The Bat Flip ain’t over & other MLB news… MLBRT 5/19

 

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Wild punches, bat flips and Red Sox hits…

The bat flip heard round the world is still making news even in 2016… it just won’t die…

Check out the MLBRT crew’s thoughts on the latest scrum between the Rangers and the Jays and lots of other MLB news…  

1) As of Monday morning (5/16), the Boston Red Sox have a team batting average of .298. The last time a team hit at least .300 for the season was the Boston Red Sox (.302) in 1950. Since then, the closest any team has come is the .294 team BA the Rockies had in 2000. 

What are the chances the Red Sox break the .300 mark for team batting average for the 2016 season?

Archie1-e1437441340278Archie: In this day and age of the “specialist” coming in late innings to shut down one batter at a time; not much chance at all. You stated it clearly above, the last team to do so was in 1950. Even while they are putting up good numbers right now, the dog days of summer have not gotten here yet and it is still way too early to think of that magic number in their future.  MLB: Boston Red Sox at Toronto Blue Jays

Dan-3-e1444417855165Dan: I think that it can be a good chance, but I don’t see it happening. It hasn’t happened in 50 years, I don’t think it’ll happen this year either. I think they might come really close, around the .296-.298 area, but, I just don’t see them hitting .300. That’s really good for an everyday player let alone an entire team.

It’s not happening this year. Try again next year.

E_J_-12-e1437441468102Earl: It’s a solid lineup. The Red Sox can definitely hit the ball and they have a handful of players who have gotten off to a good start.

With that said, I’m not that high on them breaking the .300 mark. Why? We’re only in mid May. There is plenty of time for those bats to cool off, not taking into the event that there could be injuries that will take some of those hot bats out of the lineup. I might change my mind if they are hovering around .300 by late July, but, as of right now, I can’t see it happening.

meJoe: Right now… I’m not sure BUT, if, any team in MLB is capable of doing it, then, I think it will be the Red Sox.lineup

They do have some damn good hitters on that team.

MLBRT Steve small iconSteve:  It is still way too early to even be discussing this, if you ask me. I mean, sure, it is something to get behind and we will see where it goes, but, to predict that a team is going to bat over .300 for the season and we still have 4 or 5 months left to go in the season, is jumping the gun.

I personally don’t think they will keep this pace up and they will not hit this mark. I will say that the Red Sox are a very good offensive team and “should” be at the top of the American League in team batting average, but, still too early in the season for me to make any bold prediction. Let’s see where they are in August, if they are still hovering around .300, then I will start paying more attention to it.

2) Jose Reyes was finally assessed a suspension without pay until May 31st by MLB/the Commissioner.  The suspension is retroactive to February 3, when Reyes was placed on paid leave. In an agreement that was negotiated by the players union, Reyes will lose $6,251,366 in salary that he would have been paid for 52 games based on the 183 days that span the regular season. Reyes is also donating $100,000 toward the prevention and treatment of domestic violence.

Some people have already said that this punishment… as well as the punishment Aroldis Chapman got… is not enough. That, if, a player can be suspended for 81 games for a first offense  without pay for using PEDs, then the penalty for violating the Domestic Violence Policy should at least equal the PED violation.

What is your opinion? Is that is a fair, or justified, comparison or not?  

Archie1-e1437441340278Archie: It is fair in some light. Many might look at it that the DV case is more harmful and should be punished more than the use of PEDs. With PEDS you cheat yourself and the game. With DV you harm others some of which may or may not be innocent.

Jose Reyes
Jose Reyes

However, having said that it is not hard at all anymore to catch a DV charge when tempers flare. You get mad and slam a door behind you and the person you are arguing with decides to catch that door in the eye because they have to follow you into the next room to continue the argument. Police show up, see the red mark, someone’s going to jail and it is NO LONGER up to the victim to press charges. The police are required to make arrest on the spot if/when they see evidence of some physical altercation.

I do think that the level of the DV should come into play and be looked at by the Commissioner when penalties for DV are handed out. I don’t think one “Blanket” penalty suffices.  

Dan-3-e1444417855165Dan: Honestly, if they’re criminally found guilty, I think the penalty should be quite large… around the PED suspension area, but, not past it. If, they’re not guilty, such as Chapman or Reyes, then, why do they need to be suspended such a lengthy amount?

They weren’t CHEATING the game of the baseball. They did something stupid outside of baseball. Everybody does something stupid outside of their place of employment. Why punish them as heavy as if they did something to cheat the company? Cheat other employees? There shouldn’t be any reason these two separate issues should be talked about together.

