On Saturday morning, news was being released that there was going to be a new tracking system that would be in place at Miller Park in Milwaukee, and Target Field in Minnesota. Citi Field in New York actually already has this system there and they were being used as the first MLB testing grounds for this tracking system that will, excuse the cliche, change the way you watch baseball. I don’t believe there’s any exaggeration on my part, because watch this video and you’ll see what I mean:
See what I mean? So, you have the play that happens first, then we get to the analytics. For a reminder on what they featured, here are some captured screenshots from the video:
First, we have the metrics from Justin Turner‘s hit, mentioning batted ball speed, launch angle, distance the ball goes, and the baseball’s time in the air. Right now, we only see data for Turner so at the moment, less experienced baseball fans like myself don’t have a good idea for what that means in relation to other players.
Here, we get to see how much ground Reed Johnson and Jason Heyward have to cover in order to get to the ball in play, if they took the most direct route to the ball. That in itself is useful and gives us context for what needed to be done since even people in early grade school can get an idea for how long ~81-83 feet is. We also get their first step, and then everybody starts hating on Reed Johnson because he reacts .03 seconds slower than Jason Heyward, he’s slower, and his acceleration isn’t as good. The acceleration stat would take some time to contextualize, like some of the stats from Turner’s hit in the first screenshot would.
The direct path versus the actual path and the route efficiency will give fans a great idea for how a defender did in getting to, and not getting to a ball hit in their direction. I’m definitely curious to see how this tool will be used when we get to see the likes of Angel Pagan and Gregor Blanco rated, Gary Brown if he ever makes it.
Right now, it feels like a lot of information to digest even in a highlight, and a commenter from the Deadspin article on the matter said that there will be up to seven terabytes of data per game. Keep in mind that from that highlight, they didn’t even take a look at the metrics for what pitcher Craig Kimbrel did in that sequence. We see the other ways they can be used in these embedded tweets from the Saber-friend, Brian Kenny.
MLBAM says some pitcher/batter data will be in Real Time. Must. Have. This. pic.twitter.com/d6JJUqYG5c
— Brian Kenny (@MrBrianKenny) March 1, 2014
— Brian Kenny (@MrBrianKenny) March 1, 2014
Also included a baserunning shot, which will also provide plenty of talking points for fans when that info becomes available. Some comments from the anti-data-all-over-my-screen crowd include phrases such as:
- Why do I need to see all this on my screen? I know what’s going on anyway.
- I don’t care if their route efficiency is x% vs. y%
- Can’t you just enjoy a baseball game?
To the first question, I believe that this information provides a greater depth of information to understanding the game. This is a game, yes, but in wanting to understand so much about Player A vs. Player B, you want the most information you can get your hands on to be as accurate as possible in your analysis. Granted, this is a lot of data to take in right now, I wonder if it gets saturated a bit, or even if newer measurements are put in and replace other ones. Or even if they do the replay of the play first and then go to the numbers to break down the play, I think that would be a better procedure. It’s not like they don’t have time for it in a broadcast. (Bet they have time for it in a Yankees-Red Sox game, right, Joe West? *wink*)
To the second, the original comment in question said they didn’t care because the play was made. As a response, the author pointed out that the play doesn’t always get made. While you may not care if Pagan’s route efficiency is 93% all of the time and Blanco’s is 94% all of the time, we could actually say in confidence in the end, “Gregor Blanco has been more efficient in his routes than Pagan so far, but just barely!” This is still about being accurate in your analysis.
To the last question, you set yourself up for a lot of fire from everybody that likes to analyze the game. Why would we put so much into a game we hate, or just be OK with? We love the game of baseball and we want to be as accurate as possible in our analysis of what has happened while giving way to better hypothesize what could happen later.
