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devilsrule33

2012 MLB Thread

103 posts in this topic

New season. New thread.

Start with the big news of the expanded playoffs. What does everyone think?

NEW YORK — With less than a month to go before opening day, baseball at last decided who's in and who's out come October.

Now, even a third-place team can win the World Series.

Major League Baseball made it official Friday, expanding the playoff format to 10 teams by adding a wild-card club to each league.

http://online.wsj.com/article/AP12a1e80f7df34ab48f4c3d0e0f505013.html

Edited by devilsrule33

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Like the expanding of the playoffs, don't like the 1-game playoff between the 2 wildcards. It does put extra incentive to win the division, which is nice, but I don't know, the whole idea of a single game playoff for two unequal teams just doesn't seem right.

The American League wildcard races should be great though. Detroit, New York, Texas, Los Angeles, Boston, and Tampa Bay all have very good teams but at least one of them is going to miss out on the postseason. Probably one of those last three (I see Detroit, New York, and Texas winning their divisions).

The National League should be pretty interesting too. Philadelphia is still the best team in the East, but the division is much-improved. Milwaukee isn't bad even though they lost Fielder, and the Braun ruling helps them a lot, but I'm expecting the Central to come down to Cincy and St. Louis with the loser nabbing a wildcard spot. The West is tough to project; Arizona and San Francisco are probably a step above Colorado, but not by much.

Really eager to see what Matt Moore, Yu Darvish, and Stephen Strasburg do over full, Major League seasons. Strasburg in particular has been unbelievable through his first 92 innings of his career and he didn't lose a step after Tommy John Surgery. If he can rack up a full season's workload, I'd be surprised if he's not among the game's best starting pitchers this year. Can't forget about Yoenis Cespedes either, who will be Oakland's everyday centerfielder from day one. The top 2 position player prospects in baseball (Mike Trout and Bryce Harper) could also have starting jobs in their respective outfields by mid-summer.

With all of the spring training games starting up and everything, it's exciting to see baseball back.

Edited by nmigliore

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I hate the expanded playoffs, I felt like the current system was fine. If anything I would've made the divisional series a best of 7. The 1 game playoff is unfair towards both teams. You could have a much better team end up losing to a worse team just because of one bad day. Plus the team that wins is at a big disadvantage entering a short 5 game series.

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I like the idea of having extra teams in the playoffs, but the one-game playoff is just stupid. It's not fair to the "1st place" wildcard team. I would have like a 3-game series. Imagine the scenario (which will happen at some point) where a team finishes first for the wild card by 10 games over the next team, but then loses the one-game playoff on a fluky play (which I see as very likely, since baseball is easily the flukiest of the major sports). At least with a 3-game series, you can't making the argument for losing twice on a fluke.

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I hate the expanded playoffs, I felt like the current system was fine. If anything I would've made the divisional series a best of 7. The 1 game playoff is unfair towards both teams. You could have a much better team end up losing to a worse team just because of one bad day. Plus the team that wins is at a big disadvantage entering a short 5 game series.

How many times is the first wild card really that much better than the second wild card? Both leagues came down to the last hours last season. I don't know why anyone cares about whether it's 'fair' to a wild card team, too often in baseball the wild cards are basically on equal footing with the division winner. In a way even more so, if the division winner checked out of playing meaningful games a couple weeks back.

I think anything that helps prioritize actually winning the division is good. The only thing I'm not a fan of is having a one-game playoff to decide divisions, when you play nineteen times in a season deciding it on head-to-head should be just fine instead of having a 20th game and a de-facto 'second' playoff. Plus that more or less takes away the edge you get from winning the division, having to win to avoid the second playoff anyway.

I like the idea of having extra teams in the playoffs, but the one-game playoff is just stupid. It's not fair to the "1st place" wildcard team. I would have like a 3-game series. Imagine the scenario (which will happen at some point) where a team finishes first for the wild card by 10 games over the next team, but then loses the one-game playoff on a fluky play (which I see as very likely, since baseball is easily the flukiest of the major sports). At least with a 3-game series, you can't making the argument for losing twice on a fluke.

A three-game series wouldn't be great either because then you're giving the division winners too much time off. Baseball's a rhythm sport, you're used to basically playing every day or at least three out of every four. Having the division winners get 'at least' three or four days off entirely, they'd lose their edge.

And again, how often is there really that much of a difference between the first and second wild card? If you don't win the division to me you lose the right to complain about a so-called fluky playoff loss.

Since 2002 the biggest difference between the wild card and what would have been the second wild card was eight games apart, and that only happened once. It's just about always been six games or fewer, many times it's been one game. And those numbers would get even closer adding the second playoff spot, then teams a few games back in September would have a reason to keep going.

Edited by NJDevs4978

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How many times is the first wild card really that much better than the second wild card? Both leagues came down to the last hours last season. I don't know why anyone cares about whether it's 'fair' to a wild card team, too often in baseball the wild cards are basically on equal footing with the division winner. In a way even more so, if the division winner checked out of playing meaningful games a couple weeks back.

I think anything that helps prioritize actually winning the division is good. The only thing I'm not a fan of is having a one-game playoff to decide divisions, when you play nineteen times in a season deciding it on head-to-head should be just fine instead of having a 20th game and a de-facto 'second' playoff. Plus that more or less takes away the edge you get from winning the division, having to win to avoid the second playoff anyway.

