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Really? No Baseball Thread?

Jan 22, 2011
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Having been following it too closely last couple years, but as always (in the early part of season at least) GO JAYS GO!
 
Jun 15, 2009
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3 strikes and you are out.

The 1st strike was the MLB-Strike 1994/95.
The 2nd was ARod signing for 100 Mio $, but stadiums have to be paid by citizens. That´s absurd.
Strike 3 was all the doping issues breaking free in around 2004. But at that time i was only watching a little bit. Basically i was a hardcore fan until ARod. Then i gave it up more & more.

Like cycling and football, the 80´s were the greaties. After that it became more and more greed & money. It´s not a sport anymore.

What a shame for this once the greatest game of the world.
 
Jun 7, 2011
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Finally the nationals are doing well. Strasburg is a beast, and with jordan zimmerman, gio gonzalez, and ross detwiler they have a really good pitching rotation.
 
Mar 12, 2009
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Yeah, I was surprised there's no baseball thread. So here we go.
I've been a Red Sox fan since '86 and I'm still fairly pessimistic despite the decent start. However, as a Canadian, I do follow and care about the Jays and I'll tell ya the people who say it's still early, too early to worry are ignoring the numbers.

I'm pretty sure most experts are predicting a 93-94 win season to get a wild card. That is about where I put this team in the pre-season. I didn't agree with the hype about them being world series favorites, I thought they'd be a solid playoff contender and once you're in anything can happen. So let's say they immediately turn things around and play at that 93-94 game clip. That doesn't do it though, does it? They would be short the losses from April. Now I'm not saying they can't catch up but it does mean two things.
One, they've put themselves in a position where they will, at some point in the season, have to go on a bit of a run for a couple weeks. Or they pick up those extra wins here and there through the length of the season. That doesn't sound like a big deal but believe me, when you're already playing at the level you should be, finding even a few extra wins is very tough.
Two, they absolutely cannot afford a prolonged losing skid later in the season.

Finally, it's the pitching so far that I don't get. Near team-wide hitting slumps happen, I get that. But I just don't understand how four solid, proven pitchers can be so bad all at the same time.
 
Jun 22, 2009
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Descender said:
I seem to recall a topic back in 11, which was largely 13 and I. Must have been one of the ones Alpe closed.

Anyway, Nats fan here, feeling pretty disgruntled after these two losses to the Braves. I expect the NL East to be entirely between these two teams, whom I both expect to get 90 wins plus. The Nats have their sights set on going all the way this year, but if they're going to achieve that then their fabled starting pitchers are going to have to do rather better than they have so far. Still, early days, and baseball sure is a funny old game.
 
May 27, 2012
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marinoni said:
Yeah, I was surprised there's no baseball thread. So here we go.
I've been a Red Sox fan since '86 and I'm still fairly pessimistic despite the decent start. However, as a Canadian, I do follow and care about the Jays and I'll tell ya the people who say it's still early, too early to worry are ignoring the numbers.

I'm pretty sure most experts are predicting a 93-94 win season to get a wild card. That is about where I put this team in the pre-season. I didn't agree with the hype about them being world series favorites, I thought they'd be a solid playoff contender and once you're in anything can happen. So let's say they immediately turn things around and play at that 93-94 game clip. That doesn't do it though, does it? They would be short the losses from April. Now I'm not saying they can't catch up but it does mean two things.
One, they've put themselves in a position where they will, at some point in the season, have to go on a bit of a run for a couple weeks. Or they pick up those extra wins here and there through the length of the season. That doesn't sound like a big deal but believe me, when you're already playing at the level you should be, finding even a few extra wins is very tough.
Two, they absolutely cannot afford a prolonged losing skid later in the season.

Finally, it's the pitching so far that I don't get. Near team-wide hitting slumps happen, I get that. But I just don't understand how four solid, proven pitchers can be so bad all at the same time.
We don't have a "Watching paint dry" thread either, but I don't see anyone complaining about that...:D
 
Jun 19, 2009
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ChewbaccaD said:
We don't have a "Watching paint dry" thread either, but I don't see anyone complaining about that...:D
Unless you want to point out the recent comparisons between A Rod and LA at Sport Illustrated. Otherwise; it's more fun to play than watch.
 
I have posted several links discussing the increasing problem of concussions in the NFL. I had not realized it was potentially a problem in baseball, too. I knew that Giant's manager Bruce Bochy wants to change the rules to prevent catchers from being allowed to block home plate when a runner attempts to score. Essentially anything goes in this situation; the runner, who these days is likely to be the size of a linebacker, can go for the catcher's head or any other body part.The resulting collisions have caused a lot of injuries; Bochy knows this too well, as Giants catcher Buster Posey missed most of 20ll from a broken leg suffered in such a collision.

But now there is talk that such collisions may contribute to concussions, too. Cardinals manager Mike Matheny, a former catcher who has joined Bochy's campaign for a rules change, had to retire when he suffered serious cognitive deficits. He thinks this was from taking many foul tips in the face mask, compounded with a number of collisions suffered when he was in the minors:

Matheny's personal history makes the most compelling case for change, or just expediting the debate about change…the stories of Matheny's fogginess, and the fact that he uses the word "scary" to describe his 18 months in cognitive limbo, render the status quo unconscionable…

Over those 18 months, he routinely had to call his wife, Kristen, from his car to remind him of his destination and directions. He had to wear a heart monitor, because if his pulse approached 120 beats per minute, his mind would spin. Fatigue, headaches and dizziness. His five kids would walk with him, and "when we'd go up a set of steps, they'd have to stop and wait with me, because I'd get completely lightheaded and had to hold onto the rail for a minute."