All baseball parks are said to have the technology in 2015, so if your team stops by one of Miller Park, Target Field, or Citi Field in 2014, maybe you’ll get to catch a glimpse of the numbers MLB Advanced Media is providing for you before you possibly see it 162 games a year in 2015. I believe that this is great for the sport and help advance the quality of discussion and debate we have as fans of the game of baseball. It may be a little heavy in its initial rollout, but this tool has some great potential.
Robinson Cano Stays Out of the National League, Could Be Problem Against #SFGiants in 2017 World Series
Robinson Cano and his five consecutive 25-HR seasons are on its way to Safeco Field in Seattle, where he will have zero competition for the title of Best Offensive Player on the Seattle Mariners, unless the Mariners get Carlos Beltran or Shin-Soo Choo, then Cano will have some competition. There are probably quite a few old-fashioned (and new-fashioned) fans that might struggle with the idea that Matt Carpenter was worth more than Robinson Cano in 2013, but Carpenter had a season for the spreadsheets, as they say. Back to Cano, he’s getting ten years, which is ridiculous, but if there’s a team that can do something stupid right now, Seattle is one of those teams. Paying and getting Cano will be smart for probably the first three to six years, but then after that who knows. Can he Barry Bonds baseball once he hits that later stage in life? The Magic Eight Ball is telling me “IT’S NOT LIKELY,” but what does that thing know? I got married, so in your face, “Magic 8.”
Robinson Cano may not be the ALDS MVP (it’ll be a thing then, tru$t me) or the ALCS MVP when the Mariners make it to the World Series once all their pitchers plus Felix Hernandez, Hisashi Iwakuma, and David Price are pitching with their eyes closed against the upstart Houston Astros and Detroit Tigers (yea, still). However, all it takes is a short series for one person to make their mark on history. Ask Pablo Sandoval, Marco Scutaro, Cody Ross, or Edgar Renteria, you know they know. Here’s a preview from my 2017 World Series Preview — San Francisco Giants vs. Seattle Mariners: Everybody’s Cheering for Seattle.
Thanks, Dodgers, that was fun. Four games, and we thought you’d get at least two with Clayton Kershaw pitching Games 1 and 4 but no, you just got swept by Kyle Crick, Madison Bumgarner, and David DeJesus. That’s going to be a tough one to live down. Now the Giants have to face a team a little better on paper than them in pitching, and more impressively coming back from 3-1 down against Jarrod Parker and the Tigers. Pretty impressive, and Giants fans will remember how monstrosous the 2012 Champs were after they went down 3-1 against St. Louis. Remember how they used to be a thing? Poor #BFIB. The series even starts in Seattle, we all remember Robinson Cano’s grand slam in the All Star Game off of Craig Kimbrel, boy was that an impressive shot at Petco…
There’s your preview, because it’s still slightly believable, though totally October baseball, you know? Cano will still be good in 2017, and that’s going to be a problem even if the Mariners lineup still has Jesus Montero and Chone Figgins/totally Seattle Mariners player in it. This will be a series full of so many ups and downs, Giants fans will wonder if they should’ve signed Robinson Cano and ditched Marco Scutaro and forgotten about Joe Panik. Let this post be a reminder to you Giants fans in 2017: no, the Giants did the right thing in the offseason of 2013-2014. You’re going to see how bad the Mariners are in 2020, and it’s not going to look good. You’ll be glad Brian Sabean stayed out of it.
Deadspin believes that the voting process for the Hall of Fame is ridiculous, so to try and “make a mockery… of the process” they set out to buy votes from BBWAA members, and they got one taker. They’re not sure what to do with that vote from here, nor will they announce whom sold them the vote until their vote has been cast and decided upon by Deadspin readers in some format. For those newer to the way things work in terms of which people get to vote and then some, Baseball Reference explains things pretty well:
Votes are cast annually by BBWAA members with 10 or more years of membership. Each qualified BBWAA member may select no more than 10 names from a pre-screened ballot of players who played in MLB for at least 10 seasons and had been retired for at least 5; players whose names are cast on at least 75% of the ballots are elected to the HoF, while players named on fewer than 5% of ballots are dropped from future ballots. In addition, if a player has been on the ballot 15 times without being elected, he is also dropped from future ballots.
