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World Series Newsbeat

Friday, February 21, 2020

When It Counted: Retrospective MVP Awards for the World Series, Part 2

Last month, I began this series to select World Series Most Valuable Players for the years when the current award did not exist. I covered the years 1903 to 1928, halting there for reasons of length. Today I’ll cover the rest of the pre-MVP period, from 1929 to 1954.

For anyone new to these articles (including my original one for the League Championship Series), or who wants a refresher on my methodology, I refer you to the introduction to last month’s article. Nothing has changed, except perhaps my willingness to reward players on the losing side. I did it three times in the 1903-28 part of this overview, but though I was close several times this go-round, I never pulled the trigger.

I won’t fill time with any more introductory talk. We have a lot of World Series to revisit, and I’ll start on them right now.

Well, the MMPs are winding down- why not argue about postseason awards?

 

QLE Posted: February 21, 2020 at 01:13 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: awards and honors, mvp, world series

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Yankees’ Masahiro Tanaka says he feels cheated out of World Series by Astros

Asked Monday at Yankees spring training in Tampa, Fla. whether he felt “cheated” out of a potential World Series title by the Astros sign-stealing scandal, Masahiro Tanaka was clear.

“Yeah,” Tanaka said. “You do feel that way. You do feel that way.”

“I don’t know if mad is the right word,” Tanaka added about it. “It’s something that’s out of the rule. They’re obviously not abiding by the rules, so yeah. That’s what I thought.”

The Astros took down the Yankees in seven games in the 2017 ALCS before beating the Dodgers to win the first World Series in their history. In the 2019 ALCS, the Astros beat the Yankees in six games before falling to the Nationals in the World Series.

So, how big do we suppose the Loyal Order of Irate Pitchers is, and how do we suppose they will act in the coming season?

 

QLE Posted: February 11, 2020 at 12:35 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, dirty rotten cheaters, masahiro tanaka, world series

Sunday, January 12, 2020

‘Jeopardy: Greatest of All Time’ is getting higher ratings than 2019 NBA Finals and World Series

“Jeopardy: Greatest of All Time” has been a total home run with viewers.

The program, a competition between the three most successful winners in “Jeopardy” history, has aired three installments on ABC so far, and is averaging nearly 15 million viewers in same-day ratings. With today’s fractured viewing habits and the decline of traditional network programming, that’s a pretty big deal.

What’s even more impressive is that “Jeopardy: Greatest of All Time” has bested some of network TV’s most stalwart programming: sports. From The Hollywood Reporter”

“Each episode of The Greatest of All Time has also outdrawn the first four games of the 2019 NBA Finals, the first five games of the 2019 World Series, all but one of ESPN’s 17 Monday Night Football telecasts and seven of Fox’s 11 Thursday Night Football showcases.”

So, any theories as for why this is the case, either compared to the World Series specifically or to all of these sports broadcasts generally?

 

QLE Posted: January 12, 2020 at 12:49 AM | 62 comment(s)
  Beats: broadcasting, off-topic, ratings, sports television, world series

Saturday, January 11, 2020

Hal Smith, author of his own huge home run in 1960, dies

Bill Mazeroski has always balked when asked if he’d hit the biggest home run in baseball history.

“Heck,” Maz would respond anytime I’d bring this up in Bradenton, “I didn’t even hit the biggest homer in that game”

Hal Smith, whose three-run home run for the Pirates in Game 7 of the 1960 World Series against the Yankees would be overshadowed an inning later by Maz’s legendary shot, died Thursday at age 89 in Columbus, Texas, a small town near Houston.

And yes, it was Mr. Smith’s home run that set the stage and, very nearly, stole it, on that magical fall day at Forbes Field half a century ago.

 

 

QLE Posted: January 11, 2020 at 12:11 AM | 25 comment(s)
  Beats: hal smith, obituaries, pirates, rip, world series

Friday, December 06, 2019

The Best Post-Season Games Ever Pitched

Don Larsen doesn’t top the list.
Don Larsen doesn’t top the list?!??
Don Larsen doesn’t top the list.

gehrig97 Posted: December 06, 2019 at 08:24 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: babe ruth, roger clemens, roy halladay, world series, yankees

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Full share for World Series champion Nats drops to $382,000

NEW YORK (AP) — A full postseason share on World Series champion Washington was worth $382,358, down from $416,838 for Boston last year and the record $438,902 for Houston in 2017.

The commissioner’s office said Tuesday the Nationals voted 61 full shares, more than 14 partial shares and two cash awards. The Red Sox had 66 full shares, more than 10 partial shares and eight cash awards.

