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This is October: 2014 MLB Postseason Thread

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We don't need to hypothesize the hype and lore of this game if it were a Yankees/Red Sox game. Those two already played the equivalency of this game 11 years ago.

My point was simply that this place wouldn't have been nearly as excited if that exact game had been played by the Yankees and Red Sox, or any of the "perennial" playoff teams. The fact that it was the Royals really added to the excitement. That's all.

Yeah, I probably should've been more clear. I wasn't really responding to your post as much as I was the one you had quoted. The Royals carry that lovable underdog story much stronger than most playoff teams in recent years. Only A's fans and cynics were rooting against the Royals last night. When their Missouri brethren pulled Game 5 out of their asses against Washington two years back, this place nearly immolated itself. Certainly not something that was met with joy by most here.

I'm sure there were also some a-hole Cardinals fans rooting against the Royals because they're still hung up on Don Denkinger.

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gang of "individuals" you call a ball club.

This is exactly what a baseball team is, yeah.
Thanks professor I didn't know that.

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I would rather be shot than root for Puig and the gang of "individuals" you call a ball club.

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Cute. You probably find these as a sin against baseball:

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dodgers-in-diamondbacks-pool-o.gif
yasiel-puig-making-fun-of-adrian-gonzale

Way to suck the fun out of the sport, Debbie Downer. Based on your logic, the Royals tonight were a sin against baseball because they showed too much emotion suitable for an "appropriate," Puritan-style baseball game.

But it's OK. Both the Giants and Dodgers are playing in October. We'll see which way wins out at the end.Hey dumb dumb. I wasn't talking about the Royals. I was talking about your inane and idiotic comments about the Giants and their fans. Do this place a favor and stop posting. It must be really exhausting removing your foot from your mouth time and time again. When I mean "individuals" I'm referring to your Dodgers as selfish players who only think of themselves. Unfortunately their talent has overcome that but we will see how it goes in the playoffs.

I feel like I've said that same thing to dbagdefense1990 so many times, it might as well be a templated response to his posts at this point.

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If there was ever a manager who followed more bad processes in hopes of getting good results, well, that manager isn't currently honing his craft at the Major League level. ...

Yeah, he was fired by the Twins on Monday.

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What we learned last night is

That the A's are the Sharks of MLB.

Billy Beane is not as smart as he thinks he is.

When you are 30 games over .500 you DO NOT trade your cleanup hitter for more pitching.

Moneyball does not work beyond the regular season.

Getting on base is worthless if you don't have a hitter to bring them in.

The Jon Lester trade will go down in history as the worst deadline trade ever.

They lost their cleanup hitter and did not get into the ALDS. Lester will not be back next year.

The Royals are a spunky bunch and everyone without a team should root for them as they stand a slim chance to beat the Angels.

Admittedly, I believe in most of Billy's philosophies quite a bit. They can be the Sharks of MLB without their moves being wrong-headed.

I still think the trade he made made a lot of sense. He traded for the best postseason pitcher alive today. That can be huge in postseason series. It was not a great move for the future (see the bold point above), but the A's looked like a team that was ready to win this year. I guess I don't know enough about their clubhouse to know whether this was a big "intangible" loss, but there is no reason the team should have just stopped hitting that I can see.

Unfortunately, every A's playoff loss just makes the Joe Morgans even louder that bunting is the most important part of the game. I still believe that if Beane's philosophies work in the regular season, they can work in the post season...the problems are 1) by now, most of MLB has adopted most of Beane's philosophies regarding player evaluation and he is no longer smarter than the rest, 2) he's still small-market and he's still going into most postseason series with a talent disadvantage, and 3) anything can happen in a short series. It's too bad they lost in the early years when he was ahead of the curve. The 2002 Twins team they lost to was flat out inferior to them...but anything can happen in a best of 5. Had they won a championship, the attitude would be different.

Of course, there is no way this trade can be looked back at as a success. But it made a lot of sense for trying to take it all this year. These are Major League players and they should have been able to better-handle the loss of Cespedes. If it messed with the "chemistry" that's on them, not Beane. But please, Oakland, fire him (and Twins hire him).

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What we learned last night is

That the A's are the Sharks of MLB.

Billy Beane is not as smart as he thinks he is.

When you are 30 games over .500 you DO NOT trade your cleanup hitter for more pitching.

Moneyball does not work beyond the regular season.

Getting on base is worthless if you don't have a hitter to bring them in.

The Jon Lester trade will go down in history as the worst deadline trade ever.

They lost their cleanup hitter and did not get into the ALDS. Lester will not be back next year.

The Royals are a spunky bunch and everyone without a team should root for them as they stand a slim chance to beat the Angels.

Admittedly, I believe in most of Billy's philosophies quite a bit. They can be the Sharks of MLB without their moves being wrong-headed.

