MLB Roundtable: 8/29 edition

MLB RT 26 August 2014

Welcome to the MLB Roundtable, where 4 writers take on the National Pastime and debate. Got a question for next week? Put it in the comments below. This week, we have Archie, Stephan, Joe and Sandy manning the bases, talking Braves, the American League, Replay, Pete Rose and who you would take first in the ultimate draft!

1. For whatever reasons all MLB players are declared free agents. MLB and MLBPA agree to place all the players in a pool and a special draft is held and you are the GM of the team that has 1st pick of all the players. Money is no object. Who do you pick and why?MLB

ARCHIE: I can only use a starting pitcher once every 4th or 5th game. I have more of a mindset then to select an all around great position player. There are habitually more risk of injury with someone that plays every day, but there are certainly more rewards as well when he is healthy. For that reason I select probably the best young talent in the league with Mike Trout.

JOE: I’m going against my usual thinking of taking a position player… infielder … who can hit a bundle, and, going with Clayton Kershaw.

I think he is that dominant, and if, he can get 32 starts my team is gonna win most of those starts just because he will stop the other team from getting on the scoreboard. My guys just gotta push across maybe 2… or 3… runs for a win.

Think back to the Dodgers when they had Koufax… Want another opinion? Check this out

STEPHAN: Mike Trout. Trout has been in the top 5 in virtually every offensive category since he started his career. He has been in the MVP race in each of his first two seasons, and will probably win the award this season. Kind of reminds me of a fellow teammate of his (Pujols). He is a guy who can be the face of a franchise for the next seven to ten years.

SANDY: Clayton Kershaw – He’s the best pitcher in baseball. Teams don’t usually build a team around a pitcher, but I think Kershaw is an exception. He’s one of the most consistent pitchers I’ve seen. He currently has a league leading ERA of .182 and a career ERA of .252 which is the lowest in the live ball era.

2. With the Braves going on a long losing streak, then a good winning streak. Are they going to get one of the two wild card spots?atlanta_braves_primary2-full

ARCHIE: I LOVE MY BRAVES! But, sadly, no. They are too inconsistent at the plate as well as pitching. As a team they went from 1st in all of MLB in the spring in team ERA to 5th. I know their schedule looks favorable with two thirds of their remaining games against teams below .500 but actually those teams are the ones that have been killing them. They went 0-6 against sub 500 teams in August and 10-7 against teams above .500.

JOE: They sound like the freaking Yankees… I think if peeps like Wood can step it up a tad they’re probably in.

STEPHAN: I am going to reluctantly say no on this. I think the Braves’ struggles are going to prove to be there downfall. With the Giants, Cardinals, Pirates, and even the Marlins all competing for the wild card berth. The Braves need to be playing there best baseball, and that does not appear to be the case at this point. As much as I would love to see the Braves in the post season again, I don’t see it happening this year.

SANDY: It’s still possible; they are not that far off. Right now St Louis (71-60) and SF (69-62) are the wild cards and Atlanta (68-64) is close enough to claim a spot. They are also tied with Pittsburgh so I’d keep an eye on them.

3. The Tigers and A’s both made major mid-season moves and have since struggled, both falling out of first place. Who is considered now, to be the favorites to win the American League?American League

ARCHIE: I would love to see the Kansas City Royals win the AL pennant this year. However, I am looking for the Angels to win the pennant.

JOE: Win the whole she-bang?

Starting to look, if the stars align right, that it’s gonna be between the Angels and the Orioles… flip a coin… Angels. No, Orioles.

I think it’s that close between the two. But one of them wins the AL.

STEPHAN: The Angels are probably playing the best baseball since the All Star Break, but I still think that Oakland is the favorite in the American League. They are positioned well with their pitching rotation to make a deep run in the post season. They need to figure some things out offensively after trading one of if not their best hitter in Cespedes, but the pitching will carry them. They are the favorites in my opinion.

SANDY: I would say it comes down to the A’s and Angels, I’ll stick with the A’s, although I wouldn’t count out Baltimore. Detroit has some pitching problems and even with the trade for David Price, when he threw a 1 hitter and lost, that says it all. Their closer (Nathan) also has a high 5.25 ERA.

