In regards to making the postseason when hopes are vanishingly slim, says Joe Maddon, “You definitely want to see improvement in certain areas. Meaning the things you’ve worked on, the things that you think needed to be improved on. You’re looking for progress. You’re looking for that cultural difference where there’s a method at play, there’s a low tolerance for mental mistakes, there’s an expectation set very high that we’re all looking to meet. It’s all cultural, all built. It doesn’t get handed to you, it has to be earned.”
Toronto needed an Angels loss as part of their pathway to the playoffs. They didn’t get it, though. Griffin Canning gets attention from Pitching Ninja on YouTube. Here is a deep dive into the American League MVP race and Mike Trout and Anthony Rendon are both in the mix.
News From Around Baseball
MLB named the Atlantic League as its first “Partner League” as part of Rob Manfred’s ongoing quest to bring all of baseball under the same umbrella. Rob Manfred is now talking about having fans at the NLCS. Angel Hernandez remains strike zone impaired. Trey Mancini has completed his chemotherapy for stage 3 colon cancer. The Giants have released Justin Smoak. It looks like he is circling the drain. Dylan Moore is now on the seven day concussion list after taking two bean balls in one week. Folks are saying Mike Clevinger’s early exit from Wednesday’s game against the Angels was not planned and there is concern that he suffered some kind of injury.
Rangers HATE the Angels. Hate them. They would rather have cheater Astros make the playoffs than the Angels.
Also they are now motivated to lose for draft pick position.
I’ve never liked Texas in any form. I don’t like the team, I don’t like the state except maybe Austin and Lubbock but Lubbock only because Buddy Holly was from there and he “loved” it so much that as soon as he could he moved to Greenwich Village.
Here’s a true story. My wife and I were taking the train from Portland to Florida (where my folks lived) which meant down to Los Angeles and then across the Southern route. We’re on the train, in the middle of nowhere, parallel to a highway (with a sign saying “Dallas, 837”) with zero cars going by because it’s the middle of nowhere!!! and then we see two cars have smashed into each other and there’s an ambulance. That’s how stupid Texas drivers are! In the middle of nowhere with no one else on the road somehow these guys managed to smash into each other.
But I digress. I hate the Rangers. So many reasons…Nolan Ryan ended up there. Cokehead came from there and went back there while still soaking us for cash. Their ex-manager was also a cokehead (so I hear). And now, when it matters, they suck. Thanks, #$%&%^&*s!!
Well, Lance Lynn and Leony Taveras are my new least favorite players.
Correction: I already hated Lynn after he hit Upton twice
Rangers top to bottom are absolutely horrible. How did we lose so many to them?
Truly it is majorly disheartening.
Because we don’t have a good team?
That makes me cry
The rangers look so awful
Rangers already given up. 5-0 Astros in 2nd
I Knew this would happen. They win some meaningless games when everything is locked up (bad teams just killing time or good teams playing with no urgency because positioning is set). Now everyone thinks this team is in the way to recovery. This is a sub .500 team that would have serious issues over a full season. Bundy is regressing and Heaney and Canning have yet to prove to be healthy and good over a full season. Mayer’s is being over used like Buttrey was before he broke. This is a repeat of the other year when they were around .500 up until the trade deadline and Upton killed all hope by misplaying that ball. This team still sucks.
My expectation is a massive loss tomorrow night, followed by wins on Saturday and Sunday once they’re already eliminated.
It’s the Angel way.
I’m watching Cubs/Pirates, the Pirates look better than their record and the Cubs weaker than their record. Small sample is one game but the point is how can you tell if a team really is tanking? You can’t unless guys are playing out of position. On the better teams many can play several positions. Just look at Ward and Renny along with the King of them all in Fletch.
I hope that we make the PO’s and I can see both Albert and Ohtani saying “Put me in coach”. While we notice that the team is a winner in the last 28 or so games, it appears that it has happened after Callaway’s pitching staff management and coaching has really taken to fruitistion. Very visible changes in Mayers, Canning, Sandoval, Butters somewhat, Heaney somewhat and Bedrock returned from injury additionally Barria turned into a pleasant surprise.Hitting is contagious and the bats of Walsh, Ward, and Stassi and Bemboom are all welcomed. Upton and Ohtani and even Albert have been timely. Trout has been consistent as ever and Rendon has been very good. So who is the team MVP this season ?
COVID is the MVP. We only had to watch 60 games of this nightmare.
I definitely agree on the Callaway statement, if this wasn’t some weird super short season he would have had a lot longer to work with the guys and make an even larger impact on them. Here’s to hoping it continues next year as he has more time to work with them.
Nice point on Callaway. He didn’t get a full Spring Training to work with these guys so the first few weeks of the season had to substitute for that time.
Heaney and Canning come down to health. Let’s hope this short season gives their arms the needed rest to make it through a normal season next year.
Regardless of Trout and Rendon, and to a lesser degree Ohtani – as long as the team is at the bottom of the league in pitching and fielding, nothing will improve. Billy has been here 5 years and has not fielded a team with a winning record. This team has had the same problems during his tenure, and is no closer to success next year without significant roster changes. The point being, he’s built nothing.
Burn it down.
wouldn’t it be funny if the Angels get in with a 29-31 record, sweep through the playoffs, win the title and Eppler is extended? Actually I think if the lads do get into the playoffs and win one series Eppler will be back.
Lobbying for an infrastructure bill, Senator?
