The World According to Keitho

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Posts Tagged ‘MLB’

The [non existent] National League Pennant Races

Posted by keithosaunders on August 4, 2017

Baseball in the modern age is nothing short of depressing.  First of all these games are interminable.  Each steroidally-enhanced pitcher takes a year between pitches before walking the ballpark.  Throw in catcher’s and coaches visits to the mound and you’ve got yourself a snooze fest.  I honestly don’t see how anyone can watch a regular season game in real time.
The National League playoff picture is all but set thanks to a top heavy western division.  The Dodgers are on a hot streak that hasn’t been seen in baseball in decades, and the Diamondbacks and Rockies seemed poised to secure the two wild card slots.  The Nationals have wrapped up the East, leaving us with a tepid Central division race figured to be won in a cakewalk by last year’s champion Cubs.
I find it depressing how at this time of year, teams are either buyers or sellers, thus eliminating the chances of a late season playoff run from an underdog. I hate to say it but I’m for adding more playoff teams.  Who cares at this point?  The integrity of the playoffs is already ruined, can we at least have some decent races?  Let’s throw caution to the wind and go the way of the NHL & NBA.  8 playoff teams in each league, baby!
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Let the intentional walking begin

Posted by keithosaunders on April 2, 2017

Baseball games are really going to fly by now.  Forget the fact that every single close play at first base warrants a three minutes review, intentional walks are now automatic!  Now that’s progress.

This year, rather than a normal baseball prediction post, I’m going to present a baseball soulful (wishful thinking) prediction post.

In the NL East the Mets, flush with pitching, Cespedes, and just enough hitting, will dominate and cruise to their third ever World Series victory.

In the NL Central the Cubs will revert to form and miss the playoffs – the first of 110 more years without a championship. The Pittsburgh Pirates will win the division with the Brewers taking the wild card.

In the NL West, having lost track of whether or not they’re supposed to win in an odd year, the Giants will begin 166 straight years of last place finishes.  The Dodgers will win the west, losing to the Mets in the NLCS.

Moving along to the junior circuit, in the AL West we have my dark horse prediction:  My East Bay homies, the Oakland As will shock the world!  You read it here first.

In the AL Central the Detroit Tigers will win the division, as well as the pennant before losing to the Mets in a 6 game World Series.

In the Al East the Yankees will go 6-156.  The Bluejays will win the division and Joey Batista will set an MLB record with double digit bat flips.  Baltimore gets the wild card.

There you have it:  Major League Baseball according to Keitho.

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Go time for the Mets

Posted by keithosaunders on October 5, 2016

In many ways this year’s Mets team has overacheived more than last season’s pennant winners. In the middle of August, when they lost the first two games of a series in San Francisco, they were buried in the divisional standings and had four teams ahead of them in the wild card standings.

Then the improbably happened.  With 3/5 of their vaunted pitching staff injured and a lineup with as much punch as the 1969 Seattle Pilots they turned it around, playing .600 baseball for the remaining six weeks and clinching the top wild card spot the day before the season ended.

Tonight they will face the even-year, fru-fru, techie-infused San Francisco Giants in a one game do or die contest. This is baseball’s answer to the tedium that is perpetual pitching changes, interminable booth review delays, and batters that take 5 minutes to adjust their sanitary cups. This is the wildcard game, or as I refer to it, The Gimmick Game.

You can’t even brag about winning it, crapshoot that it is, and at least in the Mets case, I can’t feel too bad about losing it.  Let’s face it folks, this team can only go so far with this rag tag bunch.

But how sweet it would be to beat the hated Giants with redneck Bumgarner on the mound and send all of their front-running fans home crying.  Is that too negative?  Who cares?

GO METS

 

mets

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Big Holiday strikes again

Posted by keithosaunders on May 8, 2016

Folks, once again Big Holiday has reared its ugly head.

Today every Major League baseball team is wearing uniforms with pink trim on the numbers, as well as pink shoes. First of all, who made the executive decision that pink is the official color of mothers everywhere? How do we know they don’t prefer red?

