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Talkin' Hardball

2019 Baseball Thread

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#1
Guard Dog

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As of today all players who have contracts are in camp. And some who should have are not (more on that in a bit). The first Grapefruit & Cactus League games are Friday. I don't know about you guys but I'm ready. 

 

There is a lot going on this year. New rule changes are coming. Some good, some... not. Designated hitter in the NL will likely be a thing in 2021. I have a pretty ingrained dislike of the DH but screw it, everyone but the NL uses it so past time they got with the program. Pitch clocks, arbitration changes, extra innings rule changes and just some of what might be coming. What do you guys think?

 

The free agent market has been slow and the players are concerned. Don't look at Harper and Machado. They are both holding multiple contract offers for $275M+ they could sign anytime they want. But teams don't want to do 10 year deals anymore. Who can blame them? Oh hey Albert Pujols... when did you get here? But Dallas Keuchel, Marwin Gonzalez, and Craig Kimbrel are all still unsigned. Kimbrel wants a long term deal but the truth is teams don't want to give over 30 players long term deals. They break down before they reach the end pf them. It's just bad business and the players haven't figured that out yet.

 

The Rays did not get to build their new stadium and the A's are looking like they will get to. If not Portland and Montreal are both ready to pounce. 

 

So any predictions for this season? Got any WS picks? 

 

AL East: Yankees? Red Sox? Hard to say. But the winner will likely need to win 105+ games to do it

AL Central: Indians are better than the Twins but they won't run away with it. 

AL West: Oakland will make noise I think but the Astros can't be caught.

 

NL East: Anybody except the Marlins. This is the best division in the MLB top to bottom. It will be a dog fight.

NL Central: Cubs in a tight race over Cardinals and Brewers.

NL West: The Rockies will pace the Dodgers through summer but fade late. Dodgers clinch it in September.

 

WS: Yankees vs Dodgers 

 

 


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#2
Guard Dog

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Exactly 30 days to go until the season begins. We already did a player number count down so how about we do something different? The 30 most memorable MLB moments (as decided by me).

 

#30 Ichiro guns down Terrance Long from RF



#3
smjjames

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I'm just gonna root for my home team, the Padres.



#4
Guard Dog

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The Padres appear to be pursuing Machado aggressively.  If the get him he puts them in the wildcard mix



#5
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Giants might be relevant if they get Harper, but I don't see why he would sign with us. We've got a lot of dead weight in contracts right now. We've got one pitcher and a good infield, but the rest is unproven or a mess.

 

I don't like the DH idea or having relievers start the game, but I can't say it will make me lose interest. I just prefer the mold of pitchers that go for complete games and step into the batter's box with confidence. I watched Barry Zito fight through 12 pitches once and it was the most fun ever.

 

I think the Dodgers will self destruct. 



#6
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Agh, just read Bruce Bochy is retiring after this year. Well, hopefully the team can give him one more good run. Hall of famer in my eyes, for sure.



#7
Guard Dog

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There have been just 23 Perfect Games in MLB history. But you know what's even rarer? An Unassisted Triple Play. There have been just 17 of those. This was the last one. It's the Phillies vs Mets. bottom of the 9th, runners on 1st & 2nd and the Mets trailing 9-7. The winning run is at the plate and then this happens:

 

 

29 days to go with Eric Brunlett and an unassisted triple play. 


Edited by Guard Dog, 19 February 2019 - 02:34 AM.

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#8
Guard Dog

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The Padres got Manny! https://www.mlb.com/...res/c-304157722

 

Wow... that is a game changer in the NL West. He's worth 10 more wins. He might not put them over the top this year but next year and after watch out!



#9
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Don Newcombe Dodgers Legend Dead at 92.



#10
Guard Dog

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#28 The Called Shot

 

In 1932 the Yankees swept the Cubs in the WS. The Cubs were overmatched from the get go despite the fact that the '32 Yankees were a shadow of the dominant teams they fielded just four years earlier. But what made the 1932 series the stuff of legends happened in the 5th inning of Game 3.

