ALCS Day One, 2014

Royals at Orioles, 2:00PM HST/5:00PM PT, TV: TBS

We have all read this a lot: “Baltimore hasn’t reached the Fall Classic since 1983; Kansas City last made it to the playoffs in 1985.” (Trivia: who did Baltimore play in 1983? Who did the Royals play? What were the results?)

That 1983 Series was broadcast on ABC. The announcers? Al Michaels, Howard Cosell and Earl Weaver, who had retired as manager of the Os after the 1982 season.

In 1985 ABC had the Series again, but Cosell was removed from the broadcast team because his recent book had criticized everybody he’d ever worked with. In his place was Tim McCarver, making his first World Series broadcasting appearance.

To today’s game, then. The Orioles start Chris Tillman, who was 13-6 with a 3.34 ERA during the regular season and 1-0 with a 3.60 ERA in the ALDS against the Tigers. He went five innings in that game, giving up 2 runs on 4 hits and striking out 6. The Royals go with James Shields, 14-8 with a 3.21 ERA in the regular season and 1-0 with a 3.00 ERA in the ALDS against the Angels. He went six innings, giving up 2 runs on 6 hits and striking out 6. Both teams have excellent bullpens and their managers are unafraid to use them.

The conventional narrative for this series seems to be “Royals run, Orioles bash.” We’ll see.

31 thoughts on “ALCS Day One, 2014

  1. The Cubs have top prospects at third and shortstop ready for 2015 and depending on where the Dodgers believe Seager will play could trade Puig for one of them instead of signing Ramirez. That would make them younger and cut payroll.

    San Diego and Boston have top prospect catchers ready for 2015 and if Puig is used to acquire one of them, Ramirez might get an offer from the Dodgers again depending on where they think Seager will wind up.

    I think Miami would be the best place for Puig to play. He would thrive more in Maimi than he would in Oakland, Boston, Seattle and I think the Dodgers would be wiser if they were to trade Gonzales to San Diego instead of Puig and open a place for Ramirez to play at first. Gonzales for Austin Hedges (see below)

    I still would like to see Puig traded to Miami for Jose Fernandez even though Fernandez will not be ready to pitch before July 2015. Miami’s top three prospects are pitchers so they might let Fernandez go plus I think they would like to have Guerrero to play second if additional players were needed from the Dodgers to make that deal.

    Austin Hedges–Padres
    Position: C
    Age: 22, DOB: 08/18/1992
    Scouting grades: Hit: 50 | Power: 50 | Run: 40 | Arm: 65 | Field: 65 | Overall: 60

    Kris Bryant–Cubs
    Position: 3B
    Age: 22, DOB: 01/04/1992
    Scouting grades: Hit: 55 | Power: 75 | Run: 40 | Arm: 60 | Field: 50 | Overall: 70

    Addison Russell–Cubs
    Position: SS
    Age: 20, DOB: 01/23/1994
    Scouting grades: Hit: 60 | Power: 60 | Run: 55 | Arm: 60 | Field: 55 | Overall: 65

    • I like the thought and speculation about trades. Hard to imagine trading someone like Agon but he would be relatively easy to replace defensively. San Diego is desperate for power, I wonder if they’d take Ethier or Crawford and Mucho Dinero (he can play any position)?

    • Hard to imagine Puig being traded for a couple of prospects. Maybe for a whole farm system. Trading for a rehabbing pitcher who can’t help you until at least the middle of next season doesn’t seem like a likely move either. You have a lot of faith in Joc, and I have high hopes as well, but moving a guy like Puig based on that doesn’t sound like Ned. Now, moving Ned on the other hand…

        • Ha! Good one, but then why would you expect Marlins to take him for Fernandez if he throws to the wrong base? This is a fellow with an average salary of $6m under control until 2018. He could play half as well as he has going forward and still be more than worth it.

          • Puig would fill empty seats in Miami and Fernandez costs less than Puig. Miami will probably lose Stanton after 2015 and if he is a free agent, the Dodgers have a great chance of signing him for 2016.

