Baseball 2018

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toomanyhatz
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Baseball 2018

Postby toomanyhatz » 08 Dec 2017, 22:47

Starting a tad early again, but since the winter meetings are about to heat up (irony!) and the news cycle has begun with the signing (by the Angels of all teams!) of Shohei Ohtani, who is possibly destined to be the first actual superstar as both a hitter and a pitcher since Babe Ruth if the superlatives tossed about by scouts are to be believed, I figured it was time.

So before we get into specific team predictions for the coming season, let's talk about how that's going to go. Where does reigning NL MVP Giancarlo Stanton end up? What other big names might be on the move?

We'll move into the new season once we get closer, but I for one am getting excited again, barely a month after the end of last season.
sloopjohnc wrote:Aslan has some good credenitals - got his BA from Santa Clara, a Jesuit school and his Masters from Harvard and PhD from Santa Barbara, a surfing school.


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Re: Baseball 2018

Postby Hightea » 10 Dec 2017, 07:02

toomanyhatz wrote:
Where does reigning NL MVP Giancarlo Stanton end up? What other big names might be on the move?


YAnkees. Didn't expect that - they are claiming its cheaper than next years Bryce Harper or Manny Machado? Hate to see Castro go their mst steady hitter.

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Re: Baseball 2018

Postby toomanyhatz » 14 Dec 2017, 23:32

So while the Giants get older and miss out on free agents, while the Dodgers stand pat with a team that perennially falls just a bit short, while the Padres and A's are stuck in their tiny markets without much hope of improving, the Angels have quietly become a team to watch. If their pitching staff can stay (get?) healthy enough to compete, they're suddenly a force to reckon with. Freeway 5 World Series? A fellow can dream...
sloopjohnc wrote:Aslan has some good credenitals - got his BA from Santa Clara, a Jesuit school and his Masters from Harvard and PhD from Santa Barbara, a surfing school.


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Re: Baseball 2018

Postby LeBaron » 16 Dec 2017, 15:03

I’d prefer an I-10 rematch to that.
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Re: Baseball 2018

Postby toomanyhatz » 23 Dec 2017, 19:40

Dodgers do a salary dump and bring back...Matt Kemp? How the hell is THIS one gonna settle in? Does Kemp play a single game in Dodger blue? Do they dump part of his salary by including prospects? Or do they end up releasing him and eating the cash?

It'll be interesting to see how they manage this one.
sloopjohnc wrote:Aslan has some good credenitals - got his BA from Santa Clara, a Jesuit school and his Masters from Harvard and PhD from Santa Barbara, a surfing school.


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Re: Baseball 2018

Postby toomanyhatz » 25 Jan 2018, 00:15

sloopjohnc wrote:Chipper, Vlad, Thome and Hoffman get in HoF. No Rolen or Vizquel or Martinez.

I was surprised how low the vote count still was for Clemens and Bonds.


They just want to punish folks, which I get. It's just unfortunate when it's punishment for unsubstantiated rumors. Bagwell was never caught, and should have gone in a lot more quickly/easily.

As an aside, I'm not sure Vlad really deserves it. Great hitter, great arm - bad at pretty much everything else (lots of steals, but got caught too often, and was a truly terrible fielder by the end). Remains to be seen if he goes in as an Expo or an Angel, but it'll be good for either team - Expos only have one or two representatives (can't remember) and the Angels, believe it or not, have NONE.
sloopjohnc wrote:Aslan has some good credenitals - got his BA from Santa Clara, a Jesuit school and his Masters from Harvard and PhD from Santa Barbara, a surfing school.


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Re: Baseball 2018

Postby toomanyhatz » 25 Jan 2018, 00:20

toomanyhatz wrote: Expos only have one or two representatives (can't remember) and the Angels, believe it or not, have NONE.


Apparently it's three - Gary Carter, Andre Dawson and Tim Raines went in as Expos.

As for the Angels, shocking but true - Nolan Ryan is in with a Rangers cap, Carew as a Twin, and Gene Autry wasn't a player.

