MLBRT 10/1: Yogi thoughts… & pennant talk

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Yogi remembered…

Can Cano hit 3000? Astros imploding? Will the Pirates go all the way?

And can Donnie Baseball survive another early exit?

The Crew tackles it all… here and now in the MLB Round Table…

Moment of silence
Moment of silence

 

1) Gotta ask the question…

Young, old or in-between… what is your remembrance of Yogi Berra? 

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Archie: Yogi has always been a referenced idol for me. I don’t remember seeing him ever play the game.

But, seeing his stats and reading some of the “Yogisms” I came to see him more as a “character” than a pro baseball player. 

Dan: I don’t really have much to say in this question besides Rest In Peace to one of the best catchers this game has ever seen. He was a great player for the Yankees when he was alive not only at the plate and such, but as a field general calling the game.

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Earl: Growing up in New York, you hear the Yogi-isms. I might be a Mets fan, and a fan of the Yankees AL East rival in the Blue Jays, but you still can’t escape the Yogi-isms.yogi B

At 33 years old, I was born well after the end of Yogi’s career, and since I’ve already established that I am not a Yankee fan, I don’t exactly look at his playing career in any kind of fan reverence. With that said, he did leave a long lasting impact on our sports scene and he will be missed. 

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Joe:  I was privileged to see the man play although he was in the second half of his career when I did see him play and he was playing left field as well as catching. Regardless, he was still damn good.

What can I say about the man… the player… that hasn’t already been said? Not much. So I won’t because, if, you follow baseball, then, you’ve already heard about all his accomplishments… the 10 rings, MVPS, etc… I’ll just leave it that he was and is one of the greats who has ever palyed the game and though he may have been diminutive in his human form he stood as tall as there ever was bot has a player and as man who did he best that he could.

I will add that he was also a man of his word…yogimain

For almost 15 years Yogi kept a promise that he would never set foot into Yankee Stadium because of the way George Steinbrenner had canned his ass… through another person not even face to face like the man he always professed himself to be… as the Yankees’ manager in 1985.

Steinbrenner had given Yogi his word that he would not be fired throughout that season and yet a scant few weeks into the season George went back on his word and replaced Yogi with Billy Martin… Yogi was not only furious he was hurt… and… he  said he would never return to Yankee Stadium as long as George was the owner… it was A matter of principle based on keeping your word… after all it was George who always lectured about the virtue and value of being a Yankee and pinstripe pride.

Only because George finally apologized, and, in doing so said,  “(Firing Yogi was) the worst mistake I ever made in baseball,” that Yogi came back where he truly belonged… to Yankee Stadium and the Yankee family.

Iin 1994, I did meet Yogi once during, of all things, a 1969 Mets championship 25th year anniversay autograph session… and, he was… well, he was Yogi… polite and just a nice guy.

Yogi is the eptiome of what all ballplayers should aspire to… hard playing, polite and fan friendly…   

And, yeah, I got his autograph… on a team pitcher of those 1969 Mets…yogi_berra

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Steve: It has to be his legendary quotes. “Baseball is 90% mental and the other half is physical”; “It ain’t over til its over”; “You don’t have to swing hard to hit Home Runs. If you got the timing, it’ll go.”

There are so many awesome quotes by Yogi, these are just three of my favorite.  

2) On Wednesday (9/23), Seattle second baseman Robinson Cano notched the 2,000th hit of his major-league career… in your opinion, what are his chances to achieve the 3,000-hit mark? 

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Archie: At his current average/pace he will have to play another six seasons
with current productivity to hit the 3K mark.

Cano gets 2000th career hit
Cano gets 2000th career hit

In my opinion, I think he has a good shot at it. He will only be 38 and we have seen several players of his caliber still hit with consistency; barring of course any injury issues.

Dan: I think his chances are rather good.

If, he plays until he’s 40-years-old, which isn’t out of possibility, and, he follows his 162-game average of 193 hits per year, he’ll reach 3,544 hits. If, he records just 170 hits for 6 more years, he’ll reach over 3,000 hits.

So, I think he’s going to get it barring any injury or any sudden retirement.  

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Earl: I’d put his chances at about 50%.

He’ll be 33 years old in a few weeks, so he does have some time to get another 1,000 hits but that will all come down to him being healthy and motivated to pursue the number. It will also come down to the Mariners putting a team around him, so that pitchers can keep pitching to him.

