Gary

2015 MLB Season Thread with Postseason Discussion

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It was a good day. I'm glad the Texas Rangers are back in the postseason. Now, they are going to do what it takes to get back to the World Series after their 2011 crushing loss.

Here we go again...

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The losing fan bases between St Louis-Chicago-Pittsburgh are going to have angry winters yes?

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It's fitting that Josh Hamilton knocked the Angels out of the playoffs.

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Playoff Picks

ALWC

Yankees over Astros

NLWC

Cubs over Pirates

ALDS

Royals over Yankees 3-1

Rangers over Blue Jays 3-2

NLDS

Cardinals over Cubs 3-2

Dodgers over Mets 3-1

ALCS

Royals over Rangers 4-1

NLCS

Cardinals over Dodgers 4-2

World Series

Cardinals over Royals 4-2

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It's fitting that Josh Hamilton knocked the Angels out of the playoffs.

More fitting if he'd quit on the Rangers, letting the Angels knock them out instead.

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Buerlhe. Woof. I love the guy, one of my favourite pitchers but putting him in on 2 days rest just to get him to 200 in a game that matters was beyond dumb.

Go Jays in the post season, obviously, and don't be dumb Gibbons.

It wasn't that dumb. I think the Jays pretty much knew they weren't after 1st after Saturday's loss. Just a nice thing to do in a meaningless game.

If the Jays think they're as good as I know they are. home field, will not matter.

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Go Houston! Go Pittsburgh!

Why? Because I don't want to see the Evil Empire reborn and I sure as hell don't want the world to end after the Cubs win it all (which would happen.. the Cubs are supposed to fail. Remember, the only sure things are death, taxes and the Cubs losing).

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My own personal top ten of the best managers available in baseball going purely by resume.

This is not a power ranking who I would hire, just more of a way to give people an idea of exactly who's out there if your manager has gotten fired, is on the hot seat, or think he should be fired. Anyone 65 or older was left off this list as well as anyone with health reasons that would potentially prevent them from being hired. (ie. Kirk Gibson)

1. Ron Gardenhire

2. Jim Tracy

3. Ron Washington

4. Jerry Manuel

5. Ozzie Guillen (if you're feeling crazy)

6. Eric Wedge

7. Willie Randolph

8. Bob Brenly

9. Bud Black

10. Ron Roenicke

If none of those names fancy you, I'd say you're probably looking at a rookie manager.

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It's a crime that [the Pirates] might miss the playoffs entirely.

I hate this sentiment. The wild card game is part the playoffs.

And the team the Pirates are going to play has the third best record in all of baseball with a win total that would top every other division in baseball and still would've missed the playoffs entirely in the old system. If there wasn't a Wild Card game, the Cubs wouldn't make any extra game because of geography and league.

What's your point?

(I mean, I know what your point is. But in regard to this year's situation specifically, what's your point?)

(1) I had problems with the construction of the three division format/wild card format combined with the unbalanced schedules, too. (2) I'd prefer a straight format where the teams go into the playoffs seeded directly by record. If the one-off atrocity must exist, it should be the Mets and Dodgers playing in that game. But I think that strays too much into a different discussion entirely. Without research (though it's me; I probably already know), surely this is the first time such a circumstance has happened since 1995; the three best records in one league all being in one division. To that end, that's extremely flukish, and for the Cubs or Pirates, it's just some treacherously awful luck, but you know what? A week ago, the Pirates and Cubs faced off at Wrigley, and that series meant almost nothing, and I found that to be a baseball tragedy. Four years ago, that series means the world to both teams, and all it really was was a "ok, so Cole and Arrieta are more likely to face each other there instead of here; ok" series. I didn't enjoy that development.

So, anyway, to answer your question - 2015 looks like a once-in-20-years fluke. Weird stuff happens sometimes. If the Pirates finish with 98 wins and the Cubs 97, and the Cubbies missed out because of division, it would've been a rough pill to swallow, but I'd be just a bit more ok with that happening than a scenario where a team can finish with the second best record in the entire sport, and losing a one-off could keep them out of the playoffs. At the same time, I'm completely rooting for that to happen because I enjoy seeing (3) this playoff system produce ridiculous results that further justify my venom for it; that atrocious World Series matchup we had a year ago isn't enough to satiate me.

1. The unbalanced schedule doesn't make that big of a deal. source

2a. Ranking by record is fine, but there's nothing wrong with rewarding those who won their division. Yeah, it's a bummer the Cubs and Pirates happened to be in the same division as the Cardinals, but that happens.

2b. For the best team to finish with the best record 90% percent of the time, we'd need a 10,000 game season and I don't think daily tripleheaders are going to happen. source

3. It seems to me you long for the days pre-1969 when there was just a single table and the pennant winner went straight to the World Series. No muss, no fuss. Bring on the tripleheaders, I guess.