He'd pull into gas stations, fill up the tank and forget the nozzle was still inserted as he drove off, pulling the hose off its base…

It was 2006, and he played for the Giants, a year ahead of Bochy's arrival. A series of foul tips off his mask in a short period of time produced the concussions. Matheny believes that they had such a dramatic effect because they compounded the damage from multiple collisions…

Matheny kept thinking everything would clear up if he just kept working away. On May 31, catching his friend and longtime teammate in St. Louis, Matt Morris, he realized he was hurting himself and the team. He went to the mound in a tough inning, with runners on, and called for a fastball during the conference to prevent the man at second from reading a sign and relaying it to the batter.

"By the time I got back behind the plate, I kind of forgot what we talked about," Matheny said. "So I knew I was in trouble at that point. And I guessed the wrong way."

He went down to block an expected breaking pitch. The fastball hit him in the chest. "Runners advanced, runner scored," he said.
Home plate collisions are not that common in baseball, certainly not as common as hits to a QB in the NFL. There isn't the testimony of hundreds of former players, as is the case with the NFL. But a catcher in that situation is far more vulnerable than a NFL player, because he's not wearing a helmet, and there is nothing in the rules to prevent the runner from going for his head.

And the foul tip situation is something that had never occurred to me before. Catchers do experience a lot of these, a baseball moving very fast hitting a face mask, resulting in the kind of sudden jarring to the brain that is known to cause concussions.

Most big league catchers accumulate a long list of injuries during their careers, and those that last very long usually end up being moved to another position. Among major team sports in the U.S., QB is usually considered the most difficult and demanding position, but catcher should be a close second. Any spectator can see when a QB excels, but a catcher's excellence is mostly hidden. Start with the fact that they have to squat down in a wholly unnatural and uncomfortable position inning after inning; offhand I can't think of any other position in any other sport that requires such an awkward posture. That alone has to be very hard on the body. I personally have never been able to understand how they catch a baseball thrown at more than ninety mph when a bat is being swung at it. They have literally no more than a few milliseconds in which to determine whether they have to catch the ball or watch it go into play. And all this time they not only have to work with the pitcher, but set the defense for the entire team.

Quite a bit more dangerous than letting paint dry.
 
Mar 16, 2009
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Given the physical punishment suffered by catchers, the pieces of equipment associated with the position are often referred to as "the tools of ignorance"
 
In my previous post, I added a gif that showed the movement on Dickey's knuckler, and it vanished! Strange! To continue the Dickey talk, he broke a fingernail in the 1st inning of the Bosox game he lost, and I think as the season goes he'll be fine. Good 60 Minutes segment on him here.

During the 1970 All Star game Pete Rose came around 3rd and plowed into Ray Fosse with full force, dislocating Fosse's shoulder. Rose was unapologetic because Fosse was completely blocking the plate. Fosse recovered and in later years joked about the incident, "well, that's football", though has been somewhat bitter about it for years, considering it was an all-star game and Rose completely took him out. Here it is on YouTube.

After Posey was injured there was talk of finally changing the rules. One suggestion was that the catcher could not straddle the 3rd base line with both feet - essentially blocking the plate, unless the throw caused him to move there. But this could also leave the catcher in potentially more vulnerable body positions.
 
The 2013 MLB playoffs are upon us. I hope there are some fans out there.

In the NL we have:

Cincinnati at Pittsburgh in one wildcard game. This is the first time in many years the Pirates have been. Home field helps, but the Reds are probably a better team. Winner takes on St. Louis.

The other series has the LA Dodgers taking on Atlanta, who somewhat backed into the playoffs. Dodgers have maybe the most solid team in MLB, position for position.

In the AL we have:

Tampa Bay at Cleveland in the single game wild card. The Indians won a lot of games late against easy competition, but TB is hot as well. Winner goes to Boston.

The other series is Detroit and Oakland. Im a big A's fan, but their schedule was fairly weak late, and if Verlander pitches like he's capable...

As to predictions, the NL seems like an LA-St.Louis showdown, and I like the Dodgers. Though I'd love to see the Pirates beat the Reds and win some games.

The AL is more intriguing. If Tampa gets past the Indians, they are a well run club with playoff experience, and a good rotation. This could give Boston some fits. Detroit and Oakland alone should be fun to watch.

Overall I think Boston is the team to beat, if Clay Buckholz pitches like he's capable, the Redsox pitching is very solid, with consistent hitters, and will be hard to stop.
 
I don't pay much attention to baseball, but will root for the Indians being I lived in Cleveland for several years many moons ago. (I went to a couple of games at the old Cleveland stadium, the peanut gallery bleachers in the outfield were a blast.)

Otherwise I'm a Mariners fan, being I also lived in Seattle for quite a few years.
 
We're down to four teams.

I have to like the RedSox over the Tigers, though the way Verlander pitched last night, no one will hit him.

The consensus is the Dodgers over the Cardinals, but the way St. Louis is playing, and especially pitching, I am not writing them off.
 
Jun 22, 2009
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Alpe d'Huez said:
We're down to four teams.

I have to like the RedSox over the Tigers, though the way Verlander pitched last night, no one will hit him.

The consensus is the Dodgers over the Cardinals, but the way St. Louis is playing, and especially pitching, I am not writing them off.
Verlander was simply awesome from what I saw while mainly watching the Giants lose again. Agree with your view of who the 'favorites' are, but I'll be contrary and pick the Tigers and Cards to go through.
 
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