Writers, once they get this privilege to vote, can retire, move on to another sport, and still vote for which players they think are fit for the Hall of Fame. It wouldn’t be to anyone’s surprise that an older vote may be comfortable in their ways of player analysis, or that a vote from a writer that has been detached from baseball due to retirement or covering another sport/subject would lose some touch with the changes that go on within baseball analysis. Last year there were 569 ballots casted, not including those that may have abstained or forgot to send in a ballot. These vote counts do include those men (women are generally just starting to get their HOF ballots so we know how they’re using their votes) that have decided they’re taking a stand against baseball for whatever reason — steroids, the game not being what it used to be, whatever their narrative is. You can see why baseball fans may be frustrated with all of this and why Deadspin has decided to try and take a stand. Deadspin will certainly not buy all the votes out there, but the precedent they’re setting is dangerous to what’s left of the reputation of the Hall of Fame.
What’s going to stop other companies, other news outlets, from buying a writer’s vote if they really wanted? It would probably take a lot of money, but there are quite a few companies out there that have stupid amounts of money and I’m sure they’ve spent their money on some stupid things before, and so that’s why I don’t think buying a Hall of Fame vote is out of the question for some institutions. Even if, hypothetically, you have 10% of the vote made up of sponsored votes, that’s 10% of writers selling out even though they gave so much of their life to covering baseball. Giving writers the right to vote and to watch them sell it off seems dirty. The same kind of dirty some people feel about steroids, about betting on baseball, about doctoring a baseball. Much as our opinions will differ on those latter topics, I believe Major League Baseball should take away any writer’s vote for life if it’s found they have sold it off. One and done. There’s enough bad analysis out there declaring what is Hall of Fame and what isn’t, I’d like to see anyone that’s willing to take someone else’s money to influence their vote have their ballot taken away.
Update: Apparently the Hall of Fame can decide on those kinds of consequences:
Quick point: the BBWAA does not choose or have power to exclude other groups from the HOF voting process. The HOF does.
— Jeff Fletcher (@JeffFletcherOCR) November 27, 2013
Maybe your opinion isn’t as strong as mine on this, but should there be consequences for a writer selling their vote? Make your voice heard in the comments below!
A little over forty-eight hours ago on Thursday, the Giants did their annual press-release of their first-half promotions, all of which to hype you up to get that credit card ready for when single-game tickets go on sale on Friday the 29th. Like a lot of other years, I did not participate in many of the giveaways in 2013 due to my residence down in Southern California. Now being in a newer place further away from an airport, the likelihood of enjoying a bobblehead or magnetic calendar in 2014 has taken a bigger hit for me, which means there’s a better chance that you get to have some delight in some of these “here, just take my money” giveaways. Brisbee did a good categorization of the giveaways, and I was going to do a ranking, but instead I’ll provide commentary for each item in chronological order. The absence of gnomes brings me much satisfaction. An asterisk denotes the promotion is a special event and a separate category of tickets will have to be purchased. I believe the Giants are entertaining the idea of better accommodating season-ticket holders for these special events.
Wednesday, April 9th — Hunter Pence bobblehead
- Just wondering which Pence pose is going to be captured forever… hoping for this one
Thursday, April 10th — Farewell to Candlestick Night featuring a replica of Candlestick Park
- Wondering if the replica is going to be ice cold and will it come with a wind generator
Sunday, April 13th — Sports Sleeves for Kids 14 & Under
- I want these even though I will never have a use for them
Friday, April 25th — Duane Kuiper bobblehead
- Will it be skinny Duane Kuiper HR bobblehead or Winter League Doowanee Kuweepee bobblehead?
Saturday, April 26th — 1954 Replica World Series Ring
- Because you need another one
Friday, May 16th — Orange Friday Tim Lincecum Jersey T-Shirt
- How about a jersey next time?
