April 14, 2015

Talkin' Baseball: Opening Week and Pace of Play

49er16: Well all the teams in baseball have had their home openers now and what are your first impressions of the season?

The Colonel: My impressions/questions so far: 1. Are the Royals really this good? 2. Is the AL West really that mediocre? 3. Same old Giants on offense 4. Are the Nationals really that bad defensively? 5. Atlanta really isn't that good, are they?

49er16: To answer your last question, no I don't think they are. Plus they've played both the Marlins (twice) and Mets to start the year. Sorry if I don't quite buy into the Braves yet. The Royals are the most intriguing team. We knew they could defend and pitch, but now they're mashing home runs. They definitely won't keep up with this pace but if they're improved at the plate they might be one of the best teams in baseball this season.

The Colonel: I really don't know why people are surprised their bullpen is still good. The Giants have had the same 4 relievers(Casilla, Romo, Affeldt, Lopez) for 3 championships and have been fine. Good pitchers even if they're relievers will stay good at least for a few years.

April 3, 2015

Talkin' Baseball: Opening Day

49er16: /dusts off the blogger cobwebs
Who are you again?

The Colonel: Just an asshole in a white suit who likes baseball. And like Mike Krukow said, I'm sick of Scottsdale. I know we complain every year that spring training is too long but man did this year's camp feel like it dragged on forever.

49er16: Yeah a little over 6 weeks in spring training is way too long. I know it's for the pitchers but for crying out loud it's still too long. Spring training basically lasts from my birthday in February to my brother's birthday in April.

The Colonel: We can complain all we want but it ain't changing. They make too much money down there so the 40 day training camp ain't ending. Moving on, what or who are you looking forward to seeing this year?

49er16: Everyone is saying is how loaded the AL Central is this season so I am looking forward to seeing that division. Are the Tigers about to fall off the cliff? Are the Indians as good as Sports Illustrated is projecting? Can the Royals repeat? Are the White Sox improved? When will the Twins call up their super prospects?

The Colonel: It's going to be funny when the Tigers win that division again after everyone said the Tigers would take a step back this year.

49er16: Are we ready for another postseason failure for the Tigers? I'm also looking forward toward the NL Central race. The Reds in particular fascinate me because they're getting older, haven't really improved, and are getting grumpier. You would have to figure they're going to try and move either Phillips or Bruce this season, right?

The Colonel: Moving Bruce would be easier because his contract ends after next season and he doesn't have 10-5 rights like Phillips. On paper that Reds team looks miserable. Some bad contracts there. I'm not looking forward to another Cardinals victory in that division.

49er16: We need to talk about the Cubs. Them firing Rick Renteria after 1 season to hire Joe Maddon feels wrong to me. I'm rooting against them with Maddon because of that situation.

The Colonel: Maddon is just another person in a long line of "Cubs Saviors". From Dallas Green to Sweet Lou the Cubs every 5 or 6 years hires someone new who is suppose to lead them to the promise land and nothing happens. I'm not looking forward to the fawning Joe Maddon praise from everyone and you know it's going to be worse this year since he's with the Cubs.

49er16: Some people were already talking about how smart he is because he had a pitcher batting eighth in spring training. OMG JOE MADDON IS BATTING THE PITCHER EIGHTH! WHAT A GENIUS! IT'S NOT LIKE TONY LA RUSSA EVER DID THAT SORT OF THING! Puke, let's move on before I punch something.

The Colonel: How the mediocre AL East? Seriously besides the Red Sox, I don't see how anyone in that division improved themselves. I agree with the projections in that whoever wins that division will only have between 86-89 wins.

49er16: And yet we'll still be subjected to a million Yankee games on the MLB Network.

The Colonel: Oh man don't get started down that road............on second though, get it out of your system. You know you want to complain about the MLB Network airing a ton of Yankee games.

49er16: Here's the thing that pisses me off. I get why ESPN, Fox, and TBS air a bunch of Yankee games. They need max viewers and the Yankees do provide them that. But the MLB Network not only sending their own broadcasters to their games and simulcasting a bunch of their games infuriates me. Last time I checked the MLB Network is suppose to promote the league. Doesn't that mean showing non-Yankee games? I'm almost positive there won't be a week this year where a Yankee game will not be played on that network.

