Tag Archives: MLB Blogs

THE DELUSIONAL YANKEES AND ALBERT EINSTEIN

"The definition of insanity is when  you do the same thing over and over again and expect a different result"

Albert Einstein

It's becoming an almost arduous task to read our local New York papers these days.image Before the All Star Game, they talked about the "crucial stretch" of games before the break against sub .500 teams that would put together a run and put the team in serious contention. That didn't happen and the Yankees are back where they've been all year at .500.

Now, the talk turns to yet another set of "crucial series" against the Red Sox, Orioles, and Giants. And how A-Rod is asking for and is being given a chance to play first base again - and Nathan Evoldi is being given yet another chance to prove himself as a starter next Tuesday against the Orioles......and blah blah blah........

Like I'm supposed to get excited about all this wishful thinking as a Yankee fan?

I don't think so. I'll tell you what would get me excited though......

And that's if the front office could get a grip on reality by acknowledging that the 2016 Yankees are at best a mediocre and (still) very old team with little or no chance of making the playoffs this season.

image

And stop treating me like a little kid telling me, "Don't worry son, everything's gonna be all right"......

Because it isn't gonna be all right......

Continue reading

“THE FASTER THEY COME IN, THE FASTER THEY GO OUT”

Those are the words my high school baseball coach used to say when he tried to get me to use breaking balls more often against power hitters. I didn’t buy into it preferring power vs. power and let the chips fall where they may. Which in a way is what we’re seeing in the game today.

image

 

The game of baseball today at its highest level is all about power. the talk in baseball after the All Star Game, and especially after Giancarlo Stanton’s Home Run Derby explosion (video), is this……..what’s up with all the home runs this year? 

A degree of panic is setting in as once again MLB has to answer the question yet again – do we have a bunch of juiced up players in the game today?

Commissioner Rob Manfred answered the question while in San Diego this way….”We think it has to do with the way pitchers pitch and the way hitters are being taught to play the game. You’ve seen some unusual developments in terms of home run hitters being up in the lineup to get them more at-bats. So we think it has more to do with the game this time around, because we’re comfortable we’re doing everything we can on the performance-enhancing drugs front.”

Typical spin you might expect from the man hired by the owners who like to see the “asses in the seats” that home runs bring as George Steinbrenner liked to say……except for one thing……

In this case, he’s probably right and here’s why……

Continue reading

PARITY BE DAMNED – MLB HAS IT RIGHT

Parity is something discussed incessessantly in professional sports. How can you make things “even” between competing teams. This discussion explains from the quintessential baseball movie “Moneyball”

imageIn 2012, Major League Baseball expanded it’s number of teams making the playoffs from 8 to 10. This resulted in each of the thirty teams having a one in three chance of securing a spot in the postseason.

At the same time, the National Football league allows 12 of its 32 teams in the playoffs. This results in 37.5% of the teams making the cut, or three out of every eight teams. More teams get in than in baseball, but not nearly as many as in the parity driven NBA……

If you play in the National Basketball Assosciation, your team has an astounding one out of two chances to be in the postseason and maybe that explains why they drag on for two months.image

 

Baseball has it about right and any further moves to add more teams into the mix will only serve to water the playoffs down further by creating superficial fan interest in teams that are simply not very good to begin with.

In other words, don’t fix something that ain’t broke………..and besides……this format is thriving……

Continue reading

The Ups And Downs Of A Basebal Season

In the half century I’ve been following baseball, I’ve never ceased to be amazed by the ups and downs of a l-o-n- g baseball season. Through 81 games in the NBA, 16 in the NFL, nothing compares to the stretch of 162 games played over six months.

Some would say that’s exactly why I don’t follow baseball – the season is too long and the games are even longer. Well to each his own I guess, but let the naysayers be reminded that when you sit down for a 1:00 game in the NFL – that game takes longer to play than the average (under 3 hours now) ballgame.

And don’t even talk to me about about the last two minutes of a NBA game!

But we’re not talking about that. imageWe’re talking about the ups and downs of a baseball season and how that lends itself to continued fan interest over a season. Open a NFL season at 0-5 and you’re done – prepare for the draft and for ESPN solemnly admitting that it made a mistake in scheduling you for the 12th game of the season on Sunday night.

So what are these ups and downs we’ve witnessed so far at the halfway point in the 2016 season and what might be coming in the second half as baseball accelerates to the playoffs and an eventual World Series title……

Continue reading

REFLECTIONS ON BASEBALL – A YEAR’S RECAP

Over the last year or so, I’ve managed to write nearly 250 pieces – some good, some not so good. Some widely read, some not read at all.

I’ve noticed that the blog continues to draw interest from countries like Brazil, South Korea, Japan, Spain, and Italy

I’ve noticed too that there is a relationship between what I think is a good column and the higher number of hits it gets from the major search engines.

Instead of reblogging those more popular columns, I thought I’d list them here in case you missed them.

