Good stuff. That is an interesting lineup--players all over the place now.
Sure I can, thrylos... I just did
JC, you cannot talk about "Small Sample Sizes" and false conclusions made based on those, and then dish Liriano in the same breath because has has underperformed in a small sample size
Yeah, this is pretty much exactly the case.
I do miss BG and her blog a lot. I can't tell you how many times I've thought, "I wonder how Bat Girl would tell that story with LegoVision." I'm pretty sure she isn't blogging anywhere, but she is on Twitter, where she's good for the occasional witty one-liner!
I wish I could be as confident as you in Liriano and Casilla--I dont hold much hope for either--they have had many chances already...Casilla even if he hits seems to have those moments on the field that cause us all to cringe...I just dont think Liriano (even though he has the best stuff of Twins pitchers can put it together)...I do agree with you on Valencia...I am looking for a big season from him.
By the way, since you go back to the Bat Girl days like me--do you miss her and do you know if she is blogging anywhere??
I agree with the expanded playoff concept totally! If you look at times before we had any WC teams, it was all about winning your division and if you were in a tough division, your team might be screwed for years. The WC format changed that and allowed the 2nd best team in each league to get in with little or no penalty for being the fourth best team in your league. Yes, I know who were slotted to play the best team in your league unless your were from the same division. This just ended up with the Yankees and the Redsox playing other teams every year. Now we expand playoffs to one more team in each league and allow for much longer regular season drama. Then the playoffs start and the teams that squeaked into the playoffs have to fight for there lives to win a one game playoff to get to the next round....How can that possibly be bad for baseball? Fantastic move and I applaud MLB for doing it!
The only reason for a wild card is because there's an odd number of divisions in each league, so they need some way to create a 4 team playoff in each league. That doesn't mean you have to give the WC equal footing with the Division winners. I actually don't think this system makes it anyn more likely that the Yankees qualify for the postseason more often. Let's be honest, they're already qualifying almost every year. In the AL, this system will mean that some OTHER team besides the AL East runner up will get a one-game shot at making the real playoffs... and it will also mean that, unless the Yankees win their division, they will have a much more difficult time advancing.
If the wild cards are 'losers who don't deserve to play any more games,' then why have wild cards at all, let alone more of them?
It would be a better idea to treat all playoff teams equally. This is a victory for the "Yankees Objection" and MLB greed. It is not about the fans at all.
Thanks for the comment, even if we aren't in agreement.
The 2001 season was clearly an exceptional situation. Even so, that inequity is as old as the World Series itself. There have always been seasons where a second place team in a particular division or league was perceived to be much stronger than another division/league winner. Before divisional play, did anyone say, "hey the 2nd place team in the NL won 10 more games than the AL pennant winner, why the hell should the AL be guaranteed a spot in the World Series if clearly the two best teams in baseball are both in the NL?"
As I wrote in the post, the WC game is no more than a way to determine which loser should get in to the real postseason, so I have no problem with a single game determining that. Why hold up the whole postseason process while a couple of teams that shouldn't be playing any more anyway face off? Let's just play a single game, which will provide great theatre, and move on with a system that rewards actual Division winners.
I agree that inserting days off for no reason is wrong, but most off days in postseason are travel days, which is a necessity that goes back for as long as the WS has been played.
Disagree with you on this one. It was pointed out that in 2001 the A's won 102 games and finished second to the Mariners who won 116. The Twins would have been the second wild card with 85 wins. Does it really make sense to have a winner take all one game playoff when the entire game is built around the 3-game series and the need to go deep into your pitching staff to win? Under this format we are playing an entirely different game than the one that is played for the other 162 games. For the record, I hate the playoff format with days off. I think we should play the game the same way in the fall as we do in the summer. Doesn't make sense to me. We should go to a 32 team league with 8 four team divisions.
Punching big chunks of cheddar? Ewwwwwwwwwww LOL
I'm picturing an ironic tribute to the Rocky IV training montage, where shots of Barry Bonds and Jason Giambi juicing are intercut with Braun cutting wood in a Wisconsin winter, punching big hunks of meat (or--being Wisconsin--cheddar) and running up a snowy hill. But then at the very end, Braun grabs a syringe too...just for good measure...
Seriously though, I like your point, there's so much conjecture and rumor mongering around Braun right now that we'll likely never know what really happened, we can bemoan the unfairness of it all or we can shake our heads and move on...I vote for the latter.