MLBRT 1/7… Looking back at the MLB 2015

 

MLBRT with SS.3

MLB 20154 was an interesting season.. .all sorts of events occurred… there was…

Well… there was plenty to talk about, so, read on and see what the Round Table crew thinks are their top five memories of 2015 and lots more as they discuss this week’s questions…

1) Looking back on the MLB season in 2015… what are your top 5 memories?

Archie1-300x277Archie: Don’t know if I have a top 5 but here goes.

I felt like going into spring training Ned Yost had his Royals in a “pitch” perfect setup to make arun for it all and they did just that.shelby miller

The Braves surprised me when they traded Jason Heyward in the offseason. I was not sure how to feel about itat the time but then after they traded Kimbrel and Simmons I was left with ahuge hole in my heart for the team I love.

And again in the offseason they manage to continue to dismantle the team by trading one of the very few bright spots in Shelby Miller this offseason. IF THE 2017 season does NOT play out as advertised then 2015 will go down as the destruction year of the
Atlanta Braves.

Dan 3Dan: Well, I have a top 5 but they’re in no particular order.

This year featured 6 no-hitters with Mike Fiers getting one in Houston after being traded by Milwaukee. Max Scherzer was almost perfect twice this season with 2 no-hitters and there were multiple others including Jake Arrieta’s no-hitter in which he celebrated after in a onesie.max_scherzer_

Which brings me to the next top moment which was Jake Arrieta’s season. Not only did Arrieta have an incredible season, but his second half was historic and I believe without him, the Cubs wouldn’t have even thought about the playoffs. He was a huge difference maker this season and it was fun, even though I’m a Brewers’ fan, to watch him pitch all year.

Speaking playoffs, it was nice to see Pittsburgh make it but also to see the Royals win in a sweep as well.

Another playoff moment was Jose Bautista’s bat flip in which aggravated the entire Texas Rangers’ team and their constant scuffle back and forth.

The last moment of the year has to be the 3 historic milestones that were passed this year which includes David Ortiz hitting his 500th career home run, Alex Rodriguez getting his 3000th hit via the home run and Mike Trout became the youngest player to join the 100 HR/100 SB club.

It was a fun season, but I think we’re all ready for the 2016 to come to us and show us what this season has in store for us.

E_J_-12-238x300Earl:#1 is the Jose Bautista bat flip. That had to be the biggest memory for me to watch the Blue Jays and Bautista in the playoffs and come back in a contentious game 5 against the Rangers.IF

#2 is watching the Mets-Cubs NLCS. I watched a couple of those games in sports bars and the energy in both places were electric. Good memories there.

#3 Watching the Royals win the World Series. Yes, I wanted the Mets to win for my hometown but the Royals were the better team and they deserved to win.

#4 The Mets trading for Yoenis Cespedes. The Mets finally landed the big bat they need. Too bad he won’t be part of the 2016 Mets.

#5 The last game at Yankee Stadium for Derek Jeter. Farewell Captain Jeter.

Me (2)Joe: For me, in no particular order, the top 5 moments of the 2015 MLB season were…

The Yankees making the playoffs after not being there since 2012… even though it was as a wild card and they lost in the wild card round… it showed me that the team is committed to getting younger but still able to contend.mets1280

The 6 no hitters that were pitched… Max Scherzer,  Jake Arrieta, Mike Fiers, Hisashi Iwakuma, Cole Hamels, Scherzer again and Chris Heston… all were shutouts nothing flukey.

Being a NY area guy… the Mets making the World Series was a big highlight.Manager Terry collins said they would be a contender in spring training and all the  writers wrote, “Yeah, sure…” Then they went out and did it.

The Astros making the playoffs and finally…

The Cubbies and their youth movement also making the playoffs.

Steve-01-288x300Steve: In no particular order, my top 5 memories are:royals-2

1) Kris Bryant’s game tying Home Run against the Washington Nationals in Chicago. The Home Run went right off of my fingertips and damn did it hurt.,

2) Max Scherzer’s near perfect game, damn that Pirate.