Saturday, May 12th* — Filipino Heritage Night directly benefiting Typhoon Haiyan relief
- Hope every team does something like this
Friday, May 16th* — Metallica Night with the band in attendance
- I don’t know their music
Sunday, May 18th — Buster Posey Kids T-Shirt for Kids 14 & Under
- I already have one so you spoiled kids can have your own
Monday, May 26th — Memorial Day Beach Towel
- I never got my BEAT LA beach towel, so this brings back sad memories
Saturday, June 7th — Sergio Romo Super Hero Socks for Kids 14 & Under
- Every adult is going to try and get this, let’s not kid ourselves
Saturday, June 7th* — Heroes and Comic Night with Stan Lee in attendance
- Hopefully Damon Bruce will show up to this one to talk men and super heroes
Sunday, June 8th* — Hello Kitty bobblehead
- Celebrating 40 years of making you buy stuff
Friday, June 13th — Fireworks Night
- Pew pew
Saturday, June 14th — Madison Bumgarner Camo Cap
- Where every Giants fan will speak in a Southern drawl so awful they’ll sound like they’re trying to nail an Australian accent
Sunday, June 15th — Giants Father’s Day Necktie
- Another item on eBay I never won, so this also brings back memories.
- Featuring shoulders that slump or real comb-a-ble hair
Sunday, June 29th — Giants Growth Chart Banner featuring Brandon Belt and Brandon Crawford
- When I think of Crawford I don’t think to myself that he’s three inches shorter than Belt, yet he is
Sunday, June 29th* — Pixar Day at the Park
- One of the few games my mom will try to go to
Friday, August 15th* – Filipino Heritage Night II directly benefiting Typhoon Haiyan relief
Fans that want another Buster Posey, Tim Lincecum, Matt Cain, Madison Bumgarner, or Angel Pagan bobblehead, there’s always the second half or 2014 for the Giants to take your money. I wonder if we’ve seen the end of Pablo Sandoval giveaways and said giveaway blowing a bubble. It is the only thing he is known for, after all. Really though, thank goodness the gnomes are gone. I hope that trend’s done with.
Who says nothing happens at the GM and owners meetings? The East Coast — because let’s face it, the West Coast is sleeping in on their day off — woke up to news that the Atlanta Braves will be leaving Turner Field after the 2016 season. The Braves have dedicated a new website to their new ballpark, where they own the land and can control the immediate environment surrounding their new park. No sketches of the facility or what will be place in its surrounding areas have been made available as of yet. We do know that it will be a 41,000-42,000 seat facility, 10,000 less than Turner Field.
Where is Cobb County?
This map drawn up by Mike Petriello on Google Maps should give us a good idea:
So instead of being where it seems like all the freeways meet, they’ll be heading northwest, outside of what I’ve heard called “The Circle.” Outside of The Circle, I’ve heard it’s mostly an area that is kind of stuck in the past, but that’s a lot of heresy, so my two Atlanta sources could be wrong.
Why the move?
Braves officials and some fans on social media have said that the immediate areas surrounding Turner Field are kind of a mess and that’s one reason for the Braves getting the heck out of there. There’s also this map that shows where people that bought a ticket to an Atlanta Braves game lived in 2012:
Not exactly in the center of the heart of those Braves-ticket-buyers, but it is certainly within that area.
The Braves have also given time to talk about the costs of maintaining Turner Field, a stadium they do not own, to the tune of $150-$200MM, saying those improvements would not necessarily improve the fan experience. With their own stadium, and more importantly, control over their surrounding area, their improvements that they will need to make should be more meaningful to the fan experience than it would be at their current address.
Will the Braves be paying for all of it?
It appears not, with this quote from an Atlanta Journal Constitution writer:
“The Braves said the stadium is projected to cost $672 million, including parking, land and infrastructure, and will be built in partnership with Cobb County.”
