World series memories… present and past…
Donnie Baseball’s leaving the Dodgers and what’s maybe next for him…
And, Greinke… will he saty or will he go?
It’s all happenning at MLBRT as the Crew disusses it all and more… here and now…
1) Donnie Baseball and the Dodgers agreed to part ways… rumor has it he was “offered an extension” by the Dodgers but that Mattingly asked for his release because he felt he’d be more comfortable working for a front office and ownership group that had hired him, instead of constantly trying to adapt to someone else’s vision (He has worked under two different groups of owners and two different GMs)… be that as it may… what will be Don Mattingly’s managerial legacy as a Dodger? And, where, in you estimation, will Mattingly land next?
Archie: When Mattingly took over the Dodgers the goal was simple, “Win us another WS title”. The ownership provided all the funding in the world to compete with any team out there. And even though his Dodgers did win the majority of the games they played during the regular season they failed hard in their quest for the ring.
IMO if he could not get that team over the top I am not so sure he could get any team over the top to win the ring. He will probably come back to the East coast but I am not so sure he will land in a dugout any time soon.
Dan: I think he’ll be remembered as a manager who could lead a team to the playoffs but couldn’t finish it. A great regular season manager but a bad post-season manager. He just couldn’t deliver the Dodgers to WS and they seemingly couldn’t win a playoff series with Mattingly as the manager.
I think Mattingly will either land in another city as a manager or he’ll go as some front office person with a minor role in the organization.
Earl: I don’t know if we will remember Mattingly’s time in Los Angeles as a positive one. Yes, he made the postseason on multiple occasions, but, the Dodgers had no success once they got there. However, Don Mattingly did prove that he can manage and he will get another chance to manage in the Major Leagues.
Where do I think he lands next? I would not be too shocked if he gets a chance to manage the Marlins. Ownership there is a mess, but as a former Yankee that should play big in Miami with all the ex-New Yorkers running around Florida.
Joe: He will be remembered as a decent manager who unfortunately never got the job to its ultimate goal… winning a World Series. Part of the problem, in my estimation, is that instead of providing Mattingly with players and then letting him work with molding the “material” into shape as a cohesive unit, the front office was constantly trying to spend big bucks to buy its way into a title and Mattingly was never given the time to properly manage his team.
Speaking as a Yankee fan… Yanks are in the market for a new batting coach… I mean it’s a mostly a pie i nhe sky pipe dream but it would sure be nice to have Donnie back in the pinstripes.
Steve: Mattingly left on good terms with the Dodgers, and, never burned any bridges with the organization. It was just time for him to move on. I am not surprised by this move at all, as I thought that the Dodgers would have had to win the World Series in order for him to come back as the manager next season.
I think Mattingly will be a manager in the big leagues next year, and his next destination will likely be Miami as they are in search for a new manager, and someone like Mattingly could fit right in with that organization.
IF it is my best post-season memory it would have to be Dave Justice’s single shot in the ’95 WS to give the Braves their only WS title.
IF we are talking this season it would have to be Daniel Murphy’s consecutive homerun per game streak…
But, in this post-season, the moment that stands out the most is Jose Bautista’s bat flip and Texas having a tantrum on the field with the benches clearing multiple times within a batter.
Earl: There have been so many. Baseball is probably the sport my earliest memories are associated with. I have memories of the Giants-A’s series in 1989; I have some good memories of the 1991 Braves-Twins series, and, I probably ran around the house screaming when Joe Carter hit his homerun in ’93 against the Phillies.
With all of that said, I’d have to go with Roger Clemens tossing the broken bat at Mike Piazza in the Subway Series. New York was already on edge with the Mets facing the Yankees and then to have that happen? Felt like a powder keg was about to explode.
It was 1960 and I was 11-years-old and it was the first year that I really got involved in following baseball from the start of the season to the finish… I collected the Topps bubble gum trading cards… knew all of the stats as well as who was leading the league and in what categories… and… I could tell you just about every player on the 1960 Yankees’ roster and most of their personal stats… as well as many other team’s players.
In 1960, the Yankees were heavily favored over the Pirates and the Series tended to go in this manner… in games where a lot of runs were scored the Yanks were the winners and in games where the scoring was on the low side the Pirates were the winners.
In the deciding 7th game that changed… in the game the Pirates jumped out to a quick 4-0 lead and the Yanks were held scoreless until the 5th when they finally scored on a HR. In the 6th they scored 4 more runs to take the lead for the first time in the game at 5-4; in the 8th they scored twice for a 7-4 lead. The Pirates then answered with 5 runs in the 8th to retake the lead at 9-7. The Yanks score 2 in the top of the 9th and the scene was now set…
The first batter up in the bottom of the 9th is Bill Mazeroski. With a count of one ball and no strikes, the Pirates’ 2nd-baseman hit a dive that went over the wall in left field, ending the game and crowning the Pirates as World Series champions. Mazeroski became the first player to hit a walk-off home run in the 7th game, to win a World Series.
Steve: Well for me personally it would have to be with Omar Visquel flied out to Marquis Grissom in Game 6 of the 1995 World Series, giving the Atlanta Braves their one and only World Series title. However that is my personal favorite memory.
