Since, the World Series begins on Tuesday the questions were posed as early as possible so the Round Table crew could try to beat the clock with their answers…
With no further adieu…
And, away we go….
1) Who is your pick to win the World Series… Chicago or Cleveland?
This is a heartfelt as well as a SWAG guess.
While Cleveland is a very good team, which I’ll get into more, I think Chicago is the better team. They have a great starting rotation, their bullpen isn’t bad and they have one of the best closers in all of baseball. Then, their offense has been amazing and for most of the post-season they were doing it without Russell & Rizzo. And, now, they started hitting against LAD. While they will have to face a lot better pitching, I think the Cubs will succeed at home, win all 3 and steal game 7 in Cleveland.
As you’ll hear me say time and time again, having a meaningless All-Star game decide home field advantage for the World Series is ridiculous. The Cubs should have home field advantage and I think the series would be a lot different if it was a home field advantage for Chicago. But, either way, I still think they win powered by Rizzo, Bryant and their pitching.
Earl: I’m going with the Cubs. I like a good story and as much as the Indians have the advantage with their bullpen, I think the Cubs have enough offense to take the Indians bullpen out of the equation. With that said, I think the Indians can hold their own as well in that regard, so I think this series goes at least 6 games.
But, I want the Cubs to win. I want to see Chicago get that feel good story.
While Cleveland so far has been romping through the post season with relative ease. This will stop with the Cubs. History and momentum is on the side of the Chicago Cubs. They have the most well rounded team, they have offense, they have defense, they have pitching, and they have a great bullpen.
The Indians, have an OK offense, a great pitching staff, and Andrew Miller. The only way the Indians have a shot in this series is if they can get to Andrew Miller with the lead,and he can pitch like he has all season long, and, especially, all post season.
2) Regardless of who you picked to win the World Series… since the season began the Cleveland Indians were picked by most “experts” to be an also ran… they were supposed to finish behind KC but they didn’t. They won their division by 8 games with the 2nd most wins in the AL. They were supposed to be an afterthought in the ALDS where the Red Sox were supposed to roll merrily along as an extension of the David Ortiz Farewell Tour, but they didn’t they took the Sox 3-0. And, finally, they were supposed to lay down and roll over and play dead when they played Toronto in the ALCS… but they didn’t. They now stand 7-1 in MLB’s Postseason Tournament.
The question… are the Indians, in Jason Kipnis’ words “We’re dogshit, but we’re awesome” or are they just flying beneath the experts’ radar and the reality is that they really are a damn good team and Chicago needs to watch out in the World Series?
Don’t come in glad to just be here, come in bat shit hungry.
Dan: While I want to say the Indians are just awesome right now, it’s not just that. Their pitching is absolutely outstanding. They showed that last season and coming into the season, they were expected to do very well due to their pitching. Their starters all had huge K/9 numbers and was regarded as the best rotation in baseball. While they’re missing two of their starters due to injury, I believe they are still regarded as the one of the best rotations in baseball.
For them to win, they need to get to the Chicago pitching immediately, set up their own pitchers’ for success and pitching needs to focus on strike 1. Once they’re ahead in the count, they’ll have all the advantage in the world. This pitching is strong and good enough to push them to the title, and, their offense has been firing this whole post-season as they’ve been hot sweeping the Red Sox and taking out Toronto by losing only one game.
They’re hot and they’re good, watch out Chicago.
Earl: Terry Francona did a great job. He deserves a great deal of credit, but the Indians were a good team. They had a good rotation and a solid bullpen that got even better with the addition of Andrew Miller, and, they had a decent lineup. Yes, they may not have had any superstar names, but, they are a solidly built team that should be around for a few seasons and will definitely give anyone they face a hard time.
Steve: The Indians are a great team, and the Cubs cannot take them lightly. Sure, they have probably over achieved from what the so called experts projected. But, I picked the Indians to be right where they are. I did pick the Rangers at the start, but, when they were knocked out by the Jays, I said the Indians were going to represent the American League in the World Series.
The Cubs, on paper should win this series, but, I would not be surprised at all if the Indians pull off yet another miracle. to do it, they have to play nearly perfect baseball and the Cubs are going to have to not be able to hit.
3) Shortly after Cleveland won the American League pennant on Wednesday in Toronto, fans began posting their wishes on social media for actor Charlie Sheen… aka Rick “Wild Thing” Vaughn from the movie Major League… to throw out the ceremonial first pitch before one of this year’s World Series games.
Sheen has said if asked to so before one of the games that he would be honored to oblige. The word from MLB is that all pregame festivities have been already set and Sheen will not be asked to throw out any first pitches.
Should Sheen… aka Rick “Wild Thing” Vaughn… even if he doesn’t throw out any first pitches, somehow be included as a part of one of the World Series pregame festivities?