While the portion of the Braves payment is said to be “substantial,” that doesn’t really answer any questions for us. Sorry for your loss in taxpayer dollars, Cobb County.
Update from a tweet:
— Greg Bluestein (@bluestein) November 11, 2013
More than two-thirds of your new home paid for? I remember when that worked out for Miami.
This is the area the Braves have laid out for their new stadium:
That’s about all we have for the moment. My only opinions on this move are that: 1) The Braves getting taxpayers to help fund their stadium is dumb for the taxpayers and 2) It looks like traffic’s going to be just awful going in and out of that stadium.
Many thanks to friend of the blog, Anna, for this reference, but if you’re one of those people that wants to keep tabs on how Giants minor leaguers are doing, there’s a page for that. It looks a little low-tech for MLB.com, but it gets the job done. Not only can you check out how the invitees to the notoriously hitter-friendly Arizona Fall League are doing, but since the Venezuelan Winter League and Dominican Winter League have begun, you can check out how the Giants minor league athletes are doing there, as well. If you haven’t clicked the link yet because you’re not sure who’s there, here’s a list as of October 20th:
Adam Duvall (17 HR in Double-A Richmond in 2013)
Javier Herrera (28 year old had 16 HR/23 SB for Richmond)
Mark Minicozzi (30 year old put up a .309/.400/.445 line for Richmond)
Jarrett Parker (18 HR and 13 SB at Richmond)
Juan Perez (For me this is hard to believe, but the defensive specialist had 10 HR in Triple-A Fresno)
Andrew Susac (#15 Prospect for SF according to MLB.com had 12 HR and a .256/.362/.458 line in Richmond)
Angel Villalona (Played in two levels and only 23, racked up 22 HR but also a .276 OBP)
Ydwin Villegas (Played in San Jose and Fresno in 55 games total)
Fabio Castillo (3.34 ERA in 32.1 IP in Richmond, but got lit up in Fresno in 23 games)
Kyle Crick (SF’s #1 Prospect, 1.57 ERA in 68.2 IP along with 95 K’s in High-A San Jose)
Edwin Escobar (#11 Prospect played in San Jose and Richmond, 128.2 IP and a 2.80 ERA with 146 K’s and 30 BB)
Renzo Freite (Arizona League participant, the reliever accumulated 11 BB and 17 K’s in 19.1 IP)
Cody Hall (Higher leverage reliever in San Jose and Richmond had 75 K’s and 15 BB in 60 IP)
Derek Law (Spent time in the AZ League, Low-A Augusta, and San Jose. All in all, 46 G, 66.1 IP, 102 K’s and 12 BB)
Mitch Lively (4.72 ERA in 124.0 IP for the Fresno starter)
Daryl Maday (Did good work in Fresno across 26 G, but the 28 year old saw the hits off him increase in Fresno)
Adalberto Mejia (#19 Prospect had a spot start in Fresno, 92 IP in San Jose with 91 K’s, 23 BB and a 3.31 ERA)
Once the Dodgers went on their fiery streak of August (and then some), it was only a matter of time. Outside of Dodger fans, are there many people that are pleased that a Dodger team lined with greenbacks has made the postseason? Probably not, but it is what it is, and congratulations to the Dodgers and their dedicated fans that have watched the games. Ratings will skyrocket as Yasiel Puig bat flips, Clayton Kershaw impregnates human beings with his pitching, and Juan Uribe and Brian Wilson get numerous close-ups as Champions of both Black and Orange and Dodger Blue. This will be painful to watch for many NL West fans, and many Giants fans, but baseball fans will know that despite a large contingent of bandwagoners joining the baseball world for 2013, there is a potential for growth in the game.