The Colonel: The problem is the executives at the MLB Network think just like the execs at the rest of the networks. More Yankee games because of viewers. They're not about promoting the league and teams like the Pirates. They're about money and viewership and sadly the Yankees drive it.

49er16: Sadly you're correct. Anything else you're looking forward this year?

The Colonel: The AL West is the division that interests me the most. Will the Angels take a step back? Will the new Oakland pieces gel? Are the Mariners as good as projected? Will the Astros OBP/Dingers/Strike outs strategy work?

49er16: I love how the Astros have created a lineup that is either boom or bust. I'm sure everything will work out just fine for them with this strategy.

The Colonel: What's amazing to me about the Astros is that we heard about how amazing their farm system is, but I don't remember anyone saying that these guys are strike out machines?

49er16: Why do we get so excited for farm systems/drafts? Most of these guys never live up to the hype and we're always left with blue balls.

The Colonel: Because we're suckers for the future.

49er16: We need to talk about anything else?

The Colonel: Nope

49er16: Enjoy opening day folks.

March 27, 2015

2015 MLB Predictions

Hey look at that. The Colonel and I are back to give you our 2015 MLB predictions. Looking back at our 2014 predictions I can say...........well at least we correctly predicted what managers will  get fired. As always these are semi-serious predictions. Also we plan on doing some more Talkin' Baseball's in the future starting sometime between now and Monday of opening day as our first one.

49er16
Don Mattingly will get fired: I've been predicting his firing for 3 years now. It has to come true eventually right? Probably not because this team is so talented it really doesn't matter who the manager is.

The AL East will be perfectly mediocre: ZIPS is projecting that none of the teams in this division win 90 games with the divisional winner having only 87 wins. I disagree with the projection system saying the Red Sox win the division but I do agree with the projections that this will be a perfectly mediocre division with no great teams but no bad teams.

The Chicago White Sox will be the surprise team of the AL Central:  Sports Illustrated picked Cleveland to win the world series. I'm picking the White Sox to be the surprise team of the season and Cleveland not even making the playoffs. Chicago improved the rotation with Jeff Smardjajaja and improved their lineup with Melky Cabrera. Plus factor in Jose Abreu and Chris Sale and you're looking at a sneaky good team.

The Oakland A's won't make the playoffs: They barely made the playoffs last season and that was before they sold everyone. Now the A's did make some smart moves in acquiring Zobrist and Billy Butler but I'm just not a fan of the roster as a whole. The A's are still relying on Coco Crisp who cannot stay healthy. They're hoping Ike Davis will settle at first nevermind the fact he's been a disappointment everywhere he's gone. The rotation is hoping a bunch of guys come back from injuries. The bullpen looks good again but I'm just not feeling the rest of that roster.

The Marlins will still be mediocre: ZIPS is projecting a perfectly mediocre 81-81 record for the fish. And that sounds about right.

The Reds will trade one of their key players: The Reds were bad this year and their main core of players aren't getting younger. I think this is the year they finally bite the bullet and trade one of their key players, either Jay Bruce or Brandon Phillips. Joey Votto's contract is too expensive to trade so he's not going anywhere.

The Giants will hit the least amount of home runs: The Giants last year were in the middle of the pack in home runs. That was before they lost Sandoval and Mike Morse and replaced them with guys who combined to hit 5 home runs last season. The Giants better pray they can knock balls into the gaps because they ain't hitting a lot of homers this year.

The Padres won't have the pitching: The Padres finally shat and got off the pot and improved their team through trades. That should be one of the best outfields in the game this year. One problem I have with them though is their starting pitching. Yes they improved it with James Shields but he ain't exactly a staff ace. The rest of that rotation ranges from good to who? There's a reason why they'll be linked to a Cole Hamels trade all season.

The Mariners will make a panic trade that hurts their franchise: The Mariners are projected to be the division winner in the AL West. They still have holes though at first base and most of the outfield. I could easily see them trading one of their stud prospects in a panic that hurts their franchise in the long run.