Other than the blatant pandering, which MLB has perfected to an art form, why do you suppose they went to the trouble and expense to outfit 30 teams with uniforms they’ll only where once? Why the merchandising, of course. They’ll be selling these putrid unis in every Stadium souvenir shop in the land.

Let’s contrast this marketing strategy with the template that was used in the 70s when I was a kid: They had Mothers Day double headers. I can recall my Dad taking us to a few of them.

But most Moms don’t like baseball, you say? WHO CARES! It was a great deal and the game wasn’t yet pussified – catchers were able to block the plate and runners executed take-out slides.

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The dawn of the baseball season

Posted by keithosaunders on April 1, 2016

And so, after a long cold winter, or in the case of the Bay Area, a wet winter, the baseball season begins again this Sunday.  This year, instead of the traditional opening night game, there will be three Sunday games:  The Cardinals vs the Pirates, the Blue Jays vs the Rays, and my Mets will visit the reigning World Series champion Royals.

First of all:  Nice touch by baseball tweaking the opening day schedule.  It will be great to have the triple header to kick things off instead of the usual anti-climactic lone Sunday night game.  Plus, baseball feels better in the day, especially to open the season.  I don’t say this very often but…kudos to MLB!

Not only that, but we have three sexy match-ups.  I don’t know about you, but I loves me some NL Central division teams and the Pirates have long been one of my favorites.  So you have a classic match-up between two of the oldest teams followed by a game between two expansion teams.  The Blue Jays figure to be a lot of fun this year and they have earned their slot in the opening day spotlight.  Perhaps we’ll get a Joey Bautista bat flip which will insight another juicy Goose Gossage rant.

Finally we’ll have the Mets vs the Royals.  This is the first time in 30 years in which I’ve gone into the season expecting the Mets to win their division.  Usually the best I can hope for is for them not to embarrass themselves.  This year, with the signing of Cespedes, and the return of their young, stellar pitching staff, the immediate future looks bright.  By the way, when is the last time the two World Series teams from the previous season opened the season against each other?  Answer:  Never.  Yet another nice move by the schedule-maker: finding a clever new spin on a hackneyed inter-league format.

Play ball!metsbeagle

 

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It begins

Posted by keithosaunders on October 27, 2015


shea

[Droning arco bass note]

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth but the earth was formless and darkness was over the surface.And God said, ‘Let there be light.’

On the second day he created the sky and on the third day he created the land.

And on the fourth day he said, ‘Screw this, I’ve got light, sky, and land, now I’ll create a little team from Flushing called the NEW YORK METS!!!!!!!!!’ (but first I’ll create Flushing)

So it must be said, so it must be done!

And on the 5th day he created GO TIME.

OH YEAH, LADIES, IT’S YOUR 2015 WORLD SERIES STARRING THE GREATEST TEAM EVER, THE METS!!!!

[crowd noise] HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

LET’S GO METS, LET’S GO METS. I BLESS METS, I BLESS METS!!!!

CASEY STENGAL
MARV THORNBERRY
RICHIE ASHBURN
ROGER CRAIG
TOMMY AGEE
TOM SEAVER
DON CLENDENON
MR MET
GERRY GROTE
NOLAN RYAN
CLEON JONES
JON MATLACK
TUG MCGRAW
WILLIE MAYS
DUFFY DYER
KEN BOSWELL
LEE MAZILLI
FELIX MILAN
JOEL YOUNGBLOOD
DAVE KINGMAN
RUSTY STAUB
GEORGE FOSTER
NEIL ALLEN
KEITH HERNANDEZ
RON DARLING
GARY CARTER
DOC GOODEN
DARYL STRAWBERRY
HOWARD JOHNSON
KEVIN MCREYNOLDS
GREGG JEFFREYS
DAVE MAGADAN
BOBBY BONILLA
VINCE COLEMAN
MACKEY SASSER
JEFF KENT
ANTHONY YOUNG
BENNY AGBAYANI
JOHN FRANCO
JON OLERUD
CARLOS DELGADO
JOSE REYES
DAVID WRIGHT
JACOB DEGROM
JERYS FAMILIA
CESPEDES
YOU GET THE PICTURE….