The population of Los Angeles County is close to 9.9 million people. Think about that number compared to the city you live in. Granted, a lot of those people might be primarily football fans or basketball fans if they are even any sort of sports fans, but with success brings in supporters. Don’t like it? Welcome to Life. The Dodgers haven’t seen a playoff birth since 2009, and on the cusp of their rivals parading down Market Street twice in that time period, I wouldn’t be surprised if there were people looking for a solid excuse to love their nearby Dodgers. Four years have passed, and that can bring about a new wave of fans: kids that didn’t care as much four years ago now have a greater cognitive capacity to analyze the game and put events into context. People also have a ton of ways to express themselves on social media, because everybody wants to share what they’re feeling and to be acknowledged for their thoughts.
Might this wave of Dodger success lead to a great crop of future Fangraphs, Beyond the Box Score, or Baseball Prospectus writers, or future baseball scouts? Who knows, but it could, and with the millions of people that can get involved with the Dodgers as fans of team, I’m optimistic there will be at least one or two that will not just put their heart into the playoffs, but also their heads. Furthermore, should they be exposed to guys on (or formerly on) the beat, well respected Dodger bloggers, or scouts that happen to be Dodger fans — and that’s just on Twitter — fans could be helped to becoming smarter fans, and heck, maybe even baseball fans in the process.
I’m an optimist more than is good for me, but there is some good that can come out of this. I just want a larger number of smart baseball fans to listen to, and I don’t think that’s too much to ask with what’s being provided.
It’s baseball, yes. I love baseball, and enjoy watching it, and even if I’m driving by a field where people are playing, I’ll turn my head to watch whatever’s happening with whomever is playing no matter the skill level because I enjoy watching the game. The Little League World Series has evolved into something else on a national coverage level, where 11-13 year olds having their regional finals being aired and then every game of theirs in Williamsport hitting the airwaves. I hate that I want to watch all this, I really do, and it’s because of the young ones that aren’t ready for the huge spotlights.
Losing happens, and hearts break across all levels of play, but the tears I see on the kids that play the game here, it’s too much for me. It breaks my heart to see them so upset at an age so young. Mistakes are magnified, but on the flip side the greatest triumphs and plays will hit Sportscenter’s Top 10, which may even irk some sports fans the wrong way as even a difficult play done by a Major Leaguer is pretty likely going to be more impressive than most plays you’ll see in Williamsport.
I am watching Japan-Mexico right now. My mother’s side being Japanese-American, and having live in the motherland there for a short time gives me my reason for rooting for Japan. I feel guilty that I am rooting for one set of pre-teens while another set of pre-teens that are putting everything out there at such a young age are more or less not receiving my support. I’ll feel this way, too, when California plays another U.S. squad. I don’t feel this way for talent showcases at the High School level (e.g., Area Code Games), college baseball, or the MLB level since the players are more mature, tools are being showcased, they are being paid, or some other reason I cannot think about right now.
I don’t expect my feelings of hating I watch this to be a solid argument for ESPN to stop airing the LLWS, I understand a little bit how it can be so appealing — the narrative of reminiscing to when we were younger, purer, and seeing that so-called pure-ness battle other pure-ness for the title of most talented purity. I hate that. I’d accept more of this television obsession if this were done with the oldest group of Little Leaguers that are more projectable, but to my knowledge, they only get the championship game aired, and I’m not sure how much that gets advertised.
I don’t know how much longer I’ll watch this. I find myself liking it less as the years go by, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the exposure for this event gets larger as those same years pass.
Less of a blog post than it is a re-counting of two beat writers that have spent time in MLB press boxes and have seen things happen. The conversation stems from a play last night in the Milwaukee-Cincinnati game when Jay Bruce was up to bat.
How could the official scorer call that flub at first base by Kintzler/Betancourt in 8th last nite a hit for Bruce? Terrible call.
— Tom (@Haudricourt) August 24, 2013
Here you’ll see Yuniesky Betancourt pump the ball into his glove after he fields it, then underhand it to the pitcher quite unsuccessfully.
All that time to gather himself, see where his teammate his, and then… oops. Well, at least we can just call that an E-3 and go hom–
Or not. I’m not going to lose any sleep over this call, but beat writer for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and St. Louis Post-Dispatch writer Joe Strauss had a quick back and forth discussing some of their thoughts and stories on the matter.
