OK, let's talk baseball ... except Mike Trout. He's off-limits today!
As a fellow M's fan, what positives from last night can we build on going forward?
Of course I have to start with a Mariners question. Positives? Well, they rallied against a good pitcher. Showed some good patience at the plate. Felix was great except one bad pitch to he who shall not be named. Lineup *looks* deeper than last year, but of course just one game.
Unless you think Jackie Bradley Jr was wearing his belt around his nipples, you might want to look at a replay of that game-ending strikeout.
Still a strike. Gotta swing.
Was trying to paste the location of the pitch. Above the belt but still at the top of the zone.
Hello, David. Barry Bonds can't get into the Hall of Fame, because he took steroids. Tony La Russa gets in the Hall the first chance he gets, despite the fact that he won a lot of games with teams propelled by two of the most notable steroid users there were, Canseco and McGwire. Does this not reek, at least a bit, of hypocrisy?
Sure, but different groups are voting on the candidates so it's not exactly apples to apples. That said, I'm sure the BBWAA would have voted in La Russa if given the opportunity.
I think it was last week that you talked about odd batting stances...Well here's one from the past: I seem to recall Jose Oquendo having a very distinct stance, crouching so much he looked like he was 3 feet tall...
Who's got the weirdest pitching delivery in baseball? I watched Pat Neshek yesterday for the first time, and he has a very funky delivery.
If, and it is a big if, but if the Yankees rotation runs legitimately 5 deep, as it appears it can, can they overcome their uncertainty in the infield and win the division? Of course they CAN, but would a legit 1-5 in the rotation make it likely that they overcome the talents of the Rays and Sox to win the AL East? Thanks in advance...
Their pitching was pretty good last year. Problem was scoring runs so I still think the difference-maker will be getting production from the infield and the old guys staying healthy.
Will Brian Wilson get back to his old Wheez self?
I think he'll be fine, but what are we basing that one? He was last good for a longer period of time in 2011. But Dodgers have plenty of depth in the bullpen if he falters.
The sky is falling! Ian Kinsler was right we're going 0-162! Kidding aside, havent the Rangers learned that converting relievers (specifically late inning guys) into starters doesnt tend to yield stellar results (see Feliz and Ogando)?
I didn't get the whole Scheppers thing to begin with. Yes, good ERA last year, but low strikeout rate for a power guy. Just doesn't have the secondary pitches to make it as a starter.
Hey David, do you think the Orioles are once again the most underrated team in the AL?
I think they're rated about right. Unless Chris Davis hits 53 home runs again ...
Brandon Belt in the 2 spot? Consistently? I like it. I think he's poised to break out, as long as Bochy gets him some consistent playing time. Thoughts?
Well, he was pretty much a regular last year. But, yes, I like him there, think he could be a surprise contender for the batting title (was great in the second half last after some adjustments with where he holds his hands). Giants lineup could be really good.
Projections for Smoak? Sure looked good last night...
About the same as last year, so if he plays every day he could hit 25 home runs. He's OK from the left side but really should give up switch-hitting as he's pretty useless batting right-handed.
How many more games will it take for the Phillies to score 14 more runs?
The Reds looked terrible yesterday. No question, statement only.
Adam Wainwright is pretty good, you know.
What the heck happened to Cliff Lee yesterday?
Didn't watch the early innings of that game so not sure. Any Phillies fans to comment?
I'm cautiously optimistic about the White Sox this year. They've been good every other year since their World Series in '05. I believe if their young talent plays well, they have a chance. What do you think?
I don't see it this year as I think the young talent is more along the lines of potentially good than potentially star-caliber (Abreu being the possible exception). Speaking of which, he looked good yesterday, 2-for-4, hit the ball hard all four times. We'll see about his approach. Drew just one walk in spring training with 10 strikeouts.
Thoughts on the Yan Gomes extension? Numbers aren't huge but seems a little fast given his small amount of service time and years of control left, no?
Probably over his head as a hitter last year. Plus defender as you know (which I think came as a surprise). Didn't seem like there was any reason to lock him up now for the reasons you mentioned but I don't see it as a bad contract for the Indians.
There's only one game in the books and we Jays fans are already feeling depressed. Do you see any eventuality where the Dickey for Syndegaard/D'Arnaud trade doesn't look like a heist by the Mets?