3) The Royals winning the World Series

4) The Cubs insane turnaround from 2014, and beating the Cardinals in the NLDS.

5) Zack Greinke and Clayton Kershaw’s consecutive scoreless streak.

2) The LA Dodgers just signed Scott Kazmir, a left-hander pitcher, to add to their starting rotation. His signing arguably means that the Dodgers starters (if they are all healthy) will now be (in no particular order) Clayton Kershaw, Brett Anderson, Alex Wood, Hyu-Jin Ryu and they just signed Scott Kazmir which would mean that their starters will/could be an all lefty rotation… Can the Dodgers win with an all southpaw rotation?

Archie1-300x277Archie: I really don’t think so in a Right Handed dominate league.

I know they will curtail some of the lefties they face in a series but ALL rosters in MLB are Right Hand Dominate, or, can be with a pen in.

If Dodgers sign Maeda will that break up their all leftie rotation?
If Dodgers sign Maeda will that break up their all leftie rotation?

Dan 3Dan: I think that it will work for the most part. A lot of teams aren’t best suited to face a left-handed pitcher. But, I do think that they will be able to win and win a lot. Having a left-handed pitcher is always a plus in a rotation.

Teams love to mix it up. They usually face better against hitters than right-handed pitchers because it’s something different. still, with all 5 lefties I think they will be able to win and get to the playoffs.

E_J_-12-238x300Earl: It’s unique but that rotation needs at least one right hander for balance. That’s why I don’t believe the Dodgers are going to wheel out an all lefty rotation.

I’d expect the Dodgers to make a deal or two before the start of the 2016 regular season. 

Me (2)Joe: While its usually a good thing to have some effective lefties in the rotation because most teams are usually better suited to face righties than lefties, I’m not so sure if having all lefties is really a benefit or not.

To me it just means when the Dodgers come along on the schedule a team could bring up some extra batters to face them lefties and sort of neutralize the effect or the so-called advantage the lefties might have. Then send them back down again after the series.

I guess time will tell in the long run if it works or not, or, if they even really do have an all leftie rotation durign the 2016 season for any lenght of time.

Steve-01-288x300Steve: I don’t think so, I think you need to have a variety of pitchers right handed and left handed to really compete.

Now, that doesn’t mean they won’t be good, but, you can kiss a World Series berth goodbye. 

3) Do you see any MLB team signing Tim Lincecum before spring training?

Archie1-300x277Archie: Yes, Tim should be signed within the month.

The rewards can be really good if the price is right; and I think his agent will deal to get him signed.

Dan 3Dan: Yes, I definitely think a team will take a chance at TIm Lincecum just based on his past experience and how dominant he used to be.

A team, I think, that could give him a chance and likes to revitalize players is St Louis. But, if they don’t, I know some other team will. Even if, they put him in the bullpen, a team will add him to their roster.

E_J_-12-238x300Earl:Yeah. He’ll probably have to settle for a “prove it” one year deal, but, I’d expect that someone is going to bring him in before spring training.Lincecum

Actually, I wouldn’t be shocked if he has to settle for a minor league deal for a team that has some question marks at the back of their rotation. The aforementioned Dodgers  might want to take a shot on him if he’s still out there by the middle of next month.

Me (2)Joe: Yes, sooner or later some team will sign Lincecum. If for nothing else than an extra arm in the bullpen and a spot starter.

Hell, with his past history he’s worth a shot, especially if, the team can sign him at a bargain rate.

Steve-01-288x300Steve: I think someone will pick up on him, and, they should. He is not very old, and, I think with a few mechanical changes, he could be great again, maybe not CY Young award great, but winning 13 to 14 games is a serious possibility.

I would take a chance on him.

4) Is this the year that Mike Piazza makes it into the Hall of Fame? Or, is he destined to forever be outside looking in?

(Editor’s note: As of Wednesday evening  (1/6) Mike Piazza, along with Ken Griffey, Jr., was elected to the Hall of Fame.)

