Rays still up 1-0 over Orioles, two on for Baltimore in 7th, one out ... Wade Davis vs. Taylor Teagarden ... with that, let's talk some baseball.
Glad to hear you welcome the return of the egomaniacal sociopath Clemens to the big leagues; I hope you know that the sentiments expressed by you and your ESPN brethern are universally mocked among rank-and-file baseball fans...not that it matters on planet ESPN. Have a nice, deluded life.
So, let me understand here ... you don't want to see him pitch? You wouldn't want to see Ty Cobb or Pete Rose or Reggie Jackson play again?
Given that Halladay, Lee, Hamels and Kendrick (who has been pretty darn good lately) are pitching 16 of the Phillies 19 games, wouldn't that give them a leg up on the Brewers in the race to catch either the Cards or Dodgers for that last WC spot?
Definite leg up over the Brewers, in large part because they have an easier schedule the rest of the way. But Cards have 11 games I believe against the Cubs and Astros, so I still think St. Louis holds on.
Orioles take 2-1 lead, by the way ...
Make that nine games for the Cards against the Astros (6) and Cubs (3).
As a Nationals fan, why am I so scared of the Phillies. I think I want the Reds to finish ahead of the Nationals in the standing. I'm much rather face the Giants in round one then the Phillies....
I want to disagree with you, but if the Phillies do end up making, that means Hamels/Lee/Halladay/Kendrick remain red hot the rest of the way, so I understand the sentiment.
So these Phillies! Putting aside whether they can do it or not (never count out a team with Halladay, Lee and Hamels) - how does this change Amaro's calculations going forward? It looked like he was starting a contract dump/rebuild mode. What do you see him doing with the team in the offseason? Thanks!
I'm not sure they do a whole lot honestly, other than maybe sign a couple relievers and maybe a low-cost outfielder. Try and ride the Big 3 for one more year and hope Utley/Howard stay healthy. But I don't see them trading Lee.
Any chance Kris Medlen wins the NL Cy Young? What if he throws 3 perfect games between now and the end of the season?
OK, let's be realistic and say he wins three more starts and finishes 11-1 with 1.78 ERA and 135 innings or so. I don't think that's enough; there's never been a pitcher of that type to win. Relievers have won with fewer innings, but they have saves. So I think Medlen maybe gets some down-the-ballot support, but not enough first- and second-place votes to win.
Do run differentials make the Yankees the favorite to win their division?
We can throw out run differentials at this point. I think the remaining schedule makes the Yankees very slight favorites -- one more with Bos, Tam, Tor, Oak, at Min, at Tor, Bos.
Hi David,I think the National media have been all over of the place with Strasburg since he came up. Back in 2010, the media scrutinized every move and accused the Nats of staggering his start so he would only pitch home games. The Nationals were also accused last year of bringing him back early just so they could get more gate money. Based on this you would think the Nats would obviously keep him pitching throughout the playoffs, right? No question really, it just seems like the Nationals can?t win with the media...
Are you intrigued by the fact that everyone in the DC area is overwhelmingly in favor of Operation Shutdown and everyone outside the beltway is overwhelmingly against it? You would think it would be the other way around. We saw a big drop off with Lannan pitching last night...
Yes, I'm surprised Nationals fans seem OK with the decision. BTW, ESPN Insider did a piece the other days showing Strasburg's velocity was starting to drop. Considering he hadn't pitched all that well of late, he may have only been their No. 3 or 4 starter in the playoffs anyway.
David, I'm not sure which is more depressing: Watching the Yankees' current death spiral or reading Keith Law's analysis of the Yankees' future. At the same time, the 2000 team struggled through a horrendous September and squandered most of a huge lead, but still won the World Series...so I can take some comfort there. But it just feels like the pitching is about to collapse or all the position players are going to get hurt. If the Yankees were to win the AL East, what do you rate their chances of getting to the World Series?
I've looked at this before: Basically, September record means nothing on how a team performs in the postseason. Now, the last two years we have had hot teams win it all -- the Giants' rotation was absolutely phenomenal in September and carried that into the playoffs. Last year, of course, the Cardinals got hot. But basically, I don't pay a lot of attention to September record. I'd focus more on the health of your key pitchers, which in the Yankees' case may be a legit issues (CC, Pettitte, Nova).
