Today was just a normal Sunday. Any normal Sunday for the baseball world. Then, the news broke that Yordano Ventura, a young and very promising starting pitcher for the Kansas City Royals passed away in a car crash at the age of 25.
As I write this, the news is very hard to digest. One second, he pitches the best game of his career in Game 6 of the 2014 World Series, the next, he starts Opening Day for Kansas City, and the next, he is gone. It’s sad to hear these words, especially since we all went through the same with Jose Fernandez only a few months back.
In another incident, former MLB infielder Andy Marte passed away in a car crash at the age of 33. His last game in the majors happened to be against the Royals on August 6, 2014, a game Yordano Ventura started. Both incidents happened in the Dominican Republic.
Our prayers to the families of Ventura and Marte, and the rest of the baseball community.
Yordano Ventura (1991-2017)
Andy Marte (1983-2017)
January the 18th was a day I pretty much forgot about. I was all paying attention to the NFL playoffs and other good sports stories when I realized that the Hall of Fame results were being announced that night. Well, I was happy to hear that Jeff Bagwell, Ivan Rodriguez, and Tim Raines made the Hall of Fame this year. Congrats to them.
However, I feel like there is one man in particular who should have made it. Enter Trevor Hoffman.
In my opinion, I think he is the second best closer of all time. He had 601 saves in his career. Many are not sure if he will make the Hall of Fame, considering that he usually only pitched 1 inning per game. Perhaps they never looked at his saves.
Something else I noticed was that Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens got an increase in votes. Someone tell me why this is happening. If one or both of them make it to Cooperstown, I will vomit until the writers tell me why they voted one or both in.
On the other hand, let’s talk about the inductees. First off, Jeff Bagwell. 449 career homers, only a 4 time All Star, but he won the 1994 NL MVP. When Jose Canseco found the news out, he criticized the writers on Twitter for voting in Bagwell (who some believe took PEDs) but not Mark McGwire, Bonds, or Clemens, etc.
Next up is a catcher that many call “Pudge”, Ivan Rodriguez. A 14 time All Star, 13 time Gold Glove Winner, and the 1999 AL MVP. He is well known for throwing out base runners, and for ending the deciding game of the 2003 NLDS against the Giants where he held on to the ball after a collision with J.T. Snow at home plate. Pudge threw out many base runners during his career, but who knows if he could throw out this next and final man on the list…
One of the better base-stealers of all time, in his final year on the Ballot, Tim Raines. 7 time All-Star, 4 Time Stolen Base Champion, and the NL Batting Champion in 1986.
Once again, congrats to all three for making the Baseball Hall of Fame! Next post, I will recap some recent offseason moves.
Since November 2014, the Baseball Stat Guy train has been going strong. This website has been successful so far under the MLBlogs domain of WordPress.
The other day, I got an email from WordPress, saying that their partnership with MLBlogs was set to expire on Wednesday, December 21.
This doesn’t mean my website will be shut down, don’t worry, but the link to this blog will be changed effective December 21. On that day, it will be changed from http://www.thebaseballstatguy.mlblogs.com to http://www.thebaseballstatguy.wordpress.com. If you have this blog bookmarked, you might want to change it to the new link. Not that you have to do it right away, because the current link will still work for a little while after the merger. For how long, I don’t know. I also don’t know if my old blog posts will be saved. We’ll see what happens then.
It was a great time blogging under MLBlogs, and I look forward to continue it under the WordPress name.
You saw the title. First, Cespedes resigning with the Mets, then Mark Melancon signing with the Giants. There was also the Chris Sale trade, the Wade Davis trade, Chapman going back to the Bronx, and a trade that could likely be one of the worst trades in Nationals history. We’ll get into all that. Plus, you can’t forget about the rumors at the Winter Meetings too.
After all the rumors involving Yoenis Cespedes, he resigned with the Mets for 4 years and $110 million. Some may question whether he deserves all that money, but I think it’s worth it if it means 30 homers a year.
The Giants now look like some sort of contender after signing Mark Melancon 4 yrs and $62 million. Knowing them though, they will probably miss the playoffs either way because of well, the Even Year Curse happened to them.
