Bucfan56

2018 MLB Season

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Almost that time! 

 

Predictions: 

 

AL West:

Stros

Halos

M’s

Rangers

AAA’s

 

Astros win this one relatively easily. Angels will contend, but Ohtani will struggle with the workload and that experiment will die a  swift death sometime in the second half of the season, at the latest. Mariners will be a pleasant surprise, and will only miss the playoffs by a handful of games rather than getting embarrassed all year. Rangers will be boring, A’s will be young and terrible like they are a lot and tickets will be beautifully cheap.

 

AL Central:

Tribe

Twinkies

Royals

Tigers 

Pale Hose

 

Indians will finish as the best team in baseball but the Twins will hang with them most of the season. The remainder of the division will be an unwatchable dumpster fire. 

 

AL East:

Yanks

Sox

O’s

Jays

Rays

 

Yankees will win the division, but they’ll actually be worse than they were last year and will frustrate a lot of people. The “pleasant surprise” Yankees are dead, cold, and already buried. They’ll be a great team but their fans will still be the same smug :censored:s they always are. Red Sox will be decent, probably second wild card, but won’t really make that much noise. The David Price drama will come to a head sometime in the summer and he’ll get dealt to the Cardinals for propspects and, like, Stephen Piscotty or someone “gritty” like that. The O’s and Jays will be watchable to their home fan bases but like standing in line at the DMV to everyone else. Rays will be dreadfully bad. 

 

NL West:

Dodgers

Giants

D Backs

Rockies

Pads

 

Giants are going to bounce back in a big way and contend with the Dodgers all season. Dodgers will win the division, but the Giants will snag the top Wild Card spot. D Backs will disappoint, Rockies will be the typical Rockies, and the Padres will be garbage as usual.

 

NL Central:

Brew Crew

Cards

Cubbies

Smelly Pirate Hookers

Reds

 

I really think the Brew Crew will be the “surprise” team this year, and they’ll win the division. Cards will be the typical Cards. 2nd Wild Card, because they basically have to always play the Giants in the playoffs. Cubs will be disappointing this year because of a few key injuries. Pirates and Reds will be trash like they have been lately. 

 

NL East:

Nats

Phils

Bravos

Mets

Fish

 

Nats will run away with the division and will finish with the best record in the NL. Phillies and Braves will both be surprisingly good. Mets will be disappointing again, and just contract the Marlins already, would ya? 

 

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Piscotty isn't on the Cards anymore :P. He's back home with the AAA's.

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Nats win the NL East and....

 

Spoiler

Still lose Game 5 of the Divisional Series. Here's hoping I'm wrong!

 

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I have to say I'm impressed with what the Giants have done this offseason. I was skeptical that it'd even be worth salvaging the roster after their pitiful season last year, but after a winter where nearly a third of the teams in the sport basically announced that they have no intention of trying to win, I can appreciate a team going all out. Andrew McCutchen is someone to be excited about, Matt Moore is gone, and Longoria should be a decent backup for Pablo. Bobby Evans is proving himself worthy.

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I dunno, that was just more of a passing quip than anything else. 

 

But, speaking of that comment, the relationship between A’s fans and Giants fans has gotten so strange over the past decade. I don’t understand a lot of the intense animosity a lot of A’s fans feel towards the Giants. I feel like the majority of A’s fans have gotten to the point where they absolutely DESPISE the Giants. It’s like not only do they hate the Giants more than any other team in the league, it feels like they actually hate the Giants more than they even like the A’s. That’s really weird because most Giants fans I know have no real opinion on the A’s, or even really like the A’s. I’d say a good chunk of Bay Area/Northern California Giants fans consider the A’s their second favorite/AL team. Even though they’re not the number one team, they’re still a source of pride because they represent the Bay Area. You almost NEVER see the reverse. It sucks, too, because I feel like I can’t even make little innocent jabs at the A’s (who I really do like and only say out of endearment) without sparking some huge inferiority complex in a lot of A’s fans. 

 

The A’s have done some really strange things lately, and the overall attitude surrounding the A’s in this past decade has kinda soured me on them (directing a metric :censored:ton of vitriol towards Giants fans, fighting with random groups like Smash Mouth on Twitter, blaming Giants ownership for their owners incompetence, etc) as an organization. They used to be a lot of fun despite having some bad seasons and dumb luck. Now a lot of that charm has died a hard death. 

 

 

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7 hours ago, Bucfan56 said:

But, speaking of that comment, the relationship between A’s fans and Giants fans has gotten so strange over the past decade. I don’t understand a lot of the intense animosity a lot of A’s fans feel towards the Giants. I feel like the majority of A’s fans have gotten to the point where they absolutely DESPISE the Giants. It’s like not only do they hate the Giants more than any other team in the league, it feels like they actually hate the Giants more than they even like the A’s. That’s really weird because most Giants fans I know have no real opinion on the A’s, or even really like the A’s. I’d say a good chunk of Bay Area/Northern California Giants fans consider the A’s their second favorite/AL team. Even though they’re not the number one team, they’re still a source of pride because they represent the Bay Area. You almost NEVER see the reverse. It sucks, too, because I feel like I can’t even make little innocent jabs at the A’s (who I really do like and only say out of endearment) without sparking some huge inferiority complex in a lot of A’s fans.  