******   Mental Illness And Major League Baseball  11/15/2015

******  Bryce Harper – Another Baseball Brat  9/28/2015

******  Ron Luciano – Baseball’s Most Flamboyant Umpire  2/10/2016

****** It’s All About Location Location …..  7/15/2015

Thanks for your continued readership.shutterstock_71439202

Steve         scontursi@yahoo.com

 

BITS AND PIECES AT THE HALFWAY MARK………

If the 2016 season is proving anything, it’s that the already risen cream is staying at the top. The Orioles, Cubs, Rangers  and Nationals have led their divisions virtually wire to wire and show no signs of letting up. image
At the same time, both the Indians, who haven’t lost since the Cavs and LeBraun won their championship, and the Giants put together a strong run over the last month to solidify their hold at the top. 
 

Clayton Kershaw imageis even better than ever and is making it look way too easy, even though we know it’s not. Jake Arietta is proving that last year was not a fluke and leads the Cub’s staff along with Jon Lester who is (now) really liking the National League which aligns itself nicely with his pitching repertoire. 

 Jose Altuve is assembling a MVP season and imageMiguel Cabrera continues to be a hitting machine. Daniel Murphy has taken his playoff run last year for the Mets and played it forward for the Nationals. David Ortiz has to be pleasantly surprising even himself and wondering if he should make an announcement similar to Mark Twain’s “The reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated”…………while Xander Bogaerts and Manny Machado have moved into an elite spot among players today.

So, is there any reason why we should watch and pay attention to the Leader Boards?

Continue reading

TERRY COLLINS: “I’M TIRED OF TALKING ABOUT IT”

 These were the words spoken by the beleaguered manager of the Mets at the press conference held prior to the start of the series against the Nationals. imageAt best, you could say he was just a little cranky that morning. At worse, he’s reached the point where he’s fed up with the entire season his team is having.

He was talking about injuries and spinning his frustration that he “can’t get to even enjoy a victory anymore” without having to give daily reports on who’s hurt and who’s not and who’s playing and who’s not – and why……why, why, why.

Needless to say, his frustration/anger has been punctuated by the fact that his team is reeling. Following two straight losses to the Nats in which his team’s two best (Syndergaard and Harvey) took a thumping, the Mets now rest a mere four games over .500 in third place behind the surprising Marlins.image

Having said that, Terry Collins has spent his entire life in baseball and he knows that what goes down usually comes up and that there are twists and turns over the long haul of a season that no one can predict, or in some cases even manage. He knows too that this is especially true with injuries.

All of which makes his emotional outburst even more telling. Because more and more it’s becoming clear that the Mets as an organization are dysfunctional, indecisive, and one that often acts in ways that cause confusion among the players who must produce wins on the field………………..

Continue reading

REYES AND THE METS CHEAPENED BRAND

The other 29 teams weren’t exactly knocking down the door of Jose Reyes’s Long Island home, even though he could have been had for theimage major league minimum while Colorado picks up the rest of the $40 million owed to him. No, it was Sandy Alderson and the Mets who came calling and sat down with him (according to legend by now) for a serious one hour “talk” in which they (according to the Mets) laid down the law as to what their expectations of him are off the field.

Really? They have to tell a 34 year old man how to behave…….or else…..what? This is the state of the Mets cheapened brand as we sit here today.

And it gets darker and uglier even than that………

Continue reading

BRONX CLOSEOUT SALE – EVERYTHING MUST GO

For nearly all teams, but especially the team that George Steinbrenner built, any season that does not result in (at least) a playoff imageberth is a losing season – and there’s no two ways about it.

For the Yankees, assuming 90 wins as a minimum wild card qualifier, this means they would need to finish the season 21 games over .500 (55-36, .655winning percentage). Considering that they haven’t been able to stay even one game over .500 for the past two months, this imageis about as likely to happen as Mexico chipping in to help build the border fence.

Simply put, the Yankees are not a very good team this year. They are not even a good team. They are what they are – a pedestrian .500 team that’s destined to play out the season with little or no fanfare.

To find a parallel Yankees team, you have to go all the way back to the late 1960’s and early 70’s. Put in perspective then, giving up the season with an eye to the future is something that is bound to be met with resistance by Hal Steinbrenner who remains the standard bearer for his father, whether he likes it or not.

Nevertheless, a For Sale sign needs to be placed in full view of everyone and the Yankees must (reluctantly but wisely) begin to dismantle the current team as best they can…….now…..not later….

The problem is this though……..

Continue reading

EXCUSE ME – JOSE REYES?????

What are the Mets thinking? Lightning in a bottle like last year with Cespedes?image Don’t think so……how about getting a bit more creative than that, Sandy. Oh, I know you can get him cheap on the dime paying him only the minimum while Toronto picks up the tab for the rest. Consider the mug shot above….a face of your team?

How about spending (I know I said a swear word in Metland) some of the millions you are saving on David Wright’s salary ($25 million) being paid by insurance this year?

The Met fan base deserves more……