The players’ pool was nearly $81 million, the third highest behind a record $88 million last year and more than $84 million in 2017.

So, how do I get a share?

QLE Posted: November 26, 2019 at 10:30 PM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: nationals, shares, world series

Friday, November 08, 2019

Nats World Series Win Affirmed Their Once-Questioned Existence in D.C.

From our own(?) Chris Needham:

D.C. baseball fans are told that their baseball history is actually Montreal’s. Hipster baseball fans who’ve never set foot in Quebec and can’t name any Expos other than Tim Raines and Pedro Martinez push for a version of history that prefers a corporate lineage to the over 100 years of baseball history in Washington: of Walter Johnson and Goose Goslin; of Josh Gibson and Buck Leonard.

Bote Man Posted: November 08, 2019 at 08:20 AM | 61 comment(s)
  Beats: fans, nationals, world series

Wednesday, November 06, 2019

Strong ending helps World Series avoid record low viewership

NEW YORK (AP) — It may be no solace to the Houston Astros, but the Washington Nationals’ comeback win in the World Series helped baseball avoid a dubious record.

The series’ seventh and deciding game reached 23.2 million people, eclipsing even “Sunday Night Football” and enabling the Series to average just under 14 million viewers per game, the Nielsen company said. The last game drew nearly 7 million more viewers than any of the other games.

Through five games, the series was on pace to be the least-watched Fall Classic ever.

At least for another year, San Francisco’s four-game sweep of Detroit in 2012 keeps the record of least popular series ever. It averaged 12.66 million viewers.

One last ratings report- as a side note, many of you may find flipping to a few paragraphs ahead rather interesting in terms of understanding the current media market.

 

QLE Posted: November 06, 2019 at 01:05 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: broadcasting, ratings, world series

Saturday, November 02, 2019

McCarthy: the nerds cost the Astros the World Series and it was glorious to watch

Speaking of dumb narratives…

Jim Furtado Posted: November 02, 2019 at 08:59 AM | 36 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, world series

Why did those World Series games last so long?

Baseball’s regular season has the pace-of-play problem with which we’re all familiar: Many of the 2,430 games take on dead time until they are boring, lulling. It’s a good dish, watered down until you don’t love it as much.

The postseason’s pace-of-play problem is different. It’s not that games get boring, since a World Series game is almost always tense and urgent, and if you’re on a cross-country flight with cable TV access you will enjoy every moment of it. But most people aren’t on cross-country flights. Most people have full lives, and they have to squeeze in their baseball indulgences among other obligations, like family, and sleep, and moving at least once every four hours to avoid nerve damage. These postseason games are thrilling, but they are so lengthy that they become impractical for many otherwise enthusiastic customers—a good dish that goes cold before it can be finished.

Nearly every game in this World Series was long, even by World Series standards. Of the 13 longest nine-inning World Series games this decade, six came this year. Game 3, a 4-1 Houston victory, took 4 hours, 3 minutes

...

In some ways, the most discouraging part of the pace of these games is how well disguised the slowness is. It’s not that the games are slow for reasons that are anomalous (like 15-14 slugfests) or that could be easily legislated away (like limiting constant mound visits by catchers, which have been sharply curtailed since the 2017 postseason) or that would be delightful (very good dogs running onto the field to frolic). Rather, they’re slow because ... well, why are they slow?

A case study in pace-of-play issues, using Game 3 of the World Series.

 

 

QLE Posted: November 02, 2019 at 12:17 AM | 24 comment(s)
  Beats: pace of play, world series

Friday, November 01, 2019

BB Hall of Fame gets nice array of World Series artifacts

COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. (AP) — Artifacts from the World Series are headed to the Baseball Hall of Fame, including the ball hit by Washington’s Howie Kendrick off the right-field foul pole for the go-ahead home run in Game 7.

Following the Nationals’ 6-2 win over the Houston Astros on Wednesday night, the Nationals and players donated several pieces. Other items include a jersey worn by World Series MVP Stephen Strasburg in his Game 6 victory, a cap worn by starting pitcher Max Scherzer in Game 7, and the ball Juan Soto hit for a home run in Game 1.

Something to look for, the next time you’re in Cooperstown…..

 

QLE Posted: November 01, 2019 at 01:06 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, memorabilia, world series

World Series Loss Brings Astros’ Season-Long Dominance to Staggering End

HOUSTON — Baseball offers no harsher end than a loss in Game 7 of the World Series. You have endured the April frost and July heatstroke, the blowouts and the walk-offs, the delayed flights and the late-inning pitching changes, and you have played as long as you can play. And now you are faced with the most binary of options: win, and float with your friends through the next days and weeks in a champagne-soaked haze, or lose, and descend alone into winter.