          • Puig is younger than Stanton and has huge upside potential. I’ll stick with a 23-year-old Puig.

            Trading him might be the equivalent of trading Pedro Martinez because he was too skinny.

    • Puig is a bargain at the price, and not going anywhere. The youthful Padres would not want an aging Gonz├ílez back, and couldn’t afford to pay for him even if they did. He has value to the Dodgers, but not to them.

    • Why in the name of Mickey Mantle would you want to trade Puig? He’s a multi-talented player who’s still learning the game, and he’s already got more skill than a whole lot of guys his age plus 1 1/2 years of big league experience.

      • His name is now being bandied about with possible teams including cubs, A’s, Redsox’ so why not ID some of their players that be interesting?

        Link, you might be too emotionally attached to Puig to be objective on trading him.

        • No, I don’t think I’m emotionally attached. But I think he’s the most talented position-player prospect the Dodgers have brought up since Adrian Beltre back in 1998. I see no reason to trade him. We have other pieces we could move (Ethier? Crawford?) and a lot of cash with which to buy new players.

  2. I second Bob’s notion of the “emptiness”…. as it pertains to the remainder of this season.
    On a different topic here….
    Couple of nights ago on the ESPN radio, there was some guy talking Dodgers / Angels, and what each team may do in the off season. When asked if the Dodgers just need a few more “grinders” in order to become a more feisty/better playoff team, this guy replied, “No. The Dodgers already have ‘grinder’ guys like Justin Turner. They don’t need any more.”
    I had to laugh because…..
    NEWSFLASH, Dude. ­čÖé – Kobe Bryant is a ‘grinder’ … Jerry Rice was a ‘grinder’ ….
    Michael Jordan was a ‘grinder’ …. Peyton Manning is a ‘grinder’……
    Talent + Exceptional Work Ethic + Off The Charts Competitiveness = Greatness.

    So, I was just floored that a guy can find his way on to the airwaves and be that ignorant. :-/

      • I would call Turner a grinder. I would class a grinder as someone who has to appear to fight really hard to do things well with a lot of grit and determination , where the names you mentioned above seem to have the natural talent to make things look easy to the spectators.

        • Not understanding this grinder business. Justin was an average bench player who had a good year. Looked pretty effortless to me or, rather, he probably looked just the same when he had poorer results.

  3. Naggying emptiness watching the ALCS with the realization that our Bums are not playing anymore. Can’t imagine that watching the NLCS. Go O’s! These Royals seem like one of those teams of destiny.

    • Likely to be the most unwatchable NLCS in history. For my part, I don’t expect to see a single pitch of it or the Series. I regret I didn’t book my flight to Buenos Aires sooner.

  4. What kind of contract does Hanley reasonably expect to receive, given the good and the bad of his record? I don’t know what sweet words his agent is whispering in his ear, but if it’s anything more than 4 Years, $60MM, he’d be a fool to believe it. Now if I were a GM, I think I’d try this tack with him: 1 year, $17MM with 3 one year club options for $18MM, $20MM, and $20MM. It holds out the promise of $75MM if he’s productive, but protects the club if he isn’t…

    • I’d like Hanley to stay, but I expect he’ll go somewhere that he can transition into being a DH.

    • Hard for me to imagine Hanley signing such a contract at age 30. He’s probably looking for a five year at $90 at the very least and could easily get something close to that from an AL club. By comparison Dre signed a five year contract for $95 at age 30. Overpaid, but shows you what GMs are capable of.

      • Given that he’s injury prone, and brings dubious defense to the most important position, it’s unimaginable that the Dodgers would sign him to the type of contract that an AL team can offer him. Another good reason for dumping the DH.

  5. Fillies and Cards, IIRC. O’s won, but for the life of me can’t remember who won in ’85. I do remember that it went at least 6 games and there were some weird things that happened. Meltdown by a pitcher?.