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Sdiver 03-29-2018 10:37

2018 Baseball Season
 
1 Attachment(s)
It's opening day, so .... PLAY BALL !!!!!


LET'S GO CUBBIES !!!!!! :lifter

Badger52 03-29-2018 13:51

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sdiver (Post 641822)
It's opening day, so .... PLAY BALL !!!!!


LET'S GO CUBBIES !!!!!! :lifter

They heard you. :D

Sdiver 03-29-2018 14:49

1 Attachment(s)
Quote:

Originally Posted by Badger52 (Post 641832)
They heard you. :D

Ah, yup .... :lifter

bblhead672 03-29-2018 15:20

Cardinals underwhelm the Mets.

Badger52 03-29-2018 16:35

Quote:

Originally Posted by bblhead672 (Post 641834)
Cardinals underwhelm the Mets.

Sorry to hear that. Anyone who can pile up the Mets this year will get a nod from me. Because, well, Mets.

Ret10Echo 03-29-2018 17:19

Opening Day

1 down 161 to go..... :lifter

bblhead672 03-30-2018 06:44

Try as I have over the last few years, I cannot make sense of MLB having opening day and the very next day teams have a day off. What? You just played 1 game, why do you require time off?
This ridiculous scheduling results in the Mets/Cards playing Thursday, NO Friday night home game for Mets fans, then resuming on Saturday and Sunday.

Badger52 03-30-2018 12:02

Quote:

Originally Posted by bblhead672 (Post 641873)
Try as I have over the last few years, I cannot make sense of MLB having opening day and the very next day teams have a day off. What? You just played 1 game, why do you require time off?
This ridiculous scheduling results in the Mets/Cards playing Thursday, NO Friday night home game for Mets fans, then resuming on Saturday and Sunday.

Yeah, Maddon was saying somethin' yesterday (after a couple fielding errors) about how they'd hoped to get a "fundamentals" day (!) in before starting the regular season. Uh, did I miss something or was it called Spring TRAINING for a reason? Jeebers, make it whatever you need to make it.

When you figure it out mebbe you kin 'splain it to me Lucy.
:rolleyes:

bblhead672 03-30-2018 12:43

Quote:

Originally Posted by Badger52 (Post 641895)
Yeah, Maddon was saying somethin' yesterday (after a couple fielding errors) about how they'd hoped to get a "fundamentals" day (!) in before starting the regular season. Uh, did I miss something or was it called Spring TRAINING for a reason? Jeebers, make it whatever you need to make it.

When you figure it out mebbe you kin 'splain it to me Lucy.
:rolleyes:

What?!? Are you suggesting that they should be *gasp* training during "spring training"? :D

Badger52 04-26-2018 14:47

NL Central still looks like the typical hairball among the top-3. The Brewers fans up this way are beside themselves; standing vis a vis the Cubs looks like reverse of previous years. But to their credit they're playing good ball. At least I get to watch Cubs play occasionally when they play MKE 'cause those games haven't been sold off to MLBN & hit the tube locally.

No idea what's up with Cincinnati.

The rule about 6 mound visits/game seems to have sped things up a bit. Now if the hitters could quit taking a stroll & readjusting their entire wardrobe after every pitch...
:rolleyes:

And the snow seems to be gone for real this time.

Ret10Echo 04-26-2018 15:25

AL East is "same as it ever was". Boston and NYY atop, nobody cares in the middle and Baltimore, wandering in the dark cellar, found a shovel and started digging.

2018commo 04-26-2018 18:03

I think Baltimore needs to trade Manny for a couple of bats, or perhaps a coach. Buck is about to run out of string.

Ret10Echo 04-26-2018 20:06

Quote:

Originally Posted by 2018commo (Post 642809)
I think Baltimore needs to trade Manny for a couple of bats, or perhaps a coach. Buck is about to run out of string.

Talk is that Buck will move to the front office after this season. His, along with Manny's contracts are up after this year.

Worst situation for them is to be "close" to MAYBE a second wildcard spot and they keep Manny and he just walks at the end of the year and they get nothing out of it.

Baltimore keeps pulling in pitching off of the scrap heap and single-dimensional offensive players (big bats, high strikeout rate). They could rework things around the 20-somethings (Mancini, Schoop and Bundy) but after that 14 year drought nobody has the stomach to go through a real rebuild. The Farm isn't growing much for them but I don't think they're going to have a choice.

Airbornelawyer 05-04-2018 02:37

I suppose the biggest surprises so far this season are the underperformance of the Dodgers and the Nationals, and the overperformance of the Braves. The Diamondbacks also seem to be way ahead of expectations.