I'm refuse to panic about the Brewers sweep of the Braves. Instead, I'm boldly looking ahead to the postseason. Who do you see in the Braves playoff rotation? Medlen, Hudson and Minor? Maholm as the 4th?
I'd make Medlen the No. 1 (for the one-game wild card), which would set up Hudson for the potential two starts in the Division Series. As for the two lefties, I think it depends on who you play. Not sure I'd want to throw two lefties against the Reds, who are predominately right-handed. But that means starting Hanson? Hmm ... well, yes, probably Minor and Maholm then. Wouldn't trust Hanson right now.
Someone needs to give Carlos Beltran some testosterone cream.
Hey Dave... Once my pathetic braves choke again this would be the right time to clean house... Chipper and Bourn will be gone... They should decline Hudson and McCann's option really clean house, of course all this should happen after Fredi is fired..
Somebody sounds a little worried ... the Braves will make it. But I'm still not sure that means Fredi keeps his job.
Turn on the auto update and come root for the Yanks. It will cleanse your soul.
Auto update turned on. Is that better for everyone?
You probably get darn few Royals questions this time of the year, but here goes: do they bring back Guthrie and/or Hochevar next year?
Yes, you are correct! I'd cut bait with Hochevar: 125 career starts now, 5.33 ERA. Doubt he'll ever be any good with this organization. Sometimes a guy needs a change of scenery and I'm sure a team like Cleveland or Houston might take a chance on him. Guthrie is a decent option at the right price, veteran guy who can fill innings. But they'll be a lot of interest in him. I suspect he'll get his pick of several opportunities.
Hey David, Buster Posey for MVP?
It's starting to look like that. I still have Posey, McCutchen and Braun pretty much neck-and-neck. If it's close, I have no problem giving it to the guy whose team makes the playoffs.
You've probably been asked what you think the Rangers WILL likely do with the Profar/Andrus/Kinsler situation, but WOULD you do if you were the GM? Personally, I'd try to move Andrus for a SP/OF to a team looking for a young SS to build around, and stick Profar at SS to start 2013.
I'm a big Andrus fan so would have a hard time trading him. Love that defense. I'd keep him at shortstop and move Profar to second base and Kinsler to the outfield. Or, if you think Profar can handle center field, move him there. The pitching staff doesn't actually worry me all that much. And I don't think Andrus brings back an ace anyway.
Proposed trade -- Phillies send Dom Brown, John Mayberry and Tyler Cloyd to Arizona for Justin Upton. Would it work? If the Phillies then went out and signed BJ Upton (who would reportedly love to play with his brother), the outfield and offense would certainly be improved.
Not even close. Mayberry is a platoon outfielder and Brown is a suspect prospect at this point.
With Football starting up, it seems as though some people have forgotten about Baseball. I understand that Baseball is in a good place and appeals to fans in ways other sports cannot, but with that being said what are some things MLB can do to increase its relevancy? I think one major thing is the time it takes to play (or watch) a game, in this modern tech world we live in people can?t devote 3-4 hours to one game?
Rays tie it up in the eighth ... Jennings walk, passed ball, steals third, Zobrist infield single. ... Chatters, what do you think? Baseball is more relevant than you think. Attendance will once again approach record highs, I see families and kids at games (which you really see much of at NFL/NBA games). Certainly NFL is king right now and has advantages (once a week, gambling, fantasy football, violence) that attracts viewers. I do think shorter games would help, but unless you shorten the game from nine innings to seven or eight, it's difficult to do much about improving the pace by more than a few minutes here and there.
What do you think? If he retires after this season his career OBP/OPS are .409 and .953, respectively -- pretty dominant numbers.
Underrated, great hitter, similar career stats to Larry Walker, who hasn't received much support, and Berkman doesn't have Walker's all-around game. Heading into the season, I thought he was about two more good seasons away, so looks like he'll fall short.
To Nick in Utah, baseball is doing fine. No teams (other than the mets) seem to be losing money. And may of us like the fact that it doesn't appeal to the masses anymore.
Football's popularity over baseball can be described with one explanation: it's easier to wager on football over baseball.
You think that sometimes dumping "stars" at the deadline can kind of jump start a team, by taking off the expectations? Phillies had a similar surge the last time they were sellers in 2006. After trading Abreu, they finished on a strong surge, but missed the playoffs by a few games. Which is what I see happening this year too.
