Baseball

#74 last post of the season

To be honest I don’t know what to do with myself during the winter. I mean I watch football like most but I just get bored so easily during baseball’s offseason. I get weird during the offseason, I close my blinds, turn off everything, and just sit there cuddling my bat just waiting until they report for spring training.

I was right about this World Series being a quick series, the Royals are already up 2 games to none. I just didn’t see the Mets as a threat throughout the entire postseason even. I always considered them the under dog, Daniel Murphy obviously got hot at the right time and they kept winning good for them of course but I never considered them a great team that could beat anyone. I saw them play the Nats all year and more often than not they would be an easily beatable team. I do not see them having the fire power to come back from this but, and this is a big but, weird things happen in baseball.

Before I wrap this up there is one more thing I want to mention. After every scoring play for the Royals guess who was on the top step giving his brand new teammates high fives? The 20 year old Raul Mondesi Jr. That says loads about his character and leadership, this kid will be good just wait.

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Baseball

#73 World Series preview

Today I will write about the World Series, and then on Thursday will be my last post about this season. I will be going out of town next week and by the time I get back the World Series will be over. So I will just post these last two for the season then I will post periodically throughout the offseason when something big happens. Like when a big free agent signs somewhere or maybe when a team signs a new manager. Before I preview the entire World Series I just have to mention one thing. Raul Mondesi Jr. has been a prized shortstop prospect in the Kansas City system for a few years now. The 20 year old might make MLB history by being the first player to make his major league debut in the World Series. If I had to guess he’s probably just going to pinch run because he has some speed. But more than likely he’ll have to wait until next year before he gets the chance to start.

Unless you live under a rock you should probably know the World Series is between the Kansas City Royals and the New York Mets. They both won in the championship series pretty easily, the Mets swept the Cubs and the Royals beat the fan favorite Blue Jays. Let’s keep this simple, the Mets might have the better rotation but the Royals have them beat in bulpen, defense, speed, and offense. Unless Daniel Murphy keeps hitting like the born again Ted Williams I assume this will be a quick serious.

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Baseball

#72 Jose Bautista/Matt Williams

I was going through some of my old posts and I realized I haven’t talked about the Nats firing Matt Williams yet. I said before that I’m sure he will be fired but I haven’t talked about it since he actually was fired. Since it’s the big story today I’ll talk a little about Jose Bautista’s big homerun yesterday as well. Just so you know I’m not too positive about it. But before I get to those things I just got to say I will be taking next week off, I might be a little busy next week so I figured it’d probably be easier for me to just take it off.

Yesterday during the Rangers and Blue Jays game Jose Bautista hit a big homer and I have a bone to pick with him. In the bottom of the 7th Bautista launched a huge homer, after he hit it he admired his shot (no surprise) then stared at the pitcher, looking at Rangers dugout then did an exaggerated “bat flip”. I put bat flip in quotations because that’s what they’re calling it however it wasn’t even close to a flip. It was a bat throw more specifically a bat throw at the Rangers dugout and that’s where I have a problem with it. You want to be “that guy” that makes a big deal out of a 7th inning homer and stares down the pitcher fine go for it. You’ll probably get hit or a teammate will but hey I don’t care. But don’t throw your bat at the other dugout come on that’s not very classy dude, Bautista act like you’ve hit a homer before.

I fully believed Matt Williams would not be the Nationals manager next year. It wasn’t a surprise to me when he was fired a day after the season ended. He wasn’t the 2014 manager of the year anymore, he completely changed the way he managed a game. Obviously the Nats had a very talented team a lot of people picked them to make the World Series but fell well short of that. The team was very injury plagued throughout the season and that’s not the managers fault but everything else is mostly Williams’ fault. Last year Denard Span had 30+ steals, Desmond had 20+, Rendon (not that fast) had 17 but this year the team leader had around 15. There is a lot more he changed but that was the example that popped into my head. I’ve been saying this for awhile now but haven’t gotten it in writing yet, Cal Ripken Jr. Will be the next manager of the Washington Nationals.

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Baseball

#71 Chase Utley slide

Before I get to Utley I just want to mention how great these playoffs are. I don’t have a horse in the race so I’m not watching that closely but it’s still pretty interesting. The Royals vs the Astros and the Blue Jays vs the Rangers are both going to game 5. Plus in the NL the Cubs are facing off with the Cardinals, the long time regular season rivals. And then there’s the Dodgers and the Mets who no one cared about because no matter who advances they’re probably not getting any further than that. No one cared about it, that is until Chase Utley tackled someone or something.

Granted I really couldn’t care less about Chase Utley getting suspended. He made a hard slide into second to break up the double play, it resulted in Ruben Tejada being flipped into the air and ultimately breaking his leg. Utley has always been an aggressive player it’s nothing new he just made an aggressive slide. Was it a little excessive? Yes but I’ve seen worse. Let’s rewind it to a few weeks ago, Cubs vs Pirates in Pittsburgh. Chris Coglan was going in to break up the double play and ended up going out of his way to get the Pirates shortstop Jung Ho Kang. It broke Kang’ leg as well but did Coglan get boo’d and suspended? No he did not and in my opinion the Coglan’s slide was way worse than the Utley slide, because Kang wasn’t that close to the base yet Coglan still went after him. I’m not going to argue Chase Utley getting suspended, it was an excessive slide, but I don’t like the fact he was awarded second base after it was determined Tejada never touched the base. Utley never touched second either after he took out Tejada he just went straight to the dugout not even making an attempt to touch the base.