I doubt much will change in Baltimore until Peter Angelos is out of the picture.

Ret10Echo 05-04-2018 10:03

Quote:

Originally Posted by Airbornelawyer (Post 642985)
I suppose the biggest surprises so far this season are the underperformance of the Dodgers and the Nationals, and the overperformance of the Braves. The Diamondbacks also seem to be way ahead of expectations.

I doubt much will change in Baltimore until Peter Angelos is out of the picture.

To tie a couple of thoughts together on this... Sports talk radio around here is saying the O's need to "make a deal" with the Dodgers for Manny as they struggle.

Yeah.. Angelos likes his Beer-league softball offense.

CW3SF 05-04-2018 11:16

Cubs @ Cardinals tonight.

Go Cards!:lifter

Badger52 05-04-2018 12:22

Quote:

Originally Posted by CW3SF (Post 642990)
Cubs @ Cardinals tonight.

Go Cubs!:lifter

:p

Always a good time. Two fan-bases that really understand the game & travel well.

bblhead672 05-07-2018 11:41

Quote:

Originally Posted by CW3SF (Post 642990)
Cubs @ Cardinals tonight.

Go Cards!:lifter

Cards sweep Cubs. Sweet words. Tough injury to Molina, hope he recovers soon and doesn't have permanent performance issues....on and off the field!

Badger52 05-07-2018 12:10

Quote:

Originally Posted by bblhead672 (Post 643054)
Cards sweep Cubs. Sweet words. Tough injury to Molina, hope he recovers soon and doesn't have permanent performance issues....on and off the field!

Yep, some tough baseball. But tougher for Yadi - hate to see that for anyone (even a Met). 100mph "traumatic hematoma" in an "uncomfortable" area.

Get well wishes - he is currently The Bar for anyone who ever played that position & an example for all young catchers around.

TrapperFrank 06-15-2018 08:31

My two teams, St. Louis and Atlanta are doing OK this year. I am especially surprised at how well Atlanta is doing. Their young players are showing world class poise and maturity and the Braves are a fun team to watch.

Ret10Echo 06-15-2018 09:43

Looking at both ends of the spectrum now:

The Bo-sox are doing well. AL East is back to the old way of business with NY and Boston swapping the 1 spot.

At the other end of the spectrum is Baltimore who is not just in the basement but continues to dig as they achieve historic lows.

Badger52 06-15-2018 09:46

Quote:

Originally Posted by TrapperFrank (Post 643949)
My two teams, St. Louis and Atlanta are doing OK this year. I am especially surprised at how well Atlanta is doing. Their young players are showing world class poise and maturity and the Braves are a fun team to watch.

Perennial (yet civilized) opponents or not, I'm glad to hear that Yadier is back ok. 3 night games for the Cubbies in STL (2 of them on normal TV, Sat/Sun).

The top-3 in the NL Central will always seem to make it a dogfight. A fishing buddy Brewers fan I congratulated about his team's ball-playing lately just shook his head & muttered something about "we haven't reached the AS break yet; there's still time for the Brewers to puke on their shoes."

Cubs/Cards are always a good time & both fans travel well.
Get dirty kids!
:cool:

Badger52 07-02-2018 05:26

With the exception of the AL East (as usual), there seem to be the regular number of division hair-balls developing in advance of the All-Star break - and a trade deadline.

I see the Cubs perhaps moving some folks around in their system (or up & down) in an attempt to shore up the starting rotation. The bats are there & the bullpen is excellent but a couple of well-paid starters have GOT to quit giving up runs early. Lester remains a battler no matter what, as does Quintana now that he's settled down. Kyle Hendricks is having mechanical issues, like Rube Goldberg occasionally takes over his delivery or something. WTF?

After the Twins acquitting themselves well (but still being swept) in Wrigley, they travel up to Milwaukee now & might be a little po'd so the Brewers'd better watch out. With the heat wave, the ball was really being launched during that series - proof positive that it's still possible to hit Waveland or Sheffield Avenues even with the new graphics boards in place.

Atlanta (at the expense of the Cards) has percolated itself to the top of their division it seems & are playing some pretty good ball.

Ret10Echo 07-02-2018 07:55

As we head toward the All Star break...What is everyone's thought on the comparison of AL and NL overall records.

The top 4 records all held by AL teams with the (hot) Atlanta Braves coming in at the top of the NL.

Is there significant strength in the AL this year or is it that there are just more bad teams in the AL divisions that allow for high winning percentages? Seems most of the teams at the bottom of the overall are also from the NL.


