While standing on the Stanford campus, and avoiding a creepy guy, I look at the potential 100 win defending World Champion Astros as an unlikely post season underdog. Plus Rickey Henderson, with the benefit of time, has suddenly become old school and the type of player kids today should emulate.
The Indians will be the worst AL Playoff team... so naturally they are the first team to clinch a division. The concept of geographical divisions made sense once but are obsolete now. And my concept of playoff seeding would provide a ton of drama in the AL this year.
Are the Diamondbacks a dominant team powering their way into the post season? Or are they a maddeningly inconsistent team who find new ways to lose critical games? They have been both this year and that could cost them a chance at a winnable pennant.
Doing a Sunday Request from friend of the podcast CU8SFAN (aka Cubs Fan with an 8.) He wants to know which team should be the next great championship challenge for Theo Epstein after delivering to Red Sox and Cubs fans. He makes some suggestions. I have a thought of my own.
While at a rest stop traveling up the 5, I realized that neither the Mets nor the Los Angeles Dodgers have a franchise defining offensive superstar. I wondered if Mike Piazza had stayed with LA if he could have been that figure for the Dodgers. And would David Wright have been that player if he remained healthy?
Driving along along the 5 freeway, I began to think about ways to put together a pitching staff that doesn't require wearing a bullpen down but still tries to keep starters from facing an order more than twice. I have an idea.
When the World Series is clinched, a whole team will celebrate knowing they are champions. There are two categories of champions: Those who have never won one before and those who have. And in those categories, there are several subsets. Today, I will break those down.
This is my favorite part of the year as a baseball fan. It is like Christmas morning every day. Which is one reason it is so frustrating that the Red Sox have decided to coddle domestic abuser Steven Wright and make this month a whole lot less fun.
It is September and a bounce here or a bounce there will be the difference between playing in October or not. The Brewers get that and are fortifying their team in any way they can. Meanwhile Jim Kaat wrote a surreal tweet. Not only does it make Kaat look like a factually incorrect bitter old man, but it also illustrates a problem of how MLB markets and presents itself.
There is a realistic scenario for a series of one game, winner take all playoff games this October featuring teams that have a legitimate shot to win the NL Pennant. That is a cool thing. Meanwhile, the Red Sox have a shot to have their best regular season ever, which would be great even if they don't win the World Series.
The A's and Astros are about to play a wild and important series that could have huge ramifications on the American League Wild Card. When the Yankees play the runner up of the AL West for the Wild Card Game, they need to reverse engineer their pitching staff to win. Two recent additions could be the key. Giving advice to the enemy in this episode of Sully Baseball.
We know the win loss record is problematic as a metric for pitchers. But so are all the confusing new stats. Why not just use the Average Start as a barometer for the Cy Young vote and base the award on how the pitcher actually performed?
Sitting outside of Sunken Diamond on the Stanford Campus, I gloat about the Red Sox sweep of the Yankees and point out that some of the problems in the Bronx won't go away soon. Meanwhile, I clear out a few unpleasant topics that I have been avoiding addressing.
While standing outside in San Francisco, I share my initial thoughts of the trade deadline. The Pirates may have helped themselves the most, bleeding into 2019. The Nationals probably should have seen what Harper could have fetched. But the Mets botched the entire day and continue to doom their franchise.
Poppi Kramer, comedian and friend and guest of the podcast, died this week. Her death affected me as I have strong memories of our mutual love for the game. And losing her made me examine the illusion of timelessness in baseball and how we recoil when we see that change and finality are possible in our game.
The Phillies and Dodgers saw a head to head match up of first place teams end with an outfielder pitching in extra innings. That shouldn't happen. There should be ties in baseball. Meanwhile the Nationals season is heading for disaster while the Pirates and A's are somehow contenders.
I have some thoughts on how to tweak the All Star Game. Plus the Orioles did something right, getting quantity for Manny Machado. One of the players Baltimore got has one of the best baseball names I have heard in years: Zach Pop.