MLBRT 3/26… Somebody say baseball tours?

 

 

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 First day of the season is less than two weeks away… meantime the crew is here talking about baseball tours… Kershaw eating a baseball… Lester’s arm’s a little tired? And, what’s this news about how they intend to end the season?  

1) Clayton Kershaw took a line drive to the face on Friday. He was able to shake it off and remain in the game. Did he just add to his rep or maybe take it to another level?

Archie1Archie:  Part of the game. It is a test of his mettle, maybe, but, I don’t see how it adds to his legend or anything. And, I don’t see it as elevating his level.mlb_u_kershaw_mb_600x400

E.J. 12Earl: He could only add to it.

Took a line drive to the face and stayed in the game? That’s pretty badass.

meJoe: I don’t know what his rep really is as far as being a tough guy is, but, I got to say that him staying in the game after losing a tooth, or even a part of a tooth, can’t hurt it any. Not sure if he shouldn’t have been overruled about staying in the game though. I mean, you get hit hard enough to knock a tooth out means you got your bell rung to some degree, so, considering that scenario, I think protocol should say take him out regardless of his desire to stay in the game.Clayton-Kershaw-Stan-Conte1

Steve 01Steve: Kershaw is a competitor. And, while taking a line drive to the face would probably scare me to death, if, I was a Dodger fan, Kershaw isn’t going to come out of the game until he is ready.

I’m not sure it added to his reputation, and, I think it was foolish to allow him to stay in the game during a Spring Training game. But, then again, if Kersahw says he was ok, who am I to doubt him. He has enough hardware to back it up.   

2) Chicago Cubs ace Jon Lester will miss his next scheduled spring start on Saturday due to a “dead arm.” After Lester had sailed through his first two spring starts he also gave up 7 runs in his last start. Is it as Lester says…”If this was during the season, it wouldn’t be an issue. You can ask every pitcher, it’s an every year thing for everybody. It’s nothing out of the ordinary”, or, is it time to start getting nervous in Cubbie land?

3/16/15, Maddon takes Lester out of the game/6 runs; 7 hits; 3 1/3 IP
3/16/15, Maddon takes Lester out of the game/6 runs; 7 hits; 3 1/3 IP

Archie1Archie: Don’t round up the herd and go underground just yet. While Lester might be the big man on campus, right now, that, everyone is looking to for salvation, he is not the only guy capable of resurrecting the Cubbie Faith. I think he is mostly correct in his statement, however it is how it is presented to the media and fans that seems to make a difference in this part of the season. And, like
everything else, time will tell.

 

E.J. 12Earl: I’d be a little nervous if I were a Cubs fan. The Cubs look like they have a bright future with the additions of Jon Lester and Joe Maddon as manager to go with a crop of kids on the come up. Lester having a dead arm, even in spring training, would cause an alarm bell or two to go off. Resting him and taking it easy with Lester over the next couple of weeks would be an intelligent decision.

meJoe: I’m on the fence. I can see where he’s coming from on one hand… but, on the other… even, if, he is hurting, how up front is he going to be to the public about it? If, I were in Cubbie land I wouldn’t be at the extremely nervous stage, but, I would be slightly concerned.

Steve 01Steve: Not yet.lester

Now, am I a little concerned that Lester is already experiencing a dead arm with not even a month into Spring Training? Sure. But, at the same time, it is just Spring Training, and, Lester is one of those work horses that will go out there and give it his all every time he is out there. He is a guy who will give you innings in the regular season, no sense on keeping them out there longer than you need to.

So, he gave up 7 runs in his last start. As a pitcher myself, you work on things during Spring Training. Maybe he was working on some pitches, and, it just didnt work. He probably threw the “Eliminator” to Jack Parkman and he renamed it.

I’m not worried about Lester….yet.

3) Major League Baseball announced it will sync up the start times on the final day of the regular season, with all games starting at 3 p.m. ET.
Is this good, bad, or, who the heck cares?

Archie1Archie: Good and Bad.

Good to get it over and let the postseason teams prepare to either travel or host. Bad that TV fans may or may not be able to watch those last deciding games in full.