Its why my fifth ump in replay booth would also be official scorer. Too much inconsistency there across majors.
— Tom (@Haudricourt) August 24, 2013
@JoeStrauss It makes so much sense they will never do it.
— Tom (@Haudricourt) August 24, 2013
@JoeStrauss Yep. We see it every day and it makes stats less meaningful at times.
— Tom (@Haudricourt) August 24, 2013
@JoeStrauss I doubt if Angel Hernandez would worry about confrontation over scoring call.
— Tom (@Haudricourt) August 24, 2013
@JoeStrauss Saw Weeks flub routine grounder once in Houston by Biggio and was called hit. I told scorer now I see why he has 3000 hits.
— Tom (@Haudricourt) August 24, 2013
@JoeStrauss The amazing thing is when they call up from dugout during game to complain. Should be fined for that.
— Tom (@Haudricourt) August 24, 2013
@JoeStrauss Fifth ump in booth would be best/fastest way to do replay and also be scorer. In other words it has no chance of ever happening.
— Tom (@Haudricourt) August 24, 2013
I believe that this is an interesting conversation and one that is a no-brainer for MLB. A play like the one we saw above could have had some hometown bias in it and thank goodness the proper scoring was put in later into the box score. Make the extra umpire also the official scorer — they know the game, they can do it, and with them being protected by their umpire’s union, I would imagine there’s less confrontation, as Mr. Strauss and Mr. Tom allude to. In fact, since the MLB is going to have a replay station, I’m not positive why the official scorer doesn’t just do their job from the central station either. You get more views, good replay, and you’re not surrounded by the cheers of the home town crowd. This change wouldn’t be something that really changes the game in huge ways. It is a little change, but still one that I feel would make the game just that much better.
The Dodgers haven’t clinched a playoff berth for the 2013 Postseason, but barring a collapse of unimagineable excellence and happiness, their 8.5 game lead of the Diamondbacks will be enough, and they will hold either a #1, 2, or 3 seed going into the NLDS. Ten teams in total will make the playoffs, with small sample sizes and incredible hot/cold streaks and probably unlikely heroes and goats will rule the day as a new team has multiple champagne celebrations leading their city to plan a parade unlike any other for their beloved team. The Dodgers hope to be that team, as does every other team going into the regular season, and the lucky ten that go into the postseason obviously realize that anything can happen there.
No, not that, stop thinking about that.
My wife will text me if we’re apart that the Dodgers are winning and leave it at it. She knows it pains me even a little bit to read those words. If we’re together, she will be happy that she is seeing them be successful. She doesn’t rub it in my face. She’s a good fan. I will admit that it is nice to watch a team play an exciting brand of baseball like the Dodgers have been playing recently. That kind of exciting baseball is what creates baseball fans, and more fans of baseball gives us the possibility to have another large handful of smart baseball fans that can make the way we think about the game a little more informed and rational. Coming back from that tangent, if my wife texts me, I will tell her I expect the Dodgers to lose in the playoffs. Why? Because the playoffs are a crapshoot. If you asked the ESPN experts or MLB Network experts to always pick the winner of a postseason and they were right, we’d always listen to them and would be their mouthpiece wherever we go. Maybe it doesn’t take postseason prediction success for us to be said mouthpiece, but Giants fans especially are not foolish enough to believe the predictions being put to paper will be what actually goes down.
The Dodgers will lose in the Postseason, and there will be much rejoicing.
Are their chances at winning better than other teams? Sure. Kershaw, Greinke, Ryu leading the charge with that lineup behind their pitchers? That is most certainly the Danger Zone. The Dodgers will not be immune to losing a playoff series. They will face a team that makes it past them. It will happen.
These are the things I tell myself when I see the Dodgers doing well. This is how I can watch them. This is how I am able to sleep at night.