As a side note.... Baltimore (what else can go wrong) lost a pitcher to the DL for an ankle injury while running the bases in interleague play :rolleyes:

Badger52 07-02-2018 08:37

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ret10Echo (Post 644365)
Is there significant strength in the AL this year or is it that there are just more bad teams in the AL divisions that allow for high winning percentages? Seems most of the teams at the bottom of the overall are also from the NL.

Without seeing what's being done (or, importantly, NOT done) in the front offices/farm systems it may be difficult to tell. Top AL East are traditional money-fixes-everything franchises. Others in the NL I can think of in contention are teams that have done some things over time and, for the last 2-3 years, have had teams that are getting better & better (Brewers come to mind). Maybe reaching their prime now in terms of development, that kinda thing. Agree with you, 'tis a puzzlement. As in, hey, how about the Braves? Or, WTH happened to Kansas City...?

Airbornelawyer 07-04-2018 11:59

Boston is 25-7 against AL East teams not located in the Bronx. The Yankees are only 15-10 against AL East teams not located in Boston (and they are 5-4 against the Red Sox), so they are not dominating their division the way the Red Sox are. They still have 42 games to play against AL East rivals, compared to 35 for the Red Sox.

The Yankees are 11-2 against the AL Central, 16-6 against the AL West and 8-6 against the NL East. Boston is 6-6 against the AL Central, 17-10 against the AL West and 6-1 against the NL East (and are leading the Nats in the 8th inning as I write this). Neither has played any NL Central or West teams, and won't for the rest of the regular season.

Coming into the season, I think that 11 teams (the Rays, Tigers, ChiSox, Royals, A's, Braves, Phillies, Marlins, Pirates, Reds and Padres were perceived as being in various stages of "rebuilding" or tanking for draft picks), while 4 other teams were probably deluding themselves that they were better than they were (Orioles, Blue Jays, Rangers, Mets).

Of the other 15 teams, 9 probably had reasonable expectations of reaching the post-season, at least as a wild card (Red Sox, Yankees, Indians, Astros, Nationals, Cubs, Dodgers, D'backs, Rockies) and 6 were somewhat hopeful (Twins, Mariners, Angels, Brewers, Cardinals, Giants).

So the biggest "upside" surprises so far appear to be the Braves and the Phillies, who seem to be much further along in their rebuilds than expected, and Oakland. The Pirates, though below .500, still appear to be better than expected. The Braves are 27-14 against their division and 22-21 against the rest of MLB. The Phillies are only 15-17 against the NL East, but that is because 22 of these games have been against the Braves and Nats and they still have 28 games left against the Marlins and Mets. The Mariners are also performing better than expected, especially without Cano. I don't know enough about the Brewers to have a strong opinion - they improved in the offseason, but a lot of their wins are against weaker teams.

Baltimore's woes, by the way, continue as Colby Rasmus basically just quit, and without even giving enough warning to allow the team to bring up a replacement.

Badger52 07-04-2018 12:12

Quote:

Originally Posted by Airbornelawyer (Post 644431)
So the biggest "upside" surprises so far appear to be the Braves and the Phillies, who seem to be much further along in their rebuilds than expected...

Completely agree about the Phillies, they are a surprise. They were always the team, when the Cubs were kicking butt on everyone else (at various points in their history) that for some reason the Cubs would tank & get their hat handed to them in Philadelphia by a near last place team. These days it looks like folks had better bring their full-on game when playing the Phillies, taking no chances. Sneaky bastards.

Ret10Echo 07-04-2018 19:06

I think part of the pain in Baltimore is raised expectations and false hope. Their "up" years had more to do with both New York and Boston going through a generational change in their rosters. It's back to "normal" now which only amplifies the gap between those checkbooks and everyone else's.

The chatter is about what their rebuild plan is. It might be best served moving to the NL.

R10

Ret10Echo 07-19-2018 05:53

Coming out of the All Star Break.... What's your expectation
 
Well, the mid-summer classic has gone by. The Manny Machado "rental" has happened, so now what?

The BoSox remain the team to beat in the AL East, managing to work up a 4.5 game lead on the Yanks. Being a New Englander I have a healthy appreciation for the historic post-All Star collapses of the Red Sox in the past. They are looking strong this year so the second half will be fun I think.


The O's will hopefully get over the "Black Knight" syndrome and admit that they are dead and looking at MAYBE 3 or 4 years of rebuild. The fire sale needs to happen NOW for any player they don't have control of beyond 2021, because that's real. This is all compounded by the question of whether they move on from the current Manager and GM.