Royals after clinching a playoff spot
Royals after clinching a playoff spot

Personally, I don’t care right now. I will worry about the end of the season when it gets here.

 

E.J. 12Earl: Nothing wrong with a little manufactured drama but it will be meaningless if there isn’t anything in play on the final day of the season. It’s a good idea, and I like it, but it’s entirely dependent on having a playoff berth hanging in the balance. If there are none, then it’s a big much to do about nothing.

 

meJoe: I have no idea why this was even considered; I think it is stupid and irrelevant, and, regardless what the MLB or anyone else says the scenarios for all the games being started so that all the teams are on equal footing regarding strategy with resting players, or, whatever the hell they did say. The fact is that games not being finished or even started all at the same time are still a distinct reality. Ever hear of rainouts or rain delays?

Giants clinch NLCS spot
Giants clinch NLCS spot

Stop trying to manipulate and artificially fabricate stuff and just play the damn games.

Steve 01Steve: I don’t see the purpose behind this. I mean if it is the last game of the regular season, what difference does it make to have every game start at the same time? I guess the only logical answer to this is so those who are still in contention for the playoffs, may know their fate at the final out, instead of having to wait in the locker room for the results. So, they can celebrate at the final out.

I have no idea, and. I really don’t care.

4) You got a week, all expenses paid… which three ballparks do you go to and why?

Archie1Archie: I will save my third trip for 2017 when the Braves open their new stadium. I would like to be there for opening ceremonies.sun trust

The other two, even though they are not even close to my favorite teams and I really don’t like AL ball, I would like to go to Yankee Stadium once in my life just for all the history made there. And, I guess my last choice would be Wrigley Field, much for the same reason as Yankee Stadium.

 

E.J. 12Earl: Excellent question.

As a student of history, I’d like to see the old ballparks. Meaning I’d start up at Fenway and catch a Red Sox game. I’d then bounce over to Chicago to catch a day game at Wrigley. Finally I’d head out West and catch a game at Dodger Stadium.

I have never seen a game at any of those ball parks, and I’wrigley-fieldve never even been to Chicago or Los Angeles, so, I’d pick those parks to get in some history and visit some cities I need to check out.

meJoe: One of my bucket list items is to go to every MLB city and see a game, plus buy the teams’ cap, in each of those cities. There are 30 MLB teams… I have been to see 19 of them…. 20 if you count Montreal.  

That leaves me 11 cities to still visit… out of those 11 cities will come my 3 picks.  

The one other criteria I will include in my selections is what other local areas of interest each city and its geographical location have to offer… besides just the attraction of the team and its ball park. 

With this as my criteria here are my three choices…   

Seattle Mariners… SafeCo Field is, from all that I hear, an excellent place to see a game and the Mariners should be a very competitive team this year. In fact, I think they got a real good shot at winning their division. Also, I have always wanted to visit the US Northwest and Seattle is probably as Northwest in the US as I could get. Other reasons to visit Seattle… Puget Sound, Olympic National Park, the mountain and woodland areas… I hear they actually have a rain forest up there… and fresh salmon and king crab.

So going to see the Mariners would actually eliminate 2 items off my bucket list.  

GiantsSan Francisco Giants… again, AT&T park is supposed to be a great place to see a ball game…and, hell, why wouldn’t I want to go see the defending World Series champs any way?

As for San Francisco… another bucket list item, btw… I have always wanted to visit the City by the Bay… Golden Gate Bridge, cable cars, Alcatraz, a Chinatown that rivals, if not surpasses, NYC’s Chinatown, as well as a Little Italy that may also rival the two Little Italy areas in NYC, Fisherman’s Wharf and some excellent seafood. What’s not to like? SF-ATT_Park_ent

Eliminate 2 more bucket list items…

Then, finally… Arizona D’backs… an up an coming team… don’t know as much about their ball park as I do Safeco and AT&T, but, hell, it’s baseball…really, how could it not be good?  

As far as entertainment or area attractions? Ever hear of the Grand Canyon? Another bucket list item… plus, they got some really nice desert locales I would like to check out.  

