Monthly Archives: October 2018

Never Gets Old…

…winning World Series Championships, that is.  4 times in the last 15 seasons.  Or 4 times in 14 years if you prefer.

After zero in the 86 previous years, we make no apologies whatsoever.

The Blowhard finally got one right as well.  Though we picked the Red Sox in Seven…and were hesitant about it (though simply not to jinx them…we said the Sox were the better team…really!).

Side note:  The Blowhard also hit on…Manny Machado trying to injure someone.  Ask Steve Pearce and his heel about that.  Pearce got the last laugh obviously.

In any event, all of us who doubted this team have been eating a lot of crow the last couple of days.  All year long we questioned this team.  Questioned the quality of opponents.  Questioned the pathetic bullpen.  Questioned David Price’s stones.

And then they simply shoved it right in our faces and down our throats.  On a personal level, I am glad they did.  But I am still not sure how they did it.  Price?  You know the postseason career numbers.  They honestly still aren’t great.  5-9, 4.62.  But they sure as hell look a lot better with his last 4 appearances (3 starts) in this playoff run.  Not really sure how he didn’t get the World Series MVP award, but Pearce at least wasn’t a horrible alternative.  The downside?  He’s letting us all know about it by running his mouth again.  I suppose he has earned the right somewhat.  But this is why the Blowhard still wants him out of town.  I said all year that if he stayed healthy, had a good year and the team won the World Series, there was a chance he does exercise his opt-out clause.  To top it off, he finished the postseason strong personally, as we said.

Most people laughed when we brought up the possibility of him opting out.  But I still think it’s real.  Will it happen?  I’m leaning no.  But it would not surprise me in the least bit if Price publicly opted out on one of the duck boats this morning.  After all, the fans railed on him just as much as the media since he has been here.  Wouldn’t shock me if he tried to stick it to everyone in the middle of a parade.  He has that in him for sure.  Anyway, we will see what happens there…

Other than Price, when did Joe Kelly all of a sudden become Mariano Rivera?  Pitching all five games of the World Series, he made himself some dough.  Let’s hope someone else spends it on him since he will most likely revert to being…Joe Kelly.  But that was a pleasant surprise out of nowhere for sure.

Speaking of Kelly, we want to clarify some things.  The bullpen was putrid this year.  Many pitchers had their hands in on that.  We all wondered how the bullpen was going to fare in the postseason.  Let’s be real, out of all those bums that were down there this season, the postseason bullpen was really only Kelly, Matt Barnes, Ryan Brasier and Craig Kimbrel.  Heath Hembree and Brandon Workman made cameos, but never when it mattered.  The rest of the brilliant performance out of the ‘pen was handled by members of this seasons’ starting rotation.  Let’s not forget that.  Admittedly, Kelly was awesome, while Barnes and Brasier were useful.  Kimbrel was terrible for the most part.  But the point is, the bullpen will seem a lot better once you stop pitching useless arms.  On top of someone like Kelly somehow becoming unhittable.  But the change in the bullpen was mostly due to the starters throwing key innings.

We also doubted the manager, Alex Cora.  We said he has a great team and that anyone could manage it.  Welp, after listening to the players talk about him in recent days, it clearly appears we underestimated him.  Not only from what the players said but their actions as well.  Everyone was willing to do whatever it took to win this Series.  Like Nathan Eovaldi pitching the first two games in relief, then throwing six innings plus in Game 3.

Cora’s apparent work after Game 3 can’t go unnoticed either.  The tough 18 inning loss could have completely taken the steam out of the team and sent them down the wrong road.  Tough one to take for sure.  Especially considering that the Sox should have won in the 13th.  But instead, Ian Kinsler slips and uncorks a horrendous throw and…well, you know what happened from there.  Anyway, Cora may not have had his best game managing DURING the game (we didn’t think some of the moves were as bad as some were making them out to be.  I mean, who thinks the game is going 18 innings?!).  But it looks like he had his best in managing AFTER the game.  Sure, the team didn’t exactly come out blazing in Game 4.  But they finished it blazing.  Maybe some of that is Chris Sales’ fire mid-game.  But I’m betting it had a ton to do with Cora.  As well as the players’ actual talent too, let’s not get all crazy overanalyzing things.  But Cora certainly managed circles around Dave Roberts…you can take that one to the bank.

