Author Topic: Baseball 2018  (Read 15855 times)

FerriswheelBueller

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Baseball 2018
« on: March 29, 2018, 01:38:39 PM »
Opening day is nearly upon us. Am I the only one excited?

Trying to find some stuff to read, and saw this execrable article in the Graun that predicts Stanton will increase his rate of dingers by 20% despite being a year older and facing AL East pitching. That’s without going into his injury free season last year - I reckon he’ll play 110 games this year tops.

The writers also noted the “speed up” rules for extra innings in AA/AAA and incorrectly assumed they applied to the majors (they don’t). Also the Jays essentially don’t exist (they do), Miami has a chance in the NL East (they don’t), and Charlie Morton is an elite pitcher instead of one guy who had one great performance 6 months ago (he isn’t). A baffling collection of misinformed opinions.

https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2018/mar/29/mlb-2018-predictions-stantons-70-homers-and-dodgers-astros-power-struggles

I expect this will be a looonely thread, but I don’t care.

Famous Mortimer

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Re: Baseball 2018
« Reply #1 on: March 29, 2018, 02:20:19 PM »
I'll chip in from time to time, and I'm pretty sure there's a few others (although perhaps they don't post any more).

I'm always puzzled by British papers writing about baseball - for such a niche pursuit, why not do it right? Perhaps the one guy on the staff who's interested in baseball did it for a laugh.

Last season, I lived within walking distance of Busch Stadium and went to maybe 30 Cardinals games - get on Seatgeek, find a $3 bleacher seat, job done. I looked about a week ago and saw $25 tickets to the home opener, so I thought "I'll wait a week, I'm sure prices will go down" although I might have just been...Going to the last game at Busch last year, when baseball felt like it had something to prove against all those damn black NFL players protesting, felt a little too much like going to a weird rally, so my feelings about going to many more games this year have definitely changed. And now prices are all $50 and above, I doubt I'll be there.

Oh, and you might be the only person on this board to be interested in this, I was off work on Tuesday so went for a haircut. Just a cheap mall place, but they've done good work in the past. As I walk in, the guy behind me...Cardinals legend Jim Edmonds! Seemed like a nice chap, although I'm guessing sneaking into a Great Clips at 10am on a Tuesday indicated he wasn't bothered about some gushing fanboy so I kept my mouth shut.

Stanton has that nice short porch in Yankee Stadium to aim for, so he might break a record if everything falls right for him. It's not like his two major recent injuries were his "fault", so he might be a workhorse. You never know.

Re: my Cardinals, apart from giving speaking space to bigot Lance Berkman and having to be forced to have a Pride Day by press shame (it was a wonderful day, though, same-sex couples getting cheers on the kiss-cam and all), they're really trying to be as dull as possible. As the racketeers who run baseball have figured out, there's no real link between success and profitability, so who cares about the big-ticket free agents? This year's team is shaping up for .500 dullness.


BlodwynPig

  • Throwing two dogs at a goblin
Re: Baseball 2018
« Reply #2 on: March 29, 2018, 02:33:15 PM »
Don't worry lads, I'm about to turn baseball!

Re: Baseball 2018
« Reply #3 on: March 29, 2018, 02:36:04 PM »
Go Blue Jays!

Right, that's me done. See you in the 2019 thread.

FerriswheelBueller

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Re: Baseball 2018
« Reply #4 on: March 29, 2018, 10:00:22 PM »
Well... Stanton on course for 162 HRs, Jays still trying to get a hit. Going to be a long season.

BlodwynPig

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Re: Baseball 2018
« Reply #5 on: March 29, 2018, 11:06:10 PM »
Well... Stanton on course for 162 HRs, Jays still trying to get a hit. Going to be a long season.

is this first game of the season? 4-0 down, will the crowd turn feral?

newbridge

  • Endless Summer of George
Re: Baseball 2018
« Reply #6 on: March 30, 2018, 12:00:53 AM »
I could see the Marlins finishing with a better record than the Jays, sorry to say. (They are both bad.)

/m/

Re: Baseball 2018
« Reply #7 on: March 30, 2018, 01:12:42 AM »
Any team as demoralising as Aston Villa? Because that's a team I want to follow!

I've wanted to watch baseball for a while. What little I've seen of it has been calm and refreshingly quiet, and there's something very satisfying about the diamond design of the field. The history, lore, and traditions of the game look interesting too. But, having no connection to any countries where the game is popular, I don't know who to follow - I don't really want to follow the baseballing equivalent of Aston Villa, obviously, as I'd like to watch a team whose unspoken motto is not "It's The Hope That Kills You, You Know?" What I hope someone can answer for me, though, is whether baseball is like football in that the cream of available talent is swept-up by a small group of elite teams, or is there a more even distribution? Who's the most enjoyable team to watch right now?