FYI… some of the Indians have actually embraced the idea of being a bunch of underdog players as were shown in Major league and according to a ESPN.com article, “… just like… Major League where (fictional Cleveland Indian) Pedro Cerrano practices voodoo and prays to an idol named ‘Jobu’ to help him hit curve balls. Like Cerrano, (Mike) Napoli and (Jason) Kipnis have their own ‘Jobu’ and have left gifts, including small bottles of rum and cigars, to keep them out of hitting slumps.”
Dan: I think he should. While he shouldn’t throw out the first pitch, I do believe that most of the Major League cast… well, those who can come and are willing to come… should be involved in some way.
It’s the Indians in the World Series and the three-part movie series was focused around the Indians (granted it was taped at the old County Stadium in Milwaukee), I think they should all be involved and maybe just shown with a little demonstration before game time.
Earl: I love the fact that Napoli and Kipnis embraced good old Pedro Cerrano and that they don’t shy away from the Major League movies. Yes, I was a fan of the Major League movies. I even loved that crappy one with Scott Bakula where they went back to the minors.
Steve: It’s a fun idea to think about, but, I think it would be the most stupidest thing in the world if Charlie Sheen threw out the first pitch, or, even had anything to do with festivities in the World Series. This is the third appearance for the Indians in the World Series for the Tribe since the movie Major League came out. He was nowhere to be found there, so why should he be there this year?
I wouldn’t be opposed to it, but, personally, it doesn’t make any sense.
4) Jose Bautista is heading into free agency… while he has had some decent seasons late in his career he isn’t a high probability to be headed to the Hall of Fame… he’s only hit over .260 twice in his career and he’s only driven in more than 73 runs four times (although each time he did he had over 100 RBIs) and he’s now 36-years-old. Plus, his 2016 season stats aren’t exactly the way a player wants to be seen as he heads into free agency.
Will there be a market for Joey Bats or is he destined to be a late signing at a bargain basement price?
Dan: I think there is a market for Jose Bautista this off-season and teams will be looking for him and there’s going to be a team that will give him what he wants rather quickly. But, I don’t think he’ll even reach free agency. I think the Blue Jays will offer him a qualifying offer (which is what I’ve heard they’re going to do…) along with Edwin Encarnacion and both players will remain in Toronto to start off next season.
I don’t expect anyone to throw a ton of money at him because he is 36 and he’s coming off a down season (by his standards anyway) but he does have some value for an American League team that has a hole in their lineup at the DH position. I don’t expect a huge market but enough of one that I can say that he’s not long for the North.
Steve: No, he will be a top free agent simply because he can still hit very long home runs. He is an attraction. I think that he will still be in the American League as a DH as his fielding skills are not one to write home about.
I could see him signing a one or two year deal with a team like the Rangers, who love offense, or even the Angels who also like the big bat, and are looking to make a splash after being left out of the playoffs again this year.
5) The games in this year’s MLB tournament have been excruciatingly long this year. Not including extra-inning games, 11 of the 27 games took at least 3 hours, 30 minutes to play. There actually is a rule that states pitchers are supposed to throw a pitch within 12 seconds after they get the ball and then toe the rubber. It is never enforced.
Is it time for a pitch clock, similar to the 20-second one being used in MiLB, in MLB?
It is time for shorter TV breaks.
Dan: I don’t think so. I was a pitcher when I played until arm problems shut me down. While I didn’t take too many breaks and pitched at a rather consistent pace, I think for the post-season there doesn’t need to be any pitch clock. During the regular season when there is 162 games to be played, it’s a different story. But post-season, there’s no need.
These are important games and HUGE games. They will draw fans, especially this series. There’s no need to speed up the game just because there’s some people who complain it’s “too long.” That’s baseball. There’s been a lot of hitting this post-season and that drags games out longer usually because half-innings become longer, more pitching changes, etc…
If it’s an intense pitching duel with not a lot of hitting (which people also complain about because they claim it’s “boring”) it’ll speed up the game. But, you can’t have both, and, I’d rather take the long games over a pitch clock. I’d rather take a pitching duel over a heavy hitting game. Leave it as is, no need for a pitch clock.
Speed it up or start games earlier but something has to give.
I think the biggest problem with the games, especially the playoffs, are because of all the pitching changes that occur in the post season. I don’ t really think taking more than 20 seconds to pitch the ball is that big of an issue and really does not effect the time of the game, except for a few relief pitchers. I would lean against a pitch clock. I would be more in favor of having a clock on how much time it takes to change pitchers. I would not however, limit the amount of pitching changes a manager can make, as it can directly impact the outcome of a game and prevents strategy.
Ya think they might have overreacted to winning the 1907 and 1908 World Series a tad????
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