 

I’ve found that there are some subsets within the A’s fandom that hate the Giants for different reasons:

 

a. There are those who hate the Giants from stopping their move to San José (yes, A’s fans who wanted their team to leave Oakland).

 

b. A few fans try to claim that all Giants fans are bandwagoners  who don’t know anything about the game compared to A’s fans (that bandwagon thinned these past few years).

 

c. Some just take potshots on every move the Giants make, even inconsequential ones.

 

There’s obviously some overlap, but yeah, many A’s fans got really toxic towards the Giants since 2010. They were my AL team for some time, but I lost interest after I moved away for undergrad. It’s kind of sad seeing them try to brand themselves as the anti-Giants, given that the team in Chavez Ravine does a much better job at it.

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I think the Jays and O's will flip-flop. No way Tampa, Toronto or Baltimore can keep up with the Joneses in Boston and the Yankees.

 

You're going to see Toronto give it one more shot before they begin a controlled demolition. The way the other three teams can keep up with Boston and New York is to be playing a few years ahead of BOS and NYY.

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I already detailed in the Hot Stove thread what was, in my opinion, a dreadful offseason from the O's.  Signing Cashner, Tillman, and Rasmus doesn't change that.  If Duquette is committing to try and compete in 2018 by not trading Machado, then this was a god-awful way to do it.  If everything goes Baltimore's way, they'll finish 3rd in the AL East.

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I originally wanted to go to the All-Star game this year since it's nearby, but I feel like a combination of money and commitment will put an immediate end to those plans.

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Minor League Baseball is piloting baseball's answer to three-on-three overtime: extra innings will start with the pre-leadoff man on second. This is absolutely terrible and needs to be killed off before it gets to the majors. I can't think of a rule change that has ruined a game more than this.

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The Zapruderization of baseball is probably the second-worst change. Baseball more than any sport needs to be left the hell alone. Being tied after nine isn't the problem, holding a graduate symposium before every pitch is the problem. This is so terrible. Fire Manfred, this makes Selig's All-Star Game look like the quaint little novelty it was.

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Manfred is probably juicing balls too.

 

Guy on second to start extras is an impressively stupid idea to solve a problem that doesn't exit. All that does is starts every extra inning with a sacrifice bunt followed by an intentional walk. Might as well skip that and start every extra inning with a guy on first and third with one out. It'll probably end games earlier, but it'll also suck the life out of extra innings. It's like they heard the average game time is too long so instead of going after the real things that have made games longer they're going after the outlying 17, 18 inning games, which sucks because those games are rare and fun and 18 inning 1:30 am twitter is one of the best twitters. 

 

Better ideas:

start weekday games at 6:30, enforce the 30 second pitch rule, if an ump thinks a guy is stepping out of the box/off the rubber too many times he gets a called strike/ball, limit mound visits the way other sports limit timeouts, eliminate replay. I don't know what to do about batters finally figuring out that it's better to extend counts and getting really good at fouling off pitches. That's probably just something that will be a part of the game moving forward. 

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14 hours ago, the admiral said:

Minor League Baseball is piloting baseball's answer to three-on-three overtime: extra innings will start with the pre-leadoff man on second. This is absolutely terrible and needs to be killed off before it gets to the majors. I can't think of a rule change that has ruined a game more than this.

 

It works for my co-ed slow-pitch softball league so I'm not sure why it can't work in MLB.  J/K, it's dumb for reasons that have been stated.

 

11 hours ago, the admiral said:

The Zapruderization of baseball is probably the second-worst change. Baseball more than any sport needs to be left the hell alone. Being tied after nine isn't the problem, holding a graduate symposium before every pitch is the problem. This is so terrible. Fire Manfred, this makes Selig's All-Star Game look like the quaint little novelty it was.

 

All pitchers that feel they need 5 minutes between pitches just to walk around the mound and take deep breaths should be sentenced to 20-40 hours of watching Roy Halladay games.  Dude got the ball back from the catcher and just threw the next pitch.  Not sure if he even finished reading the signs.  Pitchers need to get over themselves, especially closers.  Also the mount visits absolutely need to be better regulated.  

 

45 minutes ago, McCarthy said:

Manfred is probably juicing balls too.

 

Guy on second to start extras is an impressively stupid idea to solve a problem that doesn't exit. All that does is starts every extra inning with a sacrifice bunt followed by an intentional walk. Might as well skip that and start every extra inning with a guy on first and third with one out. It'll probably end games earlier, but it'll also suck the life out of extra innings. It's like they heard the average game time is too long so instead of going after the real things that have made games longer they're going after the outlying 17, 18 inning games, which sucks because those games are rare and fun and 18 inning 1:30 am twitter is one of the best twitters. 