Keep PED suspension how it is, set guidelines on domestic violence cases. I, personally, think it was too long for both Reyes and Chapman, but, I am in the small minority on that.

E_J_-12-e1437441468102Earl: I was fine with the Chapman suspension because although he was not charged, he did plenty of stupid things in his domestic incident to warrant a 30 game ban.

Aroldis Chapman
Aroldis Chapman

Reyes? 52 games is not enough. He was arrested and charged for pushing his wife. He went to court. That alone, to me, should have warranted at least 81 games. Yes, he loses $6 million this season but it’s not enough. It’s not.

meJoe: This is a really tough call…

I guess it ultimately depends on the situation and what the heck did happen but truthfully? I think they need to set some basic penalties to be applied rather than just half stepping it over each and every single situation.

I just don’t envy whoever has to set those standards.

MLBRT Steve small iconSteve: I think Chapman got off easy, simply because he discharged a weapon.

Reyes got what he deserved, nothing more, nothing less.

Both have gone on record and apologized, took ownership, and acknowledged their wrong doing. Sometimes, that is the hardest thing to do. I think Chapman’s suspension was lite compared to Reyes and his fine, but, that is the way the legal system goes.

3) Jose Bautista was finally hit by a pitch by a Texas Rangers’ pitcher. The HBP was in

The flip that started it all...
The flip that started it all…

the very last game the two teams will face one another in the regular season.  Most baseball writers (as well as many baseball folks) are saying it is retaliation for when Joey Bats flipped his bat after hitting that HR against Texas in last year’s ALDS playoffs. (1) Do you think Bautista being hit by a pitch was actually a retaliation move for last October? And… (2) are the Rangers holding onto a grudge way too long and should have just let sleeping dogs lie?

Archie1-e1437441340278Archie: Dude, this question has so been Overcome by Events. The Odor punch to Bautista’s face will prolong this feud for many years to come.

We have NOT seen or heard the last of this one.  

Dan-3-e1444417855165Dan: I think it was, but it was ridiculous. If they had done it, nobody would have been in the wrong. But since it happened against them, they got in their feelings and tried to start a big fight. Then, not only do they wait until the final game against Toronto this year, they wait until Bautista’s final at-bat and hit him.

odor punchWhy? So Toronto can’t get back at them? It was just a girly move. More classless than anything Bautista did in that playoff series. If, they still had a problem with him, they should’ve taken care of it in his first at-bat. Should’ve just let it go, it wasn’t a big problem. Teams always have an issue when the opponent’s celebrate. If you don’t want somebody to celebrate something, don’t give them the opportunity to.

E_J_-12-e1437441468102Earl: The hit by pitch was clear retaliation and it’s B.S. on Texas’ part to wait until Bautista’s last at bat of the last game of their season series to finally retaliate. If, you are so mad at the bat flip, the first pitch a Rangers pitcher took against Bautista should have been the one where he got plunked. I mean props to Odor for hitting Jose with one hell of a punch, but, other than Odor, I don’t have much respect for the Rangers on this. Real bush league on their part.

meJoe: I think it’s kinda punkass of the Rangers to wait as long… last game of the regular season between the two teams… as they did to retaliate against Bautista.

I also think, that when Joey Bats sorta retaliated back by sliding hard into second that Rougned Odor was sorta out of place by throwing and hitting Bautista with a haymaker before all hell broke out on the field that was really nothing more than some after the fact pushing and shoving.

Matt Bush
Matt Bush

I also think, it was a punkass move to ask Matt Bush a 30-year old rookie to hit Joey Bats. The guy is in the Majors after paying a huge, but just, penalty for an early life mistake (DWI and 39 months in jail) and fighting to keep his major league job and the team sends him out there to do the dirty work?

So, yeah, get over it Texas… if you were going to retaliate, then you should have done it either in the first game of the 2016 season between the two teams or in the the first  Rangers home game… not the last time you were facing each other and not when Joey bats was at his last at bat.  

I will say this… next time, Joey… keep your damn left up!

MLBRT Steve small iconSteve: Before I answer this, I think that the UFC needs to take a close look at Oder to compete against Connor McGregor.

To answer this: Hell, yes, it was retaliation from last years playoff game. The Rangers planned this and it was the last at-bat of the series for Bautista and there is no chance for the Blue Jays to respond to the Rangers this season unless they meet each other again in the playoffs.