BlodwynPig

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Re: Baseball 2018
« Reply #8 on: March 30, 2018, 01:25:13 AM »
Just looking up the scores and it seems they have been playing loads of games since February (spring training), must be fucking tiring...not like pre-season friendlies in football where you play 3 or 4 matches with local lower league sides.

FerriswheelBueller

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Re: Baseball 2018
« Reply #9 on: March 30, 2018, 02:46:46 AM »
I’m pissed up in a cab on the way home - will record my thoughts when they are a bit more focused.

Famous Mortimer

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Re: Baseball 2018
« Reply #10 on: March 30, 2018, 04:56:15 AM »
Any team as demoralising as Aston Villa? Because that's a team I want to follow!

I've wanted to watch baseball for a while. What little I've seen of it has been calm and refreshingly quiet, and there's something very satisfying about the diamond design of the field. The history, lore, and traditions of the game look interesting too. But, having no connection to any countries where the game is popular, I don't know who to follow - I don't really want to follow the baseballing equivalent of Aston Villa, obviously, as I'd like to watch a team whose unspoken motto is not "It's The Hope That Kills You, You Know?" What I hope someone can answer for me, though, is whether baseball is like football in that the cream of available talent is swept-up by a small group of elite teams, or is there a more even distribution? Who's the most enjoyable team to watch right now?
I'd say the Yankees, Angels or Dodgers would be the teams to follow if you want to see success, they're loaded this year, but if you want a Villa-like side...then the Pirates maybe?

Cardinals ate shit their first game of the season, with pitching being the main let-down. I get the feeling this is going to be a long season. I had the game on the radio at work, and local station KMOX, which is one of the more famous baseball broadcasters, now has adverts for pro-life pressure groups in between innings. Long season indeed.

FerriswheelBueller

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Re: Baseball 2018
« Reply #11 on: March 30, 2018, 11:47:02 AM »
Any team as demoralising as Aston Villa? Because that's a team I want to follow!

I've wanted to watch baseball for a while. What little I've seen of it has been calm and refreshingly quiet, and there's something very satisfying about the diamond design of the field. The history, lore, and traditions of the game look interesting too. But, having no connection to any countries where the game is popular, I don't know who to follow - I don't really want to follow the baseballing equivalent of Aston Villa, obviously, as I'd like to watch a team whose unspoken motto is not "It's The Hope That Kills You, You Know?" What I hope someone can answer for me, though, is whether baseball is like football in that the cream of available talent is swept-up by a small group of elite teams, or is there a more even distribution? Who's the most enjoyable team to watch right now?

There is a far more even distribution of top players for Byzantine reasons that aren’t really worth going into, but every team usually has at least 1 or 2 stars on there.

As a long suffering Villa fan, I find watching the Blue Jays to be a similar experience. They’re an outside shot for the post-season (“the playoffs”) via the wildcard, but they might also just be terrible. I’ll enjoy watching them either way. Last year, they were bottom of the AL East for every single day of the season except for 2 days - the first day of the season when everyone starts equal, and due to a total collapse of the Orioles, the last day of the season, and finished one above bottom at the expense of Baltimore much to everyone’s amusement in Toronto. That’s sort of fun.

Most enjoyable team to watch may well be the Yankees because they are based around hitting homeruns and not much else. They have spent an incredible amount of cash so it would be like watching Barcelona, if that’s your bag. Personally, I can’t stand the Yankees so I’ll recommend the Cubs or the Dodgers.

If you enjoy a slower and more deliberate pace of play, you’ll like baseball. Also, even the absolute worst team in the Majors will still win around 40% of their games, so if you lose today, you’ll probably win tomorrow. You become a lot more zen about the whole thing. Watching Villa lose 4 or 5 in a row a la 2014 meant you might go months without seeing your team win at home. Not so with baseball.

Re: the Blue Jays yesterday - awful. Don’t know why we picked up Clippard, I never rated him at the Yankees.

Re: Baseball 2018
« Reply #12 on: March 30, 2018, 11:48:37 AM »
Fully expecting that Chinese Space Station will take out a couple of the Mets' rotation on re-entry.


& re: picking teams

If you're in Europe and have normal-ish sleep habits, you'll want to avoid following a West Coast team. Time difference for Central/Eastern teams means most weeks you'll get at least a couple of games for evening watching.

