I’m at Citizens Bank Park watching a baseball game. I notice on the scoreboard, which for some reason is above home plate rather than the outfield, that Chase Utley is leading off and realize he’s a Phillie again, having signed with them as a free agent when his contract with the Dodgers ended. I welcome him back, although I wonder whether bringing him back was a good baseball decision. I wonder where Howie Kendrick will play, and why the Phillies traded for him. I walk over to where the bullpens used to be, but the bullpens are gone, or at least there are no pitchers in them, but instead there are only small children playing children’s games, part-Little League and part-playground. I begin wandering the stadium with my camera, looking for the bullpens so that I can take photos of the pitchers warming up. Eventually I descend an escalator to a large, mostly empty concourse and find them, only I can no longer see the pitchers warming up because the bullpens are covered in an enormous veil, like gypsy moths covering a forest, through which I can only see shadows of what I can imagine are pitchers throwing warm-up tosses. “They didn’t want people staring at them taking photos,” someone explains to me. “It distracted them and they didn’t like it.” I wonder whether I’ll ever be able to take photos of pitchers warming up again, ever be able to post them to Instagram and Flickr again. I wake up, delirious, but confident that the Phillies made a good baseball decision, because Howie Kendrick is a better baseball player than Chase Utley.
From today’s Hey Bill:
While I would probably have used Britton in that situation myself, the media blasting Showalter for not doing so, and saying it cost them the game are reaching, aren’t they?
There’s no guarantee that Britton doesn’t get a similar result, and there’s no way to know the final result even if he got them out of the inning. At worst he cost them a 50/50 opportunity to win, assuming Britton is successful.
Am I missing something?
Asked by: Christopher
Well. ..certainly looks different 24 hours later. The Mets DID use their closer. And that didn’t work, either.
Of course there are no guarantees—but:
Britton 2016: 0.54 ERA, 1.94 FIP, 2.09 xFIP, 2.5 fWAR, 9.94 K/9, 2.42 BB/9, 0.836 WHIP, 47/47 SV (67 IP)
Familia 2016: 2.55 ERA, 2.39 FIP, 3.03 xFIP, 2.2 fWAR, 9.73 K/9, 3.59 BB/9, 1.210 WHIP, 51/56 SV (77 2/3 IP)
Blue Jays 11th inning: Carrera-Travis-Donaldson (9-1-2)
Giants 9th inning: Crawford-Pagan-Panik (5-6-7)
One was near-perfect this year and would have faced the top of the lineup (or, once Travis and Donaldson reached, the heart of the order).
The other was less perfect this year and was facing the middle of the order, losing the game on a three-run home run to the 8-hole hitter.
No, Ubaldo Jimenez is no Zach Britton. But in 2016, neither is Jeurys Familia.
Photo courtesy of Flickr.
What do you get when you cross Ryan Howard’s and Jeff Francouer’s 2016? A Big Piece of French Toast
— (((Velvet. Pause.))) (@velvetcanuck) October 3, 2016
Wild card game
Toronto vs. Baltimore
Who I want to win: Tossup. Baltimore for Nina and Freddie, and maybe even Buck; Toronto because Toronto-Texas would be awesome. Oh, and Gord.
Who I think will win: Toronto, because of Stroman at home.
Mets vs. San Francisco
Who I want to win: No one.
Who I think will win: San Francisco, because of Bumgarner.
Boston vs. Cleveland
Who I want to win: The overdog. I know, but I love Fenway and the gray road jerseys that just read BOSTON and Betts would be my MVP runnerup (Trout, duh) and they don’t even have Papelbon this time.
Who I think will win: Boston in 4, because Salazar and Carrasco won’t pitch.
Texas vs. Toronto
Who I want to win: Texas, slightly, because of Hamels and because Boston-Texas would be a better ALCS.
Who I think will win: Toronto in 4, because they are a better team, no, really. (94-68. 79-83. The Mariners were jobbed!)
Cubs vs. San Francisco
Who I want to win: Cubs, because Cubs Win, and Joe Maddon.
Who I think will win: San Francisco in 5, not because it ends in -16, but because of Bumgarner-Cueto-Samardzija, and Bochy is pretty good too.
Dodgers vs. Washington
Who I want to win: Vin Scully and Chavez Ravine.
Who I think will win: Dodgers in 4, because Scherzer will only pitch once.
Boston vs. Toronto
Who I want to win: Boston
Who I think will win: Boston in 5. (I think Toronto is a better team than Texas, but if it’s Texas, I would pick Boston in 6. No, I don’t know why either.)
Dodgers vs. San Francisco
Who I want to win: Dodgers
Who I think will win: Giants in 7, because I had them winning the NL in April and I’m never wrong.
Boston vs. San Francisco
Who I want to win: Boston. Actually the Dodgers, then the Cubs, but if it’s Boston-San Francisco…
Who I think will win: Boston, because I had them winning the World Series in April and I’m never wrong.
…other than my AL East predictions:
or, uh, AL Central:
or AL West
* = projected playoff team
The Mariners were jobbed!
I never served
I won’t lie
I’ll man up
with hands up
I won’t die
on bended knee
or waved fist
your war of nerves
Colin Kaepernick photo courtesy of Mike Morbeck.
“We already have two strikes against us already…so you might as well not kick yourself out of the game. In football, you can’t kick them out. You need those players. In baseball, they don’t need us…Baseball is a white man’s sport.”
never was a caged bird
never could be free
never was a blackbird
swinging in the Southern breeze
Charm City paramour
won’t never hear a black word
Adam Jones photo courtesy of Keith Allison.
Adam Jones quote courtesy of USA Today.