Archie1-300x277Archie: I think we all agree that Mike has the numbers/stats to make it in.Mike1

Again, however, the steroid debate raises its ugly head and for now I don’t think the BBWAA will vote him in.

Dan 3Dan: Mike Piazza was a catcher and was a great hitter. What’s significant about that is how most catchers are not great hitters like Piazza was. He was a 10-time Silver Slugger, was elected to 12 All-Star games, won the Rookie of the Year and was a top-3 MVP vote receiver 3 times with one 4th place. He posted a 142 OPS+ had a .308 batting average, 427 home runs and a .377 OBP for his career.

He deserves the Hall of Fame. 2016 is the year he gets in.

E_J_-12-238x300Earl: Yes, and, since I’m answering this question after the Hall of Fame announcement was made, I’m glad Mike is finally in the Hall. He deserved it.

The steroid allegations were always bogus. Mike did it the right way. He was a hard working player, the face of a franchise, and for a bit of time after September 11, 2001 he was the face of New York City.

He’ll go into the Hall as a Met and all I can say is that it is about damn time. 

Me (2)Joe: Piazza is arguably in the top three all-time of best hitting catchers ever… maybe Yogi and Johnny Bench with their MVP awards and championships were a tad ahead of him. 

Welcome to the Hall...
Welcome to the Hall…

In my opinion, Piazza deserves to get into Hall and should get the Call in 2016.

Steve-01-288x300Steve: I hope so, but I will say that he will fall just short again.

I don’t like the idea that they are accusing him of PED’s when he never tested positive for any drugs relating to PED’s. I wish the HOF committee would overlook suspicion and only penalize those who were actually caught or found guilty.

5) The Cincinnati Reds are obviously breaking up that old gang of theirs and going for a rebuild. Should they try to (1) convince him to waive his no trade clause and then (2) make a strong effort to trade Joey Votto?

Archie1-300x277Archie: The Reds are on the hook for over $220 million on his current contract. That takes him through age 40. As good as he is, what team looks forward to taking on that kind of money for a 32 year old?votto

They can obviously talk to him about the clause but I would not even mention it UNLESS some team(s) expressed the desire to hitch their wagon to that bundle.

Dan 3Dan: The Cincinnati Reds should come up to Joey Votto and say they’re interested in trading him. See if he has any teams he would open up from his no-trade clause. Honesty goes a long way and that’s what Cincinnati should do.

So yes, they should try and make a strong effort to trade Votto. It already seems to me that they’re rebuilding, so might as well get some solid prospects for the future if they can.

E_J_-12-238x300Earl: Might as well trade Votto and blow the whole thing up. The Reds are going nowhere fast. They gave up Chapman for nothing, and they didn’t get too much value for Frazier either.

So, no harm in dealing Votto and really rebuild their franchise. 

Me (2)Joe: Votto has gone on record as saying he loves it in Cincy and has his family there and wants to stay.joey-votto-gloves

Now, that may be just him saying the right things to the fans or he might really mean it. Either way, if I’m Cincy management I go to him and see which teams he might be agreeable to being traded. The worst that can happen is that he says none.

But, then again, I bet he tells management there are are least one nor two teams he would agree to going to. And, if he did then I think Cincy management should work their asses off and try and get a trade done. At least try and get some prospects for their rebuild if nothing else.

Steve-01-288x300Steve: Jesus, if I were Votto I would get the hell out of town now! This team is going nowhere and fast. They are unloading all of their talent, and, it would not surprise me if by the end of the summer, Votto and Bruce will both be with other teams.

But, to answer the question, I think the Reds should try and build around Votto and Bruce and not completely throw in the towel to do a complete rebuild. However, with the NL Central loaded, they may be thinking there is no way they are going anywhere in that division.

Extra Innings…

Welcome to the Hall… Ken Griffey, Jr. & Mike Piazza!

Griffey earned votes on 437 of 440 ballots cast this year (a record 99.32%).
Griffey earned votes on 437 of 440 ballots cast this year (a record 99.32%).

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