FerriswheelBueller

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Re: Baseball 2018
« Reply #13 on: March 30, 2018, 03:12:56 PM »
So it’s decided - you’ll follow the Blue Jays and enjoy the finest Canadian baseball there is

BlodwynPig

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Re: Baseball 2018
« Reply #14 on: March 30, 2018, 03:23:27 PM »
What game are you looking at to break my baseball hymen? It should be a big club like Yankees or Mets. As a Seinfeld fan can it be Mets? Are they in the same division/league?

Re: Baseball 2018
« Reply #15 on: March 30, 2018, 03:33:38 PM »
What game are you looking at to break my baseball hymen? It should be a big club like Yankees or Mets. As a Seinfeld fan can it be Mets? Are they in the same division/league?

Going to a game or watching it on TV?
If it's the former, go to Boston.

BlodwynPig

  • Throwing two dogs at a goblin
Re: Baseball 2018
« Reply #16 on: March 30, 2018, 03:45:23 PM »
Going to a game or watching it on TV?
If it's the former, go to Boston.

We're going to the Rodgers Centre to eat expensive hot dogs and drink expensive water beer.

kngen

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Re: Baseball 2018
« Reply #17 on: March 30, 2018, 05:01:34 PM »
I married into a Yankees family, which is annoying, as when they win, it's not really surprising, as they have got more money than anyone else. And when they lose, it's an embarrassment. Whee! That's fun.

So I secretly support my 'local' team, the Nationals. I like the W on their hats. Also, I like going to my local bush league team, the Flying Squirrels - they have deep fried pickles and a local brewery made a beer for them (called Chin Music), which is very nice indeed. Oh, and occasionally someone will hit a ball.

Re: Baseball 2018
« Reply #18 on: March 30, 2018, 05:10:10 PM »
My girlfriend is a Redsox fan, so we're divisional rivals.
United by a hatred of the Yankees though.

FerriswheelBueller

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Re: Baseball 2018
« Reply #19 on: March 30, 2018, 05:50:01 PM »
The Mets play in the National league east, the Jays play in the American League East. Slightly different rule set, but yes they do play each other, just not very often. Will check schedules and see - best thing to do is buy tickets on stubhub for like $6 a piece when they start to tank, so in a few weeks. Will keep an eye out

kngen

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Re: Baseball 2018
« Reply #20 on: March 30, 2018, 06:28:38 PM »
United by a hatred of the Yankees.

That could be the MLB slogan.

/m/

Re: Baseball 2018
« Reply #21 on: March 30, 2018, 07:35:16 PM »
So it’s decided - you’ll follow the Blue Jays and enjoy the finest Canadian baseball there is

Hold your horses, bucko! I've done some reading and whittled the teams down to a shortlist of five thus far, with reasons.

Yankees or Mets: I've seen many crime procedurals set in New York (Person of Interest, Elementary, CSI:NY, Law & Order). So many, in fact, that I feel I now have an intimate connection with the state and the city and so I know everything there is to know about them, thank you. This is without mentioning that many of my favourite Americans are New Yorkers (all Jews). Baseball fans claim the downsides of the Yankees are (1) supporting them is like rooting for Jeff Bezos to catch a break and (2) having to share a fanbase with bandwagoning jerks. But, in a way, this makes me want to support them all the more, if only to annoy the kind of person who complains about bandwagoning jerks (and because it wouldn't hurt to follow a team who wins stuff, for a change). But if Ferris is correct and they're all about hitting homeruns and very little else, I suspect I'd lose interest in them fairly quickly. I can't say I took to them when I watched the highlights of the Yankees v Toronto game. They reminded me of PSG or Man Utd. And, as I once discovered, the idea of supporting Man Utd is better than the execution. The Mets, however, look like a great bunch of lads. Pros: Seinfeld.

Boston Red Sox: like the logo, like the red. They've got a memorable history. Journalists and fans agree they've got a loyal and passionate fanbase, despite the bandwagoners. They were actually the first team I wanted to pick on pure instinct, because the only bits of America I can purloin are the Irish ones. Cons: Liverpool, Rizzoli & Isles.

St. Louis Cardinals: again, the red. By all acounts, a fantastic fanbase, even though they're a bunch of know-it-alls who think their team has got the market corned on baseball clichés (scrappiness, grit, heart). Maybe they do, I don't know. This is just what other fans say about them.

Seattle Mariners: Nintendo.

If you enjoy a slower and more deliberate pace of play, you’ll like baseball. Also, even the absolute worst team in the Majors will still win around 40% of their games, so if you lose today, you’ll probably win tomorrow. You become a lot more zen about the whole thing. Watching Villa lose 4 or 5 in a row a la 2014 meant you might go months without seeing your team win at home. Not so with baseball.