Staying in the Bay Area, have you seen the Golden State Warriors superteam this year? Pretty deadly, if you ask me. I know, this is a baseball blog, but I’ll get to the baseball part of this in a second. Yankees GM Brian Cashman said that their baseball equivalent (as of now) happens to be the Boston Red Sox. You see, they got Chris Sale from the White Sox to pair him with the reigning AL Cy Young winner Rick Porcello, and a Beantown team highlighted by Mookie Betts, Xander Bogaerts, Dustin Pedroia, Jackie Bradley Jr, and Craig Kimbrel. Did I also mention that David Price is in that same rotation too?! My goodness. I guess we’re bringing back the days of Barry Zito, Tim Hudson, and Mark Mulder all pitching for the A’s.
Good times. Soon enough, you’ll be seeing pictures of Price, Sale, and Porcello taking over Boston Sports Newspapers. Just as long as Chris doesn’t cut up anymore jerseys. On paper, they look like they’ll be playing the Cubs in the 2017 World Series. Why the Cubs exactly? Oh, they didn’t do anything special, other than trading for Wade Davis, and signing Koji Uehara to pair with Hector Rondon. Safe to say their bullpen is set for 2017, and you can’t forget about the Bryant-Rizzo led offense too.
The Cuban Missle is coming back to the Bronx. Yep, Aroldis Chapman is coming back to the Bombers. Cubs, do you regret giving away your prospects for him now? Hope you do, because you gave them to the Yankees pretty much for free. Yikes. Speaking of the Yankees, they overpaid $13 million for Matt Holliday, if you didn’t know about that already. Double Yikes. Continuing on with the Yanks, former Bronx Bomber Carlos Beltran signed a 1 yr $16 million contract with the Astros. Triple Yikes.
Meanwhile, what did the Nats do to get better? They traded two prospects, along with Lucas Giolito for Adam Eaton. Adam. Freaking. Eaton. You regret it yet Nationals? At least they traded for Derek Norris, but you lost out on Wilson Ramos in free agency.
Where did he go? Tampa Bay. Wilson Ramos is easily penciled in as the Rays starting catcher. They’re still not making the playoffs either way.
Ian Desmond signed a 5 year deal with the Rockies after a 22 homer season in Texas. If he plays like he did last season, then he could easily have 30 homers (taking into account the high elevation at Coors Field).
Finally, we have Dexter Fowler going to the Cardinals, after winning the World Series with the Cubs last October. Insteresting, considering that the two teams have a great rivalry between each other. Will this add fuel to the fire between them? Only time will tell.
Hopefully, time will tell where Edwin Encarnacion, Kenley Jansen, and others will sign. A little bit of a surprise to me.
That’s it for now. Until the next big move is made, we can still ponder about the destinations for the 2016-17 Free Agent Class.
Alright, the 2016 offseason is here. Sorry that I haven’t been posting lately, but I’m working on something big that is a work in progress as of now. I’m also going to write more about MLB History as well, so stay tuned for that. Of course, I will be writing about the offseason as well. Of course, you can’t have a baseball blog without baseball news like this. It’s like Burger King not selling burgers. I apologize if I made your mouth water with the thought of Whoppers. I just can’t help thinking of the good ol’ Thanksgiving Turkey. Speaking of turkeys, hope you didn’t forget it. If so, here’s some advice on how to plan a baseball themed Thanksgiving dinner.
Okay, enough about food. This isn’t a Food Network blog. This is an MLBlog. Basically, I will do my best to post more often, and keep on the lookout for the next big thing. It is taking me a while to write this up, but I’ll get it up as soon as I can.
Time to toss my postseason bracket in the garbage. Back in the beginning in the month, I predicted a 1986 World Series rematch, with the Red Sox coming out on top. Well, the Mets lost in the Wild Card Game, and David Ortiz and Crew were swept by the AL Champs in the Division Series.