 

Better ideas:

start weekday games at 6:30, enforce the 30 second pitch rule, if an ump thinks a guy is stepping out of the box/off the rubber too many times he gets a called strike/ball, limit mound visits the way other sports limit timeouts, eliminate replay. I don't know what to do about batters finally figuring out that it's better to extend counts and getting really good at fouling off pitches. That's probably just something that will be a part of the game moving forward. 

 

1.  your first point is correct, it'll lead to a scripted / formulaic approach to each inning.  Even if it doesn't, you're basically reducing it to one-hit wins (or it could actually have an adverse effect where the games continue on because each team gets that one hit every inning.)

 

2.  your "better idea" is not a better idea.  Starting weekday games at 6:30 is terrible, as it's hard enough for most people to get to games at 7, let alone earlier.  You would see half-empty stands until the 2nd or 3rd inning, plus for the people that can get down there that early, there'll be no more pre-game meet-ups unless you don't care about the actual game. That might work in smaller metro areas, but not in larger ones.  I would love it if tehre was some way to get each game to end before 10, but that's not the way to do it.

 

Limiting time outs works, but I wouldn't want to eliminate replay.  Batters fouling off tons of pitches is kinda part of the game, but I'm not sure if it's the worst idea in the world to put a cap on that and the batter "strikes out" after a certain number of fouls.  When you think about it, fouls should count as strikes, as the pitcher is preventing the batter from hitting the ball into play.  Fouling off balls just to tire out a pitcher is a cool part of the game, but at some point you need to put the ball in play or GTFO.

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5 minutes ago, BringBackTheVet said:

 

2.  your "better idea" is not a better idea.  Starting weekday games at 6:30 is terrible, as it's hard enough for most people to get to games at 7, let alone earlier.  You would see half-empty stands until the 2nd or 3rd inning, plus for the people that can get down there that early, there'll be no more pre-game meet-ups unless you don't care about the actual game. That might work in smaller metro areas, but not in larger ones.  I would love it if tehre was some way to get each game to end before 10, but that's not the way to do it.

 

 

Empty seats don't seem to be a concern for weekday day games. I didn't invent this. Several teams have adopted it or are testing it right now so there must be something there. I'm not suggesting starting every game at 4 pm. It's a half hour. People will adjust their day to get to the ballpark a half hour earlier. At least try it in the months when the kids are in school.

 

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Just increase the number of outs in extra innings to 4! It gives the offense an extra chance to score without inventing phantom runners or errors that never happened.

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3 hours ago, McCarthy said:

 

Empty seats don't seem to be a concern for weekday day games. I didn't invent this. Several teams have adopted it or are testing it right now so there must be something there. I'm not suggesting starting every game at 4 pm. It's a half hour. People will adjust their day to get to the ballpark a half hour earlier. At least try it in the months when the kids are in school.

 

 

If you work a 9-5 in the suburbs of a big city getting to a game by 6:30 is stressful, especially if you need to go home, grab the kids, etc. Just parking once you get there can take 30 minutes.  Might work in some places, certainly not everywhere.

 

FWIW, I've been to Japanese games and they start at 6.  The crowd is all mothers and kids until around the 4th inning when the salary men all arrive.

 

 

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17 hours ago, the admiral said:

The Zapruderization of baseball is probably the second-worst change. Baseball more than any sport needs to be left the hell alone. Being tied after nine isn't the problem, holding a graduate symposium before every pitch is the problem. This is so terrible. Fire Manfred, this makes Selig's All-Star Game look like the quaint little novelty it was.

 

I mean, I completely agree with you on this subject if it ever makes it way to MLB itself, but there's large part of me that both hopes and thinks that this is a method to protect minor leaguers more than try and implement a new style of play in baseball. 

 

But I do agree, in any case, with the idea that Manfred is looking for solutions to solve problems that don't exist. has bigger fish to fry than what he's actually cooking right now. 

 

*jeezus, didn't realize McCarthy had used the exact same phrase above.

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20 hours ago, the admiral said:

Minor League Baseball is piloting baseball's answer to three-on-three overtime: extra innings will start with the pre-leadoff man on second. This is absolutely terrible and needs to be killed off before it gets to the majors. I can't think of a rule change that has ruined a game more than this.

So basically, a pitcher can throw a perfect game and still lose. 

 

That's beyond idiotic. 

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16 minutes ago, ozzyman314 said:

So basically, a pitcher can throw a perfect game and still lose. 

 

That's beyond idiotic. 

It's the minors, they get pulled after 8 at the latest. If the idea is to force pitchers to work with some extra stress, this will do it. As long as this stayed in the minors I'd be fine with it. Doesn't Little League do the last guy out goes to second in extra innings?

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