So, there’s my 3 choices and my reasons why.  

Maybe, I won’t get to do this in 2015, but, in the next 2 to 3 years, I hope to have my remaining 11 MLB teams/cities all visited and checked off my bucket list.  

Then… I can go back to all the other cites I have been to that now have new ball parks.. Minny, Cincy, Atlanta, Miami, NY…

 

Steve 01Steve: Several years ago I went on a national tour and visited all the ball parks in baseball with the exception of Miami and Tampa Bay, just due to travel time. Of course, this is before Miami built their new stadium. So, I think I would like to see the new ball park, so, Miami would be top of my list to visit. I hear it is an incredible stadium with so much to do other than watch a baseball game.

I would also love to go back to SafeCo Field in Seattle. safeco-field

Seattle not only is a fun place to visit, SafeCo field is AMAZING!! I seriously spent the entire day there when I visited it when it just opened back in the late 90’s. And, with The Mariners looking like a competitve team again, I would get to see some good baseball as well.

Finally, I would like to see Minnesota’s new park.

When I was in Minneapolis last time for a Twins game, it was in the Metrodome, and, my god it was awful!!! So loud, you could not hear yourself think. I would like to see the new stadium as it is one of the last of the new stadiums that I have yet to visit.

5) Recently some fan twittered “that If my math is right @BauerOutage has given 5 HR, 4 3B, and 4 2B in 15.1 innings. 13 of 23 hits for extra bases. @CBSSportsMLB #ouch”
Sort of surprisingly, Trevor Bauer twittered back, “@dundundunnn @CBSSportsMLB most important stats are 73% strikes and 0 walks. No one cares about extra base hits in spring. #FigureItOut”

Is Bauer right and that worrying over spring training stats is essentially pointless because players are working on other more important stuff?

Archie1Archie: To some degree spring training stats do NOT matter IF that player is assured a starting day job. However, there have been many pitchers NOT make the squad due to stats as mentioned. I know as a manager sometimes a walk is effective. I do appreciate a pitcher that throws mostly strikes but when they come in like batting practice tosses, what good are they?Bauer

Trevor Bauer has no reputable stats to rest his laurels on at this point in his career, so, maybe he would have been better off just remaining silent.

 

E.J. 12Earl: Worrying about preseason stats is meaningless because it’s not necessarily a precursor of the season to come.

I’ve read up on Bauer over the years. He’s a different kind of guy. A bit hard headed, and, he’s bit of an experimentalist. He could very well be pitching in preseason differently than what he will in the regular season, and, seeing what works right now and what doesn’t. I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt.

meJoe: It depends who you’re talking about…

For veteran players who have a roster spot spring training doesn’t mean diddley except to get stuff ready for the season. All they use or need spring training for is to fine tune stuff and maybe experiment with this or that… especially the pitchers when it comes to the experimenting stuff.

For players on the fringe, including veterans trying to make a team or coming back from potential career ending injuries, or, the potential up and coming young guy/rookie, putting up some numbers… be they batters or pitchers… is a lot more important. They have to make an impression while they got their chance. So on some level for those players every hit or pitch could mean the difference between making a team’s roster or of going down to the minors for another year.

So, Bauer is essentially right, but, maybe he should concentrate on getting about three or four pitches working well rather than the rumored (mostly from him) 19 different pitches that he has. It‘s not like his MLB record… short as it is… suggests he any great shakes so far.

 

Steve 01Steve: The stats during spring training are completely irrelevant for main roster players. The players that are guaranteed a spot on the team will be working on simple mechanics.

Trevor Bauer being relieved
Trevor Bauer being relieved

Batters will work on their swing, some will work on timing, placement of the ball, and, some will just try to please the fans and hit the ball out of the park.

Pitchers will work on mechanics with certain pitches, they may work on something new for the season.

So, giving up a ton of runs is not cause for concern in my book because they are not going to give it 100% when they are out there.

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  1. Steve, I could not agree with you more about the old Metrodome… terrible place… not sure which stadium was worse… Metrodome or the one in Montreal… Saddledome or some such nonsense I think was it’s nickname.

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