4. Is it time to forgive Pete Rose and place him in the HOF?pete-rose

ARCHIE: Pete Rose’s numbers as a player screams for him to be included into the HOF. I could care two craps less about the gambling stuff. I mean I JUST DON”T CARE! I feel it is an atrocity to fans and to the HOF that he is not already there.

JOE: Every time I think about this I lean towards “yes” for the obvious reasons… the numbers.

But, I always come back to … there is a sign in every MLB clubhouse that says there is no gambling… period. And, it says what will happen if you do and you get caught. He knew the penalties and still did it.

Add to this is the fact he was a manager who bet on his own team.

I know he says he never bet against his own team but let me ask… if a guy is a known liar… as is Rose… why should I trust him about anything?

And, besides, even if what he says is true the fact that he is a manager who is gambling will have had influenced his decisions, either overtly or subconsciously, and that is/was not acceptable.

Yeah, peeps can change and all that… but he has never really convinced me he was… or is… real serious about his act of contrition.

So, no, Rose is not allowed in the Hall unless he buys a ticket.

STEPHAN: Forgive him? Sure. I think for the most part, many in baseball have forgiven Rose for gambling on baseball. However are we ready to bring him back to the game? I think Selig should cramp down and reinstate

Pete Rose and make him eligible for the Hall of Fame. He deserves the at the very least the opportunity for the legends committee to vote him in. Who is to say that they will even elect him? After what he has done in his career, and what has happened in the years since then, he deserves the opportunity.

SANDY: I was against Pete Rose from the beginning, I felt like he bet on his own team, even though he denies it. After 25 years and the PED era, I’m starting to soften on my stance. At least we can say that Pete’s stats aren’t tainted, so I think he’s been punished enough and should be in the HOF.

5. Last night (8/26) the Mets announcers were discussing the replay rule and were decidedly against it… they said there was just a bang bang play where a Brave had just got a hit; the relay throw came into second; the call was made and then the game was delayed to review the play on challenge.Mets

The point being everyone complains that baseball is too slow… and this just slows the game even further… in Keith Hernandez’ words… “Ridiculous.” and “Trust the umpires.”

The other point they made was… the pitcher is into the pace of the game .. he’s got his rhythm down… suddenly he has to stand around on the mound waiting.

So, the question becomes does replay need to be revamped or simply done away with?

ARCHIE: This is very easy for me to answer since I was not in favor of instilling it to begin with. Get RID OF IT! Umpires, make the call. Stick with it. There are just some things new technology should leave alone. This damn thing is going to lead to video and computer called games. It takes from the game a very special part of the game. Fans LOVE to hate on the umpires and it always gave the fan a feeling that their team did not lose, they got screwed by blue.

JOE: Very persuasive argument. I listened to it. And, it was very persuasive. My opinion… never liked replay to begin with… do away with it.

STEPHAN: Here is the problem. There are far too many issues with what the umpire sees, and what the rules are interpreted to be. I have seen so many calls most recently with plays at the plate where the “catcher is blocking the plate.” Some of the plays seem to be legit, and are not

overturned, while others don’t make any sense. So it is really the interpretation of the rule. Then we had the issue with Tampa Bay and Toronto where the umpire overturned a play that may have cost the Rays the game. The controversy on that was due to a “delayed call” as Gibbons allegedly did not come out to challenge before Mark Buehrle was ready for the next pitch. Again, interpretation of the rule. So too many “issues” for my liking. Just do away with replay except for the Home Runs. That did not seem to cause much of a problem when that was the only thing being looked at.

SANDY: I think it should be done away with. When a team gets 1 challenge and loses that is supposed to be it, but all they have to do is ask the ump to review a play and they agree, that to me is another challenge, so what’s the point in having a challenge rule if it is ignored. Plus the plays at the plate are even worse because most catchers don’t seem to know where the lane is. Also the lane is different if the player is rounding 3rd and is out of the base line. Even if the catcher is blocking the plate without the ball and the runner is 5/6 steps away from the plate and has the ball when the runner arrives at the plate the review doesn’t take that into account.

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