Jays have blow-up potential this year, don't they? I mean 95-loss kind of potential. The Dickey trade was made to compete for the postseason and if you don't compete it's going to go down as a bad deal.
As a beginner baseball fan and my first season of really watching baseball I have friends helping me out but I want to get more help from an expert. So can you tell me most the things I should know and some website I can go to, to learn more about baseball.
It depends on what you want to know: History, stats, basic knowledge? Kind of a big question. If you're just getting into baseball, I suggest watching as many games as possible, learn the little nuances of the game and how pitchers attack hitters and watching the various highlight shows that do a good job of showcasing the best players and great plays. For coverage, check out ESPN of course!
Please tell me the report that Bobby Parnell has a partial ligament tear in his elbow and that Jose Valverde (!?!) will be the new Mets closer is an April Fool's Day joke!
Sorry ... no wonder his velocity seemed down yesterday. Too bad. When's the last time the Mets had a good bullpen?
Alderson said his 90-win talk with "motivational," while an SI scout said the Mets will only win 63. Who's likely to be closer?
I had them at 73, so I guess the scout will be closer.
I missed the article but did anyone being up Phil plantiers batting stance? It's obviously a bit different but when we were kids we all loved to imitate the leg kicks of Ruben Sierra and Kirby Puckett
He's the Padres hitting coach!
To Thomas in Phoenix: CJ Wilson and Colby Lewis were successful RP to SP transfers for the Rangers.
Lewis was a starter, but Wilson was the rare one that worked.
Tavaris, you could watch as many games as possible, especially if this kid out in Anaheim named after a fish is playing. He's pretty good...
More specific than just the Reds, Billy Hamilton looked horrendous yesterday. Was that Wainwright's doing or is he in for a long season?
Let's give him a few more games before we write him off.
Hey, your M's won last night. There's no reason I shouldn't be able to talk about the fish kid to help me forget about how terrible the Angels bullpen looked.
Yep, that was pretty ugly. Not a lot of depth out in the pen and you need lefties against the Mariners. I think the Angels only have one lefty reliever on the team.
Yep, they have three lefties in the rotation but only Nick Maronde in relief.
what did you take from the marlins proformance could they contend for wild card?
My take: I may have to watch 33 Marlins games this year.
Jose Fernandez looked as good as he did when the Marlins shut him down last season. The Marlins have a good young pitching staff going. your thoughts on Fernandez & the rest of the pitching of the Marlins?
Their staff is very underrated. They allowed only 20 more runs than the Nationals last year. And you'll get more innings from Fernandez and Nathan Eovaldi is a possible breakout candidate. Offense will probably keep the Marlins from contending, but they're a deep sleeper for a wild card.
My favorite part of the early-season is when teams of borderline contenders start playing the "What If Game". Like, if the Stros young pitching is good, and if George Springer and Singleton have ROY-type years, and if Carlos Correa becomes Jeter 2.0 and if ... Stros to the WS baby!!!!
I've been doing a lot of reading about the Black Sox Scandal. I feel Buck Weaver got a raw deal. Granted he may have been present at a meeting, but he did nothing to throw the series and others that were not implicated also may have known. What's your opinion?
I tend to think he did get a raw deal. By all accounts, he didn't take any money and tried to win, unlike the others.
For those who want to question calls in/out of the strikezone, go to brooksbaseball.baseballprospectus.net. Bradley's called strike three is precisely at the top of the strike zone.
How long before Fredi realises Andrelton Simmons fits better in the 2 spot than BJ Upton?
He's not a great fit either unless his OBP improves. I'd just hit Justin Upton there and get your best OBP guys more plate appearances.
Glad the Giants won, but yikes that Defense and Pitching! Giants can't do damage without both strong pitching and defense, right? I mean its not like they play in Texas and with the Rangers lineup!
If they played in Texas they'd probably score more runs than the Rangers.
six months ago, what would your reaction have been if somebody predicted that Grady Sizemore would hit a home run on opening day 2014?
I would have been surprised that he was healthy enough to play in a softball league.
Is there any way to measure who has the best pitch in baseball? I only watched 2 games yesterday so I know that I'm missing several but Cueto's 2 seamer, Wainright's curveball, and Fernandez's slider seemed almost unhittable.
Well, we do have data for how batters hit against every pitch. But that only counts plate appearances that end against that pitch. Fernandez's slider is unhittable, in part, because he usually throws it with two strikes. Last year, my vote for best pitch would be Kershaw's curveball. Batters hit (if I remember, .080 against it with no extra-base hits).
They were 14-for-146, 80 strikeouts, no walks, no XBH. Incredible.
Batters hit .171 off Wainwright's curve with three home runs (44-for-267).
And .082 against Fernandez's slider with 65 K's, one BB and one HR (Kelly Johnson).
I know the Angels pockets are deep, but their farm system is pretty bare too, and I doubt Pujols and Hamilton will be getting better with age. All that being said, isn't there a distinct possibility that Trout plays out his contract without ever playing in the postseason?
Sure. I think the one thing in their favor is the Rangers may be coming to end of this little run and the A's will always find it hard to compete except in short bursts. But the Angels' window has to be the next couple of seasons since it's hard to envision Pujols, Hamilton and Weaver being as productive in 2016.
Which Red Sox outfielder will have the most productive season...Nava, Sizemore, Carp, Victorino, Bradley, Gomes?
Who gets more PA's this season: Grady Sizemore or Brian Roberts?
What do you expect from Grady Sizemore this year and will he last the whole season?
OK, lots of Sizemore questions. I wouldn't bet him to get 500 at-bats or even 350 since he just seems to have a body that breaks down, but if he does (A) He's only 32; and(B) He was once one of the best all-around players in the game. It wouldn't shock me to see him make the All-Star team, let's put it that way.
Hi David- I find it odd that Braun got a standing O. I can understand him getting a 2nd chance, but he's no hero.
Agreed. I get that it's the hometown fans, but hello ... this guy screwed your team last year by cheating, getting caught and getting suspended.
Are you Old Hoss?
I wish I were that clever.
What about Chris Sale's slider?!
.142, 116 SO, 10 BB, 6 HR. Must hang it once in a while.
Anthony Rizzo....0-4 yesterday with 3 strikeouts. More of the same to come? In fairness to him, he wouldn't have even started last year against a lefty like Liriano.
I think he'll be better. By some of the advanced metrics like line-drive rate, Rizzo and Castro were both two of the unluckiest hitters in the game. And to be fair, Liriano is death to lefties when he's on. Ted Williams would have a hard time hitting him.
For all the angst amongst baseball writers regarding Braun's ovation (and who knew you could tweet while hand-wringing at the same time?), isn't it also clear that just about every fanbase would've cheered if the same thing happened to one of their best players? I know I'm rationalizing, but as a fan I'm also tired of being told how I'm supposed to feel about him.
I don't know about the first part of the statement, but you're right about the second. Don't let us in the national media tell you how to act!
Speaking of the Black Sox scandal: Does commissioner/emperor in chief Kennesaw Mountain Landis not get enough criticism for his virulent racism that delayed the inclusion of black players for decades?
It's certainly true that he was big reason integration was delayed for so long.
Who is the best 1B in the game today?
Cabrera, Goldschmidt, Votto, Chris Davis, Freddie Freeman. Seems like we had a lull there but it's been getting better with some young guys like Freeman, Goldschmidt, Brandon Belt, maybe Eric Hosmer.
Tell me I'm wrong. The Orioles players have on Red Sox or Yankee uniforms, that team is picked to the win the AL? Not saying there is a bias.
Possible. But some Orioles guys like Nelson Cruz (low OBP, mediocre defense) and Matt Wieters (low batting average, sub-.300 OBP) are actually overrated.
If you were a team owner and you could hire either Beane or Friedman to be your GM, which one would you choose?
Good question. Beane has built winners with different groups of players and his farm system hasn't been as productive. We'll see if the Rays keep winning in the post-David Price era. So I guess I'd say Beane but they're probably the GMs I'd want to hire if I won the lottery and bought the Mariners. John Mozeliak in St. Louis as well.
I love Daniel nava and get that he is an obp guy but would the sox be better off putting batting Pedroia first since he is a bit quicker?
Doesn't really matter all that much. Your best hitters should bat second and fourth, so in that regard maybe it makes sense to hit Pedroia second.
Peter Bourjous was the perfect example for anti fielding percentage argument. He got to 2 balls that Jay most likely wouldn't have, cought one dropped the other. He has 1 error already but made one more out tha Jay would have. I realize this isn't a questioni but just wanted to comment about how impressive he is in CF.