Everything I've read says Profar is a better shortstop than Andrus. What is the general consensus on that?
I'm not sure that's the consensus. Profar does have the tools and arm to stay there, so yes you'd hate moving him off there. Andrus has terrific range, although has been erratic with the errors (he has cut down this year). Hey, this is why people get paid to make the decisions: If the Rangers *do* think Profar is a better shortstop, then they probably should trade Andrus or move HIM to second base. I'm just not in favor of trading a young player who gets on base and can play defense.
The Orioles and Rays are so pesky. Scratching and crawling for each and every run
Yep, here come the Orioles. Runners at the corners, one out, Machado up again. Grounded into a double play earlier this situation.
Doesn't moving Profar to the OF seem like a waste of resources? It doesn't seem wise to roster two of the best 10 shortstops in MLB, when it's probably the most difficult position to find elite talent at (of course it depends on what kind of return you can get).
Right, it all depends what you could get for Andrus. Maybe teams will value him higher than I think, but with his lack of power, what will he bring? And I'm not sure the Rangers would be interested in a package of prospects. They're in win-now mode and have a highly rated farm system as is.
The NFL format of one game per week, per team, is an underrated aspect of its popularity. Their games become appointment television.
Exactly. America has become a "big event" when it comes to its entertainment. Football can sell each game as a big event.Machado strikes out.
It takes 3 and a half hours to play an NFL game, so I'm sure about the whining about the length of a baseball game.....unless you are talking about soccer. If you aren't paying attention with the extra wild card, then you weren't paying in the past either....good riddance. Baseball will always be relevant, especially when football cracks back so much they will end up with flags and shorts!
George Will on football: "It embodies the worst of America. Extreme violence broken up on a regular basis by committee meetings."
I agree with the sentiments voiced so far about baseball's relevance and its state of health. Still, there is no debate that the "intensity" of fan interest in baseball is waning a bit. If you go to the parks, yes the attendance is generally good, but the crowd demands to be entertained (between-innings games, mascots, even the stupid freaking wave). Unfortunately, many seats at the park now are taken up by business people rather than "real fans," because the pricing for admission, food and souvenirs is so ridiculous. And you don't see the same preponderance of kids playing ball in the street as we did back in the glory days of the 1960s and 1970s. Not sure MLB or the teams want to take some steps to rectify that, like rolling back prices (ha!) or playing more day games.
They do play a lot more day games than 20-25 years ago. When I grew up in the '70s and '80s, there were very few days games except Saturday and Sunday, and a lot of Saturday games were at night. I still get shocked at the price of tickets at a lot of the ballparks, but owners won't roll back prices since they're still selling them at a lot of the parks.
Regarding your post from this morning, while I get that it can be fun watching teams like the Brewers and Phillies rise from the dead to fight for the playoffs, I have a hard time getting too excited about a watching a bunch of .500 teams stumble for the last spot. I want to see the very best teams in the WS, and this opens up the opportunity for some really mediocre teams to win.
That's my feeling. I'm a little torn, because it is kind of fun to see these teams claw back. Eric Karabell and I discussed this at length on today's Baseball Today podcast and he doesn't think it matters. And as a reader tweeted me, the 9-7 Giants won the Super Bowl while the 15-1 Packers went home and nobody seemed to care. I just don't like how it devalues the regular season.
To Mike in Long Island, it may be that way in NYC but in St Louis people are in the stands to watch the game.
Right, I think it varies. Brewers fans are really into the games. Yankees fans much less so than when I first moved to Connecticut in 1999. I think the new stadium has priced out a lot of the Yankees diehards. White Sox fans may not be large in volume but seems into the games. And so on.
Do you see Cueto's regression the last couple starts as something the Reds should be worried about for the postseason?
I didn't see either start and haven't checked to see if there is a major reason why (like decline in velocity). He gave up three home runs over the two starts and I would suggest that he was probably due to give up a few long ones just by chance. Not concerned yet, but let's see what happens his next couple of games.
The talk shows in Detroit were all over getting Elvis Andrus for- hold on- Victor Martinez and minor leaguer James McCann. My reaction is that, if Detroit called, the Rangers would say, "You want Andrus? Fine- we get Austin Jackson." Who says no to an Andrus for Jackson swap?