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Getting it right…wrong.

Posted by keithosaunders on August 10, 2015

umps

The worst thing that’s happened to sports in the past decade is the proliferation of instant replay. Nothing makes me reach for the remote faster than the sight of a zebra going under the hood for a 3+ minute booth review.

In the case of baseball it is an abomination.  There’s nothing like taking a slow game and slowing it down.  Every single close play at first base is reviewed.  Every single play!  It’s gotten to the point where I feel embarrassed for the umps.  Why do they even bother to make a call when they know it’s going to confirmed or overturned by some slacker in a N.Y. bunker.  Safe, out, who cares?  Let the boys in New York decide. (by the way, where can I apply for that gig? I’d like to sit around in my underwear all night eating pretzels while staring at half a dozen MLB feeds.)

Don’t give me this tripe about ‘getting the call right.’ Are the umps not skilled professionals?  For a hundred years the umps ‘got it right’ well over 90% of the time. Improbable though it is, the game has not only survived but thrived.

Do people even want umps, because if folks are souless enough to trumpet the ‘we have the technology to get it right’ argument then they are tacitly admitting that umpires are an anachronism.  Let the fucking quest tech robots call the balls and strikes and your little bunker boys can review every damn play of the game.

Oh yeah, and enjoy your 5 hour April Mariners/Rangers games.

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The Cardinals: The king of Game 7

Posted by keithosaunders on November 3, 2011

You’d better believe I’m in baseball withdrawal.  What a compelling, riveting Series we just experienced; it was one of the best I”ve ever seen.  Now comes the boring time of the year which is dominated by free agent signings and arbitration settlements.  Gee, will you look at that, Willie Bloomquist got a 2.5 million dollar extension…

Last week’s game seven Cardinals win got me thinking about how they had won more Series — 11–  than any National League team.  The runners-up are the Dodgers and Giants, each of whom have won 6 out of 18 Series appearances.  (the Cards have also played in 18 Series)

But I was more interested in the Series that went to a seventh game.  Off the top of my head it seemed the Cardinals had played in an inordinate amount of them.  Here is what I found:

The Cardinals have won eight World Series game sevens. 

1926 v Yankees

1931 v Athletics

1934 v Tigers

1946 v Redsox

1964 v Yankees

1967 v Redsox

1982 v Brewers

2011 v Rangers  

They lost game sevens to the Tigers in ’68, the Royals in 85, and the Twins in ’87. 

61% of the World Series that the Cardinals have appeared in have gone to a seventh game and their winning percentage in these games is 72%.

Now lets look at the Yankees who have won a staggering 27 Series.

Of those 27 Series ony ten have gone to a seventh game and they have won four of them, or 40%.  Three of those four wins were versus the Dodgers in ’47, ’52, and ’56, and they beat the Giants in ’62.  Admittedly the Yankees probably did not play that many game sevens because of their dominance, but still, for a team that has one 67% of the Series that they appeared in, (27/40) you would think they would have won more game sevens. 

The Dodgers are 2-3 in game sevens, (but I think 1955 should count for more than one win!) and the Giants are 1-2. 

The Philadelphia/Oakland Athletics have fourteen pennants to their name, but have only played in three game sevens, going 2-1.  The Tigers, on the other hand have played in ten Series, five of which have gone to a game seven.  Their record in those games is 2-3. 

What can we learn from this?  The Yankees are indisputably the most dominant team in baseball, but the Cardinals are the most clutch.  After coming from ten and a half games behind in the division, 3-2 down in the Series, and down to their last strike (twice!) who can deny it? 

Ol' bucket-head, Tim McCarver

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At last, races.

Posted by keithosaunders on September 20, 2011

Thank you, Boston, for falling apart.  Your late season ineptitude is providing us with the late season intrigue we so craved.  At this writing the Redsox are clinging to a two game lead in the wild card race with the Tampa Rays hot on their trail. 

