA at least once or twice).

TLR's best win total in his last 6 years was 91 but due to being in a super-weak division he got 2 WS titles (in an 83 win year and a 90 win year - enhanced by having 3 90 loss teams in his division I'm sure).
Chuck - Thursday, October 29 2020 @ 10:11 PM EDT (#391940) #

70 is the new 50.

Mike Green - Friday, October 30 2020 @ 07:45 AM EDT (#391941) #

2020 is 1984 again but worse.
Magpie - Friday, October 30 2020 @ 08:47 AM EDT (#391942) #
LaRussa needs another 36 wins to overtake John McGraw for second place on the All Time Wins list for managers. He's already second in All Time Losses. Connie Mack, in first place, is safe as houses. Safer, in fact.
Mike Green - Friday, October 30 2020 @ 09:08 AM EDT (#391943) #
Safer indeed.  "Safe as houses" feels like one of those expressions that just will not survive.

LaRussa was, of course, an innovator.  In the early 80s, he had Carlton Fisk (then in his mid-30s) batting second in the lineup.  At the time, having an old catcher bat second was pretty much inconceivable- this was decades before The Book.  Can you be an innovator at 75?  Doesn't seem likely, but maybe he'll bring in Eno Sarris as a pitching consultant!
Magpie - Friday, October 30 2020 @ 09:20 AM EDT (#391944) #
"Safe as houses" feels like one of those expressions that just will not survive.

And yet, in these uncertain times, real estate may be the one thing that holds its value!
Mike Green - Friday, October 30 2020 @ 09:44 AM EDT (#391945) #
I don't know, Magpie.  It depends where you are.  Insurance might get very expensive, very quickly.  Also, at some point, the principal residence exemption from tax will be taken away.  Obviously, density is not going to be popular during a pandemic but when it's over, it seems likely that we will belatedly realize that we ought not to be incentivizing the single family home as an investment. 
John Northey - Friday, October 30 2020 @ 10:02 AM EDT (#391946) #
Real estate all depends where you live. When I moved away from Thunder Bay I had to spend thousands on repairs and upgrades to get it to sell at all, and even then it only sold for what I paid for it years earlier. In Atikokan you can buy a 2 bedroom house for $65k right now, 3 bedroom for $80k. I suspect even better deals are out there - such as a $16k house in Marathon (needs repairs but has 3 bedrooms). Northern Ontario is super-cheap to buy in. But here in London and other parts of South-Western Ontario the prices are sky high and growing (London saw houses grow by over $20k in average price in a single month).
scottt - Friday, October 30 2020 @ 10:13 AM EDT (#391947) #
I think that exemption is pretty safe. In the US, they can deduct their mortgage payments, instead we have that exemption. Without it, the market would probably crater overnight. It's all about buying a smaller house to start with and then moving up as you go along.  It would also hurt workforce mobility. Investment is all about renting anyway and the problem in big cities is empty houses which are not principal residences.

I don't think I've ever hear "safe as houses" before.

Cracka - Friday, October 30 2020 @ 12:22 PM EDT (#391949) #
Nearly 70% of homes in Canada are owner-occupied, meaning that any changes to the exemption would negatively impact the majority of voters. I just don't see how this ever gets implemented in a wide-spread manner without an opposition party pouncing on the opportunity to stop it. Personally, the equity in my house is the largest part of my retirement savings and I would relentlessly fight any changes that negatively impact my net worth.

Magpie - Friday, October 30 2020 @ 01:11 PM EDT (#391950) #
I don't think I've ever hear "safe as houses" before.

It's a Victorian expression that I doubtless picked up from one of those interminable 19th century novels they made me read back in the day.
Mike Green - Friday, October 30 2020 @ 02:10 PM EDT (#391951) #
And here's your link to the first known use.  "Safe as the Bank of England" did not have as long a life. 
85bluejay - Friday, October 30 2020 @ 02:24 PM EDT (#391952) #
Charlie Finley is in the house! - make everyone a free agent and the players will fighting for contracts - with most options being declined and I expect a wave of non-tenders - it will be the players winter of discontent.
scottt - Saturday, October 31 2020 @ 11:42 AM EDT (#391971) #
Interesting. So, in your Victorian novels, it means something else entirely.
scottt - Saturday, October 31 2020 @ 11:48 AM EDT (#391972) #
Just in time for that new CBA. Ironically, the owners were open to not playing at all this year.
There is no point in striking if the owners don't lose any money on those strike days.
Also, is there a free agency at all in 2021/22 if there is no new CBA in place?
I don't see the season starting without one.
So, if there is a strike, it's during the end of the 2021 season?
Another reason not to spend too much.

ISLAND BOY - Saturday, October 31 2020 @ 12:15 PM EDT (#391975) #
Several pretty good NHL players have taken 1 year contracts as free agents this year just because of the uncertainty of the coming season. The Jays similarly might be able to sign a decent player later in free agency, when the money dries up, for a short term.
scottt - Saturday, October 31 2020 @ 05:09 PM EDT (#391977) #
Well, the Mets seems to have sorted things out and look ready to spend.
Also, the Tigers have signed Hinch, which probably means they're ready to spend more.

bpoz - Sunday, November 01 2020 @ 09:58 AM EST (#391979) #
Even if the Jays don't win a WS, the window should be entertaining and rewarding to us fans.
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