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Go Blue Jays. Go Pirates and Mets. Go Astros, Rangers and Royals. Whatever Dodgers and Cardinals. Boo Yankees. Double boo Cubs.

It should be a really exciting playoff this year with so many new faces (and I still consider the Royals and Pirates new faces even though they've been in the last year and two years respectively). I could see the Blue Jays barnstorming the playoffs, but I could also see Price losing game 1 by a score of 2-1 and them getting swept. It's a crazy time of year.

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It's a crime that [the Pirates] might miss the playoffs entirely.

I hate this sentiment. The wild card game is part the playoffs.

And the team the Pirates are going to play has the third best record in all of baseball with a win total that would top every other division in baseball and still would've missed the playoffs entirely in the old system. If there wasn't a Wild Card game, the Cubs wouldn't make any extra game because of geography and league.

What's your point?

(I mean, I know what your point is. But in regard to this year's situation specifically, what's your point?)

(1) I had problems with the construction of the three division format/wild card format combined with the unbalanced schedules, too. (2) I'd prefer a straight format where the teams go into the playoffs seeded directly by record. If the one-off atrocity must exist, it should be the Mets and Dodgers playing in that game. But I think that strays too much into a different discussion entirely. Without research (though it's me; I probably already know), surely this is the first time such a circumstance has happened since 1995; the three best records in one league all being in one division. To that end, that's extremely flukish, and for the Cubs or Pirates, it's just some treacherously awful luck, but you know what? A week ago, the Pirates and Cubs faced off at Wrigley, and that series meant almost nothing, and I found that to be a baseball tragedy. Four years ago, that series means the world to both teams, and all it really was was a "ok, so Cole and Arrieta are more likely to face each other there instead of here; ok" series. I didn't enjoy that development.

So, anyway, to answer your question - 2015 looks like a once-in-20-years fluke. Weird stuff happens sometimes. If the Pirates finish with 98 wins and the Cubs 97, and the Cubbies missed out because of division, it would've been a rough pill to swallow, but I'd be just a bit more ok with that happening than a scenario where a team can finish with the second best record in the entire sport, and losing a one-off could keep them out of the playoffs. At the same time, I'm completely rooting for that to happen because I enjoy seeing (3) this playoff system produce ridiculous results that further justify my venom for it; that atrocious World Series matchup we had a year ago isn't enough to satiate me.

1. The unbalanced schedule doesn't make that big of a deal. source

2a. Ranking by record is fine, but there's nothing wrong with rewarding those who won their division. Yeah, it's a bummer the Cubs and Pirates happened to be in the same division as the Cardinals, but that happens.

2b. For the best team to finish with the best record 90% percent of the time, we'd need a 10,000 game season and I don't think daily tripleheaders are going to happen. source

3. It seems to me you long for the days pre-1969 when there was just a single table and the pennant winner went straight to the World Series. No muss, no fuss. Bring on the tripleheaders, I guess.

You know, everyone is always entitled their own opinion. That's fine. 2014 was the year I let myself rage against MLB's playoff system. I think everyone here gets it by now. It's part of the reason I've stayed out of this thread for most of the season. Last year was last year. I still find it atrocious but I don't let it bother me anymore; I've made my peace with it. Besides, the current system is the only reason the team I root for is still playing after yesterday, so I kinda have to be indirectly thankful for that this time around.

I'll disagree on one point, though, and it's the very first point, and I'll phrase it this way -- San Diego/Colorado in 2007, and Oakland/Kansas City in 2014. Those teams played a game before the divisional rounds began. The home team won both games, both coming back in extra innings with remarkable rallies after giving up the go-ahead runs in the top halves of the inning. Both teams then went on to sweep the divisional round series, and then the championship round series, before losing in the World Series.

In the record books, the Royals are considered to be the first team in MLB history to start a postseason 8-0. The Rockies aren't.

Can you honestly tell me that the Royals did anything different than what the Rockies did?

In all truth, I cannot legitimately consider the wild card game to be an honest-to-goodness playoff game, because it serves the exact same purpose that tiebreakers have served in the past (except, of course, that most of the time it's not even a game between two teams with identical records). Win the game, and go on to the divisional round. I watched all those Rockies games in 2007, and all those Royals games in 2014. To me, it would be intellectually dishonest to say Kansas City did something that Colorado didn't. For all intents and purposes, those were carbon copy playoff runs. It's for historical research purposes only (...and marketing; always marketing) that they are classified differently.

And I've felt this way about the wild card game ever since it was first implemented (very hastily) back in 2012. This has been the case for four years now. At this point, a retraction or a revision of my thoughts about it is never going to happen.

--

Besides all that, there has been an indirect positive in all of this for me, baseball-wise and beyond that. My focus was different this season. I focused more on the players than on the teams. A couple years ago, the Jays going on a torrid, unceasing run like the one they did would've irritated the hell out of me. This year, it really didn't bother me an ounce. I was able to get more satisfaction out of this season, and when I actually did get irritated, I channeled more masochism than anger to sort it all out. It was entertaining. Saw a bunch of games. Saw many positive and negative developments. Got to laugh at the Red Sox some more. Had the ability to talk with Mets fans on Twitter and watch those games as they had a wildly successful, if somewhat unexpected, regular season. It was all good! The regular season means as much as you want it to mean; you create your own level of importance that you attach and value that you gain from watching it.