The memory that stands out in my mind would have to be a game that I actually attended, when the Texas Rangers were within one strike of winning the World Series in 2011, and the St Louis Cardinals rallied in the Bottom of the 9th, AND the Bottom of the 10th inning to win Game 6 after a David Freese homerun. St Louis went on to win the World Series by defeating Texas 6-2 in Game 7. Just an amazing experience. I am not a Cardinals fan, but the atmosphere for those to games was electric, especially when Freese hit that homerun.
3) How surprised are you that the Mets won the NL pennant in a 4-0 sweep versus the Cubs?
And, I am pretty surprised the METS young pitchers dominated like they did in the PS. I am surely surprised they swept a very good Cubs team.
After the series Chicago had against St Louis, I thought Chicago could really make it to the World Series and that this might be their year actually. Turns out I was wrong and Chicago forgot to show up. With the pitching displayed by the Mets this post-season and in this series, they really shut down Chicago who had the lowest team batting average since the NLCS started back in the 1970s.
Yes, the young aces of the Mets did come into the series with momentum, but the Mets had struggled against the Cubs (along with the rest of the NL Central) this past season, so, I did not expect them to dispatch the Cubs in such as easy fashion.
I thought he Mets would win the NLCS but I figure the Cubs to win at least a game if not two…
… for the Mets to win in a sweep… who’d thunk it???
Steve: Honestly? Not surprised at all. I said before that in order for the Cubs to win this series. They would have to do it in 5 games, and would almost have to sweep in New York for Games 1 and 2. When that didnt happen, I said after the Game 2 loss, that the Mets were probably going to sweep this series. Their pitching is just so good, and David Murphy was just destroying the baseball. So while I didnt call a sweep for the Mets, I am not surprised at all.
4) Can the Dodgers resign Zack Greinke or is he a gone guy? If, he is a gone guy where do you think he might be headed?
Dan: I think the Dodgers can re-sign Zack Greinke and will sign him. The 1-2 punch of Zach & Kershaw is almost unstoppable especially after the year Zack Greinke had in which he put up Cy Young winner numbers.
If, the Dodgers don’t re-sign him, then, I see him going to a small market team with great potential at the World Series ring. And,the one spot that keeps appearing in my mind is Kansas City and to return where he started. The only problem is he’ll be commanding huge money and probably a 5-7 year deal. I don’t know if Kansas City can afford that.
Earl: If he wasn’t 32, I would say the Yankees but Yankees brass is against throwing big money at a pitcher over 30. My guess is the Dodgers keep him, since they do have the money to tie him up in a long term deal.
But, if, he does leave the Dodgers I wouldn’t be too surprised if the Red Sox throw huge money at him. Boston needs to do something to get a pitching staff in order and they do have big market money.
Cubs need at least one more front line starter to get them over the hump in their search for that elusive World Series title.
There is a chance Greinke stays, but I see him going back to his old team in Kansas City to try and win a championship.
5) In your opinion, what do the Cubs need to do to finally get to the World Series?
First, they do NOT need a complete overhaul, in other words, do not panic.
Secondly, realize they are a one-man show in starters. One really good and then the others are just serviceable. Greinke comes to mind again here. Scott Kazmir might fill a big hole there as well. There is other talent in the FA offseason market as well; Cueto, Samardzjia, Price, Zimmerman and Leake…there is some pitching talent to be had.
Issue might be though; at what cost?
Dan: I think the Cubs just need to show up in the NLCS. I mean, they couldn’t hit the ball. The Mets got the best of Arrieta and the Cubs just fell apart. I think, if they can show up they can make it there.
I thought this year was the year but the Mets had an easy road after they beat the Dodgers. The Cubs had the 2nd best record in baseball, they beat StL and I really think they can make it with-in the next 2 seasons as long as they keep playing how they did this year and I think Joe Maddon can really lead this Chicago Cubs’ team to a World Series.
Their young talent is maturing, Joe Maddon was an excellent managerial hire and Theo Epstein is the right guy to build a team. The Cubs will continue growing from this experience, and they should be around for a few seasons.
They need at least one top pitcher if not two. They have the hitting. I think they make a big time effort to go after Grienke to lure him over from the Dodgers. Then look for another pitcher to fill the the #3 spot after Greinke and Arrieta.
If, that fails then look for the Cubbies to go after any of the following pitchers… David Price, Johnny Cueto, Jeff Samardzija, Mike Leake or Jordan Zimmerman.
But… whatever they do they need to just leave their hitters alone… their bats will eventually score the team enough runs IF their pitching can hold down the other team to minimal scores. They need pitching.
No seriously, the Cubs just ran into a very hot and talented Mets team in the NLCS. I don’t think anyone the Cubs could have had would have done any good to be honest. However, The Cubs need another couple of arms, one or two quality starters, maybe a David Price? I could see that happening.
They also need a solid closer to close out games, I bet Craig Kimbrel will be available. They need to boost their bullpen so even if their starters cannot go deep into games, they are ready. I will say this, the bullpen did look ok against the Mets in the NLCS, but to put them over the top the Cubs need more pitching.
DO NOT TOUCH THE OFFENSE.
The nine-game postseason matchup is the Big Apple’s first ‘Subway Series’, although that type of transportation will not be available until 1904.
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