2012 MLB Season Discussion: Off-Season

I'm going on run differential. Texas is a +65 and St. Louis is a +75.

When I say it is not close, I mean the next closest teams are Atlanta at +24 and LA at +23.

Of course, past results do not guarantee future performance. But if I was a betting man, I'd take the teams that score lots of runs and prevent other teams from scoring.

Texas has a winning record vs. every division. How many teams in the AL East can say that?

I was high on Texas to start the season, as they have the best balance of offense and pitching, and their front office has been outstanding.

I was mixed on St. Louis, because their age meant that they would probably have to weather injuries. But their depth is proving to be as good as advertised, as much of this offensive output is without Berkman, and Holliday has just recently started hitting.

Carp went down, but Lance Lynn has built on his strong performance last year down the stretch and in the playoffs to turn the #5 spot in the rotation into a strength. This means that the Cardinals saved $10 million by not signing Oswalt. That's money that can help make a July trade to strengthen the team more, or fill another hole by an injury that has not occurred yet.

But yes, chirping about early season success is probably foolish.

Jayhawker wrote:

I'm going on run differential. Texas is a +65 and St. Louis is a +75.

Let's look at who Texas has played so far (results in brackets):

CWS (2-1) - 3rd AL Central (.469)
SEA (3-1) - 3rd AL West (.455)
MIN (3-0) - Last in all of baseball (.267)
BOS (2-0) - 5th AL East (.400)
DET (3-1) - 2nd AL Central (.500)
NYY (2-1) - 4th AL East (.533)
TB (1-2) - 1st AL East (.645)
TOR (1-2) - 3rd AL East (.548)
CLE (1-2) - 1st AL Central (.567)
BAL (2-0) - 2nd AL East (.633)

So far, against teams with winning records (above .500) Texas has won 2 series and lost 3 series (granted, the Baltimore series wraps up tonight with a double header... could end up tied). This isn't exactly dominant success against the types of teams that they are likely to face in the playoffs. Texas might beat the ever-loving hell out of bad baseball teams, but who really cares about that come playoff time?

Jayhawker wrote:

Texas has a winning record vs. every division. How many teams in the AL East can say that?

NYY and TB have .500 or better records against every division.

Jayhawker wrote:

I was high on Texas to start the season, as they have the best balance of offense and pitching, and their front office has been outstanding.

Texas has a fantastic team, don't get me wrong - and they are a heck of a lot of fun to watch. But they are not the dominant powerhouse that everyone makes them out to be... and they are only mediocre so far when it comes to playing against the tougher teams in the American League.

In news completely unrelated to who the best teams in baseball are, the Cardinals attendance is up just over four thousand a game.

The interesting part is that the Angels are down nearly five thousand a game. Man, that has to hurt. Only 9.6 years left on that contract to Pujols.

Jayhawker wrote:

In news completely unrelated to who the best teams in baseball are, the Cardinals attendance is up just over four thousand a game.

That's a pretty neat web site. Nice to see my Jays up ~2000 per game as well!

It doesn't surprise me to see the Twins down 6k per game..... they are simply awful. I couldn't believe how bad they were watching the game last night - their defense is particularly nasty.

IMAGE(http://www.trbimg.com/img-4fabb702/turbine/os-astro-fans-ozzie-guillen/600)

Ozzie Guillen Heckled by Houston Astros Fans Dressed as Fidel Castro

The C'Astros, as some have called the hecklers, showed up to Tuesday night's Marlins-Astros game in Houston wearing fake beards, revolutionary berets, and t-shirts reading "Welcome Comrade Ozzie."

According to the Facebook page of one of the hecklers, however, the six Fidelitos were eventually thrown out of the game for their antics.

"Made on tv in the fifth inning...then security gave us the big vamoose," Houston-based lawyer John Egbert wrote on Facebook.

AndrewA wrote:
Jayhawker wrote:

In news completely unrelated to who the best teams in baseball are, the Cardinals attendance is up just over four thousand a game.

That's a pretty neat web site. Nice to see my Jays up ~2000 per game as well!

Yep very cool. Rays up 3200/game. Ticket prices went up a bit this year too.

I'm calling for Cespedes to be traded to the Cardinals come the deadline, but who knows with Manny coming back maybe the A's can stay ahead of the fold like they have been, which would be amazing. I'm also calling a rematch between the Rangers and the Cards.

Damn Orioles.

Stele wrote:

Damn Orioles. :mad:

I know, right? When will they stop winning?

As if Cardinal fans need their egos pumped up anymore. From Bernie's column in the parer this morning.

Cardinals fans gave Chipper an energy boost Friday with a sustained ovation before his first at-bat. The Jones farewell tour of the National League was rather low-key until he came to Busch Stadium, and he was genuinely touched by the reception.

"That was very classy by the St. Louis fans," Jones said. "They're widely regarded as the best fans in baseball, and they showed it (Friday) night. It certainly was not expected, a little bit of a shock to me. I'm not used to getting that kind of reaction on the road. It just goes to show you they know their baseball, and their ovation was much appreciated.
"I've always enjoyed coming here and the fan base in St. Louis is a big part of that. You can have an opposing player hit three home runs against the Cardinals, and the Cardinals fans will give him an ovation for a job well done. You get an opposing pitcher come out and throw a shutout against their Cardinals and walking off the field, they'll (applaud.) It's nice to play in a city where good baseball is appreciated. And it rubs off on the Cardinals team.