I'm glad you said this, as it made me reconsider some of my immediate choices and think about choosing a smaller team. I may even take a look at some of the Minor League teams. I'll probably still end up choosing Red Sox, but it's good to know that whoever I choose it's not going to be like watching Villa.
« Last Edit: March 30, 2018, 10:09:59 PM by /m/ »

Re: Baseball 2018
« Reply #22 on: March 30, 2018, 07:42:36 PM »
Hold your horses, bucko! I've done some reading and whittled the teams down to a shortlist of five teams thus far, with reasons.

Yankees or Mets: I've seen many crime procedurals set in New York (Person of Interest, Elementary, CSI:NY, Law & Order). So many, in fact, that I feel I now have an intimate connection with the state and the city and so I know everything there is to know about them, thank you. This is without mentioning that many of my favourite Americans are New Yorkers (all Jews). Fans claim the downsides of supporting the Yankees is them being the "Evil Empire" and having to share a fanbase with bandwagoning jerks, but this only makes me want to support them more, if only to annoy the kind of person who complains about bandwagoning jerks (and because it wouldn't hurt to follow a team who, you know, wins stuff for a change). But, if Ferris is correct and they're all about hitting homeruns and little else, I suspect I'll lose my interest in them fairly quickly. I can't say I took to them when I watched the Yankees v Toronto highlights. As I once discovered, the idea of supporting Man Utd is better than the execution. The Mets, however, look like a great bunch of lads. Pros: Seinfeld.

Boston Red Sox: I like the logo, and I like the red. They've got a memorable history. Journalists and fans agree they've got a loyal and passionate fanbase, despite the bandwagoners. They were actually the first team I wanted to pick on pure instinct, because the only bits of America I can purloin are the Irish ones. Cons: Liverpool, Rizzoli & Isles.

St. Louis Cardinals: again, the red. By all acounts, a fantastic fanbase, even though they're a bunch of know-it-alls who think their team has got the market corned on baseball clichés (scrappiness, grit, heart). Maybe they do, I don't know. This is just what other fans say about them.

Seattle Mariners: Nintendo.

I'm glad you said this, as it made me reconsider some of my immediate choices and think about choosing a smaller team. I may even take a look at some of the Minor League teams. I'll probably still end up choosing Red Sox, but it's good to know that whoever I choose it's not going to be like watching Villa.

Don't go down the Yankees route.
It's synonymous with choosing to be a massive cunt.

If it has to be a NY team, make it the Mets.
They're infinitely more likeable.

BlodwynPig

  • Throwing two dogs at a goblin
Re: Baseball 2018
« Reply #23 on: March 30, 2018, 08:43:45 PM »
Hold your horses, bucko! I've done some reading and whittled the teams down to a shortlist of five thus far, with reasons.

Yankees or Mets: I've seen many crime procedurals set in New York (Person of Interest, Elementary, CSI:NY, Law & Order). So many, in fact, that I feel I now have an intimate connection with the state and the city and so I know everything there is to know about them, thank you. This is without mentioning that many of my favourite Americans are New Yorkers (all Jews). Fans claim the downsides of supporting the Yankees is them being the "Evil Empire" and having to share a fanbase with bandwagoning jerks, but this only makes me want to support them more, if only to annoy the kind of person who complains about bandwagoning jerks (and because it wouldn't hurt to follow a team who wins stuff, for a change). But, if Ferris is correct and they're all about hitting homeruns and little else, I suspect I'll lose my interest in them fairly quickly. I can't say I took to them when I watched the Yankees v Toronto highlights. As I once discovered, the idea of supporting Man Utd is better than the execution. The Mets, however, look like a great bunch of lads. Pros: Seinfeld.

Boston Red Sox: I like the logo, and I like the red. They've got a memorable history. Journalists and fans agree they've got a loyal and passionate fanbase, despite the bandwagoners. They were actually the first team I wanted to pick on pure instinct, because the only bits of America I can purloin are the Irish ones. Cons: Liverpool, Rizzoli & Isles.

St. Louis Cardinals: again, the red. By all acounts, a fantastic fanbase, even though they're a bunch of know-it-alls who think their team has got the market corned on baseball clichés (scrappiness, grit, heart). Maybe they do, I don't know. This is just what other fans say about them.

Seattle Mariners: Nintendo.