Bobby Grich should be in, but that's another story...
sloopjohnc wrote:Aslan has some good credenitals - got his BA from Santa Clara, a Jesuit school and his Masters from Harvard and PhD from Santa Barbara, a surfing school.


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Re: Baseball 2018

Postby sloopjohnc » 25 Jan 2018, 16:44

toomanyhatz wrote:
sloopjohnc wrote:Chipper, Vlad, Thome and Hoffman get in HoF. No Rolen or Vizquel or Martinez.

I was surprised how low the vote count still was for Clemens and Bonds.


They just want to punish folks, which I get. It's just unfortunate when it's punishment for unsubstantiated rumors. Bagwell was never caught, and should have gone in a lot more quickly/easily.

As an aside, I'm not sure Vlad really deserves it. Great hitter, great arm - bad at pretty much everything else (lots of steals, but got caught too often, and was a truly terrible fielder by the end). Remains to be seen if he goes in as an Expo or an Angel, but it'll be good for either team - Expos only have one or two representatives (can't remember) and the Angels, believe it or not, have NONE.


.318 batting average, 2,500+ hits, over 400 homers, almost 1,500 RBIs, almost 200 steals , 8 silver sluggers and 9 all star appearances with MVP in 2004. Say what you want about chasing bad balls, but his htting stats don't reflect it. Kinda like Yogi.

Vlad led the league in RF assists a bunch of times, but yes, he also led in errors a bunch of times. He was exciting though. But hell, Willie Mays wasn't a good fielder at the end of his career either, neither was Bonds.

Vlad finished in 11th place for MVP when he played for Rangers against Giants in 2010 series, his next to last year.
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Re: Baseball 2018

Postby sloopjohnc » 25 Jan 2018, 16:45

toomanyhatz wrote:Bobby Grich should be in, but that's another story...


Totally agree.
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Re: Baseball 2018

Postby sloopjohnc » 25 Jan 2018, 16:46

toomanyhatz wrote:So while the Giants get older and miss out on free agents, while the Dodgers stand pat with a team that perennially falls just a bit short, while the Padres and A's are stuck in their tiny markets without much hope of improving, the Angels have quietly become a team to watch. If their pitching staff can stay (get?) healthy enough to compete, they're suddenly a force to reckon with. Freeway 5 World Series? A fellow can dream...


Giants fans re ecstatic over getting Austin Jackson. He's hit .261 over last five seasons and barely played a whole season in that time. I don't get it.

Longoria and McCutcheon are nice pick ups, but Jackson is just Denard Spann.
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Re: Baseball 2018

Postby sloopjohnc » 25 Jan 2018, 17:22

Baseball is thinking about expanding, but say they won't until the Tampa Bay and Oakland stadium situations are resolved.

Hardball Times just published an analysis of where those place should go based on a variety of factors.

I hope Portland is selected because I can go to games when I retire. Right now, they only have some short season minor league teams like the Giants' Salem/Keiser team

Baron - Austin is ranked no. 6.
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Re: Baseball 2018

Postby sloopjohnc » 25 Jan 2018, 19:36

Kinda the neat thing they've been showing on ESPN and Twitter is the moment the players get the call that they've been inducted into the Hall. I saw Thome's and Hoffman's. It must be an unbelievable culmination to a career.

Imagine, you get drafted, go through the minor leagues, get to a major league team and then compete for season after season. And if you're a star, it's a lot of pressure.

I hope to get that call from the Marcom Hall of Fame when I retire. But I doubt it. I'm kinda the Marvin Bernard of marcom.
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Re: Baseball 2018

Postby sloopjohnc » 26 Jan 2018, 17:11

Read this in Chronicle today. Very good story. Susan Slusser is the A's beat writer. She was also the head of the baseball writers of America organization a couple years ago.

When Gretchen Piscotty was pregnant with her first child, Stephen, she liked to wind up a music-box piano and play “Amazing Grace” for him.

