World Series Newsbeat
Monday, October 24, 2016
There was a time 10 years ago when it was considered normal to poison your neighbor’s cat if he (your neighbor) didn’t agree with you about statistics in baseball. It sounds absurd, but sabermetrics was the biggest issue in the 2006 mid-term elections. Activists outraged at the inclusion of VORP in school textbooks urged on massive book-burnings outside major league stadiums. The AL Central briefly seceded from the American League. Thousands of fans moved to Canada when they didn’t like the general manager their favorite team hired.
Ten years later, we live in a world scarcely imaginable to a loyal traditionalist of the time. The four teams in the two league championship series last week were all, according to an ESPN ranking of teams’ devotion to analytics in 2015, in the top two tiers of statheadiness. The Cubs and Indians, this year’s World Series entrants, were in the top tier, “All-In.” The Blue Jays and Dodgers were labeled “Believers,” and each team has only strengthened its stathead credentials since then. (The Blue Jays, for instance, poached a president and general manager from that All-In Cleveland front office.) The front offices of all four LCS teams trace their lineage to the Big Four stathead fortresses of the late 2000s: The Dodgers’ top executives are descended from the Rays’ and A’s; the Cubs’ from the Red Sox’s; the Blue Jays’ from the Indians’; and the Indians from, well, the Indians’. Three of the four even hired employees right out from under me at Baseball Prospectus, where I was their editor. But no hard feelings.
Posted: October 24, 2016 at 02:56 PM | 23 comment(s)
Having the Red Sox win changed on perspective on the Red Sox. The angst is gone. When they win now, great! When they lose, it no longer feels traumatically painful. Instead, it’s an “oh well” feeling.
I’m happy that at least one fan base will be able to share my feelings soon. At the same time, I already feel bad for the fans of the losing team.
Posted: October 24, 2016 at 08:42 AM | 5 comment(s)
Well, the World Series is about as deep as you can go.
“I feel really strong right now,” said Salazar, when asked how many innings he could throw. “The way I feel right now is the way I feel when I’m 100 percent.”
Callaway wouldn’t speculate if Salazar would start or relieve. But manager Terry Francona, after announcing his first three starters for the World Series as Corey Kluber, Trevor Bauer and Josh Tomlin, left the door open when he said the rotation was TBA (to be announced) after that.
They still need to win to complete the transformation.
In five years, President Theo Epstein successfully undid decades’ worth of damage to the Cubs brand, systematically reprogramming a front office and a fan base so that gradually the recognizable red “C” has come to symbolize only success — no longer futility. Hiring manager Joe Maddon and his library of mantras before the 2015 season only reinforced the positive vibe that had begun to buzz. Nobody rolls their eyes anymore at the suggestion of the Cubs going all the way or relies on their reputation for losing as a punch line.
Posted: October 24, 2016 at 08:24 AM | 18 comment(s)
Sunday, October 23, 2016
CLEVELAND, Ohio—Kluber and Kipnis are being shopped around on the eve of the World Series, but there is reason to cheer, Indians fans.
The names belong to two dogs at the Cuyahoga County Animal Shelter, where four others also have been named from the Indians roster.
Really mostly worth it for the pictures of cute dogs in Indians jerseys.
Congrats to Cubs fans!
It’s OK to say it out loud now, Chicago. The Cubs are National League champions. The Cubs are in the World Series for the first time since 1945.
Let those words sink in for a few days before the games — and all the trepidation and anxiety they will bring — begin Tuesday. For now, it’s time for Cubs fans to raise a glass to the millions who never got to say that simple sentence:
Posted: October 23, 2016 at 08:06 AM | 30 comment(s)
Saturday, October 22, 2016
“He threw the ball really well,” said Francona. “He let it go, which is good. He really let it go. He threw his change up with some arm speed. We’ll see how the next one goes.”
Salazar, who went to the All-Star Game in July but spent most of the second half struggling with right elbow problems, is scheduled to throw a three-inning simulated game on Saturday or Sunday.
“He’s ready to pitch,” said Francona.
The Indians have mentioned Salazar throughout the postseason, but usually in terms of pitching out of the pen. When asked if Salazar could start, Francona said, “I don’t know. The good news is if Danny pitches and he pitches healthy, we have a really good pitcher for whatever amount of innings he’s build up for. That potentially could help us.”
Well, except for saying that Bauer was scheduled for more “suture work” on his damaged finger – which at last count was held together by 10 stitches – Francona wasn’t saying a lot.
Friday, October 21, 2016
Major League continues to be the gift that keeps on giving!
if called upon,I’d be honored.
Wednesday, October 19, 2016
It all worked out in the end. Congrats to the Indians and their fans.
Saturday, April 30, 2016
“So here’s what I thought. I thought, Gibby, he’s hittin’ on one leg. … My thought was, lookit, he’s hurting, I wanted to bring the outfield in because I didn’t think he could hit the ball out of the infield. So I was just trying to protect [against] the bloop. … So I was worried he was going to hit a ground ball through a hole or hit a blooper. So [pitching coach Dave] Duncan says, ‘You know, Steve Sax is on deck. And Eck’ll walk through him like he’s water.’ I said, ‘Hey, who’s the manager? We’re gonna pitch to him.’ ”
“So Duncan asked the same question I did.”
“Dunc didn’t ask it. He said, ‘Walk Gibson.’ I said, ‘I’m making the decisions here.’ And as we walked off the field, he says, ‘Dumb ass.’ “
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