2012 MLB Season Discussion: Off-Season

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"People ask me what I do in winter when there's no baseball. I'll tell you what I do. I stare out the window and wait for spring."
-Rogers Hornsby

I love the smell of a new thread, don't you?

Go Rays!

Stele wrote:

Go Rays!

+1

Go Mets Ownership.. Go away!

I'm all excited for my Blue Jays again. They didn't make any massive deals in the off season, but they did full a glaring hole: the entire bullpen was revamped.

We had the 5th best offense last year, but were close to the top of the league in blown saved (26?). Not blowing even half of those would have put the Jays close to the playoffs.

A question: has the league decided if the extra wildcard spots are in play this year?

Let's go Oakland!

AndrewA wrote:

I'm all excited for my Blue Jays again. They didn't make any massive deals in the off season, but they did full a glaring hole: the entire bullpen was revamped.

What's Blue Jay fans' take on Colby Rasmus. We just had a story where he had a lot of negative things to say about St. Louis, and it sparked another round of Colby bashing. The fans here really hate the guy.

I really liked the kid, and he has the tools to be a really special player. But he has a way of alienating everybody around him. As much as I hated to see him go, I think it was for the best.

Is he getting along better up north?

Yeah, I'd be interested in hearing how 'Co-Ra' (said like 'COOOOBRAAA!') is getting along.

Come on, Cards. Let's show Pujols what he's missing.

Haakon7 wrote:

Yeah, I'd be interested in hearing how 'Co-Ra' (said like 'COOOOBRAAA!') is getting along.

Come on, Cards. Let's show Pujols what he's missing.

What Pujols won't be missing is a ton of games in St. Louis' humid and miserable summers. I think he made the right chice.

He's in freaking Southern California with money to burn. He's got a DH so that when all of his predictable aches and pains pop-up, he can still play. He's playing for Mike Scioscia, a veteran manger that has won it all himself, versus a rookie manger.

I know St. Louis has great fans, but the Angels are perfect for him.

I'm ready to root for Matheny, but I think we might see just how much La Russa meant to this team. Losing Duncan may be an even bigger blow.

I love the roster, and I think St. Louis should be in position to win the division. I also think not having Pujols salary will allow them to improve the team over time.

I'm excited for a season without Bill Smith trading/trying to trade away good position players for closers at the deadline.

Jayhawker wrote:

What Pujols won't be missing is a ton of games in St. Louis' humid and miserable summers. I think he made the right chice.

He's in freaking Southern California with money to burn. He's got a DH so that when all of his predictable aches and pains pop-up, he can still play. He's playing for Mike Scioscia, a veteran manger that has won it all himself, versus a rookie manger.

I know St. Louis has great fans, but the Angels are perfect for him.

I'm ready to root for Matheny, but I think we might see just how much La Russa meant to this team. Losing Duncan may be an even bigger blow.

I love the roster, and I think St. Louis should be in position to win the division. I also think not having Pujols salary will allow them to improve the team over time.

Oh, I don't disagree with any of that. Duncan was a miracle worker, and I think we'll miss him more than Albert.

I was going to type up a short note on how disappointed I was that he chose money over tradition, but I can't fault him, really. Maybe he felt it was the right time for something new.

I'm enthusiastic about Matheny. He was a great thinking catcher and seems like a real club man, so I think he'll develop into a good manager. Hopefully get the best out of the younger guys; it will help having Berkman, Beltran and Holliday around.

Jayhawker wrote:

What's Blue Jay fans' take on Colby Rasmus. We just had a story where he had a lot of negative things to say about St. Louis, and it sparked another round of Colby bashing. The fans here really hate the guy.

I really liked the kid, and he has the tools to be a really special player. But he has a way of alienating everybody around him. As much as I hated to see him go, I think it was for the best.

Is he getting along better up north?