Good job out of Tampa going into Fenway this past weekend and taking three out of four from the Sox.  The only Redsox win came on a gutty pitching performance by Josh Beckett, who was returning from an injury.  Beckett, by the way, is unwatchable.  He holds the ball at least twenty seconds between pitches.  The only way to watch a Redsox game is to have it on tape so you can at least fast forward through the commercials.

I’ll be rooting hard for the Rays to pull this thing out.  I’m sick of Boston’s act — I have no confidence that they will win a playoff round, let alone beat the Yankees in the ALCS.  (let me take this opportunity to thank my readers in advance for not going into the Keitho archives and checking my 2011 playoff predictions)  Plus, Tampa is such a feel good story — they have built up a good organization through the draft and a few canny trades.  They play in a disaster of a stadium that looks like a prison field, compared to the designer parks of today.  How can you not like them?

And what’s this I see?  Atlanta’s N.L wildcard lead has been whittled down to two and a half games.  Just when I exhibited an unhealthy amount of man-love for the Braves, they have gone into free fall.  They’re in playoff form — choking in crunch time.  The Cards are improbably two and a half back, with the Giants right behind them at three and a half. 

The Braves will face the Marlins and Nationals, before closing the season out against the Phillies,  (who will have nothing to play for)  while the Cardinals play the Mets, Cubs, and Astros.  Between the expanded roster, and delicate-genius LaRussa’s propensity for over-managing, look for the Cardinals box scores to take up entire pages of the sports section.  

It looks like we’ll be in for an entertaining last week and a half of the season.  I know I’ll enjoy it.  Come the first week of October my season of misery begins — suffering through another Yankee post season.

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Throw out the pitch count and adopt the Keitho system

Posted by keithosaunders on August 17, 2011

Do you remember, back in the dark ages, before there was such a thing as a pitch count?  Until I was 25 I had never heard of such a thing.  Pitchers remained in the game until they were no longer effective.  What a concept. 

You didn’t see Don Drysdale or Bob Gibson exiting the game when they reached the 100 pitch count.  Who would have dared? 

I suppose I’m a little too young to remember those guys in their prime.  How about Tom Seaver or Steve Carlton?  You can even go a decade later than that into the mid ’80s.  Jack Morris and Nolan Ryan didn’t come out of the game unless they were out of gas, which they rarely were.

I want to know who was the genius that decreed that 100 pitches was the number of pitches that could be thrown by any one pitcher, regardless of stature, arm strength, or moxie?  Was it LaRussa?  Come on, it must have been LaRussa, that delicate genius. 

Why 100 pitches and not 110?  For that matter, why must it be an even number?  What if the real number all along has been 97, and it turns out that managers have been ruining pitchers for all these years.  Think of how many more quality starts you could have gotten out of Mike Pelfry had he been throwing three less pitches a game.  Check it…Pelfry has never had a quality start.

If owners and managers were smart they would listen to me, for I have the solution.  Here’s what you do:  

When a young phenom comes up from the minors, don’t baby him — throw him into the fire and let him pitch until his arm falls off.  Look, they babied Joba Chamberlin and Phil Hughes and how did that work out for the Yankees?  Don’t baby these guys — turn them into men.

The worst case scenario is that the young pitcher blows his arm out and has to pitch middle relief for the rest of his career.  This is not a bad thing!   Think of the money you have saved — you just avoided having to shell out an 80 million dollar contract. 

And what does 80 mill buy these days?  If you’re lucky you get a few good years and then the rotator cuff goes.  Or worse.  The pitcher gets his money and becomes Dontrelle Willis.  Either way…

As I say, don’t worry about blowing out arms.  There are tons more in the minors — just call up the next guy.   Move ’em in, move em’ out.  Rawhide!

Now let’s consider the potential upside of the Ketiho strategy. (tm)  You throw your young stud out there for 140 + pitches a game, and he does not self destruct, but learns to pitch out of jams.  He builds up his arm strength, and develops into an iron man good for the next 15 years.  You’ve got yourself a stud who is not afraid to face adversity.  You still have to pay him the big bucks, but now it is money well spent.

It’s a win-win situation.  You either save the money, or reap the benefits.  

You’re welcome, MLB.       

Dontrelle Willis

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