On to October

Airbornelawyer 07-19-2018 08:33

Did anyone see the introduction of the Medal of Honor recipients at the All-Star Game? It was a great moment, even for someone as cynical as me about how much the "honor our troops" stuff by MLB seems more marketing gesture than genuine expression of patriotism.

WRT to the Orioles, I guess the question is do they just rent out the rest of their pending free agents like Britton and Adam Jones, or do they see what kind of return they can get for younger players like Bundy and Givens, or even if they can get takers for Trumbo or Cobb.

Ret10Echo 07-19-2018 10:31

Quote:

Originally Posted by Airbornelawyer (Post 644673)
Did anyone see the introduction of the Medal of Honor recipients at the All-Star Game? It was a great moment, even for someone as cynical as me about how much the "honor our troops" stuff by MLB seems more marketing gesture than genuine expression of patriotism.

WRT to the Orioles, I guess the question is do they just rent out the rest of their pending free agents like Britton and Adam Jones, or do they see what kind of return they can get for younger players like Bundy and Givens, or even if they can get takers for Trumbo or Cobb.

I did not watch the entire game. Just caught bits of it along the way so no sense of how the MOH event went.

IRT the O's I think anyone who heads to free agency between 2019 - 2021 should be on the table. Focus should be on building the farm and getting the younger guys experience.

tom kelly 07-19-2018 13:06

MLB; ATTENDANCE
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Ret10Echo (Post 644677)
I did not watch the entire game. Just caught bits of it along the way so no sense of how the MOH event went.

IRT the O's I think anyone who heads to free agency between 2019 - 2021 should be on the table. Focus should be on building the farm and getting the younger guys experience.

Attendance at MLB is continuing to decline. Too many Teams have diluted the talent of the starters, PRICES for tickets,parking, food & drinks way out of line...Also I suspect the TV audience is declining The stands look empty at all most all of the games on TV. AMERICA'S PAST TIME HAS PASSED.TK

Badger52 07-19-2018 14:40

Quote:

Originally Posted by tom kelly (Post 644680)
The stands look empty at all most all of the games on TV. AMERICA'S PAST TIME HAS PASSED.TK

I don't think its time has passed; some areas with certain teams/markets, this will always be so. But one thing that I believe has hurt the fan base (and they will show it in return by not going to games or buying merch) is that most of the televised game slots were sold off to MLBN, and other channels that are a premium fee unless someone has already decided that Platinum package is what they have to have (some of whom are in need of less couch, more PT). So someone who may go to a couple games a year - and as you say, for most that'$$$ a big deal, a vacation-like expense - can't follow the team on TV without genuflecting to the MLBN cartel.

I enjoy watching the Cubs when I can but most of those opportunities relate to them playing Milwaukee, where the Fox station up here covers them ALWAYS. Having an HF station & a long piece of wire the most common method here is old-fashioned AM radio while doing something else if I'm in the house. But the selling off of games to MLBN's near monopoly has not made any friends.

Airbornelawyer 07-19-2018 16:30

11 of 30 teams have higher average attendance this year. Among these are the Astros (+22%), Phillies (+11%), Brewers (+10%), Yankees (+7%), Mariners (+4%) and Braves (+4%). So putting a winning product on the field is certainly a factor. Conversely, the biggest decline is, unsurprisingly, the Marlins (-53%), followed by the Royals (-25%), Blue Jays (-25%), Pirates (-23%) and Tigers (-23%).

Another factor that has to be considered is the really bad weather early in the season, compounded by starting the season earlier in late March, which probably depressed attendance in cities like Chicago, Boston and Cleveland. And the Cubs, Red Sox and Indians are also probably hurt by having so many tanking teams in their divisions. Would you pay the ridiculously high prices for tickets and beer at Fenway to see the Orioles or Rays?

Where I am, I can see both Orioles and Nationals games on MASN or MASN2, so TV viewing is not a problem. This MLB/Facebook deal is annoying, because I have no intention of watching a baseball game on Facebook, or having anything to do with Facebook period.