MLB's newest great rivalry?
MLB’s newest great rivalry?

This is starting to become a really fun rivalry to watch between these two teams. All over a damn bat flip, which I stand by my stance that I have no problem with it.

As for the Rangers holding a grudge? Like I said, they planned this to happen on the last game of the season between these to clubs, and, now, the Jays just have to lie in wait until next year, or, even perhaps the playoffs? I think, if they were going to retaliate, they should have done in the first week in May, so we could have had more fun with this new rivalry.

4) Yankees manager Joe Girardi has been quoted as saying that if he was making policy for MLB he would eliminate/outlaw the “shift” in baseball as an on-field strategy. As a manager, he still uses the “shift” against certain opposing batters. 

Is Girardi being hypocritical?   

Archie1-e1437441340278Archie: No. He likes old school baseball. However, he manages to keep his job.joe111

IF Baseball were to OUTLAW the shift then the playing field becomes equal to all ….AGAIN. But, as long as they allow it to happen, then, he must, and should, put his players in the best possible defensive posture to win the game.

I for one hated seeing Brian McCann have the shift against him so many times when he was with Atlanta but at the same time I often wondered WHY he did not just lay down a bunt along third base line??

Dan-3-e1444417855165Dan: I think so in one aspect, but, no in the other.

I think he is because he uses it quite often from what I’ve heard even though he’s saying he would eliminate it. But, in another aspect, I don’t think so because it’s legal, so why not take advantage of it?

If, he had the power to make it illegal, then obviously he wouldn’t be able to use it. So, while it’s legal, he’ll use it. It’s just ridiculous that he would think it’d be a good idea to illegalize it.

E_J_-12-e1437441468102Earl: Of course he’s being a hypocrite.

To be in favor of eliminating the shift, yet you are managing your team by employing it, then, yeah, you sound like a hypocrite in my mind.

meJoe: Kinda, sorta… But, I guess, as long as it’s a legal tactic, then why shouldn’t he employ it to his best advantage?Infield-Shift

So, I guess, no, he ain’t be hypocritical but just expressing some old school views.

MLBRT Steve small iconSteve: No, and i’ll tell you why.

Girardi first and foremost is the manager of the New York Yankees and he has to use everything in his power to manage his team to victory. He will use any strategic move that is within the rules to help his team win. It doesn’t matter if he is against it, if it is available to use, why not use it? I have no problem with his feelings on the shift and him using it in games.

5) Many Vegas bookmakers posted the Philadelphia Phillies over/under win total at about 67 games. Presently (as of 5/16) the Phillies are 22-15 (.595 winning percentage and 2nd in the NL East) which trails only the super hot Cubs and the Nationals.

Can the Phillies keep this pace up and make the playoffs, at least as a wild card team, or, will they eventually fade from the upper echelons of the NL best teams? 

Archie1-e1437441340278Archie: Personally I don’t see them holding onto a playoff spot. And, not so much, that I think they are that “Bad”; I just think there are other teams that are better that will eventually get their collective shit together and post better numbers.Phillies

Dan-3-e1444417855165Dan: I don’t think so. At the beginning of the season, they all predicted Philadelphia to be bad this season. They’re a surprise team, but, they’ll fade away. I just don’t think they’re a good enough team to keep this up all season. They’ll eventually fall and when they’re going to get cold, they’ll be COLD.

Enjoy the success now Philadelphia, it won’t be for long.

E_J_-12-e1437441468102Earl: The Phillies will finish with over 67 wins. They will only need to win 45 out of their remaining 125 games to equal 67 and I think they can do that easily.

With that said, I don’t see the Phillies as a playoff team. They will fade as the season goes on but I feel pretty confident that they will surpass the over/under.

meJoe: I think the Phillies will be much improved over the last few years, but, in the end, I think the best they will manage will be somewhere in the middle of the pack.

I don’t, however, think they will finish last in the NL East this year.

Vince Velasquez
Vince Velasquez

MLBRT Steve small iconSteve: The Phillies pitching is doing much better than expected. Velasquez is having a fine season so far. I still think they will come back to Earth, and, will finish well behind the Nationals and Mets.

I could see them maybe compete for a wild card berth, if, their pitching can stay in tact and continue to play well. The Marlins and Braves are going nowhere fast, so third place in the East is a real possibility, and that is saying a lot considering most pundits had this team dead last in the National League.

 Extra Innings… 

Ken Griffey Jr. makes a running catch during a 1999 Mariners-Yankees game…

griffey

 

 

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