"And other teams enjoy coming here to play, because No. 1 they know they're going to play a very good ballclub in the Cardinals. And No. 2 they get to entertain some really intelligent fans."

AndrewA wrote:
Stele wrote:

Damn Orioles. :mad:

I know, right? When will they stop winning?

Boo frickin hoo.

Or: Whenever Josh Hamilton is in town.

garion333 wrote:
AndrewA wrote:
Stele wrote:

Damn Orioles. :mad:

I know, right? When will they stop winning?

Boo frickin hoo.

Or: Whenever Josh Hamilton is in town.

At least TB took one from them today! Man AL East is gonna look ridiculous at the end of the year. Actually, it looks like Boston may not recover but I'm sure the Yanks will.

Tanglebones wrote:
Jayhawker wrote:

Last week, Beltran had seven RBI's in the first three innings of a game.

Tonight he has six in the first two innings on two HR's, including a Grand Salami.

That gives him 10 HR's and 26 RBI's on the season.

Good job, Mets Wilpon.

FTFY

I'm really happy with how terrible the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in Orange County have been this year and after spending all that money on the old man who can't hit.

Why do the Blue Jays insist on trotting out Adam Lind as their clean up hitter every night? Ugh - the guy hasn't hit in two years, and shows no sign of starting any time soon. And he contributed mightily to our big loss last night.... two errors, one of which turned an inning where we would have given up a single run into a five run mess.

So Brett Lawrie got ejected last night after being called out on strikes..... the last two pitches to him (labelled 5 and 6 on the Pitch FX graph below) were both called strikes, and only one was anywhere close.

IMAGE(http://dl.dropbox.com/u/1310236/suckieump.png)

He had cause to be pissed at the ump, but then he went and threw his helmet at the ground, and it bounced up and hit the ump in the hip. I assume he'll be suspended. Ugh.

And a fan threw a beer at the ump as he left the field! Yay Canadians!

Those pitches were horrible calls and Lawrie got unlucky with how his helmet bounced.

In Orioles news, Wei-Yin Chen has been fantastic so far. They need to pull him out an inning earlier though as he gives up all his runs in the late innings. Pull him out after the 6th and not the 7th already.

Also, they're beating the Yankees with half a lineup of players from the minors. Sweet.

Blind_Evil wrote:

And a fan threw a beer at the ump as he left the field! Yay Canadians!

Because one pissed off fan is indicative of Canadians in general. Bravo, sir. You win the internet.

I'm serious! I found it a laudable approach to heckling!

Don't be offended. It's happened while I was in attendance in both Chicago and Oakland and I find it hilarious every time.

Blind_Evil wrote:

I'm serious! I found it a laudable approach to heckling!

Don't be offended. It's happened while I was in attendance in both Chicago and Oakland and I find it hilarious every time.

Oh - I read sarcasm/accusation into your message... sorry about that. Yay for super-sensitive Canadians! =)

Assertion: With the installation of Pitch FX systems in every stadium, home plate umps should no longer be allowed to call balls & strikes. Agree or disagree?

Blind_Evil wrote:

I'm serious! I found it a laudable approach to heckling!

Don't be offended. It's happened while I was in attendance in both Chicago and Oakland and I find it hilarious every time.

I remember watching the fan in Chicago dump a beer on Vicotrino's head while attempting to catch a fly ball.

AndrewA wrote:

Assertion: With the installation of Pitch FX systems in every stadium, home plate umps should no longer be allowed to call balls & strikes. Agree or disagree?

Agree!

AndrewA wrote:

Assertion: With the installation of Pitch FX systems in every stadium, home plate umps should no longer be allowed to call balls & strikes. Agree or disagree?

They should do what they do in tennis. Give each team ~3 challenges that they get to keep if they're right.

More important that all those silly pitches and the helmet toss and ejection... the Rays are back on a winning streak (3) and tied for the division lead, and for that matter the whole AL lead!

Red Sox in town tonight... and I'm going to tomorrow night's game!

Stele wrote:

Red Sox in town tonight... and I'm going to tomorrow night's game! :cool:

Nice - live baseball is awesome. I'm heading to see a game in Toronto this weekend.... Jays/Mets - I've never seen an interleague game before.

ChrisLTD wrote:
AndrewA wrote:

Assertion: With the installation of Pitch FX systems in every stadium, home plate umps should no longer be allowed to call balls & strikes. Agree or disagree?

They should do what they do in tennis. Give each team ~3 challenges that they get to keep if they're right.

I had that same idea earlier when I went on a twitter rant on this topic. =) So, I obviously agree.

AndrewA wrote:
ChrisLTD wrote:

Give each team ~3 challenges that they get to keep if they're right.

I had that same idea earlier when I went on a twitter rant on this topic. =) So, I obviously agree.

If it becomes too annoying they could add two simple restrictions:
1) Only let the batter or pitcher initiate a challenge
2) No challenges with less than 2 strikes or 3 balls

Erm.. Yay? Looks like Citifield is getting the 2013 All Star Game. Can't say I really care too much.

ChrisLTD wrote:
AndrewA wrote:
ChrisLTD wrote:

Give each team ~3 challenges that they get to keep if they're right.

I had that same idea earlier when I went on a twitter rant on this topic. =) So, I obviously agree.

If it becomes too annoying they could add two simple restrictions:
1) Only let the batter or pitcher initiate a challenge
2) No challenges with less than 2 strikes or 3 balls

Nope. Just use the the tech to establish a consistent strike zone.

No bogus third strikes in the ninth because you are out of challenges and the ump is blowing calls every inning.