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Sunday, January 19, 2020

Astros stars letting others take blame for player-driven sign-stealing scheme

When A.J. Hinch took a baseball bat to at least one of those television monitors, as one source said he did, maybe this was the day he had in mind.

This was the day he stood alone.

He’d been in the end overrun by his players and members of his own coaching staff and who knows who else, along with his own ambitiousness. That is his to bear.

The Houston Astros went dark one day. Hinch was the man on the top step. He stuck to the shadows like the rest of them, celebrated its bounty like the rest of them, surrendered when the lights came up and was punished for it.

So, what do we make of this line of analysis?

 

QLE Posted: January 19, 2020 at 12:27 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: a.j. hinch, astros, dirty rotten cheaters, players

Tuesday, October 01, 2019

MLB players tell you who’s scary — and who should be afraid — in the postseason

Anything can happen in October, you always hear. Short series can narrow the gap between the juggernaut and the upstart — six wild-card teams have won the World Series since they were introduced in 1995 — but the quality of top competition has never been more pronounced than right now.

A record four teams won 100 games in 2019, a season after the record-breaking Red Sox defeated two 100-win clubs in the postseason en route to their championship. The obstacles to glory are serious.

Yahoo Sports asked active players around the game, and granted them anonymity to speak freely, which 2019 postseason teams they wouldn’t want to face on the climb toward a championship — and which clubs they saw as most vulnerable.

Unsurprisingly, a few of the groups that dominated the summer are inspiring trepidation for the fall. Like the 107-win Houston Astros, who won it all in 2017 and now boast a dynamic rotation that includes Cy Young favorites Justin Verlander and Gerrit Cole, plus trade deadline splash Zack Greinke.

Some commentary on the playoffs from current players- pity there’s no clear way to tell who these players are….

 

QLE Posted: October 01, 2019 at 12:01 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: players, postseason

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

37 MLB Players Destined to Become ‘Guys’ Who Will Be Remembered

Over the weekend, I went and visited my parents in the D.C. suburbs, ostensibly to help them move some things ahead of retirement but mostly to go through a bevy of things from my childhood that they needed either to toss or put in storage. That’s how I chanced upon the three binders of baseball cards I’d collected as a kid from around the age of eight to about 12 or 13, and while that means I didn’t get a start until the mid-1990s, I was still pulling cards from the hobby’s heyday of the 80s, particularly the end of the decade, which produced enough cards to build a bridge to the moon. But digging through baseball cards from 20–30 years ago is an exercise not so much in nostalgia as in sudden reminders of players who briefly existed, played and vanished—players who, despite careers of little impact, still had carved out space in my brain. I was, in other words, Remembering Some Guys.

The idea of Remembering A Guy is one pioneered by Deadspin’s David Roth, who has built a small cottage industry out of plucking semi-obscure names from the depths of the sport and resurrecting them online. There are no exact qualifications for what makes a Guy; like Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart on obscenity, you know one when you see one. Stan Belinda was a Guy; Carlos Baerga was a Guy; Ty Wigginton was very much a Guy. They’re players whose careers weren’t dotted with accolades or gaudy stats, but who hung around regardless, becoming mildly memorable in the process. They’re the baseball equivalent of That Guy in movies, usually a veteran character actor like Michael Ironside or Zeljko Ivanek who pops up in turgid action movies as a military officer or as a supporting character in a half-baked network drama about Powerful Bad People. The quintessential Guy was on five different teams in a seven-year career as a utility infielder, fourth outfielder or back-of-the-rotation starter. He also probably had a huge mustache.

Remembering Some Guys isn’t confined entirely to baseball; the NBA and NFL produced scores of Guys as well. But MLB seems to have the lion’s share of them, likely because of the preponderance of old baseball cards floating around the world that documented not just the game’s greatest stars but also the dudes on its edges. Those cards were the great democratizer: Everyone got one, even the lowliest of the low. Players whose MLB lives consisted of no more than a few weeks in September still got the card treatment; that helped ensure a steady supply of Guys.

But while flipping through those old cards, I got to wondering: Who will be the Guys of tomorrow? Who will endure through the mists of time to get recollected a decade or two from now? Who will get name-checked out of nowhere by a president for being a very big, very strong guy?

Remembrance of Players Past, or In Search of Lost Athletes

 

QLE Posted: September 18, 2019 at 12:42 AM | 44 comment(s)
  Beats: players

 

 

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