I’m not completely convinced he’s going to stay healthy enough or get the help he needs to get to 3,000 hits. 

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Joe: He’s got a shot but considering he’s almost 33, he will need a little bit of luck… gotta stay healthy, avoid any prolonged slumps and hope Seattle (or he gets traded to a competitive team) puts some decent players around him so pitchers don’t constantly pitch around him.

If, I had to bet… I would say, yeah, he will do it, but, just barely.  

Can Robby get 3000?
Can Robby get 3000?

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Steve: Cano is 32 years old, and, may be on a decline from his past years. He is likely going to finish batting under .300 for the first time in six years. He is averaging 182 hits over his 11 year MLB career, so, if, he averages this over the next six years he will get there.

Considering that he is having a down year this year according to most sports experts. He is still having a fine season hitting .282 with 19HR,  and 73 RBI. That would be a dream season for many in baseball. With that said, taking into consideration he is probably on a downward side of his career. Let’s give him 150 hits on average, he plays seven more years to the age of 39, that would put him over the top and give Cano 3000 hits. Yes he gets there.

3)  It wasn’t that long ago that the Houston Astros were assumed to be a lock for the playoffs… now, as of Thursday (9/24), the Texas Rangers have taken over 1st in the AL West and the Astros appear to be imploding… in your opinion, what’s going on with Astros and will they make the playoffs or not?   

Astro's imploding?
Astro’s imploding?

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Archie: It beats the hell out of me what is wrong with them.

They sure as hell picked a bad time to go in the toilet. The Rangers are hot and they are cold as ice. It did not help that their pitching is crap of late.

Dan:  I think the Astros are just collapsing and getting cold. It happens with teams and it’s happening to the Astros at the worst time it could.

I think, they can make the playoffs as long as they stay ahead of the Angels and Twins, but, if, I had to make a decision if they will or not…  I’m going with no, they will not make the playoffs.  

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Earl: I’m rooting for the youngins on the Astros squad.

Sac fly in 9th; Rangers overtake Astros for 1st in AL West
Sac fly in 9th; Rangers overtake Astros for 1st in AL West

Houston is a few years ahead of schedule, but the youth have faded late this season. Clinging on to the 2nd Wildcard spot by the slimmest of margins, I would be real happy to see them hold on and face the Yankees in a one game playoff but I got a sneaky feeling that they won’t make it to the playoffs.

The Angels, who I keep writing off for some reason, and the Twins are making a strong charge. I assume one of those two will make it over the Astros.

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Joe: It’s starting to look like the pressure of a pennant race might be affecting the overachieving Astros team at last during this 2015 season. I kinda hope they hang on but I got a funny feeling they won’t… I look for the Angels to slip by them in the next week.

Sorry, Astros fans… maybe next year. 

Dont look back... someone's gaining on ya..
Dont look back… someone’s gaining on ya..

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Steve: They do seem like they are trying to blow it. I think that they will still get in as the #2 Wild Card, just ahead of the Angels and Twins. The Angels just have been too inconsistent, and the Twins are fading as well. Throw Keuchel against the Yankees in the Wild Card, and you never know what could happen.

I think the Astros get in, but, I do think they will be one and done.  

4) Seems the Pittsburgh Pirates hardly seem to get noticed in the NL, yet, since their not so good start of 18-22, they have gone 74-38 (as of 9/24) which is a .661 winning percentage and clinched a playoff spot…  how good are these Pirates and can they win it all? 

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Archie: You better not sell them short, because they are good enough.

Their offense is clicking at the right time and it is more than enough to carry them through. Same goes for their pitching. They have the second best team ERA in the NL and only the Red Birds are better.

And, that is the issue: “Can they finally unseat the Red Birds and move on?” 

Can the Bucs get past the Cards?
Can the Bucs get past the Cards?

Dan: The Pirates are a very good team as they’ve shown this year. They started off slow but have been on fire ever since.

The crazy part about Pittsburgh is they have a losing record against every team in their division, but, have the best record in baseball for win-loss outside of a team’s division.

I think the Pirates will do good in the playoffs, but, they won’t win it all. They’ll have to face, most likely, Chicago in the 1-game play-off to get into the playoffs. I think they can win that but then they’ll have to pass the Cardinals to get to the World Series, and, I don’t see Pittsburgh doing that.