Pretty much everyone contributed to this World Series victory.   Mitch Moreland with a huge pinch hit homer in Game 4.  Eduardo Nunez throwing his body around.  Rafael Devers with some big hits…and a huge defensive play late in Game 4.  Even Drew Pomeranz contributed…by NOT pitching.

Just a lot of fun to watch.  Even if a lot of us were getting it stuck to us…though again, gladly.

What’s next?  Glad you asked!  Sale’s 2019 option was picked up…big surprise!  A steal at 15 mil…even if the shoulder is junk.  Nunez picked up his player option as well.  We will find out soon about Price.  Those I think were the most pressing matters.  The rest will come in due time.  There will be some thoughts in this space about the 2019 season soon enough.

Right now, let’s keep the party going.  Congratulations to the 2018 Boston Red Sox!!

 

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Week Eight…

Good to see the Dolphins get smoked on Thursday Night Football.  That’s all…

Philadelphia (-2.5) at Jacksonville 

What the hell do we make of this one?  The Super Bowl champion Eagles have lost one more game already this year than they did all of last year.  The almost Super Bowl contestant Jaguars have dropped three ugly ones in a row and Blake Bortles continues to prove that he is no good.  I’m picking the home team here.  Oh wait, the game is in London.  Another variable.  Actually, since Jacksonville is the “leader in the clubhouse” if a team ever eventually moves across the pond, maybe they truly are the home team.  Anyway, I unfortunately have no further insight.  Anything intelligent anyway.

Jacksonville 27, Philadelphia 23.

Seattle at Detroit (-3.5)

This is the Seahawks 5th road game out of their first 7.  I just thought that was interesting.

Seattle 24, Detroit 20.

Tampa Bay at Cincinnati (-4.5)  

The Bengals got embarrassed by the Chiefs last Sunday night.  Good thing the Bucs come to town this week.  Though I cannot say either team is any good in the end.

Cincinnati 37, Tampa Bay 31.

Washington (-1.5) at New York Giants 

The Skins aren’t exactly lighting it up but are 4-2 anyway.  Normally I’d give some thought to a divisional game being close, but the G-Men appear to be mailing it in already.

Washington 27, New York Giants 16.

New York Jets at Chicago (-7.5)

The Bears came up a yard short last week against the Patriots.  I’m still wondering if they go for two if they scored on that last Hail Mary play.  That seems to be a little bit of a trend in the NFL this season.  And if they did, the Pats probably would have lost with that pathetic defense.  In any event, the Bears are probably happy the Jets are coming to town this week.

Chicago 31, New York Jets 20.

Baltimore (-1.5) at Carolina

Seems like this one is kind of a toss-up.  Of course, that is not a very bold statement, since the spread is small.  But one thing I’d bet the house on here:  that Justin Tucker hits all his extra points.

Baltimore 24, Carolina 21.

Cleveland at Pittsburgh (-8.5) 

I bet the Steelers are still pissed about that tie against the Browns in Week One.

Pittsburgh 41, Cleveland 24.

Denver at Kansas City (-10.5)

Another divisional game that in the past I would have given some consideration to being a close one.  Not today.

Kansas City 48, Denver 24.

Indianapolis (-3.5) at Oakland 

Indy still stinks, but Oakland is in the middle of tanking.

Indianapolis 31, Oakland 13.

Green Bay at Los Angeles Rams (-9.5)

If this game was in Green Bay, I’d consider taking the points.  But since it isn’t, I won’t.

Los Angeles Rams 41, Green Bay 31.  

San Francisco at Arizona (-1.5) 

Both teams are 1-6.  Should be a classic.  Arizona’s only win was at San Francisco a few weeks ago.  Will the Niners return the favor in the desert?  Who cares?

Arizona 20, San Francisco 17.