Three of the last four seasons have slammed to a halt with this stark contrast, each team’s opposite emotion heightened by the suddenness with which it came. As the 2016 Cubs danced, the Indians staggered through the clubhouse. As the ’17 Astros doused one another in alcohol, the Dodgers wept openly. But on Wednesday, as the ’19 Nationals celebrated a title that even they barely believed had come, the Astros’ response was muted.

The tears were dry by the time the uniforms came off. Houston had just capped a 107-win season with a 6–2 loss, but the mood in the clubhouse reflected more disappointment than devastation.

At his locker, first baseman Yuli Gurriel checked his Instagram metrics. Across the room, outfielder Josh Reddick and reliever Will Harris argued about fantasy football invoices. In the quietest corner of the room, shortstop Carlos Correa and second baseman José Altuve leaned forward in the office chairs in front of their lockers. Between them, on the floor, sprawled third baseman Alex Bregman. In whispers, they discussed the improbability of what they had witnessed: Zack Greinke, seemingly on his way to a one-hit shutout, carried a 2–0 lead into the seventh inning. Then came a solo home run. A walk. A pitching change. Another longball. Two innings later, the Astros watched the Nationals celebrate at Minute Maid Park.

Some thoughts on what it means to lose a World Series, in parallel with the articles on what it means to win one.

 

QLE Posted: November 01, 2019 at 12:56 AM | 24 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, the agony of defeat, world series

The Nationals won their first title. Who’s next?

When I was a kid there were two immutable truths about baseball: the Boston Red Sox were cursed and the Chicago Cubs were losers, however lovable they might be.

Four World Series titles in the bag make that Red Sox curse seem rather quaint. The Cubs’ 2016 title — and four or five straight years with them considered rich and powerful contenders — put that lovable loser thing to rest. Time marches on and the stuff you believed about the world when you were a kid becomes inoperative as you grow older.

Young baseball fans today carry with them a different set of assumptions about who are baseball’s haves and who are baseball’s have-nots. To them the Sox and Cubs are and always have been alpha teams. Those powerful Braves and Indians teams from the 90s are only vague memories. The Dodgers have replaced the Braves as that great regular season club that can’t seem to get over the hump. And, of course, there are a handful of losers, some lovable, some not-so-lovable, that seem destined to never win it all.

Last night’s win took the Nationals out of that category. Their October surge — complete with five wins in elimination games in which they trailed at some point — forever vanquished the narrative about how they had never won a postseason series and kicked the memory of those 90-100-loss Nats teams from the first several years of their existence into a deep, deep hole.

A consideration of the chances that the six teams that have never won the World Series have of getting out of that club.

QLE Posted: November 01, 2019 at 12:41 AM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: brewers, mariners, padres, rangers, rays, rockies, world series

And now a word about Bryce Harper

Jumping ahead, unless you really like the Detroit Pistons:

Which makes me think, the morning after the Nationals won the World Series, about Bryce Harper.

To be clear: no, I don’t feel sorry for Bryce Harper. Not one iota. We’ve talked for a year about how and why he left Washington and the time for either (a) blaming him for taking the money and running to a division rival; or (b) blaming the Nats for not matching or beating the offer the Phillies gave him should be well behind us. I’m largely uninterested in revisiting any of that stuff or wondering if the Nationals could’ve or would’ve done as well this year with him as they did without him. The past is the past and, in the present, Bryce Harper plays for the Philadelphia Phillies and the Washington Nationals are World Champions. Adam Eaton is their right fielder and he was there to spray the champagne last night.

Nats fans, I presume, are largely past it too thanks to last night’s win. To be sure, if they’re still wanting to have some fun with Harper — and based on social media, there is a segment that still does — hey, they’re entitled to. I think — and would hope – that that impulse will soon pass, but fans of the World Series winners can celebrate however they wanna, even if it involves dunking on Bryce Harper. Go crazy, folks.

But I am still thinking about Adrian Dantley this morning and I am wondering if, on some level, it should be a bit harder to separate the Bryce Harper years and the World Series Champion 2019 Washington Nationals than everyone wants to make it out to be.

Some thoughts on what it means when a team wins a championship immediately after a notable player leaves.