The major Jays blogs are cautiously optimistic that Colby will have a bounce back season this year due in part to his change of scenery. We've had really great results with Yunel Escobar, who left Atlanta under a similar cloud.

I actually watched a the six minute interview in which Rasmus discusses his problems in St. Louis last year - I didn't think that he was disrespectful of the team or players, but he was quite candid about the discomfort that he felt. Hopefully bring on a very young team will ease that in Toronto.

Mets fans, I am so sorry.

*EDIT*
Sorry about the Wilpons being in charge for years to come. The ESPN link stated that a little more clearer, the article title, did not.

AndrewA wrote:

A question: has the league decided if the extra wildcard spots are in play this year?

Not yet, MLB has until March 1 to make this change valid for the 2012 season. I'm a bit torn on this. Teams like Toronto, Cleveland, or Atlanta could benefit from this. But for the fans of the game, more playoff games? With more teams?

How does everyone else feel? Further dilution of the playoff pool or a much-needed lift for the fringe teams that annually fall behind the super-large market powerhouses?

Here's a recent story and who may benefit the most: link

Kush15 wrote:

Mets fans, I am so sorry.

*EDIT*
Sorry about the Wilpons being in charge for years to come. The ESPN link stated that a little more clearer, the article title, did not.

I'll be weeping in my corner, while simultaneously enjoying $2 seats

brouhaha wrote:
AndrewA wrote:

A question: has the league decided if the extra wildcard spots are in play this year?

Not yet, MLB has until March 1 to make this change valid for the 2012 season. I'm a bit torn on this. Teams like Toronto, Cleveland, or Atlanta could benefit from this. But for the fans of the game, more playoff games? With more teams?

How does everyone else feel? Further dilution of the playoff pool or a much-needed lift for the fringe teams that annually fall behind the super-large market powerhouses?

Here's a recent story and who may benefit the most: link

I think the system is fine as it is.. perhaps extend the first round to 7 games to help the higher seed teams avoid the quick upset that sometimes can happen. I would rather continue to try and reward the regular season and ensure that only a handful of teams get into the playoffs rather than adopting a system like the NHL and NBA which renders the long regular season largely meaningless by having so many teams make the playoffs.

I'd rather them drop 8 games off the season-schedule and add an extra full round to the playoffs, and still maybe finish the Series in Oct instead of Nov.

Of course as was pointed out last season... the wild card was added for the Red Sox because it was so tough playing in the Yankees division, they couldn't make the playoffs every year. So now that they miss the playoffs again because the Rays and Yankees are better than them, it would look pretty bad on the league if they changed it again just for Boston.

And baseball loses a true gamer....

IMAGE(http://i.imgur.com/l1eOc.png)

Godspeed vTek!

TheGameguru wrote:

I think the system is fine as it is.. perhaps extend the first round to 7 games to help the higher seed teams avoid the quick upset that sometimes can happen. I would rather continue to try and reward the regular season and ensure that only a handful of teams get into the playoffs rather than adopting a system like the NHL and NBA which renders the long regular season largely meaningless by having so many teams make the playoffs.

I don't really buy the argument about extended playoffs making the regular season "largely meaningless". For one thing, the regular season is still going to eliminate a tonne of teams, and even then the regular season is used to determine the seeding of teams, which directly impacts the ease of a teams' path to the World Series.

Adding more teams to the playoffs is a great fan service, and will help enhance excitement over the league in the smaller markets.

Valentine comes off like a whiny bitch IMO

http://espn.go.com/boston/mlb/story/...

I'm hopeful he is as complete disaster in Boston.. I don't think he has what it takes to manage in a town like Boston..

TheGameguru wrote:

Valentine comes off like a whiny bitch IMO

http://espn.go.com/boston/mlb/story/...

I'm hopeful he is as complete disaster in Boston.. I don't think he has what it takes to manage in a town like Boston..