I still think the trade he made made a lot of sense. He traded for the best postseason pitcher alive today. That can be huge in postseason series. It was not a great move for the future (see the bold point above), but the A's looked like a team that was ready to win this year. I guess I don't know enough about their clubhouse to know whether this was a big "intangible" loss, but there is no reason the team should have just stopped hitting that I can see.

Unfortunately, every A's playoff loss just makes the Joe Morgans even louder that bunting is the most important part of the game. I still believe that if Beane's philosophies work in the regular season, they can work in the post season...the problems are 1) by now, most of MLB has adopted most of Beane's philosophies regarding player evaluation and he is no longer smarter than the rest, 2) he's still small-market and he's still going into most postseason series with a talent disadvantage, and 3) anything can happen in a short series. It's too bad they lost in the early years when he was ahead of the curve. The 2002 Twins team they lost to was flat out inferior to them...but anything can happen in a best of 5. Had they won a championship, the attitude would be different.

Of course, there is no way this trade can be looked back at as a success. But it made a lot of sense for trying to take it all this year. These are Major League players and they should have been able to better-handle the loss of Cespedes. If it messed with the "chemistry" that's on them, not Beane. But please, Oakland, fire him (and Twins hire him).

Everything else you say is right. I don't need to add to that stuff. We're on the same wavelength.

Re: the bolded -> there is not a single good argument on the planet as for why MLB uses a best-of-5 opening round. With the increasing parity in this sport mixed in with the uber-randomness of a best-of-5, it has become:

a) Easier for non-World Series calibre squads to win the World Series

B) Harder for actual World Series calibre squads to win the World Series

Since 2006, there have been eight regular seasons and postseasons played. In the American League, four of the eight #1 seeds were knocked out in the divisional round. Three of the eight #1's in the NL were one-and-done. Two of the three 100+ win teams in this span have been one-and-done. There has only been one team (out of twelve) to win 100 games or more in the regular season and proceed to win the World Series. Nine teams won 100+ between 2001-2005, and none of them won a title. Eight of the fourteen 100+ win teams this century? Yeah. One-and-done.

It's pretty dismal. And I can't endorse a system that so often doesn't give us one of the best teams as being the eventual champion for a given season.

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What we learned last night is

That the A's are the Sharks of MLB.

Billy Beane is not as smart as he thinks he is.

When you are 30 games over .500 you DO NOT trade your cleanup hitter for more pitching.

Moneyball does not work beyond the regular season.

Getting on base is worthless if you don't have a hitter to bring them in.

The Jon Lester trade will go down in history as the worst deadline trade ever.

They lost their cleanup hitter and did not get into the ALDS. Lester will not be back next year.

The Royals are a spunky bunch and everyone without a team should root for them as they stand a slim chance to beat the Angels.

To say Moneyball doesn't work is to say that the exploitation of market inefficiencies doesn't work; that it's a bad idea. Now, please tell me where that logic actually makes sense?

Cespedes hit .269/.296/.423/.719 in Boston. Boy, huge loss, that.

Lester threw 76.2 innings of 2.35 ERA baseball in Oakland.

That is such a horrendous, HORRENDOUS narrative. Maybe his departure didn't help, but it isn't Beane's fault that so many of the Oakland hitters (many of whom hit behind Cespedes in the lineup and were seldom aided by his .303 OBP) completely cratered in the final two months.

Plus, the Athletics scored 7 runs in the 9-inning portion of the game. It wasn't the offense's fault they lost. Their pitching failed them.

And perhaps that's the flaw with how Oakland keeps coming up short. Getting on base works best in the regular season because you aren't always getting the other teams' best pitchers, but the pitching gets better come the playoffs. And at the same token, your own pitching could be gassed towards the end of the season (I don't keep track of how they use their pitchers) because they usually have younger guys or guys coming off injury or whatever.

Unless the rules changed, I think Oakland's main incentive in picking up Lester was the free-agent compensation they'll get for him once he signs with someone else.

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Everything else you say is right. I don't need to add to that stuff. We're on the same wavelength.

Re: the bolded -> there is not a single good argument on the planet as for why MLB uses a best-of-5 opening round. With the increasing parity in this sport mixed in with the uber-randomness of a best-of-5, it has become:

.

Relative to integrity of the championship, you are right. The rationale, I am sure, is that fans are far more willing to invest seven games in LCS and World Series...

I have always thought shorter first round series were strange (e.g., when NBA round one was best-of-five). If there are going to be a lot of playoff teams (as is the case in all sports now), then the underdogs need to be made to "prove it", i.e., a best-of-seven first round. If anything, the best-of-five could come in championship series, when, in theory, the best teams (at this time) have survived all the best-of-sevens to get to this point. I know that people are much more willing to watch seven World Series games than AL/NLDS games, but it is counter to the integrity of the championship.