I'm sure there are going to be years like last year where the teams are closer together in the standings but I won't be shocked to see a WC team that is 5+ games better than another WC team end up losing one of these years. The biggest thing that bothers me is that they want to determine someone's season in 1 game. It's already bad enough that they play a short 5 game series in the divisional series. Sure they have made winning the division a priority now but I just don't think this is an upgrade over the system that they had in place.

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Pirates signed Andrew McCutchen long-term, 6/51.5, with a 7th year club option: http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2012/03/pirates-agree-to-extend-andrew-mccutchen.html

Wow, that's an excellent move by Pittsburgh. McCutchen is a star, one of the best centerfielders in baseball, just hitting his age 25 season. This is going to be a massive bargain; good for the Pirates organization.

Edited by nmigliore

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first preseason game i see on espn ozzy guillon throws himself out of the game as bobby valentine waves byebye, Andy Bailey gets tagged and gets out of the inning, play ball!

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With the season opening on U.S. territory today, let's see some predictions for 2012.

My picks:

DIVISION AND PLAYOFFS

AL East: New York Yankees

AL Central: Detroit Tigers

AL West: Texas Rangers

AL Wild Card: Boston Red Sox

AL Wild Card: Los Angeles Angels

AL Champion: Texas Rangers

NL East: Philadelphia Phillies

NL Central: St. Louis Cardinals

NL West: Arizona Diamondbacks

NL Wild Card: Atlanta Braves

NL Wild Card: Cincinnati Reds

NL Champion: Philadelphia Phillies

World Series Champion: Texas Rangers

And if I'm allowed to have a Sleeper Pick for each league, it has to be the two Florida teams - the Rays and Marlins. I really wouldn't be surprised if either of them nabbed a wild card spot and rode their great rotations deep into the playoffs. This probably qualifies more for the Marlins than Rays since I wouldn't really consider Tampa Bay a sleeper.

AWARDS

AL MVP: Jose Bautista

AL Cy Young: Dan Haren

AL Rookie of the Year: Matt Moore

NL MVP: Joey Votto

NL Cy Young: Zack Greinke

NL Rookie of the Year: Trevor Bauer

Edited by nmigliore

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this guy Yoenis Cespedes on the A's hit one out last night deep at like 1 in the morning est, i was looking for video but the ball just pops off his bat.

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Here is the video of it: http://mlb.mlb.com/video/play.jsp?content_id=20411309&c_id=mlb

He's going to hit homeruns, that much is clear; he's a physical specimen and it doesn't take more than a handful of at bats to see his power can be special. I do wonder if his approach will work; he swings out of his shoes with every swing. I think he's going to have trouble making contact.

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thanks, yeah i mean im always a fan of small ball.

Howard has gone O-for in the post season and these types of hitters either K or go yard.

maybe its not pop, more like crush.

Edited by lazer

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I have a bit of a soft spot for Humber since he came up through the Mets' system so it's so great to him accomplish such a feat. It's great to see him succeeding with Chicago in general as well.

Edited by nmigliore

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Bryce Harper is making his Major League debut. Made outs in his first two at bats and then absolutely smoked a double over Kemp's head in the 7th inning. Now he just made a cannon throw that was well in time to get Jerry Hairston Jr. at the plate, who was running from 2nd on a groundball single to LF, but Wilson Ramos botched the reception of it. Entertaining game with Strasburg on the mound too and it's on MLB Network if anyone wants to watch.

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Pujols hasn't done CRAP for LA. There talking they might already be out of the post-season(not me, espn) Phillies aren't looking stable like last year. And the Orioles, Washington and LA Dodgers are big improved teams so far this season.

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Josh Hamilton is just making a mockery of pitchers right now. Two more homeruns tonight, now up to 17 (!!) while hitting over .400. That's just incredible. Great for him though, he's been such an amazing comeback story, going from a drug addict who left baseball to becoming one of the game's best players over the last half decade. In fact, he has a pretty good case to be considered THE best player in baseball.

Edited by nmigliore

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I'm surprised this thread hasn't gotten any activity this year. I know I'm being somewhat biased, but the R.A. Dickey phenomenon is easily one of the best stories of the season. He was underrated the last couple of seasons anyway, but this year he's truly made a big step towards becoming an ace and there's zero doubt in my mind he's one of the best in the game.

His numbers in the month of June are just ridiculous: 48.1 IP, 21 hits, 8 walks, 55 strikeouts, 0.93 ERA.

On the season, he boasts a 2.15 ERA and opposing batters are hitting .190/.244/.312 against him. Yeah.

The truly amazing part about Dickey's numbers this year is his gaudy strikeout total. Only two starting pitchers in MLB are ahead of him in strikeouts: Justin Verlander and Stephen Strasburg. That's it. For a knuckleballer, that's just crazy.

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In fact, he [Josh Hamilton] has a pretty good case to be considered THE best player in baseball.

Yikes, how bad does this look right now? Since June 1st, Hamilton is hitting .218/.291/.412, and overall, to put it briefly, he's nowhere near the best in baseball. What a crazy year.

It'll be fascinating to see what kind of contract he gets in the offseason.

Edited by nmigliore

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In case anyone hasn't realized it by now, Mike Trout is pretty awesome.

.345/.407/.603 slash line. 36/39 in stolen bases. Excellent defensively (+7.8 UZR, +9 DRS). Oh, and he's just 20 years old, the 3rd youngest position player in baseball. He'll run away win the AL RoY, and at this pace, probably the AL MVP too (or at least, he should).

There's certainly plenty of regression due in his offensive numbers, but what a special player.

Edited by nmigliore

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