If Jackson's improvement at the plate this year is for real (which I think it is), I'd give Jackson the slight edge. And the Tigers don't really have anyone on the roster who can play center field. Not that Peralta can play shortstop. I think the Rangers have would have to throw in a pitching prospect to make that happen. But I like it.
to Jason in StL, it never used to be that way at Yankee Stadium. There was always a very high energy level, but that changed dramatically when they moved into the new stadium. BTW, I travel a lot for business and watch games in almost every city, and I see the same thing in Atlanta (worst baseball city in America), Seattle, Oakland, Minneapolis, Detroit and many others. I do agree that fans in StL are more traditionalists, which is good to see.
Coming from Seattle, I can tell you that watching the Mariners these days is liking watching paint dry. When the Mariners are good, the fans are really loud. Which is true of all Seattle sports teams; a very extreme bandwagon city, but as loud as anyplace when the teams are good. I think that's true of most cities, St. Louis probably being an exception. Of course, the Cardinals are never bad, so who knows what would happen if they had 5-6 losing seasons in a row.
I find it astonishing that the Rangers would be willing to even consider trading an established, young and affordable talent like Andrus. Yes, he does make more errors than you'd like, but he has great range, has a nice OBP and although he doesn't have much power, his speed is quite a weapon. If Jeter wasn't having as strong a season as he has had this year I can guarantee you the Steinbrothers would be all over Andrus
Cueto wasn't even an All Star so what's the big deal if he's had a couple rough starts lately? Sorry, I had to.
You can buy tickets for Yankees/Rays in the upper deck for a Friday Sept game for $13. People need to stop whining.
Reds fans have taken to howling during games lately. Does that count as being in the game? Attendance in Cincy is up too.
Alan in St. Louis, who talks about a bunch of .500 teams stumbling for the last playoff spot and wants the best teams in the WS - do you think anyone wants to play the Phillies in the playoffs?
Rays with runners at first and second in 9th, two outs, Jennings at the plate ...
Jim Johnson pitching for Baltimore ...
Jackson for Andrus......NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
RE:Medlan Sutcliffe was 16-1 when he won the Cy Young. With much less emphasis place on the pitcher's W-L since then, it doesn't seem as far fetched.
And he flies out to center ... yes, Sutcliffe is the best comparison. And he had just 150 innings that year, so I guess it's possible. Sutcliffe also get a lot of support because the Cubs were surprise division winners that year (over Dwight Gooden's Mets, and Gooden finished second in the vote).
Sutcliffe also had the advantage that Gooden was the only other serious competitor. Odd, however, that Sutcliffe got all 24 first-place votes. Godden had 2.60 ERA vs. 2.69, 218 innings, led with 276 K's. But was 17-9 vs. 16-1.
Detroit's problem isn't bad fans- we've got plenty of good fans who show up. Our problem is too many dumb fans- people who get up during the middle of an inning to go get a beer, stand up and pose for pictures while play is ongoing, or just generally interrupt the watching of the game...
I've heard that said about the Cardinals fans before, that who knows how they would react if the team was bad for an extended period. And you know what, that's a great point. I hope I never have to find out.
Do you think Rizzo has nightmares about Kris Medlen facing Edwin Jackson in an NLCS deciding game?
I'm sure he has COMPLETE confidence in Edwin Jackson. Right ... right?
Sutcliffe had great facial hair. That had to count for something.
Going into Bottom of the 9th
Andrus and Leonys Martin for Austin Jackson, fair trade?
That could work. Martin seems a bit of wild card, but his Triple-A numbers are good. He is 24, so not as young as people may think.
1984 was a horrible year for the voters. Hernandez won MVP, i bet most readers don't even remember which Hernandez won AL MVP. Just awful.
Willie! He did have a great year but in retrospect it's a little odd. But voters went through a spell in the late '70s and '80s where they loved relief pitchers. At least Willie threw 140 innings that year!
LISTEN...Detroit is not trading Jackson. Period. Dombroski is way to smart
The Tigers are 27th in the majors in percentage of batted balls turned into outs. But I'm with you: They're not trading Jackson. But they do need to good upgrade shortstop and maybe the outfield corners (at least one of them).