Plus, the Athletics scored 7 runs in the 9-inning portion of the game. It wasn't the offense's fault they lost. Their pitching failed them.

And perhaps that's the flaw with how Oakland keeps coming up short. Getting on base works best in the regular season because you aren't always getting the other teams' best pitchers, but the pitching gets better come the playoffs. And at the same token, your own pitching could be gassed towards the end of the season (I don't keep track of how they use their pitchers) because they usually have younger guys or guys coming off injury or whatever.

Unless the rules changed, I think Oakland's main incentive in picking up Lester was the free-agent compensation they'll get for him once he signs with someone else.

That's a big part of Beane's philosophy. He likes to take on two months of a huge contract and get the compensatory picks. But I think this time, Oakland really thought Lester may be the missing piece to get them the title.

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I thought they changed the rules and Oakland can't get a pick for Lester if he leaves since he didn't spend the entire season with them.

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What we learned last night is

That the A's are the Sharks of MLB.

Billy Beane is not as smart as he thinks he is.

When you are 30 games over .500 you DO NOT trade your cleanup hitter for more pitching.

Moneyball does not work beyond the regular season.

Getting on base is worthless if you don't have a hitter to bring them in.

The Jon Lester trade will go down in history as the worst deadline trade ever.

They lost their cleanup hitter and did not get into the ALDS. Lester will not be back next year.

The Royals are a spunky bunch and everyone without a team should root for them as they stand a slim chance to beat the Angels.

Admittedly, I believe in most of Billy's philosophies quite a bit. They can be the Sharks of MLB without their moves being wrong-headed.

I still think the trade he made made a lot of sense. He traded for the best postseason pitcher alive today. That can be huge in postseason series. It was not a great move for the future (see the bold point above), but the A's looked like a team that was ready to win this year. I guess I don't know enough about their clubhouse to know whether this was a big "intangible" loss, but there is no reason the team should have just stopped hitting that I can see.

Unfortunately, every A's playoff loss just makes the Joe Morgans even louder that bunting is the most important part of the game. I still believe that if Beane's philosophies work in the regular season, they can work in the post season...the problems are 1) by now, most of MLB has adopted most of Beane's philosophies regarding player evaluation and he is no longer smarter than the rest, 2) he's still small-market and he's still going into most postseason series with a talent disadvantage, and 3) anything can happen in a short series. It's too bad they lost in the early years when he was ahead of the curve. The 2002 Twins team they lost to was flat out inferior to them...but anything can happen in a best of 5. Had they won a championship, the attitude would be different.

Of course, there is no way this trade can be looked back at as a success. But it made a lot of sense for trying to take it all this year. These are Major League players and they should have been able to better-handle the loss of Cespedes. If it messed with the "chemistry" that's on them, not Beane. But please, Oakland, fire him (and Twins hire him).

Everything else you say is right. I don't need to add to that stuff. We're on the same wavelength.

Re: the bolded -> there is not a single good argument on the planet as for why MLB uses a best-of-5 opening round. With the increasing parity in this sport mixed in with the uber-randomness of a best-of-5, it has become:

a) Easier for non-World Series calibre squads to win the World Series

B) Harder for actual World Series calibre squads to win the World Series

Since 2006, there have been eight regular seasons and postseasons played. In the American League, four of the eight #1 seeds were knocked out in the divisional round. Three of the eight #1's in the NL were one-and-done. Two of the three 100+ win teams in this span have been one-and-done. There has only been one team (out of twelve) to win 100 games or more in the regular season and proceed to win the World Series. Nine teams won 100+ between 2001-2005, and none of them won a title. Eight of the fourteen 100+ win teams this century? Yeah. One-and-done.

It's pretty dismal. And I can't endorse a system that so often doesn't give us one of the best teams as being the eventual champion for a given season.

Baseball teams play 162 games. It's not like a 7-game series is much better in assessing a team's worth than a 5-game series.

Plus, I think teams in MLB, NBA, and NHL are steering away from "Just win the game no matter what" and going towards a "Stay competitive, stay in the thick of it, and ramp up the intensity in the latter half of the season" mentality. Just about every sport is getting broken down into specialties (such as having a 7th, an 8th, and a 9th inning pitcher.....winning a penalty-killing faceoff and getting off the ice....3rd-down passing RB...etc.) and teams are saving their star and better players for the second half of the season. We've seen the Tigers kind of dog-it during the regular season the last couple years. They're putting so much money into these players and they're deathly afraid of burning them out over the season or putting them at risk for injury in the 30th game of a 82- or 162-game schedule.

Baseball has basically become a "Play 5 months of .500 ball and have that one really good month" season. Basically, go 65-65 for the bulk of the season, wait for that one 25-5 stretch (or close to those numbers), and that most likely gets you in.