Oh, I forgot to mention who won the ALCS. I’ll give you a hint. Their city won the NBA Finals in June. Surprise, surprise, it’s the Cleveland Indians. In my last post, I predicted that Cleveland wouldn’t do well, considering Michael Brantley was out for the year, and that this young team had little playoff experience. Their manager, however, brought 2 World Series trophies to Boston. Looking back on the previous 19 years since Cleveland was in the World Series, I think they were a strong contender in 2001, and they should have made it in 2007, when they came one game short of a World Series appearance. Who knows, they might have swept Colorado in that World Series, since the Rockies had to wait a week from the end of the NLCS to the beginning of the Fall Classic.
On the National League side of things, we waited 71 years for the Cubs to make a World Series. It finally happened. They last won a World Series 108 years ago. It might happen this year. The Curse of the Billy Goat might end this year.
For now, we might as well say Rest in Peace to Steve Bartman jokes. This World Series is going to be interesting.
The final day of the baseball regular season ended with a bang. The Giants, Blue Jays, and Orioles clinched Wild Card Berths, while the Cardinals missed out. On the non-postseason picture, Vin Scully broadcasted his final game of his 67 year career, Mark Texeira played his final game of his 14 year career, and the Atlanta Braves closed the door on Turner Field.
Ladies and Gentlemen, it’s postseason time. The brackets are set, and it’s time to reveal my postseason predictions. Let’s get to it.
AL Wild Card Game: Blue Jays over Orioles.
I’m already seeing deja vu in my eyes. I think a Texas-Toronto postseason matchup will happen for the second year in a row. Besides, Toronto has a big advantage, as Baltimore’s Chris Tillman, their opposing starting pitcher for tonight’s Wild Card Game is 2-6 with a 7.01 ERA at Rogers Centre. I’m sorry Orioles fans, maybe in 2018 (because they make the playoffs in even years).
NL Wild Card Game: Mets over Giants.
This was a tough decision, but I think Syndergaard will pitch a great game, and the Mets offense will carry this team to the division series. Then again, it is an even year, but Taylor Swift is not releasing an album this year, and if you don’t know what I’m talking about, look at this.
ALDS: Blue Jays over Rangers in 5.
If the Blue Jays win the Wild Card game tomorrow, this series is going to be interesting. If Toronto beat the Rangers last year, then I think Toronto can beat Texas again.
ALDS: Red Sox over Indians in 4.
I feel like Big Papi is going to have one last great postseason, and the Red Sox will rally around him. They have plenty of great hitters around Papi, just look at Mookie Betts, Jackie Bradley Jr, Dustin Pedroia, and Xander Bogaerts. On the other hand, the Indians lack playoff experience, and this should be an advantage for Boston.
NLDS: Mets over Cubs in 5.
Another tough decision here. The Cubs won 103 games this year, but to the Mets, this Cubs team is pretty much the same team they swept in the NLCS last year (other than the addition of Ben Zobrist). If they beat the Cubs last year, I’m sure they can beat them again.
NLDS: Nationals over Dodgers in 5.
This was probably one of the more tougher decisions yet. Bryce Harper sucks in the postseason, and so does Clayton Kershaw. Wilson Ramos is out for the postseason with a torn ACL, and we all know what Daniel Murphy was for the Mets last postseason, so I’m gonna favor the Nationals here.
ALCS: Red Sox over Blue Jays in 6.
Big Papi’s leading the way here. I think he will lead Boston to its fourth World Series appearance in the last 12 years. Unfortunately, Blue Jays fans, you’re gonna have to wait another year.
NLCS: Mets over Nationals in 6.
If this actually happens, this is gonna be interesting. Division rivals clashing in the NLCS ought to be worth looking at. If so, the Mets are gonna have an advantage, considering that the team has caught fire this past month, and Bryce Harper has had his struggles in the postseason. I think the Mets are headed to back to back World Series for the first time in Franchise History.
World Series: Red Sox over Mets in 7.
Again, another tough choice, but I’m favoring the Red Sox. I’m thinking that David Ortiz is not cooling off anytime soon, and he is going to get his 4th World Series Ring in his final season.
In the meantime, let’s get the popcorn ready for this year’s postseason, and see it unfold as the days pass. You ready? 3, 2, 1, Postseason!