Yes Braun cheated, but let's not act like he screwed us out of anything. The Brewers weren't making the playoffs anyways. Thanks for the higher draft pick Ryan!
I disagree with that. What about the fans who bought season tickets or 15-game packages or whatever expecting to see Ryan Braun play? Did the Brewers refund some percentage of their money?
Please answer my question!!!!!!
Send it in again!!!!!
The bottom half of the lineup does nothing, Sciosioa leaves Weaver in to long, and then a reliever gets blown up. Please tell me someday this will stop.
Who is your prime candidate for "guy who hits well in the first two weeks and everyone thinks he's making the leap"?
Mike Moustakas, Dustin Ackley (actually, I think he'll do better this year), Desmond Jennings ... readers? Fun question.
Exactly, Wilson is a bit of an anomaly. But seeing Scheppers in Surprise against the Brewers last week, he was throwing a ton of fastballs. Never gave his secondary pitches much of a chance.
Exactly. He's not going to be effective throwing so many fastballs. 67 of 93 pitches yesterday were fastballs. Three walks and two strikeouts and one HR allowed. There's no evidence it's a strikeout pitch. (Most fastballs aren't; you usually the majority of fastballs with offspeed stuff, but the fastballs sets up the breaking balls.)
More tender, Reyes' hammy or a newborn's forehead?
A boss once told me not to make fun of injuries so no comment.
bud selig's performance as a commissioner 1 being the lowest and 10 the highest
4 ... I think a lot of that good stuff that happened (like revenue growth) would have happened without him. His biggest plus is the wild card, which most people seem to like. But biggest negatives: No World Series in 1994, his constant whining about revenue sharing back in the day (although he eventually got more of that), didn't combat PEDs earlier on, not solving the A's stadium issue.
Why isn't Tommy John in the HOF?
He was perceived as a guy who hung around a long time more than a guy who was a dominant pitcher.
Brewers fans should feel cheated by Braun. His cheating arguably ensured they'd lose Prince Fielder.
Considering how much Prince signed for that would have been a terrible contract for the Brewers.
Braun isn't a bad guy for using steroids and getting caught. He's a bad guy because of his vehement lies and damaging the lives of bystanders, whether they a blue collar delivery man or NFL MVP.
Jesse Chavez have a chance at sticking in the A's rotation all year? He looked good in the spring.
I have my doubts. Pretty good stuff but small, skinny guy so you worry about the durability. Not much of a track record as a starter.
RE: Braun SuspensionThe Brewers gave a $10 voucher good for use in the concession stands, merchandise, or towards a ticket for every fan that attended a home game in August. Better than nothing.
Going to be a long year for Twins fans, even without yesterday's loss. You're lucky you have a chance to watch Buxton in NB. Although I think Hicks will improve and so will Arcia(he's only 22) and Mauer will be Mauer, the rest of the lineup is toast and it why have Pinto up if he's not going to play full time? c'mon management, use your heads! Bartlett and Kubel? Sheeeeesh!!
David, I don't know if the Brewers refunded money for those who paid to see Braun, but why would they (other than to look good)? Fans don't get money back when an angry player punches a wall and breaks his hand, or when a player hurts himself celebrating.
I'm not saying they SHOULD have refunded money, but if I pluck down $80 to go see Springsteen I don't want to see Patty singing most of the songs.
I would say Braun is worse than most of the steroid era guys since he got caught after everything was deemed illegal. Then he used his money and power to dump all over the little guy (examiner)
How about JP Arencibia walking in his first PA yesterday, and against Cliff Lee of all people! Those had to be some long odds.
Definitely one of the most amazing feats of the day!
The Mets are such a travesty, they aren't even willing to make Juan Lagares the everyday CF. Remind me again why they signed Chris Young for 7 million and not a single SS or reliever?
I forget: Did they sign Young before Granderson? Maybe they didn't KNOW they'd end up with Granderson as well?
Selig's crew has had 5 years to get to A's issue resolved. When will this be resolved. Will Selig retire before they come up with an answer?