See New York Mets, 2000 Season. If that doesn't prove he has what it takes to manage in a big market, I don't know what does. That team, sans Piazza, didn't have big flashy talent. If he was around in 2006, they might have went to the WS instead of losing in Game 7 of the NLCS. 2007 and 2008, you might not have seen the Mets colapse with the division lead. Yankees/Red Sox is the biggest rivalry in baseball. I don't agree with coming out and giving the Yankees locker room material, but he's trying to win over a fan base that thought Francona was a managing god.

Kush15 wrote:
TheGameguru wrote:

Valentine comes off like a whiny bitch IMO

http://espn.go.com/boston/mlb/story/...

I'm hopeful he is as complete disaster in Boston.. I don't think he has what it takes to manage in a town like Boston..

See New York Mets, 2000 Season. If that doesn't prove he has what it takes to manage in a big market, I don't know what does. That team, sans Piazza, didn't have big flashy talent. If he was around in 2006, they might have went to the WS instead of losing in Game 7 of the NLCS. 2007 and 2008, you might not have seen the Mets colapse with the division lead. Yankees/Red Sox is the biggest rivalry in baseball. I don't agree with coming out and giving the Yankees locker room material, but he's trying to win over a fan base that thought Francona was a managing god.

Not to mention that he was dealing with an adversarial GM, and interfering, proven incompetent ownership.

Yeah but its the Mets.. not the same thing. Sorry Mets fans.

TheGameguru wrote:

Yeah but its the Mets.. not the same thing. Sorry Mets fans.

Yup, totally low pressure environment.

Tanglebones wrote:
TheGameguru wrote:

Yeah but its the Mets.. not the same thing. Sorry Mets fans.

Yup, totally low pressure environment.

I like to think as a fan that the Phillies are as pressured filled as the Yankees and the Red Sox.. but I would be delusional. There is NOTHING that compares to the Yankees and the Red Sox in MLB. Sorry if that offends you as a Mets fan.

TheGameguru wrote:
Tanglebones wrote:
TheGameguru wrote:

Yeah but its the Mets.. not the same thing. Sorry Mets fans.

Yup, totally low pressure environment.

I like to think as a fan that the Phillies are as pressured filled as the Yankees and the Red Sox.. but I would be delusional. There is NOTHING that compares to the Yankees and the Red Sox in MLB. Sorry if that offends you as a Mets fan.

So, it's come to this.

If the Red Sox win, Bobby Valentine will look like he can handle the job. If they lose, it won't.

In either case, I think it can be argued it's largely out of Valentines' control. His players will make or break him.

Furthermore, Valentine was the manager of the Mets from 1997-2002. Losing the WS in 2000 only bought him 2 more years, mostly due to Steve Phillips ineptness as General Manager. He clearly didn't want Valentine as manager, and hired Art Howe in 2003. Funny how the Mets haven't had a manager that's lasted more than 2 full seasons since then. Now tell me that managing the Mets isn't pressure packed?

TheGameguru wrote:

I like to think as a fan that the Phillies are as pressured filled as the Yankees and the Red Sox.. but I would be delusional. There is NOTHING that compares to the Yankees and the Red Sox in MLB. Sorry if that offends you as a Mets fan.

You're wrong. Plain and simple. I used to go to Mets games constantly, the pressure is definitely there. Are the Yankees the #1 billing in NY, yes. But the pressure for the Mets to win are just as high.

As for the Phillies, the only reason it's not pressure filled is because until Charlie came to Philly, Philadelphia wasn't a baseball town, it was purely football and hockey. With a World Series Championship under his belt, there's absolutely no pressure....................for now. If he doesn't win another WS in the next 5 years, you might see grumblings.

We will agree to disagree.. any managerial job in MLB is pressure filled.. but to truly believe managing the Mets is equal to the Yankees and the Red Sox in terms of pressure.. I'm kinda stunned that people believe that. I'm basing my opinion from talking to baseball people but maybe they are wrong as well.

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