Baseball’s Showcase or Fall Classic as it has been historically termed, comes to life beginning tomorrow night. After 162 regular season games and two playoff series, only two teams remain standing. The World Series is also, in many ways, baseball’s last stand before the NFL seizes the attention of sports fans until next February when the cycle renews itself and 30 teams arrive in Florida or Arizona with the sole purpose of being one of the two teams here in 2016.
For fans like myself, it usually doesn’t matter whose playing. But this year, it feels like Christmas Eve now because we can anticipate a series of gifts that may leave us gasping for breath – as was the case last year when the Royals took the Giants to the final out of the seventh game with a final score of 1-0.
The first gift I want to see opened is the contest between the Met strike out pitching and the put the ball in play Royals. Remember, the Royals don’t walk a lot – but they also don’t strike out a lot either. In fact, the Royals struck out the fewest number of times of any team in baseball ( beating the next closest team by almost 300 fewer whiffs).
The other gift I can’t wait to see opened is the one with the fans wrapped inside. These are two great baseball cities and the players are excited about performing in front of them. You may not realize it but Kansas City is an integral part of baseball history and their fans know it. The Monarchs were the vanguard team in the (then) Negro Leagues. And there is a must stop visit to the Negro Baseball Museum in Kansas City that is a must for all fans. And the Mets, of course, have New York City as their backdrop. And judging by the newspapers and the amount of ink being used around here, this is BIG!
Indeed, Christmas comes early for fans of baseball……….
Posted in 2015 Playoffs, America's Pastime, Baseball Blog, Baseball Blogs, baseball history, baseball playoffs, Consecutive World Championships, Fans, Jacob deGrom, Kansas City Royals, Matt Harvey, MLB, N.Y. Mets, New York Mets, Playoffs rotation, starting rotation, World Championships, World Series
Tagged 2015 Playoffs, baseball, Baseball Blogs, baseball history, Jacob degrom, Kansas City Royals, Matt Harvey, Mets, MLB, New York Mets, Terry Collins, World Championships, World Series
It all boils down to this……..if one game meant everything and your season was on the line…….which Met starter would you send out there (today!)?
We all know about the hype surrounding Matt Harvey…….some of it being his own hype……but really……is Matt Harvey really “MATT HARVEY” this year? He’s coming off arm surgery finding his way back again and Hall of Famer John Smoltz has relevant thoughts on that….but clearly the most dominant Mets starter these days is Jacob DeGrom.
Consistency counts. All other Met starters ( including Harvey) represent a crapshoot all or nothing result. When it’s good, it’s often great ( Syndegaard and Matz fall in here)…..but when it’s not you go home in October and it’s the old cry Met fans have been laboring under…..Wait till next year……
And that is why Terry Collins and the Mets coaches need to start now to insure that DeGrom is not only primed and ready for the playoffs – but also is in line to face every opponent in every series with playoff implications. Not an easy task by any means but it’s one that will not only affect the future of the Mets season but Terry Collins job as well………and it should be that way…….
Can you imagine the conundrum of ridicule from Met fans and the the N.Y. media if the team played in the American League and they had to field a DH every day from their regular roster of .150 hitters………
How do you explain a Cy Young winner of last year owning a 3-9 record this year while his team is 3-13 in games he’s started……….Did Cory Kluber wake-up one morning and forget how to pitch…….not likely but you have to wonder
Don’t you get the feeling that the Giants are just playing with the Dodgers until September rolls around…….
Based on the proven record of his betting on baseball, Pete Rose should never be allowed to have a formal association with Major League Baseball. But he should be elected to the numbers driven Hall Of Fame. His record of most career hits is not likely to be broken by another player in a era when high salaries negate the need to play the twenty years it would take to challenge this phenomenal stat.
Although I consider myself a fan of the Yankees, I have to admire the way Buck Showalter and the Baltimore Orioles play baseball day in and day out.
If you are wondering where the Minnesota Twins came from this year, look no further than the signing of Torri Hunter. Not only is he on target for 25 home runs and 90-100 RBI, he is also the go-to guy in the clubhouse. We might also be seeing a manager in training too……
Did you hear the Secret Service caught another man trying to scale the wall at the White House…….They had to tell him “I’m sorry Mr. President, you have another year and a half to go in your term”.
Phone lines are buzzing everywhere as we move towards the July 31 deadline. Who are the buyers and who are the sellers………Who is able to land the one or two guys that brings their team over the top. Who overpays and who robs the bank netting the under the radar player who makes it seem like a no-brainer to everyone else. Johnny Cueto isn’t that under the radar guy but he is certainly underrated. Someone needs to go get him……now!
And finally, Happy Birthday America!
Posted in Baseball, Baseball Blogs, baseball history, baseball stats, CINCINNATI Reds, Cleveland Indians, Minnesota Twins, New York Mets, New York Yankees, New York Yankees
Tagged gambling, Giants Dodgers, hall of fame, Johnny Cueto, Mets, New York Yankees, Pete Rose, torri Hunter, trade deadline
The mantra we hear so often from managers, coaches, and general managers is Pitching, Pitching, Pitching. You can never have enough of it……..and so it goes. The trouble is that pitchers seldom score runs that you need to win games. And therein lies the problem with the Mets rebuilding strategy to date. No matter how few runs their pitchers allow, it hardly matters if the team rarely scores more than that.
So while the Mets front office (actually all the credit should be given to Omar Minaya and not Sandy Alderson) has done a superb job of signing talented young arms and Met fans have staggered through five years of rebuilding pain – and while three of the five (Harvey, Matz, and Wheeler) have been literally in pain with arm surgeries…….we have to wonder now if their strategy of rebuilding with pitching is going to work over the long haul of a season….and even beyond as these young thoroughbreds work their way towards free agency during their prime.
So where (and when!) will Sandy Alderson get the bats this team desperately needs? He signed Curtis Granderson to a $80 million contract and although he’s one of nicest men in baseball with his commitment to charity in the N.Y. area – he hasn’t hit a lick plus he’s 35 years old. Same with Michael Cuddeyer. Travis D’naurd?…….there’s a reason why Toronto traded him…..he can’t stay on the field and he’s proving it right now. And then, there’s David Wright who turned into a singles hitter overnight while Alderson keeps pretending that he’ll be back in the lineup soon. This is why Met fans have a right to be downright angry.
Meanwhile, in Chicago a GM has taken a different approach to rebuilding the hapless Cubs. Jed Hoyer is amassing position players like slugger Kris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo, Soler, with more bats on the way. But except for the signing of John Lester – who may take forever to adjust to the National League – he’s pretty much ignored the pitching side of things.
Which strategy will ultimately work? My thinking is neither will work. What works is a balance between hitting and pitching. To understand this, look no further than the epitome of how a organization and team should (and can!) be constructed………the St. Louis Cardinals. Their team has a balance to it and the front office works hard to keep it that way. It’s easy to stack up one way or the other like the Mets and Cubbies have done. Now, we’ll see if they can dig their way out of the hole they’ve created for themselves. I guess one way to do it would be to engage in a slew of trades between themselves……………..
Posted in Baseball, Baseball Blogs, Chicago cubs, Jacob deGrom, Jed Hoyer, Matt Harvey, N.Y. Mets, New York Mets, pitching vs hitting, Sandy Alderson, St Louis Cardinals
Tagged Curtis Granderson, David Wright, Jed Hoyer, major league trades, Mets, Mets Staff, Michael Cuddeyer, New York Mets, Omar Minaya, pitching vs hitting, Sandy Alderson, Stephen Katz