So, no, they won’t win it all, but, they do have a good shot as long as they don’t face St Louis.

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Earl: Credit to the Pirates for securing a 3rd straight postseason birth.

With that said, can they win it all? No. I’m not convinced they are that good. They might not even make it out of the wildcard game since the Cubs are going to put Arrieta out there.

As I said, hats off to the Pirates, but, I can easily see them being one and done this postseason. 

   meJoe: The Pirates seem to slipping by under the  radar and that could serve them very well as they go into the wild card. Yeah, they proalby face who I think should be the CY Young winner this year in the NL…. (sorry Grienke)…  Jake Arrieta… buyt  ithink they have the hitters and pitching that can sneak by the hot and coming on strong Cubbies._cardinals_pirates_baseball_74465790-525x419

Then depending on who they face next… watch out they could do some real damage…

If, its the Dodgers, then,  I think, they beat the Dodgers… and, if, it’s they Cardianls, then, I don’t know… I think that one is to close to call… 50-50 who wins that match up.

They get to the NL finals… vs he Dodgers? they win it all. The CArds… same as above… 50-50.

Notice I don’t mention the Mets? Simply because, I don’t think their young phenom pitching staff will get them beyond the first round round no matter who they play… sorry Mets fans… see Houston above… maybe next year.

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Steve: Can they? Sure they can, they have the second best record in baseball behind the Cardinals.

The problem that we have here is that two of the three best records in baseball are going to be out of the playoffs before the NLCS. The Pirates will likely host the Cubs in the Wild Card, and, with the way Jake Arrietta is pitching I don’t think they will beat him and advance. I think it will be another early exit for the Pirates. However, they have the talent, roster, rotation, and bullpen to win it all, I just don’t think they will this year because of how the playoffs are aligned, and they do not match up well against Arrieta and the Cubs.  

5) In your opinion, if, the LA Dodgers don’t get to the World Series, is this it for Don Mattingly as their manager?   

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Archie: Just like “Highlander” there can only be one. And, anything can happen in post-season. You never know where your Mr. October is going to come from, ergo, why would the front office be “unhappy” with a guy that finally led their team over the Giants that’s been ruling the west for a decade or so?don-mattingly-still--

I have not heard any rumblings from anywhere stating that the Dodgers organization is unhappy or disappointment thus far and I don’t see why they would be IF the Dodgers don’t make the WS other than the usual feelings when you lose.

So, no, I don’t think he is going anywhere.

Dan: No, I don’t think it is.

The Dodgers have been a good team for a couple seasons now. I think, Don Mattingly is doing a good job leading that team. I think, as long as they get to the NLCS that Don Mattingly’s job is safe. If, they can’t make it to the NLCS, then, you might want to look at other options for manager. But, I don’t believe this is it for Mattingly in Los Angeles.  

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Earl: Absolutely.

The problems in Los Angeles are not Mattingly’s alone, but, of course, if, the Dodgers fail once again in the postseason the axe has to fall on him. It goes without saying. Don-Mattingly5

me Joe: If, the Dodgers don’t, at least, make it to the World Series, then, Mattingly has no chance to remain as their manager for 2016.

Having said that… watch him sign a three year contract to remain as the manager of the Dodgers in the next few days.  

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Steve: I thought he was a goner last year when the Dodgers flopped against the Cardinals. So, the answer is yes, he will be ousted when the Dodgers fall again.

This time I think it will be against the Mets in the first round of the Divisional Series. The Dodgers have a tremendous starting two with Kershaw and Greinke, and a pretty good lineup to go along with that. It has been proven that teams with the best bullpen are the ones that come out on top. The Dodgers are pathetic when it comes to the bullpen, and that once again is going to be their kryptonite, as the Mets have a solid pen, and will knock off Los Angeles in the NLDS.

 

Extra Innings…

number 8

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1 Comment

  1. Perhaps one of the best quotes regarding Yogi (rather than from him) occurred once when he was catching and hit hard by a foul. He was carried off the field barely conscious. Later a radio announcer gave an update over the air saying, “Berra was taken to the hospital. X-rays of his head showed nothing.”

    Yogi, I never met you but still I will miss you. I hope you bring as much joy to those where you are now as you brought to us here.

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