Given the Dodgers’ completely justified hatred of the Astros, they should be motivated to take it easy on us this weekend. Their position in the standings can’t change, even if they lose out. So let’s see some games thrown, Dodgers!
I’m not a Dodgers hater, but I know many here are, so this is for you. Imagine a scenario where the Dodgers tank a little bit too aggressively this weekend just to help us eliminate the Astros. We get in the playoffs over Houston and MLB investigates the Dodgers for purposefully losing baseball games. MLB finds that the team was guilty of competitive infractions and levies the same penalties the Astros got in addition to banning the Dodgers from the postseason, which means that the Giants get an automatic postseason berth. Just to pour salt in the wound, MLB identifies specific players who took purposefully anti-competitive action and suspends those players for next season, which would be especially galling considering no Astros players were punished individually.
So not only are the Astros out of the playoffs, but the Dodgers are as well and wind up with more penalties than the Astros. That last one isn’t my particular cup of tea, but I thought plenty here would enjoy it. I’d simply be happy to keep the Astros out.
I doubt that the Dodgers deliberately throw games, but as a team that has secured their playoff position, I’d think they would want to rest starters and especially pitchers whose arms seem to fall off at any time.
Let’s see what they do.
the Dodgers hate the Astros but they’re also not fond of the Angels so I expect they’ll play to win, especially the first game.
I was mostly being sarcastic above. The Dodgers aren’t going to purposefully throw anything. Especially since it might not even matter; the Astros could win and make it moot.
However, I do expect them to keep their starters on pretty short outings and rest some of their position players. I figure the back of their bullpen will get significant innings this weekend. On the other hand, the Dodgers’ scrubs and backups are probably mostly better than the Angels’ starters, so it might not matter.
So this has to happen:
Not sure how that will happen, but … baseball is a crazy game.
Thus – if the Astros go 0-4, we go 3-0, and Mariners go 4-0, we don’t make it. BUT, if the Astros go 1-3, we go 3-0, and the Mariners go 4-0, then we do make it.
Good times, lol
I really hope to see the reaction of Stros/M’s fans to that tiebreaker scenario.
Just for completeness’ sake, we could also go 2-1 with the Astros going 0-4. Then it’s up to the Mariners again. If they go 4-0, they’re in all by themselves. If they go 3-1, there’s a 3-way tie that breaks in our favor.
Tommy Roe sang “I’m so dizzy my head is spinning”. Man this is almost funny stuff and harder to figure than the players just winning. lol
Same. Basically, I’m just rooting for us to win and others to lose until someone tells me we are eliminated. 🙂
The math is the best part!
Yes, I’m an accountant.
Mathis the best part
Anything can happen! Right, Red?
Yeah, but it usually doesn’t.
Anyone else see that article that HaloHangout posted about Bauer’s agent responding to a potential contract post from Gary Sheffield jr.? Doesn’t seem right to me that an agent would respond to something like that. But I guess a vocal athlete (nothing against Bauer, he’s hilarious) will have a vocal agent too huh?
Looking back at this season, now that it’s just about over (not happy about our chances for playoffs, even if we play well, too many things have to happen to get us in) I am not totally depressed about the team. This weird abbreviated mosh pit of a season at least has shown us some real glimmers of progress from Walsh, Meyers, Ward, and Stassi. Not sure if I want to put Canning in that list but 10 Ks? Dayim! Joe isn’t afraid to bench Albert. Eppler will be gone, obviously. No more low-budget dumpster diving, I hope. Really don’t think Dombrowski is the answer, but we’ll see what happens. I want Simba back, but having Fletch around makes me feel warm and fuzzy about SS. Probably need somebody with a bigger bat than Rengifo at 2B. Like I said, there’s a lot of work to be done, but we saw a lot of good the last couple of months, too.
Dombrowski terrifies me because of how he’ll torch the farm but the flip side is he has experience and confidence in the role.
As that Shaikin article pointed out, Reagins-Dipoto-Eppler were all somewhat indebted to Arte for getting the opportunity as first-time GM’s not exactly in demand from other clubs and likely didn’t push back the way an established executive would.
Whoever Arte hires, they are the first GM to maybe exert some leverage against him. You need ME more than I need a meddling boss etc.
If it’s Dombrowski, so be it. We remember him for burning the Red Sox’s farm system to the ground, but he did build a strong farm system in Florida, and he did help cultivate the Tigers’ system, too.
That said – if Arte is indeed going to commit to Dombrowski, and given his penchant for wanting “big names,” I would expect him to go that route – I hope he agrees to significantly expand his spending on front office infrastructure, and I hope that Dombrowski has the foresight to hire someone known for their ability to cultivate player development.
For example, I would love to see Alex Slater from the Dodgers (Director of Player Personnel) hired as a GM under Dombrowski. He’s been there since 2014, along with Friedman, and obviously has played a key role in the system they have now. From my understanding of the dynamic between the President of Baseball Operations and GM, the GM tends to be the one who builds and develops the minor league system, while the President effectively handles the major league personnel.
Kinda hard to “torch” previously scorched earth.
You know, the fact that we are technically not eliminated with only 3 games left is making me feel different about Simba opting out.
While it’s not likely, stranger things have happened than us winning 3 in a row against a Dodger team that probably doesn’t care and one of two other teams losing 3 in a row.
It was a tad pre-mature to pull the rip cord, really.
The Blue Jay would have to lose 4 in a row.
If we finish with a better record than HOU (and SEA), we’re in, even if Toronto doesn’t lose out.
The password is: Buttercup.
So you’re telling me there’s a chance…