Regarding the MOH ceremony, here is the video:

https://www.mlb.com/video/antonetti-...d/c-2284755483

There were 29 recipients present at the game:

CSM Bennie Adkins
COL Donald Ballard
COL Harvey Barnum, Jr.
SGT Gary Beikirch
MCSWO Edward Byers
COL Bruce Crandall
COL Roger Donlon
SP4 Michael Fitzmaurice
LTG Robert Foley
LTC Harold Fritz
LTC Charles Hagemeister
CAPT Thomas Kelley
LTC Charles Kettles
CSM Gary Littrell
MG James Livingston
COL Walter Marm, Jr.
SP5 James McCloughan
SFC Melvin Morris
CSM Robert Patterson
MSG Leroy Petry
COL Gordon Roberts
SSG Clinton Romesha
CPT Gary Rose
SFC Ronald Rosser
SP5 Clarence Sasser
SGM Kenneth Stumpf
MAJ James Taylor
1LT Brian Thacker
CPL Hershel "Woody" Williams

In case it's not clear from the abbreviations, CAPT Kelley was a navy captain, and CPT Rose was an Army captain (and SF medical NCO).

Airbornelawyer 07-20-2018 05:50

Regarding attendance and the attitude of fans toward their local team and the game as a whole, there's another set of factors at play, though I have no idea other than a gut feeling as to how much these factors matter as compared to others. This is the combination of free agency, analytics and fantasy sports.

Free agency has obviously been around for a while, so its role in a player's loyalty or lack thereof to an organization is pretty well known. Ever since the Moneyball/analytics "revolution", though, you have to combine this with the way organizations now view players as quantifiable and disposable pieces, rather than individual personalities. With some exceptions, whatever residual notions of loyalty between players and teams are gone. If it is not a quantifiable metric, it is at best ignored or at worst sneered at by the baseball cognoscenti. Non-quantifiable factors like team chemistry and leadership and being a good dugout presence no longer carry much weight. The net result is, with few exceptions such as the Orioles ownership's inexplicably high regard for Chris Davis, teams and players don't really matter to each other.

Then comes the growth of rotisserie leagues and fantasy baseball. Now fans have jumped on the bandwagon of interchangeable pieces and can pick and choose which players they root for, rather than which teams. Why go to a game to see the one or two players who might be of interest, when you can just check the highlights or box scores of multiple games to see how all your picks did? Furthermore, the growth of sports betting sites like DraftKings means you also have a financial incentive to divorce yourself from caring about individual teams and focusing instead on individual players.

That all said, my only real perspective is baseball, so maybe there's a bigger picture I'm missing. I stopped following professional football and college basketball years ago, and I never cared for professional basketball, and association football just bores me to tears. Other than occasional mentions of the NFL's kneeling controversy, I know nothing about football popularity and attendance issues.

Ret10Echo 07-20-2018 11:08

AL,
My personal take has been that Fantasy sports and metrics have moved fans out of the stands and onto their computers.
I don't "do" fantasy leagues but my uneducated assessment is that there is little interest in a team's performance as they are focused on individual players across multiple teams. Mixing that with free-agency amplifies the loss of interest in "team" sports outside of jersey and hat sales.

Not like when I grew up. I still can recite the Red Sox roster from back then because those guys were there year after year.

R10

Badger52 09-01-2018 11:23

NL Central continues to be a dogfight. Although the Cubs lead, the Cards & Brewers have positioned themselves to have a stab at both NL Wild Card spots. Need more hairball? The Cubs have 2 series remaining against the Brewers before this thing is done... ain't over till it's over. What a division.

bblhead672 09-03-2018 08:48

The Cardinals have been impressive since firing Matheny and blowing up the roster. I'd like to see them slugging it out with the Cubs for the division championship the last weekend of the season (and winning it of course).
For this Cardinals team to come back and win it all (World Series) would be legendary.

Badger52 09-03-2018 09:15

Quote:

Originally Posted by bblhead672 (Post 645629)
The Cardinals have been impressive since firing Matheny and blowing up the roster. I'd like to see them slugging it out with the Cubs for the division championship the last weekend of the season (and winning it of course).
For this Cardinals team to come back and win it all (World Series) would be legendary.

Yeah, they really caught fire.

For all the flipping potential of 2 series left with the Brewers, the Cubs host the Cards for the final games; always a fun time. Someone mentioned to me recently how they manage to see Cubs & Cards fans all over the place, wherever they play - then used that old announcers' expression "the fans travel well."

My answer: "No, we have embedded cells all over the country that can be activated on demand."
:D

Airbornelawyer 09-04-2018 14:30

1 Attachment(s)
Quote:

Originally Posted by Badger52 (Post 645631)
Yeah, they really caught fire.

For all the flipping potential of 2 series left with the Brewers, the Cubs host the Cards for the final games; always a fun time. Someone mentioned to me recently how they manage to see Cubs & Cards fans all over the place, wherever they play - then used that old announcers' expression "the fans travel well."

My answer: "No, we have embedded cells all over the country that can be activated on demand."
:D

Go Cubs? :rolleyes:


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