Nov 21

Open Thread #3, Winter 2015

Beware the Jabberwock rumor mill, my son!

On a recent conference call, Friedman said he doesn’t yet know what his payroll will be in 2016, but that much of what his group is focused on might not dominate Twitter in the coming months. Then again, Friedman is never one to quash a bad rumor if it can help his cause, so the Dodgers figure to get dragged into plenty of rumor mills they’re not actually attending once again.

That is Mark Saxon of ESPN. This part will not appease package, I’m afraid. Saxon suggests that the Dodgers will be aggressive going after second-tier free agents and dumping older expensive guys:

the Dodgers certainly aren’t giving off the signal that they’re going to be at the head of the line with the biggest check this time around. In fact, they didn’t do that last year under Friedman either.


“We’re going to do everything we can to maintain a 90-plus-win team with a really good chance of winning the [National League] West and a chance to win the World Series, while also doing everything we can to get younger. It doesn’t happen overnight,” Friedman said.

Nov 14

Open Thread #2, Winter 2015

I’m calling it winter. The wind is howling through my windows this morning and I needed two blankets last night.

Next month MLB’s Winter Meetings take place. After observing the just-concluded GM meetings, here are Jerry Crasnick of ESPN’s thoughts about what to watch for at the upcoming gathering:

  1. How active will the trade market be?
  2. How serious are the Cincinnati Reds about making trades?
  3. What do the Detroit Tigers need to do to become relevant in the AL Central again?
  4. How can new team president Mark Shapiro and interim GM Tony LaCava plug the pitching holes in Toronto?
  5. How do the St. Louis Cardinals move on from the loss of Lance Lynn to Tommy John surgery?

Here is a post from ESPN with upcoming important dates in the offseason and a bunch of links from their writers to stories of free agency, offseason storylines and trades already made.

Nov 04

Open Thread #1, Fall 2015

On November 4, 1922 Howard Carter opened King Tut’s tomb in Egypt

On November 4, 1956 Soviet tanks rolled into Hungary and Budapest

On November 4, 1979 Iranian students stormed the US Embassy in Teheran

On November 4, 1995 Yitzhak Rabin was assassinated in Tel Aviv

On November 4, 2001 the Diamondback’s Luis Gonzalez blooped a single into left field off Mariano Rivera in the ninth inning of Game Seven to defeat the Yankees for the World Series Championship

On November 4, 2008 Barack Obama was elected as America’s first black President

And on November 4, 1950 I came forth unto the world, naked and screaming

Nov 01

World Series Game Five, 2015

Here we go. Can the Mets stave off expulsion from the Series or will they succumb to the Royals and the incessant hitting machine that is their lineup?

Royals at Mets, 5:00PM PT, TV: Fox

The pitchers from Game One are matched up again. Edinson Volquez returns from attending his father’s funeral in the Dominican Republic to face Matt Harvey, who took the loss the first time these two righthanders met last week.

If you think the Royals are the latest edition of The Comeback Kids, you’re right: “Kansas City has now won six games this postseason after trailing by multiple runs.”

Oct 31

World Series Game Four, 2015

Royals at Mets, 5:00PM PT, TV: Fox

(Insert pro forma rant about World Series games played at night in the Northeast)

Why can’t MLB at least schedule weekend World Series games during the day so the average eight, nine or ten-year old can watch them through the end of the game? Yeah, yeah, college football. Yeah, yeah, the NFL. Competing with those entities and expecting to win is done, guys. That ship has sailed. But real baseball fans are going to watch the Series, not Texas-San Antonio v. North Texas.

On to tonight’s game. The Mets send rookie lefthander Steven Matz to the hill to face Tall Chris Young, who pitched three shutout innings of relief in the fourteen-inning Game One. If the Mets win the Series is tied, if the Royals win they’ve got a 3-1 edge.

Oct 30

World Series Game Three, 2015

Royals at Mets, 5:00PM PT, TV: Fox

Noah Syndergaard tries to stop the Royals and prevent them from taking a nearly-insurmountable three-zip lead and Yordano Ventura tries to throttle the Mets yet again in this Series. Syndergaard has made two starts in the postseason and pitched an inning of relief in the NLDS, running up a 1-1 record with a 2.77 ERA in 13 innings. Ventura has made four starts already in the postseason, going 0-1 with a 5.09 ERA. His first start contributed heavily to that high ERA, however: he went only 2 innings and gave up 4 hits and 3 runs.

Here’s an interesting statistic: In the NLDS and NLCS, Mets pitchers struck out 91 batters in 80 innings; they’ve only struck out 10 Royals in 21 1/3 innings in the World Series.

Oct 28

World Series Game Two, 2015

Mets at Royals, 5:00PM PT, TV: Fox

Buzz cut wearers need not apply to this game, not with the Mets’ curly-haired Jacob deGrom going against the Royals’ dreadlocked Johnny Cueto. deGrom has won all three of his playoff starts this postseason, while Cueto has had a mixed performance, winning one and losing one of his three starts in October.

Both bullpens might be in a bit of disarray after last night’s 14-inning marathon.

Oct 27

World Series Game One, 2015

New Dodgers thread above.

Mets at Royals, 5:00PM PT, TV: Fox

What we know is that one of these teams is going to break a really long World Series victory drought (even longer than the Dodgers’). The Royals last won in 1985 and the Mets in 1986.

Two righthanders go against one another: Matt Harvey for the Mets and Edinson Volquez for the Royals. Harvey’s made two postseason starts and been good in both (2-0, 2.84 ERA, 4 BB, 16 Ks in 12 2/3 innings). Volquez has also made three postseason starts. He lost a game in the ALDS to the Astros and split two in the ALCS with the Jays. His cumulative stats in this postseason are 1-2, 4.32 ERA, 12 BB and 15 Ks in 16 2/3 innings.

Oct 27

Dodgers’ offseason notes, Part II

No new hire to replace Mattingly yet. I suspect (hope?) the Dodgers won’t step on the World Series by announcing a new manager in the midst of the games. Remember 2007 when Scott Boras announced that Alex Rodriguez, his client, was going to opt out of his contract with the Yankees in the middle of Game Four?

Should the Dodgers keep Puig? Will they sign Greinke? Can Pederson find a hitting stroke? Who’s gonna play second base? Will Ryu, McCarthy and possibly Arroyo recover? Can Alex Wood become an effective pitcher? Will Bolsinger improve?

Questions, questions, questions.

Oct 23

ALCS Game Six, 2015

If the Royals win they move on to the World Series against the Mets; if the Jays win they force a Game Seven tomorrow.

Blue Jays at Royals, 5:00PM PT, TV: FS1

The Jays ask David Price to win the most critical game yet in a week of them; in Game Two he was very good until the seventh inning when the wheels came off. The Royals counter with Yordano Ventura, who started Game Two against Price and gave up three runs in 5 1/3 innings and didn’t figure into the decision.