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2016-2017 MLB Offseason Thread
Topic Started: Dec 7 2016, 06:09 PM (1,131 Views)
Erick Von Erich
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Some signings and trades to get started:

-Nationals send 3 prospects to the White Sox for Adam Eaton. Which apparently means the Nats have cooled off on dealing for Andrew McCutchen.

-White Sox also trade Chris Sale to the Red Sox for 3 prospects.

-Giants sign Mark Melancon to be their closer

-Cubs trade Jorge Soler to the Royals for Wade Davis

-Ian Desmond signs a (fairly) big money deal with the Rockies. They plan to make him their first baseman. Huh.

-Dodgers supposedly still have a shot at McCutchen. Would absolutely hate to see him traded. I take all these "trade rumors" with a grain of salt, since they're really just some reporter trying to connect-the-dots and see which teams need what; then look at a list of who's available or in the final year (or two) of their contract.
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Erick Von Erich
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Totally pumped. Already have tickets to 3 World Baseball Classic games in Miami. It was cheaper to buy a 3-game strip of USA tickets (grand total: $54.50), rather than a single game (started at $77). Thrilled, because instead of one "all star game", it's about 5-6 "all-star games" over a long weekend. Went to the 2013 edition in Phoenix and it was awesome.

Right now, Team USA is:
Chris Archer, RHP
Mychal Givens, RHP
Luke Gregerson, RHP
Andrew Miller, LHP
Marcus Stroman, RHP
Tanner Roark


Position players
Nolan Arenado, 3B
Brandon Crawford, SS
Paul Goldschmidt, 1B
Eric Hosmer, 1B
Adam Jones, CF
Ian Kinsler, 2B
Jonathan Lucroy, C
Andrew McCutchen, OF
Daniel Murphy, 2B/DH
Buster Posey, C
Christian Yelich, LF
Giancarlo Stanton, OF

It's tough to predict these things, but the Dominican Republic team has been mentioned as a favorite.
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Erick Von Erich
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Went to three of the WBC games in Miami, over the weekend.

-USA vs. Colombia (USA won in 10)
-Colombia vs. Canada (Colombia won)
-USA vs. Dominican Republic (DR won. Awesome game)

From what I saw, this year's Canadian team really had no business being there. They were, at best, a mid-level Triple A squad. Colombia was better than expected-- better than some MLB teams I've paid to see.

The Latino squads and their fans all have incredible enthusiasm. Example: Colombia scored their first run against Canada and the runner slid into homeplate (despite no throw), then jumped up, did a mid-air split and pumped his fist. His teammates all hopped the dugout railing as if they had just won the game. You can say: "what a buncha' dicks", but it's coming from the right place.

DR fans provided the best baseball crowd I've ever been in. I've been in a LOT of baseball crowds, so that's saying something. Example: Nelson Cruz hit a 3-run homer for the lead against USA. Dominican guy right next to me, jumps in the air, rips his shirt off, then high-fives and hugs me. That kind of pure unbridled enthusiasm is refreshing.

USA is kind of a joke. They have some good players, but a lot of folks asked: "where's Kris Bryant? Max Scherzer? Mike Trout? Bryce Harper? Rick Porcello?" You get the idea. For US players, it's an inconvenience to break with their spring schedules and play these games. For all the others teams, though, it's a treat. Dominicans play the regular season with maybe 3 or 4 of their countrymen on their MLB team. So for them to get together with an entire team of the same guys and same culture has to be a traveling party!

Also suspicious: down 5-7 in the top of the 9th against DR, USA manager Jim Leyland still had his FULL BENCH available. Would've been a perfect spot to pinch-hit a leftie to lead-off against DR"s closer, Jeurys Familia. But, nope.... rightie Jonathan Lucroy who had caught the entire game, and was 0-3, walks to the plate.

There was some better-than-average intensity from USA, though. Against Colombia, after a dropped third strike, Nolan Arenado sprinted down-the-line and dove HEAD-FIRST into 1B (he was safe, BTW). No way you'll see that in a Mar 10 spring training game. So if you get a chance to see a WBC game: do it. Much better than spending $20-40 to see a forgettable spring training game. I've been to tons of ST games and I've never left thinking: "damn, that was a good game".

Marlins Park, though... not worth seeing. Avoid it, unless you're in town for something else and have a night to kill. It's somewhat similar to Toronto's SkyDome, in terms of aesthetic and design. Some corridors lead to you an "exit", but you're just circling around to where you already were. It's built on the old Orange Bowl site, in a fairly "meh" side of town. There are two new standard hotels, nearby, but they're almost obligatory. No decent restaurants or bars nearby. It's not a place you want to stay.

I couldn't find a Miami "Tri-Rail" stop anywhere close. So Uber or drive and pay $20 to stay in the 3rd base garage. It's where the players park. If you park outside of the garage, you're probably risking the welfare of your vehicle. Uncovered lots are full of party-ers. They (probably) will not break into your car, but there's a better-than-average chance of your ride getting scratched, dented, or smelling like beer.

