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2017 Baseball Season

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Re: 2017 Baseball Season

Postby Blue&White » Thu Apr 20, 2017 1:11 pm

Perhaps that's because middle infielders are just much larger than they used to be years ago. Who knows.

I don't think there is any doubt that is part of the reason. Shortstop was once considered a skill and finesse position. A solid fielding shortstop was worth his weight in gold back in the day. These days you have teams like the Mets who were willing to put a mannequin like Wilmer "Cement Shoes" Flores out as their regular starting shortstop one year because they thought he would hit enough to offset his immobility. Turns out that he didn't, but you live and learn. You once had guys plugging the middle with nicknames like "Pee Wee" because they were small, lithe and (for the time) fast enough to cover all the ground. That matters a whole lot less these days.

The Braves had a young shortstop prospect a few years ago, Andrelton Simmons, who was an incredible fielder. The kind of guy you can see winning Gold Gloves at the position for 10 years. But, he didn't hit enough for them (although in his first full season he did manage to knock in 17 home runs, but hasn't even hit 10 since). They traded him to Anaheim.

Second base is even worse. That used to also be a finesse position, but now you see a lot of bruisers manning second. The Marlins and Braves both trotted out Dan Uggla for a few years to play 2nd. That guy is a hulk. At one point he was putting up 30 home runs a year. Can you name a 2nd baseman when you were growing up who could hit 30 homeruns a year? Or 20?

It's a different game and one of the thing that has come form all the analytics is a lot more emphasis on power and a lot less on defense. I think that is starting to come around a bit, after the Royals went to back-to-back World Series with a team built on speed, defense, and very little power, but most teams are built to have power everywhere. It just didn't used to be that way.
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Re: 2017 Baseball Season

Postby pennst92 » Thu Apr 20, 2017 2:09 pm

Wow - nice analysis, BW. Steroid era transformed the game, even after the CBA allowed for steroid testing. But recall Rey Ordonez, or if you want to go further back, Buddy Harrelson and Marc Belanger.

Crazy the way the game has changed. Frankly, I am surprised more teams don't look at the Royals model and copy it - seems like it'd be a lot cheaper and a bit easier to find a bunch of punch and judy guys who can extend innings, rather than trying to constantly club the other guy over the head...then again, chicks dig the long ball, so...
A good team has to have players capable of making plays...oh, wait - we're so there!
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Re: 2017 Baseball Season

Postby psu_dad » Thu Apr 20, 2017 5:08 pm

I think teams would like to do that, especially small market teams. But to win with speed and defense you need a solid pitching staff like the Royals had a couple of years ago. Most teams don't have enough pitching to pull that off.

For reasons I can't fathom, the Red Sox seem totally incapable of developing pitching. Were it not for trades and FA, they'd have no pitching staff. The last quality starter their system produced was Jon Lester and that was 10 years ago.
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Re: 2017 Baseball Season

Postby Blue&White » Thu Apr 20, 2017 5:11 pm

Ordonez was an amazing short stop, one of the best I can recall seeing. That Simmons kid is better, I think, but Ordonez was a human highlight reel in the late 90s. But, he was a .250 hitter with no power who didn't have an offset like stealing a tone of bases. The Mets weren't willing to sign him when he went to free agency and he ended up, within a few short years, a utility infielder and then washed out of baseball. Chicks do indeed dig the long ball.

Hey - did you see that Bruce is starting at first tonight? I need to go dig up the "It's not that hard" scene from Moneyball again. That just never gets old.
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Re: 2017 Baseball Season

Postby psu_dad » Thu Apr 20, 2017 5:48 pm

Donald Trump is a douchebag.*

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Re: 2017 Baseball Season

Postby reincarnatedlama » Fri Apr 21, 2017 7:56 am

I haven't seen an official tweet but .......

There is a lot of negativity towards DT on the board and little support .........
That bit of support comes from an Orioles fan .........
We had a rash of "spammers" with suspiciously Russian like handles .........
Ubaldo Jimenez cut his ERA in half and Wade Miley has a sub 2 ERA and give quality starts when O's badly need it with Britton on DL ..........

DT is Making the Orioles Great Again.

And who says he hasn't done anything to like? Between this and ending droughts in both California and on the East Coast it's nothing but winning in these first 100 days.
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Re: 2017 Baseball Season

Postby psu_dad » Fri Apr 21, 2017 8:15 am

Apparently Trump made the Red Sox pitch Chis Sales yesterday so the Orioles would miss him. Despite the 1-1 record, he's been insane. In 4 starts, he's allowed 15 hits (total), 3 earned runs (total) and has 42 Ks.
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Re: 2017 Baseball Season

Postby Blue&White » Fri Apr 21, 2017 8:43 am

It's not all positive. Last night the Mets did an homage to "Slapstick" comedy with the infield doing their best Buster Keaton impersonations through the first 3 innings. Trump clearly put them up to that.
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Re: 2017 Baseball Season

Postby psu_dad » Fri Apr 21, 2017 8:56 am

I'm guessing gmay finds that positive.

The good news is that you won't have to worry about it because Craig Carton basically declared their season over. So there's that.
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Re: 2017 Baseball Season

Postby reincarnatedlama » Fri Apr 21, 2017 9:32 am

Well maybe if you got on board on at least one DT initiative maybe DT would throw a little magic the Mets way being he is a New Yorker. I thought the Mets would pull that game out last night - the Phils had a chance to knock Synndegaard (forgive the spelling) out in the 3rd - 2nd and 3rd no outs and didn't get ball out of infield and only got one run - then Walker hits a 3 run dinger. With Phils pen I didn't think they'd hold on.

Machado is due to hit like .700 for a couple weeks and Trumbo and Davis are due to have a series where they hit 5 HRs each. Either that or Mookie Betts will put up wiffle ball numbers like he did last year against Orioles.

Anyone see Jeb Bush and Derek Jeter rumored to be buying the Marlins. Sports and politics sure pay better than what the rest of us are doing.
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