New Orleans at Minnesota (-1.5)  

On the flip side, these two teams are a combined 9-3-1.  It honestly doesn’t seem like either of these two teams have even hit their stride yet either.  Guess you can’t argue with wins and losses.

Minnesota 34, New Orleans 31.

New England Patriots (-13.5) at Buffalo

Derek Anderson started for the Bills last week after just signing with them a couple of weeks ago.  Predictably, he wasn’t very good.  And got dinged up a bit in the process.  Josh Allen is “the future”.  But he is hurt.  And I’m not sure how Nathan Peterman is still in the NFL.  He may be the worst QB if all time.  Nice lot of quarterbacks.  In addition, LeSean McCoy apparently has a concussion and his game status as we write this is unclear.  Tom Brady is something like 28-3 in his career against Buffalo.  Even with the Pats putrid defense, the game being in Buffalo, the possibility of no Gronk and obviously no Sony Michel, I don’t see how this game is anywhere near close.

New England 38, Buffalo 20.

Week (against the spread):  1-0

Week (straight up):  1-0

Season (against the spread):  55-53

Season (straight up):  67-41

Dave Roberts…

…the dude all of New England fell in love with when he stole that base in 2004 against the Yankees in the American League Championship Series.  We all know what happened after that.  And the Boston Red Sox fans certainly still showed him they loved him when he got a pretty good ovation after being introduced at Fenway Park prior to Game 1 of this World Series.

But you know what?  There is a pretty good possibility that everyone in New England may love him even more now.  I think I do.  Why?  Well, the lineups of course.  Simple as that.

Roberts is now, of course, the third year manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers.  Seems like he is a pretty good skipper overall.  Sure, he is in a city that can spend some money, but the Dodgers have finished first in all three of his seasons, with last year coming a game short of winning the whole enchilada.  Nothing to sneeze at, regardless of how much payroll is available.

I cannot say I am impressed with his work in the current World Series, however.  I mean, the whole “lefty/righty” thing may make sense on paper.  And also in the National League in general.  And also maybe in the regular season.  But when you get to the Fall Classic, you simply have to play your best guys.  There’s no other way around it.

I don’t care how bad Max Muncy, Cody Bellinger and Yasmani Grandal have hit in the playoffs.  There is no way they should be on the bench in favor of Brian Dozier, Kike (don’t call me Enrique) Hernandez and Austin Barnes under any circumstances.  Dozier was absolutely abysmal since coming over from the Minnesota Twins at the trade deadline.  And Barnes and Kiki simply aren’t really any good.

Not to mention that the Dodgers had an additional bat they could add in the American League park with the DH being available.

Platooning can work, sure.  But you must have guys that are actually good to do it.  And maybe you shouldn’t bury some of your better hitters in the most important games of the season?

Listen, Chris Sale is one of the best pitchers in the game.  And David Price has pitched well the second half of the season himself in trying to get back to where he was once one of the best pitchers in the game.

But Sale has not pitched much since July and questions abound with him still.  He was ok in Game 1.  Price?  Sure he was lights out in the Houston clincher.  But with his postseason track record, could you really depend on him doing that again?  Seems to me that Roberts should have rolled his best players out there, regardless of what side of the plate they bat from.

Now, this series is far from over, don’t get me wrong.  I fully expect the Dodgers to head back to LA, get those guys back in the lineup, and maybe hammer Rick Porcello in Game 3.  But if the Sox win Game 3?  I kind of feel we may see Eduardo Rodriguez start Game 4.  Maybe a little Drew Pomeranz coming in after that.  I know…yuck…for a Sox fan anyway.  But if they win Game 3 and use Nathan Eovaldi in a key relief role again, this is probably what’s going to happen.  If we are lucky, we will get to see Heath Hembree in that scenario too!

Bottom line, if Roberts rolls out the same lineup under that E-Rod starting scenario as he did in Games 1 and 2, well…E-Rod and Pomeranz may actually do some damage…

But if he stops overmanaging and puts his best players in regardless, the three home games in LA may actually get these guys back into the series.

The Sox look good…and it may very well be their year.  But there is a looooong way to go.

Here’s hoping Dave Roberts comes through for the Sox again though…

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