QLE Posted: November 01, 2019 at 12:31 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: bryce harper, nationals, world series

2020 World Series odds: Astros and Dodgers favored to win pennants, Nationals sit third in National

The Washington Nationals took home the 2019 World Series title in seven games on Wednesday, and while the 2020 MLB season is still five months away, odds for next fall’s World Series and pennant championships are out. The latest 2020 World Series odds have this year’s runner-up Houston Astros as 4-to-1 favorites to win it all, with the Los Angeles Dodgers and New York Yankees behind Houston with 5-to-1 odds. Eight (Astros, Dodgers, Yankees, Braves, Red Sox, Nationals, Indians and Cardinals) of baseball’s 30 teams have World Series odds of 18-to-1 or lower.

For the AL pennant, the Astros are a +225 favorite with the Yankees at +250. Over in the NL, the pennant favorites are the Dodgers with +250 odds and the Braves next on the board at +450.

The Astros were one game away from winning their second World Series title in three years, before the Nationals won two straight games in Houston to clinch the 2019 title. The club is expected to return the majority of their potent lineup in 2020, and they’ll once again be the team to beat in the 2020 season. Gerrit Cole will be a free agent at the conclusion of the 2019 season, and even if he departs, Houston will be bringing back Justin Verlander and Zack Greinke to lead the pitching staff.

Never too early, is it?

 

QLE Posted: November 01, 2019 at 12:15 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: odds, world series

Nationals-Astros was least-watched Game 7 this decade, but the ratings news isn’t all bad

These days, when it comes to baseball ratings, you take the good with the bad. For this World Series between the Houston Astros and Washington Nationals, and specifically Wednesday night’s Game 7, there was indeed both good and bad.

John Ourand of Sports Business Journal reports Game 7 had 23.013 million viewers with a 13.1 rating. It was 24 million when you add streaming platforms. That makes it the most-watched non-NFL sporting event of the year on Fox and the most-streamed MLB game ever on Fox.

Those numbers are quite a bit more than the previous games in this series — 85 percent actually, according to Fox Sports’ Michael Mulvihill. The Hollywood Reporter is also calling it the most-watched baseball game in two years.

Where that doesn’t compare as well is to other World Series Game 7s this decade. In fact, it ranks the lowest among the five, coming in below the 2014 Game 7 between the Royals and Giants, which drew 23.517 million viewers. The other end of that is Cubs and Indians in 2016 with 40.047 million.

 

 

 

QLE Posted: November 01, 2019 at 12:05 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: broadcasting, ratings, streaming, world series

Thursday, October 31, 2019

‘We’re World Series champions’: How a six-man unit of Nationals pitchers slayed the Astros’ lineup – The Athletic

One thing I’ve learned over the years is, winning a playoff series doesn’t mean the better overall team won. Luck plays a much bigger role than people realize. I’m not saying not to appreciate the victory. I’m saying the narratives attached to those victories don’t usually match the outcomes.

“Everybody thinks they’re a better team,” Hudson said as he sipped a Budweiser after the game. “And we’re World Series champions. Baseball is not played on paper. It’s just a fluky game, a funny game.”

Jim Furtado Posted: October 31, 2019 at 11:40 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, nationals, world series

A baseball miracle or a deal with the devil? Nah, it was just Nationals baseball.

Boswell rises to the occasion, including this burn:

Next, Soto walked, and Greinke was removed from the game. Don’t ask why, after just 80 pitches, a former Cy Young Award winner with a 2.98 ERA this season would get the hook. But the Astros think they are smart — very, very smart — and that they have the mathematically perfect player for every situation and matchup.

Heh.

Perry Posted: October 31, 2019 at 11:35 AM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: nationals, thomas boswell, world series

Biggio and Bagwell throw out Game 7 ceremonial first pitches

HOUSTON — Two of Houston’s all-time favorite people got World Series Game 7 started tonight.

Hall of Famers and Astros legends Craig Biggio and Jeff Bagwell through out the ceremonial first pitches before the deciding game in the 2017 World Series between Houston and Washington.

A fitting choice- I hope the two of them aren’t too depressed about the results of the night.

 

QLE Posted: October 31, 2019 at 12:35 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: craig biggio, first pitch, jeff bagwell, world series

Dave Martinez says doctor, fan were worried for his health after Game 6 tirade

Dave Martinez lost his cool on Tuesday.

The Washington Nationals manager blew up at umpires after a controversial call went against shortstop Trea Turner during Game 6 of the World Series against the Houston Astros, and Martinez gave the umpire crew an earful.

After play continued, Martinez went out for more between innings and had to be restrained as umpires ejected him from the game.