Teams are resigned to the fact the playoffs are pretty much a crap-shoot now. Instead of burning yourself out trying to get the top seed in the postseason, save your efforts for the latter half of the season and put yourself in the best position to succeed in the playoffs. Outside of basketball, home postseason games don't mean what they used to. (And even basketball is starting to not have such a dominant home postseason record.)

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Sometimes you just let a team be and don't mess with the chemistry, I think Cespedes presence was more important than his bat. The A's were 66-41 on July 30th, they finished 88-74 that is a 22-33 record after the trade. That is a disaster.

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Baseball teams play 162 games. It's not like a 7-game series is much better in assessing a team's worth than a 5-game series.

Plus, I think teams in MLB, NBA, and NHL are steering away from "Just win the game no matter what" and going towards a "Stay competitive, stay in the thick of it, and ramp up the intensity in the latter half of the season" mentality. Just about every sport is getting broken down into specialties (such as having a 7th, an 8th, and a 9th inning pitcher.....winning a penalty-killing faceoff and getting off the ice....3rd-down passing RB...etc.) and teams are saving their star and better players for the second half of the season. We've seen the Tigers kind of dog-it during the regular season the last couple years. They're putting so much money into these players and they're deathly afraid of burning them out over the season or putting them at risk for injury in the 30th game of a 82- or 162-game schedule.

Baseball has basically become a "Play 5 months of .500 ball and have that one really good month" season. Basically, go 65-65 for the bulk of the season, wait for that one 25-5 stretch (or close to those numbers), and that most likely gets you in.

Teams are resigned to the fact the playoffs are pretty much a crap-shoot now. Instead of burning yourself out trying to get the top seed in the postseason, save your efforts for the latter half of the season and put yourself in the best position to succeed in the playoffs. Outside of basketball, home postseason games don't mean what they used to. (And even basketball is starting to not have such a dominant home postseason record.)

This is all true. Especially the part about the Tigers; they did the same thing this year as they did in 2012, more-or-less, and got the same results.

Nonetheless, it devalues the whole meaning of the 162 games and, surely, you could see why I find this disappointing. The NHL and NBA devalued their regular seasons a long time ago (especially the latter). The NFL is subject to randomness, but that's unavoidable; you can't contest a playoff series between NFL teams, obviously. The MLB slays me on this because their randomness is self-inflicted; at least, the best-of-5 opening round plays a large role in that self-infliction. It's just so unnecessary. The Atlanta Braves won 100+ games five times in a seven year stretch and only had one pennant to show for it (and a subsequent World Series sweep). Frankly, that sucks.

I remember Karl Ravech on BBTN after a Yankees/Tigers game in August 2012. He asked the panel a question that was something along the lines of "Are the Yankees built to succeed in October, or only built for 162 games?". Only when I really started to think about that question a few months ago did I realize how ridiculous it sounds that being built for the 162, in that case, is the bad one. It's much better to be built to succeed over three small sample sizes over the course of three weeks in October. When broken down like this, I feel like that's the logic of an insane person.

--

All that said, I feel like I'm veering way off the topic and more towards something that might belong in the realignment thread. Furthermore, dislike it as a I may, my posts are really out of line with the spirit of a postseason thread. With that in mind, I'm cutting off my end of this discussion in this thread. I'd love to discuss this elsewhere on the site or on Twitter if there's any interest.

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edit: Aww I was happy for the Royals, but the shot of sad Adam Dunn made me sad. His first career playoff game and he didn't even get in.

The man made somewhere around $10 million over the course of his career. With that kind of jack, I could live with the disappointment.

Why is Beane not gone yet ? The Cespedes trade should have sealed his doom. And then they donĀ“t use Dunn, how crappy can this whole thing get ?

I have to admit, when I heard of the Cespedes deal, I thought, "Oh, that's a bad move." Somehow, I just knew Beane had screwed up. But he's damned if he does, damned if he doesn't. Say what you want about his strategies and tactics, playoff outcomes or what have you, the A's are a perennial contender because of them. And I'd rather be the Atlanta Braves of the American League, always getting to the playoffs and losing than not getting there at all.

Who cares about last night's game Derek Jeter wasn't even in it

You owe me a keyboard.

Oh... and one other thing.

LET'S GO BUCS.

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Swaggy

Betcha he'd regret doing that had Oakland won the ballgame.

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If he'd done it against the Cardinals it'd be an affront to the game of baseball.

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If he'd done it against the Cardinals it'd be an affront to the game of baseball.

It's cute how hung up on the Cardinals you are. :)

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The hell is going on? Some of these camera angles are bizarre. I don't want to feel like I'm being given a tour of PNC park during the game, just give me a CF angle and let me watch.

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