AFAIK, the Blue Jays are the best team in baseball from 2015. Does it mean they're going to win the World Series this year? I'm saying they will (over Pittsburgh in 6; I'm going with that), but there's no guarantees, of course. They could get swept by Texas for all I know (...I expect the Jays to pulverize Texas, FWIW). Whole lot of middle ground, too. It will be entertaining. The quality of competition in this postseason looks better this season; there's going to be teams with 100, 98 or 97, 95, 93, 92, and 90 wins in there, and then the Rangers and either Yankees or Astros. New York is going to be an underdog in any playoff matchup they come across, if they can even get past Houston on Tuesday night. It will be different! New York Yankees - "Massive Underdogs". Has a weird ring to it, but it's one that I can get behind. Hope it all starts well on this end tomorrow night.

EDIT: Lol at coming across this just after my "figured I'd write 100 words; wrote closer to 1000" diatribe was finished. Wowzers.

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CQkbG6AXAAACqJ1.png

Best of luck in recovery and assistance, dude.

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Looks like Sabathia has checked himself into alcohol rehab. He plans to rejoin next year.

Edit: didn't see Kramerica posted that first. Got the alert from my MLB app.

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I guess the other poor performing teams are gutting it out with their managers so far.

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Year End Awards:

MVP:

American League: Mike Trout (2nd Donaldson, 3rd Keuchel, 4th Kiermaier, 5th Machado)
National League: Zack Greinke (2nd Arrieta, 3rd Harper, 4th Kershaw, 5th Goldschmidt)

Cy Young:
American League: Dallas Keuchel (2nd Gray, 3rd Betances, 4th Wade Davis, 5th Archer)
National League: Zack Greinke (2nd Arrieta, 3rd Kershaw, 4th Scherzer, 5th Lackey)

Rookie of the Year:

American League: Carson Smith
National League: Kris Bryant

Hank Aaron:

American League: Mike Trout (2nd Donaldson, 3rd Nelson Cruz)
National League: Bryce Harper (2nd Votto, 3rd Goldschmidt)

Fireman of the Year:

American League: Dellin Betances (2nd Wade Davis, 3rd O'Day)
National League: Jeurys Familia (2nd Chapman, 3rd Rosenthal)

Gold Gloves

American League

P Dallas Keuchel
C Salvador Perez
1B Mike Napoli
2B Ian Kinsler
3B Adrian Beltre
SS Andrew Romine
LF Eddie Rosario
CF Kevin Kiermaier
RF Kole Calhoun

National League

P Zack Greinke
C Wilson Ramos
1B Paul Goldschmidt
2B Dee Gordon
3B Nolan Arenado
SS Andrelton Simmons
LF Starling Marte
CF A.J. Pollock
RF Ender Inciarte

Silver Sluggers

American League

C Russell Martin
1B Chris Davis
2B Logan Forsythe
3B Josh Donaldson
SS Xander Bogaerts
LF Michael Brantley
CF Mike Trout
RF Nelson Cruz
DH Edwin Encarnacion

National League

P Madison Bumgarner
C Buster Posey
1B Joey Votto
2B Dee Gordon
3B Kris Bryant
SS Brandon Crawford
LF David Peralta
CF A.J. Pollack
RF Bryce Harper

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American League

P Dallas Keuchel

C Salvador Perez

1B Adam Lind

2B Ian Kinsler

3B Adrian Beltre

SS Kevin Kiermaier

LF Eddie Rosario

CF Kevin Pillar

RF Kole Calhoun

Lind is in the National League.

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Combination of me still thinking Milwaukee is in the AL and there being really no good picks in the AL this year, to the point where I would be tempted to vote nobody this year for AL Gold Glove at first base.

I gave it to Justin Smoak, but to say that anyone was deserving of it this year is an insult to what the award is about. Smoak was simply the least terrible of the bunch.

Edit: Upon further review I see Mike Napoli had a pretty solid season defensively split between Boston and Texas, so I've now given the award to him.

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Wouldn't Kiermaier get consideration for a Gold Glove in Center? He played in a 148 games there.

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He would and should.

I have him as the best defensive player in all of baseball, not just centerfield.

Typo on my part. What you get for trying to do three things at once.

Be interesting to see if he'll get it. All of every position listed I think AL Centerfield is the deepest. Lorenzo Cain, Leonys Martin and Kevin Pillar could all win the Gold Glove at that position without protest from me.

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Two things:

I'd put Arietta above Grinkie.

God I HATE awarding the MVP to a pitcher. I hope that doesn't happen (but it probably will).

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