“She thought I could hear it,” the new Oakland A’s outfielder said. “Amazingly, that’s one of my favorite songs. I’ve always loved it.”
In May, Gretchen Piscotty was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, a neuromuscular disorder also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. The illness is progressing far more quickly than doctors expected, and Gretchen has lost much of her mobility. Speaking is becoming difficult.

So now it’s Stephen’s turn. He plays “Amazing Grace” for his mother on his guitar and it soothes both of them.

“Whenever I play for her at night, I’ll end with that song and it gives me chills, the good kind, when I play it, as well as a calming peace,” he said. “It’s just crazy the full-circle thoughts and emotions I get when I hear or play that song.”

Giants minor-leaguer Will LaMarche visited the Piscotty home in Pleasanton recently and he and Stephen played their guitars for Gretchen.

“Probably the last 10 minutes was the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen,” said LaMarche, who played with Stephen at Amador Valley High School. “I’m tearing up thinking about it. Gretchen put her iPad down and listened to Stephen take the lead, and I could sense the mother-son connection there, I just could feel that bond.”

Piscotty is back in the Bay Area full time and living at home after playing for the St. Louis Cardinals for three years. The Cardinals, who drafted Piscotty out of Stanford in 2012, traded him to Oakland in December — a deal that helped both teams from a business standpoint, but also allowed Piscotty to spend more time with his ailing mother.

The Piscotty home always has been a spot for friends and neighbors to congregate. Everyone in town seems to know dad Mike, who works at Lawrence Livermore National Lab; Gretchen, who worked at Foothill High School, and the Piscotty brothers, Stephen, 27, Nick, 24, and Austin, 21, who all played baseball at Amador Valley.

“A lot of people have come around to help, it’s a testament to how they’re seen in Pleasanton,” said Matt Hoey, who also played at Amador Valley with Stephen.

What most impresses visitors is how ordinary the vibe is at the Piscotty place.

“I hung out like I always did and it was like back to normal,” Hoey said. “There are day-today things to deal with but the mood is still the same.”

As many as 30,000 Americans are affected by ALS, with 5,000 new cases diagnosed each year, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine. Scientists have been unable to pinpoint a cause for ALS, and there is no known cure, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.

“It’s really tough what they’re dealing with but they’re handling it so well, they’re prepared,” said Don Johns, who coached Piscotty’s Connie Mack League team. “It’s a tough disease. Gretchen is a trouper. When I went to see her, she was smiling and positive. Her attitude is so upbeat; she wants no pity. She won’t let the boys feel sorry for her.”

Gretchen, 55, is as funny as ever — she jokes that the time she was proudest of her Stanford graduate son was when he was potty trained. And when Stephen is asked if he has to do chores now that he’s back living at home, she quickly answers for him despite the effort speaking takes. “Yes, he does!” she said with a laugh.

Gretchen was a high school volleyball player and she remained active, regularly working out at boot-camp classes that required her to flip tires. So when she began to have back and foot issues last year, she assumed that she’d just overdone it and that maybe a disk was pressing on a nerve. When the foot problem persisted, though, she got an exam.

“My foot wasn’t flush and my doctor did an MRI, that’s where it started. They couldn’t find a reason, so we ended up at UCSF ... and there you go,” she said of receiving the diagnosis. “Your jaw drops.”

Stephen, then in Los Angeles for a Cardinals series against the Dodgers, was shaken by the news. “We knew her foot wasn’t well and she was limping,” he said. “But you never expect the worst. We thought she’d have back surgery or something and would be fine. I remember getting the news and not wanting to believe it, or thinking that they were just saying it as a precautionary diagnosis. It became more real just hearing my mom’s voice on the phone; I could tell she was a little scared.”

Piscotty took several days away from the Cardinals at the end of May, and the family regrouped in Pleasanton. One early plus: Gretchen was the second patient in the country approved for a new ALS drug, Radicava, which is believed to slow the progression of the disease in some patients.

It did little to slow things for Gretchen, however, and much as she fought it, she wound up in a wheelchair in order to go see Stephen play in St. Louis last year. As the illness has advanced, she now uses a ventilator at times to help with her breathing.