The Colonel
Brad Ausmus or Mike Matheny will get fired: Either the Tigers or Cardinals are set up for a disappointing season (most likely Detroit). I could see the fan bases and front office of either of these teams being disappointed and firing either one of these managers. (Note: This might be the first time in 10 year I have no idea which manager will get fired. My darkhorse to be fired though is Joe Girardi.)

The MLBPA will complain about Kris Bryant not making the major league roster and still won't do anything about it: This has been a storyline all spring training and you know what, the players union won't do a damn thing about it. They like to holler and raise their voice (mostly Tony Clark) but I doubt the players really give a crap if Kris Bryant makes the big league roster immediately or not because of arbitration time.

The Blue Jays will once again win between 78-84 games: The Blue Jays appear to be stuck in a rut. Yeah they keep improving the team with trades and signings but they still look stuck in place. A big part of this is injuries and the health gods have already taken Marcus Stroman from us. They'll once again win between 78 and 84 games.

Bruce Rodon will win the AL Rookie of the Year: Keep Rodon's name in the back of your mind. He's the left handed stud who should have been the first pick and instead fell to the White Sox at 3. He might not make the club on opening day but he'll eventually make the big leagues and win rookie of the year.

The Astros will make the playoffs: I look at the AL West and go "belch". I'm sorry I just don't like the A's or Mariners. Rangers are already falling apart. The Angels rotation is getting older. So the Astros are my surprise team and I don't even feel good about that.

The Nationals will once again fall short in the NLDS: It's going to be hilarious when the Nats are losing in the NLDS again this time to the Dodgers or Pirates.

The Cardinals finally don't make the playoffs: Okay I'm just wishing this and not actually predicting it.

The Giants will be lucky if they win 80 games: The Giants have just flat out sucked in spring training and I don't see this as a coincidence. They don't have power, they're counting on guys like Hudson, Vogelsong, Lincecum, and Peavy in the rotation. They look like they're going to be a disaster.

OMG JOE MADDON!: Old goofy Joe has joined the Cubs and my God I'm not looking forward to the fawning over this guy with the Cubs. OMG JOE MADDON IS SUCH A GENIUS, HE CUT HIS HAIR INTO MOHAWK TO MOTIVATE HIS TEAM! WHAT WILL HE DO NEXT? OMG? OMG?

January 14, 2015

ESPN's Early Sunday Night Baseball Schedule

Ah it's the time of the year. Football is starting to go away. You're paying more attention to college basketball. The NBA is in the doldrums of their season. And baseball is right around the corner. Okay fine, baseball is still 3 months away preceded by never ending spring training games. And it's still really freaking cold for most of you east of the Rockies. But still baseball is coming, you just haven't realized it yet.

ESPN has realized it and have released the schedule for their early part of the Sunday Night Baseball schedule. And predictably there are a bunch of Yankee/Red Sox games:

April 5th: St. Louis at Chicago
April 12th: Boston at New York
April 19th: Cincinnati at St. Louis
April 26th: Mets at Yankees
May 3rd: New York at Boston

A few thoughts:

- The Cardinals are the Yankees of the National League and the Midwest. I'm fully prepared for at least 8 appearances by them this season on Sunday Night Baseball.

- I do enjoy the fact that no matter how bad the Yankees are, ESPN (Fox, MLB Network, TBS are just as guilty) will still shoehorn their games onto the network.

- Prepare for a lot of Cubs games this year. They did way too much in the offseason and have way too many expectations not be seen on the Mothership at least 4 to 5 times this year.

- To be honest, I'm more offended at this point with the MLB Network shoving Yankee games down my throat than ESPN. You're a network covering a single league. There are more teams than just the Yankees. And yet I'll guarantee you there will be more than 20 Yankee games aired on the MLB Network with at least 9 of them being their showcase Thursday night game. This offends me more than whatever Fox or ESPN does.

- And if I'm being really honest, I hardly watch the Sunday night games anymore, especially in the spring time when programming like Game of Thrones and Mad Men are also on. Add to the fact that John Kruk and Curt Schilling at the analysts, and I just don't watch these games anymore.

So yes kiddos the baseball season is right around the corner. Be excited!