Oh, Marlins Park has an "exclusive" ball park beer: "Billy's Brew" out in CF. I was expecting something different, but I asked the bartender and she told me that it's just "Bud Select" with a special tap on the nozzle; strictly for marketing of a shitty beer. The Park has some local/micro beers, but 1/2 of their taps were turned off. Found "Concrete Beach" and "MIA Brewing" beers
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Erick Von Erich
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My new favorite baseball card thingie is "Topps Now". Cards that are only available for 24 hours n their website, the day after something nifty happens in baseball. I got a few last year, of games I had watched live--- Gerrit Cole pitching a complete game, Ichiro's 3000th and John Jaso hitting for the cycle.

They're a little pricey: 9.99 per card or multi-card daily deals of 5 for 34.99. I did a 5-card deal for the WBC games I went to. If you're patient, plenty of dealers on eBay offer "pre-order" cards, which can save a few bucks per card. Pre-orders take about 2-3 months to arrive, though.

Very cool idea. I'm not into the whole "Gem mint 10 PSA authenticated with a hologram" bullshit that has killed card collecting, but I like this concept. I like the single-game souvenir card. No way I'd want to get the entire Topps Now series, though. If I go to a live game, something neat happens and it gets a card, I'll probably get it.
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Erick Von Erich
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Fairly convinced that I'm one of about 8 people in the US who's into the World Baseball Classic. Like I said: it beats the shit out of spring training games.

The "championship" game is tonight, pitting USA against Puerto Rico. Both are very good teams. The US has gelled and it reminds me of the fun you have in a softball tournament. Sure, your softball "championship" doesn't matter, but when you get to that final game, you want to win.

As a Pirate fan, I'm a little bummed that the US hasn't played Josh Harrison more. Not even as a pinch-runner. Think he has all of one at-bat in the entire thing. Harrison's usually a good, exciting, baserunner, so it's questionable. Alex Bregman has also been nearly invisible.

There was talk, earlier, that if the US got to the "championship" round in Dodger Stadium, that Clayton Kershaw would be available to pitch and added to the team. Not a peep about that in the past two weeks or so. For that spiteful reason, I hope the US wins this thing. Word would spread amongst players that it was actually kinda' cool and, in four years, we really do get a "dream team" of guys like Kershaw, Mike Trout, Bryce Harper, Max Scherzer, Kris Bryant, etc. Or whoever may be the equivalent of those players in 2021.
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Erick Von Erich
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USA wins the WBC. Finally.

Adam Jones copped a little attitude in his postgame interview. He mentioned that they heard that Puerto Rico already had "Championship" t-shirts printed up, had a flight back home, and a parade was already planned. Pure "locker room billboard" stuff. "We won't stand for that" he hollered. It fired them up, so I guess it worked. But a few issues I have with it:

- Of course pre-emptive "Champion" t-shirt were printed. How do you think YOU got your t-shirt and hat, instantly, Adam Jones? I read an article about 10 years ago about how all those "alternate champion" t-shirts are donated to people in need or third world countries. If you go to remote parts of South America, you might see somebody wearing a t-shirt that reads: "Cleveland Indians, 2016 World Series Champs". I'm honestly surprised more of those haven't shown up on the collectible black market.

- Puerto Rico would've had a parade, regardless. Not uncommon. They love their team. They're into baseball and; unless somebody relocates; they won't have their own team any time soon. You can't plan big-ass civic events, overnight. I remember the Broncos had a date set for their Super Bowl parade(s), regardless of if they won or lost. The Buffalo Bills even had a big downtown rally after Scott Norwood botched Super Bowl 25.


One other thing I enjoyed about the WBC: Jim Kaat. I've listened to him on Yankees games, over the years, but having him out from under the Yankee umbrella was even better. Pretty much every point he made echoed my own. The Old Lady mentioned: "that's what you just said", several times. Didn't realize it, until now, but I Like Jim Kaat.
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torturedsoulv1
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The Yankees cut Jon Niese. Thank God
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Erick Von Erich
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torturedsoulv1,Mar 28 2017
09:43 PM
The Yankees cut Jon Niese. Thank God

That guy is terrible. Pirates expected/hoped he'd be their #2 guy, last year. Was so bad they traded him back to the Mets, mid-season, for Antonio Bastardo.

In his defense, I remember he did have one good start in mid-April.
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torturedsoulv1
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For them to think he would be their #2 starter was delusional

I could see as a #4 starter going into last season
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Erick Von Erich
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Sports Illustrated reported; both online and in print; in their "sign of the apocalypse" that Homer Simpson was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. Technically, he's getting an exhibit about the "Homer at the Bat" episode:http://www.sbnation.com/lookit/2017/5/27/1...s-homer-simpson

Being INCLUDED in the Hall of Fame is not the same as being inducted. Big difference. I get that the "apocalypse" stuff is usually silly (and often accurate), but this is a big stretch.
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