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Baseball

#70 Wildcard post game

I went 1-1 guessing the wildcard games. Not perfect but you know what I’ll take it. I picked the Astros in the American League and the Pirates in the National League. The ‘Stros won 3-0 on Tuesday night and the Cubs beat the Pirates 4-0 last night.

The Astros really never gave the Yankees a chance, complete domination. I personally didn’t think the Yankees had enough fire power to get it done anyway but I thought they’d at least score a run. Dallas Keuchel completely shut them down for 6 innings then the bullpen didn’t give them anything either. I’m not surprised Keuchel dominated nor am I surprised Tanaka gave up a couple of homers but I am surprised the Yankees couldn’t scrap together a single run.

My dad pointed something out last night after the game, I chose the Pirates to win because I’m a big Gerrit Cole fan. I didn’t see it but he was right I was just being a biased fan. Because in the AL wildcard I chose the Astros because Dallas Keuchel had better stats than Masahiro Tanaka. So why didn’t I apply that to the NL wildcard? I didn’t even think about it but I guess I was just being biased, I simply like Gerrit Cole more than Jake Arrieta. I choose the Pirates because I like Cole then Arrieta goes out and throws a complete game shutout. Joe Maddon is a really smart baseball manager, he knew the Cubs bullpen is a weak spot so he was going with Arrieta for the entire game regardless of pitch count. Hey I can admit when I’m wrong the Cubs beat Cole so good job and a good job to Jake Arrieta for the complete game shutout with 11 strikeouts.

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Baseball

#69 Wildcard preview

Today I’m going to preview the two wildcard games and on Thursday I will right about what happened in them. But before I get to those games I have to talk about Max Scherzer. He threw his second no hitter of the year on Sunday so I’m obviously going to talk about him. It’s pretty incredible to be honest with you, it hasn’t been done since Nolan Ryan. To be mentioned in the same sentence as Ryan is absolutely amazing for anyone. To top it off he threw it against the Mets, like I said for weeks now the Mets are beatable people are building them up in their heads because they beat the Nationals. The Mets scored 2 runs in 3 games this past weekend including being no hit by Scherzer. Congratulations to Max Scherzer and Wilson Ramos, who has caught both of Scherzer’s no hitters.

The AL wildcard game is tonight, it will be the Houston Astros against the New York Yankees. The game will be in New York so the Yankees will have home field advantage but that really doesn’t matter when the Astros are sending Dallas Keuchel to the mound. Keuchel has thrown 16 innings against the Yanks this year without allowing a run. The Yankees send Masahiro Tanaka to the mound to face the ‘Stros but when you think ace pitcher do you really think of a guy who is 12-7 with a 3.51 era? No you don’t, or at least you shouldn’t, you should think of the guy who’s 20-8 with a 2.48 era. In case you didn’t follow the first guy is Tanaka and the second guy is Keuchel. For that reason I pick the Astros over the Yankees tonight.

The NL wildcard will be the Chicago Cubs against the Pittsburgh Pirates in Pittsburgh. I’ve already talked about this game last week so I just want to reintegrate I think Pittsburgh will win. I’ve watched a few of Gerrit Cole’s starts against the Cubs this year and they can’t touch him. I’d bet he continues that brilliance even with him facing Arrieta. It might be only 1-0 game but I got the Pirates over the Cubs tomorrow night.

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Baseball

#68 NL wildcard game

It looks like the wildcard game will be the Cubs against the Pirates in Pittsburgh. I only say it looks that way because whether they play in Chicago or Pittsburgh could still change. However it would take a lot and it probably won’t happen so it looks like the Pirates have home field advantage for this play in game. While I’m writing this the Cubs are playing the Reds. I turned it on earlier and watched a couple innings, mainly because Javier Baez was playing and I love to watch him. So before I talk about the WC game I just want to mention a couple things I noticed about Baez today.

Like I said the Cubs had a day game today, Javier Baez was starting at third so I decided to watch a little. His defense at third is superb, but that isn’t the main thing I noticed. He has changed the load in his swing for the third (!!) time since his return to the majors. He went from just picking his toe up and putting it back down to his traditional big leg kick, I don’t like this one I think it causes too much movement in his swing, and today he went to a simple toe tap. That makes it three times in a few weeks, that’s called making adjustments folks. Now I might be a couple days late on this but I don’t watch the Cubs game everyday. But making adjustments on the fly like that is what the great players do. Just saying.

Fast forward to next Wednesday, I want to mention what I think about the wildcard game. It is already a sure thing that the game will be Cubs and Pirates, as to where that’s still up for grabs. But it will more than likely be Pittsburgh getting home field advantage. Strange things do happen in baseball so I wouldn’t guarantee it just yet. But either way I still see the Pirates winning it. Don’t get me wrong the Cubs are a good team but I don’t think they can beat Pittsburgh in this one game. The Cubs are in trouble facing Gerrit Cole, who has beaten them plenty, he is an ace and can beat them. And the Cubs aren’t sure who’s starting, Arrieta or Lester, I would personally go with Arrieta. Has pitched great all year and definitely deserves it. But I’d still go with Cole over anyone they throw out there.

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