“I think I must have had (ALS) a longer time than I thought,” Gretchen said. “It was really slow, but not on the back end.”
Mike Piscotty, 55, did a lot of research about how to prepare for the effects of ALS, and had the bathroom remodeled and acquired every bit of equipment needed — including an RV with a lift that he bought in Kansas City, Mo., and drove home. Stephen likes to play chauffeur for his mom and her friends.

“We’ve had some fun times in the RV, driving it around, like a taxi service,” Stephen said. “The store, movies, shopping, the spa. It’s actually really good, because I drop them off and it’s a motor home, so you can roam around, put your feet up, take a nap.”
The family attended Thursday’s Warriors’ game, and they took a cruise to Hawaii in December, refusing to let ALS get in the way of good times.

Gretchen plans to attend A’s games at the Coliseum whenever possible. Their family and friends are delighted that Piscotty will be living at home when the team isn’t on the road, and as a bonus, the Piscotty clan are longtime A’s fans. Mike has had season tickets for more than 20 years; Austin even rooted for Oakland against St. Louis. “I just rooted for one guy on the Cardinals,” he said.
For Gretchen, A’s games used to mean me-time while everyone else was at the Coliseum. As Stephen pointed out, even the Piscotty cats, including current resident Cooper (for Cooperstown), have been male.

“I had the house to myself,” she said with a smile. “I had a quiet evening when Mike took the boys to the games.”
Also living back home is Nick, who is working at a startup in San Mateo after pitching for Duke and earning his degree there. Austin is nearby, too, playing for St. Mary’s.

“With or without the illness, I’m very grateful they’re all close by,” Gretchen said. “I wish this wasn’t impacting them, impacting the family, but I’m very grateful to see them. They’re all very tender and caring and gentle with me.”

She and Stephen always have been especially close. “It’s funny, it’s like what you see on TV, like, ‘You’re a hawk with the first kid.’ On occasion, she calls me ‘The experiment,’ ” Stephen said. “We’ve always had that special bond, because she was always watching me so closely. That strengthened our relationship. It’s hard to describe, but just by raising me, she gave me everything.

“She’s so balanced and so fun and pokes fun at us, and she reminds us there is more to life than baseball.”

And on those quiet nights when nothing more needs to be said, Stephen can bring out his guitar — it’s always close to hand, he said — and play the song that connected them even before he was born.

Tis grace that brought me safe thus far.

And grace will lead me home.
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Re: Baseball 2018

Postby sloopjohnc » 30 Jan 2018, 21:42

Wow, Kevin Towers, ex GM of Padres and Diamondbacks, died of thyroid cancer today. He was 56.
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Re: Baseball 2018

Postby sloopjohnc » 31 Jan 2018, 17:25

Saw this on Twitter today. . .

Tony Gwynn faced the vaunted #Braves trio of Smoltz, Glavine and Maddux 270 times. He struck out a total of 3 times and hit .394 against them.
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Re: Baseball 2018

Postby Dr Markus » 31 Jan 2018, 17:29

That's the team that lost their logo today?
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Re: Baseball 2018

Postby sloopjohnc » 31 Jan 2018, 19:13

The Great Defector wrote:That's the team that lost their logo today?


No, that's the Indians.

The Braves mascot is Chief Knockahoma (Knock a Homer)

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Re: Baseball 2018

Postby toomanyhatz » 31 Jan 2018, 20:18

RIP Oscar Gamble (he of the legendary 'fro). :cry:

https://www.cbssports.com/mlb/news/form ... at-age-68/
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Re: Baseball 2018

Postby sloopjohnc » 01 Feb 2018, 16:34

toomanyhatz wrote:RIP Oscar Gamble (he of the legendary 'fro). :cry:

https://www.cbssports.com/mlb/news/form ... at-age-68/


And a pretty good player too. I liked the Garry Maddox 'fro almost as much.

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Re: Baseball 2018

Postby LeBaron » 01 Feb 2018, 22:28

sloopjohnc wrote:Baron - Austin is ranked no. 6.


Move Houston back to NL and give Austin/SA an AL team and that’d be cool.
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