November 13, 2016

Baseball Bloggers Alliance - 2016 American League Awards

 Yesterday I posted my National League votes, today I reveal the ones for the American League.

Connie Mack Award (Manager of the Year)
1. Jeff Bannister
2. Terry Francona
3. Scott Servais

I REALLY wanted to give this award to Tito. It would be very fitting with Dave Roberts getting the National League one, but I couldn't ignore facts. The Indians had five pitchers make 25 or more starts. The Rangers had two, and one of them had a losing record. They won the division by 9 games with a Pythagorean record that had them expected to win 82 games. I kept hearing that they weren't that good of a team, and their record was just smoke and mirrors -- and Jeff Bannister's influence, I guess.  The third choice was tough. Not a lot to pick from, I don't think any of the AL East playoff team managers really distinguished themselves this season.  Scott Servais made big strides in first year at the help of the Mariners, and based on that he gets my last checkmark.

November 12, 2016

Baseball Bloggers Alliance - 2016 National League Awards

Every season I am entrusted with  a vote towards the the Baseball Bloggers Alliance annual awards.  As a Boston Chapter member, in past years I only voted for the AL awards. You can see how I voted previously here (and here, here, and here). But this year I get to have a say in the National League as well,  which I will share with you today.  In my next post, I will reveal my AL ballot along with fuller explanations for why I voted for whom I did.

The final results should be posted soon on the BBA site.

Connie Mack Award (Manager of the Year)
1. Dave Roberts
2. Dusty Baker
3. Don Mattingly

November 02, 2016

Why you Should Listen to your Opponent's fanbase

I'm copying most of this from a rant I posted on my other blog where I was really making a thinly-veiled political observation. But I used only baseball examples, so I thought with a few tweaks it was appropriate here:

An echo chamber is a place where ideas gain strength through repetition. A great place to find like-minded friends who all agree with you and reinforce your opinion. You have some slight belief in something, and before you know it, you are 100% convinced that it is inarguably correct based on all the feedback you hear. It can be a great place to boost your ego with so many people who share your worldview and make of those who like the other team.  But, it has its drawbacks. And they can have grave consequences.

The first time I became aware of this phenomenon, was when I learned of other people’s opinions of Tim McCarver

October 08, 2016

Game 3 of the ALDS is a MUST WIN Game

But not for the Red Sox.  The Red Sox are down 2-0 to the Cleveland Indians in their Division Series, so by any logical, reasonable, literal definition of "must win", game 3 is one.  Any elimination game is. When they were down 3-0 to the Yankees in the 2004 ALCS, Game 4 was a literal "must-win", so was Game 5 and 6. Game 7 became one for both teams.   But this isn't what I'm talking about.  If Boston loses tomorrow, it will be disappointing. Any time a team makes the playoffs and doesn't win the last game they play, it's a disappointment.  Mets and Orioles fans are disappointed and before we crown another World Series Champion, seven other fanbases will be disappointed.

But this doesn't make tomorrow's Clay Buchholz start at Fenway Park a "MUST WIN" for the Red Sox.  Their fans have been disappointed before, and they will be disappointed again.  You can't win it all every season.  Even if we win five World Series in the next six years, we will be disappointed the other time.   And that's ok.  What is tougher to handle are the  heartbreaking, soul-crushing defeats when you think you are going to win and it's pulled out from other you. That takes all off-season to get over.  Sometimes it takes many seasons. Think Bucky Dent, Buckner or Boone.

October 03, 2016

Why the Cubs will NOT Win the World Series

The Curse of  the Billy Goat
(or why the Red Sox won't.  Or the Rangers or Nationals or Giants or Dodgers or Blue Jays or Orioles or Indians or Mets for that matter.  Insert any team name into the title, and this post still makes sense).*

At the trade deadline I had a post showing what the impact of a adding a player to a team would be on its likelihood to make the playoffs and/or win it all.  There were two separate points. One was that a single player, no matter how good, will not make a large difference in one team’s win totals over two months. The second, more interesting point, was to show how little of an edge a great team has over a good team in a playoff series.

I have updated the spreadsheet I used to calculate the odds in that post to show the actual season end records.   Here are the results: