Postseason open thread

In Uncategorized by berselius183 Comments

Feel free to comment on the playoffs. Or don’t. I can’t tell you what to do.

Mostly this is an excuse to use the Counsell pic one last time.

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  1. andcounting

    Anyone but Astros, Yankees, Dodgers, or Cardinals. I realize I’m essentially picking the final four teams, (dying laughing).

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  2. dmick89

    BVS,

    I’ve never minded the Yankees. As a Cubs fan who was always pissed off the team wasn’t doing everything they could to win, I never developed the hatred for a team that did everything it could to win. The Yankees were always what I wanted the Cubs to be.

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  3. Smokestack Lightning

    BVS:
    Perkins,

    I bet the slice of the Venn diagram that shows overlap between Cub any other team’s fans and Yankees as an acceptable choice to root for is quite small.

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  4. Perkins

    BVS:
    Perkins,

    I bet the slice of the Venn diagram that shows overlap between Cub fans and Yankees as an acceptable choice to root for is quite small.

    I’m a New Yorker at this point and they’re my wife’s team, so they’re my team when the Cubs are out of it.

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  5. Rizzo the Rat

    Weird how Kershaw is not the Dodgers’ game 1 starter, though Buehler might actually be a better pitcher at this point.

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  6. Rizzo the Rat

    If the Braves don’t win this series, I’ll have to root for the Dodgers, since they have the best chance of preventing a Cardinals pennant.

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  7. Ryno

    Interesting thought exercise for some of you:

    Assume you know the Dodgers will appear in the next seven NLCSes and three of the next seven World Series, yet never win it all.

    Assume you only what you know right now about the Cubs,

    Which team would you rather be a fan of from 2016-2025?

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  8. dmick89

    Ryno,

    If I could easily switch to the Dodgers, I would in a heartbeat. I’d also probably switch to a handful of other teams as well without a second thought. Unfortunately I made the bad decisions to become a Cubs fan a long time ago and it seems to be one I can’t undo.

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  9. Perkins

    Ryno,

    I think I’d have trouble rooting for a team if I knew it would definitely not win a World Series over that span, just because part of the fun of baseball is that weird stuff can happen.

    Even a team in a rebuild has a chance of hitting on trades and drafts earlier than expected and catching fire. While the goal of any franchise should be sustained long postseason runs, the point of those postseason appearances is to try to win a World Series.

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  10. dmick89

    Perkins,

    I’m the opposite. Tell me when I’m 10 years old that one team is going to play in the LCS every year and the WS 35% of the time, but never win and the other team is going to win it all every 15 years, but generally suck in between and that’s an easy decision for me. I’d gladly trade never getting to root for a team that won for a team that wins every damn season even if it doesn’t win it all. Those last few games of the playoffs are huge, but they’re small when it comes to the overall enjoyment for me anyway.

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  11. andcounting

    dmick89,

    I’d disagree with this. Psychologically, we typically best remember the highest peak of an experience and the way it ends, and our overall enjoyment level of the memory is roughly the average of those two feelings. So every season you’d remember some great moments and a totally frustrating one.

    1984, 1989, 1998, and 2003 stand out vividly as some of my favorite disappointments. (dying laughing). 2015 was ridiculously consistently fun and surprising, and when they lost in the NLCS it felt like the Cubs were on the cusp of something amazing (somewhat accurately, it turned out). And because my hopes that finished the year did turn out to be realistic, that’s the only non-championship year that doesn’t carry a bitter aftertaste in my memory.

    Basically this question is, would you rather be a Braves fan (minus the one championship) or have a Cublike chance at another WS? I just can’t buy into a decade assured of no titles. I’ll take the Cubs’ one-in-a-million shot, thank you.

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  12. andcounting

    Also: I have no idea what it would be like as a baseball fan to see my team lose the World Series, let alone 3 times in ten years.

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  13. Author
    berselius

    Ryno,

    Obviously I’ve been afflicted by the disease of Cubs fandom, but at this point the thing I would miss the most is not the current players, playoff chances, etc., but having Pat Hughes in my ears every summer.

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  14. Author
    berselius

    berselius,

    Once Pat retires (and I think it will be sooner than many of us might guess) that link to all the Cubs teams that I’ve been a fan of will be a lot weaker. I noticed this year that they’ve been slipping in a lot more Zach Zaidman clips into the Cubs promos this year, and Pat has had a lot more days off.

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  15. dmick89

    andcounting: Basically this question is, would you rather be a Braves fan (minus the one championship) or have a Cublike chance at another WS? I just can’t buy into a decade assured of no titles. I’ll take the Cubs’ one-in-a-million shot, thank you.

    For me, that’s easy. I’d be a Braves fan. I see what you’re saying and you may well be right, though I think we can probably look at how many people like being Marlins fans to assess that. Not many people like being Marlins fans and they’ve won a couple championships already out of nowhere. They’ve sucked ass other than that. I don’t think that one championship or the possibility of a championship keeps as many fans interested as you think it does. Winning and contending year in and year out keeps fans around. In fact, I think that’s the only thing that keeps fans interested in their favorite team these days. There is way too much other stuff to watch or go do than to sit around and watch if your team isn’t winning.

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  16. Perkins

    The frustrating thing about the Cubs right now is that from 2015-17, it looked like they’d be the solution to both of those fandom options. It’s remarkable how much less than the sum of its parts the team has been.

    I wouldn’t say the recent run of Cubs winning has been at all fluky – it was the product of quite a bit of thought and deliberate action. The machine has just been a lot worse at sustaining itself than it reasonably should have been.

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  17. Smokestack Lightning

    dmick89:
    Perkins,

    I’m the opposite. Tell me when I’m 10 years old that one team is going to play in the LCS every year and the WS 35% of the time, but never win and the other team is going to win it all every 15 years, but generally suck in between and that’s an easy decision for me. I’d gladly trade never getting to root for a team that won for a team that wins every damn season even if it doesn’t win it all. Those last few games of the playoffs are huge, but they’re small when it comes to the overall enjoyment for me anyway.

    (dying laughing). You must have been an interesting ten year old. Ask me when I’m ten years old and I’ll say gimme the World Series win every fifteen (and tbh I’d probably say it now too).

    Why? Because as a ten year old in the backyard swinging a bat, when I imagined hitting the walkoff grand slam to win the game for the Cubs, it wasn’t for a fourth consecutive division title.

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  18. Smokestack Lightning

    I will add that now that the Cubs have won the World Series, I’d be far more satisfied with a 10 yr stretch with lots of winning but no championship than I would have been before. That 108 year thing cast a helluva shadow.

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  19. andcounting

    dmick89,

    Yeah, I would definitely not want the Marlins fan experience at all. That was a malicious commitment to losing between championship bookends. To be worth following, a team has to maintain some semblance of loyalty to at least a few players from one year to the next.

    I’m assuming the Cubs don’t completely gut the team, but if they do? I’d consider switching allegiances. But I still wouldn’t entertain an offer that guaranteed no championships.

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  20. Author
    berselius

    Being a Marlins fan is no doubt more painful, but Braves fandom at large was taunted for years for not selling out home playoff games towards the end of their run.

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  21. dmick89

    Smokestack Lightning: You must have been an interesting ten year old. Ask me when I’m ten years old and I’ll say gimme the World Series win every fifteen (and tbh I’d probably say it now too).

    I’d probably have taken the WS at that age too, but I’m in my mid-40s at this point and I basically know what rooting for a team that sucks my entire life feels like. It sucked, though it’s been a bit better lately and there’s reason to be hopeful. I didn’t know what that felt like when I was 10.

    So yeah, at 10 I’d have taken the instant World Series because I’m 10 and instant gratification is awesome and all, but in my mid 40s I’m going to take the team that performs better overall with all things considered. That’s just me though.

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  22. dmick89

    andcounting: I’m assuming the Cubs don’t completely gut the team, but if they do? I’d consider switching allegiances.

    That’s the thing, if I was going to switch, I’d have already done so. I’m one of them suckers at this point that would still be a Cubs fan if the best player on the team next season was Alvin Yellon. I made the deal to stick with this team through all kinds of shitty baseball a long time ago. That deal literally said “shitty baseball” and it’s a lifelong contract.

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  23. Smokestack Lightning

    berselius:
    Justin Verlander might be good, you guys.

    Maybe, but as we all know, the name of the trade game is acquiring a really good contract.

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  24. Rizzo the Rat

    Call it sour grapes, but getting to the NLCS every year without ever winning a title would get so frustrating after a while.

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  25. andcounting

    So much bad baseball. For all the justified talk of the juiced ball, there sure does seem to be a shit ton of unearned runs being allowed this postseason.

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  26. BVS

    Ryno,

    To Ryno’s question…if you take a 10 mile hike, or a 1000 mi toad trip, is the last 200 yards/20 mi the part you enjoy most?

    I’ll take the journey, with its blisters, mosquitoes, and dull spots or potholes, tailgaters, and speed traps, over just the ending.

    I also choose Amtrak over airlines on the East Coast if the train is 10 hr or less.

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  27. BVS

    BVS,

    Also, if the perennial winner was doing it with the likes of ARod, Ty Cobb, Clemens, Bud Norris and Clint Hurdle, that would make it even easier for me to root for the team with Rey Sanchez, Scott Sanderson, Joe Borowski, CJ Jr, AA Jr, Starlin Castro, Fowler, Heyward, and core 4 types.

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  28. andcounting

    dmick89,

    Yeah, I was thinking yesterday about what sports would be like if I knew the results ahead of time. I realized the not knowing is a huge part of enjoying it. I know this for sure now that most of my baseball watching and listening is through streaming. When the score changes during Cubs game I get notifications on my phone a few seconds before it happens on TV. Knowing what happens even a few seconds before I get to see it drives me nuts, so a full decade in advance would absolutely take all the fun out of it. Occasionally I’ll be at someone’s house where they pause the game during meals and stuff, and I may occasionally murder someone, I kinda black out, I don’t really know.

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  29. dmick89

    andcounting: Occasionally I’ll be at someone’s house where they pause the game during meals and stuff, and I may occasionally murder someone, I kinda black out, I don’t really know.

    It’s perfectly acceptable to murder someone who pauses a live Cubs game. I may or may not have done it.

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  30. Rizzo the Rat

    FS1 commentators are advising Rays hitters to stop striking out against Cole, though they admit it is “easier said than done.”

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  31. Smokestack Lightning

    I have decided I would not be too upset if the Cubs made a run at signing Gerrit Cole this offseason.

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  32. andcounting

    Wait. The Cardinals intentionally walked someone with a runner on 3rd, 2 outs, and a 3-run lead? What could possibly have been the reason?

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  33. BVS

    andcounting,

    I’m not really excited about Girardi, but I wouldn’t hate it.

    I think Espada wpuld be interesting too, and agree with sentiment about poaching from Astros.

    I assume the new guy will want to replace pitching and hotting coaches, but that’d be 3 yr in a row. Ugh. That would seem to give an insider the leg up…Loretta, Venable, Ross.

    But Theo says previous managing experience preferred. After Girardi, there is Gibbons, Bochy, Farrell, Showalter, Sveum again, Ausmus, Wakamatsu (maybe he was only an interim ), the guy who Snitger replaced in Atlanta who was previously with Miami or TB (obv don’t remember his name, but his tactical skill HHorrible), and others fired this year. Aside from Bochy and maybe Ausmus, that’s a pretty meh group.

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  34. andcounting

    WaLi,

    It would have been as shocking if he didn’t go there as it would have been if the Cubs didn’t get him when he opted out of his contract with Tampa.

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  35. andcounting

    BVS,

    I kinda think all Theo’s talk about experience being important and Ross’s relationships with guys from 2016 meaning nothing was just window dressing to make it look like he won a legit competitive vetting and hiring process. In reality they’ve had him pegged as the next manager since last winter.

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  36. dmick89

    andcounting,

    I’ll be really surprised if they hire someone other than David Ross. I have no idea who is the best person for the job, but based on the last several years of what people have said about Ross, the Cubs absolutely love him and he’s well respected by the players.

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  37. andcounting

    andcounting,

    I also don’t mind. The stress on accountability, I think, is something they see as a strength with Ross. His teammates at the time seemed to think he had the ability to call someone on their bullshit without losing them/pissing them off, i.e. doing it constructively and positively. That quality alone is really valuable and rare. If that’s a skill he has, great. You could argue that his presence/absence made a huge difference in the overall mojo of the team (2015-2016 vs. 2017-2019). People would argue with you, but you could argue that. Regardless, I wouldn’t hate the move.

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  38. andcounting

    dmick89,

    Yeah, Theo would hate the perception he’s being predictable or sentimental, but I think everyone knows they value him. Kinda like picking the GM to be with him in the front office and hiring Maddon were no-brainers, this seems like the same thing.

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  39. EnricoPallazzo

    anyone here check out season three of true detective? i was unaware of its existence but really liked the first season and BN Brett says that season three is legit. worth checking out?

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  40. dmick89

    I actually think it’s funny there’s a game five that could have ended up being used as a rest day for a bunch of players after the top of the first. The Cardinals could have taken out almost every starter and rested them if they had enough bodies.

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  41. Smokestack Lightning

    If I were running the Cardinals, I would definitely leave Flaherty in to pitch 100+ pitches with a 12 run lead.

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  42. Smokestack Lightning

    berselius:
    The legend of Playoffs Kershaw embiggens further.

    And Playoffs Friedman.

    MLB postseason is a big meanie. Both deserve better.

    Otoh: Suck it, Dodgers_in_5.

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  43. Perkins

    While I’m bummed that the Nats finally won a postseason series, it’s pretty hilarious that the Dodgers are done. Honestly, I’m happy seeing all the NL teams in this year’s postseason lose.

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  44. andcounting

    Gabe Kepler———> curious to know if prior managing experience is super important to Theo because he knows a guy with some and is suddenly available.

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  45. Perkins

    dmick89:
    Ryno,

    How many times do I have to tell you guys that they already won the World Series. It’s a done deal. Sealed.

    I’ve often wondered if I actually died immediately after the Cubs won the World Series and everything since then has actually been Hell. This would be another data point in support of that hypothesis.

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  46. Perkins

    andcounting,

    I suppose that’s possible. I don’t actually believe in Hell, but it would be pretty on-brand to start with something great and hopeful only to chase it with a complete horror show.

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  47. andcounting

    Perkins,

    So the premise of the show is a Cubs fan named Perkins goes into a coma to protect himself from the shock of the stunning 9th-inning collapse by overused closer Aroldis Chapman in the Cubs’ tragic Game 7 loss to Cleveland. In his coma, he experiences an alternate reality in which Chapman records the final out in the 9th, rain delays the game, and the Cubs rally to win in 10 innings.

    For the rest of the show, his brain plays out this alternate world where the reality he knows struggles against the results he had hoped for in what turns out to be a hellish paradox. The Cubs never return to the World Series, Donald Trump becomes president, and western civilization starts moving backward.

    The whole point is to drive home the perils of trying to force ridiculous fantasies into reality and how the fabric of our universe unravels when we grapple for what we want instead of enjoying what we’re given.

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  48. Perkins

    andcounting,

    You know, when you pitch it as a television show, it sounds a lot cooler.

    But within the two weeks after the Cubs won the World Series, I lost faith in the American people and system (and continue to question the point of my having served in the Army), and one of my cats died suddenly of pancreatic cancer. That month basically broke my brain to some extent, so it has not been fun to live it.

    But I’d totally pay to watch that as a TV show or movie (dying laughing).

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  49. dmick89

    andcounting,

    andcounting: For the rest of the show, his brain plays out this alternate world where the reality he knows struggles against the results he had hoped for in what turns out to be a hellish paradox. The Cubs never return to the World Series, Donald Trump becomes president, and western civilization starts moving backward.

    To think that some Cubs fans wouldn’t trade away that championship to be rid of Trump is worth a spinoff show itself.

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  50. andcounting

    dmick89,

    Yeah, I’d definitely take the 10 NLCS appearances, 3 WS losses, and no championship in exchange for no Trump or watch Back to the Future IV if it involved interfering with Game 7 to turn the tide of the election in 2016. And if I could pull myself out of this fascist coma and wave goodbye to that ridiculous joy, I’d do it in a heartbeat.

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  51. dmick89

    I think most people around this blog would be happy to trade that WS for no Trump, but there’s a sizable number of Cubs fans who would not and many of them would describe themselves as liberal or Democrat.

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  52. andcounting

    dmick89,

    Nothing says “I’ve stopped caring about the Cubs” quite like “Cards are taking the World Series, bank on it.” (dying laughing)

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  53. Rizzo the Rat

    His twitter name is fried chicken, and he said some weird things to me, so I told him to eat fried chicken for every meal until he dies

    — ダルビッシュ有(Yu Darvish) (@faridyu) October 11, 2019

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  54. andcounting

    This series seems eerily familiar to the 2017 NLDS against the Cubs when the Nats spent the entire series flirting with no-hitters (and somehow lost, because baseball is a cruel bastard).

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  55. Ryno

    berselius,

    So far, so good. It’s surreal, though.

    If no injuries, I could see them going 11-5 and making a little noise in the playoffs. But I’d like to see them against a really good team before I get too excited.

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  56. Smokestack Lightning

    Wow. It’s almost like Shildt’s profanity-laden inspirational speech prior to the series didn’t even work.

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  57. Perkins

    Sour grapes may be all I have at the moment, but it’s really satisfying to watch the Cardinals get ground into dust.

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  58. Author
    berselius

    Also, it appears the Nats fanbase is trying to catch the Cubs in the all-important “Needless hate for the greatest player on your team in recent memory” rankings.

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  59. WaLi

    berselius,

    Are they hating on him? Personally I find it funny/great that the year they lose one of the highest paid players in baseball they make it to the World Series, but I am not hating on Harper by any means.

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  60. andcounting

    WaLi,

    It’s not exactly as bad as it would have been if the Cavs went to the finals when LeBron left, but it’s embarrassing. But the Nats did sign 9 WAR worth of FA starting pitching in the offseason to damper the loss. Just goes to fuel that conspiracy theory that improving your team helps in the long run.

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  61. EnricoPallazzo

    andcounting: Just goes to fuel that conspiracy theory that improving your team helps in the long run

    this “theory” is little more than a hoax which is perpetuated by non-white supremacists. frankly I don’t even know why you’d bring it up.

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  62. Ryno

    Dan: The Cubs have 4 “top 100” prospects. Change my mind.
    Keith Law: They do not. And since I make the list, I think that settles it.

    “…the list.”

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  63. Ryno

    Adam: If you’re into high-ceiling but risky prospects, are Brailyn Marquez and Brennan Davis — and not Nico Hoerner — the best Cubs’ prospects?
    Keith Law: Hoerner does seem lower upside, and he didn’t perform well after an aggressive assignment to AA this year. If you think Marquez is a likely starter, he’s their best guy. If not, it’s probably Davis.

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