I'm glad you said this, as it made me reconsider some of my immediate choices and think about choosing a smaller team. I may even take a look at some of the Minor League teams. I'll probably still end up choosing Red Sox, but it's good to know that whoever I choose it's not going to be like watching Villa.

Rizzoli and Isles a con? Jesus. Although I did stop watching after the actor killed himself.

/m/

Re: Baseball 2018
« Reply #24 on: March 30, 2018, 09:28:05 PM »
Don't go down the Yankees route.
It's synonymous with choosing to be a massive cunt.

If it has to be a NY team, make it the Mets.
They're infinitely more likeable.

No fear. It's currently a toss-up between Mets and Red Sox. I forgot to say I took Herbert Ashe's advice into account, about watching East Coast teams, when I made my shortlist. New York and Massachusetts are also the states I'm most interested in, historically speaking.

What I'm going to do next is watch a bunch of Mets games, and a bunch of Red Sox ones, then see who I naturally root for. I'll talk to some fans of each as well, to get a sense of who's friendlier and more approachable. I'll try not to overthink it.

FerriswheelBueller

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Re: Baseball 2018
« Reply #25 on: March 30, 2018, 11:24:13 PM »
Ok well I’ll just mention that the Phillies have just finished a fairly major rebuild, they’re a smaller market team (though I think the oldest American sporting franchise to have retained the same name and location) and they might do alright this year. Also they wear red.

Mets are likeable. Cubs are likeable. Red Sox are more likeable than the Yankees but that’s not saying much.

The Mets are a good shout because they play National League Baseball, and I think you’d get a kick out of watching pitchers take at bats, and then get pinch hit for in the inning. You can end up with bonkers stuff like pitchers coming in to pinch run for massive blokes, or relievers hacking away because the team has literally run out of eligible players. Fun!

newbridge

  • Endless Summer of George
Re: Baseball 2018
« Reply #26 on: March 30, 2018, 11:53:39 PM »
Ok well I’ll just mention that the Phillies have just finished a fairly major rebuild, they’re a smaller market team (though I think the oldest American sporting franchise to have retained the same name and location) and they might do alright this year. Also they wear red.

Mets are likeable. Cubs are likeable. Red Sox are more likeable than the Yankees but that’s not saying much.

The Mets are a good shout because they play National League Baseball, and I think you’d get a kick out of watching pitchers take at bats, and then get pinch hit for in the inning. You can end up with bonkers stuff like pitchers coming in to pinch run for massive blokes, or relievers hacking away because the team has literally run out of eligible players. Fun!

This sounds right, although Phillies are one of the largest market teams, they're just terribly run most of the time. Not a bad pick for a team to follow though, because Philadelphians are all endearing delinquents so the Phillies are arguably the only large market team that aren't hateworthy.

I'm not sure what characteristics make a team similar to Aston Villa, but most of the time the Mets are comically inept also-rans who fail to capitalize on their financial and player resources. The lovable losers to the obnoxious Yankees machine (the Yankees being the historic Manchester United of MLB - if you are not from the Bronx it is really inappropriate to root for them).

The Red Sox are the Manchester City/Arsenal to the Yankees' Manchester Untied. A boring pick with a terrible New Englander fanbase.

The Mariners are actually a very good choice for a team to follow from the UK, because their games are generally on West Coast times, and because a disproportionate percentage of online baseball/sabermetrics writers seem to be Mariners fans. Also they are not an annoying team and they had peak Ichiro/have end-of-career Ichiro. They are probably not going to contend this year though, and they are stuck in a division with a much more interesting team for 2018, the Angels (who have won the lottery to add Japanese two-war phenom Shohei Otani), and the probable best team in baseball Astros.

I don't need to go into all the reasons, and apologies to the Cardinals fan in this thread, but St. Louis players and fans are the sanctimonious puritans of MLB who everybody outside of St. Louis should rightfully despise. Do not be a Cardinals fan.

FerriswheelBueller

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Re: Baseball 2018
« Reply #27 on: March 30, 2018, 11:58:06 PM »
Inb4 Otani is a massive expensive bust with 4.50+ ERA and sub .600 OPS offensively.

At least the Cards have Brett Cecil, the thinking man’s LOOGY.

Good shout with the Astros/Mariners though. Kinda cool teams.

newbridge

  • Endless Summer of George
Re: Baseball 2018
« Reply #28 on: March 31, 2018, 12:02:08 AM »
Although honestly everyone should be a White Sox fan: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I1CP1751wJA

Mr Banlon

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Re: Baseball 2018
« Reply #29 on: March 31, 2018, 12:08:40 AM »
Go Cubbies !
That's all I have to add to this conversation.