Martinez — in considerably better spirits ahead of Game 7 after the Nationals prevailed on Tuesday — told reporters on Wednesday that a fan and a team doctor were concerned for his health during his outburst.

I sincerely hope he feels better now, and that the excitement of this moment isn’t too much….

 

QLE Posted: October 31, 2019 at 12:29 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: dave martinez, world series

Undefeated in Oct., Stras named WS MVP

Stephen Strasburg did not appear in Game 7 of the World Series on Wednesday night, but the Nationals right-hander already had made his mark on this Fall Classic.

Strasburg won the Willie Mays World Series Most Valuable Player Award presented by Chevrolet for those efforts after the Nats closed out the first championship in franchise history, beating the Astros, 6-2, at Minute Maid Park. He earned that honor by starting and winning Games 2 and 6, becoming the first pitcher to finish a postseason 5-0.

Congratulations to Strasburg and to the Nationals.

 

QLE Posted: October 31, 2019 at 12:01 AM | 25 comment(s)
  Beats: mvp, stephen strasburg, world series

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

MLB’s Torre says “right call” on dispute interference

HOUSTON (AP) — Major League Baseball executive Joe Torre says the “right call” was made and that a protest was denied after Nationals leadoff hitter Trea Turner was called out for interference during Washington’s 7-2 Game 6 victory in the World Series on Tuesday night.

Nationals manager Dave Martinez was ejected for arguing plate umpire Sam Holbrook’s ruling in the seventh inning, and Torre said Washington’s request to protest the game was denied because it was a judgment call.

Holbrook’s signal came after Turner hit a slow roller down the third base line with a runner at first and ran narrowly inside fair territory.

Pitcher Brad Peacock fielded the ball, and his throw pulled first baseman Yuli Gurriel toward the baseline. As Gurriel stretched, Turner ran into his glove, and the ball bounced off Turner’s leg and into foul territory. Turner ended up at second, with lead runner Yan Gomes going to third — except Holbrook quickly signaled for interference.

I believe that this is what our British friends would describe as “Mandy Rice-Davies applies”.

QLE Posted: October 30, 2019 at 12:49 AM | 193 comment(s)
  Beats: controversial calls, interference, joe torre, trea turner, world series

New Jersey sports books could lose millions to high roller ‘Mattress Mack’ if Astros win World Serie

The Houston Astros are one game away from winning the World Series, something that would be costly for New Jersey sports books — largely due to one bettor who doesn’t even live here but has wagered around $4 million on the Astros winning it all.

Jim “Mattress Mack” McIngvale has been making headlines back in his home state of Texas for the large bets he has been placing on the Astros to win it all. The furniture mogul who owns three Gallery Furniture stores in Houston is offering a promotion to his customers where he would give full refunds up to $3,000 if the Astros win.

“I believe in the Astros,’’ McIngvale told the Asbury Park Press. “I’ve watched them play all year.”

The bets are in part a hedge against the cost of the promotion, said Darren Rovell, a sports business analyst and betting expert who works for Action Network.

Somewhere, Sport Sullivan is kicking himself….

 

QLE Posted: October 30, 2019 at 12:23 AM | 28 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, gambling, new jersey, world series

Nielsen: 2019 World Series on track to be least-watched ever

This year’s Houston Astros-Washington Nationals World Series is on track to be the least-watched in the history of the game, the Associated Press reported via Nielsen data on Tuesday.

The series has averaged 11.6 million viewers through the first five games, according to Nielsen. The current least-watched series was the San Francisco Giants’ sweep of the Detroit Tigers in 2012, which garnered an average of 12.64 million viewers.

An important note, however, is that at least one elimination game — which you might expect to bring higher viewership — is yet to come. Should the Astros clinch it in Game 6, however, it would need to draw approximately 18 million viewers to bring the series’ average over 2012’s average (or average about 15.5 million over the final two games).

[Steps back, waits for the arguments as for why to begin]

 

QLE Posted: October 30, 2019 at 12:19 AM | 51 comment(s)
  Beats: broadcasting, ratings, world series

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

DC police: WV Man sold $2K in fake World Series tickets

WASHINGTON (AP) — Police in Washington have arrested a West Virginia man accused of selling $2,000 in fake World Series tickets.

Metropolitan D.C. police said Sunday they charged 54-year-old Ondre Nelson of Huntington, West Virginia, with first-degree fraud. The Washington Post reports Nelson sold five counterfeit tickets for $400 each to a man near the ballpark just before Friday’s third game between the Washington Nationals and Houston Astros.

 

 

 

QLE Posted: October 29, 2019 at 12:35 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: counterfeits, tickets, world series

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