Isn't it a bit premature to call Profar one of the top 10 shortstops in baseball? Or am I too much of a skeptic? I get it that scouts love him, but am I wrong to want to see him perform for an extended period at the major league level first?
You're not wrong. Prospect hype can get a little overboard. Profar DOES seem special, but we can name a lot of prospects who appeared special. And I think Profar spends some time in Triple-A next year anyway.
All I remember about 1984 was seeing players like Nettles, Gossage and Garvey in the world series wearing the worst uniforms (Padres) in the history of MLB (except maybe the 86 Astros)
Worse than the '79 World Series matchup between the Orioles (orange tops) and Pirates (all-yellow plus other combinations). The Pirates actually wore four different combos during the World Series.
Remember David, they weren't relievers or closers. They were fireman. Still have my Topps cards with Sutter and Goose as top fireman. :)
Who is the odd man out of the Giants rotation when the playoffs begin? Lincecum has picked it up, while both Bumgarner and Vogulsong have struggled lately.
Good question. I was think about that yesterday, actually. I still think Zito is the odd man out. Cain-Bumgarner-Lincecum-Vogelsong.
I do not envy the team looking for a SS this offseason...Ronny Cedeno is probably the top FA. Profar and Andrus' value probably will never be higher.
As a Nats fan, given how Stras has pitched against Atlanta this year, he's not the first guy I'd like out there in a deciding game against the Braves.
By top 10, I guess I meant in terms of trade value - I can't think of 10 shortstops that have higher trade value than either Andrus or Profar - or even 5 for that matter.
I wouldn't disagree with that. Here's a question: Profar or Manny Machado, who do you take?
What do you think of the Reds starting Bailey on the road in a Game 2? His splits are way better on the road than at home?
Wow, you're right. 5.05 at home, 2.75 on the road. Much of that due to home runs, so I don't think it's just random chance. I like the idea, but I doubt we see it happen.
What's going on in Baltimore?
Extra innings ... Reynolds can't come up with line drive at first (should have had it) ... runner on first, one out.
If Vogelsong continues to struggle, I think I'd rather have Zito over him. Vogelsong could be effective out of the pen, while Zito's never done well in relief. Also, who would've thought at the beginning of the season that the Giants could have their rotation struggling and still win games?
Not only that, they're last in the majors in home runs. Hmm, maybe Posey is the MVP.
Longoria up ... 2-0 count ...
Sparky Lyle for Cy Young!
I'm happy with KC's shortstop
You forgot to take into account Sutcliffe's 94 innings with Cleveland. He did pitch the entire season, though not all in the NL.
Right, but I don't think voters factored that in. He wasn't that great with Cleveland, although did win 20 games overall.
I'd bet the brewers make alex gonzalez available... don't think they'll be picking up that option...
I'd take Profar over Machado - much more advanced approach at the plate, better defensive skills, and about the same age.
Longoria grounds into a DP. To the bottom of the 10th ... smelling like an Orioles win this inning ...
If Detroit doesn't make the postseason...is Leyland gone?
Haven't heard any rumors of that sort. I don't think so.
Who are your picks for the playoff spots? Predicting any (non-7-way) ties?
Everyone? I think we'll get at least one tie-breaker game, most likely for the second AL wild card. I could see the AL Central as well. I think the AL East/wild card will play itself out, especially with the A's giving themselves a little breathing room.
Lew Ford leads off ... another random Orioles hero?
Even though they are the enemy to me, I have to say that Straus has handled this whole thing pretty well. But his mind has to be going crazy right now since he'll be sitting and watching, uninjured, while his team battles in the playoffs. Do you think this sort of thing can have negative mental repercussions on such a young player in the future? Has this scenario ever happened before with a player of his caliber?
I think he'll be fine. Davey Johnson did indicate that maybe the whole thing ate at Strasburg a little bit at the end and wore him down, which makes sense. But shouldn't affect him mentally in 2013.
Well, Lew Ford was not the hero. And neither was Adam Jones. Fly out to right. Two down.
Is Don Matingly on the hot seat if the Dodgers dont make the playoffs?
It will be interesting to see what the new owners do with Mattingly and GM Ned Colletti. They may want to bring in their own guys. I'd say Mattingly is safer than Colletti.
OK, I think we're having some technical difficulties, so let's call it a day. Thanks, everyone!