 

The Cubs and Yankees had a little bit of a rivalry in those days and were facing each other in the WS for the 2nd time in three years. There was a lot of trash talking or "bench jockeying" as it was called then, between the two teams. Cubs manager Rogers Hornsby knew Ruth well and had a reputation for being an a-----e. He reportedly told the Chicago media before the '29 WS (he was a player on the Cubs then) that Ruth was "old, fat and washed up". Now as the team manager he and the Cubs had been jeering Ruth mercilessly. Probably not a good idea. In the 5th with the Yankees up 4-3 and a runner on first Ruth comes up and gets two quick and reportedly very inside pitches from Cubs pitcher Charlie Root. Both were called strikes. Then this happens:

 

 

The story goes that Ruth was pointing at center field, right where he sent the next pitch, 459' and over the wall. The legend that he "called the shot" grew from the reporting by the New York Daily news, Cubs public address announcer Pat Pieper and the Chicago Tribune Cubs beat reporter. Lou Geherig said he did it. Former Supreme Court justice John Paul Stevens was a young boy in the stands that day and said he did it. The New York Yankees didn't have a radio broadcast team in '32 (they would not have any recorded games before 1947) and CBS did not have the means to record audio for something so long as a sports broadcast in those days so there is no audio recording of the AB. Shirley Povich was covering the game for the Washington Post and she said he was jawing at Root for the inside pitches. Rogers Hornsby says Ruth was pointing at him and saying something. Charlie Root asked Ruth about it after and swore the Babe told him "I know I didn't, but it made a hell of a story, didn't it?"

 

So. Did it happen? I don't know. The video is definitely from Wrigley in 1932. The 2nd tier outfield stands were built just for the 1932 WS. Ruth was definitely pointing at something. Personally I think he was pointing towards left field where the Cubs dugout was. Likely at Hornsby who would have been standing in front of it. He could have been pointing at Root for the two high and tight pitches. But as Yan Martel  put in in The Life of Pi there are two different versions here. In each the Babe points and hits the next pitch over the CF wall. Neither version can be confirmed. So which makes the better story? 



#11
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According to Bleacher Report the Giants, White Sox, and Phillies have all offered Harper a higher AAV than Machado just got... but they won't go 10 years. The Nats offered 10 years but a lower AAV. All four clubs would be nuts to try an beat AAV AND years on the Machado deal. Harper is a defensive liability compared to Manny. If I were him I'd take the 1 year $40M the Giants offered and go win a WS and try again next year.

 

But then again pay me $40M for one year's work and no one would ever see me again after that! 


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#12
Gfted1

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I think the White Sox offer was incentive laden. He (Machado) was smart to take the guaranteed money.



#13
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It would be interesting if the Giants got him because it might turn the NL West into a 5-team nightmare.
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#14
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#27 Back to back HR:

 

On September 14 1990 two Seattle Mariner outfielders hit back to back home runs. Ken Griffey Sr. and Ken Griffey Jr. The first and so far only game a father and son homered in the same game, let alone back to back!

 


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#15
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#26 The Catch

 

1954 World Series, Giants vs Indians. The score is tied 2-2 in the top of the 8th at the Polo Grounds in New York. Cleveland has the bases loaded with two outs. Indians catcher Jim Hegan comes up and hits a deep drive to CF:

 

 

Had just about anyone else been playing center field in New York that hot September day that ball is over their heads. An easy and base clearing triple for Hegan that puts the Indians up 5-2. Instead Willie Mays did what he always did best: be amazing. The Giants won the game in the 10th and went on to sweep the tribe.

 

26 days to go 


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#16
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The throw on that back foot from deep is the crazy part. 


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#17
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#25 Inside the Park HR

 

2015 World Series Game 1. Fist pitch, first AB Alceides Escobar hits one inside the park

 



#18
Guard Dog

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The Nats & White Sox are now out on Harper. The Giants won't go 10 years so it's the Phillies of nothing for Harper & Scott Boras now. The escalation of salaries was going to hit a breaking point sooner or later. This may finally be it. One thing for sure, Harper's leverage has disappeared. 



#19
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#24 The Hidden Ball Trick

 

Watch Todd Helton fake the throw back to the pitcher:

 



#20
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#23 The Walk off

 

The New York Yankees have won 27 championships. They have played in 40. They became the Yankees in 1913 (they were the New York Highlanders and Baltimore Orioles previously) so 38% of all AL pennants since 1913 have been won by the Yankees. But there have been stretches where they were pretty terrible. After being soundly defeated by the Cardinals in the '64 WS the Yankees wandered into the wilderness for twelve years. Half of those they had losing records. But in 1976 after two years of rebuilding and free agency spending under new owner George Steinbrenner the Bronx Bombers were back. Winning the ALCS in walk off fashion:

 


Edited by Guard Dog, 25 February 2019 - 02:59 AM.





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