I disagree with your perception on Bud Selig and PED's - u say he waited too long - I say he should've let it go - no one cared that people were taking PEDs until the league proved they were seems silly to me (I see no reason to ban them)
I think Brewers fans (myself included) feel like this wasn't our fault and we shouldn't be the ones expected to impose sanctions on him. Every other fanbase in the league will take care of that. He served his MLB-imposed sentence.
Biggest logo change mistake in the history of baseball in your opinion? That horrible Disney Angels logo comes to mind.....but I sure do wish they never changed the Brewers logo.
When I was at spring training, went to a Brewers game in Maryvale. I'm pretty sure I saw more fans wearing hats/T-shirts with the OLD logo than the new one. Good question ... I'd have to think about that. The old yellow Mariners "S" was pretty awful back in the '80s, early '90s.
I think we did dark horse HR leaders last week, right? How about Alvarez? Okay, let's do Cy Young now. Sonny Gray and Jeff Samardzija.
Not sure either throws enough strikes for that to happen. But you did say dark horse.
don't know if this has been mentioned yet for weirdest battting stance, but Brian Downing. Yeeks.
The little guy (examiner) did actually violate the PED agreement, which was upheld in arbitration. You can argue the intent (Braun's fatal folly, by the way - those press conferences were the biggest mistake he could've possibly made), but the examiner did in fact violate the letter of the agreement.
I think I'm one of 7 Angel fans that actually like the Disney logo. The uniforms, not so much. But loved the hats.
Would you trade Oscar Taveras for Javier Baez? Would the Cards?
Considering Taveras' ongoing leg issues, you'd have to take Baez now, especially on the heels of how good he looked this spring.
Black Sox Scandal...they duped Shoeless Joe. Hit the only HR in the Series. Cicotte and others really took down that whole team.
His home run came in the final game of the series with the White Sox down 5-0.
How do you think Buster Posey ranks with the "golden" kids Trout, Harper, etc.? Seems he is left out of many conversations when talking about the top mlb players.
He's not on Trout's level but he's on the next on. Slumped in the second half last year, which hurt his national standing a bit.
i love the old Philadelphia A's elephant logo on Oakland's sleeve; classic!! Waiting for Eddie Plank to stroll out to the hill...
Agreed. Love that logo.
Assuming he stays healthy, how do the Yankees manage Pineda's innings? I can't imagine he'd pick up a full workload, but will they end up having to look around in September during a pennant race to fill his spot in the rotation?
I haven't seen anything on what the Yankees intend to do. Not sure how I'd handle that. Is limiting his innings going to decrease the chance he gets hurt? The two may not be connected at this point.
Young was signed about a week before Granderson, but they didn't seem to have much competition for either guy. What is the endgame with this team? How bad to they have to be, and for how long before something changes? They have taken a step backwards every year for the last half decade. Meanwhile the Dodgers have already sold over 3 million tickets before opening (in america) day. Thanks, Selig.
Buster Posey did have a fractured finger that he played through in the second half. Probably bothered him a lot more than he let on considering he only bopped two home runs in the second half.
Ahh, OK, I should have remembered that. Anyway, he's clearly on the list of NL MVP candidates heading into the season.
Do you think the Rays would have won a WS title had they drafted POSEY instead of Beckham?
See, even the smart GMs make mistakes.
How many more good seasons does Yadier Molina need to be considered a legitimate HOF candidate?
He's a pretty unique candidate. His career offensive numbers are nowhere near HOF level right now. But he has that "best defensive catcher ever along with Johnny Bench" label going, which will help. That said, I think he needs two more elite seasons at his current level. That would give him a nice 5/6-year run as an elite two-way player plus a bunch of other OK seasons.
It doesn't matter when Shoeless Joe hit it, he still hit one. Funny thing is that is the only World Series where everyone remembers the loser and not many people know who the winning team actually is.
But reports were he made several questionable plays in the field when games were close. He wasn't duped; he was part of the fix.
Braun will play the role of villain wonderfully this year, as he puts up MVP numbers and helps carry the Brewers to the playoffs. Most Brewers fans don't care if he is a boy scout. Fans are not looking to him for moral guidance (just like they are not looking to Lucroy or any other player for moral guidance). This is a sport. This is entertainment. Fans want to be entertained and they want their team to win. Cheering for Braun doesn't mean you think he's a good person. It means you want him to help your team win, and he happens to be the best player on the team.
Well said. OK, good stuff everyone. Until next week, enjoy your baseball!